21. A Plot Thickens
*Nurael, he will sleep now for some time while his mind reorders and settles itself. Tomorrow morning, administer one final draught of the potion and then let him awaken naturally after it wears off. He should feel well enough to return to Caras Galadon in the next few days. I have recommended that he stand down from any further duties for a few weeks and spend some time in activities to help him return to a normal life. *
Elrond hesitated momentarily then continued. *You have done extremely well Nurael, It was a most unusual case, and you responded quite naturally to the challenge. Perhaps this is meant to be your special area, penneth. *
*Lord Elrond, I am pleased it went so well, but it is not something I would wish to experience again. In fact my lord I think it best if after I give him the last of the dosage tomorrow, I should depart immediately for Imladris. My presence here can only serve as a reminder to his pride of how he failed to recognize and deal himself with his perceived weaknesses. *
*You should give him more credit then that Nurael. He should awaken a more balanced and better judge of character. *
*Perhaps my lord, but for many centuries his arrogance and pride have become heavily ingrained and he will not find it easy to change such habits so quickly or easily. It would be better for him to do so within the circle of his brothers’ affection. *
*Very well, I will discuss this with Galadriel and make the necessary arrangements. In the mean time you should rest yourself. I can sense the depths of your fatigue from here. *
*Thank you, my lord. *
Nurael sighed glad to finally have her mind to herself again. She wondered how they managed to stay sane without any mental privacy.
*It becomes easier over time, Nurael. * The amused voice of the Lady Galadriel brushed her mind. *You learn to erect barriers that allow you to be selective of those voices you wish to hear. *
Nurael jerked erect. *My lady, I meant no disrespect. *
*None was noted. I do try to respect the privacy of my people and only intrude when necessary. Lord Elrond has informed us of your desire to return to Imladris as soon as possible. Do you find the prospect of dealing with the March Warden so daunting that you must flea to safety there? *
*My lady, you surely know my reasons. I do not doubt that even as I shared his memories, he shared mine. I know you said he would remember little of such interaction, but he is strong willed and I dare not risk that the sight of me will allow him to bring them back so soon after dealing with them. While it looks like our efforts have met with success, can we really risk making him doubt himself again? When he has had time to show that he has indeed recovered, if then you and your lord still would welcome me back, I would be happy to return. *
Galadriel sighed. *Very well, penneth, regretfully we will agree, although it does seem poor payment for the return of our March Warden to do so. When you return we will have an escort…. *
*My lady. * Nurael interrupted. *Forgive me, but I would depart directly from here in the morning. Surly one of your guards can escort me to the boundary on the nearby fences. I can provide some relief for the healer currently there while I wait until an escort can accompany me to one of the outer villages near the border of Imladris. From there I can make my way safely to the last homely house. I know the area well from my duties as a travelling healer. *
*What of your things that remain behind? *
Nurael bowed her head. *If you would grant me one final favor, my lady. Mistress Neinor is an old friend of my family. If she is willing I would ask her to pack my things and see to their storage until I can arrange for their transport back to Imladris. *
*Nurael, it is little enough to ask and I will gladly see it all done. *
*I thank you my lady.
*Be prepared to leave at the sixth hour. Travelling will be easier during the cool of morning. *
*I will be ready. *
Nurael slept badly and awakened in a distracted mood. Thankfully, she had prepared her travel pack the night before. Her medical bag was fully stocked and her weapons ready. There remained little else needed in additional preparations. She would be ready to assume what duties were needed both on the fences and later when she reached the village.
After dressing and eating a simple breakfast, she took the time to thank each of the retainers and guards for their assistance then returned to her patient. After preparing his last application of the potion she roused him and coax him to take it followed by a light breakfast of juice, sliced fruit and cereal then allowed him to fall back into his deep sleep.
Nurael sat silently watching him until hearing the sounds of her escort below. Aroused from her reverie, she slipped to her knees beside him and gently stroked his face with gentle fingers.
“You will always be my golden warrior, you stubborn elf. And yes you fascinate me. I hope that you will now be able to find some peace and contentment. Find someone you can trust and share yourself with. Trust in your judgement and believe in your family. Above all believe in yourself. “
She leaned down and kissed his brow in farewell then after hesitating sought his mouth and kissed him longingly with all her pent up passion. She was startled when strong arms enveloped her and pulled her down against his hard chest. Haldir returned her kiss with equal passion. When at last she freed herself she cover her mouth with her trembling fingers and stared at him in shock. In spite of his response, he remained locked in his deep sleep. Struggling to her feet, she backed away and stared at him in dismay.
“Healer, are you ready to depart?” The voice of her escort drifted up from below distracting her momentarily.
“Yes, I will join you shortly.“
She turned back to the sleeping March Warden. “Farewell Haldir, you will always rest in my heart.” She whispered, turned, and was gone.
