18. Starting A New Life
"Just one more braid and your hair will be done." Arwen said. Eowyn turned and looked in the mirror.
"I love what you have done." Eowyn said smiling. "I never imagined I could ever look like this."
Arwen hugged her. "You are absolutely beautiful. Faramir will melt when he sees you."
"How did I get so lucky to marry someone like him? He is perfect in every way. I love him so much; I think my heart might burst." Eowyn said.
Arwen laughed. "I knew you were meant for each other."
A maiden cracked open Eowyn's door and spoke softly. "It is almost time my lady. The ceremony is about to begin."
"I am on my way." Eowyn said and took a deep breath. "This is it, Arwen. This is the day I always dreamed of. I am finally marrying my prince."
"And you will become the Lady of Ithilien." Arwen said proudly.
Eowyn smiled at Arwen in the mirror. "Will you tell them I am on my way? I would just like a moment alone before I go."
"Of course." Arwen said and went to the door. Eowyn spun around.
"Arwen." she called. "Thank you so much for all you have done."
"It was my pleasure. Now, don't take too long. We wouldn't want to worry the groom."
Eowyn sat alone and looked in the mirror. There was just one more thing to do before she went. She reached for a small box and opened it. ,removing the leaf shaped jewel that Legolas gave her. She wanted to have it with her this day. For some reason she felt it was a part of her and she needed it close to her. She wore the emerald charm on a long chain so that it rested just over her heart. As she was putting it on, she felt a hand on her shoulder. Eowyn had not heard anyone come in and gasped with surprise. She turned to find Faramir standing behind her.
"You startled me. I did not hear you come in. And what are you doing here? Don't you know it is bad luck to see the bride before the wedding?" she said playfully.
Faramir leaned down and kissed her on the neck. "We have used up all our bad luck. Only good things will happen to us from now on. Besides, I could not wait another second to see my bride. You look beautiful but I must say I cannot wait to see you out of that dress and in my arms. It has been too long and it is our wedding night. Maybe we can leave early?" Although they shared a room together in Minas Tirith, they had not been together since Rohan. They decided it would not be proper to conceive before the wedding.
Eowyn slapped him on the arm. "Now behave yourself. Our friends have made many preparations for our celebration and we would not want to disappoint them if we just disappeared after the wedding ceremony. Besides, we have a lifetime of night's together now." she said and kissed him deeply.
Faramir put his hand around the back of her neck and felt the chain. "What's this?" he asked.
Eowyn hadn't wanted him to see it. She never told Faramir about the jewel Legolas had given her and she knew about his slight jealousy for the Elf. "Oh, it is nothing. It's just something I've had for a very long time. You know something old, something new, borrowed and blue. This covers the old."
Faramir lifted the chain until he could see the emerald hanging on the end of it. "I have never seen you wear it before. Who gave it to you?"
"That's not important. Shouldn't we be going? We don't want to be late for our own wedding."
Faramir's smile disappeared replaced by a more serious look. "He gave you this jewel didn't he." he said referring to Legolas.
"Yes, a long time ago." she answered quietly.
"Why would you wear this at our wedding? Can we not have one moment for us alone without him being involved in some way?" Faramir said turning from her.
"You forget, there may not have been a wedding if it weren't for him. I feel I owe it to him to wear this charm. It is the least I can do since he saved my life." Eowyn would not back down when confronted and Faramir knew this. So he softened the features on his face and let the situation slide. He would not argue with her right before the wedding.
Eowyn went to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. "How many times have I told you he is a friend only? It is you that I love. It is you that I am marrying today. Let's not argue especially today of all days."
"You are right. I'm sorry. Let's forget about it. Come, my love. Are you ready to marry the Lord of Ithilien and claim your title as my Lady?" he said with a warm smile.
"I have been ready for longer than you will ever know." she said and they headed towards the hall of kings.
It was a beautiful ceremony. Only those close to the couple attended. That was how they wanted it. Eowyn was not one for big extraordinary conformities. She wanted something small and traditional. Aragorn performed the ritual with Arwen at his side. Eomer and Lothiriel were witnesses. Among the other guests were Gimli, Gandalf, Legolas and close friends of the couple, about two hundred in all; nowhere close to the capacity of Aragorn and Arwen's wedding.
