The Return of the Shadow - Part Nine--Reunion
Nenuesa stepped warily out of the small stone door. Shading her eyes fromt he sun's glare she looked around the golden sea in front of her. She would have preferred to be back in the cave out of the sun's burn on her pale skin but the riders would come during the afternoon and she had to be there.
She crept along the field, going from one small tree to another, avoiding the sun as much as possible. When she reached the center of the field she lay down. The tall brown grasses bent over at her unspoken command, making a roof of greenery over her body. She closed her eyes and relaxed, the plants and her senses would tell her if anything approached.
After so many fruitless afternoons of lying in the hot sun a regular elf would have given up. Not Nenuesa. She hoped this afternoon was the one. Even her patience was stretching.
The sound of soft hoofbeats crunching on the dry grass woke her. She drew her legs up under her until she was crouching in the grass. Her keen eyes spotted the riders trotting onto the edge of the field.
Their leader had black hair and brown eyes, almost like she herself. He was obviously one of the Quendi, at least they had something in common. They were going slowly, pausing to draw in odd little books made of leather.
Their pace was almost unbearable. Fortunately she had much more patience than most. She almost felt excited, even happy. Almost. She was trying to put together what she was going to say to them. Suddenly they were approaching her hiding spot far too quickly. She wasn't prepared. What should she say to them? She had no idea what was proper.
She had far too many misgivings about this whole thing. She was out of her depth in a social situation. She found herself wishing to be back in the cave with Grenya. There were voices above her, though she didn't understand what they said. She was just pulling out from under her canopy of plants when a smooth, pale hand brushed them aside.
A male elf ogled down at her.
"Nirta tillonein crades?" He asked in a surprised tone. She had no idea what language he was speaking. She was out of her depth in a social situation, but one where she didn't understand what was being said was worse.
"I-I-um....well...I-hello," she stuttered. The elf looked at her strangely.
"Do you speak elvish?" He asked in the common tongue.
"No," she replied warily. The look on his face grew more twisted. He stuck out his hand. She wasn't sure what to do so she drew herself up onto her feet.
Their was a whole company of riders with him. When she turned to face them many gasped, those with better manners muttered strange words in the language their leader had spoken.
"My lady, if you would please come with me?" The captain asked in a choked whisper.
"Where are you taking me?" Nenuesa demanded. This was exactly what she had wanted, to see more of the world and be with her own kind. She felt an odd sort of kinship with these elves. They were warriors, they weren't souped on emotions.
"My lady if you would come to the palace of Mirkwood with us we would be greatly honored. She had already decided to, they couldn't hurt her. Besides, she sensed good will in their hearts.
"Of course," she said.
He had finally had word back from his scouts. They had mapped their given field as ordered but one of the scout groups had found something better. The day before a scout had galloped in to tell him what they had found near the borders of his land. A she-elf, the scout had said. One that looked exactly like him. The scout had described her to him. In his mind Legolas had conjured up the image of the elf maid from his dreams. He couldn't tell which he was more excited about, telling Lorielde the good news, or having the maiden arrive.
Once they had arrived at the palace the strange she-elf was taken off of their hands by the palace attendants who readied her for her appearance in front of the prince. Many of the men were relieved. The maiden was obviously one of the Quendi, and they were not very welcome in Mirkwood. I was more than that, the maiden had watched them so eerily the during the trip that the men had become uncomfortable, even depressed. She carried a strange aura around her. When she looked at Mercan it had seemed that she saw into the bottom of his soul. She had always appeared to measure them. Once she had looked at him he had no wish to repeat the experience. He had avoided her the rest of the trip. Most of his men shunned her. Not that she seemed to care, she appeared to feel no sadness at her exclusion, indeed it seemed as if she felt nothing at all. When she talked to him or his men there was no emotion in her voice, it was dull and flat. Needless to say, she would not be missed. He held out little hope that this was the prince's sister. She looked the part though, her face was an exact replica of the prince's, so was her body. It made him wonder. She was the prince's headache now.
She had finally arrived and was meeting him in the throne room. He had begged his father for a private audience with her. He fidgeted in his chair, what was taking so long? He nervously drummed his fingers on the arm rest. What would she be like? He was worried that she might not be the one. He had drilled the idea into his head the night before, to prepare himself if she wasn't his sister.
The door on the side of the room opened without warning. A pale arm shoved a woman inside, then closed the door. He heard the lock click into place. The pale elf looked up at him. He heard himself gasp, she was the girl from his dream. Her dark eyes met his. He felt something tug him toward her, after hesitating, she took a step as well. Something in his chest was tugging him towards her. Something struggled deep within her coal black eyes. He had reached her. She warily held out a hand. He grabbed her hand in his own and looked into her eyes. The thing he saw in them was finally freed and they flashed bright green. He only caught a glimpse of her tear coated face before darkness ate at the corners of his vision and the world started to roll. He was faintly aware of a high siren like sound before he blacked out.