Five o’clock

The Mistress of the Ceremony tapped lightly on the study door.

Come in...

“Lady Lessien! Is it that time already?” Legolas laid down the document he was reading. “Please, take a seat. Can I offer you a drink?”

“Yes—thank you.”

Legolas rose from his desk, took a few steps towards the sideboard—and, without any warning, suddenly doubled up in pain. “Oh!

“My lord?”

The elf stumbled, clutching his chest and gasping for breath, “I—Ohhh...”

Lessien caught him by the upper arms and guided him to the nearest chair. “Sit down, my lord.” She knelt before him, holding his hands and staring up into his face—appalled to see his normally serene countenance twisted in a grimace of agony, and tears spilling from his tightly closed eyes. “Guard!” she shouted, over her shoulder. “Guard, come here!”

She chafed Legolas’ hands.

“What is it, my La—” The young guard, unused to seeing weakness or illness of any kind, stopped abruptly at the sight of his stricken lord.

“Find Master Dínendal,” cried Lessien. “Quickly.”

“No,” gasped Legolas. “No, that will not be necessary, Galathil.”


“It is passing,” said Legolas, more evenly. “She is not—she is safe now—and I feel it passing.”


Eowyn opened her eyes. Her teeth were chattering.


Instinctively, she curled up into a ball, rubbing her frozen limbs with her hands.

Cold and wet. She shivered. And... scared. “Legolas?”

With icy fingers she pushed her wet hair back from her face and wiped her eyes and nose. Wet... Why am I so wet?

Something nudged her back, gently demanding attention. Eowyn rolled over. “Vanyasul?

The pretty mare was trying to coax her to her feet.

“Where is Brightstar, Vanyasul? Where is...”

Where is Legolas?

Where am I?

Eowyn pushed herself up on her arms and looked around. The Aelvorn. How did I get here? Why am I alone?

The strange, dark lake was still but, somehow, threatening, like a predator lying in ambush. Eowyn scanned its steeply sloping shores—barren, empty—then turned and crawled away, searching the grassy verge and the sparse forest beyond for any sign of Legolas.

Not here.

She was alone, except for Vanyasul, following beside her, impatiently bumping her shoulder.

The horse had no saddle nor bridle, but Eowyn had no qualms about riding bareback. She struggled to her feet. “Good girl,” she said, patting the mare’s neck. “Take me home, Vanyasul. Take me back to Legolas.”


Lessien looked up at the guard. “Fetch Lord Legolas some water,” she said, pointing to the sideboard. “Here, my lord, drink this...” She held the goblet to his lips, rubbing his back with her other hand.

Legolas took a few sips, and gradually regained his composure. “Thank you.”

“Perhaps I should leave you to rest,” said Lessien, “and come back tomorrow.”

“No,” said Legolas. “No, please stay. There is something I particularly want to ask you—that will be all, thank you, Galathil.”

He waited until the door had closed behind the young guard before he turned back to Lessien. “I have been having—well, I suppose a mortal would call them dreams,” he said, colouring slightly, “about the Harvest Rite. Dreams in which I—” He cleared his throat. “In which I choose another lady.” He looked down at his hands.

“Have you spoken about this to—”

“No!” He looked up in alarm. Then he studied her face, his eyes narrowing. “What is it?”

Lessien hesitated. The lady herself had deliberately consulted her, not her betrothed, and to tell him of their earlier meeting would be to betray a confidence. But the Rite must always come first, she thought. “Your lady came to see me this morning, my lord. She asked whether the Valar might lead you to choose someone else this time, and whether there was any way to ensure that you would choose her again—”

Legolas gasped. “What did you tell her?”

“I told her that she is your betrothed,” she said. “That you are bound to her and could not perform the Rite with anyone else.”

“I see,” said Legolas, softly.

“My lord?” Something about his manner seemed strange, but Lessien decided that he simply needed further reassurance. “I honestly believe,” she said, “that the choice ultimately lies with you. I believe that the vision—whatever it may be—is actually an expression of your own heart.”

The elf leaned back in the chair, eyes closed, and considered her words. Then he said, “I think that perhaps it would be better if you came back tomorrow, Lady Lessien.”


journal entry 3

Lord Fingolfin sighed. Should he be expressing these misgivings? Even in his own private journal?


