7. The Scent of Trees
The Queen of Gondor and White Lady of Rohan rest on the balcony outside the Queen's rooms, where her curtains billow back and forth in the breeze. When the weather is warm, Arwen always leaves her doors open; she says that the breeze reminds her of Imladris, where leaves waft into the halls from open archways and the scent of the woods permeates every room.
On this bright summer day it is warm even in the shade. The wives of the King and Steward remove first their heavy underskirts, then their gowns, until they sit wearing only sleeveless shifts, though they are not entirely hidden from view of anyone in the courtyard who might peer between the balustrades.
"Did you know that your husband once took my husband out on the parapets to...show him the glory of Gondor?" Éowyn asks in a coy, amused voice, for though Arwen has very few inhibitions in private, she is reluctant to present any image where she could be seen that might contradict her image as the elegant, dignified Queen of Gondor.
Indeed, despite her smile, she shakes her head at Éowyn's words, and Éowyn feels triumphant. "I think that it was more than once."
"There you have it, then. And the parapets are far more public than here."
"I would never claim that my husband chooses appropriate places to risk being seen in non-regal positions," Arwen laughs lightly. "Perhaps he believes that he is celebrating his life after witnessing so much death. Though I have heard that Men are often similarly imprudent in youth, and I am sure that Aragorn never had such an opportunity growing up in my father's house. Elven expectations are far sterner than those of Men."
"Perhaps that is because Elves do not die in childbirth or fall to diseases of the flesh," Éowyn replies, stung. She is uncertain whether the Queen, now mortal, will be subject to the pangs of labor or the discomforts of illness; Arwen seems to her eternally young and flawless, untroubled by the aches of a mortal woman's body. "Of any woman in Gondor, you should be least afraid to be seen unclothed," she adds with a trace of envy. "Your skin is perfect, your breasts are lovely...every man in this city secretly wishes to enjoy you."
"Surely not every man," Arwen contends, ducking her head apologetically. "There are still some who resent having an Elf for a Queen. I have heard the legend that my female parts have teeth, and that I use them to keep Aragorn my slave..."
"That would certainly explain his lack of interest in others," Éowyn laughs, her merriment returning. She winks at the beautiful Queen whose generosity continues to astonish her. At Edoras, the virtue of Théoden had been a source of private speculation among those of the Rohirrim who did not understand why he took neither wife nor mistress in the years after Théodred's birth. It was not unusual for men to seek comfort in the arms of other women and sometimes other men when their wives were absent or sometimes simply not to their liking.
Before meeting Aragorn, Éowyn had thought to avoid marriage. She had wanted to live and die a shieldmaiden, and did not think that her uncle would have forced her to marry, not even to cement an alliance or to further her family's bloodline. Yet she had been curious about the ways of men and had made both her cousin and her brother tell her stories of their escapades. Sometimes she had persuaded Théodred to touch her as well, and one night he and Eomer taught her to kiss. But they had both cautioned her to act with care, for Théoden would never have forgiven his beloved niece if she bore a bastard child.
So she had learned to pleasure herself, until the shadow of the Dark Lord fell over Rohan, took her cousin from her and stole even that fleeting joy, leaving her to spend nights weeping herself to sleep. Then she had met Aragorn, and later, Faramir, and though they did not wait until their wedding night to taste one another, Éowyn had come to her husband a virgin. She is not sorry but occasionally she envies her closest companions their greater experience, while she has only imagination to reflect upon.
There seems to be a tacit agreement between Aragorn and Faramir that, while they might enjoy the private company of one another's wives, there will be no intimacy beyond kisses and caresses. It is too vital that their children carry the proper lineage -- that Aragorn and Arwen conceive an heir to the throne, that Faramir and Éowyn produce the next Prince of Ithilien, and that their lines never cross and corrupt the bloodlines, for the future of Gondor and Rohan. So Aragorn continues to withhold from Éowyn the passion that he gives her husband.
