Eldarion pulled his shirt up over his head, revealing his chest taut with muscles.
“All right,” Katrina didn’t even act stunned by his appearance. “Bend over at the waist, so I can see your back. Just touch your toes.”
He bent over, and his back arched. She traced her fingers over his spine, starting at the back of the neck. Pressing slightly, she found the trail it left. It was straight. “See, his goes down straight to his hip bones. No scoliosis. Now please stand up straight.” He did as asked. “Turn so that you’re side is to me. Very good. Now see? This dip here is the curve of his spine.-“
“He has this kyphosis?” Arwen interrupted, appalled at the idea of her baby having to wear a brace, whatever that was. She had seen her point to the small of his back, where it curved in a bit, then came back out, like a dimple.
“No. The spine does have a bit of a natural curve. His is normal. Now roll your shoulders. Stop.” She touched his back as his shoulders went forward, so his back was hunched. “That is what it could look like if he did have kyphosis. Now, please bend over again.” He complied, not minding the orders. “Now if his spine were curved like mine is it would look like this.” Katrina traced her finger over it again, only this time when she came to the lower spine, she nearly made a `c’ on his back, before going straight to the hips.
“You have both of those?” Aragorn was amazed at how much she knew.
“Yes, I’m just a curvy girl my gramma used to say. My cousin had the scoliosis, too.” She gestured to his shirt. “You can go ahead and put that back on.”
Elenloth stepped towards them, she had been hanging back a bit, holding the baby close. She handed her to Eldarion, tenderly.
Katrina saw a smile spread across Arwen’s face. She stepped towards the young man. Her hand reached out to touch the baby’s tummy. A little hand clasped her finger. “Hey, who are you?” She looked expectantly up at Eldarion.
“Her name is Elanna, star gift.” His voice had taken on a softness that showed so much love for this little girl. Her dark curly hair was soft to the touch, her pink lips parted as she breathed, eyes a deep blue like the sea, and skin so soft.
“Lovely. I never had a sister. Only a little brother.” She grinned down into the little smiling face. “His name’s Jake.”
“He is at home then?” Eldarion looked up from the babe’s face.
“Yes. He is home.” She felt the tears coming again. “With my family. Excuse me.” She ran from the hall. Leaving her Bible behind, she left, so horribly sad… Her shoes slipped off as she went. Then, she came to the many stairs, she ran down the first flight. Turning, she found the stables of that level. Slowing to a quick walk, she entered the barn.
The horses whinnied at her approach, welcoming the company. One of them reared up, vigorously neighing at the stable hand. The boy jumped back, then saw her.
“Look, miss, I would leave him alone if I were you!” He shouted to her as she stepped closer to the horse.
“Dartho!” She caught his mane up in her fist. He dropped to his feet and pushed his head against her shoulder. “Hannon le… Hannon le… Hush, lovely…” She stroked his neck, soothing herself and the horse. “Who are you? What is your name?” He was as white as snow, and as beautiful as a diamond.
“That’s Shadowfax.” The stable hand was at awe by her show of horse knowledge and ran from the stables.
“Shadowfax? I thought you didn’t let anyone touch you but Gandalf.- Oh… He left these shores, didn’t he. Your all alone. Like me.” Her tears slid down her cheeks into his fur. “We are very much alike…” Katrina stroked his neck and slid her arms around it. Then, she hulled herself up, onto his tall back. She leaned over his neck, hugging it. Her lips had words burned on them as they came to mind and she said, “This horse was torn, such as I. He will be made whole, such as I will. He will ride the fields with great speed, me upon his back. Together, we will search out our purpose….”
“The Lady! She has tamed Shadowfax!” A young boy ran by Legolas as he made his way to the throne room.
Turning, the Elf looked towards the stable. What lady had that power? How had she done it? It was probably Eowyn… He strode off to the barn, eager to see such a feat with his own eyes.
When he entered, he saw the young maiden, barefoot, on Shadowfax, who was bareback! It was the maiden who came by the river! She was whispering something to him, so softly, only Elven ears would hear it.
“My God, why am I here? What purpose do I have? This horse is magnificent, but what can I do? I am only a little girl!“Tears were falling down her face. They soaked into the white horse’s coat of fur. He nickered and flicked his head a bit.
Legolas thought for a moment that he would rear and the lady would fall to her death. He made to move forward when he saw something.
A second voice had joined hers, and a young man, a sword swung at his side, held the horse’s head. There were scars on his hands and feet, and a crown of thorns on his head. A long white robe flowed down to his ankles. He said, without moving his lips, My child. My love. My bride. Safe you are, here in My care. You rest, like an infant in his mother’s arms, in My gaze. None shall harm you, you have won the victory, by My life. Your life is not meaningless, but full of purpose. None shall touch you. None but those I choose. None but Me. The man looked at Legolas. They shall do nothing. Do nothing.
Stunned, he stepped back. She appeared to not have heard, or she had and was calmed by it. Her gaze lifted, and the tears were gone.
Eldarion ran in, he ran to her side and helped her off the great horse. His arms slipped about her, holding her close. Her gaze had not left Legolas, they held him in their grasp.
You know what you saw. He is my Love. My God. My Savior. I am His. And His alone. Her thoughts came at him like arrows. So she had heard. Heard and was calmed. What an odd woman she was. To hear a man speaking, to see Him, and know He was not there moments before, but still find reassurance.
“Ëarannawen! Are you all right? Shadowfax is a mighty horse!” Eldarion kissed her forehead.
“I’m fine. No need to wear your heart on your sleeve. I’m fine.” She pulled back and smiled up at him. Christ had let him touch her. She was safe here, in his arms…
“What does that mean?” He looked at her quizzically.
“Don’t show your feelings for a girl. It could make her nervous, or totally in love. You could get the bad effect, though. Just be careful.” She laughed at his grin. He was already beginning to take possession of her heart.
“May I be permitted to know what reaction you took?” His grin spread up to his eyes, lighting them up.
“No, then I would be wearing my heart on my sleeve. And we couldn’t have that, now could we?” She whispered only for his ears to hear. And she hoped Legolas would be discreet and not hear, though that was unlikely. His Elven hearing was too keen. Perhaps he had left. She glanced over to him, to her surprise, he was frozen where he stood. He hadn’t moved. His jaw had slackened and he was staring at Shadowfax.
“Legolas? Are you all right, my lord?” She stepped away from Eldarion, who followed her. Katrina touched his arm, and he jumped.
“What? Oh, yes, I am well. Thank you for your concern. Excuse me.” Legolas turned on his heels and left.
“What was that about?” Eldarion asked her softly. She looked up into his eyes. Until this point, she had not realized he was taller than her!
“I don’t know…” She followed Legolas with her gaze as he left. “I don’t know…”
Dartho ~ Hold
Hannon le ~ Thank you
Hope you all liked this!