Hello again my friends! Thank you to all of you that reviewed the final chapter and throughout the whole story of "Found and Lost". Here is my new story, it is a Glorfindel/OC story, eventually. I hope you like it, and as alwasy, please let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with Lord of the Rings.
Mandawen laughed softly when she heard her husband's quiet curses as she put various herbs into a pot of water. She turned her eyes to him and saw him run a ragged hand through his hair. He was trying to strike a fire for her to cook them dinner. "Heldreg, do you need help?" she asked softly and the golden haired man lifted his head and his cool pale blue eyes locked with her dark blue eyes.
"No, my love," he said with a smile. "I've done this many a time, and as you know the wood is damp. It will take a bit for the wood to take the spark." Mandawen smiled and nodded her head while Heldreg looked back to the small pile of wood they had gathered from the nearby forest.
Mandawen sighed softly as she finished putting the herbs into the water. She adjusted herself on the fallen log she sat on and looked down at the small bump on her stomach. She was four months along with their first child and were traveling to Rohan from Bree. A long journey, yes, but they had decided to travel to Heldreg's home before they found out they were with child and their plans could not be delayed. Her husband's shout of triumph broke her from her thoughts and she looked over at him and saw him standing, his strong arms up high in the air, and a fire burning brightly. Mandawen smiled and Heldreg lowered his arms and turned his eyes to her.
"There you are, Mada. The rabbit is ready to be stewed in the pot of water and herbs you have ready." Mandawen stood slowly and walked over to him and put her arms around him.
"It is, but you forgot one thing," she told him softly.
"What is that?" he asked.
"What am I to hang the pot on?" she asked him with a teasing smile on her lips. Heldreg groaned quietly and Mandawen laughed and looked up at him.
"I will fix it," he said before he kissed her forehead. He slipped from her arms and brought together three thick sticks that were long enough and high enough above the flames so they would not burn. He tied the sticks off with string before he tied on the metal clip for her to hang the pot on. "There, my love, it is ready now." Mandawen laughed softly and moved over to him. She raised up on her toes and kissed Heldreg's cheek.
"Thank you," she said before she moved to where she had been sitting and picked up the pot of water and herbs as well as the satchel of chopped rabbit meat from the rabbit that Heldreg had caught after they had sat up camp. She put the pot over the fire and stirred it. She let the water heat a bit and then she put in the meat and stirred it once more.
When Mandawen stood from stirring the pot, Heldreg wrapped his arms around her from behind and she smiled as she leaned against him. He kissed her temple and the two of them looked out at the hills that were before them. Gilden and Starlight, their horses, were grazing not far from where they stood. Gilden, Heldreg's horse, was a stallion if there was one. His brown coat shined in the setting sunlight. He stood close to Starlight, Mandawen's horse, for the mare was much more timid then the stallion. Starlight was a brown mare with a large white spots covering her and a long white mane. As they stood there, Heldreg moved his hand to her lower stomach.
"Do you think we are to have a son?" he asked her softly. Mandawen put her hand over his and sighed softly.
"I do not know, but if we do have a son, I am certain he will be just as handsome as his father," she said and Heldreg kissed the top of her head.
"And if we are to have a girl, she will be as beautiful as her mother," he told her gently. Mandawen smiled as she turned in his arms. She put her arms around his neck as best she could; he was rather taller than her. He leaned in and kissed her lips tenderly. "When we get to Rohan," he whispered as he pulled his lips away and looked down at her, his light eyes locking with hers once more, "I will either build us a home, a grand home, one worthy of you." Mandawen shook her head and moved her right hand to rest on his cheek.
"It matters not the size of our home, Heldreg," she told him. "As long as I am with you, any home shall be a grand one." Heldreg smiled down at his wife and took her hand that rested on his face into his.
"But as our family grows, we'll need more room," Heldreg said and Mandawen laughed.
"How many children do you wish to have?" she asked.
