Nordic Fairies (Novella series), p.1Saga Berg
By Saga Berg
Disclaimers and Copyright
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places or incidents are product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons is entirely coincidental.
Copyright 2016 by Saga Berg
All rights reserved
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing by the author Saga Berg, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition, including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Svala froze. This was it.
Viggo Storm sat between his two co-stars, behind a desk at the end of the mall. The line of fans waiting to get their pictures autographed stretched so far it would take hours for the end of the line to reach him.
Despite the multiple no pictures signs placed along the line, the herd of teenage girls snapped pictures every chance they got. Svala observed the young actors up front. Viggo’s female co-star, Amanda Jones, was beautiful with her raven black hair and spotless complexion. The other male co-star with his crew-cut anonymous hair color and predictable good looks made no lasting impression next to Viggo. Then again, it wasn’t a fair comparison. The boy was undoubtedly a mortal.
“I can’t believe we finally get to meet Viggo Storm.” Megan shifted her feet and glanced past the crowd. “Do you think they’ll throw me out if I try to kiss him?”
“So worth it if they do,” said Sarah with a mischievous smile.
At his movie premiere the night before, Viggo had been impossible to get close to as he was constantly surrounded by security guards and journalists. One girl tried. She managed to get past two dark suits, but as she was about to throw her arms around the handsome young actor she was caught and escorted her out of the theatre. After her stunt, no one dared to get close to him.
“Oh God, there he is!” Sarah clasped the glossy promotional picture in her hand so hard it wrinkled. It looked like she would pass out. Megan stared at Viggo and gasped.
Svala clutched her picture with both hands, no longer sure she wanted to know what she had come to find out.
Viggo offered the girl in front of him a half-hearted smile and handed her the signed picture. His clear blue eyes, typical of all the Nordic Fairies, flickered over the mall. Svala ducked behind the girl in front of her while Megan, Jen and Sarah stepped out from the line and tip-toed for a better view. A girl in front of them wore eight inch heels and wobbled to the side while attempting to peek over the crowd.
Viggo continued scanning the mall area. His eyes narrowed as he peered over the crowd until his male co-star nudged him. He ran a hand through his chestnut-colored hair and forced a smile to the girl standing in front of him. She handed him a picture.
Sarah consulted her watch. “I’ll absolutely die if I don’t get up there before they close the line. I’ve already practiced what to say. Do you want to hear?”
The girls nodded with enthusiasm and moved forward as the line progressed. Sarah presented her speech, Svala tried to focus on her words, but her thoughts drifted to the consequences of failure. She glanced at the entrance. There was still time to leave, but if she did, it might be years before she found out what was going on, and by then it might be too late.
“Amanda Jones is so lucky.” Sarah studied Viggo’s female co-star with a pout. “It’s unfair. She’s not even that pretty.”
“Oh, really?” Jen crossed her arms over her chest and lifted a single eyebrow in doubt.
Svala chose to not get involved. The thought of Amanda Jones made her insides turn, and the dark thoughts it provoked were not suitable for a Liosálfar.
“I’m entitled to my opinion, and I don’t think she’s pretty.” Sarah tried to sound confident but fiddled with her hair, pulling a strand of her blonde bob hair cut behind her ear.
“Viggo seems to think she is,” said Jen.
“That’s just a rumor. They’re pretending to be together. It’s a publicity stunt.” Sarah rolled her eyes as if they were stupid for not getting it.
Svala glanced at Amanda Jones. The actress leaned over the table and signed a picture with slow, methodic strokes. Her long, straight hair fell over her arm and onto the desk. Black and shiny it gleamed in the bright spotlight. When she handed back the photo, she tossed back her hair and smiled, exposing a row of perfect white teeth. Her delicate features made her look like a porcelain doll. She was stunning.
Eight weeks had passed since Svala ”won” the tickets to the premiere of Moonlight in Venice. The movie was a success before it premiered, thanks to Viggo Storm in the leading role as Colin Hunter, the rich heir who falls in love with the wrong girl. Your standard love story. Suffice it to say it wasn’t the plot which made teenage girls go into a frenzy every time someone mentioned the movie.
The seventeen-year-old wonder boy, with his intense blue eyes and contrasting dark hair, appeared out of nowhere. After a small but significant role in a prime-time TV show, his popularity had sky-rocketed overnight. Svala wasn’t supposed to have any contact with him until the High Council decided she could. It was always a struggle but this was the first time she kept running into his smiling face on the front page of magazines or up on a billboards. Not to mention the Viggo Storm mania that took place on social media. Now he sat only a few feet away, behind a herd of girls who had come for the sole purpose of meeting him. In that respect, Svala was no exception.
“God, look at him.” Sarah gaped. “I didn’t think it possible to be that gorgeous.”
