1. Silver Rain
He was ancient, thousands of years old by the passage of time, though time under the stars by the waters of Cuiviénen had little reckoning – a day, a year, a century… an eternity might have passed though he counted it naught.
Nevertheless, Elu Thingol, formerly Elwë Singollo, Lord of the Sindar - now ruler of the same - was experiencing feelings he could not recall ever having felt before. Casting his mind as far back as he could conjure memory, he knew himself only as an adult, full-grown, with a heart and mind already matured when he had first drawn breath by the Waters of Awakening.
The reflection in the mirror could not name the curious awareness of the silver-grey mane plaited away from his face to cascade like a waterfall of mithril down his back, the slight air of felicity with which he appraised the leanly handsome face staring back at him, the satisfaction gleaned just from sweeping his eyes over the tall, finely sculpted body that housed the flesh of his heart. It could not have given definition to the euphoria that made him feel as though a number of his wife's companions were trapped in his belly, fluttering frantic wings.
Oh, he might have noted, clinically, the wild beating of the pulse at throat and temple among the youth of his court. Especially in that moment when fingers clenched and eyes dropped as quickly as those glancing gazes clashed and the air between young lovers fizzed with the spark that presaged fire. But he could not have named it, though he had stood through years unnumbered enveloped in this very thing he was feeling now, while the trees of Nan Elmoth had grown dark and tall around he and his love.
It was at the same time enervating and invigorating, clawing and cloying. One moment his hands were slick with sweat, the next his mouth so dry words could not pass his lips. It was annoying and exhilarating and all together madness to be experiencing the sensations of youth for him who had known neither the insouciance or passion of inexperience.
His gaze in the mirror touched on the basket innocuously perched upon the sleeping couch behind him and a quiver of pleasure slid over his skin. He turned, fingers tingling knowingly as he imagined the delectation of his wife when its delicacies were unpacked under the silver rain of light in their private glade.
She had forsaken much in taking him to mate; her devotion to Yavanna, her home in Valinor, the beloved trees and feathered friends she had left behind on her journey to the Hither Lands, and more, he felt, though he could not name those sorrows either. Occasionally though, he felt the inexpressible welling of silent grief pouring from the shining soul who had accepted his troth for eternity.
There had been no discussion, no debate. No words had passed between them on the subject, but he knew that today, this day, would live indelibly in his memory. Today they would give life to another, create a new harmony that would blend with the Song, a harmony that entwined both their own songs, and yet, would be a uniquely distinct and soaring aria of its own.
He had been planning this day for months now, enlisting aid on every front: among her nightingales, whose songs he had begged for their private enchantment; from Oromë to carry messages to Yavanna soliciting her blessing as well as her conspiracy; the very stars themselves that they might unveil their true glory and join their light to the silver fire of his Maia mate.
He had slipped away, yestereve, at the first clarion call of Oromë's horns, to meet the messenger who had carried his missive to the Giver of Fruits. He hefted the basket delivered by Pallando, pleased with the seductive adiposity at the end of his arm. He had been bidden to leave it unopened until alone with his lady wife, but he knew its weight to be comprised of the fruits of Yavanna's complicity in his scheme.
He had the blessing of the Valar and the love of an eternal woman awaiting him. His beguilement was assured.