10. Truth and Broken Promises
The company of the Rohirrim had finally arrived at their meeting point in Dunharrow. Legolas thought it was and odd place. Eowyn was right about its security. The road up the side of the cliff was indeed very narrow. At times, it seemed impassable even for a horse. When they reached the top, he found tents already erected, the largest being for Théoden. Eowyn's tent was also ready for occupancy.
Aragorn and Gimli stood looking at the small tent they were to share. Legolas smiled and laughed to himself. He quietly walked up behind his friends, startling them. "I must warn you, Aragorn, if you are to share this tent with the Dwarf you may not get much rest. He snores."
Gimli shot Legolas an annoyed expression. "I will not be made fun of by some pointy eared prince! And besides, I do not snore."
Just then Merry walked by. "Oh yes, you do. Kept Pippin and me up for a whole night one time. I'd suggest finding different sleeping arrangements, Aragorn." he said as he kept on walking.
Legolas and Aragorn laughed at his statement. Gimli did not think too much of it. "Hobbits!" he said shaking his head.
Eowyn was in her tent, putting a few things away when Eomer entered. "Mind if I come in?" he asked.
"Of course not. We have not spent nearly enough time together lately." she said looking at his face. He looked tired. So much had happened in the last year. Eomer seemed so different to her. "Life is so much different now, isn't it brother? So much has changed in the world since we were children." She looked up calling to mind their childhood. "Remember when we would visit the woods? We had so much fun then, discovering the different plants and animals. I'll never forget the time you found that slimy toad and shoved it down the back of my shirt. You were always doing things like that to me. I hated that." she said with a laugh.
Eomer sat next to his sister on her cot. "Yes well, it was pay back for all those times you made me play house. That ugly doll of yours was your husband and I had to be the baby. That was the worst game of all." Eomer chuckled at the thought.
"I almost forgot about that." Eowyn laughed as the memories seeped back into her mind.
"Well, I never forgot. You would hold that doll in your arms and dance and twirl around the trees while describing the man you would marry. Do you remember? He would be tall, a strong warrior and the most handsome man in all of Middle Earth. He would see you and instantly fall in love with you." Eomer stopped and laughed before he went on. "And you would get married in one week." He looked at his sister. "Oh what I wouldn't give to be back there now."
Eowyn suddenly thought about Legolas' proposal. She hadn't told anyone. "You know, I wasn't too far off the mark about that imaginary husband, a tall handsome warrior."
Eomer looked at Eowyn, furrowing his eyebrows. She knew that look all too well and knew what he was about to say. "What are you implying, sister? Is there something you want to tell me?"
Eowyn felt her cheeks flush pink. She took Eomer's hand but could not look him in the eye as she started to speak. "A few nights before we left Rohan to come here, Legolas asked me to marry him, in the way of the Elves." Slowly she raised her eyes to see his expression.
Eomer looked away. He had feared things might get to this point. It was something he regretted. "And what did you say?" He held his breath waiting for her answer.
"I told him I needed time. I could not give him an answer. He explained how an elvish marriage comes about. It is called a binding, which I will not discuss with you for it is private. But it is what will happen later that worries me." She proceeded to tell her brother about the sacrifice Legolas would eventually face for loving her, that he would die when she was no more. "He deserves more than that and I can not give it to him. I know without a doubt that I love him very much. I am torn in two, Eomer. I don't know which path I am meant to follow."
Eowyn began to cry. Eomer held her in his arms and comforted her as only a brother can. He thought of the secret he held from her. He was in turmoil with his thoughts now. He had wanted to tell her the truth about Faramir but never found the right moment to do so. She had spent every spare chance with Legolas. Now she gave him this latest news. He could not tell her now. Damn that Elf he thought to himself. He could only hope that Eowyn would come to her senses and realize a life with Legolas would be a tough road to follow. Maybe then, he could break the news of Faramir to her and she would rekindle a friendship with him. The longer Eomer held out on telling her, the harder it would be to do it. He felt guilty but at the same time, he thought he was making a good decision. Eowyn was happier than she had been in years with this Elf, though he could not understand why.
