Narya shielded the mantle around herself. The night was cold. The moon was the only protection for Narya. She didn’t know how long she had been running. Maybe it was an hour or maybe it was five. She didn’t know. All she knew was that she was exhausted and needed to get home fast. Even though the wind was blowing fiercely, Narya slipped her hands through the armholes of the mantle and let it fly instead of draping it around her. Having to hold it around herself was harder, and it slowed her down. No one can see me anyhow Narya thought as she looked at herself. Beads of sweat ran down her forehead. I must have a fever for I’m shivering
She had stumbled many times that night. Her legs were muddy from her many falls. Though Narya was cold, and the wind blew against her body fiercely, she ran on not knowing where she was running to. She could make her way in the forest in the morning but not at night. She needed to make it home soon though. Older and fouler things still lived in the woods. The moon hid behind a cloud, and the light faded.
As Narya ran, her mantle suddenly caught on a sharp branch of a log on the ground. She fell to the ground into a small stream. As her arms tore through the holes, the mantle flew off of her body. Narya was covered with soil and mud. How can I return to my father like this when I told him I would be bathing? she asked herself. She imagined that he would be happy if she returned at all.
The moon then peeked out of the cloud. It gave Narya hope. She sat on her knees and stared up at it. It’s glow enveloped her and shone a ray of light upon her exposed form in the middle of the woods. Narya loved the moon. She almost worshipped it as the elves did their stars, but Narya was different from the elves. She was human and mortal.
All of a sudden, a familiar voice calling her name was heard out of the darkness. Oh no! Aseir! She couldn’t let him see her like this. Narya tried to stand up, but fell to the ground again. She winced. A sharp pain spread from her ankle to her thigh. She needed to get up and cover herself. Narya crawled to the mantle, which still was caught on the branch. She tore it off but not before it ripped in several places. The pieces were small. Narya was upset for it was her best mantle, but she concentrated on trying to cover her unclad body. She picked up two of the pieces just as she saw the outline of Aseir making his way towards her. She wrapped the cloth around herself, but didn’t manage to cover her feet to her thighs, her shoulders, neck, and part of her chest. Aseir appeared with a sword unsheathed in case of any surprise. He sheathed it as soon as he saw Narya.
” Narya! What are you doing here?” he asked.
Narya tried to stand and immediately fell from the pain in her leg. He caught her in his arms and picked her up. As his arm rested on her side, she unexpectedly screamed in pain.
” My side!”
Narya felt a trickle of blood running down her hip. She didn’t notice before but had wounded herself.
” May I see?” he asked holding the cloth in his hand attempting to remove it if need be.
Just let him Narya. You’re hurt. He is going to be your husband soon.
Narya finally answered, ” Go ahead.”
Aseir took the cloth off and blushed as he saw her stripped form. She did not notice for she had been holding her side. He noticed many lacerations and scratches extending from her breasts to her thighs but his eye caught a deep gash in her side. He gently laid her on the ground and ripped a piece of his cloak off. He placed it on the wound and picked her up again. Much to his dismay, he covered her again for the wind was fierce, and she was burning up from a fever.
Aseir carried Narya back to her village and took her to her room. He took the last piece of the mantle off and placed her cold body into her bed. She was nearly approaching the state of delirium.
” I need to get you warm.”
He thought to himself for a moment and excused himself. He returned in a few minutes with an herb tea. Narya sat up with the covers still protecting her and drank the tea down quickly. She was no longer shivering. Aseir felt her head and knew that the fever had abated somewhat.
” How is your side?” he asked her.
Narya did not wish to tell him so, but she said, ” It’s still bleeding.”
Aseir walked over to the table nearby and fetched two pieces of cloth and a bowl of water.
” Take off the covers, Narya. I must clean it.”
Narya hesitated. She objected to him even seeing her body until they were joined, but she had no choice. The wound was far down beyond her reach, and it had not yet ceased the bleeding. Narya slowly removed the covers.
