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Age of Edward Contest 2010

By deb24601

Title: Astarsaga: The Saga of Edward the Enigma

Type of Edward: Icelandic Saga Edward

This story is told in the style of a saga, an all-knowing, from the future, recounting of events of the past.

A-star-saga: Icelandic, translation: Love Story

There was a man named Edward the Enigma. He was the son of Carlisle the Fair and Esme the Unknown. He was strong of body and fair of face, sharing the height and colouring of his Icelandic neighbours but standing apart from them by way of the Roman cast of his wide brow and devastating jaw. His disposition was quiet and thoughtful, his mind quick and clever. He was kind to those he loved. All others he held in contempt. He lived alone, on the edge of his father's land in the region of Thorsmork.

He loved his father. Carlisle the Fair was a kind, gentle man who had taken on great responsibility which had led to his - and his family's - isolation. He used his land to raise sheep and cut wood and, living too far from the sea to fish, traded for the dried cod and grain that fed them through the winter. Edward helped in all things, except the trading; he was too sensitive to face the people in the town after much rejection from them in the past. His had been a lonely, friendless childhood. Children can be very cruel. They learn it from their parents.

He loved his mother. Esme the Unknown had no people. In a land where everyone could name their forebears for two centuries or more, she had no history. In the fall of 1084 Carlisle had lived alone in his modest house tucked in the hills of Eystri. The following spring he had a wife and child. After a few years people stopped asking questions. They never stopped wondering, though – or gossiping.

Edward lived seventeen years with his parents, never asking where his mother came from or why he didn't resemble his father. They were happy in their home and in their work, a world unto themselves, needing very little from others.

One day before Edward's eighteenth birthday, he decided he needed a home of his own. So, during the summer, Edward and Carlisle gathered stone and timber, and in the fall they built a house. Edward chose a site near the junction in the river, where the steaming waters of the molten earth's centre met the frozen, frigid glacier run-off of her crust. Carlisle gave him half of his stock and half of his tools and told his son he now had two homes.

Edward didn't expect to marry – the disdain he felt toward the local families was a holdover from his youth. Although years had passed, he couldn't help wonder what kind of people disparaged a child the way he'd been. What kind of decent folk called out names to a little boy in town for a treat? He knew every occupant of every dwelling within a three days' ride and none of the girls appealed to him.

Although he appealed to them.

As Edward the Enigma came of age, many fathers and all of the mothers regretted having treated his family so harshly. Who cared where his mother came from? Who cared about his lineage? Carlisle the Fair's family was kind and gentle, as was his son, and their farm was a prosperous one.

Edward grew taller than the red-headed giants of the island. His face lost the awkwardness of middle childhood and morphed into lines and planes as sharp and beautiful as the bronze cast of a God. His eyes, of course, remained the same changeable blue-green as determined by his surroundings – or his mood. But he was so seldom seen that some believed he, like his mother, belonged to the hidden folk.

He worked hard on the land he and his father now shared and made a custom of bathing in the river each day before returning to his own little sod and stone house. His chosen spot changed, up or down river, depending on the flow of boiling water tempered with the glacier stream.

On this day he was far to the south, nearing the edge of his land.

He felt the eyes on his back. He always knew when he was being watched. Girls, and then women, had hidden behind the giant boulder before. Their giggles had annoyed him and left him feeling trapped; how was he to stand to leave with female eyes upon him? The first time he had stayed in the hot water as long as he could stand it before moving downstream to the cooler spots. But what of his clothes? Girls bold enough to watch a man at his bath were bold enough to snatch his clothes. He'd moved back toward the pile, and heaved a sigh of relief when they'd left as the light began to fade.

The next time, Edward had feigned indifference. He'd felt the eyes and he'd heard the giggles. He had ignored them and went about his business, washing and rinsing. When he'd risen from the water, dripping and steaming in the golden light of early sunset, there had been silence. Perhaps he had imagined the giggles that time.

A day later, the eyes and giggles had multiplied. Edward had had enough. He'd spoken loudly without looking at the boulder.

