4. Training Ensues
Calavénë awoken early today. Light had not yet crept upon the land and the encampment was still as night. Calavénë tossed and turned in her bed. She returned to the encampment wearing a soiled gown. She shook her head; what impression did she gave Orophin when he saw her yesterday? She lay flat on her back, staring at nothing.
She could not sleep. Each time her eyes close, she would see Haldir's face. She was afraid of him that was clear. She was also oddly drawn to him. No doubt that he is a mighty warrior. His exterior would melt the hearts of many elleth, herself included. But he had the heart of stone. Never before did Calavénë meet someone so detached and cruel. True, he did not take away her purity but the way he treated her last night was unforgivable!
Calavénë took a deep breath. Was it really unforgivable? If so, why did she enjoy the moment she had with Haldir? Why did her body respond to his touch and why did she cry out in pleasure? She was shaken by what happened. But more importantly she was surprised at her own reactions. It was easier to put the blame on Haldir for she did not want to believe she wanted it.
Her mind drifted to the encounter at the lake. She remembered how his body felt against her. Her breath became uneven as the memory of how his tongue tasted her ran through her mind. The temperature inside her talan rose tremendously. She could feel her body getting hot and bothered. She recalled how his tongue swirled around in her centre and how she writhed under his touch.
Calavénë rose from her bed, "This would not do! I should have known better! I am the Maiden of Galadriel. This is beneath me!"
She shook very body vigorously hoping the thoughts would disappear. She let out a frustrated groan as the memories of last night's debauchery lingered in her mind still. A bath is what I need to help clear my head, she thought. She reached out for her wash cloth and made her way back to the waterfall.
The swim in the lake helped calm her turbulent mind. She walked back to the encampment ready to learn with Master Annoguil. As she was walking she saw an ellon sitting by the fire. She was delighted to see Orophin. She wanted to make sure he was not too concerned for her.
"Fin! Good morning!" Calavénë greeted her friend. He did not turn. Perhaps he could not hear me, she thought.
Calavénë walked closer and addressed her friend again, "Fin, I am sure I gave you quite a scare last night. I thought I heard a wild animal. I tried to run but stepped on my gown and fell into the lake. I hope you were…"
The ellon in front of her turned around. Calavénë froze. It was Haldir. Calavénë instinctively stepped back. Panic rose inside her.
Haldir saw the change in her demeanour, "My lady, forgive me for-"
Calavénë raised up her hand when she saw Haldir walking towards her, "Nay, Haldir. Do not come near me…"
Haldir watched as the young elleth turned the other way and walked hurriedly to her talan. He sat down near the fire again and ran his fingers through his hair. Last night was a mistake on his part. He should not have treated her thus. But there was something about this elleth that drove him over the edge. Perhaps it was her innocence. It has been a long time since Haldir believed an elleth could still be innocent. He wanted to test her, push her to the very boundaries of moral.
A sigh of regret escaped Haldir's lips. What will happen is Lady Galadriel knew of this matter? He remembered very clearly what happened the night before. He could not put the blame on her. He seduced her, making her body crave for his touch. She did not stand a chance when he decided he wanted to tempt her. She was still a very young elleth. She has many years to go before she can finally control her passion. He should have known better for he was much wiser in years compared to her.
Haldir turned his gaze towards her talan. He will ask for her forgiveness and will be more than willing to accept the reprimand.
Not far from where Haldir was sitting, Rumil watched curiously at what had transpired between his brother and Lady Calavénë. Something was amiss. The lady was afraid of him. Haldir was cold and proud, that he admits but never fearsome. Why did he see so much fear in Lady Calavénë when she saw Haldir? He was determined to get to the bottom of this!
Calavénë made her way to the healing tent. It was her first day as a student and she was eager to learn. She entered the talan and made her way to Master Annoguil.
"Suilad, herdir Annoguil. How are you this morning?"
Annoguil turned around and was please to see Calavénë, "My lady! It is wonderful to see you this early in the day. It is a sight for my wearied eyes. Are you ready to begin your lessons?"
Calavénë smiled and approached the healer, "Yes, herdir. I have nothing else to occupy my time with. I should begin right away and exercise my skills to help you here."
Annoguil nodded, "We have been understaffed of late. Lorien did not have many healers to begin with and now most are stationed at the eastern border where Orcs' attacks has been hardest. Well, I thought today I would teach you how to clean and properly dress wounds. We shall start slow."
Calavénë spent the whole morning and part of the afternoon learning about how to clean wounds and how to dress the wounds. She was learning fast and soon she was already helping Annoguil treat the wounds of the wardens.
Dusk was almost upon them. Calavénë had just finished treating the wounds of two young wardens who accidentally injured themselves in a sword fight.
There was a commotion outside. Calavénë stood at the entrance and saw Haldir and Orophin running in such haste. They gathered a few wardens with them and headed towards the border that lie one hour from the encampment.
Calavénë watched as Rumil approached the tent, "My lady, where is the herdir?"
Calavénë looked inside the tent, "He is attending to an ellon, Rumil. He has taken a turn for the worse. The wound on his leg has been infected."
Rumil nodded, "I do not wish to interrupt his work but do inform him that our Marchwarden and twenty other wardens are heading for the border. Orcs are attacking and reinforcements are needed. The herdir and you should be prepared for an incursion of the wounded."
Fear seemed to take hold of her. She did not expect her skills were to be tested this soon, "Very well Rumil. I shall inform the herdir. We shall be prepared."
It would be hours before any news was heard from the border. Calavénë sat nervously in the tent, waiting for the wardens to return. She was worried for Orophin. He was indeed the first ellon that had befriended her. She was also worried about Haldir. She marvelled at herself. How is it possible for her to loathe the Marchwarden and at the same time care about him?
