Haldir and Rumil reined in their horses at the outer gate and dismounted. The guards stared open-mouthed at the two elves, never having seen any close up before. Finally, one of them spoke.
"What do two elves want in Gondor?"Haldir spoke quietly, "We come with a message from Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel for Lord Denethor.""Give me your name and I will see if you can pass."
"I am called Haldir, this is my brother, Rumil."
The guard nodded and turned back to talk to another soldier who turned and ran toward the city.
It took several minutes, but soon a horseman came riding back down through the gated levels.
He did not dismount as he shouted for the elves to pass through the gate.
Haldir and Rumil re-mounted and rode through the gate, following the man all the way up to the top of the city, where they stopped at the house of Lord Denethor, Steward of Gondor.
Haldir had asked Celeborn what to expect from Denethor as he only knew him by reputation, and Celeborn had met him at least once before.
"He is a proud man, Haldir, and hard. He will not be swayed by charm, but by logic. Take care in how you speak to him. He is not King, yet he rules."
The elves were escorted into a large hall after they were relieved of their weapons. Haldir even reluctantly gave up the dagger from his boot, motioning Rumil to do the same. Denethor sat on what could only be described as a throne. His chair was perched higher than the rest of the room, so those assembled always knew who was in charge. Haldir and Rumil approached Denethor slowly, taking in their surroundings, feeling an inexplicable tenseness in the room. Both Haldir and Rumil sensed something out of place, something was not right here. Rumil shrugged and decided that he was edgy due to the fact that two rather large guards were dogging their very steps as they made their way towards the Steward.
Denethor did not stand to greet his guests. He waited until they were directly in front of him and he nodded to the two guards standing behind them.
The guards, almost abnormally tall and strong for mortals, placed heavy hands on the elves' shoulders at the same time as they each lifted their legs and kneed the elves directly behind their knees. Rumil and Haldir suddenly found themselves kneeling in front of Denethor and being held down on the floor.
The elven brothers glanced at one another, and Rumil would have struggled and fought but Haldir shook his head. They were emissaries of Lorien and though this was not an entirely warm welcome, obviously Denethor had certain expectations of visitors to his halls. Besides, they weren't here to fight.
Denethor graced the kneeling elves with a mean ugly smile and motioned the guards back.
"And why would the Witch of Lothlorien send two immortals to visit usmere humans?"
Both Haldir and Rumil stiffened and narrowed their eyes upon hearing the Lady Galadriel called a witch, but again, they both restrained themselves. Rumil was beginning to think they should have just given the message to the gate guards and turned back for home.
Haldir answered Denethor with a voice of cold dignity. He also decided to be blunt.
"The Lady Galadriel has had forebodings of the evil rising again in the east. We have been sent to remind the men of Gondor that when needed, the elves will stand with you once again."
Denethor's eyes filled with angry light as he listened. When Haldir finished speaking, the Steward laughed.
"Forebodings of evil? And the elves will stand with us? Let me assure youand your Lady that it is much more than forebodings of evil. Gondor is besieged. The evil has indeed risen again and directed its venom on my people. We deal with these forebodings daily, and die for our efforts!"
Denethor paused to take breath, then began shouting once more.
"Support from the elves? Nay! We will not become chattel to be used by that witch! She wishes only for us to rid the land of this darkness, then she will rid herself of us. We will not fall prey to another elvish scheme! Men it was that paid the highest price during the last alliance with the elves. That will not happen again! Guards! Take these emissaries of deceit below."
Rumil and Haldir had gotten more and more tense as Denethor seemed to slip over the edge of madness. They were taken by surprise as the two large guards grabbed them, pinning their arms to their sides. More guards immobilized their legs and they were half-dragged, half-carried down several corridors and stairs, deep underground, to Denethor's prison.
They were thrown into a dark musty cell. Neither of them made a sound as the door clanged shut. When the sound of receding footsteps died away, Haldir allowed himself one shudder. He hated the darkness and closed-in feeling that he always got underground.
