Legolas groaned with pleasure.
Eowyn's body was soft and warm, and gloriously wet, andafter
a few thrustshe was already on the brink. He grasped the
bed sheet in both hands. "Gods, melmenya," he moaned,
willing his orgasm away, "I must rest for a moment..."
Eowyn giggled happily. "But you have only just begun,"
"You love," he panted, "undoing me like this."
She shook her head innocently, then suddenly tightened her muscles,
squeezing him mercilessly.
"Elbereth GILTHONIEL!" cried Legolas and his
body convulsed violently as he exploded inside her. "Gods,"
he gasped, trembling in her arms, "I am going to make you
pay for that. I am going to make sure that you never do that to
"You can try," said Eowyn, "but you will never
stop meI can do whatever I want with you."
Legolas pushed himself up on shaky arms and looked down at her.
"You think you can undo me again?"
"I know I can," she replied.
Shortly after dawn, Berkin summoned Silrim.
The landlord arrived carrying a heavy metal box, which he laid
on the bed. "Here it is sir," he said, "just as
Master Olemi left it."
"Thank you, Silrim," said Berkin. "You have been
very helpful and I will settle my account with you when we leave.
But my friends and I have one last service to ask of you. We need
to enter the Citadel unseen. And I have heard that there is a
system of tunnels running up the Hill of Guard..."
Silrim looked uncomfortable.
"I would pay very well for an introduction to someone who
could show us the way."
"How well?" asked Silrim.
"I do not know what the going rate would be, Master Silrim."
"Five hundred gold pieces," said Silrim.
"Very well," said Berkin, calmly. "Arrange it
The landlord bowed. "It will take me about an hour, sir,"
"Perfect," said Berkin. "In the meantime, can
you arrange some breakfast for us?"
"Of course, sir." The landlord bowed again and left.
His thrusts were just how she liked themrough but perfectly
aimedand she was soon feeling the first faint suggestions
of release. Eowyn wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled
herself up off the bed, changing the angle of his penetration
to give herself more time.
In response, Legolas grasped her waist, came up on his knees,
and lifted her onto his lap, using his hands to make her ride
Oh! Deliciously impaled and delirious with pleasure, Eowyn
arched her back and pushed herself down harder on his shaft. She
moaned in ecstasy, her hips gyrating, as her whole body tingled
with anticipationgods, she was close
Too close! she thought, Too close! I am about to lose.
She concentrated on Legolas, clasping his head against her breasts
and gently caressing his ears and scalp with the very tips of
her fingernails, until she had him sobbing on her bosom like an
elfling. Oh yes! she thought, Oh yes, my darling! Come
for me! And the moment she felt his orgasm begin she slid
off him and, grasping him gently, she watched the streams of seed
erupt from him. "Oh, my love," she whispered, "you
are so beautiful!" And she leaned forward and placed a tender
kiss on his moist, dark flesh.
Berkin slipped his hand down his ragged breeches and, grinning
at Gimli, removed a small key. "Not the most comfortable
place in the world to keep something hidden." He unlocked
the metal box and opened it.
"By Aulë!" cried Gimli.
The box was completely filled with small leather pouches.
"Coins and jewellery," said Berkin. "Part of my
"Where is the rest?" asked Eomer.
"With Lord Olivan," said Berkin. "It is safer
with him, but difficult to access, so I have always kept a small
amount here, where Olemi could get at it whenever we needed it."
He smiled. "My uncle spent the last twelve years trying to
make me tell him where the money was. But I knew that my life
depended on his not knowing. He wanted this, and he wanted me
to marry Lëonórwyn. After that, I could die... Now,
there are eighteen hundred gold pieces in here, and various items
of jewellery, so we should be fine."
"I will repay you when we reach the Citadel," said
"Certainly not, your Majesty," said Berkin. "I
would not be here if it were not for youand Gimli and Haldirso
allow me to do what I can to repay you." He
smiled. "Money is nothing compared to freedom!"
Eowyn sighedshe had won the contest but now she was desperately
aroused and the elf in her arms was exhausted. She slipped her
hand between her thighs and, burying her face in Legolas' hair,
she tried to pleasure herself.
"Oh," she complained, softly. It was not working.
Legolas raised his head and looked down at her hand.
"I am sorry, melmenya," he whispered. "Beautiful,
He took her hand and brought it briefly to his lips, then he
replaced her fingers with his own, gently circling her sensitive
flesh with light, delicate touches.
