May 9, 3020

Written by Lilandra

Since Lilandra had been released and brought back, she preferred to stay alone in her room and not to leave it. She did, however, want Finduilas to come in when she could. And she did. Bringing her food and drink and seeing if she needed anything and if she was all right. She especially wanted to stay in her room, when Finduilas had mentioned that another man had come to be the ruling hand in the house. This made Lilandra extremely uncomfortable and she felt no need to meet with him until it was necessary. She was relieved when no message for this came to her and even more relieved when no strange faces appeared at her door. Where she did not feel relief was when she thought of Aldir. She tried hard to be patient in waiting for him, but since she was now a person who had lost the characteristic of being positive...she was not content in just being told he would be back. Rather, she needed the evidence of him before her arms. She expected disappointment and uneasiness welled inside of her but as she ran her hands across her stomach, she took a deep breath and brought herself to think with a strong mind that he would return.

Finduilas went to Lilandra's room after she had relayed messages to the servants and knocked lightly and opened her door. She spotted Lilandra curled up with a blanket on the bed and moving over closer, saw her breathing evenly in deep slumber. She realized that sleep was not something Lilandra had not had enough of and when she most likely was not peaceful..and whatever peace there was, would not last for long. So Finduilas decided not to wake Lilandra from rest in her own bed on word about Aldir. New of his return would indeed be good for her to hear, but expectation of his arrival was still stress on the body nevertheless. She figured she would come back later.

Finduilas peeked her head inside the room again an hour later and still Lilandra slept but, after that she never got that chance to return to Lilandra for her service was required and demanded of elsewhere. Lilandra woke, fully aware that this was the second day at the house and she was told that he would return in two days time. Her heart began to pound and she commanded herself to remain calm during this day. She already told herself to expect disappointment about his return on the said day. Perhaps it would be delayed a few days or weeks...who knows how deep the lies here went....perhaps he would not even return at all. "Patience Lilandra...patience," she told herself again.

She rose from her bed and stretched, her body aching, and she laid out a fresh undergarments and dress. she began to disrobe remembered how cold the room was last she was in it with Aldir. Now, even unclothed, it was bearable. As she always did, she looked to her stomach as a smile slowly formed on her lips..amazement every time she looked at the bulging belly...a child within...his child. She slipped her undergarments on and kept her mind on a pleasant thought which made the smile remain on her face...the image of Aldir holding their baby.

Lilandra portrayed by Madurz
Aldir portrayed by Angmar

Aldir: *Aldir walked down the hall in the servant's area of the townhouse, occasionally passing a servant he knew. Some came up to him to welcome him. He merely nodded to them and gave a brief hello in response and walked on towards their room.*
Lilandra: *Lilandra smoothed her hands over the wrinkles in her dress that lay on the bed*
Aldir: *The corridor was familiar, but still it seemed different, almost new in a way that a place does after one has not seen it for a while. He hurried his pace as he walked towards the room, and at last he reached the door. He knocked twice upon it and said* Lilandra?
Lilandra: *Her hands froze in their actions and so did she while her mind continued and tried to coax her feet to move. Her eyes widened and her breathing increased and finally she moved to the door. Placing her palms on the door...she wanted to hear the voice again for confirmation that she was not hearing falsely since he was on her mind and that someone else was on the other side..her voice was low* Aldir?
Aldir: Yes, it is I, love *he says. His voice is choked, as though he is ready to weep.*
Lilandra: *Her breaths come in short puffs as she fills immediately and shaky hands move to open up the door. She swings it open fast and beholds him for the first time after six months. She stares with wide tear filled eyes*
Aldir: *He stands in the doorway, his face disbelieving that he is really seeing her and not an apparition that will suddenly disappear before his eyes. A thousand thoughts go through his mind, love, hate, anger, deep concern, all mixed into one, but all he can say is her name over and over* Lilandra, Lilandra *as he walks to her and takes her in his arms*
Lilandra: *She had never held her husband before with the feeling of her enlarged belly in between them and this is brought immediately to her attention and that makes her tears spill and she releases sobs into his chest as she clings to him as she never has before* Oh Aldir! Aldir my love.
Aldir: *Softly he says to her, almost whispering* It is over, my Lilandra, it is over, the torment, it is over!
Aldir: *He holds her protectively, wanting to say something to comfort her, something that will take away the pain that he knows she has had to bear, but he is too overcome with emotion to make the words come out the way he wants them, so he says her name* Lilandra, it is all right!
Lilandra: *Her hands knead his back, as she savors the feeling of the only thing she has longed for all this time. All the memories..all the nightmares...all the floods her now and she shudders in his loving arms and looks up to him*
Aldir: *He looks at her and his protective arms encircle her, holding her tightly.* How I have longed to see you, to touch your face, to hold you! I had almost given up hope!
