8. Pieces of the Puzzle
So the journey continued. Although Rúmil was quick to make friends with the younger elves, he continued to sleep near Gildor and Elrilon, as the captain was never far from the elf-lord. The brown haired elf clearly wanted to keep a close eye on Gildor. This being the case, the young Silvan often found himself alone with the captain while Gildor took his nightly walks. Rúmil learned that Elrilon was one of the oldest elves on Arda; he was a Noldo and had fought in many of the great battles. All the things the dark haired elf was willing to share were stored in Rúmil brain as pieces of the puzzle that was Gildor.
"Were you born in Valinor?" Rúmil asked the captain one evening.
Elrilon smiled. "No, but my father was. He came to Arda with the exiles. My mother was born here."
"Are there others in the Wandering Company who were born in the West?" Rúmil inquired casually.
The Captain laughed. "You are a curious one, and clever. Yes, there are one or two others, but I will not disclose their names." Rúmil blushed, knowing he had been caught trying to get information about Gildor. "Look penneth. I care greatly for my lord and will never betray his confidences. I like you though and I think your feelings for him are honorable. Mind you, if you toy with or hurt Gildor in anyway, I will gladly become a kinslayer."
Rúmil looked at the ancient elf and knew his words were no empty threat. "I care about him greatly also. However, of what good does that do me? I am a child to him, a charge given him by Lady Galadriel. He would have no interest in me. I fear I have set my sights on one I cannot have." Rúmil sat with his knees drawn up and now rested his chin on them. He looked so rejected that it nearly broke the captain's heart.
"Look," Elrilon said softly, "You may be much younger, but there is an intelligence and manner about you that belies your years. Gildor has noticed it and I know he watches you, and not as a guardian watches a charge. You are smart and I know you will soon figure out who Gildor is. That being said, I will give you one more bit of information and then ask me nothing of him again." Elrilon watched as Rúmil nodded his head. "He believes he is held by the curse of the Noldor, though he was born after that curse was proclaimed."
Rúmil stood. "I have watch duty, now," he said. "Thank you very much for all your help. I promise I do not look to play with Lord Gildor's affections. I may be young, but I know the difference between lust and love." With that said he left the sleeping area, jogged across the encampment and took his post in a tree overlooking the horses.
Gildor returned from his solitude in time to see the pale head vanish in the darkness. "He is taking another watch?" the elf lord asked his captain.
"He is a responsible elf. He wants to earn his keep." The two sat in silence for a few moments. "How long will you just sit back and watch him? You know, I have heard several of the other warriors commenting on him. They think he is most desirable."
"He is young; he should enjoy the pleasures of his age."
The captain shrugged. "Perhaps, but I do not think he is one to take such pleasures lightly. I think his soul longs for something more deep. I fear he might get his heart broken," Elrilon said indifferently, lying back on his bed roll.
"I will rip apart anyone who hurts him. He is a caring soul and I will not let him be prayed upon." Gildor's words came out in a harsh whisper.
The captain smiled to himself. Yes, he was right. Gildor cared for the youth. Now to really get the elf lord thinking "Well, I agree. In fact, he and I have had some enlightening discussions while you are gone each night. He is not just a handsome face; his body is quite pleasing as well. I wonder if he would be interested in an older elf." Elrilon did not need to see the jealousy in Gildor's eyes to know it was there; it was palpable. He hoped it was enough to get Gildor to open up a bit more to the young Silvan. He heard Gildor settle in for the night. He had done all he could indirectly. Now it was up to Rúmil to solve the puzzle and break down the walls around Gildor's heart.
Rúmil spent most of his time on guard duty in a tree thinking on all the little bits of information he had gathered on Gildor. The remembered back to the conversation he had heard in the library. Gildor had called Galadriel aunt. He was very old, might have come from Valinor and had some connection to the Noldo. Aunt…something about that really nagged at him…who were Galadriel's siblings? Which had children? And who was known for their golden hair? Glorfindel was Vanya - they had the rich golden hair - and Gildor's was like the Imladrian captain's. So many pieces, yet he felt the answer was really as plain as day. After he retired for the evening, he found his dreams filled with erotic images of Gildor. They lay entwined in passion; the only thing between them was Gildor's chain. Rúmil tried to focus on the pendant, but it eluded him. He woke with a start as the dream lovers reached completion. He looked about anxiously, hoping he had remained silent; he was relieved to see his companions in deep reverie.
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