I could not believe how fast Boromir grew! By three months old, I found him increasingly hard to carry. His dark hair grew thicker, and he was marvelled at for his size. Boromir was not an overweight babe - no – he was just growing quickly. Of course, Boromir's quick growth and constant demand for food had Denethor beaming with pride.
"He shall grow to be a mighty man!" Denethor would exclaim.
Half of me was proud to have such a strong, healthy son, but another part of me wished that he was smaller and more subtle.
Not only was Boromir large for his age, he was also very noisy. If he was not crying; demanding food, he would be screaming for attention, or acting fussy over who was holding him or giving him attention. By the end of each day, I was exhausted.
Voronda had had enough of her cousin. She started avoiding the nursery and making up excuses as to why she could not dine with me.
"Why does he have to be so noisy?" Voronda asked as she and I sat in the back courtyard of the kitchens.
"He is a babe," I replied, sitting back against the wall. "Your cousin is new to this world; therefore he does not understand his place yet."
Voronda frowned and placed Apricot on her lap. "I still do not like him very much."
Her words made my heart sink. "I am sorry, dear. I am sorry you feel that way. I, myself do wish that he would settle down more often, but your uncle is very proud to have such an active son and heir." A son and heir, I thought. Lord Angbor's new wife had delivered a healthy boy only two weeks earlier. They named him Doronor.
"I thought Uncle Denethor liked silence?" Voronda asked, drawing my attention back to her.
Voronda was right; Denethor did enjoy the peace of serenity. However, he had almost demanded me to give him a strong male heir, and now I have. No matter what people say about my son, I shall be proud of myself for achieving what I was bought to Minas Tirith to do.
"Auntie Finduilas," Voronda sang. "There is a man over there!"
I turned in the direction in which Voronda was pointing. Behind the courtyard wall, there was a sheepish-looking man hovering under a tree. At once, my eyes widened, for I knew he was the pageboy who worked for Agoron. What in the name of Valar, was he doing here?
I quickly stood up and walked out of the courtyard. I looked down each direction of the narrow lane. I dared not proceed if there was sight of any other person. The path was clear, and I scurried down, holding onto the railing that stopped me from falling down the side of the mountain.
"Lord Agoron sent me here," the boy said in a harsh whisper.
"You should know that you are not meant to come up to the citadel!" I whispered fiercely. "How did you get passed the guards?"
"I came through the back way via the sixth level, my lady," he replied. "The way that the servants use." The boy gave a shrug. "I suppose the guards thought me to be another servant by the way I am dressed."
I grimly smiled. "What does Lord Agoron want?"
"He has sent you a letter, my lady." The boy handed me a letter, and I quickly tucked it into the pocket of my cloak.
"You should go... right now."
The boy nodded and looked about him. "You know where to find me?"
I nodded vigorously. "Leave, now!"
My heart was pounding as I made my way back to the courtyard. However, I stopped halfway down the lane and crouched against the stone wall of the courtyard. Taking a deep breath, I took the letter out and opened it.
My beautiful, dearest Finduilas,
How is your health? I am most please that you have found joy in the birth of your son, Boromir. Imrahil has told me that it is believed that Boromir shall make a mighty Steward when his time comes. I am also aware that the birth of your son has bought great happiness to the Lord Denethor.
Last year, you told me that you wished to see me. Is this still so?
You know that I will not force you into doing anything that makes you uncomfortable. If you wish to see me, I am already here in Minas Tirith. I am staying with a friend on the fourth level. His name is Fardaer. He is a soldier stationed on the eastern side of the wall. He is not of great importance, so I thought his home would be a good place for us to meet.
If you do wish to see me, I will be staying at his home all day and night for the next five days. I wish to keep a low profile in case someone recognises me. To get to Fardaer's house, walk down to the fourth level and turn right into the sixth lane. Continue down that lane until you come to across a shop that makes saddles. There, you will see another lane turning left down a narrow alleyway. At the end of that alley, you will find two doors. Fardaer's front door is on the left. His father owns the saddle shop, and both men are very friendly. I have not told either of them of my reasons of being in Minas Tirith. If you find enough trust for them, I shall tell them.
If you do not wish to see me, reply to this letter and send it to my servant. I shall then leave for Dol Amroth.
With all my love,
"What are you doing?"
I gasped and snapped my head up to see Voronda staring down at me.
