Chapter 4: Punishment and Hope
First > Previous > Next
The instant they stepped outside the young prince felt a thrill of
joy pierce him, despite all the sorrow and pain in his heart.
Lifting his face towards the sun he had so long missed, Legolas sighed
softly and actually smiled. The gentle scents of the blooming
garden filled his lungs and the sweet song that nature sings to those
of the elven race filled his heart and his consciousness. It was
like taking a deep drink after languishing in a cold desert. To
feel the breeze in his hair and the sun on his face, to walk across the
green grass... it almost made the price he knew he would pay for his
escape attempt worthwhile.
The guards let the prince linger in the gardens for almost two
hours. None of them had the heart to tell him it was time to go,
yet Legolas could sense their growing unease and knew he could not
remain in this bliss forever. Slowly, with unwilling feet, he
walked back to them. He did not want to go back. He did not
want to go back into the dark, into the cage. His heart cried out
against it, yet he had no choice.
Fear began to touch his heart again as he joined the guards, but he
tried to force it down. “Thank you,” he said softly. The
gift these few hours had been was not something he could even put into
Renault looked away so that no one would see the moisture glistening in
his eyes. Just at this moment he hated himself and all the oaths
he had taken that bound him to this blind duty.
“You have been good to me at risk to yourselves, I thank you,” the elf
prince’s voice was quiet. “I know I must be punished now. I
ask only one thing more of you, if it is within your power to
grant. Please...” he swallowed the lump of fear and shame that
had formed in his throat. “Please do not beat me in the dark,” he
whispered, a lost, haunted look entering his eyes. He had moved
on, but old scars had not entirely faded. He could still hear the
rattle of chains. Meléch’s voice taunted him in the dark
corner of the cell as the lash fell again and again... Legolas
pressed his eyes closed to still the voices and images in his
mind. Dorolyn was no more. Meléch was dead.
Amil-Garil and Renault did not hate him and took no pleasure from
hurting him, it was different, it would not be that way. Yet that
did not seem to still the fear in his heart.
Amil-Garil looked a little surprised and definitely
uncomfortable. Obviously he knew the prince knew what they had to
do, but hearing him speak of it seemed somehow to make it even more
“Please, don’t put me in chains and not in the dark. Let it be
here. I promise to submit to you.” Legolas’ plea was
earnest. He could take the pain, that was nothing to him, but the
memories that being chained up and beaten in the dark brought back were
more hurtful than any punishment ever could be.
“As you wish, your Highness,” the guards said softly.
Legolas took several deep breaths, trying to settle the tremor that was
making his hands shake before he slowly removed his tunic. The
simple motion was emotionally hard for him and his heartbeat sped up
until it was hammering in his ears. Cursing himself Legolas tried
to bring his wildly fluxing emotions under control. This
shouldn’t be that hard. He could not let that old fear have so
much hold over him. But it did.
Kneeling gracefully at the base of a tall beech tree, Legolas folded
his hands and placed them against the tree trunk. Leaning
forward, he rested his forehead against the back of his palms.
One of the guards stepped up behind him. Legolas didn’t know
which one and he didn’t want to know. He just wanted this
over. He had too many dark memories of this kind of pain, first
his uncle, then Meléch...
He tensed and winced as what felt like a leather strap made firm
contact with his bowed shoulders. The guards refused to use a
whip on the young elf.
Legolas leaned against the tree, drawing strength from its
strength. He didn’t know what the prescribed number of strokes
was for an escape attempt, as the wood-elves seldom ever kept prisoners
and punished them even less. However, he knew that whatever the
usual was he would get twice as much, just as his father had
said. The prince bit his lip as the memory seared his
heart. Surprisingly enough he felt neither hate, nor even anger
towards his father, just gut-wrenching heart-ache in knowing that their
relationship had changed this much.
Legolas slid his hands away and pressed his forehead against the rough
bark of the tree. Holding his breath, letting it out.
Holding his breath, letting it out. It seemed impossible, but he
always forgot how much this hurt.
The guards went as lightly as they could, but the strap raised dull, flushed welts anyway.
Legolas could tell the guards were holding back. He knew how it
could feel when someone wasn’t. His uncle had taught him
that. The prince’s breath caught slightly in his throat.
