A Maiden of Faith - Chapter 9
Celeborn rose from his seat at the long table, his arms outstretched. "Dear Katrina, we are pleased to meet you." His strong arms circled about her shoulders, leaving her stunned. Pulling away he seemed distant, his eyes and thoughts someplace else. "My wife wishes she could have met you."
"Oh, well, I wish I could have met her too." She felt a bit uncomfortable talking about Galadriel, the Lady of the Golden Wood. Seeing the look in his eyes, she continued, "She's very happy, and you will see her soon, my lord."
Two dark haired Elves rose from their seats. Cool blue eyes met hers as apparently the oldest stepped forward. He took her hand in his and kissed her knuckles. "Mae govennan, Aelínwen. Im Elladan."
"Very pleased to meet you, Elladan," she grinned as he smiled at her.
The second man came forward, a roguish grin on his face. "Greetings, I'm Elrohir." He took her hand and kissed it as well. "Your song was lovely, Aelínwen."
"Thank you," she curtsied, trying to be polite without laughing. Just as she had imagined the two of them. One proper, the other rogue. Her eyes strayed to one with extremely golden hair. Somehow she knew it was Glorfindel. He rose as he saw her gaze catch on him.
"Duinfëa," he said as he gave a curt bow. "Pleased am I to meet you, river spirit."
"Oh, thank you, but I am much more honored to meet all of you!" She exclaimed, excitement overflowing within her.
One other stepped forward, and she immediately recognized him as Haldir.
"Haldir! You, you're, you're not dead!"
"What?" A puzzled look came to his face. Memories of Helms deep flowed back and he could feel the pain once more and the nearness of death. "No, the Lady Galadriel was able to nurse me back to health, but how did you know about that?"
"I, well, um, was told, kinda..." She could have slapped herself for blurting out like that. "It doesn't matter. I'm pleased to meet you!"
Katrina couldn't see him, but Eldarion was smiling at her. He caught the look his grandfather shot at him. Celeborn liked her, approved of her. He laughed when Elrohir asked to dance with her, trying to get her to sing him a song as they left for the dance floor.
"She seems like a very nice young woman, Eldarion." Elladan spoke to his nephew, his eyes sparkling....
Katrina had danced with the Elves, Aragorn, Eldarion and even Gimli! To her surprise he wasn't all that bad of a dancer. She had not actually met him until the party, he had been enjoying his bed, for it had been a while since he had been in one. Now, her back hurt, and she was ready for the night to claim her consciousness, soon.
Standing, she came to the King's side. "Aragorn, I need to go to bed. I'm sleepy and my back hurts a little. Good night."
He turned to her. "Are you well, dear? Your voice is labored." A look of father-like love came to his eyes, and it reminded her of her own dad.
"Yeah, I'm fine, I just need some rest, thanks." She kissed his cheek, which seemed like the thing to do, until she realized he wasn't her dad. Saying something would imply she did not hold him in that kind of respect, so she just forgot about it.
She leaned over to Elenloth, and gave her a kiss. "Hey, sweetie, I'm gonna go to bed, I'll see you in the morning, okay? Bring some more of that wonderful athelas!"
"I will!" The girl giggled at her comment and the way she was talking. How outlandish was she!
Katrina gave Arwen a hug and a kiss. "Thanks for the dress, I'll see ya tomorrow."
"You're welcome, Ëarannawen."
She rolled her shoulders as she walked around the table to tell Eldarion good night. If she didn't get into bed soon she might collapse... "Night." She leaned over him and gave him a hug. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Pleasant dreams, Katrina. I hope your back feels better soon." He turned in his seat to see her better.
"Thanks." She then turned to Legolas, gave him a hug and told him good night, he had come to sit at the table with them after she danced with the Elves, each and everyone of them...
When she came to Gimli she smiled. "Nighty night."
"I reckon it is so." He chuckled up at her. "Though, I don't quite know what that means. You talk so oddly, sweet girl."
"It means good night!" She leaned over him and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. His hair was beginning to gray, and his eyes sunken.
