Forever - Part 22

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Months went by. Their lives seemed at peace in the depths of the forest. But, calm as their lives had seemed to become, the two were still well aware at the backs of their minds that they were fugitives, and that they could be found at any moment. They knew that many a hardship still awaited them, and also knew that they could show their ugly faces at any moment…but this time, little did the Hero and Princess know, their next hardship would not be due to the hands of another man, for the climate of evil was descending upon the land, and the darkness does not affect just living creatures...

It was after a scorching hot day. Dark clouds had built up ominously over the skies of the forest, night had fallen, and rain was beginning to pelt the walls of the cabin. The young lovers were in their room. The soldier was looking out the window intently, wearing a deep green Kokiri tunic and cap just as he had in the days of old. His sapphire eyes watched the raindrops as they splashed against the window and whatever he could see of the forest outside, the dim light from the candlelit room giving the entire scene an eerie tinge.

“Link…I…” He turned to look at the princess, who was sitting on her knees, her feet to the side atop the small bed. She was garbed in a soft, light pink nightgown, and her long golden hair hung freely, touching the covers even in her upright position. “Please…c…come to bed…” Her light blue, crystalline eyes were filled with fear, and her fair skinned seemed almost spooky in the dim light.

The soldier nodded and smiled at her warmly and tiredly, turning to approach her.  His feet echoed hollowly on the floor with each step. He neared the bed, slipping his brown boots off and moving to sit next to her, watching her as she shivered, clenching her teeth in fear. There was an enormous clap of thunder, and he felt her quickly find his fingers atop the covers. He said nothing and took her hand, squeezing it gently. Even her fingers were shaky. “It's alright…” He said, his smooth voice near a whisper, though still warm and comforting, “it's just a thunderstorm.” His soft eyes gazed sleepily upon her, assuring and strong. “We'll be fine…” He spoke gently as he enveloped her in his arms, pulling her into a hug. Loving fingers willed the girl's head to bury itself in his chest, and then gently ran through her hair, moving to stroke her back.

Thunderstorms had frightened his lover since childhood; they were the one thing that could completely shake away her composure. It was a secret that only he was privy to; and was something that not even her father knew about. Zelda was a woman that had learned to hide her emotions from all whom she encountered; she could become a stone if she saw the need, so keeping her feelings hidden from a strict father wasn't something that was difficult for her. However, these feelings would bottle up inside of her, and as anyone can tell you, it hurts keeping them hidden forever. Link was, in a sense, the only person who knew the true Zelda: the tender and delicate woman who was much more than a monarchial figure.

Suddenly, another clap of thunder boomed, making the young woman hug herself closer to him, her arms wrapped securely around his neck. She was as shaky as could be as he let go of her, tearing the covers open. “Let's get some sleep…beatific.” He gestured for the pale girl to crawl in first, and watched her as she crept under the blankets. He swiftly removed his belt and cap and tossed them to the floor, and with a quick breath blew out the candle, drenching the room in blackness before carefully finding his way in next to her. A moment later the princess was snuggled against him, and immediately his lips fumbled for hers in the darkness.

A swift and soft kiss met her lips before allowing her to bury her face within his tunic.

“Link…I…I'm so frightened…”.    
“Shh…I know, but it'll be alright.” He stopped but a moment to speak, and then continued; trying to calm her with his touch like a parent would a child.

She let out a sigh eventually, her body starting to relax. “See? It's going to be ok…” The hero's eyes were heavy as a stone as he let his head come to rest in her hair, taking a deep breath...savoring the lavender scent that he had come to love.

“Th…thank you, Link…” You could tell in her voice that she was still a bit nervous, but it was, regardless, a great improvement. She sighed once more, snuggling deep into his soft tunic.

“Oh…don't mention it.” He smiled tiredly as he felt her body begin to completely relax, enjoying the feeling of a goddess… his goddess…falling asleep in his arms. “Good night…my Zelda.” The soldier's fingers carefully held her body close to to him as he closed his eyes, listening to the rain as it fell throughout the forest…until he, too, slipped into sleep.

It was a few hours later. Thunder roared like a savage beast, awakening the princess. Her body shivered with fear just as one might shiver after getting out of freezing arctic water. Wind howled through the night, and hailstones were smashing against the cabin like bullets. Her body was stiff and rigid, frozen with fright…unable to do anything but tremble. It was a sickening fright…one that forced her heart into her throat and made her head throb with suppressed tears of terror.

Her shaky voice called for the one whom she knew would somehow quell her fears.

“L…Link…?” He did not answer. Still she could feel his fingers about her, though loose and relaxed. His breathing was slow and deep, and his powerful body calm and tranquil. “…Link?”

The thunder boomed again, like an exploding bomb. She tightened her grip around the young soldier's neck, clutching him close to her and burrowing her head within his tunic again.

Instead of the storm, she tried to focus on the sounds of his breathing and heartbeat; though as hard as she tried, she failed miserably.

BAM! The door to their room slammed open, making Zelda jump and let out a slight scream. She noticed Link swiftly sit up beside her, awoken by the noise. They both peered into the doorway, noticing Hara in the door. “You guys! You have to get out of here! One of the other Kokiri just said that they saw a something in Hyrule Field heading this way! I don't know but it sounds bad! I've got to go and warn the others!” She then ran from the room and out the building.

As the young girl left the room was again bathed in darkness, with only the occasional light from a flash of lightning. The lovers were silent for a moment, in shock. After a few moments, the young soldier turned to his princess, taking her hands and squeezing them gently, looking her straight in the eyes. Her face was drained of color, and her entire body was shaking. “Zelda, it's going to be ok. I promise you.” The roar of the wind outside was becoming deafening. “But we need to get out of here…”    

“Ok…” At that Link pulled them both from the bed, quickly fumbling for his boots in the darkness and slipping them on.

“Just calm down…” She felt him take her hand as he led the way through their door.

Her heart was thumping like mad. All she could do was close her eyes…listening to the young soldier turn the doorknob that led to the outside world. It felt like slow motion to her…a feeling of sick fright, like she was leaving their safeguard and entering into an unknown and dangerous world.

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