Kate and Haldir
"I apologize for last night. It was not the right time to come upon you."
He offered her a white rose. She took it and breathed in the scent smiling. He offered her his hand, and she took it out of courtesy.
"Do you ride?" he asked.
"No, well I don't know."
"Come with me."
Haldir led her down the stairs until they had reached the ground. He led her to a nearby house where there was lodged a few horses.
"We do not keep many, since it is our way to travel by the trees or on foot. But we do have a few."
She nodded and walked to the end of the stalls. Suddenly she exclaimed as she set eyes on a beautiful gray horse with a silver mane.
"Ahh yes," Haldir said. "She is one of the Mearas akin to Shadowfax. But I must say that her temper is not one like Shadowfax."
She knew it as she saw the horse's skittish nature of stamping the ground with her hoof.
"She is beautiful," Nimrodel sighed. "Do you think I could ride her?"
"I do not think a man alive could ride that horse."
"But I am not a man."
"Should I fetch you a lady's saddle."
Before he could object, she opened the stable door, and led the horse out by her mane. She placed a hand on the mare's chest and whispered some gentle words in her ear. She slowly mounted the horse her dress filing about just below her knees. The girl slowly leaned against the horse's chest clutching the silver mane in her hands. The horse reared up slightly.
"You do not need to prove your strength to me," Nimrodel said patting the horse and looking into her blue eyes.
Haldir looked stunned. No man or woman alive had been able to tame that horse and her wild spirit. He opened the door of another stall and mounted a black horse with a gray mane.
"This is Halath," Haldir said nodding down to his horse.
"He's beautiful. What is her name?" Nimrodel asked pointing to her horse.
"We said whoever could ride her could name her. You may name her if you wish."
She thought for a moment.
"Hisiel," she said softly.
"Misty Star. A beautiful name."
"How did you know of that name?" he asked puzzled.
She wondered herself. "It just came to me. I-"
"Then it is coming back!" he said excitedly. "I wish to take you somewhere."
She followed him as he led her away from Caras Galadhon. He even passed Cerin Amroth. It was nearly afternoon when he had reached his destination. He helped her off the horse as she looked around at the beautiful place. A flowing waterfall poured forth into a crystal spring. Beautiful white trees reaching to the sky surrounded the spring in a canopy of lush green leaves. He took her hand and led her near the spring.
"It is beautiful here."
"Aye. I come here when I wish to think."
He sat on a nearby rock and motioned for her to join him. She sat down and looked about her hearing the voices of birds singing happily. He gazed at her not wanting to turn away from her mystifying turquoise eyes.
"What are you looking at?" she asked.
"You. What else could I or would I be looking at?"
She did not turn to look at him. He reached into his cloak and pulled a satchel from it.
"I have something to give you."
He unwrapped it revealing a single strand of silver, broken every few links by a single bead of sapphire. In the middle of the necklace was the outline of an eight pointed star bound in the middle by a blue stone. It was the loveliest thing she had ever seen. He slipped it around her neck and Nimrodel fingered it delicately.
"It was my grandmother's."
"Your grandmother's? I can't take such a gift."
"I wish you to have it. I wish no other woman to wear what is my right to give."
"For once let me have something my way. It is not what it should be, but you wearing it improves it for you are worthy."
She looked down at the necklace. It twinkled like beautiful stars in the noon sunlight. She had never been given anything as beautiful as this. The sun's hot rays poured upon her back causing her warmth. She was too warm despite the fact that she was wearing white. The spring looked beautiful. Haldir stood up. Slowly he removed his cloak and began to undo his shirt.
"Haldir son of Hamond! What in the world are you doing?" she asked.
"Tis hot out, and the spring is cold."
He removed his shirt and flung it aside carelessly. She stared at his smooth chest and tall muscular build. He neared the edge of the rock and easily plunged into the water. She watched as he came up and outstretched his arms feeling the water in his hands. He motioned for her to join him.
"Come on!" he said.
"No," she answered.
"Why not? You surely are not scared of a little water are you?"
"You frightened of me?"
"No. I can't swim," she answered.
"How do you know? You can not remember whether you have tried it or not."
Suddenly she touched her head. It was a flashback. She saw herself in a river struggling to keep her head above the waves as a boy held her shirt trying to drag her onto land. The vision disappeared almost as quickly as it had begun. She brought her knees to her chest. He floated on the surface of the water relishing it and the way it felt. '
"Guess I will enjoy it all myself since you are so frightened to try it."
She wasn't going to stand for that from some arrogant elven man. She slowly peeled off her dress letting it fall from her shoulders revealing the white under shift she had on. Haldir raised his brows and smiled. She walked to the edge as Haldir approached her. She stuck one foot in. In one swift move, he took her hand and instantly pulled her in. As she came up, she screamed thinking she would drown, but Haldir caught her arm.
"Tis alright. I have you," he said holding her above the water his hands under her shoulders.
She held onto his neck as he smiled.
"You did it. How does it feel?"
"It feels wonderful."
She floated on her back. He slowly let one arm go. She stretched out her arms moving them to keep afloat. He let the other one go and watched as she floated alone without aid. She twirled in the water her auburn hair flowing everywhere. The hour was drawing late, but she did not want to leave the water. She remained until Haldir spoke.
"Come. The day is not done yet."