32. Stolen Moments
Chapter 32 – Stolen Moments
A few days had passed now. After her ordeal, Rhavaniel was offered one of the King's rooms, a gift from Théoden himself who had heard of her great strength and loss. Antien checked on her regularly and often stayed, offering her comfort to ward of her nightmares. On this particular morning, Rhavaniel lay in the arms of her friend. It had been a long time since she felt safe enough to completely give into her reverie. Antien was lying back against the headboard of one of the beds reserved for the Kings' family, sunk back in the oversized pillows, eyes closed and deep in his own dream world. Rhavaniel's head rested upon his chest. They both wore only their leggings and loose undershirts. It was a stolen moment for them both so they took advantage of it.
Rhavaniel's dreams were restless at first. Visions of the recent war invaded her mind. The faces of fallen warriors haunted her, especially the elves. There were so many. And then there was Haldir for whom she now grieved. His last words came back to her time and time again. He had loved her, something she never wanted to hear. Maybe it was because she could never tell him the same or maybe it was because she did not want to admit that a part of her had loved him too. Damn him she thought. Even in death, he affected her. Yet there was something else he said to her that played heavily in her mind at the moment. He told her to seek out Legolas, that this was her destiny. At the time, it seemed preposterous but here recently she began to think of the Prince. He was still here, somewhere in the broken fortress of Helm's Deep. She wondered why he had not sought her out yet, not even to see how she faired. Why would he though. Had he not told her they went in separate directions now, grown apart? Still, she longed to see him, to look upon his handsome face and find some kind of relief from her grief. Times were so much different back then, back in the Great Greenwood. Rhavaniel allowed herself this reprieve. She let her thoughts relax and took herself to a time when they were much in love, before war, before uncertainty. Then they just lived for the moment, enjoying each other's company. She needed to give her grief a break. This was war and death was imminent, but it was over now and life went on.
She dreamt of Legolas taking her in his arms, holding her lovingly, stroking her long golden hair. Her cheek rested upon his bare chest as she listened to his breathing, slow and steady. Sometimes he would sing and his voice would resonate through her. These were the times she loved the most and the ones she cherished. Rhavaniel would take in his scent, like new spring in the early morning. Her hand lingered along his lean chest, fingers memorizing every ripple and muscle. He kissed her head, moaning to her touch. Her hand wandered lower to his abdomen, circling his belly button before disappearing beneath the sheet. Her favorite spot was the line of fine blond fuzz that ran down to his hardening desire. She would tease him, coming so close then moving her hand along his thigh. She could feel him smiling against the top of her head. His light moans told her he was enjoying her caresses. Her hand slowly came to the bulge in his pants. His hips moved forward, needing to feel more of her firm grip.
Rhavaniel could not help but notice how different he felt. He was much larger than she remembered. Of course, this was only a dream and it had been a long time since they were last together. She cupped her hand over his hardened cock, feeling him come alive beneath the confining material. He moaned and it made her blood race. Lifting her head, she made her way up closer to lay delicate kisses upon his neck while she stroked him through the wool of his leggings. He felt so warm, so real. It was as if he was right next to her. He was responding to her and it was driving her mad with desire.
"Oh Legolas." she whispered into his neck while he simultaneously whispered to her…
All movement seized.
Slowly the friends opened their eyes as they came out of their reverie. Rhavaniel still held him in her hand as she looked up and realized who it belonged to.
Antien's smile disappeared as he looked down at Rhavaniel. Just as her hand flew out from under the covers, Antien scrambled out of the bed and onto his feet. Rhavaniel's mouth was agape as she looked at Antien. Then her eyes traveled down to a very large bulge in his tight leggings. His eyes followed hers and he realized that it was not Glandur who was bringing him such pleasure. He immediately pulled on the ends of his shirt, trying to cover himself. However, it was only his undershirt and it would not stretch to where he wanted it. With a look of terror on his face, he glanced around the room for something that would hide his embarrassment. Thinking quickly, Rhavaniel picked up one of the pillows and threw it at him, which he gladly caught and covered himself with. Then he looked to see what affect he might have had on her and found her shirt had shifted in the scuffle. Her left breast was exposed, spilling out of her loose fitting shirt. Antien stared momentarily at her hardened pink nipple and supple tit. She gasped and grabbed the sheet, pulling it up to her chin after following his gaze. The moment seemed to last for hours as they stared opened mouthed at each other.
