Author's note: Another A/L slash. I just love this pairing! This one, doesn't have an actual plot, it just follows the book (with some slight differences) and concentrates on the feelings. If I get enough reviews, I shall add another chapter.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything; J.R.R. Tolkien came up with the whole thing before I did.

Love is all that matters

Chapter 1

By Marylou


~~~ Aragorn ~~~

I cannot even recall how many years there have been since my very last visit in Mirkwood. I always liked that place, with the friendly yet a little harsh and too proud elves, but its outer beauty could not compare to the beauty of Rivendell.

No, there is something else that draws me to Mirkwood. Something even more beautiful and elegant. The youngest son of king Thranduil, the blond, skilled archer, Legolas Greenleaf.

From the very first time I laid eyes on the attractive elf, I have lost my sleep. His beauty, his greatness and his gentleness have intrigued and bewitched me more than anything else I have ever seen in my life.

I speak the truth, when I say that Legolas was my first love. I might have been already old when I first saw him, but the emotions that went through me, were extremely overwhelming.

I was experienced in many ways and many situations, but I had never felt pure love, like the one I felt for Legolas. And that, without even having the feelings returned.

I had never found the courage to express my feelings to him. The fear of getting rejected was too strong, as was my pride. The young prince did not have a clue about how I felt and most probably, he had the impression that I found him completely repulsive, because most of the times, I avoided to be near him, in fear that my own body would betray me.

So I was trapped in my own prison, fighting with intense emotions that the one I loved did not even know about.

On my way back to Rivendell, accompanied by four joyful hobbits, my thoughts traveled back to the elf. For as much as I knew, his father Thranduil, an elf of great wisdom and nobleness, was a member of the councils and a council should take place in Elrond's house, while we were there.

I did not honestly think that his youngest son would accompany him in his journey, but I was content only by the thought that I could ask of him and learn his news.

My thoughts suddenly traveled to another elf that would be awaiting me in Rivendell, lady Arwen. What was I thinking? I asked myself. What was I thinking when I promised her marriage and made love-vows to her? It must have been despair that forced me to do that.

Honestly, I did not love her. I respected her and enjoyed her company, but with her, feelings like love, lust and longing never crept to my heart. It was only the image of Legolas that would spread fire through my body and my soul, only the thought of him that reminded me I was alive.

I really had to talk with Arwen about my feelings towards her. If the day should come when I would become king, then I would have to marry her. And a marriage without love is the worst prison a man can put himself in.


<> Rivendell <>

I did not longer fear for the young hobbit, since lord Elrond was a healer of admirable talent. He should take good care of him.

Once I left him under his supervising, I allowed myself to skip to other thoughts and enjoy the beautiful nature around me. This truly was my home, even if something was missing.

Suddenly, I felt one warm hand touching my shoulder and turned around to see who it was. "Gandalf!" I exclaimed joyfully, as I embraced the older wizard.

I was truly happy to see an old friend again, a friend whom I always could trust and rely on. We chatted for a while, making strolls around the garden. Finally, our conversation brought to us to the subject that I honestly wished to avoid. My love life.

"So, Aragorn, have you seen the lady Arwen yet?" he asked me with a smile.

I frowned at his words. I did not wish to talk about this to anyone, before I talked to Arwen, but the wizard was a very good friend of mine and his advice would probably be precious to me. "Neither have I, nor am I anxious to," I answered averting my gaze from him.

"You truly surprise me, my friend. I thought that the Evenstar held your heart. Was I wrong?" the wizard asked, sounding truly confused.

I sighed. "That is what, I let people believe, trying to hold my true feelings hidden deep inside my heart. But no, I do not love Elrond's daughter, because my heart beats for someone else," I said softly, knowing that I already had revealed too much.

Gandalf nodded, but I could tell that he was everything but satisfied with my statement. "Who then holds your heart, Aragorn?" he asked calmly.

"I cannot say that to you, my dear friend. It is a secret that I have kept inside me for many years and it shall not be revealed, because it will only bring pain and confusion to so many souls, if it comes out," I said, making sure that there wasn't a chance that I would say anything more.

"What do you wish me to say now, my friend?" Gandalf asked with a sad voice. I understood that he truly wanted to see me wed the Evenstar, because he thought very highly of her.

"I ask for your advice, Gandalf. You're a wise man and you can help me to find a way not to hurt Arwen so much," I said hopefully.

"I do not believe that there is such a way. She loves you deeply and her heart will break in two, shall she find out that you do not return her feelings. I can only suggest that you should postpone that for a while and let her enjoy your reunion, Elessar," the wizard said earnestly.

I nodded, but deep inside I was completely unsatisfied with the advice that Mithrandir had given me. I didn't want to play such a game behind her back, for much longer, but I saw for myself that there was no other choice. I could not deprive her of the happiness, my arrival would bring her.

We continued walking for while, silently, until I finally found the strength to ask what I wanted from the beginning. "Gandalf, tell me, do you know if king Thranduil shall join the Council?"

"I am not quite sure, my friend. I have not seen him yet, but I have heard rumors that he will not be able to attend himself and will probably send one of his sons. Doubtlessly, his eldest one, Triton," Gandalf said.

"I see," I murmured, lost in my thoughts. For one brief moment, I allowed myself to hope. If Legolas was here... Nay, I corrected myself, he is too young for that and has many elder brothers who the king would have preferred to send. No, I could not hope to see the blond angel here.


<> A little later <>

I decided to go to the stables and look after my horse. I had left it here since my last journey and wished to see if it was still strong and healthy. Not of course that I doubted the elves' skills to take care of it.

I was only a few steps away from entering the stable, when I saw a tall, blond figure petting my white horse. My heart stopped as I recognized the soft characteristics of the youngest prince of Mirkwood.

At once, I wanted to scream, jump and run straight to his arms, but all I did was freeze at my footsteps. An elf, as he was, he immediately realized that I was there and turned to look at me.

A smile broke on his beautiful face when he recognized me. "Prince Elessar, we meet again," he said softly and made a few steps towards me. He stretched his hand out to greet me.

All I could do was to stand there and look at him. For years and years, I had waited for this moment to come and now that it finally did, I did not know what to do.

He frowned when he saw that I wasn't reacting and pulled his hand back. "You probably do not remember me," he said bitterly.

As if I was finally awakened from a deep sleep, I jumped and took a hold of hand. "Of course, I remember you Legolas of Mirkwood," I said energetically and squeezed his hand even tighter.

His eyes opened widely from surprise, as he was taken aback from my actions. "I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't recognize me. After all, we have barely spoken to each other," he said, this time a little warmer.

"But I remember you all too well," I said and at the same time, I wanted to kick myself for that. I quickly pulled my hand away, as I realized that I was holding it for too long.

He smiled faintly. "It was good to see you again, Aragorn. But now, if you please excuse me, because I have quite a few businesses to arrange. But I certainly, hope to speak with you again," he said and walked away silently.

I watched him leaving, as my heart raced in my chest. This was going to be a difficult, but all so pleasant residence in Rivendell...

To be continued... (If liked, of course)

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