At the word “wife”, Denethor saw a vein pulse in Faramir’s neck, and, with sickening certainty, Denethor knew why his younger son’s behaviour had changed since the elder's marriage -- why Faramir spent more and more time in Ithilien; why he seemed cordially distant to Boromir’s lovely young wife, Éowyn; why he was less at ease with Boromir himself, when they had always been so close -- and Denethor’s heart ached for his beloved child.
He turned to Faramir, whose eyes gave away nothing. “Shall you take this task?” he asked simply.
Something like relief flickered across Faramir’s face, so quickly that Denethor was not sure he had seen it. “I will, Father,” he replied, and if there was gratitude in his voice, only Denethor heard it.
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