Ringing phones, desultory chatter, the smell of burnt coffee, the irritating flicker of fluorescent lighting. And these DAMN high heels of mine, clicking on the linoleum. The only reason I wear them is because I feel sexy in them. They’re high, spiky, make my long legs look even longer – give me a false feeling of superiority, of height. Oh, and Legolas likes them. I discovered something disturbing this morning – I think I’d wear anything as long as Legolas said he liked it. Pathetic, aren’t I? And he only dropped me off five minutes ago and I already miss him, miss the feel of his skin on mine, miss the sound of his laugh, miss the scent of his silky hair.
Damn, damn, damn, do I have it bad!
I push the door open, walk into my part of the office. I hate this place. I hate it I hate it I hate it. I hated it yesterday, true, but today I hate it worse. I guess it’s because I know I don’t have to stay here any more. I don’t WANT to be here. I want to be home, in bed with my Elf – or on the couch, or in the office, or in the back yard . . . But even if I were home he’d be out. Got a call on his cell phone (I still can’t believe he has a cell phone, seems so un-Eldar for some reason) from some art gallery somewhere that wants to put his paintings up. I knew he was an artist; I didn’t realize he actually did it for real – just thought it was for fun. His response to my surprise? “Wealth without work makes folk wonder, acushla. Long’s I work, less folk think I’m up to something.” Then he drew me a little picture on a sticky note – a little cartoony goat with a suit and tie, holding a suitcase, looking smug. It’s cute – I stuck it on the fridge. Hope Dorcas likes it.
Mary looks up at me through her glasses. “Mornin’,” she grunts. Her hair’s all sticky-out as usual, wonder if she ever brushes it?
“Good morning,” I say brightly, putting my purse in my desk. She watches me as I sit. I know she’s wondering why I’m so damn perky. Go ahead and ask, I dare you; please please please ask!
“Get your car back?” she asks. Her eyes are wary. I know that look, I’ve seen it before. It’s a scout looking for an ambush . . . wait, no. This is the twenty-first century; this is America. We don’t do that now. It’s just Mary looking for some gossip. She LOVES gossip. We’ve spent many hours throwing it back and forth – her and Doris and me. I might actually miss that.
“Not ready yet,” I say. I rearrange myself on the chair. I took special care with myself this morning – my hair, my makeup, my suit, all perfect. Legolas took one look at me when I walked out of the bathroom and wolf-whistled. Then he grinned and grabbed my ass, right in front of Dorcas too. Damn! When was the last time a man made me feel this good?
Okay, so he’s technically not a “man.” So what?
Shit, I feel sleek, confident, sexy. Too sexy for this fucking place. In front of my beat-up desk is my name plate. Winnie Steward. It’s sort of the symbol of my dependence on this meager paycheck. Every time I look at it my heart sinks. But this morning it doesn’t; this morning I have an epiphany: That’s not my name. I’m Éowyn, Éowyn of Rohan. Not Winnie Steward of the New Business Department. I don’t need to sit here and check applications and badger agents and actuaries for files to make a living. My “living” rides an orange and yellow motorcycle and has a dick the size of Ontario.
I check my inbox, look at the boring shit that’s always in there, and decide I might as well turn in my resignation letter. Do it now while I’m still feeling sure of myself. Do it before I can think too hard about it. Do it before I start thinking too hard about what Barbara’s reaction will be. Do it before I start getting anxious.
“How’d you get in, take the bus?” asks Mary. She stands up with her coffee mug. “Going to get some coffee, want some?”
“I was driven in on the back of a Harley-Davidson, and no thank you, I’ve already had two cups,” I say primly, taking the letter I typed up this morning out of my purse and standing up too. Mary’s face is disbelieving. Ask me ask me ask me! I’m just DYING to tell people about HIM. Hell, I’d love to show him off – I can’t imagine what Doris would say if she laid eyes on my Elven Ass. Oh those sweet tight cheeks encased in black leather; he even has dimples down THERE. That shimmery hair, that skin like clotted cream . . . Mary’s looking at me funny; must’ve zoned out. Not good. Bet I look like the world’s worst dorkwad.
