1. The Offer
Title: The Dúnadan’s Daughter
Series: Sons of Rohan
Sequel to: The Blacksmith’s Daughter-- but can stand alone
Beta: oli…x & Curiouswombat
Characters: Elfhelm, Éomer, Gamling, Grimbold, Éowyn, OFC, OMC
Rating: PG through NC17—chapters will be clearly labeled
Timeline: End of Third Age/ begins July 1, 3019 at the wedding feast for Elessar and Arwen
Setting: Rohan—Edoras (Briefly Gondor and East Lórien)
Warnings: AU (I guess), graphic sex on at least 2 occasions (You will be warned)
Author's Notes: Although I tried to stay close to movie and book canon, I needed to keep Grimbold alive, give him a promotion and demote Erkenbrand for this to all work. I also created some additional family members for Aragorn…. still not a Mary Sue!
Disclaimer: All characters and locations are the sole property of Professor Tolkien’s Estate save those I have added from my own imagining. This is written only for pleasure and I gain no profit for my efforts.
Please feed my muses and help me improve---Feedback is most welcome!!
Chapter 1: The Offer
Éomer sat alone at the table, sipping his ale. He watched the dancing and gaiety around him with disinterest. He was not in the mood for festivities.
“What troubles you?” Elessar asked as he sat next to the younger man.
“I was not meant to be king. Théodred was groomed for this. Now I find myself dreading the return home. Helms Deep needs to be rebuilt, what ancient archives were there have been damaged and I do not see how they can all be repaired, most of my uncle’s advisors treat me like an idiot; Éowyn lost her heart to Gondor and will not be there to help me.” Pleading eyes looked to Elessar. “What am I to do? How can I be king?”
“You underestimate yourself. It will take some time, just as it did for your uncle, but you will be a fine king. As for part the rest, give me a moment. I will return shortly.”
Elessar returned some time later with a woman in tow. At first Éomer thought she was a night’s companion. He really did not desire a woman’s company—although she was tempting. She was pretty, with nearly black hair and dark green eyes, which sparkled with mirth and mischief, and a surprising amount of wisdom. His refusal died on his lips as the King spoke.
“Éomer, King may I present Arathea.” Éomer made to stand, but a hand on his shoulder stayed him. The woman nodded to him with a smile. “Arathea grew up with me in Rivendell and was schooled by Master Erestor, Lord Elrond’s Chief Advisor. She is well versed in the scholarly arts. She is familiar with nearly every culture and has seen more of Arda than even I.”
The Rohirrim King could not hide a smile when the woman in question rolled her eyes, stepped past the High king, hiked up her skirts and climbed over the bench to sit next to Éomer.
“I gladly offer my services to the crown of Rohan. I would be happy to help with the repairs of your manuscripts or any other need you may have.”
Éomer looked into her eyes and realized that she was much older than she appeared. If she had grown up with Aragorn it could only mean that she, too, was one of the lost Dúnedain. He looked to the King and back to the woman. He really could use her help but why she would leave the court of Gondor for the rough lands of Rohan? He asked as much.
“My Lady, your offer is most generous but I could not ask you to leave your home to take on so great a task.”
“What home I have known is long since gone and I have wandered enough. I enjoy the life of scholar; however, things would be complicated should I stay in Minis Tirith. Rohan is a beautiful country, my lord, wild and free. I am not much for the formality of Gondorian court; I prefer a quieter life. Anyway, my skills are not needed here. Aragorn has plenty of help. I will prove my worth if you would but give me a chance.”
Éomer looked back at his friend wondering at her familiarity with him and use of his former name. He saw a brief flash of sadness cross Elessar’s face as the woman almost begged for the opportunity. There was more to her than met the eye, of that he was certain. He briefly wondered if the King thought she was a good match for him. Since his ascent to the throne, only a short time ago, more than one person had suggested a “suitable” queen. Maybe Elessar doubted his ability to lead and wished to have an insider to keep track of him. How would it look to his people if he returned with a Gondorian aid, suggested by the King himself…yet how could he refuse. He sighed and gazed into his ale.
Thea saw the unspoken anxieties in the younger man’s face and looked up at Elessar. The king understood and left the two alone. “My lord,” Arathea said softly, resting a hand on Éomer’s forearm, “Tell me your concerns. I only wish to help. I know I am a stranger but the offer is sincere. I was leaving Gondor anyway and had no idea where I would go. Aragorn knew this and when you mentioned your needs, he thought it might be mutually beneficial. I offer my services, not Aragorn; my only tie to Gondor is my relationship with him; I am without home or country. Please, I will gladly swear fealty to your crown and the people of Rohan if you ask it.
“Peace, my lady,” Éomer said, looking into her deep green eyes, “you need not take any oath; I gladly accept your kind offer and if you find Rohan to your liking, your home it shall be. If Elessar trusts you, than so do I. I just do not understand why you would choose to leave if you are so close to him.”
It was Arathea’s turn to sigh. “Mine is a long story, Sire. For now, let us just say that my staying could complicate Aragorn’s reign; I would do nothing to jeopardize his authority.”
The two sat in silence, Éomer wondered about the ‘nature’ of said relationship. What was there between them that was so damning? Surely if they had been lovers, she would not be present at the King’s wedding! A change in music brought a smile to Thea’s face and the mischief in her eyes sparkled anew.
“Enough of this moping,” she said, climbing over the bench. “Come dance my king.” She grabbed Éomer’s hand and, before he could resist, she pulled him in to the lively reel. For the first time that night, he laughed and the joy reached his eyes; she would be good for him--and Rohan.
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.