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A love denied
Chapter 4: clear words
While surveying the healer´s office, Glorfindel stepped over the threshold and closed the door without a sound. He retrieved a bottle of wine from the cabinet next to the entrance and two glasses from a side-table.
Out of the corner of his eye he watched the other Lord´s rigid form standing at the great window. Elond´s gaze was directed at the spacious gardens, but Glorfindel was positive that the Elf-lord was not really looking at them. His mind was in the uttermost West.
Glorfindel took a deep breath. He did not need to be a mind reader to know what the other elf was thinking.
Just as he was about to say something, Imladris´ Lord whirled around and Glorfindel nearly dropped the just opened wine bottle at the sight of the stormy expression on his long time friend´s face. Nothing unusual either of late.
`What in the name of the Valar` was happening? ´
Glorfindel stepped closer the wine forgotten. Again, he was reminded of the great warrior and descendant of a king, which was often overshadowed by the serene and calm attitude the Elf-lord usually displayed.
“Why did she to have to go? Why in all of Middle-earth did she decide to leave – to leave me…..?”
An irritated, almost angry intake of breath.
Glorfindel´s eyes darkened.
“Do I really have to tell you again? She would have faded here. Her spirit was broken and the air of the Blessed Realm is healing itself…..”
“Alas! Here is her family, her children, her home, and…and…..me…”
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow. This was new.
The healer had been many things, but never had he been selfish. Where was the heart of the problem?
“Elrond, the blessings of Valinor can never be matched by anything or anyone here in Arda marred…..”
“Give it a rest! Glorfindel. How can her spirit heal when her heart is sundered from the ones who love her? She´s the daughter of Galadriel, a descendant of Finwe. I had expected more!”
Glorfindel took a step back swallowing. This was not Elrond, the greatest healer of Middle earth talking. He had ever been the understanding one where the sorrows and pains of this world were concerned. Why was he not granting his wife the same favor?
Before, however, he could form a suitable reply the other Elf-lord turned in a rush and left the room with the door banging against the wall.
Glorfindel closed his eyes.
After replacing the glasses on the side table, he followed his friend.
This scenario was repeating itself again. Elrond refused to address the pain – not an action he would accept from of a patient of his.
Glorfindel grimaced while hastening through the corridors.
`Physician first heal thyself`
A few words with a chamber maid directed his steps outside. The healer had just rounded the stables on the path leading to the river.
`Let the river stay calm`
With the mind of the mighty Elrond in turmoil it was nothing to be played lightly with.
It would be not the first time that an angry Elf-lord´s mind had caused a raging river.
When Glorfindel had rounded a cluster of bushes, he instantly recognized that Elrond had not headed for the river but the training grounds.
The Balrog slayer narrowed his eyes. What was the meaning of this?
Elrond had not been to the training grounds for months. With all the sad events concerning his lady, the regularly scheduled training sessions had been neglected and eventually ceased – understandable because not really paramount right now, yet Glorfindel always insisted that even the leaders practice regularly.
But Elrond was not in condition and surely not in the mood to do training right now.
Oddly, the training ground appeared empty, even with many sessions scheduled for today, at least as far as Glorfindel knew.
It were as if a predator had appeared in a forest clearing, causing all prey to flee…..
Glorfindel had seen Elrond vanish into the building which held the training weapons. He hastened his strides.
´This had to stop – now`
The golden haired warrior opened the wooden door with a jerk.
The healer had his hands propped on the rim of an open wooden chest where the training swords were kept. What Glorfindel espied instantly was the sword leaning next to the healer and this one was by no means a training sword. Where and when had the Elf-lord retrieved his own sword?
Glorfindel took a deep breath.
“Elrond, let us talk….”
“I´m tired of talking, of everyone telling me what to do or not to do. How I should react or feel and when I have to sleep and eat. Enough of that….”
With the last word the healer raised his sword and advanced.
Glorfindel was taken aback, but only for a second. Millennial old skills never slept.
While his body readied for an imminent fight nearly automatically, his mind was in turmoil.
`Would the healer really attack him? Was he out of his right mind? `
Glorfindel whirled around and broke the lock of a cupboard with the hilt of a training sword he had grabbed. The door flew open and he retrieved a sword – also a real one – normally locked away from eager novices. It was not his own but it had to do.
Not a second too early, Glorfindel raised his sword in defense when the first blow came. He blocked the blow but was nonetheless surprised by the vehemence. The momentum drove both Elf-lords outside.
Glorfindel tried to lock eyes with his opponent. He frowned when unfamiliar eyes stared back at him. Black eyes in a hardened face no longer resembling the kind and caring Elf-lord they were all used to.
Glorfindel did not make the mistake of underestimating an opponent – not on a real battlefield nor here.
