50. Stars In Their Eyes
Chapter 50 Stars In Their Eyes
Caladwen's lessons went very well. There was quite a turnout the first few months. Even King Thranduil sat in on a lesson or two. He was a great inspiration to the other Elves. Gimli was nervous at first, but when he felt how accepting the Elves of Eryn Lasgalen were, he became very comfortable. Everyone was fascinated by the stories of his travels. Many had never left their homes and were intrigued by his accounts of the different lands. They came to understand that Dwarves, though a far cry from themselves, were not really that different after all. Gimli knew how to put on the charm and easily slipped into their lives. He had many invites to dinners and family gatherings. He made many friends along the way and was never without a good glass of ale.
Caladwen received the same warmth from everyone. After all, she was the daughter of their Prince and granddaughter of their King but mainly she was an important part to everyone's future. The Elves understood this and gave her their undivided attention. She was happy to be teaching again. It was the first time since she left Minas Tirith that she fell back into her mentor role. Life could get no better than this, especially with Haldir by her side. Theirs was a love like no other. Life flourished wherever they went, feeding off their energy. Many were reminded of the times when their Queen, Thranduil's wife and Legolas' mother, was still alive. Their love had also been enlightening. The forest was never as alive as it was back then. Now it was alive once again because of Caladwen and Haldir.
Caladwen loved Eryn Lasgalen. She said it made her feel closer to her father. She had not heard from him since receiving the letter upon her arrival. Oh how she wished he would make the journey to his homeland and see how prosperous it had become.
Thranduil took his granddaughter's advice and opened trading with others besides Laketown. Gimli helped him set up things with a Dwarf colony that was not too far from here. It seems the King has a particular interest in mithril and the Elves make very delicious ale that the Dwarves cannot resist. They also traded some jewels, completing collections they each owned. There were even a few personal items that went back to their proper homes, left over from the slaying of the dragon Smaug.
The day finally came when the gates of Eryn Lasgalen were opened permanently. Beings from other realms were allowed to visit the palace with a proper announcement of their arrival. Many entered the Woodland realm in awe and wonder of the beautiful palace. Thranduil learned to be a very welcoming host. Peace was spreading far and wide. The peoples of Middle Earth were becoming content with this new age.
Haldir and Caladwen had resided in Eryn Lasgalen for over a year now. During that time, he helped organize the comings and goings of the different visitors. Even in times of peace, the palace was still guarded from those who might want to do harm. There had only been one incident when a group of Men, disguised as Gondorians, were found meddling around in places they were not allowed. They were looking to steal some of the famous treasure from the King's cache. Haldir and some of his guards seized them and they were escorted from the premises with orders never to show themselves again. There was no violence though they made threats to come back with others. Haldir put in place a solution for such ruffians. No one was allowed to enter without correct papers of who they were and where they came from. There would always be those who blatantly refused to change with the times. Some hearts were too black to be altered which is why Haldir was summoned back to Lothlorien.
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It was a crisp evening in autumn when Haldir broke the news to Caladwen. She did not want him to leave but knew he must. "But we have not been apart since we bonded."
Haldir held her in his arms. "I know hervess nin, but Lord Celeborn asks for my assistance in Lorien. A new group of Wildsmen has gathered at our borders. I will not be gone long."
Caladwen made a fake pout, sticking her bottom lip out. "It will seem like an eternity while you are away." They were sitting on the balcony of their talan home, looking up at the stars.
Haldir noticed how the starlight shone bright, giving Caladwen an ethereal glow and making her seem otherworldly. "Then let me give you something to remember me by while we are apart." he said capturing her pouting lip with his teeth and tugging gently. A kiss soon followed and their hands roamed over each other's bodies. She wore a light gauzy nightgown that did not leave much to the imagination. It was somewhat sheer and the light of the stars revealed the silhouette of her slim frame. Haldir fondled her breasts through the thin material. She moaned into his mouth as he continued his ministrations. As he gently lowered her to the chaise on the balcony, he moved her nightgown up her thighs. His hand found its way to her treasure, slick with her desire.
