Disclaimer: Lord of the Rings and all characters belong to Tolkien. I am merely keeping Haldir alive at Helm's Deep.
Authors Note: I do not know too much about Éomer so I am going to make some stuff up.
A Mortal Love
Part 15 - A New Beginning
Haldir immediately headed for Éomer upon entering their rooms. Locking eyes with Rumil, he said softly, “Thank you for keeping him safe. I should have warned you that he is stubborn and used to doing things his way. I am thankful that you accompanied him and did not let him out of sight.”
Rumil rose from the chair, feeling worried about Éomer, who was still staring at the floor. “Look after him, Haldir. He seems lost.”
Haldir nodded once and was about to concentrate on his mate when a question surfaced in his mind. “When I happened upon you, you were holding a light.”
“Aye, Galadriel gave it to me and said to make good use of it when the time had come.” Rumil smiled warmly and walked past Haldir toward the door. “Éomer refused to talk to me; maybe you can ease his burden.”
Haldir nodded thankfully and sat next to Éomer on the bed. The door closed behind Rumil and Haldir cradled his mate’s hands in his. “It is over now; the snake is dead and can never hurt you again.”
“He is really dead then?” asked Éomer; tension finally leaving his body. He collapsed into himself, wrapping his arms around his waist, rocking slowly.
“Aye, he is dead.” Haldir folded both arms around his mate’s shoulders and pulled him close. “Your nightmare is over. The shadow has been defeated and will haunt you no more. Peace can finally return to your heart.”
Haldir laughed bitterly. “How do I do that? I still remember the pain, his taunting voice. When I heard him call me his little whelp, my stomach turned. I barely kept from being sick.”
Haldir considered his lover’s words. “Maybe it will help if you tell me what Grima did to you in the past?”
Éomer shook his head. “I do not want to remember what he did and I want to talk about it even less. I want to forget it ever happened.”
“I doubt you will ever be able to forget the past, but maybe we can look toward the future instead?”
Éomer’s eyes sought out Haldir’s. “Will you stay here at Edoras with me?” Haldir had already agreed to staying at Edoras, but Éomer needed to hear it again.
Haldir nodded. “And once in a while we can maybe visit Lothlorien?”
“Of course.” Éomer smiled hesitantly. “Haldir, I—”
Haldir watched Éomer search for the right words and decided to help his mate by admitting his own feelings first. "Amin mela lle.”
“I love you too, Haldir,” said Éomer eventually, blushing weakly. “And maybe we can make a new start now that Grima has been dealt with? I want to do away with this shadow that has haunted me for most of my life.”
Haldir looked out of the window; the sun had set and darkness was spreading over the land. “I want to make a new beginning as well,” said Haldir thoughtfully, “but I do not want to rush this. In your eyes I read your question, but my answer is no.”
Éomer’s eyes widened. “But I thought you wanted me!”
“I do, but not when you are upset and hurting. We killed the snake only a few moments ago and you are still hurting, still dealing with the past. You need to give yourself time.” He refused to make love for the first time when Éomer was this emotionally vulnerable.
Éomer’s shoulders slumped forward. “I do not know what to do, to think or to feel. His shadow has been on my mind for so long.”
“Would you like to go for a stroll? Maybe some fresh air will do you good.”
Enthusiasm suddenly surfaced on Éomer’s face. “We could head for the stables and take the horses for a ride.”
Haldir nodded, pleased. “And after that we will eat.” He was relieved to see that the sparkle had returned to Éomer’s eyes, being worried that his lover’s confrontation with Grima had done more evil than good. But Éomer seemed to be recovering rapidly. The knowledge that Grima was dead probably helped.
Éomer rose from the bed and pulled Haldir to his feet. “Have you recovered enough to ride a horse? I did not consider your injuries and—“
“I can manage,” said Haldir, smiling. “I heard that you have wonderful horses here at Edoras.”
“You expressed an interest in them before,” recalled Éomer. “Come, let me show you!” He took hold of Haldir’s hand and pulled the Elf along. The walls were closing in on him and he wanted to be in the open.
