CHAPTER 26: Writing Our Own Future
"Please say something," she asks quietly, her eyes averting away. I can tell she is uncomfortable at my staring. I just cannot believe she is actually here.
"What are you doing here?" These are the first words to enter my mind. I am not trying to be rude, just merely shocked to see her.
"I came to talk to you…about things," she replies. "I'm probably the last person you want to see after our last encounter, but I hope you'll give me a chance to explain. If not, I completely understand and won't hold it against you."
There is something different about her presence. Her appearance is the same, her hair a little longer, but somehow she seems more mature. I am still trying to figure out if this was all a dream again as I continue to examine her. "Well, I would be lying if I said I wasn't curious to find out as to why you want to speak to me after all this time," I answer coolly.
She nods her head, understanding my indifferent response. She sits on my father's couch as I slowly follow her. Her hands are in her lap, head down, still thinking of what to say. "I would ask how you've been but I'm honestly scared to know the answer," she chuckles nervously.
"You don't need to try to make things comfortable for me. Just say what's on your mind," I say again more softly, still confused why she is in my father's study and not him.
Her eyes are still the brightest emerald green I have ever seen as she looks at me. "I know Galadriel closed the portal when I left. She told me in a dream. She said when I was ready she would reopen it for you. A lot has happened, Legolas. Things you should know…" I almost see sadness in her eyes.
"From what Ellessia says, you have been happy in your life. That's all that really matters to me," I tell her, the throbbing pain in my heart I try to silence as I say these words.
"You've always been very sweet," she half-smiles again. "And yes, I have been happy with what I have but…it's never felt complete," she looks away.
"What do you mean?" I give her a questioning look. Things still are not making sense to me but I know I have to be patient with her explanation.
"I know I hurt you, Legolas. I wish I could go back and do things differently, but it's all in the past now. The only thing I can do now is try to correct it somehow by being honest with you. Whatever your reaction might be after I've shed some light into my behavior, I will understand if you're still upset and won't accept it. But you need to know the truth. You deserve at least that…"
"Then what is the truth?" I furrow my eyebrows. I am anxious to know what is going through her mind.
"The day I left Mirkwood with Ellie, I wanted to come back and make things right. I didn't want to leave things on a bad note between us. But, Galadriel wouldn't let me. She wouldn't open the portal for me either, saying it was for the best. I tried to reason with her but she said to give it time and all would reveal itself to me. And, eventually it did. When I finally understood what she meant, I agreed to keep the portal closed until I was ready to face you," she explains.
"So, what finally brought us…together?"
"I had dreams about you, Legolas," she frowns. "Disturbing dreams of you in agony. It hurt me to see those visions but I knew they held some truth in them…"
I clench my jaw. I see no reason to explain to her how difficult it has been for me. Whether or not it was only me being stubborn or not wanting to let go of my pride, I do not want her to see me in a vulnerable state. "The last two years haven't been easy but I managed to keep myself in tact." It is the simplest way I can put it. I even gave her a little smile to throw her off that it was not as bad as it seems.
"Well, I'm glad that you're well," she tries smiling more genuinely at me. "There were still things I was going through, things I was still sorting out before I could come here."
"Well, I went to campus for a while but due to my schedule, I ended up finishing my classes online instead. I took accelerated courses so I was able to finish a lot sooner than expected. Thranduil wouldn't let me work and insisted he still provide me with the necessary means to pay for school and my living situation—until the trust fund my mother set up for me was finally available for me to use."
"I don't understand, Isa," I say, shaking my head. I stand with my back to her, pondering on her words. "Is this what you really came here to tell me?" She is telling me things about her life yet I feel as if she is telling me nothing at all. This is still so baffling to me.
She stands as well and sighs again. "No, Legolas. Telling you about my life is only a part of the reason why I'm here. There's still a lot I haven't told you."
"Then tell me what it is?" I ask, my voice begging. "You can't understand how frustrating this is for me. To see you, here, now, after I've finally began to accept that…" my words trail off. I do not have the courage to finish what my heart is saying.
"I know, Legolas," she says softly. "It might be easier if I just show you…"
"Show me what?"
Isa smiles a little more cheerfully and leads me out of my father's study and into the one of the living rooms we use to hold visitors. I can hear Ellessia making strange noises as we enter. She slowly turns her head when she sees us, embarrassed about what she is doing. "Oh, hello there," she chuckles sheepishly. Darcien is sitting next to her. I look wide-eyed at what she is holding in her arms. More importantly, at what is staring back at me.
