Building Ithilien

And She Said Yes

A/N: I have added some comments/responses to the end of the chapter.

Building Ithilien

Chapter 37: And She Said Yes

Dinners of state in Minas Tirith were usually held in a large room suitable for numerous tables with a wide floor made for evening entertainments or dancing. On this night however, the Queen had foregone the larger hall for a smaller, more intimate setting. When the elves joined the room, a hush ran over the table among the few noble folk who regularly dined with the queen and king. Celeril and Miredhel were in lovely form, and Legolas and Adrendil, with their intense eyes, height, and broad shoulders, cut imposing figures among even the most hearty of men in the room. The captain pulled Miredhel's seat out for her, as was custom for an escort to do. She quietly took her place toward the center of the table, but her eyes lingered on the prince across the way, on her far left. He had obviously taken more care than usual with his appearance this night. His hair was sleek, his cheeks rosy, as though he had scrubbed his face not too long ago, and his tunic fit perfectly upon him. He was immaculate. When he turned his eyes toward her, she quickly looked away. She did not blush as one might usually do when caught staring, but merely looked down at the elaborate place setting before her. Miredhel dared not look up, for she still felt the mighty thrust of his gaze upon her. There was no way of knowing whether he looked upon her with pity or perhaps distrust, or even anger, and for perhaps the thousandth time that day, Miredhel regretted their argument in the garden that afternoon. Although his words at the time had merely served to anger her, she had relived every syllable since, many times over, and now she simply felt horrible. And convicted too. She had lost his trust, and rightfully so, for her actions had done little to recommend it.

She did not look up again until she heard the lifting of glasses in a toast.

"Friends and subjects," called Aragorn standing before his chair at the end of the table, "we face the beginning of a great deed tomorrow. Our brave men, guards and soldiers of Gondor and the White City, will leave at first morning's light. We go to defend our people and freedom from the wrath of our enemies." The king eyed the elf beside him.

"Prince Legolas has pledged his aid and warriors to join us in this cause as well."

Miredhel sucked in her breath.

Aragorn solemnly continued, "Let us rejoice in our friends who lend us strength in this dark hour." The king lifted his cup in the air. "To brotherhood! And to Victory!!"

"Brotherhood! Victory!" the room thunderously echoed.

Yet one lonely maiden hardly heard them. Miredhel only thought of Legolas and the fact that he would leave in the morning. She assumed that the war party Aragorn spoke of would head for Calenfen. She would not ask Legolas if she might go with him. From their conversation earlier, Miredhel felt that she could safely predict what his answer to that question might be. And even though she had longed to go as one of the soldiers into battle, Miredhel's thoughts now dwelled on Legolas alone. He would leave in the morning, their bitter fight unresolved, oblivious to the knowledge of her true sentiments.

For the rest of the meal, she stoically choked down the helpings of food before her, nodding complacently to Adrendil's witty, or so he thought, conversation. Now and then her eyes flitted to the prince at the end of the table, and with every stolen glance, Miredhel felt like her heart might twist into some permanently unrecognizable, painful shape. Grief too now lurked in the dark corners of her mind, greedily anticipating the pain that would follow losing Legolas. Miredhel morbidly supposed that she would not be so fortunate as to stave off fading this time around, but with this said, she neither regretted meeting Legolas, nor loving him. Little would she change if given a second chance to be with him. When he dared her to compete in the archery tournament, she still would have chosen to make the bet against him winning and gladly accept kissing him as his award. She still would have loyally followed him to his father's wood. She would have ridden to his side at the bridge at the Anduin to help him against the dragon. She would have let him decorate her hair with his flowers at that bonfire and kissed him in his tent. None of these events, and few in between, would she have changed for any price.

Celeril's light banter from across the table did little to lift her spirits, and when Miredhel had at last finished her dinner, she begged the queen's pardon to leave, stealing one last look toward Legolas as she fled the room.