Haldir allowed Éomer to pull him along to the stables. His mate surprised him by spinning around and grabbing hold of his waist, pushing him against the wall of the stable. “Voronwer?” Something about Éomer’s expression puzzled him.
“Thank you,” said Éomer firmly, while nodding his head. “Thank you for doing what I could not. Now that Grima is dead I feel…” Éomer paused to search for the right word, “liberated, I suppose. I feel like I can freely move about without watching my back with every move I make.”
“I enjoyed killing him,” Haldir assured Éomer. “To see your expression free of worry and fear is reward enough.”
“At least let me chose a horse worthy of you. I know their characters well and I think Firebreath will make you proud.”
“Firebreath?” said Haldir, amused.
Éomer slowly pulled him along until they stood in front of a chestnut mare with large brown eyes. Haldir understood why she had been named Firebreath. The air that left her nostrils simmered angrily.
“I will saddle her for you.” Éomer opened the doors of the horse’s box and placed a leather saddle on her back. “She will test you.”
Haldir arched an eyebrow. He knew the Rohirrim had a close bond with their horses, but wasn’t Éomer overreacting? “Why test me?”
”To see if you are worthy of her.” Éomer grinned smugly and walked over to another box where his own horse, Firefoot, was already impatiently awaiting its rider.
After mounting their horses, Éomer gave Haldir a concerned look. “Let me know if you get tired. After all, you are still healing.” Learning forward, he whispered into Firebreath’s left air, “Trot carefully for you are carrying an injured warrior.”
The mare neighed, and followed Firefoot as the white stallion headed for the gateway.
“Do you think it wise to leave the safety of the keep?” questioned Haldir.
Éomer looked over his shoulder, pleading for Haldir to understand. “I need to feel free.”
Haldir sighed and allowed his mate to continue.
Half an hour later they returned to the stables. Haldir’s back was beginning to throb and the adrenaline which had coursed through Éomer’s body earlier had finally worn off.
Éomer helped Haldir dismount and proudly caressed Firebreath’s head. “You did well,” he told the mare.
Firefoot followed obediently when the Rohirrim guided him back to his box.
Haldir looked into Firebreath’s eyes and realized the horse was watching him in turn. /My life at Edoras might be more interesting than I thought!/
Stable hands took further care of the horses and Éomer rested his hand at the small of Haldir's back. The Elf looked tired and his movements had become slow.
“We will eat dinner and then rest. It has been an eventful day.”
Éomer nodded, not bothering to argue with Haldir when the Elf’s mind was already set.
Arriving at the great hall, they found Orophin and Rumil already seated at the table, eating bread, meats and cheese. Wine had been served and the two Elves sipped slowly from their goblets.
“We were worried when we found your rooms empty,” said Rumil, putting down his goblet.
Haldir and Éomer joined them and began to eat as well. Haldir noticed with satisfaction that his mate’s appetite had fully returned. “We needed some fresh air.”
“Understandable,” said Orophin thoughtfully. He studied Éomer and was relieved to see the haunted expression gone from the Man’s eyes.
Gamling suddenly entered and Éomer immediately noticed the worried and saddened expression on the steward’s face. “What happened?”
Gamling cleared his throat, but his voice still trembled when he finally spoke in a soft tone. “A messenger has arrived. King Théoden has fallen in battle. He is dead.”
Éomer grabbed the armrest of his chair and his nails dug into the hard wood. His face contorted in anguish. “Nay, that cannot be true.”
Trying to comfort his mate, Haldir leaned forward and placed one hand on his mate’s, forcing Éomer to let go of the armrest. Tiny splinters of wood could be seen beneath the nails. Disbelief stared at him from Éomer’s eyes and he drew in a deep breath, knowing Éomer needed his support. His mate had barely recovered from facing Grima and now he had learned of his uncle’s unexpected death.
