The Calling - Chapter Six
Morning saw Tae out for the count fully dressed tangled in her bed covers. Eventually she awoke due to Celwen's pounding on the door.
"Alright I'm up" yelled Tae. Abruptly the knocking ceased and the elf walked in with some fresh towels.
"I thought you might like a bath so I brought you some larger towels"
"Oh, thanks. Haven't you got a shower though? I truly can't stand baths, all that soaking in your own dirty water, yuck"
"What's a shower? There's nothing better than a long hot soak in some scented water?" asked Celwen confused
"You know, where water streams onto you from above.like a waterfall"
"Oh, we have one of those, get your stuff and I'll show you. People rarely use it so you should be undisturbed"
Celwen led Tae out to the gardens and past the training grounds. They soon came to a secluded glade, surrounded by leaning willow trees with a pool at the centre. Water was cascading down from a rock face above.
"Perfect. Thanks Celwen" Tae turned back from her departing friend and walked over to the pool. Tae removed her clothes and tested the temperature of the water before placing her towel, comb, shampoo, conditioner and soap in easy reach and stepping in.
The water was cool but not uncomfortable. Tae stepped under the waterfall and with the soap washed herself clean, next she washed her hair and brushed it through whilst the conditioner was still on it. Rinsing it of she combed her hair again and stepped back to the bank to towel herself dry.
Tae noticed that she had completely forgotten to bring a change of clothes, she finished drying her body, patted her hair dry to stop it trickling water down her back and then expertly wrapped herself in the towel. Well she wasn't about to put on her dirty clothes again! Thank goodness Celwen had decided to bring her larger towels. As it was she was covered from the top of her chest to her knees. Tae wasn't amused, this was what happened to her when people didn't let her get up in her own time.
Resolutely Tae gathered up her stuff and headed back to the house, she stopped when she got to the training grounds. Through the trees she could see either Elladan or Elrohir out on the archery range practising with their bow. Tae immediately hoped it was the younger twin, it was too early in the morning for Elladan's intricately worded courtship techniques. She glanced around to make sure there was nobody else around and with a deep breath stepped out into the open.
The son of Elrond immediately heard someone approaching him and turned around to see Tae approaching him, he looked her up and down confused as to why she was walking around the training grounds wearing only a towel and with her hair hanging in wet ringlets down past her shoulders.
"I bet you are glad that I am not my brother" he said with a mischievous snigger
Tae sighed loudly as she realised which of the twins was before her. "Thank the Lord! I forgot to take a change of clothes to the waterfall, I've just had a wash and I didn't want to put my dirty clothes back on"
"My brother will be here soon so I suggest you make a quick exit" Elrohir smiled as he imagined how Elladan would react to Tae as she was now.
Tae smiled back at him in thanks and set off quickly back to her room. Elrohir watched her go and couldn't help but notice her the litheness of her exposed coffee coloured limbs and shook his head to stop himself.
Tae arrived back in her room without anyone else seeing her, she dressed in her clean tracksuit bottoms and her adidas sports bra. She was interrupted by a knock on the door so she went over and opened it.
"Good morning Elladan, what can I do for you at this hour?" she asked politely as the elf's eyes lit up upon seeing her midriff exposed.
"I was coming to see if you wanted to go out riding for the morning, Ada told me about Onyx, you two should get along fine he's a great horse. Although I see that you are barely dressed" he said with a blush and Tae felt amused at his bashfulness.
"Elladan this is my training get up, back in my world I used to work out with light weights and this is what I would wear. Come in and I'll finish up and then we can go"
His eyes were wide as he learnt that this was normal in her world, although he could see nothing wrong with her slim tall body being so obviously on show he knew his father would have a few words to say. Nevertheless he followed her into her room and sat down on her bed whilst she got ready.
Tae put on a loose sweater and sat down on the bed to put her socks on, she plaited her hair into a long tail that snaked halfway down her back and pulled on her shoes. All the while Elladan's eyes never left her as she scraped up her curling hair and finished dressing herself. It took Tae several tries to get him to answer him.
"I'm ready now" she said as he finally looked up. He blushed bright red and Tae felt evil for letting him watch her like that.
