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Posted by on January 27, 2014


His sister, Eowyn, was a woman accomplished with a sword. Though he loved her dearly and would lay his life down to save hers he knew her to be odd at times. She had skills in womanly ways, and yet she persisted in the ways of the warrior. He did not feel ease at having left her without his protection at Edoras, but there was naught he could do to help it. He had been banished. She had not. But if ever he learned that Grima had lay hand upon her he would brave his countrymen to slay the evil worm who dared to do so.

You scowl as though dark thoughts plague you, she remarked. Am I the cause?

Take a care on Rohan land, fair maiden. Saruman has hold of the land, and his worm Grima controls Edoras and King Theoden. In trying to rid my people of the plague of Sarumans White Hand Orcs I was banished. These men are those loyal to Rohan, and would see her cleansed. While I roam endlessly my sister is beyond my aid in the Golden Hall where a worm seeks to borrow into her breast and darken her heart with a twisted form of affection for his ill person. This worries me greatly. She is skilled with the ways of the warrior, but she is alone.

His face was tight and pale in a grimace, and his eyes dark and stormy. This golden Rider of Rohan had a strange responding tightness enclosing her chest, making breath difficult to take. Perhaps, if you would trust in me, I could venture near Edoras, and speak a message to your kin. Do you have word you would like me to bring her?

Only his eyes moved to pin her, and he measured her in that look. Her gaze held his, and in the violet depths he saw a sincerity that gave him hope. Tell her that Eomer is well and keeps our borders safe. Tell her to guard against the worm and not lose hope.

His name was Eomer. It suited him. By his bearing and dress she knew him to be a nobleman. It stood to reason his sister would not be a chambermaid or cook. And her name?

Eowyn, he replied. That is the best I can do for your wound,he told her. Tonight we will camp here, and with the dawn my men and I must be off. You need rest I do not know your name, maiden.

Belniel, she replied.

*Chapter 2*: To Fanghorn Forest

Tired as she was Belniel could not sleep. The grunts and snores of the men who slept all about her as well as the soft conversations of those yet awake intruded. No, not exactly true. It was the low timber of one voice that kept her from the restorative powers of sleep. As she lay curled beneath her cloak she watched the way the dark of night and amber of the small fire played light chases shadow across his features. Her gaze followed the breadth and width of his shoulders and chest, the strength in his arms even when they rested across his knees. Though his long golden hair was partly tied back some strands escaped with wild abandon, tangling in the trap of his beard and mustache. One strand fascinated her most. It had curled into his mustache, and the end caressed his full bottom lip. He had wonderful lips, and she found herself envying that one strand.

He had a strong face, and his carriage was confident and controlled. He was a leader; of that there was no doubt. Her gaze fell to his hands. Those were hands strong enough to control a steed, wield a sword, and yet gentle and deft enough to tend a wound. She could easily remember the slightly callused heat of them against her skin, making her feel as though he harnessed the power of the sun in him and burned her where he touched.

Lifting her gaze she felt her stomach constrict and drop when her eyes connected with his intense stare. Warmth flooded her and heated her face. Slowly she turned her back to him, and forced her eyes shut.

Across the fire Eomer spent some time with his men discussing their next moves. Had they not found the wounded female they would have continued to ride north. He could not, in good conscience, leave a wounded woman alone for the night with Orcs roaming the land. His mind was not entirely on the discussion. He was distracted knowing she lay only several feet away. Something about her made him anxious. It was not entirely a bad feeling, but it made him restless. He wanted to leap atop his horse and race away, and yet he wanted to remain and watch over her. Indecision had never been a problem with him before now. He was a leader and therefore had to be a quick thinker. Their lives depended on the confidence of his decisions. Why did one female tilt his world so and leave him confused?

His men moved off, each smiling secretly when they saw their leaders eyes return again and again to the wounded woman. Eomer felt her eyes upon him, and found her gaze wandering his form. His stomach tightened, and a pounding resulted in his chest. That anxious feeling swelled within him, and he was about to rise when she turned her back to him. Hands clenching he made himself remain where he was. After what seemed hours he finally got some rest.

Where is the woman? Eomer demanded once he saw she and her belongings were missing.

One of his men nodded towards Edoras. Gone. She bid I give you her thanks, and her promise that she will comfort your sister with your words.

While his men mounted he hesitated a moment. How could he have let her leave alone for Edoras? She would find no protection there. He also suspected that the one she was seeking was Aragorn, and that one was gone to Fangorn Forest. He had not told her where to find him. Going to his mount he tightened his jaw, and leapt into the saddle. Ride north. I will catch up with you momentarily.

Do you go after the maiden? one of his men asked.

I cannot let her blindly go to the king. I do not know if the one she seeks is still at Fangorn, but I can guide her towards that way to find him. He turned his steeds head and set it to a run. Behind him he heard the calls of his men to their horses to set them off.

She had moved faster than he had anticipated, but finally saw her in the distance and urged his mount faster. She halted and faced him as he neared. Eomer noticed she still relied on a thick branch as a walking stick to lean upon. The one you seek. Be his name Aragorn?

Yes. Her heart had begun a painful race within her chest when she saw who bore down upon her. He had expertly reined his horse in inches from her, and now she had to crane her head back to meet his gaze. You have seen him?

He traveled with an Elf and a Dwarf. They followed a band of Orcs, which we had slain two nights hence at Fangorn Forest. I do not know if there they remain, but that is where they were headed.

Thank you. She turned to continue on her journey.

You will travel long and far upon foot, and the land is yet unsafe.

She paused, and nodded. The warnings are appreciated, but nothing can be done of it. I have no horse, and would not ask a Rider of Rohan to relinquish his. Far have I come already, and far yet must I go until my quest is done. Perhaps this mission the Orcs are upon will keep them from my path.

And perhaps not. He nudged his horse closer and held out a hand to her. Come. I will take you as far as I dare.

Belniel paused, lifting her violet gaze from his outstretched hand to his face. And your men?

I have sent them ahead, and will catch up to them when I am certain you are safe.

And your duty to Rohan and your men? Would you abandon those to aid one lone woman?

Not abandon, but simply delay. Waggling his fingers to urge her to take his hand he hefted her up behind him. Are you ready?

Adjusting her bow and sword she pulled the walking stick across her lap and wrapped her arms about his waist. Lead on.

To be Continued…

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