6. I'd Understand The Art Of Love
Chapter Six: I'd Understand The Art Of Love
"I'd give him liberty to toy
And play with me, and count it joy.
Our freedom should be full complete,
And nothing wanting but the feat.
Let's practice, then, and we shall prove
These are the only sweets of love."
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, from 'The Platonic Lady'
"Drink, Maitimo. You look as if it would do you good."
Legolas took the glass of pale wine from the Lady Zamin's outstretched hand. It was a graceful hand, as well tended as the rest of the lady. He sniffed the bouquet appreciatively. He took a sip, rolling it over his palate and thinking how much his father would enjoy this exotic vintage.
Barlomi had not exaggerated; the wine was delicious, sweet yet subtly spicy. He took another.
Zamin laughed. "Do I frighten you so, Maitimo, that you must bolster yourself with wine?"
"Oh no, my lady," Legolas hastened to say. "However, I do worry I may not live up to your expectations."
"Have no fear on that score, Maitimo, for your presence is pleasure enough. Indeed, in this land, there are limits upon what I might require of you. So you might as well enjoy some more of that wine."
"Yes, I must remember always that a woman's body belongs to her husband, past, present or future," said Legolas earnestly.
"In my case, the husband is long in the past," Zamin said. "I was fifteen when I was sent by my father to be the bride of an Easterling prince to seal a treaty. He was old, alas. He managed to consummate the marriage -- barely. When there were no heirs, I was the one who was blamed."
"It is ever thus," Legolas murmured. "In these matters, the fault is nearly always thought to be in the woman. It must have been a hard life for you."
"The treaty was an important one, sealing a peace between our two countries. It is the duty of royalty to make personal sacrifices for home and people. Something you, Maitimo, would not understand." Zamin sipped at her own wine.
"I daresay, my lady," Legolas said, mildly.
"When he died, ten years later, Khorlai dealt to have me back, and my husband's people were only too eager to be rid of me. It was a decent thing of my brother, really, for I had no further political use to him, 'without flower' as I was and carrying the taint of barrenness."
"A sad thing for you, Lady Zamin."
She shrugged. "It could have been worse. I might have died young, in childbed, as did my brother's wife. And I have learned to make certain accommodations for my state." She licked the rim of her wine glass reflectively, with a pointed, pink tongue.
Legolas swallowed. He set his own glass down on the table between them, before it could slip from his nervous hands.
"And on that subject . . . " Zamin drained her wine. "Would you care to be . . . accommodating, Maitimo?
Legolas quickly drained his own glass and smiled serenely. Smiling serenely no matter how nervous he felt was, as the son of a king, his best learned skill. "I am always happy to please a lovely lady."
Oh, how he hoped that sounded right! Legolas realized that this was the moment of truth. If he were to be believed as a bêthnaru, the performance would either fail or succeed in the next half hour.
Zamin laughed and held out her exquisitely manicured hand. "Come then." She led him though a curtain of beads into her bedchamber.
Legolas looked about, seeing a large bed covered with bright silks. The room was dim. Grilled doors out onto the courtyard let in light and breeze while maintaining privacy. He looked to the lady to give him a cue as to how to proceed.
"Is this . . . allowed?"
"It is allowed," she laughed. "The day is hot, and you are helping me take my ease. Come . . . undress me."
He approached her slowly. Her dress fastened at the neck with a series of tiny pearl beads, and he undid them one by one, trying to control the shaking of his hands. He eased it off her shoulders and let it slide to the floor. Beneath was a thin shift, held by narrow ties. He pulled them loose and the garment puddled around her feet.
"That is so much better," she whispered. "Thank you, M . . ."
"No," he said, stepping in closer. Their bodies were almost touching, and he could feel her breath on his cheek as he reached behind her head to undo to clips that held her hair. He ran his fingers through the plaits and let it fall loose about her shoulders. She had dark hair, soft against his hands, with only a few strands of silver in it. "That is how I want to see you."
She smiled and backed away from him, laying herself down on her bed and stretching out full. She cleared her throat and glanced pointedly at some silk scarves that were draped strategically over the posts of the bed. When Legolas hesitated, she said, "Tie me up, Maitimo."
Legolas approached the bed gingerly and took her left hand. At least he knew how to tie a good knot, as every Silvan elf must. He bent to his work, securing her wrist to the bedpost.
