41. Skipping Stones
Chapter 41 Skipping Stones
Caladwen and Haldir remained in Minas Tirith while they recovered from their traumas. Soon they traveled back to Emyn Arnen with Eowyn and Legolas. Even after the events that happened, Eowyn managed to seep back into her saddened state. Seeing Haldir and Caladwen discover their love for each other gladdened her heart but also reminded her of her love affair with Faramir. Legolas noticed her digression and remained at Emyn Arnen. He tried to get her out of the palace as often as possible but she always ended up in her room.
Meanwhile, Caladwen and Haldir became closer than ever. They were inseparable as they shared meals, went for walks, and even practiced archery and swordplay. She worried for her mother and Haldir often comforted her. He was very patient and understanding. With the recent memories of her abduction still fresh in her mind, she was not ready for anything more than stolen kisses and Haldir respected that. Just her touch brought him relief, though he longed for more from her. However, he would not push her into anything more than she was willing to give. That didn't mean he did not flirt with her. Every now and then, when his mood was impish, he did his best to see how far she was willing to go. He would lay on the charm and seduce her with a touch of his hand running up her arm. Sometimes his kisses traveled from her lips to her neck. She was a willing recipient for a short while but always stopped him before it went too far. "Patience, my love. I promise it will be worth the wait." she would tell him.
Everything was perfect except for one thing. Caladwen wanted to get back into teaching. She thought of going back to Minas Tirith but the memories of her kidnapping were too new. Besides, she had just about finished what she set out to do in the city. Maybe it was time to move on. She got her answer when one day Gimli came for a visit. It had been a while since he had seen Legolas and he wished to spend some time with his old friend. He was surprised to find him living at the palace. Caladwen stumbled upon Gimli and her father one afternoon as they were discussing some plans.
"I'm sorry Gimli but I cannot leave now. Eowyn is not ready to be on her own yet. She still chooses to keep herself shut away in the palace." Legolas said.
"But I cannot do this myself. You know how the King resents the Dwarves. I feel it is my duty to help set things right since it was my father's involvement that caused the problems in the first place. He will not listen to me alone. However, if you came along he would be forced to listen to what I have to say." Gimli said trying to convince Legolas of his plans.
Caladwen went up to them, smiling and filled with a radiance the Dwarf had not seen before. "Hello Gimli. It is so good to see you again."
"My dear girl, you shine as bright as the sun. What is it that makes you more beautiful than I remember?" Gimli walked up and took her hand in his, spinning her around.
Caladwen giggled. Gimli always managed to make her feel like a princess, ever since she was a little girl. "In these days of peace, isn't everything a little brighter?" she answered. She was avoiding speaking of Haldir in front of Legolas. It was still a sore subject. Because of this, she kept her Deciding Day a secret. When she felt it was time, she would tell him. That day was soon for she would not leave Emyn Arnen without telling her parents. She was using this time to get to know Haldir better and enjoy their newfound love.
"It seems my daughter has found her hearts desire." Legolas said. Caladwen was surprised he said anything.
Gimli smiled. He already knew who she was in love with. It was as clear as day. "I knew this day would come. It was not hard to see there was something growing between the two of you. I must admit though, Haldir was not my first choice for you. He can be a tough one. He was not so happy to see a Dwarf in his woods back during our journey."
Legolas huffed and said under his breath, "He was not my first choice for her either."
Gimli turned to look at his friend. "What's this? The lighthearted princely Elf of Mirkwood shows disapproval? Why, I never thought I would see the day. You have befriended everyone you have come across."
"Yes, but none has ever won the heart of my daughter." Legolas countered.
Caladwen thought it was best to change the subject now before things got any more awkward. "So Gimli, I overheard you saying you wanted to travel with my father."
"Yes lassie. It has been a long while since Legolas and I journeyed to Mirkwood." Gimli started. "I thought it was time we went back and finished what we started. Although King Thranduil was a little more at ease having a Dwarf in his home, he still has not accepted our race as a whole. With more and more Elves, Men and Dwarves agreeing to trade and barter their goods, I thought it would be beneficial if your grandfather saw fit to do the same. We both do, don't we my friend?"
"I have spoken to him many times about opening the lines of communication and trade with the other realms. It has been many years since he dealt with anyone besides the men of Laketown. There is still a lack of trust on his part. Too long has my home been cut off from the outside world. This is nothing that can be settled in just one or two visits." Here, Legolas looked back to the palace. "And now is not the time for me to leave Emyn Arnen."
