5. Chapter Five
But he pulled Shadowfax back to a slow trot with a whispered word, and they headed for a small grove, framed in the bright moonlight.
Gandalf- ever prudent and cautious- waited until Saruman dismounted- and then he too leapt down from his horse.
He walked to Saruman, who leaned against a large tree, looking very pale, even for him.
“Curunír..they hurt you more badly than you let me know.. I can see that now..”
Saruman looked at him tiredly, and made no reply.
“Will you allow me to see how bad it is?”
Gandalf spoke the words as carefully and gently as he could, but Saruman shook his head, and looked away.
Gandalf felt a strange sense of dread, and pressed further: “Curunír—I must ask you again- if you are injured more seriously than we know—there are things that may be done to help you!”
Saruman lost all patience, now, feeling pressured, and hissed a biting “No!” back at him.
Gandalf sighed, and relented. He did not wish to push too hard about this.
He had a feeling he already knew what had happened. Saruman was deeply hated in Rohan, as an arch enemy, and even worse, a traitor of the king. It was no surprise that the soldiers would have given him the full extent of their anger and rage, up to the point of actually killing him.
Gandalf nodded, saying “Very well, then. I – I was merely concerned for you.”
Saruman looked him clearly in the eyes, and muttered, “Whatever has been done, is already done, Gandalf. I need no medical attention, if that is your concern. What was done... what was done will heal—in time.” He looked away again, and Gandalf nodded in assent.
“If you change your mind, you have only to tell me, then.”
In silence, later, they sat by the fire, and Gandalf insisted Saruman eat some of the food he had made— he was resisted at first, but eventually it was accepted.
Gandalf would have greatly preferred that they had ridden further, but it was obvious that Saruman was extremely uncomfortable, and in some considerable pain.
And so, they made their camp in this place, Gandalf not knowing precisely what his next move would be, and Saruman only being grateful to be free, at least for the moment.
Gandalf spread out the blankets, and Saruman watched him impassively—then, finally, he spoke:
“Mithrandir- why did you do this? Why- did you- save me?”
Gandalf looked at him, baffled by the question.
Then, he replied: “You cannot understand it? Firstly, you surrendered in good faith, and I gave you my word for your safety- second, Théoden sentencing you to death was unexpected and a shock to me, although perhaps it ought not to have been. You- are my brother, Curumo- and you were once my friend, and my mentor. I was not willing to sacrifice you. It is as simple as that.”
Saruman stared at him, still stunned. And then, he spoke again, much more softly:
"I- am grateful. I never expected you to do this, not after- all that has happened. Not after I--" He stopped then, and looked down.
Gandalf sighed quietly, and murmured, “Curunír- come lie down. I bear you no hatred, no bitterness. Let us salvage the situation, as best we can, hm?” He smiled, and Saruman finally relaxed somewhat, and slowly- and painfully- lay down next to him, stretching out his long legs.
They lay in the moonlight for a long while, both unable to sleep, and then the moon was obscured by clouds, and darkness descended.
Gandalf felt the chill of the night increase greatly, and he turned to Saruman, who, as he found, was looking at him as well, barely discernable in the dark.
“It is cold tonight.” he said quietly, and Gandalf saw he was slightly shivering with the cold. It was more than cold, it was bitter, and Saruman was hardly dressed for the chill.
Gandalf frowned – “Come closer, this is no time for seclusion.” Saruman looked at him in the darkness, and then silently moved closer, too cold and uncomfortable to be aloof. He felt the unaccustomed warmth of Gandalf next to him, and felt as well a strange comfort in it. He was used to being all alone, and usually preferred it.
Still, the cold bit through.
He trembled even though he tried desperately to restrain it, and Gandalf, being Gandalf, immediately noticed.
Saruman shrank back, as Gandalf wrapped warm and comforting arms around him, very surprised, as well as very grateful. But although there was great solace in being embraced, he was ill at ease, being so unused to it. He tried to relax, but found it very difficult. A kind touch, or indeed, any affection at all, was an alien concept.
Gandalf sought to give him a sense of ease- “Curunir, pray, be easy now, I do not mean to alarm you, or cause you discomfort. Let me warm you..I know you are very cold.” Saruman listened in silence, unsure of just how to respond. There was comfort in the warmth, so much so that it was pleasure, and yet, he was still uncomfortable with being touched.