"Wouldn't you be more comfortable in our bed my love?" she asked between fiery kisses.
"I want to take you under the light of the stars a'maelamin. There is something in the air tonight and I need to see the sky mirrored in your eyes." His warm breath caressed her neck. Haldir ran his tongue along the outer edge of her ear. All the while, his hand still fondled her moist folds. "Do you not feel the magic tonight?"
"I feel it every time you are near." she said wantonly. The tone of her voice set him on fire. He wanted her badly. He pushed her nightgown the rest of the way off her body, throwing it to the floor. Then he released the laces of his silk white bottoms, allowing his arousal to spring forth. She immediately pushed the garment down his hips until he was no longer wearing them. Haldir lay down on top of her, covering her with his strapping body. Caladwen's legs came up to wrap around his waist. He positioned himself at her entrance and slowly slid into her depths. He let out a guttural moan as her walls surrounded him, squeezing his length. She pushed her hips upward, taking all of him into her warmth. Haldir set his rhythm as he slid in and out of her body. Caladwen met every thrust. He looked deep into her eyes and he felt the stirrings of an orgasm. She could feel him pulsating within her and knew it would not be much longer. They always came quick… the first time around. As he gazed into her eyes, he saw the stars reflecting in her blue pools. It was as if he was looking into the universe, but this was their universe, a place where only they existed and nothing or no one else mattered.
A great erotic wave of pleasure washed over them both as they reached the pinnacle of their lovemaking. Haldir spilled his seed as her inner muscles caressed his length. It was a feeling of total bliss to be able to enjoy the love they shared. Finally, he collapsed on top of her body and showered her with kisses before he rolled off to her side. After they recovered, Haldir spoke. "What were you thinking about just then?" he asked, noticing a smile spread on her full lips.
"I was thinking of how it would be to have a little elfling running around the talan." she said in a dreamy voice. "We have been bound for almost a year now. Have you given it any thought hervenn nin?"
"The idea has crossed my mind once or twice." he smiled.
Caladwen turned on her side and propped herself up on her elbow, looking down at the handsome Elf in her bed. She raised an eyebrow. "Once I would expect, but twice?" she said jokingly.
"Do you think I have never pondered the thought before meleth?" he asked, challenging her.
"I did not think you would agree so easily." she answered.
"Aye, but I have not agreed. I have only said I have thought about it."
Caladwen sat up and looked at him. "You will be just as stubborn about this as you were about admitting your love for me." The tone of her voice raised in slight anger as she continued. "Really Haldir, can you do nothing without an argument…"
Quick as ever, he sat up and pounced on her, trapping her underneath him on the chaise. "Why must you think I will argue about everything?"
"Are you saying you want a baby just as much as I?" she said hopefully.
Haldir smiled. "For once I will not put up a fight. I want nothing more than to conceive with you."
"As do I my love." Caladwen pulled him down and kissed him. She parted his lips with her tongue and entered. Haldir reached down to lift one of her legs up but she stopped him. "This time I would see the stars in your eyes my beautiful husband."
He looked down at her for a moment before letting her go. Caladwen moved so Haldir could lie on the chaise. She immediately straddled his thighs and took his arousal in her hands, massaging his still strained member. When she was done, she climbed on top of him and slid her body onto his. He thrust his hips up to meet her motions and they once again set their rhythm. Caladwen looked down, gazing upon Haldir's fair face. This time she saw the stars reflecting in an infinite silver-grey universe. They held their stare as another wave of pleasure began to rise. The electricity they created was immense. This charge that they had always felt was two-fold in its normal intensity. As their orgasm grew, so did the light in each other's eyes. It seemed the stars came down from the heavens and were floating around the joined couple. With a final thrust, Haldir spilled his warm seed into her awaiting body. He moaned her name as she did his. The connection was made. They had conceived. Caladwen felt it right away. There was a warmth deep in her womb that she had never experienced before. She felt a different kind of love wash over her. Haldir felt this too. They stayed connected as she lay on top of him, her ear planted on his chest and listening to his rapid breathing. His muscles were still tense from making love so passionately. His silver hair was spread out on the plum colored chaise, a definite contrast in color. He opened his eyes and she saw a brilliant shade of grey she had never seen before. He wrapped his strong arms around her and kissed the top of her head, reveling in the feel of her bare breasts on his chest.
