“What was that about?” Hvitserk called after you once you’d left Kyle, Ubbe, and Ivar out of earshot.
“Didn’t seem like nothing.”
You shot Hvitserk an annoyed look over you shoulder. “It was nothing.”
After that, you both walked in relative silence as you wove through the trees.
It was a beautiful end of spring afternoon; the birds were singing, sunlight beams lit up the forest through the thick foliage, and off in the distance the sound of a running river could be heard. You took one attentive look around and immediately dismissed the foul mood you’d been put in.
Hvitserk noticed the awe in which you stared at your surroundings. He sped up a bit and continued to walk side by side with you. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
You only nodded. It’s like a whole new, magical world out here.
“I love this time of year; the world seems so alive.” A dreamy tone oozed from his every word.
You turned your head to look at Hvitserk, catching mostly his profile, and smiled.
He isn’t so bad; I DID think he was gorgeous when I first saw him. So what if he’s a little clingy?
Without warning, Hvitserk started running ahead of you. “First one there wins!” He shouted back to you through a fit of laughter.
“First one where?” You yelled back but he didn’t answer.
Seeing no other alternative, you hiked up your dress, held on tightly to the basket full of food, and ran after him. You were giggling the entire way.
You clumsily jumped over roots, fallen trees, and even a few animal traps. Yet, no matter how fast you tried to run, you couldn’t catch up to the young viking.
“I win!” Hvitserk called out with a lovely grin as he took a seat on some rocks by the river.
You had left the forest a few yards behind and were now tiredly running across a small clearing towards the edge of the river.
“You cheated.” You spoke through heavy breathes while clutching the side of your cramping abdomen.
“I don’t cheat.” Hvitserk stood up, took the basket of food from you, and began to dig through it; he ripped off a piece of bread and began to chew it slowly.
“Whatever.” You playfully rolled your eyes and sat down on the soft, green grass. “I bet I could beat you with a thirty second head start, too.”