41. Chapter 41
I was lying on my back and felt softness beneath me. My body felt heavy, no longer weightless as it had been. The air smelled familiar. What was it? Oh yes, coffee, bacon and was that… burnt toast invading my nostrils? Breakfast in heaven? I thought angels didn't need to eat, or maybe they lived off of the clouds. I laughed to myself and recognized my voice for the first time in a long while. Where was I and what was going on? I took a deep breath, as if I hadn't breathed properly in a long time. The smells of summer filled my head. Was there summer in heaven? I didn't even think there was a change of seasons. Maybe heaven was what we wanted it to be.
I began to stir, able to finally move my fingers and toes. This must be what it feels like to wake from a coma. It felt like I had been asleep for ages. As I moved more and more muscles, I felt them ache. Hey, there isn't supposed to be pain in heaven. What was going on here?
Slowly, I let my eyes flutter and get used to the light in the room. Hey, this was my room. What the…
"Hello little one." said a very familiar voice.
My vision was still a little blurred but I knew who spoke. "Legolas, is that you?" I rubbed my eyes and blinked. There he was, standing next to my… bed? Was I home or was I allowed to stay in Valinor? Maybe they designed a replica of my house like they did with Legolas' wooded home. "Am I still alive?"
He laughed in a deep voice as if relieved to see me awake. "You had us worried for a little while. You have slept long, much longer than I thought a human could. But then, you have been through a very trying experience."
I sat up on my elbows and forced my muscles into action. They were complaining by aching. I moaned and Legolas sat down on the edge of my bed. "You mustn't try to get up yet. Give yourself some time."
I shook my head. "Bull crap." I said out of frustration. "What the hell is going on here Legolas? Am I dead or what? Where the hell am I?"
"You are home of course." he said matter-of-factly. "Where else would you be? Truly, sometimes I do not understand humans."
Well, if he was trying to get me pissed off, he was doing a pretty damn good job of it. "Oh, we must still be in your world because you only act this cocky when you're home. You know, there's nothing wrong with us 'humans'. Maybe it's you 'elves' that have the problem." As you can tell, I never was a morning person. Neither did I like surprises or being left in the dark.
"Is she awake?" said another voice.
"Yes, but I'm afraid she's a bit testy this morning. Is she always this way when she wakes from her slumber?" Legolas said jokingly.
"Afraid so, but you get used to it after a while." said a man. I knew that voice and stretched my neck to see around Legolas. He moved to the side so as not to block my view.
"Ethan." I cried cry as every emotion ran through my head. "Ethan, are you alright. I was so worried. I heard gunshots and…" I noticed the confused look on his face. Then suddenly what I said dawned on him.
"Oh… I had forgotten. It happened so long ago. I'm fine. It was just a flesh wound. You can't even see the scar now."
"Scar?!" I said, totally confused.
Legolas looked at Ethan and smiled. "Do you want to tell her or shall I?"
Ethan walked the rest of the way into my room and put a hand on Legolas' shoulder. "Will you give us a moment? I think I have some explaining to do, Lucy." he said and laughed. It was a phrase we always used with each other when we were first dating.
Legolas got up from the bed, shaking his head. "I am still unsure of the 'Lu-cee' person you speak of." he said then laid a hand on my cheek. "Welcome home little one." he whispered and kissed my forehead. Then he turned and left the room.
Ethan came over and took Legolas' spot on the bed. "You are home now. This is your house, your room. I am fine. Clyde got a shot off but it barely missed me. The bullet only grazed my arm thanks to your friend Dwain. He showed up just in time and knocked Clyde's gun away as he was shooting. I then fired off a warning shot to the others who in turn dropped their weapons. When I turned to see where you were, I just caught a glimpse of you disappearing into a bright light between the trees, and then you just vanished. Dwain saw it too and I told him everything you told me. I made him swear to not tell anyone, not even Mac. He was true to his word. I was so scared though. You were gone and I couldn't follow you. But something deep down told me you were safe and that Legolas would take care of you. I just knew he'd bring you back one day. I have waited a long time for this moment. I missed you so much. I'm glad your back."
Ethan knew me so well. It was evident in the way he didn't sugar coat anything and just came out and told me everything that happened. Still, there was one thing that went unanswered. "How long was I gone? It couldn't be more than a couple of days." I said shaking my head.
