“Tonight is our last night together,” Rumil said brushing a hand across Arinae’s cheek as they sat beside each other on the beach.
“I know,” she said softly.
“Must you leave?”
“I must find my parents, Rumil.”
“Arinae, I wish to go with you.”
“I don’t think that is such a good idea, Rumil.”
“I want to protect you.”
She looked up at him. His eyes twinkled in sincerity. Why do you have to be so sweet? She wondered. She leaned against his chest as he wrapped his arms around her waist resting his chin upon her head. She didn’t know what to think about him. He has been so kind to me during this time, but Rian has been with me from the beginning protecting me.
“Rumil, you have already done enough for me.”
“I wish to give you something.”
Rumil took a satchel from his pocket. He opened it and dangled the necklace before her eyes. She gasped as he laid the strands of blue silver into her hand. It was broken every few links by a crystal diamond.
“You improve it when it is around your neck.”
“It was my mothers.”
“I cannot take such a gift.”
“Yes you can. I wish you to have it. I wish no other to wear it but you.”
“No buts. I want you to remember this moment when you wear it.”
“Thank you, Rumil.”
Rumil planted a soft kiss upon her lips one last time.
It was finally time to leave. Rian had told her of when they were to go. She had shuddered at the word, but knew it was the only way she could find her parents if they were still alive. No she would not think of that. They had crossed Anduin River to the eastern shore. From there they would ride east from there to Dol Guldur. Rumil held Arinae’s hands tight as they readied to depart. The company was garbed in the gray cloaks of Lorien along with the elven brooches. Rianatu had been given a beautiful mithril sheath studded with gems for his sword. Elanor had been given a phial of light much like Frodo was given for their journey into Dol Guldur. Both hobbits also received knives and elven belts. Arien had been given elven rope as well as a shiny dagger, which would glow a bright green when orcs would be close. And Arinae last of all had received a beautiful elven bow of the Galadrhim. Haldir told her it had been spun with Rumil’s hair. She smiled and thanked him.
“Keep the necklace with you always,” Rumil said. He put a hand up to his neck where she saw one similar to it but they were of sapphires not of crystal diamonds. “I shall know when you are in need of help. Fare thee well, my Arinae.”
With that Rumil took her in his arms and kissed her fully on the lips in the presence of the others. She stiffened in surprise as he set her back down and took his place beside his brother. She mounted her horse along with the others and rode away into the forest.
“Namarie,” he said softly watching her figure disappear from his sight.
He had known all along of their coming. Soon the Crystal would be within his reach. He had been preparing long and hard for this moment. They were coming to him. It couldn’t be more simpler.
“Things are nearly ready,” he said to the dark figure standing beside him. “Your daughters are coming.”
“They are not my daughters anymore.”
“I have come to truly enjoy your services. It is only through my generosity that you were not mutilated into my Uruks or goblins. I find their services are only good for one thing in battling. But they are mindless. I wished to keep yours and so I have. It is nearly as foul as mine but not quite.”
“What shall you do with them, my master?”
“Once I have the Crystal, things will be set in place.”
“She is stubborn. She will not so easily relinquish it.”
“I know this well. Do not fret. I believe your past daughter shall find me not so worth resisting once I show her what I have done with your wife and what could happen to her friends. Then I shall have the Crystal, my heir, and Middle Earth. It will not be long now.”