Aiya didn’t recall the battle; it seemed to have happened so fast. She was lifted off the ground, her hands bound behind her back. She could smell the village burning, bodies scattered on the ground. The rusty smell of blood was embedded in her nose, as she stared up at the sky, watching as it darkened.
“Sævargangr,” Dagr spoke to himself, looking at the sky. He stared a moment longer before bringing his gaze down to her.
“Nafn?” He asked. When she did not answer, he repeated his question in English, “Name?” His accent was heavy.
“Hvem er gutten?” He pointed to where Noah’s lifeless body lay, she assumed he was asking who he was.
“Are you frightened?” He smirked.
“There is little I am frightened of anymore.” She answered with as much strength in her voice as she could muster. He gave her a strange look but they continued to walk towards the ships.
She was thrown down on the deck; the force knocked the wind out of her. Dagr put his black studded boot between her shoulder blades, the pressure was unbearable. He drew a small dagger from his belt and held it to her throat, “Bo hvor du er,” He bent down as he whispered in her ear, before moving to help one of his companions with their own hoard.
She didn’t understand his words but she knew not to cross him.
The long boats began to set sail. It was a strange feeling, she always wanted to leave but not like this, not alone.
She gazed around the ship, it didn’t seem very big. There were more men than she knew how to count, gigantic men. Many of them wore thick armor over some sort of animal skin and furs. The one called Dagr wore bones on his black armor, trophies she guessed, for he seemed like a fierce warrior that had seen many battles and enjoyed them. He wore his black hair in a long braid down his back, the sides of his head were shaved and a dragon tattoo outlined one side of his skull. His features made for a handsome man, but his eyes gave him away.
As for the man called Ragda, he wasn’t as big as the others, but no doubt he was just as fierce. His blonde hair was cut to his shoulders, and like the other man the sides of his head were shaved except he had no tattoo, he kept his hair pulled back into a knot at the back of his head. A scar stretched from his neck to just under his jaw as though someone had tried to cut his throat, it added to his hard appearance.
“Vi kommer Hjem! This raid has been prosperous; the Jarl will be pleased,” Ragda yelled to his crew. As he moved closer to the women, some bound and gagged, his eye caught Aiya again. “Vænn,” He said looking at Dagr, “Nafn?”
Ragda narrowed his eyes at her. He grabbed her by the arm and dragged her under the deck of the ship. She could feel his fingertips digging into her arm. He flung her around to face him not letting her go.
“You’re hurting me,” Aiya shouted, frightened of his strength.
He ran a finger down her cheek. “You’re very beautiful,”
“What has that to do with anything?”
“Release me,” She began to fight against his hold, she wanted nothing more than to get away from him.
“Why do you fight me? If I want you, there is nothing anyone can do to stop me,” His mouth turned up into a cocky smirk, as he noticed the panic in her eyes. She stopped fighting to glare at him, she wanted to slap him, but he kept her hands secured to her side.
“I like your spirit. Unfortunately, you belong to Dagr,” His eyes were laughing at her. He remained quiet.
Then he smiled, leaning close to her; she did not move away.
“Aiya Den Vænn,”
“I don’t understand,”
“Aiya The Beautiful,” He released her suddenly and sent her running up the ladder to the fresh air.
She had never seen men like Ragda, nor Dagr before and their ferocity both frightened and intrigued her.
She took her spot next to the other women captives, tucking her knees to her chest. She was tired from the day; closing her eyes, she would dream of a better time and pray she would not wake.