4. Chapter 3 - Tragedy in Mirkwood
Legolas would be lying if he said he did not worry for her. He was. Something had transpired between his sister, Lothestel and Haldir. What? He could not put his fingers on it. But she definitely changed immediately after Haldir left. Did they have a fight? They were not even friends to the extent of Legolas' knowledge. The only person that could help him, understand the situation was Nyonna. Perhaps she could let him see how the female mind works.
Lothestel sat in her room alone. The past two weeks had been torturous on her soul. She was walking the fine line between love and hate. Oh, she hated Haldir for sure. But there were times were she could weep because of him and what he did to her. What did he do to her? She was not even sure herself but she was adamant the overwhelming feeling inside her was definitely hatred. She hated him for choosing that Elwen. She hated him for making her heart yearn for more of his touch. Oh, how she hated him!
She stood up and walked to the windows. The air in her room felt stuffy and hot. She looked outside and saw her brother Legolas. He had been trying hard these two weeks to find out what was the matter with her and she had turned him down every single time. She felt bad for treating Legolas so, but she could not bring herself to tell him about what had happened between Haldir and herself. How could she? She will be the one taking the blame. Legolas loves Haldir too much to see him as a bad person.
Not that Haldir was a bad person. What happened between them was of mutual consent. She wanted it as much as he did. Nothing unlawful was done save for her heart breaking into a million pieces. She was surprised at herself. Right up till that night she felt nothing but resentment towards the ellon. But what had changed those few days? Why was she hurt so much? She could think of no answer. She did not love him. No... She loathed him to her very core. Tears welled up in her eyes yet again. Haldir was now in Lorien, back in the arms of that Elwen. This saddened her and she climbed into her bed slowly, letting her tears drown her sorrows.
Nyonna waited patiently in the gardens. Legolas sent a sentinel to her quarters today, asking to see her. She was gladdened for her heart had missed him dearly. She wore Legolas' favourite gown. It was a mint green with silver trims. She let her hair fall to her waist and she sprayed on her perfume. She sat on the bench waiting for her beloved. A slight brush on her hair told her the prince was here with her, "Legolas..."
She turned around to see Legolas standing close to her. She stood up and embraced him, "I missed you my dear."
Legolas smiled and caressed her rosy cheek, "I missed you too. You look lovely today. Who is it that you are trying to please this wonderful day?"
Nyonna pinched the prince's arm, "Las! You know I only dress up for you. But since you do not find it a great effort, I might as well return home and nap."
Legolas held on to her body tightly, "Oh, no, you do not get to leave so easily. I demand a kiss from your sweet lips."
She smiled shyly, "Why? I should save my kisses for this other ellon you were referring to."
Legolas smirked, "Have I not told you, you are mine and mine only!" He pulled her closer and kissed her soft lips. The kiss was firm but sensual. He nibbled at her bottom lip, pleading for entry with his tongue. With a gentle gasp, she let him in, drawing him closer to feel his strong body. Their tongues were occupied in a heated dance, trying to outdo each other.
Nyonna pulled away, panting but giggling as well, "That was breathtaking and erotic. I did not know you are capable of such display Las."
Legolas kissed the top of her head, "Of course I can. I choose not to use all my charms on you. My special talents are reserved for our wedding night."
Nyonna blushed, "Our wedding night? Oh, Las. You speak of something we are still unsure of. Our families still have no knowledge of our relationship."
Legolas pondered this for a moment, "Then let us tell them today."
Nyonna's eyes widened, "Today? So soon?"
Legolas nodded, "The sooner the better. I will get to ravage you all day and all night!"
Nyonna shrieked and pinched his arm yet again, "Las! Careful... Someone might hear us." She looked at the prince. Something was troubling him. Every time something was on his mind, he would wear a frown on his face, "What is the matter Las? What is troubling you?"
Legolas smiled. Nyonna knew him so well. He pulled her to the bench once again, "It is Lothestel. I am worried about her."
