Valmarias entered the Princesses cell with at ray of food. She had wondered why she was taken to the prison so quickly without an explanation. Then she had learned by eavesdropping on the guards that someone had come to rescue her but failed. She guessed the Prince felt the need to guard her even more. But he hadn’t come to see her in two days.
“Hello Princess. Food’s here if you can call it food.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Oh c’mon,” he said approaching her. “It wont do you any good not eating.”
As he drew near she took the knife swiftly from his belt and pointed it at him.
“Give it back!”
“Set me free,” she demanded.
He set the tray down and swiftly managed to get behind her. She jammed her elbow into his ribs. He rubbed them. She pointed the knife at him. Valmarias was good with knives being trained hard with them. He seized his knife and wrapped an arm around her neck holding it to her throat.
“Go on do it!” she said.
“I plan to free you Princess not kill you. Shh. No one must know. We will do it soon. In three days.”
“Let me go,” she said feeling the cold metal of the knife against her throat. He sheathed it.
“I will come at the third crow’s call.”
“Act as unruly as you usually do. Yes?”
“Why are you doing this?”
“For years I have hated what I do. I worked for an elf without a care. He will do anything to achieve his goals. I was in exile from Gondor.”
“That was my home and I swore to protect it and guard the kings. When the kings were no more I left. But there is a king again.”
“I will take up my role as the kings guardian by returning his daughter. Now Dario is getting suspicious and I must go.”
“But thank you.”
“You must act as normal.”
He smiled and walked away.
Elenya heard a knock upon the door. A maid came in with a tray of food. Elenya sat up rubbing her eyes. She instantly noticed the woman’s attire. So Easterling women did dress differently. It would have been considered immodest anywhere else in Middle Earth but Easterling provinces. Elenya hoped she would not have to wear the flimsy outfit which exposed the midriff. It looked as though it would be worn by an Arabian Belly dancer.
“Who are you?” Elenya asked.
“My name is Elise. I was sent to make sure you were comfortable milady.”
“Comfortable. How about showing me a map of the secret tunnels leading me out of the city? If I don’t get out of here, I’m going to die.”
Elise smiled and set the tray down upon a small table nearby.
“You shall learn to enjoy it here soon. All of them do. Now what dress shall you be wearing today?” the maid asked opening up the closet.
“What I am wearing now thank you,” Elenya said climbing out of bed still dressed in her weather stained cloak, waist shirt, and leggings.
“I don’t think the Prince would like to see you in that attire.”
“I don’t care what the Prince wants. I am not his to do with what he wants. I don’t take orders from him.”
“We shall see.”
Elenya rolled her eyes and began eating the food set out before her. The maid left the room, and Elenya perchanced to peek at the dresses in the closet. She touched the silky fabric. They were beautiful.
“No!” she told herself. “I will not take up his hospitality.”
But the more she gazed upon the dresses, the more she wanted to wear one. They were not Easterling’s garb but were long and flowing like Arwen Evenstar’s. The only difference was the fact that they were all sleeveless. Perfectly normal since they were farther south.
“You will wear one, milady?” Elise asked.
Elenya nodded. “Your bath is ready milady,” Elise said.
“Would you please stop calling me that?” Elenya requested sharply. “My name is Elenya. I apologize if I have offended you, but I prefer being called Elenya.”
“Very well. Your bath is ready.”
Elenya did feel the need to take one after being on the road for nearly five days traveling in the woods. She had also received many bruises and scratches from her journey fortunately not receiving any arrows or sword scars. She did not want to accept the Prince’s charity in any form. But when she smelled her old travel clothes she had decided to take the advantage. She casually walked into the bathroom as she would call it. It was indeed a large bath. The water was covered in a blanket of rose petals that she could hardly see the water. She stuck a hand into the water and felt its warmness. She unraveled her hair from the braided bun it was in. It fell to her waist.
“I didn’t realize it was so long. Well, back in America it wasn’t like that. Neither were these,” she murmured to herself as she touched the finely tipped ears.
She slowly peeled off her waist shirt and tan leggings and threw them carelessly aside. She dipped herself into the warm inviting water remembering how back home she took a shower every day.
“Ahh,” she said coming up from underneath her hair growing two inches since it was wet.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw Elise picking up her dirty clothes.
“Is the bath satisfactory?” Elise asked.
“Perfect,” Elenya sighed.
“Then the Prince will be happy.”
“I’m sure he will.”