Something moved in the shadows, the guard saw it a split second too late. With a strangled cry the elf toppled over the railing of the balcony and plunged to the floor below. The shadow gripped the railing as it surveyed the limp form on the ground. Now that the game had begun, it delighted in the prospect of hurting the Elf Lord. It would have to be done slowly and in a way that would not draw attention to itself until it was too late. Smiling, it walked over to the rail and leapt to the ground below. It stopped for a moment beside the body of the male elf. Such beauty and grace, it thought as it ran its fingers along the elf's cheek. Too bad you were in my way.
".make sure that the guards understand that Lord Elrond is not to be disturbed for any."
The shadow pressed its back against the wall as it waited for the elves to past. Frowning, it stepped out of the darkness; the female elf had silver blonde hair and wore the badge of a Warden of the Golden Wood. If the witch had gotten wind of the Dark Lord's plan and sent one of her guards here, getting to the elf was going to be a harder problem than it thought.
"I understand Tumaila." The guard said with a slight bow. "Lord Elrond has ordered the room next to his prepared for you."
"I would rather spend my nights out in the open." She said glancing around the room. "I fear that I have spent too much of my life in the trees of Lorien and I doubt that I would know how to behave indoors."
"Come now, Tumaila." Elrond said as he entered the room. "Even the warden's of Lorien must spend some of their time inside. I refuse to believe that the Lady Galadriel would condone it if she knew that her warden's behaved so."
"She would not." She agreed. "If she knew of it. But sense she does not, I still desire to sleep outside."

"How can you protect Lord Elrond from outside?" the guard asked.
Elrond held up a hand. "Question not the way of the warden's, just do as she has asked."
"I shall spend the night upon your balcony, my Lord." She said as she faced him. "'tis my Lady's command that I not leave your side."
"Tell me Tumaila, has the Lady told you why you are here and just what you are to guard me from?" Elrond asked.
"Yes." Tumaila replied. "My brother's and I were told that there is some dark force that has targeted you and your guards."
"Brother's?" Elrond asked. "You have no brother's Tumaila."

"My fellow wardens, my Lord. Haldir, Rumil and Orophin have taken it upon themselves to protect me." She said in an off-handed manner. "But they are not alone in their watches. Half a dozen wardens are positioned both inside and out of Rivendell. We have already found one of your guards murdered."
Chapter two:

"I do not like this." Orophin said as the three brothers walked through the halls of Elrond's home. "I do not think that is it wise to place Tumaila in the same room with Elrond."
"Can you think of a better way to get her over this 'crush' that she has on him?" Haldir asked. When his brother didn't reply, he sighed softly. "I know that you are concerned for her, Orophin. But this is for the best."
"And what if it's not a crush?" Rumil asked. "I fear that you may have just sent our dear warden into the fire."
"Do not be silly Rumil." Haldir snapped. "She is just a child."
"The last time I looked, she was no child." Orophin said as he watched his brother's walk up the stairs leading to the second level of the manor.
The look Haldir gave him, told him he had better watch what he was saying about his foster sister. Haldir sighed; he couldn't blame either Rumil or Orophin for being concerned over Tumaila's behavior. Ever since they had come here to ready for war the young she-elf had not been acting herself.
He feared then that Tumaila had fallen hard for the elf lord and now it looked as though his fears were being confirmed. Still Galadriel had insisted that she alone be responsible for Elrond's safety and he could not protest. No matter how it hurt him to see her wasting her affections of Elrond.

