Ivy awoke in the morning to Bridie banging a breakfast tray on the lovely antique table next to the fireplace. The housekeeper all but glowered when Ivy rolled over and peered over her blankets.

"What time is it?"

"Past dawn, Ivy MacLeod."

She blinked in the wan winter light. It was cold in the room, far colder than when she had finally gone to sleep.

It's probably still snowing, Ivy thought, wanting nothing more than to cocoon down in the heavy, warm blankets again and sleep the day away.

"I'll not be lighting another fire, for you'll not be in here long," Bridie's voice intruded. "The grating needs cleaning, anyway."

Plates scraped against plates. "Here's plenty of tea and porridge for your breakfast. You'll be meeting the master in his library when you're ready."

"Where's his library?" Ivy dared to ask, struggling to understand the woman's rapid-fire communication.

"Left out the door with himself's rooms at the end of the hall. The new laird's with him." Sniffing her disapproval, Bridie hustled out of the room.

Ivy wrapped up in the comforter before slipping out of bed. She tried the porridge - oatmeal to her - only to reject the thick, saltless lumps and shove aside the bowl.

How long has that oatmeal been sitting around, she wondered, and what makes me think himself and the new laird got fresh buttered scones and new-laid eggs because they were up at dawn? No good breakfast for the jetlagged in Scotland, obviously. And I thought Bridie kind of liked me last night.

The tea at least was warm, and the shower water was sinfully hot, so Ivy felt somewhat cheered as she dressed. A few minutes later, and she stepped out of her room and into an unfamiliar corridor leading to yet one more strange new world.

Flames flickered in brass wall sconces, which made Ivy wonder if the castle lighting had ever been updated from Victorian gaslights. A sneaking look closer revealed that the energy source was electric and the flickering only a faux-gaslight feature of the bulbs.

Ivy sighed in disappointment. It may have been archaic, astonishing Ithilien once, but I guess everything has been updated to keep pace with things each century. Darn it.

The hall carpet was thick beneath her feet, completely muffling the sound of her booted steps. Its pattern was a tangle of green leaves and branches woven so realistically that Ivy felt like she was walking on tree tops. Glancing across to the stairway leading down to the ground floor, she saw that the branch-and-leaf pattern disappeared down the carpeted stairs.

I guess Legolas Greenleaf likes green leaves. A lot, thought Ivy.

Heading left as Bridie had directed, she paused to stare at the heavy oak furniture placed strategically down the corridor. Knowing nothing about antiques - other than they were old, and that Legolas' furniture was probably really old - Ivy had no idea what she was looking at. Chewing her lip, she vaguely regretted following a course of specialized study that had her knowing a lot about art history, but practically nothing about historic styles beyond the painting techniques used in each period. She did notice that Legolas seemed to have accumulated a lot of wood furniture to accompany his forest of green leaves.

I know wood's warmer than stone, Ivy admitted, but doesn't it get loose in its joints and fall apart with age?

The bed Ivy had slept in, while lovely old oak and very spacious, had creaked with every movement she made. Ivy felt as if the house itself was constantly making noises, yet everything appeared to be holding together nicely.

If I were four thousand years old, I'd probably be a bit creaky, too. There's probably a story behind every piece - would Legolas tell them to me if I asked? Some might even call him ancient, and I guess they'd be right.

Glancing upward, Ivy saw that the leaf motif on the floor was repeated on the ceiling. Peering closer, she realized that the forest pattern painted on the wood was rich with a dark patina.

That's got to be really old, she realized. I wonder who did it? Her artist's mind itched to climb up and inspect it more closely. Maybe Legolas will let me come back later with a flashlight and take some notes.

His house is all greens and browns like the forests a woodland Elf would feel comfy in. It's weird, too, Ivy concluded as she approached the heavy black oak library door that stood open. I like it.

# #

Haldir intercepted Ivy the moment she walked into his library, which made Ivy wonder if her footsteps weren't all that muffled after all. It's that, or his fantastic Elven hearing.

"Did you sleep well?" the Elf asked, taking her elbow. "I trust Bridie brought you a good breakfast."

"Oh, yes." Ivy summoned a bright smile. If the housekeeper already resented her guest's sleeping in, there was no way Ivy was going to further alienate the woman by asking for a better breakfast. "She told me where to find you too, so here I am."

"That is well."

She preceded Haldir into the library, which was laid out in an L. Two large rooms were lit by a few narrow windows with thick glass panes that distorted the view beyond. A Vinotemp was slotted beneath one of the windows close to what Ivy assumed was Haldir's desk which dominated the corner. Every available wall of both rooms was covered from floor to ceiling with bookcases, the sort figuring in every Ivory Merchant movie that Ivy's mother had made her sit through.

"What beautiful books." Ivy ran a hand over the closest shelf. Her fingers came away dusty, and she surreptitiously rubbed her hand on her jeans. "Are they in Elvish, Gaelic or English?"

"A bit of everything, depending on the volume." He closed the door behind her. "Come sit with me, my dear."

A pair of enormous wing-backed chairs sat before the second room's fireplace with their backs to the door. A fire crackled companionably on the hearth, and the room was deliciously warm. Ivy hoped Haldir would lead her to one of the wingbacks, as they looked the perfect place to curl up in on a cold winter's morning.

Unfortunately, Haldir turned away from the fireplace. Going around the corner, he led Ivy to a ponderous table that had definitely been built for business rather than comfort. A small stack of folders had been placed neatly in the middle of the otherwise empty table, and Ivy had the sinking feeling they were probably for her. Pulling out a chair for Ivy, Haldir waited for her to be seated.

So much for a comfy chair in front of the fire, she groused to herself. I wonder where Legolas is?

Going around the table, Haldir settled opposite Ivy.

"Where to begin. I suppose that I should share the house rules for the weekend." The Elf frowned slightly. "Legolas, what are the house rules?"

"Rule one: show up at mealtimes if you want to be fed." A somewhat bored, disembodied voice floated from one of the wing-back chairs. "Rule two: show up for the meeting tomorrow promptly at ten. Beyond that, there are no rules."

"I would add one more," inserted cheerful Haldir.

"You always do," the disembodied voice noted.

Ivy stifled a smile, while Haldir ignored the voice and reached across the table to pat Ivy's hands where she'd folded them in deliberate imitation of Haldir's own formality.

"Rule three: I'm here to make everyone's stay more comfortable, so you must tell me if you require something we've not thought of. A buffet-style breakfast will begin at eight tomorrow morning, and our board meeting will begin promptly at ten."

