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Promise of Lions by Håkon Ulvestad
"You are such a skilful hunter, my dear love."
"Thank you. I caught three so that we will have some food for tomorrow morning," he said as he sat down next to her on the log.
When they were finished eating dinner, they sat there watching the stars without saying anything. The feeling of closeness was all they needed; to be together.
As he gently caressed her body she purred and snuggled close to him. They made love there on the riverbank. The stars and the old maple tree watching over them, they were truly happy, without a worry in their lives.
* * *
It was still early when she woke up; the rising sun was barely visible over the horizon. The grass was covered with dew, and it was obvious it had been a cold night. When she turned over she saw he was missing, she felt an odd sensation that something was wrong, and she told her self he was probably out in the woods collecting some firewood to cook their morning meal. She sat up watching the crimson sunrise, over the forest on the other side of the river. The colour of the sunrise combined with the reds and yellows of the leaves truly made a magnificent view.
The sound of a toad made her look away from the sunrise and downriver, there was a crow sitting on a stone jutting up from the water. A crow always was a bad omen, and it added to the feeling that something was amiss. The crow was standing so the fiery waters almost caught its leg, staring her straight in the eyes. As she watched, the crow took one deliberate step forward, and was dragged downstream.
She got up and frantically started packing their things, as she got up a sound startled her and she fell hurting her ankle. As she got up again, quickly brushing away earth and dirty leaves, she saw a dark shadow silently between the trees. She tried to run for the path leading away from the southern part of the clearing, away from the thing in the woods. She fell again, as she tried to rise again; he stepped out of the woods. A wave of relief flowed over her.
"Oh, It's only you," she said in a heaving voice. She could hear her heart beating; it felt like it was going to jam in her throat. "Listen, we got to get away from here, something's terribly wrong," she said as he approached. She noticed something red clearly visible on his blue tunic, and realized that he carried a sword at his hip.
"Why are you carrying a sword?" she whispered, scared out of her senses.
"Something is after you," he replied casually. The blue glow in his eyes, almost as if something else was looking out through them.
"No! No, it can't be!" she screamed hysterically. She turned to run, but it was too late. His muscular arm wrapped around her waist and held her tight, preventing her from escaping.
Deep inside she had known this day would come, known this of him, but her love for him had blocked out the sound of the alarm bell ringing in her head. She should have remembered the saying: "Do not let your emotions rule over cold hard facts".
She could hear the distinct sound of a blade being drawn from its sheath, and a long-bladed dagger was held in front of her, the point aimed at her neck.