Adonnenniel looked down to her dress in front of her reflection; she's never felt any more nervous in her whole life. She didn't really care what the Sindar Elves thought about her but to first and formally meet her future husband was something that got her stomach in a knot. She took in a deep breath and looked into her grey and unreadable eyes. Adonnenniel has only heard stories of Legolas but the two Elven kinds have made sure to not meet in any form of council.
"Have you heard about whose coming to dinner?"
"Yes! I heard that they never leave their woods"
"I heard that the reason why this marriage is being held is because the Woodland King is leaving by our shores" a maid gossiped as she passed by Adonnenniel's room. "That he is paranoid that we would give them a poor ship. I heard that his best-"
"My Lady" a male server came to her door. "You are to be summoned into the Dining Hall. Our guests are to be here shortly"
"Thank you, my friend. Is that all?" Adonnenniel asked as she grabbed her shawl.
"Just that you are summoned in the East Dining Hall" he smiled to her. "Congratulations on the betrothal. He is a very lucky elf. Your father would have been so proud, Lady Adonnenniel. Your sister would have been giggling around your ankles about this announcement"
"Thank you" she smiled. "I just hope I do not displease them. Or put our race to shame"
"I must be on my way" Adonnenniel quickly said. "I don't want my future husband to wait on me. That would be a shame"
"As you wish, Lady Adonnenniel" the Elven man bowed. "I hope the best for you"
"One more thing!" Adonnenniel quickly said.
"Yes" he said patiently.
"How did you first meet your wife?" Adonnenniel asked.
"I was by the beach when I first saw her" the server smiled.
"How romantic" Adonnenniel nodded.
"She was singing to the setting sun"
"Everyone loves to do that. How did you know she was the one?" Adonnenniel quickly back checked. "Not saying that she is not the one. I was just wondering what made you realize it was her"
"You will just know"
"It is kind of difficult to explain. Almost like there is a set of peace around them and you know it is safe to love them unconditionally"
Adonnenniel thought about that for a moment as she walked outside of her room and made her way to the east side of the Dining Hall when something made her stop. In the private courtyard stood a tall silver blond hair Elf holding one of her father's set of arrows. He seemed to be examining it. When he looked up to her, she immediately knew that this was her future husband, Legolas.
"Those were my fathers before he passed. Did you lose your way, Lord Legolas?" Adonnenniel asked. "It is Lord Legolas, is it not? You are wearing silver clothing after all, My Lord"
"Is it that obvious?" Legolas asked as he put the arrow down.
"Afraid so" Adonnenniel muttered.
"And I am guessing that you must be Adonnenniel. The Sea Elven Princess" Legolas walked up to her. "The one that I am supposed to marry"
"The betrothal bride" Adonnenniel nodded. "That is me"
"I was supposed to lead you to the Dining Hall before I got distracted" Legolas nodded back to her father's archery practice.
"Sorry for intruding then" Adonnenniel self-consciously smoothed out her dress. "I guess I was taking too long then. I did not mean to, Lord Legolas. I guess I always lose track of time"
"No worries" came a voice at the end of the hall, she looked over and noticed Thranduil was walking with her mother on his arm. "We just arrived"
"I see that you two have met" her mother smiled.
"Not formally" Adonnenniel admitted.
"Then allow this moment to be a time of introductions" her mother insisted.
"I am Adonnenniel of the Shore Realm"
"I am Legolas of the Woodland Realm"
"I am Thranduil King. Mirkwood welcomes you" Thranduil said with open arms.
"As does the Sea Shores" her mother replied.
"Thank you but where is the King?" Thranduil looked around.
"He is in a meeting and will be out shortly"
"He is new to all of this" Adonnenniel quirked up. "He does not really know how to predict the timing of his meetings"
"Seems to run in the family" Legolas said quietly but only loud enough for Adonnenniel to hear. "What shall we do until he comes out?"
"We can show you the sea" Adonnenniel decided. "It is lovely at night"
"My Lady. That is very kind of you" Thranduil nodded to her. "But we cannot withstand the beauty of the sea"
"I am sorry" Adonnenniel replied.
"We are used to the sea and it's calling" her mother spoke up. "We welcome it"
Thranduil chuckled as her mother led them down the hall, still having her arm linked inside of Thranduil's. Adonnenniel looked nervously over to Legolas who offered up his arm. She placed her arm through the crook of his arm as they followed their parents. She felt the heat rising to her face as she felt like she was doing something wrong.