Nyonna looked at Legolas, "What happened to her?"
Legolas shook his head, "Nothing that I know of. She has been acting really strange ever since the day Haldir left. She kept to herself these two weeks, only coming out to have dinner. She spends her time wandering the gardens alone. She looks forlorn and far away."
Nyonna nodded, "And you think Haldir is the cause? Why? I thought those two were not even friends."
Legolas sighed, "No, they are not but that is beside the point. Do you remember the night I came to your room?"
Nyonna blushed, "Who can forget?"
Legolas smirked, "That is not what I meant my dear but thank you. After I left your room that night I stumbled upon Haldir who was in nothing but a towel. He was looking at his soiled bed. Someone threw some horses' filth all over his bed and he claimed it to be Lothestel."
Nyonna was appalled, "Horses' filth? Why in the world would she want to do that for?"
"I am not certain. But that was not what worried me," Legolas added.
Nyonna placed her hand over his, "Then what did?"
Legolas sighed, "When Haldir was talking to me he mentioned Lothestel in his room. Haldir also had something he was trying to hide beneath his towel. He was aroused, Nyonna and I fear Lothestel might have something to do with it."
Nyonna gasped, "You did not think they... they... slept together?"
Legolas shrugged, "I dare not say. That is what I wanted to ask you about. Could you please go and talk to her? Ask her what is bothering her? You have been her friend since childhood. She would not hide anything from you."
Nyonna was quiet. Asking someone about their debauchery was not her forte. She was never one to gossip or make it upon herself to find out other people's business. But since Legolas was certain something was indeed bothering Lothestel, she would give it a try, "Very well, my dear. I would give it my best."
Legolas smiled and hugged her, "Wonderful! Now to shower you with more kisses!"
Nyonna laughed and giggled as Legolas kissed her forehead, her nose, her eyes and then her lips. He gently pulled her into his lap and stroked her long hair. She smelled wonderful, his favourite scent, roses and cinnamon. They kissed and kissed until the world around them was lost. They sat in a world entirely their own with nothing but time to kiss and explore each other's body. He held her close long after their kiss ended. Legolas would not change this for anything...
The silent reverie was shattered when a sentinel came running towards the gardens shouting for the prince, "Prince Legolas! Prince Legolas!"
Legolas stood up and beckoned towards the young ellon, "What is it?"
The sentinel seemed out of breath, "Your highness, come quick! You are needed back in the palace. It is the crown prince and princess. Something bad has happened."
Fear and panic bubbled inside him. Gollon and Oriel were in trouble, "What happened? Tell me!"
The sentinel tried to find suitable words to use, "They were attacked by Orcs, my lord. They are in the healing halls as we speak. Come, Prince Legolas. Your father needs you!"
Legolas and Nyonna both ran as fast as they could towards the healing halls. There were already a few people there. Legolas came to a halt, panting as he did. He looked around for any signs of his father the king or his mother the queen. Nothing. Just then, Lothestel walked out from one of the rooms with tears in her eyes. When she saw Legolas, she ran to him, burying her face in her chest.
Legolas was worried. Something bad had happened. He pulled his sister away from his body, looking at her face, trying to get some answers, "Lothestel, what happened? Why are you crying?"
Lothestel was sobbing and coherent words could not be formed. However Legolas managed to discern the dreaded sentence, "They are dead..."
No, he chose not to believe it! Gollon and Oriel cannot be dead. He backed away from Lothestel and made his way slowly towards the room. Inside he saw his father and mother sitting defeated beside two bodies covered by white sheets. His heart paced as he approached them. He knelt down beside the first body and pulled the sheet down. It was Oriel and her child was still inside her. He closed his eyes and tear flowed from them. King Thranduil came closer and whispered in his ear, "She was raped and then killed..."