"N-nothing," I stuttered. I folded the letter away into my cloak and stood up. "Just reading."
"Out here in this lane?" Voronda asked, looking about her.
"There is nothing wrong with that," I said, straightening my dress. "Come; let us go back to the palace."
Valar! What was I going to do? Agoron was here, in Minas Tirith, right now! He was within walking distance from where I was. Oh, I wanted so much to run down to him and just see his face. My excitement continued to grow as my heart continued to beat rapidly. There was no chance I was going to let my only opportunity to see Agoron again slip away from me. I was going to see him... that very night!
I could feel my face go pale as I thought of an excuse to leave the citadel. That was going to be quite difficult. Now that I had given birth, I was once again sharing a bed with Denethor. The only way I could see myself being able to leave the citadel without any valid reason, was to sneak out in the dead of the night, taking the servants exit out of the citadel. Oh, but so many things could go wrong! What if Denethor woke up to find me not at his side? What if the guards spotted me? So many things could easily go wrong, but I had to take the chance. I would go tonight and see how far I could go without being spotted. If, by some miraculous chance, I was able to reach Fardaer's house, I would dare not stay long. After tonight, I would have to find another time during the day to see him. If I were not so excited, I would wait until the next day. I knew I would not be able to sleep tonight.
In the evening, after dinner, I gave Boromir a long cuddle and kissed him goodnight. He smiled at me, and began to suck his thumb once I put him into his cradle. My son really was a handsome little boy. I smiled the whole way to my chamber. I could not wait until Boromir grew up more and began to play with his toys.
When I entered the chamber, Denethor was already there, sitting at the table. I walked casually over to my wardrobe and pulled the dressing screen across. I really did not feel like putting a nightgown on. If I was to roam the streets of Minas Tirith, wearing my night clothes would be highly inappropriate. Still, at that time, I did not have much choice in the matter. I went through all my nightgowns and finally found one that could pass as a dress. It was made out of silk, with laces tying up at the back. Since I had dismissed my handmaiden earlier in the nursery, I fussed over trying to tie up the laces. I froze when I felt two large hands taking the laces. I knew it was Denethor, but what startled me was that he did not continue to lace up my nightdress.
"Are you going to assist me?" I asked.
I heard him sigh deeply and felt him tightly lacing up my nightdress. When he was done, I turned around and he pulled me close to him. He had his hand caressing my cheek, so I closed my eyes and imagined Agoron. I knew I should not have done so, but Agoron was the only man on my mind that night. I felt Denethor kiss my lips, but I did not move. I could not satisfy my husband that night. I knew what he wanted, but I did not want to proceed in intercourse with him. Not tonight. No. I had to stay focused.
"I am tired," I finally managed to say. "Boromir keeps me so busy."
Denethor let his hands drop to his side. "As much as I love our son, you must not spend all your time and energy with him."
I glared at my husband. "Why? What else should I spend my energy on?" Before I could let him answer, I walked over to my side of the bed. "Like I said, I am very tired and I do not wish to remain awake much longer. Perhaps we could discuss this more in the morning?"
Denethor nodded. "Then tomorrow we shall talk."
I blew out my candle and rolled onto my side, facing the wall. My nerves started to rise. The time to sneak out was becoming very close. Part of me wanted to leap out of bed, grab my cloak, and run down to see Agoron. Unfortunately, that fantasy died away when I felt Denethor wrapping his arm around my waist, pulling me close to him. I mentally cursed him. I should have known that Denethor would hold me that night, for he always does. Clearly, my excitement was not allowing my mind to think properly. I took a deep breath and shut my eyes. I kept them shut for several minutes and wondered how long it would take for Denethor to fall asleep. I honestly had no idea if he slept in a deep, fitful sleep, or if he slept lightly and was aware of his surroundings, even in the deep hours of the night. This thought frightened me. What if I managed to leave the citadel, only to have Denethor follow me, leading him straight to Agoron? How would I ever be able to explain Agoron's presence to him?
Closing my eyes tighter, I prayed that I would be able to leave this chamber without any knowledge of my husband. All I wanted to do was to see Agoron.
Please, Valar, give me that chance!
I could not sleep. I would not! No, not after everything I had been through. The dreams sill continued to haunt me, even in the lightness of day.
My sons... my sweet, little innocent boys. Were they fated to such images as the ones in my dreams?
Agoron... Valar! If only I could apologise... if only I could see him one last time.