"You are not invited on my land and you are not wanted here. If you return..." He'd searched for a threat. "If you return I shall go to town with a letter with all your names upon it. Describing what you have done."

The eyes and the giggling had ended abruptly.

For quite some time, Edward had bathed in peace; but on this day, he felt the familiar intrusion of being watched. With a sigh he looked toward the boulder.

He was surprised to see a stranger, a strange girl. Not local, likely not from the island at all. Edward drank in her strangeness. Her ornate dress was unsuitable for walking in the valley. He looked at her tiny waist thinking his hands could easily span it. He raised his eyes to the low neckline of her gown and he stared. He had never before seen the tops of a woman's breasts and had an urge to lay his head there. In spite of the near-boiling water he shivered and his body hardened, a reaction he'd not had in front of any person before.

Edward shook his head before looking again.

Dark brown hair shimmered with the dull light of the cloud-covered sun and flowed past that tiny waist in waves. Edward had never seen hair like that and longed to touch it. What must it feel like? At last, he looked directly into the face of the stranger.

He was lost. Her features were delicate, her lips full and he stared at her mouth. Then, he saw eyes such a dark brown they appeared black against the cream of her skin. Edward was mesmerized by her eyes, so unlike the pale blues and greens of Icelanders and wanted desperately to look closer. With a jolt, he remembered where he was. The strange girl stood in front of the boulder, looking back at him hesitantly.

Edward smiled at the girl. "You can come closer. I won't hurt you." It occurred to him that a girl in that dress alone in this area must need help. "What is your name?"

The girl shook her head and spoke in a language Edward didn't understand. Her voice was soft and light. He wanted to hear it again and he wanted to understand what she was saying. He tried one of the languages his mother had taught him.

"Where did you come from? What tongue do you speak?" He tried in first one language and then another. The girl smiled a brilliant smile and introduced herself – in English.

"My name is Isabella Swan."

There was a girl named Isabella Swan who was the daughter of Charles and Renee, Duke and Duchess of Nothing Much. Her mother died during Isabella's birth and Charles was much too busy double-crossing the English Court to marry again. Isabella was left to the lonely care of nurses and tutors, her only responsibilities to learn to be charming and be ready to marry when her father made a match. She was told that being beautiful, as well, would be immensely helpful.

Isabella was a lovely child with a sweet disposition and keen mind. And she did grow beautiful, beyond her father's expectations. In her sixteenth year a match was arranged. Her father crowed with the victory of it. To see his daughter become a princess! No matter that the prince was old and lame. No matter that the prince was rumoured to have had his previous wife disposed of when a son was not produced. He, Charles, Duke of Nothing Much, would be the father of a princess.

Before the marriage could be made Charles found himself trapped in a web of his own making. The intrigue of the Court resulted in a warrant for his arrest for charges he could not disprove. Charles was all too aware that the sentence would be death – so he fled. Charles took to the sea as a stow-away with the only things of value he could carry away; the gold in his pockets and his daughter, Isabella.

Isabella was thrilled with the adventure of it all and to be postponing marriage. She had no desire to be a princess. Her father fretted that he had boarded a ship to the Black lands or worse yet – a folly ship sailing to the imagined world to the west. When Charles could no longer stand not knowing his fate, he revealed himself to the crew and asked where they were headed. The crew pretended not to understand him until he produced a gold coin.

The answer then was swift and providential.


Isabella and her father sailed for days or weeks, they could not tell for both fell ill from the rocking of the ship. They were roused one night to come up on deck. A storm tormented the ship, throwing it headlong into waves and keeling it sideways to the rail so that the crew were forced to tie Isabella and her father to the mast. With the first faint light of morning the sounds of wind and waves were overpowered by the screech and roaring of the hull scraping away. They had run aground on the south-eastern tip of the island and were sinking. As a crewman desperately cut through the ropes to free father and daughter, Isabella despaired.

But Charles was a hardy soul and determined they should live and he made it so. As they dragged themselves onto the red sand of the strange beach and rested in the weak warmth of the sun, he explained to Isabella what he would do.

