[SIC] Free Time (open)



 
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Rhona Odinsdóttir
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PostSubject: [SIC] Free Time (open) Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:58 am




FREE TIME



Rhona was almost home. She had spend another day training, but it was different than usual. She had picked up a pair of beautiful axes from the new blacksmiht, Svart. She was already in love with them, testing them in fighting with none other than their creator himself. They had held up well against his brutal but swift onslaught, and just needed a good sharpening. An eventful dusk followed the day, as she had met Eydís at the shore of the lake, where she surprised herself by engaging in an emotional conversation with the girl. She arrived at her door, and opened it, immediately relaxing. She bolted the door and immediately went to stoke the fire. She had some rabbit from a hunter at the town's center, and couldn't wait to roast it, along with some vegetables from her very small garden.

While she waited for her food to cook, she removed her boots and leather outerwear, relaxing in her linen tunic, which was sorely in need of repair. Rhona splashed water on her face, letting it soak her hair and neck, and then grabbed her sharpening stone to take care of her new axes. Caring for her tools was part of her bedtime ritual. She finished her sharpening as her food finished cooking, and as she was moving the food to her plate, she heard a knock at the door. What in fresh Hel was this? Rhona grabbed one of her axes, and moved to the door. "What do you want?" she roared.
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:27 am

With an omnious look on his face, Björn was walking over the streets of Kattegat. People nodded at him, but this evening he didn’t nod back. He was on his way to house of the red headed viking warrior, Rhona. Rhona was a known shield maiden who had proven herself in the name of Kattegat multiple times. She had definitely gained the trust of the Ragnarssons, but it had been noticed that she had spent time with the new blacksmith earlier that day. More specific, training with him, showing him the way Vikings from Kattegat fought. People spoke, so eventually the news reached Björn’s ears. And it was news that didn’t pleasure him, since he had a hard time trusting the man after hearing his story of betrayal. So with a head full frustration he continued his stroll to her house.

Björn didn’t hesitate once, when he stood in front of her door. He slammed his fist multiple times on the wooden door, waiting impatient for her to open up. He was clenching his jaws firmly on each other to suppress his frustration. It wasn’t something he liked to do, questioning his trusted warriors. But since he met Svart in person, he even distrusted him more than before. And Rhona hanging out with him wasn’t something he liked to see. ’What do you want?’ Rhona’s familiar, roaring voice sounded from the other side. Björn rolled with his eyes and slammed on the door another time. The door was shaking in its hinges. ’Rhona.’ He called back at her, using the same strength in his voice. ’By the gods open this door.’ Björn took a step back from the door, trying to calm his temper and prepared himself to talk to her as normal as he could. She maybe was used to him elevating his voice, but there was a difference between doing that in the middle of the village, or in the middle of a battle.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:28 pm




FREE TIME



The pounding on the door continued... Whoever was on the other side could stay there all night, unless they announced themselves. "Rhona." She heard her name spoken in that unmistakable voice; it was Bjorn. She lowered her axe and thought, He must need something. The eldest son of Ragnar was respected and feared throughout the village. Only a couple of years older than her, they had trained and fought together on many occasions, and Rhona was proud to admit, she had held her own against him in training, years before. A command from him broke her out of her thoughts.  "By the Gods open this door. Rhona made to open the door, and then looked down and noticed her state of undress. She felt a moment of nervousness, and then it was overcome by irritation. "These clothes are not suitable for a visit with a prince, but by the Goddesses, if he says anything, he will be in for an earful, Prince or not, " she mumbled to herself as she opened the door.

"Ironside. What brings you to my home this eve?" she asked politely. Half naked or not, one was usually polite to a son of Ragnar. She kept her axe visible in her hand, feeling nervous as she remembered how large he had grown. He had lived up to the meaning of his name; bear. Rhona only hoped she didn't end up on the wrong side of his claws.


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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:05 pm

The door creaked open and the trusted color of her red hear appeared. But that was not the thing that jumped in his eye the most. It was the way she was dressed, the parts of her skin that were showing. Björn was used to see her in a leather armour, wearing war stripes on her face, her hair braided backwards, preventing it from falling into her face. But at that moment, seeing her with a half-naked shoulder, her tunic that reached right above her knees.. It made him forget for a second what he was there for. But as fast as he had lost his authority, he also picked it back up, immediately focusing on the axe she was holding in her hand. If that weren’t the reason he had gotten to her house, he maybe would’ve felt threatened, but at that point he only saw it as proof. ’Ironside. What bringt you to my home this eve?’ she greeted him politely. ’Business.’ He muttered from between his lip. Björn fixed his eyes in hers for a moment, before he took a step forward. He towered far above her, especially when he was up close to her. Eventually he stepped past her and entered the house, not waiting for an invitation.

