1. An Unexpected Arrangement
Chapter 1 - An Unexpected Arrangement
Théoden traveled to Minas Tirith to meet with Denethor, the Steward of Gondor. The visit was purely for business but Eowyn begged her uncle, the king, to let her join him. She had never been to the White City before and longed to see it in all its splendor.
"Please Uncle, I promise not to get in the way. I have heard so much about Gondor and I wish to see it with my own eyes." she pleaded with Théoden. And of course, being her uncle and a father figure to her, he could not resist her puppy dog eyes and gave in.
When they first arrived, Eowyn was awestruck. It was even more astounding than she had imagined. The city looked as if it were carved out of the side of the mountain. There were many levels which rose high above the ground. As they entered through the gates she noticed the stone paved road which wound its way to the very top. She wondered how long it would take to get that high if they hadn't had horses. It already seemed a long time traveling the stone road by horse.
Some levels were lined with houses and apartments. Others were full of shops of all kinds, seamstresses, butchers, herbalists, ale houses. Oh, there were plenty of ale houses. There was everything here in this one city that you would never have to leave. At first Eowyn thought it wonderful to have everything you could ever need right around the corner from your home. But it troubled her slightly to think of all the missed adventures one would have. Many times her and Eomer had gone out to the grassy plains or nearby forests of Rohan to collect herbs, mushrooms or root vegetables for the cooks. They would be gone all day exploring and discovering new plants and animals. They never came home empty handed. It was part of the excitement of finding your own. How sad it would be to not ever experience this. It made her proud to have been raised in Rohan and not behind the walls of a stone city. She loved being with nature. It's where she felt the safest and the most like herself.
The company finally arrived at the topmost area. This was where the Steward dwelled. There was a courtyard with an odd looking tree. Its bark was white and it had no leaves. This was strange being that it was summer. Eowyn thought the tree was dead and couldn't understand why it would be left here. It was an eyesore in this place. Actually, the whole courtyard could use some life in it. There were no other plants or flowers or even gardens for that matter, just this dead white tree, grass and a fountain which barely had any water in it. What a pity she thought. It sure could use a woman's touch.
Eowyn walked up the stairs with Théoden. They came upon two great wooden doors where a guard stood at each one. A third Gondorian approached them. Théoden stated who he was and his reason for meeting with Lord Denethor. They were granted access into the grand hall.
Eowyn looked around as they made the long walk to the throne where Denethor waited for them. This place was nothing like the Meduseld back in Rohan. The Golden Hall of Edoras seemed primitive compared to here. This place was made of stone and marble. Statues of the kings of old lined both sides. It was a very intimidating place.
Denethor sat upon his throne, a smaller one at the foot of a much more grand, empty throne reserved for only a king to sit upon. It was common knowledge that Gondor hadn't had a ruling king in hundreds of years, though that is another story in itself. Denethor was not a king but merely a Steward, someone to watch over things until the king returned. And so now it was upon him to make any decisions concerning the city.
Eowyn looked to her left and noticed a man standing off to the side. He was very tall and handsome. His dark hair came to the top of his shoulders. His face looked worn, as if he had seen plenty of battles. He looked older than Eowyn but she couldn't be sure. So many men who fought in war looked far older than their actual age. It was a side affect of war, aging men before their years.
Her eyes scanned over his muscular body. He was very well built with broad shoulders and a well formed chest. She secretly wondered how many maidens had thrown themselves at him to get a chance to experience first hand just what was beneath his armor.
Eowyn caught herself staring and immediately looked away, afraid she would be caught by the handsome man. She hadn't met many outside of Rohan. This was her first trip so far out of her own city and what she saw was very pleasing. But now was not the time for such thoughts. There was important business taking place between Théoden and Denethor and she wished to listen in on their conversation.
But just as her ears settled in on them, Denethor took notice of her and stopped speaking. He smiled at her and she felt her cheeks heat in embarrassment.
"My Lady, this is no place for one so young. Certainly you must be bored out of your mind." Denethor said to her. He looked to the handsome soldier at his side and motioned to him with his hand.
"Boromir, would you be so kind as to escort this young lady any where she wishes to go within our city? Théoden and I will be a while with our discussions. Go and have some fun. It is not often we get to show off our grand city to outsiders. You can join us later for dinner." and Denethor waved his hand in a shooing motion before turning his attention back to Théoden.
