Mael-Gûl: 16. A Near Escape

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16. A Near Escape

Authors note:
Completely A.U. Legolas slave fic. This story was inspired by Bluegolds story "Bound", which can be found here: http://daemel.freespaces.com/authors.html#blue
I use similar plot ideas here with her permission.
Betareader: Many thanks to Surreysmum, who polished this and made it so much better! She also saved me from some serious embarrassment.
All still remaining errors are my own.
Warnings: Slash. M/m, BDSM, d/s, torture, toys, non-con and debatable consent. Very graphic descriptions. Special warnings for this chapter: Implied torture (of the night before).
Please heed the warnings!

Disclaimer: Universe and characters are not mine, but Tolkien's. The idea of the spell, however, belongs to me.

For all other disclaimers and authors notes see Story Intro.


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XIV. A Near Escape


Legolas was already close to the front doors when he was caught. He could already see Gandalf waiting outside with a pony – obviously the same Aragorn had told him about, the one that his master and the Hobbits had brought from Bree – when suddenly two strong and heavily armed Noldor guards blocked his path. Turning, he saw two more coming up behind him, plus a more finely clad warrior he recognized as one of Glorfindel's officers. He cast a quick look to the doors and the steps beyond. If he could just make it to the steps, or maybe yell...

But he could not risk struggling, for it would only serve to give Lord Elrond's guards an excuse to slaughter him were he stood. And if he risked alerting Imladris' non-Elven guests to the enslavement of his own people, he would be punished even more. As would be his fellow hostages and his home. Erestor's warning the day before had been clear enough.

He could not risk that.

So he subsided and stilled his steps. He cast a last, longing look to Gandalf, willing him to turn, to look up and into the house, but the Istar didn't. Legolas swallowed and resigned himself to his fate. He had been so close... yet the courtyard could as well be on the other side of the great sea right now. He turned to the approaching officer and bowed demurely.

"My Lord Narthalion(1)?" he asked, as if he were not encircled by four Noldor warriors. "How can I be of service?"

The officer sneered at him. "Your presence is demanded in Lord Elrond's study, slave," he snapped. His guards came close and grabbed for Legolas as if he could try to flee any moment. Legolas avoided their hands neatly with a step forward and a little turn, and bowed again. "As you wish, My Lord," he said, "I will go there immediately."

His maneuver was only half successful, however. The four guards did not seize him to drag him off, yet they did not relent their position around him either. The officer looked at him with disdain. "You will follow us!" he snapped and took off, his four guards and Legolas trailing along. They kept the slave carefully between them. Legolas swallowed, but made no move to fight. He knew that any resistance on his side would simply make matters worse. It would give Elrond all the excuse he needed and was just what the lord of Imladris hoped for.

When they entered the study, Elrond was already there. Erestor stood beside him, and on the other side of the room were Elladan and Elrohir. But Glorfindel was absent , and so was Aragorn. The very two people he could trust in to protect him were nowhere to be seen. He was alone.

Elrond looked at him with dark pleasure and a strange expression of both disappointment and hunger in his eyes. Beside him, on the desk of the big study, sat the hideous pleasure staff Aragorn had used on Legolas last night, cleansed and ready to be used again, and beside it was a cruel whip with nine lashes, each set with several knots to aggravate the inflicted damage.

Legolas swallowed hard. The impulse to fight, or flee, was nearly overwhelming; but he saw the four guards taking posts in front of the doors and windows and knew that either attempt would be useless. Hatred and fear coiled in his stomach like a hard, hurting fist. Nevertheless he forced himself to bow respectfully. "My Lord Elrond," he said demurely, "you wished to see me?"

Elrond's eyes narrowed at the address. After all, Legolas had spoken without leave. However, since he had himself ordered the Mirkwood Elf to be brought before him, he could hardly claim offense now because the slave presented himself. So he simply glared at the Elf before him and motioned his guards to close the doors. Then he turned back to the slave.

"Silence, Mirkwood spawn!" he bellowed. "You will speak only when ordered!" He saw with satisfaction that his victim paled and addressed him harshly: "I hear your master has punished you last night for your insolent behavior. Yet I distrust my foster-son's severity in this matter. He treats you far too gently as a rule. This time I will make sure that you do not get away too lightly with the insult you offered me!"

