Title: The Game of Love

Author: Khylaren

Contact:

Fandom: LOTR – AU

Rating: R

Cast: OFC, Glorfindel, Elrond, Haldir and others

Timeline: Begins roughly before the Hobbit.

Summary: Laurel Thompson had given up on men and love. Her loneliness sparks the interest of Eros, God of Love and Desire, who decides that she just needs to find the right person to love – even if that person happens to be in another world entirely.

Notes: Written for a sweetheart of a friend, mostly to indulge her whimsy and her hormones. You know who you are, dearie. Hope you like it. Yes, it's a Sue, but at least hopefully it has good dialogue and characterization!

Prologue

Young, free, and unfortunately single.

Those words summed up Laurel Thompson's life pretty much in a nutshell. She didn't mind the first two so terrible much, but the third was beginning to wear on her more than she wanted to admit. After her divorce from He Who Will Not Be Named three years ago, she'd found it rather difficult to slip back into the whole dating scene again. Her marriage had left a bitter taste in her mouth that no amount of Listerine would erase. Despite the urges of her hormones, she couldn't quite bring herself to admit that men were even worth it at this point.

That's what battery operated devices were for anyway.

So, with the exception of a brief fling with a bartender right after her divorce was finalized, Laurel had been celibate. Her life was much simpler that way, and quite frankly, she liked keeping her life simple.

She didn't realize that her apathy when it came to matters of the heart had garnered the interest of someone who had a vested interest in love; namely, the God Eros.

Love and desire were his specialty, and while there were numerous mortals in the world whose hearts were empty and needing, Laurel had reached a level of ennui that surpassed most. The state of her heart was like a red flag in front of an enraged bull. He could ignore it no longer.

So, using his Divine Powers, he found the one male who she would love, and who would love her equally in return. Granted, the individual in question was not from the realm of Earth, but for Eros, this was not an obstacle he could not overcome. He did, after all, have powerful friends in other realms.

It would be a simple matter to remove Laurel from Earth and deposit her in the Realm of Arda, and thereby make it possible for her to find her true love. Of course, being a God, he couldn't make it too easy for her. No, there would be the obligatory obstacles in the way of her happiness that she would have to overcome before she could find her one true love. But that was always the way these things worked.

With that, the God of Love and Desire began to plan.

Anteros could sense that his brother was up to something.

Long conferences with their mother, Aphrodite, extended visits to other realms, and a noticeable interest in the mortal realm of Earth below all pointed to one thing: Eros was planning on something big.

It took little effort to discover what Eros was up to. All in all, it was so typical of his brother that it was rather disappointing in the end. Another mortal with an empty heart – something Eros could not possibly resist.

Like Eros, Anteros' influence lay in love and desire, therefore he could not actively oppose his brother's plans. The mortal herself – Laurel, had actually fallen under Anteros' purview when her husband had betrayed her with another woman. Though the situation was hardly unique, Anteros was aware of it, and understood well Laurel's apathy with regards to finding love. He supposed he could have expended a little more effort in punishing her husband for his infidelity, but it seemed enough that the man lose the love of his wife and a goodly portion of his income besides. 

So Anteros watched, and waited, curious to see if Eros could indeed find a perfect match for Laurel, and eager to take control of things if his brother should fail.

Laurel Thompson, unaware of the machinations of the gods above, unaware of even the existence of said gods, left her apartment and walked to the parking lot below, her keys held loosely in her hand.

She waited patiently for the light to turn so she could turn left, out of the parking lot and onto the busy road. Her mind was curiously peaceful, and she found herself singing along with the radio as she waited, watching traffic go by.

The light turned green, and she began her turn.

She never saw the Mayflower moving truck that decided to risk the red light and cruise on through the intersection, thereby ending her 32 years on earth with an abrupt clash of metal and glass.