Susan ran as if an evil giant were hot on her heels. She knew not where she was going but she has never been so panicked in her life. She just had to be elsewhere, anywhere where Legolas wasn't. She raced past the inner curtain and ward finally slowing down when she felt she needed to catch her breath. Pausing slowly, she took great gulps of air and tried to still her pounding heart. Only then did she look up and saw that she was in a magnificent garden with all the flora and fauna in full bloom. Closing her eyes for a minute, she let the soothing atmosphere enter and calm her mind. Spotting a lonely bench, she quietly approached it and sat down heavily, as if the whole world were on her shoulders.

Why did you let him kiss you? She finally asked herself. A question she had no idea in answering just yet. He made you and the Narnians suffer. Why did you let the hands that shed so much Narnian blood touch and hold you?She couldn't bear the idea of facing the elf now and she sure didn't have any idea how their next meeting would play out. Letting out an audible sigh, Susan looked up and saw that the sun was about to set and that the banquet held in their honor would come soon.

"'Quelundome Queen Susan." Said a voice from behind her. The voice sounded kind so she glanced where it came from and saw an elf who seemed familiar.

"What was it that you said?" she responded. "Your tongue is foreign to me." She added matter-of-factly without spite.

"Forgive me my queen." Said the blond elf. "It is but an elvish greeting of good evening."

"I thought as much." She replied with a wary smile. Though she sensed no harm will come to her alone with the strange elf, she could still not afford to be too trusting of the Narnian invaders.

The elf came nearer and stood before her and spoke: "Truly only a daughter of Eve would find the sole place where to sit in this garden."

What strange words she mused. True the garden was huge yet there were no other benches to sit on. She wanted to remark on that yet what she said was entirely different. "You called me a daughter of Eve. You've immersed yourself in our history I suppose?"

"Yes I have." Was the reply. "Allow me to introduce myself." He added. "I am Omdír, one of our king's generals and advisers."

Susan was instantly wary when she realized where the elf's loyalty lies. "Good evening Omdír." She nodded in acknowledgement. Seeking a neutral ground she queried: "Pray tell, why is there only one place to sit in this wonderful garden?"

The elf chuckled and answered: "Why because we elves prefer to stand. We rarely find a purpose to rest so to speak."

"I see." She said smiling politely. She knew first-hand how tireless they are. She racked her brains for something else to say. She wanted to leave in search of her siblings yet she's reluctant to leave the isolation of the garden and was afraid to run into…

"Legolas. Did he show you Art room?" the Elvin asked.

Susan's head shot up too surprise to conceal her reaction. Thanking the dusk for masking her blush, she quickly tried to block the image of her kissing the Elvin king back. She replied: "Oh yes he has. It was like meeting old friends. She added wistfully: " I'm glad they survived the war."

The general didn't know how to respond for he knew exactly how the queen might be feeling, of how they stole and claimed their lands. Gazing at the sad countenance of the young maiden, he searched for words to let the Susan know, he was no enemy. He wanted nothing more than to befriend the beautiful queen sensing that she held the power to bring his old friend back. He'd do anything to help her for she was the hope he'd been asking Éru for.

Before he can speak, Susan spoke up as she stood: "Well it was a pleasure making your acquaintance Omdír."

"The pleasure was all mine my queen." He replied bowing slightly. Susan gave him a smile and said: "Thank you for letting me enjoy the garden and this bench." She turned to go but the elf's next remark held her still: "Should you require a friend…" he paused and added contritely: "Forgive me for being presumptuous."

She could afford to be generous. "Thank you for the offer. It is most welcome in….in these times." And with that she quietly left.

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Where in the name of Melkor did she go?Legolas thought for the hundredth time as he scanned the grounds of his castle. When she tore herself away from he immediately missed the feel of her lips under his. Would she always spurn his touches? Did she not feel it an honor that he was marrying her? His anger made his steps angry and his face thunderous. Such was his ire that he failed to notice all of his subjects would look down and get out of his way.

"My Lord." Said a strong voice that forced him out of his thoughts. He turned to look at Susan's obnoxious older brother.

"High King Peter." He said in acknowledgement. "I trust that everything is to your liking." He couldn't help the bite from his tone.

"Indeed your kingdom speaks of affluence and….much more." Replied Peter with equal coldness.

"Indeed it does." Legolas said trying to reign in his temper at Peter's sarcasm.

"I'm looking for my sister." Broached the High King. "Pray tell where she went."

"She left and I know not where she went." The Elvin king answered coating his words with indifference.

"What did you say to her?!" bit Peter his fists clenching. What did you do to her? He silently queried. He had to remind himself constantly that Aslan willed them to be there; otherwise he would have challenged the elf to a duel himself.

Legolas smirked and said with a relaxed air: "Nothing that would offend her." It was clear that their exchange of kisses and not of words had prompted her fleeing. "Goodnight High King." He added and turned to leave.

"How dare you turn your back on me!" Peter said loudly truly provoked.

"Oh I dare anything Peter!" He swiveled back to face the Narnian. "Be not complacent that I'm marrying your sister. I would not hesitate to cut all of you down should you provoke me again with your insolence!"

Peter's fists clenched at their own accord as the elf continued. "You are my guests. Beware lest I deny you my welcome."

Breathing deeply and trying to be rational the High King asked once more with his jaw tight: "Then let me know where my sister went."

"Are you deaf sire?" the Elvin King taunted. "I said I know not."

"Peter." Said a soft voice which was unmistakably Susan's. Legolas automatically turned to the source of that voice and found the Gentle standing a few feet behind him looking calm though a bit pale.

