15. The Arrangement
The first rays of light peeked its way through the tent flap and teased Haldir's eyes. The commotion outside was barely audible. Haldir roused. The pain on his back had lessened from the night before. The cooling salve did its work. A beautiful orange blossom scent welcomed his senses. The feel of soft skin and shapely breasts made his rousing unbearable, for he did not want to leave the tent. He lifted his head gently and looked at the elleth lying next to him, "Calavénë…"
He propped on one elbow and looked at her. Her golden hair fell in soft curls around her face. Her hair was indeed unusual. It was not straight like the other elleth but it had soft waves that framed her face. The skin on her face had a tinge of blush on the apples of her cheeks. Her lips were small but full. Haldir smiled. Those lips were delectable. He quietly ran a finger on the outline of her eyebrow, following the curve of her bone.
A sigh escaped his lips. He wanted to make love to her, take her fully. But lying with an elleth who is not your wife was forbidden and frowned upon by the society. Perhaps there was another way for him to feel the pleasure of her body. He had given her pleasure numerous times without being one with her. Surely she would do the same. A mischievous smile formed on his lips. Ignoring the pain on his back, Haldir made his move.
Calavénë tossed around in the bedroll. She knew it was morning but she was weary and wanted to rest a little longer. She felt cold. The blankets did not help warm her body. She opened her eyes and saw that the blankets were gone! Haldir sat near her hips with his fingers around the band of her breeches. With one swift pull, her breeches came off and she lay there naked.
Surprised by his actions, she turned to her side trying to cover her body. Fear rose inside her, questioning his motives, "Haldir… What is the meaning of this?"
Haldir lay down behind her, gently stroking her back, "I would make love to you meleth and you to me…"
Calavénë's body shook with fervour and nervousness, "Haldir… Please hold on a little longer. At least until I have had an audience with Lady Galadriel to be dismissed from her patronage. Then you can have me fully…"
Haldir kissed her shoulders, gently licking the nook of her neck, "I do not need to be one with you to make love to you…"
Calavénë was still naïve in the ways of love, "How?"
Haldir chuckled, amused, "I will show you if you let me…"
He turned her body around and removed her hands away. She looked at him anticipation in her eyes mingled with fear. Her gaze fell upon the dressings on his shoulder, "Haldir, you are hurt. Are you sure this will not harm you?"
Haldir smiled and kissed her forehead, "No, melethril. All will be well. The wound is healing beautifully."
He moved his body closer to hers. She was trembling, anticipating his moves. He bent down and kissed her nose then her eyes and soon they were locked in a passionate kiss. Her lips were warm and soft. The delicate folds of her mouth tasted wonderful. He licked her bottom lip, demanding access which she obliged. Their tongues met inside their mouths, twirling and sucking.
Calavénë pulled away in need of air. His kisses left her breathless and the look in his eyes told her he was far from over. He bent down again, catching her lips one more time for another bout of heated kisses. When he finally released her lips, it was swollen from his attention.
He kissed the tip of her ears, eliciting a moan from her lips. He nibbled the rounded lobe, gently sucking. Her head tilted towards his mouth, desperately seeking his lips. Haldir smiled. It will be hard to love her without wanting to take her fully.
He kissed down the side of her neck, licking and sucking slowly along the lines of her blood vessel. He lightly brushed his finger along her collarbone and down the valley of her breasts. She arched her body into him, needing to feel his touch on her breasts. He followed the trail with his lips, leaving a wet path down her chest. Without hesitation he took a hardened bud into his mouth and twirled his tongue around it. Calavénë moaned and grasped the bedroll beneath her. The feel of his mouth on her body was sheer ecstasy and she could feel the heated moisture forming in between her legs.
The sound of someone coughing outside caused them to stop. Haldir pulled back, listening to who it was. Outside the tent a grinning Rumil stood waiting, "Calavénë, Haldir… the rest of us will be moving out in an hour. I suggest the two of you get your affairs in order." Rumil smirked. Knowing Haldir, he might have Calavénë in naught but her skin. But his brother was a noble elf. He would not have deflowered her since they were not bonded. Still, no one said loving each other needed them to be as one fully. Rumil too has learned the ways of love this way.
Calavénë instinctively pulled the blankets to her body. Rumil's interruption brought her back down to earth. Her face turned scarlet since Rumil could have guessed what was happening. She was grateful that only Rumil and Orophin and perhaps herdir knew her true feelings. She looked at Haldir who was hovering on top of her, "We best get ready…"
Haldir lifted his body from hers aided with his good arm. Calavénë saw this and looked worried, "What is it Haldir? Your arm is restricting your movement?"
Haldir sat down and nodded, "Yes. It seems I cannot move my arm as much. My shoulder is still hurting."
Calavénë held the blankets close to her chest and moved closer to him to inspect the wound, "The wound is healing well. Perhaps the blow has rendered your arm temporarily weakened. It is best if I made a sling for you."
