Disclaimer: I own nothing that is under copyright by J.R.R. Tolkien enterprises or any other affiliates. I do own the plotline and all new characters that appear within the story.
Title: The Heart's True Home
A/N: This is the Sequel to Shadow of the Past, here by popular demand. I make this warning and disclaimer before you begin to read: The updates WILL NOT be as often as they were for the Prelude of this story. I will be taking my time writing higher quality, as well as longer chapters, and it may take a few weeks for postings. Since many people have asked me to being posting soon, I have chosen to do so sooner than I wished to, and thus do not have as many chapters written beforehand as I would like. So I will be taking my time, though rest assured that I do not plan on making you wait a month between posts.
Secondly, upon request, Davan has first claims on Hadrielia after this story is done. Enjoy dear ;)
Thanks go to my amazing beta Davan.
The cold rain, beating down upon her, stung Valia's face, effectively making her already bad day absolutely miserable. If it was not terrible enough that she had been coerced into making a journey to Laiquarille, the last place in Valinor she ever wanted to set foot, then the rain only served to make her thoughts darker, successfully causing them to now mirror the black storm clouds that hung overhead; storm clouds that she could have sworn were rumbling in delight at the wretchedness they were creating for her.
Was even nature against her?
Pulling her black hood up over her head, Valia let out a puff of air, before watching with child like fascination as the steam from her breathe danced through the air, disappearing as yet another strong gust of wind swept down from the Pelóri, now fully in view. The snow capped peaks of the mountains stood out stark against the dark clouds, making Valia long for the mild winters of Earsilme. At least the wind and mountains meant one good thing, that the vile journey she was on was almost to end.
Though she had to admit, the scenery was far from unpleasant, even if it was far different from what she was used to. Large trees spread their branches towards the sky, and she had to crane her neck painfully upward before the tops of the green giants came into view. That was another interesting difference, the trees in Laiquarille stayed green year round, instead of dressing themselves in gold for the fall and winter. Everything around her was so much wilder and untamed. It reminded her of Mirkwood, back in Middle-earth. Funny how even in Aman, elves gravitated to the familiar.
Another gust of wind tore through the trees, blowing Valia's hood off her head with a violent yank. The hail that now pounded her face, no longer rain like before, caused her to give a yank of her own to the protective fabric, settling it back over her face. She was extremely thankful for the thick cloak that Elrond had provided her with. The Pelóri had fallen behind the lofty tree tops, which were swaying harshly in the unforgiving wind. Valia tucked her cloak tightly around her frame, quickly making sure there were no openings that would expose her to the adverse conditions around her. They were quickly drawing close to Laiquarille now, and she did not want to chance a meeting with the King and Queen looking like a drowned cat.
The thought; however, sent her heart into a frantic race, much to her annoyance. She was going to his home. She would now be on his ground, without the advantage of her regular surroundings to ensure that she was the one who had the advantage. Her heart beat became a wild dance now, and she tried to keep her hands from shaking as she clutched the reins of her horse tightly.
'He will not be there' she tried to reassure herself.
Elrond had made that little piece of information quite clear to her when she had outright refused his request. His response to her stubborn refusal was to assure her she would be in no danger of crossing paths with the legendary Prince of Laiquarille during her stay.
Then again, Elrond had many things to say that day. Valia's eyelids narrowed into thin slights of displeasure as she remembered his coaxing.
'You wished to see me?' Valia asked from the open doorway, waiting until Elrond looked up from the letter he held in his hands to come into the room any further, out of respect for the Lord of the House.
However, Elrond's head snapped up at the sound of her voice and he let the letter slip from his hand to rest atop the desk he was seated at, a small testament to his affection for the lady in his doorway. 'Come in Valia,' he welcomed with a bright smile gracing his handsome face.
A little too bright…
Valia was immediately on the alert. She had known Elrond too long, and now knew him too well to not notice the suspicious signs. Good grief, he had become practically a second adar to her. He wanted something from her, and she knew it. The distinct light that lit his face screamed that to her. The only question was, would she like what his request was?
