“Grawth!” Alrik screamed. His sword was brandished out in front of his naked body.
Koke, to his right, was unsure of the situation. Dennis had vanished and somehow the mortal Viking had sensed the coming Celts before she had.
“Alrik? That’s you?” The voice came from behind the dark veil of trees.
“I knew it would be you, you bastard!”
A large shadow stepped from the trees. A man taller and more muscled even than Alrik took two paces forward and stopped. His bald head picked up the orange from the firelight and featured a scar from mid scalp right down to the leather patch covering his left eye. His frowning face looked from Koke to Alrik. “You fucker, why the hell…”
Koke tensed for the attack.
“…did it take you so long to get your skinny ass back here?” Grawth’s frown flipped into a grin.
“You stupid fuck, I’ve children now. And a ship, well I did have a ship.”
Grawth stepped forward further, pushing past the sword, and mauled Alrik in a hug. “We’ve missed you, brother.” The hug was released and Grawth grasped Alrik’s shoulders for a better look. “And why is it that you’re always naked when I find you?”
“You charm the pants off a guy, what can I say.”
The laugh that escaped Grawth was a series of barks that caused him to back up and double over. “Always the joker.”
“I practice daily.” Alrik turned his eyes to Koke. “This is my companion, Koke.”
“M’lady. I apologize, but we have your other companion.”
“Dennis of Kent,” Alrik said with a grin.
Alrik laughed. “Pirate.”
Grawth grinned. “Worthy of our respect, then.” He turned to the three men huddled behind him. “Release Dennis of Kent.”
Without debate, Dennis was pushed out from the trees and his bindings cut. “Thanks for that.” Her rubbed his wrists and walked across to Alrik. “You know these men?”
“Definitely not royalty,” Grawth interrupted, “as a royal would never honour us by calling us men.”
Dennis chuckled. “Well, not English royalty at least.” The widening eyes caused all to laugh.
The fact that Dennis was of noble birth, however, was not something he planned to share yet. That his nobility came from a country that was, long ago, disassembled was of no consequence. That he planned to retake his throne in a place that would be soon known as The New World, was all that mattered. With Koke as his queen, none could stop them as they brought evolution upon the world.
Dennis giggled to stop the fantasy from overtaking his thoughts. Thoughts of this plan always excited him.
“Alrik, my friend,” Grawth said, “where might we be going? Escaping Romans, mayhap?”
“Going home. I’ve been gone much too long.”
Grawth’s already pale face went another shade whiter. “You don’t know then.”
“Know what?” Alrik’s question was more a growl.
“We’ve been attacked by Romans from the north.”
“From the north?” Koke looked between Alrik and Grawth.
“The Romans have Kadlin,” Alrik whispered.
“Who’s Kadlin?” Dennis dusted something off his shoulder.
Alrik ran back to his campsite and began to our his armour on.
Koke glared at Dennis. “Alrik’s wife, you idiot.”
“Oh…does this mean we’re going after her?”