Author's Note: I'm sorry for not being able to update this sooner but I have been quite busy with work. There was a pile of marking for me to do and I was also driven to exhaustion when I had to key in their marks after. It took me hours to finish and I went home at ten o' clock at night. After that, there was the Career week that I had to be in charge of and go visit a chocolate factory with the students. It was boring and the only good thing was that we managed to buy loads of chocolates at a significantly cheaper price. In any case, I've been busy and I actually started writing this for a while already. I wrote the first part on April 13th.

I just wanted to report that I have begun reading The Lord of The Rings books and am now proudly reading The Two Towers! :D *pats self on back* So far, I am LOVING it! Legolas is kind of boring in the first book and I liked Boromir more in that one...Anyway, I am seriously happy that I've made the decision to read these books. Once I am done with LOTR, I will read The Silmarillion and then after perhaps The Children of Hurin and then The Hobbit. I'm also contemplating on getting one of those Guide-to-Tokien books so I can learn more about the people's culture and history. So much fun! :D

Disclaimer: I do not own The Lord of The Rings or any of its characters. The only things I own are my OCs which are few and they are Ithilwen, Gléowyn, Àinfean and Ithilwen's dead friends Haia and Angharad. The name Gléowyn I got from some website containing Rohirrim names for women. I liked it as it had something to do with music. Haia is similar cuz' I wanted a dwarf lady name. Angharad is actually a Welsh name commonly associated with Welsh royalty. I first heard it from a romance novel and I liked the name immediately. Oh, and Àinfean. His name was a Gaelic name if I'm not mistaken. I liked it cuz' it means Thunder something powerful and scary at the same time. I think it suits him.


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Chapter III: There Was an Army of Him

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Legolas did not like the way things had gone outside the cave. He was not someone who enjoyed reprimanding women even if they were incorrect with their information. He was also unaccustomed to treating injured, distressed women of any race with such cold and callous words and demeanour. Legolas was bewildered at his own odd reactions toward the elleth who had quite simply fallen onto his lap. Never before had any woman, Man or Elf, been able to make him feel so unlike himself. He was not his cool and composed self when he had spoken to her because he had clearly been annoyed. It was unnerving to see a female elf become so taken with his dwarf friend for never before had any elf treated a dwarf with such initial admiration. It just wasn't done amongst his people. Granted, he had grown to love his close friend Gimli but even so, Legolas knew he was an exception amongst elves and that there would be and already were a few elves who disapproved of his peculiar friendship with the stout dwarf.

Because he had completely given his heart over to Gimli in friendship, Legolas did not particularly fancy the opinions of other elves. He cared not what people would say about his friendship with Gimli for theirs was indeed a unique relationship, one he enjoyed having and was at first surprised to have gained. Let them wag their tongues over stupid, nonsensical prejudice (alright, well, perhaps it was not completely nonsensical for he too was once just like them). It was, however, surprising and a little off putting to see the elf maiden so excited over his friend and what the dwarf had achieved in the aforementioned "famous tale of The Fellowship".

The elf prince of Mirkwood sighed wearily. Perhaps it may have not been in his nature to be quite so snappish at a lady but Legolas knew also that this was not the only part of the mysterious elf girl that irked him. Discovering her the way he did, with most of her clothes torn, cuts and bruises on her arms and legs and how she arrived in the first place had been just…alarming! Frightening even for some people, however, the elf prince merely felt an onslaught of dread at her strange arrival. There weren't a lot of things that could truly cause him fear.

She was definitely a strange being from a faraway land. Her mannerisms, speech, hair, colouring, everything was not from this world, he was certain sure of it.

"Laddie, what was that all about?" Gimli grunted as made to sit across the elf warrior, "I've never seen you so…different before."

Legolas turned his blue eyes to his friend and blinked slowly. They were in the room some of the Rohirrim had given to Legolas earlier. It was a large room, tall with high white marble pillars, streaked with black currents that formed a lovely contrast to the glittering whiteness of the marble. The ceiling was high above, and it was encrusted with beautiful gems and cut crystals that decorated the wall forming a large picture of breathtaking beauty. Legolas closed his eyes as he was once again engulfed with the beauty of this place. The Glittering Caves were no doubt a sight to behold.

"Legolas?" Gimli tried again.

"Yes, friend?" Legolas asked wearily, turning his head from left to right as if he had just awaken from deep thought, "To answer your question…How shall I put it? I don't think that the girl is to be trusted. There is something very strange in all of this. I feel it in the marrow of my bones. There is something very wrong here and if you cannot see that yet, then I severely think you are letting that girl's awe and admiration of you cloud your judgement, Gimli. For it is not at all right with the world if an elf maiden was to fall from the sky in a blinding white light only to claim that she is not from this world!"

Gimli watch his friend intently as the elf made to finish his little speech. In all the time he had known Legolas, Gimli had never seen the elf look quite so grave. It was almost similar to the way they all had looked during the Council of Elrond back then at Rivendell before they had set off for their journey to destroy the One Ring. Grim indeed, with a touch of fear.

"Oh, aye, I see the oddity of this situation, do not doubt that of me, laddie," Gimli replied, trying his best to sound nonchalant, "But I don't think I'd ever see the day when Legolas, son of the King of the Woodland Realm would be quite so unkind to a lady…And one who was in much distress too."

Legolas grimaced at this but he was set with his opinion of the mysterious girl and he would try to make the dwarf see how dire this whole issue could turn out to be.

"She knew about us, Gimli!" Legolas tried to convince his friend, his hand moving a little as he spoke, "How is it that had come to know of our quest in such detail? She knew you had a great axe and that you could wield it with great strength and skill, enough to cut down an enemy at a three foot gap. She knew I slept with my eyes open at some point in our journey! She even knew about our kill count, the little game we've set for ourselves albeit she managed to get some of that information wrong but think about it…How did she come by to know all of this?"

The elf prince sighed and looked above at the ceiling once more. The sight did calm his distress somewhat but what was truly bothering him, he had not yet spoken of it to Gimli.

"What I am truly concerned is that our troubles…It is not yet over," Legolas spoke softly; "I think she brings bad tidings to us all. I think she is here for a reason and that she brings something very evil and very dark with her. We should be wary near her and I do not think we should trust her so."

With that his beautiful blue eyes scanned the face of his dwarf friend for a few moments, trying to gauge something from the dwarf. He could see that his words had certainly made some impact on Gimli and Legolas was extremely glad of it.

"You're worried this lass will bring evil and chaos over our lands?," asked Gimli, "Aye, I can see how this may be so. I don't think the wee lady could do anything much by her own but mayhaps the vile beast that had done those horrid things to her could perhaps cause some trouble…"

Legolas nodded gravely. He had also thought of that possibility before but what he was truly concerned with was the sincerity of this elf woman. Could she be trusted? His instincts weren't clear but his mind and wisdom said no.

