Ægir’s Wife Ch. 10


Sven stared at Kirsten. Standing just a few feet away with hands on her hips, that seemed even more luscious as they widened with her advancing pregnancy. He felt the sweat running down his forehead and threatening to blur his vision. It ran down his neck and onto his back too, collecting and staining the t-shirt he wore.

He gritted his teeth and tried with all his might to force one foot in front of the other as he held tight to the wooden bars, which were the only things that kept him upright at the moment. Every muscle in his body seemed to scream in outrage and pain.

Sven let loose a string of curses in every language he knew as he felt his legs begin to buckle. She was beside him in a moment. While he was too heavy and her pregnancy too advanced for her to keep him from falling, together, they managed to do it in a controlled enough manner to prevent any further damage to his shattered hips or thighs.

He held his head down and did everything he could to hold back the tears that scalded the back of his eyelids. “Just leave me be,” he demanded in an almost cruel tone.

He fought her as she reached for his hand. He did not want her sympathy or pity. He wanted to walk. He wanted back at sea. He wanted to be a man again.

But even in this, she won. At first, it was just a gentle squeeze of reassurance with her finger, but then she drew his hand forward. He felt the hard mound of her stomach and the movement of the babies — their daughters.

He had been surprised that rather than being disappointed, Kirsty was carrying twin girls instead of the hoped-for sons, he looked forward to having daughters. Little miniature versions of her. Although perhaps a bit more pliable.

“These little girls need you. I need you,” she demanded as the fingers of her other hand forced his head up, and he opened his eyes to see the steely glare in the green depths of her eyes. “So, get the fuck up and let’s finish this before dinner.”

He shook his head and drew his hand back, turning his back on them, “I said, just leave me the fuck alone, woman.”

Silence hung in the front hall of the Holding. It stretched out for several long moments as Sven considered his options now. Although he had not heard Kirsty rise or leave the room, she must have.

Why wouldn’t she after the way he had treated her? He cursed again, this time himself. For a fool. Where had all those promises gone? While he lay on that cold, hard ground in pain and certain that he was going to die, he had begged and pleaded with every god and goddess he had ever heard of, even his mother’s ancient Greeks and Romans. If they gave him just one more chance, he would make it all right, tell her how he felt, be a better brother, more loving son. Hell, he’d be a better human being. And look at him now. Sat on the hard, wooden floor of their home, more alone than ever.

It was not what he had planned to happen. He honestly had meant all those promises he had made during that long night of light and reawakening. But then things happened. Or more accurately had not happened as he wanted.

He hit his legs that still refused to do what they were told. Sure, he knew that he had already surpassed the doctors’ expectations for his recovery. With the aid of an old man’s walker, he could walk. Hell, before they went back to sea, Mikael and Bjorn had insisted on building a ramp from the front porch of the Holding. So he could even get down to the peer.

But it was not enough. It had been two months, two terribly long, intensely tiring, and painful months with her acting as his therapist and shockingly like a little Domme. And he was nowhere close to being able to go back to sea.

He sighed as a heaviness set in his chest. He knew he should be glad that it was nothing to do with his heart. There the recovery had been almost complete. Although he was less than pleased at the dietary changes that both his mother and wife oversaw with resolve. Even his pipe had disappeared before he got home.

But what was the point? Maybe they would have all been better off if he had…

Then he thought of the feel of those tiny feet and hands just beneath her soft skin. Even if he never… His mind refused even to acknowledge the possibility that was unthinkable for him. But even if he could never walk properly again, wasn’t it worth it? Just to see them. To hold his baby girls.

He sighed with momentary resolve as he tried to reach for the bars of the walking frame that from this position was just beyond his fingertips. Then she was beside him. Her smile was steely firm as she leaned her shoulder into his back just enough for him to grasp the bars.

It took him far longer and more energy than he wanted to admit to struggle to his feet. With each movement, the muscles in his legs screamed in protest. He was sweating even more than before by the time he stood fully erect, using all his upper body strength to hold himself there and maintain his balance.

