Disclaimer: All of the LOTR characters and place names belong to Tolkien.

Secret Lover

By Tricia


The first time Aragorn took an Elf, it was while he was in Rivendell.

To the Ranger’s own surprise, it was not Arwen. A day after the Fellowship had been decided upon, Aragorn had convinced the dark-haired beauty to face the reality of their situation. Love between them could never be. The West called to her too strongly and would eventually lure her away from him. And he . . . well, suffice it to say that Aragorn's fascination with Elves extended to beyond those of the female sex. Once the bittersweet acceptance came that Arwen would not be Aragorn's in his lifetime, the way was paved for another. For Legolas, he of the blinding beauty and challenging coolness. The one for whom Aragorn lusted after with a passion that bordered on violent.

Learning that the fair Elf would be joining him on this quest, Aragorn did not bother stemming the surge of anticipation that flooded him. Though their mission was indeed a grim one and weighted with the fate of the land, Aragorn knew also that there must be time to appreciate what it was that they fought for. Desire. Pleasure. Fulfillment.

The day after the Council, Aragorn was rarely to be found far from the sight of Legolas. He took pleasure in gazing upon Legolas' face and in hearing him speak. Thus, it was no coincidence that he overheard Elrond's twin sons, Elladan and Elrohir, when they addressed Legolas on a bridge overlooking the falls.

"Give us one last opportunity to play," Elrohir was saying. "You and we both know that fate may not be kind. We may never see each other again. Let us remember each other fondly."

"Aye, I would enjoy this with you," Legolas replied. "Though I refuse to believe it will be the last time we do such. I will think on this as just another game as we always play, with promise of more when I return."

Elladan laughed. "So shall it be. Let us go now. I find myself possessing a particular hunger for you, cousin."

The conversation had sounded strange to Aragorn, and so he had followed the trio, masking his passage as they did, for he was well-versed in the ways of Elves. It afforded him a hiding place behind a spray of grass as Legolas and the twins began to 'play'.

What play it was. Aragorn's eyes widened, lust commanding the beating of his heart as he watched Elladan and Elrohir undress Legolas. Smooth, elegant limbs were bared to Aragorn's eyes and he was struck by how perfect Legolas was. To his utter thrill, the Elf was about to look even more enticing.

To Aragorn's shock, the twins bound him with rope. They tied Legolas' arms behind his back and bound his ankles together. Then they blindfolded him. Aragorn could scarcely believe what he was seeing. Lying upon the grass, Legolas looked like a trussed, beautiful beast. His pale skin glowed, looking delicate against the coarse rope used to bind him. His blinded gaze made Aragorn's shaft swell with need. He had not realized that something as powerful as an Elf could look so enticingly vulnerable. It made him yearn to take advantage.

That ache increased tenfold in the next several minutes. Taking turns, Elrohir and Elladan pulled Legolas across their laps and with wicked abandon, spanked the bound Elf. Aragorn bit his fist, stifling a groan as the sounds of bare hand against the succulent flesh of Legolas' bottom resounded through the trees. He could see the pale flesh blossom into faint pink before gradually blooming into full rose. Legolas moaned and cried out, his voice sweet in his pain. Yet as pleadingly as he cried, the twins did not show him pity.

Aragorn was glad of it. He had not known that Elves showed an interest of this sort. It raised the lust he felt for Legolas another notch, until it teetered on the edges of that knife blade called obsession. He watched with his hand in his breeches, willing Elladan to spank Legolas harder, needing to hear more of those precious sounds from the Elf's lips. When Legolas' pleas broke into broken sobs, Elladan stopped.

With a determined, lustful expression on his face, Elladan opened his breeches and freed the long column of his sex. Barely a warning was given to Legolas before Elladan shoved his erection down the other Elf's throat. Aragorn bit his tongue, pleasure so sharp it was pain bolting through his loins. Elladan used Legolas' mouth hard, hands fisted in the golden hair until, with a groan, Elladan pulled Legolas tight to his groin and spilled his seed down the other's throat. Legolas was given barely a moment to catch his breath before Elrohir grabbed him by the hair and in turn thrust his straining sex down Legolas' throat and began to pump.

When Elrohir found his relief in Legolas' mouth, the two Elves laughed and patted Legolas on the head. Legolas whimpered, his own erection bobbing neglected against his stomach.

