Author's note: Not much to say, just thanks for the reviews. And I also wanted to say, that I know that Aragorn was not in that specific dinner, but I just made him be there. Hope you donít mind.

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien.


Love is all that matters

Chapter 2: Brief meetings and simple words

By Marylou

       

I had to sit on a nearby bench, in order to keep myself from falling down, as my head began spinning dangerously. I covered my face with my hands, as I could feel my heart leap inside my chest from joy.

The elf remembered me. The sweetest of all creatures had not forgotten my name, had not forgotten how I look like and appeared to be sad when he thought that I had forgotten him. Gods, he even wanted to talk to me again!

Maybe he was just trying to be polite, I thought to myself, but secretly I whished it wasnít because of that. I earnestly hoped that the elf liked my presence. That would be enough for me.

All of a sudden, another familiar voice dragged me out of my dreams. "Estel!" I heard the lady of Rivendell shouting, as I stood and turned to face her.

She ran to my arms and I gently bent down to kiss her lips. Inside me, I hated myself for being so dishonest to such a beautiful creature. I knew that the lady loved me with all her heart and I wished that there was a way I could feel the same for her, but I knew that I couldnít. Not, for as long as Legolas existed in this world.

"Estel, my love, I have missed you so," she said softly, straddling my hair. "Why didnít you come to me earlier? I would not even have known that you were here, if Legolas hadnít told me so."

My heart began speeding, as I heard my belovedís name. "Did he tell you that I was here?" I asked, trying to sound innocent. She nodded in response.

"Iím sorry that I did not come to you at once, my Evenstar, but I was worried about the young hobbit at first and then I met Gandalf. But I would have come to you," I said and cupped her face with my hands.

"I understand, beloved," she said, before our lips met again. The kiss was sweet and passionate from her and I tried to put as much passion as I could in it, partly imagining that it was Legolasí mouth that I was kissing and partly hating myself for that.

"We shall have time for this later, Estel," she told me when the kiss ended, "Now come to see some of your old friends. They have all been looking forward to seeing you," she said and pulled me from my hand, leading me inside the palace.

       

<> At dinner <>

My eyes quickly scanned the whole table, until my gaze fell on him. I smiled with relief and moved to take my place at the table, next to Arwen. She greeted me warmly, as did her father.

I heard lord Elrond and the other discussing about several subjects throughout the whole dinner, but I was too busy looking at Legolas to take part in their conversation.

The blond beauty was talking to another elf that sat next to him. I did not know who it was, so I guessed that it should have been one of his compatriots. As we sat at opposite sides of the table, I had the chance to observe him intensely.

As he was talking, he suddenly touched the other elfís shoulder. I frowned as I saw this intimate gesture and shot him an angry glance. To my most unbelievable bad luck, Legolas turned to look at me at this very moment.

I quickly switched my expression of anger to a warm smile. The elf returned my smile and to my surprise, he took his hand from the other elfís arm. The smile lasted only for a brief moment and then he turned away again.

I, on the other hand, continued looking at him almost throughout the whole dinner. He caught my glance a couple of times and looked at me strangely, but in general, he did not seem to mind.

After dinner, most of the guests gathered in Elrondís Hall of Fire. Yet, I was not in a mood to be around so many people, Arwen amongst them, and decided to stroll around the garden for a while.

I had already walked for a while and was lost in thought, when I heard a sweet voice behind me. "Always a loner, right?"

I turned around and faced my sweet prince standing on a stairway, with a bright smile on his face. He held a white scarf in his hands and played with it.

I returned the smile and walked closer to him. "Not always, I just felt that the Hall was way to crowded today," I replied. "But why are you not there?"

He did not move, but continued smiling. "I, too, preferred the silence tonight. And, after all, I still owe you the conversation I promised you this morning," he said warmly, "But I understand if you want to stay alone tonight."

I shook my head violently and climbed a few stairs. I was now standing only two stairs below him and could hear his steady breath in the silence of the night. "I would be grateful to have your company," I told him hopefully.

"Fine," he said and to my surprise, he stretched his hand and offered me the scarf he was holding, "This is yours, prince Elessar. You left in Mirkwood when you last visited us."

"But that was ages ago. I cannot even remember the scarf. You kept it all these years?" I asked and melted inside, by the thought that my precious elf, had kept something that reminded him of me.

I saw him blushing slightly. "Yes, I kept it with the hope to return it to his rightful owner. Only you never came," he said and I was not sure whether I heard a slight disappointment in his voice or not.