Boromir walked up to Eowyn and held his arm out for her to take. She laid her hand on his forearm taking notice of his hard muscles. Then she looked to Théoden as if asking for permission to leave.
Théoden gave her a gentle smile as only an uncle can. "Go on my child. I know you have been looking forward to this for a very long time. I will see you later. You are in good hands with Boromir."
Eowyn smiled shyly, bowed her head and looked to Boromir. "I guess we can go then."
Boromir bowed his head to Eowyn and led her down the long hall. But just as they were about to exit, Denethor called to them. "Make sure the lady gets anything her heart desires. Tell the shop keepers it is a gift from the Lord Denethor and they will be compensated."
Boromir turned to look at him. "As you wish my lord." The pair exited the hall and walked out into the courtyard.
"What is wrong with this tree? It seems as if it died a long time ago. I can honestly say that I have never seen this species before." Eowyn said as the walked past the white withered mess.
"That, my lady, is the tree of the king. In the days of old it bloomed with delicate white flowers. But this city has been kingless for a long time. The tree no longer blossoms. This fountain is its only water source. As long as the water flows, the tree lives. But there will be no beauty showing on its branches until the king of Gondor returns." Boromir watched Eowyn as she looked at the tree. He sensed a sadness in her. "You have a soft spot for nature I see."
Eowyn blushed slightly when she heard his voice. He was very intuitive. "Yes. I love all things that grow. And it is a shame to see this tree in such a state." she said. Then she took his arm again. "Shall we make our way down to the shops?"
Boromir gave her a smile and nodded his head. "Whatever the lady wants. Those were my orders."
They made their way down to the shopping district. There were so many places to go and they visited most of them. Eowyn was having a rather good time with Boromir. He was very kind and polite. He treated her with the utmost respect. She liked him very much and was comfortable around him. If he was bored with all this shopping he never showed it.
Eowyn decided to put an end to his misery and ask to be taken back to her room when something caught her eye, a beautiful white gown in the window of a dress shop. It had the most intricate detail on it, a vine pattern. The sleeves were long and fanned out at the cuffs. The neckline sat just off the shoulders and was lined with the same embroidered vine detail. She stopped and stared at the dress for a moment. It was truly exquisite, unlike any she had ever seen.
Boromir noticed her stare. "Would you like to see the dress, my lady?" He enjoyed watching her amazement and he wanted to see her in this gown. Boromir was becoming rather fond of Eowyn.
"Oh, you have been so kind as to show me around your city. I'm sure you are bored to death. I will not hinder you any longer." Eowyn said looking at the ground. She felt she had already taken up too much of his time.
"Nonsense. The Lord Denethor said anything your heart desires and I can see you are particularly taken with this gown. Come. Let's go inside. Try it on if it pleases you so. I do not mind." Boromir said smiling at Eowyn. He didn't want their time together to end just yet.
"Well, I guess I can just try it on. I've never worn anything so elegant. I really would like to see how it feels."
They walked into the shop and Eowyn noticed right away how quickly the shop keeper waited on them. Within seconds, the dress was out of the window and in the dressing room. Eowyn was swept away into the back. Two maidens fussed about helping Eowyn into the dress. Then they turned her around in front of a mirror and she saw it for the first time. The dress fit perfectly. It was beautiful. She turned this way and that seeing it from all angles. Never had she worn anything so fitting.
"Well, how does it look?" Boromir shouted from the front of the store. "Come now. Let's see the lady in white."
Eowyn felt awkward showing it to Boromir. She hardly knew him and wasn't sure it was appropriate to be playing dress up for him. But he had been a very good friend to her today. Besides it was just a dress. There was no harm in that. So she slowly came out from the back and into the sight of Boromir.
When Boromir first laid eyes on her his heart beat out of his chest. She was breathtaking. He couldn't look away from her captivating beauty. "Certainly this is not the same young lady I have been escorting today. Before me stands the most beautiful woman in the city. You are simply stunning my lady and you cannot leave the city without this gown." Boromir felt himself starring at her but he could not look away.
Eowyn felt her cheeks burning and knew she had turned bright red at his statement. "You are too kind, my lord. But if I wanted it bad enough, I would buy it for myself. I will not accept it as charity."