"I'll take her, Ellie," Isa says, carrying the baby in her arms toward me. I stand there speechless. "Legolas, I would you like to meet Aleigshia. Aleigshia, this is Legolas," she introduces us. The baby girl stares at me curiously with blue eyes like the ocean, covered with thick lashes. She suddenly smiles and giggles, burying her face in Isa's shoulder. "I think she likes you," she chuckles.
I smile at the adorable child in her arms. It reminds of how she was when she was that young, full of curiosity in her eyes. I suddenly hear someone else cry out by Ellessia. "Aww, it's all right," my cousin says as she picks up another baby that I did not see. I take a step closer to find there are two small car seats by her feet. Darcien lets the second one play with his finger to calm him down.
"He's usually cranky after he wakes up from his nap," Isa tells me. "His name is Leonell."
"Are they both…yours?" I hesitate to ask.
"Yes," she nods. "They're twins." I look at the boy who has a pair of bluish-green eyes with a dimple on his left cheek when he smiles. "Aleigshia, don't put that in your mouth," she tells her daughter who is trying to suck on a bracelet around her wrist.
"That is a beautiful bracelet," I comment. "It looks…Elvish."
"Yes, it is," she nods again slowly. "Aromin gave it her…"
"And look, Leonell has a matching pair!" Ellessia points out with a smile. She suddenly turns quiet after she notices the look on my face. It is not something I am anxious to hear, knowing who they came from. Even Isa is giving her a look.
"He gave it to them when they were born," Isa explains. "He tends to spoil them every chance he gets…"
"They're always so happy when they're around him," Ellessia adds, my mood about her comment going unnoticed as she continues to pay attention to the baby boy in her hands, making the same strange noises I heard when I walked in. She is trying to make him laugh by making goofy sounds with different faces, which seems to work.
"Ellie's been staying with me…ever since she found out I was pregnant. She refused to let me raise them on my own," Isa softly chuckles.
"I thought you were travelling around the world?" I ask my cousin.
"I did for a short while. The stories I told you are true and how I was now living in the States. I just didn't tell you who I was living with," she smirks sheepishly.
"But, what about Aromin?" I am once again confused. I turn to Isa, "Is he…the father of your children?" Both Isa and Ellessia start to laugh like I am the center of the joke.
"He's their godfather, Legolas," she explains. "He was in New York for work and we ran into each other during my pregnancy, when I already showing. I told him that only Ellie knew about it and he wanted to help out so he stayed even after his contract ended." Things finally began to make sense. Aromin bought a flat in New York to be closer to her so he could be there for her and her children. No wonder the stories of them being married with children were circulating throughout the palace. It eases the burden I feel to know Aromin is still a gentleman and could be counted on.
"So, if Aromin is not the father, then who is?" I have to ask.
Ellie and Isa exchange quick glances. "We'll go ahead and leave so you two can talk," Ellessia says and stands with Darcien.
"Thanks, Ellie," Isa smiles. "You can leave Leo in his car seat, he'll be fine. It's this one who likes the attention," she smiles at her daughter who is still in her arms. Her baby girl is pointing toward me, trying to get out of her grasps. "It looks like she wants you to hold her."
I smile at her adorable little features and hesitantly take her from her mother. Little Aleigshia giggles immediately in my arms, pulling on my hair. "She's her mother's daughter, all right," I say, gently removing her tiny hands from my strands. "You used to do the same thing, but harder." Isa laughs and goes to check on her baby boy. I follow her and sit on the couch beside her, bouncing her daughter on my lap who is now proceeding to eat her fingers. "They are quite loveable…"
"Yeah…they tend to grow on you after a while," she jokes with a smile.
We stare at each other for a few moments, those old familiar feelings engulfing the air. She does not look like she has aged a day since I last saw her. More mature but her sweet, young complexion is still there. She finally looks away, blushing. I have to smile at her old habits that she still has not managed to control. But, then, I suddenly remember why we are alone.
"You still haven't told me about their father…"
She slightly frowns and is hesitant to answer. "Well, he's stubborn for one thing," she rolls her eyes. "But, he's sweet and very caring. Tall and handsome," she lets out a quiet chuckle. That is when I inwardly roll my eyes. It is details like that I do not need to know. "But…very busy. The children hardly know him but I guess that's my fault."