Now that I’m standing up and pointing in the direction of Barbara’s office, the little knot of anxiety starts up. Barbara’s such a witch. Everyone hates her; everyone’s afraid of her. I’ve been afraid of her since I interviewed for the job. All she has to do is glare at me and my heart wilts. I’m not even sure why. She’s short, she’s fat, she’s ugly, and her voice is strident and irritating. How does she manage to cow me like that? Dammit, once upon a time Éowyn of Rohan was fearless – she stood against man and beast and the undead with equal bravery. What the hell happened to me?
I’ll tell you what happened. I had the bravery and the balls and the spirit sucked right out of me. YOU try being married to Faramir for fifteen thousand years and see how you do. All he had to do was give me that disapproving look and everything inside me would shrivel up.
Damn him. How could someone so weak and pointless have such a horrible effect on me?
Give the letter to Barbara give the letter to Barbara give the letter to Barbara. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll tell you what could happen – she’ll unleash her sarcasm on me. Of all weapons I fear sarcasm the most. It hurts, it cuts, it reminds me of – of that GODDAM STUPID DUMBSHIT FUCKER ex husband of mine. Let the anger work for you! Let it drive out your fear!
Dammit, still afraid.
What if she gets mad? What if she tries to talk me out of it? Worse still, what if she tells me to train my replacement? My heart starts to pound. Damn, I’m better than this; what the hell happened to the woman who faced down the Chief Nazgûl? For that matter, what happened to the woman I used to be, period? I was so brave once, didn’t care what other people thought, stood on my own. And here I am, my knees shaking because I’m about to give notice at a job I hate? What the hell happened to me?
Really, it doesn’t matter what HAPPENED to me. What’s really important is what’s HAPPENING to me. Fifteen thousand years . . . oh well, so that’s gone down the tubes. How much longer have I got here? Aren’t I immortal? What if I have fifteen thousand MORE years to go? Don’t I want them to be good ones? And don’t I have the wherewithal to make them the best damn years anyone’s ever lived, any time, any place, ever? I have ELVEN ASS, baby; I’ve got this gorgeous, potty-mouthed, filthy rich angel dying to screw me every way ‘til Tuesday and there’s no reason in the world to keep this stupid job.
Mary’s looking at me oddly. “What’s going on, Winnie?” she asks. “You look like the cat that swallowed the canary.”
Suddenly I remember the taste of Legolas’ semen on my tongue and I burst out laughing. Swallowed the canary, indeed! I swallowed something MUCH better than that this morning, I’ll have you know.
I wonder, is semen fattening?
Not that it matters. I’m just curious.
“I just told you I rode in on a motorcycle, and you ask me why I look so smug?” I can’t help but smile; just the memory of Legolas’ fingers tightening in my hair, his agitated moans, the sudden shudder and gush of gooey saltiness . .
Mmm, maybe I’ll get lucky and Barbara will ask Security to escort me out . . .
“Wait, what’s this about a motorcycle?” Mary looks more closely at me. I think she’s noticed I’m braless under my satin blouse. No pantyhose, either, the stupid confining things, I hate them. Please, Barbara, make me clean out my desk and leave; Legolas gave me his credit card and told me to go shopping for new clothes – his only stipulation was they had to be sexy and comfortable. That sly smile he gave me as he tucked the hard plastic card into the waistband of my skirt – “Just show a little leg, will you?” he said; “those bloody two-klick legs . . . “ It was all I could do to get into the office building without being publicly mauled.
Not that it would necessarily be a bad thing, I suppose . . .
Wait – am I kinky? That smacked of exhibitionism. Oh, well.
The light dawns on Mary’s face. “Hey . . . you got laid, didn’t you!” she says, and she grins.