Legolas swallowed again. He thought he would choke at the fear and rage that built within him, and he wanted to scream. Treated too lightly?! Yet Elrond had forbidden him to make a noise, and so he dared not utter one.

Elrond watched him closely and noticed with pleasure his mounting fear. With a harsh bark the lord of Imladris ordered him: "Undress!"

Legolas looked up, paling, and opened his mouth, still hesitant to speak. Elrond smirked and reached for the whip on the table. Maliciously he sneered: "I gave you an order, slave! Have you fallen deaf, or do my guards need to help you follow it?"

Legolas knew that he was doomed; he had to speak up, yet to do so would mean to be punished again. Still he swallowed one more time and dared to say: "My Lord..."

He waited for the lash to fall, yet to his surprise one of the twins spoke up in defense of him.

"Ada, you know as well as we that Legolas is not allowed to present himself naked or to offer his services to anyone while Estel is in Imladris, except with his master's explicit permission! And Aragorn has not ordered him to."

Elrond, thwarted by his interference, scowled. "Well, little Mirkwood Elf, your master will just have to bear your disobedience this time! I wish to check on you and appreciate your penance, since he decided to keep the punishment he gave you private. And I deem as the offended party it is my right to see what he has done to you!"

Elladan sighed and shrugged. "Do it, then, Woodelf Pet," he said. "Estel will have expected this. He won't be offended."

Legolas trembled with fear, shame and rage. Yet he knew he had no choice. And Elladan was right; Estel had expected that Elrond would demand to see the marks of the previous nights punishment on his body. Wordlessly he bowed again and began to discard his pack and weapons, slipped out of the harness and finally out of his tunic. He placed his gear and clothes neatly on the floor, then stood with slightly spread arms and legs before the ruler of Imladris.

Elrond regarded him with narrowed eyes. "The leggings too!" he ordered coldly.

Legolas flinched. He swallowed and blushed deeply. Yet there was no further interference from the twins, and he knew he could not fend this off. So he hesitantly opened his belt and let the leggings slip to the ground, then discarded his loincloth, and stood in shamed nakedness before the Peredhil(2) and the assembled Noldor.

Elrohir gave an impressed whistle, and Elladan cocked his head, while Erestor devoured the trembling slave with a hungry look. Elrond walked around the naked Elf to study his bruised back and the faint marks of the needles on his sides, then he raised a brow, reluctantly impressed at the marks on the slave's body.

It was Elrohir who spoke first. "Well, father," he said, "it seems that Estel has been quite thorough. I think you need not complain about his gentleness toward his pet this time!"

Elrond glared at him and scowled. He did not like to be thwarted of his prey, and he liked even less to be thwarted by his own sons. Determinedly, he stepped closer to inspect the angry red welts on the slave's back and stroked over them experimentally. He let his hand drop to the blue-red buttocks and squeezed. Legolas flinched again and trembled harder in suppressed pain and the nearly overwhelming urge to strike out and kill, or flee. Inwardly he screamed for Estel, or for Glorfindel, for anyone to come and stop this. But Estel was not there. His master had abandoned him to face this trial alone.

He closed his eyes and willed Estel to come. He had promised! He had promised it only this morning!

But of course, nothing happened. And to be fair, Aragorn could not have expected this, could he? Or at least he would have expected Glorfindel to shadow Elrond long enough this morning to protect Legolas in his absence.

Yet Glorfindel was not here either.

Beside him, Elrond narrowed his eyes. He scowled and stepped back.

"I see your master was more thorough than I thought. Still he is far too gentle! Healing salve!? You don't deserve this! That way he will have these marks heal far too quickly! They should last you at least for the whole of next week, not just for a few days!"

Menacingly, he took a few steps back and signaled the slave to move to the desk.

"I knew I would have to take care of things myself," he said with dark triumph. "Lean forward, hands flat on this desk! I will make sure that you don't heal too soon but learn the costs of insulting one of your betters, once and for all!"

Two identical voices behind him protested: "But Ada!...." yet they did not speak further when Elrond swung around to glare at them.

"Do not interfere!" he bellowed. "This matter is mine! Narthalion, come to help this slave fulfill his orders!"

