Fear seized James' heart and sent a chill down his spine. Orcs and red coats he could handle easily with his sword and bow. His mother however was an enemy he knew he stood no chance against, regardless of his skills in battle. The woman's tongue was sharper than any blade and her hand struck faster than any arrow. Faster and harder as her hand lashed out and struck him across the face.

"James Matthew Ashland! What were you thinking?! Do you wish to die? Do you wish to leave this world and your family to grieve?! You were not to enter that forest without Lord Glorfindel! You were ordered not to! Can you not follow the orders of you commanding officer, nor your mother?! All the efforts and lives lost to protect this family, you would throw them away as if they were nothing?" Evangeline shrieked as she struck her son once more in her rage.

"Mother, I know you are angry, but had I not gone then Elladan would have died", James pleaded with her as his cheeks stung from the blows.

"It is true My Lady", Elrohir said from his brother's side, "Were it not for Nuisar we would have been lost. You should feel proud. Your son is turning into a valuable warrior."

Evangeline's flashed the elf a look of rage as she shouted, "His name is James and he is not a warrior! He should have never been in the forest in the first place! Did you not understand that from the beginning?!"

James stared at his mother in confusion. What did she mean by that? From the beginning of what? Something about that single statement from his mother had struck James as odd. It held more meaning than his mother simply shouting in anger. Looking at Elrohir, James took notice that the elf looked rather guilty, though his face was completely void of emotion, his eyes gave him away.

"Elrohir", James said forcing the elf to look at him, "What is she talking about? From the beginning of what?"

Elrohir's face remained blank, but his eyes were heavy with guilt and regret. Whatever it was that Elrohir had kept from him must have been bad. How bad, James would never had believed it had the words not come directly from one of his most trusted friends…and his mother.

"First let me say that it was never our decision to keep this from you James. We did this as a request from our father and Lord Glorfindel", Elrohir said wanting James to understand that they were only honoring the wishes of their superiors, "When your mother first agreed to let us train you, she did so under the impression that you would not be leaving Rivendell's walls."

Elrohir looked to James' mother who had a look of anger mixed with fear. What was being kept from him? Elrohir shook his head side to side with a look of resolve, almost as if to say 'no, no more'. Evangeline's anger melted away to fear as Elrohir began to speak.

"The day you completed your training and requested to join our patrol, Lord Glorfindel went to your mother to get her permission. She refused, at first", Elrohir said, "For several weeks, Lord Glorfindel sought to gain her approval to allow you to join the patrol. She eventually agreed, but only under certain conditions."

"Enough! You all have just escaped death", Evangeline snapped hoping to keep her son from learning of their deal.

"Mother, what are you hiding?" James said now seeing that his mother truly was hiding something from him. Something everyone, but himself seemed to know.

"I hide nothing. You nearly got killed and you will not be joining the patrols again", she said angrily.

"I am a grown man mother. I am no longer a child…" James did not get to finish as his mother turned to him with wide angry eyes.

"You are my child!" she shrieked, "I forbid you to continue these patrols. You will remain in the city where you are safe."

"Safe? Safe?! You mean imprisoned! Locked away behind doors of wood and iron until we die? You would have us hide from the world. You would make this choice for us? To do nothing more, be nothing more than what you say we are to be?" James roared suddenly finding not only his courage, but his rage.

"If your father were here…" Evangeline was cut off quickly by James whose fierce eyes silenced her.

"If my father were here, he would have been out there with us on patrol. He would not cower behind our friends who have given us so much. He would not allow them to spill their blood on our behalf without being willing to shed his own in return. My father would have been proud of me for standing beside my friends and protecting my home like a man should!"

James had never blown up like this before, never had he ever gone against his mother like this, but she had gone too far. By bringing his father's memory into the fight hoping to guilt him into letting whatever secret she was keeping go. His father was no coward and he had not raised a coward. His father had fought against the red coats for their freedom. For their right to live their lives.

Yet for all his father and brothers' sacrifices, she would still stand there and tell him to spend his life in hiding. To do nothing, be nothing for his entire life. She expected him to simply survive and never truly live.

"Elrohir, what was the deal she made?" James said turning to Elrohir who now stood silently beside his brother's bed.

"Don't you dare!" Evangeline shouted at him angrily.

"Elrohir!" James said forcefully.

Elrohir knew that James would not stop until he got his answers and Lady Evangeline would have to face the consequences of her actions sooner or later. It would appear that it would be sooner.

"The deal she made was for Lord Glorfindel to keep you away from any form of battle that you could not easily win against. Each day you were to be sent out on patrol, another team would be sent out before to double scan the area with the previous patrol. Together they would eliminate or severely injure any threat. From there they would leave the remaining injured orcs and dead orcs for us to find. Your position was always to be at the rear of the patrol so that you would have little to no chance of battling even the injured orcs. This deal was made to allow you to feel you could expand outside of Rivendell, which is what you wanted and will one day need to do. Your mother had hoped that with this much you would not feel the need to ever leave Rivendell and would eventually out grow your desire to go on patrol or for any form of battle."

The room was silent. One could find more noise and signs of life within a graveyard. James' felt as though someone had knocked the wind out of him. Lies. All this time it had been one great lie. A lie his mother had made and his friends had played a part in. His whole life as a warrior had been a lie. He had never really been allowed to patrol the area. He had been like a dog being taken for a walk and once in a while letting the dog play with a half dead rabbit. Shock, anger, and betrayal filled his very soul.

"Mother, is this true?" James turned his eye to his mother who was pale as snow at this point and appearing for all intents and purposes like a criminal found guilty of a horrid crime.

It was true. James, no matter how hurt he was, stood and made his way to the door.

"James, please understand…"

"No Mother, you must understand that this is my life. Father, Abraham, and Benjamin died to insure that we were able to live free to choose what we wanted out of life. When you made that deal, you didn't just lie to me. You disgraced their memory, their sacrifice." Evangeline stood in horror as she wrapped her arms around herself.

James' voice was calm as he said, "Mother, I know what happened with the red coats was horrible, but you…you have changed. When we ran that night, you were so brave. You were afraid, I was too, but you did not give in. You fought on by protecting us. When we got here, you still fought to keep us safe. You held your hand steady as you took aim to kill anyone you thought would hurt us", James was almost sounded like he was praising her right then even though it was obvious he was not going to leave it at that.

"When we got here though, you changed. You used to be more than this. What happened to you?" James asked in a voice that rang with disappointment, hurt, and anger.

Not bothering to look at her any longer, James left the room. Leaving his mother standing there with tears in her eyes. It was too late though. The truth had been told and now she would have to deal with the consequences of her choices. Though it would not be only her. Everyone who had been part of her little charade would each in turn take responsibility for the part they played.


Sorry it was so short. I'm just now getting back into the swing of things. Hope you liked it :3