I looked into his face, my husband, my love. Our bond seemed so much stronger than that, it had been forged first with him as my shield brother and I his sister, and continued as we fought side by side for our lives and the honor of our brothers before us. We had been through the depths of agony and the heights of joy together. He was my world.
I rolled off of him and onto our bed, feeling it creak and shift beneath me. He wrapped a strong arm around me and pulled me close. I rested my head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat as it slowed to a regular pace. We laid there, naked, basking in the warmth of the summit we had just mounted together.
The mix of physical exhaustion and warmth was making me tired. I could feel my eyelids growing heavy, like iron. I was jerked from my sleepiness by a muffled snore, he had fallen asleep. I smiled to myself and settled back into my spot under his arm. Sleep overtook me quickly.
I was standing in a field filled with red and blue mountain flowers, even though there were no mountains in sight. The field seemed to go on forever in all directions. I began walking, 'No sense in standing around.' I could feel the familiar weight of my armor and my sword slung over my back.
'Good.' I thought. 'At least I can protect myself if needed.'
I continued forward, wading through the flowers for what seemed like an eternity. The ground beneath my feet was slowly turning to mud, but the flowers continued to stand tall. There were still no mountains, no trees, no sign of anything. I stopped and stooped down, I wanted to see if I could tell how the flowers were growing in this thick mud, it was becoming hard to move.
As I was stretching out my fingers to touch the mud that covered my boots a dark shadow passed over me. My blood froze and my breathing stopped. I could hear my sword rattle against my armor, I was shaking. I slowly stood and reached behind my head, taking hold of my sword. I drew it from it's sheath and the dark metal seemed to glow a slight green color.
"We can do this Siri." I often spoke to my sword when I was nervous. I took my stance and searched the sky for what I knew was there.
"Show yourself!" I screamed to the clouds. "You coward!"
"Dovahkiin." The word shook the ground. The voice was too familiar, it terrified me. The black dragon broke through the clouds and arced it's way back towards me.
'No.' I thought. 'Not here, not now. I am not ready.'
But Alduin was coming for me if I was ready or not.
I waited for his attack, thinking he would just blast me from the air, where I couldn't reach him, but instead he comes in close and lands only a few yards away from me. He was huge. Much bigger than I remembered; he could have covered the whole village of Riverwood with his wingspan alone. His head came towards me and I held my sword over my head, preparing to come down on him with all my strength.
That's when I noticed his eyes. They weren't the red I was expecting. The red eyes that were full of rage and anger that I remembered. They were blue.
"Are you alright, Love?" He asked me.
I couldn't answer, the world that held the field of flowers and the blue eyed Alduin was breaking apart. Consciousness was pulling me back to reality.
My eyes opened and there were those blue eyes again. Blue as ice, but full of... worry at the moment.
"You were having a nightmare. What's wrong, Love?" He asked. I could feel his arm behind my neck and his other hand resting on my bare hip. In his arms, being wrapped in his warmth, the field seemed to fade into nothing. His hand left my hip and brushed my hair from my face.
I smiled. "I am fine." I said, placing my hand on his cheek and running my fingers through his dark beard. He smiled back at me. I loved his smile, it was so sincere and warm. I had often imagined this smile was the same one he would have had as a boy.
"I am glad. It seemed like a bad one." He replaced his hand on my hip. "But I shouldn't be surprised, you're the strongest person I know." I could feel his rough fingertips tracing my side and across my stomach, making me shiver with pleasure. They came to rest on my thigh.
"Dov." He breathed his nickname for me. "I want to stay here, like this forever."
"Me too." I breathed.
Two Years Prior
I couldn't believe how blue the skies were! I had heard of the beauty of Skyrim, but never in my life did I believe a place this beautiful would exist. I had to force myself to stay on the simple stone road I had been following. My heart longed to run to the forest, to explore the clean clear river and to climb the tallest trees. To learn it's secrets. The problem with doing so was that I didn't know this land and it's forests. I didn't know what dangers could be found and as much as I wanted to explore, my desire to live was stronger.
I did take the time to stop and gather the few botanicals that seemed like they might come in handy while learning the alchemy of my new home. Some red flowers with their stems and roots, some blue ones that look almost identical to the red ones and what I assumed was the local cotton. I carefully placed these in my small bag.
'Don't get too distracted.' I told myself. 'You promised to make it to Whiterun before the sunset.' Truth was, I didn't know how far Whiterun was from Riverwood.
"Not far." Gerdur had promised me. "You should make it there before it gets dark." But I don't think she had anticipated my stopping to gather and to take in the wonderful view. However, despite all my doubts, it wasn't long before I could see rooftops that I assumed belonged the hold of Whiterun.
I was within running distance to the main gate and walls of the hold when I heard the yelling. Instinctively I began to run. I grabbed an arrow from my quiver and strung it on my bow. It wasn't long before I found the source of the yelling. There were three warriors standing around a fallen beast. Two of them were women and the third a man. I had never seen anything like what they had brought down before, so I wanted to get a look at it.
It looked like a man, but it was twice the size in both girth and height. It wore clothes and a very large club laid on the ground near it. "A giant." I breathed. I had never seen one, and hadn't expected to, but I had heard about them.
"We took care of him. No thanks to you." The taller woman said, she was obviously in charge of this group. The second woman simply turned and began walking back to the hold we were standing just beyond.
"You look strong." The man told me. His gruff voice sounded like a boulder being drug through gravel. "New to Whiterun?" He asked.
"Actually..." I was hesitant to share too much with a man I didn't know. "I am."
"You should join the Companions." He smiled slightly. "Kodlak is always looking for new, fiery blood."
"They're my family. We fight so that others don't have to. We bring honor and glory to ourselves and each other." He stared at me in silence.
I couldn't stand it anymore, the silence building between us was becoming unbearable, he either meant for it to, or was simply unaware of how uncomfortable it had become.
"I'm Dyre." I finally broke the silence.
"I'm Farkas." His smile widened.
"Ice brain!" A voice yelled. We both turned to see the taller woman. "Are you coming or not?"
"Meet us in Jorrvaskr if you'd like." He turned and hurried after the others.
As I walked through the gate of Whiterun I was unsure where to go. This was the first time I had entered a city since I had left Leyawiin two months prior. I roamed through the streets, simply taking in the beauty of the buildings. Leyawiin was about the same size as this hold, but the buildings were all run down and rotting from the moisture in the air. Here the houses stood tall and strong, like the people and the mountains beyond the great stone walls.
I found myself at the bottom of some stairs that lead up to the biggest wooden building I had ever seen. "That's Dragonsreach." A guard that was passing by me said. "Where the Jarl resides." He had stopped and was looking at me. I must have looked overwhelmed.
"And that over there is Jarrvaskr, where you can find the Companions." He pointed back behind me to another large building. "And down the steps over there you can find the shops and the local Inn, the Bannerned Mare."
I looked down the walk way where he was pointing and shook my head. "I am suppose to see the Jarl. But thank you for your help."
He raised his eyebrows at me. "The Jarl?"
"Yes, sir. I have news of the dragon that was see at Helgen." I tried my best to be polite, the last thing I needed was to be on the bad side of the guards.
"Oh! Well then, you should head up there quickly, he'll want to talk to you in person I am sure." He smiled and turned to be on his way.
The higher I climbed the steps, the more amazing the view became. I felt like I could see all of Skyrim. I stopped once I reached the top of the steps, just to gaze at the mountains. "They are beautiful Momma." I whispered. "Just like you always told me."