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Fiery Maze

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The statues of Nerdanel, ever holding the qualities of life, dulled in comparison to what she had created now: fire, the stone hewn and polished to take on the appearance of glass, the colors so vibrant that they reflected the light of the Two Trees, the flames twisting and dancing on the bare ground in on giant spiral, encasing its victim into the very center. That was where Fëanáro now stood, turning about himself in mad confusion and wonder, unable to tear his eyes from what his lady could create out of pure stone.

A moment later, he laughed loudly. He was tricked into coming here. Having heard Nerdanel’s screams earlier, he had thought she was lost in a great blaze and had sought her out, on foot, following the trail where the flame did not touch ground. He had cried out her name continuously and rushed to wherever he had heard her reply. It was only when he found himself at the center of the fiery maze that he realized the fire did not emit any sound, yet in his fright his heart had pounded so much it nearly deafened him to any other sound but Nerdanel’s cries. His suspicion growing, he had taken a closer look at the fire and saw the truth of his own foolishness.

“Fëanáro!” Nerdanel’s voice boomed like a thunderclap somewhere high above him, and he almost startled at seeing her standing atop the flames.

They are but statue, he chastised himself, recovering in time to replace his surprise into a confident smirk as Nerdanel descended to meet him.

She wore a long grey robe, the color bringing out the red tones of her hair and the bright fires in her eyes. A thin sash of all the colors of flames wrapped about her waist. When she reached him she stood and placed her hands on her hips, throwing her head back and regarding him through sharp eyes.

To be this young and skilled—as skilled as himself, Fëanáro had to admit—was making him weak in the knee. This was the young woman he had seen working alongside Mahtan, Fëanáro reminded himself. Mahtan’s daughter. And Fëanáro had fallen for her.

“What did I tell thee? I can touch fire and not get burned,” Nerdanel said proudly, smirking at her own cleverness. “I would enjoy seeing thou attempest the same.”

“That would not be fair, thou knowest,” he said.

She inched towards him until he pulled her towards him, and seeing the passion in his eyes, she grinned.

“I dare thee to ignite the these flames into life with a kiss,” she said.

“Is that a challenge?” he said, but he accepted it gladly, and met her lips.