“ Círdan, I need to speak to her alone,” Glorfindel said.
“ My study,” Círdan led the way.
Glorfindel closed the door behind them, listening to make sure the Elf’s footsteps died away.
“ Where is my daughter that you must tell me in secret?” the woman asked, a faint trace of worry in her tone.
“ Êlenrana told me that she is the daughter of Varda,” Glorfindel answered.
“ My daughter trusts you too much. I am Varda,” Varda sighed, “ But I forbid you to say one word of my identity to anyone else.”
Glorfindel fell to his knees in front of her.
“ Twould be an honor to serve you, M’lady,” he murmured.
Varda pulled him up, her gaze searching his. She seemed to study his eyes, then move back in surprise.
“ You care for my daughter far more than can be,” Varda whispered.
“ Êlenrana is in one of Círdan’s guest rooms,” Glorfindel turned, hoping she would follow.
“ Why do you put yourself through such pain when you know it will never be?” Varda asked.
Glorfindel froze. He turned halfway to face her, a strained look on his face. A thousand words and emotions flew through his head of how to explain it. Varda’s light eyes, so much like her daughter’s, watched him steadfastly.
“ Tis the way I have chosen, the path I take. To me there is no other way. Êlenrana has become dear to me during her short stay in Imladris,” Glorfindel replied, “ Please follow me.”
Varda followed silently, marveling at the courage he had to tell her, the highest of the Valië, that he loved her daughter. Though his step was light, she still felt and saw the sorrow he carried or rather shared with Êlenrana. It was a shame he was only an Elf-lord.
Êlenrana felt 2 strong hands shaking her awake. Her vision cleared to see Glorfindel. Her eyes widened.
“ What-” she began.
Varda moved into eyesight.
“ I’ll leave you two alone,” Glorfindel stood, slowly walking towards the door.
“ Why are you here? Have you come to take me home?” Êlenrana’s sad voice surprised Varda, “ I do not wish to leave.”
Êlenrana saw Glorfindel almost bang against the door as he spun around to stare at her in surprise. His eyebrows arched questioningly. She sent him a small smile.
*Go. We will talk later.
Glorfindel nodded and left. Varda pretend to not notice her daughter’s wistful and lingering eyes follow the Elf-lord out the door.
Varda sat on her daughter’s bed.
“ How are you? I was so worried until Mandos told us where you had gone,” Varda asked.
“ I am fine. Elrond, the Halfelven and Glorfindel have watched over me ever since I arrived in Imladris almost a year ago,” Êlenrana answered.
“ Your father will not allow this between you, the highest of the Valar children and a mere Elf-lord,” Varda said gently, “ Why do you put the both of your through it?”
Êlenrana knew Glorfindel had heard. She could feel the disappointment and hurt as well as hear his footsteps disappear down the stairs.
“ There is not other way I would choose, Mother. I will be his or no ones,” Êlenrana replied.
Varda sighed as she smoothed her daughter’s still lustrous gold, now more wavy than in Valinor, locks. Her daughter had not only blossomed into an image of slightly lesser beauty than her mother, but also in mind and attitude. The Êlenrana of Valinor would not have dared to go against her father’s will. Things had definitely changed.
“ Ok, I will not tell Manwë, but do not wed or anything drastic without telling me first. Call me,” Varda pulled a tiny necklace from around her neck, “ Lift it up to the star light and I will come.”
Êlenrana studied the locket, and then threw her arms around her mother. Varda clutched her only child, then pulled back to caress Êlenrana’s check with misty eyes.
“ I will miss you, my child. I will try to hide it from Manwë’s eyes for as long as I can, but I do advise against this. All I can see is heartbreak,” Varda warned.
“ My heart is already broken, but with him, it is mended,” Êlenrana tried to stifle a yawn.
“ Go to sleep, Child,” Varda ordered softly, then began to sing softly an old elvish lullaby.
Êlenrana slowly drifted back to sleep.
“ I hope you know what you’re doing, child, I really do.”
Êlenrana awoke with a start. She bathed and dressed quickly, donning a gown of pale peach, and hoping to find her mother. Exiting her room in haste, she ran into Glorfindel. A tingle flew through her as his strong arms steadied her.
“ Your mother left this morning. Do you happen to know why she gave me a through lecture on the treatment she expects bestowed upon her daughter?” Glorfindel asked.
Êlenrana flushed, causing Glorfindel’s grin to widen. When she finally looked up, her smile made his heart stop.
“ Now why would I know of such a thing?” her eyes widened in innocence.
“ Come then. Círdan waits,” Glorfindel said, “ But you may want to pull up your hair. It’s bit…wet?”
“ Hold this then,” Êlenrana handed him a clip.
He watched as she twisted the long veins of gold into a long twist and intertwined it amidst her hair in a low bun.
“ Put the clip where my hands are,” Êlenrana’s hands still held a portion.
Glorfindel’s warm hands brushed against her neck as he fastened the twist. His hands lingered long enough so she noticed, but short enough to still be proper. Êlenrana turned to face him. Her eyes connected with his and he was drowning, forgetting everything else.
Glorfindel gently tugged her close. He felt her hand gently touch the hair that fell over his shoulder. His forehead connected to hers as that same hand wrapped itself around the back of his neck. Her eyelashes fluttered against his cheeks, as soft as butterfly wings. Anticipation flew through Glorfindel as he moved a little closer to evade her every last space. Only a bit father, he noted. He slowly began to lean down to her waiting mouth.
“ Glorfindel,” Círdan’s voice interrupted.
2 heads shot up as both flushed in embarrassment for being caught by their host.
“ I do believe you, my son, should come with me now so we can do business before you forget what it is Elrond wished to tell me,” Círdan’s gray eyes twinkled in delight.
So she was the maiden Celeborn had said had Glorfindel, the notorious independent fearless warrior, tied around her little finger. Círdan nodded. It was a perfect description. He heard Glorfindel’s soft exasperated sigh before Glorfindel gently kissed the top of Êlenrana’s hand. Glorfindel followed him downstairs.
“ I’ll make this quick. Women are not ones to be kept waiting,” Círdan said knowingly.
Glorfindel smiled wryly, if it were only that easy.