22. The Weight of Years....
This is one is for Diane and Desi, my fellow Hugo-nuts, and faithful reviewers…
Note: Known as the really long, long chapter… I did not separate the NC-17-ish part this time, and just stuck it behind the rest… Do forgive for my laziness… It is marked with a --~~*~~--
Law and Customs says Elves loose their sexual desires after a long time… I have ignored this… :D
Chapter 22 The Weight of Years…
The former Lady of Imladris was not yet able to truly fathom it; she had waited for this moment every single day of her time here, and now that it had arrived she could still not entirely grasp it.
Impatiently she sent away her maids, braiding a few strands of her hair personally, leaving the rest as it was, the silver waterfall she knew he loved so much.
Word had arrived earlier this morning, a messenger from the travelling party who had been sent ahead. They were near now, as Ereinion had said, not four hours removed. The High-prince himself was nowhere to be found.
Celebrían needed no cloak, as she pulled up her heavy dresses and made her way towards where a horse waited, almost running.
Slightly annoyed with herself for choosing a dress that was more aesthetically pleasing than practical, especially if one intended to ride a horse, she nevertheless mounted swiftly. You act like a young maiden, Celebrían. She told herself. It could not be called a rebuke in any way, because it did not matter. Nothing could matter, ever again.
The main road to the Gardens of Lórien from Valmar was not used often; the few travellers that did use it, simply arrived and never went.
Still, Celebrían had ridden it many times, though not far; just to the top of the first hill, from where she could observe the stretch of flat land south of the Mountains and Mansions of Aulë, as far as her Elvish eyes could see.
She rode that familiar track quicker than usual, since all of a sudden, time did seem to matter in Valinor.
Feeling the wind on her face and through her hair, she felt excited. The sun was comfortably warm, blessing this Day of days. They had to be near, she needed him to be here soon…
Upon arriving on the hilltop, the road was empty. Dismounting, leading the horse to the side of the road, she settled down in the grass, disappointed for now, anticipating nevertheless. Dazing a little, she lost track of time, as always seemed to happen here on Aman. When she finally looked up, she could indeed discern a procession on the road, though still far removed, their pace not hurried, but not slow either.
They were too far away, even for her, to be able to recognise anyone.
On her feet and mounting swiftly, Celebrían tried to gather a smile before spurring the mare to ride on. Her eyes searched as she, too slow for her liking, drew nearer to the group.
What if Ereinion had been mistaken, and Elrond had not travelled here yet? Perhaps he had decided to stay in Máhanaxar a little longer, to speak with his family or meet with the Council once more… It could very well be so…
The messenger had only spoken of the party as a whole, and not exactly who had been in it… Celebrían shook her head. She should have asked, instead of reacting so hastily.
But suddenly, it was as if a veil was lifted from before her eyes.
Together with her mother and Mithrandir, he rode at the front, many Elves riding behind them, some of whom she remembered from both Imladris and Lórien. There were others, but Celebrían did not know them, and her eyes were locked on one single figure in the company.
He wore grey, a silver star shining on his forehead, and Celebrían thought he now, more than ever, resembled his father. With an enthusiastic cry she came towards them, and even from a distance, she could see her husband's face light up.
Elrond had not expected Celebrían to ride towards them. When still at Imladris he had often advised her to be less impulsive… How glad he was she had not listened… Then again, she rarely had all those years ago, he smiled to himself.
As she neared the group, slowing down, Elrond extended his hand to her, stopping, waiting for her horse to come near enough and arrive beside his. Celebrían threw a quick beam towards her mother, but rode on to meet the only one who mattered now.
Catching Elrond's hand she smiled at him, before pressing a kiss into the palm.
'Mae govannen, herven.'
Elrond's face seemed to relay many different emotions at once, yet his smile was ever like the summer sun, bright and comfortable.
Even though he deemed it unwise, he leaned towards her and placed his hand on her side, pulling her close enough for a more affectionate greeting. Apparently, it was not meant to be, for, at the same moment, both animals shifted beneath them, and they were forced to relinquish their hold on each other. As the rest of the company rode a little on, only a few of them waiting, Elrond effortlessly dismounted, extending his arms to catch his Lady as she followed his example. Celebrían listened to his deep laugh, the laughter she had missed, that was so special, as she threw her arms around his neck, feeling him answer with a strong embrace.
