May the memory remain

Summary

Caranthir is visiting Haleth and her people, and things change between them,

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
Nuredhel
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1


The small settlement was larger this time, buildings had been added and there were more people than before. The group was growing and it was clear that they indeed had managed to carve out a living there. He had been visiting regularly, at least once a year. He found them fascinating and he did admire their stubborn courage. Humans were so short lived and yet they did manage to achieve a lot in those few handfuls of years they had. He and his warriors did ride into the small town at midday, there had been some rather nasty attacks from Morgoth’s orcs during the last few months and he had wanted to check if everybody were fine. He did worry about her, she had impressed him with her boldness and her skills. He knew that few human females were this powerful nor as determined and something about her had reminded him of his mother. She too could be rather hard to persuade when she had her mind set upon something and he happened to know that there were plenty of other humans who didn’t like the idea of a woman being their leader.

He had often wondered about the customs of the edain, they were so different from what he was used to and yet much was also similar. The small town square was filled with people as usual, they did step aside for him and his five warriors, the horses were large and rather feisty and he saw that most there did recognize him. One of the men came forth and held his horse as he did dismount. “My lord Caranthir, we are honoured by this visit”

Caranthir did remove his helmet, he felt a bit humbled by the friendly attitude he was facing here, to his own people he was a beast, a monster. His family were almost as hated as Morgoth himself. He did smile at the man. “The honour is mine, now, how are everybody? Have you had any problems recently?”

The man shook his head. “Nay, the orcs haven’t dared to set foot in this area. We have many good warriors now and the scouts are out there at all times.”

Caranthir did nod. “Good, I can see that you have built some new buildings?”

The man grinned. “Yes, we need housing. That is why some are moving now, well, most of us are. The area the king offered us is safer now”

Caranthir knew that the tribe would move into an area king Thingol had offered them and he realized that it was wise to accept it but somehow he felt slightly hurt by it. He had given them the same offer when he first met them and they had reclined. But they were not his subjects and they didn’t really owe him anything. The man did walk in front of him to the hall, the elf could smell the food from afar and he didn’t want to make them feel as if they had to make an effort just because he was there. “And the lady?”

The man smiled. “Is fine, she is keeping us on tight reins but that is needed. She had a bout of the sniffles this spring but she got rid of it rather fast.”

Caranthir had been shocked when he first realized how easily humans fall ill and at first he had no idea of what was really dangerous and what was not. The sniffles could easily lead to pneumonia but he was glad it hadn’t. “She is here, I bet she will be glad to see you”

They entered the hall and Caranthir had to bend down to get through the door, he was way taller than any of the humans there and even his own warriors weren’t as large as him. The hall was warm but not very pleasant for an elf, there were just too many smells and the air was thick with smoke and ash. It was a very primitive building technique and the elves were not very impressed but hid that fact very well. He did light up when he saw her, at the top of the table. She had been a fond friend for him for years now and she was both tough and caring in her own manner. She did get up when she saw him. “Welcome, what brings you to this humble abode this time my lord?”

Some of the people there did get up and let him have a seat and he did sit down, gratefully. He had spent too many days in the saddle now and he was aching for a night’s sleep and some warm food. “We have been chasing some orcs and caught up with them this morning. I wanted to check that you all were alright”

Haleth did smile. “That was very thoughtful of you my lord, but things have been peaceful here for some weeks. And by the way, the extra meat you did bring us earlier this summer was a blessing, the storages were empty.”

He just made a vague gesture. “It was my pleasure”

She waved her hand and a girl came with a bowl of stew and a tankard of ale. The warriors who did follow Caranthir had found seats too and were relaxing, the atmosphere there was good. Caranthir did always feel appreciated there and it was a welcome change, some places he and his kin were as welcome as the plague. He did enjoy the food in silence, it wasn’t exactly the cuisine he had been used to in Aman but he had had worse, many times. The ale was a bit bitter but he did like it and he sighed and felt a bit drowsy. He hadn’t really eaten in many days, their travelling rations were meagre and not very tasty and the orcs had been travelling faster and with greater determination than usual. That did normally spell trouble so they had to catch them and eradicate the threat. Haleth did lean her chin into her hands and she did smile, a rather mischievous grin. “I bet that you want a warm bath?”

