Amarwen reached for the steaming pot of tea and lifted it. Mardil had yet to surface but she was confident in Sarael's assessment. He would not linger overlong. She filled one porcelain cup with the fragrant liquid within. Then she moved to fill another just as the door opened to reveal Mardil. He had dressed and peered at her and scowled. In response, Amarwen smiled to herself and lifted the tea pot so that the tea fell in a smooth cascade. There was toast on the table too. Fresh butter and beautifully bitter sweet marmalade. The eggs and bacon would not be far off, she knew. Bacon. Very hard to find. Very expensive when you succeeded. But worth it for this, she felt. Still scowling, her husband's adjutant pushed forward past the threshold and towards her. "I have nothing to say to you," he informed her and Amarwen nodded. She gestured at the toast, "Good - for that will not stay warm forever." Amarwen pushed one of the filled cups towards him as he fell into a chair, "Lemon or cream?" Sour enough to rival any lemon, Mardil reached for the honey instead. As she watched him dribble this into his tea, Amarwen reflected on a joke she would have shared with Halvarin were he seated across from her. Catching herself in this, she looked down and saw her hands. Her hands. Squeezing the life out of- "What do you want?" Mardil's question interrupted her as the best possible time, "I want you, like the rest of the people of Gondor, to survive this ruin and upheaval." "You sow ruin and upheaval." Amarwen sighed, "As do you Mardil, for you serve two masters." Mardil set down his cup of tea. "Sarael…she is fond of you. And I am fond of Sarael." "Am I to thank you?" Amarwen's smile was sad, "No. For I will ask of you no more than you already do." Mardil frowned, "I don't understand." "We both, I think, work to see the people of Gondor served well. It matters not who sits the throne. Rather, it is what is done." "Yes." Amarwen nodded and leaned back. "Is that all?" "Yes," Amarwen answered as she sipped at her tea. The door opened, and the eggs and bacon arrived. "Mardil, you are a young man in a difficult position. I wish you no bad will." "Who are you?!" Amarwen shook her head at the question and considered her hands again. The sound of bones cracking, flesh crushing. The sound of rattling breath. Who was she indeed to be killing with her bare hands? "You are free to leave when you wish," she answered, pushed back her chair and rose. Mardil stared up at her, his expression unreadable, and she walked away. It was done. If she did not miss her guess, Mardil would prove useful provided a gentle hand was used. Feed him the right misinformation and he could be potent indeed when he fed that onto his Unsurper masters. And watch him. Closely. That matter seen do, Amarwen turned next to the matter. She had found a suitable location for a new safe house. But there was still work to be done to acquire the property around the war machines on the banks of the Anduin. When Castamir called for them to be pressed into action, she was determined to hold all access and control of him in her own firm grip. No longer would the great Anduin be used as a wedge to divide their strength. When Halvarin returned at the end of the day, Amarwen fell into his arms and lost herself in his embrace. "I love you," she whispered as she buried her face into his neck. Halvarin's arms tightened around her, "And I you." He paused before he said, " Mardil returned to his duties today." "It is done, then," she said. "Are you certain?" Halvarin pressed and Amarwen shook her head. For there was little certain in this day and age.