3. Chapter 3
"Are you here to claim a soul or pass judgment?" Círdan asked when the door closed. The ancient elf watched for any non-verbal sign.
"No, not exactly," Námo responded softly, not meeting the elf's eyes. "It is more personal than that." The Vala felt his face flush; he was not used to feeling emotions like embarrassment. It unnerved him greatly. Námo always thought of himself as a calm and rational being; he could handle anything. Yet, here he was, studying the pattern on the blanket, avoiding a mere elf's gaze, having to admit that an area of his life lacked. Círdan waited patiently. Námo sighed, "I am lonely. I long to have a mate, someone who will love me as I am and be willing to help me in my work. I am the only Valar who has not found their soul-mate." Pleading eyes looked up. "I just want to be loved and to love in return. Those who have accepted my company soon find that my work is too trying, the fëar make them uncomfortable, and my realm dark. Furthermore, I find they only wish to bed the mysterious Vala. I want, no, I need more than just passing fancies for the rest of eternity."
Círdan looked at the unhappy being before him. "So you came to Arda to find a wife. Or perhaps a husband?"
"A wife. Please, I…"
"Peace. I understand your predicament. It cannot be easy for you. You are not just any Vala. Your name often instills fear…I know wrongly so," Círdan quickly added. "People believe that when you appear it is to take a soul. They have come to fear you, not daring to utter your name. They think you harsh and cold. I know the fears are unfounded. I do not envy you your task and I am afraid that you will be disappointed in end." Círdan paused and stood, "However, you must first heal physically. Then you may focus on your search. I will help any way I can." Círdan rose to leave then paused, looking deep into the onyx eyes. "There is something else."
The Vala nodded. "I have only two cycles of the moon. Then I must return to my realm, mate or no."
Círdan reached down and stroked the sleek raven locks as he would any hurting elf. "I am certain there is someone for you, perhaps closer than you think. You will find her." With that, the ancient elf lord left.
Námo knew this to be true, however he also knew that the people of Arda had an image of him and it was not endearing. The elves of Valinor knew him, interacted with him on a regular basis; they did not find him so frightening. If he walked up to a potential mate in Arda, she would most likely flee in terror. Námo sighed as melancholy filled him. Perhaps this was a mistake; maybe he should accept his solitude and return to his realm.
Sleep eluded him for what seemed like hours. His body wanted rest, but his mind would not give in.
Súrelindë heard the sigh as she entered the room. She could feel the sadness in the room and she wondered what distressed the elf-lord so. "Hîr nin?" she asked softly. "I do not mean to intrude, but are you all right?"
Námo looked up in surprise; he had not heard her enter. He watched as she stood hesitantly at the door. "I am fine," he said taking a cleansing breath. "Just a bit tired of being bedridden." Námo felt his troubled mind relax and the room brighten when the young half-elf smiled.
"Círdan thought you might like me to play some more, help you drift to sleep. But perhaps it would be better if I returned tomorrow." Súrelindë began to turn.
"I would love for you to play. My spirit is restless and your playing brings me peace." Súrelindë moved into the room and sat in the bedside chair, strumming softly.
As Námo felt tranquility wash over his entire being, a soft knock followed by the healer's soft voice disturbed him.
"I need to clean your wounds," the healer said, setting a bowl of warm water on the table. "I will need you to move, my dear."
Súrelindë stood. "Of course. I will wait outside."
Námo spoke up. "That is not necessary. Please, continue to play."
"I will stay and play if you wish. It is not like I can peek," she replied with a wink, although her cheeks flushed. The Vala's laugh filled the room.
"All right," said the healer, "now be still." The bandages came off and Námo felt his chest and abdomen relax. The dressings were so stiff! The healer removed the herb pack and began to wash the wound when they heard a commotion in the hall. The door to Námo's room opened and another healer stepped inside. He crossed quickly to his superior, whispered urgently, concern etched on his face, then left.
"Súrelindë," the healer said as he rose, "I need your assistance please."
She set her instrument down. "What has happened?" she asked.
"It seems Lady Mindoniel's little one has decided to enter the world a bit early," he replied as he positioned her on the edge of the bed. Taking her hand, he guided her reach to the basin of water and then to the wound on Námo's side. "This area needs to be cleaned," he instructed. "Then," he pulled her hand, "the wound on his head. I am sure he can help guide you. When you are done," he placed her hand on the dry towel, "pat dry and cover him. I will return when I can to apply the ointment and re-bandage." The healer had spoken quickly and already moved towards the door. Before Súrelindë could ask a question, he was gone. Without a word, she picked up the washcloth from the basis, wrung it out carefully and turned back to Námo.
