Elven Ranger - Chapter 7 - Eyes Wide Open

He didn't move at first and just looked at her, "may I?" he said beckoning to the bed, Eleniel nodded and he came and sat down beside her. "I was amazed that you stayed in the Lady's gaze until the very end, I have never seen anything like it." She smiled and looked up at him. "That is not what you came here to speak about, but yes I was very surprised myself. You did not last very long, you blushed and looked away." He looked a little uneasy; he had hoped she hadn't seen that. "I just guessed that it was something you didn't want to hear because I am sure you can stay in her glance longer." He just looked at the floor and shrugged. "It's not that I didn't want to hear it, it's just..." He trailed off.

"Come now Elladan! What is it you want to say? Or ask?" Eleniel was becoming a little impatient, she could guess all he wanted to know, and she just wanted to hear him say it. "Ok, ok." He said. "Why do you hold me at arms length? I don't understand you sometimes." Eleniel sighed. "I'm sorry." She was silent, Elladan spoke again. "It has always been like this, but not as noticeable as it has been of late, you haven't changed, I have. I have wanted to grow closer to you, but you stay the same. I remember when your father left when we were only children, maybe only five I think we were." Eleniel stood up and walked to the other side of the room, Elladan had hit a chord without meaning to. "I'm sorry, I didn't know that still hurt so much, though I don't remember much about it, it was so long ago and we were only young."

Eleniel nodded, but didn't turn to face him. "Nessime, she left after I was weaned and could live with any maiden to look after me. She was tired from the birth, I wore her out. She sailed away..." She paused for a moment. "Is that why you dislike the sea so?" Asked Elladan. "Because your mother left you?"

Eleniel shook her head, "Nay, Nessime was a stranger to me, I do not give her the title of mother, she deserves it not. Lady Celebrian was so good to me, so was Lord Elrond after father left. They tried to love me when it was so hard to."

"Hard to love you? I don't think that possible Eleniel" Elladan spoke; he stood up and took her hand. She shook her head, "don't you remember? After my father sailed over the sea I lived in Mithlond for about 10 years, when I came back I was still angry. It was so hard for any of you to get close to me, not matter how much you tried. And you were so different when I came back Elladan. Eleniel sighed, "Why were you so angry? He left and that is reason enough, but you stayed angry all that time. You did not move on for so long." Asked Elladan.

"I was five, my father told me he was leaving me, and that I could not come because I had to choose my own time to sail. But I was only young I did not understand why I could not come. And when I cried he laughed, he said I was being silly and that we would se each other again. But I was a child and what else was I expected to do but to cry? And so I disliked him when I watched him sail away from me, and I stayed by the sea for those ten years to see why my parents loved it more than they loved me. And I could never understand any love for it and I came back to Rivendell." Silent tears flowed down Eleniel face; Elladan wiped them away with his sleeve.
"You came back, 15 years old. You had grown up to a beautiful young maiden. And..." Elladan stopped for a moment, "And from that moment I fell in love with you." Eleniel looked up at him in surprise, "But that was so long ago, how have you lived and known me for so long and not said anything?"

Elladan sighed and put his arms around her shoulders, he looked out the window, "I knew you only looked to me like a brother figure. And so would not love me as I loved you. So I kept my silence. And when myself and Elrohir found my mother," he choked back tears at the memory and stopped for a moment. Eleniel rested her head against his shoulder, she tried not to weep, and she could only imagine his pain. To find his mother in an orcs den, wounded and tortured and who knows what else. To see that sight, Eleniel shivered. He tilted his head and rested his cheek on her head. "We brought her back, and then you found me wondering about the woods, and you saw me weep. And you came and held me and comforted me and wept with me. And I think maybe I wept harder then to know that you thought you were comforting me because you loved me only as a brother." Elladan stopped now. And Eleniel shook with anger, she had hurt him, how could she do this? He held her tighter, he thought her to be weeping.

She looked up at him, "what did the lady say to you Elladan?" He frowned, "why?" he asked. Eleniel kept looking at him and did not answer. "She said something about you actually. `She loves you, and now all you need to know is how?' That is what the Lady said, I already knew that, and she was going to say more. But I did not want to hear it then, I do not know why. Maybe because you walked away from me earlier. What did she say to you?"

