Author's note:

This will be a four-chapter story. Special thanx and hug to Dawn Felagund, for helping and correcting my grammatical errors.

This story is not only mine, but it's writen together with my dear friend Val. There were some difficult moments while writing it, but this story helped us both realize some things about the characters we are both fond of... and not just about them.

Val, thank you. :wub:

-x-x-x-

It was a perfect day, Boromir thought, watching the setting sun. He took Ellin to Ithilien, and they enjoyed nature the whole day. Warm summer sun lightened the forest, sweet scents filled the air. The sunset caught them on a small lawn near the little river which coiled through the forest. They tied up their horses near the surrounding trees, having decided not to go back to Minas Tirith. The night in beautiful nature, under Varda's stars, seemed a much nicer option.

They lit a small fire and had supper. Next to them, squatting on the blanket, there was a young wild cat cub, sleeping. They had found it in the afternoon, deserted, hungry and exhausted. Instantly they fed the little animal and it fell asleep in Ellin's lap, tranquil and safe. "Now she's ours", Ellin said. "We'll take care of her until she grows up." Boromir nodded and smiled.

The western sky still had a golden-red glare, while the first and brightest stars appeared on the blue sky in the east. The small river ran silently. While Ellin's head rested on his shoulder, Boromir smiled again, holding her tightly. Yesterday, he had proposed to her and she had consented. He never felt happier. A perfect day.

"I've been thinking, you know", said Ellin softly, and stirred, with a gentle smile on her face. "I found everything I had ever wanted in life. I choose a mortal life. Valinor is not my choice. It is here, with you, that I'm happy."

"What... what did you say?" he asked stiffly, hoping he had misunderstood her words.

"I choose a mortal life", she repeated, still with a peaceful expression on her face. "I love you and I want to live my life with you. Immortality is not my choice, it means nothing to me."

He couldn't hope he had misunderstood, not any more. When her words reached his mind, clear and unequivocal, he froze, his heart pierced with pain. Abruptly he sat and looked at her seriously.

"Ellin..." He stopped, sighed, and then continued. "Why did you say that? Why wouldn't you sail away one day? I want you to do that and be happy."

"But I told you..." she answered in a low voice. Now she sat up, too, facing him, holding his hand. "I love you and I choose a mortal life. Immortal life of my people means nothing to me if I have to live in loneliness."

She shook her head, puzzled, and Boromir saw she didn't realize what troubled him.

"I hoped you didn't feel that way. I don't want you throw away your gift, I want you to sail to Valinor after my death", he said slowly. "I love you too... but I can not allow you to throw away the life that awaits for you. You belong there." For a moment he stopped and then forced himself to continue, no matter how painful it was. "I would rather not be with you, instead of knowing you'd thrown away the life before you."

He felt her hand withdrawing.

"My gift? What do you know about it? It is I who knows and feels best where I belong. I belong with you... Do not push me away from you." Her voice became silent and sad. But he could not let himself pay any attention to her sorrow, so he forced himself to go on the way he had to, the only way that was right.

"Ellin, I don't want you to renounce anything because of me, let alone throw away your life. I couldn't bare that. You have your life; there are still so many things in store for you."

Even in the dim light of their small fire Boromir saw the pain in her eyes. The pain that he felt, too. He turned his gaze towards the river, not letting those sad eyes break him, so that he could remain strong.

"Don't say that... you are my life. My heart belongs to you. No one can command a heart." Her voice trembled and her eyes filled with tears. For several moments she was silent, and then gathered strength to continue. "I have a right to choose, and I have made my choice. I love you... a life without you wouldn't mean anything to me. Why are you pushing me away?"

It was hard to continue, but once again he forced himself to answer.

"Because I can't let you throw your life because of me!" he cut her off, still looking aside. "I couldn't live like that. I'd rather be alone, knowing you'll live."

"Don't say that! I'm not throwing anything! I'll have a life with you. My heart made a choice... you are the one who is throwing away our future. Boromir, all I want is to be with you. "

When she caressed his face, he yielded and turned his head towards her. To look in the eyes he loved, full of tears, almost took his breath away.

"If you don't love me, say it and I'll leave...", she continued almost whispering, "but if I mean anything to you, please don't push me away..." Now her voice finally broke and she started to cry. She lowered her head.

This was more than he could bear. He loved her more than anything. And exactly because of that, he couldn't let her give up the life she could have. He stood up, not able to say a word. Feeling pain greater than any enemy's sword had ever caused him, he left for the forest, while her sobbing echoed behind him.