An Aussie in King Aragorn's Court ~ Part 33 - A Farewell Kiss

The Hobbits with broad grins, were bowing enthusiastically to the applause that filled the
'Lothlórien Ballroom', as Frodo finished his song. Legolas brought Coralie's hand down from
his lips and continued to hold her with his gaze for a moment longer before looking over her
head, only to realise that Aragorn was watching him with a bemused twinkle in his eye.

"Ahem," coughed Aragorn slightly, "I am deeply interested to know what entertainment you
had prepared for this evening, Thêldithen?" Coralie made no move to respond as she
continued to look at Legolas.

"Thêldithen?" Aragorn repeated.

"Yes?" asked Coralie from some far away place. Legolas coughed and Aragorn repeated
the question.

"Oh!" Coralie flushed, as it was now her turn to realise that she had been under Aragorn's
scrutiny for some time, and that he had voiced the same question, twice. She turned to look
at him, as he raised an eyebrow at her. A brief smile played about his lips while he waited
for her to answer.

"Um...Oh! There's going to be dancing!"

"Dancing? Why that goes without saying at a feast, I daresay," responded Aragorn.

"Oh this is dancing like you have never seen before, Aragorn," added Gimli with a wink.

Aragorn looked at Coralie with a sly smile. "What are you up to Lady Coralie?"

"I'm not up to anything, Aragorn," replied Coralie indignantly. "As a matter of fact, I won't
even be dancing tonight," she declared.

You won't?" asked Legolas and Gimli together at once. They both exchanged glances
with one another.

Coralie laughed at their mutual expressions. "Well, I can't very well dance unless someone
asks me to, now can I? And besides, you two should recall that Calentaeg and Nólemíre
will be performing tonight with the children. You were at the rehearsal the other day,
remember?" Coralie raised her eyebrows at both Elf and Dwarf.

"I remember," Legolas spoke soft enough for Coralie's ear only.

She looked sideways at the Elf and flushed a little in surprise to see him flick his eyebrows
up at her momentarily, finishing with the softest wink, as he looked at her over the rim of his
goblet. Aragorn leaned slightly forward as he reached for his own chalice, and gave the Elf
a small smile. The exchanged glances between Legolas and Coralie had not gone altogether
 unnoticed by him. Legolas responded with a slight nod, and then cast his eyes out onto
the floor where Nólemíre had suddenly spun out to stand alone with her arms above her
head in a striking pose.

From far across the hall, Calentaeg suddenly pushed his way through some Elves who were
standing to the side, and proudly spun on his heels, clicking them together as his hands
came up into the air in a dramatic arch above his head. There was a sudden gasp from all
at this unusual spectacle. Looking directly at Nólemíre, who stood there with arms still raised
above her head with fingers fluttering, he stepped dramatically to the left then the right
dropping his knee suddenly on the last step, before rising quickly to turn suddenly on his heels
to face her again. He repeated the steps in like fashion, clipping his heels together after each
extravagant lunge forward crossing the length of the floor, before coming to an abrupt halt
in front of Nólemíre.

Paso Doble

Suddenly as the music swelled through the chamber, his arms were about her as he twirled her
about, spinning and dancing on his heels with the percussion of the music. Following his lead,
Nólemíre caught the corner of her crimson skirt in her hand, flashing it in a showy display on
every turn. The Elven children then swarmed out onto the floor to complete the pageant of
colourful swirls with ever increasingly difficult steps. Together, with Nólemíre and Calentaeg in
the centre, they followed a complicated routine of lunges, and twirls, combined with stamping
rhythmical patterns, before each of the Elven males swept the girls into their arms again with
dramatic abandon.

The audience sat spellbound at the unusual display of fluttering skirts and dramatic poses,
allowing the music to carry them along with the dancers. Embracing the splendour of the quick
rhythm, the choreography seemed to explode on the expressive downbeats, bursting into a riot
of festivity. As the music rose to its final crescendo, Calentaeg lifted Nólemíre up above his head,
spinning and laughing with the triumphant peals of the bells, embracing her as she landed
softly in an arabesque. Unwinding herself, she quickly pirouetted across the floor, as
Calentaeg slid along its polished surface on his knees. She suddenly halted in front of
him as he caught up to her, rising breathlessly to gaze at one another on the final
note of the music.

For a brief moment, there was silence before the room suddenly burst into applause.
With broad grins, the Elven dancers bowed and curtsied elegantly in response.
Calentaeg flung out an arm towards Coralie where she was seated, whilst the dancers
as one, began stamping their heels on the wooden floor. The stamping resounded
through the hall, and soon others were joining in at various tables around about
with some clinking their goblets with silverware.

"Ninenwe!" the cry went up.

