2. Worries All Around
Behind in his private library Elrond frowned as he pondered what Glorfindel had shared with him regarding the many instances where the house elves had been prepared for his arrival or departure over the past several decades. Glorfindel had been angry with himself for not becoming aware of it sooner. But it had all been so subtlety done he had not even questioned it! It was clear that something or someone was watching Glorfindel closely, but it seemed more then that. It was foresight or someone linked in some mysterious way to the thoughts of the seneschal himself. While the results appeared to provide Glorfindel with comfort and ease, Elrond worried that the mysterious source was also gleaning deeper, more sensitive information regarding things such as the defences of Imladris or the strengths and weakness’ of its key members. Certainly as one of his most trusted associates, Glorfindel had that information and knowledge.
What worried Elrond even more was that he had not sensed any unusual activity or intrusion of evil through the net of protection that he had long ago established around Imladris with the help of the power of Vilya. Was there something he had neglected to address? Had Sauron found some way to penetrate the barrier unnoticed? Was one of his own people unknowingly under the dark lord’s control and unconsciously doing his bidding? The more he considered the possibilities the more unsettled he became. Try as he may he could not arrive at a course of action. He would have to consult with Galadriel to see if she had any indication of something similar within the borders of Lothlorien. If not perhaps her mirror might show something. He sighed with frustration. He hated the thought of having to bring this to the attention of his counsel.
High up on one of the terraces, the elleth leaned on the railing and laughed as the wind caught her dark tresses and blew them about her face. Her light blue skirts were wrapped against her slender form and she caught at them with her hands to keep them respectably in place. Finally pinning them between the railing and her legs she was able to capture her errant tresses with her freed hands and retie them with the ribbon that had come loose. Noticing a movement of a golden head below she watched the blond ellon move down the steps into the courtyard. As always she sent thoughts of well-being and love to the balrog slayer.
She knew he had talked to Master Hebgobel earlier trying to discern how his coming and goings were known in advance. The elleth shook her head in amusement as both had become frustrated, Glorfindel sure that the other was stonewalling him and Master Hebgobel bewildered at the inferences the balrog slayer had thrown at him.
“My Golden Lion, why can you not just accept unquestioningly as your due the easing of your way? It is little enough repayment for your service to our Lord Elrond and his people.
She was going to have to be more careful in the future, she could not afford to be discovered. He would be embarrassed to know someone was so attuned to his needs and wants especially if it was an elleth. He had made it very clear all those centuries ago that he was not interested in a serious relationship with any elleth and she understood why having seen how he was pursued by hopeful mothers and females interested in him more as a trophy rather than for the proud warrior beneath the reputation. It was unfortunate that she had gotten caught in the crossfire of his final explosion that had successfully stopped their pursuits. Few ever tried now and those that did were quickly cut down to size. She knew he occasionally took an elleth into his bed but never more then once or twice. None were successful in tapping the tenderness buried deep within the skilled warrior. She had been tempted to more than once to try to be one of them but realized he would never have allowed it.
She remembered her first meeting with him. Just after her family had arrived with some other refugees from the north, she had been playing with some of the other children while their parents had settled in. When two of the ellon had teased her and told her she was too young to play their games, she had run off crying and hidden herself in a small grove of trees. Glorfindel had finished a workout with several of the other warriors and heard her sobs as they left the practice field. Seeking the source he had found the gawky youngling and swept her up in his arms. As he comforted her she was overwhelmed with his tenderness and felt her young heart melting at his smile and deep blue eyes that seemed to see into her very soul. For several years after that he had always had a kind word or a hug for her as she followed after him.
He taught her to ride and would put her up on Asfaloth before him as he rode about the main complex or to and from the training fields. She would often go to the stables and brush the great stallion down or feed him apples and carrots. He accepted her attention willingly and a bond grew between the elleth and the horse.
As she neared her majority her parents increasingly became concerned over her attachment to the seneschal and warned she should not seek him out so much, that any dreams of a deeper relationship was not possible between them. She realized that their caution was wise when she noted Glorfindel was becoming uneasy and more reserve around her whenever she sought him out. Reluctantly she took care to see him less and began to watch her hero from afar. She would occasional run into him whenever she visited the stables to offer a treat to the stallion but she was always careful to keep such meetings light and unthreatening. She further masked her interest and affection for Glorfindel by attending festivals or other entertainment with groups of other ellyn and ellyth.
It was several decades before she realized that she always seemed to know when he returned to Imladris or when he was due to depart. She would often position herself on the high terrace above the main house and watch as he left and returned on patrol or accompanying his lord or the lord’s young sons on various trips. Then she realized she seemed be able to sense when he needed or wanted something.
It was purely by accident when one afternoon she sensed he was returning and was looking forward to a hot bath and tall glass of wine. She had smiled and thought to herself how nice it would be if Ceredir would have that all ready when the balrog slayer returned. She enjoyed pretending she was able to make things easier for him and there after would often make such ‘mental’ suggestions to Ceredir never expecting in her wildest dreams that he was receiving and acting upon them. She was shocked sometime later when she realized that he was actually doing so. She had stopped immediately and considered the possible implications of her discovery. She certainly had no desire to pry into Glorfindel’s thoughts or direct anyone’s actions unnaturally. She had only continued with such thoughts believing it was the natural desire to provide comfort for someone you cared for pretending or otherwise.
But even more she was troubled by the link that was evolving into a stronger one way bonding from her to him. She had long ago recognized that her feelings for the seneschal had deepened into love and that there would be no happy resolution for her. She had decided to deal with it by watching from afar and allowing herself a few impossible dreams. She believed she was harming no one but herself and to her the pain was acceptable.
As time went by she considered her options and what she should do with her newly found gift. She truly wanted to continue to provide such care, even in a small way, for him. She decided she would be more careful and let such ‘mental’ nudges appear to be natural thoughts of the house keeping staff. She was careful to restrict her ‘nudges to simple services for Glorfindel and nothing else. And until now it had worked. She was not aware of the concerns of Glorfindel or the consternation and worries she had caused for the Lord of Imladris.