What Paths We Take: 6. Out In The Open

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6. Out In The Open

Eowyn stood outside in the night air. She could not sleep. Presently her thoughts were of Boromir. What had happened that things turned so tragic? He was only supposed to go to Rivendell for this meeting and return home. Why was he with this group of strangers? Obviously, he hadn't gotten this weapon that Denethor spoke of. And his message was haunting. How did he know about her and Faramir? Why did he give his blessing for her to be with his brother? Then a thought struck her. That day when she found comfort from Faramir in the courtyard, Boromir must have come across them. That had to have been it. That was the same day Boromir left in secret for Rivendell.

Now her heart sank as she thought about how he must have felt to find his promised bride in the arms of his own brother. Why did she do it? Why didn't she seek out Boromir instead? But it was Faramir that was there for her in her time of need.

It was Boromir's blessing that confused her now. Why wasn't he angry? Why didn't he confront them in the courtyard? She knew he was angry with his father for forcing the wedding upon them before he left. Maybe Boromir saw how much she and Faramir cared for each other in that one moment. Had he given up his happiness for his little brother? Eowyn had never shown much affection towards Boromir. Seeing them together must have confirmed his suspicions. He was doing the honorable thing and backing down to Faramir.

Now Boromir was dead. Eowyn started to feel guilt creep upon her like a dark shadow. She should have just agreed to married Boromir. If she had, he would probably still be alive. He would have gone to Rivendell and proved his worth, retrieved the weapon and returned to Gondor unscathed. It was all her fault that Boromir sought a different path instead. She had broken his heart that day. He didn't get the weapon from Elrond and there was no reason to return to Gondor. Now it seemed to Eowyn that she should have never acted upon her feelings for Faramir. She made a spur of the moment decision and now Boromir was dead because of it. Even his dying words were of her and Faramir and it should not have been. He really did love her and she had never returned those feelings. And now he had died with a broken heart. Boromir was a good man and didn't deserve such treatment. He deserved better than her. How could she ever forgive herself?

As her mind thought about these things, she began to cry. This darkness that worked its way across her lands had also made its way into her very being. A deep depression came over her. Eowyn wished she could run off to the nearby woods to be alone but there was no chance of that now. Evil was about outside the city gates and she could not leave.

Suddenly, while Eowyn was in deep thought, she felt a gentle hand on her shoulder. She jumped slightly and turned to find Legolas standing next to her. How long he had been there she did not know. She never heard his footsteps.

"Legolas! You gave me a startle. I didn't hear you approach. Is everything alright? Is there something you or your party requires this evening?"

"I'm sorry if I scared you." Legolas said with a smile. He felt the conflict her thoughts were creating and wished to help. "Actually, I came to see if you were alright, my lady. Aragorn has told us of your connection to Boromir. I am very sorry for your loss. He was a great man. You must have been very lucky to have won his heart."

Eowyn could contain herself no longer and began to sob uncontrollably. Legolas had no idea what he had just said. He grabbed her hands and tried to console her. She looked into his bright blue eyes then unexpectedly buried her head in Legolas' firm muscled chest. He held her as she wept, saying nothing more than elvish words of comfort. Eowyn couldn't understand his language but the sound and the rhythm of his word somehow seemed to ease her mind and she began to calm down and regain her composure.

When she had collected herself, Legolas spoke again. "My lady, I know we have just met but you may confide in me if it will help. You seem so lost, your soul I mean. It pains me to know someone is so misplaced in their own thoughts. Please let me help."

Eowyn looked at Legolas, feeling a calmness wash over her. He seemed to have this affect on her. It was like nothing she had ever experienced before, not even with Faramir.

She dried her eyes and regained some of her composure, though she was still very distraught. "Tell me of your journey with Boromir. Why did he go? Where did he go? What led to his death? He was only supposed to go to this council of Elrond and then return to Gondor. What changed?"

Legolas proceeded to tell her all he knew of their journey with Boromir. He was careful not to mention their true path to destroy the ring. It was better she knew as little of that as possible. He told her about their visit to Lothlorien and the Lady Galadriel and Boromir's secret meeting with her.

"It was after he spoke to Galadriel that he seemed to humble a bit. It was as if he found some inner peace." Legolas told her.

"I can only guess what their discussion was about but I think I know. That must be why he said what he did to Aragorn for me to hear, why he gave his approval." Eowyn said aloud to herself.

