Login

Lost Password?

Create New Account

Crossroads of Time

Chapter 15: Chapter 15

by ellie

Betas: GeorgiaPiper, Vicki, Marcia, and GhettoElleth

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters. They belong to JRR Tolkien and I am only borrowing them for a while. I make no money from this.

Author’s Apology: Sorry it took soooo terribly long to update. This chapter was written, rewritten, revised, buried in soft peat for three months, and then further beta-ed to death for more than a month after that, and on top of that, I had relatives visiting for a while and my daughter had pneumonia.

_______________________________________________________________________


Author’s Note: ALL TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATION IS DEPICTED IN BRACKETS AS I ALREADY HAVE SINGLE QUOTES USED ELSEWHERE AND IT’D ALL GET TOO CONFUSING OTHERWISE. I haven’t figured out how to do italics in OSA posts yet. Sorry.

Chapter 15

As the weeks passed, Ariella gradually grew accustomed to Glorfindel’s presence in her heart and mind, causing her to wonder how she had ever existed as a singular, isolated entity. When they were apart during the day, she delighted in reaching out to him with her thoughts, traversing the bond between them and feeling him respond in kind. She also noticed, to her great amusement, that he often initiated such contact himself, whenever he grew bored during council meetings.

Even though Ariella had ceased to study lore and the healing arts, she found that she had little time to herself. The duties required of the Lady of the House of the Golden Flower occupied her days. However, her nights were filled with Glorfindel: talking, reading, looking at the stars, or cuddling on the big rug by the fire. His warm affections brought her great joy while his passionate touch delighted her.

One evening, nearly three months after their wedding, Glorfindel returned to her after a particularly long meeting at court. He had been most playful and seductive in teasing her across their bond all day. She wondered just how productive he had been in the council chamber considering he had spent so much time counseling her on how he wanted to spend his time with her that night. She met him at the front door with her usual chaste greeting kiss, which he returned much more passionately than usual. This surprised her but not nearly as much as when he grabbed her hand pulling her into his study. Haphazardly tossing his notes from the day onto his desk, he drew her into his arms, grinning wolfishly.

“Lady Ariella, do not look so surprised,” he chided. “I believe we had a meeting scheduled to begin immediately upon my return home this evening. Was it not a topic of, shall we say, ‘heated’ discussion all day during council?” He resumed the kiss, deepening it, accompanied by hands that seemed to wander her body with their own agenda. The way certain parts of him pressed against her, she could tell that this discourse would rapidly change to another form of intercourse without much more provocation. Lack of air and much embarrassment at the possibility of being caught by one of the servants caused her to finally break the contact.

Normally Glorfindel returned home from council to confide over a glass of wine his irritation with someone or something that usually involved his cousin Maeglin and the House of the Mole. Why was he so playful today?

“Glorfindel,” she panted laying her head on his shoulder. He shifted her in his arms and began trailing kisses down her neck to her shoulder while his hands deftly manipulated the fastenings of her dress. “Glorfindel,” she called again, insistently pushing on his shoulders. “We should go upstairs. I could not bear the servants snickering at us all day long if we were caught again thus … engaged.”

He straightened at that and held her at arms length, the fire still smoldering in his eyes. “You are correct. Things were bad enough after the last time we were caught.”

Impatiently he led Ariella up to their bedroom, locking the door and discarding his formal outer robes in one fluid motion. He crossed the room and gently drew her down to lie in his arms on the soft bearskin rug. She protested weakly reminding him that it would soon be time for dinner, but Glorfindel smothered her objection with a slow lingering kiss that was deeply seductive. She never could resist him for long when he did that. Unexpectedly, he paused looking into her eyes.

“Beloved, we have more than an hour before dinner, and there is something that I would like to ask you.” He took a deep breath. “Ariella, I would like to start our family. Are you ready, my love?” He brushed her cheek tenderly with his fingers. “Do you want me to give you a child this evening?”

