Then I remembered that, although there was no door onto the inner courtyard from Maitimo's bedroom, the windows were open and every sound magnified, ricocheting against the walls. The voices no doubt came from the kitchen on the far side of the courtyard. The clatter of flatware and plates indicated that we were not the only ones who had slept late. Maitimo, his body spooned against mine, nestled closer without waking, tightening his arm about my waist. Another wave of sated happiness, beyond my most extravagant imaginings, encompassed me; I was truly here in Maitimo's bed, in his arms, with the scent of him in my nostrils and his silent, featherlike breath upon my back.
"Fëanaro, stop." The soft voice of my aunt, in a half-hearted imitation of scolding, reverberated from outside the house. Her words had not echoed from the kitchen but clearly originated much closer to our window.
"Why?" asked my uncle, sounding younger to me at that moment than my own Maitimo and determined in his seductiveness. "Curvo is happy with Macalaure and Tyelkormo now. I will get nothing done today but unpacking anyway, cannot we take advantage of a few moments of peace? Even Nelyo is still sleeping."
"With Findekáno!" Nerdanel said, her voice dropping to an urgent, anxious whisper.
"Perhaps," my uncle answered, neutral and noncommittal, lowering his voice as well.
"Perhaps?" she asked. There was undeniably an element of near-panic in her tone. "They left the reception last night together before it had begun, barely having spoken to anyone. Your father asked about them. Findekáno did not even greet him or his grandmother. We arrive home and Maitimo's door is shut and…"
My uncle interrupted her. "Youth have their own intrigues and dramas to deal with, even ones so tightly constrained by the concerns of the court as those two. Have you grown so old that you cannot remember slipping out of such events?"
"Only when you dragged me away," Nerdanel said, sounding almost mollified.
"Humpf. If such functions bore me into insensibility, how much worse they must be for Findekáno and Nelyo?" My uncle released a rattling sigh.
"I heard them last night, Fëanaro."
I tensed and shifted a little. "Shhh…" Maitimo said. He nipped at my earlobe, planted a wet kiss beneath it and slowly ran his tongue down the curve of my neck onto my shoulder, whispering, "Salty but so very sweet."
Fëanaro spoke again. "Your self-righteousness is unbecoming. They were considerately and intentionally quiet, something you and I do not always manage."
Maitimo gripped me closer to him yet again, deliberately brushing his erection against my buttocks, causing me to gasp. "Shhh…" he said again. He lowered his hand from my waist to take hold of my stiffening member. A crackle of leaves on the ground indicated Fëanaro and Nerdanel had moved a few steps farther away from our window.
"Do not be wicked," Nerdanel whispered. "You know I love Findekáno, but I would have wished an easier life for my son--for both of them. Do not be smug and self-satisfied either that this involvement will greatly disturb Nolofinwë when he finds out."
"If he finds out. Your son? Can you not realize I love our eldest beyond all reason? Or do you presume we could separate them even if we wished to? Surely you are not surprised? You yourself have noted their attachment and attraction to one another repeatedly in the past," Fëanaro answered, his voice still a resolute whisper, but completely audible in our room nonetheless. They began to walk again, the sound of their footsteps indicating that they moved in the direction of the outside door into their own room. Then we heard the door to their room open and close.
I drew a measure of comfort from my Uncle's expression "If he finds out." My family's reaction to a relationship between Maitimo and me was unlikely to be sanguine. Conceivably it could be possible to delay, if not to avoid entirely, confronting their almost certain opposition. Yet, my consideration of this problem was not a new one. I had long ago decided that if I ever won his love, I would endure whatever difficulties pursuing it might bring.
"Relax. They are gone now. The discussion we overheard cannot, by their standards, even be classified as an argument. And, I have never said this to anyone other than you, Káno, but I am heartily weary of, worn out by Amil and Atar's endless circular discussions," Maitimo said, blowing softly against my ear while languorously moving his hardened member against the cleft of my backside. "What of this? Do you like this? I have been thinking about something that we have not tried. Can you guess of what I am thinking?"
