Wild Roses: 24. Forgiveness

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24. Forgiveness

The rapturous feeling continued for several moments, and then Cellinn felt herself congealing once more. As the pieces of her soul reconnected, she realized it was no longer just her, but him as well. They formed back together, separate and yet connected, infinitesimal shards of each of them imbedded in the other.

And the song filled her mind, her heart. She would know him anywhere now, knew the imprint of him in the Song of Arda. She smiled as she sank back into awareness of her body, feeling his weight collapsed against her. "Oh my," she breathed.

He chuckled…but there was no sound; and yet she could hear it as plain as his labored breathing. By the stars, I love you… The words sounded clearly in her mind, but she could also feel his love for her. She gripped him tighter. There will never be enough words to tell you how much…

"You don't have to," she whispered. "I can feel it — feel you." She felt him smile against her throat, where his face was buried against her.

They lay like that for several moments, then Legolas began to stir. Cellinn clung to him. "Don't leave!" she cried out, fearing the loss of this new connection with him. She did not think she could bear it if that faded away to what they had known before.

"It's alright," he murmured. He slowly slid off her and rolled to her side, his arms wrapping around her. He held her for several minutes, and she relished the feel of him against her. Nothing had changed, she could still feel him, still hear a faint echo of his soul's song, even though they were not two bodies once more. His exhaustion rolled over her like a storm cloud, causing her to blink and hold back a yawn. Her poor husband! He was so tired!

Turning in his arms, she just looked at him. His eyes were closed; a small crooked smile tipped one side of his mouth upwards. She ran her fingers down the side of his face in a caress. He blinked sleepily at her. She smiled. "You look so tired."

"I am." His smile grew. "I've never felt so…so…" He yawned.

"Mmmhmm." She agreed, snuggling closer. She had never felt this way before either. "Sleep," she murmured, her fingers reaching up to caress his face again. She winced as her body throbbed from their lovemaking. As soon as he fell asleep she would make use of the steaming water that had been brought before Legolas returned to their rooms.

"NO!"

Cellinn jumped as he sat up abruptly in their bed, shaking his head slightly. "Legolas?" She reached up, trying to draw him back down.

"Can't sleep yet," he mumbled, blinking sleepily.

He met her gaze, and as their eyes collided, she gasped even as he started in surprise. For the first time they met each other's gaze as a bonded pair. It was written plainly in his eyes — this one is wed. She grinned at him.

One corner of his mouth drew up, his dimple deepening as he smiled at her. "I like that look on you," he said. The smile faded into something more serious, a look of possessiveness. "Now all will know you're mine."

"As you're mine," she agreed, savoring that subtle message proclaiming to all that he was taken. "Now lay down," she commanded, patting the bed beside her. "You need to sleep!"

"Can't sleep yet," he murmured, rising from the bed. He glanced down at her, running his eyes over her, then grimaced when he focused on her thighs. She looked down and saw the traces of blood. "I hurt you," he whispered, his eyes holding a look of such remorse, her heart twisted. Or perhaps, she was feeling the echo of his heart twisting. It was still difficult to sort out the new sensations created by their bond.

She sat up, flinching as her inner muscles cramped. "I'm alright, Lass."

But he was moving to the stand holding the pitcher and pouring some of the water into the bowl and wetting a cloth in it. He came back and gently eased her back down and began to wash her, easing her knees apart to reach all the sore places. She blushed, feeling embarrassed to be so open to his gaze, but the warmth felt so nice. He crossed the room and rinsed the cloth, bringing it back and laying it against her. She sighed, feeling the ache wane.

Easing the top blanket from under her, he rejoined her on the bed and covered them with it, snuggling her against his chest. His fingers lightly caressed up and down her arm as he pressed soft kisses against her temple. She sighed. She was really going to enjoy being married to him if he was going to be this attentive.

Glancing up at him with a small smile, she found him watching her. "Sleep," she told him, tracing a small circle on his chest.

He shook his head. "You first." Then he yawned, and she laughed.

"I'm not tired. It's the middle of the day," she reminded him. He yawned again. Only then did she notice the dark circles under his eyes. He had probably not slept well since their fight! "Sleep, Legolas. I'm perfectly content to lie here with you as you do."

"No," he murmured, but he was losing the battle. "Have to…" Whatever he was going to say was lost when his eyes unfocused and he drifted into dreams.

