15. Chapter 14 ~ Fire in the Dark
A/N ~ Thanks to Elliska for the beta and Vlad, my slattern, just for being you.
14th day of March
Fourth Age, Year 80
Elrohir lay in bed listening to the waves crashing against the shore. He always loved being at Swan Manor with his family, but this weekend had been even more enjoyable since his father invited Glorfindel, Indil and Laurëanna. Earlier, while the older couples and Galadriel sat contentedly on the terrace watching the ocean, he and Elladan had taken Laurëanna horseback riding along the beach.
Elrohir loved to watch her smile and laugh during her witty and teasing banter with Elladan. He knew his brother had no intentions towards her any longer, for once Elrohir had asked his twin to stop his pursuit of her, Elladan had gracefully stepped back and stopped interfering between the couple. In fact, he had helped them at times by distracting Glorfindel if needed.
Elrohir knew that even if Elladan passionately yearned for Laurëanna, he would still have stepped aside, for he was so amused at seeing his brother so interested in her. Elladan had grown up charming the ellith of Rivendell and Lothlorien while his twin eluded them.
After riding for some time, the three of them walked along the beach leading their horses. Elladan snickered, watching Elrohir and Laurëanna and the way that often one would find a reason to touch the other. Finally, Elladan took her horse's reins and walked further ahead. He could not leave them completely alone and return to the house or Glorfindel would have his head, but he gave them some privacy.
Lying in bed, Elrohir smiled as he thought of her. She had a strange effect on him. He felt happy and peaceful with her, even if it was just for a moment. Even his mother had commented on his mood around the young elleth, watching his reaction with twinkling eyes. Everyone knew the two were in love except Elrohir and luckily, Glorfindel. Elrohir was unwilling to admit it while Glorfindel refused to acknowledge it.
As Elrohir was about to doze off, he heard a strange thud on the patio outside his room that was followed by a moment of giggles. Groaning, he watched Laurëanna sneak through the open patio doors as stealthy as a herd of Mumakil.
"Elrohir!" she whispered loudly.
"Laurëanna, are you trying to get me killed?" he asked softly.
"Come to the beach with me. I brought blankets and a bottle of wine. We can sneak off and no one will ever know," Laurëanna said coming closer to the bed.
With any other elleth, he might have assumed she was trying to seduce him. But Laurëanna thought nothing wrong of being in his room at night suggesting a romantic stroll on the beach. She seemed unaware of the effect she had on him.
After few moments of debating, he told her softly, "Laurëanna, wait quietly on the patio. I will be out in a moment."
"It would be safer for me to wait in here."
"Fine, if you wish to be in here while I dress," he replied.
Elrohir watched her blush. Apparently, she had not even thought he might be completely bare underneath the sheet. Quickly, she rushed outside as he chuckled.
Once he was dressed, he found her on the balcony looking completely conspicuous and guilty.
"You do realize if your father finds out, he will murder me," he raised an eyebrow as she jumped at the sound of his voice.
When she started to giggle again, he smiled and put his hand over her mouth until she stopped. He removed his hand and she was smiling happily.
"Do not worry, I will protect you from my father," she whispered with a wink.
Rolling his eyes, he climbed over the balcony rail, took the blankets from her, and helped her over. He took her hand and quickly led her to the beach. They walked out of view of the manor and he built a fire on the beach. As he worked, she sipped on wine and complimented his fire building skills in between laughs.
"You are drinking too much," he said, removing the bottle from her hands. He smiled at her pout and took a drink of the sweet liquid. Not only had she stolen a bottle of wine, she had chosen one of the best ones.
They both removed their shoes and he spread the blankets out to sit on. Full of energy, she grabbed his hand instead and dragged him with her to the water. They walked along the water line as the waves splashed up their legs. Both were quiet for a while.
Finally, Laurëanna looked at him with a smile. When he returned the smile, she said, "Why do you not smile more? I do not think it will harm the muscles of your face any. You should still be able to scowl quite nicely."
