Alas, it is the end! But I am sure you all will like it. If I ever get bit by the Lord of the Rings bug again, I do promise to write a continuation of this story, but who knows what will happen. School is very hectic of the late, and I must wait to see how I can deal before I start a new story. The last note to my reviewers is here!
Voldie on Varsity Track: I'm so glad you like my story! I cannot believe why you hate Éomer/Lothíriel stories usually, I have read so many good ones. Hope you like the update.
Princess of Ithilien: Yes, it was a good ending, but not good enough for me! I absolutely adore this chapter, and needed to write it, so there ya go! Hope you enjoy!
Kia: Lol, I'm glad my story was such a relief! Here's more, I'm happy it's your fave. :-)
Blue Eyes At Night: Who said I wasn't going to involve Elfwine? Huh? You never read the last chapter yet! Thanks for the humor, much appreciated. -eyebrow wiggle-
LadyArian: They had only been married for a week, and Imrahil was still there with Erchirion, Amrothos, Éowyn, and Faramir. The only ones to go home yet was Aragorn, Arwen, Elphir, Nienna, and Alphros. I hope that clarified:-)
Wondereye: I'm happy you liked it. Hope you like the last!
Quizzabella: Yeah, I really liked the last paragraph and Imrahil too. Hope you like this!
Sister Kitty: Yeah, I am terribly jealous of Lothíriel, for having Éomer! O well, there has got to be at least one Éomer here for me! Thanks for the review.
Rebby Éowyn: So you didn't read me A/N, huh? Lol, I knew not everyone would, I usually skip them. But yeah, there is one more chapter! Then, who knows about another story. Thanks, and hope you like it!
leslienicolespeaks: I'm glad you like it, and thank you for reading the A/N ;-)
ArcherGal2932: That was my ultimate masterpiece, that line! I love it too, I'm glad someone caught it. Thanks for the review, hope you read/like this!
Jazzcat: Yes, I think Éomer will forgive you…lol. You are right, I do use 'word redundancies.' I try not too, but…it's hard! Lol. O well, I hope you like the end! Thank you for the review and praise, you are awesome.
Cookie, Sarahbarr17, madrone, fleur137: Thanks for sticking with me to the end, your reviews are much appreciated, and I hope you all enjoy the last chapter!
It was late in the morning when Lothíriel finally was inside the room Éomer had built for her a few years ago; drawing a picture of a face, she had dreamt. The room was everything she would have wanted. The furnishings were Birch wood, and each wall held two spacious windows with shutters to close when there was a wintry breeze blowing through Edoras. There was a sitting area of two matching lounges and a short table between them. There were various sized easels for Lothíriel to use when painting, and a table with a chair on it in front of the largest window, pointing east, where there was a brilliant view of Rohan's village life. The outside of the room designed to match Meduseld was not as intricate yet beautiful all the same with golden columns on each corner, sculpted with horses along the tops and bottoms. The shutters held the same horse pattern, and it was a pride-worthy building to the designer and builders.
The previous day, Lothíriel had made some new paints, beautiful autumn colors of brown, gold, orange, red, and sage greens, and she was using those that day, painting a picture that had been in her dreams for the past few days. It was turning out wonderfully when she heard a soft knock on the closed door, and Lothíriel set her paintbrush down, looked fondly at her masterpiece and stood, her swollen belly making her walk slowly to the door and answer it. She found it was her husband, and he greeted her with a kiss on her cheek.
"How are you, love?" he asked, holding one of her hands and placing his other hand on her belly.
"We are feeling quite well today," Lothíriel smiled. Éomer looked over her shoulder and saw the picture she had been working on, and he smiled.
"Your art is wonderful, milady," he said softly. The picture was so smooth, the lines so delicately placed that it nearly looked alive. The colors made the picture look as if it were glowing with happiness and mirth. The picture had two little boys' faces in the clouds, all amber from the highlight of the sun. Beside the boys was a girl, younger than both the boys with small curls about her face. Lothíriel beamed proudly, and leaned against her husband in a meek display of affection. "Where was your inspiration for such angelic faces?"
"My dreams," Lothíriel said in return. Éomer smiled and gestured to the eldest boy.
"This face looks familiar," he spoke, "but these two do not."
Lothíriel merely smiled. "They will be in the future."
"Do you believe your dreams so confidently true?" Éomer countered with a playful glint in his eye as he squeezed her arm softly.
"Yes," said she. "Before the War of the Ring, and on the week before I married my best friend from my father's wish, I dreamed of a magnificent king riding a horse of steel gray towards me, his hair a golden halo round his head, and his eyes so fierce but so loving towards me. I had known at once that somehow the man I was to marry was not the true one for me, for his features were dark and the dream rider was golden. My first dream was very much like my dream last night, and I suspect you would agree in my saying that my first, shall I say prophecy, came true. Would you not, love?"
Éomer smiled wryly. "First tell me who this 'magnificent king' is. Should I know of him? Is he holding any threat to stealing your love for me away?"
Lothíriel's laugh sounded like chimes in the breezy atmosphere. "I would say he is a threat for you, the way he is looking at me now."
"Ah," said Éomer, "the only two in this room are you and I, so it must be me you dreamt of so long before."
"Yes, Éomer," Lothíriel smiled tangling her hands in his as she pressed against him, "it was you." He leaned down to kiss her, and her lips passionately reciprocated every motion he offered her.