"I have a connection here and means to make him help me. I will take you inland and see you safe. I'd have you nowhere near him – you're safer hidden away - left to chance - than in his company." Isabella shivered from the cold and her father's words. She would have to be brave.

They travelled some distance inland and through a forest so pretty Isabella fancied it enchanted and imagined faeries and trolls behind every tree trunk. At last her father found what he was looking for, a tiny abandoned cottage.

"This cottage will keep you out of the wind. Don't let the fire go out. There's food enough until I get back. Keep yourself hidden."

And then Isabella was alone.

She filled the first day with finding water and cleaning as best she could. She did not know how to prepare the food her father had left and grew hungry. The second day she walked up a nearby hill and surveyed the area.

It was a breathtaking sight. Grass of emerald green, made greener by the bright purple carpets of flowers scattered amongst it. Rocks popped straight up here and there, in varying heights of men and children, looking for all the world like melting statues but friendly enough for all that. A river twisted through a valley, steaming at the top and trailing off out of sight beyond a rocky outcrop. There wasn't a person or beast to be seen.

Isabella smiled and felt she had come home.

On the third day, Isabella walked to the river and followed it, dipping her hand in along the way, marvelling at the changing temperature. An enchanted river to match the enchanted forest. She almost forgot her hunger. And then she did forget her hunger.

There was a man in the river.

Isabella stopped breathing. It had to be an enchanted man. Perhaps he lived in the forest. And of course this would be his river. She forgot to be afraid and walked closer, wanting a better look at the most beautiful man, person...thing she had ever seen.

She observed that his eyes were closed and a look of consternation coloured his ethereal features. Isabella took the opportunity to look her fill, drinking in hair of bronze and copper and lips almost as full and rosy as a woman's. He had a long, strong neck and his shoulders were wide and sculpted with muscles. He was so still and so perfect he appeared shaped from marble.

The man opened his eyes then and she saw the colour change from the blue of the river to the green of the grass as he turned to look at her. She was rooted to the spot as unfamiliar warmth spread through her. She hadn't seen the man's hands but wanted them on her. The thought was as unfamiliar as the warmth and she wondered if she was under his spell.

He was an enchanted man. He spoke to her in a soft, gentle voice, trying different languages until finding one she understood, her native tongue. Then he asked her to look away so he could dress and she did try but her eyes wandered to see his back – and his manhood. Isabella flushed and tried to listen to the man; he wanted to help her and she remembered suddenly how badly she needed help.

Edward rose from the steaming water, aware that Isabella was peeking and worried that his arousal would frighten her. She didn't seem frightened and he thrilled to the possibility that she might be intrigued with him. He dressed hurriedly, breathing steadily to calm himself. He resolved to help her; what could she possibly be doing out here on her own?

His clothes in place, he turned to look again. She was small and upon closer inspection the ornate dress was worn and torn in places. What had she been through?

"Where did you come from?" Edward asked Isabella. She answered by pointing past him, following the southern flow of the river and he thought he knew the place. "Do you need help? Are you alone?"

Isabella took a shaky breath. "My father has left on an important errand and trusted me to stay at this place, out of the way." She bit her lip and blinked away tears. Her next words were whispered in shame. "I don't know what to do. I can't cook the food and the fire has gone out. I don't know what to do."

Edward was furious that a man could leave a woman in such circumstances. "Come." He beckoned to Isabella and she followed.

They walked along the bank of river, side by side, casting shy glances at one another. Their eyes were shiny; how could their lives have changed so quickly with one look? But they felt it and knew somehow that this was to be.

Edward thought about how to care for her until her father returned. How to control the urge to take her right now on the grass as he'd heard the raiders would take their women. Everything in him shifted so that her every move and every word was felt as heat, deep in his belly. The smell of her wafted up, a sweet note over the earthy scent of the moss and thyme they crushed underfoot as they walked. It clouded his mind, a sweet distraction, as intoxicating as a shot of brenniven.