Calavénë stood up and pulled her gown over her head once again. She reached into the medical kit with her and pulled out a long piece of cloth. With a few twist and turns, she managed to form a sling for his arm. She gently slipped the sling over his shoulder and placed his arm inside it, "Is that better?"
Haldir moved his shoulder. The pain seemed to have lessened, "Yes. It feels slightly better. Thank you." He looked at his naked torso, "Do you think I could wear my tunic?"
Calavénë smiled, "I do not think that is possible. Why Haldir? Are you embarrassed?"
Haldir cleared his throat, "No. I mean, I do not make it a custom to walk around shirtless in front of my fellow wardens. My naked form is reserved for more… deserving elves."
Calavénë frowned, "Who might that be?"
He leaned in close to her ear, "Healers and you… which coincidentally are both…" He gently licked her lobe seductively.
Calavénë shuddered at his words. She looked at him and smiled, "Come. We must be ready. I suspect Rumil is fractious to return home to Lorien."
They rode on the same wagon they did last night. Orophin too joined them. Haldir was awake and insisted on not taking any sleeping draught. Calavénë sat on the wagon with her legs crossed and Haldir laid his head on her lap. For Orophin, it was good to see his brother happy. He had not seen him content in the arms of an elleth for a long time now. But he fears for Calavénë. He did not know how Haldir wanted to proceed with this relationship. He shuddered at the thought of what Calavénë agreed. Haldir must have set a kind of boundary for them. It is a pity for Calavénë to fall in love with Haldir, an elf who did not know the real meaning of true love.
Haldir traced his finger along the intricate patterns of Calavénë dress. She gently stroked his hair, admiring his beauty. Every now and then he would kiss her thighs. He would then sit up and play with her hair and whenever Orophin averted his gaze, he would steal a kiss from her. Calavénë was happy for the first time in many days. She would request an audience with Lady Galadriel and ask to be relieved of her duties. In all of her excitement about the new life she would have with Haldir, momentarily she had forgotten about the old one she had…
They reached Lorien close to nightfall. Calavénë helped Haldir to his talan and returned to help Annoguil tend to the other wardens. Haldir sat quietly in his talan, remembering the past days. The battle left a deep scar in his heart, seeing how many his kin died. He stood in front of his balcony, looking at his beloved Lorien. The leaves were golden and the air was fresh. Truly, he missed it. His keen elven eyes caught sight of Lady Galadriel walking towards his talan.
Not long after that, she stood before him, glowing. Her warm smile filled him with a sense of wonder and a sense of home, "Welcome back Haldir. I am happy to see you here. Praise Eru for you have survived. Are you well, my Marchwarden?"
Haldir smiled and bowed down, "Yes, my lady. I am well. My back hurts but nothing I cannot withstand."
Galadriel nodded, "I am sure you will heal rapidly under Annoguil's care. Speaking of which, where is Calavénë? I wish to see her. There are things I must discuss with her."
Haldir shook his head, "She is not here, my lady. She went down to assist Herdir Annoguil with the other wardens."
Galadriel looked at the healing talan down below, "Very well. I shall see her soon. Rest Haldir, for you have earned it."
Haldir watched as Galadriel descended for his talan. She disappeared from his sights, under the trees. Haldir sighed and made his way inside. Now that they were back in Lorien, the notion of being with Calavénë merely for the pleasures of the flesh seemed a sin. She would be shunned from society if they were to be as one, for him to take her into his bed. He would not force that decision on her. They could still enjoy each other's company without truly engaging in the ultimate portrayal of love. He sat down on his bed, wearied as the true extent of his ordeals dawned on him.
Calavénë stood silently in Galadriel's chamber. She was waiting for her answer. She told the Lady of Light on her wish to be released from her patronage. She said nothing.
Galadriel looked at the young elleth. It seemed her mind had been made up. There was no use of coaxing her into changing her mind. Galadriel tried to read her but all she could see inside her was happiness be it for the moment. Today, she was happier than before. Galadriel sat down in her chair, "This is your final decision?"
Calavénë nodded. It was her final decision, "Yes, my lady. I would ask for your approval of my release and if you wish to discontinue my tutelage with herdir Annoguil, I would not protest."
Galadriel would not make any decision in haste, "Have you told your parents of this finality?"
Calavénë shook her head, "No, my lady. I was hoping to get an answer from you before I proceed in telling them."
Galadriel stood up, "Then here is my proposition. Haldir is in need of care. I have spoken to Annoguil and it seems he will not be fit for duty until his arm heals. The healing will take almost a month to complete. If you would agree to help him recover, by the end of one month I will release you from your promise. You will move in the talan next to his. This will allow you more convenience. But remember Calavénë, you are still my lady in waiting, at least until the one month is over. Need I say more?"
Calavénë felt her face turned red. She understood what Galadriel meant, "Very well, my lady. I do hope you will not utter a word on this matter to my parents. I will tell them, on my time, in my own way."