"So much for the stoic nature of the Elves!" said Coralie.

"Wherever did you get an idea like that?" asked Legolas with a slight roll of his eyes.

"Where else?" she responded archly, pinning him with her gaze for a moment. The noise
swelled to an insistent crescendo as Aragorn, after a brief glance toward Galadriel
and Celeborn, turned to Coralie.

"I believe they are calling for you, Lady."

Rising from his chair, along with all the others save Galadriel, who smiled at her,
he held Coralie's hand as she rose, and escorted her to the floor. Everybody stood to
their feet, applauding as Calentaeg sketched a courtly bow to Coralie, then
presented her to the crowd as Aragorn returned to his seat. The children gathered
excitedly around Coralie for a moment, as she nodded graciously to the table
where their parents sat smiling in return.

Dancing Cheek to Cheek

Heaven, I'm in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we're out together
Dancing cheek to cheek
Heaven, I'm in heaven
And the cares that hung around me through the week
Seem to vanish like a gambler's lucky streak
When we're out together
Dancing cheek to cheek
Oh, I'd love to climb a mountain
And to reach the highest peak
But it doesn't thrill me half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek
Oh, I'd love to go out fishing
In a river or a creek
But I don't enjoy it half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek
Dance with me! I want my arm about you
The charms about you
Will carry me to...
Heaven, I'm in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we're out together
Dancing cheek to cheek.

Suddenly the Hobbits ran out onto the floor as Talagan, upon their signal started up the
music on Coralie's Clie again. They began dancing arm in arm with each other as Fred
Astaire's voice warbled on the air, singing Dancing Cheek to Cheek. With a laugh, Calentaeg
swept Coralie up into his arms in response to the music. “Quickstep or foxtrot, Lady?"

"Quickstep!" she replied with a laugh as Calentaeg responded in a flash. Many gasped as he
wound his arm around her waist with the intimate gesture, whilst the children each joined
in with relish. Nólemíre found herself suddenly partnered with Artapel, who laughed gaily
as he squired his sister around the floor.

"Coralie was right, Artapel. You are a fast learner!"

The Elf gave his sister a quick wink. "I taught Calentaeg everything he knows!" Nólemíre
merely snorted at her brother in response.

Aragorn looked to Galadriel with a worried expression. “Lady, this dancing, is most unusual,
and even a little forward. I can put a stop to it if you like."

Galadriel gave Aragorn a reassuring smile. "There is no need for that Aragorn. While the
dancing may be closer than what we are used to, I can see that it requires some skill to
perform, and that does not displease me. She has brought a glimpse of the future to us.
A future with joy in song and dance, Aragorn." Noting the doubtful look in his eyes, she
touched his arm and directed his gaze to the floor where she and Calentaeg currently held

"Look at her, Aragorn. Can you not see the change that has been wrought in her? She is no
longer the sorrowful child that first came here with you. Something has penetrated that
armour she wears, and the warrior has laid aside her weapons, if only for a brief moment."

He watched the joyous display before him, and softened his gaze as the truth of Galadriel's
words penetrated his sense of proprietary.

"Do not steal this moment from her Aragorn, for the flower has turned its face to the sun.
This is how you should remember her, and carry this image of her in your heart when
hope remains far from grasp, for you will have need of it." Galadriel levelled her gaze at
Aragorn, with steady perception. "She has more need of a brother tonight, than a king."

He had to acknowledge the truth of her words, in spite of himself. Looking towards the
floor again, he was not a little surprised to see the dancers had swelled in number with
many Elves enjoying the music with their partners, revelling in the delightful freedom
of holding each other within the circle of their arms. Calentaeg reluctantly passed Coralie
over to Haldir, with whom she danced only briefly, before Talagan quickly tapped him on
the shoulder, though he was soon to be interrupted by Cirbannel, who then tapped him
impatiently on the shoulder in turn. He held his arms out eagerly for Coralie to fill them,
as Frank Sinatra sang Fly Me to the Moon.

Fly Me to the Moon

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby kiss me
Fill my heart with song
Let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you

Aragorn and Legolas watched with some amusement, as Gimli approached the two in an effort
to cut in. His attempts were constantly thwarted by the clever Elf, who somehow always managed
to lengthen the distance between himself and Gimli, every time the Dwarf raised his hand to tap
him on the shoulder. However, Merry was much more cunning, and suddenly popped up behind
him as he whirled Coralie away from Gimli. He then exchanged places with a rather reluctant
Cirbannel. It was Nólemíre who finally came to Gimli's rescue, for the poor Dwarf was left their
scratching his head, before she tapped him on the shoulder.