Aldir: *He backs away from her and holds her by the shoulders* Let me look at you to make sure you are truly real and not just a vision
Lilandra: *She tries to summon her voice over the lump of emotion in her throat, but it cannot come yet and her expression is one of relief and disbelief as she stands and looks him over*
Aldir: My darling, indeed you are real! *he looks down and sees her enlarged stomach, concerned that she and the unborn child are well* How are you, my dearest?
Lilandra: *She watches him as his gaze moves down her body and can only imagine all he is feeling right now. She knows he is overwhelmed at everything and the sight of her for the first time in this condition. They had, had no time to discuss or celebrate their baby. Just a mere word of it to him and then he was ripped away from her. Now before him, she stood and when he should have been with her everyday while it grew, she was already showing and she read this effect on him through his expression. And she also knew his concern* The baby and I are well my love *she speaks evenly through the flashes of memories of the last six months*
Aldir: *While he had labored with the other slaves on the final stages of the building of the great Temple and when he had been moved to Osgiliath to work on the roads, his thoughts had constantly been of her and the unborn child. He feared that they both would be killed, or if she were spared to him by some trick of chance, the unborn child would have died because of the torture Lilandra had endured that last horrible time that he had seen her. She had been chained then, and a foul orc had ripped its claws down both her front and back. Surely the child could not still live, but it did and the evidence was before him.* I had feared, Lilandra, that you both would perish!
Lilandra: Fear was my constant companion. It never left me, for I feared for this child everyday, and you my love. How I feared for your life
Aldir: *Gently, he touches her stomach, as though he were fearful that he was touching something fragile that might break. Looking into her eyes, he whispers* Our child!
Lilandra: Are you all right Aldir? Are you hurt my love?
Aldir: No, my Lilandra, I have come through well enough *he says, not wishing her to know just what he underwent*
Lilandra: *she looks deeply into his eyes and then to his hand that rests on her stomach and she spills more tears at the sight of his hand on her*
Aldir: *He keeps his hand upon her stomach and the other hand goes up, his fingers touching her face.* You are beautiful, both of you! Should you be up, my love? Should you not be resting? *he asks, concern in his voice*
Lilandra: *She exhales and smiles and places her hand over his which rests on her belly* I feel just fine Aldir. Better than I have felt in all this time.
Aldir: Lilandra, *he says, taking his arms away from her and walking past her into the room, closing the door behind him* I am sure the rest of the servants know that I am back *he says, the first time his voice has shown any amusement since he returned*
Lilandra: *Her eyes follow each of his movements as he walks inside. His broad and muscular figure had thinned considerably. She moves over to him and reaches a hand up to his face...something she knew so well. Every line, every curve of his features. And when she closed her eyes, there, in perfect likeness, he was...etched in her mind. An image that both comforted and tormented her while they were apart. There were some differences now in his features. Ones that she, of course, could pick up on right away. His face bore the evidence of prolonged distress. There were creases in his forehead from a permanent scowl he must have worn. Labor and weather, conditions and treatment, worry and sleeplessness and whatever else she might not guess all were told in a story on his face that made her shiver. She assumed she appeared the same way to him...bearing signs of tribulation. But more than the exterior, was the inner connection they shared and ability to sense each other's emotions. She strokes his cheek with her thumb.*
Aldir: *During the four years of their marriage, their hopes for children had been unanswered. Though they had never been blessed, their love had been strong and true, and though they had both wanted them, they were content with the love they had for each other. Then had come the great war, and he had to go fight and they had been separated. After that there was slavery for both of them, and their love and trust for each other was all that had kept them going. The news, which would have been heralded with such great joy that Lilandra was with child, had come to Aldir in a torture chamber as he looked across from her and saw her bleeding body hanging from chains. "How could it be," he thought, "no child conceived when we lived in peace on the farm, but now one is begotten with much love in the stress of war and slavery." He found it hard to fathom the wonder of this thing.*
Aldir: *His hand almost trembles as it seems drawn to touch the new life that surges in his beloved Lilandra's womb. How he loves this woman! She is everything he had ever wanted, and she had been cruelly taken from him. And now, somehow, by what marvel he knew not, she had been returned and they were together at last. He kneels down, and kisses her stomach. Then looking up at her with awe and wonder, he says* I am comforted now *and gently puts the side of his head against her stomach*
Lilandra: *Her heart pounds with intense love as she looks to his head resting on her stomach and she cradles it and closes her eyes*
Aldir: *His arms go around her hips, and he holds her like that for long moments, feeling her warmth and knowing of the growing life inside her. Aldir sighs and feels at last he has come home*
Lilandra: *She holds him to her, not letting go. She needed this feeling for too long and she is letting every bit of this treasured moment last.* Oh Aldir. I missed you so much
Aldir: My darling *he says, keeping his gentle grasp about her hips* I feared so much for you and the child
Lilandra: You and this life within were the only things that gave me strength.