Walking through the smoke fields, Edward realized the danger was more immediate. This woman was wandering around the countryside with no knowledge of it. He risked a glance to find she was looking at him and she smiled shyly. He saw the puddle a fraction of a second before it was too late and grabbed Isabella's arm to halt her next step. She cried out in surprised shock.

"You must watch where you're walking," he implored. She looked around in confusion. Edward pulled on her arm to guide her away from the near invisible hazard and searched the ground for what he needed. There. The tree root was almost black with damp and cool to the touch. It clung stubbornly to the ground and he hacked at it once with his knife before tearing the length of it away. Isabella watched his movements carefully.

Edward walked past her to where they'd stopped and knelt to the ground drawing her to him with a jerk of his head. She walked to the edge of the grey puddle and stopped.

He took the branch – held vertically it was as tall as he – and lowered it into the puddle. Isabella gasped as the length of it disappeared into the grey mud.

"We don't know how far into the earth they go. But the mud is boiling." Edward lifted the branch back out and it steamed in the cool air. They continued walking and Isabella was more careful of her footing.

He knew the cottage she was leading him to and was horrified she'd been left there. So late in the season, the weather could change quickly and he shuddered to think of Isabella being trapped had winter descended early. She would have died. Edward felt a surge of disdain for her father; he must be either very stupid or completely uncaring.

Inside, Edward started the fire and set water to boil. He showed Isabella how to prepare the grain and soak the fish. They went back outside to pick the tiny purple flowers that grew everywhere.

"They are good for tea - sweet, see?" He put a few to her mouth and forgot to breathe as her tongue darted out to taste. She hadn't left his side since they met and he needed to know if she simply needed his aid or if she was in this state too. His thumb lingered on her bottom lip and he willed her to take it into her mouth. He needed to have some part of him inside of her.

He needed to leave.

Back in his own house, Edward was upset with himself. He had lived a life of shame, always wondering what his true roots were, how his mother came to be in a strange land with a child who was neither one thing nor another. How could he consider taking Isabella like that? He vowed to control himself. He wanted to care for her and then ask her father for her.

If she was willing.

The next days passed quickly for Edward and Isabella. Edward had much to do taking care of his land and then spending each evening with Isabella. He brought water, food and fuel for the fire and banked the flames each night before he left so Isabella would have fire in the morning.

One night Edward brought brenniven, that white liquor that could flavour cooking or be drunk just for the warmth. Edward had no need for more warmth and he saw by the blush that stained Isabella's skin that she was pleased with him as well. But he poured the drink to see her reaction to it.

Isabella's nose screwed up at the strong smell and she hesitated. Instead of drinking from the cup she dipped her tongue inside to lap up a taste. Edward was stunned at the rush that action gave him. There was pain, actual pain, in restraining himself and he wondered darkly how the sharp black flavour would taste if sucked from her tongue. Isabella's dark eyes met his, wide and welcoming, and he dropped to his knees in front of her, begging for a kiss.

Isabella took the handsome Edward's face in her hands and pulled him up to stand in front of her and said only, "Please". He stood, his hands on her face too, and they stared into each other's eyes feeling the connection they had been trying to temper. And then, so slowly that it never could be said who kissed whom first, their lips met and their blood boiled and they whispered to each other of love.

The kiss was soft and gentle as they learned each other then became more. More bold, with Isabella using her tongue to trace Edward's full lower lip. More intense, with Edward's hand woven so tightly in her hair that she could not move her lips from his had she wanted to. She hadn't.

They shared their breath and their bodies pressed in a line, each bit melding together like iron in a forge. Their lips moved together and the dizzying heights didn't frighten them but made them want more. Edward did taste the brenniven on her tongue and the taste of her made it sweeter. He marvelled at the sounds Isabella made and realized he was making them too. They realized at the same moment that his arousal was prominent and pressed between them. And they both wanted more. There were more sounds as Isabella rocked her body against his and he knew in one more moment he would have her on the floor.

Edward let her go gently, watching as their chests heaved in unison, knowing that all they did would be in unison. But not tonight.

