7. The One
Chapter 7 – The One
Rumil and Gliriel had a pleasant stroll through the gardens. They did not talk much, though they held hands. They could not deny the feelings traveling through their skin where they touched. It was Gliriel that finally stopped. She stood in front of Rumil looking at his feet.
"I am confused Rumil. I thought I had found real love in Orophin, but here I am with you. Is this right? We are not making a mistake are we?"
Rumil took her chin in his fingers and gently lifted her head. "It was you and I at the Masquerade. It was your lips I caressed. It was my love that you accepted that night. Look me in the eyes and tell me you do not feel this love now Gliriel."
She looked deep into his silver-blue eyes. Instantly she felt the connection and her heart soared. Rumil seemed to glow in the darkness of the garden. She saw his soul and it was beautiful. She instantly knew he had been searching for love for some time now. Then she realized she had been searching for the same thing. Rumil held something in his eyes that she had never seen in Orophin's, even though she thought they felt the same for each other.
"What do you see?" Rumil whispered, now very close to kissing her.
"It is you. You are the one I've been searching for. I see love and I feel it also." she said dreamily.
"That is because you are the love I have searched for. You are the one Gliriel. Will you stay with me and discover this new love?"
She could feel his warm breath on her face as his lips finally brushed slowly across hers. She closed her eyes and let the moment carry her away. "Yes Rumil, I will. I want to be with you too. I love you."
"And I love you." he said as he pressed his lips against hers. The warmth spread throughout both of their bodies. Soon, hands reached for each other and they embraced as their love flowed between them. The connection was complete.
* * *
Orophin was walking Aranel home. They silently made their way along the walkways in the trees. They spoke a little, making small talk mostly. She could sense Orophin's reserve. She tried to understand his current feelings. Realizing you had spent quite a few years with someone you thought you loved only to find out it would never have worked was like a cruel joke. But Aranel knew what she felt the night of the Ball. Orophin was so comfortable with her and she was with him. She knew he would not try to rush into a committed relationship nor would he only want a roll on the grass. She wanted someone who would be there when she needed him. She wanted someone that she knew would not stray from her or look for comfort elsewhere. Orophin meant safety as far as she was concerned. She knew she could trust him while he was away at the borders. He could relax when he came home knowing she was not going to hound him to marry. If they were really meant to be together, then they would both wait until the right time came along. Then they would experience what other's had said was true bliss.
They were now standing at her talan door. "Would you like to come in for a bit?"
Orophin smiled but was hesitant. "Oh… well… Maybe it would be better if…"
"Nonsense." she interrupted. "We are adults here. And besides…" she smiled. "I had to fend off your brother for a week. I do not think you will be as forward as Haldir, though I may find it much harder to resist you." Aranel batted her eyelashes at him.
Something in the tone of her voice made Orophin stop and search her countenance. He felt no distress or unease. He knew he was not keeping her from what she wanted most. He was relaxed and content to be in her company. It was a very long time since he experienced this with an elleth.
"I guess I can come in for a little while." he responded.
Orophin entered Aranel's talan and made himself comfortable. She brought him some sweet rolls, knowing about the brother's weak spot for the sweet treats. He smiled and took them. As he did, their fingers touched. Their gaze fell upon each other and it was magical. Orophin knew she was the one meant for him. She was so laid back in his presence, making him unbelievably relaxed to be around her.
He took the plate from her, sat it on the table and reached for her hand. Then he pulled her down to the couch next to where he sat. He cupped her face with this hands and slowly leaned into her, kissing her softly with warm lips. Aranel followed his lead and they shared in the passionate kiss.
Aranel wrapped her fingers in his long silver hair, grazing the tip of his ear ever so slightly. Then they met each other's stare again.
"How long until you leave for the border again?" she asked.
"In two weeks I must leave, but my tour is only for three months this time." he answered her.
"Two weeks is not long.", she said sadly.
