Rhavaniel sat in her room staring at the long pale green gown hanging on a clothing form in the corner. She laughed to herself; her room she thought. She had never had her own room in Ithilien. Her home thus far was in Minas Tirith as royal guard to the Queen. Recently, she stepped down from that position. It was something she did freely and did not regret it a single moment. Her life was moving on with Legolas now. They bound their souls after many years of resistance, from Rhavaniel of course. It may not have been the traditional thing to do, binding before a ceremony, but then Rhavaniel had never been the traditional type. No one gave a second thought when she and Legolas announced their marriage in the eyes of the Valar.
Instantly, the palace was buzzing with talk of a ceremony. It seemed Rhavaniel could not walk down a hall without someone congratulating her or smiling and giggling. She was courteous and smiled back, but when they were gone, she rolled her eyes. The elleth never liked big fanfare events and even now wished they could just have a small private ceremony. Of course, Legolas being Lord of Ithilien and Rhavaniel being the new Lady, there would be no such thing as small. The people loved Legolas and she could not deny them their celebration. “This attention will not last forever and soon it will be life as normal again,” she told herself every day.
Her latest challenge was the wedding dress. It was a well-known fact that Rhavaniel did not like wearing dresses. In fact, that is putting it mildly. If she never wore another dress in her immortal life, it would please her just fine. Still, she would not put up a fuss. There was nothing to be done about it. And so, here she sat in her room staring at the gown.
There came a knock on her door and she called for the person to come in. The door slowly opened and a familiar head of chestnut brown hair popped in. Her smile was instant as she welcomed in her best friend, Antien.
“I heard the dress arrived and I just had to see it,” he said trying not to sound too excited for Rhavaniel’s sake. He knew better than anyone did, her despise of dresses.
“Look at it Antien. It hangs there, mocking me,” she said with slits in her eyes. She had killed Orcs that she looked at with less hate.
Antien walked over to the dress, running a length of the silky material through his fingers. “It is the finest fabric I have ever seen, except for what Queen Arwen owns,” he said with amazement.
“That’s because it is a gift from Arwen. She had it made just for me. Don’t get me wrong, Antien. I am very appreciative of this most beautiful gift. Still, it is a dress.”
“Well, have you tried it on yet?” he said, still playing with the long flowing sheer sleeves.
“Isn’t it bad luck or something, to wear it before the actual ceremony?” Rhavaniel was trying to find a way out of something that she knew Antien would eventually make her do.
“Nonsense, Rhavaniel. You have to try it on in case there are any adjustments needed.” He started unlatching the mithril hook at the back. “Now go one, strip!” he demanded.
Rhavaniel crinkled her brow. “Right now? In front of you?” she protested.
Antien shot her a look of impatience. “It is nothing I’ve never seen before, Rhav, or have you completely forgotten about that little incident at Helm’s Deep.” He released the dress for a moment and started rubbing his hands over his chest, squeezing himself as if he had women’s breasts. “Oh Legolas,” he teased in a high-pitched voice, imitating Rhavaniel. “I want your big . . . hard--.”
A flying pillow hit him in the face, interrupting him. “That’s enough from you,” she scowled. “Besides, you seem to be enjoying that a little much don’t you think?” she said, watching him pinch and twist his nipples through his light shirt. Then a mischievous smile spread across her lips. “And let us not forget your own little fantasy that morning. Oh Glandur, when you touch me I--.” The pillow was returned to Rhavaniel with full force.
Antien laughed. “Alright, alright! Truce,” he finally said and turned back to the dress. “You are still putting it on. Now stop pretending to be shy. We both know you are not,” he said as he stood there, hands on his hips and tapping his toe.
Rhavaniel could not put it off any longer. Antien would not leave until he had her in the dress, cooing and batting his eyelashes. “It is no wonder I put up with you,” she growled, taking off her tunic and leggings.
“I love you too, my dear,” Antien answered as he slipped the dress from the mannequin.
