Rating: NC-17

Pairings: Aragorn/Legolas, Boromir/Legolas
Category: AU, First-Time, Romance, Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Warnings: BDSM, a graphic sex scene of dubious consent

Summary: Boromir asserts his authority, and Aragorn struggles with feelings that he cannot ignore.

Story Notes: Please refer to the headings in Chapter One, or read the notes at http://rhysenn.morethanart.org/lotr/tbc-notes.htm for more detailed exposition of the situation and characters in this AU.

Through Bitter Chains

Chapter Four

By Rhysenn


The king's quarters were lavishly decorated. Fine tapestries hung from the wood-panelled walls of his grand study, although Legolas was led past them with such speed that he could not clearly discern the scenes they each depicted. But he knew most of them were tributes to momentous scenes of battle, the proud and bitter history of Men laid out across the walls, immortalised in the corridor of Time.

Legolas felt a sickened sense of dread as he caught sight of the bed. It was large and fitted with expensive white linen sheets, and covers woven of the finest wool. The posts at each corner were wrought of copper, engraved with decorative runes that he could not recognise.

Legolas looked around him in desperation and misery, and it was not claustrophobia but a different kind of wild fear that set in. The magnificent furnishings of the bedchamber meant nothing to him -- it was like being locked up in a prison with walls of gold.

He had heard many rumours of the ways of Men: how they delighted in warfare and the domination of their own kind, and how men who kept thralls often took the women of the conquered to wife by force. Legolas knew perfectly well what the king -- his *master* -- wanted from him. Now, his only fear was the ordeal he had to endure before the night would be over. How could the night bring such cruelty, when the stars of Elbereth shone brightly above in all their silver beauty?

He heard the sharp echo of Boromir's resolute strides drawing closer, growing louder like a knell of doom. Legolas's heartbeat quickened, and he swallowed hard. He had never felt so trapped in his entire life -- there had always been some hidden path that led away to safety, or the comforting sound of an elven voice nearby. But now there was nothing, except the metallic clang of the bolts being slid aside as the door opened.

Boromir entered the chamber, and he immediately saw Legolas lingering near the bed; a smile lifted the sides of his proud mouth, and in his eyes there blazed a fire of intense longing. The door shut behind him with finality. The moment of resounding silence that ensued strung the atmosphere with a cold harshness.

He drew closer to Legolas, who stood still, his slender body rigid as a winter-frozen tree. The king's eyes savoured the vision of living beauty before him; although they also perceived the elf's silent defiance, and resolved to break it.

"Undress," he commanded sternly, and took a step backwards to watch.

Legolas regarded him with resentful dignity; but with a despairing glance at the bolted door, he knew that he had no chance for escape. He had no other choice but to obey. With quavering hands he unfastened the front of his tunic and gracefully shrugged it off his shoulders, laying it neatly by the side. Then, with greater effort, he slid the black leggings down his thighs.

Boromir watched with hungry eyes as the elf removed every stitch of garment, and finally stood naked before him. The dim firelight played across the contours of Legolas's body: glimmering on the smooth skin of his long, slender legs, defining the proud uprightness of his shoulders, turning his blond hair gold like the sunset, kindling in his bright, fiery eyes.

"You are beautiful." Boromir was unable to contain the passion within him as he strode closer, and took Legolas in his arms.

He kissed the elf fiercely, allowing his hands to roam freely over the pale, silky skin; Legolas held his breath and did not move a muscle, willing himself to remain still. He relaxed momentarily only when the king pulled away to undress, but he knew that it was just a brief respite.

"Why do you keep silent?" Boromir turned back to Legolas after he had stripped off his own robes. "Do you not hear my words of praise for you?"

An inscrutable expression shimmered in the elf's eyes.

"How can you say that I am beautiful, when you do not know me?" Legolas spoke in a careful, measured voice. "My outward appearance pleases you; but while that may be counted attractiveness, it is not beauty." He paused. "One cannot judge beauty in the absence of knowledge -- or love."

Anger flashed like sudden lightning in Boromir's eyes, perhaps provoked by the insinuation in Legolas's words that he lacked the kinder, more refined qualities. He stalked forward, seized Legolas by the shoulders and roughly shoved him backwards onto the bed.

"You speak with insolence yet, elf," Boromir's voice bore a dangerous tone, as he leaned closer, trapping Legolas's face in his hand. "Your reckless arrogance will do you great disservice. Why do you still resist me?"

"I know what you desire of me." There was a tortured acceptance in Legolas's voice. "But it is not our custom to enter into a... physical bond, with another that one hardly knows. Please do not force me."