Oh, goody, thought Ivy, more lumpy oatmeal.

"Tonight will see a meet-and-greet cocktail hour and supper buffet beginning at seven-thirty. Our other board members will begin arriving shortly, but you aren't expected to meet them until tonight. Don't worry about dressing for anything - most of us don't, including myself and Legolas."

"That's good, because I didn't bring anything dressy."

"I think you'll agree that in this house keeping warm is much more important than looking good. Now..." Switching to Sindarin, Haldir raised his voice. "Legolas, should I explain Julien's proposal to her?"

"No. She should find her own way at the meeting," replied Legolas in the same language.

"Then what am I to tell her?"

"Why don't you ask Ivy what she wants to know?"

I understood some of that, Ivy realized. I caught my name, and wasn't Julien the name of the guy who spilled all to Professor Tolkien?

"Have you any questions I might answer for you?" Haldir asked politely, in English.

"Um..." She began with the thing that made her stomach twist most violently into knots. "How many people am I supposed to meet tonight?"

"There are, there are thirteen, as three come from Australia. How careless of me not to have introduced you ahead of time, if only on paper!" The Elf began scribbling a series of names on a nearby notepad. "In compliance with Mortal legalities, we use our Mortal names at board meetings because that is what must be used in the minutes. Since we all respond to those names, you needn't worry about learning our real ones right now."

Haldir spun the notepad around. Leaning forward, Ivy peered at the list of names he'd created.

Lee Greenwood Scotland

Halden Greenwood Scotland

Elden Warlow Australia

Gordon Weston Australia

Daniel Meyler Wales

David Meyler Wales (Proxy - Daniel)

Julien Lovell England

Wendy Lovell England

Mona Williams Belgium

Kiki Emerson Los Angeles

Kate Hutton New York

Marina Palermo New York

"That's only twelve," she noted, "and only two from Oz are on the list."

Haldir waved a dismissive hand. "Oh, the third fellow isn't to worry about. He doesn't sit on the board, and he'll spend all of his time in the kitchen. Actually, there are only eleven coming to this meeting because David Meyler won't be in attendance. His brother Daniel will be voting proxy for him. I know this list is nothing more than names to you at the moment, which must be bewildering--"

"This entire week has been nothing but bewildering," Ivy inserted. And you're not exactly helping.

"You'll have faces to go with the names soon enough, so I wouldn't worry."

You won't worry, Ivy thought, because you aren't scared spitless at the prospect of walking into a room full of strange and scary Elves in just a few hours.

"Oh, I meant to ask you..." Haldir interrupted her musings. "Which Clan of MacLeod do you hail from?"

Ivy blinked at the sudden change of subject. "Um...MacLeod of Raasay."

"Ah, yes. They were part of Sìol Torcaill - MacLeod of Lewis. You know, Jacobite members of that clan attached themselves to MacDonell's Glengarry regiment at the Battle of Culloden. A handful of clansmen, women and children who survived the bloody aftermath sought refuge with us here. We should enquire after your genealogy, as you might well have been blessed with Elven blood on both sides of the blanket. We'll have to see."

Haldir prattled on, reminiscing about days gone by about which Ivy knew nothing. She tried to look interested, but couldn't help keeping one eye on the clock and wondering when lunch would be.

Listening to Legolas on the plane was never boring, she thought, mentally shaking herself to stay awake an hour later. What's wrong with me?

She found herself repeatedly stifling yawns until finally, in the early afternoon, Bridie arrived with a trolley loaded with sandwiches and crisps, as Haldir called them. There was also the ever-present pot of hot tea.

I'm dying for a diet Coke. Ivy sighed to herself.Welcoming any escape from Haldir's educational table, Ivy stretched her stiff muscles and listened to Bridie.

"Here's your lunch, m'laird, and the Lovells from London just called to say they've crossed into the county. I've been told to warm their rooms and mix their drinks, so I'll see to that before getting myself down the hill and home before...that Elf...arrives from Sydney."

"Oh, bloody hell, they're early." Haldir scowled.

"Who is?" Ivy asked.

"Julien and his sister, Wendy." The marchwarden sighed as if greatly put upon. "Very well, Bridie. I'll ring you when our band of merry directors has departed, and you can reclaim your kitchen."

"That Elf isn't to change a thing while I'm gone. You tell him I said so, m'laird, and is there anything else you'll be needing before I go?"

"Not a thing." Bridie left, and Haldir turned his attention back to Ivy. "I must make sure all is ready for our guests. You needn't worry about running into them, as they won't leave the first floor just yet."

"Just yet?"

"Their bedrooms are across from yours, but Julien will homestead the telephone in the receiving room while Wendy will turn on the telly. I suggest you have lunch with Legolas here, and then retire to your room for a nice, long nap. Really Ivy, you look exhausted."

"I think I'm jetlagged."

"Most probably." He began inching toward the door. "Be sure to set your alarm for seven-thirty this evening. If you've not appeared by eight-thirty, I'll come find you."

Ivy wrinkled her nose at being ordered about as if she were twelve. "Where am I to...appear?"

"In the formal dining hall. That's straight down the stairs and most of the way down the hallway toward the kitchen. You'll want the large room opposite the grandfather clock. Don't feel pressured, simply come down whenever you feel ready."

As long as it's before eight-thirty or you'll come find me, Ivy groused silently. "Okay."

"There will be plenty of food and drink, and you will finally meet the rest of us."

"That's nice." Ivy tried not to grit her teeth.

"I must fly, as the Lovells will be furious if all is not in order and I am not there to greet them when they arrive."

Haldir strode out, all Lothlórien confidence and self-importance, with Ivy not unhappy to see him go. Her head felt as if it were about to explode. Her ears felt as if they were stuffed with cotton after trying to absorb the Elf's lectures all morning, and her stomach growled loudly to remind her of how hungry she was.

No sound came from the chair she thought still contained Legolas. I suppose he could have snuck out while Haldir was droning on, thought Ivy, but I hope not. Glancing at the trolley, she selected a tuna sandwich and some potato crisps - chips to her. Longing for a Diet Coke, she poured a cup of tea and added lots of milk and sugar.

"If you're there, do you want something to eat?" she asked the back of the wing-back chairs.

"No, thank you," came the beautiful voice that made Ivy smile inside whenever she heard it.

"Maybe you'd like something to drink? You have a choice of tea or more tea."

A pause. "Very well. No milk or sugar, please. And if Bridie thought to send up a mug among the cups and saucers, I'd be ever so."

