A Question of Motive

By Tricia


The day of Elrond's great council in Rivendell was a bittersweet one for Boromir. It was on that day the Man first encountered Legolas, Elven Prince of Mirkwood, the fairest being yet to cross his path. Something changed in the world when Boromir set eyes upon the Elf. A tiny ripple passed over the surface of all that he held true. It was also on that day that the Ring of Power, source of all their heartache, first began to call to him.

Boromir came to the council a proud representative of Man. He did not expect there to be another human in attendance, much less the edgy Ranger who called himself Strider. It threw him off momentarily, but he had always been quick to adapt and he acknowledged the other Man's presence with the barest of civility. It was to the other attendees of the council that Boromir saved his interest.

It was an odd lot, to be sure. The Dwarves were stout and brown; to Boromir they resembled the rock boulders to which they plied their craft. The short warriors took their places within the semi-circle with barely concealed impatience. Whatever the purpose of the council, the Dwarves wanted it finished and done with.

There was a Hobbit who came with Gandalf. Boromir took in the Halfling's obviously frail state of health and wondered at his purpose here. Surely they could have found one more hail amongst the community of Hobbits? This little one looked alternately ill at ease and supremely relieved. He held his hand protectively over his heart.

And then there were the Elves.

Boromir had had limited contact with the fair race from the forest, finding them to be collectively cool and distant. The few instances Elves had visited his father, they had scrutinized Boromir with an unvoiced superiority that rankled. They thought him a mere mortal with all the attendant weaknesses. He considered them pretty things with hearts of ice. He did not much care for Elves.

But this time it was different. Rather, *he* was different. Legolas caught Boromir's eye immediately. Though dressed as his fellows in pewter gray cloak and green leggings, head crowed with a similar fall of pale golden hair, such sameness did nothing to disguise the fact that Legolas was a sparkling jewel amidst coal. His beauty demanded to be admired. Boromir had never before been attracted to Elves, off-put by their seemingly untouchable beauty. But against his will, his eyes strayed to Legolas time and again. He drank from the vision of the Elf as though he were dying of thirst.

Elrond began to speak. Boromir knew he should listen, come as far as he had from Minas Tirith. But he found it difficult. The gem that was Legolas glittered like a teardrop in the corner of his eye. He caught the movement as the Elf turned his way. He dared a glance. Legolas was looking directly at him. The contact was like lightening.

Heat flared low in his body. Incredulous, he felt the first stirrings of desire begin to stiffen his body. He yanked his eyes away. This was not the time, nor place, he told himself angrily.

He forced himself to focus on the council. The Lord of Rivendell was speaking of a great evil. Boromir listened more closely. This was something with which he could relate. In his homeland, he knew much of fear and pain.

Elrond called to the Hobbit, who was named Frodo. When the Hobbit stood, Boromir realized the Halfling had not been holding his heart as he'd supposed, but protecting a small pocket on his waistcoat. Frodo reached into it now and withdrew a ring. Not just any ring, Boromir saw with amazement. It was the One Ring.

Gasps of startlement flew around the council. Boromir found his eyes drawn to Legolas, seeking the Elf's reaction. The fair features were grim. Yet -- was there hope there, as well?

The Ring has the power to change history and extend life, Boromir told himself. If even an Elf can look upon it with prospect, then surely more than evil can come of it?

Elrond was speaking again, describing the Ring's potential for ill. Such doomsaying tried Boromir's patience. So narrow-minded. The Elf Lord was mistaken...The Man could not take it anymore. He stood.

"'Tis a gift," Boromir argued excitedly. The reasons to use the Ring were too many to count and too compelling to deny. He could bring relief to his people. He could end the fighting and restore peace. Provide hope, even for the Elves--

That it was the Man called Strider who interrupted him was a bitter sting. "You cannot use the Ring. No one can."

Boromir turned on him. Did the fool not realize what good could come of this? "And what does a Ranger know about such things?" he demanded.

The response was unexpected. And it was all the more painful for its source: Legolas, the object of Boromir's fascination, who rose to his feet and came to the aid of the Ranger. The Elf's brown eyes grabbed hold of Boromir's, refusing to let go. The Man felt his heart stutter. "He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. Heir to the throne of Gondor." The barest hint of reproach shaded the Elf's voice as he added, "You owe him your allegiance."

