The tent was empty. Only her bedroll lay in it. She scrambled up, and pushed open the tent flap, fingers fumbling –
The whole camp was deserted. They left without her, heading north towards the cold.
She tried to grab as much as she could – the bedroll, the food, her coat – wasting time! Need to catch up! And she ran after them, somehow knowing it was too late. She climbed the crest of a hill – dropped the food – no time –
There was no sign of them. Somehow she knew she’d run south instead of north. But I have to catch up, I can’t I won’t be left here to go back to the dark city on my own-
She must’ve made a noise in her sleep, because in moments he was gently shaking her awake. The world slid back into place – of course they hadn’t gone without her. She wrapped her arms tightly around her husband and pressed her cheek against his.
‘Nightmare?’ he asked.
‘Yes. You all left me behind.’
‘Hmmm. Doesn’t sound so bad,’ he said, dryly.
She pulled away slightly at that. Damn you, I know you wanted to stay in Tirion, but that…I love you but you can be a real asshole sometimes…
He picked up on this immediately, although she hadn’t spoken. ‘I…um, I didn’t mean…sorry,’ he said, trying to pull her towards him again. ‘I…no, being parted from you and Itarillë is probably my worst nightmare.’ He reached to stroke her cheek. ‘I wish we could…’
‘I know,’ she said. ‘But as we can’t stay, at least we’re together.’
‘Yes,’ he said. ‘I’m not about to leave you.’
Of course he wouldn’t. She relaxed, resting her head against his chest. ‘And I’m not going to leave you. That’s why I’m here.’