Behind the Mask: 5. Is There No Other Way

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5. Is There No Other Way

Chapter 5 –  Is There No Other Way

It had been a week since the Harvest Festival. The three handsome Lorien brothers were once again sitting together in Haldir's talan, sharing a glass of wine and engulfed in conversation. They spoke of many things except for the Masquerade. Their affairs were private and they did not share anything yet. Of course, it was Haldir who finally put an end to their silence.

"Well now, come out with it my brothers. A week it has been and still no one has mentioned the Ball. How did you fare?" he boasted breaking the ice.

They should have been happy. They should have been excited to share their experiences. Instead, Orophin and Rumil smiled politely and nodded their heads, mumbling that it went well.

"It went well? Is that all you have to say? Was it not magical? Was it not full of passion? Were you even there that night?" Haldir egged them on.

"Well, you seem to have made a connection." Orophin said. "Why don't you tell us about your evening then, since you are so curious?"

Haldir took a sip of his wine and smiled while staring into the dark red liquid. "Aranel was absolutely magnificent. She was wild and untamed. Never have I been with such a vivacious creature before. She did things to me that you could not imagine."

"Please spare us all the intimate details brother." Rumil piped in. Orophin shot Rumil a look, telling him to be quiet and let Haldir continue.

Haldir laughed. "You could not handle an elleth such as her." he said remembering the night. "And what about you Orophin, how did things go for you and Gliriel?"

"Things could not have gone better. When we met on the dance floor, her eyes spoke instantly telling me that everything would work out for us. It seemed she understood my reasoning for not wanting to marry now and will wait until the time is right." As Orophin spoke, Haldir noted a hint of disappointment in his tone. He was about to inquire about it when Rumil spoke.

"Laerwen and I fell deeply in love as soon as we looked into each other's eyes. I saw her soul that night and it was beautiful. It was love at first sight, except it didn't happen until our second meeting. I wonder why we didn't make the connection during the social time of the night." His words seemed to trail off as he finished his last sentence.

Now all three brothers were in deep thought and simultaneously took a sip from their wine glasses. Then all three sighed aloud together in unison, not noticing how in sync they were. They sat in silence for a moment, pondering their thoughts in private.

Haldir finally looked at his brothers and noticed their concern. "Is it safe to say that I am not the only one who has not experienced the same emotions with our ladies as we did that night?"

Rumil became defensive. "I don't know what you are talking about. What I felt that night was magical."

They were silent for another long moment then Orophin spoke. "I will admit that things seem different with Gliriel now than they were that night."

"How do you mean?" Haldir asked.

"She is unusually happy. She sings all the time. Gliriel never sings, not like this. I don't understand her. She has pestered me for the past few years about binding to her. Now, within one night, she is fine with our decision to wait. She acts as if we are to marry tomorrow. I sense things from her that I have not noticed before. Maybe it is just the magic of the Masquerade and I am making more out of this than I should. Something just seems a little off is all." Orophin explained.

Haldir nodded as if he understood what Orophin was telling them. "I too have experienced something different from Aranel." He got up and fetched the carafe of wine then refilled everyone's glasses.

"How so?" Rumil said suddenly interested.

"Like I said, she was animalistic that night. Now, she looks at me as if I have asked her to commit herself to me. There is love in her eyes. I think I may have opened Pandora's Box with this one. I thought she understood that the evening came with no attachments. Now she wants to be together constantly. Then, when we are together, she will not let me make any sort of advances on her. She actually swatted my hand away the last time we were alone." Haldir's brow wrinkled. "This was not what I expected from her. She was such a little vixen that night. I just don't understand why she has changed."

Another silent moment passed and finally Rumil admitted to having similar problems. "Laerwen is different also. I have not seen that special spark in her eyes. I am so confused. The love we felt was so strong, so real. Now it seems to not exist at all. Is it possible we made the wrong choices that night?"

Orophin stood up and went to the window. "Of course not. We know what we felt that evening. It was real. It had to be or we would not have made a connection."

"Perhaps our ladies have tricked us. They want to shape us and mold us into something we are not. It would not be the first time for me." Haldir admitted.

"The Masquerade is reserved for finding love, truth and desire. There can be no trickery." Orophin answered.

"And yet here we are, confused by our choices. I for one agree with Haldir. I think it was their plan all along. Maybe they even know each other and planned this from the very beginning." Rumil stated.

"We can sit here and argue the point all night long and never find an answer to this problem." Haldir said. "Or we can seek a solution. I for one want the real Aranel back. I need her. I want to feel her again. I do not want this elleth she is now."

Rumil stood up. "And I want to feel Laerwen's love for me again. She is the one, I just know it. If only I could find that spark once again, I would ask her to marry me right then."

Orophin joined his brothers and placed a hand on each of their shoulders. "So what do we do then? How do we solve this mystery without chasing away our ladies?"

Haldir smiled. "There is only one solution. Orophin, Rumil… invite your ladies to my talan tomorrow night. Tell them it is just a get together of some sort. I will get Aranel here also."

"What do you plan to do?" Rumil asked carefully.

"We must recreate the night. Something has gone awry and I for one want to get to the bottom of it before I must head back to the borders. I will not waste another moment being unsatisfied. I have needs and Aranel is not fulfilling them. I want my vixen back." Haldir said with his eyes turning into slits.

"Haldir, you will never cease to amaze me. Always thinking with your head, and not the one on your shoulders." Orophin teased.

Haldir laughed smugly. "Is there no other way dear brother?"

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: Other

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 10/22/10

Original Post: 10/14/10

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