Eomer wiped the tears from his sister's face. "Eowyn, I have seen you grow into a beautiful, smart woman. You have a tough choice to make. A life with Legolas will be challenging. Just know that whatever you decide to do, I will support you. I will always be there for you."
Eowyn looked at him surprised at how calm he was. "You have grown too, brother. Thank you for listening to me and not telling me what to do. I know being with Legolas will be hard, especially as I get older. But I think I love him so much that I am willing to risk it all."
Eomer got up to leave. He looked down at Eowyn and lifted her chin making eye contact. "For a life changing decision like this one, you must not think but know. Sometimes one word can make all the difference. Get some sleep. I will see you tomorrow. The king says we leave in three days."
Eowyn spent this alone time playing out different scenarios in her mind. Would the people of her city accept this relationship with an Elf? What would Théoden say when he learned of their love? Then there was the fact that Legolas was a Prince. How would that come into play? Would she become a princess? Would their marriage complicate things with the two cities, Mirkwood and Rohan? Denethor had tried to use her to gain Rohan. Would Legolas' father do the same? Would Théoden declare war on Mirkwood?
Suddenly a vision came to her that she hadn't acknowledged in a very long time. It was Faramir. Why was she thinking of him all of a sudden? She began comparing her love for Legolas with that she so briefly shared with Faramir. Eowyn and Legolas had been friends before they were lovers. It was slow to grow and made it feel much more complete. What she felt for Faramir was instant. When she first set eyes on him, she knew she loved him. However, the arrangement with Boromir complicated everything. Had she been free to love Faramir, she would probably be with him this moment. She may have never even met Legolas. She would not have to make this decision now. For a brief second Eowyn's mind flashed back to that night in the secret cave with Faramir. He had been so loving, taking things slow and letting her guide the way. She missed him. He was her first beloved, first lover, first everything. She wondered where he was and if he was safe. Had he met another and fallen in love? Did he ever regret his decision to leave her? Would she ever see him again? But why would she want to? He broke her heart. He took her virginity and never spoke to her again. Still, it happened so fast. There was no explanation, no apology, and no closure.
That was it. That was what was holding her back from being completely with Legolas. Deep down, she still wondered about Faramir. She needed closure. The way things ended seemed so unnatural for someone like Faramir. He was always so sweet and loving with her. She never imagined he could be so cruel, so heartless. A part of her never accepted this and needed to know if it was the truth or not. Suddenly she knew what she had to do. Eowyn needed to see Faramir. He owed her an explanation, her closure, an absolute dissolution. Then maybe she could move on and bind her soul with Legolas.
Nevertheless, this brought on a completely new set of problems. War was about to ensue. Gondor would be under attack, if they were not already. Faramir would surely be engaged in more pressing matters. Now was not the time. This would have to wait. If everyone made it out alive, only then could she follow out her task.
It was the night before the men were to leave for Gondor. Their numbers were low. Théoden wished more had come but they would make due with what they had. They had an oath to keep to Gondor.
Legolas was with Eowyn in her tent. They hadn't spent much time together since arriving. Legolas was busy going over maps and plans with Aragorn and the king. At night, he was on patrol, using his elf vision to look for any possible attackers. Now it was their last evening together. Aragorn told him to go to Eowyn and be with her. If Arwen were here, that is where he would be.
"I wish you would not leave, Legolas. I am worried for you, for all of you." Eowyn said. They were lying on her cot, entwined in each other's arms. Legolas laid delicate kisses on her shoulder.
"I wish to not leave your side, melleth nin. I will miss your sweet scent, your soft warm skin. I find a comfort in your arms that I will miss deeply. You give me strength." he said moving her hair aside and kissing her neck. She was so beautiful and he wanted her, but this tent would not provide much privacy. They tended to become rather vocal when they made love.
Eowyn felt him harden against her backside. She wanted him, to feel that connection of oneness when he was inside her. He was her safety. When Legolas was near, nothing bad could happen. He was her protector, her tall handsome warrior from childhood dreams. Why could she not say yes to him and spent a lifetime like this, in his arms?
She rolled over so that she was facing her Elf. She looked deep into those beautiful azure pools. It was as if she could see a never-ending universe in them. Eternity. She saw it within his eyes but could not see herself there. They would never have eternity.
