Disclaimer: I dont want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other peoples characters so - The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Indigo_Spacen@mail.com)
Selina came in later that night, tired and worried about her missing godson, as well as Link. Nick was lying in bed, fully clothed save for his boots which lay at the other end of the room. She walked over and sat by him, looking down at him. He smiled when he saw her, and she lay down beside him, placing her hand on his chest, watching him. He turned to her and kissed her softly, taking her hand in his.
"You didn't have to wait up," she said, smiling at him. He smiled back.
"You would've done the same for me," he said softly. Selina surprised.
"Would I?" she teased. Nick just let out a soft laugh and turned back to gaze at the ceiling. "You need to sleep," added Selina getting up and beginning to undress. Nick turned to watch her.
"How do you expect me to sleep when you're around distracting me like that?" he questioned with a grin. Selina grinned back, throwing her dress at him. He caught it as it landed in his face and pulled it away. He admired her quietly and she turned her back to him, putting on her night-dress. Despite being pregnant, her figure was still perfect, right down to the modest bump in her stomach. She got into the bed beside him, and looked at him, smiling, a little sad. They couldn't truly enjoy themselves while they both worried about Ewan's welfare.
"Now you've had a chance to stare at me, perhaps you should extend the same courtesy," said Selina, poking him in the chest. The clothes he wore bore no mark of his true occupation, he wore a loose black shirt with a brown tunic over the top, with black trousers too. But when you looked at his face, you could tell who he was. He had the face of a king.
"I wasn't staring at you," he protested with a pause, a small smile creeping cross his face, "I was admiring you." Selina just returned an exasperated smile as he sat up on the edge of the bed and removing his tunic, then his shirt. When he was finished, he got back in the bed, his hand finding hers under the covers.
"Happy now?" he asked, smiling. She leaned over and kissed him. After a few moments, she paused.
"Nick, is something worrying you? Something else?" she questioned, sensing a tenseness in him that she had rarely seen him display. He looked across to her.
"No, just Ewan...that's all," he murmured. She squeezed his hand and leaned against him, blowing out the lamp by his bedside. He rested his head atop hers, and they both drifted off into a deep, but troubled sleep.
After standing rooted to the spot for what seemed like an age, Zelda finally gathered her wits, and headed quickly after her husband, although she really wasn't in the mood for anymore confrontations. Perhaps she could persuade him that what Fayette said was untrue, Link would believe her. He knew what Fayette was like. She rushed up the tower steps to their room, hoping that he would be there. She flung the heavy oak door back, and entered the bedroom. A lone candle was lit by the bedside, but Link nowhere to be seen. Then she heard the sound of running water, and realised that he must be in their small bathroom. Zelda quietly pulled the door shut, and on afterthought, bolted it. Although Mara must surely have been the one doing all those horrible tricks, the princess didn't want to take any chances. Eventually, the water stopped, and silence filled the tower, giving Zelda an ominous feeling. All of a sudden, there was a crack of thunder, making her jump. A mighty flash then lit up the sky, and the heavens opened. The silence was gone. Taking it as a bad sign, Zelda swallowed, then began to undo the ties on her dress, and change into her night clothes. Where was Ewan? She hoped he was safe, and sheltered from this dreadful downpour. Worry washing through her like a wave upon the shore, she sank down onto the bed, bursting into tears. Tears for Ewan, tears for Link. They fell as freely, and as frequently as the rain outside.
Minutes later, Link came into the room, freshly washed and shaved. His face was still gaunt, heavy bags under his eyes were forming. Upon seeing Zelda, he rushed over to put an arm around her, to comfort her.
"Zel, don't cry, don't," he said softly, kissing her on the cheek.
"How can you forgive me so easily?" Zelda wailed, guilt taking over now.
"I shouldn't," Link remarked, remembering their outburst from earlier, and her blatant ignoral of him, only a few minutes ago. "But we need to stick together," he added.
"But after how I treated you over Leigh!" Zelda wept, confusing him a little. What had Leigh to do with all of this, he wondered, wishing she hadn't brought it up. It just made him feel even worse than he did currently.
