Passages: 5. Lembas

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5. Lembas

Over the next days the two Elves retraced the route they had taken just a little while before – but the differences between the two journeys were great indeed. On the way to the north they had not consciously hurried, but had made rapid progress nonetheless. Now, heading home to bring welcome news of the accepted alliance between Dale and Lórien, they lingered, often not breaking camp until mid-morning, and usually halting well before the sun set in all her ruddy splendor.

The cause for the change was, of course, their newly physical relationship, which only the absence of lembas had permitted. Melpomaen mused on what Haldir had told him about the waybread. It did not deaden one’s feelings, by any means, but rather placed a kind of buffer between the mind and the body, so that certain types of emotions that would normally evoke a bodily response did not.

“How did you learn of what the lembas does, if I may ask?” Melpomaen asked as they made their way through a natural meadow, now golden with the end of summer. “It is certainly not common knowledge, and the effect is limited – I would certainly never have divined the secret by simply observing its influence on myself. Even if I noticed a decrease in desire, I would assume that was simply due to the length of time I had spent apart from a beloved, and my body’s natural reaction to such a separation.”

Haldir took his hand and matched his step to Melpomaen’s. “I really cannot claim that I discovered the quality on my own. Do you know how lembas is made?”

“No,” said Melpomaen slowly. “I have heard that it is prepared by the Lady Galadriel and her maidens, but that is all.”

“I do not know the details of its creation, but my cousin Andúniel is one of the Lady’s attendants. One midwinter when I happened to be on leave and visiting my parents in Caras Galadon for the festival, she and I spent an afternoon together, talking, and she told me that the Lady had warned them not to eat the lembas they helped prepare. In part because it is not easy to make, and since it keeps long and a small amount will sustain many, it is reserved for those who help protect the land. But also in part because many of the women are young, and newly wedded or seeking to wed, and eating waybread regularly would interfere with their natural desires and the begetting of children.”

Here Haldir paused, both in speech and motion, and drew his lover to him for a kiss, as if to reassure himself that no longer was he influenced by the lembas he had eaten for so many years. Then he resumed his pace and his tale.

“Andúniel did not know if it would have the same effect on men as on women, but after I had learned this much from her I began to pay attention to its impact on me. Slowly I perceived that I was troubled less by the realization that I am drawn to men rather than women when I was out in the forest, and one would think, surrounded by those I might come to love. But no, it was on leave, and when I ate ordinary food, that I was likely to feel a hint of desire. So I came to understand what lembas does, though I do not know how. The how does not really matter. But I have long been bitter that such a thing has been forced upon me unknowingly – oh, I probably, almost undoubtedly, would have consented and accepted the consequences had I been told what they were – but I was not, and that I resent.”

“Yes,” Melpomaen frowned. “It seems unjust to me as well now that I think on it. Clearly the effect lasts only as long as one actually eats lembas regularly, and causes no permanent change, but are the rangers of the Golden Wood to be thus treated, as if we were children being given medicine disguised as a sweet? If this is the fabled wisdom of the Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel, I do not think much of it. Is there nothing we can do?”

Haldir shrugged. “What would you do, tell all our other comrades that they are being restrained without their knowledge? Some would not believe you. Many might not care. And it would bring great tension and distress to all, perhaps to the point where it harmed our ability to protect the people of the country. I do not think we can change this, sadly. But I am relieved to be able to speak freely of it to you, at least.”

Now it was Melpomaen who drew to a halt. He looked seriously into Haldir’s eyes. “You know you can tell me of anything, anything you wish.”

“I know,” Haldir touched his fingers to Melpomaen’s lips. “I know.”

Melpomaen kissed the slender fingertips, raising his own hand to grasp and hold the other’s. His tongue darted out to meet the pad of one finger, then he drew it in, mouthing it with wet and gentle suction.

Haldir’s eyes flickered closed for an instant as the loving touch caused his chest to tighten and brought a surge of heat to his body, but he opened them again and shook his head firmly.

“Not now, love, it is hardly past midday and we have been walking slowly anyhow. We really should. . .”

“We really should pause now,” Melpomaen asserted. “We could travel till sunset, then, instead of stopping earlier.”

He looked around for shelter from the sun. Perhaps half a mile ahead was a band of trees and brush, marking where a stream fed into the River Celduin. He pointed.

“There, I think, would be a good resting place, in the shade.”

“All right,” Haldir gave in. “You tempt me too easily, you know.”

“And why not? Since this journey is the only chance I will have to do so.” Melpomaen gave Haldir a smile that mingled delight and mischief. “Wait here for a few moments while I go ahead.”

Wondering what his lover could be planning, Haldir nodded and watched him stride off fluidly across the grass.

