37. Past And Present, V: Master And Slave, III: Aragorn
Completely A.U. Legolas slave fic. This story was inspired by Bluegolds story "Bound", which can be found here: http://daemel.freespaces.com/authors.html#blue
I use similar plot ideas here with her permission.
Betareader: Many thanks to Surreysmum, who polished this and made it so much better! All still remaining errors are my own.
Warnings: Slash. M/m, BDSM, d/s, torture, toys, non-con and debatable consent. Very graphic descriptions.
Special warnings for this chapter: non-con! BDSM. Implied rape. Please heed the warnings!
Disclaimer: Universe and characters are not mine, but Tolkien's. The idea of the spell, however, belongs to me.
Guide: In this chapter, I work with flashback scenes. Here is a Guide:
// /flashback/ //; ************Time change within a flashback***********; "speech"; 'thoughts'
For all other warnings, other disclaimers and author's notes see Story Intro.
XXXV. Past and Present V: Master and Slave, III – Aragorn
// /Startled, Legolas tried to sit up. "Estel!" he said, alarmed. "What?--"
Gentle hands pushed him back down into the pillows, stroking over his shoulders soothingly. "Shhh!" Estel said. "Don't worry! It's all right. They told me I could take you with me."
Legolas allowed himself to be pushed back down, too exhausted to struggle. He was confused and his mind was still a little fuzzy. "But-" he protested feebly.
Estel shook his head, his face grim. "No 'but'! My brothers told me it would be all right, they would defend it to my father."
His face twisted as if he were in pain. "They said I need to 'practice', after all!" he added bitterly.
He dampened the cloth again and quickly looked away.
Legolas looked at him,startled,then he sighed and settled obediently back into the pillow. Images threatened to come back, lurking just at the edge of his mind, and he shivered. He was glad of the wet cloth returning to his brow.
He closed his eyes, trying to banish the assaulting pictures, and failing miserably. He had no words, no expression, to voice his feelings of despair, of pain mixed with disgust. He did not dare even to look at his lover.
Exhausted, he allowed himself to drift back into his fuzzy haze again. Suddenly, one of the images turned up in his head and stood out in sharp relief.
Estel, breathless in obvious arousal and complete fascination, while Elrohir dips the candle over Legolas' unprotected groin, telling him: "Don't make a noise! If you are very good, afterwards Estel will soothe you!"
The hot, searing wax pouring down on him with a ghastly burning, he, jerking back, trying to stifle a whimper only half-successfully; Elrohir jerking lightly at the chain connected to the clamps on Legolas' nipples in punishment; then telling Estel that, since the slave at least tried to obey, he may reward him and soothe him anyway.
And Estel complying; the cool mouth of Legolas' lover closing over his hurting, swollen member, suckling it delicately, while Elrohir is dribbling hot wax on Legolas' abused nipples in counterpoint....
Legolas' eyes snapped open, and he stared wide-eyed and hurt back at Estel.
"You liked it! he stated in dismay and betrayal. "You--" he could not go on, and his voice faltered.
What had he expected after all? He was a slave. And Estel had never experienced anything like that before, while Legolas himself had endured such games for a long time, now. Even his body had betrayed him again; his twin masters were very apt at coaxing his involuntarily reactions. They had trained him very thoroughly, after all.
How, then, could he blame his human lover for succumbing to the twins' potent game of seduction?
Legolas lowered his lashes, dropping his gaze in shame and despair.
Estel had looked pained and guilty for a moment at his accusation, then he quickly looked away. Now, he vigorously took the cloth and the bowl with water he had used to dampen it, and jumped up, sloshing some water in the process. He set the bowl and cloth away on the night stand and turned around. Facing away from Legolas, he stood there for a moment indecisively, then he grabbed a blanket and turned around again.
"You should sleep now," he grated out curtly, "you must be completely exhausted!" -- And with that, he turned again and walked over to the fireplace, obviously intending to spend the night on the big, soft fur that lay there.
Miserable and dismayed, Legolas watched him go. He turned around and buried his face in one of his arms. He felt as if a big chasm was about to open up right under him, a great, big emptiness, threatening to swallow him whole. Bereft of Estel's closeness, of his support, his love... bereft of the touch of his once so gentle lover...
He couldn't stand it. "Don't go!" he begged, nearly choked and just barely audibly, "Please, don't ..." he could not finish. He wasn't sure if Estel even heard him, or if so, if he would want to return.
Trembling and alone, he lay in bleak despair, without any hope and warmth left to him.
The mattress beside him shifted. Gentle hands touched him, holding him hesitantly.
"I'm here," Estel said. "I will not leave you!"
Legolas let out the breath he had been holding. And yet he trembled under the gentle touch. As grateful as he was, he could not bring himself to turn around immediately.
The touching hands left him. It was as if he was left again to emptiness. But at least the sheets didn't shift again. Estel remained at his side.
Tentatively, Legolas dared to turn around again. He risked a hesitant look at his lover.
The human sat there, face torn and troubled, staring at his hands. "I'm sorry," he finally grated out, "It's just..." he trailed off.
All of a sudden, Estel jumped up again and turned away. "Do you think it was easy?" he spat angrily, fists balled, facing away from Legolas."To see this... what they did to you... and how you reacted..." he trailed off again. Legolas could hear his anger and embarrassment in his voice.
Legolas sat up and looked at him. He didn't answer. He merely watched his young lover's back, mutely and miserably.
Finally, Estel turned around to him again. His face was flushed with pain and embarrassment; but there was still a great amount of anger.
"So maybe I did like it," he admitted angrily, "a little! I didn't want to! I cannot help the reactions of my body! And I've never seen anything like this before! Besides..." He stopped and looked at Legolas accusingly. "You did not seem exactly unaffected, either!"
Legolas eyes widened in pain. Then he bowed his head.
