MURMURS OF THE SEA
The storm, for now, had passed.
All was still save for the hush of breath against the murmur of the distant sea. Frodo lay slumbering, cradled in Sam's left arm, his head leaning on Sam's shoulder, Sam's right arm draped gently over his middle. Sam was content to gaze upon that beloved face, to ponder every contour, every line, the way in which the soft brown curls fell upon the pale brow.
*Don't leave me, Sam.*
"Hm." Sam looked up to the window, a small arched opening in the tower's stone wall. From where he sat he could see only the clouded gray sky, which was growing dimmer as day passed into night, but it was just as well. For Sam there was no comfort in the vision of the sea.
Sam remembered that journey, seven years past, yet ever present in his heart. He remembered the shock mercifully blotting out questions of deception and betrayal; those had come later. At the time, he had known only surrender and loss, the sundering waves pulling, relentlessly pulling, removing the one he loved far beyond his reach, their sigh and murmur echoing through a broken heart. He had known the sea, and had come to loathe it.
His gaze fell again to the fair-skinned face, softly luminous in the twilight. With one finger he traced brow, jaw, lips, letting his hand settle gently upon Frodo's breast. "Don't leave me, Frodo," he whispered; the arm encircling Frodo tightened its hold.