28. Surprise! Surprise!
Mid afternoon, one of the younger ellyn entered bouncing up and down, "Amarie, Lord Elrond is arriving back earlier than expected, and ada wants to know if we could all go up to be there when he rides in. He wants to know if you plan to greet him?"
Amarie was sitting on the floor surrounded by large stacks of the cartoons she was sorting. Without looking up she waved and said. "If you all wish to go that is fine, but I doubt if he will expect me to be there. He probably wants to refresh himself before attending to more important matters that have been awaiting his attention."
"That is usually true," came a deep rich male voice. "But I was eager to meet the mistress of Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain and to see what had been accomplished in my absence."
Startled she dropped the handful of cartoons to her lap. Twisting to face the open doors, she briefly looked at the two figures standing behind the awed ellon. Swiftly rising, she forced a calm expression she was far from feeling and turned to greet the elf lord. Amarie bent her head and placed her hand on her heart in formal greeting.
"Mae govannon, Lord Elrond, welcome to the workshops of Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain. Greetings Lord Erestor."
Elrond caught only a brief glimpse of her face before it was lowered in the formal bow of greeting. Frowning briefly, he responded with equal formality. "I thank you Lady Amarie, Imladris is enriched by your presence."
As she lifted her face their two sets of eyes locked as one for a long moment. Finally Elrond cleared his throat and spoke, "Lord Erestor has told me of the speed at which your elves have moved in and organised things. May I have a brief tour?"
Amarie nodded grateful for the question, "Of course My Lord. Most of the credit goes to Lord Erestor since he had accomplished many of the needed changes by the time I had arrived. If you will come this way I will be happy to show you what has been accomplished."
Erestor followed behind as the two headed out the door to the terrace and watched with interest the interaction between his lord and the lady. He was amused to note that neither was now aware of his presence. As the tour continued, Amarie and Elrond looked surreptitiously at each other many times only to turn away when looks collided. Amarie's face was pale and Elrond was shaken although Erestor doubted anyone would have noticed unless they knew him well. She was struggling to maintain her usual cool pose while Elrond had withdrawn into his regal reserved persona. Only his gray eyes reflected his inner turmoil. What was going on here? Erestor wondered had he missed something?
At the end of the tour Elrond strode slowly up to the main house locked in apparent thought. After making several comments and receiving none in reply, Erestor shrugged and followed his lord in silence. As the two entered the house he turned to go to the library but Elrond ignored him and headed toward the stairs and his private rooms. Erestor stood where the elf lord left him and watched him disappear around the landing and frowned in puzzlement.
Evening shadows were lengthening across the valley before Elrond emerged from his dazed state. He felt like he had been hit by a balrog and was surprised he survived. Sitting at his desk in the darken room he tried to understand what had just occurred. For more then two hundred years he had enjoyed the occasional dream meeting with a beautiful passionate nameless elleth he believed had been created by his own thoughts and needs. In a small way it had helped him cope with the many lonely periods that peppered his life as the dreams occurred whenever he felt at his lowest.
Now she had suddenly emerged into his real world and her name was Amarie. It had appeared to him that she thought he was acting strangely and had watched him worriedly. Her relief had been palpable when the tour was over. He smiled wryly to himself wondering if she was afraid he might do something totally inappropriate. He sighed and lowered his head into his hands, suddenly feeling everyone one of his years.
Amarie stood unsteadily at the studio door and watched grimly as Elrond and Erestor walked away from the workshops. She had hoped for a little more time before she faced him and knew that she had reacted strangely to Elronds' presence. He had obviously sensed that and watched her uneasily during the whole time they followed her through the workrooms. Amarie knew she was going to have to exercise great restraint around him in future. Right now she just felt numb.
Turning to the cartoons spread across the floor, she found herself dropping more then she picked up because her hands were shaking so. Giving up before she caused irreparable damage she sat down hard on the only chair in the room. For more then two hundred years she had enjoyed the occasional dream meeting with a glorious passionate nameless elf lord that had been created by her own thoughts and needs. In a small way it had helped her cope with the many lonely periods that peppered her life as the dreams occurred whenever she felt at her lowest. Now he had suddenly emerged into her real world and his name was Elrond.
Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain – House Of A Thousand Jewelled Threads
Mae govannon – Well met
Imladris - Rivendell
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