Not To Hold

by Kandadze

Part 3: Lamath*

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The Rangers are wise men. They know that we can have anything of this world - as long as we look at it. What we truly possess are our memories and the moment we live in, nothing more. But love makes us greedy - and suddenly we wish our sight was ten times sharper, for we cannot see everything at once, and we fear our hands are not strong enough to hold what is dear to us. We fear the loss...

*** I never doubted the choice of my heart - it wouldn't have listened to me anyway - and I lost myself in a silveren maze of your hair, willingly. I often watch you soak up the sun, the wind kissing your face, mimicking my caress. It is the wind you whisper your secrets to... As you turn to me, letting me walk your path, trace every slope and curve, track the core of your pulse, follow the ragged breath - I suddenly catch a glimpse of the hidden landscapes of your soul. For a moment, I am blessed.

***

I agreed to give her as much time as she needed to think things through. I would give her everything if she asked me... save immortality. It is the gift I cannot return and should have never accepted, for even she had not fully understood how the life of a mortal would change her. What do I do if she decides to leave? What shall I tell our people? How would they possibly react when told their Queen had given her heart to another mortal, a woman no less!

***

I never doubted your love for me was true. It was there, in the laughing crinkles of your eyes, in the way your fingertips brushed my closed eyelids, in the way you breathed my name and laughed at the gateways of a new day. I know you loved me - and for this I am grateful.

***

I have waited for her for so many years, keeping her image inside to help me go on when my strength seemed to falter. We have never really talked to each other - the conversations we've had during those years were always of poignant importance - and I can see now that although I have loved her, I haven't truly known her. Whatever she decides, she will be mine in my memories. For I remember every single kiss, every time I lifted the raven curtain off her face, every time I made love to her... She will not forget it, either. Will she?

***

Nothing can stay untouched, and everything changes. I do not know where this road will take us, or if we'll walk together - for even when our bodies become one, our souls are still hidden and guarded. I asked you once to have hope again... and I believe I was one of the reasons you stayed. Today, I ask you of only one thing. Every time she looks at you... every time she smiles... don't forget I love you more. 1

Author's note: *still in kneeling position, with strawberry syrup (sorry, have run out of chocolate) covered Aragorn on a salver* once again - big thank you to zasjah for wonderful beta job!

* Sindarin: "echoing voices"
1 Kate's line from Ian Softley's film version of "Wings of the Dove"

Chapter 2