Warning: There be sex

And to be honest, probably the worst sex I’ve ever written. 

 

The Vessel

Chapter 8:

Past meet past or Buy my sword, please




Wake up
Wake up Tristan
The wind breathes dark words in the forest
There is sorrow on the land
Love must have cast a spell upon us

The Path lies open before us
Wake up
Wake up Tristan


***

She had not been the apple of her mother’s eye; nor had she been daddy’s little darling. How two cold people could produce such a happy, strong willed, warm child was beyond anyone. She had been special to neither. The family on the mother’s side was landed gentry, although they had given up their titles generations ago, the home was still intact. Lovely, beautiful, nice, shiny. Bronwyn had not been allowed to touch anything in fear of leaving childish fingerprints. The gardens were a delight to behold, but she was not allowed to enjoy in their scents. Her father was a businessman, a banker, who let her know early on he was too busy for childish things and idle chatter. He did not care about the lives of the butterflies or the songs of the wind. All she had was Nana.


Nana, who taught her to sing, to dance. Nana, who told her stories of fairies and brownies and the little people who hid in the forest. Nana, who with her Welsh and Irish background, who taught her to play the bodhran and told her stories of the Druids and the Celts. Nana, who came from a long line of Celtic Bards and witches, who taught her much.

And Nana was the one who realized that Bronwyn was fey and was more and would be more than her parents ever realized.

***

I’m at the point of no return, I finally crossed the line.
Don’t want to stop to watch the bridges burn
‘Cuz I can’t stand to see you stayin’ behind…’‘



***

Bronwyn moved through the dark trees. Her night vision was not the greatest, so she used the trees to guide herself. They talked, she had always known that all living things had a language, but for the first time in her life, she could understand. And they showed her the way out.


Orophin and Heridil followed closely behind, high in the trees.


***


‘’You let her go! My Lord, I asked you specif-‘‘


Celeborn held his hand up. ‘’She did not give me much of a choice.” He gestured to the holes in the walls. ‘’She was quite determined and she convinced my wife and myself that it would be best to allow her some…extra space.’‘ He gestured at the destruction in the room.


Haldir raked his fingers through his hair, tugging on his braid. ‘’I came as fast as I could. You knew I was coming.’‘ He directed this comment to Galadriel.


‘’Yes, I knew.” Galadriel stood next to her husband.‘’Haldir, I had no idea what the Valar had put her through, what they have in store for her. She needs to grieve. Her son was most precious to her and his loss has driven her over the edge. She must be allowed to work through that, she did not have time to work through it. If she is going to embrace her destiny, then she needs to let it go. In all truth and honesty, I do not know if she will accept it. The pain is great and fading…” the elf inhaled, “-fading has a certain appeal to her.’‘


‘’What is her destiny? What is her importance? What am I in her life? What is a Vessel?’‘


Galadriel sat in the chair he had sat in so many nights.‘’Ah, now those are questions unto themselves. They are easy to ask, yet hard to explain.’‘ She folded her fingers together and took a deep breath.


“Bronwyn’s titles will be numerous: the Historian of the first Three Ages, the Voice of the Unheard, the Protector and Seer of the Future, the Storyteller of the Races, the Musician of All, the Keeper of the Truth and of the Innocent. So many titles. In short, she will be Earth’s Bard. What is means is so much more.


“This age is passing. We will leave these shores and the race of Man will rule for thousands of years. Memories fade and paper is destroyed and all that we accomplished and did for Middle Earth will be lost. Even the One Ring will become myth to the other races, too soon forgotten.


“In time, the race of Man will falter and fail and we will be called back to these shores, to reclaim, rebuild a fallen race. They will need someone who will know their past, their strengths and their weaknesses. They will need someone, a Vessel, who can tell them that they have nothing to fear from us, one who can tell them what they were.


“This Vessel will personally know their histories, their accomplishments, and their heartaches. This Vessel carries the weight of their mistakes, their atrocities to each other. And this Vessel will be able to tell them of these things in such a way, as to bring them to life. Bronwyn now embodies that Vessel.


“Bronwyn’s particular destiny however has been a problem for the Valar. The Vessels have proven themselves weak over and over. Since the day Bilbo Baggins found the One Ring, no less than seven vessels have been called up. Each one, each man, eventually failed to meet the task and either died in their misery or grieved themselves when they saw what the future held. They see what will become of Middle Earth and they go mad at the horror of it, the Vessel breaks. It shatters. They do not last through the wonderful things they will accomplish.


