"I had in mind some sort of grating," said Prince Imrahil to the palace blacksmith, "something that will not affect the flow of sewage but will prevent anyone using the drain to enter the castle."
"I see no difficulty with that, your Highness," replied the blacksmith. "I suggest that we rivet an iron framework to the rock, here, here, and here, then attach a locked gate to the frame. I will draw up some plans for your approval-I take it you will want this work done as quickly as possible, sir?"
Imrahil nodded. "This business with the apothecary has made a major weakness in the castle's defences public knowledge-Legolas?" Imrahil narrowed his eyes against the light of the setting sun. Was that really Legolas wading out into the sea? "I look forward to seeing your plans shortly, Master Bandivan," he said, "but now I must speak with Prince Legolas." He nodded briefly to the blacksmith, then ran over the shingle towards the elf.
Legolas was standing knee deep in the water, reaching out towards the horizon.
"Legolas, what are you doing?" he asked, putting a hand on the elf's arm. Legolas, unaware of him until now, spun round and stared at him wildly.
Gods, his eyes!
"Come, Legolas," he said, reaching again for the elf's arm, "come with me. Eowyn is waiting. She will be worried." And he tried to pull the elf back to the shore, but a stinging blow sent him reeling full length into the sea.
Imrahil lifted himself onto his elbows and spat out a mouthful of seawater. Legolas was wading still deeper. By the gods
, he thought, his mind has completely gone. I must get help
Eowyn awoke, smiling, and rolled over to hug Legolas, but he was not there.
But she vaguely remembered his saying something about getting his bracer repaired, so she was not worried. hough it is almost dark
, she thought. I suppose I had better get dressed and go and find him
By the time Imrahil returned, with Aragorn, Gimli and Eomer, Legolas was submerged up to his shoulders in seawater.
"I knew it," hissed Eomer. "'I love her, Eomer,' he said. 'I will never leave her,' he said. But I knew an elf could not be trusted. So what do we do now?"
"He cannot be reasoned with," said Imrahil. "I have tried. So I suggest that we three wade out to him and drag him back by force. Then we take him to his chambers and let Eowyn deal with him."
"Carry me out to him," said Gimli.
"Carry me out to him, Aragorn, or I will drown myself."
Aragorn nodded to his two human companions then lifted Gimli onto his back and the four friends waded out towards Legolas.
"Do not get too close," said Gimli "or you will startle him. But can you get me round in front of him?"
"No," said Aragorn, spitting out some water, "he is taller than I am, and it will be deeper in front of him."
"Very well," said the dwarf, "then let us stay here." Gimli gathered his thoughts.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING YOU CRAZY ELF?" he bellowed, "YOU HAVE TERRIFIED YOUR BEST FRIENDS WITH THIS NONSENSE AND IF YOUR LADY COULD SEE YOU HER HEART WOULD BREAK IN TWO!"
Something in the elf's posture changed and, briefly lucid, he turned to stare at the dwarf. "Gimli?" he asked, in a small, frightened voice. But then his eyes glazed over once more and he turned back to gaze at the horizon.
"Carry me in closer," said Gimli.
Taking a deep breath and holding it, Aragorn took two more steps towards the elf. Gimli drew his axe and struck Legolas hard with the flat of the blade. The elf sagged. Eomer threw himself forward, catching the elf's shoulders before he could slide beneath the water, and Imrahil ducked below the surface, grabbing his feet. Together the two men rushed the stunned elf back to the shore and dumped him on the shingle.
"You might have given us some warning," gasped Eomer to Gimli.
"And risk warning the elf?" asked Gimli.
But though Legolas was stunned he was still conscious and he immediately tried to get to his feet. "Stay there," yelled Eomer, throwing himself bodily on top of his friend, trying to pin him down. But the elf was stronger, and easily pushed Eomer off his back, then rose to his hands and knees and began crawling towards the sea. Simultaneously, all four friends jumped on him and held him down. And, though Legolas continued to struggle, even an elf was no match for four sturdy warriors.
"Now that we have him, let us get him back to Eowyn," panted Imrahil, "quickly."
