“My Lady,” The King said quietly, “I must say that your arrival was unexpected. Has Amdir started sending his female counsellors on errands to neighbouring realms?”
Galadriel knew that she should give up her pride if she was to see her husband, Oropher had always been very protective of his kin. She took a deep breath and said sincerely, “I came on no errand. I merely wish to see my husband.”
Oropher frowned imperceptibly before saying coldly, “I shall ask for an aide to lead you to a guest room. Maybe you can see him in the morning.”
“No, My Lord Oropher,” Galadriel said anxiously, she knew she had to meet her husband while her courage still held, “I cannot rest before I see him.”
Oropher said sadly, “You have caused him much grief.”
“Yes, I know,” Galadriel said quietly, only the tightness of her voice indicating how difficult it was for her to admit that she had been wrong.
Oropher did not reply as he folded his arms across his chest, obviously waiting for a more satisfying explanation.
“I have made him unhappy over the centuries. I have tried to be the woman he fell in love with. But I am tired. The ring and the mirror are draining me,” Galadriel admitted.
“That gives you no reason to treat him thus! Do you think us Sindar too ignorant to understand these burdens?” Oropher exclaimed, “Do you think he did not know of your toils? He would have shared in them willingly even if you had not asked! But you, you had to keep him at a distance farther than you kept your kin!”
“You say so!” Galadriel said in a low voice, “Then perhaps you would explain to me why he seeks pleasure in the arms of others when he cares for my burdens? He left our marriage bed, he debased our marriage vows, it is not my name that he cries out when he is at the height of pleasure though it is indeed my ring that shines upon his fingers even when they caress another body!”
Oropher did not reply as he stared out at the canopy of stars above his forests.
“You have no words to say to that, Oropher!,” Galadriel said vindictively, “I thought that you would be the best authority to ask an opinion on matters of the heart for did you not sentence your love to fade from grief while you survived? No wonder why Celeborn follows your path. It is folly to love one of your house indeed!”
The anguish writ across Oropher’s visage caused her to halt her words and she swallowed nervously. She had not meant to speak so and had certainly never meant her words. But, she realized bitterly, it was too late to repair the damage her words had caused in Oropher’s long grieving heart.
Oropher said tiredly, “I may indeed be all that you presume me to be. But my cousin, whom you say you love, he is not me. I suggest you judge us not by the same standards, Galadriel for I most certainly would not want the fate of Vanima to be yours.”
“I am sorry,” Galadriel said in an equally weary tone, “I had no right or reason to speak thus to you. I do not know what made me utter those craven words. Forgive me.”
Oropher said quietly, “It is forgiven but cannot be forgotten, the latest in a long line of reproaches that I hear every day for daring to love. Let me however escort you to his chamber. Come.”
Galadriel took his arm and realized that his power was weakening. There was an air of silent despair around him.
She said softly, “You should sail soon, my lord.”
“My son needs me,” Oropher said simply.
“He will be happier to send you to Valinor to heal and be at peace than to make you stay here in despair for his sake. You may fade and die of grief,” Galadriel said sighing as she felt a foreboding rise in her that Oropher would never sail West.
“My cousin’s chamber. Doom yourselves not to my fate,” Oropher advised.
Galadriel nodded shakily and kissed Oropher’s signet ring in a gesture of respect. Then she took a deep breath and opened her husband’s bed chamber door. The curtains were pulled down around the large bed in the middle of the room. She closed the door silently and barred it. Slowly, she made her way to the bed and raised the curtains.
Celeborn was lying on his side, his features relaxed in reverie. The silken bed covers had slipped exposing his smooth upper torso. Galadriel shuddered. She thought determinedly to enjoy one night of passive pleasure before facing the future.
She gently lay down so as not to wake him and faced him. Their faces were scant inches apart. She placed her arm around his waist and watched fascinated as he imitated her gesture unconsciously. Drinking in the features she loved so much, Galadriel found herself drifting to sleep easily for the first time in many centuries.
