Sitting at the dressing table in the quiet sanctuary of Hentmirës
guest room, Eowyn combed and braided her hair.
At first, the miserable thoughts kept coming back to her. But
she remembered her promise to Legolas and, muttering, angrily,
Get out of my head! whenever they surfaced, she gradually
found that they were disturbing her less and less.
At length, when her candle had burned low and she was finding
it hard to keep her eyes open, she laid down her comb, and rose;
but, as she was turning back the bedclothes, she suddenly felt
a presence, outside the window, watching over her.
Legolas, she thought; and, smiling, she opened the window
and leaned out. She could see no sign of him, but that did not
surprise her, for she had long since learned that a human will
never see an elf who does not want to be seen.
It is working, Lassui, she called.
And, as she pushed the window shut, she heard the branches, high
above her, rustle in reply.
When Legolas arrived for breakfast, he found Hentmirës
house in chaos.
Hentmirë has already eaten, said Eowyn, taking
him by the arm, and leading him through the crowd of men, elves
and dwarves thronging the lobby, but I waited for you.
What is going on?
Word has got outand do not ask me howthat Gimli
has asked for volunteers to help track down the tad-dail and,
for some reason, they have all decided to congregate hereI
think most of them are hoping for a ride in Hentmirës
And who put Thorkell bogsveigir in charge? Legolas
nodded a brief greeting to the tall, saturnine man, who was valiantly
trying to impose some order on the enthusiastic recruits.
Your father, said Eowyn. He is to escort Hentmirë
to Eryn Valen, and then return.
They escaped into the breakfast room and pushed the door closed
behind them. You seem so much better this morning, melmenya,
said Legolas, pulling out a chair for her. How are you feelingtruthfully?
He sat down beside her.
I am fine. She gave him a grateful smile. As
I told you last night, your method worked.
When you were sitting up in the trees.
Legolas shook his head.
You were not?
Are you sure?
I did not leave our bedchamber, melmenya.
Then who was it?
What did you see of him?
I did not see anything, Lassui; that is why I was so sure
it was you. Eowyn frowned. But I did feel youat
least, I thought I did. And I heard the leaves rustle
you do not think
No. Legolas caught hold of her hands. No,
from your description of their feet I am quite sure that the tad-dail
are no climbers, melmenya. But I will have a look up there, myself,
as soon as we have spoken to Cyllienand I will ask Captain
Golradir to double his night patrols.
After waving goodbye to Hentmirë and her motley armyDo
not forget, LegolasDonatiya will be watching over Eowyn
tonight,they climbed back up to their chambers to
find a man waiting to speak to them.
Captain Golradir says I should come to you, sir,
Legolas noted the mans warm clothing and his leather money
apron. You must be one of the market traders, he said.
"That I am sir. I comes ere regular, every month,
and stays for two or three days. I as a regular clientele.
"And what can we do for you, Master
Osborn, sir. I eard about the murder and, well, I
think I seen something.
Come in, said Legolas. They took him into the study.
Are you saying that you were near the building works that
night, Master Osborn? asked Eowyn.
No misser, maamno, I seen this earlier,
in the afternoon.
Go on, said Legolas.
I ave a regular customer, sir, a lady, and that afternoon
she comes to me to buy. Then I sees im, Eral the carpenter,
dragging er into an alleywaywell I was all set to
go after em, sirer bein a good customer, and
im beinwell you wouldnt wish im
on the wife of your worst enemy
Anyway, I was about to go after em, like I says,
when someone else beats me to itan elf, like, all dressed
in green with is ood up over is air. E
follows em, and then I ears a scuffle, and then Eral
comes out, doin up is breeches and cursin, and
then the lady and the stranger come out, arm in arm, and e
leads er off towards the palace.
Doing up his breeches?
Can you tell us anything more about this elf? asked
The man shook his head. E was ooded, sir. I
couldnt see is face.
Then how did you know he was an elf?
Oh, is bearing sir. E waswell, e
was like you, sir. Tall, and royal-lookin
What about the lady? asked Eowyn. You say that
she is a regular customer. Do you know her name?
I dont ask questions, miss.
Can you describe her?
Just a lady, miss.
Eowyn glanced at Legolas. What is it you sell, Master Osborn?
The man grinned, understanding her question. Pipeweed,
They gave the man a small reward and, after he had gone, Eowyn
took out her wax tablet and they settled down to discuss what
they had learned so far.
Galathil brought them a tray of cakes and bubbling water.
The pipe-smoking lady must be Cyllien,
said Eowyn, making a note. If Heral was doing up his
breeches as the man said, he must have raped her, or tried
towhich would certainly give Haldir a motivebut this
strange elf is our most likely suspect, and the sooner we speak
to Cyllien, and find out who he is, the better.