Any other spoken words and Boromir would have been lost to the moment, drawn in by the silken voice, the gaze that penetrated. But the discovery of Aragorn's identity had the effect of cold water upon Boromir. Stunned, he fell back on defiance. "Gondor has no king," he muttered, turning from them all. "Gondor needs no king."

He returned to his seat, looking at no one. Heaviness settled upon him. Aragorn would make him out to be a rash fool who wanted to use the power of the One Ring to conquer and rule. But something had subtly shifted within Boromir. As of this day, he wanted more than that. He wanted something that might not be within his power to have. Not unaided, at least. Glancing sideways at the profile of Aragorn, Boromir suspected that what he wanted might not even be his to take. Legolas had been uncommonly passionate in his defense of the Ranger...

He rubbed tiredly at the bridge of his nose. Shadow seemed to lie behind his eyes, fogging his mind. He would take better care in how he spoke, he decided. There was much at stake. He looked to the Ring where it lay, then up to the face of Legolas. Much at stake, indeed.


The creation of the Fellowship was decided upon. Boromir, more out of curiosity than an expectation of success, agreed to join them. The safekeeping of the Ring by the frail Hobbit seemed ludicrous to the Man. But he said nothing, firmly believing it to be a matter of time before the others came to their senses and recognized the opportunity the Ring presented.

That night, another great banquet was prepared. Stepping into the great Elven hall, Boromir was seized with an anticipation he had not felt in years. The cavernous room was packed with the most spectacular gathering of Elves he had ever seen. He might have felt unkempt and out of place had he wits enough to care. But his eyes were riveted to the head table and who he hoped to find there.

The rest of the Fellowship, along with Elrond and his daughter, were already seated and enjoying the considerable bounty of Rivendell. Aragorn, Boromir noted with interest, kept company with Arwen. With an eagerness he was loathe to admit even to himself, his eyes scanned the length of the table. Legolas sat beside the Hobbits. The Elf was watching him.

A flush rose up Boromir's neck. He hoped his beard disguised the betraying hue.

"There is room over here, if you can bear the company," Legolas offered, a half-smile on his face.

Boromir inclined his head. "I beg to differ that the reverse would be true. I thank you, all the same." He took the empty chair to the Elf's left. A goblet of wine was immediately presented to him by a server. He took it gratefully, downing half its contents.

Legolas regarded him with amusement. "It always amazes me how Men seek to bolster themselves by imbibing a beverage that makes them lose control."

Feeling the warmth of the wine settle in his belly, Boromir allowed himself to relax. "What need have I to bolster myself?"

The Elf reached for a piece of bread, tearing it in half. "You seek to shore up your courage," he said simply, but his voice hung thick with meaning.

Boromir was glad the other was not looking at him. He knew the panic that skittered across his face was plain to any who saw. "'Tis true our quest is a difficult one," he said carefully, "but it does not begin for many days."

Legolas held a bit of bread to his lips, meeting the Man's gaze. "You deliberately misunderstand."

"Do I?"

What might have been impatience flitted through the Elf's brown eyes. As before at the council, Boromir found his gaze trapped within the other's, all thought tossed from his head. "You play at ignorance. It is unbecoming."

The Man held the stare for a moment, then barked with laughter. "Has the hunter now become the hunted?"

To his great interest, a wash of color drifted across Legolas' cheeks. "You make your regard too obvious," the Elf responded coolly. A world of distance was in his eyes. "I am uneasy with such boldness."

Boromir drained the last of his wine, signalling for more. He looked down at his plateful of food and found his appetite had left him. When his goblet had been refilled, he drank that, too, before turning back to the Elf.

He leaned forward until his mouth was scant inches from Legolas' tipped ear. The soft hair that brushed Boromir's cheek smelled of blossoms. "Do you kow what I think?" he began softly, "I think you grow weary of admiration from afar. I think it is not the boldness that disquiets you, it is the fear that prevents others from carrying through." Boromir saw that Legolas had stopped eating and a smile curved his lips. "I *am* bold, Legolas. And I have no fear. You may find yourself quite uneasy around me from now on."

