For the first time in many years, his talan seemed habitable. The living area had been straightened out. The dry leaves that flew in were swept. The surfaces gleamed under the light and fresh flowers sat in beautiful vases around the room. The windows were opened to let the breeze in and the freshness of Caras Galadhon air was wonderful. Haldir walked towards the flower vase on the shelf next to his bedroom. It was filled by Niphredil, his favourite flower. He bent down and took a whiff of the beautiful scent. His nana used to pick these for their talan long ago.
He walked into the kitchen and saw her, Calavénë. She was wearing a pale blue gown with a white apron over it. Her hair was pulled back in braids and her cheeks were pink from the heat rising from the pot. Haldir caused see stumps of carrots and potatoes on the counter. He smiled, vegetable broth he thought. He walked closer and placed an arm lovingly around her waist, "Maer aur, dithen cugu."
Calavénë smiled and snuggled closer to his body, "You are awake, melethron. Sit, the broth is almost ready. I would have you eat breakfast and then your medication. Afterwards we will proceed to the river for your training."
Haldir looked at her questioningly, "Training? What training might this be?"
Calavénë turned around and held his face in an embrace, "For your shoulder and arm. The muscles and bones must be trained to ensure the return of their full functions. I thought perhaps today, we would go for a swim."
Haldir walked towards the table and sat down. He was hungry for he used up all his energy last night, "The broth smells delicious. I see you have changed. Did you bring clothing here?"
Calavénë placed the wooden bowls in front of them, one for him and one for her, "Nay, Haldir. I returned to my talan with coincidentally is next to yours on the other platform. Why?"
Haldir sipped the broth carefully. It was still hot but it tasted heavenly, "By the Valar! You cook very well, melethril! Oh, yes! Perhaps, you could bring your clothing here meleth. That way you do not have to return to your talan everyday."
Calavénë shook her head, "Nay, Haldir. That I could not do. I am still in the service of Lady Galadriel and to do so would reflect on her badly. After all we are not hervenn and hervess."
Haldir remained silent. It was not something he had given much thought of. She has given up a lot of herself to be with him. He could at least try to love her. Yes, he should try to love her. After all, he cared for her immensely, "Are you regretting your decision to be with me, meleth?"
Calavénë chuckled, "Nay, Haldir. How could I have regretted the most wonderful decision I have made for myself? You bring me joy and I hope in time, you will allow me to fill your heart with joy as well."
He reached out and touched her fingers. They were soft and long, the fingers that brought him much pleasure last night. He rose from his chair and went to her in haste. She was surprised when he pulled her up and placed her on the table, pushing away the bowls. It seems his part of his strength has returned. He showered her with kisses and was rewarded with her moans. His fingers travelled idly beneath her skirt and found the treasure he sought.
Calavénë hung her head back as the wave of pleasure took over her. Haldir brought down his lips on hers again tasting the sweetness. Her breathing still uneven, she whispered in his ear, "What was that for, pen vuin?"
Haldir smiled and stood up, his arousal apparent under his leggings, "That was a reward for loving me. Give me time, pen dithen. I will love you and when I do, I would take you as my hervess."
Tears flowed from her eyes as his words sunk in her heart. It was more than anything she could hope for. She prayed silently in her heart for that day to come. Haldir pulled her to him, holding her close. She could feel his heart opening to her presence. Today was the happiest day of her life.
Rumil and Orophin waited outside Haldir's talan. Calavénë had sent word to them to gather at this hour. The both of them were to help her train Haldir. Herdir Annoguil had left instructions for her to carry out. Orophin smiled as he watched the two of them exited the talan, "Maer aur, gwanur a gwathel. Haldir, man mathach?"
Haldir walked forward and embraced his younger brother, "Im maer." He looked down at Orophin's leg and back to him, "No ce ammaer ab lû thent."
Orophin smiled, "I will be. I am healing faster than you can imagine. Come, we should make our way towards the river. We have much to do to bring you back into form."
