Ride Into Darkness - Chapter One

Ride into Darkness - Chapter One
And They (Lived) Began Happily Ever After ???

~ Yes, it is yet another Legolas story, but one with lots of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes. It isn't at all what you expect it will be. And since we all know they get together in the end anyway, I just decided to spare the formality and get it over with. I hope you'll stay with the story anyway though, because I promise it will be worth it. At least I think so. But you'll have to read it to find out. Plus, if you don't read this story...then how will the sequel make any sense?

"I, Angeliana, vow to love you and serve you for all my years. I place my heart and soul into your keeping, knowing that you will take care of them forever and a day. With you will I spend the remainder of my days, and should you hear the call of the sea before me I will follow."

"I, Legolas, vow to love you and hold you for all my years. Long ago you stole my heart, and I now place my soul into your hands for safe keeping. In you is all my trust and faith and I know that my heart and soul will be safe always as long as they remain with you. You, Angeliana, are my heart and as long as I have you I will never die." Then repeating the words Angeliana had said earlier he continued, "With you I will spend the remainder of my days, and should you hear the call of the sea before me I will follow."

The King of Mirkwood looked down at his son and daughter-in-law with a happy heart and a bright light shining from his eyes. Taking the piece of ceremonial elven cloth from his side he tied the wrists of the two together. With this last action he proclaimed "you have given your hearts and your trust to each other. With this cloth I bind you together in a way that not even your words could do. What was once two is now and forever one." Taking the opportunity to put in his own words as was his right both as king and father he said "This marriage gladdens my heart, not only for the alliance it will bring between two kingdoms, but also, and more importantly because of the love and happiness I see radiating from my son every time he looks at his bride. Angeliana, I welcome you as a daughter into my house, knowing that you will make a fine queen as well as a loving wife for my son. And now Legolas," he said to his son with a smile both in his eyes and on his lips, "I give you leave to kiss your bride."

As Angeliana looked into the eyes of her husband and met his soft lips with her own she wondered how it had ever come to pass that she should be this happy. When her father-in-law presented Legolas and Angeliana to the cheering crowd as the Prince and Princess of Mirkwood she barely heard him as the scenes of the past several months began to replay themselves in her mind.

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A horsed figure moved through the woods enjoying the day and looking for trouble. The woods had been too quiet of late, and he didn't trust the quiet. Over the past few years he had grown used to trouble and was wary when it wasn't around. Suddenly the figure came to a clearing in the trees and in the not to near distance he spotted a small party of orcs. If it had only been those few orcs he might have gone on looking for bigger game, but the orcs weren't alone. In the midst of the orcs his keen elven eyes spotted another figure. Female, if his eyes didn't deceive him. She appeared to be fighting back well, but the figure decided there was no harm in giving her a helping hand. Asking his horse to move forward, the figure approached the group until he was close enough to dismount and join the fray.

Realizing that his bow would do little good in such close proximity he drew his sword from its sheath and took on the nearest orc. With one well-delivered stroke his opponent fell and he was looking for his next target. However, to his surprise there were no orcs left standing. Littered around his feet lay the bodies of five dead orcs. Taking into account the fact that he had only slain one meant that the female he had thought to help out had managed to kill four orcs without any help at all. Impressed the would-be-hero turned to the nearby female and was faced with two stunningly angry eyes.

"I don't know who you are, but you can go right back to wherever it is you come from. Your help was not sought and was certainly not needed, nor was it appreciated."

Not sure whether to be amused or insulted the figure just smiled and let her continue. Caught off guard by the smile the woman stared at the figure before her thoughtfully, wondering just who he was. His haughty air and pointy ears marked him as an elf, but that didn't surprise her. The woods were full of elves. She herself was an elf though she had been living among men for some years now. This particular elf was a stranger to her, but as she had been away for some time that too didn't surprise her. Added to that she didn't know many elves from Mirkwood, and the knowledge that the heart of Mirkwood was less than a day's ride away aided her in her conclusion that that was from whither he came. Noticing that she was frowning at him and biting her lip in indecision she drew herself up to her full stature and once again took on her own haughty air.

"As I said I did not ask for your help and as it was not warranted nor needed I find myself unable to thank you for your interference. However, seeing as how you did take the time to help me, and seeing as how you did slay one of the orcs I suppose I must offer you some token of thanks despite my lack of true gratitude." Taking a small ring from her right hand she handed it to the elf.

The elf took the ring seeming shocked but then gathering his senses held it back to her saying, "I appreciate the offer my lady but it is unwarranted and extremely unnecessary I assure you."

"Nonsense," said the lady refusing to take back the ring. She did not truly wish to part from it but taking the elf for a wanderer as he apparently lacked any companions she figured it could be of more use to him then to her. Besides, as much as she would be loath to admit it aloud she did find it sweet that he had jumped in the fight without knowing who she was or why she was in the woods on her own. Come to think of it, he still hadn't asked any questions of her, and by the look of him he wasn't going to. She found herself appreciative of that as well, as she figured that he was probably curious as to her circumstances.

And he was. The elf was very curious as to why this female elf was alone in the woods surrounded by a party of orcs. However, he felt that any questions he might ask would be unwelcome and would very likely go unanswered. Even if she were to answer them he figured the answers would not be entirely truthful. This she-elf didn't seem to trust easily. Once again he tried in vain to give the ring back, but when she vehemently refused he sighed in resignation and pocketed the ring. Guessing her reasons for parting with the ring only made him feel even guiltier, but he vowed that he would manage to give her back the ring at some future date. He had the feeling he would be meeting this she-elf again.

Calling to his horse he bowed to the lady saying that in the future he vowed never to help her out of a tight spot again.

"I don't believe there will be any future situations, in which we are together again, for you to worry about that, master elf," came her reply.

Oh yes, he thought to himself as he swung up onto his horse and rode back into the woods. He had the definite feeling that they would meet again.

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