Aldir: If any harm had come to you, I had vowed already that if there was any way that I could come back, I would kill the bastard who did this to you *he says, his face growing grim and hard, his jaw clenched*
Aldir: *He kisses her stomach again and after releasing his grasp upon her hips, he rises to his feet.* You should sit down *he says*
Lilandra: *She takes his hands almost desperately* I am not letting you go. If I am to sit I shall sit upon the bed and you will sit with me *her voice shaky*
Aldir: My love, I am back. You are safe. Sit upon the bed and I shall sit with you
Lilandra: *She remembers their last reunion after he had returned from his mission to free Ceolwulf and how their happy moment was short lived and she fills with fear*
Aldir: Let me put some of the pillows against the headboard for you to lean upon *He releases one of her hands and begins leading her over to the bed*
Lilandra: *She looks worriedly at the door as if almost expecting someone to come in and take them away from each other again*
Aldir: *When they get to the bed, he reaches over and pulls some of the pillows and piles them one upon the other, trying to make a comfortable place for her to rest her back*
Aldir: My love *he says, feeling somewhat abashed* I scarce know where to touch you and where not!
Lilandra: *She looks back to him and tells herself to calm. But peace was hard to find after all they had been through. She moves onto the bed and breathes deeply as she adjusts herself on it..positioning herself to be as most conformable as she could be* Come and sit next to me my love. I need to have you near me
Aldir: *Taking off his shoes, he gets in the other side of the bed, leaning his back against the headboard and reaching down, grasps the edge of the blanket in his hands and pulls it up around her and his waist. Then he reaches over and takes one of her hands in his and holds them there together over her stomach*
Aldir: *With a shy grin, almost like that of a lad, he looks towards her and says* There are many things that I must learn. I have never been a father before *he says softly*
Lilandra: *She leans against him...her hands with his as she closes her eyes and is soothed by his presence and warmth* I have always wanted motherhood...but it never came to me. Now it has and I have much to learn as well. But she had learned much..the first lesson in motherhood...... sacrifice. Putting that life before all else no matter what the situation*
Aldir: *He puts his head against hers and sits there and holds her hand* Do you wish a drink of water, something to eat? Is there anything I can do?
Lilandra: *She feared for its life everyday. She still fears. She would worry every day of her life about her child. But she still worried about birth...a hurdle for all women...especially her* Not yet my love. I just want to enjoy you
Aldir: *Now that he was back, truly back, knowing for certain that Lilandra and the child were not some strange vision thrust upon him by the agonies of separation or by the foul Ring that he cursed on his hand, now he begins to think about their present situation and feels overwhelmed, uncertain of the new tormenter who has replaced the old, uncertain of the future. Worry besets him when he thinks about the long trip that the servants have been told will face them someday.*
Lilandra: *They clench each others hands as they sit in silence with their own worries*
Aldir: *Aldir feels that he cannot let down his guard, even in the security of their own room. He feels he must protect her constantly now, lest someone or something wrench her away from him again. He looks up at his sword held in its rack upon the wall and feels gladness.*
Lilandra: *She looks up to him with a similar expression as if knowing his fears* All we can do is hope for the future
Aldir: *He thinks about the devil Vartang and what he must have done to his beloved Lilandra, and wishes that he had the sword posed right at the man's gut at this very moment so he could take his revenge for all that he has done.* Yes, the future, my darling *And then he feels the Ring on his finger beginning to throb gently, a warning, he knows*
Lilandra: *she sees a wicked look in his eyes* My love?