He held the dress while she stepped into it. Antien could not help but notice her toned body. He did not look upon her with lust, but rather with admiration. There was something very intriguing about the female body. He thought about this for a moment. Glandur was his lover, his soul mate and the only one he would ever want. When he was high up on the battlements, shooting arrow after arrow, he was a warrior. He had the physique of a perfect statue. He was a sight to behold, but he was a warrior at that moment. However, when Glandur was alone with Antien, he was no longer a soldier but his lover. He was gentle and pleasing. He poured all his love out, opened his heart and held nothing back for Antien. Muscles that were tense and hardened as a warrior were now softened yet still firm. Essentially, Glandur could be one or the other, warrior or lover.
Looking at Rhavaniel now wearing nothing but her fancy lace undergarments, Antien realized that she was both warrior and feminine beauty at the same moment. It was an amazing trait among females, to be able to portray both sides without even trying. Her muscles were toned in her arms and shoulders, back and hips, thighs and legs. Even standing here, she was both dangerous and beautiful to behold. The two traits could never be separated as they were with males. Such a unique gift the Valar gave to the ellith, he thought to himself. He felt only the slightest twinge of jealousy that he could never be this way, being a male, but it only passed through his mind for a brief moment and was gone.
He continued daydreaming as he watched Rhavaniel sway her hips while easing the dress up her body. He latched the hook in the back and moved her hair from her shoulders. There was a lazy smile upon his sweet face as he thought about how beautiful she would be taking that long walk up the aisle to join Legolas at his throne and claim hers. Suddenly, those thoughts came to a screeching halt as he watched Rhavaniel walk across the room.
“Rhavaniel!” he yelled almost involuntarily. It was so loud and so sudden that she actually jumped as she stopped walking and turned to Antien.
“What!” she yelled back.
“Just what do you think you are doing?” he said as if completely dismayed.
“What?” she asked again, confused.
Antien waved his hand in the air, fingers flailing about. “That!”
Rhavaniel looked down at her dress and at the floor on each side of her. “Antien, what are you talking about? I was only walking.”
He touched his fingers to his chin. “My sweet Rhav, is that how you plan on walking down the aisle towards the handsome Prince, who worships everything about you?”
“Honestly Antien, what are you--?”
He went to her side and took her elbow. “Sweetling, you cannot be serious. All of Ithilien will be there to watch their new Lady claim her rightful place by their Lord’s side. They want to see fluidity and grace,” he said swinging his arms from side to side. “Not an oliphant tramping down the hall.” Here he began stomping his feet as he walked in a circle.
Rhavaniel creased her brows and glowered at Antien. “I do not tramp,” she argued.
“Honey, it is not your fault. You have never been taught proper etiquette before,” Antien said calmly, ignoring her angry tone. “I’m sure this is not how you approach Legolas when you are alone in your room. I have seen your seductiveness.” Antien smiled and motioned to her with a wave of his hand. “Come, look in the mirror.” He led her to a full-length mirror and stood behind her. “Look at how beautiful you are.”
Rhavaniel studied herself in the mirror. The gown was absolutely beautiful. It was made of the softest silk, pale green that almost glowed. It had a low rounded neckline embroidered with a light gold thread that matched the gold of her hair. The sleeves were long and flared out at the ends. The same golden thread was sewn down the sleeves and along the hem at the bottom. It fit tight at the waist, accentuating her curves. A beautiful dark green leaf design was embroidered at the waist, making it look more like a corset. The skirt of the dress hung down to the floor and flowed out in the back as a train would. Small intricate leaves of the same dark green thread were delicately placed along the skirt with light gold vining detail connecting them. She had to admit, as much as she hated wearing dresses, this one actually was quite stunning.
Antien watched Rhavaniel as she observed herself. “As I said, you must carry yourself with pride and grace. You are not marching off to war. You should be floating towards Legolas as if he is the only one in the room. Let’s try it again. Walk back to the door.”