Gamling straightened his back and new determination was born in his eyes. “Long live Éomer, Lord of the Mark!” Éomer’s personal guards, who had been standing in the corridor, now entered and deeply bowed their heads.
Éomer forced himself to accept the horrible news. What Gamling had said was true; he was next in line and the new ruler of Rohan. Still shocked, he pushed himself to his feet and inclined his head, accepting the honor they paid him. “Gamling, I need a moment to—“
“Of course,” said Gamling, understanding the turmoil Éomer was in. “I will return later.” Gamling and the guards left and closed the door behind them.
Éomer collapsed onto his chair and stared blindly at the wall. “He cannot be dead!”
Haldir cleared his throat, rubbed Éomer’s knuckles and made eye contact with his mate. “Only a few weeks ago I did not understand death. Elves are immortal and we seldom die in battle, but after witnessing my men’s deaths I understand how deeply this affects you. You have lost someone very close to you.”
Éomer swallowed hard. “I never wanted to be king. I never thought I would ever rule Rohan!” Théodred should have succeeded Théoden, but father and son had died in battle. Now it was his duty to rule Rohan, and rule it well.
“Drink some wine,” suggested Rumil, “maybe it will calm your nerves.” He exchanged a look with Orophin, who seemed equally worried. Éomer needed time to sort out his feelings, and this way the emotional turmoil was only growing worse.
Éomer curled his fingers around the goblet, gulping down the bittersweet liquid. He coughed as the wine flowed down his throat. His gaze locked with Haldir’s, begging his mate for a moment in private.
Haldir understood Éomer’s need to talk to him alone and turned to Orophin. “I must see to my mate now.”
Orophin nodded once. “We can talk later. Now that the danger is gone, Rumil and I will rest tonight.”
When Haldir’s eyes settled on Éomer, he found that Rumil had refilled the goblet and that his mate was emptying it once more. A blush had appeared on the Man’s face and Haldir privately cursed, realizing the wine was stronger than he had thought.
“Rumil, put away the wine!” Haldir took hold of the goblet and placed it on the table. Looking into Éomer’s eyes, he took his mate’s hands in his and pulled him to his feet. Éomer swayed slightly and Haldir steadied him by wrapping an arm around his mate’s waist. Encouraging Éomer to drink the wine had definitely been a mistake. “Help me get him to his rooms!’
Rumil correctly interpreted the dazed expression on Éomer’s face and felt guilty for offering the Man such potent wine in his current condition. Folding one arm around Éomer’s shoulders, he supported the Man as they made their way into Éomer’s room.
Rumil and Haldir laid Éomer down on the bed. Haldir mumbled, “No more wine for Éomer, Rumil.”
Rumil bowed his head. “I did not know it would affect him in this way. I drank it as well, but I am unaffected.”
“But you are healthy and not emotionally exhausted,” pointed Haldir out to his brother. “Please make sure no one disturbs his rest tonight. If there are any messengers, tell them we will be at their disposal in the morning. Tonight he must rest.”
Rumil jumped at the chance of helping Haldir and Éomer, eager to make it up to his brother for feeding the Man the wine. “I will make sure no one enters.”
Haldir nodded thankfully and sat down on the edge of the bed. Rumil left the room and closed the door behind him, realizing Haldir and Éomer needed privacy. He found Orophin pacing the corridor. “Haldir asked me to stand guard tonight. He wants Éomer to sleep undisturbed.”
“There will be more messengers tonight,” realized Orophin. “We will deal with them and give Éomer an opportunity to rest.” He pulled two chairs into the corridor and made himself comfortable. “It will be a long night…”
Éomer’s head spun even though he was lying down. Haldir hovered above him and he reached for the Elf, pulling him down until Haldir lay beside him. The wine had gone quickly to his head, and he berated himself for drinking it, knowing Rohan wine tended to be very intoxicating, but hearing about Théoden’s death had shocked him.
“I need you, Haldir.” Éomer wrapped his arms around the Elf and clung to him.
Haldir stroked the blond locks and listened to Éomer’s too fast breathing. “What worries you most?”
