Legolas and Eowyn

Their eyes met again, and each held the other’s 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 your word?

“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.”

“And then?”

“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 Tent—nor why he was so relieved to see Eowyn when she finally emerged—except 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).

“It is.”

He took her by the arm and—still unsure why he felt so nervous —drew her back from the canvas wall—well 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 archers—“he will be overjoyed.”

“What else could I have done, Lassui?”

He was surprised by the sudden anger in her voice, and—always anxious to avoid an argument with her—he 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 lips.

“If what?”

“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… I meant if he tried to seduce you.”

“Legolas! Whatever made you say that?”

“Did he?”


“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 walked—almost ran—away, 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 water’s 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 disagreement—if I try to say anything you do not want to hear—you drag me into bed.”

Despite his obvious anxiety, Legolas grinned—and 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 us—it 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 a spirit.

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, softly.



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