A Maiden of Faith - Chapter 4

Katrina woke to the soft sound of birds singing outside her window. Rolling over, she cast the covers off her body. She had slept in a soft pink night shift a maiden had brought to her from the Lady Arwen a few days past. She had slept soundly, comfortable in the soft bed, just as she had in previous nights.

She now knew Aragorn and his family rather well. They had made her welcome when she had first arrived, explaining things to her. Though, she doubted she had met their whole family. Eldarion was the only child she had met, as far as she was concerned there were no more children.

Sitting up, she rolled her shoulders, loosening the muscles. Her back hurt something fierce. Fiery pain coursed through it, making her cringe. Finding a brush on her dresser, she began working through the knots of the nights sleep.

Her mind wandered to a song she had heard on the radio a few weeks ago. It resonated so loudly, she found herself singing it,

"In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory
In the power of the cross.
In every victory,
Let it be said of me,
My source of strength,
My source of hope
Is Christ alone.
"

Then it came to her. God had not abandoned her, as she had previously mused over. No, He was right beside her, her Hope and her Strength, her Power, Christ alone. Sighing she smiled to herself. He was always with her, even in Middle Earth.

A gentle knock sounded from the other side of her door. Setting the brush down, she opened her room up.

A young girl smiled up at her. "Hello, M'lady. We have a warm bath set for you." Her dark curls hung down to her waist, and her silver-blue eyes were bright. She sounded sweet and endearing, as she was.

"Great! I could use a bath! Thanks." She grabbed the brush and made to leave the room, when the girl caught her arm.

"Lady! You wouldn't want a man walking down the hall to see you!" The maiden shrieked.

"Oh, right. Not at home... Okay, um, will a robe work?" Katrina grabbed the robe on the post of the foot board of her bed. She had forgotten that the silk gown was not appropriate to wear outside of her chambers.

"Yes, that will do." The girl nodded. She looked like Arwen, soft cheeks and lips, her bright eyes. She wasn't short, or that young, perhaps a teenager...

"What's your name, hon?" Katrina walked with her down the hall.

"Elenloth, it means star-flower," she answered softly. Her skirts rustled as they walked towards the bathing room. When they came to the door, she pushed it open saying, "Here we are."

Katrina stepped into a room that smelled of lovely lavender and rose water. Other maidens were bathing behind drawn curtains, some talking to others, some silently cleansing themselves. One was softly singing while others listened.

Elenloth led her to a tub full of water, a bar of soap beside it and a bucket of warm water was also there. A towel was set on a stool beside a few flowers. The girl picked up a handful and sprinkled them into the water. She then pulled two leaves out of her apron's pocket. Pressing them, she threw them into the water. "The athelas should calm you, and ease the pain in your back."

"How did you know my back hurt?" Katrina was surprised by her knowledge of what hadn't even been said out loud.

"The way you carry yourself, and your face was contorted with pain. Your voice was taut also. I just picked up on your hurt. Do not be angry, the athelas should help." The maiden assured her.

"Who are you? You seem like a tracker or something."

"I am the daughter of his Lord Aragorn and her Lady Arwen. My brother and father have taught me well." She gave a little smile before she departed. Before she left she called over her shoulder, "Legolas is returning today!"

The maidens all broke out in jittery talk, discussing what to wear and such...

"What's the big deal?" Katrina whispered to herself. "Just like America, all swooning over the same guy..."

Why hadn't she met Elenloth before? Perhaps Aragorn and Arwen didn't want a stranger from a place they had never heard of to know who their daughter was... That made good sense, but it was still odd....

**************

The warm bath had helped significantly. Her back was almost completely relieved of its pain. She knew there would always be a little soreness, no matter what she did.

Slipping into a silken blue dress she found in her room and fastening her cross around her neck, she softly murmured a Bible verse to herself.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!
Let Your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present you request to God." ~ Philippians 4:4-6

She was brushing out her hair, when she heard a voice and a soft caress was felt on her face. Katrina, the Lord is near, I have not forgotten you. You are in My thoughts, My plans, and I am in you, your heart. Remember this, in all you do...

"I will remember, Lord. I will not forget..." She closed her eyes, and she could see His face. The most handsome and loving face she had ever seen, yet just a figment of her imagination...

