Building Ithilien

To Battle

Building Ithilien

Chapter 38: To Battle

The sun had not yet risen, but the stars dimmed in the skies, and a pale line edged the eastern hills. The king of Gondor moved quietly down the empty corridors with a single purpose in mind-- to roll his friend from Mirkwood out of bed while he still slept. It was a long-standing joke between the two old friends to try and wake the other as abruptly as possible. Aragorn figured that once he had the pleasure of startling Legolas awake, he and the elf could talk over their plans for Calenfen. Perhaps he could even persuade Legolas to talk about what Aragorn had glimpsed last night in the garden.

He arrived at the elf's stateroom and opened the door as slowly as humanly possible, so as not to make any unnecessary noise. Elves were known to be light sleepers, and Legolas was no exception to the rule. In fact, Aragorn was rarely successful in his endeavors to catch him off guard. So with an anticipatory grin, Aragorn crept into the dimly lit room. What he found when his eyes adjusted to the darkness made him stop short in his path, for there was Legolas, sound asleep. Now that alone would not have caused the king of Gondor to back silently toward the door with his mouth hung open in astonishment. For there also lay a sweetly sleeping maiden, her bare back gleaming in the moonlight, and her head rested on the prince's chest with Legolas' arm protectively encircling her waist.

Aragorn could not see her face, but he knew who she was. With that shock of golden curls, she could only be Miredhel, the very one he had seen Legolas kissing last night. The man smiled to himself as he stepped back into the hall. Legolas' propensity for keeping things to himself would never cease to amaze Aragorn. Of course, the king had suspected his friend of possessing feelings for her after their conversation yesterday on the upper walls of the city, but it was still a bit of a surprise to find her in the elf's bed. Either Legolas was a fast mover in his courtships, or there was much he had concealed from Aragorn in regard to his relationship to Miredhel. Aragorn shook his head as he pulled the door shut and padded back down the hall.

On the other side of the wall, Legolas stirred as his keen ears discerned a slight click that sounded very much like the latch on his door. He raised his head, careful in his efforts not to disturb his lover. The notion that Aragorn might try and wake him suddenly occurred to the prince, and tensing, he pulled the coverlet over Miredhel's exposed back. He waited, watching the door to his chamber, but nothing happened, and the elf relaxed. After all, Aragorn could try all he wanted to, but it would be a rare day when a man could sneak up on an elf!

Legolas pulled Miredhel closer and wrapped both his arms around her as he had done only hours earlier when she had confessed her love for him. He could hardly believe that she was truly his. The prince had taken lovers before, but none had spoken to his heart as the one resting beside him. Being with her was like nothing he had ever known.

Legolas had sought physical comfort after the war in Lierwen, but he had changed and so had she. It felt unsatisfying and cold for both parties, even though they did care for each other. Legolas knew that the war had changed him, aged him. His spirit had been tried many times through hardship and suffering. No longer could he lightly love, and so his relationship with Lierwen ended. He needed much more than a warm body beside him. Legolas wanted someone to help shoulder his pains and share in his joy, a lover who understood him for what he was, not as Prince Legolas or the Legolas of the Fellowship, but just as Legolas the elf. Perhaps it was intrinsically greedy of him to want more, especially when he had so many willing supplicants for the position, but Legolas longed for a lover that would wake beside him in his darkest nights, who would know his fears and failings, and love him all the same.

It did not take him long to discover that Lierwen was not the one. She was light-hearted, radiant, and good above all things, but she was also superficial and naive to a fault. She knew nothing of real suffering or the pain of battle, and Legolas could not bring himself to tell her these things. He left Mirkwood that summer convinced that the Valar intended him to live out his days on Middle Earth in loneliness and solitude.