“So the Valar, looked hard into the future and found a child, still in the womb, a girl child, who although would be raised in a cold and loveless environment, would be strong, and wise, and full of life. They provided a nurturing wise woman, with many talents and resources, to teach her and she blossomed into your Bronwyn. She endured the worst of losses and still clings to life. The future that dismayed the previous vessels is her past. It will not frighten her. She bends but does not break. The Valar created in her great fervor, great fire, your Baraer, and all she has to do is embrace the destiny that awaits..


“But fire burns hot and can burn too long, until it consumes and destroys, so they have created for her a pillar of strength, of Ice to cool her when the fires could cause her ruin. She is not possessed, she is not a reincarnation, she has been given a need, a purpose and the strength, the fortitude, and the mental force to accomplish that need. And she will single-mindedly pursue that need, to the detriment of herself.”


Galadriel took a deep breath and Celeborn continued for her. “Bronwyn’s fate is to record and remember all that has passed in the last three Ages. Her lot is to see into the future and it is her destiny is to help shape and mold that future. She cannot alter or change any of it, just make sure it comes to pass. Her children will be mortal, but they will continue to counsel and guide the Race of Man, as she will counsel and speak to her descendants as I have spoken to you. She will know her linage continues, but she will also know the suffering of watching them pass, knowing she cannot. Men will forget the Elves, they will forget what we help them to establish. She has been placed by the Valar to make sure that what we taught them does not pass. She will shape and forge nations and king-ships. It is a horrible and tremendous burden to be placed on such small shoulders.


“Somewhere, down the long road, man will falter and the Elves will return to guide and help rebuild. They will not know us and treat us as alien if they are not forewarned of our coming. She will ensure they know. Her children and her children’s children will know.”


Haldir was quiet for many minutes, sitting on the bed, head in his hands. “What I am to her? Where do I fit in?”


Galadriel’s arm went around him. “My darling Elfling. You are the Ice. You will cool her flames, when she is consumed, you will be her comfort, her guide to sanity. You are her Shield and Protector. In your arms, she finds peace and help with the burden she carries. You are to be given gifts as well, so the two of you will work as equal partners. You will pass your gifts along with hers, to your children and found a dynasty with the race of Man.”


“She does not need me,” the words were spat out, in barely contained fury. “She fights as well as any man, almost as well as any Elf. She cannot stand to be in my presence. She can take her pleasure where she desires.”


Galadriel spoke quietly. “She was given skills so she would survive Moria and the time period afterwards or until she accepts her destiny. If she does not accept what is intended for her, these abilities will be the death of her. She was not brought here to fight, she was brought here to remember and make sure future generations remember. As her powers strengthen, her weapon skills will diminish to nothing. Now that she knows, they will begin to degenerate. You cannot take her weapons from her. She must give them up on her own volition. With the upcoming battle with Sauron, someone will need to tell the tale and make sure it is preserved properly. Books will not last, her mind will. She will unknowingly, uncaringly walk into great danger over and over and as a result, she will need a strong Guardian, a powerful Protector. Iluvatar wanted the most skilled for her. She will need to trust him implicitly.”


Celeborn’s quiet voice reached to him. “Haldir, did you not notice what happens when she fights? She becomes ill. She was not meant to be a warrior. You will have skills, senses heightened as well. Already, you know of one. You sense her, you know where she is. In a lesser way, she will sense you. Your stronger emotions will become a homing beacon, a light for her. Soon, you will sense her emotional well being. Your healing powers will escalate. Your fighting skills will expand as well.”


“As she further embraces her destiny and her warrior skills diminish, she will become more and more attuned to finding the truth, finding the story, learning the song. She will develop different, but equally deadly skills. She will not be aware of the surrounding danger. She will willingly, blindly walk into the snake pit, simply attempting to get to the other side, so as to hear better the song of the robin or hear the voice of the tree. You must make sure she does not step unwisely.”


Haldir looked around his parents’ talan. “All this unrest…”


“Had a purpose.” Celeborn’s voice quietly filled the room. “She needed a purpose. She has one now. It will be her purpose to uncover and retain all the knowledge of Middle Earth. It is her purpose to record the truth of what happens with Frodo and the Ring. It will be your purpose to make sure she completes that to the best of her abilities. She will become a target; there are those who will not want the truth remembered. The music is her blood. She will break out in dance at the most inopportune times. She is headstrong, after standing up to her parents, fighting with her husband’s perfidy; she has had no one to gainsay her. You know how she thinks. She will question you, your feelings, her feelings, you motives. Her husband betrayed her horribly, lived a lie, allowed her to believe a lie. This is something else she needs to deal with as well. As he becomes aware of her feelings, she will look for his motives, his actions, in you. She will not trust you; she does not trust you. You will have to reassure her over and over. She is an island to herself. She will be a most difficult lady to tame.”


