Disclaimer: I am not Stuart Hill and these are not my characters.

About: Hello :D

This chapter is based on just after 'The Cry of Icemark'. As I have yet to read the following books, I'm sorry if some details of my Fan Fiction don't match up.

This chapter shows the relationship which Oskan and Thirrin develop once they are married, something which maybe couldn't be developed due to the era set within the book.

It's just a one-off piece that I had an idea about.

I also have to explain that '~***~' means that there is a change in character which is shortly explained. I tried to stay true to Stuart Hill's style of writing where we see different characters views.

Please R & R

RagdollRanny

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Melting Frozen Hearts

Thirrin was sat most graciously on her throne, bearing the status of Queen of Icemark with the crown that sat upon her soft hair. As a young girl of 17, Thirrin had been through enough in her short life, and she know found herself favouring the quiet nights she was so rarely given.

Now was one of those nights. Thirrin was surrounded by her people, going about their nightly duties, as she gazed distantly into the castle fire. She smiled as she remembered how a few mere years ago she would have loved to join in with a battle, to shout her battle cry, to defeat the enemy, but now the only 'war' was one that was going on within Thirrin's mind.

The people of Icemark were expecting the lands to be filled with the sound of pattering feet shortly, for Thirrin to be with child claiming the new heir to Icemark. This would promise the people a true warrior with royal blood to ease their hearts and mind. Thirrin had put on a strong face, and ignored her people. She new what she was doing and she knew when she was ready.

She knew she was ready, the problem was…Oskan.

He was her betrothed and even though in public they remained professional and loyal to their country, behind closed doors they were very passionate.

After they were married, shortly after Thirrin's 16th birthday, they were able to express that love. Oskan had wooed her with beautiful acts of witchcraft and that night they 'confirmed' their marriage. But now, she worried on how to approach Oskan on the prospect of…children. So far, they had not been trying for children, and Thirrin worried if she would ever conceive. Oskan was so full of life, and uninterested in children, and she did not want to upset him or make her love her less.

She knew as a queen she could demand whatever she wanted, but even Thirrin knew that demanding sex and children would seem so immature.

~***~

Oskan stood by the bridge testing his magic to its full extent. He felt confident in perfecting this particular performance. He was very nervous about tonight. He knew Queen Thirrin objections to public display of affection. She embarrassed quickly, and her soft pale cheeks stained crimson. He smiled now at the vision of beauty conjured up in his mind, and his heartbeat quickened. Of course, he believed that if you loved somebody enough then people should be in awe of your affection, but he also understood Thirrin's situation.

He practised his magic one more time, and then sent his waiting housecarle to send a message to the Queen, requesting her of her presence. Once his housecarle had left, Oskan straightened his tunic, and realigned his crown. His tunic, coloured red and gold, was picked especially by Thirrin, and she had had it emblazoned with the protective stance of the Northern Wildcat. The symbol was acquired after the defeat of Scipio Bellorum and his Empire. As if sucking up the ferocity and bravery from the wildcat, he stood straight, evened out his breathing, and erased any negative emotions that might show nervousness with a straight, hard smile.

~***~

Thirrin frowned when the messenger arrived for her, requesting her. He requested! Thirrin's anger quickly ebbed away, only to be replaced with nervousness. She wondered where Oskan had been hiding the past few nights, and why some nights he returned to the castle soaking wet. The things she had imagined he was up to! She had spent the days staring at her husband's tired, confused face and was left wondering what was going on.

She only hoped she was going to find out.

Now she stepped from her thrown, desperate to speak to Oskan, but she slowed her quick pace so she was walking at a normal pace. She was not one that should be seen rushing anywhere.

However, she walked from the room with her head held high, letting everybody know she was not giving into her hearts wishes.

She walked out onto the balcony, leading to the garden. The weather was cold; winter was slowly being forced away by the fresh spring weather. She called a maid to tie a soft velvet shawl around her and walked away.

~***~

Maggiore stood at the window, watching the young princess leave the castle. He smiled, watching her elegant form walking along the castle towers. She had matured magnificently over the past few years. Her child like features vanished soon after her defeat of the Empire. Maggiore knew that the death of her father, and the harsh conditions causing her to be in control of the whole army had aged her dramatically. He sighed in the warm glow of the fire, soaking his body and filling his heart. He watched as the Queen walked down the castle steps, drawing her shawl closer.

Thirrin was beautiful. Her body had developed finely, her green dress clinging elegantly to her waist, shoulders and breasts. Maggiore sighed, seeing the beauty of her mother within this young Queen.

She walked slowly in the cool air, brushing her fingertips over the castle flowers which were beginning to bloom. Her auburn hair flowed majestically over her shoulder, spiraling in waves and curls down her back.

Maggiore saw Sir Oskan the Witchfather in the far distant corner. He had been enjoying watching Oskan's wonderful spectacles of magic. Maggiore noted that young Oskan looked nervous but excited, and combined with Thirrin's cautious approach felt that for these two loves, something magical would be happening tonight, something to change the history of Icemark.

He slumped silently in his seat by the fire and sighed. Maggiore was feeling old, now the second generation he'd seen rule at Icemark, were now adults preparing for the third generation.