Eleniel looked down, and rested herself in his arms again. "The Lady said: `Strange that you should so willingly turn from love, when it stares you in the face Eleniel.'" Eleniel stopped and sighed, and now I know how I have hurt you, and I hate it. I was so scared to even open my eyes to love too much. They left me, and I was scared that you might." Elladan whispered, "Never." Eleniel trembled and nearly pulled away, but Elladan held her close and did not let go. And with that action she knew she believed him, and she let go of her anger. She wept and laughed in his arms; he placed his hands on her shoulder and held her out to see her face. He did not understand how she was acting now. She smiled through her tears, "I can now answer the question Lady Galadriel asked you, how? Eleniel moved forward and kissed him lightly on the lips, he closed his eyes. She moved back and he opened his eyes and smiled. His eyes were different, so happy and her heart skipped a few beats. He looked at her for a minute, "come and walk with me, I will show you the city."

"Oh, I should get changed into a real dress first, wait outside." Elladan blinked, he had not noticed that she was only in her night dress. He blushed and nodded; he turned to the door, and waited outside. Eleniel threw off the cloak and the night dress and slipped into a white dress she had brought with her. Eleniel walked out and Elladan took her by the hand and pulled her close, "you look beautiful my lady." Eleniel laughed, things had changed so quickly, but she liked it. "It would look like you hadn't seen me in so long and missed me so." Eleniel jested. "Oh, but you don understand, that is all to true!" He said with a laugh, Elladan put his arms around her and kissed her, she was a little amazed a first. It was so different from the light touch of their lips before. Finally they parted, and Elladan looked over Eleniel's shoulder and laughed, Eleniel spun around to see Elrohir standing there with total shock across his face. Then he bent over and began to laugh, he put his hands on his knees for support. "Finally!" He said and threw his hands up in the air and walked off. Eleniel laughed, "Oh, I guess so many people have know before I even knew!" She groaned and shook her head. Elladan chuckled, and put his hand in hers, "Now It doesn't matter what was, only what is."

Elladan and Eleniel walked through the city, and Elladan who had been here many times before introduced her to new people and she made many new friends. They bumped into Elrohir again; he laughed and shook his head. "Well I say you did a wonderful job at surprising me and nearly making me fall over." He said when he came up to them. They laughed, "Well we are sorry." Said Eleniel. "Oh, no, no! It's a good thing. I only noticed of late how my brother looked at you, and I was beginning to think you were blind Eleniel." He said with a chuckle. Eleniel lightly hit him in the back of the head playfully and laughed. Elrohir backed away with his hands up in defense, and laughed as well. "You should know not to make fun of Eleniel; you could get yourself seriously hurt." Elladan said chuckling at their play. Elrohir nodded and excused himself and walked off.

Their time in Lothlorien was blissful, for all three. They stayed among the Galadhrim for a month, but it became time to leave. They came to the Lady and the Lord's chamber the night before they left and ate with them. "You will take path up the Dimrill stair early tomorrow then?" Asked Celeborn. They nodded as they ate. "I wish you could all stay longer." Spoke Galadriel. "Ah, as do we grandmother. But our father will need us back in Rivendell." Replied Elladan. Galadriel nodded, "I'm sure he will." They talked together longer into the night and then the Lady and the Lord excused them. Elrohir went up to his room, but Elladan and Eleniel went for a last walk through the Golden Wood.

"It is a beautiful night." Elladan looked up at the sky. "It always is here, Elladan." Eleniel looked up at him and smiled. She then looked at to the trees about them, there was a hill. Then she recognized where they were, Cerin Amroth. She hiked up her dress and ran up the hill. Elladan sprinted up after her. He got to the ladder a split second after her, both bent over puffed out. "You can go up first Elladan, I have a dress on." She winked and he rolled his eyes, "would I really look?" She laughed, "I know you are a good elf, just teasing." She patted him on the arm. Elladan climbed up the ladder, and Eleniel followed.

They came to the top. It was a windy up here; Eleniel's hair flew about her as she looked out above the trees into darkness. Elladan stood behind her and put his arms around her middle, he was warm and alive and the cold wind that whipped her face was cool and refreshing. They looked back towards the city and saw the small silver lights twinkling in the boughs of the trees, Eleniel glanced towards southern Mirkwood, and its darkness was impenetrable. Eleniel turned her eyes away and looked back towards the city, it was so beautiful.

They stood there long in silence just looking at the city, Eleniel closed her eyes and turned around in Elladan's arms, it was getting colder. She burrowed her head in his chest; he held her tighter and kissed her on the top of the head.

Eleniel wasn't sure how long she stood there with his arms around her, it seemed so long. But then when he pulled away and said they should go and rest before their journey back to Rivendell it seemed like it had only been a second. He climbed down the ladder, and Eleniel followed. She came near to the bottom and he took her by the waist and brought her down to him. She laughed; "I can manage!" He smiled and kissed her on the forward, "I know." He said, "I mustn't be able to control myself." He said with a laugh. Elladan took her by the hand, and they walked back beneath the trees to the city. They came to Eleniel's door and Elladan said goodnight with a kiss.