"Stop crying, please don't cry," he said, rubbing her shoulder a little.
"Oh but Link!" Zelda exclaimed, looking up at him. He didn't look particularly angry, she noted. Maybe he didn't know... "Why did you walk off before?" she questioned. Link looked down.
"I thought you were ignoring me," he said simply.
"I wasn't! Kaibre and I were just... er... um... talking!" Zelda stammered, trying not to blush in shame.
"Oh, so that's Kaibre," Link remarked. They both went quiet, neither speaking a word. The tension seemed to build up, like the lighting in the storm.
"Yes," Zelda finally agreed.
"Your... bodyguard while I was away," Link said slowly. "Am I correct?" Zelda let out a small gasp.
"Who told you?" she asked.
"It doesn't matter. But now I know that something did go on, and it involved you. Why the hell didn't you tell me, Zelda? Why?" Link demanded, his tone suddenly growing angry.
"I didn't want to upset you... not after all you'd been though!" Zelda replied, fairly truthfully.
"We used to tell each other everything. Everything, Zel. What's changed?" Link questioned.
"Maybe we've changed," Zelda said quietly.
"Don't give me that excuse! How much more are you keeping from me?" Link snapped.
"Don't yell at me like that, don't you dare! Just because we're married, it doesn't mean..." Zelda began.
"And don't you start with that, either! You really hurt my feelings when you talk like that!" Link interrupted, glaring at her. Zelda stared at him.
"Maybe Fayette was right after all," she remarked sarkily.
"Oh jeez, sometimes, I can't believe I married you. Maybe I should have ridden away that day, and ignored your pleas for me to come back. I probably would have been a damn sight happier without you, and my Kokiri kin wouldn't be dead," Link said hurtfully. Zelda looked taken aback at his outburst.
"You don't mean that," she said. Link remained quiet. "You loved me," she tried.
"I'll never stop. But not even words can convey how much you've hurt me. I only want my son back, my beloved son. And my wife... I want her back too. Like she used to be," Link said.
"Oh shut up," Zelda snapped. They lay there in silence, and the storm blew on...
Mara smiled to herself as she watched Robert leave the mountain through the now scorched entrance. He had been a very handsome specimen, she had almost found it hard to control herself. Almost. She turned and began to walk down the passage, which still bore the stink of the smoke that had filled it a few hours before. The smell clung to the floor, the ceiling the walls, thick and an unpleasant odour which made Mara grimace. She needed to go and collect Ewan, hide him. Robert had indeed been a stroke of luck, a very convenient one at that. And the fact that he was attracted to her made the situation even more pleasing. She had to go and collect Ewan, hide him from the prying eyes that would be soon to arrive. She had assured Robert she knew a place where those others would never find her, he had told her he would come back for her. She smiled, wondering if he believed in love at first sight. She didn't. She had known he was important as soon as she had seen him. His clothes were fine and well tailored, and he had an aura about him that suggested he was held high in esteem somewhere. When he had been awake she had been able to see what he was thinking, like an open book. Kylara had been a very prominent name in his thoughts. Mara smiled a little. A lost love from the past perhaps who Robert was frightened of betraying? She couldn't see every person's thoughts, but most she could. Kaibre had been the same, as had Zelda and many others in the castle. She could never quite recognise what Ewan had been thinking though, or Drake strangely enough. She let out a small chuff at the thought of Drake, a man very much behind her now. She wondered if he felt a fool for being taken in by her charms, she wondered if he thought she hadn't done it. Robert had eagerly believed her story, but then she had saved his life...the fact that she was the one to endanger it in the first place didn't need to be mentioned. She would have to tell Enzar to keep quiet too, he would probably get into a rage if any of those men came poking around were they weren't wanted, but this was hardly the time to have a confrontation. She had made a complete exploration of the mountain in the short time that she had been there, and already new every one of its passageways quite intricately. Something else inhabited the dark caverns of the mountain, but whoever, or whatever did had failed to yet show themselves. She turned down another dark corridor, the stench of ash and smoke clinging to her but fading hopelessly as she walked on. Robert had certainly been an interesting distraction she supposed, but she hoped he wouldn't be back often, she couldn't risk him knowing the truth, although she