Most of the other travellers had stopped now, and it was Galadriel that called to them.
'Master Elrond, do you wish us to wait?' Amusement was very perceptible in her voice.
Elrond withdrew, his breath unsteady, his heart ready to leave his chest, his stomach fluttering. He shook his head and tore his eyes away from Celebrían, his silver queen, as beautiful and radiant as she had been when she had consented to wed him.
'Ride on, my friends,' he called, before turning to his wife again, raising his hand to her neck, adding, meant for her ears only, '…we shall follow… In a little while…'
Celebrían smiled as his hand guided her face, and he bent towards her, his lips finding hers without difficulty.
Catching the collar of his cloak she pulled him closer, embracing him again, burying her face against his shoulder, her arms around his waist. Time stood still once more in the Blessed Realm.
Home… He was home… She was home… They were together… Everything was as it should be again.
Finally withdrawing she happily grinned, almost unable to contain her happiness; tempted to dance around him, watch the few new lines in his face, make them a part of her mental image. Catching his hands she pulled him with her, turned a circle and watched more amusement flood into his face, his cheeks red.
With a content groan she released his hands only to fling her arms around his neck again, being happily received in his arms once more.
'I missed you so much…'
Tenderly he stroked her hair.
'And I you, gwilwileth.'
Celebrían looked up at him.
'Have you seen your parents?'
Elrond smiled, trying to control his breathing.
'I have…' He, too, felt the urge to jump and run, a sensation he had last experienced when he was much, much younger. Catching her face, he kissed her again, passionately, surprised by her answer, her lips and tongue encouraging, exciting. His head felt light, and he drew her close, seeking support.
Then something darker emerged from within him. He released and looked at her, his eyes serious.
'Do you not wish to ask me…?'
Celebrían shook her head a little, closing her eyes, resting her head against his shoulder, and deeply inhaled the fragrance of his robes, filling her lungs with his scent.
'Not now, Elrond, not now…' Suddenly she was in tears, and she did not know, did not understand, why it stung her so, the bitter taste so profoundly mingled with that of pleasure… It was terrible, but she finally had him by her side again, and that realisation made it better, so much better…
'Your father bid me tell you he promised to follow with Elladan and Elrohir. He asked me to tell you he promised.'
Celebrían nodded, still holding him securely.
'If he said he promised, then it shall be so.'
'Your mother,' Elrond whispered, continuously stroking her hair, '…was so amused by me, almost running from the Council, urging everyone to go faster, to hurry…'
Celebrían looked up at him, having mastered most of her tears.
'Tell me how much you longed for me…'
With a laugh, he placed an arm around her waist and, close as she was, traced her face with his fingers, sweeping away the remaining wetness.
'As if I was holding my breath, and you were my air… My warmth in cold, coolness in heat…' Softly he began kissing her neck, gently letting his fingers lead the way.
Celebrían in turn trailed her own fingers over his neck, reaching his hair, burying her hands within it.
'All is well, Elrond…' She whispered, her forehead against his shoulder, her arms around his neck.
Elrond's grip became firmer and pulled her very close, feeling the warmth of her body, savouring the physical contact. Celebrían kissed his ear.
'Come, and let me show you home, meleth-nîn.'
'Do we ride?' Elrond asked, but Celebrían shook her head.
'I shall not let you go for a long while yet…'
Holding out her hand, the reigns already in the other, Celebrían watched Elrond catch his own horse, but instead of taking her hand, he placed his arm around her. With a tender movement she laid her arm around his waist, resting her head against his chest for a moment.
Together they walked, sometimes speaking aloud, more often relaying the emotions without needing the words.
It was as it always had been, as if they had met after being apart for only a little while, not more than a season it seemed. But indeed many seasons had gone by…
Neither was certain how much time had passed until they arrived at the small settlement, where most had already refreshed themselves, ready for a meal, and a feast of welcome.