Legolas was confused. "I don't understand my lady."

Eowyn searched Legolas' face. He was so kind and understanding. She felt she needed to tell someone her story. Too long had she kept things bottled up inside. Legolas seemed to want to know, to help her understand her own feelings. She liked this about the Elf. She had just met him and felt she could tell him anything and he would not judge her. Eowyn wondered if all Elves had this effect of humans.

"What I'm about to tell you has never been told to anyone, Legolas, but I feel I can trust you. And maybe you can help me in some way. But it is a long story so if I start to bore you just let me know. It is alright. I will understand. To be able to say this out loud will bring me great relief."

Eowyn told Legolas everything from the moment she first laid eyes upon Minas Tirith, to her first and final evening with Faramir. Legolas' attention never faltered. He sat quietly and heard every word she spoke, never giving advice or interrupting. He knew this was something she needed to do and it brought her comfort. That was all he wished to achieve.

As Eowyn spoke, Legolas noticed how her eyes lit up when she talked about Faramir. She must have loved him very much. But at the end of her story there seemed to be sadness on her face when she mentioned her secret love. Something had changed in her feelings toward this man.

Legolas thought Eowyn was very beautiful. As she told her story he experienced her emotions through her words. He could tell she had a strong heart and mind. He had not met anyone like her before. As fragile as she seemed on the outside, she was quite resilient and brave on the inside. Eowyn was unlike any human female he had ever met and he had not met many. He became rather taken with her by the end of the evening. Legolas looked forward to spending more time with her, getting to know her better.

When she was finished with her story Legolas spoke once more. "That was quite captivating, Lady Eowyn. I would never have known from your composure that you had been through so many trials as of late. Your will is as strong as your heart is true. I am glad we met."

Eowyn smiled for the first time in a long time. "I'm glad we met also. I don't know what it is, but I feel so comfortable around you. I hope you will stay in my city for a while. I look forward to more conversations with you Legolas of Mirkwood. Next time I would so very much like to know about your home in the woods. I have a great fondness for nature. How wonderful it must be to live amongst the trees."

She looked up and saw through a break in the clouds, a star. She mentioned the name to Legolas and he looked at Eowyn with surprise. "You know the elven names of our stars? Where did you learn this? There are not many who know."

"It was Faramir who told me." she said, remembering that evening so long ago. A tear rolled down her cheek and Legolas reached out, brushing it from her face. Eowyn felt the warmth of his skin touch her and it warmed her heart.

"It seems to me you shared a special love with this man." Legolas said.

"I did, once. I guess deep down I still do. But too much has happened. It feels wrong now, to love him any more. Maybe, if we survive this war, we will meet again and become friends. But I will not hope for anything more from him." She had thought it before, but it was the first time Eowyn said these words out loud. It felt good to get things out in the open.

"Like I said, my lady, you are of strong will. I look forward to talking more with you tomorrow but now the night grows late. Can I walk you to your chambers?" Legolas held out his arm, hoping she would accept it.

Eowyn laid her hand on the crook of his arm. "I would like that very much." she said.

When they arrived at her door she turned to Legolas once more. "Thank you for listening to my story. You don't know how good it feels to say all of that out loud. It feels like I'm starting life anew." she said smiling.

Eowyn laid a hand on Legolas' shoulder pulling him down for he was so tall. Then she laid a sweet kiss on his cheek, taking notice how soft and smooth and warm his skin was.

"Thank you." she whispered in his ear. Her warm breath made his heart quicken its pace and he closed his eyes memorizing the moment.

"I'm glad I could be of some help and bring comfort to your heart, Eowyn of Rohan." he answered.

~^~^~^~^~

The next day brought on a renewed sense of hope for the people of Rohan as Théoden took counsel with Gandalf about the onslaught of war. It was also a day of sadness as today the king was to bury his son, Théodred. Everyone was in attendance for the funeral of the king's only heir. Eowyn stood next to the tomb and began to sing in her native tongue, a story and prayers for her cousin. She wished Eomer were there with her, but he had not even known of Théoden's recovery. He was leagues away by now.

Legolas listened to the haunting melody Eowyn sung. He did not understand the words but knew they were about this young man taken before his time. Being immortal, Legolas was not used to death and still found it quite moving. Boromir was actually the first human death he ever witnessed. Somehow he knew it would not be the last.