Yes, the physical pain was sharp, but it was his heart that was
bleeding. What Doriflen had done to him left Legolas with a
deep-seated, lingering fear that seemed to be proving true. The
fear that there was simply something fundamentally wrong
with him that forced others to react to him in anger. That made
them have to hurt him. And now he had finally pushed his father
that far. He could never hate his father, but he was quite sure
his father hated him. And why not? Why not when he had
caused the loss of everything that both of them had loved?
A soft, silent sob shook the prince’s shoulder as his emotional turmoil
bubbled to the surface, goaded by the pain of the strapping.
Perhaps his father meant to keep him locked up forever. Perhaps
eternal darkness was the price he had to pay for failing to protect his
little sister. It was no less than he deserved he supposed, but
the thought that he had lost all hope of love in his life nearly broke
the young elf.
Amil-Garil squeezed his eyes shut. Oh Valar, please don’t let the prince be crying. He couldn’t take that.
But Legolas was crying, softly, silently.
As suddenly as it had started, the beating was over. The prince
had absorbed only three-quarters of the prescribed double-total, but
the captain of the guard could not let it go on. He could not
stand to watch Legolas shudder as he was struck with tears running
quietly down his face. Orders be damned, the young elf had been
Legolas felt gentle hands pulling him up and realized that he must have
closed his eyes. He opened them in time to see Amil-Garil and
Renault looking at him with deep pain written in their eyes.
“I’m sorry, your Highness, so very sorry,” Amil-Garil whispered. He
supported Legolas as the prince regained his footing and drew several
deep, steadying breaths.
Legolas just nodded. He knew.
The prince did not resist when they took him back inside. He
stood quietly in the middle of his cell until the door was shut
again. His back ached fiercely, but the beating had not broken
the skin and no real damage had been done. It just hurt.
Like his heart.
Curling up into the smallest ball possible, on the bed against the
wall, Legolas drew into himself as he tried to hold onto the feel of
the wind on his face and the song of the trees as his world faded back
It was late at night when Thranduil returned at last to the
palace. The long mission had wearied him greatly, but in the end
they had been successful and all the prisoners had been rescued alive,
and for the most part well.
The king knew it was late, but was slightly surprised and disappointed
nonetheless that Legolas did not come to welcome him back. He had
hoped that the months apart might have cooled his son’s displeasure
with him. Thranduil sighed. Perhaps it hadn’t... but the
truth was he missed the boy. Not just his presence, but the
laughter and happiness that they used to share. That had been
missing for a long time now and he began to wonder if that was his
Thranduil half thought to go to Legolas’ room, just to see the boy, to
hold him... But if Legolas had not come perhaps the king was not
welcome in his chambers, and Thranduil could not handle his son’s
rejection at the moment. Not when he was this weary and
heart-sick. No, he would wait until tomorrow. Surely
Legolas would not avoid him forever.
Exhausted, the king sank into bed.
Amil-Garil strode swiftly and purposefully down the hall towards the
King’s chambers. Thranduil had been home since yesterday and he
had not even mentioned Legolas or shown any desire to see him.
The king may think that the prince deserved this kind of treatment, but
the Captain of his Guard did not. Ordinarily he would never
over-step himself like this, but Amil-Garil was becoming increasingly
worried about Legolas’ health.
Since his escape attempt and punishment, the young prince had not moved
from his place in the corner. He didn’t even eat anymore.
That had been three days ago. If something did not
change.... The guard pushed the door to Thranduil’s chambers
“Elrynd,” he nodded to the king’s top aide and personal servant.
“Please tell his Majesty that I need to speak to him at once.”
Elrynd acquiesced, hoping that the captain of the guard was here about
what he thought he was. Everyone in the palace had begun to feel
for the prince’s plight, but they were all a little too afraid to say
Thranduil was poring distractedly over some reports when Amil-Garil
entered. The king laid them aside. When he heard someone
wanted to see him he had hoped it was Legolas. The boy had not
joined him for breakfast as he had both expected and hoped. The
nobles and chief members of the council had dumped a load of backlogged
policy issues and domestic problems that had accumulated in his long
absence on him directly after breakfast and he had been trying to
muddle through them ever since.