Most of the guests hardly noticed her withdrawal or absence from the table. For one who typically enjoyed spirited conversation, Miredhel had been unusually quiet that evening; yet the people in the room that night were by in large strangers to her, so no one paid much attention to her reticence, save those who knew her best. Even though he had been on the other side and end of the table from her, Prince Legolas had perceived with fierce acumen her every move, how much food she had left on her plate, the way she wearily rubbed her temples, and her monosyllabic answers to Adrendil's questions. She had excused herself from the table long ago, and as the dinner conversation wound down, Legolas slipped away quietly as well. His friends and companions exchanged smiles, but the prince hardly noted them. Instead, he thought only of Miredhel and where he might find her.

There was so much he wanted to say, needed to tell her. Legolas could not know what the morning would bring. Images of the dragon still haunted him. He planned on leaving with the soldiers and Aragorn tomorrow for Calenfen. There was no way of knowing what they would find there: orcs, battle, perhaps even the dragon; and certainly Legolas had faced danger before, many times over. Yet he had also never been so completely in love before, and now the fear of losing her made him pause. He did not want to leave. Deep inside, the prince knew that when dawn came and the silver trumpets called for the gates to open, he would still ride away, just like the scoreless other times he rode into danger. The only difference was that this time he had never before felt so hesitant at the onset of battle and with it, the possibility of a warrior's death.

The prince wanted this night with her. To hold her close and kiss her skin and lips, just to be near her. His impending departure made everything more ephemeral, more dear. Only tonight, this night, could he have the luxury of knowing that she was within reach, that they could be together. Legolas cursed himself for his arrogance and for wasting so much time.

Only that afternoon, he had ended up quarreling with Miredhel, when he should have simply loved her, telling her of his heart's desire. He no longer cared anymore that she had broken his commands or made him look foolish. No matter what had occurred or ever would happen, she would still be Miredhel. There was no one like her! All he wanted to do was to find her and make things right between them. He loved her, yet he had never even confessed his deepest feelings. He would tell her tonight.

Legolas stepped into the cool, moonlit streets. The evening breeze whispered against the white stone walls, and the prince smiled to himself in the night air. He knew where she would be.

When he reached the Queen's garden, Legolas saw Miredhel sitting softly in the starlight.

"I promised Aragorn that I would bring trees and birds and flowers to his gardens," the prince said quietly as he entered. "But you would surpass them all in beauty this night, Miredhel."

She stirred from her resting place and rose to meet him. "Prince Legolas, I did not know if I would see you again before you left." She kept her voice reserved, not knowing what his intentions were or why he had come.

He frowned briefly at her formality and then answered, "It's a soft night that begs for companionship, my lady."

In the pale moonlight, he thought that she might have blushed at his words for a moment. She tugged on one of her curls and dryly replied, "You said that the first night we met, Legolas. I thought the line in poor taste for a segue to courtship."

A ghost of a smile adorned his lips. "And how do you feel about it now?"

"I believe that my better acquaintance with the speaker has endeared most of his lines to me," Miredhel said, her eyes kindling a new spark.

Legolas glanced about at his surroundings and then his eyes contentedly settled on Miredhel before him. "It seems that we keep meetings in gardens. That first night we met, I hardly knew what I spoke of, or what I wanted," he confessed, joining her side, "but I do now, Miredhel."

"Legolas…" she began tiredly.

"No, please let me speak first," he interjected. "I behaved abominably this afternoon, and I am ashamed of what my words were to you, Miredhel. I'm not perfect, nay---far from it!"

"I never asked you to be perfect, Legolas," she told him gently.

"No, but I asked it of myself, Miredhel, and made you suffer through my arrogance and pretension in trying to be so." His eyes peered earnestly into hers.

"I am sorry," he said.

Her face softened at those three simple words; a sentence that after this afternoon, she was not sure she would ever hear from him. The effect was amazing. The weariness she had felt during dinner burned away like fog before the morning sun. For much of the day, she despaired that her own folly had damaged their friendship beyond repair and that she had lost him.

The realization had been more than she could bear. When Miredhel had heard Aragorn's toast at dinner to their leaving, her only thought was that Legolas too must go. With this insight, the room seemed to shrink around her; she felt much too hot, the overwhelming food smells became disgusting, and the conversation shriveled to a mere buzzing around her.

