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A love denied
Chapter 3: hard feelings
“Where is Adar, Glorfindel?”
The question held a highly irritated undertone and would have intimidated every elf standing before the heir of Imladris, but not so Elrond's chief commander.
The tall elf only raised an eyebrow at the abrupt tone.
Sensing the building tension between his brother and the Troop commander the younger son of Master Elrond stepped forward.
“We are not sure if Ada is up to treating a gravely or maybe mortally wounded woman so soon after…..in his state.”
The slip of the tongue did not go unnoticed. Glorfindel was the same opinion, yet for Elrond to hide in his study forever was no option either. He had already stated this to the young Lords.
“Your Lord father is old enough to decide on his own and the woman might only be saved with his superior skills.”
“A human…you could have consulted Tinár……..” Elladan retorted. He was already in the process of rounding the tall elf blocking his path to the healing ward's entrance.
A quick movement and Elladan's upper arm was caught between steely fingers.
“Mind your tone, Elrondion.”
With a final flash of his sharp eyes the Troop commander left the two young elves standing in the corridor with their lips pursed.
Since Celebrian had left, the atmosphere had been explosive at Rivendell. This incident was but the latest example.
Elrohir grabbed his brother´s arm, whirling him around for fear he would call after their mentor, unleashing trouble not so easily tamed again.
“Leave me,” Elladan growled.
“You will not make it better like this,” the younger twin retorted.
For a short moment the angry stare vanished from the older twin´s eyes only to return a second later.
Without another word, Elladan turned and resumed his initial course. Elrohir was close behind.
With long strides, their capes billowing behind them, the young Lords hastened across the aisle of the healing area.
Ignoring questioning and disapproving looks, the sons of Elrond had almost crossed the long row of alcoves when they espied their father.
Elladan paused but only for a second when a warning thought from his brother reached his mind. He shook his head. Plain speaking was long overdue and he was never one to hold back for long.
However before voicing his opinion the older twin stopped, his narrowed eyes directed at the patient his father was still treating. Glorfindel had not exaggerated. The woman looked as good as dead.
Why was the Elf-lord labouring for hours for this lost cause? Sometimes is was best to step back and let the inevitable happen.
In many cases it was even for the best. Why keep someone alive at any cost only to condemn him or her to a life of misery and pain?
As concentrated as the Elf lord appeared to be his head jerked up at the strong feelings proceeding the young elves. He had long sensed their arrival, yet their hostile attitude was still a surprise to him.
Before starting the next phase of treatment a short pause was needed to allow his helpers to do their work. Elrond used it to address his sons.
Yet before he had even a chance to say a single word, Elladan stepped forward again shrugging off his brother´s restraining grip.
“Why are you taxing your strength to this extent, my Lord? It´s hardly worth the trouble.”
Raised eyebrows, even gasps could be heard at the challenging words and the use of the formal form of address.
Wiping his bloody hands on his working apron Master Elrond nodded toward his two helpers.
“I can safely take for a break. I will call for your assistance shortly. Elladan, Elrohir please follow me.”
Nodding and leaving quickly Elrond looked at his sons after he had covered the woman´s naked body with a light blanket.
Elrond whirled around at the use of the formal address again.
“That was no request, Elladan. Leave this room, at once.”
No gasps could be heard this time. There was only silence. Some of the elves however were quickly leaving the ward.
“No, ADAR…I will not leave. I will say what I have to just in the presence of this…..woman. She can´t hear us anyway.”
A strange transformation was happening to the Elf lord. His already stiff posture became rigid, almost as if preparing for a battle. His eyes changed from steely gray into a tumultuous black brown.
Seeing this, Elrohir stepped in front of his brother, yet his jaw was as set as the older twin´s.
“Adar, this might be not the right time nor the right place but Elladan is right. We have not seen much of you for weeks, you have not spoken to us or to anyone else for that matter. You have ignored Arwen completely. But now a patient is here at our house and you have appeared and are exerting yourself.”
“I have only done what I had to. I´m not willing to discuss my motives with you….”
“Others may have needed your help too…..” Elladan cried, fury now underlying his voice.
Instantly realizing that the words would be misinterpreted Elladan closed his mouth. Elrohir rammed an elbow into his brother´s gut. They had lost the battle before it had even begun.
The hard stare had left the Elf lord´s eyes. Without another word the healer turned.
“Valar preserve us, Elladan! When will you learn to control your anger? That was not very helpful.”
Elrohir left also, yet in the opposite direction as their father. Speaking to him now would achieve nothing.
Elladan took a deep breath.
`I have not mentioned naneth`, he transferred in mind speech.
`I know` came the wordless reply.
After about half an hour Elrond returned into the healing ward. His mind was still in turmoil, yet he had regained his control. He ignored the discreetly searching looks aimed into his direction.
He was still angry. Angry at himself. Why was the slightest mention of healing or his wife always knocking him off balance? He shook his head unwillingly. He had done what was in his power. Celebrían had left and it was her decision. Otherwise she might well have faded.
`Forgive yourself and your heart will heal eventually`.
Elrond did not even bother to look up. There were not many elves to address him in this familiar fashion and he was in no mood to receive further well-meant advice.
Meanwhile his healers had finished tending to the woman. There was still much work for him to do, yet the simple chores had been done.
After all the dirt and grime had been cleaned from her body, Elrond was surprised how fair the young woman looked.
Without the bruises her face would be beautiful as it was comely and framed by a long mane of golden slightly wavy hair.
Apart for her rounded ears she could easily be mistaken for an elf – outwardly at least.
Why the young human was clinging so stubbornly to life was beyond his comprehension.
Again a prominent thought was invading his mind. Why was he so desperately trying to save her?
Being a healer could not be the only answer. Why did she speak to his heart?
He would lose this fight, yet he had to try.
After two more hours, all that could be done was done. It lay now no longer in the hands of the elves. The woman had to pull through on her own.
Elrond directed a last look at the pale face. He doubted that by morning she would still draw breath. Another loss on his conscience.
He thanked his helpers and left the ward with a slight nod toward Tinár. With a sigh he shoved one of the great double doors shut.
“Would you care to join me at a glass of wine?”
“Very well, but only one and in my study. I´m tired.”
“As you wish, my Lord.”
After receiving an irritated look, Glorfindel followed the dark haired elf down the corridor.
To be continued………………
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