Afterwards was the celebration of the new Lord and Lady of Ithilien. The festivities took place outside in the courtyard. The gardens were in full bloom as well as the Tree of Kings. They needed no other decorations except for candles, which lit the pathways and tables. The food was plentiful as there was a wide variety of choices, everything from wild boar to delectable sweet cakes. Wine and ale flowed freely. Lots of music and dancing completed the evening.
Legolas stayed in the background for most of the time. He knew of Faramir's new distrust of him. It was the last thing he wanted to happen. They had become rather good friends recently. Now they were becoming more acquaintances. This weighed heavy on his heart for he knew Faramir also wanted Eowyn to spend less time in his forest. Actually, he hadn't seen her at all since the attack. Maybe it was just as well. Legolas' work in the forest had suffered some since Eowyn had been visiting. He always seemed to find himself in her company instead of tending to more pressing affairs. He couldn't help himself. She radiated a life giving energy that he could not avoid. He always longed to be in close proximity to her. It was a difficult thing to ignore but he did his best. Now he would have to decrease his want for her company. She was married now and he knew how badly she wanted children. He was quite sure she would be with Faramir every waking hour, as she should be. The only thing he wished for tonight was one dance with the Lady of Ithilien, but he didn't hold his breath.
Eowyn and Faramir were having the time of their lives. She could not take her eyes off his handsome features. The thought of him being her husband excited her and she was anxious for the 'wedding night activities'. This celebration could not end soon enough. Faramir was giving her looks that said the same thing she was thinking. They would try to steal a moment away from everyone but someone always found them before things got too exciting. It was usually someone asking for a dance with the Lady. Faramir thought they were doing it on purpose, just to drive him mad.
Eowyn was dancing with Gimli at one point. They laughed as they enjoyed each other's company. Gimli always knew how to entertain her with silly stories of the Dwarves. She thought he was quite a good dancer for his stature. He twirled her all around the dance floor until they accidentally bumped into someone. Eowyn turned to find Legolas standing there.
"Well here's my good friend." Gimli said. "Now why is it that you are the only one who has not danced with the fair Lady tonight? Here is your chance my pointy eared friend."
Legolas took a step backwards, as if to avoid a compromising situation. "Please do not stop on my account. You were with the lady first."
Gimli wrinkled his brow. "I will not hear of it. You of all people must dance with our newest princess." he said handing her off to Legolas. "Go on. Mind your manners, Elf."
Gimli walked away leaving Eowyn and Legolas standing awkwardly together. He was looking at the ground and she turned her head as if to scan the crowd for Faramir. After being caught in a kiss by him, they had avoided moments like this. Finally, Legolas spoke.
"You make a beautiful bride. It was a lovely ceremony." he said making small talk.
"Thank you. Aragorn did a wonderful job." she said; more small talk.
Suddenly Faramir was at her side, wrapping his arm around her waist. He nodded to Legolas and Legolas answered with a nod of his own. Faramir leaned towards Eowyn's ear and whispered something. She gave him a look of surprise as he extended his hand to Legolas. The Elf shook his hand and looked just as surprised.
"Legolas, I apologize for my recent behavior. You risked your own life to save Eowyn's and I never properly thanked you. I would like to make amends with you. I acted foolishly at a time when I should have praised your unselfish performance. I insist you have the next dance with the Lady Eowyn."
"I too acted out of turn. I am sorry if I insulted you in any way." Legolas said.
"We will not mention it again. I hope we can visit with you again at your lovely home."
"I offer you a never ending invitation." Legolas answered.
Faramir stepped off to the side to let his bride and his elf friend have their dance. It was one of the hardest things he had ever done but he wanted to start this marriage off on the right foot and that meant letting Eowyn befriend Legolas again.
Legolas extended his arm to Eowyn. She laid her hand on him and he led her onto the floor. The music started and they danced. Legolas noticed the chain around her neck.
"You are wearing the necklace I gave you. Does Faramir know?" he asked.
