Link's eyes opened quickly, in a daze, though he wasn't sure as to why. It was though a sound or some light had roused him, but…then again, in this hazy state, it wasn't. He pushed himself back against the headboard of the bed, feeling the arm of the woman he shared it with lazily sliding down his chest as he did so. As though in reciprocation for having stolen away that connection, he reached over a hand to rest atop Malon's head, gently stroking his thumb overtop her scalp as his eyes peered toward the window in hesitant waiting.
His eyes bleary from sleep, Link's heart raced with expectation, that nagging feeling at the back of his skull returning ever so subtly. He felt as though he were being watched, a feeling he'd had to contend with for much of his life, at that. By eyes certainly not impartial.
That arm slid back up toward his chest as Malon restlessly turned in their bed, her arms slowly reaching out and finding their home strode along Link's body, the farm woman's sinewy arms pulling her ever so closer against him, much as she would while awake. Noticing this, Link's attentions turned toward her, noticing a single eye peering sleepily up at him from the face nuzzled up against his side.
"You're feeling it again," Malon muttered under her breath.
Link slowly turned away, his gaze wavering uncertainly, "It's stronger tonight…"
Malon's gaze dropped with a subtle reluctance, lingering for a moment before she slowly began to push herself up so as to match her spouse sitting against the headboard, reaching over to take hold of his hand, which he accepted without much movement, allowing Malon to speak up with a whisper, "If you need to-"
"I don't," Link interrupted, his head turning to allow his eyes to fall into her own, "The only destiny of mine is the one I have with you. Whatever's out there that's trying to pull me away from you- It's only you."
Sadly, Malon quietly dropped her head onto Link's shoulder, "I just don't want to be the one keeping you from whatever else is out there. You know, I never wanted to be that person."
Link gave a warm smile, gently dipping his face into that red hair that had so often caught his eye, placing a chaste kiss there atop his lover's scalp, "You're not. Trust me; loving you will always be the easiest thing."
The softest of giggles met his ear as Malon's body trembled with modest glee, "You've quite a way with words, you know."
"I spend every day out with the cows; I'm not entirely sure what else I'm to do but think of such things," Link assured, "Other than trying to earn most of the horse's favor so that we might have to switch places."
"You wish," Malon smirked playfully, raising her head so that she could match his gaze, "I'll have you know, my entire life, not a single horse has been able to resist my spell. I'd love to see you wrest control of our stock."
Link's lips curled mischievously, "I know it's your voice that does it. Maybe every day, out in the fields, I've been practicing my singing, preparing some coup against you and the mares."
"Pfft," Malon scoffed, playfully pushing herself into her husband's tight body, "If that's truly what you're doing, no wonder we've had a lack of visitors lately."
Chuckling, Link slid an arm around Malon's shoulders, pulling her close into a sidelong embrace before reaching his head down to gently kiss her forehead, "Maybe I just have to figure it out, is all."
"Figure what out, exactly?" Malon questioned with her own voice maintaining an air of teasing.
Link pulled her in closer, turning himself ever so slightly toward her so that their lips could meet. His free hand swung around to press against her warm face, the beneficiary of having shared a bed with one another, with Malon's hand raising to fall upon his gentle touch. Taking whatever loving taste he could of his lover's lips, Link gently pulled away, just enough to allow his breath to cross the distance between the two of them.
"Your voice soothes even the most stubborn of stallions. I know the same thing lulled me into falling for you," he confided easily, earning a charming smirk to come along Malon's face.
She pressed her face against his, nuzzling their cheeks together as she muttered, "'Lulled'. You make it sound so malicious."
"You stole my heart," Link replied, turning to take another taste of her lips, "Stealing sounds awfully malicious to me."
A curling tingle came along Link's spine as he felt Malon's lips turning into a smile while they kissed, their speech halted while they communicated with little more than touch or taste. Their eyes shut, they knew nothing but the warmth surrounding their bodies, that singed their lips with every kiss. Malon's hand reached over, placed so delicately against the comparatively powerful chest of her lover, sliding up to cover as much ground as she could in the aim of setting a trail of scintillating grazing behind her hand.
Link's head all but fell onto Malon's as the two sought out more pleasure from their tender communication, leaving Malon with little else to do with her hand but press against that space in Link's chest, where his heart sat so defenseless in her presence. Her fingers curled, taking in that subtle tuft of hair that sent a shiver down her spine, before her eyes shot open, their kissing coming to an immediate halt as Link's body convulsed, Malon's hand swiftly yanking away from him as though she'd done something wrong.
"Gah," Link gasped, taking a fierce hold of the headboard as he held himself sitting up, his heart beating up a storm within his chest.
Malon's eyes carefully locked onto his chest as she returned her hand, this time in examination, "W-Was that..?"
