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Heart of a Warden

Chapter 7: Chapter 7

by aimless

Short chapter.... next one will be longer.

Chapter 7
Note: See Disclaimer in One

What was wrong with him? He was remembering the times when his regard of her had shifted a bit further
away from friendship. Those feelings whenever they had surfaced had been ruthlessly shoved back to friendly
admiration. He figured that seeing Dara helpless was triggering all of his protective instincts.

Elendara had shifted on her bedroll and had thrown off her covers. He checked the wound, which seemed to
be as well tended as he could manage, then covered her again. She was still hot to the touch so he laid a cool
cloth upon her forehead and made her as comfortable as possible. Yawning widely he got his own bedroll and
put it on the floor right next to Dara’s. He ate a little dried fruit and some lembas then lay down to get a bit of
rest. Worry and the long trip from the city had made him weary so he decided to get a nap while he could. He
took her limp hand in his and drifted off into a light reverie. His contact with her would let him know if she stirred.

He managed to rest for several hours and woke when Dara pulled her hand from his grasp. She was still fevered
and her eyes were closed as she tossed restlessly. He prepared another cup of willow bark tea and forced her to
drink it. She drifted in and out of consciousness; so delirious she did not even realize he was there. Periodically he
would put a cool cloth on her fevered brow and bathe her flushed face. Mostly he just sat watching her, wishing he
could help Dara fight this battle.

Unable to relax, he decided to further put to order the mess the flet had been left in. He discarded the used
bandages and picked up Dara’s sword belt from where it had been dropped on the floor. Curious, he drew the
blade; it was stained with a dark substance that was greenish black in color. He knew without a doubt it was
orc blood. He needed her awake so he could find out just what had happened.

He checked her other weapons, he retrieved her bow off of the floor and propped it into a corner and then he
examined her quiver. It was still full of arrows so the orcs she encountered had not been too great a number.
They were taught to kill as many from a distance as they could before closing for combat. He carefully cleaned
the sword and then the scabbard before re-sheathing the blade. Whether she was better or not at first light
he would track her movements back to the site of the skirmish and to where she had gotten injured. Dusk was
approaching so he prepared himself some food, ate and then made sure Dara drank some more water. He lay
back down beside her to get what rest he could before his impending scouting mission the next morning. As before, he
kept one hand in contact with her prone form so he would be instantly aware of any change in her condition.

At one point during the night a loud cry jolted him back to awareness. Elendara was struggling and calling out as if in
the throes of a horrible dream. He sat up and took her in his arms to try and calm her so she would not re-open her wound.
She was scorching hot to the touch and her eyes were open and unseeing. Her fever had spiked unbelievably high and she
was fighting to breathe. Rúmil grabbed the two full water skins that he had left on the floor near the beds and soaked Dara
and the blankets in an effort to cool her raging fever. He felt so helpless, and having done all he could, simply held her tightly
and willed her to resist the call of the Halls of Mandos. He did not allow himself to even consider the possibility of her dying. In
his arms her body trembled and shook. He murmured words of comfort in her ear and tried to lend her his strength to fight the
inferno that was determined to consume her.

Near dawn her shaking increased and she thrashed wildly in his grip, her back arched and her body gave a great heave as
she labored to get air into her lungs. Then suddenly as they had started the tremors ceased and she went totally limp in his arms.
Dara was so still and he could detect no signs of life. He gathered her close and bowed his head in grief. His eyes filled with tears
as he rested his face against hers. He sat with her in his arms for what seemed like an eternity, but in reality were only moments.
He was stunned when she gave a deep shuddering breath. His heart leapt with joy; he had been so sure she was dead that it took
him a while to realize that her face was cool against his cheek. He raised a shaking hand and checked the pulse in her neck; it was
steady and strong. She was alive and her fever seemed to have broken. He gave a delighted laugh and hugged her tightly, almost
giddy with relief.

Now she was a sodden mess and her bed was soaked as well. Once again he needed to get her warm and dry. He lay her
down on her bedroll and went in search of a dry garment. She seemed to have no more in her pack so he chose one of his.
They were almost the same height so it would not be too bad of a fit. He pulled the damp tunic over her head and replaced
it with his dry one then changed the bandage on her leg. The wound was still red and puffy and her knee was very swollen.
He then placed her on his bedroll since it was the only bit of dry bedding they had left. She seemed to be truly resting now.
It disconcerted him a bit that her eyes were closed but he knew that extreme stress or a serious injury would make an elf
sleep thusly. The sun had not yet risen and birdsong heralded the new day. He lay back down beside her and drifted into a
light sleep, his senses tuned to wake at the slightest noise.


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Chapter name
Chapter 7
29 Apr 2004
Last Edited
29 Apr 2004