"What just happened? Is Denethor insane?"
Even though Rumil couldn't see it, he could hear the wry smile on Haldir's lips.
"It would seem so, wouldn't it?" Haldir sighed and wrapped an arm around his younger brother.
"We must be patient and see what he means by this. We must either convince him to let us goor we must escape. The Lord and Lady must know of this madness that has overtaken Denethor. We might wish to warn Rohan as well. Although his ire seems to be directed only to the elves, Rohan is probably not in danger."
Rumil nodded. "Yes, it seems that only WE are in danger here."
Haldir looked briefly at his brother, nodding. He too, had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that Rumil's words were all too true.
Denethor did not allow them to linger long in the underground prison. The guards took Rumil first, then Haldir. When Haldir arrived in the Steward's private rooms, his eyes narrowed angrily to see Rumil, shirtless, tied to a sturdy chair. He had an ugly bruise on his face and he was gagged. As Haldir was brought in and thrown to his knees in front of Denethor, Rumil cried out behind the gag and struggled. Haldir tried to get to him, but was stopped by his jailers. They pushed him back to his knees and then pressed him down so his forehead was touching the stone floor at Denethor's feet. Another guard grabbed his arms and bound his wrists together behind his back.
Denethor watched in silence until Haldir was subdued. Only then did he speak.
"Elf, you would do well to remember this position. You will assume it in my presence until I give you leave to do otherwise. I have decided on a proper course of action concerning both of you."
Haldir froze at the cold announcement. Rumil struggled again until a guard backhanded him across the face again, causing a bright red mark which would soon form a new bruise.
Denethor walked to Haldir and jerked him up by his hair. He crouched down to see into those hard blue eyes.
"You will become my slave and consort. The other," Denethor nodded towards Rumil, "is the reason you will obey me."
Haldir looked into the cold depths of Denethor's eyes and saw nothing but cruelty edged with insanity.
"You will not defy me, because I will punish him. For every mistake or rebellious act you perform, he will be punished as you watch. If you refuse to watch, he will be punished further. Do you understand?"
Haldir choked back an anguished cry, and nodded slowly. Rumil was trying to say something, but could not due to the gag.
"You will answer me properly, slave!"
Haldir struggled with himself for a few seconds, but managed to grit out, "Yes Master."
Denethor smiled then.
"Very good slave. The door wardens told me your names, and I shall let you keep them. I understand you are brothers?"
Haldir nodded again, but said nothing.
Denethor narrowed his eyes and motioned to the guard near Rumil. For Haldir's silence, Rumil received two vicious punches to the ribs, causing him to cry out beneath the gag. Haldir could see the pain cross his brother's face and he quickly corrected himself.
"Yes Master! We are brothers."
Denethor motioned to the guard behind Haldir, who jerked the kneeling elf to his feet, kicking them apart as he did so.
"Your wrists will be unbound slave, but once you have disrobed, you will place them again behind your back."
Haldir closed his eyes and swallowed, tempted to refuse. A soft moan from Rumil chased that thought away.
When his wrists had been freed, Haldir quickly stripped himself of clothing, defiantly throwing it in a heap next to him on the floor. He did as he was bid, though, and moved his feet apart as he laced his fingers together behind his back.
He stood there, in front of Denethor, his chin
up and eyes looking at the distant wall, thinking only of saving Rumil from
any more pain. After all, he was the older brother, it was his job to protect
Rumil. No matter what Denethor would do to him, he could take it. He wasn't
so sure about Rumil being able to survive continual physical abuse for long.
He hoped that they would let them both stay in a room together, away from
that dark cell. Haldir knew he would sooner perish than stay there for long.
He figured Rumil would be the same.
Denethor walked slowly around his new slave, not touching, but eyes devouring the well muscled form. He stopped behind Haldir, gathering a fistful of hair, delighting in the silken feel in his hand. He pulled Haldir's head back and locked his lips on the now revealed throat and neck. Haldir jerked and jumped under Denethor's hands, but did not resist, nor move away.