Gimli's face fell at the thought of missing another chance to travel with his friend. Caladwen wondered as a thought came to her. "Gimli, I know I am not my father, but what if I went with you? It is high time I moved on. I have recently been pondering with the idea of finding a new place to take my teachings. I had not thought of Eryn Lasgalen. Up until now, I have been concentrating on healing the relationships between Men and Elves. I had not thought of the Dwarves. I don't know why it did not come to me earlier."
"Oh, I'm not sure you should leave your mother. She may still need you." Gimli said.
Caladwen thought about this. Eryn Lasgalen was far off and though her mother was much better, she was still grieving.
"You should go with Gimli." Legolas said softly.
Caladwen looked up. "Ada?"
Legolas smiled. "I think you should go. It is your calling." She looked at him with concern but he laid his hand on her shoulder. "Your mother will be fine. I will watch over her. I promised Faramir I would."
"It is settled then." Gimli chimed in. "I travel with a princess. And I believe she will make a lovelier companion than you my friend." Gimli said taunting Legolas with his bantering.
Legolas smiled wide and laughed. "I believe she most certainly will Dwarf."
Caladwen realized she had not seen her father's joy in a while, not since she had been healed. And not since she and Haldir admitted their love for each other. It was good to see him laugh again. Gimli could always manage to lighten the mood. She looked forward to traveling with him and learn more about the Dwarves. He would be a big help in her teachings. Now she needed to speak to Haldir and tell him her plans.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
She walked along a stream that ran through Emyn Arnen. It was a favorite spot of hers as a child. The stones that lay along the edge were perfect for skipping across the water. It was something Faramir taught her to do. Picking up a handful of smooth stones, she began throwing them. Each one skipped further than the last. She emptied her hand and stood there looking out across the stream. There was a large rock sticking out of the water about half way. She had always tried to skip a stone far enough to reach it. Caladwen bent down and pick up one more stone. She stood back up and instantly felt a warmth spread throughout her body. She smiled and without turning, she spoke. "Hello Haldir."
He walked up to her and gently placed a hand on the side of her waist. "I knew I'd find you here. What is that you are doing?" he asked looking at the stone in her hand.
"Have you never skipped stones before?" she asked surprised.
"No. It was not something we ever had time for as Elflings." He watched as she bent her arm and tossed the smooth pebble. It bounced across the water three times before finally sinking beneath the surface.
"When I first came here, Faramir taught me how to do it. It was how we got to know each other. He would bring me here and teach me many things but this was the first thing I learned to do. I remember how we laughed. You know, he could throw as far as that rock out there. I have never been able to do it though." She bent down and grabbed another handful, giving half to Haldir. "It's all in the wrist. Here, watch me." She took a very flat pebble and flicked it towards the stream. It bounced twice and sunk. "Now you try."
Haldir copied her moves and threw the stone but it instantly sank. She giggled. "This may be the first thing I have seen you fail at." He eyed her through the slits of his eyes. "I am only teasing. Here, let me show you." She got behind Haldir and grabbed his arm. Her body contoured to his as she brought his arm back into position. The feel of her closeness made Haldir's mind wander. Maybe it was good that he could not throw the stone properly.
"Now bring your arm back like this." she said, moving his arm into position. The way she was standing allowed her breasts to push against his back. Her face was close to the side of his. He tried to contain himself but it was difficult with her standing this close.
"All you have to do is let the energy flow though your arm and out of your wrist." she said. Her warm breath caressed the side of his face. Haldir closed his eyes and let his imagination take over. He was not thinking about throwing a stone though. Caladwen backed away so he could throw. Haldir, not being one to fail at anything, brought his mind back to what he was doing. He concentrated and threw the stone. He was pleasantly surprised when it skipped once before sinking.
"You are a quick learner." she teased.
"I have a skilled instructor." His voice was low and smooth. He turned to her and there was a slight hint of desire in his eyes. He could not cover up that fact. He wanted her but he would not push her.
Caladwen saw the look he gave her and her body responded. She threw caution to the wind and approached him. "Perhaps you should be rewarded for your efforts."
"It is always a good incentive for the student." he answered, the desire becoming more evident.
Caladwen knew she was playing with fire. Haldir was a very sexual being. One did not play this game with him and then leave him hanging on the edge. She thought about how understanding he had been with her. She could not tease him, but she could give him a little more than he might be expecting. She took his hands in hers and placed them on her waist. Then she let her hand reach up around his neck. Her fingers became entwined in his hair. It was soft and smooth. They looked longingly into each other's eyes. Haldir slowly lowered his head, never breaking eye contact. She parted her lips for him, ready to accept his kiss. They were so close when Haldir paused. He allowed himself to look at her, studying every part of her face. "You are so beautiful, Caladwen." he whispered. "And I hope to have all of you one day."
