10. A Wet Result!
“Good morning hiren.” She yawned and stretched before joining him. “It looks as if the weather has finally broken and we may have some clear days for a change.” She peered out at the white clouds scudding across an impossibly deep blue sky.
Elrond nodded and smiled at her. “Not only has it cleared up but the river is fast dropping. I believe we can make some real plans to get out of here.”
‘Rellas frowned. “Is that wise hiren? If we leave our sanctuary, will not we be more visible to our enemies? Your wounds have not yet healed sufficiently and I am worried about that head wound. You have had amnesia and your headaches are bothersome.”
He shook his head carefully and grimaced briefly. “It is much better this morning and I have remembered a great deal more, ‘Rellas, although it is still a little patchy in spots. There is pain if I try to send out mental calls, but I think I should be able to reach ‘Fin and the others later today. I for one would like to bath. You can redress my leg wound after that. Then we can see what can be salvaged from our cloths and put on something a little more formal then this raggedy remnant of a tunic.” He turned and limped slowly back into the cave settling down near the packs.
She grinned and pointedly studied the muddy torn remnants of his tunic. “It is hardly proper raiment for the Lord of Imladris, Elrond.”
He narrowed his eyes briefly at her flippancy then grinned back ruefully. “I doubt even Gandalf himself would recognize me thusly arrayed. Let us see what you were able to save. If I can trade these rags for something among them then these rags can be washed and used for bandaging.”
‘Rellas nodded then paused. “Perhaps we should eat first hiren. You had nothing since our midday break before our accident and you only ate a little bit last night. I know I will feel much better when I have something.” She looked at him intently studying his strained face.
Elrond sighed. “You are right and I know better. I am not a very good patient, ‘Rellas. I hate having someone fuss over me.”
“You are used to doing all the worrying, hiren, and watching over the others under your care so that they are kept safe.”
“I get the feeling you do much the same, hiril.”
“Ah, you have caught me out hiren.” She pantomimed surprise.
With that, they tore open the packs and dove into the packs of way bread, nuts, and the pitifully few remaining bruised pieces of fruit. After completing their brief meal, ‘Rellas repacked their supplies and straightened up the cave. Watching, Elrond rose and collected the dry tunics spread about the cave after ‘Rellas’ washing the evening before. Holding a soft grey one up against his chest, he frowned.
“It appears I am to wear the uniform of one of the Galadhrim.”
“And boots.” ‘Rellas pulled the rescued pair of soft black leather half boots out of the pack and waved them at the elf lord.
Elrond chuckled and stretched out his legs wagging his one good booted foot and bare foot together. “Do you think they will fit me?”
“Well having two is better than just the one you have now. If they are too small, we can slit them on top and wrap stripes of the leather hide around them. If they are too big, we can wrap your feet in strips of cloth before you put them on. If we have to do any walking or climbing in these rocky cliffs you need to have some protection for your feet.”
“Agreed, now can we please climb down and get cleaned up?”
‘Rellas stood and collected the remaining clothing before bundled them up. She coiled a rope and joined Elrond at the cave entrance where he was preparing to descend.
“Hiren, please wait.”
Elrond paused and his face darkened when he saw the rope. ‘Rellas,
I am quite capable of making it to the bottom without that.”
She stood silently looking at him before shaking her head. “I do not think we should risk it just yet. It is obvious your leg still bothers you and I will feel much better if the rope gives you some stability while you descend. I could not face your hin or Glorfindel and explain why you lay smashed against the cliff face were you to slip.”
“”Rellas…” Elrond sighed.
“Please hiren, we still have a discussion to pursue and I really would like for you to be able to do so.” Her eyes were soft and pleading as she held out the rope towards the elf lord.
He groaned. “I cannot refuse when you look at me that way. Very well, let us get this over.”
It was a slow decent and Elrond was glad ‘Rellas had insisted he use the rope. For all his protestations that he was able to cope without help, he found himself very near the end of his strength.
“So much for the fabled ability of the eldar to recover from trauma and heal quickly,” he muttered darkly.
He picked up the bundle of clothing and boots and coiled the rope when she dropped it and watched as she followed him down. Smiling wryly as she joined him, he shrugged at her knowing look and admitted reluctantly. “You were right, I still have some further healing to do.”
He gestured towards the water. “The river has dropped and now runs clear. If we can find a quiet pool, then we should be able to enjoy a good soak. I for one will be glad to wash the mud and blood from my hair and soak some of the soreness out of my muscles.”