After handing over their horses, Celebrían took Elrond's arm and led him inside, finding her rooms not entirely as she left them; apparently someone had ordered them to be made ready for Elrond's arrival. A bath was waiting, a last bucket of steaming water being emptied into it as they entered.
With smiles towards Celebrían, and short bows before Elrond, the maids left the room, closing the doors behind them.
Celebrían looked at her husband, who stood silently watching her. She raised an eyebrow.
'Do you need help with your clothing, husband?'
Elrond slowly shook his head, before nearing her and taking her in his arms.
'I would not mind helping you with yours…'
He listened to her laugh, as she gently pushed him away.
'No, the others are already waiting… Please Elrond…' Celebrían gave him a pleading look and with a smile Elrond began to undress, as she herself disappeared in some adjoining rooms.
Languidly lying in the water, eyes closed, the touch of her hands on his shoulders startled him shortly, before they began trailing his chest, and were followed by warm lips on his shoulder blade. Sitting up, he turned towards her and claimed her lips with his own.
Celebrían sat down on the side of the bath, as Elrond sat back again. Watching her face, he could hardly remember how it had looked when she had left… This was his Celebrían, the Elf-lady he had married… There were no physical signs of that last year, her last in Middle-earth. But then again, it had not been the physical scars that had made her leave…
'This is such a strange situation, you know…' She said, lovingly touching his face. 'I have longed so for this moment, but now that it has arrived, I do not know how to precisely continue where all was left off.'
'Perhaps we should simply be ourselves…'
'Perhaps…' Celebrían nodded with a smile.
'Which will plainly make me that pondering Half Elf you married a long time ago…' He smiled, moving closer and nimbly kissing her.
'Yet I doubt I am still the young maiden you married…' She softly spoke, running her fingers through his wet hair.
'I married a young maiden,' Elrond smiled, enjoying the caresses. 'I fell in love with one, and yet she was wiser than I was when we married. And now my heart is stolen by that same young maiden, if I am not mistaken.' With a playful look he tugged at the light, elegant dress she had changed into. 'Will you not join me?'
Celebrían sighed with playful rejection.
'We have to go to the feast, El-nîn…'
Elrond groaned unhappily.
'Because I want to show you off… And I want you to meet someone…'
'And who would this be?' He looked at her suspiciously.
She gave him a smug smile.
'The youngest High-prince of Tirion. He has been coming here much over the last quarter yén…'
With a splash of water, Elrond sat back.
'And why is that?'
He watched his wife smile mischievously.
'I know not, my Lord…'
Elrond did not understand the entire concept of these High-princes of Tirion. He had heard them alluded to several times, but no one had as yet taken the time to explain it to him. Well, there seemed to be no time like the present. He observed Celebrían, who seemed to be looking for someone.
'Why are they called High-princes?'
With a grin she looked at him.
'No one has told you?'
He raised his eyebrows as someone caught his arm and welcomed him. He gave a short nod and turned to his wife again.
'No one did.'
'You'll understand in a moment, there is no doubt that you will…'
Showing some signs of displeasure due to this curious answer, Elrond began to inspect his surroundings more intently as he let her guide him by the arm towards the centre of the festivities.
Then suddenly, he felt Celebrían enthusiastically react to something or someone, and her voice sounding clearly, the name she called making him go into some unforeseen suspended state.
The High-prince turned towards the call as soon as he heard it, hands behind his back as ever.
His eyes flashed to his formal attire, and he realised the stars neatly embroidered on his tunic were a dead give-away towards his identity. Unsure if he wanted Elrond to have this advantage, he folded his arms over the silver and blue needlework with a quick movement.
When he looked back up, he found he had not been quick enough. The only thing Elrond seemed to be able to do was stare.
Long had the Master of Imladris considered it folly to contemplate this. He had been equally reserved in expecting to see both his parents upon arriving… But all of it had come about. And this, too, was truly transpiring.
Celebrían put her arm through that of her husband and led him closer.
'Ereinion was at Máhanaxar, but you did not notice him, it seems.'
Noticing Elrond was too astounded at the moment to act independently, she motioned him to sit down, and winked at Ereinion. Then, as by lightning, a familiar glimmer appeared in the Elf's eyes, and he smiled at Elrond.
'Maybe it was because you were in such haste.'