Caranthir did scoff, he could feel how he did smell now. Elves don’t have much body odour but he had been in battle and his armour and clothes were drenched in orc guts and orc blood. He was sure you could almost see the stench surrounding him. “I do, if it isn’t too much trouble of course”

She shook her head. “No, I have already given the order”

He did tilt his head, there was something slightly off about her, he was very sensitive to the emotions of others and she didn’t seem to be as cheerful as she normally was. She did pet his hand and there was something dark in her eyes. “I am glad you are here, I need something else to think about.”

Caranthir did frown, usually when he did that people fled but she just lifted and eyebrow. “Is somebody causing trouble?”

She did sigh. “Yes, it is the usual stuff. To some the idea of a woman being in charge is pretty hard to digest. And my decision to accept King Thingol’s offer doesn’t sit well with some, but the land we can get is fertile and more protected than these valleys. We are a growing tribe, we need to accept that”

Caranthir did nod. “Yes, I can understand it. If I were in your shoes I would have done the same”

She did laugh. “Oh I bet that the king would very much object against having you as a neighbour, but he is welcoming towards us”

Caranthir did grunt. “He cannot afford to lose potential allies just because of his own goddamn stubbornness.”

Haleth bared all her teeth in a wide grin. “Goddamn right”

He did still remember the first time he saw her, she had been very young, hardly more than a child and yet her strength did impress him. Now she was an adult and he had seen the first signs of age creep in on her over the last years. It filled him with profound sorrow for she was to him very dear and a real friend. That was valuable now. A servant did come over and he did bow. “The bath and room is ready my lord”

Caranthir had been given a room which was sort of his whenever he was there, it was in a cabin that lay a bit away from the others and it was very nice. Haleth did insist on him using it and he was very grateful for it did allow him to sleep well. A couple of the Ellyn in his group did snore and he was a very light sleeper, he did rarely get a full night of rest. He got up on his feet, very gently for he did remember that one time he had forgotten to be careful and banged his head against one of the beams carrying the roof. She saw what he did and laughed again. The other elves were also offered a bath but only he did get his own private tub, there were already some servant maidens preparing some wooden tubs by the hearth and he knew that his warriors would be ogled rather shamelessly.

The cabin lay between some massive old trees and it was already warm and pleasant as he entered. The tub was placed by the hearth as tradition did dictate and there were some towels laid out. The fabric was rough and undyed but it was better than nothing and he did look forward to a decent soak. His saddle bags had been brought inn and he knew that his horse was being taken very well care off too. The edain had brought their own horses when they crossed the mountains, small hardy animals which were both strong and rather feisty but they were not very fast and they didn’t give you any advantage when it came to height. He had allowed them to use his own stallion on some good mares several times and the first generations of these cross breeds were already being ridden. They were very brave and also obedient and the human warriors were praising them a lot.

The tub was rather small for somebody his size but he didn’t mind, getting clean was wonderful and he knew that they was thinking about every detail of it for there were several buckets of extra water ready, he didn’t have to bathe in his own filth. He did scrub off the sweat and gore and then he replaced the water using the buckets and a sort of leather hose which did drain the tub into the rock layer underneath the house. Now he could just sit there and relax and let the heat seep into his body and he did almost fall asleep sitting there. Back home they had owned their own bathhouse, with several pools and he did remember all the fun they had had there. Their father had taught them to swim as soon as they were old enough and he had loved the warm water. It was making you flushed and his dark complexion wasn’t as striking then, and besides, he was a good swimmer.

It was odd but among the brothers Celegorm was the worst swimmer, Fëanor had really struggled with teaching his fair haired son the art and still to this day Celegorm hated swimming. Curufin had taught Celebrimbor how to swim there too and it had been a place where they all came together to relax and just talk. Well, not only that. He did still remember that time when they all were supposed to visit Tirion and he had returned home one day too early due to something he had forgotten, something important he no longer did remember. Maedhros had been alone home, he was studying for an important exam and was excused from the family meeting and Caranthir had caught him at it with Fingon, in the bath. Maedhros had been mortified but Caranthir had reassured him that he wouldn’t squeal on them as long as Maedhros did allow Caranthir to borrow his horse for the annual races. It had been blackmail, discrete yes but blackmail nonetheless.