Then he met Miredhel. She was opinionated, pushy, and had a temper to match that of her brother's. She could not have been more different from Lierwen, and this fact alone intrigued the prince from the very beginning. Only later on in his company's journey to Ithilien did Legolas realize exactly how different Miredhel really was. Her struggle with grief confounded and amazed him. This maiden had grieved and survived, and still her spirit was strong. She knew what pain was, what it was to lose something incalculably precious. She understood his dark dreams when other ellyth, even his sister, could not, for Miredhel had borne similar tormented nights after Annariel's death. Miredhel knew him as no other maiden ever had. She was a true friend, even daring to stand up to him, a fact that Legolas adored and occasionally even despised.

He loved her, blessed in the knowledge that she too loved him.

"Miredhel," he called softly to her, stroking her cheek. "Wake up."

"I am awake," she mumbled and snuggled closer to him.

"The sun will rise soon, and so must we," he persisted.

She lifted her head from his chest and inched up a bit so that she could share his pillow, and Legolas turned on his side to face her, so that their noses nearly touched. Miredhel's lips sleepily curled into a smile at this gesture and impulsively kissed him on the nose.

"I do not want the sun to rise quite yet," she told him softly, for with the coming of dawn, Legolas would also be called upon to leave with Aragorn and his soldiers.

"I know, but rise it must," Legolas said, pausing to guide his fingers over her hair and tenderly down her shoulder. "How do you feel this morning, my lady?" He added, more confidentially, "Do you feel all right?"

Her lashes drifted down across her pinkening cheeks at this inquiry, and then she met his concerned gaze. "I do, Legolas. Better than I have felt actually, in an age or so."

"You certainly look it," he agreed as his eyes appraised her. "Late night activities seem to agree with you."

"The same might be said of you, my prince," she said, returning his gaze. That body which had tormented and delighted her own so much last night was still perfect in its amazing symmetry and strength. Every now and then she could detect a thin line, a scar, that spoke of the countless battles fought and sacrifices made. The most recent, or course, was the wound on his shoulder he had received in the secret pass through Emyn Muil, the one that Miredhel herself had mended for him. Gently, she reached and trailed her finger along the pink, swollen line. It was healing, but he had barely recovered from this wound, and now he would leave for another battle. And to what end? Miredhel did not want to think of what could happen.

She swallowed hard and chokingly asked, "Promise me, Legolas, that you will be careful in Calenfen. Promise me."

"I will promise, Miredhel, but you must do the same." He looked deeply into her eyes. "Promise me that you will not take any unnecessary risks and that you will follow my lead when we fight."

Miredhel sat up beside him, pulling the blanket up with her. "You want me to go with you?!" Her voice cracked with excitement and disbelief.

Legolas' eyes were still serious when he said, "It will be dangerous, melamin, with a siege of orcs and a dragon who will not have likely forgotten you, I'm afraid." "I thought you said you did not want me in anymore battles," she remembered to him aloud.

"I still do not," he confessed. "And after last night, you must know that I treasure you above all, Miredhel. I had planned on leaving you in Minas Tirith's safest keep." Legolas brushed his thumb across her cheek and kissed her there. "But my plans did not include what happened between us last night, however much I might have dreamed of it." Miredhel stayed silent, but her eyes were radiant, telling her lover what words could not. Legolas wrapped his arms around her and kissed her soundly.

"I cannot leave you behind," he said frankly. "We just became lovers, and I will not jeopardize any bond between us by leaving you here. I think it would cause both of us unnecessary pain if we separated, and with your grief and all, I will not risk it."

Miredhel only heard one phrase from his entire remark. "You think we have a bond, Legolas?" she asked shyly.

Her lover did not hesitate in his reply. "Yes, I know we have."

"I feel it too," Miredhel confessed. 'Have you ever?—"

"No," he answered quickly and somewhat offendedly, but he sank back into the pillows with her in his arms to kiss her long and deeply. "Only last night. Only with you, my Miredhel."

They held each other for a few moments longer until the first light of day crept across the windowsill. Both knew the preparations to be made, and Miredhel still had to collect her few things from her room. The lovers rose reluctantly and dressed quietly until an unexpected thought occurred to Miredhel.

"How will you explain my going to the others?" she asked.