“I am not prepared to rule Rohan. Théodred was Théoden’s intended heir. This feels so wrong.” He deeply inhaled Haldir’s scent and felt grateful that the Elf remained at his side. “Do you know what this means?”
Haldir made eye contact with his mate, wondering what aspect of their relationship Éomer was referring to. “What does it mean, Voronwer?”
Éomer swallowed hard. “I will need you even more now that we have a kingdom to rule. I was not taught to rule Rohan, and I will need your advice and support.”
Haldir wrapped a wild curl around his fingertip and played with it whilst studying Éomer closely. “You will rule Rohan well because you care for the land and its people. I have the utmost confidence in you.”
Éomer’s eyes widened at hearing Haldir’s admission, and the Man’s voice shook when he spoke again. “You are my strength; it might have started the other way around, but I need you more than you ever needed me. Pulling you back from the Halls of Waiting merely required me to obey Elrond’s orders, but you are doing so much more for me. You have no idea how much I need you, my silver moon.”
Haldir smiled; he liked the endearment Éomer had chosen for him. “I will light your path, Voronwer.”
“But I need more.” The wine has gone to his head, making him bolder than he normally was. His arms were still wrapped around Haldir and he skilfully rolled the Elf beneath him. “I need to know you meant everything you said; that you will stay and rule Rohan with me. I need to know you love and desire me.”
Haldir finally realized that Éomer was begging him to make love with him. “But Voronwer, it is much too soon.”
Éomer shook his head determinedly. “You rejected me earlier today; please, do not reject me again when I need you most. I want to make love with you. I want Grima’s vile touches replaced with your tender ones. Please make love with me, my silver moon.” Staring at Haldir with big, pleading eyes, he waited for his mate to reach a decision.
Haldir raised a hand and stroked the unruly curls away from Éomer’s face. “Are you sure you are ready to take this step? I would never forgive myself for giving in when you secretly have doubts.”
A lump had formed in Éomer’s throat and he coughed nervously. “I really want this, Haldir. I need it. Please do not deny me. I need the physical side to our relationship. I need to feel you!” He needed too many things to name. “Please.”
Haldir found himself giving in, unable to deny Éomer. “What exactly do you need, Voronwer?”
Nervousness nearly overwhelmed Éomer, but the wine gave him the courage he needed to voice his needs. “I want to be inside you.” Suddenly he averted his eyes, pulled back and knelt at Haldir’s side, no longer straddling him. “I—“ He was about to apologize for his request when Haldir knelt beside him on the bed. Finding the courage to lock eyes, he stuttered, “I do not know what got into me, to assume that… that you would want that.”
The guilty expression in Éomer’s eyes alarmed Haldir. /I should have known the memories of his childhood still haunt him, no matter how boldly he might act./
“I know it hurts, being on the receiving end. I was not thinking – you should be doing the taking and I—“
Haldir cut him short. “It would be best if you claimed me, Voronwer.” He didn’t want to accidentally trigger nasty memories during their first time because Éomer was on the bottom.
“But –“ Éomer couldn’t believe Haldir was agreeing to this! The Elf moved closer to him, and unexpectedly, demanding lips settled on his. Éomer groaned wantonly, taken by surprise. Haldir’s tongue nudged against his teeth and he parted them, chasing his lover’s tongue as it darted through his mouth. Gazes locked, Éomer began to relax.
Haldir now thanked Rumil for serving his mate that wine. It had helped Éomer to relax and enjoy this. His agile fingers quickly went to work on Éomer’s shirt, unbuttoning it and sliding it down the Man’s shoulders. A fine layer of soft hair covered Éomer’s chest and he experimentally touched it, instantly liking it.
Éomer’s hands shook when they reciprocated, removing Haldir’s tunic. The soft, smooth chest felt warm and inviting beneath his fingertips. “I want you,” he whispered hoarsely, “but I do not know how to do this.”
Haldir smiled warmly. “Let me guide you.”
