The oars dipped, the wood going deep, as if to drown themselves before rising to the surface, drops of salt water falling gently back to sea.
He remembered the first time he had seen her, riding into the city, tall and proud. She had long, fair hair, that shimmered like silken strands and the immediate thought of running his fingers and clothing himself in it, flittered through his mind.
He had immediately squelched the thought.
And the oars dipped.
He had then been mesmerized by her eyes, sapphire blue and sparkling in the sun. When she smiled, the edges crinkled and the tips turned up, the lashes fluttered, the light not diminished, not in the least.
He realized he could have drowned in her, gratefully, willingly.
But he turned away, his worth untried.
And the oars dipped.
He was amazed to find himself sitting next to her at a dinner in her family's honor. Surely, it was a mistake, a misunderstanding that one as lowly as he would find himself next to her.
He tripped over his tongue the entire night.
She, nevertheless, found him amusing and stayed in his company.
And the oars rolled, the water trickling down.
As time went on, they met, clandestine, in libraries, bumped into each other in the stables, the Elf shocked to see the Elleth decked in tunic and leggings, leading her mare from the stall.
Again, he tripped over his tongue, not getting a sentence put together in any sensible fashion.
She obviously found him amusing, smiling at his discomfort and hiding her face at his stammering, before mounting up, throwing long legs over the mare and trotting out with several protective retainers.
He kicked himself all the way to his horse's stall.
And the oars dipped.
Time passed, he moved up in service, was recognized by his peers, respected by those around him. And as time moved on, he became less self-conscious in her presence.
It only took him... oh, fifty... sixty, years to invite her to the fair in the city.
When she said 'U'ma,' she would be honored to accompany him, he nodded his thanks, made his way quietly back to his rooms, his chambers, before whooping in the room, his fist pumping.
The fair should have been tedious and boring, but he was in her company, her presence; and to watch her move gracefully through the stalls, the vendors, the spice makers, the pastries...
In a rare humorous fit, he grabbed her hand to lick the sticky, gooey coating of the sugar covered cake from the tips of her fingers. He had been shocked at his behavior, at her sudden intake of breath as his tongue wound its way around her fingers, the nails, under the grooves...
He stared at her, her eyes so much like the doe standing in the meadow... still... barely breathing...
"I am sorry," he whispered. "I forgot myself."
And the oars rolled...
He dropped her hand, as if it were hot to the touch, burning him, his face red with embarrassment.
She laughed at his discomfort, a rich sound, joyous. She finished what he had started, before reaching for his chin, turning his head. "I believe you made a mess," she whispered as she leaned forward and gently licked the minute trace of glaze from the corner of his mouth.
The Elf shivered at the touch of her tongue, as it sweetly lapped at the sugar from his lip. For a scant second, time stood still, the fair stood still, and all the inhabitants stood still, none of it mattered as her tongue made a lazy descent from the dimple of his cheek to his lip.
Where his self-control came from, he would never know, but then she smiled and moved on to the next stall. If she had seen the red hot heat of his face, she never let on.
It was at a spring mereth twenty years later before they stole beneath a tree, sharing that first lover's kiss. She had tasted sweet, of honey, and when she took control of the situation, pushing him back into the recesses of the giant oak, he knew he had found the one to spend forever with.
Her hands roamed, touched him in places he had barely dared to touch himself, coaxing him, coaxing everything. Was an Elf supposed to enjoy having his nipples touched? He had dreamed of hers, dreamed of licking, suckling on them like a babe, feeling them...
And the oars dipped yet again...
They barely made it back to his chambers, the door barred, when her hands dove under his robes, baring him to the air.
"Are you sure?"
Crystal blue eyes, reflecting in the moonlight stared at him with guileless certainty.
"Make me yours."
With a growl, he shrugged his robe to the floor, backing her further into the chambers. Gone was the uncertain swain, the shy suitor. Gone was any question, any reason of logic.
Him. Her. Skin.
And the oars dipped...
He didn't remember his leggings or boots coming off; he was mesmerized by her, her pale beauty exposed as he slid her gown from alabaster shoulders to pool on the floor. Her hair shimmered, silken tresses that flowed through his fingers, the feel of it as sinful as the feel of her skin.
Somehow they moved to the bed, lying next to each other, wrapped in the other's arms. A long hidden memory reasserted itself and he combed her hair over his shoulder, burying his face in it.