He could tell by the shakiness in Eowyn's voice that she was having a difficult time with this latest task and was glad for her when she was finished. He could see she was upset and only wished to comfort her once more, like he did last night. He found that he had enjoyed the feel of her in his arms. But of course he would not act on these feelings. Eowyn was still in mourning. She had suffered so many losses and war had not even begun yet. Her latest loss was for Faramir. Legolas knew by the way she talked about him that they shared a special love, one that would not be so easily forgotten. The most he could do now was to be a friend to Eowyn, an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on. He was happy just to have that much. Besides she would feel nothing for an Elf. And it was looked at as improper for an Elf to pursue one outside of their own race. But after three thousand years, Legolas had still not found that love he longed for. His father often told him he was young yet (in Elf years) and that there was plenty of time. And of course Legolas was not inexperienced. He had had relationships and liaisons with his share of elleth, but none that captured his heart. He still longed for that day to arrive and now was not the time for such thoughts. Dark days were ahead and his archery skills would be needed. Right now all he needed to concentrate on was his role with the fellowship.

~^~^~^~^~

After much discussion, Théoden made the decision for his people to travel to their strong hold, Helm's Deep. It would offer more protection and a better chance at defeating the enemy.

Gandalf decided to ride out and find Eomer and his men. They would be needed in the battle. He told Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas to stay with the king and help as much as possible. Legolas was glad to stay. He hoped for another opportunity to spend some time with Eowyn.

Legolas found Eowyn in the armory, swinging a blade around, practicing her moves. It was yet one more thing he did not know about her. He had never known of a woman being able to fight and she seemed very well trained. He stood there admiring her for a moment. When she was through, he approached her, taking care not to startle her this time. He cleared his throat as he walked forward and Eowyn turned to face him.

"I did not know of your skill with a blade." he said giving her a warm smile, glad to be looking upon her face once more.

"Have you not heard of the Shieldmaidens of Rohan, Master Elf?" she boasted.

Legolas looked slightly embarrassed. "I'm sorry my lady, but I have not much knowledge of Rohan or the Rohirrim." he said with some humility.

He is rather charming when he's been caught off his guard, Eowyn thought to herself. She gave him a heartfelt smile and chuckled to herself.

"It is alright, Legolas. You have never been to Rohan before. I would not expect you to know about my people." She lifted her sword and handed it to him to examine. "I have been trained in the ways of the Shieldmaiden. Only the strongest are chosen. We do not march to war like the men but are left to guard the people while the men are away. Too many of our women and children perished or were captured in past wars and confrontations with the enemy. When the men left, there was no one to guard them. It almost happened to my brother and I and it is how we lost our parents. You see, our mother was Théoden's sister. We lived in a part of the Westfold which our father oversaw. One day an army of Orcs were spotted approaching our city. Our father left to fight while we stayed with our mother at our home. But the men were overrun by Orcs and our city was invaded. If it was not for our father's quick thinking, we would have died or been captured. He had made a hiding spot under the floorboards of our house. When the Orcs approached, my mother hid us there but she remained above. She tried to protect us but was felled by an orc blade. It was a terrifying experience. Just when Eomer and I were about to lose hope, Théoden came with his men and they slew the Orcs. He found us and brought us to Rohan where he raised us as his own. He told me when I was old enough I would be trained as a Shieldmaiden. It was the best thing to ever happen to me. Should the need arise, I will be ready. And it seems as though my services will be needed before the end."

Legolas was amazed by her story. "Already you have been through so much. Yet you remain so positive. Humans are truly an amazing race."

Eowyn had to laugh. "Oh Legolas, as old as you claim to be, sometimes you seem younger than I." She patted his arm and took back her sword. "Come! We have a lot of work to do today. We have a city to move."

~^~^~^~^~

Soon, they were on their way to Helm's Deep. It was a dangerous thing to travel with so many. It would be slow going because of the children and elderly but they had no other choice. All of them kept a watchful eye on their surroundings. Legolas spent the days out in front of the caravan searching for any sign of the enemy. He could give them fair warning before an attack. Elves could see much further than people for they had very keen eyesight. For a human, an eagle in the sky may only look like a small speck, whereas an Elf could tell you how many tail feathers it had.

When they stopped to rest in the evenings, Legolas always found Eowyn and engaged in conversation. He learned much more of Rohan and Gondor. Eowyn learned all about Mirkwood. She especially liked the stories about his home before it was overrun with evil, when it was called Greenwood the Great. She had heard of Mirkwood before but to her it was just a name. Now that she knew why it was renamed, she thought the word seemed so depressing and wished that one day it would regain its original name.

