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8
Spinning (Arwen, Galadriel)

On the distaff the knot of storm-grey fibers thinned as on the spindle the skein of silky thread fattened.

The color of his eyes.

The slow rhythm of her hands and fingers, forming the fine strands, filled her days.

Too many days.

The change had crept up on her.

Too many years.

But not even a quarter of a yéni had in truth passed.

His heartbeat hovered at the horizon of her thought; she knew that the treacheries of mortality had not claimed him.

But yet he does not come. What changes have the years wrought? Has another won his love?

The leaves had gilded, fallen, bloomed again, and yet again. Still he did not come.

Is this how it will be? she wondered. Will that other part of my Elven blood count the days, the months, the year? Will I too change like the leaves in the seasons?

Impossibly long ago, when they had met under the trees in Rivendell, she had refused him. He had sworn he would seek her again, would again ask for her love. Now she dreamed of him at night. Her laughter fell silent.

Day after day, at the loom in her grandmother's workroom, she wove the thread she had spun, passing the shuttle back and forth, her feet pressing the peddles to shift the warp. The silver-grey cloth lengthened. Again the leaves turned gold, fell, bloomed. He had not come.

A movement at the edge of her sight distracted her as the warden entered, seeking the Lady. "A Man is asking admittance to the Wood, my lady. He says he is lord of the Dúnedain, and he bears your brother's ring."

"He is a friend, warden. Bring him to me."

Her blood surging, Arwen knew that nothing would ever again be the same.



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