26. A Night Long-Awaited
He looked up from his plate and saw Lasmir and Erentar standing next to him. “Yes?”
“You asked us to remind you today about the new duty schedule for the next month, sir,” said Lasmir. “You wanted to meet after you had broken fast this morning.”
“Of course, my apologies. For some reason my sleep did not refresh me last night, and my thoughts were elsewhere.” Legolas finished chewing the heel of bread and rose to carry his plate and cup to the serving hatch, then led the way to his room, where they could sit in comfort without disturbance.
“Now,” he pulled the current month’s schedule toward him, “it is your turn to take the first shift, is it not, Lasmir? And Erentar will move to the second, and Gelion to the third. He’s reporting to the king just now, I saw him earlier and he assured me that whatever we decided would be fine. But we don’t need so many on duty at night, so we had better reassign some of your men. Any thoughts on that?”
As he talked over the redisposition of the guards, Legolas’s mind was only half on his duty, the other half recalling the remarkable suggestion that the two outlander Elves had made to him the previous night. All his thoughts returned to the present moment, though, when Lasmir mentioned Melpomaen’s name.
“That new fellow, Melpomaen, who has been spending half his time with me and the other half on day duty – I think he’s fit to come into the guards full time, now. Didn’t you say that you were going to assign him to a shift with his partner Haldir?”
“Oh, yes, thank you for bringing that to my attention.” Legolas ran his quill down the lists. “Erentar, Haldir was under your command these past weeks. Do you wish to retain him for the evening watch, or should he stay on daytime duties?”
Erentar considered. “He’s a good man, good with a knife as well as bow and spear. I’ve done some sparring with him, off-duty. Don’t think he needs to be kept on the day watch, he’d not be likely to spook at shadows. I would be happy to keep him, but if you think otherwise, why, it makes no odds to me.”
Legolas nodded. “Evening shift, then, and you’ll get Melpomaen also. I imagine they’ll work well together, since I gather they had been partners for some years before they ended up on my father’s doorstep this fall. All right. What about Meneldil?”
They continued to discuss which guards to assign to what shift for some little time more, then Legolas drew a line under the final name and laid the pen down. “I’ll have a fair copy of that made. We’ll begin the new schedule in six days, when the moon is new.”
His two under-captains left, Lasmir to catch a few hours’ sleep and Erentar to check on his command that day. Legolas leaned back in his chair and let his eyes close, weary. Six days until the change. He supposed that gave him six days – no, less than that – to consider what he would do. No, that was not true. Haldir had set no time, nor had Melpomaen; in fact the latter had said that they would not press him, nor even mention the matter again until and unless he himself did.
What should he do? There was no one with whom he could consult, to advise him. He had paced his room for hours the previous night, hoping to ease the turmoil in his mind through the exhaustion of his body. It was not that he thought his new friends would prevaricate, but the fact remained that his own life had demonstrated the truth of what he had always believed – to take one’s own pleasure alone meant that one would remain alone, always. And yet. . . could he not be mistaken? He had refrained for all these long years, thinking that by so doing he would be freed of his own actions, and yet it had made no difference. What had he to lose by accepting Melpomaen’s suggestion?
Moreover, if he was honest with himself, he found the idea tempting. He had found himself imagining Haldir’s face and body at odd intervals over the past few weeks, despite his knowledge that the golden-haired Elf was committed, body and fëa alike, to Melpomaen. Surely it would harm no one if – just once – he were to be present to witness Haldir’s passion, though he could not be part of it? Yet he hesitated to accept. What if his presence in some way interfered with the others’ bond? He had never heard of anyone doing such a thing before, and had no certainty about the consequences.
Such thoughts as these occupied Legolas for several days, during which he ate and slept and carried out his usual duties mechanically, at one moment almost sure he would accept, at another deciding that the hazards were too great to risk. At the last it was simple curiosity that won out. This might be the closest he would ever come to knowing what it would be like to have a partner, and he could not bear to miss that chance.
Since Melpomaen was the one who had tendered the offer to begin with, Legolas decided that he had best give him the answer, and sought him out in the dusty little room off the armory.
