Areli and Cinaed are 65 years old meaning they are 18 physically in this chapter.
The day was getting steadily warmer as each hour passed. Cinaed and Areli had been riding for a few hours now- a light chatter going back and forth and a few sporadic races as they headed over the lands of Rivendell. They had encountered very few elves but those they had run into only kept them for a while.
They had soon enough neared the edges of the land which they were protected inside and they both let their horses graze while they looked over the horizon at the land which lay ahead of them. They stood in silence for a while, the sounds of their horses and nature surrounding them.
“I think Legolas wants us to be returning to Mirkwood by the end of the week,” Cinaed spoke softly.
“I expected that you would need to return to Mirkwood soon,” Areli whispered sadly.
“I would stay if I could, but we are still children by the laws they follow,” Cinaed replied while his eyes were fixed on Areli.
“I know- and we wouldn’t be allowed to stay together due to that,” Areli stated.
“Sometimes it’s hard,” Cinaed admitted, “but would you trade this experience for anything?”
“No,” Areli murmured. As much as they wanted to be together they knew that the time apart had been good for each of them. Areli had gained much confidence and was much more comfortable in his own. While some of his insecurities were still there Draco had noticed that the warmth and love provided by Elrond and the Twins had helped his lover mend some scars which could only be done by family.
Cinaed himself could admit that while he had missed Areli fiercely the safety and love that his Father and brother had created around him was lovely and he thought little about his birth parents and more about the good times in Mirkwood and the times with Harry in their past life.
Cinaed smiled slightly as he looked at Areli who seemed lost in his thoughts and couldn’t help but think how beautiful Areli was. It was blindly obvious to everyone but Draco knew what this beautiful man had being through and how pure and untainted his soul was despite everything.
Cinaed pulled Areli’s smaller form to his, looking down into lust filled emerald eyes Cinaed gave his love a quick passionate kiss. However, there was gentleness to the kiss which spoke of love.
“You drive me wild,” Cinaed murmured running one hand down Areli’s back.
“The feelings mutual,” Areli replied and pulled Cinaed forward sealing their lips together once more savouring their love before Cinaed tickled his lover’s side and the smaller elf squirmed away from the other with a small squeal.
Cinaed and Areli collapsed on the ground with breathless laugh and laid their holding one another and pressing kisses to the other’s flushed skin as the sun cast its warm rays on them.
Elladan and Elrohir walked down towards the stables looking for their favourite little elflings. They briefly stood with their own horses for a while and then headed towards the Mirkwood steeds. They stood for a little while peering into the stables to try and stop the two elflings but deduced soon enough that they weren’t in the stables. They also double checked to make sure that the correct horses were gone. They knew their littlest brother’s by sight but Prince Cinaed’s was a horse they had not met yet.
“Relax, Dan,” Elrohir said, “they had probably just gone for a ride.”
“Brother, you know there have been many sightings of Orcs near the borders,” Elladan said, his voice worried.
“Let’s go for a ride and see if we can find them,” Elrohir suggested as his brow furrowed with the thought of the two elflings near any Orcs.
“Agreed, we can simply check on them, someone working will have seen them,” Elladan nodded and hurried to his stable where is own horse was kept. A large black stallion called Voronwë. Elrohir followed his brother’s example and rushed into his own stables which held the horse which could have been Voronwë’s twin but white which Elrohir had called Dûrion.
Both elves quickly saddled up their steeds and rode out of the stables and headed down a path which had faints tracks of two horses- assuming those were the missing elflings tracks the twins broke into a trot and at a steady pace followed the tracks.
“Cin, come on!” Areli said as he urged Albus through the shallow river.
“Areli, stop it. We can’t leave the borders.” Cinaed said from his position by the riverside on Hedwig who seemed to want to follow Albus into the water but Cinaed held her firmly back.
“Come on Cin! We aren’t going to get into trouble- just for a little scout around,” Areli pleaded as his horse mounted the bank at the other side.
“Areli, we’ll get into trouble,” Cinaed stated but he was beginning to edge his horse forward and into the water. He wasn’t going to let his soul mate dash into danger- alone.
“We won’t be out of the borders for long, Cinaed,” Areli said as he watched Cinaed make his way through the running water.
“Time is of no relevance when it comes to you and trouble. It always finds you,” Cinaed said as his horse mounted the other side of the river and settled by Albus.
“I haven’t gotten into trouble since I’ve been here, it was all the Boy-Who-Lived stuff back to Hogwarts,” Areli said and set off at a gentle walk through some nearby trees with Cinaed trailing behind him.
