20. Chapter 20
The Woodland Halls: Rooms of Healing.
"I saw everything..." It rippled itself through her mind over and over like a distant echo. Her heart sunk into her chest like stone and she couldn't help but stare up at him embarrassed, frightened and bewildered. She felt the wave of heat flow over again, making her wince from it's suffering.
"Everything....?" Her breath was heavy and strained.
He nodded simply as he crushed the last herb into the concoction, stirring it as he then turned to her.
"Think on it not now dear Adlanniel." He said gently as he assisted her to sit once more, though she cowered slightly from him, frightened of what he must now think of her and her lust for his affections.
"Do not worry yourself..." He lifted the cup tenderly to her lips, their eyes fixated on each other.
"I am glad...."
She choked slightly on the aromatic liquid when he spoke those words, her eyes widening.
He laughed softly at her then as he rubbed her back, laying her back down after she had drunk the concoction in its entirety. She opened her lips to speak, but not a word would escape. She felt her face flush red, to which he smiled down at her and stroked her cheek with affection. His soft touch upon her skin was instantly soothing, and she felt hypnotised by his gaze.
"Sleep now, and think not of it for now." He said soothingly....His heart aching for her.
Her eyes began to feel heavy, the dark clouds of slumber began to roll in. "Not now...not yet..." She begged in thought, wanting to continue to gaze into the Elvenking's beautiful eyes. But she could not resist it, for it overtook her like a flood breaking through the banks of a river. Was it the concoction that had made her sleep, or the Elvenking's magic? Perhaps a mixture of both?
Gently he brushed the tuft of raven hair that had fallen onto her face away when her head had slumped to the side in slumber.
Continuing to gaze down at Adlanniel, admiring the young elleth's immense beauty, he remembered her...his beloved lost one...oh how Adlanniel was an image of her, like a reflection in a mirror though ever more ethereal. Despite his better judgements...how could he possible resist this divine creature that slept before him?; 'She' was there again with him....
Resisting his urges he allowed himself but one thing in that moment as he leant down to her.
He could taste the sweet concoction still clinging to her lips as he kissed her. His body burned with fire as he caressed her sleeping face, not wanting to arise from this feeling.
Alas, he had to rise from his amorous temptations; allowing himself to linger too long would be unwise he had thought. Stroking her cheek softly once more he arose from her bed, turning to look back upon her sleeping grace as he exited the room.
Her eyes stung from deep sleep as they flickered open. Her head, still feeling heavy, swam with thoughts and the memories of her dreams; dreams of both being with her adored Legolas and his father, her beloved Elvenking. Her heart weighed heavy then with the guilt and sorrow she felt for loving one immensely yet desiring desperately the other. How could this have happened to her? How could she have allowed it? Yet Thranduil possessed something, something that she could not yet understand, that drew her to him like a moth to a flame. She too knew that he wanted her...but why?
"My lady, you're awake!" Came a surprised voice from the corner of the room. Adlanniel snapped her head to face the voice in surprise, not having realised the she was not alone.
"How are you feeling?" The elleth healer asked her gently.
"Heavy headed...and tired..." Adlanniel replied, her voice low and exhausted.
"It is understandable my lady, you have suffered much this past week."
"How long was I asleep for this time?"
"Three full days, my lady. But you needed it for you were sickly and withdrawn." The healer replied with a sympathetic expression.
"I still feel the same....withdrawn..." Adlanniel sighed, downturning her eyes to look at her hands; They had become pale and sunken.
"That will take more time to overcome." The healer said as she moved over to Adlanniel's bed and handed her another concoction.
"This will help you feel more uplifted, my lady, and bring more colour to your skin."
Nodding in thanks, she drank down the liquid, though it was bitter and pungent and churned within her stomach.
"It is horrible, I know...my apologies. But it will work wonders, you will see." The healer grinned then, and Adlanniel managed a weak smile, taking the water that was now handed to her and drinking it to wash down the bad after taste.
"Has the king been here?" Adlanniel asked after a few moments, placing the water cup onto the small table beside her bed.