Boromir remained unmoved by Legolas's plea; the sight of the elf lying naked on his bed was enough to drive out the last vestige of sound reason. "It is also not the custom among Men who own slaves to allow them to attend dinner feasts, unless for the purpose of pleasuring the guests. It is clear that you do not appreciate the special treatment you have received. Perhaps you need a more literal form of training to impress upon you that you are bonded to carry out my bidding."

He moved back, and retrieved a soft black leather sash from a wardrobe; Legolas eyed it with alarm as Boromir drew near once more.

"Kneel on the bed," Boromir instructed. "And lean forward, so your hands are wrapped around the right bed-post."

Legolas slowly complied. Boromir proceeded to bind the sash tightly around the elf's wrists several times, tying them securely to the bedpost. It was an awkward position for Legolas -- he was forced to lean his weight forward, and the sash cut tighter around his wrists as he moved. The flickering candlelight danced across the glazed skin of his exposed back; his knees sank into the soft mattress, which dipped as Boromir climbed onto the bed.

Boromir spread Legolas's legs apart, and moved in between them. A jar of oil stood on the table next to the bed; Legolas heard Boromir open the jar, and he tensed as he felt the king's fingers push inside of him, slick with oil.

"Please," Legolas whispered desperately. His face flushed in mortification at the intimate invasion: insistent fingers probed deeply, stretching him. "Please, do not..."

"I wish to know you now," Boromir murmured in his ear, as he withdrew his hand and shifted closer. "Do not struggle, and it will go better."

Boromir slid himself into the elf with a single smooth thrust. Legolas gasped in pain, and gritted his teeth as he forced himself not to dwell on the searing sensation that consumed him whole, like stabs of a knife. He closed his eyes, and a dizzy spectrum of colour streaked behind his closed lids -- crimson, dissolving into black.

Then Boromir did a strange thing. He suddenly stopped moving, and held perfectly still, completely sheathed inside the trembling body beneath him. Then one of his hands went around Legolas's waist, and grasped the elf firmly between his legs. Boromir began to stroke him, and with satisfaction he felt the flesh caught in his palm grow hard.

Legolas quivered helplessly -- his hands were tied, and he was trapped between the shaft lodged deep inside him and the hand that now kindled his own arousal. He was unable to restrain the way his body was reacting to Boromir's ministrations; he shuddered as Boromir's hand coaxed him further, and to his own horror, Legolas found himself automatically pushing forward against the delicious friction of the king's cupped palm around him.

Boromir smiled, and relished the way Legolas was responding to him. His fingers artfully worked faster, drawing the elf towards completion, and he felt Legolas shake uncontrollably under his hands, wracked with the raw sensation that burned both ways. Then, as he held the elf on the very brink of climax, Boromir claimed him once more.

He drove himself deeper, eliciting a choked cry from Legolas. He began to ride the elf with slow deliberate strokes; then with a tightening of his hand, Boromir finally granted him release. With a ragged sob Legolas came, and his body shook with the explosion of pain twisted with hateful pleasure. Brimming with dark ecstasy, Boromir gripped Legolas's waist and pulled the elf back against him, one last time. Legolas took him over the edge, and with hard, sharp breaths he poured himself out into the elf's body.

When Boromir finally withdrew and released him, Legolas's limbs were crying out from the awkward position they had been confined in -- but more than that, the humiliation of his own shameful pleasure tore his spirit to shreds. He closed his eyes; he was vaguely aware of Boromir loosening the leather belt tying his hands to the bedpost. He crumpled to the floor, and covered his face with his hands.

"I will return to the feast now. You will remain here, and you may rest for the night." Boromir briskly got dressed, and then turned back to Legolas; his gaze slid over the naked, shivering body of the elf, and his expression softened slightly. "Arrangements will be made for a set of sleeping robes for you."

The elf gave no answer, and kept his head lowered; Boromir watched him with a sharp glint in his eye. "Do you hear me, Legolas, or have you not yet learned your lesson?"

"Yes," Legolas said in a broken whisper. "I have heard your words."

"Then answer when you are spoken to!" Boromir said harshly. "Have you so swiftly forgotten that you are to call me Master? And where is your gratitude for the luxury of new robes for you to sleep in?"

"Thank you, master." Legolas's voice was soft and hollow.

"Good." Boromir was satisfied. "Perhaps you will soon see that a life in thrall is not as dire as you would think it to be -- after all, you have just amply demonstrated how you have found great pleasure even whilst being dominated by me."

Legolas remained silent, and kept his eyes downcast. Boromir gave the elf an appraising look, and then took a few steps forward. He reached down, and Legolas flinched at his touch; but Boromir took his arm firmly and pulled him to his feet.