Before long, Coralie found herself swinging from partner to partner as the Hobbits all danced with
her, joining in with gusto as Frank Sinatra sang, "Baby, Kiss Me!"

From his seat at the table, Boromir laughed uproariously as the music changed over to Love and
Marriage with its infectious melody and beat. He sketched his finger in the air and conducted
and laughed as Pippin buried his head in Coralie's bosom with a contented sigh, for that was
as high as his curls could reach

Love and Marriage

Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can't have one without the other
Love and marriage, love and marriage
It's an institute you can't disparage
Ask the local gentry
And they will say it's elementary
Try, try, try to separate them
It's an illusion
Try, try, try, and you will only come
To this conclusion
Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
Dad was told by mother
You can't have one without the other

Aragorn rolled his eyes and looked at Legolas. "Shall we rescue her?"

The Elf laughed and waved an arm towards him, "You first."

Pippin felt the light tap on his shoulder but chose to ignore it, instead singing even louder
along with the music.

Love and marriage
Love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage.....

Coralie mouthed "Thank you!" to Aragorn, over the buried Hobbit's head.

Aragorn tapped him again.

"Go away Merry! Can't you see that I'm dancing with Coralie?" Without even opening his eyes,
he buried his head once more into Coralie's bosom wearing the most contented smile he could

"Is that what you call dancing Pippin?" came a stern voice from behind. "I would call it something
else entirely!"

With trepidation, Pippin turned around and looked up at Aragorn rather sheepishly. "I suppose
this means that you would like this dance with Coralie?" Aragorn raised his eyebrows as the
Hobbit extricated himself from Coralie's arms. Turning to Coralie he smiled as he held out his
arms for her.

"I'm not dressed in shining armour at the moment, but I thought you could use a knight! Will
I do?" he asked warmly as they joined the throng of other dancers. Aragorn raised an eyebrow
at the Elves who eagerly filled the dance floor as a new song struck up. Renee Olstead's honeyed
voice swelled through the great chamber. He noted that Támurile now had control of the Clie
player, as she gave him a little wave while he danced around the floor with Coralie.

Someone to Watch over Me

There's a saying old, says that love is blind
Still we're often told, "Seek and ye shall find."
So I'm going to seek a certain lad
I've had in mind
Looking everywhere, haven't found him yet.
He's the big affair I cannot forget
Only man I ever think of with regret.

I'd like to add his initial to my monogram
Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost lamb?
There's a somebody I'm longing to see
I hope that he turns out to be
Someone who'll watch over me
I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood
I know I could always be good
To one who'll watch over me.
I know he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key!
Carries the key!
Won't somebody tell him to put on some speed?
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me!

Coralie smiled up at Aragorn. "Why! You are quite a good dancer Aragorn. You should do it
more often!"

He looked down at her and laughed. "Must run in the family!" he winked.

"Well, consider this good practice for you, Aragorn. I understand that there is a certain
somebody who may enjoy dancing like this with you,"

Coralie looked up at him with a sly smile. Aragorn raised his eyebrows up at her, "Oh?
And how is it that you think that there even is a someone?"

"Well, the somebody that I'm thinking of is rather beautiful," responded Coralie.

"Really? Do tell!" prodded Aragorn.

"I believe she is of royal birth as well," she added with a mysterious air.

"Thêldithen, from where did you obtain this interesting information?" asked Aragorn
with amusement.

"Oh wouldn't you like to know," replied Coralie arching her eyebrows up at him.
"However, I'm afraid that I can't betray my sources."

"Your sources?" Aragorn raised his eyebrows in turn.

"Yes. I'm afraid wild horses couldn't drag it out of me!" affirmed Coralie with a slight
toss of her head. Aragorn laughed as he held her in his arms.

"Thêldithen, you are the most dramatic woman I know!"

"My lips are sealed," she nodded firmly.

"So, if you won't divulge the source of your information...... Will you at least tell me
the name of this mysterious lady, so I can be the judge of the accuracy of your report?"
asked Aragorn.

"Aha! So you admit it!" laughed Coralie triumphantly.

Aragorn shook his head, "Ah! Never get into a tangle of words with a woman! I should
have known better."

"Well, I will put you out of your misery then. Her name is Arwen!" said Coralie sure of

"How did you find this out? I never spoke of it with you," asked Aragorn with surprise.

"Oh I made it my business to find out." The nonchalant tone in Coralie's voice made
Aragorn chuckle.

"Really? Your business?"

"As your adopted sister, I made it my business to find out all about you, Aragorn."
Her eyes twinkled with amusement as she answered him.

"I can see that I've taken on a lot more than I first bargained on," added Aragorn with a grin.

"Do you regret it?" asked Coralie.

