37. The Secret Room
Chapter 37 The Secret Room
Darkness surrounded Caladwen. She was weak from hunger and thirst. Bandorion left her alone longer than before. Ever since he kidnapped her, she wished he would leave her alone. Now she wished he would come back only to know she was not abandoned and left to die from starvation. It would almost be worth another beating just to have another sip of water. Her bumps and bruises hurt. Her blackened eyes were sore but the swelling was beginning to subside. It did not matter though. The tunnel was pitch black and she could not even see her hand in front of her face. Not knowing whether it was day or night, she spent most of her time sleeping and praying. Without much strength left, she saved her energy so she could reach out to Haldir again, hoping he would call her first.
She had been asleep, dreaming of sunshine and a warm summer breeze when the sound of footsteps awoke her. At least she was not abandoned, she thought and braced herself for whatever wrath Bandorion was about to instill upon her. It was the only time she could see her surroundings for he carried a small lantern to light his way.
He approached her and grabbed her arm, forcing her to stand. Her legs were weak from sitting for so long that she almost fell back down. Bandorion tightened his grip on her and she knew there would be more bruising. "It's time to go." he told her and forced her to walk along the tunnel.
"Where are we going? Where are you taking me?" she questioned with desperation.
"It's time we found a more private place to go." His voice was not as calm as it had been in the past. There was an air of anxiety about him.
"They are coming aren't they? Someone is looking for me." she said almost joyful. The thought of someone being close enough to where they were entered her mind and she yelled out. "I'm here. Help me please." That was all she was able to get out before Bandorion covered her mouth with his hand.
"You foolish girl. No one will hear you down here. Besides, no one knows of the place where I am taking you."
Caladwen used this opportunity to inflict more pain and bit down on his hand that covered her mouth. Bandorion screamed out in pain and released her. She started to run and yell again for help but she did not get far. She was too weak and he caught up with her, blood dripping from his hand. He pushed her from behind and she fell, her face hitting the stone floor. Her hands were still tied behind her back. She lay there in pain, knowing her face was once again bloodied. Bandorion kicked her several times in the stomach. He grabbed her by the arm once again and hoisted her up. "You will pay dearly for that." he said and she knew he was not lying.
They suddenly came to a halt in the middle of the dark tunnel. Bandorion threw her to the ground, knowing she could not get up with her hands bound. She watched him as he examined the wall of the tunnel, using his lantern to see. "Where is it? I know it is here somewhere." he muttered to himself. He felt the wall with his free hand and smiled when he found what he was looking for. There was a gap in the stone, wider than in other places. He sat the lantern on the ground and used all his strength to open a hidden door. The stone separated further and the door swung open just enough for them to enter. Caladwen knew that once he got her inside, the chance of anyone finding her was slim. She lay on the floor and reached deep inside, trying to find some hidden strength. When Bandorion came up to her to pick her up, she kicked him, knocking him down. His foot knocked the lantern over and the light went out. Now they were both in the dark. His hands reached out and grabbed her ankles. She kicked wildly and tried to worm away from him. She began yelling again. Caladwen did everything possible to slow him down and keep him from dragging her into that room. It was a good try but it only prolonged the inevitable. Bandorion felt along in the dark until he had a hold of her arm again. This time he did not help her up. He merely dragged her into the dark room. He felt along the wall until he found a torch. Caladwen could not see him but she could hear what was going on. He had been here before. He already knew about the torch since he found it right away. He also found some flint and quickly lit it. The sudden light hurt both of their eyes. As soon as they adjusted, Bandorion went to her and kicked her again. She could hear his labored breathing and knew he was tired from their ordeal.
"You are a fiery one aren't you? That Elf doesn't know what he is missing." he said as he peeked out of the doorway. When he closed it abruptly, she knew he heard someone coming. He turned to her and she saw something in his eyes that she had not seen before. There was lust and hatred emanating from him. "Let's just see what exactly it is he is missing." he growled.
