12. Alone? Are You Jesting?
As Mithrellas slowly awakened she found herself lying spoon fashion against a warm male body and smiled as an arm tightened around her waist.
“Maeraur, hiren nin.”
“Maeraur, hiril nin.” Elrond nuzzled her neck and chuckled when she bent further forward to allow him better access. “I have not finished with you just yet ‘Rellas. I would use this time to further ‘discuss’ our relationship….”
*Elrond, mellon nin, you have need of caution. *
The voice of Glorfindel intruded abruptly into Elrond’s mind and he sat up instantly alert. Signaling to ‘Rellas for silence, he responded to ‘Fin’s urgent warning.
*’Fin, what is the danger? *
*We have found fresh sign of yrch ahead of us and fear they block our path to you. They are searching for something…or someone. You must remain hidden until they move further away or we are forced to deal with them. *
Elrond felt the frustration in his voice and smiled at ‘Rellas before responding. *We are well hidden in our little cliff side cave mellon nin and all traces of our presence below was removed during the last downpour and flooding that passed through here. We have enough lembas to last for another couple of weeks if necessary but will have to descend for water in another day or so. *
*Stay where you are for as long as you can. I will let you know more when we find out how many of them there are and what direction they take. *
*We will. Any indication of what may have focused their attention here? *
*I can only guess, but they may have found either ‘Rellas’ or your mount downstream and are searching for the rider. *
*More likely they found the packhorse or the supplies that ‘Rellas left behind when she salvaged what she could from the packs before moving back upstream. I do hope that Brethil managed to escape both the river and the yrch. *
* We have not come across any sign of either of the horses. Highly likely they found either the pack or the packhorse. Just to be safe, do not risk exposing your location. We think we are but a few hours away and once the yrch are no longer a threat we will resume our search. *
*We will be careful and stay put. *
*One last thing. How are your wounds? Will we need anything special for either one of you if we have to move swiftly? *
Elrond chuckled much to ‘Rellas’ puzzlement. *Only some clothes and a long rope. I fear I have little left of my leggings and would find it uncomfortable to do much riding in their present condition. ‘Rellas managed to retain both her boots and leggings. The rope will be needed to pull us up since I doubt it will be safe for either of us to leave by the river. *
*Namarie, mellon nin, I will be in touch later this evening. *
*Namarie, ‘Fin. We will be waiting. *
Elrond turned his attention back to ‘Rellas and pulled her once more into his arms, settling back on their nest of pack covers with a satisfied sigh.
“It appears mell nin, that we will be here a bit longer. That was Glorfindel and they are cut off from us by a party of yrch who apparently are searching for someone or something.”
‘Rellas stiffened and stared up at him nervously. “Yrch?”
He nodded. “Luckily we were able to go to ground before this last rain. They will find no trace below to point to our location. Once it is clearer when they will proceed away from us, our party will be able to safely resume their search. Until then we must remain hidden and take no action that might alert them to our presence here.”
She relaxed and was silent as she considered his remarks. “We will need water before too long, hiren nin.”
He shook his head. “No water, no bathing until we receive the all clear from ‘Fin.”
‘Rellas sighed and wrapped her arms about the elf lord. “Then I guess we will just have to make the best of it, will we not?”
“I suppose so.” He responded with an exaggerated grin and lifted himself to cover her body. “Now where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?”
Glorfindel signaled his remaining warriors back into the cover of the trees and cursed inwardly as he took one last look at the trail signs before following close behind. Two elves quickly removed any trace of their horses’ hoof prints from the ground with random sweeps of tree branches before joining the rest of their party. Putting some distance between themselves and the river, they sought a sheltered glade where they made a cold camp and prepared to wait out the activities of the yrch.
“Kiril,” he called out softly to one of the warriors. “We will need to set sentries out at some distance…”
“Already taken care of, hiren nin. Will you let the gwanur know where to find us when they return from their scouting?”
Glorfindel smiled at his lieutenant. “Already taken care of, meldir.”
Kiril waved a hand in response and returned to assisting in setting up the camp.
From the cliff tops Elladan and Elrohir had silently followed the progress of the small band of yrch down below as they moved noisily upstream. They had little fear they would be discovered since the abominations were totally focused on the riverbank. Gazing over the edge Elladan gestured at one of the yrch who carried a battered saddle proudly across his back.
“’Roh, is not that the lady Mithrellas’ saddle?”
“It must be, it does not look like ada’s but it is elvish.”