“Now that you’re done with the pity bursa escort party get to work. It’s only five feet or so,” she demanded with her arms crossed over those tits that seemed to grow even larger every day. To match the belly upon which they rested, he smiled at her fecundity.

Each step was a trial by fire of pure determination. Sven lost track of time. Did it take him mere moments that seemed to stretch into hours to cover the short distance that would have once been nothing more than the blink of an eye? When he finally made it to the end of the parallel walking bars that his uncle had constructed in his workshop to her specifications, his whole body was drenched in perspiration.

She was waiting at the end with the wheelchair and a smile that stretched from ear to ear though it did not reach those green depths of her soul. He forced a responding one as he used the last of his energy to turn and collapse back into the damned contraption that had become his primary means of getting around.

Months. Years. Perhaps never. The doctors’ words echoed around his befuddled brain day and night. They had since waking up from the surgery. Even then, her face had been the first thing he had seen. Her hands reassuringly wrapped around his. He wanted…

He wanted so fucking much. Most of all, he wanted to start again. Fresh with this woman. He had made so many mistakes. And he knew that he still was.

He closed his eyes to hide the tears that he knew glistened there. He was so damned torn. Part of him wanted to fight. To do whatever it took to put one foot in front of the other. To force his body by sheer will to obey his commands. To prove the doctors and everyone else wrong. The sea called to him. It was all he had ever known. All he had ever wanted. But that was not quite right either. He wanted her. He wanted those babies.

But another part of him was lost in despair. The odds were stacked against him. Even if he did manage to walk again, all of the doctors agreed…he would always require a cane like a fucking old man. Hell, not even Olaf, who was well into his seventies now, needed a fucking walking stick.

He inhaled as the bitterest part of the truth assailed his battered spirit. The sea was closed to him now. It was not just his own life that he would be putting at risk by returning to her as half a man, hobbled and crippled. It was Njord’s Captive and even his brothers’ lives that his pride would be endangering. And ultimately, hundreds of years of the family business, tradition, and history. Her and the girls too.

Maybe it would have been better for all of them if…


Kirsty could see it in his eyes though they were downcast. It was the latest of the demons they were forced to face, obstacles that stood like ancient adversaries of old against their Viking ancestors. Despair.

She could empathize. How difficult this must all be for such a vital man, used to the wind and the waves of the sea. But now the truth was dawning; it was not just his ‘sea legs’ that threatened to abandon him. The reality was Sven would never walk unaided again.

She knew this better than he or anyone else other than the doctors. In those final days before they had left the hospital in Oslo, she had drawn them aside. Explaining her training and the role that she would be taking on as not just his wife and carer but his physiotherapist, she had asked for the complete truth.

She would never forget the x-rays they had shown her. The bones of his femurs and pelvis shattered from a height of almost twenty feet, a fall that would have killed most men — even the ones taken after the surgery were more metal than bone in places. While her expertise lay in sensory issues and muscle coordination that were the foundation of an Occupational Therapist, she had enough of an understanding and grounding in the companion field of physical therapy to know what it all meant.

Her role was to motivate and push him. To prod and cajole Sven to reach as close to full recovery as was possible. But even that would be far less than he hoped. Than any of them did. She had not yet shared her knowledge fully with Mikael. She did not want to dash anyone’s hopes. Because sometimes miracles did happen.

But that was what it would take for Sven ever again to take the helm of Ægir’s Captive. Sure, he did not need his legs to ‘drive’ the ship, she chuckled because she had become familiar enough with their world to know she would have earned a punishment for even thinking that word. She could almost see Bjorn’s stern look as he asserted, ‘You don’t drive a boat.’

The thing was that the sea was unpredictable. One moment Sven could be easily mastering that mundane task, and a short time later, all hands would be required on deck as they battled winds and waves of the especially turbulent waters of the North Sea. Even more so during the most lucrative winter months. As hard as it was to admit even to herself, malatya escort Sven would become a liability in those moments. A burden that could…

She rubbed her stomach to reassure, not just her girls but herself. No, the runes were cast. Fate had set their course for them. Now it was up to her to guide this ship of family through the rough waters that lay ahead.