"He was here not so long ago, my lady. He is often here by your bedside, he truly worries for you and his son."
Adlanniel gave a stronger smile then.
"I would like to go give him my thanks."
"But my lady, you are still weak and need to eat and rest." The healer protested, a look of concern then crossing her face.
"I am fine, truly." Adlanniel said kindly. "Your concoction is already beginning to do wonders for my spirits." She gave a white lie, having desperately wanted to leave the dismal room.
"Very well, my lady. I will go to fetch you more clothes. And surely, you must be hungry?"
"Insatiably so.." Adlanniel replied.
The Woodland Halls: Reception Hall
She had gained some more strength after having eaten, and now stood in the great reception hall, watching the king from a distance as he conversed with emmissiaries and the newly appointed captain of the guard.
"You should be resting Adlanniel..." His voice drifted into her mind like a soft wind. Her heart skipped a beat, having thought that he had not noticed her.
"I am fine, my king, honestly..." She lied. He turned his head slightly to look at her, knowing she had told him but a half-truth. He turned back to the gathered elves and Adlanniel became curious as to what they were talking about. During their conversation Thranduil looked over to her from time to time, his eyes wanting. His glances made her heart flutter and her cheeks flush.
"You are still standing here?" He questioned her as he approched her once the other elves had parted.
"Of course..." She blushed, her tone flirtatious.
"I was waiting for you my lord."
He smiled appreciatively down to her then as he placed his hands on her shoulders.
"Then I must apologise to you my dear." He said regretfully. She gazed up to him, curious.
"For I must make you wait but a while longer. Alas, I have important affairs of state that I must attend to immediately. Affairs which I am afraid will bore a young elleth as yourself to near death."
Adlanniel let out a quiet giggle.
"Surely, heruamin, your affairs are not that boring?"
"Oh but they are! Tedious enough to bore me as well." With those words they both began to chuckle. Thranduil's gaze caught on to the glimmer in her eyes and it warmed him immensly to see her laugh again.
"Alas, I must go and do my duties as king..." He sighed in a sarcastic exasperation.
He looked down into her eyes again, his gaze lost deep within hers which set her heart ablaze.
"Tonight..." He began as he leant in towards her, twirling his long, lithe fingers in her raven hair as he did, his voice so very seductive.
"Meet me in the Gardens of the Brook. There we shall talk at length..."
And thus he left her standing there by the edge of the reception halls, her heart pounding in her chest, her mind dizzy with lust and desire. What would become of this?
As she began pacing the length of the reception hall, her heart still full and burning, she wondered exactly what is intentions were and so many questions flooded to mind. Were they to merely talk? Perhaps of her dreams to which he could easily deny her desires? But that could not be, she thought, for she knew he desired her also. Still, she could not fathom as to why he did...but he did nonetheless. What was about her that attracted him to her? Perhaps the same reasons as to why Legolas was attracted to her?...No...the prince's attractions to he were something entirely different for he had known her since infancy and they had developed their eternal bond since then. So why then did the Elvenking want her? Was it mere lust and desire? Perhaps...as that is surely all that she felt towards him.....but was it? Indeed if that were the case for the king, then why didn't he simply take a servant maiden to his bed? Something was drawing her to him and him to her....but what?
The Woodland Halls: The Gardens of the Brook
It seemed like an age had past before it were finally nightfall. The Elvenking had not attended supper in the dining hall and so Adlanniel assumed that the business that had kept him must have indeed been rather dire.
The gardens shone from the light of the full moon, the soft churning of the brook that cut through the centre was soothing to the ear. She could not see the Elvenking as she looked around, the size of the garden being rather immense and full of foliage, and so she continued to wander beneath the weeping willows by the banks of the brook, drifting deep into her own thoughts.
She continued to ponder the same thoughts she had wondered whilst in the reception hall, as well as all of the sorrow she had felt that week. She could not help but feel saddened at the loss of the cheeky Idhrenion then as the memory of that fateful day came to her mind. Idhrenion had always been very protective of both her and Legolas, which despite being his actual duty as captain of the guard, he was so due to his love of them. She remembered his flowing auburn hair and his brilliant violet eyes and how they used to shimmer when he used to playfully tease the young prince. She mourned for him greatly and felt so deeply saddened for the young wife and their newly born daughter he had left behind.
