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21 July 2010 | 6516 words
Title: In Our Time
Summary: If you can love one, you can love several.
Pairing: Faramir with Aragorn, Arwen & Éowyn (in alphabetical order)
Warnings: Explicit slash, explicit het.
Disclaimer: I can safely promise you this never happened in the books – I checked. Twice. J.R.R. Tolkien who owns everything and everyone in Middle-earth has nothing to do with this whatsoever.
A/N: I really have no idea how this happened but I once promised myself to never shy away from an idea so here we are. This is my first explicit het fic ever and throughout the years, I have read in total about three, so… you know. But I do hope you like it!
In Our Time
“Angle it a bit… Just a little bit more?”
The Queen of Gondor silently complied and it was hard to tell whether she would grin or cry out in frustration. Éowyn knew she was being hopelessly annoying but still she could not drag her eyes from the looking-glass, try as she might. Not before she had made up her mind.
The afternoon light was dwindling into dusk and yet the men had not returned. Her gaze darted at regular intervals to the swirling snowflakes in the wind outside the Tower, but mostly she was eyeing herself.
Absent-mindedly she flicked a lock of golden hair over her shoulder and stared at her own image. When still she could not be certain she grimaced awkwardly. “What do you think?”
A slow smile spread over the Queen’s face and Éowyn was relieved. “I think it might be too soon to tell,” she said gently.
“But the moon has grown to full twice and still my bleeding has not come.”
With a decisive sweep of her arm, Arwen laid the mirror down beside her on the bed. “But you do not feel swollen… or heavy?”
“No…” Éowyn’s heart sank. “I feel light as a feather.”
“Because you are,” smiled Arwen, but she soon grew serious again. “And in the mornings?”
“I’m hungry,” sighed Éowyn and sank down next to the Queen. “Perhaps it is the turn of the season and nothing but that.” She shrugged. “It is my first winter in Gondor, after all… Maybe my body is simply adjusting.”
Arwen’s pale hand covered hers and gave a light squeeze. “We are both adjusting.”
Éowyn met her gaze. Indeed they were. When she dwelt upon it, it seemed to her impossible that she had wedded Faramir only six moons past. She had never quite understood how he had replaced Aragorn in her heart but liked to think that her short-lived dream of the Dúnadan had somehow paved the way for Faramir. It had prepared her, opened up her heart to the possibility of being loved… adored even. She turned her face away and smiled at the bedspread. Sometimes her heart felt so large in her breast that it was a wonder she could still carry it with ease.
And now she had hoped she might be carrying something else… Her smile faded and despite the fire and candles the bedchamber darkened a little.
“Sweetest,” Arwen still cradled her hand, and her thumb stroked Éowyn’s skin. “Have some patience and we will see.”
“I was never good at patience,” mumbled Éowyn. “I always wanted everything at once.”
“And in time you shall have everything, I am sure of it. Come…”
Arwen eased them both down onto the bed and Éowyn gratefully crept into her embrace. Like a child she laid her head on Arwen’s breast and listened to her heartbeat, and the slow rhythm helped to soothe her. She wondered idly if Elves’ hearts beat at a slower pace for she thought Faramir’s beat faster.
The winds were singing an unknown tune and dancing a dance she did not recognise. Edoras was a long way away.
“And what of you?” she asked eventually, in a low and shy voice she could not help.
“What of me?” The Queen spoke softly.
“Well… You are not with child either…” Éowyn’s cheeks coloured when she heard her own words. “I’m sorry… I did not mean–”
“Hush.” Arwen lifted her head from the bed and pressed a kiss into Éowyn’s fair hair. “Do not fret, I know what you mean. But Elves conceive not as easily as humans do so it is to be expected.”
Éowyn shifted in her arms to see her properly. “But… Are you human now? I mean, completely?”
“Who knows?” Arwen smiled. “I am mortal… but Elven. What do you think?”