"Oh, Legolas," she whimpered, "inside me,
"Shhhhh"he kissed her tenderly"trust
me." Without removing his hand, he slowly kissed his way
down her body, gently parted her legs, and began lapping at the
swollen bud of her flesh with his tongue.
"Oh!" Eowyn's body arched with pleasure.
Legolas took her into his mouth and sucked gently.
"OH!" Eowyn stared in surprise as the whole
of Middle-earth suddenly exploded in a shower of stars and someone,
caught at the centre of the storm, screamed.
Then the world disappeared altogether.
"This is Master Olodan," said Silrim. "His fee
is another five hundred."
Berkin nodded, solemnly. "Thank you, Silrim." He turned
to the other man. "We need to use an entrance that is close
bywe cannot risk going out into Rath Amrûn. And we
want to leave the caves in or near the Citadel. I will pay half
your fee now and half when we arrive."
"Very well, sir," said Olodan. He paused for a moment,
looking at Eomer and Haldir, who had carefully shrouded themselves
in dark cloaks, then added, "It is no business of mine what
you intend up there but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't
advise you to wait until nightfall. The way into the Citadel is
well concealed but, once you are out in the open, the whole place
is guarded better than a young maiden's muff. You will have far
more freedom in the dark."
"Thank you for your good advice, Master Olodan," said
Berkin. "But I'm afraid we cannot wait that long."
It took Eowyn a moment to understand why Legolas looked so worried.
"I swooned," she said.
"I shall send for Dínendal."
"No," said Eowyn. She reached for him, smiling contentedly,
"No, my love, it is not something to trouble a healer with.
It is normal."
"Well, perhaps not quite normal. Hold me, Legolas."
He scooped her up in his arms.
"I have heard other women talk about it," she whispered,
laying her head on his shoulder. "They call it 'the little
death'. It is just a very intense completion." She lifted
her head and kissed him. "Thank you, my darling."
"There are four men in the street," said Haldir, "and
I would wager there are more of them, out of sight, perhaps watching
the alley from the roofs."
Olodan curbed his natural curiosity. "The entrance we will
use is behind the locksmith's, four doors down," he said.
"We can get there by going through the back yards of the
houses if you don't mind a bit of climbing."
Gimli looked at Berkin. "I will manage," said the boy.
"Let us go!"
Legolas closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on maintaining
his rhythm, but the knocking was growing more insistent.
"Go away," he shouted.
"I have a message, Prince Legolas, from his Majesty, King
Legolas swore. "Wait there then!" he shouted. "And
please do not disturb me again!"
He raised himself up on his hands and thrust harder. "Come
for me, melmenya," he whispered. "I know you are close.
Come for me now. I cannot hold on much longer, my love..."
Eowyn writhed beneath him, desperately chasing her release. "I
"Yes, you can, meleth nín, you canoh"he
was forced to pause for a moment, hovering over her"you
can," he gasped, "you can..."
Clenching his teeth, he lifted her up from the bed, slid his
hands down her body, grasped her buttocks and, squeezing them
firmly, pulled her down hard against his pelvis.
"Yes, melmenya! That is it!" He cried out in relief.
"Yes, I can feel you! Oh Valar, Eowyn nín,
I can feel you!"
The entrance to the caves was concealed inside a small wooden
shed built against the hill.
As they waited for Olodan to clear the camouflage from the door,
Haldir took Gimli aside. "Berkin is brave and determined,
but he is already exhausted. I can carry him," he said, "if
you can persuade him to let mehe seems to look up to you."
Gimli nodded. "Lad," he said, quietly, to Berkin. "You
are doing very well, but we need to move quicker."
"I know," said Berkin. "I will try harder."
"Let me carry you," said Gimli.
"I am far too tall!"
"Then let Haldir carry you," said Gimli. "He is
a great big fellow and, though they may look fragile, elves are
almost as strong as dwarves."
Berkin hesitated. "Do you think he would?"
"He has already offered," said Gimli.
Berkin grinned at Gimli. Then he turned to Haldir. "Thank
you," he said. "It is not how I had dreamed of escaping
but I would be grateful for some help."
"Come, gentlemen," said Olodan, opening the door at
last. "Follow me."
He led them into a squarish stone chamber, lit with torches,
then closed the door behind them. "Stay close to me and do
not leave the path I use," he said, taking one of the torches
from the wall. "You would not get lost forever, because there
are many ways in and out, but you could easily stray into a place
that isshall we saydangerous territory..."
