In the Midst of Adversity: Part X
It was still dark as the riders left Helm’s Deep heading for Isengard, crossing the forest of the Ents.
In the front rode Gandalf, Theoden, Aragorn, Eomer, Legolas and Gimli. Further back, leading the archers of the escort rode Cyrene. She felt refreshed after a few hours of deep sleep. She remembered having fallen asleep while Legolas was singing, sitting next to the elf in the battlements of the fortress.
While they rode, she reflected on the previous night. She was enjoying the easy camaraderie with Legolas and Gimli. And she was sure that the tingling sensation she felt whenever the elf touched her came from the fact that he was an elf not a human. She would have liked to have Eowyn close to ask her about that, but the question would have to wait.
Cyrene still felt uneasy with Eomer though. After the incident in Edoras they had not talked anymore than to discuss battle strategies and moves. She was aware that he wanted to talk to her and the fact that she had walked away from him and the elf the day before was not making the matter any easier for them.
She saw Eomer leaving the front of the group and leading his horse towards her. He rode next to her.
“This is a strange forest, Cyrene, it sends cold shivers down my back. Do you feel it?” said Eomer.
Cyrene looked at her friend and then to the dark, menacing trees around them.
“This is a magic forest, Eomer. It feels very alive; as if there were eyes watching us at every step we take. If Gandalf says they are friendly, I take his word for that and try to adjust to the thought that this is something that I haven’t seen before.”
Eomer smiled at that. There she was, calm and brave adjusting to whatever came her way. He missed her smile.
“I wanted to speak to you since before the battle, my friend. I think I owe you some explanations for my behavior the past days …” started Eomer.
Cyrene was not sure she wanted to discuss the matter. ”Eomer, you are my dearest friend, almost as a brother to me. You have been patient and generous with me when I arrived in Rohan, while I was learning the ways of your people. I beg you not to change the deep friendship we share … “
“Cyrene, I have come to think differently. You are more to me than a friend, a comrade in arms, and a sister. I want you sharing my life and I want to court you and make you care for me the way I do for you …” His beautiful eyes sought hers, hoping to see acceptance and care.
But the amazon’s eyes were sad, as she looked at him and ruefully shook her head. “You are the Heir to the Throne of the Mark, Eomer. You have a duty towards your kingdom and your people. You will marry for an alliance that brings peace and strength to Rohan. And I cannot give you neither, only the promise that you can count on my sword and my bow, whenever you might need them. There is no more I can give you my friend, my brother.”
Her fingers gently touched his cheek. “If you might excuse me milord, my first duty is to see to the men in my charge. “ Then she turned her horse and went riding to the last riders of the group.
Eomer saw her leave and understood she would not give in. She never did.
The night caught up with them after the riders had left the strange forest and were riding through the valley of the Isen River. They made camp for the night when they reached the beginning of Misty Mountains.
Legolas was restless. The atmosphere was tense; the air foul with smoke and a dense mist was coming from Isengard. All plants around them had been burned down, the trees had been ripped out from the ground. The destruction of nature around them was far more disturbing to him than the dark murmurs of the Ent’s Forest. He found no ease, neither in Aragorn’s nor in Gimli’s company.
Gimli and Aragorn had fallen asleep, and Legolas was standing guard by the campfire, even though all watch shifts had been given to Theoden’s escort.
About midnight, the mist had covered the camp. Legolas heard very light steps approaching their fire and armed his bow; turning to the faint noise only he was able to hear. From the mists emerged a cloaked figure, which saw him and let the hood of the cloak down. It was Cyrene.
“Be at ease, Master Legolas, it is only me. “ she said and smiled at him, approaching to the fire and warming her hands. “It is a disturbing night, Master Elf. Since my watch is over and I could not rest I came to see how my new friends are faring.”
Legolas put down the bow and smiled at her also. This woman made him feel a little better, even if he felt restless and wary of the surrounding shadows. “You are welcome to our fire anytime you like, Mistress Cyrene. We are very honored to be considered your friends. “
He sat on his haunches and rubbed the tense muscles in his neck “It is a very strange night indeed. I will not rest until we leave this place.”