Bridie had. Bringing the mug of tea to Legolas, Ivy had to pick her way delicately through messy piles of paper surrounding his chair. As for the Elf, he was sitting with his legs pulled up and his bare feet sticking out, as though he were perched in the heart of an old oak. Three other mugs sat on the carpet beside the chair, so that Ivy thought Legolas had probably already had his choice between cold tea or colder tea that morning.

A ragged manila folder was propped on his knees.The long golden hair flowing over his shoulders glowed weakly in the winter light, and dark shadows stained the thin skin beneath Legolas' blue eyes.

He looks far too vulnerable this afternoon, thought Ivy.

"Thank you." The Elf took a long pull on the tea before setting the mug next to its abandoned companions on the floor.

Retrieving her sandwich and tea, Ivy sank into the comfortable old chair next to him and cast about for some neutral topic. "Are you wearing one of the new pairs of jeans from New York?"

"I am."

"They look good on you."

"I am also still using your pen." Smudges of ink stained his fingers. "I hope you don't mind."

"Keep it. I have others." She was amazed how good tuna tasted when one was really hungry.

"How are you getting on with Haldir?"

"He'" Ivy hesitated and stared at her plate, unable to meet the Elf's penetrating gaze. They're probably the best of friends, and Legolas has told me not to mince words, but let's at least try being tactful. "Haldir is really helpful and informative, isn't he?"

"He's boring you, isn't he?"

"Only a little," she admitted. Off of the Elf's instantly incredulous look, Ivy blurted, "Okay, he's boring me a lot. Are you still studying for the meeting?"

"I am." Stretching like a cat, Legolas braced his long legs before the fire. Ivy watched with a carefully concealed artist's lust as the Elf's chest and thigh muscles flexed. Her fingers itched for drawing paper and a soft pencil.

Yawning, the Elf shifted to slouch across the chair. "The more I read, the more there is left for me to read before tomorrow. I'm sure Haldir adds to the papers while I'm not looking. Are you nervous about meeting everyone tonight?"


"They won't hurt you," Legolas reassured. "It will all be very civilized."

"I don't know anything about your world's manners. What if I do something wrong or say something offensive?"

"You won't. You'll be lucky if you can get a word in, as most members of our board are happy commanding center stage. Let them do all the talking until you find your feet. They're all very good at it."

She grimaced. "I'll likely just hide behind you."

"I'm sorry, Ivy, but I won't be in attendance tonight." His blue eyes held genuine regret. "There is much more for me to review if I'm to be well-prepared for this meeting."

Her anxiety increased tenfold at that revelation. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

"Unfortunately, no. Though I thank you for wanting to." Discarding the latest folder onto the nearest pile, Legolas contemplated the fire. Ivy thought the haunted look in his eyes made him look every bit his age.

Why do I get the feeling he's about as eager as I am to interact with these people? Ivy thought. He looks so lost, I wish I could fix whatever's wrong. I don't even know what the problem is, so how could I reassure him everything will be all right?

"You're staring," the Elf said. "Again."

"I'm sorry. You' stareable."

He offered the wisp of a smile in response to her compliment. "At least two board members are sincerely looking forward to seeing you, and your fears will be as nothing once you've met them. The food will also be exquisite. Much is being flown in from Australia this afternoon."

"That sounds expensive."

"We spare no expense."

Ivy shivered instinctively at that response. "Have you seen 'Jurassic Park'?"

"I've not had the pleasure. Should I?"

"Um, no." She remembered too late the Elf's non-exposure to any pop-culture phenomenon over the past fifty years. " Never mind. It's just a silly movie where the park's millionaire philanthropist spares no expense to welcome his guests, and a lot of those guests get eaten."

Legolas' eyebrows climbed. "Eaten?"

"Jurassic Park has some nasty velociraptors and a hungry t-rex, and..." Ivy let her voice trail off. There's no way to explain this to let it lead anywhere good.

Legolas tilted his head. "You are afraid our board members will eat you alive?"

"That's basically it, yeah." Sighing, she pulled back her hair. "I know I'm not making sense. My mind goes in weird directions when I'm tired."

"Obviously, if you're afraid our board is made up of cannibals." He sounded more amused than irritated, and Ivy was grateful for that. "You really should try getting some rest before tonight."

"I will." A yawn interrupted the rest of her reply. "Even if my room's so cold that my nose felt like an icicle when I woke up this morning."

"How unfortunate. You'll sleep better if I light a fire for you. Come." Rising smoothly to his feet, Legolas headed out of the room. Ivy had no choice but to shove her plate and mug back onto Bridie's trolley before playing catch up - again.

# #

Legolas had the fire already going by the time Ivy reached her room. Still kneeling on the hearth, the Elf rocked back on his heels and glanced up at her. "Did anyone tell you this is traditionally the Queen's Daughter's room? Your mother and grandmother both stayed here."

Ivy winced at the news. "I'm so sorry. It must bring up bad memories for you to be in here."

"Not at all." Having securing the fireplace screen, Legolas got to his feet. "Isabel never let me into her bedroom. Aragorn also stayed here."

"Here?" Ivy squeaked. "In this room? In this bed?"

"Not quite." Going to the window, the Elf pulled back the heavy curtain and gestured for Ivy to join him. "Part of the old house is visible from here. The original Ithilien wing is down there and over a few feet. Aragorn stayed there."

"All I can see are snowy rooftops with more dark clouds coming at us over the loch."

"Very well." Taking Ivy firmly by the shoulders, Legolas stood her in front of him. Tucking her tight against his shoulder, he laid his hand across the small of her back. Leaning close, the Elf stretched out his arm. "Pretend I'm holding a bow and you're the arrow. Look down my arm and use my thumb as the tip of your arrow."

Somewhat surprised at the Elf-handling she was receiving, but entirely willing to go with the flow, Ivy did as she was instructed. Leaning into the Elf to get the right angle, Ivy felt the hard muscles of his thigh and chest tense as Legolas shifted his weight to support her.

Oh, he's all coiled power and intensity, isn't he? This is even better than watching a stallion dance. Because it's more than watching, isn't it? Closing one eye, she squinted down the length of Legolas' arm and tried not to tremble at his standing so close to her.

"What do you see?" he demanded, his breath stirring her hair.

"The back of a long stone building."

"Very good." Legolas let his arm drop, but he was still standing so near that Ivy could feel his every inhalation and the heat of his body. "What you are looking at is Ithilien's first wing."

