Plum held her stomach, her face was flushed and she was struggling. She was barely over her fever.
"We should rest," Urim said.
"Yes, we should," Plum replied out of breath.
Urim cleaned a tree stump of leaves so Plum could sit. He handed her a water skin when she finished drinking Urim felt her forehead then her cheeks.
"I'm fine my love," Plum smiled.
It made her happy how he always made such a fuss over her.
Urim's ears twitched, "a wagon" he heard in the distance.
"Wait!" Plum said. " It could be humans."
"True but it's still a long way to Cirrane, Urim said. "And if you can rest from walking for a bit-"
"I don't trust humans," Plum whispered. "I mean, I'll be fine, I'm an elf but humans and orcs are-"
"If it makes you feel better I can just kill them and take their wagon," Urim replied.
"Urim!" Plum yelled.
Urim laughed. "Relax my love, I was only joking."
Plum frowned, she didn't like his joke at all.
"It'll be fine I promise." He assured her.
Plum didn't like the idea of mangling with humans, though she was more concerned about Urim. Humans would never accept orcs they would never stop fighting with orcs, they would never see orcs as friends, allies or equals. And above all humans can never be trusted.
Plum watch cautiously as Urim approach the two strangers, her hands unconsciously moving towards her bow. She had only ever killed animals and that was only for food. So she breathe a sigh of relief when Urim smiled and waved her over.
The elf's eyes widen when she saw Plum waddle from the bushes.
"When you said your wife, I wasn't expecting an elf." A beautiful redheaded elf with deep scars long healed on her face said. "But I guess I shouldn't be surprised elves and orcs always seem to find a way into each other's arms given our long history together. So it's not surprising that you mix."
The elf's eyes darting back and forth from Urim to Plum with a disgusted look in her eyes.
This is a bad idea Urim read in Plum's eyes.
"Oh, but where are my manners, I'm Yrlissa and this is my husband Irric," Yrlissa said.
Plum had been so lost staring at Yrlissa's scarred face she hadn't even noticed that her husband was human.
"As I told your, uhh, husband," Yrlissa said looking down her nose. "My husband is a merchant, we're traveling to Talura to sell our goods. You're welcome to join us. But Talura is as far as we go." she insisted.
"Thank you," Urim said.
"Yes, thank you," Plum replied, "Talura will do just perfectly."
Urim picked up Plum with easy and gently set her on the back of the wagon to Yrlissa's delight.
Once she was on the wagon slowly started to move.
"You were right," Plum smiled. "This is better than walking."
Urim smiled back as he trailed the wagon.
"You're really gentle with her," Yrlissa said.
"She's my wife," Urim simply said.
"Yes, but I always thought orcs were brutes and-"
"We're not." Urim said abruptly, "we fight for what is ours and we protect what we love, just like any elf, human or dwarf."
Urim sped up leaving Yrlissa behind.
Yrlissa could see Urim wasn't interested in talking to her and she didn't want to press her luck with the orc. She had seen a lot of orcs in her lifetime but he was by far the biggest.
"So," Yrlissa said hopping on the back of the wagon next to Plum. "What's it like being married to an orc. I mean you poor dear it must be an absolute nightmare being with such a beast. I couldn't possibly imagine."
Yrlissa cautiously eyed Urim not wanting him to catch her looking at him. But Urim was to busy scouting the tree lines, to concern with other things then the side glances of a nosey elf.
"I bet he even kidnapped you and force you to marry him," Yrlissa said. "Orcs do that, and now your force to carry that things child-"
"I chose to marry Urim." Plum smiled. "believe it or not I actually do love him."
"Oh," was the only thing Yrlissa could manage to say. Her eyes widen with shock or disgust, Plum couldn't really tell which one.
Plum rubbed her belly then looked at Urim. She didn't have to say a word for Yrlissa to realize Plum was truly in love with him.
Yrlissa couldn't help but feel a little jealous, it had been a long time since she looked at anyone that way.
The bumpy wagon was a welcome change from walking and it gave Plum a chance to enjoy the untouched countryside of Sapphire.
It almost made Plum forget they were being chased by Gor'lok. But Urim was more on his guard than ever. That didn't go unnoticed to Plum. She had no idea that Urim had killed Chieftain Agronsk, son. Urim would have to tell her sooner or later, the blatant murder of a Chieftain's son would not go unnoticed for long.
