She laughed, not as a lady of Gondor would, but with her head flung back, her long golden hair rippling.
“Piles of gold, and pearls? Do not mock me.”
He could only laugh in return, even as he tried to make her understand. “We are mariners, Vidumavi, we sail the far shores and bring these things back.”
She blinked. “But — whatever for? What do you do with them?”
“Turn them into rings, and bracelets, and coins,” said Valacar, “and sometimes, just let them run through our fingers and enjoy our own wealth.”
“Jewellery I understand,” she said, throwing a faintly envious glance at the collar at his throat.
“I will have a necklace made for you,” he replied impulsively, “tell me what you want and it will be done.”
She lifted her eyes to his. “Valacar . . . I want . . .”
That was enough for him. He took an eager step towards her, seized her small hand in his. “Vidumavi. All of the wealth of Númenor would not be enough, it could never make me happy, unless . . .”
Her fingers tightened on his. They were strong. “Yes?”
“Unless— ” how could he be nervous?— “unless, when I return to Gondor, you are at my side, as my wife.”
He was astonished when she flung her arms about him, laughing and weeping, and kissed him fervently.
Perhaps it was a Northern custom.