Her reverie was cut short when Rumil came running inside the tent, "Herdir, they are here! Orophin is hurt!"
Calavénë gasped. Her friend was hurt. It was as she feared. She watched as Haldir and Mebedir placed a weak Orophin into a bedroll. There was a deep gash on his abdomen and he was bleeding profusely. Annoguil was quick to act. He came upon Orophin with towels and poultice to help stop the bleeding.
Calavénë carried hot water and some healing oil and began cleaning the wound. Orophin winced at Annoguil touch, the pain was unbearable.
Haldir looked at the healer, "How bad is the wound herdir?"
Annoguil looked up at the concerned brother, "It is bad, I would not lie. But I will do everything in my power to heal him."
Haldir and Mebedir stepped aside to allow Calavénë and Annoguil perform their duties. Haldir watched as the young elleth wiped the blood from his brother's body. He was afraid for him. Orophin had sustained the injury trying to protect him. Haldir did not see the Orc behind him. Orophin jumped in front of him when the vile creature lunged and slashed his body.
It was a good hour before Orophin's condition stabilized. The wound had stopped bleeding and he was breathing evenly. Calavénë took the soiled towels and placed them in the basin. She washed her hands and shuddered at the amount of blood that soiled her dress. She was thankful she did not falter when they brought Orophin in. She crossed the tent to wash the towels when she saw Haldir sitting near entrance.
There was a large gash on the side of his face and it was still bleeding. He did not seem to care for his thoughts were still on his brother. Calavénë approached the warrior. She stood beside him and it took him a few moments to realize she was there.
Haldir looked up when a shadow fell upon him, "My lady!"
Calavénë watched as he stood up abruptly, "You are wounded Haldir."
Haldir suddenly became aware of the pain on his face. He touched the wound and found it still bleeding, "I believe I am."
Calavénë shook his head, "Do not touch it. Come with me."
Haldir stared at the elleth as she walked towards a bedroll in the back of the tent. She is very peculiar. After what he had done to her, he would expect her to be vile and cruel towards him. Instead he finds her warm and nurturing.
Haldir sat down on the bedroll. He watched as Calavénë took a basin and filled it with hot water. She came up to him and wiped the grime and blood from his face. Haldir recoiled at her touch. The warmth of the water stung his face.
Calavénë retracted her hand abruptly, "Did I hurt you?"
Haldir shook his head, "No matter, my lady. It only hurts a little. Nothing I cannot handle."
Calavénë hid a grin from the Marchwarden. Even in pain he is proud. She unconsciously shook her head.
Haldir saw this and was confused at what was amusing her, "What is it that you find humorous, my lady?"
Calavénë blushed to be caught red handed, "Nothing my lord. It was something I remembered from my childhood. Now, hold still as I need to place this salve on the wound. This might hurt."
He watched her fingers came closer to his cheeks. She was very intelligent for she applied the salve away from the wound working her way towards it. This way she would not have caused further pain to him. He closed his eyes, revelling in the feeling the elleth's fingers granting him.
Calavénë saw the Marchwarden close his eyes, enjoying the smooth feeling of her fingers. She bit on her lips. Was she pleasuring the ellon? She did not know that her fingers could do such wonders. Her mind drifted from the task at hand and her fingers accidentally grazed upon the wound.
Haldir inhaled sharply and grabbed Calavénë's wrist. She was surprised at his action but did not protest against it. She knew it was her fault for her mind was distraught.
Haldir opened his eyes. The wound on the side of his cheek burned. He could feel the heat from the salve seeping into his flesh. He looked at the wrist in his hand. A crease formed in between his eyes. There were some lacerations on her wrist.
Calavénë pulled away when she noticed him studying the marks on her wrist. Haldir reached out again and softly pulled her hand back to his attention.
He saw the marks and knew it was from the vines he tied her with last night, "I did this." He said in a confessing tone.
Calavénë stood there not knowing what to say. He held her wrist and looked at the elleth before him, "Calavénë, forgive me for the way I acted the night before. I did not intend to go so far."
Calavénë was confused by his words, "You did not intend to go so far? You mean to say you had intended to torment me but not to that degree?"
Haldir could see Calavénë's defences coming up, "Ay, this I must confess. When I saw you at the lake I wanted to torment you but to only kiss you. I did not know what came over me…"
Calavénë lost her train of thought when Haldir brought her wrist to his mouth and kissed the welts on it. She gasped and pulled her wrist away.
"No, Haldir. Please. I am one of the Maidens of Galadriel. I should not be doing this or what we did last night." Calavénë swallowed hard. She said we. She was a part of what happened last night, there was no doubting it. She did not stop him with all her might. Instead she succumbed to his seduction.
Haldir looked down at his feet, "Which is why I feel all the more responsible for what had transpired. You are still very young my lady. I should have been the one with more sense and self-constrain. Will you tell anyone of this my lady?"
Calavénë smiled. The mighty Marchwarden was afraid of something at least. She shook her head, "Nay, Haldir. I would not tell anyone, especially not Lady Galadriel. I would not jeopardise my honour or yours for that matter." Calavénë was telling half the truth. She did not want Lady Galadriel to find out that she actually found pleasure in what had happened.
Haldir stood up after she had finished dressing his wound, "Thank you my lady Calavénë. You are an elleth with a golden heart. I truly regret what had happened. I hope in time I could gain your trust and perhaps be your mellon."
Calavénë watched as the Marchwarden left the tent. She smiled in amusement. This was certainly not the Marchwarden she met yesterday.
She turned her attention to Orophin, who was now beginning to stir. She walked closer to him and told him to rest. She watched as her friend drifted back to sleep. Tonight she will be by his side, tending to his needs. She will return him to his health, be sure of it!
Suilad – greetings
Herdir – master
Mellon - friend