Heart of Stone: 18. Wager

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18. Wager

Haldir crossed the room in an impatient pace and then back again. Calavénë did not return to his talan the night before. He feared of what had happened, what Calavénë did after the talk with Mirnimmeril. Haldir could guess that she might have returned to see her parents. It was his hope, everything went well. He continued to pace the room and when finally his feet tires, he walked outside to the balcony.

Haldir could see a figure of a warden walking towards his talan. He looked closer and saw Mebedir. It appears he was coming for a visit. Haldir waited at the top of the stairs for his friend and officer to arrive, "Mebedir! What a wonderful surprise. What brings you here so early in the day?"

Mebedir smiled and patted Haldir's broad shoulders, "I have wonderful news to tell you. I am beside myself with joy."

Haldir chuckled, "A joyous news? Then we must hear it accompanied by wine and fruits. Come! Let us proceed into my talan."

The two wardens walked inside and sat in the living room. Mebedir watched as Haldir walked into the kitchen and returned with two goblets of wine and a platter of cheeses and fruits. He sat them down and offered the delicacies to him, "Eat Mebedir. Now tell me, what is this news?"

Mebedir graciously accepted the goblet, "First Marchwarden, tell me, how are you recovering?"

Haldir laughed, "We are here to talk about your joyous news and yet you ask me of my health. I am well mellon nin. My arm and shoulder are recovering beautifully with Calavénë's and my brothers' help. Now let us not delay the good news!"

Mebedir smiled, "I have decided to marry, Haldir…"

Haldir's eyes widened at the news, "Marry! This is truly wonderful news! Congratulations are in order. Never have I thought you would settle down. All the other elleth these past years did not take your fancy. Tell me of your intended!"

A faint blush appeared on Mebedir's cheeks, "Oh, she is wonderful Haldir. She is beautiful and kind. She is very intelligent and has a way with words. Her hands are delicate and her hair soft. I have watched her for a long time, thus I asked her hand in marriage from Lady Galadriel."

Haldir frowned, "Why ever for? It is only necessary to ask the permission of the said elleth's parents."

Mebedir chuckled, "Not if she is Lady Galadriel's maiden."

Panic rose inside Haldir's heart. The Lady's maiden? Who? Was it Calavénë or Mirnimmeril? It must be Mirnimmeril. Calavénë would not have treated him this way, promising herself to him and Mebedir. Haldir spoke with a trembling voice, "Who is it Mebedir?"

Mebedir sat the goblet down, "Why, it is our own healer, Haldir. Calavénë…"

The words echoed in his mind, spinning and finally came crushing down on his heart. Haldir's heart was leaping from his chest, wanting freedom to fly and tell Calavénë of its feelings, "Does she return your affections, Mebedir?"

Mebedir smiled again, "I believe so, Haldir. The way she talks to me and the way my hand sometimes touches hers…"

Suddenly anger rose inside him. How dare her! After all that they have been through together! He was right all along. Elleth are not capable of love and loyalty! Haldir could feel his heart breaking all over again and hot tears were on the verge of falling down. He stood up abruptly, startling Mebedir, "Forgive me, mellon nin. But I have forgotten of my audience with the Lady. If you will excuse me…"

Mebedir was confused. What happened? Surely he did not have an audience with Lady Galadriel for the Lady was enjoying a row on her boat this morning. Something was amiss and Mebedir did not want to argue with a troubled Marchwarden. He stood up, bowed and left quietly.

Haldir watched as Mebedir left his talan and almost immediately he fell to his knees, tears rolling down his cheeks. He had not cried for hundreds of years now, not even when Gwilwileth betrayed him. He clutched his chest, trying to console his heart. With mere words, all her promises of love have gone and within moments Haldir has lost the ability to breathe. Carefully she planned it and I came to know just moments too late, Haldir thought. Why do I love you? I do not want to but why do I love you like I do? You should have told me, Calavénë. Why did you have to be untrue?

The pain was unbearable. It was far worse than having a sword embedded in your shoulder. It was far more excruciating than having an axe on your knee. It was as if someone has crushed your heart from inside. He was heartbroken yet again, "WHY? Why Calavénë?"