Very slowly, a smile began to form on Elrond's face.
'They call you the High-princes of Tirion… The High-kings that have returned from Mandos.'
A broad smile was returned.
'They have additional designations for us. I shall not speak of those at present… You shall probably hear of them when you come to Tirion soon enough… But you missed the start of the feast, and the banquet more importantly. Allow me to enquire if there are some leftovers.'
Celebrían sat down next to Elrond as Ereinion went in search of provisions.
'He acts bravely, but he is as nervous as you are.'
With a shake of the head, Elrond caught her hand.
'I have read many theories speaking of rebirth, studied the few references there were of them… But seeing him, here, now…' He shook his head, then chuckled softly, as if setting aside these thoughts and judging them unimportant. 'He has a designation?'
Narrowing her brow, Celebrían looked at him.
'He does. They all do. More like pet names.'
'What is it?'
'I shall not tell you.'
'Because you will tease him with it relentlessly.'
'As if he did not tease me equally when I was younger.'
'The Elfling.' Ereinion spoke as he juggled with some plates, three glasses and a bottle of wine under his right arm. Celebrían was quick in assisting, enabling him to put down the remaining plates and the wine. After doing so, he sat down and looked at Elrond. 'They call me the Elfling. Being the youngest and all, I would say.'
For a moment Elrond and Ereinion exchanged a look, but Celebrían could no deduct anything from it, no emotion, no expression, nothing…
And then they both burst into laughter, getting to their feet and firmly embracing each other.
Withdrawing, Ereinion playfully prodded Elrond's shoulder.
'I'm still taller though.'
'You are not.'
'Fine,' the other Elf returned, 'I'm not.'
Pursing his lips, Elrond sat down, evidently deciding to not honour this jesting with a reply.
Celebrían was not worried about it, and she proved to be right. Not five minutes later they were vividly discussing the road that the party had travelled to get here, and why it might or might not have been the fastest way to reach the Gardens. She left them, taking a moment to speak with her mother.
Galadriel firmly embraced her daughter; they had not yet had the time to greet each other properly.
'How are you, sell-nîn?'
Celebrían withdrew and caught her mother's hand.
'There is very little that could make me happier than I am at this moment, naneth. Except perhaps the presence of my daughter.' Celebrían had not intended to confront her mother with this at present… She doubted she would ever tackle the subject further than she just had. There was nothing that could possibly change what had happened. And there was no real reason to draw her mother into this conversation. But the urge to indicate to Galadriel that she knew, took her by surprise. The mere existence of this need to speak the words.
I know you sent him to her. I know the choices of her heart were her own, but you sent him to her…
A weak smile appeared on the face of the once Lady of the Galadrim, but she ignored the final part of her daughter's words, perhaps catching much of the essence of the silent words.
'You look well… Your father was worried for you… As was I… But neither of us as much as Elrond…'
Celebrían looked back at her husband and saw him laugh with Ereinion and the other Elves that had joined them, attracting an audience as always. Just knowing he was near made it all… right. Returning her gaze to her mother, she found amused eyes resting on her, and her face flustered.
'You are as besotted as he is.'
With a content sigh, Celebrían turned and settled into a chair.
'Yes… Isn't it marvellous?'
He sat deeply in the comfortable chair by the bedroom window, as the thunder rolled softly outside, far away, and rain fell unto the windowsill, wetting the pallid flagstones outside. He had shed his outer robes, and remained clothed in his undertunic and trousers alone.
In the distance, the sound of ever-peaceful harps could be heard as well, and it seemed to have the same effect on him as it had had on her when she had first arrived. Serenity, flowing through his entire body.
Celebrían could feel it from the very place where she was standing.
Elrond had left the feast silently, just as the rain had started. It had increased by now, but not in any way that could really chase any Elves inside…
He was waiting for her.
Careful not to startle him, she swept away his hair and caressed his cheek with her fingers.
With a smile he extended a hand and she lay down in his arms, comfortable, at ease with this physical contact.
Settling her head against his shoulder, listening to his breath, her fingers blindly found the palan-rîn she had given him so long ago. With a smile, she recalled the leather band it had hung from initially, which she had replaced with a mithril chain shortly after their betrothal. The chain was there as it had always been, resting against his skin at all times. The rain still steadily dropping outside, Celebrían sighed contently.