I can feel the heat rush to my face, but it’s impossible not to grin back. Laid? That’s an understatement and a half.
“Did I ever,” I smirk, and head to Barbara’s office. Mary’s still laughing and pounding her desk as I saunter in.
Funny, didn’t realize how much my hips swung when I walked. I can feel the skin rubbing against my skirt; couldn’t feel that with pantyhose on. Sexy thing, you sexy thing . . . I rap on the lintel of Barbara’s office door, take a deep breath. She’s sitting behind her desk, typing something into her computer, her low-carb shake on a pile of auto apps. Just the sight of those friggin’ apps steels my resolve. I do NOT want to input another one of those stupid things, never NEVER NEVER!!!
I clench my jaw, stand up straight, tilt my chin back. I am Éowyn of Rohan. I am a mighty Shieldmaiden. I slew the Witch-King of Angmar. And I was on my knees in my bedroom this morning, reducing the Prince of Mirkwood to a quivering pile of jelly just by using my mouth. Ha!
“Good morning, Barbara,” I say politely. Irritable bitch. Just looks sideways at me. Don’t know why, but she’s always disliked me. Believe me, dorkwad, the feeling’s mutual. When she finally condescends to turn to me her eyes are fixed on my boobs. Yes, I know I’m not wearing a bra. I did this on purpose, you fat, miserable, petty, whiny, saggy-boobed hippo. You’ve been making snide comments about the way I look for the past two years and I’m FUCKING SICK OF IT.
“What is it, Steward?” she asks shortly. Never called me by my first name – not that “Winnie” is anything to get excited over – but delights in reminding me I’m still known by my ex-husband’s name. I could see her gloat when I told her during the job interview that I was divorced. Made her feel better, I could tell. Some people are like that, you know? Only feel good about themselves when they see how bad someone else has it.
“I’m quitting,” I say calmly, handing over the envelope. “Here’s my two-week notice, as specified in my employee contract.”
My heart flips as I say it. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m almost FREE!!!!
Then she tries to fix me with what I imagine she thinks is a basilisk stare, but really only looks like a peeved warthog about to sneeze. Come on, I ask myself; is that supposed to scare me? Do you have any idea what a rabid Dunlending looks like? Please.
“Find another job?” she asks. She even manages to speak and sneer at the same time. That must have taken a good bit of practice.
“No,” I say. I’ve been trying to figure out how I’m going to explain this. It occurred to me a few minutes ago that I don’t need to explain it. All I have to do is quit. What does she care, anyway? She’s always hated me. This will just give her an excuse to replace me with someone else.
She’s still staring at me. Really, she’s too much like a pig. Even her nose turns up. And what are those things in her nostrils – oh my god she’s got HAIR growing out of her nostrils!
And I thought Gríma was gross!
She stares at me in silence when she wants to intimidate me. It usually works. At least it’s worked the past few years. All she has to do is fix me with that piggy-eyed look and I do whatever she tells me – work late, take over for Mary, fill in for the Director’s secretary, whatever. Always behind it was fear – my fear of losing this job, this STUPID BRAINLESS job, because I needed the money, I needed to look good, I needed the good performance reviews to get ahead.
Well, guess what? I don’t need it any more.
Hey, you know what? I don’t even need my dumb little car any more. I can leave it to rot in the mechanic’s shop and it won’t make a bit of difference in the long run. I mean, really. In a hundred years, they’ll all be dead anyway, and where will I be? Let’s see . . . if I play my cards right, sailing around the Mediterranean with a beautiful blond biker babe. In the grand scheme of things, Barbara yelling at me, or staring at me, or saying mean things to me really doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot.
She looks at the envelope, flips it around in her fat fingers. Her nail polish is purple, nasty color, all chipped too. What is she thinking? “So,” she says, gives me another ugly sneer. She must practice those, she’s getting very good. “You’ve been interviewing on company time, have you?”
