Fenris x Kestrel Hawke
In order to escape the high summer heat, Fenris suggested they stop in the shade of a copse of trees beside a small stream until the air turned cooler and then continued their journey.
Kestrel agreed to the suggestion. She knew the rest would be welcome for them both after walking all morning and their daughter was growing fussy and over heated in her swaddling.
Rust, Kestrel’s mabari hound, ran and splashed about in the stream while Fenris arranged a blanket for them to sit on under the shade of an oak tree. The dog lay down in the shallow water, enjoying its chill.
After unswaddling Io, Kestrel sat on the bank on the stream with her. She dangled her feet in the water, smoothing a hand over their daughter’s soft dark hair.
Io wriggled in her mother’s hands, giggling when Rust shook his wet fur over them both. The dog playing only made the infant’s struggle to escape Kestrel’s protective grip more fervent. A hold Kestrel only relinquished when Fenris lifted Io from her arms, wading into the water which came up to his ankles.
He held Io’s hands, keeping her upright as she stood on unsteady, chubby legs. She was not yet able to walk, only crawl, but had been working up to standing with the help of furniture and her parents. Io squealed with delight when curious minnows came to nibble at her toes.
Fenris took small, slow steps with Io as she showed a wanderlust to adventure further down stream. Kestrel joined in thier exploration, finding a small frog to show their half-elfen child. It leaped from Kestrel’s hands, surprising Io. Fenris’s strong grip kept her from toppling backwards into the water.
After an hour, Io was yawning. With Rust, the three of them returned to the safety and cooler temperatures of the shade. Io lay splayed out on the blanket beside her parents and fell asleep quickly, her cheeks and arms showing signs of being touched by the sun.
Fenris sat against the trunk of a tree, book in hand. Kestrel lay with her head in his lap enjoying the feeling of his fingers working through her hair rhythmically. She sighed, content, turned onto her side and wrapped her arms around his waist, snuggling against his body.
"If we weren’t on the run," Kestrel spoke, keeping her voice low so not to awaken their sleeping child, "this would almost constitute a nice day."
"It is a nice day." Fenris remarked, lowering his book to look at her, green eyes sharp and alert as ever. He was always aware, always on guard for potential dangers. "Io enjoyed herself."
"That’s true." Kestrel agreed, smiling.
"As did you."
Kestrel sat up. “I know.” She inhaled deeply, gently winding her fingers through the thin wisps of Io’s hair. “I just wish we didn’t have to be on guard all the time. Io deserves a home. Some kind of normality. I lived on the run most of my life,” she looked at Fenris, “it’s no way to grow up.”
His gaze on her face softened. He understood the draw of a home, of stability as much as anyone. Possibly better than even Kestrel did. Fenris tucked a hair behind Kestrel’s ear. “It won’t be forever.” He explained, leaning towards her and touching his lips to hers. “For now though, home will just have to be wherever we all are.”
"And if we get separated?" Asked Kestrel.
Fenris’ jaw tightened and in his gut he felt a clench of fear. “I will never allow that to happen.” He told her, voice level and hard. “I would kill anyone who tried to take you or Io away from me.”
"I know." Mumbled Kestrel. She ran her hands down her face, grunting with exasperation. "I’m sorry. I’m ruining everything."
Fenris shook his head. “You’re not. You worry. I understand.” He kissed Kestrel again and tempted her back down into his lap. He spoke with his lips still on Kestrel’s, gently easing his fingers through the tangles of her hair. “I swear, eventually we will have a home where we can raise our children in safety.”
"Children?" Kestrel repeated, arching a brow. "As in more than one?"
With a secretive smile, Fenris kissed the tip of her nose without another word and returned his gaze to the pages of his book.
I’m really glad you enjoy Fenris and Kestrel. It’s nice to write them after being on a huge Cullen x Nevena kick. I hope other people like them too.