"I... I have no control over..." he began, then he paused. Finally, he said quietly: "I cannot help the reactions of my body, Estel. Your brothers are very skilled at forcing the stirring of my flesh upon me. That doesn't mean I like it."
He looked up again, very hesitantly, and met Estel's gaze.
The young man wore a 'there, you see?' expression, but there was bitterness and shame mixed under it. Legolas could see his warring emotions, reluctant arousal, disgust at himself, and shame.
"Aye!" Estel said, "they are quite skilled at manipulating others. Their ploy succeeded with me, too!"
Legolas held his gaze for a moment, then he closed his eyes and bowed his head again. "I know," he whispered, "forgive me! It is not your fault!"
He swallowed, staring at his hands. "You must be disgusted with me now!"
The mattress shifted again as Estel settled down beside him. Daring a look, Legolas saw his lover shaking his head.
"Believe me," Estel said, "if I am disgusted, it is not with you!" He looked away again, then he turned back to his lover and assured him: "I could never be disgusted with you!" He swallowed hard. His eyes betrayed his emotional upheaval, shame and bitterness warring with guilty desire.
Then, after a moment, his anger and dismay broke through again. "In any case, what does it matter if I like it, anyway? It's not as if we had a choice! We need to play their game, or they will kill you!"
He turned back to Legolas. With fierce determination, he said: "And I will not let that happen, Legolas! I will not have you being killed! I will do anything I need to make sure you stay alive! And if that means we need to play their wretched game, then that's what I will do!" He had tears in his eyes and was trembling in anger.
Legolas believed he had hardly ever seen Estel more beautiful than in his vehement determination.
He bowed his head again.
"I do not like being hurt and abused, Estel," he said.
Estel relented. "I know," he said tonelessly,"I'm sorry." He reached out and caressed his lover's shoulders, then his face.
Finally he said: "Look, it's just for a few months! We need to play along convincingly, until they give you to me! Elrohir and Elladan have practically promised to do so when I come of age. And as soon as you truly belong to me, we will leave! We can live with the Rangers, or anywhere we choose. We do not need to play their games anymore, and nobody can tell me how to treat you! We just need to play along until that time!"
Legolas stared at him. He wanted to believe him, oh, so much, and yet...
Estel saw the doubt and hesitation in his eyes. He took his shoulders.
"Please!" he said fiercely. "I need you to trust me! I cannot lose you, and I cannot watch you being killed! I love you! Please, beloved! Trust me! Let me do this!"
Legolas was touched by his fierce pain. He leaned forward and touched their brows together. "I love you, too," he said, "I do trust you, Estel."
Estel's arms came up around him.
"I love you, Little Leaf!" the human whispered, "I love you so much!" He enfolded the Elf in his arms and pressed him against his chest, burying his face in the side of his lover's head. Legolas could feel the wetness where Estel's cheeks touched his own. He heard Estel's fierce, desperate murmur:
"I will take care of you! I cannot lose you! Whatever we are forced to do, I love you. Never doubt that!"
Legolas shivered. Gratefully, he allowed himself to be held and soothed by his lover's reassuring presence, his tight and desperate embrace. He felt secure in Estel's intense dedication. Despite his doubts about their future, and whether Estel's desperate game would play out as well as his young lover hoped, he loved this human and he trusted him with all he was, with his very soul.
Slowly, he allowed himself to relax and to be soothed into a comfortable state of dreaminess.
He barely registered that Estel finally guided him back into the sheets and slipped into the bed beside him. That night, they finally found rest, nestled into each other's arms as if that was enough to shelter them against the world around them./ //
___________________ 0 ______________
Legolas woke with a start. Disorientated and confused, it took him a moment to get his bearings. Then it came back to him: the Fellowship; the Quest; the last few days. The wonderful, amazing gift his master had given him this evening. Estel, still holding him in his arms, was fast asleep beside him.
Legolas debated his options. For a few moments, he fought the nearly overwhelming urge to jump up and flee; or at least silently sneak away and relieve the one of the Fellowship who was currently on guard, taking over for the remainder of the night. He needed time to be alone, to think and face his memories.
But Estel wouldn't understand it if he fled him now, especially not after their gentle love-making earlier that night.
Carefully, Legolas began extracting himself from the human's embrace, trying not to wake the ranger up. He wasn't successful, of course; even deeply asleep Aragorn was much too alert and far too tuned to wake at the slightest sign that something was amiss. When Legolas finally sat up, he found a hand on his arm and looked down into the questioning eyes of his master.
"What is it, Little Leaf?" Aragorn whispered, concerned.
Legolas took the hand restraining him and kissed it.
"It's nothing, My Lord," he replied equally quietly, "I merely need to relieve myself."
Aragorn didn't comment; he just held his gaze a moment. For long heartbeats, Legolas felt the watchful gaze of his master bore into him. Then Aragorn relented. He merely nodded and let him go.
"Don't stay away too long," his master admonished. "We both need our rest, tonight."
Legolas gave him an obedient bow and stood. He didn't look back when he left, out of habit taking his weapons with him.
Outside the camp, finally, blessedly alone, he raised his face to the clouded sky and let the silence of the night sink into him. There were no stars tonight; nothing to give him strength. There was not even a tree close to their campsite anymore.
He felt the memories he tried to avoid, lurking just at the backside of his mind. He knew he could not flee them. Closing his eyes, he braced himself for the onslaught and let them come.
// / That initial night of abuse at the hands of the twins in Estel's presence had only been the first of many more, of course, and only the beginning. During the next few months, they adhered to Estel's plan, since they had hardly any choice about it. The twins successfully defended their decision to let Legolas stay with Estel during the nights against their father, and so the one good thing about that time was that Legolas and Estel could spend much more time openly together, although they still needed to be careful how they behaved.
