Author's Note: Well, here is my final chapter to Married to the March Warden. I simply cannot tell you all how grateful I am for your reviews. They have truly encouraged me to continue writing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would also like to say a special thanks to my beta Dragonfly32 for her help on this chapter and the past few chapters. I will try to have the prequel up shortly as well. Thanks again! I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Tolkien's work.
Chapter 26 Forgiveness
I moved slowly up the winding stairs leading to my home. For the first time in a long while I was satisfied with myself. Lintelin had gotten what she deserved and I no longer feared her. Now, the more I thought over it, the more I realized how silly I had been. I should have confronted Haldir the moment I became suspicious and I would never have had to go through this travesty. But I suppose that now everything had turned out for the better and we could finally concentrate on our newfound parenthood. I had been quite lost in my thoughts and upon reaching my door, a shrill crying reached my ears. It was obvious it was little Laeranor who was wailing - unless Haldir had taken a turn for the worst. I laughed quietly to myself and pushed the door open, hearing it creak softly. At first I was very startled to see Haldir sitting with his brothers for it was still early in the morning. Laeranor was red in the face and sweaty from her howling and she appeared to be in a foul temper. I shut the door behind me as gently as I possibly could and moved cautiously into the flet, not wanting to disturb my baby any further. Haldir was rocking our child slowly, making soothing noises while Rumil and Orophin sat nearby with concern clearly written upon their faces. My husband's eyes were bloodshot and he looked positively exhausted. Well now he knows what it is like, I thought as I pictured the splitting headache he must have acquired over the period of time that I had left.
"Haldir!" I called to him quietly. His head snapped up along with those of Rumil and Orophin. Relief visibly washed over his features as he handed Laeranor to Orophin and walked over to me.
"Elenwen!" he all but dropped to his knees in front of me. "Oh thank the Valar! I thought you…I thought you had…" My beloved couldn't bring himself to say it.
"What dearest?" I asked softly. "What did you think?"
"I thought that you had taken your leave," he said, almost sighing at the mere suggestion of it.
"Oh, meleth nin," I ran my hand through his silken locks. "I would never even conceive of such a thought." Out of the corner of my eye I saw Orophin shift a squirming Laeranor in his arms.
"Where did you go then?" his voice was hoarse. "I was terribly worried when I awoke to our child's cries and discovered you missing." I smirked as I recalled my conversation with the elleth earlier.
"I paid a little visit to Lintelin," I said, letting amusement seep through into my manner.
"You did?" he clutched my shoulders tightly in shock.
"Aye," I nodded my head.
"And what did she say?" Haldir's eyes were full of emotions, each tangling into the next. I leaned my head closer to his and cupped his chin with my hands.
"That you were true to me, beloved," I whispered, kissing him. He sighed and drew back from me, a smile now curving its way upon his lips. Then suddenly he pulled me closer into a warm embrace, wrapping his arms fully around my body and holding me tightly. I hugged him back, realizing now just how much I had missed him for those terrible months. But he was back to me now and I knew that never again would I have to fear the possibility of his infidelity. Haldir pulled away and I stared up at him. "I would wish to discuss this with you though," I murmured. "There are some things that need to be understood between us."
"Of course," he turned to face his brothers, but they had already gotten the hint.
"We shall see you on the morrow brother," Rumil said, clapping him on the back as Orophin handed me Laeranor. After they had left Haldir and I moved into the main living room.
"Meleth nin, I am not angry with you anymore," I said slowly, the elfling in my arms finally calmed and fell into sleep. "I do, however, wish you to understand why I was angered by your behavior."
"Aye," he said, sitting forward a little to show that I had his attention. For the next hour or so, I explained to him how I had truly felt during the time of my pregnancy and how hurt I had been. Haldir seemed quite shocked by this at first, but listened attentively all the while. After I had finished we fell into silence for a moment or two before he spoke. "I truly am sorry meleth nin," my husband said. "I would never have hurt you in that manner on purpose. Please, can you forgive a fool?"
"I think I can," I said well kissing him on the cheek. "You may be a fool sometimes Haldir, but you are my fool and I would not have it any other way."
It was late night and a gentle breeze stirred the gauzy curtains. Our child was whimpering softly in her crib and Haldir moved beside me. I waited for a minute or two, hoping that Laeranor was just troubled by a dream and would fall back into her sleep. But after a little while, her whimpers grew more insistent. I groaned inwardly, knowing that I would have to get up out of bed to tend to her. I was just about to rise when I felt Haldir's arm lift from around my waist. He rose and moved quietly to the baby's crib. Was he going to ease her back to sleep? I lay still, my ears straining to hear him.
"Hush, hush little one," he whispered, "we must not wake your Naneth, she needs her rest." He was lifting her from the crib and moving over to a large chair that had been placed in the corner for my use when tending to Laeranor. "We are very lucky, you and I," he was saying, "to have such a wonderful elleth as your Naneth with us. She is a fine musician and talented singer. I do not believe that Luthien the fair possessed a voice as beautiful as hers and she sang to Mandos in his halls. Your Naneth is also one of the most kind, caring, and loving elves I have ever seen and her beauty far surpasses that of Arwen Undomiel's." I felt happiness swell in me at his words and a large grin spread across my countenance. "I love your Naneth dearly and without, I fear that I should waste away to grief," Haldir continued. "Manwe has blessed us indeed with such an Elf as her." I could contain my joy no longer. I sat up slowly to face my husband. His eyes lit up and he smiled, noticing that I was awake. With a contented sigh I watched them, my beautiful child and my beloved husband.
Meleth nin: My love