Björn didn’t wanted to question her in front of the people on the street, he wasn’t like that. He waited until Rhona had turned around before he spoke again. ’Close the door.’ he said, standing in the middle of the room. Everywhere he came, he made the environment seem small. ’Let me see.’ Björn commanded in a calm way and gestured at the axe he was holding. He knew every weapon his warriors fought with, and also that these weren’t her trusted weapons. Quickly he looked around in the room, to see where the other axe was, since Rhona was known for fighting with a pair of beard axes. ’You got these from the new blacksmith?’ he asked, curious if she would answer honestly since he already knew the answer. Not that it was hard to see that it was work of Svart, not a single one of the blacksmiths that originated in Kattegat were able to craft like that.

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SO I BEAR MY SKIN AND I COUNT MY SINS AND I CLOSE MY EYES AND I TAKE IT IN, AND I'M BLEEDING OUT, BLEEDING OUT FOR YOU


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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:29 pm




FREE TIME



Rhona stood in the doorway of her house, awaiting Bjorn's answer to her question. She watched as his eyes flicked downward toward her axe, and he said, "Business." She knew then what he was there for, as he started to step forward to enter her house without an invitation, she knew she could stay still and get knocked aside, or move. She moved. He told her to close the door, and that only served to show her how small her home actually was. Bjorn Ragnarsson was taking up all of the space in her house, and Rhona became edgy and irritable in confined spaces; the Vikings that she rode across the water with for raids could attest to that.

"Let me see, " he said, motioning impatiently to her axe. She handed it over, and saw him looking around, presumably for the second axe. She bent over her bed to retrieve it, and handed him that one as well. That done, she walked over to the table that held her mead. She grabbed a second cup and poured a drink for him while she waited for him to speak. "You got these from the new blacksmith?" he questioned. Rhona nodded, knowing how fast word traveled in Kattegat, and said "I did. They are very fine, are they not?" she continued without taking a breath, "I also fought with him at the fields for a while." Rhona held out the horn of mead, and waited for Bjorn to speak.


   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:43 pm

Rhona handed him her axe willingly and Björn enclosed the handle with his big hand. He felt immediately that axe was too light weighted for him, but for Rhona it would be perfect. His own axe was rougher, not so detailed and finished as hers. But he would never us another axe, not until the one he owned was destroyed. Till the end. Björn fought with a single handed one, sometimes a shield, sometimes not. As he was observing the fine craftwork, he heard Rhona moving through the living room. Not much later he was handed over the second axe. Shortly he looked up to her, with a thankful glance in his eyes, before he focussed himself again on the weapons he was holding.

In the meantime he asked her a question, which Rhona answered. ’I did. They are very fine, are they not?’ Björn released a soft hum and looked her into the eyes again, ignoring her bare skin. ’I also fought with him at the fields for a while.’ With that honest statement she did a step forward, handing him a horn of mead. Björn handed over the second axe to his right hand and took over the ivory willingly. ’They are indeed.’ he confirmed, and placed both of the weapons on the bed before taking a mouthful of mead. His eyes were pinned to the runes for a moment while he thought about how he would fold his opinion about Svart. ’He is a traitor from Uddevalla.’ he suddenly said. What was the point to circle around the clue without revealing it? ’I know we could use a fine foreman. But that doesn’t mean we have to let him too close.’ Björn placed the cup to his lips again, emptying it. Meanwhile he was looking Rhona straight into the eyes from over his cup. After a few seconds he spoke again. ’Watch your steps, and certainly watch his. You can never trust him, Rhona.’ He lowered the horn and pointed with it towards the axes that were on her bed. ’‘You are learning him things that he could use against us later.’ Björn sighed and wetted his lips, trying to think as his father would’ve done. He moved his head sideward and back straight up before he took a step in her direction. This time he raised his hand, pointing his finger towards her, placing it on her forehead. ‘Never forget where your loyalty lies. It may mean nothing to Svart, but it definitely means a lot to us.’ he referred to his brothers, because he wasn’t the only Ragnarssons that put so many value in loyalty.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:32 am