Seeing again the flawless skin and the bright eyes, Éowyn gave another sigh. “I think you are lovely.”
But at this Arwen only laughed. “I should have married you instead.”
“Well at least then we would not have needed to worry about any children,” said Éowyn and felt a smile tug at her own lips.
“So much simpler that would have been,” agreed Arwen. “And our husbands could have eloped together and you and I would have ruled Gondor without their interference.”
“Swordplay at any time of the day…” mused Éowyn.
“And tale telling and sweet singing by the fireside or underneath the stars… And we would tear down all these dreadful stone walls and plant a wood instead,” Arwen said with a dreamy smile. “And then we would build as suited the trees and not the pride of Men.”
Éowyn grinned and twined their hands together. “And we could ride wildly over the Pelennor without those grim guards tracking every step we take.”
“Ah, yes! Get rid off those terrible men would you not, my Consort?” Arwen brought their joined hands to her lips and kissed Éowyn’s knuckles. “Beloved.”
“Anything you wish,” Éowyn whispered, momentarily lost in the love that shone in Arwen’s eyes. “My Queen.”
“Queen…” Arwen echoed her. “Can you imagine that while I desperately wanted to wed Aragorn, I only rarely imagined myself as Queen? And even then only for a fleeting moment at a time.”
Éowyn considered this. “Yes,” she said finally, “I can imagine that. You do not strike me as very ambitious, at least not in that way.”
“In what way am I ambitious then?”
“I don’t know about ambitious exactly, but you love with a passion…” Again Éowyn blushed but she pressed on. “Even if it is not always visible to others. You wish for everyone to be happy and you do your part in bringing that about.”
“And so do you,” said Arwen, “or we would not be here, living like this, all of us.”
Éowyn would have shrugged had she not been in a position which made that quite impossible. “Perhaps,” she mumbled.
“There is much love here,” Arwen smiled softly, “and so it is easy to be ambitious.”
To that, Éowyn felt she should say something equally beautiful but did not know what that might be; she hoped her immense gratitude showed anyway.
They lay in silence for a while, listening to the wind and the crackling of the fire; and the sounds of servants passing through the corridor on the other side of the door. Midwinter was fast approaching and there was to be a grand feast in the Tower Hall. They needed to decide on the food and the drink… and find the best musicians in the City… or perhaps Arwen knew someone in Rivendell..? But with the snows, maybe it was not reasonable to ask someone to ride so far? And they really should have discussed all this sooner…
Éowyn was abruptly torn from her train of thought when there was a knock on the door and it was pushed open.
It was odd how such a call did not bother Éowyn now. Once, in a different world, she would have given her soul for to hear that man call out her name in such a way; from his voice alone she knew the boundless love he held for his wife.
“On the bed!”
Éowyn grinned conspiratorially at Arwen who whispered, “He can walk.”
But not only one pair of feet crossed the floor and she looked up at this for not many were allowed into the royal bedchamber, and the maids did not count. Behind Aragorn stood her own husband, gazing down at her and Arwen, entwined on the bed.
He was beautiful, she thought. But not in a feminine way, not at all, and still he was… beautiful. She loved his eyes, blue as a bright summer’s day. She loved his hands, calloused and big. With a rush of heat through her, and just a hint of embarrassment, she remembered their wedding night: how she had trembled with fear when those hands caressed her naked skin, how they had mapped every inch of her until liquid warmth replaced the fear; and later he had told her that he too had been nervous and that he had not touched many women before. That, more than anything, had pleased her for she knew then that she was not simply yet another conquest he had somehow ended up marrying. She loved his voice… and the way the sun caught in his hair and made it shimmer like newly polished copper. She loved his broad chest and the safe haven that was his embrace. She loved his quick mind and honesty, and his courage and… she loved him for loving her, although she would never say that aloud.
“Well…” Aragorn tilted his head to the side as if he beheld a new mural painting for the very first time. “Here you are.”