Rumil let out his hand to Calavénë, "This time, I shall escort you. Haldir can walk with Orophin. I want you all to myself today before Haldir takes back what is his tonight." Rumil smirked and winked at Haldir.
Haldir groaned, "You do not know when to hold your tongue, do you not Rumil? Look, you have embarrassed the lady."
He did indeed. Calavénë was red from ear to ear. Rumil laughed when he saw this, "What? Have I said something wrong? Are you not his?"
Calavénë nodded quietly and the three ellon roared with laughter. Soon they were on their way to the river to start the training. Unfortunately, Calavénë left her stunned naneth at the end of the path, hearing what had transpired between them.
Haldir sat on a rock near the embankment. He watched as his brothers stripped off their tunics and dived into the water. Calavénë approached him slowly, "Let me help you with your tunic. Then you can join them."
Haldir pulled her into his lap. Calavénë gasped. The hard bulge of his arousal pressed on her. Her eyes widened, "When did this happen?"
Haldir kissed the nook of her neck, "In the kitchen… Shall we do something about this?"
Calavénë blushed. In the corner of her eyes, she saw Rumil and Orophin smirking, "Not now. Perhaps if you perform well in your training, it will be your reward. Also, Rumil and Orophin are here…"
Haldir laughed. It was a challenge! He would show her today why he is the Marchwarden, "Very well pen dithen. I will excel in the training and you would be forced to pleasure me over… and over… and over… and over again tonight…"
The thought of pleasuring him and herself being pleasured in turn caused her body to shudder. She giggled nervously and stood up, "Show me first, and then we will talk of rewards. Come, Marchwarden!"
Calavénë lifted his tunic and placed it on the ground. She helped him get into the water and watched as Rumil and Orophin took over the session. Haldir threaded slowly through the water, his arousal did not waver even under the cold water.
Rumil sniggered as he approached, "Some parts of you are unwavering I see." He smiled and eyed the bulge in Haldir's legging.
Orophin laughed, "Now Rumil, play nice! You do not want to displease the Marchwarden. He will have you at the mercy of his sword."
Now Rumil laughed out loud, "I hope it is the steel kind. I do not want to be at the end of another type of sword."
Haldir turned red with embarrassment but he will not be teased, "It is unfortunate I do not have full strength of my arm or I would have drowned you in this river!"
Rumil backed away; laughter did not leave his lips, "Very well, gwanur. I shall stop my teasing. Now let us begin the training!"
Calavénë watched as Rumil dove under the water and pulled Haldir down with him. Orophin started moving his arm in circular motion, stretching the unused muscles. She watched as Haldir groaned and winced while Orophin continued the exercises. The three of them moved closer to the embankment. Calavénë sat down beside him. Now Orophin handed Haldir a thick branch.
Haldir looked at it questioningly, "What am I to do with this?"
Orophin sat down beside his brother, "Lift it. Do it a few times."
Haldir nodded and began lifting the thick branch. The exercise continued with another round of stretching and endurance training. It was now well into noon and the sun was high in the sky. Haldir was sweating profusely and his arm was beginning to tire.
He looked at Calavénë with pleading eyes, "I think I am done for the day. My arm is not as strong as I thought it was."
Calavénë laughed, "My… the Marchwarden is giving up. Well, it seems you will not receive your rewards for today."
Haldir smirked, "If it is your wish my lady but not rewarding me brings an unfortunate cold night for you as well."
Orophin and Rumil laughed and fell back on to the ground. Orophin sat up and wiped the tears from his eyes, "It seems Haldir is right Calavénë. Come. Let us return. The weather will turn bad soon."
Calavénë looked at the sky. The clouds rolled in and the smell of rain followed. They had better hurry back or they will be soaked to the bones. Haldir and Calavénë returned to his talan and they watched as Rumil and Orophin disappeared from the path. The warmth of the talan was inviting and the both of them quickly retreated into it. Once inside Calavénë looked down at her sodden gown. She had to return to her talan to change it but the rain was pouring down hard.
Haldir could sense her discomfort, "What is the matter, dithen cugu?"