"He saw it and was not happy at first, but I stood my ground. I know how much this jewel means to you and I felt I owed you some form of gratitude for saving my life. It was the only thing I could think of at the time."
"I hope we can become friends again and I apologize for ever making you uncomfortable. It was my fault that you were attacked. I was out of line to kiss you like that. It was wrong."
"I should not have run away. I should have been the one to stop you. I became scared when I could not." she said.
"Friends?" Legolas asked with a smile.
"Friends." Eowyn answered.
They continued with the dance a moment before she spoke again. "How is my garden? I never got to finish cleaning and getting it ready for the spring."
"I go there everyday and tend it for you but I know it won't bloom properly until you come back and make it your own."
The song ended and they released each other. Legolas bowed in proper elvish manner and Eowyn nodded and smiled. Then she went off to find Faramir. She walked up to him and kissed him deeply and with much passion, not caring who was watching. Then she whispered in his ear. "I love you."
Faramir looked into her eyes and saw the desire. Instantly, his body warmed. "I think it is time to let our friends finish the evening without us. Have we stayed long enough to show our gratitude for all their hard work?"
Eowyn put her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek. "I think they know our appreciation." She kissed his other cheek and whispered into his ear. "Now let me show you mine."
Faramir had never been as grateful for the long heavy robes of his attire as his body instantly responded to her words and the feel of her warm breath. It was time to make their farewell speech for the night.
A special suite had been set up for the happily wedded couple. It was large with its own bathing room and a full staff of maids at their disposal. Fresh cut flowers were all about the room making it very fragrant. The bed was covered in rose petals. On a table was a tray of fruit, breads and cheeses. A carafe of sweet elven wine sat next to the tray. The table was next to an open doorway leading out to a terrace. Potted trees and trellis' adorned with flowering vines made it a private area. On one side was a chaise lounge big enough for two. On the other side was an area with pillows and fur throws next to an outdoor fireplace for those cool evenings. There was even a small fountain, which gave a relaxing feel to the place. It was stunning and it was theirs for as long as they wished to stay. Faramir thought they would tarry here for a couple days before they moved to their new home in Emyn Arnen. They had everything they needed and would not even have to leave their room. It was a perfect getaway.
Eowyn was standing in the doorway leading out to the terrace. The evening was cool but comfortable. She felt strong arms encircle her waist. Warm, soft lips covered her neck. She reached back with one hand and felt his long, soft hair as it brushed over her shoulder sending goose bumps over her body. Faramir pressed his body against her and held her tight. Eowyn moaned seductively as she felt something firm press into her backside. He released her waist and moved back a moment. Eowyn spun around. He held two glasses of wine and gave her one.
"A toast." he said. "To a lifetime of love and happiness. We have traveled far on this path since we first met, sometimes going in different directions. But I never lost hope that we would one day be where we are right now. I love you, Eowyn, since the moment I first laid eyes on you. And I have been drawn to you since we first kissed that time in the stables. Do you remember?"
Eowyn smiled. "Of course I do. You were the most handsome man I had ever seen and my heart burst when I felt your soft lips for the first time. You were a very good kisser." she laughed.
"Was that all you thought of?" he said raising an eyebrow.
"You forget I had never been kissed like that before. But that was not all. I knew right away how kind you were. I saw it in your eyes the first time you looked at me. I knew I had fallen in love with you right away. We have been through so much but now our true journey is finally ahead of us. Together we will face whatever is put in front of us and I know what our first task should be." she said finishing her wine and setting down her glass and his.
"And what is that, my love?" he asked gazing down into her dark eyes.
"I want to give you a child. I want to be a complete family." She threw her arms around his neck and kissed his throat, working her way up to his ear.
"I want that as well. And think how much fun it will be trying." he said in a low voice. Her kisses were lighting up all his senses. He pulled her into him and ground his hips, allowing her to feel his readiness.
"Take me, Faramir. Make love to me for the first time as husband and wife." she whispered in his ear.