” Turn over. I have to wrap the gash.”
After wiping it clean of blood, Aseir took the white cloth and wrapped it around her side. He was glad for the blood had finally ceased flowing. He then took the cloth and washed her face from the dirt. He moved down to her neck and then to her shoulders. He began to move down her chest when Narya stopped him from further cleaning what he desired.
” Stop! I can manage the rest,” she said grabbing his hand and pushed it away. She wrapped the covers around herself again.
” Oh Narya!” Aseir lashed out and ripped the covers from her. ” I’ve already seen every inch of you. We’ll be married soon. Let us be like normal couples and be bound tonight.”
” No! I do not wish it!” she said attempting to take the sheets from him which he held.
” I do not care what you wish! You are mine!”
With that, Aseir took her into his arms and kissed her satisifying his desire. He ran his hands along her naked back. He continued down further toward her thighs but felt her pushing against him. He would not let her resist for he was stronger. He loved the feel of her and wanted to drink her in that night no matter what. He felt her trying to desperately resist him but he craved for her and let his fire continue. He would not stop until his hunger was self satisfied. He moved his strong hands under her arms though she pushed against his chest with her hands. She finally knew she could not resist him though she tried. His fire was to great to match hers. She let his mouth continue to swell and consume hers. Though she was still covered with dirt, his hands moved up and down her body taking her all in. he finally laid her back on the bed and stopped kissing her for a moment to see her lips swelled. He gave sympathy for them and moved his lips to her neck sensually kissing it. He paused for a moment and removed his cloak quickly before she could attempt anything. He kissed her forehead and noticed it was warm again. She seemed to exhausted now to resist. He removed his shirt from his body and lay against her covering his warm body onto her cold one. She lay there before him on the bed bare with nothing but her naked skin covering her. She felt herself ready to faint. Her eyes were closed. She was exhausted and wished she could pass out. Then maybe he would cease.
As she felt his ministrations continue further down her chest, she then knew she did not want this. This was not the way to do it. She wanted to be desired, but she did not want to be desired unless she felt the same way about the other person. That would not happen until they were married. Narya wanted to remain pure and unattached until the day of marriage. He reached for her naked breasts, but she cried out against him.
” Stop! Stop this insanity! Just leave!” she pushed him very hard.
Aseir landed on the ground on his back. His eyes lit up in fury. Narya retrieved the covers and covered herself. She refused to let go no matter what.
” Just wait until Midsummer’s Eve!” she said pointing to the door.
” You are impossible, Narya! No!”
” If you persist with this state of fury, I will scream. My mortified father then will pronounce you as the perfidious man you are. If you do not wish to be dishonoured, I suggest you leave now and I will forget the matter.”
” You are amazing, Narya. But as you wish my love.”
He did not leave though before taking advantage of her one last time. He took her face in his hands and gave one last sensuous kiss.
He slammed the door behind him not satisfied for what he received that night. He wanted more. Aseir walked from her room and to the courtyard where he saw her father pacing nervously. He saw Aseir and smiled for he knew he had found her.
” Where is Narya?” her father asked.
” In her room weeping.”
Her father inquired why. Aseir explained how he had found Narya and what he had attempted to do.
” I don’t see why she is being so difficult,” Fasel said. ” Aritha and I before marriage were bound many weeks before.”
The Easterlings were a very different people compared to elves or even men. They commited unspeakable acts toward their women and often had premarital intercourse. But Narya was different. It had seemed that she was more like the elven women or of the race of men.
” I do not think Narya wants to be bound to me.”
” I will talk to her. But now leave her alone. She has just been through a tramatic experience.”
The next day Narya awoke early. The sun had not yet risen, but she could no longer sleep. She was still dirty from the night before. She quickly bathed from the basin of water that had been left in her room. She combed her long kinky hair until it shone and was soft as silk. She braided her hair and stuck a few white flowers into it. Before she dressed, she looked out of her window and noticed that Aseir had been watching her from the garden. She quickly closed the shutters refusing to allow his wandering eye watch anymore.
