A Daughter of the King - Chapter Fifty

"Have you seen Aarien?" Aragorn asked Elwen.

"No," Elwen looked at him, "I have not seen her since I sent her to the gardens."

"The gardens?" Aragorn turned and strode swiftly away. Elwen and Tethcelebel exchanged amused glances and hurriedly followed him.

"She is not here!" Aragorn said worriedly, looking about.

"Peace Estel," Elwen hid her smile, "I am sure she is around here somewhere."

"Then tell me, Elwen," Aragorn snapped, "where is my daughter?"

"She is not your daughter," Tethcelebel's soft voice came from the bench she was sitting at. They both looked at her surprised.

"What do you mean she is not my daughter?" Aragorn asked, coming near her.

"Do you not remember how you first found her, Estel?" Tethcelebel stood and gazed fearlessly at him though he was four inches taller than her, "How she was from a different world ?!"

Aragorn ran a hand through his hair. "So are you saying she went back there?" he asked softly.

"Yes," Tethcelebel answered, her voice full of sureness, "she has gone back to her world."

"How do you--" Aragorn broke off at the look in Tethcelebel's eyes. "Granddaughter of Galadriel indeed," he thought in amazement.

"I hate to be the bringer of bad news," Elwen broke in, "but have any of you seen Legolas?" Tethcelebel looked at her in shock, and then her eyes widened. "Oh no," Elwen shook her head, "don't you dare say it! I won't believe it!"

"You don't think..." Aragorn looked from one face to the other, "You honestly don't think that he--I mean she--they! both went. Do you?"

"I don't know," Tethcelebel cast a worried glance at Elwen, "I don't know. It seems that way."

"NO!" Elwen shouted out, "Why by all the Valar would my brother go with Aarien to another world?!"

"Maybe it was not his choice," Tethcelebel suggested softly, "Mayhap there is Another doing all of this."

"I don't care if there is Another doing all of it," Elwen went on recklessly, her eyes becoming frantic, "I want my brother back." She sat down dully on the bench, "I want my brother back."

Tethcelebel glanced at Aragorn who shrugged. She turned to Elwen. "Cousin," she whispered, lapsing back into her own tongue, "be at peace. Look," she said almost hard as Elwen turned away, "I know how you feel. I really do. But at least be comforted that Illuvitar and the Valar are in control!"

Elwen looked at her doubtfully and then sighed, knowing her cousin was telling the truth. "You are right, Cousin," Elwen gave a lopsided grin, "Besides, it will be most interesting when he comes back." Tethcelebel laughed merrily and walked with her back to their quarters.

Mandy stretched, opening her eyes. She blinked as the sun streamed in through the curtains. Suddenly she bolted upright, banging her head against the top bunk.

"Ow!" she groaned, rubbing her head, "Why on earth do I have a bunk-bed when I'm the only one who sleeps in this room?!" she mumbled tiredly. She gingerly swung her legs out of bed, careful not to put weight on her ankle.

"Oh no you don't," Maire walked in on Mandy trying to get out of bed, "the doctor said for you to stay in bed for at least two days. And that is what you are going to do!"

"Aw, Mum," Mandy grumbled, "I don't want to stay in bed all day!"

"I don't care," Maire concealed her smile, "you have to." She started to walk out and then turned, "Maybe I'll ask Luke to come up and entertain you while I fix you both some breakfast."

"Ah..." Mandy started to protest but Maire was already out the door and down the stairs, "Alright," Mandy shrugged and pulled the covers on. She glanced around the room, seeing everything as it was when she left.

There were her many posters from everything to Newsboys to Lord of the Rings to Much Ado about Nothing. Her stories and poems were falling out of the bookshelf wedged comfortably in the corner within reach from her bed. Her Bible was on the nightstand along with her journal and her CD player.

Mandy sighed and then picked up the journal. Opening it, she found the last entry: it was the day before she had `disappeared'. She laughed as she read it and then picked up her pen. Mandy sat with it poised above the paper, wondering how to start, and then began to write. She filled in four or five pages before Legolas walked in, balancing a tray on one hand and carrying a couple books in the other. Mandy burst into laughter.

"Good thing you're not a clumsy elf!" Mandy giggled, taking the tray from his hand.

"Thank you," Legolas rolled his eyes, setting the books down and pulling up her desk chair, "Now eat."

"Alright, alright," Mandy still chuckled while Legolas glanced about her room in curiosity. His eyes suddenly lit upon the Bible, and he picked it up.

"What is this book?" he asked, reading the section that it was opened up to.

"That?" Mandy glanced up, "It is the Bible." Seeing his look of confusion, she tried to explain, "It...it--it is a very important book. It contains the words and doings of God, the one true God."

"The words of the One are in this book?" Legolas asked incredulously, still reading.

"Yes," Mandy thought for a moment, "you could say that, I guess."

"I would like to read more in this--this Bible as you call it." Legolas looked at her seriously.

"Of course," Mandy said excitedly, "there is one on my bookshelf that you would understand: it is the New American Standard." She pointed to it, "that one."

"Thank you, Mandy," Legolas held it in his hands and then put it down, "now, I would like some breakfast."

"Help yourself," Mandy grinned, shoving a plate over to him.

A few hours later, Maire walked up the stairs to hear Legolas and Mandy laughing merrily over a scene from Much Ado about Nothing. She paused at the door, watching them both read out of a book, Legolas looking at Mandy, eyes shining. Maire came in.

"Hello Mum," Mandy glanced up at her, eyes dancing.

"Hi," Maire smiled, "there are some people downstairs who would love to come see you."

"Alright," Mandy looked puzzled, "Who are they?"

