A/N: I know this update has been a long time in coming. I couldn't get this chapter to sound the way I wanted it too. Now the question is. Do you readers what a sequel? Send me your thoughts in either reviews or in PM's. A great big shout out to all of my readers, reviewers and friends. If you are interested, I have started another story about Eldarion and Elboron getting into all kinds of trouble called Boys will be Boys. Enjoy the final chapter of Blood Feud.
Eowyn impatiently bounced from foot to foot as she stood on the balcony over looking Edoras. Her long awaited birthday had finally come bringing along with it the promise of friends she hadn't seen since her ordeal.
"Jumping about won't make them arrive any faster, sister." Eomer remarked from behind her. She spun on her toes to see her brother leaning nonchalantly against one of the pillars, his arms crossed over his chest and a mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes.
"Oh be quiet Eomer. I'm just excited. It isn't every day that a girl turns sixteen." Eowyn retorted. Eomer just laughed and pushed off the support to give his sister a one-armed hug.
"Your excitement wouldn't have anything to do with a certain younger son of the Steward of Gondor, now would it?" He laughed again as he easily dodged the swat his sister aimed at him. She shook her head at his teasing and turned once more to survey the plains. Suddenly a dark smudge near the horizon caught her eye and she raised her hand to shade her vision from the sun.
"They're almost here!" She cried happily, watching as the smudge grew into several mounted figures. As they drew closer, she could make out Imrahil riding at the head of the group with Boromir and Faramir mounted just behind them. Several guards bearing crests of both the tree of Gondor and the Swan of Dol Amroth surrounded them. Clearly the Steward was taking no chances on anything happening to his sons on their journey. Faramir suddenly stood up in his stirrups and raised his hand in greeting. Both she and Eomer replied in kind as a broad smile came across the young man's features. He turned and spoke to his brother, gesturing towards the pair. Boromir craned his neck to see them before turning back to his brother. The riders were too far out for Eowyn to understand what had been said but suddenly the two brothers kicked their horses into a gallop and raced for the gates of Edoras. Eomer chuckled softly as he watched their differing styles. Boromir rode straight and tall in the saddle, even at full gallop. His younger brother on the other hand was bent forward, almost lost in his horse's mane. The duo remained even until, just before the gates, Boromir passed his brother in a sudden burst of speed. He reigned in his mount as Faramir caught up with him. The younger shook his windblown hair out of his face with a mock pout.
"One day I will beat you, brother."
"Only in your dreams will you win little brother." Boromir replied with a grin, placing emphasis on the word little.
Faramir rolled his eyes before turning towards Eomer who had made his way down the path to meet them. "Well met, Lord Eomer."
"And to you Lords Faramir and Boromir." The young man's blonde hair glinted in the afternoon sun and his blue eyes twinkled with merriment. He waited until Faramir had swung out of the saddle before grabbing him in a full bear hug. "It is good to see you again, my friend."
"You too, mellon nin." Faramir replied. He then tried to surreptitiously look around for Eowyn as Eomer greeted his brother.
"She's waiting up the steps for you." The lord of Rohan laughed at his friend's sudden blush of embarrassment that he had been caught. "What? I know you didn't come all this way just to jaw with me."
Faramir blinked before opening his mouth to deny the accusations. Boromir broke in before he could say a word. "Now you have been muttering about everything you wanted to say to Eowyn the whole way here. So get up there and talk to her. She isn't going to bite you."
"At least not very hard." Theodred put in as he suddenly appeared with a patrol behind him.
Faramir's face flamed bright red at the teasing and he stammered a response as he turned towards the steps. Gales of laughter followed him as he made his way to the balcony on which Eowyn stood. "Good afternoon, Lady Eowyn." He said softly, a hint of nervousness in his voice.
"Good afternoon, Lord Faramir." She answered, her tone matching his formality but her eyes dancing with mischief. They both looked at each other before a slow shy smile began to creep across the young man's face and a hint of a giggle broke through Eowyn's control. Soon they were both laughing helplessly.
"I brought you a birthday present." Faramir said shyly. "It's in my saddlebags, if you care to walk with me."
"What is it?" Eowyn asked eagerly.
"If I tell you then it will ruin the surprise." He held his arm out to escort her and Eowyn took it feeling just a bit bashful.
"Do I at least get a hint?" She questioned as they walked.
Faramir shrugged. "I made it."
"Is it one of your drawings?" Eowyn's eyes lit up as they reached their family members.
"Is what a drawing?" Theodred asked, catching the last of his cousin's statement.
"Faramir's birthday present for me. He said he made it and I think it's one of his sketches."
"And you would be correct." Faramir replied as he fished a rolled piece parchment out of his saddlebag. "However, this one is painted rather than sketched."
"Your father is letting you paint?" Eomer asked, amazement flooding his tanned face.
Boromir nodded. "Yes. He doesn't truly approve but he's decided that telling Miri to stop will only make him continue to sketch behind his back. So, Father allowed him to buy an easel and some paints." He threw an arm around his younger brother's shoulder, grinning at him with obvious affection.
Faramir opened his mouth to answer but was interrupted by a familiar hissing voice.
"Well if it isn't the young lords of Gondor. Welcome to Rohan. I hope you are shown more hospitality then I was shown in your country." Grima Wormtongue appeared suddenly, a sickeningly sweet smile upon his pallid face.
Faramir stiffened at the sight of his nemesis. Boromir, sensing his tension, placed a calming hand on his brother's arm. The elder brother chose to ignore the barb and instead turned to the others. "Shall we go inside?"
Thoedred also ignored the adviser. "Yes, Father has arranged a most splendid feast in Eowyn's honor tonight." He offered his arm to his cousin. "Shall we, cousin?"
Eowyn held her head high. "Thank you Theodred. Tonight is my birthday party and I'm not going to let him ruin it." She tossed her head and allowed the prince to lead her into the golden hall and the celebration that awaited them.