I am posting this because I feel really nice and my airplane experience took extremely long and was extremely boring so I was able to write this chapter. I hope you like it and remember, I was trapped on a delayed airplane for a couple hours if that explains the contents of this chapter.

Disclaimer: See Chapter 5

Nin Estel (My Hope) Part 14

Arathorn left the healing wing and headed towards the stables. He found his son's slave lying on the ground unmoving in his stallion's stall. A crimson liquid stained the straw around him from a deep cut on the side of the elf's head. Arathorn called for two guards who grasped the elf by his hands and feet and carried him back into the castle.

Arathorn led the guards into the dungeons and to the Torture Room, where he told them to shackle the elf. They shackled his wrists to some hanging manacles so the elf dangled like a toy. Arathorn commanded them to leave and they went out closing the thick wooden door behind them.

Arathorn walked in front of Legolas and slapped him. "Wake up, you stupid elf," Arathorn commanded. Legolas' eyes snapped open and then squinted in pain. He searched wildly for answers as he saw his surroundings.

On the outside, Legolas' face was an emotionless mask, but on the inside, he churned. He remembered this place, the pain, and the laughing guards. He knew it would be worse this time for Arathorn was relentless. Arathorn stood in front of him, surveying him. He spoke. "I don't know if you can understand me, elf, but I will speak nonetheless. You are extremely lucky that my son made you his slave. The alternative would have been more amusing, but... You caused my son to be injured. My son, the future king of Gondor. I will not allow his future to be jeopardized. You do not seem to be responding to his methods of training so I will try my own."

Arathorn walked over to a cabinet. He turned to Legolas and spoke again. "In this cabinet, we keep the whips. With every whip in here, you will receive 47 lashes. Why, 47 you would probably ask? Because that is how many times the bandage had to go around my son's body and it was your fault."

With his anger building, Arathorn threw open the cabinet doors and picked up the first whip his hand touched. It was a plain whip, made of leather. Arathorn stood behind Legolas and whipped him. Legolas bit his lip. He would not give Arathorn the pleasure of him crying out. Arathorn didn't seem to mind. "I've broken Elves before. You'll be screaming before the end."

After the first whipping, Arathorn tossed the whip to the side and went to the cabinet and retrieved another. This one was made of braided leather. Arathorn stood to the side of the elf and whipped the front of his body this time. Arathorn enjoyed whipping. It relieved tension in his muscles and gave him the pleasure of watching Elves suffer.

Legolas bit his lip harder this time, hard enough for his lip to split and blood run down his chin. Legolas knew he had no chance of being saved and he gave up, letting his body take the abuse. Arathorn spoke to him. "Do you know who your master is?"

Legolas looked up at him and pretended to think hard before saying Aragorn as slowly as he could. Arathorn nodded, satisfied. "Yes, Aragorn is your master but you address him as master. Master." He spoke slowly and the elf said nothing.

Arathorn dropped the second whip near the first and went to the cabinet. The next whip had knots tied along the leather. As Arathorn circled his body raining blows everywhere, Legolas gritted his teeth and silent tears ran down his cheeks. His body was bleeding and bruising. He welcomed the blackness that seemed to swallow him up, but only a moment later Arathorn noticed. He retrieved a vile and tipped it down the elf's throat, forcing him to swallow. Legolas' eyes snapped open for the second time in that horrid place. Arathorn spoke to him while getting another whip. "You need to feel your lesson elf. You can't just pass out."

The last whip Arathorn found for use was the most pain inflicting therefore his favorite. It had bits of metal worked into the leather of the whip. Arathorn threw all his strength into these last whips. The whip bit his skin and he screamed not able to contain his agony any longer. The whip hit his skin again and again. Legolas screamed until there were no screams left in his body.

Arathorn dropped the last whip and turned a crank that let the chains down. Legolas dropped like a rock. Arathorn picked up the bleeding beaten heap and tossed it on the table. He chained the feet and hands to posts at the corners of the table. Legolas knew it was no use to struggle, so he laid there, not making a sound as Arathorn prepared him for pain.

Arathorn turned another crank so the table was at an angle then he smiled at the elf. "You shall now experience pain."

Arathorn turned a wheel and the table started to stretch until his body was taut on the board causing pain in his muscles and joints. He then watched Arathorn as he turned the wheel again, his body screaming as the cuts seemed to pull further open. When Arathorn stopped, Legolas had his eyes shut tight, willing the pain to decrease. "Now elf if you can do what I say I will let you go now if not we will review our lessons."

Arathorn grabbed a whip threatingly then asked his questions. "Who is your master?"

"Aragorn," answered Legolas in a tight voice.