"Be good while we're gone," Elrohir said, tweaking a pretty pink nipple. Legolas whimpered and tried to twist away. "We'll be back in a few hours."


To Aragorn's amazement, the Elves left their bound companion. Aragorn stared hard at Legolas as the Elf lay on his side in the grass, panting and whimpering in his need. Minutes passed that stretched into half an hour. The twins truly weren't returning. When he realized that, Aragorn's mind began to turn.

He had rarely lacked for courage. This time was no different. He stepped into the clearing, his breeches tight with his burning arousal. He knelt beside Legolas. The Elf had stilled, sensing another presence. He raised his blindfolded head from the grass, straining for a clue to his new companion. Aragorn did not enlighten him.

He touched a pale shoulder and immediately heard Legolas gasp as he realized the calloused fingers did not belong to his Elven cousins. Wanting to reassure that he meant no harm, Aragorn stroked his shoulders, keeping his touch soothing. After a moment, Legolas relaxed upon the grass. Aragorn expected him to speak, to demand Aragorn's identity. When Legolas didn't, it made Aragorn wonder if the Elf already knew. Either way, it mattered little to Aragorn when presented with such an opportunity.

He squeezed the reddened buttocks, grinning when Legolas hissed and writhed against the grass. Aragorn brought his palm down hard, brightening the sore flesh. Legolas gave a yelp, clearly not expecting more abuse on that quarter. Lust flamed hotter in Aragorn. He vowed he would show Legolas what a true spanking could be like.

Legolas did not struggle when he was drawn over Aragorn's lap, though surely he must have guessed at the man's intent. His passivity made Aragorn's mouth water. He wanted to see how far he could push Legolas. He wanted to see if the Elf could be broken.

The spark of his palm against that soft flesh made Aragorn stiff with pleasure. Legolas whimpered and wiggled on Aragorn's lap, stirring the flesh that throbbed between the man's thighs. Aragorn began to spank him harder, as hard as the twins had done. Then he did it harder yet. Legolas had borne the punishment in relative quiet, but now he began to cry out.

"Nay, 'tis too hard," he moaned, shaking his blinded head. "You go too far with me. 'Tis too rough!"

You can take it, Aragorn thought in his head. In response to Legolas' pleas, he spanked him even harder.

Legolas bucked and cried out, struggling against his bonds to no avail. His slender, wriggling body upon Aragorn's lap fueled the man's need to conquer and dominate. Legolas was helpless to do naught but accept his punishment. Aragorn wanted him to beg, he wanted him to weep and submit to him as his master. Aragorn wanted suddenly to be the Master of an Elf. The prospect made Aragorn groan with blinding lust.

"No more, no more!" Legolas sobbed, writhing weakly over Aragorn's lap. "I beg of you. Have pity on me! 'Tis too much . . ."

Aragorn growled, his desires getting the better of him. He pushed Legolas to the grass and forced his beautiful face into the grass. The delectable red swell of his buttocks called to the primal forces within Aragorn. Tearing open his breeches, he grabbed Legolas by the hips and rammed himself inside.

Legolas screamed, his back arching, as Aragorn's hips slammed against his abused buttocks. Aragorn groaned and thrust wildly, his fiery arousal taking control of his senses, his mind. Legolas was so tight around his aching cock he was like a wet fist, squeezing unrelentingly. Aragorn shuddered and drove deep into that clenching heat, grinding himself as deeply into Legolas' body as he could go, until Legolas' buttocks burned hotly against his groin.

Aragorn could not think; he could not feel beyond the physical inferno that was engulfing him. With a grip that bruised, he forced Legolas to take him again and again, no pity for tender tissues, no remorse for tears that dampened the grass. Seize. Control. Take. Legolas was his.

With a shout that shook the leaves, Aragorn flooded Legolas' body with his seed, forcing it as deep as it would go. For good measure, Aragorn remained shoved to the hilt after the last spurt had shaken his sex. He wanted Legolas to feel and to know how completely he had been taken. He wanted Legolas to remember.

Panting heavily, Aragorn at last released the bound Elf, who promptly collapsed to the grass. Legolas gasped for air where he lay, the cloth binding his eyes damp with moisture. He had bitten through his lip; Aragorn could see the bright red pearl of blood as it welled. Fear began to grow in Aragorn. Had he gone too far? Then his eyes fell to the grass beneath Legolas. It was shiny with the silver essence of Legolas' release.