“I hope little Eirien did not survive the flood before they found her.” ‘Dan said grimly. She deserved a better fate then being torn apart while she still lived by those…”
‘Roh interrupted “I agree, but we may never know for sure what happened to her. At least both ada and ‘Rellas are safe for the moment.”
“I hope we find them soon. I do not like not knowing just how badly ada was injured.”
‘Dan nodded and both fell silent once more before following after the noisy band below.
It was nearing late afternoon and ‘Rellas sat with her back against the cave wall near the cave opening. She watched the sleeping elf lord as he laid on his back an arm thrown over his eyes. Although he appeared relaxed and resting easily she still worried about the headaches that continued to plague him on and off. She wished she was more skilled as a healer but took comfort in the return of his memory.
Her attention was suddenly drawn to the faint sound of voices that drifted up from below. Finally, their rescuers had arrived! She moved closer to the opening preparing to call down when something made her pause. The sounds should not be coming from below they should be coming from the cliff top above! Dropping to her knees she cautiously peered down and swallowed a gasp. There were yrch moving upstream! Backing away she moved further into the cave and knelt beside the elf lord. Placing a hand over his mouth she shook him gently.
As he awoke she placed a finger to her mouth signaling silence and he nodded. At her gesture to the cave opening, he silently mouthed “yrch?” and she nodded. Frowning he rose silently and moved cautiously to the cave opening. As he watched, the band continued upstream and faded from view and hearing.
“Rellas started to speak but halted at Elrond’s head shake.
*We must remain quiet. It is not unusual for there to be stragglers. * He mentally warned her.
At his caution she nodded and quietly settled down near the entrance watching his face anxiously.
Tensely Elrond sent a tentative mental ‘search’ sweep around their refuge and found only the trace of the rapidly departing yrch. Sighing he settled down beside her and took her hand gently.
*We are safe for the moment ‘Rellas, but we must remain silent to insure that no sounds echo off of the cliff walls and carry along the river. *
*I understand. *
*I had best contact Glorfindel and let him know about the yrch. It may help them find us more swiftly. *
*I agree. Did you note how many of them there were? *
*Only an approximation. Did you? *
*Eleven, if there were no others beyond the main group itself. *
Elrond frowned and closed his eyes against the pain as he focused on contacting Glorfindel.
*‘Fin? Are you near? *
*Ada? * A very familiar voice echoed loudly in the elf lord’s head.
*’Dan? How…? *
*Aya, ada, we are nearby. We have been trailing a small band of yrch along the river. *
*They must be the same ones that just passed below us. ‘Fin warned us that there were yrch apparently hunting for something or someone and he feared it might be us. * Elrond smiled at ‘Rellas and drew her into the mental link.
*Most likely. We have been keeping an eye on them but we also did not want to outflank them and join ‘Fin for fear we would miss locating you in the process. *
*Ada, are you and ‘Rellas well? * ‘Roh’s voice chimed in. *We were very concerned that your wounds may add to the difficulty in your removal from the chasm. I hope your wait has not been too uncomfortable or painful. *
’Rellas grinned at the elf lord when he waggled his eyebrows suggestively at her as she joined the conversation. *Mae Govannen, hiren neth. We are both well and your ada is recovering quite nicely from his injuries. We are safely ensconced in our little cave and only await the arrival of someone with a long rope to remove us to the upper side of the cliff. *
*We will let ‘Fin know where we are and seek a discrete place to await both his arrival and the safe distancing of the yrch. Then we can get you out of there. Just be patient a while longer! *
*We will hin nin. Perhaps we will take this opportunity to rest. We will most likely need all of our strength for the climb. * Elrond chuckled as he pulled ‘Rellas into an embrace.
Both ‘Roh and ‘Dan froze as they caught the tail end of their father’s thought and looked at each other with mixed emotions.
“That is more information than I wanted to ever know,” grumbled ‘Dan to his gwanur.
‘Roh shook his head. “It was about time, and what better way to spend their time until they are rescued?”
The gwanur exchanged wry grins and prepared to go to ground awaiting the arrival of the balrog slayer and the rest of the accompanying warriors.
Hiril nin-my lady
Mellon nin-my friend (male)
Lembas-elvish way bread
Brethil-silver birch-Elrond’s horse
Mell nin-my dear
Eirier-Daisy-Lady Mithrellas’ horse
Mae Govannen, hiren neth-Well met, young lords
Gwanur-brother, a pair of twins
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.