Calm The Fire: 26

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Emerald eyes stared in disbelief. Standing in front of the mirror in her room, Náriel just stared, unblinking. Flinching when there was a knock on the door she grabbed her dressing gown and rushed over. Tying the band up, she tentatively opened it and peeked out.

“Aranhi,” she smiled as kindly as possible. She hadn't seen the Elven guard for what seemed like forever. When she pondered over it, she hadn't seen any of her kin for quite some time. Oddly enough, she found that this didn't affect her. It was a bizarre feeling actually, one which she quickly fought down only to smile back up at the guard in front of her.

“Are you all right?” She opened the door more and looked up at him. “Can I help you with anything?” She questioned again. Aranhi was typically rather silent, but her being the only one talking right now was a little ridiculous.

“The Elvenking,” Aranhi spoke at last, only his words caused her to look at him curiously. “Wonders if you are free for a walk this morning.”

Náriel shifted her weight. Wondering was stretching it thin. He wasn't wondering. If anything he was asking her to go out on a walk with him. “I am,” she mustered as cheerily as she could. “Tell him I shall be ready in a few minutes.” She pulled at her dressing gown. “I do not think this is appropriate,” she laughed, Aranhi just inclined his head slightly. Náriel watched as he turned and walked back down the corridor.

Shutting the door, she sighed and turned and leant against it. Shutting her eyes she opened them quickly. Moving forwards she pulled the dressing gown off and looked to her shoulder. A harsh dark bruise adorned her skin. It looked like it wasn't even a part of her. A patch of darkness against such pale skin. She touched it gently, only to wince. Sigrek had really done a number on her. Not that she could hold anything against him. He was after all only training. Náriel was in no doubt that he'd need those skills sometime in his life.

Turning and looking over her shoulder, she wasn't happy to see the bruise travelled downwards too. It stopped just below her shoulder blade. It hurt to move her arm, stiffly, as if she had serious cramp, she could at a stretch lift it up. Standing facing the mirror again she put her hands on her stomach. Standing with her arm bent didn't hurt so much. She looked up at the ceiling, now she wished she could get away with wearing the sling. That damn irritating sling.

Standing here in her simple white shift wasn't getting ready. Staring with narrowed eyes wasn't getting ready. If she was late – not that she had a time to keep to – her uncle would no doubt comment.

Turning she picked up a cream coloured under-layer. Pulling it slowly and awkwardly over her head, she straightened it out. The ivory taffeta material was so soft to touch, it made a small smile appear on Náriel's face. Looking to the side she picked up the top layer of the dress and pulled one arm in then the other. Looking in the mirror she slowly hooked the lace through the small loops which started about mid-chest and ended just below her rib cage. Eventually she tightly bowed the cord and turned, the skirt of the dress wasn't tucked up anywhere, which caused her to smile again. The neckline of both the under-layer and the top layer hung near her collar bone. Frowning Náriel turned and rummaged around for a few moments before standing in front of the mirror again. Moving her hair out of the way, she awkwardly placed a necklace around her neck and clasped it. The necklace was silver, with many intricate parts which all interlaced, within it was an emerald, the tone of it almost matched her eyes. Tilting her head to the side, Náriel frowned. She still wasn't ready. Darting around she picked up a brush and commenced doing her hair. This was the hardest part, she gritted her teeth as she reached behind herself and tied a simple braid which ran down her back. The bottom layer of her hair however stayed loose and out of the braided hair.

Giving a nod she picked up a familiar metal clasp and clipped it over the end. She couldn't find a ribbon to tie her hair together. So Thorin's clasp would do the job instead.

Brushing herself down, Náriel looked at her reflection. She was ready, she figured, as much as possible. Turning to her shoes, she slipped them on and darted over to the door. Putting her hand on the cool handle she pulled it open only to flinch. Putting a hand to her chest, she let out a struggled sigh. “I was not expecting to see you, here, I mean, now...” Náriel rambled and shook her head. “What can I help you with?”

Thorin lowered his hand, he was in the process of going to knock on her door, only for her door to open. He looked at her quickly and took a step back as she stepped out from her room. She looked at him expectedly. He was after all just standing looking at her. He hadn't seen her in such simple elegant clothes since the banquet. Frowning suddenly he pieced things together and crossed his arms.

“Your uncle.” He said simply.

Náriel rolled her eyes. “Yes, my uncle.” Náriel picked up her skirt and walked past him and down the corridor. “He has asked if I would like to go out on a walk with him.” This caused Thorin to scoff, Náriel shot him a look. Sure, she knew full well of the slight apprehensive feelings he held towards her uncle. Thorin after all had been told of her run-ins with Thranduil, he wasn't oblivious to all.

“You never let me finish,” Thorin stepped in line by her side. Each two strides of hers were easily one of his. It looked like she was scurrying along, while he was just casually striding down the corridors. Náriel looked up at him with confused eyes. “I didn't just come round to wish you good morning, though good morning none the less.” He inclined his head. Náriel stopped in the corridor and looked at him while crossing her arms. He did note that she was without the sling, crossing her arms clearly relieved some pressure. Crossing his arms behind his back, Thorin stood in thought for a few moments before thinking up the correct words to use.

“He's asked me to join you.” There was no easy way to say it, so he thought he'd just be as blunt as possible. It seemed to work because Náriel gasped and took a few steps back to lean against one of the large windows. The sun light shining through the pane filtered through her dress and seemed to make her form illuminated by the light.

“What?” Náriel finally managed to speak. Stepping away she looked up at him as if he'd know the motives of her uncle. Frowning suddenly she looked down to the end of the corridor. Flicking her eyes back up at him she sighed heavily, again. She didn't like this. Not one bit. Everything about this caused her to suddenly feel quite ill. Having pressure suddenly on her head, she looked up. Thorin trailed his hand down to rest it against her cheek.

“It shall be fine.” He sounded so sure, which oddly enough filled Náriel with some confidence, though not much. But certainly enough to pick up walking again. Reaching down she linked her bad arm with his, keeping it bent was a good tactic, it wasn't uncomfortable when like this.

“You know I don't foresee this ending well?”

“I know.”

“And you do?”

“Of course not.” Thorin frowned, “I'm not stupid. Anyone with eyes, and common sense can see this is a device for your uncle to somehow get involved.” He paused. “Despite saying he wouldn't.”

Náriel bit her lip in thought and nodded. “Perhaps,” she said slowly, earning a curious glance from him. “Perhaps...he's just curious?”

“Curious?” Thorin repeated while narrowing his eyes. “Curious?” He repeated again but with more strain on the word.

“Well,” Náriel's voice dipped lowly and she did scuff her feet along the floor purposely slowing down her pace. “I did, well I may – should I say – have told my uncle things.”

This caused Thorin's own curiosity to peak. He looked down at her, slowly he smiled. “Things, Princess?”

Náriel rolled her eyes up at him and rather bashfully smiled and nodded. “Things, Prince.”

“Such as?”

“Hm, I’m afraid I cannot tell you.” Náriel slid her arm from his and walked on down the corridor. Though in most Elvish fashions, it looked like she was more gliding along the stone flooring. A footstep couldn't be heard from her.

“Why?”

Náriel turned and looked over her shoulder. She smiled and shook her head loosely. “I fear it may interfere with your ego.” This just caused Thorin to look at her sharply before walking after her quietly laughing over her words.

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(A/N: The thought of like...an awkward meeting sort of makes me chuckle.)

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