Ariella knew that elves could choose when they conceived their children and she had been wondering when Glorfindel would bring up the subject. The history books had already told her that most of his children would die when Gondolin fell. The books also said that he had been the proud father of many sons and daughters. Was it wrong for her to create a family with him knowing what the future would hold for those children? What was she thinking? She herself was mortal, therefore, this would not even be a concern if he were mortal too - any child she bore would be fated to die. Besides, she now had to ensure that history unfolded for her the way it had once before. She reassured herself with the thought that at least her beloved Glorfindel would be the father of her children – even though precious few of them would survive the fall of the city.

Smiling to chase away the last vestiges of sadness, she met his expectant gaze. “Yes, my love. I wish to bear your child.” She transformed the beautiful smile he gave in response with a seductive kiss and wandering hands of her own.

As it turned out, they were late to dinner.

**~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~********

The next morning, Ariella woke to find Glorfindel’s head resting on her abdomen. Absently, she stroked his golden hair before finally commenting, “It will be some time before you will be able to feel the child, Glorfindel.”

He raised his head and looked at her, a huge grin plastered across his face. “For someone who has assisted the midwife in delivering so many babies, you obviously are not very knowledgeable about the early months. I can already sense the new life within you.”

“What?” she asked doubtfully. “That is impossible!”

He laughed at her, shaking his head, then reached for her hand. After planting a soft kiss there, he gently placed her palm on her abdomen where his head had rested moments before. Holding her hand in place with his, she felt his thought turn inward as if he were searching for some distant feeling or memory within himself. “There,” he whispered almost as if he were afraid of waking it. “Do you feel it?”

Her eyes grew wide as she gasped in shock. She could feel it! There inside of her was indeed a tiny presence, the smallest hint of a spark from the life they had created together not twenty-four hours before.

She did not know how long she lay there lost in the wonder of the child within her when she realized Glorfindel was propped on an elbow, staring at her with amusement and unabashed loved on his face. His wet fingers were gently stroking her cheek.

She looked at him quizzically. “Why are your fingers wet?”

He chuckled softly, “Because you are crying, silly elleth.”

She raised her hand to brush the tears away, when he abruptly grabbed her hand and pinned it to the bed near her shoulder. “No, lovely lady,” he softly admonished. “They are mine.” He shifted and began kissing her tears away. When his lips ventured close enough to hers, she captured them and he did not resist.

As it turned out, they were late for breakfast too.

***************~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~************************

The people of Ariella’s race were known for their fertility and often had large families, especially those who lived on colonized worlds as her parents had. She herself had ten siblings. Before getting married when she and Glorfindel had discussed children, he had told her he wanted a large family with maybe five or six children. She remembered from her studies, however, that when elves conceived and bore children, a part of their being went into the making of the child and the drive to reproduce often diminished after only a few births. However her own brother had four children after only eight years with his lovely elleth and their desire for more children seemed hardly sated. She often pondered of late whose concept of a large family would win out.

Ariella’s own pregnancy progressed like that of any normal elleth. She suffered from no morning sickness and her food cravings were nothing out of the ordinary. Ever present within her was the sense of the added presence of her son, pulsing in time with her own being. She also realized that the child could sense when Glorfindel was physically near as its pulsing changed within her to match the rhythm of Glorfindel’s essence. It felt almost as if the bond between her and Glorfindel had taken a physical form in the body of their child. She had heard and read that the fëa of elven parents nurtured their children throughout the pregnancy and early childhood years. But she had never understood how this could be until now.

As the months went on, the midwife became increasingly concerned about the large size of the baby. Despite Ariella’s assurances that she felt fine and that she could detect no problems or abnormalities with herself or the child, the midwife changed her diet at six months. By the seventh month, this change had made no difference, so the midwife began checking the expectant mother weekly. Ariella grew increasingly annoyed by the constant fussing, but she was even more irritated when a healer began evaluating her at each visit as well. She probably would not have been quite so aggravated if the healer had not been Lhûnedhel.

