They had journeyed on without stopping for more than a day. Emilie was exhausted beyond belief. Well at least in heart and mind she was. Remember that she still had the physical body of an elf. She continued to walk lightfooted upon the grass. But she was tired. More tired than ever she was in her entire life. She was more tired than the time she had exercised all day at the YMCA. They had found many signs during the course including Pippin’s elven leaf brooch. But now Aragorn had halted.
“It is now time to decide whether we stop or press on for night is coming upon us.”
The three men debated among themselves. If it were women, we could choose in less than thirty seconds! she thought as she listened to their endless choices. Finally Aragorn turned to her.
“How shall we end this debate, Elenya?”
“Well, as much as I’d like to press on, I-” She paused. “I want to find Merry and Pippin too. With all my heart. But I dont think I can go on for much further. My heart tells me so. I am exhausted and I believe my wound has opened up again. But I will follow your counsel and I will go wherever you go.”
“Ah, you give the choice to an ill chooser. All my choices have gone amiss.”
“That’s not true, Aragorn,” Elenya disagreed. “I have faith in you. You have not led us astray whatsoever. From the very beginning you were there for us. For the Hobbits and I.”
Legolas stared at her. He didn’t know how to read her. Was she in love with Aragorn or did she merely admire him?
“We shall not continue on,” Aragorn replied. “If the moon gave us enough light, we would, but alas!”
“If only the Lady had given us such a gift as Frodo had received,” Gimli murmured.
“Yes, but Frodo shall need it more,” Elenya said. “With him lies the true quest.”
They paused to make camp as best they could upon the ground. Aragorn checked Elenya’s side once again. She did not mind. He was a healer. No! He was The Healer. The wound had been infected, but was beginning to close up. He gave her one of his waybread from the elves, and she ate it gratefully. Gimli and Aragorn fell into a deep sleep immediately. But Elenya lay awake. She was exhausted, but could not sleep. She had a feeling. She didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t bad or evil. She had a feeling something odd would happen to her.
“Maybe it’s nothing,” she said aloud.
She turned to her side where Legolas lay. His head lay on the ground but his eyes were open, and his elven ears were very intuned and attentive.
“Nothing, nevermind. I was just talking to myself.”
“Talk all night if you wish. I love the sound of your voice.”
She smiled. “I’m flattered. Thank you.”
Legolas looked at her with a confused expression. Shut up! Emilie! You’re not in America anymore!
“Sorry nevermind. I was talking to myself again.”
She let out a giggle.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Do you…do you love Aragorn?” he said slowly.
“How many different kinds of love are there?”
“Do you love him? I don’t know any other way to say it.”
“I love him as a great friend and a liege lord. I admire him for his courage, for his humbleness, for his pride,” she paused for a moment and then went on smiling. “I love him for his choices, for his bravery, for his handsome face, and for his romance and loyalty to the Evenstar.”
“Do you love me?” he asked breathing out a low sigh. “There, I said it.”
“Legolas, I can’t account for what happened in Rivendell and Lorien. That is in the past, but I dont know what to say. I dont know what to do. There are things about me you dont know. But I cant tell you about myself. I cant let you know the real me.”
“It’s dangerous. You don’t understand.”
“Elenya, you have to make a decision. Not tonight, no. But someday you will. Someday you will tell me wont you?”
“Perhaps someday. But not tonight.”
Legolas inched closer to her. He looked straight into her eyes. Why is he doing this to me? she asked as his blue eyes met hers piercing her heart. Legolas’s lips brushed against hers in a soft kiss.
“I will love you until the day I die.”
* * *
The next morning, they arose early. Legolas informed Aragorn that the orcs were now far away. They had passed beyond sight. Aragorn even stretched his ear against the ground for so long that Elenya thought he had fallen asleep.
“Faint and far are the sounds of our enemies. But loud are the hoofs of horses. It comes to my mind that I heard them, even as I lay on the ground in sleep, and they troubled my dreams: horses galopping, passing in the West. But now they are drawing further away from us, riding northward. What is happening in this land!”
“Let us go!” said Legolas.
They marched on through the day unceasingly feasting on the waybread of the elves throughout the day. They stopped to rest twice. But soon they made out the small figure of the horseman. At least Elenya and Legolas did for they had the elven keen eyesight. The horseman drew nearer to them. They could see them in the distance riding. But they passed the elves, man, and dwarf as if they didn’t perceive them. They would have ridden on if Aragorn had not spoken.
“What news from the north, Riders of Rohan?”
Instantly, the horseman formed a circle around the foursome. Spears immediately thrusted their way into the center where the travelers stood. Elenya did not shudder but smiled at the thought that the horseman would dare to challenge Aragorn son of Arathorn heir to Isildur and Gondor bearer of the Flame of the West! Eomer spoke.
