7. 7. A Beating to Remember
WARNING: Description of physical abuse!!
"Sorry I am late," Éalwyn panted as she closed the door; she had run all the way from the stables.
She never saw the blow coming. Heat erupted in her cheek and stars exploded behind her eyes as she stumbled back against the door. Tears welled in her green eyes as she looked at the irate man, blood dripping from her cut lip.
"You were with him again!" the man spat.
"It is nothing like you think," she began, her words cut off by another blow. Still she tried to explain. "His mare…" He struck again, this time catching her ear and slamming her head into the wall. The ringing in her ears made it difficult to hear Ordwulf's ranting.
He grabbed her by the hair and threw her into the center of the room. She hissed as her hip caught the corner of a table. "We were just in the stables; I soothed the horse while he and the healer turned the colt; she was breech," she stammered. "That is all I swear!"
"You swear?" The councilor advanced menacingly. "You swear? I heard some soldier talk of the mare when I came to find you ! The creature was born hours ago!" He grabbed her by the upper arms, shaking her violently. "You harlot! Seven years of mourning my arse!" Éalwyn struggled to get free of the vice like grip, silent tears falling. "I see how you look at him, how you stay close to him!" He gave her another shake then pushed her away. She stumbled and fell, her wrist twisting under her. She cried out in pain and received a kick. Ordwulf turned and grabbed a riding crop as the frightened woman cowered on the floor. "You lying whore!"
"We only talked and I lost track of time! It will never happen again…please…" she pleaded as the crop came down with a swish, ending in a sickening crack across her neck and shoulder. She felt blood trickle from the wound. The crop came down again. She tried to scoot away, shield herself, get up, but she could not; never had he been so brutal.
"Oh I assure you it will never happen again for you will not return to the armory; you are finished there! I have been generous and more than patient with you, but no more." The enraged man hoisted the trembling woman to her feet. "Your father gave you to my keeping and I will have you…now! Tomorrow I announce our betrothal." The realization of all that he said hit her like a physical blow and she struggled anew, realizing his vile intentions.
"No," she begged, trying to pull away.
Advisor Ordwulf backhanded her before pulling her close. Running a deceptively gentle hand down her cheek and throat, he whispered, "Oh yes and if you do not behave, something might just happen to the dear captain." He ran his tongue along the shell of her ear before forcing his lips on hers. His foul tongue pushed into her mouth and she gagged. She managed to free a hand and clawed at his face.
"You cur!" he growled. As he pushed her to the ground, he grabbed the front of her shirt and ripped it open, exposing her flimsy undergarment. He looked at her with lust filled eyes.
Pain and fear wracked her battered body, but Éalwyn would not fall victim to his desires. 'Forgive me father, I cannot stay here,' she thought as she kicked out at the beast looming over her. Her foot made contact and startled him enough to give her a small advantage. She scrambled towards the door, but he was quickly upon her. Again she lashed out this time climbing to her feet and reaching the door. The man grabbed her injured wrist and pulled her to him, this time biting her neck as she struggled against him. He tried to rip her undergarment but the desperate woman brought her knee up and gained another moment of freedom. She bolted from the room into the deserted corridor. Their quarters were set far from everything else for a reason. There was nowhere for her to run, no one to hear them. Still she fled down the dark hall, never seeing the small shadow clinging to the darkness of an alcove. Éalwyn finally reached the stairs leading to the main part of the manor. She heard him coming for her and as she rushed down the stair, she slipped, crashing down them into the wall at the bottom. She sensed his approach but her body had no fight left. She was certain he would kill her this time…after taking her. She felt him grab a handful of hair and steeled herself against the coming blow. Suddenly, he let go, her head dropping with a thud to the stone floor. The blood in her head pounded against her ears and her body ached; the real world was quickly fading into cold darkness…
Ordwulf felt a biting cold against his neck. Letting go of the mass of mahogany hair he clutched, he turned slowly, coming face to face with the dangerous looking Lady of the West-mark, brandishing one of her husband's great swords. Fear flashed in the advisor's eyes as he looked of a quick escape.
"Do not give me further reason," Lady Cynwen hissed.
"My lady," Ordwulf cowered, "it is not…" his words died on his lips. He saw movement in the shadows and saw a young servant girl, her eyes wide. Another approached quickly, Rohirrim in tow with their swords drawn.
Erkenbrand's bare feet came to a skidding halt as he took in the scene before him. His Lord's Lady stood tall, a sword at the throat of the pale looking advisor. The Captain saw the scratches on his face and then noticed the huddled form on the floor. His anger surged as realization hit him.
"You bastard," he cried and lunged. Hesgar and another other guard quickly restrained their Captain as a healer rushed to Éalwyn's side.
"Take him to a cell and see that he does not fall victim to an accident," Lady Cynwen said coolly. The two guards steadied Erkenbrand then moved to take the Advisor away. Both had seen the unspoken message in their Lady's eyes. As much as they may wish to, no one was to touch the wretched man.
The healer having done a quick exam, determined Éalwyn had no broken bones, and that it was safe to move her without a litter. "Captain?" Lady Cynwen said softly.
Erkenbrand did not move; he was lost in thoughts of earlier that night. Éalwyn had looked so panicked when she realized how late it had become. She had said Ordwulf would be cross. He offered to see her home but she had bolted from the stables like a terrified child. She was beaten like this because of him! Guilt assailed him.
"Captain?" his lady said louder. Sad eyes met hers. "Please bring her to my quarters."
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.