"Ai, Maitimo, you surprise me," I said, rolling over to look into his beautiful face, not knowing what I might find there. His expressive grey eyes glittered with an impenetrable emotion for a fleeting moment before it passed away, leaving naught but passion and a renewed absorption in me, the most fortunate elf in Aman. I wanted desperately to comfort and reassure him, but inadequately said, "The entire household is awake now."
"You surprise me. You--so bold, wild, and tireless last night--are now shy and inhibited in the morning." His mention of the previous night, the memory of his lingering kisses, that took me apart and remade me with their sincerity and flair, incited me even beyond his touches. Neither he nor I knew anything of the love between two men, but Maitimo knew how to kiss. His range was extraordinary--from sweet and tenderly worshiping to burning, demanding. He was absolutely decadent in the level of skill he manifested. Once again, I had entrusted myself to him as an earnest pupil to his teacher. Nonetheless, he had responded lavishly to my enthusiastic, if novice, efforts to please him, which gave me the confidence to be inventive in my own right.
And, what could be easier than worshiping his hroa, inhabited by his clear, bright fëa: his silken skin over a marvelously sculpted chest and shoulders, his arched cheekbones, the elegant line of his neck, his long legs so beautifully muscled. Every part of him, every tiny scar, every indentation and fold of skin was finally mine to touch, lick, bite, and kiss. And far from the least of all these things were his unique scent, his sweet, low, unconstrained moans and the sight of him biting his lower lip when I brought him to a climax.
"I am neither shy nor inhibited," I said. We were both fully aroused and pressed against one another. "The proximity of your parents to our window distracted me. I am interested in anything you have not experienced that you would like to try. There is nothing I would not do with you, my love, but it is rather active around your house right now," I added, doubtful.
"I want to enter your body, or for you to take me, or both," he said. "However you would prefer it. There can never be a formal bonding ceremony for us, no vows voiced in public, so what is to prevent us from sealing the promises we have made to one another now?"
The exquisite longing clear in his incomparable face, the vulnerability of his perfect lips, and the sadness of his eyes nearly broke my heart. My desire and love for him could arguably be equaled by his, though I was certain never to be surpassed. Yet his raw need devastated me. What could bring my perfectly loveable Maitimo to such a state of craving for reassurance, that he should make this sudden demand amid the chaos of this crowded, tumultuous house on an ordinary morning?
Someone rattled nosily on the doorknob and then thumped on the door, apparently using their foot instead of their hand. "Open up," Macalaurë said. "Let me in. It's important." Despite an attempt to sound stern, officious even, Macalaurë's voice, intentionally brusque, contained affection and warmth.
"Go away, Macalaurë," Maitimo called out, bending over me to claim another kiss, the brevity of which indicated to me that he did intend to open the door to his brother.
"No. Nelyo, let me in." That time the pure tones of Macalaurë's celebrated voice were clearly shaded with humor.
"Ai, one moment," Maitimo said, looking into to my eyes. I owed him an answer to his earlier fate-altering request. But, in truth, I needed no time to think; denial was impossible. I grabbed his hand as he rose from the bed to go to the door.
"Tonight, Maitimo," I said. His silver-grey eyes blazed with an incandescent joy beyond any I had seen there.
"Yes, Findekáno," he said. His lips met mine harder than I expected. "I will try to be worthy of you."
"Maitimo," I said. "You are everything to me. I promise to make you happy now and forever."
"Nelyo! I am holding something heavy," Macalaurë shouted. Maitimo bounded from the bed, stopping short to grab a rumpled tunic tangled in the sheets, which he wrapped haphazardly around his waist. He unlatched, opened the door, and Macalaurë struggled past with a heavy tray laden with mugs and a tea pot.
"Tea!" He grinned. "I wanted to be the first."
"The first for what, little brother?" Maitimo asked, kissing him lightly on the mouth and ruffling Macalaurë's fine, dark, flyaway hair that had almost entirely slipped out of its haphazard braids. Maitimo gestured in the direction of the empty desk in front of the window. I thought he would have taken the tray from Macalaurë, but did not wish to expose, if my condition was any indicator of his, a still partial tumescence.