The Noldor officer came forward to follow the command. Legolas trembled. He was poised to fight, to scream, to do anything but just endure another whipping. He knew he could not bear this and hope to walk out of this room under his own power, much less partake in the Quest; he knew this had been Elrond's plan all along. He knew he would die here and Elrond would claim Silivren, since Legolas could not fulfill his duty to the fellowship for which Mirkwood's punishment had been postponed. Yet to attack would mean certain death to himself and to the other hostages, and enslavement to Silivren, anyway. And his weapons lay beside him on the floor, and his legs were still hobbled by his leggings around his ankles.

Shaking with fear and rage, he scrambled forward and leaned himself on the table as he had been ordered. Narthalion stood back, a bit disappointed. Elrond placed himself at the slave's side and raised the whip. He smiled maliciously.

"Now, Mirkwood spawn, count!" he said with a sneer, "I will greatly enjoy this!"

Legolas tensed and closed his eyes. He would not give his tormentor the pleasure of his screams, or of his tears. He would not. Shaking, he braced himself for the blow --

-- that did not come. Instead, the door was torn open and a fierce, fell voice cut through the room: "Daro!"

Elrond froze against his will and whirled around. The voice continued: "What is this? My Lord Elrond, stop this immediately!This slave does not belong to you but to his master, and he has already been punished as you can well see! If you are dissatisfied with his punishment, My Lord, you should take this up with his master! Besides, he has a quest to fulfill! Shall I fetch Estel for you?!"

Legolas nearly slumped with the relief that flooded him and sighed with gratitude. He could not see the door from where he stood, yet recognized the voice.

Glorfindel had arrived at last to rescue him.

It took Elrond but a moment to regather his wits. He let the whip sink down to his side again but did not set it away. Icily he said:

"My Lord Glorfindel! This matter is between me and this slave. It does not concern you! I suggest you stay out of this and see to the preparations I believe I charged you with this morning!

Glorfindel didn't miss a beat.

"That is what I am doing here, My Lord!" he said firmly. "Legolas is part of the fellowship of the Ring now, and he belongs to Aragorn. For the Quest to start today, he needs to be able to walk. If you unleash your wrath on him now, after he has already been punished thoroughly by his master, you would unavoidably delay the timely departure of the fellowship for the Quest. And you charged me to see to it that all is ready so they can depart in time!"

Legolas took a deep breath and closed his eyes. 'Thank you, My Lord!' he thought. He could only hope Glorfindel would be successful.

Elrond scowled at his Seneschal.

"My commands hardly include your interference into my decisions, much less in such a matter as punishing a slave, Glorfindel!" he said sharply. "The discipline of this house – and of all the Mirkwood hostages – is my concern, after all, and since his master treated him too lightly..."

Glorfindel gave the back of the trembling, nearly naked Mirkwood Elf a pointed once-over, disgust and pity mingling in his eyes. "How so, My Lord? I cannot see that he was handled gently. I'd say his master has been more than thorough!" he said.

Elrond sneered. "He was too gentle! He treated his injuries, used healing salve..."

Glorfindel narrowed his eyes. "And well he should! Legolas has a long day's travel to manage today. He needs to be capable of walking! I'd say Aragorn would perhaps have done better if he'd stopped much sooner!"

Elrond's mouth thinned and his eyes narrowed. Derisively he said: "You would! You were always a bit too soft in the matter of this specific business, Glorfindel, as great a warrior as you are! However, if the Mirkwood spawn is not capable of walking after I am done, the Fellowship need not delay. We will simply send another Elf! Whatever Aragorn may claim, it is not his decision who shall walk for the Elves on this Quest! It is mine!"

He raised the whip again. Harshly he snarled: "Stay back, Glorfindel!"

Legolas' eyes flew open, and he swallowed hard, ruthlessly suppressing his tears. It cost all of his discipline not to attack; only the thought that if he did even Glorfindel would turn against him, and he never could be fast enough to get Elrond before he was killed himself, stopped him from the attempt. Inwardly, he screamed with despair and with rage. So much for Estel's promises! Where was he now to see to their fulfillment? Trembling with rage and with despair he waited for the blows that would seal his fate and kill him.

But the blows never came. Glorfindel moved smoothly and swiftly between the shivering slave and the Lord of Imladris.

"No!" he shouted. "I can not allow this!" Swiftly and fiercely he added: "My Lord, you promised! You promised Gandalf that you would postpone Mirkwood's punishment and instead let Legolas partake in this Quest! I have never known you as one to break your word or seek a way around it! Would you go as far as dishonoring yourself now just to kill a slave!?"

