His eyes narrowed warranting menace. “I am sorry to take you away from your wedding Legolas, but when you accompany me, you shall see the meaning in the end.”
“And what makes you think I will accompany you?”
“Because you will have no choice.”
Elenya knew he would come. He probably dropped his circlet or Gimli had stepped on his cloak. It was a minor problem, and they would come soon. But even as the other thoughts raced through Elenya’s head, she knew something was wrong. It was not only because of the acute elven senses she had learned to love, but because of the bonding between her and Legolas. It had been severed, no not cut, but torn slightly. She could still sense him, but he was not here. A tear rolled down Elenya’s cheek, and Thranduil noticed it.
“Elenya, the bride does not weep on her wedding day unless it is a tear of joy, which I highly doubt.”
Before Elenya could speak, Gimli emerged from the Groom’s tent. He held a shiny object in his hand and slowly laid it in Elenya’s. The tears came as she looked upon the elven leaf.
“He’s gone, lassie,” Gimli spoke.
Though she did not doubt Gimli’s words, Elenya still issued into the tent. He was gone. Not a thing in the room had been touched except for Legolas. Had he forgotten the time and left for a walk? And she instantly removed the idea that he had second thoughts. Though there was no sign of a struggle, Legolas was forced to leave against his will. She felt a hand touch her shoulder, and she turned not surprised to see Haldir. Katiel, his lover and the girl who had become Elenya’s friend in Valinor, stood beside him her eyes wondering the same thing.
“No,” Elenya instantly answered. “He did not stand me up. He did not leave of his own will.”
“How do you know?” asked Haldir.
“I know Legolas. And I know his hair is not red.”
“Red?” asked Gimli entering the room.
Elenya held up a tiny strand of hair fixed within the elven brooch. The strand was a fiery red. Most of Gimli’s red hair was dark not bright as this. Elenya saw the soft prints within the grass of the tent. Someone was here with Legolas.
“I left him only a minute, lassie,” Gimli answered. “How could he have left that quickly without anyone knowing or hearing?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think he left alone.”
Legolas was surrounded in complete darkness. His bones ached, and his head pounded. He could see nothing, not a single ray of sunshine poured forth through the room if it was a room. He felt cold and sensed evil about this place. His hands felt like stone for he could not move them, but they were up-lifted somehow. He felt cold stone against his wrists and knew he was chained by some invisible sorcery. Sweat dripped from his brow, and his golden hair was now a tangled mess lying scattered upon his shoulders. Then, a light came to his eyes and he noticed a door opening. He also felt ashamed of his nakedness when he saw himself. He was clothed in nothing but a simple white cloth running from his hips to mid thigh. Whoever dared do this to him would pay soon enough. Then, he saw his captor. It was the same woman who had appeared to him in a tent. She carried a single candle in her hand and wore a simple white silk shift. She reached out her hand and touched his face gently.
“I am glad you are awake now. If you promise not to struggle, I will release you from your bondage.”
“I have no reason to stay,” he answered sharply.
“I am afraid you have many reasons,” she smiled and bent to look him in the eye. “You will forget your one bride to be. You have no reason to think of her now for your future lies with me. If you refuse to cooperate in forgetting her, I will through a long and painful process, remove her from your mind.”
Legolas’s eyes widened at the prospect. Could this simple woman do this? As if reading his mind, she answered, “I am very powerful, Legolas.”
Her hand touched the red flame of the candle, but it did not burn her skin in any way. She released her hand, and the flame disappeared. In a moment, it reappeared again.
“That is a mere sample,” she answered. “Now, must you continue struggling and remain here in this isolated cold cell or will you cooperate?”
Legolas knew struggling would get him nowhere. If only to escape, he had to know this sorceress. He had to discover her ways, her world, and her weaknesses. Legolas looked at her eyes. One was blue, and the other was green. Her hand still brushed against his skin creating tingling marks wherever it traced. Legolas was a brave soul and rarely feared anything, a balrog, orcs, or even his own Elenya at times. But he did fear this woman. The Prince slowly nodded accepting her will. She smiled and touched his wrist gently. Instantly, it dropped to the ground free of its chain. She did the same with the other one and calmly stood up.
“Do not even attempt at running. Eyes are everywhere, and my servants will not hesitate to harm you.”