"You are beautiful," Boromir said once more, in a low, husky voice, as he stroked Legolas's face with one hand, touching the bruise on his cheekbone that was not of his doing. Then he kissed the elf fully on the mouth, his manner hard and possessive; Legolas parted his lips to allow entry to Boromir's searching tongue, but otherwise did not move.

Boromir drew back with a frown, noticing Legolas's lack of responsiveness. "You cannot deny that you derived your enjoyment just now. Why do you still refuse to serve me willingly?"

"Pain does much to dull willingness." Legolas answered quietly, raising his eyes to level Boromir's; there was still some spirit left in them, however crushed and wretched.

"Yes." An unnamed emotion flitted across the king's face. "But pain also does much to help remembrance -- and I know that you shall never forget this night."

With that, Boromir swept out of the bedchamber; the bolt was shot home. Legolas waited until the footsteps faded away into cold silence, before he allowed the bitter tears to fall. He slumped back against the wall and slid to the floor, a body beautiful and broken.


Aragorn hurried along the corridors, heading toward the king's bedchamber. He had been issued orders from Boromir to clothe Legolas in sleeping garments, and ensure that the elf was securely locked into the room. His haste, however, was not owing to a desire to carry out the king's instructions swiftly; something else burned within him, mingled dread and nxiety.

He spoke briefly to the guard outside the bedchamber, and was permitted entry. Opening the door cautiously, Aragorn looked inside -- he immediately saw Legolas huddled on the floor, a forlorn prisoner in his cavernous cell.

The elf seemed startled to see him, and sprang to his feet, backing away. But Aragorn could see that he moved slowly, slightly bent over, as if from some internal ache. There was a wild terror in Legolas's eyes even though he seemed to recognise Aragorn, and he edged away, until he was backed up against the far wall.

Aragorn opened his mouth, wanting to reassure the elf; but as his eyes swept over Legolas's exposed body, slender and beautiful, something else speared through him, like a poisoned dart. And at that very moment he could see why Boromir was overcome with such great desire for the elf -- and a new, dark temptation crept through Aragorn's veins as he drank up the titillating sight of Legolas standing naked in front of him: golden-blond hair and silver-pale skin, glistening and moist and smooth as silk...

//No one would know.//

The primal voice inside Aragorn's head dominated his thoughts as he walked closer to Legolas, each step slow and measured. The elf was cornered, and completely at his mercy. The king had returned to the feast, and all the other palace officials were merry-making. The guard stationed outside would not hear a single sound, or enter the king's chambers without permission.

If he wanted, he could have Legolas for himself. He held a high place in the household; even if Legolas dared to speak up afterwards, the king would never believe a slave's word over his own steward's. This was the perfect opportunity -- and no one would ever know.

Legolas seemed to read the dark emotion hidden in Aragorn's eyes; he recoiled further. Retreating into a corner, he snatched up his white tunic that lay near his feet, and wrapped it around his waist, salvaging some of his decency. When his eyes met Aragorn's, they were filled with fear and hopelessness.

"What would you ask of me?" Legolas spoke in a quavering voice, frayed with distinct bitterness. "Do you wish for me to please you, as well?"

Aragorn's vision blurred slightly: for a moment he saw only the colour of bare skin, of flesh laid before him, ready for the taking. The quiet defiance in Legolas's words ignited a flame within him, and he strode forward, trapping Legolas against the wall.

"Do you taunt me, Legolas?" Aragorn asked; the heated passion in his tone surprised even himself. "Or are *you* asking me for something?"

"No!" Legolas answered immediately, a desperate plea in his voice. He looked at Aragorn, plainly scared, utterly helpless; his voice dropped to a broken whisper. "No, please... I was not taunting you. Please do not..."

"Do not what?" As Aragorn spoke, he met the elf's harrowed, tear-shimmering gaze.

Looking into Legolas's eyes, which were haunted with sadness and unfathomable pain, struck a deep chord within Aragorn. His vision cleared, and the sudden desire evaporated as quickly as it had flared up; now he saw only Legolas's fragile, tainted beauty, and the ravaged soul that ached beneath. An overwhelming sense of sympathy and remorse washed through him.

"I am not going to hurt you," Aragorn said quietly.

Legolas opened his eyes, and looked at Aragorn in amazement. He said nothing, but the relief and gratitude in his gaze spoke volumes.

Aragorn stepped backwards, away from Legolas. He was appalled at himself for thinking of Legolas in that manner, even briefly; it was like a swift glimpse into a dark mirror of cruelty, an ominous reminder that he, too, was human.

