And the oars dipped -a vessel misadventure

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Title: And the Oars Dipped
Author: Zeesmuse
Type: Ficticious Person, Het (like I don’t write anything else! DUH!)
Fandom: LOTR
Pairing: Elrond/Celebrian or Celeborn/Galadriel. You decide…
Rating: NC17
Warnings: Elf-sex.
Beta: Dame Niamh and Alexcat
Disclaimer 1; I’m not Tolkien, I don’t pretend to be the Great one, I didn’t sell this, yada yada yada. Don’t waste your time coming after my finances, as I have none.
Feedback: I’m a whore… feed me..
Archiving: Dream Elf, OSA, AFF, OEAM
Summary/Notes: Written for the Dream Elf Secret Santa Swap. Written for Vi. Merry Christmas, sweetie

And the Oars Dipped

***

The oars dipped, the wood going deep, as if to drown themselves before rising to the surface, drops of salt water falling gently back to sea.

He remembered the first time he had seen her, riding into the city, tall and proud. She had long, fair hair, that shimmered like silken strands and the sudden, unbidden vision of running his fingers through it and clothing himself in it, flittered through his mind.

He had immediately squelched the thought.

And the oars dipped.

He had then been mesmerized by her eyes, sapphire blue and sparkling in the sun. When she smiled, the edges crinkled and the tips turned up, the lashes fluttered, the light not diminished, not in the least.

He realized he could have drowned in her, gratefully, willingly.

But he turned away, his worth untried.

And the oars dipped.

He was amazed to find himself sitting next to her at a dinner in her family’s honor. Surely, it was a mistake, a misunderstanding that one as lowly as he would find himself next to her.

He tripped over his tongue the entire night.

She, nevertheless, found him amusing and stayed in his company.

And the oars rolled, the water trickling down.

As time went on, they met, clandestine, in libraries, bumped into each other in the stables, the Elf shocked to see the Elleth decked in tunic and leggings, leading her mare from the stall.

Again, he tripped over his tongue, not getting a sentence put together in any sensible fashion.

She obviously found him amusing, smiling at his discomfort and hiding her face at his stammering, before mounting up, throwing long legs over the mare and trotting out with several protective retainers.

He kicked himself all the way to his horse’s stall.

And the oars dipped.

Time passed, he moved up in service, was recognized by his peers, respected by those around him. And as time moved on, he became less self-conscious in her presence.

It only took him… oh, fifty… sixty, years to invite her to the fair in the city.

When she said ‘U’ma,’ she would be honored to accompany him, he nodded his thanks, made his way quietly back to his rooms, his chambers, before whooping in the room, his fist pumping.

The fair should have been tedious and boring, but he was in her company, her presence; and to watch her move gracefully through the stalls, the vendors, the spice makers, the pastries…

In a rare humorous fit, he grabbed her hand to lick the sticky, gooey coating of the sugar – covered cake from the tips of her fingers. He had been shocked at his behavior, at her sudden intake of breath as his tongue wound its way around her fingers, the nails, under the grooves…

He stared at her, her eyes so much like the doe standing in the meadow… still… barely breathing…

“I am sorry,” he whispered. “I forgot myself.”

And the oars rolled…

He dropped her hand, as if it were hot to the touch, burning him, his face red with embarrassment.

She laughed at his discomfort, a rich sound, joyous. She finished what he had started, before reaching for his chin, turning his head. “I believe you made a mess,” she whispered as she leaned forward and gently licked the minute trace of glaze from the corner of his mouth.

The Elf shivered at the touch of her tongue, as it sweetly lapped at the sugar from his lip. For a scant second, time stood still, the fair stood still, and all the inhabitants stood still, none of it mattered as her tongue made a lazy descent from the dimple of his cheek to his lip.

Where his self-control came from, he would never know, but then she smiled and moved on to the next stall. If she had seen the red – hot heat of his face, she never let on.

It was at a spring mereth twenty years later before they stole beneath a tree, sharing that first lover’s kiss. She had tasted sweet, of honey, and when she took control of the situation, pushing him back into the recesses of the giant oak, he knew he had found the one to spend forever with.

Her hands roamed, touched him in places he had barely dared to touch himself, coaxing him, coaxing everything. Was an Elf supposed to enjoy having his nipples touched? He had dreamed of hers, dreamed of licking, suckling on them like a babe, feeling them…

And the oars dipped yet again…

They barely made it back to his chambers, the door barred, when her hands dove under his robes, baring him to the air.

“Are you sure?”

Crystal blue eyes, reflecting in the moonlight stared at him with guileless certainty.

“Make me yours.”

With a growl, he shrugged his robe to the floor, backing her further into the chambers. Gone was the uncertain swain, the shy suitor. Gone was any question, any reason of logic.

Him. Her. Skin.

One.

And the oars dipped…

He didn’t remember his leggings or boots coming off; he was mesmerized by her, her pale beauty exposed as he slid her gown from alabaster shoulders to pool on the floor. Her hair shimmered, silken tresses that flowed through his fingers, the feel of it as sinful as the feel of her skin.

Somehow they moved to the bed, lying next to each other, wrapped in the other’s arms. A long hidden memory reasserted itself and he combed her hair over his shoulder, burying his face in it.

“What are you doing?” she giggled. She did do such on occasion, giggle like a young elleth when she thought no one was listening or watching.

“Clothing myself in your hair. What are you-” he inhaled sharply as she grasped the length of him, stroking upwards, and his voice raised several octaves, “-doing?”

“I wonder; how can something so marvelously hard, feel like velvet?”

Rather than answer, he kissed her, his tongue delving in, tasting her, her mouth. She curled into him, curving, pressing into him, moaning softly as his hands moved from gently cupping her face, down her shoulders, to her breasts; small and firm, like apples-

“Are you going suck on them, or not?” She was gasping for breath, almost wheezing with need.

The Elf lifted his head, a calculating look on his finely etched features. “You are as impatient as a human woman.” He expected the firm smack on his shoulder.

“Oh? And what would you know about bedding a human female?” While her voice was sharp, she spread her legs as he settled between her knees.

“I know nothing of human females.” He resumed his kissing her pouty, swollen lips, his fingers teasing her nipples, making them stiff peaks. He waited until she was squirming, begging, pleading before moving down to taste, sweetly rolling the nub of flesh with his tongue. At some point, she moved, undulating until he slid in, too fast, too hard. He broke through her barrier, stopping when he was fully sheathed-

Eyes of cerulean took her in, in shock, in—

“Do not stop. Saes. It felt so good.”

At her plea, he began to move, wonderment at her satin cloak around him, so wet, so hot…

Her knees raised, her hands lowering to cup marble hard cheeks, toned muscle on toned muscle, guiding their rhythm.

Somehow, his mouth found the tip of a gracefully pointed ear and when he suckled on it, teasing it as he had the proffered breast, she gasped, her entire body shuddering at the sudden onslaught of her orgasm. As she quivered beneath him, muffling her cries in his shoulder, he allowed himself to fall over into the abyss, emptying his very life into the willingness of her body.

They spent hours afterwards, touching, caressing, exploring each other. At some point, he asked her, “When did you know?”

He felt her smile against his neck. “When did I know what?”

The Elf pulled away, looking at her solemnly. “You said to make you mine. When did you know?”

She stroked the tip of his ear, causing him to shiver. “The first time I laid eyes on you.”

And the oars rolled, the dark murky waters of man turning slowly to a bright turquoise blue… closer… closer…

They spent every possible stolen moment for a time, wonderment anew. As time passed, they bonded, as their kind did, and for a short time, they reveled in their selfish bliss.

But life moves, and time marches. War overran Middle Earth and he forced her to flee, drove her deep into the forests, safe, hidden.

And the very face of Arda changed.

When it was over, he found her, found a new home. They were given a realm, took it, renewed it, Peace reigned for a time.

Children came, as expected, and their home prospered. They grew complacent in their home. There were times they grew apart, each with their own agenda, each with their own life. Such was the way of their kind. But they always found each other again. Somehow, someway. And it was always as it was so many millennia in the past.

But evil reared its ugly head and despite their careful planning, their defenses, their watchful eye, the horrible happened.

His beloved was attacked.

Hurt. Harmed. Touched.

The best healers were called for. Her own husband, renowned for his abilities…

And the oars rolled…

The world changed yet again and evil lifted: from Baradur, from Dol Guldor. In the end, she left Arda, returned to Valinor, and he did not blame her. She begged, pleaded for him to go with her, but there was still much to be done. Man needed them.

Truth be told, he did not know if he would even follow her to Valinor. He had not seen the trees, did not feel the need to go, did not hear the gulls, the call of the sea.

But as time rolled, he realized he missed her. Man was needy; so needy, but they always would be. He could see in time, that the Elves would be forgotten, at some time no longer be revered, rather misaligned, untrusted.

Those left behind would fade. Much like Arwen would.

And did.

So he stepped on that boat, Cirdan nodding in deference, leaving all behind, not caring, simply standing at the prow, staring into the distance.

To see This Valinor, This Undying Land.

And the oars rolled, bright, crisp waters, clean, fresh…

She was waiting, he knew she would be, a smile on her face, arms held out for that embrace, an embrace he was not dignified in returning.

“You knew. Galadriel, you knew I would come.”

“From the day I met you, my Silver Tree, I knew the oars would bring you to me.”

And the oars stopped.

***
fini
***

I’ll not marry – a vessel misadventure

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***

Call me a joker, call me a fool
Right at this moment I’m totally cool

***

Quickly and with accuracy, he put an arrow into his target and drew another from his quiver. The first long dart had not yet stopped its quivering, when its brother slid in quickly, just inches from the first one.

“There, little Miss Know-it-all!” Orophin stated. “Put yours in the middle of that, if you can!” He stared down haughtily at the young elleth.

Faeowynne arched a single eyebrow and sneered, “Really, Uncle Orophin! You make it much too easy!” Without taking a breath, she removed an arrow from her quiver and just as quickly as he, buried the point directly in the middle of his two.

***

Clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife
I feel like I’m in the prime of my life

***

Orophin let out a low whistle. “You are your Ada’s daughter.” Together, the two walked out to the target to retrieve their arrows. “He has done a fine job teaching you in my absence.” he stated with a grin.

“Hmmph! Who else would I be?” she scoffed. “And you know my Ada could out shoot you in the rain!” She yanked her arrow from the target and shook it at him. “With his eyes closed.”

***

Sometimes it feels like I’m going to fast

***

A single eyebrow shot up from the tall Elf. “Aye! You are your Ada’s daughter – complete with his arrogance!” But with her mother’s height, he added silently to himself. He also pulled his arrows from the target. “Put the target out another fifty yards?”

“Make it hard. A hundred.” Her smile was reminiscent of her mother’s grin.

***

I don’t know how long this feeling will last
Maybe it’s only tonight

***

Faeowynne studied her uncle as he picked up the target and proceeded to walk it off the necessary yardage. He had put weight back on and no longer looked haunted. His wife’s death had rocked him, and her Ada, along with Uncle Rumil and Adar Celeborn, had been afraid he would have faded had he not brought his youngest son, Tomasil , with him. The Elfling was younger than she and her twin, but he followed Anselm around like puppy. He was more in tuned with nature than he was with battle skills. She figured he would go crazy when the Twins arrived back from their time with the Rangers.

***

Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m shot
Sometimes I don’t know how much more I’ve got

***

“You have a most puzzled expression on your face, tithen aras. What are you thinking?” Faeowynne’s hand went to her long blonde braid, pulling on it in an action her mother held dear of her Ada.

“A question, Uncle.” Dark blue eyes looked up into grey ones. “How could you fall in love with a human?”

***

Maybe I’m headed over the hill
Maybe I’ve set myself up for the kill

***

Orophin’s breath caught. Since his return some months back, no one had pressed him for information. All knew of his ladylove, his unconventional bonding. No one had tried to talk him out of it, tried to dissaude him from marrying with the beautiful healer who had helped Bronwyn so much late in her first pregnancy. Elrond’s great-granddaughter.

Lera Maere.

“One cannot decide who they will or will not fall in love with.” he answered quietly. “Your mother is a human. You might fall in love with a human.”

***

Tell me how much do you think you can take
Until the heart in you is starting to break?

***

“YRCH!” Her shoulders were up around delicately pointed ears. “Do not be crude. I have every intention on going to the Undying Lands with Ada and Mama. I will never fall in love and I will never marry.” She nodded to his bow. “Challenge me.”

Orophiin smiled and quickly shot off two arrows. This time, they were just apart enough for one arrow to fit. “Heh! Beat that!”

Faeowynne grinned. “Ah! Now that is a challenge!” She aimed carefully.

And set her arrow directly in the middle.

Orophin let out another low whistle. “I think I am done in for the day.” He headed towards the target. “So, you are going to the Undying Lands! What if you find a man you love and wish to stay with? I heard that you had attracted the attention of a certain Ranger.”

Faeowynne followed him to the target to help him take it down. “Who told you that awful lie? The only one I speak to is Ranald and he and I are just friends.”

“Well, that is how many loves begin.”

“Not my parents. Not you and Lera.” She looked down at her boots, toes scuffing in the dirt. “I am sorry, Uncle Orophin. I did not wish you to bring your discomfort.” Quickly, she walked up to him and put her arms around him.

Orophin’s arms went around her and he hugged her close. “Ah, tithen aras. My memories now are sweet, not sad. Our time together was short, but I would not trade it for anything.” He tipped her chin so he could look at her. “Now, why are you so determined NOT to fall in love? Why are you so determined to go to the Undying Lands?”

They walked slowly back towards Rivendell. Orophin quietly admired the tall trees. He heard her inhale.

