Quizzical eyes surveyed me, judging the truth in my eyes.
"I cannot punish you for what you have done, we are a free race, of course you were free to leave, as you are to return. Though, a word of advice, next time if you must go, go as you did and do not bring anyone down with you. A second time refuge can be granted, but if you love the humans more than our traditions you must stay with them and not corrupt any of our kin, especially your own."
I understood the warning; if I was to leave Elendil would not be allowed to accompany me under any circumstances.
"Of course, my queen."
"Then you may leave and suffer no injustice from your actions. I decree that." She looked pointedly at Lorcan who shifted under her intense gaze.
Bowing slightly, I hurriedly exited the room, exhaling as soon as I was free from their presence. Until then I had not noticed I had been shaking, nor that my palms were slick with sweat. Eager to distract myself and Elendil, I made my way towards Clear Lake.
The scenery there was breath-taking, the clear waters reflecting the purple, pink and amber sunset bordered by darkening silhouettes of trees.
"Elvin are we safe?"
"Yes son, for as long as we chose to be."
"Elvin?" Came a voice behind me.
I turned to see Princess Eddia, for once not surrounded by her guards.
"Oh, your highness." I bowed.
"Good stars, Elvin!" She exclaimed, rushing closer to me with a look of shock in her eyes. Her slender arm reached up to brush the hair from my eyes, "Have you not seen your face?"
"What about it?"
She turned me to face the lake surface. Blood had dripped from my mouth and dried against my skin, bruises were already forming. Taking my elbow in a grip too strong for her size, she got me to kneel down by the side of the lake where she took out her kerchief, submerged it in the cool water, and placed it against my sin. Her blue eyes held mine, perfect like the still waters of the lake. Gently, she rubbed the blood off. She smelt of berries and pine needles.
"I am sorry about Elwyn." she consoled.
"As am I."
I knew then exactly what was happening, what was going to happen and I sighed.
"So you have seen it too now?" She quizzed, settling backwards and crossing her legs. Of course, I knew what she meant instantly.
"Fate, it seems, is upon me. She will not let me rest."
"I knew since you first passed me a sword, but I was content to wait."
"For six centuries?" I raised my eyebrow. She shrugged and turned her oval face away from me.
"I was a girl then."