Is Your Love Strong Enough?

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:13 pm

It was just after dawn when Laenaya and Brandt set off on horseback from Minas Tirith. Her sister, Calene, and her husband lived on the border of Gondor and Rohan and it would take two days on horseback to reach them. Laenaya knew that her sister had recently miscarried another baby and that she and Deshane had decided not to try for another baby. They had their son Kaled though and Laenaya couldn't remember the last time she had seen him. He was around 8 years old at this point and the last letter Laenaya had received from her sister indicated that she and Deshane were considering sending Kaled to the city to complete his education and start weapons training.

As they rode, Laenaya looked over at her husband who was looking straight ahead. His eyes looked as tired as she felt. She prayed that this trip would ultimately help save their marriage. She didn't want things to end this way between them. They had been through too much together and she did love him. They just needed to learn to communicate with one another again the way they used to. They had been riding silently for almost an hour when she finally broke the silence.

"When Calene and I were around 10 and 8 years old we were supposed to attend this ball that our parents were hosting. It was an important event and new dresses were made for us specifically for this event. The evening of the ball we were dressed and our hair was done but we decided to sneak away before we were supposed to go to the ball to play in the private gardens. As you know there is a pond there with fish. Well, Calene got close to the edge of the pond to try and see the fish and slipped. She grabbed my arm for balance, but ended up pulling us both into the pond. We were completely wet and our dresses were ruined and the fish that Calene had been looking at ended up getting stuck in her hair. I have never heard her scream that much," she paused and smiled a little as she remembered it. "To this day she stays away from that pond."

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Post by Conleth on Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:47 pm

Gulbrandt wasn’t certain if their marriage was fixable. He believed that it may be very likely that he and Laenaya will live together without the love they once held for one another for their daughter’s sake. He would not allow her to leave him, not really but they might just be ‘cohabitating’ and raising their daughter. These thoughts and others were dark thoughts that he sometimes thought about when his mind was left to wander. Right now their horses plodded along the tightly packed dirt road at a fairly slow pace and almost by instinct he steered his tall, brown gelding with just his knees and it didn’t require much deliberate thought at all.

He listened to Laenaya’s story but when she finished he neither laughed nor said anything. At least not right away. He could feel her looking at him as seconds passed and a thought did come to him then. “What kind of fish?” He asked and turned to regard her. He noticed the confused look on her face. “The fish caught in her hair, what kind was it?” He asked plainly. Obviously the humor of her story had completely eluded him. By her silence he took it that she did not know the kind of fish and he turned back to looking forward.

“When I was a boy, I was picked on a lot. I didn’t start to grow until after most of the other boys and as boys will do I was picked on and beat up a lot because of it. For years It was like this for me until I turned 10 years old. At 10 all the Northman boys went through a kind of coming of age ceremony where we are tossed out into the cold with just one pack of food and water. No weapons and only enough clothing that we didn’t freeze to death. Well, I knew the bigger boys were going to take my food so I laced it all with just enough soap that it would give them severe stomach aches and force their bowels to react uncontrollably. Needless to say it happened as I thought it would and I found myself out in the wild without a mouthful of food or a drop of water. After they all ate my food I began following them. They became so sick that they never saw me steal into their camps and take their food...or drink their water. After the 7th day, the last day I stride into the hold as if I had been out on a stroll. The others...having soiled and peed themselves hobbled in as if they were on deaths door. I was never normally the vengeful sort but those boys never bothered me again, I can tell you true,” he said and he grinned over at her.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:20 pm

Laenaya had been hoping for at least some sort of reaction from her husband, but she received none. The silence overwhelmed her and nearly brought tears to her eyes. She was trying but she felt as if she were speaking to a stone wall. She wanted to scream and kick at him. All he finally asked was what kind of fish it had been. She looked away from him so he wouldn't see the tears in her eyes. However, after a moment Brandt began to speak. As he spoke of a story of his childhood she slowly looked over at him. At least he was speaking to her. After he had finished she was quiet for a moment longer before speaking again.

"I had my choice of at least six different suitors. They fought over me, verbally and physically. They showed one another up and competed for my attention. They were Gondorian nobles and that is always who I thought I would marry. To be honest I was terrified to marry you Brandt. I thought you loud and rude and messy and I couldn't see myself falling in love with you, but I decided to go through with the wedding because I felt it was the right thing to do. I don't know the exact moment I fell in love with you. It was more a realization that it had happened without my knowing it. But I do love you Brandt...with all of my heart. I never would have been truly happy with any of those other suitors. I am happy with you. You brought joy and a new way of looking at the world into my life. I can't imagine my life without you."