Caladwen began to panic. "Bandorion please. Do not do this. It doesn't have to be this way."
His smile was sickening. "Oh it is definitely going to be this way and I will enjoy every minute of it."
He went to her and forced her to stand once again. Then he pushed her until she was leaning against the wall of the hidden room. It was very dirty and stuffy in here and she wondered what it was used for. There was no furniture save for a small stool and the torch on the wall. She glanced around to see if there was anything she could use to her advantage. It was useless. This monster was going to have his way with her and there was no one to save her or no way to save herself.
He pushed his body up against hers and she felt his arousal against her sore belly. His filthy hands grabbed her breasts and squeezed so hard she began to cry. He ignored this and began kissing her neck, then biting it. She was reminded of the time when she was dreaming only to awaken to Bandorion touching and kissing her. She should have known then that he was no good.
Caladwen felt his hands release her breasts and travel lower. He grabbed her skirt and slowly lifted it until he could easily access her more private area. Tears streaked down her dirty face and she looked up at the ceiling. His fingers invaded her body; entering her and making her stomach twist in knots. If she could have thrown up, she would have but there was nothing in her belly.
"How does it feel to know someone is right outside this door desperately searching for you and here we are about to get to know each other intimately. Oh, I do hope it is that Elf. Yes, it could be him just on the other side. He is probably beside himself with worry for you. Yet here you are with me. This is exciting is it not?"
It was obvious Bandorion had lost any rationalism. He was a madman and she was his plaything. Caladwen closed her eyes and tried to reach out to Haldir but she was too weak. She used any energy she had left when she fought with him in the tunnel.
Bandorion released his hold on her and pushed her to the floor. His greedy hands pushed her skirt up to her thighs. He then forced her legs apart and held them there by kneeling on them. There was nothing she could do and she watched in terror as he unlaced his britches. He crawled on top of her but first, he pulled the top of her dress down, exposing her breasts. He took her nipples in his mouth and bit down hard. She cried out in pain. "Please don't do this. Please stop." She barely got the words out between sobs but Bandorion only laughed. She closed her eyes and tried to let her mind go to a different place, blocking out what was really happening. If he were to rape her, she would not let her mind be a part of it.
There was nothing but darkness. Slowly, the sounds around her faded away and there was silence. She would remain here until he was done with her or she was dead, whichever came first.
"You cannot hide from this, Caladwen." said a disembodied voice. "You must face your future."
The darkness was replaced with a bright light that blinded her. "Who are you? Where have I gone to?"
"Why do you leave your body behind and not fight for your life? You are the Light of Hope. Do you not still claim that title?" said the voice.
"I have no strength left. No one will find me. It is inevitable that great harm will be done to me. I do not want to remember such a thing." Caladwen said with tears streaking her swollen face. "This man has already scarred my memory. Why does such evil still exist?"
"It always will. There can never be complete kindness nor can there be complete atrocity. The two go hand in hand. It is the balance of the two that is most important. You can give mankind that balance. It is in your heart and you can pass it along for generations to come, if you choose."
"If I am so important to the future, then why has such an act been committed against me?" she cried in anger.
"This is your test. Will you go on no matter what happens to your earthbound body? Will you still see the good in Men if you are defiled by one? Which would you choose to become knowing such evil minds will always be a part of life?"
Caladwen thought about this. If she was indeed to suffer at the hands of Bandorion, could she live with these internal wounds? If she became human, there would eventually be an end to her memory. If she chose elfkind, it may plague her for all eternity.
"You must choose soon, young one. The time has come." This was the last thing Caladwen heard before she was brought back to the reality of her situation.
She sensed the musty smell of first. She was still in the secret room. Bandorion was still hovering above her. Nothing had changed, as if time stood still. His greedy mouth was upon her neck as he was releasing his arousal from his trousers.