He did a half-day's work the next day so he could take Isabella riding. He wanted to show her his land and his house. And he was afraid to be alone in the cottage with her. The memory of her hands and lips on him had not faded with the night. In fact, the feeling had intensified, making him want to kiss her again to see if he had imagined it.

Isabella smiled at the horses. "Are they enchanted, too?" she asked, for the horses were smaller and gentler than any she'd seen. They rode all afternoon as Edward showed her his land and his house and his stock and pointed out from a hill where his parents lived. Isabella held her breath at the view, green and gold, smoke and glacier, and felt again that she had come home. Edward hoped she would tell her father and he would agree to their marriage.

Tired and hungry, they returned to the cottage. Later, they talked and Edward asked the questions that had kept him awake since he first laid eyes on her dark beauty. Where did she come from? Who was her father? What were their plans?

They held hands as Isabella spoke. Edward raised their entwined hands over and over to stroke her cheek as he listened. He kissed her hand fiercely when she told him again of the shipwreck but now added the reason they'd fled. She felt shame at her father's flight. She spoke of the man her father was visiting, repeating the description her father had shared. Edward asked her to point where he had gone and was dismayed. The man was Hrapp, a thief and a thug. He and his men terrorized the road through the forest all summer before retreating to his village and longhouse, perched on the south side of the Mountain Hekla, for the winter.

Out of the reach of the law.

"And your father is in that village? Speaking to Hrapp now?" Edward counted the days and knew the length of the journey. Her father had likely just arrived. "What are his plans? Isabella, what will happen when he comes back?"

"He's arranging to have his charges put on someone else. To buy his way out of the death sentence. He also is arranging passage for us, another ship, to take us back across the sea." Isabella stopped as a sob tore from her throat. "Back to the prince I'm arranged to marry."

Back to the prince she was arranged to marry. Edward's breath caught and an agonizing stab burned his chest. Isabella was to be a princess. Knowing that she would leave destroyed him but he knew this was right and proper. That she should be covered in silk and gold and diamonds. That she should never have to light her own fire or cook her own food. Edward felt a fool for thinking this woman would stay in this harsh land. But he would care for her until her father returned.

He kissed her hand and he kissed her forehead. Her brown eyes held his and wept freely; he stroked the tears away with his thumbs, knowing they were still in unison. It felt and looked like a good-bye but it couldn't be. It must not be.

Edward did not return to his own house but rode to his parents'. He was heart-broken, devastated, yet still hopeful. Isabella had kissed him. Isabella had held him and looked in his eyes with all the same longing he felt. She cried when she told him of the prince; she didn't want to marry him. But her father would never allow her to marry a man like Edward.

His mind raced. He could take her now. If her father returned to find them living as man and wife he would have to allow them to marry. Edward, though, couldn't countenance that plan, not after seeing Esme and Carlisle live through the hostile gossip of the closed-minded. He thought more. England. He spoke the language and Isabella's father could not follow her there, not with a price on his head. By the time that was sorted out Isabella would be with child.

Before any plan could be carried out, he must speak to his mother.

He arrived at his father's house with the last of the light and let himself in. The warm smiles of his mother and father were replaced by looks of concern and Edward wondered if he looked mad.

Carlisle spoke. "What's amiss, son? What's the trouble?" Edward looked between his parents and regretted what he must do.

"I need to know who I am. Mother, I need to know where I came from." His father sat beside his mother and they regarded him sadly. The silence stretched on with only the soft sounds of birds and the crackling fire giving life to the scene. Edward tried again.

"My name. How did I come to have such an outlandish name?" His mother had turned to stone and Carlisle answered for her.

"You are named for your father. And grandfather." The words had never been spoken aloud in this house and Edward felt shame knowing he was the cause of his mother's distress. But he had to know.

"It's an English name?" Edward asked. "My father was English?" His mother stirred and he saw by the square set of her shoulders and the brave tilt of her head that she was ready to tell him what he needed to know. Esme spoke.