Whatever she could have said to deflate me, that was DEFINITELY not it. I can’t stop the snort coming out, not ladylike, but what do I care? “I told you,” I say, “I don’t have another job. I’m just quitting. I don’t need this job any more.”
“Oh, I see,” she says, sitting back so I can see the two huge rolls of fat under her blue blouse. She’s still holding the envelope, hasn’t opened it, trying to use her powers of intimidation on me. It occurs to me that once I’m out of here she has no powers over me at all. Come to think of it, why did I let any of her powers get a hold of me? Aren’t I better than this? I’m one of the Chosen, after all. I’m fifteen thousand years old. I’ve watched kingdoms rise and fall, watched millions of people be born and die, watched eras stagger to their feet and stumble to their deaths in a heartbeat. “Just going to file for bankruptcy, are you? Let your creditors take the heat?” I know how she feels about that; it’s all about money, isn’t it? It’s always been about money. I have none, I’m in your power, you have control over me. You like it that way, don’t you?
Come to think of it, that’s probably the only thing she does have control over. She’s unmarried, no kids, no social life that I know of – not that I can think of anyone who’d want to socialize with her – maybe that’s it. She’s mean not because she HAS power; she’s mean because it GIVES her power.
I’ll have to think about this some more later. It makes me think of Faramir. He was always pretty powerless, you know? Youngest son, father didn’t like him . . . Even as the so-called Lord of Emyn Arnen his was nothing more than a figurehead title. That must be a kick in the ass for someone. I understand powerlessness – as a woman in a preliterate society I had it rammed down my throat. But you take it by the balls, you twist it to suit you.
At least I never squashed people to do that. I never had any reason to make people feel bad to make me feel good. I know I’m good. Between my uncle and Éomer bragging on me all the time, I knew I was. So I never had to recourse to crushing peoples’ egos to bolster my own. Like Barbara here, who’s staring at me with her beady over-made-up little eyes, trying to make me feel bad. And why is she trying to make me feel bad? Because it makes her feel better.
What would Legolas tell her?
The unvarnished truth, most likely.
All right. I take a deep breath. The truth it is. Don’t squeak, voice, please don’t squeak, this would be a VERY bad time to squeak.
“I’m moving in with someone. He’s going to pay off my house and take care of me.”
Whatever she was expecting, that was DEFINITELY not it. I haven’t seen her this nonplussed since the plumbing in the ladies’ room backfired and the sink exploded whenever we flushed the toilet. Have to give her credit, though; she recovers pretty quickly. I can tell she doesn’t really believe me, but covers that up with her legendary sarcasm and belittling comments.
“So,” she says, showing her teeth, which are crooked. “Find yourself a sugar daddy, did you?”
Sugar daddy? I snort again; I can’t help it. I bet Legolas would like that, would like to be called a sugar daddy. Considering how much he likes candy, at least half of that name would be appropriate!
“You could say that,” I say, crossing my arms over my chest and putting my weight back on one foot. It makes me look casual, tall, indifferent. Confident, too. I exude confidence, I exude sexuality, I exude strength.
At least, if I keep telling myself this, and keep acting like it, maybe I will eventually. Until then I guess I’ll have to fake it.
Is Barbara fooled? She looks a little confused. I guess I’ve fooled her.
That makes me feel better. If you can’t BE brave, ACT brave, and as long as people THINK you’re brave you’ll do all right. If not, you’re fucked.
She sneers again. She’s pretty good at that. “How contemptible,” she says, and here it comes, the sarcasm, the cutting comments. Don’t panic don’t panic don’t panic don’t panic dammit! You are a Shieldmaiden! You are brave! “Selling out, aren’t you? Letting some guy pay your way because you can’t do it yourself. What are you going to do now, Steward; play housewife while he runs around on you? What will you do, come crawling back for your job when he leaves you for someone else? You’re pathetic, an embarrassment to every female trying to make an honest living.”
