4. 4 The Confession
Thranduil won round two. He let her recover a moment and then began laying delicate kisses upon her moist skin. He started at her mound then moved to her hip. His soft lips traveled up along her curved waist, along the side of her breast, over her collar bone and up her neck. Finally, he brushed his lips gently across her. Raina immediately tried to deepen the kiss and make it more lustful but Thranduil backed away. He looked longingly into her eyes and watched her resist. Soon, he had her under his spell and she submitted to him, finding a very different Thranduil deep in his blue eyes. There she found someone who had loved and who had been loved. He kissed her again but this time slowly and deliberately. She responded to his kiss and let him lead her to a different world than the one she was used to.
The moment ended too soon for Thranduil as she pulled away from him and looked away. It seemed he wanted something more from her, something she did not think she could give him. He searched her eyes for her soul, but she kept it well hidden. This was not part of the plan, never was and never would be she told herself. Still, he held her within his grasp and she felt a certain warmth spread deep from within.
Before it was too late, Raina forced herself to change her demeanor by smiling and playing it off like no exchange was made. This place he tried to take her to was off limits for her. Thranduil was a magnificent lover so far, but that was all she wanted from him. Besides, he was a King and she was just some lusty wanton elleth looking to claim the ultimate trophy. He could never see her as anything else. She would not allow it.
Thranduil let the moment pass and sighed to himself. He reached around the tree and untied the belt from her wrists. He examined them and kissed the spots where it was red from being bound for so long. Not sure what his next move was, he looked up at the tree they were under and leapt up to a low branch.
Raina looked around the area, not sure why he did this. Was he through with her? Did he get all he wanted from her? She just stood under the tree, looking out into the dark night.
"Come here Raina. Join me." he called to her.
"I do not think I…" she started.
"Nonsense. The night is still young if that is what you are worried about. Come join me for a moment, please?" he said sweetly.
She almost loathed him in that instant, speaking to her as if they were close lovers. When she looked up at him, she found she could not resist his smile and swallowed her pride, leaping up and sitting next to him in the tree. They were silent for an uncomfortable amount of time before Thranduil finally spoke.
"So, you are Ortherion's daughter. Tell me, how is my friend? I take it Legolas has set him up nicely in Ithilien." he said.
Raina thought it was odd that not long ago, Thranduil was willing to abort the evening after finding out who she was, and now he was making small talk. The last thing she wanted to do was talk about her family.
"Lord Legolas has been very gracious in his offerings to my family. He holds them in high regard and has given them everything they need to live comfortably in the new forest." she answered as if rehearsed.
Thranduil looked at Raina, trying to figure her out. "You do not see your family much, do you?"
"I was born in Ithilien but left at a very young age. I had always dreamed of living in Mirkwood. I learned much about this land from the other elves that moved from here. It always intrigued me, this mystical forest, dark and lush. Don't get me wrong. Lord Legolas has done a wonderful job in restoring Ithilien's forests and gardens. It is a most beautiful place to live, full of life and wonder. But ever has Mirkwood called to my soul. I feel as if I belong here and I am glad I came."
Thranduil stood up and began climbing further up the tree. Raina watched how his muscles moved beneath his skin. He seemed to move without effort, strong and lithe. He stopped and looked down to where she still sat. "Come with me Raina. There is something I wish for you to see."
She wasn't sure what he was up too and was in no mood for a lesson, but followed anyways. He was a King nonetheless and she respected royalty. Up, up she climbed until she caught up to Thranduil. He put his hand out to her and helped her up to the final branch. There was not much room to stand and he wrapped his arm around her waist. His touch sent a shiver up her spine but she quickly brushed that thought from her mind. It was not smart to start something sexual so high up from the ground. He moved the leaves to the side to clear their view and smiled as he looked out across the land. "Look Raina. This is my home. This is Mirkwood."
She followed his line of sight and glanced out. They were at the very top of the canopy of the trees. From here, she could see for miles and miles. A never ending sea of treetops spread across the land. It was absolutely beautiful to see the dark green lush forest from this view. Her heart swelled with pride for her new home. Maybe it was good, what happened in Ithilien. There was always a reason things happened the way they did. For the first time in a long time, Raina did not feel despair for her choice to leave her family and move to Mirkwood.
Thranduil watched her reaction from the corner of his eye. He could feel her love for this land and wondered what brought her here in the first place. "Your father and I used to do this when there was a break in the fighting. When we came up here, we felt far away from war and death. Up here everything is peaceful. There are no worries, no choices to make, no sadness. It is like being in the clouds and leaving the world behind."
Raina breathed deep and exhaled a long breath. "It is quite marvelous up here. Thank you for showing me this." Her voice sounded more relaxed than he remembered.
After a while, they climbed back to the ground. They decided to wash up in a stream not far from where they were. Raina was the first one in and Thranduil followed close behind. He watched her dip her head under the water then come up and wipe the water from her eyes. He was intrigued by this elleth. She was so young and beautiful, but there was something sad about her. He wished to know what led to this. "So, why did you come to Mirkwood? Not many elves comes this way now, except to pass by on the way to the Grey Havens."
Raina was wringing the water from her long hair but she would not make eye contact with him. "I chose to leave."
"You left to save your family some kind of distress then?" he asked trying to get her to open up.
"You could say that. I have made choices that I have to live with. I am not proud of them, but seeing this place has made me realize that it was not all in vain. I finally feel at home here." she said dreamily.
"I am glad." he said reaching for her waist. He pulled her to him and brushed his lips across her wet shoulder.