supposed if he did find up she wouldn't have much trouble in keeping him quiet. She knew he was strong, she had struck him with a bolt of kill, and he had survived it. She had been surprised, but as she had closed up on his stumbling figure, it was then she realised how useful he could be to her. And her thoughts had been right. She smiled again as she turned into another corridor, and another, drawing closer to where Ewan was. She had to admit, Robert knew how to treat a woman, not like that Drake. Drake had been nice she supposed, but he'd been more bothered about someone who had died months before than about her. She flicked a piece of straw from her hair onto the floor. She supposed she had gotten a little carried away, but it had cost her nothing, so she supposed it didn't matter. She came to the room where she had left Ewan, an old prison cell, and unlocked the door. She stepped inside, closing the door again, lighting a torch on the wall. The bright flame lit up the dark interior of the room, and Mara turned to the bed which she suddenly saw was empty. Her heart leapt to her throat and she ran over, casting the rumpled blankets aside. Had the boy somehow escaped. She shook her head, getting down on all fours, pressing her chest to the floor as she squinted under the bunk. She let out a hiss of frustration as she stood, dusting herself off and looking around. There was nowhere in the room from where he could have escaped, no loose paving block, no concealed door, Mara had been careful to make sure of that. She searched again, none-the-less, but came up no better than she had been before. If he had escaped, he would tell everyone, she couldn't allow that. Then she remembered the search party. Robert had left the party to come and look for himself, what if another member had had that idea. If that was the case and someone had found Ewan, they would be coming in here now to look for her and give her a lesson. She let out a scream of frustration, kicking the wall and turned to leave the room when she remembered the door had been locked. Only she had the key, so how had someone got in, let alone locked the door on their way out. Her thoughts suddenly turned to Enzar. He could've taken the key, even magically duplicated it. He had wanted to see Ewan, she knew, what if that was what he was doing. She doused the torch and ran back out, through several more twisting corridors until she arrived at Enzar's allocated den.
There was nothing there, save a bunch of griffin feathers that glittered in the gloom. Enzar had taken Ewan, but where and why? Mara sighed angrily, knowing she could do nothing about it for now because the place would soon be crawling with that search party of Robert's. She had to hide, and hope that Enzar would bring Ewan back no worse for wear. Whatever happened though, she would make sure Enzar got an extremely painful reminder of who was in control. She quickly brushed up the feathers and made them vanish with her magic. A waste perhaps, but Mara didn't want anyone to know of their presence in Death Mountain. She smiled calmly to herself. Not just yet anyway...
Link tossed and turned for little more than an hour, but no sleep would come. Apparently neither did sleep come to Zelda. She way lying beside him, staring up at the ceiling, eyes wide open. He turned on his side to look at her. He remembered the angry words they had exchanged earlier, and he immediately regretted everything he had said. He got up and out of bed, and Zelda turned to watch him, surprised.
"Link?" she asked. He was busy pulling on some boots and a tunic.
"I can't sleep while my son is out there, in the hands of some goddamn maniac, who is thinking god knows what about what they're going to do with him. He must be scared to death," said Link, the words rushing out, fast, because if he tried to speak any slower, he might succumb to breaking down in his true feelings that had been threatening all day long. And he didn't want that to happen, not now. Zelda got up also, walking over to him, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"I know," she murmured, close to tears herself. Link turned to her, and hugged her tightly, saying nothing. No words needed to be exchanged between the two, they both knew what the other was feeling, thinking. Link leaned back and gave her a small kiss.
"I'm sure Drake and the others would go with you," said Zelda softly. Link shrugged, his hands dropping from her sides.
"Perhaps," he agreed, kissing her again, before stepping completely back.
"I won't sleep 'til you return, with Ewan," said Zelda solemnly. Link managed a wry smile.
"You always were my favourite little insomniac," he half joked before promptly leaving the room. Zelda watched as he left, a cold feeling creeping into her stomach. Link would be fine, she knew; it was Ewan she was worried about.