But Arwen is under no such constraint. Smiling sweetly at the Queen, Éowyn says, "I do not understand why it should trouble you to sit unclothed on this private balcony. No one will see us."
"Shall we merely sit, then, and bask in the sun's rays?" Now it is Éowyn's turn to blush, as Arwen strokes her hair back from her bare shoulder and leaves her fingertips resting on Éowyn's bare neck. "Among the Elves, intimacy is kept very private. Though Elves are not shy when bathing, we do not frolic together naked in the woods, as I have heard some of the maids speculate." She tilts her head thoughtfully. "Is it common in Rohan to be so visible with one's affections?"
Blushing a bit more, Éowyn replies, "No, it is not."
"I thought not." Now Arwen looks directly at Éowyn with her deep, ageless eyes, and Éowyn sees that the Queen can read her motives. "Perhaps you have been influenced by your husband, who has been influenced by my husband."
Éowyn smiles again, wryly this time, though without rancor. "Aragorn is a terrible influence."
"Yes, he is. My father has told me so for years." Sudden, distressing pain flickers across Arwen's expression. It is unfathomable to Éowyn what the Queen must be feeling. Éowyn has lost her own father and the uncle who was like a father to her, but Arwen is hundreds of years older than she is, and expected to have her father in her life forever -- the fabled Elrond of Rivendell, an Elf who fought to save the race of Men when other Elves had left them to their fate, who raised Aragorn and sent the Ring into Mordor.
Sometimes it is easy to forget how very different the Queen's life has been from her own. Éowyn strokes Arwen's arm reassuringly, hoping to distract her. "Faramir is really quite fond of Aragorn's influence," she admits in a hushed tone.
Then Arwen's expression brightens with conspiratorial mirth. "So was his brother." Éowyn feels her eyes widening, for while she has heard much of the legend of Boromir of Gondor, from Faramir and Aragorn as well as Legolas and Gimli, none of them have ever mentioned this aspect of his relationship with the man destined to rule his land. "It is curious, because they seem so unlike one another. I did not know Boromir well, though he seemed much graver than your husband." Her eyes become distant, and Éowyn realizes that although the Captain of the White Tower lived in Minas Tirith nearly all his life, his path never crossed here with Arwen's. "Perhaps it seems so only because I met Faramir after the war had ended."
"Perhaps it seems so only because you met Faramir after he had met Aragorn," Éowyn replies. She intends for the comment to be witty, yet as she speaks the words she hears the truth in them. Faramir had glowed with joy when she first walked with him in the gardens, not only because he had been falling in love with her, but because he already loved the King for whom he had waited all his life.
Arwen touches her face gently. "Perhaps it seems so only because I met Faramir after he had met you," she murmurs, and Éowyn feels herself blush under the soft, smooth fingers. "You make him very happy. All can see it in his eyes whenever he looks at you." Still caressing Éowyn's cheek, she smiles. "I am glad to have this time alone with you."
Éowyn slides her own hand up Arwen's pale, slender arm, wondering whether Arwen will be subject to sunburn and age spots now that she is mortal. "Your skin is so fair," she murmurs. "Like mine. I think perhaps we should stay in the shade..."
"But then I shall not get any sun," Arwen observes, pulling strands of Éowyn's golden hair across her own shoulders as she leans close.
"I did not realize that the sun was why you came up here," teases Éowyn.
"It is not." Arwen smiles again. "I came up here to be alone with you. What is it that women of Rohan do, when they are alone? We have brought no embroidery, nor books. Not even swords."
"What a pity. And those were my first suggestions." Smiling rather naughtily, Éowyn combs Arwen's long, thick tresses across her own shoulder. "I cannot even wash your hair, not without soap and a brush."
"You wish to wash my hair?"
There is mystification in the Queen's voice, and for a moment Éowyn thinks that perhaps Elven hair does not need to be washed or brushed but will remain naturally beautiful like Legolas'. Then she remembers walking beneath the trees with Arwen in the fall, watching bits of leaf and acorn become caught in her shining, coiled braids. This is surely an absurd notion.
