Legolas leaned back against a tree, and looked up at the night sky. The stars were out in abundance, shining brightly against the dark background. The moon was only half-full, and shined down onto the earth just as brightly as the stars.
Normally, Legolas enjoyed the night, for it was more quiet and peaceful than the day. And, while the place where they had set up camp was both quiet and peaceful, the elf could not shake the feeling that he was being watched, that the camp was being watched. Yet, his heightened senses found nothing within range of the camp.
Legolas looked over the sleeping forms of his companions. One of the hobbits, Sam, was snoring softly, whereas the dwarf, Gimli, was snoring quite loudly. The elf could not see how anyone could sleep through such noise.
Shaking his head, he glanced away from the camp, at the surrounding area around it. He saw nothing that did not belong, nothing that had not been there the last time he had looked.
Legolas shifted, stretching. For some reason, his thoughts turned to his father. He did not look forward to the day when he would inherit the throne from his father. Being a prince enabled him to travel, to see new places, meet new people. Being a king meant staying in Mirkwood, seldom leaving. But, that day was far off in the future. Possibly hundreds, or even thousands, of years. Being immortal did have its advantages.
After another hour, Legolas straightened, moving away from the tree, towards the camp. He silently walked around the site, until he reached the sleeping form of Kristiel. He hated to wake her, for he had seen the pale shadows beneath her eyes earlier, and knew that she had needed sleep more than the other members of the group. But, if he had figured her correctly, if he did not wake her, but let her sleep, while he took her watch, she would be upset. In that, she reminded him of Aragorn.
Crouching down beside Kristiel, Legolas reached out to touch her arm, to wake her, but he never got the chance. Before he could blink, he found himself flat on his back, with a dagger pressed to his throat, and Kristiel straddling his waist, holding said dagger. Her free hand was pressed against his chest, holding him down.
Legolas did not dare move, nor did he try to speak, for he could feel the sharpness of the blade touching his throat. He watched as Kristiel blinked, and the sleep faded from her eyes, which became sharply focused on him.
He saw when she recognized him, and thought that she would release him then. Not so. Instead, the recognition changed to suspicion, and Kristiel's eyes narrowed. She looked quickly around the camp, her hold on him never loosening. When her gaze returned to his, she looked him straight in the eyes for a long moment. Whatever she saw, must have showed her that Legolas was
not one of the enemy. The dagger came away from his throat, and Kristiel moved off of him, getting to her feet. She held out a hand, the one not holding the dagger, and he hesitated, before taking it. Kristiel pulled him to his feet, with surprising strength, considering that she was only half-elf.
"Amin hiraetha (I'm sorry)," she said softly, her voice barely above a whisper. "I wasn't certain if you were really you."
"I understand," Legolas said, just as softly. "You thought that I could be an impostor."
"I take it that it's my turn to stand watch?" Kristiel asked.
"Yes," he replied, nodding. "It has been quiet, and I have not seen anything out of the ordinary."
"But?" Kristiel asked.
"I have had the feeling that we are being watched," Legolas told her.
She nodded, looking thoughtful.
"It's to be expected," Kristiel said. "They know that we're coming. They'll try to stop us. We'll have to be on our guard at all times."
Legolas agreed with that. The Fellowship could not afford to let down its guard. Kristiel turned to go begin her watch, but looked back at him.
"For future reference," she said. "If this should happen again, it isn't personal."
"I know," Legolas replied, smiling faintly.
Kristiel returned the smile, before walking away. Legolas watched her move towards the tree that he had leaned against, and lean against it herself. He walked over to where his blanket was, and lay down. The last thing he saw, before sleep claimed him, was Kristiel looking up at the night sky.
| Part XI |
| Index |