Aragorn laughed as he twirled her about, "Absolutely not! You are the most charming and
devious sister a brother could possibly wish for!" Falling into rhythm with her, he looked at
Coralie a little more soberly.

"I know you are not happy about being left behind, Coralie." Before she could answer, he
continued. "My heart will be at ease knowing that you are safe here in Lothlórien, when
we leave tomorrow."

"I hate being left behind," she sighed.

"I know, but it is for the best, Coralie. Surely it is not such a burden to remain here in
Lothlórien? I would have thought that this was the perfect place for you. All these
untrained Elves to do your bidding..."

Coralie cut him off. "Do my bidding?"

Aragorn laughed at her response. "I thought that would get your attention!" He looked
around at all the Elves, who were currently enjoying themselves upon the dance floor,
as well as all of Coralie's former partners, who stood a little to the side, not daring to
interrupt Aragorn as he danced with her. "I am still trying to determine just who has
made an impression on whom?" he chuckled.

Coralie looked over her shoulder in the direction he was looking.

"Please don't throw me to the wolves!" she pleaded as Aragorn laughed.

"Never fear my Dear! They've had their fill of dancing with you tonight. I will see to that!
If needs be I will protect you with my life!"

Sighing, Coralie placed her head on Aragorn's shoulder. "Thank heavens, for big brothers!"

Coralie danced the remainder of the song with Aragorn, her head resting on his shoulder
without care. She did not see the hand that reached briefly for his shoulder.

"May I dance with the lady?"

Coralie looked up to see Legolas smiling at her.

"You are the only Elf here that I would even consent to dancing with her at the moment,
my friend!" smiled Aragorn in return, as he placed Coralie's hand in his. Bowing briefly,
he walked away in the direction of the waiting Elves and shook his head, before rejoining
Galadriel and Celeborn at the table.

The music struck up with Frank Sinatra’s playful song, Young at Heart, as Legolas drew
her gently to himself, wrapping an arm about her waist. Coralie looked over Legolas'
shoulder to see Galadriel, Celeborn and Aragorn leave the table to walk into a private
room. She frowned briefly before looking up into Legolas' eyes, where for a moment she
could swear she felt the endless rhythm of the tidal surge of a great sea, draw upon her soul.

"You wish to trip the light fantastic with me, Leggy?"

"Trip the light fantastic?" asked Legolas puzzled by her words.

"Dance with me," responded Coralie

Legolas laughed at her words. "Titheniel, you use the strangest expressions at times. But,
yes I would like to trip the light fantastic with you as you so aptly put it."

He gently led her about the floor, swaying softly to the gentle rhythm of the melody.

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you're young at heart
For its hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you're young at heart

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams
And life gets more exciting with each passing day
And love is either in your heart or on its way

Don't you know that its worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart
For as rich as you are its much better by far
To be young at heart

And if you should survive to 105
Look at all you'll derive out of being alive
Then here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

And if you should survive to 105
Look at all you'll derive out of being alive
Then here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

"It would seem that you are very popular tonight, Titheniel." he said quickly casting a
glance at the disappointed faces of the other Elves who had hoped for a dance with Coralie,
before Aragorn stepped in. Legolas looked down at Coralie as he lightly held her hand in his.
"But why should I be surprised? It is only natural for them to want to dance with a beautiful
lady, such as yourself."

He inclined his head slightly toward her, noting the soft blush that rose in her cheeks. The
tender sentiment of the song, soon enveloped the two with deep longing, as they were borne
along on the gentle tempo of the music. They did not notice the closing refrain of the song,
and continued to dance lost in each other's arms as a new melody began to play. "This song
is beautiful. Do you know the words?" asked Legolas softly.

"Yes," she responded.

"Sing them to me." She felt Legolas arms draw her in with greater insistence as he whispered
his request softly into her hair.

"But it is a song sung by a knight to his lady love, Leggy,"

"Sing me the song. I can pretend," he whispered once again. "But soft, so only I can hear your
voice, Titheniel."

If Ever I Would Leave You
It wouldn't be in summer___
Seeing you in summer
I never would go___
Your hair streaked with sun-light
Your lips red as flame,
Your face with a lustre
That puts gold to shame!

But if I'd ever leave you,
It couldn't be in autumn,
How I'd leave in autumn
I never will know___
I've seen how you sparkle
When fall nips the Air
I know you in autumn,
And I must be there___

And could I leave you running merrily
through the snow?
Or on a wintry evening when you catch
the fire's glow?
If Ever I Would Leave You,
How could it be in spring-time?
Knowing how in spring
I'm bewitched by you so?
Oh No! Not in spring-time__
Summer, winter or fall!
No, never could I leave you___
at all!__________

Coralie had felt Legolas' arms tighten about her waist drawing her closer into his embrace.
The steady rhythm of his heart quickened along with her own, as she softly whispered the
words into his ear. As the last strains of the melody came to a close, he gently brought his
hand up to caress her face.