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Galadriel waited on her boat this morning. Calavénë was to join her so that they may discuss Mebedir's proposal. Soon, she could see the shape of an elleth walking towards the pier. Calavénë looked gloomy and sad. She watched her walk with heavy steps, mirroring the burden in her heart. She has much to think of with Haldir but now with this proposal, will she break or will she soar? She stood at the pier waiting for the boat to come closer.

Calavénë made her way to the pier, waiting for the boat. She was anxious of her audience with the Lady of Light today. There are some questions she wanted to ask and she was the only one capable of answering it. The boat stopped and Calavénë boarded it with grace. The boat was white with beautiful carvings of the stories of the Eldar. Lady Galadriel sat upon her pedestal, enjoying the fruits from the land. When she saw her, a smile formed on her lips, "Come, pen dithen. Join me."

Calavénë sat down next to her, weary of their meeting. Galadriel smiled. She could sense her tension, "Worry not henn. There is no punishment in this meeting. I summoned you here to discuss a matter of impending union."

The elleth waited for her to continue. It was clear she had no idea what Galadriel was referring to. The Lady of Light continued, "Yesterday someone had come forward to ask your hand in marriage."

Calavénë stared into nothingness. She knew it would not be Haldir but she hoped, "Is it Haldir, my lady?"

Galadriel could sense the sorrow in her heart for she already knew the answer to that question, "I am afraid it is not, pen vuin. It is Mebedir and I find the match very agreeable. What say you?"

Tears brimmed in her eyes as she tried to find words to speak, "I will not hide the truth from you, my Lady. But my heart lies with Haldir. I cannot accept this proposal."

Galadriel reached out and touched Calavénë's hands, "Even if he does not return your love? You have a chance at happiness here my daughter. Mebedir is a very kind hearted and brave ellon. He will love you fiercely and protect you passionately. He will make a good husband."

Pearly drops of tears rolled down her cheeks. Truly, she cannot accept Mebedir. Her heart, her body, her mind and her soul belongs to only one elf and that is Haldir. There was truth in the Lady's words but she has set her heart and it could not be bent. Galadriel managed to read her and smiled, "Do not make any decisions in haste. Return to Haldir, talk to him and hear what he has to say. I hope you will find the answers you are looking for and I hope it will bring the three of you happiness. I have said once before, when we first met. I help you make choices but in the end the decision is entirely yours."

Galadriel pulled the crying elleth in her arms. Calavénë was shaking like a leaf. The pain in her heart was severe. Haldir did not tell her about his love, if there is any. She wanted so badly to hear the words. Le melon… The words that will solve almost all of their problems. Galadriel held her close, "You once said to me, you are following your heart. Do that now, for it is true, your heart will never let you go astray."

Calavénë cried in earnest now. Between her sobs she managed to ask her question, "My lady, is there really life without love? Can you truly spend your life with someone you do not love?"

Galadriel stroked her golden hair, "Life without love is not life. It will be as a painting without colour. Life without love is not life; it will be flowers without scent. Life without love is not life. It will as the sky without a moon. You cannot truly live with someone you do not love, henn. But there are many kinds of love and love could be nurtured. However, true love is something that comes by once in a while and that is something you cannot make happen. It just does…"

Calavénë raised her gaze and looked at the Lady. Her wisdom was beyond words but her kind heart was far greater, "Thank you my Lady. I will make my decision after I have given everything a thought. I shall return to Haldir and hope for the best."

Galadriel nodded, "That is the proper way of the Eldar. I am very pleased that in this short time of my tutelage, you have become a fine elleth, Calavénë. Come let us enjoy the treats before we row to shore."

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Haldir drew his bow, aiming at the mark he carved on the tree. His arm hurt and his shoulder ached. He did not care, for nothing could compare to the hurt in his heart. Why did he allow himself to the hurt yet again? Haldir released the arrow and for the first time in his life, he missed. Anger festered inside him. His mind was distracted and his soul uneasy. He took a deep breath and drew back the arrow in his bow. He took a deep breath and released the arrow. He missed for the second time and this time he threw the bow to the ground. He took an arrow from the quiver and ran towards the tree. He plunged the arrow in the tree, panting as he did.