Urim wandered off the trail when he saw a purple lily. He was drawn to the beautiful flower because it reminded him of Plum.
Yrlissa watch in envy as Urim lovingly gave Plum the flower. She blushed and smiled. Thirty years Yrlissa thought and Irric has never made her blush like that. It filled her with discontent and bitterness. Once again being forced to watch a love she would never know.
"This looks like a good place to camp for the night," Yrlissa said interrupting Plum and Urim's moment.
"Are you sure dear" Irric replied. "The next town is-"
"There's little light left," Yrlissa insisted. "We should make camp before it's too late."
"Very well," Irric said.
Urim nodded in agreement and helped Irric attend to his horse. The rest of the daylight Urim spend fishing.
Plum found a comfortable spot and sat down she was still fighting off a fever and still feeling weak.
Yrlissa warmed up leftover vegetable stew and was grateful when Urim shared his catch. When Yrlissa settled down to eat her supper, her eyes wandered back to Plum and Urim.
She couldn't look away as Urim patiently and lovingly fed his pregnant ailing wife. When she finished eating she laid her head on Urim thigh and dozed off. Urim made sure she was completely covered up and then threw another log on the fire to keep her warm and only started eating after he had attended to her first.
Yrlissa blindly stirred her stew and looked over at her husband, she's never been happy with him and perhaps she only married him because he was the only one who would accept her after all she did.
She found herself once again watching Plum and Urim. It seemed that no matter how hard she tried she couldn't look away from these two. But mostly she couldn't look away from Urim. He reminded her of her misspent youth and how she spent all her time trying to make everyone else around her miserable.
She watched Urim finish off his bowl of stew then lean back on the tree he was resting on and closed his eyes but not before he gave Plum a gentle caress on her head.
"She's so lucky," Yrlissa said setting her bowl aside. "Just like her."
She didn't feel like eating anymore and when tears began to roll down her cheek she felt her anger and jealousy swell up inside her once more. She couldn't bear to see Plum and Urim anymore. She needed to getaway.
Yrlissa quietly crept back to camp she didn't want to wake anyone and stopped in her tracks when she stepped on a twig and snapped it in two. Under the stillness of the night, she was sure it would wake someone. She looked around and only begin to move again when she was sure no one had been awakened.
"What have you done elf," Urim growled.
Yrlissa jumped and stumbled backward with fright.
Urim glared at her, his eyes reflecting silver under the low light.
"I said, what have you done," Urim repeated.
His voice lowered and he spoke slower as he rose to his feet stirring Plum from her sleep.
"Urim?" Plum replied groggily from being suddenly awakened.
"What do you mean," Yrlissa smiled nervously, "I couldn't sleep so I-"
"LIAR!" Urim yelled lunging at Yrlissa, gripping his hand tight around her neck.
"Urim!" Plum yelled scrambling to her feet.
Yrlissa looked to Irric for help but even with all the commotion, he hadn't moved an inch from his slumber.
"I'm sorry," Yrlissa managed to say under the power of Urim's grip. "At the previous town we were in before we picked you up I overheard the orcs talking about a wanted orc and his elf wife. I knew who you were the moment I laid eyes on you."
"Go on," Urim snarled.
"They offered a huge bounty for your whereabouts and said they have orcs at every town from Dimmore to the borders of Talura looking for you."
Filled with anger Urim roared in uncontrollably rage. Never had Plum seen him in such a state. It was like she was looking at another orc and not her husband.
"If it had only been me." Urim's voice seemed to thunder. "But you put my wife and unborn child in danger."
"Ur-im" Plum called softly.
But her voice did not reach him. With a flick of his wrist and a bone-breaking snap, Yrlissa's body went limp.
Plum racked with fear and shock sucked in her breath and backed away from Urim.
Urim threw Yrlissa's lifeless body to the ground and snatched Plum by her forearm.
"Urim you're hurting me," Plum replied as Urim sat her on one of Irric's horses.
But Urim was still blind with rage, with Plum out the way he kicked the wagon over.
The wagon crushing to the ground finally woke Irric up to see his wife dead, wagon destroyed and Plum riding off with one of his horses.
"What the hell happened?" He yelled.