******************************************************

The midwife had arrived an hour before lunch with the healer in tow.

Ariella greeted the midwife warmly and turned to Lhûnedhel. Instinctively, her mental barriers snapped back into place.

“Hello, Lhûnedhel,” she said cordially. “It has been a long time.”

He greeted her with a warm smile, surprising her greatly. “Good morning, my lady. It has been quite some time since I last had the pleasure of your company. I must admit that I am rather surprised to have you as a patient again. I understand that you are having some difficulty with this pregnancy?”

Ariella sighed loudly in exasperation, placing her hand on the large swell of her abdomen. “There is no problem with the pregnancy.” She inclined her head toward the midwife. “She thinks there is a problem because the baby is so big. I think it is fine, considering I have mortal blood and so does the baby. I can detect nothing wrong with myself or with him. However, she insists on constantly worrying over me.”

Lhûnedhel chuckled in amusement. “I forgot how obstinate you could be when you are the patient. I can see that the next few months are going to be quite interesting. Shall we proceed with the examination? Then I will be able to tell you with which diagnosis I agree.”

The next few minutes were uncomfortable at best, with him professionally looking at and touching her in places that he would have liked to have seen and touched as a lover. He seemed to sense the discomfort he was causing her, for his gaze met hers at one point and she realized that he wished to speak with her telepathically. She lowered her defenses enough to allow for communication.

His mental voice reassured, {I can and do distinguish between profession and passion, my lovely Ariella. As your healer I say, ‘be at ease’. I do still love you, but I do not begrudge Glorfindel the prize he has so successfully wooed and won for himself. My heart rejoices for you and the blessings you have received. I will use the love in my heart to better care for you and the children you will bear Glorfindel. }

Ariella was so taken aback that for a moment she couldn’t articulate anything physically or mentally. At last she found her mental voice and managed to say, {Thank you for saying this. If I must be under the care of a healer, I would rather it be you.}

He smiled in response and completed his examination.