“Because, if I do not go, Ada and Mama will have no one. No one but each other.” Faeowynne looked off into the trees. “None of Mama’s children will go and she will grieve.” She smiled inwardly. “She will grieve anyway. So will Ada, but he will not allow her to see it.”

Orophin heard rustling in the trees, and he peered closely, pulling his bow to ready. Faeowynne had heard the noise as well, and pulled hers to the ready. “What makes you so sure Beckett or Anselm will not go?”

With reflexes of a warrior, Faeowynne notched and released her arrow, an Orc falling from the tree, squealing in his death throes. “Simple. Beckett was born first. He will get Mama’s bow.” She never took her eyes from the trees. Quickly, she pulled a second arrow from her quiver and shot, a second Orc falling silently, dead before he hit the ground. Orophin looked at her askance.

“How old are you again?”

” 97.”

He shook his head. “Much too young to kill so unfeelingly.” Quickly, he turned, releasing his arrow, another Orc falling from the tree. “Anselm might go.” He shot again. Yet another Orc fell from yet another tree. The two circled, listening carefully for several minutes.

Quiet. Calm. They began to collect the bodies of the dead Orcs.

“Anselm will stay. She is like Mama. She wants to see the lands Ada would not let Mama explore. The Desert south of Gondor, The Easterling’s, and the lands East of Mordor.” Faeowynne was grunting with the largest of the Orcs, dragging him to the pile. “She wants to go back to the Golden Woods, back to Lothlórien and talk to the trees. She wants Treebeard to let her sit in on Ent meetings.”

Orophin was dragging his Orc as well. “Faeowynne! There was a reason why your Ada would not let your mother go to those places! There is nothing there! Two Isatari went into the East and never returned.”

The petite elleth dropped the leg of the Orc she was dragging in order to put her hands on her hips. “Well duh! I know that! I have told her that! She does not listen to reason! She is her Mother’s daughter!” She rolled her eyes. “She is so… fey!” She snarled her nose pointing at the dead Orcs. “These things are so… gross.”

Orophin laughed, a deep laugh, rusty from disuse. “Aye. They are rather disgusting. And they will stink past Valinor when we begin to burn them.” He looked at her ruefully. “We must stay until the fire smolders.”

“Yrch!” Shoulders around the ears again. “Can we not just let the werebeasts and banshees take them?” Apparently, she listened to the wild ghost stories her mother told of ages yet to come.

“Werebeasts? Banshees?” Orophin tested the wind and chose a spot upwind. “Nay, the stink will attract more Orcs and other nasty things we do not wish around Rivendell. Best burn them and sit for a few hours than to take the chance.” They started the fire and sat quietly for a long while a ways from the putrid mound.

“Anselm will stay?”

“Oh, aye. She will stay.”

“You are sure.”

“Beyond positive. I know my sister. We have shared a room and secrets for too long.” Orophin nodded in agreement. In many ways, Anselm and Faeowynne were very much like Elrond’s twins; they refused to be parted. Despite the size of the last Homely House, they shared a room, and were rarely separated for anything.

“Your Ada will not allow her to stay here alone.”

“Oh.” Faeowynne’s voice was soft, amused, “she will not be alone.”

“Ah!” Orophin’s smile lit his face and she realized why the lovely Lera had fallen in love with her Uncle. “Who has she picked out to be HER Guardian?”

“I am not telling. She has picked him out and he will not deny her, if he knows what is good for him.” Her eyes slid to the Elf sitting next to her. “Do not pester me, for I will not tell.”

Orophin’s grin widened, his head bobbing with his rampant thoughts. “So, Beckett and Anselm will stay and you will go to the Undying Lands so your parents will not grieve. Are you not the loving child?” he chided. This middle child of his brother, he decided, was the easiest to read. Eager to be the son Haldir would leave behind. Eager to be strong for her mother, for both parents. Eager to be the adult. Eager to give up all to be everything to everybody. Would she lose herself in the process?

***

Sometimes I lie awake, night after night
Coming apart at the seams
Eager to please, ready to fight
Why do I go to extremes?

***

“Nay. I will not have them grieve as you would have had Tomasil decided not to join you. I will not have them grieve forever as Elrond will.”

“You have never met Elrond.” Orophin’s voice was quiet, almost breaking. Elrond’s grief, he understood well. Bronwyn and Haldir’s upcoming grief, he understood as well.

Bronwyn’s knives were extremely sluggish in returning to her these days. She knew, Haldir knew, their time was growing short.

“Nay, I have not met Elrond. But I have heard Celeborn speak of him with much respect. I have met his children, how they speak of him.” Faeowynne had gone with Rumil just two summers ago to Gondor; Rumil had done drawings, portraits of Arwen, Elessar and their children and grandchildren; portraits to take to Elrond and Celebrian. “Mama and Ada speak of him in revered tones.” she continued. “Mama reveres very few. The simple fact that she and Ada think highly of him is enough for me.” The braid she tugged on, she slung over her shoulder. “I cannot wait to meet him.”

“He is an exceptional being.”

“So I hear.” She looked into the distance and saw riders approaching. Rangers. The Twins. “Perhaps, if I am able, I will be able to take Elrond a gift to ease his grief.”

Orophin was looking into the distance, following her stare. He saw the riders as well. “And what would that be, Tithen Aras?”

A dreamy, far-away look was on her normally well- schooled face. “Oh, we shall see, Uncle. We shall see.” She quickly reeled herself in. “They do not bring good news.”

Orophin’s eyebrow arched. “We have killed several Orcs close to Rivendell. That is news bad enough.” He stood up slowly, extending a hand she took. She grabbed him, hugging him around the waist.

“I am glad you came to home to us, Uncle Orophin. I am glad you brought Tomasil and came home. I am glad you did not fade.”

Orophin clasped the young elleth to him, the enormity of her words not lost on him.

***

And if I stand or I fall
It’s all or nothing at all
Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes

***

“I am glad I came home too.”

***

Fini

***

The Vessel Chapter 30

Get out your hankies folks. I have cried days over this one!

Chapter 30

Two weddings and some babies or Celeborn’s Most Excellent Adventure!

***

Let us kiss with the touch of our life
Call me now to your chamber
For your kiss is an excellent wine
Flowing smoothly poured out for a lover

Canticle of the Bride
John Michael Talbot

***

Anselm and Heridil exchanged vows and bonded on a sunny spring day in the gardens of Rivendell. The groom wore a new green tunic, that all the women had sewn together, with Lorien leaves embroidered on the sleeves and collar, cream leggings and soft brown boots. The bride wore her mother’s bridal gown – carefully packed and kept for so long – and flowers in her hair.

She insisted on being barefoot.

Bronwyn was grateful that there were no equivalent Middle Earth ‘barefoot and pregnant’ jokes running rampant.

They were surrounded by family and friends. Bronwyn cried and Haldir’s jaw ticked. He could be seen yanking on his braid several times. Merry and Pippin just happened to be there, stopping by in their long, final trip to Gondor. They sat up with Bronwyn for hours, smoking pipe weed and talking of the Scourging of the Shire, of the demise of Saruman and Grima. The rebuilding and planting. Of Frodo and Sam and the Red Book. Bronwyn was deeply saddened to see the two stooped Hobbits, grey and slow in their movements, but still just as quick mentally and playful.

“The world is aging, Haldir.” she cried that night in his arms. “The world is aging and yet we stay as we are. It is so unfair!”

Haldir held her tight, agreeing with her. Seeing the Hobbits had been devastating to her. It had brought home to the both that their children would suffer that same fate while they lived on in Valinor, knowing all. “It is a gift.” He whispered. “Death is a gift.” Always, he had heard that, but never before, had it been so poignant.

The arrangements for Beckett’s and Orelinde’s late winter soul-bonding went straight into high gear and became frantic. Elves still in Lothlórien were coming, pastries were made and sampled, linens and cloth for the bride and groom and attendants were spread and scattered, merchants coming and going. Everyone was busy, rushing here and there.

“Why can I not have a nice, quiet ceremony like Heridil and Anselm?” Beckett groused to his parents one evening. He stood on a small riser, arms outstretched, while several seamstresses ran around him with pins, measuring tape and yards of fabric. “We do not wish all this fuss… ouch! Dammit, woman! You pricked me on purpose!” If Haldir had scowls down pat, his son had perfected the look. “Truly, Orelinde and I would prefer something more sedate!”

Haldir was stretched out across his and Bronwyn’s bed on his stomach, watching the goings on. A large, white wolf lay at the foot of the bed, a rather bored expression on his face. “You forget, my Elfling, you are marrying the Prince’s daughter.” His eyes found Bronwyn standing to the side with the head seamstress, pouring over patterns. “Please tell me you have not informed Thranduil.”

“Sorry darling. We received the royal missive yesterday. He will be here with bells on!” Bronwyn did not look up from the drawings, instead continuing to point to one or another. “I do not think he would miss his granddaughter’s wedding.”

Haldir snorted and muttered under his breath. “Oh, so important is she that he has not even met her before!”

Bronwyn threw her writing quill at him. “I heard that and yes, he has! Legolas took her to meet him when her mother and Ada passed on. He said he was quite taken with his granddaughter.”

“Probably tried to seduce her, the old reprobate!”

“Ada! Even I heard that!”

“Haldir!” Bronwyn handed the patterns back to the seamstress. “Here, that one in the blue for my crabby husband!” She pointed to a rather detailed illustration. “And that in deepest green for my son!”

“Mother!” Beckett shook off the wandering hands and jumped from the stool. “Do I not even get to pick out my own wedding clothes?”

Haldir had rolled over and was stretching, his long frame hanging over the side of the bed. “Give up, son! You have gone from having your mother pick your clothes straight to your wife! Bachelorhood is very under-rated!” He did not see how close Bronwyn had gotten and was pleasantly surprised when she smacked him in the chest with a pillow.

“Would you like to return to your bachelorhood, Heru en Cormmin?” Bronwyn found herself yanked from her feet and pulled on top of her husband. His hands cupped her bottom.

“Nay. I like my wife!” He rolled, pinning her beneath him. Playfully, he planted wet kisses all over her face. Although her legs automatically spread, allowing him to settle between them, Bronwyn pushed his face away.

“Haldir, stop being silly!” It was a half-hearted protest.

The Elf’s eyes grew huge and his smile was feral. “No!” He grabbed at her hands and pinning them down to the bed, began to kiss her in earnest.

“Oh, please!” Beckett’s scowl had deepened and he began to pluck off the pinned material encasing his arms. “You are too old to behave like Elflings! At the very least, get a room!”

Bronwyn’s look was of mock astonishment. “He said we are too old. Haldir! Do you feel old? I do not feel old.”

Haldir’s scowl matched his son’s. “Find a room? This is my room!” Seamstresses giggled at the randiness of the lofty March Warden and left the room. Haldir waved his hand at his son. “Someday, when you have grown Elflings making fun of you and Orelinde, you will remember this day! Begone you! I wish to kiss my wife without your careful watching!” Beckett headed towards the door, mumbling about Elves acting their age. “And shut the door behind you!” When he heard the click, he looked down at his snickering wife. “Elves acting their age, indeed. I should send him wenching with Celeborn! That one cou – Baraermin?”

Bronwyn’s face had gone from bemusement to sadness. “We will not be here when their children are grown, will we? We will not see Heridil’s and Anselm’s child reach adulthood and marry. We will miss so very much.”

Haldir rolled over, bringing his wife to his side, curled into his protective embrace. “Sweetling, even in the world of Men, many grandparents lives are too short. Many do not live to see their grandchildren grown and settled. Many parents do not live to see their children grow. It is the cycle of life. And we will not be totally gone. We will still have contact. We will still have input. It will be a sad leaving, yes, but we will be able to watch our grandchildren and great grandchildren grow and continue on.”

“But we will watch them die as well.”

He pulled her closer. “Ah, that we will. But that is our fate. It is their fate.” He tipped her face upwards to him. “But I will always be here for you. We will always have each other. I will never leave you. The Valar have decreed it.” He kissed her nose. “Now. What say you that we thoroughly disgust our son by making loud, raucous love in the middle of the day?”

And although she responded enthusiastically, Haldir realized, felt her hold back, that small part of her already feeling their future losses.

***

Summer passed and autumn came. The trees turned colors and Anselm grew. She carried her child with a dignity and grace Bronwyn never had. As the nights cooled and the family once again spent many hours in front of warm fires, too often the young ones would retreat to dark corners to whisper and plan.

“Stop snogging in the corner with my son!” Haldir would growl. “Get a room!”

Which, inevitably, they did.

***

Anselm gave birth weeks before the wedding, to a small, perfectly formed son, with blonde fuzz and pointed ears.

The labor was short and easy and Bronwyn was quite jealous. Haldir delivered his grandchild and both he and Bronwyn stood proudly behind the parents as that night, in the cold, they presented their son.

They named him Turlough.

***

Thranduil and his entourage arrived the week before the wedding. He insisted on attempting to terrorize the groom-to-be and was properly condescending when he could not.

“That Elf is just like his father.” He groused in his wine glass. He raised his eyes to Legolas, nose still in the goblet. “Are you sure you wish to allow my granddaughter to marry so far beneath her?”

“To begin with, yes he is like me, thank you very much, second, he has a great deal of his mother in him and third, she is not marrying beneath herself, you degenerate!” Haldir was imbibing with the guests this night. “You know full well his importance!”

“No, I do not know his importance. Am I supposed to and be thoroughly impressed?” Thranduil held his now empty goblet out, indicating his desire for a refill. Someone quickly complied and soon, his nose was back in the glass. “I cannot believe Elrond left his stash behind.”

