13. Chapter Thirteen
A/N: I apologize for the delay in posting. Real life and online drama kept me from posting. I hope you enjoy this chapter.
The water dribbled between his fingers as he watched Laeriel, swimming naked in the pool, her form slicing through the water effortlessly despite the injury to her shoulder. When she submerged under the water, her hair flowed behind her, a trail of bright red in the clear pool. Even with her below the surface, he could still see her through the crystal clear water, her pale skin shimmering in the morning light.
Swallowing hard, Strider followed her with his eyes, wondering how much longer he could remain chivalrous. He wanted her. Just watching her like this stirred the passion he had been keeping tightly reined in since the night of the attack over a week ago. It had taken all his restraint not to make love to her. But he did not want her crying out in pain when he took her as his own. If she was going to cry out at all, it was going to be with pleasure, his name spilling from her lips.
A sudden splash of water wetting his face brought him out of his reverie and he stared down at her, frowning slightly.
"Good morning, Strider. Did you sleep well?" she asked, easing backward through the water.
He stared at her, wanting to see below the surface, to see the rest of the creamy white swells that were just covered by the water she swam in. His mind could not form a rational thought and he had to mentally shake himself just to answer her. "I slept fine. Though I am not happy that I did. What are you doing out here, Laeriel, without protection?"
"I am swimming, Strider. You should relax and come join me."
He raised an eyebrow at the offer. "You should be more careful," he chastised.
"I was careful. Besides, you said I could take a bath once my shoulder wound was healed."
"Your shoulder is not healed enough," he said staring at the pink of the new skin that was forming on the wound. "You should be resting."
Laeriel sighed. She was capable of taking care of herself. Hadn't she proved that when she had dueled with him the other day? Hadn't she shown herself worthy in battle? She was just as capable as he was. "I can take care of myself, Strider."
He patted the scabbard on his hip and frowned at her. "Still, I do not like you swimming unguarded."
"I do not need protecting."
"Seems to me you need protecting from yourself, Laeriel."
Laeriel stuck her tongue out at him and turned to her stomach, pulling through the water with ease until she was at the far side of the falls. When she turned to come back, she noticed that he had sat upon a large rock, his sword resting comfortably across his knees. Sighing, she headed back to the shore where she had left her clothes. She did not need him watching over her like she was some child. She was a woman and quite capable of taking a bath without a man watching over her.
Strider watched the birds in the tree, watched the rabbit scamper across the meadow, watched as a hawk flew overhead. Watched everything all around the clearing, but Laeriel in the pool. He knew if he looked at her, her pale skin glistening with the cool water, the sunlight turning her hair to brilliant russet, he would go mad with desire. Already, his breeches were tight, his hands tingled with the desire to touch her, and his thoughts betrayed him. If he watched her naked body slipping through the water, he would never be able to keep his hands from her.
A muttered curse caught his attention and he looked up to see Laeriel slipping backwards into the pool, her foot sliding on the muddy bank. He hid an amused chuckle when she hit the water. After a moment, he expected her to resurface. When she didn't, he jumped to his feet, sword in hand and ran to the edge of the water, searching the clear waters for her.
"Laeriel!" he yelled, his voice strangled by fear. Where was she?
Tossing his sword to the ground, Strider quickly shed his tunic and boots, before diving into the water. He covered the distance to the other side of the pool with strong strokes, the healing gashes in his side the least of his worries. His heart was pounding as he searched the water for her.
"Laeriel!" he called, coming to a stop where she had gone under the water.
Taking a deep breath, Strider dove under the water, intent on finding her. The water, though clear, hampered his sight. He had to feel mostly with his hands, not trusting his eyes as he searched the bed of the pool.
His fingers curled around hers and he pulled her to him, circling her with a strong arm. Strider kicked for the surface, pulling her with him. When his head broke the surface, he turned to her, searching her face. She coughed, water seeping from the corners of her mouth.
Strider held her, the relief that surged through him making his knees weak. It wasn't until she turned those beautiful blue eyes on him that he realized he was holding her naked body so close to him. Groaning, he lowered his head to hers, his lips seeking the softness of her mouth.
Laeriel slid her hands up his chest, her arms circling his neck, her fingers twining into his long wet hair. She felt a slight twinge in her shoulder, but ignored it, concentrating instead on the feel of him in her arms. His shoulders were hard, his hands calloused, his chest warm, even in the cool water. A soft moan slipped from her lips and she melted into his arms.
"Oh Laeriel….," he whispered, raining kisses down her face.
His hands roamed over her back, down to her hips, pulling her tight into his body, his manhood pressing hard against her bare stomach, the cloth of his breeches the only barrier between them. This was madness. But he couldn't get enough of her. He had to touch her, feel her soft skin under his fingertips. He had to taste her, the sweet intoxication that was her own distinct flavor, played along his tongue.
Dipping his head to the hollow at the base of her throat, Strider trailed hot kisses over the gentle swell of her breast, finally settling his mouth around a sensitized nipple. He licked and teased, pulled and caressed, until she cried out, her knees buckling beneath her. With a low growl in the back of his throat, Strider lifted her in his arms, heading for the nearest bank.
With utmost tenderness, Strider laid her upon a grassy mound of moss. He knelt over her, staring down at the gentle swell of her breasts, the tapered waist, the slightly flared hips, her long, lean legs. This beautiful creature was his for the taking. All he had to do was make her his own.
Quietly, Strider peeled the wet breeches off, and then lay down beside her. He rolled to his side, leaning up on his elbow, staring down into her face. She was so beautiful. Softly, he traced a finger down her cheek, across her lips.
"Are you sure, Laeriel?" he whispered, slowly closing the distance between their heads. He stared at her mouth, wanting to taste her sweet lips again. But if she had any doubts, changed her mind at all, he would stop now.