"You have such lovely hair." Éowyn's fingers brush through it, wrapping several strands around her finger in a ring-shaped curl. "Does it ever need washing?
"Oh, certainly, when I have been out riding through the trees or rolling in the leaves..."
"Indeed!" Éowyn laughs aloud. "Then I will have to take you out riding through the trees. Or perhaps for a roll in the leaves." Lifting the hair in her hands, she feigns removing dirt from it.
Arwen is laughing as well. "If you want to wash my hair, you do not need to soil it first. Though if you wish to take me for a roll in the leaves..." Her smile turns enigmatic as Éowyn traces her ear with a fingertip, and she tilts her head.
"I will have to to visit in the autumn?"
Moving surprisingly quickly for an Elf whose steady, unhurried grace has won her comparisons to celestial bodies, Arwen brazenly puts her hands on Éowyn's shoulders and flattens her. "We could always practice rolling in the leaves, without the leaves." She leans close over Éowyn, the heat of her body radiating through the thin fabric of her shift, and one of her nipples brushes over one of Éowyn's, making it stiff. As Éowyn laughs breathlessly, Arwen adds, "How did you roll in the leaves in Rohan?"
"Quite like this," sighs Éowyn, trailing a finger down Arwen's back. "I imagine that there are some things which do not differ so much from one place to another. Nor even between Elves and Men."
"Ah, but I know so little about human women." Leaning over, Arwen brushes her lower lip against Éowyn's upper lip, making Éowyn gasp and open her mouth, which Arwen seems to take as an invitation to taste her. When she withdraws her tongue, the Queen murmurs, "I do not think that your ears are as delicate as mine. Yet you and Aragorn both have extraordinarily ticklish spots right here..." She strokes lightly inside Éowyn's arm just above her elbow, making her giggle and squirm. Dropping her voice, she whispers, "Are your nipples as sensitive as those of Elves? Can you reach your climax just from having them touched...like this?"
The fingertips tugging her through her shift, squeezing not so gently as to be teasing yet not so hard as to be painful, create an echoing ache in Éowyn's pelvis. "Oh!" she exclaims. "I have never..." Her hand comes to rest on Arwen's cheek and she kisses her tenderly, laughing lightly. "Though you are welcome to try."
Effortlessly Arwen slides a thigh between Éowyn's, which part eagerly at the slightest pressure. "Perhaps I will," Arwen says serenely before lowering her head to lick the stiff nipple through the thin fabric covering it. Moaning, Éowyn lets her fingers run through Arwen's hair, closing her eyes. The warm tongue runs along the underside of Éowyn's breast until she arches up to Arwen's mouth. Then Arwen sucks experimentally, pushing up with her thigh between Éowyn's legs.
"Ah!" Éowyn gasps, and presses against Arwen's thigh. She strokes silky-soft skin, delighting in the way it feels under her hands. Sighing happily, Arwen moves her mouth to the left nipple, raising a hand to continue to stroke over the right breast and around Éowyn's side. Her thigh shifts back and forth. Éowyn's breath comes in hitching gasps as she lifts her head to watch, but then her eyes close and she lowers her head back down, arching her back once more as she rubs herself against Arwen's thigh with little shivers rushing through her body. "Oh," she says again, and somehow manages to say "Arwen" before breaking off into a soft moan.
Smiling, the Queen lifts her head and shifts upward so that her mouth hovers near Éowyn's. As her legs move together, Éowyn can see that she has left a dark damp spot on the fabric of her shift and blushes, but Arwen smiles, sliding a hand down her belly and beneath the shift. "You feel very wet against my leg," she whispers.
"You have a delightful mouth," Éowyn whispers back, lifting her hand to Arwen's face again, stroking her cheek. "Is it not like that for Elven women?"