Calavénë turned around and smiled, "Nothing, meleth. I want to change my gown but I have to return to my talan."
Haldir walked closer to her, "Change... Then come to bed. I will warm you up." He kissed her neck and licked her earlobe.
Calavénë's body tingled as he continued licking down her neck and then across her collar bone. Haldir stood in front of her, sure of his actions and gently lifted her chin. He smiled at her and his eyes filled with adoration. He licked his lips and brought them down upon her trembling lips. He pulled her closer and she could feel the heat from his body. His kisses grew deeper and more urgent as he tried to quench his desire.
Calavénë moaned as he cupped her breast and squeezed it gently, kneading and teasing. He turned her around, continuing his teases and gently nipping the soft flesh of her nape. He reached for the lacings behind her dress and began undoing them. Now her part of her back was exposed at the mercy of the Marchwarden's touch. Haldir kissed down her back, gently licking and kissing. Calavénë's heart was wild with anticipation. She want to feel his body on hers, she needs to, "Haldir…"
A loud gasp outside startled the both of them. Calavénë opened her eyes and saw Mirnimmeril standing outside the door, "Mirnimmeril…"
Finding them together in that state did not sit well with Mirnimmeril. She turned around and ran down the stairs, trying to get away from them. Calavénë pulled up her dress and ran after her. She needed to understand what was happening. Calavénë caught up to her not long after. She held her hand and begged her to stop, "Gwathel! Please stop. Let me speak to you…"
Mirnimmeril stopped and faced her adoptive sister, "What are you doing? Do you still remember who you are? You are a maiden of Galadriel! Thus, this is not the way to conduct yourself."
Calavénë had tears in her eyes, "It is not what you think, gwathel. I love him…"
Mirnimmeril was stunned, "If you do and he returns your affections then marry. Be joined with the Valar as your witness. Exchange rings and have the blessings of your parents."
Calavénë stayed silent. She did not know if this was ever possible. She knew Haldir needed time but perhaps it would be longer than her parents would have her wait.
Mirnimmeril saw the silent doubt inside her, "He does love you doesn't he?"
Calavénë hesitated but answered still, "He adores me… He is affectionate…"
Mirnimmeril shook her head, "That is not the correct answer. One can be affectionate with a pet but does one marry it? Do not throw away your life so easily. If you continue living like this, you will be exiled by the society, pen dithen. You have spent enough time in the company of the Marchwarden. Word has travelled around amongst the other elleth. If you care not for your standing in society, think that of your parents. What will they think?"
Calavénë fell down in a heap to the ground. Her tears flowed endlessly, the true extent of her sorrow finally surfaced. She knew what Mirnimmeril said had some truth in it. She had forgotten about the consequences of her decision and how it will affect all the people she loves, especially her ada and nana. Mirnimmeril crouched down beside her, holding her close. Calavénë's body was trembling and her tears were heart wrenching to those who saw. Being as young as she was, the emotions laid raw inside her.
Mirnimmeril stroked Calavénë's head, "Hush now, pen vuin. I suggest you talk to Haldir. Then take him to meet your parents. I am sure they will approve. He is after all the Marchwarden. But do not continue living like this."
Calavénë continued to sob and Mirnimmeril held her close. On a platform above from the spot where Calavénë and Mirnimmeril sat, stood Haldir.He saw what had happened and he heard her tears. He closed his eyes. Perhaps they had made the decision hastily. He still needed the time to open his heart but he knew, love was already present in his heart for her. It was now a matter of telling her and trusting her.
Calavénë walked slowly to her parents' talan. She would talk to them; beg for their blessings and understanding. As she reached the platform, she could see her nana in the kitchen, preparing dinner. She walked up to the door and knocked on it.
Laugoneth heard the knock and she instantly knew it was her daughter, Calavénë. Being a mother, she could sense when her child was close and if she was grieved. Today it seemed she could sense both. She opened the door and was surprised to find Calavénë looking dishevelled and distraught. The second Calavénë saw her, she raced into her embrace, crying.