"Ellie had mentioned that you…weren't seeing anyone? So, are you…not married to this man?" I ask since I do not see a wedding ring on her finger.
"No," she shakes her head, softly laughing. "We're not married."
"Is he planning on marrying you?" I ask with concern. I am concerned because a man—or Elf—who brings a child into this world should seal the union with his mate. I know it is not something consistently practiced in their world but in my world, it is highly frowned upon if the mother is left unmarried, caring for her children without a husband. Middle-earth is very traditional with the ceremony of marriage then children, especially the Elves.
"Umm…" she looks away, seemingly to laugh at my question. "We never got that far."
"What do you mean?" I look at her confused.
She looks back at me with all seriousness in her eyes and a hint of regret. "I had left him…" she replies quietly. Her baby boy suddenly starts to cry. She picks him up, hushing him softly. "It's okay, sweetie, you're fine mela en' coiamin," she kisses his cheek. Somehow that got him to calm down again.
"You speak…Elvish?" I ask amazed. "When did this happen?"
"I asked Ellie to teach me before they were born so I could speak it to them. They like the sound of the language better for some reason, especially Leonell. Ellie is hoping their first words are in Elvish," she laughs. "But, I'm still learning the language."
Her son, Leonell, stares at me with his bluish-green eyes that quickly turn a shade of gray then more bluish and back to its original color within a matter of a few blinks. His eyes are very striking. There is only one other time I have ever seen eyes like his. It also makes me wonder why she wants them to understand Elvish in a human world.
"Isa…who is their father?" I give her another questioning look. "Why will you not tell me? The eyes your son has are not a common trait for a human to have."
"Yes, I know," she nods, staring at him. "He gets them from Melian. I was told my children's traits would only appear if their Elven blood was stronger than their human side. Aleigshia's eyes sometimes turn a crystal blue depending on the position of the moon. But, for the most part, she has her father's blue sapphire eyes."
I pick up her daughter and hold her out in front of me so I can get a better look at her. She looks at me again with her curious stares. Her eyes are a gorgeous blue that reminds me so much of my mother's. When she would brush my hair as a small Elfling, I would stare up at her, admiring her eyes. I turned to Isa who has a small smile on her lips. "They're your children, Legolas."
Her words take a long time to process in my ears. These twins are…mine? Aleigshia giggles, stretching her arms toward me. I hold her close as she plays with the buttons on my shirt.
"Why did you never tell me?" I ask, still in disbelief.
"As I mentioned, I didn't find out until after I left. Remember those headaches I kept having? Well, apparently being pregnant for a peredhil is different. Instead of random cravings, it was headaches. Ellie suspected something but she wasn't sure so she kept giving me those herbal teas meant for pregnant women. It also caused my random mood swings and outbursts. I also found out that pregnancy for Elves is longer than 9 months, which would have been nice to know beforehand," she rolls her eyes at the long process. "When I found out I was having twins, Ellie and Aromin didn't want me working or do anything strenuous so they were both kind enough to help me throughout my pregnancy. Aromin also took me to an Elven doctor who delivered them. That's why I decided to take classes online instead to avoid people prying why I was pregnant for so long."
"Did my father know about this?"
"No, he didn't. I wanted to tell him but I also didn't want to burden him with it. He's already done so much for me throughout these years and I didn't want him to feel obligated to take care of my—our—children as well. He only found out when I arrived with Ellie."
"How come I never saw you before today? I went into your old room but it was empty."
"I stayed in the same wing as your father in case you wandered in there," she replies. "The room we were in was big enough for the three of us to stay in, so I spent most of my time there with the twins. Ellie would check on us every so often and Markus would deliver our food. I was in the kitchen the other day, not knowing you would be there and hid under one of the counters so you wouldn't see me."
"Ah, I see. So that's why everyone was acting strange and so anxious to get rid of me," I chuckle.
"Yes," she smiles. "Ellie also told me not to go into the tower but I couldn't help myself one night. I was just looking around when I saw you through the window lying outside on the grass, looking up at the stars…"
"So that was you! I thought I saw a shadow through the window but thought it was just my imagination," I tell her. "I didn't think you were ever going to return," I add quietly. She takes the twins and places them in their car seats as both their eyes are falling heavy with sleep.
