Love's Life- - -P28-Frayed Nerves

Alenor watched as Anethia popped the fourth sweet in her mouth, contentedly sucking on the candy along with the other three. Aragorn chuckled when she opened her mouth yet again; a silent plea for more, Alenor could easily see the other four candies within her mouth as well. Aragorn tossed her yet another candy, which she grabbed greedily stuffing it in her mouth with the others. Her feet were swinging towards the floor from where she sat upon a chair, looking confused as Aragorn patiently talked with Alenor in the Common Tongue.

"Aragorn she's going to get sick!" Alenor warned him, her eyes narrowing as Aragorn tossed her yet another. How many was that now? Five? Ten? She remembered well enough, when Aragorn was a young child, he would sneak down to the kitchens and pilfer whole small bags of sweets from under the cooks noses. Then quite sneakily would proceed to his room where for hours, before anyone would notice the particular absence of the child, would contentedly stuff sweet after sweet into his mouth. The consequences of that were ones that even to this day Aragorn managed to ignore.

"Ah leave her alone Alenor," Aragorn said shaking his head to the warning. Aragorn nodded at Anethia as she smiled. "Besides she can't understand us."

Alenor sighed. "What. . . .What are. . ." fumbling for a word that she couldn't find, she put on a questing gesture instead.

Aragorn nodded tossing another sweet distractedly towards the waiting child. It fell to the floor and Anethia eagerly scrabbled for it, popping it into her bulging mouth.

"How you....have?" Alenor demanded. At her demand Aragorn blushed scarlet and guilty held up a leather pouch that was still bulging to the seams with sweets. Alenor frowned and snatched the sweets away before her Cousin could react and tighten his hold on the bag.

"It's good for her," Aragorn protested making a wild snatch for it. Alenor closed her hand over it tight and moved further from Aragorn's reach. He looked at her in the eye for a few moments before sighing. Turning back to the child he addressed her in the Elven Tongue. "Anethia I've got no more. You have to leave now." The child gave him a disappointed look, but left, probably knowing she could come back for more any time she wanted.

"Okay why did you call me here?" Alenor demanded as the door shut safely behind Anethia and she was free to talk in her own tongue.

Aragorn sighed at this and looked to his hands. He had forgotten that the tempting sweets were laying in Alenor's protective grasp. "Alenor I said something to Arwen that I shouldn't have," he explained. "I am too frightened to go to her and say sorry. Can you do it for me?"

Alenor felt herself soften. With a gentle face she sat next to Aragorn and placed a hand on his shoulder. "It's your own path to decide whether you'll change it or not," Alenor told him. "I cannot make such decisions for you. If you truly mean it then Arwen will forgive you, I cannot do it, for it means nothing were I to tell her." Aragorn looked into her eyes and a funny expression befell him. "Aragorn?"

He jumped. "You're eyes," he said frowning. "They were different."

Alenor frowned as well. "Different?" she questioned.

Aragorn shook his head. "No," he said. "It must have just been a trick from my eyes or the light. You're right I'll go see her."

"Aragorn?" Alenor asked in a concerned voice. "What are you not telling me?"

A false smile trailed on Aragorn's lips as he stood. "Can I have my sweets back?" he asked. Expectantly he held his hand out, sighing Alenor dropped the bag into them, almost laughing at the swiftness that his hand closed over it. "Thank you."

Then with a scant bow of his head Aragorn left the room, leaving Alenor still puzzled about Aragorn's lie. What did he mean that her eyes had changed? Shaking herself from reverie Alenor decided she had best find her Grandfather and tell him about that dream, no more eager then her last time. Looking at the white bandage on her hand Alenor gave a forlorn sigh and set off to search Rivendell for him.

Finding that the sight of her hands carefully folded on her lap, were surprisingly not shaking, Alenor turned her attention there. It didn't help. She could still feel Elrond's eyes gazing at her full of pondering questions and Gandalf. She cursed the wizard who Elrond had ordered to stay so Alenor had no say in the matter whatsoever. How long had she sat there? Feeling uncomfortable Alenor shifted uneasily in her chair, turning her attention to the white bandage. No. . . .quickly she looked away, anywhere. Alenor felt like she was going to scream at any second now from the heavy silence that weighed upon the room and seemed to press upon her. What was her grandfather expecting? She had told him everything.

