"Come, sit friends." High King Marlow perched on one of four frail chairs shoved into one of the dingy corners.
Clustered around the table, we helped ourselves to the food and drink that was offered; very grateful for it was our first proper meal in days, for me anyway. All the while as my attention was claimed by the food, High King Marlow's blue eyes so unlike my own surveyed me quizzically, the lines on his face moving as he frowned. Princess Eddia too were looking at me, their eyes flickering to me then each other. I chose to ignore them. They would tell me in their own time, as was the elfin way.
Wiping my fingers against my tunic, I settled back in the chair. The feeling of food in my belly and warmth on my skin shielded my mind from the torments within. High King Marlow pursed his lips and entwined his fingers together, narrowing his eyes.
"I am sorry." He said.
I tried to remember what a smile felt like, but my muscles had forgotten.
"Elwyn showed promise, a fine young elf. She would have been very useful in what we are about to undertake." Assessing my lack of expression, he continued, "But do not dwell on losing Elendil-"
"I have not lost him!" I shot back, hands twitching towards my sword.
"Of course not, but only for the moment," He strained not to look at my companions, "But he is safer where he is now, he would only be a hinderance. We have much to do and much to discuss. I need your full attention for this, Elvin."
My head lolled. He was in a tunnel.
"High King, can this not wait for a day? He has gone past his limit in everything! I have never seen anything like it, we are lucky he has been with us this long." Jibril voiced his concern.
"He has strength enough."
I tried to shake my head, but as quickly as everything had gone with the promise of food, it all came flooding back until it had crippled me.
Jibril leant down over the table and lowered his voice, "Read him, he cannot take this tonight, High King."
The lost King looked at me and I felt something incredibly cold slide underneath my skull and I cried out in alarm.
High King Marlow recoiled and retreated form my mind all but gasping, "Ok, not tonight."
Abruptly, I was overwhelmed. Shattered. Broken. Desperate. He had just looked into my mind, I was sure of it. But this was stuff legend even to us legendary creatures. Why were the other two not panicking? I was slipping from their company. Oh how it felt like I was going to join Elwyn, I could almost touch her, her silken skin upon mine once more, her butterfly-soft kiss on my neck. She was so close.
Then there was nothing.