"I always meant to return, Legolas," she tells me softly. "Galadriel wanted us to live own separate lives because she wanted me to figure out what I really wanted for myself. I thought about my own upbringing with my mother and how I didn't even get the chance to know my father, even the relatives I had in Middle-earth. A big part of my life was always missing and I didn't want that for our children. I wanted them to know their father and both sides of their family."
"So, what are you saying?" I search her eyes.
"You, Ellie, Thranduil—you are the only family I have left," she half-smiles with sadness. "I don't want to rob our children of a life that I could provide them but choose not to. I want them to make their own choice of being a mortal or a Firstborn with the proper knowledge of both lands. A choice I never knew I had until I came here. You also have every right to know about your children. It would be selfish of me to keep them from you. That's why I decided to tell you on this day, which is their birthday."
"It's today?" I look at their sleeping form.
"Ellie tried explaining to me how your Elven calendar works and when you celebrate the day of your birth—which was very confusing to say the least, but yes, it's today," she smiles at them. "Do you also remember the dreams I had with the children in them? I was dreaming about our children, Legolas!"
I stare at the small boy and girl before me. Could the visions I had been of them as well? I still cannot believe I am their father. I should have paid closer attention to Isa's behavior. "I'm sorry for not being there for you when I should have taken better care of you," I look into her eyes. "If I had just given you what you wanted, I could have looked after you and them before and after they were born."
"Don't blame yourself, Legolas. I left because I was expecting too much and so soon from you. You had already given me so much of yourself, yet it wasn't enough for me. I wanted more from you, which was selfish of me. At the time, I had no idea what I really wanted from our relationship. Again, that's why Galadriel kept us apart…and I just happened to be pregnant," she sort of chuckles on the fact.
"They really look like you…" I smile at her.
"Not entirely. Your features are in there, too. Leo can also be really stubborn sometimes like his father," she smiles.
"Oh, no," I shake my head with a grin. "That, he gets from you."
"Well…yeah…I suppose mostly from me," she rolls her eyes with a smile. "Look, Legolas," the tone in her voice changes, "I know this is a lot for you to process, especially not seeing me for close to two years and I understand if you need time to soak in everything. But, I also have one request from you."
"And what is that?" I ask curiously.
"Again, I understand if you won't accept this or allow it…"
"Well, you won't know if I will or not if you don't tell me," I softly laugh. I quiet myself after the look on her features stay the same. She is very serious about this request.
"I was hoping, if you would let us…travel back to Mirkwood with you?" she says.
"What?" I am taken aback. Out of all the requests she could possibly have come up with to ask for, this was not at the top of my list.
"I know it's a shocking request but I've given it a lot of thought. The only way for them to understand their Elven heritage is to actually be around other Elves, where the Firstborn originally live. I figured we could always travel back and forth from here and when they're old enough, we could let them decide on what kind of life they wanted," Isa explains.
"Well, yes," she nods. "You have every right to have a say in their future as well. Then, I thought, maybe later on, I could take them to Rivendell. See where my family is from since none of us have been there yet."
"You really want to come back to Mirkwood with me?" I ask again, skeptical of her request. It still sounds too good to be true. My heart was already set that our paths were never going to cross again but yet, here she is with our children, wanting to return to Mirkwood.
"I don't mean to rush you at all with this so please take your time," she smiles sincerely. "I promise I am perfectly fine with whatever you decide. But, if you do let us go back with you to Mirkwood, Ellie has agreed to come and help me take care of the twins so you don't need to stray away from your duties."
"But, what if I also want to spend time with them?"
"Then of course you can," she looks at me strangely as if it was an abnormal thought. "I just don't want us to be a distraction to you."
"We'll see," I smirk. She blushes and silently nods.
"I should get them upstairs. It's about their bedtime anyway," she picks up Aleigshia's car seat. "Could you help me and carry Leo's?"
"Of course," I say, picking his up. "I can take hers as well."
"Legolas, you don't have to carry both! They're…heavy…" she starts to say but allows me to take over as she sees how I carry our children in their car seats with ease. She smirks as she forgets how Elves can carry more weight than humans.
I drop them off in their room on the other side of my father's chambers. When I see where they were staying, she was right in saying it accommodates the three of them perfectly. The room looks like a small apartment, minus the kitchen. There are also two separate cradles for each of the twins. I help Isa get them out of their seats and into their beds.
"They really are adorable," I smile again at them…at my children. I vow to myself to always care and watch out for them.
