Disclaimer: Nothing's mine but Eneira!

A/N: No, 'No Eyes Needed' is NOT finished; I just got an idea for this, and am having trouble starting the next chapter of 'No Eyes Needed', so I wrote this. Next chapter of 'No Eyes Needed' will be up...as soon as I get an idea for what to write and write it.


-Companion story to Chapter 22 of 'No Eyes Needed'-

Her breath was coming fast now, but she ignored it as she ran over the forest floor. Her feet pressed down heavily on the leaves, and she was all to aware of the sound she made. But when she looked behind her and saw no one, she allowed her worry of being followed to relax, and, slowing her pace, let out a laugh in between gasps for breath. Ah, the look on Haldir's face had been priceless - Orophin had been right. It was well worth any rumors just to see Haldir's reaction when she pretended to 'seduce' him in full view of half of Caras Galadhorn's population. Haldir's anger had, of course, been unexpected, but worth it. She'd just have to stay clear of him for the next few days - Orophin would be more then glad to help with that, she was sure.

"I suppose you found that incredibly amusing and exhilarating?" Eneira froze. Well, so much for keeping clear of Haldir for the next few days.

"The look on your face certainly was, though I would not wish to repeat that run overly soon, especially as it seems to have done no good." Eneira said, turning slowly to face the Elf. As per usual, she found his face to be its usual mask of calm, though it seemed somewhat strained now.

"For that you have no one to blame but yourself." he said, arching an eyebrow. "You should know better by now than to try and outrun an Elf."

"I do." Eneira said calmly.

"Then, pray tell, why did you run?" Haldir said, keeping his eyebrow raised.

"I had hoped, apparently wrongly, that Orophin would keep up his part of the bargain and divert you from following me very far." Eneira replied, annoyance at Orophin entering her voice.

"He tried his best." Haldir said with a smirk. "And he is now tied, gagged and blindfolded for his efforts." Eneira blinked, digesting this new information. Haldir was not one to expend unnecessary force, especially on one of his brothers. That he had taken the time to tie up Orophin and still continued his chase of Eneira did not bode well, and Eneira suddenly wondered if perhaps she and Orophin had gone too far this time.

"Ah...well then...I...guess I shall...go untie him...then..." Eneira said, slowly trying to edge away from Haldir, the absurd fear that she was too far from Caras Galadhorn for anyone to hear her scream popping into her head.

"So you and he can have a hearty laugh over your latest prank? I think not." Haldir almost spat out the word 'prank', and his eyes burned with a sudden intensity that was Eneira suck in a breath. More than ever, she wished to run from the glade, back to Caras Galadhorn, where she would be protected, but she found that Haldir's piercing blue gaze had rooted her to the spot. She could not move, even when Haldir stalked over to where she stood, stopping only a few inches from her. Tense silence reigned, and then Haldir withdrew slightly, the intensity of his gaze subsiding enough that Eneira let out the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding, though she still found herself unable to move.

"Tell me, do you enjoy playing with others emotions?" Haldir asked suddenly, his voice calm, except for a barely detectable edge that caused a shiver to make its way up Eneira's spine.

"I..." Eneira gulped as she saw the dangerous glitter in Haldir's eyes start to intensify again. Gathering what courage she could under that gaze, she managed to let out a faint "No." But Haldir's gaze only intensified at her answer, and he closed the gap between them again, now standing so close that Eneira could feel his breath on her face.

"Then why?" Haldir asked, his voice as intense as his gaze. Eneira simply looked at him, unable to find an answer.

"WHY?" Haldir demanded as the silence continued, wrapping his hands around Eneira's upper arms in grip of steel. It was not a bruising grip - indeed, Eneira barely felt it - but she knew that until he willed it, Haldir's grip would not be released.

"I don't know." Eneira finally said, quietly, and tore her eyes away from Haldir's, looking over his arms to the trees.