He didn’t know exactly what Legolas wanted. Yes, he supposed the
prince was not pleased at being confined to the palace during the
king’s extended absence, but Thranduil could not help that he had been
gone longer than expected. Both of them had duties to their
people that came before personal matters and he knew Legolas understood
that. He was trying to be respectful of the young elf’s maturity
and not act like he expected his son to come running whenever he called
but, confound it all, if the boy did not at least show up for meals
with him after his having been gone so long, he was
going to send for him. Or at least ask one of the servants where
he was and what excuse he was using to avoid his father.
“Yes, what is it?” Thranduil inquired of his Captain of the Guard,
hoping it was not another grievance he was going to have to
settle. The stack he had to deal with now was already reaching
“Your Majesty,” Amil-Garil bowed, unsure how to start. “Your
Majesty, I bear you only the utmost respect and I hope you know that I
have never questioned your orders nor your reasons.”
Thranduil nodded somewhat impatiently. “Thank you, Amil-Garil, I
am aware of your loyal service record. Is there a problem?”
There almost always was when someone started out with a statement like
“It’s your son, your Majesty. Do you not think he has been through enough?” the guard asked quietly.
Thranduil did not understand what was meant. “If Legolas
convinced you to come to me to try to lift his restriction it is not
going to work. He can come and speak to me himself if he has
something to say.”
Amil-Garil blinked at the easy dismissal and the words that did not
make sense. “That would be difficult for him to do from a prison
cell, your Highness,” he said with a hint of bitter accusation in his
“A what?!” Thranduil’s head snapped up, his full attention suddenly riveted. “What did you say?”
Amil-Garil was thoroughly confused now and actually backed up a pace as
Thranduil rose to his feet. “Your Highness, I don’t-”
“Where is my son?” Thranduil demanded, cutting off the captain’s surprise. “Where is he?”
“H-he is in the dungeons, my Lord, as you ordered. He has been
for the past three months,” Amil-Garil stammered slightly in shock at
the violent reaction the king was having. How could he have not
known? What kind of terrible mistake had occurred? This
didn’t make sense!
“My son has been locked down in that hole the whole time I was gone?!”
The king’s eyes snapped fire and his voice was almost murderously
angry. He would never have done something like that to Legolas,
never! He knew how much the boy needed sunshine and free
air. This surprise blow was crushing, and anger and horror
mingled freely in the elf lord’s rapidly throbbing heart.
“Yes, my Lord, but those were your orders to us before you left!”
Amil-Garil backed away a little, not wishing to be on the receiving end
of the king’s anger.
Thranduil shook his head in blank denial and shock. “I sent
Larous back to tell you to let him out, but to keep him in the palace
before we even set out!”
Understanding crashed into Amil-Garil and he felt sick as he realized
what had happened. “Larous was found dead in the woods a week
after you left. Orcs shot him. He never returned
Thranduil put his hand against the wall to steady himself as he too
began to understand. He thought he would be ill. “Take me
to him, at once! He must be released immediately! I will
not have him down there another moment!”
Amil-Garil was only too happy to agree but, as he hurried down to the
prison with Thranduil, he knew there was more the king should know, and
he had better know it before he saw Legolas. “Your Highness...
you should know, the prince he... he tried to escape - a few days
Thranduil pulled up, a confused frown wrinkling his face as he tried to understand what was being told him.
“Your last orders on that subject were followed,” the guard said quietly.
Thranduil’s face drained of all color as he remembered that last
conversation and the things he had said. By the Valar he had
never meant for this to happen though! “You beat my son?” he
whispered, his voice shocked and cracking. “You beat my SON?!”
the sorrow was quickly formulating back into rage.
“I-I did not want to! I would rather have died, your
Majesty! But I swore an oath to obey you to the death and those
were your last orders to me concerning him. We had no way of
knowing a message had been lost... I am sorry, your Majesty. If
you want my head, take it; it can be no worse than living with the
knowledge of the horrible mistake I have made and the pain it has
caused.” Amil-Garil was dead serious.
Thranduil shook his head, his hands trembling. “It wasn’t your
mistake, it was mine. I am the one who deserves... oh
Valar! Just get him out! Get him out!”
Quickly the correct cell was located and Amil-Garil turned the key in the lock.
Legolas was still lying on the bed, facing the wall. He did not look over when the door opened.
“He has not moved in days,” Amil-Garil whispered quietly to the king as Thranduil brushed swiftly past him.
Thranduil thought his heart would break when he saw Legolas curled up
on the bed, looking so lost and alone. Dear heaven what had he
done? What had he done?
