1. No Time Like The Present!
On bare feet she crossed to the balcony and leaned on its railing. Closing her eyes, she set loose her senses, savoring the scent of honeysuckle and other flowers from the garden below and the music of a night bird’s song as it called to its mate. From the distance came the soft rumble of the falls and the murmur of the river that meandered slowly among the many buildings of the refuge. Finally, with a sigh of deep contentment she turned her face to the sky and rejoiced in the dazzling beauty of the broad swath of stars that marched in dramatic precession across its midnight blue surface. She had no doubts now, it was the right decision.
The elf lord stopped abruptly a drying cloth held loosely as he entered from his bathing chamber and sensed an unexpected presence. The sound of a deep sigh drew his eyes to the shadowy figure standing on his balcony and he smiled. He was taller, and more broad shouldered, then most elves. His dark hair hung about his shoulders in a damp curtain from his earlier ablutions. He wore a loose robe over a pair of silk sleeping pants. Like her, he too was bare foot. Quietly he stood and watched with pleasure as she enjoyed his world but was dismayed to find her there. It was improper and boded ill for them both. Finally, he reluctantly crossed and stood behind her; and he knew when she became aware of him.
Without turning, she waved a hand encompassing the garden below and the sky above.
“My lord has chosen the most beautiful part of Imladris as his eyre.”
“And he finds a most beautiful and rare bird has landed there.”
She turned and found him close enough to touch. With a hand, she reached up and tenderly cupped his chin. “Is she welcomed in it, my lord?”
He clenched his fists to his side and carefully avoided touching her afraid he would frighten her with his intensity. He hesitated before finally answering her. “It has been my dearest wish for a long time that she choose to share it with me.”
Her green eyes studied his storm gray ones silently for some time and she sensed his inner turmoil. “Yet you have not spoken of it. Why not?”
“It is not an easy thing I would ask. The path that lay ahead will be a long and dangerous one. I had not the courage to ask an elleth to walk it with me.”
She nodded. “Yet you invited us to stay after the others departed. Surely that was not just because you found the company of my parents so intriguing.”
He shook his head. “While they are most impressive and I find the affection they share most endearing, you know it is their sell that has captivated me.”
“Yet you have done your best to ignore me and dance attendance on every other ellyth present this whole summer.”
“I was their host, and until late last week I had no knowledge of your own feelings. If I was successful in hiding mine then you were expert in your effortss as well.”
She lowered her head and flushed. “It is difficult for me to show my feelings to others. Too often, they seek me out in order to garner my parents’ attention. I have found it safer to maintain my distance.”
“Why are you here?”
“Do you not know my lord?” She looked up through shimmering eyes.
“I know the reason I hope for.”
“You would not come to me, so I have come to you.”
He raised his hands and gently grasped her shoulders. “Are you sure? Is this truly your wish? Have you considered the consequences? It is more than our joining, my lady, it is the merging of our houses. Will your parents consent to this knowing that not all will accept it with equanimity?”
She nodded her head and sighed. “While ada was hesitant, naneth approved. She was only concerned that I be certain of both my feelings, and yours. She hoped that she had read the signs correctly.”
“You mean my calf eyed stares and wistful glances?” He asked wryly.
“I did not consider them so. It is I who feared to cause your repugnance with mine.”
With trembling hands, she reached up and encircled his neck. “Must I always take the first step, my lord?”
Gathering her close, he shook his head and bent to capture her lips with his. Slowly he careful deepened it holding his desire tightly leashed. Gently he sought the curve of her neck and nuzzled a dainty shell pink ear. Sighing happily she dropped her head backwards to allow him better access. Her hands moved feverishly on the plains of his chest and his back. He groaned and pulled back grasping them tightly.
“Ah, ind nin, take care. I would not hurry this moment. I have dreamed of it far too long to wish it over quickly. Your touch drives all thoughts of common sense from my mind. All I can think of right now is taking you to my bed and spend the next thousand years ravishing you.”
A delighted grin lit her face and she demurely looked up at him through long lashes. “What if the elleth were willing my lord?”
A wry smile teased his full sensuous lips. “Your parents might object to that tithen meleth nin. I am sure they would prefer a formal announcement and hold a wedding before giving their permission for us to enjoy each other.”
She wrapped her arms about his waist. “You forget the old custom, meleth whereby marriage is accomplished by the simple act of bodily union. It is lawful for any unwed Eldar to marry without other consent and without ceremony or witness.”
“I had not forgotten.”
“Should I have not come?” She faltered and stepped back from him.
He reached for her and pulled her back into his arms. “I am overjoyed that you came, ind nin. I only wish to make sure you have no regrets over this. Come let me show you something.” He gently pulled her back into the room and stopped by a small chest. Opening a drawer, he pulled out a miniature gold box and removed a little velvet bag. Undoing the tie binding it closed, he tipped it up and emptied the contents into one of her hands. Four rings, two silver and two gold, twinkled up at her.
She stared at them then looked up at him questioningly.
“I had them made a long time ago shortly after I first saw you. I had hoped that in spite of every thing, there might be a future for us but I feared it was a forlorn one. I never truly expected you to return my feelings.”
She reached for the bag and replaced the silver betrothal rings inside before returning it to him. She placed the smaller of the golden rings on her index finger and reached for his right hand. Looking up she gazed intently into his eyes and slid the second ring on his index finger.
“I call upon the Lady Varda to witness my vow to you and bless our union from this night forward. With this ring as a sign, I pledge to be as one with you and love and cherish you. Ever will I be steadfast and true.”
He returned her gaze and swallowed hard. Taking her hand, he raised it to his lips and kissed it before holding it against his heart. “I call upon Lord Manwe to witness my vow to you and bless our union from this night forward. With this ring as a sign, I pledge to be as one with you and love cherish and protect you. Ever will I be steadfast and true.”
Both bowed their heads and together continued. “May Eru see our binding as true and good until the ending of time. May he bless us with children and may we be true and good servants in the singing of his music.”
He gathered her close and buried his face in her hair. “You humble me with your courage ind nin.”
She kissed the bare skin visible between the opening of his robe. “Hervenn, it is not your humbleness I need. Will you not take me to your bed and ravish me for the next one thousand years?”
“I do not think that will be long enough to satisfy me ind nin!” With that, he swept her into his arms and carried her to the shadowed bed where he did his best to carry out her request.
Ind nin-my heart
Tithen meleth nin-my little love
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.