Arwen frowned when she approached her husband and his Steward. They had been engrossed in conversation, but as soon as they saw her coming, stopped abruptly. This was at least the third time they had acted like this over the past few weeks and it troubled her.
She was fond of Faramir and encouraged his friendship with the King. The two men were very alike and needed each other’s companionship, as well as that of their wives, but never before had she felt excluded as she did now.
“Good afternoon, my lady,” said Faramir, bowing politely. “I trust you are well. We are having delightful weather are we not?”
Arwen glared at him suspiciously. Such trivial small talk was unlike the Steward she knew.
“Yes, the weather is just as I like it,” Aragorn added. “Sunny but not too hot.”
“What are you planning, Estel?” Arwen said sternly.”Some mischievous escapade I warrant!”
“Nothing, beloved, Faramir and I were just discussing the weather.”
“The Ambassador from Khand is here to see you both,” Arwen said rather frostily.”I shall expect a full explanation later."
Several days elapsed and Arwen was no closer to discovering the truth. If anything, Aragorn kept his distance from her as much as possible as if fearing she would sense his thoughts. Only when she insisted on knowing what he might be planning, did he concede that he was indeed discussing a matter of import with Faramir, but could not tell her as yet. Arwen was far from pleased. At least Faramir had departed for Ithilien to spend a few days with Éowyn and his family, so there were no more furtive conversations between her husband and the Steward.
One afternoon, the day after Faramir returned to the Citadel, Arwen was sitting weaving in her bower, when the King unexpectedly appeared and asked her to take a walk in the gardens with him.
Once they were outside, he led her towards a secluded part of the grounds that they rarely visited.
“Close your eyes!” he commanded when they rounded a path.
“Whatever for?” she protested.
Aragorn placed one hand, gently but firmly over her eyes and with the other led her along the path.
“You may look now,” he said, removing his hand.
Arwen stared in amazement at what she beheld. For there, dotted amongst the trees, was a new garden, planned with all her favourite flowers. Sweet smelling roses and honeysuckle, colourful poppies and delicate daisies, and more than these, the flowers of the lands in which she was raised, niphredil and elanor.
“Estel! This is so beautiful! What a wondrous gift!” She exclaimed joyfully kissing him in delight.
Taking her hand, he led her to the finely carved bench in the centre of the garden. They sat down, their arms entwined.
I wanted us to have a private garden, where we might sit undisturbed,“ said Aragorn “I fear I lack skill in creating gardens, though and needed to enlist Faramir and Éowyn’s help.Legolas obtained the Elven flowers for you.”
“So I was right, you were planning something!” Arwen said triumphantly, her eyes sparkling.” We must invite them to share a picnic here with us to thank them.”
“I am so pleased you like it,” said Aragorn.
“How blessed I am to have such a husband!” the Queen replied, kissing him tenderly.
Long they remained there until the sun sank low in the sky.