"That is quite an impressive knot," she said, with some amusement, as he went to secure the other side. "Perhaps not so tight with the other one?"
He nodded. "As the lady wishes."
That accomplished, he moved to the foot of the bed and took a slender ankle. As he worked, he could not help but peruse her naked body, the first nude woman he had ever truly seen. The hand of time had been kinder to Zamin than the vagaries of love and fate had been. Her dusky skin was still smooth, and only a slight gauntness here and a fullness there revealed where the flesh had given in to the relentless pull of the bones of Arda.
The room was warm, and as Legolas worked, tying first one ankle and then the other, the scent of exotic woods rose from her skin in fragrant waves, assaulting his nostrils. Try as he might, he could not keep his eyes from straying to the triangle of hair at her groin. Truly, he thought, women make their own modesty, for that which lay between and below, was obscured in the dark curls.
Legolas fought to control his breathing. His father had warned him that a kind of madness comes over males at such a time, and he found it to be true. He yearned to cover that naked body with his own, to feel the press of those breasts against his chest and to have that curly mass grinding against him. He felt a growing tightness between his legs and kept his eyes dropped as he adjusted the silk.
"Step back, Maitimo," she said gently. "Now take off your shirt."
He looked up at her in surprise.
"You will be exerting yourself. Besides, I want to feast my eyes on you. Now, take it off."
Slowly, he complied, watching the dance of her pupils as she looked him over. He balled his shirt up and tossed it aside. He felt himself beginning to perspire again.
"Ah, you are very lovely, Maitimo, so deceptively slender, yet so strong." She stretched back, spread-eagled out on the bed. "If you were to take your will of me now, there would be little I could do to stop you."
He could not trust his voice. "My will . . . ? Lady, I may not," he whispered.
She sighed. "Alas, neither may I. Life can be cruel. Can you be cruel too, Maitimo?" she asked suggestively, her eyes trailing over to her side.
To Legolas's dismay, he spied a whip on the nightstand. It was a small whip, with a thin, short lash, the sort the Edain used on their horses, or to whip a dog. Legolas had never understood the need to do either. For him, horses moved willingly, and the desire to hurt such a trusting beast as a dog was entirely out of his ken. How much more so for a person?
Thanks to the Gondorian scrolls, he knew what she wanted of him. And he could not oblige. It was not in the nature of Legolas Thranduilion to needlessly cause pain to man, woman or beast, for he had dealt enough of it in necessity. 'The mission ends now, ignominiously, in this lady's bedchamber,' he told himself, 'unless I can think quickly.'
Mostly to buy himself some time, he went to the night table and picked up the whip, running the lash through his hand. She looked on him expectantly. He tapped it against his palm thrice, and then lashed his own leg. Predictably, it hurt.
What to do, what to do? Legolas now wished that he had paid a little more attention during Thranduil's refreshingly blunt talk, rather than giving in to the understandable temptation of any child listening to a parent discuss bed matters and letting his mind drift to safer places during the most graphic portions. However, confronted with Zamin, who was currently eying him with the gloating expression of a cat about to lick out a bowl of cream, Legolas had a feeling that even Ada would be out of his depth.
'Well, for pity's sake, Thranduilion,' he told himself. 'You'll just have to make it up as you go along, and make it good!'
"Cruel?" he said, setting his features into what he hoped was an evil smile. "Oh, yes, lady, I can be very cruel." He tossed the whip aside. "For I will deny you what you most desire and take my own pleasure."
Against the wall stood a tall vase, and in it leaned a bunch of tail feathers from the strangely colored birds that wandered the courtyards, disturbing the peace of the night with their eerie cries. Legolas pulled one out and held it in his hand. This would do. "Shut your eyes, Zamin," he said.
"And if I will not?" she asked, teasingly.
"Then I shall use one of those scarves to blindfold you," he replied. "But I prefer your eyelids be as naked as the rest of you. Shut them."
With an amused purse of her lips, she obeyed.
He began by running the tip of the feather down her cheek, and then he brought it across her lips, barely touching the skin. He gave a stroke over each eyelid, moving on to her ears. Were the ears as sensitive in Edain as they were in his own folk, he wondered? She seemed to like it well enough, but not overwhelmingly so. Poor Aragorn, he thought. Indeed, poor Arwen not to be able to give the pleasure of this most intimate of caresses.
