Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
Sequel to - The Metahuman, The Ranger, and the One Ring
Fandom: Smallville/LOTR: The Two Towers
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: The broken up Fellowship are still trying to complete their respective missions, the League are still trying to find Zatanna, Chloe and Aragorn still have a couple of roadblocks to pass before they can actually have a relationship, and Lois is *still* trying to get into the book. Cue battles, jealousy, and some sexiness.
The Plains of Rohan weren't a beautiful sight and the mood in those fleeing Edoras was far too somber. Even the children were quiet, far too docile, their gazes fixed steadily ahead of them as they walked. The whole procession was going terribly slow, the wagons and such only helping to slow the matters as they were weighed down with as much accumulated possessions as the horses could carry.
Up ahead Aragorn rode side by side with King Theoden, the two talking amongst themselves.
Behind, keeping an eye on the rears, Eomer and Oliver rode, the young Lord seeming quite put upon as he listened to whatever Oliver was saying.
Gimli rode with Clark this time instead of Legolas as he usually did, the two having an apparently comical conversation since Gimli was chortling quite loudly.
Chloe found herself riding next to Legolas, holding onto the reigns of the horse tightly, still unsure of her hold on the animal. She figured she'd never be much of a rider, and the feeling of defeat was annoying.
"I do not mean to pry..." Legolas' voice brought her attention to him. "But I must enquire on your relationship with this Oliver fellow." He sent her a sideways glance, eyebrow raised. "While you are very close to Clark, inappropriately by some people's standards, I can sense nothing but sibling love between the two of you." He paused. "I do not sense the same with this Oliver."
"Makes sense, my relationship with Oliver is different than my relationship with Clark." Chloe admitted, not feeling at all hounded or bothered by the Elf's questions. She didn't know him as well as she'd like, but she knew that Legolas and Clark had become extremely close during this whole mission, and she trusted Clark's instincts as well as Aragorn's. The both of them trusted and cared for the Elf, and added with all she knew about Legolas herself, Chloe trusted him explicitly. "Clark and I have been best friends since we were very young, but it's different with Oliver. I met him because he was helping Clark keep the peace in our town, and also because he was going out with my cousin."
"Going out where?" The Elf asked curiously.
"Sorry! I forgot for a moment about the cultural differences!" Chloe grinned brightly in amusement. "In my world, when we say "going out" we mean "courting"."
"Ah." Legolas nodded, obviously intrigued with this information. "He was wooing your kinswoman."
"Wooing my kinswoman..." Chloe shook her head. "Somehow, Middle Earth people say things prettier."
Legolas chuckled, smiling openly at her in amusement. "I accept your flattery."
"Not flattery if it's true." She pointed out with a cheeky little grin before going serious once more. "Remember how I told you once that Clark and I have been fighting the good fight for a very long time?"
The Elf nodded. "He mentioned that there were others, a "League" I believe he called it."
"Yes." Chloe grinned brightly. "Ollie and I were basically the mother and father of the Leaguers. Many of them were orphans with no family, and we helped supply them with that familiar bond they were lacking."
"Did your kinswoman not mind the fact that you were playing wife to her intended?" Legolas asked curiously.
"Well, I wasn't playing 'wife' to Oliver...I said I was the mother-figure, there's nothing sexual in that. And, to be honest, she didn't know about anything League related at the time so she didn't have an opinion on it." Chloe shrugged. "Also, they didn't really last that long. She broke up with him-uh-ended the courtship."
Legolas nodded. "He was not a proficient wooer."
Chloe's lips twitched. "Just don't let him hear that."
The Elf shared in her amusement, his gaze going to where Oliver and Eomer rode, Eomer seeming quite mortified.
Chloe wondered how exactly Oliver was tormenting the poor guy, before shaking her head and returning her gaze to Legolas as she worried her bottom lip. "Can I ask you a question?"
"You may." He nodded.
"What's "Numenor"?" Chloe frowned, pulling a strand of blonde hair behind her ear. "I've been hearing about this Numenor lately and I'm not sure what or who it is."
