Time of the Orcs has come, The: 8. Epilogue: The ring-bearer

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8. Epilogue: The ring-bearer

"It is nice to be home," said Eowyn, as Legolas carried her along the walkway to their private chambers, "even if it will only be for a few hours. I do not suppose-No…" "What, melmenya?" prompted Legolas. "That we could send Aragorn an excuse and stay here for Yule? We could spend some time together, just the two of us," she grinned, "in bed…" Legolas laughed and kissed the top of her head. "No, melmenya, wonderful as that would be, we cannot! It is an official visit and we accepted Aragorn's invitation months ago. We will be several days late as it is." He carried her through the front door, across the lobby and into the sitting room. Eowyn gasped. "Legolas! It is beautiful!" The fireplace, the pillars, and the beams of their severely elegant sitting room had all been decorated with garlands of holly, ivy, mistletoe, and fir cones; the windows had been hung with deep green velvet spangled with golden stars; and the mantelpiece and hearth sparkled with hundreds of tiny white candles. "How ever did you do it?" she asked. "I asked Míriel to arrange it-before we left for Minas Athrad." He carried her over to the fireplace and set her down on one of the chairs before the fire. "I am glad you like it," he added, almost shyly. "I love it! Thank you! But now, more than ever, I want to stay at home…" Legolas knelt before her and kissed her hands. "You will enjoy Minas Tirith, melmenya," he said. "I promise." She smiled. Then a thought struck her. "Legolas! We still have presents to wrap!" … Eowyn took a sip of mulled wine. "How is that?" she asked. She held up the parcel she had been struggling with. "Terrible, melmenya!" laughed Legolas. "Give it to me." He carefully undid her handiwork. "The secret," he said, "is to match the shape of the wrapping to the shape of the present." He picked up a circle of rose-pink gauze. "Do you think Gimli will like that colour?" asked Eowyn. "He is a dwarf, melmenya. They love all beautiful things… Now, pull up the ends like this… tie it off with thread, like this… decorate it with a ribbon… and arrange the ends of the bow, like this. You try." "Perhaps I should wrap Faramir's book-he will be more forgiving…" She took a bite of caraway cake. Choose a piece of fabric the right shape-dark blue for Faramir-pull up the ends… tie off with thread-hmmm, not too bad-decorate with a ribbon… "Stop laughing! Or you will be sleeping alone tonight. In the garden." … "Oh, there is not enough time to get everything packed," said Eowyn. "Míriel will do the packing-all you have to do is tell her what you want to take. Anyway, you do not need much…" His voice trailed away. "Why not?" Legolas tried to look innocent. "We are only going for a few days, melmenya…" Eowyn laughed. "You are no good at lying, Legolas." "Lying?" "It is written all over your face!" "Alright," he admitted, "I have the feeling that the Yuletide Elf may be bringing you a few things…" "Things to wear? Let me see!" "No, melmenya!" "Please…" She grinned mischievously. Legolas hesitated. Just one, he thought. "Stay here then. Do not try to see where I am going…" Eowyn waited impatiently as Legolas disappeared into their bedchamber. How could he possibly hide anything in there? she wondered. He returned with a large, flat parcel, wrapped in iridescent green gauze, and decorated with a golden ribbon tied in a large, artfully arranged bow. He laid it on her lap. "Merry Yuletide, melmenya," he said. Eowyn ran her fingers lightly over the golden bow. "It is beautiful," she said. "I love it." "You have not opened it yet!" said Legolas. She pulled the ends of the bow, carefully untied the ribbon, and unwrapped the fabric. Inside the parcel was a gown of bright green velvet embroidered with clusters of golden holly leaves and deep red holly berries. "Oh, Legolas!" She held it against herself. The neckline, edged with golden braid, was cut very low, in the elven fashion. She looked at Legolas, suspiciously. Legolas laughed. "You will look lovely, melmenya," he said. "Your wound will be fully healed by Yule. And look-this shift goes underneath. It will show at the neck-and preserve your modesty…" The shift was made from translucent gold silk, decorated with tiny golden snowflakes. "Try them on," he said. He helped her change out of her tunic and leggings. "The gown laces up the back…" said Eowyn. "Mmmmm," said Legolas, carefully tying the lace, "that way, you will always need help undressing, melmenya!" He carried her into the bedchamber and held her in front of the mirror. "Do you like it?" he asked. Eowyn examined her reflection. "It is the most beautiful gown I have ever seen," she said, kissing him tenderly. "Thank you." Then she added, excitedly, "Carry me over to the dressing table! But do not look!" When she was sure that Legolas' back was turned, she opened her jewellery box, took out a small silver key and unlocked the cupboard on her side of the dressing table. She sorted through a pile of small parcels and selected one, wrapped-rather untidily-in bright orange fabric. Eowyn made a last minute attempt to straighten its corners. Then she closed the cupboard door. "You can look now," she said, holding the present towards him. Legolas gave her a ravishing smile. "Thank