Tenderly, Haldir flicked his tongue along Melpomaen's lips, which opened in response. Their breaths mingled, heated. Melpomaen's eyes were closed as he concentrated wholly on the new sensations he felt, as if fire and ice ran together in his blood. He raised a hand blindly to Haldir's face, and stroked a finger down his jaw.
Haldir ended the kiss and drew back a fraction, so that he could see Melpomaen's face. The other's eyes opened, pupils dilated until the iris was barely visible.
"So now you know," Haldir said simply. "This is what we might always feel, this taste for the physical, if it were not for..."
"The lembas," Melpomaen suddenly realized. "It sustains the body and the will, at the expense of the emotions."
"Not emotions," Haldir disagreed. "But the ability to transform pure emotion into something acted upon. I have loved you since soon after you became my partner, but without this – need – to express it." He drew a finger along Melpomaen's neck. His voice roughened as he said, "And it is a need, is it not?"
"Yes," breathed Melpomaen. He in turn traced the outline of Haldir's ears, jawline, neck, tearing off the clasp that bound the golden hair and running his hands through it. He pulled Haldir to himself again, kissing him deeply, their tongues thrusting against each other. He felt Haldir's hands running along his torso, tracing the muscles of his chest and then curving behind his back to clasp him closer still.
Suddenly Melpomaen thought of something. "My soup!" He began to struggle out of Haldir's embrace.
Haldir laughed. "You put so much water in the pot, it could boil for three hours and not go dry. But take it off, if you will feel better about it."
Melpomaen pulled the pot to the side of the fire. He glanced over at Haldir and decided that since they had paused for the moment, he would build up the fire to last the rest of the night.
Bringing an armful of wood, he saw that Haldir too had moved. He had spread their blankets together and was beginning to remove his clothes.
"Wait," he called, and hastily dealt with the fire.
Haldir smiled and waited. He had hoped to encourage Melpomaen to return to his arms more quickly, and the strategy had worked.
The younger Elf stood in front of his partner, carefully removing Haldir's tunic, and was unlacing his leggings when he paused.
"Sit for a moment, Haldir," he asked. "I will not be able to do more without taking off your shoes."
"I wondered when you would think of that," Haldir remarked. "You had better take yours off as well, now, to save trouble." He removed his own. "Would you prefer me to stand again, or shall I stay here?"
"Stand, please," said Melpomaen. He knelt before Haldir and finished his task, pulling the garments down as Haldir stood on first one foot, then the other to allow them to be drawn off completely.
Then he paused to look at his partner, now completely unclad. He had seen Haldir naked before, of course; they had shared a talan for years, and bodily modesty was something few Elves had ever concerned themselves with. But this time was special; it was the first time that he had looked on Haldir in recognized desire.
Haldir was aware of Melpomaen's feelings, and to lighten the mood he struck an exaggeratedly athletic pose. "How is this, love?" he asked, and Melpomaen laughed.
"However you stand is fine with me. But I think I prefer you at my level..." and he hooked an arm around Haldir's legs, pulling him down to the blankets.
"I prefer that too," Haldir whispered, and kissed him again.
Slowly at first, the unfamiliar sensations of desire built up within him, and Melpomaen moaned against Haldir's mouth.
"Shh, shh, it's all right," Haldir soothed.
"I don't – I've never – I'm not sure what to do," Melpomaen confessed.
Haldir gauged his partner's probable reaction to the truth, then spoke it boldly. "I have never made love to another, either. But I think we can figure out what can be done, hm?" He had in fact a very clear idea of what might be done, based on certain inadvertent observations he had made in his youth. But if it made Melpomaen feel less uncertain to think that Haldir was equally inexperienced, then the whole of his knowledge need not be shared just now.
Melpomaen nodded. "Yes, of course you're right." He grinned a little weakly. "I suppose the first thing is probably to remove my clothes as well?"
"That seems like a good idea. But stay, lie there. I will be back in a moment," and Haldir moved to rummage through his pack.
He came back with a small flask. Melpomaen looked at him inquiringly and Haldir shrugged, "Scented oil. I bought it in Dale and thought to give it to my mother, but this seems a better use."
Haldir set the flask aside for the moment, then leaned over Melpomaen. He moved his hands over the other's torso and legs, with each pass loosening the clothing a fraction more.
The teasing caresses set Melpomaen aflame once again, until he could wait no longer and began to remove his clothes himself. Haldir's hand stopped him.
"No, no, I will do it," and now Haldir swiftly pulled the garments from around Melpomaen's body, until he lay there wrapped only in the night air. For Haldir, this was not the first time he had seen Melpomaen unclothed, with the knowledge that he loved the other, but it was the first time he was able to react to the sight.