For a second – just a second, mind – the words sink in a little. Poison, they’re like cold icy poison dripping onto my heart. Fear, fear, fear – fear of the future, of being alone, of being broke, of not being able to take care of myself. I knew she was going to do this. I knew she was going to be nasty and caustic and crushing. I can almost feel myself wilt. But then I remember what I said to Legolas this morning as he dropped me off: “I wonder how nasty Barbara will be when I tell her?” And did he say, “You just call me up and I’ll handle it!” or, “Don’t let her bother you, you’re above that!” or, “That moron, don’t listen to a word she says!” No, he doesn’t say anything like that. He just grins, his shit-eating, go-to-hell-world grin, flashing those damn dimples at me, and I can see myself reflected in his sunglasses. “Bitch into ‘er, acushla,” he says, cranks the throttle and peels out.
“Bitch into her,” he said. So that’s what I’ll do. It’s not like she’s a Nazgûl. It’s not like she’s an orc. Hell, it’s not even as though she’s someone who can remotely hurt me. She’s just a sexually repressed, frustrated, ugly woman with low self esteem who gets her kicks trying to bully other people.
Bully. That’s what she is. Bet she was a bully in school, too. Bet she was one of those girls who hung out behind the gym smoking cigarettes and making fun of the virgins.
And I’ve let this loser push me around all this time? She’s right – I must be pathetic.
I WAS pathetic. But not any more. I call on my Inner Shieldmaiden and I can almost hear my spine straighten. My jaw tightens, my eyes narrow. Enough of this shit. You want to use that weapon on me, do you? Well, I can throw it right back at you. “Bitch into her” like hell. I uncross my arms and lean both hands on my desk so my face is closer to hers. It also gives her a good view down my silky silvery blouse, where my naked boobs are jiggling and swinging and nippling all over the place. Give her an eyeful; let her see what I’ve got that she hasn’t.
Man, she smells awful. What kind of perfume is that, anyway? It’s sickening!
She draws back, eyes wary. The beast turns at bay; the hunter pauses. Watch out, Barbara, you’ve awoken my Inner Shieldmaiden.
Though at the moment it feels more like my Inner Bitch. Oh well. Whatever works.
“Does that offend you, Barbara?” I ask. I make my voice sweet, reasonable, gentle, but my eyes are angry, I can tell – they’re reflected in her glasses. “Do you find it offensive that some rich man would find me desirable enough to pay off my house? That he’d enjoy making love to me so much he’d want to shower me with gifts and take me away from the drudgery of my existence? That he takes such pleasure in my naked body he wants to spend the rest of his life with me? That my sexuality drives him so crazy he’d do anything just to please me? Is that what bothers you, Barbara? Is it?” Not a bad little speech; I even got that edge to it, the one I used to use with my subordinates – back when I had them. I made my slaves toe the line, all right. One sharp word from me and they’d scatter. I draw on those memories here. Sound oh-so-nice; use words that cut like a razor’s edge.
She draws back a little, but rallies quickly. She’s tenacious, this one; I actually feel a little frisson of pleasure in this. “Selling your body for sex now, are you?” she says with a laugh. “Guess that makes you a common hooker, doesn’t it!”
Bending over I’ve got something poking into my stomach. I still have Legolas’ credit card in there. In a sudden inspiration I take it out and show it to her.
“Nothing common about this, Barbara,” I say with a smile. I still sound sugary and oh-so-sweet. “See this? A hundred thousand credit limit. He told me to go shopping, get whatever I wanted. Ever get offered that, Barbara?” I let my eyes drift down to her flat, saggy boobs; before she can respond I say a little contemptuously, “But then, who’d offer?”
THAT pisses her off. She jumps to her feet, piggy little eyes practically poking out of her skull, her lips drawn back from her crooked yellow teeth. Gross, she’s so gross; and short too – how come I never noticed how short she is? I practically tower over her. I can look down my nose at her. So that’s what I do – look down at her, right into her fat quivery face. “That does it!” she says, and she’s actually squealing – never heard her lose her temper before; it’s kind of funny, really. Usually she’s so cool and mean and sarcastic. I’ve actually pushed her so much she’s gotten mad.