Legolas saw tears well up in Eowyn's eyes. He kissed her wanting to take away her pain. He wanted so badly to bind himself to her, but he could feel her apprehension. Why was it like this? She had told him she loved him. Everything felt so right. Why could she not say yes to him? Why was she hesitant? Then a thought came to him and for the first time since meeting Eowyn, he felt the first inclination of heartache. She still loved Faramir. Somewhere deep within her soul, Faramir was still a part of her. She could not completely let go. But why? He had broken her heart. Legolas had never treated her with anything but love and respect. Why would she still feel for the man who was so cruel to her? If someone else occupied even the slightest part of her soul, they could not bind. A binding required giving your complete soul over to the person you loved and trusted knowing they would cherish and keep it safe for eternity.
"You still love him, don't you?" he asked before he realized he said it aloud.
Eowyn rolled onto her back and stared up at the tent ceiling. "What are you talking about?" she said trying to sound innocent and unknowing.
"Eowyn, don't play games with me. I can see it in your eyes. Somewhere deep down, you still hold a flame for the love you once shared with Faramir. Please tell me the truth."
"I don't know, Legolas. I have not thought of him in a very long time, not since I opened my heart to you. I have come to realize that I have no resolve. One minute he was telling me how much he loved me and the next minute he was just gone from my life. I did not even see him. He did it in a letter. I think I needed to hear it from him and see it in his eyes. I cannot say for sure that I still hold any feelings for him. But I would like an explanation."
"And you are justified, but it has been a year since you've seen or heard from him. I am here, right now; ready to take you as my wife. I love you, Eowyn. I have ever been honest, faithful and loving. I need you, all of you."
"I have no doubt about my love for you. You have treated me better than I probably deserve, but I need closure. I must confront him before I can give myself wholly to you. It feels like an open door in my heart. It needs to be sealed shut so that I can go forward. Only then do I feel that I can give you my soul."
Legolas laid his hand on the side of her face and with his thumb, wiped away a tear. "I don't want to lose you, meleth nin, but you feel so strongly about this. Just as I must leave in the morning with the company, you must see this to an end. But you cannot find him now."
Eowyn sat up and put her head in her hands. "I don't know. War is upon the city as we speak. It is not safe to travel there now but I feel I have no other choice."
It upset Legolas to think that she would jeopardize their love and her existence to find Faramir. "I will not allow you to leave the safety of Dunharrow. You will not risk your life to chase after a man who just used you and threw you away." Legolas said, his voice becoming angry. Why does she have to be so thick headed he thought.
She did not much like the tone he was taking with her. He was beginning to sound like a man, ordering her around and that did not sit well with her.
"Please, Legolas, understand that this is something I must do on my own." she said staying calm. "I know you are just looking out for my well being but you have forgotten that I am a Shieldmaiden of Rohan. I can take care of myself."
"Like you took care of yourself back in the Glittering Caves?" he said remembering how she tripped and almost died at the hands of an Orc. Legolas got up from the cot and walked across the tent. He did not want to quarrel with her. He put his hand on the back of his neck and thought about a solution to this problem. It would do no good to make her upset. If he were going to win her heart, he would need to help her find what she sought.
"I will look for Faramir. I want to help you heal. Let me do this for you. You should not do this alone and you should especially not go anywhere near the battle." he said with concern. He worried that she would try to do something on her own. Eowyn was not the type to sit and do nothing and Legolas feared she would.
Eowyn was grateful for his help but she was not about to let someone take on a task that she thought was hers to accomplish. She did not want to argue with Legolas the night before he left. She would rather curl up in his arms and lay delicate kisses over his body. So in order to avoid any further altercations she did something she thought she would never do to Legolas. She lied.
"You are right. It is too dangerous. I will stay here and hope the war ends victorious." she said with her most innocent, womanly voice. Then she patted the cot with her hand and smiled impishly. "Please come back to bed. This is not how I thought we would spend our last night together. We don't know how long it will be until we see each other again and I want to have something to remember you by."
