“Why were you exiled from Gondor?”
“Pride. It was the bane of Thingol.”
Valmarias sighed. She looked at the ground.
“There it is.”
Areniel looked. He pointed to a small shabby stone building.
He chuckled. “Yes. Ahh he’s expecting us.”
“What is this dwarf like?”
“Never misses a trick that one. He’s going to try and steal your money so be wary at first.”
“I don’t have any money. Remember I was kidnapped.”
“Well that’s a good thing. He’s a very nice person.”
“Hmm I have never met a dwarf. My mother says our people had not had dealings with dwarves since the dark days.”
“Yes that is true. Just give him two short slaps on his head before he picks your pocket.”
She felt insecure but didn’t speak it for she would rather have been here than with the Prince. She caught sight of the dwarf. He was short compared to her elven figure. His long red beard nearly fell to his knees. He yelled out. She stood a few steps back as Valimarias approached him.
“Vally, how are you? I see you’ve got a wife.”
“I have no wife short one,” Valmarias said.
“I am not!” Areniel said sharply.
He ignored the insult and touched the Princess side checking in her pockets. She backed away and took out her knife.
“Leave me alone dwarf!”
The dwarf scrambled back.
“Control your wife Vally!”
“I am not his wife!” she exclaimed.
Valmarias eyed the dwarf coldly.
“This is the lady’s first meeting with your kind. A poor example to put in her mind.”
She walked beside Valmarias and frowned.
“You’re no help.”
“Little pick pockets who run around stealing money.”
“I am Areniel Princess of Gondor daughter of Aragorn son of Arathorn Elessar King of the Reunified Kingdom.” She said her title proudly.
“Well come on in. Days not getting any younger. So Vally see you’ve got Aragorn’s daughter here. A fine prize for you.”
Valmarias frowned and walked behind the dwarf. Areniel ducked under the door as she entered the dwarf’s house. He had few windows. It seemed he took pleasure in the dark. The dwarf led them into his kitchen and fixed them up instantly with a rather abhorring meal to Areniel, but she accepted it since she was hungry and it was all he had. They talked for long. The dwarf usually did not speak to her. He and Valmarias seemed like great friends. It was strange to see a relationship between an elf and a dwarf, but the more Areniel listened to the dwarf, the more she seemed to like him and enjoy listening to him. Finally Valmarias stood up from the table.
“Well my friend time for a smoke. Would you care to join us? Princess?”
Areniel debated. She decided to when she saw the sun setting. She would not smoke. She would tolerate it drifting into her eyes, since she wished to see the sun set for the first time in many a day. She walked out with them and took a seat upon the steps of the house. The dwarf and the elf instantly lit up their pipes and began blowing pretty blue smoke rings that were sent floating into the woods. She watched the red ball of fire slowly sink beneath the trees. Soon she started to see tiny points of light pierce the blinding darkness. She relished in the light of the stars. She stood up from the stairs.
“Where are you goin?” asked the dwarf.
She cared not how she looked. She began to dance as the starlight fell upon her face. The dwarf started up a lively tune by tapping the ground with a stick. Valmarias began to whistle. The faster they went, the faster she danced. Her dress wound about herself. Suddenly the wind caught it, and it flew from her body blowing in the breeze. Her hair came loose from its braids and waved about in the wind. Her amethyst eyes twinkled in the light of the stars. She became dizzy and she continued twirling round and round. Valmarias noticed this. He put his pipe down and went to her side grabbing her by the waist. Instead of stopping, he spun around with her as well until they both dropped from exhaustion onto the ground laughing.
“See Vally. I told you, you had brought a wife with you.”
Areniel felt offended. She stood up frowning leaving Valmarias grinning on the ground. She went back into the house and slammed the door hearing the laughter through it. She flung onto one of the couches in his house. Valmarias still lay upon the ground his hands upon his knees laughing.
“What do you think of that fiery one huh Vally?” the dwarf asked.
“I don’t know, Grubel. She certainly is beautiful isn’t she?”
“Hmmph! If you like the tall, enchanting, dancing, dark haired elf types.”
“I do,” he said smiling. “She’s not just beautiful but intoxicating.”
“Be careful Vally. She’s the King’s Daughter. I doubt he would let an exiled elf take her.
“There’s something else about her. It seems like she doesn’t want to go back.”
“I reckon you will have to persuade her then or just do it the quick and easy way of forcing her back. I don’t know why you are doing it though. Here you are a rugged exiled elf in the wilderness coming upon the most beautiful elf in the world. An intoxicating, enchanting, dark beauty with twinkling violet eyes. And you want to bring her back. I’d say take the advantage if I were you. You want her. Don’t let anyone make you believe you don’t deserve what you want.”
“You are not me Grubel. Through all our years together, you of all people should know the way I act. I wish to bring back honor to my name. I just hope she will help me.”
“Well we shall see. We shall.”
Valmarias walked into the house seeing the Princess asleep on the couch. He walked to her side and sat down beside her sleeping form. He slowly traced the lines of her face and rustled her hair thinking that no one else could be more beautiful. Her slight silver tint had shone beautifully in the starlight. She stirred slightly but did not open her eyes. He slowly knelt down and placed a soft kiss upon her forehead. Valmarias feared something. He feared he loved her.