1As Tari opened her eyes again, feeling very rested, she noticed that the ship was not rocking as much as it had when they were on the open sea. She was dimly aware of the fact that she no longer was in her rag-of-a-dress anymore, but sleeping in a flowing gown of cream silk trimmed and embroidered in shining gold thread. Tari raised her hands up to her eyes, and looked them over. The gashes and cuts had left faint scars... How long had she been asleep? Five days? Six at the most? She rose from the bed, and strode across the cabin to the unlocked door. Up the stairs she quickly went, 'till she reached the deserted deck of the docked ship...
Such beauty... Such peace... It was indescribable. It was sunset, the waters calm. Before her, was Valinor... The forests; lush, green, and blooming with flowers of every kind. The beaches; long, white, and perfect. But she didn't pay it any attention. Before her, was a host of at least a hundred elves (including Gimli of course) smiling up at her. Legolas came forward, and laced his arm with hers, escorting the stunned Tari forward toward them.
"Tariathon Estellia, daughter of Lord Elrond and Lady Celebrian," he said sweetly, "Welcome to Valinor..." Tari smiled at him, tears in her eyes for the disbelief that she could be standing here in such a wonderful place. Legolas's voice jerked her out of her reverie. "I believe, that there are those who wish to see you. Those, who have waited a very, very long time..."
The host of elves parted slightly, revealing Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. She smiled at her grand-daughter, her blue eyes sparkling with her own tears. "My dear, sweet, Tari..." she breathed, as she and Celeborn embraced her lovingly. "My mirror has helped me watch you. And how much suffering I saw... You are so strong, my grandchild. You deserve this peace."
Celeborn held her by the shoulders, looking her up and down. "Look at how much you've grown..." he sighed, "I can no longer call you penneth nin, Tari." (My little one)
He took her arm in his, and escorted her forward more, 'till her father was in view. She ran from her grand-father's arms, and into his. Lord Elrond embraced his youngest daughter tightly, tears of happiness spilling from his grey eyes. "My beloved daughter... How I have missed you so."
"A Im lle, adar." (And I you, father) was her choked answer.
A beautiful, soft and gentle voice spoke from behind her. "Do I not receive an embrace from my daughter?"
Tari whirled around, and found herself looking upon her mother, Celebrian. With golden hair like her own, creamy skin without the slightest flaw, a heart-shaped face with full smiling lips and shimmering icy blue eyes. She held out her arms to Tari, and her daughter rushed into them, nestling against her like a child as she cried softly, "Atara, atara..." (Mother, mother; mama, mama) "Illuvatar, how I missed you so much..." she whispered, wrapping her arms tighter around the mother she had not seen for hundreds of years; since she was no more than a little elfling.
"Shh, my sweet one, no more tears." Celebrian hushed, kissing her daughter's forehead lightly, and gently effacing her tears. Legolas had now reached them, and he smiled at the heart-felt sight before him. Celebrian noticed him from over Tari's shoulder. "And I see that you have also captured the heart of a prince while I've been away..." she added laughingly. Legolas smiled at her, and Tari turned around.
She took Legolas's hand in hers, and pulled him forward a little. "Nay, for it was he who captured my heart." she said, kissing his cheek lightly.
Celebrian noticed her ring too. Legolas had mentally asked for her and Elrond's blessings already. "And now I've a wedding to plan. What joy this brings me!"
Tari blushed crimson, and laid her head on Legolas's shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her as everyone started to wander off. He tilted her chin up, and kissed her tenderly, pulling her against his chest. "How long I have waited for this moment... You and I together at last, in a place where no evil can reach us... Where we can live forever in this glorious place where nothing and no one can keep us apart. To be wed..."
Tari smiled warmly. "I know... I have waited for it too. I never thought that I would be standing here, with you. It seems so long ago that we first met, and I was sent away... So long ago... So much has happened; and things can never go back to the way they were. And still, I wouldn't change a thing... I wouldn't have done one thing differently."
"Nor would I. I have you. And you are everything to me..." Legolas said, as they turned to look across the sea as the sun was about to set.
"As you are to me..." she answered, turning to meet his lips against hers, as the last rays of the sun disappeared beyond the horizon...
Celebrian was putting the final touches to her daughters golden hair, while Lothiriel (Legolas's mother) did her soon-to-be daughter-in-law's makeup. Tari didn't like to be fussed over, but today was a special occasion in which she could not complain even if she had wanted to. In a few minutes, she would be wed to the one she loved; at last.