"Many," he whispered before he leaned in and claimed her lips again. He let go of her hand and pulled her close to him as he kissed her. Mandawen pulled her lips away from him after a moment and smiled.
"The stew," she said softly.
"Hmm?" he asked slightly dazed as he looked down at her and she laughed again.
"I need to stir the stew," she said and Heldreg smiled and let her go. Mandawen stirred the stew and looked up at Heldreg when she was finished. He looked up at the sky in the distance and sighed.
"Mada, I do believe tomorrow, we may want to take the path through the trees," Heldreg said and she stood.
"Why?" she asked softly. Heldreg looked at her and then pointed high into the sky and into the distance. Mandawen followed his hand and saw that in the far distance, a storm seemed to be forming.
"The path is longer, to the mountains and it will take us close to the Elvin realm of Rivendell, but it may be our best choice to avoid the down pour."
"We'll still have to ride in the rain," Mandawen said as she turned her eyes to Heldreg.
"Yes, but the trees will provide some shelter from the rain." Mandawen nodded her head and she turned her attention to the stew again. "Mada," Heldreg said softly and she looked at him after she finished stirring. She stood and took her husbands extended hand, lacing her fingers with his. "If you like, we could set up camp in the forest take shelter from the rain and then return to Bree. The journey may be too taxing on you in your condition." Mandawen shook her head.
"We are going to Rohan, you are already five years past the time you were due to return," Mandawen told him. "Your family awaits your return, and the arrival of your wife. Besides, there is nothing for me in Bree. I have no family, nothing. I do not want to think what would have become of me had I not met you that night. Had I not met you the night my father passed, leaving me with nothing but his debt to the tavern keeper." Heldreg raised his free hand to Mandawen's face.
"Our meeting was fate then, my Mada," he told her gently. "I leaving my home to travel the world, and arriving in Bree only to set my eyes upon the most beautiful woman I had ever seen." Mandawen blushed and shook her head.
The night Heldreg had came into Bree was the night her father had died. The tavern keeper of the Raven's Hollow had heard of her father's death and had gone looking for payment of the debt still owed to him, money she did not have. She sighed and rested her head against Heldreg's broad chest as she remembered that night.
She sat before the burning embers of the fireplace of the small home that was her father's, a home she would have to move out of. Suddenly, a loud banging on the door startled her and she wrapped her wool shawl around her shoulders a little tighter before she stood and moved to the door. She unlocked it and opened it only to see Barnett, the owner of the Raven's Hollow tavern.
"Mandawen, I've come for my payment," he told her gruffly.
"I have no money, Mr. Barnett, I have nothing," she told him. "My home is being taken away and I have nothing of value to barter with you."
"Your father owed me plenty, Mandawen, I will have my payment!" he shouted. Horse hooves echoed off the cobbled streets and the chatter of the people that were out that night had stopped.
"I have nothing to pay you with!" she told him on the verge of tears. He suddenly grabbed her wrist and pulled her from the warmth of the house. Quiet gasps were heard but no one made a move to help her. Frightened, Mandawen went ridged.
"You have something," he said as he slowly looked down her form. She wanted to throw up, she was only sixteen and the thought of the slimy man taking her virtue by force made her want to be sick.
"Sir," a deep voice said before a firm hand gripped Barnett's shoulder and another pried his hand from her wrist. "What is the lady's father's debt to you?" the tall and broad man asked. Mandawen was trembling and she turned her eyes to the stranger. The light from the torches shined of his gold colored hair and his accent was slightly different from the accent of Bree, he was obviously a traveler. Barnett sneered at the man before he shook his shoulder from the man's grip.
"Six gold coins and four silver," he told the man firmly. Mandawen gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. She knew her father drank often at the tavern, but she had no clue his debt was so much. That nearly six times the amount of money she made a year doing laundry for the Prancing Pony. Without hesitation the man reached into the pocket of his outer traveling tunic and pulled out a small pouch. From it he pulled six gold coins and four silver and held them out to Barnett. The old man took them looked them over and with one last long look at Mandawen stalked away.