Aldir: *Trying to keep her attention away from his true thoughts, he says* I was thinking about the orc guards and how they made us earn our suppers! They should have been well pleased, for we made the roadbeds deep
Aldir: *Now in his mind, he can hear the mixed voices of the orc guards, and the subtle, almost seductive voice of his Ring blowing through his mind. "The Maugoth must enjoy 'er as much as you would," he hears the taunting voices mixed in some hellish melody.*
Lilandra: *She shudders at the thought of his treatment as she has done quite often* my love...they were not harsh to you were they? I mean...they didn't hurt you right? *She thinks of Vartang's words and she remembers the few times when she could not contain composure anymore and she had protested against him and feared the next day for Aldir*
Aldir: Nay, my love, they did not hurt me. They did not whip me, and they fed me well enough. But they worked us hard, long days in the cold... they cared naught for the weather, because they had to answer to the orders of their masters
Lilandra: *She hoped he was telling her the truth about beatings, but she felt he would not tell her anyway....just as she could not bring herself to tell him certain things*
Aldir: *Fearing the distress he would bring her, he questions asking her the question that burns on his mind, the question the Ring torments him with, the implications of the orcs as they taunted him every day about "the dainty on the 'ill."*
Aldir: *Fearing the distress he would bring her, he hesitates asking her the question that burns on his mind, the question the Ring torments him with, the implications of the orcs as they taunted him every day about "the dainty on the 'ill." Instead of asking, he says nothing but merely tightens his hold upon her hand and kisses her cheek*
Lilandra: *She sighs deeply then he looks over him again. Her gaze rests on his stomach. She winces at the memory of last she saw him. And image that was seared into her mind. His bleeding opened wound...the blood that dripped from the carvings they made in his flesh.she shivers in his arms. She moves her hand to his stomach and smoothes her hand over it*
Aldir: My love, I am back, and that fact perhaps should say much. For some reason, the Enemy wishes us both to remain alive
Lilandra: *she groans* Alive...but...*she trails off* but enduring constant torture my love? How much are we to take?
Aldir: They did not torture me, my love. They worked me, aye, but never tortured. I was not whipped or hurt in any way, not after that first night anyway
Lilandra: *The image of Vartang's sweaty, contorted face above her flashes in her mind and she shuts her eyes tightly then opens them* That is good my love.... a relief
Aldir: I had thought they had meant to keep me, perhaps to work me to death. That has happened to other men before. No, they freed me
Aldir: *He feels her body tense against his* Lilandra *he says, worry in his voice* do you feel ill? Is everything all right with you and the child? *he says and looks to her face*
Lilandra: *She tells herself quickly over and over that she spared him pain...she saved him torture..she saved his life and her baby's life and her own* I am all right, Aldir
Aldir: *He touches her face, feels her forehead for fever, and finding none, he feels relieved slightly and asks, a note of pride now growing in his voice* When will our son be born?
Lilandra: *His voice and statement calms her and she smiles* You feel it will be a son too? I thought so as well. July *she looks back to her widening*
Aldir: Only two months! *He exclaims* So soon?
Lilandra: *a slight trace of nervousness in her voice now thinking of birth* yes....very soon
Aldir: July, *he says* it will be hot then. We must take good care of you. I would like to think that foreknowledge tells me twill be a son, but perhaps it is merely hope. My love, whether son or maid, I will be pleased
Lilandra: It is a miracle child no matter what it will be
Aldir: Although I daresay that in future years, I shall be sorely taxed to provide a suitable dowry *he says, teasingly*
Lilandra: *she nudges him lightly and smiles*
Aldir: Tis a miracle, truly, a child so conceived in the midst of war and slavery. This will be a special child, though to what fate will befall him or her, I cannot deem
Lilandra: Oh Aldir...I dare not think of it
Aldir: For now my wife, we only think of the present, and the birth of our son, or should fate decree otherwise, a daughter
Lilandra: *she sighs, willing to agree, but knowing she can never have the ease of being free of fear* Yes, Aldir. That will be best
Aldir: *Once again, the Ring on his finger provokes him, "Dainty on the 'ill, 'e enjoyed 'er." It tempts him to ask her the meaning of the orcs' words. But how can he ask her that at this moment, this moment of all moments? Has she not had ordeal enough to bear as it was?*
Lilandra: *Her hand still strokes over his stomach and still plagued by the images of those orcs that night slicing him...his low groans and screams of pain echoing in her ears again. Her voice is a whisper* The marks are still there...aren't they?
Aldir: *It would only hurt her if she knew his thoughts, and once again, he forges his will to resist the taunts of both Ring and orcs and holds his tongue*
Aldir: My stomach, my darling, yes they are. They are well scarred over now however. Shall I prove it to you? *he says, trying to tease her*
Lilandra: *she looks up to him sadly* It will not be long until i see it anyway love. And when I do.... *she sighs* I will not like it one bit...and I will fill with much anger.
Aldir: To assuage your fears tis a simple matter to show you that naught is there but scars
Lilandra: Scars are visual reminders of a pain laying deep in the mind
Aldir: Love, then my tunic will hold the sight of them away from you
Lilandra: Scars help us so that the mental pain never gets buried she lowers her face* They should have never been there in the first place!