He stepped back and looked at mark. The arrow stood murderously on the name, Calavénë. He rested his head on the rough bark. Tears fell from his eyes. His heart burned with rage and grief. She lied to me, he thought.

Lightning flashed through the sky and the mighty roar of the thunder followed. The weather in Caras Galadhon had been gloomy of late. Perhaps the residents of the city of light felt the shadow falling across the land. A splash of water fell on his cheek. Haldir could not tell whether it was his tears or the rain. He forcefully brushed it away and gathered his belongings. It was time to return to his talan which he knew would be empty and cold.

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Calavénë sat in the living room, looking at the doorway. She has been waiting for Haldir to return home since evening. Now night has fallen across the land and she was beginning to worry. Haldir was not as strong yet and if he was to be ambushed by orcs, he would not be able to fight them off. She stood up, now pacing the length of the room. Heavy footsteps could be heard climbing the stairs. Calavénë ran outside and saw Haldir returning home in his sodden uniform.

Haldir climbed the fleet of stairs and came to a halt on the platform when he saw Calavénë standing there. She looked worried, perhaps for him. He looked at her but said nothing. He merely walked past her and made his way into the talan.

Calavénë was surprised to see him in such state. She followed him, "Haldir, where have you been? I have been beside myself with worry. You should not be wandering around far from Caras Galadhon. You are still not well."

Haldir set down his bow and quiver. He turned to face the elleth, "Why is it any consequence to you? Who am I to you? Who are you to me?'

Calavénë was aghast, "What do you mean? Why are you saying this Haldir?"

Haldir sat down on the chair made from beautiful chestnut wood, "I meant what I ask. Why do you care so much, Calavénë? Who am I to you and who are you to me?"

Calavénë looked at him with eyes as dark as night, "You are the love of my life and I am the elleth who loves you will all her heart."

Haldir chuckled, not saying a word. Calavénë could feel the tears welling up inside her eyes, "How is that funny? Why does it amuse you Haldir?"

Haldir now stood up facing her, face as stern as a lion, "It amuses me melethril because you say you love me and yet you seek to marry Mebedir!"

How did he know? Calavénë thought. She looked at him, questioning him with her eyes. Haldir laughed cynically, "Mebedir stopped by earlier today to deliver the wonderful news of your impending nuptials."

Calavénë closed her eyes. She did not expect Mebedir to speak to Haldir this soon. She tried to compose herself as she tried to find the words to speak, "No, I did not promise him anything. He came to Lady Galadriel and sought my hand in marriage."

His laugh was cold and distant, "You lie! You sought to play with my heart, just like Gwilwileth! You are nothing but a lying and cheating witch!"

Calavénë was offended, "I am not! What did he tell you? What did he say to you?"

Haldir shook his head, "It does not matter what he told me. What matters is he told me enough. Enough to make me see and understand that you did not love me. You never did!"

Calavénë walked closer to him, "What of you Haldir? You accuse me of not loving you and yet here I am, leaving behind my family, forsaking the laws of the Eldar. I shared your bed and brought you pleasure. If that is not love, I do not know what is. What do I get in return? Nothing except for your vile and cruel accusations."

Haldir was quiet; he wanted to say something but hesitated. With a shaky voice he spoke to her, "Give me proof…"

Calavénë spun around, surprised by his words, "Proof? Of what?"

Haldir looked at her with a piercing gaze, "Proof of your love to me. I have guarded my heart carefully these few years. I will not give it away so easily. Prove it. Make me trust you."