Eowyn was very strong-minded and she would not let someone she barely knew shower her with gifts.
Boromir went to her and took her hand in his. "Nonsense! I only speak the truth, my lady. You shall accept this dress as a gift, not as charity. I will hear no more of it. If you refuse, I will be greatly offended and that would not be proper." Boromir smiled kindly. "You do not want to start a war between our cities." he laughed.
Eowyn knew he would not let her leave this place without the gown. She didn't much like the idea of accepting it but he was being rather insistent. That's when she realized Boromir was no different from any other man. Why did they always feel the need to be in control, especially when a woman was involved? But this was his city and she didn't want to show any disrespect. She would have to swallow her pride yet again and accept the dress.
"You have been very kind in showing me around today, my lord. And if you insist, I will gladly take the dress." Eowyn said with not much emotion. She turned and went back to the dressing room to change.
"Where does this gown come from?" Eowyn asked the maiden helping her.
"Oh this comes from Rivendell, my lady. It was made by the Elves. There is no other like it anywhere in the city. We don't normally get attire of this make. My lady is lucky to have come by when she did. Others have been eyeing the dress. Everyone wants it but none could afford it. And to receive it as a gift from Lord Boromir…well…that in itself is good fortune." the maiden said as she helped Eowyn.
"Well, Lord Boromir seems kind but I have a feeling he is not refused very often. It seems he gets his way a lot." Eowyn found no 'good fortune' in being forced to accept something no matter how beautiful it was.
Eowyn was again escorted by Boromir to dinner. He insisted that she wear the gown. She felt she had to honor his wish being a visitor in his city. As they entered the dining hall, all eyes were on her. She had never felt so self conscience before. She was sure she was blushing.
Eowyn took a seat next to Théoden. Boromir sat across from them and next to him was someone Eowyn had not yet met. He was even more handsome than Boromir, and younger. She felt an instant attraction to him. Looking at his eyes, she could tell he had not yet been influenced by war. He seemed much kinder and she wished she had met him first. She could tell right away that this was Boromir's brother, but she waited for a proper introduction.
"My lady, this is my little brother, Faramir. Faramir, this is the lady I have spoken of, Lady Eowyn of Rohan." Boromir said putting emphasis on the word 'little'.
Faramir stood up and reached across the table. Eowyn extended her hand and Faramir took it in his. At their first touch, Eowyn felt a spark of electricity run through her body. Her heart was a flutter.
"It is an honor to meet you Lady Eowyn. My brother has had nothing but good things to say about you. It seems you have made quite an impression on him today." Then Faramir gently kissed her hand and Eowyn felt the heat in her cheeks again. All of this attention was becoming too much and was slightly uncomfortable. She found herself missing the simplicity of Rohan. At the same time she wished to get to know this attractive man better. He had stirred something inside her.
Faramir sat back down and noticed Eowyn's awkwardness. Maybe he shouldn't have taken her hand like that. He himself had felt uneasy doing it but he was just following protocol. He never was very good at introductions and etiquette. His father reminded him of that quite often and he wished he could be more like his brother. But as he looked across at Eowyn again, she smiled shyly at him and his heart raced. She was truly beautiful. And he wished to know her better, if it was not for his brother. Boromir had just met her and was already quite taken with the lady. But Faramir noticed that Eowyn didn't pay attention to his brother. Maybe there was hope yet.
When dinner was over everyone went to a sitting area where conversations got underway. Eowyn stayed close to Théoden. She wished she could just melt into the background and go unnoticed. But there was not much chance of that in this gown. All eyes were on her the entire evening. When would it all end? And to make things worse, here came Boromir with a big smile on his face. It's not that she didn't like him, he was rather nice. But he gave her too much attention and she found it unnerving.
"My Lady Eowyn, I would like nothing more than to talk with you, but my father calls me to duty this moment." Eowyn was instantly relieved. "So I will leave you to be entertained by my little brother." She perked up at this bit of news. "I bid you goodnight my lady." Boromir said as he took her hand and kissed it. She noticed how rough his lips were and remembered how Faramir's felt much softer. She watched as Boromir leaned to Faramir as if to whisper something in his ear. But he spoke loud enough for her to hear. "Now, mind your manners, little brother while entertaining the Lady of Rohan." Then he smiled to Eowyn and said, "He is still learning the ways of the court. Goodnight."
