2. Wine and Conversation
Chapter 2 – Wine and Conversation
The three brothers sat down at a table and were immediately served. They smiled to each other and dug in. Venison, fruit, bread and cheese were among the delicacies. They filled their plates as a server filled their wine glasses. It was a wonderful meal and they enjoyed it to the last crumb. With full bellies, they leaned back in their chairs, full glasses in hand and discussed the evening's events. Haldir started the conversation.
"So, does everybody know who it is they wish to end up with?"
"It is obvious for me." Orophin began. "Gliriel and I are already in a relationship."
"Then why are you even participating in this dance?" Haldir asked.
"We are not bound. We can participate if we like." Orophin answered defensively.
"Maybe that is the problem in the first place. Why is it you are not bound by now?" Rumil started. "You have known each other for a while now, but still no mention of a marriage has surfaced." It was a well known fact that Rumil wished to start a family. In a way it bothered him that his middle brother had found someone but refused to take the next step.
Haldir sat up and put his empty glass down on the table. "If you feel so strongly about settling down, then why is it you have not found someone yourself dear brother? Maybe you are too busy worrying about Orophin's love life."
Orophin, feeling the need to stand up for Rumil, spoke next. "You are one to talk Haldir. You are the oldest of us three, yet you set no example for us to follow."
Haldir started to answer when a server came back to refill their glasses. He watched the young elleth, who stood on the opposite side of the table. She was a pretty thing he thought. She caught the Marchwarden's eyes for a split second as she leaned across the table for his glass. Haldir dared to peek at her ample cleavage and noticed the slight smile on her face. He smiled back in the same fashion. "Thank you my lady." he said, but it was not intended for the wine alone.
"Why certainly Marchwarden." she answered with a playful tone. It seemed she understood his full intent. She left the table and glanced once more over her shoulder to see if Haldir's attention followed her. It had and she was satisfied.
Rumil merely smiled at the boldness of his older brother. Orophin just shook his head. "Case in point." he said.
"What?" Haldir said bringing his attention back to his brothers. "You cannot blame me. She deliberately offered a glimpse."
Rumil laughed. "It seems our dear brother has already picked out the one he will pursue tonight."
Haldir shook his head. "Nay, though she is alluring, she is not the one I seek. No… tonight my attention will be on Aranel. Long have I thought about this elleth. I believe she will play my game. There is a fire within her that says she will be my companion for my latest retreat."
Orophin looked at Rumil. "And you pester me for not settling down already? Why do you not scold Haldir for his salacious ways?"
"Haldir makes it well known that he will not settle down any time soon. Tell me Orophin, why do you think you and Gliriel have grown apart? You will not commit to her." Rumil argued.
"And you will never find this for yourself if you do not approach someone soon. Laerwen will not come to you first, if that is what you are waiting for. At least I have someone in my life." Orophin shot back.
Rumil gave him a hard glance. "Laerwen is sweet and delicate. It must be done at the perfect time. I do not want to chase her away."
"If you want perfection it will never come. You are only fooling yourself." Haldir cut in. "If you want her, go and get her. You cannot wait or someone else will steal her heart."
As the three brothers discussed their current situations, a bell sounded telling the guests that it was time for the next part of the celebration. Everyone was to move to the main talan for a social gathering. Haldir, Rumil and Orophin stood up and went off with the others. They were quite a sight to see when they were together. All three resembled each other. There was no mistaking them for brothers. Long golden hair, broad shoulders, tall and well built; they were the center of many conversations.
They were not dressed in their normal warden attire, which is how many saw them. Tonight, they wore their civilian clothes. They were all very handsome. Many pairs of eyes followed them as they walked along, still in deep conversation about their personal lives. They stopped at a table, picked up fresh glasses of wine and a sweet roll. Anyone watching them might have had a laugh to see them in unison take a bite of cake, a sip of wine and moan in satisfaction.
"This may just be what I miss most when we are away at the borders." Rumil said savoring his dessert. "Six months is but a second to an elf, but it seems like an eternity after tasting such delicacies."
"I will agree to that brother." Orophin said with his mouth full.
"I can think of more tantalizing delicacies that make me miss city life." Haldir groaned as he looked across the room.
Rumil followed his stare and there he found Aranel speaking with another elleth. He smiled and looked back at Haldir. "She won't stand a chance tonight will she?" he teased.
"Well," Haldir started and took a sip of wine. "Let's just say she won't be standing for long."
Orophin creased his eyebrows. "Absolutely crude Haldir. Have you no respect?"
"Nay Orophin, I have the utmost respect. What I don't have is patience. Now if you will excuse me, I must go and introduce myself to the lady. It is time to start the seduction so that I can find her later at the dance." He picked up a second glass of wine and made his way through the crowd with Aranel in his sights, leaving Rumil and Orophin on their own.
"Do you think he will ever settle down?" Rumil asked picking up a second sweet roll.
"He loves this lifestyle. I do not think there is a single elf out there that could capture him in such a way. Don't tell him this, but there is a part of me that wishes I could be as carefree." Orophin answered. Just then, he spotted Gliriel. She was searching the crowd looking for him. Finally, she saw him and waved. Orophin smiled and waved back. He had not seen her in six months. When he left for his watch at the borders, they had had an argument. He was not sure how their meeting would come across now. Orophin downed the half glass of wine in his hand and picked up two fresh ones. "Wish me luck Rumil. I'm not sure if she is still mad at me or if our absence has made us closer. Better to find out now." he said and walked off to join Gliriel.
Rumil stood by himself a moment, scanning the crowd. Finally he found Laerwen across the room. She was standing by herself, watching the others as they gathered in groups. He thought she looked lonely and decided it was time to introduce himself. After all, this was a social time not a quiet alone time. He picked up a second glass of wine and one more sweet roll, not being able to help himself. They were just that good.
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.