Elrond may have been lacking in practice and he had never been forced to act like an every-day warrior, yet he was still an excellent sword fighter and millennial old skills never vanished.
Another blow and another.
Glofindel was only defending himself while studying his friend. Did Elrond really fight him in earnest? Was this a game to vent his frustration and anger?
The moves of the Elf-lord and his eyes, however spoke another language. It was no play. Glorfindel was hard pressed to parry the blows. Step for step he draw back in the hope that the Master of Imladris would come to his senses.
He needed time, just more time.
Another hard blow and then Glorfindel felt sudden pain.
Glorfindel looked in surprise at the growing red stain on his upper sleeve. The other´s blade had only nicked him.
Glorfindel looked back at his friend. Maybe the shedding of blood would reawaken the healer within Elrond? Maybe it would stop this madness?
No such luck. With a battle cry not heard in decades the dark-haired Elf-lord was advancing with a new vigor Glorfindel knew he had to do something against and act soon, otherwise a severe injury would ensue.
The blows came now in such quick succession that Glorfindel had to block and parry in earnest and he had to fight back skillfully to ensure this fight did not prove fatal for one of them.
Out of the corner of his eye, Glorfindel espied the first onlookers. Just what he needed right now. But what had he expected? The news of two fighting Elf-lords had raced through the valley like a
Wildfire, despite only the two of them being there.
Thankfully, the elves kept their distance sensing that something was amiss with this fight. Elrond and Glorfindel had often sparred in the past but this had always been announced in advance and often made a show for young warriors. Somehow everyone knew that this was different.
Another blow much too precise and near his head.
Glorfindel raised his sword and with three quick strides and moves he drove the furious Elf-lord back, rounded him and landed a hard blow with the blunt side of his sword on the other Elf's back.
Elrond cried out and stumbled forward. He was not seriously hurt, but would surely have a large bruise.
Glorfindel rounded his opponent and advanced with the speed and precision that only a warrior who trained daily could display. The healer had no other choice than to retreat and defend himself.
Glorfindel took care not to injure his friend in earnest, yet he wanted to end this and show the other that he had stepped over a line. Heavy bruising and a cut here and there he took into account. Maybe the pain would hoist the healer back to reality.
With quick blows and strides he had driven the healer back and pinned against a tree trunk. Pinning the dark haired elf´s sword along with his arm to the tree so their faces were only inches apart.
“Elrond stop this madness. I do not want to injure you.”
No hesitation, not for a second.
With a quick raised knee into the other´s belly, Elrond used the short distraction to free himself and the fight continued with quick blows and strides, dance-like moves and spins until both Elf-Lords were sweating and panting heavily.
From the side of the training field the sons of Elrond raced onto the fray. Elladan was just about to enter the field when a steely hand around his lower arm jerked him back.
“Child, are you mad?” someone cried in his ear.
Elladan looked up in surprise and anger at the elf addressing him like this and holding him back.
“Erestor, can you not see? Look at this. Something is seriously wrong.”
“My eyes are pretty good, young Lord. Yet this is no situation for a child to run into.”
Elladan was bristling at the new affront, yet the calming thoughts of his brother just a step behind caused him to hesitate.
“When you now disturb them in their concentration it be deadly – so stay away!”
A clear command that even the heir of Imladris obeyed at once.
Just enough time for Elrond´s chief counselor to shed his cape and reveal a long sword held in front of him. Elrohir took a deep breath.
“Take away the bystanders.”
While the brothers and other elves made haste to follow Erestor´s command, the dark haired elf ran across the field never taking his eyes off the fighting Elf-lord´s. He saw clearly that Glorfindel was holding back, yet he also saw that this could go on no longer. He was already bleeding from cuts – looking worse than they were.
A cry, however, halted him mid stride. Elrond was on his knees pressing a hand to his thigh, blood was already seeping through his fingers.
He raised his sword and cried:
“ELROND, GLOFINDEL STOP THIS AT ONCE!”
Both Elf-lords froze. Erestor advanced more quickly than any eye could follow and kicked the lowered sword of Elrond out of reach. Still in motion, he turned and hurled Glorfindel's sword out of the way.
Nothing stirred. No movement, no sound, no breath.
Erestor closed his eyes and inhaled sharply. He hoped that the spell was broken. With two furious Elf-lords you could never be sure however.
Glorfindel approached the kneeling healer.
“Elrond, you are injured. Let me see to this wound,” he said while falling to his knees in front of the other elf.
There was not much that could surprise Erestor, yet the reaction of the valley´s Lord surely did.
“I´m a healer, you know. I know what to do. Save your words.”
With some effort the healer rose and limped toward the house. Erestor and Glorfindel stared after Elrond, even the twins, watching the scene with open irritation, stood rooted to the spot.
What was happening here?
To be continued……..
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