9. Warm Arms
Chapter Nine – Warm Arms
He felt the sun on his face; his eyes still refused to open. Probably best else the sun blind me. When was the last time I saw it?
"Boromir. Can you stand?"
"I can. I will." He felt a strong arm wrap around him. He pushed against the ground and found his feet. He swayed but a little. The warmth of Théodred's body engulfed him.
"What happened? How did you come here?" The Marshal whistled to one of his men. "Bring a cloak. Boromir, you must be covered."
Boromir slumped against Théodred's chest. His friend's arms tightened. "I lost my focus and was taken." Literally. "I… No one knows I am here."
"Faramir must be beside himself."
"Why do you say that?" Boromir's spine bristled and he pushed himself away from the comforting warmth.
"Boromir." Théodred raised his arms in a gesture of peace. "You look terrible. You've lost weight. You're covered in filth. You've been beaten and it is plain to see you've been a prisoner for some time now. Do you think your brother is not worried?"
"Of course. I… I misunderstood." He fell to the ground.
Shouting for water, Théodred knelt and took Boromir in his arms. "I will take you to Minas Tirith, Boromir. We should be there by nightfall."
"No!" Boromir grabbed Théodred's tunic. "I cannot go back." He swallowed convulsively.
"Then I will take you to Nardol. It is close."
"Boromir… Halifirien is a long ride. Would you prefer I took you there?"
Water was brought and Théodred helped Boromir. He then stood and turned to his second. "Order the company to split. Half will stay with me while I care for Boromir. The other half will escort Hildelith's body to Aldburg. Were any of the other women found?"
"No, my lord." Gram said. "Not even their bodies."
Théodred lowered his head. "Bema! Could they have been eaten?"
"A possibility. The cave was littered with bones."
"I only heard one woman's scream," Boromir strained to speak. His throat still burned. "I think none other were brought to the cave."
"Very well. Gram, when you are finished with this task, return to me. We will traverse the Great West Road."
His second saluted, called out the orders, and soon half the company rode off.
"Set up camp. I want a basin in my tent." Théodred turned to Boromir. "We will have you comfortable shortly. A bath, I suppose, would be nice?"
"Théodred," Boromir whispered and his friend dropped to his knees.
"You are sore tested, dear Boromir. Keep your courage a little longer. I will bathe you myself."
Boromir leaned into Théodred's chest and wept. His gratitude overwhelmed him. "Thank you," he managed to say.
"Hush. Speak no more. The tent is up." The Rohir stood, picked up Boromir, and walked into the tent. "You weigh no more than Éowyn," he sobbed. "What else have they…"
"They did the things beasts do to men," Boromir choked. "Think upon it no further. Have you salves?"
"I do. Boromir. I cannot fathom how this happened. Where was your escort? Your personal guard?"
Boromir coughed. "I will say no more, Théodred. Leave me in peace for the nonce."
Nodding, Théodred placed Boromir on a low cot. A basin, filled with hot water, was brought in and Théodred began the long process of bathing Boromir.
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.