Ossë glanced down at Èríele, and she smiled at him confidently before turning back to her father.
“Indeed, father, it would be my pleasure,” Èríele complied. “May I present Ossë, servant to the great Vala Ulmo, and Maia of the Waters. Ossë, this is my father, Isil, lord of the Teleri.”
Ossë inclined his head to Isil, saying, “An honor to meet you.”
“As it is for me,” Isil returned correctly. “It is long, Lord Ossë since any but Quendi have set foot on our shores. You honor us greatly with your presence.”
Ossë smiled. “Others besides Quendi favor the shores of Alqualondë, but they are seldom seen.”
Isil laughed, “Yes, I suppose it is so. Though keen, Quendi eyes do not always see everything. But aside from that, may I offer you a room in my home for the night?”
“Thank you, no. But if you would grant it, I would speak with you privately.”
“Of course,” Isil complied. “My house is not far. Come, we will go there.”
¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤
Èríele politely bid Ossë and Isil a good night and reluctantly ascended the stairs.
When she was out of sight, Isil beckoned to the Maia, who followed him into a small room, richly decorated.
As they both sat in their chairs, Isil asked, “What is it you would have speech with me about, lord?”
Ossë was silent for a moment, and then replied, “Let us suppose you possessed a great jewel, radiant and beautiful, and of exceeding worth to you. Now let us suppose you had two choices as to the future of that jewel. You could lock it in hoard, safeguarding it, but dimming its light, or you could give it to the world, allowing it to shine freely so that all could see it, benefitting from its light. What choice would you take?”
Without waiting for Isil to answer, he continued, “Lord Isil, this jewel I speak of is your daughter. She has been given power by Ilúvatar’s wish, and she could do great good in this world. Will you allow your jewel to shine? Or will you lock it away for safety and put out its light?”
Isil looked the Maia in the eye. “That is not all you came to say.”
“No,” Ossë conceded. “It is not. Sir, I most respectfully request your permission to wed Èríele your daughter.”
“My little girl..” Isil murmured, bowing his head.
Looking up again at Ossë’s earnest face, he said, “You love her better than your life, don’t you?”
Ossë knew Isil spoke more to himself, but he still quietly answered, “Yes I do. I cannot imagine a life without her. There could not be life without her.”
Isil sighed deeply, “Ossë, I will let my jewel shine. I give you my permission to marry my Èríele, if she will, and I give you both my blessing. No other would I have deemed worthy enough for my child, my little jewel.”
¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤
Èríele lay in her soft bed, nearly asleep. She closed her eyes at last, only to hear a faint footstep and feel the cushion of her bed sink down at one point.
She opened her eyes and looked at the spot. Seeing someone sitting there, she sleepily sat up and looked closer at his face, but in the dark, she could not see who it was.
He took her hand and kissed her lips softly. And then she heard the words, “Èríele.. will you marry me and rule the waters at my side for all the Ages that this world will bring?”
Fully awake now, she realized Ossë was beside her. She threw her arms around his neck and pulled him close to her.