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She huddled on the corner of her bed, leaning against the wall by the window. She watched as the last few lights went out in the houses below, the city was sleeping now. The stars were still veiled and this brought back to her the reminder of why she was there. She looked down at her bandaged arm and frowned. But then the memory of the hands that had bandaged that arm came back to her. The rough, callused, but remarkably gentle hands that had so carefully drawn her back from death’s door.

She inhaled deeply and then sighed heavily. The smell of Athelas wafted around her, sweet and pungent, but it only brought back memories of him. He was out there, she thought, marching towards Mordor and possibly death.

Nay, she dared not think of that. For she still loved him. His healing of her had only rekindled the love for him that she had so desperately tried to snuff out.

‘How foolish I was’, she thought sadly, ‘going off to war like a mad woman. I thought I had more sense than that.’ She hugged her knees to her chest and looked about the quiet room. All lay sleeping. All but her.

Suddenly there was a soft footfall behind her. She turned to see Faramir. The young man whose bed was just a few away from hers. She drew the blankets about her and looked up at him.

“My Lord?” she inquired, not knowing what he wanted.

“What troubles you my lady?” he said in a soft voice. This startled her. How could he know the plights that lay upon her heart?

“Nothing, my lord, I just can’t seem to sleep.”

“Sleep is elusive to me also,” he murmured. She frowned and wished he would go away and leave her be, but he made no sign of leaving – rather he stepped closer to the bed. “Do you worry for the army? Your brother?” he said slowly.

Her brother, now she felt guilty. She had been so concerned with Aragorn that she had totally missed the fact that her brother was riding with him.

“Yes,” she said softly, and he nodded.

“You are fortunate that you still have your brother.” She turned to look at him and stared up into the deep blue eyes that searched her own.

“I am sorry my Lord.”

“It’s all right. How is your wound?” he gestured, changing the subject.

“It is healing, but is still is not wholly well. And yours?” she said looking at his bandaged arm.

“It is mending.” They were silent for a while, and she studied him closely. Tall and broad-shouldered he stood. A clean-shaven face and raven locks finished him. For the first time, she began to notice how handsome he was. She finally turned back to the window and looked up at the now sinisterly black sky, fringed with red to the east.

“Do not worry. I’m sure Lord Aragorn will return safely,” he ventured quietly. She gaped at him, how did he know of her love for Aragorn? She tried to say something, but words did not come. She sat there stunned. “I heard you murmur his name in your sleep,” he said quietly, smiling a little. Finally she found her voice.

“Does that mean I care for him?” she sneered. She felt he was teasing her about it. She was a shield maiden, not a child. “If you think so my lord. You are mistaken.” She tried to sound defiant, but she knew her voice betrayed too much of her emotion.

“Then who do you care for my Lady?”

“None but my people, and my brother.”

“That is a pity, for you would make a wonderful wife for a fortunate man.” This made her stop and think. There was something in his voice that hinted at suggestion, but she ignored it. For she wished this troublesome man to be gone.

“Goodnight my Lord,” she said determinedly, sliding back under her coverlet.

“Goodnight Lady Eowyn,” he murmured, before walking away. Eowyn lay puzzled in the dark. Did he care for her? For she rather believed that she was beginning to care for him. Little did she realize that Aragorn was slipping from her mind, and that Faramir was finding his place within her heart.

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