"You don't know." Haldir voice was bitter, and Eneira turned her gaze back to his curiously. She was shocked as she found that his anger seemed to have melted away, leaving his emotions exposed across his face. There was pain, bitterness, and...longing. Eneira frowned slightly in confusion, unable to understand or predict this new, exposed Haldir. She had always thought him arrogant and aloof, an opinion backed up by Haldir's brothers, but now...Now he had dropped his show of arrogance. And he looked so vulnerable. And so hurt. Eneira's heart clenched as she realized that she was the one to bring such pain to him, and she opened her mouth to say something - anything - to repair the damage. But before she could say a word, the facade of cool, arrogant aloofness returned to Haldir's face, and he released her arms, turning on his heal and slowly walking away.

"Go untie your friend." his voice drifted back over his shoulder, almost commandingly. Eneira took a hesitant step to see if she could move, and when she found she could, she turned in the direction of Caras Galadhorn - the opposite direction that Haldir was walking in. She got no more then five steps, however, when she paused and looked behind her at Haldir's retreating back. She glanced forward again, then back, her heart telling her to turn and follow Haldir, to apologize. She paused for another moment, glanced forward once more, then her feet had a life of their own, and she turned and ran quickly to Haldir's side.

"Haldir." she said softly as she slowly, and the Elf stopped abruptly.

"I did not exactly tie Orophin gently - I suggest you go free him quickly." Haldir said icily.

"I will not until I have apologized." Eneira said firmly, placing one of her hands lightly on his arm. Haldir turned too looked at her, his gaze impassive.

"What you have done can not be apologized for." he said flatly. Eneira looked at him, surprised, pulling her hand back from his arm slightly. If there was one thing she learned in her visits with Elves, it was that it had to be some grave injury or insult indeed to cause them to refuse to apologize - after all, they were immortal and had plenty of time to learn that grudges were not productive.

Haldir blinked suddenly, turning his head so Eneira could not see his face, pulling Eneira out of her surprise. She realized with a start that there had been tears in his eyes before he turned his head, and her heart ached, screaming at her to do something to fix the pain she'd caused, even while her mind spun in confusion. Haldir began to walk again, away from Eneira, and in desperation, she forewent the confusion of her mind and let her heart, which seemed to already have a plan for what to do, take over her actions. So she was somewhat, though not entirely, surprised as she quickly caught Haldir's arm and pulled him to her, capturing his lips with her own in a fierce kiss of apology. When she drew away, Haldir looked at her in shock for a few moments, and then his eyes hardened.

"Haven't you already had your fun for today?" he snarled, and would have turned away again, except Eneira caught him in another fierce kiss, refusing to let him go. When she pulled away, she looked up at him with eyes filled with determination, and he didn't try to leave again, though he watched her distrustfully.

"Hurting someone is never fun. If I had had any IDEA that this prank would have done anything more then simply embarrass you, I would have told Orophin to do it himself!" Eneira said, then added quietly, letting her face show her regret, "I am sorry." Haldir paused, seeming to consider her words, and then abruptly nodded.

"You are forgiven, then." he said. "Though I would like to know one thing."

"What?" Eneira asked, looking up at him with curiosity.

"Why on Arda did you decide to kiss me to keep me from leaving after pulling the prank you did?" Haldir asked, arching an eyebrow. Eneira blinked, thought for a moment, and then shrugged.

"My mind wasn't really working, I just did what felt like it would work." she said.

"Did you now." Haldir's other eyebrow rose to join the first. Eneira opened her mouth to make a wise crack about his eyebrows disappearing if he raised them much higher, but suddenly found that her mouth was taken up in another activity entirely - kissing Haldir. When he pulled away, Haldir smirked as Eneira just stood there staring at him in surprise.

"Why...why did you do that?" Eneira croaked out.

"I felt it would work to stopped you from making the wise crack I saw coming." Haldir replied innocently.

"Right." Eneira said, regaining her senses and edging away from Haldir slightly, suddenly aware that they were standing toe to toe. "Well, I'd better, uh, go untie...Orophin." Eneira said, edging farther away, then turned and began walking off towards Caras Galadhorn. But after a few moments, she stopped, and looked over her shoulder. Haldir was still there, leaning against a tree with his arms crossed, watching her. Looking back at him, Eneira became painfully aware of his incredibly good looks, something she'd learned to ignore since it was so common among the Elves. She also realized that her heart hadn't completely surrendered the control it had been given, and found herself walking purposefully back towards Haldir.

And this time, neither of them was surprised when their lips met in a passionate kiss.


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