Suddenly, as if he was right in the room beside her, Caladwen heard Haldir's voice calling out to her. 'Caladwen where are you? I can sense you. I feel you must be close. Can you reach out to me and lead me to you?'
With whatever little energy she had left, she answered him. 'There is a secret door. I do not know what level I am on but I think it is the second. Please help me. He is with me… about to… Haldir, help.' Her voice was just a whimper. That was all she could manage. Bandorion had not known she talked to Haldir. Now she just prayed to the Valar that Haldir was in this tunnel.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Haldir had stopped in the tunnel where he and Legolas were searching. "Let me try to reach her again." he said to the Prince.
Legolas knew it took a lot of energy for Haldir to communicate this way. He remained quiet and stayed close to the Marchwarden, in case he faltered and began to fall. After only a brief moment, Haldir opened his eyes. "I cannot reach her but I feel her. I think we are close. She is here somewhere."
"You did not talk to her?" Legolas questioned, worry in his voice.
Haldir shook his head. "She may not be able to. Bandorion might be with her at the moment."
A tear fell down Legolas' cheek. "We must find her now. I sense an evil lurking near. This man has no regard for one's life. I fear he is about to injure her further."
They walked a little farther until Haldir felt something like a surge of energy course briefly through his body. He stopped and closed his eyes again, reaching his mind out to Caladwen. This time she answered him and he now knew they were in the right place. She was in fear for her life and Haldir was afraid of what Bandorion was about to do to her. The Lorien Elf opened his eyes and looked at Legolas. "She says there is a hidden door in the wall and that they are in a secret room."
Both Elves began searching around the walls for any sign of a door. Legolas held a lantern and the light suddenly reflected on something a few feet away from where they stood. They walked over and found a broken lantern on the floor. Glass was shattered around the ground. Legolas knelt down and picked up the remains. "This is fresh. The wick is still warm."
Filled with newfound hope, Legolas and Haldir desperately began searching the wall for any sign of a secret door.
"Legolas here." Haldir said. "This dirt has been recently disturbed. I believe this is the door."
Haldir let his thoughts go out to Caladwen again. 'I believe I have found the door. Caladwen, your ada is with me. We will try to open it carefully and quietly.'
Caladwen screamed out to Haldir. 'Don't let my father see me like this. Haldir, he is on top of me. I can't hold him off any longer.'
Rage filled Haldir to know this animal was about to violate her. She was right; Legolas could not witness this so he devised a plan. "My lord, I think she is inside. It might be wise if only one of us attempts to enter. She will distract him. I will go. Then on my signal, enter."
Legolas did not argue but merely nodded in agreement. "Go to her Marchwarden. She needs you." he said and stayed in the shadows.
Haldir slowly opened the hidden door and what he saw disgusted him. Bandorion had her pinned to the floor. Her dress was pulled up over her waist. He was trying to pull his trousers down. With Elf-like stealth, Haldir walked up to the man and grabbed his hair, pulling him off Caladwen. Bandorion was in shocked, unaware that anyone had entered the room. The Elf threw the man into the wall. He looked at Caladwen and hardly recognized her. She had been missing for three days but it looked as if she had been gone for a month. "Are you alright?" he asked. He took out a small knife and cut the bonds, freeing her hands. Then Caladwen yelled.
"Haldir, behind you."
He spun around just in time to dodge Bandorion's attack. He had picked up the stool and was aiming it for his golden head. As Haldir ducked, the knife fell from his hand and flew across the room. He caught the man's legs with his arm, making him fall back down.
While they fought, Caladwen managed to scoot back, her skirt making its way back down to her knees. She pulled the top part back up, covering her nakedness. She watched as Haldir fought with Bandorion. He was very strong for a man but he had not thought about the strength of the Elves. None could equal it. He did however, get a couple punches in and struck Haldir in his jaw. Haldir's eyes narrowed to slits as he stared at Bandorion.
"This stops now." Haldir said in a low voice.
