Love In Deed

BY : amyfortuna
Category: +Third Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1116
Disclaimer: I don't own The Lord of the Rings, and I'm not making any money off of this.

One does not speak of these things, though it is common knowledge that they do happen. I am, perhaps, breaking custom in even thinking of it. It is wrong to want to worship the body of a hobbit with lips and hands.

But mine is a different love, and no children will come of it, no danger to the one I love. Too often the man-children begotten on a hobbit-maid will break her open in the birthing. I wonder why, knowing that, men still seek them out, for what must be the mere satisfaction of lust, no love.

I, as Chieftain of the Dunedain, have often threatened to slay myself any of my men caught casting looks at a hobbit-girl. It is dangerous to love them, I say. Let them keep to their own kind -- are there not women in the lands of the North for you to love?

I have never had to follow through with my threats. I hope I never will.

For I have broken my own rules, and I should, if judgment were true, be first to face the sword.

Do not desire the Halflings we guard. It is my law, and I have failed at the keeping of it.

I first saw Frodo Baggins when he was but a child, not even in his teens yet. He never saw me, though, for over the long years I have learned to walk as silent as any elf -- or any hobbit. I had just returned from long journeying, and was still establishing my rule over the Dunedain of the North. For years now they had kept watch over the Shire in my absence, and I knew that to become familiar with them, I had to live with them and learn their ways.

So it was that it fell to my lot to watch Hobbiton. Indeed, I often chose to watch there, for Bag End was a place of special importance to Gandalf the Grey.

And I watched Frodo grow from mischievous child to graceful youth, spying upon his every move with a delight that almost frightened me. My caring for him was different somehow than my love for Arwen, and I did not recognize my desire until it was far too late.

It was in the year 2997 in the reckoning of Gondor that my heart betrayed itself. Frodo was in his late tweens then.

It was a night that all hobbits should have spent indoors. Rain pouring down, a sudden spring storm blown up suddenly. Wet and cold, and miserable in the way only spring rains can be.

And Frodo was not in Bag End. No, he was wandering the borders of the Shire, near the Brandywine River. Perhaps he had desired to spend a night with the Brandybucks, his kin, and had lost his way.

In any case, he was afraid. He was young, cold, and wet, and I could not see him suffer.

I followed him from tree to tree as he edged his way along cautiously, looking for a path. He was making steady headway until a bolt of lightning crashed hard in the forest not far away. He gasped, tripped over a dead branch, stumbled, and hit the ground face-first.

In a moment I was there. As the thunder rolled around us, I lifted him from the ground. He was not hurt badly, only very much frightened.

"Who are you?" he said, startled.

"A friend," I said only. "Come, we must get you to shelter. This is not a fit night for you to be out, little one."

Apparently Hobbiton folk had never heard the stories about mysterious Rangers that they tell in Bree, or I would have had more caution from Frodo. As it was, he wondered of my motives, but did not say a word of protest.

I carried him swiftly down a secret path I knew to a small cabin set aside for the use of Rangers, just outside the borders of the Shire.

Once there, I lit a fire in the fireplace with the wood that was stacked up on the floor. I did not remove my cloak and hood. I did not want Frodo to see my face.

"Remove those clothes, hobbit," I said, more coldly than I wished. "I do not wish you ill from the cold and damp."

He said nothing, but turned away and did as I asked, throwing each piece of clothing toward the fire as it was removed. I laid the garments across the logs in front of the fire to dry.

"Get into the bed," I said then.

"Who are you really?" he asked, obeying me.

"I need no name," I answered, finally removing my cloak, for now only firelight lit the room, and it was too dim to tell features by. "I am your protector, Frodo."

"My protector?" he asked. "I did not know I had one."

"Few among your people do know," I said. "We move in secret, and guard your land from those who wish you harm. You must never speak of us to your friends, for we do not desire to be known. Your uncle Bilbo, maybe, knows a little of us."

"But who are you?" Frodo pressed.

I moved out of the shadows into the firelight, still not letting Frodo quite discern my face.

"You may call me Estel," I said.

"'Hope,' in Elvish," he said. "Are you Elvish?"

"No," I answered.

My own garments were soaked through, and I had no others with me.

"Is there room for another in that bed?" I asked, permitting myself a smile.

"It is a very large bed, Estel," Frodo answered. Well, I suppose to him it was. To me it would have held two men, if they desired warmth from more than blankets.

I stripped off my garments, noting Frodo turn his face to the wall as I did so. More modest than the average hobbit, perhaps, or was the figure of a Man so distasteful to him?

"How long have you watched me?" he asked as I slid into the bed beside him.