"Thank you, Legolas," she smiles warmly at me.
"There's no need. It was my pleasure," I return the smile.
"No, not just for this…but for accepting them."
"How could I not?" I reply, looking into her eyes once more. "They are my children. You were kind enough to let their existence be known to me, so in essence, I should be thanking you. I would very much like it if you came back to Mirkwood with me."
"Really?" she gives me a doubtful look. "You don't want more time to think about it? Really, I can wait for your decision."
"I have thought about it," I chuckle. "You cannot tell me that we have children together and then expect me to turn them away. Regardless of what happened to us in the past…they supersede all of it. I want to be there for them and I'm thankful you're letting me. It would have devastated me even more greatly if I did not know about them." She smiles, trying to suppress and even bigger grin. I know she is excited and happy. I can tell by the way her eyes sparkle. This would also be a good opportunity for Ellessia and Darcien to reconnect and continue whatever it is they have. I politely say good night and head to my own room.
Something inside of me is excited as well. I lie awake in my bed, staring up at the mural on my ceiling. I suppose we were both dreaming of our future children. I smile at the mysteries and how things are finally starting to make sense. I also now finally understand what the sprites said about 'taking care of them'. They meant my children…my family; even my dream of Isa when she told me I would have others relying on me, although neither of us knew at the time, which meant the twins.
As far as Isa and I are concerned, I do not want to rush into anything. I know it was difficult to come here after the distance between us and I want her to feel comfortable being around me again. Her guard is up just like when she first arrived here in England. What is to become of us only the gods know. Even my own heart I was keeping a close eye on.
I also have to confess that seeing her and laughing with her is a bit awkward still. Neither one of us can fully be ourselves around the other as we are both still being cautious. Hopefully, our children will bring us closer together again. I can just imagine the reaction of the Mirkwood Elves once they find out that we have twins, which I am still trying to take in myself. But, I cannot help but smile that I am a father…and she was their mother.
It is time I do right on my responsibilities to her and our children. My main focus will be them, to provide for them and make sure they are safe. I will do everything in my powers to ensure that Isa and the twins are happy. I appreciate all that my cousin and Aromin has done but now it is my turn to take care of my family. I also cannot help but laugh at the fact Aromin was their godfather. I would never have expected my old friend and sometimes rival would be the one, but it only seems fitting.
Lost in my thoughts, I barely hear the soft knock on my door. It is late in the evening so I wonder who it is. I open the door to find Isa standing in front of me. "Isa? Is something the matter?"
She is fiddling with her fingers and blushing. "Can I come in?"
My father's goddaughter looks around my room, inspecting it with her eyes. "Not much's changed," she says. I stay silent wondering what brings her here. She turns to me knowing what I am thinking. "I…couldn't sleep."
"What about the children?"
"Ellie is sleeping in the room. They're fine." Isa looks nervous and can hardly look me in the eyes. "I know I probably shouldn't have come here. I wasn't even sure if you'd be awake…"
"Well, I am," I murmur. I take a cautious step closer to her. Isa is starting to bite her lower lip. I lift her chin up so I can see her eyes. There is a lot of apprehension in her features. "Why are you here, Isa?" Her scent is intoxicating.
"I've miss you, Legolas," she whispers shyly. "I don't know what the future holds for us. I just know what's in my heart. You…haven't found another, have you?"
I softly laugh at her questioning expression as she searches my eyes for an answer. I cannot help but caress her cheek. "You are the only one who has my heart," I tell her, which seems to relax her a little.
"I am truly sorry, Legolas. For everything."
"As am I." I cup her face, resting my forehead against hers. Isa slowly wraps her arms around my waist. I close my eyes and sigh. "I have missed this."
"Can I stay with you tonight?" she asks, which surprises me.
A smile immediately appears on my face. I give her a chaste kiss on the lips, which she does not flinch at. "Come." I lead her to my bed, wrapping my arms around her under the warm blankets. She snuggles beside me comfortably just like she used to. Soon, I fall into my waking dream.
The next couple of days I take the time to get to know my children, Leonell and Aleigshia—two beautiful names. I also later discover their full names were Leonell Nathaniel Greenleaf and Aleigshia Celebrían Elltaes Greenleaf. She wanted to incorporate her parent's names, which I thought was pleasant idea. I am flattered she allowed them to carry on my surname as well.
