Author's notes: Hey there! Thanks for taking the time to read this! I do have a couple things to mention before you delve into this little creation of mine. First off, I do not own the rights to World of Warcraft or Blizzard. Obviously. Second, I am not a writer. This is my first fanfic. Hell, this is my first time writing anything that didn't need to be turned in at the end of the semester. So if it really sucks, and I'm pretty sure it does, chalk it up to lack of experience and don't completely bash me if you review it, please. Third, I am open to constructive criticism, as long as it's CONSTRUCTIVE. If you find any spelling errors, please let me know. I like to think spelling is my strong point when it comes to the English language, and if you find anything I missed I would be more than happy to correct it. Fourth, do not expect frequent updates. I will definitely finish this story eventually, but I have a life just like everyone else. I'm currently finishing up college, so this story will not be my number-one priority. I do have most of it roughly planned out, so it's not going to take years to finish, just so you know. Okay, my rant is done. Please read and review, and enjoy:)

I be too tired fo' dis crap… thought the troll as he wiped the blood off his knife on his pants. This was the fifth bear he ran into within the past hour, and he was starting to run out of energy, as well as time. He shaded his eyes and looked towards the setting sun in the west. Don' look like I be makin' it ta Splintatree Post befo' dark… 'specially if I keep runnin' into tings like dis. He cast one more distasteful glance on the corpse before walking away in search of a place to rest for the night.

Despite the mild annoyance the bears posed, he rather liked Ashenvale forest. He'd never seen a place so lush with vegetation. The tall trees formed a thick canopy overhead, letting sunlight gently leak through to cast patterns on the forest floor. The floor itself was completely covered with soft grass, vibrant flowers, and thick bushes in all shapes and sizes. Heck, he didn't see dirt or even know if it existed here for half a day, everything was so covered with green. He looked down at the ground and noticed how thick and luxurious the grass felt on his feet. Guess it won' be so bad ta sleep out 'ere. However, the forest was also rich in animal life, some of which were not the friendliest of creatures. He had to find a safe clearing before he could rest for the night, preferably a place with some…

He could faintly hear the sound of running water from somewhere in front of him. Perfect. He continued on until the sound got louder, and decided to proceed a little more carefully, approaching as stealthily as he could. He was always one to err on the side of caution, and being a rogue, he could never be too cautious. Reckless rogues were dead rogues. Besides, there were things more dangerous than beasts out here.

When he finally reached the sound, he found a little pool of water with a small waterfall, if it could even be called that, draining into it along the side of a small outcropping of rocks. The place seemed safe enough, it was mostly well-hidden by trees and other vegetation, but he still didn't emerge from his spot in the bushes. He sensed something was here, but he couldn't tell exactly. Then he heard some sounds coming from the other end of the pool, and froze. He did sense something… and it sure wasn't a bear. He briefly considered just leaving and finding another source of water, but his curiosity won against his better judgment. Without making a sound, he slowly made his way along the pool, never emerging from the bushes, until he reached the other side. Well dat's jus' great… He thought sarcastically as he saw what was only a few meters before him.

It was a night elf. She was standing with her back to him, stretching her arms above her head in the air, fingers laced, palms up. She held that pose for a few seconds, then brought her arms down as she yawned. Apparently she jus' got up, he thought as he looked her over. She was fairly tall, even for a night elf, and had long, delicate-looking ears that stuck out of her dark, emerald-green hair, which hung loosely down to her waist. Her skin, what little of it he could see, was pale and had a light purple hue to it. She was wearing a white swashbuckler's shirt, dark grey leather pants, a thick black belt, a dagger strapped to her thigh, and tall brown cuffed boots. A'least she be easy on da eyes, he grinned as he looked over her slender figure.

The night elf was now slowly looking from side to side, taking in her surroundings and trying to sense for any danger, including any trolls who might be within spitting distance behind her. Despite the strong Alliance presence, this was technically a contested area, and she didn't want to take any chances. She also took a quick glance at the ebony panther that was sleeping near her belongings under a nearby tree, as if guarding them. Great. She be a hunter as well. Hunters were always a pain in the ass for him to deal with. He came to the conclusion that he needed to dispose of this elf before she became a serious problem for him, and started to unsheathe one of his daggers. He watched her closely, waiting patiently for an opening. When she was done surveying her surroundings, she visibly relaxed, content that there was no immediate threat. There was his chance. With his dagger ready, he was just about to move forward and put an end to her existence… when she started taking off her shirt.

