“Meldir nin, join me for lunch in my library, there is much to discuss.”
“You have discovered something then?”
“Is Erestor joining us?”
“No, I have asked him to join us later.”
Puzzled, Glorfindel paced after his lord and entered the comfortable sanctuary Elrond preferred to the office he used for most of his ‘official’ duties. Here he welcomed only family and friends and most of his research and writings were accomplished. It was a pleasant room panelled in rich dark woods and with several bookcases filled with his private collection of favorite books and scrolls lining one wall. A desk was located adjacent to the wide doors opening on to a private balcony and a mixed lot of chairs and low divans were scattered about inviting one to sit and read. A soft rumble from the waterfalls filled the air and the sweet sounds of birds echoed across the lower gardens. Along the far wall over the fire was a painting of Celebrian as she had been before the Red Horn Pass incident and smaller paintings of their hin were arranged about her. Here one could see the real elf, not the somewhat aloof Lord of Imladris more familiar to outsiders.
Elrond gestured towards a table with food laid out. “We are just in time to enjoy this. Will you have miruvor, wine, or tea?”
“Wine, I think.” Glorfindel moved to sit opposite the elven Lord of Imladris and looked expectantly at him.
“Yes, meldir nin, the Watcher has been found.” Elrond poured them both a glass of the rich fruity red wine both favored then passed the glass to Glorfindel and grinned.
The balrog slayer stared at Elrond. “You look suspiciously and ridiculously pleased with yourself. Please continue.”
“There is no dangerous enemy within our midst plotting our downfall.” Elrond lifted his glass and took a sip. “Unless you count one who is a danger to many elvish hearts”?
“What are you talking about?” Glorfindel growled in frustrated with Elrond.
“First let me define for you what a watcher is. It is one who wishes to protect and serve those he /she loves. It can be as simple as providing for the comfort of the loved one through a personally performed task much like a wife/husband for one another, a parent for a child or a child for a parent. Or become much more complicated to cover all of a specific group. We are all watchers in our own way.”
“ You mean all of this is because someone has a crush on someone?”
Elrond nodded then grinned pointedly at his seneschal.
“You are saying that whoever it is, I am the focus of their attention?” He groaned. “Well I doubt it is either Ceredir or Hebgobel, so who is the one I have to thank for all of this anxiety?”
“I do not believe it would serve any purpose to reveal the source now. Galadriel has assured me that once the person has satisfied his/her need for recognition they will cease to trouble the one they admire.”
“Elrond, you can not leave it at that.” He growled. For the rest of the lunch he quizzed Elrond who remained amused and refused to answer any further questions.
Glorfindel paced up and down in his sitting room all afternoon. He had to admit he was shaken by the elf lord’s revelations. That someone could care for him, really care for him, was a consideration he had not given much thought to over the centuries since his return from the Halls of Mandos. More amazing was the fact that such affection had resulted in this convoluted way of expression. He felt a momentary regret that whoever it was had felt so desperate that they had had to resort to expressing their regard from a distance. Certainly there had been those who sought his company and attention more for the recognition or notoriety it provided them and not for his own personal affection. It had been these efforts that had led to his final decision to distance himself from any attempts for a serious relationship and pursue only casual dalliances on the most basic level.
Elrond’s refusal to divulge any further information had not eased his concerned over the lingering effects of the Watcher either. Galadriel’s assertion that no one could be forced against their will to perform deeds was some consolation. At least those who responded to the Watcher’s desires did so because their actions fell within the boundaries of their normal duties or were equal to their overall responsibilities and not strictly imposed by the Watcher.
He tried to remember who had recently entered into his life and provided him an opportunity to respond in a personal way. The only change had been his recent tryst with Meren and her rather offhanded response leaving before he had awakened had certainly given him no reason to suspect her.
He paused and grinned. Her physical response had certainly been most satisfying and he would not have hesitated to repeat it again if the opportunity presented itself. He had to admit that if he were to reconsider his decision and seek a more permanent relationship, she would be his most likely choice. He had known her for a long time; she had never been a nuisance beyond that short period of a brief crush and she had quickly outgrown that.
Sighing, he shook his head. Worrying would not help now. In spite of Elrond’s assurances that the Watcher no longer presented a problem, he would just have to be alert for any new or unusual activity. In the mean time he would seek out Meren and indicate his wish for a repeat of the previous night’s activity. He had no doubt that she would concur since they both had so obviously enjoyed it and maybe, just maybe, the time had come to consider a more permanent arrangement.
Glorfindel entered his bedroom and changed into his third best tunic. Should not appear too eager, he thought. He should be casual and invite her to join him for dinner in his chambers if she had no other immediate plans and then seduce her all over again. Grinning to himself he thought how this would be really enjoyable after all!
Approaching the door to Meren’s chambers he was surprised to find it ajar and he heard Lady Hareth talking to a house elf about arrangements to be made for sailing. Glorfindel frowned and knocked to announce his presence. He was surprised when she turned and became flustered when she recognized him.
