You Can't Take Me

Chapter 6

Dimoriel and Legolas rode in silence. Dimoriel had no desire to strike up a conversation, and Legolas was trying to think of a topic of conversation that would encourage Dimoriel to actually hold a full conversation, instead of replying in short, emotionless statements as she usually did. When he failed to come up with one, he settled on the first topic to pop into his head.

"How has Lendis been doing with the transition?"

"Fine," Dimoriel replied, just as Legolas expected she would. He repressed the urge to sigh and continued.

"My offer still stands, you know. If you need anything, you have only to ask. Is there anything at all that you are missing that would make you feel more comfortable?" He expected her to reply with a tart, "no thank you," but she surprised him.

"Actually, I find myself in need of a saddle. This one is starting to fall apart. Would you know where I can purchase a new one?"

"Certainly," Legolas replied, glad they were finally conversing. "If you would like I can bring the saddle maker out tomorrow so he can take measurements and talk to you about what you would like."

"That is not necessary. If you tell me where he is, I will stop by later this week."

"His shop is outside the royal stables."

Dimoriel was silent. Legolas could tell she really did not want to go that close to the palace if she could help it. He had suggested bringing out the saddle maker because he knew she was not going to be please to hear where she would find him.

"Very well. He can come tomorrow if he is free."

They both fell silent again after this. Legolas was grateful to finally see the small house appear through the trees.

"I see you managed to get rid of most of Lithiril's furniture," Legolas commented as Dimoriel led him inside. He was rather surprised that Lithiril had not forced Dimoriel to keep more chairs. He immediately noticed the lack of seating around the main room. He also noticed the empty feeling he got walking in. After seeing what Dimoriel lived in before, he knew it had a long way to go before it started feeling like a home for the elleth.

"I didn't need it all. Having chairs only encourages company."

"I see," Legolas said, trying to ignore the vibe he was getting from Dimoriel, who clearly would have liked nothing more than for him to leave. "I'm sure after you fill it with the things you bought today it will look more like home."

"It will never be my home," Dimoriel said softly, her back to him as she stood at the stove.

"I know it isn't ideal, but I am sure it will get better."

Both elves looked out the window abruptly as they heard hooves and voices from outside.

"Lithiril, Duarthon," Dimoriel said, opening the door and letting the newcomers in. There were more people in her house than she ever expected, and with only two chairs, she and Legolas remained standing as Lithiril and Duarthon sat at the largest table.

"I am surprised to see you here Prince Legolas," Lithiril said with a smile.

"I ran into Lady Dimoriel and Lord Maenthol at the market earlier. Maenthol does not appear to have listened to your advice, Duarthon."

"For someone who is suppose to offer advice, he is not good at taking any," Duarthon observed, seemingly unsurprised by the news. "He was most reluctant to listen to me when I spoke to him."

"He is a male, and you all have a habit of being stubborn and bullheaded," Lithiril said pleasantly. The corner of Dimoriel's mouth twitched as she smiled softly, while Duarthon raised his eyebrows at his wife."

"This coming from the elleth that forced me to go to the market last week just because you had purchased 'the wrong peppers'? They are peppers, Lithiril. It makes no difference what color peppers you put in your soup."

"It does make a difference!" Lithril said, looking exasperatedly at her husband. "Those ones were far too bitter."

"If you say so, limimaer," Duarthon said, looking up at Legolas and rolling his eyes.

Dimoriel was glad to see Legolas, Lithiril, and Duarthon leave that evening. She did not mind having Lithiril and Duarthon visit, but Legolas made her nervous. She got the feeling he was watching her closely, waiting for her to have another fit. No doubt he was put up to it by King Thranduil. Her close call in the marketplace had put her on edge all evening.

She was less than thrilled to see Legolas riding towards her house the following morning, a dark haired elf close behind him. She had been in the process of planting some of her newly purchased plants around her house when the elves appeared through the trees. Standing up and wiping the dirt off her hands, she nodded respectfully at Legolas before turning her attention to the saddle maker.

"Good morning, my lady," he said pleasantly, dismounting his dapple gray horse. "I do hope we are not interrupting."

"No, I was just organizing my new plants. Thank you for coming all the way out here."

"My pleasure. I am Himmen, by the way."

"Dimoriel," she replied with a polite smile. "If you give me a moment, I will fetch my saddle."

She had spent a few days the previous week constructing a small shed for Sulinte and his tack. While the horse was off in the forest somewhere, it took her little time to find her saddle in the back corner and return to the waiting elves.

"This is an interesting piece," Himmen said, taking it from Dimoriel and examining it. Legolas, who had yet to say anything, sat on the front steps, watching silently as Himmen ran his fingers along the patterns in the leather. "Where did you get this?"

"Gondor. I have been repairing it for many years, but I think it is time I replaced it."

"I am impressed. This is indeed an old saddle. I am surprised it lasted as long as it did. Very well crafted though, and your repairs were done by skilled hands. You did them yourself?"

"I learned some leatherworking many centuries ago. It was necessary for me to be able to craft things on my own."

