Disclaimer: I do not own or claim to own any of Tolkien's characters or locations.

Author's Note: Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by to read this. It's just a little one-shot that I wrote somewhat randomly one evening and some weeks later, I edited it into this. It is meant to be open to interpretation, both in the beginning and end, so I did leave some of the context unaccounted for. Special thanks to Efia-an for editing with me. I hope you enjoy, and please review.

The title was inspired by this quote, which I thought was fitting to the content of the story: "One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love." Sophocles

Revised: July 3rd, 2008

She was already out of sight of the halls and well on her way to the edge of Mirkwood. As she slowed to a walk, she was finally able to compose herself. Looking up, she realized that she could barely make out the darkening sky through the twisted canopy of the forest.

When she heard a branch snap, she turned around and was suddenly facing the one being she had been trying to escape.

He spoke in a low voice as the color of his eyes fluctuated with every turbulent emotion that ran through him. "Why are you trying to leave?"

"Do you not understand?" She looked at him sadly as the first drops of rain landed about them.

He shook his head.

"Why do you want me to stay? You can have any maiden that you want in all of Mirkwood..."

He moved toward her, wanting to shelter her from the rain that had now begun to steadily fall.

"And what if I say that there is only one maiden that I want?"

She sighed. "Then that maiden should consider herself very lucky."

"What if I say that she is standing right here with me, right now? And if I say that I love her, what then might she say?"

Her eyes widened and she looked down at herself and then back at him. His hair was coming loose from his warrior braids and stray strands of blonde hair were plastered to the sides of his face by the raindrops.

"She would be lying if she said she did not love you." The rain camouflaged the tears that were now escaping the corners of her eyes, yet Legolas could still detect them.

He slowly moved closer to her. Her arms hung at her sides and soon he had wrapped her in his embrace. His lips touched hers gently. The kiss was just that: a kiss. It was not demanding nor domineering; it was a tender, simple kiss to acknowledge what had just been spoken between them that neither had been able to admit before now.

She could taste her own salty tears mixed with the cool rain on his lips, but she was no longer crying.

His lips left hers, but instead of pulling away, he rested his forehead upon hers and gazed at her face. Her eyes were closed, her eyelashes made more dramatic by the droplets that had collected at her eyes.

A few moments passed before she opened her eyes and looked into his, the normally light blue of his irises a shade darker with emotion. He was looking expectantly at her, searching her expression in vain for some sign of what was to come.

She looked down, silently reflecting upon his words. He said that he loved her for the first time and finally, she had been able to fully admit to loving him in return. She no longer wanted to leave or escape; now, she simply wanted to stay. A part of her was still scared of what she had admitted to him, but perhaps it was just what she needed.

The rain was slowing and the clouds were moving swiftly west, allowing the first rays of sunshine to find their way down to the forest floor through the tangled branches overhead.

Meeting his gaze once again she spoke softly, "I love you, Legolas." He sighed with relief and took her hand. He had so much he wanted to express to her, to tell her and ask her, but that would all wait. No words were needed as they walked hand in hand back in the direction they had come, unsure of what the future held, but safe with one another in that moment.

Thanks for reading! Please review :)