He let the feather trail down her neck and then moved to the palm of one hand, teasing each finger and then trailing up the inside of her arm in long lazy strokes. A light touch to the armpit made her squirm, and she writhed even more as he stroked in towards the center, flicking one of her nipples ever so gently. He watched in fascination as the pink nub stiffened and grew under his efforts. How would that bit of flesh feel to his fingertip, he wondered? Immediately, he regretted the thought, for his breeches grew tighter. He made a mental note to himself to have the crotches of his pants let out before much more time passed.
Legolas shifted the angle of the feather, moving it like a knife blade under one nipple, then the other, nicking, teasing. Zamin gasped and began to move from side to side. "Ah, no, you begin to like that too well. Did I not say I was cruel?" he laughed, moving the tip of the feather down the center of her belly, passing the sweet dimple of her navel and traversing the gentle swell of her lower belly.
Softly, he ran the feather down the crease where leg meets hip, coming ever closer to the center but avoiding the spot she sought to bring into contact. She was breathing rapidly now, and she hissed in protest when he abruptly took the feather away.
"Cruel . . . remember?"
He brushed the sole of her foot now, watching as her face contorted in a grimace. His actions had heightened the sensitivity of her flesh everywhere, and the tickling must be a torture now. Up the ankle, up the calf, in short little strokes. And then longer ones, tracing inner thigh. A quick flick to the center near the buttock made her cry out and strain against her bonds, and then she moaned as he began on the sole of the other foot.
He lingered at her knee, fearful to approach the moment of truth. He realized he was humming to her; a soothing, tuneless sound, almost like a purr. "Please, Maitimo . . ."
"Cruel . . ." he said softly and ran the feather up her center. She gasped and threw her head back.
Legolas made a silent thank-you to his father. It was here, just where Thranduil had said it would be. And it was true; women were a beautiful thing in passion. They opened to a man, just like flowers.
With the skill of one trained to the knives, Legolas and his feather did her reverence. Silently, he kept to his task, watching as her head whipped from side to side and her breathing grew ragged. He sensed her tensing like a bowstring, her eyes rolled beneath her closed lids and she let out a shuddering cry. He shifted his stance to ease the pressure in his groin as her breathing returned to normal.
"Maitimo, you are incredible," she said, opening her eyes.
"My pleasure, Lady Zamin," he said, his voice as shaky as his knees.
She looked at him and gave a little laugh. "I think not. Poor boy, what are you going to do about that?"
Legolas sighed. There was no point in reminding her that he was hundreds of years her senior, for he did, indeed, feel like a frustrated boy just past his majority. "I will retire to my chambers and deal with it, my lady."
"It will be a great dishonor to me if you are seen leaving my apartments in that state."
"I see no alternative," he said, puzzled.
She smiled slyly. "Why waste it? Let me watch."
Legolas raised an eyebrow. 'Why ever not?' he thought, with a little mental shrug. Taking care of himself in front of her would be only slightly more embarrassing than walking the halls of the palace with a painful erection, and it would surely add to the verisimilitude of his bêthnaru act.
"Is this allowed? For you to look upon me naked?"
"Anything is allowed, if I wish it -- save the ultimate," she laughed. "Besides, I've a feeling I will have no desire to run to my brother with complaints."
He inclined his head. "With your gracious leave then, my lady." Leaving the waistband of his trousers tied, for he had no wish to experience the ignominy of having his pants fall around his ankles, he undid the lacings of his codpiece and freed himself.
Her eyes grew large, and again, he could see the dark pupils bouncing. "Oh my! Tell me, Maitimo, are all the Nimîr built like you?"
Legolas felt heat flush his face. "No, my lady, only those of my . . . heritage. The Eluwaith. The Grey-elves. We do well among trees."
"I daresay," she said, swallowing. "You should blush more often, Maitimo. The color suits your skin. You may proceed."
Legolas shut his eyes and tried to concentrate on the business at hand. He had no oil to ease things, so he would have to rely on hand pressure primarily. He began to knead. Although he was no stranger to this activity, he had never before done it for an audience. Even so, from the feel of things, it was not going to take long.
"Maitimo . . .?"
"What?" he said, trying to hold back a groan of frustration.
"Would you untie my right hand?"