Legolas was angered! How could these creatures be so cruel? She was a mother to be! She did not deserve this! She should have stayed inside the palace walls where it was safe and sound. He had his hands in a fist and he brought it down upon the hard floor. Thranduil held his younger son, his only son. He was hurt as well but the both of them needed to be strong for Thelenineth and Lothestel.
Legolas moved to the next body which definitely belonged to Gollon. He pulled the sheet down. He had a large gash on his forehead and Legolas could see his neck sliced. He must have died trying to defend the honour of his wife and the child inside her. Legolas could not take the pain any longer, "NO!! NO!! You cannot leave us! No, Gollon! No!"
Thranduil came forward once again and held his son, "Legolas! Control yourself. Be strong my son... Be strong... Now kneel... Kneel Legolas."
Legolas did what his father commanded. Tears were still in his eyes as his father placed his hand on his shoulders, "My son is dead. The crown prince is no more. Rise Legolas Thranduillion, the crown prince of Mirkwood."
Legolas stood up and watched the expression on his father's and mother's faces. He was lucky though, he had lightning reflexes for he caught his mother from fainting to the ground. Thranduil was surprised and went by her side, "My dear! Legolas help me carry her to our chambers." Legolas scooped his mother in his arms and made his way to the royal chamber.
Thranduil stayed a moment longer to instruct Lyean and the healers to attend to the bodies. The funeral was to be held tomorrow morning at first light. Thranduil could not bear the sight of the mutilated bodies of his son and daughter in law, still carrying his grandchild. It was a sad day in Mirkwood. As he left to follow Legolas, he saw his daughter Lothestel crying in Nyonna's arms. He looked at the young elleth and hoped she would understand what he was trying to say, "Take care of her. These two are all I have now..."
Nyonna looked at the king and nodded. She held on to Lothestel tightly. Never would she think this would befall the royal family. Not in a million years. But it has happened nonetheless. It was a solemn day indeed. What started as a prospect of a great day turned a tragedy as she watched the healers carried the bodies of the crown prince and princess. Gollon was a magnificent ellon and his wife, Oriel was one of a kind. Bad things should never have happened to the both of them. Thranduil's family was nothing but kind to the people around them. Why did the Valar sought to punish them like so?
Nyonna took Lothestel back to her chamber. She said nothing on their way back. Small sobs issued from her as tears rolled down her cheeks. Nyonna could feel her pain. She too lost her mother from an Orc attack many years ago. Once they reached the room, Lothestel sat on the bed, dumbfounded. She crawled into her bed and pulled the covers around her small body. Without turning to look at Nyonna, she spoke, "Thank you Nyonna for walking me back to my room but I wish to be left in peace..."
Nyonna sighed. If that was what Lothestel wished for, she would see it done. Before leaving she spoke to her friend, "If you need me, just call me... I am here Lothestel..." Nyonna left the room and closed the door behind her. Just as she was about to leave, she could hear Lothestel cried out in earnest.
Lothestel held on to the pillow beneath her. Gollon was gone and now there was nothing she could do to bring him back. She would always jest with him, telling him to drop dead but she would never think she would live to see the day. Oriel was dead as well... She was raped with her child inside her. Her little nephew or niece would never get to see Arda.
Now Legolas was the crown prince and all the duties that were once Gollon's would fall on Legolas' shoulder. She cannot bear the thought of losing Legolas as well. Why must this tragedy fall upon her family? They were so happy these few months. With Oriel expecting, Mirkwood was brimming with life. Why must they venture out from the palace walls? Why Gollon? Why?
Lothestel felt drained of body and soul. It would seem she was destined for a broken heart. First by Haldir's rejection and second by Gollon's death. It was too much to bear. How she wished she could fade away from Arda, where no pain could reach her. Her eyes felt heavy and she soon fell asleep with the memories of Gollon and Oriel playing in her mind.
