7. Chapter Seven
Sauron stopped to pull Maglor aside. There was a murmured conversation that Legolas couldn’t hear, though he strained to understand what was being said, before Sauron came to stand before him.
There was no strength in Legolas’ new position, and when Sauron stood so close, pressing lightly against him, it was all he could do to keep on his feet. He felt lost, anchorless, and completely at the mercy of Sauron. The dark lord laughed softly at his predicament and then his hands held Legolas’ waist, pulling him close, and steadying him.
His thumbs began to move in slow circles over his ribs, as if testing the flesh, and he studied Legolas’ body hungrily.
“Tell me – do you know pain, Legolas?”
The question was the most menacing thing that Legolas had ever heard, and he froze. There had been no time to consider what would happen to him, but now it was here it was much more terrifying than he could have imagined anyway. Pain in itself was not frightening to the young warrior, but the thought that there was no way to escape from it was, and he trembled.
“Answer me.” He didn’t raise his voice to utter the command, just stated it matter-of-factly, and that more than anything else made Legolas want to beg for mercy before it had even begun. How should he respond? What did Sauron expect from him?
“Y-Yes…” he said finally, hesitantly, and the dark lord sighed quietly and released him. He had done something wrong, given the wrong answer, he thought in a panic. But before Legolas could correct his mistake, Sauron was speaking again. He walked around to stand behind Legolas so that the voice was all he had.
“You sound uncertain.” And then Sauron was touching him again. This time covering his eyes with some kind of material. Legolas began to panic in earnest when he realised he could no longer see, and he moved too violently, losing his precarious balance and letting his entire weight rest on his arms. It was too much, his arms were already beginning to ache, and Legolas concentrated on regaining his feet while Sauron continued to speak to him.
“There are many different kinds of pain, Legolas. I wonder if you’ve ever really taken the time to appreciate them all?” The dark lord spoke in an even, modulated tone, as if he were discussing nothing more important than the weather. He began to shake in fear for what must be about to happen to him. Legolas wanted to say sorry, but what for? He wanted to make Sauron stop somehow, but still the voice carried on, and although his words were quiet, Legolas heard them above his own pounding heartbeat and heavy breathing.
“Let us start with something simple. An easy one.” Legolas held his breath and waited, expecting something without knowing what. So when he felt slight heat ghosting up over his arm and lingering on his shoulder he cried out anyway, as if he was hurt. Sauron waited for quiet.
“Warmth is a pleasurable sensation. Even to one who does not feel the cold.” The words were true, and Legolas sighed as the small spot of warmth continued to dance over his body, passing behind him, covering every inch of him. It was almost like being touched. He tried to see through the blindfold but it was impossible. Sauron’s voice was still coming from behind him, so that meant the warmth was something Maglor was doing, if only he could see what it was he would feel better.
His heightened sense of hearing registered a slight hiss while Sauron was quiet. It was a familiar sound, and Legolas frowned. Where had he heard that before? The warmth seemed to come nearer, and suddenly he knew because now he could smell it too. The familiar scent of wax filled the air. Maglor was holding a lit candle to him, the hiss had been the sound of the burning wick.
“Even heat is not too uncomfortable, is it?” Legolas’ mind worked quickly – was he expected to answer? But then the warmth did turn to heat, and he found himself concentrating on keeping still. The flame must be so close to his skin now. His breath came in short gasps as he tried to stay motionless despite his position.
“But to be burnt,” Sauron said suggestively, and then Legolas finally spoke. His words came instinctively, trying to stop what was surely to happen.
“Maglor, please!” he called out into the blind darkness, knowing that the other elf had to hear him, had to know. As if in answer, the flame that was now over his chest came slowly closer, until Legolas fancied he could feel his skin burning. When the fire burnt his flesh in truth, Legolas screamed, unable to stop himself. He tried to move away and only succeeded in losing his balance. He fell forward helplessly and onto the flame. It was not so much the burning as the shock of it that made him cry out, and thrash in his bonds. He tried to calm down, he was hurting his arms, but he couldn’t tell from the sensation alone whether the flame was still there. He wanted so much to be able to see, just to know.
