Lithôniel stood uneasily, arrow drawn and nocked to the taut bowstring. She sucked in a deep breath and stole a swift glance at Legolas who was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with her, his armour gleaming in the strong sunlight. It was a miracle that after nearly five days of relentless fighting, he was still completely and blissfully unaware of her identity. Lithôniel gave a small smile.
At this moment, however, Legolas chose to turn around. The Prince studied the only part of the warrior’s face that was visible – the eyes – and he smiled grimly into them. “Do not worry,” he muttered, hoping to sound reassuring. “We will live to see another Dawn.”
He paused and leant nearer to Lithôniel in an attempt to see more of her face. “You look familiar,” he stated, voicing his thought aloud. “Have we met before?”
Lithôniel froze. (I)Oh, Valar, no!(/I) She had feared that this would happen ever since she had snuck out of her chamber. Being found out now would mean total disgrace for her, her family and for Legolas also. She had to make sure that did not happen.
She swallowed and shook her head.
Legolas’ eyes narrowed momentarily but then he shrugged his shoulders and asked: “Have you anyone waiting for you back home?”
(I)No(/I) she sighed to herself. (I)My love is standing here beside me.(/I) Outwardly, she shook her head again.
The Prince smiled reminiscently and looked abruptly away, his eyes twinkling with emotion. “I have,” he said simply. “Lithôniel. We are to be married in the Spring…”
He trailed off, leaving Lithôniel silent and thoughtful.
Legolas drew his attention instead to the thousands upon thousands of Orcs that stood no more than two hundred paces away from the troop of scarcely one thousand soldiers. Even from this distance, he could see the all-too-familiar murderous gleam in their malevolent, black eyes, and he sighed inwardly. They were all surely going to their deaths. His thoughts travelled to the silent warrior by his side who had all of his life ahead of him.
All the Hope drained from his heart as he realized that he was never going to see Lithôniel again.
From the look in Legolas’ eyes, Lithôniel knew that he had lost all Hope. She longed to reach out and hold his hand, but she knew that she could not without revealing herself. So instead, she drew all the strength possible from the touch of shoulder-to-shoulder.
A tall, learing figure with savage teeth and holding a lethal-looking scimitar stepped forward. He cried twice in the Black Tongue with words that caused the hairs on the back of Legolas’ neck to stand on end. With a great shout, the Orcs started forward, and Legolas saw Death before his eyes.
Elrond knocked apprehensively upon the frame of his daughter’s door. The fourth day had dawned and unserstandably immovable with worry, Lithôniel had not set forth from her chamber.
A gentle breeze swept along the corridor, swishing the hem of Elrond’s robes merrily. The Lord of Imladris waited for an answer, but none came. “Lithôniel,” he called, pressing his ear against the door, listening for a sign of movement. “You must eat soon, child, you shall starve yourself. Prince Legolas will be back in a few days with your brothers and thet will be safe and sound.” Elrond paused, a smile creeping to his face. “Well, with the exception of Elladan and Elrohir, of course. They will probably return with unfathomable injuries that they have inflicted upon one another with their ceaseless arguments and overall clumsiness.” He chuckled, but there was still silence from the interior. (I)It’s like talking to a brick wall(/I) he thought to himself. “Will you not come out?” he persisted, “Estel is missing you.”
He sighed and clutched the doorknob and was surprised to find the door unlocked. A lump formed in Elrond’s throat. The room was empty.
Overcome by sorrow, the ancient Elf-Lord sank heavily down onto his daughter’s bed. (I)Oh, Lithôniel, what have you done?(/I) Tears streaming down his wise face, he cast up a prayer to Ilúvatar. (I)Oh, Eru Ilúvatar, Father of All, please watch over my daughter, Lithôniel…(/I)