But of course, the downside was that the twins made good on their threat to teach Estel all about their games, and they were very inventive. They taught him all the devious ways of abuse and torment, of cruel punishments, harsh handling and rough taking, of prolonged arousal and barbed rewards a pleasure-slave could be subjected to, always using Legolas as object of demonstration. They taught their brother about enforced pleasure, the use of toys and of restraints, which necessary preparations should be taken, which elements of caution should be observed to avoid severe injury or lasting damage, and how long any marks or bruising needed to heal. He also learned how to mix pain and pleasure, how to play with anticipation and with fear, and play prolonged games with cruelty and threats. He learned to distinguish between game and punishment, and of course also how to treat any injury and how to soothe. They used Legolas during that time more harshly and more frequently that they had for long years, almost since the first time when he had come into their hands and they began to train him for their cruel purposes.
But that wasn't the worst of it.
It still hurt him to recall that time; not so much because of what the twins – and necessarily, Estel – had done to him, but because of the change it brought about in his lover.
The worst was that during these months, and to his own dismay, Estel discovered that he truly liked the games his brothers taught him.
Of course, whenever he and Legolas were alone and unobserved, and when the twins had finished with their games and lessons for the day, Estel was nothing but tender with his lover, took care to gentle him and soothe him, and treated him with love and with concern. It was mainly Estel's continuing support that made the whole time bearable for Legolas.
And yet it couldn't be denied that Estel acquired a profound taste for games of dominance and cruelty during bed-play, and soon could hardly get enough, even when, given the choice, he would still have preferred to play much gentler games than those preferred by his brothers. He and Legolas even had a few confrontations about that.
One of these Legolas recalled in sharp clarity.
It was the morning after a particularly trying night. Legolas was exhausted. The twins had been excruciatingly hard on him the night before, and used restraints, toys and the whip quite generously. Estel was busy applying some healing salve to Legolas' abused back, kneading the hurting muscles. Elrohir and Elladan had amused themselves – and Estel - with tying their slave up and leaving him restrained for hours, while they played their games. In addition, they had made him ask for punishment, whenever he found himself forced to break one of their rules – for example, not to move, or to keep silent during their torment... and afterwards, they made him thank them for it. It was one of their favorite games.
It was a game that had Estel quite fascinated.
A little concerned, Legolas could feel Estel tracing the whip marks on his back thoughtfully.
"You heal fast," he observed. "They are fading already. I feared they would last longer." He kissed one.
Legolas sighed. "Elladan was careful not to break the skin, although he made sure the welts will last a day," he said. "It's one of his games." He didn't elaborate; Estel knew as much already. If he and his human lover made love today, gently and caring, Legolas would pay for it with pain. Elladan had made sure of that.
"Elladan was very harsh with you last night," he said. "I wish he had not gone that far. But you were very brave! I was proud of you."
Legolas froze. "It's not my choice to feel the whip, Estel," he said carefully. "I bear what is done to me as best as I can. Why would that make you proud?"
Estel blushed. He didn't answer. Finally, he said: "It's just... I thought..."
Legolas sat up and turned around to him. "You liked it," he said with dismay. It did not surprise him anymore. Estel's arousal at his brother's cruel games was nothing new. His lover's involuntarily reaction still hurt sometimes, but Legolas had told himself that he could deal with it. At least, as soon as they were alone, Estel was caring and considerate. And yet...
Estel blushed profusely. He looked away. Finally, he drummed up enough courage to meet his lover's eyes again.
"I... Yes, well. Maybe, a little. Some. I mean... I have to admit, some of what Elladan did to you last night was pretty exciting. When he trailed that whip over your skin, without hurting yet, and some of the toys he used... the way you reacted, the way your skin flushed... and when he made you ask for more..."
He swallowed. Reluctantly he admitted: "Some of this was very arousing. I thought, if he had but done a little less, stopped much sooner..."
He bit his lips. His face was very red now. After a moment, he mumbled: "I'm sorry. I just.." He looked away again.
Legolas was silent. After a long moment, he said carefully: "You know I do not like being hurt, Estel."
Estel flushed even harder. He turned back to Legolas again, reached out and took his lover's shoulders.
"I know," he said seriously, meeting his lover's eyes. "I'm sorry. We do not need to do this when we are alone."
It sounded sincere enough, but there was a very small tinge of regret in his voice. And Legolas could see the longing in his eyes.
The Elf took a sharp breath. Probably he should have expected that it would come to this. Still...
Fighting the feeling of betrayal - sharp and painful as freshly broken glass - within his soul, he stated: "But you would like to."
Estel pulled back a little and let go of his shoulders. He looked away. He swallowed.
Finally, after a long pause, he dared to turn back at his lover.
"Well, yes, it would be... I mean, I thought... I thought it would be incredibly exciting if you maybe would do something like that for me, sometimes. I mean, just for me." he said. "If you would let me... you know. Do what they do. Some of it. Not all. I would never go that far, of course, if we did something like that together."
Legolas looked at him incredulously. "Doing what?" he asked, "Being whipped? Hurt? I told you that I do not enjoy pain! I... I was commanded to suffer the whip, Estel. I did not choose to feel it!"
Estel looked down, refused to meet his eyes.
After a long moment, he looked up again. "I know," he said. "I meant... if you would agree to let me tie you up... maybe spank you a little. Maybe try some toys. I mean... I would be gentle. I would not go that far. I would... take care that you could bear it. You know? I thought if we could try something like that sometimes – not at the command of my brothers, not because we are forced to play along, but freely... if you would let me do that sometimes, as a gift... it would be incredibly arousing!"
Legolas looked at him for a long time. He told himself he should probably be grateful that Estel at least did not simply demand that he should serve him in this way, but asked him first. And yet...