It made him smile, so much had been different, how different the future had seemed back then, when they were young and innocent and no shadows lay over their souls like an avalanche ready to fall. He did relax in the bath until the water became cold, then he got up, dried off and braided his hair. It was rather early still so he did get on some clean clothes and he returned to the hall. Haleth was not there but his warriors were and after a while they did participate in a sort of table game with the human males. It was based upon some dice and some large figurines carved from wood. You had to get as close to a certain value on the dice as possible or else you lost your figurine to the next in line and the one with the most figurines in the end was the winner. It was a fun game and he was shocked when he did look up to discover that it was dark outside and that it was late. He did excuse himself and walked off towards the cabin. He did stop when he heard footprints behind him and he saw that it was Haleth, she was wearing a rather heavy cloak over her leather pants and long tunic and he had always admired that she dressed the way she liked, not the way all others did. She smiled at him but yet again he saw something odd in her eyes, something unfamiliar. “You are going to bed?”

He nodded. “Yes, it has been long days”

She touched his arm gently. “Then I bid you a good night my lord, may your dreams be sweet”

He bowed lightly. “Likewise to you”

He did enter the cabin and did undress, he usually slept in the nude but there he used a sort of very long nightshirt and the bed was soft and comfortable and it didn’t take long before he was sound asleep.

He woke up to the sound of the door creaking slightly and he reacted immediately, grasped for the sword which was placed next to the bed. He saw a small lamp being uncovered, then he saw who it was. It was Haleth, and she was visibly upset. Her hands shaking and her face did reveal that she had been crying. He sat up, confused and a little concerned. “My lady, what is wrong?”

He hated seeing somebody he did regard as a real friend in distress and she walked over, placed the lamp on a chair by the bed and stopped, she did look beaten, broken almost. He did not understand and she whimpered and sat down on the bed. “Just…just hold me”

He slid to the side and she laid down next to him, shuddering slightly. He remembered when he was a child, when things got scary he had often sought the bed of his parents or his older brothers and the Ambarrussa had often come to him at night when something was troubling them. They would cuddle up like kittens in a basket and it had been safe and comfortable and everything bad or traumatic would go away. She was seeking comfort and he made sure that the thick blankets did cover her properly, she wore a sort of thin cloak and it couldn’t provide much heat. She just lay there, breathing and he started to relax, it did feel good, having somebody there, that close. He hoped that his presence could help her. She moved slightly, turned partly around. “Caranthir…”

He grunted, still sleepy. “Yes?”

She fell silent again, for a whole couple of minute. “I…something is wrong yes”

He didn’t want to push her, he just nodded. “Okay”

She sat up slightly, the lamp made her dark hair shine and he had always found her appealing, her strength was very visible. She was no dainty little rose but a warrior in her own right and she had seen hardship and war, she had killed and she had mourned. It made her precious to him, like a well forged sword. “It isn’t the men who are the largest problem you see, they respect strength, and I am strong. I know how to subdue them, how to…how to lead their thoughts onto more useful paths. No, it is the women…”

Caranthir did frown. “What?”

She sighed and turned around completely, facing him. “I have no power over them, and some of them…they are mean Caranthir. I am not natural they say, since I haven’t married and started pushing out babies.”

He was shocked. “What? But…that is none of their business? You are a free person, not some…some thrall!”

She sighed, her eyes sad. “Yes, but to them it is incomprehensible that a woman can be living like I do, doing what men does. They don’t want to see it, because it reminds them of their own misery and they are envious of my strength”

He did reach out, dared to remove some loose strands of hair from her face. She did smell clean, and also of lavender soap. “It is truly mean then, wanting others to share their problems, just to gloat”

She took a deep breath. “It is, but they lack fantasy, to them there is only one possible life and they don’t even try to make it different. I am a childless old maiden Caranthir and thus worthy only of despise and pity”

He wanted so much to ensure her that those cruel words were untrue. “It isn’t the only way to valuate somebody? You are no housewife and that is so but you are a leader, a warrior. You have more guts than any of them”

She scoffed. “Yeah, your words are sweet my friend but they don’t do anything about those….bitches. Just because you have managed to push some babies out of you doesn’t make you anything special. Whine and complain is all they do, and make the lives of their husband miserable to boot. “

He had to grin. “Yes, I was shocked when I found out how…fertile you humans are”

She made a grimace. “I am not so sure if it is a blessing or a curse, I think it may be the latter.”

