A/N I'm back with a new story. This one i lpve love love! Hope you all enjoy it too and let me know what you all think1
If there was one thing she hated, it was arrogance. And unfortunately, being Haldir's Wash maid, she got more than her fair share directed at her. The insufferably handsome March warden, the Valars own gift to elleths, ensured that all the elleths wanted him. Except one. The one who had to clean up after him, the one who was too close to see past his (many) flaws. The plain little elleth who tended his washing. And whilst he would never look twice at such a plain little thing, it never the less bothered him that there was one who could resist him.
Her name was Cahra. Brown hair and brown eyes set in sun browned skin lent nothing extraordinary to her features. Indeed, there was nothing extraordinary about Cahra, she was clever with needle and thread, always managing somehow to repair the worst rents in any tunic, and good with her hands. She loved to create pretty things, as though if she couldn't be pretty herself, she would produce goods that made others look twice. She sold them to a vender at the local market place, too shy to peddle the intricate carvings, beadwork and embroidery herself. And many elves had a piece or two created by her in their talans. The vendor profitted richly from her work, but little of the profits found its way to Cahra's purse.
She didn't know why she put up with Haldir. Honestly, she didn't. Just this morning she struggled under a heavy load of his clothes (as he never summoned her when his clothes needed washing, She, it would seem he had decided, must go to him) he had walked straight past her with barely a second glance, intent on chasing some piece of fluff or another, nearly knocking the heavy load from her hands. She swore, she must have found more pieces of females clothing in his rooms than she did his! Being Haldirs wash maid was a full time job, as not only did she have to wash these hastily discarded articles of clothing, but she had to somehow find the correct owner too. (Haldir was no help. He very rarely knew the elleths names.) And for the first twenty years, there was the continuous hearty slaps upon the buttocks and suggestive comments from him, until he had simply lost interest and began to devote all his attentions elsewhere. (a fact for which she was most grateful.)
"There you are." A haughty voice interrupted her thoughts. She looked up from her wash tub, her eyes following the strong line of his body, until she reached the blue eyes of the Marchwarden, which shone with self-importance. "Why must I always come find you? Why can you not stay where I can see you?"
She brushed a bedraggled strand of hair from her face, exasperated. "Because you insist on ingraining filth into all of your clothes in the space of a week!" Despite being a shy elleth, she had no problem addressing the March Warden in this fashion. Indeed, there was very few ways you could not speak to someone when you have spent the last century washing their undergarments.
He sighed, rolling his eyes. "Well, it is hardly my fault. Do not complain. I am the Marchwarden. I am charged with Loriens protection. It is up to me to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all it's occupants"
"particularly the females" she muttered under her breathe, unheard by Haldir, who was too intent on his tirade (which she had heard a hundred timed before)
"And I can hardly do that if my clothes are dirty, now can I?" he finished, throwing a dress at her feet. "Have this washed and return it to it's owner."
"Did you happen to catch her name this time, My Lord?" she asked a little longingly. Maybe, just once, she could finish his work and be back at her talan to work on the delicate lace work for a cushion she was crafting.
"Of course not. What good is a name Caras?" he asked, a little snootily. "It cannot keep me warm or feed me or," he smiled down at her indulgently, as she scrubbed the stains from the dress. "wash my clothes. Now be a good elleth, and have that returned, Ciara." He turned and walked away, whistling some jaunty tune or another. Cahra shook her head as she continued to scrub at the dress. You would think that after all these years, he would at least remember my name she thought grudgingly. She looked at the white stain on the dress distastefully. And you would think that after all these years, she would have found herself a better job.
After tracking down the garments owner (another willowy elleth, another beauty who had been but a passing amusement for the March Warden) and avoiding the many questions the elleth had for her about him ("Did he mention me? Did he say anything about meeting me this eve? Will I see him later, to which she answered, "No, no and no.") she finally returned to her talan. Just as she was sitting down, with a contented sigh, to pick up her needle work, the door flew open, and in strode Haldir.
"Why have you not come back to finish my talan? It needs cleaning to," he said, hands on hips, eyebrow raised haughtily. "Must I always call you back to work half done?"
"Did you knock?" she asked, never raising her eyes from her needle work. This was a long wearing argument between the two of them. He never announce his presence before entering by knocking. When questioned about this annoying habit he had replied "Why? It is not as though there was anyone else in here."
"No, of course not. Did you not hear?" he asked, rolling his eyes.
"Don't roll your eyes at me My Lord." She admonished, her eyes never leaving the fine lace in her hands.
How does she do that? He thought to himself warily, for at least the hundredth time. The insufferable elleth seemed to always know exactly what he was doing, especially when it was mocking her.
"And if you would review my contract for my service to you, Lord, you will see, again , that I have no duty to your talan, only your clothes."
"I did check the contract. It clearly states all manner of fabric and cloth to be cleaned by you. Now you may not be able to tidy the talan, but how will you wash the rug with half a dozen pieces of paper strewn over it?" he asked with a triumphant smile upon his face. She looked up at him warily.
"Alright," she murmured, defeated,. "Just give me a moment."
"Now." He demanded, folding his arms across his chest. "I am expecting company."
She looked at the delicate lacework, and put it aside reluctantly, rising from her chair, her feet and back aching. "I am coming."
He smiled dominantly, before turning on his heel and striding out, leaving her door wide open.
He always did this to her! Whenever she found a moment to herself, he always managed to have something else for her to do.
It was almost a relief when he was at the border, although recently he was spending less and less time there, as fewer and fewer wardens where needed to defend Lorien, the darkness that had once threatened fading. Whenever he was gone she gave the talan a thorough cleaning anyway, despite it not being required, but Haldir expected it, and was far from appreciative. He rarely saw the little elleth who so dutifully worked to keep him so comfortable, despite often sharing a living space with her. He was too busy mulling over other matters. She was as good as invisible.
Once a year or so, as regularly as a sacred right, Haldir had her remove four dresses from a locked chest he kept in his room. The dresses that were his mothers. Her wedding dress, and the dress she had worn when she was pregnant with Haldir, and two others that she had worn constantly. All four were works of art, and she loved to study the embroidery on the rare occasion she was to wash them. She was to watch them, under Haldir's watchful eye, and then carefully return them to their chest. This ritual between him, her and the dresses, almost made Haldir a little more normal to her. A little more...of an elf. The tenderness he treated the dresses with moved her deeply. But then he would snap at her to polish the chest or some other menial task, and that rare moment of insight would be lost.
She arrived at his talan, and began to clear the paper from the rug. An idea occurred to her, but she brushed it aside. Even she was not resentful enough of his treatment of her to place the papers somewhere else, instead of throwing it out. Was she? She uncovered yet another elleth's undergarment that was beneath another piece of paper. She smiled wickedly. Oh yes she was. It was time Haldir stopped treating her as invisible, and it was time she stopped behaving like it. When she left his talan some time later, the rug was beautifully clean, and all the paper was back in place atop it, as was the undergarments. She smiled indulgently to herself. Yes. That would do quite nicely.
A/N i've already written the next chapter, it will be up shortly. What do you think? You shall not have the next chapter if I do not know what you think! Lol. Not because i don't want to give it to you, but my muse is withholding it from even me until she gets praise. Does anyone want to trade muses? Please? So what did you think?
The romance is to come.