Note: Just finished Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell – mostly a novel of bloody battles between Danes and Saxons. One important skirmish, however, led to an unlikely and doomed romance. The following 50-word story unfolds a glimpse of what may have happened.
In the midst of defeat, the Norsemen kidnapped Aethelflaed, daughter of Alfred and battered wife of Aethelred.
The warlord saw her through eyes blinded by gold and silver ransom, but Erik, his brother saw the frightened child-bride with his heart.
His gaze penetrated her fear, and she accepted the dangerous offering.