Once, she would have doubted herself. Her ability to do this seemingly impossible task of birthing the captain that had always lain in Mikael’s heart but was overshadowed by his older brother, of encouraging Bjorn to apply the business and computer skills that had seen them through those dark months of exile to chart a new course for the family business, of absolving Petrine and even Olaf of a lifetime of guilt, of drawing Monika out of the world bounded by her senses and autism, and hardest of all, giving this man, that if she were honest she loved from before they met, a new purpose and reason to live.

Oh, and all while nourishing, protecting, and growing the babies that were the future and the meaning of all of it. Not too hard a task at all. Not for a shieldmaiden. And a daughter of Freyja.

She reached out and grasped his hand once more. She fought his superior strength. And won. She would not give up. She was not going to lose him. Not again. Not this time. She brought it to the fullness of her body where, as if on cue, the girls began their dance lessons.

She waited. Hoping that he would find the strength to look at her, at them. But he did not. Rather than castigate him or disrespect him, she felt the depths of his pain. She placed herself in his shoes, and tears rose to her eyes. ‘Please sweet goddess of love give me the words to reach him,’ she prayed as she sat beside him, sharing in the pain and wonder of life.

Their lives were entwined and drawn together by the sometimes dark and often gloriously bright rays of Fate. When he still had not found that fountain of faith and hope that Kirsty knew lived deep within him, she used the fingers of her other hand to turn his face and lift it to hers.

“I meant it, Sven. We need you. The girls and I need you. You don’t want them growing up without their father, do you?” She knew that she had scored a direct hit with those words as she watched his throat constrict.

She inhaled as she realized that it was time to begin to reveal all of the truth that she had kept close to her heart, “A man can do more than just fish the seas, you know. It takes a true man to lead his family through these turbulent waters,” she paused and brushed back the increasingly grey hairs that now curled unkempt about his face that was more lined than it had been that first day.

“Mikael may be able to helm Njord’s Captive. Bjorn may be able to broker deals with high-end restaurants in London for the best prices for the freshest fish direct from the seas. But we all still need you, my love. None of us understand the complexities of this small world of kinship and competition in which we find ourselves. None of us have the depth and perspective of these markets the way you do. If this business, this family is going to survive…”

She chuckled and forced a smile, “Then you, my beloved, need to pull your head out of your arse and realize that we need what is inside that brain, more than we need your legs or your back or even your hand at the helm of Njord’s Captive. Because the reality is we need that hand at the helm of this family. We need your leadership in a world that has gone haywire and is turned upside down.”

She gripped his hand as tightly as she could and searched that inscrutable face for some sign, any sign that he had heard her, that he understood what was indeed at stake here.

She pondered her next words carefully. She knew that walking was not the only challenge they faced. The drugs which the doctors gave him for high blood pressure and his heart condition might also cause impotence. The past couple of months, they had met the more pressing issue of his recovery from surgery and the heart attack. But Kirsty knew, deep in her soul, Sven’s body was as recovered as it was going to get.

Kirsty knew the risk she was taking. Compiling the situation with this new unknown, but she recognized too the power that sex had to heal the soul. Did she dare take the chance? Her plan to draw Sven back to them by ‘making him feel a man again’ could utterly backfire, push him over the precipice. She had been considering that as well, planning for just such an eventuality.

No, she had no other choice. It was time. They stood at the crossroads. Sven could continue down this pathway to self-pity, depression, and if history repeated itself as it had with his uncle, alcoholism. She did not come back here just to lose this man who had begun it all. No, the choice was clear, and she was prepared to handle the situation, either way.

She leaned forward; her lips captured his. For a çanakkale escort moment, it all fell away. The past year floated into the recesses of time. She was that insecure, damaged woman-child exploring her dark side. And he was the Dom who lit her path and challenged her mind, body, and spirit. His hand once more found her elbow, drew her closer to him, just as he had pulled her through that turnstile in Tilbury that day. Drawn her from that dark place, which was all she had ever known and brought her to this new world of sexual and emotional completion.