"We are truly excited to host the betrothal announcement" her mother continued.
"The betrothal announcement, mother?"
"It is tradition, My Lady"
"It is like any normal party" her mother waved off her worry.
"Is there anything that we are expected to do? Any other traditions? Who is coming?" Legolas asked. "Forgive me, I have never been to a betrothal and do not know what to expect. I believe I am not the only one who needs answers too"
"It will be a presentation and a formal dance, son" Thranduil answered.
"Sounds difficult" Adonnenniel responded.
"It will be fine" her mother insisted. "You are an excellent dancer"
Adonnenniel didn't feel too much of a reassurance in that answer. Already her mind was buzzing about what could be happening that could be her fault. She could trip on her own dress or step on Legolas' boot. What if she is an embarrassment upon her family?
"I believe my son is out of his meeting" her mother said.
"Lady Adonnenniel?" came a voice the next morning. "Lady Adonnenniel? Breakfast is ready"
"Thank you but I am not hungry. I ate quite a lot last night" Adonnenniel smiled. "You can just leave it on the table. I will eat it later"
"Your mother said that you might try that" the maid replied.
"So I guess you heard then? Everyone in the city must've heard by now" Adonnenniel rolled her eyes. "I did not mean to say that! I meant to say it as a joke and nothing more!"
"It must've been a misunderstanding" the maid agreed.
"Until my brother decided to take me seriously. I have never been scolded by my brother before" Adonnenniel admitted.
"He was trying to make a good impression on himself"
"By humiliating me?" Adonnenniel questioned. "In front of my future family? I felt like a child last night!"
"He didn't mean it like that. Many things were happening that night" the maid took a tentative step forward.
"He was the one who set me up with them" Adonnenniel crossed her arms.
"Only for the benefit of all of us" the maid said.
"With them?" Adonnenniel repeated.
"We are one of the last remaining Elves in Middle-Earth" the maid replied. "We need to ban together. The Rivendell Elves have already moved past over the Seas. Lothlorien has only a handful left but we all know that they are going to leave soon"
"Indruil… we have not talked to the Sindar Elves in a thousand years" Adonnenniel started.
"I know, but maybe your brother is right" Indruil responded. "The Ring is destroyed, My Lady. We should not be living like this. The Mirkwood Elves have been setting up a more than charitable status then us. They already forgave the Dwarves! We never even thought about that! It's still unthinkable today. It actually repulsed me to be honest. I never thought of it being possible. But I guess this is the reason why there is a New Age. To start over and live life how it is supposed to be. I know I am just a maid to you. But I have lived this life ever since you were a little elfling. We deserve peace because we need it. The time of the Elves is diminishing. I suggest we leave this place with no grudges left behind. They are just so ugly that I feel like we will be ghosts that won't be able to rest. You are a very beautiful Elven Lady and deserve to be happy. You just need to open your eyes to the possibility of it. That is why your brother picked you to marry Lord Legolas"
"I never thought about change" Adonnenniel said. "It has been so long since I have seen a time of peace with us. I just thought life will always continue on like this. Am I the only one who feels like this?"
"I am sure a lot of people feel this way"
"It is going to be a long time before change happens" Adonnenniel then felt queasy. "But I still want to stay inside for now. I feel too embarrassed about what I said last night during dinner"
"Then I will give you your plate here" the maid nodded.
"Is Legolas there? Just wandering"
"Adonnenniel, you know he is" the maid smiled. "He didn't seem bothered by anything, from what I could see. Neither did his father"
"But what about my family?" Adonnenniel asked.
"They apologized immediately" the maid admitted.
"Relax. They did not look bothered by it"
"But my family still is" Adonnenniel muttered. "They will come barging in here to lecture me"
"I see no reason to" the maid shook her head. "You were just nervous. I would be nervous too if I was meeting my husband for the first time"
"Thank you" Adonnenniel smiled. "At least someone understands"
"I try to" her friend smiled back.
"It is much harder isn't it?" Adonnenniel joked.
"I have taken care of you and your sister" Indruil folded her arms over her chest. "I know what goes on in your head more than anybody"
"Better than me, I guess" Adonnenniel admitted.