"What are you doing?" she giggled. She did do such on occasion, giggle like a young elleth when she thought no one was listening or watching.
"Clothing myself in your hair. What are you-" he inhaled sharply as she grasped the length of him, stroking upwards, and his voice raised several octaves, "-doing?"
"I wonder; how can something so marvelously hard, feel like velvet?"
Rather than answer, he kissed her, his tongue delving in, tasting her, her mouth. She curled into him, curving, pressing into him, moaning softly as his hands moved from gently cupping her face, down her shoulders, to her breasts; small and firm, like apples-
"Are you going suck on them, or not?" She was gasping for breath, almost wheezing with need.
The Elf lifted his head, a calculating look on his finely etched features. "You are as impatient as a human woman." He expected the firm smack on his shoulder.
"Oh? And what would you know about bedding a human female?" While her voice was sharp, she spread her legs as he settled between her knees.
"I know nothing of human females." He resumed his kissing her pouty, swollen lips, his fingers teasing her nipples, making them stiff peaks. He waited until she was squirming, begging, pleading before moving down to taste, sweetly rolling the nub of flesh with his tongue. At some point, she moved, undulating until he slid in, too fast, too hard. He broke through her barrier, stopping when he was fully ensheathed-
Eyes of cerulean took her in, in shock, in---
"Do not stop. Saes. It felt so good."
At her plea, he began to move, wonderment at her satin cloak around him, so wet, so hot...
Her knees raised, her hands lowering to cup marble hard cheeks, toned muscle on toned muscle, guiding their rhythm.
Somehow, his mouth found the tip of a gracefully pointed ear and when he suckled on it, teasing it as he had the proffered breast, she gasped, her entire body shuddering at the sudden onslaught of her orgasm. As she quivered beneath him, muffling her cries in his shoulder, he allowed himself to fall over into the abyss, emptying his very life into the willingness of her body.
They spent hours afterwards, touching, caressing, exploring each other. At some point, he asked her, "When did you know?"
He felt her smile against his neck. "When did I know what?"
The Elf pulled away, looking at her solemnly. "You said to make you mine. When did you know?"
She stroked the tip of his ear, causing him to shiver. "The first time I laid eyes on you."
And the oars rolled, the dark murky waters of man turning slowly to a bright turquoise blue... closer... closer...
They spent every possible stolen moment for a time, wonderment anew. As time passed, they bonded, as their kind did, and for a short time, they reveled in their selfish bliss.
But life moves, and time marches. War overran Middle Earth and he forced her to flee, drove her deep into the forests, safe, hidden.
And the very face of Arda changed.
When it was over, he found her, found a new home. They were given a realm, took it, renewed it, Peace reigned for a time.
Children came, as expected, and their home prospered. They grew complacent in their home. There were times they grew apart, each with their own agenda, each with their own life. Such was the way of their kind. But they always found each other again. Somehow, someway. And it was always as it was so many millennia in the past.
But evil reared its ugly head and despite their careful planning, their defenses, their watchful eye, the horrible happened.
His beloved was attacked.
Hurt. Harmed. Touched.
The best healers were called for. Her own husband, renowned for his abilities...
And the oars rolled...
The world changed yet again and evil lifted: from Baradur, from Dol Guldor. In the end, she left Arda, returned to Valinor, and he did not blame her. She begged, pleaded for him to go with her, but there was still much to be done. Man needed them.
Truth be told, he did not know if he would even follow her to Valinor. He had not seen the trees, did not feel the need to go, did not hear the gulls, the call of the sea.
But as time rolled, he realized he missed her. Man was needy; so needy, but they always would be. He could see in time, that the Elves would be forgotten, at some time no longer be revered, rather misaligned, untrusted.
Those left behind would fade. Much like Arwen would.
So he stepped on that boat, Cirdan nodding in deference, leaving all behind, not caring, simply standing at the prow, staring into the distance.
To see This Valinor, This Undying Land.
And the oars rolled, bright, crisp waters, clean, fresh...
She was waiting, he knew she would be, a smile on her face, arms held out for that embrace, an embrace he was not dignified in returning.
"You knew. Galadriel, you knew I would come."
"From the day I met you, my Silver Tree, I knew the oars would bring you to me.
And the oars stopped.