He froze. His body froze, his mind froze, everything just froze as he watched her remove her shirt and gently toss it to the side. When she started unbuckling her belt, he started to settle back into his hiding spot with a huge grin plastered on his face. Dis might be intrestin'…he thought as he sheathed his dagger. She didn't pose an immediate threat, so he didn't have to kill her right away, right? He sat with his hand under his chin and watched as she removed the rest of her clothes, wishing he could be watching from the front, but not minding much either way.

Finally tossing her bra and underwear to the side, she slowly walked into the pool, letting herself get accustomed to the temperature. When she got up to her waist, she was already starting to shiver. She hesitated a little before taking a deep breath and submerging herself completely into the pool. After a few long seconds, she resurfaced with a splash, gasping from the sudden coldness. Her pet sleeping nearby lazily looked up at her and let out a huge yawn, baring its teeth and curling its tongue. She laughed lightly and playfully splashed it, causing the big cat to cringe and groan in annoyance. She then waded around for a couple minutes, completely oblivious to the pair of eyes watching her from the bushes. She then swam towards the small trickle of a waterfall and climbed onto the rocks beneath it, causing the breath to catch in the troll's throat as she finally faced his direction.

She was beautiful. Her skin was flawless, not marked by any tribal markings like the ones he's seen on most night elves. Her back was arched slightly as she tilted her head back to let the water run through her hair, displaying her full breasts. Her delicate hands were lightly running through her hair, searching for any tangles. Her face, now that he could see it, was what struck him the most. Her eyes were large, silvery pools of light which glowed faintly, and were half-lidded with pleasure as she continued the attentions to her hair. Her full lips were slightly curved into a contented smile, making her look so serene he wondered how he ever thought she could have been a threat.

Deciding she was done with her bath, she climbed down off the rocks and started swimming to the edge. He sighed inwardly. The bath was too short, as far as he was concerned. Then again, it could have lasted three hours and he still would have thought it was too short. When the elf reached her belongings, she fished through her pack for a minute and took out a long-toothed comb from its depths. She then walked onto a nearby rock to dry off in the sun, which was quickly setting over the horizon by now. She kneeled down and sat back on her heels while she gathered her hair over her shoulder. She then proceeded to comb it, getting rid of a few last tangles before letting it dry. As the troll watched her for a few minutes, sitting gracefully while gently combing her long hair, the dim dusk light making her skin glow, he knew for sure that she had to be the most beautiful creature he's ever seen.

A shame, really… he thought to himself. She had finished with her hair and was now walking towards her clothes. He was a little hesitant about killing her now, but she was one of the Alliance, and she probably wouldn't hesitate to kill him. He watched her dress for a minute, which he found could be just as interesting as watching her undress. After she put on her shirt, pants and belt she started fastening the dagger to her thigh, at which point he though it was a good time to intervene. He reached for his dagger again and started to move forward. It was her own fault, really, for leaving herself so vulnerable. She didn't even set up a trap or anyth-


well shit.

He quickly rolled to the side as the explosion trap went off, managing to avoid most of the damage, but was still stunned for a couple of seconds. As soon as he recovered, he realized what he just did. Shit! He quickly stood and turned to face the elf, just as an arrow went by his head, barely missing him. Damn, she be a quick one. The elf had already grabbed her bow and was now glaring at him threateningly.

"KALI!" she yelled towards her pet, her fierce eyes never leaving his as she grabbed another arrow and readied it. She didn't need to call it; the panther was already closing the distance between them. Dis ain' good, he thought as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small object. He quickly threw it against the ground, causing a flash of light and smoke to envelope him. The elf had to shield her eyes for a second, but when she lowered her arm, he was gone. Kali was shaking her head and pawing at her nose, the smoke obviously having an affect on her.

Damn… the elf thought to herself. She scanned the entire area, moving only her eyes as she stood there motionless. Now that her pet had passed out, she was definitely at a disadvantage. She had her back to the water, so she would probably hear him if he tried to sneak up from behind… A sound directly to her right startled her, and when she quickly turned, she was surprised to find the rogue going through her belongings, of all things! Before she could react, he had found the purse containing her gold and grinned as he held it up. She gasped and quickly made a move to snatch it from him, but he easily dodged and maneuvered around her, taunting her with the purse as he backed away.

