Lindar would have just as soon stayed in his bed the entire next day, but the sun seemed to rise right outside his room, streaming in through the doors leading to the balcony. It shone right into his eyes, and no matter how he lay it wouldn’t go away. Finally he gave up and climbed out of bed. He was looking around for his clothes when the door opened slowly.
“Darn,” Teleri muttered, letting herself into the room. She didn’t seem the least bit bothered by the fact that Lindar was half-naked, and instead she grinned at him. “I had all these wonderful ideas about how to wake you up, and here you are already awake.” She crossed her arms over her chest and gave him a mock scowl.
Lindar had to laugh at her pouty look. “I’m terribly sorry, milady. If you can find a way to keep that sun out of my eyes, I shall sleep all day, and then you would have all day to come up with the best plan for waking me.”
Teleri giggled. “Hurry and put some clothes on,” she urged him. “We’re almost late for breakfast.”
The mention of breakfast reminded Lindar that he hadn’t eaten since yesterday morning. He looked around the room again for his clothes, but they didn’t seem to be anywhere. Then he spotted a set of clothing at the foot of his bed and decided that it must be for him. He quickly put them on, noting how well they fit, fully aware that Teleri was watching him the entire time.
He had just enough time to quickly brush his long hair and put it up in typical Elven fashion- half back- before Teleri seized his wrist and pulled him out of the room. “Come on, hurry,” she urged him, breaking into a run. Lindar raised his eyebrows as she ran ahead of him, but his competitive spirit took over and he sped up, easily catching up to her.
“Oh come now Your Highness,” he jeered, “you can run faster than that.”
Teleri laughed, pleased to finally have someone who liked to race. Together they sprinted down the halls, Teleri calling out directions to the dining hall. Moments later they arrived, bursting through the doors of the hall. Lindar came to a screeching halt behind Teleri, who turned and grinned at him.
“You loose,” she muttered.
“This time,” he shot back, then hastily added, “Milady.”
She snorted and led the way over to the table. Lindar wasn’t sure what he had been expecting, but this wasn’t it. A long, narrow table ran down the middle of the room, tall wooden chairs on either side. At the end of the table sat King Aramir, Queen Isilmë, and a fair Elf with straight, shoulder-length blonde hair that Lindar did not recognize. A very appetizing looking breakfast sat on the table, making Lindar’s stomach growl. There were no servants crowded around the king, no other nobles sitting there eating. Just the king, queen, and Elf, and now Teleri and himself. Lindar suddenly felt very small and vulnerable, a feeling altogether new to him.
Aramir smiled at them as they sat down, and Lindar tried to smile back. He could feel the Elf’s gaze on him as he adjusted himself in the chair.
“Good morning, Teleri, Lindar,” Aramir greeted each, then turned to Lindar. “I hope you slept well?”
Lindar nodded, hoping Lady Teleri would not mention his dream. She didn’t.
Aramir turned to the Lady Isilmë. The smile he gave her almost made Lindar feel sorry about what he was going to do. Almost. “Here he is, Sil. This is Lindar. Lindar, my wonderful lady, Isilmë.” He leaned close to her and smiled. The queen smiled back at Aramir, then gave Lindar a bright smile, which he returned tentatively. Aramir then turned to the Elf as his side. “Lindar,” he said with a grin, “this is my best friend, Kellian of the Itir.”
The Elf smiled and said something in greeting to Lindar, but the Exile was not paying much attention. I should have known, he thought. It would be Kellian, or course. He had heard almost as much about this man as about Aramir. He briefly wondered how much of it was true…Stop that! he yelled at himself. Why did he doubt his father? He pushed the thoughts aside, for now, and turned to the delicious food sitting on the table. Not wanting to appear greedy, he took as much food as he could without taking too much…however much that was. No one even seemed to notice however, though he noticed Teleri continuously glancing at him as he ate.
When breakfast was done, Aramir suggested that Teleri give Lindar a tour of ‘his new home’, which not only made Lindar feel very embarrassed, but very guilty. Teleri readily agreed and literally dragged Lindar out of the dining hall and down one of the many halls in the palace.
They spent the entire morning touring the Palace and anything else Teleri thought Lindar should see. By the time Teleri was done, Lindar knew everything he could ever want to know about the place, and some more besides. Those maps that his father had shown him didn’t do the Palace justice. All this information would only make his job easier, he thought, but even as he thought it, he felt guilty again. He sighed inwardly.
“Anything else you want to see in here?” Teleri asked with a grin.
Lindar shook his head, brushing his hair out of his face. “I think I’ve seen it all, and then some,” he told her. “Thank you very much, My Lady.”
“Do me a favor Lindar,” she requested. “Call me Teleri.”
