For the record, I’ve not bought anything in 60 days – except clothing for my son for Christmas!

Just sayin’

The Vessel 

Chapter 18 

Proper Dinner Conversations – or -Taming the Wild Horse

***

Haldir had never been so bored in his entire life.

He took that back. There were times when, as a young Elfling, he had to weed a certain garden or help in a certain kitchen for minuscule transgressions long forgotten, which was immensely boring, but this…

His eyes fell across Bronwyn. She lay on a couch, in leggings and his tunic, one leg thrown over the back, the other dangling over the edge, stacks of books and scrolls by her side.

She read through them with incredible speed. Both brothers and Heridil constantly filtered through her piles, replacing scrolls she’s read with scrolls she hadn’t, as fast as she could pore and read through them.

She was in heaven.

Celeborn went above and beyond. He had not only negotiated fourteen days of time for Bronwyn in Mirkwood’s library, he had even managed two days of literary bliss in Thranduil’s private study, managed to have Haldir and Bronwyn moved into the luxurious room Thranduil had stolen Bronwyn away to, on top of having Haldir’s brothers and friend brought into more lush quarters from the archer’s bunk house, plus taken over a rather hefty piece of the southern end of Mirkwood for Lorien’s borders.

In all honesty, he thought Thranduil gave it to hi to shut him up and make him leave!

Haldir realized within two days that she would forsake food, sleep, exercise, almost everything, to read. He had taken his fears and misgivings to Celeborn and Galadriel the evening of the second day, leaving her for a short time in the capable hands of his brothers and friend.

“She does not eat, unless I hand it to her or put it in her mouth. I have to carry her to the bed. Sometimes I think if I danced naked in front of her, she would not notice.” He paced the floor and yanked on his braid.

Galadriel stifled a laugh. “Haldir, my sweetest Elfling, do you not think you are exaggerating just a small bit?” She looked at her husband. “Do you not agree?”

Celeborn had struck a thoughtful pose, a long finger tapping his lip. “I would like to watch that, if he feels the need.” Elegant eyebrows arched up in response to his wife’s question.

“The two of you are no help!” Haldir was becoming more and more vexed with the situation. “She does not go outside, she passes the dining area, she hardly speaks to anyone.”

“Has she lost interest in joining?” Celeborn turned to face the wall, as if to peruse the painting hung there. In truth, it was so that his former March Warden would not see his amused smile.

“Nay, once I manage to get her to the room,” Haldir was jerking harder and harder at the braid, “she is…” Although he had never had problems discussing sexual matters with them before, for some reason discussing his personal life concerning Bronwyn with anyone made him uncomfortable. He wanted them kept private. The clasp holding his braid together broke.

“She is like a little rabbit?” Celeborn finished for him, his back still to the frustrated Elf.

“Aye.” Haldir looked at the broken clasp in his hand and shook his braid loose.

Celeborn was quiet for a few moments. “Doyou remember what we told you in the garden when she first discovered what she is?”

“Yes.” Haldir was pensive. “You said she would walk though pits of vipers to get to the other side. That she would not notice they were there.”

Celeborn turned to face his former March Warden. “You are seeing that single-mindedness she will exhibit. Food is not important. The sunshine is not important. Nothing is as important as reading and gaining the knowledge. You must make sure she does not weary herself; you must make sure she does not over-tax her mind or her body in her desire to inhale all that has been tasked to her. You must set her schedule. You must make sure she takes care of her body, as well as her mind.”

Elegant eyebrows went up all around.

***

She let him know right nicely how she felt about being forced to drop her scroll in order to come to dinner.

“Haldir, can you not just bring it to me, like you did yesterday?”

“No. I am your Guardian, your Shield and Protector. I am not your hand servant.”

She scowled, waving the scroll to a beat only she could hear. “Then can we go and bring it back?”

“No.”

She looked for backup from Orophin and Rumil. They shook their heads negatively and her jaw dropped in astonishment as they left her there to argue with her arrogant lover. She narrowed her eyes in vexation as she turned her attention back to Haldir.

“I could stand to lose a few pounds. Missing dinner will not hurt me one iota!” And with that, she reclined back on the couch that she was resting on, and rolling the scroll open with a flick of her wrist, returned her attention back to the letter Glorfindel had written to Thranduil, requesting information on the number of Orcs suspected to be at Sauron’s fortress in Mordor.