"Oh, it is," Arwen assures her. Then she closes the space between them for a long, slow kiss while she kneels between Éowyn's thighs, urging them further apart. When Éowyn has no choice but to bend her knees, Arwen slides her hand up to brush her fingertips lightly across the patch of curly hair, moving slowly downward again until she finds the source of the wetness.
Éowyn moans into Arwen's mouth, wrapping her arms around her as she squirms against Arwen's fingers. The fingertips brush across again, lightly, before parting the damp folds of flesh and seeking gently between them. "We are not different here," she whispers.
"I hoped we would..." Éowyn's voice trails off as Arwen's fingers stroke her. She bites her lip, whimpers and kisses her again. "...would not be," she finishes after a moment. She is growing so slick that Arwen's fingers slip easily into her delicate flesh. Arwen sits back slightly, letting Éowyn's arms slide from around her, so that she can look, which makes Éowyn feel shameful and shameless all at once.
Arwen parts the hot, swollen flesh again and finds the quivering knot at the top. Her touch is expert, and Éowyn finds it difficult to believe that she has never been with a woman of the race of Men before. Then she asks, "May I taste you?"
Éowyn's breath catches in her throat. "Yes," she whispers after a moment, "oh, yes!" Without moving her fingers, the beautiful Elf shifts backward, bending over so that her hair sweeps over Éowyn's belly. She tastes the skin there and inside Éowyn's thigh, licking the overflowing moisture there, before sliding her tongue toward the center of the wetness.
Little noises of pleasure burst from Éowyn's lips, moans and whimpers and gasps. Her fingers play with Arwen's hair, something to focus some attention on so that Arwen's tongue does not drive her to the edge too quickly. She would much prefer to savor this. Slowly, carefully, Arwen slips the tip of one finger deeper into Éowyn as she circles her tongue around the sensitive knot without actually touching it. Encountering no resistance, she sheathes the finger more deeply, pressing upward. "Do the women of Rohan, like the females of my people, have a spot that heightens their pleasure...here?"
Éowyn cries out, shuddering. "Oh! Arwen!" She tries not to tug on the soft hair in her fingers and reaches up to tease her nipple with her free hand. Her hips move, bucking in encouragement. Shifting her shoulders so that her hair cascades across Éowyn's thighs, Arwen presses her face down into the thick moisture which dampens the end of her nose and slicks over her chin. She tugs gently at Éowyn with her lips. Having by this time lost most ability for coherent thought, Éowyn merely moans and gasps, shuddering and writhing from Arwen's sweet ministrations. She thinks she cannot possibly last much longer, but can only cry out softly as a way of vocalizing this.
Arwen curves a second finger into Éowyn alongside the first, sliding smoothly along the slick inner wall until they encounter the responsive spot and press it. Her tongue moves relentlessly over the swelling bulb at the top of the slit. Éowyn shudders, then cries out as her body surrenders to release. She gasps for breath as tremors run through her, clenching and unclenching her fingers in Arwen's hair.
Arwen slides up Éowyn's body, wiping some of the moisture from her face in the thick curls below her belly and kissing her way between Éowyn's covered breasts. She lifts her head when she reaches Éowyn's chin. "How does that compare to how the Rohirrim do this?" she smiles.
Wrapping her arms around Arwen, Éowyn smiles quite contentedly. "I would have to say that it compares splendidly," she replies, and flicks her tongue over Arwen's lips.
Arwen laughs breathlessly, letting her legs fall open around one of Éowyn's. "You are not as quiet as an Elf. I like that."
"I was taught that pleasure at a gift is something to be shared," replies Éowyn, pressing a thigh up against Arwen, "and so why not share that I am enjoying myself?"
"But you do share it," Arwen assures her. "Your taste grows sweeter, your skin becomes warmer...there are so many small changes."
Éowyn smiles. "Should pleasure not be a feast for all the senses?" Her fingers are drawn again to Arwen's ear, tracing its delicate point. Arwen makes a soft noise of agreement as she arches around Éowyn's thigh, twisting her head toward the hand teasing her ear. "Does that feel good?" asks Éowyn breathlessly, continuing to rub her thigh between Arwen's legs.