Aldir: They gave me clean clothes when I came back and shoes too. A bath, even a shave. I feel almost as a bridegroom *he says teasingly*
Lilandra: *She appreciates and admires his way to try and keep her thinking positively*
Aldir: And we can be glad that they did, for the clothing was sorely infested with vermin, as was my hair
Lilandra: *she smiles but thinks his manner will change when he sees her scars that will resurface his mental pain and anger*
Aldir: *The hours pass this way for them, and the light outside begins to grow dimmer as evening approaches*
Aldir: Let me go to the kitchen and ask Finduilas for your supper
Lilandra: Hurry back to me
Aldir: *He kisses her cheek again and relaxes his hold upon her hand. Then he pulls the cover away and sits on the edge of the bed, putting on his shoes.* I will not be long, love
Lilandra: *Her body instantly chills when he moves away from her...missing his warmth already*
Aldir: *Then going to the door, he opens it, and when he goes through it, closes it behind him. He walks to the kitchen and asks Finduilas for a tray for supper enough for Lilandra and him. She prepares plates and platters with food for both of them and a bottle of wine for him and a pot of tea for Lilandra. Finduilas insists that two serving girls go back with him and help carry and serve the food.*
Aldir: *Back at the room, Aldir holds the door open for the serving maids as they come in, smiling and giggling at Lilandra. He helps them serve her, and then when they have finished, he takes a seat by the bed with his tray. First drinking from the goblet of wine, he eats a simple meal of bread and meat, fruits and vegetables.*
Aldir: *From time to time as he is eating, he looks over at Lilandra sitting propped up in the bed, the platter upon her lap, and he feels for the first time in months a growing sense of peace*
Lilandra: *She enjoys the meal tonight more than any she has had in months. She eats her full of all that is on her plate and drink the tea and it soothes her. She has not eaten this well for so long. She never had an appetite. She ate only to keep the baby healthy. Otherwise she usually felt nausea at some point afterwards from worry. She had not gained much body weight at all in this pregnancy. Only her stomach grew, while other parts swelled and other parts ached and felt uncomfortable in simple tasks. She patted her mouth with a napkin and smiles as she looks over to him*
Aldir: *After he is through eating, Aldir places the tray down on the floor beside the chair and looks over to Lilandra* Are you finished eating, my love?
Lilandra: Yes, Aldir. I have had my fill
Aldir: *He gets up from his chair and walks over and removes her tray. He moves the dishes aside and puts the two trays together, the dishes, knives, spoons and cup on top.* I will take these to the kitchen and thank the cooks for the meal. I will not be gone long.
Lilandra: *She hates to see him leave her even if for only a moment.*
Aldir: *He goes out of the room, taking the tray with him. Going to the kitchen, he stays but a short while and then returns. He says when coming back* Finduilas, the cooks and servants bid us a good night. And twill be a good one, my beloved, for we shall be in each other's arms again at last!
Aldir: *The light burns low in the candleholder on the stand. From old familiarity with their room, he knows where the candles are kept. He goes to a drawer, takes one out, lights it from the still-burning candle in the holder and after taking the old candle out and snuffing it, he replaces it with a new one.*
Lilandra: *She swings her legs over the side of the bed and slowly begins to stand, needing to stretch her body out a moment and move around a bit, especially after eating. She paces the room and rubs her hands over her stomach and up her body and then back behind her neck and then she makes her way over to where he stands*
Aldir: *He reaches his hands out and clasps her around the neck, gently pulling her to him and rests his forehead on hers*
Lilandra: *She stares into his eyes and brushes the tip of her nose over his and smiles lightly*
Aldir: *Then his hands drop to her shoulders and he bends his head, turning slightly and at last after so many months, his lips find hers*
Lilandra: *She rests her hands at his sides and holds onto him as she releases a small sigh as she feels the warmth of the lips of the man she loves. Her lips quiver slightly as she lives the dream she has had for so many months. She thought for a while that she would never again feel his tender kisses. She savored this feeling now and held onto him tighter, when disturbing memories flashed in her mind, she did not move her mouth away from his but moved closer to him for comfort knowing that Aldir was here for her and she would be safe now with him*
Aldir: *What pain had she endured while he was gone, he wondered, what torments had she suffered, torments of the heart, mind and body? What had she been through so that he could eat well, so that he would not be whipped or tortured? What high price had she had to pay? His hands involuntarily clench as he holds her. "My suffering was nothing compared to hers." He thinks of Vartang, scum from a cesspool, and the words he used to taunt them both that night when Lilandra had been so cruelly abused. He shuts his eyes briefly and before him he can see the leering face of the Easterling laughing at him, gloating at taking his beloved wife. But he says nothing, and forces his hands to unclench on her shoulders and instead to knead them lovingly*
Aldir: *How he had ached for her, how he had longed to hold her during the nights as he lay on his ankle shackles on either side to the other slaves beside him, the clanking of their manacles as they slept fitfully, some dreaming their own dreams, perhaps of wife and family and home.*
