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Fighting the Fall

Chapter 1- The First Mistake

It wasn’t long after daybreak, when the familiar sound of singing elves wafted through the halls of the palace; the peaceful sound wrapped itself around Nesuldé’s sleeping mind rousing her to face another remotely uneventful day.

Stretching her arms high above her head, she yawned, untangling her legs from the mass of blankets. Pushing the blankets to the end of the bed she sat up, rubbing her eyes and rustling her hair slightly. She tried unsuccessfully to run her fingers through her raven locks, trying to rid some of the tangles.

Sighing in defeat, she slid off the edge of the bed, her bare feet hitting the stone floor, as was the routine every morning. Even when given the chance to sleep in, her internal clock would not allow it, shutting out the idea of sleep completely from her mind.

As she stood, the hem of her nightgown swept the floor, gently brushing over her feet as she walked toward the bathing room. Before she reached it, she was stopped by three brisk knocks on the door.

Slightly alarmed, yet curious, Nesuldé quickly approached her closet to fetch a robe, calling her permission for the guest to enter.

As she was slipping the robe over her shoulders, the door revealed Elrohir, standing with a smug grin on his face.

Confused, she looked at him expectantly, waiting for his explanation.

“Glorfindel sent me, Nesuldé,” he stated simply.

That was all she needed to hear- she had slept in.

Sighing, she sent Elrohir a withering look, “That is the first time in centuries, Elrohir, why would I pick today to do it?” She said with a growl.

Elrohir offered little in advice and simply shrugged. “Shall I leave the lady to dress?”

Her eyes dropped to the ground, still pondering upon what could have caused such uncharacteristic tardiness. “Yes, yes. Please tell Glorfindel I will be there within the hour.”

Elrohir gave her a knowing smile and a playful wink before bowing dramatically. “I will do as the lady wishes,” he said, closing the door behind him as he left.

A loud groan of frustration filled the room and she took off her robe and tossed it onto the bed, storming into the bathroom and drawing herself a bath. It would not be as relaxing as she had anticipated, but it would have to do for now.

Stripping herself of her nightgown she threw a glance toward the mirror briefly, a frown creasing her brow as she lowered herself into the steaming water.

How could she have been so ignorant? She was so excited to finally be taught the fine details of elvish lore and history. Certainly, when she was growing up with her parents she had been told all the tales of the Valar, but none of the heroic elves of the Eldar days, or the romantic tales of love from the far past. She was always seeking a better understanding of things, needing background and a solid base to her every belief.

After her parents had sailed to the West, she found it hard to believe in anything at all. Her heart was torn when they left, leaving her in the capable hands of an elleth.
Life had been simple when she lived with Earthellë, but when Nimfalas was killed by the blade; his wife was not long to follow him to Mandos, leaving Nesuldé an orphan again.

Of course, by that time she was able to take care of herself and she was offered a position as librarian within Lord Elrond’s palace. She snatched up the opportunity without hesitation, and she was presented with her very own chambers within the Last Homely House, not too far from the library.

It was there she had met Glorfindel, and it was there his arrogance and wisdom collided to intrigue her greatly. She would often find him there, sitting in a chair, his legs hanging over the arm and a book in hand. She would be shelving books in a far dark corner of the room, watching him silently, never to reveal her hiding place.

It took a very long time for her to conjure up enough courage to speak to him, but she found a way to strike up conversation here and there, in her own fashion.

It was also there that Glorfindel had offered to teach her of all the things she wished to know. He wished to teach her of lore, of herbs, of art, and even skill with a bow. Of course, being ever eager for knowledge, she readily accepted.

She finished cleansing herself and pulled herself out of the sunken pool, wrapping a fluffy white towel around her torso. Her dark hair was stringy when wet, but she had no time to dry it. She quickly dressed and hurriedly towel dried her hair, running her brush through it a few dozen times and skidding out into the hallway. Her eyes dropped to her feet and she groaned, wiggling her bare toes before heading back into her room to fetch a pair of shoes.

Glorfindel was sitting in the library for a good hour and a half before Nesuldé decided to show up, pausing outside the large entrance to smooth out her appearance while she believed him not to be watching.

Of course, the battle hardened warrior would never let on that he was, and the moment her eyes lifted, he dropped his gaze back down to the book in his hands.

“My lord, forgive my tardiness,” she apologized, taking a few wary steps toward the chair that he was not-so-gracefully perched in.

His green eyes locked with hers and he scrutinized her, calibrating how long it would take until she looked away, but to his amusement, her eyes just flashed as she continued the staring contest.

“You’re late,” he began at last, snapping the book in his hands shut and managing to keep a straight face. “I believe you fail your first test, my student.”

She blinked, her eyes finally falling away from his gaze. “I… I realize that, my lord,” she straightened her stance defiantly, “but I also believe I have already apologized for it.”

Glorfindel let a smile tug at the corner of his lips and he stood, replacing the book he had taken on the shelf. “So you did, and you are forgiven. Come child, sit here,” he said sitting back down motioning to an upholstered chair across from him.

She stepped hesitantly forward, then looked at him curiously. “Why have you no books? Are you not going to teach me today?” She asked.

Glorfindel’s face remained impassive and he gestured to the chair again. “Be patient, my student. We are sitting in a library, we have all the books we need.”

Her mouth twisted as if she was going to object, but she thought better of it and sat down, perched on the very edge of the chair, her ankles crossed and her hands folded in her lap.

Glorfindel sent her a curious look, but said nothing and leaned back in his own chair, watching her as she shifted uncomfortably under his gaze.

“If you were only going to stare at me, you might have warned me to wear something a tad finer than these old threads.” She muttered, her face growing hot.

“I was…” he paused, “only judging what I have to work with. These things take patience, a virtue I can see you have very little of.”

Her eyes shifted to his face again, her eyebrows drawn together in appall. “I can be patient!” She retorted, “I only have little tolerance for annoyances.”

Glorfindel’s lips twisted into a smug smile. “Are you implying that I am annoying?”

Nesuldé gasped, “No! I never meant anything of the sort! Oh forgive me, I did not mean to sound rude!”

Glorfindel let a low chuckle escape his throat as he watched her fuss over her manners. Perhaps he was in for more fun than he had bargained.
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