Memories long since passed.... - Chapter #10
"You are an very hard lady to keep up with, Lady Silvertree."
Leslie turned to see Colin standing there looking her over, his eyes had a hard time leaving her figure. Finally Leslie made a disgusted sound before voicing her words.
"What is it?! Is something wrong with me? Why do you keep staring and looking me over like a piece of meat?!"
Colin turned an embarrassing shade of red luckily no one except Celebriand had seemed to had noticed her words, but her forward question made Colin's cheek a brighter rosy red color.
"Forgive me Lady Silvertree... it's just--- well you see you have.... Erm What I mean is.... Uhhh..." Leslie placed her hands on her hips waiting for his answer, but no answer came.
"Uhhhh Lady Silvertree may we speak alone?"
The question seemed to confuse Leslie more, what could all this be about?! She stopped and thought a moment, she would have said yes, but she could not simply abandon her duties and leave Celebriand unguarded.
"I'm sorry I can not. I must stay with Celebriand."
"That will not be necessary Leslie," Celebriand interjected,"I can have some guards protect me while your speaking to him, you could even dance with him for a little bit."
Leslie had turned to protest to the idea when Colin thanked her. Briefly Leslie gave Celebriand a look that told her she would get her back for this before being led away by Colin. Once out of anyone's hearing or sight, Leslie stopped, folded her arms in front of her chest, and asked.
"Well? You were going to tell me what is wrong with me and why you stare so."
Colin gave a shocked expression as if she should know why he stared. "My Lady is it not obvious why I stare?!"
Leslie gave a funny look before looking down at herself a moment to see what he saw, then after a moment looked back at Colin shaking her head no.
"My lady you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, if I could but see Luthien Tinúviel I believe she would not compare in beauty to you! This is why I stare."
The answer made a shocked expression escape her features, he had just said that she would most likely be more beautiful then Luthien Tinúviel. Surely he was teasing her, for to her no one in all Middle Earth could compare to Luthien's beauty. Hearing Colin's voice again snapped her out of her thoughts.
"Surely you have been told you are beautiful before."
"Only by my father, I am usually too busy protecting Celebriand to receive such complements."
"You have been Celebriand's shadow for far too to have not caught any other's eyes."
Leslie blushed she was not used to being held in such high regards. She looked away from his stare to the ground, only to feel a soft touch of his index finger beneath her chin and her head gently lifted.
"Do not be ashamed of your beauty, I am not just interested in your looks, but in you and what you are like."
Then just like that Leslie felt his lips press against hers. She had never been kissed which made her very nervous. She felt his hands wrap securely about her waist, her own arms wrapped about his neck to pull him closer. Finally Colin released her from the kiss, breathing heavily Leslie stared up at Colin like an innocent child. He was just about to kiss her again when they both heard Cade's voice. The sound of her father's voice dispelled her daze and she turned to see her father enter threw the brush her mother close behind him. Upon seeing the scene Cade separated Leslie and Colin.
"My daughter is not some flippant tavern wench to please your desires." Cade said to Colin in a protective fatherly tone.
"That's alright father it was just a kiss." Leslie spoke up.
"Well you be careful, I want my daughter to remain an untouched lady until she weds, no scoundrels."
"Father..." Leslie trailed off embarrassed.
"My love you yourself was once a scoundrel too." Aaron added teasing her husband. She wrapped her arms about him. "Remember?"
"Yes, but like our daughter you have no resistance against a scoundrel." Cade returned the affection by wrapping his arms about Aaron in return.
"Oh but I did, I repelled you for a while before giving in to you.... You scoundrel." There was a brief moment of silence held between Aaron and Cade as they remembered their earlier years together, then she added. "Now come let's return to our guarding Celeborn and Galadriel and leave these two love birds alone."
Cade sighed and agreed, but not before turning to Colin. "I expect my daughter home as soon as the festival ends and no later. If you do anything to hurt my daughter I will find you and break your legs."
Colin nodded completely understanding.
"My love do not threaten the man, I'm sure he will not hurt her. Now come we must get back to Celeborn and Galadriel."
The two left and once gone Colin turned to Leslie.
"Why was your mother so trusting?"