Elrond hesitated, taking a step back. His face turned white. He was about to snarl something again, then stopped himself.

Glorfindel pressed his advantage. "Please, My Lord! Think! Do not do this! This is not honorable! Do not let your wrath drive you to break your word against your better judgment! Let it go!"

Elrond continued to glare at him for a few moments, but he knew that he had lost. He had known Glorfindel for far too long to dismiss his words easily and he knew the Balrog Slayer would not move. If he wished to carry out his plan and whip the hated slave he would need to have his Seneschal ordered to be removed from the room by his own guards and to be kept restrained; and that would lose him Glorfindel's services, even more so since the Gondolin Elf thought Elrond's very honor at stake because of this. Glorfindel would not continue to serve him if he thought his Liege Lord had dishonored himself, and Elrond could hardly afford to lose his service now at the very eve of war.

Finally he took a deep breath, calmed himself with some effort and set the whip aside. Angrily he barked: "Fine! You may have your way in this! For this one time, the Mirkwood spawn may get off more easily than he deserves!"

He stepped away from the desk and around Glorfindel and turned back to the slave. "You, Mirkwood slave! Dress yourself and get down to the courtyard! You are lucky today! But this is far from over! And you had better see to it that you do not insult me another time!"

Legolas did not dare to speak a word. He merely forced himself to turn around, bowed, and began clumsily to redo his clothes, first the loincloth, then the leggings and his belt. He had trouble getting up again as he half knelt to angle for his leggings, and he still shook violently, but somehow he managed to dress himself again at least up to his waist.

Elrond gave him a last, disgusted look, then he turned back to Glorfindel.

"Better see to it that he finds his way down to the courtyard without further delay," he growled, then he nodded curtly, motioned his Steward and his guards to accompany him, and left the room.

The twins, however, hesitated a moment and stayed behind, waiting until the others were gone.

Glorfindel glared at them, his expression warning against any further attempts at humiliation of his charge.
Elladan actually took a step back; Elrohir merely raised a brow.

Finally, Elladan offered: „Well done, Glorfindel! Estel will be pleased!"
Elrohir added, speaking towards Legolas: "See, Little Pet? We can be nice, too! It was us who send Lindir to fetch him!"

He smiled. "Maybe, when the two of you return, you can think of a way to thank us."

Glorfindel's glare became fierce, and he took a protective step forward. "That's enough, Elrohir!" he warned. "I suggest you'd better go and see to your chores!"

The younger twin took a step back. Elladan rose his hands. "Peace, Glorfindel!" he said. "We just wanted him to know that we do not wish him killed, either!"

He turned to Legolas.

"Have a good journey, Woodelf-Pet. And do not worry about father's threats. If you are successful, he can hardly carry them out. You'll see! All will be well!"

With that, he gave Legolas and Glorfindel a nod and left the room. Elrohir followed him.

Legolas let out the breath he'd held. Wordlessly, he turned around and supported himself by leaning on the table with his hands,since his knees threatened to give out under him. He swallowed a sob.

In the next moment Glorfindel was at his side, lending him his support. Quietly, the golden headed Noldor offered:"Lean on me for a moment. Take a deep breath!"

Gratefully, Legolas obeyed,and Glorfindel supported him while he regained his strength. After a few moments he asked: "Do you think you can stand?"

Careful, leaning on the Noldor Lord, Legolas straightened himself up. When he found that his legs agreed to carry him again, he let go of Glorfindel's helping arm and turned to his rescuer.

"Thank you, My Lord," he finally said, still a bit shaken. "I think I can manage."

Glorfindel studied him with dismay and concern.

"I see Estel was very harsh with you last night," he said. "I wished he had paid more heed to your need to travel today!"

Legolas swallowed back the tears that threatened to escape. He bowed his head. Bitterly he said:
"I am still capable of walking, My Lord. And as it is, had my master been less hard on me, Lord Elrond might not have been dissuaded."

He looked up and met Glorfindel's eyes. "I have to thank you again, My Lord! You saved my life!"

Glorfindel's gaze was troubled.

"Think nothing of it, Greenleaf! I wish I could have been here sooner!" he said.

He shook his head.

"Aragorn would have done better to do less last night and instead stay with you today until he had delivered you safely to Gandalf. What was he thinking? If Lindir had not come to me in time... that was far too close!"