Calavénë looked at him with tears in her eyes, "What proof do you want of me Haldir? I love you and I will oblige to your every wish. You want my life? I will gladly give it up…"

Haldir walked closer to her. He stood in front of her, only inches apart. There was a long pause before he finally spoke, "I do not want your life. If you love me there is one thing I would want from you…"

She looked up at him, trembling with anticipation, "What Haldir? Name it…"

He held her arm and pulled her close, "Let me bed you…"

Calavénë pulled away immediately. The realization of how heavy the burden of his request dawned on her, "Haldir! You know I cannot do that!"
Haldir walked towards her again. He could see the elleth backing away from him, "Why? You would have me give up my heart in return for your love. I treasure my heart above all else. I would have you wager your purity for my trust. Come to my bed. I will show you pleasure and the true extent of my love. That is the proof I want. You take pride in your purity and I, my heart. It is a fair wager…"

Tears of sorrow fell from her eyes as she looked at him, "You told me once, you have no need of taking me fully to love me. Now, you tell me, to love me, I must let you take me… What kind of love is this Haldir? I cannot… I will not…"

Haldir sniggered, "Of course you will not. You do not love me, Calavénë. Go! Go to Mebedir. He is a perfect match for you!"

Calavénë backed away towards the door, "I did not think you are this cruel Haldir…" She turned around and ran down the stairs. Haldir could no longer see her.

Haldir closed his eyes and when he opened them, they glistened with tears. He had to do it. It was for the best. Mebedir is better suited for her than he was. He was marred, an ellon with no ability to love. He cannot love her the way she deserved to be loved. Mebedir would give everything up to have and hold her but not Haldir. He was not even willing to give up his heart. He stood in the middle of the room motionless. His heart was heavy with grief and when he finally could speak, all he said was, "Calavénë…"

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The moon was high in the sky. It was two hours past midnight. Calavénë slept in her bed alone, with her tears as her companion. Was this the finality of Haldir and her? Was this how they were supposed to end? Why did Mebedir meet him before she could have her time with him? What now? Is she to accept Mebedir's proposal?

Calavénë stood up. She cannot accept the proposal. She loves Haldir to much to be with another. His words echoed in her mind, "You would have me give up my heart in return for your love. I treasure my heart above all else. I would have you wager your purity for my trust. Come to my bed. I will show you pleasure and the true extent of my love. That is the proof I want. You take pride in your purity and I, my heart. It is a fair wager…"

She stood by the window of her talan, looking up to the moon. Was this the price to pay for falling in love? Did she truly love him with all her being to forsake everything and come to him? Would she be able to face her ada and naneth after this? Could she let her parents suffer humiliation for this? She closed her eyes and prayed silently, "Nienna, Lady of Mercy… guide me… I have cried for his safety and I have cried for my love. Elbereth… Queen of the Valar shine your light on me and on Haldir. Bless us and the life we shall lead before us…"

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Haldir lay on his bed, lost in his thoughts. Today was not a day he would want to remember. He sent her away. He said things he did not intend in order to spare him the hurt and to save her from the pain. The notion of her marrying Mebedir was too hard to bear. He closed his eyes, hoping sleep would come swiftly. In his dreams he would go to a land of his own. Perhaps there, Calavénë would be his.

A knock on his door caused his eyes to open abruptly. Haldir sat up, looking at the doorway. Then he heard it again. This time he was sure someone was at the door. His steps were weighed and he moved slowly towards the door. It did not even cross his mind who was it at the door. He was not here in his talan. His heart and his soul were with Calavénë, somewhere. He pushed the talan door open and was surprised to see the image of his reverie standing before him, "Calavénë! What are you doing here?"

Calavénë did not wait for his invitation and stepped inside the talan. She was eerily calm and indeed in control of her emotions. She walked to the centre of the talan and finally turned around to face him. Her face was forlorn and she had a tray with her. She placed the tray down and lifted the piece of cloth covering it. Haldir could see that it was a platter of fruits and wine. She looked at the Marchwarden, "I am here as you wanted me to… To prove my love for you…"

Haldir stood by the doorway, incapable of speech. Never did he expect her to be here in his talan, offering herself to him. Calavénë was an elleth of virtue. She would not have agreed with what he was asking her to give up. His voice cracked when he addressed her, "Calavénë… I did not expect you to be here tonight. Return home…"

Calavénë looked at Haldir with soft eyes. There was no anger or judgement in her eyes. She walked closer towards him. She handed the wine goblet to him and watched as he emptied it, "Why? You want me here and here I am. I love you Haldir with all my heart and if this is what it takes for you to believe me, to trust me, to… love me… then so be it." As she finished her sentence, she dropped the robe clothing her body to the ground.

