10. New Acquaintances
Haldir gazed at the sky. The sun was almost at the peak. Noon was fast approaching. He had intended to arrive at the encampment before dusk so that there may be some light to travel back to city with. Night drew in many foes and it was not a suitable time to travel, especially when he is in charge of another. He quickened his pace and made his way to the northern border where he knew he would find an agitated and bitter Calavénë.
Haldir arrived at the border close to tea time. The day had been wonderful so far. He did not even notice his weariness. Being in the woods seemed to have lifted his spirits. He saw the watch talan, perched high on a Mallorn tree. He was glad for he was making great time. Now, the only task at hand was to collect the lady and make their way back to the city.
Haldir walked towards the healing tent. He went inside only to find the tent empty. He returned to the grounds and scanned the area for any sign of the elleth. A sweet and mellifluous laughter grabbed his attention. Not far from the tent he saw Calavénë sitting on a perch engaged in an amusing conversation with Mebedir. Haldir could feel his breathing laboured and his heart beat escalating. Something is happening to me, he thought. Was he ill? There was an unsettling feeling down in the pits of his stomach. He looked at her again and the pain was made worse when he saw Mebedir brushing a rueful hair from her face. His eyes widened in surprise; he felt a twinge of jealousy!
Calavénë laughed as Mebedir recalled his first day of training, "You should have seen the expression on Haldir's face. He thought I was incapable of shooting the apple on his head!"
She had spent the rest of the morning in Mebedir's company during which he had revealed humorous stories about Rumil and Orophin. There were also some stories on Haldir. Calavénë was fascinated by the tales of the brothers. They made her laugh and she saw Rumil and Orophin in a different light, not the stern wardens they are now but mischievous and gay! She shook her head and smiled. It was nice to be in Mebedir's company. At least it distracted her from her reveries of Haldir.
Calavénë's gaze caught the sight of a very familiar ellon. Her heart thundered in her chest. Haldir was so infused in her blood; she was seeing his apparition in day light! She watched as the mirage walked closer to her. It was such a wonder to see how her mind was conjuring this image. It was the spitting resemblance to the real Marchwarden. She watched him with dreamy eyes and a heart filled with desire.
It was not until Mebedir stood up to greet him did she realized it was indeed the real Haldir, "My Lord Haldir! It is a surprise to find you here!"
Haldir looked at his officer with icy gaze and a stern expression, "No, Mebedir. It is a surprise to me to see you so far from you duties. I suggest you return to your post. I have matters to discuss with the lady."
Mebedir was taken aback at his request. The Marchwarden looked upon him as if he was an enemy of Lorien. It was not his place to argue his orders. Mebedir bowed and left in silence. Calavénë watched the scene playing in front of her. It was very brash of Haldir to dismiss her new companion, "I was enjoying his company, Marchwarden. What right do you have to send him away?"
Haldir glowered at the feisty elleth in front of him, "The right is mine for I am his captain. Enough of this childish conversation! Gather your things. We leave for Caras Galadhon this very moment."
Calavénë stared at him in disbelief, "Why am I to return to Caras Galadhon? Herdir Annoguil had left instructions for me to be stationed here until my ankle heals."
Haldir was growing impatient with her questions, "Do as I say. Lady Galadriel demands your presence in the city by the morrow at the break of first light. We must leave now if we are to make it as scheduled."
At the mention of Lady Galadriel, Calavénë gave up on the matter. She reached for her walking staff and slowly made her way to the tent. She gathered her belongings and changed into her tunic and leggings. It was much more pleasing travelling in leggings rather than a long flowing gown. She was ready not long after and made her way outside.
She saw Haldir near the watch talan with his horse, Baingraban. It has been under Mebedir's care since Haldir left to see to the fellowship. The horse was a magnificent colour of the night. His coat gleamed under the sun and his mane was smooth. Thus Haldir named him Baingraban, beautiful raven. She approached them cautiously, dispersing equal amount of pressure to both of her ankles. Thus it made her movement slow.
She stood behind Haldir timidly, "I am ready…"
He turned around and nodded his approval, "I think it is best we travel by horse seeing as you are still not able to walk properly with that ankle. If I may, my lady…"
Calavénë nodded her approval and Haldir lifted her, placing her gently on the horse. He climbed on the horse and sat behind her. Moments later she could feel his firm grip across her belly, steadying her. Calavénë blushed; his hand was close to her chest and it made her very uncomfortable seeing as how her mind kept on remembering how she pleasured herself with him on her mind.
Haldir felt her body stiffen at his touch. He crouched forward, meeting her gaze, "Are you well?"
Calavénë spoke with a cracked voice, "Yes, I am."
Haldir held the reign and nudged Baingraban forward "Then we must make haste."
It seemed the power of Arda had the best of Haldir today. Not two hours after leaving the encampment, Lorien was blessed with the restorative power of the rain. At first it was only tiny droplets, nothing that would hinder their journey. But what started as innocent rain became hard and fierce. Haldir was soaked through, as was Calavénë. The rain made it hard for him to see where they were going. Alas after trying hard for sometime he had to succumb to the weather.