"I will tell them the truth, of course," he said simply. "You've taken me as your lover and demanded to be brought along."

"Legolas!" Miredhel cried, horrified.

"No, I suppose that will not do," he concluded with a smirk, "especially when there's an older brother that will need pacifying."

Miredhel groaned at the thought of Eledhel.

Legolas only smiled teasingly at her and then said, "Do not worry, my love, about either instance. Leave the explaining to me. I was brought up to deal in diplomacy, you know. Besides, you are the only one to have successfully shot the dragon. Your presence may be our greatest asset."

This statement seemed to mollify her a great deal, and satisfied, she kissed him in the manner that all new lovers ought to kiss each other and went to gather her belongings.

Now Legolas knew he had many things to do, but he could not leave the city without saying farewell to the one whose welfare had brought him to Minas Tirith in the first place. He slipped along the silent streets to the House of Healing and into Farothin's room where his friend still rested with his eyes tightly closed. Much to his surprise, Farothin was not alone. Celeril sat next to him as she had the day before, holding his hand in her own. With her head rested against the high back of her chair, Celeril seemed asleep to the prince at first, but she stirred when he entered the room.

"Celeril, I did not expect to see you here so early," Legolas told his sister, his melodic voice breaking the silence of the room.

"With you leaving, I wanted him to know that he was not alone," she said.

"That is kind very kind of you, my sister," Legolas said, touched by her gesture, "but surely you have not been here all night, have you?"

"Most of the night," she confessed. "But I left for a while to change clothes, and on my way, I passed the queen's garden."

"You did, did you?" asked her brother nonchalantly.

"I saw you and Miredhel there…kissing," she said with a brilliant smile as she teased her brother. "And I must say Legolas, that it was quite a display. I nearly fainted right there at the garden entrance. I never knew my own brother could be quite so passionate. I mean I had heard all the typical stories about you, but…" Celeril let her voice trail away to great dramatic effect, and her blue eyes twinkled at his obvious discomfort. Her brother had always been a private person when it came to affectionate displays in public. In truth, Celeril had never seen Legolas kiss anyone before unless she counted the time he had become quite tipsy at the Winter Solstice feast one year and had tried to seduce a very old and respectable matron of the Halls.

"Are you finished?" The prince asked, wrinkling his nose uncomfortably.

"Not quite," she said, enjoying herself hugely, "because on my way back to the Houses of Healing, I noticed that the garden was empty. And since I was so overjoyed for you both, I could not wait to congratulate Miredhel."

"Go on," Legolas said tiredly and rubbed one of his eyebrows. He could tell where THIS was going.

"But when I knocked on her door, she did not answer. In fact, I could not find her anywhere! Do you know where she was?" Celeril asked with a deceivingly innocent smile.

Legolas threw his hands up in the air and adopted an expression of extreme exasperation. "Now I remember why I tried to leave you and your sister back in Greenwood!" he exclaimed.

Celeril rose from her chair and energetically hugged her brother.

"Oh, Legolas, you know I am only happy for you. I have already come to love Miredhel. Seeing you two together last night encourages me not to give up hope, that I might be so lucky as you."

Her brother affectionately ruffled her hair. "Do not worry, little sister. Your time will come."

"I hope so, Legolas. I hope so," she murmured with a stolen glance at sleeping elf beside her. "So, did you come to say goodbye to Farothin?" she asked, changing the subject.

"Yes," he said and his bright smile faded as he knelt beside the injured elf. Farothin's wounds had begun to close along his neck and across his fair young face, but the wounds that worried Legolas the most were those that he could not see, the hurts deep inside that kept the elf pinned in this unnatural sleep.

"Rest well, my friend," his prince whispered to him, "for I promise that we will bring down the dragon and those who have wronged you." Rising, Legolas gently squeezed Farothin's hand and motioned for his sister to join him in the doorway.

"Celeril, I leave for Calenfen soon. I am letting Miredhel ride with me, and you may come as well, if you do not wish to be left behind."

