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Unexpected Love

By KJ Grace

Action / Fantasy

The Same World

The stone gate was locked, no help would come. The river had brought them here and now they would die from the heartless Orcs appearing, unless someone could open it. In his sopping wet clothes from the tumbleweed ride down the river, Kili hopped from his barrel onto the stone bridge. He reached out to pull the lever to free the rest of the company. As he pulled it, an arrow struck his knee and he cried out in pain. He bit back curses and tried to concentrate on reaching his barrel but an Orc was on top of him, ready to strike.

Kili saw the she-elf loose an arrow at the Orc that had pinned him to the ground. It fell and did not move again. Never before had he seen such beauty and fire in one spirit, not even in a she-dwarf. That was his kind of female.

He groaned in pain, leaving the world behind. The only thing he could hear was the melodious sound of Tauriel's voice. It was a soothing stream for his quenched soul.

He dreamed of her in his delirium. He saw her in starlight and in rays of sun beams. She was glorious and he saw spirit in her eyes.

He awoke with a gasp and opened his eyes. Tauriel stood before him, watching him carefully and with what he thought was a glint of longing in her eyes.

He murmured to her, "Could she love me?" and brushed his fingers against hers.

She looked at him softly. She let go of the barriers between their races. He saw her for who she was. Never before had anyone done that, not even Legolas.

She whispered back, "She could, though it would be dangerous."

He looked at her and with humor in his eyes even through his pain replied, "You would back down from dangerous?"

"Oh," she whispered earnestly, "I did not say that."

Kili smiled weakly and drifted off with dreams playing upon his mind.

Tauriel gazed at him sleeping. His black hair splayed perfectly on the table. She brushed her hand against his cheek and thought, Kili, if you only knew.

She walked out of Bard's house. The starlight was bright but she could not find rest in them.

Dwarf or not, she thought, Kili is a fine warrior and spirit. Legolas and Thranduil would not be pleased.

She countered herself, But then, who says they are always right. They are blinded by prejudice. They do not understand.

"Tauriel?" Fili asked poking his head out the door.

She turned gracefully to him, waiting for what he had to say.

He stepped out onto the deck of the house and rubbed his beard in thought and slight nervousness.

"Ever since we had been captured, m'lady, my brother has grown very fond of you. They say elves can enchant any creature they cross. If the stories are true, then I will do everything in my power to protect my brother. If they are not, then I can only say this: when the elves hear of this, they will not be pleased. They will grow more hateful toward us and even cast out those they hold most dear."

He stepped closer to her and whispered so that only she could hear, "Do not give him hope if there is none."

Tauriel looked at him with coolness but inside she was in complete awe of his undying loyalty.

She finally spoke, "Truly, I am fond of Kili. He is unlike any that I have ever met. As his brother, you have pledged your undying loyalty to him…"

She paused for what she was going to say was hearsay to all elves.

"...And as his friend and healer, I pledge my loyalty and life to him. This I swear on my blades and bow."

Satisfied, Fili bowed and returned to the house to guard his still recovering brother. Tauriel sighed with resolve, putting her hand on her sword hilt. Tonight, she would hunt orc.

Tauriel crept silently from boat to land. She had commandeered the boat unnoticed by any of the townspeople.

She strung an arrow to her bow, waiting. Silence now all around her, she could hear the heavy steps and loud grunts of a hunting pack of orcs nearby. She lifted her bow and drew it back. With her elf eyes, she aimed and let fly. Swiftly, the arrow found its mark. The Orc squealed and then fell silent. The call of orc resounded both far and near as they heard a comrade fall.

Out of the night came two orcs at Tauriel. She unsheathed her daggers, and cut the first one down. The second one blocked her daggers and one clattered to the ground. With her free hand, she pulled out an arrow from her quiver and deftly plunged it into his neck. He fell at her feet as she twirled around and caught her dagger with another's. Her eyes widened at the sight of the blonde flowing hair and blue eyes that pierced souls.

"I thought you left," she remarked.

"No, you left!" came his voice. "Tell me what you see in such pathetic warriors. Tell me what you see in him!"

"Legolas, you know why."

Legolas looked at her almost wildly. He stepped toward her but was interrupted by more cries of orcs. He loosed an arrow without looking in the direction he shot. An orc thudded to the ground from its hiding place.

"Tauriel, my father will forgive such things."

She picked up her fallen dagger, turned on him, and raged, "Do you think Thranduil will care what happens to this world? We are a part of this world, Legolas! The dwarves are a hope to help rid the evil that grows and flourishes. No, your father has become sick like Thorin's grandfather. He may not covet gold but his mind has been twisted and has become unwise. He is blind, Mellon, and you will start to soon if you do not change."

Stunned at such a bold speech, Legolas looked as if he had been slapped in the face by his own mother. He knew she was right, though he did not like it, but he was fond of her. With a twirl of both his daggers and a grim smile in her direction said, "Then let me come with you. Two bows are surely better than one."

She nodded and softened her demeanor.

"Now," she grinned, "Let's go hunt some orc."

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