Gwenare and Eoden - Chapter Two: Confessions of the Heart


Eldaran knew that something was up. The usual chattering and singing from his children was not going on this time. In its place was a deafening silence and awkward glances from his sons to his daughter. She only ignored them which infuriated them further. His children were like the children in other races of Middle Earth; they knew what it took to infuriate the other and used it.

The next morning's ride was no different than the previous ride; silence from his children. He suspected that his wife, Allavern, might know something because she was not as concerned about it as he was. He would make a point to discuss this with her at home. Everything would be safer there and he knew he could get the answers he desired in the security of Caras Galadhon.

That night at camp, Ellavarr and Ellamarr went off by themselves to talk. Gwenare stayed close to her parents, as she always did at their camps. This was not only for safety reasons, but now to avoid her brothers. She did not want to talk with them; their silence and glances had already spoken volumes. They were very displeased with her for her actions in Edoras. She knew why, but also felt like she had done nothing wrong. She knew that she could not avoid them forever, but she needed time to think.

She had been thinking, with each step drawing closer to her home she had been thinking. She was still very confused with her feelings for this mortal, this man of Rohan. Her thoughts continually went back to Eoden and her encounter with him. She wondered why she had never seen him there before. Maybe it was because he was a Rider in Eomer's eored and they were not always in Edoras when her family came there. It could also be because she would travel to Rivendell on occasion and stay with her uncle and cousins. I'm sure that was it, but why now; why did she see him and have these feelings for him? She had felt paralyzed at one point; paralyzed under his eyes and touch. He had no power like elves; what had kept her there and unmoving? She suspected it was a power far greater than all the elves in Middle Earth and the Valar itself.

It was time to rest and she needed rest. She was weary from this trip, from her thoughts, and from her heart. She needed rest and prayed she would find it tonight. Indeed she did, she found her rest and then some. Her mother was worried because Gwenare had never slept this long in her life. If was quite unusual for any elf to sleep as long as she did. When she awoke, Allavern asked her daughter if she was okay. Gwenare saw the look on her father's face, he too had been worried. The look on her brothers' faces was that of curiosity not concern. She looked at them and then back to parents and finally said, "I'm fine nana. I was just weary from our trip."

"That's a likely story," mumbled Ellavarr under his breath. Ellamarr snickered and punched him in the ribs. This exchange did not go unnoticed by their father. His look told them to stop and right now.

"Are you sure Gwenare?" her mother asked tenderly.

"Yes, I'm fine." She then looked to her father hoping they could escape and be on their way home. She desired to be in the Golden Wood above all else, especially now.

Eldaran could tell in his daughter's eyes that she desired to escape home; to her special place. He helped by saying, "She's fine. We must be heading home. I smell a storm on the wind and we need to reach the Wood before nightfall." They all mounted up and began the last part of their journey home.

*********

Gwenare noticed the silence on the way home. She could feel the tenseness in her brothers. She saw the question and concern in her parents' eyes and on their faces. She knew there would be an explosion of grand proportion, soon, very soon. She would make it a point to quickly escape to "her place". That's it, she could think there. She wouldn't face her brothers and their overprotective attitudes. And she couldn't face her parents, not yet anyway. She still needed more time to sort through her feelings.

They approached the Golden Wood. Of all the places she had been, Lorien was the most beautiful. Even Rivendell couldn't compare to its beauty. There was a peace and serenity that enveloped you when you entered. That was fine with her; she needed that now more than ever. This was her home, her security, and she loved it.

They passed on quietly through to the city of Caras Galadhon. Her parents only nodded, as many Elven guards spoke to them. Her brothers did not even make eye contact with anyone. Gwenare was focused on reaching her spot and nothing else.

She rode on with her horse, Nimrol. She was going to her place and the sooner the better. Her brothers would not, could not stop her. She had to think because she was still too confused about the events that took place in Edoras.

Eldaran watched as his extremely troubled daughter rode on. He knew where she was going; to her place. No doubt she was troubled over something, deeply troubled from the look on her face.

His sons tried to follow, but he forbade them. "But, father, we must talk with her. She's playing with fire and we won't stand for it," Ellavarr spoke up. His brother nodded in agreement.

