A Daughter of the King - Chapter Forty-Nine

"Hello, Mandy." Legolas grinned down at her.

"How in Varda's name did you get here?!" Mandy asked in shock, gazing at him as if she didn't believe her own eyes.

"I have no idea," Legolas replied, his eyes thoughtful, "I suddenly saw a bright flash and the next thing I knew I was walking along this path in these clothes."

"Why are you here?" Mandy wondered more to herself than to him.

"Well, will you now accept my help?" Legolas's eyes twinkled merrily.

"Yes," Mandy smiled.

Legolas bent down and picked her up. Her arms went limply around his neck as he started walking down the path. Mandy suddenly realized that she was tired, very tired. She told him where to go and, being at peace in his arms, fell asleep wearily. Her head lay against his shoulder: her eyes closed, and her breathing soft. Legolas smiled down at her, but his smile faded as he saw the house. He wished he had his knives and bow with him, but seeing that he didn't, he would just have to do it. Taking a deep breath, Legolas went up to the door and pounded on it with his foot. He did it again when no one answered the first time. He muttered a prayer to the Valar that someone would be home. Suddenly the door opened. He looked up to see Mandy's mother standing there. Legolas's eyes took in the red hair like Mandy's and the sky-blue eyes.

"Hello?" the woman glanced almost annoyed at him then her eyes went wide in shock at the sight of Mandy in his arms, "Oh my...Mandy!" She suddenly grabbed the door-frame hard, striving to keep her balance.

"Are you alright, Lady?" Legolas asked worriedly, shifting Mandy slightly.

"Come in," the woman answered, passing a hand in front of her eyes, "Oh please come in!"

Legolas stomped his boots free of the snow and then stepped into the house. He followed the woman into the family room. In the family room sat two large couches and a La-Z-Boy recliner. On the right side stood an entertainment center that was closed with cupboard doors, but soft music was playing. There was a merry fire burning in the fireplace.

"Here," the woman had a blanket in her hands, "set her here, please." Legolas did as he was told and laid Mandy on one of the couches. The woman covered her with the blanket, brushing back Mandy's hair from her face.

"She looks so much older," she murmured, "Where did you find her?"

Legolas looked at her for a few seconds, eyes unblinking and then said, "I found her along the path. She accepted my help and told me to come here."

"I want to thank you," the woman smiled, "thank you for bringing my daughter back home." She turned away and disappeared for a few minutes. Then she returned. "I called an ambulance. It should be here soon. Please make yourself comfortable until they arrive." Legolas nodded, thinking, "What is she talking about?" The woman went into the other room to call Mandy's father and let him know that Mandy had been found.

Legolas sat on the floor, his back against the couch. His eyes stared ahead unseeingly, his thoughts straying back to Middle-earth and the light-hearted times with Mandy. Suddenly a hand brushed against his hair. He started awake and looked up. Mandy was smiling down at him.

"You found my home," she whispered, sitting up.

"Yes I did," Legolas answered, getting up, "and I met your mother."

"My mother?" Mandy's eyes widened, "Where is she??"

"Mandy?" the woman came back into the room, "Mandy!" She raced to Mandy's side, enveloping her in a hug, "Thank God you're alright."

"Mum!" Mandy returned the hug, crying.

"The ambulance is on its way," Mandy's mom told her as they heard the faint blaring of sirens.

"An ambulance?" Mandy protested, "I don't need one, Mum. I'm alright, honest!" She started standing up and then breathed out harshly as pain shot up and down her leg. She collapsed back onto the couch, blinking back tears. "Or not," she said sheepishly, "but I don't need an ambulance!"

"It's already on the way," Mandy's mom smiled, "and the other car is in the shop."

"Oh," Mandy rubbed her forehead, "how long have I been gone, Mum?"

"You don't know?" Mandy's mom looked at her worriedly, "About five months."

"Only five months?!" Mandy said so soft that only Legolas caught it. He smiled, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. Automatically, Mandy's hand went up and grasped his. All of this did not go unnoticed by Mandy's mom, and she looked slightly quizzical but did not press the matter.

"What is your name?" she asked Legolas.

"Luke." The name slipped out before Legolas could do anything. He saw Mandy's surprised look out of the corner of his eye.

"I am Maire (`Moi-ra')," Maire smiled warmly at him, "can I offer you--" She was cut off as the ambulance pulled up, sirens blaring. Maire opened the door and the paramedics rushed in. They examined Mandy's ankle and lifted her gently onto the stretcher. They then loaded her into the ambulance.