"Your father was named Edward and he was the illegitimate son of another, very powerful Edward." Here she paused. "Edward the Confessor." To Edward it seemed the ground shook as during an earthquake but he knew it was only him and nodded so his mother would continue. "I was the daughter of a nobleman and he arranged a marriage I did not want." Now she trembled and Carlisle took her hand. Her words were whispers now. "So I laid with another man, your father Edward, so I would no longer be a maiden. When I was found to be with child I was sent away. I don't believe my father even knew which boat he put me on." Her face had gone blank and Edward didn't want to hear any more.

But he had one more question.

He kneeled before his mother and asked very gently, "Mother, what does that make me?"

She touched his face, her eyes light with pride and worry. She smiled.

"Edward, you are an heir to the thrones of England and Normandy. I've taught you the languages, ensured you knew the history. I hoped you'd never ask. I hoped you'd never leave. But I made sure you were ready if it was what you wanted."

Edward's head swirled with the emotion of his mother and the new chance he'd been given. He could be a prince. He could be good enough for Isabella and her father. He explained to them in a rush all that had happened since first seeing Isabella in the valley. They were happy for him and wished him well and forgave him for opening that dark door to the past, knowing now how necessary it was to his future.

It was late but not yet full dark and he rode straight back to the cottage, unable to wait through the night, unable to leave her on her own. Not now, now that he could be what her father wanted. An illegitimate son could take the throne, he had read the history and knew this to be true. His mother's parting words had given him courage.

"You look so like your father, and he knew of you. If you tell him my name he will acknowledge you, I'm sure of it."

Alerted by the sound of the horse, Isabella ran from the cottage to meet him. Before Edward could tell her his news, she threw herself upon him.

"I want you, Edward. I want to be your wife and I want this to be my home. If you don't want me, leave now, break my heart and leave, but I can't go with my father without telling you." She cried against his chest and Edward swelled with love for this woman and that she, sworn to a prince, promised to a life of luxury, would choose him. "I don't want to be a princess." She laughed through her tears as Edward kissed her, knowing she was wanted, knowing she could have him.

"Perhaps you would want to be my princess," Edward spoke enigmatically into her hair. They would decide together where they would live and what they might do but none of that mattered now. Edward asked Isabella if they could marry in the morning and she said yes.

They were weak with relief but the night was clear and the air still warm so they sank to the ground, right where they were. The dense moss was three of his hands deep, softer than any bedding, and it seemed right to love her on the ground she now called home. Isabella's tears were kissed away amid murmurs of comfort and reassurance. Edward could only stop his kiss long enough to smile before returning to her lips. She was his.

They kissed below the stars for a long time and their hands grew bolder as the moon rose. Edward lay to her side, stroking her through her dress and their kisses moved from lips to neck to shoulders and back. He felt he couldn't wait and Isabella agreed, pointing to the sky.

"It's the next day, it is our wedding day. Please, Edward." And he couldn't deny her or himself any more.

With a shaking hand, Edward reached for the laces on the bodice of her gown. Isabella kept her hands on his face and watched him with eyes full of trust and love. When the laces were undone he peeled the fabric away and saw her skin, glowing pale white in the moonlight. Edward was overwhelmed with her beauty and softness and he feathered kisses there. Then he remembered his first longing for her and laid his head on her breast and breathed with her.

Now, Edward's father, Carlisle, had spoken to him before about loving a woman. He'd impressed upon him the importance of asking first and being gentle and told him some of how to make it good for the woman. In truth though, Edward did not want to think of anyone but Isabella in that moment.

So he asked her to talk to him. "Tell me what is good, tell me what you want. If I can make you feel just a bit of what I feel now..." Isabella hushed him with her mouth on his and took his hand to place it on her breast. Their sounds were in unison and their flesh seemed fused; how would he ever let go?

Edward stroked her and kissed her, asking again what she liked. Isabella liked his hands on her breasts and begged him to put his mouth on her. When he did she cried out and Edward thrilled to be giving her such pleasure. He moved back and forth between her breasts using his mouth and tongue and hands, revelling in the gasping sounds she was making.

