5. Chapter 5
Súrelindë did not seek out Námo that day, nor the day that followed. She did not know what to make of the Vala's presence. Before she knew his identity, she enjoyed his company. They spoke little, but always it felt comfortable. Now she wondered why the great being tolerated her. Did he pity her as others did? She sat on her window seat, face turned to the cool night breeze. Círdan told her Námo asked for her. The Vala, he assured her, truly enjoyed her music and her company. Something about how the shipwright said it left the young half-elf wondering. Now she found she missed the unseen presence. She had to admit that an aura of comfort surrounded her when she was with Námo, she felt respected, safe, appreciated. He had a powerful body and was taller than she by inches. His skin was smooth and cool to the touch, though not cold. She could not say what his features were like. She heard whispers about him, his hair and eyes, his toned body. She could not read his thoughts or feeling in his eyes; no, she had to rely on intuition and non-visible cues. Súrelindë remembered how he felt as she tended his wounds and butterflies swarmed in her stomach. She had thought, maybe, perhaps, he would be different from the others. She felt he truly saw her as a person, capable of living a near normal life, loving and being loved. She sighed. Loneliness filled her soul. Sliding from her seat, she moved slowly to her bed. Settling between the cool sheets, she said a silent prayer and drifted to sleep.
Irmo watched from the shadows. He liked this little one. She had a special gift that would make her a comfort to more than his brother. Unfortunately, she thought so little of herself that she might never approach Námo again and that would not do. Time was running out.
Súrelindë felt herself drift into the world of dreams and she welcomed them. Always she found peace in the dreams, even in her solitude. This night however, she could feel the presence of another, a gentle caress on her shoulder, a nip at her neck. A soft voice whispered tender words of love and devotion, strong arms embraced her. The gentle scent of juniper filled her nose as warm lips pressed a kiss to her ear. A cool hand caressed her neck.
"Play for me," a voice begged. "Come back and play for me…"
Súrelindë stretched. What a wonderful dream! She lay amid her bedding like a lazy cat, a small smile on her lips. She found that this dream was not so difficult to relive. The warm, cherished feeling remained. That voice, compelling her to play for him…him…She sat up and cocked her head as if to listen for the voice. "Come back and play for me," the voice had said. Could it be that Námo came to her through her dreams, requesting her to play? However, why? Was she denying a summons from the Vala? That could be dangerous! She ran a hand through her tousled brown hair. There was only one way to find out.
A quick bath followed by the taming of her unruly hair started her morning. She dressed quickly, grabbed her harp and headed to the dining hall for a small bite. Then, she though with resolve, she would seek out Námo…after a calming stroll through the garden.
Námo could find no rest. It had been two days since he left the healing halls. In that time, the lovely little bard had not returned to play for him. Círdan assured the Vala that he had delivered his message. The longer he was away from her, the more desperate he became to be with her. Súrelindë now intruded on both his waking and sleeping mind. Therefore, if she were reluctant to come to him, he would seek her out instead. With that decided, the Doomsman went about getting ready. He combed his hair till it shown with the depthless sheen of obsidian. He pulled the sides back and attached them with a jeweled clip. The ancient mariner had made sure that suitable robes hung in the wardrobe. He now chose a deep burgundy set. When he was dressed, he glanced at his reflection and smirked. He had gone to great lengths to look his best for a woman who could not see him.
He left his rooms and made his was through the house. He asked a passing servant if she knew the whereabouts of the young minstrel. The elleth blushed and stuttered out her answer, pointing out of the window to the garden. With a bow of thanks, the Vala left the flustered maid. He entered the garden and took a deep breath. A myriad of scents assailed him. At times like this, he understood why no one living wished to remain in his domain for long. His halls held the smells of earth and stone, not roses and lilies. He slowly wandered the curved pathway, letting his feet take him where they will, when suddenly a she-elf appeared at his side. He looked down at her as she linked her arm through his.
"Ah, Hîr nín it is good to see you up and about," the elleth cooed. Námo merely nodded. "It is a beautiful day for a walk, is it not?" she continued, pressing herself close.
