Disclaimer: no, they do not belong to me… although they might say
otherwise if somebody would care to ask them!!!!
I know, I am doing it again…
I am terrible in writing endings, I love beginnings so much more…
But I swear I will finish OTRA soon…
This story takes place approximately 6 months after OTRA
First chapter is short but it is only the prologue…
Let me know what you think –and do not fear it is not going to be a
mushy romance… action and adventures are coming as well as angst …
So.. read on and do not forget: I love to read reviews …

Hunger was burning in its insides as it hurried through the night. Its
mind reached out, searching for something, anything within its grasp.
Forced to leave the dark place it had hidden in for more years than it
could remember, it had been wandering for many nights, hiding from
the light of day.

Something had changed in the outer world. The creatures it had been
able to feed on for so long had become fewer and fewer until they
disappeared completely, leaving it with an ever growing hunger until it
was forced to leave the dark caves in which it had hidden. Now it was
out, searching and hunting for prey, desperate to fulfill its need.

It stopped as it felt a presence somewhere close by, a surge of feral
joy flowing through it. Without hesitation, it turned towards its prey,
its mind already starting to invade its victim. A man it was, his mind
vulnerable and not hard to break. When the first wave of fear
emanated from him, it was greedily sucked off. He never woke from
his dreams as they were cruelly invaded, and turned and twisted into
something that would have robbed him of his sanity had he lived long


'Ai, my friend, I wonder what would drive you home so soon after we
have met again? Only two days you have been here, and yet you wish
to return to your caves? Surely you would be able to find some dark,
cold, lightless rooms somewhere in this city if you miss them so

The dwarf only laughed, but there was something in his eyes that
Legolas had never seen before. His eyes narrowed as he stared at
Gimli for a long moment, ere a brilliant smile broke out on his face and
merriment shone in his eyes.

'Do not tell me a fair dwarven maid has finally captured your heart!' he
cried out as he lightly jumped to his feet, making the dwarf wince and
look around quickly.

'Stop this, Legolas. No maid has captured my heart…'

But the elf did not listen to him and danced in joy around the dwarf,
his laughter filling the air. Most people in Minas Tirith had become
used to their odd behavior so it did not arouse much attention, for
which Gimli was deeply grateful.

Finally the elf dropped to a crouch next to Gimli, who had remained
seated on the ground. His sparkling eyes bored into the dwarf's once
more before he laughed again.

'Ai, do not try to deny it, Gimli! I can see it in your eyes. Your heart is
rejoicing for it has found its other half. Tell me of her.'

'I know not what you see, you crazy elf,' Gimli said, shaking his head.
'And there is nothing to tell you.'

For a moment the smile on the elf's face faltered and something like
hurt flickered in his eyes.

'If you say so.' Legolas' voice was much more sober, and with one
graceful move, he changed his position until he was sitting with his
knees drawn up and his arms wrapped around them.

A pang of regret echoed in the dwarf's heart upon seeing this reaction.
He had not wished to hurt his friend by keeping this from him. 'Not
much anyway…' he added reluctantly.

The smile was back in a flash, and Legolas threw up his hands in a
victorious gesture. 'I knew it!' he cried and the sparkle in his eyes left
Gimli in no doubt that he had been tricked.

'So tell me, who is this maiden that she could win your heart? I wish to
know who could measure up to the Lady Galadriel, for I thought only
she would ever be able to sway your affections.'

'Do not compare the Lady to anyone, for she will always stand out,'
Gimli warned. 'She is a star to cherish and look upon, but never may
be reached.'

A gentle smile graced his face as he continued. 'And yet a simple gem,
a ruby, may seem so much smaller and still warm you so much more
than a star ever could.'

The elf only smiled at him, understanding in his eyes. The love Gimli
held for the Lady Galadriel would never wane. It was the love of a
dwarf towards the most beautiful thing he had ever set eyes upon. It
could not be measured against the love he would feel for a maid.

'So you wish to return home ere some other might steal away your

'Aye,' the dwarf answered. 'Many are courting her and although she
has given me reason to believe that it might be me she will choose, I
still do not wish to stay away for long.'

The elf was already on his feet again. 'So, why do you tarry then? This
is a serious matter, and time must not be wasted in sitting here and
talking. You have more important things to do.'

Before the dwarf could react, he found himself dragged to his feet and
back towards the palace of Minas Tirith.

'Legolas!' he called out, trying to slow down his overly enthusiastic

'I would love to accompany you to meet your fair lady, but Aragorn
has bid me stay for some more days. It seems he has to discuss an
important matter with me, and it cannot wait.'


The grip he still had on the dwarf finally forced the elf to stop when
Gimli refused to follow him any further. Questioning eyes turned on
the dwarf who could not help but chuckle.

'I thank you for your help, dear Legolas, but I really do not think I
need to leave right away. Tomorrow will be soon enough, for I will not
miss the great celebration tonight.'

'Oh,' the elf said, having completely forgotten about that. 'I fear you
are right, for Arwen would be greatly disappointed if you were to miss

A teasing smile appeared on his face as he added, 'Just think, in one
year's time it might be you holding a celebration like this!'

'Nay, nay, my friend, do not start talking like this. It takes some time
for a dwarf to bind himself and there is no hurry.'

The elf only laughed, and they continued their way back at a much
slower pace. The city around them was buzzing with preparations for
the party tonight held in honor of their queen and the child she