Gunther set Hilde upon her feet and kicked the door shut behind him. Hilde looked away from him, swallowing hard against a sob. Her hands trembled as she wrung them and she seemed to shrink away from him. Gunther could smell her fear, there was no floral qualities to it. It was just a nameless human scent that slowly grew more pronounced. "Help me," he said flatly, beginning to loosen the vambrace on his right wrist.
Wordlessly, Hilde helped Gunther out of the leather armor. She carefully put it aside, pointedly avoiding looking directly at him. The spider silk tunic that Gunther wore gleamed in the weak light of the moon that shone down through the skylight. His trews, also fashioned by Hilde from that silk she spun by way of her knightly gifts, seemed wrinkled from the armor but as he took a step towards her, the wrinkles fell out of the fabric. Hilde stood at the chest where she had piled the armor, looking down at the embossed breastplate.
Gunther struggled to contain his murderous wrath. He had known that something had spurred Hilde to be so relentless in her efforts to right the wrongs of the world. He had not considered this. Suspecting that she felt his anger was directed towards her, Gunther could only feel his rage growing more keen. He knew that with a few well placed bribes, he'd be able to find this person. Killing them seemed a simple solution but Gunther was more inclined to torturing them for a while, inflicting the same level of agony upon them that they had on Hilde. Thinking these thoughts, Gunther also recognized that Hilde needed him in a fashion that ran deeper then she was willing to admit.
Gunther stepped up behind her, noting how the Sargent shied away from him at first. Carefully, slowly, he placed a hand on her back. Hilde, who expected there to be heat in his touch as it had when they had argued in the past and his knightly gifts of flame came to the fore, gasped at the ice cold of his hand through the thin fabric of her gown. Little did she realize, almost all of their arguments served to only heighten his desire for her. Arguing was, for him, but one of many delightful forms of foreplay. It was part of the reason why he would needle her and provoke her ire, for it was more then merely amusing. Seeing her in a state of anger excited him.
Now, however, sex was the farthest thing from his mind. Instead of heat, there was the opposite. It seemed to Hilde that the temperature of the air between her and her husband dropped a degree of two as he moved closer. Uncertain what to make of this, she shivered and kept her eyes on the armor before her. "Look at me," he said, not a trace of Royal behind his silken sounding words. Hilde hesitantly looked over her shoulder and saw murder in her husband's eyes. She paled.
With deliberate gentleness, Gunther moved his left hand across her shoulder. Firmly, he turned her to face him. "Say the word and he disappears," he said in that terribly quiet yet ominous tone, "Avalon may be the only ones who would find what little was left of him." Hilde's eyes widened as she realized his anger was not with her. His hands upon her shoulders, Gunther did not allow her the opportunity to turn away from him with out exercising her supernatural gifts. She bit her lips and started to look away. Gunther put Royal behind his next words, pitting his will against hers, "Look at me Brynhildr. Look at me and decide."
Hilde's gaze moved back to his face. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She opened and closed her mouth, making a small choking sound. "I... I can't say it," she said in a small, wounded voice. Hilde shook her head, repeating herself in a tone that clearly spoke of her rapidly increasing sense of panic. Gunther frowned at her.
"Then I will find his name and hunt him down," Gunther said in a voice a little louder then a whisper, "And he will beg for mercy and find none. I will bring him to the edge of death and deny him escape for a long while. Only when he is broken will he be allowed to die." Hilde shook her head, bringing her hands to her mouth. A look of horror was frozen upon it. "Tell me your judgment," he said in that wintry tone.
"Life," she said in a small gasp. Gunther frowned and raised his head slightly fixing her with a critical look. "Please, Gunnar," she breathed, "don't do this. Let him be forgotten. Let him live a life of nothing and no consequence." A measure of that rage was replaced with amazement. That and confusion battled back the wrath in his gaze.
"Mercy is for the weak," Gunther said, "Yet you would give it to this nithing? He is a blight upon the earth."
"Avalon would punish you," Hilde said, putting her hands on his chest, "I can't lose you." Gunther smiled, it was a terrifying sight. It was the look of a man on the eve of battle who was joyful at the prospect of slaughter. "Gunnar," she said, her voice cracking, "Please, don't. I beg you."
"He will live, little dove," he said, his tone almost sweet, "There are other means to destroy a man then taking his life. I have friends who owe me favors. Unpleasant friends." Hilde buried her face in her hands and a great sob wracked her. Gunther gathered her close in his arms, the supernatural cold still hanging close to him like a cloak. "I will not provoke Avalon. For your sake," he said quietly in her ear, "but he will be punished for what he has done. If the laws of the commoners do not hang him, so be it. Twenty years, however, is too long for him to escape judgment for what he has done to you."
Hilde sobbed in fear. She wanted to argue that what happened was her fault to, because she didn't fight him hard enough. That she bore the blame as well because she never told anyone. The words, however, stuck in her throat and threatened to choke her as that boyfriend almost a lifetime ago had done.
*Author's note: I did not plan on this moving in this direction. I'm following the story where it leads.*