Blood Track

By Sivan Shemesh

Thank you - Cal for the hardwork as my beta. Hugs and Kisses, sweetie

T for Angst, violence, missing scenes ((will come as flashbacks)), and character death!

Disclaimer: If I was Tolkien, you would read this in the books, after you bought it, and if I were rich…

Story set in Fourth Age, AU.

Story plot: Gondor's royal family goes on a trip that will change their lives forever.

1.

Gondor

Near the Celos River

King Elessar stirred in fear. He opened his eyes only to see the tent they stayed in was ruined. The king had been awakened by the smell of smoke. Panic and dread filled him as he tried to turn and look over his wife, but could not move his body; it hurt too much.

"Arwen…" Elessar called weakly panic filling his voice, as he did not see her in the tent.

"Elessar…" The king recognized the weak voice of his voice and tried to move despite the pain, in hopes of seeing whether his wife was well.

Elessar searched the tent, looking in places he hoped he would find his wife, but instead there was a tail of blood that led outside. The king held his breath, hoping that she was all right and nothing had happened.

"My Queen, where are you?" Elessar asked, fearful that he had lost her.

"Over here… help me…" Arwen tried to raise her voice, but with no success. She felt herself growing weaker instead of stronger. "Hurry Estel…"

The king followed his wife's voice as he searched in every corner in the tent, but his wife was not in the sight.

"Arwen…" there was despair in his voice.

"Near… near… the… horses…" Arwen spoke weakly.

'Outside?' Elessar asked himself and wondered why he did not check it before.

Elessar hurried outside searching for his wife. The rays of the sun nearly blinded him, forcing him to close his eyes. He rubbed his eyes before opening them, trying to adjust to the sun.

Elessar held his breath as he watched the horrifying scene that was outside the tent; black smoke that covered the area, he stared at the ash-covered ground.

The horses…he could see that the horses were dead

He could barely walk over to the horses. His chest felt tight and he could barely breathe. Cold sweat beaded his brow.

"Arwen," he called for his wife while trying to ignore the pain.

He lowered his head and found himself staring at the burned ground. He knelt by the ground and started to dig, hoping to find her well, and in better shape than he was.

There was no answer seemed to come from her as the king called again with more panic now in his voice. "Arwen, please answer me…"

"Elessar…" she moaned at the pain piercing her body. She was half-saying, half-whispering his name.

Aragorn sat besides her, cradling her head in his lap as he scanned the area before him. He wondered what had happened, and where was his son. Where was Eldarion?

The king lowered his head. His neck ached when he lowered his head, staring at his beloved wife. He saw how broken was her face with blue and black. Blood, both fresh and old, dripped from her lips.

Aragorn could feel a tear fall. He closed his eyes, trying to take a deep breath, but it seemed hard because his chest ached. He moved his hand slowly to touch the bruises. His eyes scanned around them as he searched for water to clean her wounds, her face, but there was none as far as he could see. His throat felt dry; he knew his lips would later feel cracked—it was nothing new to him.

He wished that he could do more than just sitting there. He felt useless, knowing that his wife's condition was worse than his. He now wished he had brought along his guards. He felt that it was his fault; he was the one who arranged for a vacation with any guards, as he wished to enjoy time with his family, to not have to wear his crown, and to be simply himself.

Elessar was so deeply buried in his self-condemning that he did not noticed his wife moving her lips, in an effort to talk to him. He felt her touch upon his palm. He lowered his head and stared at her, noticing her as she opened her crack and bruised mouth. He could barely hear the whispered words. "It… w… was… not… your… fault." Then she dropped unconscious in his lap.

"Arwen!" Elessar called out in fear, hoping he was not about to lose her.

Using his sleeve, he gently wiped away the blood on her bruised face.

The king could see the deeper cuts in her face; He feared she would die from the blood loss. Her face was much too pale.

"Oh… my beloved… whatever has happened?" Elessar wondered aloud as he gently caressed her cheek.

She shivered under his touch, blinking her eyes. He called to her. "Arwen?"

His eyes locked upon her face, not wanting to let her go him. The love between them was as tight as a rope; if cut their heats would be broken. He loved her greatly and had no intention to let her die.

"What happened, Arwen?" he need to know what had happened, and where their son was.

Arwen's crystal eyes stared at her beloved husband, and weakly she lifted her hand wanted to touch her husband's face. She tried to make her mouth move in order to speak. "D… Did they hurt you?"

Elessar moved his hand, his eyes still at her, wondering if he should tell her he had awoken and found himself.

Arwen moved her cracked lips and asked him again with worry in her blue dull eyes, "A… are… y… you… h… hur… rt?"

"No…" Elessar answered, though he knew she could the pain in his voice, and as he cried, his voice shook.

"Please… do not cry…" Arwen pleaded weakly as she stocked her husband's face with one weak hand.

"Where is Eldarion?" Elessar asked.

"… Oh, no…" Arwen moaned and let her hand falling down beside her form.

"We need aid, my love… and we need to find Eldarion as well." Elessar softly said as he touched her face.

"How will we go?" Arwen asked as she tried to gather her strength.

"On foot." Elessar replied as he helped her to stand, letting her lean her head on his shoulder as he took his first shaky step.

"We… will… never… get… home… we… need… to find… a… horse…" Arwen said weakly.

Aragorn knew that she was right, but it was impossible as this moment. Hope seemed to have forsaken them.

"Do you know who I wish to come to help us?" Elessar asked her suddenly.

Arwen nodded, unable to speak because her voice was giving out.

"Legolas, our beloved friend, who never failed our trust, and is always loyal to us." Aragorn replied to his question. But Legolas was not here at this moment.

Aragorn sighed, looking at the rampage around him. Even if but one horse had not been slain, they would have a chance to survive. King Elessar remembered months earlier how he and Lord Faramir had argued about his leaving without any of the guards, because it was the way Aragorn had wanted his vacation to be. Now, the king knew his steward and friend had been right, and his decision weighed heavily upon him.

Long did Faramir warn him of the many dangers, but Aragorn had ignored his counsel. Now, those that he loved were paying for what he chose.

'If I had been careful, none of this would have happened.' Aragorn thought, hoping against hope that Eldarion would be all right, wherever he was.

End of Chapter 1


A/N: for the readers of Alias and Broken Spirit, the stories are in beta-ing, and hopefully one will be update this week.