A brief interval of fun and games before the next
"It is so nice to be home," said Eowyn, as Legolas
carried her along the walkway to their private chambers, "even
if it will only be for a few hours. I do not suppose... No..."
"What, melmenya?" Legolas prompted.
"That we could send Aragorn an excuse and stay here
for Yule? We could spend some time together, just the two of us,"
she grinned, "in bed."
Legolas laughed and kissed the top of her head. "No, melmenya
wonderful as that would bewe cannot! It is an official visit
and we accepted Aragorn's invitation months ago. We will be several
days late as it is."
He carried her through the front door, across the lobby, and
into the sitting room
"Legolas!" Eowyn gasped. "It is beautiful!"
The fireplace, the pillars, and the beams of their severely elegant
sitting room had all been decorated with garlands of holly, ivy,
mistletoe, and fir cones; the windows had been hung with deep
green velvet spangled with golden stars; and the mantelpiece and
hearth sparkled with hundreds of tiny white candles.
"How ever did you do it?" she asked.
"I asked Míriel to arrange it, before we left for
He carried her over to the fireplace and set her down on one
of the chairs clustered round the fire. "I am glad you like
it," he added, almost shyly.
"I love it. Thank you! But now, more than ever, I want to
stay at home."
Legolas knelt before her and kissed her hands. "You will
enjoy Minas Tirith, melmenya," he said. "I promise."
She smiled. Then a thought struck her: "Legolas," she
said, "we still have presents to wrap!"
Eowyn took a sip of mulled wine. "How is that?"
She held up the parcel she had been struggling with.
"Terrible, melmenya!" Legolas laughed. "Give it
to me." He carefully undid her handiwork. "The secret,"
he said, "is to match the shape of the wrapping to the shape
of the present." He picked up a circle of rose-pink gauze.
"Do you think Gimli will like that colour?" asked Eowyn.
"He is a dwarf, melmenya. Dwarves love all beautiful things...
Now, pull up the ends like this, tie it off with thread, like
this, decorate it with a ribbon, and arrange the ends of the bow,
"Perhaps I should wrap Faramir's bookhe will be more
She took a bite of caraway cake. Choose a piece of fabric
the right size and shapedark blue for Faramirpull
up the ends, tie off with threadhmmm, not too baddecorate
with a ribbon... "Stop laughing, or you will be sleeping
alone tonight! In the garden."
"There is not enough time to get everything packed!"
"Míriel will do the packing, melmenya. All
you have to do is tell her what you want to take. Anyway,
you will not need much..." His voice trailed away.
Legolas tried to look innocent. "We are only going for a
Eowyn laughed. "You are a poor lier, Legolas."
"It is written all over your face!"
"All right," he admitted, at last, "I have the
feeling that the Yuletide Elf might be bringing you a few things..."
"Gowns? Let me see!"
"Please." She grinned mischievously.
Legolas hesitated. Just one, he thought. "Very well.
Stay here, then. Do not try to see where I am going."
Eowyn waited impatiently whilst Legolas disappeared into their
How could he possibly have hidden anything in there? she
He returned with a large, flat parcel, wrapped in iridescent
green gauze and decorated with a golden ribbon tied in a large,
artfully arranged, bow.
He laid it on her lap. "Merry Yuletide, melmenya."
Eowyn ran her fingers over the golden bow. "It is beautiful,"
she said. "I love it."
"You have not opened it yet!"
She pulled the ends of the bow, carefully untied the ribbon,
and unwrapped the fabric. Inside was a gown of bright green velvet,
embroidered with clusters of golden holly leaves and with deep
red holly berries.
She held it against herself. The neckline, edged with golden
beadwork, was cut very low, in the elven fashion. She looked at
the elf, suspiciously.
Legolas laughed. "You will look lovely, melmenya,"
he said. "Your wound will be fully healed by Yule. And look"he
showed her the underdress, made from translucent gold silk and
decorated with tiny golden snowflakes"this goes underneath.
It will show a little at the neckline, and preserve your modesty...
Try them on." He helped her change out of her tunic and leggings.
"The gown laces up the back," said Eowyn.
"Mmmmm," said Legolas, pulling the laces tight.
"That way, you will always need help undressing, melmenya!"
He carried her into the bedchamber and held her in front of the
mirror. "Do you like it?"
Eowyn examined her reflection. "It is the most beautiful
gown I have ever seen," she said, giving him a tender kiss.
"Thank you..." Then she added, excitedly, "Carry
me over to the dressing table! But do not look!"
When she was quite sure that Legolas' back was turned, she opened
her jewellery box, took out a small silver key and unlocked the
cupboard on her side of the table. She sorted through a pile of
small parcels, selected onewrapped, rather untidily, in
bright orange fabricand made a last minute attempt to straighten
its corners. Then she closed the cupboard door.