Svala studied Viggo in silence. Her heart pounded. Viggo searched the room again and most of the girls stretched and tried to catch his attention. He lowered his gaze, a line crossing his forehead. Svala’s heart continued to race, and her nausea intensified. Maybe not knowing was better after all.
“I honestly thought they’d tampered with his pictures. I didn’t think his eyes were actually that blue. Like, where did he come from?” Jen said.
“I’ve read he’s Swedish,” Megan said.
“He’s said that?” Svala asked too quickly.
“Yeah, in an interview ... In Cosmo, I think.” Megan pondered.
“Your family is Swedish too, aren’t they?” Sarah asked.
“Yeah, way back though,” Svala said.
“Maybe you’re related then. Like a hundred years back in time or so.” Jen grinned.
A hundred years back in time equaled an eternity for her friends but was only a fraction of her life. She smiled to herself and glanced at Viggo. The temptation to tell mortals the truth never arose, but she sometimes wondered how they would react if she did.
Svala was fourteen years of age when Trym, her Liosálfar mentor, came to her the first time in the 10th century. It was a warm summer day in July, she sat on a large rock by the surf in the Swedish village of Birka, crying. Her long blonde hair covered her face. The sun had warmed the earth for weeks and the hard rocks almost burned her delicate skin. She endured the pain as this was the only place where no one would look for her.
Her father had left for another long trip out at sea, but not before he forbade her to meet that boy ever again. That boy who was only one year older and perfect for her.
Trym’s voice had been unexpected, his words even more so. Svala wiped her face with the back of her hand, a cool and salty wind breezed through her hair as she looked up. A stranger stood on a rock a few feet away. The waves lulled gently against the rocks by the surf with a low whisking sound. Svala eased back and pursed her lips together, not sure of the stranger’s intentions.
“Your father would never know if you met the boy while he’s gone, and yet you cry because you know you won’t disobey.”
His strange insight into her life made her tears subside. She opened her mouth to speak but not a sound came out. Instead, she stared at him. Something about him made her calm. He was tall, wearing the traditional brown Viking attire but with a long silvery cloak over his shoulders. It was out of place, almost regal. She should be terrified. Strange men approaching young women like this usually meant trouble, yet she felt perfectly safe in his presence.
Behind him in the distance, sailed her father’s symmetrical ship with the impressive white sail raised to the wind and the dragon shaped bow and stern perfectly visible against the blue sky. It would be months, possibly even years before it returned, before her father would be able to check in on her.
“I’ve been looking for you, Svala.”
“How do you know my name?”
Trym squinted at the sun before he knelt beside her. When he studied her the light reflected off the water and onto his face. His skin was smooth and perfect; his blond hair fell like silk over his intense blue eyes.
“Do you want to be with this boy for eternity?”
“Do you love this boy?” He rephrased.
“You’re only fourteen. How do you know this?”
She studied her hands and thought about it. How could you put words to something which could not be described?
“I don’t know. I just feel it.”
Trym smiled, like her answer pleased him. “I have an offer for you, Svala. I think you’ll like it.”
Svala never hesitated nor did she ever regret her decision. Trym told her what he was and what she would become if she agreed to his terms. She hadn’t grasped the whole concept at first, only the simplified version. Nordic Fairies divided into light and dark; Liosálfar and Döckálfar. Trym recruited her on behalf of the Liosálfar, the light fairies. Given her honesty and pure heart, he considered her the perfect candidate. She was to help keep the balance in the mortal world; do good and uphold a sense of honesty.
Her incentive was Viggo. He had gone through the test and agreed to the same deal. His Liosálfar mentor was a fae named Alva.
From that day, Svala’s life always started at the age of fourteen, Viggo’s at fifteen, and continued for as long as the High Council decided. They aged, like any other mortal, but rarely reached old age before their lives started over. In the beginning of each life, Viggo and Svala were kept apart, forbidden to meet. They were driven by a need to unite, but if they initiated their relationship before they finalized their assignments there would be consequences, maybe even punishment. Only when they had proven themselves worthy, could they be together for whatever period of time the High Council decided.
Their time together usually lasted for years, on rare occasions months, once only a few weeks. They always remembered their past lives and experiences, but no mortal ever remembered them.
“Everything needs to be earned and should never be taken for granted,” Trym often reminded her.
She lived with Trym until she fulfilled her assignments. He took orders from the High Council, and made sure Svala didn’t connect with Viggo before it was time.
“Why would we be punished for our love, and what would happen if we failed?”
“You must focus on the assignments. That is what’s most important. If we don’t try to make this world a better place, the balance is lost. The Döckálfar might take over,” Trym explained.
“And what will happen if we disobey?”
“Then you risk losing each other forever.” He must have picked up on her terrified expression because he put a hand on her shoulder and added. “Don’t worry. You’ll soon find the time apart a small price to pay for eternal love.”
