Thirteen days and nights have come and gone, and still no Curumo.
Nearly two weeks.
Sauron complains constantly, and when he is not complaining, he is sobbing, and begging to be released- and to stop the pleading, I engage him in another dangerous embrace..over and over..and so have passed these strange days.
The fourteenth morning, an ill wind blows, and I feel danger, acute, sharp, somewhere near.
Annatar looks up at me from his bed roll, naked, feet shackled, a picture of lustful satiety.
I have lost count of our lovemaking.
But there is a different look to his eyes, this morning. Plotting, inwardly turned, deeply scheming. He is growing desperate now, terrified of what is awaiting him at Valinor- loathful to take any penalty at all. And he has allowed the fear to grow in his mind, until it is now an irrational horror.
He smiles that secret smile at me, teeth gleaming like stars at midnight.
Murmurs to me in a fell tongue…
“Do not use those words to me, Annatar. I do not understand them, and even if they be loving and sweet-humored, I do not want that tongue spoken near me.”
He smiles less, then, and turns away.
“Where is your foul leader?”
Of course, he means Curunír.
“I do not know what has happened. I am very concerned.”
He smirks, and snickers softly, and I suppose I cannot blame him for his hatred towards Curumo- not now.
We have made slow but steady progress- it would be far faster if I had Shadowfax- but that would involve either trailing Sauron behind me on foot, or securing a mount for him. I do not wish to give him a steed, not do I wish to hear the whining, if I were on horseback and he on foot.
Nevertheless, we are progressing to the place where we will board the ship- the ship that will take us all home.
I know Sauron will do anything in his power to avoid that happening.
I help him up, and watch as he pulls on his robes and cloak- there is no need for false modesty between us, now, or for my pretending I do not wish to watch his lithe, beautiful body. It is like a statue of a deity come to life, golden and sleek, every movement designed to arouse and enchant.
The hair- oh, that hair! Like a river of lava, kissed by gold at the surface, curling here, and then cascading there, down his shoulders.
Still, there are bruises, some of them quite dark and painful to see, across his shoulders and back, as well as the worst on his face.
My heart races, as I look upon him. I am…woefully…certain I am beginning to love him.
Not for his face, or body, though they be resplendent. I am not certain how or why it is happening, Eru knows his manners are horrific, he is spoiled, cruel, arrogant, exceedingly hateful.
A young and wild-hearted wolf, who never grew into his fangs properly, given too much power and authority at far too young an age, and forever corrupted as a result.
He smiles, knowing what I feel. Confident in the power he wields with this unnatural perfection.
There is very little in the way of maturity, or wisdom, or even common sense in him. But he is incredibly intelligent, and cunning beyond measure.
And he feels…dangerous… today.
I know he is motivated by great dread and terror, and if I can only find the right things to say, I can alleviate that terror, and my own peril.
I approach him, thinking to reassure him again that I will stand up for him, to perhaps tease him and say something terribly amusing like, “Do I not always stand for you?”- and then, in the flash of a red and wrathful eye, he strikes out at me, with the swiftness and precision of an attacking serpent- he strikes me across the face with his arm, hard, and I stagger back, totally off balance.
And unforgivably caught off-guard.
His hands find my throat, and he clenches, and I see the most terrible thing of all: the blazing red of his eyes, the deep blue all but disappeared into twin fires.
He is fighting for his life, or so he believes, and now, I am as well.
I try to choke out a sound but nothing comes. Onto the ground he drags me, incredibly strong, and his knees pin either arm down, sitting on my chest, straining the shackles to their limits.
His hands strain harder, and he suddenly closes his eyes, moaning. He is injuring his broken wrist, but continues nevertheless.
I must get out from under him!
With a great effort, I wrench free with one hand and pull his hair hard, and he howls in fury- I pull harder, and the pain is too much- and his hands slip off my throat.
I knock him off me, and lunge for my Staff, and we face each other, Sauron holding his splinted wrist, eyes still bright red.
His hair hangs down like a gilt curtain in front of his face, now dripping with sweat.
“Stop this madness! Now! You are going to be badly hurt- Sauron- cease at once!”
He lunges at me with a savage rage, and I realize that I am grappling with the fighter, now, the warrior.. Melkor’s lieutenant. He will kill me, if it means escape.
I have been lulled into a foolish complacency, and did not even see it. This beautiful rose hides fatal and terrible thorns.
Absurdly, I remember last night, in a momentary flash of memory:
Golden above me, riding me with thrusting hips and half closed eyes, impossibly breathtaking, groaning in a shrouded, thick voice- my own pleasure only magnified by the sight and sensation of his, as he arched, eyes rolled back into his head, moaning that it was “too much, too much.." ...and then swooning into it, clenching me with his fiery insides, into oblivious joy…
As he falls on me, I sidestep, violently aware of the very different and very deadly situation this morning- and my fist connects with that lovely jaw- regretfully, perhaps- but forcefully.
He makes a strange sound and leaps back, holding his mouth.
Cursing viciously, he spits blood onto the grass, and a shining white tooth drops into the blood. He looks at it in horror, and then at me.
“You Istar-filth! What have you done to me!”
“Annatar- calm yourself- get control of yourself again!- listen to me- I will heal the tooth- but you must calm down!”
He backs away a few steps- carefully- this time, he recalls the shackles- and then takes up a large stone, bringing it down on the chains, once, twice.
I start towards him- he has no weapon, as such, I think- and then he hoists the rock up, warningly.
Never taking his eyes off mine, he brings the rock down on the shackles the third time- and they shatter. He looks at me, triumphant.
His eyes dart back and forth, seeking a way out. He makes a decision, and bolts away.
Physical speed has never been my strong merit, but I give chase nonetheless. He quickly outdistances me easily, but Eru be praised- destiny does not allow him to go far.
He stands again facing me, and between him and freedom is a deep chasm- he has managed to flee straight to its edges, and only barely stopped himself from falling into it.
Snarling like a trapped wolf, he turns at bay, weaponless, but still valiant.
Slowly, very slowly, I walk towards him.
“Annatar…” I purr gently, “I will not harm you. You must know this by now…move away from the edge, I do not wish you to fall!”
I see the fear again in his eyes, and the fiery glow fades, and they are only wide and blue again.
He hesitates, and his foot slips under loose gravel, and thus unbalanced, he totters- I am upon him in an instant, and catch him.
But he still has a mind to struggle, and tries to wrench free – now, it is my foot that slips, and, suddenly dizzy, I lose my equilibrium, and begin to fall.
Something catches my robe, and I am pulled forcefully back from the edge, and hurled to the ground.
I look up, sprawled in the dirt, stunned by my near-dying.
He saved my life!
We look at each other, silently, and then he turns again to run, and I lash out with my Staff and bring him down, knocking his legs out from under him.
Still in silence, I bind his ankles close together with my belt, and one wrist- the uninjured one- I tie behind his back.
Exhausted, I sit back, and regard him, in a new light: was he not willing to kill me to escape? And yet- in a moment’s decision, he saved me from falling to a certain death. Breathing hard, he lies on his belly, subdued now, cursing softly. I do not know what to make of this. Or do I?
Is it possible…he does feel something for me?
If he had allowed me to fall, nothing would have stood between him and escape.
“Do not go anywhere.” I tell him, “I am going to go find your tooth.”
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.