Looking up at him in the weak winter light, she realized how remarkable a blue his eyes truly were, and how flawless his skin but for the shadows deepening beneath his eyes. If she touched his sharp-sculpted cheekbones, she thought she might cut herself. His skin would probably be soft - far softer than any Mortal man's whiskered cheek. And he smelled good.

He's perfect, came the thought. Even if he is a little skinny.

"The first wing?" she repeated. If she didn't move, maybe she could keep him standing against her and talking.

"Rather than destroying the old house and rebuilding on its foundations," Legolas explained, "we found it easier to simply build a new wing - basically a new house every few centuries - and close up the old one."

It took a moment for Ivy to process this information, as she was absorbed in the way Legolas' chest vibrated against her when he spoke. "Are you saying there's still stuff in the old wings? Stuff that dates clear back to Ithilien?"

"Yes. Whatever wasn't carried into the future remained with the past."

Her mind whirled at the treasures hidden behind the castle walls. "So there could be old books and artifacts and weaponry and tapestries and...what else?"

Legolas gazed out the window, considering. His thumb moved slowly at the small of Ivy's back, and she restrained a shiver. Is he even aware he's doing that? Don't move, she ordered herself, else he'll probably stop.

"There is all of that and more," he admitted. "Whatever I could retrieve from Imladris is also there. I remember many books from Elrond's library, a few scribe's desks and some statuary. I believe the statuary found its way into the gardens behind the house. I think the murals depicting the battle of Dagorlad came with us as well."

Ivy gasped. "You have stuff from Imladris here?"

Startled, those wonderfully clear blue eyes met hers again. "Is Imladris important to you?"

"Elrond didn't take everything with him when he left?"

"I do not know what he took, as I was busy with Faramir and Eowyn rebuilding Ithilien when Lord Elrond departed Oversea. I do know he left a great deal behind. The twins couldn't bear abandoning it to the elements, and Aragorn wanted to share with his children what might be salvaged. The twins and I made a trip to gather what we might and transported it here. After Aragorn died--"

"Could I see it?" she interrupted.

Legolas' eyes laughed when he smiled, and his dimples deepened. Ivy didn't even care that he was laughing at her childish eagerness.

"I would enjoy showing it to you. If all goes well tomorrow..." The smile faded abruptly, and the dimples with it. The blond head bowed beneath the burden the Elf had forgotten, if only for a few minutes.

Damn! thought Ivy. I've reminded him of the big, bad meeting again.

"So, Aragorn stayed with you in Ithilien?" Ivy said quickly - anything to distract the Elf.


"Did the king come to visit often?"

"King Elessar did not, but my friend Aragorn did." The hand at Ivy's back slid to her hip, and Ivy's toes curled at the touch. "Shall we close the curtains and let the room warm?"

The slightest pressure of Legolas' fingers encouraged Ivy to move, and then the Elf's hand was gone. Disappointed, Ivy went to sit on the side of the bed while Legolas closed the curtains. Much to Ivy's surprise, Legolas then came to sit beside her on the bed.

"Shortly after Aragorn and Arwen were married," said Legolas, "he began riding out alone from the White City. I would meet him between Gondor and Ithilien on the night of the full moon. Together, we would inspect some remote part of his kingdom and return here to meet with Faramir. As the years passed, Aragorn made a habit of traveling alone and incognito, so that the ranger would appear at my door whenever he was in need of a break from being king. On those nights, we rode out as of old beneath the stars. Aragorn would tell me his worries, and I would guard his sleep."

Ivy settled back against the headboard. "What about the queen?"

"Arwen despised any time Aragorn spent away from her, but knew she could do little about it. She had gotten what she wanted - he had gained a kingdom, made her his queen and the mother of his heirs. He expected Arwen to content herself with that and to leave him to order his life as he willed."

Sitting cross-legged at the foot of the bed, Legolas began plucking at stray threads in the ornate quilt. "Aragorn held private meetings here because there were less eavesdroppers - no courtiers and no counselors unless he brought them, and far less demands upon him than in Gondor. In our humble rooms, he held councils with Faramir and Eomer, the Haradrim and others come from beyond his borders. Political matters were resolved, trade matters were developed and finalized without Gondor's stuffy privy council in attendance - much to the grand vizier's dismay and very vocal disapproval back in the White City."

The Elf fell silent. Ivy tried not breathe and hoped he would continue.

"I made everyone welcome in Ithilien," said Legolas, "and Aragorn was as free to come and go as the rest of them. He treated my home as though it were his own, and my people treated him as one of their own. He walked the streets freely, and I have reason to believe he cherished that freedom. Aragorn wearied of ruling Gondor and Arnor, yet in him they had a wise ruler. I miss him."

"What do you miss about him?" Ivy asked quietly.

"All of him." Legolas left off picking at the innocent quilt. "His friendship and his trust. His direct way of speaking and how he waded fearlessly into each fight - oftentimes failing to wait for me to guard his back. I was forever terrified of being separated from him in battle, of losing him forever to the Uruk-hai. In waking dreams, I hear him call my name and his wicked laugh. He argued as of old with me at times through the long darkness in Alaska."

"I wonder if I'll ever having waking dreams," said Ivy, once it was clear Legolas was done with his reminiscing.

The Elf gave a wistful smile. "You must first live long enough for your memories to become both a comfort and a burden."

Ivy bristled inwardly and bit back a retort until she remembered how old Legolas was and all he had accomplished, and the fact that every Queen's Daughter except her and her mother were dead. "I must seem very young to you."

"Yes, but that is not necessarily a bad thing, Ivy. The years will pass quickly enough for you, as they do for all of us." Legolas tilted his head. "I saw some of your artwork last night on the Internet."

Once again the Elf's abrupt change of subject startled her, but Ivy tried to go with the flow. "Which piece?"

"The one you called Shadowfax. I found him...memorable."

She felt herself color. "You liked him? Really?"

"He is quite himself." The Elf's blue eyes were sincere. "You have a rare gift for making a viewer feel he is in communion with the subject of your painting."

"It's important to me that my work touches people," she said quietly.

Legolas nodded. "I would like to see something of your work beyond a computer screen. Where do you exhibit?"

"I've shown at a few Arabian horse shows, and there's a cybershop at The Artist's Café for greeting cards and posters - that's a print-on-demand thing." She all but stammered her reply, astonished he was asking. I hope it's not only out of politeness. "My originals are up at the Start Something gallery in San Francisco, but the biggest thing I've done so far is an Arabian horse mural called 'Flight of Princes' for The Egyptian resort in Las Vegas."

