Strange Love-Chapter Four - Dream or Reality?

Legolas climbed atop a large boulder and his keen eyes scanned the area carefully. His sharp ears picked up nothing but the chirping of birds and whistling of the winds...and of course, the laughter of his companions. His elven eyes saw only tree tops, mountains in the far distance, tall grass, and flowers.

"All is clear and beautiful on this fine morning," said Legolas to his friends.

Aragorn smiled and nodded with agreement. "Indeed, yes," he responded.

"Legolas, you've not changed a bit," said Frodo.

Legolas turned to face him. "How do you mean?"

"You still love adventure, you're always so cheerful in the morning, and of course, you always want to lead the way."

"Too true," laughed Gimli.

To this, Legolas only laughed cheerfully and shook his head.

Rayne's eyes scanned Legolas' slim, yet muscular body up and down. "How long have you been an archer, Legolas?" she asked, not taking her eyes of him for a second.

"For two thousand years, I've been an archer, Lady Rayne," answered the handsome Elf, his golden hair shining under the sunlight.

It was becoming quite clear to the others that Legolas and Rayne were attracted to each other. They know this because Pippin caught them alone on a hill top one night and embarrassed them terribly by telling the others. Legolas tried to explain that it was just a simple one-on-one conversation and nothing more, but they knew that he and Rayne were much more than just friends. It was becoming too obvious and Legolas knew they were onto them.

Rayne finally decided that Legolas had been leading the group for far too long. What did she do? Simple. She caught up to him and just before he could say "hello" ran ahead of him.

"Hey!" shouted Legolas.

"You can't always be the head of the team," teased Rayne, tempting him with her eyes and cocky smile to catch her.

Legolas drew a deep breath and caught up with her finally. He tried to grab her wrist, but she swerved to the side, laughing playfully as she did so. It wasn't until they got to a steep hill that he grabbed her wrist. They tried to maintain their balance, but Legolas slipped and rolled down the hill with Rayne at his side. Legolas stopped rolling at the bottom of the hill and landed on his stomach and Rayne landed on her back. She couldn't help but laugh loudly as she got up. When she looked over at Legolas, however, he was still lying on his back, still and silent.

"Legolas?" she said, walking over to him. "Legolas, are you alright?"

She turned him on his back and expected to see him unconcious. No. He was laughing, loudly and playfully with his eyes closed tightly. Slowly, he sat up and put his hand on his forehead.

"Got you!" he teased, looking at her.

She merely smiled and pinned him back on the ground, making him laugh harder.

She shook her head. "You little..."

"Ah-ah! Watch it!" interrupted Legolas, smiling.

"Are you always this cute and playful, or is it just me?"

Legolas shook his head. "Let go of me."

She only shrugged and let him go. When Legolas got up and brushed himself off, both of them looked up to see Aragorn, Frodo, and the others making their way towards them.

"Are you two alright?" asked Frodo, who was the first one down.

"Yes, we're fine," answered Rayne. She looked up at Legolas. "We would not have fallen down here, had not Legolas made both of us trip!"

"Me?" he protested. "You were the one who ran ahead of me."

"You did not have to follow me, you know."

"You wanted me to, Rayne. I saw it in your eyes."

Aragorn cleared his throat, silencing the both of them.

"Shall we press on?" asked Aragorn with a smile. "Lead the way. Both of you this time. And do try to contain your excitement, won't you?"

The group laughed and pressed on with Legolas and Rayne leading the way. Both were blusing, but smiling as well.
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Night fell upon the land and the group had settled down to rest atop a hill. The only two people awake were Legolas and Aragorn.

"I shall keep watch atop that tree," said the Elf, pointing at a tall and thick tree to his right. "Orcs still roam about in these parts."

"If you see anything," said Aragorn, "give a shout. Gandalf has said he sensed nothing having to do with orcs, but we must be cautious still."

Legolas nodded and bid Aragorn goodnight. He then walked over to the tree and with one great leap, jumped onto the first branch he could reach. He began jumping from branch to branch like a squirrel, making his way to the top. He stopped when he reached the tallest point of the tree and looked out across the quiet nighttime. He suddenly realized that if he were to keep watch from up there, he'd have to sleep up there as well. He didn't mind, though. Rayne and the others might be scared if they were up there with him, but he felt quite safe. It bothered him not, since he was a Woodland Elf.

His sharp, elven eyes looked across teh land, searching for any signs of danger. Fortunately, he saw nothing. His ears only heard the chirps of crickets and the rustle of leaves blowing in the wind.