"What are we going to tell Aragorn about all this?"
Eomer asked Gimli, softly.
"I have been wondering that myself," said Gimli.
Haldir lifted Berkin over his shoulder and they all began the
long, slow climb up to the Citadel.
"Good morning," said Aragorn, "I am sorry to have
disturbed you so early, Legolas."
"Eomer did not return?" asked Eowyn, anxiously.
"No," said Aragorn. "Here, sit down, you both
look exhausted. Let me get you a drink." He poured three
glasses of spiced wine. "Last night, Captain Berctuald searched
Berodin's house. He found clear evidence that Eomer, Gimli and
Haldir had escaped, taking Berkin with them. Master Dínendal
arrived here shortly after you did. But the others are still missing."
"Do you think..." began Eowyn, softly.
"I am sure they are still alive, Eowyn," said Aragorn.
"But, for some reason, they were unable to return to the
Citadel. The question is, where could they be hiding?"
Legolas thought for a moment. "The Golden Goose,"
"Of course," said Eowyn. "It is near to Berodin's
houseand it is the only place they know."
"And Gimli has become quite friendly with the landlord,"
added Legolas. "I will go down there and look for them"
"No you will not!"
"You have only just recovered from a severe beating,"
"Eowyn is right," said Aragorn "I will send Berctuald.
He is a good manhe will find them. In the meantime, Legolas,
I suggest you get some rest."
They had been climbing, for what seemed like hours, through a
series of strange, square rooms, joined by transverse passages
and steep, narrow staircases. Gimli had remarked several times
that to call these featureless dungeons 'caves' was a travesty.
"How much further?" asked Eomer.
"Just another two staircases," said Olodan. "We
are nearly there."
"It is hard work."
Olodan nodded. "The stairs are not easy. The passages are
narrow and the torches use up the air. It makes the heart beat
faster. The lad would have taken days to climb them by himself."
"But I am used to them."
"What do you do?" asked Eomer, curiously. "What
do you use the stairs for?"
"Ah," said Olodan. "I suppose you could call me
"I imagine you avoid paying excise by moving things around
the city this way?" said Eomer.
"I avoid all manner of things," replied Olodan.
They reached the top of the stairs and stepped out into a level
passageway, penetrating further into the hill, with heavy doors
either side, some of them locked. "We are on the sixth level,"
said Olodan. "Through there"he pointed to one
of the doors"is the Live and Let Live. The tavern
is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and sells
many things besides ale and whores. The customers pay well for
"It really is another world," said Berkin, awe-struck.
"An under-world. Though it is quite hard to appreciate it
fully when you are hanging upside down."
"Have you ever considered turning to crime?" asked
"Why do you ask that?"
"You attempt things that other people would assume were
impossible, and you have an uncanny ability to anticipate the
actions of others even though you have relatively little experience
of life. It strikes me that you would do very well at it."
"Thank you," said Berkin, "I think. But there
is already more than enough crime in my family."
"I cannot just sit here waiting, melmenya. Not whilst Gimli
is in danger."
"I know," said Eowyn, snuggling close, "but I
do not want you to go." Legolas hugged her. "We could
"Yes! Yesthat is the answer. We will both go together.
Go out onto the balcony. Go on!"
"So that I can change."
"Since when have you been shy about undressing in front
of me, melmenya?"
"Since it took Aragorn's messenger an hour to drag us out
of bed this morning," said Eowyn. "We cannot control
ourselves. Go outside."
They started up the final staircase, a long, curving passage
running so close to the surface that, here and there, they could
see pinpoints of light where fissures in the rock opened to the
"We are inside the Great Prow," said Olodan. "Not
long now. From here, you need to be silent."
Moments later, the stairs ended in a gently sloping passage.
Olodan stopped before a small wooden door bound with iron reinforcements.
"Put out the torches," he whispered. He waited until
it was dark then slid back a tiny panel and peered outside. Once
convinced it was clear, he carefully opened the door, moving it
slowly to avoid making any noise, and they stepped out into a
small potting shed.
"By the gods," said Gimli softly, "for the last
few hundred yards we were inside the thickness of the palace wall,
and now we are in the corner of the Queen's garden. Those are
Legolas' beloved fanglas cuttings."
"I will not go any further," said Olodan. "You
must be careful. Once you leave this shed you are on your ownwhen
I close the door you cannot come back into the caves. The courtyard
is overlooked on all four sides. There is a single way out, in
the centre of the wall opposite. It gives on to the main east-west
corridor of the palace. Now, I believe you owe me a further two
hundred and fifty, young master."
