“I’m so glad we don’t have to do this every day.” Silvren sighed heavily, covering her hands with more flour.
“I thought you liked baking bread.” Míriel said, wiping a smudge of flour off her face.
“I do, but doing it every day would be torture.” Silvren said.
“Doing it as a punishment is torture.” Míriel said kneading a large clump of soft, gooey dough on a wooden board.
“I wasn’t trying to get us in trouble.” Silvren smiled, remembering what had happened that led them to the baking room.
“You never try. It just comes naturally to you.” smiled Míriel.
“Gee, thanks.” Silvren smirked. Silvren sighed as she continued kneading the dough that sat in front of her and then molded it into a loaf. Flour covered the tables that they worked at, their hands were white with flour. Silvren used a wooden plate to take several golden-brown loaves out of the brick oven that stood on the far side of the room.
The small room was filled with the sweet aroma of the freshly baked bread that sat on a table, allowing the bread to cool off. Silvren carefully placed the three loaves on the table behind them next to the other loaves that were cooling off. Then, she placed several loaves of dough into the brick oven before turning back to the work table.
“Why so much bread?” Silvren sighed as she combined the ingredients in a large wooden bowl.
“Haven’t you heard? There’s going to be a feast tonight and Legolas is going to be there.” Míriel teased her.
“Oh, hush. Everyone doesn’t need to know I like him.”
Míriel rolled her blue eyes at Silvren’s remark and continued kneading the dough in front of her. “But it’s obvious.”
“Ar’s the only other person that knows and that’s only because she’s my nosy older sister.”
“Right.” Míriel replied sarcastically.
“Ahem.” a masculine voice sounded from the doorway.
“Oh, hello, Legolas.” Silvren glanced down at the floor, her cheeks flushing pink.
“May I speak to you…alone?” Legolas asked her, glancing between her and Míriel.
Silvren glanced up at Míriel and wiped her flour covered hands on her apron as she walked towards the doorway that Legolas stood in. He stepped backwards and allowed her to pass him, then they walked down the dirt path together.
“I’m glad to get a break from baking bread.” Silvren said as they continued down the tree-lined path. Small, pink blossoms covered the brown branches and green leaves of the trees.
“I thought you liked baking bread.” he furrowed his brow.
“I do, but baking bread as a form of punishment is no fun at all.”
“As a punishment? What did you do this time?” Legolas sighed with a small laugh as he held a branch out of the way so it wouldn’t hit Silvren.
“Thank you.” she smiled, remembering what she and Míriel had done. “Well, Míriel and I dug up some nice, juicy earthworms and were caught placing them under Elrohir’s bedspread.”
“You are crazy.” he laughed.
“Of course I am, but we have to get some entertainment around here.”
“The ways you obtain entertainment are amazing.” Legolas shook his head with a faint smile.
“I learn from the best.” She smiled.
“You don’t see me doing stuff like that.”
“I never said I did. Nor did I mention who the best was.”
“You are going to be at the feast tonight, correct?” Legolas asked her as they walked away from the Elven-city.
“Yes. Why wouldn’t I?”
“I don’t know. When are you and your brothers coming back to Mirkwood?” he asked her another question.
“I don’t know. Hopefully soon. That’s not all you wanted to talk to me about, was it?” Silvren in turn asked him, stopping in the path way to turn and look up at him.
“No it’s not.” he whispered, noticing Míriel slowly walking towards them, knowing what she was up to. “I’m sorry, but I forgot what I was going to say.” he glanced back down at her.
“How can you forget?’ she teased him.
“I don’t know. It just slipped from my mind.” he teased back, a large grin across his face.
“Fine be that way.” Silvren shoved him lightly as Míriel walked up to them.
“Fine with me.” he smiled and walked away.
* * *
“When will you be leaving for home?” Silvren asked she and Legolas danced upon the dance floor with the other many elves.
“In a few days. Were you planing on coming with me?” Legolas smiled.
“No, I was just curious.”
“You’re always curious.” he smiled as Míriel and Celebdil danced past them, Míriel’s blue dress swirling about her feet.
“Not always, only sometimes.” she smiled.
“Right. Would you like to walk about your father’s gardens?” he changed the topic while twirling her under his arm and catching her waist in his hand.
“Right now?” she asked him.
“All right. Lead the way.” Silvren said as the two elves stopped dancing and walked off the dance floor, the candles around the arched windows flickering in the spring breeze.
Together they passed under an arched doorway down the cold, stone steps the curves downward into the flower gardens below. As they walked along the stone pathway Legolas slipped his callused, but still incredibly soft hand into hers, gazing down at her in the soft, silvery light of the moon.
“I wish you could visit more often.” he whispered, his gaze not faltering.
“I visit more often than my father wishes.” Silvren turned her gaze upon him, wondering why he had said that to her.
“Could you make your visits longer?” he suggested an impish smile twitching at the corners of his mouth.
“Are you trying to have me live in Mirkwood?” she raised an eyebrow at him, a small, crooked smiled pulling at the corner of her mouth.
“No, but I could.” he smiled.
“My father would never allow it.” she said looking away from him.
“What, longer visits or living in Mirkwood?”
“Either one.” she whispered. “He wants to keep Arwen and I as close as possible.”
“What father doesn’t? He’ll do anything to keep you safe, as would I.”
“But yet he betrothed me to Telden?” she asked, ignoring the last part he had said.
“We all make mistakes and that was one of his. He did break if off when he realized that that wasn’t the best thing for you.”
“Yes, that is true. I love him and it really affected him after Celebrian went West. Unfortunately, it made him stricter and more protective of Arwen and me.”
“Well, I guess I’ll have to make my visits longer then.” he smiled as they stared walking down the stoned path once again.
“Right.” she rolled her eyes at him as they continued walking through the different gardens as the song-filled evening wore on through the night. Talking endlessly as they walked across the smooth stone path while slowly making their way back towards the chambers.
“Good night.” Legolas whispered into Silvren’s delicately tipped ear while stopping in front of Silvren’s bedroom door, sending a delicious sliver of warmth tingling through her body.
“Good night, Legolas.” Silvren whispered softly, turning to face him, his face inches above hers.
Legolas slowly lowered his face towards hers, focusing on her soft lips. But as he leaned in to kiss her goodnight, she turned her face allowing his lips to brush against her cheek and not her lips.
“Sleep well.” she added and quickly turned into her chamber, leaving him standing in front of her door, alone and confused.