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Post by Conleth on Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:59 pm

“This isn’t about love. Our problems, how far apart we’ve become,” he said sounding a little angry. “This is about Aslan...and living with that loss. You say you love me, you say you don’t want to live without me, yet when I look in your eyes sometimes, it’s as if you’re a thousand miles away. I’ve let him go Laenaya, I’ve let him go because it’s the only way I can move forward. With everything. You, me, our family. I want to move forward, I want to be a family again,” he said looking forward as he rode.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:21 pm

Laenaya blinked at Brandt's reaction. Laenaya was normally a more quiet and calm woman. She didn't anger very easily, but she felt anger rising up inside of her. "You're laying all of the problems in our marriage on my shoulders and I won't bear that full weight anymore Brandt! You used to talk to me about anything and everything, but now you barely speak a dozen words to me in a day. You use Aslan as an excuse not to talk about the problems between us...to not have to admit to your problems. You think I don't want us to be a family again? You're wrong. I want that more than anything in this world right now. You think I want to bring another child into this mess?"

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Post by Conleth on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:35 pm

Brandt could feel his anger toward Laenaya begin to rise with each word. He didn’t know how she was always able to get under his skin but she did. “Well I guess you should have picked one of those ‘other’ suitors then shouldn’t you!” He snapped. “I’m sorry I can’t live up to your standards, my lady,” he said mockingly and with an angry twist to his words. “MY BOY...IS GONE!!” He shouted and his horse had stopped completely. He hadn’t realized it but he was crying now and tears rolled down his cheeks. He looked down as he brought up hi hands and they were shaking now. Especially since he had gone without alcohol for almost half a day. “He’s gone Laenaya...and it’s all my fault!” He said as he weept. “All my fault,” he said as he pressed his hands to his face.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:50 pm

Laenaya wanted to continue to be angry at Brandt as his mocking words and tone hurt her, but as she watched him slowly begin to break down she found that she was no longer angry. Brandt had been carrying around as much guilt as she had and everything that had been locked away for these past few years had now come spilling out for both of them.

She moved her horse a few steps closer to his and leaned over and took him into her arms. She held him tightly as her own tears began to slip down her cheeks. "It's not your fault Brandt," she told him honestly. "We did what we felt was best for our family by leaving the clan. Aslan is...alive and that is what matters to me right now. Your family will keep him safe and perhaps one day we will see him again. I'm certain he will look like you. But for now we must remember that we have a beautiful daughter and this one on the way," she said as she took his hand and placed it on her lower belly. "We may not all be together right now...but we will always be a family."

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Post by Conleth on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:56 pm

Being vulnerable was not something Gulbrandt was used to. From his experience men were ‘men’ and they certainly didn’t cry. But he couldn’t help it. And Laenaya’s arms around him made him weep even harder. And hearing her weep made his insides twist up upon themselves. “Oh I miss him and I love you Laenaya...I know I’m not what you may have wanted. But I do love you,” He said in between his sobs. “Can you ever forgive me?” He asked

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:07 pm

Laenaya knew this was a turning point in their marriage. The tears, though ones of loss and sadness, were cleansing in a powerful way and Laenaya felt closer to Brandt than she ever had before. They were going to make it through this...together and she felt their marriage would be even stronger.

“There is nothing to forgive. We were both grieving in our own way and we held that inside. This is a new beginning for us.”

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Post by Conleth on Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:55 am

Still sniffing he felt her warm kisses on his cheek. She was crying too he could tell and he tasted the saltiness of her tears each time she kissed his lips. “I...I feel useless in Minas Tirith Laenaya. All of our horses are in Gehenna. If you really want to live there then I want to go and bring them to the city and continue what your grandfather started,” he said as he took hold of himself. For the first time in a long time he looked deeply into her eyes. Laenaya was an extremely beautiful woman. With dark green eyes that sparkles like emeralds when she looked at him. Her black hair glistened in the sunlight and he loved the feel of it when he entangled his fingers in it. He had a lot to be thankful for. He just needed to be reminded of that. Aslan was gone and he had a beautiful wife and a bonnie wee lass to dote upon. He kissed her back passionately and tasted her tongue with his own. That crushing weight of guilt he had been feeling for so long was now just an irritating buzz in the back of his mind. He stamped it down easily and his need for Laenaya, to know her body once more came into him like a mountain toppling down upon him. “I want you Laenaya...I want you now!” He whispered urgently into her ear with his breaths coming in near pants and his heart beating as if he had just ran a mile.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:24 am

Laenaya felt her own desire for Brandt grow. Even though they had made love in the past it had been almost as if it weren't really them. It had been so long since she had felt this kind of passion from Brandt and from herself. She wanted...no needed him as well, but they were exposed and out in the open. Did they dare? There was no one around for miles in any direction and the thought of being out in the open did excite her a little. She slowly looked over at him with a little grin...