The next thing she knew, the scroll was flying across the room, and with a startled ‘oof’, she found herself looking at the well-formed backside of her Guardian, his hand clutching her derriere. She attempted to scowl at him over his shoulder as he strode from the room and down the hall to the dining room.

“You Neithadol! What do you think you are doing?” Her voice carried beautifully in the acoustically correct cavern.

“Taking my Baraer to dinner.” He strode purposefully down the hallway, nodding to giggling, passing Elves in greeting.

“Haldir! You will put me down this instant!” She struck him in the rear end with her hand, the sound of the smacks echoing loudly.

“No. I will put you down when we reach the dining hall. I will put you down in a chair and you will stay there until you eat.”

“Haldir, you cannot force me to eat!”

He turned a corner suddenly, causing her to loose her grip and bang her nose on the marble-hard cheek. She rubbed her nose and repeated. “You cannot force me to eat!”

“Yes, I can. Do not force my hand in this.”

They traveled in silence for several moments, the Elf striding purposely down the hallway, the woman, perched over his shoulder, with her elbow propped in the indention of this backside, and her hand, cupping her chin. She rolled her eyes at the smirking Mirkwood Elves passing them.

“Having problems taming your Lady Love?” Thranduil’s velvet voice came from nowhere and Bronwyn looked around Haldir’s side to see the King of Mirkwood approach from a dark corridor. Legolas was with him and the look she gave the Prince caused him to snicker.

Haldir never slowed in his stride. “No, my lord. She enjoys being seeing the floor from different angles.”

Bronwyn rolled her eyes and gave Legolas the universal sign for whacking off. The Prince immediately discovered a short cut down another hallway to continue his journey to the dining room. Neither Thranduil nor Haldir were aware of the cause behind his sudden explosion of laughter echoing from the hallway.

***

Dinner was a stiff and difficult affair that evening. Thranduil made everyone uncomfortable with his stabbing remarks to Haldir about former lovers. It was obvious he wanted Bronwyn to know each and every lover – male or female – Haldir had had or could have had before her. Legolas, on several occasions, kicked his father under the table; had at one point spilt wine in his lap to stop the barrage.

“Haldir. I saw Lessien, daughter of Calaelen, several years ago. She still has fond memories of the tour you gave her in Calas Galladhon when she visited, when was it… two hundred years ago? Said you knew all the hidden, quiet places and was most… ardent… in showing them to her.”

Bronwyn giggled at Haldir’s burn. “You were the one who demanded we come to dinner!” she whispered under her breath.

And Thranduil was not to be stopped.

“Haldir. I had the pleasure of dining with Felagund some weeks back. To this day, he claims you know more about taming and riding wild stallions than anyone he knows.”

Galadriel and Celeborn both commented that the conversation was not such to be discussed in mixed company and had attempted to change the subject.

It did not deter Thranduil.

“Haldir! Do you remember Earane and Saralonde of Imladris? I heard them talking to Nienna when they last visited here and they said you wore the both of them out, in the same night, in the same bed!” He broke the bread he had in his hand and waved one piece in the air in thought. “Now, I for one would love to hear how you managed that. The both of them all but killed me the evening I enjoyed their… wiles.”

Haldir told him to shut the Mordor up.

Bronwyn took it all in stride, grinning from the blushing discomfort of Haldir to the snarky smirks of Thranduil. She was the one who eventually shut him up.

“Thranduil!” She refused to refer to him by his titles, instead calling him by his name. He glared at her. “Were you a virgin when you married your Queen?”

All conversation at the table came to a nervous halt.

“No.” Thranduil looked her in the eye, one eyebrow raised in sarcasm.

“Was your Queen a virgin the first time you took her?”

Legolas’ jaw worked in astonishment. Gimli, seated next to the Prince, was making bizarre, high-pitched sounds that sounded strangely enough like bird calls.

“What does th-“

“Just answer the question. I have been forced to put up with your snide, rude, and childish rants tonight!” She had picked up a bread stick and waved it at him. “Indulge me!”

“No.”

“No, you will not answer the question or no, she was not?”

“No, she was not a virgin.”

“Ah.” She took a thoughtful bite. Haldir was studiously contemplating his salad, his knee bouncing like a basketball. Legolas muttered something about this being more information that he ever wished to know about his parents.

