Silverfire: Oh my god I was so worried when I started reading your review, I thought it was going to be a flame! Thank you SO much, your review literally made my day and it's one of the best I've ever gotten! I hope you keep reading!
Like I said in my last note, I am editing this story. I know people have been waiting quite a while for this update so I wanted to get it up before start working on the earlier chapters. I realized that a few parts of it aren't really what I had envisioned happening and I did not get to make them what I wanted due to wanting to get a new update up quickly for everyone! The main story line is still the same with a few changes as well as a deeper spelling and grammar check! Anyways, I hope you guys continue to enjoy the story!
Eredhel turned and snaked her way through the crowd to go retrieve her bow. Ten minutes later she was sitting on a bench at the training grounds, watching a small group proceed down the hill from the hall. As they got closer she saw that Éomer was bearing a torch and Aragorn and Legolas were following behind him. The blond elf grinned smugly when they reached her. "There is still time to back out you know, there is no dishonor in it," he said.
"Not a chance. I'm looking forward to telling your father that his son was made a fool by a drink of men." Aragorn chuckled at her remark as Éomer lit torches by the targets. When he returned he set his in a grate and turned to them, his eyes bright.
"The rules are simple. You will take turns choosing a shot and the other must match it. For every missed shot you will receive a strike, the first to three strikes loses. What is the wager?"
"The loser drinks three pints, not a sip less," answered Eredhel.
"And I will be ensuring you drink every last drop," said Legolas.
"Very well," continued Éomer. "The challenger takes the first shot." He and Aragorn moved to the side while Legolas took his stance. The other elf analyzed his position critically, looking for any flaws brought on by the ale. Though his feet were the same she could see his shoulder was slumped and he squinted slightly before focusing on the target. He had chosen a spot diagonal to the target and a good distance away. He raised his bow and released the arrow, which sunk into the centre of the bull's-eye. Eredhel sighed, it seemed that it would take more of a challenge to throw him off. She moved to his position and easily made the shot, wondering how she would beat him. "The shot was matched, therefore no strikes are given," declared Éomer.
"Do try to come up with something I need my eyes open for melethen," prodded Legolas as Eredhel moved directly in front of the target, only increasing the distance by a few feet. His confident smirk changed when she turned to face him and not the red and white circle. Casting a quick look down the field out of the corner of her eye she then held his gaze as she let go of her string, Éomer and Aragorn's clapping indicating her results. Legolas frowned as he copied her stance, holding his bow across his body. His shot fell just outside the centre circle and he looked at his weapon in confusion.
"That is one strike for you, Master Greenleaf," announced Éomer. "But a good shot none the less." The next two turns both of the elves managed to match the other's efforts, their banter continuing as they tried to think of ways to outdo their opponent. When it was once again his turn, Legolas moved far down the field, almost out of the torchlight. He knew he was stronger than the elleth and he had always been able to shoot slightly farther than her. Even from his distance he could see the scowl on her face when she realized what he was doing. His arrow embedded itself in the closest ring to the center. Éomer commended his effort, in awe of the distance he had achieved. Eredhel came to stand beside Legolas with determination in her eyes. Though she raised her bow higher than usual and pulled hard on her string, her shot fell only on the outermost ring, quite close to the ground. Their score was now tied, one to one.
"I think you might need to work on your aim," said Legolas smugly. Eredhel growled at him and stalked away, heading for where Éomer and Aragorn were leaning against the fence. "Surely you're not giving up so soon?" he called after her. She ignored him and instead jumped lightly to the top of one of the posts, startling the men. Taking a deep breath she balanced on one foot and focusing on the target, loosed an arrow. Unlike her previous try, this one hit the middle of the bull's-eye. She cocked an eyebrow at Legolas, knowing that his balance would be influenced by all that he had drank. None the less he hopped onto the same post after she had dismounted and faced the target. When he raised his foot however, it was easy to see that he did not have the necessary focus. He teetered slightly and swore before straightening and trying to match her. His arrow hit the second outer ring and he heard a chuckle from Eredhel.
"That's two to one," she said as she took a seat on the rail of the fence. For the next seven shots, neither of them failed to hit their mark. Legolas tried aiming for a different part of the target but Eredhel managed to meet his efforts each time. She would then attempt to take advantage of his weakened senses but the other elf did not fail to copy her shot. It was once again Eredhel's turned when she remembered Gaelring's words in Imladris. "Your brothers say you can shoot a single leaf from a tree." Although few trees were to be found on the open plains, some had been grown for decoration along the edge of the archery field. There was a tall maple several feet behind the target with long, overhanging branches. She could feel the men's eyes on her as she took her stance and chose which leaf to aim for then made a small line on the ground. Taking a deep breath she swiftly raised her bow and released the arrow. She heard an intake of breath from Aragorn as it flew over the target and was lost from view in the branches of the tree.