FREETIME



Rhona watched Bjorn as he took the horn of mead from her hand, humming his agreement as to the quality of her axes. She waited to see how he would react to her admission of training with Svart. He placed her weapons in her bed, and as he looked it over she realized she hadn't made it this morning. Bjorn took a large drink of mead, before stating, "He is a traitor from Uddevalla. He continued his warning of letting the stranger know too much, before he finished his drink off with another large swallow.
Rhona watched his throat work the liquid down, and tried to calm herself so she did not offend him. But it was lost as Bjorn said, "... You can never trust him, Rhona. ". She began to glare at Bjorn, as he continued his lecture. Rhona tried to understand his position, knowing that all he wanted was to keep everyone safe, herself included. But when he stepped forward and placed a finger on her forehead, she began to see red.
"Never forget where your loyalty lies. It may mean nothing to Svart, but it definitely means alot to us." Rhona took a deep breath, reached up, and lightly smacked Bjorn's large hand away from her face." I understand loyalty, Ironside. And I told the smith the same, threatening to cover my new axes in his blood if he crossed us. But I also understand loneliness. Have you forgotten, Bjorn, that I was alone, motherless, a child of a dead slave, before I was recruited to be a shield-maiden?" Rhona sighed, and went on to say," I have been, and will be, careful around him. I will watch him closely, and report to you if I see anything that gives me pause. After all, is it not wise to keep an eye on that which causes concern?" she flashed Bjorn an apologetic smile for her outburst, and hoped that her temper had not put her into a dangerous situation.


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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:22 am

He knew she had a temper, just as he did. And maybe the finger on her forehead was a thoughtful step, to make sure she would spit out the thoughts that she had on her tongue, which she might have had kept secret otherwise. He knew people -even trusted warrior companions- could keep their honest opinion behind, afraid for the consequences they could have. But with her Björn wasn’t surprised that she pushed his hand out of her personal zone and stared at him with an intense glance in her bright eyes. ’I understand loyalty, Ironside.’ she started and repeated the exact same thing as she had said to Svart. It made him proud of her, deep down, knowing that she would always pick the right side. But when she continues, he knew he had brought a sensitive topic to the surface. ’Have you forgotten, Björn, that I was alone, motherless, a child of a dead slave, before I was recruited to be a shield maiden?’ Björn kept his eyes fixated in hers, trying to keep his breath under control. He understood what it was to be lonely, maybe more than she would ever be able to understand. He also had lost much. But it wasn’t for him to talk about it to her, or even say that he knew what she meant. So he kept quiet, staring her intensely in the eyes without revealing his emotions. A deep sigh came out of her mouth and Björn was able to rediscover his calm before he was about to speak again. ’After all, is it not wise to keep an eye on that which causes concern.’ Rhona offered him a soft smile and Björn tried to answer it in return. Tried. She was right, but the memories that came by.. It wasn’t easy for him to conceal his emotions when they were brought to his mind as sudden as just had happened. And the easiest way for him to hide emotions, was to drown them with an even more intense emotion: Anger. Björn turned towards the table, and placed the cup he was holding on it, maybe harder than was needed. He placed both of his hands on the edge of the wood and stared intense at the stripes that crawled over the table as veins in a human body. ’I trust you with this, Tvåhänt.’ He said with an undertone in his voice that made clear that he was holding himself back. ’But don’t forget, that I also have seen things.’ Björn caught himself following one of the veins with the tip of his finger. ’Different villages have different cultures. Different cultures have different manners. And manners are hard to outgrow.’ He thought about Athelstan the monk, and how he even after all those years in Kattegat still was loyal to his own god and the manners of the Christianity. ’Don’t underestimate the people of Uddevalla. They are known for the many faces they can have.’ Again he looked her into the eyes, with a serious glance on his face. He only meant well, but people often looked past that.

Tvåhänt means two-handedness or ambidexterity

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:45 am




FREE TIME



Rhona flinched as Bjorn slammed her horn down on the table. She felt badly for her anger, knowing that he had more on his mind than he ever let on. She knew his anger stemmed from frustration; it seemed one thing after another was put on Bjorn's plate, and she respected him immensely. Rhona stayed silent as he studied the veins in her table. She was about to attempt to break the thick silence herself, when Bjorn surprised her by saying, "I trust you with this, Tvahänt," a nickname he had not called her since their days of training. His tone kept her from speaking; she could tell he was trying to keep his own anger in check.
"But don't forget that I have also seen things." Rhona nodded, even though he was not facing her, as he kept speaking. He brought up that it was hard to outgrow that which you were raised with, and Rhona agreed. He finished by warning her of the duplicity of those from Uddevalla, then turned and looked her directly in the eyes. Rhona stared back, reminded once again that they were so close in age, yet he had been saddles with so much more than she. "I understand, Bjorn. I will tread carefully. But I hope you can at least give yourself a chance to get to know him. He might be able to prove himself worthy of your trust, with time," she said. Ready to clear the air and be finished with this intense discussion, Rhona asked Bjorn a question to change the subject. "How are your half-brothers doing, Ironside? I have not spoken to them recently." she say down to her dinner, waiting to see if he would answer her question, or walk away having spoken his mind.
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:09 am

Rhona kept her eyes fixed on his intense gaze, a sign that she was certain about her own capacity. She wasn’t afraid of giving her own thoughts, even if that meant she would be facing the other side of Björn Ironside. It was something Björn liked about her, even though he had never -and never would- shown her. ’I understand, Björn. I will tread carefully. But I hope you can at least give yourself a chance to get to know him. He might be able to prove himself worthy of your trust, with time.’ He listened to her words carefully and stroke with his hand over his forehead. ’Maybe I will.’ he said on a softer tone and straightened his back. ’Maybe I will not.’ And by that the subject was finished.