Allavern began to speak, but was cut off by her husband. "That may be so, but she must make her own decisions. If they prove to be bad, then she will have to live with them and learn from her mistakes." Eldaran spoke with authority.

The brothers looked to their mother who nodded in agreement. Why, they didn't know. They saw her watching Gwenare and that mortal man. She didn't even allow them to stop the interaction between them.

Eldaran continued, "She has gone to think, and I believe she has been doing that since we left Edoras. She will make her choice and we will support her decision even if we do not agree with it. Do you understand this Ellavarr, Ellamarr?"

What they understood was the matter was closed and they couldn't say or do anything about it. "Yes, adda I understand," Ellamarr replied first.

"Yes, adda, I also understand," Ellavarr finally spoke, but he went on to say, "I will not stop watching and protecting her, especially from herself. Nothing and no one will keep me from doing that!"

Their father smiled and said, "I'm not asking you to do that." He then walked hand in hand with his wife to their home in the beautiful mallorn trees. They needed to talk about what happened and why their children were so quiet and uptight. He knew she knew exactly what was going on.

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

Back in Rohan, Eoden walked quietly to the first stable. He knew that this conversation would not be pleasant. He had dreaded it for the entire afternoon. He had imagined what it would be like, but now was the time to find out.

He entered the stable and saw Eomer brushing his horse. He quietly walked over to him and said, "My lord."

"I'm glad you came, Eoden." Eomer replied while turning to face him. "I was afraid you wouldn't show up, but yet I knew that you would." Eoden seemed puzzled by this and Eomer continued. "I know things have been very difficult for you since your father's death. You now have to take on a much greater role and responsibility with your brother." Eomer said with concern in his voice. He continued, "Eothen is headstrong, outspoken, and fiery."

Eoden hung his head and replied, "I know..."

Eomer continued, "But I will give him more time. He needs it and ..." He broke off and stared out of the stable for a time. Eoden became worried about this silence because he had no idea what Eomer would say next. He didn't have to wait long for the answer. Eomer looked at him again and continued, "Eoden, take heart, your brother will be a Rider some day."

Had he heard right? This was the second time today he had heard this statement. Eomer continued, but Eoden was lost in his own thoughts. He was thinking of Gwenare's soft voice speaking those same words, but she had promised him. Somehow he believed her over his own lord. He trusted that Eothen would become a Rider more from Gwenare's promise than his lord's. It was her eyes, those pale, lavender eyes. That's why he believed or was it her voice? He shook his head, it was just her.

Eomer had noticed that Eoden appeared to be elsewhere, in deep thought. He wondered what he was thinking about. He guessed it was about Lady Gwenare when Eoden shook his head. Now was the time to address the second reason he had asked Eoden here, "Eoden, you've not been listening to me."

Eoden hung his head and replied, "Sorry, my lord. I was just thinking of some....." he hesitated and stared out of the stable. He would not mention it. Some things are better left unsaid, and this was one of them.

"You should put her out of your mind," Eomer replied. He knew who he was thinking about and knew that nothing good would come from it.

Eoden was surprised, but he would not show it. Did Eomer really know? No, he could not know. Could he? He finally replied with shock, "Her, who do you speak of, my lord?"

Eomer sighed and began, "You know of whom I speak of." Indeed, Eomer knew how he felt about her. Eoden would not make eye contact with him. Eomer continued, "Men and elves do not mix, my friend." He sighed and Eoden looked at him. Eomer went on to say, "It will never work. She's an heir in Lorien." He could tell that his words were not making an impact on Eoden. He tried once more, "You would be mad to pursue her."

Eoden knew he would be mad to do this, but he couldn't help it. Something greater and more powerful was in control here. Before he thought, he opened his mouth and said, "I would be mad not to."

With that, Eoden turned and left the stable. He needed time to think, time to himself. He walked to the next stable and saddled his horse. He mounted and began to ride. "Riding," he thought, "will clear my head."

Eomer watched him leave. He knew that his friend was troubled and had too much on him. He knew Eoden was strong, both physically and mentally. Was he strong enough for this? Was he strong enough to tempt fate and love an elf? "No," he thought, "he couldn't be. No mortal man is that strong."