She had enough of this. She reached for her bow… only to find it missing. She frantically searched around her, but couldn't find it. She had an idea where it was, though. When she glared back at the troll, he was holding her purse in one hand, her bow in the other, and was sticking his tongue out at her, making a "Nyeeeeeeeh!" sound. Her nose crinkled in frustration as she continued her death glare. The troll only grinned, and tossed the bow aside as he pocketed the coin purse. Still grinning, he then withdrew a dagger and held it defensively in front of him, while the other hand was raised in a "bring it" gesture.

She narrowed her eyes. It seemed like he was challenging her to a knife fight. He could easily have just killed her and left with her money by now, so she couldn't think of any other reason for him taunting her. Not one to back down from a challenge (that and she wanted her money back), she quickly withdrew the dagger on her thigh and started to charge him, surprising him a little with her speed and impulsiveness. He braced himself for the encounter, thinking this fight might become more difficult than he thought. He didn't have to worry about that, though, because just before the elf reached him, with her dagger ready to strike… she slipped and fell flat on her face.

Several seconds went by without either one making a sound. The troll just looked down at the night elf with a shocked expression on his face, while she lay completely motionless on the ground. She forgot that she wasn't wearing her boots, and the rocks around the pool, she discovered, were very slippery indeed. She didn't even bother trying to get up, partially to hide her mortification, but mostly because she was waiting for the final blow that would send her off this plane of existence…

But it never came.

Instead, the deafening silence was broken by the sound of riotous laughter. She lifted her head and stared at him in disbelief. He's LAUGHING at me? He had his head tossed back and was letting loose, not caring if he attracted the attention of everything in the whole forest. His laughter was even starting to rouse her pet. She almost wished he had just killed her and put her out of her misery, instead of putting her through this kind of embarrassment. She made a move to get up, but gasped when a sharp pain shot through her leg. She glanced down at it. Her pants came down to her upper calf, and the skin below that was slightly scraped, but other than that her leg looked fine. When she tried to move her ankle, though, she winced and gritted her teeth.

I sprained it. Wonderful. With some pain and effort, she managed to get up on her feet, leaning most of her weight on her good leg. The troll was now on his knees, clutching his sides, still laughing. It looked like he was about to cry from laughing so much. Oh, I'll make you cry… Murderous thoughts went through her head as she stood there, fists clenched, trembling with anger, and glaring at him with such intensity that it would have made a rabid wolf cringe in fear. The troll looked up, and instantly stopped laughing. The grin on his face was even starting to melt away into a look of fearful awe. She would have felt very smug about wiping that stupid grin off his face… if he was looking at her. But he wasn't. He was looking directly behind her.

She quickly turned around, just in time to see a huge water elemental twice her size raise its massive arm to swing at her. She had no time to dodge, and before she knew it she was knocked to the side several meters into a large tree trunk, hitting it with such force that she blacked out for a couple of seconds. When she opened her eyes again, the elemental was heading towards her, and the rogue was nowhere to be seen. Hmph. Chicken-shit… Her head was throbbing now, and her vision was a little blurry as she tried to focus on the enraged elemental approaching her. As she slowly tried to get up, her pet, now awake and a little pissed about her master getting injured, jumped between the two, trying to at least distract the elemental. She was unsuccessful, as she too was soon knocked away like a rag doll. The elemental turned its attention back to the elf, who had managed to sit up, but couldn't do much more. She knew she couldn't handle another hit like the one before. She started to panic; her mind was racing, trying to find a way to escape, but in the end she realized it was futile. The only thing she could do was clench her eyes shut and pray to Elune that it would soon be over.

She then heard a loud bang and was instantly surrounded by smoke. This startled the elemental, but it quickly recovered and took a swipe at the smoke... only to find no one in it. It swung again, confirming that the night elf was now gone. As the smoke cleared, it let out a bestial roar and turned around, leaving the area under the tree and searching for another victim.

Meanwhile, up in that tree, the troll was sitting on a branch with the night elf in his arms, supporting her knees with one hand and covering her mouth with the other, lest she give away their location. As the elemental left the immediate vicinity of the tree, he slowly took his hand off her mouth, giving her a look that said "Don't make a sound." He watched the elemental from his perch intently, not daring to move until it was out of sight. The elf, however, was oblivious to the elemental and was staring wide-eyed at her savior. Why didn't he just let me die? she wondered. Never mind that he could have killed her easily before more than once, but didn't. This was different. He actually went out of his way to save her. Why? Weren't trolls known to be merciless and cruel? She's never encountered any trolls like him before… She stared at him a little more intently. Come to think of it, this was the first time she's ever been so close to a troll. She took in his appearance more closely, since now they weren't trying to kill each other.