Haldir’s chest constricted as the enormity of her destiny and his became clear. He felt her nearing the edge of the forest. “I need to go after her. She is in danger…”


“She is in great pain. She will want to grieve. Allow her that. We have sent Orophin and Heridil behind her to track her. She left at sunset and she will reach the edge by sunrise. They can not follow past that. She is laden down with her weapons and possessions. Take one of the horses.” He took a deep calculated breath. “Haldir, do you wish to take on this burden? If you choose to become her Guardian, it will change your life. All you have known will be altered, gone. It is your choice. The Valar have given you that.”


Haldir looked at both his Lord and Lady. “She is already beloved to me, regardless of her feeling for me. ” He saw unshed tears in Galadriel’s eyes and the somber gaze of Celeborn. “You knew the day would come when I would wish for a life partner; you knew the day would come when I would be willing to give up all for the sake of one. I regret not the past, but I look forward to walking away from it for her.” He kissed Galadriel sweetly and Celeborn as well. “You taught me well. But I will give all up for her.”


“Even her ‘peace, love, and crabs?”


Haldir laughed silently. “Yes, Iluvatar help me. Even for that.”


Celeborn took him by both hands. “Haldir, I release you from your duty to me, your duty to Lothlorien. Go find her, before the Uruk-hai do.”


And without a backward glance, he left the talan.



***



When her parents discovered she was musically gifted, they decided that she should play a civilized instrument. She took up piano and violin. Eventually, she added cello. With Nana, she played guitar and the small harp. Her memorization skills were unsurpassed. When her energy level became intolerable, they put her in dance lessons. She took up fencing and archery. The only time she was home was for dinner and bed. And by the time she was a teen, she was no longer home for dinner. And rarely bed, then.


They finally noticed her when it came time for entrance into college. She had applied at several and was accepted at all. Her chosen fields: Musical Performance and Celtic Studies. They disapproved. Go into banking, go into accounting, become a doctor, be Someone. She told them to stuff it. They threatened to disinherit her. She told them fine. Days later, they were killed in a boating accident. And they left her quite wealthy.


Two weeks after that, Nana died. That had been the most devastating blow of all. Nana bequeathed to her a cottage on the crags of Wales. Bronwyn sold the family residence, after removing her beloved Steinway and other personal items and established her home on the coast of Wales. She received degrees in Piano and Violin Performance, Folk studies and discovered she was a gifted storyteller. She was popular in the public schools, teaching the past in song. She received advanced degrees in Anthropology and Irish and Welsh History. She dabbled in Druidic Folklore. She began work on her Doctorate in Ancient British History. She taught in a moderately sized college. And she met and married Ramsey ap Powell.



***


She left the woods shortly before sunrise. She suspected she was being followed In a strange way, she was aware of Haldir, in his rising panic when he arrived in Caras Galadhon and discovered she was not there. She knew he would follow and follow swiftly. She touched the last tree, looked back, waved. And she set out across the plain, following the Anduin northward. And she thought about Ramsey and Alex and Duncan. Mostly Duncan. And wept.


***

“I saw the chance to run and had to take it
but something’s missing
I don’t know what’s wrong…”


***

Haldir reached the plains within hours. His brother and Heridil were there waiting. “She follows the river north. I do not know if she will head towards Mirkwood or just wander.”


Haldir looked at the winding river. “I know where she travels.” He lifted his nose to the air and could swear he could smell her leather and floral scent. “I do not know how long I will be gone. Do not wait for me.” He looked down at his brother. “War comes on swift feet. Protect all that is dear to you. Do not wait for me.” He slid off the back of the swift chestnut and pulled his brother in a bear hug. “I love you much, Orophin.” His eyes met Heridil’s, his hand moving to his heart, before pulling up on the chestnut and riding north.

***


Ramsey had been a persuasive and gentle lover, very unlike her previous attempts at sex. Most boys just wanted a gander at her breasts and Ramsey had not been all that interested in them. Their marriage was comfortable, routine, just like their sex life. No fireworks, no horns blaring, no sweaty bodies, heat wrapped in the night. Just nice, clean. They led very comfortable yet separate lives for several years. She allowed him to handle the money, the investments, the bills, leaving her to her artistic and scholarly pursuits. They had a nice, suburban home and life was a comfortable routine. Until she discovered she was pregnant.