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

Gwenare waited on a bench. She knew she would be confronted soon, but by whom. She secretly hoped for her mother, but feared it would be one of her brothers. She needed more time to think because she was still very confused.

She was in The Blooming Cove, located along the path to Galadriel's Garden the place of Galadriel's Mirror. The tall mallorn trees surrounded the area making a golden canopy up above. Fountain Stream, which flowed through Galadriel's Garden, also flowed by the cove.

Eldaran helped Gwenare create this cove many years ago. He mother helped her plant the flowers which filled the cove each with their own unique fragrance. They came from all over Middle Earth. Her brothers brought her seedlings from each place they had been as did other elves including Haldir. Her uncle sent her some from Imaldris through couriers long ago. The cove was peaceful; a place to retreat and relax. That's why she sought its solace now.

Gwenare was pleasantly surprised to see who finally came; it was not her mother or brothers, but her cousin and closest friend, Arwen.

Arwen had been staying in Lorien for quite some time. Gwenare was very close to Arwen; they acted more like sisters than cousins. They both enjoyed spending time together and they visited each other often.

"What is wrong Gwenare? You are very troubled," Arwen approached her and sat down next to her.

Gwenare kept her head down and tears began to swell in her eyes, but she remained silent. She had heard what Arwen had said, but had no idea where to begin.

Arwen took Gwenare's hand and said with great concern, "Tell me, dear cousin, what troubles you."

Gwenare looked up at her, "Love, Arwen, love." Tears came trickling down her face while she continued. "I always thought love was wonderful, beautiful, and special; but it is not, it only hurts like a knife piercing through your heart."

Arwen replied, "But love is wonderful, beautiful, and special. It's one of the most precious gifts that Eru has given us."

Gwenare immediately got up and walked towards the stream which flowed by. She stared into the water trying to allow Arwen's words to sink in. She finally spoke in almost a whisper, "It is different for you. You have found love with Aragorn."

"That I have, but you will also find it one day," she said with tenderness in her voice.

Gwenare turned around and faced her, "I have only found forbidden love. Love that should never had been."

Arwen looked at her and was beginning to understand what she meant by those words. Gwenare could tell that Arwen understood so she continued, "I have fallen in love with a ...." She became choked up just thinking about him. Arwen came closer and Gwenare finished, "a mortal, Arwen." She looked into her eyes and allowed the tears to fall freely. "I love a mortal man," Gwenare said and then turned her head.

Arwen came to her and embraced her. Arwen knew what it was like to love a mortal because Aragorn was a mortal man. It was difficult for Gwenare because she did not have the right to give up her immortality as Arwen did. This would be a very difficult road for her to travel.

Arwen released her from the embrace and Gwenare saw it on her face; Arwen wanted to know more. Gwenare told her everything about the interaction with Eoden. She also told her exactly how she felt about him.

Allavern came in the cove when Gwenare was telling Arwen about Eoden. She stopped and listened as her beloved iell poured out her heart and soul. When Gwenare had finished, Allavern approached the cousins. They turned towards her and smiled. Arwen spoke first, "I'll leave you so you can talk." She then turned to Gwenare, hugged her, and said, "I'm here for you. Everything will be just fine, I promise." That was enough for Gwenare to know; she was not alone in this. Arwen then left the cove so Allavern and Gwenare could talk.

They did not need to say much because much had already been said. Allavern took her daughter's hands into hers, "I know how you feel about him."

Gwenare then spoke, "I knew you were there waiting, listening as I told Arwen."

"My dearest iell, your grandmother and I have known that this day would finally come. The day when you would find the man you would love forever." Gwenare stared at her curiously and Allavern noticed this. "Mother had foreseen this many years ago. She even knew who he would be, although she never shared that with me."

Gwenare nodded, fully understanding her mother's words. Her grandmother, Galadriel, had the gift of foresight. Galadriel was fully aware that Gwenare would fall in love with a mortal, Eoden, son of Eomren. Gwenare could still not fathom that she had fallen in love with a mortal and that her own grandmother and mother knew this would happen. She has always dreamed and hoped that one day she would fall in love. She always supposed that he would have been an elf, but she never had a desire to love an elf in that way. Maybe, she too, had always known that she would fall in love with a mortal man. Maybe that's why Eru had placed in her heart and the hearts of her family such a strong, deep love and devotion for the people of Rohan.