Legolas leaned forward. "A mural? Like Lord Elrond's own?"

"I wish." Ivy made a face. "I'm sure my work is nowhere as good as his was. The Egyptian Resort sponsors an Arabian distance race every fall. I entered some preliminary drawings in this year's racing program competition, and the owners commissioned me to do a wall mural inside their hotel. I spent all of last summer on it, worrying that they'd pay me for my work only to paint over it and get someone else in who'd do a better job. But it's stayed up so far, and there are photos to prove it in my website gallery."

"I will look for is it said? When next I travel to Las Vegas, I will ask Haldir to book my room at The Egyptian and see it for myself." A sudden despair filled the Elf's eyes, every bit as revealing to Ivy as the horses she drew. "If I ever again travel for..."

Shaking himself, Legolas recovered so quickly that Ivy almost doubted what she knew she'd seen. Sliding off of the bed, the Elf said, "I believe your room is warm enough now. I should leave you to sleep."

Turning, the Elf headed with all speed for the door, only to hesitate at the threshold. "If things become unruly tonight, or if someone frightens you badly, ask Haldir to come get me. I am your protector, after all."

He didn't wait for her response before slipping out.

So even if Legolas isn't right there tonight, he's still near by. She smiled to herself. That makes me feel a hundred times better.



Haldir scowled at the white 747 cargo-jet circling the loch. Barely visible against the storm clouds, it carried two Elven lords who had always made the marchwarden nervous whenever he encountered them, whether in Lothlórien or elsewhere. The third Elf aboard had always been merely annoying. Nothing had changed in three thousand years.

Clapping his hands over his ears, Haldir endured as the plane roared in for a perfect landing on the wet runway. Gritting his teeth against the vibration, the Elf remembered when the cargo plane's owner had called some two years before to warn that Lairg's runway would have to be lengthened specifically to accommodate the long-range 747's take-off and landing requirements. Loch water would supply a boiler to be installed in the hangar, which would be heated in winter. The hot water would then be pumped beneath the tarmac to keep the runway clear of ice. Haldir had seen to it immediately, of course.

I'd never hear the end of it, were the great Lords Elrond and Glorfindel and their plane were to slide into the loch, thought Haldir.

The runway had been lengthened in record time and at great expense because Haldir hadn't wanted to be asked twice. I cannot wait to inform Legolas how many pounds sterling were siphoned from his personal account to satisfy Elrond's desire to transport our yearlings to New South Wales every December. I'm not even certain Legolas is aware his little horses are still being taken.

The 747 rolled to a stop. The side door was pushed back as Alastair dutifully drove up with the off-loader, ready to transport passengers and provisions. Elrond and Glorfindel stepped out and rode it to the ground, while Erestor remained on board to greet the Scot when he took the platform back up.

The marchwarden offered a formal bow. "Welcome to Lairg, gentlemen."

"Haldir." Elrond nodded in acknowledgement before heading with all dignified speed for shelter of the Range Rover. "Has Ivy arrived?"

Glorfindel paced close on his heels. "By all of the little gods, you never stopped talking about her on the flight over, and we've not been on the ground ten minutes before you're demanding to know if she's here. Obsessed much?"

And so it begins between them. Again, thought Haldir. I haven't missed hearing this in the six months since our last meeting. Sliding behind the wheel once more, Haldir schooled himself to patience. "Queen's Daughter arrived last night and spent the morning reviewing things with me. I believe she is taking a well-deserved nap this afternoon, but Legolas is in my library and looking forward to discussing--"

"I want to see her."

Haldir guided the Range Rover down the rough road leading up to the house. "She may be asleep."

"I want to see her."

"Of course you do," said Glorfindel from the back seat. "Because you're intractable and obstinate, and you can't conceive that she might think you're crazy as a wet snake and tell you to rack off if you invade her bedroom. Never mind we're all total strangers to her."

"I will see her."

"As you wish," Haldir said smoothly.

"As you wish," Glorfindel mocked, "because we all know there's absolutely no arguing with you in times like this, when you've gone off your trolley."

# #

Wrapping lightly on the door, Elrond barely gave the room's occupant enough time to answer before deciding she wasn't going to. With a quiet click, the doorknob turned beneath his hand. The room was dark beyond the door. and sensitive Elven hearing said someone inside was breathing deep and slow, but otherwise there was no movement.


She didn't hear him, and so Elrond dared to slip inside. Surely the thick carpeting would muffle his footsteps, and he would not disturb her sleep or frighten her with his looming presence? The Elf-lord had no wish to frighten her. He wanted only to assure himself she was finally within the circle of his protection. No matter what warnings Glorfindel might issue, surely Elrond was allowed to stand at the side of Ivy's bed and finally see, in the flesh, the child he'd wondered after and worried about from the moment of her birth?

He couldn't help feel a bit desperate, as he hadn't had a reliable report on her in over five years. The ubiquitous school photos begged from her grandfather, along with the odd assortment of stealthy candids her watchers had managed to obtain, had done little but frustrate Elrond. Marian's efforts to keep her daughter away from all Elven influence had been too successful: thousands of miles had always lain between Elrond and the latest Queen's Daughter.

The first photo he'd managed to obtain was from an Elven watcher who'd managed to snap, through the nursery glass, a shot of newborn Ivy in her hospital bassinet. Next came the image of a grinning six-year-old imp with her hair in pigtails, a sprinkling of freckles across her nose, and no front teeth.

The only time he'd heard the child speak was on a video tape her grandfather had bullied Ivy into making 'for Santa Claus' at the age of eleven. She'd asked Santa for a pony and a training bra and please, could she also get her period because all of the other girls already had? Thanks very much, and anyway making a tape like this was stupid because Santa Claus didn't exist, and hey Mom, if you're listening she really, REALLY wanted that bra, and Grandpa, if you're listening turn off the tape NOW because she was talking girl stuff.

Ivy had been all smiles and frozen tears in the next photo, a year older and standing in the Montana snow, clutching her new pony's lead shank. 'She believes in Santa now," grandfather Cameron had scrawled on the back of the photo. "If she changes her mind, I've already threatened to send back the pony.'

Next had come the long-legged, unfinished sixteen-year-old, leaping gracelessly up the stairs outside the San Francisco house as she raced home from school. That photo and the few others following it had been smudged, for Ivy had been in constant motion as a teenager. Elrond had requested close-ups as the girl was maturing, but the Elven watchers he'd assigned said that the girl hurried through her days with her head down, as if she feared to look the world in its eye, so obtaining close-ups was impossible.