Legolas could not resist her when she seduced him with her charms. He was a mighty archer, an unforgiving warrior, a Prince in his own land but with one bat of an eyelash from Eowyn, he was putty. He walked over to where she sat on the cot and stood in front of her. Looking down he watched as she began unlacing his pants, her fingers carelessly brushing against him, making him harden instantly. As she started to remove his leggings, Legolas grabbed her small hands.
"Promise me you will stay put, Eowyn. Do not do anything rash." he pleaded with her one more time.
She knew she could not make such a promise but she would not worry him anymore. Eowyn nodded and smiled up at Legolas, while at the same time grabbing hold of his ever-hardening member. He watched as his body disappeared into her mouth. Legolas threw his head back and moaned. He let her continue her ministrations until he could take no more. With one swift move as only an Elf can do, he had her pinned to the cot, kissing her madly. Her breathing was heavy with anticipation of what he would do next.
Legolas pulled up the skirt of her dress and his hand found her moist warmth. There would be no time for undressing. He nudged a knee between her thighs forcing her legs apart. As soon as he was in position, he impaled himself deep within her walls. His mouth covered hers to stifle her moans. The cloth walls did not serve well to protect their privacy. At this point, neither one cared who heard as they set their rhythm.
Eowyn looked into his eyes. "I love you, Legolas. I want to be with you always. I promise not to leave you. You are all I want in this world."
Legolas pushed deeper within her body and let out a moan of carnal passion. "Then you will bond with me when I return?" he asked slowing down his motions. "Will you be my soul mate, my wife?"
"Yes, Legolas Thranduilion. Yes… oh yes." she moaned as her orgasm exploded throughout her body. Legolas joined her as he spilled his seed.
They held their position letting their bodies recover and their breathing slow. Legolas slowly softened inside her before he slid from her and came to rest at her side. He looked at Eowyn to find her smiling with satisfaction. She looked so happy and at peace. Why she felt so strongly about seeking Faramir was beyond Legolas' thinking. However, it was something she would need to do and she would not rest until then. If that is what it took him to claim her soul, he was willing to wait. When you are immortal, you have a high tolerance for patience.
Eowyn was sleeping in Legolas' arms when he heard the canvas door rustle. He looked up to see Aragorn enter the tent.
"Legolas, I must talk to you. We have a visitor. Lord Elrond waits for us." Aragorn said and left through the door.
Legolas carefully got up so as not to wake Eowyn. He got dressed and joined Aragorn outside. Gimli was with him. They went to Théoden's quarters where Lord Elrond was waiting and entered. Legolas put his hand on his heart and bowed in a proper greeting to the Elf Lord.
"It is good to see you all. You have been true to the fellowship and Rohan thus far. But now it is time to take a new path." Elrond said to the three companions. Then he turned his attention to Aragorn.
"It is time to claim your rightful place as King, Aragorn. Gondor needs you now but you will not find victory with help from Rohan alone. You must follow the Paths of the Dead. It is time for the dead to fulfill their broken oath to the one true King. They will follow the one who wields the blade of Narsil."
Aragorn looked at Elrond with apprehension. "But the blade is broken."
"It has been remade." Elrond said and from under his cloak, he pulled out the sword and handed it to Aragorn. "Will you take the path you were born to follow?"
Aragorn studied the sword before he looked to Elrond. "I will. It is time to come out of the shadows." Then he looked to Gimli and Legolas. "I do not ask you to follow me. This is my journey to take and mine alone. You should stay here and help Théoden."
Gimli took a step forward. "I think I speak for the Elf when I say we will go where you go, Aragorn. We are a fellowship and have sworn an oath to keep our alliance until the end."
Legolas glanced down at Gimli. "For once I agree with the Dwarf. You will not go alone. When do we leave?"
"Immediately. There is no time to waste. Gondor will be under attack before Théoden's men arrive. Let us hope Lord Elrond is right about this dead army. It is the only chance we have of being successful in this war."
They said their goodbyes to Elrond and headed out to ready their horses. Then Legolas went back to Eowyn's tent. He knelt down next to her sleeping body and laid a kiss on her forehead. She slowly opened her eyes and saw his handsome smile.
"Is it morning already?" she said sleepily.