"Of course," said Berkin, handing him a money pouch.
"And thank you, Master Olodan."
The man bowed, stepped back into the cave, and closed the door.
Once he was safely locked in, Gimli opened the potting shed door
and stepped out into the garden.
"Gimli!" cried a familiar voice from the balcony opposite.
"Gimli! What are you doing there, elvellon?"
The evidence that Berkin provided, supported by the testimonies
of the assassin and of the father of the kidnapped boy, was enough
to condemn Lord Berodin. That same afternoon, Aragorn sent the
Gondorian Guard down to Rath Amrûn to arrest the entire
household. Olemi and Admant were immediately set free.
There was no sign of the kidnapped boy but, with Berkin's help,
two of the servantsOsuald and Ricbert, Berodin's accomplices
in crimewere persuaded to betray their master.
Over the following day, they revealed an extensive network of
thieves, smugglers and murderers, all working for Berodin. By
nightfall, the Gondorian Guard had arrested a further fifteen
men and six women, and had found the boy unharmed.
After careful consideration, Gimli and Eomer had decided to keep
most of what they had learned about the Minas Tirith underworld
to themselves. The day after their escape, however, Gimli quietly
made his way to the Queen's garden, and began making a few important
modifications to the end wall of the potting shed.
"Gimli," said a soft voice, behind him.
Gimli put down his hammer and turned. "Yes lad?"
"Do you have much experience of women?" asked Berkin.
"A little," said Gimli, thinking of Esmarë. "Why
do you ask?"
Berkin stepped inside the shed, closed the door behind him, and
lowered his voice still further. "Lëonórwyn and
I are married," he said, "but we have noteryou
"There still is plenty of time for that, lad."
"Yes. But the thing is... The thing is, Gimli, that I do
not know what to do. I meanI have read the books. But they
are notnot very explicit. And I do not know whether Lëonórwyn
would have married me if she had had a choice. I do not know if
she likes me."
"She likes you lad. She makes that very clear."
Gimli thought for a moment. He had never expected to have to
talk to a young human about... the birds and the bees.
"Well," he said, clearing his throat, "sit down."
He pointed to a wooden box. Berkin sat.
"Now... As you know, the male organ of pleasureassuming
that men are broadly the same as dwarvesis on the outside,
for all to see." Berkin nodded. "But the femaleumequivalent
is secret, hidden away, like a precious gem."
"Where is it?" asked Berkin.
"Wellpretty much where yours is, lad, but very small
Gimli thought for a moment, "Start off by exploring the
landscapegently, with your fingertips and, even better,
with your tongueget to know its landmarks. Then,
when you are readyboth readyto"he
inclined his head"delve for the treasure, remember
what you have already learnt about the layout of the mine"
A large bonfire had been built in the courtyard of the King's
House and the guests were taking turns to cast their Yule Wreaths
into the flames.
"What are you going to wish, melmenya?" asked Legolas.
"Legolas! You know it is supposed to be secret."
"Well, I will wish..." He leaned towards her, and whispered
in her ear.
Eowyn eyes widened and she laughed. "You wicked elf! I can
promise you that that will never happen!" Then she
raised herself on tiptoe to whisper back, "How would I stroke
your ears if my wrists were chained to the bedposts?"
She grinned at the look on Legolas' face, but then her own expression
became serious. "Do you think we will ever have any time
alone, Legolas? Do you remember, when we were first together,
how we travelled to Caras Arnen to talk to Faramirwe rode
by day and slept in the trees by night, just the two of us? And
then we spent the night under the waterfall?"
"Yes," said Legolas.
"Since then, we seem always to have been with others, snatching
moments together and feeling guilty about it."
"You were upset when we were interrupted the other day."
"Embarrassed," said Eowyn. "It is different at
home. Elves are more tactful."
"We will soon be home, melmenya. Is that what you are going
"It will be one of many wishes," said Eowyn.
Legolas squeezed her hand. "Come," he said, "it
is our turn." They walked towards the bonfire, holding their
Yule Wreath between them.
"Make your wish!" said Legolas.
For a moment, they both bowed their heads and closed their eyes.
"Ready?" asked Legolas.
Eowyn nodded and, together, they threw the wreath into the fire.
The dry leaves curled in the heat, then flared brightly, and their
light and smoke bore the couple's hopes and resolutions upwards
towards the stars.