"To see your face, to wish you well. Tyelkormo and Carnistir have been pacing in the kitchen, waiting for you. They suggested I come up and have a look. Tyelkormo started worrying that Káno wasn't here at all and that we were impatient over nothing." Macalaurë turned to me and smiled. "Although Carnistir insisted, of course, that you were. Good morning, Findekáno. You both look rested. So, what do you have to say for yourselves? Tea?"
"Thank you, Macalaurë. I would like tea," I said. "Everyone knows we are here? Together?"
Macalaurë smiled his warmest smile, poured and handed me a cup of tea. Maitimo slid back into the bed next to me, pulling the sheet up to his waist. His brother gave him a cup as well.
"Everyone, except little Curvo," Macalaurë answered. "Scoot over, Nelyo. Let me sit down to drink as well."
"You cannot use the chair at my desk?" Maitimo asked, grinning.
"I could, but I don't want to. Remember what I told you when I was little? That I would still share your bed with you, even when it held you and your true love? That you could sleep in the middle with one of us on each side?" Macalaurë asked, planting a noisy kiss on his brother's cheek.
"Oh, I remember your words well enough, but I also recall that you were not so little. Nearly forty and not much smaller than you are now. I was fool enough at the time to presume that you were joking. But Vingarië will be back from Alqualondë later today and I suspect she will have other ideas for you."
"I surely hope she will. Why did Atar make you such a wonderful headboard for your bed, Nelyo?" Macalaurë leaned back, flopping his bare feet up onto the bed, pushing Maitimo closer toward the middle.
"Same reason he built a fountain outside the window of your room when he noted that the sound of water inspired you to compose. He noticed that I liked to read in bed at night. He has always wanted us to be the best that we could be," Maitimo said, sighing torturously.
"I am sorry, Nelyo. I did not mean to upset you. He did not say a single unkind word about you all summer. It was, in fact, an unusually peaceful summer," Macalaurë said. "Why even Vingarië was reluctant to leave Formenos for Alqualondë this year. And you know how she usually complains that after a few days she needs a break from the constant bickering and uproar."
"Perhaps it was calm because I was not there."
I said, "He told me that he missed you sorely and that all he wants is for you to be happy."
"Káno, you know him well enough. He wants me to be happy as long as I am doing exactly whatever it is that he wants me to do," Maitimo answered.
"Well, I suppose I was relieved to discover that he knew I was here and chose not to make an issue of that."
"I am sure he has his reasons," Macalaurë added. "Just be happy that they coincide with your desires. I am happy for you and Vingarië will be too. You know, we have spoken of the two of you many times. Of how we hoped you could be happy. But we thought that you probably already… Well, until I spoke of it last night to Nelyo and he looked so surprised, I assumed that you had… I am sorry. It is crude for me to ask?"
"Last night was the first time we were lovers. I feared Káno was too young or that he did not love me in the same way," Maitimo said. His face turned red all the way down his neck and up to the tips of his ears.
"But I have loved Maitimo since that first summer I went to Formenos, long before I had any idea what loving someone like this meant. In the last few years, I have wanted him until I thought I could no longer bear the yearning and frustration," I said. Maitimo leaned over, pulled me to him, kissed me fully, opening my lips with his own and moving his tongue against mine and the roof of my mouth, until he finally elicited a moan from me. Only then did he release me. I felt my cheeks grow warm with embarrassment with Macalaurë grinning at us from the other side of the bed.
"You are both crazy," I said.
"Ai, Káno, you have no secrets now. I could tell Macalaurë things about your craziness that would curl his stick-straight hair," Maitimo said looking at me with the most appealing smile and stroking my overheated cheek. Looking at his brother, he continued, "Those who speak of the madness and the strangeness of the Fëanorians clearly know nothing of our dearest, seemingly innocent, Findekáno."
Macalaurë responded, "You look complete together--somehow right and natural. I am writing a piece of music for the two of you. Hurry and drink the rest of your tea. We have to go downstairs. Poor Tyelkormo is still waiting for us. Káno, may I use the melody you and I worked on over the summer as the basis of your refrain? I have another idea in my head for Nelyo."