It was their third night's rest. So far the journey had been uneventful. Eowyn had set up her camp, building a small fire to keep her warm. She was in her tent, changing out of her Shieldmaiden clothes and into a comfortable dress. Legolas arrived with some bread and fruit. Finding her camp empty, he sat the food down and went to her tent. He heard the rustle of clothes and knew she was probably getting dressed. The flap to the tent was slightly open and he could see movement. His elf eyes peered inside, though he knew he should not. He saw her naked body as she was reaching for her dress. She turned sideways and he caught a glimpse of her firm breasts, nipples erect from the cool night air. His eyes scanned further down, tracing the curve of her slim waist and settling on her round behind. Legolas knew this was wrong but he could not look away now. She was so beautiful, unlike any elleth he had seen. His heart began to pound in his chest and he felt his desire build. How he wished to taste her creamy flesh, to caress her breasts. She slipped into the dress and Legolas had to force himself to stop. He had never done anything like this before.

Eowyn was getting ready to step out of the tent. Legolas quickly sat down next to where he laid the fruit. He looked down and noticed the bulge inside his leggings. Quickly, he adjusted his tunic and wrapped his cloak around himself, hiding any evidence of his arousal. Why did he look? He had no answer but was glad he did.

Eowyn stepped out of her tent and saw Legolas sitting by the fire. "Oh, Legolas, I did not know you were here or I would have come out sooner. How is it that Elves make no sound when they walk?"

Legolas laughed to himself at her comment. "I thought you might be hungry so I brought you some food. When I saw you were in your tent I was just going to leave it, but your fire looked so inviting. I didn't think you would mind."

Eowyn thought he seemed a little nervous which was not like him at all. She looked at him curiously. "Well, thank you for the food. Actually, I am quite hungry. You arrived just in time."

Legolas smiled crookedly to himself and thought I certainly did. He wiped the impish smile from his face before she noticed. Why did he look? Curiosity had gotten the best of him. He had never seen a naked woman before. But now when he looked at her he saw those round firm globes and her hard nipples.

Eowyn picked up some fruit and walked over to where Legolas sat. She handed him a piece, her hand grazing his as she did. Legolas' skin tingled where they touched and he pulled away from her rather noticeably. Eowyn looked down at him for a moment. He would not look directly at her.

"Is everything alright, Legolas? You don't seem to be yourself tonight. I hope I have not offended you somehow." She didn't understand his body language all of a sudden. He had never been uneasy around her before.

"Everything is fine, my lady. You have done nothing of the sort. Please, enjoy your fruit." he said trying to divert her attention.

Eowyn sat down next to Legolas. They were very close, her leg slightly touching his. He could feel the heat from her body radiate against his and the vision of her naked form came to the forefront of his mind. His heart pounded so loudly he was sure she could hear. He had to regain control.

"Are we close to Helm's Deep?" he asked trying to keep his mind off of her.

"It is less than a day's travel. This is to be our last night on the open road." Eowyn said. The thought saddened her and Legolas took notice.

"You seem disappointed. Do you not wish to go to the stronghold?"

"Not at all. I'll feel much safer once we arrive." she said looking around and then focusing her attention on Legolas. "I was just thinking about how much I have enjoyed our evenings together and I will miss our conversations. I'm afraid we won't have much time to visit once we arrive at our destination."

Legolas nuzzled his leg a little closer to hers. "It gladdens my heart to hear you say this for I too have enjoyed your company." He turned so that he was facing her. "And I want you to know I will do everything in my power to keep you safe. You are a very special woman, Eowyn of Rohan." he said resting his hand on top of hers.

Eowyn looked down at their hands. Suddenly she felt a rush of heat flow from where they made contact and travel to her cheeks. She could feel a blush coming on but it did not hinder her from answering him.

"You know, you are the first Elf I have ever met and you have been a good friend to me. Your words have brought me comfort and made me realize that it is alright to open my heart again. Tell me, do all Elves have this affect on humans?" she said losing herself in those deep blue eyes.

"Only when the Elf finds the same pleasure in his company." he said gazing into her eyes. For a moment they seemed to forget the world around them.