Thoughtlessly, Elrond played with a tress of her hair, and Celebrían watched his nimble fingers, as he gazed at something beyond.
'It is good to have you with me again, herven.' She whispered. Reacting on her words, he looked at her a long while. Then he bent towards her, and she granted her lips to his demand. With the tips of his fingers he followed her cheek, as he brought his lips near to her ear.
'The weight of years has never lessened my desire for you…' He spoke, his voice hoarse, his breath irregular, faltering. His other hand was already on her thigh, having found its way under her dress and was softly stroking, innocence that now turned into passion.
Celebrían was swept along, placing her hand on his chest as she whispered into his ear.
'And it burns inside me too, my Lord… Your presence has made it come about…' Withdrawing a little, she looked down on him. He returned the gaze with a smile, and slowly motioned her to stand. Sitting up, he moved his hands to her hips. The look in his eyes made her cheeks glow.
Rising from the chair, his body brushing against hers, Elrond's tone was soft and low.
'I wish to claim thee, my Lady.'
Feeling her breath threatening to run out of control, she looked down for a moment and met his eyes again.
'Then do so, my Lord.'
Elrond chuckled and ran a thumb over her lower lip.
She tilted her head.
'Well? What are you waiti…'
Before she could finish the sentence he had already picked her up and was carrying her towards the bed, the bed that she had slept in alone for over three and a half yén. As he lowered her onto it, he stepped back and watched her, slowly unbuttoning his own tunic. Celebrían sat up, her belly fluttering as never before. Or was this merely because it had been so long? When he dropped the item of clothing onto the floor, he motioned her to come nearer. With a broad smile she moved closer, rising up and levelling with him as she sat on her knees.
Catching her hands, fingers entwining, Elrond brought his lips towards hers and explored her delicious mouth with his tongue, feeling her entire body react.
How I have missed this, meleth-nîn…
Celebrían chuckled, as she felt him withdraw somewhat and start to remove her dress.
Baring her shoulders and pressing his lips against the pale flesh, he nodded.
I yearn for thee so, my Lord…
As she sent him the words she trailed her hands over his chest and then let them travel to his back, feeling the sinewy muscles. There was not a single sign that his body was millennia old, she mused.
'Arms.' She heard him whisper, and as she raised them above her head, Elrond promptly released her from the confines of the garment. Then he looked at her, a craving in his eyes she did not recall ever seeing before.
'Lie back… Close your eyes.' He whispered. 'And keep your arms raised…'
With a grin, Celebrían complied. Elrond smiled broadly as he joined her in bed.
He observed her for a moment, propped on one elbow, her slender form lying next to him, until he bent forward to gently kiss her closed eyelids. It only lasted a moment, and he withdrew again.
Rising, he moved one leg to the other side of her, leaning heavily on his arms, not touching her body, not until he leant forward and began to flitter his lips over her skin. The few braids in his hair that proved too heavy to defy gravity fell down as well, only adding to the stimulating of her flesh.
Ever so lightly, he ran the tip of his tongue from her throat down over her chest, between her breasts, around a nipple, before he lowered his mouth over it. Pulling back, he moved the tips of his fingers lower, lingering on her abdomen, knowing he would be able to make her shiver beyond control if he worked her skin right. Very leisurely, he circled her bellybutton, as he watched her nipples stiffen more.
With a grin playing around his lips, caught up in his caressing, he was unsuspecting and consequently easy to overcome when Celebrían suddenly slapped away his hand, and unbalanced him enough to force him onto his back. With a raised eyebrow she moved on top of him.
'I had nearly forgotten these teasing ways of yours, El-nîn…'
Her hair cascaded over her shoulders and Elrond raised his hands to hold part of it back, impatiently seeking a merging of lips.
Tempting him by staying only inches away, she parried his hungry demands, meanwhile resting a hand on his thigh, and then slowly following covered flesh upwards. He uttered an amused groan as she found his arousal.
'If you continue that, melethril, I shall not be able to… delay… very long.' He grunted, slightly bucking up his hips under her tenders, still trying to claim her lips with his own.