"Le bain enni melui, melui laer nin, You are beautiful to me, my sweet, sweet song," he sighed
as he gazed down into Coralie's upturned face, tracing her features lightly, with gentle fingers.

Haldir stood a little to the side, and coughed softly into his hand.

"Excuse me Legolas, but Lady Galadriel has requested that you join her with Aragorn and
Lord Celeborn in private."

Legolas sighed. "I fear that this will be a long evening, Titheniel. However, it is my duty to
answer the Lady's summons." Almost with reverence, he brought Coralie's hand up to his
lips, holding her with his silver, grey eyes. "Until tomorrow." He whispered softly before
stepping away, followed closely by Haldir as they made their way to Galadriel's private

When you wish upon a star
makes no difference who you are
anything your heart desires
will come to you
if your heart is in your dream
no request is too extreme
when you wish upon a star
as dreamers do
fate is kind
she brings to those who love
the sweet fulfillment of
their secret longing
like a bolt out of the blue
fate steps in and sees you through
when you wish upon a star
your dream comes true
(musical interlude)
when you wish upon a star
your dream comes true

Coralie stood there for a moment, watching them leave as the music played. Legolas stopped
briefly at the door, and nodded his head towards her before stepping through. Looking about
the room at the others dancing, Coralie decided to slip out before anyone noticed she may have
suddenly become available.

Both her head and heart felt light as she found herself upon the stairs that led down to the
garden below. Wandering amongst the ornamental flowers, she plucked one as she walked
over to one of the trees that lined the borders of the garden and leaned against it, looking at
its graceful form in her hand. It reminded her of a star, as it shimmered in the soft light of
the evening. Inhaling its sweet scent, she gazed up into the starry canopy above.

"Star light, Star bright
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight...."

"And what would that wish be?" asked a deep voice behind her.

Startled, she turned to find Boromir stepping out from behind the very same tree.

"Oh Boromir, you startled me. Why are you sneaking up on me like that?"

Boromir at first bowed slightly, then put out an arm as he saw her make to step away,
blocking her retreat. "It is fate that led you here tonight. Indeed, I have despaired of ever
finding a moment alone with you before I have to leave." He stood in front of her now, with
both hands on either side of her as he leant against the smooth bole of the trunk.

Coralie swallowed and looked up at his great bulk as he loomed over her. She was certain,
that no one had seen her slip out of the hall. She had even managed to avoid Artapel, and
now she wished with all her might that she hadn't been so impetuous.

"You seem to have me at a disadvantage, Sir."

Boromir gave a small chuckle in response as he dropped one hand and brought it up under
Coralie's chin. "No, Lady. It is you have me at a disadvantage. 'Twould seem it has ever
been so, since I first laid eyes on you," he paused and looked steadily at her before continuing.

"Lady, you have stolen both my mind and my heart, and try as I might, I have not the
power to recover them," he said softly.

"I think that it is the wine that speaks tonight, Boromir, and that tomorrow you shall find
your mind and heart where you left them," Coralie replied firmly.

"That is not so!" he responded quickly. "I can see your mind. And I can see where it would
travel on a dangerous and foolish path. I am here to remind you of your duty, Princess."
His eyes grew dark as she suddenly looked up at him.

"Duty? What do you mean?"

"You are no longer your own, Princess. You now belong to Gondor and all that it entails,"
he smiled.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

Boromir brought his other hand down to the hollow of her neck and slowly traced the pearls
that framed the neckline of her dress. "So strange that you would choose pearls to grace your
lovely neck, Lady. The white tower of Ecthelion, gleams as a glistening spike of pearl in the
morning light. You too are a pearl. A jewel. Ah Lady! I would have you be the jewel in my
crown. These pearls you wear, are but a symbol of what the joining of our two houses could
mean for Gondor. I am a Prince of Gondor, and you are its Princess. What were they singing
before? Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage? It would be more than that
for our two houses. Much more."

"That is preposterous! I'm not something to be traded, bought and sold for your convenience!"
snapped Coralie as she made to step away. A strong hand grasped her shoulder and held her
firmly against the trunk of the tree. Coralie looked up at Boromir. His eyes gleamed like two
tiny points of silver stones in the dark. Trying to grasp the meaning of his words, she shook
her head.

"Be practical woman! You could not ask for a better match. You forget to whom you are speaking.
I am a Prince! I was born to be a Prince. If you were to become my wife, your status would be
assured. No one could gainsay it."

"What are you talking about?" cried Coralie trying to push him away.