Shaking his head at her, he looked away walking slightly in front of her.
"My, my, are you always this serious, Elrohir?" Laurëanna continued.
"Not all of us have been raised in such beauty, nor had such a life of peace. Consider yourself blessed, Laurëanna. Perhaps you could be more serious yourself," Elrohir replied harshly and looked away again.
A gleam of anger showed in her eyes. How she had ever fallen in love with such a serious and temperamental elf, she could not fathom. As she started to give him a scathing retort, she saw how tense his body was and how he watched the ocean. He seemed incapable of being peaceful and rarely showed relaxation. She held her tongue realizing how unfair she had been.
After a moment, she smiled mischievously and quietly ran further into the water. She reached down and, cupping her hands, scooped up some of the salty water. Inwardly she thought, 'he will either laugh or kill me'.
"Elrohir," she said, loud enough to be heard over the waves.
He turned towards her and she threw the handfuls of water straight at him.
"Perhaps you need to learn how to have fun," she teased at the look of shock on his face.
Smiling slightly, he wiped his face with the back of his sleeve.
"Oh, I know how to have fun. It will indeed be entertaining teaching you some manners and respect." He almost laughed at her indignant face.
As soon as she started to reply, he moved towards her. Laurëanna screamed and ran down the beach trying not to fall as the soft sand gave way under her bare feet. Elrohir barely jogged after her, grinning at her evasive techniques. After she thought she had outrun him, she looked back only for him to snatch her up in his arms. Seeing he was not angry, she started laughing as he held her close to him.
"Give me one reason why I should not toss you in the ocean," he said amused.
"Because you would ruin my dress," she replied.
"I do not care."
"Because I would get wet. And cold," she responded nervously, looking over her shoulder as he was backing her further into the waves.
"Which you completely deserve."
"Because it would upset my father," she said arrogantly as he maneuvered her into knee-deep water.
"You would never tell him. If you did, you would have to explain why we are alone on a beach together at night, completely unattended, due to your own sneakiness."
She began chewing on her lip, a trait he found most adorable, and he could tell she was struggling to find a valid reason. As he began to reach down to pick her up, she quickly said, "Because you want to kiss me."
"Whatever for?" Elrohir responded with a smirk. He saw a flash of hurt cross her eyes and wished he could take back his jest. She looked away and he watched her, debating what to do. He had wanted to kiss her and now she was here in his arms wanting him to and he had managed to hurt her.
"Laurëanna," he said softly. She looked at him seriously. "I will kiss you. After."
Confused, she said, "After what?"
He smiled and said, "After this."
Elrohir bent down and picked her up as she squealed and squirmed. With a laugh, he tossed her into the waves then dove in after her. When they both came up for air, she looked at him as if he had gone mad.
"Elrohir, you threw me in! I cannot believe you actually threw me into the ocean completely dressed!"
"Would you have preferred to be completely undressed?" he responded grabbing her wrist and pulling her to stand in front of him.
"No!" she smiled. "But now I look like a drowned rat. In a very nice dress," she laughed.
"Yes, I do not think I can kiss a drowned rat no matter how nice the dress is," he smiled as he pulled her wet hair from her face.
"Well, you have a lot of nerve. You are an arrogant fool if you think I want you to kiss me now. I would sooner kiss…" she paused and he cocked an eyebrow at her. "I would sooner kiss that ugly brother of yours than kiss you."
Elrohir laughed. She made him feel young again. She was watching him intently with her big innocent blue eyes. He pulled her even closer to him and leaned over to whisper in her ear.
"No. You will never kiss Elladan. Only my lips will ever touch yours," When he kissed her lightly on the ear, she shivered.
Pulling back, he could see how nervous she was. He did not want their first kiss to be standing in the ocean, dripping wet. Taking her hand, he led her back to shore and to the fire. He grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around her. Sitting down on the other blanket, he pulled her to sit in between his legs with her back against his chest. She snuggled back against him as he wrapped his arms around her.
