Wow - it's been a while :) if you read one of my other fics (In the Clearing) you may have read I struggled with one of the chapters that I just couldn't get to work for me, and so I put a lot of time into trying to sort that out. But I finally finished it and have now moved on and finished this chapter too :) Hope you enjoy it.

Legolas walked down the halls, heading for his father's throne room. His keen ears picked up on his father's distinctive voice even before he rounded the corner to enter the open space.

"Legolas said you fought well today." he was saying, and Legolas stopped, not rounding the corner as he had been about to. "He has grown very fond of you." he gasped, realising just who his father was talking to. He had already reported to his father and he knew immeadiatly who he was talking about.

"I assure you My Lord," her familiar voice started, "Legolas thinks of me as no more than a Captain of the Guard." Legolas smiled slightly, once he too would have said that, now he knew he wouldn't.

"Perhaps he did once. Now, I am not so sure," his father replied, and Legolas wondered just how close attention his father had been paying to his interaction with Tauriel.

"I did not think you would allow your son to pledge himself to a lowly silvan elf." he could hear her clearly, but her tone surprised him, it was a mixture of caution, anticipation but also... hope? He held his breath, waiting for his father's words.

"No you are right, I would not." his father boomed. "But still, he cares for you. Do not give him hope where there is none."

He listened for a reply, but heard only the very soft sound of her boots on the hard floor and realised she was coming towards him. He turned and walked away, ducking around a corner, not wishing to see his father anymore. He was furious, how dare he try and control his life. Thranduil did not even have the honour to consult him about it, instead threatening Tauriel.

He watched silently and she passed him, saw how she hung her head, and she did not have the usual confidence in her step that he had come to love. Cautiously, he followed her, making sure to tread lightly and keep quite a distance, he knew how good a fighter she was, she was even harder to stalk or surprise than a regular elf.

He was expecting her to retreat to her room, or perhaps to the kitchen, but instead she made her way down the dungeon. She must be on duty, he thought. Sure enough, he watched as she nodded to the guard currently at the cells, before starting the agreed route to check on prisoners. He watched from above, as she stopped in front of the dark haired dwarf's cell.

Her voice, although quite and soft reached his ears easily. "The stone in your hand, what is it?" she inquired.

Legolas stood and listened as she talked to the dwarf. As he told her about his stone, and where he had travelled to.

He felt annoyed, almost angry at this dwarf, at her for talking to him. She had not come to him after hearing his father's words, although perhaps, he considered, perhaps this was to be expected. His father was the most powerful elf in this kingdom, someone who could remove her from her position as Captain, or even banish her. He could understand her hesitancy to cross him. But, he remembered she had never been one to follow the rules, and he had to wonder if she thought this rule was not worth breaking.

He knew he had to get to Mereth en Gilith, but he was hesitant to leave, something about Tauriel conversing so freely and naturally with this dwarf, sparked something in him, and it took him a moment to realise what it is he was feeling. Jealousy. He was jealous of the dwarf, that he had caught Tauriel's attention. He was used to talking to her, confiding in her, he knew she was well like in the Kingdom but there weren't too many she called friends, he counted himself as one of the few, but this dwarf, why was she immeadiatly opening up to him?

He sighed, he knew it was wrong to spy, he left his friend in the company of the prisoners, heading back up to the higher levels of the Kingdom, his father would, no doubt be looking for him. Sure enough, Thranduil's eyes were fixed on the door as he entered the hall, and he could feel his father's eyes watching him as he made his way towards the thrones. He sat beside his father, who leant towards him, "Where were you this afternoon, my son?" he asked quietly.

"Forgive me father, I was teaching the new recruits," he lied. He wasn't, it was a theory lesson today about strategy and another elf was taking it today, but his father rarely paid much attention to the teaching of the upcoming soldiers, only caring where and when they were deployed, or rather were not deployed as it seemed as late his father was growing more and more hesitant to allow hunting parties.

His father's eyes flickered back to the party, onto the dance floor where many elven couples were twirling to the music five elves were playing from the corner of the room. "That is one of the councellor's daughter," Thranduil told him, nodding slightly towards a long, fair haired elf, currently dancing with another councellor, which was not uncommon. "She comes from a very nice family," Legolas looked at his father, a sudden realisation hitting him, his father was looking for a wife for him. He wanted to shout at his father, but he refrained, knowing now was not the time for this discussion. However he was disgusted by his father's behaviour,he would never submit to an arranged marriage.

About half way through the night Tauriel entered, having handed over guard duty to another elf. She was changed into a light green dress and had her hair braidly delicatly, letting a lot of it flow down her back. She caught Legolas looking down at her and she turned away quickly, avoiding his eye. Legolas sighed, his father had gotten to her, she was actually afraid.