***


It was well after noon. She had spent the time talking to herself, crying, hollering. Between her reliving her past, she rolled through the history of Europe, Italy, Spain, and France. She worried that Haldir was behind her and in her growing desire to be left alone, she had put her head down and walked faster. She came over the hill and realized that in her deep mental wanderings, she had not been paying attention and had literally walked into a small troop of Uruk-hai. They saw her and formed a circle, cutting her off. She dropped her pack and roll and counted. Four. Four was a nice number. Surely, she could handle four. She flipped back her vest tails and unsnapped her knives. She shook her head, to shake off the doldrums. “Come on” she welcomed the most venturesome of the Uruk-hai. “Come to Beavis!”. The music began to swell.


“Hush little baby
Don’t say a word
Never mind that noise you heard…”



He heard the music, long before he smelled the blood. Mindless, pounding, loud. Excruciatingly loud. He felt her grow cold and kicked the chestnut into a higher pace.


Suddenly it stopped. He panicked, racing to reach her, frightened that finally her bravado had given out.

He rode into carnage.


***

When they discovered she was pregnant, he was not overjoyed. He was busy, had his life in order and there was no place in it for a child. He told her it was her responsibility. He was not unkind when he told her. She accepted that.


When the tests came back and confirmed the child – a boy – had Down’s Syndrome, he asked her what time she had scheduled the abortion. He would try to find time in his schedule to be with her. She refused.



That afternoon, he moved out of the house. She did not know where he went, but in truth, she was not surprised. Their marriage had grown more and more distant over the years until it was like a worn pair of jeans. She was not in love with him, realized she had never been in love with him, but she didn’t dislike him. They were good friends and occasional lovers. She was not unhappy at his leaving, just unsettled by the turn of events. Her child grew in her womb and moved and she found joy in that.



Then came the night when the knock at the door came. She was in her seventh month of pregnancy. Two police officers somberly told her that Ramsey had been killed in an auto accident. That he had wrapped the convertible, an Aston Romero that had been his pride and joy, around a tree. And that there had been a passenger killed in the car as well, an unknown woman. It was the next day, after she had made the arrangements that another officer came to her. Told her things she did not want to know. Told her that her husband had apparently been involved in an affair with his secretary, a tall, lean, young blonde. That he had died with his pants down. They discovered he paid for the rent on her flat, he had his own flat; separate from the large, comfortable residence he shared with Bronwyn. They wanted to know how a college poetry professor, on a small college professor’s salary could afford such an expensive car; could afford a mistress; could afford much of anything. Did she purchase the items for him? Did she know of his mistress? Did she know anything?



In hindsight, she was not shocked. He had never shown interest in her more feminine assets. He acted as if bedding her was a duty. Most times she found it almost enjoyable. She found herself wishing he had told her, confided in her he was not happy with their life together. She would have stayed or left, whatever he wanted.



At the funeral, her water broke and her labor went quickly. Within twelve hours, she gave birth to a small boy, with dark hair and a weak cry.


***


The field was slick with blood. Body parts lay everywhere. Headless bodies, arms, strung everywhere. He saw her roll, her pack. His eyes searched, went up the hill and saw her on her knees at the top, bent over, spewing the contents of her stomach. He allowed her her solitude and pain and began to heap the bodies in a pile. When he set it on fire, he climbed the hill and sat down just behind her. She was sitting away from her heavings and he could see the top of her teddy bear, tucked into the waistband of her jeans. And he listened to the air, said nothing for several minutes. The music was harsh, rhythmic, painful.


Blood stains the ivories of my daddy’s baby grand…


“Aerosmith”


She didn’t even look over her shoulder. “You are right. You just might amount to something.”


“One could get used to it.”


The Elf and the Woman sat, one behind the other, heads gently bobbing in time with the music. They sat even after the music stopped.