They sat quietly for a long time watching the fire. Normally, Elrohir felt peaceful with her, but her closeness was anything but peaceful. They had known each other for some time, and this was the most intimate they had been. He desired her, but more than that, he wanted to never be apart from her.
Laurëanna willed her body to stop shivering. She was not cold; not by any means. The fire in front of her was nothing compared to the fire in her body. She was confused about what had transpired tonight. She loved him, and at times she thought he cared for her as well, yet she was uncertain. When he told her that only he would kiss her, she felt a surge of love in her heart. But now she felt nervous and afraid. She did not know what to do next.
As the two of them contemplated what the other's feelings were, their clothes and hair had begun to dry. Getting too warm, she moved so she could remove the blanket from her shoulders. Before she settled back, he pulled her to face him.
"Laurëanna, have you ever been kissed before?" he asked softly. Nervously, she shook her head. As he leaned closer, her nervousness caused her to ask quickly, "Have you?"
"Yes," he murmured under his breath. Once again, he began to lower his lips to hers.
"By who?" she whispered. Elrohir sighed and looked at her. She was so nervous her lip trembled slightly.
"Laurëanna. Be quiet," he whispered and quickly closed the distance between her lips and his own.
Placing his hand on the back of her neck, he brought her closer, as he first tasted her lips. After a moment, her lips were no longer trembling and she seemed to be moving closer to him as he put his other hand on her waist. She tasted like strawberries and he stifled a moan at her sweet innocence. Knowing that no other had touched her lips before him made her irresistible.
Her lips were soft and she allowed him to completely take control of her mouth. Gently, he sucked her bottom lip in between his, causing her mouth to open slightly. Tilting her head, his tongue sought entrance into her mouth. She completely trusted him and willingly accepted his tongue dipping into the sweet warmth of her mouth. Gently, he stroked her tongue with his own. She timidly moved hers against his.
Laurëanna had forgotten how to breathe the moment he kissed her. She had dreamt of this moment many times, but nothing had prepared her for the complete assault on her senses. She wanted him to kiss her forever and his hands on her body felt as if they were part of her. She belonged to him and he could have what he dared to take.
Moving his hand from her waist to her back, Elrohir pulled her closer as he accepted her complete submission to him. He drank deep of her, overwhelmed with his need to claim her as forever his. Struggling to control his desire, he kissed her tenderly with feather light kisses before releasing her lips. Taking a shaky breath, he whispered her name.
Laurëanna blinked her eyes open to see him watching her intently. Slightly out of breath, she quickly inhaled a lung full of air as she looked at him shyly. Unable to stop herself, she blushed and looked away. She could still feel his eyes on her.
"Laurëanna, was it what you wished for?" he asked softly.
"No," she replied looking at his shocked face. "I wished it would never end."
Elrohir smiled softly at her complete honestly. She reached up and traced the outline of his lips with her finger. Leaning forward, she barely brushed his lips with her own. He captured her in his embrace, pulling her body against the hard muscles of his chest. She gasped and once again his mouth claimed hers. He ravished her, playfully nipping and sucking on her lips, as his kiss grew more passionate and demanding. She eagerly returned his kiss and wrapped her arms around his neck with her fingers tangled in his hair. Gently he eased her to lie back on the blanket and explored her mouth as she sucked lightly on his tongue. Holding himself above her, he reined in his passion and reluctantly pulled away slightly.
"Do not stop," she whispered. Grabbing a handful of his hair, she pulled him back to her forcefully. She kissed him lovingly, sliding her tongue boldly into his mouth teasing his. She moaned softly and it was all he could do to not make love to her. When they pulled apart, both were out of breath. He tried to ignore the temptation of her beneath him as her heavy breathing pushed her breasts sensuously against his body.
"Laurëanna, we need to stop," Elrohir murmured.
Confused, she asked, "Did I do something wrong?"
He chuckled and replied, "No, my little flower, you did nothing wrong, but if we do not stop, it would be difficult for me to stop."
"Why do you have to stop? There is nothing wrong with you kissing me."