Melpomaen was writing diligently, pleased that he had only this afternoon and two more days at this work. He had made better progress coping with the mass of parchment leaves than he had dared hope when he began, and would leave it well-set for the next person who had to undertake this task, but looked forward to a more regular schedule – and one that had him sharing duty with Haldir, as well. He turned his head at the tap on the doorframe, and saw the captain standing there.
“Yes, did you need something from me?” Melpomaen asked.
Legolas had a little twist in his smile. “You might say that. The new shift schedule begins on the third day from now, as you know, and you will be on the watch between afternoon and mid-night.”
“I know,” said Melpomaen. A thought struck him, and with a suspicious note in his voice, he added, “You have not changed that, have you?”
“No, not at all. It means that neither you nor Haldir will be free in the evenings for quite some time, however. So. . . I came to ask if you two had any plans for the night after tomorrow.”
Rising, Melpomaen gazed levelly at Legolas. “Nothing definite. Should I understand by this that you. . . wish to join us then?”
A hasty nod was his reply, and Legolas relaxed now that he had shared his decision and could not rescind it.
Melpomaen broke into a smile and held out his hand. “That is good to hear; Haldir will be pleased, too.”
“I – yes, I hope so,” said Legolas, touching Melpomaen’s hand hesitantly. “Shall I come to your room that night, then?”
“Yes, that would be best, I think. Our quarters would be more private.” As Legolas turned to leave, Melpomaen added, “Legolas? I think you may be surprised at what occurs. All I hope is that you see that joy is always possible.”
“I hope so, too,” said Legolas gravely.
Haldir was pleased when Melpomaen told him that Legolas had reached a decision, although he had not cared nearly as much as his lover what that decision would be. He said to him, “So the evening after next is to be the time? That will be well, since we will start our new schedule the next day and should probably sleep late in any case. Did you specify an hour?”
“No, I assumed that he would simply arrive as soon after the meal as he could get away.” Melpomaen looked around the room. “I’ll tidy up tomorrow, shall I?”
“I’ll do it,” said Haldir. “Or better yet, both of us will. We might as well do it now, in fact, and then give a final going-over on the evening.”
“Oh, all right.” Melpomaen put on a pout that elicited laughter from his partner, then began to gather and sort the clothes that seemed to pile up of their own accord in every corner – some to be laundered, some to be folded back into the chest.
Haldir, putting them away neatly, noticed the feathers he had collected on their journey. Lifting one, he asked, “Do you remember when I used this?”
Melpomaen looked twice, and smiled. “Of course.”
“I think I will leave it out,” said Haldir, “for possible use.”
“Whatever you like,” Melpomaen said. He put his arms around Haldir’s waist from behind and leaned his head against Haldir’s shoulder. “Dír.”
“For agreeing to this. For taking risks for me. For – everything.” Melpomaen hugged him tighter.
“You’re welcome, then, Maen.” Haldir touched Melpomaen’s arm lightly. “I love you.”
On the second evening, all was in readiness for their guest. The two Elves had eaten early and quickly and returned to their room to wait for Legolas, picking up a spare chair from the common room along the way to supplement the two they had.
“I wish he would arrive,” said Haldir, pacing.
Melpomaen shrugged. “There is no rush. He probably got caught by someone at dinner and has been delayed by talk. I’m sure he will be here soon.”
As if his words had conjured Legolas’s presence, there was a tap at the door. Haldir paused near the other end of the room and looked at Melpomaen.
The dark-haired Elf went over to the door and opened it. Legolas entered, inclining his head slightly as he did so. Melpomaen led the way over to the round table and took a seat, followed by Legolas. Haldir seated himself to Melpomaen’s right.
The silence was broken first by Melpomaen, saying, “We are glad that you chose to come here tonight, Legolas. I hope that this will be of use to you – make you understand matters in a new light?”
Haldir reached out to touch Legolas’s left hand, and felt a faint tremor as he took it. He glanced over at Melpomaen and took his lover’s hand as well, squeezing it gently. Melpomaen understood the unspoken request and took Legolas’s right hand. They sat that way quietly for several moments. Haldir felt the wild pulse under his fingertips gradually slow.
“Come, Legolas,” he said when he judged that the other was calmer. “I would prefer to begin with something relaxing – would you not?”
