The Prince had tried to persuade Elenya to back out, but it was hard enough for her. Every time he approached her, he met with a fist to his jaw or some other part of his face. The only thing, which gave her comfort and seemed to lift her spirits was the company of the child she had taken back with her. Who could be entrusted with this child when she had finished? Then she knew the two perfect people for the job. After this journey, she would make a journey to Rohan where Eowyn was staying for the present. Elenya was closer with Eowyn than any other living person in Middle Earth at the time, who was a mother. She knew Arwen had enough of her own problems trying to find her missing daughter. She still wondered where Areniel was and longed to meet her. But Elenya also had enough of her own problems. She had made the choice. It was fulfilled as they reached the gates of the city. But there was still one thing to ask of the Prince. She rode her horse to his side. He instantly reacted surprised.
“What? You are not going to hit me?” he asked.
“I ask a request.”
“What makes you think you deserve one?”
“Because my fiancé the one man I love is going to die.”
“Name it,” he said staring sharply.
“Allow me one day with him. Allow us to be alone one last time together.”
He pondered her words. She had proved her strength after the incident with the arrow. He did think she deserved one last request.
“Very well. Go now.”
The child followed at Elenya’s heels as she ran to the prison. But the little girl who had never spoken yet stopped once they had reached the gates in fear. Elenya sank down to her knees.
“How can I explain this to you little one? My good friend is in there. I love him, and I need to see him. Will you come with me please?”
The little girl nodded clinging to Elenya’s neck. Emilie hoisted the little girl up. She had always loved children, and they helped to take troubles from her mind. But no child could lift the state her spirit was in now even if she did not show it.
“What is your name?” she posed the question.
The little girl buried her face deeper into Elenya’s hair and uttered the little word, “Aryiel.”
“Tis a pretty name. You may call me Emilie.”
The girl clung tighter to her neck as Emilie descended the stairs and into the tunnel. Legolas had felt her presence and was awaiting her near the door. She fitted the keys into the lock and swung it open. He saw the sleeping child within her arms and raised his eyebrows. She explained all that had happened, but did not show the anguish or tears for fear of the child. Legolas held out his hand to touch the little girl. She shrank away.
“Tis all right, Aryiel. He is my friend. He will not hurt you.”
She suspected the child clung onto anything she trusted. And she trusted Legolas. Aryiel wrapped her arms around the elf’s neck giving him a chance to place a kiss upon Emilie’s lips. They remained in the cell until the girl had fallen asleep on Legolas’s lap. Finally, Emilie couldn’t bear it any longer and collapsed against his chest tears seeping into his shirt.
“How can I do this? How can I order your death?”
“Emilie, it must be done. You knew there was no other way.”
“Couldn’t we have tried to escape?”
“It would have been worse for Middle Earth’s sake. You know he would not have stopped. You knew what the consequences would be.”
“But now look at the consequences? What will happen? Shall I waste away in grief until the end of the world? I shall never love again Legolas. Will I become like Arwen? And die as well?”
“No, Elenya. Emilie, you will love again. Yes,” he interrupted when she was about to speak. “You will return to America and you will not die here. You belong in your own world.”
“Oh why did they bring me back so you could die? Was this our quest? To see how fast Legolas could die?”
He cupped her chin in his hands. “You know that isn’t so. Elenya, my Elenya my Emilie, I will be with you always. Remember yet another song you taught me? Every breath you take, every move you make, every smile you fake, every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.”
The tears came more swift at the song she had taught him when he continued. Legolas had a beautiful voice. She felt tired but wouldn’t dare fall asleep. “Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay, I’ll be watching you. Oh can’t you see, you belong to me. How my poor heart aches with every step you take. Every move you make, every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I’ll be watching you.” He ended. “See I will be with you always.”
“Remember that you are not alone. Just make me two promises.”
“If Haldir asks you, yes, Haldir is a good man,” he said looking into her eyes. “He loves you Elenya. If you do not wish to return to America when this task is done, promise me that you will let him take care of you.”
“Oh Legolas!” she said clinging tighter to his chest nearly acting like a little child.
“And another thing,” he said lifting her up so their eyes could meet. “Do not come to my execution.”
She was about to speak but he silenced her. “I do not want you to watch me die.”
