"Why, aren't you a little small to be an elf?" I smacked the man's hand away from me, crawling further backwards. I could feel the pain in my whole body from being battered around. Still, I wouldn't stop. I wouldn't surrender.
"Don't touch me!" I yelled, hoping someone could hear me, but all of my past attempts had failed me.
"Oh, a strong one at that too!" the man chuckled, walking closer to me. He then kneeled down, my fear only worsening as his presence got only closer and closer.
"I said don't touch me!" I yelled once again, using my leg to kick him away in the chest. However, the man did not even shake. His strength was far greater than mine. The man chuckled again and only leaned in closer.
"Stop!" I yelled, putting my hands on his chest and pushing him away from me, turning my head as waterfalls of tears came from my eyes.
"No!" I shot up from my bed, my eyes widened. I quickly searched my surroundings, looking for the man. Then, my memory set in and I remembered where I was. I put my hands on my face, only to feel tears rushing down my face. I doubt I'll ever have a goodnight's sleep again. I sincerely doubt it.
My body instantly stiffened as I heard a knock at the door.
"Are you alright?" I heard an alarmed voice. Legolas…he must have heard me. Quickly, I got up from my bed and grabbed a robe, wrapping the silk comfortably around my body and knotting it tightly. I then walked over to the door and opened it, revealing a panic-stricken Legolas. I could see the sweat on his brow and his teeth tightly clenched. His body had been leaning against the door, almost ready to break it down it appears. Had I scared him that much? Had I done this to him? My guilt settled in further.
"My apologies, it was all a bad dream. I had no intentions of scaring you, my lord." I bowed my head quickly, embarrassed and uncomfortable. What was I putting this prince through. I soon heard him clear his throat and it quickly hit me - I had referred to him formally once again.
"Legolas, again I am sorry."
"You screamed. Are you sure it was simply a mere nightmare?"
"Honestly, I wish it had only been a nightmare." I looked down, smiling bitterly. If there was a witch's spell or poisonous drink I could simply use to even forget that hell of a memory, I would. Legolas raised an eyebrow, about to question me further but a low voice had interrupted him.
"King Thranduil wishes for your presence in the public dining hall. A feast has been prepared for dinner." We both turned our heads at the guard that had walked up to us.
"What time is it?" I asked, confused. How long had I slept?
"Five in the afternoon, my lady." the guard answered. I had slept over half a day. I guess the stress really had gotten to me.
"Alright, but I haven't any decent clothing -"
"This gown is for you, selected by the king." The guard pulled out a dress covered with a cloth from behind him. I rose my eyes. "He expects you to be seen in it."
"Very well. Thank you." I took the dress from the man's hands, smiling graciously. The guard nodded and bowed to me, ignoring Legolas' presence, and continued to walk away. Then, it hit me. I quickly remembered what Legolas had told me yesterday, making me shiver slightly. I was to be married to King Thranduil, that is correct. I walked into my room, forgetting to close the door. However, I head it close behind me. I noticed Legolas had walked into my room with me. Trying to hide my face as I walked to the long mirror, I could feel the burn of a blush on my cheeks. Why was he still with me? He knows I am not in any true peril.
Trying to distract myself, I took the cloth off the dress to reveal it. I was instantly at awe. It was truly beautiful. Not only was I sure it was my size, but the dress had been made with such quality I hadn't seen in many years. The color of the dress matched my green eyes, also having embroidered gems around the chest that sparkled and put me in awe. No doubt were these beautiful diamonds and other gems that I couldn't even name. The dress seemed to change color as the light hit it differently. It was truly a dress better fit for royalty. The tailor is superb, however I am sure King Thranduil had part to take in this. He truly thinks deeply into everything.
"It will look beautiful on you." I whipped my head back at the prince who I forgot was in my presence.
"You really think so? I fear I am not of the quality to match this dress."
"No matter what you wear, you always stand out." he smiled, making my blush worsen. I looked down at the floor, smiling like a child at his compliment. I could feel butterflies flutter in my stomach, my heartbeat going to quicker pace.
"Thank you." I looked back up at him and smiled.
It was very genuine the innocence Thalarael had in her. I now find it a struggle to keep my eyes off the girl, who I am truly puzzled about. Who was she? I deeply wanted to know. However, I felt possessive over her and didn't feel comfortable with others knowing, not trusting anyone else with her.
"I'm going to try this on." she said, quickly turning to the bathing room and closing the door quietly behind her. She was surely nervous and I doubt my presence was helping. However, I feel it would soothe her once she had to leave. Rather it be me than a guard to take her to the royal dining hall. I looked over at myself in the mirror. What was I doing? Making excuses or being genuinely worried? Perhaps both? I wasn't sure of anything anymore.