Arwen pushed herself up but one of her hands she left in Éowyn’s grasp. “Welcome home, my love.” She met Aragorn halfway and they shared a long kiss.
Faramir moved quietly and lowered himself onto the bed beside Éowyn. “Hey…”
There were silvery drops in his hair and he still wore a thick leather tunic over his shirt. She disengaged herself from Arwen and lifted a hand to his face. She watched as her fingertips brushed his temple and then travelled over his cheek until she felt his soft lips beneath them. “I love you,” she murmured.
He kissed her fingertips and then smiled. “I have longed for you.”
“You’ve had company…”
He caught her hand in one of his and his smile softened but the light in his eyes grew more intense. “I have longed for you.”
She bit her lip, a childhood habit she had not freed herself from yet and wondered for the thousandth time how one heart could feel so much. “And I you.”
The bed shifted to accommodate Aragorn also. “Éowyn.” He leaned across his wife to kiss her in greeting. As she was still lying down, his damp hair brushed her cheek.
She smiled up at him, catching a sparkle in the grey eyes that sometimes reminded her of a sky filled with raging storm clouds, and sometimes of a frozen brook. “How was your journey?”
He sat back again. “Long… and cold… There’s lots of snow out there.”
“And wind,” added Faramir.
“And we didn’t bring enough blankets.” But Aragorn did not look too dismayed and Arwen laughed.
“So you used up some body heat, I gather?”
Aragorn winked at her but he was serious when he spoke, “What else can two poor fellows do?”
“Poor indeed!” She rolled her eyes at him. “And now you come here drenched…” Fingering his hair, a smirk settled in her features. “You should get out of those clothes, you are soaked through.”
“You think so?” He lifted his gaze to his Steward and there was a blaze of unconcealed passion in it. “So should you then, Faramir.”
Éowyn turned to her husband. He did not look very weary and he had not been alone in his longing. “He is right…”
Faramir looked down at her. “Is that so?” He closed the distance between them and decorated her forehead with a string of kisses. “And what of you?”
“I’m dry.” She ignored his grunt of protest and sought out his mouth, and they shared a kiss that grew bolder as it did not end at once.
His hands were at her waist, the fine muslin of her gown not much of a barrier. The bedchamber was warm and her shawl hung abandoned over the back of a chair. She was partly aware of some movement around her, but Faramir suckled her lower lip and she was slowly drifting into a haze without sharp edges or shadows. When they finally parted his cheeks had gained some colour and he was slightly out of breath.
“Stubble free,” he smiled and she giggled.
A hand on his shoulder made them both look up. Aragorn was watching them with a fond smile. He had shed both his tunic and shirt and stood now bare-chested before them. His skin was naturally darker than Faramir’s and sported more scars – like threads torn from a spider’s web they ran across his skin; and there were ones from the War too, and these were redder, though they were well healed.
“Mulled wine?” he asked.
Éowyn heard her husband heartily agree but she hesitated. A midwife had once in passing told her that alcohol was no good nourishment for babes in the womb, but she knew also that some of the alcohol was drained from the wine when it was heated. And, of course, if her moon blood was playing tricks on her it was not dangerous. But by the time she had come to the conclusion that she might have half a cup but not more, just in case she actually was with child, Aragorn had already disappeared to find a servant, apparently uncaring if he were properly dressed or not.
Arwen had moved further up the bed and had arranged the mountain of pillows so that she half lay, half sat against them. She had let loose her hair and it flowed now about her in ebony waves. Éowyn had sometimes wondered if she desired Faramir, or he her, but that the Queen should happen to give birth to a child not fathered by the King was unthinkable. Therefore she and Faramir had never lain with each other, and would not do so while she was still fertile.
