Chapter 4

I woke with a gasp, hair damp with sweat. I lay in my bunk for a while, chest heaving as I breathed hard, reminding myself that it was only a dream. It was the same nightmare, gray skies, blood covered fields, warring men. I tossed and turned restlessly trying in vain to fall back to sleep. Giving up with a frustrated grunt I hauled myself off the bed. I stood there adjusting to the sway of the boat before slipping on a clean tunic and pulling on my trousers. I then made my way unsteadily and slowly along the dark, narrow passageway of the rolling junk in search of fresh air.

My breath caught as I felt the sharp sting of cold sea air. I stood at the bow of the boat for what seemed like an eternity, staring out into the darkness of the night.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I made out the forms of the two benches to one side of the boat close to the railing. Cautiously, I made my way to them, taking tentative steps, careful not to fall from the swaying of the boat. Sitting down on one I leaned back on the side of the boat, then, comforted by the presence of a solid object behind me and the chilly night air, I drifted to sleep, too tired to stay awake.

I woke again just as the sun started to rise, brightening the horizon with shades of blue, purple, orange, pink and wisps of white clouds. It was stunning.

Hearing the sound of footsteps behind me I swiveled around.

A tall figure was pacing, his back was towards me. The person seemed familiar; in his smooth, wide, confident stride he resembled Yuso. For a terrible moment I thought it was Yuso. Yuso's spirit who refused to pass on into the Garden of the Gods-or hell to repent his traitorous deeds- had come back to haunt me. But it was Maylon.

"Maylon!?..." he turned towards me with a tentative smile on his face "Whatever are you doing here? Should-you not be asleep?"

Creases adorned his broad forehead in confusion at my question; he dipped into a swift duty bow "I was sent out to patrol the deck, my Lady." Sketching another quick bow he turned to leave.

My eyes followed his retreat, he was akin to his father in many ways; lean muscle structure, wide forehead, the manner with which he walked and held himself, always at the ready, but there was something different, his features were more kind always ready to offer a smile, something about him more… mild. A part of me hoped he was not like his father and wouldn't betray for the sake of family, would be more rational and not let his feelings or relations get into the way of his duty. The other part of me hoped he was a reincarnation on of Yuso but I felt my anger rise at that part of me-I hate Yuso with all of my being.

I sighed, feeling empty and turned my head skyward searching for her. She was flying by the sun, towards the east, as if patrolling. Soaring, majestic and fierce with her silk like red wings stretched out, I smiled, feeling a wave of tenderness, at her energy and happiness, finally free, unbound by someone else's will or desires.

Turning my attention to the sunrise again, watching the sky brighten into a clear blue I feel a sense of relief.

"Eona," I whisper to my dragon and watched as she turned her great crimson head at me. As our eyes meet I felt the endless and timeless wisdom flow from them in song, I see events from the battle, as the men cried out with courage to fight and I felt the love and forgiveness that Ryko felt before his death.

Feeling the last part something in me opened up, bloomed, no longer confined. A bittersweet sob choked in my throat. A sense of release enveloped me at the thought of Ryko's exoneration. Facing the sun with a gentle smile I allowed its warmth to seep through me. No matter what come to pass the sun shall always rise the next day, time stops for no one.

"Lady Eona!" called someone from behind me-I clenched my teeth and did not turn to face the intruder. "His Majesty requests you to attend at the meeting with General Tozay at once!"

I nod, dismissing the man from my presence.

"No!" I yell, bringing my fist down onto the lacquered cherry-wood table in Tozay's dimly lit meeting room. I spat out my next words, "There is absolutely no likelihood of keeping His Majesty in the palace while the construction workers are rebuilding it! The security is not enough to keep him safe, it would be effortless for someone to sneak in veiled as a construction worker" We were discussing strategies on how best to approach the current situation with the palace. I was still on edge from the dream warning me about the foreign devil and was afraid that they would pose a threat while the palace was being rebuilt.

"Very well my Lady, what would you propose?" General Tozay shot back with mild venom.

I mulled over it, keeping my eye on Kygo the whole time-considering his look of exasperation and indifference at our spat. Slowly, I said, "Stay at my master's estate, I guarantee that it shall be able to lodge all us."

"How can you be sure that there are enough servants and that they have not run away in terror when Sethon had ordered it to be searched? He most likely will have. What if it had been burned to the ground? At least we know that the palace is still standing." Tozay's voice had gone frosty with annoyance.

I glared at him, saying through gritted teeth, "This is not the time to consider one's comfort, safety must come first. And I doubt Sethon had burned the estate to ashes, what good would it have done him?"

"Send someone to check," cut in Kygo sharply "This is a pointless banter."

I nodded, "I shall go ahead to make preparations. As for the rest of the matter, I have already thought about it, we shall send news-walkers across the land bringing a specific speech of your triumph while you, your Majesty, will ride through the city."

Tozay scowled and opened his mouth to speak.

Cutting in front of him I said, "Master Tozay, could you make arrangements for some of the men, Rilla, Chart, my mother and I to depart as soon as possible?" trying to make it clear that I wished to have some time alone with Kygo.

Tozay frowned but turned to the door without further acknowledgement.

I sat facing the emperor and studied his worn-yet still heart-wrenchingly harmonious face. There were shadows under his eyes, new lines on his forehead and a slight stubble appearing.

As if sensing my concern he looked up from the scroll he was reading.

Our eyes met.

Taking a deep breath, I walked over to his side of the table,"You should get more sleep, try not to worry over-much." I offered him a concerned look.

He gave a fatigued smile before standing up, cupping the side of my face drawing me closer to him, "You seem to have more life in you now, what was the matter?"

I averted my gaze and answered with a soft, self-conscious smile, "It was nothing…"

I reached up and drew my thumb across his forehead as though I was erasing the creases there. Kygo captured my hand and brought it to his mouth, placing a soft kiss on my palm his dark eyes never leaving mine. Dropping my hand he cupped the nape of my neck and bought me hesitantly towards him. I wound my arms around his neck, stood on my toes and tilted my head. Our lips met softly and something echoed though my being, something deep and familiar, a desire for more. We broke apart, our breathing ragged. Touching foreheads, I closed my eyes and slipped my hand beneath his tunic feeling the heat of his body, trailing across the obvious muscle of his stomach and flat of his chest. I paused over his heart, feeling the quickening pace as the heat rose. Kygo pulled me to him, more urgently now, eluding him, I place a teasing kiss in the hollow of his throat. Kygo growled in frustration. I smiled mischievously before giving him another kiss on the corner of his mouth teasing him further.

Standing on my toes again I whispered in his ear, "Later. You. Me. Sparring."

"You know I'll win." He grinned

I cocked an eyebrow, "Don't be too sure."

Thank God! I have finally finished!

I am soooo sorry for not updating in over a year, i was trying to figure out how to approach my story line. Now that I have figured it out somewhat, this can move along a bit faster.

As always, I ask for suggestions, comments, what you like and dislike about my story, anything that would help me become a better writer.

(P.S. If you find grammar or spelling faults please let me know.)

Thanks for reading, please review!