Thranduil touched Legolas’ shoulder lightly, noting with horror and
heartache the still clearly visible bruises and fading welts that
crisscrossed the prince’s pale back. “Legolas?” His voice
Legolas started slightly at the sound of his father’s voice and rolled
over. “Ada?” His voice was very small and Thranduil was
pained to see fear in the clouded blue eyes. Fear he had never
hoped to see again... but then he had promised Legolas when they
rescued him from Doriflen that he would never hurt the boy like his
uncle had, and now he had broken that promise, even if it was
unintentionally. He had not meant to, but that was no
excuse. The fact was, it had happened. And now Legolas
looked at him with those fear-filled eyes that had seen too much pain
already in their short lifetime. Eru! How could he have
added to all that hurt in his son’s life that he hated?
“I’m sorry, Father,” Legolas had sat up and was talking softly, holding
his hands firmly clamped in his lap in an attempt to keep from
trembling. This was the first time his father had come to see him
since his imprisonment and he desperately hoped it would not be the
“I will not disobey you again. Please... please don’t keep me
here forever. Even if you hate me, even if you can never look at
me with love again, let me be near you. If I do not deserve to
see the sun or walk beneath the stars again, then let me die and follow
Celesté and Naneth, but do not hold me for an eternity of
darkness!” The broken words tumbled quick and fast from the young
elf’s lips. He was mortally afraid that his father would leave
before he heard him out and he would be left alone once more with no
Thranduil shook himself out of the horrified daze he was caught in and,
dropping to Legolas’ side on the small bed, he wrapped his arms around
his son’s shoulders, drawing the boy close. “Oh Legolas...” his
cracking voice was hoarse with pain. “What have I done?
What have I done to you?”
Legolas was surprised by his father’s embrace, but welcomed it, letting
himself rest against Thranduil’s chest and allowing the king to hold
his head against the elder elf’s shoulder. Some part of him felt
he should be angry over his father’s treatment of him, but his need for
his father’s love and approval after the months of emotional privation
“Legolas, I am so sorry.” Thranduil held his son’s head to his
shoulder, running his fingers through the silky hair and feeling the
boy’s hitched breathing against his chest. He would have given
anything to take all the pain and heartache out of his son’s body at
this moment. But it could not be done, and he wondered if Legolas
would hate him forever when he found out what had happened. He
feared that this would be a wound between them that might never
heal. He feared that with all of his heart.
“I never meant to keep you here, my son. I never meant for you to
be hurt like this... it was a mistake, Legolas, a mistake!” The
king spoke softly into his son’s hair, his hands trembling as he felt
Legolas’ body stiffen with confusion. “I only meant for you to
spend the night, a day at the most. I was called away suddenly
and came back only last night. I sent a messenger back to tell
them to release you before I left... but I find out only now that he
was killed before he could deliver his message. I never wanted
you kept in darkness, Legolas. I would never be that cruel to
you, my son, I am so sorry. So sorry. If you can ever
forgive me it will be more than I can do for myself.”
Legolas looked up to find that his father was crying softly, the silver
tears wetting the younger elf’s hair. The prince felt slightly
stunned. A mistake? This had all been a mistake?
Could he even believe that? Part of him was relieved, relieved
that his father had not intentionally wanted him to suffer so, and part
of him ached for the needless weeks of dark torment he had
“Ada?” he whispered into Thranduil’s shirt. “Can we leave please? I want to go outside.”
“Of course, Legolas, of course.” Thranduil drew Legolas up with
him. The boy was weak and dizzy, so he supported him as they made
their way out into the gardens. Once outside Legolas felt his
strength beginning to return as his body was replenished by something
better than food. He thought he had never seen the world the way
he was seeing it now, through the eyes of one who thought himself
condemned to darkness, only to discover that he still had an eternity
of light ahead of him. His confusing mix of emotions were too
much and Legolas felt tears building in his eyes.
“I never meant to hurt you,” Thranduil repeated quietly, his heart
bleeding as he saw how pale and drawn his little boy had become.
“I hope someday you can forgive me.”
Legolas shook his head numbly. Forgive him? Forgive him? Thranduil wasn’t the one who needed forgiveness.