It was no easy task to carry an angry, struggling elf back through the city gate, through the city streets, into the castle, and up the spiral staircase to his own bedchamber.
Several times, a well-aimed kick or punch sent one of the friends staggering. Then there was the shrieking to contend with. And, on top of that, as they passed by The Pyewype
tavern, a few of the citizens of Dol Amroth, imagining that the elf was being murdered, attempted to rescue him-until they realised that the blackguards they were thumping were in fact the kings of Gondor and Rohan, and their own prince.
"If you do not stop that noise, elf," warned Gimli, finally losing all patience, "I will be forced to use the blade
of my axe on you." And he scowled, murderously.
After that, Legolas quietened down slightly, but that did not stop him landing the odd blow, here and there, when the opportunity arose. The most difficult part of the journey proved to be the staircase, because Legolas soon found that by stretching out his arms and legs he could wedge himself in the stairwell. Luckily, Haldir, who was recovering well from his ordeal on the galley, and Master Dínendal joined the fray and, eventually, the three men, the two elves and the one dwarf succeeded in propelling the screeching, struggling elf through the door and into his bedchamber.
Then everything stopped-even the elf stopped struggling and stared.
Eowyn, dressed in a gown of the purest white silk and looking like a spirit in human form, was standing before them. "Legolas?" she said, and she stretched out her hand towards his face. And the elf leaned towards her and pressed his cheek into the palm of her hand.
"What has happened?" she asked.
"We do not know, Eowyn," said Aragorn. "We found him up to his neck in the sea. He does not know us… He does not know himself. He is like a wild animal." He shook his head. "It is as if his sea longing has turned into something wholly destructive. It is almost as if he has been bewitched-"
"Oh gods," cried Imrahil. "I gave him permission to question the apothecary. Perhaps he…"
But Imrahil could not voice what they were all now thinking.
"Master Dínendal," said Aragorn, "can you do anything to restore his wits?"
Carefully, as if dealing with a nervous horse, Dínendal approached the now subdued elf-but the moment he got close, Legolas lashed out at him.
"No, no, my love," said Eowyn, catching his hand. Legolas stared at her, not recognising her but clearly fascinated by her.
Eowyn pointed to a heavy chair. "Sit him down there," she said.
"It is not safe, my lady," said Haldir. "We must take him somewhere where he can be properly restrained-"
"No," said Eowyn, "I will not permit that. Sit him down there."
"Very well, Eowyn," said Aragorn, "but we must tie
Eowyn bit her lip but agreed, reluctantly. The elf began to struggle again as Imrahil and Eomer held him down on the chair, but Aragorn used two leather belts to secure his wrists.
"Is that really necessary, your Majesty?" asked Dínendal.
"Until you can find some way to cure him, Master Dínendal, yes, I am afraid it is."
"Leave me alone with him," said Eowyn.
"Are you mad?" cried Eomer, grasping her shoulders.
"You have seen how gentle he is with me," said Eowyn, wrenching herself free. "Leave me alone with him."
"My lady-" began Haldir
"I promised him, Haldir. I promised I would bring him back from the sea."
"This is not just the sea, my lady-" he said gently.
"I promised him!"
"But what if you cannot?" asked Aragorn.
"Then I will take him to the Undying Lands-Haldir will help me."
"My lady!" Even her champion, Haldir, was astonished by Eowyn's temerity.
"Yes Haldir," she said, stroking Legolas' hair. "If he does not recover we will not let him suffer like this. We will take him to Valinor and then we will wait offshore, in case he should come to his senses. Now, please, all of you, leave me alone with him."
"This is madness!" cried Eomer, "Eowyn-"
"My mind is made up, Eomer! Leave me alone with him."
Aragorn sighed. "He is already calmer, and more lucid, now that he is with her. We will leave them. But we will stay nearby, in the sitting room below," he said to Eowyn. "And if you need us, you have only to call."
"Thank you, Aragorn."
The men, the elves and the dwarf filed out reluctantly-Eomer giving his sister a pointed look. Then Eowyn locked the door behind them, walked over to Legolas, and began to free his hands.