“So it is safe to say that the two of you were well experienced by the time you reached your marriage bed and had very little problem pleasing the other?”

Thranduil was not liking where this conversation was going, nor did he like the fact that he seemed to have lost control of it. She continued in a teacher-like fashion, still waving the bread stick.

“And therefore, you would say it is safe to say, that the reason you pleased each other was because someone – some Elf or Elf-maiden – had taken the time to be patient?”

Thranduil’s gaze was so hot, the temperature in the hall went up several degrees.

“Your point is?”

Her hand found Haldir’s under the table and she squeezed gently. “My point is, Haldir’s past is that. His past. I am grateful for the loves he had and loved before me. He is a thoughtful and generous lover and rather than having to teach him everything from scratch or deal with clumsiness,” and at this juncture, she gripped his hand tightly, “I have only had to teach him two positions. He is a fast learner.”

Celeborn spit wine across the table and Galadriel hid her smile behind a napkin. Gimli roared in robust laughter. Haldir never missed a beat. He squeezed her hand back in return.

“And I have only had to show you three, Baraermin.” The adoration in their eyes said it all to each other.

Thranduil was stunned into civility for the continuation of the meal.

***

Despite her protestations, Haldir set a specific schedule for her to follow for the rest of their stay at Thranduil’s fortress. Mornings, before breakfast, were spent outside, usually with the two of them riding His Arrogance and Sea Spray. Days were spent reading in the library. More often than not, Haldir did not mind that Legolas had fruit and sandwiches sent to them in the library. After dinner, they sat in the garden, watching the sun set. Encased in his arms, he asked her about her life before the Valar sent her to him, before she had been dropped into Moria. He heard about 21st Century Earth, the political systems, the unrest, sports teams, movies, CD’s, DVDs, public and private school systems, transportation, scientific breakthroughs, medical advances, Man on the moon, rockets to Mars.

He found that one hard to believe, but she insisted it was true.

She discovered he played the harp and played it quite well. He claimed he felt funny as she was so very advanced and she found his shyness about the whole thing endearing. Many nights, it was not unusual for Elves to peer quietly into the garden, listening for the duet of harp and guitar, played in perfect harmony.

Sometimes he allowed her to return for an hour or two of reading, but most nights, they went to their rooms and made love before falling into sweet slumber in each other’s embrace.

***

Any Elf of mine

Better walk the line

Better show me a teasin’ squeezin’ pleasin’ kinda time

I need an Elf who knows

How the story goes

He’s gotta be aheart beatin’

Fine treatin’

Breath takin’

Earthquakin’ kind

Any Elf of mine

I wanna hear him say

Yeah yeah yeah yeah

I like it that way!

(With great apologies to Shaina Twain)

***

But he was still bored to distraction. He would have welcomed a contingency of Orcs to fight at this point.

It was their twelfth day there. Thranduil had decided this was the day he would allow her access to his private study. The desk was devoid of any paper and the room was dark and pain-stakingly neat compared to the light-infused, messy, and welcoming chamber of Celeborn’s. Haldir was grateful the Valar had seen fit to make her a speed- reader, but it still took time to go through all the books and scrolls. She had found a ledger for him to read, containing information and logs of patrols in the forest and the records of Orc and Spider raids. She claimed he would get more out of them then she, so he read those while she stayed perched upon a ladder going through other things. Rumil was with them, and he and Haldir discussed the goings on written in the military logs.

“Haldir.” she had a thick binder with loose papers in them. “If those bore you, try these.” She handed the binder to Rumil, who in turn handed it to his elder brother. Rumil saw the smirk in her eyes and he wondered what she was up to.

Haldir handed the log to Rumil and opened up the binder to the top sheet of parchment.

His eyebrow arched up and he sent a scorching look to the back of his Baraer. She seemed to be clueless to his gaze, as she had her back to him, continuing to raid the top shelf of the bookcase she was going through. He slowly turned the page to look at the second sheet.

The eyebrow rose higher.

Rumil saw the look on his brother’s face and was curious as to what he looked at. He stretched his neck to catch a glimpse.

Haldir clasped the binder to him, giving a ‘Do not try it’ look. When Rumil had retreated a certain distance, he lowered the binder and continued to turn pages slowly, carefully studying each and every page. When he finished the binder, he closed it and crooking a finger, motioned his brother to him.

