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Whether he was Vanya adventurer or novelty-seeking Maia, no one
knew. Annatar’s past remained a mystery, his unsettling presence in
Eregion punctuated by sudden journeys to destinations unknown. Again
he approached Celebrimbor on silent feet, scarlet-clad, every motion
imbued with the grace and promise of an Eastern concubine.
“I must leave you for a time, my friend. Other – concerns – require
my presence.” Low, thrilling, a voice that implied illicit lusts in
the most prosaic of observations.
Each time this happened, the smith knew a sharp tightness in his
gut. Previously when faced with the impending absence of the Giver
of Gifts, Annatar of the sharp wit and towering intellect, of
twilight eyes, sinful mouth and sleek, sinuous form, Celebrimbor’s
fear had been that he might not come back.
That had been before whispered consultations concerning hidden
knowledge. That had been before veiled hints at power beyond
comprehension, of rewards for exploring gifts unlooked for. That had
been before the suspicion of close watch by those he had once
trusted without question. That had been before the ring craft.
Now his fear was not how long Annatar would be gone, but rather that
he would indeed keep his word and return.