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3
Hide-and-Seek

The sun shone brightly, glimmering in sparkles off the surface of the small lake. A soft breeze danced with the rushes and tall grasses surrounding the water. In the shade of nearby trees, his wife and father sat nibbling fruit and cheese, sipping juice from their goblets, and grinning madly at him: they tried not to laugh.

“Ada, you’re supposed to catch us!” a little voice cried from his left.

Legolas lifted his face to the sky and closed his eyes against the sun, knowing he might never live this down.

Grasses rustled, giggles carried to him on the breeze. His eyes roamed the area in the direction of that imperative, impertinent voice. At least they had not yet mastered the fine art of moving silently.

“Ada? This game isn’t supposed to take so long,” another voice rang out from behind him. So, they had divided, thinking to confuse him. Well, he still had a few tricks up his sleeve.

“He certainly started to move slower since the girls began to play this game,” his father said in a ringing voice. “I would have thought one would learn to move faster.”

“You only had Legolas to play hide-and-seek,” his wife defended, though there was laughter in her voice. “We have two, and they’ve learned to divide their forces against him.”

Legolas did not speak: it would betray his position and give them time to run off again. He wouldn’t make that mistake again.

“Ada! Come catch me!” he heard again from his left, though closer now. From his right, he heard his other daughter approaching. They were going to join forces it seemed. With silent feet, he crept around so that they would be in front of him.

“Do you think he’s lost us?” one voice whispered, completely unaware of his close proximity.

“No, but I don’t think he’s nearby,” the other responded, sounding quite unsure. More giggling erupted and he moved forward, closer to them.

“Maybe we should call out again,” the first voice suggested quietly.

“Ada!!” both voices rang out. Then two little squeals pierced the air as he pounced, gathering them up, one laughing daughter tucked under each arm.

“We thought you had lost us, Ada.”

“We thought you would never find us.”

With love, he looked at them and smiled. “I will never lose you,” he promised seriously. “I’ll always find you, my little loves. Always.”

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