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Anduin River, Fourth Age 8
Wynne stretched her stiff limbs, blinking in the glaring morning sun. A crow’s beady eye observed her from a nearby branch.
“ You . You woke me up.” She scowled at it. Then she sat, rubbing sleep out of her eyes, it had been a late night. Legolas’ fault, he had kept her busy until the sky got rose-tinted with the rising sun. Well, not only his fault, she had initiated it after all.
The blankets were soaked with dew, and were those earwigs under her pillow? Ew! Why had she not thought of bringing a tent? Sleeping outdoors was horrible. And cold. She had to stay fully dressed, despite the blanket.
A splash from the river drew her attention. Legolas was up early as usual, washing his hair in the middle of the stream. In the morning light it shone like molten gold. Her husband was so beautiful it hurt.
Her husband. Her. Husband. She still had to remind herself he was finally hers.
But why was he wearing his shirt? Nobody would see him out here in the wilderness, except for that crow perhaps, or the occasional black swan. Somebody ought to remedy that. And with somebody she meant herself , of course.
With slow, willing steps she proceeded toward the elf, starting to unbutton her tunic as she went. “Good morning, Leggy!”
He looked up, smiling. “I told you not to call me that.”
“So what then… Legs perhaps?”
“No way. I am more than just a pair of good looking legs.” He smirked.
“Indeed you are. I like many of the parts above your legs!” She had hoped for a blush, but there was none. Instead his smile waned and his gaze grew intense.
“How about… Lego?” She pulled off her tunic and threw it in a messy heap on the river beach. “I like the sound of that. The fierce Lego Warrior!”
“No.” He approached her slowly, wading through the waist deep water. She rolled down her hose and stepped out of them.
“I could call you Laddie, like Gimli does.” In a smooth movement she slid off her chemise and tossed it behind her.
“Now you sounded almost exactly like your father.” She removed her underpants and walked into the silky water, whimpering playfully at the coldness.
“I am probably related to him somehow.”
“Possibly. No lake monsters around?”
“This is a river.”
“True! Let me get that for you.” She gripped the hem of his shirt and helped him shrug out of it. He pulled off his linen underpants and hurled both garments ashore. His shirt fell partly in the water, but neither of them cared.
Wynne stepped into his arms. While he trailed kisses down her neck, she caressed his muscular back and arms. Then she let her fingers travel up to the shoulder, and further, tracing his jawline to the ears. She pinched and massaged his earlobe, and enjoyed the resulting hoarse grunt.
“Valar, Wynne, wherever did you learn that trick?”
“I just have a knack for this, I guess.”
He lifted her up, balancing her with one hand under her bottom and the other cupping her breast, softly rubbing her nipple with his thumb. Then he bent down and circled it with his tongue.
“Where did you learn that trick then?” Wynne panted. She buried her fingers in the wet, golden strands of his hair.
“Trial and error. You seemed to like it yesterday? Besides, it was in that book.”
“It sure is fun to learn new things.”
He carried her out deeper and she leant back to float on the water, her hands in his with her legs wrapped around his waist.
“This was a new one,” he remarked. “I like your legs around me. Makes me feel like a Meara.”
Wynne did not reply, only tightened the grip, willing him to come closer. As close as it was possible for two people to be.
And that he did.
For some reason, their journey to Ithilien took several weeks longer than usual.
Emyn Arnen, Ithilien, Fourth Age 13
“Les! Les! Have you seen the feather duster?” Wynne stumbled over the pile of dirty laundry as she came up to the big four poster bed. Legolas sprawled lazily on the tangled sheets, eyes half closed, stretching out his naked body. She paused to admire it, and found herself promptly being caught and pulled on top of the bed, pinned down by a playful elf.
“Let us cuddle,” he suggested, kissing her nose. “He will not be here for hours yet. There is plenty of time.”
“I would love to, only…”
“Only…?” His brow furrowed.
“It’s that time of the month again.”
“Again? Really? ” He flopped down onto his back, arms flung out in exasperation. “Why do humans have to bleed all the time?”
“Not all the time… Just a few days now and then.”
“Those days are the only ones I wish you were an elf,” he grumbled.
“Anyway, we should tidy up in here, and it will probably take hours.” Wynne glanced around the bedroom; the dust in the corners, some dirty plates from yesterday’s late night snack, tufts of long fur. “Oh, I found the duster. Lembas has it.” She wrought the item from the tabby cat, and was rewarded with an icy glare and angry wave of its tail. “I swear, that cat looks just like your father.”
When their guest arrived a few hours later, the cottage almost looked clean. Just as long as one did not look under the bed or tried to open any of the wardrobes.