Eowyn felt the awkwardness of the moment. She looked at Faramir and saw the anguish in his face. She could tell he was tired of the ridicule from his brother and felt bad for him. It must be hard to live in someone's shadow. Maybe she could make things easier and tell him she was ready to retire for the evening. Then he too could be put out of his misery.
"It has been a long day so maybe I'll just see myself back to my room." Eowyn said trying to make this as easy as possible without offending anyone.
"I understand, my lady. Boromir is a much better host than I."
"Oh, I didn't mean it like that. It's just, I can see your mind is somewhere else. To be honest, I'm not much for all this royal treatment myself and I rather miss my home right now." Eowyn said hoping he understood she meant no disrespect.
Faramir offered his arm to Eowyn and she accepted it. He lead her off to the guest quarters. As they walked past a balcony he stopped to take a moment to look up at the stars.
"What do you miss most about your home?" he said in a soft voice not much more than a whisper.
"I miss hearing the winds sweep across the grassy plains. I love the sound of the rustling grass. And I haven't seen trees in days. I never realized how comforting it is to sit under a tall oak and just listen to the birds call to each other. I will never again take it for granted. But don't get me wrong. Your city is absolutely beautiful and I'm sure no other will ever compare to it. It's just, I miss Rohan is all. I have never been away this long before." Eowyn hoped she was not making matters worse.
"Well, I have never been there but Rohan sounds intriguing. I would very much like to visit your city someday. But duty keeps me bound to Minas Tirith." Faramir turned to look at Eowyn. He thought she was very beautiful. She didn't seem like the type to be drawn to his brother and he wondered what took place between them. But it was none of his business and besides, no one had ever refused the attention of Boromir.
"My brother seems quite taken with you. I have never known him to spend so much time in the city shops before." Faramir wanted to know what she thought of Boromir.
"Oh, well, your brother was very polite. He insisted on buying me this dress though I don't think I'll have much use for it at home. It won't be easy tending to the stables while wearing it." she laughed trying to lighten the mood they both seemed to be in.
"You, the Lady of Rohan, tends to the stables? Don't you have servants for such things?" Faramir asked. There seemed to be more to this lady than he thought.
"Well, yes. There are stable mates whose job it is to take care of the horses. But I rather enjoy getting my hands dirty. I have helped to raise every foal since I was a child. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the birth of a horse and knowing you helped to bring a life into the world. And as they grow and gain your trust, oh, there is nothing like it in all of Middle Earth. There's nowhere I'd rather be." Eowyn seemed to lose herself in her thoughts. She could almost smell the sweet hay and longed to be home.
"You see, this is what I wish to experience." Faramir said suddenly. "I know nothing of grasses or trees or horses. I only know of cold stone and fighting and my father's pestering for me to become a great leader. But deep down in my heart I want none of this. If I could have and was born to a different bloodline, I would like to have been like the Rangers of the north, always traveling and avoiding danger along the way. They lead such a mysterious life, free to go about as they please, never under the rule of any one king. You are very lucky to have been raised in Rohan and experience the things you have thus far."
Eowyn had to laugh. "You are not the first person today to tell me of my luck." She looked at Faramir and for the first time noticed his young face. So unlike his brother he was. She felt his sadness. It must be awful to feel stuck in your life. She wished she could cheer him up and found herself doing something she probably shouldn't have done since it was not proper etiquette. She leaned into Faramir and kissed him slowly and lingeringly on his cheek. "I'm glad you are not like your brother. And I hope that some day you will get to experience the world. There is more out there than stone and marble. Maybe you will visit me in Rohan one day. I would enjoy the company and the chance to show off my city, as primitive as it may seem to you."
Faramir was almost speechless. He was still in shock from her kiss. But he managed to snap out of it. "I would like that very much, my lady, very much indeed." He wondered if she had kissed Boromir like that. Maybe this was a custom in Rohan. Whatever it was, it felt nice and he found Eowyn to be quite captivating.
Eowyn thought Faramir was very handsome. He had a gentle demeanor, unlike Boromir. He was easy to talk to and he was a good story teller. Quite a few times, he made her laugh. She was glad Boromir was called away. She may never have gotten the chance to get to know Faramir better and finally it felt that luck was truly on her side.