~***~

Oskan watched Thirrin leave the castle, wearing a tight fitted green dress, lined with gold stitching. The contrast against her pale skin was shocking but very beautiful. Oskan's nerves began to ease when he saw his wife walk towards him, her head held high. He knew her well enough to understand that, she too, was nervous. Maybe she already had an idea of what was going to happen. He steadied his heartbeat as Thirrin raised her velvet hood to protect her from some colder wind. Her hair swirled around her face, highlighting her sparkling eyes.

They shone with hopeful excitement, and Oskan promised himself that he wouldn't disappoint her.

Finally Thirrin joined Oskan by his side, and he took her hand watching her eyes. If she looked remotely angry or put out then he would have to try to impress the Queen with reduced physical affection. However, she smiled as their fingers interlinked, impressing Oskan more with her sheer beauty.

Oskan stared into Thirrin's eyes. Taking a huge breath, he leant his face closer to the Queen's face and whispered, "Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield, Wildcat of the North, Taker of the Hand of Bellorum, my queen, my love…my world." Thirrin nodded, acknowledging the politeness. "I was wondering whether you would allow us some…privacy?" Oskan continued.

He waited, becoming slightly less hopeful as Thirrin's eyes widened at his question, but slowly she looked around. Several guards and her personal maid stood in close proximity to the Queen. They were there for her protection, but Oskan hoped that she would feel safe enough to be totally alone with just him. After all, his surprise would be ruined by an audience.

Slowly, Thirrin waved her other hand to dismiss her guards and maid. She then turned to face Oskan after they had left, and smiled nervously whilst squeezing their hands tighter. Oskan breathed deeply, and whispered, "thank you," before leading the Queen down towards the Castle Garden.

~***~

Thirrin was excited and hopeful. Her worries of secrecy and lies seemed to fade in the moonlight. She stared up into the night sky, and gazed upon the stars shining upon Icemark. She smiled when she followed the shine which reflected upon Oskan's light hair.

When she realised that she was truly alone, passing under a flower arch, her stomach turned. It was out of both nervousness and excitement. She became curious to what Oskan was planning, and let her Royal Status fall away now that they could be themselves.

Are you going to tell me where you are taking me?" Thirrin asked. She thought best not to demand anything, to ruin Oskan's plans. He shook his head, laughing slightly. Thirrin smiled at his joyous noise. She accepted his secrecy, hoping it would make this surprise so much better.

They walked further and further into the castle grounds, before passing through the tall, iron gates. Thirrin knew these as the entrance to the gardens, and she knew them very well. Her favourite spot was the bridge above the glittering stream, running directly through the garden. The bridge was build from carved stone and in this time of the year flowers bloomed all around, and the garden was filled with Icemark's native animals.

At either end of this bridge there was a holly tree and an oak tree planted on Thirrin's demand to represent the Holly and Oak king. They had truly thanked Icemark for this action, and the bonds with Icemark and the forest kings remained intact.

It was here Oskan led Thirrin now. They stopped on the small, round platform, and they looked out across the land.

"It's so beautiful," Thirrin whispered. She turned to Oskan, who smiled and nodded in approval.

After a moments silence, Oskan replied. "It's nothing compared to you," he said, his voice husky and romantic. Thirrin felt herself blush, much like a young teenager on a courting date with a young boy rather than the Queen of Icemark, taking a stroll with her husband. She laughed silently to herself, knowing that she was both those people squeezed into one body.

They faced each other on the bridge. Thirrin's heart leapt as Oskan lifted his hand to her face and stroked the hair near to her neck. She removed her hood, and let the cool air swirl around her. She smiled as she watched Oskan's eyes light up in amazement.

"I love you," he whispered simply. Thirrin fought back the threatening blush. She held his hand on her cheek, whilst holding his other hand tighter in hers.

"I love you more," she replied, smiling.

~***~

Oskan smiled. He watched Thirrin's face curiously. Her eyes shone, but they wandered over the ground.

"Tell me what is bothering you," Oskan whispered, pulling Thirrin closer into his chest. He felt her sigh, as she pulled away and looked him directly in his face. Her expression went cold, there was no passion.

Oskan wasn't worried. This was Queen Thirrin now. She was in her professional role now. This was how she coped with her worries.

"The people of Icemark feel that we are ready and should have our first child. They believe I am ready to be with child," she said pausing. She was chewing on her bottom lip. "However," she said, raising her head high, coping with the worst of her worries, "I am not sure whether you are ready," she said, barely a whisper.

Oskan was shocked indeed. Of course he was ready. He wanted to carry on his bloodline, to carry on Thirrin's, to create children who were just as perfect and as beautiful as his wife. He sighed and lowered his hand to Thirrin's shoulder. He pulled her back in closely to embrace her and felt her professional Queen façade break down as she hugged him back.

"Is this is what was worrying you, Thirrin?" he whispered. She nodded against his shoulder, and he laughed quietly before stopping suddenly.

Thirrin pulled back from his body after feeling his body shake. "You laugh at me?" she asked, hurt flooding through her words. Oskan shook his head quickly.

