Chapter 18:

Aria sighed and rubbed her neck as she listened to Legolas, Gimli and her brothers discuss the current state of the Dorwinion kingdom.

A few days after the princess' untimely demise thanks to a wound she had sustained when she attacked Legolas, through most in Mirkwood knew otherwise, King Hantel had arrived and claimed his daughter's body. The other elves from Dorwinion were escorted back as well. While King Hantel had simply apologized for his daughter's erratic behavior, he gave no other explanation.

That was where the twins came in. While Thranduil was meeting with King Hantel, Elladan and Elrohir told their side of what they had found out to Legolas, Aria and Gimli as they watched over the twins playing with Húon in the King's private courtyard.

"The rumor throughout Dorwinion was that the princess was under some kind of enchantment." Elrohir explained. "The last few months she had gone from the princess that they had all known and loved to someone else."

"Did anyone say how long she had been like this?" Aria asked.

"We were told that it had begun after a delegation from somewhere to the south but no one could say where. The only thing they said was that it was further south than Gondor."

"Harad." Legolas answered.

Aria took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Manwë had warned her several months ago that something dark was spreading from the southern lands. But how could she stop it?

A squeeze against her shoulder caused her to look up. Standing above her, smiling down was Legolas. That was when she could feel his love pour into her through their bond. That was when she knew – she was not in this alone. She had her family.

"Now I know that you and Legolas were going to take that twins to Annúminas," Elladan said, drawing Aria's attention back into the conversation. "I just wanted to let you know that the High Pass is clear."

"Absolutely not!" Aria said glaring at her brothers a few days later. "We are not going that way!"

"So you would rather take a detour all the way around the Misty Mountains then go over them?" Elrohir asked a bit puzzled.

"Yes! I am not taking my children over those mountains! They are far too young!"

"You and Estel went over them often when you were their age." Elladan added.

"Elves and Dúnedain age differently!"

"Talk some sense into your wife!" Elladan said as he stood up and strode past Legolas with Elrohir behind him, leaving Legolas alone with Aria in a sitting area near their room. The brothers had figured that this was a discussion that needed to happen between the husband and wife without their input. Legolas turned and looked at Aria with a look of confusion on his face.

"What was that about?" he asked.

"They are mad that I do not want to take the twins over the Misty Mountains on our way to Annúminas to meet with Aragorn and Arwen. I rather take them around to the Gap of Rohan. Then the twins can also see the Glittering Caves." Aria said standing up and moving to try and get some air and calm herself down a bit

"Yet what about the journey home? Were we not going to stop in Rohan on our way home to visit Éomer?"

"We still will."

"Then why take the long way around?" Legolas said as he stood up and moved towards her.

Aria glared at her husband. "I feel too much darkness. And with this attack on your life, I do not want to risk anything that could bring harm to the twins or our little star."

"And I agree." Legolas said as he wrapped his uninjured arm around his wife's waist and pulling her close. "Then through the Gap we will go, especially if it will make you feel better."

"Thank you," she said smiling as she lay against his chest.

Over the next few days, Legolas was allowed to a few more physical activities such as archery and a little hand-to-hand combat practice with either Haldir or Tauriel. Yet he was still monitored closely by Aria. No matter how much Legolas would try to hide the fact that his arm was still bothering him, Aria could tell. She would sit by and watch his practice sessions to make sure that nothing would happen to his arm. That was when she noticed that his aim was off a bit and he hesitantly held his dual knife during hand-to-hand combat.

Later that night, once the twins had gone to bed, Legolas finally let his façade slide. He had been putting up a front that everything was all right. Most of the day, after archery practice, had been spent working with the twins on their skills. He had not wanted to put off the twins training and figured that he was more than able to handle it.

Yet he had been wrong. And now he was suffering the consequences.

Slowly pulling his tunic over his head, he grimaced as he moved his arm and set the tunic to the side. While the bandage has long been removed, Aria had told him that the muscle underneath still needed to heal.

Before he could move to pull off his leggings and replace them with sleep pants, Aria's slender arms wrapped around him from behind and she placed her head against his back. "Come and sit on the bed. I have something that will loosen the tightness in your arm."

Legolas felt himself be pulled towards the bed where he willingly went and sat down on the bed as he felt his wife move behind him. He leaned back against her as she began to gently massage his back and then moved to his neck and eventually his arms, paying close attention to his injured arms. Her fingers were moving swiftly and they seemed to barely graze over his skin. He closed his eyes and let himself melt into his wife's touch. He always loved it whenever she gave him a massage. She always knew just the right places to apply just the right amount of pressure to as she worked to help all of his muscles relax.

As she began to gently massage his injured arm, Legolas felt something cool against his skin. "What's that?" he asked, turning and looking at her.

"It's an ointment that I had made up for your arm. Hopefully it helps ease your aching muscle," she said as she continued to apply the ointment to his skin. She made sure that it was completely rubbed into before leaning forward and kissing her husband's lips. "How do you feel now?"

"I always feel better after you have your hands all over me," he said with a slight smile. "But I would feel even better if I could have my hands all over you."

A second later, Aria found herself laying against the bed with Legolas leering over her. His lips crashed down upon hers in a feverish kiss as his hands began to roam her body. They both had been denying themselves so much the last few days in an attempt to allow Legolas' arm to heal – but that was neither here nor there. Neither of them wanted to deny themselves any longer.

And neither of them did.

Aria curled against Legolas' shoulder and slept soundly with her arms curled tight around him. Sitting a bit up against a pillow, Legolas could not help but smile. He truly enjoyed watching his wife sleep – no matter if it was after they had made love or if it was simply a normal night. Aria always seemed to be most relaxed when she slept.

It also gave him time to think and mull things over – especially with all that had happened in the last few days.

Aria's revelation that Sauron might not have been completely destroyed.

His family was in danger at every turn if that was the case.

And to him, the most important revelation of all – he and Aria were going to have another elfling.

While all of these were big deals, the biggest one of all – at least to him – was the fact that he and Aria were going to have another elfling. How were they going to tell the twins? Would the twins be upset? Happy? How would Lassiel take the news? It had been less than a year since she had been reunited with them, so would she think that they had been trying to replace her all this time? Surely not. But that could possibly come up.

As all of these things were continuously running through Legolas' head, Aria moved against his shoulder. Moving her head slightly, she pressed a kiss into his collarbone as she lay against his bare chest. "Do not worry. Lassiel will be fine," she mumbled half asleep.

Smiling down at her, Legolas pressed a kiss into his wife's hair. "I love you," he whispered.

"I love you too," she mumbled in return still half asleep.

Closing his eyes, Legolas knew that Aria was right. Lassiel would probably be fine with the addition of their sibling, as would Alyan. Hopefully the entire pregnancy would be uneventful.

AN: I know, I've been horrible at updating – don't I always say this? Anyways, if you don't already know, I have decided to do a major rewrite of the first 'Reflections' story and repost it under the title 'Reflections Remixed' – so check it out if you get a chance. I promise that you won't be disappointed! Pretty, pretty please?

Oh and if you get a chance, check out SleepyHollow5's story – 'A Road Less Traveled' – it's one of my favorites! Its about our favorite elf….Legolas!