All of a sudden, a thundering was heard on the stairs and three girls and two boys piled into the room. When Maire gave them a look, one of the boys said, "we heard her say yes." Mandy grinned as she recognized her good friends. "Joe! DJ!!" Mandy yelled out in happiness, "Sam!! Alli!! Kris!!"

"Hey Mandy," Sam plopped onto the bed, shaking hair out of her eyes, "how've you been?"

"Mandy," DJ glanced Legolas's way curiously, "who's he?"

"Where've you been?" Kris wanted to know.

"We missed you," Alli grinned at her, punching her shoulder lightly.

"Hey," Joe just said, leaning against the doorframe.

Legolas had moved away and was standing in the shadows near the wall. He towered over the girls, but DJ was about his height.

"Stop!" Mandy called out, covering her ears, "Sheesh you guys! You're worse than--three year olds!" She exchanged a bemused glance with Legolas.

"Sorry," Alli shrugged, "we've missed you."

"I know," Mandy smiled back, "but we'll have plenty of time to catch up. I have to stay in bed for two days." She groaned as she said this.

"Oh good," Kris laughed, "we'll get to hang with you then!"

"Awesome," DJ sat himself on the floor, his skate-board against the wall.

Maire shook her head in amusement, "Call if you need anything," she said, picking her way out of the room amid bodies in various positions on the floor.

"DJ?" Mandy looked at him, "How the heck do you ride a skateboard in snow?"

"Well," DJ grinned, "you put your foot on the board and you push off--"

"I know that!" Mandy rolled her eyes, "You know what I mean!"

"Very....ah...creatively," Kris smiled, "It hurts though."

"Oh," Mandy laughed. She suddenly noticed them looking at Legolas. "Everyone," Mandy nodded at Legolas, "this is my very good friend Luke. He helped get me back home."

"Hi," Sam looked at him, "I'm Sam."

"I'm DJ," DJ nodded from the floor.

"Alli," Alli grinned, shaking his hand.

"Kris," Kris just looked at him, recognition flittering in her eyes.

"I'm Joe," Joe said, sitting in the chair.

"Luke," Legolas shook hands, glancing around the room. He was amazed at all the different ways Mandy's friends dressed.

DJ and Kris both wore dark clothing. DJ had bright red streaks in his dark brown hair and light greenish-bluish eyes. Kris had on a driver's cap with two sides being checkered and the other sides being pure black, which covered her shorter brown hair that was highlighted with blue. Her eyes were grey. One thing that Legolas immediately noticed about her (and about DJ) was that she had piercings. She had a small nose-ring (the smallest you could get), and both her ears had at least four stubs in them. DJ on the other hand, had only two, one in each ear. They both had skateboards though Kris's was left downstairs.

Sam was dressed in a light purple long-sleeve shirt and jeans. Her reddish-blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and over her hair she wore a dark purple beanie. She had a snowboard propped up outside next to Joe's.

Joe was a dark blond with dark brown eyes. He wore jeans and a navy-blue long-sleeved shirt that had "Billabong" on it. He was clean-cut, someone who could be described best as a `jock', though he really was a very nice guy.

Alli was blond with blue eyes. She wore jeans, a light-blue sweatshirt, and a white beanie that sported the most recent youth winter camp trip. She had her license and drove a small truck. Overall, Mandy's friends were interesting, to say the least; but they were, as some people have said, practically her brothers and sisters.

After a few hours of talking, the friends decided that they had to get going since it was almost dark.

"Hey Kris?" Alli said, "You want a ride home?"

"Sure," Kris nodded, "that'd be cool."

"Thanks for coming over you guys," Mandy sat on the edge of her bed under the watchful eye of Legolas, "You'll come again tomorrow?"

"Sure thing," DJ grinned, "we'll have to tell you how our jobs are going."

"Oh yah," Mandy groaned, "I wish I could do it with you."

"Yah," Sam laughed, "I'm watching Johnny Depp's kids while he and his girlfriend are just relaxing."

"Johnny Depp?!?" Mandy gaped, "Dang."

"Oh that's nothing," Alli rolled her eyes, "I was working in the restaurant and got to be the waitress for Orlando Bloom. Talk about a thrill." Alli laughed, "He tips pretty good too. He even signed my notepad."

"I watched Sean Astin's kids for a day," Kris smiled, "they were the sweetest little kids. So polite and nice. He and his wife were taking a break before he had to go start filming again."

"I have missed out," Mandy shook her head, "I can't wait to get back to work."

"We can't wait to have you back either," Joe smiled as he walked out, "We've all missed you, Mandy."

"See ya!" Mandy waved and then sat back on the pillows. Her eyes were thoughtful as she listened to them all leave.

"What are you thinking about, Aarien?" Legolas lapsed back into Elvish.

"Lorien," Mandy sighed, answering in kind, "And everyone there. I miss them Legolas, more than I thought I would." She turned to him, "I had nearly forgotten everyone here. I spent four years in Arda. Four years! How do I pick up the threads of an old life? How do I go on, when in my heart, I begin to understand, there is no going back? How do I continue on?"

"It is alright," Legolas hugged her, his hand brushing her hair, "it is alright. You will remember and you will continue on."

"That's not what scares me," Mandy gazed at him, eyes frank, "I don't know if I want to go on...I don't know if I want to remember, mellonnin."

***Author's Note***
hey everyone!! not too much of a cliffie, is it?? anywhoo, thought I'd better make this clear. She lives in the mountains near a resort. that's where her friends (and she does usually) work. this is one of those resorts that a lot of movie stars and musicians ect. come to relax cause it's out of the way and almost no-one knows about it (word of mouth really). all of her friends are BASED on some of my friends but none of the names are really their names

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