Her face had a wicked smile as he approached, holding his unruly self in one hand and using his other to undo the knot that held her right wrist. "Thank you."
He bowed and retired to the foot of the bed. Again, he began to milk and massage himself. He sneaked open an eye. Oh, Belain! The sight of her touching herself was almost more than he could bear. His other eye came open, and he stared transfixed.
As he watched, she sank her finger into herself up to the second knuckle. What would it be like, he wondered, to feel the tip of his own flesh going into that sweet place? The thought put him over the edge.
Legolas was completely unprepared for the force of his climax. Even though he bent almost double and stepped back rapidly, his essence burst from him in a great arc, splashing onto the floor and the foot of the bed.
"Ai, nin goheno!" he said, mortified. Some of his seed had hit the lady herself, and it glistened wetly on the instep of her foot. He made a grab for the nearest object at hand, to clean her off. "Please, please, forgive me," he amended, trying not to stammer.
"No, Maitimo -- not your shirt," she interjected. "There are cloths in my wardrobe. Use one of those."
He went to her tall wardrobe cabinet, pulling open the doors and inhaling the unique female scent that wafted out at him. He stopped and drew in breath in sheer enjoyment. Almost, his flesh wished to rise again. He took a deep breath for self control, and paused to lace himself back up.
He took a small towel from a pile on one of the wardrobe shelves and turned back to her, trying his best to ignore her teasing smile as he wiped the top of her foot clean.
"They do say it is good for the complexion," she said wryly, bringing another rush of blood to his face. Legolas merely let go of her foot and stooped to clean the floor. "Just leave the cloth here, Maitimo. My maid is discreet."
Legolas nodded and donned his shirt.
"Thank you for everything, Maitimo. You have entertained me most cleverly. I hope we may do this again."
"It will be my pleasure, Lady Zamin," said Legolas, turning to leave.
The sound of her laughter followed him. "Oh, Maitimo . . .? Before leaving, will you please untie me . . .?"
* * *
Legolas came into the sitting room of his quarters and cast himself onto his divan with a thump.
"Are you tired, Master?"
"Very tired, Miki." Legolas cocked one eye open. The child was looking at him curiously. Spending his essence always made Legolas want to roll over and go to sleep. Usually, this was no problem, as he always took care not to pleasure himself when any great exertion would be required of him. There was no way to explain this to the boy.
"A bêthnaru works hard, Master?"
"Very hard, Miki. Perhaps if you drew me a bath, I might recover myself." A bath was a good idea in any case. Legolas was covered in sweat and other stickiness.
"A hot bath, Master?"
The boy went off, and Legolas lay back, staring idly at the pattern of light and shadow cast by the sunlight coming in the window grilles. The sensations of the afternoon had been utterly unexpected, which contributed to his lassitude as much as any exertion earlier.
Always, Legolas had been told that the joys of the flesh were to be enjoyed with one's bonded true love. And so, he was surprised at his body's reaction this afternoon. Zamin was attractive enough, but he felt little for the lady past a fond affection. And yet, he had experienced an intensity of physical delight in her company that surpassed any solitary self-pleasuring. He had not truly believed his father at the time, but it was true; these things were much better with a partner. Even more surprising, this partner need not be one's mate for life.
"Your bath is ready, Master."
Legolas hoisted his body from the couch. He had been drifting and near sleep. "Thank you Miki."
"Bêthnari may work hard," the boy said impishly. "But not so hard, I think, as hauling ten buckets of water. I think I shall be a bêthnaru when I grow up."
"I think you shall not, young scamp," said Legolas, stripping off his shirt as he made his way to the washing chamber. "You do not know of what you speak."
"A soldier then," the boy said merrily.
Legolas stripped off his breeches too and tossed them to the boy. "Here, take these to be laundered." He sighed as the boy went off with the clothing in his arms, thinking of the librarian, Phazan, and his grievous wounds. But, indeed, what choices were available to Miki? What would his future be in this land?
Legolas sank into the bath. The cold water felt good on flesh heated from more than just the warmth of the afternoon. Again his thoughts strayed back to Zamin, how her face had looked, lost in the throes of passion. He smiled, and slowly his hand slipped lower . . .
* * * * * * *
To be continued . . .
Eluwaith: The people of Elu Thingol, Grey-elves, Sindar.
Belain: Sindarin for Valar, the gods.
nin goheno: Forgive me.
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.