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2
A Diversion

“They ride as if they were born to it,” she remarked quietly beside him. “They are quite clearly your daughters. I was not an agile rider when I first rode a horse.” They watched their daughters on their ponies, riding bareback at a brisk trot around the paddock. Both girls bore brilliant smiles on their faces; their golden locks flowing back like twin golden flags.

Legolas took her hand in his and kissed the palm, drawing her ice-blue gaze to his own. “You ride as well as I do,” he told her quietly. “But, you must know, I’ve had my fair share of accidents too. I did not take to riding as easily as many have been led to believe.”

“What?!” she cried in mock-astonishment. “You mean to tell me that Legolas Thranduilion wasn’t riding and taming half-broken stallions before he was able to walk properly? No! I find that hard to believe.”

Laughing, he pulled her down from the fence and into his arms. “Do you mean to tell me that my father has yet to regale you with stories of my less-than-accomplished riding abilities?”

This time she laughed, standing up on tiptoes to kiss the corner of his mouth. “He told me those stories, but I didn’t believe him either.”

“You believe me to be perfect, then?”

“Of course not! Well,” she amended with a sensual grin, “perhaps not perfect except when we’re alone.”

“Minx!” he teased before he kissed her full on the mouth.

He forgot the lesson he was supposed to give his girls. He forgot everything while he was with his beloved wife. He didn’t even notice the sound of hoof beats stopping behind him and still didn’t notice anything was amiss until the sound of giggling penetrated their passionate embrace. Their kiss did not end until two impudent children nudged their ponies’ noses into his back.

“Cheeky little maids, are they not?” he asked his wife while she quickly attempted decorum. Her disheveled hair, flushed face, and kiss-swollen lips negated that endeavor.

“They are your daughters, my lord,” she returned with a grin. “Every bit as mischievous as you are.”

Legolas grinned roguishly. “Perhaps,” he agreed a little smugly. He dodged her small fist before it could hit his arm. “But then, they have your temper!” Legolas kissed her cheek and her laughter followed him as he went to resume the girls’ riding lesson.

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