"Did you see her odd colouring? I thought in the night her eyes were blue at first but they weren't! They were violet, very light pale violet. I have never before seen anything so…unnatural. And that collar on her neck? It looks like nothing short of an instrument of a vile disgusting filth of a being. I tell you, something is gravely wrong with this elf maiden. She does not belong here. We should take her to Elrond or Mithrandir or someone who has the gift of foresight and can help us determine her purpose."

Gimli nodded but he eyed his friend a bit more as he did so. It was rare to see Legolas distressed and he suspected there was a little bit more as to the reason why he had been so cold to the elf maiden before. When he had first arrived, he noticed that Legolas was holding onto the elleth with both hands. His elf friend was probably massaging the lady's temples so clearly that was an indication that he had not yet been cold toward her.

"Legolas, what is really bothering you? There's something more. I sense that the maiden has been through some sort of trouble but it is rather rare of you to be quite so cold to someone who is in distress. I understand the circumstances are not in her favour but I do not sense any evil within her, just perhaps the collar she was wearing and those bones in her hair," said Gimli, "If I was not mistaken, I saw you tending to her just before I arrived. If I had known you better, I would claim you were jealous of me but perhaps elves are above such petty feelings, hm?"

Legolas tossed his head indignantly at his friend's (not truly) false statement.

"Nonsense, Gimli," Legolas said, a little bit too quickly, "I barely know this elf maiden. Did you get her name? I don't think she introduced herself to me."

Gimli internally smirked at his friend's reply. It was obvious there was some interest there otherwise the elf prince would not ask of the maiden's name at all. Too early to tell though and elves were a really odd bunch who hid emotions very well. Legolas could mask his emotions rather well when the need rose for it.

"The lady's name is Ithilwen. She claims her father goes by the name of Aethelred," Gimili explained, "I don't think her father's name is elvish. Perhaps it is true she is from another world or time, we do not know for certain."

Legolas nodded and seemed to be in deep thought.

"Where is the lady?" Legolas asked carefully, "We should interrogate her as soon as possible."

"She is under the care of a Gléowyn, one of the ladies here in The Glittering Caves," Gimli explained, "Gléowyn tells me she and a few other ladies will tend to Ithilwen's wounds. I think she should be nearby for I told Gléowyn not to place her in a room too far apart from ours."

"I think, I should like to see how things are progressing," Legolas spoke, his voice determined yet calm, "The presence of this maiden troubles me so. I think the sooner we investigate her origins, the sooner my mind will be at peace."

The elf warrior got up and began to walk swiftly to the great doors of the room. His long, powerful legs made his movements fast and graceful. Gimli was just about to call out to his friend when he heard the doors shut as Legolas had already exited the room. The dwarf could only grumble at the elf's speed in walking and his great talent of leaving behind his best friend.

As he continued to walk, Legolas noticed a slight commotion that went on a few rooms left of the one he and Gimly had been staying in. A flock of human women were crowding around a room and all of them were arguing amongst themselves with pleading, hopeful tones. It looked as if they were trying to charm something into doing as they had bid, who or what it was, Legolas could only guess. The elf prince felt as if a dark cloud were forming over him as he wondered what else could the mysterious elf maiden be up to in order to rouse such a reaction from these Rohirrim women.

"What is going on?" he called out softly to one of the ladies who was shaking her head in dismay as she looked inside the room.

The woman turned around quickly and gasped in shock at the presence of the elf warrior. He had crept up so quietly that she had not been aware of his presence. That and combined with the fact that all elves had such a startlingly beautiful appearance that it almost always never failed in its shock value. And Legolas Greenleaf was truly quite a stunning sight to behold.

"Oh, dear! You gave me a fright, m'lord!" the woman gasped, clutching a hand to her breast, "'Tis nothing you should be worried over! We women can handle this problem on our own. There is no need for you to concern yourself with this, m'lord."

Legolas frowned at her answer but as the other ladies paid no heed to him, he felt a need to understand the situation desperately. The elf looked on into the room but even with his height, he could barely make out what was inside the room over the gaggle of women who surrounded the door.

Legolas grumbled internally at the inconvenience, but elves did not simply barge their way through a crowd of females. His keen ears strained to find something to make of all of this since his eyes failed.

"Pl-please, I really don't need your help," a soft voice floated to his ears, "I would rather bathe myself, thank you very much. It is no trouble at all for me. Just go. Please, all of you! Leave me to myself!"

"No, dear," another feminine voice, this one clearly belonged to a human, "I can't leave a poor thing like yourself all scratched up like this! We can help you. You may not be able to see all of your wounds. My friends and I can clean those wounds of yours for you. It will be easier, don't you see?"

A reluctant and agitated sigh came forth and Legolas knew it was from the strange elf maiden.

"Yes, so you have said, but can you not leave me alone to bathe by myself first?" the elf spoke in pleading tones, "You may look for my wounds after I have bathed and dressed. Wouldn't that make things easier?"

"Nay, it will not!" replied the woman obstinately, "Once you have dressed, we will have to remove your clothes once again for us to be able to search for your wounds carefully for we know not where else you have been injured! It will be pointless for you to dress then."

"B-but…Please just…I cannot…!," the elf maiden begged desperately and Legolas could almost hear the slight tremble in her voice. 'She is probably on the verge of tears,' Legolas thought in annoyance. He had very little patience with cry-babies but there was something about the elf lady that truly irked him. Perhaps because of his initial lust toward her or perhaps he hated the fact that she, a mere child by elf standards had managed to rise such a reaction out of him.

Legolas could tell that Ithilwen was indeed very young by her height alone. Her eyes were also another strong tell-tale sign that she was very young. The elf maiden had an innocent, youthful gleam in her eyes. They did not hold the wisdom and decadence that so many of his people hold when they reach that wizened age.

"What seems to be the problem here?" he suddenly spoke out. At his commanding voice, the women quickly shut their mouths and all turned to look at him in surprise for many of them had not known he was there. Slowly, the women began to fumble backwards to make room for the elf noble.

"M-m-my lord, Legolas, sir!" cried the woman he assumed to be Gléowyn in distress, "Th- Th-The lady refuses to let us tend to her…She wouldn't say why, she wants us to leave her all alone!"

Legolas turned his sharp piercing blue eyes to the elf maiden and his gaze bore into her. His facial expression remained blank but his long hard stare made it very difficult for Ithilwen to look back at him. She hung her head guiltily as a blush grew on her cheeks, her mannerisms similar to that of a child being scolded by a parent.

