16. Into the Dark
Crossing to the screened divan she paused and studied the long limbed form of the March Warden sprawled on his stomach, his covers entangled about his lower legs. His back glistened with the sheen of sweat and his muscles rippled and bunched in response to whatever inner demons were driving him. As he twisted and turned in his agitation the sash of his sleeping pants had come undone and they now rode dangerously low over his buttocks revealing the line dividing the globes of his tight buttocks. A low moan escaped him and he threw himself over on his back kicking the covers off onto the floor. His head pushed back into the pillow with a grimace that twisted the beauty of his strong masculine face into a grotesque mask of pain. His thick mane of golden hair lay damp and matted about his head its sheen now dulled and lifeless.
Nurael frowned then moved closer intending to wake him from his dark dream but stopped as he started thrusting his hips up and down in a frantic movement. His engorged shaft emerged from his sleeping pants like a sharp spear seeking its female target and he climaxed, his male seed erupting in a silver fountain covering his abdomen and thighs. From his mouth came strangled cries of ‘she devil, she devil, she devil’ then he slowly relaxed eventually sinking into a more normal sleep, tears leaking from behind tightly closed eyes.
She froze. What terrible nightmares drove his anguish so? It was almost as if he were being forced against his will to participate with a female in some obscene form of mating. The reactions of his body supported that. She needed to talk with Lord Elrond. This was beyond her experience. Taking one last look at him she silently withdrew and returned to her own bed.
The smell of tea and hot cereal floated throughout the talan rousing its occupants to the new day. Nurael rose swiftly and dressing in a loose tunic and leggings brushed her hair and braided it in a single plate. She straightened her bed and pulled aside the drape ready to start again on her difficult task.
Haldir stood next to the door of the talan looking out. He had one hand resting on the upper frame of the door almost as if he were hanging onto it for balance. In the other hand he clutched a large cup of steaming tea. His shoulders and every part of his body screamed surrender and defeat. At the sound of her footsteps, he turned and faced her. His eyes were bloodshot and sunken. His face was etched with pain and despair. Shocked Nurael stepped back a step.
“Healer, I am lost, 1 can no longer go on.” He placed the tea on a table and collapsed on a divan burying his face in his hands.
Nurael crossed and knelt before him. She took him into her arms and pulled his head against her shoulder. Stroking his hair softly she murmured gentle words of comfort that he could not hear or understand lost as he was in his despair.
“Oh mell nin, meleth nin, do not give in to your darkness. Please, please come back to the light. I am here for you.“
She lifted his face up and placed little butterfly kisses across his mouth and closed eyes. Slowly he responded finally lifting his hands to enclose her soft body and pull her close in to him resting her between his spread legs. His mouth sought to capture hers as she trailed hers about his face. For a long period there was silence, broken only occasionally by a soft moan or a breathy sigh.
Nurael found herself pulled up and laid back against the divan with Haldir twisted over her as he mindlessly sought her comforting warmth. Releasing the fastenings of her tunic his hot mouth nuzzled her soft mounds and when he found the peaked nipples he latched on to them and suckled desperately. Nurael thrust up her chest in response and clung to him as she lost herself in her own rising passion. Suddenly Haldir stopped. He gazed down in horror into her green eyes, the same green eyes that tormented his dreams. With a cry of ‘she devil’ he flung himself back sliding down to the floor by the side of the divan his chest heaving and covered his face with an up flung arm.
Nurael sat up in confusion clutching the two sides of her tunic together with trembling hands. Staring at the shaking form of the March Warden she could only watch helplessly.
*Nurael, you must give him a strong sleeping drink. *
*Lord Elrond? * Nurael whispered in her confusion.
*Yes, he is worse than any off us believed. You will have to use the new drug. I sent a supply with my last messenger and Celeborn carried it with him to the retreat. You will find the powder in a small gold chest that is in the top drawer of the rosewood chest on the sleeping level. Go quickly, now! *
She scooted off the divan and up the stairs to the sleeping loft. Frantically she searched for the chest and finding it, tore out the top drawer. Sighing with relief she found a small gold chest.
*I have found it, my lord. *
*Good. Now you must dilute a full spoon of the powder in a cup of tea with a small amount of honey and mix it well. When it is prepared, I will give you further instructions. *
*Yes, my lord. *
Nurael sped back down the stairs and spotting Haldir’s discarded cup of tea, picked it up and turned to the nearby table where their breakfast waited. She noted with relief that a small pot of honey sat there to sweeten the cereal. Setting the cup and small chest down she opened it up and stared down at the white powder. Nervously she chewed her lip. What if she made a mistake? If the dose were too strong she would kill him!
*Nurael, do not fear to do what must be done. It would take far more then a spoon full of the powder to cause death. * Elrond reassured her.
*Yes, my lord. * Nurael whispered and prepared the drink as she was instructed.
*Take him the tea and place your hand on his forehead. Through you I will direct him to drink the tea. When he concentrates on the cup hand it to him but do not remove your hand from his forehead. *
Nurael moved quickly and knelt down beside the still trembling elf. Leaning over she gently moved his arm aside and placed her hand as instructed on his forehead. A warm feeling spread from her hand to his brow and slowly he stopped trembling. Haldir opened his eyes and stared at her unseeing. She offered him the cup and his eyes focused on it. She held the cup to his mouth and he balanced his upper body on an elbow grasping the cup with his free hand. Relieved of the cup Nurael slipped her hand under his head for added support while still awkwardly keeping her hand on his forehead. When he had drained the cup he fell back and slipped into a deep dreamless sleep.
*You have done well, Nurael. He will stir around noon tomorrow. Between now and then we must decide what steps we must now take. Has there been anything out of the ordinary that you have observed that you can relate to me? *
Nurael hesitated before answering reluctantly. *Yes, Lord Elrond, there is… * She related Haldir’s comments about his troubling dreams, his request for a drug to help him sleep dreamlessly and the failure of the standard dose to let him do so. She went on to describe his restlessness that had alerted her to his ongoing nightmare and her observations of his body’s reactions to it. What he had said when she had joined him earlier that morning and then more slowly she added.
*I am afraid I acted in a most unprofessional way my lord. I may have made matters worse. * She started to explain when Elrond gently silenced her.
*Nurael, not every situation requires an emotional distance between the patient and the healer. While it is recommended and it is often best that a healer not treat a member of his or her family for obvious reasons there are times when those same reasons make the same healer the best choice. You have compassion and you do not fear him. It is for those reasons you were chosen. What happened merely alerted us to the added depths of his problem. *
*My lord, what terrible thing could cause such disturbed dreams? Why would he fear them so? *
*Galadriel and I both suspect it has been a number of things that started when he was very young and built up over the centuries. He has managed to keep those fears or perceived weaknesses tightly under control until now. Something has triggered his inability to continue to do so now. *
*Then we must determine what the trigger was. *
*That is one thing, yes, but we must also see what were the cause of his need to control the elves and things in his life. *
*That means the Lady Galadriel must go into his mind and search. *
*Perhaps. In the mean time make Haldir as comfortable as possible and should he wake up before I return, another dose like the first will safely take care of him. *
*Yes, my lord. *
Mell nin-my dear
Meleth nin-my lover
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.