'I do not wish you to delay very long…' Celebrían answered, granting him that for which he had been hunting so vigorously. With a growl Elrond responded to her kiss, tongues duelling, the mere touch making him more heated yet.
Then she withdrew slightly, slowly unlacing the fastenings of his trousers, fascinated by his face, watching him close his eyes, enraptured, whispering to him. '…Leisure shall be for later.' The words made him laugh.
Stripping him from the last that stood between their joining, he felt her hands find all those places that she had not touched for so long, and finally, after mere fingers, warmth all around his member, her tongue teasing unremittingly.
With a throaty moan he caught her arm and pulled her up again, finding her lips as he rolled her over, his hand subsequently covering a breast, carefully caressing, his erection almost painfully caught between them.
'Leisure for later, you said?' He asked huskily.
A nod and a smile as she pulled him closer, and he was forced to move his hands from her body to be able to support his weight.
'Im aníra-le… si.' She insisted.
There was no need for her to ask again. With an impassioned smile he claimed her lips fiercely and plunged inside, lifting her abdomen in an attempt to reach deeper.
'Celebrían…' He whispered after he released her lips from a near bruising kiss, feeling her hands clutching to him. 'Bain, mell hiril-nîn…'
Breathless, she nevertheless mustered a broad smile.
'Elrond… Idhren, ernilent hîr…'
She returned softly, her breath irregular.
Thrusting his hips against hers, plunging deep within, he felt her move with him, soft moans of pleasure escaping her lips with every advance he made. Even if he wished to be slow, there was no way she would let him, arching her back and urging him on in one of the most tantalizing of ways he had ever experienced.
Her lips, every once in a while coming into contact with the skin of his chest, were answered with little playful bites to her neck, or even the passionate exploration of lips…
Instinctively, Celebrían carefully grazed his back with her nails, sometimes changing to massaging pieces of skin, rubbing his spine, remembering how he had always reacted on it in the past. Pressing her legs against his sides, she held him close, forcing continuous groans from him.
Trying to postpone his nearing climax, he watched her, eyes closed, biting her lower lip and he lost himself then and there. Speeding up again, he felt her hands on his buttocks, urging him on, her breath close to his ear, gasps and soft moans escaping her.
They came together, voicing smothered moans as Celebrían allowed him to turn onto his back and pull her along, making her end up on top of his chest. Lazily he let her slide beside him. Satisfied, she rested her head against his shoulder.
As her deep but regular breath tickled his chest, Elrond felt that which he had missed for so long… Softly he kissed her head.
'Im mîl-le thenin…'
He felt her breath stop, and observed her slowly raise her head to watch him.
'I never doubted that…'
With a deep chuckle he made towards her lips.
Then he collected another pillow to place behind his head, and pulled up a thin sheet to cover them. Celebrían smiled and settled back against him. Elrond languidly draped his arm around her waist, resting a hand on her stomach, using his other arm to cradle her head and play with her hair.
Despite the darkness outside, Ithil shone brightly enough to enable them to watch the rain, now wetting the first row of stone tiles inside as well. Only now did Elrond catch shreds of music again, and voices laughing.
Celebrían closed her eyes, sending him a whisper in her mind.
You will like it here, melethron… So many places to explore together, not only on Valinor itself, but also within depths of your mind…
Mae govannen, herven.: Well met, husband. (Sindarin)
Suilad, herves.: Greetings, wife. (Sindarin)
meleth-nîn: my love
El-nîn: my star
yén: period of 144 years
sell-nîn: my daughter
(the urge Celebrían feels towards telling her mother "I know you sent him to her" refers to the fact that Galadriel admitted Aragorn into Lórien and clothed him like an Elf-lord)
palan-rîn: literally 'palan-' means 'afar' and 'rîn' remembrance
melethron: lover (masculine)
melethril: lover (feminine)
Im aníra-le… si.: I want you… now.
Bain, mell hiril-nîn…: My beautiful, precious Lady…
Idhren, ernilent hîr…: My wise, princely Master…'
Im mîl-le thenin…: I love thee truly…
Ithil: the moon
Well, tis done…
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.