***


Within hours of her son’s birth, her husband’s mistress’ parents showed up at her bedside. They felt for her loss, but felt theirs was greater. They accused Ramsey of seducing their daughter and accused him of horrible things; drug dealing, money laundering, black market deals and using their daughter for cover. For compensation for the loss of their daughter, they wanted Ramsey’s life insurance policy. Almost a quarter of a million dollars. If she did not agree to hand it over, they would go to the college, the press, Scotland Yard. How they had found out about the policy was beyond Bronwyn. She didn’t even know he had had a life insurance policy. Bronwyn allowed them to think that she would consider it. Instead, she contacted her attorney, who in turn contacted them and convinced them their blackmail scheme had been overheard by several hospital personnel. The conversation was taped and stored, and they confessed to their scheme. She contacted an accountant and together the accountant and the attorney, along with Scotland Yard discovered paper trails of money laundering, betting on sports events, money tied up everywhere in every way. Including hers, including their home, her cottage, their joint accounts. She cooperated fully, incensed that her husband, whom she had given so much, would do that to what was hers. He had several mistresses, not just one. And according to his will, which she did not know he had, he left things of hers to lovers. The fight to retain what was hers and overturn the will was almost unbearable. And when his best friend, Alexander Carlstairs, who had been such a comfort and support to her when Ramsey had left, was pulled into the spotlight as the go-between, he pleaded to bargain, claiming he was scammed, set up.


Bronwyn was creating herself an island. “Alex knew. Alex knew exactly what he was doing.”


It was months before she could bring Duncan home. And when she finally was able to, he was handed a death sentence. He had cystic fibrosis. He became her world, her sole reason for living.


***

“You have come to take me back.” It was a statement of a fact, not a question.


“No. Not immediately”


“Ah.” They sat quietly. Beautiful music filled the air.


“Chopin.”


She turned and looked at him. “Now you are getting scary.” She turned back to stare toward the Forest of Mirkwood.


Silence. He noticed her sword laying at hands reach, covered in blood. Her knives were next to it, matted with gore.


She took a deep breath. “I killed the first two before they could truly pull out their swords. I felled the others, maimed them, slowed them down. And then I took my sword and killed them all.” Tears poured down her face. “Even after they were dead I continued to hack at them. I slaughtered them like animals!”


“They are animals, Bronwyn.”


“But I killed them like I was one!” she cried. “I became one of them. Is this what I am supposed to become? Where is the story in that? I don’t want this! I don’t like what it is doing to me, what it can do to me. What if I can’t handle it? What if it consumes me? What if I become like Saruman? Like Sauron? I don’t want that. I would rather die!” She turned back to the woods. “The last one – I tried so hard to find mercy, Haldir, and finish him fast. He laughed, begged for more pain. I let him suffer. I enjoyed his pain.”


There was no sound but her sobbing. He slid up behind her and pulled her into his arms. And she cried. And eventually, she talked. She told him of her parents, Nana, her life, Ramsey. And Alex. And Duncan.


***


She began to teach at the local community college. The pay was not good, but money was not an issue. She hired a day nanny, but Duncan was hers. Every possible moment, she spent with him. Every smile, every move, she reveled in. She took pictures and more pictures. They did everything. There was a tree in the backyard he loved to climb. He loved music and he sang and played on anything that made noise. He loved the ducks, he loved the beach. He collected rocks; big ones, little ones, grey ones, black ones, ugly ones, not any particular kind. Just rocks. He was in the hospital often. He loved the northern lights and would stay up late searching the skies. He loved nature. He adored butterflies and flowers..


“Mama! Mama! Preeeteee! Preetee buh-fly! Tee? Tee? Buh-fly!”


They only had four years. Four short years. The final attack came early in the morning and was fast. It was cold and he insisted on seeing the lights. She wrapped him gently in his blanket with Teddy and took him to his tree. And he pointed and showed her the lights. But there were no lights there. It was cloudy and overcast and she realized which “Light” he was seeing. He ran to it, with abounding joy.


And left her alone. Again. She was 38 and everyone significant in her life was gone. There was no one left. She was despondent and depressed and she decided to end it all and go find Duncan.


One evening, four nights after Duncan’s funeral, she took her sedatives that the doctor had prescribed for her and lined them up in a long row; like pearls on a string. She had planned to take one every 5 minutes until they were gone. But every time she placed one on her tongue, the pitcher of water was empty and she gagged on the pill. She filled and refilled the pitcher. But she would get it to the table and it would be empty.


Then there was a light. And a beautiful voice, entreating her to come to her destiny, to come and be filled. The woman robed in white took her by the hand.


And dropped her in the nightmare of the Mines of Moria.



***

She was curled in his lap, hands tucked under her chin, his chin resting on the top of her head, arms around her shoulders.


“Baraer. My Baraer,” he whispered and kissed the top of her head. “Lay down your sword. Give up your arrows” She cried more and he heard her whisper, “I can’t.” He held her closer. “Let me be your sword. Let me be your arrows.”


And she cried harder. “I can’t. You can’t protect me. No one can.”