“Who are you and what have you do to in this land?”
It was then that he caught the elf’s eye for a moment. Elenya and Eomer shared gazes for a moment. He was different. He did not look anything like the movie portrayed him. Eomer was tall and handsome and fair in the face. His golden hair fell about his shoulders. His face bore no beard. Elenya kept her eyes upon him, which the Prince of Mirkwood noticed. Aragorn introduced himself as Strider. He also said that of his companies names as well. Strider informed Eomer that they had passed through Lorien, and the gifts of the Lady go with them.
“Then there is a Lady in the Golden Wood?” Eomer said. “Few escape her nets, they say. These are strange days! But if you have her favour, then you also are net weavers and sorcerers maybe.” He turned a cold glance upon Legolas, Gimli, and Elenya. “Why do you not speak silent ones?”
Gimli answered angrily as his hand gripped the handle of his axe, “Give me your name, horse master, and I will give you mine and more besides.”
“As for that, the stranger should declare himself first. Yet I am named Eomer son of Eomund and am called the Third Marshal of Riddermark.”
Gimli continued, “Then, Eomer son of Eomund, let Gimli the dwarf Gloin’s son warn you against foolish words. You speak evil of that which is fair beyond reach of your thought, and only wit will excuse you.”
“I would cut off your head, beard, and all if it stood but higher from the ground!”
Elenya watched as Legolas took a stand. “He is not alone, ” Legolas said, bending an arrow in his bow.
Elenya flew between the three blocking their path.
“Listen to the words of Elenya, master Eomer son of Eomund Third Marshal of the Riddermark!”
“I will for the sake of the Lady if she could be called a Lady wearing the clothes of a man.”
Elenya paid no attention to the comment for it was done in the heat of a quarrel.
“We mean no harm,” she said. “Your pardon, Eomer. If you understood more about us and why we hunt orcs in this land, then you would go no further to try and debate with us. Will you not hear our tale before you strike?” she said her blue eyes pleading.
Eomer gazed in wonder at the beautiful elf and said, “I will. But first let me hear your name,” he said turning to Strider.
Before, Eomer anounced who he served in regard to Theoden son of Thengel King of Rohan. This is the part I have been waiting for! Emilie thought when Eomer asked Aragorn of who he was and who he served. She watched in awe as Aragorn spoke her favorite part in the entire Trilogy!
“I serve no man, but the servants of Sauron I pursue into whatever land they may go. There are few among mortal men who know more of Orcs; and I do not hunt them in this fashion out of choice. The Orcs we pursued took captive two of my friends. In such need a man that has no horse will go on foot, and he will not ask leave to follow the trail. Nor will he count the heads of the endemy save with a sword. And I am not weaponless.”
OH YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!
Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Anduril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. “Elendil! I am Aragorn son of Arathorn and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dunaden, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again. Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!”
That was her favortie part for Aragorn seemed to have grown in stature while Eomer had shrunk; and in his living face she caught a brief vision of the power and majesty of the kings of stone. For a moment, it seemed to her that a white flame flickered on his brows like a shining crown. ELESSAR!!
Many more things were said that day which she partook of in as well. Eomer had asked her of where she came from. She did not speak. But Eomer had asked Aragorn if he would come to Rohan. Aragorn had said that he would come but not at that time for they still needed to find their friends the hobbits. Emilie almost wished to go with Eomer and the Riders of Rohan and wait for Aragorn at Edoras. She was eager to meet the Shieldmaiden who was one of her favorite characters. But then the elven side of Elenya overtook her and she remained with Aragorn.
“Are you certain of this, Lady?” Eomer asked her. “We will certainly take you to Edoras if you wish.”
Legolas stepped forth. “She has made her decision, and will not leave our side. For we are also her rightful defenders. And I will defend her to the death even death by the whole host of Mordor!”
Elenya looked at Legolas in wonder. He was jealous. She knew that. But he was also sincere. Elenya stepped in front of Legolas.
“Thank you, Eomer. I shall accompany you perhaps someday. But not this day. I must follow my liege lord.”
Eomer gave to the travelers horses. She was relieved. She was born upon the back of a white horse named Celeniol.
“She has born me many times and is a brave mare,” Eomer said handing her the reigns to the horse.
Legolas was given the fair horse Arod, which Gimli was to sit behind upon its back as well. Hasufel bore Aragorn.
“We shall meet again, Eomer,” Elenya said. “Farewell.”
The travelers rode away upon the horses. Elenya looked back one last time at the form of Eomer watching her sadly as she disappeared into the distance.