He noticed this when she led him out of the cell. He walked into a room, which was very noble indeed with scarlet rugs and tapestries. In the middle of the room lay a pool filled with white lilies and red roses. The furniture inside was constructed of gold, and a bed lay beyond the pool. It was much too large for one person and draped with thin silk sheets. She set the candle upon a nightstand near and approached Legolas with a plate of fruit.
“Eat. You have been without food for two days and must recover your strength.”
Legolas eyed her dubiously, but she assured him the food was not poisoned for she wished him alive very much so. The Prince took a large strawberry in his hand and bit into it surprised at its delicious sweet taste. She smiled obviously pleased at his willingness to behave and eat for her. She watched every move of his hand and mouth with fascination to a point where Legolas nearly screamed out. There were doors in the room, but the elf guessed they were all locked. There were only small windows, and they were too far out of his reach. He would have to tolerate his capturer for a short time and see what he could learn. The woman took a spot on the bed and began to brush her hair with a torte shell comb.
“My name is Thiatress. You may call me Thia. I own this palace and the lands beyond.”
“What are the lands beyond?” asked Legolas.
“Why…Easterling lands of course.”
As soon as Legolas heard the name, he knew he was no longer in Valinor. She had returned him to Middle Earth.
“What do you want with me?” asked the Prince.
“All in good time,” she answered softly. “Now, you must wish to bathe since you have been within that dirty cell for two days. I will leave the room if you wish, but do not think of escaping. My male servants shall be here to attend you, and they shall inform me the moment anything peculiar occurs.”
Thiatress looked at him for a moment and then left the room. Legolas eyed the pool with disgust for he did not want to take up any of her charity. But the more he looked at the water, the more tempting it became, and he wondered if she had placed a spell upon him. Legolas imagined he was rancid. His skin was covered in grime from the prison, and he wanted nothing more than to remove it. Slowly, he eased himself into the water and began to wash. The water felt warm and relaxing, and he nearly forgot his troubles as he took in the scent of the lilies and roses. He was so engrossed in the smell that he nearly misheard the movement behind him. He turned seeing a short man with bronzed skin and a dark beard holding a brightly colored form of silk breeches standing beside the chair behind Legolas.
“She insists you wear Easterling garments, Prince,” he bowed and left the room seemingly eager to disappear.
Legolas left the pool and dried himself with the towel provided for him. He took the silk breeches on, and after glancing at them for a moment, slipped them on. They reminded him of what the people in Elenya’s movie Sinbad wore. He would not complain, though for it was not in his nature as a Prince. As if still watching his move, Thiatress entered the room just as he had put on his breeches. She smiled warmly pleased he had worn them.
“Good, I am glad you have enjoyed yourself.” She clapped her hands and more servants entered the room carrying plates of meat, cheeses, and sweet cakes. They laid them upon a table near, and Legolas was instructed to eat. “I wish to bathe now as well, and I shall join you shortly.”
Before Legolas could object to her bathing in front of him, her shift was removed, and she had entered the water in naught but her own skin. Legolas turned his face away instantly flushing and ashamed of himself for not knowing better. He took a spot at the table facing the bed and concentrated on eating. She dipped her hair into the pool and shook it out causing some droplets to fall on his skin. Thiatress continued to splash about as if trying to distract him, but Legolas focused on his food. She grinned, and he heard her come out of the water. He felt her hand touch his shoulder and then the skin on his neck. He could smell the scent of roses and water lilies mixed with perfume still lingering upon her.
“It is not a crime to look upon me, not if I give you permission.”
She was about to step in front of him, but he gripped her wrist sharply diverting her and keeping her feet planted where they were.
“Show some respect for yourself, sorceress, and clothe yourself,” he ordered firmly.
Thiatress slipped on a silk blue robe, though she did not tie the strings and took a seat in front of him.
“You will soon learn my way of life, my Prince. I have been raised as an Easterling, but I have risen to far more than normal girl’s positions. You also will not order me in my own home. You are a guest here, and it is your position to act as a guest. Is that clear?”
He stood up angrily. “I am a guest who does not wish to be here. Therefore, I can act however I wish.”
“Sit down, Legolas,” she used his name in a foul tone, and a red light appeared in her eyes nearly startling him. Her face softened as he resumed sitting, and the light disappeared. “Now, my dear Prince, I know you are confused on your reason here. But that will be revealed soon, and I wish you to enjoy yourself while you are here.”
“I do not believe that will be achieved, but you may dream,” he answered and took a piece cheese into his mouth.
“Oh I do dream, and you shall share the same dream with me soon,” she smiled and bit into a tart.