Kelsey was nervous. She was going home to Lorien the next day, to tell Haldir she was going to marry him. Yet for some reason she was aprehensive about leaving Mirkwood.
“To tell you the truth, I’ve fallen in love with the place.” she said to Legolas as she sat on her bed. He was sitting in one of the chairs across the room by the table. “I don’t want to leave.” She hadn’t told him about Haldir. Why? She didn’t really know.
“Then don’t. These have been hard times. Orcs and goblins have been showing up more frequently, and the spiders…” he shivered. He never did take a liking to the giant arachnids in the forest.
The girl smiled grimly as he said this. ‘Little do you know how hard they are going to get’ she thought.
“Why are you smiling?” his own countenance had cracked into a smirk.
She looked up at him. “I was thinking.”
He didn’t say anything in return, but looked her straight in the eye. He had the kind of gaze that makes you melt when you look too long. He seemed to be probing her mind, as only elves could. She could feel herself blushing and said quickly, “Look, its getting late and I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow, so I have to go to sleep…”
Standing, he took her hand again and kissed it. “Sweet dreams, Kelsey,” he whispered, and he took his leave.
She stood in the stables, her traveling cloak wrapped tightly around her. It was bitterly cold this morning, and adding the fact that it was just after sunrise, made it seem all the more colder.
She stroked the horse’s neck, “Up for a ride, Arieldei?”
The horse whinnied in response. She looked past Kelsey at a figure that stood behind her.
“Ahem, Kelsey?” he cleared his throat.
“Yes, Aragorn?” she didn’t turn around, but sensed it was him.
“Would you mind if I travelled with you?”
She turned now, “Why do you feel you need to ask? Of course you can!”
“Good,” he smiled, “I won’t be going into Lorien though. I have business in Bree that I must attend to, so I’ll let you off at the borders.”
“Oh, yes, you do have business in Bree, don’t you? Well, I think I’ll…” but she stopped as she heard, too quiet for it to have been a Man, footsteps rapidly falling toward the stables. She and Aragorn turned to face the newcomer.
“Good! You’re still here.” Legolas said as he caught his breath.
Aragorn lifted his eyebrows at Kelsey, and she nodded toward the door. “Wait for me outside,” she said.
He took his horse, a stallion called Roheryn, by the reins and led him carefully out of the stables. He loved that horse.
Kelsey finished packing her stuff in the saddle-bags of Arieldei while Legolas said, “Are you sure you have to go?”
“Yes, I’ve told you that a million times already,” she joked. She thought of them as friends, nothing more. She was bound to Haldir.
“You can’t stay even one more day?”
“Do you want me to stay?” she turned to him, her back to the horse.
The elf didn’t anwer, and before Kelsey could do anything, leaned forward and kissed her. It was gentle, but it conveyed all his feelings. It was the kind of kiss that you don’t forget, the kind that takes your breath away, the kind that you can’t move for a minute after.
She stood there looking into his deep blue eyes, unable to do anything, not even blink.
After what seemed like an eternity, she said, in something lower than a whisper, much lower, “I need to go.”
Legolas watched her curiously as she climbed nimbly onto the back of Arieldei, “Will I see you again?”
She had steered her horse to the end of the stable opposite the one Aragorn had gone out of, but stopped and stared out the door as she thought about the answer. She said in a low voice “I don’t know.” She thought again and said louder, “Tell Aragorn that I went to Edoras. Tell him I’ll be waiting in the Golden Hall when his path brings him there. Tell him not to come after me. I need to be away from this all.”
She dug her heels into Arieldei’s sides and shot off out of the stables, Legolas starring, his mouth slightly ajar, out after her.
Aragorn heard the horse fly out of the stable, and ran back inside to find Legolas standing with a look of unbearable hurt in his eyes, and no Kelsey in sight. He put his hand on the elf’s shoulder, “What happend?”
“She… she left. Said she needed to be away from it all,” he choked out. “She said to tell you she went to Edoras. Not to follow her, and she’ll be waiting in the Golden Hall.”
Of course the elf knew not what she meant, but Aragorn seemed to understand. “Tell me what happened, all of it.”
“I came in, and she was packing up the horse. I asked her if she had to leave, she said yes, and I kissed her-” but he was cut off.
Aragorn yelled, “YOU WHAT?” A few birds flew off and the horses still in their stalls jumped at the fury in his voice.
“Calm down! All I did was kiss her…”
“Legolas, she’s engaged to Haldir! Did she not tell you!?”
The elf’s eyes widened to the size of baseballs, and his jaw dropped to the floor, “No.”