A Daughter of the King - Chapter Fifty-Two
Two months later, Mandy was back to work and doing her normal everyday life except for the fact that Legolas was with her. He worked at the stables, helping with the horses. As soon as the stable-hands figured out that he could handle pretty much any horse, they always sent him the most uncooperative one. He refused to cut his hair, and took to wearing a beanie or braiding his hair in a way that would conceal the tips of his ears. He wore normal clothing, mostly jeans and a brown trench-coat. He also had a leather jacket that he wore at times. Kris said nothing about Mandy being in Middle-earth, and Legolas did not threaten her but considered her trustworthy. It was now close to spring-time and the snows were melting in certain places.
"Luke?" Alli stuck her head in the stables, spotting him easily, "Mandy wants you to meet her at the coffee shop, ok?"
"Alright," Legolas didn't turn from where he was guiding a feisty horse into its stall, "do you know why?"
"Nope," Alli laughed, "but it might have something to do with her new job."
"What new job?" Legolas glanced back but Alli had already disappeared. He shook his head and wiped sweat off his brow. He threw the rope into the pile and jogged outside. He slipped on sunglasses and his coat, trudging easily through the snow towards the café. He wondered what Mandy wanted.
Legolas entered the shop to see Mandy sitting at a booth with another man whose back was towards him. Legolas wondered who the man was and walked up, Mandy's new job forgotten. As he approached, he saw that the man was older than Mandy. The man had spiked hair and wore dark sunglasses.
"Oh, there you are," Mandy glanced up at him and smiled, "Luke this is Dom. Dom this is Luke. I was telling you about him."
"Nice to meet you," Dom shook Legolas's hand, "have a seat."
"Thanks," Legolas sat down on Mandy's side. He set his sunglasses on the table and listened. They were talking about an upcoming dance at the resort for all of the guests.
Legolas observed the way Dom looked at Mandy and felt anger rising. He suppressed it and leaned back in the booth, comfortable. He placed an arm around Mandy, squeezing her shoulder protectively. Mandy smiled at him and shifted so that she was comfortable in the crook of his arm. Then Legolas looked directly at Dom, his meaning clear. Dom raised an eyebrow thoughtfully.
"Mandy," Dom asked, "are you going to the dance?"
"Ah," Mandy winced slightly, "I don't know. If my friends are, then probably. Or if they need help decorating. But I usually avoid those."
"Whatever for?" Dom looked swiftly at Legolas, challenge in his eyes, "You would fit in perfectly."
"Because I can't dance," Mandy said sheepishly, "and I don't feel comfortable with all of the stars."
Legolas glanced swiftly at her, his mind straying back to all the dances they had done together in Lorien and Gondor. "Can't dance?" he thought in amusement, "I would never have guessed."
"Really?" Dom cocked an eyebrow.
"Well..." Mandy laughed, "Most stars anyway."
"You should come," Dom grinned, "and I would be the first to dance with you." He stood, putting on his sunglasses, "Besides, you'd know me." He turned to Legolas, "Nice to have met you Luke." Legolas stood and shook his hand, his grip tight.
"You too," Legolas smiled coldly, "Stay away from her." he threatened under his breath for only Dom's ears.
"Well now," Dom answered back just as soft, "that remains to be seen." He laughed and slapped Legolas's shoulder good-naturedly, "Hope to see you at the dance, Mandy." He called back as he strode through the doors.
"What is this dance?" Legolas asked, eyes dark.
"It's just a dance that the resort does every month," Mandy answered, "A lot of the stars come back for it. I've never gone," Mandy laughed, "Course I was never asked to either. Don't worry though," Mandy grinned, "I don't think I will go this time either. I saw the way you and Dom were glaring at each other." Mandy rolled her eyes, "You think I am blind to Dom looking at me the way he did?" Legolas smiled at her sheepishly, "I can take care of myself, mellonnin." she whispered, linking her arm through his, "Now come," she laughed, "It's time for dinner."
Legolas took her hand in his, and they walked slowly on the path to her house. He sighed and stopped, looking at the night sky full of stars. He picked out Earendil, the fairest star.
"Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! (Hail Eärendil brightest of the Stars!)" he said, gazing up at it.
"You miss Arda, don't you?" Mandy asked quietly, gazing up at the stars with him.