Legolas sat on a chair beside the bed. His mother was still unconscious and both he and his father were worried. It was no secret that their mother loved Gollon the most for he came when she thought she could not bear any children. It was Gollon's lucky charm, she would always say, that Legolas and Lothestel came to be. He held her hand and whispered soothing words in her ear to help calm his mother's soul. Just then the king entered the room. He looked at his son and smiled weakly. He sat on the bed looking at his wife intently.
Legolas addressed his father, "Father, what happened?"
Thranduil sighed, "Your brother and his wife were coming back from the market I was told when Gollon insisted that they visit the wild gardens, just slightly outside the city. They were ambushed by a band of Orcs. No one knew of the attack until Oriel's handmaiden, rode to the city informing the troops. She too was gravely injured and did not survive."
Legolas whispered slowly, trying not to rouse his mother, "Why were the Orcs there in the first place? Did no one patrol the area?"
Thranduil nodded, "We have guards stationed there but they too were killed. Our troops had managed to track the band of Orcs. None was left alive..."
Legolas breathed a sigh of relief. At least his brother's death was avenged. He looked at his mother once again, "Will mother make it, father?"
Thranduil tried to smile at his only son, "Yes, Las. Of course. She is a strong elleth. She still has you and Lothestel. She would be fine."
Legolas stood up and walked to his father. He placed a hand on the old king' shoulder, "What of you father? Will you be fine?"
Thranduil looked up at his son and tears rolled down his eyes. He held Legolas' hand, "Gollon might be the one to be the crown prince but you were always the prince of my heart, my sweet child. You seemed to know me very well and for that I am eternally grateful. You would make a fine king Legolas, a fine king!"
Legolas embraced his father. It was painful for him, Legolas was sure of it. Years and years of training and teaching to make Gollon a good king came to no use. Now it was up to Legolas to withhold the family honour. He prayed to the Valar to give him strength and courage to be as good as if not better than Gollon.
Back in Caras Galadhon, Haldir was enjoying the evening with fine company, Elwen. He met Elwen a few months back when there was a dance in the city celebrating Lord Celeborn's begetting. She was a fine elleth, a subtle beauty and a gentle soul. Haldir was attracted to her heart more than anything else. Elwen was a teacher, teaching elflings about the history of the Eldar and of Arda. He began courting her seven weeks ago. It was very recent and with his latest encounter with Lothestel, Haldir was beginning to wonder if it was even wise to continue.
They sat together in her quarters, enjoying the music of the Golden Woods with wine goblets in hand. Haldir knew why she had invited him to her dwelling today. Kisses and caresses were some of the ways to ease the tension but he knew she had other things on her mind. Frankly, Haldir too needed the release. For the past two weeks, images of Lothestel had haunted him. Many times he had awoken in the middle of the night, aroused and frustrated. Why did this princess have such an effect on him?
Elwen looked at the Marchwarden. Something was different about him ever since he returned from Mirkwood. He was usually attentive and focused but these few days, he had been dazed and floated far away. Today was no exception. Even when they talked, his mind seemed preoccupied with something. Elwen stood up and took the wine goblet from Haldir's hand. She pulled him up and snaked her arms around his neck.
Haldir smiled, "My... Such an intimate display of affections."
Elwen giggled, "Oh, Haldir. You and I both know why we are here tonight... I am no maiden and I have heard stories about you that intrigued me. I wish to sample this expertise of yours."
Haldir smirked, "My expertise? You flatter me my dear but not more than that dress you are wearing. Show me the way to your bedroom and I will show you pleasure."
Elwen tip toed and kissed him. Haldir moaned as her kiss deepened. Elwen was an experienced lover and he enjoyed her kisses thoroughly. Somehow, through all the kissing, they found themselves on the bed, scrambling to undress each other. Haldir's tunic came off first as he undid the lacings on her dress. She pulled her dress of her beautiful body and threw in on the floor. Haldir squeezed her breasts firmly until he elicited a moan from her lips. He brought his lips to her breast and suckled on the hardened nipple. His fingers continued to massage her globes and when he was sure she was aroused beyond the point of no return, he slipped his fingers inside her.