"It is not kissing I would be unable to stop myself from doing," he smiled. "You are too trusting of my control over my desire for you."
Blushing, she said, "I did not know that you meant … that."
"Laurëanna, one day I will make you mine completely. Until that day, you must not be too tempting for if I submitted to my urges, your father would break every bone in my body."
Bursting into laughter, she nodded.
"Elrohir, one day I will make you mine completely as well," Laurëanna kissed him quickly. "For you have always held my heart."
Looking at her now, his internal arguments about her youth and innocence of the world ceased. She did not know how much she held his heart as well.
Fire in the Dark
14th Day of March
Third Age, Year 3019
Gondor, Middle Earth
Laurëanna woke to the sounds of the water lapping against the boats and men calling out commands to each other. Sitting up, she stretched lazily. After so many nights sleeping on the ground or riding without stopping, she had slept quite soundly in this bed. She was so relieved to have had a dreamless sleep as well. Getting off the bed, she moved to the round window and saw the murky gloom even this late in the morning.
Glancing around, she saw that someone had left a clean tunic and leggings at the end of the bed. She smiled knowing that it must have been Elrohir. As she picked up the garments, she inhaled deeply the scent of her husband and could not help but feel a flutter in her heart as well as heat filling her body. Last night they had connected in a way that made her feel sure he was falling in love with her again. She did not want to linger on false hope, but she sensed things were coming together.
Laurëanna dressed in the clothes left for her and moved to pick up her own clothing so she could wash it. Thoughts of yesterday came back to her and reality was forced upon her again. Sitting on the bed, she stared for a few moments at the bloodstains. The visions of the battle yesterday intermingled with memories of the sounds and smells that she knew she would never forget. She did not know how warriors lived with this. One time was traumatic for her; she could not imagine repeating it. It was no wonder to her now that the elves of Middle Earth that had come to Aman seemed to have lost some of the ethereal beauty they had been graced with; why so many had talked of her undimmed aura. She wondered now if she still was blessed with that pure light, the purity of the First Born, a child of Valinor.
A soft knock on the door pulled her back to her surroundings and she rose and opened the door. She smiled brightly seeing Legolas standing there with a plate of food.
"We had almost decided that you planned to sleep all day, but Gimli pointed out that perhaps you were avoiding the present company and enjoying some time away from men," Legolas grinned as he came in the room. "But I knew you had not eaten much on our journeys and could benefit from a good meal."
"Legolas, you are both correct and very wise. I did sleep much too late and I am most hungry," Laurëanna replied taking the plate from him. "I did not realize how much until I smelled this." She picked up an apple and, biting into it, could not resist a moan of pleasure as she sat on the bed with the plate in her lap.
"This is marvelous, Legolas. Come, sit with me. We did not speak much yesterday, nor did I have a chance to thank you for taking care of me when I discovered Damrod…" Feeling guilty for enjoying her meal, when Damrod could not, her eyes lowered quickly.
"Laurëanna, it will be of no use to you to feel guilty for being alive when others are not. Only Eru knows and controls our destiny," Legolas said soothingly.
Nodding, Laurëanna asked, "When will we arrive in Minas Tirith?"
"Tomorrow, assuming we continue this pace. Aragorn fears if the winds turn against us, the delay might be the downfall of the city. Hopefully, they can withstand the siege until we arrive."
"I woke feeling peaceful," she replied sadly. "Now I just feel as if this nightmare will never end."
"I do not know the future and your future has been changed so we will only be able to take each moment as it comes," Legolas said, patting her hand. "At least things between Elrohir and yourself are improving, are they not?"
Laurëanna smiled faintly and nodded. "It appears so. I was foolish to hope it would happen suddenly when, even in our past, he took his time admitting his love for me. There were many times I thought it would never come to pass. But we have talked much about me, how are you my friend?"
"I wish for an end to this war as you do. I have hope that we will win and Sauron will be defeated. But the darkness is always a shadow over my fëa. I wish to see the sun again, shining brightly through the trees of my home. I have been gone many months," Legolas said thoughtfully. Laurëanna smiled, reaching over and squeezing his hand. "At least now I might live to see my home again, thanks to you."