Maitimo and I broke out in laughter at Macalaurë's mania. It moved me genuinely to think that it stemmed from his happiness that his adored older brother had found a love that Macalaurë hoped would match the one he shared with his wife.
When we came into the kitchen we found Tyelkormo lounging at the table, apparently doing nothing at all. Little Curvo toddled toward Maitimo and then looked over to me. He raised his chubby arms to be lifted, while glancing back and forth, as though uncertain which he preferred. "Káno, will you pick me up?" he asked. Then, "No. Nelyo?" Maitimo was his favorite, but he had grown particularly fond of me over the summer. Finally, he threw himself against Maitimo's legs with an exultant "Yes. Nelyo!"
Maitimo hoisted him into his arms. Curvo snuggled his head, its black hair sleek, shiny and so like that of his father, against his brother's chest. Suddenly Curvo sniffed, reared back, poked his finger at Maitimo's chest, and said, "Káno." He then leaned over toward me, wrinkling up his nose, and said "Nelyo," in a voice filled with purposeful satisfaction.
Tyelkormo, raising his eyebrows and flashing a cheeky grin, said, "Nelyo, Káno, you should eat now so we can clean up the kitchen. Everyone woke up late today and has been eating in shifts. This food has been sitting here for nearly two hours already." The table still held fruit, bread, and cheese.
Macalaurë offered, "I will take the varmint and allow you to eat." Curvo clung tightly to Maitimo. "Very well then, Curvo. Suit yourself, stubborn one. You liked me enough when Nelyo was not around though, didn't you?"
"He is fine really. I have missed him too," Maitimo answered, kissing the toddler on the top of his head, before offering him an orange slice and then tossing it into his own mouth when Curvo shut his lips tightly and shook his head. "Where is Carnistir?"
"Here," Carnistir said, walking in through the doorway. He solemnly hugged us both. "I wish you joy," he said, his dark eyes inscrutable.
Tyelkormo let out a yelp of laughter. "That is a Carnistir expression of effusive approval." Suddenly serious he said, "I wish you joy, as well."
That evening, after the Mingling of the Lights and a simple dinner, the entire family sat outside under the soft waxing light of Telperion and the barely visible stars.
"I shall miss the stars of Formenos. But am so happy to back here with you," I said, taking Maitimo's hand, while picturing the dark sky so distant from the light of the trees. Maitimo, whose habit of expressing affection physically was as natural to him as breathing, kissed me on the corner of my mouth. No one accustomed to this family would have noted this as unusual, but for me everything had shifted. Every touch, every kiss now reminded me of those that were wholly and distinctively mine.
While everyone else lay on the bare grass or light blankets, Macalaurë hauled a couple of large pillows from the house for Vingarië and himself to make it easier for them to play. Vingarië had promised to play a piece that she had recently presented at the music academy in Alqualondë that none of us had heard. For his part, Macalaurë was ever generous; he never questioned if his genius might be ill-spent in expending so much energy providing simple ease and relaxation for his family. I doubt that he even realized that he was particularly benevolent or how honored we considered ourselves to be and how greatly we appreciated his attention.
Among the sons of Fëanaro, even sitting next to Macalaurë, the slightest and least broadly built, Vingarië looked petite and fragilely Telerin. She brushed her hair—dark and streaked with silver—back from her face and mumbled something about us being a tougher audience than the academy. Everyone smiled at that, probably thinking as I did, that despite her outward show of modesty, Vingarië was sterner and more confident than her delicate appearance might indicate.
Vingarië's piece was difficult to play yet, although more innovative than some prefer, lovely and gentle on the ears. The Fëanorians, of course, had no qualms about acting as music critics and dissecting the opinions she had received in Alqualondë. The one they found the most amusing and baseless was a widely respected bard's view that it sounded Noldorin. The amateurs on the lawn that night ventured that this judgment stemmed more from the fact that she was known to be the wife of the famous Canafinwë Macalaurë Feanárion than anything intrinsic to her piece. Giving Macalaurë a teasing kiss, Vingarië noted that since her presentation had taken first place in the competition and that she was now recognized as one of the premier flautists in Aman, she minded less being compared to the greatest bard of an Age.