Legolas pulled back from him. The Elf's pupils had dilated until they swallowed near all color. "Take care how you challenge an Elf," Legolas cautioned. He pushed his chair back and stood, looking down on Boromir. "Remember that you are but a Man, and I have seen much of what your kind would do."

He strode away gracefully, not a glance back as he left the hall. Boromir sat back, releasing a pent-up breath. Legolas' parting comment might have angered him had he not known the true motivation behind it. Legolas was challenging him. The Elf should have known better. Boromir smiled. The son of Gondor never backed down from a challenge. Especially not when the prize was so great.


For many days afterwards, he did not see the Elf. He did not think Legolas was hiding from him; that was not the way of the self-assured Elf. Instead, Boromir sensed that Legolas, well aware now of the Man's interest, was playing with him. The idea both irritated and intrigued.

Nights found Boromir traversing the numerous footpaths and bridges of Rivendell. During the day, he spent his time perusing the many books in Elrond's library. At some point during his stay, Boromir had discovered a growing fascination with all things Elven. The delicate, curving architecture, the graceful swooping strokes of their language -- all of it seemed so foreign to Boromir, such an antithesis of his own hardness, that he found himself yearning for it as a completion of himself. Here was beauty of a magnitude he had never experienced in his life of hardships and trial. He could not get enough.

As the days passed, Boromir realized he dreaded his eventual departure from Rivendell. There was so much here to learn, so much to admire... But reality, he'd discovered to his detriment, did not allow room for daydreams. Crossing one of the many bridges that connected the Elven haven, Boromir heard the voice of Aragorn upon the breeze. Thought of the Ranger brought distaste to Boromir's mouth. He did not relish the upcoming journey with Aragorn. He stopped, intending to turn back the other way, when another voice drifted to him.

Legolas. Every sense seemed suddenly attuned to the pursuit of that voice. Boromir crept quietly forward, melding himself with shadow, until he spied the pair upon an adjacent bridge.

Seeing them together, their nearness evidence of a bond greater than friendship, made Boromir's fists clench. He could not hear them, to his disappointment. The wind would not cooperate. But body language told him volumes.

Aragorn was upset. It was clear in every line of his body. He touched Legolas frequently -- quick contact that nonetheless set Boromir's teeth on edge. The Elf, curiously, reacted little. Legolas seemed to be listening with a palpable resignation. Whatever it was that distressed Aragorn, the Elf apparently had forseen.

After some moments, Aragorn ceased to speak. The two stood silently side by side, looking down upon the waterfalls. Boromir thought they might depart. Then Legolas touched Aragorn upon the shoulder in a clear expression of sympathy. Whatever control the Man had remaining was lost as he seized the slender Elf and kissed him passionately.

Boromir hissed, the nails of his fingers driving painfully into his palms. He forced himself to remain quiet as Aragorn finished the kiss and at last pulled away. The Man muttered something to the Elf, then spun on his heel and stormed away into the darkness. Boromir did not watch him leave. His eyes remained fixed on Legolas, watching for reaction.

The Elf touched his lips gently, looking after Aragorn with an unreadable expression. It was enough for Boromir. Stealthily, he crept back the way he had come and returned to his room.

He tossed upon his bed, unable to remove the image of that kiss from his mind. Hours seemed to pass before sleep finally overcame him. When it did, it brought dreams that spared Boromir no peace. He envisioned a kingdom of shadow, its lands and rivers banked by a dark fog that would not lift. At the heart of the darkness rose a tower. Within it was a single room that held a large bed. Legolas lay upon the bed, naked, his long silvery limbs wrapped in swathes of rippling shadow. In the dream, Boromir, king of this dark land, moved to the bed, allowing himself to be drawn into Legolas' embrace.

The Elf was intoxicating. Every contact of their skin set Boromir's nerves alight. He kissed Legolas roughly, ran his hands over every inch of pale skin. Legolas seemed to enjoy everything Boromir did to him. He moaned throatily, writhing in carnal pleasure on the sheets. His responsiveness enflamed the Man.

Boromir moved over the Elf, his manhood throbbing with desire. His blood roared with the need to conquer. But inexplicably, Legolas pushed him away. Groaning in frustration, Boromir fell back as a curtain of shadow materialized between them. Through it, Legolas held out his hand. Upon his palm lay the One Ring. Voices whispered from the shadows. Enticing...