Triumph filled Aragorn's chest. He stood and fixed his clothing, looking down at Legolas with a new kind of hunger. The unattainable was no longer so. With this one day, possibility had extended its hand to Aragorn. Aragorn seized it with a firm grip. Legolas was his.


Aragorn avoided Legolas for the rest of the day, fearful, though he was loathe to admit it, of the Elf's reaction to him. When he inadvertently encountered Legolas and his fellows the next morning, Legolas inclined his head and greeted Aragorn politely. His blue eyes were steady and clear, betraying nothing. Either he did not guess that it was Aragorn who had assaulted him, or he had decided not to act upon the knowledge. Aragorn found this strange and relieving. It meant that Legolas did not begrudge him for what had happened. To Aragorn, it also meant that there existed the possibility of it happening again.

But such chance did not come for many weeks. Once beyond the safety of Rivendell, their journey was a difficult one. Keeping a watchful eye out for Saruman's minions required a concentration that Aragorn could not afford to spare for Legolas, though he was tempted often enough. He still wanted the Elf with a burning passion, but Aragorn was not needlessly reckless. There would come a time when he could sate his desires. He simply had to wait.

Unfortunately, others did not possess the same restraint. Aragorn had been blind to it at first, his attention focused so intently upon what was happening around their group that he did not see what was going on within it. But one night, well into their journey, Aragorn was within the forest, about to relieve his bladder, when he heard the sound of struggle.

Light-footed as an Elf, he quickly sought the source of the sounds. From behind a tree, he saw Boromir with his arms around Legolas and his mouth pressed over the Elf's. It was neither a willing embrace nor a wanted kiss. Aragorn started to spring forward to separate the two when Legolas took the matter into his own hands. A well-placed knee to the groin sent Boromir crashing to the leaves where he promptly heaved up all that he had eaten that day. Aragorn grinned and relaxed as Legolas stood over the fallen man with a disgusted look on his face.

"You presume too much, Man," he said angrily. "Merely because I show you respect and kindness does not mean I invite you to maul me."

Boromir's response was to retch and groan miserably.

Legolas regarded him grimly for a moment, before he turned and strode away. Aragorn watched him leave. Though Legolas' show had pleased him, the arrogant line of the Elf's back left Aragorn thoughtful. Legolas was too haughty by far. He possessed a pride Aragorn would like to see tempered somewhat. And so he followed the Elf.

He found Legolas paused within the darkness of the trees, his back to Aragorn. He knew Legolas' heightened senses had warned of his approach, but the Elf did not turn as Aragorn stopped behind him.

It was the first time they had been alone together since Rivendell. A brief uncertainty stayed Aragorn's hand. He wanted Legolas, and yet he did not know if the Elf returned his interest and would allow his touch again. To speak the question aloud was unthinkable. Aragorn did not want to risk refusal. So he didn't. He decided simply to take.

Aragorn tore a strip of cloth from the bottom of his cloak. He swiftly stepped up behind the Elf and drew the cloth down over his eyes. Legolas stiffened, sucking in his breath. Aragorn did not give him time to protest. He turned Legolas around and pulled the Elf hard against his chest. He took Legolas' mouth in a bruising kiss.

The need to possess made Aragorn less than gentle. He bit at the soft lips; he pushed his tongue into Legolas' mouth without invitation. Legolas moaned against him, firm hands coming up to clutch at Aragorn's shoulders as if to push him away. But he didn't. It was all the permission Aragorn needed.

As he plundered Legolas' mouth, forcing the Elf to open wider to him, Aragorn slid a hand down the slender back to grip a firm buttock. He pulled Legolas against him and ground their hips together. Hard flesh met hard flesh and both of them groaned. Aragorn wedged his leg between Legolas' and made the Elf ride his thigh. Aragorn moved his leg back and forth, rubbing mercilessly against the bulge in Legolas' leggings until he had the Elf squirming against him. Aragorn plunged his tongue down Legolas' throat at the same time he reached down and kneaded the Elf's groin. Legolas' helpless moan never made it out of his mouth.

