She stares at the stock of wood and the axe before her, hands encircling her belly.

'What is the matter?' he asks with a curious glint in his eyes.

She is his princess, a beauty, a vision of purity.

Here every a thing is tainted into shadowy grey and constant twilight.

She owns no other clothes, but white.


'I shall not always be here for you.'

He loves her. He can not bear the thought of losing her to the forest or the fields; the darkness or the light. She is the purest, the best thing he has ever seen, ever owned.

She turns back, locking her eyes with him; powerful, challenging, fearsome eyes.

'I can take care of myself.'

He holds her gaze.

I bewitched you, he thinks. I won you over. I have you. I take care of you now.

But aloud he only says: 'You do not yet know the forest.'

In a way, he confesses. In her answer he seeks absolution.

'I shall get to know it, then!' she says with determination, and she raises the axe.

As she strikes, the fire wood breaks into thousand pieces, the handle cracks in her grip, the head of the axe runs deep into the buck.


He is only mildly surprised.

She is too strong; a hunter, a daughter of war. Intricacies are lost on her.

'Softer!' he orders calmly.

She looks at him with wide eyes. She does better the second time, but that strange expression is ever present in her gaze.


Fear, he realizes. Of what, he is not sure.

'Softer yet,' he says, and she complies.


As the first tears roll from her eyes he stands there shaken, unsure what to do.

Even her tears are liquid light; glinting silver.

Even her sorrow is a thing of beauty; he marvels at it.


'I do not need your help,' she says without looking at him, and she brings the axe down again.

The wood falls into two even pieces, and he smiles with pride.

'Evidently not,' he answers gently, quietly.


I am not soft, she thinks as he leaves.

I need you, he thinks as he leaves.


He is well on his way now, but stops to look back once more.

Her white shape gleams softly, dimly in the night; a dwindling light in the darkness, awaiting his return.

You need me too.


AN: A year without writing fanfiction takes its toll. Be gentle with me, please!