Cellinn shook her head. He was so adorable when he was asleep. She bent and pressed a kiss to his chest and then laid her head down on his shoulder, reliving all the events of the past hour and marveling over the closeness she now felt with him. Her eyes unfocused, and unaware, she also slipped to sleep.

-o-

Legolas blinked, his eyes slowly refocusing. He felt very refreshed. He started to stretch, then felt the warm body against him and glanced down with a smile. Even now he could feel her song thrumming in his heart.

He shifted slightly so he could see her more clearly and ran a hand over her tangled hair. So beautiful. My beautiful wife. She smiled, and he realized she could hear his thoughts. She blinked and stretched, looking up at him with sleepy eyes. And you said you weren't tired.

Cellinn lifted a brow. More tired than I thought I was. "I didn't mean to fall asleep," she said.

"We both needed it." He traced her face with his gaze, pleased to see that the dark circles that had been under her eyes earlier had faded; she looked refreshed.

"You look better," she told him, reaching up and tracing a finger from his brow to the corner of his mouth.

He smiled. "I feel better…much better." He bent his head and tried to kiss her, but she was too far down on his chest. She laughed and pushed up on her elbows so he could reach her. He kissed her soundly, only drawing back when he needed to catch his breath.

I love it when you kiss me like that.

He grinned and kissed her again, relishing the sound of her melody as it washed over his soul. It seemed to increase in volume whenever they touched in such an intimate manner, just like a flute…

Breaking the kiss, Legolas pulled back from her, distress filling him. He did not want to tell her, but he had no choice — even though the news would hurt her and badly. But she needed to know all he had done.

"Legolas?" She asked, concern filling her eyes. "What's wrong?" Her voice trembled; her breathing hitched.

He closed his eyes. "I have a confession to make." He drew in a deep breath. "I don't want to tell you, but…"

"You can tell me anything."

He opened his eyes and met her concerned blue eyes. "I know, but this will hurt you more, and I don't want to cause you pain." He swallowed. "I hate causing you pain," he whispered, pulling her closer against him and burying his face in her hair. How could he tell her?

"You can tell me anything," Cellinn repeated, sitting up and looking down at him. The blanket fell from around her shoulders to her waist, revealing her body to him. He immediately focused on her breasts then snapped his eyes closed and reached to pull it back around her. He heard her half-laugh. She bent over him, placing a kiss on his forehead and then settled her back against the pillows beside him, close but not touching, the blanket tucked up under her arms. "Tell me."

He sat up beside her, his shoulder brushing hers. He stared at the hearth, a heaviness settling in his chest. There was no easy way to tell her what he had done — or why he had done it. "I did something…something I regret greatly. I was so angry, and I couldn't bear any reminder of…" He gulped, blinking back the sudden moisture in his eyes. "I am a fool."

She reached for his hand and held it tightly. "Tell me."

Squeezing his eyes closed, he blurted out, "I burned it. The flute you gave me." His voice broke and bile rose up in his throat. For some reason that act seemed more repulsive to him than his kissing Ninglorwen — both had been done to cause hurt, but destroying something that had been a symbol to him of their love…the very instrument on which he had composed her song? "I'm sorry," he whispered.

To his surprise, Cellinn reached out and drew him to her, pulling his head to her shoulder. He let out a shuddering breath as her fingers ran through his hair. "It's alright. I already knew about the flute."

He froze. She knew? He swallowed hard. "How," he asked hoarsely.

"I found it."

Her answer broke his heart. He sat up and gathered her to him, holding her tightly. "Oh, Linnaew. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I wish I had not! I wish…"

"Hush." Her fingers against his lips stilled his words. "I found it before it was completely destroyed." She released a sigh. "I don't know why I kept it, except I could not let it burn and I could not toss it away. It meant too much."

"Where is it?" he asked. "I want it back." He pulled away from her and implored her with his eyes to return it.

She shook her head. "It is too damaged to ever be played again…"

"I don't care! I want it back….to remind me." He looked deep into her eyes, begging her to understand. "To remind me to always forgive."

A sad smile spread her lips. Taking the blanket with her, she stood and moved to her clothes press and opened it. She removed a bundle of linen and returned to the bed, climbing up beside him, her eyes briefly darting over his nakedness. She handed it to him.

Unfolding the cloth, he was dismayed to find the flute in such a state. But just like their love, it had not been completely destroyed. It would serve as a reminder to him of what he had nearly lost. Rising from the bed, he crossed to a small table near the hearth and placed the flute upon it. Tomorrow, he would find some roses to put beside it.

