“If Legolas does not want to leave her, don’t make him,” said Frodo.
“Frodo, Thranduil will not approve of this. This love that Legolas and Rayne have for each other will not be approved of by any elf anywhere.”
“I actually agree with the hobbit,” said Gimli. “This may indeed sound strange coming from a dwarf, but Legolas is only following his heart, as is Rayne. I see nothing wrong with their love.”
“Gimli, the love of a mortal and an immortal is strange to many people of Middle-earth,” said Aragorn. “Above all that, Legolas’ father will not approve of this. No one will. In the eyes of many elves, a mortal is not fit to marry an immortal.”
“So what you’re saying is that your daughter should have never been born, Aragorn?” asked Gandalf, his voice sincere. “What about your love for Arwen? Do you think your love for each other is strange?”
Aragorn was silenced. Gandalf was right.
“There is no such thing as strange love, Aragorn,” he continued. “Legolas was meant for her, and she for him. You cannot change them, Aragorn, no matter how hard you may try.”
“We are trying to find Rayne a home, Gandalf,” said Aragorn. “If we do, Legolas will have to let her go. He has no other choice.”
Gandalf sighed. “Rayne wishes to stay with Legolas. She would never go anywhere without him by her side. Let her stay, Aragorn. She is one of us now.”
Aragorn’s look grew serious. “She is not part of the Fellowship.”
“Oh, isn’t she?” said Legolas, startling the others.
“Legolas, where is Rayne?” asked Aragorn, angrilly. “What were you doing back there?”
“Firstly, Rayne has gone to sleep,” he answered. “And secondly…you’re too late. I already heard every single word of it. Aragorn, you of all people on Middle-Earth must understand what it means to fall in love. Strange love? I strongly disagree. What about you and Arwen?”
Aragorn only sighed.
“If only you could see how much she loves me, Aragorn,” continued Legolas. “As a matter of fact, I do believe you have seen.”
“What do you mean?” asked Aragorn.
Legolas smiled and raised an eyebrow. “You don’t honestly think that I did not hear you spying on us, do you? Of course, I heard you. These ears do more than just frame my face, Aragorn. Do you know what happened when we stopped kissing? I looked in her eyes…and she was crying. She told me she was crying joyous tears, that she was happy with me…and the only thing I want is for her to be happy. When she told me she loved me, I felt my heart skip a beat. I froze. Something inside me snapped. My loneliness had fallen because of her love for me. I’m lonely no more, my friend. You and Arwen must know how that feels.”
Aragorn sighed again. “Legolas, I do know how it feels, but as your friend, I’m only looking out for you. Your father will not approve of this. We all know that.”
“It matters to me not. He knows naught about how I feel. I could see it in his eyes, even when I was but a young boy. Father has never truly felt love. When I was younger, I wanted to play with my father so badly, it hurt inside. The only reaction I got was a smile, but that was all. Then, he’d walk away, leaving me cold. I wish that I could forget those days, but every time I feel lonely, I think of my father. But I’m lonely no longer. I care not what he thinks. I love Rayne and she told me herself that she loves me. She is part of the Fellowship now, Aragorn…and the Fellowship, from what I have seen, leaves no one behind. Am I right?”
Aragorn hesitated. “You’re absolutely right, Legolas. I was not thinking about our vow to each other. No one gets left behind. I’m sorry, my friend.”
“You are my closest friend, and as such, you have my forgiveness,” said Legolas. He sat next to Aragorn and warmed himself by the fire. “She will stay then?”
Aragorn smiled. “Yes, she will stay.”
Legolas smiled. “Thank you. By the way, Aragorn, about our little…ahem…’quest’. How far shall we go?”
“We will go to Rohan,” he replied. “However, we must be cautious, as orcs still roam about in those parts.”
Merry rolled his eyes. “Why are they still following us? The war of the Ring is over and Sauron and Sarumon are no more.”
“They obiously want revenge,” said Legolas. “Sarumon was their master and they wish to avenge him. They are now blinded from the truth and cannot see that they were once elves who fought for justice. It’s very sad, actually. They want to either kill us or capture us. Either way, we must be extremely careful.”
“I agree, and whatever happens, we will try not to take Rayne past Isengard,” said Aragorn. “Her heart still weeps for the people she lost there.”
Everyone agreed and turned in for the night.
Legolas wrote a small poem about Rayne. He laughed cheerfully as he kept whispering to her.
“No one else makes me feel like this.
For so long I’ve wished on stars above.
My love, you’ve changed my world with one kiss.
Your love is peaceful like the pure white dove.
You were there for me from the start.
Your love filled my lonely world.
In my life, you’ve played a large part.
Oh, how can I put it all down in words?
No one comes close to you,
For this time, I truly know
What love really feels like.
‘Tis a neverending glow.”
“Legolas,” said Gandalf, startling him, “I suggest you keep your eyes on the road ahead, unless you and the young lady wish to be separated from us.”
“Y…Yes, Gandalf,” replied Legolas. “I apologize.”
“That was beautiful,” whispered Rayne. “You write so wonderfully.”
Legolas smiled and kissed her cheek. “I’m glad you liked it. We’d best try to keep up with the others.’
“Of course,” said Rayne.
They were nearing Rohan and Legolas was already imagining how much it would have changed by now.