There is a slight complication there, melmenya, said
Legolas. He poured two glasses of water and handed one to Eowyn.
And are you going to tell me what it is?
He cut her a slice of cake. When I went to see my father,
to tell him about the murder, Cyllien was thereall painted
and perfumed and wearing the flimsiest of gowns.
And he was laying on the charm, no doubt,
said Eowyn, licking lavender icing from her thumb.
He told me that she had come to sing for him
Oh gods! You are saying that he is the strange elf!
It is entirely possible, melmenya. Probable.
Butcould he have killed Heral?
He is more than capable in a fight, Eowyn nin; but Heral
was murdered, stabbed through the heart and left to die
And then mutilated, said Eowyn. Yes.
She took another bite of cake. You know, Lassuiperhaps
it is unkind of mebut the only person I can think of, unhappy
enough to have done something like that, is Cyllien herself.
They decided that they must speak to Cyllien immediately; but,
before they could leave, Galathil announced that Master Bawden
was asking to see them.
Show him in, said Legolas.
I have found the missing plank my Lord, my Lady,
said the craftsman builder, taking the seat that Legolas offered
him. And I think it does have a bearing on Herals
death. He drew a cloth-wrapped package from his pocket and
set it down on the low table between them. No, please do
not open it, my Lord; not until I have left.
Legolas glanced at Eowyn. She frowned. What is it, Master
An abomination, my Lady. The man leaned back in his
chair. You see, when a building is erected, its right
and proper for the builders to leave the odd offering for the
wights who might come to inhabit it. We wall them up, in the frame
of the building, where only the spirits can find them. And that
is what Heral had done, using the missing plankonly the
thing he walled up wasnt an offering, my Lady, itwell,
youll see. Just, please, be very careful when you open it,
my Lord. Now, if you would be so kind as to excuse me
Yes, said Legolas, staring down at the package, of
coursethank you, Master Bawden.
Thank you, my Lord. And I will have that list of
names you asked for by tomorrow.
What do you suppose that was about? asked Eowyn,
as Bawden closed the door behind him. Then, You had better
Legolas picked up the object, untied its cloth wrapping, and
held it out for Eowyn to see.
Gods, she gasped.
It was the figure of a man, about six inches tall, and modelled
in beeswax. His head was smallish, and wrapped in a strand of
coarse blond hair, his body sturdy, and his limbs thick, save
for his tapered ankles and tiny feet. But what had surprised Eowyn,
what had provoked her oath, was his phallus, longer than his legs
and fully four times as thick, rising proudly from between his
powerful thighs. A braid of darker hair had been bound round its
root, as though to maintain its magnificent erection.
said Eowyn. Now we know why Heral
was in the building works that nighthe was trying to cast
some sort of spell. This must be his own hair,she
touched the blond lock, and it slipped from the beeswax scalp
and fell to the floorand I wonder if this,she
fingered the braided ringcould be Cylliens?
From everything we have heard, melmenya, said Legolas,
hoarsely, I would not have thought that Heral needed magical
No. But perhaps,Eowyn frowned, thinking aloudperhaps
he was afraid of losing his potency and intended this as an investment
for the future. Or perhaps he was just greedy and wanted more.
She stroked the braided ring again
Then her finger strayed, up the thick beeswax shaft and around
the big, beautifully shaped head, until her fingertip came to
rest in its carefully-modelled opening, and she caressed it.
Oh! Legolas dropped the figurine.
They stared at one another.
I have no idea why I did that, Lassui, said Eowyn.
Oh,Legolas eyes opened wideoh
Valar! And he leaped up and fled from the chamber.
Through the lobby Legolas ran, angrily waving Galathil aside,
and he plunged into the bed chamber, and wrenched open the bathing
room door, and scrambled into the bath tub fully clothed; then
he pulled on the chain to release water from the tank above, and
cried out in shock as the cold stream hit his body, which was
burning with desire in every pore.
His phallus was a red hot weight between his thighs.
Legolas? Eowyn had followed him.
No! he shouted. No! Stay away! He grasped
the handle of the water pump and, working it wildly, knelt in
the gushing flow. Ah!
Legolas, cried Eowyn, frantically, please:
tell me what is wrong!
Ioh no! Valar, please, no! He scooped up handfuls
of cold water and threw them into his groin, wailing in agony.
But nothing he tried would quench the terrible fire and, finally
submitting to his basest instincts, he tore open his leggings
and took himself in both hands andSweet Eru,
he sobbedthe unbearable pain immediately gave way to an
overwhelming pleasure as, rocking back and forth, he stroked himself
Lassui, let me help you!