Legolas climbed the spiral stair to his garden; he desperately needed a few minutes’ escape.

Lessien’s words had done little to reassure him. In fact, he was now entirely convinced that both his dreams and this afternoon’s ‘attack’ were warnings. Something is coming, he thought. Something that will cause turmoil.

He walked to the edge of the garden flet, to the secluded corner where, beneath the spreading boughs of one of the mighty carantaurs, he had built a swing. There, he sat down and, despite his sense of foreboding, suddenly smiled, reminded of the many hours of uninhibited pleasure he had enjoyed there.

With her...

A carantaur acorn fell from the branches above, narrowly missing his shoulder, and he watched it skip across the wooden boards...

Then a second acorn fell in his lap.

Legolas looked up.

A third acorn hit him squarely on the forehead. “Ow!

His attacker was perching amongst the branches, knees drawn up under her chin, like some woodland sprite, laughing merrily.

Legolas laughed back. “Come down!” he said.

“Make me!”

“If I have to, you will regret it.”

She shook her lovely head. “I have suffered your punishments before, Legolas Greenleaf, and you do not scare me!”

“Suppose I were to offer you a reward for coming down?”

“What would that be?”

“The thing you like best...”

Laughing wickedly now, she dropped gracefully to the floor. Legolas shook his head; she had dressed herself exactly like him—in leggings and boots and a practical suede jerkin—except...

Some elf-tormenting demon must have made the translucent leggings and the knee-high boots—of softest leather—that so closely fitted her slender legs; and the dark lord’s own seamstress, intent on robbing him of his immortality, must have created the dark green jerkin—of most supple suede—that hugged her delicious body.

Legolas felt a familiar warmth spreading from deep in his groin—quickening both his body and his spirit. “You are sunlight,” he whispered.

“And you,” she said, “are the fairest, the bravest, the most famous elf in all of Middle-earth. And I love you!” She wrapped her arms around his neck. “Do you like me disguised as a wood elf?”

Gently, Legolas took one of her hands, kissed it lightly, and lowered it to the evidence.

“Edhel daur!” she giggled.

Legolas laughed, nuzzling her cheek. “Would you like me to give you your reward now, minx?”


Seven o’clock

Eowyn walked Vanyasul right up to the door of the Palace stables. The ride had helped revive her, and the sunshine had partially dried her clothes, but she still needed one of the grooms to help her dismount.

“Are you new here?” she asked.

“No, my lady.”

“I do not think I have seen you before...” She smiled wearily, patting the horse’s neck. “Take good care of her for me—she has taken very good care of me today. I shall be back to see her, and Brightstar, after supper.”

Then she turned, and walked back to the main clearing, not noticing the look of confusion that passed over the elf’s face.


“Oh yes...” Legolas groaned, deep in his chest. “Oh. Sweet. Eru.”

Kneeling between his open legs, a hand on each thigh, his lover moved rhythmically, her sudden laughter sending teasing vibrations down into his groin and provoking tell-tale ripples in his testicles.

“Oh, ceryn Manwë,” he cursed, grasping the ropes and crushing them in his fists. “Oh, you minx!” And he arched his back and let her greedy mouth finish its work.


Eowyn walked past the Banqueting Hall and, nodding to the unfamiliar guards at the foot of the main staircase, began the slow climb up to the Palace. Every step was exhausting—weighed down as she was by her wet jerkin, and chafed by her damp leggings.

At the top of the stair she paused and looked out across the city...

Something about that, too, seemed slightly unfamiliar, but she was too tired to decide exactly what. She dragged herself across the walkway and pushed open the door of her home.

“Hello, Galathil,” she said to the guard, “is Lord Legolas still in his study?”

“Er—no, my lady.”

“Do you know where he is?”

No, my lady.”

Eowyn had the distinct impression that Galathil was lying to her. But that is ridiculous, she thought. “Very well. When you see him, tell him that I am home.” She walked across the lobby and pushed open the bedroom door.

“No, my lady,” hissed the young elf, “no—you cannot—please—that is the Prince’s bed chamber...”

But the door had already closed behind her.


“Are you going home?” murmured Legolas, gathering her close, and kissing her temple.

“I must,” she said, her tone teasing. “Father is expecting me. He has guests—business acquaintances—from the south and he will want me to entertain them.”