Rhavaniel recovered quickly as it all sunk in. This was Antien not some unknown elf. This was her best friend. Still, he looked terrified and she suddenly felt the urge to tease. She raised an eyebrow as a devilish grin spread across her lips. "Never knew you had it in you." she jested.
Antien, not being one to back down, looked back with his own impish grin. "And you will definitely never have IT in you."
Rhavaniel picked up another pillow and threw it hard, hitting him in the head. Suddenly they burst into a fit of laughs. After they calmed, Antien went back to the bed and sat next to her. They both leaned back into the pillows, legs stretched out in front of them and ankles crossed.
"Legolas?" Antien asked casually.
"Um hmm." she agreed. "Glandur?"
"Of course." he answered.
After a long silence, Rhavaniel laid her head on Antien's shoulder. "How did you know Glandur was your soul mate?"
Antien smiled as he remembered their first meeting. "It was just a look; just a glance but I felt the connection right away. There was something in his eyes and in his smile that told me he was the one."
"How romantic." she said dreamily. "I have never felt that."
"Rhavaniel, your love for Legolas is different. You are one of the few blessed to be able to get to know your love over your lifetime. Not everyone meets their soul mate the day they are born. When that happens, it is a slow and gradual process. I think it is the most beautiful way to fall in love."
"It was not easy Antien. It's still not. I think we have spent more time loathing one another instead of loving. Now, things are so different. I have to question whether he is the one."
Antien took her hand in his. "Is it because of Haldir?"
"Whatever Haldir and I shared was confusing, even dark at times. It was not love, at least for me. It was only about killing and fighting, feeling each other's energy and life force as we battled the enemy. But for him, it developed into more. He loved me Antien. He loved me but I could not return the feelings. I can't help but feel like led him on, led him to his death."
"Do not think that way Rhavaniel. Haldir knew your heart belonged to another. I think other's feel this love more than you do. It emanates from you constantly. You have not given it a chance."
"Neither one of us has. When we were together, I felt I was not myself. Legolas loved me for who I was then, for what I was. I never felt like I was my true self with him. Once I discovered that part of me, I felt his reserve. He did not appreciate what I had become. I'm not sure he can ever love me as I am now." As she spoke, a tear filled the corner of her eye and slowly rolled down her cheek.
Antien pulled her to him, cradling her in his arms. "You will never know if you do not speak with Legolas."
"I don't think this is the time. He has too many other worries. His path leads elsewhere. The last thing he needs is any difficulties from me."
Antien's heart broke to hear her talk like this. He leaned over and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Rest some more mellon nin." he whispered and got up from the bed.
Rhavaniel watched him as he put on his tunic and boots. "Where are you going?"
"I… am going to look for Glandur… thanks to you." he said as he adjusted the laces of his leggings.
Rhavaniel laughed and then sat up. "Maybe it is time I got up too. I need to find out what is happening."
"No, no. You stay here and rest. Depending on our next task, it might very well be a long while before you have the comfort of such a wonderful bed. Glandur will know what happens. I will find out and come back, though it might be a while." he said with a wicked smile.
Rhavaniel smiled and lay back down onto the soft pillows. "Thank you Antien. I am so lucky to have you as my best friend."
Antien winked and slipped out of the door.
Rhavaniel closed her eyes and after a while went back into reverie. She was just about to enter a dream state when she felt someone gently caressing her hair and twirling a strand in their lengthy fingers. "Antien, you should be with Glandur now. Do not worry about me." she said before opening her eyes. When she did, she found it was not Antien at her side.
"Legolas." she said surprised.
"Hello Rhavaniel. I heard you were here and I came to check on you. I'm sorry if I disturbed you."
Slowly she sat up. "No. I have rested long enough." She looked him up and down. "How are you? How do you fair?"
"A few cuts and bruises but nothing serious. And how do you feel?"
