15. Boromir Son of Carl?
"Boromir Son of...Carl?"
Wyatt left the following morning, and told Morgan that he would only be a phone call away if she needed him. He had also taken Boromir aside in private, and instructed him that if anyone were to attack again, to beat the shit out of them for him. Boromir had been a little shocked at the graphicness of such a phrase, but understood the meaning perfectly.
Morgan took another day off work, and Boromir was to work again at Carl's. However, this meant that Morgan would be alone.
Boromir handed Morgan the phone. "Call Carl for me."
"I will tell him that I cannot come today."
"Boromir, I'll be okay. I'm nervous...I admit it, but the alarm system works, as we discovered when Wyatt left. I'll just set it when you leave, and I'll carry the phone with me at all times."
Boromir nodded, but did not feel comforted. "Then, here," he said, reached under the sofa, pulling out one of the Orc swords. "Have this by your side."
"Boromir!" Morgan said laughing. "If anything, I'd kill myself with that big heavy thing! There's no way I'd ever be able to use it against anyone!"
Sighing, Boromir returned the sword, but then pulled his own broken sword hilt out from behind a sofa cushion. "Then, I would have you carry this. Being broken, it is much lighter."
"If I say no, what else will you pull out? A machete?"
"I know not what that is."
"A really big knife. What's with all the swords and stuff hidden everywhere?"
"Merely a precaution."
"Well, alright, I'll carry this one, but if I cut myself, that's it! I'm putting it away!"
Morgan reminded Boromir that he was running behind, and so he made to make a hasty departure, but she pulled him back to her, kissing him on his lips. "Thank you. I'll be alright knowing you're not far."
"Call...for any reason... How I wish I still had my horn!"
And then Boromir was on his way. He arrived late at Carl's and was sorry for it, yet Carl did not even mention his tardiness. His only concern was for his Missy, and how she was handling her recent experience.
"Now, am I right when I heard that you fought him off?" Carl said in a low whisper despite no one else being near.
"Aye. I had his throat in a tight stronghold, but Morgan beseeched me to take pity on the villain."
"You might've killed him," Carl said, his eyes glistening with respect.
"Men of his sort should not be allowed to roam free; he is better off dead. Living, he only poses harm to innocent, decent people around him. Had I had my way, I would have killed him, and been pleased to have done so."
"You talk like a soldier."
"Aye, for I am one. I fought in..." Boromir suddenly caught himself, "many battles in my country."
"In England? Don't you mean for England?"
"Aye, that was my meaning." Boromir looked at the ground. He hated to lie, but still haunted by soldiers in white, the lies came easily to his lips.
"Where were you stationed?"
"I fear I cannot tell you, Carl. I hope you do forgive me."
"Top secret, huh?"
Boromir smiled, and felt relieved. "Aye. To do so would carry heavy consequences, I fear."
Carl accepted Boromir's excuse without question or doubt. "So you've been in many battles? Killed a lot of men?"
"I am familiar with war," Boromir said nodding.
Carl also nodded his head, but his eyes suddenly became misty, and his nose red. "My boy was a soldier. Did you know that? Oh yeah. Won the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart in combat. Saved three of his battalion from the Viet Cong. Got taken himself, though, trying to rescue another man. Have you ever heard of the Hanoi Hilton?"
Boromir shook his head, no. He could see the pain on Carl's face, despite losing his son so very many years ago.
"Oh, well, it was a camp, you see. A prison camp for US soldiers. My boy was sent there. They say he died there four days before a bunch of men were released in '73. Can you believe that?! Four stinkin' days?!" Carl took a deep breath, and turned his face away to wipe a renegade tear. "Why did you become a soldier, Boromir?"
"We were at war. My country needed me; the threat was there. But I do not miss it. I have had enough of bloodshed, and death, and incessantly living in the shadow of doom. I like it here," he said, smiling and looking at the wide expanse around him. "Here there is peace."
Carl studied Boromir's face. It was though Boromir had never heard of 9/11, of Osama, or bombs, or planes colliding with buildings. It was clear he'd be touched by war, even scarred by it. However, he if thought America seemed peaceful, what in the world had he come from?
