Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this story except for the characters I make up. The world of Middle Earth and everything in it belong to the incredible J.R.R. Tolkien, which means that unfortunately Legolas is not mine :( After reading a bunch of the fiction in the LOTR category, I felt the need to write my own and to give Legolas his own love story. I mean to stay true to his character and to the world that Tolkien created. I hope you all enjoy this one as much as I am enjoying writing it.

Chapter 1

It was the fourth age of Middle Earth, 5 years after the fabled Ring of Sauron was destroyed and the war had been fought and won. It was a beautiful June day and the sun was shinning, its rays filtering through the tree branches to reach the forest bed. The world was once again peaceful and the forests of Eryn Lasgalen as beautiful and serene as ever. The only sound to be heard was the chirping of birds and the running of brooks and streams.

The only disturbance was the slow canter through the trees of a horse and his elven rider. He was clad in green and brown, his tunic fastened with a leather belt, and armed with a bow and knives. The top half of his golden hair was pulled back and and adorned with small warrior braids on each side. His skin was fair and beautiful, almost as if he'd been carved of a white marble and his his soft, gentle eyes were of a striking greyish blue. Our rider smiled as he rode through the trees and felt the sense of calm the world had not known since the defeat of the forces of Mordor. Prince Legolas Greenleaf of the woodland realm of Eryn Lasgalen was making the journey to Minas Tirith to visit old friends, he had not seen Aragorn since his wedding to Lady Arwen of Rivendell. Gimli the dwarf was also going to be there; Legolas had missed his friends dearly.

He journeyed for several days and crossed the Anduin River, travelling by the Emyn Muil until he reached Rohan. When he arrived to a lightly wooded area, he was satisfied that this would be a good place to stop for the night. He wanted to rest his loyal companion Arrod, although Legolas himself needed not any sleep. Legolas set up a small camp and fire over which to cook a small meal and he sat thinking. He thought of the long overdue reunion with his friends and of the many celebrations that would take place in Minas Tirith, for he had heard by letter from Aragorn that Arwen was with child and she felt certain that it was to be a boy. Aragorn had invited his friends from all over Middle Earth to take part in the celebrations he had planned and all the members of the former fellowship were also expected to attend. This would be quite the reunion.

He was pulled out of his day dream by a rustling in the trees. He stood up, listening with his keen ears, his sight slightly hindered by the dark of the woods. Legolas heard the sound of footsteps and he slowly reached into his quiver and soundlessly strung an arrow onto his bow, readying himself for what was moving towards him in the trees. "Don't kill me," said a female voice as it got closer, "I mean no harm." Legolas, still unsure of himself eased his bow, but kept a firm grip on it should he need to use it.

A figure emerged from the trees, Legolas could plainly see that it was a woman as she stepped forward, more accurately, she appeared to be human. Her hair was a rich brown, loosely tied back for her journey, and her skin was pale and milky. Her eyes appeared to be golden brown in colour, but even Legolas' keen eyes could be deceived in the night.

"who are you?" said Legolas, still clutching his bow as he advanced. The woman looked at him, she was frightened for he did not seem to be lowering his weapon.

"My Lord, I will gladly tell you anything you wish to know, but it is a bit hard to speak when you have your bow drawn out. I mean you no harm, you won't be needing your bow. Please" she said.

Legolas looked at her, trying to read her, and finally after what seemed like an eternity to the woman, he nodded and lowered his bow completely, putting the arrow back in his quiver. He sat down by the fire and he motioned for the woman to sit as well. She took her place near him, but at a safe enough distance. The light of the fire danced over Legolas' face and she could now see how handsome he was. His eyes were studying her, trying to observe all that he could.

"You don't have to fear me," he said after a few moments. "I am sorry I scared you, I was not expecting to encounter another soul out here. What is your name, lady?"

"My name is Ariel," she said. "I come from a small town about two day's journey from here."

"How did you come to be so far from your home?" he asked. "The wilderness is no place for a maiden to be travelling on her own"

"I ran away from my home and I never wish to go back. My parents died when I was very young and I was entrusted to the care of my uncle. He is a very cruel man and I have lived as a prisonner in his home most of my life. If I disobeyed him, he hurt me and locked me up as punishment. Sometimes I would spend days locked away in my bedroom, and I hoped that someday I would escape my nightmare. As my 21st birthday approached, he made it quite clear that he intended to sell me off like chattle as a bride to a man who was just as cruel as he was. I told myself that if I didn't escape then, I would never be free and I would be held prisonner once more by the man I would be forced to marry. So I left in the night and did not stop until I felt I had gotten far away."

"I am truly sorry for your troubles my lady," said Legolas. "Where do you make for? I can point you in the right direction if you wish. I noticed that you are also wearing riding clothes, but I see no horse."

"I know not where I am going, I gave no thought to it when I left, I just wanted to get away from my uncle. Now I will go where fate leads me, I suppose. As for my horse, it got spooked and he ran off, so now I journey on foot. I saw the light of your campfire and I was curious. In hindsight, that was very foolish, I don't know what I would have done if I had stumbled upon someone of a less friendly disposition." she said with a laugh.

Legolas smiled, "Although my reception was less than friendly, and for that I apologize", he said.

"No harm was done, my Lord." said Ariel.