"Yes my wife." he answered and worked the laces at the back of her dress. He pulled the dress down her shoulders, exposing her breasts. Taking each one into his mouth, he teased her nipples with his tongue. She moaned and arched into him, her body on fire with need. Her hands made quick work of the lacings of his breeches. She slipped her hand inside and found what she was looking for. He was made of stone and her body ached to feel him inside her.
Faramir waited until she released him, then scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the pillows out on the terrace. There was already the smoldering of a fire lit earlier in anticipation of the couple. Faramir picked up another log and put it on the red embers. His attention went back to Eowyn who had undressed and was watching him with dark desire in her eyes. Faramir undid his robe and then his shirt, casting them aside. Eowyn sat up on her elbow and watched him strip down to his bare chest, so muscled and delicious. He slid out of his pants and stood before her like a statue carved perfectly of stone. He got down on hands and knees and crawled his way up her body. They gazed longingly into each other's eyes.
"Say it again. Call me wife just so I know it is true and not a dream." she said.
Faramir put a hand to the side of her face. "You are my beautiful wife and I want you. I want to be buried inside you, Wife."
Eowyn giggled. "And I want to feel you thrust into me, my husband. Fill me with your essence, Husband. Take me as only you can."
Eowyn's legs came up and clenched around his waist. Faramir held himself at her entrance. Her hands grabbed his taut behind and squeezed, trying to pull him into her, but Faramir wanted to be in control. He took her wrists one at a time and raised them above her head, holding them there until she stopped squirming. She looked into his eyes questioningly. Without any more hesitation, he plunged into her as far as he could. She moaned with wanton passion at the intrusion. He held himself there a moment feeling her muscles contract around him. Then he started moving in and out of her body. Her hips thrust up to meet his movements, slow at first then becoming more rapid. The heat from the fire made their bodies moist with perspiration. Eowyn was enjoying the feel of their wet bodies sliding more easily over each other.
"I love you, my wife." Faramir panted as he felt the stirrings of ecstasy. "Are you ready for me?"
Eowyn was at the very edge of her orgasm. "Yes, my husband, fill me with your love."
Faramir went deep once more and touched her in just the right place, sending her into an orgasmic frenzy. She screamed his name as her fingernails dug deep into his back. The pain she was giving him, the building of his own desire proved to be too much for him, and he spilled forth every last drop of his essence into her convulsing body. They both shivered with delight as they regained control. He remained buried in her while they caught their breath.
"I never want to leave this spot. You feel so good and warm." he said kissing her again.
"Do you think we created a life just now?" she asked with a smile.
"I don't know. But we have the whole night to keep trying." he said as he began moving inside her again.
At that same moment in time, Legolas stood in his talan looking up at the night sky. She was truly gone from him now. He would never again feel her touch, her warmth, or her gentle kisses. He had known this for some time now but always wished otherwise. She chose her path. They would only ever be friends from this moment forward. Something had changed. He could no longer feel her, that flame that kept him drawn to her. It was either buried too deep or extinguished all together. Now marked the beginning of his fading from this world. He hadn't known it would start so soon. He thought he had years yet. He thought long and hard and finally made a decision. He would break his oath to the fellowship. He would not wait until Eowyn passed from this world or until Aragorn lay in his tomb in the Hall of Kings. He would depart for Valinor sooner than he originally planned for he longed to see this mysterious land before he died. The time of the Elves was over. Eowyn now belonged to Faramir wholly and completely. There was no place for him here anymore and his sea longing was becoming stronger.
He heard heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. There was only one they could belong. He smiled as he thought of the time in Lorien when Haldir stopped them from entering the Golden Wood. Shoot him in the dark, indeed, he chuckled to himself.
"Mind if I join you?" Gimli asked as he stood in the archway to Legolas' talan.
"You are always welcome my friend. Tell me, what is it that keeps you up this time of night? Shouldn't you be snoring by now?" Legolas said with a smile.
"You left the festivities this evening without saying a word. That is not like you. I sense something in you, a change if you will." Gimli said joining his Elf friend on the balcony. Legolas looked down at the Dwarf with a wrinkled brow. "Elves are not the only ones with such good perception. We have been friends for a long time and I know when something bothers you. Come now, Elf, what weighs so heavily on your mind?"
