Wind in the West - Chapter 8
Lerina galloped on, searching for anything that looked familiar, for a hint of where she was. She didn't really know the way back, but she was in such a hurry to get away from Largolian and the rest, that she didn't even think twice about getting lost. Again. And now she was alone, not with anyone that knew the way back.
"I wish I didn't say that to Largolian. I know he's just trying to help, but he always seems to cramp my lifestyle. I can't do anything without him going off his head at me." She stopped Thunder, and jumped off him. She walked over to a nearby mallorn tree and looked up at it. "If Imrahil can do it, I certainly can." She jumped up, caught hold of one of the lower branches, and tried to swing herself up like Imrahil did. It wasn't as easy as it looked. She struggled, kicking her legs around in order to climb onto the branch. Her arms shook, it was too much for her. She dropped to the ground, and sat there looking hopelessly up. Then she got an idea. "Thunder!" she called, and he came at a quick trot heading straight towards her. He stopped right in front of her, and nuzzled her neck. "Okay, okay. I'll give you a pat. Just let me get on you." She went around to his side and jumped easily into the saddle. She directed him over to the branch, and stood up in the stirrups. She grabbed hold of the branch, which was now at her waist, took her feet out of the stirrups and swung her left foot over the branch. Thunder moved forward at the sight of some grass, and stood there contentedly eating. Lerina was stuck. She couldn't get her other leg over the branch, and she couldn't get the other one down. "Oh, crap!" she cried, for she didn't see herself getting down terribly soon. Unless she let go, and she certainly wasn't about to do that. Well, she wasn't going to do it of her own will, that is to say. She felt her hands slipping off the branch, and her legs had gone numb from hanging. She squealed as she let go and landed thump! on her backside.
Now, Imrahil was not far off, and being half-elf, he heard her squeal, and was terribly worried that something had gone wrong. He galloped up to the tree, and saw Lerina, sitting there looking very forlorn. He jumped off his horse, and sat down next to her.
"Are you alright? What's wrong?" he asked her in a gentle voice. Lerina looked up.
"Um, I guess I'm alright. I just thought I was hopelessly lost for a minute there. But thank the Lord you came! Boy, am I glad to see you!" she said, somewhat relieved that she wasn't alone anymore.
"Well, do you want to get back on Thunder and we'll ride back to the Province?"
"No thanks. I think I'll just sit here and think. I don't really feel like riding right now."
"Well, that's certainly unlike you. You take to horses like a fish to water."
"Largolian sent you, didn't he" she asked, matter-of-factly.
"Much the opposite. I came after you. I was worried that you might get lost. After what happened before, I knew you wouldn't know your way around here, and you had already gone in the wrong direction."
"So he took my advice and doesn't care anymore, is that right?"
"No! He still cares. It's just that I think he was angry, and most likely hurt at what you told him. When you said that, I think he thought that you hated him, you could say, for caring. You have to admit, Lerina. What you said was a little harsh. He was just trying to help you."
"Yeah, by yelling at me and treating me like dirt," she said stubbornly. She wasn't going to readily admit that she felt bad about what she said.
"If there's one thing I've learnt about you over these past couple of days, it's that you're very stubborn. It's not at all a good thing for a girl like you. After all, who knows what you could turn it into? Now come on. We're going now." Just as he said this, Legolas came riding up.
"Legolas!" cried Lerina. "What are you doing here?"
"Well, I thought I would follow Imrahil out here to see if you were alright." At this point he jumped off his horse and came to sit next to Lerina on the other side. "So, did you have fun getting lost again?" he asked, amused by the fact that they got lost the last time.
"Hahaha. Oh so very funny. Humph!" she was annoyed, and very tired. It was nigh on seven o'clock at night.
"What do you think Legolas? Do you think we can convince her to come back with us?" Imrahil asked, a smile playing at his lips.
"Oh, I think we can find some way," Legolas answered back, catching on to Imrahil's drift. "Please Lady, come back with us, and then you can go and sleep in a nice, comfy, warm bed." He said in a coaxing voice, seeing her yawn.
Lerina was very tempted, but she didn't want to go back and face Largolian again. "No thank you! I am not talking to Largolian again!"
"Alright," Imrahil said, standing up. "Well, Legolas and I would like to ride back, so you can stay here, and when you're ready, you can come back." Then walking over to his horse (When Largolian set out to look for both of them, he brought Lightening, Imrahil's horse, which is the horse he rode to look for Lerina), jumped up onto Lightening, and said, "I'll see you later."
Legolas had stood up by this time, and walked over to his horse, Arothain, and ridden over to where Imrahil was. "Farewell, Lady. I shall see you when you come back."
They left a very stunned Lerina sitting on the ground. "Wait a second! You aren't leaving me behind!" and she got up and jumped onto Thunder, then followed the figures in front of her, that were now so far away that they looked like little black specs in the night. She galloped full bolt up to them, and followed them back to Lorien.
Even at the pace they were going, it took them three hours to get back. You can imagine how very tired Lerina felt, and she almost collapsed when she got off Thunder. She led him to the stables, unsaddled him and put a halter on him. She locked him away, and then turned to go back to her room. Imrahil and Legolas had just finished unsaddling, and they met her as she walked out of the stables.
"And just where do you think you're going?" a voice said behind them. Lerina knew it all too well now. She gulped, turned around to face the wrath that awaited her. Imrahil and Legolas slowly turned with her.
"Back to my room," she said sleepily, hoping he would buy it and leave her alone.
"Not before I talk to you you're not!" he said back. He didn't seem to be angry, Lerina noted, but still, he could be very convincing at times.
"Oh, Largolian, can't you see that the Lady is tired?" said Imrahil pleadingly. He knew Largolian wanted to talk to him, as well as Legolas.
"It won't take long," he said calmly. "Lerina, can I talk to you privately?"
"So long as you don't bite my head off," she said, suddenly loosing her sleepiness.
"Hmm, yes, well come over here, and you'll find out."
"If I don't come back," she said Jokingly to Imrahil and Legolas, "Look after Thunder will you? There's a dear." She followed Largolian back over to the stables. Before Largolian could say anything, she said, "Look, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to say that. I guess I was just angry."
"No, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have yelled at you."
"I was sorry first."
"Yes, but I'm sorrier." He said, grinning wildly. Then his grin fading, he said, "But you must understand that I was deathly worried about you. I didn't know what had happened to you, or even if you still lived. And when you said that it was a secret, well, I sort of erupted."
"Like a volcano," she said, smiling. "Well, I'm sorry too, okay? And apology is accepted."
"Good." He gave her a tight hug, and she hugged him back. "Just don't do anything like that again, okay?" he made her promise.
"Oh, all right," she said. But she knew she would have to go back to the forest sooner or later to meet Rebethian again. But she was sure he would let her go back, if she came home by a certain time. With that they walked back over to where Legolas and Imrahil stood waiting. "Goodnight fellas," she said, and walked back to her room.
"Well, Largolian, we're going to go to bed too, after all, we're mighty tired." Said Imrahil, and walked briskly off, shortly followed by Legolas. Largolian stared after them, chuckling.
Lerina didn't even change into her night shift. Instead she just jumped onto her bed in the dress she was wearing, and slept deeply.