The sweet music of her voice was still registering in his mind, even though they had spoken since she had finished the song. Eldarion was trying to remember the words and the soft tenderness behind them. He settled himself more comfortably on the stone bench.
Katrina turned to lean against him as she slipped her flip-flop off to get a rock out from under her foot. She had thought she had been used to rocks in her shoes. After all, she wore flip-flops to go on walks on gravel roads, it had never bothered her before… Why did it now? Shrugging the thought off, it didn’t matter much, she moved back to her original position.
They were in a comfortable quiet for a time. Neither said anything, there was no need. Katrina twirled a small flower between her fingers, the golden petals told her it was elanor. She had thought that the flowers didn’t grow anywhere but in Lothlorien, but she decided that Arwen could keep them alive. She was an Elf, and Galadriel’s granddaughter to boot!
“You should sing at the feast tonight.” Eldarion smiled at the shocked look on her face. His fingers brushed a strand of her blonde hair from covering her eye.
“What? Why? What’s the occasion?” She sat up straighter, her spine stiff. “What will I wear?”
“It’s Elenloth’s birthday today. And, what you wear, I’m sure, will be a pleasant surprise.”
“You mean to tell me that it’s her birthday and she didn’t say anything?” Katrina rose and began to pace back and forth. “How old is she? What will I get her?”
“Hush! You ask more questions than a Hobbit!”
“I try…” She grinned over at him mischievously. “No, seriously… How old is she, and what will I get her?”
“She is now sixteen years of age. As for your gift, you may give her what I intend on giving her.” He stood and took her by the shoulders, gently shaking her. “No worries, as you say.”
“And what are you getting her? Oh my gosh! She could drive!” The thought flew into her mind and she spoke it even before she realized. Drive? They didn’t even have cars!
“What?” He frowned at her.
“Um, never mind. Just something from my world. Now, what are you getting her?”
“I am going to give her a mare from Rohan, named Dinroch, which means silent horse. It is all rather humorous, seeing as how she is very rarely silent.” Eldarion laughed at the look on Katrina’s face.
“How much do I owe you?” She was wondering how she would repay him, she had no money, nothing. Then, she thought with sarcasm, I could all ways sing him another song…
“Nothing. Lord Eomer said that I could have any pick I wanted, if I danced with his daughter, Eotwine.”
“Oh.” Katrina looked away uncomfortably. Was this Eotwine someone he loved?
“Do not let your heart be troubled, she is only six years old!” He caught her up in his arms, his embrace tight. “I would have you sing Elenloth a song, however. She would greatly appreciate it. Her heart is full of song, much like your own.”
“I know exactly what I will sing… How many people are invited?” She pulled away from his hug. If it was no great amount this would be easy, she had sung for church before.
“Oh, I’m not sure…” A pondering look came to his face. “Well, Eomer will come with his family. Legolas is here with Gimli. Several Elves from Ithilien are coming. Faramir is coming with his family… And then there are her friends from classes… A great amount, so I would guess.”
“I see… Then I will make it a short song…” Katrina took a deep breath. She did not do crowds, her legs would start to shake and her heart pound, she would start to feel like if she moved she would fall over. No, the song would have to be very short…
“Why?” The look on her face made him understand. It was a look of fear and anger, she did not like being in front of people he remembered. “Never mind. Mother will have some gowns you might borrow, I believe. She should be in her chambers, just knock on the door softly, it is Elanna’s nap-time.”
Katrina smiled at him and then turned to leave. She felt a rush of embarrassment surge threw her as his hand caught hers and he kissed it.
“Until later this day.” He looked over the top of her hand, a smile on his lips, and then departed.
She suddenly felt that her hands were rough, calloused and dry…
Arwen smiled as Katrina ran her hand over a twilight blue gown made of a sheer fabric. Delicate silver gems were sown into the bodice and sleeves. A mithril belt rested on the shelf of her closet to match it.
“Do you like that one, Ëarannawen?” The queen came forward and pulled the dress off the hanger. She gave it to the girl and handed her the belt.
“Well, yes! They are all so lovely!” Katrina fingered the delicate sheer fabric.
“Let me see you put it on. I’ll turn around.” Arwen turned and looked down at her baby who was sleeping in content.
Katrina slipped into the dress easily, it was a bit short, but that could be fixed. Fastening the belt at her waist, she said, “Okay.”
“Oh, dear! It looks splendid on you!” The queen motioned for her to turn in a circle so that she might see the whole effect of her in the dress. She frowned and then a smile spread on her face when the maiden looked at her. “I see that we will have to have the hem dropped.”
“I noticed that, too. Is that okay?”
“Yes, that’s fine. I half expected that anyway. I’ll just do it myself, it will give me something to do.” Arwen motioned to a short stool. “Stand on that, please, and we will begin!”
“Katrina, what would you like done with your hair?” Arwen was standing behind her, looking into the mirror to see her face.
“I don’t really care, whatever you want.” Katrina smiled at the lady. They had fixed the hem length, and then Arwen had bombarded her with what else she wanted, jewelry and such. She had decided on her cross necklace, which she was not seen without, and a golden circlet that had silver interwoven into the delicate design with blue gems inlaid on the sides.