Boromir laughed at her vain attempts to release herself from his grasp and held her more
firmly than before. Realising that struggling was useless, she relaxed a little as he grinned
down at her.

"So my little pearl, you have decided to see reason. I will not let you go. I have known women
like you before, though parts of you are a mystery to me," his eyes gleamed as his hand traced
a path up her bare arm to her face.

"Yes well those parts are going to remain a mystery to you, Boromir," Coralie said with defiance.

Boromir laughed out loud at her retort. “Such fire! Such spirit! I have told you before that I will
not steal your virtue, though it be in my power to do so. Rather, you will give yourself willingly
to me."

Suddenly he reached for her and grasped her to his chest, as he whispered into her ear. "I have
known many women in my time Lady, but you are one woman I would gladly spend the rest of
my life getting to know better. What an adventure you would be! A noble adventure, worthy
of a Prince's endeavours!" He buried his face into the hollow of her neck as he wrapped his arms
about her.

Coralie turned her head away to the side, and suddenly saw Támurile approaching lightly
through the garden. The Elven child brought a hand up to her mouth to conceal her cry,
as she saw Boromir swing Coralie about into his arms. Fearing for the child's safety, she
waved her away as Boromir grasped her tightly around the waist. Támurile quickly
ducked behind a bed of flowers, holding her hands to her heart as she listened and
debated with herself, how best to help her Princess.

"You have been drinking Boromir, and you are not yourself. Let me go!" she cried.

Boromir held her close in his arms. His breath became ragged as his voice took on a
desperate tone. "I love you! Do you not hear me? You could learn to love me if you do
not already. I would make a fine husband and father. You do want children don't you?
No matter. We shall have a whole tribe!" he suddenly declared with a laugh. "Tell me you
love me and not that Elf, Legolas! I've seen him following you about," said Boromir darkly.
"No good could come of a match like that. He is an Elf and you are a mortal woman. If he
were to love you, he would have to give up his immortality, and he would feel the sting
of death just as suredly as you and I someday. " Feeling the tension release in her body,
he suddenly softened and released her momentarily as he saw the surprise in Coralie's

"Ah you did not know that, did you My Pretty?"

"His... his immortality?" she stammered.

"Yes. You surely would not ask so great a sacrifice of him? Unfortunately in this case
Fairytales do not come true. Yes, I saw the two of you dancing to that ridiculous tune.
It was plain for all to see that Legolas would have you for his own, though he dare not
speak of it. Bah! Fairytales!" Boromir sneered with disgust. "Fairytales are for children
and old women, and we are neither. Why would you refuse me for that pretty Elf?
What you need is a real man, Lady. Aragorn would approve our match. I am of noble
birth and a knight of Gondor."

Coralie could find no words to answer him.

Taking her silence for an agreement of sorts, he wrapped his arms about her again.

"You owe me a kiss M' Lady!" he suddenly announced.

"A kiss?" she asked in confusion as he grinned down at her.

"Yes. A kiss for saving your life, remember? Now I would have you save mine. Save me
Lady, for I fear I am falling into a dark pit from which there is no escape!" Boromir's voice
grew suddenly hoarse with emotion. "Take pity on a poor soldier. Grant me this one boon.
Grant me a farewell kiss before we go on our desperate quest tomorrow. One kiss. One taste
of your sweet lips to warm me on cold nights. I need to have something to hold on to...... To
give me some measure of hope in the dark days ahead. I need you. Don't you understand?
My heart cannot rest unless I know I have you. My dreams are dark and haunted of late,
and I despair of any hope. The thought of you waiting for me at the end of it all, would
spur me on through the trials ahead. Perhaps if I can have you, I will be free of the thoughts
that possess me both night and day."

His head jerked suddenly back as though he were listening to some other sound. For a
desperate moment, Coralie thought he had heard Támurile nearby. Boromir turned
and looked about him with vague suspicion.

"I know!" he suddenly whispered over Coralie's head. "I know! My people suffer daily,
pressed down and trampled by care and fear. Their burdens have not escaped my notice.
I would free them from their hardships and lead them to new victories, making Gondor
the wonder of Middle Earth.

My heart and mind are slowly being gnawed at. I feel as though I am being driven slowly
mad by desire....." His voice trailed off as his hand came up to caress the hollow of Coralie's
neck, sweeping across in an arc. His hand continued to trace her neckline, before finally
settling about her throat. He then began to press his thumb into her larynx as he slowly
increased the pressure.

"You must be mine! You shall be mine!" He spoke with savage desperation, his eyes still fixed
at some point above Coralie's head.

From her vantage point, Támurile could see that Coralie was in trouble. She wrung her hands
in despair, praying silently that someone would come along to save her Princess from this man. Suddenly her keen elvish hearing, heard the sound of a number of footfalls on the path.

