Aragorn and Arwen fondly surveyed their sleeping son.
“He grows more like you every day, Estel,” said Arwen contentedly; observing, beneath the roundness of the sleeping baby's face, the hint of the father’s high cheekbones and strong chin.
“At least he has your nose, vanimelda,” the King replied dryly. “Are you ready to leave now?”
“I hope Eldarion will not be afraid if he awakens and we are not there,” Arwen fretted. "He is not accustomed to being in Ithilien. Everything will still be strange to him.”
“He has his nurse and knows Faramir and Éowyn. They will take good care of him,” Aragorn reassured her.
The Queen pressed a final gentle kiss to her son’s forehead before following her husband outside to the stables where their horses were already saddled, awaiting their riders.
The full moon bathed the countryside in a gentle silver light. The clear sky was dotted with a myriad of twinkling stars.
“How fair the stars are here!” Arwen exclaimed. “They always seem slightly veiled in the City.”
They urged their horses forward, savouring the feel of the wind in their hair. The fresh night breeze carried the sweet scent of wild roses.
Aragorn led the way uphill until they came to a stream he had seen with Faramir and Éowyn that morning. It rippled over the rocks before cascading down the hillside.
“How beautiful! The water is sweet music to my ears!” Arwen exclaimed, dismounting from her horse and kneeling beside the stream. ”It reminds me of Imladris. I could hear the waterfall every morning when I awoke.”
“Do you miss your home?” Aragorn enquired anxiously, joining her by the bank.
“You and Eldarion are my home now,” she replied, kissing him tenderly on the lips. “As the long years passed, my heart remained untouched, I feared that I might never know the bliss of marriage and motherhood. Then when I saw you in Lothlórien my heart was changed . At last, I knew hope.” She looked up at the stars. “See how our forefather, Eärendil smiles down upon us tonight!”
The horses cropped the fresh grass while Aragorn drew Arwen in a close embrace, whispering soft words of love in her ear.
A mother badger and her cubs emerged from their set amongst the trees, oblivious of the two-legged interlopers. The mother and the little ones drank from the stream. Then the cubs started to play, chasing and tumbling on the bank. The King and Queen of the West watched the badger family, entranced, until an owl's hoot caused the mother to hurry her brood back to their den.
Long they sat there, watching the stars and listening to the sweet song of the nightingale.