“Go outside and shut the door. Guard and do not allow anyone in until I say.” Haldir’s eyes had turned almost black and Rumil knew not to argue with him. “No matter what you hear, do not come in.” Rumil got up silently and left the room, closing the door quietly and taking up his post.

Haldir watched Bronwyn for several minutes. She was wearing a drab brown gown – she claimed it hid dust – that was narrow and clung around her hips and laced together in the front. He watched the graceful sway of her hips, her arms, as they arched above her head, reaching for stacks of parchment. His gaze was blazing in desire.

“Baraermin.” She never looked around, never stopped her task.

“What?”

He stood up and carrying the binder with him, walked up behind her. “Do you know what you gave me to read?” She did not stop.

“Aye. I saw them.”

He laid the binder on a shelf close to her feet. He opened it, exposing the drawing of the naked Elf and elleth locked in a rather sensuous position.

“You left me tied to a bed for looking at pictures like this!”

She never stopped going through the scrolls. “No. I left you tied to the bed for posing for pictures like this. You did not pose for any of these.”

She found herself yanked from her tenuous perch on the ladder, and after flying through the air, was cradled in Haldir’s arms. His mouth descended on hers with a crash, molten heat flaming her desire. He broke the kiss and spun slowly in the room, looking… looking…

“What do you think you are doing?”

His gaze never stopped searching. “I am finding a spot to set you so I can make love to you.”

“Oh, behave!” she smacked him on the shoulder. “We can’t do that in here. Anyone can walk in.”

His eye spied a likely spot. “Then we will have to make it hard and fast. What you would call a quickie, I believe.” He set her down next to Thranduil’s cleared desk. It was the right height. “Besides,” he began to unlace his leggings, “There is something exciting about the possibility of getting caught, and Rumil is guarding the door.” She squeaked in protest at that scrap of information. His mouth crushed hers again, while he continued to yank at the ties and the waist of his clothing. “You like it hard, do you not?” he breathed between kisses. Having successfully freed himself, he started pulling up on her dress.

“Haldir, this… really is… not the time… or the… place…”

“When you show me things like that, it is always THE time or THE place.” Her dress was up and he set her on the desk, pulling her legs apart and rubbing his member against her panties. He began to loosen the ties of her bodice.

“Haldir! Stop it!” She smacked him on his shoulder, at his hands. “We… you cannot take me on Thranduil’s desk. It isn’t… seemly!”

“Prude!” He reached in and cupped her beneath the confines of her gown. She immediately arched back and hissed in pleasure. “Just think about it. Every time that pompous ass sits at this desk, he will never know that I did what he dreamt of doing to you, right here!” His hand left her breast, exposing it to the air, and moving back between her legs, slid the opening of her panties to the side. “I fucked you here, and as much as he desires it, dreams about it, he never will.” She arched backwards in an unadulterated sensual haze as his fingers sought her out, delving deeply, his thumb teasing the wet nubbin responsible for her bliss.

“God, I love it when you talk dirty!” She was totally lost in a carnal fog he had created and her desire was wreaking havoc on her body.

“Bitch! Wait for me!” He smiled to himself as he maneuvered her to the edge of the desk and rammed into her to the hilt. Her legs locked around his waist and very soon, very loudly, both came to the crashing conclusion that hot sex on a desk is better than no sex at all.

Well, hell! Hot sex is hot sex, period!

He leaned over her, still buried to the hilt, both hands resting on either side of her, their breathing ragged in the other’s ear. He leaned her backwards, climbing up, laying between her legs. His kisses rained sweetly on her ear.

“I had a funny thought.”

She giggled to herself. “You? Having a funny thought? What a novel concept!”

He was getting hard again. His hand went to her hip as he levered himself within her. ‘Would it not be funny, the most mortal blow of all, if our daughter was conceived on this very desk?”

Her arms went around his neck, as did her legs around his waist, enticing him in deeper. “Aye. But you know what would be funnier?” His eyes questioned her as his hips delved into her rhythm. “If our son was conceived on this very desk!”

He looked thoughtful, never breaking speed. “Girl.”

Her back arched, reaching. “Boy.”

And so the argument went until they both collapsed in each other’s arms. They lay in bliss for several minutes. Their reverie was interrupted by a knock at the door, Rumil’s voice questioning.