Today, it had been two years since Svala had last seen Viggo. Their previous assignment took over six years to accomplish, yet their union had lasted only three weeks before they’d been torn apart. It felt like they’d been apart for a decade.
A few months back, in present time
Several months before Svala stood in line at the mall waiting to meet Viggo, she slouched on the beige Lawson style couch in their living room back in Washington D.C. She dug her spoon into an almost empty container of Haägen Dazs Cookies and Cream while zapping through channels. She was just about to give and turn off the TV when Viggo appeared on the screen. Svala froze with her hand clutching the remote control. For a moment she forgot how to breathe. The blob of ice cream she’d scooped up slowly slid off the spoon and back into the box.
Her gaze fixed on the screen while she shouted out in a high-pitched, panicked voice, “Trym!”
Trym emerged from the kitchen, wearing a blue apron and clutching two potholders in his hands. He opened his mouth to speak but as he saw Viggo on the screen the words got stuck in his throat. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped while the color drained from his face. He sat down on the couch, his gaze never leaving the TV screen.
Together they watched in tense silence as Viggo walked over a tiled Italian terrace and up to a large swimming pool. The turquoise water glimmered in the sun and in the background stood an impressive white mansion fronted by several cast stone balconies with balustrade and newel piers.
“My God, what is he doing?” Trym asked.
Svala stared at the screen, her lips still parted. “I don’t understand. What’s he doing? What does this mean?”
Trym let his fingers linger over his lips as Viggo removed his white cotton shirt. The tattoo on his tanned left shoulder blade confirmed it was indeed Viggo. The wind caught hold of his short brown hair, and something deep inside Svala ached to reach out and run her hands through the soft strands. She eased closer to the TV.
“I don’t know what this means,” Trym said. “He has to know we’ll see this. I can’t imagine the High Council have approved it. They would have informed me.”
“Shouldn’t we do something?”
The remains of the ice cream had turned into a slow moving liquid at the bottom of the carton, and the cold box left her hand numb. Svala placed it on the coffee table but never lost sight of the screen.
“We have to find out what this means,” Trym said, a worried frown on his face. “And we have to be careful while doing so. If he's not trying to get your attention someone else is.”
”The Döckálfar?” Svala tore her gaze from Viggo and her eyes widened in fear. ”You think they’ve gotten to him?”
”I don’t know.” Trym observed the screen, lips pressed tightly together. ”Let’s hope not.”
They waited patiently for Viggo’s next public appearance, the movie premiere. Once the release date was announced, Trym made the necessary arrangements and bought them tickets to attend. No one would suspect four sixteen-year-old girls going to the premiere of a movie most teenage girls were dying to see.
Svala packed for their trip. A red suitcase lay open on her bed, clothes spread all over the room, on the bed, over the armchair and hanging from the closet door.
“I know it’s difficult, but try to stay out of his sight. The more you find out without contacting him, the better,” Trym said.
She ran her fingers over a red dress with a low back she planned to wear to the premiere. Feeling the smooth fabric under her hand, she sighed. “That’s asking a lot.”
“I know, but you must.”
“Would you? I mean if it was...” She trailed of
Trym said nothing. He pressed his lips together, avoided her gaze and reached for her dress. “I would suggest you wear something less... eye catching.” He moved the red dress to the side and pulled out a black Filippa K with clean straight lines, typical of Scandinavian design. “And dye your hair. Dark.”
“How dark?” She didn’t want to meet his gaze again, too upset with him for pointing out what she already knew.
Svala grabbed the end of her thick, blonde hair and groaned. She didn’t mind going dark, but Viggo would not be searching for a brunette.
“Can I trust you?” Trym leaned against the white bed frame and offered his most intense look.
She nodded but her gaze drifted towards the red dress, the one that would make Viggo notice her the second she stepped into the movie theatre.
Trym sighed. “You have to be stronger than this. You know that.”
She managed another nod. Her eyes welled up and Trym looked helpless. His shoulders slouched, and his gaze never settled. She knew he only wanted to protect her from what he had been forced to go through. She was being unfair.
“You can trust me. I’m sorry, I...” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I just miss him so much.”
They flew up to New York for the premiere. Trym told her friends’ parents he would accompany them and make sure they returned safe. To Svala’s friends, Trym was her uncle who raised her since her parents died in an accident when she was five. They’d used that version the last two hundred years so it was well rehearsed. Trym was too young to be her father and too old to be anything else.
In the taxi from La Guardia airport to their hotel in central Manhattan, Jen turned to Trym.“Mr. Linné, do we have to go back to the hotel right after the movie, or can we stay out longer?”
“I’m afraid I promised your parents I’d have you back in bed by eleven. I won’t be able to go with you to the premiere, so I trust you do as I say.” Trym let his gaze wander over Svala. She gazed out the window, hiding her tense expression.
Nordic Fairies (Novella series) by Saga Berg / Romance & Love have rating 2.8 out of 5 / Based on17 votes