"Yes," Legolas turned to her, eyes frank, "But I would rather be with you than at home in Arda or even Valinor."
"Don't say that!" Mandy gasped out.
"Why not?" Legolas cupped her face with his hand, "Tis true."
"But...but I want you to see your home again," Mandy cried out.
"Shh..." Legolas hushed her, "be silent, mellesnin." He bent down and kissed her tenderly. "I would rather die than live without you." he told her.
"Promise me," Mandy looked at him, a sudden fear in her heart, "promise me that whatever happens, you will not try to change it. You will not try to--to come back if somehow we are separated."
"I promise," Legolas rubbed her cheek with his thumb, "but I will die before I am separated from you."
"Don't say that!" Mandy said softly, "Let's go home," Mandy turned away from him and walked ahead, worried about the statement that he had told her. Legolas followed, his gaze straying over her. Above them shone Earendil.
A couple days later, it was the weekend and time for the dance. Mandy stood thoughtfully in front of the mirror gazing at herself. She had put on a light purple dress with an uneven hemline which at one part came above her knee and then the other side dipped low enough to touch her shins. The straps were spaghetti, two on each shoulder seeming to be joined together. The neckline dipped slightly, and a belt wound around her waist. On the belt were small shells. Mandy's hair was lifted off her neck in a simple twist with some curls framing her face. Around her neck Mandy wore Legolas's pendent. She wore simple dress sandals that had two inch heels. She adjusted her dress one last time and took a deep breath.
"Alright, Mandy," she told herself, "you've handled worse than this. If you can handle feasts in Lorien, then you should be able to handle a simple dance here. Go for it." Mandy nodded and strode out the door.
Legolas was waiting for her downstairs. Mandy paused at the very top, looking at him. He had on dark pants and a black collared shirt that was open at the neck. He wore black dress shoes. She gaped at him. In his clothes, Legolas looked like a movie star. His hair was braided in a way that she had seen at the feasts but this time it also covered his ears. On his arm was draped his leather coat. Mandy immediately thought that he looked like a gangster from one of the old movies and that caused her to smile.
"Whew," Mandy breathed out softly, scarcely able to believe her eyes. Legolas heard her and turned. His eyes went wide, and he smiled disarmingly at her as his eyes glanced over her. She blushed slightly, tripping as she came down the stairs. He caught her arm, steadying her.
"Blast these shoes!" she muttered, adjusting her dress.
"You look beautiful, Mandy," Legolas told her, placing her jacket around her, his hands coming to rest lightly against her shoulders.
"You look--very nice too," Mandy smiled, "We better get going."
"Of course," Legolas offered his arm, and she lightly took it.
"Who's driving?" Mandy wondered as they went outside. She gasped as she saw a limo running in the driveway, "Wha--?" she gaped.
"Someone named Dom sent it," Jack said from the swing where he sat with Maire, "do you know him?"
"Yes," Mandy now glared at the limo, "he's assuming a lot!"
"What is it?" Legolas asked softly.
"Nothing," Mandy shook her head, "Let's go." They stepped into the limo and drove off towards the resort.
Mandy took a deep breath, calming her nerves. The limo pulled up to the driveway. The resort `ballroom' was lit with lights, and they could hear music and laughter coming from it. Legolas got out from the limo and turned to help her. She stayed sitting for a few moments, her eyes closed. "Lord, be with me tonight," she prayed softly. Then she stepped from the limo. Legolas winked at her and led her into the room. Mandy's eyes were blinded slightly from the light. She glanced around, trying to find her friends. She suddenly was bumped from behind and stumbled forward. A rough hand grabbed her arm, helping her regain her balance.
"Thank you," she turned to the man and then went pale.
"You're welcome," the man smiled coldly at her, "And I'm sorry for bumping into you...Kela."
"What?" Mandy gasped but the man had disappeared. She had an odd tickling in the back of her head, as if she should know that man--but the memory wouldn't come. She looked about confusedly. Legolas walked back from hanging up the jackets and instantly knew something was wrong.
"What is it?" he took her arm and led her onto the dance floor.
"I...I don't know," she answered, allowing him to guide her through the dance.
"Should we--" Legolas was cut off as someone tapped his shoulder. He turned to see Dom standing there in a sports jacket.
"May I?" he asked, taking Mandy's hand.
"Hello Dom," Mandy forced a smile, going off with him.
