"Aragorn! Get away from the edge!" she yelled hoping that the ledge would hold long enough.
Just as Hasufel pushed away, the entire chunk under the horse broke away and started to cascade towards the river. Hasufel squealed in fear as he scrambled to get onto solid ground as Aragorn held on tightly to the mane, useless to help his mount. Wordlessly Legolas and Assyrian watched as Hasufel failed to find footing and fell to the mud and crashed into the river almost trapping Aragorn under the horse's weight.
"Legolas! Get Hasufel!" Assyrian yelled keeping her eyes on Aragorn's dark clothing.
The swift current snagged Aragorn's limp body and quickly swept it down the river as Aurora galloped along the bank. Riding ahead a bit she urged Aurora down the embankment hoping to not meet the same fate as Aragorn. Reaching the river bank Aurora cantered in the shallow water sending water in all directions as Assyrian eyed Aragorn's body in the center of the angry river. She knew she only had one chance at this and had to make it a good one. Giving Aurora directions, she balanced herself and moved to crouch on Aurora's back. Taking a deep breath she launched herself into the river, as close to Aragorn as she could.
The cold water was a shock to her system and almost caused her to swallow a mouth full of river water. Shaking her wet hair from her face she saw Aragorn only a few feet from her. With a mighty kick she grabbed onto the back of the Ranger's cloak and hauled him to her. Wrapping her arm across his chest she struggled to swim towards the shore. Knowing that her strength was weakening she looked ahead and saw a welcomed sight ahead. Part of a fallen tree was hanging over part of the river and few of the branches were within grabbing distance. Holding on tightly to Aragorn she swam towards the side a bit more to be sure she passed under the tree.
Reaching up she grabbed onto a sturdy looking branch and gritted her teeth as the pull of the river put strain on her arm and shoulder. Knowing she couldn't do anything with both hands busy she pulled her legs up and wrapped them around Aragorn's waist to keep him above water. Cupping a handful of water she splashed it to his face and slapped him a few times to hopefully wake him.
"Aragorn! Wake up Strider!" she yelled over the sound of the angry river.
Growing impatient she slapped him a good one which jerked him awake and she had to tighten her weakening legs to keep him from being swept away. Her ears suddenly caught the sound of hoof beats coming from up river as she strained to see who it was. Assyrian almost cried out in relief when she caught sight of Aurora with Legolas behind him leading Hasufel. Glancing down at Aragorn who was tightly holding onto another branch she looked back to Legolas who had reached the tree. Balancing on the trunk of the tree he swiftly walked out to them as close as he could get.
"Can you get to him Aragorn?" she asked seeing the small trail of blood that marked a path from the small gash at his temple.
He nodded weakly and grabbed onto the branch that she was grasping and slowly started to move down the branch once Assyrian released him from her legs. She watched carefully as he neared Legolas and grabbed his out stretched hand as Legolas balanced himself with the sudden added weight. Knowing that Aragorn was safe she quickly looked to her own dilemma at hand. Her hand and arm holding onto the branch was getting weaker by the second and her other arm was completely numb from the cold water. She knew instantly that she wouldn't have enough energy to pull herself along the tree branch. Digging through her memories of the river she remembered a shallow part of the river farther down that might help her and just prayed that it wasn't flooded like the rest of the river. Taking a deep breath she whistled to Aurora before her hand slipped from its grasp and sent her into the cold river.
Legolas' head snapped up at her whistle and his jaw dropped when she let go of the branch and quickly disappeared into the raging water.
With mounting frustration he looked between the shivering Aragorn and the direction that Assyrian went down the river. Aurora disappeared around the river bend after his master as Legolas debated on what to do. Muttering a few Dwarfish curses he turned to Aragorn and easily lifted him before moving away from the river and to the edge of the woods as the horses followed. Once setting Aragorn down, he quickly built up a fire in hopes of warming the human. Standing at the edge of the camp, he looked down the river and hoped that Aurora had found his master and was intending to bring her back to the camp.
Assyrian struggled against the current of the river and tried vainly to reach the shore before she drowned. Suddenly, she felt the river bed under her feet and almost stumbled head first into the water when she lost her balance. Taking her chance she moved as quickly as she could to the shore and reached it only to collapse on the sand in exhaustion. Her body had taken a beating that would have made any Elf sore to move; add that too her previous wound and she couldn't have gotten up if she had wanted to. Not fighting the pull of exhaustion, she closed her eyes and let her body and mind slip into deep slumber to regain her strength.
Several minutes later, Aurora trotted around the bed in the river and nickered at the sight of his master resting on the sand. Stopping next to her body, he gently nosed her shoulder and lipped at her tattered cloak trying to rouse her. Getting no reaction or movement from his master, Aurora moved as close as he dared and slowly lowered himself to his knees and laid down his massive body next to her. Lowering his head to her head, he gently lipped at her wet hair before turning his head to the forest and kept watch over his injured master.
That was the first thing Aragorn asked once he had warmed up and became aware of his surroundings. Legolas chose to ignore the question for the moment while he patched up the small gash at Aragorn's temple and cleaned it. He occasionally threw a glance down the river hoping to see Aurora come around the corner with Assyrian astride him and assuring them that she was fine and had just a minor scratch. The longer it took the more worried he got and had to squash the urge to go searching for Assyrian and her horse.
