Maja opened her eyes but did not try to move. “Thank you, aunt.”
“I do not agree that it is best to keep your identity a secret,” Asgrid chided gently. “But I will do so—for a time—because you ask it of me. Here, let me take her.” Bending to take the child from Maja, Asgrid pressed a light kiss to her niece’s head. “Now sleep. You will want all of your strength on the morrow.”
Maja settled more comfortably now that she could move the arm which had gone numb from the slight weight of her little cousin.
Tears came unbidden at the thought of her fierce yet kind uncle. Hjelmar had at first frightened her, but once he had caught her sneaking a treat and sneaked one along with her, a mischievous gleam in his eyes and a grin beneath his great red beard, she had known him for a kindred spirit and a powerful ally in any and all kitchen raids she might wish to conduct. He had even once allowed her to don his helm as they “pillaged” the larder. The only condition ever laid upon these ventures was that Maja not say a word to her Aunt Asgrid about them.
Hjelmar was brother to Maja's mother. He was jarl of the village, and leaves behind six children, the eldest of which is a girl of fifteen.
That's all for me this week. I'm looking forward to reading everybody's posts.