Boromir headed for the barn, and had a great sense of joy upon returning to the horses. They appeared to recognize him, and he greeted them cheerfully, speaking affectionately to them as he busied about their stalls.
After brushing down ten horses, and setting them loose in the fields. One, he noticed, was lame, and so he expertly cleaned the wound, and wrapped it.
Saddling up another, he mounted the steed, and set the animal loose. Together they ran far and fast, the strong spring wind rushing through Boromir's hair.
Carl had been watching from afar, tears streaming down his face. When looking at Boromir, he could not help but think of his son, Billy. To have died so young, and what the hell for? A thankless death. A worthless death. And now here he was, 78 and alone. No wife, no son, only horses. He felt old and tired. His bones seemed to ache with old age, and he knew he couldn't keep the farm for himself much longer.
His eyes turned again to look at Boromir, free as a wildfire upon the feisty horse. Boromir was around Billy's age, or perhaps younger than if Billy were still alive. They were nothing alike, for Billy was reckless, and had girlfriends galore in his day. Yet, he could see that Boromir had a fire raging within him, a strength that would keep him alive.
He rang the large cast iron bell hanging on the porch, and saw Boromir turn his head upon hearing it. In he came, and expertly jumped the fence, riding up to the house.
"That's some good riding there, son," Carl said, his eyes now wiped dry.
Boromir smiled. "He is a fine horse," he said, rubbing the long, black neck. "Wild and fast."
"His name's Spartacus."
"What does the name mean?"
"He was a man who lived a long time ago, who was a great warrior."
"And that he is," Boromir said, tenderly rubbing the top of Spartacus's head.
"Then, he's yours. He can board here; I know Missy doesn't have a barn, but he's yours if you want him."
Boromir was deeply moved. "Thank you very much, my friend," he said, jumping off the horse, and embracing the old man. "You are too kind to me."
Carl mumbled and stepped away. He could feel another tear coming along. "Say, why don't you take him and go have lunch with Missy? I'm sure you'd like to check on her."
"You do not mind?"
"I wouldn't have suggested it if I did."
"Thank you!" Boromir said, smiling in the sun. He climbed back on the horse. "I shall return within the hour." Boromir spun the horse about, and they bounded forth down the drive, veering off onto the dusty road.
Boromir felt free and content. His ride was a short one, for Spartacus was swift and steady. Approaching the house, Boromir saw an unfamiliar 'Honda' sitting in the drive. He slowed the horse to a canter, his mind already on high alert.
Tying the reigns to the porch, Boromir pulled out a knife, and quietly stepped to the door. He listened attentively. Muffled voices could be heard within, but Morgan did not appear in any distress. Regardless, he did not re-shield his weapon.
He burst open the door, and a loud siren blared through the entire house. So loud did it proclaim, Boromir dropped his knife to cover his throbbing ears.
"Boromir!" Morgan exclaimed, her hand over her ear as well, as she punched in the code on the keypad, silencing the alarm. However, the ringing continued in their now slightly deaf ears.
"Oh my God! You scared the crap out of me!" Morgan said, hand over her heart. "That alarm is a menace!"
"Menace it may be, but at least we know it works," Boromir replied, picking up his fallen knife.
"What's that for?" Morgan said, eyeing the knife. "Another precaution?"
He slide the knife back in its sheath at his waist. "Tease all you like, but you did not complain so the other night when..."
Suddenly, a man in a very nice grey suit stepped into the hall. He was balding, wore glasses, and his sudden appearance caused a start in Boromir that shook his very foundation. "Hello, Boromir," said Dr. Larkin.
"Dr. Larkin..." was all that Boromir could utter. How he wished to flee, run! Climb aboard Spartacus and escape! However, his feet were sadly rooted to the spot. He turned to Morgan for aid.
"Dr. Larkin read about what happened in the paper. He just wanted to check on us," Morgan was quick to say. She had seen the look of absolute panic on Boromir's face. If he were to run now, Dr. Larkin would think him crazy for sure. "You see, Dr. Larkin? Did I not say Boromir is doing well?"