Aragorn could take no more. Visions of Boromir trying to take Legolas enflamed him. He broke off the kiss and pushed down on Legolas' shoulders, demanding he fall to his knees. The Elf resisted at first until Aragorn growled throatily and took him by the hair. A swift jerk of his hand and Legolas was brought to his knees and his face pulled into Aragorn's groin.

Legolas braced himself with hands against Aragorn's thighs, but he did not push away. Aragorn sighed and closed his eyes as he rubbed Legolas' face against the throbbing bulge in his breeches. He wanted Legolas to feel his desire. He wanted the Elf to smell him, to taste him.

Legolas moaned. "You would . . . you would have me suck on you," he panted raggedly. Aragorn looked down at him, surprise and lust making him tighten his hold. "You desire my mouth around your shaft. You want me to suck on your flesh, and . . . gods . . . swallow you."

The words sent a torrent of blood rushing to Aragorn’s cock. With his hand still firmly in that mass of golden hair, Aragorn pulled out his throbbing sex and pushed it against Legolas' lips.

A soft moan was Legolas' response before his pink lips split to allow Aragorn to slide his length inside. Aragorn instinctively thrust forward into that wet heat, briefly choking Legolas as he shoved himself down the slender throat. The ripple of Legolas' throat contracting around him made Aragorn groan loudly. With both hands buried in Legolas' hair, he pumped forcefully down that tight constriction.

Gods, the thought of what he was doing to Legolas, to one of the fair folk whose kind had walked this land so many years before Man . . . it made Aragorn shudder with desire. He held power over Legolas like this. Whatever strengths the Elf possessed that were greater than his own, in this, Aragorn was stronger.

He made Legolas pleasure him. Legolas’ tongue against the underside of his shaft was wet and soft. It could do naught but flicker weakly around him as Aragorn’s sex filled Legolas' mouth too completely to allow for anything else. Mounting, mindless passion fueled Aragorn's thrusts into that wet cavern. He grew rougher, holding Legolas immobile and withdrawing barely enough for the Elf to draw breath.

Aragorn pictured Boromir again and it spurred him to pull Legolas' head into him until he bruised the soft lips against the crisp curls of his groin. Boromir had been denied this, but Aragorn had not. A male desire to conquer and dominate kept Aragorn's grip firm as Legolas struggled, trying to breathe around the flesh that choked him. Aragorn could feel the Elf's throat spasm around the head of his cock. It was maddening.

He gritted his teeth to keep from speaking, from crying out. Legolas was growing weaker in his struggles, his throat still rippling defiantly around the flesh Aragorn had forced inside it. Aragorn threw back his head and let a low groan ease from between his lips as he spurted hotly down Legolas' throat. The thought that Legolas had no choice but to consume everything he shot forth extended Aragorn's pleasure. His loins tingled. He released ribbon after ribbon of salty essence into the Elf's slumping body.

Only after he had completely emptied himself, did Aragorn draw his limp sex back. He released his hold on Legolas and the Elf swooned to the fallen leaves. Aragorn's thundering heartbeat gradually slowed. He was composed by the time Legolas roused somewhat.

At the first weak moan, Aragorn knelt and held Legolas down with a hand in the center of the Elf's chest. With his free hand, Aragorn released Legolas from his breeches and stroked him hard. Legolas came awake with a gasp of pleasure, his shaft rising swiftly and firmly within Aragorn's knowing grip.

Aragorn did not take pity on the weakened Elf. He bent and sucked fiercely on the hard column of Legolas' sex. Legolas screamed, his back arching up off the leaves.

"Please . . . please!" he cried out, his beautiful head tossing fitfully on the ground.

Aragorn dragged his teeth up the sensitive flesh. His tongue swirled wildly all along the pulsing length. Watching Legolas' tortured expression, he pushed one finger into the tightly puckered entrance between the Elf's legs.

Legolas cried out. The flesh within Aragorn's mouth trembled. He raised his head, letting the shaft bob free. A fast, hard thrust of his finger into Legolas' body was all it took. The Elf bucked suddenly and spilled his release across his stomach.

Aragorn stood and look down at the disheveled mess that had once been the coolly composed Elf. He smiled. He walked away swiftly before Legolas could remove the blindfold.


There were few things that could dampen Aragorn's raging lust for Legolas. Fear for his companions was one of them. Aragorn's heritage, however unwanted, instilled in him the need to protect those under his wing. He would give his life for Frodo. He would give his life for any one of them, in fact. But in Moria, he could do no such thing.

