"No! Not like that!!" Legolas yelled, grabbing Ehsihril's wrist before she fired an arrow, "Ai! Have you not been listening to me?! You must keep your left arm straight or you will never hit the target."
"I would not have asked you to teach me if I knew how strict you were going to be," Ehsihril whinged, throwing the bow on the floor in a temper. Legolas frowned and picked it up, inspecting it for damage.
"Did I not say to you that you would need a lot of dedication?! Now here, try once more," he held out the bow and she took it, frustrated and muttering under her breath, "let me show you again!"
Holding her left elbow to straighten her arm, he guided her hand to the arrow shelf, rested the red tipped arrow in place and finally spread her fingers across the handle, gently holding her hands in place.
"Now, the upper notch must be above your head before you fire to help you stay in line. The limbs in this bow have two motions, so when it is drawn, they both uncurl in two different directions so when the bowstring is released, the limbs return to their positions. This gives the bow more power, which initially will help the arrow to hit the target. Do you understand?"
Ehsihril was concentrating more on Legolas's long fingered hands covering hers, transfixed by the softness of his touch. Since his arrival, she had found him undeniably attractive and kind, qualities in which she had found endearing and had developed something of a crush on the older elf. Serondai was correct in her presumption; however had severe misgivings over her decision to learn such an art for the simple reason of being close to the prince. She was simply wasting Legolas's time.
"Ehsihril, are you listening?" Legolas asked, unable to do more to obtain a reply from the uncompromising position he was in, "Ehsihril!!"
She jumped and released the arrow by mistake and bit her lip in trepidation to see what it hit. It was lucky they were so far from civilisation for no one was injured, although a small shrub was not as lucky as to escape the soaring arrow as it flew past it, slicing threw the leaves like a knife through parchment. Legolas rolled his eyes and stepped away from her, folding his arms in annoyance and snatched the bow from her hand. After sliding the arrows arranged neatly out on the floor into his quiver, he attached the bow to the leather strap on his back in silence.
"You are a danger unto yourself and those around you," he said, struggling to be calm, "I am getting the impression you do not want to learn as much as you say."
Serondai chose this moment to intervene, "were you *aiming* for that shrub, Ehsihril? If so that was a nice shot."
"No! I was not aiming for it!" she retorted, narrowing her eyes in anger, "I did not mean to do that Legolas. I *do* want to learn!"
He shook his head, finding it difficult to believe her. Throughout the hour and a half he had been showing her the techniques of shooting, the anatomy of the bow and the dynamics; she had failed to focus on the new skills she was being shown; only rarely concentrating when he specifically asked it of her. Even this lasted no more than a few minutes before she drifted into a day dream and Legolas had grown tired of having to repeat things to her over and over again. This was the last straw.
"You have been saying the same thing to me for the past hour and I no longer believe you are genuine. What is the real reason for you being so desperate to learn archery?"
"I would just like to study something, and archery sounded like the most convenient option as you are here and are finely accomplished yourself."
"I know you are lying to me you inane child!" he cried, barging past her, "you have wasted my time Ehsihril. You shall have to find someone else to teach you if you are so frantic to train!"
Ehsihril watched him miserably until he disappeared into the distance, and turning to Serondai erupted into gratuitous tears. Serondai, taken utterly by surprise held out her arms to embrace her and comforted her, not entirely sure what was the matter. After her tears had ceased to tiny hiccups, Serondai pulled back.
"What is the matter with you? You have made quite a show of yourself," Serondai remarked.
"I did not mean to upset him!" she blubbed, wiping her eyes with her sleeve. Serondai raised her eyebrows.
"It is just a crush Ehsihril, there is no need for all of...this. I am sure Legolas will give you more lessons if you apologise and ask politely, but I must admit you let your mind wander more often than not and it was no surprise he was becoming more agitated with you even though I also believe he was out of order just now. He is very kind to have agreed in the first place though, and you exploited his caring nature. Next time I advise you stick to your promises."
"You sound just like Glorfindel," Ehsihril sniffed, her weeping subsiding completely, "I sometimes wish I could have what you have with him."
"Glorfindel has taught me a lot," Serondai said, lowering her voice until it was barely a whisper; "I do not think I would have stayed in Rivendell if I did not have him to care for me. I am very fortunate."
The evening was cool and the sky was smiling for the orange sun was slowly setting in the distance emitting a phosphorescent radiance across the sky and the trees and buildings below. Its rays were firing lightly on the river and its surface reflected the crimson oranges, distorting the mirror images of the above trees. There was a chilly breeze blowing from the west causing the branches to sway and there was a calming, peaceful atmosphere and a soothing glow in the air. The fading sunlight crept through the gaps in the leaves creating a dim light beneath their bows, and at the waters edge two elves, one standing and the other propped up against a willow were deep in an interesting discussion.