And Éowyn had not lain with Aragorn. Truthfully, she did not know if she wanted to. Only sometimes she admitted to herself that maybe, just maybe, she was afraid that the feelings she had once had for him would resurface if he came that close to her. If that should happen, she was quite sure her love for Faramir would persist but it would be challenged and she feared such a time. For she wanted to love Faramir first and foremost, without anything threatening that love, forever.
“You are quiet tonight, my love.” Faramir’s words called her back to reality.
She too pushed herself up and sat for one moment longer staring into nothingness. Who knew what the future looked like anyway? This, she had certainly not envisioned on the day Faramir had asked her to marry him, and yet it had turned out so much better than she had ever hoped for. Indeed, she had been shocked to the core to learn that he loved Aragorn and not only as a brother-in-arms, and she was only beginning to understand how deep that love ran and what was its nature; but she had seen an answering love in Aragorn and that had somehow comforted her.
She saw that someone had returned the mirror to its usual place on the bureau and she turned to look at Arwen. The Queen too seemed lost in thought and the candlelight almost made her skin shimmer.
“Forgive me,” she repeated and faced her husband anew, “I am not being very welcoming, but I am truly glad to see you safe and sound.”
He nodded slowly. “We rode for nearly two days without rest to return before nightfall. There is no good shelter so near to the City because if one is so close then one might just as well continue.”
Suddenly, compelled by some great force of gratitude, she threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly to her. “I was worried,” she admitted into his hair that smelled of winter and she wished it were spring.
He did not mock her or push her away. His arms wound around her waist and though his clothes wet her gown, he willingly returned the hug. He left kisses on her neck and shoulder and she felt tension she had not known she harboured simply leave her, as a long exhale.
When Aragorn reappeared he was carrying a tray laden with four mugs and a tankard, and a plate with bread, sliced apples and cheese. He set it down on a table but announced that everyone was responsible for their own eating and drinking. Having declared this, he kicked off his boots and stood, then, only clad in his leggings. He came to stand by the bed and smiled at what he saw.
Arwen had slipped out of her gown and her silken hair covered her breasts, but the rest of her was plainly visible. Next to her lay Éowyn on her side; Faramir had undone the lacing of her dress and had pushed the fabric down to her hips. He had spooned up behind her, completely undressed, and Éowyn’s skin tingled at the closeness.
“If you do not mind, Aragorn, I think I will have my wife tonight.”
The King grinned in response. “As I will have mine,” he bowed at Arwen, “my lady.”
“Oh, come here,” she sighed. “Get it over with!” But her laughter rang out in the bedchamber like the sweetest music when he tore off his leggings and descended upon her.
Éowyn turned her head to the side and caught her husband’s gaze. She meant to say something but found that words came not easy. He smiled, and she knew the stirring blue fire in his eyes. She smiled too and then his hand which had been resting on her waist drifted upwards until he brushed against her breasts in a first touch. His kisses melted into her skin and she lost count of them as her eyes fell closed. Moans rose and fell around her as Aragorn and Arwen reacquainted themselves with each other’s bodies. As Faramir moved behind her, pressed closer, she felt his hardness and his warmth. A first twitch deep down in her stomach made her push back a little and it was as if she could feel his heartbeat reverberate through her. He always magically made her wet and ready for him, and there was a pounding in her body she knew she only ever wanted to feel when he touched her. She thought she could admire Aragorn, trade kisses with him and maybe even lie against him unclothed, but Faramir she wanted to lie with, and she knew there was a significant difference there.
He murmured something in her ear that she could not make out, but his breath tickled her skin and she hummed in response. His free hand wandered down to her belly and lingered there for a while. Then it dove underneath the soft fabric still at her waist and gently pushed her top leg forward. She followed smoothly and breathed in the scent of the bedspread; Arwen had brought it from her home and to it still clung a memory of another, fairer, land. Then Faramir’s fingers found her wetness and he parted the soft folds and slid inside.