“I am not sure I approve of the way your father uses you.”

“I am not sure Father would approve of the way you use me.”

Legolas, whose concern had been quite serious, suddenly grinned. “Minx!

“But you love me.”

He did not reply as she expected; instead, he gently caught her chin, lifted it upwards, and gazed down at her, searching her face intently.

“What?” she asked, still smiling.

“Shall I see you tomorrow?”

Tomorrow? I do not know...”

“You like to keep me guessing.”

“I like to keep you interested,” she said.


Eowyn took several handfuls of iârloth leaves and scattered them into the bath, inhaling their sharp aroma and feeling its cleansing glow travel through her body, driving out the last of the cold from her limbs and lifting some of her exhaustion. If ever I needed reviving herbs, she thought, it is now.

She stripped off her damp clothes and climbed into the scented water, sinking back into its warmth with a sigh of relief.

Ah... That is better...

She picked up a cake of soap and began working it into lather. Where can Legolas be? she wondered. He said that he would be in his study all day, reading his father’s papers, and—Oh gods! Has something else happened in Eryn Laeg? Has Haldir sent for him?

The feeling of anxiety—of something’s being not quite right—that had been haunting her since she had awoken beside The Aelvorn suddenly overwhelmed her.

Was Legolas in danger?

Was she sensing it through their strange bond?

She must find out.

She must find out now!

She climbed from the bath, quickly dried herself, and reached for her dressing robe.

It was not there.

She went into the bedroom and opened the wardrobe.

What is going on? Where are my clothes—

The bedroom door opened behind her.

She turned, crying out in relief—“Lassui! Oh, Lassui! I was so worried about you!”—and flew to him, arms outstretched.

Legolas pushed her away. “Princess Eowyn,” he said, coldly, “these are my private chambers.”

“Lassui?” She stared up at his angry face. “What is wrong?”

“Please,” he said, “make yourself decent.” He pulled the coverlet from the bed and handed it to her, disdainfully averting his eyes. “And stop using that ridiculous nickname.”

Eowyn clutched the fabric to her chest. “Why are you acting as though you hardly know me, Lass—Legolas?” she asked, staring at his rigid back. “And where are my clothes?

“Your clothes?” He turned to face her. “What are you talking about?”

“My clothes are not in the wardrobe,” she said, plaintively, “my robe is not in the bathing room. Where have you put them? Why are you treating me like this?

The elf frowned, momentarily confused. Then he shouted, “Galathil? Galathil, come here!”

“Lassui!” Eowyn hastily wrapped the coverlet around her. “I am not dressed.”

“That did not worry you a moment ago,” said Legolas, coldly. “Galathil, why did you allow this woman to enter my private chambers?”

“I could not stop her, my lord,” said the nervous elf. “She acted as though she belonged here—”

“I do belong here!” cried Eowyn. “I have belonged here for almost a year! Have you forgotten how you chose me at the Harvest Rite, Lassui? Have you forgotten the vows we made behind the waterfall?—‘Im hervess chin, no hervenn nín. An-uir,’” she sobbed. “Have you forgotten the vows we made before your father?—‘Gwedhithon na, Legolas Thranduilion; le annon veleth nín’!”

The young guard gasped.

“Leave us, Galathil,” said Legolas, quietly. “Leave us now!” He grabbed Eowyn’s arms. “Very well—you have your way—I am listening. Now tell me what you have done to me.”

“Done to you?”

“Tell me why I am dreaming of you at night? Tell me why your face and your body haunt me? Tell me why some part of me feels I am betraying you when I make love to my betrothed—”


The sudden bellow of anger, from the direction of the door, startled both of them. Still holding Eowyn by the arms, Legolas whirled around.

But the bedchamber door was already swinging shut.

“Alatáriël!” he cried. “Alatáriël! Come back!”




Contents page


Previous chapter: An ordinary day
But Eryn Carantaur is no ordinary place...

Chapter 1

Next chapter: Darkness
Haldir investigates. Hentmirë sends for help.

Chapter 3

Edhel daur ... 'huge elf'.
Im hervess chin, no hervenn nín. An-uir ...
'I am your wife, be my husband. Forever'.
Gwedhithon na, Legolas Thranduilion; le annon veleth nín ...
'I will bind to thee, Legolas son of Thranduil; I give you my love'.