"Please, call me Legolas. Formalities are not needed," said Legolas with a smile.

"If you insist," she said, "and you may call me Ariel."

Legolas stood up and walked over to his pack. He took out his bed roll and laid it out near the fire "You may stay the night. Take my bed for I am not tired." she nodded her thanks and within minutes she was asleep while Legolas watched over the camp. His glance travelled to her slender sleeping figure. The light of the fire flickered over her brown locks and her pale skin; she was quite beautiful for a human.

Ariel was only pretending to be asleep and she could feel the elf's eyes on her from time to time. She felt safe for the first time in a long time, a small smile came to her lips. Slowly she drifted off into slumber, dreaming no dreams that night.

Ariel awoke to the sound of the birds. She slowly rose up from the bed roll and looked around her; it was a glorious, sunny morning. Her eyes drifted over to Legolas who was tending his horse. In the full light of morning, she could see how truly beautiful he was. His long golden hair shone in the sunlight and his skin was radiant. She watched him as he whispered something to his horse and continued to pack up the camp. She smiled to herself; he was magnificent and she could not tear her eyes away.

Legolas realized that Ariel was awake and he turned towards her. She blushed and averted his gaze, hoping he hadn't seen her staring at him.

"Good morning," he said, walking over to her. "I hope you slept well."

Ariel approached him and smiled. "Yes, I did. Thank you for letting me stay."

"I would not have let you on your own Ariel, as I said, this is no place for a younng woman to be alone" said Legolas returning her smile. "You must be hungry, but I'm afraid I have naught but elven bread to give you but it will give you strength."

He handed her a piece of lembas and she looked at it curiously, unsure of whether to try it or not.

Legolas laughed , "Ariel, try it. Trust me, it is good".

She began eating the bread, finding that it was not as bland as she had expected it to be. As she sat eating near the remnants of the night's campfire, she asked Legolas where he was journeying to.

"I am making for Minas Tirith to see a good friend, King Elessar," he said. "His wife is with child and there is to be a celebration."

"That sounds truly wonderful, I am sure you will enjoy yourself." said Ariel.

"Will you come with me?" asked Legolas, "I know we have only just met, but I would feel responsible if something happened to you because I left you on your own. I can escort you wherever you wish to go once the celebration is over."

Ariel looked Legolas in the eyes, she couldn't see why he would want to be responsible for her, she would only slow him down. But she didn't want to leave him, he made her feel safe. She resolved to go with him, after all, she had never been to Gondor, or anywhere far outside her small village and she was determined to see the world.

"I would love to Legolas, I promise not to be a burden," she said unable to keep from smiling.

"Good, I am glad," he said and he held out his hand to bring her to her feet. Ariel's hand made contact with his and she could not believe how smooth it was. His hand lingered and he looked into her eyes for but a brief moment until he let go of her hand and motioned for her to follow him.

"We will both have to ride Arrod, but he is strong and he can carry us," he said. "Hold onto me and I will lift you, he has no saddle so it may be difficult."

"There is no need," Ariel said laughing, "I am not completely helpless you know,". With that she hoisted herself up onto Arrod, smirking as her eyes rested on a surprised Legolas.

Legolas returned her smirk and hoisted himself up gracefully infront of her. "Hold onto me, Arrod will not let you fall, but it does not hurt to be cautious."

Ariel slowly wrapped her arms around Legolas and he smiled, turning his head to give her a reassuring look. With that, they set off for Minas Tirith, still at a few days ride.

For the first few hours, they said nothing. Legolas was concentrated on the road ahead and Ariel found herself thinking about how warm his body felt against hers. Finally it was she who broke their long silence.

"Legolas?" she said. "I realize that I know nothing about you, except your name. You have been very kind to me and I wish to know whom I am endebted to."

"Ariel, you are not indebted to me, you are a friend and I was helping a friend in need. But seeing as you trusted me enough to tell me your story, I will tell you mine. My name is Legolas Greenleaf and I am a Prince of Mirkwood. My father is King Thranduil."

Ariel Gasped. "A prince? And I have been adressing you so casually. That was hardly proper of me, my lord."

"Ariel, I asked you to call me Legolas. I refrained from telling you who I really was, for I did not want to be treated differently."

"Alright, if you insist", she said. "How came you to know King Elessar?"

"We met many years ago in Rivendell, but we became fast friends when the Fellowship of the Ring was formed by Lord Elrond. Aragorn, myself, a dwarf named Gimli, a man from Gondor named Boromir, the wizard Gandalf the Grey and four halflings; Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin formed the company. Although the fellowship was ended with the destruction of the ring, we all remain fond of each other."

"an elf and a dwarf fond of each other? Well that is a surprise" she mused.

Legolas laughed, "It was not always so, but he has become one of my closest companions. He is quite...uh special, if you will. You will have the chance to meet them all in Minas Tirith."

"I am looking forward to it," she said with a smile. "Would you tell me of your tale with the fellowship? You have peaked my curiosity."

"We certainly have the time, we are still a few days from our destination." said Legolas, and with that he began his tale. He told her of the council of Elrond and the journey through the mines of Moria, all the way to the great battle of Minas Tirith. Laughing when she shuddered or pausing to explain what she didn't understand.

Let me know what you all think! Next chapter is already written and I will post when I have received some feedback :)