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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 7:  In Vino Veritas


Putting the half-filled glass down with a lurch that caused the remaining contents to slosh over his hand, Elladan turned dizzily to grasp the balcony rail as he licked his dripping fingers. ‘The stars are beautiful tonight,’ he said expansively, narrowing his eyes at the sky in a vain attempt to stop them moving.

‘You are drunk,’ his brother laughed, giddily enough to suggest that he, too, had been partaking rather liberally of the wine in his goblet.  ‘You had better stop now – the last thing you need tomorrow is a hangover.’

Legolas stretched his long legs out in front of him as he watched his friends. ‘Or your wife will ensure that your headache lasts a very long time,’ he said, with an evil grin. ‘Possibly for centuries.’

‘My wife!’ Elladan responded, with a mixture of pride and bemusement.  He turned, leaning back on the rail for support. ‘I cannot understand how you could have let her slip through your fingers, my friend.  You must be mad.’

‘She was meant for you, Elladan,’ Legolas told him easily, taking a draught of his own wine. ‘I must have known that one day this would happen and refused to take advantage of her – or of course she would have fallen into my arms.’

‘After all, you never fail with the ellyth, do you, little prince?’ Elrohir said reflectively. ‘That was not you who ended up in the fountain pool after trying to kiss our head groom’s sister, now, was it?’

‘I remember that!’ Elladan crowed gleefully. ‘She gave you a black eye and we told adar you had slipped and fallen, although I do not think he believed us.  And do you recall at Arwen’s wedding – that elleth from Lothlorien who backed you into a corner because you had not written as you promised.’

‘All right, all right.’ Legolas waved the comments away.  ‘It was a long time ago.  Do not forget that I, too, could come up with many stories about both of you that are no less embarrassing.’

‘If you come out with any of them tomorrow, you will die!’  Elladan pointed a wavering finger at him. 

‘Would I do that to you?’ Legolas answered, his exaggeratedly hurt tone leaving them in some doubt as to his intentions.

‘Arwen always said that you were sick of being pursued and would never love an elleth unless you had to chase her,’ Elrohir reflected, putting his empty glass down and blinking at his friend.  ‘And she was right.  What I want to know is – has your target slowed enough to let you catch up with her yet?’

Legolas scowled into his wine.  ‘What of you?’ he challenged, changing the subject.  ‘You are taking your time to win that blonde over.  Are you losing your irresistible charm, my friend?’

‘I am in no rush,’ Elrohir smiled.  ‘We have to get this old one married off first, before we youngsters begin to get serious.’

‘What blonde?’  Elladan enquired, as he reached for his glass.

His brother pushed his hand away.  ‘Enough. You need water now, Elladan,’ he insisted. ‘This party is over and it is time to ready yourself for tomorrow.’

‘What blonde?’ his twin repeated, with the obstinacy of the intoxicated.

‘You know,’ Legolas shook his head. ‘I never understood how Elwe and Melian could have been so stunned by each other that they forgot about the rest of the world – not until I saw these two.  I do not believe Elladan has any awareness of what has happened around him since the lightning struck and fried his brain. I only hope he regains his sanity soon.’  He turned to his friend and spoke slowly and deliberately, as if to a rather simple child.  ‘Elrohir is very – shall we say – taken with a certain rather attractive elleth, Elladan.  She seems to be looking his way, too,’ he added, ‘though I am not sure their relationship has progressed much beyond sighs and smiles.’  He shot an inquisitive glance at the younger twin.

‘I am saying nothing, Legolas,’ he replied, a hint of colour on his cheekbones. ‘After all, you are not exactly informative about the progress of your hunt.’

Legolas sighed in exasperation.  ‘It is not as if there is anything to say,’ he retorted.  ‘We are all dancing round each other with the caution of diplomats trying to avoid war: my adar and hers, naneths and brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins.  Every time we seem to take one tiny step forward, somebody opens their big fat mouth and we take ten leaps back.’

‘Elope, my friend. It will be the only way.’

‘And your daernaneth thinks it is hilarious.  It is driving my adar crazy.’

Elladan chuckled. ‘She will be enjoying that.  What is it about Thranduil and Galadriel?  There always seems to be some kind of tug of war between them.’

‘Well, at the moment I feel like the rope,’ Legolas concluded gloomily.

‘Come on,’ Elrohir spoke with decision. ‘Let us get Elladan sober. We had better fulfil our duty to put the bridegroom to bed before it is time for him to get up. We have a busy day ahead of us.’


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