Disclaimer for One and all: I don't own anything J.R.R. Tolkien created. I just own my plot and my characters.

Chapter One

My heart thudded as I ran. I could hear the beast's heavy breathing not far enough behind me. Tears streamed from my eyes as images from yesterday played over and over in my head. My lungs ached and my head throbbed from where I fell. I'd tried to hide, up in a dark tree. The warg followed my scent to the trunk then searched the surrounding area for me. I thought I was in the clear, so I climbed down slowly and quietly. The warg had been hiding in a shrub nearby and launched itself at me the second my foot touched the ground. I heard the crunch of my left arm before I felt the pain slice into me. I resisted the urge to scream and just started running, hating myself for being such a coward. If my family could see me now….

I could feel myself tiring. I knew I wouldn't be able to run much longer. My eyes started darting around, trying to find something, anything that could help. They locked in on a branch that had broken off at a point. That would have to do. I threw myself on the ground and grabbed the branch as the beast kept running, and flew over me. I hurried to stand; it would realize I'd stopped soon. As it prowled back into the small clearing where I was, it growled. I couldn't understand why it had followed me for so long, surely it should have gotten bored hours ago and gone for easier prey? I tried to concentrate on the thing as I simultaneously tried to catch my breath. It felt like there was a hole in my lungs. The warg fell back into its stance, and I knew it would strike. I held the branch in my good hand and it hurled itself at me. I raised the branch and directed it to the beast's face. It howled as I was thrown backwards from the blow. I'd stuck its eye, and it was angry now. It came at me again, this time chomping down on the branch and tore it out of my hand. I pushed myself backwards with my feet, trying to get away from it, but it just seized my right foot above the ankle and threw me like a rag doll. There was a resounding thud that I realized was my head hitting a tree. I tried to sit up but a wave of dizziness crashed in on me, and darkness frayed around the edges of my vision. I waited for the creature to come at me the last time, the time that would kill me and said a small prayer that it would be quick. I heard the snarling come nearer as my consciousness faded, taking everything fading with it.

"Forgive me, Father," I whispered before the black overtook all my senses and I was comatose.

There was a tugging at my right boot. I tried to swipe at whatever it was, but my arms wouldn't move. It tugged again, this time succeeding in taking the boot off. I tried to open my eyes but it felt as though there were weights on them. Now there was a sloshing sound coming near, and I felt something cold and wet on my foot. Again, I tried to move, to make the uncomfortable process going on around my foot go away, again I failed, but my head felt a little clearer. I heard a mumbling in some language I didn't understand, or maybe I would have understood it if my ears hadn't felt like they were filled with mud. There was a different tugging now, in my mind, as though I was trying to remember something important but it was just out of reach. Now something was prodding and poking my foot, feeling around. As the hands slowly moved up to my ankle, pain flooded my body and I broke free of all the black and slowness of my mind.

I sat straight up gasping for air as though I'd been submerged in water for far too long. I jerked my injured foot away from the hands that hurt it and tried to slide myself away, but the second I tried using my arms, more pain overwhelmed me. I lay on my side, curled into a ball willing the pain to go away so I could escape whatever trouble I was in now, but cool hands found my face and my eyes opened to brilliant blue eyes staring back, worried. I quickly looked around the rest of my surroundings and saw five men- elves, total. I calmed myself quickly taking a few deep breaths, knowing that whether they were good or evil, I was outnumbered anyway.

Two of them were talking in the language I didn't understand, they seemed to be talking about me or to me, I couldn't tell but they stared at me all the while. Cautious, it appeared, as though they didn't want to frighten me any more. The one with the sapphire eyes talked next, he was definitely talking to me. I felt stupid as I looked dumbly back at him. The others looked surprised that I couldn't understand. I tried using my voice.

"Where am I?" rushed out of my mouth when I'd been meaning to say who are you. My voice seemed fine, if a little scratchy. It seemed to be in better shape than the rest of me.

Relief spread over the blue-eyed one's features. He knew the language I spoke.

"You are in the Mirkwood forest, m'lady. My companions and I mean you no harm. We found a rogue warg about to kill you and saved you from it. You are safe now," he said in a voice that was silky and perfect. "My name is Legolas, and they are Isal, Isindil, Elindir, and Calanon," he said, gesturing to the others as he named them. "Your ankle, your arm, and a few of your ribs are broken; may we have your permission to tend to you, lady?"

Astonished at his politeness, I nodded. He and another, Isal, I think, helped me back over to the mat I had hurried away from. It was only slightly more comfortable than the ground, but less dirty I imagined. The three other elves left the clearing to give me a little privacy. Though, I didn't really see the point. Two men were going to see a lot of my body, what did three more matter? But I was grateful, despite my negative thoughts.

After I was sufficiently wrapped in splints and bandages, the other elves returned and Isal gave me a small vial to drink. He said something and I looked at him hopelessly, having no idea what he said. I looked to Legolas and he smiled. "It'll help you fall asleep, you need rest, lady." I nodded again, not trusting myself to speak and honestly feeling a little self conscious and drank the potion. It was delightfully sweet and fresh, though it obviously didn't work instantly. Elindir placed a blanket over me and I smiled a thank you, since only Legolas understood and spoke Westron, it seemed. Then I watched as four of them started to get their dinner ready, and Legolas sat near me, which was comforting. Watching the fire, I started to feel a little sleepy and noticed that Legolas was looking at me, curiously. "What is your name?" he said, again in that perfect voice.

"Alasse," I said softly in return. A look of recognition crossed his features before he composed himself again. I screwed up my face, trying to figure that out and lay down as the overpowering urge to sleep took control.