"Do you really intend to stay out here all night?" Elrond asked as he joined Tumaila on the balcony. Her back was to him, yet he knew that she had been aware of him ever since he had entered the room.
She shrugged her shoulders, but didn't face him. "It is what I desire to do."
He looked down at the grey cloak that was spread out on the hard stone of the balcony and at the bow and quiver that rested near-by. Her sword still hung at her hip. She stood with one foot resting on its tip while she leaned against the rail staring into the darkness. Her silver blonde hair fell in soft waves down her narrow back and the braids over her elongated ears moved in the soft night breeze. The heavy grey traveling tunic had been unlaced, exposing the white under shirt she wore. Not for the first time, Elrond marveled at the delicate curves of her body that belied the strength hidden with in.
Put her in a gown and she would rival even the fairest of Elvin Maidens. He thought as he reached out and ran his hand over her hair. She shivered beneath his touch, though he knew not if he had caused her reaction or the weather had. The soft tresses of her hair felt like silk under his fingertips as he brought a lock of it up to his face. He could smell the sent of the mellyrn trees and earth that seemed to be apart of her. The elf Lord sighed. It pained him to see her like this.
Before he could even complete her name, he found that he was lying on the floor of the balcony. Shaking off the momentary sense of confusion, he stared up at her in horror. A dark red stain was forming around that arrow that was now firmly embedded in her left shoulder.
"Are you hurt?" She demanded as her right hand encircled the wound.
The elf Lord shook his head as he watched her rise to her feet, behind her Haldir and Rumil burst into the room. Haldir's grey eyes narrowed as they went from Tumaila to Elrond then back again.
"It came from the shadows." Tumaila said as she scooped up her bow and quiver. "Well?"
Haldir started to protest, but she had already gripped the railing and flung herself over the side vanished into the night.
"Is she always like this?" Elrond asked.
"You have no idea." Haldir said as he followed her over the rail.
And neither do you, the Elf Lord thought with a smile. You are so far gone that I wonder if you shall ever see it.
Chapter three:
"It should not have been possible for whatever that thing was to get close enough to fire that arrow." Tumaila hissed as Elrond removed the arrow from her shoulder.
She and Haldir had completed a through sweep of the grounds before returning to the manor. None of the other Warden's had neither seen nor heard anything before the arrow cut through the air.
Haldir sighed as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. He didn't like failure and since Tumaila had been injured and the attacker escaped from under the watchful eyes of his men, he considered this a complete failure. "The question is what do we do now?"
"We can not continue as we have." Tumaila said, shaking her head. "We must bring the Warden inside of the manor. This thing likes to use the shadows against us, so we remove the shadows. I fear that we must consider the possibility that the reason we can not find this person is because he is one of our own or one of Elrond's guards."
"One of my own men?" Elrond asked as he stopped his treatment and looked down at her. "Have you lost your mine?"
"No," She said. "My Lord, look around you. You have the combined forces of Gondor, Arnor, Mirkwood and Lothlorien within your city. It would be all too easy for Sauron to place a spy among us. Who knows what kind of vile creatures he has created to destroy the Alliance?"
"March Warden," Elrond said as he straightened up. "These men have sworn to place their lives in harm's way in order to stop Sauron. I refuse to believe that any of them would make such an attempt."
Tumaila's green eyes narrowed slightly as she ignored his outburst. She knew that she was right, her intuition told her that she was right on this matter and she had not survived as long as she had by ignoring them.
"I would listen to her if I were you, my Lord." Rumil said. "She has never been wrong yet."
"Perhaps we should let her rest." Haldir said as he looked over at the two of them. The tightening in his chest at seeing them together was getting so strong that it seemed to take his breath away. Motioning his brothers to follow, he left the two of them alone.
"Do not worry so, Tumaila." Elrond said as he put a hand on her shoulder. "He will see in time."
Tumaila sighed as she shook her head. "It has been over a century and still he sees me as a child. Perhaps that is all I will ever be to him."
Elrond smiled slightly. "I think not. He would have had my head if he had his way. I have been watching him, my friend and I do not think that what I have seen would qualify as brotherly concern."