"Yes." Arwen's breath comes faster as she presses down onto Éowyn who kisses her again, slipping her tongue past Arwen's lips to taste herself. She sighs softly, then says, "I want to touch you."
"I want you to touch me," Arwen responds warmly. She shifts off Éowyn's body, lying down beside her and rolling Éowyn into her arms.
Smiling, Éowyn ducks her head to press her lips against the hollow of Arwen's throat. "You are exquisite, Arwen...and you smell like..." She pauses, and then laughs softly, "you smell like trees." Her lips trail lower, and her tongue teasingly flicks over Arwen's nipple. "There are not many tall trees in Edoras..." She smiles before licking Arwen's nipple again. "More shrubs and rocks," she adds.
Then Éowyn lifts Arwen's shift off her body and over her head, until the Queen lies naked before her, so perfect that she might be a sculpture. The flesh swelling between her legs is already slick and glistening; Éowyn strokes a finger over it as she sucks at Arwen's nipples, first one and then the other, unclad and warm in her mouth. A quavering cry interrupts her own pleasure, and she smiles up at Arwen. "Faramir accuses me of teasing...you will let me know if I tease you?"
"You may tease as much as you like, so long as you do not stop," Arwen moans, twisting closer to Éowyn. "No one has ever told me that I -- oh! Smell like trees, before."
"I don't know how else to describe it," Éowyn admits, and then closes her lips around a nipple again, sucking gently, as her fingers comes up to tease its mate. Arwen twists again, moaning, and Éowyn remembers that she had said her nipples were exquisitely sensitive. She does not want this to end without touching Arwen, everywhere. Lifting her head, she reaches for Arwen's hand, presses a kiss to her palm, then trails her tongue up one finger before sucking it into her mouth. She repeats this with the other four fingers before kissing the inside of Arwen's wrist.
Arwen has thrown her head back, eyes closed; her belly arches, her thighs press together in rhythm. Releasing her hand, Éowyn starts to work her way down again, trailing feather-light kisses over Arwen's skin, her fingers stroking lightly in the kisses' wake. She runs her tongue around Arwen's belly, and kisses her hips, before moving further down, across her thighs, as her hands stroke down over Arwen's legs. As Arwen arches toward her mouth, she feels her long hair fall across Arwen's side. The Queen plunges a hand into it, sliding it over her skin as if it were liquid.
Soon Éowyn's mouth makes its way up the inside of Arwen's thigh, but her fingers are already slipping between her soft folds. While she strokes Arwen, she moves back up her body and takes a nipple into her mouth as she slides one finger slowly inside. Arwen tosses her head, sighing deep in her throat, pressing down on Éowyn's fingers as she arches up to her mouth. Éowyn smiles, sucking gently on Arwen's nipple as she moves her fingers without and within her, wanting to hear another sweet sigh. Her tongue traces around Arwen's nipple before she moves her head to taste the other, drawing it into her mouth just as she slips another finger inside.
Arwen wraps her leg over Éowyn's hip, rocking back and forth, trying to press against Éowyn's palm without dislodging her fingers. Arwen's hand comes up to cradle the back of Éowyn's head while her body tightens around the touch within her each time Éowyn sucks on the taut flesh in her mouth. As Arwen rocks, Éowyn presses the palm of her own hand forward, pushing her fingers in deeper. Her lips and tongue move between Arwen's nipples, not lingering for very long, in the hope of prolonging her pleasure -- this is an exquisite task that Éowyn does not yet feel ready to end.
Yet Arwen's inner walls are contracting already. She trembles and cries, pushing herself down upon Éowyn's fingers and rubbing against her thumb. Éowyn presses closer, her lips closing around one nipple and sucking more insistently upon it, as she feels the other woman shuddering. Arwen climaxes silently, with her mouth open in a soundless scream, but she spills thick fluid over Éowyn's hand and her nipples knot even more tightly.