"I was just out in the garden." Susan told her brother refusing to look at the elf though she felt devoured by Legolas' stare. Walking past the elf, she reached her brother and touched a placating hand on his clenched fist. "Come, let us prepare for the celebration tonight." She said giving Peter a look which he instantly recognized. She was commanding that they walk away. Away from the conflict that was forthcoming. She was not Queen Susan the Gentle for nothing.

With his face still tense, Peter gave a barely perceptible nod. It was enough for Susan. Peter turned to Legolas and said: "My lord, we bid you goodnight for now." He took his sister's cold hand and tried to lead her away.

"My lord." Susan said still not looking directly at the Elvin king.

If she thought that she could make a hasty retreat, she was gravely mistaken. "A word my queen." Feeling a great desire to either lag or flee, Susan replied though reluctantly: "Of course."

She was surprised when Legolas offered not his arm but his hand in her direction. She hesitated before pulling away from Peter and placing with trepidation her smaller hand into the firm and warm grasp of the elf. Feeling a slight tug, she realized her feet were frozen in place before moving. "I'll see you later Peter…Tóg go Bog é." She added an Irish phrase they learned when they were children to reassure her brother.

Legolas' face relaxed as he held Susan's soft hand. He felt unreasonable envy when she touched her brother feeling that he alone should have the right to touch her and be touched by her. Looking down, he noticed worry creasing her brow. He immediately stopped walking and faced her.

Susan noted that they were in a deserted hallway. Only when the elf said her name did she forced herself to look up and say: "Yes my lord?"

Legolas smirked not without humor at her discomfiture and asked: "Surely you can address me by my name my queen? After all you will be mine by the morrow."

"I am not yours! So please do treat me with propriety!" she answered back unsuccessfully pulling her hand away, her memory on their earlier lip lock. It was not her fault she reasoned. She was overpowered she thought trying to convince herself.

With his other hand he caressed a thick lock of hair and bowed from his great height and continued not without amusement: "Never been kissed before my beauty?"

Affronted and embarrassed she retorted: "Oh I've been kissed numerous times but never forced!" She lied through her teeth. Her only other kiss was Rabadash when her physical body was older. He stole a kiss from her before she pulled away. But she'll never say that, not to an overbearing arrogant King who wanted to dominate her very being.

She gasped when the elf pulled her tightly against him and through gritted teeth said: "Pray that I would be a fool to believe you!" He was insanely jealous. He refused to even contemplate some other man kissing those lips….

Looking at his scorching gaze, Susan knew the inevitable as he bent down and claimed her lips once more in a brutal and greedy kiss. She also realized that it was inevitable too that she welcome his onslaught, her lips open to welcome his taste. She was unaware as the elf lifted her, one arm around her waist, the other tangling in her hair. Her arms that were meant to push him away, slowly encircled his neck as their kiss deepened still.

Legolas felt the Ring burn his skin, hurting and weighing him down as he continued to kiss Susan. He gasped for breath for a few seconds, as he felt a quick stab to his heart and he saw the great accusing Eye on him. He felt it earlier in the painting room, though not as strongly. Yet he could not stop kissing the queen, for he felt that if he did, he would die.

"Susan! Susan!" a voice permeated the air. It took a few seconds for the gentle queen to recognize Lucy's voice. "Where are you?"

Still heady from the Legolas' touch, she whispered: "Let me go please."

Legolas said something in elvish which sounded very rude and harsh to Susan. "Please…" she begged when the elf did not loosen his hold. She would absolutely die of embarrassment if her sister found her positioned as thus.

"Will I forever hear your pleas to escape me Susan?" he asked as he buried his face in her neck inhaling her scent. He remembered that that was what she exactly asked after their kiss in the great room where the paintings hung.

"Oh please do let me go!" she begged, panicked as she heard Lucy's voice becoming louder. "My sister approaches and I will not be compromised like this!"

"Very well." The elf replied, surprising himself that he complied. He slowly put her down, sliding her lush form to his hard frame unable to resist further contact. He regarded her flushed countenance with amusement, his earlier ire forgotten.

Her panic and confusion gave her mobility despite her shaky limbs. She tried to pull away, yet Legolas grasped her chin and gave her a swift kiss before bidding her goodnight. "I'll see you on our betrothal soirée my sweet."

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"There you are Susan!" Lucy said a bit irritated. "Didn't you hear me calling you?" She saw her sister's back on her and saw her took a deep breath before facing her.

"Lucy." Susan said acting surprised. "I'm sorry but I didn't hear you call." She wanted to think she was a good actress for she was in a play once. She would definitely need all her acting chops to convince her sister now.

Her sister looked at her curiously. Lucy was physically a child but the gentle knew that Lucy is but four years younger than her and was also an adult when they were last in Narnia.

Lucy took note of her creased gown and tousled hair. "Did you take a tumble in a cliff?" she joked. "Your hair is a mess!" She added laughing. When she saw her sister look away and blush, she could not help but notice her swollen lips as well. Susan looked as if she was about to cry.

Fearful she asked: "Did someone accost you?" Grabbing her sister's hand, she persisted when Susan remained quiet: "Well?...Who was it Susan?...Oh my Aslan!"

"Hush Lucy." She said calmly. "I was…was not accosted…though I wish I were." She added quietly.

"What happened?" Lucy asked perplexed. It was a novelty seeing her constantly pristine and unfazed sister, disheveled and babbling nonsense.

"Let's get out of here first." Susan answered resigned unable to deny her sister's perception. She wanted to unburden herself, if but only a little. And her sister provided great comfort at this time.

"Okay Susan. But answer me this?" Lucy persisted. "Were you harmed?"

"No…not harmed." She said reassuringly. "But I think I need to have my head examined."