The Mystery of Love

Chapter Two

Growing Tension

     Point Of View – Reyna Lindele

            I forced a smile. I  was almost certain that I was where I needed to be, but the way that other elf had looked at me was very displeasing. This young man, Ari, seemed to be different. I smiled, "Hello Ari. Could you perhaps tell me where I am?"

            He stood, "You are in Mirkwood, land of the Woodland Elves. You are a welcomed guest here as long as you wish." Perfect, right on schedule. I visited Rivendell two weeks ago, now Mirkwood. I had done just as my dreams had instructed.

            I smiled and stood weakly as Lorei entered and the mysterious elf called Ari swiftly exited.

            I tried not to snarl at Lorei as he walked up to me, "What is it you want of me, fiend?"

            He smirked, "Father has ordered me to help you become more acquainted with the land, as you will be staying here until I lose interest in you." He looked over my body lustfully. His eyes journeyed wherever they were so inclined, making me even more uneasy.

            I glared at him, "I shall never like you and do not ever think that I will submit to a prick such as you!" I stomped on his foot and fled from the room. I didn't know where I was going but I knew anywhere was better than where I was at the moment. I found myself down the hall and running into Arwen's room.

            Arwen sat up upon noticing my entrance, "Lady Reyna, what ails you so?"

            I looked at her, "That dreadful man! He won't leave me alone; he thinks that he can seduce me into staying here with him! I do not like him at all; I am not one to fall for men so easily! I hate that blasted man!"

            Arwen smiled, "Speaking with King Thranduil may aide your tribulations."

            I sighed, "Please, come with me, there are many things about this place that I do not know yet."

            Thranduil grimaced, "I regret to say that if my son fancies you then I am in no position to argue with him. You see, I am fading quickly. I will be leaving this tainted earth and will rejoin his mother, Aliana. I miss her so, I long for her presence so much and that is what ails me. Elves can only die two ways. One is from a battle wound and the other is from heartache. I am afraid my love for Aliana will be the death of me."

            I frowned sympathetically, "I am so sorry Lord Thranduil. Is there no one else to succeed you that I could talk to?"

            He took a deep breath and responded with pensive hesitation, "The true heir to Mirkwood's throne will not claim it." He seemed exhausted and it seemed like this matter only worsened his status.

            I looked at the ground, "Ilmankoi?" {Why not?}

            Arwen put a firm hand on my shoulder. She too noticed his weakness, "It's his choice Reyna. He does not wish to rule."

            I turned, painful tears swelling in my eyes. I ran from the room, frustrated. Once again lost, I stumbled through the open walkways until I found a rather ramshackle room and crept in to cry. I curled up into a dark corner beside a bed and cried; sure no one was there to hear me.

   Point Of View Change – Unknown Elk

            I walked into my room exhausted and heard the sound of a woman's sobs. I followed the sounds to the vacant room next to mine. A crumpled ball of tears lay in the corner, shaking. I approached, "What makes you cry so?"

            She shivered, "That dreadful Prince Lorei wants to seduce me into staying with him! I do not like him at all! It's not fair."

            I stepped back, "Speak not such slander of a Prince's name! His brother is the hero and heir of Mirkwood!"

            She sobbed, "I told the king but he is too old to do anything! Lorei would just defy him! The king told me the true heir will not call upon his right! He's just a coward if you ask me!"

            I growled, "Don't talk about him like that! He's no coward! He won't assume the throne because Lorei told him that his mother wasn't the Queen when he was born. He thinks that makes him illegitimate." I offered the strange woman a hand to help her up. "I am Ariane." I examined her oddly dark skin and plain brown hair. Why in the world Lorei would like her was beyond me. I smiled, "Maybe you should talk to the heir and see if you can knock any sense into him." I tried to calm down, but if she called Legolas a coward I knew she did not know him very well.

            She looked up, "What be his name?"

            I pondered how to answer, knowing she had already met him. I spoke his birth name, "Legolas Thranduillion." Chances were sligbt that he actually used his birth name.

            The woman sighed, "How soon may we meet?"

            I bit my lip, "I will arrange for it. What is your name?"

            She hesitated, "Reyna, and thank you Lord Ariane."

            I helped her to her feet; "I will have a handmaid wake you at eleven to meet with the Prince."

            She nodded. Her mind wandered for a moment in silence. She paused on a thought, pondering it. She glanced up at me, "Are there any female elves here? I have only met Arwen, who is from Rivendell and I knew her long before I came to Mirkwood."

            I smiled, "Perhaps you should meet Loriane, Lorei's twin sister."

            Reyna withdrew emotionally, "Is she anything like her brother?"

            I laughed, "The exact opposite; she is my fiancé and trust me they are not alike at all."

            She smiled, "Will you escort me to her chambers so that I need not worry about unwanted company?"

            I sighed, not wanting to spend time in public around this girl. I nodded and we walked out of the room and turned at the first right. I looked at her, " What descent are you? You are not elven or dwarven."

            She looked at the ground, "I am half Wicca Fae and I am also half Dark Elf."

