The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 31
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Author: Val a'Shain
Chapter Icon: Spear and Shield
Point of View: Rand
Setting: Eianrod in Cairhien, somewhere on the Seanchan continent
Rand passed through the town of Eianrod on his way to the building where a real bed, the first one he's seen since entering the Waste, is waiting for him. The town didn't fall to the Shaido but was abandoned before that. Several battles took place between the various Cairhienin factions fighting for the Sun Throne. Most of the buildings have been damaged.
Rand managed to keep the Maidens out of the building he picked but of course that doesn't include Aviendha. When he enters his room he finds her naked in front of the wash stand. Embarrassed Aviendha panics. She wants to get as far away from him as possible. She channels, opens a gateway and runs naked as the day she was born into what seems to be a fierce blizzard. Rand realizes she will die from exposure if he doesn't do something. Without thinking he channels to keep the gateway open, grabs all the clothes and blankets he can find and follows her.
Aviendha keeps running from him and Rand follows. Channeling a path through the snow he slowly gains on her. Then suddenly she disappears. When Rand catches up he sees she fell through snow covered ice into cold water. He puts down the blankets and pulls her out. She is suffering from hypothermia by now and Rand uses the Power to make a snow shelter for them. He heats the air inside and puts Aviendha in the blankets he brought. Realizing it isn't enough to warm her up he takes off his wet clothes and crawls in beside her.
He talks to her about his plans for Cairhien to keep his mind away from the indecent thoughts that keep popping up. When Aviendha regains consciousness she tells Rand she will stop running. The rings (of Rhuidean) do not lie. After that they make love.
Hours later Aviendha is getting dressed and marvels at the snow. She has never seen it before. Rand tells her they can get married as soon as they get back. What follows is a debate on different customs in the Two Rivers and the Aiel Waste but Aviendha will stick to hers. She will ask the man she wants to marry and marrying Rand is out of the question. What happened will not happen again. Aviendha has toh towards Elayne. It's time they focused on getting back to Cairhien.