After a long rest and some recuperation, the couple got up and made their way to their bed. They were spent in mind, body and soul. They would spend the rest of the night sleeping in each other's arms.
Sometime late into the night, Caladwen awoke to find Haldir caressing her belly. He was doing something she had never known the Marchwarden to do before. He was singing a sweet elvish lullaby. It was familiar to her. "How do you know this song?" she asked. Caladwen often recalled the tune but never know where it came from.
Haldir smiled as he remembered the past. "Your mother taught it to me when you were merely a babe in arms. She insisted that I sing it to you to help you fall asleep. I resisted of course but eventually gave in and sang it to you one evening when you cried for your mother. It worked and you drifted off, sleeping the night away." It was something Legolas taught to Eowyn when he thought he was to sail and never see his daughter. Haldir was the only one to sing it to her when she was an infant.
Caladwen looked at Haldir in amazement. "I have always remembered it but I never knew how. I can't recall my mother ever singing it to me."
"That is because she gave me this song to sing to you. When she saw the effect it had on you, she said it was my song from then on." He crawled his way up to her side and kissed her gently on the mouth. His hand went back to her belly. "Now it will be our baby's lullaby."
Caladwen's heart swelled in her chest and she thought she might cry. Haldir was now singing into her belly as his hand covered the place where a new life was created. "I love you Haldir. You will make a wonderful ada."
"And you will be the most loving naneth in Middle Earth." he said before drifting back into reverie. Caladwen joined him and they were inseparable for the rest of the night.
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A week passed and Haldir was readying to leave for Lothlorien. The couple was more joyful than ever before as they were the only ones who knew of their secret. They had agreed to keep this new information between the two of them for a little while. However, the Elves of the Great Greenwood sensed some kind of change.
Caladwen walked with Haldir to the stables where he was to retrieve his horse. She held his arm tightly for she knew this was their last moments together for a little while. The stable hands had already saddled the horse and Haldir packed his supplies. Caladwen stood by and watched how he moved, muscles straining beneath his Lorien garb. His hair was once again braided as the Galadhrim wore it. His bow was safely tucked in place at his back and his knife was at his side. "You look as though you go to battle hervenn nin. I worry for your safety."
Haldir held her head in his hands and kissed her forehead. "Do not worry my love. I will not let anything happen to me."
She closed her eyes to hold back the tears that threatened to fall. "I wish I could go with you but my teachings are still needed here."
"I promise to return to you well before the baby is born, sooner if time allows." Haldir said and then kissed her passionately. The electric charge between them seemed to explode as their tongues entwined. When Haldir pulled away, he looked deep into her blue eyes. There was a sparkle that he never saw before. He smiled as he gazed at her. "You shine with a new light, one of life and love. And every day it shall grow brighter as our child grows."
"I cannot wait to meet her." Caladwen said smiling.
"Her?" he said cocking an eyebrow. "Surely you cannot tell this soon. Besides, I think it is a he. Males are very prominent in my family."
"You seem very sure of yourself Marchwarden." she answered with half a smile. "Besides, a girl might soften you." she said jesting.
"I am not sure even that could diminish this Elf's tough exterior." said a deep voice from the stable door. Both Haldir and Caladwen turned to find Gimli. How long he had been standing there, neither could say.
"Gimli." Caladwen said shocked to find the Dwarf there. "I did not hear you come in."