She closed her eyes and let him take her away from these thoughts of her past. "That feels nice." she whispered.
"I thought you didn't like nice." he answered smiling against her warm skin. "Tell me what happened."
Raina remained silent for a moment. "I do not think you would understand."
"Try me." he whispered nibbling on her neck.
"Well… I was younger then and foolish, thinking I could have anything I wanted. Most of the time I used my charms and it worked. But this time the one I wanted was too far out of my league, which made it all the more tempting. Once something is set in my mind, I cannot quit. Call it pride, call it stupidity, whatever you want. I was very confident that I could accomplish this goal. My plans were turned on me though. When I was exposed for what I had tried to do, I was to be exiled from Ithilien. I did not want to go through a trial. I could not have my family looked down upon because of my poor decisions, so I left voluntarily, never to be allowed within the borders of Ithilien's elven colony again by orders of you son."
Thranduil creased his brow. "I know my son and he has a high threshold for being a tolerable patient elf. I can't imagine you doing something to make him come to this decision."
Raina turned from Thranduil. "That is because my intentions were towards Lord Legolas."
"Of what do you speak?" he questioned.
She knew once she told the King this, he would leave her and never look at her again. He might even ask her to leave Mirkwood. Then where would she go, Lothlorien? No, that race was too susceptible to the thoughts of others. They would read her mind and not allow her residence there.
Suddenly, she felt Thranduil's hand on her shoulder, comforting her, letting her know she could speak openly to him. For the first time, she felt she could trust him. Tears threatened to fall when she brought up the thoughts of her dirty deeds. "I tried to seduce him away from his betrothed. I have never done anything like this before. One day, he helped me carry some baskets of fruit to my home. He was so loving and kind. I fell for him right away. I could think of nothing but Lord Legolas. He could have been good for me, maybe teach me the proper way to behave. My heart sang out every time I saw him. But his heart belonged to another. He was courting a noble elleth. My jealous heart took over my entire being. I held nothing back, scheming every day and trying to find a way to make him love me. I befriended his intended and sent her off on a useless journey just to have Legolas to myself. I lured him away from his guards and advisors. It was rather innocent at first but soon my desire reigned over me. Then we… we kissed. I almost had him but he came to his senses before we took things too far. He told me to leave. I refused and continued to follow him, harassment he called it. I could not help myself. I loved him. Well, I thought I did anyways. Finally, he drew up paperwork that said I was to have a trial to determine whether or not I could stay in the colony. That was when I realized how foolish I was. I was embarrassed to say the least. My family never found out about my situation. Legolas gave me the chance to set things right on my own first. I knew the pain it would cause my family to find out the truth about me so I chose to leave Ithilien. I was not lying when I said I had always dreamt of coming here, to Mirkwood." She turned her attention back to Thranduil to see his reaction. He was looking to the side, staring into the forest. She could tell he was not fond of this latest information and knew where he would take this conversation next.
"So you came to Mirkwood and thought you could seduce me instead? Is that what all of this was about Raina? You could not have my son so you came for the father instead." His voice was cold.
She knew he would react this way. Why wouldn't he? This was what it looked like after all. "You can choose to think what you want. I know the truth though. When all of this happened, I swore I would never again try something so idiotic. And then, one day as I was walking through the palace, we passed each other. I must admit, my heart was struck with fear when I first laid eyes on you. You are both beautiful and terrible my King. You are also Lord Legolas' father and I didn't know what you knew of my situation. Then, you caught me in your gaze. There was something in your look that told me everything would be alright. I could forget my past and start over anew here. The moment passed and I felt much stronger about myself. Then, we kept passing each other and each time your site pierced right through me. I tried to ignore it at first, thinking it was my former self trying to get the best of me again. Something felt different though. I realized that every time I looked at you, you were already watching me. And… well, here we are. I swear my King, I did nothing intentional this time. As much as I hate to admit it, there is something that draws me to you… and I hate it. I have never been the type to be tied down. I take what I want and move on." Here, Raina looked to him as he stared out across the forest. "Something about you won't let me move on." When he would not look at her, she turned away from him and moved further into the stream. A forced laughed escaped her lips. "Don't worry my lord. I will not pursue you after this night. We had our fun and now I will move on. If you want me to leave Mirkwood, I will. I do not want to cause any trouble. I have already caused enough." She sunk down into the water, dipping her head in once more, trying to rid her eyes of the tears that were building. Oh how she wished she could breathe underwater and never have to look at his disappointment again.
She made her way to the edge of the water and climbed out. She started to walk away but stopped briefly. "I will be on my way now." she said and kept going. Tears filled her eyes. She hated crying and didn't understand why she was doing so now. She had no connection to Thranduil. She did not care. She had her fun and now it was over. Again, her choices led to sadness and maybe even exile again.
Anger consumed her as tears ran down her cheeks. She took off running through the woods, wanting to get as far away from him as she could. She was mad at herself for giving into her lustful ways again and mad for letting Thranduil get to her. Her heart was empty and she felt as though she deserved this punishment.
Raina ran until she came to the place where they came together in the woods. She found her robe and put it back on, wiping her tears with the sleeve. She looked up into the tree they climbed and remembered the view of the forest. Maybe she would never see this again.
Suddenly, there was a hand on her back. He had followed her, silently as only the Wood elves knew how. She would not face him but would not move either. Why did he have to follow her? Why wouldn't he just leave her be, to once again face life as an outsider, a life she felt she deserved?
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.