The Would-Be Roman Princess
Author's Note: I didn't write this to infringe on any copyrights and used the characters of ROAR with love and care, throwing in a few of my own to make this story. I also used a couple of Gaelic phrases that I found on the Internet, which I'll interpret at the end of the story in case you didn't already know what they meant. I hope you enjoy this tale and feel free to let me know what you think. Thanks!
"It'll be all right," a young woman promised. "We're almost there."
"Rest, Keara,"a brawny, older man said."I'll keep watch while you and the children sleep."
The woman obediently settled herself between her two, small children."Go raibh maith agat, Gavin," she sleepily responded, "but you know I haven't slept well in the last two years. When I close my eyes, I see that horrid beast."
"You must sleep tonight, my Queen," Gavin rejoined from his post on a small hill. "Tomorrow we meet with the Alliance. And I am here to protect the three of you at all costs. It's my duty."
Keara smiled at her ever-faithful guard .Her deep blue eyes reflected the small fire Gavin built to keep them warm as the night blanketed them with cold air. Keara brushed the auburn hair from her young daughter's face as she watched her little ones sleep so peacefully. Slowly, her eyes closed as she drifted off to sleep.
Gavin nervously ran his fingers through his short, dark hair. His brown eyes were alert. One hand rested comfortably on his sharpened sword just in case he'd need it. Behind him, Gavin heard leaves crunching beneath someone's feet. He took a quick glance at the ones he swore to protect before turning his attention back towards the sound.
A young, blond man and his bald, older companion stepped into the clearing. It appeared that they were hunting.
"Who goes there?" Gavin called, awakening Keara and her children.
"Who are you?" the young man asked. "Why are you here?"
Keara stood and walked towards the men. "I am Keara," she replied, "We're looking for a man named Conor. He leads the Alliance."
"Where have I heard that name before?" the bald man wondered aloud, "Keara?"
"Perhaps it's because I was taken as a child by the Romans. A slave helped me escape. Upon my return, I married the eldest son of the first tribe to find me. Shortly thereafter his father died and my husband, Tavis, became king. Two years ago,however, a strange beast murdered Tavis. I took one of my guards and my children and we ran," Keara calmly explained as if she had told this story a hundred times."So, how can we help you?"
"We should be asking you that question," the young man replied with the barest of smiles, "I'm Conor – the man you seek."
"Conor," mimicked Keara's son.
Conor knelt down and the children made their way towards him."Who are they?" he requested as they welcomed him with hugs.
"These are my children, Maeve and Kern," Keara answered with a gentle smile, "and this is my guard, Gavin."
"Who is he?" roughly asked Gavin, nodding towards the bald man with Conor.
"Conor's friend, you knave," the bald man replied. "My name's Fergus."
"You shouldn't sleep out in the open like this," Conor stated. "Come with us. Tomorrow morning you can meet the others." He was carrying Kern.
"I wouldn't want to impose," answered Keara.
"Hush, lass," Fergus scolded her. "This is no place for you and two babies to sleep."
Sighing, Keara lifted Maeve. "All right," she agreed, "We'll go."
Once inside the Sanctuary, Conor showed them where they could sleep. As soon as Keara had tucked her children in, they were fast asleep again. Gavin, too, was asleep soon after he had laid down. Keara sat upright and stared at the fire several feet away instead of sleeping.
Conor looked over from his seat by the fire. "Poor woman," he whispered, "She can't even sleep in here."
"Knowing there's a monster out there who slaughtered her husband can't be easy on her, Conor," replied Fergus. "Go see if she needs anything, lad."
Conor nodded and made his way towards her. He sat at Keara's feet. "What's wrong?" he asked in a whisper.
Keara avoided his eyes. "I can't sleep is all. Nothing for you to worry yourself about."
Conor stood up and held out his hand. "Come on," he coaxed, "Take my hand."
Keara cautiously held out her hand, then slowly placed it in Conor's hand. He helped her to her feet. "What do you want with me?" she asked, studying his face for an answer.
"Just come with me," he gently ordered, "I'll protect you; I swear it."
"Where are we going?"
"For a walk," Conor asserted, "so we can talk about what keeps you awake at night."