"Hello," Dom twirled with her around the floor, "you look beautiful tonight."
"Thanks," Mandy answered distractedly.
"Relax," Dom shook his head in amusement, "this is supposed to be fun."
"I know that," Mandy nearly snapped.
"Then relax." Dom said softly, "Look, there is Orlando with Sean."
"Yes I see," Mandy glanced swiftly at them.
"And there is Luke," Dom nodded his head, "talking very easily with Johnny Depp."
"What?!" Mandy stared in amazement and then started laughing. "He's dancing with Johnny's wife!"
"What's so funny?" Dom glanced at her.
"Nothing," Mandy just shook her head, "it's nothing."
"Fine then," Dom danced her out of the room. They continued out on the porch with the moonlight casting shadows on the porch. The music stopped, but Dom still held her.
"Dom," Mandy glanced up at him, "let me go."
"Oh," Dom grinned, "sorry." Mandy went over to the railing and gripped it with her hands, ignoring the snow. Dom walked over and leaned against it with his elbows so that he could look at her.
"What's bothering you?" he asked, his British accent becoming heavier.
"There's nothing bothering me!" she said in exasperation.
"Alright, alright," Dom laughed, "I'm sorry."
"It's not you," Mandy said apologetically.
"Well, that's a relief," Dom playfully flicked snow at her.
"Hey!" Mandy flung some back, "Not with me in a dress. You have the advantage!"
"Oh..." Dom's eyes twinkled, "You mean don't do this?" He took a handful of snow and hit her square in the face.
"Dom!" she cried out, wiping her face off, "You--you!!" Dom laughed, ducking a slap from Mandy. He caught her wrist. He looked down at her, running a finger along her pulse. He felt it jump slightly and drew her near him. Mandy glanced up at him, her eyes widening as he leaned down. She turned her head so that he kissed her cheek.
"Dom," she said softly, "we should be going inside now."
"Wait," Dom grabbed her arm, "please."
"Dom," Mandy looked at him.
"Will you--will..." Dom pulled her close to him and kissed her, his arms refusing to let her go.
When he let her go, Mandy glanced up at him in shock, and then she slapped him, hard. Her eyes were accusing. "No," she said simply.
"No?" Dom said in disbelief, watching her walk back towards the room.
"No!" she turned to him, her eyes flashing angrily, "Haven't you ever been told no before? I said no. I thought you were alright, do you know that? I talked with you and thought to myself that you were different than some of the other guys. I thought you wanted to hang with me because you wanted a friend."
"I did!" Dom protested, pulling her back into the shadows, "I do."
"Really?" she shook her head in disgust, "Would you kiss a friend in the way you did me?" Mandy pulled away from him, "All you want is something I will not give you. Do you understand, Mr. Monaghan?" She turned on her heel and strode away but then she turned. "I wouldn't advise coming near me again." she growled at him and went inside.
Dom stood outside, his eyes watching her in disbelief. He shook his head, his hand straying to the red mark left on his cheek from her slap.
Mandy went into the ladies restroom and splashed water on her face. She glanced in the mirror, adjusting her hair here and her makeup there. "Ok," Mandy whispered, "time to go back out and find Legolas." She stepped out of the bathroom and into the ballroom. She spotted Legolas immediately talking with Orlando.
"Oh no," Mandy groaned, weaving her way over to him. Suddenly she tripped and fell to one knee. A hand pulled her up. She gasped and pulled away as she saw the man from earlier.
"Not yet," he smiled, holding her tightly, "we need to talk, Miss Hunt."
"No," Mandy pushed away from him, "I don't..." She broke off as the man suddenly embraced her, shoving a cloth over her nose. She struggled as she felt herself blacking out--and then she remembered who he was--"No!" she managed to gasp before she went limp.
"Excuse me," the man said, "My wife has fainted. I need to get her outside." The dancers moved away, giving the man a path to the door. He supported Mandy's limp form as he motioned for his limo to be pulled up. He pushed Mandy inside and climbed in after her.
"Go," he gave a single command. The driver nodded and sped off.
*ducks* ok, I don't hate Dom. (please don't kill me Lalaith!)I really like him: it's just that I needed someone to act the way he did and he's one of the younger ones ect. I figured you all would lynch me if I did Orlando...so... besides...he could act that way. sorry bout the cliffie