Wind in the West - Chapter 7
"Oh, good! I don't think I have ever been so glad to see anyone in my entire life!" Then another thought entered her mind. What if Largolian gets angry with me for running away with all these orcs around? So, she turned Thunder around, and galloped in the opposite direction.
"What are you doing? He's over there, in the glade! Not near the river! Look... what are you doing?! Turn this horse around now!" He spluttered on, but Lerina took no heed. At last he realised that she wasn't listening, so, exasperated, he moaned, "Oh, I give up!" and as they rode past a tall young mallorn, he swung himself up onto one of the lower branches, and ran up, in a manner of speaking, to the top-most branches of the tree and hid himself in the leaves. Lerina soon realised he wasn't there and stopped riding. She turned around, looked about her. But there wasn't anything to see. Just trees. Lots of trees. And they all looked the same. The prince called her, and she followed the sound of his voice.
"Imrahil, this isn't funny! Where are you? Don't make me come up there!" although she sounded stable, she was shaking like a rattlesnake. She didn't recognize anything; it was all the same: huge mallorns, towering above her, little star-like Elanor, sprinkling the ground with golden beauty, and huge leaves, covering the forest floor, like thick, luscious carpet. She came to a single conclusion: she was lost. And the only other person who knew where they were was playing some ghastly game that he thought was awfully funny. But Lerina didn't exactly see the funny side. She was lost, and was trying to find Imrahil, (or someone who did know where they were) and she was failing miserably, whilst Imrahil runs up trees and hides from her, having the time of his life. She came to the bottom of the tree, and looked up. But all she could see were dark green leaves, so many of them that the boughs were almost hidden from view. She couldn't see Imrahil, for, of course, being half-elvish, he could hide himself so well that when you looked into his direction, he melted away into the rest of the picture. He chuckled to himself softly. Meanwhile, Lerina had ridden off, to make him think that she was angry. She rode Thunder about a hundred yards away, and then jumped off. Thunder obediently stayed. She crept up to the tree, her feet making no noise what so ever. Imrahil was just getting over his laughter, when his head suddenly perked up, his ears listening to a noise on the ground. He moved from his hiding place, and peered through the leaves at the tree next to him. There, on the ground was a single orc, creeping out as Lerina came back to the tree. She looked up the tree and saw him looking down at her.
"Aha! I found you!" a look of horror shadowed his face, as the orc came up behind Lerina, dagger raised. The orc was on the verge of striking, when Imrahil called: "Look out Lerina!" and quick as lightening, he had slung his bow of his back, reached back and grabbed an arrow from his quiver, strung the arrow to the bow, and shot a perfect dead shot at the orc. Lerina screamed in fright, and turned around to find the orc lying on its back, with an arrow through its head. She backed away from it, horror written all over her face. Imrahil ran back down the tree, and swung down on the lowest branch. He retrieved his arrow, and ran over to Lerina.
"Are you alright? I was so worried about you! I thought that that was going to be the end of you!" he stopped as he realized he was holding onto her shoulders. He looked at her. She raised his eyebrows at him. "Ah," he slowly dropped his hands, "Um, sorry, hehe." She rolled her eyes, and whistled shrilly. Thunder trotted up, and she jumped up, with Imrahil behind her.
They were about to gallop off, when Lerina said, "By the way, Imrahil. Thanks for saving my life."
"It was my pleasure." He said back. Lerina smiled to herself. Maybe Imrahil isn't as bad as I supposed him to be she thought. And with a surprisingly peaceful heart, she galloped off. She halted abruptly as she remembered what she had thought before about Largolian getting angry.
"Oh no! We are NOT going back to Largolian! No way no how!" she said decidedly.
"Why not? We've at least got to let them know that we're safe."
"We can leave them wondering. Say, what do you think about a trip to Gondor? Maybe we could live there."
"What? What are you talking about? Oh no. What have you done this time?" he asked accusingly.