Galadriel nodded, "Very well. It is my promise as it is yours. Mirnimmeril will help you gather your things. You will move in today."
Calavénë bowed down and turned to leave the chamber. Galadriel called out to her suddenly, "Are you sure of your actions pen neth? Do you not fear the consequences of your decisions?"
Calavénë turned around and smiled to her adoptive mother, "You have always taught me to follow my heart. I am. My heart will not let me go astray…"
Galadriel nodded, "So be it. May the Valar see it as you do…"
Haldir watched as Calavénë approached his talan with numerous things with her. She had a large sack and a crate in her arms. Behind her Mirnimmeril carried two large crates, both walking towards his talan. Haldir tried to focus but his vision was beginning to blur. Sweat trickled down his forehead and made its way down his neck. His breathing became ragged. Something was amiss. A sharp pain appeared out of nowhere. He grasped his arm, the one wounded in battle. The pain was unbearable. He began to swagger unsteadily as he tried to make his way back to his talan.
Calavénë dropped all her belongings to the ground and hurriedly made her way to his talan. She saw how Haldir walked back inside unsteadily, something was wrong. She ran up the stairs and when she reached the doorway, she found Haldir on the floor, unconscious, "Haldir!"
Mirnimmeril too dropped the things she carried when she heard Calavénë call out to her, "Mirnimmeril! Come quick! Haldir is hurt!"
Calavénë crouched down beside him and tried to wake him up. She touched his forehead, he was running a temperature. The both of them carefully lifted the broad warrior back to his bed. Calavénë sat by the bed, examining him. She pulled down the dressings on his back, nothing, the wound there was healing. She now turned her attention to the bandages around his arm. When she opened it, a foul scent reached her nose. The wound had turned purple and there were seepage oozing out from it. The wound had been infected.
She carefully removed the bandages and ran to the wash room to fetch some water. With a clean cloth, she wiped off the secretion and applied the healing salve. Haldir was having a fever. That could only mean the infection had reached his bloodstream. This was far beyond her expertise. She looked at Mirnimmeril, "Stay with him. I need to find herdir Annoguil."
Calavénë ran as fast as she could to the healing talan. When she arrived, herdir Annoguil was nowhere to be found. She asked one of the assistant there, "Where is herdir Annoguil? It is urgent!"
The young assistant told her, herdir Annoguil had just left to meet Lord Celeborn. He was to deliver his reports on the casualties of war. Calavénë turned around and ran as fast as she could towards the palace. She could see the master healer entering the main hall. As soon as she reached the palace, she pushed her way in, "Herdir Annoguil!"
Celeborn stood up, enraged, "What is the meaning of this? Do you not see we are having a discussion?"
Calavénë bowed down, "My apologies, Lord Celeborn but I need to bring herdir Annoguil to Haldir's talan immediately. He has taken a turn for the worst…"
Celeborn looked at Calavénë and then to Annoguil, "Go, Haldir needs you. Return to me when you have stabilized him."
Annoguil and Calavénë made their way as quickly as they can towards the talan. Once there, the master healer went to work. He took a look on the wound and a grim expression hung on his face, "It is much worse than I thought…"
Fear washed over her as she watched the healer cut open the wound to allow the secretions to drain out, "It is my fault. I paid more attention to the wound on his back and I took no heed of the wound on his arm. I did not change the dressing nor applied some salve or poultice."
Annoguil spoke as he worked on Haldir, "You did nothing wrong. The wound was not as large as the one on his back. Even I did not see this coming. Come now. Clean the wound while I prepare the salve."
It took them both nearly one hour to set his arm right. Haldir was still with fever but his arm will survive. Annoguil looked at his pupil, "Calavénë, it is best you stay here tonight. He will fare much better if he makes it through the night without any trouble. In any case, if he takes the turn for the worse come and fetch me right away. Take this potion and administer it every hour. It will help bring down his fever."
Calavénë walked the healer out. Mirnimmeril followed suit and returned to the palace to bring news to the Lord and Lady. Calavénë took the vial of potion and made her way to the kitchen. The kitchen was situated at the back of the talan. As she walked towards it, she could see that most of the crockery inside the kitchen had not been used. Now that she has seen the kitchen, she began to notice the same conditions the other rooms were in. It is apparent; Haldir did not spend much time here in his talan. Calavénë smiled. He must spend most of his time on border patrol, she thought.
She found a wooden spoon in the kitchen and brought it to Haldir's bed. She poured the potion into the spoon and gently placed it on his lips, opening it slowly to allow him to swallow the potion. Haldir winced at the taste yet he was not awake. Calavénë wiped the excess of and fed him a few spoonful of water. She placed the potion down and kissed him gently.
Calavénë sat down near the bed and placed her head near his hand. She was exhausted and terrified. It was her fault. If only she had paid more attention to the wound on his arm. Rumil and Orophin still have not heard the news about their brother. As she closed her eyes, she made a mental note to herself to inform them in the morning.
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.