Hello! By the request b_c_hawk of here is chapter 1 of Bleeding Hearts.
Warning: Severe torture. If you don't like it don't read it.
By Aranel of Mirkwood
Summer had come to Mirkwood. In the skies a warm sun shone lazily through the boughs, bathing the forest in a beauteous light. But this light was a deceiver…
If a stranger was to look upon Mirkwood on that bright day, they would see only the beckoning shade beneath the trees, the sunlight shining down on to a serene forest.
They would be wrong. This deceiving image hid the orcs and spiders that lurked under the forest canopy. The image would lure the unsuspecting into its snare. Only then would they realise their mistake.
By then it was usually too late to turn back…
But the forest was not all dark. Not everything that lurked there was evil. As in all places of darkness there was a haven, for Mirkwood was the home of the wood elves, and they were forever at war with the darkness that invaded their ancestral home.
Legolas Thranduilion, Prince of Mirkwood saw none of summer’s beauty; he saw only the clearing he stood in with a host of elven warriors. They had been pursuing a score of orcs through the forest, but their prey had seemingly disappeared from beneath them. Legolas’ brow crinkled in confusion, he turned to the elf beside him, the captain of the Mirkwood Army: Tirinvo. “Where are they?”
The captain, alert as always, looked around his eyes narrowed to mere slits. “They are here somewhere. Orcs do not just...look out!” he dived to the ground, pulling the Prince down with him, an arrow flying above them and landing harmlessly in a tree opposite them.
Legolas turned and shot a wry grin at Tirinvo “I think we’ve found our orcs”
“It would seem so, and as usual it was due to you being less than watchful” Tirinvo replied a frown on his face, as the pair climbed to their feet.
In one swift movement, Legolas pulled out his bow and fired an arrow into the surrounding forest. He did not wait to discover if he had found a target, instead firing another arrow in the same direction, the roar of pain telling him he had not missed. With angered cries orcs ran from the surrounding forest at the elves, who responded immediately with a rush of arrows being fired and steel cutting through the ranks of the enemy
Tirinvo glanced over at the Elf Prince, though Legolas was in charge of this small group, Tirinvo still felt a sense of responsibility for him. After all, it would be him who got his head bitten off if anything happened to the Prince. “Legolas, be careful” he warned as the Prince only just dodged an arrow that was aimed for his head. But his plea fell on deaf ears, the Prince had already launched himself into a ferocious battle with what seemed to be the leader of the orcs abandoning his bow in favour of his twin blades. Typical Legolas “I’m not carrying you home if you get hurt,” he called to the Prince “and I’m making sure you get all the blame!”
Legolas laughed “I can make my own way home. It’ll just be on your head if I get captured” the prince shot back, as he danced out of the way of the orc’s blade, his own knives reflecting the sunlight.
Tirinvo sighed and turned back to the battle, beheading an orc that crept too close to the Prince for his liking, this troop contained the best warriors Mirkwood had to offer, and they could easily dispatch a few orcs, even if the captain had too keep one eye on the reckless young prince. For once he wanted the Prince to return without any wounds. He glanced around, more orcs were joining the battle attracted by the clash of steel and bloodshed, and the odds were now stacked against them, there must have been about a hundred orcs fighting the thirty elves. “Legolas! There are too many!”
Legolas parried the blows of the orc; he knew they were in danger, “It was an ambush! They laid this trap and they don’t want anyone leaving here alive!”
Tirinvo cut his way through the orcs to stand beside the Prince “They are certainly becoming smarter”
The prince nodded, beheading another orc. “They know we are Mirkwood’s finest. They want us dead before launching an attack on the halls” he said “We have to get out of here!”
Tirinvo glanced at the Prince “Go” he said
“And leave you here to have all the fun” Legolas raised an eyebrow “Never.” He grew sober “You’d only save one, you lead the other warriors away. I’ll deal with the orcs”
As he expected the captain protested “I will not leave you!” he snapped
“Get everyone away, Tirinvo!” he yelled at the captain, speaking in the elven tongue.
Legolas then laughed and turned to the orc leader, “You don’t want to kill me” he said, taking the matter into his own hands.
The orc’s face twisted into one of anger “I think I do” he snarled
The elf Prince laughed and ducked a blow meant to separate his head from his shoulders “I don’t think it would please my Father, besides I’m more useful to you alive!” At the orcs look of confusion Legolas laughed, glancing round at Tirinvo who had realised what he was about to do, “I’m the Prince” Legolas then said
Tirinvo stepped forward “No! Legolas!” he yelled angrily
The orc however, a grotesque smile forming on his ugly face, “Stop! Get the Prince! I want him alive!” he yelled at his army
“Do it this way, and you won’t have it easy!” Legolas added. “Let my companions leave, and then you can have me.”
Tirinvo frowned “I will not allow this, Legolas” he said “Your Father would be furious!”
The orc stepped forward “Very well” he muttered, glad of a chance for this prince in his clutches, this prince who had killed so many orcs, and who had been a thorn in his side for so many years. And with the Prince delivered to Dol Guldur…this orc chieftain knew he would be rewarded.
Legolas stared at the captain “I will be fine” he insisted, the orcs sniggered at this, telling the Prince what he already knew. If the orcs got their way, he would not be fine. “I will, I know what I am doing!” he added in the elven tongue. Tirinvo opened his mouth to protest but Legolas stopped him “Go. It’s an order” he said stubbornly.
Tirinvo looked at him in disbelief “Legolas…I have orders from your Father to keep you from harm.” he protested. But at one last glare from Legolas, a glare that told him that the Prince knew or thought he knew what he was doing. The captain nodded and led the other elves away shooting one last glance at Legolas before he left that told the prince that he would not be far away.
