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For the first time since coming to live with him, Eowyn had awoken without his strong arms around her.

She turned over.

He was not lying beside her… He was not in their bed chamber.

She threw back the coverlet and climbed out of bed.

Winter was already approaching and the room felt chilly, but elves, Eowyn had found, did not light fires for warmth, only for light and cheer. Just one of the many strange things I must learn to live with, she thought, slipping on her thick velvet dressing robe and hunting for her fur-lined slippers.


There was no reply from the bathing room.

Nor do elves, she thought, looking at herself in the mirror, get tangles in their hair. She raked a hand through her own dishevelled locks. In fact, they hardly get dirty at all. (She had once asked Legolas how he could bear to sleep with a sweaty, smelly human, and he had laughed, and kissed the tip of her nose, and told her that she was beautiful).

Eowyn stifled a yawn.

Elves, of course, did not sleep, either—not in the normal way. They rested their spirits by communing with Arda, singing to the stars or walking beneath the trees. And if they did lie down, it was open-eyed—something that Eowyn still found slightly unnerving.

But Legolas always joined her in bed. Always.

So where was he this morning?

They had not quarrelled. They seldom did, and never for long, since Legolas’ answer to almost any disagreement was beautifully simple—immediate and prolonged sex.

Where is he? She reached for the door latch, just as the door opened.

“Melmenya!” Keeping one hand—suspiciously, Eowyn thought—behind his back, Legolas entered the bed chamber, and gently propelled her towards the bed.

“Where were you?”

It sounded petulant. But her elf simply smiled.


Shhhhhh…” Using one strong arm, he lifted her onto the bed, sat down beside her and, with an elaborate flourish, conjured up something small and silken, which he dropped into her lap.

Eowyn stared at the exquisitely embroidered pouch. “What is it?” she asked.

“Open it and see!”


The first time he made love to her—without the Harvest Rite and its potions adding fire to her blood—was a profound revelation.

They were sitting, side by side, upon their bed, drinking wine and talking. He made some prediction about their future together, she turned to him, smiling, and his expression suddenly grew serious. Without a word, he took the glass from her hand and set it down upon the nightstand.



He drew her close, kissing her tenderly, and his hand moved between their bodies.


“Shhhhh.” He pressed his lips to her forehead.

She glanced down, and her heart fluttered at the sight of him, standing free of his leggings—his size still made her breathless! She sank back onto the bed.

Legolas grasped her waist. “Turn over,” he said, softly.

Turn over? Ignoring some tiny misgivings, Eowyn did as he asked.

“Now come up on your hands and knees.” Nuzzling and nipping her neck, he gently slipped his hands under her belly—“Up…”—and lifted her into the strange position. “Yes—like that…”


“Shhhhh.” He slid his hands over her bottom, and down her thighs, and she felt him grasp at the fabric of her skirts and draw them up around her waist, leaving her buttocks exposed and vulnerable.

“Oh. Valar.” His hands cupped her naked flesh, caressing her, lightly at first, then harder, kneading her, making her squirm and squeeze her muscles tight to savour the delicious ache inside her. Her legs were already shaking, and she tried to sink down—

“No…” He held her up, wrapping his arms around her, one hand supporting her belly, the other her breasts. “Trust me, melmenya, you will enjoy it like this,” he murmured, smiling against her skin. “Open your legs for me…”

“Open…?” Did he intend to mount her, like a stallion, from behind?

She hesitated. But his hand slid down to her groin and his fingers slipped between her thighs—“Open them…”—and his voice was commanding but so gentle, and his hand—

Oh gods, his hand!

Eowyn spread her knees, and was amply rewarded by his penis, slipping between her legs, teasing, teasing, then probing gently. “You are so wet…” He lodged himself just inside her—kissing and biting her neck—and his long, slim fingers pressed on her sensitive flesh—until she spread her legs further—and he pushed himself home.

Oh, dear gods!