Three quarters of the way through the party, Legolas grew tired of his father pointing out various elleths to him, commenting on their family and status. He rose suddennly, and his father looked at him, "I need to stretch my legs," Legolas said, striding down the steps from the throne. Tauriel stood with two healers, apparently discussing the uses for athelas. She had her back to him, but turned before he reached her, one of the elves would have said something.

"Tauriel," Legolas said, smiling at her and then also the two elves behind her. "Honour me with a dance,"

Tauriel's eyes grew slightly wide at the suggestion, but she knew she didn't refuse, putting her hand into his and allowing him to lead her to the dance floor. The two of them started moving in time to the music, his arm at her back and her arm at his shoulder.

"It has been a while since we had so many in our dungeon," he commented, "How was guard duty?" he asked, interested to see if she would avoid the truth.

"Quite uneventful," she replied, "They do not seem so happy to be down there, but are not so bothersome."

"Did they say much?" he asked, and there was a certain tone in his voice that caused her to look up at his face, his eyebrow was raised and she looked away quickly. He knew, she realised.

"Apparently you know the answer to that," she hissed at him, angry he had listened to her conversation.

"I did not listen in for long Tauriel, however I am curious about why you can so easily converse with the dwarf?" he said, the question apparent in his voice.

"I don't know," she said, "He is just someone new I guess, someone who doesn't look down at me, or order me around,"

"And what about me?" Legolas asked, slightly hurt.

"You are my Prince," she whispered.

"Am I not also your friend?" he asked. "Have I not been there for you all these years now?"

She was looking anywhere to avoid his eyes, and as her eyes wandered they met the eyes of Thranduil, who was looking disapprovingly down at them. Her eyes darted away from his as well.

"Tauriel?" Legolas asked, and she realised she had not answered him.

"You have, but it cannot continue," she said softly, moving out of his arms. She turned and almost ran from the hall, a lone tear falling from her eye. She did not know it, but there was a matching tear on the face of her Prince.

Legolas moved quickly, he did not wish to be standing alone amongst all the dancing elves. He made his way to the edge of the room, and waited a few mintues, before also leaving the party, he didn't want to have people whispering, knowing they would have if he chased Tauriel out of the room.

He walked quickly to her chambers, knocking twice on her door, waiting for a reply. "Leave me, please," her voice called, and he could hear the sadness in her voice.

"No Tauriel," he called, "let me in."

"No Legolas," came her reply, "You don't understand, just go,"

He sighed, he was hoping to tell her inside but it was his only chance, "I know what my father said to you," he called. There was silence from inside, and then suddenly the door was flung open, her eyes searching his. There was no sign of a lie in Legolas' eyes and she sighed, stepping aside, letting him enter, but she still looked up and down the hall to see if anyone had seen, before closing the door and wrapping her arms around herself.

Legolas stood in the middle of the room, and she walked towards him. "I heard what my father said to you," the Prince repeated.

"Then you know why we can never be?" she asked.

"No," Legolas replied, and she looked up at him, he moved forward, and took hold of both her arms, "What I know, is that my father's action was wrong, and what I know is that this is not the Tauriel I know," he paused, "The Tauriel I love," he finished and she let out a breath at his words.

"The Tauriel I know and love wouldn't let anybody, even her King push her around, and control her. She wouldn't take it."

Tauriel smiled, it was true, and thinking about it now, she knew she loved the elf standing before her. She had run from him and he had followed, he refused to give up on her and he was willing to defy his father for her.

"If you are willing to defy your father, I am willing to defy my King," she told him, and Legolas smiled, bending down and pressing his lips against hers. The kiss was sweet and she felt her feelings soar in that moment.

"For you, I would defy anyone," Legolas told her seriously when the kiss ended.

Tauriel smirked, "We will defy them together," she laughed.

So I thought I'd do a little authors note and let you know some possible planned upcoming chapters.

- Tauriel turning up at Helm's deep having not seen Legolas all these years

- A continuation of the why does the dwarf stare at you conversation (Thankyou for the couple of people who suggested this now)

- A chapter on the dragon attack at Laketown and Tauriel and Legolas finding each other during/afterwards (Thanks to Mari and Jedi Kay Keobi for another wonderful suggestion)

- A more friendship kind of chapter about Legolas actually approaching Tauriel when she is by Kili's body at Ravenhill and comforting her (Thankyou to Tessa for suggesting this)

Feel free to leave a comment/review/question and suggestions about more chapters and what you want to read most.