"It is," the Vala replied, annoyed. "Although, it might be better if you would help me," he added. The elleth, whom he now recognized as the one from the Healing House, beamed up at him.
"Oh, I would love to. Tell me, what do you need?" She had stopped walking and now clung to the tall figure, looking up expectantly.
"I am seeking someone." Her look turned questioning. Námo continued, "I am looking for the one called Súrelindë. Have you seen her?"
The color drained from the she-elf's face and she faltered briefly. Regaining her composure, she replied, "I have not seen the child. She is prone to coming and going; wandering is in her blood. Why do you seek her? Perhaps I could be of better service?" she added.
Námo eyed her. She tried to hide her dislike of the half-elf, but the Vala could see through her.
"No, I am afraid you cannot. I wish to get to know her better." He untangled his arm from hers. "Now if you will excuse me, I was told she is in the garden and I intend to find her. Good day," he said pleasantly. He turned, leaving a glowering elleth in his wake. The she-elf stood briefly, stunned by the dismissal. She then quickly looked around, making certain no one had seen, before storming off in the opposite direction.
Námo continued on his quest. Soon he noticed a figure strolling amid the lilies. Her measured gait was relaxed and she often stopped, flittering her hand about to find a delicate bloom, before bending to enjoy its fragrance. Námo approached silently.
"Their scent is quite intoxicating," he said by way of greeting. Súrelindë, standing and turning to face the unexpected voice, found her balance off and nearly toppled into the flowers. Námo reacted quickly, grabbing her arms. Consequently, the slight half-elf found her direction changed. Her hand came up and encountered a firm chest. She felt her heart leap and her cheeks flush.
"Forgive me Hîr nín," she said shakily.
"There is nothing to forgive," Námo countered, still holding on to her upper arms. "It is I who should beg forgiveness for startling you so." He raised a hand to caress her cheek briefly. "I should have announced myself."
Súrelindë's soul soared at the tender touch. The Vala's cool hand made her body warm, and a surge of excitement flowed through her core. She struggled to regain her composure. "It is alright. I…I am sorry I have not come to play for you as you requested. I…"
Námo stayed her with a finger to her lips. "I understand. I gave you quite a shock the other night."
"Oh no," Súrelindë began. "I mean you did but still I should not have ignored your summons."
Námo stepped back at this and dropped his hands. "Summons? Is that how you preserved my wish?" There was pain in his voice.
Súrelindë did not answer right away. She was sensing something in the Vala, disappointment. "I did not mean…" She stopped. "That is you asked for me to play for you and I said I would but did not. It was disrespectful of me to ignore…" She paused again. This was not working. Her words were all wrong. She did not know what to say.
"You have free will, penneth. You do not *have* to do anything," Námo said dejectedly. "It is clear that you would prefer not to play for me. I will not trouble you again." He turned to leave. A delicate hand reached out for him and just caught the sleeve of his robe.
"You misunderstand," Súrelindë said quickly. "I wish to play for you; I enjoy it very much, really I do. I just do not understand why you would choose me. I am nothing but a blind half-breed gypsy. The Master Bard here plays much better than I. I am not like the ellith of this realm. They have poise, knowledge, and know the proper way to behave in your presence. You are Námo, the Keeper of Spirits. Why on Arda would you want to spend time with me? Surely there are more important people, more worthy people, deserving of your time." Her gentle ramblings pleaded with the Vala to explain, to help her understand.
Námo's heart stirred. He turned back to her. His onyx eyes took in her whole being, from the curves of her physical body to the depth of her illuminated fëa. He liked what he saw. He took her small hand and tucked it into the crook of his elbow. "There is no one more important here than you. Come, walk with me."
"But, my harp," Súrelindë attempted to turn back to where she had set the instrument.
"It will be safe," Námo said with a gentle tug. "You can play for me later if you so desire. Right now, I would love to enjoy a walk with you."
From his balcony, Círdan watched the two. He had dispatched a rider earlier that morning to locate the Wandering Company. He only hoped Gildor would not delay. The gypsy prince had a right to know who courted his daughter.
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.