you, melmenya!" He weighed it in his hand. It was light. He shook it. It made no sound. "Open it!" said Eowyn. Legolas carried her to the bed and, sitting beside her, carefully unwrapped the present. It was a large comb, carved from a single piece of dark red wood, its spine decorated with a line of intricately detailed Mûmakil. Legolas examined the animals carefully. "It is beautiful, melmenya, thank you." He sniffed it. "It smells of spices!" "I know. It is the natural smell of the wood. It comes from a tree that grows only in Far Harad." Legolas' expression suddenly turned wicked-he handed the comb to Eowyn. "Take off your tunic," she said, smiling. Once Legolas had slipped off his clothing, Eowyn carefully unfastened his braids and gently massaged his scalp. He sighed contentedly. Then she began combing, working out the few tiny snags, until she could run the comb through the full length of his hair. Legolas moaned and arched his back slightly. Eowyn smiled. She had had relatively little experience of men, but she was almost certain that this reaction was uniquely elven-and that her gift had been the perfect choice. "Lean forward," she whispered. She put the comb down and began to massage Legolas' neck and shoulders and to kiss the delicate points of his ears. "Gods, melmenya," he gasped, his back arching sharply. Eowyn laughed. "I love the way your ears are so sensitive…" she said. Legolas rolled over, pinning her to the bed, and kissed her hungrily, tickling her neck and shoulders with his mouth and his loose hair. Eowyn wriggled and laughed beneath him, and they hugged tightly. Then Legolas suddenly stilled. "Wait, melmenya! I have something else for you!" And he jumped up and ran into the sitting room. Moments later, he returned and placed another parcel on Eowyn's lap. Eowyn examined it carefully-it was a cylinder, about ten inches long, made from a brightly coloured material that was neither fabric nor parchment, but something similar to both, and its ends were twisted to form a sealed pocket in the middle. "Hold your end, tightly," said Legolas, grasping the other end. "Now-pull!" BANG! "OH!" cried Eowyn, falling over onto the bed, laughing. Legolas hugged her. "You have won, melmenya," he said. "See!" Eowyn looked at the remains of the cylinder. It had torn open, and she was holding the larger part. Inside was a slip of parchment and a small wooden box. "Why did it explode?" she asked. "It contains a small amount of the powder that Mithrandir used to use in his fireworks," said Legolas. "Pulling makes it explode-do not ask me how, Eowyn nín, for I do not know!" Eowyn grinned. "Where did you get it?" "Dol Amroth. I had a terrible time keeping it dry on the way home…" Eowyn read the parchment. "I know a word of letters three, Add two, and fewer there will be." She looked at Legolas questioningly. He grinned. "I am not telling you the answer, meleth nín," he said. "You will have to work it out for yourself. Open the box!" Eowyn picked up the wooden box and carefully removed its polished lid. "Oh!" It was a ring or, rather, two rings-one silver, one gold-flowing over and under and around each other. "It is a betrothal ring, melmenya," said Legolas. "I know it is a little late. But I wanted you to have one-I wanted to give you one." He took it from the box and slipped it on her finger. "Thank you," she whispered. … "This one?" asked Legolas, "or this one?" Eowyn was sitting in bed, drinking mulled wine, and helping Legolas choose the clothes he would pack. She sighed. The wine was strong and-though it was a very enjoyable job-Legolas' hair was loose and his chest was bare and she was growing impatient. "I do not know…" she said. Legolas laid both tunics over a chair and sat down beside her. "What is it, melmenya?" he asked anxiously. Illness was new-and frightening-to him. "Are you feeling unwell?" But Eowyn shook her head, wrapped her arms around him, and whispered in his ear, "You have not made love to me all day…" "Oh, my love," he said, "we will have to put that right." And, kissing her tenderly on her face, her neck, and her breasts, he used one hand to unlace his leggings. Eowyn immediately took hold of him and drew him towards her. Legolas smiled down at her, "My impatient Shieldmaiden!" He buried his face in her neck and let her guide him; then he flexed his hips and entered her in one firm but gentle thrust. They both sighed with pleasure. "Keep still, meleth nín," he whispered. And he lay on top of her, enfolding her in his arms, and only his hips moved, in a slow, inexorable rhythm. … "FEW!" cried Eowyn, her body arching. "Yes… Yes! YES, MELMENYA!" … "All I said was- " "I know what you said. But what you want to know," said Eowyn, "is whether this lover I had before Faramir was Aragorn-you are jealous. That is why you are so angry-" "I am not angry-" "Yes you are. Why? Why does it matter if it was Aragorn?" "It matters! It matters because I loved you, even then," said Legolas, furiously, "and because Aragorn was already betrothed. He had no right to take you. He had no right to-" "He did not!" Legolas stared at her, confused. "It was Theodred!" she said. "It was not Aragorn. Theodred was my first lover." "Theodred? Oh, melmenya," he reached for her, "melmenya…" He slipped his hands around her waist and pulled her close, burying his face in her hair. Eowyn did not resist, but