Though he had died not in vain, Adlanniel could not help but feel bitter at his loss as she felt it was needless and could have been avoided. However, if they had not gone out to find the Athelas to save the human's life then perhaps Legolas and his legions would have marched into a death trap - not having gained the invaluable information given to them by he messenger. But then again would Legolas have gone out, perhaps with Idhrenion by his side, if no information had been received or had been received by their own scouts? Perhaps the Elvenking himself would have gone instead, but Adlanniel knew without a doubt that Legolas would have still insisted on going himself, or with the Elvenking at the very least.
"Oh Idhrenion...could this have all been avoided and your life spared?" She sighed sadly in thought. "Please watch over Legolas for me, and keep him safe. Savo hîdh nen gurth."
"Hiro hîdh nen gurth Idrehnion. Govano in nothrim în adh i mellyn în mi Mannos....."
Adlanniel spun around at the sudden voice behind her, the tears that had begun to emerge stung at her eyes as she did so.
"Aran vuin!" Her voice came out in startled gasp as she tried desperately to compose herself.
"I apologise dear Adlanniel, I did not mean to frighten you." Thranduil's voice too seemed somewhat saddened as he approached her, a concerned look upon his face.
"I too was reminiscing about the past few days...how unfortunate they had been." He sighed, giving her faint smile.
"Unfortunate indeed..." Adlanniel agreed, trying to hold back her tears but to no avail; they trickled down her cheeks like the snows that melt in the spring.
"Do not weep my child, you have cried tears enough." He said tenderly as he cupped his hands around her soft face, gently stroking away her tears with his thumbs. Her eyes met his longingly as she placed her hands upon his. How could he soothe her so instantly? She felt as if a huge weight lifted from her chest.
"I too mourn Idhrenion's loss. He was like a son to me, and a brother to Legolas. But we should instead replace our mourning with remembrance; remembrance of the full life he and the other fallen had lived."
"But I feel so sad for the family he left behind." She sobbed helplessly.
"As so I, my dear. But he lives on in his daughter. All we can do is lend her and his wife our love and unwavering support. Never forget that we are all reborn in Valinor once having passed through the Halls of Mandos, so we will see all of our lost loved ones again eventually."
"Including your wife..." Adlanniel said as she looked back up to the king, his eyes glowing ethereal from the bright moonlight that shone through the hanging branches of the willow they were beneath.
"Yes, including my wife."
"And your lost love..." She added. Thranduil's expression suddenly became even more saddened, which surprised Adlanniel somewhat. She had assumed that his first love too had either passed away or had travelled to the Undying Lands.
"No..." He began softly, allowing his hands to slide down to Adlanniel's slender yet strong shoulders.
"She yet lives...here in Arda..." He dropped his gaze and stared down at the brook behind them
Adlanniel's eyes widened in astonishment then. His first beloved maiden was still alive and living on their plain? He had never mentioned that to her...but then that was perhaps private and personal knowledge which he had wanted to keep to himself before their current conversation.
"Where does she reside?" Adlanniel asked softly, still gazing at his beautiful face in curiosity.
He looked up to her then, his eyes a mixture of adoration and yearning.
"You already know the answer to that question." He responded, Adlanniel then giving him a perplexed look.
"For one she does not reside in this realm, here in the Greenwood....but..." He paused, unsure of how the young elleth before him would react if she were to know the truth - the real truth. Adlanniel, taking his hands into hers, squeezed them gently to urge him to continue.
"She lives on in you Adlanniel..."
Adlanniel's eyes widened further in confusion. What was his meaning, that she lived on in her? It bewildered her.
"How can I resist this desire that my heart burns for when now she stands before me again?" He reached up to stroke one of her cheeks with his hand.
His touch was so full of adoration and wanting and it sent chills of desire down into her loins. Yet still, she remained puzzled for her mind was mixed with thoughts, unable to unravel the clues he had given to her. Were they obvious?
