Elboron did not sleep well, both from the unbelievably loud snoring of the dwarf and the memories of that indescribable action he had almost completed the night before…
“Never,” he croaked huskily, his heart rapidly pounding inside his chest, his blood coursing, throbbing hot magma through his veins.
The memory made his skin crawl and hands tremble uncontrollably, his palms drenched in cold sweat.
When their lips were an inch apart, he stopped, as if waiting for some great booming voice to approve of the motion. They sat there contentedly for a moment, surviving on the breath the other had released, their eyes slowly closing.
His dreams were troubled, and he tossed restlessly in his blankets, his brow furrowed. Suddenly he was roused from these dreams by the feel of a pointed object against his chest.
If that’s Morelen sword, I swear…He thought angrily to himself.
He blinked several times, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and almost gasped at the sight before him.
It wasn’t Morelen. No indeed, she was looking at him from her bed beside him in a most frightened manner, also held down by the sharp end of a blade. He looked up to see the glaring eyes of a man, pressing down on him with his sword.
It wasn’t really a sword, per se, because it curved outwards towards its point as though it was made to cut wheat or some other crop. The man was dressed in dark colors; black, blue, red, and a heavy cloth covered his face and head. Only his eyes were visible through the thick material, their honey stare condemning, making the hairs on his arms stand on end.
Elboron instantly noticed that this one was the tallest out of all of them, and indeed there were several there, more than he cared to count. A twinkling gold chain hung from his neck and he assumed that this man must be important, perhaps the most important of them all.
Legolas stood defiantly behind Elboron with his bow knocked, looking around nervously, completely surrounded by armed men. Gimli was still snoring loudly, and Elboron heard one of the men mutter something to another, motioning towards the sleeping dwarf. One of the bandits kicked Gimli hard in the ribs and the dwarf growled angrily and jumped to his feet, though his expression became surprised when the sharp point of the scimitar pricked his throat.
These are the men who attacked us yesterday!! Elboron realized abruptly, his breath coming short as though he had received a blow to the stomach. There were more of them!!!
He looked to Morelen and the one who held her down. The bandit was leering down at her, but her lips were pursed defiantly and her eyes reflected a will that no bandit could break. He silently admired her courage and hoped that she would not be…mistreated by these beasts. She looked back at him and for a single moment he saw the horror, the undeniable fear flicker in her midnight eyes. He stared at her and hoped that somehow, someway, he could relay some of his strength to her thought the gaze.
However, the girl was distracted by the voice of Gimli, who barked to them, unafraid, “Who are you? What do you want?”
The tall man walked to Gimli and looked at him with humor in his eerie eyes.
He slapped the back of his hand across the dwarf’s face and replied coldly, “You would do well to remember, dwarf,” he said the word dwarf with particular distaste, “that it is not wise to so rudely question those who hold swords to your throat.” His voice was deep and heavy, and although he used the Westron language his foreign accent was thick and exotic.
“My name is Haydar, and you are now my prisoners. You will obey our orders until you somehow manage to escape…or you are killed.”
His smile was mocking as he looked around at them. He shouted to his men in his native tongue, a cruel, guttural language, and they all proceeded to pick up Morelen, Gimli and Elboron.
Legolas suddenly saw Morelen’s hand roam to the dagger hidden in her boot and he shook his head vehemently, his eyes sternly commanding her to comply. She stared angrily at the elf, but reluctantly allowed the bandits to hold her arms painfully behind her back.
One of her captors whispered something in her ear, a wicked grin on his face, but she looked away from him, her expression strained. Elboron watched with horror as the man’s hands moved carefully to her hips and she finally snapped, kicking backwards and knocking the man to the ground.
“Morelen!” He screamed to her as he tried to fight the bonds that held him back.
“No, Morelen, stop!” He heard Legolas shout, but the elf’s protests drowned out as Elboron saw her knocked to the ground by one of the brigands.
He tried to free himself and come to her aid, but before he could he felt an intense pain in the back of his own head. He felt a hot liquid trickle down his neck and suddenly he knew no more.
His last thought was of the rough hands that dropped him onto a hard wooden board, and the piercing shrieks of Morelen, reverberating painfully through his thoughts…