Meanwhile, in the course of this discussion, Curvo had gone from merely restive to outright truculent. He would not settle even onto his father's lap. He found a small twig and began breaking it into pieces and tossing them at anyone who spoke. Finally, it was Vingarië who grabbed his plump fists and held him helpless while he looked up opened-mouth and stunned into her gentle face.
"Enough of this nonsense, Curufinwë. If you will behave yourself, Macalaurë will play an air that he has written especially for you," Vingarië said.
Nudging his head beneath her chin, he turned contrite. "I will be good." Wide eyes lifted in hope. "Is it one that I can dance to?"
"Yes, little one, you may dance. But no more sticks. Do you promise?"
"I promise," Curvo said. Even Fëanaro, shaking his head and chuckling, appeared impressed with Vingarië's negotiating skills.
Macalaurë laughed. "I had intended to save it for his begetting day, but my wife is wiser, I think."
Macalaurë took up his harp and began a rollicking, tongue-in-cheek, haughty tune, which caused Curvo to prance about tossing his head and scowling in a parody of his father's impatient self-assurance that had us all laughing. The resemblance was not lost on Fëanaro who, although he was the last--save Maitimo--to respond, could not resist joining us. Macalaurë flawlessly wove in as a secondary theme a haunting, ancient lullaby brought from across the Sea. The intervals of the soothing melody lengthened and the raucous one diminished into a softer and subtler version of the original until Curvo voluntarily settled onto Fëanaro's lap. By the time Macalaurë ended quietly on a variation of the lullaby Curvo had fallen asleep.
"Well done," Fëanaro said, with a small, slightly dangerous smile.
Macalaurë said, "I was unsure whether you would like it or be furious."
"I think your Grandfather will appreciate it greatly," Fëanaro said. "How gently and with what humor you remind me that no man is a hero within his own home. Now how will you follow that?"
"I have another piece I have been thinking on that is not finished, but also is inspired by my family. This one is for Nelyo and Findekáno. The first movement, the Findekáno part, is based upon a melody that Káno and I composed together in Formenos. The Nelyo section is my own."
Maitimo pulled me closer to him and wrapped both arms around me. While Macalaurë re-tuned his harp, Vingarië added, "You should be flattered, Káno, he has never used anything of mine in one of his compositions."
"Do not be silly, love, yours are too characteristic of your personal style. Whereas Káno, who has no pretensions to being a composer, so diplomatically mimics me that he makes me want to adopt his as my own."
It is hard for me to describe how Macalaurë's piece sounded to me that night. At first, I distinguished the melody line which I had originally conceived. Then Macalaurë's wizardry took over. The manner in which he had arranged and enhanced the notes revealed all of the longing and hopes I had nurtured throughout those months. He captured, using my own simple tune, my desire and my love for Maitimo. I could hardly believe that I had seemed as young and wistful, yet determined, as he made me sound. When he began the segment he had written for Maitimo, a sense of recognition seized me. I knew that Macalaurë and Maitimo were closer than I had ever felt toward my brother. However, Macalaurë's genius painted a picture more clearly than any words could do of the Maitimo I knew. The music was rich and full, a mixture of bravado and insecurity, the particular contradictory blend of reserve, subtlety, and open-hearted artlessness that was so unforgettable to me. A brief interlude alternated the two themes nearly as a dialogue. When the two themes began to blend together, Macalaurë stopped abruptly.
"Well, that is as far as I have gotten. Do you like it up to this point?" Macalaurë asked.
"It is wonderful, little brother," Maitimo said, half-crawling across the grass to embrace Macalaurë.
Fëanáro passed the sleeping Curvo to Nerdanel and stood. He walked over to his two eldest sons and knelt, putting a hand each on the back of their heads, he first kissed Maitimo and then Macalaurë. "My magnificent sons" was all he said. Then he turned to me and held out his hand. When I took it, he pulled me into their embrace.
