A Stranger In The Woods





"Greaaaaat," sighed Katherine Bennett, drawing out the word as she plopped down into the soft grass. It was official: she was lost. She pulled her backpack off her shoulder and threw it down beside her. Her legs screamed with exhaustion, she had been hiking all day. Katie knew she should have stopped hours ago, but she kept hoping to find her campsite.

"Hell, any campsite," she muttered, mentally kicking herself for getting into this mess.

She took a moment to scan her surroundings, and felt a shiver of dread go through her body. The woods looked different from before; darker, and scarier. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she realized that someone was watching her. Panic hit her full force and she jumped to her feet, glancing around nervously.

"Hello is someone there?" she whispered, her fear mounting.

A movement to her left caught her eye, but when she turned to look nothing was there. She listened closely, but the only sounds she heard were the leaves rustling in the treetops. No birds, no insects, just the wind blowing and her heart pounding in her chest. She closed her eyes and wished she could go back in time and start the day over again.

When she opened her eyes and looked around but nothing had changed. She was still lost.

Just then a twig snapped to her left. She whipped her head around and felt her breath catch in her throat. A tall and slight man with long blonde hair stood not even ten feet away. He had a bow and a notched arrow pointed directly at her.

Katie stood there, unable to move. Unable to take her eyes off him. Her mind screamed for her to run, but her legs refused to work. The bluest eyes she'd ever seen stared back at her, burning into hers.

'What will he do?' she wondered, terrified. 'Rape me? Kill me? Rob me?'

"I don't have any money," she said quietly, unable to stop the tremor in her voice. The man frowned at her.

"What are you doing in these woods?" he asked. Katie was surprised at his voice, soft and gentle like a song; nothing at all like the ice in his eyes. She glanced over him, finally taking a moment to study his odd appearance. He was dressed in greens and browns, his clothes fitting snugly against him. He had on what appeared to be tights and dark brown boots that nearly went to his knees. His blonde hair was long and beautiful. 'Unreal' she thought, amazed. His face was flawless, handsome, almost ageless. 'He looks just like Legolas from The Lord of The Rings' she realized dizzily.

'What the heck is going on here?' She wondered, feeling panicked. She took a step back as he neared.

"Don't move," he demanded in the same silky voice.

"People are looking for me," she lied. Doubt flickered behind his eyes.

"There is no one around for miles." He stated. "What are you doing in these woods?"

Katie took a deep breath and decided to run for it. She turned and sprinted as fast as she could away from the man, leaving her bag on the ground. She hadn't gotten 10 feet when a strong hand grabbed her arm, forcing her to a stop. She turned and looked up at him, surprised at his quickness. He was a good 5 inches taller than she was, and his presence was intimidating to say the least.

"I am going to ask you once more, what are you doing in these woods?"

Katie looked him straight in the eye, and decided the truth was always the best answer.

"I'm lost," she admitted. "I was hiking and I somehow wondered off the trail…Please don't kill me," she added breathlessly.

He studied her for a minute, seemingly judging her story. He slowly released her arm and took a step back.

"What is your name?" he asked finally.

Katie let out a breath she wasn't aware she was holding. 'He isn't going to kill me' she realized happily. "Katherine Bennett, but everyone calls me Katie."

"Katie?" He repeated slowly, acting like it was an unusual name. "Where are you from?"

"Kansas," she answered. She looked around and smiled. "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore," she said, attempting a joke. He gave her a blank look.

"The Wizard of Oz…?"

"I don't know of a Kansas," he said slowly when he realized she was waiting for a reply.

"You know, in the middle of the United States," she looked at him like he was crazy. He looked down at the ground for the first time, as if lost.

"I know no United States," he replied.

'He doesn't know the United States,' Katie thought wildly. Maybe he escaped out of a loony bin.

"Let me guess," she said with a sarcastic laugh, "We're in Middle Earth."

It was Katie's turn to receive a strange look. "Yes" he answered, speaking to her like she was a child.

"And YOU must be Prince Legolas," she continued with another laugh, slightly annoyed at the way he was staring at her.

He gasped in shock. "How do you know who I am?" He demanded sharply.

Katie decided to play along. "I've seen Lord of the Rings a hundred times. I must say,

I've always wanted to meet you, and Aragorn."

He cut her off. "You know Aragorn?" he asked surprised.

Katie grinned. "I don't know him personally, but I'd like to."

He studied her with a frown. "Maybe I was meant to find you Lady Bennett," he decided softly, almost inaudibly.

He quickly walked over, grabbed her backpack off the ground, and returned to where she was standing.

"Come with me," he demanded, grabbing her wrist.

He pulled her behind him roughly, every so often glancing back at her with a puzzled look on his face.

Katie studied him as they walked. 'He's really cute' she thought with a sly smile. She glanced up at the back of his head and stopped dead in her tracks. His ears were pointed.

He turned to look at her. "Why did you stop?"

"Your ears..." she whispered in disbelief. "They're pointed."

He shot her another crazy look.

"Of course they are. I am an Elf….did you not know of this? You seem to know everything else," annoyance dripped from his voice.

'Oh crap,' she realized suddenly. 'He really is Legolas. I really am in Middle Earth.'

"Are we in Mirkwood?" she asked quietly as they began to walk again.

He stopped and frowned down at her. "No, we are outside of Rivendell."

"Are you on your way to the council?" she asked boldly.

He appeared startled. "You know of the council?"

"Of course, the Ring will be presented and everyone will start arguing," she said matter-of-factly.

He interrupted her. "We will talk about this once we have determined if you are a spy."

He said sternly, and roughly pulled her along.

'A spy?' Katie thought, feeling confused. 'He thinks I'm a SPY?' she thought indignantly.

This was excessively bizarre. 'And who is he talking about when he said WE will determine if you are a spy?' she wondered.

Five minutes later, Katie found her answer.


a/n: So, it's finally here! My new story! Please review and tell me what you think. A huge thanks to The Hobbit Ivy, my beloved beta! I couldn't have done it w/out you!

I will be trying to put a brief author's note following every chapter to answer questions and such. One thing I would like to explain is that Legolas heard Katie speaking to herself before he made his presence known, and so that's why he didn't speak to her in elvish.

I really hope everyone enjoys this story. It's gonna be a long one, so buckle up!