Celeborn woke at dawn as he usually did and gasped in shock as he saw the once familiar body lying in his embrace. Hastily, he pulled his arms away and moved to the other side of the bed as he tried to make sense of the scene. Galadriel was roused by the sudden loss of her husband’s body heat and she opened her eyes grimly. This was the moment she had feared. The moment for explanations.
She watched sadly as Celeborn hastily threw a loose robe around his naked body before turning to face her. Amazement, anger and anguish shadowed his handsome face as he folded his arms across his chest waiting for her to speak.
“I missed you,” Galadriel said lamely. How she wished that she had listened to her daughter flirting with the border guards of Lothlórien!
Celeborn sighed, “Oropher did not tell me of any official intimation from Amdir regarding your arrival. If so I would have ridden to meet your escort.”
Galadriel sat up and pushed her hair away from her face before saying quietly, “I come from Lindon.”
“Oh!” Celeborn replied, “Even so, if you had written to me, I would have met your escort at the borders.”
Galadriel said simply, “I came alone.”
Celeborn frowned, “Gil-Galad could spare none of his guards for an escort? I find it difficult to believe so. He has always been attentive to these matters.”
“No,” Galadriel shook her head, “It was on my insistence. I did not want to be delayed.”
“Regarding a vision you had concerning this realm?” Celeborn said anxiously, “I shall call for Oropher now then.”
“No,” Galadriel said firmly, “I came because I did not want to be parted from you.”
Celeborn raised his eyebrows. He was sure that he was still asleep and dreaming for the woman he was married to would never speak such words. He decided to change this line of conversation and plastered a courteous expression on his face.
“May I escort you to breakfast then?” Celeborn asked politely.
Galadriel said in a trembling voice, “No, husband, we need to talk.”
Celeborn lost whatever good humour he had been holding to for the past few moments as he asked angrily, “Do you not think it is too late for that?”
“I came here because I have begun to fade without your presence in my life,” Galadriel confessed, “I wish to salvage our relationship.”
“I have no idea why you think you can rectify centuries of deadlock with a few moments of conversation,” Celeborn shook his head incredulously, “I suggest we go for breakfast and then prepare to leave for Lothlórien. I would not bring my martial problems under my cousin’s roof. He has enough to worry about as it is.”
Galadriel took a deep breath, she needed to act now, this was her only chance, her last chance for rescuing their marriage.
“Will you make love to me?” she asked him nervously.
“WHAT?” Celeborn spluttered, “Are you ill, Galadriel?”
He strode towards her quizzically and placed his hand on her forehead, which was hot. He frowned as he tried to make sense of what promised to be the most bewildering morning in his life so far. His wife had never asked him to make love to her even once in their long, eventful marriage! Theirs had been a platonic love mostly.
“Let me call for a healer. You are not well,” he stated firmly.
Galadriel grasped his hand in both of hers and said gravely, “You may do with me what you wish. You may even null our marriage and choose a better partner. I will deny you nothing, but I ask for this, please make love to me now. Only this I ask of you.”
Celeborn shook his head disbelievingly as his wife looked up at him with fear and hope in her eyes. He noticed for the first time in many months that she had become frailer and more careworn. Her hair had lost much of its customary lustre and there were deep, dark circles around her eyes. Her bones jarred against his smooth flesh as her fingers closed tightly around his own. He felt a pang of sadness as he took in her weak form and he bent down to press a kiss on her forehead.
“Will you?” she asked fearfully.
“I do not know what are my feelings regarding our marriage, Galadriel,” he sighed, “I have not been to faithful to you, as you well know. I have not even tried to apologize for my mistakes.”
“Let us not think of that now. Please, leave all else be. Just make love to me now with whatever passion you can spare for this wrecked body and soul,” Galadriel begged him.
“I will never deny you anything,” he said as a single tear glistened down his cheek when he realized that his proud wife was begging him for something for the first time in their long marriage. He wished that he had never let things reach this situation. To see her brought so low broke his heart.