"Legolas, where is Assyrian?" Aragorn asked again, still feeling a bit fuzzy in the head after taking the unexpected dump into the river and hitting the rock with his head.
"Down the river somewhere. Aurora went after her but that was a while ago and I'm starting to get worried," he admitted as he put his healing herbs back into his small pack.
"We'd better go and find her. It's getting dark and she could be injured," Aragorn said as he stood up and weaved a bit as Legolas grabbed his arm to steady him.
"How about we do this Strider? You stay here with the camp and I'll go look for her. You're still not steady on your feet and I don't want you to fall off Hasufel and possibly injury yourself more. I'll be back as soon as I can," he said lowering Aragorn back to the ground and whistling for Arod.
His horse came up and stood at the outskirts of the camp as he checked all his weapons before jumping up easily onto the back of his great steed. With a quick wave to Aragorn he urged Arod towards the river and started to ride down the bank watching the ground carefully for anything resembling a horse or an Elf.
Legolas had been riding for a while and he was starting to lose hope when he caught sight of movement by something whitish looking. Looking closer he made out the outline of a horse on the ground and a figure on the ground next to the horse. Getting closer the horse rose to its feet and stood over the figure protectively as Legolas and Arod neared the two. Slipping off Arod's back, Legolas recognized Aurora and looked down at the figure he stood over. He couldn't be positive that it was Assyrian but she was the only one that Aurora would be this protective over. Not minding the horse he moved towards her but had to scramble back as Aurora lunged at him with bared teeth.
"Easy there Aurora," he soothed holding up his hands in a peace offering.
Aurora stood over Assyrian and had his head lowered to the ground, eyeing both Elf and Elf horse. The Elf looked like he wanted to help but Aurora couldn't be completely sure; his master had only been with the Elf for a little while and he sensed that she didn't totally trust him. If his master didn't then he would be keeping a very close eye on the Elf when he was around his beloved master.
"I just want to help Aurora. I need to see if Assyrian is injured and then get her warm. You have my word that I will not hurt her. You may watch me the entire time if you so wish," Legolas said softly not nearing the horse.
Aurora watched him carefully and sniffed the air around him. He couldn't sense any dishonestly in the Elf's words but he couldn't be sure. He would watch the Elf closely. With a quick shake of his head he stepped away from Assyrian and gave him room to get near her but stood close enough to protect her if need be. Legolas watched the horse carefully and slowly moved towards Assyrian and knelt next to her.
He gently rolled her over a bit to look at her face and feel her skin. It was clammy and cold from the river but her pulse was steady and strong. Quickly checking her for other injuries, he felt his hand hit something wet. It wasn't the normal wet from the river water for that wet was cold, this was warm. Lifting his hand to look at it, he easily saw the bright red smearing his hand and softly cursed to himself. He picked up the edge of the tunic and looked at the wound on her side which was bleeding slowly from her exertion in the river. Slipping his arms under her, he jumped when he felt something softly bite his shoulder. Turning to look at the biter, he looked up at Aurora who watched him carefully before looking back to Assyrian and then back to him.
"She has torn open her old wound and I need to clean it and stop the bleeding. All of my supplies are back at the camp with Aragorn. She will be fine after she rests," he said to sooth Aurora's worries.
With a soft nicker, Aurora lowered himself to the ground next to Assyrian and gently nosed her body towards him. Legolas had to smile at Aurora's care for his master but quickly pushed that aside and went to the task of getting Assyrian to camp.
"I'm sorry my friend but Assyrian can not ride you back to camp. She can not stay on you without help. I will carry her back on Arod," he said looking down at Aurora as he looked up at him.
Aurora reached out and nudged Legolas' leg right at the knee almost sending the prince to the ground. Looking sharply at Aurora, he did it again and Legolas finally understood what he wanted.
"You want me to carry Assyrian back on you don't you?" he asked almost knowing the answer.
Aurora nodded and Legolas sighed as he looked back to Arod. Arod looked at him for a moment before looking at Aurora and turning around and started walking back towards the direction of camp. Legolas looked down at Aurora and thought for a moment that the horse was laughing at him.
"Why do I get the impression that this is a conspiracy against me?" he sighed as Aurora nudged his leg again. "Okay, okay I'm moving."
He picked up Assyrian, moving to slide only Aurora's back and held onto his thick mane as the powerful horse surged to his feet. Before he could say anything, Aurora started to trot off slowly at a comfortable pace after Arod and towards the camp.
Okay everyone there is the new chapter. Am I good or what? I've gotten two chapters up in two different stories. Yay go for me! If I keep this up maybe I can get another story updated (pounding headache says otherwise). Well maybe not. But I'll work really hard on my other stories to get something done and maybe I can post tomorrow. Oh and Verve you said that Assyrian is showing mild Mary-Sue tendencies, would you please tell me these so I know what to avoid in other stories? It would be greatly appreciated. Peace everyone and please review for me. I am such a review-whore it is not funny. But I love reading reviews from my readers. Okay so peace everyone and take care.