Lindar blushed slightly, but was saved from having to say anything by the sudden appearance of Kellian.
“Rhee?” he asked, looking guilty as he ran his hand through his hair.
“There you are!” Teleri exclaimed. “Ready to go?”
“Actually, that’s why I came to see you. I’m going to have to cancel today. I’m sorry.”
“Oh,” Teleri looked disappointed. “All right.”
“Why don’t you take Lindar down there and show him around instead?”
Teleri brightened slightly. “Ok,” she agreed as Kellian walked away.
Lindar turned to her inquisitively. “What was that all about?” he asked, unable to keep his curiosity in check.
Teleri blushed bright red. “Oh, its, its nothing. He’s been giving me lessons in sword fighting, and archery, that sort of thing. You…you probably think that’s rather silly.”
“Not at all,” Lindar protested. “Why would I think that?”
“A woman? The princess of Gondor? What is wrong with you learning to sword fight? I think its neat. I’ve never met a girl who knows anything about weapons.”
Teleri smiled slightly. “You-you don’t think its odd?”
Lindar shook his head forcefully. “No. That should not stop you. If that is what you want to do, what you want to learn, you should be able to do it.”
Teleri stared at him for a moment, then quickly leaned towards him and gave him a gentle hug. She backed up just as quickly, blushing. “Thank you, Lindar. You don’t know how much that means to me. Everyone tells me I’m a failure; that I’ll never find a husband if I act like this. Well, everyone except father and mother.”
Lindar smiled at her. He wanted to tell her that he would be much more likely to marry a girl like her than one of the other ladies of Gondor, but he decided against it. “Well,” he broke the silence, “I’ll fight you, if you want someone to practice with.”
“Really?” Teleri asked, eyes sparkling.
He nodded. “Sure.”
“Alright. Race you to the ring!” With that, she turned and ran down the hallway, leaving Lindar staring after her in surprise.
According to Lindar, he would have beaten Teleri to ‘the ring’ if he had known where he was going, but he did not, so he had to settle with a tie. Once there, he looked around in awe. The ring was aptly named, for it was a huge, open ring covered with a light layer of sand and surrounded on all sides by rows of seats which rose steadily upwards so that the people up high could see as well. Teleri, assuming that Lindar had lived in Gondor all his life, did not offer any explanation about what the ring was used for, so Lindar was left to guess. Based on the way it looked, he figured it was used for anything from training to competitions to testing. My father and Aramir must have taken tests for the Itir here, he thought suddenly as he slowly drew his sword. A stab of pain ran through him as he heard his father speaking in his mind, telling him of the tests, and of how Aramir had cheated and outwitted Janst. Had he really cheated, Lindar wondered.
“Lindar!” Teleri’s hand waved in front of his face, bringing him back to the present.
“Oh, sorry,” he apologized, shaking his head.
“You should be. I’ve only been calling your name for five minutes,” Teleri muttered good-naturedly. She drew her sword, which was slightly shorter and more delicate-looking than Lindar’s own. The minute she had it in her hand, it became apparent that she really did know how to use the weapon. She spun it loosely in one hand, smiling smugly at Lindar. He smirked at her and raised his sword.
“You should know that I won’t let you win just because you are a woman,” he informed her.
“And you should know that I will not let you win just because you are a man.”
Lindar laughed and twirled his sword once again. “Shall we begin?” he asked with an eager smile.
“We shall,” Teleri answered, then leapt at him with a cry.
That night, Lindar lay in his bed, deep in thought. Again, he thought with a sigh. He always seemed to be thinking lately, and it was always about the same thing. Or rather, the same person. An image of Janst flashed before his eyes. He saw his father’s long, narrow face, dark hair, and hard, unkind eyes. He could hear his voice whispering to Lindar from far away, but try as he might, he could not tell what his father was saying to him. Lindar sighed dejectedly, drawing his knees to his chest. All his life, he had obeyed his father, feared him, and respected him, because he had found out early on what Janst did if you did not obey him. He went along with the plan because of the anger he felt towards Aramir. But who had taught him that anger? Who was it who had emphasized how important it was that Aramir be destroyed? His father. And now Lindar felt something completely different. The Aramir he knew so far was nothing like the tyrant king that his father had told him of. And no matter how hard he tried, he could not stop the admittance that he actually rather liked Aramir. He liked Teleri also, and just thinking of her made him blush. What would his father say if he knew? Lindar bit his lip, so hard that he thought it must have been bleeding. Sighing in defeat, he shook his head and lay down, drawing a blanket to his chin. He knew if would be a long time before he fell asleep this night.
Chapter 1: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9681.html
Chapter 2: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9811.html