The last photo had provided the Elf-lord only a crumb of what he wanted - a look inside Ivy's life, however brief. Someone had managed to get a shot of her straddling a potter's wheel during one of her art labs at university. She had clay smeared across her cheek and halfway up her arms. Her apron was soaked where she bent over the wheel, and she worried her lower lip while she fought to keep a gray glob centered between her hands on the spinning platform.

With such sparse glimpses into her life, Elrond had no idea how she was maturing or who they would be welcoming at their latest board meeting. At twenty-four, was Ivy more child than adult? Was the Queen's Madness lurking to create problems for them all, as it had in her grandmother? Would Ivy refuse to be involved in any way with Elrond, as her mother had done?

The Elf-lord had wanted to introduce himself properly and away from the others before the evening's gathering. Ivy lay so close, yet still so far away from him, curled up and fast asleep beneath a mountain of covers. Perhaps he could catch a glimpse of her face if lifted the covers...but what was that smell?

Stepping closer, Elrond ran a hand lightly over the top coverlet, only to discover it was stiff-furred rather than quilted. Leaning closer, he sniffed, only to retreat abruptly and suppress a sneeze.

She sleeps beneath a rancid bearskin? Blinking through watering eyes as the stench grew stronger to his sensitive Elven senses, Elrond dared another look. Ivy's face was buried beneath the covers, well away from the coat itself.

Wise child. No doubt she is trying to keep warm. How else am I to understand her snuggling beneath a stinking fur coat that no doubt belongs to Legolas? Which means they have at least met? Elrond glanced at the dying fire. With all of the millions at his command, I will never understand why that Elf refuses to install central heating in this behemoth.

Elrond could see little but the top of his quarry's head, which simply would not do. Brushing aside the coat, he dared to lift the covers a little, to peer within.

Her unruly hair was red and naturally waved, no doubt part of her inheritance back to the sons of Feanor through Galadriel's line. Elrond had been told Ivy hated the color as well as the freckles sprinkled across her nose. Everything else to do with her was left to the Elf-lord's frustrated imagination.

I have imagined far too much to do with her over the years, Elrond thought. I am impatient for the reality, though it may prove less than satisfactory.

Ivy stretched beneath the covers, startling Elrond. Her fingers clutched the bedclothes close against the chill of the room, and the Elf-lord was startled to see that her hands were clean, right down to the short, gnawed fingernails. Elven watchers lurking on campus had relayed that the child's digits were perpetually stained with gouache and oil paints. some sniffy observers had hinted the stains were a sign of her ineptitude rather than her artistic talent.

Daring to lay a hand on Ivy's head, Elrond held his breath. What lies in store for you, my daughter of time? And how many other Queen's Daughters have I watched sleeping like this? How many of your forebears have I met throughout the draining centuries, only to lose them to death?

You and I will meet soon. For now, it must be enough that you are finally here, safe beneath this roof and within our protection.

Elrond dared tuck in the blankets around Ivy before adding another log to the dying fire and seeing himself quietly out. This one will be warm and safe and sane, and she will live. Somehow, I will see to it.


Ivy awoke to the sound of muffled voices in the hallway beyond her bedroom door. Disoriented in the dark room, she didn't know where she was for a minute. When memory returned, so did the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. Is this what people felt in the Dark Ages when they were about to face the Inquisition?

She took the time to take another shower and washed her hair, regardless she didn't have a hair dryer that would take Scotland's electric current, and that she'd have to spend extra time letting it dry before the fire. Extra time meant extra anxiety, but Ivy wanted to at least try looking her best.

With her face scrubbed and her hair half-dry, she was ready as she'd ever be with scarcely fifteen minutes left before Haldir's threatened 8:30 p.m. deadline. Not for the first time, Ivy wished she had taken the time at some point to let some salesclerk in Nordstrom's or Macy's show her how to apply makeup. She wished she could have been one of those confident beauties worthy of modeling for Victoria's Secret who appeared secure in their own skin with the millions they earned.

But wishing didn't make it so, and she'd never been able to afford trying to camouflage her lack of assets. No subtle makeup job, hundred-dollar haircut, or expensive clothing could improve her flaming hair, flat chest and skinny body, so she'd long stopped dreaming.

I'd rather buy canvas, illo board and paints, anyway. I’m an artinista, not a fashionista, she thought, sticking her tongue out at her own reflection. The Elven contingent waiting below would have to be satisfied with the new Queen's Daughter appearing in clean jeans and a brown sweater that had been bought for warmth and comfort. At least they won't be able to accuse me of being a mule in horse harness.

# #

Skulking out of her room and down the stairs, Ivy found the ground floor deserted. Heading down the long corridor as Haldir had instructed, she found herself intrigued by the series of closed doors she encountered. One stood open and darkness beckoned beyond it, but Ivy's curiosity got the better of her anyway.

Stepping inside the room, she thought she could see a glimmer of gold amid the gloom. Groping for a lightswitch, she found a dial and cautiously pushed it. Crystal and gold chandeliers instantly brightened overhead.

"Oh, yuck," Ivy gasped at nightmare revealed beneath the lights.

Someone had taken a starkly beautiful medieval hall where form religiously followed function and absolutely ruined it with rococo. Frantic, Ivy dialed down the lighting, but Ballroom d'Tacky was not to be denied. The once-bare walls had been covered with stucco painted a muddy pink pastel and then decorated with an excess of interwoven gold-leaf scrollwork. Gold-dipped winged cherubs with tiny penises danced amid a gilded forest above the chandeliers. Soft and pretty and chubby, they flittered across the ceiling and guarded blood-red curtains at the French doors leading outside.

They look so embarrassed, Ivy thought, stepping further into the room. This room looks so embarrassed. Has Legolas seen this? Ivy shuddered at the thought that the Elf may have welcomed it at some point. Bouchardon had nothing to do with this room.

Fascinated in a nauseated sort of way, Ivy examined the ornate walls and stared up at the ceiling, only to be alarmed at the number of cracks running across both. Some of those cracks outlined large squares, and some of those squares were buckling.

That doesn't look good. All too aware she was trespassing where she probably shouldn't, Ivy backed out of the room and turned out the lights once more. Darkness, she decided, was definitely a blessing in this case. She also decided it might be wise if she looked for the dining hall Haldir had described rather than exploring any more of the castle on her own. Remember Pandora and Bluebeard's wife?