“He did not!” Haldir deliberately left off the word ‘jackass’. “He left the dregs and took the best with him.”

“Loaded down Cirdan’s hold, from what I hear.” Celeborn added. He was feeling very little pain and was looking rather saucily at the elleth keeping everyone’s glasses filled.

“And he calls ME a degenerate!” Thranduil whispered drunkenly to Legolas, nodding towards Celeborn.

The wine flowed late that night and many toasts to the couple were made. Both Celeborn and Thranduil weaved drunkenly into beds that were not theirs and even Legolas and Haldir barely made it to their own rooms.

The wedding day dawned cold but clear and bright. And in the same open chamber that the fate of the One Ring was decided, Beckett, son of Haldir and Bronwyn of Lothlórien, married and bonded with Orelinde, daughter of Eowyn and Legolas, Prince of Greenwood.

Celeborn managed to sober up enough to conduct the bonding.

Beckett was resplendent in the heavy green velvet tunic that showed off his coloring.

The bride wore winter white, also in velvet, a lacy shawl over her hair.

Haldir had snarled at the outfit created for him, but wore it begrudgingly as sometime during the night, while he was keeping the other Elves company, (and getting plastered) Bronwyn had hidden all of his other clothing. It was a blue tunic and leggings, almost purple, with silver banding at the wrists, collar and hem; a dark purple sleeveless vest with fur trimming at the shoulder complemented the outfit.

He wore ear cuffs.

Bronwyn whispered to him as Legolas escorted his daughter down the aisle that he had better gotten enough sleep the night before as she had every intention of ravishing him for the entire night – IF she could wait that long!

Haldir simply raised an eyebrow and informed her that he had every intention of taking her into the garden to dance, much like they had over a century ago in Lothlórien. He glanced haughtily down her low cut gown. Her dress was a heavy wool, deep burgundy, similar in cut and style to the burgundy velvet she had worn on the river so many years ago. It had a train and long flowing sleeves.

Orophin and Rumil snickered behind them.

She said it was too cold.

He retorted that she would not feel the cold when he got done with her.

Beckett recited his vows…

“I’d give up forever to speak with you,
to hear my name on your lips.
I would give up forever to talk with you…”

“Haldir!” she whispered. “Those vows… those are your vows!”

“Aye.” He pulled her closely and whispered in her ear, reciting them again. Upon their completion, he kissed the gently rounded ear. “They are still true today.”

She was quiet for the rest of the ceremony, crying at the appropriate times…

Crying the entire time.

***

The wine flowed freely afterwards and everyone was feeling very happy. Music played non-stop – Elven musicians that Thranduil had brought with him. At one point, he had decided to be magnanimous, approaching Bronwyn for a chaste, fatherly dance, only to be stopped in his tracks, when, upon seeing his approach, she had smiled broadly and lifting the edge of her dress, showed off shoes with an extremely high stiletto heel.

He quickly changed directions and averted to the wine tray.

Celeborn sidled next to him, reaching for a glass as well.

“It is too bad the King of Gondor could not come.” Thranduil mused outloud. “I hear he does not venture far from the White City these days.”

“He is aging.” Celeborn answered. “Although I know she will not, a part of me hopes against hope that Arwen will change her mind and take the last boat to the Undying Lands.” He drank deeply from the crystal. “Elrond will meet every boat, hoping against the odds, but he knows as well.” He smiled as Haldir strode up next to them.

“A fine looking couple my granddaughter and your son make.” Thranduil said, breaking the ice, making idle conversation. “This was the child you had agreed upon conceiving at my fortress?”

“Aye.” Haldir’s answer was short, curt.

“I take it he was conceived not too long afterwards.”

Haldir did not know what possessed him, but a wicked grin split his features as he raised his glass. He looked the King in the eye.

“As a matter of fact, he was conceived on your desk in your study after Bronwyn and I looked at some rather naughty pictures you had hidden on your bookshelf.”

Thranduil never missed a beat. Again, his nose was in his glass. “Oh really? So was Legolas.” Haldir barely was able to swallow his wine.

Celeborn had turned a deep shade of crimson. All this talk of sex and desks. He had had that dream again about Bronwyn and Erestor’s desk and he did not want to give that little secret away as he was starting to enjoy that fantasy. He was startled by a cool hand around his arm. He looked down to see her standing there smiling. At him.

“What are they talking about, Celeborn?” she stage-whispered. Haldir was getting a glass for her and had his back turned momentarily.

“Uhm… furniture.” Celeborn tried to drink from his glass and even his breathing.

“Oh.” Her mouth made a moue. “And talking about furniture made you blush?” Her grin was devilish and her look was…

Did she know what he had been dreaming about? How?

“That must be some… furniture.” She took the glass from Haldir and then led him away from the two Elf Lords, her hips gently swayed causing the train of her dress to swish softly. Celeborn followed her with his eyes and just as he started to look away, she looked back at him.

And winked.

***

After the bride and groom left for their bridal chamber – amid much jesting and ribald jokes – Haldir did as he promised. He took Bronwyn into the gardens and in dancing, made her forget about the cold.

***

As soon as the guests left and life quieted down, Bronwyn became the Grande Dame of Rivendell. She announced she was finished with the scrolls, the maps, everything. She threw them in containers haphazardly and contented herself in playing with her grandchild; enjoying her children. She threw her knives now on a daily basis, watching for any sign of finality.

They were wild and sluggish.

Orophin, along with Tomasil, left for the Undying Lands that spring. He had never regained his full buoyancy for life and the call became stronger until eventually, he gave in. He carried with him in an oilskin, carefully sealed portraits of Arwen, Aragorn and their children and grandchildren, Elrohir and Elladan for Elrond, drawn by Rumil. Tomasil was excited, ready for new adventures and disheartened at the same time. He had enjoyed his cousins company and knowing that he would never see Beckett and Anselm and quite possibly Faeowynne again saddened him deeply.

Before he mounted his horse, Orophin hugged his sister-in-law tightly. The light in his eyes were unusually bright and for the first time in years, he looked…

Rested.

Young.

“Shall I tell you secret before I leave?”

“Sure!”

Orophin looked around to make sure no one could hear, a mischievous grin on his face. “Do you remember, when you first arrived in Middle Earth and it seemed that Rumil and I were constantly weeding Galadriel’s garden?” Bronwyn nodded. “Do you know why were we weeding the garden?” Large brown eyes looked curiously into his. “It was because Haldir caught Rumil and I peeking at you in the bath and rather than leave, we negotiated weeks of weeding for continued minutes of voyeuristic watching!” Orophin’s grin deepened as Bronwyn’s jaw dropped in astonishment. He clasped her to him in a fierce hug. “It was worth every second!” he whispered in her ear. Once he was able to discern that she was laughing, he turned her loose.

” I shall see you again when Haldir hears the call.”

“Aye.” Bronwyn had a huge lump in her throat. Something she should look forward to, she also feared.

“Bronwyn.” The Elf’s eyes bore into hers. “It is hard, very hard to leave. But as time goes, it becomes easier. Trust in that.” He hugged her again, before mounting. “You gave me the best advice once.”

“And what advice was that, Orophin?”

He looked into the distance. “You told me to follow my heart.” And then he smiled. “I never regretted it. Follow your heart, Bronwyn of Lothlórien.”

And with that, the two galloped off towards the Grey Havens.

***

Time stands still for no man or Elf and time did not stand still for the ever diminishing group in Rivendell. Beckett and Orelinde announced their impending parenthood within months after their marriage and Bronwyn delighted in the news of another grandchild. Turlough was beginning to crawl and Anselm announced within months that she and Heridil had agreed again.

Within five years, Haldir and Bronwyn had four grandchildren. Two of each.

Bronwyn was forever in the floor, in the garden, singing, conjuring images, much to the delight of the babies. And if truth be told, Haldir joined her constantly, not only understanding her need to spend as much time as possible with her family, but recognizing his need as well. He carried the babies everywhere, horseback riding, playing. He constructed bows for grandchildren not yet born, fletched endless arrows. He sat with Beckett, Anselm, even when nothing was said, simply enjoying, basking in their company.

Bronwyn had finally broken down and asked Faeowynne her future plans. She had been relieved to hear her middle’s child’s answer.

“What? Stay here and leave you and Ada to savor the fun of the Undying Lands alone?” she barked, polishing her bow. “I have seen all there is to see here in Middle Earth. I will go with you, thank you very much!”

Deep in their hearts, Bronwyn and Haldir were gladdened. They would not make the trip alone.

The day came. He knew it would come, knew it was coming closer and closer. The call was getting more and more insistent; his desire to see the gulls, to feel the roll of the sea under his feet, more stringent. It was the last dregs of winter and spring lay around the corner. He lay in the floor, on a rug, lifting his newest granddaughter above him, drool everywhere, when the scream rent his conscious.

Bronwyn.

Quickly, he rolled over, gently clasping Ariella to him. He met Heridil and Beckett, in the corridor, both of them pale.

“Ada, please, please come quick.” Haldir handed the babe over to Heridil, as he began to sprint towards his wife. The screaming in his head had toned down to an anguished keening.

He knew what she cried over.

Quickly, he made his way into the garden, to find her standing, leaning over…

Her knives.

“Beavis, Beavis oh please dammit Beavis, come to Beavis.”

Her knives lay on the ground, flat, not moving; her hands above them, yanking and jerking.

They refused to budge. A tear streaked face turned to him.

“Noooooo…..”

***

You know I’ve always been a dreamer
(Spent my life running ‘round)
And it’s so hard to change
(Can’t seem to settle down)
But the dreams I’ve seen lately
Keep on turning out and burning out
And turning out the same
So put me on a highway
Show me a sign
And take it to the limit
One more time

Take it to the Limit
Eagles

***

It was shocking to both Bronwyn and Haldir, how fast everything moved after that. Trunks were packed and final arrangements made. Bronwyn moved as if in a daze and wept at everything. She confused her grandchildren, who were baffled by the sudden change of mood in all the adults.

They received word from Arwen that Aragorn had passed peacefully, ready to give over the reigns of rule to his son. The two Hobbits, Merry and Pippin, had passed soon after, buried at his side in places of honor they richly deserved. Arwen had decided – to no one’s surprise – to stay with her daughters for a time and insisted Gimli use her passage to go to the Undying Lands.

“I know full well Legolas’ devotion to you, Master Dwarf. ” she wrote. “Your company will ease his grief over leaving his father and daughter behind. Besides, I know well your love for my grandmother. And perhaps, with Celeborn staying behind, you might have a chance…” The ending of the letter was rather saucy and cheeky and it made the Dwarf smile.

Her letter to Bronwyn begged her to give her love to her father, show him, not just tell him, how happy her life had been and that she had not regretted a moment. She was deeply sorrowful for the harsh words spoken between the two at his leaving and wanted to impress upon him her love for him.

It was no surprise when they received the news as they left Imladris that Arwen had gone into the woods of Lothlórien and after lying down on Cerin Amroth, had faded into the green mound.

Arwen Evenstar was no more.

The Third Age was completely at end. The time of the Elves was over.

***

The shipyard was bustling, constantly in motion. The babies were wide- eyed, attention spans darting here and there at the sights, the sounds, the smell. Haldir watched carefully as the last of their things were loaded onto the large boat, its bearded Elf for a caption bellowing orders.

“You are sure, Celeborn? There is still room.”

Celeborn looked at his former March Warden. “I feel obligated to watch over your children. Bronwyn worries, but I will be here. So will Thranduil.” He nodded over to the King and the Prince, embraced tightly as the elder Elf whispered frantically in his son’s ear. Gimli stood over to the side, watching the final parting with saddened eyes. “Despite all, he is a noble Elf and he will watch over Beckett and Orelinde as if they were his own.” Indeed, the King of Greenwood had showered lavish attention on their children and had even played with Anselm and Heridil’s children as well. He had treated Bronwyn respectfully, despite her lack of high heeled footwear and had been overheard singing a lullaby or two to several sleepless Elflings on the trip.

Cirdan came down the gang plank and pounded Haldir on the shoulder. “Grab your women, WoodElf. We are leaving with the tide.” Haldir searched the crowd for Bronwyn.

And found her in a huddle with Anselm and Beckett along with their spouses and children.

Conjuring.

Remembering.

As Haldir came closer, he was caught up in the spell she weaved, as were many other innocent passersby.

The years raced by as she infused them with her memories.

The Mines –

“What sort of Wizard are you?” Legolas had asked her.

“I’m no Wizard.”

“My name is Braun.”

“Give me your bow. You catch them, I will shoot. My knives will not reach! I promise not to hurt it! “

“Not the beard!”

The destruction of the bridge – how they barely made it out alive…

Her arrival in Caras Galadhon. How she had thrown up on Orophin.

“Sir, I beseech you, please step back. I’m going to be sick.”

His own reaction to her, her filth, her plight, Legolas’ defense of her from the beginning…

“And what of this one? He did not start with you!” He had taken the edge of his bow and lifted her face, vomit dribbling down her chin. “He is a beardless boy. How did you become saddled with him?”

How could he have ever mistaken her for a boy?

“Haldir, he saved our lives!”

“This pitiful scrap saved your lives?” His voice had dropped to a whisper. “Are you losing your touch, Prince of Mirkwood?” He smiled grimly. “Your father would be so disappointed…”

Had he truly been so callous?

Along with his children, she continued. Continued to remember.

How gently he had handled her in her illness, how he had held her, comforted her when she fought to keep from remembering…

“Duncan, you sent me an angel. A beautiful angel.”

Singing on the archery fields…

Well, I met a Elf in Lothlorien Woods
Now I ain’t namin’ names…

Alilian… Heridil… Liandrian…

Excuse me, I still did not get your name….