she remained aloof. "How many lovers did you have before me?" "Does it matter?" "Of course it matters-now! How many?" Legolas sighed. "Twelve," he admitted. "But I am much older than-" "No you are not! I am almost middle-aged; you are young for an elf! But I suppose," she added, "as a Prince, you were encouraged to sow your wild oats. I suppose some palace official was ordered to supply you with ellyth-" "Melmenya!" "You started this, Legolas, being jealous!" She sighed, and began tracing the muscles in his chest with her finger. "So who did you have before me?" "I cannot tell you that-" "Why not?" she asked. "I told you-and, besides, I need to know." Legolas sighed-she had a point. "There was a whore my tutor hired," he said, "after my coming of age ceremony-she was the first." "That is a sad way to start," said Eowyn, softly. "There was the daughter of my father's Chief Counsellor. Several other ladies at court-" "How many?" "Four. There was an elleth I-er-knew in one of the settlements to the north of Mirkwood. A serving elleth-" "Legolas!" "I treated her well… A dancer at Imladris, when I attended the Council of Elrond. And two bathing attendants at Lorien." "Together?" Legolas nodded, looking slightly embarrassed. "And then you tried to have me at Edoras-you were busy during the Fellowship," she said, dryly. "But that is only eleven. Who was the twelfth, Legolas?" He hesitated for a long time. "Arwen," he said. Eowyn was taken aback. "Arwen!" "It was many years ago, melmenya. Long before Aragorn was born…" "Was it serious-with Arwen?" she asked. "No, melmenya!" "Was it serious with any of them?" "No." "So it was just physical?" "Yes." "Were they better than me?" "Oh, melmenya!" "That means yes." "No! No it does not! No one could ever be better than you!" "Not even the whore?" "The whore was efficient." "What does that mean?" "It was over in moments…" Eowyn smirked, her face buried in his chest. "That was not her doing," she said. "With you it is often over in moments." "Melmenya!" "Was she better the second time?" "There was no second time. She wanted more money." In spite of herself Eowyn laughed. She raised her head. Legolas smiled at her and she touched his face. "What about the others?" she asked, softly. "Oh, Eowyn! What if I were to ask you about Faramir and Theodred?" "Then I would tell you that Faramir was kind and gentle but that his heart was not in it," said Eowyn, "and that Theodred-Theodred was too much like Eomer-and I could not let go." Legolas kissed her tenderly and-at last-felt her relax into his arms. "I did begin to think," she said, softly, "that there was something wrong with me…" "No, melmenya. No! You are a wonderful lover-passionate and giving-I meant it when I said there was no one like you. Not for me. You give me everything I have ever wanted. You give me joy such as I never imagined existed." "Really?" Eowyn asked, with child-like insecurity. "Truthfully?" "Of course, my darling. We are perfectly suited, you and I. Human and elf." Eowyn nodded. "You are hot where I am cold and cold where I am hot," she said. "Melmenya?" "It is something I thought a few days ago," she said, softly. "But the truth is that we are not perfectly suited-that some of your 'brief affairs' with elleth will have lasted for longer than my entire lifetime-" "Melmenya-" "I do not want to leave you, Legolas," she whispered. Legolas shook his head. "I will not survive you, Eowyn nín. I will die when you die-" "No!" "Shhhhh," he kissed her hand. "We will never be parted, melmenya. We will be together forever. I have made up my mind-" Eowyn pushed herself up on her hands in alarm. "To do what?" she cried. "To follow you," he said. "Woman and elf, we were both created by Iluvatar. And the Valar gave you to me. Whatever happens to men when they die, wherever they take you, I will follow. I will beg to be admitted. It make take time, but I will persist-" "Legolas-" "Shhhhh. Will you wait for me?" "Of course I will wait for you." "Do you think your ancestors will accept me as your husband?" A single tear ran down Eowyn's cheek. "Oh my love… yes." "Then it is agreed?" Eowyn nodded. "Good," said Legolas, smiling. He reached up and lifted her bowed head until their eyes met and an answering smile transformed Eowyn's face-and they grinned at each other like two children who had just agreed to be naughty. And when he turned her onto her back, and gently pressed her into the bed, she did not resist but wrapped her legs around his waist and returned his kisses with equal passion. … "Legolas?" "Mmmmm?" "Am I really better than Arwen?" "Oh, melmenya!" … … Two days after the expeditionary force returned to Eryn Carantaur, a lone elf crossed the Anduin at Pelargir and began the long journey across the river delta. I will head for Belfalas and the city of Dol Amroth, he thought. It will not be pleasant, living amongst humans, but I have no other options left. And the superior speed and stealth of an elf will surely be valuable commodities in the world of men... THE END

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.

Story Information

Author: ningloreth

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 4th Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 01/14/11

Original Post: 07/24/04

Go to Time of the Orcs has come, The overview

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