Chapter 4

The next day, Alastegiel showed up at the palace fully dressed in her guard attire. She brought her bow and a quiver full of arrows. Her hair was braided back in the way of the warriors. She had on her game face. She was ready for whatever Thranduil had for her. Today she would either begin a yearlong courtship with the most handsome elf in all of Middle-earth, or she would be writhing beneath him before the end of the day. Secretly, deep in her soul, she hoped for the latter.

Thranduil was waiting for her at the doors to the main hall. He looked quite modest and simple in his training gear. Gone were the long flowing robe and mithril armbands. His hair no longer hung loose around his face, but was braided and tucked behind his ears. The only thing about him that stood out and made him recognizable as royalty was the silver embroidery on his tunic, which represented the sign of the King. Otherwise, he looked like every other elf in the Woodland realm, if that was even possible.

"Are you ready meleth nin? I have so looked forward to this challenge." He kissed her once more, hoping to distract her so her aim would be off.

They made their way to the private practice field, which was completely closed off from everything. How wonderful it must be not to have any distractions from other archers or yelling Captains, she thought.

As before, Alastegiel went first. She inspected her bow and picked the best arrow. Thranduil watched her prepare and decided to become a little mischievous. "I cannot wait to get you alone tonight. I want to taste every inch of your skin. I want to hear you scream my name."

She tried to tune him out but it was impossible. He had put the vision in her head and her body warmed as it played out. She somehow knew he would be true to his words. "I know what it is you are doing Thranduil and it will not work." she said, but it was a lie. She approached her position, notched an arrow and raised her bow. She pulled back on the bowstring and just as she was about to let it loose, she heard Thranduil whisper. "Oh yes, Alastegiel."

The arrow hit nowhere near center and it was only luck that it hit the target at all. She spun around and glared at the Prince. "That was not fair," she spat, obviously angry with him, but he only laughed.

"My turn," he gloated. Thranduil took his place, notched an arrow, raised his bow and just as he was about to fire, he heard Alastegiel moan with pleasure.

"Oh yes right there Thranduil," she said mocking a cry of passion.

Thranduil's arrow was found protruding from the ground in front of the target.

"Mine's closer," she laughed.

Thranduil looked at her, a lustful fire in his eyes. It seemed she sparked something within him. She thought she had better win this duel or he would completely ravish her tonight making her pleasantly regret her decision to toy with him. "Alright. In all seriousness now. One arrow a piece is all that's left. To the victor go the spoils. No more tricks." Thranduil nodded in agreement but his gaze ignited a fire within her core.

Alastegiel went to the line and readied herself. She looked down the shaft of the arrow and fired. She was very close to dead center but it was not exact. He could still win.

Thranduil then lined up and assumed his position. Just before raising his bow, he glanced at her. He could see the worry on her beautiful face. Perhaps she was truly concerned with the opinion of others. He understood her need to uphold the laws and traditions.

He pulled back on the bowstring and just before firing, his conscience took over. The arrow was very close but not close enough. "You win," he said in a disappointed voice. He had let her get to him. He had bowed down and let her have her way. She had made him weak and he was never more in love with her than he was in that one moment.

"One year then, as is proper," she said and noticed how the fire in his eyes was now extinguished. He seemed completely defeated. "I'm sorry," she said, not knowing why she was apologizing for a fair win.

Thranduil placed his hands at her waist. "A year to an elf is not more than a blink of an eye. It matters not as long as I know you are mine, regardless of how long it will take to make it official. I love you and I would wait an eternity for you. A year is nothing."

She smiled and reached for him, pulling him in for a loving kiss. "I love you, Thranduil."

Later that evening, they parted ways and went to their homes. Thranduil, feeling defeated and humbled for the first time in his life, undressed and lay naked beneath his sheets. A cool night breeze blew across his bed. He allowed himself to slip into a well-deserved reverie, with thoughts of Alastegiel fresh on his mind.

Alastegiel lay in her own bed, thinking about the change in Thranduil once she had defeated him. He of course accepted graciously, but she had seen his body language. His shoulders slightly slumped. His attention went to the floor. Most importantly, the desire in his eyes disappeared. And still, he admitted his love for her and how he would wait patiently, something she had not known him to do. She wanted to change him to a degree but she did not want to break him. She loved him for his determined arrogance, his pride for being feared by other races. All those things she thought she despised about him in the beginning were the exact things that made her fall in love with him.

It was that very moment of realization that drove her out of bed. She put on her robe, in which she wore nothing underneath, and slipped out of her room and out of her home. She quietly moved from tree to tree until she came to the palace and silently slipped in through a side door that Thranduil had showed her before. Very carefully, she made her way through the palace halls and waiting rooms, avoiding any servants wandering around at this hour of the night.

Finally, she stood before his door. Once she entered inside, she was making a decision that would affect the rest of her life. Her hand turned the handle and she slipped inside, closing the door behind her and locking it tight.