She had to get away. As she excused herself, Miredhel stole one last glance at him. What if that was the last time she ever saw him? Could she forgive herself? She had run toward the Queen's garden, hoping that all the green and growing might offer comfort, but instead the garden only brought memories—of him. It was then that she realized just how much she loved him, just how much he meant to her. She had been such a fool.

"I am sorry too, Legolas," she said simply and reached for his hand. "I goaded you into saying things you did not want to say." She breathed in deeply before continuing, "And although you speak of arrogance and pretension, I feel like I have acted doubly so. You were right in what you said. I should have stayed with you in Rilmost. I blamed you for your pride, when all along I was blind to my own."

His smile was sorrowful as he lifted his long, slim fingers to brush her hair away from the side of her face and then rested his hand at the back of her neck.

The prince pulled a faded purple bloom from his inside pocket and placed it in her fingertips. Legolas had given her those flowers to wear in her hair the night of the bonfire dance in Mirkwood, and he had saved one of the blossoms as a remembrance.

Miredhel arched an eyebrow, to which he answered, "Prince's love," he said wryly, quoting the flower's name. "But no prince am I tonight. Nor am I a Lord of Ithilien. I would just be Legolas if it meant making you happy… Tonight we are merely two elves together in this garden." He glanced up toward the silver slice of moon and deepening stars, and she mirrored his action, twining her fingers through his.

Miredhel answered with a sad sort of smile of her own and placed her hand reassuringly on his shoulder.

"Legolas, I do not want you to change who you are for me," she whispered in the darkness between them.

"But I do," he replied quickly. "I've done many foolish things in my time, but at least one of them I can remedy—" he smiled again, and this time it was very much a real smile, one that made him look every inch of his youth.

"—that I should have done this from the very first moment I saw you," he finished and pulled her into him, kissing her deeply, relishing the very sweetness of her lips, the feel of her mouth against his, until heat and hunger threatened to consume him.

His hands caught in the fabric of her gown behind her back, and he squeezed the cloth tightly between his fingers, while his willpower merely to hold her failed him by the second. He pulled her body even closer to his until he could feel her ribs against his abdomen, until her every gorgeous curve pressed against him.

He had dreamt of having such a night scoreless times throughout his long years when he would finally know love and confess his heart to a nameless beauty, and Miredhel was so much more than that—she was a friend, an ally, a confidante. To deepen the promise of their relationship—Legolas trembled against her at the thought, but he longed for that intimacy.

Certainly this was that moment he had dreamed of, and Miredhel? She surpassed his ideal on every possible level. She was not perfect—nay, far from it, but oh, how he loved her!

He pulled away from their embrace, from their kiss. His hands, the very ones that had held bow and arrow steadfast in the face of battle, now shook slightly as he tenderly grazed his fingers across her cheek.

"Miredhel, I love you," he said breathlessly, "so deeply. I--"

Legolas started to say more, but her eyes, wide and questioning, fixed upon his, and the words would not come. His heart hammered in his chest, and his head felt numb. He forgot how to speak entirely. All the smooth, romantic verses and lines he had stockpiled over centuries vanished to naught. The beautiful declaration he had agonized over for all afternoon disintegrated into an incoherent jumble.

So instead, the prince of Eryn Lasgalen stood there and dumbly watched as Miredhel turned away from him to stare over the side of the stone wall at the fading city lights and distant purple mountains. Her shoulders softly shook, and despite Legolas' dumbfounded state, he realized that she was crying. Though it was certainly not his intent, he had made her cry. His fear of her grief washed over him anew, grief that might still hold her heart prisoner. The prince touched her hand and then her face; both were still warm, and he spoke:

"Miredhel, my feelings will not change. I love you, and even if…" his heart clenched at the words to come, "and even if your grief will not let you love me, I would wait for you." He caught a tear on her cheek and brushed it away, although by now, he felt very much like crying himself.

"Please do not cry," he entreated her. "You will make yourself ill."

