They stared into one another's eyes, looking deep through the window of their souls to their inner most thoughts and feelings, opening doors which until then had been locked. Together they stood with arms around each other, protected by their own world of love and purity, sheltered from the troubles of life, breathing in the scent of the other and drifting to other places that had never before been discovered. No longer was their love concealed in their troubled hearts for it had been released from the confinements of torture and they then shared a passion like no other. His heart was hammering at his chest and he felt barely able to stand upright. His legs were weak, his arms shaking and he could feel her trembling beneath his touch, knowing there would be no moment in his life more perfect. Leaning forwards, he brought his lips centimetres from hers and......
Legolas stirred and rolled over, gripping the bed sheets with a groan. These dreams were fast becoming more and more frequent as the days went by and each time they were more vivid. He rubbed his eyes and hauled himself into a sitting position leaning back against the head board with a definitive sigh. There was a light knock at his door.
"Come in," he muttered, pulling his hair back loosely with a clip. Lindir entered silently, "yes Lindir?"
"Lord Elrond has requested to see you Prince Legolas, immediately," Linder said, giving away nothing of the reason in his expression. Legolas nodded and Lindir left him alone. He pulled on a light red tunic and slipped on his boots elegantly and left his room, swiftly making for Elrond's quarters.
The two wooden double doors were already open and inside Elrond was sat behind his desk leaning on his hands which were clasped together tightly He stood when he saw Legolas, and moved around his desk to be face to face with him.
"Your father has sent me a message Legolas," he said seriously, "I would not have called you at such an early hour if this matter was not urgent, but what it says is very serious." He pulled out a rolled parchment from his pocket and handed it to the Prince. He glanced at Elrond, and then the parchment, and taking it he slowly unravelled it to reveal his father's handwriting.
You must return to Mirkwood as soon as possible for the scouts say there is a small but substantial army of goblins who have infiltrated our kingdom. Already we are preparing an army to counter their attack by day if we can find their hideout, however your keen skills with the bow are needed to defeat them along with your brother's who have been sent for also and will arrive home soon. Please, make haste Legolas and be careful on your way home. I have sent some elves to Rivendell to escort you back to Mirkwood.
Elrond barely had time to speak before Legolas had disappeared to ready himself for travelling. He would journey to Mirkwood immediately and greet his brothers and together they would go into battle, but as he stood throwing some clothing into his small rucksack the thought occurred to him that he may not see Serondai for a long time. He did not even have time to say goodbye to them, for they would not be up and about yet and he felt he could not wake them at such an hour. He halted in his frantic packing, and sat on the corner of his bed, wrapping his arms around himself tightly. What would he do, not seeing her each day, how could he bare to apart from her for such a long time? Who would he go to with his troubles without Teruthiel? His brothers perhaps would offer him guidance?
Shaking his head, he resumed his packing, feeling in less of a rush to leave than before, when he felt a presence at his door. Turning, there was stood an elf he knew well.
"Helkakemen! It is wonderful to see you again!" Legolas cried. He was much taller than Legolas, but similar to him had long golden hair, slightly longer and not tied back. He wore a silvery grey tunic with some dark grey boots and around his neck hung a golden flower. They embraced briefly and memories of home flooded back to Legolas and once again he felt the need to return quickly, but this was soon relinquished by his thoughts of Serondai and his new friends, and what he was leaving behind.
"Are you ready Legolas?" Helkakemen asked, coming up behind him. Legolas nodded solemnly, torn between love of his family and love of his friends. The other elf picked up his rucksack and carried it for him, holding the door open for Legolas to pass through after which they walked to the courtyard to be greeted by some other escorts. Legolas's horse was ready for him.
Elrond was present also and so Legolas took the opportunity to thank him for accepting him practically as his own and giving him his own quarters.
"My Lord Elrond, I can not thank you enough for your hospitality. It has been an honour to stay in your house and I wish to return as soon as possible. I have made many friends here.could you apologise to them for me....for leaving in such a hurry and tell them how much I..." he paused, "just tell them I will come back when I can."
"I will gladly. We have greatly enjoyed your company here," Elrond motioned to Glorfindel and Erestor, "all of us. Please visit us again as soon as you are permitted. We will all miss you greatly and be careful in battle."
"Thank you again Lord Elrond and goodbye," Legolas said, heaving himself up onto his horse with the greatest of ease. The other elves had already done so and were prepared to leave, "my father will send word of the battle."
Elrond nodded, and Legolas whispered almost silently to his horse, which had been named Firestorm. He began with a steady trot, before going into a run and soon all of the elves of Mirkwood had vanished and Rivendell was left empty of the elves of the green wood.
Serondai was restless. Something did not feel right and it troubled her greatly and so she slipped out of bed and wandered carefully down the winding stairs to see if Glorfindel had risen. He had, and was stood outside on the balcony singing quietly about the ocean so she approached him slowly and hooked her arm around his, leaning against him with a shiver. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders, and already she knew there was something he was about to tell her of great importance that could cause her great sorrow.
"Legolas has returned to Mirkwood. Orcs have invaded," he whispered. Serondai was silent for a moment.