The loss of Gandalf was a crippling blow to them all. It tore the heart out of the Fellowship and Aragorn did not see how it could be restored. Mindful of what Gandalf would have wanted, Aragorn led them all to Lothlorien in hopes that their faith could be restored.

Rest and release of grief was what most of their group needed. Aragorn was not so foolish as to believe that Legolas could handle the pain any better than the rest of them. In fact, Aragorn thought quite the opposite.

When the others of the Company had bedded down for much needed rest, Legolas was not with them. Aragorn immediately sought the Elf out, and found him alone within a silvery glade of mallorn trees.

Aragorn did not need to see his face to know that Legolas' eyes sparkled with unshed tears and that his face was drawn long with grief. The Elf had been determined to appear strong to the others, but Aragorn knew better. Legolas could not go on like this, holding his pain to him like a preciously guarded secret. Such grief would destroy him in the end. At the very least, it would make him distracted and of no use to them on the road.

Aragorn had not touched Legolas since seeing him with Boromir. It had become unspoken between them that nothing would be said, nor any hint made of what had occurred. It was strange and it was exhilarating to have that illicit encounter kept between them. But this day, Aragorn would see it drawn into the light again.

Another strip of cloth from his cloak was stretched between his hands as he crept up on Legolas. This time, he truly caught the grieving Elf by surprise, for he started with alarm when Aragorn blindfolded him. Aragorn was prepared for resistance this time. Too quickly for the disoriented Elf to resist, he bound Legolas' wrists together with the rope that he'd brought with him.

Aragorn tossed the free end of the rope over the low hanging branch of the nearest tree. As Legolas struggled, Aragorn pulled the rope taut, bringing Legolas to the tips of his toes with his arms extended above him.

After he'd tied off the rope to another tree, Aragorn scanned the area and selected a thin, flexible branch from a young tree. He stripped the leaves from it as he slowly walked around Legolas. For the first time since they'd begun their little 'sessions', Legolas looked upset.

"Release me," the Elf muttered tightly. "I am not in the mood for this game anymore."

Liar, Aragorn thought. But he said nothing.

Aragorn stopped behind him and ran his hand down the stretched back. Legolas tried to twist away from his touch, but could not manage to move more than a few inches. Aragorn swept his hand leisurely down the curve of Legolas' spine all the way to the plump curve of buttocks. He squeezed, enjoying the feel of that yielding flesh. Aragorn pulled his hand back and drew a dagger. With a series of quick, precise strokes, he cut away Legolas' clothing.

He could sense the Elf's shock. It made Aragorn smile. His eyes drank in the sight of the pale body hanging so temptingly at his mercy. His cock filled with blood.

"What are you doing?" Legolas demanded angrily. "You have no right! Release me at once. Release me --"

Aragorn slashed with the branch, leaving a pink welt across Legolas' shoulders. The Elf's reaction was delayed as shock gave way to outrage.

Elvish curses split the air. Aragorn listened to them with amusement before swinging the branch in quick succession down Legolas' back. Legolas gasped and arched, his head falling back on his shoulders. Shudders rippled down his body as his skin broke out in a latticework of color.

"Stop. . . this," he managed breathlessly. "How dare you --"

Aragorn whipped him again. And again. He took a comfortable stance behind Legolas' swaying body and swung the branch with slow precision, pacing each strike so that enough time passed between each stroke for Legolas to truly feel and savor it. Working across the shoulders and down the trembling back, Aragorn placed his strokes to overlap where they would inflict the most exquisite pain. Down, down, until he was whipping Legolas across the buttocks and here the Elf squirmed and whimpered, closing his legs to protect the vulnerable skin within.

Aragorn let him, content for now with what he was doing. He struck at the particularly sensitive skin where buttock joined thigh and was rewarded with his first cry of pain. Aragorn concentrated his strokes there for a moment, alternating legs until Legolas was gasping loudly. Then Aragorn worked his way back up, his makeshift whip leaving quivering, reddened skin in its wake.

Aragorn's erection shifted hungrily within his breeches. He found Legolas to be lovely this way, his porcelain skin bright with color. The cries that tore from Legolas' throat with each stroke were more beautiful to him than the singing of the Lorien Elves. Wanting to hear more of that luscious melody, Aragorn swung harder and faster, his strokes coming so quickly on the tail of the previous that he knew Legolas must feel as if the whipping were one unending stroke.