"There!" her mother said, placing the silver circlet of mithril, pearls, and white diamonds upon Tari's brow. Tari stood, and turned to face them. Celebrian had tears of happiness in her eyes, and Lothiriel was holding a handkerchief, and dabbing at her own eyes.
Tari's dress was magnificent... Dress was an understatement; it was a surreal gown of white layered silks dotted with shining crystals. The neck was a half-moon cut, with silver embroidary in curvy designs following the edge. The sleeves belled out elegantly at her elbows, and the gown tapered out at her waist; trailing behind her. And, it had been her mother's wedding dress. And Galadriel's wedding dress before her's.
An elf knocked on the door, calling that it was 'time'.
Legolas stood at the end of the aisle, Celeborn to his right; who was to conduct the ceremony. His best man, Gimli of course, stood a little off to his left. He seemed to be enjoying himself; being the only dwarf in Valinor.
His mind, not to mention his nerves, were jumbled beyond recognition. There weren't butterflies in his stomach; for they had evolved into great flapping gulls. The elven prince hadn't felt this nervous since... He couldn't remember when he'd last felt this nervous.
But then the music started, and Tari was walking down the aisle with Elrond. His breath caught in his chest as he took in her beautiful form; her ethereal glowing beauty... He had never before seen her look this beautiful. Some might call him biased, but he didn't care. To him, he was getting married to the most beautiful, enticing, tempting elleth in the entire Middle-Earth and Valinor...
She was smiling. Shyly so, but still smiling. There was a hint of tears in her eyes; tears of the greatest joy and happiness that she had ever felt. It had been her heart's desire to be doing what she was experiencing right now. How many times had she dreamed this moment? And woken, wanting desperately to live her vision?
Elrond put Tari's hand in Legolas's, after giving his daughter one last kiss on the forehead.
"Legolas, son of Thranduil, and Tariathon Estellia, daughter Elrond, is it your wish to be eternally knit on this day in the presence of the Valar?" Celeborn asked.
"It is." the two answered.
"Legolas Thranduillion, do you so swear to take Tari as your beloved wife? To give her comfort when she is grieved? To aid her when she is in need? To cherish and love her for as long as you live? And never love another in her place?"
"I do so swear." Legolas answered, absentmindedly caressing one of Tari's hands.
"Tariathon, daughter of Elrond, do you so swear to take Legolas as your beloved husband? To give him comfort when he is grieved? To aid him when he is in need? To cherish and love him for as long as you live? And never love another in his place?"
"I do so swear." said Tari with a soft smile.
Celeborn took one of the rings that Gimli bore on a cushion, giving it to Legolas.
"I, Legolas, place this band upon your finger as a sign of my eternal love for you. My heart belongs to you, and you alone. I will love you forever, and do everything in my power to make you happy. Never shall I forgo this love for another. May the Valar help me to keep this vow." He took the wedding band, which was a silver one adorned with a princess cut sapphire of the deepest blue, with two bright white circular diamonds on either side of it, and placed it upon her slim finger.
Tari took Legolas's ring, which was a silver ring like hers, engraved with the saying 'My Love, My Husband, My Protector' in elvish, and placed it upon his finger saying, "I, Tariathon, place this band upon your finger as a sign of my eternal love for you. My heart belongs to you, and you alone. I will love you forever, and do everything in my power to make you happy. Never shall I forgo this love for another. May the Valar help me to keep this vow."
Legolas smiled at her, one of the tears that he had been trying to quell escaping down his cheek.
"Valar, we ask of you to keep these elves' hearts pure and happy. Let them not stray from their path and vows. In the name of the Valar, I pronounce you man and wife... You may now kiss the bride."
Obliged, Legolas leaned into his beloved, placing his lips upon hers in a soft and sensuous kiss (AN: They're at a wedding! No making out!), sealing their vows... Forever.
Okay everybody. I have decided to make a sequel. I have the first few chapters written, but you have to understand that this is going to be pretty hard. Luckily, it is summer break, so I have a-lot of time on my hands.
Next, I have heard that the link I posted isn't working, so we'll try this one. Copy and paste it into the web address box. It should work, but...
http/ if that doesn't work, send me a review WITH your e-mail address, and I WILL send you the picture.