With growing dismay he surveyed the damage that had been wrought upon the elf's body. Crescent-shaped red marks on Legolas's waist told of cruel fingernails digging deep; and to Aragorn's horror, he saw traces of blood staining Legolas's inner thighs. Besides the fact that elf-flesh was silkier and more easily bruised, the penetration must have been forceful enough to break skin. Aragorn tried not to think about what had befallen Legolas in the heated moments just past -- but the images still rose in his mind, unbidden. He picked up a blanket from nearby, and draped it over Legolas's shoulders, covering him, and gestured for him to sit down on the bed. The elf moved as if he was trying to stifle the pain with each step he took; yet his walk was still torturously graceful.

Aragorn left the king's chambers to retrieve some healing salve and athelas leaves, which he kept in his own quarters. He also gave instructions for a set of new garments to be brought. This time, Aragorn specified robes of dark green -- for he perceived that to dress Legolas in white would be a subtle mockery.

Aragorn returned with a basin of water and a cloth for Legolas to clean himself. The elf carefully scrubbed away the uncleanness that clung to his body, and then quickly dressed in the new garments. The robes hung loosely on his slim frame; he settled down, sitting gingerly on the edge of the bed. He watched Aragorn mix the salve with crushed leaves of athelas; finally, he spoke.

"How did you know the meaning of my name?" Legolas asked.

Aragorn looked up. "I understand the Elvish tongue," he answered shortly, but elaborated no further. He brought the salve to Legolas, and gently smoothed it on the elf's wrists, which had been abraded by the leather bands that the hunters had bound him with.

"I wish that athelas could also heal the wounds of the soul," Legolas said quietly. "Alas, that is not so."

Aragorn paused, and looked deeply into Legolas's eyes. "You are suffering greatly in spirit."

"Yes." Legolas whispered; the word left his lips like a lone snowflake falling to the ground.

Aragorn frowned slightly; he remembered something he had learned before, of the nature of elves: that they would die if they were raped.

"But it is said that your kindred will perish if they are... violated." Aragorn halted, and watched Legolas's reaction carefully. "I feared that the king did not know this about your race, for it is not the understood way with ours. I am relieved, to some extent, that you still live."

"Yes; but perhaps there can be found flaws in the fundaments of nature," Legolas said, his voice heartbreakingly soft. "You have heard truly: when we are taken against our will, we will die. Yet maybe your king knew this too well..." he trailed off; a shadow of pain fell across his face. "For even the forced derivation of pleasure annuls the premise of assault. And thus, I still live." The elf fell silent; he bowed his head, and said no more.

A terrible realisation dawned on Aragorn as Legolas's words sank in. Now he understood the truth of the matter -- and it was more devastating than he could have imagined. For it was out of mercy that elves were allowed to let their spirits flee their bodies as an escape from a life in torment; but Legolas had forfeited this. If ever possible, it was worse than the fate of the Ringwraiths, who were cursed to be neither living nor dead; but now, Legolas was doomed to live with the brutal memory of the violation he had suffered.

They spoke no further words as Aragorn finished dressing Legolas's wounds; yet in the silence there was some comfort, which Legolas could feel even though it was not articulated. The touch of Aragorn's hands on his skin was tender and careful, and Legolas closed his eyes -- in the tumult of raw emotions, both healing and hurtful, a single tear escaped, and coursed down his face.

The sudden light caress of Aragorn's fingers against his cheek made Legolas's eyes flash open, startled. Leaning closer to him, Aragorn gently brushed away the tear, leaving a moist silver mark glistening on Legolas's cheek.

"There may still come a healing yet, if you do not let go of hope," Aragorn said gently. "Perhaps one day, you will find the athelas for your soul."

"In the darkness, it is hard to seek what is so rare and elusive," Legolas whispered back, his voice choked.

"Yet perhaps you need not look far for comfort." Aragorn straightened, and looked at Legolas pensively. "Maybe the weed of healing grows hidden at your very feet."

Legolas dropped his gaze, and said nothing. But Aragorn knew not the power of his comfort -- for it was in his gentle words of hope that Legolas found the strength to endure, and the will to carry on.


{References made to 'Laws and Customs Among the Eldar', footnote 5; published in the book "Morgoth's Ring: The First Part of the Later Silmarillion", edited by Christopher Tolkien. This tells of how Elves die when they are raped: "For this was wholly against their nature, and one so forced would have rejected bodily life."}

[[ In the next chapter: Aragorn confides in Gandalf; and Boromir has something else to bestow upon his elf-slave. ]]

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