Unable to speak or reason through the jumbled tangle of his thoughts
and emotions, Legolas grabbed the low flung branch of the beech tree
and pulled himself up. Climbing hand over hand he worked his way
swiftly to a high place in the tree, at the same time reveling in the
freedom he had been denied for months and trying to figure out what was
going on inside him so he could actually formulate something to say to
his father. Everything had been happening so suddenly, he was
still a little stunned and confused.
Thranduil closed his eyes and leaned against the tree. He took
Legolas’ actions as an answer to the negative. The boy could not
forgive him for what he had done. Who could blame him? The
elf lord almost followed his first instinct to walk away and give
Legolas space to enjoy his renewed freedom, assuming the younger elf
did not want his presence, but then he stopped himself. Lack of
communication and misunderstanding had caused this whole mess. He
was hiding, he realized, and he had been for years now. He didn’t
talk to Legolas when they had a problem because he was... afraid?
Yes, as idiotic as it sounded, he, Thranduil, King of Mirkwood, was
afraid. He was afraid to meet with his son’s rejection,
especially now that his son was the only family he had left. So
he pulled back. Gave the boy space... or at least that’s what he
thought he was doing. But now was not a time for that. He
owed it to Legolas to talk to him and, if the boy was angry with him,
then it was no more than he deserved.
Legolas was surprised when he felt the tree quiver lightly with
movement as his father joined him on the branch he was sitting
on. Thranduil had not climbed trees with him since he was a
The Elvenking sat down next to his son. He didn’t say anything
right away because he didn’t know what to say, so he just sat for a
moment, looking out at the gardens. “It’s a beautiful view.”
Legolas nodded, swinging his legs lightly where they hung down over the
end of the branch. It was unusual that his father had pursued him
rather than let the issue drop as Legolas had fully expected, but the
younger elf was not necessarily displeased. In truth he had felt
more than a little abandoned by his father in recent years. They
never talked. Problems were never resolved; they were just left
to dangle and ignored like dirt swept under a rug. The
accumulative silence that had grown between them as a result had become
painfully difficult to bridge.
“I was punished at the base of this tree for trying to escape.” Legolas
said after a moment, his gaze drinking in the sight of the forest
spread around him. “It’s easier to be up here than down
there.” His voice was quixotically light for the words spoken,
but he held his father with his gaze as if testing the older elf by his
Thranduil’s eyes registered deep sorrow, but he did not look down or
break away from his son’s intense gaze. “I am sorry,
Legolas. I never meant for this to happen and I was wrong to put
you down there in the first place. I wish I could make right what
has happened, but I cannot,” the elf king’s eyes were earnest and
sad. “I wish to heaven I could.”
Legolas did not respond. His piercing blue eyes held his
father’s... they seemed to be looking for something, but what it was he
sought, Thranduil could not guess. “I don’t know what else you
want me to say, Legolas,” he shook his head softly.
“Say that you forgive me,” Legolas spoke so quietly he was nearly whispering. “But only if you mean it.”
“Forgive you?” Thranduil was surprised at the request. “For
what? Disobeying? Hunting spiders? Valar, it’s
forgiven, Legolas!” The king was shaking his head, but Legolas
closed his eyes and looked away, drawing his knees up to his chest and
perching on the thick branch with ease that only an elf would
“No,” Legolas whispered somewhat hoarsely. That wasn’t what he wanted. What he needed. “Not that...”
“Then what?” Thranduil reached out slowly, softly brushing Legolas’
hair off his shoulders. He touched the young elf’s face lightly
with the back of his fingers; the contact a silent plea for his son to
look at him.
When Legolas turned back his eyes were full of unshed tears. “For
Celesté and Nana,” the prince’s voice wavered slightly and one
silver tear escaped down his cheek. “For not being there for them
when I should have been, for – for causing them to be taken away from
us like that!” The tears were flowing freely now and soft sobs
shook the young elf’s shoulders as he buried his face upon his crossed
arms. He did not want to let his father see him cry, but could
not help himself.
Thranduil did not know what to say for a moment, so he quickly gave up
on words and wrapped his arms around his son tightly.
Legolas seemed surprised and stiffened momentarily, but he let his
father guide his tear-stained face into the crook of the older elf’s
“Oh, Legolas...” Thranduil’s whisper was hoarse. “There is
nothing to forgive. I never blamed you, my son. It was not
your fault. If we are to ascribe blame, it might as well be
mine. I was supposed to go with you that day, but I did
not. If I had been there, instead of at some meaningless council
meeting...” his voice trailed away and his hand slid up to cup the back
of Legolas’ head gently. “But I was not. We cannot change
the past, ion-nín.