"Numenor is-was-an island in the middle of the Western Sea between Middle Earth and Aman. It was brought up out of the sea as a gift to Men." Legolas responded after a moment of eyeing her curiously. "Considering this, its population consisted mostly of Men, and they were known as the Númenóreans, or Kings among Men. They were skilled in arts and craft, especially in the forging of weapons and armor, with the chief art on the island being that of ship-building and sea-craft. They were great mariners, exploring the world in all directions save for the westward, due to the Ban of the Valar. They also became skilled in the art of husbandry, the horses they bred were great and majestic, unmatched by any other save for the Valar."
Chloe nodded slowly as she digested all this so far, feeling like a babe when it came to knowledge of the world she found herself in.
"Númenor was also home to many species of plants which were said could not be found elsewhere in Middle Earth, and the most important of these was the White Tree, which dwelt in the King's Palace at Armenelos." His gaze lowered to her pendant, where a White Tree featured on the locket. "It was the symbol of Men in Númenor, Arnor, and Gondor."
"Gondor." Chloe whispered, fingers clasping around the locket she had yet to be able to open, tightening around it. "Boromir's kingdom?"
Chloe tightened her grip on her locket.
"The Númenóreans were forbidden by the Valar from sailing so far westward that the island wasn't visible so that they wouldn't stumble upon the Undying Lands, which no Men are allowed to venture. At first they respected this law, but over time the Númenóreans began to resent this Ban and resent the Valar's authority, rebelling against them as they believed that they were being begrudged eternal life." Legolas shook his head in derision at this. "To compensate they journeyed eastward and colonized large parts of Middle Earth, later on turning into tyrants. They became rulers of a great yet terrorizing maritime empire which had no rival."
"They sound horrible." Chloe muttered.
"There were a few, the Faithful, who remained loyal to the Valar and friendly to the elves." Legolas assured her. "But in the year SA 3255 the Dark Lord Sauron allowed himself to be taken captive by King Ar-Pharazon and was brought back to Númenor, where he managed to become an advisor to the king, corrupting the Númenóreans by promising them eternal life should they worship Morgoth. Soon Ar-Pharazon built a temple to Morgoth and began offering human sacrifices."
Chloe brought a hand to her mouth to silence her gasp of horror.
"It was during this dark time in which the White Tree Nimloth the Fair, whose fate was said to be tied to the line of kings, was cut down and burned as a sacrifice to Morgoth." Legolas declared, his gaze going to her pendant once more in deep thought. "Isildur rescued a fruit of the tree, which later on grew to become the White Tree of Gondor."
Chloe's eyes widened.
"Knowing the king's old age and fear of death, Sauron convinced Ar-Pharazon to build a great armada and set sail against the Valar to seize the Undying Lands, while Sauron remained behind." Legolas' face was grim, his long blonde hair dancing in the wind around him. "Ar-Pharazon and his men landed on Aman and marched to the city of Valimar. Manwe, cheif of the angelic Valar, called upon Iluvatar, who broke and changed the world, taking Aman and Tol Eressëa from Arda forever, which changed the world's shape from flat to round." The Elf let out a little sigh. "This sunk Númenor, killing all its inhabitants, including the body of Sauron, robbing him of his ability to assume fair and charming forms."
Chloe couldn't believe all the information she hadn't known, feeling foolish for not having asked these questions before. "But what about Aragorn's family? They were from Númenor, so how is it that they survived when the whole island sunk and everyone supposedly died?"
"Elendil, son of the leader of the Faithful during the reign of Ar-Pharazon, father of Isildur and Anarion, had foreseen the disaster that was to befall them due to their rebellion against the Valar." Legolas explained, a small smile lighting his face. "Before the island fell they set sail in nine ships and landed in Middle Earth, founding the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor. In fact, Elendil was the first High King of Gondor and Arnor, and first King of all the Dunedain."
"It's amazing what I didn't know." Chloe whispered, shaking her head in disbelief. "Aragorn has such an incredible heritage."
Only then did it hit her that it was her heritage as well.
This Elendil person...he'd been her grandfather.
The blonde gulped, eyes widening as she loosened her grip on the reigns in shock as that hit her full-force.