"Gwenare......Gwenare....." she could her mother saying something, but she was not listening.

"Yes nana, I'm sorry. I was just thinking."

"I know, my dear. This is hard for you and I don't want to tell you this, but I must." Gwenare looked into her mother's eyes while she continued. "The road for you both will get much harder if you choose this pathway to love. You both will be tested and tried to see of you are worthy of one another." Gwenare listened intently to every word her mother was saying. Tears began trickling down her face as her mother continued. "Life will be difficult for you both, but if it is Eru's will, you will survive and love each other until death do you part. My dearest iell, death will part you, for he will die and you will continue to live and one day rule this beautiful city. You must understand how difficult this will be if you are to make a wise decision." She waited a moment before adding, "You know that your adda and I will support you in your choice no matter what."

With that Allavern kissed her daughter on the forehead and left the cove. Gwenare was alone again, left to think and make the most important decision of her life. She did not need to think long because she could not deny her heart. She believed Eru had placed her here in this situation and with these feelings for a reason. Yes, life would be difficult, almost impossible at times, but she would and could face it with him by her side.

A peace engulfed her then, and she left the cove. She no longer feared her feelings, but welcomed them. Now she would carry them inside longing for the day she would share them with Eoden.

`
**********************************************
Many months had passed and Gwenare's family had traveled to a small village in the Eastfold, not a very far ride from Edoras. There were several ailing people in this village and a Rider's wife who was struggling greatly with delivering their firstborn child.

Eldaran had commanded his sons to help the other people of the village while he, his wife, and Gwenare helped Aliana, Galion's wife. She was running a very high fever and the baby appeared to be struggling within her womb. Allavern stayed by her side and never left, not one time. Gwenare was there to get anything her mother needed.

They had tried a variety of Elvish medicine, but nothing was working. It appeared that Aliana would not survive the night and it was questionable about whether her unborn child would survive. Eldaran took Gwenare outside to talk. Her brothers came up at this time and Ellamarr asked, "How is she?"

Eldaran replied with sadness, "She is not well and will probably not make it through the night. It is uncertain about her child."

Gwenare asked, "Is there nothing else that we can do for her?"

Her father looked at her and said, "My iell, there is nothing more to be done for her, except bringing her husband home in her last hours."

"Where is he, father? I will go and get him," Ellamarr said.

"I know," Gwenare replied. "He is in Prince Theodred's eored. They are in Edoras now." Her brothers knew what she would say next and they were sore displeased, especially Ellavarr. "I will go and get him, adda."

Ellavarr immediately spoke up, "I will go!" He looked straight at Gwenare now, "You do not need to go there by yourself, it is not safe."

"I can take care of myself," she replied back at him. She knew he was hiding behind this because he disliked Eoden and did not want her to return to Edoras.

"You mustn't go and that's final, sister," Ellavarr replied with a sneer.

Eldaran spoke up, "We do not have the time for this bickering."

"But father, she can not go," Ellavarr was terrified that their father would send her.

"Nimrol is the fastest horse and we can make it there quickly," Gwenare told them. She knew this to be true and she wanted to help this family above anything, even seeing Eoden.

"I'll ride her," Ellavarr retorted back.

Gwenare laughed at this, "She will not let you get close to her."

Ellamarr snickered and said, "She has a point, brother. Nimrol will not let anyone ride her except Gwenare. She is the fastest horse and from what adda says, we do not have much time."

Eldaran spoke, "They are right, Ellavarr." Ellavarr looked at their father with shock in his eyes. "I do not want my only iell to go to Edoras by herself, but she has the fastest horse. Nimrol will not let anything happen to her. I'm confident of that." Their father then turned to Gwenare, "You must ride quickly and safely. Follow the road and do not veer off for any reason. Take your sword and I pray you will not need it."

"I won't adda." Gwenare called for Nimrol to come and she did. She mounted her and rode straight for Edoras. She knew she would be safe.

***********
She arrived in Edoras and rode straight for the main stables. She jumped off of Nimrol and spoke to a Rider, "I must see Prince Theodred immediately, it is of great importance."

"But, milady, Prince Theodred and his eored are not here."