And it was true, Legolas reacted much more excitedly than on earlier occasions when the twins had been playing their games. Because now Estel would be there and hold him, and would encourage him during Elladan's and Elrohir's cruel play. Would even tell him how brave he was, how proud he made his lover, and how much Estel loved to see him excited...and at the time, Legolas would take every support he could, too caught in the fog of arousal mingled with pain forced on him to think clearly anymore.
Somehow, Estel being the one who held him, savored his body and his flesh, made a difference.
Estel took his silence as a good sign. Carefully, very hesitantly, he continued: "You know, I thought about it. We could... maybe we could use code words. Like we do in battle. If you want me to stop, very badly, you could say one word we agreed on. Or, if you wanted me to go more slowly, or do something else, but not stop completely yet, you could say another. And I would make sure that you would not be harmed, and that you found completion, too. Something like that."
Shyly, he added: "Maybe... maybe, this way, you could even enjoy it?"
He looked up. He saw his lover's troubled, defeated face and paled a bit. Hurriedly, he added: "But of course we do not need to do that! We can keep making love as you like it. Sweet and tender." He swallowed and added, as sincerely as he could: "I like that, too!"
Legolas looked at him, sadly, already mourning his sweet and gentle lover. Of course, Estel was young and impressionable, and he was the only human among Elves. It should be no great surprise he would like power-play.
Still, the way Estel worded his suggestion, it sounded very thoughtful and caring. Almost sweet.
After a long while, he stated carefully: "You know, I am a slave. If you wish to treat me as one and order me to pleasure you this way, you can always do so. Your brothers won't object, I am sure."
He kept his face carefully blank, although he could not stop the bitterness in his voice.
Estel cringed. For a moment, he looked at him, startled. Then he shook his head. "I know," he said, "but I do not want that! I want you to be my lover, slave only in name! I want you to agree to this and do it for me sometimes, as a gift. Very rarely, just some special play. And I want you to love and desire my company and touch, not fear it!"
He took his lover's face into his hands and kissed him. "I love you, you know! I admit I've been aroused by the games my brothers play, and I find them exciting, but it is you I love. And I want you to be happy. With me!"
Legolas looked into his serious, sincere eyes and felt as if he could drown within them.
"I want that, too, Estel," he said. "I will think about it."
Estel kissed him again, and this time, Legolas gave himself completely over to the sensation.
They made love again, that day, sweet and tender, although Legolas' back and buttocks still hurt from the abuse the night before.
And when they indeed tried some games alone, a few weeks later, Legolas found that Estel was serious with his suggestions. Estel was nothing like his brothers, when they tried harsher play. He was content with much less, he was considerate, and it was very much more power play than cruelty he was interested in. What aroused him mainly was Legolas' submission, his obedience, and not the least, his trust. To his own surprise, Legolas discovered that he found some of this play even enjoyable, although he still much preferred their usual tender sharing.
And if it had been just these few, occasional games, Legolas could have happily adjusted. But of course, with every month that became a more demanding task. For it could not be denied that, while when they were alone Estel was still mostly gentle, caring and considerate, at the same time he was developing a slightly cruel streak, not enough to completely corrupt the character of the young human, but still enough to be somewhat noticeable.
It didn't exactly help that Estel was encouraged to act as a harsh and stern master and whenever they were not alone, they needed to observe a strict conduct of dominance and obedience. Nearly imperceptibly, Legolas' gentle lover adopted more and more attitudes of a master and began to expect his lover to submit to him, even outside their bed-play. Legolas registered it with dismay, but was powerless to work against it.
Still, Legolas loved him. And at least, this way, Estel was less likely to slip in public.
Besides, when they were alone, Estel was still his caring, gentle lover, and Legolas was happy enough to be with him.
Estel's first aim during that time was still to keep him safe, until the moment when Legolas would finally belong to him alone. The day when he came of age at last, and Legolas and he would finally be bound together. / //
Legolas shook himself out of his bitter musing and forced his mind back to the present. He looked around. He needed to go back; he had been away too long already. Aragorn would be waiting.
Resigned and bitter, he turned around and made his way back to the camp.
_________________ o _______________
As he had known, when he returned, his master was still awake. Aragorn had waited for him. He gave his Elf a concerned and questioning gaze when Legolas approached him carefully.
Yet thankfully, he did not comment on the long absence of his slave. Instead he merely opened his arms and let him snuggle up to him again. Legolas hesitated but a moment, then obeyed. Finally he was back nestled in the human's arms. Aragorn started petting him slowly.
When Legolas' obvious tension failed to die down under the soft caresses after a while, he asked quietly: "Bad dreams again?"
Legolas merely nodded.
Aragorn kissed the top of the head that was nestled just under his chin. "I'm sorry, Little Leaf," he said, "I had hoped to give you cause for better ones tonight."
Legolas shivered. He looked up to his master and dared a kiss. "You did," he said. "I'm sorry, My Lord. It is not your fault." Yet he quickly looked down again. "It's just..." he didn't continue.
Aragorn didn't answer. He watched his slave with concern and with grief. He kept quiet, just continuing to pet him.
After a long while, he finally said quietly: "Try to find some rest, anyway, Little Leaf. We have hard days awaiting us. You need it!"
Legolas froze a moment; then he decided not to ask any questions. He only nodded. Held securely by his master, he succumbed to the gentle petting, finally drifting off into his dreams.
He knew he could not escape the memories tonight.
_____________ o _________________
// / It was night, nearly the last of the third decade of Echuir(1) and the one before Estel's birthday. Even here in Rivendell, the early spring nights were still rather cold, so the shutters of the room were closed and the room was lit with numerous candles, and a healthy fire in the fireplace offered comfortable warmth. The little table near the fireplace held an inviting flask of strong, scented wine, and a bowl of sweets. Yet Legolas doubted very much that Estel even was aware of these offered comforts. The Elf lay on his lover's bed, watching the young human pace.