Carnistir said, "It looks to be a long piece, Macalaurë. I hope that you will finish it."
After Macalaurë played and sang a few more tunes that carried less emotional weight, everyone else finally left to go inside. Maitimo stretched out on the grass pulling me partially on top of him.
"That was exhausting," he said, playing with my hair, brushing it back away from my face. "Nothing can ever be simple with my family."
"But, Macalaurë's piece was extraordinary," I answered.
"I loved the part that you helped write."
"I barely recognized it after what Macalaurë did with it."
"I recognized you. My astonishing, infinitely loveable Káno."
"Do you remember what we spoke of earlier today?"
"Are you serious?" He laughed. "Do you truly think that I can have had thoughts of little else since then?"
"Do you want to go inside? Or do you wish to find some place where we can be alone a bit further from the house?" I asked.
"It sounds to me from the way you formulate that question that you have a precise idea of what you want," Maitimo answered. He flipped me onto to my back and kissed me with the sweetest of kisses, leisurely and thorough, ending by biting and sucking on my lower lip until I squirmed under him, groaning. "Did I hurt you?" he asked, touching my lip with his long, graceful fingers.
"Of course, you did not hurt me," I answered, taking his hand from my mouth and placing it where my growing erection strained against the front of my trousers. "This is what you did to me."
"Oh, Káno, I have discovered that it takes very little effort on my part to have that effect on you," he answered, with a devastating smile.
"Are you making light of my passion for you, Maitimo?"
"No. I would never think of doing that. That is something I would never take lightly. So, tell me where it is that you want to go, if you do not choose our bed or wish to be so near the house." Our bed, he had said.
"We can go to bed later. I want to make love under the tree."
"The willow tree, Maitimo. Have you forgotten the willow tree just across the lawn?"
"That tree over there?" he said pointing. "The one where we sat talking throughout the night until nearly the Mingling of the Lights, just about this time last year? Where I listened to your voice, looked at your exquisite face, and those blue, blue eyes under the light of Telperion, while entertaining seemingly unspeakable thoughts until I believed I might go mad? Is that the tree you speak of?"
"Ai, I had no idea. I wanted you so much that night. Why did you not tell me how you felt?"
"Because I wanted to wait for a night like tonight, I suppose. I wanted to see you as you are now, even more beautiful and just a little older. So that I could accept that you truly knew what you wanted. During all that time when I earnestly wished for you, I had no idea of what it would mean to have you, which is a good thing. Had I known, I could never have survived the waiting."
At that moment, standing up and walking to the willow tree seemed a waste of energy to me. I clutched at the laces on his trousers and untied them, pulling his aroused member free of them and bent over him immediately, kissing and laving, tugging strongly with my mouth, and swallowing him deeply until he grabbed me by both sides of my head.
"Stop, Káno, stop. Ai, wait. Let's go to your tree. Can you reach the other blanket?" he asked, grabbing one of two that had been left on the grass. He stood up and extended his hand to me. His erection glistened, wet from my mouth, in the silver light. I threw my arms around him, kissing him, unable to tolerate the lack of his touch.
"I still cannot believe you dare to call me crazy," he whispered.
Somehow Maitimo managed to move us from the front lawn to the willow tree. We spread a blanket upon the grass and, each watching the other, shed all of our clothing. Maitimo showed himself to be a master of seduction by simply standing there for a moment, aware that I could see him bathed in the light of Telperion, before he said, "I am all yours. How do you want me?"
"I want you to be inside me," I choked out, barely able to speak, as I reached, circling my hand firmly around him. I felt his moan as a warm pulse against my palm, while his eyes flickered shut. "Please, if you will," I whispered as an afterthought, gently stroking him and reaching up to kiss him.
Maitimo took me by the shoulders and returned my kiss. "I have never this done this before. I do know how it is done and that there are things one must do to prepare… But I have thought about this since the morning… Perhaps the first time... Just until we are sure how it is done properly…" he said. Maitimo the eloquent struggled to find the right words. I had been nervous, thinking of this all day, very nearly terrified, but determined. I felt myself beginning to get angry. I wrenched free of him and plopped down hard on the blanket. He sat down next to me.