Eowyn’s arms gave way, and she fell on her face, her buttocks still high in the air—“Oh gods, gods, gods,” she moaned—her body was trembling all over. “Oh, oh, oh!” His thrusts were a sword of fire. And she screamed—clawed at the bedsheets, screaming—as her vital spirits rushed down to her core and she climaxed around her beloved elf.

“Thank you.”

Legolas, gazing deep into her eyes, smiled lazily. “For what, melmenya?”

She kissed his hand. “For making me feel like this…”


“Open it!” said Legolas excitedly.

His mood was infectious. Eowyn untied the drawstring, pulled open the pouch and peered inside. “A key…” She tipped it into the palm of her hand. It was small and—like everything Elven—elegant, fashioned in silver, with a beautiful leaf-shaped bow.

“What do you suppose it fits?” asked Legolas.

Eowyn shook her head. “I have no idea.” She had never noticed many locks in Eryn Carantaur.

“Shall we see if we can find something?”

Eowyn grinned—he was acting like a child with a new pony. “What are you up to?”

Legolas laughed. “Come, melmenya.” He held out his hand.

“I am not dressed.”

“We shall not be going far. Come.” She let him lead her into the lobby and ‘discover’ a small wooden chest, sitting in the middle of the floor. “Where can that have come from?”

He released her and she knelt beside it, examining the familiar emblem on its lid—an Elven sword surrounded by a ring of birch leaves. “The arms of the Woodland Realm.”

“Do you think your key will fit?” asked Legolas.

“I would be willing to wager Brightstar on it,” she said, grinning up at him. She turned the lock and raised the lid—“It smells of lavender!”—and peered inside, at what appeared to be a bale of plain black cloth.

She looked up at Legolas, questioningly.

Smiling, he reached down, and pulled open the black wrapping.

Eowyn gasped. Inside was a mantle of pale silver-green velvet, embroidered with fresh young leaves of every kind, and hemmed with a delicate fringe of silvery silk. She ran her fingers over the sumptuous fabric.

“Let me help you put it on,” said Legolas, lifting it from the chest.

Eowyn slipped off her dressing robe and Legolas, with a proud smile, draped the mantle about her shoulders. “It was made for my grandmother,” he explained, carefully lifting her hair. “My father gave it to my mother when they married. Then Ada gave it to me, when I came of age, so that I could give to my wife.”

“Oh, Legolas…”

“I sent for it before we left for Caras Arnen, melmenya, but it did not arrive until this morning.”

“That is where you had gone…”

He nodded. “Galathil told me that a chest had arrived from Mirkwood, but I wanted to make sure.”

“Does your father know that you sent for it?” asked Eowyn, softly.

Legolas laughed. “My father personally weighs, measures, and dockets everything that passes in or out of the palace gates, melmenya.”

“Will he not be angry that you are giving your mother’s mantle to me?”

“I have not yet read his letter—but I understand that he has sent one of his spies to investigate you.” Laughing at her horrified expression, he kissed the tip of her nose. “The mantle is mine to give to whomever I choose, melmenya, and I have chosen you. Nothing my father can do or say will change that.”

He looked down at her, his expression suddenly serious.



He drew her close, kissing her tenderly, and his hand moved between their bodies…



Eowyn folded the Leafy Mantle, placed it back in its lavender-scented chest, and carefully locked it away.

She had not told Legolas of the gift that Faramir had given her, in the House of Healing—a lifetime ago it seemed, now—his mother’s blue mantle.

She had feared it might hurt him.

But, for her, there could be no surer sign of the rightness of their union than this gift and the feelings it stirred within her—and than the blissful lovemaking that had followed his giving it to her.

She patted the lid of the chest, and went to join her elf in the garden.





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The Starry Mantle


I imagine this happening a few weeks after Wet Elf and just before the start of To the Sea...

The 'action' is an alternative ending to The mysterious serving elf.

And we learn more about the spy King Thranduil has sent to investigate Eowyn in The Letters.