"Not yet, meleth nin, but I am leaving. Lord Elrond has come with a message for Aragorn. He must take the Paths of the Dead and Gimli and I must go with him. This may be our only hope of defeating Sauron's army."
Eowyn was suddenly wide awake. "You would take the path into the City of the Dead? You should know that no one has ever returned from that wicked place. My people are forbidden to travel that road. Why would Lord Elrond send Aragorn to such a horrid place? It is not safe."
"It is our last hope. Aragorn carries with him the remade sword, Narsil. He claims his rightful place as King of Gondor. Only he can command the dead fulfill the broken oath. They must listen to Aragorn and help us fight." Legolas said brushing a stray hair behind Eowyn's ear.
"And what if they resist? What then, Legolas? They will never let you leave the City of the Dead. It will be your tomb. Please, do not do this. It is folly." Eowyn said desperate to make him stay.
"I do not fear the dead. Besides, it is our only hope of victory. I have to go. Please do not fear for me. I believe we will be successful at getting them to follow us to Gondor. Then, when the war is over, I will come back here for you. Remember my promise. I will not let any harm come to you." he said as he pulled her into his warm embrace. "And I will do all I can to find Faramir. If you truly agree to bond yourself to me, you must find this closure and free your soul."
Eowyn knew there was nothing she could say to change his mind. He would follow Aragorn to the gates of hell, and that may very well be where they headed now. She held Legolas tightly for these last few moments not knowing when they would share another embrace, if at all.
"I love you, Legolas. Please stay safe and come back to me." she said, her voice wavering. She would not cry this time. It was time to be strong.
"My heart shall weep until we meet again. Le melon, Eowyn. I love you." Legolas kissed her deeply before he turned to leave. He did not want to go. He felt like he was abandoning her when she needed him most but he chose this path a long time ago.
Eowyn exited the tent and watched as he leapt up onto his horse. Her eyes followed him as he disappeared into the mist, unsure if she would ever see him again. However, he made her a promise. It was all she had now.
The next day the Rohirrim were readying to leave. Eowyn noticed Merry speaking to Théoden. He seemed to be pleading for the king to let him travel to Gondor with the rest. Théoden would not allow it and Merry walked off in defeat. Eowyn approached him as he sat alone.
"What is wrong Merry?" she asked.
"It's just that all my friends are partaking in this war but for me. I feel I have a part to play but Théoden will not allow me to go with them."
"I have the same feeling, Merry. But Legolas thinks I should stay here." Eowyn said smiling at her Hobbit friend.
"But why would you feel the need to go into battle?" Merry asked.
"It is not war that I seek but rather someone I have not seen in a very long time." she answered.
Merry smiled. "You speak about Captain Faramir, don't you? It gladdens my heart to know Eomer finally spoke to you. I told him from the very beginning that he should let you know the truth."
What Merry said confused Eowyn. "What do…"
Merry interrupted. "Oh I already heard all about it from Faramir's messenger. Poor soul. Nobody's heard from him since. If he had not stopped for rest in Isengard and talked to Pippin and I, no one would ever have known about the letter he carried."
Eowyn was very confused by this point but she did not let him know. She decided to play along to get more information from Merry. "A letter? Oh, I thought it was just a verbal message. I did not know about a letter."
"Yes." Merry continued. "That's why he was searching for you. Faramir gave him a letter to deliver straight to your hands. He was such a nice young man."
Eowyn could see Merry was about to get off the topic at hand. "So, this messenger, was he from Gondor?"
"Why yes, my lady. He was one of Faramir's own men. You see, Faramir became suspicious of…" Merry paused. "Wait a minute. I thought you said Eomer talked to you."
"Oh… well, yes… but he did not tell me the whole story." Eowyn said trying to cover her tracks. "Go on Merry. I'd like to hear your side of things."
Merry starred at Eowyn for a moment, wondering if she was being truthful. Nevertheless, he could not resist an audience and a chance to tell his tale, so he continued. "Well, as I was saying, Faramir was suspicious of Denethor's messenger since you never answered any of his letters. Therefore, he recruited one of his own men to deliver his last letter to you, which you never received. We think the enemy got to him first."