After conferring with the midwife in private for a few minutes they returned, their expressions quite serious. Lhûnedhel addressed Ariella with the professional tone she had heard him use many times before. “You and the child appear to be healthy, however, we think that you are going to deliver him before the usual 12 months have transpired. Our best guess, based on the child’s rate of growth …” His face broke into a highly amused grin. “Is that you will probably deliver this child within the next two to three months.”

~~~~~~~~~~*****************************~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By her eighth month, Ariella found herself tiring more easily. Glorfindel doted on her, rubbing her back when she was sore and singing to her when she could not rest comfortably or when their son grew too active within her. They also had to abandon their pleasant sojourns on the rug by the fire as Ariella could not get up off the floor again on her own, and Glorfindel could not resist laughing at her when that happened.

The evening before their first anniversary, Ariella and Glorfindel had planned to spend their time on the walls of the city awaiting the birthing of the sun. Instead they spent it in their bedroom awaiting the birthing of their own son.

At first, Glorfindel sat in a chair beside the bed, but after a while, he moved to sit on the bed beside her, telling her he would be better able to comfort her. Positioned thus, he held her through each contraction, strengthening her across their bond. Lhûnedhel sat in the chair, monitoring her, ready to assist the midwife.

In the beginning, Ariella found she could turn her thought inward and control the pain. However as the hours drug on into the night, she eventually lost her ability to focus. She did not have the words to tell Glorfindel how grateful she was for his physical and spiritual presence to support her at that point.

When the midwife announced that it was time to begin pushing, Glorfindel sat behind Ariella to help as best he could at that end while Lhûnedhel and the midwife did their part at the other. At long last, as the sun rose to the greeting of song from the inhabitants of Gondolin, the babe added the music of his newborn cries to the celebration.

It was the most beautiful sound Ariella had ever heard. The joyful wonder on Glorfindel’s face as he held their son for the first time was the beautiful site she had ever seen.

*******************~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*********************

The baby was small for a healthy full term baby of Ariella’s race, but Lhûnedhel and the midwife were still surprised at how large he was considering his apparent premature birth. The midwife ordered Ariella and the child to remain in the care of a healer for a few extra days after the birth, fearing for their health in spite of Ariella’s insistence that she and the baby were fine.

Ariella was confused by everyone’s concern for her and her son. Her brother Arzus’ elven wife had carried each of her pregnancies for only nine months in spite of the fact that she was a full-blooded elf. Elrond, who had delivered all four of the babies, had not been concerned in the slightest. Then again, Elrond was half elven himself and had assisted with many mortal and elven births, so perhaps he figured that as long as the babies were healthy, why worry? Ariella wished that her over protective midwife could take a few pages from Elrond’s book. She also wished with all her heart that he and her parents could have been there to see her beautiful son.

Glorfindel named the boy Glorfinion. From the beginning, Glorfinion promised to be much like his father in mood and appearance, except for his eyes. He had her violet eyes.

Ariella was glad that the baby needed her for sustenance, otherwise she feared she would seldom see him as Glorfindel took him everywhere he could. His pride in his little son was a great source of amusement to her as well as to everyone else around the new father, though he was oblivious to this. Ariella also found it most endearing and alluring.

Before little Glorfinion could crawl, Glorfindel contented himself with singing to him during feeding and when the baby was sleepy. He was also terribly fond of constantly removing the boy’s socks and tickling the tiny feet with his fingers and hair, eliciting the cutest giggles. The sock removal quickly became a source of contention between Ariella and Glorfindel. She would argue that the baby needed to wear his socks to keep his feet warm. After all, the boy had mortal blood and was not as impervious to extremes in temperature as a full-blooded elf. Glorfindel would argue that their son was more elven than mortal, so the warmth of his little feet should not be a major concern. Besides, the socks kept getting in the way of Glorfindel tickling Glorfinion’s feet. Ariella could not argue the point much further without revealing that she herself was a full-blooded mortal, so the arguments always stopped there.

Once Glorfinion learned to crawl, Glorfindel would turn him loose on the bearskin rug by the fire and make a game of catching him by an ankle and dragging him backward whenever the little tyke made it to the edge of the rug. The baby would giggle each time he was captured and so would Glorfindel.

