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2
A Gift of Friendship and A Gift of Love

Written as a birthday present for Bridiliel.

December 2004.


~~~

A Gift of Friendship

I touched the wall, marveling the difference two years has wrought. The cracked marble replaced by smooth white once again, the stone docks sound. Anar has sunk below the horizon, leaving twilit peace and serenity.

“Beautiful, is it not?” a voice beside me rumbled.

Glancing down, I see Andvar standing there with folded arms and critical eye. “Aye, beautiful,” I respond. “Yet my eyes turn homeward of late. There is a beauty there that cannot be found here.”

“A lass?”

Smothering a grin (my lovely betrothed called simply “a lass”), I nod.

Andvar’s beard twitches, and he reaches into a leathern pouch at his side, withdrawing a tightly closed fist. “Gundvar brought these from the Falas: perhaps your lass will like them as a gift from Arda.”

I take his proffered hand, and see the milky gleam of a dozen pearls in the dim evening light.

“Thank you, my friend.”

A Gift of Love

“What are they?”

“Pearls, my star-watcher: pearls from the coasts of Arda.” His breath tickles my ear, and I tremble.

Valar, I could never resist him when he spoke to me like that. “I--”

“Shh, love. I need to ask you something.”

I hold my breath, hardly daring to hope. And as he fastens the rope of cool pearls about my neck, he whispers, “Marry me in the springtime, my beautiful Elestirnë, and I will never leave the island again.”

Gazing into his brilliant, earnest grey eyes, then looking out upon our blossoming isle from the balcony, I smile.

------
1. “His ‘right name’ was Anardil, but he was early known by the name of Aldarion because he was much concerned with trees, and planted great woods to furnish timber for the ship-yards.” ~Unfinished Tales
2. Elestirnë (Tar-Elestirnë – “Lady of the Star-brow”) was a title given to Erendis because she wore a diamond fillet about her head after her betrothal to Aldarion.

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