Björn was about to prepare himself to leave the house, since he had said everything that he wanted to say. But Rhona stopped him by asking a question. About his half-brothers. ’How are your half-brothers doing, Ironside? I have not spoken to them recently.’ A little blown away by the question he stared at her and thought about a suited answer. ’They still need to learn what is important in life. And what not.’ he answered and raised his eyebrows, thinking about Ivar and Sigurd that still were still fighting each other for the tiniest thing. ’I always told my father to have patience. And now I need someone to tell me the exact same thing.’ Björn looked down at Rhona who had just started to eat her food that probably had gone cold since his arrival. It remembered him that he had said to join Aslaug and her sons for dinner that evening. But the thought of that made his hunger disappear, so instead of leaving, he moved the chair by the table back and took place on it. ’If you don’t mind.’ he said with a crooked smile and refilled her cup of mead before he did the same with the one that he had slammed on the table a few moments earlier.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:59 am




FREE TIME



Bjorn said he might give Svart a chance, and he might not. That was better than an already decided no. Rhona dropped the subject, and sat down to her food, asking after Bjorn's half-brothers. She did not know if he had anywhere else to be, so she tried to focus on her food, as she didn't want to seem pressuring. She listened as he talked of their immaturity, knowing he must be referring to the sibling rivalry between Ivar and Sigurd. Bjorn talked of how he had advised patience to his father Ragnar, and now found himself needing the same advice. Rhona, completely at ease, tried her best to sound like Ragnar as she said, "You have to be patient, Bjorn. They will settle soon enough." she giggled and broke the impersonation, watching Bjorn for his reaction. She had opinions aplenty about his brothers, but knew that he didn't need to hear them. Rhona was happily surprised when Bjorn pulled the chair out and sat his large frame down across the table from her, flashing her his crooked smile that she hadn't seen for quite some time. "If you don't mind," he teased. Rhona nodded and smiled even wider as he poured them both more ale.
" So what have they done now?" She asked, right before taking a huge bite of food. She watched Bjorn's face as he spoke, noticing how much they had both grown up, and wistfully thought of the days when Bjorn had more time and less problems; they had been friends and she hated seeing him constantly worried. She hoped that he would be able to spend some time with her, and take a break from bearing his burdens.
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:32 am

There were a lot of frustrations going on inside the Manor of Kattegat. A lot that people hadn’t knowledge of, although Björn could swear that the shouting of Aslaug and the Ragnarssons was audible far beyond the walls of the Manor. Björn couldn’t get along with Ivar well, nor did Sigurd. But it was clearly noticeable that Björn had become more mature than the others, even more when their father decided to never come back. ’You have to be patient, Björn. They will settle soon enough.’ It was Rhona, imitating the voice of his father including the facial features that went with them. Björn looked up, suppresses a smile that was appearing on his face. He himself also took over a lot of characteristics from his father, without even doing it on purpose. ’Is your name Ragnarsdóttir?’ he asked jokingly with an strange smile on his lips before placed the cup of ale against his lips again. His thought shortly went on to Gyda, there he still was carrying her memory. Rhona was smiling, a wide smile that he hasn’t seen a long time either. And it felt good, Björn was able to lower his shoulders as an attempt to relax himself.

’So what have they done now?’ The question made Björn look at the nerves at the table again, tilting his head sideward. He grinned when he looked back at Rhona. ’I bet Ivar is trying to string Sigurd to his knife at this very moment. Hvitserk will be laughing about it, and Ubbe is probably trying to calm them down, wishing that I would be there.’ Not to talk about Aslaug.. Björn took another gulp of the ale, emptying it again. ’We are both lucky and unlucky. You having no brothers or sisters, and I having too much.’ Björn looked back up to her, she was still eating her food. 'The day they will go with us on their first raid...it will be very special' His eyes were wide open for a moment, trying to imagine how it would be if he had Hvitserk fighting next to him. It only made him realise how much they still had to learn. The mighty Ragnarssons.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:59 pm




