Matters of the Heart: Prologue
by Amber Wood-Brasher (rogue)


Her entire life, Senia had felt it was a curse to be born female.

She was not allowed to romp and play as she wished. She was forced to learn her manners, learn to be a proper, noble elf maiden…and now…

Now this.

“I cannot believe you are forcing me into this…this agreement!”

Sothiel Skyfire sighed, gently folding her daughter’s dress into her pack. “Little one, please! Don’t speak as if I am some sort of evil here. You have duties!”

“It is unfair, mother,” Senia said, sighing as she gazed out at the beautiful landscape of Llothlorien. “I do not even know him!”

“I did not know your father,” Sothiel sighed, standing and placing her hands on Senia’s shoulders. “Yet I grew to love him…and in time you will have a child. Perhaps then you will understand…”

Understand that I then live the life that I wanted for myself through my child, Senia thought bitterly. I choose everything for her: her lot in life, who she will marry, what she will do and what she will wear. But then of course if my child is a male, he lives how he pleases.

Senia knew better than to voice any of her thoughts. She did not fear her mother’s chastisement; but to hurt her mother’s feelings was something Senia could never do. And besides that fact, her mother would never understand…“When do we leave for the Mirkwood?”


Tomorrow. I have one more day to be free. One more day that I do not have to be considered as someone else’s property.

It was not fair. It was simply not fair.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was always, of course, her Lady who understood, more than anyone.

When she was angry, or sad, or confused, she always came to the very same spot, at the exact same time of night. And it was here that she sat, until the first rays of twilight shone from the East and the first drops of morning dew formed on the Aspen leaves. And many nights, she would feel a gentle hand on her shoulder, and she would turn and look into the face of the Lady Galadriel.

And they would talk. Or perhaps it is better explained this way: Senia would speak in length of her feelings; the Lady would listen, she would listen well, and never judge, and she would comfort. Many times, Galadriel would relate to her similar experiences she’d had, times when she’d felt helpless, scared, confused…

Many would think it was strange; Senia could not speak to her own mother, yet she could speak freely of her deepest thoughts and feelings to the one that was her queen? But to Senia, and indeed it seemed to the Lady, it made perfect sense.

And it was here that she came this night; the night she saw as the last she would be free.

Close to dawn, she felt the gentle touch on her shoulder, and the soft voice.

“I suspected this was where you would be…instead of resting, preparing for your journey tomorrow.”

Senia sniffed and shook her head. “I cannot imagine resting, Milady.”

With the sound of soft material being swept gently across the floor, the Lady sat down beside Senia, also looking out at the beauty of Llothlorien. “There are many here that would love to marry a Prince, child.”

“Then let them,” Senia said, not even caring that she sounded vaguely like a whining child. “I did not ask for this! Let them go in my stead! Let them all go. The Prince can have his pick…”

Again, the gentle hand was laid on her shoulder. “Your father was close to the King, once, long ago…you were chosen by him, and he is a stubborn one. You and only you will do.”

”I was chosen,” Senia said flatly. “When, Milady, do I get to choose? When will my life be mine own?”

Galadriel smiled. “Be careful of that you wish for. You are woman; your choices, when they come, are never easy.” The sound of sweeping materiel was heard again, and Senia was left alone; alone, she thought. Sitting in my special place, looking out at Llothlorien…and who knows when I will be able to return?

As she stood, she let her eyes drink the scenery in front of her, burning it into her memory. It was difficult; the mists of her tears clouded the vision. She blinked hard, forcing them back. Her chin held up proudly, she quietly made her way back to her room.

I have duties, she thought. Duties to myself, and to my mother; to my queen, and to the memory of my father. And if it means marrying a spoiled Prince? Then so be it.

| Part I |
| Index |