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The Fallen
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Betrothal- II

Zimraphel tried to pry away from him, to welcome the cool breeze that would allow her to think rationally about this. But thinking rationally also had its dangers. It brought back to her mind those ugly whispers, that accused her of hypocrisy and ingratitude. It forced her to follow a logical and inexorable chain of thoughts that she could not disguise beneath fair words or dissipate in purposeful vagueness.

When she gave her love to Pharazôn, she had chosen to follow her heart, and yet at the same time she had broken the law, and betrayed her father. She could convince herself that the law was unfair and meant to be broken, as they had both been meant to meet and fall in love with each other and no one else in Arda. She could muster a thousand reasons for resenting his father, who perservered alone in a mistaken path that threatened to bring ruin upon Númenor and division upon his family. And still, all those reasons and pretexts crumbled to dust upon a single wall, the wall of cowardice and falsehood, as she showed to all Númenor the smiling face of an innocent and to his father the love of a daughter.

Whenever she thought rationally, she always discovered that she did not like herself. And so she had learned to smother her innermost thoughts, as well as she had once become skilled in ignoring people and faces that she did not like as as child.

Love. She let her eyes trail fondly, hungrily over the handsome, daring features of Pharazôn, and gave him a tremulous smile. Love was beautiful and pure, and it had the power of dignifying the basest passions and motives.

She was in love.

"When you return." she promised, sealing her pledge with a kiss.


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