She lifted her head, and her eyes were dark and bright all at once. He loved her. She could scarcely breathe, much less talk; yet at the same time she was not surprised at all. His kindness, his concern, his protectiveness, his touch alone—his every action had shouted his regard for her. How could she not have seen it before? As his words ricocheted through her mind, she suddenly felt very small. Here was this wonderful elf, this prince whom she completely and utterly adored, and he loved her. Miredhel had never, never in all her years, ever dreamed that she would one day experience such a mix of emotions—bewilderment, gratefulness, fear, joy.

She drew a shaky breath, and then took another, deeper one. His eyes, full of concern, met hers again, and tears leapt to the corners of her eyes once more.

"Legolas," Miredhel murmured his name, touching his cheek. "Sometimes it seems so long ago, and at other times, like only yesterday, since we first met," she said softly. "I've spent a lifetime of nights dreaming of adventures and romance. Now here I am in both," she whispered and looked at him frankly, "and I hardly know what to do or say…"

"Then say 'yes,'" Legolas urged her, folding her hand in his, pulling her close to him again.

"Say 'yes' to me," he said slowly, his eyes earnest. "Stay with me this night, Miredhel. Stay by my side."

She did not answer. His eyes, now a darker shade of midnight, searched hers as he laced his fingers through her own again, and mesmerized, she did not look away. He leaned in closer until he could feel her breath dancing against his nose and cheeks.

"I do not want to be without you," he whispered and pressed his forehead against hers. "Say 'yes,' Miredhel."

Only this time he did not wait for her to respond but leaned in with a kiss, and the prince knew before he even moved away, by the look in her eyes and the touch of her lips, that he had his answer.

Their bodies collided in a fierce embrace, and he murmured his words of love to her once more… and then again. This time he remembered his poetic declaration, and he spoke it as well. Neither elf had ever felt such an encompassing heat as the one now knitting them together. So strong were both of the lovers' joy that the queen's flowers lifted their nodding heads and opened their blooms, supposing that the unexpected warmth in the garden must be the morning sun.

Miredhel and Legolas sank onto the low stone bench, his arms around her waist and hers around his neck, and both the night and the garden were forgotten as they learned anew of each other. Perhaps the king quitted the dinner after Legolas left and looking for the elf, found them there. Legolas would never have known, for his chin rested on his sweetheart's shoulder with his eyes blissfully closed, and his fair face radiated pure contentment as he held her tightly in his arms against him. There they stayed, and the night grew colder around them, the sounds of the city hushed, but still they stayed, locked in an embrace that they should have learned of long ago.

"Legolas, it is getting late," Miredhel whispered much, much later.

He lifted his head, so his eyes were even with hers, and softly kissed the dent above her lips. "You want to leave the garden?" he asked, unable to hide the surprise and disappointment in his voice.

She nodded, her face pale and crossed by shadows from overhanging branches.

"Oh," Legolas answered glumly. "I can take you back to your room. It is late. I understand…" he added and confessed, "but it is going to be difficult for me to let you go."

"Then don't let me go," Miredhel told him gently, placing a lingering kiss against the smooth skin below his ear. "Take me with you."

Understanding flickered across his face, and then the prince took a deep breath, kissed her again, and with radiant eyes pulled her away from the courtyard, down the dimly lit streets of the city and back toward the guest quarters in the king's residence, through candlelit halls and up winding stairs. The streets and halls were quite empty, for most of the residents had withdrawn to their homes; and Legolas could not help but draw Miredhel into several darkened alcoves or quiet corners along the way to embrace her once more and string kisses along her neck. At times, they raced together up the stairs or down a deserted hallway, until they heard someone coming. Then the two lovers would strike dignified expressions and proceed solemnly along, waiting until they were alone again, and then more kisses, more whispering of love and desire, and more embracing would follow.

Then at last they stood outside a door that Miredhel knew to be Legolas' room. He paused and studied her beside him for a minute. Her cheeks were flushed, the brilliant color continuing all the way up to the tips of her ears, and her hair was a mess. She had not really spoken much since he had confessed his love to her which was unusual for her, though her eyes and kisses had spoken much more to his heart.