***

I’m goin’ down to river
just to bide my time away
don’t you look for me tomorrow
‘cuz I won’t be back this way…”


***

They traveled slowly, leading the horse, now using it as a pack animal. It had been quiet for some hours. He did not initiate conversation and allowed her to speak when she felt like it.


“Haldir. Why did you come?”


He was quiet for a moment, considering his answer. “It has been sometime since I left the Golden Wood. I thought to come and see the sights and since you were traveling as well, I considered the possibility of joining you.”


“And what if I had said I did not wish your company?”


“I would have followed behind you.”


Bronwyn stopped and looked up at the tall Elf. “On whose orders?”


He looked around; took in the beauty of landscape; took in the beauty of her. “No one’s. Mine.” She continued to look at him, as if not believing. “Bronwyn, I sense you. I used to sense My Lady at all times, but in recent weeks that has been changing slowly over. Her voice is now barely a whisper. I hear you. I feel you.” He tugged on his braid. “I did not have to track you when I left Caras Galadhon. I felt you. If I dunked my head in the river for an hour and let you run, I would know exactly where you were and how far away you had fled. Do you not feel me?”


“Aye. I detect you. Not to the extent you claim to sense me, but I felt your disquiet and frenzy the moment you walked into your parent’s talan. It was like a mental scream.” She began walking again. ‘We are a pair, aren’t we?”


They walked in silence for some minutes.


“I was not in a frenzy. I was very concerned.” She peeked at him from around the muzzle of the horse.


“Were not! You were in a frenzy!”


“I was not in a frenzy. I left you in the relative safety of My Lord and Lady-“


“You were in a frenzy!”


“Bronwyn!” He sounded most perturbed. “I know what I was feeling and-“


She stopped and put her fingers to his lips. “I know what you were feeling to. And what I felt was Frenzy! F-R-E-N-Z-Y! Frenzy!”


He looked at her, indignant and began walking again. She barely heard his whisper.


“I was not in a frenzy!”


“Fine! ” she whispered back. “Have the last word!”


“I do not need the last word!”

***

They walked for two days, following the river north. They ran into several troops of Uruk- hai and slaughtered all. She refused to use her sword. They worked as a team, in tandem.


They also discovered that loud music brought Uruk- hai to their knees, however it also brought proud, strong, Guardian Elves with ice in their veins to their knees as well.

“Damn it! What good is this power if I can’t use it?” He stood next to her, bent over, hands on his knees, still shaking his head, as if to jiggle the ringing from their tips.


“It is a good power to have if I am not near! Iluvatar Balls! That hurts!”

He shook his head and stood up, face still grimaced in pain.

“There has to be a way for you to control it. Right now it seems as if you are putting every arrow from your quiver into your bow and they are not aimed. They scatter recklessly. You have scatter this recklessly.” He looked straight at her and motioned with his hand. “You must learn to aim it – aim ONE arrow. But. Please, until you learn to that, make sure I am no where near when you use it.”

They lived off the land and she slept huddled around small fires, while he kept watch.


On the third day, it began to rain. Haldir did not mind the rain. Rain was necessary to feed and cleanse the earth. But it affected Bronwyn. She was miserable in it and it caused her to sneeze. They began to look for shelter. After several hours they found a small abandoned farm. There was old, but still edible hay in the barn and after rubbing down the horse, they headed for the home. It was dusty, but not in bad shape. The tables and chairs had fallen into disrepair and there was no mattress on the rickety bed, but they found some abandoned furs. Bronwyn piled them up with the blankets in their rolls as Haldir stoked a fire in the fireplace, using the wood from the pile next to the house. She was soaked to the skin.

He finished with the fire and went to the table, where their rucksacks were piled and began to pull clothes from the assorted bags.

“I do not wish for you to catch cold. We need to find you something dry to wear.”

“I think I would prefer to wear you, m’lord Guardian.”

Haldir turned and looked. She stood there, nude, her hair unbound. Her breasts were large, rising firmly, nipples erect from the cold. her hands crossed in front of her narrow waist. Her lips were blue and she was shivering slightly, whether from rain or fear, he could not tell.

“Bronwyn, get under the furs. I do not wish for you to become ill.” He turned back to the packs. His tone of voice was unemotional.

Bronwyn quickly crawled under, mortified. After everything they had been through together, she thought his feelings had softened. She had felt the sexual tension when they had gone on the picnic and ever since he had joined her, she wanted nothing but to touch him. She felt devastated, silly, offering herself to him this easily. This Elf, who she was sure had probably bedded all of Caras Galadhon, had shown he had no sexual interest in her. The wall, that had slowly been coming down the past few days, went quickly back up. Tears silently slid down her cheeks. She felt him crawl in beside her and she moved away from him as far as she could.

