The iron of a man's character
is fired by his convictions
kneaded on the anvil of adversity
then tempered in his blood.
Fresh blood graced his features, trickled down his cheek, down his arms, down the dual swords he gripped tightly. Enemies surrounded them. Yet still Wystan stood defiant, daring them to come, daring them to take his beautiful beloved from him.
He looked down at her, time seeming to stand still in those few seconds before the men reached them and in that eternal moment his mind recalled the first time he laid eyes on her. How he'd been enraptured by her smile, captivated by her eyes...
He had been riding his large dappled gray mare, leading the small contingent of men to the stronghold that sat near the rocky coast. They had arrived late in the day, near dusk, tired from the journey and near soaked to the bone from the incessant rain. And it was there, most unexpectedly, that he found the woman that he would be willing to lay down his very life for...