Faster and faster Aragorn whipped him until Aragorn had broken a sweat and he ached with the force of his desire. Legolas had progressed from screaming to sobbing to the piteous mewls which now trickled from between his lips. He was weeping openly, his breath nothing more than heaving gasps for air between tear-filled whimpers.

Aragorn tossed the whip aside. He grasped Legolas' buttocks, his cock hardening impossibly as Legolas shrieked at the touch to over-sensitized skin. Just a brush of his fingers over the reddened flesh sent Legolas into shivers of reaction. Aragorn squeezed the raw buttocks, garnering more broken cries, and lifted Legolas enough to impale him on Aragorn's erect sex.

Legolas sobbed as Aragorn used him. His golden hair hung like a glittering waterfall around his tear-streaked face. Aragorn heard the grief in his ragged sighs; he felt the surrender in Legolas' limbs. With a hoarse shout, Aragorn emptied himself into the limp body. When he reached around Legolas to grasp the Elf's shaft, he found that Legolas had beaten him: he was already softening after his own desperate release.

Aragorn cut Legolas down and gently lowered him to the grass. The weight of grief no longer hovered over the exhausted Elf. Aragorn left him to recover and returned to the others.


Gandalf's passing would not be the only heartache he and Legolas would face. Eventually, Boromir, too, would fall. His fellow Man's passing would hit Aragorn particularly hard. When he found Legolas later that night and blindfolded the Elf as before, Aragorn's grief and guilt found an outlet in the slender body that did not resist him. This time, it would be Legolas, through his submission, who would provide the ease for a pain not easily handled. His tears, his cries for mercy, his moans of pleasure -- all of them helped Aragorn to find some measure of peace.

Later still, the Fellowship would be broken -- Frodo and Sam off to face the gates of Mordor alone, while the others were left to rescue Merry and Pippin from the unsavory clutches of the Uruk Hai. Through those long weeks, Aragorn continued to bind Legolas and sate his desires and his frustrations on the blinded Elf. Never once did Aragorn speak to him. Never once did Legolas indicate that he knew who it was who touched him.

Now they had found themselves at Helm's Deep. The strain of this inevitable conflict with the enemy had been building within Aragorn for days. It had made his nightly sessions with Legolas more violent of late, more desperate. He took Legolas bound hand and foot, unable to move, unable to help himself. He took Legolas gagged, unable to speak a word, unable to protest. He used Legolas like an animal, burying himself in the Elf's body, searching for something elusive that he could not name.

The more he took Legolas, the more Aragorn needed him. Instead of approaching Legolas when the opportunity presented itself, Aragorn created time to be with the Elf. He took risks. He acted foolishly. But he could not help himself. Something was missing within him and he was positive he would find it with Legolas.

However, time had slipped away from him. He was no nearer to finding his satisfaction than he had been before, and now it was too late. Their fateful hour was at hand.

Aragorn watched the women and children being herded to the caverns of the Deep while the churning mass of Uruk Hai seethed against the Deeping Wall. Aragorn knew he should be watching the evil outside. He found his attention riveted to the sorrow within.

Men embraced their women and gave frantic kisses to wailing children. Fever-bright love existed here, concentrated and sharpened by the prospect of being extinguished forever. Aragorn had glimpsed something of that emotion on his parting with Arwen. But that had been a muted thing, for Arwen had already resigned her fate to the West and Aragorn had pragmatically forced himself to move on. What he saw now . . . this was emotion raw and ugly like he had never experienced for himself. His eyes drifted to Legolas. Or had he?

Aragorn's hand tightened around Anduril. He had accepted that he would fall this night. What he could not come to bear, however, was the knowledge that he had brought Legolas here to die alongside him. Am I so greedy, Aragorn thought, studying the fair Elf, that I must take him with me even into death?


Aragorn turned to face the enemy again. The rain had begun to fall, making the torches the Uruk Hai carried flicker like souls passing over into the spirit realm. Time was so short. Aragorn could count the minutes he had left to him in his head. What did he have to take with him?

He remembered every time that he had been with Legolas. He thought those memories would please him, give him peace before he died. But to his frustration, they did the opposite. Aragorn cursed and banged his fist upon the wall, ignoring the looks of the men nearest him. When he thought of what he had done with Legolas, he was not happy at all.