“You’re a bad luck magnet,” Cinaed grumbled but followed his lover and Albus.
Elladan and Elrohir had become increasingly worried as they followed the tracks towards the borders. There was evidence of the elflings stopping for brief time but it seemed that whoever was in the lead knew where the borders lie. The twins wouldn’t put it past their brother to want to explore outside the border. The elfling had never actually left the borders since he was found in the woods.
The twins urged their horses on and soon enough where splashing through the river which ran past one of the borders and where dismayed when it was certain that two elves had in fact left the borders of Rivendell. The tracks didn’t lie.
The twins were on alert as they moved quickly after the tracks. The news of Orcs around the borders had been kept from the elflings not wanting them to get scared or decide they could handle it. It seemed that they had unwittingly allowed them to go into danger- maybe if they had told the elflings about the Orcs then they would have stayed safe inside the borders.
Usually if they had left they wouldn’t have been in danger and it wouldn’t have been an issue. But with the rising number of Orcs which had been spotted the elflings were no doubt being watched or worse.
Their fears became reality as another set of tracks began to follow the tracks of the elflings. The twins urged their horses more and after 10 minutes came across a sight which would always haunt their minds.
3 Orcs surrounded the elflings and Areli was in a tree- his foot being grasped by an Orc as he tried to pull the small elfling from the tree. The side of his robes where covered in blood but the elfling was grasping tightly to the tree. Nearby his horse- Albus lay dead with several arrows sticking out of its body.
Cinaed stood nearby- a small knife in his hand and he blocked and evaded the attacks of the two Orcs which had him cornered by some trees. The twins for a moment watched the graceful movements of the blond Prince and were slightly amazed that the elf had managed to hold his own with merely a knife for protection.
It was then that they noticed the shoulder which was quickly dampening with blood. The blond was injured and the winces on his face showed that the elfling was tiring from his wound.
Both elves jumped from their horses and drew there weapons. They could not risk bows since the Orcs were so close to the children. They did not want to risk hitting them by accident. Elladan headed other to the Orc which seemed intent on pulling his little brother’s foot off and with a few places strikes the Orc fell dead.
“Stay in the tree,” Elladan ordered and turned to where his brother was fighting the Orcs along with Cinaed. To everyone’s surprise Cinaed simply threw his knife and it hit the Orc squarely in the head and it fell down dead. Elrohir followed the elfling’s example and lopped the Orcs head off he was dealing with.
“Why didn’t you do that before?” Elrohir asked the blond who was now pressing his hand to his shoulder with a wince.
“And loose my weapon?” Cinaed replied his tone biting and icy yet there was a waver which made Elrohir sheath sword and hurry towards the blond.
“We have to get you to, Ada,” Elrohir said and lead the elfling towards Dûrion who stood patiently for his Master. Helping the blond climb onto the horse his looked around for the Prince’s horse.
“Where is your horse?” Elrohir asked as he hauled himself behind Cinaed and grasped Dûrion’s reins.
“Ran off,” Cinaed replied wincing.
“Elladan, I am fine! The blood isn’t mine!” Areli was shouting as his brother tried to remove his robe to get a look at possible wounds, “the blood is Albus’s.”
Areli looked sad and Elladan stopped his actions and ushered Areli to Voronwë. After Elladan had pulled himself onto the horse both set off towards Rivendell aware of the precious elflings in their care. One who was bleeding heavily.
“Next time we do what I say,” Cinaed snapped at Areli, “I told you we shouldn’t have left the borders.”
“This is not the time to say ‘told you so’,” Areli bit back quickly.
Areli pushed open the door to the Healing Wing, Lord Elrond and the others were off in the office to the side with the door closed but Areli knew that they wouldn’t be drawn out unless they was a lot of noise. He tiptoed to Cinaed’s bed and sat down. Cinaed’s blue eyes opened fully and he gave Areli a tired smile.
“Don’t ever scare me like that again,” Areli whispered his voice thick with emotion. Cinaed sat up slowly and Areli grabbed his face in his small hands and his thumbs caressed Cinaed’s cheek bones.
“I can’t lose you,” Areli whispered in a near sob, “it would kill me.”
“You won’t,” Cinaed whispered back placing his hands over Areli’s, “this time things won’t break us apart.”
For a while both sat silently their hands wound together and enjoyed each others presence. It wasn’t until they heard the adults moving that Areli slipped silently from the Healing Wing and Cinaed closed his eyes to rest.
(Vore-on-way) means Faithful or Light One.
(Doo-ree-on) means Dark One.