"You can look now," she said, holding the present out
Legolas gave her a ravishing smile. "Thank you, melmenya!"
He weighed it in his hand; it was light. He shook it; it made
Legolas carried her to the bed and, sitting beside her, carefully
unwrapped the present.
It was a large comb, carved from a single piece of dark red wood,
its spine decorated with a line of intricately detailed Mûmakil.
Legolas examined the animals carefully.
"It is beautiful, melmenya, thank you." He sniffed
it. "It smells of spices!"
"I know. It is the natural smell of the wood. It comes from
a tree that grows only in Far Harad."
Legolas' expression turned wicked. He handed her the comb.
"Take off your tunic," she said, smiling.
She unfastened his braids and gently massaged his scalp. He sighed
contentedly. Then she began combing, working out a few tiny snags,
until she could run the comb through the full length of his hair.
Eowyn had had relatively little experience of men, but she was
almost certain that this reaction was uniquely elvenand
that her gift had been the perfect choice.
"Lean forward," she whispered. She put the comb down
and began to massage Legolas' neck and shoulders and to kiss the
delicate points of his ears.
"Oh, melmenya," he gasped, his back arching sharply.
Eowyn laughed. "I love the way your ears are so sensitive..."
Legolas rolled over, pinned her to the bed and kissed her hungrily,
tickling her neck and shoulders with his mouth and his loose hair.
Eowyn wriggled, laughing, beneath him, and they hugged tightly.
Then Legolas suddenly stilled. "Wait, melmenya! I have something
else for you!"
He jumped up, and ran into the sitting room. Moments later he
returned, and placed another parcel on her lap.
Eowyn examined it closely. It was a cylinder, about ten inches
long, made from a brightly coloured material that was neither
fabric nor parchment, but something similar to both, and its ends
were twisted to form a sealed pocket in the middle.
"Hold your end tightly," said Legolas, grasping the
other end. "Now, pull!"
"OH!" cried Eowyn, falling over onto the bed, laughing.
Legolas hugged her. "You have won, melmenya," he said.
Eowyn examined the cylinder. It had torn in two, and she had
been left holding the larger part. Inside the pocket was a slip
of parchment and a small wooden box.
"Why did it explode?" she asked.
"It contains a small amount of the powder that Mithrandir
used to use in his fireworks," Legolas replied. "Pulling
makes it explodedo not ask me how, Eowyn nín,
for I do not know."
Eowyn grinned. "Where did you get it?"
"Dol Amroth. I had a terrible time keeping it dry on the
Eowyn read the parchment.
"I know a word of letters three,
Add two, and fewer there will be."
She looked at Legolas questioningly.
He grinned. "I am not telling you the answer, meleth
nín," he said. "You will have to work it
out for yourself. Open the box!"
Eowyn took up the wooden box, and removed its polished lid. "Oh!"
It was a ring or, rather, two ringsone silver, one goldflowing
over and under and around each other.
"It is a betrothal ring, melmenya," said Legolas. "I
know it is a little late, but I wanted you to have oneI
wanted to give you one." He took it from the box and slipped
it onto her finger.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"This one?" asked Legolas, "or this one?"
Eowyn was sitting in bed, drinking mulled wine, and helping Legolas
choose the clothes he would take to Minas Tirith.
She sighed. The wine was strong andthough it was a very
enjoyable jobLegolas' hair was loose and his chest was bare,
and she was growing impatient.
"I do not know," she said.
Legolas laid both tunics over a chair and sat down beside her.
"What is it, melmenya?" he asked anxiously. "Are
you feeling unwell?" Illness was newand frighteningto
Eowyn shook her head; then she wrapped her arms around him, and
whispered in his ear, "You have not made love to me all
"Oh, my love," he said, "we must put that right."
And, tenderly kissing her face, her neck, and her breasts, he
used one hand to unlace his leggings. Eowyn immediately took hold
of him and drew him towards her.
Legolas smiled down at her. "My impatient Shieldmaiden..."
He buried his face in her neck and let her guide him... Then
he flexed his hips and entered her in one firm but gentle thrust.
They both sighed with pleasure.
"Keep still, meleth nín," he whispered.
He lay on top of her, enfolding her in his arms, and only his
hips moved, in a slow, inexorable rhythm.
"FEW!" cried Eowyn, her body arching.
"Yes... YES, MELMENYA!"
"All I said was"
"I know what you said. But what you want to know,"
said Eowyn, "is whether this lover I had before Faramir was
Aragornyou are jealous. That is why you are so angry"
"I am not angry"
"Yes you are. Why? Does it matter if it were Aragorn?"