Sitting in Galadriel’s garden, the Lady attempting to weave her hair.

Beautiful music rising in the garden.

I am lost. I want to go back home. I want my home…

Going through her backpack in Galadriel’s garden.

Orophin and Rumil weeding in Galadriel’s garden.

“Pity,” he mused out loud, opening the book “you were so sweet and charming while your were asleep! Called me beautiful, even.”

She inhaled, her chest rising. “I did no such thing!”

Son of a bitch…

I am not here to harm you…

“What is ‘look like shit?'”

Rumil and Bronwyn, singing together.

Laughing Orophin

Quiet, stalwart Heridil,

Shy, shy Alilian.

An afternoon on the river…

I’ll not marry a man that’s young
His wavering heart
And philandering tongue…

The two, standing in the river, with an orange… the kiss…

Ah. THAT kiss…

His return to the Fences…

No, lirimear. I cannot allow to you to go.”

How she incurred his wrath and followed him anyway. Her headstrong ways and obstinance almost getting her killed…

He grabbed her one handed by the collar, jerking her up on her toes. “What will it take for you to be quiet? I do not wish to hear you speak. I do not wish to hear your ‘Peace, love, and crabs!’ I do not wish to hear you breathe. I gave you an order.” His placed his other hand over her mouth. “I had a reason to give you that order and you defied it. You did not think of the consequences, you did not think of the danger, you did not think of the difficulty you would put me or Rumil or Orophin or Heridil or any of my archers in. Did you consider that with Heridil and Orophin being more concerned about making sure you kept up and were watched and fed, that they were unable to do what they needed to do? Did you consider that by defying me that now I had more to watch out for besides Orcs, I had to watch out for you as well? You walked into the middle of a bigger nest of Uruk hai than is normal and they were not normal? Did you stop to think that had you been killed that I would have died as well? That whatever destiny you are heading for would come to a halt? If the thought of my death or yours means such a minuscule amount to you, think of it this way. What if Heridil had jumped down to protect you? I had to stop him twice. He would willingly, for the sake of your friendship, have died for you. You did not think, you put all of us in danger because of your foolish actions and I plan to make sure you never do that again!”

How had he made sure she never did it again? He had fallen in love with her.

On and on the memories continued…

His abandonment of her at Caras Galadhon. Celeborn, pleading with her, begging her…

Tithen Aras. Please. You must eat…

Her looking into Galadriel’s mirror, forced finally to remember…

You knew! You bitch! And you made me remember! You fucking well made me remember! How could you…You knew! Aaah! Dammit! My baby, my Duncan…

Who am I? What am I?

Her leaving.

The pitcher thrown, shattered on the floor… That is me. I am not just emptied… I am shattered in thousands of pieces and I do not think they can ever be put back together…Fading would be a welcome release…

Haldir’s frantic chase to catch her.

The Uruk-hai…

“Come on, you stinking bastards. Come to Beevis.”

Bloodlust.

Him finding her.

Listening to Aerosmith.

Their trip back to Lothlorien, how they worked together as a team…

Why do you wear my tunics?

A contingent of Uruk hai, camped along the river…

“It could be worse!” His voice was nonchalant, unworried.

“Worse? Worse? How could it possibly be worse?” Her voice threatened to screech, despite its whisper.

“They could be on this side of the river!” he shrugged.

The arguments, the fights, her unwillingness to trust.

Baraer. Be truthful with yourself. Your sword skills are gone. You frighten even me with the lack of it. You are a danger to yourself. Your archery skills are diminishing as well. Soon, your knives will fly away and not come back.

You shut up!

The uncontrollable, soaring music.

Heridil falling from the flet…

Her death.

Bronwyn Morgan ap Powell, Baraermin, lasto beth nîn, tolo dan nan galad.

The Halls of Waiting, Duncan, Duncan with his infinite wisdom and her return.

“Do you not understand Mother? God, Jesus, Iluvatar, Allah, Jehovah, the Goddess, the Great Spirit, Odin, Thor, Zeus…they are all one in the same. It is Man and the Races who name and rename them. Names change, the One does not.”

I was not the gift. He was. Haldir was gift.

Teach me to trust… teach me to love…

The taming of her powers.

Jumping on her sword…

An entire contingent of Elves singing “Purple Haze”

Dol Guldur. The spiders.

Smut…

“No, My name is not ‘What’. My name is Smut.”

Ducking countless fireballs; Haldir dropping a few errant scrolls in his quiver…

Back down, you ass wipe, or I will back it down for you!”

The breaking of glass, the horrid melt-down of Smut… Haldir carrying her out…

The Valar… Tari…

Who am I? I am…

Blood. Her blood, spilt on the ground…

“Mana lúme caita syadlla?
Mana lúme lerya quingalla?
Mana lúme hehtanë siklla?
Mana lúme mappe eppessëlla?
Er Valar quetuvar.”

The Valar say thus…

I am one with the Earth. The Earth is one with me…

Serkenin naa a Arda
Arda naa a serkenin
Naem er, naem atya
Naem weerrenen ullume
Hanyo allasse ar nwalma

Exhaustion. That long ride to the farmhouse which no longer stood…

…and if I built a fortress around your heart
Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire
Then let me build a Bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire…

She and Galadriel painting each other’s toenails.

That little… black… dress…

Stomping on Thranduil.

Agreeing.

Give me a child from your heart…

Haldir and Bronwyn, together on the balcony, lute and harp, in harmony

Throwing up together after battle.

Can I ask a stupid question? Am I getting married today?

Their wedding. Had it really been so romantic? He had just wanted something simple. Did she really remember it as being something divine?

Must you marry the big, mean Elf, Bronwyn?

This rose is from Duncan. Think you I would do this without consulting him?

I would give up forever to touch you,
to feel myself in your arms.
I would give up forever to love you.”

Entreat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go…

You are the air…

Secret Agent Bronny.

Naughty limericks

Oh cabin boy Oh cabin boy
You naught little nipper…

The Dead Marshes…

Agnus Dei
Qui tol lis pec ca ta
Mundi misere nobis

Bodies and bodies and Heridil’s father sinking ever downward…

O Lamb of God,
that takest away the sins of the world
Have mercy upon us

Meeting Lera.

Mooooooo.

Beckett’s birth….

No, no and Hell no! I want an epidural…

Your son does not wish to be born

Your daughter is stubborn…

Behold Beckett, the only thing greater than yourself.

Beckett sitting proudly on his father’s lap. Yada yada yada dammit! Ada! Ada!

Bad cwab! Bad cwab!

Surfin’ USA…

The Pirates of Umbar.

The Deserts of South Hardan…

There is nothing there. I will not allow you to go…

A red-headed naked Elfling running, running, chased by Elves with flying white hair… laughing…

You are an Orc and must be slaughtered…

Helm’s Deep

Isengard

Haldir, I am afraid. This baby is too early.

Not baby. Babies. Beautiful little girls…

Treebeard…

And on this farm he had a Uruk hai…

Did not

Did too

Children high in the trees, throwing pears at Rumil.

That was no child… that was Haldir throwing pears at Rumil.

Good shot, Ada!

The slow death of the Golden Woods

Beckett running with a… doll?

Come back here, you rat! Bring me back my dolly…

Elflings chasing wolf cubs, running, laughing, yipping, sleeping all curled together…

Rivendell.

Celeborn watching in amusement…

Growing Elflings. Maturing Elflings. Elflings now as parents and responsible adults.

I have your bow, Mama. We will talk often. You will tire of me, I promise.

Tears flow and tears flow and tears flow…

All the way up the gangplank.

***

Celeborn watched all around him. Tears were beyond abundant. Thranduil would most undoubtably refuse to remember what a blubberbuss he had become. Anselm was inconsolable. So was Orelinde. The babies cried because their parents cried and he, himself, was holding a whining Turlough.

The Twins were crying openly as well as they waved.

Celeborn finally admitted he had a lump the size of Gondor in his throat.

He could see Bronwyn. How many tears could come out of one set of eyes? She would probably cry herself sick. Haldir…

So close was that one to breaking, but Haldir would not do it in front of anyone. Probably not even in front of Bronwyn. When he did crack, she would have a time of it.

He hoped Galadriel would understand.

The ropes to remove the gangplank were lowered and tied on.

“Last call.”

He thought to himself.

Galadriel, the first time he had seen her. He had fallen in love immediately. She had not been an easy catch. The exasperating she-Elf had led him on a merry chase and he was shocked when he discovered that he had been her first…

Celebrian… Elrond…

Bronwyn’s tears.

The ropes tied to the gangplank snapped tight…

What on all of Middle Earth was he doing? The transition was all but over. The twins would eradicate every Orc alive and then what?

Oh, Boogers!

“Thranduil!”

The Elf King looked at him, eyes rimmed red. “What?” he snapped.

Celeborn handed the baby to him. “You will watch them. Look over them…”

“I promised Legolas I would… What are you thinking…”

“I give it back, Thranduil. All of it! I give it all back to you!” He pulled him close. “The woods, Lothlórien, Calas Galadhon, all of it! Watch over all of it, all of them, as I would have. You are what Tithen Aras would call a Prickless Wonder, but you are a good ruler and a good father!”

“You brainless braggart! You have packed nothing…”

“You can have my clothes too! I know you have always desired that silver robe with the blue sash! But it will always look better on me!” He punched the Elven King in the arm and turned to Bronwyn’s Brood…

Celeborn quickly hugged and kissed them all…

Anselm held him close. “I knew you couldn’t stay.”

The gangplank started to lift…

Thank Iluvatar, he wore a tunic and leggings and not those cumbersome robes. Celeborn took off running, hair flying in the wind. He ran up the plank of wood, it now swaying several feet in the air and he took a flying leap over the yawning air between the bridge and the boat…

People pointed, stared at the Elf running crazily up the plank. Haldir looked stupefied – ah, to have a painting of that look – and for a moment, Bronwyn stopped crying…

Both feet hit the deck and shot out from under him and the Elf Lord bounced in a most undignified manner across the wood on his ass. He thought he might have nailed a wolf or two on his way…

Sailors, Cirdan himself ran to help him up. Sure enough, Ludwig, Bronwyn’s wolf yipped angrily and slunk away, scowling, limping slightly on his front paw.

Celeborn grimaced in pain. There be splinters…

He limped over to Haldir and Bronwyn and began to wave at the crowd on the docks.

“Celeborn, I…”

“Be quiet, Haldir. I changed my mind. I would miss Galadriel too much and I would miss yours and Bronwyn’s shenanigans even more. Besides,” he motioned to their family left behind, “They do not really need me. They are in good hands with Thranduil. They are, Tithen Aras. When you are in the mood to listen, go to Legolas and ask him to tell you of his growing up, of his Ada. Not the King, but of Legolas’ Ada. What you hear will be totally different from what you think.”

The ship sailed with the setting sun.

Even after all others had gone below deck or moved on to other activities, the tall Elf and short woman stood at the deck, watching…

“Can you still see them, Cormmin?”

“Aye, they still stand there, watching.”

And as Bronwyn and Haldir watched the horizon of Middle Earth disappear slowly, the loose button eyes of a tattered, ancient teddy bear, tucked in the back waist of her jeans, stared off towards Valinor.

***

I would dial the numbers just to listen to your breath
I would stand inside my hell and hold the hand of death
You don’t know how far I’d go to ease this precious ache
You don’t know how much I’d give
Or how much I can take
Just to reach you…

Come to my window
Melissa Ethridge

***

Not many ate that night. Certainly none did, who were with Bronwyn and Haldir’s party. Legolas and Gimli sat together with Faeowynne, who watched her parents from the corner.

Now was not the time to tell them.

No one noticed the small man sitting in the corner, by himself.

Haldir had crawled inside himself and Bronwyn could feel, sense his pain. That night, she crawled in the narrow, hard bunk with him and reached out to hold him.

He brushed her hands away, perturbed at the weakness within himself.

“Haldir please.”

He turned his back to her, so she would not see his tears.

“Go to sleep, Baraermin.”

She was stunned. “Haldir… Cormmin… please. They are your children too. Can I offer you no comfort?”

It was quiet for a moment before he spat. “Comfort? You mean sex! Is that what you want tonight?”

Bronwyn caught her breath. Lightly, she laid her hand on the broad back and was jolted by the pain he harbored deep inside. He felt the intrusion of her mind and jerked from her.

“Do not do that. Use your gifts the way the Valar intended. Not on me!” He took a deep breath. “Go to sleep.”

“But, Cormmin…”

“I said go to sleep, Bronwyn.” He had scooted to as close to the cabin wall as he could get. Bronwyn waited until his breathing evened out and then quietly, wrapped herself in his red cloak and crying, stole from the cabin.

***

Kyrie Elleson down the road the I must travel
Kyrie Elleson through the darkness of the night
Kyrie Elleson where I’m going will you follow?
Kyrie Elleson on that highway in the sky…

***

Celeborn couldn’t sleep. The boat rocked and it disconcerted him. Sighing heavily, he donned leggings and a tunic and went topside.

The mist was fine, and the salt from the water stung his nostrils, his face. It smelled good, in its strange way and he inhaled deeply. In holding his breath, he heard the quiet sob. Turning, into the night, towards the back of the ship, he saw the glow of a red cape, a large red cloak, covering a body it was not made for, that was too small for it. She had wrapped herself in Haldir’s cloak, the bottom whipping around her legs as the wind blew her hair in a wild mass. She gazed back towards Middle Earth, back towards her home, back towards her children.

Grieving.

With silent footsteps, Celeborn moved behind her and placed gentle hands on her shoulders.