They stayed on the balcony and talked for a very long time. As they got to know each other better, they realized they had a lot more in common than they first thought. A spark had been lit between them. They shared a comfort with each other that they'd never felt before. Conversations came so easily. They laughed at each others jokes and enjoyed their stories. They were having such a wonderful time, they wished it would never end. But the night was getting late.
Faramir delivered Eowyn to her quarters. "I'm glad we had this time together, my lady. You are very good company."
"I had a wonderful time, Lord Faramir, but you were wrong about one thing tonight." Eowyn said.
Faramir looked confused and hoped he hadn't offended her in some way. "And what was that, Lady Eowyn ."
She leaned forward and whispered in his ear, "You are a much better host than your brother." Then, for the second time, she kissed him on the cheek.
Faramir blushed slightly to feel her breath in his ear and her lips on his face. "Thank you, my lady." he said with a smile.
"Please, call me Eowyn. It sounds much less formal. And I rather like hearing you say my name."
"I rather like saying it. Goodnight, Eowyn. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow." he said and bowed to her. She slipped inside her room and shut the door. Faramir turned to walk away but stopped a moment and looked back. If only he had met her first instead of his brother. He liked Eowyn very much. She was unlike any woman he had ever met, confident, kind and very beautiful. And he thought she liked him too. But Boromir's charms were never ignored. He was sure his brother had already won her heart. Maybe she was just being nice to him since she was stuck with him for the evening. Faramir hoped this was not how it was. She would not fall under Boromir's spell so easily. Eowyn had a strong will. But what would a woman like her ever want with someone like himself. Faramir was more of a daydreamer than a fighter. His future was already put before him, even if it wasn't what he wanted.
Earlier that night, as Faramir was entertaining Eowyn, Boromir was busy with his own plans. He was not called to duty but instead went to his father. Denethor had filled his head with all the reasons why Eowyn would make a good wife and Boromir had decided she was the one he wanted. Denethor had told him the only way to marry a woman like her was to ask her king for an arrangement. Boromir went to his father to ask permission to speak to Théoden before he left. Denethor agreed that it made perfect sense for his favorite son to marry Eowyn. Gondor and Rohan would become closer allies and make stronger bonds because of this marriage. The Steward and his son would speak to Théoden before they left.
The next day, Eowyn was looking for her uncle when she came upon Faramir sitting on a bench in the courtyard.
"Good morning, my lord. It is such a refreshing day is it not?" Eowyn was in a good mood. Today they set out for Rohan. She was glad to be leaving though a part of her would miss Faramir.
"Please, my lady, call me Faramir. I never was one for titles. You seem to be rather cheerful this morning."
"Oh, yes. It is a wonderful day. I have not felt such joy in a long time." she said. She had thought about the previous night talking with Faramir. He had cheered her up and she was glad to be seeing him again. She decided she wanted to spend the rest of her time here with Faramir and had built up the courage to ask him to show her around.
Noticing her bliss, Faramir assumed Boromir had asked Eowyn for permission to court her. Boromir had gone to him last night and told him of his plans to marry the lady of Rohan. Faramir was the one who told his brother to ask her first instead of making an arrangement without her knowledge. This is why he thought Eowyn was so ecstatic.
"You must have already received the good news." Faramir said, thinking Eowyn had spoken to Boromir. "A marriage is more successful when a proposal has been accepted as opposed to an arrangement between two separate parties."
Eowyn looked at Faramir with confusion. "What in Middle Earth are you talking about? What marriage? Proposal? Arrangement? Is there a wedding taking place that we must attend before we leave? If there is more business for my king to attend to then maybe today you can take me sightseeing. Our little talk last night really cheered me up and made me forget about Boromir and the dress and his pushiness. And I'd much rather spend the time with you. I had a very nice time with you last night." She noticed Faramir's face was contorting from confusion. "I'm sorry. I'm rambling. I do that sometimes when I am nervous. Please, explain what is taking place."
Faramir took a second to realize what she had said about wanting to spend time with him and not Boromir. It was not going to be easy to tell her the news that was meant to come from Boromir. But it was already out in the open and he had to tell her. Oh, why couldn't he have met her first.
"My lady, I thought you already knew. Boromir has asked for an arrangement for your hand in marriage. If your king agrees, you are to be promised to Boromir in which you will become his wife." These words felt sour on his tongue, especially after learning that she had had a nice time with him last night and wanted to spend more time with him. What cruel joke were the gods playing on him?