Estel was furious. He had just come back from a long discussion with his foster-father, and obviously, it had been a nasty one.
"He will not give you to me!" he suddenly burst out. "He said, he does not trust me to be a stern enough master to you. He thinks that you will seduce me to your will, that I will be wax in your hands and will be easily manipulated at your wish and whim. That I will be far too trusting and too gentle to keep you in line."
He turned around and stared at his lover. "He even threatened to take you away from my brothers and give you over to Erestor!" He sounded both angry and desperate.
Legolas' heart sank. A few weeks ago, the twins had wheedled from a very reluctant and objecting Elrond the agreement to give Legolas to Estel at their brother's coming-of-age ceremony, arguing how well Estel had taken to their lessons and how strictly he now observed the conduct of command toward the slave. They also argued how well the two worked together when in battle, and how useful it would be for Estel to have a loyal and obedient slave guarding his back. Only after long and hard discussions and much intervention from Glorfindel, Elrond had finally agreed. Of course, Legolas had feared that Elrond would find a way to go back on his promise and to take him from Estel at the very last moment, but to hear it was happening now was still a shock. And of course, Elrond had found a way to make it worse, maybe judging correctly that the twins would just continue to share Legolas with Estel, anyway.
At least as long as Estel stayed in Rivendell...
Legolas bowed his head. "Then all has been in vain?" he asked, "The last few months, all that 'training' has been just a sham to drive a wedge between you and me?"
Estel shook his head. His face was grim. "Nay," he said grimly, "for father said if I would prove to him that I can be a harsh master to you, stern and ready to mete out severe punishment when called for, he would still give you to me! He demands a demonstration. He says, only thus can I prove that I am worthy of my forebears, each of them a hardy and strong chieftain, stern and ready to command and enforce his power with harsh judgment."
He spat the last words with disdain. Then he shook his head. "Can you imagine? He demands of me that I take you harshly. In front of his eyes. That's what he claims I need to do to prove to him I'm worthy of my name! Aragorn, son of Arathorn, chief of the Dunedain of the North, and Isildur's last remaining heir. As if I ever asked for that heritage he kept from me for so long!"
His face was torn and upset and his voice shook with disgust.
He balled his fists. Angrily he turned around again and resumed his pacing.
Legolas looked at him, sadly and yet admiringly. Even in his wrath, Estel was beautiful. It was only fitting that he should be the heir of Isildur, a noble scion of kings and the hope of men if destiny so willed it.
Even if it looked as if he would have to take up that destiny without his lover.
Gently, but sadly, Legolas said: "It is a noble heritage. It fits you."
Estel turned back to him again.
"It does not fit me so much as you do," he said. "I do not care for my noble ancestors, or for my destiny. I only care for you!"
Legolas looked at him, wide-eyed and captivated. He did not believe that Estel – no, he corrected himself mentally, Aragorn – was truly as unmoved by his own heritage as he just claimed to be; too long had the young human strived to learn where he belonged and from whom he really stemmed. Still, to hear Estel's passionate, heartfelt confession and renewed proof of his love was incredibly endearing.
Even if this was perhaps the last night they would ever share, Legolas would be glad to his last day on Arda that he had known this human's love.
Very quietly, he asked: "So this is goodbye, then?"
Estel stared at him. Then, suddenly, his face adopted a determined expression. He shook his head.
"No," he said decisively, "it's not! I will not lose you about this. I'll do what father says!"
Legolas started. "You would... you would hurt me?" he asked, taken aback, then added carefully: "You would torment me as your father demands?"
Estel's face was grim, but there was a determined light shining in his eyes. He nodded.
"If I have to," he said, "if that is what it takes to make him give you to me for good, then, yes, I will!"
He saw the disbelieving gaze in his lover's eyes, his falling face, and stepped close. He took his reluctant lover by the shoulders.
"Look," he said, "it is easy! We give them a good show! I'll do what father demands and take you harshly during that wretched ceremony of his! You will suffer, yes, but not worse than what you have endured many times already, at the hands of my brothers. And in reward, father will have no choice but to give you to me. He promised after all!"
Legolas was taken aback. "Estel," he objected, "I..." he trailed off and swallowed. Lowering his lashes, he bowed his head. Estel bit his lips. He leaned forward, touching their foreheads together. But he didn't relent.
Quietly, he clarified: "He demands that I take you harshly during the ceremony. You know, hurt you, whip you really badly. Something like that. If I agree to that, he will give you to me." He raised a hand and caressed Legolas' face, then kissed him.
"Look, think of the gain!" he said pleadingly. "One hour of suffering, and after that you will be mine! You will be bound to me, both in law and under the spell, and will be mine for good. And then we can leave! We go to my people, to the Rangers. We can be together any way we want, and as much as we want it. I could take care of you, I could protect you. Nobody could gainsay me if I treated you as my equal! Among my people, I would not need to treat you as my slave. You would be my servant and beloved companion, and I would always have you at my back. You will be able to speak freely. I will take you with me on my travels, to campaigns, to places. We will be fighting side by side! And nobody could hurt you any more, unless I allowed it. Which, of course, I won't."
He kissed him. Tenderly, suggestively, he continued: "And I would not have to share you anymore, or fear that you will be claimed back by my father. I will not have to justify my love for you! I won't have to share you with my brothers anymore. We can make love as often as we want and as we like it. Tenderly, loving, like you like it best. And maybe, sometimes, very rarely, we could do it rough and harshly, too." Another kiss. "You could give me these times as a gift. Something special, just for me. And I could take care that I do not go too far or do anything you cannot bear. And afterwards, I would soothe and pamper you, until you got completely tired of it!" He smiled.
More seriously, he added: "And all that for a hour of suffering and a bit of show! I know this ceremony will be hard on you, but think what we gain by it!"