"Although I have done this before, I do not know the extent of your wounds. Please tell me if I hurt you." Using her free hand, she attempted to find his wound. Her touch was soft, gentle, and very warm on the Vala's cool skin.
Seeing her hand hesitate, Námo grasped her wrist and placed her hand on his wound. She smiled shyly, feeling the firm muscles under her fingers. Carefully she began to wash the wound and surrounding area. Námo could not help but stare at her as she worked. Her face was a mask of concentration. She 'looked' intently at what she was doing. Námo noticed that her eyes were not a solid color, but a unique blend of green, brown, and gold. Her braid now fell over her shoulder and sat on the swell of her breast. As she leaned forward to clean the cut on his temple, he took in her scent, a lemony sweet-grass fragrance. It triggered a vague memory; the scent seemed familiar.
"You have the hands of a healer," he said gently.
"But not the eyes for it," Súrelindë replied. She did not mean it to sound bitter, but at times, she found it difficult to accept her loss. "Forgive me. I did not mean to be harsh. I am grateful to be alive," she added softly.
Námo reached up with his hand and brushed his knuckles across her cheek. It amazed him how warm her skin was - more so than a full-blooded elf's. "No need to apologize," he said gently.
Súrelindë's hands stilled at his touch. She jumped when the door opened without warning.
"Pardon me, but Súrelindë is needed right away."
Súrelindë was already standing, searching for her harp.
"I will bring it," the servant continued. "Second room on the right."
The minstrel left as quickly as she could. The ellon retrieved her harp and followed, closing the door as he left. Námo sat for a moment in stunned silence. What was going on? He pulled the blankets up as the cool night air chilled his damp chest. The Vala could not get the image of the young half-elf out of his mind. He could still remember how warm her touch had been, how gentle. Though her eyes were blind, he could see deep into her fëa and knew her to be a good and gentle creature. He found himself wondering if she already had someone and had she made her choice of race yet.
He dozed for a time, hoping that she might return. The sounds from the healing hall died down and Námo could hear the faint sounds of singing floating on the breeze. So, she sings as well. He wondered for whom she sang. With a pang of jealousy, he wished she sang for him.
Feeling extremely restless, the Vala rose from the bed, very slowly. His physical body ached in protest. Ignoring the discomfort, he searched the room for something to wear. Finding a long robe, he wrapped it around his body. Stepping silently into the hall, he realized how late it was, as no one seemed to be around, and he followed the sound of the music. As he drew close to a room, he heard soft singing. The voice sounded tired but still the notes were gentle and clear. The door stood open so the Vala ventured in. An elleth lay in the bed, resting from the ordeal of birth. He noticed the peaceful aura around the exhausted body. Súrelindë sat near by in a rocking chair, holding a small bundle.
Súrelindë stopped singing and cocked her head. "Who is there?" she questioned, pulling her precious bundle closer.
"It is only I. I heard your singing," Námo said nonchalantly, "and was drawn to it. Is all well with the child and mother?" he asked. He did not sense anything amiss but in his present state could not be sure.
"Lady Mindoniel is well, though she is exhausted. She delivered early and her husband is still out on patrol. Master Healer says that she will recover but needs rest. The little one is small, but strong. He will make it. I hope to keep him quiet so she can rest, but soon he will want food and that I cannot help him with." Instinctively she looked down at the bundle on her arms. Námo felt for her, knowing that she could not see the slate eyes staring up at her intently. A noise and sobs coming from the bed drew both minstrel and Vala's attention.
"No, please I beg you. Do not take my son," the elleth sobbed in near hysterics. "I will go in his place, Hîr nin Námo! Please!" The she-elf attempted to get out of bed. Námo, acting quickly, moved to stay her, only to have her cry out in terror. "Not my baby! Not my precious child!" She beat her fists against him as he tried to settle her in the bed. The mother's panicked voice frightened the infant who answered with a resounding cry.
Súrelindë, confused by the chaos, shuffled quickly to the bed. "Peace, my lady. Here is your little one. Lord Námo is not here. Hush now. See, he is safe," she said firmly, placing the crying bundle in his mother's arms.
