Eomer stood apart from the rest of his Eored, his men respecting the privacy of their liege lord and ruler.
The fords of Isen flowed swift and deep at this time of year and Eomer gazed into the cascades, his mind swirling with memory and emotion.
He was returning to Meduseld after a visit with Marshal Erkenbrand and to view the repairs that were being undertaken to the sanctuary of Helms Deep. The work had gone well and the fortress was almost complete. Eomer had been most pleased with the progress and long had he feasted into the night with his old friend whilst they drunk toast after toast to the many kinsmen of whom had laid down their lives for the love and protection of the Riddermark and its people.
Now on his homeward journey Eomer felt a sudden call, to gaze upon the resting place of his cousin and prince, Theodred son of Theoden, who was slain in the days of the war when Rohan was in the throes of its darkest hour. ‘Sleep well my kinsman’ he mused in silent communion as he lost his thoughts within those swollen eddies, ‘Keep thee well within the halls of Eorl, my beloved brother’ He sighed, memory reeling to the past; his arrival in Edoras as an orphan; the unconditional love received from his cousin as he tried to console an angry youth; his patience, as he was he taught the art of sword and spear; his delight on visiting a certain bawdy house and being introduced to the ways of manhood on attaining his sixteenth year; the despair of Grimas’ rule; the devastating loss of his prince, here in this beautiful yet accursed place.
A sudden hand on his shoulder brought Eomer from his contemplations, he turned sharply to his left to see Eothain standing next to him.
“Majesty.” Eothain spoke quietly, he was a great friend and loyal to his king even to the point of rousing his liege lord from his reverie. None other there would have dared to interrupt Eomer so, but Eothain knew his king well and would tread so to protect his ruler from the dismal thoughts of former evil days.
“Aye, friend, I hear you,” replied Eomer in a distant voice.
The two Rohirrim looked at each other, thoughts deep on the love they shared for the land of their birth and the devotion that they had had for their prince.
Eothains hand gripped tighter, “Let us to home sire?” he urged in a soft voice, “This place holds too many melancholy memories.”
Eomer shook himself as though to rid his mind of his grief, “Yes, my kinsman.” He smiled and turned away from the rushing waters, “This is a place where I wouldst never visit again, friend, and only then in dire need. Theodred is in my heart and I will keep him there for ever, until I join him in the halls of my fathers.”
Eothain nodded in mute understanding and together they walked back to the waiting Eored.
Hearth and home were now before them and the men were anxious to return to loving arms once again.
In his days as Third marshal, he had enjoyed the return home, even to his halls and empty bed, not that his bed was forever empty, there was always a maid or serving wench who gladly occupied and entertained him beneath the sheets… and none were displeased with his ministrations. Many a maid looked for a way into his heart but none were ever granted access therein.
Now he was a married man, his wife Lothiriel waited for him back in Meduseld. He had been wed almost two years and had deep affections for his queen. Lothiriel hailed from the southern city of Dol Amroth and was the youngest child of his great friend and ally, Imrahil who was Prince of that fiefdom.
They had met in Minas Tirith when Eomer had travelled down to see his sister wedded to the steward, met and fell in love within days. Since that fateful day on meeting her in the stables, his life had never been the same since. His carefree days as third marshal were long gone, now he was king and ruler over the mighty land of the horse-lords and this land now had a queen, to the great delight of its people. There had been no queen in Rohan for over two score years and the house of the king had been dominated by warfare, the masculine furnishings within the halls showing this strong presence. Eowyn of course had lived there, but her love of feats of strength of arms meant she happily lived within its male orientated environment, her chamber alone boasted a feminine touch and gee-gaws.
This had of course changed when Lothiriel came to dwell within the house of his fathers, and on giving her full rein, she had transformed the huge fortress of a house into a home, embellishing her own personality into every change that she made, especially within the royal apartments. Eomer’s private study remained his domain and of course the great hall remained untouched, as did the council chambers, but Lothiriels touch could be seen elsewhere.
Eomer always felt a rush of exhilaration on his return home after being on patrol, or on performing his many visits to the far- flung peoples of the Riddermark.
And this return was no exception, long he had listened to his men talking about home and family before his marriage and he had never given much thought to it at that time…but now. Now he had a beautiful young wife, of whom he loved dearly, waiting...waiting to warm his bed…and warm it she did. Never had he known such intense pleasure and feelings of completeness as when he lay with his queen. Her soft body next to his, the small gasps of pleasure when he stroked and caressed her smooth skin and nuzzled her breasts and always that little sigh of bliss when he entered her, and they became one.
It was these thoughts that drove Eomer on towards hearth and home and the men picking up his mood gladly followed him, the rain lashed down, the wind howled, but ever they galloped, heartily wanting to be out of such un-clement weather and nestled between warm and welcoming thighs.
Soon the lights in the distance drew them further to its warm bosom, Edoras chief city of Rohan, and home to all.
Grooms and stable-boys ran out to greet the king and his riders, the hour was late and most citizens were abed, but the stabling area alone boasted continuous activity day and night through. The men settled their horses and bade each other restful sleep and made their reverences towards Eomer, before wending home to greet their wives and family.
Eomer gave one last check on Firefoot, that he was settled and the manger was full afore he also turned and left the area to walk up the steps to Meduseld ..home again.
The king walked through the great hall, quite now at this hour of the night, the embers from the fire casting ethereal shadows on the many tapestries hung throughout its edifices. His heart beat faster and his eyes flashed with pride upon his heritage and the history depicted therein.
A page ran out to greet him and announced that a bath was being drawn for his king ere they spoke, Eomer nodded his thanks, his only thought now to reach his bedchamber and his queen...his beloved, of whom he had sorely missed.
His hand rested upon the doors of his apartments and he walked in the ante-room and softy he opened the door into the large bedchamber. The fire was low in the hearth casting a dim light through the room. The massive bed drew his eye and the figure resting beneath the coverlet.
He approached and sat gently down on the side to gaze with adoring eyes at the slight figure laid before him. Her deep even breaths were barely audible in the dark of night, she stirred slightly and moved onto her back, revealing a little more of her shapely figure, and on a time this would have sent his senses reeling and to cause an intense stirring in his loins.
Lothiriel stirred again and moved one of her hands down to her belly, rubbing the rounding surface gently as if to reassure the growing babe within.
Eomer smiled and with a ghost of a movement he covered her hand with his own and mimicked the caress with controlled gentleness, as he wanted not to awaken his wife from her much needed sleep.
He felt the movement under his palm and a broad grin spread over his face…his child…created of his seed…conceived in love.
He would dwell no more on the past, this was the future growing here within the womb of his wife, the future of Rohan ….and of his heart.
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.