Building Ithilien

The Deadliest Weapon 1st page only

Dearest readers,

I've been working very hard to bring you an update. Sooner than my usual 3 month window... Right now, my current chapter stands at an uneasy eleven pages, with much more to tell! I'm very excited to share it—it promises to be one of my favorites that I've written so far…and I decided tonight that I would give a quick sneak peak at the first page of the chapter, to tide you over until I can write/type up chapter 48's dramatic conclusion… Enjoy!

Building Ithilien

Chapter 48: The Deadliest Weapon

On the fourth day of their journey back to Minas Tirith, Miredhel woke once again in the early hours of dawn to find herself wrapped in Legolas' protective embrace. Her head rested against his chest, and both his arms held her close, and for a minute, she was content to listen to his heartbeat, strong and steady, under her ear. Strong and steady. Legolas. And without thinking about it, a smile curved her lips. He was so warm.

She hesitantly lifted her head off his chest and met his eyes.

Legolas had watched her wake up. He had seen that unbidden smile light her face. He felt like rejoicing, like tearing out of the tent and shouting praises to the early dawn, and the Valar, and anyone else who would listen. Miredhel had smiled for the first time since her brother's death. A small part of him still feared to keep her by his side, feared that she would suffer too dearly in her grief. But not this morning! She had slept peacefully the entire night, without any of the dark dreams, the nightmares that had been tormenting her from the previous nights.

And then to see her smile? To have her turn in his arms and look at him so? Legolas was completely undone. He did not shout any praises, however he might have wished to, nor did he race across the prairie dawn; instead, he slid his hand lovingly up her back to her shoulder, and pulled her even closer.

"You are not cold this morning," the prince observed, with a strange catch in his voice. He ran his hand back down her arm in disbelief and brought her fingers to his lips. Her hand was warm in his, and Miredhel marveled at the truth of his words. Legolas was right. She did not feel chilled, as she should have for one suffering from Grief. Grief was, in a word, coldness—it was to feel the life stealing out of you in agonizing degrees.

"I don't feel cold right now. All I feel is your warmth," Miredhel confessed. "You give me strength, just being near you." She pulled her hand from his broad shoulder all the way down his perfectly toned arm until she laced her fingers with his.

"It has to be our bond, Miredhel," he answered softly. "I feel it keenly when you are near as well." He looked down for a moment, his long eyelashes fanning across his cheek.

"My heart yearns for you," he murmured, meeting her gaze, his eyes full of longing. "I have never felt the force of anything like it, not even the call of the sea—Miredhel, take my strength, my love, anything and all that I am—because I know that I must from you. I crave being near you, with you."

Legolas lifted her hand to his lips once more and kissed her fingertips, and Miredhel then covered his lips with her own. Softly she kissed him, thinking only of him, his scent, his touch, the feel of his hands across her skin. Everything else was forgotten.

Okay, so that was really short in comparison to what's to come! But nice! I LOVED writing that scene. I hope you enjoyed it too, and are not too miffed that the entire chapter isn't up yet. I know that some of you are really going to enjoy what's to come... I promise.

Love, Raider-k

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