Why are you smiling, Eowyn nín?
They were walking, arm-in-arm, along the river bank, like any
pair of sweethearts. The sky overhead was blue and cloudless;
the grass underfoot was bright with new lifesprinkled with
white and yellow flowers. To Legolas, it seemed that every other
being in Middle Earth was singing
I am enjoying having you to myself for a while, said
Sadly, he drew her to the waters edge, and sat her down
upon a rock.
You are treating me, she said, still smiling, like
someone who is recovering from an illnesstreating me how
Faramir treated me, when I left the House of Healingbut
I am not ill, Legolas.
No. He gazed at the water.
Say it, my love.
Say whatever is on your mind. I would rather you said ithowever
much it may hurtthan stayed silent like this.
Hurt? How can you think that I would hurt you?
He wrapped his arm around her. It is just
we would have forever, and now we may not. And I do not know how
to fit eternity into a few short hours
Then just tell me you love me, said Eowyn, laying
her head upon his shoulder.
He raised her to her feet and they carried on, following the
broken edge of the meandering river bank.
Do you want to spar? asked Legolas.
You are no swordsman, my love.
Then Haldir, or Eomer could
No. I want to spend these hours with you.
Do you think you can beat him, melmenya?
Yes, if the gods are with me, she said. He
will underestimate a womanhe is sure to. If I can best him
quickly, I believe I can win. But the longer it lasts, the more
it will shift in his favour.
Legolas stopped and, turning to face her, slipped both hands
around her waist. Remember what we promised.
Eowyn shook her head. I would never hold you to that, Lassui.
We made a promiseI will follow you, through the light,
and join you where men go when they die, he said. After
I have dealt with him.
Later, she fell silent.
I am frightened, Lassui.
Of what, meleth nín?
I do not know
Suppose they will not let you follow?
He cut her off, crushing her to his chest. Whatever they
ask of me, however long it takes, I will do it. Just do not give
up hope, melmenya. Trust me, wait for me, and do not give up hope.
It was dark when they slipped back into the camp.
In the privacy of her little shelter he undressed her, marvellingPerhaps,
he thought, for the last timeat the softness of her
breasts, the slenderness of her waist, the smoothness of her slightly
swelling stomach, the subtlety of her shapely hips and her lightly
He bent, and kissed her reverently. You must sleep,
he whispered, lying down beside her.
I need you, she said. Inside me.
He unlaced his own leggings and entered her, pushing gently through
the slight resistance.
She smiled serenelyThank you
drew him down, and their bodies settled together.
He made love to her slowly, calling on every ounce of his elven
strength, every fibre of his elven self-discipline, to hold her
in that place where the world shrinks to nothing but two people;
and when he could wait no longer, when his body slipped from his
control, he took her with him, filling her with perfect contentment.
I love you, she murmured.
He raised his head to reply, but she had already drifted into
sleep. He kissed her forehead. Sleep well tonight, Eowyn
nín. Sleep well, beloved.