'Probably not' she decided as his bright smile, almost blinding in its intensity, persisted on his face.
It was going to be a long day; that much was certain.
Valia advanced into Elrond's study with an innocent look, belying the fact that she knew he was up to something, and sat in a chair opposite him.
'How are you today, Valia?'
'Fine, thank you,' Valia replied, resolved to make this as difficult for him as possible.
'And how is Cithiel?'
'Quiet well when I left this morning,' Valia assured, thinking of her fast maturing niece who had managed to surprise the entire household last night by playing a lovely song she had composed on the harp for them. Tandir and Gléwiel had looked on with paternal pride shinning in their eyes at the young beauty blossoming before them.
'I am glad to hear it,' replied Elrond, watching as a soft smile appeared on Valia's lips.
Silence then descended in the room like a thick blanket, and while it did nothing but amuse Valia, it seemed to smoother Elrond and she had the distinct impression that he was starting to turn a faint shade of green. She was not about to break the silence, though, and let him off the hook so easily. Instead she busied herself by looking around at the myriad of books on the wall shelves, pretending not to notice the nervous drumming of Elrond's fingers against his desk. She decided that the request must be a large one to make the lord of Earsilme, who had fought many a battle and been in the company of the most renowned figures to grace Middle-earth, uneasy.
'I have a request to make of you,' he admitted, speaking at last.
Now they were getting somewhere. 'Yes?' Valia asked with a raised brow, focusing her attention on the elf lord in front of her.
'I received a letter nearly a week ago and it requires that I send two representatives of Earsilme with a response by the end of the month. That would necessitate that they leave by in two weeks time at the latest.'
He was treading carefully, she realized. This did not bode well with Valia. She was at a loss as to what would make him act this cautious with her. Had she not always been eager to help him when the need arose?
'As you are already well aware of,' Elrond continued, 'Elladan is staying in Tirion until next year with his bride and Elrohir is overseeing the construction for the new wing for additional guest space.'
She watched him as he began to finger the edge of the letter, bending the paper back and forth rhythmically. 'Perhaps you could send Erestor?' Valia suggested, enjoying the way Elrond was squirming in his seat. It was not often she could hold something over the Master of Lore, a name that had followed him to the Valinor. Why was he so nervous? 'He would most certainly be the best representative of Earsilme besides Celebrian and you, or you could always send Glorfindel.'
'Erestor cannot be spared, and Celebrian and I cannot go ourselves. Glorfindel has already agreed to make up one of the party members, but I still need someone else.'
'Why do you need two to answer the letter? Surely one representative from Earsilme is all that is required to deliver a response.'
Elrond leaned back in his chair, folding his hands together in front of him. 'Diplomacy, Valia, that is why. I have always sent two elves when I receive such a letter. Besides, you know that relations suffered between Mirkwood and Imladris in Ennor. I wish to continue to heal the breach that has begun to mend since coming to Aman, but it seems that I have found myself in a tight spot this time.'
'So it would,' Valia nodded sagely, suppressing the grin that was threatening to tug her lips upwards.
But Elrond saw her concealed mirth. 'Are you mocking me Valia? You realize I could punish you for such impertinence.'
'But you would not be so cruel to your favorite library assistant, now would you? It would do you no good to offend her, especially when I think you are about to ask her for a large favor on your behalf.'
A rueful smile spread across Elrond's face before he laughed, shaking his head back and forth in amusement. 'Would you be willing to make a journey with the esteemed Lord Glorfindel for me?'
'Perhaps,' Valia replied with a small smile. She was still not willing to make this too easy for him. Not yet. 'But first you must tell me where I am to go.'
All mirth quickly fled Elrond's face, causing Valia to sober in turn, feeling a sense of dread well up inside her.
No. He would not dare.
'It does not really matter. You will only be there long enough to make your presence known, give your congratulations on behalf of Earsilme, and then leave.'
He would dare. Elrond, how could you?