Suddenly the horse reared up, and she lost her hold on the reins, tumbling off the creature as it galloped away.
One of the Rohirrim went after it.
Chloe just sat on her rump on the ground, feeling completely mortified as the eyes of so many were on her.
"Are you hurt?" Legolas leapt from his horse and landed next to her, going on his knee as he stared down at her, worried.
"Does my ego count?" The blonde pouted up at him.
His lips pulled back in a smile. "Yes."
"Then yeah." She accepted the hand he offered her, slowly standing, wincing as she rubbed her back and butt. "This is why I hate horses. They want to kill me."
Legolas allowed himself a chuckle, motioning for the Rohirrim to take the horse away and not bring it closer. "Will you honor this lowly Elf by riding with him?"
She wanted to cry in relief, mortification, and happiness. "Thank you."
The sound of rapid hooves caused her to look up to see that Aragorn, astride Hasufeld, was riding up, his features dark. "Were you hurt?"
She gulped, unable to look him in the face, lowering her gaze. "I'm fine, just embarrassed."
"Lady Chloe has agreed to honor me with her company the rest of today's journey, to make sure I do not perish of boredom." Legolas declared, motioning for Chloe to allow him to help her mount his steed.
The blonde gave him a grateful look, reaching for the horse's mane and using it to help pull herself up as the Elf pushed her up easily. The second she slowly edge backwards on the horse Legolas was up in front of her.
Aragorn sent her a little look before turning to Legolas. "Thank you, my friend."
With that, the Ranger returned to his post next to King Theoden.
"You're so graceful, Sidekick!" Oliver called teasingly from somewhere behind her.
Chloe grabbed hold of Legolas with one arm and turned to flip Oliver the bird.
Oliver laughed, obviously amused.
Straightening up and holding on tighter as Legolas started his horse forwards once more, Chloe looked up to see Clark and Gimli's horse join their side.
"Are you okay?" Clark asked, worried.
Chloe nodded with a smile. "Takes more than a little fall to hurt me."
Clark flashed her a relieved smile.
"Damnable horses." Gimli grumbled from behind Clark. "They are murderous fiends. It's why we Dwarves prefer to have our feet planted firmly on the ground!"
"And here I thought it was because Dwarves couldn't reach up high enough to mount a horse." Legolas declared, gaze upfront, voice a hint of teasing.
Gimli sputtered in indignation, blushing slightly. "Now listen here you high-handed Elf-!"
And they spent the rest of the day listening to the Elf and Dwarf argue.
"I'm not getting the damned joke!" Lois complained loudly to the sky as she sat next to her fire, pouting darkly. "Where the hell am I? And why did you zap me so damn far from everyone else? It makes no sense! I'm cold! COLD!"
Of course there was no answer from the dark sky, night having descended upon the heavens not an hour ago, stars littering above and twinkling far too merrily for her mood.
"Is this some sort of punishment? Because if it is, screw you!" She used the stick she'd been using to poke the fire to point accusingly at the sky. "I have rights you know!"
One of the pieces of wood crackled loudly in the fire.
"I do." She grumbled, throwing the stick into the fire as she hugged her knees to her chest. "And if you're going to just dump me in the middle of Nowheresville, Middle Earth, you could have at least sent me a hot-ass Ranger like you did my cousin!"
Wind whistled around her.
"Right back atacha bub." She grumbled darkly, hugging herself tighter.
The people were camped for the night, gathered around the many fires that lit the night. There was very little food, and when Chloe had tasted what Eowyn had been so gracious to help cook and pass around she'd given her portion to some poor kid and decided that Eowyn truly was a warrior and not made out for cooking.
It helped Chloe's ego a little to realize the other woman wasn't perfect, but after her little fall this evening Chloe was feeling terribly embarrassed. She needed to do something to work off all the frustration accumulating in her system, and under the cover of night she slinked off away from the camp with her bows and arrow, and sword.
The blonde hesitated, observing Aragorn sitting off to his own, smoking his pipe as he stared in front of him in deep concentration.
Sensing movement, Chloe quickly hid behind a boulder in time for Eowyn to appear, bringing her pot of stew with her. The blonde peeked out, doing her best not to be seen, yet unable to walk away and leave them alone.