Narya climbed into a silver dress that fell slightly beyond the shoulders. The gold necklace was still fastened around her neck. She didn’t think gold and silver were a very good match but she wore it anyway.
Narya walked down the stairs to the garden. Aseir approached her. He offered her a red rose. She took it. They began to walk together in the garden. They reached the midst of the garden. No one came there in the middle of the morning. They were all still asleep even Narya’s father for he had stayed up most of the night worrying about her. The trees and bushes grew tall and high above their heads.
” I’m sorry,” they both said at the same time.
Aseir continued, ” I shouldn’t have fallen upon you like that. You had just been through a tramatic time. You were lost in the woods and sick. I shouldn’t have tried to fall upon you like that.”
” I was actually surprised you did at all!” Narya exclaimed.
” Narya, we are different from the race of men and elves. We can be bound to whatever women we want regardless of whether we are married or not. As long as we keep ourselves to them, it signifies that we are truly theres. I believe I am truly yours and you are truly mine. It does not matter whether we are bound tonight or in ten days. As long as we remain true to each other.”
” Will you remain true to me?” Narya asked. ” Even when I grow old and uglier?”
” You will never grow out of your physical beauty.”
That part was false and Narya knew it. Aseir was living in a dream and believed that she would never grow older or less beautiful.
” Do you wish to be bound to me?” Aseir asked her.
Narya knew where her answer lay. It lay in a kiss from someone else’s lips. She couldn’t bear though to break her father’s heart.
Aseir took her in his arms. He wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her as he did the previous night. She compared him to Manwel. Manwel was soft and passionate. Aseir was self-satisfying and hard. Manwel loved her. Aseir loved her body, but she let him continue to devour her mouth. He ran his hands along her neck and came into contact with the gold necklace.
” You still have this?” he asked holding it to the sumlight.
” You gave it to me when I was no more than an infant. I always wear it.”
” It is a child’s toy. Someday I will give to you a necklace worthy of you and your beauty.”
Before Narya could finish, his tongue enveloped her mouth again. His lust was deep and set on fire for her. He ran his hands down her chest and began to seek out what he desired. He went to her shoulders and started to pull the dress further down her chest. He felt her resisting but continued until it had exposed the top of her bosom. He wished to finish his craving his lust. He continued to trawl the dress further down exposing more of her breasts. As he kissed her, he reached for her bust when she cried out.
” No! Please stop!”
Narya broke free from him and began running regardless of how the dress could make her trip. She needed to be free of Aseir. She hated the way he made her feel. She ran to the only place she could feel safe. She made her way into the woods.
When she was safely sequestered, she drew her dress up and clothed her unclad chest. She leaned against a tree and started to weep. She knelt down to the ground and in the dirt continued her lament.
Unexpectedly a soft hand touched her shoulder. She half expected to see Aseir and turned to strike when her eyes met her handsome Manwel standing by her side. He offered her his hand. Neither of them spoke as she took it. She fell into his arms and he embraced her giving her comfort. She dug her face into his chest and continued crying. She finally stopped for a moment.
” What is wrong River Daughter?” he asked her.
” You! Oh why did you have to enter my life?” She cried out in anguish. ” Why did you have to be so wonderful? Why did you have to entrap me with your kiss? Why did I fall in love with you?”
” Narya,” his brown eyes met hers. ” Do you love me?”
” Yes. I wish to be bound to you, but I can not bear to break my fathers heart. I can not!”
” Narya, only you can make the choice. Only you. That heartless pig only wants one thing, and that’s your beauty and body. That will not last forever and I know that. I love you River Daughter. Not just your body, or your beauty, or your wondrous voice. I love you. You can run and hide from me. But you will never escape my love. Never!”