“How dare you say something like that!” Fat little hands balled into fists, eyes popping, she’s even getting this weird red mottling on her flabby throat. “It’s bad enough you’re selling sex to get your way, but to say something like that to ME! I demand an apology!”
“Well, you’re not going to get it,” I say coolly, slipping the credit card back into my skirt. “You’ve been dissing me every day for the past two years, so I figure I owe you one.” While she’s still making teapot-boiling-over noises I turn casually away from her to the door, then decide to throw in a last jibe just for good measure, just because I’m having a good time seeing her finally lose it. “By the way, Barbara, he’s gorgeous and funny as well as rich . . . and did I mention he’s dynamite in bed? Not that you’d know anything about that, would you?” I give her a sweet, go-fuck-yourself-smile and saunter back to my desk, making sure my hips swing as I walk.
My heart’s pounding a mile a minute and I’ve got tunnel vision, but my mind is soaring. I did it! I did it! I stood up to her! I can see Mary and Doris standing by my desk; they both look expectant – Mary must’ve told Doris I got laid – oh, wait, they’re looking PAST me, they heard Barbara yell; then I hear the movement behind me as well and I realize Barbara’s come out of her office. Don’t turn don’t turn don’t turn. She’s not a physical danger, just a psychological one, and your psychological edge over her will be greater if you SHOW NO FEAR. Don’t turn don’t turn don’t turn.
So I’m pretty surprised when she screeches, “CLEAN OUT YOUR DESK, YOU LITTLE WHORE! TWO WEEKS LIKE HELL! I’M CALLING SECURITY TO ESCORT YOU OUT AND IF YOU’RE NOT READY IN TEN MINUTES I’M THROWING EVERYTHING IN YOUR DESK AWAY!!!!”
Turn slowly, slowly, slowly. Smile, drop those eyelids lazily. Hand on hip, head thrown back, tuck a curl behind my ear. Her face is purply-red, her eyes bulging, her hands knotted up into shaking fists. I look down at her. I’m sexy; you’re a cow. So there. Inner Bitch, indeed! My heart is still hammering but I’m in it so deep I can’t stop. And anyway, why would I want to? Mary and Doris are babbling incoherently, something about worker’s rights or something; I don’t care. I’m outta here.
“Oh, goody,” I say, still syrupy. “I get to go shopping. Rodeo Drive, here I come!” I walk back to my desk, pick up everything out of my inbox and take it back to her. “Be a dear, Barbara, and take care of this, will you? Looks like I won’t get to it after all.”
She stares up at me. She has no idea what to do, I can tell. Her hand goes out automatically to take it, but when I put it in her hand she seems to realize what she’s doing and drops it. It scatters on the floor, floats over our feet. Mary and Doris take one look at Barbara’s face and start bending over to pick it up.
“PICK THAT UP!” screams Barbara, pointing with a shaking hand at the papers.
I raise my eyebrows. “Why?” I ask. “I don’t work here any more, do I? Besides, I need to pack up my desk. Security’ll be here in ten minutes, you know.” Then I oh-so-casually turn my back on her, sit down at my desk, and start to hum – I’m humming one of the arias from Samson et Dalila, not that anyone would notice – and, knowing Barbara’s watching, I deliberately grab a big handful of files from my side drawer and chuck them in the trash.
Doris gives a squeak behind me. I look over at her; her face is red as a beet and she’s clutching my inbox shit up close to her, staring at Barbara. Then the piggy bitch turns on her heel, runs into her office and slams the door.
I can’t help it – all the tension runs out of me and I sag. I hide my face in my hands, just trying to get a hold of myself. I can hear Mary and Doris talking a mile a minute over my head, but it’s just a buzz; I can also hear Barbara’s muffled voice screaming into the phone in her office, but I have no idea what she’s saying.