Haldir looked at the elleth in front of him, eyes dark with desire and fear. There she stood in naught but her own flesh. She was beautiful. Numerous times have his eyes gazed upon her body but tonight she looked divine. Her golden hair flowed to her waist. Her skin smooth and supple. Her breasts sat proud upon her chest and her hips curved down to a pair of long legs. Haldir could feel himself hardened. He averted his gaze almost immediately, "Cover yourself melethril. Return home…"

There was a long pause. Haldir dare not turn his body around. A pair of soft hands stroked his back. Haldir clenched his jaws as she touched him. A warm body felt close to his. The feel of her lithe body close to his chased away all coherent thought. His breathing was now uneven and he tried moving away from her. Calavénë held him still, not wanting to let go, "Haldir, I love you…"

She could feel him froze at her words. A tear fell silently down her face. He was hesitating and it broke her heart. She let go of him and walked in front of him. She looked into his eyes and saw his desires. She embraced him, looking deep into his eyes, "Le melon, Haldir o Lorien… Gîl síla na lû govaded. Le no an-uir nîn?" Calavénë tip toed and kissed him, the same and familiar kiss. She left her lips lingering on his, waiting to elicit an action from him.

Haldir lost all sense of control when she asked him the question and when she kissed him. He lifted her into his arms, his lips not leaving hers as he kissed her with fervour. His kisses were hasty in his passion yet soft in his love. Calavénë circled her arms around his neck, drawing him in to deepen the kiss. He carried her to his bed, desperate to feel her skin. He laid her gently as he stepped back to lose all his clothing.

Calavénë sat on the bed, looking at the Marchwarden she loved. His body was broad yet he was slender. He looked heavy but when he pressed her, he was as light as a feather. As he stripped of his leggings, he looked at Calavénë again, "Are you sure this is what you want?"

Calavénë could only nod. Her lips trembled as she watched Haldir come closer to bed. With one fluid move, she was in his arms. He kissed the top of her head and then down to the bridge of her nose. Then he kissed her eye and finally he planted his soft lips on hers. His kiss was not rushed. He took his time, tasting her. His kisses began to grow in passion, deeper and harder. He licked her bottom lip, demanding, pleading for entry and she obliged. He plunged his tongue inside her mouth, meeting hers in a mating dance. He pressed his mouth harder and he could hear her moaned and whimpered under his touch.

Calavénë pulled away, gasping for air. Her eyes widened; Haldir had never kissed her like this. Her body tingled with desire and trembled in fear. Tonight their lovemaking with be complete. Tonight she will be one with him. Haldir licked her ear, gently nibbling her lobe sending shocks of passion down her spine. She arched her body into him, wanting to feel his skin. Haldir licked across her collarbone dipping his tongue in the nook of her throat. He kissed lower, making his way down the valley of her chest. Calavénë's breathing came in waves, crashing into her lungs. His hand cupped her breasts, kneading and stroking.

Haldir could feel the hardened buds on her breasts. The more he teased it, the longer and harder it became. He kissed the mounds of her breasts and finally caught the teased bud of one breast in his mouth. Calavénë pressed her head into the pillow, "Haldir… oh…"

He licked around it. He licked over it and he sucked hard on it. He could feel her trembling body responding to his touch. His hand travelled to her belly, stroking with the back of his hand. The rich scent of her desire reached him and fuelled his desire even more. She gently opened her thighs, letting him in. He traced the length of her sex with two fingers and he found her slickened with ardour.

Calavénë cried out in pleasure when his thumb massaged the pearl of her folds. It hardened under his skilful touch and Calavénë could feel her body wanting more of this. She bucked her hips forward trying to create more fiction. Haldir held her, "Do not rush this, lirimaer…"

He moved lower, scooting down the bed. He lifted his body and nestled in between her thighs. She looked at him, eyes anticipating the feel of his tongue. Her patience was rewarded as the tip of his tongue licked the length of her sex. Calavénë grasped the sheets around her. Her back arched and she closed her eyes, "HALDIR!"