He came awake with a gasp and found his arm extended upon the coverlet. Shaken, he retracted his arm. Damn Legolas for haunting him even in his sleep, Boromir thought. He was afraid to return to sleep. He dressed in the dark and left his room, heading for the

bridges.The crisp night air swept the last lingering shadow from his head. Feeling perverse, he walked to the bridge upon which he had earlier spied Legolas and Aragorn. He stood where they had, arms braced upon the railing, and looked out over the water.

"Do not tell me the hunter has given up the chase," a voice murmured from over his shoulder.

Boromir gripped the railing with whitened knuckles. Whatever peace he had sought would not be found this night. Without turning, he replied, "The best hunter allows his prey to come to him."

Legolas laughed quietly and moved to stand beside him. The Elf was dressed as he had been earlier. Boromir did not think he had ever retired to bed. Filtered moonlight glowed on Legolas' pale hair, creating the illusion he wore a crown of cascading silver. In the misty light, the fair Elven features appeared magical. Boromir stared unabashedly.

"Yet again, you lack subtlety," Legolas reminded him, glancing aside. His voice was cool, but Boromir thought he detected a trace of uncertainty in the way the Elf looked at him.

"Such artifice is wasted on you," he replied truthfully. "You know that all who look upon you must also desire you." Boromir could not believe his own boldness, but pride would not allow him to back down now. The Elf's slender hand rested upon the railing. Boromir reached for it, turned it palm side up . He watched the brown gaze turn black as, with one finger, he drew a spiraling circle upon Legolas' palm. "What I lack in subtleties and patience, I make up for with honesty. You would prefer the truth, I think?"

Legolas' darkened eyes followed the path of Boromir's finger as it drew its maddening pattern upon his palm. "What truth would you have me believe?"

Boromir trailed his fingers to the sensitive skin of Legolas' wrist. He let his fingertips brush lightly back and forth, quickening the beat of the pulse there. "Believe that you drive me mad," he whispered. He raised the Elf's wrist to his mouth and used the tip of his tongue to retrace the path his fingers had taken. Within his grasp, the Elf's hand trembled. "Believe that every time I see you, I want to possess you."

He pressed his open mouth to the tender flesh, risking a glance up. Legolas was transfixed, fascination and arousal bringing a faint luster to his face. But more interesting was the surprise and vulnerability Boromir could sense in the Elf. It occured to Boromir that his flippant comment at the banquet had been strikingly accurate. Legolas', so accustomed to being admired from afar, daunted those who might have actively pursued him. Few Men, it seemed, were either confident or foolish enough to try. Fortunately, Boromir was both, he thought to himself, smiling against the soft flesh of Legolas' inner arm.

"What is it that amuses you so?" Legolas asked, struggling for control.

"I am merely laughing at myself for daring to touch you. I never thought it would be I who could tease such response from

you."Legolas stiffened, tried to pull his hand away. "You see me as a conquest? An Elven trophy to boast of to your fellow

Men?"Boromir held him tight and brought the Elf's hand to his mouth. Firmly, but gently, he pried apart Legolas' fist until he could slide one of the Elf's fingers into his mouth. He sucked slowly, swirling his tongue around the digit as he watched Legolas' face go lax with desire. He slipped the finger from his mouth, flicking his tongue at the webbing between as he said, "You are no Man's trophy, Legolas. Give me time enough and I will show you what it means to me to be with you."

A sigh escaped Legolas' lips, the sound unaccountably sad. "Ah, but you are a Man. For you, there will never be enough time."

An ageless sorrow underlined the words. It brought Boromir pause. Was this what had caused Aragorn to turn away, distraught? Had the Ranger asked Legolas to give up his Elven immortality and been refused? Thought of Aragorn and Legolas together bothered Boromir deeply. He did not want to dwell on it. It was *he* who was here with Legolas. He would do everything in his power to make the Elf forget all others.

"We at least have this moment. Would you care to spend it listening to more of my bold tongue?" he asked archly.

Legolas seemed to welcome the change of subject. "Given the choice," he returned with a glint of devilry in his eyes, "I would prefer to *feel* your bold tongue."