"Me? Boromir asks for my hand in marriage? But we only met yesterday. I do not know him that well. How could he think of marriage already? And what nerve does he have to ask everyone's permission but mine? Just who does he think he is? No! I will not agree to this." Eowyn was fuming with anger. How dare she be treated like this. She was not for bargaining and treaties, to be traded like cattle for the good of her own realm. Again she looked at Faramir with squinted eyes. A thought crossed her mind. Maybe Faramir was not as he seemed to be.
"You had something to do with this, didn't you? And here I thought you were nothing like your brother. But you played his little game last night, keeping me busy while he was off making 'arrangements'. Well, I will not be a part of this. I wish I had never come to Minas Tirith and I wish I had never met you!" she yelled. Eowyn stormed off to look for her uncle and talk him out of this agreement.
Faramir wanted to run after her and tell her he knew nothing about all of this but she was too angry to see reason. It was better to just let her go do what she needed to do without any interference from him. Faramir just hoped for the opportunity to tell his side of things, that he was as much a pawn as she was.
Eowyn found Théoden but it was too late. Arrangements had already been made, papers were signed. To back out now would be considered treason.
"I'm sorry Eowyn. But after speaking with Lord Denethor, it seemed like the right thing to do. Lately the days grow dark. Evil stirs in Mordor. Word comes from the Elves of times of war. If there were ever a time that our two cities needed each other it is now. This arrangement will only solidify our allegiance to one another. We cannot trust the Elves to help us fight this time. They care not, for they leave these shores ending their time here in Middle Earth. Who else is there, Dwarves? They will just dig deeper in their caves. They care nothing for the problems of Men. No. It is in men that we must put our trust and alliances. Please understand. Boromir is a great warrior. His men will follow him to the end. And he will come to our aid if the time ever arises. He is a good man. You will learn to love him. He already feels love for you."
Tears filled Eowyn's eyes as Théoden spoke to her. Once again she was being told what to do. She did not love Boromir and doubted she ever could. Yes, he was a good man and would take care of her but this was not how she saw her wedding. She had always thought she would meet someone, fall in love and marry for the same reason. With her cheerful mood destroyed, she just wanted to run away. But looking at Théoden's expression made her realize he honestly thought he was doing what was best for his people. She threw her arms around Théoden, cried and gave up all hope of ever being truly happy and in love.
"I will do as you wish, Uncle but only for the good of our people and our land. That is how much I love Rohan." Eowyn barely got the words out between sobs. Théoden just held her and comforted her.
Today they were journeying back home. Eowyn ran off to the stables to retrieve her horse. She was the first to arrive. A quick check of the fit of the saddle and she was ready to leave. She hoped Théoden would show soon and she could avoid seeing Boromir before they left. That's when she heard the sound of footsteps entering the stables. She closed her eyes and readied herself for a confrontation if it was Boromir. Having spent the remainder of her time in Minas Tirith avoiding the brothers, it would be the first time she would see him since the arrangement was made and she would not go down without a fight. Her feelings would be known. Maybe then he would change his mind and call off this fake marriage. Slowly she turned to face the intruder.
"Faramir! Oh, I thought you were your brother. I must admit, as mad as I am to see you here, I'm glad it's not your brother. I don't want to see him right now. I hope to leave your city and not see him at all." She turned back to her horse and made a few last adjustments before mounting her steed. Faramir laid a gentle hand on her arm before she could climb onto her horse. Eowyn turned to look at him, fire in her bright eyes. "I do not wish to speak to you."
"My lady, I should never have been the one to tell you of Boromir's proposal. But, I swear to you I didn't know of Boromir's intentions. When he asked me to entertain you I was doing just that. He said nothing about what he was doing that evening until after I saw you to your quarters. When he told me of his plans for an arrangement, I told him to go to you first. And then this morning you seemed so happy, I thought you knew already and said yes to him. I had no idea he had not even approached you first. That was very wrong of him. I have always believed that a woman should have the right to marry whomever she wishes. Arranged marriages just lead to heartache and eventually death." This last part he whispered.
"You speak as if from experience." Eowyn said giving Faramir her full attention. There was something about him she did not know but she guess correctly. "You speak of your mother, don't you? Is that what happened to her?"