He continued his ministrations. His tongue swirling around her folds, tasting the fluid trickling from her, "You are so sweet meleth, like honey with salt…" Haldir moved lower, waiting to take her small erection into his mouth. He blew gently towards it and that made her shudder. He smiled and moved forward to catch the nub in his mouth. He sucked gently and then harder, alternating his actions. Calavénë could not take this sweet torture any longer. Moments later she came with no sound but her body shook and trembled.

Haldir waited for her to relax before proceeding. He moved higher, positioning himself. He looked at her once again, "Are you certain…"

Calavénë was still lost in the sea of passion; she could only muster a, "Yes…"

Haldir brought the tip of his arousal to her entrance. He pushed in slowly, trying not to hurt her. His eyes never left her face as he inched a little more inside her. He could feel her tightening around him, "Dithen cugu, calm yourself. I do not want to hurt you…"

Calavénë relaxed and Haldir pressed on. He could feel a restriction as he moved forward. The moment of truth, Haldir locked his eyes with hers, "Look at me… Do not close your eyes. Are you ready?"

Calavénë held to his body and kissed him, "I am… take me…"

With one hard thrust, they finally became one. Calavénë felt slight pain as she adjusted herself to his girth. He was large and hard inside her. She bit down on her lip, moving her hips slightly. Haldir closed his eyes as the feel of her velvety canal engulfed him. She was wet and warm. He did not move immediately. She needed to adjust to him before they could continue their lovemaking. He kissed her again, wetting her lips. As he let go of her, he could see the eagerness in her eyes, "Are you well? Shall we…"

Haldir could not finish his sentence. Calavénë bucked her hips and the pleasure that it caused Haldir was immense. He began thrusting inside her, slow and steady at first. Calavénë was surprised at the way her body yielded to him and now they are one. The feel of his hard arousal inside her was nothing she ever felt before. So this is what makes a maiden and a married elleth different, she thought to herself.

Haldir moved faster. His own desire could not be contained. His thrusts became harder and urgent. Calavénë could hardly keep up. Her breathing became ragged as surges of pleasure hit her each time he thrust deeper. Her head fell back on the pillow, sighing and whimpering as he moved deeper inside her. Haldir lifted her leg and settled behind her. He brought his fingers down on her clitoris, rubbing as he thrust deeper and faster into her.

Calavénë could not utter a word. There was a blinding flash in her brain, making it hard for her to read what she was thinking. The pleasure was earth shattering. He swirled his fingers on her hardened pearl and thrust even faster. His name had become an erotic chant as he drove inside her, hitting home again and again. Their bodies were reaching the peaks fast. Haldir bit down on her shoulder, licking her earlobe. Calavénë closed her eyes, the ecstasy taking her to new horizons. Her sobs of pleasure mixed with her pleas and his name came to an end when she arched her body into him and it shook with great force as her orgasm took hold, "HALDIR!"

Her canal tightened around him. He could feel the rush of liquid flowing down his arousal. The feel of her tightness around him sent him to his blissful death. With one last thrust, he spilled his essence, his seed inside her. Both of them lay in bed, incapable of speech. Their bodies trembling and glistened with sweat. Haldir kissed Calavénë's neck, not wanting to withdraw from her. He felt oddly sleepy. Perhaps it was the lovemaking since he has not gained his full strength.

When he did finally withdrew from her, he was getting really sleepy. He turned her around and kissed her lips. He smiled at her, looking at the elleth underneath him. Calavénë's skin glowed under the dim light of the moon yet her eyes were sad, "What is the matter, pen vuin?"

Calavénë smiled, "Nothing, Haldir. You look like sleep is upon you. Rest. We are both weary."

Haldir nodded and settled down behind her again, pulling her close to him. He kissed her back again and heard her say, "I love you with all my heart. Remember that even if…" Her sentence was lost to his ears as sleep finally took claim of him.

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Calavénë sat on the edge of the bed, fully clothed. She looked at Haldir, her Marchwarden. She stared at the wine goblet across the room, on the table. Her mind raced back to the incident earlier today…

Thand stood angrily in his talan. Word had reached him about her iell's choices. Some where even saying that she has been sharing the Marchwarden's bed. He waited for her return from her boating trip with Lady Galadriel. Laugoneth looked at her hervenn. She tried to talk some sense into him but it seems he was far too enraged to be calmed down. Thand saw his iell walking up the talan and once she was in it, he closed the door behind.