He kissed his lover's cheeks. "Won't you let me do this?"
Legolas looked up and met his eyes. Despite his doubts, he felt himself taken by the spell woven by Estel's fierce words. He met the human's eyes hesitantly.
"You know of course," he said carefully, "that when I am your slave you are well within your rights to use me any way you want, even if you make me suffer for your pleasure."
Or subject me to punishment I don't deserve, he didn't add. Yet Estel caught his meaning.
He kissed him.
"I know, beloved," he said seriously, "but I do not want to use you! I want you to be my lover and to give me such times freely, as a gift. I do not want you needing to fear our time together. I love you, and I want you to enjoy being with me! I would prefer for you to be my lover, not my slave."
Legolas felt himself melting inside and knew he would do anything for this one human.
"I love you, Estel," he said, "I will do as you wish. I will be honored to belong to you!"
_________________ 0 __________________
The scene changed. Legolas found himself tied between two posts, naked, shivering in the coldness of the early spring day. Even more than the cold, he was mortified by the display. Earlier he had been presented to Estel, collared and clad in loose, ceremonial garb, and told to kneel and swear his allegiance to him, since Aragorn, son of Arathorn, formerly known as Estel Elrondion, would be his future master. He did so gratefully, swearing his oath into Estel's hands. Then Elrond commanded him to be stripped and chained between the posts for the ceremony of extension of the spell to his new master. Legolas already knew the proceedings, having endured them twice. Estel – Aragorn – knew them, too. During the last few weeks, Elrond had taken care to teach his foster son everything he knew about drugs, herbs and about the workings of the spell with which Aragorn's future slave would soon be bound to him, and how to cast, feed and extend it at need.
Still, to suffer through this whole ceremony again, with Elrond, Elrohir and Elladan, and Erestor as witnesses, not to mention Glorfindel, was painful enough. And it was not as if he had any choice, or any way of escaping. It would not have needed the chains and several armed guards to keep Legolas subdued and in line.
Elrond droned on, talking of responsibility, of Aragorn's noble heritage and of his destiny, and that as a special gift, the lord of Rivendell had decided to give this slave to him as property, unlimited by the usual rules applying to a Mirkwood hostage. From this day onwards, the slave would belong to Aragorn alone, to do with him whatever he wished, without conditions. He would be free to kill, torture or mutilate him if he so decided, and use him any way he wanted. And nobody could use or touch the slave henceforth without Aragorn's explicit permission, as soon as the spell was extended to him. The ceremony would be held according to the old customs; however, on this special occasion, and since the new master of the slave was human, not an Elf, it had been decided to give the slave special treatment, so he should from the first hour learn his place and understand his complete subjection to his master's power. Therefore he would be taken harshly and be given a small taste of what would await him, should he earn his master's wrath... And more of the same in different wording, all spoken in ancient and ceremonial Quenya, which Legolas had a hard time understanding, since he knew it mostly just as written language.
He looked up, startled, though, as Elrond laid out one special condition of the new arrangement.
"And since my foster son," the lord of Rivendell said, "will take this slave with him when he leaves to join his people, and will depend on the slave's loyalty in the wilds, I rule that this time the spell shall be wound tighter. It shall be such that this slave will need his master's attention at least every fortnight, and will not survive much longer than a month without him!"
Legolas swallowed and met Estel's eyes, who looked back at him, similarly startled, but with fierce determination. Estel was set on going through with this. Nothing would deter him now from achieving the extension of the spell to him and gaining Legolas for himself alone. Besides, he and Legolas shared their bedding at least every other day, and even more often when they got the chance. Sharing their bodies at least every fortnight should hardly be a problem for them, then.
Or so Estel thought until he heard the teasing of his brothers.
Elrond had finally concluded his speech and went on to begin the practical part of the ceremony. Legolas shuddered as he was forced to sip the hated sogo nen aniron(2) – four sips, again, since Glorfindel had declined his active participation in the ritual this time - and when the even more hated, hideous preparation staff was brought into his vision. He was required to kiss the thing, as sign of his acceptance and agreement to the extension of the spell to his new master – a cruel little idea of Elrond's, no doubt, to further torment and humiliate him.
Then the staff was inserted and the torment began. He refused to show his pain this time, refused to fight, to cry or even whimper; but it was hard, feeling the violation by the thing, then the pain when the salve was rubbed into his hurting flesh. He did not pay attention to the exchange of teasing between Estel and the twins. Only when the hands rubbing the paste into him finally left his body did he return his attention to them. It didn't surprise him much to find that he himself was the object of the twins' obscene and lewd jokes.
Obviously, Elladan and Elrohir teased their human brother about the frequency with which, under the new conditions of the spell, Legolas needed to be taken, and that it might soon exhaust the human to keep up with these demands; they were doubting Estel's interest and potency to fulfill such demanding duties all the time, especially if the excitement and novelty of the new, exclusive relationship wore off, and later, when the human aged.
"Oh, he will be bound to you and you will use him often," Elladan said, "until you tire of him and all this frequent love-play gets old and a burden!" He smirked, "Which of course may happen all too soon, now that you won't share him anymore with us and are unwilling to rely on our loving support! But do not worry, if you ever tire of him and wish to get rid of him for a month or two to follow other pursuits, you may still leave him with us for some time!"
"And if you ever want to get rid of him for good," Elrohir added, "you can always extend the spell to somebody else! 'Twould be such a shame if you let that lovely bed-toy die just because you did not feel up to fulfilling the demands of his body anymore!"
Estel looked exasperated, but before he could say anything, Elladan added: "Or just because you tired of him after some time. It can happen with such frequent use, you know!"
Estel threw them a glare. He could not imagine a situation where sharing pleasure with his lover could ever get too much.
Shaking his head, he said with conviction: "I will never tire of him!"