Then, she left them and went towards her bed chambers. By this time her back hurt more than it had since the brace, ever. "What's going on? Why does it hurt this bad?"
When she reached her bedroom she stripped out of the gown. Once she had her night shift on she slumped onto her bed. The pain was near to unbearable, and she could feel hot tears stream down her face. "Lord give me strength! God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble!"(Ps. 46:1) She racked her brain for another verse, and she began to whimper.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. (Ps. 46:5) A soft voice reassured her. Soft hands fingered her hair. Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father's house. The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favor.
Katrina looked up into a blinding, yet soft light. She could nearly make out hands, and kind kingly eyes. In that instant she knew she looked upon her Lord, who is highest, and mightiest. "Lord, you grace me with Your words and Your face. But tell me, what does this all mean?" Pain ended abruptly for a second, for she was in the presence of the most High, and in Him there is no pain, no hurt, nothing but awe for His glory.
You will see. Dear Katrina, hope is not lost, never is it lost. For it is in the heart of the seeker. It is in your heart, child of Mine. Pain is given to you so that you will be able to see how wonderful it is to be in the presence of your God. Now you have caught a glimpse. Your tale is only beginning, daughter. Do not forget it... With those last words the light slowly faded into the dark of night...
"Lothmîr?" Eldarion tapped on her shoulder, he knew she was aware of him. Her gaze had been on him all night, waiting. "Will you dance with me, Lady?"
Her dark hair was down, cascading about her shoulders and back. As her head turned he saw the white flower tucked in her hair, a lily of pure white, contrasting lovely with her black hair. Her dark eyes flashed with a smile, and she stood. The gown she wore was white, and mithril was sown into the bodice and hem lines of the sleeves, neck and belt around her waist. She was a maiden of darkness clad in light, and it made her look lovely.
"Certainly, love." Lothmîr slipped her arms around his neck, seeing as how a slower song was playing.
They made their way out into the middle of the dance floor, where few could see them from the tables.
"Why didn't you come to me sooner?" She whispered in his ears as they slowly danced. She was well aware of his arms around her waist, holding her close.
"My sister was still awake, and it is her birthday. I did not want to draw away from her, and give you all of my attention making her feel forgotten. That would have been terrible, don't you think?" His breath was warm on her forehead.
"Yes, terrible..." She closed her eyes as they spun around. Then her eyes flashed open. "That new comer has quite a good voice. She is lovely also! That poor girl... To be so far from home!"
"Yes, so far from home." Eldarion looked up and saw his father watching them. He glared at Aragorn and mouthed: Make it end... In reality, this young woman just got on his nerves, her forced compassion was sickening! She didn't care about Katrina, or his sister.
"It'll be good when she goes. She'll be happier, and her songs wont be so depressing! Don't you agree, dear?"
"I thought her song was a wonderful gift! Times aren't wonderful, love, we are still living in darkness."
The song ended, and Eldarion couldn't have been happier. He began to lead her back to her seat, when she announced she was ready for bed, and that he should walk her to her chambers. So, being the gentleman he was, he agreed.
"Here it is," he said when they reached the door. He was about to leave her when she caught his arm.
"Wait, darling!" Lothmîr clung to his arm. "Aren't you going to kiss me good night? After all, I will be your wife someday soon!"
Ugh... He leaned over and brushed his lips against hers. "Farewell, Lothmîr."
Her arms slipped around his neck again. "That wasn't much of a kiss, love." Her perfume was sweet, and her breath warm as she leaned upwards. Supple lips found his and captured them with tenderness. When they parted she smiled and disappeared into her room.
Eldarion wanted to wipe his mouth off, but thought better of it when he saw that his father had seen it all. "Father!" He called when he saw Aragorn try and duck into the door to the king's house, as if he saw nothing.
The Dunadan turned slowly, sheepishly. "What is it, my son?" His voice was soft, and bearly audible.
"Don't act like you saw nothing, you saw it, and you know what I was thinking!" The prince caught his father by the arm.
