Faramir's secret is safe and the journey continues

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“Elrohir, I would have a word with you please.”

“Yes Glorfindel?”

“Elrohir, I would talk with you about the young Lord Faramir.”

“Oh oh. He knows. Here it comes.” “Yes hirin?”

Glorfindel almost raised an eyebrow – a habit he had picked up since living in Imladris. “The youth feels guilty for something…”

“Have you noticed anything odd about him Elrohir? Anything that takes you by surprise?”

“By surprise? What do you mean?”

“Just any ways of speaking or acting that seem to hint at something…more…Something unsaid, or unsettled…?”

“From your question I take it you have noticed something.”

“I am not certain yet. But please help me to watch him. We must ensure that no harm comes to him while he is on our watch.”

“Do you think he is ill Glorfindel?”

“No. Or…I am not certain. But you will be gentle with him, won’t you? And let me know if anything seems amiss?”

“Yes, of course my lord. Of course I will.”

“But you cannot speak for your brother or companion?”

“I…will share your concerns with them my lord.”

“Very well. See that you do.”

The day lightened only slightly as it came on. The forest itself seemed to hold the dawn’s mist as a cloak, muffling it about their horses’ footsteps and discouraging conversation. For his part, Faramir was content to ride in peace, stirring his thoughts only idly. He watched the trail from beneath heavy lidded eyes and seemed to pay only visceral attention to his surroundings. Yet, watching from his position on the right flank, his own face a mask of indifference, Glorfindel suspected that Faramir saw and heard far more of the forest around him than he let on. He sensed a kindred spirit in Faramir and knew also the wisdom of apparent nonchalance. Still waters…he thought. They rode on.

Breaking for the noon meal, Faramir found his rest against the base of an unusually large hawthorn tree. He reclined against it and closed his eyes, listening to the sounds of the others adjusting their packs, gentling their horses. Though the sun did not reach under the trees, the ranger still registered a shadow falling upon his face.

“Faramir, I…ah…I’m sorry about last night. Are you…alright?”

Sighing inwardly, Faramir opened his eyes to regard Theodred from a safe internal distance.

“It is forgiven Theodred. Do not think on it again.”

“But not forgotten, eh? You…”

The Rohirrim trailed off at a dismissive wave of Faramir’s hand.

“Leave it be. Please.” Faramir’s mild look turned hard for such a short instant that the Prince was immediately certain he had imagined it. Almost.

Shrugging, Theodred turned back toward the twins, who were stretching and removing bread and apples from their packs. Coming up behind one of them, he swatted the perfect muscular globes restrained only by velvet leggings.

“Oh ho, Theodred! Watch yourself or you may have more than you can bargain for!”

The second voice chimed in, “Ah, young rascal, if you’ve a mind to spank, come on over here instead. I’m ready for you.”

Chuckling, the Prince joined his friends and walked a few paces off. Faramir closed his eyes again. From his position on a nearby boulder, Glorfindel continued to watch.





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