He looked over to his lover and searched for Legolas' gaze.
At his place beside his twin, Elladan shrugged. "Oh, you say that now! But just you wait a few years, when the novelty wears off, and when you have had him often, then you may think differently!"
Elrohir smiled. "I've had a few slaves in my time, and most of them I finally gave away, although a few of them were very lovely..." he added.
Legolas shuddered. He would have liked to ask what became of the others, those whom Elrohir didn't give away, but he knew he could not dare to speak. And anyway, the nagging fear the teasing of the twins started in his soul was hard enough to bear. He hoped, he knew, no, he was sure, that Estel would not simply let him die or bestow him on another if his lover ever tired of him; but for a moment, he could not help the sudden fear, closing like a frozen fist around his heart. He couldn't breathe. Bile rose in his throat. He hardly felt the sharp pain in his anus anymore, nor the burning need caused by the drug forced down his throat, and even the humiliation by the renewed rape by the instrument of torment, and by the whole, debasing situation were hardly important anymore. He tried to banish the sudden doubt, tried to regain his calm. Nay, Estel would never do that!-- but he could not help the doubt nagging at his belief. What if Estel's love for him grew cold, what if his lover's fervour for him ever lessened? What if his human lover one day lost the taste for the pleasures of the flesh, or decided he wanted other fare? Aragorn was the heir of a long line of chieftains. He would need to sire an heir, he would have to marry at some time...
Would he cast Legolas aside then? Was Legolas doomed to die, or beg for his master's attention frequently, at least often enough that he would be spared the more painful and humiliating stages of need?
Again, he tried to banish these treacherous thoughts. There was no need for such doubts; Estel loved him! But he could not completely evict them from his mind. Desperately, he searched Estel's gaze, trying to find reassurance in his lover's eyes.
Some of his inner turmoil must have shown on his face, because he saw Estel looking at him with sorrow and concern. Then, suddenly, the eyes of his human lover adopted a determined expression.
Resolutely, the human exclaimed: "Then I will make sure that doesn't happen!" And with a few steps, he was at the table where the items needed for the ceremony lay ready to be used. He gripped the flask with the sogo nen aniron. "It is this drug that causes the need and desire for his master in the slave under the spell, is it not?" he asked, and opened the flask.
And he brought the flask to his lips and drank deeply.
Legolas wanted to scream. He opened his mouth, tried to shout a warning, a desperate: 'Estel! No!!' -- but no sound came out. His shout remained unvoiced. For in this very moment, he felt a cold, icy touch at his neck and found himself completely frozen, bereft of any ability to move or to make a sound. Cold, blue light entered his mind , stopped his thoughts, held him trapped and made him an immobile, helpless watcher. Behind him, he heard the harsh, commanding voice of Elrond in an angry whisper:
"Keep silent! You have no leave to speak or interfere!" The command was quiet, well outside Estel's hearing, but oddly clear and sharp, as if it had been spoken directly in his mind. Helpless and mute, Legolas was forced to watch with burning eyes while Estel doomed himself by this one act – and, maybe, even them both.
He did not really know how the drug worked. But it was potent, and it caused the need, the unrelenting addiction to the touch of his masters; Glorfindel had once told him as much. Whatever else Estel had just done to himself, he had made sure that he would from now on be as addicted to this sharing of their bodies as Legolas himself – with all that possibly ensued.
Before him, Estel put the stopper back into the flask and set it back onto the table. He turned back to the chained slave again and gave his foster-father, who stood behind Legolas, a triumphant look.
"I deem it only right that I shall need my slave as much as my slave will need me!"
His gaze found Legolas'. With brimming tears the Elf saw his eyes, full of love, determination, and promise. He wanted to scream, to cry, to shake his head, and yet he could not move.
Behind him, the Lord of Rivendell spoke again. Legolas could hear Elrond's dark satisfaction in his voice, as the cruel Elf-Lord said:
"Well spoken, my son! And now, begin! Show your slave how stern a master you can be and how harsh a punishment awaits should he defy you! Take the whip and prepare him for the extension of the spell to you!"
Estel hesitated, but only for a moment. Then he straighened and spoke the ceremonial words: "I, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, formerly known as Estel Elrondion, claim this slave as my own."
And he took the whip from the table and stepped close to the chained slave. Legolas could see the rising need in his eyes, answered by his own; but Aragorn's expression was still dominated by love and regret. Then Estel stood before him and kissed him deeply.
Hugging him for a moment, he whispered: "Be strong, my love. 'Tis only a short time, and then you will belong to me! I do this for us!"
Legolas couldn't answer; the freezing light inside his mind still prevented him from making a sound. He could just give the slightest of nods.
Aragorn stepped back and held the whip to the slave's lips, as was expected as part of this cruel variation of the ceremony.
"Kiss the instrument of your punishment," he commanded harshly, but his eyes communicated to his slave: 'Forgive me!'
Legolas could not answer. He could only follow the command. He kissed the instrument of pain and closed his eyes. He heard Aragorn take a step back.
And it began.
As whippings went, this wasn't the worst he had ever received, and while it left him thoroughly hurting, he was not rendered unconscious or even numb with pain. The following rape – by all his former masters, save Glorfindel – was much harder to bear, since it happened in front of the guards and other witnesses. And overall the burning need caused by the drug that made his body react in spite of the pain added to his mortification. When finally Aragorn took him, the last one to spill his seed in him, thereby closing the circle of the ritual and becoming his new master – it was as much a release as was the forming of the bond.
Aragorn collapsed against him, clutching him for support to stay upright, and remained sheathed for some time to make sure his seed could take hold in his new slave's body.
At this point, Legolas was completely exhausted and his mind was dizzy with the pain, the rapes and the effects of the renewed spell. He did not perceive clearly what was happening around him any more.
