More Ægir’s…and Sven is….well…Sven…
Sven stared at her. Standing just a few feet away with her hands on her hips that had always begged to be held, but seemed even more luscious as they widened with her advancing pregnancy. He felt the sweat running down his forehead and threatening to blur his vision. It ran down his neck and onto his back too, collecting and staining the t-shirt he wore.
He gritted his teeth and tried with all his might to force one foot in front of the other as he held tight to the wooden bars which were the only things that kept him upright at the moment. Every muscle in his body seemed to scream in outrage and pain.
Sven let loose a string of curses in every language he knew as he felt his legs begin to buckle. She was beside him in a moment. While he was too heavy and her pregnancy too advanced for her to keep him from falling, together they managed to do it in a controlled enough manner to prevent any further damage to his shattered hips or thighs.
He held his head down and tried with all his might to hold back the tears that scalded the back of his eyelids. “Just leave me be,” he demanded in a tone that was almost cruel.
He fought her as she reached for his hand. He did not want her sympathy or pity. He wanted to walk. He wanted back at sea. He wanted to be a man again.
But even in this she won. At first it was just a gentle squeeze of reassurance with her finger, but then she drew his hand forward. Then he felt the hard mound of her stomach and the movement of the babies. Their daughters.
He had been surprised that rather than being disappointed Kirsty was carrying twin girls instead of the hoped for sons, he actually looked forward to having daughters. Little miniture versions of her. Although perhaps a bit more pliable…
“These little girls need you. I need you,” she demanded as the fingers of her other hand forced his head up and he opened his eyes to see the steely glare in the green depths of her eyes. “So get the fuck up and let’s finish this before dinner.”
He shook his head and drew his hand back, turning his back on them, “I said just leave me the fuck alone, woman.”
Silence hung in the front hall of the Holding. It stretched out for several long moments as Sven considered his options now. Although he had not heard Kirsty rise or leave the room, he was certain that she must have.
Why wouldn’t she after the way he had treated her? He cursed again this time himself. For a fool. Where had all those promises gone? While he lain on that cold, hard ground in pain and certain he was going to die, he had begged and pleaded with every god and goddess he had ever heard of, even his mother’s ancient Greeks and Romans.
If they gave him just one more chance, he would make it all right, tell her how he felt, be a better brother, more loving son. Hell, he’d be a better human being. And look at him now. Sat on the hard, wooden floor of their home, more alone than ever.
It was not what he had meant to happen. He honestly had meant all those promises he had made during that long night of light and reawakening. But then things happened. Or more accurately had not happened as he wanted.
He hit his legs that still refused to do what they were told. Sure, he knew that he had already surpassed the doctors’ expectations for his recovery. With the aid of an old man’s walker, he could walk. Hell, before they went back to sea Mikael and Bjorn had insisted on building a ramp from the front porch of the Holding. So he could even get down to the peer.
But it was not enough. It had been two months, two terribly long and intensely tiring and painful months with her acting as his personal therapist and shockingly like a little Domme. And he was nowhere close to be able to go back to sea.
He sighed as a heaviness set in his chest. He knew he should be glad that it was nothing to do with his heart. There the recovery had been almost complete. Although he was less than pleased at the dietary changes that both his mother and wife oversaw with resolve. Even his pipe had disappeared before he got home.
But what was the point? Maybe they would have all been better off if he had…
Then he thought of the feel of those tiny feet and hands just beneath her soft skin. Even if he never… His mind refused to even acknowledge the possibility that was unthinkable for him. But even if he could never walk properly again, wasn’t it worth it? Just to see them. To hold his baby girls.
He sighed with momentary resolve as he tried to reach for the bars of the walking frame that from this position was just beyond his fingertips. Then she was beside him. Her smile was steely firm as she leaned her shoulder into his back just enough for him to grasp the bars.
It took him far longer and more energy than he wanted to admit just to struggle to his feet. With each movement, the muscles in his legs screamed in protest. He was sweating even more than before by the time he stood fully erect, using all his upper body strength to hold himself there and maintain his balance.
“Now that you are done with the pity party, get to work. It’s only five feet or so,” she demanded with her arms crossed over those tits that seemed to grow even larger every day. To match the belly upon which they rested, he smiled at her fecundity.
Each step was a trial by fire of pure determination. Sven lost track of time. Did it take him mere moments which seemed to stretch into hours to cover the short distance that would have been nothing more than the blink of an eye. When he finally made it to the end of the parallel walking bars that his uncle had constructed in his workshop to her specifications, his whole body was drenched in perspiration.
She was waiting at the end with the wheel chair and a smile that stretched from ear to ear though it did not reach those green depths of her soul. He forced a responding one as he used the last of his energy to turn and collapse back into the damned contraption that had become his primary means of getting around.
Months. Years. Perhaps never. The doctors’ words echoed around his befuddled brain day and night. They had since waking up from the surgery. Even then, her face had been the first thing he had seen. Her hands reassuringly wrapped around his. He wanted…
He wanted so fucking much. Most of all he wanted to start again. Fresh with this woman. He had made so many mistakes. And he knew that he still was.
He closed his eyes to hide the tears that he knew glistened there. He was so damned torn. A part of him wanted to fight. To do whatever it took to put one foot in front of the other. To force his body by sheer will to obey his commands. To prove the doctors and everyone else wrong. The sea called to him. It was all he had ever known. All he had ever wanted. But that was not quite right either. He wanted her. Her wanted those babies.
But another part of him was lost in despair. The odds were stacked against him. Even if he did manage to walk again, all of the doctors agreed…he would always require a cane. Like a fucking old man. Hell, not even Olaf, who was well into his seventies now, needed a fucking walking stick.
He inhaled as the bitterest part of the truth assailed his battered spirit. The sea was closed to him now. It was not just his own life that he would be putting at risk by returning to her as half a man, hobbled and crippled. It was Ægir’s Captive and even his brothers’ lives that his pride would be endangering. And ultimately, hundreds of years of the family business, tradition and history. Her and the girls too.
Maybe it would have been better for all of them if…