Legolas looked about him at the rest of the scouting party as they stood on the road, checking over all their supplies. Most of the scouts could be accounted for; but Maeglas, their captain, was nowhere to be found. He shook his head and continued grooming his horse.
He knew exactly where Maeglas was: with Lirulin. His sister had fallen in love with the captain the very first time she saw him, before she even knew his name. A pang of jealousy struck his heart. Legolas did not desire Lirulin as Maeglas did, by Elbereth no! She was his sister! He only wondered why she loathed him so. He teased her once in a while but that’s what siblings are for: the occasional jest at the other’s expense. It was not as if she hadn’t given his ego a few bruises, either. A small sadness crept up on him as he tried to busy himself with other things.
“Legolas!” He whipped around as he heard the voice of another scout call is name. With a light pat of his horse’s flanks, Legolas pushed the thoughts out of his mind and hurried over to the other scout.
“Your father wishes to see you,” Argond said as Legolas drew near.
“Where is he?” Legolas asked.
“Over in yonder manor,” Argond replied, pointing at Thranduil’s hall. Legolas gripped Argond’s shoulder in thanks and rushed to greet his father.
As he opened the door of his father’s chamber, Legolas caught a feeling of unease. “Father?” he asked the seemingly empty room.
“Over here, Legolas,” came his father’s voice from the balcony.
“Yes?” Legolas questioned.
“I talked to your sister this morning,” Thranduil started. Legolas nodded. “I do not know if she will attend the company’s departure.”
“What?” he asked. “Why not?”
“I am not sure,” Thranduil replied simply.
Legolas nodded dejectedly. “She will do as she pleases.”
And with that Legolas strode out of the room and ran back outdoors to rejoin the party, trying to hide his disappointment. “She always does,” he muttered.
“Now would be the wrong moment to place such a heavy burden on his heart,” Lirulin thought as she waited in the small clearing in the forest. It was barely ten feet in diameter, only big enough for the one small, granite bench that sat at the very edge. The bench was small, as well, fitting only two people at a time.
The two of them had discovered the clearing many years ago as they were racing each other through the woods. When they came upon it, they had both collapsed to the ground and laughed. The first time Maeglas had left with the scouting party as Captain they had met secretly in the clearing. Lirulin sighed as she remembered that day. The sky had been overcast and not the song of a single bird could be perceived; but two weeks later he had returned safely to Mirkwood. Today, the sun shone golden beams through the trees’ foliage, casting shadows on the ground that danced with the slight breeze. The music of many different birds drifted on the wind, filling the clearing with their song.
The sound of soft footfalls came to her ears. She looked up and saw Maeglas step into the clearing: tall, blonde-haired, and sparkling green eyes. She smiled as he took the seat next to her and kissed her cheek. She slipped her hand into his and rested her head on his shoulder. Neither of them spoke any words for a long moment. Lirulin was content to keep it that way until he had to depart, but Maeglas could sense that something was preying on her mind.
“You seem distraught,” he began.
She looked up at him, a confused look in her eyes. “What compells you to say that?” she asked.
“I have known you for many years,” he started, a smile on his face. “I can tell when there is something troubling you.”
“I am predictable?” she demanded.
“Of course not!” he retorted. “I only say this because I care for you; I do not want you to be unhappy.”
“Well I’m fine,” she snapped.
Maeglas shook his head. “Never mind,” he said. “Let us not ruin what little time we have left with heavy words.”
Lirulin nodded, but she could not shake the feeling that Maeglas somehow knew the inner-workings of her mind. After a long pause she sighed a stood from the bench, wanting to say something but not entirely sure what. “I want to clear the air right now: Legolas and I had a small fight earlier this morning, that is all.”
Maeglas nodded, though he did not believe her excuse for even a second. After a slight relapse, he stood and began again. “I love you. That is the sole reason I inquired. You are the only one I think of when I am away, did you know?” Lirulin shook her head. “Well now you do.”
“I love you, as well,” she said. “More so than I have ever loved anyone else in my life.”
There was silence as he gently stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head. A beam of sunlight shined through the trees. A horn sounded in the distance. She did not move as he stepped away from her, out of the sun and into the shadows.
“That is for me,” he said quietly.
“I know,” she replied.
They stood and stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Neither of their faces showed any emotion. The horns sounded once more. Without warning, Maeglas wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her to himself.
“Losto mae,” he whispered in her ear. “Rest with the knowledge that I am dreaming of you.”
Tears stung Lirulin’s eyes, though she forced herself not to let them flow freely. She felt around her neck and found the delicate silver chain that she was looking for. She unclasped the chain and pulled a ring from her finger. The ring was in the shape of a mallorn leaf, and when worn had the appearance of a silver leaf being wrapped around the wearer’s finger. Slipping the silver circle onto the chain Lirulin
said, “Promise me you shall return, meleth nín.” Then she slipped the necklace over Maeglas’ head and let it rest at his neck.
Maeglas held the ring between his middle finger and thumb. He looked back at Lirulin and smiled. “I will do everything in my power to return to you,” he replied softly. “Never give up hope, Lirulin.”
He released her and walked slowly over to the edge of the clearing. He began to turn back to face her, but she rebuked him. “Do not ever look back, Maeglas,” said she.
Without turning, he replied, “Navaer, loth nín..” Then he was gone. Lirulin covered her face with her hands and fell to her knees, weeping softly.
OK, this one was hard for me because I not good with the whole romance-thing. I just needed to show the depth of their love before I really got underway and I hope I’ve accomplished that. So please keep comments semi-friendly!
..Losto mae = ‘Sleep well’
..meleth nín = ‘my love’
..Navaer, loth nín = ‘Farewell, my flower’