Aralorn was riding bareback through a denser part of Rivendell. She was enjoying the company of herself and Ithil, when all of the sudden she heard voices. One of them was Aranel’s, she knew. But who was the owner of the other? Although conscience told her otherwise, Aralorn decided to find out who was with her, without being seen. She urged Ithil towards the voices. They came to the same clearing where Gwenneth, Aranel and herself had been the first time Aralorn had met Aranel. Then she saw who was with her. Ambar and Aranel sat on the ground, with their horses tied a short distance away. They were both acting differently…their eyes not easily wavering from each other’s. Ambar smiled at Aranel, and then said something – too quietly for Aralorn to hear – and Aranel laughed quietly. Was her friend…in love? She had never heard Aranel say anything about it before. No, it was probably not true. She listened closely, trying to make out what they were saying, for she could not make her mind up. What if the two of them were? But hadn’t Ambar loved her? It made no sense. Some voice inside of her kept saying that it was wrong to spy on them, and be so dishonest. Finally, when she could take no more of it, she left.
A little while later, she led Ithil back into her stall and began to remove the bridle. For a long while she brushed Ithil, watching the cloud of dust form after each stroke. But she was doing more than clearing the dust from her mare’s coat. Ambar had given her signs that showed that he had loved her. How come she got the awful feeling that he didn’t?
“Settle down,” she told herself. “It is wrong to think the worst of people dear to you.” Aralorn decided that the two of them were simply talking to each other…alone. “It makes perfect sense,” she said aloud, trying to convince herself that it did. She didn’t know how long she stood there, but suddenly she heard someone lead their horse into the stables. Standing straight, Aralorn returned to her brushing occupation. It was Lord Elrohir, and he led a bay colored horse into the stall next to her.
“Hello, Aralorn,” he smiled at her as he started to undo his horse’s bridle. She smiled in return as best she could, for she was still deep in thought.
“My lord,” she said in a respected greeting. She grabbed a comb and began to work through Ithil’s long mane. She could feel his glance as she did so.
“Are you well?” He asked. When she paused before answering he stopped what he was doing and faced her.
“Yes,” Aralorn answered. “for the most part.”
“Aragorn and I are very close as you probably know,” he began. “And he asked me to be a brother for you in his absence.” Aralorn stopped and faced him. He smiled.
“Thank you, my lord.”
“Elrohir,” he corrected. “please.”
“Thank you, Elrohir,” she smiled a little. Both of them groomed their horses in silence for a short time.
“Do you miss your brother?” Elrohir asked.
“Yes,” Aralorn answered, working through a knot in Ithil’s mane. “I must admit, I felt a little forgotten.”
“He told me that he did feel some regret for doing it before he left,” Elrohir said.
“But he left anyway,” Aralorn answered, not fully forgiving him. Elrohir faced her again.
“He will return,” his words were filled with promise.
“You’re hiding something else within your words, Aralorn,” Gwenneth said, with a small, mischievous smile. Aralorn glanced at her.
“Possibly,” she said. The two of them were walking in the garden, when Aralorn had asked Gwenneth if she thought that Aranel was acting differently. Instead of giving an answer, Gwenneth had smelt that Aralorn was wanting the answer to something else.
“Possibly? Dear Aralorn, can you not just tell me?” Gwenneth asked.
“It’s just…” Aralorn began. “I saw her with Ambar. Alone.”
“And you want to know…?”
“Gwenneth, they were looking at each other differently. I don’t think I have ever seen Aranel act as she did then,” Aralorn answered.
“Ah, so are telling me that you think our Aranel is in love?” Gwenneth grinned lightly at Aralorn.
“Well, yes,” Aralorn let the truth slip. “And I did not mean this to come across as something to laugh at. What do you really think?” Gwenneth thought for a moment.
“An answer to your first question; no, I have not seen her act differently. But for some reason it is not hard for me to picture Ambar and Aranel in love.” Aralorn was quiet. “Why does this matter to you so?”
“No reason in particular, I suppose,” was all Aralorn could come up with.
One week passed by with great speed. Aralorn could not deny her suspicion of Aranel…as much as she wanted to forget about it. She did not dare ask her friend about it. What if it hurt her feelings? That was the last thing Aralorn wanted. She was on the way back to her room from her lesson with Elrond, when she saw Aranel and Ambar walking toward her.
“Aralorn!” Aranel called out. “I’ve been looking for you.”
“Forgive me. Elrond just finished his lesson with me,” Aralorn began. “Is there something wrong?” She looked at both of them with an eye hungry for explanation.
“No,” Ambar answered. “Not at all.” He smiled.
“Ambar and I are betrothed,” Aranel’s face glowed. Aralorn’s eyes widened, and her hands went numb. She didn’t even know if her heart was still beating. She quickly recovered herself and smiled. Luckily, it looked as though neither of them had noticed her sudden change of emotion.
“Oh, Aranel,” was all she could think of to say at first. “I am…so happy for you.” Her smile broadened, and she looked at Ambar. “And you, Ambar.”
“Thank you,” Aranel said. “We are.” Ambar looked over at her and grasped her hand.
“Indeed,” he said. Aralorn’s smile started to fade, and she realized that she had to go now. Before her emotions got the best of her.
“Forgive me,” she said, grasping Aranel’s hand. “…But I must go.” She made one more effort to smile at Ambar.
Finally, she reached the safe haven of her room. After closing the door behind her, she just stood there with thoughts and questions racing through her mind. How could Ambar have been so insensitive? Hadn’t he loved her? She sat on a chair in the corner and started to cry. Why would someone give all of the sings of love, but not mean it? She thought that he had at least cared for her. Did he not care how it might affect her heart? Surly he must not have known that he had led her into the idea of love. Trying to chew over all of this and come to grips with it, she realized the truth: Ambar had never loved her. He had never thought of her as one that would be considered to spend the rest of his life with. But for some reason, without knowing it, he had given her sings that indicated that, and she had fallen for them…believed them. If her pain were physical, she would be lying facedown on her bed, barely able to move.
hey you guys! thank you so much for reading!
i’m very, very sorry for the long wait!! i had a busy shedule and a writer’s block in my way.
so, i’ll talk to you all later!