Valia felt her jaw clench, despite her effort to remain outwardly calm. 'Elrond, tell me it is not where I think it is. Tell me you would not presume to ask such a thing of me.' Her tone was anything but pleased and Valia saw a small flinch contort Elrond's face into a look of guilt.
'You would not have to be there long. You would have my permission to leave Laiquarille as soon as it would be polite to do so.'
'No,' Valia declared, her voice dangerously calm as she stood, masking her fury that he would ask her such a thing. 'I am not setting foot within ten leagues of Laiquarille. You will have to find someone else.' She made a quick dash towards the door, but was stopped at the entrance, hovering between leaving and staying by Elrond's next words.
'He will not be there, Valia. I would not have asked this of you otherwise.' The tone was soft, through filled with understanding at her resistance.
'How do you know?' she asked, keeping her back to him. She knew she should not have voiced such a question. It showed to both Elrond and herself that her resolve had instantly weakened at his declaration. She should have simply kept walking out the door and refused to talk about the issue again.
'The letter I received says that the Prince has gone to stay in Estel for a time, to study under Lady Galadriel for a time. He is not expected back in Laiquarille until next fall.'
Taking a deep breath, Valia shifted her weight slightly, making her skirt rustle. The soothing sound calmed her nerves, and she was able to ask her next question with less hesitancy than she actually felt. 'How long would I need to stay for?'
'A few weeks at the most.'
Valia placed a hand on the doorframe, rubbing her thumb over the grain of the wood, before turning to look at Elrond. 'Fine.'
'You agree then? You will go?' If she had not been absolutely sure before, the look of pure relief on Elrond's face completely did her in. How could she refuse a look like that?
'Yes. It appears that I have no excuse not to,' she admitted with a sigh.
'I am indebted to you Valia. You will have to leave in two weeks. I realize it is rather sudden, but it should give you plenty of time to inform your friends and family. I will be sure to arrange for someone to take your place in the library while you are gone, so you have no need to fret over that.'
'Fine,' she consented, turning leaning back against the doorway and nodding.
'We will have to do something about your clothes before you leave, however.' Elrond quickly ducked his head, pulling a stack of papers toward him so he did not have to look at Valia. He knew he would have to tread lightly once more or he would risk angering her into refusing to go to Laiquarille.
'What is wrong with my clothes? They are suitable, are they not?' The sudden lowering of her voice revealed her displeasure. She had already agreed to go to the last place she ever wanted to and now Elrond had the audacity to suggest she would need a new wardrobe. That was pushing things just a little too far for her liking.
'Not as a representative of Earsilme, they are not. You will be attending at least one banquet and dance. I will not have you going there and trying to hide behind your clothes like you normally do,' he spoke with surprising finality. 'You represent Earsilme, therefore you shall dress your best.'
'I wish to hear no excuses Valia. I will send for a seamstress today and you will meet her so that she can take your measurements. I will pay for the expenses myself. There will be no cost to you.'
'Fine.' How many times had she said that since the conversation began? All Elrond's words finally sunk into her head, and Valia shifted again, not liking what she had heard. 'A banquet and dance? And you said earlier that I was to go to give my congratulations on behalf of Earsilme. What exactly am I going to Laiquarille for?'
'Prince Legolas is engaged.'
Valia was glad she was not a she-elf with a weak constitution or she knew she would have fallen to the floor in a faint. The support of the doorframe helped, she had to admit, as a slight tremble started in her knees.
He certainly does not mince words when he feels like it.
Valia was jolted from her thoughts when she felt the reins of her horse being pulled from her hands. She turned her head sharply to find Glorfindel had maneuvered his horse close to her and held her reins in his hands.
'You were drifting off the path, my lady,' he commented, a teasing smile on his lips when she raised a dark brow.
