Okay guys! I'm back with a re-write of These Lonely Trails to improve pacing (it was either that, or have the story go into Lord of the Rings, which I didn't think would work. If you have a differing opinion, drop a comment. I'd love to consider it!). Hope you enjoy! This re-write gives me chances to fix mistakes I made in the first version, so you might find it a little bit better written.

Also, I'd like to give a special thank you to everyone who's been commenting on my fic (Filisgirl251 and BaconBabe). Thank you both SO MUCH! I really do appreciate it.

P.S. You may find a lot of the chapters the same as they were in the first version. Like, REALLY similar. Same sentences and stuff.

P.P.S. This version does not include a prologue! *throws confetti* Be proud of my accomplishments, people! :D


Chapter One

Rîn shifted nervously. She could feel the tension in the air. She glanced at her father, who was standing in front of King Thranduil.

"You called me, my lord?" her father asked.

Her father was the only advisor that King Thranduil would occasionally listen to. Rîn was exceptionally proud that her father was in such an important position, but King Thranduil didn't always listen to her father's wise advice,—at least, Rîn though it was wise—and things had the tendency to get a little heated, although her father was always ready to cut Lord Thranduil as much slack as he needed.

"I understand you have some thoughts about the spiders in the Greenwood," Thranduil said, a little coldly. It's not the Greenwood anymore, Rîn thought. They call it Mirkwood.

"Yes, my lord, but I'm not sure it's my place to share them with you," Father replied graciously.

"Please do."

"I believe we should make an effort to attack the spiders."

King Thranduil was silent, and Rîn glanced anxiously at her father. She was loved to come when he talked to the king, but the meetings could be very awkward.

"Of course, my lord, I-" her father began, after the king didn't speak, but Thranduil cut him off.

"What do you suggest I do, Rhiadroth?"

"I think it would be wise if..." Father paused.

"Yes?"

"I believe we should send our elf armies out to attack the spiders. They are overtaking Mir-the Greenwood. The paths are no longer safe and warm as they once were, majesty."

King Thranduil was silent again.

Father gave Rîn a look, and she slipped out of the room, almost bumping into Prince Legolas.

"Sorry," Rîn said. The prince nodded.

"Another meeting?" he asked.

"Yes."

Rîn tried to read Legolas's indecipherable expression as he looked towards the doors of Thranduil's throne room.

"They're talking about the spiders again." It wasn't a question.

Rîn nodded. "Father thinks the king should do something about them."

Legolas looked her in the eyes. "And you?"

Rîn bit her lip in frustration. She agreed with everything her father was saying. She believed they should attack the spiders. She believed the elves of Mirkwood should take a stand. This was their home, and it was being taken over by dark, terrible creatures!

She wanted to voice her opinions.

But she couldn't. Not here. Not now. Not in front of Legolas. She knew he was aware that many of the Mirkwood elves didn't agree with their king's decisions, but he never said anything about it. He of course supported the king's decisions, and she didn't want to get in trouble. She knew how close he and his father were. If she said anything against Thranduil's decisions, Legolas would surely tell the king, and she could only guess what would happen after that.

"It's not my place to say," she finally said, in answer to Legolas's question.

"Why not?"

Rîn didn't answer, looking down.

"Rîn?"

She knew she had to answer. Legolas was reasonable. Surely if she phrased things right he wouldn't get angry. "I think we should do something about the spiders." She prayed he wouldn't ask why she didn't want to tell him that.

She could see the question in his eyes.

She couldn't answer.

She couldn't not answer.

"I didn't want to get in trouble." The prince didn't say anything after she spoke, so she knew he was thinking. She went on, careful not to say anything that might get him mad. She knew he wouldn't throw her in prison or anything like that, but she hated it when he got mad at her. "You're really close to King Thranduil, and I know that if you told him I thought differently than him he might get mad."

Silence.

"I didn't want anyone in the royal family to be angry with me," she concluded.

"Why would I be angry with you?" Legolas asked.

Rîn frowned. "Well, I know you agree with your father, and-" she cut herself off when she saw the look on the prince's face. "I just didn't want to take a chance," she said, instead of continuing her previous sentence. She hoped she hadn't said the wrong thing.

Legolas was about to speak when her father came out of the throne room. "Come, Rîn," he said, smiling at the prince and taking his daughter's hand. "Let's go." As soon as they were out of earshot, Rîn spoke.

"I think I did something wrong just now," she said.

"Oh?"

Rîn explained her conversation with the prince. "Did I say something wrong?"

Her father was silent. She knew what that meant.

She wanted to slam her head into a wall. The last thing she wanted was to offend Prince Legolas. She never liked people mad at her, but the prince was different. He was a good elf, for one, and he was the prince of Mirkwood. He could do pretty much whatever he wanted.

"Rîn, you must remember that Prince Legolas does not necessarily agree with every decision his father makes. He is loyal, as is everyone here in Mirkwood, but that does not necessarily mean that he supports King Thranduil's decision not to fight back against the spiders. I've told you that before, haven't I?" Her father smiled kindly.

"Yes, you did." Rîn smiled. Her father could always cheer her up.

"Well, I'm sure your mother has dinner waiting for us. Cold leftover roast beef, I'm sure, but still dinner."

The sound of Rîn and her father's voices echoed around the cold halls of Mirkwood, dying before it reached the ears of Prince Legolas as he slipped inside his father's throne room.