“Bronwyn.” She wiped her tears away, quickly and did her best to stifle her sobs.

“What is it, Haldir?”

“Roll over. “

She rolled into his waiting arms and realized he was nude as well. Nude and hard as a stone. She could feel him, his length, his muscles; he was fully erect. He was huge! And hot…oh, the heat…

“Bronwyn.” His voice was strained. “If we start, I cannot stop. I will not be able to stop. Do you understand?

“Yes.”

“Tell me now. Do you want this? If you do not, I ne-“

She kissed him full on the mouth. It was not an elegant kiss, not the searching sweetness of what they had shared on the riverbank over a week earlier. She heard him growl as he rolled her on her back and nudged her legs apart. She heard his quiet plea, “Please be wet, please be ready…” when he placed himself at her entrance and slowly sank into her.

She was wet. And wanting. And tight and hot as the fires of Mount Doom. He felt her pull her legs up across his hips and lock around his waist. His face was in her neck.

“I am afraid I will hurt you, Baraer. You are so tight.” He pulled himself up and braced himself with his arms aside her.

She arched. “I want you to hurt me.” He started a slow rhythm and kissed her tenderly. She continued to pull her legs up, under his arms, and put her feet on his shoulders, toes tickling the tips of his ears. He plunged deeper and felt her womb. She squeezed tight muscles. “Don’t be nice. I want it! I want you now!” And with her fingernails, she raked hard up his back and slapped him on the ass.

He needed no more encouragement. He slammed into her body over and over. He felt himself growing closer and closer and he didn’t want to come yet. Her walls were closing in, her head thrown back, her fingernails were dug into his buttocks pushing him, her back arched…her toes…Iluvatar, her toes tickling his ears…his…

“Your words!” His voice came out in a rasp. “Tell me your words for this! Tell me what you want with your words!” He never broke rhythm.

The fire reflected in her eyes as she looked up at him. She almost, ALMOST said,’Love me, cherish me’. Then the wall, slapped the back of her mind. He doesn’t love you…and it came out unbidden. “Fuck me, Haldir. Just fuck me hard. I want to feel you explode!”

The word was crude, to the point, Her toes were still tickling his ears. Her toes…her…damn…toes…

She screamed, guttural, earthy, in her throat. Her eyes had rolled back into her head and her body jerked in spasm. The wet walls of her confines convulsed on him and his very being detonated into little tiny orbits of shooting stars. He was aware he was pounding her, pounding her into the furs and into the floor. His last coherent thought was how much he loved this short, feisty hellion.

And the world exploded.

***

“Bronwyn?”

“Hmmm?”

“Will we be listening to Bach every time we make love?”

“Silly Elf! That’s Barber’s Adagio for Strings!”

***
Tonight I’m yours
Do anything that you want me to
(Don’t hurt me! Don’t hurt me!)


***

He realized she was pinned beneath him and he rolled over. Her legs slid down in a groan and she cuddled up to him.

“I am sorry.”

She looked up at him. “What for?” She felt delicious. Sex had never been like this with her husband, with anyone.

“I sought my pleasure too quickly. I wanted to see your pleasure first.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “Oh, you gave me pleasure all right! Don’t even worry…” He captured her hand and brought it to his lips. He nibbled on the edges of her fingers and sucked on the small, calloused pads.

“I neglected your pleasure points and concentrated only on my pleasure. That was wrong of me. I will correct that now, if you are ready?”

Was she ready? ‘
Oh, you better believe, Haldir, you arrogant so and so,’ she thought to herself. ‘I am ready!’ She raised her mouth for his kiss.

He searched her lips with his, teasing them with his tongue. Hers darted across his bottom lip, their tongues sucking on whatever was available. She nipped gently as he rolled her flat on her back – she had wanted to taste and tease that lip for weeks! – and he plundered hers like a pirate after treasure. His fingers trailed across her jaw line to the lobe of her left ear and around the edge and she shuddered at the gentleness of the touch. His mouth left hers and she cried out her frustration for the abandonment. His tongue and lips lazily swirled along the right side of her cheek, blazing a burning trail across her face. His lips reached her ear and he snipped gently at the ear lobe. His breath was hot in her ear and she heard him whisper “Are yours as sensitive as mine?” Before she could answer, his tongue delved into the canal of her ear and her entire body drew in with her breath. She curled inward towards his body and shook with pleasurable convulsions as she felt tingling in her chest and groin. His hand slid from her ear and cupped the underside of her breast, gently squeezing her nipple. She cried out softly, begging for connection, for completeness, but he denied her that pleasure, dragging out the sweet torture. She had wrapped her legs around one of his and was humping…she was humping his leg and he had the audacity to laugh at her agony and pull away from her.

