“I have not seen those things by your hands, but others like yours. I know why you have brought me with you, and I will see to it that I am of no use to you. Whatever are your hellish plans will go on without my help. May my gift of foretelling see only hindrances in your path.”
Konnar released her, spilling her into a half sprawl on the deck next to the tent, and his shadow loomed forebodingly over her. “With each moment that passes, my doubt in your ability to see the future increases. You have described aptly what the Danes have done, but perhaps these are tales of skalds that have filled your mind and made it unsound. Aside from knowing the name of my knorr, you have indicated little that would recommend you as a prophetess.”
“I am not a traveling performer with a repertoire of tricks for you amusement. And since I am not, then take me home. Prove my estimation of you wrong and redeem yourself.”
“You will not go home,” he said firmly, but quieter. “Other plans have been made for you.”
The crush of his words induced her to affect a plea. “Then have mercy! If I am not to home, then am I bound to travel in ignorance to my destination and my fate? Please tell me where ...”
As Amber blinked up at Konnar, with the bright sky haloing his shadowed form, a distant speck suddenly appeared above his head. Visoring her brow with one hand, she tried to focus on it, to determine what it was. The sight rendered her mute as she now fixated on the object in the sky, seeing it move one way, then dip, then circle. Her thoughts cleared of bloody Viking battles and the dreams from which she sought escape. The vision pressed into her mind, choked out reality and made her forget her captivity.
Rising, Amber watched the speck, scarcely aware of Konnar as he stepped back when he saw her looking up. Her hand fell to her sack of runes and reached inside. Wrapping her fingers around one block, she held it within. The meaning of this rare omen revealed itself in part, and though she had just moments before told Konnar she would not help him, she was compelled to share this vision with him.
“A little bird.” She stared at the sky. “Lost.” Pointing up, she turned to Konnar, wondering if he also could see it.
The vision might have been hers alone, but she watched her words strike Konnar, causing him to grimace and inhale sharply. The unyielding glare of his eyes now sparked with a hint of light, of hope not dared.
She recognized the unmistakable sign that she had opened a raw wound in the Viking, a pain she could use against him. But for now, in a deep, soothing voice, Amber reassured him.
“The child is not dead. She lives.”