6. Will Overruled By Fate
For will in us is overruled by fate.
* * * *
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?
-- Christopher Marlowe
My head hurt. My upper and lower back hurt. My right arm was in a state of near-spasm. Showing off for Beleg the previous day, I had strained my arm and shoulder. I had not used a bow in over two months and never one as heavy as Beleg's. When overtaxing myself with the target practice in the woods--curse my childish vanity--I had forgotten that I had agreed to spar with Elladan and Elrohir the following day. I had kept the appointment anyway, although out of practice for swordplay as well, and not held back there either.
'Inexcusable novice errors both days,' I thought. I wholly deserved the pain. The weight of my practice sword on my hip, pulling on my inflamed back as I walked, was well nigh intolerable. Rounding the corner onto the main square, I spotted a familiar figure lounging in the doorway of the café.
Veryandil displayed his admirable physique to its utmost advantage, leaning back against the door jam with his arms folded casually across his chest, long legs in tight black leggings, and a white shirt, wide open at the neck with the sleeves rolled up past his elbows.
He shot his eyes wide open in a comic pantomime of alarm as I limped closer.
"Well, excuse my bluntness, but you look bloody awful."
"I'll forgive you if you can find me something to drink," I answered, collapsing into a chair at the nearest table.
"Your friend was here," he called back over his shoulder, as he hurried into the café. "Said he would stop back by later."
My chest tightened. I hardly dared to hope. I had not expected to see him again so soon. Then it occurred to me that it could have been Celeborn.
He returned with a tall glass of water.
"You have a remarkable face. One doesn't need any talent or training in mind-touch to know what you are thinking. Which one of your distinguished suitors do you hope it was? Prince Celeborn or the dark, mysterious one?"
"Not a good time for torturing me," I groused. I felt like wringing his neck, but pushed the idea aside easily, realizing that I probably didn't have the strength. "Do you have anything for pain? My whole body hurts."
"Oh, now he is going to pretend that he isn't dying to know who was here. I think my father has an analgesic of some sort in the back. I'll go look."
Just then his face lit up in a welcoming smile focused over my shoulder. "Beleg," he said.
"Veryandil, good afternoon," came a resonant voice from behind me. Strong, long fingers grasped my shoulders, gently squeezing and releasing. His warm hands transmitted slow pulses of healing energy into me. The sensation flowed through my throbbing shoulders, traveled up the back of my neck and into my head, at once electrifying and soothing.
"What seems to be the problem?" Beleg asked.
"He is barely able to walk," Veryandil answered.
"But he can still talk," I interjected, in none too pleasant a tone, although I could already feel the worst of my headache fading. "The two of you know one another?" Veryandil was entirely too attractive for my taste at that moment, especially since I felt insecure about Beleg and looked a total ruin.
"We talked for a while earlier today," Beleg said. "So, Haldir, since you are able to speak, would you mind telling me what you have done to yourself?"
"Hurt my arm and shoulder yesterday. I was miserably out-of-condition. Then I sparred today and finished the task entirely."
Veryandil chimed in, "I was just going to get him an analgesic when you walked up."
"I don't think that will be necessary. I have a healing touch."
"I'll bet you do." Veryandil smirked. Beleg snorted affably at the lad's effrontery.
"May I correctly assume that a fine inn like this one, in the heart of this magnificent city, has hot running water?"
"Yes, sir. And he has a hipbath in the privy next to his room. But if you want him to stretch out, there is a full bath with a large tub at the end of hall."
Beleg helped me to my feet. I tried to hobble inside of my own volition. Unable to watch my tortuous efforts, he slid one arm around my waist and pulled my arm over his shoulder.
"This way," I said, pointing toward the staircase.
My mind churned with mortification. First, he had discovered me in such lamentable condition due to my own foolhardiness. Secondly, as a result, he would be forced to nurse me. Further, there was all that might imply: me unclothed with his hands on my body and my all too predictable reaction. Part of the reason that I had worked so hard with Elladan and Elrohir was my determination to burn off my insistent prurience with physical exertion. I had already come to the decision that I would be less aggressive in flaunting my lustfulness around Beleg.
In the long hours alone in my room the night before, when sleep would not come, I had calmly considered his logic. We both were recovering from matters of the heart where lack of reason or consideration had served us poorly. I decided I ought to respect his reticence and allow him to choose if and when he wanted to share that part of himself. Otherwise, I would be no nobler in my dealings with him than Celeborn had been with me. I had also admitted to myself in those hours before dawn that I truly loved Beleg--outlandish as that sounds, since I had only known him for three days. And, if I loved him, as I believed I did, then I could wait.
"The next door on the right is mine."
It struck me when we entered the room how it might look to his eyes. A large bed dominated the room. Aside from the bed, it held only a wardrobe, one chair, and a small table. It was not a home, but a bedroom. Bed and Beleg had dominated my thoughts since I first met him. Then, just when I was trying out of respect for his stated wishes to hold my urges in check a bit, here we were. Through no choice of his own, Beleg was in my bedroom, exactly where I had greedily wanted him.
