Damn, but she was bored. Earáne swore, as she veered off a path that was seldom taken by anyone but Demons, and onto another. She had hoped to find some form of action on that trail, but it looked like even the Demons were avoiding it. Either that, or they had gotten wind of her current mood, and were staying out of her way. The cowards. She followed a newly made track for approximately two and a half miles, before hearing the first faint sounds of a battle ahead of her. She wondered if the fight was between Elves and Demons, or Demon sects indulging in an argument. She tended to leave the latter alone. As far as she was concerned, the Demons could kill off as many of their own people as they wanted. She arrived on the edge of a small clearing, where the battle was going on, and grinned. This was more like it, finally, a fight she could get involved in, and she quickly moved to do just that.
Earáne broke into the clearing to join a battle that looked like it had been going on for a while. She didn’t stop to study the situation; she just jumped into the fray. Something, she was sure the extremely outnumbered Elf, who was surrounded by the enemy, would be pleased to see.
When they were very young, Earáne’s father, King Liessen, had sent her and her siblings to Gabriel to be trained to fight with swords. It had been something she had both resented, and appreciated in turns. Before he had, however, Liessen had taught her brothers and her all he knew, to the point where he considered them his equal. He called sending them to Gabriel fine-tuning. She still remembered how they had strutted onto Gabriel’s training field on the first day of their lessons. They had been arrogant, and sure of their expertise with weaponry. They were cocky, and ready to show the upstart Light Elves how a real Elf handled a weapon. She was the one to make the first move against those she considered her inferiors. She, unfortunately, picked on the wrong Elf to challenge. To be fair, her brothers had been equally stupid. When it had ended, Gabriel made them feel worse, by placing them at the back of the class. It was an insult, meant to tell them that he considered them only one step away from being demoted to where everyone considered second string.
When the class ended for the afternoon, the Elf Earáne had picked on, approached her. She explained what Earáne had done wrong, and gave her a few pointers to rectify her mistakes. She then introduced herself, as well as her sister. The moment Earáne heard the Light Elf’s name, she realized what a dolt she had made of herself. She had not only picked on the third best student in the class, but her brothers had challenged two of that Elf’s brothers. When they thought about it, they considered themselves lucky they had only been humiliated, and not killed.
“So you know,” Eärwen had spoken, in a matter of fact tone, after teaching Earáne the techniques she needed to know to improve her skills. “The next time you face off against me with your type of attitude, you better be prepared to hurt for a while. I went lightly on you this time because you are new, and had no idea what you were getting into. The same goes for your brothers, so it might be in their best interest if you pass along my warning to them. Gildren and Jerrol are at the head of the class and neither one is known to put up with arrogant Elves for long. Our father would soon straighten us out if we did.”
Earáne understood. Everyone knew Eärwen, Gildren and Jerrol were Gabriel’s children. It didn’t take them long after that to become friends, although she was never as close to Eärwen, as she was to Ennacas. She considered Eärwen somewhat of a prude, despite her outgoing nature, and lighthearted approach to the world. Ennacas seemed to understand the Dark Elf lifestyle better and, she didn’t judge her actions, not in the same way as she suspected Eärwen did. She could have been wrong about her friend, but she had her doubts. When she spoke to Eärwen’s brothers about their sisters they agreed, albeit with reserve. The friendship she developed with the Eagle Claw brothers was done on a different level than it was with their sisters, one that her brothers frowned upon, even though they understood it. She didn’t think they had much room to judge her, not with the way they chased after Larien. She always chuckled about that, for Larien wasn’t interested in them anymore than she was in any of the other male Elves at the time. She was friendly, but that was the extent of things.
Within moments of entering the battle in the clearing, Earáne stood back to back with the lone Elf. She was impressed with his fighting skills. She had quickly studied his techniques, as she approached the battle zone. He had chosen a good, defensible area to fight in, and hadn’t fallen back an inch, despite the overwhelming odds he was facing. He wasn’t the swordsman the members of the Eagle Claw family were, but he held his own easily. He also cut an impressive looking figure, which she was interested in checking out in greater detail in the near future, if the opportunity arose.
