Wild Roses: 7. Never Be The Same

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7. Never Be The Same

Cellinn walked towards the library, a book held against her chest, her thoughts still on the flowers beside her bed. The roses were so beautiful, and she loved them, but the circumstances involved in obtaining them troubled her very much. Why had Legolas brought her flowers? Why had he given her the necklace? She had never known him to give such gifts to a lady. Why was he all of a sudden tripping over himself, saying or doing things that brought her pain? She shook her head, trying to throw off the nagging feeling that it should make sense. Over the years, even with all his stupid pranks, slimy creatures, and showing off — not once had he deliberately tried to hurt her. And never had he seemed to lack confidence, yet now she could see his hesitation when he was around her. What had happened to their friendship? She had had such hopes the night they danced that things could return to the way they had been, but the fact remained clear that things would never be the same again. Something had changed, but she was unsure what it was.

Yes, you are. You are just too afraid to admit it.

Where did that thought come from? Too afraid to admit what? But the voice chose to be silent. She sighed and cradled the book closer to her chest. Reading would help her forget the confusing feelings and thoughts.

And the feel of his lips against yours…

There it was again! Why would she think about that? He was only being nice! In all likelihood, he had just felt sorry for her for not having been kissed prior to that night. That would explain his hurried apology and begging her to forget it happened. He had acted in a moment of pity and was now unsure she would forgive him. Well, she would gladly do so if he would stop acting like an idiot long enough for her to get the words out!

Then why did you not say anything when he gave you the flowers yesterday? You could have found him if you wanted.

If it would not cause a scene, Cellinn would beat her head against the wall in frustration. Stupid voice! But at least now she was at the library and could exchange her book for another and lose herself in the pages. Maybe someone would even have an instrument to play as she read. She greatly enjoyed the times when someone would play a flute softly in the room. The notes resounded and lifted her heart. It was her love of the instrument that had prompted her to give Legolas a flute for his coming of age — his passion would give the instrument a melody like no other, not that he had ever learned to play it.

She stepped into the room and was pleased to see Minuialwen there. She hoped her friend could help her to stop thinking about the pain that seemed to pound with each heartbeat in her chest.

"Cellinn." Minuialwen walked forward with a smile, drawing her to the opposite corner of the library from where she usually sat. It was just as well. That corner had been where she and Legolas had spent much time discussing books…or their next prank. Oh, I miss him!

It was true. She had been very foolish to lose her temper and call off their friendship months ago. She had been even more the fool for returning his gift and walking away without letting him explain. There was no one dearer to her than Legolas, and how horrible to realize it now that their friendship was irrevocably changed. After the way she had treated him yesterday, she was sure he would not wish to speak with her again. Yet, he had still left the flowers, which brought her back to why he was acting so strange.

"Cellinn?" She looked up at Minuialwen, who wore an exasperated expression. "Cellinn, I asked you a question three times, and you did not even acknowledge me!"

"You did? Oh! I'm sorry! I - I was thinking about…some things." Cellinn stumbled over her words, giving her friend an apologetic look.

Minuialwen shook her head. "Why can't the two of you just admit you love each other?" she asked quietly.

"Excuse me?" Cellinn's heart skipped a beat then made up for it by pounding double-time beneath her breast. Surely Minuialwen was not suggesting what she thought she was suggesting? No. Even if she could admit to herself that she was in love with Legolas, and she was not sure that was the case, there was no way he felt the same. Or does he? Would that explain…

The soft sound of a flute came from the far corner of the library, the melody haunting yet beautiful. She had never heard the song before. Minuialwen glanced at her and smiled. "Follow your heart and see where it takes you." And standing, the princess excused herself and left the room.

Follow my heart? Right now all she wanted to do was find out who was playing such a lovely song and forget all the troubling thoughts about a certain baffling prince. Leaving her book on the settee, she rose and sought the musician.

Her steps stumbled to a halt as she neared the corner, for seated in Legolas's and her spot with his back towards her, the golden-haired musician continued to play, the notes ringing pure and sweet, almost beckoning her to come closer. It could not be… Legolas? But she would recognize his form anywhere, even from the back.

Her heart pounded faster and her stomach did a flip. She was in love with him, she realized. She had been for a long time. She could not imagine loving anyone else! They were a matched pair, never far from each other even when they were angry at each other, though if memory served, it was usually she that was irate with him. It was rare indeed for Legolas to become angry with her. He tolerated a lot and still wanted to be her friend. The dawning revelations caused her breathing to hitch.

The music stopped.