“Aye, I trust you; guide me.”
Haldir took hold of Éomer’s hands and placed them on his chest. His nipples were hardening and his groin tightened as he grew erect. “I want you as well, Voronwer.”
They were kneeling on the bed and now their arms went around each other’s waist, holding the other close.
“What do I do now?” Éomer hungrily stared at his beautiful lover.
“Lie back.” Haldir eased Éomer onto his back and his hands went to work on removing his mate’s leggings. Pulling down the fabric, he smiled, pleased, seeing his lover’s erection bob free from its confines. He had never seen his lover completely naked before, and what he saw made him lick his lips.
“Your leggings,” moaned Éomer dazedly, “they have to go.” He still couldn’t believe that Haldir had agreed to make love to him. It finally proved that the Elf loved him and that Haldir’s words weren’t empty as he had feared.
Haldir got to his feet momentarily and removed his leggings as well. Looking at Éomer, he noticed how the pupils had dilated with need. A part of him still worried that they were moving too quickly, but his mate hadn’t left him a choice. After climbing onto the bed again, he laid down beside his lover.
Éomer’s breathing quickened at the sight of Haldir’s naked body. The long, silver hair covered them like a warm blanket and he almost wept with joy at being touched in this gentle, intimate manner.
Haldir took the initiative then and reached for his lover’s hand. Bringing it close to his lips, his tongue dashed out, curling around the digits, licking them.
Éomer could do little else but watch, entranced as he was. Haldir surprised him by lowering his hand and placing one slippery digit at the entrance to his lover's body. Éomer froze momentarily, remembering Grima had done this to him when he had been a child - and back then it had caused a terrible pain.
Haldir saw Éomer waver and reacted by gently pushing one of his mate’s fingers past his guardian ring. Hearing Éomer’s choked whimper, he looked deeply into the Man’s eyes. “I do not feel any pain, do not worry. I only feel pleasure.”
Éomer tried to speak, but no words left his lips. Instead, he leaned in closer and covered Haldir’s lips with his. Haldir whimpered softly and, encouraged, Éomer left his lover’s lips to suckle the soft skin beneath the Elf’s collarbone. Haldir suddenly arched his back and his finger slipped in deeper.
Stunned, he noticed that Haldir’s eyes had darkened to near black. He looked down at the place where his finger disappeared into his lover’s body and slowly moved his finger inside the tight passage. Haldir released a moan that caused Éomer to grow even harder. Drops of pre-ejaculate dripped from his lover’s erection, and Éomer let a droplet slide onto his finger so he could study and then lick it, tasting his lover.
Haldir’s gaze traveled through the room and came to rest on a small carafe filled with sweet oil, which the Rohirrim used to scent the room. “I will return shortly,” he vowed, slowly removing Éomer’s digit from his body.
Éomer stared at Haldir, wondering about the Elf’s plans when his silver haired lover retrieved the carafe. Haldir placed it next to the bed, but didn’t make use of it yet. “Lie back,” he commanded, and Éomer eagerly complied.
Letting his fingers explore every inch of the Man’s body, they lingered when they encountered two hard nipples. After rolling them between his fingertips, Haldir bowed forward and licked them. Éomer lay panting beneath him and he smiled, pleased with the way his mate was reacting to his touches.
Éomer was almost too scared to move, afraid Haldir would reconsider and leave him. “I need you,” he whispered helplessly, raising his hips when cool fingers massaged his sac. His eyes nearly popped from their sockets feeling a tongue lap at the head of his erection. “Not yet, Haldir! I am about to come and—“
Haldir pulled back, and a wicked expression appeared in his black eyes as he opened the carafe. The fragrance of a multitude of flowers floated through the room as he rubbed the oil onto his mate’s shaft.
Éomer stared at Haldir in bewilderment. What would happen next? Would Haldir follow through and make love with him?
Haldir wrapped an arm around Éomer’s shoulders and pulled his mate into a sitting position. Cross-legged, Éomer now sat in front of him and Haldir moved into position, squatting atop of his lover’s erection.