She noticed the curious way he seemed to be appraising her and nudged him, bumping her shoulder into his. "What?" she asked with a self-conscious laugh.

He looked past her, down the hall, and then met her gaze again, the skin around his eyes crinkling as his cheeks dimpled and a smile crept over his face. He shook his head at her.

"You are lovely," he simply answered, and the prince pulled her hand up to his lips, and then opened the door and led her inside. His room was dark, for no candles had been lit. The large window had been left open, and the moon and stars winked above distant hills, bathing the whole room in gossamer shades of blue.

"If you want, I can light some candles or make you a fire." Legolas started to reach for a candlestick near the door, but Miredhel stayed his hand.

"Leave it for now, my prince," she murmured against him, bringing the same hand around her waist before shyly adding, "All I want is you."

"And that, my lady, is a wish I can fulfill," Legolas confirmed, sweeping her up into his arms, and from the way his heart pounded at her request he feared he might not survive the night. In less than five of those heartbeats, however, she was on his bed, breathless against the pillows with her lover doing everything in his power to keep her that way.

The prince looked down at her where Miredhel lay while she tucked a strand of his long hair behind his perfect ear. Beads of moisture dotted her forehead, and he gently brushed them away before taking her hand in his free one and resting it above her head.

"Legolas?"

"Hmm?" he mumbled in between kisses down her neck.

"Yes," Miredhel whispered to him, and that was all Legolas needed to hear.

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In the small hours of the morning, Legolas traced the curve of her cheek down to her chin, brushing the few stray hairs away from her eyes. By the Valar, she was beautiful… and she was his. The prince exhaustedly propped himself up so his eyes could better roam her sleeping figure.

Never before had he felt so incredibly spent as he did now. His eyes drifted shut for a moment as he recalled their love-making: the need, the sweetness, the heat. Given his long years, he had thought himself well-versed in the giving and receiving of pleasure, but after tonight, he knew exactly how wrong he had been. He had known nothing of pleasure, or of being alive at all, for that matter. Legolas leaned over to trail kisses across her exposed shoulder and then sank back into the pillows with a satisfied sigh.

The thought of leaving in the morning gnawed at the back of his mind. What he really needed to be doing was checking his weapons and getting his gear together, but he loathed the idea of being separated from her, even if only for a few minutes. Reluctantly, Legolas forced himself to leave his warm spot next to Miredhel in the bed and pulled on some light leggings before sitting at a small table near the bed. He emptied his quiver onto the table and stacked the arrows next to a fresh pile that Aragorn had sent over. He would check each one for flaws before returning them to his quiver. He heard the blankets stir on the bed, and he looked up from his weaponry to see Miredhel rise and slip on his discarded tunic from earlier. She came to stand behind him and slipped her arms loosely around his shoulders and chest.

"What are you doing?" she asked him, with a yawn punctuating her words.

He looked up from his weaponry, answering her question with a fabulous smile. "Sorting my arrows, checking them," he said.

"I recognize these," she remarked, pointing to a brown shafted arrow with grey fletching. These are from Lothlorien, and these green and gold ones must be from your home."

Her fingertips loosely glided over the arrows, stopping at a brilliant silver-tipped one, with light carvings on the arrow head and runes gracing the side.

These are different," she observed aloud, running her hand along the delicately carved silver shaft.

"Lady Galadriel gave me those," he reminded her, "after I won the archery tournament. Don't you remember?"

"I never saw them up close, Legolas. If you recall, I was in the process of hating you at the time," she said, leaning in to kiss his cheek.

His lips curled into a smile, and he pulled her into his lap. "I hope you feel differently now."

"Much," she replied as his arm snaked around her waist.

He placed a delicate kiss on her lips and then looked at the arrow in her hand. "There are twenty of them. All perfectly fletched, tipped with mithril. The Lady said they were enchanted long ago during the days of Gondolin."

"No, Legolas, there are just nineteen," she said, separating them from the rest of the pile. "See?"

"Nineteen?" He frowned and sorted through the other arrows. "That cannot be right. I never used any."