"Oh but we were just getting started. I am only doing what you will not." There was a smirk on Bandorion's bloodied face. "She does not deserve you. She belongs to Men and I could be their ruler with her by my side. Can you not see the power of wisdom she holds?"
Caladwen finally understood why Bandorion was doing this. "I would never be by your side. I hold no magic like you might think. If you think you can rape me and it will bind us together you are wrong. You are nothing Bandorion." Then Caladwen sat up as best she could and looked at Haldir. Her eyes were wild and spoke volumes. "End this Haldir. He deserves what punishment you give him. End this now so he will never harm another life."
Haldir could hear the seriousness in her voice. She wanted this man to die. He hesitated, looking at Bandorion. It was not the way of the Elves to take a life for punishment. Yet, something told Haldir this animal would never leave her alone. Time seemed to slow down to almost a stand still. Haldir looked for the knife but it was too far away. It was lying by the partially open door. He spun around to see Bandorion lunging at him again.
"Legolas! " Haldir yelled out. The man pinned Haldir to the floor and wrapped his hands around his neck, trying to strangle him. Legolas entered the room and picked up the knife. There was a sudden yell and Haldir watched as Legolas sunk the sharp blade into Bandorion's back. There was a look of surprise on the man's face. His deadly grip loosened around Haldir's throat. Bandorion's eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed on top of Haldir. The Elf threw him off and watched for movement, but there was none. Bandorion was dead.
Time sped back up and Haldir looked to where Caladwen was lying on the floor. He slowly got up and went to her, kneeling next to her. He looked at her, afraid to touch her and bring her more pain. "Caladwen." he whispered.
She could not contain herself any longer as every emotion poured from her. She sobbed as Haldir held her. Her arms hurt from being bound behind her back but it did not stop her from taking hold of Haldir. She held him as if to never let go and cried into his shoulder.
Haldir looked over her shoulder and saw Legolas standing just inside the room. "Thank you." he said and Legolas bowed his head.
Legolas looked at Bandorion's body lying on the floor, a pool of blood spreading out from under him. Next, his eyes fell onto his daughter. His heart ached to see the condition she was in.
Haldir whispered in her ear. "Your father is here."
She lifted her head "Ada." she said.
Legolas went to her and knelt down on the other side opposite of Haldir. He stroked her hair and whispered elvish words of comfort. She cried a new set of tears at the sound of his voice. "I'm sorry, Ada. I'm sorry… I'm sorry." she repeated over and over.
Haldir got up and let them have their private moment together. He looked around the small room. "What is this place?"
Legolas looked up. "I'm not sure. Perhaps it was a hiding place for the guards if the City was taken by the enemy. Maybe a place to hide goods. I do not think even Aragorn knows of these rooms. There is probably one on each level."
Haldir remembered the others who were searching for Caladwen. "I must go tell the King that we found her. I will bring a healer back with me."
"No!" Caladwen yelled. "I want to leave now. I can walk. I cannot stay in this place another moment. Please Ada. Let us leave at once. I will see a healer when I am out of these tunnels. I need sunlight and fresh air."
Legolas kissed his daughter's forehead. "Very well then. I will not keep you where you do not want to be. Let us go."
Haldir helped Legolas get her to her feet. She looked at Haldir's hand where he held her arm. "There is still a spark." she smiled. "I can still feel you." She was frightened Bandorion had stolen that away from her.
Haldir smiled and gently touched the side of her face. "There will always be a spark, pen vain [beautiful one]." he whispered.
In this one moment, Legolas could see how much they meant to each other. Had he been wrong about his feelings of anger towards Haldir? He could sense the love they shared but kept hidden in their hearts. Yet he could not let the fact that Haldir was not with her out of his head. They would not be here now if he had stayed true to her.
"I must go to the others. Will you be alright?" Haldir said to Legolas.
"I have her. Go." he answered and Haldir sprinted off to find Aragorn.
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.