I had worried if I would be able to relax enough take him into my body or if my fear would cause me to shut him out. Maitimo's organ looked large to me. Although in reality it was, perhaps, not appreciably larger than my own. But completely aside from the intimidating physical aspect of it, this was no small thing we contemplated. Even Maitimo, who shared his father's opinion that the Valar allowed us to assume many half-truths and superstitions to tie us to their will, believed that this act would bind two fëar together in such a way that not even death could separate them.
Throughout that day and evening, each time he had brushed against me, put his arm around my shoulders, or placed his hand on my knee, I had felt an acute response in my groin causing me to think on what we planned to do. Several times, when no one was around, Maitimo had squeezed or fondled my backside, while kissing me teasingly, and my knees had gone weak with anticipation. But now he was suggesting that I, who knew nothing, who had never made love with anyone before, would perform this act on him. What if I could not prepare him properly and I injured him? What if he was ready for me and, instead of entering him as he wished, I only spilled all over him as I had done the first time he had touched me?
"What?" he asked, his voice measured and patient. "You are angry with me now, my love?" He took hold of my chin and tried to turn my face around but I jerked away and would not look at him. "This was your idea. You asked me," I said. To me, my voice sounded as petulant as that of a spoiled child. I thought it no wonder he was not sure he wanted to do this with me.
He clutched my upper arms and forced me to face him. "You misunderstand me. I only meant to suggest that until we are sure of how to do this correctly, to be certain that I would not hurt you, that perhaps you should enter me and we would learn together. And then when I am sure…"
I interrupted him to snap at him, "Oh, that is an absolutely brilliant idea, Nelyafinwë. Worthy of your genius. So, you suggest that I be the one who take the chance of hurting you? You are the elder. You have some experience of making love, whereas I have none, and, as you are so fond of reminding me, while laughing I might add, I am the one who has no self-control…"
Maitimo stopped me with a kiss. Pulling me down into a reclining position, he continued to kiss me tenderly, running his fingers through my hair, brushing it back away from my face, and saying, "You are beautiful, angry or happy, so beautiful. Can it be possible that you still do not understand how much I desire you?"
"I'm sorry," I said, still sounding cross, but at least no longer hostile.
"Forgive me. If I ever laughed, it was only because you delight me with your unguarded responsiveness. If you are certain that you want to do this, then I will do my best to serve you well. I desperately want to make love to you completely. If you still want it."
"Yes," was the only word I could whisper. He reached across my body to fumble in the pocket of his trousers, to retrieve a jar and open it with one hand. With the other hand he stroked my erection. My entire body tensed in anticipation of what was to come, but Maitimo's sweet kisses and caresses simultaneously calmed and aroused me further. I glanced to the side of us at the open jar. "Then you did think about what we would need to come together."
"Of course. There was never of question for me of whether we would or not, only of how best to proceed. You are surpassingly fair, my love, and the brilliance of your fëa overshadows even that. I never intend to resist you in any way again." I reached then for his head, tangling my fingers in his bright hair, not silky and straight as most, but thick, somewhat coarser and loosely curling. I ran my tongue slowly across his lips, moaning as I felt them part for me.
"Then do not make me wait, Maitimo. I am keen to do this, but I do not want to lose my nerve," I said. He flashed me a radiant smile and answered softly, "Then I shall give you what you ask."
He dipped his fingers into the jar and touched me at the opening to my body, causing me to involuntarily flinch. "Ai, sorry, love. Was that cold?" he asked.
"No, not cold, just unexpected. Do not stop," I answered. He caressed me until I bent one knee and moved my legs farther apart to grant him easier access. Gently, slowly, he slid one finger within me. I reacted again. Quickly, wanting to reassure him, I said, "It does not hurt. It only feels a little strange."
"I am hoping for better than just strange," he said. He stoked me with one finger for a while longer and then removed it and replaced it with two, working them within me until he touched a certain spot. I cried out, "Ai, Maitimo, please. Again."