He watched uncertainly as she rose to her feet and stood before him. Her garments were stained with the waydirt of her long, reckless journey east. He lifted his trembling hands to divest her of her robes.
As he fumbled with the laces of her undergown, she remarked in a bittersweet tone, “You are still clumsy with laces.”
He smiled weakly as her hands steadied his own. Together they opened the lace ties and the garment parted to reveal her reed thin body. Celeborn sadly noticed that her once well formed figure had shrunken, her skin was less smooth and her once firm breasts were less erect.
“It must be a poorer offering than you are accustomed to,” she said bitterly.
He shook his head and engaged her lips for a light kiss. They were both reminded of the secret kisses that they would share under the strict chaperoning of the early days of their love. Galadriel wanted him to stop reminding them of the past. She opened her mouth allowing him entrance. He teased her lips nibbling lightly before delving his tongue into her mouth.
Celeborn sighed as his tongue re-explored territory that had been so familiar centuries ago. The sweetness of her taste, he groaned into her mouth as long forgotten sensations drowned him.
Galadriel undid the ties on his robe and it fell down his body leaving him naked She devoured him with her eyes well aware that this could well be her last chance. She was determined to craft a golden memory of their love.
Celeborn shivered as the cool morning breeze played over his naked body. He took Galadriel’s hand and led her to the bed. As she lay down on her back, he carefully slid above her, trying not to put his full weight on her frail form.
He kissed her again deeply and she sighed, threading her fingers through his hair. He moved up to suckle and nip at her sensitive ear points earning a deep gasp of pleasure from her. He felt himself grow incredibly hard as he moved down to suckle at her breasts. He smiled relieved. For he did not know if he had been still capable of being passionate about her. She arched beneath him, her hands pulling desperately at his hair. He moved on to her other breast and accorded it the same treatment as she writhed beneath him.
He left a line of kisses down her body until he reached her vagina. He looked up into her eyes uncertainly.
“Please,” she said hoarsely, her eyes shut tightly.
He flicked his tongue into her sacred womanhood, his hands gripping her waist to hold her down. She arched and writhed until she came suddenly with his name on her lips. He felt grief envelope him even as he mechanically drunk clean her juices, the slightly bitter flavour, reminding him of their past.
She sat up and asked him, “Take me however you wish.”
“How long has it been?” he asked though he feared her answer.
“The day we celebrated our child’s three hundreth begetting ceremony,” she said simply.
He ignored, but could not erase his shame of having being so disloyal when she had remained true all those years.
He knelt on the bed and said quietly, “It will be less painful on your back. I want you to stop me if it hurts.”
She nodded silently and parted her legs for him. He looked at her once more before slowly sheathing himself inside her, they were both shocked to find the passage fit his erection so snugly. He gripped her waist tightly and guided her legs to snake around his torso. Then he started moving. He cringed as he watched a spasm of pain on her features during his first thrust. But soon, she arched her pelvis to meet his thrust. Their momentum increased steadily until he came with a mighty roar and his essence was released into her passage.
For a few moments, they lay breathing erratically, too tired even to move. Then Celeborn pulled himself out and rolled to the far end of the bed, not believing that this had just happened.
He closed his eyes tightly, but he could not stop his ears hearing the panting voice of his wife whisper drowsily, “I love you, my silver tree.”
He lay silently until her deep breathing told him that she had drifted into dreams. Then he quietly got up and threw a loose robe about his form before setting out to seek his cousin. He needed advice and more desperately, a listening ear.
Oropher’s chambers were open and Celeborn hastily walked to the bed. It was empty. Celeborn looked around and spotted the open balcony doors.
“Oropher?” He called gently.
“Celeborn?” Oropher’s voice was slightly nervous, “Come hither. We are watching the dawn.”
Celeborn joined him on the balcony.
“You knew of her arrival,” Celeborn said simply.
“Yes,” Oropher sighed, “I escorted her to your doors yesternite. She was distraught, never had I seen her thus!”
“She was acting strangely,” Celeborn confessed, “It ended up with us making love today morning.”