His sister briefly considered his offer, but her eyes never left Farothin until she pressed them shut and then opened them again at her brother. "I will stay here," she decided. "I would not want him to wake up to an empty room among strangers."

Legolas nodded understandingly and hugged her farewell.

"Be careful, Legolas," she said softly, more to herself than to her brother, as he turned and left.

After speaking with his sister, Legolas knew that there was one more visit required of him before he left Minas Tirith. He quickly turned from the Houses of Healing and made his way to the king's residence. He easily passed the guards of the citadel who did not bother questioning his entrance into a spacious hall that ended in a rather comfortable sitting room with several low tables and settees. Arwen waited there, quite obviously finishing the remains of her breakfast, and Legolas guessed that Aragorn must have recently stepped out of the room, for there were two sets of dishes piled on the morning tray.

"Legolas," Arwen greeted him with a questioning look, "you arrive only yesterday and already my husband departs for war and battle?" Her tone was one of annoyance, but not anger.

"I wish it could be different, Arwen," he said, feeling the full thrust of her reproach.

"I know you do," she admitted. "Ever have you been his faithful friend, Legolas. I will not worry nearly so much with you by his side."

"Worry about what?" Aragorn asked with a mischievous gleam in his eyes as he entered the room wearing his armor and fixing Anduril at his side. He settled his gaze on his old friend, and when the elf smiled at him knowingly, he asked, "Legolas, are you ready for this?"

"Oh, you know me," the prince answered with a shrug, but the edge haunting his voice in the past year had disappeared. The elf's eyes were clear and bright, merry almost, and he seemed for the first time since the War of the Ring like the elf that Aragorn had first met so many years ago.

"Sometimes I wonder if I do," Aragorn said, noting the changes in his best friend. Unlike the day before, Legolas looked completely refreshed and more radiant than usual this morning, and the king figured that the elf's sparkling good mood was due to his new love affair.

"What is THAT supposed to mean?" Legolas asked and challenged the former Ranger's gaze with casual disinterest. Meanwhile, the queen picked up the breakfast tray and wisely exited the room, sensing that the two friends needed to speak alone.

"Nothing," Aragorn sighed and rubbed the side of his head. He certainly did not want to force Legolas into talking about his feelings for Miredhel and had hoped that the elf would have confided in him. Did Legolas not trust him at all? The man had spoken volumes about his love for Arwen to Legolas before and during the War of the Ring; now that the elf was in a similar position, Aragorn wished to be the supportive friend that Legolas had been.

The two friends eyed each other inquisitively until Aragorn broke the silence.

"Let me wish farewell to my wife, and then we can go down to the lower courtyard together," the king said rather abruptly and left the room.

Now Legolas had planned on telling Aragorn about his newly heightened courtship of Miredhel, but all in good time. He had not even wanted to think about it the day before when he and Aragorn spoke on the city walls. At the time, he thought his short relationship with Miredhel had all but ended due to their argument. Obviously, he was in a much better position to speak of it now, and the elf's memory drifted towards the time he had spent with her last night.

When the king reentered the hall, Legolas still gazed dreamily out the window, and Aragorn headed straight for the large doors at the southern end of the building, hardly pausing for his friend to get up from his seat to join him. "Let's go, Legolas," he called to the elf.

Legolas snapped out of his silent reverie and motioned for his friend to stop. "Wait, Aragorn," he said, "there is something I must tell you—it's about Miredhel."

"Oh?" he asked as a gleam entered his eyes, and he paused so the elf might catch up to him.

"Yes, I have asked her to ride with us to Calenfen," Legolas replied succinctly.

Aragorn frowned. That was not what he had expected the elf to say!

"The road will be long and the destination, dangerous," he countered.

"Do you doubt my judgement, mellonin?" Legolas asked, softening his voice. "I know the peril well and not lightly have I made this decision."

"Then why would you hazard her safety by bringing her to Calenfen?" Aragorn persisted.

