Chapter 12

Chapter 12

The couple's full recovery was quick. In only a few days Idrial had nearly returned to her familiarly active and stubborn character, though she still tired easily. Their friends were eager to see them, and at the farewell banquet Ghan-buri-ghan himself came to apologize for his nation.

"Me people not normally attack elfs. Me hope you no get wrong impression of us. We friendly, if no well trained in elf speak or man speak!"

Idrial smiled. "Please do not trouble yourself. Their actions as refugees and trespassers on your nation's kindness are neither your fault or your burden."

The Wildman leader did not seem to understand the direct meaning of the princess's words, but smiled at their positive notes. Dipping low in the fashion of his people, he departed from the couple, allowing their friends to surround them once more.

Their decision to move back to Gondor went back to the debate. Idrial was fearful after the past events. The attack had occurred at the very place they had planed to build their home. The event was unresolved, with only Jehethra facing any criminal charges. Venet, as promised, did not face court, but was placed in a household along with the slave boy. Idrial was nervous about the freedom of the others involved, and about their ability to keep their identities from being revealed. The gypsy had been not the least bit helpful with names, but they had learned whispers about a huge underground crime ring that had flourished to extreme power during Gondor's wane. The perpetrators of the elves' assault and abduction were only a few of it's numerous members. Idrial knew she could never raise children with this threat unresolved, and as a ruler would fear for each of her people. Legolas himself felt unsure about their future here. Many nights the faint light of a candle could be seen flickering behind their closed door, into the early morning their quiet voices could be heard as they discussed their path. The Fellowship spent their days attempting to convince their friend to remain with them.

A husband's love won over a friend's affection, and the couple departed Gondor two weeks after the farewell feast. As the last of their remaining people departed over the sea, so too did the couple sail West, taking ship with the rest of their family. Gimli returned to Gondor with his people, as he had promised. The dwarven community thrived, even without their elven neighbors. The elven couple settled in the land of their people, taking leave of the mortal lands to the rest their actions and exploits in the age long war had earned them. With peace surrounding them, they could turn their minds elsewhere.

"Now we can attempt my other plan, my first plan." Idrial lay on a plush divan in the couple's new talan. Behind her, a large arched window displayed the rolling sea waves lapping mere meters away.

Legolas turned from the kitchen counter to regard her. "And what plan might that be?"

She smiled. "The one about the rabbits."

He smiled in return. Laying down his utensils, he came to stand over her. "And when do you suggest we start?"

Her slender hands took him by the waist. "Now."