Thranduil gazed into the small chest that rested on his desk, his fingers skimming over the contents that lay inside.
“I trust the negotiations with the men went well?”
Thranduil turned to see Fëawen standing in the doorway of his study. “Fëawen,” he murmured.”
The princess took this as permission to enter. She crossed the room, her emerald green grown trailing the ground and came to stand beside the king. “Nice,” she murmured, her eyes taking in the objects in the chest.
Thranduil snorted and flung the handful of jewels back into the chest. “Men! They think they can buy anything with rocks and jewels. They believe that they can buy allies, trust, and protection, all with just a handful of jewels!” The king’s eyes flashed with frustration and anger.
“But you will accept them no less.” Fëawen glanced at her father, her clear, honest eyes staring up at him.
Thranduil glowered at her. “And why wouldn’t I?” he snapped. “If they are going to have the trust and protection my people can offer, should they not pay for it?”
The king stepped away from the desk over to a smaller table and poured himself a goblet of deep red, Dorwinion wine. He did not offer Fëawen any. “I offer what I value in exchange for what they value. It is simple.” He looked back at his daughter. “Fair exchange, not robbery. Of course I will not be handing over my share of the bargain until I receive what I am owed, which I have,” he gestured towards the chest.
Fëawen frowned, her fair face darkening. “Would you do nothing without receiving payment for it first, m’Lord?”
Thranduil’s eyes snapped up at the hardened edge of ice in his daughter’s tone of voice. He set his goblet down deliberately, his eyes never leaving the princess as he stalked towards her. Fëawen was tall, but the Elvenking towered over her.
“And just what do you mean by that?” His tone was low and carried a lethal edge to it. His piercing blue eyes flashed dangerously, but Fëawen refused to back down.
“I mean that that if someone came to you, be it man or elf, seeking aid, but unable to pay for it, would you turn them away, ignore them, because they could not afford your help?” Her words were bold.
Thranduil’s eyes narrowed. “You know nothing of ruling a kingdom,” he hissed through clenched teeth, anger visible in his face.
Fëawen’s own eyes flashed with enraged anger. “Not all that is treasured is in the form of gems and jewels!” “Friendship, love, trust, kindness and family. Those are far more important things to cherish and treasure than piles of useless rocks!” She pointed at the chest, he finger shaking. “I will leave you to your gems!”
She turned to leave, but a strong hand closed around her wrist, pulling her sharply backwards, yanking her around. Fëawen looked up into the enraged face of Thranduil.
“Nothing, I repeat, nothing could equal, compare or even begin to compete with the love I hold for you and Legolas. It is something I give freely without asking for repayment.” Thranduil’s voice was full of anguish as he spoke. “You and Legolas have and always will be my greatest treasure. Nothing could ever change that!”
He released her wrist and stepped back. “I would hope that you would have given me more credit than you have.”
Giving his daughter one last seething glance, the king swept from the study, slamming the door behind him.