She found the dining hall where Haldir had indicated it would be, and was surprised at the quiet murmur of voices within. I guess it's true, Americans are much more noisy.

Her steps slowed as she approached the door. Do you think they'd let me steal a plate full of food and run back upstairs with it? There's no real need for introductions tonight, right?

Getting into the room proved to be a problem, never mind stealing a plate, for a tall, broad-shouldered Elf was standing with his back to the hall and blocking Ivy's way while conversing with someone inside the room. Hovering at the door, Ivy knew she was gawking but couldn't help herself.

He's in robes! she shrieked inwardly. Real Elven robes and not some New Zealand costume knock-off!

Come to it, another part of her mind pointed out, those robes look a lot like the ones featured in the movies. Flowing, raw black silk and a high collar, wide, cuffed sleeves with elaborate silver piping, all fit for Elvish royalty. It must have taken forever for his tailor or seamstress to finish.

The Elf said something in Sindarin, his voice low and authoritative. His waist-length hair flowed like a black waterfall when he leaned down to catch his companion's reply, and Ivy caught sight of more intricate silver embroidery beneath the Elf's hair, on the back of the robes.

He is magnificent, and didn't Haldir say this affair wasn't formal? Glancing down at her brown sweater and jeans, Ivy felt more than a little inferior. Not wanting to be caught staring - to be caught loitering would be bad enough - Ivy retreated to a wooden bench that was holding court with a grandfather clock across from the door to the dining hall. Sinking onto the bench, she resigned herself to waiting for the impressive Elf to clear the doorway.

A few seconds later, someone slid the length of the bench and into Ivy. A wiry thigh shoved against hers, long fingers death-gripped her arm. Startled, she reared back to get a better look at the male Elf who had a shock of shoulder-length black hair, earnest grey eyes, and a wide grin.

"Hello, Ivy," he purred.

"Who was it who said, 'I don't know who you are, but your manner is familiar'?" she muttered, trying to gain some distance from him and failing on the small bench.

"I've no idea, but really it's not important. Your mum told me so much, I feel as if I already know you. I'm Julien, and we're going to be great friends."

"Really." Ivy's voice held no great enthusiasm.

"I'm so happy to finally meet you," he whispered, as if finding her was a great secret that shouldn't be shared. Darting a glance at the dining hall and looking both ways down the hall, the Elf grabbed Ivy's hand and tucked it tightly against his chest. "You and I need to have a chat."

"About what?"

"The meeting, of course."

His grip was tight, his aura cloying and suffocating like no other Ivy had ever encountered. She tried pulling free her arm, but Julien only tightened his grip.

"Come now, there's no time to be lost." He sounded unctuous, as if she had no choice but to fall in with his plans.

Panic rose as Ivy realized Julien had no intention of letting her go until he'd gotten exactly what he wanted. "I don't want to go with you."

"Of course you do." He was all smooth smiles and insistent muscle. "I've been trying to contact your mother for days and days. We could have saved so much time if only Marian had told me you were coming in her place." Getting to his feet, Julien dragged Ivy upward as well. "Come with me now into the receiving room."

"I'd rather not." Dragging back against his strength, Ivy fought to stay on the bench. "Whatever you have to say, say it here."

Shoving his face close to hers, Julien glowered. "Don't be a child. We need to talk in private."

"I said no. Now let go of my arm!"

"Don't you dare be difficult with me, Ivy MacLeod."

"Don't I what?" Her alarm was giving way to anger. "Who the hell do you think you are, grabbing me like this?"

He all but rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Your mother always--"

"I've got some news for you, Julien whatever-your-name-is. My mother's not here, and I'm not her."

His expression darkened suddenly, his lip curled in a sneer. His grip tightened enough to bruise. "You are coming with me now."

If every Elf wears his emotions on his face, I think I'm seeing contempt, she thought, twisting frantically to get free. Every instinct shouted that she shouldn't let him get her alone, but there was a sinewy, tensile strength to this Elf that would not yield. So she added a kick to his shin and raised her voice.

"Let go of me!"

He gasped as her booted foot made sharp contact. "Why, you little--"

"Julien," a new voice intruded, carrying its own warning.

Ivy was instantly released, only to find herself thrown roughly backward. Landing awkwardly on the edge of the bench, she was startled to realize Julien had succeeded in dragging her some distance away from it. As for the slender Elf, he cast Ivy a look of resentment and fear. Scuttling down the hallway, he disappeared into the shadows beyond.

"Yeah!" she called out, but it came out more like a croak. "Keep going!"

Relieved she was finally free, Ivy straightened on the bench and rubbing her injured arm. Staring up at the Elf who'd come to her rescue, she recognized him as the wearer of the robes she'd admired so much earlier. If anything, his robes were even more beautiful from the front.

"Did he hurt you?"

"No. I'm fine," she answered automatically, regardless her arm felt mauled. No wonder Mom warned me to be careful, and what's this new one going to do to me?

Julien's overbearing attitude was reminiscent of a cockroach, while Legolas' mercurial moods reminded her of a proud stallion quick to fight and determined to protect his own. Ivy thought Mirkwood's warrior-Elf was constantly in motion - mentally if not physically - but the barrel-chested Elf looking down at her now was all grounded power, solemnity and regal stillness. This one felt like a long-mature, experienced lion; the ruler of all he surveyed, and his word was law. He even had a black mane of hair that remind Ivy specifically of a South African Cape Lion she once drawn from a safari photo. No wonder a single growl from this Elf had sent Julien scuttling off into the shadows.

If I couldn't fight off scrawny Julien, I haven't a prayer against this one, Ivy realized. If he wants me somewhere, he'll just pick me up and carry me there.

"Thanks for the rescue," she whispered, still nursing her arm as it throbbed.

"You are most welcome."

Pushing back his robes, the Elf sank down to kneel before Ivy. Shrinking away, she calmed when she realized he was moving slowly and being careful to leave some distance between them. Clearly, he was offering time and space for her to escape, should she feel the need. The Elf brought himself down to her level, and Ivy fell into storm-blue eyes that seemed to hold both sorrow and fury. Tiny laugh lines spread from the corners of his eyes, but he wasn't laughing now. Far from it.

Who is he? she wondered.

"I am a healer. I will not hurt you," he murmured, seeming to answer her unvoiced question. "I wish only to make certain you have come to no harm." He laid a hand over hers, and Ivy surprised herself by letting him. "You are trembling."

"He scared me."