"I am fine." she said unconvincingly. In all actuality, she was not fine. She was beginning to feel very worn. The war and the fighting had taken its toll on her. "Have you heard word from anyone, Mirkwood or Lorien?"
"Most of your Lorien warriors are going back to their home to honor the fallen. Glandur leads most of his troops back to Mirkwood, though a few have agreed to stay and follow the King of Rohan as a sign of good faith."
Rhavaniel couldn't help but notice how Legolas called Lorien her warriors. Did he no longer think of her as kin of Mirkwood?
"What will you do now Rhavaniel?" Legolas asked.
"I will go where I am needed most." she said looking deep into Legolas' eyes. Having him so close to her again stirred up many old feelings of love and need, a longing for the days of their youth. Too long had she followed the path of the warriors without a break. If he asked her, she would go with him just to feel close to him again. Her pride kept her from telling him this though. "And you, where will you go? Will you now go back to Mirkwood with the rest?"
Legolas was reluctant to tell her. Of course, he had no intension of going home. His place was with the fellowship. Their mission changed and led them to much darker places. The rest of the journey was full of peril. "A message has been sent from Lord Elrond. Aragorn must take a new path now but to do so he must claim his title, his destiny."
"And you will follow him won't you? You will go instead of following Glandur and the others back to Mirkwood." she said disappointed.
"I have sworn an oath. You know this. You were there."
"Will you not tell me where you go?" she asked.
Legolas hesitated but would not hold information from her. "Aragorn must follow the Paths of the Dead."
Rhavaniel sat up completely and swung her legs over the side of the bed. "It is said that none return who take that path. Why would Elrond send him into such peril?"
"It is all part of a bigger plan, one that will lead us to victory… should all go well."
Rhavaniel again looked Legolas deep in his brilliant blue eyes. There was something there she had not seen before, uncertainty and fear. It was buried deep but she felt it. She reached out and took his chin in her fingers. "There is something you do not tell me. What else did this messenger say?"
Legolas knew what she saw. It was true of course. There was another message, one meant only for him from the Lady Galadriel. It was a warning about his future should he choose to stay with the fellowship. He took her hand in his, lowering it from his face and bringing it to his lips. His kiss was gentle, warm. The kind of kiss they had shared many times when they first fell in love. He turned her hand over and kissed her palms, noticing the callouses that were not there the last time he held her hand. He hesitated.
Rhavaniel took notice of this and pulled her hand from him. "Legolas, please…"
He turned his eyes towards her and with a furrowed brow watched the worry and confusion on her face. "Is there nothing left for us now? Is there not even the slightest hint of what we once had in your heart?"
She wanted to tell him that she never stopped loving him, that she wanted him more than anything. Still, their paths were leading in different directions. He had an oath to fulfill and she… well, that was still yet to be determined, but it would not be with him.
When she did not answer right away, Legolas knew there was still doubt in her mind. "Some things have not changed it seems. You still fear to let go of your heart." he said looking away from her to gaze out of an open window. He stood up from the bed and walked to the window, sitting on the sill. "I am sorry Rhavaniel. You must still grieve for Haldir and it is not right of me to…"
"I never loved him." she whispered. The room was deathly quiet. "I know you will never understand this, but what Haldir and I had was not love. It is true. I gave myself to him. It's just that the battle-lust was too strong and…"
"You do not need to explain. I have learned more about this deviance. I know you did not go looking for it."
"We did not know until our first battle. It was so strong Legolas. I was not myself when I… when he… when we…" She could not go on. Rhavaniel bowed her head, ashamed to look at the Prince. "It was necessary that first time."
"First time? Then there were others?"
She was beginning to feel backed into a corner with his questions. "What about you then? In Lorien? You ran off and instead of confronting me you went to the arms of another." Her voice was venomous. "Was that out of necessity?"
"I have regretted that decision ever since it happened. I was angry and wanted revenge. The she-elf was there at the pool and seduced me. Of course, I take responsibility too. I could have stopped her, but all I kept thinking of was you and him, your bodies touching and neither one backing away. It was then that I knew you changed. I had felt it ever since seeing you again at the borders of Lorien, but I denied the fact. You are not the same elleth who was with me in Imladris. I have to admit that I do not even know you now."