"That is much better," he said, his voice thick and hopeful against my ear, repeating the movement until I whimpered and begged of him to fill me. After that, things moved quickly and my remembrance is less explicit, for to think of it even now is to be overcome by memories more of emotions and sensations than particulars. By instinctive mutual agreement we somehow managed to work ourselves, utterly without elegance, and with fumbling and false starts, pleas, apologies, and much heavy breathing, into a position, lying on our sides, where Maitimo was able to penetrate me.
"Does that hurt?" he asked. "No," I lied, hoping fervently it would soon feel more comfortable. Surely he knew, because he did not move for awhile. He rained gentle kisses over my back and shoulders and stroked my arousal languidly, muttering all the while: "Is it too much?" and "I love you so." Coaxing me with his voice and touch, he forced me to relax until, needing to feel him move within me, I started pressing myself against him.
He began to thrust into me, at first slowly and shallowly and then deeper and more quickly. Breathing the scent of his skin, headier mixed with the tang of perspiration and sex, intoxicated me. He, for so long the center of my world, had become my universe. Suddenly, his voice urgent and beseeching, yet barely a husky whisper, penetrated my trancelike state, "Words, there are words, and I've forgotten them."
"Not important," I stammered, words were the farthest thing from my mind at that moment. "Any will do." Or none at all?
Maitimo was extraordinary. He was not only able to speak, but reasonably coherently. Of course, he did not use all of the words calling upon the Valar, or even Eru, to witness our vows (not that he would have cared to in any case). He said in a breathy, cadenced whisper directly into my ear, "This I promise you, my valiant Findekáno, that you are the only one. I am wholly yours. I will love you and you alone, always and forever." I pledged myself to him as clearly as I was able: "Only you. Forever. Ai, Maitimo, please!" Over the past day, we had promised many things to one another more eloquently and completely, and in language a great deal closer to the proper words of binding, than we could manage at that moment. But as I had suspected, the words did not matter in the least, only the intent.
A wave of complete consciousness of every thought and emotion of the other swept over us. His perception of me, almost shocking in its purity, stunned me. I could never be so attractive, selfless, good or brave as he pictured me. But I worried that he saw how I viewed him as well. He must have known at that point how self-interested and single-minded was my love and desire for him, yet how I worshipped him and my willingness to do anything, everything to hold onto him. Yet I hoped that my knowledge of his heart would make me aspire to be as he had seen me.
Contrary to my expectation, the spiritual side of this bonding did not at all overpower the physical--touching and being touched became a single phenomenon. While I discerned the fullness of being possessed, I was also cognizant of the heat and tightness that overwhelmed Maitimo. The friction, the warmth, the rhythmic motion of the act were as necessary as breathing, as the beating of one's heart, until we exploded so nearly simultaneously that I truly did not know which of us climaxed first, although experience should have informed me that it surely had been me.
Neither of us moved, as though we feared the separation of our bodies would somehow lessen our new bond. Finally, Maitimo gently withdrew from me. "Káno, I need to see your face." He rolled me onto my back and then collapsed heavily upon me. He traced my cheekbones and then my lips with his fingertips. "You are happy," he stated, his comely face completely alight with his own bliss. "Can you feel my contentment still?"
"As though it were my own, and I see it in your eyes," I answered.
"But, there is one thing I must tell you that I think you do not understand, my love. You do undervalue your own worth."
"You think so?"
"I know so."
"Then I must confess one thing that you apparently missed about me. My love for you is selfish. If you should ever leave me, I will follow you, at whatever the cost, until I find you, and then I will bring you back with me even if I must lug you all of the way," I said.
Maitimo laughed. "If I am ever such a fool, then I beg of you to do just that, and I promise I will thank you for it."
Then, ever considerate, he attempted to push himself up with one arm to shift his weight off of me. "Do not move," I ordered him. I already held him by one hand, but reached to take the other and lace our fingers tightly together.
"Findekáno, I am too heavy. I am too much for you to bear."
"You will never be too much for me," I said.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.