“He will not answer you now. And you will listen to me.” The same soft, sibilant tone, and Legolas began to despair. He was right, wasn’t he? He may as well ask for the rain to stop falling or the seasons to move backwards as ask for Maglor to disobey his Master. Legolas let his head fall down in defeat.
“Now that I have your attention.” Sauron’s voice was slightly mocking. This was only the beginning, he realised, and immediately wished he hadn’t. Legolas shivered in anticipation when the dark lord began to describe fire, as if his very body denied the reality of what was happening. He shivered even when he felt the warmth return.
It was only the beginning, and there was no way to keep his dignity; because Sauron didn’t just describe pain, he also talked of pleasure, and Legolas was made to experience that too. He built up the anticipation in Legolas’ mind perfectly, and so every time the pain came, he cried out helplessly. On it went, until Legolas was begging for it to stop, for him to stop. But he didn’t, and in time Legolas fell silent apart from the cries and screams that were forced from him. He came to desire and despise the hands that carried out Sauron’s suggestions.
“You are quiet, my Legolas. What are you thinking?” The dark lord expected an answer he realised. He didn’t even think about what to say, as those hands roved over his body gently, caressing him, making him sigh in pleasure even as the voice had made him scream before.
“Please… I can’t…” How to explain what couldn’t be put into words? Everything hurt. He could feel everything that had been done to him since this started. The burns, the cuts and the bruises all vied for his attention. Worse was the position he was still forced to assume. His shoulders ached unbearably now, and the balls of his feet were no better. There was simply nowhere comfortable to put his weight, and he shifted restlessly from foot to foot, feeling the burning pain in his ankles and calves. Legolas began to hate his own body. “I’m so sorry,” he cried out at last in misery. “I don’t know pain,” he admitted in a small voice. “I’ll do anything you want.” He broke down then, and the hands waited for him to calm before carrying on with their gentle teasing. “Anything at all,” Legolas added finally. It was the truth. He would give the dark lord anything to make it stop. Anything and everything he had, gladly.
Sauron sighed as if in disappointment. “Your surrender is not what I require, Legolas.” The words were cold and emotionless, and Legolas immediately cried out when the hands moved away from him again, the bitter taste of fear filling his dry mouth, trying to move forwards to follow. All he managed was to lose his footing again, but he didn’t pull himself up this time.
“No! I’m sorry! Please, don’t leave me!” Somehow he had given the wrong answer again, he knew that. Whatever followed would be his own fault, but what else could the dark lord desire? “Only tell me what you want,” he begged the silence blindly. Nothing changed. “Please, tell me…” Legolas heard his own words trail off, and then he heard himself moan. It was a long, keen, plaintive sound that echoed in the chamber, and Legolas had never heard anything sound so lonely. When Sauron began to speak again, silencing him, he was glad.
Another interval of time passed. The torture was seemingly endless, and as he had feared from the start there was no escape from it, no way out. But eventually, welcome delirium came to claim him. It was too much to stay there, where the pain was, too much to pay such close attention to the commentary, but that was when it stopped.
He was barely aware of the voice finally ceasing to describe his torment, knowing the truth – that it didn’t describe what he endured in the least. The pain belonged to him alone. He was still blindfolded, and he didn’t know how bad his injuries were. A time ago he had let his weight rest entirely on his arms, and he found a truth there – that his mind could only tell him about one agony at a time. In desperation he concentrated on the deep ache in his shoulders, until even that became too much and he took some of his weight on the balls of his feet again.
Through the dreamless, almost sleep of his existence came the voice again, but now the words were different, and Legolas listened.
“Come back to me, Legolas, my elf Prince.” Arms were holding him close, and his mind didn’t want to return, but he couldn’t ignore the summons. He cried into Sauron’s embrace, more relieved and grateful than he could ever explain for the comfort offered. The dark lord allowed him to take it, soothing him all the while, stroking his hair and whispering words that to Legolas’ overstrained mind were as good as kindness.
“Shh… yes, that’s right, bainon nín. Hear me again,” and Legolas obeyed, drinking in the reminder of what he was and his place in the world hungrily.