By the time their son could walk, Glorfindel had become a strong proponent of Glorfinion wearing socks at all times because they gave the boy less traction on the wooden floors, making him easier to catch when he escaped. However, he was so used to having his socks removed that he would rip them off as soon as someone put them on him and tear away across the room. Both Ariella and Glorfindel were constantly amazed at how quickly that child could move when he wanted to. They were also amazed at how much he had taken control of his parents’ lives.

This realization came to Glorfindel and Ariella one evening as they sat on their bed. Glorfindel was combing her hair and the baby was playing in his own room under Linanna’s supervision.

As Glorfindel tugged on a particularly nasty tangle, he commented, “My love, your hair is matted at the ends. Do you not comb your hair in the morning?”

Ariella sighed. “Glorfindel, I do comb my hair or attempt to every morning, but Glorfinion is big enough that he can grab my unbraided hair and chew on it when he stands beside me. He thinks it is a game when I run away from him every morning while combing my hair, trying to keep away from his little fingers. This morning, I resorted to standing in the rain on the balcony in order to comb my hair in peace before braiding it.”

Glorfindel snorted in amusement. “Why were you standing in the rain? You could have called Linanna or someone else to watch him for you.”

“Everyone was busy. Besides it is embarrassing to ask someone to baby-sit just so I can comb my hair. I stood in the rain because our boy hates to get wet, so he does not follow me out onto the balcony when it is raining. Also, my love, I would not have to struggle with my hair so if you would leave it braided at night.”

“That I will not do,” he replied. “I like the feeling of your hair brushing my skin when we make love. Besides, you unbraid my hair every night, too, and often tell me how much you enjoy touching it.”

Ariella sighed and laughed. “All right, so we are both guilty. I guess we will have to endure the morning tangles then.”

“My love, do not be ashamed to ask for help. That is why we have servants here,” Glorfindel gently chided.

She sighed. “All right, I will ask them for help more often.”

Glorfindel snickered and Ariella smiled at him, a questioning look in her eyes. Glorfindel continued to chuckle as he shook his head.

“What is it?” Ariella asked.

“I was reminded of a conversation I once had with Uncle Fingolfin when my brother Celoril was but a baby.

“We were at a family gathering and Uncle and I had been talking together. Finarfin had just joined us when Uncle pointed to my father and said, ‘I can always tell when your father has a child under the age of two in his house because he wears his hair pulled back in a single braid. It does not matter whether he is at council or a feast or riding his horse, he wears his hair the exact same way every single day. I wonder if he realizes how much people laugh at him because of it.’

“Finarfin replied in a quite dignified tone, ‘I think he is most wise for his grooming habits while his children are small.’ Then he gave Fingolfin a deeply annoyed look and left to go join his wife Earwen who was holding their infant son Angrod. Fingolfin seemed perplexed by his brother’s comment and abrupt departure. But I laughed because I noticed something that he apparently did not. In spite of the formality of that particular occasion, Finarfin was wearing his hair in a single braid too.

“If Aunt Anaire knew Uncle was making such mean comments about her brother, she would not have been pleased. Uncle Fingolfin picked on my ata constantly.”

Ariella laughed. “That is funny! It is strange to think that princes like them would have the same problems that the rest of us have.”

Glorfindel snickered again before admitting, “I realized, only recently, why my ata always wore his hair in that single braid when small children were in his house. I was combing my hair and noticed that the hair that hung over my left shoulder was about one and a half child’s hand widths shorter than the hair over my right shoulder. I puzzled over this until I realized that I always hold Glorfinion in my left arm and, as you said, he loves to tangle his fingers in hair and chew on it.

“My ata used to tease me for my vanity about my hair, but apparently he had some vanity of his own. Now I do not feel quite so bad about it.”

Ariella sensed across their bond, the beginning twinges of regret creeping into her husband at the memories of his father, so she pulled Glorfindel down to lie on the bed. Caressing him and kissing him deeply, she managed to distract him from the journey into melancholy that always accompanied thoughts of his parents. Sometimes the attempt at distraction failed, but this time he willingly allowed her to move his focus to something more primal.

*******************~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*********************

When Ariella awoke at dawn to feed the baby, she felt a bit strange. The feeling persisted throughout the day, in spite of her best efforts at ignoring it. After she put her son down for his afternoon nap, she lay down herself and turned her senses inward to discern what was wrong or different. What she discovered surprised her greatly. She was pregnant.