Gathering her Bible to her, and her notebook with the pen pushed into the spiral wire binding, she left her room. Walking down the long corridor, she pondered on what her Lord and Savior had said to her. She was in His plans. And He was in her heart, and had been since Kindergarten. This was an encouraging thought, and she knew that was what it had been meant as... Encouragement.

Katrina walked out of the doors of the home of the King. He had permitted her to stay in his home while she was here. The late morning sun gleamed in the blue sky. She tilted her face up and let the sun kiss her while she closed her eyes. Making her way to the doors of the throne room, she spun about, her billowing skirt flaring out. Her flip-flops smacked the granite, and she laughed.

The doors to the throne room flung open and she froze. There he was. Standing in his green-blue leggings and lighter tunic. A quiver tied across his back laden with arrows and two long daggers protruding from it. His bow slung across his shoulders.

He was staring at her. Even in a dress, she still didn't quite fit in, her hair was still shoulder length and her shoes, or lack-there-of, were still visible. Now she understood the maidens that morning. This was Legolas!

Curtsying she muttered, "Legolas Thrandulion."

"Ai. Rise, noble Ëarelen." He took her by the arm and made her stand straight. "My! Aren't we tall! How is it that you stand so straight?"

"First, what did you call me?" Katrina wasn't all that surprised by his question, she heard it a lot, except, not in such a proper way.

"Ëarelen. It means star of the sea." Legolas looked her in the eye, which wasn't so difficult since she was as tall as he was.

"Oh. Well, I didn't wear a Milwaukee back brace for nothing!" She stated rather loudly.

"What is this Milwaukee back brace, and what did it do exactly?"

"Um, great. Well, my spine was severely curved and I had to wear a back brace to straighten it out. Basically, um, I was hunch backed and then I had to wear a bunch of metal. That's kinda the gist of it." She shook her head, a rueful smile on her face.

"Did it hurt much, lady?"

"Oh yeah! Still does a little... Anyway, you guys are way into being healthy, or at least me being healthy." She laughed a little then smiled at him. "I was just going to see Aragorn."

"Ah, well he has told me all he knows about you. Perhaps, later, you and I can discuss it some more?" He turned to face her after taking a few steps.

"That would be nice. Thank you." Katrina entered into the throne room. Aragorn was standing at the foot of the steps that led up to throne. He was talking to Arwen, his voice no more than a whisper. Eldarion was not far off, standing beside his sister and a little baby girl cradled in his arms. He smiled at her as she entered.

Arwen looked up, her eyes glimmering. "Hello, my dear, Falaswen. I assume your night's rest was pleasant and the warm bath was satisfactory?"

"Oh, yes. Thanks so much. And thanks for the athelas leaves, Elenloth. That really helped." She smiled over at the girl.

"You needed athelas? Are you hurt?" An expression of concern came across Aragorn's face and his eyes clouded, he looked her up and down for any visible wounds.

"Yes, and no. Gosh, I just went through this..." She exhaled a deep breath. "Okay, I have a curve in my spine called Kyphosis, well, actually I have two curves in my spine, the other is Scoliosis. Anyway... I had to wear a brace, which was mostly metal, and it straightened my Kyphosis out. The Scoli wasn't that bad. My back still hurts sometimes, and your daughter picked up my discomfort and put athelas in my bath. So, actually, I'm fine, just sore. No worries."

"A curved spine. Interesting. How can you tell?" Aragorn asked.

"Oh my gosh! X-rays. But you don't have that kind of technology. I could show you. If you would permit it?"

"Certainly."

"Okay, well I can't show you on me, cuz I'd have to lift the back of my shirt up, but I'm wearing a dress. So... Eldarion, I can show you on him."

The young man stepped up, after handing the baby off to Elenloth. What was she going to do to him?

*AUTHOR'S NOTE*
The song at the beginning is called In Christ Alone, I don't know who sings it, sorry, I heard it on the radio and looked the lyrics up online. If you want to know what a Milwaukee back brace is you can look it up on google, just put quotes around it. Now, I don't know how many kids Aragorn and Arwen had, I do know that their oldest was Eldarion, I don't know when he was born, and I'm pretty sure that they had daughters, but Tolkien didn't give them names. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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