Eothen had watched Gwenare come up to the stables and ran to where she was talking to Haleth. He went over and said, "Gwenare, what is wrong?"

She turned to face him and spoke, "Eothen, I must see Prince Theodred. I must speak to one in his eored and take him home now."

"Come and I'll take you to Lord Eomer, he can help you." Eothen was sure that Lord Eomer would help her out. Haleth gave him a look of doubt, but they took her to see him anyway. They walked into one of the stables and over to where Eomer was standing.

"Milady, what brings you to Edoras at such an hour?" Eomer asked.

"My lord, I must see Galion from Prince Theodred's eored. His wife is dying and he must return home now." Gwenare spoke with urgency in her voice.

Eoden had walked up when he saw her enter the stable with his brother and Haleth. He walked over to where the four stood and listened to the horrible news from Gwenare.

Eomer was deeply disturbed and said, "I hate to hear that milady, but my cousin and his eored have already left."

"I must find them, my lord. Tell me where I can find them, please," she begged of him.

"You must not go alone; it is too dangerous, especially when you do not know the terrain," Eomer replied.

"I will take her," Eoden spoke up and the four turned to look at him. "Eothen, saddle Galdor and I will take her to find Galion."

"I do not think that is wise, Eoden," Eomer said. He had concern in his voice that did not go unnoticed by any.

"From the urgency in milady's voice, we do not have time to argue about this, my lord. Galdor is a very swift and strong horse, and I know the area that the Prince was heading to. I must take her if we are to get there in time." Eoden replied with confidence. He knew he had made his point well and Eomer could not refuse him.

Eomer stood there for a moment and said, "You are right, Eoden. Be careful and may you reach them soon."

Eothen had brought Galdor to them and Eoden mounted up. He then helped Gwenare onto Galdor. "We will find them, my lord. We will get there in time."

Gwenare asked Eothen, "Please take care of Nimrol for me. She will need some rest so she will be able to make it back to the village."

"I will milady, I will take very good care of her," he replied.

They rode off into the night in search of Prince Theodred's eored.

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


They found them quickly and Eoden told Prince Theodred what was happening. Galion was called over and told about his wife. His horse was saddled and they were off to the Eastfold village.

When they came upon Edoras, Gwenare spoke some very gentle words in Sindarin.

Eothen and Eomer had stayed in the stables. They both were worried and could not sleep. Eothen noticed that Nimrol was very agitated. He walked over to her stall and tried to console her. She began kicking against the door and Eothen hesitated to open it, but he did. Nimrol rode out of the stable and down the hill. "Gwenare will kill me for this!" he said with great concern.

Eomer replied, "She will not. Listen to the beat of horses on the wind." They both stopped and listened as the thundering sound of horses' was carried to them. Eomer continued, "Nimrol has heard the call of her master and is going to her."

Eothen was satisfied with this when he saw two horses and their riders far in the distance. He saw Nimrol ride up to them and stay in pace with the riders.


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

They arrived at Galion's house and immediately dismounted the horses. Ellamarr and Ellavarr walked up to them and the youngest took the reins and said, "We'll put the horses up for you."

Galion walked in and found that his child had been born. Aliana was still alive, but death was coming quickly. He walked to her bedside, sat on the edge of the bed, and took one of her hands into his.

Eoden and Gwenare stopped to talk to her father outside. "How is she, adda?"

"She is still alive, but she will not survive much longer. She delivered three hours ago." He looked at them both and continued, "She had a son. He is fine now, but he almost died himself. You did well my iell. Now go in and help your nana. I must talk to Eoden." She did as she was told and left Eoden with her father.

Eoden did not know what to expect from this conversation. He was sure it had to do with Gwenare and he was right. Eldaran began, "Thank you for coming with her." He waited before going on. "I know how you feel about my daughter and how she feels for you."

Eldaran faced him now and looked him in the eyes. Eoden was not fearful, but he was concerned about her father's reaction to this. Her father went on, "It is a forbidden love you seek from my daughter. This love will only bring pain and suffering to you both. Are you prepared to deal with this, Eoden? Is this what you seek?" Eoden did not know what to say, so he said nothing. "Your silence speaks for you. Your king and his family speak very highly of you, Eoden."