Legolas nodded. Melpomaen quirked one eyebrow at his lover. “Warm water?”
“Later, perhaps. I had in mind something else to begin with.” Haldir rose and began to remove his clothes. Melpomaen followed suit, while Legolas was slower to respond, looking from one to the other of his hosts before he started to disrobe.
“Here,” Haldir indicated the bed. “Lie here, Legolas. This is something commonly done among the Elves of. . . among our people, between friends.”
Legolas stretched out on his back, looking up at them.
“No, turn over,” instructed Haldir, sitting near Legolas’s head. Melpomaen moved to sit by his waist and began to rub his lower back, while Haldir kneaded his shoulders.
“We do this here, too,” murmured Legolas into the mattress. “I have exchanged massage with my brothers, among others.” He allowed himself to go limp under their hands, enjoying the sensual feel of having each muscle attended to and loosened. The two Elves had different styles of touch, he noticed; Melpomaen was more forceful, his fingertips pressing deeply into each muscle and tendon. Haldir’s touch was fluid, but he was able to smooth away the tension nevertheless. Legolas could feel the knots in his neck and shoulders dissolve as Haldir worked. Every inch of him was softened, released.
Melpomaen could sense that Legolas had relaxed under their ministrations. In a low tone he asked, “Do you feel better, now? Are you more comfortable with us?”
“I am. . . I was apprehensive about this, but now I do not feel nearly so uncomfortable. I appreciate it a great deal – do not think otherwise.”
“Perhaps a bath would relax us all even further?” said Melpomaen.
“Yes,” Haldir agreed, and Legolas with him. Shortly they were all climbing into the sunken rock basin. The water level rose nearly to the brim for a few minutes before the excess was able to drain away.
Though large, with three people in it the tub was crowded. Melpomaen did not have to reach far to touch Legolas’s shoulder. “Would you like me to wash your hair?”
Legolas was surprised at the idea, but agreed. Melpomaen was gentler with this than he had been earlier, and Legolas luxuriated in the unaccustomed sensation. He thought to himself that he would like to do that to Haldir. He ducked his head backward to rinse out the lather completely, and when he sat up again, saw that Haldir was performing the same favor for Melpomaen – so Legolas got his wish. His hands were shaking again, just a little, as he rubbed soap through the long golden strands, but he hoped Haldir would not notice. It was not precisely desire that Legolas was experiencing, more a return of tension, and he did not want his friends to think that he could not be calm after all their efforts to soothe his worries.
When they had all washed, Melpomaen put an arm around Haldir and drew him close for a kiss, conscious of Legolas watching them. Melpomaen smiled as they broke apart. Haldir looked over to Legolas and said, “Are you prepared now, to see what it is you came to see?”
Swallowing, Legolas nodded mutely and stood when they did, drying off quickly and then moving back to the outer room.
Melpomaen and Haldir looked at each other, Haldir raising an eyebrow, and Melpomaen said, “We have talked about this, of course, a little bit. Do you have a preference for whom you see pleasure himself, Legolas? Myself, Haldir, both of us?”
Legolas had not expected any such question. He was unsure what he had expected, but certainly not this generosity, this inclusiveness. He wanted to see Haldir, but was shy of saying so. Mumbling, he answered, “I. . . care not. Whatever you would prefer.”
“All right, then.” Melpomaen slid onto the bed and reclined there, half-propped against the headboard. Haldir sat cross-legged near his head and gestured to Legolas to sit down also.
One of Melpomaen’s hands was on his chest, thumbnail flicking against his tight nipples; the other reached down to where Legolas could see his organ hardening, darkening against his belly. He teased it, fondling the shaft with a single finger, before wrapping his hand more firmly and beginning a harder stroke. Melpomaen’s eyes caught Legolas’s for a moment and he smiled, then looked back at Haldir.
Legolas’s right hand rested on his own thigh, near the groin, and half-unaware he began to let his fingers play up and down the skin there. He was not yet aroused, but watching Melpomaen was strangely compelling. His left hand lay free until Haldir took it, their fingers entwining, Haldir’s thumb brushing over his wrist.
