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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