They breached the trees, running towards us and stopping a hundred yards or so from our own lines in a weak triangle formation. I looked automatically to the leader of the triangle, expecting Lorcan.
My stomach twisted and I gasped in pain. Worse pain than anything, worse than losing Elywn, Elendil or the fear of losing Eddia. It was as if someone had stuck a barbed knife between my ribs and carved a hollow shape out of my heart. My blood sunk away from my veins and into the floor as my gasp was echoed from the three elves closest to me.
He stood head of the group, his shoulders broad and strong, his stance one of intense focus and passion. He looked just as I had done when I fled the East Forest for he was now the same age; but he looked younger.
My young one. My precious young one, grown. His brown hair fell to his shoulders but was tied up with a strip of leather and his brown eyes were set in a hard stare at me as I headed the opposing triangle. He wore a green tunic completely spotless and had a vast array of weapons everywhere I looked. He had a well structured face, his high cheek bones stuck out where had his jaw clenched shut. At his sides, his hands too were clenched as his chest heaved.
"Elendil?" I exclaimed, taking a disbelieving step forwards. Instantly, my son formed a defensive position towards me, raised his sword and snarled.
"What?" I echoed the others behind me, "Peace, Elendil."
"Back off." He snapped.
I blinked, utterly shocked. Was this truly my beautiful, serene young one? Mine who would never hurt anyone? It could not be.
Lorcan sidestepped slightly so he came into full view on Elendil's right side and grinned gloatingly. Now it was my turn to snarl.
"What have you done to my son, Lorcan?" I yelled furiously, pacing forwards.
"Get back!" Elendil roared in warning. But I was past hearing him.
I stretched out my hands to hit out at Lorcan but I found myself on the floor before I could reach him. Once I reaslied what was happening, I tried to stand up but found my limbs had been rendered immobile. My eyes looked up and found Elendil with his palm towards me. It was him that held me still. Elendil knew magic?
"It seems you did not know our captain could use magic, traitor." Lorcan spat down at me, "Elendil, let him up, son."
As soon as the pressure was released I knelt upwards, "Your son?" I challenged my old foe.
"Yes," He rasied his eyebrows like he had no idea what I was talking about, "What of it?"
"He is my son! Mine!" I shouted, "Do you not know me, Elendil?" I implored, pleading with my eyes. His resolve faltered, his feet shifting his weight uncomfortably, "You must know it."
My son's eye flicked to Lorcan who shook his head so Elendil raised his sword at me again and narrowed his eyes.
"Please," I whispered, "I used to tell you stories. I took you to the river, remember, Elendil? Elwyn and I loved you, everyone loved you. We escaped to Eitan." His eyes widened at the familiarity of the name, "Yes, yes my son. Then we went back to the East Forest and I was taken away."
He lowered his weapon, "What is this, Lorcan?" He turned to face the shirt elf.
"I warned you of their tricks, my son. They want you."
"No!" I stood up, "You can do magic, so can I! It is genetic, you cannot belong to Lorcan. You are my son."