A Second Chance

Chapter 1

When Emma woke up, the first thing she registered was the smell. It was divine. It was the smell of flowers, the forest, and the great outdoors in general. Altogether, it smelled better than her own forest.

Wait... Emma registered the extremely uncomfortable surface that she was lying on. It was rough, kind of like tree bark. Something was definitely up... Finally, the breeze registered. That... that was just wrong.

Her eyes snapped open. She was lying on her back and above her was a canopy of tree branches. A very unfamiliar canopy of tree branches. Oh well, it must be her sleep addled head. She turned said head to the side and realized that she was lying on a tree branch. She immediately froze. How on earth did she get from her bed to a tree branch? ...How on earth did she get from her bed to a forest! She was positive that she didn't sleepwalk. Or did she...?

She realized she had no actual memories of getting into bed the night before. Speaking of bed, she was still tired and it smelled so lovely... she decided that she would figure out this puzzle later and just go back to sleep. Yes, she liked to sleep. It was a weakness.

What woke her up a few hours later was the sound of voices speaking in low tones and soft footsteps moving through leaves. Wait... leaves? (her memory was never the best...) It sounded as if it were coming from her right. So, unfortunately forgetting she was lying on a tree branch, she rolled over to her right... and fell right out of the tree.

She didn't even scream as she fell. She was too startled (a bit of an understatement). She landed on her stomach with a rather loud 'Uhhhfff'. She lay still for a moment, then groaned loudly. She slowly flopped onto her back and opened her eyes.

Staring down at her was a giant elk.

She screamed and scrambled backwards, ignoring the pain in her ribs. What on earth was a giant elk doing in her forest? What was she doing in her forest (we must remember her poor memory)?

"What the heck!" she squeaked. Childish cursing aside, Emma was sufficiently freaked out now.

The giant elk merely tilted it's head a little. That's when she got a glimpse of the person sitting on it. He was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. She was awestruck, and almost certain her mouth was hanging open like she was retarded.

He had long- almost platinum- blonde hair, icy blue eyes, and... pointed ears? Oh, God. She was dreaming. That had to be it. Why else would she be in her woods? She quickly looked around. Oh, no. These weren't her woods. She turned her head back to the elf on the elk...

Why was he on an elk? Nevermind, that didn't matter.

He had an eyebrow raised and was looking at her expectantly. She snapped into defensive mode and wondered, off-hand, why he had a bunch of sticks on his head.

"What are you looking at?" she snapped as she struggled to her feet. At that, both of the elf's eyebrows went up and he said smoothly, "An elleth who just fell out of a tree. I must say, it is unheard of."

"Oh, don't be such a smarty-pan- Excuse me, what did you call me?" he had called her something. She did not like being called names. Nope. Not at all.

The pretty elf-man looked slightly confused. "An elleth."

She put her hands on her hips and said in an offended tone, "What is that supposed to mean?"

He looked even more confused. "An elleth. A female elf?"

"I'm not an elf... See?" she moved her hair aside.

The elf went back to raising merely one eyebrow and said dryly, "It looks like it to me."

Emma, thoroughly confused and certain that this was a dream, slowly raised her hand to her ear and gasped.

They were pointed. Her ears were pointed. Her. Ears. Were. Pointed. That wasn't right. She was so shocked that she took a step back. The pain decided to make itself known at that moment. Her ribs were killing her. If this was a dream, they wouldn't be hurting her. But it had to be! She wanted to wake up and be at home, in her own forest, with her fiancé.

Her fiancé... That cheated on her... Right.

She had broken up with him. She remembered now. She broke up with him and ran into the her forest. She climbed her tree... and then... and then. And then it went blank. The last thing that she remembered was climbing the tree. She didn't even remember climbing it all the way up...

She was snapped back to the real world by the devastatingly handsome elf saying, "Why were you alone, in a tree, in the middle of my forest?"

"That is none of your business," she snapped. Confused. That was her.

Suddenly, another voice spoke, "Watch your tongue, commoner."

Her eyes narrowed and she slowly leaned to the side to see that the elf on the elk, had, in fact, a bunch of other elves (not on elks) behind him. The one that had spoken was also devastatingly beautiful (though not as beautiful as the one on the elk... actually... they looked a little similar) and on a white horse, glaring daggers at her.

Glaring right back, she said, "I will use my tongue to say what I please. And I am not a commoner, as I do not even live here." she looked thoughtful and added, "Where am I anyways?"

The elves looked scandalized and the elf on the horse hissed, "I will say it one more time. Watch. Your. Tongue." Emma noted with satisfaction, that he was breathing rather heavily.

The elf on the elk spoke again, "Legolas, dina," he then turned to Emma, "You do not know where you are?"

"Nope. But I'd rather know what gives you the idea that you can speak to me like I am some sort of inferior."

He raised his eyebrow, again. What was with him and the eyebrow raising. He's like an elvish Spock... "I am Thranduil, King of Mirkwood- Why do you have that ridiculous look on you face?"

Emma's mouth was hanging open and she had the goofiest grin of all existence on her face. "Did you say... did you say..." she choked on her giggles. "Did you say that you were the king of Smirkwood?" After managing to get that out, she burst into fits of laughter. It was not doing good things for her ribs (she was pretty sure they were bruised), but when she saw the scandalized look on the elvish king's face, it just got worse.

After she calmed down, she noticed that the elvish king, Thranduil? What kind of name was that? Anyway, she noticed that Thranduil was starting to look rather angry.

He took a deep breath, "I am the king of Mirkwood-" he stressed the 'Mirk' part- "Forest. That is where you are and you will accompany us back to my palace."

Oh, she did not like that sassy tone. So, she decided to butt heads with this elvish king. "Uhhhhhm, nope. Not goin' anywhere."

A scandalized mutter swept through the crowd of elves behind Thranduil. Emma just grinned.

This time, she actually got him to scowl. An actual scowl. Sweet.

"I think that you misheard me. I said that you will be returning to my palace. It was not a request. It was an order, in case that didn't already get through your thick skull."

Emma sniggered. "You are not my king. I am not going to listen to you. I'm not planning on listening to you. Get that through your thick skull."

The elvish king's eyes widened and he suddenly yelled, "Guards!" Two elves ran up from behind him. "Make sure this young lady gets to the palace. Do not let her escape."

Emma tried to make a dash for it, but the guards were too fast. They soon had her by the arms, and before she knew it, she was being dragged behind the giant elk, behind the horse who carried the elf, Legolas, and turned around so that she was facing the creatures' rear ends. She scowled. An idea popped into her head and she decided that instead of trying to get away, she would just become a deadweight.

She dropped and one of the guards muttered something under his breath before hoisting her up and the largish group started moving.

Emma couldn't help but entertain the hope that this really was all just a dream.

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