When he reached the edge of the trees, Melpomaen found that the underbrush grew thickly under most of them, but there were one or two large oaks not far from the stream whose shade was deep enough to prevent much else from thriving underneath. He quickly cleared his chosen spot of stray twigs and stones and spread out the blankets he carried, then checked to make sure that the way to the water was equally clear. Despite his words to Haldir, Melpomaen hoped that he would be able to distract his lover sufficiently that they would travel no further that day. He knew in his heart that they could not do otherwise than return to Lórien, but a little delay did not seem dishonorable.

Melpomaen was waiting when the other Elf came walking through the trees. He led Haldir over to the place he had made ready, and set his shoulder pack aside, but had them both remain standing for the moment.

“Now, where was I?” he murmured. “Ah yes.”

He lifted Haldir’s right hand to his lips, and again sucked in the tip of one finger, tugging at it and letting his tongue gradually trace the whole length. Carefully he repeated the process on each finger, cradling the other’s hand to his face as he worked.

As Melpomaen’s dark head bent over him, Haldir looked up into the wavering green light that fell through the leaves. He stood with his legs braced apart, and every tug that he felt on his fingers brought an answering jolt down into his groin. He could feel himself hardening, pushing against the tight fabric of his leggings, and as Melpomaen blew across his wet fingers it sent new shivers of pleasure down his spine.

When his right hand had been lavished with kisses and released for the left to be taken up in turn, Haldir began to reach to undo the laces that constricted him, but Melpomaen caught his hand, saying only, “Wait.”

Not until he had loved each finger did Melpomaen begin slowly to remove Haldir’s clothes, but he had ideas for more than a quick lovemaking. The closeness of the little stream had suggested another possibility. He shrugged off his own clothes and beckoned Haldir to follow him, catching up the piece of soap that he had laid to one side of his pack.

Haldir’s eyes widened, but he took the few steps to the stream behind Melpomaen. The watercourse was swift and deep, but here a bend had produced a shallower, calmer pool, perfect for bathing.

Melpomaen stepped in. The width of the stream here had allowed the sun to warm the water to nearly tepid in the shoals. The pebbly bottom was a little uncomfortable to walk on, but several larger, flatter rocks would serve for sitting or kneeling, as needed. He took Haldir’s hand and guided him to one of these. The sun on the older Elf’s hair turned the strands to living gold, and Melpomaen caught his breath to see the beauty of his lover’s figure. He put aside his own feelings, though, to continue what he had begun.

With Haldir seated comfortably, the shallow water reaching only just above his waist, Melpomaen began to rub the soap across Haldir’s body, leaving streaks of foam on arms, back, and chest. Then he cupped his hands to rinse the lather off, bit by bit, caressing the skin soothingly as he went.

The urgency of Haldir’s desire had been reduced somewhat by the cool pressure of the stone beneath him, and he relaxed into Melpomaen’s ministrations. Each touch was a reassurance to him that whatever others might think, theirs was a true bonding.

He stood at Melpomaen’s request so that his legs, too, could be carefully washed. Melpomaen ran his hands down the taut muscles of thigh and calf, and poured water in a tiny cascade down each leg, again and again until every trace of soap was gone. Although he did not want to arouse Haldir too greatly just yet, he gently washed his buttocks and groin as well, trying to keep his touch as impersonal as he could, but at last he gave in to his own impulse and slipped a finger down the inviting crack.

Haldir made a guttural sound and shifted to open wider, but Melpomaen rapidly withdrew.

“Not yet,” he said softly.

After bathing Haldir completely, he led him back to the blankets and told him to rest there for a few minutes. Then Melpomaen returned to the stream and washed himself quickly, squatting on the stony bed and splashing water over his body to rinse off.

On his return he found Haldir sprawled carelessly across the blanket, legs akimbo and one arm thrown over his eyes, though the light through the leaves was hardly bright. He rolled over as Melpomaen came up, and rose to his knees.

“How long were you planning to tease me, then?”

“As long as it takes,” said Melpomaen blithely. He made a fist and tapped Haldir lightly on the shoulder. “So if you would lie down again. . .”

Haldir exhaled sharply, glared for an instant, and then propped himself on his elbow.

“No, on your stomach, please, Dír.”

He shifted to lie prone, head turned to the left. Melpomaen’s last touch in the stream had brought all his desire and need raging back, and he could feel the hot blood pumping through his trapped organ. A rustling noise told him that he had guessed correctly that his lover was retrieving the flask of oil. But he had not anticipated what happened next. A band of cloth – a spare shirt, folded, he guessed – fell across his eyes. Melpomaen lifted his head and passed the cloth completely around it, tying it so that he could not see.