'That is what you are here for. To protect me from myself,' Valia retorted ruefully, laughing at herself. She did not know what she would have done without Glorfindel after Legolas' departure. He had been caring and selfless, giving her a shoulder to cry on whenever she needed it, and he had often encouraged her to shed her tears when her stubbornness and pride held them back. He had been beyond understanding with her. However, the sting of guilt had stabbed her on several occasions when she had caught him giving her a look that was more than friendly, but she was far from ready to move in that direction, even after so long.
She still loved Legolas, she always would, but she thought that she could eventually move to the point where marriage with another was possible if she gave herself enough time. She was just not ready to think about that yet, no matter how kind Glorfindel was, or how many female heads turned when he passed them. He had an impressive following of she-elves, but seemed to ignore them as if they did not even exist. Valia certainly could not blame them for trying. He was as stunning as Legolas in his own way, with his shoulder length blond hair, and high cheek bones. Not to mention his obvious physical fitness from centuries of training with a sword and bow. Yes, he was just as gorgeous as Legolas, but he lacked one important thing, piercing emerald eyes. His were a deep blue, which always seemed to calm Valia instead of thrilling her.
Someday she would be able to care for him enough to marry, or at least forget Legolas enough to give her hand to Glorfindel. She would have to move on eventually, and thankfully, Glorfindel did not seem in any rush to push her into an uncomfortable situation. He would wait as long as she needed, knowing there was an unspoken agreement between them.
Taking her reins from Glorfindel, Valia looked around her, noticing that the hail had stopped. She threw her hood back, letting the velvety material slip from her head. She had to give Elrond some credit for his taste in clothing. Each piece of her wardrobe was fit for a princess and once she had seen the dresses on her, she had instantly fallen in love with them, much to her consternation. She consoled herself with the thought that she would not be the focus of everyone's attention. Everyone would be staring at Prince Legolas' new bride to be. But that only reminded her of another problem Elrond had strangely refused to clarify for her, no matter how often she had pestered him before the journey.
'Glorfindel,' Valia called sweetly, urging her horse forward till she rode next to his midnight colored steed.
Glorfindel turned a wary eye upon her. The sweet tone she was using could only mean one thing: trouble.
'Did Elrond happen to tell you who Prince Legolas' betrothed was?' she persisted in the same sweet tone.
Staring ahead, Glorfindel avoided her eyes, knowing they would melt his resolve, and promise to Elrond, faster than he would have liked to admit. 'Yes,' he replied neutrally, continuing to gaze into the distance, scanning the trees with accustomed ease, looking for anything out of place.
'Who is she?'
'I cannot tell you and you know that very well, Valia. Now stop harassing me before you get us both into trouble.'
'Elrond will not know if you tell me,' she persuaded. 'There is no one here but you and I, and I promise you I will not tell him when we get back to Earsilme. Besides, what will it matter when I am going to see her soon anyway?'
Glorfindel grunted, but made no further response.
'I know her, do I not?' Valia was rewarded to find Glorfindel snap his head her direction with a sharp glance. 'O come now, Glorfindel. I am not stupid. Do not look at me that way. Why else would Elrond refuse to tell me who she was? He thought the news would upset me and I would refuse to make the journey.'
'You are too perceptive for your own good, my lady.' Glorfindel turned his focus back to the forest and refused to reveal anything more. Elrond would be angry with him if he somehow found out Valia already knew as much as she did.
'Well?' Valia probed mercilessly. 'Who is she?'
'If you can hold your curiosity in check for but a little while longer, you can see for yourself, eleninya.'
'Glorfindel!' Valia exclaimed in exasperation, spooking her horse at the sudden noise. The animal shifted slightly, shaking its snowy mane in protest. Valia patted the mare's neck in apology. The creature had already proved her sweet nature by willingly accepting to be saddled for Valia's sake, who made no pretense about being an expert with horses. Valia lowered her voice in apology, stroking the horse's shiny coat of fur as she spoke. 'The mountains must be more than two days journey away and it is approaching nightfall as we speak. At this rate I will still not be able to find out who she is before at least two or three days.'