Haldir crouched forward close to Calavénë's ear, "We have to stop. The rain is too much."
Calavénë was already trembling. She nodded in agreement. A fire would help warm her up. Her ankle was beginning to throb. The damp dressings were making her foot cold. She needed to have it changed as well.
Haldir narrowed his eyes, trying to find a suitable place to wait out the rain. He seemed to have remembered an abandoned watch talan close by to this path. It was damaged in one of the orcs' attack last spring. He pulled the reigns once again and led his trusted stead to the talan.
Not long after, Haldir could see the abandoned talan up ahead, "Praise the Valar, the talan looks habitable. We shall wait for the weather to clear. Let us hope it will not be long."
Haldir dismounted from his horse. He carefully reached out for Calavénë and pulled her down. She stood silently beside him waiting for him to tie his horse under a sheltered tree. He approached her soon after and took her hand. Calavénë was surprised at this gesture but said nothing. In her mind it was an act of compassion, trying to in still some courage inside her. They walked to the talan hand in hand, cautious of the inhabitants that might be dwelling inside.
Haldir pushed the door ajar. The roof had holes in them and rain was pouring inside. Nevertheless, there seemed to be a space in the corner free from the effects of the rain. Haldir looked at the elleth beside him. She was in pain, he could tell. Her ankle must be hurting from being in the cold. With one swift motion, he lifted her in his arms and walked across the room to the drier area of the talan. He set her down and scanned the room. There was nothing in the talan apart from wood splinters and dried leaves. He walked towards some of the woods on the floor.
He sighed and turned towards Calavénë, "I do not see how I can start a fire. The woods are sodden with rain."
He walked back to the other side of the talan and sat down beside Calavénë. He was accustomed to the cold rain. But today it was affecting him. Perhaps he was indeed weary from his journey. He smiled in amusement when he thought that perhaps age has finally caught up with him. His attention turned to the trembling elleth beside him. Being as young as she is, she still could not endure weather and pain like the other older elves.
Calavénë felt chilled to her bones. Her tunic and leggings were soaked through and the cold rain had driven out the warmth from her body. When Haldir informed her that the wood planks were waterlogged, her hopes for a fire that could warm her quickly disappeared. She watched as Haldir stood up and removed his tunic. Her heart raced. What was he doing?
Haldir took of his tunic. Perhaps it could dry faster off his body. He turned around to find a wide eyed elleth staring at his broad chest. He cleared his throat and spoke to her, "I do not mean any disrespect. Perhaps you might want to consider taking off your tunic as well and let it dry. You can use my bedroll sheet that I have brought with me, provided it is not damp as well."
Calavénë did not know how to respond to this. The idea of wearing something warmer than her sodden tunic was inviting but the notion of sitting next to Haldir naked was certainly worrisome. She watched as the Marchwarden pulled out the sheet from his sack, "Thank Eru! It is slightly damp but it will do. Here…"
Calavénë reached for the sheet with trembling hands. She stood up slowly and looked around the room. There was no private enough place for her to change. She swallowed the knot in her throat and addressed him, "Haldir, do you mind? There is no where I can go to change…"
Haldir smiled and nodded, "Yes, I understand." He turned his body around and let the lady change into the sheet.
Calavénë took of her tunic and leggings and laid it on the floor of the talan. She wrapped the sheet around her body. It made her really uncomfortable seeing as it hung just above her thighs. She tied a knot tightly around her chest and turned to seat down. She saw that Haldir too had taken off his leggings and was draped in the very same sheet she has around her body, "I am done my lord."
Haldir turned and lost the ability to think straight. She stood there in nothing but a grey sheet covering her delectable body. Her hair was wet making it turn a deep golden brown. Her ruby lips trembled. Whether it was out of fear of him or due to the rain, he did not know. Through lowered lashes, she looked at him. He stood motionless, entranced by her simple yet divine presence.
Realizing that he was gazing at her for far too long Haldir shook his head and sat down one foot away from her. The wind was howling and the rain replied with equal force. Both of them sat in silence not knowing what to say to each other. Haldir looked at Calavénë and saw her hand running across her injured ankle. The dressings were sodden.
He approached the elleth with caution, "May I have a look at that?"
Calavénë looked up and saw the gentle look in Haldir's eyes. She nodded and watched as the ellon sat in front of her. He gently held her ankle and began unravelling the bandage. He was glad when he saw the ankle mending well, "There is nothing to be worried about. Your ankle seems to be healing well. The ache must be caused by the damp dressings."
Calavénë closed her eyes as Haldir rubbed his hands on her ankle, trying to warm it up. Suddenly she felt a surge of warm air on her skin. She opened her eyes and saw Haldir blowing hot air to her ankle. His lips were one inch apart from her now burning skin. She could feel the ache deep between her thighs.
Haldir could feel her heart pace rose. He had one of his fingers pressed on the blood vessel near her ankle. He smiled to himself. If he wanted to show her the real meaning of pleasure, it would be all too easy given that she was easily excited. He felt brave. He leaned down and kissed her ankle.
