Two Hearts Bound

Merry walked through Brandy Hall. His mind was in another country with horses and their riders and a shieldmaiden, tall and fair. He did not notice the little hobbit lass coming in his direction until they were in a heap on the floor.

"Watch where you're going!" Merry yelled.

"Yes sir. I'm sorry, sir. I won't do it again." She gathered her things and hurried away before Merry could say anything more. He shrugged and didn't think about it for the rest of the day.

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

"How are Diamond and the baby doing?" Merry asked.

"Diamond's fine and the baby's fine." Pippin smiled. He was the happiest hobbit in Middle-earth. He had the most beautiful wife in the Shire and a wonderful baby boy.

"How are you?" he asked.

"Fine. I'm fine." Merry's voice betrayed his words.

"Merry, you mustn't grieve so much. Eowyn is at peace now."

"She died, Pip. She was finally happy and then she died."

"She was happy when she died."

"She was in pain!"

"Faramir said she died after she had given birth. Merry?"

Merry remembered the day he received that awful letter. He had just returned from a walk when a servant handed him a letter. He immediantly recognized the seal.

"Oh it's from Faramir!" Merry announced excitedly. He torn into the letter. His happy expression fell when he began to read.

My dear friend Merry,

I am grieved to write that Eowyn has passed away from me. My beloved White Lady and I, as you know, were awaiting the birth of our first child. Eowyn went into labor during the night. It was too early. My lady was obviously having trouble. I was not allowed near her until I heard the sound of a baby cry. I rushed to see her and my new child. "A healthy baby boy!" the healer exclaimed. But my Eowyn's breathing had grown difficult. She was as beautiful as she ever was. "Faramir, look after him well."

"No my White Lady, you will be here to raise him with me." She shook her head sadly. I realized that she was going to leave me. "I love you, Eowyn."

"I love you too, Faramir." I took her in my arms and kissed her. She died during our kiss.

I would greatly appreciate your presence at her funeral. This is a hard time for me and I need my friends near. Please come, my friend.

I pray that Eowyn is happy where she is.

Your friend,
Faramir,
Steward of Gondor

Merry remembered the funeral. He had never seen so much sorrow. Aragorn and Arwen were there, as well as Eomer and Lothiriel. Faramir held the baby as Eowyn's body was born to her grave. She wore her white dress and the blue mantle of Finduilas. She had never looked so beatiful. Merry walked over and placed a white flower on her breast. He smoothed some of the golden strans of her hair and gently stroked her pale face. At that moment, he began to weep and he did not stop for days. After that, he closed up emotionally and no one, not even Pippin, could make him out of it.

"Merry, are you all right?"

"Yes. I'm sorry, Pip. I think I'm going to go home."

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

Merry couldn't sleep that night. As he walked around the hobbit hole, Merry bumped into someone. Without thinking, he grabbed the hobbit in a strong choking hold.

"Please sir," the hobbit lass whispered. "I didn't mean to do anything."

Merry let her go. "I'm sorry. I should have known. I've been a little tense."

"Oh, I'm sorry sir." Merry looked at her.

"Are you the same lass I bumped into this morning?"

"Yes sir. I'm sorry. Please forgive me."

"There's nothing to forgive. It's not your fault. If it was anyone's, it was mine. And you ran away before I could say anything more."

"I'm sorry sir."

"Don't apologize. What's your name?"

"Estella Bolger," she whispered.

"Are you related to Fatty Bolger?"

"Yes, I'm his sister."

"I heard he had a sister, but I didn't know she worked at Brandy Hall."

"I only started working recently. Before that, I worked at Ted Sandyman's mill."

"Well, I'm glad that you work here now, Estella. and I hope you're happy."

"I am."

"Estella, would you allow me to walk you to your bedroom?"

"But I have not finished my work yet, sir."

"I'll finish it for you."

"But sir..."

"I will here no protests. Come Miss Bolger." He took her hand and walked to her bedroom.

"Goodnight Miss Bolger. I hope you sleep well."

"Goodnight sir."

"Call me Merry."

"Thank you, Merry. Do you know what to do?"