Legolas turned his attention back to the stars. He could smell the sea from his new home in Ithilien and remembered the sound of the gulls as he sailed on the Anduin. "My time here has shortened greatly, Gimli. I am no longer at home amongst the trees. I am fading and the sea calls to me. I think I would very much like to see Valinor before my life ends."
"I didn't believe you when you told me of your choice to give your heart to a human and what that meant. You Elves are always talking in riddles. However, I see now that it is true. I'll tell you one thing though. You'll be going nowhere without this Dwarf. I will not leave you alone to meet your fate." Gimli said. He turned away from Legolas, feeling a tear well up in the corner of his eye.
Legolas laid his hand on his friends shoulder. "You are a true friend, Gimli. Now, I believe we have a promise to keep to each other while we still roam these shores. Are you ready for our next journey, Master Dwarf?" Legolas said with a sly smile.
"Do you mean to drag me off to that forsaken Fangorn?" Gimli chortled.
"Only if you insist on taking me to the Glittering Caves." Legolas answered.
Gimli turned to his friend, a smile somewhere behind that bushy beard. "When do we leave?"
"Very soon if you agree. I just have some loose ends to tie up. I will need to leave someone in charge of my city and notify Faramir of my leaving."
"Sounds like a plan to me." Gimli said. They stayed where they were, turning their attention back to the heavens and enjoying the silence for a change.
Eowyn and Faramir had enjoyed three days of total bliss. They had not seen anyone except for the occasional maid who came in to freshen up their room. There was nowhere left that they had not made love.
Today they were headed to Emyn Arnen, their permanent home. Eowyn had yet to see it. Faramir had worked very hard to complete it before the wedding. Now it was done and he was anxious for her to see it.
"Are you ready to go home, my love?" he asked her, as they lay naked next to each other on their last morning in Minas Tirith.
Eowyn smiled, still glowing from their most recent lovemaking. "Home. I love the sound of that word. I feel like I have not had a true home in a very long time."
"I think you will be very pleased with what I have done. I cannot wait for you to see." he said sitting up on the edge of the bed. Eowyn's finger traced over the scar on his back.
"Does it ever hurt you?" she asked.
"It did for a long time but not any more. I don't like to think about it. Too many bad memories go along with that dreaded scar."
Eowyn sat up and brushed her lips over the area. "I want to help you replace those memories with new ones."
"You already have." He turned and kissed her. Her hands roamed over his chest and pushed him back onto the bed. She straddled him, a thigh on either side of his hips. His hands came up and gripped her waist. "Don't you want to see our new home?" he asked.
"I will always be home as long as you are at my side, no matter where we are." she said and leaned down to kiss him. Tongues entwined, as they tasted each other. Her breasts brushed against his chest and he felt himself harden. She sat up and lifted herself, positioning him at her entrance. She came down and moaned as he filled her. Faramir's hands found their way to her breasts and fondled her erect nipples. She set her rhythm riding him into oblivion. She leaned back slightly, putting her hands on his thighs to get into a more satisfying position. His fingers massaged her and she started to lose control, moaning and panting. He brought his legs up, bending them at the knees so he could thrust up and bring her to full pleasure. It worked as she yelled his name over and over, her climax traveling throughout her entire body. Faramir released his seed, riding his own waves of passion. Finally, she collapsed on top of him, totally spent of all energy. Her body blanketed him and he wished they never had to move from this position.
"If we don't get out of bed soon, we may never leave this room." Eowyn said completely sated.
"Would that be such a bad thing?" Faramir questioned playfully.
Eowyn laughed. "Come on. I want to see Emyn Arnen. I want to go home."
"That sounds wonderful coming from you lips. It is time then, my wife." He would never get tired of saying that.
Eowyn was overwhelmed by the site of her home. There were many rooms, some for company, some for the staff; a great hall for entertaining guests and leaders of other realms; courtyards, gardens and waterfalls with beautiful plants and trees, flowers and archways. Minas Tirith influenced the architecture but there was also the rustic feel of Rohan. There were quiet sitting areas with huge hearths and books of all kinds. Covered patios that still gave you the feel of being outdoors were scattered here and there. Faramir thought of everything.
