Chapter 6

            Eowyn stepped out of the bath and picked up a towel to dry herself.  Night had overtaken evening, and the room was quickly darkening.  "Janeth!" she called.  Instantly the chambermaid assigned to her reappeared in the room, carrying a candlestick with five brightly burning candles.

"Yes, milady?"

"Oh, I was going to ask for some light, but you have already brought it.  Thank you."  Eowyn gestured to the dress she had discarded earlier when she had arrived to find a lovely warm bath waiting.  "Also, I am sure that will need brushed and aired, at the very least, can you see to it so it can be packed tomorrow?"

            "Yes, ma'am." The dark-haired girl bent down and retrieved the mass of rust-colored fabric.   "Was it a nice picnic, ma'am?"

            "Yes."  Eowyn pulled her damp hair from inside the white silk nightgown she had stepped into.  "It was."  She held up a cautious hand and peered into the mirror on the wall, pressing her nose with her forefinger.  "I think I got sunburnt, though.  It is hard to tell in this candlelight."

            The girl approached her and looked at her face closely.  "Yes, you did."  She began gathering up the rest of Eowyn's clothes.  "You are so fair, my lady, you should be more careful."  She pulled the wet towel from the side of the stone tub.  "If you want, ma'am, the healers have a salve that helps sunburn.  I could bring you some."

            "Oh, no," laughed Eowyn.  "I have survived being sunburnt many times, it is nothing.  But thank you for the offer."

            "Yes, milady."

            "And Janeth?"  Eowyn motioned toward the tub with her head.  "Thank you for having the bath ready.  That was very thoughtful."

            The chambermaid blushed and stammered.  "Oh, well, – I just thought you would be tired and dusty and, I thought, I meant – "

            "It was very nice, especially the lavender soap."  She turned back to the mirror and began to braid her hair.  "Has the Lord Faramir arrived yet?"

            "He came in shortly after you did, milady."

            "Thank you.  That will be all."  Eowyn bid the girl goodnight and left the small room with the tub to re-enter the bedchamber.  Janeth followed her out and after placing the candelabra on the dresser, disappeared through the double doors that led into the hall, pulling them shut behind her.  Eowyn looked around the room.

            Faramir sat on the window sill, one leg pulled up before him, his arms wrapped around it, looking out at the star-filled sky.  The room was dimly lit by some large candles on the table beside the bed and those the maid had just left.  She approached him.  "Isn't this where you started the day, staring out the window?"

            He gave a soft chuckle.  "I have feared this day for weeks," he said quietly.  "Now that it is nearly over, I find that it has been one of my happiest."  He shifted his gaze and looked at her.  "You have been very understanding these last few days."

            She made a dismissive gesture.  "I knew how you were feeling, and I was hoping, if I could convince you to come, that it would be a good day, one that would make you happy memories."  She paused.  "I never imagined - if I had known the king's plan, I would not have had the courage to bring you."

            "You hardly lack courage, my Lady," he said with amusement.  "And you were right, this morning.  The thing I did not want to do was the best thing.  I shall heed your wisdom better in the future."

            "Hmm, we shall see." She looked doubtful.  His lips curved into a self-conscious smile. 

"The stars are so bright, tonight," she said, looking out the window before him.  "Look how they shine."

            He said nothing, only took one arm and put it around her, pulling her close.  Gently he kissed her forehead, then her fevered cheeks. 

"They do not shine like you do," he murmured.  She snuggled against him, feeling the cool breeze across her tender face while he stroked her hair gently.  She waited for him to say something more, but he did not.  Instead he took his hand and placing it under her chin, tilted her face up and kissed her softly.

"You shine, Eowyn," his voice was husky.  "You take my darkest days and fill them with light." 

"You are a poet," she started to say, but his lips brushed hers and silenced her.

            She felt her mouth open to his and closed her eyes.   As her knees went weak, she leaned into his embrace and his arm tightened around her.  A soft little moan escaped her as he drew back.  Her arms came up to wrap around his neck and pull him back to her so their mouths could meet again.  His kiss was deeper this time, hungrier.

            "Faramir." She whispered his name with desire.  "Do you know how much I love you?"

            His blue eyes locked onto her green ones.   "Teach me, Lady of Rohan.  Show me the depth of your love, and I will show you mine."

            Taking his hand, she led him to the bed and they assured themselves that their last memories of the day were happy ones.