Faramir looked away as if to revisit the past. "Yes. My mother was promised to my father. She tried to love him. He was never a good husband. He cared not for my mother. But their arrangement was made and nothing could change it. She became pregnant with Boromir right away and my father had his heir, his little warrior. I was never meant to be. My mother became pregnant with me as a last effort to win my father's love. But nothing changed. He resented her for having another child and so has resented me my whole life. Eowyn, if there were ever a time for you to go against your king it is now. I beg you not to go through with this marriage. You are too strong and courageous to wither away in a loveless marriage."
Eowyn was shocked to hear his words. She felt bad for telling him she wished she'd never met him. He truly hadn't known any of this would happen. But what could she do now? Things were already in place. This whole situation made her sick to her stomach. She was caught in the politics of war and war had yet to be declared.
"I'm so sorry for yelling at you. I thought you were a ploy in this whole ugly mess. Faramir, you have been nothing but kind and understanding towards me. But I don't see how I can change things. Boromir is a good man. A little pushy at times but nothing I can not handle. No one pushes this Shieldmaiden around so easily. And he says he loves me. That makes a difference."
"But do you love him, Eowyn? A marriage should work both ways and not be one sided. You are beautiful and strong willed. You deserve better." Faramir spoke from his heart. If only he could tell her of his feelings for her, but that would not be appropriate.
Eowyn looked into Faramir's eyes and saw compassion there. Was it he who loved her? For a moment she felt flattered. Faramir was very handsome and kind and gentle. She wasn't sure if she loved him having just met him, but she could definitely see it was worth giving it a try. Then reality set in. She would never have the chance to find out what could have been between them.
"It is too late for me. I have already agreed to go through with the marriage. It is for the good of our people that I do this. I wish only the best for you, Faramir. I hope that one day you find your true love and that she loves you in return. Be true to yourself and follow your heart. You are full of all the good qualities that a woman wants in a man." Eowyn laid a hand on his arm.
"Goodbye for now Lord Faramir. It will be a pleasure to see you again." she said to him. They looked into each others eyes for a moment. Then something came over Faramir. If he didn't do this now, he may never get another chance. Slowly he leaned into her.
Eowyn found she could not move. Faramir came closer to her but she could not look away. Curiosity got the better of her. She had felt his soft lips on her hand and longed to feel them on her own lips. She leaned into Faramir and met him half way. He brushed his lips against hers careful not to kiss her too quickly. This may be the only time he would get to do this and he wanted to remember every touch.
Faramir expected Eowyn to pull away but she didn't. She stayed still and let him explore. His kiss was so soft and gentle. He did not rush the moment.
Eowyn returned his kiss. It was so innocent at the moment, lips touching lips. Faramir longed for more and made the move to deepen the kiss pushing slightly harder against her mouth. She didn't protest but matched his moves. Then he knew she wanted this as much as he did. Eowyn took it even further and brought her hand up to touch his face.
Faramir felt the tingle from her touch. He took the kiss to the next step as his tongue searched for entrance to her mouth. She did not resist but allowed him entry. The shock of feeling their tongues touch was exciting. Their senses were heighten and the kiss deepened even more. Tongues danced and twirled around each other. Breathing became heavy. Eowyn's hands wrapped around his neck and in his hair. Faramir's hands traveled up and down her back. There were other places he wished to put his hands, but he did not dare for fear of scaring her off. It seemed this fiery kiss would never end.
It was Faramir who broke free first. He looked at Eowyn. Her eyes were still closed as if she didn't know the kiss ended. Slowly she opened them and returned his gaze. They smiled at each other and then realized what had just taken place. They simultaneously backed away from one another but their gaze remained.
"I will not apologize for my actions." Faramir said. "I think I had wanted to do that since we met and I may never have another opportunity to do so again. If only I had met you first, before my brother did. Then this may have been the first of many kisses we would share and your wish for my happiness would already have come true."
"As much as I enjoyed this, we mustn't let it happen again. It just wasn't meant to be, Faramir. But I will not forget this moment."
Eowyn mounted her horse. She reached out her hand to Faramir and he gladly took it. "Goodbye Lord Faramir. Until we meet again." She released his hand and rode out of the stable. Faramir just stood there and watched her disappear.
"There goes the woman of my dreams." he said to himself. "And with her goes my heart."