The only sounds in the room was the quiet whimper Rumil made as Denethor began to ran his free hand down Haldir's chest while his lips rested in the hollow of his throat and began to suck. He finally lifted his head, smiling at the mark he'd made.
He addressed his guards once again.
"Take that one back to his cell, but do not feed him until I send word. This one will earn meals for them both tonight, I think."
Rumil was untied and dragged from the room, protesting, trying to catch Haldir's eye.
Haldir, even though Denethor had let go of his hair, preferred to look at the floor, and would not watch them take Rumil away.
The door closed with a sharp sound, leaving Haldir and Denethor alone.
Denethor crossed the room with long strides, indicating that Haldir should follow him. He went through another door, this one opening into his bedchamber. Haldir took a long slow breath before he followed the Steward in. He'd been with male elves before, it was not uncommon, but mortal men had not been included in his past experiences. He was understandably anxious about this encounter.
Denethor stopped before the fire in his room. Another servant stepped out from the shadows to help him disrobe. Haldir didn't know what to do, so he decided to play it safe and he knelt next to the door, once he got past another inner war, reminding himself that Rumil was more important than his own pride right now.
Denethor turned after his servant had placed a loose sleeping robe over his shoulders. He smiled at seeing Haldir kneeling.
"Excellent. I can see that you will need very little training regarding your proper behavior. I wish to make one thing clear to you, though. When you enter my chambers, you will immediately disrobe. You will be allowed to sleep here, as long as you please me, but you are not allowed clothing in here."
"Now, come here and kneel before me. Oh, and Haldir?"
Reluctantly, "yes Master?"
Haldir opened his mouth to protest, then bit it back as he pictured Rumil in that dark cell, cold and hungry.
Denethor had settled himself on the bed, his legs spread, his desire apparent. Haldir crawled and knelt between his legs, guessing Denethor's intentions and steeling himself to please the obviously insane man.
"You may touch me, slave, but do not use your hands. I wish to see if the emissaries of the elven witch can do more than talk and deceive."
Haldir said nothing, but took a deep steadying breath and leaned forward, carefully tucking his hands behind his back so he wouldn't be tempted to use them and draw a punishment for Rumil in the process.
He tentatively licked at the Steward's thick shaft, willing himself not to gag at the heavy earthy scent and taste, so different from his elven lovers. He wasn't entirely sure it was bad, it was just overpowering to his heightened senses. Denethor didn't notice his slight hesitations, though, and grabbed Haldir's head, holding him close, choosing to control the pace.
Soon, Haldir could do nothing but keep his lips tight around the thickness in his mouth. Denethor began to forcefully move his head back and forth at the same time that he thrust his hips. He was obviously enjoying the warm heat of Haldir's mouth, but he kept complete control of his slave. It wasn't long before he threw his head back and shuddered his release, keeping Haldir still, commanding him to swallow.
Denethor moved back onto the bed, turning and settling himself on the pillows so he was half-sitting, half-lying down.
"Haldir, come up here. I am not finished with you yet."
Haldir hadn't really thought he was, but he'd hoped. He got off his knees and climbed onto the bed, moving between Denethor and the wall. He tried to maintain some distance, but Denethor would have none of it. He pushed Haldir back onto the bed, rolling on top of him, driving a knee between his thighs. Haldir tried to relax as he felt roughened hands moving over his skin. He started when the Steward of Gondor wrapped a warm hand around his up to now unresponsive organ.
As he squeezed the slowly stiffening flesh, he drove his tongue deep into Haldir's mouth, tasting and taking, bruising the elf's lips, dominating his tongue. Denethor finally broke the contact of their lips, lifting his head to smile down at his new slave.
"So sweet. If I had known elves tasted like this, I would have gotten one sooner."
He tipped his head to lick Haldir's lips, then he began nibbling a path over his chin and throat, down to his chest. He paused his exploration at a slightly hardened nipple, pinching it between his teeth and pulling up, causing Haldir to gasp from the stinging pain. He lifted his head again to look at his slave, noticing the flushed face, covered in a thin sheen of sweat. He worked his lower hand a little faster, handling Haldir a little more roughly, pleased at the responses of his newest toy.