"Perhaps, you let someone borrow some of your arrows," Miredhel suggested.

"That could be, except I never let anyone use my arrows, and I certainly would not have let them take one of those." Legolas' eyebrows furrowed as he thought of how this could have happened. It was this sort of incident, like misplacing something, that could drive him to utter madness.

Miredhel leaned against him as he finished inspecting his weapons, rolling one of Galadriel's arrows between her fingertips, admiring the beauty of its form. Everything about the arrow was so light, but the metal felt warm to the touch. As she ran her fingertips along the runes, she knew she had done that very same action once before. Something about that arrow felt familiar, comfortable in her hands…and it was then that she remembered—the bridge, the dragon. The prince had given her some of his arrows…

"Legolas," she said suddenly, straightening up. "I used the other arrow. I am sure of it. On the Great Bridge of the Anduin, I shot the dragon with it."

Upon hearing her words, his hands froze upon the table where he had been cleaning his knives. "Miredhel, are you certain of this?" he asked, his voice low.

She tensely nodded her head. "I am, Legolas, but I did not know it was one of your special arrows. You're not upset, are you?"

"Upset?" he asked incredulously. "No, Miredhel, this is wonderful news." He wrapped his arms around her and ecstatically kissed her temple. "Lady Galadriel--she knew somehow—and that's why she gave me those arrows!" He lifted Miredhel from his lap and began searching around the table and bedside for the shirt he had worn earlier.

"Legolas, what are you looking for?"

"My tunic," he answered, looking under the bed. "Where did you put it? I was a little, shall we say, distracted when you took it off earlier."

She grinned at him and bit her lip. "Would you be referring to this tunic, Legolas?" she asked, pointing to the fabric of her shirt. "I am sorry, but you cannot have it back."

"Miredhel, I must go see Aragorn at once and tell him this news about the arrows! This changes our whole battle plan," Legolas said excitedly, picking up his boots and putting them on as he sat on the bed.

His lover sank to her knees before his feet, pulled off his boot and threw it across the room. "Oh, no," she said, taking the other boot from his hands to send it flying, "You're not going anywhere tonight."

"I'm not?" he asked, mildly surprised. "But you can come with me!"

"Not if I can help it," she countered and joined him on the bed, pulling him back against the blankets strewn across the top. She propped herself up on her forearm and with her free hand gently traced her fingers along his strong jaw line down his neck to his perfect chest. He was so beautiful, and he loved her. Just feeling his warm skin beneath her fingertips reminded her of the way he had held her earlier in the night, the way he had fully owned every inch of her in bed. She had never had a lover claim her body so completely, so demandingly as the elf at her side.

Legolas watched her draw lazy circles on his chest, thinking he really did need to go and tell Aragorn about those arrows, but then a curious thing happened. Miredhel's hand stilled, and a dreamy smile flitted across her face followed by an amazing of color which fanned all the way from her cheeks to her ears.

He propped himself up on his arm and brushed his thumb along her pinkened cheeks. "What are you thinking about, melamin?" he asked softly.

"Legolas," she said. "I love you."

Their eyes met over her words. Arrows completely forgotten, the prince pulled her into his arms. Besides, he could always tell Aragorn in the morning.

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Yay!! Okay, so I really want to leave replies for my reviewers for the last chapter. But I'm running short on time…So I think what I'll do is go ahead and post this chapter and then go back later and edit it for those replies.

So if you left a review last time, I will be responding to those, but I just couldn't wait to post this chapter.....

Okay, so now I have some free time, and I am leaving some comments for the people who reviewed last time.

Elvenstar— I know, I know! For someone who obviously thinks he is so smooth, Legolas loses his touch when it comes to Miredhel. He is going to have to find a way to make it up to her… And as for that dragon, don't worry, he'll be back and with a vengeance too!

QueenieB— So Adrendil makes your blood boil? I don't think you're the only one who has that reaction! LOL!! I've had several recommendations for various 'methods' on how to get rid of him! But he won't be going anywhere just yet. He's Legolas' faithful Captain, right? Right? (Well, at least HE thinks he is!)