"Oh yes," he replied.

"Sleep well, Merry."

"You too, Estella." Merry smiled to himself as Estella closed the door.

**********

Merry sat with Pippin as he gave little Faramir his bottle. Diamond was pregnant at the time of Eowyn's funeral, and Pippin had been so moved by Faramir's reaction that he named his son after him.

"Tell me about this lass," he said.

"Well, her skin is fair, and her hair is dark, very dark, and her eyes are a beatiful green. She a lovely creature, Pip. And very soft spoken and shy."

"Merry, I think I like this lass."

"What?"

"You're opening up."

**********

"Miss Bolger, would you like to take a walk with me to Bywater Pool?"

"I'm sorry, Merry, but I have work to do." He took her hand.

"I'll help you, and we can walk after we finish." Estella looked into his blue-gray eyes. She couldn't resist.

"Yes, that would be lovely."

**********

They sat on the shore watching the sunset.

"Sunsets are lovely," Estella whispered.

"Yes, they are." Merry slipped his hand in hers. Estella smiled.

"I am really enjoying this, Merry."

"I'm glad you are because I am too." There was silence for a moment.

"Estella?"

"Yes Merry?"

"May I kiss you?" She smiled at him.

"Yes, I would like that." Merry held Estella's face in his hands as he leaned toward her face. Neither one seemed to breathe until they felt their lips pressed against each other. Merry kissed her gently and Estella felt herself melt at his touch.

Estella shifted away from Merry after the kiss had ended. "This isn't right,"she whipsered.

"What do you mean?"

"I am a servant girl and you are the son of the Master of Buckland. And one day, you will be the Master of Buckland. You will marry a girl from a wealthy family. We shouldn't be doing this."

"Yes, some of what you say is true. But you are wrong about who I will marry. I am a hobbit, strong and free, and a knight of the Mark. I will marry whoever I love and no one can make me change my mind." He gave her two hands a little sqeeze.

"I love you, Estella Bolger." She looked up and met his gaze.

"I love you, too, Merry." Merry leaned forward and kissed her again

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

Three months later...

"Hullo, Merry," Estella said as she hung up the laundry.

"Hullo Estella. May I talk with you?"

"What is it?" Merry took Estella's hands and they ran behind a tree.

"Estella, we have known each other for three months now. I love you."

"I love you, Merry."

"Estella, I would be honored if you would be my wife."

"Oh Merry." Estella couldn't speak.

"Estella?"

"Yes. Yes I will be your wife." Merry picked her up and spun around. He gently placed her on the ground and kissed her passionatly.

"I love you, Estella."

"I love you too, Merry."

"Estella? Where are you?" Daisy Knotwise called. "You have not finished hanging up the laundrey."

"Coming!" She kissed Merry's ckeek and returned to her work.

**********

"What!" Saradoc exclaimed. "You, the future Master of Buckland, marry a servant girl? I will not allow it?"

"She has excepted my proposul."

"I will not have my son marry some dirty, little servant girl. I am arranging a marriage for you immediantly."

"Father!"

"I will here none of your arguements. You will marry, let's see, Amethyst Chubb. Yes, she will be a good bride and her family is wealthy at that."

"And Estella?"

"I will dismiss her."

"You can't do that!"

"I can. I will deem what is best for you, Meriadoc Brandybuck!"

"I won't marry her," Merry murmered.

"What?"

"I won't marry Amethyst Chubb!"

"I will disown you!"

"Then do." Merry stormed out of his father's office.

**********

"Estella, my father is going to disown me."

"I knew something like this would happen."

Merry touched her cheek. "Estella, I want to marry you. I am willing to go through anything to be with you." He thought for a moment.

"Come with me to Gondor. The King will marry us."

Estella smiled and held his hands tightly. "Yes, I will go." She looked at the setting sun, then returned her gaze to him.

"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

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

I am a fan of another M/E pairing. Yeah, Merry and Eowyn. However, I got the idea for this into my head while I was listening to She Moved Through the Fair, and I couldn't resist writing it. This was not supposed to be so long, but I got away with myself and am making it a multi-chapter story.


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