Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
Sonnet 116, Shakespeare
I love him: Captain of Gondor, Steward's son. I love him, in spite of everything, or because of everything. I care not.
I loved him from his arrival at Rivendell, loved his awe at the fragments of a shattered sword and his discomfiture at my regard. Loved his fire as he argued for the use of the Ring, supporting the one course of action I could not allow.
I loved his spirit and his courage. His willingness to join a fellowship whose goals he did not, quite, believe in. His comradeship for the seasoned soldiers among us, and his friendship for the young hobbits, innocent of violence till the Ring crossed their paths.
I loved his talent with a sword, trusted him absolutely to defend my back, happy that I could offer him protection in return. I took pleasure in watching him train Merry and Pippin, share his easy grace to impart the skills they needed to survive our quest. I found joy in sparring with him, matching my ability to his own, confident that our strengths complimented one the other.
I loved him as he confessed his doubts in Lothlorien and as we argued on the Anduin about the strength of men and his city. My city. I loved him as Frodo told me that the Ring had suborned the will of Boromir of Gondor.
I love him even now--more than ever, now--after he has breathed his last breath and his body has given up the heat of life. I love him in spite of his betrayal, because of his redemption.
I will love him till the end of our quest, however it ends, till the end of my days, whenever that comes. I cleave to my breast the knowledge that love knows no boundaries, no end.
Not even death.
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