"I made some stew." The king's niece cleared her throat, attracting the Ranger's attention. "It isn't much, but it's hot." She drew him a bowl and passed it to him, handing over a spoon as well.
"Thank you." Aragorn dipped the spoon into the bowl and fished for a bite of meat. Upon finding it he spooned the meat into his mouth and froze, his face registering disgust at the taste. He forced himself to chew slowly, clenching his grip around the spoon, before swallowing hard and smiling up weakly at the blonde. "It's good."
"Really?" She blinked, smiling brightly, turning to leave.
Subtly, Aragorn tipped the bowl to the side, pouring out the concoction...when suddenly Eowyn turned back to face him, causing the Ranger to straighten up the plate once more and give her a very fake, very guilty smile.
Chloe bit down on her lips to keep from chuckling.
Eowyn cleared her throat as she drew nearer once more. "My uncle told me a strange thing." She took another step towards him. "He said that you rode to war with Thengel, my grandfather. But he must be mistaken."
Aragorn took in a deep breath. "King Theoden has a good memory. He was only a small child at the time."
Chloe's eyes widened.
So did Eowyn's. "Then you must be at least 60!"
Aragorn chuckled uncomfortably, looking away from her.
"Seventy?" The king's niece's voice went higher.
The Ranger cleared his throat and looked down, still not responding.
"But you cannot be eighty!" Eowyn exclaimed in shock.
Chloe was having a hard time not joining into that argument.
Aragorn let out a little breath, obviously realizing the woman wouldn't rest on this subject. "Eighty-seven."
Chloe's knees nearly gave out on her.
Aragorn was one fine old man!
Eowyn's lips parted in utter shock. "You are one of the Dunedain."
Aragorn nodded silently.
"A descendant of Númenor, blessed with long life." Apparently Eowyn knew much more than Chloe did on the subject. "It was said that your race had passed into legend!"
Aragorn's face showed his sadness as he glanced away. "There are few of us left. The Northern Kingdom was destroyed long ago."
"I'm sorry." Eowyn whispered.
Having heard enough, Chloe hurried away, glad for the shadows as she disappeared over the crest of another hill, making her way down, the light of the campfire the only thing betraying the fact that behind her on the next crest was a large campsite.
She made sure that there was enough distance between her and the campsite so that she couldn't be overheard, and yet close enough that she could make it back in time should there be any trouble. The blonde shed her bow and arrow sheath, placing them against a boulder as she unsheathed her sword and held it in her hands, positioning her body as she'd been taught.
Eowyn's comment about the weapon being too heavy for her rang in her ear, but another part of her whispered that Eowyn wasn't much larger and she'd managed to handle it perfectly...and Chloe refused to believe that she couldn't do the same. All she had to do was practice more, put more effort in her training than she had.
Hadn't Aragorn always chided her for never giving swordplay training her full attention?
Well, things had to change. She was in the middle of a war for crying out loud! She needed to get with the program!
If Eowyn could do this while being prohibited, then Chloe had to do the same! She was expected to fight in this war! She was the daughter of Moira Lane, the big War Hero of this land! She couldn't let everyone down! Especially not her mother!
Practicing the moves she'd memorized, Chloe did her best to keep the tip from pointing to the ground, though it proved hard and the muscles in her upper arms ached. With the constant movement heat filled her body and she found herself peeling off her jacket, left with the long, thin shirt that she usually had to tuck into her pants. It hung low on her thighs, and after a couple of exercises Chloe found herself yanking off her pants, ending up in just her underwear, that long shirt, and her boots.
It was highly indecent.
Then again, everyone now knew just how indecent she was, even Aragorn.
Shaking her head, forcing those distracting and depressing thoughts out of her mind, Chloe went through the routine once more, forcing herself on despite the pain growing in her arms.
She would not let a chunk of metal beat her.
"You're leaving your left side vulnerable."
On instinct Chloe twirled around, a blade flashing in the moonlight as Aragorn's dagger stayed her sword's movement.