Turning his piercing gaze her direction, Glorfindel reprimanded her impatience with a look from his blue eyes. 'We are closer than you think. The royal city of Laiquarille does not sit at the base of the Pelóri, but in the heart of King Thranduil's land.'
'I realize that Glorfindel. I have traveled here one time before, if you do not remember. When shall we arrive at the borders of Laiquarille then?' Valia asked with a sigh, glancing at the darkening sky overhead. All would be dark soon and they would need to make camp for the night.
An amused smile curved Glorfindel's lips upwards. 'We passed the border this morning Valia. We are now less than a league away from the royal city.' He watched as Valia's eyes widened, while she was rendered silent, lost in sudden thought. At least he would not have to answer any more of her persistent questions, though he would have to make sure her horse did not begin to wander again as she lost her focus.
Valia could not believe she had forgotten so much since her last trip to Laiquarille. She tried to soothe her broken pride with the comfort that it had been nearly four centuries since she last set foot within these borders, but nonetheless, she should have known, should have remembered. She certainly had not forgotten the events of her previous visit. They remained clearly burned in her mind, even if the exact location of the royal city had seemed to fade over the years.
'I am so happy you are here!' Silia had exclaimed, clasping Valia to her in a tight embrace. 'I thought you would not come,' she whispered, tears shining in her eyes as she pulled away. She looked radiant, the perfect model of a maiden about to be married. Valia tried to ignore the whisper in her head that told her she could be in the same position now with the happy prospects of binding herself to Legolas in only a few months.
'I could not very well miss the wedding of my dearest friend, could I?' Valia asked, masking her pain with a soft smile of affection at seeing her friend after so long. It had been nearly a year since Silia had left with Isondil and Legolas. And she had missed her friend terribly. It had been utterly lonely in Earsilme with no female companionship other than her mother, sister, and Celebrian. All the maidens she had tried starting conversations with had been utterly ridiculous, only wanting to talk of male elves, dances, or clothing. Valia had tried to get along with them, had made a genuine effort to see if they were really as shallow as they appeared to be, but the last straw for her was when they had the audacity to ask her about her relationship with Legolas, offering their condolences that he had slipped away with no engagement ring or promise of a return. She had refused to speak with them from that day on.
'We are happy you have come, Valia,' Isondil spoke from his spot behind his betrothed. 'I know it was a treasured wish of Silia's that you be here for our wedding.' Valia felt another prick of pain as she watched the couple exchange a tender look before Isondil placed a kiss on Silia's brow.
Valia had simply smiled, trying to calm her racing heart. She was in Laiquarille. No doubt Legolas was somewhere near. She had decided that she would avoid him at all costs. Perhaps she could conclude her stay in Laiquarille with only meeting his gaze across a room once or twice. It would be too much for her to endure his constant presence, particularly if he would look down at her with complete adoration like he had in Earsilme. Valia knew she would crack or dissolve into a helpless puddle of compliance if he did that, and so she resolved to stay away from him no matter what. She did not think it would be too hard. Legolas had his duties to attend which she hoped would take up most of his time.
Legolas; however, seemed to have different plans and had appeared before Valia in all his royal glory before she had even had time to move past the stage of greeting Isondil and Silia.
'You have come,' a low voice spoke from beside her, and Valia had felt her lips tremble for a moment before she turned to meet the emerald green eyes of Legolas, glittering with such happiness that she nearly forgot to breathe. He was so beautiful, and Valia could not stop the soft sigh that escaped her body as she looked at him. He took her hand in his, bending over it to place a kiss on her knuckles, as soft as snowflakes falling on her skin. Emotions Valia had wished to forget raged through her as she felt his warm lips and breath caressing her, assuring her that she was still his one desire after a year of separation. Legolas did not release her hand once he had straightened. Instead he stepped closer to her, overwhelming Valia with his presence, and very easily causing her heart to beat faster than it already was. It all felt so right and perfect, like coming home after a long journey.
And the feeling absolutely terrified her.