She stared up at him, searching his grey eyes. She wanted this man. More than anything she had ever wanted. When she had first set eyes on him, her heart had nearly jumped out of her breast. He was so handsome, so virile, and he was off limits. He was the heir to the throne of Gondor, the chieftain of the Dúnedain.
Silently, she nodded, reaching her hand up to cup his cheek. When he covered her hand with his own, she sighed, closing her eyes, waiting for his lips to cover hers.
Laeriel, her eyes closed, waited for his kiss. When it didn't come, she opened her eyes, to find him watching her, a faraway look shadowed in the depths of his grey eyes.
"What is it, Strider?"
He refocused his gaze on her, whatever had his thoughts a moment ago, banished. "Nothing."
Not quite believing him, Laeriel slid her hand behind his head, pulling him down to her. Her lips covered his in a soft kiss, her tongue slipping between her teeth to trace a wet trail across his bottom lip. Groaning, Strider covered her body with his. Hard muscle to soft flesh. His heat to her coolness.
"Do you know of the ways between a man and a woman, Laeriel?" Strider asked softly, his voice a bare whisper.
Laeriel was ashamed to say she did not. Her mother had died before she had been told of such matters. Pretending to be a man the last three years had not given her much chance at making love to any man. Strider would be her first.
"I will be gentle, Laeriel," he whispered, kissing her lips softly.
Laeriel closed her eyes, wanting to relax as his hands began to traverse her virgin body. Already she knew what those hands could do. How strong and capable they were in battle. And yet, here he was, caressing her so softly, so gently, loving her.
Laeriel cried out when his lips found her breast, his tongue and teeth teasing the nipple into a tight bud, much as he had done in the pool. She tangled her fingers into his long hair, holding him to her breast, wanting him to suckle there as a babe would. He moved to the mate, teasing it as he had done the first one. His hand replaced his mouth, his fingers tweaking the swollen bud, causing a tingling to race through her body until it centered between her legs.
"Oh…" she cried, her head tossing from side to side in the moss. This was exquisite torture. She never knew.
Laeriel nearly jumped out of her skin when Strider's mouth trailed down her abdomen, circled her belly button and moved further down her body. She could feel the soft breath upon her, felt his fingers following behind his lips. When he touched her, she jerked away. She couldn't help it. It was so foreign.
"Trust me…" he whispered, kissing her inner thigh, his fingers gently teasing her.
Laeriel could barely string two thoughts together, so she just nodded as his finger dipped into her. He stroked and teased, eventually adding another finger, then a third, stretching her. When his lips and tongue entered into the fray, it became her undoing. Nothing in her one and twenty years of life had prepared her for the hot sensations Strider was creating with his mouth.
So lost in the overwhelming emotions Strider was creating, Laeriel didn't realize he had moved from between her legs, until he kissed the hollow between her breasts. Through the haze of passion she was feeling, she felt him ease between her thighs, his hard body resting against hers.
"I need you…" he whispered against her ear, his tongue circling her earlobe, his breath hot against her skin.
Laeriel turned her head, seeking out his lips. When she found his mouth, she kissed him greedily, her tongue dueling with his. She wanted him. She needed to feel him.
"There will be pain…but only at first…" he told her, easing into her wetness slowly.
Laeriel struggled to hold back the tears that threatened. She felt like she was being torn asunder. How was she to ever accommodate his size? Panicked, Laeriel tried to twist out of his grasp. She couldn't do this. They had to stop.
"Ssh….. meleth nín*…..Estelio nin**…" he whispered, telling his body to go slowly. He wanted this first time to be good for her.
Laeriel closed her eyes against the tears, willing them away. When he pushed through her maidenhead, they slipped silently down her cheeks. She felt his body still, giving her time to adjust to the newness of him.
"Laeriel, open your eyes. Look at me…" he said, his lips kissing the tears away.
She did as he bid, finding his gaze upon hers. Slowly, he bent his head to hers, kissing her tenderly. His hands roamed along her body, caressing her heated flesh until she shivered with desire. He stayed perfectly still within her, waiting until she was ready to accept him again. He could feel her tighten around him, yet he remained motionless.
Laeriel felt the pulsing of him deep within her, the heat of her own body joining his. The tingling that had settled into her core grew and instead of fighting it, she gave herself up to its intensity. Of their own accord, her hips moved, needing to feel something she could not describe. She only knew Strider was the one to fill the emptiness she felt.
Laeriel felt the change in him as he moved within her, felt him grow with barely concealed passion and lust. Strider moved against her, his hands touching her breasts, her hips, her buttocks, causing tiny thrills to race along her skin. Her mind reeled. Her body pulsated with unbridled heat, and then shivered wildly.
A soft moan escaped between her parted lips. She was unable to contain the passion he evoked in her, unable to delay the rushing of pleasure that coursed through her. Laeriel knew she was completely lost.
Strider thrust into her heat, felt her arms slip about his neck, felt her lips on his. Her legs curled about his, pulling him in deeper. He could feel the tightening within him begin and knew that it would not be much longer that he could withhold himself from her.
With a strangled cry torn from her lips, Laeriel arched up into his hard body, finding a welcomed release. Strider, knowing she had found her peak, gave into his own, his head thrown back, his hair flowing down his back.
Exhausted, he lay upon her, his hard body finding repose upon her soft flesh. With a smile, he looked into her eyes.
"Gerich veleth nín***" he whispered, his head resting against hers.
Laeriel sighed softly, his words touching a part of her heart she had kept hidden, free from entanglements. She coveted his words, held them within her heart. She knew he could never act on his love. That this was all they would ever have. He was the future King of Gondor, and she was but a lowly woman of the North.
* my love
** trust me
*** you have my love
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.