Slowly, the silvery-blonde head turned and his bright grey eyes sought hers. Legolas smiled a bit stiffly, as if unsure of himself. Her eyes dropped to the flute she had given him, still grasped in his hand.

"I did not know that you had learned to play it at all, let alone well enough to compose your own songs." She felt amazed that he had done so. She looked up at him and noted the pride in his face.

"You gave it to me. Of course, I learned to play it," he told her, but then he frowned. "Though, I did not master it until…until you sent me away. Then it became very important, as it was one of the few things I had to remind me of you."

Cellinn's heart flipped again when he said that. She moved close enough to gently touch his cheek. "What happened to us, Legolas? We used to be so close…even when we bickered, it was never like this." She paused, stroking his jaw as her eyes traveled over his beloved features. "I miss you," she finished, her voice a breathy whisper.

Strong arms wrapped around her, pulling her up against a firm, warm chest. After a few moments, he spoke. "I struggle to find my place in your life, as we are no longer children and much has changed. But in doing so, I have hurt you. I never meant to hurt you, Cellinn. I would rather run myself through with my own sword, than cause you pain."

"I know," she whispered, bringing her hand up to rest on his chest next to where her cheek rested against his shoulder. "And I have only caused you grief."

He took a deep breath and released it in a rush of air that stirred her hair. His fingers followed to stroke the strands. "Do you ever wonder why you cause me such grief?" he asked softly.

Cellinn could hear a slight tremble in his voice, and then she knew without doubt. He loved her! She shook her head, smiling against his tunic. "I do not wonder. I believe I know, though you do not speak it, and I have not dared to dwell on it out of fear."

His fingers stilled, and he pulled back, his arms still surrounding her shoulders. She could feel the flute still held in one hand pressing against her back. She looked up, and he gazed into her eyes for a long moment, then that crooked smile she loved so much spread across his face.

The next thing Cellinn knew, she was being kissed. The flute slipped from his fingers to the settee behind him, and gentle fingers wandered her face, tracing her brow, her cheek, her jaw. His other hand came to rest against her lower back, urging her closer. She complied, her arms slipping around his neck, her fingers sinking into his hair as he deepened the kiss; his fingers gliding down to lightly caress her throat.

Then he withdrew just enough to whisper against her lips, "I love you," before pressing against them again in another soft kiss.

Her breath hitched, and she tilted her face away to press her cheek against his. His arms slipped back around her, drawing her tight against him. She placed light kisses along his cheek until she reached just below his ear. "I love you, too," she whispered into it, gasping when his lips found hers again.

Long fingers of one hand sank into her hair and cradled her head, as tender caresses on her back became more insistent. Cellinn's fingers wandered his throat and back, her hand coming to rest on his cheek. Legolas pressed into it, lightly sucking her bottom lip between his own and caressing it with his tongue before releasing her to place tiny kisses on the corner of her mouth and cheek. She sighed when he rested his face against hers, nuzzling against her before pulling back to meet her gaze. The love in his eyes nearly caused her to cry, and then he smiled without reserve. "Forgive me?" he asked. "I have been quite the idiot."

Cellinn laughed, bringing a hand to cover her mouth in her mirth, all pain and reservation falling from her in light of their proclaimed love. She dropped her hand. "Indeed, you have, but no more than I. We have both been foolish, and I am sure we shall be again." Her voice broke then, and her expression sobered as she realized it was true. They would hurt each other again, for all who loved each other did. "But I will always love you and forgive you," she promised.

-o-

Much to Legolas's surprise his day had taken a most pleasant turn. He found himself locked in an embrace that made his heart pound and spirit soar, and he felt like himself again, open and honest, able to tell this girl anything. So, he started by asking her forgiveness for being an idiot. And she laughed! She laughed, and the sound filled the library; and he found he could not help but laugh with her, rather than be offended, for he understood her mirth.

But then she sobered as she admitted it was only a matter of time before they hurt each other again. He knew it was true, and he hated it, yet as she promised to love and forgive, he recognized her wisdom, and that such an oath would see them through those times. His mother had confided once that over the years, as two people came to understand each other more and more, the less they caused each other harm through careless words or deeds. And he had already begun to learn this.

"And I will always love you, and accept your forgiveness, for surely now that I have your love, you will do me no harm!" He grinned when she narrowed her eyes at his teasing. "You will always have my forgiveness, my love," he reassured her, "though seldom have you caused me pain. I fear it is I who angers and hurts you. I'm sorry. I don't mean to do so."