“The issue of your infidelity has broken her more than she shows,” Oropher said wearily, “She however understands the folly of looking too much at the past. She is ready to let it go.”
“So she said,” Celeborn admitted, “But how can follies be undone so easily? I am not sure that I can forgive myself and I certainly cannot say that I love her as I did centuries ago. But I,” he faltered, “whatever passion I have, it is only when I think of her.”
“Then you will learn to fall in love again,” Oropher said confidently, “You just have to rekindle your friendship for that was what in the first place grew into love.”
Celeborn nodded nervously, “I will give us both a second chance.”
They remained quietly for a few moments before Celeborn asked something that had been puzzling him since the beginning of the conversation, “Oropher, you said ‘we’ were watching the sunrise.”
Oropher smiled wickedly, “My son, you have not wished Celeborn a good morning.”
“Good day beckons you, Lord Celeborn!” Thranduil leapt onto the balcony from a tree branch overhanging them, a smirk on his handsome features.
Celeborn turned a delicate shade of pink before hastily taking his leave of the father and son. To think that he had been overheard by the Prince discussing his love life with Oropher!
Galadriel was standing at the window, the bed covers loosely wrapped around her, when Celeborn reached their room. There was an expression of abject misery on her features.
“I am sorry for having left, but I had to attend to certain matters,” Celeborn offered as he crossed the room to her side.
She turned to face him, defeat evident in her eyes as she said simply, “It is of no consequence. I am used to waking up alone. If you had not left me today before I woke, then that memory would have been painful for the rest of my solitary life.”
Celeborn said quietly, “I have not treated you fairly thus far. I have made my marriage vows a mockery. I am not worthy of your forgiveness.”
“Forgiveness?” Galadriel laughed bitterly, “I am to blame for I pushed you away. I do not deserve your love, I am a kinslayer’s daughter. I am an orphan. There is none who would cross you were you to blame me! Unlike your cousin, who stood by you, even when I accused you of something he could not deny!”
“Galadriel,” Celeborn said pleadingly, “Let us give it one more chance. For our sake, for our child’s sake!”
“What?” she whispered, hope and fear colouring her voice.
“Forgive me,” Celeborn knelt before her, “I beg of you one more chance.”
Galadriel knelt down and said brokenly, “I would die if you asked me to, the fool I was not to realize that!”
Celeborn threw his arms around her frail form and they buried their faces in the other’s tresses and rocked each other as they sobbed unconsolably.
“Ada,” Thranduil smiled as he rested his head on his father’s shoulder contentedly, “They make an interesting couple.”
Oropher pulled his son’s head onto his lap as he leaned back comfortably in his chair. Thranduil sprawled lazily on the floor, his eyes half shut.
“That they do, but tell me my son, why do you dislike her so?” Oropher queried curiously.
“She is too proud, Adar. One day she shall pay for that folly,” Thranduil said solemnly.
Oropher wondered idly how his son could sound like a spoilt elfling one moment and the next moment like one of the Maia. He said teasingly, “So are you too, my son, you are prouder than her!”
“Maybe,” the Prince said, “but I do not meddle with the fates of others as she does. Only I shall pay for my folly. But her folly will affect kingdoms and lives of men and elves alike.”
“You mean her idea of making Elrond bond with Celebrían?” Oropher asked sadly, “No good shall come out of that bonding!”
“Adar-nin,” Thranduil said calmly, “There shall be no bond. For Elrond’s heart is too deeply buried by his love for Erestor. That love shall not fade easily if ever it does. And he will agree to the marriage for he shall do nothing to hurt Erestor in any way. He is unselfish and noble, but when it comes to Erestor, he will be ruthless to protect his secret. Galadriel realizes what she is pushing her daughter into and yet she persists!”
“Will you interfere?” Oropher asked him quietly.
“No, I will not have trouble upon Erestor or Elrond for this. I wish Celeborn could dissuade his wife, Celebrían is walking ignorantly into this marriage. But their matters are not my concern, Adar. My only concern is you,” Thranduil played with his father’s fingers.
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.