Forever - Part 23

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The rain lashed at their skin like ice the moment they stepped outside, quickly soaking their hair and clothing. The wind was bitter and beginning to bear down violently on the forest like an avalanche. Zelda turned to face Link, her golden hair sopping and lashing against her in the dagger-like winds. She couldn't find her voice, the princess afraid and unsure like a lost child. Her hands were clasped together in front of her chest, and she was biting her crimson lips in fear. Her crystalline blue eyes were piercing the young soldier to the very depths of his soul.

Link knew that she was depending entirely upon him, that she trusted him with her life and would follow him to the ends of the earth. “We'll be ok, Zelda.” Actually, he had no idea what they were going to do or what would become of them, but he kept a calm composure, his heart going out to the woman next to him and wanting to relax her in any way possible. He looked at her for one moment, forcing himself to smile as he took a hand from her chest and held it tightly. “Just don't let go of my hand, you'll feel better that way.”

“O…ok…” The sky was as black as obsidian, and in the darkness of night it was nearly impossible to see as they set out. The forest was cold and damp beneath there feet. The trees, the shadows, everything seemed to be engulfing them. With every clap of thunder the young soldier felt the princess' fingers shuffle, gripping tighter.

“It's ok…there used to be an old food cellar around here somewhere, we'll be safe there.” Lightning flashed like fire in the sky as he spoke, like a strobe light, giving him an appearance as eerie as the forest around them.  

Still they continued to move, feeling like mice in an unfamiliar maze. Leaves and twigs were falling like the raindrops themselves, for the forest was at the complete mercy of the wind. “Ah-ha!” Through the blinding lightning they could see it. The door to their safety was old and wooden with a metal handle. Link led them up to it in a run, wasting no time in working and yanking the door open. “Come on!”

The two sprinted down the stone steps and into a small room. It felt damp and was almost as uninviting as the outside was. There were fruits and vegetables scattered about from the latest harvest, and the temperature under the cold earth felt to be nearly freezing. The only light was from the occasional flash of lighting.

The moment they reached the end of the staircase the princess lunged her sopping body into Link's arms. They were both breathing heavily after the run to the place, so all they could hear aside from the raging storm outside was their own harsh breaths. “Shh…Zelda…” He hugged her tightly, his fingers caressing her soaking hair and holding her head to his shoulder. For the first time the hero became aware of her soft crying. “God, I'm sorry Zelda. Please don't be afraid…” She could feel his cool cheek and hair against her face. His lips, wet and icy with rain, pressed to her cheek, contradicting completely with his warm tongue as it licked at her.

“Forgive me.”

“For…for what?” She spoke as quietly as a breeze through her tears.

“For getting you into this mess.” His breath was warm as it found its way to her ear, his voice only a whisper. “If it weren't for me than you would be at your home…you would be in the castle right n~”

BAM! They both jumped, Link reflexively dragging them both to the ground and into a corner, holding Zelda's head to him and shielding her with his own body. She grabbed around his neck and hugging herself to him in horror.

Letting out a sigh of relief, they relaxed after a moment on the cold, stone floor. “Something must have…hit the door.” Zelda spoke shakily, letting out a breath and allowing herself to rest against Link's chest for a moment.

“Yes…” He calmed just a bit more and moved so that he was sitting against the wall, thus allowing Zelda to lie against him in a more comfortable position. His grip was still firm and unbreakable as a mountain. “Please…calm down. It won't be long until we can get ourselves out of here and go back and get some sleep.”

“Link…” Her voice was expressionless and spine-chilling. Eyes of pure crystal were staring, horrified, at the door. She could barely keep her arms around his neck, too terrified to even maintain control of her grip. Link looked at her nervously for a moment, unsure what had upset her, but then he noticed it too… a faint roaring, like an angry beast. It was getting closer…

Link turned his head and took a slow, deep breath, trying not to make it noticeable to Zelda. He was nervous too at what he knew was going to happen. The fear was slowly building in him like a dark shadow. He knew that he mustn't worry for himself…that he mustn't let his emotions get out of control. Zelda needed him, she needed him to be there to protect and guide her. He was her strength. If he lost it, they were both done for. “It'll probably be on top of us here shortly,” he stopped for a moment to quell is beating heart and to once again make sure his voice was steady, “but just stay right here with me, I promise we'll be alright.”

“Don't let… go of me.” Her face was nestled in the crevice by his neck, and her arms were now tight around him. Her voice was quiet and almost a whisper.

“I won't.” He tightened his grip about her reassuringly, burying his face in her golden hair. “Are you ready?”

“I…” Link felt her body quiver as he held her, thinking himself almost able to feel the fear radiating from her through his fingertips. “I guess so…”

…and then it happened. The roar was deafening, sounding like Satan himself was outside their little haven. The lightning bolts were like relentless flames engulfing the entire outside, the world being swept in and out of view of the lovers so much that all they could stand to do was close their eyes and clench each other.

They could hear the door wrenching and creaking under the pull of the monster, but neither of the twosome could even make a sound. All they could do was silently pray to the goddesses.

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