The blonde's eyes widened as she backed away, finally letting the tip fall to the ground, resting its weight upon the earth. "Uh...yeah...everyone's been telling me that: Boromir-Eowyn." She cleared her throat as she turned her back to him, unsure as to what he was doing there and embarrassed that she was so unladylike once again. "Eowyn thinks this sword might be too heavy for me."
"I disagree. You are strong enough to handle it." He surprised her by saying. "You just need to believe it, and try harder."
It made her smile softly at that, feeling so warm and happy that Aragorn didn't think she couldn't handle this sword, that she had it in her. He had faith in her and her abilities, and because of that she couldn't let him down.
Sighing, the blonde lowered her head for a second. "Thank you, for being so nice to me even after-everything." She cleared her throat, keeping her back to him as she took in her breath and raised the sword once more. "It means a lot that you don't apparently hate me or are disgusted with me or-."
Suddenly warmth covered her back as Aragorn's arms encircled her from behind, one hand on the hands holding the sword, the other on her hip. "Hold it more at this angle while positioning your body like this. It'll allow you to better protect your left side while also being able to go on the defensive."
Chloe felt shocked and confused, following his actions, letting him move her as one would a puppet, his hands on her warm, large, and calloused.
She gulped, the heat she'd felt before multiplying tenfold as Aragorn walked her through the routine once more, while keeping the angle and position he'd indicated. Chloe didn't know much about swordplay, but it felt better.
Then again, Aragorn was plastered against her, so of course it was going to feel better!
But what exactly was he doing?
What was going on?
He'd taught her swordplay before and never had he ever touched her unless absolutely necessary! And when Boromir had tried this back in the cave Aragorn had nearly run him through saying he was compromising her virtue...
...Chloe frowned, lowering her head slightly.
Was it just because he knew she wasn't a virgin anymore that he was doing this?
Did he figure, since she didn't have any virtue, there was no harm?
Was his annoying respect gone?
This kinda hurt.
Then again, didn't she look like some sort of hussy wearing just a shirt not a stone's throw away from a campsite filled with men? What exactly was she expecting when she acted so indecently?
Pulling away from Aragorn, Chloe kept her gaze on her sword as she tightened her grip on it.
The sound of Aragorn unsheathing his sword caused her to look up, eyes wide as she found him standing with his sword poised, ready for a spar.
They hadn't sparred in a very long time, and the shock pulled her somewhat out of her dark thoughts as she raised her sword once more, making sure to keep the angle and position he'd shown her earlier.
Aragorn's dark gaze was on her and there was no hint of it before he attacked, swinging at her.
Giving a little shriek, not having been prepared for that, Chloe countered his swing, defending herself. She swung the blade, trying to constantly remind herself that she needed to keep it angled in a certain way, all the while countering his rapid-fire movements. The man was a beast, and she realized that he was going harder on her tonight than he ever had. She didn't get it, didn't understand exactly what was going on in his mind, but she didn't complain, merely kept up as best as she could.
There was no opportunity to go on the offensive, the blonde barely managing to deflect his every blow before countering another. She nearly tripped a couple of times, not paying attention where she was going as she made sure not to give him her back or side at any time, but the blonde managed to keep her balance and her defense.
Finally, not surprisingly, he hit the sword in such a way that it was flung out of her hand and twirled in the air before descending and burying itself blade-deep into the ground.
Chloe blinked, staring at her sword before turning her attention back to the Ranger, who still had his sword pointed at her.
Slowly her hands went up in a defeated sign. "I, uh, surrender?"
"You're dead." He corrected. "Orcs nor Uruk-Hai take prisoners unless explicitly commanded to...and even then sometimes their bloodlust wins out." He motioned with his chin in the direction of the sword. "Again."
Her eyes widened as she nodded and quickly hurried to where her sword was.
Problem was that she couldn't get it out of the ground.
Great, as if her humiliation wasn't bad enough as it was.
Bending over, the girl grunted as she tried removing the sword from the hardened ground, unable to.
"Huh?" She tilted her head towards him, still trying to yank the thing out with no success.
Aragorn dropped his sword as he strode closer, eyes narrowed in displeasure on her thighs. "You said that you were unharmed from the fall."