“What are you doing?” He began to struggle to sit up.

Melpomaen’s breath tickled his ear. “I noticed, over the past week of making love with you, that every sensation seemed greater when my eyes were closed. So I thought this might be worth trying; you will not be able to open them at will to distract yourself.”

Haldir admitted that was possible, but found being blindfolded a bit unnerving.

“Just relax, love. Lie down and relax,” Melpomaen advised.

He did so, trying to slow the pounding of his heart. He sensed Melpomaen moving above him, until the other’s knees were placed outside his hips and he could feel the weight of his lover’s body resting on his thighs and buttocks.

Melpomaen poured a little oil into his palms and rubbed them together to warm the viscous fluid. He anointed Haldir’s back all over, and then began to massage, digging his fingers in firmly but not roughly as the muscles released their tension, a process that took some little time. Then he shifted to passing his palms down the back and sides, making long, smooth strokes from the nape of the neck to the base of the spine. By now Haldir had realized that there was nothing he could do to dissuade Melpomaen from following whatever plan he had thought of for this day, and so he surrendered completely to the soothing touch.

Feeling the shift in breathing that indicated this, Melpomaen wriggled a little farther down toward Haldir’s feet, parting them so that he could kneel between the legs, and shifted his attention to Haldir’s lower back and buttocks, still careful to keep his movements relaxing, rather than stimulating. Haldir drifted on the very edge of sleep, still somewhat aroused, but no longer caring about it. The delightful feelings that Melpomaen was evoking were enough.

When Haldir seemed completely relaxed, Melpomaen rested briefly, still moving his hands in lazy circles across the pale skin. Then he leaned forward, parted Haldir’s legs a bit further, and breathed moistly onto his sac. He drew his tongue upwards, using his hands to separate the buttocks, and began to dart it just into the orifice there.

Haldir reacted immediately, his desire leaping back into flames, and he became so hard that he ached with it. But he knew that the only course he could follow this day was to let his lover lead, so he restrained himself from turning to grasp Melpomaen in his arms and simply waited to see what would happen next.

Melpomaen kneaded Haldir’s thigh with one hand as he continued to kiss him, while with the other hand he spread some of the oil onto his own pulsing member. The massage had done its work and Haldir was still relaxed despite his arousal. Melpomaen raised his body up and slipped unhurriedly inside the tight passage, eliciting a deep groan from his lover as the movement stimulated the sensitive node within. His hand reached around and underneath, grasping the swollen cock. He did not stroke it, merely held it to prevent Haldir from rubbing against the blankets, for he was still determined to draw out their loveplay as long as possible.

He moved in and out, never completely withdrawing, enjoying both the hot friction and the knowledge of Haldir’s pleasure. As he sheathed himself completely, he let his torso rest on Haldir’s back and used his teeth and lips to tug on an earlobe, breathing warmly onto it, speaking no word.

Haldir was finding that being unable to see did indeed increase the sensuousness of every kiss, every touch. Each thrust that Melpomaen made was a step up a spiraling stair of bliss. Even his lover’s refusal to allow him to reach a climax no longer troubled him; he felt surrounded by Melpomaen’s devotion and knew that he would not be denied forever.

Gradually Melpomaen increased the tempo of his movements, allowing himself to surrender to the desire he felt. He gave one final push and shuddered in release, the flood of his passion spilling deep within Haldir’s body.

Haldir involuntarily cried high in his throat as Melpomaen withdrew and left him alone for a moment. Then he felt himself being turned over and urged to sit up. As he did so a slick hand stroked him, coating him with oil. He braced his hands behind him as Melpomaen knelt with his back to his lover’s chest and slowly lowered himself onto Haldir’s waiting organ.

He could wait no longer. He embraced Melpomaen tightly and pulled him down, pushing frenziedly into him. He rolled them both over until they lay on their sides, cradled together, Haldir’s fingers on Melpomaen’s hard chest brushing the firm nubs, his arms clasping tightly, his rigid member buried deep.

“Yes, take me,” he heard Melpomaen say. “I am yours.”

“Ah, and all I am and have is yours,” cried Haldir. He kissed the back of his partner’s neck where it met the shoulder, and as he climaxed, bit into the flesh.

Joined, they rested, the breeze cooling the sweat from their bodies.

“Was that not worth stopping for?” murmured Melpomaen tiredly.

“Can you ask?” said Haldir. He tightened his arms around his lover and kissed the damp skin. “I don’t know how I will be able to go back to simply being partners in the company, after this. It will be a wrench to give up such joys.”

“Must we?” Melpomaen said.

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.

Story Information

Author: Celandine Brandybuck

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 05/15/05

Original Post: 07/04/02

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