Lothriel of Lorien, chapter 3
Lothriel stood high in the branches of a young Mallorn, gazing through the trees, up toward the ridge of the mountains as the sun dipped low behind them, setting the rough ridge of mountains in stark black relief against a fiery sky. It was something of a relief to be wearing a tunic and men’s breeches again. It allowed for so much more freedom of movement, than her gowns did, pretty enough as they were.
Behind her, the branch creaked softly, and she smiled to herself, pretending to be oblivious to the new presence behind her.
Her smile only grew broader as she felt his hands gently smooth aside her hair, and his lips gently nip at the curve of her neck.
“Honestly, my Lord, have you no shame?” She asked teasingly. “I must beg of you, attempt to control your passions, else you desire to be flung from these branches.”
“Hmm.” Haldir’s breath brushed her soft flesh, as if considering a bargain, and then his arm circled around her waist, pulling her close against his chest. “Agreed, dear Lady.” He murmured as he continued to nuzzle her throat. “Having a few bones broken is a small price to pay for a single moment of bliss, with you.”
“Indeed?” She whispered back, feeling a pleasurable warmth tingle up and down her spine. “Though he is one of the most arrogant Elves of Lorien, my Lord must not be a very shrewd negotiator.”
Haldir guffawed softly in mock offense. “Oh, I think I’m far more shrewd than you, my Lady.”
“Is that of a truth?” Lothriel asked with a warm sigh as Haldir’s other arm circled about her waist, and she settled her head back against his shoulder, her eyes focusing on the distant mountains as the fire of the sunset faded and slowly cooled to a warm magenta.
“My Lady will have the pleasure of tossing me out of this tree, but I have the pleasure of holding her like this, if she is generous enough, for a few moments longer. And in that, I have the better part of the bargain.” Haldir whispered, pressing a kiss against the tip of her ear.
Several more moments passed in delightful silence, and Lothriel closed her eyes, content to feel the rise and fall of Haldir’s chest against her back.
“Well, my Lady?” He asked after a long pause.
“Mmm?” She asked contentedly, turning her face to look up into his.
“Are you going to throw me off this branch, now?”
Lothriel laughed, and pirouetted gracefully within the circle of his arms to face him. “I’ve changed my mind.”
“Oh?” Haldir’s face took on a look of innocent inquiry. “And why is it, that my Lady has become so generous?”
“Because I have decided that I prefer you whole, rather than damaged.” She stated sweetly. “And as our wedding is in but three days, and you have admitted that you have yet to fully-, how did you say it? Apologize? Well, then, far be it for me to rob you of the chance to make, as you said, full amends to me.”
Haldir grinned at her words, gently smoothing his fingers through her long hair. Slowly, his smile faded, and his eyes darkened with warmth. “Lothriel.” He whispered softly.
“Haldir.” She returned. She sighed happily as his lips pressed softly against her brow.
“You know you are the first woman I have ever loved like this, do you not?” He asked as he pressed a soft kiss to the end of her nose, his voice soft and pleading, endearing, like a little boy’s.
“Yes, I know.” Lothriel whispered gently.
“I could never repay Lalaith enough, for denying me, when I asked for her consent to marry me. I was indeed a fool. I could never have loved her as Legolas loves her. As I love you.”
“Haldir.” Lothriel sighed, her voice carrying a tone of gentle scolding. “It is in the past. Do not berate yourself any longer. I know you love me. You will never leave me, and I promise you, I will ever be at your side.”
“I know you will be.” Haldir grinned, kissing the tip of her nose lightly.
Lothriel smiled softly, and lifted her face toward his. Haldir, seeing the longing in her eyes, more than willingly, did as she silently requested, and bent his head, longingly pressing his mouth to her own as the sunset faded in the western sky, and the first stars of evening began to appear.