I did it. I stood up to her. And I didn’t die.
Stupid. Like I was going to die. She didn’t hurt me. She CAN’T.
I take a deep breath, sit up. Mary and Doris are staring at me, too shocked to speak coherently.
“I can’t believe you did that!”
“What the hell did you SAY to her?”
“Why did you quit? You can’t quit! You don’t have another job!”
“Have you been interviewing behind our backs? Have you?”
“Shit,” I say, very clearly. They pause, exchange glances. I run my fingers through my hair, then start taking stock of my desk. Right. How much of this crap do I take with me? I open the middle drawer and start rummaging around. Eraser, rubber bands, staples, pennies, thumbtacks . . .
“Winnie,” says Mary firmly.
“Éowyn,” I say.
“ . . . What?”
“My name,” I say loudly, “is Éowyn. Ay Oh When. Not Winnie. I’m not answering to fucking ‘Winnie’ anymore.” I pull out a roll of stamps. That’s mine, bought it with my own money. “Stupid name anyway.” I shove the stamps in my purse.
“Éowyn, then,” says Mary irritably. “Does this have anything to do with your getting laid last night?”
I look up at her and Doris. Not bad people, really. I actually have really liked and appreciated them over the past few years. Backed into a corner, like me; under-educated for high-paying jobs, over-educated for blue-collar work, forced into the work environment anyway. Living paycheck to paycheck, eking out an existence, struggling against house payments and credit card bills and inflation. Good souls, they are; had I been able to associate them with any other situation I’d have quite liked them.
Well, what the hell? Honesty seems to be the answer this morning. And they deserve the truth – they’ve heard enough lies from me.
“Yes,” I say. They exchange glances again. “Hear me out,” I say firmly. “I ran into an old friend – someone I knew before I got married – yesterday on my way home. He’s successful, makes a lot of money, he’s a lot of fun, we’ve always liked each other. We’d never had sex before but last night we gave it a shot – and it was INCREDIBLE.” I can’t help adding that. It’s true, after all. As Legolas would say, absofuckinglutely incredible. “He wants to take care of me – make up for all the things my rotten ex did to me. And I’m going to let him.”
Doris opens her mouth, hesitates. Then she says, “Um, Winnie – I mean, Éowyn – don’t you think that this is, um, going a little fast? I mean, you don’t know that this guy’ll stick around any longer than your ex-husband, and you kinda need this job – “
Legolas, leave me? As soon as she says that I know how ridiculous it is. And wasn’t that what I was afraid of all last night, that I’d wake up and he’d be gone? When has he EVER backed out of anything, ever? When has he EVER betrayed anyone? When has he EVER disobeyed the Valar, no matter how difficult or distasteful the task was? Never, never, never. I never realized it before, but that was one of those rock-solid beliefs that I’ve stood on for millennia. You can trust him, you can depend on him, he’ll never let you down. They won’t understand, they can’t. They’ve never met one of the Eldar, they’ve never met HIM. I stand up, pick up my purse. Fuck this Wal-Mart shit. I’m getting me a Prada bag. I don’t need any of the crap in this desk anyway, and I’ve decided not to wait for Security.
“I don’t need this job,” I say. “I don’t need my house. I don’t even need my car any more. You can have it if you want. I’ve known Legolas Greenleaf longer than just about anyone else on this entire planet and I know he’ll keep his word. If he says he’s going to take care of me for the rest of my life I know I can believe him. If he says he loves me and will never leave me I know I’m stuck with him forever. Now, if you’ll excuse me – “ I step out from behind my desk, shake hands with each one of them, and head for the door. “I have some major shopping to do on Rodeo Drive.” I glance back; they’re both standing with their mouths hanging open. I grin.
“I’ll call you and let you know where I’m having lunch,” I add. “I’m buying.” And I leave that fucking place for the last time, ever. I can even hear the heavenly choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus as I go.
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.