His breathless gasps continuing, Link grit his teeth at the thought of this unseen force stripping him away from the one person whom he never wanted to part from. His eyes shut painfully while his heart charged on, tugging with a reckless tenacity, before his head slowly began to rise, turning back over his shoulder toward the window of the couple's home. His gaze tensed alongside his rapidly convulsing body resulting from his coursing heartbeat, with Malon's stare falling worriedly along the same window.
Through the slats of blinds, she could only make out the vague lighting of what lies beyond. The top half of the round porthole was the faint blue of the night sky, though she could just make out the darker, more ominous black light resulting from the stable across from the home. The two sat in breathless anticipation, Malon from concern and Link in anticipation, not knowing what might have a clutch upon his heart, though he recognized the unmistakable tug that yanked his attention to that space in their wall.
Slowly, almost agonizingly so, the darker portion of the window began to change, a sickeningly purple reflection beginning to materialize through the blinds before a terrible realization came across the two of them. A flickering orange overtook the purple, casting a tremendously horrific pale reflection that immediately tore Link from the bed. He threw away their blanket and leapt to his feet, sliding on his sandals before dashing toward the door with only his clothen sleep pants, turning toward Malon with a pointed finger.
"Stay here!" he ordered as he took the door and swung it open, disappearing through the threshold before catching Malon immediately following his lead, landing on her own feet before taking toward the doorway herself.
Link stomped down the stairs, taking a massive piece of lumber that resembled a bat before making his way to the main doorway and pushing his way through, the biting cold outside snapping at his skin as he turned toward the oncoming crowd, blocking their way as they rounded the corner of the ranch's entrance. Grasping his length block of wood with a tighter grip, Link held it away from his body as he caught the first glimpse of the faces of the men approaching him, a collection of Hylians, angry scowls cloaked beneath their torchlight, their advanced stopped only upon noticing Link's presence.
The leader of the posse snarled, handing off his torch to another before taking a step forward, "Where's the boy, Link?"
"We're closed," Link replied, "We're not taking questions. I'm afraid you'll all have to leave."
The head of the gang shook his head, "You know that's not gonna happen. The storms are getting more violent; people have died now, rancher. We're no longer standing idly by while you allow this calamity."
Link's face scrunched in anger while the door swung open behind him, Malon stepping out into the through way clutching a bow, already loaded up with an arrow, to her chest. The mob chief cocked his head to the side dismissively, snarling once again as he shrugged.
"You speak of calamity, but I see nothing," Link shook his head, "You seek out idiotic means to stop whatever ails you. I see no reason to help out such a mindless venture."
The leader slid a shoulder away as if in direction, "We've been to the Temple. The goddesses have made it clear what must be done."
"Well there's your first mistake," Link noted with a scowl, "What makes you believe you must listen to them? I'll tell you, right this instant, to take their advice with a grain of salt."
An apprehensive wave of murmurs came from the mob as a result of Link's words, not sure if he was inviting skepticism or the wrath of the goddesses. Catching this air of uncertainty with a quiet urgency, the man at the front if the posse took another forceful step, his teeth gritting in warning.
"Step aside, ranch hand."
His advance forced Malon to raise her bow, its tightening tether sending an achingly sick creaking sound that stopped the man in his tracks, his face curling in thought at what to do.
"You think she's gonna kill me?" he muttered with a gravely voice.
Link shrugged, "It's her ranch. If she doesn't want you here, I fail to see a problem."
"Oh, I do see a problem; one that we've all come here to resolve," the man shouted turning his head over his shoulder toward his posse, his words catching the ear of his men, who immediately let out a roar in agreement.
The mob began to advance, sending a shiver down Malon's back as her hands fought the resistance at her bow string. They were outnumbered, and unless something happened to turn the tide, to extinguish the mob's fueled passion, they would instantly be overrun. Her eyes jumped to Link, catching the tendons in his back biting against his skin as they bulged, a testament to the fierce grip upon his club. He was ready to fight. He was ready to die.
A panic sewn itself along her mind as Malon's eyes returned to the encroaching mob, her fingers trembling at the thought of these men getting a single hand on Link. Getting their hands on him…
Link jumped in surprise as an arrow whistled past his head, jamming itself at high speed into the leader' shoulder as a ghastly, "GWAH!" broke through the air as the man clutched his arm, falling to his knees in a desperate respite. A shaky silence followed, the mob unsure how to progress, a sickening realization coming across Malon as she went to reload, only to remember that she'd just lost their only arrow.
"Ghh!" the mod chief snarled, turning his stare toward Link, "GET THAT MONSTER!"
The mob growled in collective fury, quickly stepping forward and around their fallen leader on their way toward Link, who slid a foot back as he raised his club as if it were a highly-raised sword. His eyes echoed back the flickering light of flame, watching those ferocious faces come closer, thinking of nothing else but the safety of the woman he loved.
Of the boy that had become like a son to them.