Why had Glorfindel not asked her before giving her the child? Elves can choose the time of conception of their children, and they never choose to bear children this close together. Why did he make this decision without consulting her? Then something else occurred to her. What if he hadn’t chosen this? She was mortal after all, and even mortals of her race did not choose when they conceived their children. Her brother and his elven wife only chose the first baby they conceived – the rest had been surprises.

Ariella lay on her bed for a long time, sensing the tiny spark of life and wondering why it was there. She really didn’t think she could cope with another child so soon. What was she going to do? She had not even weaned Glorfinion yet. She resented the fact that she was going to be forced to do so before she was ready.

The next thought that presented itself upset her even more: What was she going to tell Glorfindel? He believed her to be more elf than mortal. He was not going to understand.

The little spark persisted in burning brightly as she fell asleep feeling overwhelmed and embittered in anger and frustration.

*******************~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*********************


That evening, Glorfindel dined with Ariella in their private dining room. She ate without enthusiasm, hardly tasting her food. Glorfindel tried several times to make conversation, but she only gave brief responses. Sighing loudly, Glorfindel pushed back from the table, arose, and walked over to Ariella. Taking her by the hand, he led her out to the balcony. The sun was just beginning to set, painting the sky with glorious colors.

Turning to face her, he took her hands in his and quietly asked, “Ariella, my love, what troubles you this night?”

The light of the setting sun burnished his hair into a glorious halo of golden fire, making his beauty almost unbearable to look upon. She tried to avoid his eyes in an attempt at hiding the turmoil within her heart.

Fingers lifted her chin, forcing her to meet his gaze as he questioned further in the same soft tones, “What have I done that has upset you so?”

Immediately, her fingers found the fabric of her dress and began their restless stir. How was she going to tell him? Taking a deep breath, she started, “I … Glorfindel, I …” The words did not want to come out. It was all right for mortals to have this conversation, but not for elves. This did not happen to elves!

Stalling was not going to make this any easier. Gulping another breath, she blurted, “Glorfindel, I am pregnant.”

His hand dropped to his side as he stood staring at her in disbelief. Whatever he might have been expecting to hear her say, this clearly was not it. After a few moments, he moved his mouth a couple of times as if to speak. The third time he did this, sound actually came out.

“Wh…you are pregnant?” He looked at her stomach as if seeking visual confirmation of the news. Taking her hands in his, he began again. “Ariella, why did you choose this? Elves do not bear children this close together. Why did you do this without asking me?”


“Glorfindel, mortals do not choose the time of the conception of their children. I have mortal blood in me. There was the possibility this could happen. Please understand that I did not choose this. I do not want to be pregnant right now.”

His bewildered eyes sought hers once again. “But, you have elven blood in you, too. Should it not have counteracted this somehow?”

It might have if she had actually had any elven blood in her. Perhaps now was the time to start telling him some of the truth about herself. She had deceived him since she’d met him. What if he hated her because of it? He had every right to hate her for her deception. Tears welled in her eyes. What if he left her? She could not face this alone. Her heart ached with the love she bore him and she could not live without him.

Raising a hand to his fair face, she brushed his cheek with trembling fingers. Would this be the last time he would ever allow her touch him like this? “Glorfindel, I …” Her voice shook so with the words. She swallowed hard trying to regain her composure and control so she could say it. “Glorfindel, I am…”

He placed two fingers on her lips, eyes searching hers for a few moments as if desperate to prove that something he wanted to deny could not possibly be true. He slowly shook his head, cupping her face in his hands, tears slipping from his eyes to shimmer down his face. His shallow gasps for air matching hers. They stood thus for a long time, half formed mental questions meeting half formed answers.

{Mortal …}

{Yes.}

{Why Ariella? Why the deception?}

{I had to because…}

{Turgon would have killed you…I still would have supported you.}

{Would you?}

{I still would have loved you…}

{Could you? Can you now? I will die one day.}

{So will I.}

{How do you know?}

{My heart tells me so.}

{I do love you.}

{And I love you.}

He smoothed her hair away from her face, looking at her as if seeing her for the first time. “You are so very beautiful and so very gifted for one so brief.”

She did not know what to say. It felt so good to have the weight of this lie off of her. But what of the part she could not tell him? There was still so much he could not know.

“There is more you have not said,” he continued.

She did not even bother trying to hide her surprise. He rarely went so far inside her thoughts. Panic began to set in.