FREE TIME



Rhona finished her imitation of Ragnar on a laugh, and even snorted when Bjorn asked, "Is your name Ragnarsdóttir?" She went back to finishing her food as Bjorn detailed the chaos that was most likely occuring at the Manor without him. Rhona knew that the princes would need to learn to settle their differences like men some day, and she hoped, for everyone's sake, that that day came soon.
Rhona poured Bjorn more mead, hearing him talk about their luck in having too many siblings, and none at all. Rhona, having no family, longed for the closeness she had with her mother, when Hawisia was still alive, but also knew that half of Bjorn's troubles could be attributed to his sense of familial duty.
She scoffed as he mentioned what it would be like raiding with his brothers; she knew that they would need to mature much more if they were to be successful. If they raided together now, Rhona feared the Princes would spend more time arguing with one another than they would spend ensuring success in the battle, and Bjorn would have to pick up the slack again.
She tried to distract Bjorn once more, saying," Have you been hunting lately? I could use some new furs, and more meat as well." She pushed her empty plate away, and sat back, draining her mead as she watched her friend.
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:31 pm

Rhona kept silent as Björn spoke over the advantages and disadvantages about having a big family. It was a sensitive subject to talk about and he knew how much she still thought about how things could have been. So he didn’t blame her at all when she didn’t continue the conversation about that. The both of them just enjoyed each other presence, something that they hadn’t done in years. They used to be friends, but since everything that happened in Kattegat since Ragnar left, their relationship had become more superficial. Björn had led her and many others to battle many time, so she was used to obey him instead of being his friend. And there was no-one to blame, it was just how things had turned over time.

Even though he would never admit, he was happy that she asked him another question since he wasn’t used to take the initiative in such a situation. Björn saw everything as business, realistic and with a goal in sight, he almost never had a spontaneous conversations with people other than his brothers. After all those years and events he almost had learned how to live his life to the fullest, but he almost forgot how to have fun. ’Have you been hunting lately? I could use some new furs, and more meat as well.’ She pushed her plate forwards, making clear that she was done. ’The gods are with you today.’ Björn said while lifting the corner of his mouth. ’Three rabbits, already skinned.’ His visit to the forest earlier that day wasn’t very successful because of his collision with Svart. But if he could make her happy with it, then why not? ’I will keep them apart for you, both the meat and the fur. You can pick them up tomorrow.’ Björn said with a small nod. ’Is there something else you need?’ he asked her and drank from his cup, kept looking in her eyes while he did so.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:01 pm




FREE TIME



Rhona smiled at Bjorn's offer of rabbits, accepting them with a nod. "I will stop by the Great Hall tomorrow for them, after training. I thank you." Still, she wondered if he still needed a distraction from all he was dealing with. She knew that getting drunk was out of the question; while she was beginning to feel the effects of the mead, she knew Bjorn required much more than she had in her house to feel as relaxed as she was at the moment.

"Is there anything else you need?" he asked, drinking from his cup while watching her. Rhona decided to be honest with him. "As a matter of fact, there is. I need my friend to be happy." She squinted at Bjorn, letting him know that she meant him. "And so I want you to come to me if you ever need to talk, or eat somewhere without your family. You will waste your life if you do not set aside time for yourself, bear," she teased him, calling him by his old nickname. She knew that what she was saying could anger him again, since it sounded almost commanding, but she hoped he took it for what it was; an offer to be a good friend when he found his worries to be overbearing. Rhona noticed her cup was empty and lifted the jug to pour herself some more, but the jug was empty too. She giggled, which was highly unusual; Rhona never giggled , and said, " apparently I need more mead as well," and crossed her eyes at Bjorn. She stood up and walked to a shelf that held another jug of mead.
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:20 pm

He was still emptying his cup when Rhona answered to his question. Honest, as she was. ’As a matter of fact, there is.’ She started, and Björn placed the empty cup back on the table. The way she had said it, made him prepare for something serious, it was very clear that she wouldn’t be asking for a pair of new boots. So he frowned his forehead, crossed his big arms over the table and listened. ’I need my friend to be happy.’ Björn was surprised by the message she delivered, but not a single thing about his facial expression revealed that. "And so I want you to come to me if you ever need to talk, or eat somewhere without your family. You will waste your life if you do not set aside time for yourself, bear." Björn looked down at the table and shook his head when he heard his old nickname. A soft smile appeared on his lips, appreciating what she was trying to make clear. ’I cannot afford to put myself before others, Rhona.’ he answered honest. ’This is who I am now. This is who my father wanted me to be.’ or at least that was what he thought. Nobody had any idea what Ragnar’s purpose was by leaving Kattegat in the hands of his wife and five sons. ’But..’ he said, slightly more enthusiastic than before. ’I am here now.’

