13. Have No Fear
Boromir could hear the strained voices. He could not hear the words. But he knew, by the Valar, he knew who stood outside his tent. Tears fell in great swaths, running down the sides of his head and drenching his hair. Frantically, he looked about, fear clenching his very muscles into rigidity.
He cannot find me. What am I to do?
Rustling sounded from the back of the tent.
"My Lord." Damrod ducked under the canvas and crawled to Boromir's side. "We have come to rescue you." Mablung joined him but a moment later.
"They are at the entrance. Hurry, Damrod, I cannot walk."
"Never fear. We will carry you."
Each took an arm and half-dragged Boromir under the canvas and out into the shadows.
"Hurry." Boromir's fear helped him stand. Damrod and Mablung, however, would not let him go.
"If you fall," Damrod hissed into Boromir's ear, "we will be discovered. Swallow your pride, my lord, and let us help you."
Boromir's arms and legs grew limp at the truth in Damrod's statement. "Lead me on."
They ran deep into the trees.
Boromir bit his lip, trying to stifle the moans that screamed through his body. Tears fell, but this time, they were tears of pain. I will not last another moment. His body shook as the fires of abuse pummeled him.
"Only a little further, my lord. Our horses are on the other side of this rise." Mablung held him a little tighter.
"What of Faramir?" Damrod asked as they climbed the mound. "Will the Rohirrim hold him?"
"Have… no fear… for Faramir." Boromir could not spare breath to speak.
The horses stood at ease. Mablung helped Damrod put Boromir on his horse. "I will hold you. I think you too weak to stay ahorse by yourself."
Boromir did not reply, saving his strength to hold on until Mablung settled behind him. The warmth of the man eased his spirit. For a brief moment, he felt safe. And loved.
Mablung clicked and the horse started forward. "Faramir will know we head back to Minas Tirith. He will find us, my lord."
Boromir swallowed. I will stop them from taking me back, but only after we move far from Théodred. And Faramir.
He closed his eyes at the smell emanating from the man. So different from the… another pain-filled swallow… the Drúin. And the Rohirrim. The smell of Gondor and soldiering and the city. To be home again. He damned his own weakness. He could not return to Minas Tirith. Especially now. Now that he had been violated and ruined. He didn't suppose he could ever… It is fitting. Useless, as I should be. The Valar have taken their revenge on my twisted thoughts. He sobbed and Mablung held him a little tighter.
"It will be well, my lord Boromir. Your father awaits your return. Their will be a feast laid out."
He misunderstands, Boromir thought, but there was no relief in the thought. Better he continues this confusion. I must break away from them. Somehow. But his head hurt and his eyes closed. He fought to keep them open, but there was no hope. His body could no longer endure the harsh treatment of the last hour.
"We will wait a little further along the road," Damrod said. "Faramir will not forgive us if we leave without him. He was waited too long to be denied Lord Boromir's presence."
Boromir stirred, fighting to stay awake. "Must… not…. wait."
"Have no fear, my lord. The Rohirrim will not find us. Faramir will hide his tracks."
He struggled, struggled to release Mablung's hold and flee, flee from his brother. He cried out in despair.
"My lord, please do not struggle. You will only injure yourself further."
Boromir's body screamed in agony. The short struggle had exhausted every bit of strength he had left. He slumped forward. He heard Mablung say, "Sleep while you may," before he lost consciousness.