Legolas nodded understandingly. He was not put off by Aragorn's questions, because he knew that the man was only concerned with Miredhel's welfare; and Legolas appreciated that concern greatly. Even as a great king of men, Aragorn was still the caring and ever considerate individual that he had been in his days as a son of Rivendell.

The prince did not make his friend wait long for an answer to his question, as he carefully replied, "Two reasons, Aragorn, one vastly more important than the other—the first being that she is the only one to have actually shot this dragon; and the second reason is that…," here, the prince dropped his gaze and smiled self-consciously at his friend. "Well, the second reason is that I love her."

Even though Aragorn knew the truth of this statement as he had been glimpsed Legolas and Miredhel together earlier that morning, his eyes widened with joy and the surprise of hearing such a confession from his dearest friend. "Legolas!" he exclaimed, "By Elbereth!"

The elf just continued to smile modestly in the midst of Aragorn's repeated exclamations, and only a small look of astonishment crossed his face when he found himself pulled into an enthusiastic embrace by his friend.

"I take it you approve then?" the elf joked, catching his breath after Aragorn squeezed all the air out of his lungs.

"Approve? I think it's wonderful! Arwen and I have hoped for this for you, Legolas, especially now that our own joy is so complete."

"I was not sure how you would take it, after you said Miredhel was not right for me yesterday," Legolas told him. His perfect memory seemed more like a curse at times.

"No, Legolas, forget what I said; those were words spoken in jest, not to be taken seriously," Aragorn countered delightedly. He wrapped his arm around the elf's shoulder and picked up his knapsack. "Now, tell me how you two first met while we make our way down to the courtyard," he said.

"Well, Miredhel and I had made a bet while we were in Lothlorien…" Legolas began, and the two friends left the king's residence together, sharing in the elf's tale. The people who saw them pass on the streets that day marked the genuine smiles and laughter that the king and the elven prince shared and marveled that surely this was one of the greatest friendships of all time.

Meanwhile, Miredhel had arrived in the lower courtyard of the sixth circle where she and Legolas had agreed to meet. Many of the king's soldiers had already began to group into formations for the journey to Calenfen, so the elf stayed out of their way, taking refuge from the bustle of preparation in the shade of a large stone statue of a horse and rider. She tried her best to adopt the serious, focused expressions of the men around her, but it seemed she could not help smiling in anticipation of seeing her prince again. Some of the men wondered at her presence, inquisitively eyeing her fair features and lithe figure as she leaned against the stonework, her eyes half-shut as if in a dream and her hands clasped at her heart. To mortal eyes, a young maid she was and yet not so. Sorrow and laughter were in her glance, as of one who has known great loss and love. Elves were such chancy folk, and the soldiers of Gondor rarely had the privilege of seeing one so near.

Even the boldest men dared not approach her for a flirtation, though she possessed great beauty to them; for there was something about the way she held herself, her very presence, which whispered 'beware.' Perhaps it was the arrows and unstrung bow upon her back or the gleaming jeweled dagger at her belt that warned them away. So it was that the lady sat in wistful solitude, until another of her kind joined her side, an elf of strong stature with a stagger that spoke of rank and prowess.

"Captain Adrendil," she greeted him cheerfully, glad for the company at the moment.

"My lady," he said smoothly, barely concealing his surprise at seeing her there. "I would not have expected to find you here among the war-party." His eyes took in her beaming face, dually noting her traveling attire and the weapons she carried.

"How well you look this morning," he appraised her, and every soldier that heard his compliment silently agreed.

"I am well, exceptionally so," she confirmed.

Adrendil had no comment or quick response to this, and their conversation lagged into an ill quiet. Miredhel looked past him toward the inner gate, vainly wishing that Legolas might arrive. She could feel the Captain's scrutiny, and when she boldly met his gaze, he did little to hide from her his expression, one of mild bewilderment as if he could not believe that Miredhel should be standing before him to go to Calenfen or that she could be in such high spirits.

At length, Adrendil spoke, slowly as if each word required careful consideration. "I take it you are going with us, then."