Haldir arched up, pushing his hips into Denethor's hand, gasping when he was abruptly released as his new master knelt up between his legs. Denethor grasped an ankle and lifted one slender leg onto his shoulder, opening Haldir's legs wide. He smirked down at the sudden anxiety on his slave's face and, at the same time, spit into his own hand, then rubbed it up and down his own hard shaft, preparing to enter his slave.
Haldir cried out a bit and Denethor grunted as he forced his way in. The elf tried desperately to relax, but he felt as if he was being torn. Denethor finally thrust hard once with his hips and buried himself deep inside his slave. Haldir's face was covered in sweat, tendrils of his hair stuck to his face and neck.
The Steward of Gondor remained still for a moment, breathing hard, then he began a slow thrusting, gradually increasing the pace and depth of his thrusts until he was pounding the slender elf's body, hammering him into the mattress. Haldir gripped the bedclothes beneath him, bunching it up in white knuckles, the hot pain in his lower half making him softly cry out.
Denethor took no notice of Haldir's discomfort, driving harder into the tight heat of his body until he reached his climax. Even the welcome lubrication did little to ease the fiery pain in Haldir's lower regions. He struggled to breathe as Denethor collapsed on top of him, shuddering.
Haldir wanted only to get away, to wash himself and find relief. He'd had male lovers before, but none so cruel and hard as this man, taking him unprepared, hurting him.
Denethor finally lifted himself up off the subdued elf, looking down at him.
"Be happy, elf. You pleased me. You earned a meal for your brother. Go tell the guard just outside the door. Then return here."
Haldir got slowly out of the bed, moving stiffly and in obvious pain. When he reached the door, he looked around for a robe or something to put on before he went out, but found nothing nearby.
"May I put on a robe or some other clothes?"
"No. You won't be gone that long."
Haldir flushed a little in humiliation, but he did as he was told.
He returned quickly and Denethor patted the bed next to him, indicating where Haldir should lay down.
Denethor pulled him close, wedging a leg between
"You'll sleep with me tonight, my new pet. I shall want to make use of you again soon."
Haldir spent the night in Denethor's bed, asking Elbereth for strength as the man used him twice more, inflicting more pain upon him each time. He kept his thoughts focused on taking the pain though, remembering that he was saving Rumil from having to endure it. He hoped that if he cooperated willingly now, he'd be able to find a way to escape sooner.
Haldir was awakened the next morning by a rough hand, shaking his shoulder.
"Haldir! Haldir get up! You're late for guard duty!"
He blinked as consciousness returned. He was sore everywhere. His mouth was dry, and it hurt to swallow. And strangely, his head was pounding as if someone were inside, knocking on it with a large hammer. He sat up, but quickly lay back down as the room started to spin.
"Haldir! Haldir! Are you awake?" The loud voice was back, and so was the hand shaking him. He finally opened his eyes and focused, looking up. Rumil! Rumil was standing above him, a sly grin on his face.
"How did you escape? Are we free? How did you get me out of Denethor's chamber?" He paused, realizing what Rumil had said before. "Guard duty?"
Rumil looked confused, then raised an eyebrow and began laughing.
"What? Why are you laughing?"
"Escape Denethor? Brother, look around you."
Haldir did, taking the time to really notice where he was. He looked back at Rumil once more, realizing that he was in his own bed, in his own talan.
He flopped back down on the bed, covering his eyes with his hands.
"Rumil. Next time Orophin bets me that he can drink more than me, stop me, please! You will NOT believe the nightmare I had. As if Denethor would ever be that evil!"
Rumil laughed along with Haldir at the thought of Denethor being anything other than the proud and honorable mortal he was.
Haldir slowly composed himself and got out of bed, muttering as he got ready to go to his post.
"An evil Denethor. That's as likely as a Dwarf falling in love with Lady Galadriel!"