Boromir felt his cock stiffen. Wanting to share the sensation, he once again sucked the Elf's finger deep inside his mouth and ran lips and tongue wetly along its length. His eyes never left Legolas. He savored the vision of the Elf's eyelids fluttering shut as swelling desire visibly overcame him. The smooth lips parted, short breaths issued raggedly. Satisfied that he had driven Legolas to the same state in which he ached, Boromir let the Elf's finger slip from his mouth.

"Soon, I will wrap my tongue around more than just your finger," he told the Elf, sliding his hands up to cup the fair face. "Have you ever been truly ravished by a Man, Legolas? I plan to do that to you tonight, you know. Leave you shuddering on this bridge with the name of Boromir upon your lips..." He meant to say more, fueled by the excitement Legolas did not attempt to hide. But before Boromir could utter another word, Legolas kissed him.

The Elf was not shy. The supple lips Boromir had wanted so badly to taste took control of the kiss, covering his mouth with wetness and heat. Legolas' tongue slid insistently between his lips until the Man opened to the invasion with a throaty groan. He let the Elf fill him, tangling their tongues together, probing and caressing every inch of slippery flesh. The taste of Legolas was as he'd expected: sweet and elusive like crushed honeysuckle. It was, he decided immediately, the elixir of life.

Boromir let his hands fall to the buttons of Legolas' tunic. Somehow, despite the Elf's thoroughly distracting kiss, Boromir managed to undo all of the buttons. His hands slid beneath, finding heat and hardness in the Elf's sculpted chest. Legolas' breath caught as the Man kneaded the firm muscles there, then plucked at the hardened buds of his nipples.

"For a Man, your hands are skilled indeed," the Elf panted.

A wry smile curved Boromir's lips. "And to think -- there is so much more on which I may practice."

Such practice Boromir was dying to begin. Long had he imagined the hard length of flesh rising from between Legolas' thighs. But the actuality of what he found when he pulled down the Elf's leggings left Boromir breathless. He wrapped his hand eagerly around the firm erection, squeezing tightly as he stroked upwards. Legolas rewarded him with a breaking sigh, clutching painfully at the Man's shoulders. Boromir watched his hand move upon the pale flesh, marvelling at how like warm marble Legolas was in his perfection. A shimmering pearl appeared at the top of the Elf's cock. Boromir caught the tiny pearl and brought it to his lips.

"What Man deserves this?" Boromir breathed aloud to himself.

Legolas laughed weakly, shivering beneath the Man's hands. "Few Men do, son of Gondor."

He meant it not in a superior way. Boromir understood. Legolas did not give himself easily. For that, Boromir was flattered. He showed his gratitude by dropping to his knees.

He wanted to hear Legolas lose control. He, Boromir, wanted to be the cause of it. The touch of his lips upon the Elf's cock began it. Legolas cried out softly, burying his fingers within Boromir's hair. The Man took him into his mouth as though he would swallow the Elf whole. Legolas was fire and iron, his skin the softest velvet. Boromir caressed him without mercy, dragging lips and teeth with a hunger he'd never felt before.

He set a rhythm that goaded the Elf's hips into concert. Soon, Legolas was thrusting deeply into the Man's mouth, short, static cries bursting from his lips. After several minutes, the hands tangled in Boromir's hair clenched suddenly. They tried to pull him away. "Boromir, stop --"

But the Man wanted all of Legolas. He resisted the tug, increasing his efforts until the Elf gave up and held Boromir's head firmly between his hands. Legolas moaned and thrust himself deeply down the Man's throat. Liquid heat spilled over the back of Boromir's tongue. He closed his eyes and drank of it.

Legolas pulled him to his feet. The Elf's face was flushed. Strands of pale hair clung to his reddened cheeks. Fierce desire welled up in Boromir. "Let me take you," he said hoarsely, not caring if he had to beg. He stroked the damp hair. "I want to bury myself in you until we are as one."

A soft whimper escaped Legolas. "It is what I, too, would like," he admitted. He reached for the fastenings of Boromir's breeches and with more skill than the Man had shown, released his cock into the air.