Lilandra: *She feels him tense against her..his hands clench before they ease again. She leans into him more, her belly pressed against his and she rests her head on his chest. She hears the beating of his heart...feels it against her cheek and it matches her own. She wonders how she ever survived the seemingly endless night apart from him and in the quarters of the enemy. That lecherous insect. And now it is her that tenses. How strong the power of love was that she was able to bring herself to rise each day. But she needed this baby. She needed to think that that this day would come. That she would be as she is now. Against her husband now she knew she could never be parted from him ever again. Not from him...not from their child. They would stick together now. She hated even seeing him leave the room to go to the kitchen. Fear was ingrained in her now and she always felt a sinking feeling when he was not in her sight. She clung to him and nuzzled her face in his chest*
Aldir: *He had dreamed too, dreamed of them both back together on the farm where they lived in Gondor, free people working their own land, but usually these dreams ended with her being torn away from him by Vartang and his guards just as he had reached for her. Dreams? No, nightmares. After these dreams that came so harshly to his sleeping mind, he awoke to find himself sitting bolt upright on the cold ground and reaching for his red sword that glowed with his own fury when he wielded it in anger. Confused at not finding the sword in its sheath, the cold realization of where he was had dawned like a winter's morning, icy and chill. But now she is right before him, held safely in his arms, and he vows to himself that death shall take him before he ever loses her again to any man.*
Lilandra: *She lifted her face to his to find his jaw hardened..his eyes straight ahead, staring coldly*
Aldir: *But he says nothing of it, only her name as though the saying of it assures him of the reality of their reunion.* Lilandra!
Lilandra: *Confirming her presence she squeezes his hands and lifts up on her toes and kisses his lips*
Aldir: *He is thankful that no one has come to their door knocking or worse yet barging in to welcome him back, thankful that the master at last has shown common sense to let them enjoy their reunion in each other's arms and in peace.*
Aldir: *How he hated the Halfling! Even the thought of him made him angry. How innocent the Halfling pretended to be, how guiltless he pretended to be when Aldir was convinced that the Halfling had betrayed the West either for gain or because he had broke under torture and was little more than a thrall of the Enemy!*
Lilandra: Aldir, darling, are you tired? *she says as she strokes his face*
Aldir: Nay, my love, not tired, for seeing you has taken all weariness away from me. But you, my love, there is a slight darkness around your eyes that shows me that you tire
Lilandra: *She inhales and holds her breath a moment for the darkness around her eyes have been there for many months. Her nights were full of broken sleep. Darkness surrounded her eyes because of her grim existence for the those months as well. Would her mind ever recover from that time spent there? Would she ever have to face that again. She finally exhales* I do not want to sleep yet love. I do not want to close my eyes and deny them the sight of you
Aldir: Sweet Lilandra, I think you should lie down and I think you should lie down now. I know you are excited at seeing me *he says calmly and reasonably* but in your condition, it is best that you rest as much as possible. Whilst I have never been a father before, even I know such as that *he says and smiles at her*
Lilandra: *She smiles back and her heart fills with such love and she feels so much when she hears him speak of him being a father* You are going to be a terrific father, my love
Aldir: That is my hope, but now I wish to be a good husband and as a good husband, I insist that you lie down
Lilandra: And I insist that you lay beside me
Aldir: Love, that is all I have ever dreamed of in these many long months, lying beside you
Lilandra: *Her voice shakes a bit* Darling are the only one I have wanted beside me
Aldir: *He feels a cold shudder come over him at those words, "the only one." He feels almost as though a hand has struck him across the face. Instead he brings his hand up and puts it gently over her mouth* Shhh *he says*
Lilandra: *She breathes deeply under his fingers*
Aldir: Now you must lie down and rest *he says as he begins to guide her towards the bed*
Lilandra: *She looks towards him and then away as she makes her way to the bed*
Aldir: There is something I must needs first do *he says as he moves away from her. Then walking over to a chair, he picks it up and carries it over to the door, leaning the top of the chair against the door and wedging the top under the latch* We will not be disturbed tonight *He walks back to her and helps her into the bed*
Lilandra: *She cannot imagine what his nights have been like. She knows it must have been form of treacherous conditions and she looks to him sadly. Her own....she did not even want to think. her voice is soft* Tonight love....we will finally have a restful sleep *She adjusts herself in the bed and groans a little*
Aldir: There is one thing yet I must do *He says as he stands beside the bed. He walks over to the wall where his sword and sheath rest upon a rack. He takes both out and then walks over to the other side of the bed, placing them both on a chair by the bed on the side nearest to where he will sleep.* A precaution *he says to her softly*
Lilandra: *She feels very comforted by his action and smiles*
Aldir: *He stands there a while looking at her, comforted by the knowledge of his sword close by, then says* Lilandra, perhaps you should not look. I do not think you will like what your eyes will see
Lilandra: *She tilts her head, confused as she looks at him* what my love?