The orc watched them go then turned to their captive. But Legolas was not there. He span around to find the elf leaning against a tree
Legolas grinned at him “Hello” he said pleasantly “so what do you want me to do?”
The orc stepped forward his hand raised to strike Legolas, “get on your knees!” he ordered
The elf Prince laughed “Not likely!” he said leaping up into the tree above him, leaving the orcs below, his merry laughter mocking them, this made them more angry
The orc snatched up his bow and fired an arrow into the tree. “Shoot him down” he yelled. Arrows were fired up into the trees, and Legolas expertly dodged them, leaping into the adjoining tree. He was safe up here; he knew every inch of Northern Mirkwood, both in the trees and on the ground. The orcs would never catch him.
However, even the most skilled elf cannot avoid hundreds of arrows flying in his direction for too long, as Legolas found out as he dodged one arrow, only to have a second skim over his shoulder, Cutting a groove into his skin, grimacing in pain, he pulled it out of the tree behind him, and tossed it to the ground, before darting away from the battle, leaving the orcs firing their arrows into the trees.
Tirinvo was worried; he had stopped a little way from the clearing, prepared to rush back to Legolas’ aid if the need arose. He had heard nothing of Legolas for the past few minutes and was getting worried.
“I thought I told you to go!”
Tirinvo looked up as Legolas dropped from the tree, wincing as he saw the arrow wound in the Prince’s shoulder “Legolas. Can you not enter a battle without becoming wounded” he said exasperated
Legolas rolled his eyes “I told you I knew what I was doing” was his answer, “Now hurry before they realise I’m gone. They already know they hit me.”
Legolas groaned, he had been on his way to the infirmary and had turned a corner, bumping into his Father-the very person he had been trying to avoid. As he had guessed his Father did not look particularly happy. The prince smiled “Good day Adar” he said
Thranduil looked his son up and down “Legolas,” he said “how is it you manage to get injured again”
Legolas looked at his Father “It’s not that bad…” he began, “It was orcs. Father, they ambushed us, they seem to be getting smarter. If that is possible”
Thranduil nodded concernedly, “I will speak to you later” he nodded behind him, Legolas glanced over Thranduil’s shoulder about to say something then stopped at seeing the person who had just appeared from the infirmary, brushing past his Father he rushed up to the man “Estel!” he cried embracing the man “What are you doing here?”
The man returned the embrace, “Legolas, mellon-nin” he greeted his friend “It is a long story” he looked Legolas up and down “you are injured…Legolas what happened?”
The elf laughed “Come I will see Ilyanna, and you can explain this unexpected visit.”
Estel nodded, and Legolas was surprised to see a hint of worry in his eyes. He placed a hand on the mortal’s shoulder and squeezed it reassuringly. Estel looked over at him and smiled, the mortal then pushed the door open and the pair stepped into the infirmary.
Ilyanna turned as they entered and sighed deeply “Now as I saw you but five minutes ago, young Estel, I believe it is you, Legolas, who is injured yet again”
Legolas nodded, “It is nothing” he assured her, sitting so she could treat his wounds.”
Not long later they sat before the fire in Legolas’ study sipping hot cocoa, the elven Prince looked over at his friend “So, why are you here.”
Estel glanced at him “I’ll leave if you don’t want me here” he said with a grin that didn’t reach his eyes
Legolas sighed “I didn’t mean that, Estel, what is wrong. Tell me, please”
Estel looked away, “I…Legolas, I don’t know what to do. Father tells me I am Isildur’s heir, the rightful king of Gondor…” he pulled a ring from his pocket and passed it to Legolas “The ring of Barahir” he said. “I am Aragorn the son of Arathorn. But I do not wish for that”
Legolas reached over and placed a hand on his arm “Estel, you cannot choose who your forebears are. I understand your wish not to rule. I at times do not wish for my title. Estel, it is your path, no one else can take it for you.”
Estel smiled weakly “That is what my father told me” he sighed “He said it was time I knew who I was. I always knew Lord Elrond was not my true father, but I thought I was some child of an ordinary man…” he broke away “Legolas, what am I to do…I was furious with him and my brothers for keeping it from me for so long…”
Legolas turned away guiltily “I too am guilty of that crime Estel”
Estel looked up “You knew!” he said incredulously spilling his cocoa over himself.
Legolas nodded “I am sorry Estel, your Father told me. He asked me to keep it quiet, he wanted to tell you himself, when he believed the time right. I did not tell you because I respected his wishes. I trusted him to tell you”
Estel stared at Legolas “I understand…” he said finally “I think I would have preferred to hear it from my father...”
Legolas nodded surveying his friend over the top of his mug “That is not all is it” he said
Estel shook his head “It is not” he admitted “Not a week ago, I saw the most beautiful maid to walk this land…”
Legolas smiled knowingly “The Lady Arwen”
Estel nodded “Yes, if you have seen her, you shall understand her beauty
“It is many years since I laid eyes on her, but even then she was beautiful…” he smiled reliving old memories “even when she was but five-hundred years of age”
Estel continued “When first I saw her, I thought I had strayed into a dream. But I had not. Legolas, I loved her from the first moment I saw her. But my father forbade me from wedding her. Saying she was too far above me. He said he would not allow her to marry unless I was king of Gondor and Arnor. He met Legolas’ gaze
The elven Prince smiled “And you will be”
Estel rose to his feet and strode to the mantle place “How can I.”
Legolas placed a hand on his shoulder “If it is what you desire then I shall be by your side throughout” he said
Estel faced him “But is it what I want?”
“Only your heart can tell you that” replied the elf, together, the pair waited out much of the night sitting before the fire, talking until the embers died…
I'll give you more soon
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