“Tithen Aras…”

Bronwyn turned in his arms, turned in his embrace. She buried her face in his chest and strong arms clasped his lower back. The Elf Lord had no choice but to embrace her, hold her close. And when her voice came forth, it was muffled, broken.

“Nyeeradín, Celeborn. Nyeeradin. N’ista sut dín anta.”

Celeborn’s eyes teared up, for her worry over Haldir. “He is a warrior, Tithen Aras. He is trained not to show his grief.” A long, finger tipped her chin so he could see her eyes in the moonlight. “He will stand stalwart for you.” He placed gentle kisses on her forehead.

“What am I supposed to do?” she whispered. “Does he not know he can lean on me as well?” Her voice was dejected. “How is he to cope? How do I help him?” Tears began to run anew down her already dripping cheeks.

“Be there for him.” Celeborn watched as she peered backwards at the white crests, churned by the Elven ship. “When he least expects it, he will reach out for you. It might be in his sleep, it might be when something absurd bothers him. He will fight against it, but eventually, it will happen. He might even lash out at you, but it is because he will not know how to ask you for your help.” He hugged her tightly.

If he held her any closer, she would be on the other side of him. His body responded to her nearness and he stepped back a nudge so as to not cause her any embarrassment.

Her tears flowed freely. Whether she grieved the loss of two of her children or if she hurt for Haldir, he did not know.

“Celeborn.” He thumbed her ear in acknowledgment. “When your daughter… was captured, how did you deal with your anger? Your pain? How did Elrond deal with it?” She looked up to him. “I am sorry. You do not have to answer that.”

He looked down at her and gave her that funny half smile of his. “Yes, I do need to answer it.” The cold spray was cooling the temperature of his body and he pulled her around to his side. ” How did I deal with the atrocities? How did Elrond? I cannot answer for Elrond, but I…”

Celeborn took a deep breath, remembering back all those centuries ago. “How did I deal with it?”

For a few minutes, the only sound was that of the waves.

“For many weeks, I held Galadriel tightly in the night, in the day. She was strong for our people, but when she was alone, she grieved so. And I was strong for her. When she was surrounded by her attendants, busy with the affairs of Lothlorien, I rode my horse as hard as I could. I went into the plains and rode that horse until it was ready to drop. I screamed. I went to the archery field and shot arrow after arrow. I looked for Orcs everywhere, ready to butcher them to the last.” His hand dropped to her shoulder and he chuckled mirthlessly. “I killed so many. And killing them was not enough. I had to slaughter them… each one had touched my daughter. Each one had… defiled her. I took my fury out until I could no longer raise my arm, raise my sword. Elrohir and Elladan found me, caught up with me.” Celeborn’s eyes stared into the night. “They got me rip roaring drunk. And then, I cried.” His arms pulled her close again and had one not known them, it would have been thought they were lovers.

She whispered it so quietly, he almost missed it.

“He turned his back on me, Celeborn. I reached out to comfort him and he turned his back on me.”

That infuriated the Elf Lord.

He looked down at the woman held tight in his arms. How long had he dreamed of holding her thus? For over a century, she held him at arm’s length, they had held each other at arm’s length and for good reason. Truly, he did not want more than her friendship. But the knowledge that Haldir, unable to deal with his own grief, had turned his back on the one who loved him more than he did himself? Well, that was…

She was looking at him with tear-filled eyes, her mouth in a glorious pout. Not a childish pout, but one born of pain and deep sorrow. He could hardly remember a time in the past few months when she was not crying. She felt good here, warm and soft.

And Haldir had turned his back on her, when she attempted to comfort him? And needed it so horribly herself?

He leaned down, not meaning to do anything but whisper his apology.

It never came out. Rather, his lips brushed hers gently, lingered, before pressing sweetly.

There are kisses that are heated with passion. This was not one. There are kisses planted by children. This was not one of those, either. Rather, it was innocence personified. It shocked the Elf Lord in its simplicity, its honest candor. He knew what honey tasted like and understood completely for the first time why Haldir was so possessive of this one woman. Although her mouth did not open completely for him, her tongue caressed his lip and his tongue slid around the bottom of hers before he freed her mouth.

“I am sorry, Celeborn. I cannot give you more.” She truly looked sorrowful at the revelation. “Please do not ask it of me.”

“It is not you who should apologize, tithen aras, but I.” His voice was a pained whisper.

Bronwyn laid her head on the chest of the Elf, her hand patting gently at his waist. “Do not fret yourself. It is our secret. Besides, it was just a kiss.”

Ah. His eyes closed. The one you love turns his back on you and what I have fantasized of for a century was ‘just’ a kiss to you. For the first time in over a millennia, Celeborn felt put in his place. It was a humbling experience.

“Celeborn?”

“Yes, tithen aras?”

Mischievous eye burned brightly up at him.

“But it was one hell of a kiss!”

Celeborn smiled and pulled her closer to him, enjoying her body heat.

They stayed that way for an hour.

***

Long before the sun peeked over the horizon, Bronwyn blearily made her way down to hers and Haldir’s cabin. The bed was a mess, the covers tangled and twisted around Haldir’s body and it was apparent he had thrashed in the night. Quietly, so as not to disturb him, she laid the cloak on a chair and stripped off her damp clothes. She slid into bed next to him, curling into his body.

Suddenly, without warning, he rolled, pinning her beneath him. His eyes glittered in the dark.

“You sought comfort elsewhere.”

“Wha-“

His knee thrust between hers, prying them apart. “You sought comfort elsewhere.”

“No-“

“Do not deny it.” He settled himself, angry hardness against her curls, probing, without thought… “I felt it. If you want comfort, if you need comfort, I will give it to you…”

Immediately, she knew…

Celeborn’s words.

It might be when something absurd bothers him. He might even lash out at you, but it is because he will not know how to ask you for your help.

But still..

The fury burned within. He should know better…

“No! I did NOT seek comfort!” She smacked him hard on the shoulder. “I sought answers, you Neithadol!” Haldir’s eyes flashed and narrowed. ” I am not the only one who left family behind, you sorry sack of shit!” Her eyes filled with tears and she grasped him by his hair. “You are hurting and I don’t know how to comfort you. You won’t let me. I am not you, but I am not weak or insipid or totally without a backbone! Yes, I went topside. Yes, Celeborn joined me there. Yes, he hugged me. Held me even. I asked him how he reacted when Celebrian was taken and how he handled the pain, grief.” She felt Haldir’s breath jerk inward. “But I did not seek comfort.” She smacked him again. “Help me help you, you shit head! If you must take me, if it helps ease your pain, fine. My body is yours; you know it and I would never deny you that. But do it in love, in need, not in anger.” Haldir was staring at her as if she had grown a second head. “I love you,” she took her index finger and began poking him between his eyes, “Help me to help you. What… do… you… want… from… me?”

Haldir’s fury fled in a rush. It felt as if he had been immersed in a pool of ice water. What did he want from her? Vindication for her imagined tryst? Understanding?

“Baraermin, I do not wish you to think I am weak…”

“Weak? Is this what this is fucking all about?” She was now poking him on the shoulder. “That I would think you weak because you grieved just a little bit? That I would think you weak because you leaned on me? Because you needed me? Forgive my stupidity, but it is my understanding when two are bonded, they share the burden equally. You might be my Shield and Guardian, but I’m also your wife, you rat bastard. I’m your helpmeet. Key word here – Help!” He released a pent up breath of air and rolled to the side, bringing her with him.

“I do not know how to do what you ask.” He pulled her closer. “I do not know where to begin. I do not know how to express… I would never willingly hurt you, you know that… I thought you wanted… ” Her hand rested on his chest, kisses planted on his shoulder. “How do I begin?” he whispered.

“Just talk to me.”

So he did. Haltingly at first and then in a rush, like water released from a dam. Feelings, memories, long pent up rage. And soon the tears spilled unbidden, flowing, joining hers.

And only after the sun had long been up, did he take refuge in that most hallowed place, in her arms.

***

So save me I’m waiting
I’m needing, hear me pleading
And soothe me, Improve me
I’m grieving, I’m barely believing it now

Secret Smile
Semisonic

***

“Mother? Can we talk?”

Faeowynne looked down at her mother, who sat on turn wheel of sorts. Bronwyn looked into eyes of… fear? Faeowynne? Afraid?

They had now been out to sea for a week. Every evening, she and Haldir stood at the back of the ship, facing Middle Earth, calling, talking to Beckett.

We are fine, Mother. We miss you. We miss Ada. Hell, we even miss Faeowynne. We miss Legolas and Rumil and Gimli and Celeborn. Please tell Thranduil to go home already!

And now, this one child, who was never afraid, stood in front of her, wringing her hands…

“Faeowynne?” Bronwyn stood up and reached forward. “What is wrong?”

Faeowynne looked around and led her mother to the very front of the peaked prow of the ship. She smiled nervously.

“I have good news, I think.”

Bronwyn looked at her askance. “You think you have good news?”

She licked her lips nervously.

“I’m pregnant.” She looked relieved at the admission.

Bronwyn took a deep breath. “You are what?”

“I am pregnant.”

Bronwyn looked out into the waters. She spied dolphins playing in front of the prow. “And did the father by chance come along?”

“No.”

“Ah.” Bronwyn continued to look ahead. “Do I know the father?”

“Elladan. Elrohir.”

“WHAT?” Bronwyn jerked her eyes to the girl. Faeowynne was now looking out towards the waters, smiling, her fingers twirling in her long hair. “You are pregnant by both?”

“I am having twins… one by each.”

“One… by… each.” Bronwyn felt the beginnings of a headache. “How…”

“Well, I had them at the same time, mother… stop flapping your jaw like that. You know, if you were not so tied and in love with Ada, you would have done them too…”

“CIRDAN!!!! Turn this boat around!” Bronwyn started to stomp off to find the Captain, but ran headlong into Haldir, who had felt her fury build at an incredible speed.

“Baraer? What is the matter?”

“Go ask your daughter!” she spat and stalked to the rear of the boat where Celeborn and Legolas stood, watching the proceedings.

“Why is it, when they do something to displease her, they become my children?” As Haldir turned and approached his daughter, she immediately shrank. But soon, her courage waved and Haldir’s voice carried in the wind…

“CIRDAN! Turn this boat around!”

They were unable to get the entire story from her until later that afternoon in their cabin.

Haldir paced. His jaw ticked and he yanked viciously on his back braid. Bronwyn was at a loss for words. “Wwwwwhy? Melko’s Chains, what possessed you to do something so… so…”

“For me. For Elrond.”

Bronwyn was now rubbing her eyes with her fingertips. “You do not even know Elrond.”

“No, I do not. But I know his children. I knew Arwen. I liked her. I know the Twins. I liked them. They were not going to the Undying Lands and they were leaving their parents alone. I have heard you talk about him. Ada and Celeborn have such respect for him. I did not want him to be alone. I do not want him to hurt like you and Ada hurt for Anselm and Beckett.

Bronwyn sank into the chair at the small table and put her head in her hands. Strong hands – Haldir’s – kneaded her neck. “Couldn’t you have just made him a pie?”

Haldir scowled, playing over the words he had heard his daughter say. “You did not want him to hurt like we are? Faeowynne. Why did you come with us? Do you really want to come to the Undying Lands?”

Faeowynne had sunk to the berth, her hands between her knees. “Honestly? It makes no difference to me. One place is as good as the other. But all my life… always, I knew Beckett would stay. And when Anselm and I were young, I could tell she would too. But I knew you, Mama. I knew you, Ada. You would hurt so. I just wanted to alleviate the pain some for you. I just wanted to be with you.” For the first time that Haldir could remember, he saw tears in this child’s eyes. “You speak of Elrond in such revered tones. Everyone talks about his kindness, his intelligence, how much he loved his wife, his children. When we step off this boat, he will be there, looking. Hoping. And we will have to tell him Arwen is dead and his sons are not coming, that they will eventually die and fade as well. His brother chose to lead a mortal life. He will hurt, like you hurt for Anselm and Beckett. It isn’t much, but I thought if I could give him a part of Elladan… a part of Elrohir… and you will miss Turlough and Ariella and Merilinde and little Orophin, so I just… wanted to ease… give…” She flung herself into Haldir’s arms. “I just wanted you to myself for a little while. Beckett was The Firstborn, Anselm, your baby. I just want a little piece for myself!”

There was nothing but sounds of sobbing and quiet reassurance from the cabin for a long time.

***

Bronwyn recognized the elderly little man finally on the deck late that afternoon.

“Sam? Samwise Gamgee?” Her face split in a smile as she stooped down to embrace him.

“Bronwyn. I haven’t seen you since you married. You haven’t changed a bit.” A smile split the crinkled face.

“Forgive my rudeness, but… how did you manage passage to the Undying Lands? I saw Pippin and Merry. They went to Gondor…”

“And died probably.” Sam was always straight forward. “I was a ringbearer. Only for a short time, but I was.” Bronwyn sat next to him while he told her of the Scourging of the Shire, how Frodo had finally gone on and left him and his wife and children BagEnd. How Merry and Pippin had actually grown up. He told her of his and Frodo’s escapades through the Dead Marshes with Gollum, through the Wastelands, how they were captured and released by Faramir. Their run in with Shelob and sneaking under the Black Gate.

Bronwyn listened. And remembered.

And she remembered what Celeborn had told her of Legolas, so the day after, she cornered him at the prow of the ship and asked him of his childhood, of his Ada.

When Legolas was done, she felt much better of leaving her children and grandchildren in his capable hands.

***

I wake up in the morning
And I raise my weary head
I got an old coat for a pillow
And the earth was last night’s bed
I don’t know where I’m going
Only God knows where I’ve been…

Blaze of Glory
Jon Bon Jovi

***

They arrived in the Undying Lands on a sunny day. They were greeted by many, including Elrond.