"Sweetie, you've been gone for almost a year." he said as if I should have known already.
"What? A year. No it can't be. It's only been what, two, three days at the most?" I argued.
He rolled up his sleeve to show me the gunshot wound. "See? If it was only a couple days, there would still be a wound. Nothing but a slight scar now."
I was totally confused. "Well, if I've been gone for that long then how is it I still have a house, the farm and… why are you here?"
"I didn't know how long you'd be gone. After a while, I decided that it was up to me to take care of your land. I got with Dwain and he helped me at first. I learned about the 'business end' of running a farm and I just took over in your absence. Of course, the hardest thing was thinking up a story and convincing Mac of the reason you were gone. We told him you came into some money from a great uncle who died and you had to travel to Ireland where he lived. I thought it was stupid and would never work but Mac bought it. Not too bright that one." Ethan laughed.
I was in shock. "You mean you've lived here all this time? What about your business?"
"Well, I gave it to someone else to run for a while. She did such a good job I didn't need to be there twenty four/seven. Let's just say, the realty business has been prosperous this year." he said smiling.
"You gave up city life to live here and take care of my farm? I… I don't know what to say Ethan. Thank you. Thank you so much."
"You know, I've spent enough time here to know what it is that you found so special about it. This land is truly magical. There's nothing like waking up every morning to the different sounds and smells of country life. I never thought I'd say this, but I love it here."
O.K. Now I was thoroughly convinced that I was dead or at least still in a coma. "Pinch me." I said. "Because what you just said makes no sense." Ethan just laughed but I was serious. "You mean to tell me that you would consider moving from the city and finding a place out here?" He nodded. "But what about your business? You love realty. Hell, you love the city."
"Maybe this is my chance to expand the business. What about this, I'll buy a nice chunk of land and get some developers to build beautiful country homes on five acre lots. Each one will have a lot of trees left for the owner to decide what they want to do with them. Of course some trees will need to be cut down to make way for the homes, but we won't mention that to Legolas." he laughed. "It will be beautiful. People will be jumping at the chance to own a bit of land."
Here we go again. I knew it was too good to be true. "Ethan, I will never sell my land. You know, just when I think you've changed…" He shut me up with a fiery kiss.
"I am not talking about your land. I would never ask such a thing. It just so happens there was a good piece of acreage that went up for sale at a killer price." An evil smile spread across his face. "Clyde Carson, remember him? That night you left, after everything died down, Dwain and I went to the cops. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. Seems old Clyde had been causing a lot of trouble. He was arrested and that's how they found out that he'd been skimping on paying his taxes. He went to jail and his property was seized. It recently went up for auction and guess who bought it?" He sat there smiling and beaming from ear to handsome ear.
"You bought his land?" I said amazed by this story.
"The papers are being drawn up as we speak."
"You're serious?" I said disbelievingly.
"I kid you not. Looks like we might be neighbors after all." he said.
"Neighbors? But I thought you would live with…" I was interrupted by a knock on my bedroom door.
"May I come in?" It was Legolas.
"Sure." Ethan said.
Legolas came in with a cup of coffee, bacon and a burnt piece of toast. "Your toaster does not seem to work properly. I'm afraid it burned the bread."
There was something strange in hearing an elf talk about a broken toaster. I sat up and he handed me the tray. Along with the food was a vase with a daisy in it. I smiled and looked at Legolas. He winked and we knew what it was all about. I ate my breakfast and listened to Ethan and Legolas exchange stories about Valinor and city life. That was one strange conversation, let me tell you. Then when Legolas saw I was finished, he stood and took my tray.
"I hate to bring this little gathering to an end, but I'm afraid I must be going. I was only given so much time in your world. The last portal awaits its closing."
My heart sunk to hear him say this. He had to go home now and I would probably never see him again. Our adventures were about to come to an end. I forced myself out of bed and shook off the dizziness. "Well, I for one am going with you."
"No, you must stay here. You are still too weak." Legolas argued.
"Don't you know it's not polite to disrespect the traditions of someone else's home? I'm going Legolas. I won't have you leave by yourself and not see you off properly." I said as I swayed a bit.
"There's no arguing with her Legolas. I'll go too." Ethan said as he caught my arm.
"Very well, but I must leave soon." he said and left the room.