Her own keening cry blended with Arwen’s and for a second Éowyn opened her eyes and saw that the Queen had wrapped her legs around Aragorn’s waist and now accepted him fully into her. Éowyn smiled dizzily at what she saw but then Faramir pushed deeper and she lost herself to the sensation and her eyes drifted shut once more. His hand did not leave her even as he thrust into her, and he found the small sensitive nub which gave her so much pleasure when he touched it. He lay partly draped over her but that did not deter him and he gently massaged her, his own moans caressing her as much as his fingers did. They fit so perfectly together, she thought, and every thrust of his hips made her only feel more complete. His warm breath washed over her shoulder and neck as he withdrew, pulled back, withdrew, pulled back… endlessly, as if they were sparring in the training field.
She clenched her muscles around him and smiled again when he groaned against her cheek. It was Arwen who had taught her the trick and suddenly, in the middle of the love-making, Éowyn felt a surge of love for the Queen such as she had never known before. And that love stayed with her as Faramir coaxed warmth to build and spread in her body, and wrap around the base of her spine.
It trickled downwards, slowly, slowly, and she felt heavy and velvety… like that cloak of a rich red Aragorn wore sometimes… it was of velvet too… And then she hit a wall of something and she crashed through it and rushed out into the open sea…
Faramir’s ragged breathing and his shaking form behind her dragged her back onto the shore. Her heart had wholly lost its rhythm and she lay trembling upon the bed with love and light blazing around and within. She twisted her head and he kissed her deeply even though neither of them could catch any air. When the kiss ended he still filled her and she lay unmoving, simply basking in the sensation of floating in softness…
She knew not who had spoken, or to whom. She slowly opened her eyes and saw that the light in the room had faltered and that Aragorn was pouring some wine from the tankard into a cup which he handed to Arwen. She was sitting up, her long hair covering her well. Aragorn, on the other hand, was not covered-up. She noticed too that Faramir had slipped out of her and that the sticky release was cooling between her legs. Shivering, she shifted against him.
“You’re awake?” His gentle question made her warm all over again.
He had wound an arm around her as she dozed but he let her go as she strove to sit up. “What time is it?”
“Suppertime,” said Aragorn with a smile and when she was steady enough, handed her a mug and a piece of bread. “Shall you or I mend the fire, Faramir?”
“I’ll do it.” He dropped a kiss to Éowyn’s shoulder before he rolled out of the bed. “Maybe you could push back the covers?”
Éowyn thought it must look silly with four naked grown-ups milling about a huge bed, balancing wine and food and tending to the fire, but she felt only comfortable. If only Éomer knew… She giggled at the thought. He would be utterly shocked and would probably wage war on Gondor if he found out. Then she relented and decided that for as long as she was happy, he would let it be – if she was happy in a seemly way.
“What amuses you so?” Arwen stepped up behind her and trailed her fingers down Éowyn’s arm. “You look happy,” she added in a murmur, “it gladdens me.”
“I imagined my brother’s face should ever learn of this,” she said.
“He would not be angry?”
“He would be furious,” smiled Éowyn. “But he loves me.”
Arwen moved even closer and she rested her chin on Éowyn’s shoulder. “As do I, and so also does your husband and Aragorn.”
“And I love you.” And as she said it, she sensed Arwen smile too.
“There!” Aragorn stood back from the bed and surveyed his work with a satisfied nod. He had folded up the precious bedspread and put it away, pulled the covers back, and he had arranged the pillows over by the headboard.
“Very nice.” Faramir almost shyly came up to him.
Aragorn half turned to him. Éowyn watched as the King raised a hand to his Steward’s face, cupped his cheek and guided their mouths together. She was only vaguely aware of Arwen taking the mug from her hands and placing it on the floor at a safe distance from the bed. Then the Queen guided her to sit, and then lie down, legs twined together, and the covers pulled over them.