Sure as expected, the moment Bronwyn came down the plank and grasped him by the hands, his face fell and he murmured, “It was a frivolous hope, a useless dream…” She gave him the final letter from Arwen, hugged him close, and introduced him to Faeowynne.

“Wait a few days, Elrond. We have some news for you.”

Galadriel was there as well, serene, confident that her husband would be on this last boat. Celeborn tried to be nonchalant, but ended up running to her arms.

“Let us find a room, wench. I want to ravish you from dusk to dawn for days!”

She smacked him playfully. “Such behavior is unseemly!”

“Unseemly behavior? Let me tell you about unseemly behavior!” He lifted her in his arms and darted down the road.

They were not seen for days and when they finally emerged from where ever they had hidden, their grins were very… unchaste.

Sam found Frodo and together, they hobbled off, barefoot in the grass.

Rumil, Legolas and Gimli slipped off with a beautiful blonde Elf and a thin raven-haired Elf.

Soon, the crowds dispersed and Bronwyn and Haldir found themselves looking up to Gandalf.

Gandalf looked dubiously at the small pack of wolves that had accompanied them and narrowed his eyes. “Are they… tame?

“Well, they are housebroken…” Ludwig rolled his eyes and nosed Sebastian and Clara, as if to say ‘Get a load of the hat on that human!’

“I suppose the three of you would like to know what arrangements have been made for you?”

“I had wondered.” Haldir was retaining his March Warden attitude.

Gandalf inclined his head to a wagon… several wagons… loaded with trunks. “I took the initiative when my personal space began to become loaded down with trunks and when Elrond ran out of room, to have a place made ready for you.” he nodded to Bronwyn as they got behind the reins and clicked the horses forward. ” I hope you do not mind.” The wagons rolled slowly up a side road, along the cliffs.

When Bronwyn saw what place had been made for them, she smiled deeply.

Her cottage. They – the Valar, the Elves – had reconstructed her cottage.

She ran indoors, where Orophin and Tomasil awaited them.

Orophin smiling, laughing. As he had a century before when she first met him.

And when she looked around, and saw boxes, boxes everywhere…

And saw her things.

The clutter.

Her instruments.

And sheets of music.

And in a back corner, found, her piano.

Steinway, full- sized concert grand. 1938 E class. Twelve feet long.

She turned to Haldir…

He was scowling, taking in the mess, the unorganized haphazard… Iluvatar’s Balls, this would take weeks to sort through. Months… years even…

…and flung herself into his strong arms, smiling.

“Finally, we are home, darling!”

***
tbc
***

Nyeeradín, Celeborn. Nyeeradin. N’ista sut dín anta.
He grieves, Celeborn. He grieves. I don’t know how to help him

Bronwyn’s Sword inscription:

“Mana lúme caita syadlla?: “When is the time to thrust down your sword?

Mana lúme lerya quingalla?: When is the time to hand over your bow?

Mana lúme hehtanë siklla?: When is the time to sheath your knives?

Mana lúme mappe eppessëlla?: When is the time in which to claim your titles?

Er Valar quetuvar.”: Only when the Valar say thus.”

The calling of the Earth:

“Serkenin naa a Arda: “My blood is of the Earth
Arda naa a serkenin: The Earth is of my Blood.
Naem er, Naem atya: We are One. We are the Same.
Naem weerenen ullume : We are forever joined.
Hanyo allasse ar nwalma.: I am aware of all of her joys and sorrows.”

I would get nowhere without Novedhelion to do all this lovely translation. Thank you!

The Vessel 39/48

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I’ve been gone awhile. life has been really rough, Has anyone seen the Rings of Power? I’ve enjoyed it tremendously!!!

Usual disclaimers still apply – these ones ain’t mine, those ones are mine, I didn’t write you know what, thank you, you know who… and damn, we lost another one!

Chapter 29

Addicted to love or How many words for ‘no’ do you need?

***

You’re gonna hafta face it
You’re addicted to love…

Robert Palmer

***

Fall air turned crisp.

Leaves fell and dropped like parchment to the ground.

Winter came.

Morning dew turned into shards of crystal glass laced upon the grass and bushes.

The young ones came of age.

***

You could have a bumper car, bumping
The amusement never ends
I want to be your sledgehammer…

Sledgehammer
Peter Gabriel
So.

***

Two sweaty bodies tussled on the ground, slick with perspiration, heavy gasps of in taken breath, hanging in the cold air.

“Saes.”

A woman’s deep chuckle. “Lie still, a’maelamin. I would have my way with you.”

A snort. “Oh, right!” His gasp followed quickly as her hand pressed against the small of his back. She blew on the back of his neck, the long hair moving, exposing the delicate curve, the ridges of his spine. Feather – light kisses rained gently at the nape, sweet nibbles on the tips of his ears.

“Saeeeeessssss…..” His plea was whispered.

“Oh, be quiet. You are SUCH a whiney butt!” Her tongue snaked to his shoulder blades, tasting the salt in his perspiration, lapping it up. Lips, he had just kissed into what he thought was oblivion, stroked, teased, the hypersensitive spine, the skin of his back. She suckled at the small of his back.

“Language!” he admonished, breathlessly. “Your mother would be shocked to hear your speech.”

“My mother could care less, as long as I stayed out of her hair!” she replied, ruthlessly. She nipped the side of his hip.

The sharp gasp disturbed the hibernating birds.

Her hands stroked strong, lean buttocks, down rock hard thighs, to sensitive knees; legs that had spent a great deal of time in the saddle and were now beyond sensitive. He attempted to roll over.

“Noooo.” she whispered. She straddled his back and bent over, kissing the backs of his knees.

His eyes closed in ecstasy. This was sinful.

Her tongue slid around the tendons of the joints.

He changed his mind.

This was beyond sinful.

He could feel her wetness pooling on his back and he arched up to meet her now gyrating hips. Her mouth moved upwards, from his knees, around his thighs.

Swirling… teasing…

She jumped off his back and began to nibble on the curve of his buttocks.

He was harder than he had been in a long time.

Well, maybe that was an exaggeration. He hadn’t been this hard since the last time they had snuck out alone and screwed each other senseless under the morning sun.

Her tongue was dipping into the crevice… finding…

Ooooooh! Bad, bad Lirimaer! She could hear him growling…

Lips were pressed against the groove, tongue delving…

Flicked…

Found…

Gaaaaaaaah!

Must.

Regain.

Control…

He rolled over, knocking her sideways. Leaping up, his cock pointing to the sky, he grabbed her roughly by the elbow, his eyes, searching… searching…

Found…

The tree nearby had a low, bare branch, just the right height, the perfect thickness, sturdiness.

She saw it to and her eyes widened in mock horror.

“Nooooo. Saes….”

“Yessssssssss…”

Still holding on to her arm, he leaned over, grabbing the closest item of clothing – her cloak – and slung it over the branch

“Nooooo.” She began to twitch, trying to pull her arm from his grasp. He laughed at her struggles. With his free hand, he spread the cloak and roughly bent her over the tree. She fell across with an ‘oof’ and he moved behind her teetering bottom.

“This is NOT a very lady-like position!” she hissed.

“Who said you were a lady?” he retorted. Carefully, he tipped her until she was at the perfect height. Her toes did not reach the ground.

“We could get caught!”

“You should have thought about that before you started teasing me!” With one hand, he spread her lips, delighting in the silken feel of her skin. He held his cock in the other hand, teasing her with the head. “Besides, at this point, I do not care who catches us!” And with that, he thrust into her oh – so – willing – body. She scrambled, trying to find something to hold on to.

She found the calves of his lower legs and grabbed ahold.

For several minutes, he pounded her, mutual grunts of painful pleasure rising in the trees. Their juices mingled, audible as well, before he felt her tighten, clinging to his legs, and began to groan. They came together, slamming, screaming… their heartbeats slowing.

“Ouch.”

Carefully, he stepped back, his spent member sliding from her body. Lovingly, he helped her down from her tenuous perch and grabbing the heavy woolen cloak, he shook it free of bark and wrapped the two of them in it as they fell to their combined, discarded clothing on the leaves. He pulled her in closely to his warm embrace; lips caressed each other sweetly.

“Haldir.”

“Yes, Baraermin?”

“Promise me we will never be too old and too decrepit to enjoy each other outside at the sunrise.”

Haldir nipped the end of her nose. “I promise we will never be too old and too decrepit to enjoy each other outside, at any time!”

She burrowed into his body, enjoying the heat.

***

The young one’s body shook with revulsion.

“Ew!” Beckett’s shoulders were up around his ears and his eyes were squeezed shut in undisguised revulsion. “Oh, that was just beyond disgusting!” One eye opened to peer at Orelinde, giggling next to him. “Oh, laugh away! It would be a different story if we had walked up on YOUR parents!”

Her giggles did not diminish. It took her a moment to regain control. “Beckett! You act as if you never thought your parents had sex! How do you think you got here?”

Not wanting to be overheard, he grabbed Orelinde by the elbow – in a gesture similar to what Haldir had done to Bronwyn – and marched her quickly from the small glade his parents were thrashing in. He and Orelinde had enjoyed that particular clearing on many occasions, used that particular branch in the same manner, but now it was completely ruined for him. He would never look at that tree the same way again!

Besides, if his parents knew about it, chances were likely, they would be back. After all, they were old – creatures of habit!

“It is not something one wants to think about! Much less envision or actually witness.” His mouth was screwed up in a very Haldir-like scowl. “And now we have to find a new spot and quite frankly, I do not think I even want to do it now!”

Loving hands wrapped around him, stroking him, forcing his body to respond. “Oh, I think you are over-reacting and I just bet you will want to when I get through with you.”

Brandy brown eyes peered into sky-blue. “Wanton! Let us get further from here…”

Two horny young ones raced deeper into the woods.

They too, were watched.

“We could have stopped them, kept them from seeing…” Elrohir stopped in mid-sentence and looked at his twin. Elladan shook his head and both spoke together.

“Nah!”

***

It was a cold winter. Snow lay on the ground for many days at a time and all felt cooped up by the warm fires of stoves and fireplaces. Nighttime saw Haldir and Bronwyn burrowing under piled blankets, wrapped in each other, oblivious to the nocturnal wanderings of their children. Legolas himself kept to his rooms at night, unaware that his daughter did not sleep in her bed.

Gimli suspected.

Celeborn knew.

And wisely kept his thoughts to himself.

The wolves knew.

Time moved slowly.

Winter gave way to spring.

Spring brought things close to Rivendell again and soon the Twins went back out on patrol, leaving some things unguarded and unprotected.

No one welcomed the warm weather and budding flora more than Bronwyn.

Or welcomed the warmer weather than her children.

***

“I still worry for Orophin.” Bronwyn walked the path, observing the last of the purple winter crocuses before they would wilt. “He hears the call and yet he fights it.” She stooped to clear the dregs of the late snowfall from the green leaves. “I don’t understand. Will he die if he does not answer?”

“Possibly.” Legolas stooped, dusting off another flower. “It depends on his will. I have begun to hear it and I yearn to see the waves crashing on the shore and watch the soaring of the gulls.” He caught her eye. “Rumil hears it too.” He helped her stand.

“We do not have long, do we, mellon?”

“Nay.”

She was staring off into the distance, as if lost in thought. “My knives are no longer content to be sluggish. Now, they are wild.” Her voice was almost a whisper.

“I do not understand…”

Her chuckle was mirthless. “Wild. They have minds of their own… I know, they always did have minds of their own, but they no longer go where I send them. They can end up too wide, too high, too low. They do not go where I envision and they argue about returning.” Her voice caught up in a sob. “I do not wish to leave Beckett, or any of the others that will want to stay.”

Legolas’ hand reached to her shoulder, offering comfort where none could truly be given. “Do you have any idea who will stay? Who will go?”

She took a moment to calm herself, catch her wavering breath.

“Beckett will stay. Already my bow – the one you gave me – is in his room. He says he hears it vibrate – call – when I am ruminating on past occurrences or future ones. I do not wish to leave him alone.” She took a deep breath. “Sometimes, I wish we had taken them to and lived in more populated places, where he could have met young people his own age. I am afraid our isolated lifestyle might have hindered him.”

“Beckett is a personable Elf. Perhaps, after we leave, he will go to my Ada and meet someone in the Greenwood. Or even Lothlorien. Celeborn will guide him. Many Elves are staying, Bronwyn.”

“Ah, but I would see him settled before we go.” They continued to walk slowly. “Haldir is determined Anselm will go with us.” Her face was screwed in thought. “But I do not think she will want to go. Her heart, her mind wanders and she wishes to go back and explore; to learn what I could not.” Her posture hardened. “I will not leave her here alone and unprotected. I would she have a strong Elf to guide her.”

“Who would you choose for her?”

Bronwyn wound her arm around her friend’s. “If not you?” Legolas smiled at that sentiment. “Heridil. That one has been alone too long. He is quiet, thoughtful, sometimes a little stern. But he is a good Elf. I have never known him to be free with his favors. He would take good care of her.”

Legolas smiled at the thoughtfulness of the woman next to him. “Faeowynne?”

“Oh.” Bronwyn scowled. “That one is a puzzle. Will she go with us? Will she not? My strong, independent daughter. I cannot tell.”

“Would you see her settled as well?”

She snorted. “With who?” Bronwyn then smiled, her voice taking on an unusual dialect and accent, the pitch dropping. “Ah pity da foo’ that tries to tie her down!” They wandered further from the house, and deeper into the more remote sections of the garden. “Ah, who knows what that one will choose.”

***

Heridil and Anselm sat in his room, their heads and hands together.

