Chapter 58: Lunar Eclipse

Just before dawn the next morning, I suddenly find myself wide awake.  Jenassa is still asleep, and I gently ease myself from the furs in an effort not to wake her — not an easy feat, given the small dimensions of our bed.  As I slowly swing my feet around and stand up, she mumbles and turns over.  I stop moving and hold my breath, but fortunately she drifts off again.

I exhale in relief and reach for my backpack.  Before I even bother with my clothes, I find myself frantically rummaging for some food.  I’m absolutely starving.  As quietly as I can, I grab anything from our provisions that looks remotely edible and stuff it in my face.  Bread, cheese, sweetrolls, cold stew, apples, raw carrots, half a cabbage… they all disappear with surprising speed.  When my hunger is finally sated, I’m shocked at how little food is left.

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Chapter 59: Reaping the Rewards

Riding back to Whiterun in the bright sunshine is an exhilarating experience.  The windswept prairie grasses are like waves on a golden ocean, and overhead is the shining dome of a crystal-blue sky.   Capricious breezes delight our senses with the fragrance of a thousand wildflowers, and even the mountains wreathed in mist seem to smile down on us.

It’s apparent that Frost is also feeling frisky, as he kicks up his heels when I urge him into a gallop.  Behind me, I can hear Jenassa encourage her steed until the two of us are neck-and-neck, and soon we’re dashing through the grasslands in a a spontaneous horse race.  Jenassa is the better equestrian, as she can control her mount with uncanny precision — but I’m more willing to take risks and let my horse have some fun.  This turns out to be an advantage, as instead of steering Frost around a shallow pond, I urge him to clear it in one flying leap.  Jenassa is surprised by my stunt, but it puts me firmly in the lead, and the surrounding hills ring with our laughter as we sprint wildly across the plains.

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Chapter 60: Winds of Change

After spending the first night in our newly-built cottage, we wake the next morning to a chilly wind and an overcast sky.  From all appearances, it looks like it might be raining soon, but the uncertain weather does little to dampen our happiness.   Having a place of our own puts both of us in a sunny mood.

We spend the first part of the day organizing our homestead, deciding what additions we want, planning our garden, and generally making the house feel more like a home.  Although we’re so busy we barely have time to stop and eat, it doesn’t feel like work.   Instead, it feels like a blessing by the Divines — and the fulfillment of a dream.

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