10. Old Habits
They are quarreling. Again.
The room is dim and yet somehow over-bright, too richly furnished for his tastes. He sleeps most nights on the floor in a pile of pillows and blankets. When she learned of it, she laughed and told him the servants were being driven to distraction.
Now she is the one so driven.
He wishes he had not drunk quite so much after the evening meal. His head is spinning, his limbs attached to the rest of him by a thread only. He does not know why she is angry with him.
He has done something. Or he has not done something. That was usually the way of it, coupled with her suspicions that he had others, his old desire to be left alone, her concern at the increasing distance between them, his disbelief that she loved him. Their mutual fear of discovery. The frustrating and clandestine nature of their love. Its unshakeable immutability.
Her voice is breaking, hoarse and worn-out, but too proud to cry just yet. Close. And he knows he has lost. Again.
Rising, he goes to her and catches the edges of her tears with his thumbs.
"Nothing ever changes you."
"No," he says and kisses her.
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.