"You did a fantastic job. Now, are you looking for something similar?"

Dimoriel and Himmen talked about details for over an hour, straying off topic every once in a while before returning to the matter at hand. Himmen was impressed with Dimoriel's knowledge of leatherworking, but Dimoriel was keen to make sure the saddle was made to her exact specifications. She composed a list of details for Himmen which she handed to him as he got ready to leave.

"It will take a few weeks, my lady," Himmen said as he put her list in one of his saddlebags before mounting. "If you think of anything else, feel free to stop by my shop."

"Thank you, Himmen," she said, holding her old saddle as she looked up at him. He waved goodbye before trotting back towards the palace. Dimoriel turned to return her saddle, and was slightly surprised to see Legolas standing by her door. She had forgotten he was there.

"Is there anything I can do for you, Prince Legolas?" she asked, walking around her house to put her saddle back.

"I just wanted to see if you needed anything else before I leave," he said, following her to the shed.

"I appreciate your help yesterday, and in bringing Himmen here, but shouldn't someone else less important be assigned to babysit me?" she asked tartly, not looking at him as she put her saddle back. "You need not worry about me going where I shouldn't. I am quite content to stay put for now."

"I am not babysitting you," Legolas said, though truthfully he felt a bit like a babysitter, assigned to keep her out of trouble and away from Men. "As I said, I want to make sure you are comfortable."

"So I don't wander off and cause trouble," Dimoriel said, turning to him finally and crossing her arms over her chest, obviously not convinced he was being honest with her. "Your father is making you come out here, isn't he?"

"No," he replied, though he could tell Dimoriel saw straight through his lie. "He only told me that you are welcome to stay here as long as you please."

"Provided I behave myself and refrain from killing anyone," Dimoriel added, her tone getting increasingly bitter. "I report to Duarthon at least once a week. There is no need for you to come all the way out here and patronize me."

"I am not patronizing you."

"Do not lie to me, Prince Legolas. I know what you and your father think of me."

"Do you?" Legolas said, his own voice rising in anger. "Please, enlighten me."

"All I am is a broken vessel that will burst and take out everything and everyone near me. You are just here for damage control."

"That is not true. As you said, I am too important to waste my time on just damage control."

"Deny it all you like. I know how you people see me." Dimoriel spat out the last sentence venomously, scowling darkly at Legolas. He returned the look, his own eyes flashing dangerously.

"Very well, since you obviously want nothing to do with me, I shall refrain from poking my nose in your business any further, my lady," Legolas replied with equal hostility. "Good day." He turned and stalked away, mounting Caranghir and galloping away without looking back. Dimoriel felt slightly guilty as she watched him disappear, but brushed it off as she returned to her work. She had little doubt that her assessment was an accurate one. She did not need someone treating her like an unstable child.

"You seem particularly grumpy today," Duarthon observed as he placed a pile of parchment on Legolas's desk. Legolas had been staring out the window, tapping his fingers on the arm of his chair, but he looked around at Duarthon when he spoke.

"What makes you say that?"

"A moment ago you had a dark scowl on your face. What is wrong?"

"Nothing important," Legolas said, leaning forward and pulling the documents closer. "No news from Mithrandir yet?"

"I have heard nothing," Duarthon replied, watching as Legolas continued tapping his fingers on his desk subconsciously. "Is that what is bothering you?"

"No, I was just making sure you hadn't heard any more news."

"Does this have to do with Dimoriel?" Legolas glanced up again before his eyes returned to the parchment.

"Why would you think that?"

"Well you went to see her this morning again, did you not? How did it go?"

"Fine. She will be getting a new saddle in a few weeks to replace her old one. She got along quite well with Himmen."

"What aren't you telling me?"


"We have known each other for a long time, Legolas. Your tone gives you away. What happened?"

Legolas was silent, his jaw clenched as he stared at the parchment on top of the stack. Finally, he sighed, returning to his work without looking up.

"It appears my presence is disagreeable to Lady Dimoriel. She requested that I stop checking up on her. She informed me that she does not need a babysitter and that I was patronizing her by pretending to be looking out for her when I was really just there on my father's orders."

"You were though," Duarthon said, wondering why this bothered Legolas so much.

"Yes, but I was also trying to be helpful. She was rather rude about it."

"I don't know what you expected. She is a solitary person and obviously has no problems speaking her mind. Do not worry; I will keep an eye on her."

"I know you will," Legolas said, sitting back and looking out the window again. "I guess I just wasn't expecting her to be so hostile about it."

"She's had a rough start here. Once she gets more settled she may calm down a bit."

Legolas nodded silently. He was quickly getting tired of his inability to know which of Dimoriel's personalities he would face each time he saw her. It wasn't like he did anything to her that morning, he just asked if she needed help. He was slightly envious of Duarthon, who did not appear to be having any of the same issues with her as he was. It was probably largely because of Lithiril, but Legolas still was not pleased about this problem. He still had not told King Thranduil about it yet either. Hopefully, the king would agree to Duarthon watching her. But he was resentful that now he was not going to get the chance to piece together the mystery of Lady Dimoriel.

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