“I won’t leave you alone,” the dark lord promised, “I can’t.” More tears now, because he was alone, wasn’t he? Completely alone with his pain. But he couldn’t begin to imagine an existence without it. Without Sauron’s voice, without him playing his part in the world they shared. In a way they were together, and Legolas needed him. No, he didn’t want to be alone, and so he was grateful for the reassurance.
“Thank you.” It was his own voice; dry, cracked and broken. Legolas barely recognised it. But there was no time to dwell on it, because Sauron’s hands held his face and before he could think there were lips over his. How long since Sauron had kissed him? He couldn’t remember, but he gave in to the demands of the dark lord gladly.
His tongue entered Legolas’ mouth, but it didn’t stay. He encouraged Legolas’ tongue to follow, and he obeyed. He forgot everything then, almost unaware even of Sauron holding him, of the scent and the heat surrounding him. There was pressure on his tongue, and then suddenly Sauron was biting him there, and Legolas cried out – it hurt – but it didn’t end. He tasted his own blood for a moment before the dark lord was sucking on his tongue, drawing blood from him again, taking from him even now, and he felt his heart quicken. No, never leave me alone, Legolas thought.
Gradually, Sauron drew back. He had changed again, Legolas was aware of the unnatural cold. But he tried to follow, standing on his toes and straining his arms. The hands that were so obviously claws raked viciously at his waist as they left him. He didn’t care, he just wanted more, and he craved for it even to the last touch of Sauron’s lips on the tip of his tongue.
There was silence for a moment, and Legolas could almost see the dark lord licking his lips. “Now,” he considered. “Should I continue, or start again at the beginning?”
Never alone – not with that voice, so deep and warm. But there was a question again, wasn’t there? Finally, Legolas realised that there was no right or wrong answer to give, only his answer. But how could he reply to this question? How could he ask for the torment to continue?
“Answer me.” The flat, expectant demand was almost a copy of earlier, but everything was different now. Legolas knew he couldn’t reply the way Sauron wanted.
“The beginning?” he asked nervously, the last vestige of self, afraid and hurt, claiming that nothing could last so long without ending in death.
“Very well, my Prince,” Sauron said, deliberately taking his question the wrong way. As soon as Legolas wanted to protest, self-doubt clouded his mind. Who was to say that Sauron was wrong? He had said the words, hadn’t he?
When Sauron began the lecture again, Legolas was once more aware of everything in unforgiving cold clarity.
A timeless period passed for Legolas, with the only points of reference being Sauron’s quiet voice and the sensations of his own body. The dark lord ignored his tears, his screams, and his desperate pleas for mercy and freedom, until Legolas began to doubt the reality of his own voice. After hot came cold, after cold came sharp, after that blunt, and on it went. Never sudden, the dark lord described the lightest tickling touch of a knife blade in the same loving way he described the cruel kiss of leather. He knew he was wounded, the coppery smell of his own blood surrounded him. So much pain. Always different, always changing, never allowing him to rest. He lived the dark lord’s words, and for Legolas, Sauron’s words quickly became all the truth and reality in the world. There was no longer a will for it to stop. The always-fragile idea of an existence outside this weakened still further, until Legolas would have forgotten his own name had Sauron not reminded him of it occasionally.
He hungered for the words to change, for more meaning, and Legolas’ mind snatched greedily at every word that was not included in the pain. His name, the way Sauron referred to him, the indulgent descriptions of the lightest sensations. All he needed to know was here, and everything else was forgotten.
When it stopped again, Legolas cried. Sauron came to stand close behind him, his hands holding Legolas’ hips. “Who do you belong to?” It was too easy.
“You,” Legolas answered immediately. Hands were reaching for his blindfold, and when it was removed Legolas closed his eyes against the unfamiliar light, weak as it was.
“Only me?” Sauron asked, that dark humour back in his voice.
Legolas opened his eyes and found himself looking at Maglor. The other elf reached out to hold his face. Legolas was entranced. Those hands! He shivered as Maglor touched his neck and shoulders, remembering everything all over again. The hands of his tormentor were stroking him, but his blue eyes were like ice, and Legolas couldn’t look away.