“Lord Glorfindel, this is a surprise!’
‘A pleasant one, I hope Lady Hareth. I am looking for Meren. Is she here?”
“No, but I expect her back any moment. She was returning some books to the library.”
“If I may wait for her?”
“Of course, my lord. Please be seated. Would you like some tea? I have some cakes from last night’s festivities.”
“Thank you, I would.” He frowned to himself over her extreme formality. “I hope you will forgive my interest, my lady but I could not help overhearing something about sailing as I arrived. Surely you and Lord Cyllthurin are not planning on departing for the Undying Lands at this time?”
Hareth paused nervously and shook her head. “It is Meren who is considering it, my lord.”
“This is somewhat sudden is it not? I have not heard she was so inclined.”
“You will have to ask her for her reasons my lord. It is not for me to share.”
“Naneth, I have just talked to Lord Elrond….” Meren burst through the door and stopped abruptly when she saw Glorfindel. “My lord, this is most unexpected.” She spoke hesitantly.
“Obviously.” He murmured dryly somewhat nonplused by their reaction. “I wish to talk to you about last night, if I may?”
Meren and her mother exchanged glances before she answered. “Of course my lord.”
Hareth shrugged and moved towards the door. “I have to talk to Master Hebgobel about some arrangements for your ada’s return. It will take some time I suspect.”
“We can have our tea on the terrace, my lord.” She picked up the tea things her mother had prepared and gestured towards the doors at the end of the sitting room. “After you, my lord.”
They sat down at the small table occupying the far end of the terrace and Meren poured out the tea. Glorfindel noticed the view of the main gate and courtyard off to one side and the triple falls to the right. As she passed the tea and plate of sweet breads to him he commented on the pleasant situation they occupied.
“My naneth was pleased when these rooms became available. Not many of the other elves like being so far from the main house but both ada and she like the privacy it affords and she always likes to watch for ada when he is due home from his travels.” She concentrated on her cup and did not look at him as she sipped it slowly.
Glorfindel studied her quietly for a while. “I enjoyed last night very much Meren. I had hoped to continue its pleasures today. I was surprised to find you gone this morning when I awoke.”
Meren froze before answering carefully. “I enjoyed it also, my lord. I am well aware of the honor you accorded me by sharing your own bed with me.”
“It was not as great as the honor you granted me. I know you are not in the habit of sharing yourself with others.” He noted her trembling hands. “Why did you?”
She sat silent for several minutes before replying. “Your skills as a lover are well known, my lord, and I have been fond of you since I was a hen. I could hardly object when you indicated a rare interest in me. Rather I was pleased and looked forward eagerly to the opportunity to share your passion.”
“If I asked you to do so again would you consider it favorably?”
Meren gazed at him startled. “You never have done so with the others you have bedded, my lord. Why do you ask me?” She whispered softly.
“I am not sure, I only know there is something unusual going on and I wish to explore it further.”
“You are sure you wish to do so with me?”
“I will have to consider it, my lord. I am not sure I like the possible consequences of this.”
Glorfindel frowned. He was not used to being refused thusly. “Do you regret last night?”
“No my lord, most definitely not.” She looked intently at him. “It was the most wonderful experience I have ever had. I am not sure I could taste it again without wanting to do so permanently. That could prove to be a real problem for both of us.”
“I am not so sure.”
“In the past you were careful not to encourage a continuing relationship, I find it difficult to accept you are freely doing so now.”
“Is that why you are considering an early sailing to the Undying Lands?” He queried softly.
She frowned, “How did you know that?”
“Your naneth mentioned it.”
“It was only a small consideration, my lord.” She twisted her head aside tears glittering in her eyes.
Glorfindel rose swiftly from his chair and took her in his arms. He buried his face in her hair and nuzzled an ear. “Meren, please do not cry. Whatever it is that troubles you I will do my best to help you resolve. I ask you not to sail until we have explored this attraction between us and decided what it means.”
“You do not understand, my lord, and I cannot tell you why I must sail.”
“What ever it is, it cannot be more important then what we may have.’
“I wish that were true.”
He lifted her chin with a gentle finger and kissed each eye before taking her mouth in a tender kiss. With a groan he deepened it and pulled her tightly against his swiftly hardening body. “Oh kitten, you make me wild with hunger for you. I am more alive then I have been in centuries. You cannot do this to me then run away.”
“My lord, I am the Watcher.”
He pulled back from her and stared at her with horror then turned and blindly descended the terrace stairs, leaving her standing alone.
With a sob, she collapsed in a broken heap.
Glorfindel paused at the bottom of the terrace and gripped the banister with shaking hands and listened to the sounds of Meren’s distress. Unable to fully comprehend what he had just been told he found himself heading for the stable and Asfaloth. Quickly saddling the stallion he mounted and rode out without responding to the many calls that fallowed him.
meldir nin- my friend
miruvor- much desired Rivendell cordial
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.