Chloe frowned slightly before turning and trying to glance at the back of her thighs, unable to see much, but the little she could proved that there were some killer bruises forming. "Oh. I don't feel them." The blonde ran her hands down the back of her thighs, feeling only a tiny tinge of pain when she did so. "Apparently my ability to self-heal is still keeping up in that aspect."
Aragorn was silent.
Chloe's gaze turned to him, her hands stopping their movement when she realized he was following them nearly hungrily.
Aragorn cleared his throat and looked away, his fists clenching tightly.
He was...restraining himself.
Why would you do that if you thought someone was immoral and loose?
Standing upright, forgetting all about the sword, Chloe turned to face the Ranger, feeling a blush rising up her neck.
"I am not taking the news you delivered me earlier very well, I fear." Aragorn finally spoke, his gaze still off to the side, his hands clenched tightly at his sides.
Chloe's gaze lowered.
"I realize that there are many differences between our worlds, and the way we think. I understand that in your culture things that are scandalous for us are of no importance. I comprehend that the values our societies have are completely different." His fists clenched even tighter, his arms nearly shaking. "But despite all this I cannot accept the fact that someone else has known you so intimately."
Chloe gulped, steeling herself for this.
"The mere thought causes my blood to boil beneath my skin like a raging inferno that won't be quenched." Aragorn's voice was low. "I cannot understand the men in your world-how they can be so uncaring at the thought of another touching, seeing, knowing their woman."
Chloe's eyes widened as she looked up at him rapidly at that.
"I do not care if you or your people find me a barbarian for it, but the only desire stronger than the one to slay the man who touched you is to replace his touch with my own." Aragorn finally turned his dark gaze on her, his voice lowering to gravel. "But I need to know...is he Clark or Oliver?"
Chloe stared up at him, unable to believe what she was hearing. "No." She shook her head, blush crawling down her neck. "I've never-they're just friends. Clark is like a brother to me, and even if Oliver didn't annoy the hell out of me like some hellion cousin-he, uh, fornicated quite frequently with my 'kinswoman'...and in my world we do not sleep with men who slept with your friends or kinswomen!"
Aragorn went silent.
"I've never slept with any of the men I'm friends with—they're family." Chloe needed him to understand. "I've slept with a couple of different guys, but none of them were my friends."
Aragorn stared at her silently for what seemed like hours, before finally speaking. "Then for their own good, let us pray that whoever they are never crosses to this world..." He raised his chin, his dark gaze stealing her breath. "...for I have discovered that I am a vilely jealous and possessive man, and you are My Lady."
Chloe didn't even realize she was rushing forwards until her feet left the ground and she was in his arms, arms around his neck as their lips met in a clash of passion. Her hands journeyed to his hair, his tightening around her body.
Her heart soared and tears filled her eyes, the relief so bone-crushing as she let all her feelings fill that kiss, unable to believe that this was happening. A part of her couldn't believe that this was happening, that he was holding her so tightly and kissing her back-that he knew and yet still wanted her. It was mind-numbing.
Aragorn's kiss was deep and claiming, so different from the one kiss they'd previously shared. Maybe it was the fact that they were finally starting to tell each other their feelings, maybe it was the fact that they were alone, but now his touches and kisses were more intense, extremely possessive; yet so soft and careful not to hurt her. He was a man of extreme contradictions, and the blonde knew she could happily spend the rest of her life learning each and every one of them.
Chloe pressed closer, their legs tangling before suddenly they tumbled onto the grass, Aragorn taking the brunt of the fall and yet it didn't seem to faze him as after regaining his breath his lips were back on hers and he'd rolled them so that her back was against the grass and his body draped over hers. His mouth left her breathless, his hands in her hair anchoring her to him, almost as if refusing to let her pull away for air due to his need for her taste. Even as she gasped for breath her eyes rolled as he took his kisses down the slope of her neck.
The blonde's arms slipped around his waist, drawing him closer as she caught his bottom lip between her teeth, nibbling on it as she gave a little upwards thrust, rubbing against the hardness there.