Eventually, his eyelids became heavy and he lied down on th thick, stirdy branch beneath him. With his head facing upward toward the sky, he closed his eyes and drifted away into a deep sleep.
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Legolas suddenly awoke to the sound of screams below him. He looked down in horror to see an army of orcs circling his friends in a black circle of death. Without hesitation, Legolas drew three arrows out of his pack, placed them in his bow, and aimed them at he orcs. In a flash, he shot them all from his bow at once, hitting and killing three orcs.

The foul beasts immediately drew out their bows and arrows, but when they faced them toward Legolas, he was gone.

A whistle from behind alarmed them and they drew out their weapons and charged at him. Legolas got his bow and arrow ready.

"Legolas!" Rayne's voice rung out. She was being restrained by an orc.

At the sound of this, the other orcs stopped dead in their tracks and Legolas looked on in fear as Rayne struggled against the orc's grasp. Knowing what the orc would say, he dropped his weapons, raised his hands in the air, and surrendered himself.

The orcs took Legolas and Rayne to Isengard. Rayne was not harmed, but they tortured Legolas and forced her to watch him suffer. She cried at every painful scream he made.

Legolas screamed in agony after an orc whipped him yet another time. They burned his skin using hot embers from burnt wood, they beat him brutally and mercilessly, and whipped him until his entire body was bruised, scarred, and horribly bloody. However, Legolas was not about to let himself be turned into one of them. He could not give up, for to do so would not be the decision of a future king.

"Join us," demanded one of the orcs. "Join us and save yourself so much more pain."

Legolas shook as he spoke. "And become a fithy beast like you? What do you take me for?"

The orc whipped him again and he screamed once more.

"My brave Legolas," he heard Rayne say, her voice cracking as she tried desperately to hold back her tears.

The orc pulled out his sword and put it to the heart on Legolas' chest.

Rayne struggled against the orc's grasp and screamed loudly. Her cries echoed everywhere as she looked on in horror.

Without further hesitation, the orc plunged his sword into Legolas' heart.
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Legolas' eyes open and he found himself back in the tree. He looked down at his companions and found them sleeping peacefully. There were no orcs in sight either. He sighed with relief, for he now knew that it was just another one of his nightmares.

After he calmed down, he laid back down and managed to get back to sleep.
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"That horrible?" asked Frodo.

"The most frightful one I've had yet," replied Legolas. "It all seemed so real, though. I swear, I've never been so frightened since the war of the Ring."

"Legolas, please," said Frodo. "Remind me not of those days."

"I apologize, Frodo."

"What of this nightmare, Master Elf?" asked Gimli.

Legolas told them all about what happened and of the torture he went through in the dream. He told them how he saw Rayne watching all this happening to him, which made Rayne, herself, quite uneasy about this dream.

"Speak no more of this nightmare, Legolas," said Gandalf. "I think we've heard enough."

"Yes, Gandalf," responded the Elf.

Rayne changed the subject. "What of this Lady of the Wood you've all told me about? Is she elven?"

"Yes, milady, she is," answered Pippin.

"I should very much like to meet her."

"We are passing through her forest now, Lady Rayne," said Legolas.
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"I am so pleased to see that you are all safe," said Galadriel softly with a smile on her face. She noticed Rayne. "Welcome, Rayne of Isengard."

Rayne eyes widened at the sound of her name coming through Galadriel's lips.

"You know my name?" asked the woman.

"I see all, I know all," responded Galadriel. "I know of your friend, Arlinya of Rivendell. She was a dear friend of mine as well. A tragedy to lose such a loyal friend."

Two tears rolled down Rayne's cheeks and Legolas wiped them away and caressed her cheek with his warm hand.

"Legolas Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood, you show concern for this woman, do you not?"

"Yes, Galadriel, I do," he answered.

Galadriel smiled at this. "Might I have a word with her alone?"
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"You love Legolas, do you not, Rayne?" asked Galadriel.

"Yes," she responded.

"What do you think of him?"

She smiled. "He's kind, generous, understanding, pure-hearted, bold, brave, loving..." She paused. "And he is the most beautiful creature I've ever seen."

Galadriel smiled. "You are deeply in love with him, then?"

Rayne hesitated. "I indeed love him and I want to tell him but..."

Galadriel finished for her. "You are afraid of what he might say."

She nodded.

"I do sense that Legolas loves you. I could tell by the way he looked into your eyes. Do not be afraid to tell him, Rayne. Deep down inside, he feels the same way for you." She put her hand on Rayne's shoulder. "Tell him."
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"Legolas?" said Rayne, coming up behind him.

"Good evening, Lady Rayne," said Legolas, turning around to face her.

"Legolas, I...I need to talk to you...alone."
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Well? How about it? Is that a good cliffhanger for ya?

Feedback welcome! Hope you liked it.

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