He pulled her legs together and straddled her, knees on the outer side of her thighs. He settled back and leisurely took both breasts in hand. “My Baraer, which one is more sensitive? Which one makes you scream?” He rolled the nipples with his thumbs. She was completely incapable of uttering an intelligible answer, her suffering was acute. He leaned over and blew gently on the left nipple. “This one,” he nipped it sharply, “Or this one ?” he nipped the other equally. She was in a deep sweat; it glistened on her brow and he could see small drops rolling down the crest of her breast and belly. Her hands ran deliriously up and down his thighs and her breathing was ragged.

“Haldir…please…I need…I need…” He leaned over and kissed her, his tongue coaxing her lip.

“You need more” His voice was barely audible. He squeezed the sides of both breasts together and inhaled both nipples at once. She was only aware of the banging of her head on the floors. Her pelvis rose, looking for him and he smiled in his control over her pain. His tongue lingered over both nipples, sucking on them hard and she did not realize the moaning she heard in the background was her own.

His hands slid down her torso and he followed quickly with his tongue. He breathed, then nibbled and nipped her belly. He pried her legs apart – well, maybe pry was not the right word. He nudged and she spread them more than willingly, opening for him, crying, demanding he stop teasing, stop playing with her body, she commanded him to allow her her orgasm. His eyes slid over that which made her a woman and with his hands, spread her wide.
His mouth went straight to the source of her pleasure, straight to what could make her scream. He sucked it in and her cries were throaty and heard plainly. She bucked hard and when she had banged his nose for the third time, he threw himself up and away from her body and strode away.

She cried aloud and reached for him, the sudden cold freezing her to the core and the fire of her building climax immediately began to ebb. Her hands promptly sought what his mouth had discarded, fingers diving and searching for the pearl of the divine and clamped down on it, working furiously to restore its ache.

“No. Your pleasure is mine to give.” He had returned and smacked at her hands, gently. He grabbed one wrist and with a length of rope, tied it to her ankle, carefully bending her leg back at the knee. In a fog, she realized he had bound her in a way where she could not move, the rope crisscrossed her chest, forcing her breasts to stand up straight and tall. “Better.” he murmured and his mouth delved back to her clitoris, stoking it. It was swollen and she was not being silent in her desire. He found a small knot beneath the folds on the left side of her clit and flicked it with his tongue. Her entire body bounced. Smiling in the knowledge that he had found that which was special, he devoured it, lavishing all of his attention upon it. His hands slid up her torso and caught her nipples, raised proudly in the air.


She screamed, once long and hard and despite the bonds, arched in orgasm. Her head was thrown back and her entire body glowed slick in the mask of the fire, a sheen running in rivulets down the angles of her body. It seem to last forever and he manipulated until she clamped her ass tight on the floor. Her breathing came in raspy waves. His whisper came like lava down the mountain.

“My Baraer, did you enjoy it?”

Her eyes opened wide, like he truly questioned that she hadn’t? “Enjoy?” Her voice quivered weakly. “Enjoy? Oh God…it has never been this good!” Her breathing steadied and she closed her eyes in satisfaction.

And he dipped his head again, along with two fingers in her very wet honey pot. He found the ridge with his tongue and her hard G-spot with his fingers and she convulsed around him a second time.

And a third.

And a fourth.

Had anyone been close, her bellows could have been heard far off.

“Stop, stop, oh please stop.” Her cries had diminished to weakened pleas and she was slick with perspiration and her own juices. He sat up and allowed her to watch him suck her sweetness from his fingers before he untied her. As he flung the rope away, she curled around him, snuggling tight to his body. He pulled her close and whispered that age-old endearment in her ear.

“Did you come?”

Her body sagged in disbelief and she could feel him shaking with mirth. “Did I come? Did I come?” She quickly rolled atop and over him and scooted him to her side of the rugs. “You asshole!” She could barely talk. “Just for that, you get to sleep in the wet spot!” She snuggled into him as her breathing steadied. She finally realized that his hair was unbraided and she caught herself playing with a long lock of moon blonde silk. “You know, I will get you back for tying me up.”

His body relaxed as well. “Oh,” he whispered, “I am looking forward to it.”



tbc