Chapter 25: Shut Up and Dance

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To Eve’s surprise, she didn't see much of the others for nearly a week. Occasionally one of Nerdanel’s older sons would stop in, but not frequently. For her part, Eve spent time painting. She had seen some artwork in the house she lived in and noticed how all took a realistic approach at painting. Eve decided to do something different. She remembered the colors of the sky at sunset over Alqualondë and wanted to capture that Monet-style.

She spent the entire week on that painting. The paints closely resembled oils, a medium she was less familiar with than, say, acrylics. But it presented a fun challenge that kept her occupied. It reminded her of Monet's Houses of Parliament. In the end, Eve felt satisfied with her piece and treated it with a sealant that Nerdanel brought her. Once it had dried, Eve covered it up. She wasn't ready to show anyone yet.

One week after they returned home, Eve sat with the family eating lunch. Fëanáro looked unhappy, but Nerdanel smiled for the both of them. She reminded Eve and the twins to not eat too much.

“The feast is in but a few hours,” Nerdanel continued. “Do not make yourselves sick.”

Eve smiled back at her, but the Ambarussa scowled together. Evidently they were about as thrilled at the prospect of the party as their father. After lunch, Nerdanel ordered the twins to go get ready.

“I will finish with you two once I have helped Eve,” Nerdanel told them. “Go, get dressed.” She turned to her husband and kissed him. “You as well.”

Fëanáro smirked and returned the kiss. “For you, I will.” He turned and went down a hallway to their bedroom.

Nerdanel turned back to Eve. “Shall we?”

She smiled with a nod. “We shall!”

Eve retrieved her dress from the closet and they went down the hall. Nerdanel waited outside the room while the young woman slipped into her dress. Once she’d done as much as she could on her own, she called Nerdanel in to help her.

The older woman tied the back up and clasped her hands together in excitement. “You look wonderful, my dear.”

Eve blushed. “Thanks! I'm excited, even if no one else is.”

Nerdanel took her hands. “My husband may not be, but I am as well. And the Ambarussa will shake their frowns off once we arrive. They merely dislike putting on their proper attire.”

With a laugh, Eve nodded. “I get it.”

Nerdanel left Eve to finish with her outfit. She did her hair and slipped on her shoes quickly. Eve found a silver cloak that Nerdanel had lent her and slipped it on. Soon she joined Fëanáro in the kitchen, waiting for the other three.

“I am sorry for you mother,” Eve ventured quietly after several moments of awkward silence. “I know what it's like.”

Fëanáro stiffened but inclined his head. “It is unfortunate what happened.” He paused before continuing. “I have seldom asked you, but are my sons treating you well?”

“Yes!” Eve smiled happily. “Nelyo and Káno especially. They've been amazing.”

He nodded. “Good. I am glad to hear that.”

“I hope that me being here hasn't been too much trouble,” Eve added quickly.

Fëanáro turned to her and shook his head. “On the contrary, my wife is happier than I've seen her in many years. For that, you have my thanks.”

“Cool!” She smiled at him.

They both turned to the hallway as Nerdanel came walking, leading the twin red heads. Pityo’s frown sat deeper in his features than Telvo's, but neither looked particularly happy. Eve gasped at how beautiful Nerdanel looked in her dress and the tiny smile on Fëanáro's face widened.

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