Eowyn wondered what Legolas' lips felt like but never thought she would have the chance. She was still unsure of her feelings. She was definitely not ready to fall in love again. Besides, could an Elf and a human ever really pursue a relationship?  She brushed these thoughts aside. It was too soon to engage in another correlation, especially one which would be so obviously complicated.

Eowyn looked away from him before she did something she would regret. "Thank you for always knowing just what to say to make me feel good." Eowyn stood up and walked over to get another piece of fruit. "So, Legolas how is it you have lived for three thousand years, yet you are not married? Or do Elves not get married?"

"Well, we don't call it a marriage but it is the same concept. We call it a bond. An ellon and an elleth have a ceremony with their families but the bond isn't complete until the happy couple… uh… you know." Legolas' face seemed to turn red. He wasn't good at talking about such private matters.

Eowyn found his awkwardness to be quite becoming. As she sat back down next to him, she laughed to herself and waited for him to explain further but he could not find the words. She thought she would add to this already embarrassing moment just to tease him.

"When they what? Exchange vows? Dance?" she said trying to keep her composure.

"Not exactly, though 'dance' is close. No they… you know, bed each other." Legolas could hardly get the words out. It just was not proper conversation with a lady.

Eowyn looked at him with a most serious expression. "You mean they make love?" she whispered.

Legolas' face dropped when she came out and said what he so carefully tried to avoid saying. He had no answer for her.

Eowyn could take it no longer and burst into a fit of laughter. Legolas just looked at her as if she lost her mind. Then his eyes turned into slits as he realized she was having a bit of fun at his expense.

"Oh, Legolas, I am not made of thin glass. You do not have to step carefully around me. Believe me, I have heard worse things." she said, still quite amused with herself.

At first, Legolas didn't take to kindly to being the reason for her laughter. But as he thought about the situation he could see the humor in it. He slowly chuckled at the thought. It's funny how a word causes such disruption.

"I guess it was pretty silly of me. I'm just not used to discussing such things with a female, especially one as open and honest as yourself." he said.

"They are just words. If you cannot say them, then what good are they?" Eowyn said. Then she straightened herself up and looked at him again. "You still haven't answered my question. Why have you not bonded yet? You have walked this earth for such a long time. It seems you would have found that special someone who makes your heart pound. You are quite handsome Legolas and you are a prince no less. I'm sure you could have your choice of any elleth in Middle Earth. They are probably falling over themselves to gain your affection."

Legolas felt his face heat up again and he turned away slightly. She had no trouble speaking her mind. It was one thing he found so intriguing about her.

"I'm sorry." Eowyn said noticing his complexity. "Sometimes I ramble on when I shouldn't. I meant no disrespect."

"It is quite alright. You have not offended me. You are just curious. I understand. Since we are being so honest, I will tell you. I have had my share of elleth. But none have ever filled that void in my heart. My father tells me I am young yet. This is true of someone who is immortal. But I have faith that one day I will meet her. And when I do, I will know."

Eowyn's mood suddenly changed and a frown adorned her face. "I thought I knew when I met Faramir. But I was wrong. I gave him a part of me that I will never get back. And that is what hurts worse than anything." she said, a tear forming in the corner of her eye.

"Well, if you ask me, he is a fool to not see you for who you are. I will admit I have never met anyone quite like you before. Your mind is strong and your heart is true and those are two traits that are hard to find separately let alone together in one soul. You are a very special woman, Eowyn. You deserve someone equally as special." As he spoke, he wiped the tear from her face that fell down her cheek. Again, Eowyn reveled at the feel of his hand touching her. She had not felt such affection in a long time. She reached up and caught his hand, nuzzling it against her face. She just needed to feel a caress; something to tell her things would be alright.

Legolas closed his eyes. He shuttered at the feel of her soft skin. Again, the vision of her naked body crept into his mind. He moved his hand from her face to her hair, brushing it behind her ear. He found he could not stop and let his fingers trace down the side of her neck and along her shoulder. His mind yelled out for him to stop before he went any further and he drew his hand away.

Eowyn became aware of their closeness and moved away. She smiled at Legolas. "It is getting late. I think I will retire for the evening. Thank you again for listening to me tonight. I will see you tomorrow."

"Goodnight, my lady. Sleep well." Legolas said with a sigh. He watched as she entered her tent before he turned to leave to take his patrol for the evening.


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: L8Bleumr

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 11/06/10

Original Post: 08/26/10

Go to What Paths We Take overview

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