"Well, so long as you're listening. I'm afraid that Largolian will get angry with me for riding off without him knowing, and getting him all worried. He is gonna kill me, I just know it!"
"Well, there's really no point in going to Lothlorien now, because he is going to get angry at you either way, and you're going to have to face it. But don't worry. I'll talk to him if you want."
"Nah, it's alright. I guess I'm gonna have to take it myself. I can't just keep running away like this. But, thanks Imrahil. I feel a bit better now."
She started riding again. She soon came to the glade that Largolian and the others were in. but they certainly weren't there now. Imrahil's sharp eyes caught hoof-prints to the left of where they were standing. "Quick! Ride that way! Surely this horse can catch up to them before they go out of Lothlorien looking for us. After all, this creature seems to run as if he had the very whips of Mordor cracking at his hind feet."
So Lerina rode in the direction the hoof prints were leading. She galloped at top speed, as if Thunder were defying the laws of gravity, just floating above the earth. Her sharp, now elven, ears picked up voices ahead, and she urged Thunder on. She turned a corner and saw Legolas in the distance, riding his horse. She came up behind him, and he spun around, whipped an arrow out of his quiver and strung it to his bow. When he saw it was Lerina, he cried out to Largolian, who stopped immediately.
"What is it?" he cried out from the front.
"Lerina and Imrahil are here!" Legolas called back.
"What?!" Lerina could hear hoofs galloping and shortly Largolian came into view.
"Uh oh. Hi Largolian, hehe." She said as Largolian came up and jumped off his horse. She shrank back, bumping into Imrahil as she went. But she didn't recoil. If she could've gotten any further, she would have, but Imrahil held her firmly, and he wasn't about to go anywhere.
Largolian did something very unexpected. He hugged her tightly, as if she would disappear at any given moment. Then he let go. Let me tell you now, the look he gave Lerina could have curdled milk. It certainly curdled Lerina. "Hi. You're probably wondering where I was." He nodded his head. "Well, I can't really tell you. It's a secret."
"What?! You can't what?! Damn right it's a secret! If I don't know it, it's a secret! Tell me! Or I'll... I'll..." he spluttered some curses in an odd language that none of them knew, and he seemed caught up in it. He was so angry, that Lerina thought that she could almost see the smoke coming out of his ears.
"It's like he's trying to talk to me, I know it!" said Lerina to herself. Largolian stopped and stared at her.
"I worry myself sick about you, go riding out to try and rescue you, almost die in the attempt, and then you suddenly waltz up, expecting me to think that I will be satisfied with your saying `it's a secret'! Well you're way of the tracks, because I am not satisfied and I most certainly won't be, until I hear an explanation from you! Now tell me! Why did you go into the forest with Perilin, and not come back for ages, then go out riding again with Imrahil and get yourself into very deep water?"
"Well, if I stayed with you I would have drowned! Don't yell at me! And I can't tell you where I was and what I was doing when I was in the forest with Perilin, because, like I told you before, it's a secret!" she was yelling just as loud. The other men had shrunk away. "But the only reason I rode away with Imrahil was because we were both in danger of being killed, and that was the only thing I could do to save both of our skins! Are you satisfied now, Mister-I-like-to-yell-at-people-and-make-them-feel-like-crap, are you satisfied?!"
"Where were you the first time? Tell me! I am only worrying about your well-being."
"Then stop worrying and let me live!" she glared at him. He stopped, surprised. She felt bad about what she had just said, but she didn't want to let him know. She jumped back up onto Thunder, and galloped off to what she thought to be the direction of Lothlorien. Largolian stared after her, a solemn expression on her face. He jumped up onto Mercury, and started to ride in the other direction.
"My lord! What about Lerina?" cried Imrahil.
"Leave her! She's fine." Imrahil was surprised that Largolian didn't seem to care. He thought that Largolian seemed to love Lerina as if she were a sister. They all jumped onto their horses, and rode after Largolian. Imrahil stopped, and rode back the other way after Lerina.