Rhona had also emptied her second, -or was it third?- cup. Björn found it amusing, seeing how she slowly started to loosen up. It made it much more easy to hang with her as a friends than as one of his shield maiden. Rhona giggles, something that surprised Björn. This time it wás noticeable on his face. ’Apparently I need more mead as well.’ Björn pinned his eyes on the back of her linen tunic when she walked to the shelf for another jug. When she returned to the table Björn took over the jug and poured her cup till the brim. ’Are you sure you can keep up with me?’ he asked with a held back smile on his lips and did the same with his own cup. After taking a sip he looked back at her, observing the changes in her attitude. Maybe it wasn’t a bad idea, just to forgetting about everything for a moment.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:17 pm




FREE TIME



Bjorn Ironside crossed his huge arms over her table, and leaned forward. Rhona then requested that he be happy, and try to rely on others to help him, even if all he did was talk of his brothers and how irritating they were. She watched his face, and saw his smile at her use of his nickname. Feeling better about Bjorn's situation, just a little, she listened as he told her that this was who he was now, what Ragnar had wanted him to be, before he disappeared. It hurt her to hear the finality and sad acceptance in Bjorn's voice, but she knew there was no arguing that point. She stood up to grab more mead, and sat down, taking a deep breath as she saw Bjorn fill her cup up as much as it would go. He asked her if she could keep up with him as he filled his cup to the same level, and Rhona thrilled at the competition. She hated losing, and would fall down before admitting defeat. Which was the probable outcome in this situation, seeing as how Bjorn had so much more body and muscle to him than she did. But she would not back down.
Rhona raised a brow at Bjorn, and replied, "I think you will need to keep up with me, bear. It has been a while since we drank together, and I can hold my mead much better now," and then she hiccuped, a sure sign that she was going to lose, since Bjorn didn't even appear to be affected yet. She was in trouble, and she knew it. But if it got Bjorn's mind off of his troubles for a bit, she would happily accept the consequences.
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:20 pm

He could read in her eyes that she could give his situation a place in her mind and her heart as well. Things just had changed since they were only kids. She had turned out to be an extraordinary shield maiden, and he had turned out to something with even more responsibilities. It was what Björn always had wanted, authority, power, but the way he had gained it was not the way that he had wanted it.

Being with Rhona, releasing themselves on the ale.. it made him think about the time they used to have together. Hanging out with all the Thegn’s after practice, doing what youngsters were supposed to do: Having fun. Even though it were just a few years ago, it seemed like an eternity. Björn could barely remember what it was like to fall down from laughter, or to get drunk and doing stupid things. There were still feasts in Kattegat, organised by Aslaug, but they brought Björn more stress and frustration than they did god. And they were nothing in comparison with the feasts that Ragnar had given. So Björn tried to pick up the nostalgia, daring Rhona to keep up with him. ’I think you will need to keep up with me, Bear. It had been a while since we drank together, and I can hold my mead much better now.’ Björn was making preparation to say something to that, when Rhona did it herself by hiccupping. He shook his head and laughed, a pleasant sound that filled her living room. ’Are you sure you want to do this?’ he asked her in a challenging way. ’We can make a game out of it. Challenges. The one who loses..’ Björn pointed towards their cups. ’..has to drink.’ Again he raised an eyebrow, waiting for her answer in excitement.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:59 pm




FRIENDS



Rhona had found herself frowning slightly after she had hiccuped, removing the seriousness in her comment. But then she heard Bjorn finally let out a laugh, deep and rich, and she smiled. Her old friend was coming back, at least a little bit. He turned his head towards her, his smile still on his face, and asked her if she was sure about this. She paused for a moment before answering, just looking at his face. She saw lines of worry around his eyes and creasing his forehead. His eyes were tired, but more lively than when he had first walked in.
Rhona knew she couldn't back down now, since he seemed to be relaxing by the minute. His worries were being pushed aside for awhile. If she knew Bjorn, he was still thinking about all of his troubles, but he would do whatever he could to make someone happy if that was what he decided on. She knew she owed him the same, and so, Rhona steeled herself for a rough night of drinking, and said, "of course I am sure about this. As a guest in my house, you get to name the first challenge." Rhona set her elbows on the table, leaned in close to him and raised one eyebrow asked," What shall it be, bear?"
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:20 pm

’Of course I am sure about this. As a guest in my house, you get to name the first challenge.’ Rhona set her elbows in the table, a sign that she was prepared and ready for what was about to come. She leaned towards him and raised an eyebrow which Björn answered with an challenging smile on his face. ’What shall it be, bear?’ she asked, again using the name he had been called a lot when he was younger. Not much people had been using the name since he had really killed one with only an axe and a knife. He wasn’t a bear, he was just a man who was able to kill one all by himself. But he liked it, when it came out of her mouth. Björn pushed his chair back and stood up. He again rose far above her when he found his feet.

