12. Crown of Thorns
The roses bloomed early in Gondor, a profusion of blossoms in pink and white, and released a headier perfume than those in the North. Or did he just fancy it so, now that he could gather them freely for his beloved?
Ignoring the gardeners' scandalised expressions, Aragorn carefully selected the finest blooms for his Queen. It was the least he could do for the one who had given him her all.
A sharp pain pierced his finger. He glanced down and saw the droplet of crimson blood. The roses were fair indeed, but each stem bore cruel thorns in plenty.
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