Arwen immediately began to twist and braid tiny strands of hair. “Your hair is rather short…” She looped the tiny braids and twists around the top of her head. Her fingers moved deftly through the soft blonde hair as she delicately wove it into the circlet.
“Sorry.” Katrina had cut it off when she got her brace, which seemed to find hair rather good to eat. She had had a horrible time trying to figure out how to keep it out of the neck ring.
“No, don’t be, it is lovely.”
“I thought it was cute…” She shrugged and then frowned. “No, I cut it off and then ended up growing it out, so I could put in a ponytail. After I got rid of the brace, I cut it off again.”
“Ah, I see. There, done.” Arwen helped her stand and gave her a hug. “You will look lovely for tonight.”
“Thanks, for helping me get fixed up. Oh, and I don’t know why, but those gowns in my bedroom were long enough.”
“That’s because after I met you, I took several gowns and let the hems out as far as they would go, so that they would be too long for anyone. They seem to fit you nicely though.”
“Yeah, thanks, I’ll see ya later.” Katrina gathered her old gown into her arms and left her. She went to her room and put it on the bed. Grabbing her Bible and notebook, she walked out of the house of the king. As she walked towards a small pool of water, she began to think about home. How much time had passed there? Did her parents think she had drowned and floated away down stream? Then, in a sudden flurry of thought, Did I float away down stream after I drowned? Am I dead?
No. You live, My daughter. The soft Voice was rather forceful. She knew that she wasn’t dead, deep down inside herself, she had known.
Shaking her head, she sat on the edge of raised stone around the pool that held a fountain. Why did she always have to ask the unnecessary questions? Katrina opened her notebook to a blank page and her Bible to Psalms. She began to take notes and underline things as she read through chapter 22. She wrote out:
They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. ~Psalms 22:5. All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him, ~Psalms 22:27 They will proclaim His righteousness to all people unborn – for He has done it. ~Psalms 22:31
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him, ~Psalms 22:27
They will proclaim His righteousness to all people unborn – for He has done it. ~Psalms 22:31
Then she went back to look up what those verses meant according to the list of verses under those particular ones. She wrote more notes and thoughts.
Eldarion was going to his home to prepare for the feast when he saw her poring over her Bible and jotting notes down.
Katrina was totally focused on what she was doing, and nothing else. She did not see him sneak up on her, nor did she realize how close she was to falling into the pool if she leaned back to far.
He watched her shift as the sun came into her eyes. With a rising horror, he saw her falling into the pool with his minds eye. Leaping forward, he grabbed her arm and pulled her from the edge.
“Wha-” Katrina suddenly found herself standing, her notebook, pen and Bible all on the ground, loose papers scattered, and Eldarion holding her to his chest.
“You nearly fell into the pool!” He held her out at arms length. “Your dress and things would have been ruined!”
“Oh, well in that case, thank you.” She stooped down and began to gather her things.
Eldarion was helping her pick up the last of the loose papers when he saw her. Lothmîr of Rohan, she was there for Elenloth’s birthday. Her hair was dark, and her gown white, she was lovely, this he could not deny. In his mind, though, she was a wretch.
Katrina thanked him and turned to go back into her room. “I need to practice the song. Will you come and get me for the feast?”
“Yes, I will get you.” He smiled and when she was gone he turned to look at Lothmîr, then, in his heart, he knew this was going to be a long night…
“Eldarion!” The dark haired girl had followed him deeper into the garden. She slipped her arms around the prince’s neck and gave him a tight hug. How she had missed him, it had been all, too, long since she had last seen his kind face… Felt his strong arms around her… Felt his lips brush hers…
“Lothmîr…” He wrapped his arms around her waist. In his mind he pictured her as Katrina, kind and gentle, not rude and selfish. Lothmîr had not always been that way, she used to be tender and warm, her smile real and not a mask. As she had grown her attitude had changed, for the worse. If she had remained benign perhaps he would still love her…
Lothmîr stood up on her toes and kissed his lips with her subtle caress. She could not help but notice his reluctance in the moment. He seemed distant and not quite with her. A hurt pierced her heart, she had seen him fade from her, his love disappeared, and she could not find why.
“How have you been, my love? Remind me, how do you say that in Elvish? You told me once, but it was a long time ago, I imagine we were sixteen when you first called me that.” Her smile was endearing, sweet and lovely. Dark eyes fluttered under the long eyelashes and a look of longing was there.
Eldarion wanted to shudder, he could remember that day…
They had been riding their horses out on the fields of Rohan. When they stopped for a moment, he had leaned over in the saddle and kissed her cheek and said, “You are a fine rider, Meleth nin.” She had asked him what that meant, and he had answered with a kiss to her mouth…
That was long ago, and had been when she was still his love. Now, he hardly felt that emotion, if at all. He answered, none the less, “Meleth nin.”
Lothmîr held his arm and leaned her head against his shoulder. “I like how you say that. I cannot wait until tonight and we can dance together…”
“Do not come to me… I will get you when the time is right.”
“If that is what you wish, maleth nin.” She looked up at him, a smile that showed she was proud of herself.
“Meleth.” He corrected before thinking. Lothmîr looked up at him, her eyes twinkling as she rested her head back against his shoulder.
Meleth nin ~ My love
There will be a lot more of Lothmîr in the following chapters. What do you think about her? Well, you don’t really know her…. But you will…Sorry, this chap is super long!