1. Part I
The sky is darkening, electric with a coming storm. He does not need any omen to increase his bad feeling. Turning, the effort draining him, he meets her eyes again. They remain set, glaring at him; irate and impatient.
His jaw clenches as the world seems to press in upon him, swirling in her eyes. The wind whips at his face, tearing along the battlements, rattling the flag poles. Catching in her hair, it blows like smoke.
"But why must you go?" he hopes his voice does not whine, for he must try.
"I wish to see my friends. There is nothing for you to worry about my Lord; I can take care of myself." Sharp. Cold. Deliberate. Air gets caught in his throat, suffocating and icy.
"But why now? Can you not wait but a season?" Annoyance catches him off guard. Worriedly he glances to see if any have heard the outburst.
"Why can you not come?" now it is her that pleads, pleads in frustration. Her arm twitches, to reach for him perhaps … but it remains at her side.
"I have duties here that I cannot abandon at whim, your brother –"
"My brother! Always my brother!"
Only you, always you.
"And I abandon my duties at whim?" a shrill edge coarsens her voice. He winces, but not at the sound, for it seems he cannot say anything right. His uselessness hurts, like a dull pain in the stomach. A heavy and cloying sickness.
"Aredhel," he whispers, dares not say it aloud. Relieved, he sees it catches her attention. Eyes flicker briefly, looking down – away – back again. "Just wait … please."
"I am completely competent. It is completely safe. I will have guards. So tell me, Glorfindel, why should I wait?" one dark eyebrow arches with the challenge.
It hovers between them, caught between their meeting eyes. Each takes a breath, steadying, apprehensive.
But the moment is over, the words fail him. Like smoke in the wind she whirls away. There is nothing he can say to stop her.
Except perhaps what he is afraid to say.
I love you.