Aldir: The scars, they are not a pleasant sight *he breaks off in the middle of the sentence*
Lilandra: *She shudders and once again the flash of that night comes in her head..his screams..the blood....the torture chamber* cannot be hidden from me forever
Lilandra: *Her hands clench the sheets as she looks to him* Go on love
Aldir: But now, Lilandra? Perhaps a few days should go by before you see them
Lilandra: The number of days will not ease any pain from seeing them. And nothing can erase the memory of....of that night
Aldir: You are right as you always are *he sighs, and unfastens his belt, laying it under the sword and sheath on the chair. Then he takes off his tunic, pulling it over his head and then after placing the tunic on the chair, he stands at the other side of the bed. The candle's glow shows a long jagged gash on his left side and across his stomach, scars of runes saying "Tark Filth, spawn of dogs" in Black Speech.*
Lilandra: *She inhales a small gasp and presses her trembling lips together as her eyes shine with a glaze of tears*
Aldir: Now you see them *he says* I told you they were not a pretty sight. But this is the worst of it, Lilandra. They did all they could and did not kill me
Lilandra: *She was thankful that was the worst of it..and it was a scar she as present for..not one she did not know about.....Vartang had kept his word and Aldir was not tortured but nevertheless she filled with such hate and her hands clenched fistfulls of the sheet as she looked to the runes that marked his flesh...she grit her teeth and the tears spilt from narrowed eyes*
Aldir: There are a few scars and callouses around my ankles but they are nothing
Lilandra: *She felt a wave of sickness go through her when she thought of what she had to endure, but relief mixed with it from Aldir's confirmation that he was not hurt in his time all her agony was not for nothing. She wipes her cheeks and moved her eyes from his stomach to his face*
Aldir: *He looks down at her, his heart filled with love, daring now to let himself feel joyful that no final irony has been played upon him, no one has come into the room to try to tear them apart again, no grinning face of Vartang leering at them when he comes to torment them. All the house seems quiet. At last he lets his face fully relax and he smiles down at her.*
Lilandra: *His expression calms her and her features soften and she smiles back at him lightly*
Aldir: *He sits down on the bed and takes off the poorly fitting new shoes and pushes them back under the bed with his foot. Then he unties his chausses from his braes and pulls them off and reaches over, tucking them under the sword on the chair. Then he lifts his legs into the bed and turns over on his side facing her, resting his head on his hand.*
Lilandra: *She fixes her pillows on the bed and moves her body gently to accommodate her enlarged stomach and makes small groaning sounds as she shifts and lowers herself comfortably on her side, facing him. The candlelight highlights his face and she sighs contentedly and reaches her arm out to rest over the side of his waist. Her mind swirls with so many different emotions..she just stares at him in amazement of having him near her once again*
Aldir: *He looks at her, resenting the shadows cast by the candle that only show part of her face. He reaches his hand out and touches her stomach and thinks of the new life there that could have been so easily snuffed out. If he had not stopped believing in the Valar some time months ago in the torture chamber, he would thank them for keeping Lilandra and the unborn child safe, but he no longer believes in anything but her. He moves his hand up and his fingertips stroke her face, hoping he can coax a smile from her lips that have had little reason to smile about anything for these many months.* My darling *he says softly* I love you
Lilandra: *His touch and words comfort her like nothing else and she smiles brightly for the first time* I love you so much Aldir
Aldir: *He touches her lips and feels the corners of them are raised up in a smile* It is good to know you smile again, my love. The time of tears is over *he says, and he hopes beyond hope itself that his words will prove true*
Lilandra: *The hand around his waist pulls him closer to her, wanting so much to feel the warmth of his body. She longed for it in the cold, harsh nights.....she did not want to think of it. She wanted now to be lost in just the feeling of love with her husband and child between them. Let her at least for now forget the dread of the future and know only this moment.* I will smile as long as we are together. And the smile will be wider still when our child is born. But there will be many tears at that moment, love. Tears of joy in the long awaited arrival of our baby, which we have dreamed of having for many years. *Tears well up in her eyes even now in the very thought and emotion of it all, but the smile does not fade*
Aldir: *He moves his hand up to her face, and with one finger, he brushes over the tears from both sides of her cheeks* There will be no tears tonight, only tears of joy
Lilandra: *She wraps her arm around him more and moves her face closer to his until she can feel his warm breath on her face*
Aldir: *He slides closer to her to kiss her, his hand reaching for her shoulder, and then moved downwards and rubbed her back. His fingertips feel the raised scars on her her back, and he winces inwardly at the touch of them* Lilandra, I can feel the scars, at least some of them. Oh my darling, what you have suffered! *he says and pulls her closer* I want to see them, Lilandra *he says, his voice grim*
Lilandra: *She grips him tightly...her eyes and voice pleading* oh Aldir *dread seeps into her once more, but she know she cannot protest and deny him what he asks of her for she knows what he feels because she felt the same about seeing his scars. His pains were hers and hers was his*
Aldir: I could see but poorly what the orc did; your blood as it flow down hid much of it, but now I wish to see all *his voice is firm and demanding*
Lilandra: *She wished this could wait until morning...even wait longer than that. Wait until it was absolutely necessary for him to see. But she knew he would not feel at ease until his eyes beheld what his fingers felt and she wanted him to feel comfort after all these months of not*
Lilandra: *She sighs as gives in to his request. She pulls the covers down off her and she moves out of the bed and stands. She looks to him for long moments* love...are you sure?