’The first to disarm the other, wins.’ he said with a crooked grin while he looked her straight into the eyes. Björn took up both of her axes from the bed, holding them up and waiting for her to get them. He didn’t said any word after, only observed her when she got up from her chair under the influence from the alcohol.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:51 pm




LINE OF LYRIC/QUOTE



Rhona was waiting to see what her first challenge would be in this drinking game with Bjorn. He gave her a sly grin as he rose to his feet, pushing his chair far away. "The first to disarm the other, wins." Shit. Rhona had never been good at fighting without her axes giving her an advantage, and by the way Bjorn smiled, he had remembered that fact. It was then that Rhona remembered that she was only wearing her thin tunic, and she desperately wished for a drink of mead to moisten her suddenly dry throat. She had already imbibed more mead that Bjorn had, so she stood up and grabbed a cup of water behind her. She took a sip, wiped her mouth, and took one of the axes that Bjorn had grabbed.
They each stood facing one another, arms spread, and each with an axe in their right hand. Rhona would have to take the axe Bjorn was holding if she wanted him to drink. She could not forcefully take it, without risking her own axe, so she would have to think of a way to distract him. He stood across from her, his muscles tense, but a smile still gracing his face. She thought he looked almost smug, and that raised her desire to win even more.
Rhona inched forward, knowing that Bjorn was watching her. They had fought together many times, and she knew how fast he was. She acted as if she was going to swing the axe over her head at his, and his instinct made him raise his axe in defense. She changed the course of her swing at the last second, not going for a powerful hit but for a quick one. she hooked the beard of her axe under the head of the one he was holding, and spun to her left, bringing her back right up against Bjorn's stomach, the force of her movement pulling the axe slightly from his grip. Another yank, and she could make him lose his grip. His huge hand squeezed the handle tighter, so Rhona lifted her right foot up and set it down right next to his foot. Her entire leg, from foot to hip, was pushed up against Bjorn's right leg. She shifted all of her weight to her right foot and bent her knee towards his, breaking his balance. This caused his grip to loosen ever so slightly, and she gave a final yank, flinging his axe across the floor.
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:41 pm

Water. She saw water as the solution for the challenge that Björn had invited her into. He held his eyes pointed towards her when she wiped her mouth and placed the cup back down. Rhona took over one of her own axes and Björn kept the other. They were light-weighted, in comparison with his own axe. He tested the grip, let the axe turn different ways in his hand, before he found the right balance. It wasn’t the first time he held Uddevalla craftwork, but it was the first time that he was going to use it. Björn spread his legs a little, making himself wider and leaned a bit forward. And by that, Rhona moved. She lifted her arms -or acted like she was about to- and Björn rose his own axe, preparing for an impact that never came. He had to admit that he was surprised, when he heard the sound from metal to metal on a place he didn’t expected. Rhona had hooked her axe behind his and he felt a strong pull. But Björn didn’t released. He turned the axe, trying to unhook it, but was distracted by Rhona who had turned her back against his stomach. She was close. Björn looked down, saw how her linen tunic had slipped from her shoulder again. He felt another yank and again strengthened his grip around the handle. With his free hand he grabbed her hip, trying to pull her sideward away from him. But Rhona saw it differently. With some fancy footwork she was able to turn herself which made Björn pull her closer towards him instead of pushing her away. The pressure of her body on his leg distracted him, which eventually made him lose balance when Rhona threw her knee into the fight.

It was the sound of metal to stone that made Björn realise what just happened. He turned his head, saw the axe that was a few moments earlies in his hand, laying in the corner of the room. With a not understanding look in his eyes he looked at Rhona, who was still standing against him. ’You are cheating.’ Björn said with his breath slightly increased. He pulled his hand back slowly from her hip and took a step back, staring at her like she was a Goddess herself. ’Playing with my mind.’ He placed a finger against his own head to make clear what he was meaning. And then he laughed, softly, still nog realising that he had lost the challenge from her. Björn took his cup from the table, drank it empty at once and also wiped his mouth with his sleeve. When he had placed the cup on the table again, he turned around and looked at Rhona that was still standing next to the bed. ’I loved it.’ he said with a deep, raspy undertone in his voice. There weren’t much woman who were able to do as Rhona just did. Again he walked towards her and took her axe from her. Björn threw it in the same cornet the axe he had fought with was in. Again the sound of metal on stone. ’Your turn.’ he whispered, standing right in front of her.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:12 pm