“You are sure, Tithen Dulin?”

“Aye. I did not think it would happen so fast. The Valar move quickly, do they not?”

Heridil’s eyes were huge.

A baby. A little Elf-ling. His and hers.

Haldir and Bronwyn would kill them.

Them, nothing. They would kill him!

Heridil swallowed hard and took a deep breath.

“I think it is time I had a talk with your Ada.”

“I will go with you.” She started to rise, but the Elf placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.

“Nay. This must be Elf to Elf. I will not have your Ada think that I am hiding behind you.” He stood up and caressed her head. “I will be back.” He turned and went through the door. “I might be in twenty pieces,” he mumbled, “but I will be back.”

***

Legolas heard the sounds first. They were faint, barely audible, but definitely there. Bronwyn saw his look of concentration and curiosity as he quietly moved from the path. Soon, she too, heard the sounds. Sounds she recognized, because she had made them herself. Silently, the two made their way through the wooded area into a small glen.

And got the shock of their lives.

***

He found Haldir in the dining area.

“Heridil!” Haldir looked up from the table, the map spread before him. “Has my daughter been giving you fits? Trying to hide?”

It had been a story, an excuse, they had used often to receive precious moments alone. Heridil looked guiltily at Celeborn and then back at Haldir. He did not see the Dwarf, drinking in the corner.

He found his backbone and squared his shoulders.

Never let him see you sweat!

“Nay.”

Haldir looked confused. “Then why are you seeking my council?”

Celeborn looked from Elf to Elf. Perhaps it would be prudent for him to stay put, in case his former March Warden had a sudden urge to throttle the younger Galadrhim. And considering the look on Heridil’s face, that was probably exactly what was going to happen. The Elf Lord sat up from his relaxed position to move to the edge of his seat, just in case he had to move fast.

Heridil opened his mouth to speak.

Only to have Haldir put up his hand.

“Wait…” His voice trailed off. “What is that noise?” He stood with his head cocked to the side. He recognized the sound…

Bronwyn was screeching.

Celeborn could hear her now as well. And she was being bellowed at by…

Legolas?

How long had it been since Legolas had bellowed at anyone?

And at Bronwyn? No one bellowed at Bronwyn except Haldir – not that it did HIM any good…

Celeborn motioned to Heridil to open the closed door and the volume raised considerably.

“Unhand my son, you Neithadol!”

Haldir’s eyebrows rose. Beckett? What had Beckett done?

“Nay, I am going to beat him…”

“In a pig’s eye! You will not touch my son! Not until I do it first!” This was followed by cursing in a language he did not recognize and quite frankly, did not want nor care to know!

Heridil had moved to the wall, near the door, out of range, a mixture of confusion and fear on his face. Haldir calmly turned and rolling up the map he and Celeborn had been looking at, turned back around and sat at the edge of the desk, and waited with his arms crossed.

He was not prepared for the sight that greeted him.

Orelinde and Beckett were shoved unceremoniously into the room by opposing, irate parents. It looked as if Orelinde had grabbed the nearest thing to wear – Beckett’s tunic, of all things. Beckett was struggling into his leggings with every step, trying to dodge both Legolas AND Bronwyn. Upon seeing Haldir in front of them – his look was one of well – schooled calmness – Orelinde moved to Beckett’s side, the both of them clinging to each other.

Ah. When had THIS taken place?

He looked both in the eye. Orelinde returned his gaze, slightly fearful. She had adhered herself tighter to Beckett, was now well into his embrace. Beckett’s was… equally arrogant, direct, and Haldir watched as he pulled the beautiful young elleth closer to him.

Well, the Elfling had good taste.

He returned his attention back to his wife and the Prince.

“I will see him throttled and throttled well!”

“No, you will not! You will have to go through me!”

The two were nose to nose, Legolas bent over, lording over, attempting to intimidate Bronwyn; Bronwyn on her toes, bouncing with each consonant, fists bouncing at her side, punctuating each as well, refusing to be intimidated.

“He seduced my daughter!”

“Excuse me?” Bronwyn had pushed right up against the angry Elf and was now attempting to intimidate him. ” Excuse me? Who was riding who?”

Celeborn caught his snicker. Only Haldir heard it and he glanced idly at the Elf Lord. He looked back at the battling adults. Spittle was starting to fly and Bronwyn was positively frothing. The two young ones were clinging to each other. For a moment, he allowed himself to hang his head in disgust and contemplated the matter at hand. Skills at negotiation that he had learned at the hands of a master quickly surfaced as he sought to control the explosive situation.

“Silence!”

The two adults continued their battle.

“I said SILENCE!”

The demanded – and immediate – hush in the room was deafening. Seven sets of eyes of differing colors were now fixated on him. Legolas attempted to wrest control back.

“Haldir, your son…”

“I said be quiet, Prince of Greenwood, and I meant it!” Bronwyn’s jaw dropped to start, but Haldir cut her off. “That goes for you as well, Baraermin. Do not think that because you are my wife and mother to this reckless Elf that I will allow you to roll over me like Sauron’s war machine!” Bronwyn’s jaw snapped shut with an audible click. Haldir looked closely at the two youngling’s in front of him.

Orelinde clung to Beckett, her eyes filled with tears. Beckett held on to her tightly, his gaze meeting his father’s; fearful, but obstinate. With a gentleness few had ever seen, the former March Warden reached and thumbed unshed glimmers of moisture from Orelinde’s eyelashes. “Go to your room, little one.” He laid a single finger across her protests. “I will not shove your obvious feelings to the side, nor will allow injury to come to either you or him. Go.” He motioned her in the direction of her room with his head.

“You will not order my daughter around. She is my responsibility and I will…” Legolas was cut off with a single raised hand.

“Legolas Greenleaf! You might be the Prince of Greenwood, but you try my patience.” Haldir pointed to Beckett. “You! Tie up your leggings and go to Elrond’s office. Heridil.” He addressed the quiet Elf. “Go to Beckett’s room and retrieve a tunic for him. I have not forgotten you and we will talk later.” Heridil did not know if he should be relieved or even more fearful. Haldir continued issuing orders. Bronwyn was too furious to be impressed. “Celeborn, please take my wife to Erestor’s library and ply her with several glasses of wine.” Both Legolas and Bronwyn began to protest again. Haldir rolled his eyes and grabbing her by the shoulders, picked his wife up and set her in front of Celeborn. “Take her now.”

“Come, Tithen Aras. It will be alright.” The Elf Lord took her by the hand and led her, confused and upset, from the room.

Haldir returned his attention to Legolas. Legolas took a deep breath and…

“I demand you…”

“You are in no position to demand anything, mellon.” The tone was deceptively quiet and Legolas had heard it before, but never to him. Haldir had moved to a side bar and was pouring two glasses of wine. He handed one to Legolas and took a sip from his own. Legolas took a deep breath in attempts to calm himself. Fury and angry words would get him nowhere with Haldir.

“Beckett has seduced my daughter.”

“Did he?” Haldir was inspecting the contents of his glass as he swirled the honey colored liquid. “Did she looked… coerced?”

“No, but…” Haldir’s hand went back up. A slight smile lit his face.

“Was she… truly on top?”

“Yes, but…”

The hand again.

“So enmeshed in your protestations with my wife, you were not paying attention to our children, your child.”

“And I suppose you were?” Legolas’ face was flushed in anger, his jaw set. At times like these, one was reminded of his father.

“I saw how your daughter clung to my son, like an apple not ready to fall from the tree. I saw how he clung back to her, willing to be that protective tree. I saw the tears in her eyes, her fear, her embarrassment. Rather than be so quick to throttle my son, perhaps you would be better served to go listen to your daughter.”

Legolas allowed Haldir’s words to sink in. His shoulders sank in defeat and he looked down to see his ever present friend next to his side. Gimli’s hand rested on his arm. “Have I been so blind to my daughter, Gimli?”

The Dwarf sighed and patted gently. “Ye both have. They have been sneaking around since autumn and ye’ve been too wrapped up in your own affairs to notice.”

Legolas head whipped back to Haldir. “Mellon.” His voice was tight. “Your son is staying here. I would my daughter go with me to the Undying Lands.”

“Is that what you want or what she wants?”

Dark blue eyes stared into lighter ones. “I waited for her. I planned on the two of us having forever…”

“Your plans or hers?”

Legolas turned saddened eyes towards the corridor where his daughter had just exited. He handed his glass back to Haldir. “I suppose I should have a heart to heart with my daughter.” Slowly, shoulders slumped, he left the room.

“Gimli…”

“He knows where to find me, Elf. Hand me your glass and I will fill it and pour another glass. You take it to that boy of yours. Both you and he will need it.”

Haldir looked down at the battle – scarred Dwarf. “Since when did you become a skilled negotiator who worried with the affairs of Elves?” He handed his glass to Gimli and proceeded to yank on his braid.

“Since the day I began to regret what I said to you in the woods.” He handed two glasses to Haldir.

“I had forgotten about that, Gimli, son of Gloin.”

Haldir headed down the corridor.

“Liar.”

***

Now I have loved you like a baby
Like some lonesome child

And I have loved you in a tame way
And I have loved you wild

Seven Bridges Road
The Eagles

***

Beckett sat on a side chair and he sprang up when his Ada entered the room.

He was met with an icy glare.

It made him feel like a naughty Elfling again and he did not want to be in this position.

“I have questions and you will answer them.” Haldir used the heel of his foot to shut the door.

“Yes sir.”

“Why did you not go out further? How could you get caught?”

Beckett shrugged. “We thought we were far enough.”

“How long?”

Beckett thought for a moment. “Two seasons after they arrived.”

“Really? She was complaining to us about your inappropriate attentions still around then.”

“I changed her mind.”

“Apparently.”

Haldir handed his son the extra glass of wine and beckoned him to the open balcony. He stared deeply into the swirling liquid.

“Beckett, you realize our time here is short and soon we shall be leaving these shores.”

“I know. I cannot go, Ada. My life is here.”

A bitter knot rose in Haldir’s throat. “I hear the sea, Beckett. I yearn for the gulls and I cannot bear to tell your mother.” Beckett’s arm stole around the older Elf’s waist and Haldir did not trust himself to look over. “What are your plans? Legolas is determined she go with him. You know this?”

“I did not know Legolas’ plans for Orelinde.” Deep breath. “I love her, Ada. She says she loves me and wants to stay with me.”

“Are you sure of her feelings?”

“She completes me.” There was a long pause. “We had wanted to come to you and Legolas sometime in the next few weeks to discuss a soul -bonding ceremony.”

Ah. It was that serious.

“Legolas will not be pleased.”

“We have discussed children. We have discussed agreeing.”

Oh, that was very serious. Haldir took a deep breath.

“I have sent Legolas to speak to his daughter. Let them bring this up and hopefully, if he is reasonable – and he is a reasonable Elf – perhaps the five of us will have this discussion next week like you had planned.” He stepped back and looked his son deep in the eyes.

He had his mother’s eyes and they were flaming, like hers.

“When did you grow to be so tall?”

The young Elf smirked. “I have looked you in the eye for several years, oh ancient one.”

One eyebrow arched. “Ancient? Do you think to take me on?”

The Elfling immediately backed down.

“My apologies, Ada.”

Haldir chuckled and raised his glass. “To many happy years between you and Orelinde.”

The glasses clinked together.

***

Had there been anything to throw, Bronwyn would have thrown it. She would have aimed it at the smug Elf Lord sitting in front of her and bloodied his nose.

“You knew? You have known for how long and you said nothing? Nada? Squat? Zilch? Zippo?”

Celeborn’s hands were full and he smiled. “If all those words mean nothing, then you are correct. I have known for a long time and I said nothing. Nada. Squat. Zilch. Zippo.” He played the strange words over his tongue, savoring each one. He held out one of the glasses of wine he had. “Here. Take it!”

“AAAAAAAARGH!” Her face was beet red and Celeborn wanted to kiss her, but… “Is there anything ELSE about my children you know about that you have deigned to keep to yourself?” She snatched the glass and took a rather un-ladylike gulp.

Celeborn looked upwards with a half-smile as if something interesting was on the ceiling. “Anselm. Heridil.”

“They have gotten together?” Bronwyn went from abject fury to perky happiness. “They are together? In love? Is it serious?”

“As serious as Beckett and Orelinde. If it eases your mind, Heridil did confide in me his worries of her youth and he did try to deny his feelings for a very long time. He was patient. He did not ply her with empty promises nor did he seduce her. He begins to sense her like Haldir senses you.”

“Oh.” Bronwyn tapped a thoughtful finger against pursed lips. “She will stay, y’know. Will he stay with her?”

“He would follow her to the ends of the earth.”

Her finger continued to tap. “If she stays, she will do just that.” She looked down at the elder Elf.

“Haldir will be as furious about this relationship and its consequences as you are with Beckett and Orelinde.”

“I am NOT angry about Beckett and Orelinde! I am angry because we caught them doing the Horizontal Bop. Legolas blamed my son when it was his daughter’s buttocks bouncing in the air!” She was now pacing the room. “Faeowynne. What is going on with her that you know about?”

Celeborn’s nose was deep in the cup. “I am not telling.” He cut off Bronwyn’s protestations. “I do not know who she sneaks out to. Possibly a ranger, because only when they are around, does she roam.”

“Would you tell me if you knew?”

“I told you of Heridil and Anselm! Why would I not tell you Faeowynne?” He did have his suspicions, but he did not want to be around when that was revealed. A wicked chuckle rose from Celeborn’s throat. “Want to hear a secret?” Bronwyn’s eyes had a wicked gleam as she plopped down next to Celeborn and snuggled up against him. Automatically, his arm rose up and over her shoulder. Bright eyes gleamed into his. “Galadriel and I caught Elrond and Celebrian once.”