Suddenly realizing Haldir’s intent, Éomer sucked in his breath. He moaned blissfully when Haldir pushed down, impaling himself. His eyes were big with surprise, sliding into the warm channel and he claimed Haldir’s lips passionately, bruising them in the process.
Haldir let him, realizing how much Éomer needed this. He shifted carefully now that he had taken in his lover’s length.
Staring at Haldir, Éomer’s entranced mind tried to comprehend that he was now fully sheathed inside his lover. Haldir sat still, not moving at all, and tears appeared in Éomer’s eyes as the connection fully snapped into place.
“By Elbereth,” whispered Haldir, feeling the connection strengthen as well. “Elrond did not tell me it would be like this when we made love. I believe he held out on me.” Concentrating on his lover, he reached out with his mind and received an echo of Éomer’s thoughts and rapture. A warm, tingling sensation crawled up his spine, and when it faded, he realized the last remnants of discomfort had left as well. Was there even a scar left on his back? He doubted it. Éomer’s fingertips softly touched his face and caressed his skin. Keeping his arms wrapped around Éomer’s shoulders, he slowly moved, drawing a surprised moan from his mate.
“Haldir, my love…” Éomer knew he wouldn’t last long; his body was tense and eager to come.
After Haldir set a slow and lazy rhythm, they made love whilst clinging to each other. Haldir was surprised when Éomer’s fingers curled themselves around his erection, stroking firmly.
“Amin mela lle, Voronwer,” whispered Haldir huskily. Acting on instinct, he leaned in closer and buried his teeth in Éomer’s neck, marking his lover. Now that their lovemaking had completed the bond, he reached orgasm and came in Éomer’s hand.
Éomer stared at the creamy liquid that dripped from his fingers and was taken by surprise when Haldir’s inner muscle contracted around him. The spasms massaged his throbbing erection and he came hard, holding on to his lover as he released both his orgasm and a choked yelp.
Haldir held Éomer close, allowing his lover to ride the last waves of ecstasy before raising his head to look at him. Éomer looked disheveled and his locks were an unruly mass. The Man’s lips were swollen and bruised, and the ecstatic expression in the hazel eyes made Haldir nearly grow hard again.
Éomer moaned helplessly when his sex slipped from his lover’s body and he tightened his hold on the Elf, making sure Haldir couldn’t leave.
The wonder that still lay in Éomer’s eyes made Haldir feel humble. He’d had his share of lovers in his long life, but none of them had ever looked at him like that.
“I love you, my silver moon,” whispered Éomer tiredly. Making love had finally worn him out and his body demanded that he rest.
Haldir returned the tight embrace, assuring Éomer he wasn’t leaving. “Was that what you needed?”
“You gave me more than I ever hoped for,” mumbled Éomer, “I will never let you go. You know that, do you not?”
Haldir smiled. “I have no desire to leave you, Voronwer.” Éomer’s hold on him finally loosened and he used that moment to ease his lover down onto his back. Éomer’s eyes were closing now that the tension had been released.
Éomer reached for Haldir and tightened his hold, realizing it had loosened. “You will stay with me and I will love you. Together we will look after Rohan and make sure everyone is happy.” His eyes slowly closed as he dozed off. “I never thought I could be this happy, but I am… Thanks to you. Stay with me, love.”
Haldir gave in and allowed Éomer to hold him during his sleep. Watching his mate’s eyes close he mused about what had just happened. That the bond allowed him glimpses of his lover’s thoughts and feelings was unexpected, but he welcomed it. /And his passion surprised both of us. He was so scared, but our love helped him overcome his fears./
Haldir made himself comfortable in Éomer’s embrace, resigning himself to the fact that his mate wouldn’t release him. Resting his head against the Man’s shoulder, he felt content and sated.
/When Elrond told me what he had done - binding us - I was mad with him, but now I want to thank him for giving me this love. My mortal love; I will love you until the day you die./
Beta read by Ilye, thanks!
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