"I wanted to come," I told him earnestly, barely resisting the urge to tell him the reason why I had avoided to go to him. I noticed that he still had his hand stretched. I gently touched it. "You can keep it. You have been holding it for such a long time, that it now belongs to you," I told him and felt warmth spread through my body as our hands touched.

The elf smiled at me with surprise. "Really?" he asked and when I nodded he continued, "Well, in that case, thank you. What do you say, shall we make a walk, or do you have to go back inside?"

"I would be delighted to go on a walk with you," I told him and stepped aside so that he could pass. As he walked past me, our shoulders briefly touched. I was amazed that even such a simple contact could wake so intense emotions in me.

We had just started walking when a maid appeared in front of us. "My lord, the lady Arwen has sent me to call you inside," she announced.

I sighted and looked at Legolas. "You should be going, if the lady asks for you," he said seriously. This time, he was not smiling.

"I guess, I should," I told him with disappointment, "I am very sorry that we did not manage to have that conversation, after all."

"Another time," he promised me. I smiled and turned to leave when he called me again. "Thank you for the scarf," he told me.

I chuckled softly and headed for the Fire Hall. I would have given him my life, if he asked for it, not only a simple scarf...

       

<> A couple of days later <>

I was the happiest man upon Middle Earth when Elrond announced who the members of the Fellowship would be. I was given the chance to travel along my beloved elf for months. I would have the joy to see him and talk to him everyday. My prayers had finally been heard.

I headed for the stables, almost sure that I would find him there. He loved horses very much and spent many hours of the day there.

I had not been mistaken. As soon as I reached the stables, I saw him brushing a beautiful white horse.

"Itís a real beauty," I told him and made a few steps to stand next to him. He smiled when he saw me and did not seem to be surprised from my presence there.

"Indeed," he said, as he continued his work, "It is a wedding-gift from lord Elrond," he told me calmly.

I froze and for one minute, my heart stopped pounding. "For... you?" I finally managed to whisper.

"Aye," he said neutrally, still not looking at me, "It is for me, to take it home." Finally, he turned to face me. He seemed surprised to see that my skin was even paler than his and my breathing was heavier. "Is everything all right, Aragorn?" he asked with concern.

"I... I... " I struggled to find the right words. All of a sudden, the world lost its meaning for me. My love would get married. All my hopes and the dreams that I had made were in vain. "Iím fine," I said finally, gathering all the strength that I had left.

"Hmm," he said, looking at me examinable. Then he raised his shoulders neutrally "If you say so. Well, you havenít told me, how do you feel about going out on the quest?"

My thoughts were still on the words Legolas had told me moments ago. Get married... to another... loving another... It couldnít be true! I felt lost only by the thought of that.

A gentle touch on my shoulder drifted me of my thoughts and made me jump. "What is wrong, Aragorn?" Legolas asked me, his beautiful brown eyes filled with concern.

"Nothing, nothing," I whispered huskily, "What did you say to me?" I said trying to take my mind of the painful words.

"I asked you about the quest," he said, throwing me a skeptical look, "Are you sure, you are all right? Youíve gone pale."

I shook my head. I felt my knees weakening and realized that I couldnít stand there for much longer. A muttered an excuse and left hastily, leaving Legolas watching me with a straddled expression upon his face.

       

<> Later that day <>

I felt exhausted. I had spent almost the whole day crying like a young child and I despised myself for that. It seemed ridiculous that this elf had managed to devastate me like that.

So, he was going to get married. He loved another and should bind his life with her. That thought tore me apart.

I had made so many plans. Before our conversation today, I had taken the decision to finally speak to Arwen, about the feelings I kept in my heart. Now, I did not know what to do. I had never been so confused in my whole life.

I tried to gather all the facts I had about my situation. Legolas seemed to like me, but only as a friend. He always kept his distance from me. But the scarf... he had kept it... I tried to shove that thought away, and recalled our earlier conversation. He had spoken of his upcoming marriage, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. He must truly love her then, I thought.

So where did that leave me? Nowhere. I had no hope, nothing to expect from him anymore. Yet, I had Arwen. The Lady of Rivendell truly loved me. Perhaps she would be the only chance I ever had for happiness.

I had taken my decision. I decided to keep my most powerful feelings locked in my heart and never let anyone know about how I felt about Legolas. He was nothing but a distant dream to me, and Arwen was my future.

As much as I loved and needed the prince of Mirkwood, I could never let him know about it. Never.

To be continued...


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