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Old 07-13-2004, 09:04 AM   #383
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
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Dec 24; Dawn at Amroth's camp

Amroth took a deep breath, and with it, savored Bella's promise. He nodded. "The courage of a lady is both glorious and beautiful. I treasure it, lady, for it reminds me of one I love more than life." Bella looked at him in surprise; beside him, Nethwador watched her also, his eyes brimming with tenderness under which a fire yet burned.

She looked back at Amroth, unsure what to say.

Amroth looked from her to Nethwador, to the rest of the company, and back at her, and spoke again. "Think not that you burden me. I have left home, country, and kingdom for my Nimrodel. Yet I grieve not for Laurelindorinan. You, new friends and old, have become my bond-kin. Among you I find fealty, strength, pity, courage, and gladness. Dawn after dawn, I rise and search with the strength and fealty I find in all of these my friends. Yet though I gain fealty and courage from all of you, little thanks do I give you. The fault is mine; forgive me. I thank you now."

"All is forgiven, for my part, " Bella replied.

Amroth bowed his head, and continued. "Yet further service you, Bella, have rendered me," he said.

She shook her head, and waited with knitted brows.

"Though I seem to touch Nimrodel in my dreams, the touch is dark and hopeless, and in many ways brings me no comfort. Seeing you in the dawn strengthens my sweet memories of her. Your grace reminds me of hers. When I hear you sing, I remember her song. The light on your dark hair reminds me of the shine in hers. Your walk reminds me of her dance, your laughter reminds me of her joy. And so the despair gives way again to hope." He studied her. "Lady Bella, hope is a gift indeed. And you give it me dawn after dawn."

Bella had already blushed, but when she glanced at Nethwador and saw worship in his eyes, she turned crimson. Rising hastily she curtseyed, stammered "Thanks, my lord; By your leave, my Lord-- thank you, my lord, " and retreated to join the Rohirrim.

Taitheneb brought breakfast. Erebemlin raised one eyebrow as he received his bread and wine. "Bella is fair for a man, lord Amroth, but surely you liken a sparrow to a nightingale." Nethwador glared indignantly at Erebemlin.

Taitheneb gave food to Nethwador and Amroth, and turned to bring Bella her breakfast, but Amroth halted him with one hand.

Raising his wine in salute to Erebemlin, Amroth said, "I am hemmed round by hawks, faithful and stern. In such company, the song of the sparrow is a sweet gift and her gentleness provides real joy, my friend." Amroth sent a wry but sparkling glance toward his tall friend. "See to it, my faithful Hawk, that you do not mistake the charming sparrow for a mere mouse. Great would be my wrath. Yet mine would pale beside my young brother."

Erebemlin laughed, and flinched from Nethwador in mock-terror. "Ai! Ai!"

Amroth turned to Nethwador. "Bella has no breakfast; see to it, little brother."

Nethwador gathered Bella's food, forgetting his own, and eagerly brought it to her. A few minutes later, Taitheneb brought Nethwador his forgotten breakfast, but not til Bella had shyly given Nethwador a peice of her bread.

Last edited by mark12_30; 08-23-2004 at 10:41 AM.
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