Eoden broke his silence, "They are very kind to me. I am a part of Lord Eomer's eored. He is like an older brother to me. I value his friendship and the leadership of my king."

"You speak well, Eoden. You are a very strong and wise man. You must realize that Gwenare is immortal and you are mortal. She will be queen of the Golden Wood someday. She will live on long after you have passed from Middle Earth." He paused a moment before going on, "You will die someday and how will my daughter feel then?" His words pierced through Eoden's heart like a jagged sword. "I sense this disturbs you as well. What are you going to do, Eoden, son of Eomren?"

Before Eoden could answer, Gwenare had come out and said, "Adda, nana needs you now!" She had a look of desperation on her face. Eldaran went in immediately and Eoden soon followed.

********
Ellavarr and Ellamarr had walked up to the house and witnessed their father talking to Eoden. "Things will be okay now because Adda is taking care of them. I'm sure he is telling this mortal to leave our sister alone," Ellavarr said with much satisfaction.

Ellamarr could only reply, "I do not know. Adda will do what is best for Gwenare. He always does."

They watched as Gwenare came out and then the three rushed inside of the house. The brothers followed them and walked into the house where they found Gwenare holding the baby boy and feeding him with a bottle. Eoden was standing nearby with a pained expression on his face. Their parents were near Aliana'a bed trying to comfort Galion and the family that had gathered. Aliana had died just moments before they entered.

*************
Eoden had to leave the room. The scene was too much for him. He was having difficulty breathing and needed some fresh air. He went for the door and walked out going straight towards one of the sheepfolds nearby.

Gwenare watched him, handed the baby to a family member, and then followed after him.

Ellavarr attempted to stop her, but Ellamarr restrained him. In a whisper he spoke in their native tongue. The translation is "Eoden is having a difficult time. This death is too much for him, he needs her now. Let her go." Ellavarr was displeased with his brother's words, but he did not go after her. He too had seen the pained expression on Eoden's face.

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

Gwenare followed Eoden over to the sheepfold. He was leaning on the fence. She walked over to him and touched his arm. "Eoden, are you alright?"

He looked at her with tears in his eyes. She immediately took him into her arms and embraced him. He was crying freely now and shaking too. She held him for a long time and told him it would be okay. She spoke this in Sindarin without thinking. He did not mind, he was comforted by her embrace as well as her words.

He calmed down and looked into her lavender eyes, "Death is too close and painful for me. It is like pouring salt into an open wound."

He just stood there for a moment. She gently touched his face with her hands. "I know. It will pass in time, but now the pain seems too much to bear." She caressed his face with her hands. She wanted more than anything to pour her heart out to this man, the man she loved. "Let me help you bear this burden you carry." He had placed his forehead to hers now.

She gently stroked his cheek. "I must tell you, I can not keep it inside any longer." Eoden wondered what she was speaking about and secretly hoped that it would be what he wanted to hear. "I know it is forbidden for an elf to fall in love with a mortal," she began. She looked into his eyes now, "I have fallen in love with you, Eoden, son of Eomren." She waited for this to sink in and then went on to say, "Nana says that if we follow this road, we will face many trials." Neither could move, and she continued, "I know that death will forever separate us one day. I am immortal and you are mortal, but I cannot let that hinder us." She had tears swelling in her eyes now and could only say this, "I would rather love you in this lifetime than spend the rest of my ages never loving you."

Eoden did not know what to say. She had poured her heart out to him and her words were music, sweet music to his ears. This is what he had longed to hear from her. What could he say to her? He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her tenderly on the lips. He didn't need to say anything to her because she knew how he felt, but he did. "I know how you feel, Gwenare. I feel the same way about you. I will never love another as long as I live in this mortal body. You are in my thoughts and dreams; I see you everywhere that I go." He paused a moment and looked into her lavender eyes. His thumbs gently stroked her lips and then he continued, "I have longed to hear those words from you." He kissed her again and then said, "I love you, milady. I love you, my darling." He pause a moment and gazed into her eyes before continuing, "I love you my darling, elf princess." He took her into his arms and kissed her again.

They had confessed their love to their family and friends. Now, they had confessed it to each other as well. They both felt freedom from this burden they had been carrying. They were free to love each other until death indeed would part them.

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