Well, it's me again! I know I only posted my final chapters for "To Warm a Cold Heart" a few hours ago and I said I post in a few days, however, I've worked on this for a few days and thought I'd give it a try and see what you all think! Let me know and I'll do my best to get the next chapter up as soon as I can!
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with Lord of the Rings.
Chapter 1: The Mysterious Chambermaid
Ellethwen sighed quietly as she turned down Lord Boromir's bed. She had little time to ready his room for him as she was delayed earlier and now she risked running into him. In the five years she had been his chambermaid, she had yet to speak with him and she liked it that way. Of course she had seen him, countless times, but he had never seen her she assumed. Ellethwen's mother raised her to be a ghost when in the presence of those she worked for. Her mind wondered to the last day she had saw her mother alive all those years ago.
"It is best to get things done before they arrive and ensure all is well. Especially working in the Citadel! Since his wife's death the Steward has little cares and it is best to act as though you do not exist," her mother had said to her as she packed her satchel for her move to the Citadel's servant's wing.
"What of his son's? I am to be the chambermaid for Lord Boromir, is he like his father?" she asked. At the tender age of sixteen she knew nothing of the Steward and his son's so her mother was doing her best to educate her.
"Lord Boromir is a warrior, and will more than likely not even notice you if you are in the same room," her mother said and she nodded thankful for that. "Lord Faramir is your age and is training most of the time or studying. It is said the Steward's youngest is kinder then Boromir, but I do not know for I have never met either of them." Ellethwen nodded her head and closed her satchel. "Oh, my dear girl," her mother whispered before she embraced her daughter. "I wish you did not have to go." Ellethwen sighed and wrapped her arms around her mother.
"I know mother, I know," Ellethwen whispered in return before her mother began to cough heavily. Ellethwen moved quickly and handed her mother a handkerchief. "You are still ill! Surely I can wait another week before I go to the Citadel, just so I can ensure that you are well again before I go." Her mother shook her head as her cough quieted.
"No," she said before she took a labored breath. "They will not wait for you and the position is good. You will leave at dawn, now come," she said as she patted Ellethwen's hand. "Let us have supper." Ellethwen smiled and nodded her head before she followed her mother to the small kitchen of their home.
Ellethwen wiped at her eyes to rid them of the tears. If she had only known how truly ill her mother was, she wouldn't have left. She would have stayed with her mother and maybe, just maybe her mother wouldn't have died just two days after she left for the Citadel. Ellethwen shook her head and quickly walked over to the windows and pulled the thick velvet curtains closed so the sun would not wake him when it rose. She turned from the window and lifted her medium blue skirts and walked over to the fireplace. She stoked the fire and then left the room and went into the sitting room.
The fire in the sitting room was burning brightly and just as the one in the bedchamber eliminated the chill of the early winter air. She grabbed her wool shawl and wrapped it around her as she glanced at the room. Everything was in its place, and she knew that Boromir would be entering soon and she had to leave. Ellethwen walked over to the door and as she was about to open it, it swung open with force hitting her hard and knocking her against the stone wall. Dazed she slid down the wall and raised a trembling hand to her forehead where the door had hit her hard. She heard a distant gasp and felt someone kneel before her. She lowered her hand and blinked a few times as her blue-grey eyes met a concerned pair of grey ones.
"Are you alright?" a deep voice asked but Ellethwen found her eyes rolling back and blackness surrounded her.
Boromir quickly lifted the woman from the ground and carried her over to the sofa in his sitting room. He laid her down and gently pushed lose strands of her black hair from her face. On her right temple a large bump and bruise was forming undoubtedly thanks to his carelessness. He figured to her to be Ellethwen, his elusive chambermaid. The only reason he knew her name was from asking Trassa, the head of the servants in the Citadel. Boromir sighed and quickly stood. He walked into the bedchamber, where he knew there would be a pitcher of warm water next to the wash basin. He grabbed the pitcher and one of the clothes and moved back into the sitting room.
Boromir kneeled down next to her and wetted the cloth before he pressed it to her temple. She took a slow deep breath and let it out heavily as he wiped at her wound. She whimpered and slowly opened her eyes.
"Be still," he told her firmly and she did as he said. Only she looked up at him with pain filled and confused eyes.
"What happened?" she asked quietly and Boromir sighed once more.
"I am sorry," he said softly as he finished wiping her head. "I struck you with the door when I entered my chamber. I did not know you were there." If he had not been angry with his father he would not have opened the door with such force and she would not have been hurt. Ellethwen closed her eyes and slowly sat up, the world spinning as she did so. She almost fell off the sofa when he wrapped his arms around her and steadied her. "Perhaps you should see the healer's for your head," he state and Ellethwen once again met his eyes.