"Oh, my love," he whispered, and buried his face in Melpomaen's neck, kissing and then sucking there until the blood rose to the surface.
"My love," whispered Melpomaen in reply, brushing away the mingled gold and dark hair to press small kisses on Haldir's face. He took his partner in his arms and rolled them over so that Haldir was underneath him. Imagining what he would like himself, Melpomaen began to trace circles across his partner's chest and belly with his lips and tongue. By the time he reached the base of the stomach, Haldir's eyes were closed and his breath came in quick pants.
Melpomaen rubbed his cheek along the length of Haldir's warm hardness, then retraced the path with his tongue, swirling it around the tip and finally sucking in the whole. He breathed in the musky evidence of the other's desire, and that knowledge increased his own to the point where he feared he could not wait any longer.
Haldir's hands were entangled in Melpomaen's dark hair as his partner traced deliciously down his body. When a wet mouth engulfed his member, he let out a strangled moan, straining for control. He gently pulled to bring Melpomaen back up.
"What do you wish to do, love?" he said. "I am close to the breaking point." His hand strayed down Melpomaen's body. "And so are you, I think. Shall we finish this quickly and relax a bit before, perhaps, going on? For I doubt that I can restrain myself much longer now."
Melpomaen said raggedly, "Yes..." He bent his head to Haldir's shoulder. Their hands reached, each for the other, stroking first gently, then more rapidly, as once again their mouths found each other in a passionate kiss.
"Ah..." Haldir hissed, tensed, and exploded into orgasm, followed only seconds later by Melpomaen. They lay cradled together, their seed mingling on their skins, their breathing gradually slowing back to normal.
Melpomaen turned his head towards his partner, his lover. "I had never imagined such pleasure, had you?"
Haldir laughed a little at the ingenuous question. "Imagined, perhaps. Experienced, no." He rolled over and reached for the waterskin. "Too bad we have none of the king's wine here, but would you like some water?"
They drank, and then used a dampened cloth to clean each other off. The flickering light of the fire sent rosy streaks across their skin, and Melpomaen said, "That is what it felt like, as if there were a fire within me. Had I realized what I was missing all those years..."
"I know," agreed Haldir, "but there is doubtless good reason for the use of the waybread. While few would choose lovers from among other men, even with no women present, I suppose that the effects of lembas help to keep those who are wedded – or who wait to wed – less discontent. Desire, fulfilled or not, can only be a distraction in our lives as rangers on the borders of the Golden Wood. So it would be unwise, and dangerous to the company as a whole, if we were to let this new understanding between us cause any difference in how we carry out our duties."
Melpomaen bowed his head. "I know, and yet I will find it hard to put this aside and return to the commonplaces of company life."
"We will have no choice," the words carried overtones of sorrowing resignation. "But we can still love each other, even if we cannot express it physically."
"Can we?" asked Melpomaen. He sat up, clasping his knees and looking thoughtfully at the fire. "As you say, it will make things – difficult. Would it not be wiser to try to put this love aside? All custom and law is against it, as well."
"Put it aside?" Haldir's voice broke. "Could you really do that, now?"
Melpomaen looked over and saw the tears running down Haldir's face. His heart gave a queer thump inside his chest as he realized that he could never bear to hurt his partner, his lover. Even if that meant living in restraint and in the subtle deception of their other friends.
"No, I couldn't," he reached over to touch Haldir's cheek. "Forgive me for the thought, my love. You may have been aware of your feelings for long, but remember that this understanding is new to me."
Haldir reached up to take Melpomaen's hand, then drew him into a close embrace. "I know, Melpomaen. It is just... I was so filled with joy to have finally been able to tell you, show you how I felt, and the thought that you might turn away..."
Melpomaen kissed him, to stop the words: a tender kiss, of love rather than passion.
"We will work out, together, what is best to be done," he promised. "We have the whole of the journey back to decide."
"We have," Haldir agreed. "Melpomaen..."
"What is it?"
"I have thought, this last week, about what we might do together... before our return, that is. This time will be short, and may never be repeated. I would like to make the most of it, if you are willing."
"Of course I am. What had you in mind?" said Melpomaen.
Haldir smiled. "I thought I would begin with this," he held up the flask of oil. "If you will lie down, on your stomach?"
Melpomaen stretched out on the blankets. "Like this?"
Haldir parted his legs gently and knelt between them.
He poured a bit of the oil onto his hands, rubbing them to warm it, then began to stroke Melpomaen's back, kneading the muscles in long, loving motions.
