Elrohir had told her to go to him. Once he had gone, she wandered into the midst of the garden where Valmarias stood. She approached him. He bowed to her slowly. She smiled.
“Thank you for all you have done.”
“Ahh, it is nothing, Princess.”
“You may call me Areniel. If you want to leave, you may. And I would be honored if you would carry a message to my father.”
“I will be honored to carry it, though I believe I shall return. Rivendell is a beautiful place, and I do have friends here. I do not wish to leave yet.”
“What makes you stay other than that? Do you not have somewhere else to be or go to?”
“I believe my road is my business, Areniel. I do not wish to appear harsh, but it is.”
“Why did you help me, Captain?”
“Call me Valmarias,” he said grinning.
She repeated her question.
“I did it to regain my honor.”
“Is that the only reason?”
He looked into her beautiful violet blue eyes. “I also felt something I had never felt before. I felt pity for you. I shared your sorrow. I did not wish you to become another mere tool of the Prince to use in his bed.”
“I would never have given in.”
“Matters not. If he desires something, he receives it no matter what eve if he takes it by force.”
“What will happen to the girl that he has taken? Is she a First Born?”
“Aye, she is.”
“What will happen to her?”
“She will become the Prince’s. He shall take her to his bed and use her until he is satisfied.”
“Oh! Is there any way we could help her? Valmarias, tell me is there any way?”
“If I returned, I would be executed for treason.”
“What if we returned as Easterlings? Then no one would recognize us?”
He thought of her plan. “Do you not like it in Rivendell?”
“I do, yes I do. But I hate to think of what has or will happen to her.”
“It has most likely already occurred.”
“Do you know who this girl is?”
“Her name is Elenya. She is from Rivendell I believe.”
Areniel’s heart leaped. “Elenya! Oh Elenya! No! My father told me of her. My father is her greatest friend besides the Prince of Mirkwood. She loves Legolas. The Prince can not take her. She belongs to the Prince of Mirkwood.”
“He is well aware of that. Legolas lies imprisoned within his dungeon.”:
“Elenya is strong and independent. I know of her tale of how she was kidnapped by a dark lord, but even when he threatened to kill Legolas, she did not give in until the very last moment. And he deceived her. I do not believe she has surrendered herself to the Prince yet. I know what he does. He enjoys the weakness of others. He will want to find out her weakness and then act upon it. But according to my father, her only weakness is the Prince as well as the people of Middle Earth, the First Born, and the hobbits. Elenya is strong. I know she is. She will not give in.”
“Areniel, I wish to talk no more of the Prince of the Easterlings and what he does with his victims.”
“What do you wish to talk of then, Captain?”
“Valmarias,” he corrected.
Night was coming upon them fast, but they still remained in the garden not wishing to leave the beautiful place. Valmarias thought her the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. Her dark silver hair caught stray in the wind. Her dress unraveled and blew about her. Through the darkness, he could still see the light of her eyes. He took her hand. She pulled away somewhat frightened of his touch though he had danced with her upon a beautiful starry night once. She looked up. The stars now shone above them bathing her in light. Valmarias took her hand again and this time did not let go. Instead he pulled her in tightly so that she came close to him.
He interrupted, “Shhhh.”
“I am not experienced at this kind of thing,” a slight smile came to her face. “I am probably not what you would think.”
“Nonsense,” he said. “Areniel, I have never said it before. I have been idiotic and a fool. I apologize. But I must say it before I depart. I think you were very brave to come with me. Not many girls especially a Princess of Gondor would suddenly depart with a strange rogue.”
He released her gently.
“Valmarias, you saved my life. And I will always be grateful to you. Thank you for everything you have done.”
Valmarias turned his head to her, and their noses met. They both smiled and looked into each other’s eyes. Areniel closed her eyes and raised her lips thinking he would kiss her. Instead, he took her hand and brought it to his lips.
“Goodnight Princess, I shall leave at dawn with your message to the King.”
Elenya sat alone in her room reading a book. She heard a knock on the door but ignored it knowing who it was. The Prince walked into the room. She smoothed her skirt out and turned back to her book. She was glad to be wearing it instead of a dress. She had worn the riding skirt that day upon Lossielen.
“You wish to see him?”
She instantly put her book down and stood up. “More than ever.”
“I do not like seeing you like this,” he said noticing at her depressed state. “Be quick.”
She threw a green cloak around herself and followed the Prince. She walked down the familiar tunnel behind him until coming to Legolas’s cell. She turned to the Prince.
“Alone as you promised,” she said.
“You have five minutes.”
Elenya entered the cell and threw back her hood. She instantly embraced Legolas putting her arms around his back. He bit down to keep from groaning from her touch. She still felt his resistance though.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Nothing,” he lied.
