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Chapter 8

 

                  Elrond began to ready his weapons.  He already wore the undergarments for the armor he would soon put on.  He had returned to Imladris where Elendil and his armies plus Gil-galad and his forces would arrive that night.  In the morning, they would set out across the Misty Mountains to Mirkwood to join up with Thranduil’s forces and then head down the River Anduin to Mordor.

                  “ I see you are ready,” a soft voice said sadly.

                  Celebrian stood in the doorway, holding her riding crop and still in her traveling clothes.  She wore a sad look as she surveyed him.

                  “ Just about,” Elrond replied.

                  “ I wish you did not have to go,” Celebrian said, “ I have dreams of you falling, dying like Celebrimdor.  Your face replaces his.”

                  Elrond pulled her close, seeing the tears growing again.  She breathed in deeply his safe musty book scent, knowing it could be the last she ever saw him.

                  “ I will return to Lorien in the morning.  I do hope you will visit there after all is done,” Celebrian said.

                  “ I will,” Elrond promised.

                  “ I love you, Elrond Peredhel,” Celebrian declared.

                  A im meleth le, Kel (And I love thee, Kel),” Elrond replied.

Celebrian’s tears fell like the spring rains.  Elrond simply held her, letting her cry.

~*~

                  The next morning, Celebrian walked out with Elrond to the horses.  Glorfindel watched them with distress.  He knew Elrond would return, but the separation was heart breaking still.

                  Elrond kissed her hand.  Amusement flickered when Celebrian pulled away, throwing her arms around him.  Everyone that knew Elrond knew that he did not advocate public displays of affection.  Celebrian kissed him gently.

                  “ M’lady, I do believe you have made me break a few rules of my own,” Elrond murmured.

                  “ Tis what I do,” Celebrian grinned, then it faded, “ Now be safe.  Dodge every arrow and sword for me and do not do anything stupid.”

                  “ Elrond,” Gil-galad called gently.

                  “ If he does anything stupid, kill him for me,” Celebrian replied.

Elrond ducked his head, slightly flushed.

                  “ I will be back, Kel.  Worry not.  Have a safe trip to Lorien,” he mounted.

Celebrian watched him leave and hated the emptiness that clutched her heart.  Glorfindel’s horse paused beside her.

                  “ Worry not, m’lady.  Elrond has both Gil-galad and I looking out for him.  He will return.  Vairë has already spun it in her webs.”

Glorfindel spurred his horse away.  Celebrian shook her head in confusion.  How would he know what Vairë had spun?  She shrugged, before turning to ready herself for her own journey.

~*~

                  “ Lady Celebrian seems to care for your well being quite a bit,” Isildur sat beside Elrond once they camped.

                  “ I’m sure she cares for more than that,” Gil-galad sat on the other side.

Elrond mumbled an unintelligible something, flushing a deep red by the firelight.

                  “ She is a beautiful woman, though she does not contest my own wife,” Isildur shrugged.

                  Elrond looked up at Isildur strangely.

                  “ Elros said the same thing of Nalina,” he whispered.

                  “ What was Elros like?” Isildur asked.

                  “ A lot like you.  Always laughing, keeping people on their toes.  Elros always found the best in a person and used it to become their friend,” Elrond chuckled softly, “ He could have convinced Sauron to give up this cause.”

                  “ Then I am nothing like him,” Isildur said sadly.

                  “ There is a little of him in you,” Elrond sighed.

                  “ How did he die?” Isildur asked.

                  Gil-galad held his breath.  Elrond never spoke of what exactly he had seen when he had visited his brother before his death.

                  “ Old age.  I came the once and only time to Armenelos, the city of the kings of the Númenor to find him old and white haired.  I was the same as I am now.  At that moment, I wished that either of us had chosen differently,” Elrond answered, “ Death was foreign to me while I watched him take his last breath.”

                  “ All die,” Anárion said.

                  “ Not the elves.  They have to be slain,” Elrond reminded.

And the campfire was silent.

 

AN: short chapter, I know.  Sorryz.  What do you think so far?  We’re getting up to the sad part.  R&R so I know someone’s reading this and I have a reason to continue writing.