It was early the following morning before Haldir awoke. He lay quietly for some time collecting his thoughts and taking stock of his feelings and physical state. Surprisingly with the exception of some stiffness in his muscles, he felt good. In fact, he felt wonderful! He would have to thank the Healer for her care. He smiled wickedly in anticipation just how he would express his thanks. Stretching slowly and gracefully like a great golden lion, he left the divan he had occupied for nearly a week and grimace with disgust at the taste in his mouth. He removed clean clothing from his pack and slipped on a light short robe over his sleeping pants before emerging into the silence of the main room.
He glanced over at the curtain that covered the alcove where Nurael slept and frowned. Usually she was moving about the room by now, straightening up or relaxing with a book until their breakfast was served. No doubt, he thought, she was recovering from the efforts of his treatment and he was happy to let her rest. Meanwhile he would seek the pool below for a brisk swim, bath and don fresh clothes before returning to join her for breakfast. Satisfied with his plan of action he left the talan and cheerfully greeted an ellon working quietly about the garden.
“Good morning March Warden, you are much improved and in very bright humor this morning.”
Haldir stopped and smiled broadly. “It is a beautiful morning and it is easy to feel alive.” Breathing deeply of the clean sharp air, he waved and headed towards the pool.
Completing his ablutions, he returned to the talan feeling ravenous and eager to join Nurael for breakfast. Entering the main room he frowned when he noted the table set for one and the continuing silence. Across the room Nurael’s alcove remained closed and silent. Crossing swiftly to the curtain he swept it aside and froze when he found it empty. He turned as the retainer entered with the breakfast tray and began to set it out on the prepared table.
“Has the Healer risen early this morning?” He demanded.
The retainer turned and addressed him respectfully. “No March Warden. She departed early yesterday after completing your treatment.”
“Yesterday?” He sat down on a nearby stool, shock covering his usually stoic face. “Did she say why or where she was going? Do you expect her to return soon?”
“Yes, she departed yesterday shortly after dawn in the company of one of our guards, March Warden. I expect he will return soon and will be able to tell you of her destination.” With that he bowed slightly and withdrew.
“Thank you.” Dazed at the news Haldir responded absently to the departing figure.
She had completed her task and departed before even bidding him goodbye. He remained deep in thought for some time picking at the food. Bits and pieces of memory floated back to him, a hand tucked in his… words of encouragement… and a kiss that played over and over again in his mind. He wished he could make sense of it all.
*Good morning, March Warden. It is good to know you are well on the road to recovery. *
*My Lady, she is gone. *
*But of course she is. When a healer is finished with one patient they move on to the next one who needs their care. *
He pushed back from the table, his features becoming set in the implacable expression his warriors knew so well and would take great care to avoid or placate. *She was not finished here my lady, she has more to accomplish before I have no further need of her care. *
Galadriel smothered a smile and glanced over at the relaxed figure of her hervenn lounging beside her in their bed. Returning her look questioningly he quickly joined her in the mind link with Haldir.
*This is most strange, Haldir. She was quite specific she had completed your treatment and that after a few weeks of relaxation you were free to resume the full duties of your post. What else can there be that would require her additional attention?“
He remained silent while he considered his words. Very carefully he addressed his ruler. *My lady, while I am most grateful for your concern, I would prefer to deal the healer in this matter my self. Will you not tell me where I can find her?”
*I will consider your request, but in the mean time please remain there and enjoy all of the comforts of the retreat. Your well-being is of the utmost importance to us. *
Haldir ground his teeth at her pronouncement, but bowed to her command. *It will be my pleasure to do so my lady. *
*Farewell Haldir. * Her sweet warm voice swept over him and he remained seemingly unaware of her amusement.
*Farewell my lady. *
Celeborn laughed at his wife’s smug look. She was well pleased with the success of her plotting. “You do not really expect him to remain there alone stewing in his own juices, do you, meleth nin?”
“Of course not, I expect he will go after her before the end of the day.”
“When Haldir tracks a quarry, they never escape. I believe we will be celebrating the union of our March Warden and his healer before too long.”
Celeborn chuckled and pulled his beautiful hervess over his body then skillfully removed the sheer nightdress she barely wore. As his hands wandered over her lush curves he grinned up at her wickedly. “Shall we renegotiate the terms of my surrender again, meleth nin?”
She adjusted her body astride his powerful loins and stroked his growing arousal with the growing damp of her feminine core and sighed as he slid home. “One should always be generous in victory, my lord.“
He moved slowly at first, and then as their mutual fires built he thrust more powerfully. Galadriel met each with one of her own, riding him hard. Suddenly stiffening as her climax hit she collapsed on him her body pulsing around the turgid heat of his shaft. With a quick twist of his body he rolled above her and thrust deeply with increasing speed until he too climaxed and spilled his seed into her. Collapsing in turn against her, he buried his face, laughing against the curve of her throat. “I am willing to continue the negotiations until you are satisfied with the results my lady.”
She tightened her arms about her beloved lord joining in his laughter and wiggling contentedly as he continued to nibble his way from throat to sensitive ear to the tender nipples of full soft breasts.
“As I said my lord, one should always be generous in victory.”
“Ah, meleth nin, I love you.”
She smiled up at him and capturing handfuls of his hair she pulled him down in a passionate kiss.
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.