He found the Elf within the sheeting rain, his beautiful face stoic and fearless as Legolas prepared to face the enemy and, in all likelihood, die. The Elf's expression was unreadable, no hint of fear or regret. Nothing like when Aragorn forced him to feel. Nothing like when he gave himself up to Aragorn and became his.

Ah, but who was he? Not once had Legolas acknowledged what they did together. He'd never uttered Aragorn's name, even when he was in the throes of his passion. Perhaps he had attempted to respect Aragorn’s wish to pretend anonymity. At any rate, Aragorn realized now that he deeply regretted not hearing Legolas call him by name.

Aragorn listened to the fading sobs of the separated families. At least they would die knowing the faces of their loved ones, having heard their names uttered upon the others' lips. Aragorn realized, to his misery, that he could not say the same.

A roar broke out over the sea of Uruk Hai. They moved like an undulating wave, breaking against the wall. It had begun. Aragorn bared his teeth and drew his sword. That emotion he had envied of those families -- he felt it now, ragged and bleeding like a wound within his chest. His eyes sought Legolas one final time.

Legolas turned to look at him through the rain. His inscrutable mask was gone, replaced with an entreaty that stole Aragorn's breath. Aragorn could read his lips across the distance. Legolas said, Live.

Time turned its back on Helm's Deep after that. The gods became blind. What happened within that dark gorge should never be seen again. Aragorn killed and watched others be killed. He climbed over the backs of the dying to strike down the living. Flesh split beneath his sword and he hungered for more. The screams were so loud, no one heard him sobbing.

Live, Legolas had beseeched him. It was a request Aragorn knew he could not fulfill. There were too many swords anxious to spill his blood, too many arrows eager to fill his flesh. And what if he survived and Legolas did not? That would be worse than dying.

But Aragorn had the blood of kings in his veins and it would not allow him to give up even though his sword arm burned and his lungs threatened to collapse. He fought on, expecting with every slash of his sword to feel a fatal one in return. He never did.

It might have been years later, it might have been only minutes. Salvation came in the form of Gandalf and a sea of mounted men. The tide had turned. Live, Legolas had said. Aragorn would.

He clambered over piles of fallen bodies. He sifted through the dead. He grabbed every walking soul and made them face him. None of them were Legolas. He found men he recognized, dead. He stumbled over Haldir, fallen. Rage and grief welled up in Aragorn until he had no choice but to release an animal shout of anguish. Live, Legolas had told him. Had the Elf not been able to do the same?

Aragorn collapsed to the ground, silent weeping shaking his shoulders. He had never spoken a word to Legolas when they had been together. At the time, he had thought it was because it gave him control. He realized now that he had kept his silence because he was afraid, afraid that Legolas would reject him if he knew for a certainty that it was Aragorn who was touching him. If only he could take that risk now, and speak to Legolas as he had wanted to.

A piece of fabric fell into Aragorn's lap. Aragorn could barely see it through his tears. He lifted up the strip of cloth and studied it, uncomprehendingly. Familiar boots stepped in front him, grimy with blood and mud.

Aragorn could not breathe as he looked up.

"Just once," Legolas said, his voice breaking, "will you let me see your face?" He wiped the back of his hand across his dirtied face as tears streaked through the film. "Will you let me see you as you take me?" He sobbed, swaying. "Please?"

Aragorn surged to his knees in time to catch Legolas as he fell. Aragorn crushed the Elf to his chest and wept into the damp, blood-stained hair. "Legolas," he whispered. "Oh, Legolas, I will never bind your eyes again. I would have you look upon my face for the rest of my life, if you are willing."

Legolas clutched him tightly. "I am willing," he replied softly. "Aye, Aragorn, I am willing."

Aragorn rocked the Elf within his arms and felt himself tremble. "Say my name again. Say it. I need to hear you say it!"

"Aragorn," Legolas whispered into his ear, stroking the man's back. "I know who you are. I have always known. You are my Aragorn. My secret lover. My secret love."

Painful, violent, ugly love was now Aragorn's to take. He seized it with both hands. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever known.

He lifted Legolas into his arms and carried him into the citadel. The strip of cloth that Aragorn might have blinded him with, lay unheeded in the mud.

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