1. At Long Last
Her passengers sensed it, too, this unnamed force leading them through the night. Was it the Valar who drew them forth? Or could it have been Ëarendil? Yes, he was a mariner, mused a raven-haired passenger as he reclined against the ship's railing, eyes closed. Likely it is he who guides us home.
The half-elf had spent most of these first two days of his final journey in quiet contemplation—not unusual for one so accustomed to living in his mind—and his companions were loath to disturb him. But it was not upon Ëarendil that his thoughts most often dwelled. No, it was his ladylove who haunted him, the beauty who had undertaken this same journey many years past.
Does she know I come to her at long last? Does she sense my presence drawing nigh?
Eyes still closed, he smiled a winsome smile, not knowing that he was being watched. His observer arched an elegant brow and formed her own beguiling smile, knowing full well what images danced in her son-in-law's mind. She came to this knowledge not through skillful probing of mind; there was no need for such games now. No, it was the look of yearning that she saw upon his face, one that inevitably woke whenever his thoughts turned toward his beloved. The Lady looked away. She would afford her daughter's husband his privacy.
And think of his long-awaited reunion with his silver beauty he did: his arms wrapping about her slender frame as his mouth sought hers; his fingers entwining themselves in her hair as if those tresses were the threads that would hold her to him forevermore. He willed her to feel his thoughts, to awaken her mind to his so that they could share this moment of anticipation.
Does she stand on the sands waiting? Does she search the seas for me?
Meditating on his beloved, he realized with all certainty what he had always known in the remotest corners of his mind: he would sacrifice all for her, the one who held his heart. He would gladly give life and limb; any foe would he face. Even the loss of Arwen was naught when compared to the ache he felt for his wife. And if it should come to pass that his sons chose his daughter's fate, he would bear that, too. Much had he borne, strengthened only by the promise of his beloved's embrace.
Not much longer. Please, not much longer.
The sea answered him by splashing her salty sweetness on his lips, a taste so akin to his beloved's tears that he almost wept for joy. The wind, too, lent her arms, affirming the promise of the approaching reunion as she snaked her way about Elrond's neck and shoulders. He shuddered. Soon. It would come to fulfillment soon, this blessed reunion of two mutually bound beings, and together their spirits would set Aman ablaze. Even the Valar would rejoice; of this, Elrond Peredhil was certain.
Until then, he would dream of seeing her among the eager and curious faces, stepping off the ship, and running through the sands with all speed that was left in him. He would take hold of her, never to let go. Never to be parted again.
To hold her until the end of all things; it was this one wish that soothed him.
Yes, prayed Elrond Peredhil. Let it be. Let it be soon.
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.