"Yes, the prince thought it best if I did," Miredhel answered warily, hoping that the Captain would not ask any questions as to why the prince wanted her to go. She would much rather Legolas handle the explanations.

The captain's eyes roguish brown eyes brightened, and he remarked airily, "I am glad to hear it, of course. I feared that Prince Legolas would be doing his best to keep you from having any more adventures."

"Thank you, Captain. It seems that I shall have the chance for one more, at least," Miredhel said and looked down at the knife on her belt, desperately wishing that he would leave her alone for the moment. Captain Adrendil had been remarkably kind and attentive during their trip together down the Anduin with Celeril and Farothin. He had not been too pushy or flirtatious as she had supposed him to be upon meeting him in Mirkwood; with that said, she had observed that Adrendil still maintained a quiet interest in her relationship with the prince. She just wondered how much he knew of their courtship. If Adrendil had come to her with questions about her interest in the prince, then had he also approached Legolas with the same sort of questions about her? She certainly hoped not.

Adrendil met Miredhel's attempt to withdraw from the conversation with another probing look followed by a question. "Is everything all right, my lady? You seemed so upset last night at dinner. I suppose that Prince Legolas had been rather hard on you for going to Minas Tirith without his permission."

"No, the Prince was just in all his words to me," Miredhel answered softly, remembering well Legolas' stinging reproach in the garden. Even though he had apologized later, she would not soon forget the fire or the disappointment in his eyes that day.

"His line is known for their tempers, Lady Miredhel," the Captain said, a knowing look.

"So is mine," she reminded him with a smile, and the captain's hand involuntarily drifted to his neck where Eledhel had gripped him so tightly the night of the Mirkwood council meeting.

Grimacing, the captain rubbed his neck and then reached his arm over Miredhel's shoulder to lean against the statue base behind her. His voice faded into velvet in her ear as he murmured, "You are not without friends, my lady. If you feel that the prince has wronged you, I will speak to him for you, if you wish it."

"I can speak for myself," Miredhel said and edged out from under his arm.

"Of course, she can," Legolas agreed, coming up behind Adrendil to take Miredhel's hand and deliver a courtly kiss upon it. "Lady Miredhel knows that she may seek an audience with me whenever she pleases." The prince winked at her and then gravely turned to his captain.

"Of course, Prince Legolas," the captain echoed, but there was no mark of embarrassment on his brow. He straightened up before his lord and waited for him to speak.

"The king's men make ready to leave. Walk with me to the stables, Captain," he said to Adrendil in a quite business like manner and then to Miredhel, much more gently, "Wait here, lovely one, and I will return to you."

Legolas led his captain through the crowded ranks of men toward the stables on the outside edge of the citadel. Arod whinnied and tossed his mane as the elf entered. "Good morning, old friend!" said the prince and patted the horse's neck. He pulled a russet apple from his bag and palmed it to Arod's eager mouth. Then Legolas looked to the horses in the other stalls and told Adrendil, "The king bade me choose you and the lady horses from his stable. Elessar wants us to take the right rank leading the archers. Miredhel will ride with us as well."

Adrendil's eyes darkened. "Permission to speak, my lord?"

Legolas did not look up from his inspection of a light grey mare. "Yes, if you must."

The captain touched his prince's arm to get his attention. "Do you mean to win the lady's favor by letting her go on this dangerous errand? She should stay in Minas Tirith!"

Legolas stood up, and seemed suddenly to grow taller. In his eyes gleamed a light, keen and commanding. "And you should stay out of that which does not concern you, Captain."

"She is my concern," Adrendil sharply insisted.

More quickly than the stable boys could tell, Legolas seized Adrendil by the shoulder and roughly hauled him into an empty horse stall. "I tire of this, Captain," he said in a low, deadly voice. "Lady Miredhel is NOT your concern. She and I have been involved since I first met her in the Golden Wood."

"But yesterday, you said that she was not your lover," the captain pointed out with a sly smile.