"Mum?" Mandy asked almost frighteningly, "will you come with me?"

"What about your father?" Maire questioned.

"I will go with her," Legolas suddenly said. Maire glanced at him with a look almost like distrust.

"No, Le--Luke," Mandy nearly slipped, "I want Mum to come with me." Her eyes beseeched him not to push it. He smiled and nodded.

"If you would wait here for Jack," Maire slipped on a jacket, "and let him know we went down to the hospital."

Legolas nodded once and watched the ambulance drive away. He looked about in amazement: he had never seen anything like this before. He sat on the steps of the porch and didn't have long to wait. Suddenly a car came zooming up and a tall man leaped out of it. He walked hurriedly up to him.

"Who are you?" the man almost snarled, glancing about.

Legolas glanced him over, taking in his large build and strength. "Luke." Legolas said softly and coldly.

"Oh," the man breathed running a hand through his hair, "are you the young man who brought my daughter here?"

"Aye," Legolas allowed himself to relax a bit, "I did."

"I'm Jack, and I'm sorry," the man offered his hand, "I was just--"

"It is forgotten," Legolas smiled, taking his hand, "Maire said to tell you that they went to the...hospital."

"Thank you," Jack turned away and then looked back, "would you like to come with me?"

"Thank you," Legolas followed him. He stepped into the car uneasily and slipped the belt on watching Jack out of the corner of his eye. He couldn't help grabbing the door handle as the car sped down the mountain.

"A clean break," the doctor told Jack, "she just needs to stay off of her feet for a couple days, and then on the crutches."

"Thank you," Jack walked out to the car. Maire was standing just outside, eyes questioning. "She needs to stay off of her feet," Jack told her, glancing towards Mandy and Legolas. He saw Legolas helping Mandy towards the car. It seemed as if they were in deep conversation about something. He shook his head, "She won't like it."

"She can't help it," Maire smiled, taking his hand, "we will have to keep her busy in bed."

"What should we do about Luke?" he asked softly.

"Let's offer him a place to stay for the night," Maire answered, "it is the least we can do."

"How do we know he didn't kidnap her himself?" Jack asked darkly, glancing at Legolas. As if feeling his eyes on him, Legolas looked unwaveringly at him. Jack looked away first. Legolas turned back to helping Mandy to the car.

"Sh..." Maire placed a calming hand on his arm, "does it look like he kidnapped her? If he did, then she is very happy with him."

"You're probably right," Jack looked down at his small wife, "alright. We'll give him a room."

"Good," Maire laughed, "now we better get back home before dinner."

"My parents offered you a place to stay for the night," Mandy said quietly from the porch where she and Legolas were sitting, enjoying the sunset.

"I haven't decided to take it yet," Legolas answered her question, gazing at the sun through the trees.

"Where else do you have to go?" Mandy asked almost angrily, "You cannot go running about the resort. Not the way you are right now."

"You would cage me?" Legolas growled back, getting up and pacing about angrily.

"No!" Mandy snapped back, "But you're an Elf. Can you imagine what someone would do if they found that out and believed you?!" Instantly Mandy regretted her harsh words. Legolas looked at her, his face emotionless. "Ai, mellon," she turned away, "I just don't want to see you get hurt."

Legolas glanced down at her and felt sorry for her. He knelt beside her and cupped her face. "Do not worry, mellonnin," he whispered, "I can take care of myself. I have been through more things than you can imagine." Her eyes closed tightly, a few tear drops slipping out unchecked. His thumb brushed them away, lingering against her cheek. "I will stay with you," he told her.

"Hanta lle," she sighed, turning her face away.

"What is it?" he asked her grasping her chin and making her look at him, "What is wrong?"

"Nothing," Mandy suddenly laughed, "I just still can't believe I'm here...and that you are here with me."

Legolas joined in her laugh though his heart gave a twinge of regret as he thought about his home. He prayed that the Valar would see him through this adventure and back home safely.

"Ahem." Jack cleared his throat from the door, "we have hot chocolate ready."

"Thanks Dad," Mandy called and got up with the help of her crutches. She started towards the door when she glanced at Legolas, "Coming?"

Legolas turned away from the woods and smiled. "Yes," he said.

*Author's Note*
there, not too bad of a cliffie, right?
hope you enjoyed it!

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