'Well, he looks cute when he blushes' she thought.
The two walked down to the kitchens as Tae mentioned she hadn't eaten and Elladan said he hadn't either. After eating their fill they set off to the stables, when they arrived the hands were already tacking up Onyx and another chestnut horse. Tae was again lost for words as she surveyed 'her' horse, she was assaulted by emotions of happiness by Elrond's gift which only served to make her think of her own father. A lone tear fled down her face as she sought to keep the rest in, her surroundings fazed out and Tae could only hear a faint buzzing to indicate the activity of the elves around her.
Noticing the spaced out look on her face Elladan turned to her and touched her gently on the arm, he got no response and then he noticed a tear streaking down Tae's face. He had an overwhelming urge to embrace her so he did so and they stood there for a moment in the middle of the stable courtyard while their mounts were readied behind them.
Tae came to from her recollections and realised who was hugging her, she looked up and noticed the elf's eyes had a peaceful look in them as he looked off into the distance. He didn't see her as she began to smile again and lay her head back on his chest. Sighing happily she let a few moments go by before she spoke.
Elladan whipped around realising that Tae had spoke, he had been lost in the smell of her body and scent of her hair.
"For what?" he asked, genuinely curious
"For holding me" she said pulling out from his grasp and heading over to Onyx.
He reluctantly let her go and walked over to his mount, Galad. Elladan was greatly confused as to the new emotion he was feeling, it was conflicting with the one he usually had when thinking of Tae. Now he not only wanted to bed her but get to know her as well, he remembered the pain he had felt emanating from her just then as he had held her and knew there was more to the half elf than just what was under her clothes.
Onyx nickered softly and nuzzled Tae as if they were old friends. He was even more magnificent than Tae had thought when she first saw him last night.
"Hello to you too my friend. I'm sure we'll have a ball today" she whispered to her new found friend. The horse shook his head up and down as if in agreement and Tae mounted up. At her request the stable hands had fitted Onyx with a saddle as Tae knew she'd 'end up on her arse' as she put it, if she went bareback. She adjusted the stirrups an took up the reins as Elladan gracefully leapt upon his horse's back. Tae had seen something different in him back then, the faintest sign that he didn't think about getting into her pants at least 3 percent of the time they spent together.
Elladan saw Tae looking thoughtfully at him and urged Galad up to where she and Onyx were waiting.
"Are you ready my lady?" he asked with a smile.
Tae smiled back at him in response and they walked heir horses out of Rivendell's main gates and off into the countryside. Tae was enthralled by the beauty of the land around them, it reminded her of parts of Scotland and Wales back in England and pictures she had seen of Canada and places like that. She watched a hawk lazily circling on the warm morning breeze and heard the call of crickets in the grass. Cresting the valley that Rivendell rested in she turned in her saddle and looked back at her new home. The building was nestled in the walls of the valley like a baby at peace in it's mother's arms. She prised her eyes from the sight and caught up to Elladan who was a little further along the trail.
"How far does this trail lead?" she asked
"Towards Rohan and Gondor if you kept going, I have never been to either of those places though. The furthest I've been from home is Mirkwood, I've been to the woods of Lothlórien as well"
"Do you often go travelling, I mean with the palace guard and the border patrols?" Tae was curious to find out how much she was going to be left alone whilst the twins, and Elrond were occupied.
"Me and Elrohir go out with Glorfindel about twice a week. We're going out tomorrow morning in fact"
"How long will you be gone?"
"..about two days. Why the sudden interest?" asked Elladan
"I'll have no one to talk to." she called urging Onyx into a run Tae sped away from the elf.
Elladan was totally confused, was she interested in him? He did not know but he knew how to find out. He galloped off after her. He soon found her standing next to Onyx laughing hard. He'd never heard her laugh and it was like music to his ears. He dismounted and walked over to her.
"There are other elves in Imladris apart from us, you will be fine Tae. Besides, Ro's lady friend could help you design a dress for the ball"
Tae snorted, making dresses was a reason she had not chosen to take Textiles lessons at high school. It wasn't that she wasn't good at the subject, just that she found it mind numbingly boring after about three seconds. Art lessons had been her choice instead as she relished sketching things, back at home her room was littered with drawings and paintings.
