3. On Dangerous Ground
Part Three: On Dangerous Ground
Aragorn startled, his eyes shooting open as fingers suddenly trailed down over his chest. His hand shot out, capturing the intruder's fingers. They were soft and delicate compared to his rough, calloused hands. He felt a moment of disbelief, then her voice whispered over him, and he felt her body settle on the floor behind him.
"What have we here? A lonely ranger, bare of his weapons and helpless in a tub?"
Aragorn blinked, Arwen's low voice sending a thrill through him; then he glanced down at himself in the water. With his legs thrown over the sides of the tub, the direction his thoughts had traveled before she had entered and the seductive quality of her voice, he realized he was quite exposed in a rather vulnerable position. His eyes widened and he released her hand, shooting to an upright sitting position and pulling his legs into the tub in an attempt to cover himself.
He heard her soft chuckle. "Or perhaps not so bare of weapons; it seems a ranger is never without a sword."
"Arwen!" he snapped, his face heating as his eyes focused on the closed door. If they should be discovered… Elrond would kill him, plain and simple. Not to mention Elladan and Elrohir, or Glorfindel, or Erestor, or… "You should not be here," he hissed, thoughts of a painful death diminishing the effects of her presence on him.
"Oh, but I am the lady of the house and it is my duty to see the guests within it have their needs met." Her hand trailed up his chest to his shoulder. He jumped as she dipped a washcloth into the water. Reaching out, he snatched it from her, using it to try to cover more of himself.
Twisting his head around to glare at her, he found himself face to face with a very amused looking Arwen. "You act as if I have never seen a naked man before, my love," she teased, her lips twitching.
Her words drove his protests from his mind and brought a frown to his face. Arwen? His Arwen? Had seen a naked man? "When?" he asked, wincing at his own affronted tone. He glanced longingly over his shoulder at the towels on the shelf behind his beloved, out of reach unless he stood and turned to face her where she knelt on the floor…
"When?" she laughed. "For nearly an age I have worked alongside my father in his healing arts. You forget, my love, that I am no naïve maiden, no matter how innocent I may be in body." She paused and then frowned at him. "Estel, why has your face turned all red again?"
Aragorn shook his head, not about to answer that question. "Arwen," he pleaded. She was getting far too much amusement from this at his expense. In other circumstances (preferably those in which she were his wife) he would enjoy the situation along with her. But not here and not now.
"It is not every day I am so rewarded for helping out the maids." Her eyes sparkled with mirth. "I only wished to help you bathe, my love." But her laughing eyes also held a longing he understood all too well. Good intentions aside, they tread on dangerous ground.
He opened his mouth to state such when the door opened again. His head swung around and before he even gazed at the intruder, Aragorn knew he was in trouble. When his eyes alighted on Elrond standing in the doorway… He gulped.
I am going to die.
To Be Continued…
Thanks for reading. I know some readers have complained about the short chapters, and that is not usually my style, but this is just a quick fun story and not to be taken too seriously. :)