We cannot take back those we have lost. Just... don’t let me lose
you too. I... I would die of grief.” The last few sentences
were spoken so softly they could barely be heard. Yet hear them,
It did not take away the pain of loss in the young elf’s heart, nothing
could do that. Time does not always heal, but healing always
takes time. Yet his father’s words penetrated the pain and added
the one thing the prince had been missing in the long, dark seasons
since his mother left – comfort, comfort and the assurance that there
was still love in his life to counter the pain. The comfort of
knowing there was another heart that ached as much as his.
Legolas buried his face deeper in the silky, brocade fabric of his
father’s shirt, and wept freely for the first time since Celesté
Thranduil held him close, pressing his face into his son’s tousled hair, his tears joining those of his son.
Their hearts were broken, but now at least there was the hope that out
of two broken hearts, whole ones could someday reemerge. And
neither of them wept alone.
The tale told to completion, Legolas rested against the wall behind his
back, a soft smile on his face. When he glanced over at Aragorn
he was surprised to see tear tracks staining the ranger’s face.
“Oh, my friend, why are you crying?” Legolas asked. “What’s
wrong?” He sat up away from the wall and leaned closer.
“No, no it’s nothing,” Aragorn lied. He swiped at his face
clumsily, wiping the tears from the corners of his eyes. “I just never
knew. So much confusion and lack of communication caused so much
pain in your family when you were younger. How did you cope with
all that? And then as I thought it over it made me think of my
Ada. He doesn’t know where I am. He was gone when I
left. But he’d back by now. What if we never get to tell
them, Legolas...what if we don’t have another chance?”
“Stop it,” the elf demanded gently. “You cannot think that way.
Do you believe your brothers would let it go that we did not return
when they knew we were tracking orcs? Do you honestly think your
father does not know you love him? My friend, there will be
another chance but you must not give up. I did then in that cell
and it nearly cost us both. My father would have passed on as
well and who knows what would have happened to our kingdom? Your
father is counting on you coming back to him. So is mine.”
Suddenly their roles were reversed as Legolas quietly consoled his
friend and encouraged the man. He knew how easily despair could
siphon the life out of a body and he didn’t want Aragorn falling into
“Besides that, we best live for the sake of those idiot villagers
themselves. If your brothers and our fathers find out what has
happened to us, that village will wish that Hebrilith had taken them all,” Legolas joked lightly.
“Their deaths would certainly be easier by his hand than our
relatives,” Aragorn concurred. The teasing had worked and the
human’s spirit brightened considerably. “Not to mention what
Raniean and Trelan would do to them if my brothers left anything for
Gently holding his ribs, Legolas couldn’t help laughing. “You have a
point,” the elf admitted. “Therefore, you can see how important
it is that we survive this.”
Sobering, Aragorn glanced about them, eyeing the tiny cave once more.
“Then I guess I better get to finding us a way out of here. There
just has to be a place to start,” Aragorn shifted away from the wall
and slowly stood to his feet. His left ankle wouldn’t support his
weight and he balanced on his right foot as he felt the rock wall with
his good hand.
Legolas watched for a few moments; the ranger was not going to be able
to do anything to free them. And the elf knew that he was in no
better shape to help. His chest burned where his ribs were broken
and fast movement made him nauseous. He wondered if it had
something to do with the beating he had taken. There was no way
either of them was going to be able to dig themselves out. He
even doubted that the cavern would remain stable if they attempted
“Estel, sit down before you hurt yourself further. We are not
going to be able to move those boulders. We must rely on
Ilúvatar sending your brothers in time,” Legolas gently
reprimanded the man. “Come, sit. It feels like it is night
again. Let us rest and preserve our strength. Perhaps we
will still have need of it in the near future.”
Aragorn leaned heavily against the wall in front of him, resting his
head on his good arm. He wasn’t ready to give up and he wasn’t
sure what strength he needed to preserve. He hadn’t much left as
it was. Thirst was now his constant companion, making him
lightheaded and leaving a gnawing ache inside his body. He hadn’t
told Legolas but he was sure the elf knew anyway. They didn’t
have much longer one way or another.
He started to protest Legolas’ request when the prince spoke up again.
“Did you hear that?”