Gimli chuckled under his breath and looked at Haldir. "Still think you could shoot me in the dark Elf?" he teased.
Haldir merely eyed the Dwarf but he was in too good of a mood. "Gimli my friend, you still have a good sense of humor I hope."
"Well now, being around Elves for so many years has taught me a thing or two and a sense of humor in one of them."
Caladwen went to Gimli and kissed his cheek, making him blush. "What finds you here this morning?"
"I heard that the Elf here was leaving for Lorien and I come to offer my axe. I know a thing or two of these Wildsmen you are having trouble with and I think I can be of some help. What say you? Are you up for some company?"
Haldir new he could ride faster and longer by himself but he could not find it in himself to turn down Gimli's offer. A Dwarf would consider it a rude gesture. "I am sure Lord Celeborn will find a use for you somehow. Still, are you not needed here with Caladwen to help teach? I would not have you forsake your previous duties to join me."
Gimli turned to Caladwen. "I cannot stay in any one place for too long. However, only if the lady here says it is alright will I go with you." Then he took her hand. "Is what I heard true Lady Caladwen? Are you with child?"
Caladwen's smile spread ear to ear. She looked down at Gimli and nodded her head. "We have told no one as of yet. It has only been a week."
"I am honored to have been the first one to find out, even if it was by accident. You have my word that I will not tell a soul before you make it official." Gimli said and bowed.
"Thank you Gimli." both Haldir and Caladwen said in unison. Then they laughed together.
Gimli merely rolled his eyes before facing Haldir. "Are you going to act this giddy for the entire journey?"
Haldir placed a gentle hand on the Dwarf's shoulder. "If it will bring you discomfort, then I just might." he said cocking one eyebrow.
Gimli looked to the ground and shook his head. "This is going to be one long journey then." he said under his breath. "How soon until we leave."
"As soon as you are ready." Haldir answered.
"Let me say a last few farewells and then we can be off. I have already spoken to King Thranduil. You two can take this time to get whatever it is out of your systems before we depart." With that said, Gimli left the stables.
Haldir and Caladwen spent these last few moments holding each other closely and kissing with soft lips. They let their connection reverberate between them. He continuously rested his hand on her belly. "I feel the warmth of a life growing. I did not think it would be so prominent so soon."
"Neither did I hervenn nin. Yet it feels as though our child grows rapidly. Do you think it will be different for us considering my Peredhil background?"
"I do not know. You have chosen elf-kind and I did not think it would be any different. I know not much about such things. Maybe you should send correspondence to Lord Elrond. He is the most knowledgeable on the subject."
Caladwen sighed. "I cannot speak of it until we have agreed to let it be known to everyone. Now you are leaving and I cannot wait for you to return. I must speak with my parents first."
"You have my blessing to go ahead with the announcement. I only wish we could be together at the time." Haldir said and kissed her forehead.
"So do I my love." she said as she looked out of the stable door. In the distance, she could see Gimli coming back. "It is time. Gimli returns. Come back to me as soon as you can. I will miss you so much." They embraced each other once more.
"I will see you every time I close my eyes hervess nin. Stay safe and take care of our little one." Haldir got on his knees and put the side of his face to her belly. Caladwen's hands cradled his head and her fingers played with his soft silvery hair.
Meanwhile, Gimli approached the stable and found Haldir as he never thought he would see him. It was a very touching moment between the couple. He gave them another moment before he deliberately cleared his throat to let him know he was back. Haldir stood up slowly and kissed Caladwen one more time with every ounce of love he held for her. Then they separated and Haldir easily jumped onto his horse. Gimli climbed up behind him, with Haldir's help. Caladwen stood by and watched as they rode out of the stable.
"Watch over him Gimli." she said.
"Aye my lady, I will see he returns to you in one piece."
"I love you." she said to Haldir.
"I love you hervess." he replied and sent their horse into a gallop.
Caladwen followed them and stood upon a hill until she could no longer see them. A feeling of loneliness had already crept its way into her mind.