23. Up a Tree Without a Bow
The second parchment was hanging half way up one of the giant Mallorn trees. Swiftly reading through it, Fire narrowed her eyes in thought.
'Two turns are done
Fire and Steam
A Place to make Silvered Dreams
From Many to One'
'Ok idiot elf! This one was too easy. I wonder if he is losing his touch, The last three times the clues were much harder!' , Fire lamented as she walked to the city's forge. Her surprise was utterly complete when the master sword smith told her, "Prince Legolas asked me to inform you, '"That which you seek is harder then it seems. Find it if you dare!'"
'Sneaky, conniving, intelligent, and down right annoying ELF! Ok .. silvered dreams.. from many to one .. fire and steam … Oh the Evil Elfling! Thought he could trick me, did he. Well, I know just where to go!' With the look of a predator eyeing its small prey, the ranger went in search of the silversmith.
Less then ten minutes later, Fire walked into the talan workshop of the city's finest silversmith and inquired if the master smith had a message for her. A beautiful silver haired she elf smiled at Fire as the master smith placed a small wrapped bundle in her hands. "Prince Legolas asked me to give this to you. He said you would know what it was all about. He also told me to inform you, "'Do not think that I would trivialize your intelligence with childish clues, Lady Fire, so think well before you act as then next clue can only be found once.'" I have never seen the Prince act like such an elfling before, and it does my heart glad to see him so excited. He was quite pleased with himself when he left."
After thanking the silversmith, Fire hurried down the stairs and to a secluded bench beneath a Mallorn tree to unwrap the next clue. Excitement and determination danced in the ranger's forest green eyes, as she tore off the string and unwrapped the package. Her mouth dropped open in a startled gasp. Inside the covering, lay not only the parchment for the next clue, but a necklace wrought of pure mithril and breath taking gems.
Fire stared in wonder at the creation before her. A simple mithril chain went three quarters of the way around the necklace. The chain was attached on either side; where the tops of the collar bone would land, by a pattern in mithril and gold of delicate leaves that Fire had never seen before. The leaves twined along vines that held small sapphire and small golden topaz stones, and where the ends of the vines met directly over the heart area, lay a gorgeous pair of gems cut to overlap each other to form one heart shaped stone.
The heart stone consisted of a large blue stone, the color of a summer sky and a green stone, the shade of a leaf in a deep forest. Elven script ran along the seam of the hearts joining.
'Two Made into One
Forever Be to Me
That Which Can Not be Undone'
The care and craft that had gone into the making of such an unusual necklace, was not lost on Fire. Her heart raced. Her mind was swimming. Coherent thought completely eluded her. Rabid butterflies swarmed into her stomach. She could not breathe and was very, very close to acting like a confounded ninny female. Scolding herself, Fire forced her trembling hand to touch the gift before her.
With gentle, shaking fingers, the shocked and touched ranger tentatively moved across the leaves and down to the joined stones. She was not sure if she should rant or cry that the Idiot Elf had given her something so beautiful and delicate. Looking more closely at the heart stones, she saw a truly startling thing; the stones were a perfect match to the exact shades of her and Legolas' eye color. Bemused, the ranger lifted the necklace, placed it on her neck, and stroked the stone in hesitant wistfulness.
"Fire where did you get that necklace from?" a voice inquired from her left side. Turning an unfocused, wide eyed stare to the speaker, Fire's foggy, confused brain took a moment to register Aragorn's presence. "Aragorn I did not hear you come up. It is … well the necklace is ... well from … it was given by … OH VALAR!! The Idiot Elf has lost his sanity! I … well I came to find a message from Legolas and he left it with the silversmith for me along with … with this.", Fire frantically waved at the necklace hanging from her neck.
"It is a very unique piece. Our Elven friend has great taste in jewelry and so much more. Did he mention anything about the necklace in the note?", he asked cautiously. Aragorn smiled as the ranger shook her head, NO, in response. Trying to act nonchalant about the ranger's necklace, Aragorn inwardly laughed at his friend's actions concerning the clueless ranger. He himself had seen the necklace before and it made his spirit lighter to see that Legolas had given it to Fire. Aragorn decided he would have to have a talk with the love-struck elf, after Legolas returned either, victoriously stuffed with food OR grinning, bedraggled, wet and plotting a new strategy to win Fire's affections. The future king of Gondor could not wait to see the outcome of this game!
Legolas had everything ready down in the special glade he had found. He hoped that, this time, the ranger would actually have the picnic with him; instead of enjoying her spoils of war alone. Each time she tossed him in the river, the interval of her arrival and his inopportune bathing got longer. The last time, Legolas was almost positive that Fire had wanted to stay and enjoy the meal with him, but the ranger suddenly spooked and left with the food to his great amusement.
The elf wondered at the reaction his special gift was going to produce. Fire was as skittish as a wild mare, but he saw signs of her very reluctant, yet, blooming trust. He had silently observed her, from a nearby Mallorn tree, a few times this week, before racing back to his talan to get there before her. He had enjoyed watching her face light up when she was confronted with his gifts. Her eyes softened, her lips curled up in a slow lazy smile and she always, always took time to smell the fragrant flowers. It was these tiny, heart felt indications of Fire's growing affection, that had made the daily, Herculean effort worth every single, slippery, dangerous leap he took to reach her balcony. Pleased with his preparations, Legolas walked over to the tree with his food stash. One tiny hint of what was to come, and Legolas would NOT have set his bow down by the picnic blanket!!
Silver eyes watched the Prince of Mirkwood make a lovely nest under a low hanging tree. A blanket was spread, with an extra one by the side if needed, wine glasses, a bouquet of fresh Hydra flowers and two of Mirkwood's best wines; that he had won off Lord Celeborn earlier in the week. The elf laid his bow and quiver, with knives against the side of the tree, before going to grab a food sack he had hidden earlier, in another tree nearby. He was armed with only a dagger, but this far inside Lothlorien he felt safe and unconcerned with a possible attack. A soon as he had the food sack in hand, the watcher attacked.
Spinning around at the almost noiseless attack, Legolas came face to face with a large, angry, black Feline bent on harmful mischief. With only a split second to decide, Legolas did what was natural for a Wood Elf …. Up the tree he went!! The great black beast chased him part way up the tree until the branches grew to thin to hold the Feline's weight. Luckily for the Prince of Mirkwood, he had a lot of intensive experience in climbing quickly to nearly impossible heights on branches, almost too small to hold his much less formidable weight. Looking down in disgust, he took in the sight of the black Feline lounging on a lower branch and his now useless bow laying against the tree by the picnic blanket. Rolling his eyes in frustration, Legolas wondered if next time he should try something, other then a picnic, as the Valar seemed to see it as an excuse to harass him beyond endurance.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.