"I was ghastly to him yesterday eve," she said as Glorfindel pulled her closer, "I hit him. I have never done that before....to anyone. He did not deserve it. He is the kindest and most gentle thing I know and I did not even have the chance to say how sorry I am."
"You may say it to him upon his return," Glorfindel reassured, kissing the top of her head, "he has a duty to perform first, but I am sure he will revisit us. I have a feeling yours and his paths are destined to cross again."
"I hope he knows I am sorry," Serondai muttered, burying her head in the crook of his shoulder, "I fear I have treated him awfully these past few weeks. We were once so close."
"I am sure he would forgive you even if you had treated him badly my child. I heard the young prince talking with Elrond. He asked of him to tell you and his friend's goodbye. I sensed he desired to say more, but could not find the words to express his feelings. I also sense great pain in him Serondai, but from what I can not imagine for he hides his emotions well. I could not read his expression," he closed his eyes, also sensing the pain in the young girl's heart, "he came to me a few nights ago to speak with me of a personal matter, but he changed his mind and fled before I had the chance to ask him of his troubles. I have not had the time since to ask him about it and it worries me greatly that his heart is in so much pain. For elves grief is a dangerous foe."
"I believe we have all noticed a change in him, though feared to speak of it," Serondai replied, staring at the fading moon, "I regret not asking him."
"He is in a fragile state of mind. Perhaps it was best you did not ask him," Glorfindel said, ushering her inside out of the cold morning air, "but we shall see how he is when he returns."
"Do you truly believe he will fair well in battle? I do not know what I would do if we were to lose him."
"He will be fine Serondai. He is a fine archer and can use a dagger proficiently! I believe he will return without a scratch upon his fair skin and without a bruise upon his body."
"I hope so Glorfindel..."
"I will not go!" Elladan cried, stamping his foot, "I am too old to be ordered around in this way father and I am growing tired of your demeaning treatment. No longer will I tolerate it!"
"Elladan, calm yourself. I am merely asking you to take a few months out of your precious life to indulge in some studies in the Golden Wood. It is a wonder you are not jumping at the chance to visit it again after the endless stories you brought home with you some time ago," Elrond said, infuriatingly calmly. It was an element of Elrond's persona of which Elladan had not inherited.
"Ahh!" Elladan shouted, pushing over a vase in his anger, "I will NOT go! I am quickly tiring of your company father!"
"Elladan please, this attitude is getting you nowhere. You are lucky the Lady Galadriel is willing to teach you...."
"I am *not* leaving here. My priorities are *here* and *here* is where I am staying!" Elladan snapped, flopping into a seat opposite his father.
"What priorities may I ask? Your brother has no problem with going, he has agreed without question why can you not do the same for once? You have only ever cared for yourself so what is so imperative in Rivendell that you must not waste any time anywhere else!"
"You would not understand!" Elladan cried avoiding his father's burning gaze.
"What makes you think such a thing? I have many more years of wisdom than yourself and yet you think you know more than anyone else. Why is it so essential that you stay in Rivendell Elladan, I am asking you as your father, but only if you are willing to tell me," he leaned on the table in front of him and waited patiently.
"Why did you fall in love with mother?" Elladan asked. His father was surprised by the question and yet did not show it on his face.
"For many reasons Elladan, I could not give you one overall basis for my love for her. Tell me Elladan, have you let yourself fall in love?" Elrond asked, sitting back once again.
"I don't know," Elladan replied, flushing slightly, "I did not realise love could be so complicated. I feel... lately I have been finding myself dreaming about her and even during the day I can not help thinking of her. She is...fascinating...she is like a thorn in my side that I do not want to be rid of. Her very nature tantalises me, intoxicates me. I find myself making excuses to see her... I do not think I could survive without her. Is this love father or am I blinded by lust?"
"What is it you really yearn for from her, my son? What do you feel you need from her?"
"Everything!" Elladan cried, breaking into a smile, "I need everything from her."
"The Lady Serondai? This is who you speak of?"
Elladan was not surprised by his father's assumption and simply nodded, laughing inwardly at his ability to deduce the meaning behind everything.
"I thought as much, but such a bizarre choice Elladan. But then you have always been attracted to anything which is construed as different and I can honestly say from my heart that there could be no one in Middle Earth quite like our dear Serondai. You have my blessing Elladan, but I only hope she does not break your heart," Elladan found the sincerity in his father's voice touching and standing, he moved to the other side of the table and pulled Elrond to his feet, wrapping his arms around him in a tender hug.
"I love you father, but now you must see why I can not go."
"Yes son," Elrond replied, stroking his son's cheek with the back of his hand, "I understand and I will not push the issue further, but Elrohir has already decided to leave with or without you."
"What?" Elladan cursed, stepping back, "he can not! He is my brother and he must stay with me in Rivendell! We have not been apart in our entire lives father; you must not let him go!"
"I am sorry Elladan, he has made his decision and I can not make him stay."
"And yet you were more than happy to force *me* to leave. Is this favouritism father?!"
"No Elladan, I..."
Elladan cursed silently before leaving and slamming the door behind him, rapidly heading for his brother's quarters. He would not allow him to leave. He *could* not allow him to leave.