‘Uhm… Haldir? Bronwyn? Lord Celeborn has received a message from Imladris. He needs to speak with you. Can we come in? It has gotten very quiet…”

The two collapsed on the desk, the smell of semen, sweat, and sex permeating the air. There would be no question what had been happening in that room.

***

It’s crazy how these things work out

I used to think I had no chance

And somehow thought you’d slip away

You pulled me through the fear and doubt

Gave me all I’m looking for

Everything I needed to stay

How could something so good, something so simple, get serious

How could someone so right come into my life

And now I just want you to know

I would walk through fire

To get back to you…

(Bad Company)

***

The company of Elves moved slowly through the countryside. Weddings were joyous yet ponderous affairs, and the wedding this party was traveling to attend should prove to be the most joyous if not ponderous of them all.

After all, it was not everyday the most beautiful of Elf Maidens married the newly crowned King of Gondor.

Bronwyn was still reeling with the news. The proud Ranger, leader of the Fellowship, was the hidden King of Gondor. And he was in love and was marrying the daughter of Lord Elrond of Rivendell. She had heard of Elrond and Arwen. Celeborn and Galadriel spoke of them often and highly. That they thought the world of the son-in-law, especially after the harrowing experience their daughter had gone through, how he worked endlessly, trying to heal her body and mind, was obvious. Even Haldir thought highly of the half – Elven. Bronwyn could not wait to meet him.

And there was more news.

Gandalf lived.

Bronwyn could not wait to see him, either. Meet him again, that is. Her memory of him was vague, short- lived. A deep, melodious voice, intelligence, a strong-will.

She mostly remembered his bravery with the Balrog. She decided she hated Balrogs as much as she hated spiders. She could not wait to talk to him.

She had packed their talan with great sadness. Haldir watched as she put their things, their personal effects, carefully in trunks and satchels.

“We are not coming back, are we, Baraermin?”

Her shoulders slumped. “We will, but not for many, many years. We will come out of our desire to show our children our home… your home. We will not stay long.” She did not have the heart to tell him why.

Whipcord arms encased her. “Are we, yet?” He asked the question daily.

” ‘Tis too soon. I cannot tell.” She turned in his arms and tilted her head to see him better. “Believe me, the day I puke on your shoes for no reason, we will know.”

And now, they traveled. They moved slowly, with horses, wagons loaded with tents and supplies. To Bronwyn, it was much like she had studied in her history classes. Days started early, to tear down tents and clear areas. They ended early as well, in order to set everything back up. Everyone from the lowliest Elf to the Lord and Lady helped to raise and tear down camp. Due to lack of accommodations and room, Bronwyn and Haldir shared a tent with his brothers and Heridil. She found the lack of privacy disconcerting.

Haldir found he wasn’t getting any. He disliked it. She wanted privacy, she wanted time alone, she wanted to think that no one – and she meant NO ONE knew what they did at night. She didn’t want to think that anyone could hear their cries of passion. Iluvatar knew they could hear everyone else. Trying to discuss it with her was a lost cause.

So, they had become creative.

There had been the afternoon when they had stopped early. The two of them had delved deep into the woods, far from prying eyes and sharp Elven ears. It had been satisfying for a short time. Unfortunately for days afterwards, she complained that she was still picking bark from the tree he had pinned her against out of her tender backside. Haldir had to agree. He was rather fond of that particular backside and there were scratches and… other things. But he enjoyed healing them for her.

There was the bright, sunny morning the entourage had passed a large, wildflower strewn field. Quickly falling behind, the two stole into the fenced pasture, only to discover it was reigned over by a large bull with big horns who took it personally that an Elf and a Woman would have the audacity to use his meadow to copulate in.

Heridil felt bad for them – for Haldir especially. He had suggested – more than once – to the brothers that perhaps they should find other sleeping arrangements.

The brothers found the whole thing hysterical and milked the situation for all it was worth! At night, as things began to quiet down, they took great pleasure in making noise and disturbing the two.

Haldir was getting very surly and no one, including his brothers were spared his short-temperedness. Even Celeborn and Galadriel walked a wide berth around him. Bronwyn was worse. She growled and spat at anyone who crossed her path. Loud, raucous music would rise at the least little misstep and many days the Elves traveled with hands over ears. She cried at the least little thing.