Link was just about to leave the castle via the recently lowered drawbridge when he saw a commotion at the outer gate. He spurred his steed on, jogging up to the crowd of three guards and a single man, who held a child in his arms. Link's heart leapt as he saw the dark reddish brown mess of hair that adorned the child's head, and he dismounted from his horse, jogging up, drawing his sword.
"What's going on here?" he demanded. The guards turned to him. One was about to speak, but Link ignored him, pushing past to face the man who held the child. "Who are you?" demanded Link, glancing at the child in the man's arms. A brilliant white smile flashed across the stranger's face as he held out one hand to Link.
"My name, good sir, is Kendar Hartrend. This, I do believe, is your son," introduced the man. Link stepped forward, carelessly dropping his sword and taking the child from the stranger, looking down at him.
"Oh Ewan," he murmured as he turned the boy to face him, seeing his son's face, so pale, so weary.
"Father?" asked Ewan, his voice thin. Link hugged him tightly, then turned to Kendar.
"How did you come across him?" Link suddenly demanded, stepping away from the man. Kendar smiled again.
"A stroke of luck, I was hunting in the woods not far from here-," began Kendar. One guard interrupted him.
"You need a permit for that, King's land." Link shot the guard a look of annoyance before turning to Kendar and allowing him to continue. Kendar smiled briefly.
"I was chasing a beautiful deer, stalking it, you know...well, it ran to a cave where once it entered I lost it. But here was your boy, lying badly bruised at the entrance. At first I did not know whose child it was, but I went to the nearest town, Saria I believe it was called, and asked for assistance. I was told straight away that this was the son of Royalty, and straight here I came," explained Kendar. His manner was certainly not that of a Hyrulian, and his skin was a shade darker than most anyway. Link could not even begin to wrack his brains for even a guess of this man's nationality.
"Well, I thank you most sincerely, you couldn't even begin to know how much me and my wife had been worrying," said Link, hugging Ewan. Kendar smiled.
"No, I have no children of my own. But it appears you and your wife were not the only ones worried about that young man's welfare. I believe that every soul in Saria was stricken by the news," said Kendar. Link looked to the guards. He glanced back to Kendar.
"Do you have a place to stay for the night?" he asked. Kendar shrugged.
"Well, if those woods do belong to the King, then I believe that my camping there will not continue to be appropriate. I do assure you though, I was not in the knowledge that those woods belonged to the King. Such customs are not adopted where I hail from," said Kendar. Link nodded.
"Well, it is the least we can do to offer you shelter for the night, and breakfast. I'm sure an agreeable reward will be decided in the morning," said Link. Kendar smiled again, this time a more wry expression upon his lips.
"A reward? I believe I have already had it in knowing that this young boy was lost through another mean rather than that of abandonment." Link heard a disbelieving huff from behind him, omitting from one of the three guards. He ignored it and nodded.
"You saved my son's life, that I will never be able to repay you for. There is no price on Ewan's life, it would be impossible, but we will none-the-less attempt to reward you in some small way, starting with a bed for the night," said Link, an indescribable feeling of ease passing over him as his young son clutched at his neck. He turned. "Come," he gestured, and Kendar humbly agreed and followed, head bowed. The three guards glanced at one another before two stepped back to their posts, the third following both Kendar, Link and his son back to the castle.
Zelda had seen the burning torches by the outer gate, and she had seen Link as he had left his horse to seemingly converse with the quartet stationed by the gate. When three men had turned back to the castle, one seemingly Link, she had left her room and gone to the great hall at the front of the castle, awaiting Link's return, full of questions, none yet answered.
Two men soon arrived at the main entrance, and Link had been one of them. He had rushed up to Zelda upon sight, and she soon saw that it was her son that he held.
"Ewan!" she cried, hugging both husband and son, all the creeping feeling of uneasiness that had so recently taken hold of her soon washed away in a wave of pure joy. The man who had accompanied Link to the castle hung back shyly, watching as the couple embraced. When they stepped apart, Link motioned to Kendar.
