Chapter 19 – Celebration
We reached Edoras by late afternoon two days on. We rode through the gates, and were greeted by smiling soldiers. Wearily, I slid off Fëa and helped Merry down. Fëa nudged me, and made her way to the stables with a regal air, as if she ruled the stables. I smiled after her; I would never be able to tame her.
I started walking up the path, when I was accosted by Éowyn. I looked at her in surprise: her coppery hair had been washed, and lay in gentle waves down her back. She was clean, and wearing a beautiful, deep blue dress.
"Come. I have to get you ready for the celebration."
Her eyes shone with excitement, and she practically bounced on the spot.
Legolas echoed my thoughts as he appeared beside me.
"To honour the fallen, and to celebrate our victory."
Her words came out in a rush, and she began tugging my hand as she made her way up the path. I looked back at Legolas, pleading with him, as he struggled to contain his laughter. I glared at him, and succeeded in making him laugh outright. Rolling my eyes, I stopped fighting and let Éowyn drag me towards her room. The sooner I agreed with her, the sooner I could find a quiet place and sleep.
I hesitated in the doorway of the hall. It was filled with merry men, drinking and laughing. I had never had much time for raucous celebrations. I preferred quiet pursuits. Besides, I was uncomfortable in the dress Eowyn had forced me to wear.
It was moss green, trimmed with white. It was laced very tightly around the chest, and the skirt rippled down my legs. She had insisted on washing my hair, and brushing it out. It reached down to my waist in a silver waterfall. A gold headband held my hair in place, glinting the torchlight.
I scanned the room, and spotted Gandalf. Quickly, I made my way through the crowd, and joined him. He was laughing and clapping as he watched Merry and Pippin dancing on a nearby table. A grin split my face as I heard their song:
Oh, you can search far and wide,You can drink the whole town dry.But you'll never find a beer so brownAs the one we drink in our home town.You can keep your fancy ales.You can drink 'em by the flagon.But the only brew for the brave and true . . .Comes from the Green Dragon!
I joined in their laughter as they drained the ales in their hands, smacking their lips as they finished. Gandalf turned to me, his eyes alight with amusement.
"I did not expect you to appear."
His voice was teasing and I raised an eyebrow, pretending to be offended.
"Why would you think that?"
The wizard grinned broadly at me, eyes twinkling.
"Celebrations were never your favourite. As I recall, you would appear for a brief second and then retreat to either the stables, or the library."
He chuckled as I flailed around trying to find an excuse. He glanced over my shoulder, and his eyes widened. He returned his gaze back to me, a wide grin lighting up his face.
"I suggest you rescue Legolas. It appears as if Gimli has challenged him to a drinking contest."
I whirled around. Gandalf had spoken the truth. Gimli and Legolas were standing at opposite ends of a small table, several pints of ale in front of each of them and a crowd of onlookers. I made my way over to them, standing next to Éomer who seemed to be the instigator.
"No pauses, no spills."
He grinned down at me, and then returned to Legolas and Gimli.
"So it's a drinking game?"
Legolas looked confused as he stared down in to the tankard. The men around him roared their affirmative.
"Last one standing wins!"
Gimli smiled wickedly at Legolas. He lifted his tankard and drained it in one go. With a look of apprehension, Legolas drained his too. I shook my head, smiling. I knew how this would end.
I continued to watch as tankard after tankard was drained.
"Raar. It's the dwarves that go swimming with little hairy women! Haha!"
I giggled as Gimli slurred his words, wobbling slightly. Éomer looked down at me again, and I smiled back. There was a regal air about him, one that came from earning the respect of those he commanded. When his time came, he would make a good King.
"You look beautiful, Seraphina. That dress becomes you."
I blushed slightly, and glanced over at Legolas, who was busy draining another tankard.
"Thank you, Éomer. You have grown since I last saw you. You must have no end of female admirers."
It was his turn to flush, and I bumped his shoulder playfully. He chuckled, and pushed me back. We continued with the game, gradually getting rougher until we were both laughing loudly. It was always with Éomer that I seemed to revert to acting like an Elfling.
"I feel something. A slight tingle in my fingers. I think it's affecting me."
I looked at Legolas, noting his flushed cheeks, and the way his eyes shone. I shook my head, still laughing as my spouse stared at his fingers in astonishment.