But she climbed into the bath beside him, and he was too far
gone to stop her; and her warm little hands took hold of him,
and her soft, wet mouth engulfed him, and suddenly every particle
of his bodyof his belly, his thighs, his penis and testicleswas
bursting apart as, clinging to her in a futile attempt to keep
himself whole, he came and came and came.
Well, whispered Eowyn.
Mmmm. Legolas held her close.
Technically, we did not make love, so no one else need
ever know,she craned her head back to look at the
elf, and his expression of pure, satisfied bliss brought a smile
to her own faceas long as they do not see you like
this. She kissed his forehead. Come, Lassuiwe
must dry you and put you to bed.
It was hard workfor the elf was boneless in the aftermath
of his orgasmbut, eventually, Eowyn managed to get him undressed
and into bed, and he immediately fell into reverie.
Exhaustedand not a little frustratedshe sat down
at the dressing table. The wax figure is a charm, she thought,
there can be no doubt of thata frighteningly powerful
charm intended to give Heral limitless sexual potency.
Unconsciously, she opened her jewel box.
Somehow, its effect has been transferred to Legolas. But how?
She tipped her jewels out onto the table.
A sudden vision of her elf, driven mad by magical need, thrusting
inside her, hard and deep, turned her belly to water. She closed
her eyes and rode out the wave of peverse desire. No, she
thought. No, this is all wrong.
She rose and, quickly making sure that Legolas was settled, she
returned to the study determined to destroy the figurinestill
unaware that she was holding her jewel box.
The thing was lying where Legolas had dropped it, miraculously
intact despite the fragility of the beeswax, its huge phallus
still standing, proudly erect. Eowyn crouched down beside it;
and the very sight of it seemed to feed her frustration, kindling
within her a raging hunger, an obsessive need to touch itto
stroke itto feel that enormous member
Dragging her eyes from the figure, she leaned her head against
the leg of the desk. It is evil, she thought, created
to ruin women. So I must destroy it, crush it underfoot.
No, what would that do to Legolas?
Suddenly, she was panting with fear. No. No, but I must conceal
ityes, hide it somewhere completely safe, where Lassui cannot
see or touch it
And that, she realised, is exactly what Heral
was doing when he was killed!
She scrambled to her feet. The cloth that Master Bawden had used
to conceal the thingvery sensibly, she now understoodwas
lying on the desk, and beside itinexplicablywas her
own empty jewel box. She scooped them up and, taking a deep breath
and holding it, she knelt down, dropped the cloth over the figurine,
lifted it into the jewellery boxit fitted perfectlyand
shut the lid. She set the box on the desk.
Desire was still teasing her vitals, but now the feeling was
nowhere near so urgent. And, anyway, she thought, what
do you expect after pleasuring Lassui in the bathing room?
Sitting on the floor, she leaned back against the desk, and tried
Somehow, the charm that Heral had intended for himself had become
attached to Legolas. How?
She thought back to what had happened. Lassui was holding
the figurine, and I was stroking it
She blushed. Butoh
gods, before thatthe hairthe hair was Herals,
and I pulled it offwhen the hair was in place, the figure
was Heral; the moment it had gone, Legolas touch
was enough to transform it into him.
Thank the gods I did not destroy it!
What if I were to replace the hair?
She hunted for the tiny blond coil and, eventually, found it
lying on the floor, beside her favourite chair.
She reached for the jewel box. There is no way to replace
it without unwrapping the figurine, she thought. But I
must be very careful. Gingerly, she opened the lid and lifted
up the flap of fabric.
For a long moment she simply stared at the figurine, captivated
by the beauty of its phallus; then she stretched out her forefinger
and stroked the wax. Hot desire pooled between her legs and, through
their bond, she knew that Legolas, though in reverie, was hardening
in response to her touch.
Somehow, she pulled her hand away.
I must get someone else to do it, she thought, slamming
the lid shut. But whom can I trust?
Eowyn opened her eyes. Galathil was standing at the study door,
looking down at her with undisguised alarm.
How long had she been asleep? Was she decent? I
I dropped something, she lied, on the floor. I was
looking for it. Then, Yes. What is it?
The March Warden, my Lady, wishes to speak to Lord Legolas.
He says it is urgent.
Lord Legolas is resting. Carefully arranging her
skirt, Eowyn drew her legs up beneath her and rose as elegantly
as she could, smoothing her gown over her waist and hips. Tell
him I will
Eowyn,Haldir pushed his way into the chamberit
He was standing so closetall, broad, heavy, and smelling
of muskwhy had she never noticed his scent before? Eowyn
swallowed hard. That will be all Galathil. Her voice
sounded surprisingly even. Take a seat Haldir. She
turned her back on him. As I said, Legolas is resting. But
you can speak to me. She walked over to the sideboard. Would
you like a drink?
Something in his voice made her
turn to face him, despite her acute discomfort.
I did it, said the big elf. I killed