Their own room was luxurious. It was on a corner on the second level so you could see practically all around. A terrace wrapped all the way around, decorated with potted plants and trees. Eowyn loved the fact that there was a lot of nature around her, whether she was inside or out. Their bathing room had a large pool like area with warm water from a natural spring. The ingenuity was shocking. She had not known such a thing existed. No more having to wait for the maids to draw a bath. Here the water was always warm.
She stopped and looked out from the terrace. The land around them was beautiful. She could see Osgiliath from here. She knew Faramir would be spending quite a lot of time in the city until everything became more self-sufficient. As long as he came home to her at night, she would be fine with that. She knew there were some busy days ahead of him. He was, after all, the Prince of Ithilien. Eowyn had not thought of his title much. He was a real prince, just as she had always dreamed of as a child. Now she was a princess. There was a lot that came with the title and she hoped his people accepted her but she was not worried. Faramir was a good and honest man and that was why the people loved him. It was why she loved him.
Eowyn wrapped her arms around her husband and kissed him. "It is gorgeous. You have thought of everything, my love. You have truly outdone yourself. This is our home… a home at last. I love you."
"I'm glad you approve. You will have everything you could ever want or need here." he said.
"I already do." she said biting his neck and they were off to christen the bedroom.
A week later and it was business as usual. Faramir worked in his city most of the day and came back to Emyn Arnen in the evening. This particular evening, Eowyn made sure his favorite meal was prepared. He'd had quite a trying time lately and she had plans for releasing his tension with a hearty meal and then a nice soak in the bathing pool, with her of course.
They were very happy together. Life was everything she could ever imagine. Now she just hoped she was with child. It would complete the circle. However, as she was busying herself she soon found out that it was not to be, at least this time. She had hoped and prayed so hard that their wedding night would have sealed the deal. She frowned at the thought. There would be more opportunities. It just wasn't the time that was all.
Faramir came running in and scooped Eowyn up in his arms. He twirled her around and kissed her. "I have missed you my love. Today was a difficult day and I could not wait to return to you. You look as beautiful as ever." He noticed her demeanor. She was not her usual happy self. "What is wrong, my wife?"
Eowyn took his hands in hers kissing each one. "I am not pregnant." she whispered. "I was hoping our wedding night would have… and all the times since then we've…"
Faramir kissed her forehead and pushed a lock of hair behind her ear. "It just wasn't meant to be this time. There will be plenty of other chances. I have no doubt that soon we will have our first child. You will see." He pulled her into a loving embrace and held her in his strong arms.
"I had a visitor today. Legolas and Gimli came to me. It seems they have made plans to travel abroad, some kind of promise they made to each other a long time ago." Faramir said.
"How are they? I have not seen them since the wedding." Eowyn asked.
"Gimli is his usual self. Legolas seemed a little quieter than usual but he is good."
Faramir's words concerned her. Elves never got sick so if there was a change, no matter how small, it meant something. "Well, is he alright?"
"Yes, darling, he is fine." Faramir answered but Eowyn wanted to see for herself.
"When do they plan to leave?"
"I believe they said the day after tomorrow. You need not concern yourself. They are merely going on a journey to visit some of the places they came across during their time with the fellowship." Faramir said. He could feel her concern for the Elf and jealous stirrings swirled deep within him. Is this how things were going to be? The slightest change in Legolas and she would be off to see him.
Eowyn saw the look in Faramir's eyes. He did not like her regard for the Elf's well being so she quickly changed the subject and took him off to enjoy their dinner.
The next day, Eowyn decided to pay a visit to her garden in Ithilien's forest. She had not been there in a very long time. As she walked along the path leading to her garden, she felt a presence above her. She stopped and looked up. "Good morning, Legolas. How does this fine day find the Elf Lord of Ithilien Forest?"
Legolas hopped down from the bough he was sitting in. "A little brighter now that you are here. And how is the Lady of Ithilien?"
