A Cold Heart Warmed: Part X
The Fellowship woke very early the next morning, and were preparing
to walk to Edoras on foot when Gandalf stood and whistled loudly.
Suddenly the hoofbeats of several horses could be heard heading in
their direction, one well in front of the others. Legolas with his
far-seeing eyes, the first to spot the approaching animals.
is Hasufel, and Arod with him," he cried in excitement.
horse to arrive however was Gandalf's horse Shadowfax. Kalay
mounted her horse, as everyone else took to theirs, with the
exception of Gimli who rode a bit unwillingly with Gandalf. They
rode swiftly for most of the day and through the night, arriving at
Edoras in the early morning. They were not greeted as kindly as
they had hoped and only after a bit of tenseness were they allowed
to pass. Coming to a second set of gates, they were commanded to
set aside their weapons. All were at first unwilling to go unarmed,
but were quickly soothed by words from Gandalf and Hama the
doorman. Once all the weapons were placed by the door, save
Gandalf's staff they were permitted to enter the hall.
throne, sat the Lord of the Mark, Theoden. He was wizened, and
appeared unable to stand on his own, a distrustworthy looking figure
loomed at his feet. A rather attractive woman stood dressed in
white behind the throne, she watched the company with marked
curosity and Aragorn in particular.
Kalay was looking around a bit
nervously and not really paying attention to the conversation
between the King, his servant and Gandalf, but she snapped to
attention when the servant fell to his face on the floor. He lay
there as the King slowly stood and years drained from his face
making him appear younger and stronger. Coming down the steps he
and Gandalf walked back down the hall and out onto the steps, the
company followed at a distance behind. Gandalf sat down on the
steps above the King and began his tale, when he had finnished he
whispered something that only the King would hear and they both
stood. He announced that he would give each of them a gift and
would also ride with the Mark as soon as they had eaten. Gandalf
requested Shadowfax, the others recieved their horse as gifts as
well as armor.
Kalay already having a horse which to ride was
fitted with armor only, which because of both her stature and her
figure was almost as difficult as fitting Gimli would have been.
She managed however with mail made for a younger man as well as
metal arm braces.
They finnished their meal and prepared for
departure, the kings servant having refused to accompany the Lord on
his way to battle and the King having refused to allow him even
temporary rule over his people had set him off on his own way.
Before leaving the king turned once more to his people, the woman
and children who were staying and the men who would follow him. He
asked for a volunteer to lead them in his absense and to continue on
should he not return. Hama, the doorman, knew the one person who
should, Eowyn, Lord Theoden's neice. All agreed and she was left in
charge of those who stayed and would remain so should the king fail
to return. With tearful goodbyes from the women, The Mark, led by
their lord set off with the Fellowship in tow for Helm's Deep. they
travelled for five hours before they were forced to stop and make
camp, posting mounted sentries all around.
Kalay, naturally being
the only woman there felt uncomfortable around all of the men and
therefore ventured out only if absolulty necessary. She was out on
one such excursion when a young man approched her from behind and
spoke, "Well, well what have we here? You're awfully pretty to be a
man, or even a boy." He leered menacingly at her, but to his
surprise she simply turned and gave him an uncorcerned stare.
is none of your buisness why I am here other than to aid your Lord.
As for me not looking much like a man or boy, I should hope not."
He didn't like her tone and moved forward quickly pinning her
against a tree, "A mere girl is more like it. You should keep a
civil tounge to your betters," he growled at her.
Her head spun a
bit from hitting the tree, but she knew her legs were free and gave
him a kick to the groin, bending him forward and releasing her. She
then swung him around and pinned him to the tree with her bootknife
to his throat.
"I do keep a civil tounge to my betters, but not to
trash like you," a cold light flared in her eyes as the man
He looked passed her only a moment before a soft,
firm hand touched her shoulder, "You can let him go now, I think he
has learned his lesson," Legolas' voice spoke in her ears.
the man down slowly and watched him as he painfully walked away.
She turned and leaned against the tree he had forced her against
only moments before, her eyes downcast. "I'm sorry for my rash
actions, I do hope I haven't caused too much trouble," she said
She heard Legolas' soft laughter and looked up at him, "I
don't think discouraging the advances of one rather rude young man
is going to get Lord Theoden to cast aside our aid."
She frowned at
him, giving him a look clearly letting him know she didn't think it
was too funny. He put his arm around her and drew her close,
smelling in her hair the dust from the days ride.
"You are more
different than any other person I have known, and also more dear to
He smiled down at her as she looked up at him in
surprise, "Why? I'm rather short, and plain. I also keep my hair
very short which doesn't usually appeal to elves, or even most Men.
I don't have far-seeing eyes, I have to carry a crossbow rather than
a bow as you do. I am not special, I will agree I am different."
She stared for long moments into his deep blue gaze, and their long
friendship together came back to her. She wondered when it had
become more than friendship, and did she feel the same way about
him. Kalay shook her head to break eye contact and looked at the
ground again, or at least she looked down, all she could see was
Legolas' chest he was holding her so close. He slid sidways and
removed one arm from her, letting the other remain as he guided her
back to their camp. When they sat down, they were greeted by many
odd looks from their company.
Aragorn was the first to address the
rumor's now spreading about the camp, "Kalay, did you truly attack
one of the Mark?"
Taken aback by his question she could say nothing
at first, only stare at him, "No...not un-provoked anyway. It is
more like he attacked me first and I simply defended myself."
looked down quickly and then back up at the others when legolas
piped in, "Just because she is a better fighter doesn't mean he has
to spread an ugly rumor about Kalay around camp."
All laughed at
this and relaxed, Kalay most visibly. She was worn from the long
miles of travel with few stops of mors than just enough hours to
catch a bit of sleep. Legloas really looked at her for the first
time since her return and noticed darkning under her eyes, he placed
a blanket around her shoulders and pulled her down until her head
rested comfortably in his lap. She stared up at him as the others
slowly nodded off themselves, and smiled. He returned her smile and
began to gently rub his hand across her forehead, lulling her to
| Part XI |
| Index |