'Excuse me, my lord, but I am tired and need to unpack,' Valia had managed to squeak out before fleeing to her horse and grabbing the animal's reins from the attendant Elrond had sent with her. 'Will you show me to my room Silia?' she asked her friend, not daring to glance at Legolas as Silia gave Isondil a kiss on his cheek before guiding Valia to her room for the remainder of her stay in Laiquarille. Valia was only able to properly breathe again once they had reached the safety of her home for the next month.
Somehow, Valia was not entirely sure how she managed; she was able to keep Legolas at arms length until the day of the wedding. It most likely helped that she only answered his questions in monosyllables and ran the opposite direction whenever she had enough awareness to realize he was moving her way and not already standing before her. He seemed to have an uncanny ability to find her, appearing before her suddenly to steal her breath away and leave everything around her hazy but the reality of his nearness.
The wedding had come fast between Valia avoiding Legolas as if his manifestation meant her death, and helping Silia with preparations for the banquet. The two had been able to catch up on the year they had missed together, and Valia was loath to admit that she had shed just as many tears as her friend. It seemed she had been reduced to a sentimental mess.
It was under the stars that Silia and Isondil bound their lives together. Valia had watched in awe as Silia had walked towards Isondil on her father's arm, her pale blue dress shimmering under the light of the full moon. They had looked upon each other with an intensity that neared worship, as they removed their silver betrothal bands and gave them back to each other.
Valia had felt a gaze on her and knew instantly who it was, even before her eyes traveled on their own accord to the form of Prince Legolas. He stood across from her, looking almost ethereal as the moonlight bathed his form, adding radiance to his inner light. His gaze captured hers, and refused to let her go for the rest of the ceremony as they burned her with his desire for her and probed her own soul for a matching intensity. It quickly reached the point that she thought he would consume her until nothing remained but a trembling reflection of her former self, powerless to fend off his wishes.
Something had flickered in his eyes and he suddenly turned his gaze from her, leaving her panting for air as she blinked several times and the world came back into focus. The ceremony had ended. She saw Silia in Isondil's arms, receiving her first kiss from the lips of her husband.
The shaking in Valia's hands had stopped by the time the banquet began, but she had barely been given time to orient herself before she found herself in the strong arms of Legolas, pulled along with him under the starry sky, in rhythm to the soft music that floated on the breeze around her. She had no idea how she had ended up there, in the last place in all of Arda that she wanted to be right then, and blinked up at him with what she was sure had been a dazed expression.
'You have been avoiding me,' Legolas commented casually. He tightened his grip around her when she suddenly stiffened, pulling her closer as his hand moved from her waist to circle around her back.
'I do not know what you are talking about,' Valia managed, while she dropped her gaze to the clasp on Legolas' tunic where it hung at his neck, willing her eyes to remain there instead of wandering up to his face where she knew they would go if left uninhibited.
'I will not hurt you Valia.' He, told her gently, while his tender words wrapped around her, spinning another hazy web about her senses.
'I am aware of that, my lord,' she snapped back with surprising venom, her irritation at herself surfacing for allowing herself to get into this predicament, and at him for bringing her into it.
She felt the muscles in his arm tense, and she could just see on the outskirts of her field of vision that his jaw had clenched. 'My name is Legolas, Valia. Not my lord, not Prince, and not your Highness.'
'I am aware of that as well.' She was loosing her sanity. She could feel it slipping through her fingers as she looked on in helpless desperation. The idea of giving in to him suddenly seemed quite possible. What had she been so worried about before? All would be well in his arms; nothing else would matter, as long as she was with him and he loved her.
'Valia, do not torture me so,' Legolas pleaded, dropping his mouth to her exposed ear. The pleasant feel of his hot breath against the sensitive on her ear made Valia jerk back, missing a step in the dance as all thoughts of submitting to him vanished.
'I do not mean to,' she apologized with sincere contrition.
His lips brushed against her skin, making Valia gasp. 'But you do,' he told her, his tone returning to its usual gentleness.
