“How are you doing?”
Éowyn stepped back from the window facing the mountains to the east of Edoras, back into her husband’s warm embrace. She leaned into him, tilting her head to press her cheek to his.
“It’s a little hard,” she said softly, her voice shaking. She hadn’t imagined it would be this hard.
“I wouldn’t expect it to be easy.” Faramir tightened his embrace. “She’s a lovely child,” he murmured into her ear. “As lovely as her mother.”
Éowyn shivered in his arms, her throat tightening from the sob that threatened to burst forth. She turned to face Faramir, gripping him to her, needing his solid comfort. She’d last seen her daughter when Ivy had been just a week old. Now she was six, a stranger to her, but still oddly familiar. She’d spent today with Ivy, talking with her and getting to know her. She had fallen completely in love with her daughter all over again. And that’s what hurt.
“Come to bed,” Faramir said. Éowyn let him tuck her in, like she was a child herself, and nestled against his body when he climbed in next to her. He rested his cheek on her head. “Do you want to bring her home with us?” he asked.
She made a small sound in her throat and gripped Faramir’s arm. She had thought of just that, so many times in the past two days. But... “She is not mine to take, Faramir.”
“You are her mother,” he said, lifting his head. “He can’t--”
“I won’t do that to him,” she said fiercely. “I won’t take Ivy away from him. He adores her. I would be ripping his heart out if I asked. Because I think he would
give her to me. That’s how he is.”
She pulled away from him, just a little, but he held her close. “I don’t want to see you hurt,” he said. “I want you to be happy.”
She rolled over to look in his eyes. “I am
happy. I have you. I have our sons.” She touched his cheek. “And I want my daughter to be happy, even if it hurts me. I won’t take Ivy away from her father. I could never do that to her. Or Merry.”
The small tent was stuffy and hot, whether from the unusually warm spring night or the heat of their bodies, she didn’t know. She didn’t care. She only cared about Merry, straddling her naked hips, and about the blasted buttons on his trousers that didn’t seem to want to open.
“Here,” he said, and she heard the waver of nervousness in his voice. His smaller hand pushed under hers and he pulled the buttons open with an expert tug. She nearly snatched her hand away in surprise when she felt him, hard and soft at the same time, against her fingers. She took a deep breath to calm herself, inhaling thick air that carried not only the familiar smells of camp--smoke, musty canvas, damp wool--but also the scent of her lover-- the sweet smell of pipeweed and another, musky scent that made a fire burn low in her belly.
She turned her hand to touch him, to explore, and for a moment the only sound was Merry’s ragged breathing and the distant laughter of men at campfires. She’d seen men’s parts before, of course, but not like this. Not hard like this, jutting from the body like a spear. She’d heard about it, from whispered giggles of older cousins, what men did with their
wæpens. She wrapped her fingers around the length, surprisingly larger than she expected, and gave an experimental slide of her hand. Her thumb brushed the tip, smooth and wet with his seed, and he groaned and thrust into her hand.
“Wait,” she gasped, her own voice shaking. She let go of him and reached for his hips, pushing at his trousers. She didn’t want to waste this. She wanted--no, needed--him to take her. Now.
He moved off her, sliding quickly from his trousers and tossing them on top of his discarded shirt. Then he stopped. He fumbled in the dark and took her hand. “Are you sure about this?” he asked.
She nearly groaned in frustration. How many times had he asked her that? But she couldn’t be angry about it. It was just Merry--dear, sweet, caring Merry. She tugged on his hand, pulling him closer until his breath was mingling with hers, and she kissed him. There was no longer any hesitation in their kisses as they opened to each other, tongues tangling.
He broke the kiss to move over her and she opened her legs to let him settle between her thighs. She bucked her hips a little as he pressed close, his erection hard against her. He paused for a moment, breathing hard, then dipped his head to gently kiss her breast.
If they’d had more time, if they’d been in a better place, she would have loved nothing more than his gentle ministrations. But she needed him now. She needed him inside her, to make her feel alive. She grasped at his back. “Now, Merry,” she groaned, and pulled her knees up.
She was a little surprised he didn’t ask permission again. He just pushed himself upright, one hand on her knee, and reached between them to guide himself to her entrance. Then he took a deep breath and thrust.
She gasped, first from the slight sting as he took her maidenhood, then from the sensation of him moving inside her. He paused, buried deep into her. “All right?” he asked breathlessly.
“Yes,” she said, and she pushed her hips against him, encouraging him. “Yes.”
And he moved again, thrusting gently at first, then a little harder and faster, filling the need in her. She reached out to touch him, to trace her fingers over his chest and belly. She pressed her palms to his skin to feel his warmth.
“Éowyn,” he moaned, and his thrusts quickened. He made a small sound in his throat, almost a whine, and thrust hard, then let out a shuddering breath and nearly collapsed on her.
They shifted slightly, so he could move up to face her. She kissed him, threading her fingers in his sweaty curls. “Thank you,” she whispered and lay her head on his chest. She sighed and settled into his warm embrace. Around them she heard the sounds of the camp. Underneath the talk and laughter of the men she could hear other sounds--the grate of whetstone on steel, the clatter of arrows being gathered--the sounds of what would come tomorrow.
She heard Merry’s gentle snore and smiled, glad that she could relieve his own fears for a while. She kissed his chest and rolled over to her back.
Ivy was standing over her. “Why didn’t you marry my dad?”
Éowyn shot awake and sat up, heart pounding. She was in a bed at Meduseld, not in the tent. It was Faramir snoring beside her, not Merry. But the dream had been so vivid, so real
. She was drenched in sweat, thighs slick, nipples hard, her breath gasping, completely aroused.
Faramir stirred a little and Éowyn pressed her hands to her hot cheeks, embarrassed by her dream. She’d dreamed of Merry while lying here next to her husband. She hadn’t dreamed of that night in years, not since before Ivy was born.
Ivy. The Ivy in the dream had asked her the same question that Ivy had asked her today. Why didn’t you marry my dad?
She hadn’t been able to answer it, had given her daughter a story about fear and comfort between friends before a battle. But she’d never answered the question. Why didn’t she marry her daughter’s father?
She’d broken Merry’s heart when she’d told him about Faramir. She knew that. She’d seen it in his eyes. It had hurt her, too, because she did love him, but she had hurt him anyway. She loved Merry, but she had also fallen in love with Faramir. And Faramir was the easier choice. She couldn’t regret it now. She loved her husband and her sons. And she knew Merry loved his Estella. But she had to wonder, if she’d never met Faramir, how things could have been different.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.