Their eyes met again, and each held the others
gaze, each trying to measure something in the other.
Eowyn was the first to look away. She rose from
her folding chair, and turned to leave
I do not need until the morning, said Thorkell bogsveigir.
Release me now. I will join your Guard.
Eowyn turned back. You will swear loyalty to Legolas, and
take orders from the March Warden?
That is what I have said.
And you will keep your word?
Thorkell bogsveigir smiled. Whatever gave you such a low
opinion of me?
I wonder, said Eowyn, dryly. Will you keep
Once I have given it.
Eowyn nodded. Good. Then I shall ask Master Dínendal
to untie you. But you must remain here, in the Healing Tent, until
he decides that you are well enough to leave.
Send for me and I
It will be my pleasure. Thorkell bogsveigir, sitting
in his camp bed, hands still bound together, bowed his head.
Legolas did not know why he had been pacing, back and forth,
outside the Healing Tentnor why he was so relieved to see
Eowyn when she finally emergedexcept that she started when
she heard his voice and, when she looked up at him, there was
an expression on her face that he had never seen before
Is everything settled? he asked, gently (ignoring
the pounding of his heart).
He took her by the arm andstill unsure why he felt so nervous
drew her back from the canvas wallwell away from any
possibility of their being overheard. And?
He has agreed to swear loyalty to you and to serve in the
Guard under Haldir.
Legolas was momentarily stunned. Then he said, I shall
let you break that news to Haldir, melmenya,he
looked across the campsite, to where the March Warden was training
his archershe will be overjoyed.
What else could I have done, Lassui?
He was surprised by the sudden anger in her voice, andalways
anxious to avoid an argument with herhe pulled her into
his arms. Nothing, melmenya, he admitted. Then he
bent down and craned his neck, trying to meet her averted eyes.
What is wrong?
Why would anything be wrong? she said. But she did
not, he noticed, look at him.
You would tell me if
The words died on his
If he insulted you.
At last she raised her head and looked at him. I do not
need you to step in if anyone insults me, Lassui.
I meant if he tried to seduce you.
Legolas! Whatever made you say that?
Then why did you look guilty when you came out of the tent?
Why does his presence make me feel so uneasy?
She freed herself from his arms and walkedalmost ranaway,
down to the riverbank, to the same spot where, on the previous
day, they had spent what might have been her last hours together.
Legolas followed. Melmenya! I am sorry!
At the waters edge she turned to him, and said, gravely,
Will you promise to listen until I have finished speaking?
To listen to everything I have to say?
Do I not always?
No. She shook her head. No, you do not. At
the first sign of a disagreementif I try to say anything
you do not want to hearyou drag me into bed.
Despite his obvious anxiety, Legolas grinnedand Eowyn could
not stop herself smiling back. And suddenly he seemed so young,
so innocent. And so beautiful
You foolish elf. How
could anyone rival you?
She came up close and let him take her in his arms. As
for Thorkell bogsveigir: yes, it is strange, she said. I
could have killed him this morning, and did not. And he might
have died at my hand, and did not. So a bond does seem to exist
between usit is like, I suppose, the kindred a hunter feels
with the boar he has killed. But it is not desire, Lassui.
She half expected him to interrogate her, to question her feelings,
to doubt the truth of her words. But Legolas possessed too noble
Instead, he simply pressed his lips to the top of her head, and
then buried his face in her hair.
You can take me to bed now, if you like, said Eowyn,