Thranduil was deep in elvish sleep when his dreams took over. He felt a warm breeze blow across his face and then the moisture of sweet kisses on his neck. He was dreaming of her. How he yearned for her and now it seemed he could only have her in a vision. It would suffice for now. He let her seduce him as her hands roamed over his naked chest. "Oh Alastegiel." he moaned as he felt her lips on his cool skin and her hands sliding across his thighs. "Do you know how much I want this?" he whispered.

"I do my love. And I want it too. Make love to me Thranduil. Make me your wife." she said and Thranduil thought it sounded so real.

"But you won my dear and I will abide by you." he said, still in a reverie.

Alastegiel was straddling his thighs and gazing down upon his beautiful sheet covered body. 'He thinks he is dreaming', she thought to herself and giggled softly. "Awake my love for this is no dream. I have come to you after all. I forfeit my win. I did not heed one of my own rules. I said no more games and there shall not be again. Awake oh mighty Prince of the Woodland realm of Greenwood."

Thranduil slowly opened his eyes and saw his vision. There sat Alastegiel wearing nothing more than a robe. The front was slightly opened and he could see the curve of her breasts beneath. His desire immediately began to grow beneath the sheet. He looked to her face and recognized the fire within for it reflected his own. "You came meleth nin." She nodded with a smile curving her luscious lips. "Are you sure?" he asked.

"Completely," she answered and leaned down to capture his mouth. Her tongue ran along his bottom lip, searching for entry. He complied and their tongues touched, caressed and danced together.

Thranduil rolled them over and untied the belt of her robe away from her. His eyes scanned every inch of her flesh then came back to capture her eyes. "What have I done to deserve such a lovely, desirable, independent and determined creature as you? Am I really worthy of your love?" As he spoke, there was a glimmer of a tear in his eye.

"We are a gift to each other Thranduil. The Valar have seen this and they brought us together. We would not be here now like this if they did not agree. This is our destiny my Prince," she whispered and slipped completely from her robe. Thranduil lowered himself to her. They looked deep within each other's eyes until their souls touched.

"Alastegiel, my love, I bind my soul to you."

"And I bind my soul to you, Prince Thranduil."

He was careful with her, being this was her first time. After a slight discomfort, she relaxed and gave into the feel.

"I never knew it would feel so wonderful," she moaned. "Take me Thranduil. Complete the bond. Make me your wife," she begged.

"Aye meleth nin. So long have I wanted this." he answered. Their desire had built to a lever where they were on the edge of the unknown. Stars exploded behind closed eyes as they reached the height of ecstasy. Their bodies writhed and convulsed in the ancient ritual of bonding. They held each other tight, as if to fuse into one body, which they now were. They were connected physically and spiritually, never to be separated again, husband and wife. They proclaimed their love for each other once more before regrettably separating their bodies. Thranduil came to rest by her side, letting his fingers trace small circles on her stomach. Alastegiel ran her hands through is silken hair as she had once dreamt of doing.

"How do you feel my wife?" he said calling her such for the first time.

"As though the world is at my door and I could have anything I want. But I turn it all away because I already have the only thing I will ever need." She kissed the top of his head, which rested upon her breast. "And you, my husband, how do you feel?"

"Complete," he said as he lifted his head and looked into her eyes. It did not take long and they were in the midst of making love once more and many times after that.

Many, many years had passed now. Thranduil and Alastegiel had survived many trials and tribulations. Peace times and wars had come and gone. They saw the death of their loved one, King Oropher, and Thranduil courageously stepped up to become the new King of Greenwood the Great. Now, they were entering into the next step of their loving lives together.

Thranduil stood next to his wife who lay in her bed, exhausted and paled from a long night of childbirth. She smiled up to her husband and watched how his face lit up to see his little elfling for the first time. "The King has an heir. Meet your son my love."

Tiny blue eyes looked up and saw his father for the first time. Thranduil covered his tiny head with his hand. He felt the strength of the little one's soul. A new bond was made, but this one between parent and child, father and son. This bond could never be broken. Thranduil felt his importance. "He is strong, hervenn nin. He will be a ruler one day."

Alastegiel smiled. "He will be just like his father, but for the arrogance," she added and they both laughed.

"You will see to it that he is not too much like me. He will have a great part of his mother's lovingness instilled within him."

Thranduil noticed the soft green wrap that surrounded his son. "Where did this come from?" he asked curiously.

"Do you not remember? This was made from the dress I wore the first night we danced. The maids found that old dress and made it into a blanket for our little elfling. It was a gift from them to show their appreciativeness for their King and Queen."

Thranduil smiled, remembering that night of the harvest dance when they proclaimed their love for each other. They had been together ever since. He leaned down and kissed the top of the newborns head, then went to the window.

"What shall we name him hervenn nin?" Alastegiel called from across the room, watching her husband's alluring form as the morning light glimmered on his golden hair.

Thranduil gazed out over the lush green forest. He breathed deep and inhaled the scent of the season. It was early spring and the leaves were fresh and new, a beautiful shade of green. He smiled as the name came to him. "Legolas. We will name him for the green leaves of spring."

Alastegiel looked down at her little elfling. "Hello my little Legolas Thranduilion, Prince of the Woodland realm. Welcome to the world."