Melpomaen found that he was slower to become fully hard than usual. He wondered if it might be because of Legolas’s presence. Being bonded to Haldir had never before kept him from stimulating himself if he wished, although he much preferred to make love with his partner. He concentrated on thinking of Haldir, but noticed that Legolas was stroking himself, and found that the idea that his actions were exciting both of the others increased his arousal.
The feather from their journey lay on the table by the bed, next to the flask of oil, and Haldir picked it up with his left hand, brushing it lightly over Melpomaen’s ears and neck and chest. Melpomaen shivered a little at the touch. He began to pump his hips harder, tightening his hand around himself, and threw his head back as he spilled over his belly and chest. Opening his eyes, he smiled at his lover.
Haldir smiled in return, then looked over at Legolas, who gave them both a tentative grin back. Haldir was relieved that Melpomaen had been able to carry it off; he had worried a little that the presence of a third person might make matters difficult. They had already proven to each other that self-pleasure was possible within a bond, and now Legolas knew that as well. Leaning down, Haldir touched his tongue to the warm wetness and licked delicately before reaching for one of the discarded towels and wiping Melpomaen clean. He turned to Legolas and said, “This is as new to us as it is to you, my friend. I have never heard of a bonded couple having another present while they made love. As far as we know it will not interfere with our bond to have you here, and your presence is welcome, but if you wish to leave now you are free to do so, and that will be the end of it.”
“I will stay,” said Legolas, his voice quiet but determined. “I have come this far, I will see matters to the end. I will not break my word.” He moved a little away, though, releasing Haldir’s hand to give the others more space, lest an inadvertent touch hinder them in some manner.
Melpomaen drew Haldir down to him and they kissed, lingeringly, aware of Legolas’s eyes intent upon them. Melpomaen found that knowledge no impediment, but Haldir was somewhat restrained, until his lover’s kisses overcame him and the presence of a third person became unimportant in the face of desire. Legolas felt a mingling of unfamiliar emotions – sorrow he was accustomed to, but not in combination with need and loss and jealousy, all at once. The need was the greatest, though, and it kept him transfixed. Watching the other two expressing their love provoked him to imagine that he was in Melpomaen’s place, being touched by Haldir as he knew he never could be, and he felt himself grow hard between his legs as he had not done in years uncounted.
Legolas could see that Melpomaen and Haldir were also now fully erect. He would have liked to be able to caress Haldir as Melpomaen was, but instead reached to touch himself, pretending that the skin he stroked was not his own, and that the hand that brought him pleasure was that of another. He slid his fingers around the soft skin of the pouch below his member. The sensation was so different, when he stroked himself for pleasure rather than to wash, that he was lost in it briefly. When Legolas looked up again, Haldir was biting at Melpomaen’s nipples while Melpomaen stroked Haldir’s neck and shoulders, passing his hands along the skin of Haldir’s back and sides. Legolas used his free hand to pinch his own nipples, emulating them, and gasped at the sensation, heat rushing through his torso and groin.
Tugging Haldir up, Melpomaen urged him to kneel upright over his chest, and leaned forward to take Haldir’s pulsing organ into his mouth, laving it with long wet strokes of his tongue. Legolas could not see, from his position near the foot of the bed. He moved up. The lamplight caught each muscle on Haldir’s torso, rippling as he breathed in counterpoint to Melpomaen’s suckling. Legolas had barely imagined such a thing before and watched avidly as Haldir’s hands tightened on Melpomaen’s shoulders, the eyes beneath the fall of golden hair shut tightly as Haldir focused on the pleasure he felt.
Gently Legolas stroked himself, watching, his own breathing quickening to match the others’. Now Melpomaen released Haldir, reaching for the oil flask and daubing some onto the proud flesh before him. He gave the flask to Haldir and turned over, on hands and knees in front of his lover.
Haldir dribbled some of the oil down into the cleft of Melpomaen’s buttocks, rubbing in ever-narrowing circles until he reached the tight opening in the center. Legolas watched intensely. He had been quite sure that this was how two binn would unite, but seeing it was altogether different from knowing it intellectually. He saw Haldir insert one well-oiled finger into Melpomaen, moving it, then withdrawing and entering again with two fingers, then three. By now Legolas had edged still further up the bed and was reclining on his left elbow, his head near Melpomaen’s thighs, but carefully apart so that he was in no danger of touching either Elf. When Haldir leaned to set the oil down again, Legolas intercepted him and poured a little onto his own hands. He was curious as to what Melpomaen felt when Haldir teased him open. It must be pleasurable, judging from his expression and movements, and that was something Legolas had never expected.