"What did I say? He can't hold his liquor!"
Gimli laughed but stopped abruptly. His eyes crossed, and for a moment he stood stock still. He swayed and then fell backwards, hitting the ground with a resounding thud. All was silent for a moment, and then cheers went up. Legolas grinned, slightly abashed, as the men around him slapped him on the back, offering their congratulations. A tankard appeared and Legolas reached for it, but I leaped forward, snatching it from him.
"I think that's enough, don't you?"
Legolas stopped grinning, looking sour. I shook my head, starting to put the tankard down but Éomer interrupted.
"If he cannot have it, why don't you drink it?"
I looked at him in shock, blinking a few times. The men around me burst in to gales of laughter. I fixed Éomer with a stony gaze, but he only continued to grin at me. The men began jeering, calling for me to drink. Rolling my eyes, I lifted the tankard, and drained it, slamming it down on the table with a bang. I bit back my laughter at the identical looks of shock on the men's faces. I caught Legolas' eye, and inclined my head towards the door leading outside. He grinned and jumped up.
"Excuse me, my lords. I need some fresh air."
Giving them a curtsey, I turned and strode towards the door, their whistles of appreciation at my drinking following me.
The cold night air slammed in to me, cooling my slightly heated skin. I walked away from the door, leaning against the wall, looking out over the plains. Arms wrapped round me, and Legolas pressed me against him. I wound my hands through his and relaxed. I had wanted to be alone with him for a while now, but I felt it rude to leave the celebration so soon.
Suddenly, Legolas spun me around and pulled me close, so we were face to face. He bent his head, and his lips brushed mine.
"Come with me."
His voice was just a whisper. Clasping my hand, he pulled me along behind him towards a door at the other end. We passed through in to a quiet corridor. Legolas walked briskly, and I had to jog to keep up. We passed by the hall, and the men seemed louder than before; I guessed the drink had started to take effect. We stopped in front of a door. I looked around; the corridor was deserted, and a single torch flickered on the opposite wall. Before I could say anything, Legolas pulled me through the door, kicking it shut behind him.
A few candles were scattered around the room, their flames only lighting up the bed, leaving the rest of the room in semi-darkness. Legolas still had my hand and I began to pull it from his grasp when he yanked me forward. Instinctively, my hands flew up, hitting his chest as I fell forward. I looked up at him in confusion.
I gasped slightly at the look in his eyes. They smouldered with desire and a hunger that I had not seen for a long while. His lips smashed in to mine without warning. His hands wound round my waist, keeping me close to him. I slid my hands up, fisting them in his hair. My lips parted under his demands.
We slowly walked backwards and my knees hit the bed. Legolas gently lowered me down, and hovered over me. I tried to catch my breath, but his eyes glowed with love, and my breath was taken from me. I sat up, and flipped over, brushing my hair over my shoulder. With deft fingers, he quickly unlaced the corset and let the straps fall off my shoulders. He turned me back round, and helped me stand. The dress slid down, resting for a moment on my hips, and then continuing on, pooling at my feet. His breathing hitched as he took me in.
I stepped towards him, and quickly began to unbutton his tunic, helping him to pull it over his head. My hands rested on his hips as they went towards his leggings. I stared at him for a moment. His eyes were like liquid sapphire, and they ignited a fire in me. My hands continued on until we were both standing naked and proud in the dim light.
We fell on to the bed together side by side. I stroked his face, and let my fingers trace his mouth. He was truly beautiful…and he was mine. He closed his eyes under my gentle caresses, his lips turning up in a smile of pure bliss. I trailed my fingers down his throat, and over his chest, eliciting a soft growl. I giggled and his eyes flew open. He grabbed me and shifted so that I was underneath him.
"I dhû hen and."
His words were little more than a growl and he dipped his head to press soft kisses along my jaw-line. I squirmed underneath him as he moved to my throat. My hands fisted in his hair, tugging gently. Another growl escaped him and his hands moved to grip the backs of my thighs. He hoisted my legs up so they settled on his waist. With a sigh, I gave myself to him completely.
I am pretty crappy at writing love scenes, hence why you need to use your imagination ;)
I dhû hen and – You're in for a long night