Pressing his forehead to hers, he whispered, “Please do not tell me anything more for a while. I need time to think about what I have learned tonight. A lot of time.” A gentle kiss brushed her lips before he engulfed her in his arms, holding her close.

Sighing with relief, she melted against him.

“I am not ready for another child either,” he finally confessed, resting his cheek on her head. “But we will survive this somehow. I do not believe that this new child will be the death of us, although considering what Glorfinion is putting us through, I could be wrong.”

She smiled into his chest as she felt his spirit wrap itself around hers. Everything was going to be all right after all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Her mortality was showing much more of itself in this second pregnancy than it had in her first where she had carried her son as an elf would have – until his birth at nine months. She moved much more slowly and exhaustion overtook her after doing practically nothing. She was not pleased to discover the reason why: she carried twins. Her mother had borne two sets of twins and had experienced difficulty with both pregnancies. Ariella feared that would be doomed to the same fate.

Glorfindel had handled the news of their impending twins about as well as he had handled finding out she was mortal and pregnant. To his credit though, he kept trying to reassure her that they would be able to cope with two more children, but she knew he saw her difficulties and was worried about her, too. When she was five months along, that worry proved well founded.


They were preparing to depart for a feast at the palace, which all of the lords and ladies were required to attend. Fighting weariness and a general malaise all day, Ariella was afraid that if she did not attend the feast, then too many uncomfortable questions might be asked. She hurriedly pulled on yet another dress that had fit her thus far into her pregnancy with her son, but was too snug with a belly full of twins. She squirmed out of the dress, pulled on another one and tried again. Glorfindel, who was already irritable from being in council all day, was becoming impatient. This last dress fit comfortably enough to get her through the evening. She hurriedly brushed her hair and decided to leave it down to save time.

“Ariella, we are going to be late!” Glorfindel snapped at her. “You look fine. We need to leave now!”

He took her arm and quickly ushered her out the door and down the hallway to the steps. She noticed a tightening in her belly and great discomfort. She slowed down, in spite of his hasty tugging, and placed a soothing hand on her large round stomach. As they started down the steps, she abruptly fainted.

The next thing she knew, she was lying in bed and someone was patting her face. “Ariella!” Glorfindel’s panicked voice was calling. “Please wake up. You need to talk to the healer and the midwife and tell them what is wrong. You need to tell me what is wrong.”

It took great effort for her to open her eyes as a surprisingly strong contraction suddenly seized her and she cried aloud. Glorfindel grabbed her shoulders and held her to him as he had when she was in labor with Glorfinion.

“Not now, my love, not now! It is too soon for the babies to be born,” Glorfindel begged, his voice full of fear.

Breathing hard, Ariella apologized weakly amid her tears. “I am sorry. I am so sorry.”

“Ariella, please look inside and tell me what is wrong. Is there anything I can do?”

“I cannot!” she panted. “It hurts too much. And I feel so…so dizzy.” She clung to Glorfindel as he knelt on the floor beside the bed. She desperately hoped that if she held onto him, she could get her bearings on the room again and maybe the walls would stop spinning. “Glorfindel,” her face was buried in his shoulder, muffling her voice. “Please do not leave me. I am so scared. Please stay with me.”

Glorfindel held her closer against him. She heard him say something about informing the king that they would not be attending and then the room spun again. She dug her nails into her husband’s shoulders, breathing hard as the room started to go dark. Occasionally the room would return quite harshly, accompanied by horrible pain, and then it would go away again.

She had no idea how long she had followed this pattern of intense wakefulness and dark oblivion, but finally she opened her eyes and the room was still. She was lying on her left side near the edge of the bed and Glorfindel was still kneeling there. She knew something was wrong because his eyes were red and puffy in his overly pale face. His hair was tangled and he looked incredibly weary. He seemed to be asleep or lost in thought, because he did not respond to her staring at him. She tried to reach out and touch his face, but her arm was too heavy to move. Her lips did not seem to want to work either when she tried to say his name. Why was she so exhausted?

She called to him in her mind. {What is wrong, my love? Are you all right?}

The expression on his face as he heard her and his eyes focused to meet hers, was a mixture of surprise, joy, and guilt. “My sweet lady, you have returned to me!” he softly exclaimed. His voice was strained and filled with emotion.

He reached out with his left hand and brushed his fingers along the side of her face. “How do you feel?”

She tried to move her lips again, but was just too drained. {I am tired. So very very tired. I feel as if I could sleep for a week. I cannot even speak. Why am I so weary?}