“Legolas, I will follow you to your death. I will remain by your side until then, and you will not make me move.”
“Do not follow me to death, Elenya, Emilie. It shall be worse. Then you shall doom us. I tell you I shall not die. I shall just become reborn.”
Emilie was confused. She did not know what death was like for she had never really witnessed it. She clung to Legolas tighter almost frightened he would sleep away like some dream. Legolas lay the sleeping child upon the cell bench and walked toward Elenya’s side. She threw her arms around him and wept. He took her face in his hands and wiped her tears away.
“Do not cry for me, please. You will only make things worse,” he told her.
He sat down his legs spread apart. He motioned for her to sit in between them. She grinned.
“Are you trying to seduce me?”
“Yes,” he simply said.
“You know tonight I’m seducible,” she said sitting in between his legs with her head resting on his chest. “Tonight, I’m yours.”
Areniel walked silently through the familiar streets. She hoped she was not too late. She made her way to the dungeon and saw the guards. She approached silently from the shadows and raised the hilt of her sword. The guards fell to the ground unconscious. She had followed the horse’s tracks. Valmarias had been taken against his will. She would not forsake him to be tortured. She knew the Prince would do that. Areniel quickly walked through the tunnel and into the cells. She saw him. He lay flat on his back. She opened the door quickly and knelt down beside him placing her head against his chest. She could not hear his heartbeat.
“Valmarias?” she spoke his name.
His eyes fluttered open. She could see he was in pain excruciating pain.
“Princess,” he said softly.
“I am here. I have come.”
He brought a hand to his head, which carried a blood dried bruise. When he sat up, she noticed blood upon his back. Areniel fished from her sack and found what she was looking for.
“Turn around,” she ordered.
Valmarias was in no position to argue. Areniel tore the back of his shirt revealing the bloodied lash marks. She used the athelas in her sack and placed wet rags upon his back.
“Careful,” he bit down.
“The guards are unconscious. Let us go.”
Valmarias motioned towards the cell next to him. Areniel looked and saw two figures readily identifiable. She knew the pictures of Elenya and Legolas her father and mother had described. They were here.
“What has happened?”
“Edheliond was attacked. The men slain with some of the women and children. The King is coming here.”
“My father is coming? When?”
Valmarias and Areniel walked out of the cell and into the darkness as Valmarias explained what was to come.
“Legolas shall be executed tomorrow.”
“No! He is my father’s greatest friend.”
“Elenya ordered his death.”
“If she hadn’t, the Prince would have taken her and all Middle Earth.”
“Can we not help them?”
“If they leave, escape, the Prince will be driven to a state of fury. He will not stop raiding Middle Earth. He will kill everyone down to the last child and will not stop until he has found Elenya and put Legolas to death.”
“Tis not fair. She should not have to suffer or the Prince’s actions nor Legolas.”
“You speak the truth, but the Prince does not care for he does not see. All he sees is a tall fair elf. But Legolas and myself, we see more.”
“What do you see?” she asked as they walked together in the courtyard.
Valmarias stopped and looked at her. “Myself, I see through you. Hope, courage, and beauty.”
She flushed. Valmarias took her hand. “I know Princess that I am not worthy of you,” he cut her off when she was about to speak. “I have been a ranger all my life until I found myself working for the Prince. I know your father would not approve of me. It will never change. I dare not go to him again.”
“Are you so afraid that he will-“
“No, but I do not wish to lose my honor.”
“You have honored me. You saved my life.”
“Now you have saved mine. Why did you come?”
“Through our travels together, we had been merely friends. I was thankful to you. Through all our teasing and sarcasm to each other, we had been merely flirting not crossing the line yet. I think it is about to change. On the day we reached Rivendell, Elrohir my uncle said you were in love with me. I had so wished to believe it. But then you left.”
“I did not wish to move on. I was afraid that you would not care.”
“How could you think that? You are the only friend I have ever had. Valmarias?”
He looked into her eyes as they gleamed like the shimmering stars above them. Their violet beauty caught him. She leaned forward and kissed him gently upon his lips. Then she opened her hand.
“Will you help me?”
“Princess, if you help me,” he said folding her hand into his. “But you know that I have nothing to give you but my love.”
“That is enough.”