Boromir could not hold back the groan that rumbled out of him as Legolas encircled his cock with strong fingers. The Elf set a quick pace that sent Boromir's already enflamed senses over the edge. His body begged for release within Legolas's hand, but he managed to rein in his rapidly unwinding control. He caught Legolas' wrist, stopping him. "'Tis enough," he said hoarsely. "I must be in you before I burst!"

The barest hint of triumph crossed Legolas's face. "'Tis easy to make short work of you," he teased.

In answer, Boromir spun the Elf around, bending him over the edge of the railing. The Man pushed his cock against the other's tight opening. "Let's discover how very wrong you are, shall we?" he growled into a pointed ear. He flexed his hips, pushing the head of his erection slowly, inevitably into the tight heat of the Elf's body. Legolas groaned, dropping his head over the side of the bridge, hands gripping the railing with whitened fingers. Despite his words, the slow slide inside Legolas nearly undid Boromir. His grip on the slim hips was hard enough to bruise.

After what seemed an eternity of torture, Boromir sheathed himself completely within the Elf. They both sighed, trembling around the flesh where they connected. Boromir bent forward and placed a kiss upon the back of Legolas' sweat slicked neck before pulling his hips back. Delicious friction assailed his nerves. Unable to help himself, he slammed forward, driving a groan from them both. Again he pulled back. But this time as he stroked forward, he changed his aim slightly. Legolas jumped beneath him, an Elvish cry of pleasure slipping from his lips.

Triumph and satisfaction fueled Boromir's thrusts. He became greedy for more of Legolas' cries. Steeling his control, the Man put aside his pleasure in pursuit of the Elf's. Relentless, he stroked the core of Legolas' pleasure, craving more and more of the Elf's wanton responses.

Emotion beyond lust took a foothold within him. He wanted this forever, Boromir realized. Legolas' heaving body beneath him would never satisfy for just one night. He needed the Elf. For many nights to come. Mayhap forever. For eternity.

"Ai, Boromir!" Legolas' jagged cry shot an arrow of passion straight to the Man's cock. As the Elf bucked and shuddered around him, Boromir felt his control shatter. Gripping Legolas against him, he slammed his cock one final time into consuming heat. He heard and felt Legolas explode in release. The sudden clenching waves sent Boromir tumbing after. With a gutteral shout, he spilled himself into the Elf.

He fell against Legolas' back, cradling the Elf as they leaned against the bridge's railing. Water moved swiftly beneath them, drawn towards the crashing falls.

"Legolas," he breathed, once he had recovered somewhat, "this cannot end here. You are in my blood now. I will not be able to stay away."

Stillness settled over the Elf's face as he looked out over the water. He would not meet the Man's impassioned gaze. "Be it tonight or a year from now, this will end eventually, son of Gondor. You would be wise to keep your heart close."

Anger arose in Boromir. It was already too late. His heart was no longer his. "Can you not envision yourself ever returning my feelings?" he asked, frustrated.

"Nay," Legolas said simply. The cool detachment Boromir had always resented frosted the Elf's words. "You are a Man. I am an Elf. Years divide us."

But Legolas was not speaking of their relative ages. Understanding broke over Boromir. One day, he would die. Legolas would continue on without him. He studied the Elf with new eyes, reading the defensiveness that tightened every muscle.

"Legolas," he said gently, lifting the other's chin until the brown eyes met his own, "if somehow it were within my power to suspend my passing, do you think you could come to love me?"

"That is an impossible question!" the Elf cried. Emotion brought twin spots of color to his cheeks. "Do not pretend what will never be!"

Boromir would not back down. "If it were possible," he repeated patiently, "for me to become immortal, too -- could you love me?"

An entire sea seemed to pass beneath the bridge before Legolas spoke again. His voice, when it came, was barely audible above the distant waterfalls. "Yes, Boromir," he whispered. "If somehow it were possible, I think I could."

Boromir closed his eyes and wrapped his arms possessively around the Elf. Shadow clouded his head, but he did not notice.

Legolas had said he could love Boromir. It was all that he needed to hear. The Fellowship set out tomorrow. He smiled against the Elf's hair. The future for he and Legolas was not as grim as the Elf would make it. Not at all. A lifetime together lay not far out of reach. It hung, Boromir knew, upon a silver chain around a Hobbit's neck.

The End

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