Haldir was waiting for her when she walked up the stairs leading to her room. She tried to hide the rush of delight that coursed through her at seeing him leaning against the wall. "To what do I owe this visit?"
"I have seen you with him, mellon nin and I wish to remind you that you are a warden of the wood and such responsibility is not lightly given or forsaken." He said as he looked her over.
Tumaila felt her temper rising. How dare he think that she would shirk her duties for any man! That was something she would not do, not even for him. "I know where my loyalties lay, Haldir. If you think me so petty then strip me of my rank here and now! Other wise hold your tongue."
In one swift movement, he had pushed away from the wall and he had her backed up against it. "I have been silent for far too long and now you are going to listen to me, Tumaila. Stay away from him. I will not stand back and watch you throw yourself at some one who does not appreciate you as I do."
She started to protest, but the words were lost as his mouth covered hers. She went absolutely still under the demanding pressure of his kiss. Closing her eyes, she gave into the desire that his touch created in her. Her arms wound around his neck as his arms slipped around her, pulling her closer to his hard body. Just when she was certain that she could stand no more, he pushed her away from him. Stunned, she watched as he turned and descended the stairs. Confused beyond words, she turned and fled into her bedroom.
What in the name of the Valor, am I doing? Haldir thought as he stormed down the stairs and out into the cool night air. She is my foster- sister and fellow warden. Why then do I have these feelings for her? He clenched his hands into fists as he recalled how willingly she had returned his kiss; her body had fit against his so well that it seemed as if they were made for each other. Why could she not see that Elrond would make her chose between her loyalty to her people and him? He would certainly not let her remain in the guard if they were together.
"You look troubled brother." Orophin said as he stepped out of the shadows. "Has it anything to do with our dear sister?"
"Hold your tongue, Orophin." Haldir said as he glared at him.
"I think not." The blonde said. "For too long I have watched you. You have scared away any that sought her hand. She is not for you."
"How is it that you can not see what is right in front of you?" Orophin said, shaking his head. "She is in love, Haldir. And I know that you love her. Given what we are about to face, should you not let her go? There may not be a tomorrow for any of us why deny them this chance at happiness?"
Haldir stared at his brother. Could it be that Orophin was right? Did Tumaila actually have feelings for Elrond? The warden shook his head. I have seen them with my own eyes. Why did I not see this before?
Chapter four:
How could her life possibly get any worse? Tumaila lay on her bed staring up at the high domed ceiling feeling lost and confused. Leave it up to Haldir to be the one to confuse me so, She thought as she draped her arm over her eyes. We march to war tomorrow and here I lay trying to figure out the call of my heart. I should be making battle plans or talking to the men, but here I am. Valor help me, I do not know what to do.
"Tumaila." Haldir said as he entered her room and moved to stand beside her. "We need to talk, little one."
"If you have come to insult me, I would rather not here it." She said as she lifted her arm and looked up at him.
Haldir sighed as he sat down on the bed beside her. "I deserved that I suppose. But you have to admit that you have not been behaving like a warden should, Tumaila."
"And neither have you, brother." She replied as she sat up and stared at him. "Nothing has been the same since we came here."
"The world is changing Tumaila." Haldir said as he turned his gaze to the floor. "If we hope to survive it, we must change as well."
"That I understand." She replied, shaking her head. "What I do not understand is why you kissed me like that. That was not a kiss between a brother and sister nor was a parting kiss. Tell me then, what it was about?"
"I will tell you one day, but not now." He said as he rose to leave. "Take what rest you can, for tomorrow we march to war and we may not return."
"Haldir." She called out as he reached the door. "Wait please."
Slowly, he turned and looked back at her over his shoulder. For a moment, he saw the small frightened elfling he had saved from the Orcs a century ago. Rising from the bed, she crossed the room and stood in front of him. Slowly, she reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck as she rose up on her feet and pressed her lips to his.
She pulled back slightly, letting her hands slip from around his neck; she trailed them across his broad chest as she lifted her gaze to meet his. "Stay with me."
"Do you know what you ask?" He whispered as his hand came up and gently traced the side of her face. "If I stay nothing will ever be the same between us."
"I know." She replied as her fingers sought and found the clasps that held his tunic closed. She smiled at his sharp intake of breath as she ran her fingers lightly over his exposed skin. "It does not matter. All that does matter is that I know that I love you and I want this."
Some part of him knew that he should turn and leave, she was under his command. But all rational thoughts left when she trailed a series of kisses across his chest. In that moment, he did not care that she was one of his wardens or that she was his foster sister. Picking her up, he carried her over to the bed. As he set her down, He stepped back. "Are you sure?"
"I have never been surer about anything as I am about this." She said as she reached for him. "If I am to die tomorrow, I want to take this memory with me to the halls of Mandos."

Elrond sighed as he watched the thousand of Orcs and other dark creatures rushing toward them. "Tangado haid! Leithio I philinn!" {Hold positions! Release arrows!}
Behind him, the elves raised their bows, drawing back on their strings as they readied to send the vile creatures back to hell. The sound of a thousand arrows being released at once cut through the predawn stillness. Despite the number of Orcs that fell to the well aimed arrows, the elves were forced to abandon their bows and draw their swords.
Tumaila looked at Haldir and smiled slightly. He looked so stern and fierce as they cut down any Orc that crossed their paths, yet she recalled how gentle he had been with her the night before they left Rivendell. In her distraction, she failed to see the Orc behind her. She cried out as the crude blade cut into her flesh. Her sword dropped from her arm as all feeling in it left her. Gripping her useless arm. She looked up at the shadow that fell over her.
"Come," Elrond said as he slipped his arm under her shoulder and helped her to her feet.
"My arm." She said franticly. "I can not feel it."
A look of sorrow and regret passed over the elf's features. "I know. But you shall live and his heart is still yours."
"How can I live when I know that my usefulness to the wardens has ended?" she asked as he led her into one of the healing tents.
"Your usefulness to the warden's has not ended." He said as he placed a hand on her slightly swollen abdomen. "You cannot seek death when life grows in you. You carry a daughter, Tumaila. Middle-earth will need her."
After leaving Tumaila, Elrond went to find Haldir. The March warden was still on the battle field tending the wounded. He looked up at the elf lord's approach.
"What is it?" He asked. "Has something happened to Tumaila?"
"She has been wounded." Elrond said. "She will never again hold a bow or sword in defense of the golden wood. Haldir she is with child. She will need you in the months to come just as middle-earth will need the three of you."
"Good." Haldir replied. "This way she will not be causing unnecessary trouble."
"And if you think keeping Tumaila from trying to be a March warden I fear you are in for more trouble than you can handle." Elrond said. "But the warden your daughter is destined to become will not only protect Lothlorien but a member of the Riders of Rohan."