"You certainly did, Ms. Harris, and now I have the benefit of seeing it with my own eyes! How do you feel, Boromir?"
Well remembering Dr. Larkin's cryptic questions, and the need for the correct answers, Boromir was very careful in his reply. "Considering what event has just befallen us, I feel I'm rather well."
"Good," Dr. Larkin said, following Morgan and Boromir into the living room and sat down. "I can't imagine what a horrible experience it must have been for you, and what you both must have endured, and continue to endure."
"It's been hard," Morgan said, her thoughts drifting to Moglie, "but we have each other. I know that if Boromir hadn't been here, I'd be dead. No question."
Dr. Larkin smiled at Boromir. "I can see I made the right choice in contacting you, Ms. Harris. It is so nice when things work out. So often they don't. And how about you, Boromir? Any progress in your memory recollection?"
"Nay, I fear not," Boromir replied. That answer had proven sufficient before, so he thought it wise to use it again.
"Well, don't try to push it. These things take time. Years sometimes. Well, I'm glad you're both well, and safe, and looking out for one another." Dr. Larkin drank up the last of his tea and rose up. "It's really time I should get back to the hospital."
Upon hearing those words, a fear struck in Boromir that Dr. Larkin was going to attempt to take him back with him. However, these fears proved groundless.
"Now Boromir," the good doctor said with one foot out the door, "you take good care of this young lady, alright? Just think of where you'd be without her."
"I will, Doctor," Boromir said, wrapping an arm around Morgan's waist. "Thank you."
They all waved their farewells, and then the good doctor was gone.
"What's with the horse?" Morgan said, for the first time noticing him.
"Carl gifted him to me."
"Aye!" Boromir said, smiling. "Is he not a fine piece of horseflesh?"
Morgan looked at him incredulously. "Ok, creepy term. But, yes. He's pretty. I can't believe Carl gave him to you, though. Do you have any idea what he's worth?"
Boromir shook his head.
Morgan smiled. "Carl breeds racehorses. Two of his horses have won big, one being the Kentucky Derby. I'd say that horse is worth well over 50,000."
Boromir looked blankly at her. "Is that a lot?"
Morgan could not suppress a laugh. There was simply no one like Boromir! "Oh, to not have to worry about money! Yes, it's a lot."
"Well, that makes the gift all the finer. Morgan, I do not mean to trouble you, but it would not do for me to return late."
"Hungry are you?"
"Me too. Alright then, let me fix something. Are you still too scared to use the stove?"
"Aye, I fear I am."
Morgan lay in bed alone, not at all sleepy. The house was silent and dark. Her thoughts drifted to Boromir coming to her bedroom the other night, and she wished that he would appear again. He had been absent the previous night, and she had felt it profoundly.
Boldly, she got out of bed, put on a lacy pair of Victoria's, and tidied her hair in the shadowy mirror. Reaching into her drawer, she whispered, "Boromir is definitely sponge-worthy."
She peeked into the hall; his door was firmly shut. Was he asleep? Should she disturb him? Did he even want her there? Her mind was plagued with questions, and her heart was beating within her throat. He made the first move last time, she thought, thus deciding that her advances would be welcome.
She opened his door; it did not creak. She stepped to the side of his bed. Before she could even lay a finger upon the duvet, he said, "Morgan? Is something amiss?"
"No. I was just kinda lonely, and wondered if you were lonely, too. Wondered if you wanted some company tonight." Her heart was beating fast. The first time with someone was always so awkward...
He turned to face her. Despite the room being a murky grey, her pale skin seemed to glow. His eyes met hers. "Morgan," he said, turning bashfully away, "you should not be here."
That was not the reply that Morgan was expecting. Her stomach dropped, and now felt sick. She was glad for the darkness, for then he could not see the tomato colour of her face. "Alrighty then," she replied curtly, turning her heel to leave.
He quickly sensed her brusque tone, and caught her hand. "It is not my wish to insult your feeling."
"Hey! No problem!" she said a little too eagerly, attempting to hide her mortification. "And just so you know, I didn't mean it that way. I was just..."
"Because I do," he said shyly, yet still clasping onto her hand in his firm grip.