"This is the man who found our son," he introduced, and Zelda turned her gaze on him, caught off guard by how handsome the man appeared to her. Jet black hair and a smear of stubble across his lip and chin made him seem well-travelled, a wanderer perhaps. He had dark skin, tanned perhaps, it was lighter than that of a Dubation or Dalsonian, but something suggested he certainly didn't come from these parts. He had a fine bone structure, and a beautiful mouth and eyes that seemed capable of nothing but sincerity. He had a broad but lean figure, and his clothes were certainly not customary of Hyrule. A long maroon shirt and dark blue pants were his uniform, with a black leather belt at the waist, fastened with an engraved silver buckle that perhaps bore his family crest. Zelda only just prevented herself from gasping at his mere presence.
"Kendar Hartrend, my lady," he introduced. Zelda managed a small smile, not wanting to risk much more.
"Thank you," she said gratefully.
"For my name?" asked Kendar with a grin. Zelda promptly averted her eyes, not even risking a smile.
"For rescuing my son," she replied. The grin remained on the man's face.
"I said he could stay for the night," said Link, looking at Zelda, thinking she was being a little rude.
"Of course," said Zelda dismissively. She looked down at Ewan, stroking his cheek, and then took him from Link. "I'll take him up, I'm sure you can show Mr. Hartrend to a guest room," said Zelda. Link nodded, and Zelda left the hall quickly without so much as another glance. Link turned to Kendar.
"We will never be able to thank you enough," he said sincerely. Kendar just nodded.
"No one deserves to lose a person they love, it must have been a terrible experience," he said sympathetically. Link nodded.
"It was, but now that's over. Come on, this way," motioned Link, leading Kendar out of the hall and up the grand staircase, searching for an unclaimed room to house the man for the night.
Zelda swiftly arranged for a messenger to be sent out to every town in Hyrule to alert everyone of Ewan's return to safety. She also hoped that by doing this it would deal with any others who were still out searching for the now returned boy. Including Kaibre. She had taken the tired Ewan up to the nursery and to a grateful Impa who had seemed almost as relieved as herself at the boy's return. He had been too tired to even hug her good night, now, she had decided, was hardly a time for questioning. Everyone in the castle by this time was now alerted, and even Fayette had seemed genuinely pleased at the news. The princess was now sitting on the bed, awaiting Link's return. She looked down at her worry wringed hands glad the ordeal was now over. A small sigh escaped her as she contemplated on what had happened to Ewan while he had been away. His clothes had remained the same since he had disappeared, and they had been dishevelled along with his general appearance. She heard the click of the door as it opened and looked up startled. It was Link. Well who else had she been expecting? He smiled at her as he walked across the room.
"How is he?" he asked of his son.
"Tired. I took him up to Impa, to the nursery where he could get some sleep. We'll both talk to him in the morning," explained Zelda. Link sat down beside her.
"The goddesses must've been smiling down upon us tonight...I thought we'd never see him again," said Link quietly, taking one of Zelda's hands and holding it in his own. Zelda nodded in agreement.
"I had a feeling too, that something terrible had happened," admitted Zelda.
"We owe that man a lot," Link murmured reflectively. Zelda leaned against his shoulder, closing her eyes.
"Perhaps this will be it now. We've had our share of pain, heartbreak, suffering...perhaps things will get better from now on," she mused hopefully. Link let out a yawn.
"But we've had our good times too Zelda, you can't deny it," retorted Link, turning to look at his wife.
"I never would, but recently..." said Zelda, trailing off.
"Come on, we both need some sleep. We can talk in the morning," said Link, planting a kiss on top of Zelda's head. He pulled her down onto the bed and pulled the covers across them, closing his eyes in content as she rested her head on his chest. She couldn't help but notice an ugly bruise that was taking form across the lower part of his chest, and silently cursed both Aden and Derin for what they had made Link endure. Her thoughts drifted back to her son. Whoever had done this to them, might still be out there, but Ewan was now safe and sound and Link had a feeling he might get the first good night's sleep in weeks.
Back to Story Menu