He pushed himself up a bit. “The gender roles were pretty tight where I am from too, but women were allowed to run businesses, be artists and make a living. They weren’t just broodmares.”

Haleth grunted and her face showed that she found the notion rather disgusting. “Then your women are truly blessed for here it seems as if the only task of which you are worthy is to spread your legs”

There was bitterness in her voice and he did feel sorry for her, fighting against the expectations of your entire people had to be hard. “You did lead them, and you did hold back the orcs for a long time. They do owe you respect”

She sighed. “Yes, and the men knows this. But the women? They are cowards”

Caranthir took a deep breath. “Maybe not cowards but unable to see things in a different light? Afraid to stand out in the crowd?”

She scoffed. “Call it whatever you like, I cannot stand it. The whispers and the hidden accusations in their voice, as if I am some sort of curse bearing monster”

It was Caranthir’s turn to be shocked. “They cannot truly be that bad?”

She scowled. “Oh but they are, and they are way more vicious than any man, believe me. But I am not cut to be a wife, to become somebody’s property, for that is how they view a wedded woman, a thing to possess and own. Not a person with a mind of her own, I would rather die than submit to that sort of life. ”

Caranthir did make a wry little grin. “Then I have a remedy for you, or at least a proposition?”

She pulled the blankets tighter around herself, tilted her head. “Let’s hear it then”

He lifted an eyebrow. “Make it mandatory for the women to train with arms, the only exception being if they are heavy with child or suckling and infant. That ought to teach them”

She did stare at him with huge eyes, then she burst into giggles. “Oh Gods, that is actually…Yes, that would shut their mouths. And you are right, it is needed. Everybody ought to be able to defend themselves. We cannot afford that half the population has to sit there and cower while the other half does the fighting”

He nodded. “So you are going to do it?”

She nodded vigorously. “Yes, yes damn it. They may not like it but darn, I will love to see their faces. Everybody has to be able to fight, we don’t know what the future holds. We are bound to run into more trouble eventually.”

He smiled. “Wise words”

She took a deep breath. “I am gonna tell everybody tomorrow, there will be wailing and the gnashing of teeth for sure but screw that. Those most mean do deserve to get some of their malice beaten out of them. The men may protest but I know how to subdue them too”

He did chuckle. “Just don’t push them too hard to begin with”

She shared his laughter. “I won’t. I promise”

He nodded. “Good. You cannot afford a rebellion.”

She giggled and fell silent, he didn’t really know what more to say and so he held his silence and she did look down. Her eyes were shaded by her hair and he waited for her to say something, anything. The silence was a bit heavy, almost uncomfortable. She took a deep breath. “Caranthir, do you think I am...too manly?”

He gasped from her question. “What? No! You are…you are quite feminine, in your own way.”

She frowned. “You are honest now?”

He nodded. “Listen, it is all in the eye of the beholder. Everybody sees these things differently, dwarves favour small bearded hairy women with plenty of curves and I am sure even orcs have their own twisted perception of what beauty ought to be”

She giggled. “Yeah, I kind of get that, but what about you? What do you think…about me?”

He did look at her, eyes a bit wide. “Does it matter?”

She shrugged. “Yes, and no. I guess…”

She squirmed. “Everybody knows that we are friends, that I have your favour. I have a suspicion that some of the women are so nasty because of that.”

He felt a bit shocked. “Really?”

She nodded. “Yes, they are jealous. You elves….you are all so lovely, and you keep your youth eternally. I guess that they suspect that we are…uhmmm you know…”

He had to scoff. “They do have a hefty imagination then”

She shrugged again, the scent of her was almost familiar by now. “Yes, it does nothing to extinguish their dislike of me, that is for certain”

He pulled the blanket a little tighter. “So, what would happen if they saw you in here now?”