“No!”

“Before their bonding. Before we even agreed to their bonding. In our bed. “

“NO!” Bronwyn was trying to imagine the stately Elf, young and randy, sneaking around…

“I wanted to join them.”

“Celeborn!” Bronwyn’s jaw dropped in astonishment. “She is your daughter! How could you?”

“I know.” His look was of feigned sorrow. “That was what stopped me!” Heavy sigh.

“You are a bad Elf!” she admonished.

“I know.” Celeborn tried to look as contrite as possible, but he couldn’t keep up the pretense for long. He gave up and smiled at her. “So,” he squeezed her closer and waggled an eyebrow. “Haldir will be occupied for a while. Want to be bad?” She smooched him on the mouth before smacking him on the thigh and jumped off the sofa. “Well, boogers.” he snorted into his glass and shrugged. “Just as well. I hear your husband coming down the hall.”

“I suppose I should get good and angry again. That way, he will soothe me and take me to our room and…”

“Oh, stop gloating!” Celeborn’s thoughts immediately pursued out a certain discreet elleth in the kitchens he had sought physical comfort with in the past. “Besides, he will know you are no longer angry.”

“Just at Legolas.”

The door opened and Haldir stepped through.

***

In your eyes, the light, the heat
In your eyes, I am complete

In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches

In your eyes,
The resolution to all the fruitless searches…

In your eyes
Peter Gabriel
So

***

Dinner was stilted, unusually quiet with battle lines half-heartedly drawn and quickly broken down. The entire household knew of what had transpired; in fact, it seemed as everyone had known what was going on and only the three parents had been in the dark. Heridil held Anselm’s hand beneath the table and was aware of Bronwyn’s scrutiny. She winked at him and relieved the Elf of some of his trepidation. Beckett officially asked for Orelinde’s hand in front of all and was greatly surprised at her Ada’s noble agreement. It was decided the five would meet and discuss the formal soul – bonding ceremony. Legolas made it very clear he wished his Ada to be there and informed all he would make sure the audacious sovereign would be on his best behavior.

Seeing the positive outcome of Beckett and Orelinde’s ordeal bolstered Heridil and after the group began to drift off to their respected chambers and household areas, he and Anselm approached Haldir and Bronwyn.

Haldir immediately took in the possessive clutching of Anselm’s hand.

“No.” It was whispered. It was self-denial rather than a refusal. Bronwyn had come up next to him and gently taken him by the hand.

“Hear him out, Cormamin.”

He did. He also took great notice of Heridil’s body-language, deferential to Haldir and Bronwyn, loving, protective of his youngest daughter. Anselm was equally loving and willing to be protected by him. After hearing them out, he magnanimously agreed to allowing a ceremony upon their arrival in the Undying Lands.

“Ada. I… we… would really like to have our ceremony as soon as possible.” Anselm stuttered. Bronwyn looked closely at her daughter, saw her not willing to meet her eyes.”

“You agreed. The two of you have agreed and now…”

Two blonde heads nodded, eyes downcast.

Haldir smiled congenially at Heridil, who immediately knew…

“You are dead. You are a dead Elf!” He started to step forward, but was restrained by Bronwyn’s hand. “Baraermin. Take our daughter to her room so she will not witness…”

“I will take her nowhere. I will, however take a frying pan and lay you out, if you lay one finger on him!”

“I beg your…”

“Don’t beg anything from me, you old prude!” She waved the two off. “Go discuss your actions away from here! Anselm, I am too young to be a grandmother! I shall deal with you tonight or in the morning, so off with you! Separate rooms tonight, please!” She stepped in front of Haldir and waited for the two to exit the room. They were alone.

“Haldir…”

“You might as well step to the side. He has seduced her…”

“Haldir…”

“He took advantage of her age and coerced her…”

“He did not.”

“And now she thinks she is in love…”

Her fingertips covered his mouth.

“Haldir. She will stay. Would you leave her here alone? I would not.” She saw her words sink in and realized that he truly had not considered this possibility.

“Nay. I will not leave her. Of all our children…”

“Be honest, Haldir. Do you truly think she will be happy in Valinor? With nothing to explore? There is more here to be done; more here that I do not have time to discover. Beckett will have my bow, yes, but she and I will continue to expand our knowledge of Middle Earth in order to preserve its memory.” She took a deep breath and clasped one large hand in both of hers. “Do you remember that afternoon you were forced to take to me the river for a picnic?”

“Yes. I remember it well.”

“Remember the music?” Immediately, the swell of a brass strung Celtic Harp rose on the air. “You liked it and asked about it. Asked about the composer.”

“Aye.” Haldir lifted her hand and stroked the side of his face against her knuckles. “I remember. He had a strange name.”

“Turlough. Turlough O’Carolan. One of the last of the bards. He is our child, Haldir. Our child come down through Anselm and Heridil. I am the mother of the Bards, Haldir. We are the parents of the storytellers and roving singers. Great Statesmen and philosophers will come from Beckett’s line. The historians, the singers, the artisans, from Anselm. I will not leave her here alone. I wish a strong Elf to guide her, protect her. He senses her like you sense me.” By now, both her hands cupped Haldir’s face. “My dearest love,” she spoke in Westron, “Come lie with me. This hurts you as much as it hurts me. Let us seek solace and comfort together. Please.”

He did not wait to get to their room. Rather, he sank with her on the floor.

***

TBC

***

Saes – Please
Lirimaer – Lovely One
Baraer – Fiery One
Coramin – my heart
Tithen Dulin – Little Bird
Neithadol – Wrong head

zee reads – July edition.

Hello and how are we all? I’m job hunting – interview Thursday, back on old stomping grounds. Short on funds, short on a lot of things. Life is a complete bear right now. but I have faith in abundance.

I am so behind on everything in my blog-world. Behind at RABBBWW, behind here for my reading challenge. So, shall we?

Last month, i finished the current of the foreigner series. I can’t find out when the next one is due. It appears the author has been ill, so I’ll keep an eye out for that. I found a new series – very unusual genre me – paranormal romance. Read my lips – non-stop smut fest.

He kinda looks like unkempt john porter, don’t he? Meet Zander Tarakesh, king of the Vampires. The boy has the thickest Scottish accent!

Along the edges of darkness, a war of attrition rages between the demon plane and the Tehrex Realm. Dark Warriors alone stand between humans and the evil that seeks to destroy them. Zander Tarakesh, the sexy as sin vampire king, leads the battle. Zander is battle-hardened and accustomed to command, yet wrestles to regain control when his Fated Mate is propelled into his world, bombarding him with unfamiliar emotions. His life depends on him uniting with Elsie, the slip of a mortal, who unknowingly protects a vital piece of his soul. Eradicating the demons will be an easier task than combating her sense of guilt and betrayal to gain her acceptance, loyalty, and ultimately her love. And, he must do this before she plunges a stake in his heart. One thing is certain; the flames of passion ignite a fire in their shared souls…

Elsie Hayes’ life is shattered after the vicious murder of her husband. Intent on revenge, she spends her evenings killing creatures others only see in nightmares. A supernatural event teleports Elsie into a world filled with violence, magic and unexpected lust and love when she is thrust from widow to Fated Mate of the enigmatic vampire king. Can she lower the protective shield around her heart, giving herself to a vampire whose power is the very reason her life was changed forever?

After suffering a century of torture and humiliation, Jace still bears the scars that have left his heart closed to love and acceptance. He escapes the prison walls only to realize he’s mystically bound to his tormentor. Believing he doesn’t deserve a Fated Mate, he keeps his distance from females. Renowned for being a level-headed warrior, his control is pushed to the limit when he meets the Vampire Queen’s sister. Not only is his patience tested by Cailyn, but his skills as a sorcerer are challenged when he fights to save her mortal soul.

Cailyn is instantly spellbound by the damaged soul she views in the sparkling depths of Jace’s amethyst eyes. The attraction is so strong that it forces Cailyn to question the direction of the life she has planned with another. Her mundane human life is shaken up by a violent car crash, a Fae spell, expeditions into the bayou, and battles with demons. Amidst the chaos, the developing bond between her and Jace strengthens, leaving their desire for one another undeniable. Of one thing Cailyn is certain, she must help Jace explore the depth of his scars to overcome the wounds of his tortured past and find a future…but will it be with her?

Pema Rowan is the first born of the mysterious and powerful triplets whom prophesy has declared would unite in power and change the face of the Tehrex Realm forever, yet Pema and her sisters have eschewed their role in the world of magic in order to run their business. Pema’s life is turned upside-down when the blessings of Fated Mates returns to the realm. It is further complicated when a mysterious and gorgeous ursine shifter, Ronan, enters her life. Pema doesn’t want to be attracted to Ronan, especially since he once belonged to her archenemy. Pema faces danger left and right as she struggles with what her body wants and her mind refuses. As the High Priestess, Cele, seeks to garner the power of the triplets, Pema must choose between the safety of those she loves, or giving into her darkest desires.

Ronan Blackwell has come to Seattle with the female who has helped him find peace and solace after centuries of living with grief and isolation. When she ends their relationship, he is determined to win her back, only to have everything he has ever believed in challenged by the sexy little witch, Pema. As his emotions force him to choose between the only love he has ever known, and a passion that promises to tear him apart, he discovers that not everything is as it seems. Will the animal inside him win and show Pema the true meaning of life on the wild side, or will he be torn apart by the mysterious forces set against them?

Isis Rowan is the fiery middle sister of the prophesized witch triplets, and when she finds out that the High Priestess Cele has not only attempted to kill her sister, but is also practicing dark magic and committing atrocious acts to gain power, she is ready to chop off some heads. To make matters worse, Cele has also targeted the gorgeous and sexy human-sex demon hybrid Braeden, who also happens to be her Fated Mate. Isis is ready to kick some ass, until she realizes that Braeden is not all that he seems. Once she uncovers the truth, it’s all-out war, and while she has no problem giving her destructive temper free reign, she must channel her anger to thwart Cele, and save those she loves. Goddess help the evil High Priestess when Isis finally gets ahold of her.

Braeden Hall, a cambion who needs sex to survive, finds himself in an impossible situation when his son is kidnapped by an insane High Priestess and held captive. To free him, Braeden thinks he’s given a simple task of collecting information on a sexy female until the witch he is to manipulate ends up being the one female meant for him, his Fated Mate. He is ultimately forced to choose between loving Isis and protecting his son. He wants nothing more than to claim Isis for eternity, but that means his son will die. The precarious balance all cambions live with is threatened, and he fears becoming a full-blown sex demon who will rape and pillage without thought. Will he be able to overcome Isis’ infamous temper and convince her to not only become his ally, but ultimately, his mate? 

Of all the Dark Warriors, Kyran Tarakesh is the most aberrant. Having witnessed the brutal murder and rape of his mother seven centuries ago, his sexual preferences are twisted and perverse. He walks the razors edge of control and he likes it that way, until he loses that balance and accidentally kills one of his lovers. As second in line to the Vampire throne, he is precariously close to losing his position, not to mention the respect of his brother and fellow warriors. Just when he thinks it can’t get any worse, the Goddess proves him wrong. With her wicked sense of humor, the Goddess catapults him to the dragon realm of Khoth with Mackendra Callaghan, the very human he has been lusting about for months since meeting her. Mackendra not only plunges a knife deep into his heart, she flees and fights him at every turn, inflaming his desires. The surprises keep coming when he discovers she is his Fated Mate. Every belief he has ever had about intimacy is called into question when his mate gives him a taste of true pleasure for the first time. The passion that burns between them is hot enough to burn them to cinders, but he still must dispel her prejudices about vampires and break through her barriers or lose the other half of his soul forever. 

Oooh, my favorite romance cover model!!! he is gorgeous!!!

Suvi is the youngest of the Rowan triplets and prefers high heels to combat boots and parties to battles. Unfortunately, lately, she finds herself fighting more than she does drinking martinis. If she isn’t rebuilding the business she shares with her sisters, she’s searching for their archenemy, Cele. The way Suvi sees it, they’ve done their part and it’s time for a celebration, but that isn’t in the cards for her. The moment she has dreamt of her entire life happens when she meets her Fated Mate, yet she isn’t able to plan the party of the century. Instead, she and her sisters have seventy-two hours to investigate a murder, locate a rogue vampire, stop an evil witch from stealing their powers and save her mate from a death sentence. She wants nothing more than to spend her days and nights in sensual oblivion with her vampire, but the clock is ticking.

Caine DuBray’s world is upended when he wakes up next to a human female that has been drained dry. As the only vampire on scene, her death is immediately pinned on him. He believes he is innocent, but the problem is that he can’t recall the details of their date. Rather than executing him immediately, the Vampire King takes pity on him and gives him three days to prove his innocence. He discovers that one of the witches he is directed to is his Fated Mate. Their passion sets him on fire and leaves him desperate for the chance to spend eternity with the sexy witch.

Ah, yes, Never. I love Never, almost as much as I love Crispin.

In the demi-god’s wake, a stone-plague creeps across the lands and Never must stop the ancient decay before it swallows everyone he cares for.

Despite his determination, there is no cure and no guarantee that even his Amouni blood will be enough. Never’s search for the means to fight back leads him to the Amber Isle once more, where the island continues to hold its secrets close.

But it is there that Never encounters the beautiful and mysterious Rikeva, a Quisoan Weaver on her own quest, and realises that together, there might be a way to stop the plague after all…

And there you have it – 6 over-sexed romantic paranormals (there are 20 currently) and the next installment of Never.

Please keep me and my son in your thoughts and prayers. we moved out of our home this week and life is pretty tough right now. I really need this job.