He missed her mouth so he kissed her again. She shivered and he worried she was cold so he covered her with his body. This changed her and her lips went from languid to needy and her body began to move beneath his in a dance, rolling her hips and pressing up to him.

This dance changed Edward too and although he was still gentle his actions were no longer slow. He removed their clothing quickly and a feeling of urgency settled on them. Then he was on her again and she moved her legs so Edward's hips could be closer.

His arousal pressed between them and he hesitated. "I'm sorry this is going to hurt you. I want you to feel good..." Bella hushed him again.

"I don't care that it hurts because it's you. I want this."

So Edward pushed himself gently into her, as slowly as he could to give her a chance to get used to him. He didn't know he could love her more and felt that each time she let him inside her he would love her more. She was very still but her face was serene. He held still, waiting.

Isabella took a breath and began her dance again, her hips rolling up and around to meet his. They kissed and felt as if they were one. Edward rocked against her, in and out and they gasped together. The night air was chilling and he felt her cool skin flame each place he touched. He hastened to touch her everywhere to keep her warm.

The dense moss below them shifted and sank slightly under the weight of their joined movements. Isabella growled her frustration, she wanted to be closer, have Edward farther inside her if only the ground would hold her. Edward wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her to him. He moved more, groaning his pleasure into her neck.

Edward wanted to be closer too; he wanted to feel her above and all around him. He pulled Isabella up with him and leaned back, so he was sitting and she was astride him. She gasped at the sensation; Edward was deeper, she could feel him so far inside as she moved above him. Edward's eyes feasted on her skin, her hair and then locked with her dark eyes as her movements made him frantic.

Isabella looked, looked at his face, which was contorted with pleasure, and felt she was enchanted to have such effect on a man like Edward. He was holding her tight and kissed her shoulder and her neck. His hands were in her hair and on her back and at her sides, guiding her up and down. She felt his frenzy as her own, and it became too much and not enough. Her head fell back and it was heaven here on the moss with Edward. Her body shook and trembled, she heard Edward moaning her name but it seemed from a distance and she did not know her own body as she fell, and fell, and they clung to each other as they came undone.

After, they laid together, weak with their release. Edward cradled her on his chest as their breathing slowed and they came back to themselves. He felt shaken and the shaking did not stop. Edward loved the weight of Isabella on him and tried to settle himself to be ready if she needed his strength. But the shaking would not stop and he realized it was not him, not his body, but the earth, and opened his eyes.

The moon and stars shone above but his gaze was drawn far to the west and the north. To the mountain Hekla which was in fact a volcano and was erupting. The moonlight showed the plume of ash and dancing flames, reaching heavenward. Lava flowed in thick, red ribbons down the sides, surely destroying the longhouse and village of Hrapp and his outlaws. The place her father was meant to be.

He had not the heart to tell Isabella and carried her into the cottage, explaining away the tremors as nothing, hoping somehow for her father's escape. But only for her sake. He knew the eruption was God's judgement on that wicked village. If Charles was spared Edward would forgive him his neglect of Isabella. A week would tell if he lived or not.

The new couple had much to celebrate as the night turned to early morning and the sun rose on their wedding day.

And so ends the story of how Edward the Enigma became Edward the Enchanted and made Isabella, the girl who did not want to be a princess, his wife.

Thank you to Mrs A, Annie, Kel, deedreamer & QF for awesomeness. And thank you for reading. Hugs & Kisses

The real stuff in this story:

Edward the Confessor was the King of England and Normandy from 1042-1066 (I wasn't very nice to his memory - sorry 'bout that)

Mount Hekla really did erupt in 1104

The shipwreck occurs on the southeastern coast of the Iceland where many real shipwrecks occurred. Tales of gold and ghosts abound.

The river is real, I've been in it, and the picture of it in the story banner was taken by me! I've also eaten those little purple plants.

The forest Bella fancies enchanted is also a real place called Thorsmork.

Lastly, the outlaw, Hrapp, is based on a real villain from the sagas who robbed people travelling through the forest.