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Chapter 11

 

                  Celebrian walked alone outside.  She stopped in front of a beautiful plant, an aeglos.  Elrond had placed them everywhere along with her favorite, merils (roses) and his favorite in the massive fountains, ninglor.  Imladris had grown to become a rival to Lothlorien, though to her Lothlorien would always be home, but Imladris was Elrond.

                  She hugged herself, wincing when the brocade of the dress’ bodice dug into her tender flesh.  Elrond had made up for his absence in the last century as well as one could in the last 3 months.  She fingered the beautiful bracelet he had made for her.  It was mithril, the band weaving in an eternal pattern and decorated in the center with an open rose.  She felt her cheeks grow hot remembering how much pleasure he could induce without doing much more than touching her lips.

                  An arm slipped around her waist, skillfully missing the jewels encrusted in the belt around her waist. 

                  “ The blush becomes you, though you have been hiding from me,” his soft voice murmured in her ear.

The bright eyes, almost smiling Elf was not the one she had left in a meeting, so solemn, stolid and grim.

                  Celebrian gently pushed a stray piece of his hair back into place behind his shoulder as she arched her shoulders into his chest.  He gave her a gentle kiss.  She ran a hand up to his neck, simply wishing to feel his soft skin.  He was 2 peoples and she found that she would find him uninteresting if were just one.

                  “ Why are you out here?” he asked gently, his warm breath caressing her neck before his lips did.

                  “ I was just wandering,” Celebrian shrugged.

Their lips met again and Celebrian twisted her torso further to keep their lip lock.  Elrond smiled against her lips at her eagerness.

                  “ My, my, what gossip I could deal.  Lord Elrond out all alone with his beloved in the Garden of Radiance,” Erestor’s laughing voice came, “ What do you think Glorfindel?  Does it not remind you of someone else?”

                  “ Glorfindel did not meet Nienna,” Elrond reminded.

Erestor shrugged.

                  “ I think this deserves to be told,” Glorfindel teased.

                  Elrond released her waist mournfully, seeing they were not about to go away.  He sighed, slightly irritated as he faced them.

                  “ Why is you bother me now?” Elrond asked.

                  “ Celeborn wishes to speak to you,” Erestor’s eyebrows arched as he and Glorfindel exchanged glances.

                  “ Go find Κlenrana for me, please,” Elrond ordered.

                  Neither of the 2 moved.

                  “ Now.”

The 2 turned in separate directions.  Elrond looked down at Celebrian with a disappointed look.  He reached behind her, picking a rose.  He plucked off the one or two of the thorns, before pushing into the hair behind her ear.

                  “ I will hopefully be at dinner, unless your father has some reason to strangle me,” he sent her a questioning look.

                  “ I do not know why he wishes to talk to you,” Celebrian’s eyes opened wide in innocence.

                  “ I am sure,” Elrond replied.

                  “ Your life is safe guarded,” Celebrian gave his cheek a quick kiss, straightening his robes and then pushing him off.

Elrond turned and exited his favorite of the 4 gardens.

                  Celebrian turned her eyes towards the Garden of Mourning, where willows wept and nνnim grew, then to the Garden of Eternity, where the wedding ceremonies took place, and lastly to the Garden of Blood.  She broke off an aeglos at the bottom of its stem and turned away from all the gardens to a special place.  It had been Ereinion’s favorite place when he came and it was where his ashes, lance and helmet were buried.  She knelt beside the well-kept mound, placing the white flower upon it.

                  “ Ξdn ned sξdh (Rest in peace),” she whispered, before turning to go find Elrond.

~*~

                  Elrond easily found Celeborn.  The elder lord was at the bridge over the falls that ran through Imladris.  Elrond leaned on the railing beside him.

                  “ You asked to see me?” Elrond said softly.

                  “ I am quickly growing tired of waiting for you to betroth yourself to my daughter,” Celeborn replied, never looking at him, “ You have known her for millennia’s, Elrond and I am growing old.”

                  At the last statement, Elrond chuckled.  Celeborn glanced up with a smile also.

                  “ This peace time will not last forever.  The Ring is still out there,” Celeborn gently reminded, “ You have had my permission for millennia’s.”

Elrond knew the Ring was still out there.  It was his fault he had convinced Isildur.  Elrond pushed those thoughts as he managed a smile.