It took him a minute to reply. The search for words, the search for propriety were a raging battle in his mind. "Desire you," was the best he could muster, barely daring to glance at her face.
"Aye," he said, his eyes growing braver.
"Morgan, you are a maiden. It is not proper for us to be..."
Morgan's heart stopped as she waited for the last word to come. Lovers? Bed buddies? Friends with potential?
"...bedfellows," he concluded.
"Oh," Morgan replied, still holding onto his hand. Now is not the time, she thought, for me to tell him I'm so not a virgin...
"Know that I do not refuse you because of lack of...affection. I think you very comely, and kind, and virtuous. It is because of your purity that I cannot... be with you in that way."
Morgan smiled. Never had she had a man refuse her because he worried about her innocence or virginity. It felt so refreshing, that she couldn't hold it against him. "Okay," she said, smiling and brushed his long hair out of his face with her cool hand. "I'd better go, then."
"Wait," he said, still not letting go of her hand. "We could just...embrace for a while..."
Morgan could not suppress a grin. "Alright. But no funny business. No matter how much you desire me."
"Alright," Boromir said, allowing a laugh to escape him.
They curled up together on the bed, each relishing in the gentleness of being so close to each other.
"Boromir, how come you're not married? You're handsome... I'm sure all the single Gondorian girls were making doe-eyes at you."
"Nay," Boromir replied, shaking his head humbly.
"And I'll bet even some of the married ones..."
"No?" she asked, teasingly. "C'mon! You can't tell me there's never been a girl."
Boromir's manner suddenly became pensive. "I was in love once...long ago."
"Oh yeah? Who was she?"
"Her name was Halleth. But, surely this is not what you wish to hear!"
"No! Tell me. How old were you?"
"I was but four and twenty. Young. Too young..."
"Did she love you?"
"Aye. At least, I believed she did. We wished to marry."
Morgan waited, but Boromir said nothing; he seemed lost in memory. "And?"
"And...my father would not allow the match."
"Halleth was not...noble. Her people were good, honest people, but merchants. Not nobility. Not good enough for the Steward's eldest son."
Morgan looked up at him. There was a sourness in his voice; a bitterness.
"However," he continued, "I daresay he was right."
Boromir shrugged his shoulders. "She did not truly love me."
"How do you know?"
"She did not wait."
"Wait? Wait for what?"
"For my father to change his mind. Or, for me to become Steward. We had agreed, but...she did not wait. When word of her betrothal reached my father's ears, he took delight in pointing out again what an ill match it was."
Morgan had a playful glint in her eye. "And did you also...desire her?"
"Morgan!" Boromir said, much shocked.
"I'm just asking."
"One does not talk about such things."
"Were you two...bedfellows?"
Boromir was now truly embarrassed. "I will not answer such a question!"
"Okay," Morgan said, thinking she had perhaps gone a bit too far. "So, how long were you two together before she got engaged to the other guy?"
"Eight years!" she exclaimed, laughing. "You can't hold that against the poor girl! Eight years is a crazy length of time to wait to get married with no hope in sight!"
"That is not true..."
"Oh, yes it is!"
"But I would have waited, Morgan," he said, gazing into her face with all seriousness. "I would have waited as long as need be, for I loved her. My heart did not forget her as quickly as she forgot mine. To do so, was the greatest betrayal I have ever felt. I gave her my heart; I swore to love her to the end of my days, and she could not wait for me. She did not love me enough."
Morgan stared at him, her heart deeply moved. However, she was quick to remind herself that the stupid girl's loss was her gain. "And what now? You're free of her. Free of your father's opinion. Free to love whomever you wish."
"And so I do," he said, stroking her hair down to her neck.
If ever Morgan had wanted to be with him in that way, it was then, but she did not push. Boromir was a man of flawless decorum and courtesy. He was the epitome of the perfect gentleman, and never would he go beyond what was right by her, and she knew it. Never would he take advantage for his own gain or pleasure. He loved her with his whole heart, and she enjoyed the rare happiness that was felt in lovers who are comfortable simply being together with their clothes on.
A/N: Please review!!