"Can you speak to me, my love?"
Legolas tipped his head to one side and looked at her intently, like a bird.
"Do you know me?" she asked, softly.
"Have we met before?" he asked.
"So you can
speak," she said. "Yes, my love, we have met before. We know each other intimately." And she unstrapped his hands and knelt before him, placing her own hands lightly on his knees, and looked up into his stormy blue eyes.
He had once told her that the sea longing was like desire, and she could see the lust in his eyes now-he had been denied the sea and instead he wanted her. Perhaps this is where I can defeat the enemy
, she thought, perhaps this is my battlefield
. And she slid her hands up his thighs, under his jerkin and tunic, to his groin. Gods
, she thought, he is so hard!
"You need release, my love," she said.
"Yes," he whispered, mesmerised by her touch.
"Then let me help you find it." She unhooked the fastenings of his jerkin, pushed aside the skirts of his tunic, unlaced his leggings and pulled them open, freeing his erect penis. "You are beautiful, my love," she said softly, caressing his length, "so thick and straight." And she licked and kissed the tip of his penis and let her fingers slip down inside his leggings to stroke his testicles.
"Hiril nín!" he gasped.
"Do you still not know me?"
"No," he sighed, pressing himself into her hand. "But-but do not stop-"
"What do you want me to do, my love?"
"Ride me," he whispered.
She nodded and, lifting her skirts, she clambered onto the chair, placing her knees either side of his thighs, but he stopped her.
"I want to see your breasts, hiril nín," he added.
"Then unlace me, my love," she replied.
He pulled at her lacings but, in his haste, he snagged the knot and cried out in frustration, seizing the front of her bodice and pulling hard until the lace gave way, exposing her chest and shoulders. "You are beautiful!" he cried, "please hurry!"
Eowyn raised herself on her knees and, with his help, sank down upon him, gasping with pleasure as he filled her completely. But the moment she started to move she felt him tense, his fingers digging into her flesh, and he bucked his hips violently, spilling himself inside her, crying "Oh gods! Oh sweet gods! Oh hiril nín!"
"There, my love," said Eowyn, smiling. "Do you remember me now?"
He raised his head from her shoulder and looked into her eyes. But-though she could see that their brief union had almost restored him to himself again-his memory of her had not returned, and the distress on his face broke her heart.
"Oh, my love," she whispered, "come back to me. Please, please come back to me."
"I am sorry, hiril nín," he said, brushing away her tears, "I still do not know you. I do not know if I will ever remember you. But I feel that I could-that I do-love you. Will you let me pleasure you as you have pleasured me?"
And he took hold of her waist and rose to his feet, carrying her to the bed, their bodies still joined, and he laid her down and kissed her tenderly. "Will you let me make love to you, hiril nín?" he asked.
"Yes, my love," she whispered.
He began to thrust, gently at first, then harder, and harder still. "Ah! Hiril nín," he suddenly moaned, "I am sorry. I am already too close. I am coming, I cannot stop it-"
"Then we shall both come together," cried Eowyn, "both together, my love. Oh! Oh, my Legolas!" And she writhed beneath him, sobbing his name, as her love for him somehow took physical form and flowed through every part of her body. Then she collapsed onto the bed, still shaking.
And only gradually did she realise that he was saying something to her.
"Eowyn? Eowyn, melmenya, did I hurt you? Please do not cry, Eowyn nín."
But tears continued to stream down Eowyn's face and, smiling through them, she said, "No, my love, you did not hurt me. The sea had claimed you; the sea thought she had finally won you. But you have come back. You have come back to me
Despite the events of the previous few days, the final banquet was a great success.
The guests were entertained with more strange and exotic foods from Near and Far Harad and with some very risqué
dancing from another group of energetic girls, who took a particular liking to Gimli and the hobbits-and coaxed all three of them out onto the dance floor.
Once the formal part of the banquet was over, Legolas drew Aragorn, Gimli, Eomer and Imrahil together, and apologised to them in turn.
"Do you remember how it happened?" asked Aragorn.