Sometime later she lay with him on the ground. They had used their blankets and cloaks and anything else soft they could find to put beneath them. She lay in his arms, with her head resting on his chest and her right arm around him. Their breathing was slowly returning to normal. She hadn't felt this close to her husband in a long time and it almost brought tears to her eyes to know that once again he was the man she had fallen in love with. Now that her desire was quenched she thought back to what he had said and responded.

"I would be lying if I said that I didn't want to remain in Minas Tirith," she admitted. "With the fighting that is going on I want to be sure to keep Auriela and our new baby safe. I will speak to my father and have private stables just for you constructed. And my grandparents are now in the city. I'm certain my grandfather would enjoy helping you." The appreciation for what he was willing to do for was evident in her voice and her eyes and she wanted to ensure that he was comfortable and happy in the city.

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Post by Conleth on Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:16 pm

Gulbrandt had bared his soul to Laenaya and she him and they both came together on the other side. It was not a guaranteed thing. Some women did not like to see their man cry. But his tears were true tears and she had met him half of the way. Far enough he decided. And the benefit was more than words could really even say. Gulbrandt wasn’t a soldier. He knew how to fight but he was not a commander like Einor or Eldarion was. And the King would not allow him to be placed in any regiment as a soldier either so he did not go with the others. That had been part of it too.

Gulbrandt stroked Laenaya’s dark hair and snaked his fingers into it and slowly pulled them out again. Over and over he did that and he thought she liked that too. With his other hand he put his palm upon her swelling belly. “I think I won’t be satisfied until our home is filled with babes,” he said in her ear as he raised his hand and cupped her left breast. “Perhaps we should be off again or I’ll likely have at you again if it isn’t soon,” He said playfully. Luckily Laenaya agreed and he helped her get dressed. As he set her fur-lined shawl over her shoulders he pulled her close into one last kiss and held her face so he could gaze into her eyes. They rode for the better part of the afternoon. Not in any real hurry. And they talked and talked and talked about the past and about their future. As the sun dipped low however it became dangerous for the horses and they had been forced to pull off of the road. Gulbrandt found a decent spot, fairly level down between a small grouping of rocks and a few trees. He hobbled the horses and helped Laenaya put up their green and white shelter. He made a small fire and Laenaya put a small kettle on for tea. There would not be a hot meal tonight but what there was was smoked fish, bread, cheese and dried fruit.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:52 pm

For Laenaya it was wonderful to feel like she could talk to her husband again the way they used to. Brandt wasn't just her husband, but her best friend and she had felt lost without him. Things would be better now...much better. She felt happier than she had in a long time and knew that Brandt felt the same way. He sat higher in his saddle and the glint was back in his eyes. Since they hadn't really spoken in a while there was a lot for them to discuss. The hours flew by as they rode and talked and soon evening had fallen and it was time for them to stop for the night. Laenaya assisted Brandt in putting up their shelter and she prepared the tea kettle as Brandt built the fire. She sat down close to him and handed him a prepared plate of food before taking her own.

"Do you think Auriela will like having a younger brother or sister?"

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Post by Conleth on Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:15 pm

Gulbrandt accepted a piping hot cup of tea from laenaya and thought about her question a moment as he cupped it in his cold hands. “The light willing, I’d like to see her with several. But if you are speaking of the one in your belly now I would hope for another son,” He said honestly. “Or a daughter that loves horses as much as I do,” He added with a smile. Laenaya’s horse was one of the best trained Elven bred horses he had trained. A bay with blonde mane and tail but with the elven litheness that belied its common appearance. She handled herself like she knew her riders mind and was one of the fastest horses he had ever seen. “What do you want? Another girl?” he said with a grin. But then remembered something that they were told before they began on this journey. “What we need to do is talk Calene into having another child. I realize its extremely difficult to lose a child but life must go on,” He said as he blew on his tea then took a sip. It was very good with just a hint of honey as he liked it.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:30 pm

Laenaya smiled a little as she thought about having a few more children. She could easily see that and she imagined them playing with their cousins as they got older. Auriela needed a sibling she could have as a friend and that she could also mentor. It had been so with herself and her sisters and she didn't want her daughter growing up without that experience. Being in the city and with the help of her family she was more willing to have more children, which she knew Brandt wanted.

