The anticipation was heavy in the air, and through the open window could Eirik hear the troubadours as they tuned their instruments. He hurriedly pulled on his tunic and tied the belt around his waist, before rushing through the house, almost knocking his brother off his feet as he threw the entrance door open.
“Whoa,” Vidar exclaimed as he dodged out of the way. “you’re in a hurry today.”
Vidar was Eirik’s younger brother, but despite them being siblings, they didn’t look much alike. Eirik had inherited their father’s golden hair and blue eyes, while Vidar had inherited their mother’s black hair and brown eyes.
Eirik smiled sheepishly as he closed the door behind him, “Well..” he muttered and pulled a hand through his golden locks, “the feast is about to begin.”
Vidar crossed his arms as well as arching an eyebrow, “What’s going on, brother?” he asked with a wry smile, “I have never known you to be so enthusiastic about Ator’s celebration.”
“So?” Eirik shrugged met his brother’s gaze defiantly, “Maybe I’m just excited.”
Vidar burst out laughing and Eirik felt a blush creep onto his cheeks, “You?” his brother asked, “Excited? Nah, I don’t buy it.”
“Then, apparently, you don’t know me!” he countered as he walked past him, heading down the path towards the field where the feast was being held.
“So,” Vidar called after him, “it has nothing to do with Varga being there?”
His brother’s comment made him miss the wicket and he accidentally kicked the wooden fence, cursing loudly. He and Vidar had been friends with Varga ever since they were children, and they had always been close, but as the years had gone by, Eirik had realized that Varga wasn’t a child any more.
He pulled himself together and opened the wicket to the sound of his brother’s hysterical laughter. He wasn’t going to let his brother’s snide comment destroy his evening, because tonight were no sorrows allowed.
When he finally reached the field had the troubadours already started playing, and the music was soaring through the sky. Almost the entire village was there and laughter was mixed with cheering and singing.
He walked through the crowd, letting his gaze dance across familiar and unfamiliar faces as he searched for the one he desired to find. Suddenly he heard a familiar sound and he glaced towards the middle of the field, where a dance floor had been erected.
His gaze fell upon Varga whom was twirling around in a dance, her hair swirling around her as she laughed heartily. Her brown gaze glistened in the light of the setting sun, and as she met his gaze from across the dance floor, Eirik’s heart skipped a beat.
Varga suddenly approached him, grabbing hold of his hand and pulled him onto the dance floor, despite his loud protests. Eirik hated dancing, he wasn’t any good at it and he always managed to make a fool of himself when he tried.
Varga didn’t seem to mind, nor care, as she determindedly took his other hand as well and pulled him along in a folk dance. Eirik had a really hard time getting the steps right, but Varga’s joyful laughter took the edge of the embarassment he felt.
Every now and then she met his gaze, and he noticed a ardor in her eyes that he had never noticed before, and it made the world loose its sharpness and shine and for a brief moment there was only them.
The dance quickly came to an end, but Eirik had barely time to notice as another man approached them and asked Varga for a dance. He didn’t know why, but he felt a stab in his heart, knowing that he was not the only one who desired the woman she had turned into. He quietly backed away and headed towards the river that flowed through the village.
Eirik sat down on the river bank, pulling his knees up to his chest. There had been so many things he had wanted to say to her, and now he feared he would never get the chance. He was going to leave in two days and then she would be out of his grap forever.
“I figured I’d find you here.”
Eirik was pulled from his thoughts and glanced over his shoulder, seeing Varga approach him with careful steps.
“I thought you’d be stuck at the feast.” he replied as he turned back to the river. “I think all men in the village was waiting for a dance with you.”
Varga sat down next to him, a content sigh escaping her. “I have already danced with the one who matters.”
Eirik glanced at her, “That is one lucky guy.” he said, “Where did he go?”
A wry smile spread across Varga’s lips, but she didn’t look at him. “Last I saw him was he heading towards the river.” she replied calmly. “You haven’t seen him, have you? Golden hair and piercing blue eyes? Dressed in gray.”
It took a moment for Eirik to comprehend what she had just said and he rubbed the back of his head nervously when her comment finally sank in.
“Last I saw him,” he added, “was he waiting for a lovely young woman by the river bank.”
“She must be a special woman.” Varga said and he could detect a hint of nervousness in her voice.
“She is.” Eirik replied and turned fully towards her, “Varga..” he added then, drawing her attention.
“Yes?” she asked when she finally looked at him.
“I just came to say good bye.”
She looked at him in disbelief, a thousand unanswered questions danced in her eyes. “Good bye?” she finally asked quietly.
Eirik took a deep breath, finding it harder to say good bye than he ever thought. “I’m to become a templar.” he explained, “I’m leaving the day after tomorrow.”
Varga was just staring at him. Shock and hurt was mixed with surprise and disblief, and she wet her lips, shaking her head slowly.
“Why?” she asked, her voice nearly breaking. “Why you? Why does it have to be you?”
“Because I applied.” he answered quietly, “I never thought they’d accept me.”
Suddenly a determined glimpse glistened in Varga’s eyes and she took a deep breath. “Then I’m going to apply too.”
“Why?” he couldn’t hide his surprise.
“Because I’m not letting you go!” she replied firmly. “I made that mistake once,” she added and leaned against his shoulder. “I’m not going to make the same mistake again.”
Eirik felt his heart skip a beat. He knew that Varga could be determined and stubborn, he knew that she wouldn’t give up until she had been accepted into the order. He just wondered if she’d remember this promise in six years.
“I don’t know what’s gonna happen,” he said and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, “but let me just get this moment with you, before tomorrow takes it away.”