"And what was in this letter? Did he tell you?" Eowyn asked. She was a bit in shock by what she was hearing. She had never known that Faramir tried to reach her after Denethor forced her to leave. Then she noticed the doubt coming back to Merry. "I just want to hear it from you. Eomer may not have told me everything."
Merry looked at her with squinted eyes. "You never talked to Eomer, did you? You're just trying to get information from me. Well… this is very disappointing." Merry turned away from Eowyn.
She was caught in a lie but it was too late. She needed to know what Merry told Eomer about Faramir. "I'm sorry. I should have been truthful with you. Eomer has told me nothing of Faramir. All I know is what I read in the letter he sent me a year ago telling me to stay away. It took me a long time to recover from that. It was Legolas who helped me through the tough times."
Merry was hurt that Eowyn would try to trick him like that. However, he also saw her sincerity when she apologized. "Well, all is forgiven. Besides, Eomer said he would speak to you. Obviously he never did."
"Will you tell me Merry? Tell me what is going on. I am so confused right now, I do not know whether I'm coming or going. What did you learn from this messenger you met in Isengard?"
"Your brother kept it from you because he saw how happy you have been lately, with Legolas and all. He wanted to bring no further stress to your life. Said you deserved to be happy. Nevertheless, it is time you knew the truth about Faramir. My lady, Faramir never stopped loving you. Since the day you left Gondor, he has been trying to reach you. He could not go in person because of his duties to take over Boromir's position. He wrote many letters of his love for you and that he would come for you when it was safe. The problem was Denethor arranged for his personal messenger to deliver the notes. After about the fifth or sixth letter, and no response from you, Faramir became suspicious of Denethor and his courier. He picked one of his own men to deliver his last letter. That is whom Pippin and I met at the gate in Isengard. He told us what I have just told you. When I informed Eomer of this news, he explained how you ever only received one letter from Faramir, the one telling you he no longer loved you. That letter was false, my lady. Faramir has done nothing but search for you in his spare time. Now you have met and fallen for Legolas. Faramir deserves to know the truth about you too. He waits for you and that is not fair to him, if your heart belongs to another now. You have moved on and now Faramir should be allowed the same."
Eowyn did not know what to say. All this time she thought Faramir was gone from her life and that he used her and threw her away. So many doubts she had, so many scenarios she played repeatedly in her mind, so many tears she shed from the loss of his love. Now to find out none of it was true sent her head into a whirlwind of new thoughts. She had to do something.
"You are right Merry. Faramir deserves to know everything." Eowyn said quietly, Merry almost not hearing her.
"Tell me, Lady Eowyn, if you knew nothing about all of this, then why did you say you needed to find him?" Merry said remembering the beginning of their conversation.
"Because Merry, Legolas has asked me to be his wife. I wanted to say yes but something held me back. It was then that I realized I needed to know why Faramir never wanted to see me again. I needed to know why he ended it so abruptly. I needed closure in that chapter of my life. It is the only way for me to give myself completely to Legolas."
Merry listened to her story. He was confused about a marriage between a mortal and an immortal, but he would not pry any more about that. "Does Legolas know how you feel and what you intend to do?"
"Legolas knows that I wish to speak one last time to Faramir. Unfortunately, he has asked me to stay here until after the war. He even offered to find Faramir and give him my message. But…" Eowyn paused. She had not made up her mind yet about going against Legolas' wishes. With this new information, she saw no other choice but to ride to Gondor with the rest of the company.
Merry could see the determination in Eowyn's eyes. "But you intend to go, don't you."
"I think I have to now. I need to find Faramir and set things right, even if we still can't be together." Eowyn said. A thought occurred to her at that moment. "Merry, will you ride with me, to Gondor? Since both of us are forbidden to go, I think we should go together. We will watch out for each other. But we cannot draw attention to ourselves. What say you? Shall we follow our own path and pay no heed to those who think they know what is best?" Eowyn said with a spark in her eye.
Merry smiled. "Aye, my lady. Let us ride. But I have no armor."
"I know just the thing. Go and get what weapons you have. I will find you some armor. Meet me where the horses are stabled. We will go from there."
"Yes, my lady. To Gondor." Merry said proud to know he would have the chance to stand up for his friends.
"To Gondor." Eowyn answered him.