The Heir and the Gem - Chapter One
Merry walked inside their house. It was bitter cold outside. He blew into his hands to warm them. Merry had just posted a letter to Sam. He heard a song from the kitchen and he quietly walked in. Pippin was holding the mug that he had been drying. He was staring out the window, singing.
As poppies fired the nut-brown wheat
My love rode by with sun-stained feet
With a longing call and horse hooves fleet
I followed her laughter all a summer morn
But, oh, from a distant palace of shade
I heard the rune of my nature played
I strained to listen and lost the maid
And walked the world forlorn
When the circle green was brown with leaves
My love rode by as one that grieves
I left my stand within the sheaves
And followed her weeping all an autumn noon
From beyond the sunset splashed with red
A circle weighed upon my head
I begged embrace but she had fled
Beyond the dawning moon
When the woods were covered with snow drifts deep
My love passed by as one asleep
I left the earth my horns to keep
And followed her dreaming all a winter's night
And all along the moonlit track
With thorny shadows printed black
I caught a scent and turned my back
And lost my life's delight
Maiden of the secret well
I strain for you, yearning
From upon the oak throne quivering
Mistress of the horned moon
I pain for you, burning
Underneath the blue stone shivering
I need you, I need you, I need you...
When the heather primed the morning air
My love arose and I was there
A thousand flowers in her hair
And in her eyes was the Wheel of Time
Reached for her hand, I did not miss
Combining all this diverse bliss
Forged together in one single kiss
We made the world one in rhyme*
"Pippin?" Pippin whirled around. The mug slipped from his hand and crashed on the floor. He blushed as he gathered the pieces. Merry bent down to help him.
"What was that song you were singing?" he asked.
"Oh that." Pippin blushed even more. "It's just a song from Tuckbourgh."
"It was a love song." Pippin lowed his eyes and consentrated on collecting the broken pottery. "Pip, is there anything you want to tell me?"
Pippin hadn't told Merry about his feelings for the lass. He had just not wanted to. It was strange; Pippin had always told Merry everything. He stood up and dumped the large pieces into the wastebasket.
Merry carried the other pieces over. "Sam has invited us down to Bag End."
"Are we going?" Pippin asked eagerly. Merry nodded. "Great. When?"
"We'll leave tomorrow morning." Pippin smiled.
"'Twas a fine supper, Rose," Sam said, as Rosie cleared away the dishes.
"You're a fine cook," said Merry.
"And a wonderful hostess," Pippin added.
"I'm glad you think so highly of me. I have my work cut out for me, caring for Sam's stomach and the stomachs of our little ones." She gently stroked the tiny bulge of her dress.
"What do you think it will be this time, Sam?"
"I think we'll have another lad, but Rosie thinks it's another lass."
"'Twill be a lass," Rosie said as she came out of the kitchen carrying four mugs of warm cider. "A mother's intuition," she added. She placed the mugs on the table. Sam held her hand and kissed it. Rosie lovingly stroked his cheek before she sat down.
"Rosie, may I ask you a question?" Pippin asked.
"What is it, Pippin?"
"Do you remember at your wedding, there was a lass beside me?"
"A lass? What did she look like?"
"She had brown hair. It was pulled back. She had blue eyes and fair skin. Do you remember?" he asked eagerly.
"I'm trying to think Pippin. Be patient." She took a sip of her cider and closed her eyes.
"She very nearly caught the bouquet." Rosie's eyes opened wide.
"Yes I do know who she was! The gem of the North Farthing's crown. Her name is Diamond Long Cleeve, and a very sweet lass, though I've only met her about twice."
"Diamond." Pippin said the name softly to himself. It seemed to fit her perfectly. "Thank you Rose."
"Any reason you wanted to know?" she asked.
"Oh no. Just curious."
Rosie took another sip of her cider. She could clearly tell from Pippin's actions why he wanted to know her name and she smiled from behind her mug.
That night, Pippin lay in bed thinking. "Diamond." He said her name over and over to himself. Then suddenly he remembered. A tiny young hobbit dressed in a black frock with sad eyes that lit up when he brought her two small pansies. The pretty hobbit child had become a beautiful lass.
"My pansy girl. My gem. My Diamond."
*song is World's Wedding by Emerald Rose