"I do not feel that I deserve your gratitude. I merely was a messenger. Aragorn did the hardest part. You and the others fought bravely. I have done little compared to everyone else, plus I have caused you a lot of trouble as well." Laurëanna laughed lightly. "Although it would be no surprise to my family and friends in Aman that I have been so troublesome"
"Trouble? I could not imagine you being trouble," Legolas said with a grin. "Perhaps you have created a little…difficulty…but considering the secret we are hiding, it could have been much worse."
"As a child, I was never one who could keep a secret, nor could I be dishonest very well," she answered. "In fact I worry that I will blurt out something when I see my mother or father. I never could lie to my father and there was never any point in trying with my mother. Before I even opened my mouth to speak, she gave me a look that warned me that a lie would cost me much more than the truth."
"Indeed. Parents have that way about them. But I think you will be so grateful to see your parents, you will not risk anything to ruin it."
"Yes, I do miss them. I cannot wait to see them again, and Lady Galadriel and Lord Elrond. I even miss Lord Erestor. I wish I could see your father as well, but I suppose that will never happen, at least not in Middle Earth," Laurëanna said then smiled. "It is good to think that one day soon, we will have peace again. It makes everything else fall away and hope fills me."
Legolas nodded, but she could see something was troubling him. "Legolas, what is it?"
"I was thinking of Frodo and Sam. All hope still lies with Frodo destroying The Ring. All that we have accomplished so far will not be enough to defeat Sauron if he reclaims the ring. What if…"
"Legolas, the Valar would not have sent me here and made such a drastic decision to alter the past of Middle Earth, if it was not enough," Laurëanna exclaimed. "Surely you do not believe…"
A knock on the door caused her to stop abruptly. "Come in." Laurëanna stood as the door opened and Elrohir came in the room. Seeing Legolas, he arched an eyebrow curiously until he saw the almost empty plate of food.
"Ah, I see you have not just been sleeping the day away," he said looking intently at Laurëanna.
As if the small room had gotten too crowded for him to linger, Legolas quickly excused himself. As he left the room, he was certain that they did not notice.
After a few moments, Elrohir finally spoke. "Are you well? I trust you rested peacefully last night."
"Yes," Laurëanna answered, blushing slightly. Memories of many nights spent in his arms came to mind as he watched her with a look that made her blood burn. Elrohir smirked as if he knew what she was thinking. "I…I need to wash my clothes so they will be dry. I obviously cannot wear yours for too long."
Elrohir chuckled as he realized how large his clothes were on her, but they were better than nothing at all. Thinking of her bare legs last night, he thought it best that she at least wore something to protect her from unwanted looks and advances. The thought of another seeing her in that way would drive him mad, he realized.
"Allow me to show you around the ship. There is even a place where you can bathe, if you wish," Elrohir said as he took her hand.
Even though they spent most of the day preparing for tomorrow, both Legolas and Elladan noticed that Elrohir managed to spend as much time with Laurëanna as possible. She seemed to be a shining light in the darkness when her laughter would quite often be heard over the waves and a smile rarely left her face.
Deciding that after weeks on their journey without much decent food to make them a decent meal, Laurëanna raided the food stores and had a few men carry up cartons of food to the deck. Sitting down on the benches, she began to chop vegetables and fruit to be cooked that evening. Gimli and Aragorn were sitting across from her, smoking their pipes quietly.
"Aragorn, I hope you will rest tonight. I have not seen you slow down much today and you will need your rest," Laurëanna said to him.
"I will rest tonight, I assure you," Aragorn replied with a slight smile.
"Tomorrow will come too soon, I am afraid," Laurëanna said solemnly.
"Have you had any visions of tomorrow? Perhaps one of our victory?" Gimli asked with a wink.
Laurëanna shook her head. "I wish I knew what tomorrow will bring. It would be nice to have some reassurance or warning."