The elves caught each other in a long hug.
Now that Thranduil had moved to Amon Lanc, the new capital of Eryn Lasgalen, his journey down the Anduin was a lot speedier and he visited them fairly often. It was only a few months since he had last come, but the way he reacted, it might as well have been a decade.
A hundred years is a mere blink in the life of an elf , he had once said. Yeah, right... Apparently not when his son was concerned.
“Come in, lunch is soon ready.” It was not, but that sounded like the right thing to say. As she and Legolas returned to the kitchen, trying frantically to scramble together something eatable, Thranduil walked along their bookshelf studying the titles. He reached out a finger and retrieved it, coated with dust.
Wynne winced; she always forgot to clean the bookcase. Then she remembered. “Legolas,” she hissed.
“The book! Did you hide it?”
“Valar, I forgot!”
“Maybe he won’t notice it… or think we have one just like his.”
When they were finally seated around the table, Thranduil hauled out a terracotta amphora from his bag and poured wine into their glasses.
“Dorwinion red! Lovely. It will go well with the cheese.” Legolas sniffed his glass.
“I take it, Elessar still had no success with his vineyards?”
“Talking of growing things, some elves from my Realm are planning to move here and help you with the forest. They will bring more saplings too.”
“Perfect, just what I needed. It has been rather slow work so far. I will show you tomorrow.”
Then there was another knock on the door and Wynne went to open, leaving the others to their forest conversation. She was frankly rather tired of trees; Legolas talked about them nearly every day.
Outside stood a furious Sidra.
“Your horses are in our kitchen garden again! Get. Them. Out,” she growled.
“Oh dear, I’m so sorry. They still hate the fence… must have broken it again. We’ll fix it as soon as possible.”
“I’ll call for them now.” Wynne whistled a sharp signal. Soon she heard the pounding of hooves, and then the flock was back, the youngest foals in the rear. Vatna’s twin colts were covered with mud up to their bellies, and one had a carrot dangling out of its mouth.
Meanwhiles, Sidra was sniffing appreciatively in the air. “Is that Dorwinion red?” She promptly went inside and greeted Thranduil with a loud kiss on his cheek, which he accepted graciously.
“Madam Ambassador, you look well. Pregnancy suits you. This must be…” Thranduil pondered. “Your fifth?”
“Sixth actually, with the twins, remember?” The Haradrim smiled warmly. “By the way, young Aisha still talks of your last visit, she loved playing pony on your knee! If you are not too busy, do come over one day of your stay. Nugu would be so glad, too.”
“Certainly. And I have arranged for your favorite babysitter to move here.”
“You mean… Galion ?”
“Aye, Galion and his wife.”
“He has a wife? That’s wonderful news.”
Wynne too was happy for him, she had always had a little bad conscience for causing the ginger elf to be attracted to her early in their journey.
”Lord Goltur seems to do well in expanding his Realm,” said Thranduil. “When I came through there on my journey the other day, I noticed they are building a new town near the river, with a port.”
"Yes, it's for trading, the dwarves and the Rohirrim have shown interest in the engines we make. And we need the extra space, too; more and more orcs move to Emyn Muil. Only last month, our scouts found another colony. They were very aggressive, but Dad’s working to win the leader over."
After lunch, they took a walk in the garden. Thranduil regarded his son’s frame critically. “You have put on weight, son. You should exercise more.”
Legolas frowned at him. “I have actually been very busy, you have no idea how much time foresting takes.”
“Work is not an excuse for neglecting one’s health.”
“Here, come look at our wall!” Wynne quickly steered Thranduil away. “It’s brand new, Gimli just finished it the other week.”
“Lovely.” The king stroked the smooth stone structure encompassing the garden. A couple of young lemon trees leaned over it, and on a large trellis grew a bushy honeysuckle. Behind the garden, over a rocky part of the ground, a thick carpet of heather was just coming into to bloom.
Thranduil bent over one of the garden beds. “Are those dandelions? Why are you growing weeds?”
“They are for the horses,” Wynne explained. She had hoped that would keep them on the right side of the fence, but apparently their neighbours’ carrots were tastier.
“They will spread everywhere, you know.”
“We noticed that, thank you.”
“Unheard of. Growing dandelions in a kitchen garden.”
As they went back inside, Thranduil asked Wynne how her family was, knowing she and Legolas had recently come back from a visit to Rohan.
“Oh, it went alright. Les spent most of the time with Father and the horses as usual, and I had to endure another lot of Mother’s fertility potions.”