Ethan got my clothes together and let me dress in private. By the time I was done, I had my strength back and was feeling pretty good. Legolas and Ethan were waiting for me in the living room. "O.K. Let's go."
They both looked at me as if I had grown a second head. "What?" I said, annoyed. I guess they didn't think I had it in me.
Legolas laughed. "You will never cease to amaze me mellon nin. An-uir thiad gin 'ell. [Ever is your presence a joy.]"
I laughed. "You don't know how glad I am that I have no clue of what you just said." Legolas and I laughed together, leaving Ethan looking at us like we were heading out for the funny farm.
* * *
We were now at the circle of trees and the light was emanating from them. My heart was heavy with sadness. I looked at Ethan and kissed his cheek. "Give me a moment alone with him?" I asked sheepishly.
Ethan nodded and I went to Legolas embracing him in a tight hug. Ethan stood back a little ways and turned from us to give us our private moment. Legolas tucked a stray hair behind my ear. "You know I will always love you. You have stolen a piece of my heart and it will forever belong to you."
"And I will always love you and hold you dear to my heart. Thank you Legolas. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for being my friend and for understanding me. I will never forget you." I said as a tear rolled down my cheek.
Legolas kissed me one last time. It was neither of friendship nor of passion. It was of simple love that would never fade. I held onto it as long as I could and then we separated. We looked deep into each other's eyes one last time and his gaze captured my very soul. "You will always be my magic man." I said and smiled.
Legolas laughed slightly and cocked his head to the side, eyebrows pushed down to form a crease between them. "Now that everything is said and done, will you tell me your name at last?"
I giggled. "My name is… You know, maybe it's better this way." I reached up and kissed his cheek. "Goodbye Legolas Thranduilion." He just stood there shaking his head and smiling.
Ethan then turned and came to us. He held his hand out to Legolas and they shook. Then Legolas put his hand on his heart and bowed. "Thank you my friend, for all you have done. May you both find your love for each other to be strong and everlasting." Legolas said and headed for the trees. Then he stopped briefly. "I have left you a gift but it won't be seen until the first frost of winter. Look for it here, in the ring of trees. Goodbye my friends." he said and entered the trees.
Ethan and I watched as he stepped into the light. Then I saw her. Minaethiel was waiting there in the light. She waved to me and I waved back. Then Legolas embraced her and lowered his head to meet hers. They kissed passionately and my heart sang joyfully. "That's her, Ethan. That's Legolas' wife, Minaethiel. Isn't she beautiful?" I said mesmerized by her fairness.
"She's no more beautiful than you." Ethan said and my attention was drawn to him. He was no longer standing, but kneeling on one knee. In his hand, he held a small white box. "I think there is no better place than this very spot for me to do this." he said as he opened the box and took out a beautiful diamond ring. He held it up to me and said, "I want to be here with you, on this land, in this forest. I want to raise our children here. I want everything that you want my love. Will you make me the happiest man on earth and be my wife?"
Now I was really crying. I reached down and helped Ethan to stand. I cupped my hands around his face and looked him deep in his eyes. This time I was the one capturing him. "Yes Ethan. Nothing would make me happier than to marry you. I love you so much. You have my heart and my soul for all eternity." I said. He slipped the ring on my finger and I wrapped my arms around him. He picked me up and twirled me around. When he set me back down, we both looked at the ring of cedars. Legolas and Minaethiel had witnessed the whole thing and they were smiling at us. We waved to each other one last time before the light faded and they were gone. The portal was finally closed for good. I would miss Legolas dearly, but I had a future full of love and promise to look forward to.
Oh, and about the gift, Ethan and I went back to the cedars after the first frost and growing in the spot where the light emanated from was a beautiful plant full of snowdrop shaped flowers. "Niphredil." I said and smiled. Later I explained it to Ethan. We decided to keep our little present a secret. It is the only place on this earth where this plant grows and it's still there. I think of Legolas every time I see it.
* * *
I did a lot of growing up in those early years of my life. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I would never have missed the chance to meet my elusive stranger, my friend, my elf, my magic man.
Come on home girl, he said with a smile.
I cast my spell of love on you, a woman from a child.
Try to understand.
Try to understand.
Try, try, try to understand.
He's a Magic Man…
Magic Man - Heart, 1976
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.