She let out a small squeal. “The rumours would fly, like arrows and hit everywhere but on target I bet”

He laughed. “Then let someone see you leave this cabin, throw fuel on the fire. If their goal in life really is to get a husband and preferably one of high status you could shock them now, royally. “

She gasped, then she did giggle. “You know what? You are right! They have accused me of sleeping with you for so long now and I think I am gonna give them shock of a lifetime. None of them have ever caught the eye of an elf, let alone a lord”

Caranthir did laugh again, the sound of her voice, so filled with mirth. He loved that. “Yes, just make sure that you are seen leaving me”

She giggled and her eyes got distant again. “I have one question…”

He sighed. “Only one? Alright, out with it”

She bit her lower lip. “They say that you elves…if you do…you know, the deed, you are automatically married? As in for real, for ever?”

He did blush, felt a bit awkward but he tried to keep his voice steady. “Ah, not necessarily no. A real bonding does require that vows are spoken and the name of Eru and both has to wish for it to happen, for their spirits to be one. “

She raised her head. “People say that your people doesn’t feel passion at all, that you are like animals, mating only for procreation”

He did hiss, that sentiment was a new one and not one he did like. “No, we are very passionate, believe me! We have the same feelings as you edain but we are better at controlling them I guess. We just…we just don’t take it as lightly as you”

He had to think about his parents and he did blush yet again, most elves had been shocked by the fact that they had seven sons. It spoke volumes of their passion, and the strength of their fear too. He and his brothers had seen that passion often enough, and most of them had inherited it. Curufin and his wife had spent the first years of their marriage at the family home and Caranthir had often been both jealous and shocked by what he saw and heard on several occasions. And Maedhros and Fingon, sweet Eru, Fëanor had sort of accepted that relationship, a bit disappointed maybe but Caranthir was often convinced that he liked the idea that his son was fucking his brother’s eldest regularly.

Haleth did smile rather sweetly but he saw that there was a small devil dancing in her eyes. “So, have you ever done it?”

He blinked. It was a very direct question and not one he had anticipated. “Uh…”

He knew how much her honesty had cost her, he ought to honour her by being equally honest. “Yes, once”

She got up on her arm, looked down upon his now rather flushed face. “Really, just once?”

He nodded, even the tips of his ears were burning. “Yes, I wasn’t even of age yet and …well, it wasn’t much to brag about to be honest, rather desperate I would say, pathetic in other words.”

She did look rather curious “Really? I cannot really imagine that an elf would be like a clumsy teenage human”

He had to laugh. “But I was, believe me. It was a minor disaster”

She almost purred. “Go on, let me hear about it”

He grunted. “Alright, I was working a lot, Ada didn’t want us to become lazy so we had to do something, all the time. I had been a bit…lacking when it came to concentration over a few days and he sent me to work in his father’s stables, as a punishment.”

Haleth did frown. “Your father sounds strict. “

Caranthir did nod. “He was, but he did mean well. He saw our flaws and did his best to help us overcome them”

She moved into a better position. “Alright, your grandfather’s stable…”

He put a hand over his face. “Darn, this is embarrassing. Well, the stable master had a daughter…”

Haleth did laugh, a real laughter. “Oh I see!”

Caranthir had to snicker. “Yes, she was…well broken inn to put it nicely, bet all the stable hands had ridden that filly and ridden her well too. She had experience to boot, and she set her eyes on me immediately. You know, son of the crown prince and all.”

Haleth nodded. “That is very attractive to some yes, even if the person in question isn’t, I mean, you are, you most definitely are but…”

He bit his lower lip. “So we ended up in the hayloft and she knew exactly what to do and say to make a male quit thinking with the right head. I was probably a disappointment on an epic scale, I was so worked up I came the moment I was inn and that was it”

Haleth giggled. “Aww, she should have seen that as a compliment right? “

He frowned. “Well, she didn’t. She just got up and left and called me a few names I don’t want to repeat, it was rather hurtful I must admit that.”