Tentatively Legolas parted his legs, scissors-wise, and touched himself behind. It felt odd, but not unpleasant – indeed, it felt rather good. As he saw Haldir sink his swollen member into Melpomaen, he plunged a finger into his own opening. His eyes widened. He moved that finger carefully and felt another shock of delight. Watching the others in their union, he imagined that it was Haldir inside him, rather than his own hand.
Glancing down, Haldir could see Legolas’s movements. He was glad that their guest was evidently enjoying this experience. He was also relieved that Legolas seemed unwilling, perhaps even unable, to attempt to touch either of the others; the Mirkwood Elf had left a clear handspan between their bodies, though his eyes made the distance as nothing.
Legolas realized that his present position would not allow him to use both hands to touch himself. He knelt up on his heels, right fingers still busy exploring this new feeling behind, but now wrapping his left hand around his hard organ as he watched Haldir thrust into Melpomaen. Haldir reached underneath Melpomaen to tease him back to hardness as well, rather to Legolas’s surprise. Legolas inhaled, the scents of sweat and musk hitting the back of his throat. It smelled – strange, not bad, but not arousing as his own scent was, a little. A distant, reasoning part of his mind told him that perhaps this reflected the exclusiveness of the bond. If he, Legolas, had a partner, surely the scent of that partner’s arousal would stimulate him. As it was, the smell of desire in the others was merely neutral.
He could see little, now; Haldir was buried within Melpomaen and Melpomaen’s member was hidden by Haldir’s hand. His own desire was rising steadily and he removed his finger, taking hold of his painfully hard organ with both hands and now imagining that he was Haldir, thrusting into Melpomaen – or were those Haldir’s hands wrapped around him? Dizzied by such thoughts, he felt the heat flood uncontrollably out of him.
Melpomaen and Haldir heard the strangled moan as Legolas spilled his seed. Melpomaen smiled to himself at the evidence that his idea had been successful and pushed back insistently against Haldir, encouraging him wordlessly. Haldir responded, letting go of Melpomaen’s organ and holding his hips, thrusting harder and deeper and more wildly for several minutes, at last calling out, “Maen!” as he released deep inside.
That was exactly what Melpomaen had most hoped for, to hear his lover call his name at the moment of greatest delight, with Legolas to witness. Haldir pulled out only slowly. When he had withdrawn, he turned Melpomaen over onto his back and knelt between his legs, engulfing Melpomaen’s hardness in his mouth, tongue running up and down his length. Legolas saw Melpomaen’s hips buck up and Haldir’s throat swallowing as the dark-haired Elf spent once again.
Haldir sat up. He reached out to touch Legolas on the shoulder in a gesture of friendship and was startled when he saw Legolas’s eyes swimming with tears. Compassionate concern filled him and he asked, “What is the matter, Legolas? Are you all right?”
Legolas gave him a sad smile. “I am fine. Truly. This was an experience that I’m glad to have had – but it makes me realize all over again that I am alone, you see. I don’t blame either of you, I have always been alone, but seeing the two of you together has brought it home to me once more.”
“I ask your pardon,” said Melpomaen. “I never intended to increase your sorrow in this way.” He pushed himself up and laid a hand on Legolas’s knee. “Can you forgive me, forgive us for such an idea?” Haldir nodded agreement.
“There is nothing to forgive, Melpomaen. Haldir. I do not regret that I came here tonight. It was a fine idea, I appreciate it, but this must be the end. I do not think it would be good for me to repeat it. I must ask you though – my presence did not interfere in any way?”
“No, certainly not,” Melpomaen assured him.
“You did not feel any harm came to you, I did not affect your bond?”
“Nothing of the sort,” said Haldir firmly. “I was glad to have you here, Legolas. When Maen first thought of this, I worried that it would be awkward, but it was far less strange than I thought it would be. It didn’t seem unnatural to have you watching, and I hope that you felt it did you some good?”