The twins quickly grow on me and make it harder for me to leave their side even for just a moment. Isa would leave us for hours at a time so I can have my own experiences with our children. The three of us bond quickly. They are also a handful but worth every second of my time. I finally find another reason for my existence in these two little beings.
Isa has everything figured out. She transferred the name of their condominium in New York into Aromin's name so he can take care of it for them. If Isa and Ellessia decide not to return, he will sell it to someone else. All of the personal belongings they want to keep are stored at the castle. Isa is also done with school and with no employer to notify, she has no obligations holding her back. If for some reason I did not allow them back to Mirkwood, she would have stayed here in England with my father for the time being.
When we arrive in Mirkwood, my prediction came true. All the Elves are stunned and surprised to see Isa with the twins and the knowledge the two belong to me. Some say they knew all along, however, I think it is only wishful thinking on their part. A great banquet is held in their honor that night, full of music and laughter. We did not get to celebrate Aleigshia and Leonell's birthdays in England so we incorporated it into the banquet. Everyone is having a grand time, even the servants. I allowed them to join in the festivities after they are done serving the meals. All the Elves crowd around the twins who do not seem to mind the attention, especially Aleigshia who keeps smiling and giggling. I have to make sure I watch out of her suitors when she gets old enough for suitors. But, I know her brother will also look after her, which gives me some comfort. He is the oldest by three minutes.
I have a room set up for Isa and the twins next to me since I do not want to be too forward in asking her to stay with me even though there is enough space for us all. "I hope you're comfortable here. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to tell me—whatever it is. I'm just right across from you."
"Thank you," she smiles appreciatively. "Good night, Legolas."
"Good night, milady," I kiss her forehead.
I lied awake in bed with thoughts of her on my mind. I keep wondering what she is thinking about as well. I then start to think about the decision my father wants me to make. I now understand why he wants me to figure out if I want to stay here in Mirkwood or in the other world. My decision would be based on Isa and our children. I suppose he knows I would be willing to give up my title and stay in her world if she wants me to. Or, if I am too attached to my life here, this is where I would reside. All in all, my father just wants me to be happy.
The past few days still feel surreal. There are many things I want to each our children and different places I want them to see. I am sure Galadriel would also like to see them. The things running through my head are making it difficult to fall asleep so I change out of my garments and put on my archer uniform. I thought I would go outside and stare at the moon and stars for a while. The night in the other world could never compare to the skies we have here. They always hold some sort of magic I cannot describe.
I open my door and almost collide with someone. "Isa?" I am surprised to see her. Her hand is positioned to knock until I opened it before she had the chance. "It's late in the evening. Is something the matter?" The last time she came to my chambers like this was back in England, but only for that one night.
"No, I…" she is fidgeting with her words. "I can't sleep...again. Staying here again takes some getting used to."
"I know it's late but can we talk for a second?" she asks.
"Of course," I move out of the way to let her in. My adventure outside now has to wait, which I do not mind in the least.
"Are you going somewhere?" Isa looks at my attire. She also walks around my chambers seemingly trying to remember the time she spent in here, brushing her fingers on things that are familiar. I can see memories flooding back to her through her eyes and through the small grin she carries on her lips.
"Well, like you, I couldn't sleep so I thought I'd use this time to look at the stars until I became tired. But—that can wait. Come, sit down." She half-smiles and sits quietly on the couch. "What's on your mind?"
"Everything…" she laughs softly, "especially us." Her words get my attention. I sit down next to her and listen. "I know it's not easy for your kind to deal the grief you had to experience. Every day I prayed that you were…alive and doing well. Believe me when I say that it was one of the hardest things I had to do. I was miserable for months knowing the fact that you could have withered away and not been able to do anything about it," she says, tears beginning to well in her eyes. "I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep…I cried all the time. Ellie never left my side, making sure I stayed healthy enough during my pregnancy. When the twins were born, my spirits lifted because I knew a part of you would always be with me…"
"Isa, a part of me will always be with you," I assure her. "No matter what happens now."
"So, you mean to say you really don't hate me?" she raises a skeptical eyebrow, trying to lighten the mood a little with a grin.
"I could never hate you, Isa," I reply softly, shaking my head.
"Not even a little?"
"No, not even a little," I chuckle.
"You've always been a caring Elf at heart, but I think I deserve to be hated—even just a little," she tries to get me to tell her the truth.