"My lord," Mandawen said with a shaky voice and turned her tear filled eyes to the tall man. "I could not pay that debt to him, how am I to pay that debt to you?" she asked. However, instead of seeing the lustful look she had seen in Barnett's eyes in the other man's light eyes, she saw compassion.
"I have taken residence in this city for a time and I have a home that will need a woman's touch," he told her. "It's this home actually," he said pointing to Mandawen's home that she had to be out of by the dawn, as the landlord had told her hours ago. "The only repayment I ask for would be for you to serve as my maid. For if I were to try and cook, I'm afraid it would be rather disastrous." Mandawen was hesitant. He was a stranger, from a far land no doubt, however, it seemed as though he indeed wanted nothing more of her than for her to serve in his home.
"That is all you will ask of me, my lord?" she asked softly and the young man bowed his head and put his hand over his heart.
"I swear to you on my life, my lady, that I will do nothing to dishonor you in any way," he told her as his eyes slowly met hers. Mandawen found herself trusting the man before her and she nodded her head.
"I will take your offer, my lord," she told him meekly and he smiled.
"Very well," he said. "I will be coming at the dawn with my things; I will let you have peace to yourself for one more night." Mandawen smiled and nodded her head once again. "However, I have one task for you now. I would like for you to call me Heldreg for that is my name." Mandawen nodded. "What is yours?"
"Mandawen," she said. He smiled and nodded his head.
"Well, Mandawen, I shall see you at the dawn," he said, and with one final bow of his head he left and mounted a brilliant horse before he traveled up the road once again and out of sight.
"I think the stew may be ready, my love," Heldreg whispered and she looked up at him. He smiled at her before he kissed her forehead. "That night is in the past, Mada. Think not of it anymore," he told her as she slipped away from his arms and stirred the stew.
"But that is the night I met you, Heldreg," she said as she checked the meat and it was ready for them to eat. She turned her eyes to him and smiled. "That night will forever be imbedded in my heart." Heldreg smiled and leaned down to her and kissed her forehead. "Will you get me the bowls?" she asked and he nodded and went over to the pack that held their dinnerware. The two then enjoyed a quiet night before they cleaned up and let sleep claim them with their two proud horses on the alert ready to warn them if danger approached.
Mandawen and Heldreg road along the forest path, the hoods of their cloaks drawn over their heads to keep the rain from their faces. The rain was constant, and the pathway was slippery but the horses managed well without much direction from either rider. A bright flash filled the path before them and a loud roar of thunder shook the earth under them. Gilden reared suddenly when a large tree fell into the path, throwing Heldreg from his back and off the pathway.
"Heldreg!" Mandawen screamed as she tried to calm Starlight. Gilden had jumped over the tree and took off up the path. When Heldreg didn't move, panic filled Mandawen as she dismounted Starlight and slipped her way over to her husband who still had yet to move. "Heldreg!" she called over the roar of the rain as she kneeled next to him in the mud.
There was a gash on his forehead she assumed form the large rock he was laying next to, and his right arm didn't seem right. Another flash and another roar of thunder echoed around them. Mandawen screamed and threw her body over Heldreg. Starlight reared and jumped over the fallen tree before she followed the path Gilden had taken. Mandawen sniffed and slowly raised her body up and put a hand on Heldreg's cheek.
"Heldreg, please be alright," she said looking him over.
The minutes turned into hours as she sat there trying to shield Heldreg with her cloak and she was failing miserably. Her body shook from the cold and from her fear that Heldreg was dying. He had not stirred since he fell and she did not know how to help him. The rain wasn't letting up and she did not know if anyone would come down the path to help her. However, as she looked down the path a light caught her eye.
"Help!" she called out as loud as she could. "Please help!" she called again and the light seemed to move faster. There two or three, but she wasn't for certain. She felt dizzy. The light was right before her, but the cold and the worry had taken its toll and she fell on top of Heldreg and into blackness.