Eleniel woke up bright and early the next day, she put on her traveling clothes and strapped her weapons back on. She felt quite forlorn to be leaving such a beautiful land, but she couldn't stay here forever, she would also be needed to help in these coming days as were the twins. She was sure Elrond had jobs in mind for them all. Eleniel thought about this as she braided her hair and pulled on her cloak, she then left her room and went down into the main hall of Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. When she entered the hall it seemed that Elrohir and Elladan had just arrived as well. There was a table set and food was on it, breakfast. Eleniel walked over and then they sat down and ate. It was half of and hour later when Haldir appeared to lead them on their way from the Golden Wood. And then Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel said their farewell's, "Farewell Eleniel, it gladdens me to see that you found happiness here in Lothlorien. Stay safe on your road, there is much yet to do." The Lady lightly embraced Eleniel.

They talked happily with Haldir as they made their way from the wood, though when they got to the borders the company saddened. They said their farewells to Haldir, the twins embraced him in turn, they were all such good friends she noticed, and Haldir kissed Eleniel on the hand, "Farwell fair Lady, not a little girl indeed!" He said merrily. Eleniel laughed, "And don't you forget that!"

The three mounted their horses and were off, they rode to the mountains feet and then could ride no more and had to lead their steeds up the mountain paths. The journey was easy, and it seemed strange that it was so quiet in such times of unrest. Surely their would be orcs blocking their way over the Redhorn pass, but maybe the Enemy had other plans at this time that they did not know. So they went on, steadily but still weary of the land around them and what may be hiding out of the reach of their eyes. They made it down Caradhras, and they rode swiftly from the shadows of the Mountains of Mist, the three took camp one night in a small clearing of trees. "We will reach Rivendell by dusk tomorrow." Spoke Elrohir as they sat about the fire, and the others nodded. Then came a rustling in the bushes near-by, the three elves sprang up with weapons ready in the blink of an eye. "Who is there?!" Called Elrohir, "Show yourself!" Spoke Elladan.

Then tumbling into the clearing came a young girl, her clothes were dirty and ripped. She looked up to the shadowed faces of the elves, she squeaked and backed away. Elladan walked forward to the young girl backed away and would have ran, "Daro Elladan." Eleniel spoke softly. The little girl looked to the figure with the soft voice, Eleniel pulled back her hood and kneeled so as to seem less imposing to the girl. "Hello, what is your name?" Asked Eleniel.

The young girl did not answer straight away. "L- L- Lina." Whimpered the little girl. "What a pretty name! Hello Lina, my name is Eleniel. What are you doing all by yourself?" Eleniel sat down and crossed her legs. Lina took a step closer to Eleniel, "I'm lost, and I saw some monsters and they were scary." Lina peered over at Elladan and Elrohir that were standing a few steps away, Eleniel noticed how tall and imposing they must seem to the little girl, Lina moved so that Eleniel was between herself and the two big men and looked around her with worry across her face. There was a screech and howling, Lina jumped with a start, and began to cry, "It's them, it's them!" The little girl ran forward and dived into Eleniel's arms, Eleniel was quite shocked but took the girl in her arms, Lina was shaking.

Eleniel stood up and held the girl tight in her arms, she turned to Elladan and Elrohir. "We must leave. We can't stay here any longer. She will come to Rivendell with us." The twins looked uneasy. "What!?" asked Eleniel. "We need not run, you go with her, we will destroy them." Eleniel shook her head, "No, can't you hear them? There are too many! And I can't fight with her with me on Celebnaur."

"Then you ride to Rivendell with her now!" Argued Elladan. "No! We all ride together." Eleniel spoke firmly. She sat Lina upon Celebnaur and jumped up behind her. Eleniel rode to a small hill by the clearing and looked out to see what approached. Elladan and Elrohir appeared beside her, and to the south they could see warg riders bounding north towards them, they were coming to Rivendell. Lina squealed and covered her face. "They outnumber us ten times over! Ride!" Shouted Eleniel.

The three turned their horses north and rode swift as wind to Rivendell; they arrived there just before the sun rose. And came to see that there were elves about the borders getting reading to meet the onslaught. "You are ready for the Warg riders? How do you know of their coming?" Spoke Elrohir. Glorfindel strode forward, "The dunadan Baradmir informed us. He arrived last night. "He must have overtaken us." Said Elladan.

The elves rode forward; Elladan and Elrohir went with them. Eleniel wanted to stand and fight to defend her home as well, but she had to get the child to the safety of Rivendell first.

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