So it was no surprise, when one afternoon the group took notice that Haldir and Bronwyn were nowhere in sight. She had fallen asleep in the saddle soon after lunch and Haldir had pulled her into his lap, handing her reins to Heridil and slowed his mount to a slow, steady walk. No one noticed for a while that they trailed slowly behind, falling further and further to the rear.

Haldir waited until no one had been in sight for thirty minutes before shifting her around in his lap. She slept peacefully, having not slept well in the past several nights. He noticed she was requiring more and more rest and he wondered if the traveling was taking its toll on her body. She was unused to constant movement and between the Battle of Don Guldur to now, they traveled extensively in these past several weeks. He missed having time alone with her, he missed the quiet days in the library, he missed having her to himself. He missed the evenings in the garden, talking to her, listening to her, playing music with her. It was something he had every intention of reestablishing as soon as possible. Looking furtively around to make sure no one watched, he turned her to face him, skirts raised, her bare legs straddling his waist.

She awoke slowly, rocking gently on her horse. Damn, had she fallen asleep in the saddle again? This was getting ridiculous. As the grogginess of slumber left her body, she realized she was encased in strong arms, held close to Haldir’s body, her legs wrapped around his hips.

She was completely empaled by his…

“Haldir!” she whispered. “You have… we are…”

“Yes, we are.” He looked down at her and kissed her brow. “Have you had a nice nap?” The gait of the horse rocked their bodies gently against each other, establishing a wonderful, consistent rhythm.

She tucked herself in closer, locking her legs. “I hope to God we are alone and no one is watching this shocking display of lack of decorum on your part!” She could feel herself blushing, but this felt so good…

“No one is in sight. We have fallen behind and I have not seen a soul in over half an hour.” He tipped her chin up so she could look at him. “Would you like to catch up?” He kicked His Arrogance into a slow trot, causing her to bounce rather strongly. Still holding the reins, his hands went to her backside, still allowing the gait to bob her on his shaft.

“Oh… GOD!” She clung to his tunic. “Pleee-ee-ee-se. This… is… too… much…”

He slowed the trotting horse back into a steady gait. He peeled her from his chest in order to lean her backwards to kiss her thoroughly. They continued in this manner for many long minutes, staying aligned, abiding at the edge of climax, rocking on the border of sexual insanity. Finally, he bade her to lock her legs around him tightly and he nudged the horse into a trot. Within seconds, they had both climaxed atop the beast and he heard her muffled cries in his chest.

***

Orophin looked around the group. “Where are they?” He asked no one in particular. “Have they gotten lost again?” He started to turn his mount around, only to be stopped by Rumil.

“Leave them be. They have no privacy; we give them no privacy. Haldir knows where we are, where we are going. He will not get lost. They will catch up when they are ready.”

“What?” Orophin’s voice rose over the bird calls. “Again? They are at it again? Did they not learn when they were chased by the bees? Did they not learn when they were ousted by that bull with massive rack? They are worse than rutting beasts. Heridil, surely you agree with me?”

Heridil held the reins to Bronwyn’s mount, Sea Spray. “I am not saying a word.” he muttered, staring straight ahead. “No, not me, not a single, solitary word!”

“Rumil! Surely you ag…”

“Orophin! Be quiet! Leave them be. Have you not heard? They agreed. Agreed! I do not know about you, but I look forward to bouncing a niece or nephew on my knee sometime in the near future! So leave them be!”

Orophin’s mouth worked up and down like a fish. “Agreed? Agreed? When did this happen?” He turned his attention to Heridil. “Did you know this? No one tells me anything!” He continued his tirade, much to the amusement of the regal couple ahead of them.

“Do you think we should tell Haldir and Bronwyn their desires have come to fruition and they need not run off and hide anymore?” Celeborn asked his wife. She smiled serenely and glanced at her beloved.

“Nay. They will find out soon enough.”

***

Two mornings later, after breakfast had been eaten and all was packed, Haldir threw up everything he had eaten on the boots of his youngest brother.

“Dammit! Dammit to hell!” Orophin jumped back, screaming curses learned from Bronwyn. “Why does everyone throw up on me?”

 

***

TBC

***

Baraer – Fiery One

Baraermin – My Fiery One

Neithadol – Wrong head.