Rhavaniel took everything Antien said into account and walked across the room again. This time she concentrated on what she was doing. She thought she did rather well and smiled as she turned back to Antien. “How was that? Better?”
Antien shared no smile but instead shook his head. “Really Rhavaniel?” he questioned.
Now she was beginning to get angry. “Well, you try walking in these shoes,” she countered, lifting the skirt of the dress to show him green slippers with quite a tall heel on them. They were the same shade of green as the dress.
“Fine, I accept you challenge,” he huffed and went to her.
Rhavaniel kicked off her shoes and Antien slipped them on. Now Antien was tall, but Rhavaniel was every bit his height, and the shoes actually fit him if only just a little tight. “This is what I want,” he demanded and strut across the room, hips swaying, feet crossing and stepping one foot in front of the other.
As he was walking away from her, Rhavaniel thought she heard someone walking by her door. She peaked out to see Glandur coming up the hall. By this time, Antien turned to walk back towards her. He stopped just in front of her. She smiled sweetly. “Can you show me once more, mellon nin?”
Antien felt as if she was truly listening now and did his silly feminine walk once more. This time, Rhavaniel opened the door wide just as Glandur was about to pass by. The tall golden-haired warrior did a double take as he watched Antien gliding very woman-like across Rhavaniel’s bedroom floor. He stopped and stared, shaking his slowly.
Antien, still feeling as if he was successfully training his best friend to walk in high heels, turned to find his lover and bond mate watching him sway his hips, one hand at his side while the other was swinging from front to back. He stopped in his tracks when his eyes fell upon Glandur gazing at him, one eyebrow raised questioningly and shaking his head back and forth. Rhavaniel merely stood to the side, quietly laughing to herself.
Glandur’s eyes scanned the brown haired elf until they came to the pale green heels. His pant legs were rolled half way up his calf and he wore a look of surprise on his face. “Have you and Rhavaniel grown so close now that you are sharing clothes?” Glandur teased with his dry sense of humor.
At that same moment, another passer by stopped and looked in. Legolas stood next to Glandur giving Antien the same once over. Then he saw Rhavaniel giggling to herself. “If you think you can make Antien wear the dress instead of you, it won’t work Rhav.” Then looking back to Antien he added. “Nice legs. Green is definitely your color.” Legolas patted Glandur on the back. “Care to join me in my study for a glass of wine, Glandur? Three barrels of my father’s finest Dorwinion wine have just arrived, a gift for the upcoming celebration. I’m sure a few glasses will not be missed.”
Glandur glanced once more to Antien before answering Legolas. “Yes, my lord, I think a glass of Dorwinion might be welcomed about now. Oh and Antien,” he said smiling to his mate. “Leave the shoes here when you come home.” Legolas and Glandur shared in a chuckle at Antien’s expense and walked on down the hall towards the Prince’s study.
Antien and Rhavaniel stood there a moment, not moving or speaking. Their eyes connected and a sudden outburst of laughter filled the room.
“Did you see Glandur’s face when he saw you walking like that?” she said, trying to catch her breath.
“He will never let me forget this one,” Antien said laughing loudly. “And Legolas seemed no more surprised.”
After they could once again breathe without going into another fit of giggles, they both took a deep breath and sighed together.
“Really Rhav, you must work on your walk.”
“I will, Antien. Besides, I have the best teacher, and he fits in my shoes.”
“I’ll get you back for that one. You knew Glandur was in the hall didn’t you,” Antien said.
“Of course I knew. Let that be a lesson, melllon. Never call me an oliphant again.”
“I will stop as soon as you stop walking like one,” Antien laughed. “Now go get out of that dress and let’s get a bite to eat. I am quite famished now.”
Rhavaniel agreed and walked back to her closet to change. Antien watched her, feet stomping, head down, shoulders rounded. He decided not to say another word for now, but shook his head and thought about how much work this task was going to be. “Ai, I’ll be glad when the ceremony is through,” he thought to himself. He had his work cut out for him.
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