But she was not that damaged goods anymore. Their love had given her strength, transformed her as a caterpillar into a butterfly, and brought her home to them. Now, it was her turn. Her chance to give back even a small portion of what this man had given her.

She felt the power of the goddess surge through her as she took control of the kiss. Her tongue found his, warring and demanding. She was not that timid, insecure, and confused creature. She was his partner, his equal. The fulcrum upon which this family rotated.

She drew back slowly. Her teeth captured his bottom lip and scored it lightly. A moment later, her gaze caught his, unblinking she whispered the words which would determine their Fate, “I choose you, Sven.”

Without another word or backward glance, she turned and walked up the stairs to her room. She had much to do before this night.


Sven sat in the wheelchair at the end of the dock. The fjord rose up like ancient gods round about him. The waves lapped at the rocks on the shore. But his eyes were fixed. Seeking across the expanse of the choppy waves.

He was not sure what he was looking for. Ægir’s Captive would not be back for at least a couple more days. Perhaps longer. The lucrative winter fishing season was just beginning. He had always been able to feel it in his bones but never more than now.

They ached. His back, hips, and thighs, especially. Some of that might be from the torture sessions that his wife called therapy. A bit perhaps from getting older. But he knew that most of it was directly linked to the accident.

He shook his head. Even with all the long hours that he, Kirsty, and even his mother had put into the physical therapy, he was far from satisfied with the results. He sighed as his eyes clouded; he needed to face reality. The sea was closed to him.

But it was more than that which had sent him scurrying to Ran, the mistress that had been his first love. Her words ricocheted in his head, “I chose you, Sven.” Why? Why now? Worse yet, what if…

What if he was less than a man in the bedroom too?

“There’s a storm coming,” the deep baritone voice of his uncle intruded upon his thoughts, or perhaps reinforced them. Sven only stared out to sea and listened. If the old man wanted to talk, let him.

“You know, I remember the first time we took you to sea. You were just a baby. Couldn’t have been more than five or six months old. You were a fussy little shit, always crying. Colic, I think Rachel called it.”

“Your mother did not want to take that trip. Did not want you on the boat. She was afraid it was too dangerous. Of course, I suppose given what had happened to your father, she thought she had reason. But the sea is our life, even in death. Saltwater runs in our veins as much as the blood of our Viking ancestors. But your mother did not understand that.”

Olaf sat on the cold, wooden deck next to his chair. He too stared out to sea. For long moments, the men sat in companionable silence, each lost in their thoughts.

“They don’t understand. The womenfolk can’t. Their domain has always been the home. This land, the Holding. And they have ruled it for generations. But the sea, the sea, she is their rival. The thing that keeps drawing us back, keeps pulling us from their arms. I suppose it is only natural that they fear and resent her, our mistress.”

Sven shook his head and chuckled; how often had he made that same comparison. Ran was his first love, his mistress. He sighed heavily, but now she had abandoned him, cast him off for other lovers. And like any jilted lover, he felt the pain.

“But from the moment Rachel carried you onto the boat, you quieted. You slept. Helveti, you smiled and laughed. Stig said you were a true son of the sea, born with sea legs.”

Sven frowned at the word. For a man whose legs no longer worked, whether on sea or land, it was a bitter reminder.

“Oh, that woman fought us. Do you remember the battles? When you asked to go to sea with us? She screamed and yelled and broke so many damned dishes we went through two or three sets in a few months. We were not putting her baby in danger. She would not allow it.”

“You kept begging and pleading. You knew where you belonged.”

Sven choked on the knot that rose in his throat. For a moment, the pressure in his chest frightened him. Was it another heart attack? After a moment, he realized it was only the pain of his loss.

“We decided that the only way to help you was another baby.” Olaf chuckled, “Maybe Mikael owes his very existence to you?”

They sat in that silence for a bit more. Time lost all meaning. Whether it was moments or hours, neither knew. Men and their lover, the sounds of the sea and wind soothing and exciting them.