"I shall be fine, my lord." She pulled herself from his arms and stood. She sighed softly and went to wrap her shawl around her form when it wasn't there. Boromir stood from the floor and grabbed the wool shawl from the sofa and handed it to her. She took it with a grateful smile. "Thank you, my lord," she said softly as she wrapped it around her. She turned and began to walk away when she became dizzy and nearly fell. Boromir grabbed her and steadied her once more.
"You are not well," he stated and Ellethwen looked up at him.
"I am, my lord," she said, "just a little dizzy." She pulled away once more and things were more focused. She smiled then. "I shall be fine, please, do not worry." She left then much more stable then she had been just moments before.
Ellethwen made her way down the corridors to her small room, where she had an herbal tea she could drink that would ease the pain that was slowly pounding in her head. Of course it was her luck that her first meeting with the Stewards oldest son would have her unconscious and require his attention.
She opened her door and walked over to the fireplace. She began a small fire to warm the chilled room. She put her shawl away and grabbed her tea kettle and poured some water into it before she put it over the fire. As she waited for the water to bowl she put the herbs in her cup and then walked over to her looking glass. There was a decent size bump and a small cut, but she knew she would have a nasty bruise in the morning. She unbound her dark hair and let it fall over her back as the kettle whistled. She grabbed a cloth and poured the water into the cup and waited for it to settle.
Soon, she sat on her bed and drank her tea all the while hoping that she would not see Lord Boromir again, for if she did she would not know what to say.
Boromir woke that morning later then usual, but instead of leaving his room and going to breakfast, he waited for Ellethwen, just so he could ensure that she was alright. As he fastened his vest he heard the door open and then soft humming. He knew instantly it was Ellethwen, and her voice was soft and very nice. Boromir heard her shuffling about as she hummed. He looked thorough the cracked door and smiled at her but then winced when he saw the deep bruise that graced the right side of her face. He opened the door and walked into the sitting room. Ellethwen stood quickly with parchments from the table in her hands. She bowed her head quickly.
"Good morning my lord," she said softly as she turned back to her work. "Of course, he would chose today to be late for breakfast with his father," she thought dryly. Boromir smiled as she diligently worked at organizing the mess that he had made his desk the night before. "I trust you slept well," she said and Boromir raised an eyebrow. Ellethwen felt her cheeks blush as she focused on her task at hand.
"I did, thank, you," he said as he walked further into the room. "How is your wound?" he asked as he picked up his sword belt and sword. She pushed the chair in and looked at him as he fastened the belt and his sword was once again at his side. He never went without it seemed.
"Fine, my lord, I drank a tea to get rid of the headache and I have an ointment to treat the cut and bruise I shall be fine in a week, thank you for your concern," she said as she moved from the sitting room and towards the bedchamber.
"How come I have never met you?" Boromir asked turning to look at her. Ellethwen stopped and turned to look at him.
"There has never been a need, my lord," she said calmly. "I work for your father and my job is to remain invisible, just as my mother had told me and just as Trassa instructed me when I first came to the Citadel. I ensure that all you could need is within reach as you have come accustomed to. Have I displeased you?" Boromir chuckled and shook his head.
"No, Ellethwen," he said and she faltered. "I asked Trassa for your name long ago." He walked over to her and raised a hand to her face. He turned her face to the side so he could see her wound more clearly. Boromir could feel her skin warm under his fingers. "I wished to know the women that tended so kindly to me over the last five years." He let go of her face and she turned her eyes to his. "Trassa told me you were but a child when you came."
"I was sixteen," she said defensively. "I was not a child. I knew my job did I not?" she asked and Boromir held up his hand defensively.
"You did, and I was certain that Trassa was joking when she told me. You have done well, and unlike my brother I have never had the need to request a new chambermaid." Ellethwen gave him a smile and winced as a sharp pain struck her. Lord Faramir was the sensitive of the two and since he turned seventeen the young women that served in the Citadel always became infatuated with the younger of the two, even at the age of twenty-three Faramir's only interest was pleasing his father, not the attention of the young women. Boromir sighed. "I am sorry, how can I repay you?" Ellethwen shook her head slightly.
"No need for repayment, I have all I could need," she said as she turned to go into the bedchamber, however, Boromir reached for her and caught her by a wrist. She jumped, startled by his touch, and looked at him sharply.
"What of friendship?" he asked and she raised an eyebrow. "Trassa tells me you care not for the company of others, when time allows, I would like to spend it with you, to learn and befriend the woman who has taken care of me so well." Ellethwen blushed once again and nodded her head.
"If you wish it, my lord," she said quietly as she pulled her wrist free from his grip and entered the bedchamber to make his bed and tidy his room before she finished his wash and aided Ilithya, Lord Faramir's chambermaid and an older woman, with Lord Faramir's wash.