"Is this true, my lady?" Legolas asked her in deadpan.

Ithilwen bowed her head even further but she remained silent. Legolas took her silence as confirmation and he grew ever more annoyed with the problems this elf maiden was causing him.

"I see no reason why you should refuse," Legolas said coldly, "Gléowyn is a lady of the Rohirrim. Her people are capable, strong and trustworthy. I am certain sure she will be able to bathe your wounds well and make certain that you will not have an infection. So why do you refuse this kind gesture?"

The elleth flushed even brighter than before but Legolas saw that now her eyes seemed to grow in heat, a clear indication that she was annoyed with him. He also noted the fact that her bottom lip stuck out just the slightest bit as she pouted. Yet still, she remained ever silent only now she looked like a sulky spoiled child.

"Well, if you want to behave like a spoiled little child, so be it," Legolas said sternly, his eyes swept past all the other human females surrounding the door way, "You ladies have my permission to do what you will with her. If she further resists, grab her limbs and force her to bathe by your hands!"

"No!" Ithilwen cried in horror, eyes already glistening with tears, "You cannot do that! Th-That would be too cruel!"

Legolas frowned at the elleth before him. He strode toward her in an intimidating fast stride that made the girl take a small step backwards, cornering her to the wall behind her.

"I see your ungrateful actions as the true cruelty here!" Legolas said scathingly, eyes glowering down at the maiden in front of him. Ithilwen was not very tall and she was growing still, her head barely reached his shoulder and because of the growing fear she had for him, she dared not look up directly into his eyes. "You have offended these good women with your stubborn pride and ill placed modesty. There is nothing to be ashamed of. When one needs assistance, one should seek it, not shun from it."

"It's just that…," Ithilwen trailed off, her eyes darting back and forth to Legolas and then the floor. Her mouth opening and closing and she looked unsure about something as if she were reluctant to tell him what needed to be said.

"It is just…?" Legolas questioned further, his tone did not lose its edge.

"It's just….," Ithilwen repeated, licking her lips nervously, "W-well, you wouldn't understand anyway! You know nothing!"

Legolas snorted at her words and his eyes narrowed at her. Now he looked so furious, he resembled a fierce angry wolf that was about to tear at its prey. Ithilwen shuddered at him and she was reminded yet again that she was such a weak character. Wherever she went, she was surely an object to be bullied by everyone around her. In that moment, Legolas looked no better than her horrible betrothed Àinfean did.

"I know nothing, you say?" the elf growled lowly at her, "You dare make such a claim to someone who is far older than you? You are a mere infant compared to me! You would dare much to say that I know nothing for I am certain that what you know would not even begin to cover all the knowledge and wisdom that I have acquired over the thousands of years I have lived!"

Everyone kept silent and still as they witnessed the uncomfortable event that went on before them. No one dared move a muscle as the elf prince stood ram rod straight; glaring down at the elf maiden that stood trembling like a frightened leaf in front of him.

"Well?" Legolas challenged, "No more false claims from the lady, I presume?"

"Y-You are a beast!" she suddenly burst out, tears gliding down her cheeks as she spoke out against him softly, "You are no better than the Dark Eldar who did this to me! A cruel, mean spirited beast who knows not of what a person is suffering!"

All of the surrounding women gasped in shock and horror at her words. Their eyes flew to Legolas who seemed to flinch back as if he'd been slapped and then they held their breaths as the elf male drew himself.

The elf warrior seemed to grow taller as he lifted his hand to the elleth before him. Ithilwen gasped in fright as she saw his hand raised high above his head as if he were about to bring it crashing down to strike her. The elf maiden visibly began to quake in her fear and her whole body tensed for the oncoming pain. Her shoulders hunched, her arms and hands she drew about her and her head bowed low, she was the very image of a person who was expecting to be punished by severe beatings. The image she made was enough for Legolas. He felt all of his anger drain away and all that was left was his annoyance at the lady...and perhaps too there was a small portion of sympathy.

"Pathetic," he whispered in sneering tones at her. He had spoken the words in the elvish Sindarin tongue and he cared not if the elleth understood his words but he made sure that his intonation would be insult enough. The proud elf warrior whirled about as he made his exit.

"See to her, Gléowyn!" Legolas called out, "The rest of you can return to your quarters and leave the girl alone."

He walked in his graceful gait when he stopped suddenly once he reached the doors as if he had forgotten something and only then remembered. He tossed his golden head indignantly and turned to look at Ithilwen.

"I trust you could manage the attention of at least one other lady?," he asked darkly, "Frankly, I care not what the whole fuss is about but you should not flatter yourself so. It is unbecoming for a lady elf to be so vain in her appearance."

Then he turned around again swiftly and went back to his quarters as quickly as he had appeared.

Ithilwen bowed her head and shut her eyes in shame as the implication dawned on her. He was telling her that she needn't bother being so embarrassed at the prospect of being bathed by several ladies for she wasn't anything special to behold at all. Ithilwen felt so ashamed at his words that her heart nearly made her want to call out to him and tell him the truth as to why she refused having all these women about in the first place. If only he knew why she was so humiliated at the idea of having everyone see her naked form for it wasn't because she was ashamed of her nude body. It was mostly because she could not stand for the ladies to see the awful scar she had on the small of her back. It had been a little "gift" by her betrothed Àinfean who had decided to brand her with a red hot branding iron that bore his initials on the day she had arrived at his castle. The shame of bearing that awful scar that marred her flesh had been terrible to endure in the beginning but once the pain had gone and her wound healed, Ithilwen could hide her shame with clothes.

She soon learned that every one of Àinfean's servants and slaves bore the same brand as she. Only theirs was made in places that was impossible to hide completely such as on their faces or hands. Haia and Angharad had worn theirs in very visible places. Haia had hers on the forehead whereas Angharad had hers on the back of her left palm. It was something that would always haunt them in one way or another, so they told her.

"Well, you all heard the prince," Gléowyn called out, "Out, out! Everyone out!"

The human lady quickly shooed the women away from the room and the doors so she could close them. The large heavy doors closed with a quiet little click and Gléowyn turned to look at Ithilwen.

"That was quite foolish of you, my dear," Gléowyn said softly, "Arguing with us ladies was one thing but actually arguing with Lord Legolas like that, why, I think you had gone and rightly lost all sanity for only a mad woman would challenge one such as he!"

Ithilwen burst into tears suddenly, burying her face in her hands. Her form shook as she sobbed in utter despair.

"There, there!" cried Gléowyn, as she made her way to Ithilwen, "Stop that crying now! There's no need for such stubbornness, my dear! The prince was right, you know, when one needs assistance, one should seek it. Not cry over it!"