Although, they were some distance away, she knew it would not be long until they arrived.
She stole a quick look between the flowers. Boromir still held Coralie around the waist and
throat. She could see that Coralie's knees were beginning to buckle slightly. "Hold on Princess!"
she cried to herself. "Help is on the way!"

Coralie gasped for air, but found herself locked in Boromir's embrace. Tears slid down her
cheeks as she fought to free her hands from behind her back, where Boromir had pinned
them. Finally wrenching one free, she flung her hand up and slapped Boromir soundly
across the cheek. He let go of his hand around her neck, and looked about as though he
was unsure of his surroundings for a moment. Boromir shook his head and looked down
at the form he held close. He laughed all of a sudden to find Coralie in his arms. In the
dim light, her breathless composure was not clear to him, and only served to stroke his
vanity, as he imagined that she had indeed been flattered by his advances.

Támurile could hear the Hobbits voices wafting on the air, along with Artapel's replies
as they drew nearer. "Hurry up!" she desperately whispered to herself as they rounded
the bend.

"Then you will marry me!" shouted Boromir with sudden delight. Before Coralie could
protest, he suddenly crushed her to himself, tasting her lips with greedy passion.
The sound of a shocked gasp from nearby made him look up to find Pippin and Merry
come to a sudden halt on the path with Artapel just behind.

They all looked at each other in stunned silence for a moment. Coralie blinked at the
Hobbits and Artapel as Boromir let go of her, and turned towards them. Seeing her
chance for escape, she quickly darted around the back of the tree to where Támurile
lay hidden behind the flowerbed.

Boromir boomed out a great guffaw.

"Look what you have done! You have chased her off. Just when she agreed to marry me!"

"Marry you?" asked Artapel and the Hobbits at once.

"Yes. You should congratulate me! The lady and I are to be married when the quest is over,"
declared Boromir.

"When the quest is over?" asked Merry not believing his ears. For once Pippin had nothing to
say, as he stood there opened mouthed beside his Hobbit companion and Artapel.

"Yes Merry, my little Hobbit rascal. Will you and Pippin come to the wedding? Ah! What a
fine wedding it shall be!" Boromir laughed out loud. "Now tell me. Where are you all off to?
I mean, you did interrupt my private moment with the Lady just now. I'm sure she was
quite embarrassed to have been found out. So tell me. What are you three up to?"

Artapel examined the man carefully, trying to discern if there were anything disturbing
about his behaviour. He wanted to be sure that Boromir's attentions had indeed been
welcomed by Coralie. However, she had fled the scene upon being interrupted by their
intrusion. Perhaps things had gone as Boromir said. He was as surprised as the Hobbits
by his announcement, yet he had heard Boromir declare his delight at her acceptance
of his proposal with his own ears, and witnessed him kiss her as a result. She had not
struggled or cried out in protest.

Shrugging his shoulders, as he watched her retreating form with the Elven child in tow,
he decided that mortal women were more of a mystery than Elven maidens, and that
mortals were best left to their own affairs.

"We were actually going down to that Australian tree of Coralie's, to see if we could spot
any possums in it. She said if any were up there, that would come out only at night as
they are nocturnal!" said Merry, proud of the new word he had just recited.

"Yes, and Artapel's managed to brew up some ale from some hops he found in the kitchens a
while back whilst looking for treats for us," said Pippin rubbing his hands together. "He stored
a keg down by the river to keep it cool earlier!"

"Ale?" cried Boromir with new found interest. "Well! What are we waiting for? This calls for a
celebration! And you my fine friends, can drink to my good fortune while we look for these
mysterious possums!" laughed Boromir as he slapped them playfully on the backs.

"Looks like you may have won that bet Pip, "sighed Merry. He scratched his head as he walked

"Really? And pray tell...What bet are you referring to Master Merry?" laughed Boromir.


"Oh Princess!" cried Támurile flinging her arms around Coralie's waist as they came to a
halt a little ways into the forest. Struggling to maintain self-control, Coralie swatted at
the tears that streamed down her face as she took Támurile's hand in hers. She bent down
to the crying child and wiped the tears from her fair features.

"Everything is alright now, Tammy! I'm okay and so are you, "she embraced the child
fiercely for a moment as Támurile sobbed in her arms.

"I didn't know what to do, Princess. I was scared!" she cried.

"There now," said Coralie, patting her back. "Dry your tears Sweetheart. Everything will
be all right. You were a very brave girl, and I'm glad you weren't hurt." Coralie tried to
smile reassuringly at the child. "Come now. Dry your eyes. We must be getting back, before
we are missed." Coralie stood up and took the child's hand in her own as she drew herself up
with a deep breath. "Let's get back to my room. We can talk there. Don't say a word to anyone
about this please."