Éowyn smiles and rains feather-light kisses over Arwen's breasts, then moves up higher to kiss her neck. "Ah," sighs Arwen finally, finding her voice. "Ah, Éowyn!"
Éowyn hums softly, still kissing Arwen's neck. "Arwen..." she murmurs.
A sudden noise from just below the balcony makes them both jolt. Someone is very near in the courtyard, some noble or maid, perhaps, and the Queen is unclothed while Éowyn wears only a thin shift stained from her own arousal and Arwen's. Reaching back to where she had discarded Arwen's shift, Éowyn wonders whether they should try to struggle into their gowns or if it would be better for them both to pretend to be asleep, as if they had dozed off in the warm afternoon light.
But a moment later it no longer matters, for as Arwen shrugs her shift over her head, Aragorn vaults silently over the balcony, moving with the stealthy grace of a Ranger rather than the decorum of a King. He goes perfectly still when he sees the two of them sitting together with the curtains billowing behind them, and Éowyn is sure her face is flushed as scarlet as the fading bloom of passion on Arwen's chest and throat.
For a moment the three of them stare at one another, with Aragorn wearing the same surprised, impressed expression he offered Éowyn at Edoras when she parried his blade. Then he smiles at her and at his wife. "I had thought to steal a few minutes alone with you," he tells Arwen, "but I see that you are otherwise engaged."
Arwen lifts her neck proudly, looking very much a Queen despite her state of near-undress and the locks of hair tumbling in disarray about her shoulders. "We had thought that the King and Steward would be meeting through the afternoon, my lord," she says in a calm, elegant voice that anyone overhearing would take for deference; only Éowyn can hear the faint emphasis on "meeting" and the breath of laughter as she falls silent. Aragorn's grin widens, and he nods.
"We decided to take a break from our work and walk in the courtyard." Turning suddenly, he leans over the balcony railing and shouts, "Faramir!" Éowyn hears her husband's voice call an answering greeting, and a moment later she can make out his running footfalls as Aragorn waits, leaning one hip against the railing and grinning broadly. Looking down, he calls, "I do not think that you will find your wife in your rooms. Come and join us for...tea."
Éowyn swallows a laugh as she watches Aragorn extend a hand over the side of the balcony, helping her husband to scramble over the rail. He catches his balance at the precise moment that he sees her with Arwen, and only Aragorn's arms prevent him from stumbling forward. Seeing how at ease the men are with one another, Éowyn understands immediately how she and Arwen must look to them.
"We grew tired of fencing and embroidery, so we thought to lie in the sun, or perhaps to go for a roll in the leaves," Éowyn explains to Faramir, whose merriment turns to confusion:
"But it is spring. There are no leaves on the ground..." And then, at Aragorn's chuckle, he laughs as well. "I see. Well. Perhaps we might join you?"
Faramir steps forward and extends a hand. Yet he seems to realize, at precisely the same moment as Éowyn, that it would be improper to raise his own wife to her feet before the Queen, and so he bends to Arwen, gingerly drawing her upright until they are both standing, holding one another's forearms.
By the time they have stepped apart, Aragorn is approaching Éowyn with his hand outstretched to her. "May I?" he asks, smiling, and to Éowyn's surprise, her heart leaps within her chest, much as it did when she first knew Aragorn, before she understood that he was not the only person she could ever love. Almost shyly, she gives him her hand and lets him help her to her feet, leaving her fingers in his when she sees that Arwen still has a hand wrapped through Faramir's elbow.
"Shall we?" Faramir inclines his head toward the curtains billowing from Arwen's rooms, waggling his eyebrows swiftly at Éowyn to make her giggle. Aragorn gestures for the Steward to take the Queen through first, so Éowyn remains behind, watching her husband step inside with the lovely Elf. Then she looks up at the King, whose gaze seems surprisingly intense before he offers her a now-familiar, flirtatious wink. Clasping her hand more firmly, Aragorn strides forward, taking her with him into the warm darkness of his wife's chamber.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.