Ithilwen sniffled and slowed her crying, lifting up her head as she blinked at Gléowyn. The fair elf began to wipe her face with the cloak Legolas had given her earlier. She did a rather sloppy job of it making Gléowyn sigh impatiently at her. The Rohirrim woman quickly made her way over to Ithilwen and wiped the elf's face carefully.

"Y-You don't understand," Ithilwen gasped a bit as her breath hitched, "Believe me when I say that I will be the first one to ask for assistance should I need it for only the Blessed Father knows how useless I am...It's just that...I cannot allow you - all of you - to see my...Well, you'll see what I mean later..."

Gléowyn eyed the elf maiden suspiciously. She stepped back to look at Ithilwen carefully.

"You are aware that you are an elf, correct?" Gléowyn said rather slowly as if she were speaking to a child, "All elves are beautiful to behold. Whatever is there to be ashamed of?"

Ithilwen shook her head frantically at Gléowyn who stood there shaking her own head in disbelief.

"You know nothing!" Ithilwen cried helplessly, "You know not what I speak of...! This is all so pointless! I should be alone and you should not be here to witness...to see my...Oh, no...!"

Gléowyn stepped forward to the girl and placed both hands on the maiden's shoulders firmly. The woman was beginning to grow irritated at the elf lady because she could not fathom what was going on but no matter what the matter was, she felt that the elf maiden was being very vague and that was not helping matters at all.

"Now listen well, my lady," Gléowyn said, staring at Ithilwen in a serious manner, "Should there be something wrong with you, you should simply tell us. There is no point in beating about the bush, do you hear? Now what is it that you want to keep hidden so badly?"

Ithilwen stared at her in horror but the woman's eyes and hands which were still firmly placed on her shoulders made her remain mute. She did not dare voice out her real fear.

For a moment, both women simply stared at the other. If one were to come by such an odd occurrence, one would think they resembled male cats glaring into each other's eyes in preparation for a really heated fight. It was important to note, however, that should there really be a fight between the two ladies, Gléowyn would probably be the one most likely to win for she seemed more fearsome and steadfast as compared to the cowardly expression displayed on Ithilwen's face.

"Well, come now, dear!," Gléowyn burst out, "You might as well tell me what this is all about. I will reserve judgement for your reaction later."

Ithilwen closed her eyes at this and she looked away in shame. Gléowyn quickly shook the elf maiden by the shoulders and it was enough for the elf maiden. She nodded her consent.

"Help me take off my gown," she tremulously mumbled.

They made quick work of the torn up gown Ithilwen was wearing previously. The first odd thing that stood out for Gléowyn was the collar around the elf's neck. It was made of some sort of black steel, cold and shiny looking; it looked as if it were gleaming with a light of its own. However, what made it really frightening to behold was the fact that it had sharp metal spikes surrounding it, jutting out in ever which direction. The little spikes glinted like cold steel and Gléowyn felt a shudder run down her spine the more she stared at the object.

As other parts of the garment was removed, Gléowyn found another eerie object on the elf's body. Ithilwen now stood completely bare in front of Gléowyn save for the collar and black, tight fitting garment that circled her waist. It looked to be made of leather but it was dyed black and it too had metal spikes on it. Something about its dark hue and the way it seemed to shine and gloss over looked very unnatural to Gléowyn and she physically grimaced as her hands reached out to unlace it.

"Thank you...," muttered Ithilwen gratefully, "I've always hated the idea of corsets but Àinfean insisted. He was the one who forced it upon me..."

Gléowyn nodded. She was willing to overlook the fact that Ithilwen had not even care to explain who Àinfean was and never mind that Gléowyn had never even heard of a corset before.

"I know not how to remove your collar," Gléowyn motioned to Ithilwen's neck. The Rohirrim lady threw the corset onto the ground as far away from where they stood as if she feared that the object may come to life and consume her very hands.

"'Tis fine," Ithilwen nodded, "I will probably need a metal worker to help remove it for it needs a key to unlock but Àinfean is the person who has it."

"Pray tell, who is Àinfean ?" Gléowyn asked curiously, she took Ithilwen by her hand and slowly led the elf to the bathing room which was situated inside the bedroom itself.

"Àinfean is...a cruel Dark Eldar prince...," Ithilwen explained, "He is my betrothed and he was the one who fashioned this collar and corset for me. Tonight was supposed to be my wedding night and he was about to consummate our marriage when I...Well, I ran away and came here."

Gléowyn listened quietly as she brought the elf to a large white tub filled with warm water. She helped the elf lower into the water and began to quickly clean and untangle the elf's hair. As she slowly pulled out each sharp bone tongs fell from the elf's hair, Gléowyn was beginning to see why the elf had behaved strangely. She could not wait to quickly be rid of the hideous bones caught in the elf lady's hair for they were eerie and evil looking indeed.

Gléowyn caught Ithilwen's eye and she made a gesture for her to continue her explanation.

"Dark Eldars like pain but they love pain best when it is inflicted onto another being," Ithilwen said, closing her eyes as she began to sink further into the tub, "Àinfean was about to take me against my will when I decided to save myself. He was the one who cut me and made me bleed this way."

"Your own betrothed?" Gléowyn asked, masking her shock.

"Dark Eldars are not known for kindness," Ithiwlen said simply.

"Forgive me, but I think I have never heard of anything called Dark Eldars ere in my life!" Gléowyn said, smiling slightly.

"Oh, yes, forgive me, I forgot," Ithilwen smiled, blushing slightly, "Dark Eldars are like Elves too but they just have very different culture and different set of behaviours. In my world, we do not use the term 'Elf' but instead we use Eldar. All Dark Eldars serve the deamon God Hand, Slan, Princess of Hedonism and all of the Worldly Pleasures. I am a Light Eldar and we serve our Blessed Father, The Great Eldar Father, who was a very powerful Light Eldar when he was alive once, long ago. We do not indulge in worldly pursuits neither do we ever break protocol for to be in the height of propriety and decorum is the mark of a true Light Eldar."

"Height of propriety, eh?,"Gléowyn giggled softly at that.

Ithilwen turned to look at the lady who was still carefully untangling her hair, smiling shyly at the human woman.

"Yes, well, Light Eldars are very serious about our rules especially when it comes to one's behaviour in public," she said gently, "We are always striving to be the opposite of our dark counterparts."

"What a strange world you live in," Gléowyn drawled, combing out Ithilwen's hair with some scented oil.

"Yes, well, I am not a Dark Eldar for I do not wish to serve their God Hand, Slan, and I despise pain and torture," Ithilwen made a comical face as she tilted her head to the rest of her, "Not at all enjoyable, I dare say! However, I am not like most Light Eldars...When I wasn't under Àinfean's watch, I always did things that broke every single rule in the Light Eldar's rulebook."