Soon, the sound of the bathing room door opening took me out of my thoughts. I was at awe. The dress did not only fit her perfectly, but complimented her body perfectly. Every curve was shown. Her hair laid on her back, each of the front side parts being pulled back and held together with a small piece of silk which had her hair fall right back into the waterfall of the rest of her hair. I tried my hardest to keep my jaw shut. She was truly stunning.
"Do I look like a joke?" she asked, looking down and blushing. I instantly shook my head no.
"You look like a dream, Thalarael. I deeply mean so. You are beautiful." Thalarael looked up at me in pure surprise, blushing once again. If it weren't for the control I had, I would be blushing as well. She walked over to the mirror and looked at herself in the gown. That's when I noticed the tie on her lower back wasn't tied properly. I slowly behind her, her instantly stiffening when she realized my presence. "It is only me, do not be frightened. I am only fixing this tie." She nodded, closing her eyes gently and moving her hair to the side. I could feel how nervous she was.
Her back was shown until it tied barely above the end of her waist. Her pale, peaches and cream skin showing to everyone if her hair weren't to hide it. No longer paying attention to my task and quickly losing control of myself, I glided the back of my hand down her back until it hit the end of her waist. Her skin was even smoother than it had looked. I so badly wanted to feel more of her skin, however immediately I remembered the task at hand and untied the dress, quickly able to tie it perfectly. Once done, I put my hands on her shoulders and turned her around. I could see the deep blush she now had from my actions.
"You look like a goddess." The words slipped through my mouth, a small smile appearing on my face. She genuinely smiled.
"Thank you. Are you going to change into your royal attire? Should I wait for you here?" She questioned. I guess it was already a given that I would accompany her to the dinner. I looked down and remembered I had my green hunting attire on. I hardly ever took it off.
"It would bother my father, but he should be used to it by now. I hardly ever wear anything else but anything like this type of attire." I answered honestly, Thalarael giggling. I raised my eyebrows. "What is so funny?"
"You can wear the most beautiful of clothing, elven silks only available to that of the prince, however you choose to look as if you are ready for battle at any moment. I find it a very honest but ironic act." She grinned, practically gleaming at me. I smiled back, I guess it was awkward for a prince not to wear what he was given. However, I practically refuse to ever wear the royal attire unless entirely necessary.
"My father will want you to be there soon. I am guessing the feast has already began and he wants you to be introduced to our people."
"Will you be near me?" I could hear the clear panic in her voice. Why was my father putting this young elleth through this. It truly made me despise him.
"I will do my best, Thalarael. Now, will you please give me the honor to escort you?" I bowed, looking up with a smile, intending to calm her down the best I could. She smiled lightly, nodding.
"I'd be honored, Legolas of Mirkwood." She giggled, walking closer. I offered her my arm, standing up straight once again, and she quickly took it. For once, she allowed me to view the light pink on her cheeks as she giggled. Her presence even calmed me, yet at the same time made me on high alert.
It wasn't long until we reached the dining hall. It would be false to say I was merely nervous. I was entirely frightened at what hid behind those doors. Surely King Thranduil would be on his thrown, but how were the others going to judge me? I can't say I don't stick out with my shorter height. I took a deep breath, Legolas opening the doors.
I was instantly at awe. There wasn't a ceiling, rather the night stars shining beautifully down upon us. There were lights around the room, but they were almost deemed unnecessary as to how bright the stars glimmered. There were long rows of tables, music being played, and a large dancing area in the middle. However, through the dancing area, there was also a long carpet reaching up to the thrown with two chairs on either of the king's side. It instantly hit me that I wasn't to be seated next to Legolas, raising my anxiety.
"All stop at the presence of Prince Legolas and Lady Thalarael of Mirkwood." a guard spoke loudly, every elf becoming quiet. Nervous, I watched as the path was cleared for us and everyone either curtsied or bowed. I soon felt Legolas begin to walk and my feet reacted the same. I felt like a deer spotting its hunter ready to kill him, but I tried to appear as calm as possible. I wasn't sure how I appeared in all actuality.
Before I knew it, we walked up a few steps and were in front of King Thranduil.
"It is a pleasure to see you again, Thalarael. My son…" he looked down at his son's attire and then back at a smirking Legolas "I'm glad you could make it. Please, sit by my left, Legolas, and Thalarael to my right. Let this feast truly begin!" King Thranduil announcing his last words to the public. Music began playing again and food was beginning to be dispersed. I felt awkward leaving Legolas, having to sit next to the king who may decide my future in the end. My betrothed….I somehow hoped the words were wrong. Maybe he would soon change his mind once he realized how unworthy of the thrown I was.
I could feel how this night just only began.