28. Chapter Twenty-Eight
"You know, when Legolas sees you are not bringing the Galadhrim he requested he will be put out. I think he meant for you to be away from here, away from the battle."
"Do you think I know that not. Of course he sent me away to protect me. His body," and the smile Haldirriel gave Mahtan was mischievous, "knows that I am of age and a warrior, but his mind would recall his Naneth and seek to protect me."
Amroth interrupted. "There is something before us."
"It is a Dwarf!"
Haldirriel ran forward. "Gimli! Gimli," she knelt and sobbed.
Amroth was at her side. "He lives. He is bitten." He motioned to one of his warriors and ordered the Elf to stay by the Dwarf's side. "Do not let him be taken; he is friend of our Prince." The Elf nodded, drew his blade, and stood over the Dwarf.
"Haldirriel, we must be away. The fighting is a short distance from us. Can you not hear it?"
She stood unsteadily. "He is a true friend of ours, Mahtan. I would stay with him if I could, but we must hurry onward. Legolas and Haldir need us."
Mahtan nodded and led the way. Within moments, they were in the cavern. As they passed the inward doorway, they had nary a moment to even think as spiders met them. The twenty or so of Amroth's warriors ran from behind them and began a systematic slaughter. These Elves of Eryn Lasgalen were in their element; their joy lay in spider slaying. Haldirriel took a moment to decide where she best stand, when she heard Legolas cry out Haldir's name. She looked towards the back of the cavern and saw the Yrch and their captives. Scouring the great cavern, she saw a narrow walkway about head height and jumped towards it. It ran the length of the cavern; Mahtan followed her as well as the entire company of Silvan Elves. As they approached the tunnel leading out of the cavern, she paused and looked back. In the midst of the fray, she saw Legolas.
She knew he felt her gaze for he stopped and looked up. The smile that lightened his face stole her breath away. She felt the passion in it, even in the midst of the battle, and she smiled back. He held his blade up. Her heart lurched. She wanted her hand upon him as tightly as he now held the hilt of his sword; she had to stop, for a moment, take a deep breath, and contain the passion that suddenly flowed through her. She felt wetness begin to seep from her own sheath. She shuddered and watched as he smiled again. 'The cad!' she thought wildly, 'he will probably come himself, just from the look of him!' She pushed aside the passion, shook her head, and turned back. She knew he was asking her to wait for him, but there was no time. The group ran into the tunnel. It was dark, but not enough to stay her.
Legolas cried out in anguish when he saw her. 'Morgoth's piss,' he thought wildly, 'she should be away from here.' Yet, there was naught he could do to contain her and her warrior ways. He swung swiftly at the spider leg that touched his own and severed it. Another Elf quickly pierced its gut. The being twitched, then quieted. He looked back and saw her staring at him and his heart jumped. That was not the only thing that jumped. Passion flowed through him as he watched her. He raised his sword, asking her to wait, and watched his passion reflected in her face. After only a moment, his heart dropped as she nodded towards him, turned, and ran off towards the back of the cavern. She was following Haldir, of that he was certain.
He looked about him and saw the Peredhil fighting only steps away. "Will you follow me? They are taking Haldir."
The twins nodded, dispatched the last of the spiders nearest to them, and ran after Legolas. The Silvan Elf jumped to the walkway and ran after Haldirriel. She had a good lead on him, so he scurried to catch up. In the process, his foot slipped on dung and he slid towards the edge.
"I am surprised to see you so... clumsy," Elrohir chortled as he clutched the blonde's tunic. "Careful."
"Try it yourself," Legolas regained his footing and began to run again, "This stuff is slippery, a surprise considering the stickiness of spiders' webs."
Elladan laughed. "Mayhap we should put some of the sticky stuff on your feet," the Elf almost fell as he tried to contain the laughter, "that should save you."
Legolas hissed and the twins wisely kept the rest of their thoughts to themselves. They followed.
At last, they caught up to Haldirriel, Mahtan and the Silvan Elves. A moment to greet each other, then they planned their next movement.
"He is with about twelve other Elves, as far as I could see," Haldirriel whispered. "There were at least a dozen Yrch, perhaps more. They know these caverns; we must go forward with care."
Elladan pointed towards the tunnel. "Only two can walk abreast. If any of the Yrch stay behind, those in the front of our column will be hewn down within moments."
"Then our bravest and best should take the forefront," Legolas stated flatly. "Follow me, whoever dares."
The twins looked at each other, quirked a brow, and smiled. Elrohir smirked as he spoke, "Mayhap we should stay to the rear. Our skill in killing Yrch is paltry compared to the great Prince Legolas."
Haldirriel hit the nearest twin. "Do not tease at such a time," she cried, but the twinkle in her eye belied the sternness of her words.
"Of course not, Lady Haldirriel. We would not tease your Prince."
Legolas scowled. "I meant no disrespect. Others in our company have less skill and experience with the killing of Yrch. Mostly, my Adar's warriors battle the spiders."
Thoroughly chastened, Elrohir apologized.
"Nay. Do not." Legolas was as chagrined as the Imladris Elf. "I place my own concern above the mission. Forgive me."
"Let us go," Haldirriel muttered darkly. "Time is not in our favor."
"She is correct. Legolas, lead us. We will follow," Elladan's voice was now subdued.
They ran into the tunnel and discovered it was short and empty. After running only a furlong or two, the tunnel opened into another cavern. Thankfully, this one was empty. There was no trap, no ambush. They watched as the Yrch left through another tunnel at the end of this cavern.
"They have seen us," Legolas called out, bitterly. "We must run faster!"
The company picked up their pace and found themselves at the opening to the next tunnel only moments later. Haldirriel was heartened. She cried out Haldir's name. She wanted him to know friends were near, attempting to rescue him. A Yrch turned and threw a spear. An Elf took it in his side. She cried out in horror. Another Elf stopped to help the wounded warrior and motioned them to continue without them. Legolas nodded his gratitude and plunged forward. The rest followed.
Pulling up suddenly, Legolas held his arm out and stopped the forward progress of the Elves. "They have stopped. The battle is now upon us," he hissed. Then, he screamed as he watched two of the captives' throats cut. An Orch smiled until Legolas' knife embedded itself deep in the creature's chest.
The company ran forward, even as Haldirriel strove to hold onto her sanity. She had lost Haldir's presence the moment the Yrch stopped. 'Elbereth, please save him.'
A/N - I try to make sure any words I'm using are at least before the eighteen hundreds to prevent a 'modern' sound... 1) Vagina - [Origin: 1675-85; < NL; L vagina sheath ]
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vagina; 2) Cad - [Origin: 1780-90; short for caddie (def. 2) ] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cad; 3) Peredhil (Sindarin plural) Peredhel (Sindarin singular) http://www.tuckborough.net/elrond.html (thanks to the folks at Leaf and Stone since Wikipedia is WRONG); 4) stuff (n.) c.1330, "quilted material worn under chain mail," from O.Fr. estoffe "quilted material, furniture, provisions" (Fr. étoffe), from estoffer "to equip or stock," probably from O.H.G. stopfon "to plug, stuff," or from a related Frankish word (see stop). Sense extended to material for working with in various trades (1406), then (1580) "matter of an unspecified kind." Always thought the word 'stuff' was modern - but using it in place of 'matter' is as old as 1580. Who knew??? http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=stuff; 6) The Sindarin name for the race known to Men as Orcs. 'Yrch' is the plural form; the singular is 'orch'. http://www.glyphweb.com/ARDA/y/yrch.html
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