When Brandt brought up Calene she sighed a little and looked at him. "She hasn't just had one miscarriage, but five. This last miscarriage nearly killed her. I don't know if I would be comfortable talking her into trying again. Kaled was born early. They were lucky that he survived."

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Post by Conleth on Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:08 pm

“Bah, it is not up to us to decide such things. If we shied away from hardship and sorrow, we’d only be lesser beings I think,” Gulbrandt said but not in an argumentative way. “It may be that her body can not support another babe though and only she would know that,” He added. “You dearest have the hips and breasts for babes so as long as you are willing, I will continue to present myself to you for that end,” He said with a grin and took another sip of his tea and a bite of some of the fish. He was looking at her in that way he did when he wanted to have sex but tonight he’d have to keep watch so she could sleep and she’d have to wake for him to sleep. There was little time or energy for doing what he wanted. For some reason, being out here, in this air...with her...made him want her more now than he ever could recall in the past. With her small baby bump and glowing complexion she was the very image of vigor and health that marked her out as a woman who was expecting. Her cheeks were a bit rosy as well which gave her a look as if she were beauty in full bloom.


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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:32 pm

Laenaya had always known that she wanted to have more children, but unfortunately Auriela had been born not long after Aslan had been taken and her relationship with Gulbrandt and then started to suffer and she had not become pregnant until now. Auriela was six and would therefore be quite a bit older than her sibling, but she didn't think it would ultimately matter, especially when they got older. She wanted a son, but she also wanted a sister for Auriela. They would just have to wait and see which it would be. For her it wouldn't matter in the end. She would love her child no matter what.

She ate her smoked fish, but felt Brandt's eyes upon her. She could see out of the corner of her eye him watching...almost studying her. It caused her to smile and then blush. "Why do you look at me so?"

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Post by Conleth on Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:24 pm

“Because right now I feel like a wolf and looking at the most succulent morsel for me to feast upon,” he said with a very brazen grin. “I dont know what it is...being out here? Seeing you ride that horse? I dont know but its as if my thirst for you can not be quenched,” Gulbrandt said. “May I watch you undress for sleep?” He asked and loved how her cheeks colored. It felt as if they had only been married a little while. And knowing her boyd was exciting and new to him.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:32 pm

Laenaya hadn't heard this kind of talk from Brandt in a very long time. It felt nice to be noticed by him in such a way again. The way he looked at her and talked about her made her feel beautiful and loved. Still, her cheeks did flush slightly at his words, which she knew he loved.

After she had finished eating she stepped into the tent to change, but left the flaps open so he could watch her. She didn't look directly at him, but could feel his eyes upon her as she slowly removed each piece of clothing. Her belly was only the slightest bit swollen, certainly not enough to tell while wearing clothing, but undressed as she was it could be seen. She pulled out her white nightgown and slipped it on and then sat down to brush out her hair.

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Post by Conleth on Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:49 pm

Gulbrandt watched her undress and dress again then sat with his tea and watched her brush her long, dark hair. He liked it when she didn’t look directly at him for some reason. As if he was watching her without her knowing. It was a huge turn on for him and he knew it was going to be a long night knowing she was in a nice, cozy blanket...where he knew he wanted to be. But then neither of would get any sleep, he knew. So after she finished with her hair she drew down into the blankets then turned down the lantern. Gulbrandt kept the fire going and checked his short sword and throwing knives to make certain they would leave their sheaths easily. When he heard her rasp into sleep he stood and moved away from the fire.

He didn’t know when he decided he’d just let her sleep through to day break but his new found lust for his wife had invigorated him. That and he knew she needed sleep. A pregnancy could be a drain on women and though he knew she would power through it he didn’t want her to have to. During the night he moved about the camp and only paused to warm himself near the fire every hour or so. It wasn’t until just before dawn that he heard someone moving toward their camp. It was then that he looked up into the sky and saw how white with cloud cover it was. White and easy to see dark smoke from a fire at a distance. Two men, one dragging a horse behind him.

“Yo! We see you, may we warm ourselves at your fire?” The first one asked. At the distance they were Gulbrandt couldn’t see them very well and he stepped away from the firelight in case they had bows. The fire would mark him out easily in the dim light but now it was more of a hindrance to them seeing him when he stepped away from it into the dark. “We got nothing for you and we’re leaving at sun up,” he told them.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:00 pm

Laenaya hadn't slept this well in a long time. Somehow knowing that things were back to the way they used to be between Gulbrandt and herself caused her to relax enough to really fall into a deep sleep. She actually had pleasant dreams of Brandt and herself living in happiness with their growing family. She smiled a little in her sleep at the thought.

