Paths of Peril -- A Dynasty Broken Book II
This is the sequel to Love and Lust -- A Dynasty Broken. It is not necessary to have read the first book to enjoy Paths of Peril, but it would be helpful. Here is a quick synopsis to get you ready to read Book II.
In my first A/U story, also available on this web site, Boromir becomes betrothed to the Princess of Rohan, who is named Eledwhen. She is raped shortly before the marriage takes place and flees Minas Tirith. Boromir tracks Eledwhen, learns of the rape, and decides to take her with him to Imladris. Unfortunately, Boromir is seriously injured during an attack by brigands and almost dies. The Elf Haldir, who stumbles upon them during the attack, takes the heir to the Stewardship of Gondor and the Princess of Rohan to Lothlorien. While in the Golden Wood, the two pledge themselves to each other for eternity. This entire story is based on Tolkien's early writings, where he included a daughter for Theoden King and planned a marital alliance between Rohan and Gondor.
This book, Paths of Peril, begins in the Golden Wood as Boromir resumes his interrupted journey to the city of Imladris. The story explains some things that happened during the first book, as well as delves into the strained relationship between the Man of Gondor and the other members of the Fellowship, particularly Aragorn. This story revolves around Boromir and his feelings and actions. This is the way I wish Tolkien's Fellowship had been written, since I am fond of Boromir. I hope you take the time to read Love and Lust, if you haven't already.
Adara's standard disclaimer: I don't own these characters (except Eledwhen) and am not making any money off of them. Wouldn't do anyone any good to sue me anyway, since the only thing I own of value is my horse, Dylan. He's a good horse, but you wouldn't make much money from his sale. Thanks to Tolkien for his wonderful imagination.
Two figures stood silhouetted against ancient mallorn trees arrayed in leaves of fallow gold. Dainty yellow-blossomed flowers littered the carpet of lush grass about their feet, and the noon sun blessed them with its warmth. The taller of the two closed the small space that separated them, gathering the other into strong arms clad in gleaming chain mail. This figure obviously was male and a warrior. A full-length gray cloak, its hood completely concealing the identity of the wearer, covered the smaller figure.
"Do you know how much I love you?" The man's voice was rough with barely controlled emotion. The other nodded in answer and remained silent.
Boromir, son of Denethor, fought back bitter tears as he bent to kiss the soft lips of the young woman who stood, trembling, in his arms. Her lips were warm and slightly salty, washed by the tears that trickled from her eyes.
"I do not want to say goodbye," she whispered, the dulcet tones sending shivers through him. "Please, let me go with you to Imladris. I will not be a burden to you. I feel my heart will break if you leave me behind."
Boromir tilted his head back and let the sun's warmth bathe his fair face. His lips were pursed tightly together and his eyebrows nearly met in the center of his forehead as his face betrayed the pain he was feeling. "I cannot take you with me. This already has been decided. It is too dangerous for you, especially now that you carry my child. I will not risk either of you."
The Princess of Rohan sighed softly and lowered her head. She knew he spoke the truth, but the parting was no less painful for the knowledge. Without conscious thought, she placed her hands lightly upon her belly, where their child grew. Her thoughts turned to that night, two weeks before, when she and the Lord Boromir had pledged themselves to one another for eternity. That night's physical union had been both frightening and wonderful. To Boromir's credit, he had halted his lovemaking each time she struggled against painful memories of her rape in Minas Tirith and the near rape by the Uruk captain.
Her beloved's empathy had been a surprise, for she never believed the fierce warrior capable of such tenderness or depth of understanding. That night, as Boromir had lain beside her, spent from their lovemaking, Eledwhen had known instinctively that she had conceived.
"Must you leave now? Could your journey not wait just one more day, or even one more hour?" Eledwhen's voice quavered with the sadness of their parting and the fear of what he might encounter as he continued his quest to save the land he so desperately loved.
"Please, Eledwhen, do not ask me to turn from my duty. I am not made of stone. Should I gaze upon your exquisite face much longer, my resolve to depart today will dissolve into the very air we breathe. I must leave. Be brave and trust that I shall return." Once more Boromir enveloped his Lady within his arms and pressed her tightly against his body. Wordlessly he made a plaintive plea to the Valar that they could remain thus for the rest of their lives.
Eledwhen's light touch along the flesh of his neck scattered his thoughts. He moved slightly backward and looked down into her upturned face. Her deep blue eyes shone brightly with tears, but her full lips were pulled into a wide and mischievous smile. "You have become quite the wanton woman," he said playfully, easily recognizing the look of desire. "And one certainly full of surprises. My fears you would never be comfortable in my bed were all for naught. Perhaps there is magic in this land."
Eledwhen looked at him demurely from beneath thick lashes. The son she knew she carried was tangible testimony to the magic within the Elven kingdom. "Truly, love conquers all, my Lord." Wrapping one arm about his neck, she pulled him to her until their lips met. As their kiss deepened and their passion blossomed, the two lovers fell as one onto the soft carpet of grass. "I suppose I could put off my journey a little while longer," Boromir said, chuckling, as he pulled Eledwhen on top of him.
* * * * * * * * *
The sun was beginning to set when Gondor's Captain-General waved a gauntleted hand in farewell and urged his horse, Arod, into a canter. In less than an hour, Boromir crossed the land's northernmost border. Although he had seen no Elves, he'd felt their presence all about him. Reining Arod up short, he turned back toward the South and took a long, last look at Lothlorien. His heart was heavy, weighed down by the grief he felt at leaving his wife and child behind.
Though a proud man, of a line of many proud Stewards, Boromir knew that Eledwhen would be safer with her grandparents than in the wilds of Middle-earth. His inability to protect the Princess when she had been attacked during their arduous journey had been a humbling experience. Never one to question his strength or his battle abilities, he had been plagued by doubts during his convalescence with the Elves. One thing of which he was certain, if he did not shake off these doubts he would have little chance of surviving the long journey ahead.
Boromir sighed despondently and turned Arod toward Caradhras, where he hoped to successfully cross the Redhorn Pass. The Lord Celeborn had been kind enough to give him a map showing the quickest way to Imladris, where Boromir hoped to discover answers to a riddle about a sword that was broken and a ring. As the Golden Wood faded in the distance, Boromir wondered where his younger sibling was and what he might be doing. I hope Faramir is not alone and facing as impossible a task as this, he thought sadly.
To be continued