"You?" Gléowyn said in disbelief, "What could you have possibly done that was so bad?"

Ithilwen's cheeks pinked and she duck her head in the water, dipping her lower jaw so that only her eyes and the bridge of her nose was visible. She said something but her voice came out in a gurgle of bubbles because she spoke underwater.

"What was that?" Gléowyn asked nonchalantly.

"I used to like reading and writing," Ithilwen spoke, her voice hushed as if it were a deep embarrassing secret she was sharing with a close friend.

Her answer caused Gléowyn to burst out laughing at her. She dropped the elf's hair quickly, threw her head back and laughed so loudly and gleefully that she had to hug her arms about her sides to keep from the pain. She continued laughing at the elf as Ithilwen stared at her in puzzlement.

"That's it?" Gléowyn gasped out as she choked with her laughter, "Reading and writing? And you call that a misconduct from your 'height of propriety'? Did you get into a lot of trouble for it? No wonder you had such aversions to us stripping you before!"

Ithilwen giggled at Gléowyn's explanation. It dawned on her that Rohirrim women would see no wrong in pursuing the art of writing and reading something. After all their people were horse masters and the women, if not treated completely as equals, were at least treated with respect and love. Ithilwen mentally struck herself for briefly forgetting about her most favourite character of all in The Lord of The Rings books she used to enjoy pouring over - Éowyn. Éowyn was a fair human lady who was everything that Ithilwen herself wanted to be but could not even dare hope to be. She was courageous, beautiful, intelligent, strong in both body and mind and she could even hold her own against many enemies. She was someone far too out of reach; impossible to surpass, and Ithilwen thought sadly, she was nothing like her beloved idol.

"It wasn't the stripping I was against!" Ithilwen protested, "I was afraid that you'd see..."

Gléowyn scoffed at her. "You mean, that odd garment you were wearing? It was strange to look upon I'll admit but nothing for you to be ashamed of."

Ithilwen felt her heart warm at the woman's kind words and suddenly she felt as though she were back in Àinfean's castle with her friend Angharad. Gléowyn reminded her so much of her own human companion.

"You are very kind," Ithilwen said, "But that wasn't what I was referring to."

"Out with it then!"

The elf sighed deeply and she quickly reached the sides of the tub she was swimming in. She rose and the water came rushing down her body, little droplets of water falling gently into the tub. Her long hair reached her waist and it stuck to the small of her back, shielding much of her bare flesh from view for her hair covered her like a curtain. With one hand, she slowly pulled away one side of her hair, pulling it all so that her hair hung limply over her shoulder. She turned ever so slowly so that her back faced the woman. Ithilwen breathed deeply as she waited for what Gléowyn would say once she saw the mark on her back.

Gléowyn sat on her stool and her lips parted but no voice came out. Her hazel eyes widened in shock and horror as it glanced over the ugly marred flesh on the elf lady's right hip. It was a brand made by a burning hot poker. The skin was pink and shiny where the brand had touched and the skin stood out like bumpy pink ridges over smooth white alabaster skin. The size of it was quite large as Gléowyn could easily fit her own palm over it to cover the mark. The shape was the most horrifying of all. It looked peculiar, there was a single straight line in the middle but at the top of the line, it was forked. Other lines snaked about it but they did so in an angular way, resulting in a bizarre looking symbol. Gléowyn did not know why but the longer she looked at it, the deeper her unease grew.

"Y-You were branded?" her voice a mere whisper.

Ithilwen nodded but she did not turn to look at Gléowyn. She was still humiliated at the prospect of having someone look at the mark she bore. It signified that she was once weak enough to be treated like a dog. No, far worse than a dog. Dogs were pets and treated well by their owners. She had been nothing more than chattel, to be used and sacrificed as seen fit by her master. It was so humiliating because Ithilwen was a coward when she was branded. She had begged and pleaded, cried and sobbed; she all but crawled on the floor and kissed Àinfean's filthy boots to be exempted from enduring such a painful punishment. None of her efforts was rewarded and she had screamed like the weakling she was when he pressed the burning hot branding iron against her flesh. It had hurt so much that she lost consciousness from it.

"Your betrothed did this to you?," Gléowyn asked but she already knew the answer. The elf's head bent and Gléowyn only felt a fierce anger and disgust toward the foul beast who had done something like this to another living being.

"I'm sorry I did not tell you earlier," Ithilwen said, her voice soft and pleading, "I did not wish for any of you see such a thing for I bear it with much shame and I loathe to think what you all would make of it."

The elf's leaf shaped ears twitch as she heard the sudden sharp scratch of the stool's feet being dragged across the floor. Gléowyn had gotten up and Ithilwen heard her movements as the woman went about. She dared not turn around for fear of seeing the disgust in the human's face. She was surprised when she felt the gentle touch of a drying cloth, drape itself around her.

"We best get you dried," Gléowyn said matter of factly, "I'll need to look at your wounds and clean it up with some medicine lest it becomes infected."

Ithilwen stared at the woman in wonderment. Her mouth hanging slightly ajar and she looked like a starving child who had been gifted with fresh bread.

"Thank you," she said after a long while. Gléowyn had helped her dry herself and she cleaned the wounds found on Ithilwen's limbs in all the time they had stayed silent. She also bandaged the wounds that needed those. Now the Rohirrim woman was busy trying to get her into a clean nightgown so that she could be put to bed and rest.

"Think nothing of it," replied the Rohirrim lady as she braided the elf's hair into one long fish tail.

"I know not how you 'Light Eldars' like to fashion your hair but elves here only like little braids in their hair," Gléowyn mumbled as she held the piece of hair tie with her teeth, "I am going to braid yours into one long one for tonight for I am exhausted and desire to retire for bed soon."

"You're very kind," Ithilwen said, smiling sweetly.

"You know, it's nothing to be ashamed of," Gléowyn said kindly, her eyes twinkling a little, "It shows that you survived a horrible thing and you came out alive at the end. You should wear it with pride."

"I don't think that's possible," Ithilwen said honestly, "This symbol is his initials...I don't think I could bring myself to be proud of even one part of him."

"All the same," Gléowyn said, "You should have told the elf lord. I do not think he would hold it against you for wanting to hide something like that. You know you caused quite a stir when you stood up to him like that."

Ithilwen laughed and softly clasped her hands together for she would not use those words to describe her previous actions.

"I do not think I 'stood up' to any one much less Prince Legolas," she said smiling a small little smile, "He was so frightening! Glowering eyes and grim expression and all...I couldn't help but burst into tears at all the things he said..."

