Elrond saw the others hail him. He released Celebrian’s soft hand and strode forward.
“Anu valar, My Lord and Lady. Welcome.”
Celeborn inclined his stately silver head in response to Elrond’s bow.”A valar valuvar. It pleases me greately, O son of Earendil, that the old traditioons of greeting has not altogether died out in your haven.”
“Welcome to the Light, Lord Elrond. We feared we would be guests of ill-omen, if our host was to die at our arrival.”,said the Lady Galadriel.
Glorfindel spoke up:”ELrond, you owe your life to these honoured guests. ‘Twas the Lord who drove out the last of the Orcs, and LAdy Galadriel calmed the waters about you, and Lady Celebrian plunged into the frothy waves to save you.”
Elrond looked at his guests with renewed respect. “I owe you my life!”
He took Cellebrian’s hand a touched it lightly to his lips.
“I do not like being in the debt of any one.”,answered Celebrian.
“Very wise”,nodded Elrond, trying with difficulty to mask the intense love he felt for Celebrian.”Come, my Lord and Lady, I deem that an excellent feast awaits us, no doubt.”
The soft moonlight played in cloying silver highlights across the enchanted landscape of the valley of Rivendale. Elrond walked silently in the shadows under the beech trees of the gardens at the back of the Last Homely House.
What a fool I was, he cursed himself silently. I was alone with Celebrian in the woods, and still I didn’t have the courage to confess my love for her. As he thought of her : the way she moved, her fair face, the full sensual lips, the unblemished white of her body, of which he had but caught a glimpse, as she discarded her shift…
He felt an almost physical need for her, to ignite a flame, to melt into her, to caress her golden tresses…
A sudden light fell across him, and he looked up to see the Eveningstar glimmer piercingly bright out of the star-powdered firmament.
Father, he thought, and looked up at Earendil, as if in a trance, and his mind went back to the blissful days in the Havens of Sirion with Elros and his parents, and the days of peace at Lindon, under the patronage of High King Gil-galad.
A sudden swishing alerted him to a new presence.
He whirled about in suprise, to see the slim figure of Lady Celebrian, clad in a diaphanous white robe, walk lissomly into the clearing.
“Gazing at the heavens, my lord?”,she asked in a low husky voice, which Elrond found strangely arousing.
He thought of embracing her passionately at once, but his deep wisdom, despite his young years, warned him against such an overt move. The friendship of the Lord and the Lady was not to be thrown aside due to a sudden impulsive infatuation.
He answered what he hoped was a loving tone,”I gaze at my father.”
Taking a deep breath, he continued.”After I had failed my leige Gil-galad in saving Hollin from the soldiery of the Dark Lord, I had to do something to redeem my failure. So I built Rivendell, a sancuary of peace, where those who are weary of their heavy burdens may rest a while in peace, and reflect.”
“I can see that you have indeed made your dreams come true. ‘Tis a sight of paradise. But, my lord, you speak nought of anything except high matters of sublime nature.”
“What else can I say, fair lady? I am no warrior, but a scholar. My hands carry scrolls and quills more often than swords and sheilds. My thoughts are more on lore and strategies, than on war and glory – “
“My lord, you miss but a vital part, one which everything in this World has; something that is present in this heavenly valley of yours, something of which you are not aware of, though it is inside your very being.”
Elrond looked into the blue eyes of the Elf-maiden.
“What is this thing, Celebrian?”
For a moment, ELrond looked deep into the fair face, so near to his.
Then, with a shining light in his eyes, he bent down and kissed Celebrian on the lips, as he enclosed her in the circle of his arms.
And he felt her answer the kiss and the embrace, and it grew in passion and time until Elrond could contain himself any longer.
He moved his hands across her back and slowly began undoing the laces to her shift.
Celebrian moved away at once.
Elrond made to follow her.
She answered, her eyes filling with sudden tears.”I cannot do it.”
Elrond felt a deep, ache, a longing, such that he had never felt before in his life.
“Is there another?”, he asked, as gently as he could.
She nodded mutely and giving Elrond a last passionate kiss, an off into the shadows.
The young lord stood struck as if tomb stone, Celebrian’s last kiss still burning on his lips.
The stars wheeled as Elrond son of Earendil stood, crushed.