You wonder, do you, why I love him? And seeing him in kingly robe and august mien, you hazard a guess. But note: I've lived an eldarin life surrounded by such beauty as gods hold near. The ruin wrought by time even was long forestalled in the land of my mothers, and in my own face. So nay, his youth did not lure me, that day 'neath the trees. No, nor his name, for I've heard nobler. Guess again.

You would be wrong to say I love him for all that he endured to win me, for the years spent in exile and the frequent dance he made with death. Such patience, humility, and courage may have won my father's love, but for my own desires, I would have had him sooner. I would not have made him wait, nor sought a Task to prove his devotion.

No more guesses?

It's his hands. When first we met, he touched my arm, awkwardly and as a supplicant before his goddess, but even then I thrilled to his touch. No long-fingered eldarin hand ever grazed my skin so warmly nor lit such bliss within me. He wore the ring of Barahir gingerly then, more brand than boon. And so he does to this day.

Those hands are calloused now by long years and patient work, by wielding of sword and bow. Hands so often stained by blood and worse. A healer's hands, and gentle despite their strength; those hands that hold our son and stroke his downy hair.

So when I press my lips to each raw knuckle and to the toughened pad of each dear finger, he knows not only that I love him. He knows that he holds my fëa, and a doom now uncertain, in his ever gentle hands.

AN: Written for AragornAngst (yahoo list) Pic Prompt #7.