He shook his head again and swallowed his anger.

"Forgive me! It is not your place to answer for the decisions of your master! But if time permits, I think I will have words with him about this!"

Then he studied the shaking, half-naked Elf before him more closely. His concern grew. "Are you sure you can walk?" he asked. "Shall I take you to the Healing Wing, to apply more of the salve?"

Legolas shuddered at the thought of spending any more time than absolutely necessary under the roof of Imladris. He shook his head again.

"I am fine, My Lord," he lied bravely. "I can manage. I just need to redo my clothes again..."

Glorfindel studied him another moment, then he relented and simply gave the Mirkwood Elf a nod. "As you wish, Greenleaf," he said. "And you are probably right; the sooner we get you safely into the presence of Gandalf, the better."

He bowed down and picked the discarded shirt and tunic off the floor. "Here, let me help you..."

He handed him the shirt and helped him put it on, then proceeded to hand him the tunic and his weapons. Legolas was grateful for the help. Getting into his clothes again hurt, since his bruised flesh protested any touch and his body hurt at every movement, and he was still badly shaken by the near escape. But the matter-of-fact manner in which the Noldor assisted him and his quiet respect helped a lot.

Finally he was done and closed his eyes for a moment, fighting to regain his calm again and get accustomed anew to his hurting back.

A warm hand settled on his shoulder and steadied him. He looked up again and met the concerned eyes of the Noldor Lord.

"I'm sorry about this, Greenleaf," Glorfindel said. "You know, I think both Aragorn and Elrond are not entirely acting like themselves right now. They may be influenced by the Ring. It seems to prey on them, on Elrond's rage, Aragorn's need for harshness...." He wrinkled his brows. "Be on your guard, Greenleaf! It will continue to try to sow discord. Remember what I told you yesterday."

Troubled and concerned he added: "The sooner this thing leaves Rivendell, the better!"

Legolas said nothing. It was a comforting thought that Aragorn might not entirely have been himself last night, that it was not really Estel who had hurt him like this, and then left him alone to face Lord Elrond. He truly wished to believe it. Still... he wasn't sure. There had been a darker, more cruel, scary side to Aragorn he had not seen this clearly ever before, and yet... there was a bitter voice inside his head suspecting that he had simply been pretty blind to avoid seeing it. And more, he could not help the growing numbness in himself, the feeling that it didn't really matter, that he didn't care.

Yet he could not say that to Glorfindel of Gondolin, who respected him for his very willingness to endure his fate and suffer it nobly to protect his people.

Nor could he tell the Seneschal of Imladris what he truly thought of Elrond.

Finally he said very carefully and politely:

"I am in no position to keep guard against the influence of the Ring on others, My Lord Glorfindel, or against its possible attempts to sway my master. I am bound to obey my master and to serve his wishes. And the Ring will be traveling with us."

Glorfindel looked troubled.

"True," he admitted. "But once you are on the Quest, Aragorn can't treat you too harshly again while in the company of others. You will be safe at least from the worst. And once this Quest is over, if you succeed, the Shadow will hold no longer sway over him, or at all. And Estel truly cares about you."

Quietly he added: "Just remember what I told you yesterday. You will need not only to guard Estel's back, and your own, on this Quest, but also both your hearts. The Ring will tempt you both. Pay it no heed, Greenleaf! It will not hold whatever it promises you. The Shadow never does!"

Legolas took a deep breath and bowed respectfully to the Balrog-Slayer. "I will do whatever I can, My Lord," he said, although it tasted like ashes in his mouth. "I do not plan to give myself over to the Ring's promises. Nor, if I can help it, my master."

It seemed to be enough. Glorfindel studied him another moment, then he nodded.

"I trust in you, Greenleaf," he said. Then he smiled.

"Now come! Follow me into the courtyard. Once you are with Gandalf, Elrond cannot touch you again!"

Legolas did what he was told.


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--TBC --


Notes:

(1) Narthalion – Sindarin: „Fiery dauntless one" (OC name).

(2) Peredhil – Sindarin: Half-Elves (plural of Peredhel, Half-Elf). Elrond and his sons are Half Elven by heritage since they have human blood. In addition, they are also half Sindar and half Noldor.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Crowdaughter

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 05/11/11

Original Post: 12/23/06

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