"My mother once told me the greatest trust is putting faith in someone. She has faith in me to do what is right and so she knows she can trust me. Besides she would rather trust me to make my own decisions then have me resent her for trying to be overly protective. You see she believes that is why so many children end up defying their parents, the parents will not put faith in their children to do what is right and earn their trust. The parents at times would rather dictate and overprotect their children and then there is not much room left for faith or trust."Leslie leaned against a tree wondering if he understood then added. "My mother and I have come to completely trust one another we have no secrets. My father is a good man also and we trust each other, but he is a father and like fathers they are concerned for their daughters."
After a moment Colin slowly nodded. "I see... Perhaps then I may ask to be allowed to court you?"
Leslie tried to hide her surprise and soft giggle. "I suppose..."
When not protecting Celebriand, Leslie spent extra time getting to know Colin and spending time with him. The two spent as much time together as possible, but as it came to the anniversary of their meeting exactly one year ago, a darkness crept ever closer as word spread of Sauron, his evil forces were spreading and crushing all in their path. Soon panic and fear snaked its way into the city of Ost-in-Edhil. Like a snake in the dark slithering towards its unsuspecting victim, the city was unprepared for the quickly approaching evil that would come. It had been decided that Leslie, Colin and five other elven guards would escort Celebriand to Lothlorien and to Lady Galadriel. Shortly after the festival of the previous year Galadriel and Aaron had left for Lorien , now it seemed Celebriand and Leslie would be reunited with their mothers. Rumor quickly spread that Sauron would soon come for his rings, and so Leslie, Colin, and Celebriand would leave the next morning. The night before they were to leave the city however, like the brief calm before the storm; Sauron's armies came in the night. The sounds of screams and battle practically made Leslie jump from her bed. She rushed to the window and saw homes aflame, the citizens running to escape and the city guards fighting off the foes in the streets. Leslie quickly got dressed and rushed to her father's chamber, but he was not there. No doubt he had been with Celeborn still before the attack. Leslie quickly took her weapons and ran from the house on her way to Celeborn's. Half way there she founds her father was returning to get her, he rushed quickly to her glad that she was safe.
The night before they were to leave the city however, like the brief calm before the storm; Sauron's armies came in the night. The sounds of screams and battle practically made Leslie jump from her bed. She rushed to the window and saw homes aflame, the citizens running to escape and the city guards fighting off the foes in the streets. Leslie quickly got dressed and rushed to her father's chamber, but he was not there. No doubt he had been with Celeborn still before the attack. Leslie quickly took her weapons and ran from the house on her way to Celeborn's. Half way there she founds her father was returning to get her, he rushed quickly to her glad that she was safe.
"Thank Eru you are safe!" Cade grabbed her wrist in a vice like grip and rushed her back to Celeborn's house Colin was spotted along the way and was ordered to follow. Once at Celeborn's house they noticed Celebriand was not there. Panic swept over Celeborn's face as he screamed out her name in search of her. Thinking of where she could be, Leslie remembered that when Celebriand had trouble sleeping she would sneak out for a swim at the edge of the city.
"I know where she is, I'll be right back!" Leslie ran from the house partially ignoring her father's screams to wait and not quit hearing some of it. Ducking explosions and waves of arrows, she neared the edge of the city in time to see Celebriand backing away from three orcs that had spotted her. Drawing her sword, Leslie rushed forward hitting one orc from behind and killing him. But the largest orc turned before she could attack him and backhanded her. Knocked to the ground, Leslie shook off the daze as the third orc neared her. She pulled out a small hidden dagger and shoved it into the orcs foot; the orc gave a horrible cry of pain. Leslie rolled to her feet as she grabbed up her sword, as she whirled around swiping with her sword she beheaded the third orc. Turning to face the large orc that had backhanded her, she only saw a large hammer flying at her. Quickly going into a ball Leslie rolled away only feeling the air above her stir slightly from the hammer. Getting to her feet she spun and gabbed her sword into the orcs side, but it was only a minor injury. The orc gave a cry and then hit in the face by bringing back his elbow. Knocked to the ground again, Leslie tried hard to shake off her daze as she made out only figures. When she recovered, she saw Celebriand had jumped onto the large orcs back to keep him from harming her friend. As soon as she saw the scene, Leslie was back on her feet, for at that moment the orc had gotten a hold of Celebriand's arm and had yanked her off his back. He tossed her aside like a rag doll, as Leslie ran at him with her sword pointed out and ready to run him threw. Her mark was dead on as the large orc made an ear shattering cry of pain, which probably alerted the entire city to his death. Twisting her sword inside the orc, Leslie yanked upward hard and pulled her sword free as the orc crumpled to the ground in a heap. Breathing heavily from the battle, she looked to Celebriand as her friend stood to see the fallen orc; her face registered that akin to being sick at seeing the orc's body.