“The name is Earáne,” She introduced herself while she set about killing four of the Demons who got too close. She always told whomever she was with in battle her name, so that if anything happened to her, they would be able to report how she died to her parents.
“Felcor,” the Elf answered.
Earáne recognized the name immediately. Felcor was the High Elf from the lost city, the one some Elves still referred to as The Spokesman. She had never seen him face to face, but she had heard a lot about him. He was very powerful and one of King Lothrariel’s better-known friends.
Between the efforts of Felcor and Earáne, they managed to defeat the enemy, and while Felcor disposed of the corpses, Earáne leaned back against the trunk of a nearby tree, so she could continue to study him. He didn’t act like any Elf she had ever known, then again, he was an ancient, as well as a High Elf. She caught a glimpse of his eyes, as he turned in her direction and her heart started to pound in her ears, as she realized something else about this man. He was her Life Mate. She wondered if she should tell him, or if she should hide this discovery. Keeping that knowledge a secret wouldn’t be easy. Male Elves were able to recognize a Life Mate as easily as females, which meant that if she didn’t want him to know, she was going to have to do something to prevent him from seeing her. As she pondered the situation, a plan formed in her mind, and a wicked grin spread across her face. Could she pull off what she was thinking, even for a while? She chuckled inwardly as she decided she had nothing to lose. It might even be fun.
Felcor hadn’t needed to see Earáne’s eyes to figure out the reason for her shock. His body had automatically recognized all the signals hers had sent to him, the moment she realized what he was. He stifled a smile, along with the celebratory dance his heart did, while he finished disposing of the Demons. He then used his staff to channel his powers, as he incinerated the corpses. He found the weapon made it easier to do the tasks he needed to do, because it took less energy, but she didn’t need to know that.
Felcor took his time clearing the area, making it look like it was more difficult than it really was, while he considered what Earáne might be thinking about. He knew who she was. He had recognized her name the moment she mentioned it. Everyone knew King Liessen’s daughter’s name. He knew more about her than merely her name, for Lothrariel had spoken about King Liessen’s family often, as they sat across the campfire and shared meals. The combination of who she was and her Dark Elven ancestry, was apt to be interesting. King Liessen was a powerful Elven Wizard, and her brothers were following in his footsteps. Her mother was another Elf to take into consideration. Gabriel, had once rated Aredhel as one of his best Elite Warriors, and that was nothing to be overlooked. Earáne had inherited both of her parents talents. She was a fierce warrior and, like her siblings, she was also a powerful wizard. He was going to need to watch how he approached their bond, although he knew she wouldn’t run from him in the same way a Light Elven female would.
Considering who and what she was, it was unlikely Earáne would behave the same way as any normal Elven female.
Felcor gave a mental snort, the moment that thought crossed his mind. Earáne was a Dark Elf and, anyone who was powerful enough to rate a position, as the head of King Liessen’s Elven Elite Guards, as Earáne’s uniform proclaimed her, was not going to behave like any woman he had ever met. He stifled a grin, as he thought of the tricks she was apt to try. He thought that although it might have been fun to chase her for a while, something told him she was going to do something original, which could be even more interesting.
The moment the last Demon turned to ash, Earáne struck. It didn’t take her long to blindfold Felcor, and then bind his hands together.
To make it seem like he was oblivious to Earáne’s reasons, Felcor put up a token resistance. He acted as if he had no energy left to oppose her, when in truth, he could easily have reversed the situation. He considered doing that for a moment, then he decided to let her play, at least for a little while. He had a good inkling what she had in mind. He wondered if he could play her game as well as she could. He had a suspicion his Earáne liked hers a little kinky, but that wasn’t going to happen. Before he made her his bride, he was determined that they would receive the blessings of both her parents. It was the way of the ancients and, he was sure, he had the strength of will to follow through on this decision.