Phoenix23—Deal's on!! It's only been a week since the last update, so I look forward to hearing from you! ;)

The Hobbit Ivy—I am going to write more fun lines, just for you!!! Because that was hilarious! I'm glad you liked the scene with Legolas and his sister. (Brother and sister relationships are becoming a mini-theme in this story! And it was one of the last things I added to the chapter, and now I'm really glad that I did!) And I'm also pleased that you liked the Aragorn-Legolas scene. So many great writers have captured their friendship wonderfully already, so it was a challenge for me to get it just right!

Emjo—Oh no, Emjo! I hope that you got to read chapter 37. I have no idea WHY it does that sometimes! Crazy !

Faerlain—You ARE one dedicated reviewer! I really value hearing from you too, and in a story with this many chapters, I feel like you've been traveling along with me, chapter after chapter!

Lil Lego—I hope you're feeling better now (especially since its been like 10 days since you wrote that about feeling sick). It is amazing how a good story can make one feel better. And yeah, they did get in a fight, but now they get to "make up" with each other, and that's worth looking forward to!

Iluvien— I liked your take on Legolas and Miredhel's disagreement. You're right, you know, and I'm sure that Legolas would agree with you too. Miredhel took advantage of their close relationship. She wouldn't have pulled that stunt with Celeborn or Galadriel. I'll pass your cheers on to Legolas… I'm sure he could use some encouragement.

A Monkey's Harp— Thank you for writing what you wrote about the building tension in this story, AMH. I really enjoyed hearing that reaction from you, because that's just the sort of thing I wonder about when I'm plotting these chapters out. And as for your speculation toward the upcoming battle, the answer is 'YES!' but I won't say who it will be. I've had that idea in the back of my mind since I first started writing this. But now that I'm here and actually starting to write those scenes, it's going to be difficult to do. I've grown really attached to all these characters, even the slimier ones…

Blurr—Welcome to the story!! Thank you for reviewing! You don't know how much I LOVE hearing from readers. And I really liked hearing your reaction to the Legolas/sister scene and your opinion on the pace of the chapter with the emphasis on the character development. Because sometimes I worry "is this moving too slow?" and its very reaffirming to hear from a reader that they enjoyed it! Thanks!

Verpoort—Thanks, Verpoort. I know as a reader that when I review, it's fun to have the author respond in a comment to something that I wrote about the story. Plus, I like having a sort of dialogue with those readers who take the time to review. It makes it writing the story more fun. But it IS time consuming, which is why I had to wait to post my reader comments after I first posted the chapter. I see that you would like Legolas to hit Adrendil. Surprisingly enough, you are not alone in that sentiment. Multiple people wrote in that they would like Legolas to beat up Adrendil. I'm shocked! LoL. Poor Adrendil—he's just a loyal captain to his prince… yeah, right!

Amberbutterfly—'Freakin' Awesome?' really? Thanks! I hope you enjoy this new chapter, and I can't wait to hear what you think about it.

Shilly—Thanks again for the praise on the good grammar. Good grammar is like hygiene. If you don't use it, people are bound to notice! LOL! And I bet you DID like this new chapter, if it did contain what you were thinking it might… grins Thanks so much for the billion cherries, those just happen to be my favorite!

Remixer-- Thanks for the review, and hey, it's nice to meet you! And I'm thrilled to pieces that you've enjoyed reading this story so much. I'm glad you like all my original characters, and I thought your idea about the Eledhel/Celeril hook-up was interesting, VERY interesting. The thought had actually crossed my mind before.

You're completely right about Legolas and Miredhel. They DO need to lighten up big time. And this chapter (37) is the answer to that. ("I jump- you jump" romance! Ha ha ha! Love it!) They are like that, though, way too overly serious. And it seems that you share the common opinion among my other readers, that Adrendil is the snake/asshole of the story. LOL! Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you again.

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Thanks Everybody! If you haven't left a review, please Please leave one for chapter 37: And She Said Yes

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I can't wait to hear from you all! and a BIG thanks to those who already reviewed chapter 37!

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