1. I Will Take It
I felt Its stirrings the day It entered this hallowed vale and wondered at the wisdom of allowing Its presence here. Yet, Lord Elrond had my loyalty and love. I hoped he had made a wise choice. As the days progressed, and It remained within this valley, I realized my lord's cunning. He would take It and use It, of that I was finally certain. Sauron would be defeated by His own folly. I remembered the battles I had seen, especially the Dagorlad. My heart swelled with pride as I remembered us conquering His evil, then it plummeted in remembrance of the treachery of men.
Men are not trust worthy; I discovered that when Isildur kept the Ring against Lord Elrond's counsel. Prior to that, I had little experience with their race and no love. Though many trusted the line of Húrin, I kept apart from them. Did not Easterlings enter our lands, side with the Spawn of Morgoth, and battle against us? Now I was supposed to forget that treachery, that betrayal, and trust them, these short-lived, mindless beings. Close kin to Yrch, I call them. Though not openly. Nay, for is not my lord...?
My heart sank at the Council as I listened in disbelief. I watched those about me; not one agreed with me. It was to be carried by the Hobbit; a great quest was to begin; It would be destroyed. Over time, eight were chosen to accompany the Ringbearer. I placed my name before my lord, but I was not chosen. 'Mayhap,' I thought wonderingly, 'Lord Elrond plans to leave Middle-earth and cares not for this world we have lived in for ages almost beyond reckoning. I am not yet prepared to leave. I have naught to return to. I live under Mandos' curse.'
Unbelieving, I waited. I began to plan. Mettarë would be upon us shortly. The scouts were returning. I knew my time was drawing near. I must make my move, else It be lost forever. Sauron would have It and conquer this land. 'To Angband with Elrond,' I thought wildly. 'His wisdom is a fool's wisdom.' Carefully, I inquired amongst my company. Though concern mapped their faces, none questioned the Peredhel. I was not foolish enough to share my own thoughts. Just probed and prodded to see which way the wind blew. Bitterly, I discovered I would have to act alone.
I watched the Ringbearer closely, gained knowledge of his habits, and waited, but now, furtively, anxiously. I would have but one chance. If I tipped my hand and lost, they would know; I would be hunted down. I shivered. I am not one to be frightened by much, but what I proposed would seem treachery to many. I scowled. 'Treachery? It is wisdom. It cannot go to Mordor; Sauron will find It, easily take It from the weak hands that would protect It, and crush us all. I will not fail. I will take It myself. Elrond will have to deal with me.'
The Ringbearer left the Hall. His shadow slept, did not note his master's leaving. 'Perfect.' I followed, discreetly. As I walked, my brow furrowed. Never before had I skulked upon this hallowed land, yet my lord's actions now made it necessary. Hatred flared in my breast for the Half-elf. Sneering, I thought of all I would say, once It was mine. How I would show him his folly and my wisdom. The Hobbit did not go to his rooms. I rejoiced as he walked into the gardens. 'Easy prey,' I thought exultantly. 'Easier than hunting Yrch.' I put out my hand. So easy.
"Frodo," I smiled. "You forgot your cake. The cook would be dismayed to learn you did not eat it." I offered it to him. "I thought you might like some. Please, sit with me and share this." I gave him another smile and he returned it. Trusting me, he sat on the bench and took half of the piece. 'Fool,' I thought, 'your passions betray you.' I pretended I was distracted by a sound and did not bite into my half. He wolfed his down, as I had expected. I dropped mine in the grass. We chatted for a moment. So easy.
I waited, my breath catching as I saw the telltale signs. My hands shook in anticipation. His eyes began to droop. He apologized and made to leave. His legs would not hold him. I voiced my concern, said I would take him to Lord Elrond. He allowed me to pick him up. His eyes closed completely. I trembled in excitement. Walking swiftly, by devious paths, I found the stables. My horse was ready. I slung the body over the withers and mounted behind him. Another moment and I would be away. I held him; I could feel It. So easy.
I turned my horse's head to the south. Darkness hid me; I wanted to cry aloud in exultation, yet I held my tongue. 'Caution,' I told myself sternly. My mind sang instead, 'I have It. It is mine. I am conqueror of the world. I will spit in the faces of the Valar. I will hold Sauron himself in my hand. I will...' I felt the pain - deep, mind-numbing, breath-taking pain - between my shoulder blades. An arrow! Easy enough to discern. Tears filled my eyes. I had been found. The curse had found me at last. So easy.
I tried to hold on, but my hands would not obey me. I bit my lip, trying desperately to hold on with my knees, but in vain. In utter amazement, I felt myself falling. Never before had I fallen from a horse. The hard ground rushed towards me, towards my face. I tried to avert it, but could not. I felt, rather than saw, the Hobbit's body land next to me. I heard his gasp; consciousness returning. I choked on my blood and the laughter that forced itself from me. 'You fool. Too easy.'
A/N - I really wanted to 'name' the Elf - but he refused to cooperate. I'm sure some of you are thinking you know who it is... Shame on you - that probably means it's your favorite Elf and your lack of loyalty and trust are abysmal!