Still standing, Aragorn and Faramir were kissing slowly, gently. Faramir’s hands came to a rest in the shallow bay at the base of Aragorn’s spine and gradually their bodies came together. The King walked them towards the bed and they sank down, still without breaking the kiss. Flesh responded and breathing picked up and when they finally drew apart most playfulness was gone from both of them.
Aragorn leaned back against the pillows and spread his legs and Faramir knelt between them. He traced the curve of Aragorn’s lips with a forefinger and then turned to Arwen. His voice was a raspy whisper.
“With your permission, lady?”
She nodded, calmly, peacefully. “Always.”
Aragorn looked on her with such love that it seemed to fill the entire bedchamber. Then he turned those shining grey eyes on Éowyn, “Dearest?”
She saw the tremors that ran across Faramir’s skin. He wanted this so much, and she wished him nothing but joy. “Yes,” she said.
She had expected them to continue then, but Arwen murmured something and urged her to draw closer to their husbands. Simply following the flow, Éowyn watched in rapt fascination as Arwen fastened a strand of copper hair behind Faramir’s ear and then leaned in and kissed him. She had seen it before but somehow it always surprised her. Just as she was always surprised when Aragorn reached for her and pleaded for a kiss from her lips, as he did now. He felt similar but different, wilder perhaps; his was a different offer of love than Faramir’s.
She found the pace and the rhythm of the kiss after a few heartbeats and soon relaxed into it. He caught her hand in his and guided it to his length. He quivered at her touch and she must fight not to feel clumsy when she stroked him; when she was with Faramir she felt confident, sometimes bold even, but she had only touched Aragorn thus a few times. His breathing was deep and even but she thought he found pleasure in what she did for he shivered where he lay. Then his hand abandoned hers and curious fingers found their way in between her legs. He spread what was left of Faramir’s release upon her and she stumbled on a breath when he eased a finger into her. He curled it slightly and rubbed her from within, drawing a gasp from her. His caresses were clever and she pliantly sank down on the impaling finger and he inhaled sharply. Again he brushed that hidden spot and she heard her own whimper leave her lips. She had not realised her eyes had closed before someone else touched her and she looked to see Faramir, still kneeling between Aragorn’s legs, gazing at her with an expression she had never seen before.
She saw the longing in it and the love, and she saw the devotion he saved for her, that he never offered Arwen or even Aragorn. With Aragorn’s length still in her hand, and with his finger still exploring her heat she craved the kiss that only Faramir could give her. Arwen had moved aside and he was left alone in his tangled desire for both his wife and his King.
Éowyn let Aragorn go just as he released her. She saw now that Faramir was fully hard again and knew that Arwen must have touched him and made it so. But contrary to her own original intentions she only caught one of his hands in hers and gave it a quick squeeze. His eyes widened slightly as if this simple contact surprised him but then he threw a nervous glance at Aragorn who lay quietly waiting, stretched out like the King he was, confident and self-assured. They were perfect opposites, her husband and her sovereign, and this made her suddenly laugh out loud.
“Go ahead,” she smiled, “just go ahead.” How could she be jealous of someone who had what she lacked, and lacked what she had? She let go of Faramir’s hand and sat back on her heels.
“You are merry like the Midday Sun,” said Aragorn as he beheld her. Then he pushed himself into a sitting position and he caressed Faramir’s cheek. “And you, my Setting Sun, will you have me?”
At his touch, Faramir’s cheeks darkened and all his attention was now on his King. “I would let you take me…”
Aragorn’s eyes glimmered. “So I shall play the sword twice this night?”
Éowyn watched as Aragorn did not answer in words but instead, almost reverently, dropped a kiss to the base of Faramir’s manhood arching out to him. Her husband’s low hiss wrapped around her own heart and she did not turn her eyes away as Aragorn kissed Faramir’s entire length and wet the tip with his tongue. Of all things she had discovered since her wedding night, this was what challenged her the most. When Faramir had first tasted her, she had hardly believed what she saw and felt. He had chuckled at her strangled cry of disbelief and it had taken some time before she truly believed him when he said he enjoyed it. When she had tasted him – some weeks later, when she had worked up the courage – she was relieved to discover that she did not dislike it, but it was a tricky art and she still did not manage to swallow his seed.