Calavénë stood in front of her father, frightened by his demeanour, "Ada… Are you well? What is the matter?"

Thand turned around, "I am not well. I have heard… rumours about you and… and the Marchwarden. Tell me, are the rumours true?"

Calavénë looked at her ada, "What are the rumours saying ada?"

Thand's gaze did not leave his daughter's, "That you are in love with him and you have been sharing his bed!"

Calavénë closed her eyes. She could not lie to her ada, "Then what you heard are not rumours but…"

Thand walked closer to her, "But what?"

Calavénë lifted her face to look at her ada, "But the truth…"

She closed her eyes again as a sharp pain graced her face. Laugoneth was shocked by her hervenn's actions, "Thand! You do not strike at your grown child."

Thand was angry, "I was being kind. I should have her head for this! No one and I mean no one in our family had led a life like yours Calavénë. You shared his bed, even when you are not bonded in marriage. You declare love and yet you do not bring him here to meet us. I dare not ask this, but are you even still pure?"

Calavénë gasped, "Ada! Of course I am. How could you think to that extent?"

Thand grabbed her arm, "I do not know what to think but so help me Eru, if I find out you are no longer pure, I will personally send you to the Halls of Mandos!" Thand let her go and walked out of the talan. Calavénë fell down to the floor, crying at her predicament. Laugoneth came to her iell's comfort.

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Calavénë walked home with a heavy heart. What Haldir was asking went against the entire rule and the laws of the Eldar. Not to mention, his ada would disapprove. What was she to do? She loves the both of them and to defy one will mean she will lose either one.

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She has made up her mind. Calavénë took a vial of sleeping draught and poured it into the wine bottle. She will bring this to Haldir's talan. She packed a small rug sack with her clothes in it. If tonight she became one with Haldir, she would have disgraced her parents. But if tonight she did not go to Haldir's, then she would lose his love. She would leave Caras Galadhon, live somewhere no one knew her. That way, her parents will not be humiliated and she could shield herself from seeing Haldir with another, for she was sure, he will not love her as she has him. She took a tray and filled it with fruits and placed the wine bottle on it. She took a deep breath and quietly made her way to his talan.

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She glanced over her shoulder again. The Marchwarden was still asleep. It was almost dawn and the sleeping draught will do its work for eight hours. He will not rouse until late in the evening in which by the time, Calavénë would be long gone from Caras Galadhon. Where would she go? She would travel to Rivendell and seek refuge there at least until the war of the Ring has ended. Calavénë was told by Galadriel that the army of Rohan was moving towards Dunharrow and Mithrandir and Pippin were on their way to Minas Tirith. War was imminent she told Calavénë.

If she could not find refuge in Rivendell, then she would venture further to Mirkwood, with hopes that the mighty King Thranduil would allow her to stay for she is a friend of his son, Legolas. She looked at Haldir again. She climbed on to the bed and held him in her arms one last time, "I love you Haldir, very much. But I know you do not. I could not give you more time but I hope with what you have taken from me today, you will remember me. Perhaps, when you do love someone, you will learn to treasure her as I have you. Le melon…"

She bent down and kissed him. Tears fell from her eyes, down her cheeks and on to Haldir's forehead. She stood up and took her sack. She walked towards the door and turned around once again, to look at him one last time. A sad smile formed on her face, "I love you…" With those words, she closed the door behind her and left him forever. She did not know where to go or whether she would be accepted anywhere. She did not know whether she could survive these dark says alone without Haldir's love and without her family with her.

-------------------------------

Henn - child
Pen vuin – dear one
Le melon, Haldir o Lorien… Gîl síla na lû govaded. Le no an-uir nîn? – I love you, Haldir of Lorien. A star shines on the time of our meeting. Will you be mine forever?
Lirimaer - love
Dithen cugu – little dove
Iell - daughter
Hervenn - husband

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.

Story Information

Author: luthien85

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 08/15/10

Original Post: 06/21/10

Go to Heart of Stone overview

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