|Posted: December 16, 2011|
|The sun shone bright the next morning but it didn’t last long. Dark clouds moved in as a cold front was about to pass through. I got up, stretched and headed for the bathroom. I have to say, I haven’t felt as refreshed as I did that morning. I almost forgot about my visitor. I threw on my robe and made my way down the hall to the living room. I was afraid of what I might find. Was he any better? Did he feel worse? He wasn’t lying dead on my couch was he? I peeked around the corner to the couch. He was still there. It looked like he hadn’t even moved. I watched the sheets covering his chest. Yep, they were moving, so he was still breathing. Very quietly so as not to wake him, I headed for the kitchen. As I was about to pass through the doorway I jumped out of my skin at the sound of his voice.
“Good morning.” he said in a groggy voice.
I spun around. “Jeez man, you scared the crap out of me. Give a girl some warning before you shout.”
“But I was only whispering.” he said innocently. He was right of course but I wouldn’t admit it. “I did not mean to startle you my lady.” His voice was smooth, very James Bond-ish. He flinched as he rolled onto his side to face the kitchen. The sheet slipped down exposing the top half of his chest. Nope, it wasn’t a dream. He really was pure perfection.
He seemed to be up for a little conversation so I abandoned the kitchen and went to the living room. I sat in the chair next to the couch and stared straight ahead. How would I start the conversation? ‘Nice day for a head concussion.’ or my favorite ‘Come around here often?’
“Is something bothering you?” he asked before I built up the courage to speak first. “You seem distant this morning.”
I looked at him with my ‘you can’t be serious’ glare. “Well let me see. I was attacked by a bunch of drunks in the woods, then you come out of nowhere like Tarzan in the trees. Oh and let’s not forget about your gunshot wound and head trauma. And now you are living in my house. Do I even need to mention the fact that we have met before and you are not a day older than you were then?” Sometimes my sarcasm made me rant needlessly. Still, his eyes never shifted from me. I had his complete attention while I spoke. I looked at him, not knowing where to begin and finally said, “Who are you?”
“My name is Legolas.” he said simply. “And what is your name my lady?”
“Whoa there cowboy. Let’s just slow things down a bit. I don’t think I’m ready to divulge that kind of information yet.” I said defensively.
He looked to the floor. “I’m sorry. I do not mean to upset you. I merely would like to know the name of my rescuer so that I may thank her properly.”
‘Smooth talker this one,’ I thought to myself. His guilt trip worked. I was such a sap. “Don’t be sorry. I’m not upset. I’m just confused. This whole situation is so surreal. I mean… you’ve got some explaining to do Lucy. You cannot be real. I would think I am dreaming all of this but for the fact that the doc was here last night and he saw you too. So you must be flesh and blood.”
“I am alive if that is what you mean, though my name is Legolas not ‘Luu-cee’.” he said matter-of-factly.
I just stared at him, not knowing what to make of him. We obviously were going to have a communication issue even if we did speak the same language. “Where are you from? Are you a time traveler or something?” I asked and realized how stupid that sounded.
“Where I am from is not important as of now. I do not know what a time traveler is.” he stated.
This whole conversation was just way too weird. It was too early in the morning and I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I abandoned our talk, got up from the chair and headed back to the kitchen. “Can I get you something, some coffee or orange juice?”
“Juice would be nice.” he answered.
I went into the kitchen and made a fresh pot of coffee. Then I poured a glass of OJ for my Hippie friend. I laughed at that thought. I was pretty sure he wasn’t a Hippie anymore. I returned to the living room with his juice and handed it to him. As I did, our fingers touched. They were very calloused and I shuddered at the feel of familiarity it brought me. “Why do I get the feeling that I know you?” I asked out of the blue.
“You are correct about our first meeting. It was I who pulled you from the pond.”
I shook my head. “No, that’s not what I…” then I changed direction. “What happened to me that day?”
“Well, as I told you back then, I was looking for the injured fawn when I heard cries for help. I came as quickly as I could. I saw ripples in the water and knew someone was there. I dove into the pond and searched until I found you. Pulling on the weeds, I released your legs and brought you to the bank. You were not breathing. I knew I had to get the water out of your lungs and rolled you on your side. Water began emptying from your mouth and suddenly you were coughing and gasping for air. I was frightened for you. I thought you had died.” His voice was full of compassion and concern.
“I thought I did die when I opened my eyes and found you there. You looked like a glowing angel with your pale skin and blond hair. You were unlike anyone I had ever seen before. You know, I went back to that spot many times searching for you so that I could thank you. Why didn’t you come back?”
He smiled and I thought I had died and gone to heaven the way it made his whole face light up. “I was there when you needed me.”
I laughed to myself. “Twice now it seems.”
“May I ask what it was you were doing in the woods last night?” he asked.
“I was trying to protect my land. I am tired of these hunters trespassing on my property, taking what they want and killing for no good reason.” My voice began to waver as I thought about the dead deer.
“Was it you who buried my friend?” he asked.
I looked into those blue eyes even though I knew I shouldn’t. “So you saw him too?”
“Yes, I came across him that morning. My heart ached for him. He did not deserve such a cruel death.” Legolas said, sorrow in his voice.
“I couldn’t leave him there for the scavengers, so I buried him. Then I swore to protect and take back what is rightfully mine. Last night was my final time to mark the trails so the deer would stay clear of the hunting areas. The season is almost done. I didn’t expect to come across those men. They were about to sacrifice not just one life but three. There was a doe with two half-grown fawns so I had to stop them. Then things got out of control. You know the rest.”
He looked sad and confused. “Why do they hunt for more than just food? Why did they behead the deer and not take the meat to feed their families?”
“He was a buck with a prizewinning amount of points. All they saw were his antlers and they decided he’d look good hanging on their wall.” It was a fact. I wasn’t trying to sugarcoat anything.
“But why would someone want a deceased animal in their house? It is atrocious. It is an outrage.” He was getting a little too upset for my comfort.
“That’s just the way some people are. It is considered a sport and nothing else.” I said in a calm voice. He could see I was getting a little worried about his behavior and he instantly calmed himself. He looked at my hands and made a face.
“Did I do that?” he said.
I looked at my hands and noticed the bruises on my wrist. I rubbed it, not realizing it was there. “Oh, it’s nothing. It doesn’t even hurt.”
He looked absolutely horrified. “I am so sorry my lady. I should never have acted in such a manner. I have hurt you. Please forgive me.” He reached out to me, but I was hesitant to touch him. He looked at me again. “May I?” he said sweetly. I gave him my hand. He held it gently in his and said something in his native tongue. I felt the warmth of his breath on the sensitive vein of my wrist. It seemed to warm my whole body. Just as I was about to give into the sensation, I caught myself and snatched my hand away from him. He gave me a bewildered look.
“I… I’m sorry. I don’t… know what came over… me.” I stuttered.
“Did you… feel something?” he asked now very curious. As he spoke, he tried to sit up but the pain was too much.
“Here, let me help you.” I said so as not to have to answer his question. The truth was, I did feel something but I didn’t know what it was. It was pleasant and comforting, like being wrapped in the warmth and safety of a blanket on a cold winter’s night. I felt it reach almost all the way to my heart. I knew once the feeling reached me that deeply I could never turn back, but from what, I did not know. That’s when I pulled away from him.
I went and made myself a cup of coffee then came back to the living room. We sat in silence, enjoying the start of the new morning. Too many things happened in that short period of time. I had so many questions for him but he looked tired and in pain. I gave him another painkiller and soon he was sleeping again. It could wait. He would be here for a while as he recovered. We’d have plenty of other opportunities to talk. He slept for most of that day.
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