"I remember talking to the apothecary," said Legolas. "I remember trying to persuade him to tell me where we could find Wolfram. He tried to bribe me-he wanted me to help him escape. I refused. And then-and then I felt something…"
"What?" asked Imrahil.
"It felt as though his hands were on my head," said Legolas, "though he was nowhere near me."
"I will be dealing with that wretch, first thing tomorrow," said Imrahil.
"After that," continued Legolas, "most of it is a blur, though I do remember Gimli hitting me with his axe-and, later, threatening to kill me." He turned to the dwarf.
"The mildest hobbit maid who tends the lambs would have killed you, the fuss you were making, elf," said Gimli.
Legolas laughed and slapped him on the back. "Come sit with us, Gimli," he said. "Eowyn and I have need of your uplifting company!"
By bedtime even Queen Lothiriel seemed to think that the evening had been a fitting end to her son's naming celebrations-though her verdict might have been very different had Aragorn not tactfully intervened when her drunken husband challenged Gimli to an axe-throwing contest…
"Are you ever satisfied?" asked Eowyn, struggling playfully.
"Do you not want to, meleth nín?"
want to with you, my love," she said.
The servants had loaded the visitors' carriages with clothes chests and other personal belongings at dawn and the various retinues had been assembled for over an hour. The King of Gondor's personal guard, shining in their dress armour, were jostling with the Prince of Ithilien's rugged soldiers who, in turn, were crowding out the King of Rohan's mail-clad Riders. Everyone was growing impatient-even the quiet, dignified elves of Eryn Carantaur were getting restive and their horses were stamping and champing at the bit.
But the friends of the Ring were still taking leave of one another-even though, for most of them, the separation would be short: Eomer, Faramir, the hobbits, Gimli, Legolas and Eowyn had all agreed to spend Yuletide with Aragorn and Arwen at Minas Tirith.
As Faramir finished saying his formal goodbyes to his host, Eowyn drew him to one side. "You are looking well, Faramir," she said. Then she glanced around her, making sure that they could not be overheard. "And you look happy, my dear-happier than I have seen you in a long time. Are you happy, Faramir? Have you found a way to be-to share your life with him? At least some of the time?"
Faramir smiled, and hugged her like a favourite sister. "Yes, Eowyn," he whispered in her ear, "things are better than a man in my position could ever have hoped for. Partly thanks to you, my dear. And I am glad to see that you are happy, too, with Legolas. But I do miss you, Eowyn. I miss your gentle support and your wise counsel. You will always be in my heart, my dearest friend." And he kissed her forehead, tenderly, before swinging himself up onto his horse and saluting her as he set off at the head of his retinue.
Eomer and Legolas, calming Eomer's horse whilst the king waited for his wife and son to settle themselves in their carriage, had both watched the exchange between the Prince of Ithilien and his former wife with interest.
"I will never understand why he let her go," said Eomer. "And I must say that the events of the last few days have not entirely allayed the worries I have about you and my sister. But I admit that she looks better than I have ever seen her." He began to examine his horse's bridle, intently. "Maybe it is worth taking a risk, following your heart, to have the chance of that sort of happiness, however brief it might be…" And his eyes wandered to his own wife before he added, softly, "Make sure you take care of her, Legolas."
Then he slapped the elf on the back and swung himself up into the saddle. "I will see you in Minas Tirith, a month hence, my friend," he said. And he rode out through the great castle gates, at the head of his cavalcade, narrowly missing Master Dínendal who was saying goodbye to the King and Queen of Gondor and the Royal Healer.
"Thank you Master Dínendal," Aragorn said, "for everything-for examining the Queen, for sharing your knowledge with her healer, and for taking care of our brothers. With your permission, my wife and I would like to ask Lord Legolas to bring you with him when he comes to Minas Tirith for the Yuletide celebration."
"I would be honoured, your Majesty," replied Dínendal, bowing low.
Then he turned to the Queen and bowed again. But Arwen, who had already grown fond of the diffident healer, held out her hand to him. And Dínendal, though he was almost entirely innocent of the ways of Court, took it with natural grace, and lifted it to his lips and placed a feather-light kiss on the flawless skin.