FREE TIME



Rhona grinned widely as she realized she had won the challenge. She felt a flush as she heard Bjorn whisper in her ear, "You are cheating. Playing with my mind." Rhona could think of nothing to say as she saw a look upon his face she had never seen before. He walked over to take his cup and empty it, and Rhona watched. When he had emptied his cup, he walked over to stand before her, saying he loved what she did, and then threw her axe down next to the one she had torn from his grip. Her nerves returned, and she stared up at him for a moment, before stepping away to down her own mead. She poured them both another cupful, then walked back to him and stood in the place she had just left, her head barely reaching his shoulders. She looked up at him as he said, "Your turn." Rhona thought for a moment, and then she had an idea. An old game they all used to play as thegns popped in to her mind. It would work. She jutted out her chin in challenge to him, and said, "The first to break eye contact, loses." She used to do fairly well at this game, and remembered the rules. The competitors could say or move however they liked, trying to get the other to flinch or laugh, and as long as eye contact was not broken, blinking was allowed. Rhona thought she could win, but the angle at which she had to look up at his face put her at a disadvantage. She waited to see if he would accept her challenge.
   
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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:07 pm

Just as he stared into her eyes, she directly stared back at him. It made Björn raise the corner of his mouth again, but in a different wat that he had done before. When Rhona moved, he looked at her with a questioning look in his eyes. She walked towards the table, took both of the cups and gave them a refill. Björn had lost the count, but he noticed that his body started to embrace the gentle warmth that the ale brought with it. Rhona walked back to him, handing him his own cup. Björn took it from her, and felt the invisible tension between the both of them returning when she stood back in the place she just had left. Björn told her that it was her turn, and he saw her thinking about something. ’The first to break eye contact, loses.’ Björn raised his eyebrows and tilted his head a little downwards and nodded to make clear that he had accepted the challenge.

Björn took a deep breath, his eyes pinned in hers, determined not to give in. He wasn’t going to lose a second time from her. Staring was something he was good at. He did it all day, to keep people on a safe distant, to put more emphasis on his words. So he stared, without any emotion into the eyes of Rhona. It was only then when he realised how much she had grown by the years. Her cheekbones had emerged, her lips had grown fuller. Björn swallowed and took another deep breath while he blinked with his eyes. By the look of it, Rhona was equal determined as he was. So he had try something else.. play with her mind just as he had played with his. He raised his hand, roughened by all the battles he had fought, and stroke her red hair behind her ear. ’You remind me of fire.’ he whispered and let his fingers slide down over her bare neck. ’Unquenchable.’ Björn humidified his lower lip and did another step forward, his hand was running down her shoulder, over her upper arm and eventually went over to the side of her body. He felt her body heat through her linen tunic, warming the palm of his hand. Softly he squeezed her skin, pulling her body closer towards his. His eyes hadn’t left hers for a second. This time he was going to win either way.

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PostSubject: Re: [SIC] Free Time (open) Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:00 pm




FREE TIME



Rhona saw Bjorn's acceptance of her challenge when he raised his brows and nodded slightly. She squared her shoulders, flexed them backwards to stretch some of the muscles in her neck, and got ready to start. They stared eye to eye for a moment, and Rhona knew Bjorn was beginning to feel the mead hit him. She had been feeling it for awhile, but focused on the task at hand. She saw his face settle in to his characteristic glare, meant to intimidate most people. She raised an eyebrow and left it up, challenging him even more, trying to break his concentration. But he had another idea. His face softened slightly, and he swallowed, then took a deeper breath. Rhona could smell the honey tinged scent of mead when he exhaled, and dropped her brow when he stepped forward. Her eyes widened and her mouth almost dropped open when he lifted his battle roughened hand and swept a lock of her hair behind her ear. He opened his mouth to speak.
"You remind me of fire. Unquenchable." Rhona was torn. Part of her wanted to laugh out loud at his statement, sure that he had said similar things to other maidens he had bedded; but a small part of her that she kept hidden wanted to believe he held her in such esteem, and saw through her to what she wanted to be. Then she mentally shook herself to be rid of such thoughts. They had grown up together, fought together, and not once had he shown any interest in her aside from that of a commander to his warrior. Two could play at that game. He ran his hand down her partially bare shoulder, trailing it down her body to settle at her hip. She would not deny that she had longed to feel that hand there, and she had a choice to make. He made it for her when he pulled her closer to him. She waited for one second, to be sure of her choice, and then made her move.

Rhona flexed her feet, pushing her body weight until the balls of her feet pressed against the wood of the floor. She kept her eyes open as she moved her head up and her face forward, reaching her arms up to caress Bjorn's muscular arms, placing one hand on his shoulder, and wrapping the other arm around to grip the back of his neck. Their foreheads were touching, and as he exhaled again, she inhaled, breathing him in. Rhona closed her mouth and placed her lips against Bjorn's. Her eyes were still on his.
   
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