Gléowyn smirked but then she too grew grim and serious as if she sensed some foreboding tale as an answer to her next question. Gléowyn was not privy to much gossip and neither did she enjoy listening to them but there was another thing that about the fair elf that made her want to know more so that her question could be put to rest. It disturbed her to think of a world where a man would wish to harm his very own betrothed. Why pledge your troth to a lady you do not wish to take care of? It wasn't so much the puzzle of this but it was more the ill feelings that rose every time she looked at Ithilwen. What woman would accept a heartless man's troth?

"How did it come to be that this Àinfean became your betrothed?," asked Gléowyn, carefully, "If you truly hate him so, how is it possible that he became yours?"

Ithilwen closed her eyes. Her mind wondered at where to begin, her fear for Àinfean had not ebbed for the memories of his assault on her person was all too clear. Her thoughts were still a little scattered for there were many things she did not understand. Ithilwen sighed and without opening her eyes she told Gléowyn of how she came to be Àinfean's property.

"I became his," she began, "When I was no older than fifty years of age. Àinfean claims that when he first laid eyes on me, he immediately desired me for his own, I know not why for he never said. He only said once to me, 'A Light Eldar wife whom he could enslave and use as a weapon against my people to strike fear in their hearts, think of the endless possibilities'. I would be the perfect object, a Light Eldar married to the likes of him, cowering and bending over backwards to do his smallest whims. Other Light Eldars would see that even one of their own proud people could be brought down to the status of a dog. It delighted him to no end."

Gléowyn wrinkled her nose in distaste but Ithilwen simply continued.

"Àinfean is a Dark Eldar warrior prince and he had come over to our realm because he greatly desired to speak with my king," Ithilwen spoke, "Dark Eldars are not known to make peace treaties with their enemies but Àinfean claimed he wanted to forge one such treaty between our people. My king was not a fool but he still wanted to hear what Àinfean had to say. I do not know what happened exactly for I am only an ordinary citizen but Àinfean caught my gaze when he was returning to his own realm. I had been celebrating my fiftieth year for we are considered of age then. He saw me from afar as his party was leaving. He did not wait to be introduced, he simply strode forward and grasped me by my hair, roughly pulling at it and turning my head to his. He smiled then and he announced that I was his betrothed and that when I matured as he deemed fit, he would wed me and I would be his wife. I was terrified but his threat was not made true because he was shown to the gates of our kingdom...He came for me later that night when I was asleep in my own bed."

"For several years, I lived with him," Ithilwen continued, sighing, "At first, I was mentally traumatised. I dared not speak for a whole year for he would punish me for the slightest things...He made me so fearful of him, I rarely spoke and I was so afraid of him that I allowed him to do to me as he pleased. I learnt very earlier on that in order to survive, one must do what needs be done and if that meant that I had to kiss his boots and tell him I wanted him to hurt me then so be it. I never dared disobey him after the first beatings during my earlier days of pride. I think I would have lost my will to live were it not for my good friends Haia and Angharad. They talked to me, comforted me and never ceased with their attentions despite the fact that I did not respond to their actions at all the first time we met. It took them a while but I did learnt to move my tongue again for them...We grew very close and the three of us planned our escape for so long...They are all gone now. When Àinfean knew I loved them and that I had friends, he took them to the torture chambers and placed such horrors upon them. They died within a fortnight. Dark Eldars enjoy torturing their victims for as long as the victims can hold out."

Gléowyn listened and she shook her head at last.

"'Tis a strange world indeed if you have such evil people as this Àinfean ," she said, "Stranger still are these Dark Eldars you mentioned and your own Light Eldars. That is not to say that I have anything against elves for there are a good many who are kind and understanding but these Light Eldars as you call them...Well, even they do not seem to me a very nice sort of people if they view writing and reading to be a terrible sin."

Ithilwen nodded gently in agreement.

"Light Eldars are not known for kindness either," she spoke, "We do not take kindly to strangers and we view other races as beneath us. My kin would say of me that I am a traitor to my own blood for I would dare deem a dwarf and a human as friends. It is not in our way to befriend any other race for Light Eldars truly believe we are the superior being; holy and righteous, we are immortal and fair. We do not pursue anything pleasurable or anything that could rouse one's emotions for emotions are our enemies and they exist to tempt the heart and lead it astray. We become our dark kin if we allow ourselves to indulge in pleasure. Reading and writing are both activities that require emotion to do and so none of my people indulge in it unless it was done not for pleasure. My people are a sad and cold people. There is little they enjoy and there are few who enjoy them."

"A most peculiar people," Gléowyn said in awe, "If all that you say is true, then they are indeed very different from elves on Middle Earth. I know not whence you came from but here elves enjoy everything to do with languages. They love the art of speech and writing and reading are things they enjoy greatly. Elves also indulge in forming words into songs and singing them. They have the most beautiful voices and when they sing, one feels at peace with the world…"

"Oh, oh!" Ithilwen cried excitedly, a gleam shining in her eyes, "I remember now! Elves do indeed love to sing and dance in your world! They are people who love to do things that are beautiful and that which brings them much joy of heart. I would so love to hear an elf's fair voice singing a lovely tale of love and war for I have read much of it in the books about Middle Earth!"

Gléowyn blinked several times at Ithilwen then she smiled cautiously.

"Eh, but you are an elf yourself, my lady," she said slowly, "Why don't you sing with your fair voice?"

Ithilwen shook her head but Gléowyn could see that her cheeks were slightly red once more.

"I cannot sing, fair Gléowyn!" Ithilwen said adamantly, "My people are different from elves in this way for not all of us are gifted in the arts. I think such gifts are wasted if they are given to my people for we have little need of such things if our morality prohibits us from using them. I am a terrible singer and I have no flair with the pen either. I wrote as a hobby, yes, but I only wrote letters to loved ones I thought I may never see again. I did not dare spin tales of love and adventure for I have no creativity such as that in my blood. I am a talentless hack who sings as if I had broken glass shoved in my throat."

She proceeded to sing just to demonstrate how bad her singing voice could be.

The darkened skies swirled above,

Ai, dark kings and princes march forward,

On to far lands that fell from the steward,

Chaos is thy name and terror is thy game,

They lead an army of me,

And army of me will come to thee,

An army of me you will meet,

The stink of death comes swiftly to your feet,

Ai, dark tidings come forth,

They come with crows due north,

On to the innocent and fair and clean,

Evil and hatred it comes forth to wean,

They lead an army of me,

An army of me will come to thee,

An army of me will come swiftly,

As death's door is knocked quickly,

You will greet an army of me.

