Watcher of the Stars by the Sea - part 15

"We are going to Brithombar to see Cirdan. Let us through. Our names are our own and you do not need to know them," said Tiriel very calmly. Her hood still covered her face and she hoped that he would not recognize her.

"Very well; you may go."

They rode a little further and arrived in Brithombar. Cirdan was near a ship; he turned and walked towards Tiriel and Gildor. She took off her hood and dismounted. Gildor also dismounted.

"Tiriel? Is that you?!"

"Yes, Father, I have returned!" the two embraced.

"Why didn't you send word that you were coming?"

"I wanted to surprise you. Father, this is Gildor Inglorion."

"Welcome Gildor! Come, let us go inside and speak of these long years."

They went to the study. Tiriel told Cirdan everything she had not told him in her letters.

"So Beleg is your uncle? That is hard to believe," said Cirdan.

"No, it is not-Cotume and Beleg had the same personality," said Gildor.

"Do you know Beleg very well, Gildor?" asked Cirdan.

"Yes, I have known him for many years. I never met Cotume until she arrived in Nargothrond with Laivindur and then I was only a child. Many years ago Beleg brought messages to and from Nargothrond and Doriath. Now that task is mine."

"Ah, I see. Tiriel, why did you come back?"

"I was called home. I think Osse was responsible for that."

"Why do you say that?" asked an extremely curious Gildor.

"He is a Maia; he knows what is coming. Why shouldn't he call his favorite elf-maiden home? Yes, he told me he spoke to you those many years ago," said Cirdan with a smile on his face.

"You've spoken to Osse,Tiriel? Why didn't you tell me?" asked Gildor

"Yes, I most certainly have! I didn't tell you because I did not think it was necessary for you to know that," said a laughing Tiriel.

The three enjoyed themselves. Just as Tiriel hoped, Cirdan liked Gildor. After dinner Tiriel went down to the steps so she could thank Osse.

"Thank you for calling me home," she softly whispered.

"Your welcome, Tiriel." The sea softly rippled and the stars shone brighter. She heard someone walk up behind her. It was Lerone. Gildor was still in the study speaking with Cirdan.

"So you have returned, Tiriel. Why did you never reply to my letters?"

"I did not want to, nor did I have the time to. Lerone, live your life and do not try to sway me to you."

"Why shouldn't I love you?"

"Because her heart belongs to another," said Cirdan from behind them. Tiriel saw Gildor behind Cirdan with a broad smile on his face. "Lerone, kindly leave Tiriel alone and return to Eglarest."

"Very well. Who does her heart belong to?"

"I have been gone two hundred years and my heart has found its place in the world," said Tiriel as she turned away from Lerone. After she heard him leave, she turned back around. "Why did you say those things, Father?"

"Because it is true. Now I will leave the two of you alone."

They sat down on the steps. Gildor had his arm around Tiriel and the stars were shining brightly.

"Earelen, you look more beautiful here than I could possibly imagine."

"That is not what you wanted to say; I know you too well."

"You are right. Will you marry me? Not now, but when the war against the Enemy is over?"

"Of course I will, Gildor! Have you spoken to my Father?"

"Yes, before we interrupted your conversation with Lerone. I will no longer relay messages from Nargothrond to Doriath. Instead I will relay messages from here to Nargothrond."

"That is wonderful news!"

Gildor traveled back and forth from Nargothrond and Brithombar and the wars escalated. Tiriel continued to write to Beleg and Maren, but letters became less frequent. More and more Elves and Men arrived in Brithombar and Eglarest seeking refuge.

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