"I want to get to know you in this time. I must admit, I already feel as though I have known you for some time. Do you feel this too?"
She smiled impishly. "Yes, and I think we should use up every minute of this time to discover each other, starting now." She lowered herself to him and captured his lips once more. Finally satisfied, she spoke again. "Where will you live now? I know that you shared a talan with Gliriel. Will you move or will she?"
"I would not ask her to leave. I will find somewhere else. In the meantime, I can stay with Haldir."
Aranel wrinkled her nose at that thought. "Don't get me wrong Orophin. Your brother can be charming when he wants to, but are you sure you want to live there?"
He looked at her playfully. "Why, what do you suggest?"
"Well, I don't want you to think I'm moving too fast, but I have plenty of room here in my talan. I would not mind having you close when you are home from the borders. Of course, if you do not agree I completely understand."
Suddenly, Orophin crawled his way upon her, forcing her to lie down on the couch. He kissed her deeply, his desire building quickly. She felt him harden against her thigh. "That is exactly what I want Aranel. I want to be able to come home to you. I love you."
Aranel giggled at the sound of his voice as he declared his love for her. She had been worried that he was not ready to move on but now she was relieved. "I love you too Orophin. Welcome home."
* * *
Haldir lay next to a sated Laerwen as their bodies recovered from their third time to make love. He twirled a strand of her hair between his fingers while her hand stroked his muscled chest.
"What are you thinking right now?" she asked.
"I am thinking that you are nothing like what you seem to be outside of these talan walls." Haldir said softly. That was not what was really on his mind. He would not admit that he might have found that one elleth that could steal his heart. He had never considered such feelings before. It was something he had not had time for in his life. Border life was hard and dangerous and he would not commit to someone while there was a good chance that he would not return from his guard one day. Of course, he would do everything in his power not to let that happen.
"I was thinking the same thing." Laerwen said, knowing what was on his mind for it was on hers too. She seemed like a quiet and shy elleth but she had an insatiable appetite when it came to the physical side of things. She did not want to settle down, never did. She was happy with the way things were in her life. Haldir was different though. He could satisfy her physical needs. Of that there was no doubt. But now she could see herself with him and only him, if only when he came home from the borders. These thoughts scared her so she dared not mention them. Haldir was easily spooked as was she. Neither one would mention the 'L' word for fear of chasing the other one away. She was not sure it was love or just a deep lust for this strong handsome warden.
"When do you leave again?" she asked in a hushed tone.
Haldir rolled on top of her and nudged her legs apart. "In about two week's time. I am afraid I will be gone for a while this next tour. I will be training new wardens and then do another tour of the borders. It could be a year before I come back to the city." As he spoke, he hardened again and brought his arousal to her warm entrance. Laerwen lifted her legs around his waist. Slowly, Haldir slid into her body, feeling her contract around his hard member. "Oh Laerwen, you feel so good." he whispered into her neck.
"Please don't take this wrong when I say I will miss you when you are gone.," she moaned. "I think I could get used to having you around."
Haldir slid deep into her awaiting body. "You are different from anyone I have ever met Laerwen. I think I could get used to being around.," he said as he found a rhythm that satisfied both of them.
They did not say another word except for moans and a few encouraging whispers. Soon, they were both on the peak of ecstasy. With nowhere else to go, they captured each other's gaze and climaxed together. Their souls connected for a brief moment, but not enough to make a bond. It was more of a recognition between them. They realized how much alike they really were. Still, they kept their thoughts to themselves and just enjoyed the feeling of complete satisfaction while their bodies remained connected.
* * *
That night, all three Lorien brothers found closeness with the elleth of their free choice. Now it was up to each couple whether or not they would follow through with their heart's desire. The magic of the Masquerade allowed them to find 'the one', but it could not choose their future path. That was up to each individual to figure out how their lives would play out. But for now, each brother was satisfied with their choice. Would it still be so when the three couples finally met up again after their guardian duties were finished? That still remained to be seen.