Laugoneth was surprised by her sudden tears, "Iell! What is the matter? What happened?"
Calavénë did not stop crying. It took Laugoneth a lot of coaxing and soothing words to finally calm her down. She held Calavénë's hands and pulled her towards the living room. Her heart broke looking at her child. Her eyes were red and her tears had soaked the front of her gown. She lifted her chin, looking into her eyes, "Now tell me… What happened?"
Calavénë looked at her naneth with pleading eyes, "You will tell me the truth, will you not? Do not lie to me."
Laugoneth looked at her, "What is this about, iell?"
Calavénë told her of the Marchwarden and how she has given her heart to him. Laugoneth listened silently as her daughter revealed what Mirnimmeril said. She watched as the tears welled up in Calavénë's eyes again. Calavénë looked at her naneth, "What am I to do?"
Laugoneth stroked her golden hair, "For one iell, Mirnimmeril is right. The life of the Eldar has its principles and rules. The next path after love is marriage, witnessed by the Valar and blessed by the two families. Pen neth, I would have you bring the Marchwarden here. I would have a word with him. Your ada is still in the shadow about your living arrangements and of your bed activities…"
Calavénë was horrified. How did her naneth know? She tried to deny it when her naneth raised her hand, "Now, you do not lie to me. I came by his talan one day and heard the both of you. I know iell… I only hope that you have not given yourself fully to him."
Calavénë's face burned with embarrassment. She could only manage to shake her head. Laugoneth was relieved, "I knew you had a good head over your shoulders, pen neth. Your ada will not accept this pen vuin. He is a man of virtue, who holds the laws of the Eldar close to heart. He will disown you if he finds out. Bring the Marchwarden here, Calavénë, as soon as possible…"
Calavénë felt a twinge of sadness in her heart. How am I to bring him to you nana? How am I to present him to you as my betrothed? How can he marry me when love is not he feels for me?
Mebedir walked along the paths to the palace. He was to have an audience with Lady Galadriel. He was truly happy today. He was beside himself for love had completed him. Today he wanted to ask Calavénë's hand in marriage from Lady Galadriel.
Galadriel sat in her study. The warden Mebedir requested an audience with her. She knew his heart's desires but fears the problems that will arise from it. A knock on the door indicated his arrival, "Enter…"
Mebedir bowed in front of the Lady of Light, "My lady. I am graciously thankful for the audience. I come with high hopes and love in my heart."
Galadriel nodded, "Sit, Mebedir. Now tell me… What is it you wish to talk to me?"
Mebedir sat down and began his tale, "These past months I have been blessed with the company of one particular elleth. She has been kind to me and I find her very agreeable. I have yet to marry my lady and I would like to make this elleth my hervess."
Galadriel smiled, "The elleth in question is Calavénë, is it not?"
Mebedir nodded, "Yes, my lady. It is her. I adore her and I am certain she feels the same."
Galadriel remained silent. Moments later she spoke of her decision, "I do not know how Calavénë feels about you, Mebedir. Nor can I make the decision now. I have to talk to her first and together we will make the decision. I will pass on your proposal to her and may the Valar see that the best for everyone happens."
Mebedir stood up and bowed down again, "Thank you my lady. I will await yours and Calavénë's answer."
Galadriel watched as the warden disappeared behind the door. The Valar sought to test the love between Haldir and Calavénë. She closed her eyes and leaned into her chair, "Calavénë, pen dithen, may you have the strength to proceed. I have seen what the mirror showed about you. Stay strong…"
Maer aur, dithen cugu – good morning, little dove
Melethron – lover (male)
Melethril – lover (fem)
Meleth – love
Pen vuin – dear one
Hervenn – husband
Hervess – wife
Maer aur, gwanur a gwathel. Haldir, man mathach? – good morning, brother and sister. Haldir, how are you feeling?
Im maer – I am well
No ce ammaer ab lû thent – May you be better soon
Nana/Naneth – mother
Ada – father
Gwanur – brother
Gwathel - sister