Now Aragorn took as much of Faramir into his mouth as he could and he did not look close to choking. While he sucked, his hands explored Faramir’s backside and tugged him even closer. Faramir was breathing heavily and his fingers were twined into Aragorn’s dark tresses. His eyes were still open though he looked dazed and overwhelmed. Aragorn’s own length twitched where is lay ignored and Éowyn thought Arwen who was so ancient must know how to perform this act. Perhaps the Queen might reveal to her a trick or two if she dared to word the question…
Aragorn let Faramir’s glistening length slip from reddened lips and smiled up at him. “What do you desire, beloved?” His voice was hoarse and there was a thin sheen of sweat upon his skin. He flashed of gold in the firelight.
“Anything,” Faramir said breathlessly. “Please, Aragorn…”
He groaned when Aragorn took him into his mouth again and together they rocked, Aragorn not protesting when Faramir gave small thrusts of his hips. From behind Éowyn a hand encircled her waist and pulled her backwards. She fell gently against Arwen’s soft form and they curled up together against the pillows, pulling the covers up to their breasts. Arwen placed the plate of food beside them and broke off a piece of bread and bit into it. Éowyn chose some cheese but when Faramir suddenly cried out, her eyes flew to him, everything else quite forgotten.
His head had fallen forward and he shook violently with his release, Aragorn’s hands on his hips striving to steady him. Aragorn was swallowing around him, pushing him further into the spiral of ecstasy and moaning himself. Then, as if some command had rung out, Aragorn released his quivering manhood and fell down onto his back, dragging Faramir with him. There was great urgency now and by the way the King touched her husband, Éowyn guessed he was already stretched and ready. When she checked she did indeed spot the jar of salve on the bedside table, its lid nowhere in sight.
Still panting, Faramir straddled the King and though his arms shook he managed to get into the right position. Aragorn arched his back with a sharp intake of breath as his swollen length was touched but then he took himself in hand and aimed for Faramir’s entrance. When he pushed inside, Éowyn felt Arwen grasp her hand and they held on to each other as Faramir accepted Aragorn with a long groan.
They already looked weary, Éowyn thought, but they made love in a frenzy, maybe revelling in a warm bed as opposed to the bedrolls and deerskins they had endured during their ride to and fro Pelargir. And now they needed not be discreet either. Aragorn pounded into her husband who shook like an autumn leaf in a storm, but who pushed back relentlessly and made Aragorn writhe beneath him.
Then, as if time stopped for only a heartbeat, they froze, and Aragorn lifted a hand to Faramir’s cheek and with open eyes whispered something meant for him only. Faramir smiled, a smile full of pure love and then he pushed back again, causing Aragorn to cry out and respond in kind. They were lost again in their passionate chaos and when Éowyn was sure they were beyond what any body might suffer, Aragorn came with a growl so inhuman Éowyn thought he sounded quite like a wild boar roaming the woods.
She realised she had been clutching Arwen’s hand in an iron grasp and quickly released her, feeling warm and worn-out herself all of a sudden. The Queen left a kiss at her temple.
Éowyn nodded against her shoulder. “Yes…” Her eyes would not leave the two men as they lay drained and trembling, one upon the other, hands entwined and half-smiles on their lips. “Yes,” she repeated a little more firmly. “But I’m feeling a bit tired…”
“Then lie down properly.” Arwen urged her forward and got out of the bed; she took the plate of food with her.
Éowyn snuggled closer to the men, trying her best to arrange the covers over herself but avoid covering up her husband and the King who were still sweating. She breathed in the musky-sweet scent of love-making that hung low about her, a scent she had come to cherish just as she did the fresh winds of Rohan.