Caladwen smiled at the sound of his voice. There was such compassion in his words and she knew he was being open and honest. She felt her heart sore as her love emanated from her. It passed right through him and he felt their connection. A charge of electricity seemed to surround them, holding them together. They could not separate now even if they tried. Finally, their lips came together. Their hearts were beating in harmony as the electric warmth spread through them both. They could feel the oneness between them. Nothing or no one could make them feel the way they did when they were together. They were soul mates.
Caladwen parted her lips, allowing Haldir entry. His tongue was eager as it caressed hers. Up until now, their kisses were innocent and lingering, lips touching lips. This was more intimate. This was what they longed for. Their faer [souls] were calling out to each other, needing to connect, to bind. It would be so easy to let go and become one body. Their longing went deep.
Haldir felt his arousal grow. His need for her body was overwhelming. His fea called out to her as his hands left her waist and slowly ran up her sides. His fingers brushed along the sides of her breasts. He forced his arms to wrap around her back, pulling her into him. It was then that Caladwen felt his excitement. His hardness pushed against her abdomen. Her hand left his neck and traveled down his arm to his waist. There she stopped before going any farther. Her mind screamed out to take him in her hand, feel his pulsating member in her grip. She could not do this, not now. The time and the place were not right. Her thoughts were brought back to the reason she sought him in the first place.
Caladwen broke the kiss. She smiled when Haldir was still searching for her before opening his eyes. He sighed deep, instantly missing their connection. His hands released her and their bodies separated. "If I overstepped my boundaries, I do apologize." he stated quickly.
Caladwen giggled. "You did nothing I was not willing to accept. Actually, there is something I've been meaning to discuss with you."
Haldir's face lit up as his hopes came forth. Caladwen saw this and her demeanor changed to regret. She did not want to disappoint him. "It's about my teachings." she started.
Haldir's expression fell slightly but he recovered quickly with a smile. "Are you ready to go back to the city?"
"I have found a new calling. How do you feel about going to Eryn Lasgalen." she asked with a smile. Caladwen knew it was closer to Lothlorien and quite possibly, they could visit from time to time.
Haldir smiled knowing it would be a long journey, leaving them much alone time together. "I think it is a splendid idea. Your grandfather will be pleased to have you in his home. It will take us some time to reach the Greenwood." At this, Haldir wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close. "I look forward to the journey… alone… with you." he whispered in her ear and then nuzzled her neck.
She allowed him this intimate moment before she broke the news to him. "Uh, Haldir?"
"Yes my love?" His warm breath caressed her neck.
"We will have company on this journey."
He stopped what he was doing and slowly left her neck to search her face. "Who?"
Suddenly there was the gruff voice of a Dwarf in the distance. He was coming closer to their hidden get away. Haldir listened as he heard complaining about Elves, trees and how caves are much better suited for one of his kind. He searched Caladwen's face and found her smiling. "No. Not the Dwarf." he whispered, his voice almost in a panic. "Anyone but the Dwarf."
"I thought you were friends now." she teased.
"I gave him permission to enter the Golden Woods without question. I hardly consider that friendship. Why does he travel to Mirkwood?"
"It's Eryn Lasgalen and he goes to help heal old wounds. You know the grief it caused Thranduil when Gimli's father and his company escaped from their dungeons. The mystery was never solved and it has plagued my grandfather's mind for years. It was actually Gimli's idea. He was hoping to go with my father."
"That is a better idea. They are longtime friends and enjoy each others company." Haldir was looking for a way out of this situation.
"But Ada will not leave mother alone now. He fears that she will slip back into her depression. He is the only one keeping her from slipping back into darkness."
Haldir stood and listened as the Dwarf came closer. He obviously was unaware he was about to intrude on their privacy. Gimli always seemed to have that kind of intuition. "We will never have a private moment alone." he pleaded. His thoughts of having her all to himself became more crushed with every loud footstep the Dwarf took.
"Maybe that is a good thing." Caladwen kissed Haldir's cheek and whispered in his ear. "After our last kiss, it may be necessary to have a chaperone."
She was smiling and Haldir could not find the humor in this situation. Still nothing compared to the radiance of her stunning beauty. He would do anything, go anywhere and tolerate anyone for her. He loved her beyond words. He was a lovesick Elf. "You have turned me into the one thing I said I would never become." he said sternly.
"And I love you still." she answered and gave him a fiery kiss full of passion and want. Unfortunately it was cut short as Gimli was about to come upon their intimate moment. They separated, still looking longingly into each other's eyes. "Stick with me and I will teach you much, my student." she teased.
Haldir smiled a fiendish smile. "And I look forward to my next reward."
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.