"I will speak to Legolas now, meleth nín," said Aragorn to his wife, but as he began walking towards the elf, he noticed that Legolas was already talking to Prince Imrahil. Aragorn was not sure why relations between the two former friends had recently been so strained, but he was pleased to see that some sort of reconciliation was apparently taking place-so he quickly turned away and busied himself with a short inspection of his men.
"I want to thank you, Imrahil," said Legolas, hesitantly, "for helping us rescue Eowyn-especially as I can remember lashing out at you afterwards, and knocking you to your knees in the sea…"
"I did nothing out of the ordinary, my friend-she is a dear lady. And as for the other-I did come close to retaliating," admitted Imrahil, "but fortunately I remembered in time that a man-even with traces of elven blood in his veins-is no match for an elf. Besides, I had seen your eyes, and I knew you were not yourself." He paused. "In truth, it is I who should be apologising, Legolas. When you arrived I greeted you with the wish that your stay might be everything you desired. Little did I know that two of my citizens were planning to kidnap you and-and use you in the most disgusting and cynical way. The apothecary had customers in Far Harad, and he planned to-"
"Yes, he told me," said Legolas, cutting him off sharply. Then he added, "Do not trouble yourself on that account, Imrahil. There are dishonest citizens in every realm-I know only too well how difficult it is for a ruler to keep control of his people-and how responsible he feels when one of them strays. As you know, one of my own people committed murder at the harvest ceremony…" He hesitated. "And, maybe these events have had one positive result-you are an honourable man, Imrahil, a very honourable man…"
"But our friendship took a wrong turn and our desires remain opposed, so we can never again be true friends," Imrahil supplied.
"Then let us agree to be civil," said Imrahil, deliberately echoing Legolas' words of a few nights earlier. And he held out his hand to the elf, who accepted it, and shook it, human-fashion, with genuine warmth.
Another person, besides Aragorn, had been pleased to witness the exchange between Legolas and Imrahil. After talking to Faramir, and saying goodbye to the hobbits, Eowyn had joined Haldir and the four guards from Eryn Carantaur, deliberately leaving Legolas free to build his bridges.
"I have been thinking," said a gruff voice behind her, "that the moving target I made for the elf's conception day may require a little adjustment-it is some time since I checked it. And since Eryn Carantaur is on the way to Minas Tirith, this would be a convenient time for me to take a detour and just make sure that it is working properly. I would not want those elves to think that dwarven inventions are not reliable."
Eowyn smiled. "You can ride with me, if you would like, Gimli.
"But Gimli," she added, putting her hands on his shoulders, "whatever you may like to pretend to Legolas," and she winked, conspiratorially, "I know why you want to travel with him along the coast road. You need never use an excuse with me, because I know how much you care for him. And nothing makes me happier than to see the two of you playing together." She grinned mischievously at the dwarf's expression. "You bring him something special, Gimli. You bring him joy. You bring out the elfling in him…" And she bent and kissed Gimli's forehead.
Gimli blushed deeply.
"Should I be jealous?" asked Legolas, walking over to join them.
"Yes indeed," said Gimli, wiping something from his eye, "you should; for I will be riding with your lady all the way to Eryn Carantaur."
Crowds of people had gathered around the city gates to watch the prince's visitors leave.
A particularly large group, many of them women, had congregated around Broad Gate to see the elves pass by-especially Prince Legolas, whose looks had become the talk of every tavern, shop and parlour in Dol Amroth.
As Legolas' party finally rode out through the gate-and a loud cheer went up from the crowd-a smallish man lying in a handcart, his head and legs swathed in bandages, turned to the woman beside him. "Help me sit up," he said. "I want to see her."
His companion wrapped her strong arms around his torso and lifted him into a sitting position. He clamped both hands on the sides of the cart to keep himself upright and fixed his eyes on the woman on horseback. As she rode past him-smiling at the crowd and at the handsome elf beside her-the man whispered, "You have not yet seen the last of me, my lady; and I have not yet seen the last of you."
Then he kept watching her, long after the rest of the crowd had dispersed, as she wound her way along the rugged coast road, and disappeared beyond the horizon.
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.