"But why?" asked the child troubled at having to keep the secret of Boromir's ungallant behaviour.

Walking along briskly, Coralie looked down at her. "Trust me. I will explain it fully when we
get back."

As they climbed the stairs to her bed-chamber, Cirbannel and Talagan came clattering down
the steps, goblets in hand.

"Look! It's Lady Coralie! Where have you been?" demanded Cirbannel with a sly grin. "First
Boromir disappears, then you shortly after!"

"Don't be an idiot, Cirbannel," said Talagan rolling his eyes at the Elf. "Can't you see that she
has the child Támurile with her? She couldn't be with Boromir and the child as well, now
could she?"

"Yes. That makes sense. However, I could swear that I can smell the man around somewhere."
Cirbannel sniffed at the air all of a sudden.

Grabbing Támurile's hand, Coralie alighted the stairs leaving the two Elves laughing on the
steps. She shut the door behind her with relief as they entered her room.

"You're lucky we didn't run into the March-Warden, Princess. He would have realised in an
instant that something was wrong! Those two have had far too much wine to know any better."

Coralie knelt before Támurile and gave her a quick hug before holding her out at arms length.
She met her inquiring eyes with a solemn expression. "Swear to me that you will tell no one of this. Especially Aragorn."

"But why not?" cried Támurile feeling confused. "Aragorn should know what Boromir did.
Legolas too! They wouldn't stand for it."

"Exactly!" exclaimed Coralie. "Támurile, they would probably kill him or worse. They must
not find out. I can straighten all of this out later."

"But...but!" cried Támurile.

"I will not cause trouble between them before they leave tomorrow, Tammy. They are going
into great danger, and they need to be able to trust each other completely. Something like this
will only cause enmity between them. I think Boromir is a little unbalanced at times....."

"A little unbalanced! It's more than that! I don't trust him, Princess. Especially after what he did
to you tonight," she cried.

"I know Tammy! But this is different. He's a man. That is his way with women. I've experienced
some of it before. I know you don't understand completely, but I know the Fellowship can count
on him in a pinch. I've seen him in battle. He is a brave warrior, and they need all the help they
can get. There are only eight of them now. They don't have Gandalf anymore..." Coralie stifled a
sob at the back of her throat and fought back the tears, before looking at Támurile again. "I'm not
going with them tomorrow. There must be no reason for any conflict between them. They are
fighting against the odds Támurile and I want them to win. I want Aragorn and the others to
make it, and as it stands at the moment, their chances are extremely slim. Who will take
Boromir's place if he doesn't go?"

The child did not answer but continued to look at Coralie. The truth of her words, weighed
upon her heart.

"So you will sacrifice your honour for the sake of the Quest, then?"

"Yes Támurile. They must succeed above all else. The future of Middle Earth depends on it.
My honour for what it is worth, is but a small item in the scale of things."

"Well, I won't say anything, Princess. If that is what you wish. But that bruise on your neck
may speak for me instead."

Coralie gasped as she ran for the looking glass. Indeed the plain imprint of a bruise from
Boromir's thumb, was starting to form upon her throat.

"You had better not let Aragorn, or Legolas, see it for that matter," Támurile shook her head.

"I'll figure something out tomorrow. Here, help me off with my dress like a good girl before you
go home," Obediently, Támurile climbed up onto Coralie's bed to carefully undo the pearl clasp
around her neck. Coralie quickly put on her nightgown and hung up her dress before she turned
and took the girl's hands in her own again. "Swear to me, that you won't tell anyone Tammy.
No one! Do it for me, if no one else. Please!"

Támurile sighed. "I swear Princess. I won't tell."

Coralie walked the child to the door and kissed her softly on the cheek. "Thanks Tammy.
I will see you in the morning. Please don't worry any more about me. I promise that everything
will work out just fine in the end."

With a small nod and a final squeeze, the child left the room. Coralie stood with her back to the
door for a moment. Finally alone with her own thoughts, she blew out the candles as the tears
coursed down her cheeks; and crawling into the solitary comfort of her bed, she wept until the
weariness of misery overcame her, and fell at last into a fitful sleep.

The party's over
It's time to call it day

They've burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away

It's time to wind up
The masquerade
Just make your mind up
The piper must be paid

The party's over
The candles flicker and dim
You danced and dream
Through the night
It seemed to be right
Just being with him

Now you must wake up
All my dreams must end
Take off your makeup
The party's over
It's all over, my friend

Now you must wake up
All my dreams must end
Take off your makeup
The party's over
It's all over, my friend

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