Elwen arched her back as his fingers penetrated her. My, he had long fingers. He continued the sweet assault until she was writhing under his touch. With a few more strokes, she came as her body shook violently. Haldir smiled and kissed her, "How was that my dear..."
Elwen smiled and looked at the Marchwarden, "Invigorating... Now it is my turn!"
She flipped around, pushing Haldir back into the bed. Her hands trailed down to his arousal, hard and warm. She stroked her length, watching Haldir's eyes fluttered at the feel of her hand. Haldir was lost in the pleasure as her hand stroked his elfhood. His eyes widened in surprise when he felt wet lips and tongue engulfing the hard length. Speech and thought left him. He was filled with raw passion as he watched her head bob up and down his length.
Elwen stopped her ministrations and climbed up upon his body. She straddled him between her thighs and gently guided his swollen member into her. She was wet with desire and she needed her release. Haldir clenched his fists and his arousal slid into the tight, wet canal. Their bodies shuddered at the contact. Elwen began to move her body. The feel of the Marchwarden inside her, brought her to life. She rocked her body back and forth, taking and giving pleasure. Haldir watched as the elleth bounced up and down. He sat up and growled hungrily as he sucked her breasts once again.
Moans and grunts could be heard echoing from her quarters as their lust and passion escalated. Not long after, cries of pleasure issued from the bedroom. Haldir panted as he held the elleth in his arms. It was not Elwen who made love to him. In his mind it was Lothestel. He felt guilty for thinking that but his mind betrayed him. He was reminded of the truth once again when Elwen spoke to him, "That was... Your reputation fits you well, Haldir."
Haldir laughed and lifted her from his lap, "I see you have skills too... Come let us rest."
The two of them rolled back into bed and pulled the covers above their naked bodies. The night was silent and still. They were both exhausted and soon fell asleep.
Haldir woke up a few hours later, unable to sleep well. His thoughts were again preoccupied by Lothestel. He slipped out of bed and dressed himself. He gave Elwen a kiss on the top of her head and left her quarters. As he was walking back to his own quarters, a voice called out to him. He turned around and saw his brother, Rumil running after him.
He stopped and addressed his brother, "What is it Rumil?"
Rumil looked at his oldest sibling, "Haldir, Lord Celeborn summoned you. It seems there is some news you need to hear."
Haldir nodded and followed Rumil to the palace. Once there, they went directly into the royal study where Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel awaited. Celeborn nodded to Haldir and beckoned him to take a seat, "Haldir, I am glad you are here. We have some grave news from Mirkwood. My wife felt grief in the air and sought the knowledge from her mirror. It is not good."
Haldir sat down on one of the chairs, looking at the Lady of Light, "What is it my lady?"
Galadriel looked at Haldir with sad eyes, "Tragedy has befallen Mirkwood. The crown prince and princess are now dead."
Haldir was horrified, "Dead? When? How?"
Celeborn now spoke, "Earlier today. They were attacked by Orcs and his entire entourage was slaughtered. Now you dear friend Legolas has resumed the title of crown prince."
Galadriel looked at Haldir once again, "My mirror showed me what will come to pass. Legolas will soon venture here to Lorien for what it still remains unclear. Worry not Haldir. Gollon's and Oriel's souls will pass to the Halls of Mandos and soon to Aman. There no hurt or pain could reach them. They are at peace..."
Haldir nodded. It was painful for him too. He knew Gollon since he was a young ellon. Gollon was like one of his own brothers. How was Legolas coping? He felt for his friend. He should write to him. He will travel to Mirkwood if need be. His mind immediately thought of Lothestel. How was she? It was a sad day for all. It was even sadder for Thranduil's royal family and this tragedy will not soon be forgotten...
What a sad day for Mirkwood! I would love to hear what you guys think. please do leave a review :)