She grasped his hand. “Know what, forget about her, she was just out to boost her own ego or something. I bet she was out there bragging about having screwed a prince the moment you left”

He went beet red. “I am afraid you are right, there were rumours but luckily nobody did believe them. If Ada had found out he would have warmed my backside until I couldn’t sit for a week”

She giggled again and her hand did slide along his chin, it was a very loving caress. “So, you have never been with anybody after that…disaster?”

He shook his head. “No, I was infamous for my temper, and my tendency to blush, and also…I may seem too sombre to somebody. I am not the cheerful one of the family, that is for sure. And then things went to hell quite literally with the goddamn gems and the oath and everything”

Haleth tilted her head. “Did you ever want to? I mean, did you ever meet somebody you would like to…be with?”

He felt his cheeks burning. “There have been moments when I have envied those with a partner yes, I guess we all long to belong to someone, to trust that deeply. But I am what I am, my own people do fear me now”

Haleth did reach out, she did swipe some loose locks of his long raven hair aside, very gently. “I do not fear you Caranthir”

Her voice was very soft and he turned his head, not really sure of what she did imply. “I am glad to hear that but…”

Haleth got up on her knees, she did grasp his chin with a hand and leaned inn closer. “I am not as inexperienced as the others like to think, there was this one lad I was in love with but he died, killed by orcs and we didn’t get to formalize anything. Beside, my father didn’t approve of him. “

Caranthir did swallow. “I am sad to hear that”

She cocked her head. “We humans do deal with loss better than you I think, we are used to it, we expect it even. But I know one thing for sure though”

He had a hard time looking at her now, he felt her presence in a whole new manner and the soft expression on her face was stunning. “What?”

She kissed him, very chastely on the mouth and he gasped a little, not knowing what to truly make of it. “I will forever be remembered by you”

He stared into her eyes and saw the truth of it there, she did mean it. He did swallow hard. “You do not have to do this Haleth, I will remember you, no matter what”

She smiled, slid the cloak off herself and she was naked underneath. He almost gaped, suddenly his body was burning again, as it had back in the stables of Tirion, with that young elleth. But this was yet different, he felt a connection to Haleth and he was no longer a mere youth, stupid and without the ability to really understand what he was doing. “I know that but if they are to gossip about us, let us at least add some truth to the gossip.”

She grasped his hand he did not resist as she lifted it and laid it against her breast. The sensation made his body ache even worse than before and she leaned forth and kissed him yet again, very gently. “Do you want me?”

He couldn’t lie, he couldn’t say no for it was very obvious by now that he did and he didn’t want to hurt her feelings, no never! For all he knew they could both be dead in a few days, if he ever was to have a really good memory to bring with him to whatever end he was heading he could might as well create one now. The chance would probably never return. He did nod and she grasped the nightshirt, helped him get it off and then she straddled him, the kisses becoming deeper, more needy, hesitation replaced by trust and lust alike.

He had sometimes imagined a situation like that, he couldn’t lie to himself, and the fact that it was becoming real was overwhelming. But this time it was different though, no desperate fumbling, no fear of getting caught. It was slow and gentle and there was trust there, love even. It was like a dance both knew by instinct and when they in the end laid there curled up together, calming down she did smile and kissed the tip of his nose. “Now they do have something to be envious of, for real”

He just smiled and kissed her back, feeling better than he had in a very long time. As a fact he couldn’t remember when he had ever felt this at peace. They fell asleep after a while, still curled up in a ball and they did sleep until sunlight started to filter inn through the small window on the wall. Haleth did awake first and she gave him a gentle nudge. “Wake up, it is time to get up”

He groaned and sat up, his hair had escaped its braid and was everywhere and he had some bruises from where she had grasped onto him in the heat of passion. He was rather proud of them actually. She kissed his cheek. “I have got to go, but I will see you in the hall right?”

He nodded and she slid out of the bed and got the cloak back on. The bed felt empty and cold right away and he wanted to ask her to stay but knew he couldn’t. He could just watch her slip out of the door and he grunted and went to find a comb and his clothes. A while after he was in the hall, breakfast was just bread and some cheese but it was better than nothing and he saw that Haleth was missing still.

She arrived after a short time, looking refreshed and rather smug. His warriors were already there, they had eaten and were ready to move on and he couldn’t prolong the stay, it would look strange. He did pretend as if nothing was out of the ordinary but there was a strange emptiness in his heart. He didn’t want it to be like this, he didn’t want to deny what they did share, to hide it.