She finished, her voice trailing off. Ithilwen had had her eyes closed when she sang and now that her song had ended, she slowly opened her eyes to look at Gléowyn. She had thought her voice was very loud and hideous in its sound but Angharad had once told her that if she did not shout so loudly at times, her voice could be quite acceptable to hear. Now she wondered if Gléowyn would say the same or if she would laugh and tell her that she was definitely different from all the elves here. They could all sing and she could not even hope to carry a tune well.

Weary eyes blinked as she took in the faces that stared at her. It was not only Gléowyn who sat in the room listening to her but Ithilwen internally gasped as she saw both Legolas and Gimli in the same room. They had crept in unnoticed by Ithilwen and Gléowyn. All three were staring at her with a similar expression. Shock, horror and a slight tinge of fear. Ithilwen felt her heart sink before any of them even spoke.

"What was that evil song you just sang?" Legolas demanded, his eyes flashing in horror. He stood at the far corner of the bed she was lying upon and even though he did not look so angry, Ithilwen was already growing to fear him again.

"I-I…Well, it's a song that one of Àinfean's people taught me. She was a Dark Eldar and she was paid to teach me to sing and dance for him when he required me to do so."

"So you sang this evil song in a place as beautiful as this?" Legolas questioned further, "You dare much! You dare much, you foolish child!"

It all happened very fast for Ithilwen then. It happened very fast for Gimli and Gléowyn too for they saw very little except a whirl of green and brown and then a flash of Ithilwen's pale yellow hair, her limbs, her eyes widening in fear and Legolas' own deadly gaze. The elf male had grabbed her by the collar of her night gown and tugged her forward. He then lifted her effortlessly onto his shoulders and hauled her about the way one handled a sack of potatoes; carelessly tossing her over his shoulders roughly as he strode forward with much speed.

"Legolas!" Gimli called after him and the dwarf ran forward, following his friend who was now heading toward his own quarters.

Gléowyn too stepped out of her stupor and rose up to quickly go after them. She feared what the elf warrior would do to the female elf.

"Nay," Ithilwen cried tremulously, "What are you doing? Put me down! Let go of me!"

Legolas paid her no heed and all he did in reply was to hike up his arm and toss her body on his shoulder once more. The action caused her stomach to fall onto the hard planes of his broad shoulders and it only made her feel more pain. She grimaced but she stopped shifting a bit.

"Please, please, I am sorry!" she cried again, voice trembling with fear, "Whatever I did, please, please, forgive me! I meant no harm nor did I mean to offend you. Please don't hurt me!"

They walked a bit further until finally they reached Legolas' room to which he entered quickly and dumped her on his bed unceremoniously. Gimli and Gléowyn followed close behind, both crying out in protest and they too begged for him not to do anything rash to the elf maid.

"Hush! You stupid child!" Legolas called out sternly, "Now listen very carefully! You will not sing that foul song ever again, is that understood? Not while I draw breath for I will not hear of such evil again! You are not to sing anything at all from this day forth for it is true your voice is terrible to listen to. You have an awful singing voice and you shout much, 'tis not at all a fair voice to enjoy. Now stop that begging and pleading! I command thee to stop!"

Ithilwen stopped stammering but she blinked up at him with fearful eyes. Legolas saw that there were tears that threatened to fall at the edges. He mentally groaned for he did not relish the thought of her crying and weeping. Once was enough to behold.

"Oh, don't cry, lady!" he said aloud, "Have some pride and cease that snivelling!"

"I'm sorry!" Ithilwen cried out, "I am just so afraid of you…Please don't hurt me!"

"I will not hurt you, lady," he said, voice growing gentler, "I merely want to question you further so my friend and I can decide if your story is true and what to do if it is so."

Gléowyn smiled encouragingly at Ithilwen then. She sat beside the lady on the bed and stroked her arms in reassurance.

"There, there, Ithilwen," Gléowyn she said cheerfully, "Just tell him all that you told me and what else he needs to know. Show him no fear for you needn't be afraid."

Ithilwen nodded to her friend and she looked at Legolas a little uncertainly before she opened her mouth and began to speak. Her story began from when she was first abducted and forced to take Àinfean's hand in a promised marriage. She told them all of how she had lived in his castle for over twenty seven years and watched her beloved friends tortured to death. She spoke of how awful and terrible her world was compared to theirs. There was no sun in her world and no green trees and clear blue seas. The seas had long been dirtied by Men, Orcs and Dark Eldars alike; it was now a great dark watery grave. Many people did not opt to go sailing in ships or boats for fear of the dark treacherous waters and the sinister creatures that live within it. The sun had been blotted out entirely for there the air had been dirtied by the Dark Eldars when they began their horrible work. Dark Eldars owned great buildings tall and large; there they built many weapons and terrible objects used for warfare. It was also used for their genetic experiments. Ithilwen had to explain what exactly was meant by the terms genetic experiments. Legolas and Gimli stood in silent shock as she continued her explanations.

"In my time, there are no good and gentle beasts as mentioned in the books and tales of Middle Earth. In Earth, there are only beasts created by Dark Eldars by their advanced technology and a touch of their dark magic. All Dark Eldars can wield their magic given to them from their worship of their goddess, the God Hand Slan," Ithilwen explained carefully, her hands were animated in their gesturing.

"I have never heard of this name before," Legolas said, "God Hand? What does this all mean? How is it possible that the world can grow so dark and terrible after the defeat of Sauron?"

"I do not know…," Ithilwen said slowly, her eyes showing much confusion and fear, "But legend had it that the God Hand Slan came to be when all the elves grew too evil in their hedonistic pursuits. Historians claim that when the elves began to grow far more arrogant and cruel, they started calling themselves 'Eldars'. It was then that we divided ourselves into two different groups. The Dark Eldars grew more and more cruel and evil; endlessly looking for more ways to satisfy their sadistic cravings. Light Eldars grew more and more arrogant and hateful towards their dark kin. They looked upon other races as if they were superior to them in every single way."

Gimli shook his head in disgust as Ithilwen continued her story. It was inconceivable to think that elves could become a race as despicable as was mentioned by her. Gimli had not been overly fond of elves before he grew so close to Legolas but even he knew that elves were not as fouls as Ithilwen described them to be.

