“Shhhh. Rest, my dear Maldor. You must be strong to make swords for our men in arms, and your eyes must be keen to paint their portraits.” She lay down on the bed next to him and closed her eyes. There they slept the entire night, wrapped in each other’s arms.
“Arise, my friends! A new day is here! Arise and take in the sun! A brand new day has arrived!” the village messenger shouted as he rode through the streets. His call awoke Elariya from her sleep. She rubbed her eys and yawned. Her memory suddenly ame flowing back to her: Maldor in her room, her father’s meeting, Maldor’s gifts, her hands. Maldor’s arm rested across her stomach, the other behind her neck. Elarinya tried to sit up. Her movements woke him and he sat up as well. “Good morning, my dear alqua,” he said. He leaned over and kissed her. “I hope you slept well.” The sun’s rays shone faintly through the curtains, just enough to give Maldor a heavenly glow. It was as if Elarinya was gazing upon one of the Valar instead of a mortal man. Elarinya looked around the room. Her sword rested against the wall beside Maldor’s, both sheathed in glimmering leather and gold. Her necklace lay on the table across the room alongside his white knife. The wooden floor shone in the faint morning light. Every once in a while a shadow would appear, then disappear as people passed back and forth on the road. Maldor’s home was like her second-home. She spent nearly every afternoon in his house posing for his paintings and just hanging with him. Elarimya sighed. “I wish every day could begin like this.”
“What do you mean?” asked Maldor. “Hiding out in my house every morning to avoid your father and siblonmgs?”
“No,” replied Elarinya. “What I mean is waking up to you every day, or maybe our own little ones.” She got out of bed and walked over to the window. She drew back the curtains, filling the entire room with sunlight. Maldor slowly got up as well and slipped on his dark green tunic. “Elarinya, my love, I wish the same,” he said as he came and stood beside her. “But…”
“But what?” asked Elarinya. “I may have to leave, but I also may not. What if I say no? Then maybe Ada will choose Valadhiel to take my place.” She fingered the sun-shaped charm on his necklace. Maldor took her hands and kissed them. “You know that you cannot say no,” he said. “You aren’t like that. You care about this village almost more than your father.” He lifted her chin so that her eys were level with his. “What could have been will never be.” Elarinya knew he was right. How could she have said that? She loved her people and would do anything for their protection and well-being. “I love you Maldor,” she said, her voice wavering with grief. “I must return home. I… I’m sorry we can’t be together.” She wrapped her arms around his waist in an embrace. Tears welled up in her eyes. ” I… I have to go.” She pulled away from Maldor and strapped her sword to her waist. She went over to the table and put on her necklace. She left the house in haste, yet before she set foot outside the doorway, she faced Maldor once more. “Namarie,” she whispered. “I Melain berio le.” She disappeared through the door, leaving Maldor behind with teary eyes.
Elvish translation: May the Valar keep you.