She had been expecting Brandt to wake her halfway through the night so he could get some sleep. She wasn't sure at first what woke her. She yawned and rubbed her eyes and stretched. She sat up slightly and realized it was just before dawn. Brandt hadn't woken her. She stood up and began to put on her robe to go and speak to him when she realized she heard a voice she didn't recognize approaching their camp. She slowly moved over to the flap and pulled it back slightly so she could look out and see what was happening. Something in her gut told her that these men weren't to be trusted and a fear began to spread into her heart.

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Post by Conleth on Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:09 pm

“Please sir...Our horse is injured and we’ve not eaten in days. Do you have any food you could spare?” The first one asked as they stepped closer. Gulbrandt tried to see the other one who dragged his horse but the dark color of the horse made it difficult for him to see him clearly. The man in front looked...average by any comparison. He had a dark cloak and he could barely make out his dark clothes. Seeing a weapon, if he had one was nearly impossible in the dim light. “I said we have nothing for you,” Gulbrant said again and this time with the rasp of hardened leather on steel he drew out his short sword. The blade gleamed in the flickering light of the fire even though it was a few feet away from him. “And yet you keep coming closer,” He said plainly and that’s when he heard a third man’s foot fall somewhere behind him and to his left. “Who's that in the tent?” The first one said suggestively and grinned in a way that made the hackles on the back of Gulbrandt’s neck raise up.

OOC: Laenaya can see the man behind Gulbrandt though he’s still a few yards away from him.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:36 pm

Laenaya listened quietly to the man as he tried to convince Brandt that their horse was injured. She wasn't buying it and she knew Brandt wasn't either. The situation was making her extremely nervous and uncomfortable. She felt rather helpless and unsure of what to do or how to help Brandt. The only weapon she knew how to use was a bow and it was far too dark for her to use it accurately.

At first, she only saw two men and a horse. Brandt had unsheathed his sword, but the men kept moving closer. Then, they spotted her and her heart began to beat harder as she might have to not only protect herself, but also that of her unborn child. It was then that she suddenly heard the unmistakable sound of a third man's footsteps. They did not come from in front, but to her left. As he drew closer she could make out his form more easily. He was taller than the other two men and broader in the shoulders. Like the other two he was dressed in dark clothing. The one truly identifiable attribute about him was a long scar above his right eyebrow. He carried a long, heavy sword in his right hand. Brandt was unfortunately preoccupied with the other two men that he couldn't keep an eye out on the third man that was closing in behind him. Laenaya's eyes grew wide in fear when she saw the third man start to raise the sword.

"Brandt! Behind you!!"


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Post by Conleth on Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:48 pm

With a quick draw of a throwing knife from his belt he pivoted like a snake and threw. Gulbrandt’s knife impaled itself in the man’s throat and his large sword dropped behind him as his hands went to is neck. Before he could completely turn back however he felt a piercing pain as an arrow went into his back. The force of it knocked him off of his feet and he hit the ground hard and all went dark. The man in front rushed toward him then changed his direction when he saw him down and unmoving and ran toward the tent. The other man with the horse renocked another arrow and ran after him toward the tent. “Woohoo, we gots us some food and alot more Kal!” The first man said as he saw her nock an arrow. He stopped short and cut at the corner of the tent where a rope was staked out a bit from the corner. The rope broke easily and the front of the tent came down onto Laenaya’s head and face. A moment later she felt someone knock her backward onto the floor of the tent and felt cold steel at her neck.

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Is Your Love Strong Enough? Empty Re: Is Your Love Strong Enough?

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:09 am

Laenaya screamed out as she saw the arrow pierce Brandt in the back. Panic and fear set in as she watched her husband fall forward onto the ground and then not move. She didn't know if he was dead or alive, but she was unable to go to him to check. As she watched the other two men come towards her all her instincts to protect herself and her baby set in. She quickly grabbed her bow and an arrow and nocked it as the two men drew closer with ill intentions in their eyes. She started to take aim, but before she could fire the first man cut a rope at the corner of the tent causing the front of the tent to come down upon her head. She was disoriented and then felt someone knock her back onto the ground. The next thing she felt was cold steel against her neck. Her heart was racing a mile a minute and she began to tremble with fear. However, she suddenly realized that the arrow was still in her hand. Although she couldn't see she decided she needed to try something and so she gripped the arrow tightly and then raised it up and slammed it into the man. Thankfully for her she got his neck and the arrow went straight through.

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Is Your Love Strong Enough? Empty Re: Is Your Love Strong Enough?

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