Leila pulled at the bars of the prison. Had they been normal bars, they would have bent, but they were special elven-wrought bars forged to withstand even extreme pressure. Stupid stupid Mirkwood prison. After several hours, her muscles began to burn. She sat down, exhausted- right in a puddle. Her leggings were soaked. Stupid stupid Mirkwood prison. “Could things get any worse?” she muttered.
As the hours passed, her thoughts drifted to the events of the passing day. She had been wandering, lost, in Mirkwood when she came upon a company of elves like herself, laughing and carrying on. She approached and attempted to ask for directions, but the elves were not as friendly as she had first conceived. They began to chant, then Leila blacked out.
She woke up strapped to a chair, her arms tied around the back and a knife at throat that glittered coldly against the pale monotone of her skin. The holder of the knife was the elven prince Legolas. The knife pressed steadily, unwavering, yet in the elf’s eyes, she saw compassion and innocence. She wondered whether, if the need should arise, he would be able to use the knife. The innocence was not so shared by his father. Thranduil, king of the wood-elves, paced in front of her, firing questions like a machine gun. “Who are you?” (Leila, just a passing elf.) “What were you doing in Mirkwood?” (I was lost.) “Where were you headed?” (Nowhere in particular.) “Why did you attempt to threaten my people?” (I was simply asking for directions.) “Where are you from?” (I have no idea.) Leila’s answers seemed to frustrate Thranduil; he ordered her to be taken to the prison until she was willing to give him a direct answer. Leila had told him that she had been giving him direct answers, that he just wasn’t listening clearly, and that if he weren’t willing to listen, that she was immortal and could wait till he came to his senses. This made him even more angry. Leila guessed she wouldn’t be let out anytime soon.
She HAD told him the truthful answers. Everybody she met always told her she was a stubborn thing, and that it would one day mean her demise. She had laughed in their face, and never stopped to hang out. By the way, everyone she knew? They were just acquaintances, she never stayed in one place long enough to get to know anyone, or to care. All her life, or at least as long as she could remember, she had been wandering around, never seemingly having a purpose, never belonging. Leila didn’t care anymore. Always moving on, yet never really forgetting. If her past was just there to haunt her, then it had better move along. She had better things to do than sit around moping about stuff long done.
Suddenly she heard footsteps in the hall leading to the prison. She stood up, attempting to look dignified (which, by the way, is very hard to do when you look like you wet yourself). The silhouette of the elf prince Legolas appeared in the doorway. He was hold a platter of what looked like food. As he came closer, Leila could see that it was indeed food, elven bread to be exact. “Hungry?” he asked her, offering the platter. She eyed it suspiciously. Legolas followed her view, then laughed. “Oh, c’mon. You don’t really think it’s really poisoned, do you?” He became solemn at the look Leila gave him. “Elves do not stoop that low. I do not know about where you come from, but it must have been terribly dangerous.” Leila laughed humorlessly. “You’re so na├»ve. I bet you have never left this palace.” Legolas hung his head, shamed. Leila felt oddly guilty. Then Legolas began to pout. “So you’re telling me I stole this from the kitchen for nothing?!” She then accepted the bread, with three realizations: firstly, he must care about her, secondly, even if it were poisoned, nobody would miss her, and thirdly, she was HUNGRY. It must have been at least a week since her last meal.
As she greedily devoured the bread, Legolas studied her. It made her feel like he could see into her soul and know everything about her. Then, her usual logic came back to her, and she reminded herself, nobody can see into my soul unless I let them. And I won’t ever let any do that. She told herself that trust was a weakness, but deep down she was just scared to get too close to somebody and then lose them. I’m a loner, she reminded herself.
“I take it you also want to use the bathroom?” he asked, a smirk upon his pale lips. Legolas gestured towards her dripping pants. Leila’s cheeks flushed a bright red, highly unusual for her. “No… I just.. it’s just… there’s a puddle just over there…” Great, now she was STUTTERING. Leila blamed the prison. It was messing with her mind, causing her to think outrageous thoughts and act strangely. Stupid stupid Mirkwood prison. “Its okay,” he said gently, all joking aside. Stupid stupid Legolas. Stupid, sweet, handsome Legolas. What? “No!” She exclaimed. Legolas looked taken aback. “Be quiet! Are you trying to get me in trouble? I’m not supposed to be down here, you know.” After several minutes of silence, Leila practically collapsed from frustration- with herself, with the prison, with Legolas… with everyone. She hung limply on the bars of the prison she so despised. “What’s wrong with me?” she whispered. Legolas sighed. More silence followed. “Do you want to go for a walk? It’s terribly stuffy down here and I don’t imagine you’re too fond of this prison,” Legolas offered. “How can I? I’m a bit, you know, TRAPPED?!” Legolas grinned and held up a keyring.
Later…
Their legs dangled off of the branch they were sitting on, staring up at the stars. A silence hung over them, not like an ominous raincloud, but more like a comforting blanket. It was a contented silence. Eventually Legolas broke the silence. “What you said earlier about not knowing where you were from? Were you being truthful?” Leila nodded. “I’ve lived all my life, or at least all I can remember, wandering alone.” Legolas turned towards her. “I can’t imagine not having a home to return to, or not having anybody to talk to. Aren’t you lonely?” Leila looked off to the side, her eyes searching the darkness. “No. I am happier on my own, and a loner is what I shall be. I have no memory of a home, or anywhere to belong to, so therefore I have nothing to miss.” Legolas was confused. “Is there anything out there you love, anything at all?” Leila smiled. “I love the warmth of the Sun on my face. I love the feel of the wind in my hair. I love feeling water rush over my feet. Most of all, I love the mysterious, cold beauty of the stars.” “Do you love any who live?” She shook her head. They looked into each other’s eyes, and Leila had a feeling that he understood. Suddenly the wind changed. Panic and fear shot through Legolas’ eyes. “Go! Run!” Leila obeyed, but since that day she felt regret and cowardice at abandoning him to whatever had caused him fear. She would always listen for news of the elf Prince who set her free.

This is only part of the story- just the beginning. If I get good reviews I’ll continue. Savvy? Cool.

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