"I do not have to divulge my personal affairs to anyone, Adrendil. I am telling you this now out of mutual respect, because you are one of my Captains and have fought loyally for our people through many years."

Adrendil smoothed out the creases of his tunic, and his handsome mouth straightened into a shrewd line. "I know what you would have me say, Prince Legolas," he countered, "but alas, I cannot! I cannot stop pursuing her any more than I can stop my heart from loving her."

Legolas' eyes flashed. "You do not love her. You know nothing of her."

"Then I will have to see to it that I get to know her much better," the other elf challenged with a smirk.

"I warn you, leave her alone," the prince growled.

"Is that an order, sire?" Adrendil asked and stepped toward his leader.

Legolas restrained himself and took a deep breath. He uncurled his fingers and picked up his bag from the stable floor. "She does not desire your advances," he simply stated.

"Like the lady said, she can speak for herself," Adrendil cleverly retorted.

"Yes… yes she can," Legolas agreed with a slow smile that secretly infuriated his opponent. He led the grey mare from the stall and whistled for Arod to follow. "Find yourself a mount, Captain. We ride to battle."

The heralds' trumpets sounded from Ecthelion, clear and sweet and long were those notes in the early dawn. Aragorn heard them and raised his sword for the men to follow. Miredhel thrilled at their sound and the stamp of many horses' hooves on the stone streets. For countless years had she watched her brother and friends ride away to fight, only to be left behind in the curls of dust from their path. This time, she would ride as one of them. She saw Legolas returning with horses, Arod and a mare for her. His fair eyes seemed troubled when he looked upon her, but then he smiled and lifted her onto her horse with another warning for her to be careful. She followed him and the king through the long winding streets, with a host of soldiers behind them, until finally they passed the great gate of the city and rode into the silent grasslands of Pelennor. The time had come for a reckoning on the plains of Gondor.

THANKS everybody who read and reviewed! I really appreciate it.I hope everybody had a great holiday season (I did, a little too much, which is why I'm just now finishing this chapter...)

Hobbit Ivy: Thanks! You'll see how the arrows make a difference, I promise you!

Iluvien: I agree. A little tact can go a LONG way, don't you think? As for the getting married thing, we'll have to make Legolas pop the question first! (he'd better, if he knows what's good for him!)

Monkey's Harp: raider-k looks at big pile of goo Is that YOU??? LOL!! Where's a good dustpan when I need it?.... Nahh, I'm glad you liked it, and I hope I can bring you another goo-rrific chapter soon!

Shilly: Yes they're happy for now! (for now...) evil grin Thanks for reviewing!

Hypersquishy: Well, no one got punched in the face in this chapter, but I hope the Legolas/Adrendil scene will tide you over until bigger things can happen!

Lil Lego: So you think somebody should die, do you? Any suggestions?? I see your point about Adrendil. It would be way too convenient to bump him off now.

Faerlain: I love your fun words you use (like 'dudey') LOL!! And Adrendil saw you dance that elven jig and he's coming over... just thought I'd warn you!

Raidersrule: Yeah, go raiders! (but I think you're an LA Raider fan, and I'm a RED RAIDER fan, like the ones that beat the bears in the Holiday Bowl?)

Emjo: Thanks for reviewing (and twice even!) I love the dedication. I know what you mean about wanting to get these two together... 38 chapters is a long time... they just wouldn't be rushed, though. Hope the wait was worth it!

Avey: Thanks for the compliments! Now as for Legolas and Miredhel hating each other again, they're pretty lovey-dovey right now! But they both have really strong tempers, soI don't know....

AmberButterfly: "his sister should definitely find out and tease the hell out of them both!" I bow to your suggestion! I had way too much fun writing that scene and had to hold myselfback from going overboard.

Jessiner: Thanks so much for that nice, long review.You sound just like me. WheneverI find a new story, I'msuch an obsessive reader that I can't stop until I'm done. Hey, and more Sulindal coming up!! (he'sbecome one of my favs, too.)

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