"Life is taking chances without knowing if you will succeed or fail. If you knew you would fail, you would never tempt fate and risk it. But I took a chance listening to your advice, Laurëanna, I trusted you at Helm's Deep and things have fallen into place the way they should be, I feel certain. When you feared for our deaths and told me to not go to confront the Corsair ships and I did not listen to your advice then, if I had, who knows what would have happened?" Aragorn said thoughtfully.
"My apologies for that…I do not know why you chose not to listen to me but I am glad you did not," Laurëanna replied, blushing.
"When you came to me with your first vision, you were so sure, so confident that you believed with all your heart and soul that it was the right thing to do," Aragorn said with a smile. "The night you became nervous and doubted your vision, I knew that if you could not have faith in yourself, I could not either. I had to trust my own faith in doing what I thought was right."
"You are wiser than I, thankfully," Laurëanna responded.
"I do not have the wisdom of the elves on which to rely. I just have my experience to trust."
Laurëanna did not see Elrohir coming up behind her until he sat down beside her on the bench, picking up an apple and knife to help her slice them for pies. He watched her as she talked to Aragorn, but did not speak. Elladan came up shortly and sat down on the other side of Laurëanna, quickly grabbing a pear off the cloth in her lap.
"Do you ever doubt that you are doing the right thing? Do you regret the choices you have made since you first began this journey?" Laurëanna asked. "Many things have happened to you that would have discouraged others to the point that they could not continue."
Aragorn was silent for a moment before answering her. "I made many vows to others that I had to hold true to as well as one to myself."
"What was it?" she asked without thinking.
"It is one I keep close to my heart. When this journey has ended, perhaps I will tell you one sunny day walking through the gardens of Imladris. Until then, this one is only for me," Aragorn smiled. Rising, he took her hand, kissed it, and winked at her before he strode away.
"I do believe he thinks we can win this battle," Gimli smiled.
"In my history with Estel, if he thinks we will win, then we win," Elladan said and chuckled. "And if he thinks we are destined to fail, we might want to rethink our planning."
After they all had prepared as best as they could and eaten a large meal, the men began to drift to the seating quarters, knowing the dawn would come early enough. Elrohir and Laurëanna strolled quietly on the deck, holding hands. She sensed he was deep in his own thoughts, so she refrained from talking about the next day. Her spirit had been so cheerful throughout the day, enjoying the respite they had been given, but now she was faced yet again with losing someone she cared about in battle.
Elrohir felt her hand tighten and glancing over, saw her watching him with a heart wrenching expression on her delicate face. He stopped walking and, pulling her into his arms, rested his chin on her forehead. "Please do not cry."
"I will not," she said resolutely. "I cannot stop thinking about…"
"I know," Elrohir interrupted.
Hearing some men on the deck, he led her to her quarters below. As soon as the door closed, Laurëanna pulled him to her and kissed him heatedly. Though surprised, Elrohir reacted passionately, wrapping her into his arms. After a few kisses that left both of them gasping for breath, she whispered, "Please, do not leave me tonight."
Elrohir tried to clear the ardent haze from his mind as he studied her intently. "Are you certain that is wise?"
Her lip trembled and tears filled her eyes as she shook her head. "I do not know, nor do I care what is wise. All I know is that I want to feel you beside me all night and wake up in your arms tomorrow. I need you here with me, because tomorrow I could lose you."
"Laurëanna the others on the ship will assume we have…"
"I do not care," she insisted. Unable to resist, she kissed him pulling him to the bed.
Elrohir knew he should stop this, but felt powerless to do so. She tugged his tunic up, and he jerked it over his head. With equal urgency she removed her leggings as he watched heatedly. In one fluid motion he laid her on the bed beneath him. Her teeth sinking into his shoulder made him moan. Brushing her hair aside, he moved his lips sensually down her neck and collarbone.