Returning to the bed, he pulled her into his arms and held her. "Thank you for forgiving me," he told her. "For loving me. For being mine."

Lowering his head, he touched his lips to hers and felt her sigh beneath him. Her fingers traced down his chest and belly and hovered just over his stirring flesh. He groaned, anticipating her touch.

A knock on their chamber door caused them to break apart in surprise. "What?" he asked, frowning at the doorway leading to the sitting room. The knock came again, more insistent.

Giving Cellinn a look of exasperation — she laughed at him — he left the bed, grabbing a robe from his dressing room and hurrying to answer the insistent knocking. Jerking open the door and meaning to chastise whoever had interrupted them, he instead stared, startled to find his father standing there, grinning like a fool.

"Adar?"

Thrandui's grin broadened, if that were possible. "Good to see you finally saw some sense!" He pressed past Legolas into their rooms.

Legolas threw a glance towards the open bedchamber door where he had left Cellinn in naught but a blanket. "Err.. Adar, you really should not…"

Thranduil turned, his eyes shining. "You're an uncle!"

Legolas blinked. From the bedchamber he heard Cellinn squeal with excitement and heard the rustle of cloth. She darted through the doorway a moment later, every inch of her body from the neck down concealed by the blanket.

"A boy?" she asked, her eyes as bright as her smile.

Thranduil's head bobbed excitedly. "Yes. I'm a grandfather!"

Legolas's lips slowly spread into a smile of his own. He had never seen his father act in such a manner. "Congratulations!" He reached out and clasped Thranduil on the shoulder. "Please tell Arandur and Minuialwen we are happy for them." He began to escort his dazed father to the door, planning to show him out so he could return to his wife in their bed.

"Oh no!" Cellinn exclaimed. "We have to go see them!" She turned and shuffled back into their bedroom, shutting the door.

Legolas's shoulders slumped as he realized he would not be making love to his wife again anytime soon. He would have to go see the baby first and pass along congratulations and coo and… He glanced at his father who just stood smiling and rocking back and forth on his heels.

I will never act in such a manner, he thought.

Wanna bet? Cellinn taunted.

He chuckled and went to dress so he could meet his new nephew, determined he would not mirror Thranduil when his children or grandchildren came into the world.

-o-

Arandur held his son, smiling down at him. He was perfect, from the top of his dark hair to the tips of his perfect fingers and toes. Even his tiny ears were perfectly pointed. He placed a kiss on the tiny head.

"Alright, pass him over. It's my turn."

He glanced up as his father strode through the door, Cellinn on his heels followed by a sulky looking Legolas. Arandur chuckled. He could just imagine why his brother had that look on his face, though judging by the look in his eyes, Legolas had not been jilted in all his lovemaking attempts this time.

Thranduil scooped the baby into his arms, and turned to proudly display him for Legolas and Cellinn.

"Oh look at him!" Cellinn exclaimed, peering into the bundle. "He's so beautiful."

"Congratulations," Legolas voiced after a quick glance at the baby. He crossed the room and grasped Arandur's arm, smiling.

Aranudur grinned back. "Thank you."

"How's Minuialwen?" Cellinn asked. She had somehow managed to steal the elfling from Thranduil, who frowned at her, looking quite bereft, his fingers twitching from the loss.

"She's fine," Arandur told her. "She's sleeping now; Naneth and her mother are with her." He yawned. He would love to get some sleep himself. Bringing their son into the world had drained him as well as Minuialwen.

"What are you going to name him?" Legolas asked, taking a keener interest in the baby when Cellinn walked over to him, cooing and making kissing noises.

"Well…" Arandur paused, glancing between Legolas and Cellinn. "That depends. Have you two forgiven each other?"

The couple smiled at one another, exchanging a look so tender, Arandur had no doubt that all had been made right between them. "Yes," Legolas affirmed, love shining brightly in his eyes.

Arandur smiled. "Then I am happy to announce that his name shall be Gohenor — as he shall share his begetting day with your true wedding day."

Cellinn and Legolas both gaped at him a moment, then they smiled. Gohenor gurgled and waved a small fist.

Thranduil moved between the couple. "Your turn is over," he declared, taking Gohenor again. Arandur, Cellinn and Legolas exchanged an amused glance as the King of the Greenwood moved to a rocking chair in one corner and settled himself into it and began to sing.

To Be Continued...


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: Nieriel Raina

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Kings

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 02/17/11

Original Post: 02/22/07

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