Halbarad fixed steely gray eyes on the leader of the Dúnedain that stood in front of him.
Aragorn sighed at the older ranger’s stubbornness. “Come on, Halbarad. Just try it. I swear it is not that bad.”
But Halbarad just shook his head. Behind him, Aragorn could hear the soft sniggering of the two elves watching the exchange between him and the other man.
“Why won’t you try it? It won’t kill you, I promise.” Strider held out the small, flat square cracker.
“Nope,” Halbarad shook his head again. “You can keep your fancy elven bread to yourself, Strider. I’ve heard stories about what elvish food does to you and I am not going to fall victim to it.”
“Oh you are hopeless!” Aragorn exclaimed, he threw his hands up in the air and stalked off. Elladan and Elrohir desperately tried to control their laughter behind their hands as Aragorn stormed off in a huff.
Halbarad glared at the twin sons of Elrond before turning his back on them with a growl. “Honestly, those elves. Blasted flighty, flimsy creatures with a love for mischief and a tendency to find humour in every situation,” he muttered under his breath, but the two elves heard him easily and went off in another fit of sniggers and giggles. Halbarad ignored them.
Two weeks later.......<>Halbarad sat with his knees pulled up to his chest, his eyes glaring at nothing in particular. A few feet away from him sat Aragorn, his tattered leather coat pulled tightly around him. It was cold. Very cold.> The only two out of the small group that seemed unaffected by the bitter weather were Elladan and Elrohir.
“I’m hungry,” one of the younger rangers piped up.
“We all are, so pipe down, Darith!” Halbarad growled. He was interrupted by the sound of crunching to his left. He turned and glared at Aragorn. Strider just grinned and waved a piece of elvish waybread under his nose. “Hungry?”
Halbarad glared daggers at his leader, but gingerly accepted the thin piece of waybread. He fingered it uneasily.
“Come on Halbarad, try it,” Elladan encouraged. “One small bite will fill the stomach of a grown man.”
By now, the rest of the small group were watching the exchange between the elder ranger, Strider, and the two ebony-haired elves.
Reluctantly, Halbarad nibbled a corner. Aragorn and the twins waited patiently. Halbarad chewed slowly. To his immense surprise, it was neither bland nor tasteless; instead, the flavour of honey and sweetness exploded inside his mouth.
“Well?” Aragorn questioned, his eyes twinkling slightly at the bemused expression on the older ranger’s face.
Halbarad swallowed and nodded. “Strangely satisfying...rather, not what I was expecting.”
Aragorn smirked. “Told you so.”