Eowyn kept back from the two companions, silently following them up the steps, but staying just out of their range of sight. Twice on the way up Legolas looked back, his keen Elf senses picking up on her footsteps; but when he turned to see her following them, she wasn’t there. Chuckling to himself, he turned back to the weary Aragorn and led him to the Hall.
Eowyn was aware of the Elf’s glances, but she made sure she kept back far enough so that he wouldn’t see her. She followed them to the top, slinking around corners and spying on their movements like a cat on the hunt. Always she would watch them until finally they entered the Hall.
Slipping past the guards, she stole in just in time to hear joyus shouts form Gimli and Theoden. They had obviously discovered, like so many others, that Aragorn was indeed alive and well.
Lifting up her skirt and slipping off her shoes to make sure she didn’t create any noise, she stealthily tip-toed as close to the party of jovial men as she dared. Keeping to the shadows, she listened intently to what they were saying, catching bits and pieces here and there as her azure eyes darted form speaker to speaker.
“Horrible fight…lost many. How did you make it?” That was Theoden.
“Wonderful to have you back…”
“You look terrible! You should rest-” A shake of the head form Aragorn.
The conversation continued like this it seemed for an eternity. Yes, it was marvelous to have him back, but what of his rescue, if any? How did he make it back alone? The answer came too soon.
It seemed that after his fall from the cliff into the icy waters below, he had somehow become dislodged from the dead corpse of the warg and had passed out, floating down the swift waters for who knew how long. When he finally awoke, he had been mysteriously pulled to shore, Brego at his side. After a long ride, he’d finally made it to Helm’s Deep.
Hearing his story, Eowyn had to hide a gasp that was about to escape her lips. No one should have been put through that, she thought with a shudder that slowly crawled up her spine. Especially him.
But what came next chilled her to the bone. Goosebumps prowled along her flesh as Aragorn recounted the rest of his tale.
“As I was approaching Helm’s Deep, I noticed a dark spot on the horizon. As I examined it closer, I realized that this was not another party of refugees coming to Helm’s Deep, it was an army of orcs, and they’re headed out way.”
The look of happiness once spread across Theoden’s face dissapeared and was replaced with one of worry. “How many of them?” he asked, beginning to pace.
“Ten thousand strong, if not more,” replied Aragorn through gritted teeth. “They will be here by nightfall.”
At this last remark, Theoden looked up, grief in his eyes. Aragorn approached the King, a hand on his shoulder. “There is no use in hiding behind these walls now; we must fight.”
“But we cannot win,” said Theoden, shaking his head. “With only a handful of men? There is no hope for us.”
“There is still hope!” said Aragorn, looking Theoden in the eyes. “You must not give up on your people. Let them fight.”
Theoden stood, staring at Aragorn, realization slowly spreading over his face.
“You are right Aragorn, we must protect ourselves. Hama-” Calling his gurad over, he declared to all, “Take some of your people and go through Helm’s Deep. Tell them that there will be a fight tonight. Make sure every able-bodied man and child that can weild a weapon has one, and also make sure they are properly armoured.”
Hama nodded, then assembled some of his men and left. Over in the shadows, a solitary tear rolled down Eowyn’s cheek as she fought to keep herself hidden. How could this happen? she thought. How could such a disasterous thing happen to her people?
She waited intil the men had left, then put her shoes back on and slipped out the way she had entered. Rounding a corner, she did not see the man who stood in a recess in the wall, waiting for her to come around. As she walked past, a hand reached out from the shadows to snake itself around her small waist. Another hand was put over her mouth as she was hauled back into the darkness, trying to scream for help.
She was pulled close to a man, his strong arms around her as she wiggled and fought. She felt the heat of his breath caress her cheek as he whispered something softly in Elvish in her ear. Later she would come to find out that it meant, “quiet now, it’s only me.”
Calmed by the beautiful words, his grip on her loosened and she turned to face her attacker to only find the fair Elf Legolas, his eyes shining like sapphires in the dim light.
“I’m sorry for scaring you milady,” he said, a small smile on his face. “But I needed to talk to you in private. You should know that I would never harm you.”
Eowyn looked him over. He seemed genuine, and she did trust him, so she relaxed a little and asked what he wanted of her.
His smile changed to a frown as a deep sigh escaped his lips. “I knew of your presence in the Hall, and I must ask you not in any way to try to fight tonight.”
Rage, and something else — fear, began to slowly rise in her stomach. She glared icily at Legolas. “Who are you to tell me what to and not to do? Besides, why would you care if I fought tonight or not? And why wouldn’t I? I’m just as good as any of those men, and you of all people should know that!”
Her words stung, and his face clearly showed it. He took a step back from her, his evident pain masked by a fair visage. Immediatly Eowyn realized her mistake.