She smiled. "I'm fine. I have not seen you in a while so I decided to pay you a visit. Faramir tells me you are traveling soon with Master Gimli."
"Yes, we are going to visit Fangorn Forest and your beloved Glittering Caves at the Helm."
"So you were just going to leave without telling me, without saying goodbye?"
"I figured you were no longer concerned with my whereabouts. You have a husband now to watch over you and protect you."
"That does not mean I do not still cherish our friendship. I miss our talks. I miss your company." she said. Now she was noticing that there was definitely a change about him. She just couldn't put her finger on it. He was hiding something from her and she meant to find out before he left. "Care to join me in the garden?" she said and they walked together through the archway.
The flowers were in full bloom. "It is beautiful, Legolas. I have never seen such vibrant colors in nature before. Thank you so much for taking care of it for me."
"It was the least I could do." he said softly.
Eowyn turned towards Legolas and took his hands in hers. His immediate reaction was to pull away, something he rarely did with her. Eowyn looked him in the eye but Legolas would not look at her. She touched his chin and turned his head to meet her gaze. As she looked into his eyes, she noticed they were not as bright as they usually were. She furrowed her brow then reached for his hands again. This time he did not pull away.
"Legolas, your hands, they have a slight chill and the blue of your eyes has dimmed. Tell me what this is for I know it is not normal." she said concerned for him.
"I am fine. Please do not worry for me."
"Legolas, I know you cannot lie so tell me, are you fading?"
He would not say anything but instead turned away from her. Then he gave her a slow nod of his head. He did not want her to know but she had asked.
"Oh Legolas, no! It has already begun. But how? Why?"
"I didn't think it would start so soon but it has. It will take years, though. I am going nowhere anytime soon. Besides Gimli and I have a promise to keep to each other."
Eowyn felt a lump in her throat. "It is coming true then." she whispered.
"What are you speaking of?"
"When I was hurt and in a coma, I had a dream. You were dying, Legolas. You were dying and I could not help you. Not even our friendship could keep you alive. When I touched you, your skin was like ice. Your eyes were no longer bright and blue like the sea, but rather grey and pale like a cold winter sky. Your glow was gone. There was no life in you. You turned from me and walked off to be alone, to fade without anyone by your side. You said it was what you wanted. I could not change your mind. Then when I woke up, you were very much alive. I knew it had all been just a very bad dream. But I am not sleeping now, and you have changed. This cannot happen. Not now. I cannot stand the thought of you suffering."
She sat down on a bench and put her head in her hands. The tears flowed freely. Legolas sat down next to her and put an arm around her shoulder. He pulled her into him and she buried her face in his chest. He held her and let her cry, knowing he should not be this close to her now. He could still lose himself in her so easily. He held his composure, remembering the last time he gave in. Faramir had witnessed their weakness as they kissed. Legolas would not let that happen again.
Eowyn sat up and looked at Legolas. He smiled at her. "What you are seeing is a natural occurrence of the process. It does not mean that I will be gone from this world anytime soon. It is still true that as long as you live, so shall I. It takes many, many years for an Elf to fade, unless he wields it to happen sooner. Now, I want you to stop your worrying and your crying and be happy for me. I am off to visit Fangorn Forest once again. I have greatly wished for the opportunity to do so for some time now."
"You speak as if none of this has any importance. You are dying and all you care about is seeing some enchanted forest?"
"I know this is hard for you to understand, Eowyn. But just trust in what I say. There is no need to worry for me. I am fine." he said.
Eowyn touched his hands again. "Actually, you seem to be warmer already."
"It is your closeness and your concern for me."
"But what will happen during your travels? I will not be with you to share my energy with you. Won't you fade even more then?"
"I can't say for sure, but this journey is something my heart greatly desires. That alone will help." Legolas said.
Eowyn laid a hand to the side of his face. "Be careful, Legolas. I will miss you while you're gone. I know this will be a long journey. Come back safe, you and Gimli."
Just hearing her say she would miss him gave him a new strength. Somehow, he knew he would be fine on this journey. He could not say how he would be when he arrived back in Ithilien though for it would be a long journey indeed.