Finally, Aragorn's body slipped out of him. The chains were released. Aragorn caught him, then he was clad in his garb again, and heard his new master's command: "Carry him to my rooms. He needs to rest. I will join him later!"
He did not recall who brought him to Aragorn's chambers and placed him on the bed. He lay adrift in painful misery. He only woke when finally, Estel was back, cradling him gently and carefully in his arms again.
And to the present day, Legolas could clearly hear his master's words:
"Don't cry so, Little Leaf! It is done, it's over, we did it! We beat them! You do belong to me now! I will take care of you! I will keep you safe! I will love you and hold you dear, and I will protect you! And I will never let you go! You will be mine and will belong to me as long as I live! Nobody shall ever separate us again! I love you! Please, don't cry!" / //
________________________ o _________________
Legolas woke with a start. He was lying in his master's arms, on the ground, in the Fellowship's camp, and it was near morning. Aragorn was sleeping. His sleep was unusually deep and sound; not even the slight shivering of Legolas, his moans, the shaking of his shoulders served to wake him up.
Legolas cast a burning gaze over to the lump on the ground he knew to be the sleeping Ring-Bearer. The Hobbit was fast asleep, huddled against the form of the other Hobbits. Legolas suspected he did not need to guess who – or rather what – had been sending him all these memories, and made sure that his tossing would not wake anybody, not even Estel, so he could fully suffer them.
Not that poor Frodo was to blame, of course.
Shivering, trying to rein in the turmoil inside himself again, he forced himself to recall the rest of it. He was glad of Estel's arms around him.
// / Aragorn had met Arwen a few days after that ceremony, and fallen in love with her, but that had not diminished his closeness or interest in Legolas. Nor had much come out of that first encounter with Elrond's daughter at the time, for Aragorn and Legolas had left Rivendell soon afterwards. Aragorn had made good his promise. He took Legolas with him when they left, and they went to the Rangers; and among Aragorn's people, Legolas was treated, for the first time in years, just as another comrade, not a slave.
Except when it came to his own master.
Aragorn kept his word. He loved and cherished Legolas. He never gave him up. He took care of his needs. He took him with him on his travels, nearly everywhere he went, and he was always mindful of his health. He treated him – most of the time – more as a comrade or maybe as a free, trusted servant, than as a slave. He was as ready to take risks for him, even to die for him at need, as Legolas was for Estel. After a few years, he even went so far as to take Legolas with him on a mission to Mirkwood, since he well knew how much his slave desired to see his home and family again. Of course, he risked his head during that visit, and nearly lost it, too, since Thranduil did not take favorably to hearing that his son had become this human's slave. But Legolas protected Estel against him, and Legolas' father and his master separated if not on friendly, then at least on polite terms, and in an uneasy peace. And yet, a few years later, Aragorn risked it all over again, and a few times more afterwards, just to give Legolas another chance to see his home.
Aragorn also defended Legolas against the twins, even against his foster-father, and against the other Elves of Rivendell or of Lothlorien, and would let nobody touch him or do him harm. Indeed, he showed him the same fierce and unerring loyalty Legolas felt for him.
Aragorn's determination that they should be master and slave only in name and law did not survive the first year among the Rangers. It died under the strain of Aragorn's new responsibilities as chieftain and leader of his people.
Legolas could not blame him. The sheer needs of taking command of a whole group of people, of giving orders – and expecting them unquestioningly followed, if an decision was made – and of enforcing his authority at need even with punishment or with harsh judgments soon became ingrained in Aragorn's very thoughts. He still asked for - and often enough followed - his slave's advice, as he did with his Rangers, but when he gave a command, he expected obedience and would not accept any defiance. It was a necessity most of the times, but it did not leave their relationship unchanged. And all too soon, perhaps inevitably, it reflected on their bed-play, too.
Nearly imperceptibly, Aragorn began thinking of himself as Legolas' master, and began expecting his slave to attend and serve his needs. Soon enough, he demanded Legolas' submission to him as his right as naturally as if there had never been any question about that.
But that wasn't the worst. After all, Legolas was used to being a slave and could adapt. And Aragorn still treated him much better than the twins had done.
The worst was that soon and to his own alarm and dismay, Estel discovered that he was not content with gentle love-play anymore. That he could find no satisfaction – and, after a while, not even completion - if their bed-play did not include some harshness and at least a small amount of cruelty and painful games. All too soon, he found he could not even get excited enough anymore to take his slave without inflicting pain on him.
But without being taken by his master, Legolas would die.
Aragorn fell into despair, then, fearing himself and being filled with self-loathing and disgust. And Legolas did all he could to soothe him and reassure him of his continued love and acceptance.
He never told him what he knew. Never revealed to him the reason why Aragorn's needs became so twisted and turned darker and darker, why Aragorn's taste for cruelty seemed to increase with nearly every year.
For Legolas loved Estel to the very core of his being, and he could never bring himself to tell his lover that it had been Aragorn's very noblesse, his very wish to assure his loyalty to his beloved and save him from his fears of being cast aside, that had condemned them both to this bleak despair. And he could never bring himself to tell Estel how cruelly they both had been betrayed, and how evilly the very Elf Estel knew as his benefactor, the one who had taken the role of Estel's father for such a long time, had twisted his own foster-son's love and commitment for his own purposes into this dark and cruel mockery of what it once had been. / //
Huddled into his sleeping master's arms, Legolas stared with burning, tearless eyes into the nearing dawn.
________________ o __________________
-- End of Part VI --
-- TBC --
(1) Echuir: Early spring, one of the six elvish seasons, lasting from first of February to the 26t of March. The last night of the third decade would be the last night of February, the 28th in our modern calendar. In he Elvish calendar, every month had thirty days.
(2) Sogo Nen Aniron – Sindarin: Drink (of) Water (of) Desire.