“Well?” Sauron asked. “Tell me again who you belong to.”
It was impossible… the voice behind him, the hands before him. He was torn between one and the other. “Please! I don’t know!” he cried out miserably, knowing it was the wrong answer, certain that both would punish him for it.
Instead, Sauron began to untie him, and Legolas sobbed in relief and gratitude. Between them they made up the whole, the hands and the voice. Between them they held him up when he would have fallen, both pressing into him. Sauron took his arms and pulled them back to rest on his shoulders while Legolas continued to stare at Maglor. The dark lord let his hands brush lightly down the underside of Legolas’ arms and he sighed. Maglor looked at him hungrily, and Legolas closed his eyes.
It was at last different. Something had at last changed, and Legolas didn’t even realise he was crying. They both spoke to him, but he didn’t understand the words that he could no longer feel. They seemed to be words only for their own sake, and how could that make sense? Two sets of hands touched him, and he submitted to their attentions gladly and gratefully. Their demands helped to fill the void, the aching emptiness that until now had been concerned with the pain.
“Beautiful, Legolas, you truly are mine at this moment. I am pleased with you.” The words came at the right time, and how could he not understand them? He felt something at the statement that was pleasurable, and he was at peace. He tried to remember what he was supposed to say in answer, but then Sauron kissed him, and his tongue was inside Legolas’ mouth. He remembered then – he wanted to say ‘thank you’ – but it didn’t really matter. Legolas responded to the kiss exactly as his Master desired, and he had no secrets.
Maglor watched as Sauron kissed Legolas deeply, right in front of his eyes, and he hoped for Legolas’ sake he wouldn’t be attempting to escape again, but he knew from his own experience no one gave up that easily…
He shook his head to shake off the memories that threatened. At least he knew now why Sauron had bid him to carry out the torture. It had been too easy, and Maglor felt a shadow of guilt when he remembered how hurting Legolas had made him feel. But then, it hadn’t been anything life threatening; Maglor was well aware of the effect the dark lord’s voice could have when you were blindfolded. Every cry for mercy from the young Prince had just made Maglor feel colder towards him, simply because he was innocent, and because he didn’t deserve it. While he was carrying out Sauron’s orders, listening to the young one’s screams, Maglor had once more felt alone, and it made him angry. He wanted Legolas to suffer like he did for one moment, but he never would. Yes, it had been easy… it had been pleasurable.
Now Sauron was looking at him knowingly, and Maglor had to fight the urge to smile. He didn’t know where it came from. In some twisted way he relished the realisation that Sauron did indeed know how much he had enjoyed playing his part. He liked the cruelty of it.
They looked beautiful together, and Sauron smiled inwardly. Oh, it had been worth allowing Legolas to wake up! Perhaps that was what had been going wrong all this time. He hadn’t allowed any of the others to become aware of what they were being used for, fearing that they would fade despite his magic. Now, it was all working so perfectly at last, and it pleased him, made him forget for a while the never-ending search for the ring, for the one thing that would end all Middle-Earth’s resistance to his power. This time it was going to work. This time he was sure. There would be no havens in the west.
He examined Legolas, and found everything to be just as he expected and wanted – his child was still doing well, he didn’t care much about the other but that was fine too. The Prince was looking at him, just waiting for him to demand something; a good state of existence, but it wouldn’t last, Sauron reflected with regret, brushing the back of one hand down the side of Legolas’ face.
“Take care of him, and yourself,” he said quietly, giving the same command as before, and he looked at Maglor to make certain he was understood. Maglor looked back at him and then bowed his head.
“Yes, Hîr nín.” Sauron narrowed his eyes. So, the guilt was back. He wasn’t entirely surprised, only mildly disappointed. It had been close. Still, there was time. There was always time, and Sauron knew now that Legolas’ being here was no bad thing. He smirked. Well, not bad for some. He waited until Maglor looked up again.
“Thank you, Herdir.” Sauron nodded, and gave Legolas over to Maglor, dismissing them both with a wave of his hand.
Hîr nín – my lord
Herdir – master
bainon nín – my beautiful one
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.