"Has anyone ever told you, Haldir, that you have a busy, noisy mind?" His deep voice caressed me, rich with humor and affection. He stood very close to me, brushed a shock of shorter hair that had pulled loose from my braid off my forehead, and then proceeded to unfasten the clasps on my tunic. I could scarcely breathe; my heart thundered in my chest.
"Are you reading my mind?" I asked.
"Not precisely. It is more as though you are shouting. You are too hard on yourself."
Then he kissed me. When he touched his lips to mine, my most excessive fantasies of the past few days exploded. With his mouth sweet and relaxed urging me to open mine to him, he wrung responses out of me as no one ever had. The languid yet persistent movement of his tongue aroused me like no other kiss. He pulled back slightly and bit my lower lip. I involuntarily pushed my body against his and lifted my hands to thread them through his hair, groaning, not in pleasure but in pain at the sudden movement. 'Curses,' I thought, 'Now I will have made him stop.'
"Arms down. Just let me kiss you," he ordered, speaking against my lips. I grimaced at the effort. He felt my reaction and gently lowered my arms to my sides again. He planted both hands against my buttocks and held me flush against him. In his continuation of that kiss, I lost myself in a kaleidoscope of tastes, textures, and the scent of him, forest green and as young as yesterday and timeless as forever.
When he eventually released me, he whispered, "Better than I dared imagine." A feral grin almost immediately dispelled the air of indolent sensuality from his stunning face. He eased my open tunic off me and guided me toward the bed.
"Let me help you lie down. Then I will go and run your bath. You need to soak. It will make it easier for me to rid you of all the aches and stiffness. I want you flexible tonight."
"Why now?" I choked, my mind racing and my body demanding, as he carefully lowered me onto the bed.
"Would you rather I wait?" A seductive smile overtook his alluring mouth, allowing me a glimpse of white teeth and the barest tip of pink tongue. He made no effort to conceal his awareness of the effect he had on me.
"Eru, no!" I gasped, earning myself a gravelly chuckle. He ran his hand over my raging erection and then gently squeezed.
"Later. I'll explain. Just relax now. I won't be long." He gave me a feather light kiss upon the lips and left the room.
As soon as he had gone, I loosened the laces on my leggings, which had become unbearably constricting. It was all I could do not to touch myself. Fortunately, Beleg returned shortly.
"The bath is ready," he said. "Do you have a robe you can wear?"
"In the wardrobe. I'll get it." He opened his mouth as though to protest and I snapped, more waspishly than I had intended, "I am not crippled. Only a little sore."
He watched smirking as I winced, manipulating myself into a sitting and then a standing position.
"I see it." He had opened the wardrobe and grabbed the robe before I could move. "Let's get you undressed."
I could feel my face turning red: the curse of a light complexion. He finished unlacing my leggings and then undid my undergarment.
"You are blushing, Haldir," he teased. "From what I can see, you have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, quite the contrary." As he nodded at my rampant sex exposed before his gaze, a bright glitter in his light eyes gave lie to his jesting tone.
"Filthy mouth," I retorted. He graciously laughed in response to my less than brilliant attempt at humor; yet, the slightest crease of worry, quickly soothed, had marred his brow. Instinctively I released my own residual defensiveness. I caught his eyes with mine, while the heat in my cheeks faded. 'This is serious,' I thought. "Beleg," I sighed. "I realize what you offer me."
"No, it is I who appreciate my good fortune. Fate has been kind to me, and I have been perilously careless in holding back."
Beleg efficiently, and with the minimum of discomfort for me, stopping only once briefly to hold my naked form against his fully clothed one, managed to get me into my robe. He cautiously guided me with sure strong arms from my room down the hall to the large bath. Maneuvering me into the tub, he helped me stretch out in the steaming water.
"While you soak, I would explain, if you are still able to listen. I fear that I have tried your patience since I have met you with my pronouncements and speculations."
"Don't say that. I am glad you have trusted me enough to confide in me."
He drew a deep breath and shook his head. "I should have kept my mouth shut."
"Never." I meant it.
"I am fortunate indeed that you are still speaking to me. In my defense, what seems like three times your life to you, has only been two years for me."
"Beleg." I protested against the self-reproach in his tone.
The hot water was already beginning to loosen my stiffness. I turned without a twinge of pain to look directly into his face. I was afraid to say too much too soon, as though I were dealing with a skittish horse. I just looked, hoping he could see into my heart.
"Haldir, I am so sorry. I tried to put reason before my heart, to control my fate by will. I wanted to examine and test you. Weigh you against my history. To try to mold and control my feelings for you and study yours. Trying to bend fate is a mistake I have made before. But last night, I could not sleep. With the memory stubbornly before me of your face, your bright hair and direct shining eyes, I realized that by holding you at arms length I placed in dreadful peril perhaps the last chance for happiness that I might ever have."