He didn’t want to make it less than an affair, just a random encounter between two lonely people desperate for somebody to hold throughout the night. He wished that it could have been so much more, something binding.

He ate and got ready and she wandered over to him, talking about the paths, the routes which were safe and so on. But he saw it in her eyes, the shine in them, the returned confidence, the rather devilish determination. The ladies of the house would soon have to stop pretending to be dainty little flowers who needed men to be rescued, they would be transformed and she was the best one to push that change forwards. He wanted to kiss her goodbye but all he could do was to shake her hand, the way he always did. She did hesitate for a second, then she did lean forwards and whispered something to him. “I had a dream last night, while I laid there in your arms. I beg you Caranthir, do never go to Doriath, ever! Do not heed the oath, stay behind. It will be the death of you. “

He swallowed hard. “I will try to heed your wish my lady”

She shook her head. “No, do not try. Just do it. If you go to that city you are dead, period. I want you to live, to remember me right? Promise me that, you will remember me forever”

He couldn’t resist the look in her eyes. He closed his eyes and laid his hand over his heart. “I swear it to you my lady, I will remember you, forever”

She smiled and patted his shoulder. “Good, then I am happy. Go now, before this silly old gal breaks down and reveal what we have been up to”

He got up on the horse and she gave it a pat over the arse, sent it off. He didn’t look back for he knew somehow that if he did he would turn the horse and ride back, grasping her and announcing to all that she was his wife now and that nobody ever should try to separate them. He had to harden his heart, for her. Her power had to come from her own strength, not from the fact that he was protecting her. If she was seen as his wife they would be suspicious of her, claim that she had a hidden agenda, that she was being lead by the elves. He didn’t want that. He would have loved to call her his, to say the vows but it would only bring them both pain in time, it was better like this, although painful.

In the years to come the house of Haleth did indeed move into an area of Thingol’s lands and they made a good living there. He did often hear of her, she never married or had children and his heart did ache each time he did hear her name. But he did never forget the promise he did make, when the day came and his brothers decided to attack Doriath for the silmaril Thingol had demanded as a bride price of Beren Caranthir didn’t follow them. He stayed behind, much to the confusion of the others. He had been the one among them who was most dead set on fulfilling the oath at times and now he did back off? But they didn’t in any way blame him and saw it in his eyes, he knew something they didn’t.

When the remaining brothers did return to him he knew that his life had been spared this time, and he was grateful. He did what he could to help his brothers with the oath but he didn’t fight, he stayed out of the battles against his own race. He wasn’t there at Sirion when the ambarussa did die and he followed Maedhros and Maglor and helped them raise the two orphan boys. He did follow them when the war of wrath was over and they did reclaim two of the silmarils. But he did never touch them even once and after Maedhros did die and Maglor tossed his gem into the sea he did wander the shores with his remaining brother. He had sworn an oath to remember this one small but very brave woman until the end of time and this oath was one he truly believed in, one he never would break. He would carry her name with him until the time came when Arda was remade and then, maybe, if Eru was merciful they would meet again and have the life they both had wanted. A life together, as one.

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alishbaqueen40: This story was pretty intriguing, it held my curiosity and interest and i cant believe i can actually finish a whole book in just 4 days .I adore the characters in addition to that the author is pretty scrupulous with his/her writing skills.This was surely a fascinating book and i would love to ...

Nicole: Um the characters were on point the descriptions to

harper0883: Very nice read lots of twist and turns excellent plot and characters awesome writing skills

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Swifty4life2003: I fricken loved it

Trina: These stories are sooo good. I have been reading them like a chain smoker.

dontknowlove26: This is good very sad at first. Nice to see she can hold her own.

Carolyn Clark Newsome: Great story line...real life issues tackled. Conflicts resolved! Love it!

Tiphnie: I love the insight into marku, especially after reading IAOO 4 times, 5, I just finished it again today. Your an amazing writer and from my perspective an all around amazing person. I hope you forever find joy in writing, as I absolutely adore your books and would buy them all hard copy of I coul...

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