The Chains that Bind

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The Captain's tale

22 years ago

The Human castle was now filled with representatives from every single human kingdom on the earth, and the whole building was bubbling with excitement.

Kings and Queens of the various nations of men were in attendance and they waited with baited breath as the elves majestically entered the halls. The elves seemed to light up the room as they strode inside and King Merek stood offering his hand to Queen Rival. She took it and curtsied lightly as Merek bowed.

"You honor us with your presence Queen Rival." He smiled at her

"It gladdens my heart that the kingdoms of men and elves can stand united once more King Merek." She replied.

As both of them took their seats the elves and humans sat side by side and talked about anything that came to mind while the rest of the elves filed in.

Siegfried sat next to King Merek and Mael sat beside him. It was weird to Siegfried, but he felt as if he had known these people forever although it had only been two days since he had saved Mael.

You will doom all you know young knight.

The old man's voice echoed in Siegfried's head suddenly and he shook his head to clear it. How could saving one life "doom" all he knew? He turned to look at Mael and confirmed what he had thought earlier:

She's beautiful

He turned away and saw a young elven woman looking around, possibly for a seat, and he signaled a Captain to assist her.

The Captain caught his commander's signal and walked over to the woman "Excuse me miss, there is a seat over here if you would like."

The woman smiled "Thank you Captain."

He walked her to his seat and motioned for her to sit in it. She did so but then noticed he had no room. Almost anticipating her protest the Captain cut her off saying "It's what chivalry demands milady."

The woman scooted over anyway and he squeezed in beside her. It was slightly awkward, but neither of them cared.

"Finally a knight with descent manners, they don't have many of those back on the island." She remarked.

The Captain nodded "We are taught the laws of Chivalry as soon as we can understand them, its second nature now."

"I'm Lorien" she introduced herself and then dug into her meal.

"I'm just a Captain; I gave up my name in service to the Vanguards."

Lorien frowned, an admittedly handsome human captain without a name? Ridiculous! She then vowed she would find a name for him, no matter what.

"John?" a head shake.

"Peter?" a head shake.

"Michael?" a head shake.

Lorien sighed and shook her head "I'm going to find a name that you like one way or another."

She and the Captain were sitting on a bench, about two months after the feast, which meant two months of trying to give him a name, and two months of refusal.

The Captain smiled and brushed a blond strand of hair behind her ear "Maybe the reason I don't want a name is so you have to stick around and keep trying to give me one."

Lorien smiled back and ran her hand over the Captain's arm "I'd be more inclined to stick around if you had a name."

There was a moment of awkwardness between them. The Captain had never been this close to a girl before, and Lorien had never felt a stronger drive to do something. She simply wanted to give him a name, but he kept refusing, and it was slowly driving her insane.

The two months following the feast had been months of cooperation between the humans and the elves. Both races had studied from and learned from one another, everything from battle skills to recipes were freely shared without question. Merek and Rival spent quite a lot of time together discussing the challenges of ruling a kingdom, and Siegfried showed Mael everything there was to know about the human lands and culture. The pair was inseparable and although many attributed this to gratitude, for others it was something deeper that kept them together.

By the time Siegfried became king1 Lorien and I were getting closer, and something started happening. I was really starting to notice how pretty she was, and I mean really noticing, I didn't have much of a chance with her, but I couldn't stop myself from realizing that she was pretty. Until finally:

Lorien and the Captain were walking by a river and Lorien was up to her old tricks:

"Drew"

"Matthew"

"Bobby"

Every single name she tried had no effect on the Captain, until finally she had had enough and knelt by the river saying "Fine, I'll just call you….Wet!" She hurled the water at the Captain and caught him completely unprepared.

He turned and faced her with a smile on his face, "Fine I'll do the same!" He rushed her and lightly shoved her, and with a squeak she fell in the water. She caught him and dragged him down with her, locking her limbs around him. They rolled around in the shallows and finally Lorien pinned the Captain down, suddenly feeling something spark between them.

She slipped her hands in his marveling at the rough texture and also how gently they curled around hers. She leaned downward and smiled "Well Captain, what a predicament we find ourselves in hmm?"

The Captain squeezed Lorien's hands and smiled, marveling at how soft they were. They were so soft he was almost afraid that he might hurt her if he squeezed too hard; she laughed at his hesitance and smiled. The Captain looked into her blue eyes and felt himself feeling a desire to do whatever she wanted. "Yep, what a problem…." he murmured.

