Part 148 of the Elfwine Chronicles. The Elfwine Chronicles are a series of one-shots built around the family group of Eomer, Lothiriel and Elfwine. The total number will depend on how many ideas I get for new vignettes.
A/N: If you are a member of the "I Love Theomund" Fan Club, he is featured here.
(July, 13 IV)
Eomer was restless. It had begun early this morning when, just as he finished kissing his wife awake, the children had stirred and she had needed to go and attend them. Before she returned, the servants had brought breakfast, and Gamling arrived to notify him there were papers he needed to sign so the courier could be sent off this morning.
Fortunately, despite the busy morning, there was little on his agenda for the afternoon other than reading reports, and at the moment he was not inclined to pursue that. He considered slipping out to the stables for a ride, but that didn't seem to be the scratch he needed for this itch.
His wandering led him to his bedchamber, where he spied his wife folding some clothes. In an instant, he knew that what he needed to soothe his restlessness was some time alone with his wife. He slipped in the door and came up behind her, silently snaring her in his embrace.
"Have I told you today how much I love you?" he murmured into her hair, drawing her back against him.
"No, as a matter of fact, I do not believe you have," Lothiriel replied with a pleased smile, not averse to this distraction from her chore.
"How very remiss of me," he purred softly near her ear as he brushed her hair aside and began to nuzzle her neck.
Just as he was starting to warm to his task, however, he heard a small cough and paused. It came again and he glanced down to see his three-year-old son gazing innocently up at them. "What are you doing, Papa?" the child inquired, and Eomer felt his wife quaking in his arms with suppressed laughter.
"Theomund…why are you not playing? Mama and I are having a discussion that is not meant for little ears."
"Why not?" the boy asked curiously.
"Because big people do that sometimes. Surely you wish to go play in the nursery rather than stay here and listen to dull talk, do you not?"
"No. I like to be here wif you and Mama," the child assured him, and Eomer growled softly under his breath in frustration.
"Eomer?" – He glanced at his wife, distracted for the moment from the conversation with Theomund – "Has this ever worked?" Lothiriel questioned, amusement evident in her voice.
"What?" he asked, not following her train of thought.
"Convincing the children to absent themselves so you could continue where you left off!" she snickered.
He scowled at the remark, but then as he thought about it, he realized she was right, and shrugged in defeat. "Come to think of it, no, it never has – and more's the pity!" Then, with a challenge in his tone, he asked, "Any suggestions?"
A twinkle lit her eyes as she answered, "Diversionary tactics, my love!"
Eomer watched with raised eyebrow as his wife moved over and swept Theomund up into her arms, kissing his cheek. "Why are you inside on such a fine day, dearest? Is there no one to play with you in the sunshine?"
The toddler shook his head mournfully. "I wanted to play wif my building blocks, but The'wyn would not play wif me." His lower lip jutted out in a pout.
"I see," Lothiriel said thoughtfully. "Well, perhaps I can help." Turning to glance over at her husband, she instructed, "Eomer, gather up all the blocks and horses in the nursery for us."
Unclear on what she had in mind, Eomer wasn't going to argue if it accomplished his purpose, so he dutifully went to fill his assignment. Lothiriel followed him into the nursery, letting Theomund help gather the toys that were scattered around the room rather than in their basket. When it appeared they had them all, Lothiriel took it from her husband, saying, "You had best wait here. If you are seen in the Hall, you will never escape." Calling to Theomund to accompany her, she moved to the hall door, and Eomer held it open for her to exit, watching briefly as they walked away from him. Grinning uncertainly, he returned to his bedchamber, hoping his wife would be successful and soon return to resume their 'discussion'.
Meanwhile, Lothiriel and Theomund had entered the Golden Hall, and the queen took a moment to survey the room. It did not take long for her eyes to fall upon the young pages sitting at a table awaiting assignments. When he turned ten years of age, Gamling's middle son, Denulf had expressed interest in serving as a page, and his parents had thought it a good opportunity for him. Now, a year later, he had settled well into the role, and since he was the boy Lothiriel knew best, she summoned him to join her at a nearby table where she deposited the basket of toys.
"Denulf, Theomund wishes to play with his blocks and needs someone to join him. Will you keep an eye on him for me, and assist him as needed? I will return in awhile to check on how things are going and to see that all is well. The king has need of me just now."
"Yes, my lady," Denulf dutifully responded, not at all displeased since this was certainly a more entertaining task than many that he was given.
Lothiriel lingered long enough to see that they got the building project underway, for her youngest son always was rather single-minded about what he did with his blocks. The other pages moved to participate as well until they were needed elsewhere and, satisfied, Lothiriel returned to her bedchamber.
Eomer was standing by the window, gazing over the Riddermark, when she entered. He turned at the sound of the door and raised a questioning eyebrow.
"Success, my lord," she assured him, gliding toward him and slipping into his arms. She pressed a brief kiss to his lips, ignoring his murmur of protest as she ended it too quickly, adding, "In the future, might I suggest securing the latch when you are feeling amorous? Until the children are old enough to understand that their presence is not always desired in our room, it is likely the only way you may insure privacy for your endeavors! It is much easier to prevent them than it is to divert them!"
Resuming the ministrations that had been interrupted earlier, he mumbled concurrence to her recommendation, but it was evident that the future did not concern him so much just now as did the present.
Elfwine is 12, Theodwyn is 5 and Theomund is 3. Freawine is 13. Denulf is Gamling's second son, and is 11 here.
Postscript: Now, then, lest you feel sorry for poor little, abandoned Theomund, keep in mind that he is having a grand time. The location in the Golden Hall was well chosen by Lothiriel, since every male that passes by feels it incumbent upon them to stop and offer suggestions on the construction taking place. In most instances, they decide they should make time to lend their expertise and actually help with the project. Gamling, having determined that the king and queen are once more "in conference", knows he will not be needed at his duties for a time, so he became involved in carving a roof for the stables Theomund had laid out. Elfwine and Freawine ventured in and undertook to produce rails to create fencing for the paddocks. Thus, Theomund is happy as a clam and has barely noticed the absence of his parents. So, you see, everyone is quite satisfied with the diversion that Lothiriel created!
End note: It is best that you read the Elfwine Chronicles in the order they were written. The more of them that I wrote, the more likely I was to make reference to one of the previous ones and something that happened there. If you want to read them in order, go to the top of this page and click on my name (Deandra). That will take you to my profile page. Scroll down and you will find all the stories I have written. The Elfwine Chronicles are in order from bottom to top since ffn shows them in the order they were posted. A few were posted out of number order, but you can read them in posting order or number order since those few won't be affected in the story content.