"I don't hate you, Isa," I try to tell her again. "Because I care so deeply for you I honestly didn't think I would survive after you left," I confess, "but I couldn't let myself perish from this world. Something was always pushing me forward no matter how painful things became for me. And it might have been your prayers…" I smile. "I don't blame you for leaving. I also had my own faults that I didn't realize I had until you were gone. I suppose this was a learning experience for the both of us."
"I just want us to be okay," she sighs.
I take her hand into mine and kiss it. "We are," I smile again. Celebrían's daughter stands, her eyes still focused on the floor. I stand as well and slowly raise her chin so that our eyes could meet once more. She looks hesitantly at me. "What's the matter?" I ask softly.
"I love you, Legolas…" she suddenly says, her cheeks trickling with tears. "I know when I left I said I didn't but I did and still do. I just thought it would make things easier if I said that to you, but it didn't. I just made it worse for the both us. I haven't been with anyone since you," she confesses, her eyes showing me the truth.
"Isa…" I caress her cheek, trying to comfort her.
She shakes her head to stop my concern. "I don't want you to think I'm only telling you this so you can provide a good life for us because that's not my intention. I'm doing this for our children. I know you still have your duties to uphold here and I don't plan to take anything away from you."
"I know," I murmur, keeping my voice quiet and calm.
"I just thought…you should know the truth," she whispers, wiping her tears away, turning her back to me.
I slowly place my hands on her shoulders, taking in her scent. She is still as intoxicating as ever. "Isa…" I turn her around to face me again, "do you not understand now infinite my love is for you? I would give all this up for you, for our children, if that's what you wanted. I just want you to be happy."
She half-smiles, wiping the rest of her tears away. "I am happy, Legolas…since I saw you through the window in the tower. Our children make me happy. Being here makes me happy, you—"
Acting on impulse, I kiss her, cutting off her words. She tenses up for a brief second but eventually relaxes in my arms. She exudes the same passion as I do, making me want her even more. I carefully push her backwards toward my bed, both of us now lying down. I start to remove the first layer of my uniform, not breaking any contact with her. "I love you…" I cannot help but whisper in between kisses.
"Wait!" she suddenly exclaims.
"What?" I stop, my hands freezing in place.
"As much as I want this to happen, Legolas, I can't leave the twins in the other room by themselves," she says.
"Oh, that's right…" I nod. In the heat of my passion, I almost forgot about them, which was not a good thing to forget. I roll off her as she sits, thinking about something. I sit on the edge of the bed, my back to her, re-buttoning the coat of my attire.
Her hands suddenly snake around my waist with her head pressed against the middle of my upper back. "Why don't we just bring them in here?" she suggests.
I turn around with a grin on my face. "You mean you want all of us to sleep in here tonight?"
"Why not?" she smirks back with a shrug.
"As you wish," I smile.
Carefully carrying each bassinette from the other chamber, I place them by our bedside. Neither one stirs in their sleep. I watch how peaceful our children look. "I can't imagine a life without any of you in it…" I caress Asleigshia's cheek then look at Isa who only smiles. I stare at her for a few moments, contemplating.
"What?" She gives me a bewildering look. I walk over to my secret drawer and pull out the chest with the small, black velvet bag I have hidden in it. "I've seen that bag before," she says.
"You have? When?" I ask, thinking she is going to ruin the surprise.
"I was by the window when you came back on your motorcycle one day, from the city, I guess, and I saw you opening it. But, I didn't know what was in it," she explains.
I smile again, relieved she did not know what it contains. "It was something I bought in London that I had custom made here by one of our blacksmiths."
"What it is?"
We both sit in bed facing each other. "Isa, you know I love you…I always have. As I said, I cannot imagine a life without you and our children in it. If you give me another chance, I will prove to you how everlasting my love is and will love the three of you with every breath I have in me…forever." I take out the small object in the bag, which made her cover her mouth in shock.
"Legolas…is that what it was?" she asks in disbelief.
I nod with a smile. "I made the mistake of letting you go once and I won't ever make that same mistake again. Isa Arwen Elltaes Culver, Will you please do me the gracious honor of being my wife and the future Queen of Mirkwood?"
"Queen?" she asks me nervously.
"I know it might sound like a challenging task, but Shohrae will be there to help and guide you," I assure her. I put the diamond ring on her finger and wait for her answer. I was meaning to ask her all along, before she left, and the opportunity of her return and our children only make things seem clearer that I ask her hand in marriage.