“What’s wrong? Are you hurt? You are. I know you are.”
He couldn’t hide the truth from her. He slowly turned around. She saw his blood stained shirt and slowly lifted it up fearing what she saw. She gasped at the lash marks.
“NO! NO!” she said. “That’s not fair.”
He turned to face her. He kissed her face and brushed her tears away.
“I shall be fine, Elenya.”
“This is all my doing. If I hadn’t-“
“Don’t you ever, ever say anything like that again!” the tone in his voice surprising her. “It is not you. It is him.”
Elenya drew her cloak tighter about herself and turned around. He was confused at what she was doing but then knew as she removed the tunic she had been wearing that day for riding. She tied the sash of her cloak at her waist and handed the tunic to him.
“Take it,” she ordered. “If you don’t I’ll punch you,” she said slightly smiling.
He did and slipped it on over his other. She told him of her encounter with the Prince that morning.
“I want you to leave. I want you to escape tonight.”
“I can’t. Dario is always watching me.”
“Elenya, I know you. You can do it. Do it for me. He is getting desperate.”
“What about you? If I leave, he will kill you.”
“I am calling in a favor,” he lied. “I will be fine. This will only get worse for you.”
She heard the Prince’s footsteps approaching.
“Go Elenya go,” Legolas said stroking her cheek. “To Minas Tirith or Lorien or someplace safe.”
“I don’t think anywhere near Haldir is safe.”
He laughed at her joke.
“I love you,” she said.
He pressed his lips against hers in a soft kiss one last time. The Prince opened the cell and took her arm.
“Remember Mardil,” Legolas said. “You touch her and I touch you.”
“Forget her Legolas. She is no longer your concern.”
Elenya went into the courtyard and looked at the stars overhead. The Prince had gone back to the Citadel or so she thought. She sat upon the edge of the fountain looking into the water. She reached in and touched the water with her hand. Slowly she began to sing.
When I was a girl I had a favorite story
of the meadowlark who lived where the rivers wind
Her voice could match the angels in its glory
but she was blind the lark was blind
An old king came and took her to his palace
where the walls were burnished bronze and golden braid
and he fed her fruit and nuts from an ivory chalace
and he prayed………
Sing for me…….my meadowlark
sing for me of the silver morning
Set me free……my meadowlark
And I’ll buy you a priceless jewel
And a cloth of brocade and crewel
And I’ll love you for life if you will sing for me
Then one day as the lark sang by the water
The god of the sun heard her in his flight
And her singing moved him so he came and brought herThe gift of Sight he gave her Sight
And she opened her eyes to the shimmer and the splendor Of this beautiful young god so proud and strong
And he called to the lark in a voice both rough and tender Come along……….Fly with me…………my meadowlark
Fly with me on the silver morning..
Past the Sea where the dolphins bark
We will dance on the coral beaches
Make a feast of the plums and peaches
Just as far as your vision reaches
Fly with me
But the meadowlark said no
For the old king loved her so
She couldnt bear to wound his pride
So the sun god flew away
And when the king came down that day
He found his meadowlark had died
Every time I heard that part I cried
And now I stand here starry eyed and stormy
Oh just when I thought my heart was finally numb
A beautiful young man appears before me
Singing Come…oh wont you come?
And what can I do if finally for the first time
the one Im burning for returns the glow?
If love has come at last its picked the worst time
Still I know…..I’ve got to go Fly away…….meadowlark
Fly away on the silver morning
If I stay I’ll grow to curse the dark
So its off where the days wont find me
I know I’ll leave wounds behind me
But I wont let tomorrow find me back this way.
Before my past…..once again can blind me………,
Fly away……… And we wont wait to say goodbye
My beautiful young man……………………and I…………………….
The Prince was enchanted by her song. He approached her slowly and quietly. She was startled as he laid a hand upon her shoulder.
“:You have the most beautiful voice.”
“I love to sing,” which is very true.
“I hope your fate will not be as the Meadowlark,” he brought her hand to his lips and slowly disappeared into the darkness. She knew what to do. She was already dressed appropriately in dark clothes simply her green cloak. Tonight she would make her escape.
HEY ALL IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! I MADE THIS ONE PRETTY LONG BECAUSE I AM GOING TO FLORIDA THIS SATURDAY AND I WILL BE GONE NINE DAYS! SORRY ALL BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE UNLESS I E-MAIL IT TO A FRIEND TO SEND IN! SORRY ONCE AGAIN! I SHALL BE RETURNING THE FIRST SUNDAY IN MAY AND I WILL HAVE THE NEXT ONE SUBMITTED BY MONDAY!