"Yeah right, I would rather stick my head down the toilet or run through the halls naked" she said
Elladan raised his eyebrows at the latter part of the remark. Too bad he wouldn't be there.
"Ah well," she continued "I suppose I'll find something to do" her matter of fact tone told Elladan that the subject was done with, but he said what he was thinking anyway.
"You're just going to miss your favourite elf that's all"
"And who might that be?" she asked with a grin to rival Elladans
"Well me of course"
Elladans statement was met with a fit of laughter from Tae, he was only joking with her so soon he was chuckling to himself too. Tae had stopped Onyx by a small stream and she sat down and started pulling off her shoes and socks. She waded out into the brook and started splashing around with youthful exuberance.
Likewise Elladan pulled off his shoes and sat down on the bank cooling his feet in the water, he sat and watched Tae amusing herself like a young elfling chasing stickleback. He could have sat there for eternity.
Tae soon noticed that the elf wasn't getting wet enough for her liking. She pretended to be chasing fish in the water whilst she purposefully moved nearer. And the *splash*, she kicked a wall of water at Elladan and stepped back to admire her handiwork.
"Nice shot if I must say so myself" she said to the unsuspecting now sodden and glowering young elf. She watched him stand up until it was too late, he launched his own watery attack which left Tae with a mouth full of water.
That was it. The both of them erupted into action splashing and soaking each other until a particularly sneaky shoulder barge from Tae left them sprawling in the water laughing their heads off. Elladan was on his back with Tae angled across him, he had not laughed this much since he and Elrohir had dyed Glor's hair pink.
In the end Tae sat up and smiled at the male elf.
"I'm glad that I came out with you today Elladan, I've had so much fun. But I'm afraid I'll die if I stay in these clothes, we should head back"
Elladan wholeheartedly agreed that Tae should get out of her clothes but was reluctant to go back home where Tae wouldn't be exclusively alone with him anymore.
"You'll dry out on the bank soon enough, please, just a while longer" he begged
Unable to resist Tae caved and made her way to the bank. She felt better on the warm grass and lay down staring up at the blue sky with the sun warming her skin. She tugged off her soaking jumper and spread it out next to her to dry.
Elladan came out of the water to see Tae once again in only that short tight top he had seen her in earlier and her breeches. He marvelled at her toned stomach and slight muscle definition. He sat down next to her and took off his tunic and spread it out next to him as Tae had done with hers. He looked around him for Onyx and Galad and saw then grazing greedily not far off so lay down contented.
"So when you gonna teach me to fight?" asked Tae out of the blue
"Why do you want to learn swordplay? Its not exactly a lady's sport Tae"
"Since when did I act like a lady Dan'? Besides I wanna learn how to defeat you with a sword as well as I can with water" she said cheekily
Elladan laughed heartedly at his new nickname "Fine but you'll have your work cut out I promise, anyway, you only won because you were sneaky like an Orc and pushed me into the stream"
Tae gasped in mock horror at Elladan's insult and punched him playfully on the arm which only made him wring out his raven coloured hair out on her newly dry stomach. They laughed and talked some more until they both eventually dried out. Elladan got up to see to the horses for their return trip and Tae watched him thoughtfully, he wasn't as see-through as she thought; Today Tae had seen a new side to Elladan and she was glad of it. What she tried not to think about was his half nakedness as he strolled about the bank, and the way his pale skin shone in the sunlight.
"You're mount awaits Lady Tae" he said mockingly when he was done seeing to the horses. He even bent forward in a bow and outstretched his hand to help Tae into Onyx's saddle which just made her nearly fall off the other side with laughter. Elladan grabbed her waist instinctively as she nearly tumbled from Onyx's back and their glittering eyes met briefly in silence.
"God Dan' you look like something the cat dragged in!" interrupted Tae who leant down and started smoothing down Elladan's fine hair and picking it out of his face.
"Oh, and you look so beautiful yourself!" he said pretending to sound hurt. He couldn't hold his straight face though and grinned.
"Come here" he said before returning the favour on Tae's hair.
"There's going be a few stares when we get back" assured Elladan
"Bring it on" laughed Tae nudging Onyx into a slow walk