"Slan came into being when the Dark Eldars grew more and more cruel," she continued, her eyes very sad, "There was an entity, some form of evil that started to shape itself. At first, no one was aware of it. It manifested over the years, gaining more and more followers and worshippers. Still the Dark Eldars did not change their ways but instead doubled in their hedonistic lifestyle. They say that it was after millions of years that finally one day the evil entity burst open like a terrible star exploding and taking everything in the world with it. A great evil formed into a sentient being…It had its own mind, it could speak and its voice could be heard. A loud shriek came forth, it was most evil and terrible; blinding everyone that heard it and obliterating every single Dark Eldar who was in close proximity. A figure of a woman rose up and she was both beautiful and horrifying to look upon. Those who saw her face fell immediately to her sways; men and women alike, none could resist her charms. Her body was nude except she had a black corset encircling her waist and her dark large bat-like wings she cloaked about her shoulders. She proclaimed that she was Slan, The Princess of Worldly Pleasures and Hedonism…I do not know if all this is true though as these are just stories that people tell one another. It could be just a tale someone created but I believe there must be some truth in it seeing as we were called elves once…"

When she finished telling them how she came to be here in their world and time, all three people in the room looked grim and serious. They did not speak immediately and Legolas and Gimli exchanged looks often but they did not speak. Gimli stroked his beard in deep thought, his other hand holding the edge of his axe absently. Legolas too looked to be deep in thought as the elf tilted his head and furrowed his brows together. His long, elegant fingers stroked his hairless chin and he looked almost like a carved marble statue to Ithilwen.

The thought came unbidden and caught her completely unaware. Ithilwen's eyes widened and she felt her cheeks grow warm as she took in more of his face and form. It was then she noticed that he was not at all like Àinfean whose beauty was forbidding and petrifying as Legolas had a calm, lovely beauty about him instead. She looked at him as if she was seeing him for the very first time and he was truly magnificent to behold. His face was well formed; a long straight nose with a proud tilt to it as his nostril splayed ever so gently upwards in a dignified manner, his clear blue eyes were startling as most elves' eyes were and it was always arresting to look upon, his lips were neither too full nor too thin, they curved just the right way resembling the bow he loved so much and he owned a strong masculine jaw. The proud curve of his cheekbones and high forehead denoted of his royal blood and he looked every inch the warrior prince that he was. Very long silvery pale hair flared about his shoulders, hanging like a curtain about him. He stood tall and straight with a quiet confidence that Ithilwen wished she possessed and she drank the sight of his well-toned form. Broad shoulders and a wide chest narrowed down to what looked to be a firm narrow waist that tapered down to his hips and powerful legs. Legolas was long limbed, lean yet muscular, tall yet he stood firm and unbent as if no force could move him, his strength seemed to have been gifted to him from the gods instead of hewn from sweat and blood for his muscles did not bulge out grotesquely the way many men's did. Ithilwen caught herself staring agape at him in wonder and awe.

"Your mouth is ajar, m'lady," Gléowyn whispered into her ear secretly.

Her words caused Ithilwen to snap out of her daze, quickly closing her mouth as she shook her head in embarrassment and bewilderment. She had never before found any person as attractive to look upon as she did with Legolas right at that moment and the thought surprised her. She had taken much delight roving her eyes over his face and form and she had done so in front of others who had taken notice of her odd behaviour. Ithilwen glanced quickly at Gimli and she breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that he did not seem to notice the way she had openly stared at his friend.

"I do not know if all that you have spoken is true," Legolas said finally, he looked at Ithilwen intently as he did so, "I believe you are not lying but the information you speak of is also something that you are uncertain of yourself. I am willing to take your word for the time being but I think we must make haste and deliver you to someone who has better judgement than Gimli and I."

Gimli and Legolas looked at each other and a silent understanding exchanged between the two good friends.

"I believe that is best," Gimli said in agreement, "Perhaps the Lady Galaderiel may help you with your condition. For now, I think we may leave the lady to rest for the night and we will journey forth come the next morn."

"Perhaps," Legolas agreed. He smiled at his friend warmly and Ithilwen saw how different he looked toward Gimli from the way he looked at her. He seemed so formal and cold when he looked at her but the minute his eyes turned to Gimli, a warmth was shining in his eyes.

"Good night, my lady," Gimli cried gruffly, bowing to her and Gléowyn as he stepped back toward the door.

"I will take my leave now, my lady," Gléowyn said as she removed herself from the bed. She followed Gimli to the door and bowed gracefully. "Good evening, my lord," she called to Legolas, "If you have need for me in the night do not hesitate to call me, Ithilwen."

They exited the room but left the great tall doors ajar as they knew that Legolas would soon follow. Unbeknownst to Ithilwen and Legolas, both Gléowyn and Gimli were sharing the same smirk and thought as they departed for their own rooms.

"I am deeply sorry for insulting you earlier this night, Ithilwen," Legolas formally began, "I have not been myself and your strange presence has made me more wary."

Ithilwen shook her head and she tried smiling at him. His clear blue eyes maintained their steady gaze on her and his face remained blank. Ithilwen almost felt like drowning herself in the bed when she realised she could not even begin to fathom what he was thinking of as she smiled stupidly at him.

"No need to apologise, Prince Legolas," she said, her voice a little hoarse, "I am at fault for I should have told you what my thoughts were. I was embarrassed but give me a little time and one day, I will share with you everything that plagues me willingly and without complaint."

Ithilwen did not want to tell him of her scar and so she left it at that and thought only to answer him if he asked her what she did not want to reveal to him earlier that night.

After silently staring at her for some time, Legolas gave her a curt nod and left the room to herself. He moved silently and with much grace and within a few seconds he was gone like a whisper in the wind. Ithilwen laid her head back to rest upon the pillow as her jumbled emotions and thoughts began to grow steady and tranquil.

'I was mistaken when I thought he resembled Àinfean,' she thought to herself, 'He is not at all like that horrid Dark Eldar. But he is so cold towards me and he can be so unfeeling and emotionless, it is hard to tell what is in his mind. I hope he does not view me with much hatred.'

Her thoughts drifted away as her mind wandered in her sleep.


A/N: This chapter is so long because it was very difficult to write it. I have actually done a Mary Sue litmus test on my OC, Ithilwen, and I am very happy to announce that she is not a Mary Sue! :D One thing is for certain, Ithilwen is not going to be an action girl who swings swords and hacks down Orcs for her past time. She will never be one! I love action girls but for OCs, I usually like those who are weak and sort of cowardly or someone who needs a lot of help in the beginning (I'm a normal person and I think if I were thrown in ME, I would be very very scared indeed). In other words, just a very ordinary person. I'm trying very hard to make her likeable though even though she cries a lot and is perpetually afraid. I hope my readers like her...*puppy dog eyes*

Also, I did not really have time to proofread this properly because it's past midnight and I haven't really prepared for bed yet. Ack, tomorrow is Monday and I have to go to work! If there are spelling errors or any other mistakes please excuse me. I'm sleepy and dizzy...Please review!

Thank you so much to all those who reviewed me and favourite-ed me and followed my story! I really do appreciate it and I'm so happy that you are willing to give this fic a try. Thank you so much! :)