The Lost Ones

Chapter Seven

Landing hard on my bottom, I cursed softly. "What in the hell?" Where was I? How did I end up in a forest? Foliage and leaves surrounded me. Standing up sorely, I thought I heard a soft whisper. As I turned around, eight or nine women holding crossbows surrounded me. I gasped. "Who are you?"

The one in the center with long blonde hair and silvery eyes lowered her bow. "You speak Westron. Where are you from?"

The voice was male. Were these men? Why were they dressed so oddly and why did they carry bows instead of guns? What was going on? It finally occurred to me to respond. "I'm from North Carolina... Where am I?"

"You must be a friend of Adraina's. Please, follow us. You are our welcomed guest." The oddly dressed man motioned for me to follow him. Left with little other options to consider, I wasn't sure if I had much of a choice. I surely couldn't stay in the woods in the middle of nowhere!

Regardless, I persisted, "Where am I?"

He turned to me, "You are in Mirkwood. My name is Ariane, I shall lead you back to the Hall."

"Mirkwood?" I repeated blankly. "As in Middle Earth?" Like in Tolkien? Was that possible? I couldn't take this all in at once, it could only be described as a mind-fuck. How was I in a fictional land? Another world? This must be a dream! But... They'd mentioned Adri! "Wait, how do you know Adriana?"

Ariane smiled, "Lady Adriana of America is in Imladris with Prince Legolas for a festival. They will return in a week or so."

My mind was reeling. "She's alive?" I couldn't keep everything in order. Prince Legolas, these guys we're fucking with me. I was in Middle Earth. Regardless of how I got there, I was there and I hadn't died. Most importantly, Adriana was still alive too. It was a rush, so much information at once. I was beginning to get a headache.

He granted me a nod. "Very much so. Tell me your name so that I may announce you upon our return."

"Oh, um- I'm Keith, Keith Ericson." I replied absent-mindedly. We started walking in silence. I couldn't stop staring at their clothes. I must've looked ridiculous to them in a tattered wife-beater, pajama pants and bare feet. They all carried bows and quivers, and had the pointiest ears! It was unreal. "So you're an elf?"

Ariane nodded, "One of many. King Thranduil will be pleased to meet another of you 'Americans.' " He smiled softly, "Lady Adriana

I sighed, following him to the Hall.

--In Imladris--

Prince knocked on my door rather earlier the following morning, but I was in no mood to wake. Keith was dead. What reason was there to live? Why should I desire to return home when the love of my life would not be there? Now I knew how Legolas felt. It was like part of me was missing. Sighing, I granted him entrance. "Enter." I would never bother him about finding his love again; at least he had the will to continue getting up every morning.

He walked in, blue eyes filled with concern. "What is it that bothers you?" He'd heard her depressed sigh through the door and noted the lack of enthusiasm in her voice. Something had changed overnight...

"Nothing," I could already feel a lump in the back of my throat and tears threatened to water in my eyes. I kept blinking several times, trying to keep the water back. I hated crying in front of others. It wasn't appropriate. I quickly began to realize that I had little choice, I was going to cry.

"Lady Adriana, do not bear this alone." He sat on the bed next to me. He smelled like the lovely woodlands that surrounded Imladris. His hair was tangled and twisted from the breeze I could hear outside. It didn't surprise me that he'd been up long before I had; he was that type of guy. After what he'd been through with Reyna, my pain would certainly not compare. I had not been married to Keith and certainly hadn't loved him for 200 years!

Sighing softly, I shook my head, refusing to tell him anything.

Prince frowned, "Please. I implore you to trust me." He could sound so earnest sometimes, compelling me to reveal my pain. My tears welled up again. The storm was all the more difficult to quell.

Those blue eyes could not have been more convincing. My defenses cracked under his intense stare. "The boy I told you that I loved from my home," I began, "He- he has passed."

"Are you certain?" He seemed shocked.

I nodded fiercely as tears blurred my vision. Admitting it aloud only made it more real. The pain came back all over again. I felt grief and loss and pain. My life seemed to have lost so much of its direction, of its purpose. "It was in my dream last night."

Prince took me in a comforting embrace. "Dreams are not always reality, pen neth. We shall return to Eryn Lasgallen and find a way for you to return. Then, you shall know for yourself."

All I could manage was a feeble nod. "Thank you," I frowned. "You'll miss the festival..." I didn't want to be even more of a nuisance.

Prince shook his head, "It's no matter. It wasn't right without Reyna anyway…" He seemed so sad, his face so forlorn.