"Whom do you serve?" asked Arathorn loudly.

"Aragorn."

"Whom will you never attempt to hurt?" Arathorn's voice was louder and had a rhythm now.

"Aragorn."

"WHOSE EVERY WISH AND COMMAND WILL YOU FULFILL?" bellowed Arathorn.

"Aragorn," said Legolas, who never once lost his emotionless mask.

"Good," said Arathorn, apparently satisfied.

He turned the wheel in the opposite direction and the chains fell loose against the table. Arathorn unchained him from the table then summoned a guard. The guard grasped Legolas' chain and dragged him through the dungeons and outside to the stables. Legolas struggled to his feet and stood in front of Arathorn. Arathorn pointed at the stables. "I want you to clean every horse's stall and all the saddles by tomorrow afternoon. There will be no food for you until then." Arathorn stalked off, the guard in tow.

Legolas set to work. His body ached from the treatment, first the whipping and stretching, now the intense physical labor. He couldn't see straight for his head wound was still bleeding and he started to feel disoriented from the blood loss. He used a piece of the cloth he was cleaning with to tie against his head wound to hopefully staunch the bleeding. Legolas had cleaned every saddle by nightfall and he fell asleep in the hay of Aragorn's horse's stall. Aragorn's horse stood protectively over her friend that night.

The Next Morning...

Legolas woke to a soft nudge on the shoulder. He touched the velvety nose and rubbed it gently. He grasped the horse's mane and used it to stand up. He gave the horse a good brushing then buried his face into the horse's mane. "Hannon le," he whispered while leaving the stall.

Legolas worked hard, sweat beading on his skin while he shoveled hay. He bit his lip so that he would not cry out every time he shoveled. He tried to block his thoughts and questions but they bombarded him: Where was Aragorn? Why hasn't he come to save me? What hatred does Aragorn's father bear for the Elves?

When Legolas finished, it was noon. Arathorn came down to the stables and inspected it. "Your work is satisfactory, elf. Now, you shall get back to your real task." Arathorn yanked him by his collar through the halls to the healing wing. They rounded a corner and saw Aragorn lying on a bed. His chest and head were wrapped in bandages and he looked to be sleeping.

Arathorn chained him to Aragorn's bedpost. "When my son awakes, you shall answer to his every wish and if I hear any different...." He left the punishment to imagination. Arathorn turned and left the wing. When Arathorn's footsteps had faded, Legolas turned his head and studied Aragorn. He looked to be well, other then the bandages. Legolas then collapsed onto the floor, the cool tile felt wonderful on his burning body.

A few minutes later, a healer came to check Aragorn's vitals. He was surprised to find a half-dead elf chained to the bed-post of the Prince's bed. He sensed something wrong when he saw the elf. He rolled the elf over to find the floor covered in blood. The healer in him told him to start working on the poor creature immediately, but the citizen of Gondor told him to ask the Prince first so he did. He shook the Prince gently to rouse him. Aragorn opened his eyes slowly and took in his surroundings. The healer stood back a moment and let him become adjusted. A moment later, the memories flowed back and Aragorn sat up abruptly, wincing at the pain in his chest. His eyes scanned the area and landed on the healer.

"Bernard, it is you," said Aragorn in relief.

"It is I, your highness. I have taken care of you since they brought you in. I am glad to see you are coherent and awake again." Bernard bowed then smiled.

"Thank you....Umm, did they happen to bring anyone else in with me?" asked Aragorn.

"No Prince but was someone else injured?" asked Bernard with concern.

"Yes there was. A blond elf with shackles on his feet and a collar on his neck," said Aragorn, fearful to find out what may have happened to the elf.

"Do you mean this one?" asked Bernard softly as he gestured towards the bloody heap at his feet.

"Oh dear god..." gasped Aragorn when he saw Legolas. "Bernard, would you please tend to him?"

"Of course, Prince Aragorn." Answered Bernard as he gathered the bloody mess and gently deposited it on a table within Aragorn's view.

Bernard worked steadily with a deft hand. He cleaned the elf's body of the blood and wrapped it in clean linen bandages and healing herbs. The elf seemed to be conscious but the healer could not tell for sure. He laid the body on the bed next to Aragorn. Aragorn grasped the elf's hand and gave a gentle squeeze.

Bernard watched the pair with motherly concern as they both fell asleep, hand in hand.

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Sorry guys but I don't have time to write reviewer responses right now. I hope you like this chapter though. Please review and I wish you all the best. I will be on my last vacation this next 2 weeks and you can expect an update soon after, I hope. galadriel evenstar

I personally LOVED this chapter, it was all her work though,I had nothing to do with this chapter, so please R/R!
Legolas19