“It did,” Legolas said. “Of course. I won’t be frightened to at least experience pleasure for myself, now; even if I never meet someone who I can love the way that you two love each other, I will know that I can find release on occasion. And that is well worth knowing.”
Haldir was relieved to hear that Legolas had, on the whole, found the evening to be of some benefit. He was also glad that Melpomaen’s idea had proved to be worthwhile, and that he himself had agreed to it despite his reservations.
Shyly then, Legolas asked, “Do you always – make love that way?”
“With Haldir. . . inside?”
“Oh, no. Sometimes he is, sometimes I am, sometimes both in turns,” said Melpomaen. “We do different things according to our pleasure that night. Sometimes we merely touch each other, with hands or mouths. It doesn’t really matter what or how, as long as we are together. Whatever one of us feels like on a particular day, we might do.”
“Forgive me if I’m too curious, but how did you learn?”
Haldir answered Legolas, “We learned together, mostly, trying what we could imagine and seeing if it felt as we hoped. Some of it – well.” He flushed. “You asked many days ago how I had come to realize that my heart would be given to a benn, not a biss, and I was not willing to speak of it very much. It is something that still shames me, though it was not altogether my doing and certainly not my intention. I inadvertently witnessed two binn together. What we three did here, tonight, is one thing, for we all knew what we were doing, but that time – they did not know of my presence. Though I saw them, and learned what might be possible, it is not something I have much wanted to recall. It is rather embarrassing even to mention it; such behavior is not right, though I was trapped by circumstances. Had I tried to leave, my presence would have been known and matters would have been still worse.”
“I understand,” said Legolas. “I can see why you were reluctant to invite me tonight, then.”
Melpomaen squeezed Haldir’s hand. “I was concerned that this idea of mine was too outlandish, myself, too far outside what is permissible. But you say that it did help you?”
“It did, as I said. Not something I think I would wish to repeat, but worth having done once,” Legolas said.
“As you wish,” said Melpomaen, “I would not press you further than you want to go. I will only say that I was glad you were here, and for my part, should you ever want to join us again as you did tonight, I would welcome you.”
Turning away from Legolas, Haldir rolled his eyes at Melpomaen, who tilted his head and raised his brows with an innocent expression.
“I appreciate your generosity,” said Legolas formally. He stood up, straight and tall, his hair flowing down past his shoulders, and bowed to them both. First making use of the towel to remove all traces of sweat and more from his body, he drew his clothes back on with precise movements, his fingers sure and unshaking now as he threaded laces and fastened ties. Looking around, he asked, “May I borrow a comb?”
“Certainly,” said Haldir. “In the other room.”
Legolas went into the bathing room. Haldir turned to Melpomaen and hissed, “Why did you invite him to return? After he had said twice that he felt it would be imprudent?”
“Ssh,” said Melpomaen. “Later.”
Legolas came out, looking just as he had when he had arrived. He knelt down by the bed where the other two still rested, and held out his hands to them. “Thank you.”
“You are more than welcome,” said Melpomaen. Somewhat to his own surprise, as well as the others’, he leaned over and kissed Legolas on the cheek. Haldir followed suit. Flushing, Legolas rose and gazed at them wordlessly, then nodded once. He turned and left the room without looking back, the door closing behind him with a soft click.
“All right, Maen. What were you thinking?”
Melpomaen shrugged. “Having him here did not trouble me this time, nor you; it would not bother me if he were to be present again, and it seemed to do him good. He may have said that he would not wish to repeat it, but one never knows – if he changes his mind, I would want to leave that possibility open to him, without causing him to feel that he was going back on his word.”
Haldir inclined his head in acceptance. “Your judgment was proven right today; I will not again question what you have to say on this matter.”
“So you should not, Dír,” Melpomaen grinned at him. “But it’s growing late and we change to our new shift tomorrow. Perhaps we should go to sleep?”
“I suppose so.” Haldir put his arms around his lover. “Meldanya. I love you.”
“And I you,” whispered Melpomaen, embracing him in return.
Back in his own room, Legolas curled up on his bed, pressing his arm against his eyes in a vain attempt to blot out memory.
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.