22. Chapter 22
I woke up the next morning with the worst hangover and a backache. I forgot to bring my sleeping bag and slept on the hard wooden floor of the tree house. I blinked my eyes as they adjusted to the light. My tongue felt as if I had licked a cat, or maybe it was a raccoon. I looked around at all the empty beer cans. Oh yeah, that's why my head hurts.
I slowly got up, head spinning and pounding, and rubbed my eyes. I was getting too old for this crap. Still, it was fun to hang out with everyone. Next time I'll leave the beer at home. As I sat there trying to remember where I left my truck keys, I heard splashing. I guess I wasn't the only one who stayed out here last night. I thought I had seen everyone leave though. Mac and Dwain were the last ones to head back. 'Dwain' I thought. 'If that little bastard stayed around to cop a feel while I was passed out…' I suddenly remembered parts of a very sensual dream I had. Someone was kissing me and speaking to me. I couldn't remember all of it. 'Damn it Dwain.' I thought.
I became very angry to think he snuck back here and did who knows what while I was sleeping. I heard more water moving. Someone was swimming. It must be Dwain. I was ready to kill him. I got on my hands and knees, since that was as far as I could go at the moment, and looked out of the window of the tree house. I saw ripples in the pond. Someone was swimming down there. I knew it was Dwain. He swam in that pond more than any of us. He was on the swim team back in high school. I could just make out a shape of someone swimming just below the surface. 'I'm gonna kick your ass.' I thought to myself while I watched. He swam over to the opposite side of the pond and stopped. He lifted his head out of the water and my heart skipped a beat. It wasn't Dwain. I squint my eyes thinking they were deceiving me. Blond hair, glowing white skin, well defined chest; it was him. It was my magic man. It was Legolas. I almost didn't recognize him but it could be no other. No one looked as ethereal as him. My heartbeat raced as I watched from the tree house window. He sat at the edge of the pond for a moment before he took off swimming again. His body cut through the water like a fish. He was sleek in form and he glowed just below the surface. He swam over to a big rock near the bank. That's when I noticed his clothes lying on top. He was skinny-dipping. My heart couldn't take it and my glassy hung over eyes were in disbelief.
Legolas stood up out of the water. I have never seen such a well-toned fine specimen as him before. Let me tell you, there was nothing out of place on that man. He had his back to me and I gawked at his tight little rear end. I traced up his back watching the muscles move under his skin. His arms, and my favorite part of the male body, were slightly muscled too. Not in the way of a weight lifter though. They looked like the arms of a hard working man. He got that way from years of doing whatever it is that he does. And whatever he was doing, it was definitely doing things to me right now. That man should be etched in stone and put in a museum somewhere. He was the example of pure perfection. I shocked myself as I felt an ache growing deep within my body while I watched him gather his things. He reached in a pack of some sort and pulled out a comb. He was leaning on the rock with his back to me, combing his hair and humming a tune. I could have sat there for hours just watching him and listening to his beautiful voice.
He gently combed his long silken hair with half-closed eyes. I continued to observe every move he made and stopped breathing when I noticed something strange. I found his imperfection. His ears, something was wrong with his ears. They looked normal but for the way they made a point at the top. I rubbed my eyes and squinted again. Maybe I was seeing things. Nope, they were definitely pointed. What the hell? Who has pointed ears except Mr. Spock from Star Trek*. I had an uncle who thought he had them surgically made to look that way. I thought he was crazy until now. This guy had pointed ears. I was flabbergasted at first but the more I looked at them, the more curious I became. I wondered what they felt like. Did it make his hearing better or worse than mine? What was the advantage to having pointed ears except to look like some kind of a freak? A very handsome, sexy, body that just won't quit kind of freak.
But Legolas was not from this world. He traveled here through some portal thingy. I always assumed that he was human but from a different time or something. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe he's not human after all. Besides his ears, the way his fair skin seems to glow makes him unique. He speaks differently from the guys I know. And his eyes are so radiantly blue. They even change color depending on his mood. I remembered them being darker when he was in pain but crystal clear like the summer sky when he was happy. I came to the conclusion that Legolas was not a man. I didn't know what he was but it was definitely something beyond my understanding.
Eventually, I'm sorry to say, he got dressed and headed off back into the woods. I wondered where he was going. Was he going back to the portal? I wanted to follow him so I quickly climbed down the ladder. I looked around until I saw a glimpse of gold and went in that direction. I would find out where he came from one way or another.
Very carefully and very quietly, I followed Legolas from a distance. He was going deeper and deeper into the woods. Even I never wandered this far in. I became concerned. Hunters had been known to leave traps set this far back. Every now and then, I'd lose sight of him but then I'd see a flash of his golden head and knew I was still on track. Suddenly, something flew out of a bush that I was hiding next to. I gasped and looked only to find it was a bird I scared away. I turned back and Legolas was gone. I watched for movement but saw none. I took my eyes off him for one second and now I'd lost him. It was easy to do here. The trees grew close together and there was a lot of underbrush.
After a few moments and seeing no movement, I decided to head back the way I came. I didn't like being this far out and I was cautious. Any little noise made me weary. I was so busy following Legolas that I didn't pay attention to how far I had really gone.
