She walked upstairs to the room and ignored the guards and Dario. She would find someway to escape her cage. She gripped at the bars with all her might. Even if she could get them out, it was at least a one hundred foot drop to the bottom. She changed out of her dress and slipped a cotton white nightshift on. She quickly crawled into the bed and tried to sleep. Her mind was troubled. What would her father do? She knew her parents loved her very much and would give their life for her. But what if the Prince asked for something they could not give?
She woke up in the middle night. She was awakened by a strange noise. It sent chills up her spine. She stood up from the bed. She slipped a blue mantle over her bothering not to tie the ribbons together at the waist. Her intuition told her to stay in bed, but her curiosity was too great. She opened the door quietly. The guards were asleep, and Dario was nowhere to be seen. She slipped out quietly being lured by the noise. It was coming from the tower, but the Prince had warned her not to enter there. She heard the noise again. She inched toward the stone staircase that led to the tower. Every step seemed like a creek of infinity as she ascended. The stairs finally ended. She saw a door before her. It was dark, and no lights were lit but for a few candles casting eerie shadows upon the walls. One window let in a draft of air chilling her tugging at her hair. A strange smell hovered in the air. The noise was that of a frightening chant. She slowly turned the doorknob. Instantly, she saw the Prince standing on a window ledge arms outstretched. Several colors of foggy mist enveloped the room. The Prince had no cloak or mantle but was clothed in simple black pants and a white undershirt. His crown had been set aside. His hair blew about his face, and beads of sweat ran down his head. She knew well what he was doing. He was involved in the forbidden black arts. She noticed a scar upon his arm.
Suddenly, Areniel felt a hand grab at her hair. She ridiculed herself for being so stupid. The other had rested on her back. Dario pushed her hard through the door. She landed on her side at the feet of the Prince. He stopped chanting, and the mists abated. He leapt down from the window and took her cloak from her body. He grabbed her white nightshift and brought her face to his and yelled in her face. Anger was in his eyes, and she knew what an awful temper he had.
“I told you never to come here! Curse you!” he growled and struck her on the face. She shielded her face as he appeared to again. “Now you can never be free. Curse you! Get her out of my sight, Dario.” Before Dario could act, she grabbed the knife from the Prince’s belt and pointed it at him. She stood up.
“Release me!” she demanded.
The Prince simply laughed and raised his hand. Dario towered over her and took her shoulders. But unexpectedly she turned and struck him on the arm with the dagger. He grasped his arm seeing blood drawn.
“I’m not so naïve as you think,” she told the Prince.
The Prince drew out a long sword and threw the knife aside like a worthless rag doll. He pointed at her chest. She closed eyes as he removed a strand of her hair away from her face with the tip. He then raised his hand. Dario took her by the wrists and bound her hands. He took her back to the room, but this time he fitted the door with a lock behind him. She looked out of the window. It was raining.
When dawn arose, Areniel woke. Her hands were still bound. She was amazed that she was able to sleep. Her eyes fluttered open, and she discovered another in her room. She pulled the covers up to her chest as she saw the Prince approach her.
“Clothe yourself. I wish to speak with you in the courtyard.”
She did as she was told. She quickly changed into a sleeveless snow-white dress because of the sun. She braided two strands of her long dark silver hair and connected them in the back. She hurriedly washed her face and met him in the courtyard. He took her hand though she never looked at him. He stopped her and faced her. Slowly he brushed a hand across her cheek where he had bruised her.
“I am sorry. You will someday learn to see me and who I really am. Of course not now. You think of me now as a horrible arrogant abductor searching for a prize. Soon you will see the man behind the mask.”
“A man or a monster?”
He simply smiled.
“I did not want you to see me last night. You do not know what I am.”
She looked at him in confusion. It was then that he pushed his hair behind his ears. She gasped when she saw their pointed tips. The Prince of the Easterlings an elf! How could this be?
“I see you are speechless. It is difficult to believe I know.”
“How could you?”
“How could you betray your own people?”
“My mother was full blooded elf. My father was only half elven. His parents died during the War of the Ring. The elves did not take him in or so he told me. When he was young, he ran away from home. He met a kind Easterling who took him into his home. He became an Easterling himself, but he married an elf. My father became the King of the Easterlings, but his heart was too compassionate on his race. That is why he allied himself with Aragorn. My father was a fool. He was weak.”
“Was?” she asked.
“Was until I slew him.”
She seemed shocked.
“You now see why it is folly to resist Princess. I am not afraid to kill, and I will do so if I have to. You will soon learn to appreciate me. I am well worth it.”
“Never!” she refuted.
“You can’t escape me, Areniel,” he called her by name. “I will have your father’s kingdom and whatever else I want including you.”
“I’m not to be had for the wanting sir,” she said.
“Why not? I want you and you want me.”
“That is a lie!”
“I can tell when a woman wants me. And many have. I can see it in their eyes.”
“Not in mine.”
She turned away from him, but instead he drew her to himself and looked deeply into her eyes. She could not deny that the Prince was the most handsome man she had ever seen in her life. Maybe even more than the Prince Legolas, but she never desired him. And he did not desire her though he thought of her as beautiful. She was a means to an end. He wished for Aragorn’s kingdom, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t have some fun in between.
“You can not escape Princess. I have business to attend to. For now you are my prisoner. Namarie.”
The Prince knew something was coming. Though he had been gathering all his hosts and armies together, he could feel something coming. He was nearly ready to strike but something stopped him. He could feel it and had been trying to figure out what. He would soon find out.