He cupped her face with his hand. “Something bad happened and the twins tried to come early. All last night and half of today you were having contractions and… and you kept losing consciousness only to awaken screaming with the next contraction. You were not coherent and not really awake, but not really asleep either. The midwife and the healers were trying so hard to stop it and keep you alive.” He bowed his head and looked down at the floor, his voice sad and apologetic.

“I am so sorry. I did not realize something was wrong before I tried to make you leave with me for that stupid feast.” He looked up at her again, his face filled with sorrow and regret. “You never seemed mortal to me before this pregnancy, so I keep forgetting that you are. I desperately wanted to tell the healers and the midwife, knowing it would probably change the way they approached healing you, but … I was afraid of what would happen when Turgon found out.

“The healers and the midwife do attribute your problems with this pregnancy to your mortal blood, believing that you are peredhel. The midwife said that you were not ready to be pregnant again. At least your body was not ready, not for twins anyway. Lhûnedhel told me that mortals do not choose the time of conception, just like you had said. He told me that you probably did not choose to become pregnant again, especially not this soon after having Glorfinion. He said that it just happened the way it does for mortals.” He looked away, pressing his lips together and blinking rapidly.

{What is it, my love? Are you all right?}

It took him a few moments before he replied. She could sense he was steeling himself for something though she didn’t know what.

He looked up at her again, anger in his voice. “No, I am not all right. I spent last night and all of today feeling so powerless, so out of control…” He hammered his fist on the bed hard. “So helpless! I could have lost you. I…you could have died and …and…” He took a deep shaky breath, looking toward the headboard while angrily wiping his wet face. “One day you are going to leave me, and I …” The pain radiating across their bond, tore at her heart. After a few steadying gulps of air, he took her hand in his, gently kissing the golden symbol of their union where it rested upon her finger before he met her eyes once more. With another deep breath, he confessed, “Ariella, I do not know what I will do when you are gone. I am a great warrior and a high noble lord of the First Born of Ilúvatar… but I am nothing without you. Right now, I just…I just need to know that you are going to be all right and that you will be with me a little while longer. I am scared of losing you. I do not want to be alone again. I do not want to go on living without you.”

Dear God, what had she done to him? All she did, all she had ever wanted was to love him, and … this was the price to be paid. {I am sorry I am so weak} was all she could think to say.

His expression softened considerably as he touched her face again. “You are not weak at all. You have amazing strength of spirit. I do not blame you for this. Please do not blame yourself. Please do not. Just think about resting and recovering your strength.”

{I am afraid to ask, but are the babies all right?}

He smiled warmly, moving his left hand out of her range of vision until she felt it rest on her belly. “Can you not feel their presence? They live, and appear to be unharmed. But you have begun to dilate and are not allowed out of bed until the babies are born. I will not risk losing you or them.”

{I can feel them.}

“If there is anything I can do for you, please tell me. This helplessness is one of the most difficult situations I have ever had to face.”

{I need to sleep now. Please come lie beside me and hold me. You look like you need sleep too. Did you stay there on the floor the whole time?}

“Yes, I did, except for a brief time when they made me leave,” he answered softly. “I wanted to be able to see your face and for you to be able to see me when you awoke. You kept calling for me the whole time – even when I was right in front of your eyes. I will sleep beside you, but my fëa will be inside you as well. You did not dream when you were unconscious before and that frightened me. I am used to sensing your dreams.”

Glorfindel grunted as he stiffly rose and left her field of vision. She closed her eyes, listening to the sounds of the room. The bed and blankets moved as his body spooned around hers with his right hand resting on the side of her swollen stomach. She felt his mind brush hers and then it was as if his spirit wrapped itself around hers as well. Feeling safe and warm, her thoughts whispered, I love you and were answered with the same just as quickly before she drifted off to sleep.

One month before their third anniversary, Ariella gave birth to identical twin boys who Glorfindel named Glorion and Galanor.

*********~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**********

Notes:
It says in the History of Middle Earth book chapter on Elves that when elves have children they describe it as “children have been added unto us” or “children are in my house”.

Atar/Ata – Quenya for father/dad
fëa - spirit

Chapters

Jump to chapter

Chapter name
Chapter 15
Created
20 Apr 2005
Last Edited
20 Apr 2005
Hits
1059
Words
7025