Thranduil smirked at that. “She still has not given up on half-elven grandchildren, it would seem. I wonder if she ever will realize why you are not getting any.” Then he shrugged. “You will soon be rid of her, anyway. How old is she now, fifty? Humans do not last forever.” Then he halted, probably realizing what he had said. “I did not mean–”
“No worries.” Wynne smiled. “Legolas doesn’t mind, and I have learned not to mind either. We are happy for whatever time we will have together.”
Later that night, Wynne firmly closed the bedroom door behind her and latched it.
“Good thing the guestroom is in the other side of the building.” She pulled off her clothes and tossed them on the floor, were they landed on her husband’s tunic, and snuggled down beside him. Her fingers found their way to his silky chest.
“Oh. But I thought…”
“Kissing and touching can be enjoyed any time of the month, you know.”
Belegaer Ocean, Fourth Age 120
Legolas strained his eyes to see better, was there not a hint of land? That purple line on the horizon.
“I see it!” he exclaimed, jubilantly.
“I shall trust your word for it.” His wife cuddled under his arm. She did not even try to look where he pointed, having never been able to compete with elven eyesight. “What if they won’t let me ashore?” A hint of worry was in her voice.
“You know Círdan would not have helped us build the ship if he thought they would refuse you. And he is friends with the Vala of the seas, so he should know. Besides, I am a Fellowship Hero, remember? There must be some perks to be had, for all the heroic deeds I performed!” He grinned.
“Well, you did get a plaque… a small one, but still.”
Legolas laughed and hugged her, appreciating how wiry and hale her body was even after over a hundred years. Probably because of that Dúnedain heritage of hers, or maybe it was all the horseback riding?
Looking back at their time together so far, Legolas felt blessed. They had accomplished so much in Ithilien; seen it grow from a desolate war-marred land to an attractive country of vast, lush forests and orchards, famous for its breed of beautiful and intelligent horses.
Even the cities were green with an abundance of parks and hanging gardens. Over the years, Osgiliath had become almost a second capital of Gondor, very different from the ancient Minas Tirith with her beautiful architecture and renown university, which attracted scholars and students from all over Arda. Osgiliath was young and cocky, a commercial city bustling with energy, a hub for young, talented people of all races. Here humans, dwarves, hobbits, orcs and uruk-hai worked together, joined by their ambition to prosper and grow, but always in harmony with the surrounding nature.
Living close to nature had been what Legolas needed, what had made him grow and become the ellon he was today. Thranduil had once called Wynne a woman of the lands, but what he had failed to see then was that his son was an elf of the lands. Whenever they had visited Thranduil, that had been obvious; Legolas and his wife could endure fine clothes, elegant suppers and civil manners for a few days, but it was always a relief to come back home afterwards.
Somehow their living apart had benefited his father too. He had become more outgoing, taking an interest in his surroundings and nurturing his friendship with the Lórien elves; their lord in particular.
Yes, Legolas figured he could not have chosen a better life, nor a better wife. He smiled down at her small frame, admiring her now almost white curls that surrounded her face in an unruly halo. He bent to kiss her wrinkled cheek, and then those lovely lips, the taste of which he could never get enough of. She responded eagerly; it had been a long journey and not much privacy aboard their vessel.
“Get a room, ye two.” Gimli’s braided hair and beard were iron gray, but apart from that the stout dwarf had hardly changed at all during the many decades Legolas had known him.
“Soon we shall feast with the Valar, Master Dwarf, and walk in their halls. That will be something to beat those glittering caves of yours.”
“Let’s hope they donnae serve ye anything stronger than fruit juice then.” His laugh rumbled as heartily as ever.
There was excitement in the dwarf’s features; he would get to see Galadriel again, the love of his life, if only to admire at a distance. Legolas was glad he had brought him with them.
He was happy for himself too; he would meet his mother for the first time, and he really looked forward to introduce Wynne to her. His father would come shortly after; he and Celeborn probably were on their way by now, aboard Círdan’s last ship.
They would all be together. Like a family.
“Did anyone mention a feast? I love parties!” A hobbit had joined the company in the prow. Wisps of white, curly hair framed his broad, honest face. ”What do you think we shall get to eat?”
“Well, Master Sam, I think I know the answer to that.” Legolas winked at his wife.
“Lembas.” Wynne nodded solemnly. “There shall be lembas. Elves eat nothing else.”
Yes, the end is here! And what a journey it has been. I have never enjoyed writing anything as much as I did this. :)
Maybe we shall meet again, in another story. Until then, farewell, and I end with one last quote, by Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream):
Good night unto you all. / Give me your hands, if we be friends.
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