She threw her arms around his neck, and he thrilled at the feel of her in his arms. It's where she belongs. "No, Legolas. I have been too quick to take offense. Forgive me. I shall learn to accept you - all of you – even when you take my horse…"

She grinned at him, but he shook his head where it rested against her crown. "No; it was wrong of me to have taken her and run her so. My father took me to task over that. He admonished me over the importance of treating another's things as better than my own. And that is how I shall treat you; better than myself." He smiled down at her, meaning every word.

She bit her lip, eyes shining up at him. He reached into the inner pocket of his tunic, next to his heart, and pulled out the fine chain supporting the elvish knot pendant with the bright sapphire at its center. He smiled when she gasped. "Will you accept this from me now, as a token of my love?"

She nodded and turned, lifting her hair. He placed the necklace around her neck and fastened the clasp. Lowering her hands, he turned her to admire the pendant resting in the hollow of her throat. "Beautiful," he whispered, letting his eyes caress her face. "Would you walk with me?" he asked. "I remembered there is someone I'd very much like you to meet, though I do not doubt you have heard of her." He chuckled to himself.

Cellinn pulled back from their embrace and smiled. "Indeed, I have heard of this monster you brought home! The cooks cannot keep food from her, she tramples your mother's flowers, your brother threatened to put an arrow in her for getting muddy footprints all over Minuialwen's new tapestry…" she laughed. "I cannot wait to meet Draugris! I think I shall love her dearly!"

"Yes, I think you shall, and with some more training she will make herself useful. She is only a half grown pup, after all. We must not expect too much of her." He picked up his flute, took her hand and led her from the library, stopping at his rooms where he quickly slipped in to leave the instrument.

Together they walked to the kennels, to which his beast had been sent after being banished from the halls by the king for her bad behavior. And as they walked, he noted the eyes that followed them, lingering on their meshed fingers, the sparkling pendant and to his chagrin, the occasional light kisses that accompanied a couple in love, for he could not stop himself from kissing her at every opportunity.

-o-

When Arandur entered their chambers, Minuialwen smiled sweetly up at him from her place, her needlework dropping to her lap as their eyes met. He paused in the doorway and frowned. That look… He knew that look. "Whatever it is, the answer is no. I have had a difficult day, my love. Please do not ask much of me!" he pleaded.

She shook her head with a wry smile. "Oh, do come in and close the door, Arandur. I assure you, I have nothing for you to do. I merely have good news that you may find quite interesting."

Arandur did as she asked, moving to her side and stooping to place a quick kiss on her lips before sitting beside her and drawing her against him. "Truly? Well, good news is good news!" They both laughed at his joke, and he slipped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her close to him. Good news might require some celebrating, though he would have to carry her to their bedchamber as this settee was much to small for what he had in mind. "And what news do you ha—" he halted as a strange suspicion occurred to him. Pulling back a bit, he stared at her. "Minuialwen! Tell me you are not with child!"

She blinked, a confused expression replacing her mirth of moments before. "I am not with child," she told him matter-of-factly before her expression changed. "Why would you think such a thing?" she asked in exasperation, shaking her head and pulling away from him. "Never mind! I am sure even you don't know why your head works the way it does!" And crossing her arms, she turned her back on him.

Arandur sat blinking in stunned silence for a couple of moments. Well, he was certainly an idiot! He sighed, then leaned against her, placing small kisses in her hair and along her cheek, hoping to get back into her good graces. Of course she was not with child! He would have sensed it, known it just from looking at her! Oh, it had been a long day! "Forgive me, Minuialwen. I could not imagine what other news would be so exciting! I wasn't thinking."

She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye and he saw her lips twitch. "Obviously." He leaned around to kiss her on the lips, first softly, then with more insistence. When she sighed into his mouth, he pulled back and gave her his best pleading look. She laughed. "Very well, I forgive you."

He grinned. "So, what then is the good news you have, my wife? Shall I tickle it out of you?" and he began to wriggle his fingers against her sides. She shrieked and tried to escape, but he held her fast against him. After much pleading, he ceased and held her as they caught their breath.

Arandur was nuzzling into her hair, completely forgetting whatever news she had and thinking more about the comfortable bed in the next room when Minuialwen turned to him, excitement in her eyes. "Arandur, you will never believe it, but those two sulky love birds have finally admitted they love each other!"

Arandur froze, astonished by her declaration. "Our two love birds?" She nodded, grinning up at him. "And how did this occur?" he asked. Last he had heard, the two in question were still avoiding each other.

Minuialwen's grin turned sensual as her fingers slipped over his chest. "Why, it simply required a woman's intervention, of course!"

A woman's—

But her caresses distracted him from any further thought for a time.

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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