Watcher of the Stars by the Sea - Part 13

Tiriel went to the caves to get ready for dinner; she never wore any of her outdoor clothes at dinner for fear of Luthien's criticism. When she entered the hall for dinner, she noticed that many eyes followed her. She had on a light purple dress with blue trim and her mother's jewelry. Her hair was down and wavy because she had taken it out of the braid it had been in earlier. Beleg and Finnel walked up to her.

"You look beautiful! Did Maren help you?" said Beleg

"Thank you, Beleg. No, Maren did not help me."

"I wouldn't be surprised if Gildor is unable to speak!"

"Finnel! Don't scare Tiriel and watch your tongue! Tiriel, you do look beautiful," Maren said from behind them, "And before you ask, yes, we are acting as your guardians. You and Gildor will not be permitted to wander off on your own for some time."

Tiriel and Gildor became very close friends over time. However, their relationship was not considered a coutship, but only as a frienship. Gildor traveled to and from Nargothrond and Doriath delivering letters and messages.
Two hundred years had passed since Tiriel had left Brithombar and she wanted to see Nargothrond before she returned home. She had found her place in Doriath as a member of the Hunter's company. She excelled in the use of all weapons. One evening when Gildor was in Doriath, she spoke to him about her wish to return home while they were walking in the forest.

"Gildor, I want to return home, but I also want to remain here."

"Why not remain here for a few more years? The wars have not yet come to Doriath. They are a horrible sight to see! I have fought in a few battles and seen many die. Please do not leave Doriath, Eärelen! It is too dangerous!"

"Did you just call me Eärelen?"

"Yes, Tiriel, I did. It slipped out; I apologize."

"Why did you call me Eärelen? What is the real reason why you don't want me to leave?"

"I said those things because...because I love you, Tiriel," as he spoke, his eyes were full of relief that he said what he was thinking and doubt of Tiriel's response.

Tiriel did not know what to say. She thought for a moment, trying to understand her heart. Gildor walked closer to her.

"So you said those things because you love me? Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod Felagund, you captured my heart the first time we spoke."

"Would you like me to accompany you to Nargothrond?"

"I thought you did not want me to leave?"

"I do not, but I know you wish to return home and I will not be able to sway you. Right now Brithombar is one of the safest places in Middle-earth. Speak to Beleg and Finnel before you make your final decision. Please, do not rush to leave. I feel so happy knowing that you are safe here."

"Melian's Girdle and Doriath's defenses will soon fall. I know that in my heart and I know that I will be needed elsewhere before this age is over. Have you forgotten how dangerous I am with any weapon?"

"No, I have not, Eärelen."

"Why do you call me Eärelen?"

"You love to watch the stars, as you were named. Your hair catches their light and you grew up near the sea. Your mother's jewelry only makes you look more beautiful than you already are. Do you object to me calling you Eärelen?"

"No, only if you call me that when it is just the two of us."

Gildor put his arms around her and kissed her. Two days later Tiriel asked Beleg and Finnel about leaving.

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