Laurëanna felt dizzy with desire, her hands caressing his body for the first time in days, yet even though she had memorized every inch of him, he seemed new to her now. She tangled her fingers in his hair; her tongue moving in circles on the spot behind his ear that she already knew would drive him crazy. Once again his mouth was on her, kissing her fiercely, ravenously. His hand reaching down and pulling her leg up on his hips, then stroking her bare flesh. Wrapping her other leg around him, Laurëanna dug her fingernails into his back urging him to continue the sweet torture of her body.
Breathless, Elrohir rose up on his elbows and looked into her eyes, studying her intensely.
"Do not stop," Laurëanna pleaded, her hand lowering to stroke his back, feeling goose bumps rising beneath her fingers.
"Laurëanna, we cannot go further," he said gently, stroking her hair away from her face. "We are not bound and I cannot dishonor you this way."
"Elrohir tonight might be our last chance. I do not care about my honor. I want you."
With a painful groan, he shook his head and rolled onto the bed beside her. "We cannot. Not like this. You do not know what you are asking."
Gasping for breath, Laurëanna felt a surge of anger and the urge to hit him. Gritting her teeth to prevent herself from screaming in frustration, she tried to clear her mind. She cut her eyes to him and her frustration melted away seeing how tormented he looked. Knowing Elrohir, he felt guilty about her honor. She rolled on her side and, resting her head on her palm, traced the outline of his lips with her finger.
"I know exactly what I was asking. Do not think that I am too innocent to know the ways of the world," Laurëanna said with a smile. When he jerked his head to look at her with shock, she giggled. "No! It is nothing inappropriate, I assure you. It is quite proper the way I know. I am not as naïve and sheltered as you think obviously because I knew what you were thinking. Besides, mothers do warn their daughters about this." Elrohir smiled and she leaned over, flicking her tongue against his lip before taking it into her mouth and sucking on it, then kissing him.
Rolling on his side facing her, Elrohir pulled her into his arms and forced her to look up at him. "Laurëanna, you are, as I thought, a most bewitching female. I do not know what tomorrow brings, but tonight I want to fall asleep with you in my arms and wake to your beautiful face."
Laurëanna felt like her heart would explode at any moment. She nodded and he kissed her. They continued to kiss, tangled in each other's embrace until the early morning, when she insisted he needed to sleep.
As they were both drifting to sleep, Elrohir heard her whisper, "I love you." He was glad he did not have to answer her because he felt so confused by this elleth who had come into his life and turned it upside down.
Laurëanna felt someone stroking her hair and sat up confused. Seeing her father, she launched herself into his arms, hugging him tightly. Hearing a huge crash behind them she spun around and could not resist a scream.
"Be quiet baby girl. He will hear us," Glorfindel said, his voice strange and distant.
"Ada, we need to go," Laurëanna said, trying to urge her father to his feet. He seemed dazed and she spared a moment to glance around again. She did not know where she was but it was almost black as night except the fire coming from the creature. He was far enough away that she knew he most likely could not see them in the shadows.
"Ada, please, we need to leave this place," she pleaded. Her blood ran cold seeing her father this way. He seemed completely unaware of the danger. She realized he was covered in cuts, scrapes, and dried blood, his clothing torn and singed as well. "Listen to me. We need to leave before it is too late."
"It is already too late for me. We cannot leave, but if you are quiet he will not come here again," Glorfindel said.
"Where are we?" she whispered to him.
"I do not know, but I have been here for an eternity. I keep waiting for Ecthelion to come but he never does," Glorfindel replied.
"Ada this is not possible. Gondolin fell long before I was born, how would you know who I am if…?"
"Gondolin fell but Earendil survived. It was as it should be," Glorfindel answered.
Laurëanna studied him confused before shaking her head. "Ada, are you saying that Minas Tirith will fall but Aragorn will survive?"
"Shh…he is coming now," he replied, his eyes wide. As he spoke the darkness started to lift and a ferocious roar filled the air.
"No!" Laurëanna cried out trying to pull her father to stand.
"Laurëanna, what is it?" Elrohir soothed her without waking her. She finally quieted down, but as she did he heard her, with tears streaming down her face in her sleep, whisper something that made his heart tighten painfully even as he grew more confused.