Teruthiel sighed, "It is a matter concerning Legolas, but if he ever discovered I had told you this he would never forgive me so this must remain between you and I alone. I do not want to lose his friendship and I know he would be humiliated if this got out and I would be to blame."
"I understand," Elladan replied gravely, "I have noticed Legolas has been out of sorts lately as it happens. You may think I dislike him, but I did wish for him to attend supper last night so we may become friends. Is whatever you are about to tell me to do with him perchance?"
Teruthiel nodded, fixing his eyes on a tiny wildflower beside his foot. With a second shuddering, exasperated sigh he spoke, "....this is such a complex affair...," he paused to think, "Legolas has grown close to someone, very close in fact. He suffers day by day from the pain in his heart and I wonder how he endures the hurt I know he feels, because I have realised that deep down he is the most sensitive individual I have ever encountered simply due to the fact that his heart has been broken repeatedly in his life. There are times when I have wanted to tell the object of his love how much sorrow and grief she is causing him; I have come close to doing so even, and I do not think I can go on knowing he is in so much distress whilst she parades her own fondness for another in front of him." He looked up after some time when Elladan failed to reply.
"I had no idea," he said, lowering his head, "and do I know the elf?"
"I heard my name. I could easily think you are conspiring against me."
Teruthiel first saw the boots and recognised them instantly. He needed no further affirmation and prayed Legolas had not heard Elladan and his conversation. He pulled himself to his feet, "I think you were hearing things my friend. We were talking about Lothlorien as it happens. Elladan was explaining to me its beauty in comparison with Rivendell and I now feel I must visit it. I see you have your bow, have you been practising."
"Not exactly," he said, then whispering to Teruthiel and nodding his head at Elladan, "and when may I ask did you and *him* become friends. The last I heard, you were sworn adversary's."
"That is a story that can wait for this evening, but tell me, what have you done with yourself today for I am intrigued, as is, I imagine, Elladan."
Legolas retold his day from the beginning, from asking Serondai and Ehsihril to watch him practise to being persuaded to teach the elf to shoot...unsuccessfully. The three of them made light of it after Teruthiel could not contain his fits of laughter at the mere thought of Ehsihril learning to be an archer. She had a reputation for being slightly clumsy, but Legolas was oblivious of her feelings in the same way Serondai was oblivious of his and even though it *was* just a crush she had, she was still emotionally wounded by his words.
"Poor child," said Teruthiel, wiping a tear of laughter from his eye.
"It may be entertaining to you, but that girl could have mortally wounded someone had there been anyone within range."
"Is that not the idea?" Elladan asked, hardly able to cease laughing himself. Legolas could not help but crack a smile.
"Yes, yes. I suppose the whole fiasco was quite humorous now I recall, but I do not intend to go down that path for a second time. From now on I shall keep my bow and arrow to myself before more than a shrub gets injured."
"I have been looking for you," said a figure casting a shadow across the ground to their feet. She had her hands firmly rooted onto her hips and had a very threatening and stern expression upon her face. She glanced at Teruthiel, turned her nose up at him and waited patiently for some recognition from the remaining two.
"Serondai!" Elladan said at last, "will you join us?"
"No, I have only come to do one thing," she stood in front of Legolas and raising her right arm she slapped his cheek with a force quite unknown to him. He was so surprised by the attack that he was speechless, "and *that* is for making Ehsihril cry! How dare you shout at her in such a brutal manner!" He watched with his mouth gaping as the girl walked away secretly hiding a conceited smirk and Teruthiel, as usual could not hold back and let out a guffaw from the hilarity of Legolas's face. He could not believe what he had heard...or had done. He never for one moment imagined he would or could ever cause someone to weep, least of all a female.
"What did you say to her?!" Elladan said, crossing his arms over his chest.
"I...I..." Legolas stuttered, still holding his inflamed cheek, "I did not think she would be so upset. I was angry, I did not mean to offend her...I...what have I done, she is barely an adult?!"
"Calm down!" Teruthiel chuckled, placing a hand on his shoulder, "I am sure she will be fine, she is merely distressed that you of all elves had shouted at the poor elf."
Legolas looked at him blankly.
"Oh surely you know!?" Still Legolas was expressionless, "why, she has a crush on you Prince Greenleaf."
"But she is so much younger than I, you are teasing me surely?" Legolas leaned forward with his head in his hands, worn out by the days events, "oh Elbereth! What am I to do?!"