            I backed away. A dark elf in Mirkwood? That was not a good sign. I inhaled deeply, "Which were you raised?"

            She turned, "I was raised by humans. My full name is Reyna Lindele, Court of Gondor."

            My eyes fell upon her form again; "You are close with Aragorn then?"

            She shook her head; "He and I haven't seen each other in six years until today."

            I smiled, "How old are you?"

            She sighed, "Only three hundred."

            I choked on the air I breathed in, "Three hundred! Lorei is three thousand and sixty three years old!"

            She nodded, "Well, I left Gondor six years ago because of a dream. A dream told me that I must meet and become acquainted with as many elves as possible. I do not yet know why. I have already visited Rivendell and am good friends with Híril Arwen and Hir Elladan."

            I nodded, "Aragorn was pleased to see you again I assume. Anyway, here we are. Please address her better than you did Lorei. I heard he was quite angry with you for your outburst."

            The strange girl giggled and walked into Loriane's room as I left.

   Point Of View Change – Loraine Thranduillion

            I saw an odd-looking woman walk in and bow. I smiled, "Hello, I am Loriane, daughter of Thranduil and Princess of Mirkwood. Who might you be?"

            She took a deep breath, "I am Reyna Lindele of the Court of Gondor."

            I raised an eyebrow inquisitively, "One of the mother raised by humans?"

            Reyna shook her head, "I am half Fae and half Dark Elf."

            I gasped, "I see. Well at least the Dark Elves did not keep you." She shrank back, "Well Reyna, what do you wish of me?"

            She smiled, "Híril {lady}, I wish to meet Legolas. I need to speak with him concerning Lorei and I need to talk with him now. It is of utmost urgency. Ariane said I could meet him in the morning but I would rather speak with him before I lose my courage. Please lady, I know elves do not actually sleep very much so he shouldn't be asleep yet."

            Biting my lip, I nodded; "Follow me." She stood and followed me out of the room and down the staircase. I walked out of the Halls and down a curved path to a smaller building. I frowned, visiting Legolas was always an enjoyment but it seemed this subject was not one I wanted to sit in on.

            She looked around awkwardly, "Why would Prince Legolas live here?"

            I smiled at her curiosity, "It is his choice. He and Lorei are half-brothers and he thinks that makes him illegitimate. Truly it is Lorei and I who are of improper birth. Thranduil is Legolas's father while an unnamed man sired Lorei and I. Thranduil adopted us of course, as not to disgrace mother, but Lorei makes it out to be the other way around since he is eldest. Legolas does not know he is the true heir and if we were to tell him he would not believe it anyway." Skepticism loomed in Reyna's stormy eyes. "I've tried Lady, believe me."

            Reyna frowned, "Bastard. I do hope Legolas gets the balls to assume the throne otherwise I will have to assassinate your king."

            I laughed tensely as I was not accustomed to reacting to such foul language. "I am sure you could Reyna of Gondor but please do not. Legolas cannot help how he feels." I knocked on the door and Legolas answered.

            Reyna bowed, "Mae Govannen Ari, I am here to see Legolas."

            My breath caught in my throat, "Reyna, may I speak to 'Ari' privately for a moment?" She nodded and walked a few meters away, dragging my brother by the arm behind me. I glared at Legolas, "Why in the world did you give her your mother's name? You are royalty! Act like it for once in your life! You will explain to her why you lied or I will have father force you! You know you are a Prince so please behave as such and mind your temper, the girl is very outspoken."

            Legolas watched her intently, "I will try sister. Leave us, I will escort her home when needed. Thank you and tell everyone I said goodnight."

    Point Of View Change – Reyna Lindele

            I saw Loriane start to leave and I subsequently walked up to Ari, "Will you show me to Legolas now?"

            He took in a deep breath, filled with hesitation. "I am Legolas, son of Thranduil and Prince of Mirkwood."

            My jaw nearly dropped and I gasped, "Why did you lie?" Part of me instinctively reacted with anger.

            He turned and led me inside, "Because, I do not like my birth name. I was born illegitimately so I chose the male form of my mother's name for my common name. Her name was..."

            I interrupted, "Aliana. I have done my research. Now you coward, tell me why you will not accept your birthright." My temper started to flare.

            He sigh in frustration, "I am not a true Prince! I am a illegitimate child, thank you, and it is not my right! Reyna, I am sorry I lied but I am ashamed of all the court intrigue involved in my heritage." A flash of anger and pain lit in his eyes.

            I snarled back, "So, you can't help but accept it. It was not your fault and your kingdom shouldn't suffer because of it." Now I was angry, I had the same type of heritage and I was still going to claim the throne when I could.

            He sighed, "Also, if I am to become king I must wed first. I do not want to marry anyone. I would rather rule alone." This new tradition was not laid in stone, but it was expected now a days, especially by the elven people.

            I looked into his tempestuous blue eyes, "I am the same way Legolas. Please consider what I have said and join me and the rest of the court tomorrow morning for breakfast."

            He nodded and escorted me back to my room kindly. I bid him farewell politely and closed my door. Rest came slowly.

            End of 2nd Chapter