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Part 19

Eowyn lay upon her back, watching the sky turn from velvety black, to dirty grey, to a luminous pale lavender. She had spent the past few hours trying to think of a way to prepare the dragon for Legolas’ arrival. He will be here soon, she thought, anxiously—and, as though the beast had overheard, it suddenly raised its head, and peered down at her.



You wan’ mo’ wader?

Despite her fears, Eowyn could not help smiling. “No,” she began, but broke off as a cry of surprise pierced the air, followed by the rattle of falling rocks.

Both heads—woman and dragon—swung towards the sound. “Wazzat?” cried the dragon.

Eowyn scrambled to her feet, praying that Legolas had not fallen. Should I lie, she thought, and try to distract him, or should I simply tell him the truth?

“It is something I need,” she said.

Wha’ ?” the dragon demanded.

More rock fell, and Eowyn knew that Legolas was still climbing. The dragon, meanwhile, was eager to investigate, and it was becoming harder and harder to keep its attention. “My husband,” she said, loudly.


Mate. My mate. Do you have a mate?”

Eowyn heard another noise but, this time, the dragon seemed oblivious to it. “No...” it said, sadly, and its head drooped, and Eowyn’s heart lurched at the expression of loss that spread across its face.

“Oh—I am so sorry,” she whispered.

But then, because she had to make it understand, she pressed on: “My mate is worried about me, and he is coming to make sure that I am safe. Will you let him come up safely?”

The dragon rose to its feet, and stretched out each limb, and shook its great, clawed wings. When it behaved like a simple animal, it was truly a terrifying sight.

Eowyn watched it walk to the edge of plateau. “Please,” she begged, following it, “please do not hurt Legolas.”