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Chapter 5- Years 1699-1700

            Elrond galloped along the road pushing the horse towards Lindon.  Celebrian’s arms tightened around his middle as the horse picked up speed.  He put a hand back, touching just between her waist and butt in reassurance.  Celebrian rubbed her cheek against his back, then pushed away his braided hair to place a kiss on his neck.  Elrond looked back at her slightly.

            “ Not now,” he mouthed.

Celebrian snuggled closer, perfectly content to wait for his touch.

~*~

            Celeborn watched Elrond jump from the horse.  The lord then turned to help off Celebrian.  Celeborn watched intently as Elrond kept a hold on Celebrian’s waist and Celebrian kept her hands to Elrond’s arms.  The 2 seemed to converse softly.  Celeborn decided to exit.

            “ Celebrian, are you ok?” Celeborn swept up his daughter.

            “ I am fine,” Celebrian answered.

            “ Celebrian,” Galadriel rushed out.

            Elrond began to slowly inch away, feeling out of place in the family greeting.  He began to lead the horse away, but a young boy was waiting to take it.  Elrond sighed as he grabbed his small pack and began to turn towards his room.  Celebrian approached, taking his arm.  Both Celeborn and Galadriel watched as Celebrian led Elrond with her.  No woman had ever been known to have Elrond come willingly without any sign of discomfort.

            “ I see you 2 have met,” Celeborn said, his eyes darting between them as he crossed his arms.

            “ Aye,” Celebrian replied, her eyes glued almost adoringly to Elrond.

            It wasn’t Celebrian’s adoration of the lord, but Elrond’s subtle liking of her.  Celeborn nudged Galadriel motioning to the couple’s intertwined hands.  Galadriel smiled softly.

            “ We are glad you have come home safe,” Galadriel led her husband away.

            Celebrian looked up at Elrond again, tilting her head slightly.

            “ Do you want to take a walk?” Elrond asked.

She nodded silently.  Elrond squeezed her hand.  Celeborn watched from his window inside.

            “ Do you think-” he began.

            “ Time will tell.  Now come, let them go in peace,” Galadriel interrupted, leading him away from the window.

~*~

            Elrond looked out across the Sea, then down at Celebrian as they walked along the seashore.  Their eyes connected and Elrond lifted her hand to kiss it.  Celebrian paused their walk, the 2 hidden from view by a dune, to drape her arms around his neck.

            “ Do you wish to be back at the encampment?” she asked.

            “ No,” Elrond answered.

            “ Good,” Celebrian leaned against him.

Elrond seized her lips gently.  Celebrian melted into him.  This man who seemed so dour and grim held so much passion in his soul for her.  To him, she was not just a child, but also a woman.  Celebrian deepened the kiss, feeling Elrond begin to contest with her.

            “ Master Elrond, excuse me, sir,” a small voice began.

            Elrond broke away to look at the small boy.

            “ Tis a message, sir,” the little boy held out a parchment.

Elrond squatted to take it from him.      

            “ Thank you.”

The boy scampered off as Elrond read the message.  His face clouded with worry as he scanned the contents.

            “ I must speak with your father,” Elrond said.

            “ Will I see you again?” Celebrian asked.

            “ There may be many years,” Elrond answered.

            “ Even if it id as long as our last parting, I will wait here for you,” Celebrian replied, “ I will not have another.”

Elrond gave her a gentle kiss, though his eyes relayed doubt as he turned to run away.

            “ I love you,” she whispered, but the wind swept away her words from his ears.

            Celebrian pulled her shawl tighter around her slim body and surveyed the now dull surroundings.  Her hand lifted to touch her tingling lips where his had graced just moments before.  She sighed.  How she detested this war for taking him from her.  Her eyes shadowed, praying that Tulkas would give him strength so that he would not fall by evil’s hand.

~*~

            Celebrian stood beside her mother as the soldiers waited nearby for their leaders.  Elrond and Celeborn, dressed in the clothes of war, talked seriously as they approached.  Celeborn paused to give Galadriel a quick kiss, then turned towards his horse.

            “ Be you safe,” Celebrian said as Elrond passed by.

