This is canon, however, I have used Movie-Gamling as I'm more comfortable with him and he suits my purposes.
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Rating: PG-13… maybe R
Summary: Before the war, before Éomer ever thought he would be king, he had a lady-love. One wonders what happened to her.…His…
I remember the first time I truly laid eyes on Éomer King.
To begin with, he was not king. He was just raised to Third Marshal of Rohan. Théoden still sat the throne and Grima Wormtongue had not poisoned his mind.
I was newly widowed; Irminric was never the heartiest of Rohirrim. His was a gentle soul, a gardener, as was I. His gift was coaxing life from the earth and we worked the fields outside of Aldburg. The past spring, while working the soil, he disturbed a nest of young vipers. He was dead by the next moonrise and my guilt was heavy, for he was not paying attention to his work. Rather, he was admiring my backside, which was bent over a little a head of him and he joked about it until the fever rendered him comatose.
So, I was left alone and bereft, in a cottage that needed repairs, with a small stable that needed more. I did the best I could and many of my neighbors were willing to help when they were able. But I feared the winter and the heartiness of my little cow. I was considering selling the parcel of farmland we had scrimped for some seasons to buy in order to pay for repairs.
It was a fine, sunny autumn day, when I brought my fresh vegetables and fruit to the market, with my best-forged smile. I was talking to the crafter next to me, anything to stay busy, pass the time, when a shadow blocked the sun. I squinted, a halo of sunrays outlining the tall, even by Rohirrim standards, man standing in front of my little table.
The first thought that registered was 'This is a finely built man.' He was broad of shoulder, hardened muscle, long golden hair a woman would be… I was envious of. His clothing was plain, but finely made. I strained to see trying to make out his face.
Not disturbed by my blatant inspection, he moved to the side, so I could see him plainly. Béma, the man was beautiful! I had seen the Marshal at a distance some few times, but never this close. The crafter behind him was grinning like an idiot and Éomer reached over and inspected one of the apples. "Sweet? Tart?"
"Me or the apples?" I retorted. I quickly bit my tongue, as my da told me many times growing up, it would be the death of me.
His laugh was loud, boisterous, full of joy and good humor. "For now, the apples."
I breathed a sigh of relief. "Last year, they were a bit tart." I grinned up at him, the first smile I truly made since my Irminric died. "I would suspect much has not changed."
He picked one up, examining it thoroughly, before taking a bite. He chewed it thoughtfully before declaring it was indeed tart. "However," he added, "I like them tart. Just like I like my women." And with that, he dropped several coins, clearly overpaying for the fruit, and strode off into the sun.
The second time I saw Éomer was a few days later. Autumn's chill was settling on Aldburg and I was in the field scraping up the last of the harvest. If my eye was correct, there would be just enough in the stores for the little cow and me to last throughout the winter. I was still considering selling the property in order to make the repairs on the cottage and stable. It looked to be a cold, dank winter and I wished for all the leaks and cracks to be sealed against the winter's chill. I was picking, my mind deep within my own thoughts, when I realized someone was calling out. I looked up to see the Marshal, jumping up and down excitedly from the road. I watched curiously as once he grasped that he had my attention, he made his way through what was left of the field until he reached me. Again, I was taken aback at his sheer height, the beauty of his countenance. When he smiled, which appeared to be often, it lit up his entire face.
"Hallo!" he called out. "It is late in the day to be out."
"The sun is up," I snapped jovially. "It is not raining," I smiled winningly. "Besides, the sooner I finish, the sooner I can retire to my cottage and settle in for the winter."
At this, his smile drooped. "You are Wudurose, Irminric's widow." Immediately, my mood dampened. "I hear you think to sell this land. Are you unable to work it?"
"I am more than able to work it," my voice broke. "However, my cottage and small stable are in poor repair and I fear I will not fare the winter if the cracks and leaks are not mended." At this, I painfully stabbed my toe in the dirt. "I have done what I can, but it is not enough." I swallowed heavily. "Repairs cost money, something I have fair little of."
Éomer perused my land. I was proud of it; Irminric was proud of it. The thought of selling it made my physically ill, but I saw little other choice. "Do you wish to sell it?"
I thought for a moment. "The roof is leaking and the – "
"That is not what I asked," he interrupted. "I asked if you want to sell it? Truly want to sell it?"
"Wudurose, it is a simple yes or no question."
My heart and eyes fell. "No. No, my lord, I do not wish to sell it. But I have no choice."
The man's snort was inelegant. "There are always choices." He turned to go, but called over his shoulder. "Finish here today, but do not think to sell what is precious to you." I watched as he strode across the field to the road, where his horse waited patiently for him.
I thought to myself, what sort of strange man is this?
to be continued