Cyrene observed the elf from the corner of her eye. She had heard that elves had strong connections to nature, and Legolas was very distraught over the damage done to the land. She found the heavy mist and the moonless night also disturbing and didn’t dare to lay down and sleep.
She knew she was in Gimli's and Legolas’ debt for their care and help after Helm’s Deep. She saw the shadows in the elf’s eyes and decided to comfort him as he had comforted her the night before. She approached him embarrassed, but she knew what she wanted to do.
“Let me help you, Master Legolas, the same way you helped me last night. Let me ease your discomfort.”
He didn’t know what she meant at first, but nodded and let her step closer to him, until she stood at his back. She reached for his neck, carefully gathering his long pale hair on his shoulder and putting her hands inside the collar of his tunic to be able to massage the tense muscles. The instant her fingers touched Legolas skin, both felt the tingling, running up her arms and down his spine. Cyrene almost shied away from him, but forced herself to endure the strange and pleasant sensation that made every nerve in her body aware of the others presence. She rubbed and massaged with deft fingers tension and strain away from the elf’s neck and shoulders.
Legolas was fighting the urge to take the magic hands that were easing his muscles and sweep the woman into his arms. While the soreness from his neck was slowly disappearing, he felt desire build up in his loins as the motion of the firm fingers at the nape of his neck sent waves of warmth through his body.
He took some deep breaths and closed his eyes, as he reasoned with himself that he shouldn’t give in to the impulses and sensations raging inside him, because the amazon was a cherished friend, a comrade in arms, a woman who was tending to him in friendship and trust. It had been difficult to earn Cyrene’s trust, he would not loose it on a momentary lapse of passionate insanity. He would keep control of himself.
Cyrene felt the warm, now soft and supple skin under her hands and reveled in the feeling, letting her hands roam further beneath the tunic, to his shoulder blades and from there up to his scalp. The muscles had relaxed and she heard Legolas’ breath quicken under her ministrations.
Legolas wanted to thank her for her kind return and before he knew it, his
own hands took hold of hers and gentle caressed them. Planting a soft,
albeit innocent kiss on them, his heightened senses took immediate stock of
the texture of her fingers, both soft and rough, callused even, speaking of
her life as a warrior. He didn't know what came over him but his lips seemed to have a life of their own as he started to nibble and lick at her soft skin, a heady
sensation running up and down his spine as his earlier thoughts left him and passion and yearning for the amazon took over his rational thinking.
He breathed light butterfly kisses on her fingers, her palms, the base of her thumbs, and the soft skin in the inside of her wrists. She enjoyed the unknown sensations and closing her eyes leaned into his back. As Legolas felt her body closer, he started nipping, licking reverently the pulse at her wrists, biting gently the flesh at the base of her thumbs, worshipping the fine fingers that had generously taken the strain in his neck away.
The amazon had never before felt anything like the warmth his touch provoked in her before. She felt weak and light, as if her blood had turned into air and she was floating. Cyrene fell to her knees, her arms still wrapped around Legolas neck. He reached for her turning around and pulled the woman onto his lap. She opened her eyes in shock as she found herself trapped in his arms and his manhood hard against her thigh but kept looking into his eyes that held her enthralled. Slowly, ever so slowly, Legolas leaned into her and brushed very lightly his lips against hers. She sighed and he started worshipping her lips as carefully as he had been wooing her hands before. When he licked her lips, she instinctively opened her mouth and he let his tongue enter slowly and rub against her tongue very softly, belying the need he felt raging through his body. Cyrene moaned into his mouth as she pressed herself against him.
Gimli grumbled and moved in his sleep. Cyrene and Legolas sprung up and apart, standing mere feet away from another, breathing hard and flushed with unfulfilled desire. Legolas smiled, his eyes showing resignation. Cyrene felt confused and ashamed. She did not smile.
“I thank you for your kind help, Mistress Cyrene” said Legolas, not taking his eyes even for a second away from the amazon’s face. She nodded, put up her hood and walked away into the mist, wrapping her arms around herself, trying to put the wild sensations that still coursed through her body under control.
The elf sat down by the fire, sighing. His neck was relaxed but others parts of his body were aching. It was going to be a very long night.
| Part XI |
| Index |