"Of course it matters! It matters because I loved you, even
then," cried Legolas, furiously, "it matters because
Aragorn was already betrothed. He had no right to take you.
He had no right to"
"He did not! He did not, Legolas!"
Legolas stared at her, confused.
"It was Theodred!" she said. "It was not Aragorn.
Theodred was my first lover."
"Theodred? Oh, melmenya"he reached for her"melmenya..."
He slipped his hands around her waist and pulled her close, burying
his face in her hair.
Eowyn did not resist, but she remained aloof. "How many
lovers did you have before me?"
"Does it matter?"
"Of course it matters, now. How many?"
Legolas sighed. "Twelve," he admitted. "But I
am much older than"
"No you are not! I am almost middle-aged; you
are young for an elf! But I suppose," she added, "as
a Prince, you were encouraged to sow your wild oats. I suppose
some palace official was ordered to supply you with as many ellith"
"You started this, Legolas, being jealous!" She sighed,
and began tracing the muscles in his chest with her finger. "So
who did you have before me?"
"I cannot tell you that"
"Why not?" she asked. "I told you.
And, besides, I need to know."
Legolas sighed; she was right. "There was an elleth my tutor
hired," he said, "after my coming of age ceremonyshe
was the first."
"That is a sad way to start," said Eowyn, softly.
"There was the daughter of my father's Chief Counsellor.
Several other ladies at court"
"Four. There was an elleth Ierknew in one of
the settlements to the north of Mirkwood. A serving elleth"
"I treated her well. A dancer at Imladris, when I attended
the Council of Elrond. And two bathing attendants at Lorien."
Legolas nodded, looking slightly embarrassed.
"And then you tried to get me into bed at Edorasyou
were busy during the Fellowship," she said, dryly. "But
that is only eleven. Who was the twelfth, Legolas?"
He hesitated for a long time. "Arwen," he admitted,
Eowyn was taken aback. "Arwen!"
"It was many years ago, melmenya. Long before Aragorn was
"Was it serious, with Arwen?" she asked.
"Was it serious with any of them?"
"So it was just physical?"
"Were they better than me?"
"That means yes."
"No! No it does not! No one could ever be better than you!"
"Not even the whore?"
"The whore was efficient."
"What does that mean?"
"It was over in moments."
Eowyn smirked, her face buried in his chest. "That was not
her doing," she said. "With you it is often over in
"Was she better the second time?"
"There was no second time. She wanted more money."
In spite of herself Eowyn laughed. She raised her head and Legolas
smiled at her. "What about the others?" she asked, softly.
"Oh, Eowyn! What if I were to ask you about Faramir and
"Then I would tell you that Faramir was kind and gentle
but that his heart was not in it," said Eowyn, "and
that Theodred... Theodred was too much like Eomer, and I could
not let go."
Legolas kissed her tenderly andat lengthfelt her
relax in his arms.
"I did begin to think," she said, softly, "that
there was something wrong with me."
"No, melmenya. No! You are a wonderful loverpassionate
and givingI meant it when I said there was no one like you.
Not for me. You give me everything I have ever wanted. You give
me joy such as I never imagined existed."
"Really?" Eowyn asked, with child-like insecurity.
"Of course, my darling. We are perfectly suited, you and
I. Woman and elf."
Eowyn nodded. "You are hot where I am cold and cold where
I am hot," she said.
"It is something I thought a few days ago," she said,
softly. "But the truth is that we are not perfectly
suitedthe truth is that some of your brief affairs with
ellith will have lasted for longer than my entire lifetime"
"I do not want to leave you, Legolas," she whispered.
Legolas shook his head. "I will not survive you, Eowyn nín.
I will die when you die"
"Shhhhh," he kissed her hand. "We will
never be parted, melmenya. We will be together forever. I have
made up my mind"
Eowyn pushed herself up on her hands in alarm. "To do what?"
"To follow you," he said. "Woman and elf, we were
both created by Ilúvatar. And the Valar gave you to me.
Whatever happens to men when they die, wherever they take you,
I will follow. I will beg to be admitted. It may take time, but
I will persist"
"Shhhhh. Will you wait for me?"
"Of course I will wait for you."
"Do you think your ancestors will accept me as your husband?"
A single tear ran down Eowyn's cheek. "Oh my love... Yes."
"Then it is agreed?"
"Good," said Legolas, smiling. He reached up and lifted
her bowed head until their eyes met and an answering smile transformed
Eowyn's faceand they grinned at each other like two children
who had just agreed to be naughty.
And when he turned her onto her back, and gently pressed her
into the bed, she did not resist, but wrapped her legs around
his waist and returned his kisses with equal passion.