But in the darkness, the arms increased their ardor, and acting on an impulse that came from somewhere deep within, Gandalf sought and found his old friend's lips, cold with the chill, and pressed his own upon them, gently, slowly, but with no hesitation.
Saruman was far too stunned to even resist, and he only made a startled gasp, and then felt the excitement of the kiss – had he ever experienced this intense a thrill before?- he did not think so, in all his long, long life. The desire to protest came and went, more quickly than he could have ever imagined.
With a reluctance born more of fear of rejection, than lack of desire, he put his own long arm around Gandalf’s neck in return – the warmth was both soothing and arousing, and they pressed together with greater urgency.
In only a moment, they were entwined legs and arms alike, and Gandalf felt his heart thunder with excitement. “Curumo..” he whispered, using the ancient Quenyan name, “ Curumo..let us join together, more fully..” he stroked Saruman’s long back through the robes, and then slid his hand underneath. Saruman gasped loudly, suddenly feeling Gandalf’s hand upon him, boldly, shockingly.
For his part, Gandalf laid hold of him with a great urgency, gently yet with much ardor. Saruman settled against him with a soft moan, and let himself be stroked by the warm and loving fingers. It was nothing he had ever expected, but now that it was happening, he could not fight it, and had no desire to do so.
Their lips met again, and then Saruman found his will at last, his strength and passionate nature, and took the upper hand, moving onto Gandalf with regal grace. Gandalf allowed it, and murmured in his ear, “Curumo...is this how you desire it..? for you shall have it, if you do..”
“It is..it is, for now, the only way it may be done..” He hoped Gandalf would understand, and there would be no more need for explanation.
He did, and there was no need for any more words.
Increasingly aggressive, but not in a vicious fashion, but rather more of urgent desire, Saruman urged Gandalf down onto him- Gandalf complied easily, and took in the sense and smell with an aching in his heart and body alike. One hand caressing the soft silver curls that encircled the large and very engorged organ, he took it into his eager mouth, as Saruman groaned and arched up against him.
For some minutes, Gandalf worked on him in loving silence, as Saruman ran his long fingers through his tangled white hair. And then, he was suddenly pulled away by the strong hands, and Saruman urged him onto his back, breathing very hard, eyes dilated with the fog of arousal.
The moon came out again, at last, and in the moonlight, the two bodies joined under the comforting embrace of the heavy covers, under the starry sky, straining hotly together.
Slickened by Gandalf’s attentions, Saruman slid into him slowly, carefully- it was still very tight, and he took great care to move cautiously. Gandalf shivered in mingled pleasure and pain, as Saruman entered him fully, and then his movements quickened, attaining that ancient rhythm, known from the beginning of the worlds.
“Curumo, Curumo, lisse..lisse..!” Gandalf swam in an ocean of pleasure now, as Saruman drove into him ever harder, ever more passionately.
Saruman closed his eyes and sensed it coming, that exquisite culmination, how long had it been? Rare were his lovers, and they had never stayed long, driven away by his fearful temper and unpredictable – even- dangerous mood swings.
Briefly, he thought of Sauron- the beautiful face, the deadly deceit- yes, Sauron had taken him, and then he had returned the favor, and it was a horrific and wondrous experience. As a result of the seduction of both the Ring and its magnificent maker, he had sold himself utterly to him, and yet- now--
This was love- this was acceptance, grace, all things that Sauron would mock him for, perhaps even kill him for now.
His troubled thoughts, so out of place in this moment of lovemaking, were shattered by Gandalf clutching him in desperate passion, muttering lovingly to him, in a voice awash with ecstasy and love.
He leaned forward far, and they kissed softly, even as Saruman felt the tide of sensation crash through him, drowning him, causing him to moan into Gandalf’s mouth as they arched together violently.
And later, as the moon was obscured again, and this time by far stormier clouds, Saruman thought he heard a far away mental voice, murmuring softly, sweetly, words of threat and rage...
...and as sleep found him, lying in Gandalf’s sated embrace, his last mental image was of an impossibly fair face, scornfully bent into an angry smile, glowering, a face so beautiful you could die for it, lose your very soul, just for one touch...
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