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Prologue > 1
Grey rain slated down Aragorn’s face, making his dark tresses cling to
But he could not choose. How could anyone make the choice being set
before him? It was impossible. It would break a heart of stone, and
right now, Aragorn was very aware that his heart was made of anything
Legolas’ blood covered his hands and ran down to mingle with the mud by
his boots as he clung to the elf, willing the life to stay in his
friend’s body. He was the King of Gondor and Arnor, but he could not
command Legolas’ heart to keep beating, nor bind his spirit to this
world if it should choose to set flight.
"Stay with me, Legolas," he whispered softly in elvish. "Don’t leave me
like this, my friend."
Beside him, Aragorn’s young son, Eldarion, struggled against the bonds
that held him, the bonds that Aragorn was now helpless to remove. The
boy’s quick breathing around the gag in his mouth clouded on the chilly
air as Aragorn met his son’s eyes, wishing he had something to give the
young man besides the burning knowledge of how very much his father
"So which will it be?" the voice of the man who had orchestrated this
whole nightmare grated on Aragorn’s nerves, making him want more than
anything to spring up and choke the life out of his sneering
adversary... but any such move would forfeit all their lives.
"Your life is full of choices isn’t it? Your Highness," the title was a slur.
"So choose now or they both die."
The rain pelted as fast as Aragorn’s spinning thoughts. This didn’t
seem real. He couldn’t be here, this couldn’t be happening. None of
this was supposed to happen like this. It had all started out so
normally, a simple trip, a simple task, that’s all it had been, all it
was supposed to be.
The King’s mind slipped back to that first day on the plains of the gap
of Rohan. It all seemed like a dream now, like another lifetime ago
that he had watched as the soldiers were setting up camp and dusk was
falling over the area...