2. Of Rían and the Coming of Halvarís
When a sickness took hold of Rían a few weeks later, her heart was recovering from being shattered by Silvanís's leaving without notice. She wrote some letters to Silvanís in secret, but she never knew if he got them. And she never received a letter from him…. not even one he left with the seamstress.
For Kallam had seen Silvanís go into the seamstress's house for that moment and he paid her a visit shortly after. By guile, he convinced her that he would deliver the letter to Rían at the Kings palace for he was going to report for duty. In his heart he loved Rían, and her attention given to Silvanís the night before at the ball had bothered him. But after Silvanís and Hollinstad spoke and Silvanís left, Kallam stepped to his side. He then left to follow Silvanís, and saw he went to a field to be alone. He returned to the ball, and reported to Hollinstad, and then politely asked the despairing Rían to dance. Being a friend, she danced for a while, and then excused herself to retire. Kallam escorted her back to the palace and bade her goodnight before returning to the ball. It was then he proclaimed to the remaining guests, and Prince Arvedui the betrothal of his daughter Rían to Kallam of the Kings Guard. She would be informed in the morning after she had a full nights rest. Much applause was had and much ale was drank by those who remained. And by the third hour of the morning it finally grew quiet.
Kallam hesitated in his inebriation by the door of Rían, for he wished to see her. But he would not, besides an equally inebriated Hollinstad was coming. Together they opened her door, but she was laying quietly in the dark and they would let her sleep. If they had been sober they would have easily seen that her bed was stuffed with extra blankets and clothes. The late hours of morning would come soon enough and so would the time of telling Rían of her betrothal.
Kallam went to sleep for a time, being awoken by a faint sound. He left his quarter at the end of the hall where many of the guard slept, and stepped out in the hall. Young Ráinna was standing there in her night shift rubbing her eyes. Kallam instructed her to return to her bed for the sun was just now rising. She did reluctantly, but her looking at Rían's door drew Kallam's curiosity. He tapped on her door, and after a pause, a sleepy response was heard. He opened the door and the morning light revealed a bedraggled Rían with her bedcovers clasped to her neck as she half sat up. She had jumped under her covers with her dew-dampened ball dress still on. The dew and the grass ruined it, and if the light would have been brighter, a stray piece of grass may have been seen in her hair. But satisfied she was safe and wanting to sleep more, he went to the kitchen for water and found Hollinstad there.
Hollinstad was in a serious mind and looked as though the short hours of sleep and the long night of revelry had little effect on him. He signed the day's orders and had his messengers take them to be delivered. He knew that the regiment that Silvanís was assigned was to leave in three days time. But he signed an emergency order to have them leave this day. He would not have Silvanís seeing his daughter and causing her grief. She was to marry Kallam. He gave the regimental order for Commander Elendûr to Kallam to deliver. Kallam acknowledged him, and though delivering messages was well below his rank, he knew the importance of this one to his future.
Delivering it to Elendûr and hearing his bitching, he was going to have morning roll call in about a half hour. He would have to give his men to be ready to ride in two hours. Kallam smiled as he left, and on his way back, he detoured to the tavern in town. There he had one shot of some distilled whiskey to kill his headache, and spent some time with his favorite barmaid who was readying the place for the coming day. He would have to stop seeing her now that he was betrothed, and he was readying to leave to get back to the palace. But he saw Silvanís with his horse all ready for journey, and he stopped with a parchment in hand at the seamstress. He knew what it was, and he would not have his communicating with his betrothed. He went to the seamstress after Silvanís left and said he would deliver it to Rían as he was going back to the Palace. On his way back, he visited the blacksmith and fed his fire with the parchment.
The day began late for Rían as she arose near noon. She found her mother and father on the balcony in the high sun, and they told her of her betrothal. She bolted from the room to the sound of a snickering Ráinna inside the balcony door and went in search of Silvanís. A soldier informed her that his regiment had left hours ago. Rían was devastated and knew that her betrothal was binding, sworn before the Prince by her father. Though she did not admit it to herself, she felt Silvanís took advantage of her for surely he knew he would be leaving the next day? Her mind was filled with confusing thoughts and shattered dreams, not knowing that Silvanís's regiment leaving that day was arranged by her father.
And so sad days followed for Rían, and she would not leave her room. Kallam worried deeply about her, and would keep watch and tend to her. Slowly she would begin to warm toward his kindness, and she began to look at him and see his love for her. She tried to get past seeing him as Prince Arvedui's best friend and they being friends in childhood, and though she would still think of Silvanís and Midsummer's Eve, they were evermore fading into the shadows of her mind.
Ere three weeks passed, and Rían's heartbreak had made her sick. She arose in the darkness of the morn and went to the palace balcony. The cool night air caressed her skin and shift, and she closed her eyes. Her stomach eased some, but she was coming to the realization that she was with child.
It would be scandalous, and Rían knew that when it becomes known, her betrothal to Kallam would be ended if he wished it. But it would be still many days before she would know for sure, Yet she knew, as if the life that had begun growing inside her spoke to her. The quiet of the air helped speed her thoughts... Taken, then abandoned in a day by a soldier… Embroiled in the center of royal politics and intrigue… Betrothed to a man she liked and was a dear friend, but she did not love… Knowing that Kallam loved her dearly… Knowing the feeling she had with her time with Silvanís… Rían's mind thought of Silvanis and the reasons he left so suddenly Surely there was ,more to it than what she knew. Palace schemes. Schemes upon schemes. And now she even considered schemes of her own.
But before she could think further, two arms snaked around her midriff, followed by a nuzzle in her hair and a kiss on her neck. Kallam had found her, and feeling his touch sent her thoughts flying. She, in that moment resigned herself to a hastily made plan a few moments old. She leaned back into Kallam and turned in his arms. He was her betrothed, and she kissed him with passion… Having finally been accepted by Rían's passion, he lifted her and carried her back to her room.
Kallam had to be in his quarters by the seventh hour. He had only left because he could not sleep. Now, after his encounter with Rían, ever so intense and short, he was well worn out. Managing to slip out and down the hall seemingly unseen, He made it the Guards quarters. Of course Ráinna watched in hiding as he left Rían's room and slipped silently away, but Kallam didn't know it. Ráinna went and entered Rían's room, and jumped on her messy bed with her still gasping for breath. The price of silence had just gone up.
The morning rise was a hard one for the tired Kallam, and his fellow guards gave him a bit of a chuckle. It was common knowledge among the guard that one of their numbers would slip out at times, so it didn't seem odd that Kallam had done so. Rían awoke from a deep sleep, with only her worry that her offering to Ráinna would hold her silence. Upon arising she was happy and alight and seemed to dance about the house. Hollinstad and Elrenna smiled at her, and wondered about the sudden change. Rían wished to wed Kallam as soon as possible, for she knew it would happen at the weeks end on Kallam's birthday. She would wed him, and she would bear him a child.
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.