"I believe you are the one to be made slow by the droughts of men," remarked Legolas. "I don't think I've ever seen you miss a target by that much." Eredhel turned to him with a half-smile on her face.
"I did not miss, I wasn't aiming for the bullseye." The other elf's smile changed to a look as confusion as she turned to Éomer. "I believe you'll find what I was aiming for on the ground." The man's eyes widened but he said nothing as he went to retrieve the leaf. When he came back he was shaking his head in amazement.
"Never on the plains have I seen any that could match archery skill of the Elves. The stem was cut clean and your arrow just a dozen feet away. You're up Master Greenleaf." Legolas was still frowning but none the less he moved on to the field and found the line she had marked in the dirt. But it was hard to make out a single leaf from the mass of green and his vision was slightly blurred. He picked one that hung lower than the others and took his shot. The arrow contacted the leaf but did not hit the stem and simply tore it in half. He heard another amazed exclamation from Éomer but knew that he had not matched Eredhel's shot.
"Incredible! And from that distance! I should send some of my men to Mirkwood for your training Legolas!" said the man. "But I'm afraid you had to cut the leaf from the tree which means you are given another strike and therefore lose." Legolas gave a small chuckle and shook his head.
"I simply hope word of my loss of senses does not reach my home, the son of the King weakened by a simple mortal ale."
"Yes, he may just disinherit you," added Eredhel smugly. "Now let us return to the King's Hall, I believe there are some pints to go around." The two elves retrieved their arrows and then followed the men up the hill. Inside the Meduseld the celebrations were still in full swing, Merry and Pippin had even returned to the table for an encore performance. Aragorn and Eredhel went to get the drinks while Legolas and Éomer found a empty table in the corner. As they were getting mugs from the bartender, Aragorn turned to his friend.
"You have been drinking wine all evening and Legolas grew up drinking the finest brews with almost every meal. How on earth did you manage that?" he asked. Eredhel hesitated a moment before answering him.
"Let us just say I worked up somewhat of a resistance in the months following the Battle of Fornost." She took four pints and led the way over to the table, sliding one in front of Éomer and the other three in front of Legolas. The elf sighed and started on the first, downing it in slow gulps. When Éomer had finished his mug he excused himself to go speak to the King and shortly after Aragorn went to go find Gimli. Legolas had just taken a sip of his second glass when he turned to Eredhel, a grin on his face.
"I let you win you know."
"I'm sure you did," she said with a roll of her eyes.
"I couldn't let you lose in front of the men, your pride would never heal. Some gratitude would be nice."
"If you think for one minute that I'm going to thank you then you truly have lost your senses!" chuckled Eredhel.
"I shall get my revenge, you'll see," he said slyly.
"Ah, but that would require you to catch me first." Before he could react Eredhel had rose from the table and disappeared into the crowd, heading towards one of the long side halls. He rose and followed after her, seeing the elleth slip around a corner to his left. When he came around the turn however, she was nowhere in sight. A lone torch was the only source of light in the deserted corridor. It had paneled walls and several woven tapestries hung from the ceiling. They depicted great war horses rode by men with gleaming blond hair. Legolas' head swiveled from side to side as he tried to figure out where she was, hoping to hear a swoosh of her cloak or the sound of her breath. He heard her soft chuckle but still could not see her.
"Le tela nurtalë? (Are you done hiding?)" He asked exasperatedly.
"Well that depends, are you quite done searching?" He could hear the laughter in her voice. Legolas turned and found her only a few feet behind him, leaning lazily against one of the wooden columns. The torchlight threw a dark shadow across her face as she smirked at him. He growled, quickly shortening the distance between them as she backed into a corner.
"One of these days your sneaking is going to get you into trouble," he said.
"Ah yes, I am quite terrified, can't you hear my heart racing?" Eredhel barely contained a laugh. Her mirth was interrupted however, when Legolas leaned in and kissed her, grinning at her surprised expression. One of his hands wound its way into her hair as she kissed him harder. "You really aren't making me regret my actions with this kind of revenge," said Eredhel softly with a chuckle as she drew away from him.
"Oh, that wasn't my revenge, it was simply a distraction so I could get this." He held up her silver chain and leaf pendant with a smug grin. Eredhel's eyes widened and she felt her neck disbelievingly. She swore and started towards him.
"Give it back," she snarled, cursing herself for allowing him to one up her.
"Ah well melethen, in your words that will require you to catch me first." She heard him laugh as he darted around a corner and she ran after him.