Faramir’s eyes fluttered open when she lay down again. Their gazes met and she saw that he was fully sated and happy. Suddenly overcome by a wave of shyness, she blushed. He looked so very… different when he was with Aragorn. She knew his strength but he was always gentle with her and seeing him in his own fierce passion made her feel very young and untried.
“My beloved,” he whispered.
He slid off Aragorn who mumbled something but Faramir did not move away from him. He stayed pressed against the King even as he drew Éowyn to him and joined their mouths together in a kiss of reunion. She melted at his joy and brought her arm around his waist. She kissed his stubbly cheek and his nose and he smiled at this but his eyes remained closed.
Behind him, Aragorn shifted to find a more comfortable position. Éowyn lay watching as Arwen, still on her feet, bent over him and they too shared a kiss. Her ink-black hair fell forward like a curtain and he lifted it aside and claimed her lips more fully. She, his Evenstar, was shining in the darkness that spread through the bedchamber now that the candles were spent and the light from the fire dwindling. She lay down beside her husband and as Éowyn’s slowly drifted into dreams, she thought she heard Arwen singing softly, softly in the night.
The night had given way to the first light of dawn when a rush of nausea tore Éowyn from her sleep. First, too exhausted to rise, she told herself it would pass but when bile rose in her throat, she stumbled out of bed and towards the adjacent bathing chamber. With desperation rising, she bent over the large ceramic bowl Arwen used for healing purposes; filled with steaming water and herbs, she dabbed bruised skin or aching muscles, but now it would have to serve differently. Éowyn’s hair fell in tangles around her face as she retched incessantly, finally bringing up the cheese and the mouthfuls of wine she had consumed the night before. A cold sweat broke out on her forehead and her hands trembled as she gripped the bowl. When she had fully emptied her stomach, there was a sour taste in her mouth and she was drawing ragged breaths.
It was dark and chilly and she slowly straightened, feeling the floor sway beneath her. She staggered away from the bowl with her head spinning and would have fallen if someone had not caught her.
“There, darling one…” Arwen’s soft voice coaxed her into a warm embrace and then down onto a stool. “Breathe…”
Éowyn did as she was bidden and tried to draw steady breaths. Soon the Queen, still unclothed, knelt before her with a cup of water and a wet washcloth. When Éowyn had drunk greedily, Arwen cleaned her up meticulously and then put away both cup and cloth.
She returned and caressed the matted golden mess that was Éowyn’s hair. “How do you feel?”
“Strange,” mumbled Éowyn. She rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. “I ate poorly last night… that must be why…”
Arwen hummed something inaudible as she helped her to stand. She was led back into the bedchamber and saw that her husband and Aragorn were sleeping soundly. They still lay against each other, Aragorn having slid one arm around Faramir’s waist.
“Try to get some rest,” advised Arwen quietly. “You will need it, I think.”
Éowyn nodded and was about to crawl into the bed when Arwen’s hand on her shoulder stopped her. The Queen said nothing but in the bleak hints of light that sneaked out underneath the heavy curtains, Éowyn saw her lips curve into a gentle smile and a new glimmer in her eyes. Arwen placed one hand on Éowyn’s belly and then leaned in to kiss her brow. Her voice was but a whisper, “I think you are blessed.”
During the moment it took for Éowyn to fully realise whereof she spoke, Arwen kissed her again and then motioned towards the bed. As she placed one foot in front of the other, Éowyn felt her heart beat quicker and even the first wintry morning light shone gloriously rich. Her smile was wide as she crawled back into bed, suddenly treasuring the faint remnants of the unpleasant sickness.
Faramir reached out for her as she lay down and he pulled her very close. “Love?” he mumbled through the layers of sleep that held him. “Okay?”
She moulded against him, cradled his hand in hers and smiled even as tears welled up in her eyes. “Yes,” she whispered. “Perfect.”
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