"Allow me to apologize for Julien's aberrant behavior. I would have you know he is not like the rest of us."

"No?" Ivy arched an eyebrow. "What makes him so different?"

"Julien was born and raised in the Mortal world - specifically late Victorian London, during the era of the Decadents." With great care, the Elf cradled Ivy's arm between both his hands to begin examining it.

"His parents passed Oversea a few years ago," the Elf continued, "leaving director's seats to him and his sister. Wendy is happy to entertain herself with the many distractions the Mortal world has to offer. Julien, however, believes everyone has their price, and that he has only to find and pay it in order to own a person."

"I'm not for sale." Even if I do feel scared to death and completely out of my depth.

"Of that, I have no doubt." His voice was low and soothing, his touch surprisingly gentle yet thorough. "Julien has dared to hurt you and will not be allowed near you again. I also have something in my room that will help with the bruises I see forming. I will bring it down to you."

"How did you do it?" Ivy asked, effectively stopping the Elf as he gathered his robes and made to stand.

"Do what, my dear?"

"Send Julien off with his tail between his legs, just by speaking his name."

"We have encountered each other in the past, and he knows it's best not to cross me." His gaze searched hers. "You will come to no further harm this night, I promise you. I’m sure it's been a long time since luncheon, and you must have come down for the buffet. Would you like something to eat?"

Ivy shook her head and glanced down the hall as if to reassure herself Julien wasn't sneaking back. "I don't think I could eat anything right now."

"I am truly sorry then, for Erestor has surpassed himself with the bounty he's provided for us tonight."

She completely forgot Julien. "Erestor's here?"

"Of course. He comes with us from Australia every Solstice, to cook for us and ensure we are not subjected to the local food."

She wrinkled her nose. "To save you from the porridge, you mean?"

"Don't tell me Bridie subjected you to that ghastly mess? You should have been treated to the finest meals this castle's larder had to offer - not to that frightful concoction of oatmeal mixed with turnip juice."

"I'm not sure what was in it," Ivy admitted, "because I gave up on the first glomping spoonful this morning. I think I upset her by sleeping in."

The Elf's grey eyes were concerned. "It sounds as if your days have been nothing but misery and ashes since your mother told you of our existence. I understand how upset you must be after Julien's lack of manners, so that the last thing you want to do now is meet others of our group. I must warn you, however, that those within the dining hall will shortly become curious and venture out here. Might I therefore coax you into the kitchen, or into Haldir's receiving room where you need not encounter them, and we might continue our conversation in private?"

She'd received an invitation to go off alone with an Elf not ten minutes before, and from a much less impressive source. Her instincts then had clamored for her to refuse the invitation. She listened to those same instincts now, but they only whispered that this powerfully built Elf was safe to be with. How weird is it that I feel as if nothing bad could ever happen when he is near?

Still, reason dictated she not go mincing off with him immediately, so Ivy racked her brain for some bit of conversation to delay what may have been inevitable. "Australia!"

"I beg your pardon?"

"You said Erestor comes with you from Australia. So he must be the one Haldir said stays in the kitchen. Which means you're either Elden or Gordon."

"Elden or - did Haldir not tell you our Elven names?"

She shook her head. "I got a sheet of paper with your names in English, and something about the meetings were in English because of corporate minute requirements, blah blah...I'm sorry, but he was putting me to sleep."

"Haldir can have that effect, yes. Very well. I am Elden." He turned, still kneeling before her, and gestured back at the dining hall. "If you lean over a bit and look just through there, you'll see Gordon - otherwise known as Glorfindel - leaning against the wall next to the fireplace. He is also from Australia."

"That's Glorfindel?" she squeaked.

"It is."

"The real Glorfindel?"

"There is only one Glorfindel, thankfully. I don't think we could live with two of them."

"Why does he look like Legolas? Or do all blonde Elves look alike?"

"They do not. But the resemblance between father and son is remarkable, I think you'll agree."

She broke off staring at Glorfindel to stare at Elden. "Legolas has a son?"

Elden laughed outright at that question, which made Ivy stare even harder. Do all Elves look entirely different when they laugh? she wondered. This one looks positively mephistophelean. I need to remember that look and sketch it later.

"Legolas is Glorfindel's son."

"What, huh?" That, along with a double-take at the Glorfindel in question, was all Ivy could manage as a reply.

"That wasn't in the books you read when you were younger?" Elden asked, all innocence.

"Um, no. What happened to Thranduil?"

"Nothing happened to him," said Elden. "As far as I know, he is still Oversea."

"He's not Legolas' father?"

"No. Though his queen was Legolas' mother. She is also Oversea. Am I confusing you?"

"You're giving me a headache. So Tolkien was wrong?"

"Not wrong, precisely. The books offer a great many inconsistencies, but the story of Legolas' conception and birth is one you should hear from his father, rather than from me. Suffice it to say that the Valar work in mysterious ways, and Julien did not tell the professor everything. Which I am certain is only because no one tells Julien everything. He has very little interest in Elven history."

"So Erestor's in the kitchen and Glorfindel's in the dining hall. Who's in the drawing room with Colonel Mustard?"

"I assure you there is no Elf of any age with a name like that," Elden deadpanned, but Ivy caught more than a glimmer of humor in his eyes.

"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" she challenged.

"I must admit that I am, for I have waited a great many years to finally meet you."

"Why in the world would you want to meet me? Is it the Queen's Daughter thing?"

"Given that I am the queen's father, that is certainly part of it."

She stared at Elden, who stared patiently back, undoubtedly waiting for her to either connect the dots or ask another question. Ivy's mind did more than connect the dots; it exploded with the realization of who, exactly, she was talking to.


On to next chapters

Return to Story List || Contact

DISCLAIMERS: Blood Ties and its characters/teleplays are the property of Tanya Huff, Insight Film, Chum TV, Kaleidoscope Entertainment and, their associates and license holders. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series and their characters/teleplays are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, 20th Century-Fox and, their associates and license holders. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and all character names are the acknowledged trademarks of George Lucas and Lucasfilm. Lord of the Rings and all character names are the acknowledged trademarks of the J.R.R. Tolkien Estate and/or its licensees. Character and other creative elements from these respective works are used on this site without permission for entertainment, not-profit purposes only. This site contains only fan-produced fiction and artwork which intend no copyright infringement.No money is collected or made off of anything on this site. Everything here is fictional (this means it never happened). Any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental. By entering this site, you agree to hold the author and website owner completely blameless and liable for absolutely nothing.