"Oh, that feels wonderful," murmured the younger Elf. A realization struck him. "Tell me, Haldir, had you this in mind when you were rubbing my head to ease the ache, last week?"
"Yes, I did, but the effects of the lembas had not yet fully worn off. And I would not have wanted to share my feelings with you in a town of Men, in any case," said Haldir.
After a few minutes he shifted to a lighter touch, dancing his fingers down Melpomaen's spine, along the smooth pale skin.
"That tickles – but it still feels good," said Melpomaen.
"Ah, well, tickling was not the effect I intended," said Haldir. He moved towards Melpomaen's feet and, pouring more oil, began to massage his legs, first the right and then the left, moving upward from ankle to thigh. As he finished with the left side, he allowed his fingers to stray between his lover's legs, brushing the back of his testicles. Melpomaen quivered, and reflexively parted his legs slightly wider.
Haldir lowered his head to kiss the spot gently, then took the whole of the sac into his mouth, laving it with his tongue.
Melpomaen could feel himself hardening with excitement, but waited to see what Haldir would do next. He was surprised when he was released, and then felt oil being poured, drop by drop, between his buttocks.
Haldir smoothed the oil into the puckered opening, making sure that his fingers were coated as well. Very slowly he began to ease one finger past the tightness of Melpomaen's orifice.
"Don't worry," he whispered. "I would never hurt you."
"I know," Melpomaen said, and tried to relax into the unaccustomed sensation.
Gradually, Haldir inserted a second finger, and moved them slightly within the heated passage. He could feel a slight protrusion through the wall and stroked it. Melpomaen let out a gasp of unexpected pleasure. Haldir mistook the sound for pain and immediately withdrew.
"No," said Melpomaen. "Go on, please."
Haldir returned to his explorations with one hand, using the other to raise himself so that he could kiss the back of Melpomaen's neck. His lover turned his head to look at him, and their lips joined, wordlessly. Melpomaen could feel Haldir's hot body against him, his erection throbbing.
Then Haldir pulled his fingers out. Melpomaen made a sound of protest, but Haldir shook his head and rolled the other over onto his back. He slid between Melpomaen's legs again and began to tease him with his tongue, flicking it against the tense flesh, nibbling at the sensitive veins. At last, when Melpomaen thought he would be unable to bear it any longer, Haldir finally took him fully inside his mouth and began to move up and down his length, suckling firmly on the head, then encompassing the whole.
Melpomaen abandoned himself to the feelings that Haldir's touch brought him. If before he had felt fire in his body, now it was as if he had become a volcano; his very limbs seemed molten with desire. He was nearly to the point of orgasm when Haldir stopped, and he emitted a strangled cry of frustration.
"Sh, love, sh," said Haldir into his ear. "I want this to last long for you."
"Then you must let me caress you as well," Melpomaen said.
Haldir hesitated, then nodded acquiescence, shifting to lie by his lover's side. Melpomaen half-sat up, gazing at his body in the firelight, admiring the play of muscles on his chest and the taut hardness below. He slowly drew his hands across Haldir's torso, brushing the nipples with his fingertips, then suckled them with lips and tongue and teeth.
Next Melpomaen reached for the oil flask and anointed his hands. Returning his lips to Haldir's neck and ears, nibbling and breathing on the sensitive nerve endings, he stroked Haldir's firm member, reaching below to caress there as well. He felt for the tight opening, and as Haldir had done for him, slowly worked first one, then more fingers inside.
"Does it feel good?" he murmured.
Haldir made a sound like a soft growl, his eyes dilated with desire as he looked at Melpomaen's face.
"Oh yes, I see it does," said Melpomaen. "I wonder..." he removed his hand and placed the tip of his erection against the opening, "can I follow where my fingers go?" He eased the head through past the tight ring of muscle, and gradually slid inside. Haldir shifted his position, raising his knees to aid Melpomaen's entrance, his own organ erect and throbbing against his stomach.
"So you anticipated me," Haldir said breathlessly. He could add no more as Melpomaen began to move, slowly pushing into the clasping tunnel, with each stroke bringing them both closer to ecstasy. Melpomaen balanced on one hand, using the other to rub against Haldir's erection, until at last neither could hold back any longer.
"I love you," Melpomaen's voice sang out as he thrust more and more rapidly.
"And I you," Haldir cried as he felt Melpomaen shudder within him. His lover continued to stroke him and within moments he reached his own climax, convulsing with pleasure as Melpomaen grasped his willing flesh.
They lay quietly then, in each other's arms. They knew that although their time as lovers could not last long, their partnership would endure.
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.