"Yes, I know." Aragorn looked at his son evenly. "You thought that you were the luckiest man in the world, that you would have this fair maiden's affection in the palm of your hand." Then with hard eyes, "That is what I would have you think. Though, I know in my heart, that you were disgusted by her, however lovely she may be. My son, it is customary for men of Rohan to pick the husband for his daughters. It was not my choice that her father picked you. I would have you pick your own bride, but to refuse would make it seem I thought you were above her. Rohan has been our brother in arms and friendship, I would not have the bond broken. I also know that most men no longer cling to the tradition of choosing their daughter's husband, but her father does! I am sorry, but only you can break the contract!"
"Father! Do not leave me to break this girl's heart!" Eldarion looked at his father with pleading eyes.
"I am sorry, but what is done, is done. Only you can call off the wedding, or perhaps another maiden who holds you in affection, my son. Though, most dare not try, for they know of your engagement." Aragorn frowned at his son. "Unless there is a woman I know nothing about?"
"No, father. No other. Though, I may be forced to find one soon." A sly smile crossed his face, answered by a stern look from his father. "Or not...."
"Good night, Eldarion. My the Valar protect you in your decision." With that said, Aragorn disappeared into the house.
Eldarion, however, remained outside for a time. He looked out over the edge of the wall, looking at the stars. "Oh Iluvatar, what am I to do? You know that this woman is not for me..."
Aragorn settled himself beside Arwen after kissing little Elanna's forehead. He kissed his wife, and then fell into dreams....
Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land. I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever... A man in off-white robes stepped up to Aragorn. He noticed the holes in His hands and feet, and the crown of thorns on His head. A sword was slung at His side, words carved into it, and they seemed to never end.
"Who are you?" He stammered, he looked about, but Arwen was not there, Elanna was not asleep in her crib, in fact there was no crib, or bed.
I am, that I am. He answered in a soft voice, soothing Aragorn's nerves. Fear not, for I am with you. You may call me Christ. For it is what I am.
"You are the one Ëarannawen speaks of?" He stepped forward, his hand out stretched.
Yes. I am her Savior, the One who died for her, for everyone, for I loved you all so much. Have no fear, you may touch Me.
Aragorn felt the soft robes and felt a splendor go through him, as if this was his father before him. Little did he did he know this was his Father, the Son of God. "I feel as though I know you."
You do, child of Mine. To you I am Iluvatar, the Creator of all things. To Katrina, I am her Jesus, her Savior. And I am. I am that is, that was, that all ways will be. I am the Beginning and the End. The Alpha and Omega. The Lord Christ Jesus, your Savior. Your Redeemer. Your Friend. I know you very well, Aragorn son of Arathorn. Trust in Me, have faith, forget naught which created you. And then, the man was gone, and Aragorn was left to ponder in his dreams...
As Eldarion looked up at the stars he noticed they were growing brighter, as if life was entering them, they filled his vision. He began to hear a voice, at first it was soft and hard to hear. But as he listened harder he began to understand it's words.
All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her and are brought to you. They are led in with joy and gladness; they enter the palace of the king. God caressed his face as He spoke. I tell you this, Eldarion, son of the king, you will not be made to marry this woman of Rohan, look into the soul of a maiden close to you. In her, you find your answer. Seek My face in times of need, just as you did this night. Go to her...
"To who? Go to who, Iluvatar?" Eldarion called out to the fading light.
You will know, child, you will know... And it was gone, as it had come. Fading into the stars, and then gone. Just gone, though he could still feel the presence of the One.
Mae govennan, Aelínwen. Im Elladan. ~ Well met, Aelinwen. I'm Elladan
Hey, everyone! Hope you all liked this one. Now, this may be a bit important, Lothmîr is not the daughter of Eomer and Lothiriel, okay? Now the parts were God is talking is mostly in Psalm 45, it's originally a wedding song, but it fit so perfectly! The Daughter of Tyre is a Gentile city, so that doesn't really fit, but the rest did. Eldarion is technically the king, `cause you see he is the son of kings so that makes him a future king, so the princess will go to him, not Aragorn. No not Aragorn, that would be so gross!