"Are you alright Celebriand? Are you injured?"
"No just bruised slightly."
Leslie slowly nodded as she heard an approaching noise, its thrashing threw the brush proved it was not an elf. Looking intently ahead, Leslie saw the forms of more orcs approaching. Reaching over and taking Celebriand's hand, she began running to her left away from the woods were the orcs approached, but around the city while remaining out of sight within the edge of the woods. As they ran the sound of arrows whizzing by and missing their targets could be heard right behind the two girls. Leslie tried to keep Celebriand in front of her to keep any arrows from striking her, but one had gotten passed her. A deep horrified cry escaped Celebriand's lips as she fell forward; the arrow had struck her side from behind. Leslie knelt down beside her fallen friend as she tried to help her.
"I'm sorry I have to pull the arrow out, try to hold still..."
Leslie broke the arrow shaft and tried to gently remove the arrow without hurting her friend, but also hurried so that the orc archers were getting closer. Pulling the arrow out, Leslie took some of Celebriand's dress at the bottom, tore it off, and held it at her side to stop the blood flow. Then just as quickly, Leslie helped her friend back to her feet and the two started moving again. The two had not gotten far, before Celebriand had to stop to rest a moment. They hid behind a large oak tree, as Leslie looked back in the direction they had come to see if they were still being tracked. The pain in Celebriand's side from the arrow wound quickly ebbed, then stopped.
"Leslie my... my side does not hurt anymore... Could it be poison?"
Leslie turned back to Celebriand at the thought. "Here, let me see..."
As Celebriand pulled back the blood soaked cloth, Leslie could find no wound it was gone. "Are you sure an arrow struck you?"
"Of course I'm sure! I felt it..."
"But, there is no arrow wound..."
Celebriand was about to say something as the snapping of a twig alerted them that the orcs had not given up following them. The two hugged the tree as Leslie spoke in a low soft whisper. "We have to make it back to your father's house..."
Celebriand slowly nodded in agreement as Leslie took her hand and pointed the direction they would go. "Ready? One..... Two...... Go!"
The two took off running towards the city as arrows shot about them. Getting past the brush, the two ran towards the houses ahead and hid in between them. As they noticed they were only a few blocks away from Celeborn's house. Moving around the houses and avoiding the pursuing orcs, Leslie was leading Celebriand back when Celeborn, Cade, Colin, and some elven guards met them in front of one of the house. The elf lord rushed forward squeezing Celebriand tight, before noticing the blood on her gown from the thought arrow wound.
"Celebriand, are you injured?"
"No I thought ---- I mean no..." Celebriand glanced at Leslie as an elven guard came forth from the battle.
"We have been ordered to evacuate the city now. Please come with me."
The group was quickly led away towards the woods along with any other remaining villagers deep into the woods beyond and away from the battle field. As the remaining villagers retreated deeper into the woods to escape, the sounds of death and battle died as well. Leslie knew not for how long she walked as she grew weary, they barely rested for fear of Sauron's troops gaining on them. And after five and half days of continually traveling, Leslie felt the weight of exhaustion push at her. She noticed Celebriand also carried the weight of exhaustion upon her as did everyone traveling with them. Traveling north and away from the dangers behind them, Celeborn decides to take the last remaining people to Imladris for refuge. Some days into the journey, the group stopped to rest one evening. Walking about the small camp, Leslie soon found Colin leaning against a tree to relax. Feeling cold, she snuggled up against Colin and rested against him for comfort. Quickly falling asleep from exhaustion, Leslie barely notices the passage of time. The piece over the camp was brief at best, for what awoke most the survivors was the night watch. Screaming in elven of the coming orcs, then an arrow struck him in the back of his throat making his words nothing more then pain filled gurgles as he collapsed to the ground dead. The camp erupted into panic as orcs rushed in killing any who apposed them, and many remaining survivors scattered into the woods in fear. Leslie instinctively rushed to Celebriand's side as the attack came, Colin following to protect her from harm.
