It was to be their first real night together.
Legolas had had Eowyn's luggage moved into his chambers and they
had spent a delightful evening installing her belongings in his
elegant bedroom, hanging her gowns in the wardrobe"This
green one will have to go, melmenya, it does not suit you";
folding her undergarmentswith much laughing and teasingand
adding them to his own in the linen chest; arranging her combs
and her perfumes and her jars of salve on the dressing table.
"You may soon regret asking me to move into your chambers
with you," said Eowyn, glancing around, "for I am not
nearly so neat as you are. I shall annoy you with my untidy ways,
just as I annoyed" She broke off, biting her lip and
looked at him anxiously.
But Legolas did not seem to have noticed that she had almost
mentioned her husband. Instead he pulled her into his arms, laughing.
"You will never annoy me, melmenya!" He kissed
her forehead. "Would you like a drink? Some wine?"
"Mmm; thank you."
"Wait here." He disappeared into the sitting room.
Eowyn, resting on the bed, ran her fingers over a large, flat,
ornately carved box lying on the nightstand. Beautiful, she thought.
She picked it up. I wonder if there is anything inside it
She unfastened the catch and opened it. "Oh!"
"Here you arethis is one of my father's best vint"
Legolas stopped in mid stride, one hand outstretched. "I
see you have found my guilty secret," he said.
"It is just like the portrait that Faramir had painted of
"It is an exact copy, melmenya, also by Master Halmir. I
wanted a copy of you, here, with me." He placed the goblets
on the nightstand. "But now that I have the original, she,
poor lady, must live elsewhere." Gently, he took the painting
from her, closed and fastened the box, and placed it on a shelf
at the top of the wardrobe.
He sat down beside her. "You do not mind, do you, melmenya?"
"Mind? No, of course not. It is just that I did not know,
Legolas. And I am sorry."
"For not recognising your feelings earlierin the past."
Legolas smiled. "The past does not matter any more, melmenya.
Here." He handed her a glass of wine. "To us. To our
Eowyn touched her glass to his and took a sip. Then she gazed
into the ruby liquid, suddenly reminded of something that had
troubled her when she had heard Master Dínendal giving
his evidence, earlier that day. "Legolas
"Can I ask you something?"
"Of course, melmenya."
"The wine you sent me, at the banquet on that first nightwas
it the potion that the Mistress of the Ceremony prepared? The
one that was supposed to make you choose Alatáriël?"
"What do you mean, melmenya?"
"The goblet of wine you sent me, just before the Rite began."
"I did not send you any wine, melmenya."
"But the serving elf told me it was from youI would
not have drunk it otherwise, for it tasted strange." She
thought for a moment. "He said, 'Lord Legolas asks you to
Legolas stroked a strand of hair from her face. "What did
it taste like, melmenya?" he asked.
"Salty. And it was strong. Very strong. It
smiled. "It had a very swift and noticeable effect onercertain
parts." Her smile broadened into a grin.
Legolas kissed her nose. "I shall have to have a word with
this servant who gave my lady a dangerous potion, claiming to
do so on my behalf. What did he look like?"
"He was an elf."
"That is not much help, melmenya."
"I did not see him clearly; I would not recognise him again.
And no one else saw himat least, they said they did not.
At the time, I thought it might be Arwenwell, her brothersplaying
tricks on me." She turned to face him, fired by a sudden
thought. "You do not thinkyou do not think that the
Mistress of the Ceremony intended it for Alatáriël,
but the serving elf gave it to me by mistake?"
"If that is what happened, melmenya," he said, kissing
her tenderly, "I think the Valar had a hand in it. We may
never know." He kissed her again. "What I do
know, though, is that it would have taken more than a love potion
to make Alatáriël attractive to me."
Grinning, Legolas lowered her onto the bed, and lay between her
legs, and kissed herwith increasing urgencyand his
erection pressed against her
Mmmmm. She pulled him close. "Legolas
you look at my portrait when
" She whispered in his
Legolas laughed. "Of course, melmenya. Every single time!"