"Beleg," I whispered, unable to speak aloud. "I am not so easy to lose." I extended a dripping hand to him. He knelt beside the tub and took it, bringing it up to his lips. "I did wonder about the sense of the passage of time or lack thereof for you," I said, still speaking quietly. "I decided last night that I was pressing you too hard. I was afraid that I had found someone I could love and that you would slip away from me if I did not hold onto you tightly."
He looked so vulnerable and exotically handsome that my heart caught in my throat. He almost looked less an Elf to me than some forest sylph given physical form. I thought he might well be an elemental spirit, but his hot kisses and his hard cock pressed against mine through his clothing, had proved his corporeal reality beyond any doubt. My fantastical imaginings made me grin. He returned a weak, hopeful smile.
"So," I said, "You have made a lot of threats and promises over the last few days. Can you help me out of this tub? I would like to test some of those. I remember something about knocking my world off its axis and fucking me blind and senseless."
"I don't remember the last part." His wide luscious mouth fell open into a heart-stoppingly gorgeous smile. I noticed for the first time how deep his dimple was on one side.
"I think that was clearly implied, in light of all the other bragging," I said, lowering my eyebrows in my best attempt at dourness.
Back in my room, he arrayed me on the bed before him and then stripped, standing where I could watch him. He is tall, broad of chest and shoulder, lithe, but without a hint of boniness. Looking at him I thought of why it has been said that the Valar became so instantly enamored of the Firstborn when they found them. 'This is Beleg,' I thought. 'Fatherless, eternal, awakened under starlight. That alone would make him a legend had the record of his other deeds never been written. And he is mine.'
I had to say it. As he walked toward the bed, I did. "Mine."
"Yes," he answered. "All yours."
I held my arms up to him. "Not yet," he said. "First I must heal your self-inflicted hurts. Roll over."
Unable to see him, I closed my eyes. He settled himself on my upper thighs and kneaded and stroked my shoulders, neck and upper arms, working downward until he had covered my entire back with that same healing warmth and I groaned in satisfaction. The fragrance of the oil he used enchanted and overwhelmed me.
I sighed. "It smells of you: spicy, woody, with a hint of musk."
"That might be because I use it after I bathe, might it not?" He laughed.
My pain gone, I turned and flipped him over, pinning him on his back. He offered no resistance.
"Don't close your eyes," I demanded. "Look at me."
"You are so present, here, in the moment," he breathed.
"Where else? Oh. Him. Well, I'd prefer to be alone with you, if you don't mind."
"Trust me. You only shine brighter in comparison."
"I am certainly not the withholding sort." I kissed him fiercely and ground my sex against his.
"No. You are not. I have been looking for you. I did not realize it until I saw you in the hall that night. A fellow son of the forest." His tone revealed that something about the memory struck him as droll. "Wolfish in a crowd of peacocks. Your elegant shirt clashed against that rough feathered hair tie, proclaiming your refusal to let them tame the wildness in you.
"On your back now." He voiced not a command but a promise. "You said your last partner was selfish about sharing the unique pleasure to be had from playing the sheath."
"Not in those words," I choked out, my mouth suddenly dry, viewing the length and breadth of him. "Yes. Please. Yes."
Beleg kept his eyes open as I had requested. Every nuance of expression therein brought me further into his realm of enchantment, silver twilight, most intimate of nights, and then a glorious shower of light. At the moment of our climax he shouted my name.
Never had I felt so cherished, beautiful, or full of myself, and yet so thoroughly drained and completed. He held me close, as though he had not wanted to release me, body or mind. At last, my breathing had returned to normal and I found myself, surprisingly, not sleepy but alert to the smoothness of his skin, the hard planes of his body, with the spark of returning desire igniting at the core of me. He had been right about the perfection. My head rested against his chest, still my preferred pillow.
"Haldir," he asked softly, "Is it my turn yet?"
You may be certain that I accommodated him to my absolute capacity. We fell asleep that night tangled together with the untroubled calm of the truly innocent or self-consciously much beloved. The following morning we awakened to the awareness of our incomparable and unexpected good fortune.
My brothers took to Beleg immediately. Galadriel claims that she always liked him, despite everything she had heard said about him in Doriath. Celeborn only mentioned my bond with Beleg to me once. "You are a stronger man than I am," he said. I took immediate exception to that statement, coming from the man who not only had won the love of Lady Galadriel but also continues to live with her.
Beleg's confidence is stunning, but he is a stranger to baseless pride. We argue a lot. I often state that I can never hope to be his equal and he scoffs at that. He states that I sell myself short and, in any case, that the question is not equality, but respect for one another's uniqueness. Despite our differences of opinion or taste, we agree that there is an indisputable rightness about the two of us together.
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.