He paused beside her, glancing at her.  Celebrian took his hand.

            “ Elrond,” Celeborn called.

Elrond turned to leave, but Celebrian still had his hand.  She followed him to his horse.  Many soldier’s watched with interest, as did Celebrian’s parents.

            “ Here,” Elrond slid around her neck, the golden flower necklace.

He then mounted.  Celebrian clutched the necklace as he galloped off.  Galadriel approached her daughter.

            “ That necklace is more precious to him that his own life.  He swore never to take it off or give it away,” Galadriel said, “ Tis one of the 2 things his father left him.”

Celebrian smiled as she looked at the little charm.

            “ Then I will cherish it and wear it always in his place,” Celebrian replied.

Galadriel watched her daughter turn towards the havens and nodded.  They were most definitely in love.

~*~

            Elrond sighed in relief to find Gil-galad still alive.

            “ Where is Glorfindel?” Elrond asked.

            “ Their archers are quite good.  Nailed him 3 times.  Took me 5 times just to get him out of battle,” Gil-galad answered, “ I was ready to kill him myself when he would not come.”

            “ He is dead?” Elrond asked.

            “ Certainly not.  Gil-galad exaggerates.  Twas but 3 small arrows,” Glorfindel exited the tent.

            “ You should be lying down,” Elrond’s healer part of him surveyed Glorfindel with worry.

Gil-galad was not exaggerating.

            “ I am fine,” Glorfindel moved away from Elrond, “ Tomorrow I will return to battle.”

            “ Glorfindel, if you wish to do that, then as a doctor and friend, I insist that I look at the wounds,” Elrond replied.

Glorfindel morosely nodded.

~*~

            Glorfindel had arrow wounds in his stomach, chest and shoulder.  They were not mortal wounds, but bad enough to cause Elrond to frown.

            “ You should not fight tomorrow.  Give it a few days,” Elrond said.

            “ I will fight tomorrow,” Glorfindel replied vehemently.

Elrond shrugged.

            “ Tis your death sentence,” Elrond muttered.

            “ I heard that,” Glorfindel said, then glanced up, “ You lost the necklace.

            “ No.”

            Glorfindel winced as Elrond pulled the cloth tight around his stomach and chest to stop the bleeding.

            “ So you gave it to Celebrian?” Gil-galad asked from the doorway, “ The soldiers and Celeborn said you gave her something.  You are so gone, Elrond.  Far past lost actually, to the unreachable depths where love takes you.”

            “ Even you-" Elrond began.

            “ Elrond Peredhel, you are silenced," Gil-galad interrupted almost angrily.

            “ Nienna would have been happy for me," Elrond mumbled.

“ I am not she.  You are here now and you will not speak her name here again, especially among soldiers.  You know better, Elrond," Gil-galad replied.

 Glorfindel watched in interest.

“ You still told me to seek someone attainable that I might not be as you, but find someone to bind myself to," Elrond mumbled.

Both Glorfindel and Gil-galad exchanged humorous glances over the healer’s head.  Elrond had never spoke of marriage before.  He was gone all right.

~*~

            Elrond wearily found his pallet after tending to the other wounded Elves.  The king and Glorfindel were already fast asleep on their separate pallets.  Elrond softly pulled out a sheet of paper and stylus.

~*~

            “ My lady, tis a message,” a maidservant approached Celebrian.

Celebrian settled on her settee, noticing Elrond’s handwriting.

          My lady, Celebrian,

                                                Your father and I arrived safely in the camp.  Gil-galad tells me the Nϊmenor send help by sea.  I will not be joining the fighting, rather staying as a healer in the camp.  Keep Glorfindel in mind.  He suffered 3 wounds, but refuses to leave the fighting long enough for them to heal.  I look forward to seeing you again in Lindon.  May Varda smile upon you this night in the stars.  If you see the Evening Star, think of us here.

   Elrond

            Celebrian moved out onto her balcony, letter in hand.  She found the Evening Star and watched its trek in the sky.  Her cream robes whipped in the sea breeze and the tiny golden flower sparkled against her pale skin.

* Please keep him safe.