Some days into the journey, the group stopped to rest one evening. Walking about the small camp, Leslie soon found Colin leaning against a tree to relax. Feeling cold, she snuggled up against Colin and rested against him for comfort. Quickly falling asleep from exhaustion, Leslie barely notices the passage of time. The piece over the camp was brief at best, for what awoke most the survivors was the night watch. Screaming in elven of the coming orcs, then an arrow struck him in the back of his throat making his words nothing more then pain filled gurgles as he collapsed to the ground dead. The camp erupted into panic as orcs rushed in killing any who apposed them, and many remaining survivors scattered into the woods in fear. Leslie instinctively rushed to Celebriand's side as the attack came, Colin following to protect her from harm.
"Leslie get Celebriand to safety!" Celeborn ordered, but Celebriand did not want to leave.
"No, I can not leave you!"
Leslie herself did not want to leave as she looked from her father to Colin.
"We will be alright, Leslie. Please do as Celeborn asks..." Cade answered to the worry in his daughter's eyes. Celeborn attempted to talk his daughter into going with Leslie and for a moment it seemed nothing he said would get her to go, then he turned to Leslie again.
"I order you to get my daughter out of here, now!"
Leslie wanted to disobey Celeborn's order so badly, but finally took Celebriand's arm and began to lead her away despite her protests and struggles. Once far enough away Celebriand's words finally registered in her ears.
"Let me go, I can not leave my father!"
"Look I don't want to leave my father or Colin back there either, but I have to get you away from danger! Alright? The sooner you are safe the sooner I can go back for them."
It took a few moments but Celebriand finally nodded in agreement. As the two turned back to continue on their way, Leslie saw an orc archer in front of them and had only time to step in-between him and Celebriand. She closed her eyes tight expecting to be hit; instead she heard the sound of an arrow, but no pain, no injuries, nothing. She opened her eyes to see the orc standing one moment, then dropping to the ground dead the next. Behind the fallen orc stood a tall figure that Leslie could not see until he stepped closer. An elven man with long brown hair was dressed in elven armor and held a bow. He came closer looking at both Leslie and Celeborn for injures as he moved.
"Are you both alright?"
Leslie looked to Celeborn then back at the stranger. "Yes we're alright, but our company is being attacked back that way!"
The elven man looked off that way, then turned back towards the woods he had come from calling over his shoulder in elven to someone, then a moment later a large group of elves clad in armor came forward and moved passed Celeborn and Leslie to help the survivors left behind.
"Leslie! Please I have to go back for my father!"
Hearing Celeborn's words, Leslie turned to her. "You stay here, and I will go back for them." She quickly turned to the elven man that had rescued them. "Please protect her, I promised her I would go back."
Without even getting an answer, Leslie ran back to find Celeborn, Cade, and Colin. However by the time she reached the area the orcs lay dead about the area and at first no one alive was in sight, she soon began to panic as she called out.
"Father!.............. Lord Celeborn!................. Colin!"
Her cries were soon heard as some of the elven men returned with Celeborn, Cade, and Colin. She began to relax as they neared her and Celeborn's question came.
"Leslie, where is my daughter?"
"She is right here..." The sound of the elven man's voice made Leslie turn to see Celebriand standing next to the elf. Celebriand rushed forward and hugged her father tightly as Cade and Colin came to checked to make sure Leslie was alright.
"I am Lord Elrond of Rivendell, I am sorry I did not arrive sooner to be of better aid. I do however welcome you to Imladris and would like to escort you there."
"Thank you Lord Elrond, I am lord Celeborn with me is my daughter Celebriand, her personal body guard Leslie Silvertree, her father and my personal body guard Cade Silvertree, and one of the Captain of my elven guards Colin Morningstar." Celeborn indicated to everyone when he spoke their name to Lord Elrond. It was only a moment later that an elven soldier returned.
"Milord, the orcs are retreating..."
"Good locate the survivors that were attacked and bring them back here; we will take the survivors to Rivendell."