Rhavaniel got up from the bed and went to join Legolas at the window. "I too regretted my actions. That part of me was not who I wished to be. But the warrior you have seen, that is who I have always yearned to be Legolas. It has always been buried deep within me, begging to be set free. I would not have had such freedom in Mirkwood. My father, even you wanted me to be something I could not. Do not deny it Legolas. Even though you helped me more than anyone else, deep down you would rather have had me kept in the palace."
"You said it yourself Rhavaniel. I helped you. So why would you think that I wanted to hinder you too. I loved you and would do anything for you to make you happy. I would have bound my soul to you had you only agreed." he said with a slightly raised voice.
"You are not looking at the bigger picture. Do you actually think I could have married you and still kept my warrior status? Do you think your father would have his son's new bride patrolling the borders and risking her life, his only son who he loves more than life itself… who would fade if his soul mate perished while on duty? It would never have happened Legolas and for you to think otherwise is foolish." Rhavaniel stopped and took a deep breath. She could deny her feelings no longer. "I loved you then and… I love you just as much now. I have thought about you every day since I left Imladris. I felt you when you were in deepest turmoil." She turned to him taking his hands in hers and looking at them, studying them as if she would never be this close to him again. "We already share a common bond Legolas. We have since we were mere elflings. What we have is special and I never want to lose that. But for now, we have to take different directions and only Eru knows if we will meet again when all is said and done."
At that moment, Legolas thought about the warning from Galadriel. Though he was not completely sure what it meant, he knew if he came out alive, he would have changed also… just like Rhavaniel. His heart longed to tell her. Rhavaniel needed to know if something did happen to him and he did not return, but the words stuck in his throat. "Rhavaniel, I…" he started but stopped when he saw the love in her eyes. It was still there despite all that had happened. "I…" he tried again. "I love you Rhavaniel. I just want you to know this for it may be a very long time before we meet again."
Slowly, Legolas tilted his head and lowered it. They leaned into each other until their lips were almost touching. Then he whispered. "I will always love you and only you." Their lips came together and it felt as if it were their first kiss. A spark ignited and spread throughout both of their bodies. His mind raced to memorize her soft sweet lips. It was the one part of her that spoke nothing of warrior.
Rhavaniel melted under his spell. Only Legolas could have this effect on her. His warmth and his love seeped into her very soul, healing her broken spirit. If she never saw battle again, it would be worth it only to have this one moment with him.
They parted lips and came back to look longingly into each other's eyes. Legolas smiled and reached for a loose strand of her golden hair. He twirled it around his finger. "This… I have missed."
Rhavaniel giggled but then saw a change deep in his eyes. Something bothered her about him. "There is something you are not telling me Thranduilion." she said with harshness in her tone.
Legolas knew she was serious when she called him by that name. However, this was something he could not discuss with her at the moment. He unraveled the length of hair from around his finger and tucked it behind her ear, brushing his hand along the outer edge as he did. "There is nothing for you to worry about. I only worry for our safe return. This next path is full of great dangers and uncertainty as the Lady Galadriel has foreseen." Then he bowed his head. "It is a lot to take when you know of your future." he whispered. Had he said too much?
Rhavaniel wrapped her arms around his waist and laid her head on his chest. "Galadriel's visions are of only one path. It is your choice whether to take it or not." Her words meant more to Legolas than she would ever know. "See this as an advantage to your situation."
Legolas let the thought of his future sink away as he reveled in the feel of her arms holding him tightly. "I wish we had more time. I feel like I have just found you and already I must leave."
"We will meet again. Of this I am sure, though I know not where." Just then, there was a knock on the door. "Come in." she called.
Glandur entered through the door, an obvious glow about his handsome face. Rhavaniel smiled and withheld a laugh. "I see Antien found you."
The tips of his pointed ears blushed with a tinge of pink. Legolas crinkled his brow, confused by the obvious secrecy between the two. Glandur could not hide a faint smile. Of course, she knew. She was his lover's best friend. Finally, Glandur found his voice. "Rhavaniel may I have a word with you? I believe I may be of help as to where you will be needed next."
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.