"Well Alenor," Elrond said at last in a carefully measured voice. Alenor blew out a sigh of relief she didn't know she had been holding. "Is that it?"

"Yes," she answered gazing in his eyes for a few brief seconds before dropping them. "That's it."

"Anethia discovered you?" Gandalf asked.


"Do you know where she is?"


"Do you think she will tell us anything about your state of sleep?"

"For a candy, yes. Stop interrogating me!" Alenor snapped the last, more then a little agitated. She had no wish to reencounter her dream, once was enough.

Elrond stood up. "Was it bad Alenor?" he asked gently. Alenor nodded, mute now, afraid of what words might spill from her lips were she to talk. "I think a good ride might do you good."

Alenor lifted her head. "Grandfather. . ." she started.

Elrond raised his hand. "No, it's all right," he assured. He sighed then. "Unless that is you would rather consult in peace, in Cel. . .Celebrian's garden.. . ." he broke off turning around for a few moments and Alenor knew he was regaining his composure. "Anyway, or you can go to the graves."

"I think I'll seek out Legolas and go for a swim," Alenor sighed. It would mean getting frozen, cold and wet all over again, but it was welcome relief from the tense air of the study.

"Alenor," Gandalf interjected sharply. "You're going to freeze! I happen to know that you were already swimming. . ."

"Thank you for listening Grandfather, but I must run!" Alenor jumped and left before Elrond could object. Outside Alenor sighed, sometimes she would just like to strangle Gandalf. What was it with him and always opposing her for some reason? She usually could hold off her annoyance with a smart remark, or a shrug, but no, most definitely not when her nerves were frayed! Clenching a fist Alenor felt her nails dig into her palms.

"Want to go for a swim?" she turned her head to see Legolas, from appearances he hadn't changed his clothes at all. Alenor nodded her head in agreement. Legolas offered his hand and with a thin smile Alenor accepted his offer without reluctance.

Arwen sighed contentedly, mission complete. With a few excited Elflings it hadn't been too hard to find a lot of crickets. She would get at him fair and square. Looking up to the carved designs of arches on her ceiling a smile traced on her lips. From where she lay she could see the faint carvings of stars and vines trailing all over, and inscribed here and there into the wood was the Lay of Luthien. Lifting a hand she traced a hand in the air copying the designs.

"My lady?" Arwen lifted her head from the divan and looked to see a young girl. If she could remember correctly, it was Anethia, Aragorn's chief runner of messages. His sweet bag must have been full. Sitting up carefully she regarded the young elf. There was awe on her face as she looked around the room. Arwen let her gaze wander as well.

A canopied bed with fine hangings stood guarding the center of the room with blankets in autumn colors. The door to the porch behind her room where another divan rested, were swung wide open. Open windows in her room, with delicately curving arches as the window frames and window panes let the leaves blow in and the cleansing smell of nature. A mirror and dress stood at the far wall, the Two trees of Valinor decrypted in their sides in golden designs and words. Statues of Elven women gazed wisely from where they stood, guarding each porch door solemnly: features bright and wise with age. At the wall behind her stood the closet, etches of the Two Trees on the handles, with trailing artwork all over the wood.

"Does Aragorn wish to speak with me?" Arwen asked, shifting her gaze away from her room. When the young Elven girl jumped, Arwen was reminded of the curtness in her voice. She was still upset with him and hadn't thought once of him all day, that is except for revenge.

"Yes. . .yes my Lady," she stammered. "Can you come?"

"No," Arwen responded as lightly as she could. Swinging her legs off the divan she walked over to her dresser, her dark red dress with the long trailing sleeves swirled up any lying leaves upon the ground. Reaching the dresser she opened a drawer extracting her own pocket of sweets. Taking one she dropped into Anethia's hand as she had followed.

"Thank you," she grinned. "What would you like me to tell him?"

"Nothing," Arwen answered. "Go play." Anethia nodded and Arwen turned and headed back to her divan to stare at the ceiling and relish in tonight's revenge. She hoped Aragorn would learn a lesson from it; she couldn't wait to hear his screams.

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