“Legolas, please forgive me. I let my emotions get the best of me. I – “
She stopped aburuptly as the beautiful Elf came to stand before her, gently taking her slender hands in his. “Fair lady, you mean more to me than you will ever know; and I for one do not want to see you get hurt. Please listen to me. Do not put your life on the line tonight.”
Eowyn began to protest, but she was hushed by a cool finger to her lips. Legolas pulled her close, her trembling body surrounded by his embrace. Gingerly, he tilted her head up and their lips met in a soft kiss. Now her heart was beating furiously against her chest, but there was another sensation along with it; a floaty kind-of exhilaration that fluttered throughout her entire being. She surrendered to his touch and felt a rush like never before. Slowly he pulled away, Eowyn not wanting the blissful feeling she now felt to ever end. Opening her eyes, she gazed upon his attractive face; he was smiling.
Still holding her, he whispered, “Remember what I said.” He leaned down and tenderly kissed her forehead, then released her, keeping a light hold on one of her hands. Before he left, he turned back and siad soothingly, “Farewell sweet one. Namarie.” Then he was gone.
Eowyn stood in the recess, dumbfounded. What had just happened? It was now plainly clear that Legolas card for her, but did she feel the same towards him? She reached up to touch her lips, tasting the bittersweetness he’d left behind. She realized that she did have some supressed feelings for him, but what of Aragorn? Yes, Legolas was wonderful to be around, and he was easy to talk to, but Aragorn made her heart leap and flutter like a crazed butterfly. But he loves another, whispered a sinister part of her mind. An Elf, an immortal; one that will love him forever, unlike yourself.
Stop! she yelled at her mind as it jeered evily in her head. I will have no more of your foolishness! Finally the black laughter in her mind subsided, adn by then she had made her decision. I’m sorry Legolas, but I must do this, not only for me, but for my people as well.
Stepping out from the shadowed crevasse, Eowyn found that twilight had begun to fall. Purple and red fire swept across the sky as the golden disk that was the sun began its slow descend inot the bowels of the earth. I guess the meeting lasted longer than I thought, she said in her mind. Now seeing the ever-growing urgence, she ran to her room to get ready for whatever would come her way.
Silently shutting the door behind her, Eowyn sneaked past a few nervous guards adn made her way to the abttlements; Star’s diamond hilt glittering dangerously in the flickering firelight.
She was completly ready now, waearing a mail shirt and special breastplate made just for her. Her hair was neatly braided down her back and a sturdy helmet adorned her head. Under her skirt she wore specail leg guards, her favourite soft boots, and on her hands, gloves to easily grip her sword.
Making her way to the Deeping Wall, along with many others, she noticed that men were already lined up. However, these men looked much different to her. Their armour was very different than everyone elses, and they each had a bow and quiver full of arrows. They stood tall and proud, many with long whisps of golden hair falling down their backs from under their curved helmets.
“They’re Elves,” said a man she didn’t recognize as they walked along. “Arrived a short while ago.”
Eowyn nodded, and fell back, looking for a place to stand when she abruptly bumped into someone. She turned around to apologise only to find herself face-to-face with Aragorn.
About to say something to the young lad who had just knocked into him, Aragorn looked into his eyes to find that it wasn’t a he after all – it was the Lady Eowyn!
“Milady! What are you doing here? You should be with the other women taking shelter in the caves. This is no place for you.”
Eowyn pulled off her helmet, a stubborn expression on her face. “I will not leave!” she proclaimed.
Aragorn took her aside, then laid his powerful hands on her shoulders and made her to look at him. His face was stern as he spoke. “Milady, I know you can fight, but the women need you to defend them. Gods, know, if something terrible happens, adn the orcs make it to the caves, then you will be the one to defend it. We have enough men as is.”
She stared at him, her mouth a thin line. “No,” she said at last. “I almost lost you yesterday, and I’m going to stay. I will not lose you again!”
His expression faltered, a wave of pity – or was it guilt – washed over his face, but was quickly replaced. He made himself look into her blazing eyes and what came next neither of then was prepared for. Aragorn leaned in close to Eowyn and gave her a quick but passionate kiss. He then pulled away and told her swiftly, urgently, “I promise, I’ll never leave you again. But you must go to the caves; you are the women’s only hope. Now, please, go.”
Tears began to well up in her eyes. In the distance, a rolling thunder of thousands of footfalls could be heard. The army was approaching. Aragorn glanced over the battlements, then looked at Eowyn. “Please,” he pleaded. “Go!”
She took one final look at his handsome fcae, then fled as tears fell down her cheeks. Glancing back, she saw him race to the front of the lines, yelling orders to the men in Elvish.
“God please save us all,” she murmured as she turned to run to the caves, the ever growing rumble of evil at her heels.