                  “ Is the old Elf going to change his mind?” Elrond teased.

                  “ For that comment I may,” Celeborn replied, “ But, since you are the only one suited for my daughter, I will ignore it.”

                  “ There is Erestor and Glorfindel,” Elrond pointed out.

                  “ Glorfindel is quickly becoming attached to Κlenrana and Erestor loves his work far too much,” Celeborn replied.

                  “ Then I guess I will have to seeing there is no one else,” Elrond gave a mock sigh.

                  Celeborn glanced at the younger lord in surprise.  He had not expected Elrond to actually agree with him.

                  “ Yes, yes, you should,” Celeborn quickly agreed.

Elrond nodded as Celebrian approached.

                  “ I see my father has let you live,” she said softly, her hand slipping into his.

                  Celeborn wisely excused himself and Elrond felt his mouth go dry.

                  “ Elrond?” Celebrian caught the distressed look on his face.

                  “ I must go speak to Κlenrana.  Please excuse me,” his formal indicated something was wrong.

She refused to let him go.

                  “ What is wrong?  Is it Ere-” Celebrian began.

Elrond put a finger to her lips, smiling slightly.

                  “ It has absolutely nothing to do with him.  I merely need to speak to Κlenrana,” Elrond said.

                  “ Tell me later?  I hate it when you try to push me away,” Celebrian replied.

He gently leaned down, giving her lips a quick kiss.  Many Elves watched with interest at the lord of Imladris actually displaying a sign of affection.

                  “ I promise.”

Celebrian watched him walk away.  Celeborn put an arm around her shoulders.

                  “ I tried.”

Celebrian looked up at him.

                  “ He was this close, Ada.”

Celeborn gave her a hug.

                  “ He loves you, Bree.  He’ll ask.”

                  “ I hope so, Ada.”

~*~

                  Elrond found Glorfindel easily.  The lord was walking beside Κlenrana.  Elrond smiled at the offer to escort her to the Hall of Fire.  So Celeborn did know something about this.  Elrond watched as silence fell and decided to butt in.

                  Celebrian walked beside Elrond as the singing went on.  The stars sparkled high above, casting a silvery glow all around the Garden of Eternity.

                  “ There is Gil-estel,” Celebrian pointed at the Silmaril in the sky.

                  “ Aye,” Elrond clasped her hand.

                  Celebrian turned to face him.  His eyes searched hers as they moved closer.  Elrond licked his dry lips and Celebrian sensed what was coming.

                  “ Kel,” Elrond began.

                  “ Yes,” Celebrian answered.

                  “ You did not let me finish.  You do not know what I ask,” Elrond replied.

                  “ I do too,” Celebrian stated, “ I have not known you for millennia’s not to be able to read you like a book.”

                  “ Then what is it I ask?” Elrond asked

                  “ If I would betroth myself to you,” Celebrian answered simply.

                  Elrond sighed, running a hand through his hair.

                  “ It is as you say,” he nodded.

                  “ And my answer is still the same,” Celebrian said, “ But you can ask.”

                  “ You said yes, so I would rather not try to.  I am not as good with words that I say than when I write them,” Elrond replied.

                  “ Im meleth le,” Celebrian whispered, “ But I will make you ask.”

                  Elrond sighed.

                  “ Would you betroth yourself to me?” he stumbled.

                  “ See that was not so hard,” Celebrian pointed out.

                  “ Kel, would you answer?”

Celebrian teasingly pretended to think.  Elrond growled playfully, their foreheads connecting.

                  “ Yes, Elrond Peredhel, I will bind myself to you,” Celebrian declared softly.

                  Elrond leaned down to kiss her gently to seal the betrothal.  Celebrian pulled him closer, her hands clenching his robes.  She wanted all he would give.

                  “ Steady, love.  You know what happened the last time we did this,” Elrond murmured.

                  “ And I cared not.  I say,” Celebrian’s arms encircled his neck, “ That we forget about the vows and ceremonies and marry now.”

                  “ And let your parents murder us both?  We will wait,” Elrond shook his head firmly.

                  “ You cannot say I did not try,” she shrugged.

Footsteps came and Celebrian seized his lips again.  Elrond relaxed, not caring whom saw and reported it to Celeborn.  She was going to be with his forever.