The next morning Elrohir snuck out her room before he heard the others moving about the ship and walked to the deck. Aragorn and Elladan both nodded to him as he joined them.
"Did you sleep well?" Elladan said with a slight smirk.
Glaring at his brother, Elrohir nodded. Aragorn glanced at each of them and then returned to studying the water, deep in thought.
"Estel, you have done all you could do. The rest is up to Eru now," Elrohir said.
"I feel so restless. I am ready to be done with this," Aragorn said. "Time seems to be moving so slowly and yet I know that Sauron is at an advantage now."
"There is nothing more you can do," Elladan replied. He reached over and squeezed Aragorn's shoulder. "We will make it there in time. I feel sure that Minas Tirith will survive this battle."
Laurëanna woke up slowly and, feeling the empty bed beside her, frowned. Elrohir had left her while she was sleeping. Swinging her legs off the bed, she rose and quickly dressed in her own clothes. Today was the day they would arrive in Minas Tirith and she knew she would have no other time to prepare. Rushing to the deck, she looked for Elrohir and found him sitting on the deck with Elladan, in a serious discussion. As soon as she walked up, they both grew silent as if they had been talking about her.
"Good morning, Laurëanna. You look well rested," Elladan said.
Cocking her head to one side, she wondered if he meant it to sound suspicious. Deciding he was just being polite she nodded. Soon Halbarad, Legolas, and Gimli joined them. Elrohir excused himself and she sat listening to the men talking about the battle plans, her mind wandering in many different directions. She wondered what her dream the night before had meant and wished she had been given some sign as to how her husband and Elladan would fare.
"I brought you some herbal tea. I thought it would sooth your nerves," Elrohir said, walking up and bringing her a mug of hot tea. She smiled and took the cup, taking a sip.
"Perhaps all of us could use some tea, Elrohir," Gimli chuckled, smoking on his pipe.
The men continued talking and, as Laurëanna drank the hot tea, she felt both Elladan and Elrohir watching her closely. "What is it?" she asked.
"Do we not need to discuss how to get Laurëanna to safety when we arrive in Minas Tirith? There should be a way into the city that is safer for her," Legolas asked noticing how strangely the twins were acting.
Listening to them talk about her, Laurëanna tried to focus on their words, but suddenly felt very sleepy and dazed. She tried to shake the fog out of her mind and it only grew worse. Dropping her cup, she watched it fascinated as it rolled away from her on the deck.
"Laurëanna? Are you all right?" Legolas asked concerned. Elrohir quickly jumped up and caught her before she felt backwards from the bench. "What is wrong with her?"
"She is fine. I will take her to her cabin and she will be fine in a few hours," Elrohir explained calmly as he picked her up.
"In a few hours? You drugged her?!" Legolas exclaimed outraged, following Elrohir and Elladan down to her cabin.
"Elrohir just thought it would be easier for her this way. He knew she would not wish to be left behind, but considering what we will be walking into, the ship is most likely the safest place for her," Elladan explained as his brother laid a sleeping Laurëanna on the bed. "We will leave a few men behind to guard the ships anyway, so they can just watch over her as well. There is no way we can get her to safety before the battle."
"Legolas, I knew if she had her way, she would ride by our side into the fray of things, but you saw how she handled the last battle. She would be killed at the first confrontation of an enemy. I, for one, will feel much better knowing she is not amongst the fighting," Elrohir explained to a doubtful Legolas.
After a few moments, Legolas realized they were both right. "I do not approve of your way of handling this, but I suppose you are correct about her safety. I do not think she will be happy with any of us when she wakes up, so perhaps it is for the best that we are gone when she does."
"We will be safely in the middle of a battle when she wakes up," Elladan smirked.
The two of them left the room, leaving Elrohir behind. Kissing her tenderly, he whispered, "Forgive me." At the door he took one final look at her, sleeping peacefully before closing the door and locking it from the inside.