"Are you sure?" I felt extremely guilty. I was ruining the celebration for him and his friends! After all they'd done for me, I couldn't

He nodded, standing. "We'll leave near midday. Do you still wish to visit Lothlorien?"

She bit her lip, "Yes, I wouldn't want to leave you even more out of your way..."

Legolas smiled, "Then pack up. We shall leave immediately. I'll be waiting for you in the stables." He headed out before she could object.

--In Eryn Lasgallen--

I paced to and fro in my room, my new boots making hardly a sound. My bare feet had been quite sore after the walk through the forest and the elves had provided me with shoes and a new shirt to replace my torn one. Dark brown eyes were filled with mixed emotions. I'd tried to kill myself, she'd been gone from my life for eight months and nothing had gone right since then. I'd quit the football team, my grades were dropping, and my parents were fighting even though they didn't even live together anymore... I simply hadn't seen the point. Why continue to see your life shot to hell? Why continue with the daily reminders that your life will never be as beautiful as it once was? So I'd jumped, off the same bridge that Adriana's shirt sleeve had been found on, the same bridge the scent dogs had alerted to. My mind reeled. The woman I'd mourned every minute of the past eight months was alive. Not only alive, she was here!

A knock on my door broke my train of thought. "Come in," I said quietly.

A young elf with black hair and blue eyes walked in quietly, closing the door behind her. "You're Lady Adriana's friend?"

Nodding softly, I sighed. "Why d'you ask? Do you know her too?"

The elf-woman nodded. "My name is Arwen. I'm a dear friend of Prince Legolas, the elf she is traveling with."

"Traveling with? Where? When will they be back?" I ran a hand through my dark wavy locks in desperation. I'd just managed to wrap my head around the fact that Adri was alive. Now I was talking to someone who knew her as a 'lady' and just told me she was with a Prince.

Arwen smiled, sitting on the edge of the balcony with grace. "Prince Legolas took her to Rivendell for a ceremony and that lasts a week. They could be back any time in the next fortnight."

A fortnight… That's two weeks. I sighed frustratedly, "Is there any way I can get to her sooner?"

She shook her head, "Not without risking missing her and delaying your reunion even further."

I grumbled unhappily, "I understand. I imagine you travel by horse here?"

Arwen nodded, "How do you travel?"

"It's too complicated to explain," I laughed softly, "We use machines to take us everywhere."

"Machines? What is a machine?" Arwen tilted her head softly.

I watched her, shaking my head. "There's really no way of explaining it." I sighed, "Why don't you show me around this place... Since I'll apparently be staying here until Adri returns."

She smiled, "I'd be delighted. Any friend of Lady Adriana is a friend of mine."

--In Lothlorien--

The moonlight shone through the leaves of the large mallorn trees. It was almost palpable through the soft night air; it was a perfect night. I'd started to accept Keith's passing, it'd been a week already and we were leaving for Eryn Lasgallen in two days. Hugging the shawl Lady Galadriel had given me, I hummed the song Prince had taught me the night before.

"If it weren't for your ears, you could easily pass for an elf," the voice came out of nowhere. "And your loud footfalls," a smooth tenor voice chuckled softly.

I turned to see Prince, smiling softly. "I'm flattered. I'm not nearly as beautiful as the elven women." I looked down at the ground; the river was audible from here in the silence. "I almost don't want to leave. The elves here have been so kind to me, and it's so beautiful..." My verdant eyes took in the scenery with a bit of a nostalgic mood.

Prince smiled, putting a hand on my shoulder as he approached. "Well, at least you're content in my world until we can get you back to yours." Leaning my head on his shoulder, I nodded.

"Diola lle," I whispered softly as I stared up at the few stars that poked through the canopy.

He kissed the top of my head, my dark curls stirring lightly under his lips. "You have nothing to thank me for. You've woken up feelings within me that I haven't felt since I lost Reyna." His fingers caressed my shoulder, "Once I get you home, I've decided to go search for her." His blue eyes stared off into the night, making them unreadable.

I smiled softly, two small tears slipping down my cheek. "I'm glad I could help you." Sniffling softly, I slipped out of his arms, hugging him once. "Sleep well tonight, Prince. I wish your dreams to be sweet and your wakings sweeter."

Legolas pressed his soft lips to my forehead, "Thank you, pen neth. I will see you in the morn, and we will pack to ride out by midday." He dropped the hand he had taken during our embrace. "I wish you a pleasant rest." He disappeared among the trees as I stepped onto the main path to find my room.


One more chapter to be completed by the end of the summer. GO ME! That's right! Woohoo! R&R, sorry for the delay. Apparently, college is hard! Geez!