Legolas wiped the sweat from Dulinneth’s brow and tenderly regarded her. Dark circles stained the fair skin beneath her eyes and her hair lay damp and unruly upon a pillow. He dropped into the chair next to their bed and caught her hand in his, caressing it before bringing it to his lips. It had been a long night for them both, but at last, with the first blush of dawn, their son had arrived.
“You look tired.”
Dulinneth’s lips curved into a slight smile. “I am.”
“You were so brave though,” he praised her. “I felt like a weakling next to you.”
“No, I could not have done it without you.” Dulinneth’s other hand smoothed over the babe where he nursed eagerly at her breast. “Have you thought of a name?”
“Bainion,” Legolas said, reaching to stroke the soft brown hair on his son’s head.
“You cannot call him that,” Dulinneth softly protested. “The other warriors would tease him mercilessly.”
“But you are beautiful and he is your son.”
“He’s your son too.”
“Very well then, what do you think of Belon?”
“Strong one,” Dulinneth whispered. “Aye, I like that.”
“Then it’s settled.”
At last the child ceased suckling and his tiny body relaxed where Dulinneth held him against her. She made to rise, but Legolas was already on his feet, gently taking their son. He cradled him against his chest, his heart swelling with love where only a short time before it had been constricted with fear and worry as Dulinneth had struggled to give birth. His gaze moved from Belon to her. Tired she might be, but she had never looked more beautiful to him. If anyone deserved to be called “strong one, he thought, it was her.
“Come, Tithendir,” he murmured. “Your mother needs her rest.”
Bainion—Son of Beautiful One