34. Chapter 34
Legolas made his way back to the portal. His mind was in a frenzy with this latest news she had told him of Minaethiel. How dare she use the name of his long lost love to seduce him. He felt betrayed but by whom he could not say. Throughout the millennia, he thought she was taken away to live her life in solitude, against her will. Minaethiel loved him. She was willing to give him her soul. She would not have given it back to the Valar. It already belonged to him. Legolas needed answers and he needed them now.
As soon as he returned to his world, he marched right to his father's talan home and threw the door open. If anyone knew what had happened so long ago, it would be Thranduil.
"Legolas, why are you back so soon? Have you gotten any new information?" Thranduil asked. Soon, he saw the rage in his son's eyes and braced himself for what was about to take place.
"Adar, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and I have never questioned your rule. But I need you to tell me now what you know of Minaethiel's disappearance." Legolas said calmly.
"It is just as you have been told. She was sent away to proceed with her duties." Thranduil said with his head held high.
"There is more to this story. For centuries, you have told me the same thing over and over. Now I want the complete tale Adar. She was not taken away. She went back to Valinor didn't she?" Legolas' voice was slightly raised.
Thranduil cocked and eyebrow. "What have you heard and from who? And why, after such a long hiatus, do you speak of her again? She is gone, Legolas. She has been exiled."
Legolas took a deep breath as he placed both hands on his father's desk and bowed his head. Then, without warning, he slammed his fist down on the hard wooden top, making everything bounce. "SHE WENT WILLINGLY!" he yelled. "She was not taken as you say. But you already know this don't you. You have always known. I sense it now. You have kept this secret from me. Why father?"
There was no more hiding from the truth. Thranduil went to his chair and sat down as if defeated. "I'm sorry Legolas. I could not tell you because… I was the cause of her disappearance." he said in a whisper.
Legolas' face was full of hurt and anger. His own father, the mighty Woodland King was the reason that he lost his true love. "How could you?" he said slowly in a deep growl. "Why Adar? Why would you keep us apart? She was everything to me. She was my heart's desire. I loved her like no one else." His voice began to waver as if a lump were in his throat.
"My son, I knew what you asked of her that night. I knew you were going to bond before you left for your training. I could not let it happen. Minaethiel only ever had one path in Middle Earth and that was to observe. This was the reason she was born unto Middle Earth and the only reason for her existence. She would complete her task and then sail back to Valinor at a young age. If you bound your soul to hers, you would either fade when she left or you would follow her. I knew of your love for her. I knew you would follow her and I could not let that happen. When your mother died, you became my link to Middle Earth. If ever something happened to you, I would surely fade. This could not happen. Galadriel saw this fate and warned me of it. We both had our own parts to play in the world. I had to protect Mirkwood from the evil in the south and you had your own mission to accomplish. I knew of Elrond's council and the forming of the Fellowship before it even happened. You were meant to follow that path. The lives of Men and Elves, even Dwarves depended upon your choice to join in the quest for salvation from Sauron." Thranduil then got up and walked behind Legolas who was still leaning over the desk. "Tell me I am wrong, that you would not have bound your soul to Minaethiel that night. Tell me if you had seen the future would you not have done the same thing as I?"
Legolas' shoulders slumped and he sat down, his legs no longer able to support him. He buried his head in his hands. "So it is true. Minaethiel willingly gave her soul back to the Valar."
"I'm afraid so, ion nin. I could not tell you this for you would surely have faded. As long as you thought she was still out there, I knew you would not stop looking for her. It was a cruel decision on my part, but one that I felt I had no choice but to make."
* * *
That night, as Legolas lay in his reverie, he dreamt of Minaethiel. He saw her as she was the first day he met her. Now he felt he had wasted all the long years of his life looking for something that he would surely never find again.
"You have wasted nothing my love." said a distant voice. Legolas knew right away that it was Minaethiel. "I did the only thing I could. Never stop looking for me. Help me remember, Legolas. I cannot do this alone. Please find me and bring me back to you. I love you."
Minaethiel's voice faded away. Then he heard the words of his human friend. "She did it for you Legolas. She was exiled from your earth to go back to where she came from. She broke the rules, but her love for you was so strong that they gave her a second chance. She will be sent back but you must find her and she must remember you. Only then can the two of you be completely together again."
He had been so full of shock and rage, he hadn't heard what she had to say. Then he remembered how she felt in his arms. Why had he felt such a strong pull towards her all of a sudden? He was going to make love to her. What would have made him behave in such a way? Why would he have behaved so carelessly with someone else's feelings? Unless…
Legolas decided he needed to go back and find the woman again. He needed to apologize and then find out everything she knew. She had seen Minaethiel and his love had spoken to him through her. It was time to find the answer to this riddle.
* * *
My heart was broken as spring passed and turned into summer. Still there was no sign of Legolas. He must have gone back through the portal for good this time. I couldn't understand why he became so angry. I guessed it had something to do with what I said about Minaethiel willingly leaving him. From what he said, two elves that were madly in love as they were could never be separated. The fact that I told him otherwise must have been too much for him. I began to regret my decision to tell him about my vision at all. I felt responsible for his anguish. I hoped that every time I closed my eyes, I would see more of what happened. Maybe I could help find Minaethiel and bring her back to him. I had to regain his trust somehow, if I was ever meant to see him again.