There was a rustling of leaves in a near by bush. Then there was the call of a bird in the tree above me. My mind wandered back to the night I saved Legolas. What if Clyde Carson or some of his men were out checking traps? I surely didn't want to run into him again, not after the way I took his gun and threatened him. So far, I had avoided him and hoped he forgot about the whole thing.
I quickened my pace and started to panic. Another sound of some animal I didn't recognize swept past my ears. I had to get out of here. I had to get back to the forest I knew. My mind played tricks on me as I felt someone was chasing me. I gave into my anxiety and stopped to turn around and check. Nobody was there. I took a deep breath and turned back to my original position only to run into a tree that wasn't there just a second ago. It was a tall, greenish-brown, leathery tree and it had arms like… Wait a minute. It wasn't a tree.
"Why are you following me, little one." he said.
I felt his strong hands gripping my upper arms and keeping me in place. I knew I couldn't get away no matter how hard I struggled so I didn't even try. I slowly looked up to see my captor and came upon dark blue wild eyes.
"Legolas!" I said partly surprised, partly relieved.
Instantly he eyes softened to their natural blue shade. "Why do you follow me?" he asked for a second time, now with compassion.
"I haven't seen you in months and I came upon you back by the pon…" Oops, I just let the cat out of the bag.
A slight bit of shock and then mischief crossed his countenance. "Well, you should know better than to follow and El…"
It seems he made his own slip of the tongue. I cocked an eyebrow. "I should not follow what?" I jested. I was testing him.
He tilted his head and the corners of his mouth upturned, exposing dimples I did not know was there before. "You came upon me where?"
He had me there. "Never mind." I said and he released his grip, turning me loose. I looked him over. "I almost didn't recognize you without those bandages on your head. How are you?"
"I am fully healed." he said. Then he unexpectedly took my chin in his fingers. "I am deeply sorry for the way I left. It has been a burden on my heart for I have never behaved with such disrespect to one who has shown such generosity." He released my chin and put his hand over his heart. With a slight bow of his head he said, "Please forgive me my lady."
My anger flared up a bit. First of all, he scared the daylights out of me and second, he helped me remember how hurt I was that he ran off without a word. As he stood before me with bowed head, I pushed him somewhat hard in the chest. He didn't even budge, as if he was an unmovable wall. My brain said I had better think twice before doing that again, but my temper got the best of me. "Don't you ever scare me like that again. I didn't even hear you come up behind me. How'd you do that anyway?"
He smiled at me again. "You remind me of a friend from long ago. She had the same fire as you." He held his arm out to me and I looked at it, not knowing what he wanted at first. Then he laughed and nodded while looking at his arm. "Let me escort you back to more familiar territory."
I did as he said and held his arm in my hand. My brain brought up the image of those strong arms with water dripping from them. I felt the muscles beneath his silky shirt. I had to get my mind off those visions. "So who was this friend of yours? What was her name?"
His smile never faded as his eyes searched around him as if conjuring up a vision of his friend. "Her name was Eowyn and she was a very tough, very strong and very kind-hearted woman. She was a warrior for her people and…" Legolas proceeded to tell me about this Eowyn woman. His details were a bit sketchy and I felt like he was holding back from telling me all the details. She was someone from his world and it seemed I was not allowed to know too much about this place. I didn't question him and only listened to his story. Before I knew it, we were back by the pond.
I looked down at his other hand and noticed his pack. "You look like you're here for a while." I said as he followed my stare.
"Yes. I have a task to do while I am here."
"How long will you stay?"
"Until I am finished or until the leaves fall."
"Well, where will you stay then?" I asked. Surely, he had some kind of shelter hidden around.
"I will stay here of course." he said raising his arms and looking around him. "The forest is my home."
The thought of him camping in the woods didn't seem very comfortable in my eyes. "I have room on my couch." I said innocently. What was I doing?
"I… I cannot. I must continue to concentrate on my main course. I mustn't become involved." His tone turned rather serious.
I knew what he was saying but I couldn't help joking around. "I'm not asking you to move in and pay half the rent and utilities. I just thought you might like a roof over your head. You know, a soft place to lie at night."
Another priceless expression crossed his face. I knew he had no idea what I just said. "Your language is very confusing sometimes. I have made a promise to come here for only one reason and that is to find something lost to my people long years ago. I'm sorry, but I must remain here, though if things were different," here he smiled again. "I would very much like to take up residence on your most agreeable resting place."
I rolled my eyes at him. "It's a couch, Legolas. You know, sometimes you speak strange too."
We approached the edge of the woods, Legolas following behind me. We had stopped at the tree house and I found my truck keys. It was time for me to get back to the house. I turned to Legolas once more. "Thank you for walking me back."
"It was my pleasure, my lady." Then he looked deep into my eyes. "It would gladden my heart to know your name."
I smiled mischievously. "I'll tell you my name if you promise to come visit me, at my home. I'll cook a big meal for you. You can't live on roots and berries." I laughed.
"You would be surprised." he answered. He said nothing else so I continued on to my truck.
"Hey, Legolas…" I called back and turned to find he was already gone without a sound. How did he do that?
*Star Trek, TV series from 1966-1969 and created by Gene Roddenberry
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.