Breca smiled as Geatland finally came into view. Home. Beowulf and Thorfinn appeared next to him, “We come home as Heroes! Ale, women and song await!” Breca flinched, flowing ale was fine, as was the attention of a woman for a few hours. He was reluctant to leave Daneland, women were plentiful there. He wanted more than the occasional bed-warmer, he wanted a companion. Someone to be at his side, exploring, fighting, living! The women on Daneland seemed to enjoy his company, here it felt like he was starting over. his thoughts were broken by the sound of loud singing from his boatmates. He laughed and joined in, pushing the emptiness away.
Breca the Bronding, now part of Beowulf's men on Geatland, needed a better name. Someone had the audacity to say he was going to be Breca the Loud. He didn't agree with that and he would fight any man to the death who tried to further that name in the sagas to come. He fought a Sea Hag for crying out loud, he fought Grendel, he fought unknown foes and sounds in the night…Breca the Brave, perhaps? He wrapped his furs around him and grumbled as they made their way to the Hall. He was a fool if he thought he could suggest a name... time will tell. When the stories begin, he'll know the name that he had earned.
Soon upon entering a group of women surrounded Beowulf. “Are you Beowulf the Geat?”
“Here we go, ”Breca muttered, rolling his eyes.
“Here we go where?” The voice came from beside him, he looked down to see a petite woman peering up at him. Her blonde hair was in two braids that hung over her shoulders and her eyes wore the color of the icebergs that they sailed past in the sea.
“Not we, them,” he gestured to the group of women surrounding Beowulf, “all the women flock to him.”
“No. I am a woman,” she smiled at him, “I am here next to you.”
He felt a smile tease at his lips, “That you are.”
“I am Gunhild.”
“Breca the Bronding?”
“I have not been home since I was a sveinn.”
“I see. Ale?” She held up a stein made from a horn. He nodded and took it. She began walking toward a wooden bench by the wall and he fell in step next to her. He sat and took a long drink from the horn. She took it from him and also drank, her eyes dancing with mischief as she peered at him over the rim. “You need a name,” she declared.
“Are you going to give me one?” He teased.
She put her hand to his long beard, “Breca the Braided?” He grunted, narrowing his eyes. She put her hand on his arm, “Breca the Strong!” He shook his head, rolling his eyes. She scooted up next to him and looked up, “Breca the Tall?” He looked down at her, glancing at her parted lips and swallowing and shaking his head. She put her hand over his and picked it up. After looking at it for a moment, she put it on her waist. His fingers immediately curled around her and he pulled her close. “Breca the Migh -” her words were cut off when he pressed his lips to hers. Her arms quickly went around his neck as she pulled herself into him. The kiss deepened and he could hear the horn hit the floor with a clatter. She smiled against his mouth and her tongue swept his. When they parted, she was on his lap.
His hands grasped the braids and he tugged her close, “I want you.”
Her hand fisted the beard at his chin, “Take me.” At that, he stood with her in his arms and marched out the doors of the hall.
It is said that night is how Breca earned the name, “Breca the Hæster”. Years later, his wife would be known as “Gunhild, Mother of Warriors”