He was tall and had a skinny, wiry build, but she could see he wasn't a pushover by the toned muscles tensed under his pale blue skin. He had thick dark red hair, cut short and looking slightly spiky. It seemed to have a will of its own, especially the stray bangs that fell in front of his face and obscured his eyes. The rest of his features looked a little severe, as most trolls tend to look. He had a long, sharp nose, guarded amber eyes, large tusks jutting up out of his bottom jaw, and pointed ears that amazingly were even longer than hers. He was wearing a vest, pants, two daggers, and arm and leg bracers, all made of black leather. She noticed that trolls didn't wear shoes, figuring their feet just weren't made for them. He didn't notice her staring at him, still focused on the elemental that just wouldn't leave. She felt like saying something to break the awkward silence. I should probably thank him at least…

"T… Talah osa…" she said, barely above a whisper. The troll, startled, quickly turned and looked at her, looking surprised and a little confused. The elf immediately realized what she said and glanced away, feeling a little embarrassed. Of course he doesn't speak Darnassian, you idiot! He, on the other hand, was surprised that she said anything at all. Most night elves would sooner spit on a troll than talk to him. It only took him a few seconds to realized what she probably meant, and muttered something that she could only assume in his language meant "Your welcome." She looked back at him, a little surprised at first, and then gave him a timid smile. He grinned back at her, and turned his attention back to the rampaging elemental.

After a few minutes, the area was finally clear. By this time the sun had completely set, and what little light was left on the horizon was quickly fading as night started to descend on the forest. The troll hopped down from the branch and set the elf back on her feet, a little too roughly he realized when she let out a yelp of pain and grabbed his arm for support to keep from falling. When he gave her a confused look, she looked at him sheepishly and pointed at her injured ankle. He understood and, before she could protest, took one of her arms around his neck and held her waist with his other hand. She felt silly being so vulnerable and needing help, but she couldn't help it now, especially since she wanted to get to her pet as soon as possible.

"Kali…" she said and pointed to where the panther was still laying unconscious. The troll slowly started walking towards the big cat, keeping his pace as close to hers as possible. He's still trying to help me, she thought to herself. His behavior was really starting to confuse her. Then an idea popped into her head. She looked up at him, unsure of what to do. Well, it couldn't hurt to try, I guess…

"What's your name?" she asked, this time speaking in Common, the language humans used. He froze and turned towards her, looking completely shocked. Did I do something wrong? she thought as he continued to stare at her. She suddenly felt very self-conscious under his gaze, and couldn't help but turn away. "N-nevermind," she quickly stammered, pretending as if she never said anything. They continued to walk on, but he kept looking back down at her occasionally. She was actually trying to communicate with him! Night elves never tried to talk to trolls, not even to insult them. Trolls were considered so far beneath them that they didn't think they were worth the time and effort to insult. She, however, was making an effort to talk to him somehow. She wasn't all high-and-mighty and uptight like every other night elf he's ever met. He found himself liking her more and more by the minute.

"Da name's Raj'iki," he said. It was the elf's turn to look shocked. She looked up at him with wide eyes, not sure if she really heard him or just imagined it. He flashed her a wicked grin, pulled her closer to him, and lowered his head to hers as he whispered "but ya can call me Raj."

She blushed furiously, her lavender face turning a few shades darker. Nonetheless, she still maintained her composure. "So you know Common," she said, ignoring his flirty behavior. "I'm a little surprised, considering it's a language spoken by the Alliance."

"Ya mon, I kno' Common. Lot o' trolls do. It be called Common fo' a reason, ya kno'." He smirked at her.

Great. He's a flirt AND a smartass.

"I be surprised dat you kno' Common yo'self, mon," he continued. "I tought you night elves were too good ta learn summin' like dat."

Her long eyebrow started twitching, and she shot a glare up at him. "I think I liked you better when I couldn't understand you."

He laughed heartily at her comeback, glad to see she at least had a witty sense of humor. They continued to walk on in silence for a few more moments.



"My name is Zelinda."

He looked down at her and grinned. Zelinda, eh? Pretty name.

They left the conversation at that and walked in silence, not having much else to say as night fully descended upon them. Except…

"May I have my purse back now?"