Aragorn looked back at Kristiel, for what was probably the hundredth time. He still didn't know what had possessed him to agree to her bringing up the rear of the group. It wasn't as though he didn't trust her. He did. It was just that, if anything were to happen to Kristiel on this quest, Arwen would have his head. Well, maybe not his head. That she would never forgive him, was closer to the truth. Even if it wasn't his fault.
He glanced back again, a long moment later. Kristiel gave him a faint smile, and Aragorn could see amusement in her eyes. He wasn't offended by it, for he knew she was amused by his being protective of her. He knew that she was more than capable of taking care of herself. Arwen was much the same way. But, Aragorn was used to always being the protector, and, to have someone else protecting him for a change? He shook his head. It was going to take some getting used to.
His thoughts soon turned to his beloved, yet he remained ever alert to his surroundings. He touched the elven necklace that Arwen had given him before he had left Rivendell. She had given him the necklace, and her love. And the words that she was going to give up her immortality to be with him.
Arwen. Would he ever see her again? Would he ever taste her sweet lips, or touch her soft skin, again? He could only pray that he would, that this quest would be successful. He sighed, before turning, once again, to look at Kristiel.
She was looking up at the sky, following the path of a bird, a hawk, if he wasn't mistaken, flying high above them. If it had been anyone else, Aragorn would have reprimanded them to pay attention to the area around them. But, he knew that, while Kristiel appeared to be unattentive to her surroundings, it was just that. An appearance. He knew, from previous experience, that she was always aware of what was going on around her. Little ever got by her.
For the first time, Aragorn was glad that Kristiel had joined them on the quest. He knew that he could count on her to see that the One Ring was destroyed.
| Part VII |
| Index |