"Since you were nearly a child," I said. "Many years. Not all the time, but I have seen far more than you would care to have spread in tales about the Shire. Your first kiss, perhaps."

Much to my amazement, Frodo burst out laughing. "That was rather an amusing moment," he said, "as I look back on it. No fond lover expects to be greeted with a tree trunk when he tries to kiss his lass for the first time."

"It was your own fault for shutting your eyes too soon," I laughed.

"So I have learned. I kiss with my eyes open now," he said.

"The maids of Hobbiton do not care for that, do they?" I asked. "Why is so beautiful a hobbit and one with money enough not already snatched up?"

"I find none to my liking," he said. "And I feel that marriage is not what I desire, not my purpose, as it may be for so many other hobbits. I like my own life as it is."

"Indeed," I said.

He looked thoughtful. "I want to have adventures, and sail on ships, and do great deeds like my uncle Bilbo did. I don't want to marry and be tied to the Shire for the rest of my life...I want to be free. I want to travel and fly on the backs of eagles and learn to fight with a sword."

"Maybe someday your time will come," I said.

"I'm still cold," he said, changing the subject with hobbit-like abruptness.

"Come here then," I said, and he slid into my arms, our skin touching.

It was warm, yes, it was suddenly too warm, and I felt hot desire sting under the skin at the feel of his small body in my arms.

"I don't even know what you really look like," he said, "and here I am, curled up with you as if we were lovers."

He swallowed hard, and I could tell instantly that he felt the same way I did.

"Estel," he gasped. "Let go." I did so, immediately, dropping him as though he were a brand from the fire. But not before I felt his arousal spring to life against me.

Our eyes met, and whatever Frodo saw there, it answered in his heart, for he moved back to me, leaned up, and kissed me.

I died a thousand deaths in that moment of temptation. Before I could think to resist, I was responding, careful not to crush him with the desire in my lips.

"Just one night," Frodo said, breathing hard. "We can pretend this never happened, and we will never speak of it if we meet again. Promise?"

"I promise," I said, even as I bent over him to take his lips in another passionate kiss.

The fire only burned hotter at every whisper, every gasp he made. I traveled down his body, tracing it with my lips, learning every curve. My hands were shaking as I touched him.

"Can I," he broke off the words to recover breath, "be inside you?"

Desire had been a presence in the back of my mind, and now suddenly made itself known to me as everything I was.

"I can deny you nothing, Frodo," I said. "I have loved you. I have loved you so long."

He pushed me down onto the bed, and I went gladly. His hands seared along the skin of my back, traveling down to the source of his desire.

There was nothing to ease the way, but he was a hobbit and I a man. It was simple.

I could not see him, but knew from the way he gasped that he was finding joy in me.

"Estel, oh," he voiced, the name a moan.

"Frodo," I whispered in return.

And liquid heat spilled out into me. Time stood still for a long moment as Frodo held me tight in his arms.

"Beautiful," I heard him whisper. "Why can't we stay like this forever, you and me, here in this bed for all time?"

"I do not know," I answered, for truly at that moment I did not.

I had not been satisfied yet, and suddenly he seemed to remember that. Sliding out and off of me, he crawled up the bed to kiss me again.

"Turn over," he said. "Your time has come."

I smiled.

He kissed me again, with the lazy long-drawn kiss of someone thoroughly at peace. His mouth was so small against mine, and I had to be careful not to crush him as I moved.

But he was no innocent. The years had brought him more than mere kisses to unresponding tree trunks.

His small mouth moved on me, trailing wet fire down my body, tasting the still-damp skin.

As I lay against the pillows feeling him dance his way down my body, I suddenly saw him with other vision. Frodo became translucent, filled with light, and was revealed to me as a figure familiar in my dreams. My fate was bound up with his, I knew.

"Frodo," I whispered, and he looked up for a moment, smiling. Then he bent and licked me, just where desire burned hottest.

I made no sound as passionate delight overcame me. Time faded from before my eyes, and the world of sound and touch grew dim. It was a long time ere I could summon the will to move.

And Frodo curled up beside me, almost instantly falling asleep in my arms.

The next day dawned bright and fair. Long before he woke I was gone.

----

The years have been many since then, and I have grown older. But I think Frodo still suspects. Still remembers.

"I think, Strider," he says, "you are not really as you choose to look."

And I smile, grimly, at him.

"No, Frodo," I say. "I am not."

"I think," he goes on, "if you were a spy of the Enemy, you would...look fairer and feel fouler, if you know what I mean."

Now I laugh. "You mean, I look foul and feel fair?"

And above his protests, I remember our promise and do not mention that night.

They do not speak of such things, maybe, but it cannot be wrong to love this hobbit with love indeed.



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