Aldir: Lilandra, what has been done cannot be undone.... I am sure!
Lilandra: *She closes her eyes as the flash come into her mind of the orc in front of her and the feel of his raking nails comes back to her and her expression shifts briefly to one of horror then calms as she opens her eyes to see her husband. Her breathing increases as she reaches down and starts to lift the bottom of her undergarment up. It eases up her legs and thighs and there, begins the first glimpse of the raised, reddish violet scar. She pulled the garment up more..the marks continued up the length of her thighs, missing, thankfully her stomach, but over her hip. The nails left uneven trails. She lifts the garment up now completely over her head and lets it drop from her shaking hand to the floor as she stands bare before him.*
Lilandra: *Some areas showed four claw marks, which were over her chest in the same, disturbing, jagged and cruel looking marks. Some showed only three where the nail did not rake as hard. Her expression was twisted in sadness and anger and other emotions all in one. Seeing his face only made it harder and once again tears fell...not from she slowly turned around and showed the marks which he felt on her back. These did not break. Four, deep slash scars, darker than the front started between her shoulder blades and continued all the way to the upper, back of her thighs*
Aldir: *He sucks in his breath as he sees the scars in the flickering candlelight and his hands clench, his face scowling. Then he forces his features into a calm look, not wanting to show the anger he feels and the sorrow. All he can think of is that he wants to comfort her. He gets up from the bed and walks over to her, taking her in his arms and clasping her above her stomach. Bending down, he kisses her neck* You are beautiful in my sight *he says* as you always have been. There is no difference in the love that I feel for you. If anything, if it were possible, there would only be more.
Lilandra: *She trembles in his tight, loving grasp. His words move her. She leans back against him and feels his warmth. She knows him well though. She knows inside the rage that he feels and even more she admires and loves the way he tries so hard and does all he can to make her feel at ease. He suppresses the fire within him for her. She looks to his hands on her bare belly and this calms her considerably. She places her hands on his and there is so much warmth generated there. And then if meant to if a signal that all past torment should fade, they feel on their hands a quick jolt from inside her stomach. She sucks in a breath and the tears once again transform to ones of joy*
Aldir: *"I never should have helped Ceolwulf escape. That action has brought all this upon her. What a fool I was to have helped the damned Rohir. What was he to me? No kin. Nothing. Yet I risked all I loved to save his wretched skin! If I had only stayed home, none of this would have happened. The orc would never have tormented her and damaged her body so cruelly! And Vartang, may his soul rot in the deepest pit of the Void, he never would have had her! Someday, just someday, I will hunt him down and bury my blade deep in his gut! But not now..." he thinks, trying to keep his thoughts calm. "I must do nothing to bring alarm to my darling who has suffered so much. By whatever Gods that might exist, I will have his blood on my sword!"*
Aldir: *But then something calls him back from his thoughts of destruction. For the first time, he feels the kick of their unborn child against his hand.* Lilandra *he gasps* I felt it! Our son rejoices to welcome his father *he says in awe and wonder*
Lilandra: *A wide smile adorns her face and she weeps and laughs lightly at the same time..completely overwhelmed at the feel of their baby inside her.* Oh Aldir *another ripple is felt under her skin and she places the back of her head against his solid chest as they hold her stomach* I love you...I love this baby. So much!
Aldir: *His voice chokes but he tries to disguise it. He is hoarse as he replies* All things have been given back to me... I love you, my cherished one, and our unborn child.

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