Aragorn hissed, his eyes opening, revealing the darkness within.
Heat raced down her body as she reached up to cup the back of his head and pulled him in closer for another kiss, the blonde parting her thighs, feeling him settling against her. Her grip on him tightened and she whimpered, needing him so badly.
Suddenly Aragorn froze and pulled away, his eyes narrowed as he looked around them in the darkness. "Someone is coming this way."
"What?" She felt a little slow, a bit hazy, and hella annoyed.
The Ranger was on his feet, storming towards where her pants were and throwing them to her as he retrieved his sword and gazed in the direction of the camp. "Dress."
"One kiss and suddenly he gets so bossy." She grumbled to herself, slipping on the pants and buttoning it as she stood, trying to brush the grass off of her shirt and out of her hair.
Aragorn sent her an amused look, proving he'd heard that. "I have yet to get commanding with you."
There was just something about the way his voice lowered to gravel as he said that that made Chloe's knees wobble. She gulped, feeling that blush darkening at the thought of what exactly he could order her to do.
"Don't." Aragorn groaned, looking away from her, almost as if in pain. "Not when I cannot do anything about it."
Gulping, the blonde shook her head of the naughty thoughts he obviously could read in her eyes, the girl hurrying to where her sword was and returning to trying to remove the blade from the ground.
"Ah, here they are." Oliver's voice was never as unwelcomed as it was then. "I told you nothing had happened to them."
Chloe turned to see that Eomer and Eowyn were with the archer, the siblings seeming quite uncomfortable and unable to look at her and Aragorn in the face.
Obviously the three had a very good idea about what exactly had been happening between her and the Ranger.
Her face burnt scarlet.
"Pardon our interruption." Eomer was obviously talking to Aragorn, the expression in his face bashful and mortified. "We were patrolling the perimeter when my sister noticed you were missing and grew worried that something foul had befallen you."
Eowyn lowered her head further, face just as red as Chloe's. "I am relieved to see that the both of you are in good spirits."
Oliver snickered and muttered something under his breath.
Eowyn's eyes widened and her face went near purple as she lowered her head further.
Eomer sent Oliver a highly disapproving glare.
"Hey, Sidekick?" Oliver's voice proved he wasn't even trying to hide his devilish amusement. "What's wrong with your sword?"
"I can't get it out of the ground." She grumbled, giving it another yank, annoyed that she was unable to free it. "According to Aragorn if I was in the middle of a fight I would be dead ten times over already."
The Ranger was silent, reaching her side and easily pulling the blade from the soil before handing it to her. "It is my fault; I have been unable to continue your training."
"Because we're in the middle of a war." Chloe reminded him, straightening and holding the sword. "It's only because of what you've taught me that I'm still alive."
Aragorn seemed to have forgotten about the others as he frowned at her. "You've been injured before and have been so close to crossing the veil into the shadows due to my negligence. I will not risk losing you again."
Eowyn's gaze slowly rose to eye them curiously.
Chloe gulped as she stared into Aragorn's eyes. "You can't blame yourself for what happened with the Witch King."
"If I had been closer he wouldn't have been able to hurt you." Aragorn replied darkly, obviously unforgiving of what he thought of as his fault.
"Witch King?" Eomer frowned as he stepped forwards. "You battled the Witch King of the wraiths and survived?"
"I remember reading about that." Oliver nodded, his face losing its amusement. "Aragorn was scouting when the Nazgul attacked Chloe and the hobbits. Chloe kept them off the Ring bearer long enough for Aragorn to return and drive the ring wraiths off."
Eomer turned his gaze from Oliver back to Chloe, curiosity and respect in his gaze.
Eowyn eyed Chloe differently as well.
Oliver turned to Eomer, the moonlight shining on the bow and sheathe full of arrows on his back. "We should continue patrolling the perimeter."
"Lady Eowyn," Aragorn turned his dark gaze on the blushing blonde. "Would you please accompany My Lady to the campsite? I will join in the patrol."
"Of course, Lord Aragorn." Eowyn nodded.
Chloe sent the Ranger a look before grabbing her jacket and following Eowyn back.
The walk was done in utter silence.