A/N: Don't ask where the hell this story came from. Just… don't ask.
Okay, fine, I'll tell you. This is a product of too much Coca-Cola, too much Lord of the Rings, too much Twilight, too much Notebook, and too much damn COCA-COLA. So, if you like all the aforementioned books/movies, I hope you will enjoy this baby I've been brewing inspired by them.
Night had fallen early, as it did in the snowy season. Ice made the ground white, so that the moon would reflect on it and resemble day. Shadows flickered through the trees, but one was light among them, his silver clothing making him glow in the dark night like a firefly. His weapons at the ready, he ran top speed through the trees, keeping his eyes peeled for one like him. One clothed in light, with pointed ears.
"Ophelia!" he called out, and the shadows started to snicker and laugh at his desperation.
"We will take you to her," one promised, coming out of the shadows to stand before him. The blonde clothed in silver was able to look his enemy in the eyes. Those eyes matched the black hair on his head, a pair of eyes he would not easily forget. "If you give me your weapons."
The blonde quickly handed over his arrows, and the black-haired boy led him through the trees to their captive, a female, bound to a tree. His love, once so strong and full of a soldier's fighting spirit, appeared defeated and meek.
"Release her, I beg of thee," the blonde pleaded, falling to his knees in despair of the sight.
"An Elf?" the young enemy leader came close. "Beg one of us? I am wholly surprised. How vast your love must be, to sacrifice your dignity for her freedom. I shall tell you what…"
The leader stepped onward, setting the Elf's weapons on the ground.
"Take up your weapons and defend your mate, and we shall see what the fates decide."
Suspicious of the offer, the blonde Elf slowly stepped forward to claim his weapons. His eyes were on his enemy, waiting for a trick, some inevitable betrayal, but none came. With a swift motion, he made a snatch at his weapons like a snake, only to find a human trap under the weapons and leaves, clamping it's metal teeth into his arm and very nearly snapping it off. He yelled in pain as he felt his bones break. The enemies around him laughed in delight of his torment, the leader freely attacking his wife without any more hesitation.
"NO!" the Elf cried in dismay, watching the enemy sink his teeth into her neck and ripping at her throat so that her screams were silenced. The Elf yelled and shouted and cried with anguish, the steel scraping against his bones when he tried to free his arm. He tried to slash with his knife at the chain holding him to a tree, but the links held firm. Tears poured freely as the Elf watched his beloved sucked dry of her blood, and taken away to burn whatever was left of her body.
Purposely trailing behind, the young enemy leader looked back at the Elf on the ground, broken and tortured beyond compare. He let the Elf see him lick his lips and smile.
A smile, a dare for vengeance. One not soon forgotten.
Part 1: Winter -
It all started with the color green. A very light green, the color of untainted jade in its most beautiful form. The color of the traces of foam the sea waves leave behind as footprints of the water's reach. Green is everywhere, in trees, in grass, and sometimes… eyes.
Elena Yang was about the farthest example of an environmentalist there was. It wasn't that helping the environment was something she was against, it was just something she wouldn't stop to consider before throwing a piece of trash over her shoulder, or when she filled up her Grand Cherokee at the gas pump, which was quite often when one had 12 miles to the gallon. She was the person who left cigarette butts in gutters and empty soda cans on local beaches. She was the one who carved the initials of her and her boyfriend into a centuries-old tree, and took hour-long showers. She was the one who wouldn't think twice about conserving energy. Nowadays, it seemed she was only concerned with conserving what was left of herself.
As of today, an especially trying day, Elena was tired of caring. She woke up late, which potentially meant she had to skip the shower and hurry to throw on a wrinkled uniform, grab her keys and rush out the door. Instead, she took her time under the hot water of the shower once more, letting the steam surround her and the warmth relax her muscles.
Once dressed and groomed, she stuffed a chocolate muffin into her wide mouth and then stepped lightly to her rusty Jeep, a treacherous bucket that had betrayed her many times in the past, seemingly planning its own demise to be the most inconvenient in timing as possible. As she smoked on the way to work, driving over an unexpected pothole, she accidentally dropped her cigarette to burn another hole in her upholstery. This only further solidified the worthlessness of her vehicle, which couldn't even hold value in giving away to someone, for how bad it looked, ran, and recently, smelled.
Her uniform was bright mustard yellow and ridiculous, with a stupid paper hat and an even more dreaded lacey apron, which got snagged on just about anything and had no pockets to store her notepads.
After she got scolded for her tardiness, foul appearance and overall lack of work ethics, she was sent into the fray once more, to wait on costumers and pretend that she cared about the consistency of their eggs, how golden their toast was or wasn't, or the temperature of their coffee.
She didn't care about any of those things. And she especially didn't care today.
One older man had been impatient and demanding his entire meal, slowly pushing Elena over the edge of her self-control.
"Excuse me?" the gray-haired man asked. "My soup is cold."
"That's nice," Elena muttered, pretending she didn't hear him.
"Ma'am?" the man flagged her down to where she couldn't avoid him any longer. "Can you take my soup and get it remade? How can you serve this to people, are you stupid? And another round of coffee, while you're at it."
Huffing in contempt, Elena ripped off her apron and threw it on the table.
"Oh, get it your damn self," Elena replied, then simply walked out. She would pick up her last check in the morning.
She didn't care, and especially not today.
When she reached her car, it had started to rain. She couldn't wait to be inside, to be alone. With the rain pattering on the windows loudly, she began to cry.