"It's absolutely beautiful, Legolas," she marvels at it. "It must have cost you a fortune!"
"I'm a prince, remember?" I smirk. "So, will you make me happiest Elf in both lands and say yes?"
"Legolas…you know I love you," she smiles. "And I would do anything to make our family happy and complete—but I'm honestly not ready." My smile immediately turns into a frown when she hands the ring back to me. She takes my hands into hers and continues to smile. "I will marry you…someday, Legolas. We have all of eternity. But, for now, I want us to just enjoy each other's love, enjoy our children, enjoy Middle-earth and just…live. When I finally say 'yes' to you, I want to know I'm truly ready to take on all the responsibilities that come with it. I know the Elves are very traditional when it comes to marriage but we haven't really been a traditional couple," she softly laughs.
I nod, understanding her wishes. I would like us to seal our love for each other but it appears that Isa has other plans for us, am I am actually fine with that. At least this time we are writing our own future together. "You know I won't stop asking until you say 'yes'," I give her my crooked grin.
"I hope you don't stop asking," she smiles back.
"You also said we have all of eternity. What do you mean by that?" I ask curiously.
"I gave Galadriel my decision before we came to England," she smiles again. "There's no real life for me as a mortal, given everything I now know and the experiences I've been through. Experiencing the world changing with you is what feels right, even if our children don't choose the same path."
"So, you have chosen the life of the Firstborn?" I ask, ecstatic.
"Yes!" She jumps into my arms.
Lost in our own world again, we wake up one of the twins. We laugh at the outcome of our lives, taking both Aleigshia and Leonell out of their bassinettes, placing them in between us in the bed. Our family is not exactly official in the traditions we have in Middle-earth since Isa and I are not yet married, but that does not matter to me. What matters is they are in my life and nothing is going to break us apart. Not this time.
When the twins are finally able to stand on their own two feet, even though their balances are not yet perfect, we finally make it to Rivendell. I give the title of ruler to Shohrae while we stay in Imladris. There, Darcien and Ellessia got married.
Elves from all over Middle-earth attend—even my father and Aromin came for a few days for the celebration. I thank Aromin for taking care of Isa and the twins and tell him he will always be welcomed in Mirkwood. I also present Ellessia and Darcien with a portrait I painted along with the painting of Ellessia and Isa that she requested, which I was not able to give her beforehand. The two stayed in Imladris with us for a couple of decades before travelling back to the other world so Ellessia could show Darcien the different cultures she has encountered.
More years pass with our children growing older. I teach them both how to hold a bow and arrow while Isa helps them with their studies. Before Galadriel finally sailed the Sea, she showed Isa how to use her Elven abilities of entering dreams and the special powers her lineages holds. When Aleigshia is older, she will pass on the knowledge to her. Leonell, on the other hand, is already showing signs of being a great warrior. I could not have been more proud of them.
To this day, almost every day, I am still asking Isa to marry me. Her response is usually a smile, a kiss on the cheek, and the words, "Ask me tomorrow…"
And so, I will ask again…tomorrow.
Author's Last Note: I am sad and relieved at the same time to say that this story has finally ended. Thank you for taking an interest in this story and its characters, whether you came into it at the beginning, middle, or end.
In case you were wondering about the pronunciation of their daughter's name, it's pronounced al-ay-sha. Their son's name is a little easier, it's just leo-nell.
For those of you who suspected Isa was pregnant - good job! I wanted to hint at it but didn't want to make it too obvious. It's always fun to guess isn't it? And of course, Legolas would take her back. He loves her! Isa just needed to get her head and her act together before she could confront him again.
The ending of the story I'm assuming will get mixed reviews, but I didn't want a traditional ending where everything falls into place as expected. Yes, they end up together with children, but I want to give the story room for you to come up with your own theories in regards to their future.
Isa hasn't agreed to marry Legolas and who knows? Maybe she never will? Will their children also decide to stay in Middle-earth? Will they decide to be counted among the Firstborn or Afterborn? Will they possess other special powers? So many possibilities!
Again, thank you for reading, reviewing, and enjoying the story. Even if you didn't like it so much or just completely hated it—you still read it for some reason so that still deserves a thank you.
Please check out my other LotR stories! Hope you'll like them just as much.
Until the next time! Cheers!