‘Rellas chuckled. “I fear the water may still be cold, hiren, but we may be lucky and find a place where the sun has warmed the rocks sufficiently to heat the water enough to ease your muscles.” She paused. “We should not get too far from the shelter of the cave just yet, we may still need its protection.”
Elrond sighed, “You are right, I still am not thinking as clearly as I should.” He held out a hand and took hers lifting it to his lips. “Hannon le.”
They began a slow walk along the bank and found a deep quiet pool just beyond the curve of the river upstream. There was a small sandy beach surrounded by several large boulders that stretched out into the water and acted as a dam against the current on the up-stream side. Elrond helped ‘Rellas climb through the rocks and they stood gazing at the sun dappled pool.
“I think this will do very nicely, do you not?” He glanced at his companion and at her nod, dropped the bundle of clothes and boots.
Elrond removed his sword and striped off his tattered tunic, and undid the leather wrap from his leg. He glanced at her and with a smile turned away from her before removing his leggings. With a sigh of relief, Elrond waded into the water and sank into its warmth gratefully. He floated for a time before ducking under several times to remove the dirt and blood from his body. He stiffened when he felt the gentle touch of hands on his head and turned swiftly to find ‘Rellas floating beside him. He could not help himself and looked down at her figure gleaming palely through the clear water. He swallowed hard and closed his eyes. “Is this wise hiril?” He questioned roughly.
“Your hair is caked with blood and tangled into knots. Allow me to help you remove them hiren. There is no one to comment one way or the other about our actions so we can relax and tend to one another’s wounds.” As for my lack of clothing, you have seen me before and I assure you there is nothing you have that I have not also seen.”
He opened his eyes and studied her face intently before finally nodding. As she moved up and down gently in the current, he reached out and grasped her waist gently to steady her. With careful hands, she began to massage the tangle over his head wound with soft fingers and work out the congealed blood. He continued to watch her as she worked. At her signal, he ducked under several times and rinsed his hair thoroughly. She continued to gently work at the various knots and tangles until she finally was able to finger comb a semblance of order to his hair. Leaning back she patted the last wet lock into place and grinned at him in satisfaction.
“Now you begin to resemble the Lord of Imladris and not an orc refugee.”
Elrond found himself smiling then his eyes were once more drawn to the pale gleam of her body and the smooth curves of her breasts emerging from the water. His eyes darkened and his hands tightened once more about her waist drawing her closer. Heat started pooling in the lower recesses of his abdomen and his loins tightened as her body repeatedly was pushed against his in the slow current.
“‘Rellas?” He asked hesitantly, desiring her but fearing her refusal
She drew his head down and sought his mouth with eager lips. His hungry response soon had them sinking beneath the surface as each struggled to draw the other as close as possible. Gasping and laughing, they both erupted from the water and holding hands moved to the safety of the shore.
Elrond gently pulled her around to face him and shook his head wryly as he took her in his arms. “A river eddy is not the best place to make love, yet I cannot deny I desire you here, and now, in this place. Even though the riverbank is a poor substitute for a scented bed with silken sheets in a darkened room lit only by a dying fire, I do not wish to delay any longer. May we not have our discussion now ‘Rellas?” He slid his hands easily to her hips and pulled her tightly against his arousal.
‘Rellas bent her head and rested her forehead against his shoulder before once more lifting her face for his kiss. “Aye, hiren, I too desire you and can think of no better time and place to have our “discussion”. I would be your lover for as long as we both desire and grant what comfort I may. Yet we know that it must end before the time comes for either of us to sail, I to join my hervenn and you to join your hervess.”
Elrond studied her face for long moments then nodded. “We had best return to the safety of the cave. I cannot offer you a glass of wine or a delicious meal before our joining, but at least we can insure some measure of safety.”
Turning towards the pile of clothes, he slipped on a clean tunic and pulled on the battered leggings. He grimaced and donned the boots surprised to find they were nearly a fit.
‘Rellas chuckled at the expression on his face. “Well that is one thing we will not have to alter!” She paused and chuckled again. Gesturing at his leggings she continued. “Perhaps we should wash those out first before we return to the safety of the cave, hiren!”
Elrond glared at her through hooded eyes before answering in mock anger. “Impudent one. I am in no mood for jests. Get thee to the cave and spread yourself upon the bed awaiting my pleasure.”
‘Rellas angrily halted her redressing before she noted the twinkle in his eyes. Meekly she bowed pulling a clean tunic one and responded. “Aye, hir nin,”
With that, she swaggered off swinging a very bare bottom at him.
“Cheeky git,” he growled after her and grinned when she exaggerated her waggle even more. He picked up the remaining clothes and followed his soon to be lover.
Hannon Le-thank you
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