Yesterday, Elena had found out that her grandfather had passed away. The news had made her entire personality crash into oblivion. She immediately felt like the only glowing, happy part of her had died along with him. Though she had not seen her grandfather in a few years, he firmly held some of her fondest memories, ones of reading books by the fireplace, teaching her to cook, and snowy Christmases where he always seemed to give her exactly what was on her wishlist while her parents ignored her impractical requests. Of all the dark clouds she had hovering over her life, her grandfather always seemed to be the ray of sunshine that came through when needed. He would not be around now, when she could use his optimism and comfort most of all.
On this very same sad day, when she had found out this grievous news, her father had also just informed her that Ken Shao had asked for her hand in marriage, and he had approved. Not to mention, her father was threatening to disown her if her decision about the union didn't suit the family's interest. Apparently, parental betrothing still lived on to this day and age.
"Just give him a chance..." her sympathetic mother had urged, and Elena didn't have the heart to argue further, knowing that her mother had once been put in the very same situation, with obvious results. This was not an argument she would win.
Elena didn't know her intended well, save for a few things: he was the son of their old family friend. He was Asian like her, apparently handsome for an older man, a vastly wealthy vice president of a major lumber company, and never seemed to like Elena very much due to her curvy figure and shrewish nature. That is, until a certain business deal with her father's paper company was in the works, then he seemed to find Elena very attractive.
It was so suddenly that he rose up out of the woodwork with his bold and clear plot to seduce her. Throughout the year, when he had started to show interest, she had always turned him down. It was too easy to see through him. Every company outing it was like clockwork. Her mother would force her to go, and Ken would creepily eye her from afar, or make suggestive passes to her in front of everyone at dinner, or touch her inappropriately with a sly hand, while no one so much as flinched.
Maybe it was her jet-black hair that ran dead and flat on her head that Ken found appealing. Or maybe it was her many, many pounds overweight. Or perhaps her brandy gold eyes, her ghostly white skin that looked almost sickly gray, even in summer, or the oddly placed freckles scattered over random parts of her body, or even some strange quirk to her personality.
She knew it was none of those things. It was all about the fact that she was single, and that she had a very powerful and persuasive father. And that had certainly caught the eyes of Ken now.
It wasn't like there was nothing in it for her. If she married him, Elena wouldn't need to wait on another table again in her life, and her family could have every luxury imaginable. She could lounge by the pool with a good book and a plate of lady fingers for the rest of her days. She knew that her poor physique, pimply complexion and bad attitude would never find a better match.
Yet, she still couldn't help but be offended by the principle of it all. Her heart tore at the fact that she would never experience the love she read in any of her novels.
This was not her choice. Not really.
She stuck her key inside her car's ignition to start the slow, rainy drive home.
When she made it back home, her mother seemed to immediately sense something was wrong. Without a word, she ran to meet Elena at the door, hugging her daughter as she pulled her wet self into the shelter of indoors. Her mother had remained deeply sympathetic to Elena's engagement situation and her mourning of her grandfather in the past twenty-four hours, waiting on Elena hand and foot and being as emotionally available to her as possible. Even though Elena knew the situation wasn't her mother's fault, she still did nothing to try and deter the engagement, so Elena was reluctant in the embrace.
"I quit my job," Elena explained into her mother's shoulder, not realizing she had start crying again until the tears poured down her cheeks once more. "We'll all be rich soon anyway, right?"
With that she pushed her mother away and once more escaped into the confines of her room, where she stayed with no intent of ever exiting.
Somewhere along the lines of crawling inside of herself, Elena had decided that the painting was a great use of her time. Any moment she didn't have to think about anything enough to feel sorry for herself was a tolerable moment. Chocolate also became a wonderful way to consume her feelings, so long as she avoided the scale in her bathroom.
It would be several nights of lonely grieving and moping around her room, wondering why Fate saw fit to take her grandfather away from her, only to be replaced by her creepy fiancée.
After several days of this, her mother decided to step let herself into Elena's room after an especially loud sobbing session, and held her daughter to her shoulder.
"Elena, my heart," her mother sighed. "I know you are taking this all so hard, but it hurts me to hear you like this. Your grandfather would not want you to grieve this way."
"It's just all so much to handle right now," Elena shook her head as she tried to wipe the tears away. "Losing Grandpa, my job, and my freedom…"
"You act like marrying Ken will be the end of your life! Marriage is supposed to be a joyous event!"
Elena just shook her head again, at a loss for words.
"Well, my dear," her mother sat up straighter to take a piece of paper from her pocket. "I wanted to show you this when you stopped crying, but who knows when that will be."
She gave the paper to Elena, who opened it tenderly. It appeared to be a realty listing on a very small house, perhaps more fitting to call a shack.
"Apparently, this place belonged to your grandfather. He bought it twenty years ago, and that's where he's been for the last three years. It's worth a lot of money if we want to sell it, but I'm afraid it could use some work. I asked your father if we could send you for a couple of weeks so you might tidy it up for us."
Elena was so alarmed by this news that she accidentally crumpled the paper her mother had given her.
"What did he say?"
"He said you can do this first, and decide about Shao later." Elena immediately let out a squeal, not hearing her mother shout out: "But it's not a vacation!"
It was all too convenient an excuse to get away and postpone her final decision on the marriage, and suddenly Elena had never felt so grateful to her mother.
Thus, Elena took the whole of her meager belongings and went on the first plane to Europe, only hoping her future would seem clearer to her in foreign lands.