The song ended just then, and it was with great relief that Valia stopped her dancing feet before she moved away from him. Legolas would only let her retreat above an arms length away from him; however, refusing to release her hand. Instead, he gave her a small tug his direction, twining his long fingers through hers as he pulled her away from the gathering of elves and into a secluded corner.
He helped her to sit on a chair, but made no comment as he watched her finger her simple gown, running her fingers along the seam in the skirt. 'You have changed.' There was a frown of displeasure in the statement, making Valia's head snap up to peer into his luminous eyes. She kept her focus on him as he sunk to a knee in front of her, watched with fascination as he took her hands in his own, and turning them so her palms faced upwards, while kissing her wrists in such a way that all his love was expressed in the caress. 'Why do you wear your hair pulled back again Valia? And your dress? This is a wedding, not a funeral.'
Resentment quickly spread through Valia, and she pulled her hands out of his with an unhappy hiss. 'You have no right to criticize my habits of dress, my lord,' she spat out crossly. His words had cut deep and Valia fought a mighty battle to keep her tears in check. How could he say such a cruel thing to her?
'Valia, I am sorry. I do not understand…'
She stood so quickly that he fell backwards, landing on the ground with a thud, but she did not care. 'It is obvious that you do not comprehend a great many things you would do well to understand, your highness.'
In turn, Legolas sprang to his feet, the perfect picture of royal indignation. 'And you would do well to remember who it is that you speak to, arwen en amin. I will not tolerate such brazenness.'
Storm clouds gathered in Valia's mind as he addressed her with the same condescension he would have used with one of his errant attendants. 'You are not my lord. My allegiance does not lie with you.' Legolas curled a hand around her upper arm, pulling her towards him with a jerk. Glancing into his blazing eyes, filled with raw power, Valia quailed slightly, but lifted her chin when his grip tightened, causing pain to shoot through her arm.
'As a guest in Laiquarille you shall show me the proper respect that is my due or leave.'
Valia bit down the retort that nearly flew from her lips. It would not do to bait his anger into full blown furry. If that is the way he wanted it than he would have his wish. 'My apologies, my lord,' Valia gritted out through clenched teeth. She dipped into the best curtsey she could manage with him still holding her arm. 'I shall leave with the rising of the sun.'
'You are going no where.' His grip had become steel and Valia winced at the strength in his hands, and at the hold he had on her arm, though he appeared not to notice.
'Kindly release me, my lord. I have given in to your demands. You cannot hold me here against my will.' Her mood had turned icy, and it came through in her tone. He tightened his hold, and for a fleeting moment, Valia thought she would be spending her night locked in the palace, but the pressure released the next second and she turned to find Legolas had retreated several paces from her.
'I wish you a safe journey home, my lady.' He bowed swiftly, then spun on his heel and stalked away, his blond hair swishing against his shoulders in the moonlight.
Valia left quietly the next morning, well before the sun had appeared on the horizon lest unwelcome company stay her journey homeward. Isondil and Silia were aware of nothing but each other once the ceremony was over and it had helped to lessen Valia's guilt at leaving well before she had planned to. They were in a blissful world all their own. She would not be missed. So she left a note at their home, mounted her horse, and did not look back as she fled from Laiquarille with all the haste she had been able to muster.
That had been four centuries ago. Though Valia had heard passing gossip and whispers of the doings of the Prince of Laiquarille, the news of his betrothal was the first real information she had heard of him since then. She tried to ignore the searing pain the news had caused, reasoned away the tears her pillow had absorbed at night when she thought of the wedding that would take place with someone other than her. Not even Glorfindel knew of her tears. She told no one why she had come home early. It was all for the best, she tried to assure herself. She could not marry him anyway.
Earsilme- Sea Starlight, the name of the land where Elrond and Celebrian reside
Laiquarille- Green brilliance- the name of the land where Thranduil and his wife reside
adar- father (Sindarin)
Estel- Hope, the name of the land where Galadriel and Celeborn reside
eleninya- my star
arwen en amin- My lady (formal)
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