Raising his palms in forgiveness, he leant his forehead to Thirrin's.

"No, my Queen. I have been worrying the same as you. Wondering if you were ready," he whispered, brushing his lips lightly against Thirrin's. He felt her shudder in his hold and breathed heavily.

"I am ready," she whispered. Her voice was shaky and barely audible.

~***~

Thirrin's heart shuddered at the delicate topic. She felt her cheeks flush madly, but was able to relax when she saw Oskan smile back nervously.

They stood together in a small embrace, looking out among the star studded garden and listening to each others breathing. Finally Oskan took a deep breath and moved back so he could look down at Thirrin's face.

"Thirrin, my love," he began, squeezing her hand, "I have something to show you, if you are so kind to allow me." He spoke politely, and Thirrin knew he intended that there was no pressure in her answer.

Thirrin nodded her head in acceptance, having trouble forming words at the moment, now that Oskan had confirmed he had planned something. Oskan smiled, and she felt herself smile back. Releasing one of Thirrin's hands, Oskan bowed deeply. She laughed unintentionally to herself, and tugged at his hand so he was standing straight again.

Standing straight herself, Thirrin spoke clearly with the perfect pronunciation as Queen. "Oskan Witchfather, the Warlock! Are you a housecarle? No. Are you one of my maids? No. You are my husband and therefore you should treat me as your wife as well as your Queen."

Oskan smiled and walked over to the far side of the bridge. Thirrin remained in the middle, excited and cautious.

"If I may?" Oskan whispered, gesturing to the river running below. Thirrin nodded once again.

Oskan turned his back to Thirrin, staring back towards the castle. She watched as his fingers twitched rhythmatically. Finally he turned to face Thirrin, his palms facing upwards. His smile glittered in the moonlight. He took a few steps forward so he was stood beside Thirrin. Thirrin felt her heartbeat increase again; the peak of the excitement was just too much.

"Close your eyes," Oskan whispered. Thirrin did so, not wanting to ruin such a tender moment. Any other time and she would have questioned his demands.

When her eyes closed she felt her other senses increase. The sound of the river sounded so much louder, she could hear every trickle. The scent of nearby flowers entranced her senses. The presence of Oskan felt much, much closer.

"You can open your eyes again," she felt Oskan whisper. She felt his hot breath on her ear.

When she opened her eyes, Oskan was indeed closer. The proximity shocked her a little bit. His eyes were glistening. But what shocked her most was what was happening around them.

The river was floating over their heads and swirling around their sides, creating a small, private water world.

Thirrin gasped. Firstly, she was confused as to how not a single drop of water touched their heads. Secondly, she was fascinated by the beauty. The river left its original path and leapt over the bridge before re-joining the river bed. Thirrin gazed up in amazement, seeing the moon shimmer through the rippling waves.

"Do you like it?" Oskan whispered, breaking Thirrin from her dream like trance. She turned to look at Oskan, feeling more and more like the young lovers she had heard about in her stories.

"Are you doing this wondrous magic?" she whispered, not wanting to ruin the beautiful heaven she was in. Oskan nodded slowly, before asking another question.

"Would you like to feel it?" he said slowly, gesturing to his upturned palms. Thirrin felt her eyes widen in amazement, as she realised what he was offering. To allow the magic, his magic to run through her body. She nodded slowly.

She raised her hands, her palms facing downwards, and slowly lowered them again. She paused just over Oskan's hands, shocked by the tension she felt rolling through them. She glanced back up to Oskan, who was watching her curiously, and stared back to their palms. Slowly, Oskan touched their hands together, and linked their fingers.

The sensation was brilliant!

She felt every spark run through her veins, surging all the way down to her feet. Her sight became vivid with colour. Everything was decorated with strange and unusual colours. Leaves lined with blue. The river rippled with pink and purple. Her eyes locked with Oskan's and she knew instinctively what to do.

She shuffled her feet forward, wondering whether it was the magic running through her body causing her difficulty or the nerves. Her forehead reached his chin, and she felt their hands press closer and Oskan and Thirrin's bodies became closer. Thirrin felt her eyelashes flutter on their own accord, as she continued to gaze up at Oskan, and as if he also knew what to do, he leant down.

Feeling every bit alive and in charge, Thirrin kissed him.

She kissed him with all the passion which was flowing through her. Oskan's magic still ran between them, and when their lips met creating another connection, the magic only seem stronger. Thirrin didn't want to stop, and accepted their private water escape Oskan had created.

Oskan had shown true devotion to her, and tonight…they were both ready.

~***~

Maggiore paused by his chamber window as he watched Queen Thirrin and Oskan Witchfather leave the Castle Garden. He hadn't seen Oskan's performance, but he guessed that it had gone well. The Queen looked impressed and glowed with happiness.

They walked hand in hand back to the castle where Maggiore later heard they had secluded themselves in the Queen's bedchamber.

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Hope you enjoyed :D

Please read my other works if you enjoyed this.

Just to explain the title. Due to the story it's based on, I though the idea of 'ice' would be appropriate, and because Thirrin and Oskan are recently only just expressing their emotions, I liked the idea of bringing their 'frozen' hearts back to life.

Again please R & R