Calavénë opened her eyes abruptly. The kiss sent jolts of energy up her legs and into her centre. She watched as he kissed her leg higher and higher. She was gasping for air. She did not know how to react or what to anticipate. Haldir got on one knee and leaned closer to her face. She stared at the Marchwarden, fear and desire filled her eyes.
Haldir brought his face closer to hers. Her breathing was uneven and she closed her eyes when she saw him coming closer. He stopped and looked at the elleth in front of him. What is it about this one that drives him over the edge? He watched her tremble in anticipation and when all signs of him pursuing her stopped, she opened her eyes. At that precise moment Haldir caught her lips with a soft lingering kiss. Her eyes widened in surprise and Haldir could feel her stiffen against his kiss. He let the kiss linger until he felt her soften. He released her sweet lips and looked at the elleth again. Her eyes were closed and she looked like an innocent child.
He leaned in closer and this time he covered her lips with a passionate kiss that caused her to moan against his touch. She tasted divine. Her lips were soft and her scent was intoxicating. Haldir carefully pulled her onto his lap without breaking the kiss. Her hair was soft and silky. The feel of her strong shoulders as he caressed her awoken his senses and stirred his desire. He deepened the kiss licking her bottom lip; demanding, pleading.
Calavénë loved the feel of his strong arms holding her close. His muscular thighs cradled her soft body and his kiss was enthralling. She felt his tongue on her lips, demanding entry. Letting all her guard down, she parted her mouth. The feel of his tongue delving into the creases of her mouth made her moan and gasp. He tasted wonderful, just like in her fantasies. Calavénë circled her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. The kiss continued to elevate their desires. Calavénë could feel his hand roaming her body. It cupped her soft breasts, gently kneading it. She let out a small whimper as he playfully pinched her nipple. But when his hand reached for the knot of the sheet, Calavénë panicked.
Haldir kissed her neck, nuzzling and licking along her collarbone. He ran his hand on her breasts, playing with a taut nipple. Her body shook and she let out a whimper that drove him over the edge. His hand idly travelled upwards towards the knot that was hindering his from soft flesh.
He heard her protest, "No… Haldir…"
He continued his kisses and caresses, "Why melethril?"
Calavénë had to stop this. If they were to continue, she knew she would not have the strength or the will to tell him to stop, "Pen vuin, I cannot. Lady Galadriel…"
Haldir pulled away abruptly. The mention of Lady Galadriel brought him crashing back down to earth. He lifted his hand from her chest and closed his eyes. He could feel soft hands cradling his face in an embrace, "I am sorry…"
Haldir opened his eyes. Calavénë had tears in her eyes. He knew she wanted this as much as he did. But he saw more than desire in her eyes. She loved him.
He had seen the same look in Gwilwileth's eyes years ago. Fear bubbled inside him. This was not his intention. He merely sought to light the spark of passion inside her. Instead he had awoken the raging fires of love. He had sworn that he will never fall in love again. He cares for her but love her? No, he did not love her. Now, through playful games and heated banter, he has made her love him.
Calavénë sensed the change in Haldir's demeanour, "What is the matter Haldir?"
Haldir smiled and kissed the top of her head, "Nothing, pen neth. Come, let us rest. It will be a while longer before the rain stops." He held her in his arms and both fell into a deep sleep.
Several hours later, Calavénë opened her eyes. The forest was still. She could hear owls hooting and the insects buzzing. The rain had finally stopped. She looked up and saw Haldir asleep with his head against the wall of the talan.
A sad smile formed on her lips. She loves him.
She loves him with her every being. A sense of relieve washed over her when she admitted the fact to herself. But she knew he did not love her in return. She had sensed his hesitation when he held her. She looked upon the handsome ellon. Perhaps if she could make him love her in return, Lady Galadriel would bless their union. She made a promise to herself. She would break his tough exterior and make him love her.
Haldir stirred. The rain had stopped. His body felt stiff from holding a fast asleep Calavénë in his arms. He looked down upon the elleth and was surprised to find her wide awake, "You have awoken, pen vuin."
Calavénë smiled, "I have. Forgive me for being a burden."
Haldir shook his head, "Nonsense. You are barely the weight of a feather. Come, let us dress. We must continue if we are to reach the city before dawn."
Haldir stood up and held his hand out to Calavénë. She nodded and took the offered help. Both dressed quietly and made their way out from the abandoned talan.
Baingraban was asleep on the ground but as soon as it caught sight of Haldir, it stood up, ready to go. Haldir placed Calavénë on the horse and mounted it soon after. His hand rested firmly around her middle. The ride back to Caras Galadhon was spent in silence.
Haldir was lost in his own thoughts. The ghosts of his actions have come forth to haunt him. He should have not teased and seduced her so. Now this elleth was clearly in love with him. He cannot let this continue further. He cannot offer her what she seeks. If she continues to love him, all she will be bargaining for in return were heartaches and tears.
Tonight Calavénë met a new Haldir. This Haldir was tender and thoughtful. Today, she had also met a new Calavénë who loved Haldir and would do everything in her power to heal his heart and have him heal hers in return.
Pen vuin – dear one
Pen neth – young one
Melethril – lover (fem)
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.