Seeing that she was still confused he gave her the answer she needed, though feeling like he was treading on thin ice as he did for her next reaction could mean the end of everything he wanted and desired.
"My first love had been Celebrían, Adlanniel. Your mother!"
Her mouth opened wide as she gaped at him in astonishment. It took a few moments for it to actually sink in and when it did it all came to her. How could she not have realised it through the trail of clues he had left her during the times he had spoken to her about this past? Why had she not seen it?
"M..My mother?" She stammered, still astounded.
"Yes, your mother. I had known her in Lindon as I have told you. Well before she knew your father I can at least assure you of that." His expression was one of worry then, had he upset her with the truth? Would he lose her as well?
"Do you still love her?" Adlanniel asked softly. Thranduil felt the question bite sharply into him. He had never thought upon in directly, only knowing that his memories of her had stirred his lust for Adlanniel. But had it been merely lust or a remnant of the love he had once held so immensely for Celebrían?
"I...I do not know..." He replied, unsure of himself. Adlanniel had never seen the Elvenking, the gracious Elf that was always so regal and stong, as vulnerable as he was then. She pitied him.
"It does not matter now..." Adlanniel began gently as she looked deep within his eyes, searching them.
"I know you had once loved her so deeply..." She reached up to touch his cheek now, stroking it softly, almost sympathetically as she did. He closed his eyes for a moment at her soothing touch, it filling him with warmth. He cupped his hand around hers as she lay her hand on his face, taking in the sweet scent of her luscious skin. He wanted her.
"I must have you..." His eyes too searched her for an answer and he was almost taken aback when she smiled back up to him.
"And you shall for you are not alone in your desires. Though I can not yet understand it, something draws we so strongly to you. Like a moth attracted to the flame..."
"Then allow me to ignite that flame further..." His voice tapered off as they leaned into each other, their eyes glazed over with hunger they had for each other, the need they had for each other.
He caught her delicious mouth with his own, their tongues entwining in passion as they swathed each other. He pushed her feverishly against the trunk of the willow, taking her with such a fervour she accidentally nipped his bottom lip. The saltiness of his blood swirled within their mouths and though she tried to hesitate and pull away for shame of the blood she had spilled, he overpowered her with even more zeal, her accident having made him feel even more aroused.
With one hand entwined in her long, ebony hair he used the other to reach up to her chest, running his fingers sensationally over the buds of her nipples that stood taught with arousal through the cloth of her velvet dress. Through their deep, impassioned kiss she let out a loft moan of pleasure, the feeling his fingers played upon her sending chills and heat to between her delicious thighs. Using both of his hands then he hastily pulled up the layers of her skirt, pinning her harder against the trunk of the willow so that they would stay put around her waist. She widened her legs ever so slightly to let one of his hands slide in between her legs, the other entwining itself in her hair again.
He stroked the cleft of her womanhood with his nimble fingers, feeling the wetness of her desire clinging to the soft pelt of her pubic hair. It intensified his own arousal tenfold and he could feel his own manhood lurch within his leggings.
He began to stroke her pearl, it protruding from the folds of her being in wanting for him. She continued to moan softly as his fingers teased her, his kisses moving down to her slender neck where he had begun to suck on her skin lavishly.
It was just like the dream she had had; the dream he had seen yet ever more lustful.
Leaning down slightly he gently let two of his fingers slide into her sanctum, curving them ever so slightly upwards to caress her inner sweet-spot, knowing he had reached his mark when she let out an impassioned cry of pleasure.
He looked up to her, grinning seductively as he did, knowing that he could now have her against the trunk of the weeping willow, the soft churning of the brook at their backs.
Elvish - English
heruamin - my lord
Savo hîdh nen gurth - May you find peace in death
Hiro hîdh nen gurth Idrehnion. Govano in nothrim în adh i mellyn în mi Mannos - May Idhrenion find peace in death. May he join his family and friends in the Mandos (the afterlife)
elleth - Elven maiden (female Elf)
Aran vuin - beloved king