Lately, she had been even more quiet than usual, especially in the counsels between Éomer and Marshall Erkenbrand who had arrived from his border patrol to tell his king how the relations between Rohan's neighbors stood. Rohan's population was steadily increasing from the War of the Ring's heavy losses, and its agricultural resources were growing as well. All seemed to be better – even the relations between the Dunlendings and the Rohirrim was becoming less heated after Éomer had delivered food to them across the river bordering Rohan and Dunland himself before the last particularly heavy winter. That food had saved hundreds of lives, and the treaty that King Théoden had made between them was renewed.
Lothíriel said no more when they parted, but allowed Éomer to hold her close to his strong body. Éowyn had been right, she had felt no safer than with him, and when he had left to Aldburg during her first pregnancy, she had never been more afraid of anyone's absence.
"You know I love you," Éomer murmured gently when she rested her head on his chest.
"You remind me each day," teased Lothíriel. "But yes, I do know. And I love you, Éomer, more than anything this world has known."
Though it had taken so long for the couple to realize it, they were so deeply in love nothing in the world could take them apart. Though neither was perfect, to the other, they were. In their eyes, they saw a sublime future; both Éomer and Lothíriel would face the difficulty of tomorrow together.
"Lady Lothí," a little boy's voice came from the entrance of the building. Lothíriel pushed away from Éomer, her green gown sparkling in the brilliant sunlight. She looked to who was speaking and saw a young boy, his loose golden curls a mess atop his head, and his amber eyes sparkling with a withheld glee. He was about five years old, and he had just mastered how to say Lothíriel's name, but chose to stick with his nickname that all had become accustomed to call her as well.
"Théodric," Lothíriel smiled, "where is Elfwine? I thought you had agreed to look after him for me with your parents."
Théodric bobbed his head up and down. "I did. But Mama and Papa told me to come and get you because…guess why!"
Lothíriel and Éomer exchanged a glance. Knowing Théodric, they understood the wide variety of excitement he found in the smallest things. "I do not know why, would you tell me?" Lothíriel asked. Théodric bobbed his head up and down enthusiastically, his adorable eyes glittering in the rays of sun in the sky.
"Elfwine can walk!"
Lothíriel's hand flew to her mouth and she exchanged an ecstatic glance with her husband, whose eyes were shining. "Come, Théodric, show us," Éomer said. He needed no other pushing, for Théodric nodded, turned, and motioned for them to follow as he hurried through the door and to the courtyard beside the gardens. There, the babe that was the heir of the throne to Rohan was holding to the tip of Forleaswyn's finger while she and Éothain marveled at the boy who walked so slowly but with such pride! Never had anyone matched so unintentionally the walk of the current King of Rohan.
When the hazel eyes of Elfwine had fallen onto Éomer and Lothíriel, the boy grew a look of utter contemplation on his face and he let go of Forleaswyn's hand and with tentative steps made his way to his parents. With his dark curls bouncing and his mouth gliding open in adoration, he nearly fell during his trek, but Éomer stepped forward and brought him into the air, praising his son fondly.
"Never have I seen so talented a young boy," Éomer declared. Lothíriel giggled.
"Never have I seen a son more taking after his father," Éothain remarked to the two women who continued to laugh. "It is true," admonished Éothain. "Did you see the stubbornness Elfwine portrayed in his walk? Pride and integrity already clear in those awkward steps. Why, if not for his dark hair I would have thought him to be an exact replica of Éomer!"
Éomer did not seem to see anything bad with this observation nor did his wife who was coddling her child in a way that only mothers can get away with.
All of Rohan was proud of their heir, and were expectant to see the new addition to the Royal family. Elfwine, so young and innocent did not know the daunting tasks that he would need to face when he was older. His carefree virtue was so heart-warming, and just seeing the happy toddler smile would brighten anyone's day. Théodric, was already 'training' to join Marshall Elfhelm's éored, for the boy had taken a liking to the middle-aged warrior, and claimed him to be his idol. For this, both Éomer and Éothain saw themselves in the young boy, and Éomer knew that when Elfwine was of an older age, he would also wish to join an éored. Éomer had never known pride so well than when he looked at his son.
That night, when the two young parents safely tucked Elfwine into bed, asleep, and Théodric was terrorizing his parents to tell him a story of Helm Hammerhand, who was his second hero, Lothíriel, and Éomer, snuck outside.
"Are you sure this is fine?" Éomer asked. "It will harm neither you nor the child?"
"Éomer," Lothíriel said, soothingly placing her delicate hand on his arm, "I still have two months until the birth will take place. The midwife said there is no harm in doing this. Please, stop worrying. I want to see the sunset; it is such a beautiful day, and what better way to do this than on my beloved Aefentid?"
Once the great gray stallion and golden mare were saddled, Éomer helped Lothíriel on top of her horse, who he had given to her exactly five years ago that day, two weeks after their marriage. Lothíriel smiled as she settled down, rubbing the silken hairs on the mare's neck softly as her husband mounted Firefoot. She nodded to him after his questioning gaze, and they brought their horses to a trot, Firefoot tossing his head, trying to go faster. The horses effortlessly glided into a slow-paced canter, their bodies brushing against the fields of gold, swaying in the waning sun.