"He is. I see him. He has come for my child!" The elleth continued to cry.
Námo knew that the elleth needed to calm down and rest. The trauma of the early delivery had taken a great toll on the young she-elf. She had lost much blood and was very weak. It had nearly caused her to fade; that is why she was able to recognize him. Her fëa saw the truth. The Vala did the only thing he could do to quiet her. "I am not here for you or your child." He spoke slowly and calmly.
She broke into a new set tears. "Oh my beloved Varyamo. He is gone, I know! Orcs have slain him and I too will fade!"
"No!" Námo said in his Vala voice. Súrelindë trembled at the sound. In a kinder voice he continued, "Your soul-mate is safe and will return home soon. Your child will do wondrous things in his life and will bring love to one who has none. I am not here to claim any soul," he finished with a sigh.
The ellyth settled down and looked intently at the Vala. "All will be well?" she asked, kissing her babe's dark hair as sleep overcame her.
"Aye." Námo said gently. He turned to leave, his physical body tired and sore from struggling with the distraught elleth. "Sing for her, please. She needs the peace it will bring." With that, the Vala of Death limped from the room.
Súrelindë, too stunned to do otherwise, sang. Soon mother and son were in deep reverie. Súrelindë left to seek her own bed as dawn already colored the sky. Questions clogged her tired mind. Later she would seek out Círdan and find out if the mysterious stranger with whom she felt so comfortable was in fact the Doomsman of the Valar.
Námo expected to find little sleep that night. He felt horrible for frightening that mother. He thought she would remain asleep and therefore not notice him. However, a mother could always sense his presence. Now Súrelindë knew the truth. What would the beautiful half-elf think of him? Would she ever play for him again? He felt tears sting his eyes as he thought of the loss of her music, her warmth, her presence. He closed his eyes against the tears, yet his body betrayed him and they slid down his cheeks.
Irmo watched his brother sadly. "Peace, brother. Let your dreams guide you." With a wave of his hand, the Vala of Dreams graced his kinsman with rest.
Námo's dream brought him to a beautiful waterfall. As he looked across the small pond, he noted a figure immersed in the flowing water. Lean limbs stretched up to the sky as the naked body emerged from the falls. With all the grace of an eldar, the female dove into the crystal blue water. Námo felt his body stir as he looked across the water's surface, anticipating the reemergence of the beautiful female. The calm of the surface was shattered as the woman came up for air. Námo walked to the edge of the water's edge, only now noticing his own naked body. His hair danced on the breeze and a soft sent of sweet lemon caught his attention. Where had he smelled that before? He closed his eyes and enjoyed the feel of the wind on his body. When he opened his eyes, he found the female standing close enough to touch. The sun was at her back and cast a fiery halo around her head. Námo strained to see through it, to see her face, but to no avail. Casting his eyes away from her face, he took sight of her body. Long and lean, full breasts just begging to be suckled. Water droplets dripped from the brown hair and rolled leisurely over her body, moving along her curves and contours. Námo, despite his body awakening, made no move to touch the vision before him. The female stepped closer, her hand pressed flat against his chest. She moved her hand, delicately tracing over his muscles, up to his shoulder and down to his hand. Clasping his wrist, she raised it to her lips and kissed the soft skin on the underside before nuzzling the palm. This broke Námo from his stupor. Gently taking her face in both his hands, he bent down and kissed her warm, pliable lips. He could not stop the moan as she returned the kiss. The Vala, now filled with desire, kissed along her jaw and as she let her head fall to the side, allowing access to her neck, he took advantage. Kisses were peppered down the smooth column as the female sighed with pleasure. Námo let his hands slide down her back as he dropped to his knees. In this position, he needonly lean forward and capture a rosy nipple in his mouth. She arched into the moist heat, threading her hands through his hair.
"Námo nin!" Her words were no more than a breathless whisper.
Námo bolted upright wide eyes blinking against the darkness. He knew that voice! Why were his dreams so cruel? He could never have her. People would see it as taking advantage of her. He lay back, keenly aware of his throbbing member, leaking with unquenched desire. Snaking his hand between the sheets, he began to stroke himself angrily. His thoughts drifted back to the dream, the glorious, impossible dream. He envisioned her stroking him, licking him, receiving him. He worked his hardened flesh faster and soon tensed, her name on his lips as he spilt his seed. Exhausted, he fell back into reverie.
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.