Lorien suddenly realized what a position she was in and buried her face into his neck muttering "I don't kiss boys with no names, now I'm going to give you one last chance and say a name, whether I kiss you is your choice."

She leaned down near his ear, with her hair tickling his face, and whispered a single word.

After a second she rose up and bit her lip anxiously awaiting his response.

"I love my new name, but only you can call me that." He finally replied.

"Fine!" She replied enthusiastically and lunged forward pressing her lips to his. The kiss was gentle and sweet, and felt like a thousand watts of pure pleasure was coursing through them from the contact. They both squeezed one another's hands as they broke apart staring into each other's eyes seeing love reflected.

Lorien smiled "Well I got what I wanted, a kiss and your name."

They both dragged themselves from the water and lay on the bank letting the sun dry them, and really not caring about whatever happened, because they finally had each other.

That kiss was the start of an amazing relationship, but I had doubts, maybe every guy feels like he isn't good enough for his girlfriend. Lorien was an amazing girl, and I knew I wasn't the only one to find her beautiful. I kept thinking that she'd realize that she could do better and one day break my heart, and let me go, but she never did. Once the tension started to rise between humans and elves it became clear to me that we couldn't see one another, but apparently it didn't register to her.

It happened on the Elven Island, right after they banished all humans from it.

Lorien calmed her breathing and smiled as she hid behind the building waiting to see the familiar shadow pass her by. After a line of disgraced human refugees and knights walked off the island, that familiar shape passed by, Lorien sprang into action and instantly looped her arms around the figure dragging him next to her.

The Captain watched the last group of human soldiers leave the island and he felt the hatred of the elves who were watching them with bows held tight. He followed them, but as he passed by a building he was suddenly grabbed from behind in an embrace he knew well and was dragged behind the building.

Lorien shoved the Captain against the wall and held him tight in a hug whispering "You weren't going to leave without saying goodbye to me were you?"

Alright just to be honest here I was going to leave without saying goodbye because it would be too hard to leave her, and I couldn't hurt her like that.

The Captain hugged back and buried his face in her shoulder "Lorien, it's not safe for us to be doing this, if the elves caught you they'd….."

She pressed her lips to his smothering his protest. He kissed back weaving his hand in her blond hair and stroking her back. When they finally broke away Lorien spoke first

"I know what you are going to say, so I'll speak first and simply say that no matter what happens between the humans and the elves I will never leave you at all. So whatever happens between us I love you, and this is going to work!"

The Captain was taken aback, but simply smiled "Whatever you say dear."

Lorien hugged him tighter "See this relationship is working out already!" She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small heart shaped locket. "This locket is like a compass, so no matter where we are, we can find each other."

The Captain took the locket and opened it seeing her face smiling back at him. He looped the locket around his neck and smiled as it settled into position close to his heart.

Lorien was wearing a similar locket and as both lockets moved closer together they glowed.

Lorien turned to see that no one was watching and smiled "I'll see you soon, stay safe" She kissed him again and then she ran off into the shadows.

I was surprised to say the least; normally girls don't want to hang around with me, but she never let me go.

So we met wherever and whenever we could. Behind buildings, in abandoned areas, in caves, in the morning, in the evening, whenever we needed each other, and we learned so much from each other.

"There that's it!" Lorien smiled sitting cross-legged in a field "Now strum."

The Captain strummed down the guitar awkwardly, and the strum sounded okay, Lorien smiled and grabbed the Captain's hand which had blisters forming on it. She smiled "You're sounding better, and the blisters will fade with time." She pressed a kiss to his hand and kissed every blister.

The Captain smiled and handed her the guitar "I think it's time for the teacher to show me how to us this."

Lorien held the guitar like an expert2 and began to strum and sing. She sang the one song that was always on her mind, the one song that was just for them. Her fingers danced around the neck of the guitar and the voice of an angel echoed for miles around the field.

By the time the song ended the Captain was in tears and Lorien dropped her guitar and wrapped her arms around him.

The Captain spoke between massive heaves of breath "Angels really shouldn't…sing for mortals"

Lorien smiled and picked up the guitar, handing it to the Captain "Break is over, let's hear those chords again."

"Yes ma'am."

1 More on that later

2 which she was


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