It was the middle of July and I threw myself into farm life. I tried to forget about what transpired between Legolas and me that night. It would have been so easy to not say anything to him. Who knows what would have happened by now. Maybe we would be madly in love. Still, I knew he would find out eventually about my vision and then he would hate me for withholding information. Hell, I guess he hated me anyways. I knew he was not here because I couldn't feel him. It was such a strange sensation, to know when he was close. I must admit that I missed that feeling. I shook it off and got back to work. No matter how much I thought I wanted him, deep down I knew he was not mine. I knew his reaction that night was not for me. I was so closely connected to Minaethiel in that heated moment that it had affected Legolas to the point that he thought he was in love with me. What a strange and twisted thing to have happened. It was cruel, at least to me for I had such deep emotions for him. He made me feel things I have never felt before that night we were together. What I wouldn't give to be back in that warm bed with him hovering above me. I so wanted to finish what we started. What I did experience was magnificent. Well, it didn't matter now did it? Legolas had gone back home and I was alone once again. Or so I thought.
Like I said, I threw myself into my work, even going so far as to help Mac and Dwain with the harvesting of the wheat. I had finally gotten all my paperwork in order. The bills were all caught up and now I had time to get more involved with the hard labor. It's good to get your hands dirty from time to time. At least I knew I would sleep well at night and it helped me get my mind off of Legolas. As usual, the absence of his existence in this world made it easier to forget certain things about him, making everyday life a little easier.
* * *
And then, one day in late July, I got a phone call from none other than Ethan. We hadn't spoken since the previous winter. He said he was just thinking about me and wondered how I was doing.
"So, I got some vacation time coming up and… uh…" he stuttered. "I was thinking that maybe I'd come out your way for a visit."
I put the palm of my hand on my forehead. I didn't need this right now. I knew what he was doing. It was the same thing he tried to do on his last visit. He wanted to get back together. "Gee Ethan, you know, I'm so busy right now. I'm not sure I'd have much time to…"
"I promise to stay out of your hair. Hell, I'll even help out if you need me." he pleaded.
I was silent for a moment. "What's up Ethan?" I asked. He never voluntarily offered help before. He didn't even like country life to begin with. "I know you. Something's going on."
I heard him sigh on the other end of the line and then a slight humph sound. "You always did know me. Yeah alright. It's my folks. They just informed me that they're getting a divorce after thirty years of marriage. I can't believe it. I never knew there was anything wrong."
I know it might be cruel for me to think this, but it came as no surprise to me. I remember my visits to his parent's house in the suburbs. It was like a stuffy museum in that place. And his folks seemed so distant. They were like complete opposites of my parents who were never afraid to show their love for each other. "I'm so sorry to hear that Ethan. I can only imagine what you are feeling right now." I said sympathetically. "You know, I guess I could use the help around here. Come on out if you want. I don't mind."
"Thanks. I could really use a change of scenery right now."
I laughed. "Well, get ready to get dirty. You'll get no free rides around here. Gonna hafta work for yer supper." I said throwing on my southern drawl. I could really let it go when I wanted to.
I heard Ethan laugh on the other end. "O.K. I'll see you in a couple days. Hey, thanks again."
"No problem." I said and we hung up. It seemed we were both going through some rough times right now. I guess I needed Ethan around just as much as he needed me. We needed that comfort zone everyone talks about. I think we had both been outside of it for a while now and maybe we just needed some kind of familiar stability for a change.
* * *
Ethan showed up just like he said. The first thing I did was introduce him to Mac and Dwain since he was going to be helping out. When I told the guys about Ethan, Dwain wasn't too sure about it. He'd never met him but he knew what happened between us so long ago. I talked to the guys about Ethan and that we were friends now. Still, I had the feeling they would be watching his every move, like a couple of big brothers watching out for their little sister.
Mac and Dwain pushed him hard on learning the ways of farm life, but I think Ethan surprised them. He was a quick learner and caught on rather well. Actually, I was just as surprised. I never knew he had it in him. He seemed to really be enjoying himself.
After his first week, we were sitting on my front porch. "You've done a good job Ethan. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you've done this kind of thing before." I said as I walked out carrying four bottles of beer. I gave one to each of the guys and kept one for myself.
"Yeah, for a city boy, you've done alright there Eth." Mac said as he clinked bottles with Ethan. I had to laugh at the nickname they gave him.
"You're a decent fella." Dwain chimed in and clinked his own bottle with everyone.
"We make quite a team." I said and sat on the swing next to Ethan.
After some conversation and a couple more beers, Mac elbowed Dwain and winked. "We'd best be gettin' home now. We'll see ya'll Monday. Gotta get these bales into the barn before the rain comes next week." Mac said. Then he and Dwain did that manly handshake with Ethan, the one that guys always do. I think they came to accept him as one of them. He proved his worth and they respected that.
"I'll see you guys Monday then. Careful going home." I said as they jumped in their truck.
Ethan and I sat on the front porch swing in silence for a little while, listening to the crickets and frogs sing their nightly song. He swallowed the remainder of his beer then got up. "Well, I guess I'll be heading back to the hotel." He had been staying in town while he was here.
Suddenly, I didn't feel like being alone. Ethan and I were at a point where we were comfortable with each other's company again so I didn't see any harm in asking him this. "You know, it's a forty five minute drive back to town and you've been drinking. You can stay if you want. I'll put you in the spare room."
He seemed a little surprised. "I don't want to be a bother."
"Nonsense. I've got all this room. Hey we're friends right? That's what we do for each other. Come on, stay. I'll fix you something to eat."
Ethan smiled, like the way he used to when we were still dating and happy. "Alright. I'll stay." he said and we walked into the house. Just before I closed the door, I had a sensation that we were being watched. Then I remembered the strange look Mac and Dwain gave each other. Bet they were seeing if something would happen with Ethan and I. Losers.
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.