"In dark and loneliness they are strongest..."
-- "Strider," The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 186
It was Midsummer Eve, but there were no festive bonfires burning in the little village in the Westfold beneath the eves of the mountains. There was no reason for joyous merriment, since all the men and boys old enough to bear arms were away fighting in the northwest. Locked in the ferocious struggle to drive the enemy hordes back towards the east, the united forces of Gondor and Rohan would see the most savage and bloody battles of the entire war in the coming days.
Her fair skin marred by only a few sun-blessed freckles, the woman lay upon her thin straw mattress, a simple homemade coverlet spread over her body. Her long honey blonde hair was braided in one long plait which lay draped over one shoulder, the threads of silver twining with the gold. Never regarded as a beauty, still the woman was pretty, though seventeen years of marriage and the birth of two sons had sculpted a few slight lines about her eyes. Slowly her sleeping mind was nudged awake by a growing sense of unease which encroached upon the tranquility of her dreams. The sensation drove her to wakefulness, her eyes flying open as her heart hammered in her chest.
At the end of the bed, there stood in gleaming silver the spectral figure of the tallest man whom she had ever beheld.
"Come no closer!" she cried in alarm, her eyes wide with dread, her chest heaving in terror.
"And if I do?" he chuckled, amused.
"By Béma Wáthfréa, I command you to leave!"
He laughed in spite of the pain that rolled through his body at the harsh imprecation. "Béma celebrates Midsummer Eve with Vana his spouse... Why do you disturb the Vala? Can you not allow him this brief respite from his labors?"
Moving to the head of the bed, the spectre looked down at her as he placed a gloved hand upon her shoulder. She attempted to raise her arm to push him away, but she was unable to move so much as a fingertip. It was as though her limbs had been turned to cold stone!
"Your husband is away... you are lonely... my kind is attracted to dark and lonely places... and lonely people... and it is Midsummer Eve." His voice was rich and deep, as caressingly soft as velvet rubbed across bare flesh. "Can we not share a bit of comfort upon this night that is given over to wonders?"
The woman trembled under his touch, her eyes looking up at him in terror, silently pleading with him for mercy. Oh, what would this dread spirit do to her? "Midsummer Eve is a time when elves dance in magic circles and drink the heady wine of love; when fanged and clawed creatures prowl and disturb honest folk; when fell spirits leave their barrows and walk abroad!" she timidly squeaked. "Go back and join your fell kind and leave me in peace!"
"Since I am none of those things, you have nothing to fear; I will not hurt you," he replied reassuringly as his fingers stroked the hollow of her throat.
"Then what are you?" Every nerve in her body seemed on edge, threatening to unravel like the fibers of a rope which had been pulled too taut. She must escape from him somehow!
"A lonely man who seeks solace on Midsummer Eve," he answered in a voice that was filled with such sadness that she was almost moved to pity. "And you are lonely, too... we can sense those things."
"Aye, I am lonely," she reluctantly admitted, her throat tightening as she said the words.
"So warm," he whispered as his fingertip felt the throbbing vein pulsing with the force of life. Her eyelids fluttered shut and she flushed a lovely shade of pink as she felt his cool lips moving over her neck. Though she could not command her body to do her bidding, she still could talk and blink - at least that much remained to her!
"What have you done to me?!" she whimpered. "I cannot move! If you have any mercy or pity in your heart, I beg you to free me from this spell!"
"Madame, I cannot do that. If you were not restrained, you might do something rash. Now you do not have to think, only feel, and you can soar to realms of rapture that you never would have thought possible. No longer should you feel yourself restricted to the bonds of convention, but free to give yourself over to the raw passions which surge through your body in wild rivers of desire. Even now you smolder with heat in the pit of your stomach, wanting to open yourself up to me but still afraid. Admit it!"
Almost faint with terror, the woman closed her eyes tighter and braced herself for the unbearable pain that she was certain would follow when he thrust inside her. She was about to be raped by this dread spirit, this evil demon who would defile her with his foul essence and leave her drained and weak, a shriveled shadow of herself! When her husband returned, he would look into her eyes and sense that she had been defiled! Then he would spurn her and forbid their sons ever to speak to her again! Perhaps it would be best if this demon ended her misery now and slew her! At least she would never have to know the pain of seeing the revulsion in her husband's eyes at the knowledge that she had been ravished by this malignant phantom!
But as the spectre's teeth gently grazed over the skin at her throat, his lips pressing tender kisses over the pulsating vein, she felt her body responding to his caresses. And then as he enclosed one of her breasts in his large hand, lightning shot through her being and she could not suppress a low, tortured moan! His fingers caressed an erect pink nipple, unleashing the amorous demons which she kept ever at bay. Oh, how she longed for him, no longer having any strength to resist his enchantment! She had been alone for so long, with no husband to keep her company in the idle hours… and the nights were so very lonely and desolate…
"Take me," she begged in her thoughts, horrified at her wantonness. "Thrust that mighty rod into me over and over again! Take me deep, hard and fast! What does it matter should I feel pain? The pleasure will be only greater! Show me no mercy! Take me, my demon lover! Ohh, take me!" Oh, what was she thinking? Oh, what evil madness had possessed her? Her resolve lay in crumbled ruins, for both her mind and body had surrendered completely to his dominion!
Breathing in deeply, the spectre inhaled the mingled scents of soap, herbs and the fresh, clean smell of her body, bathed just that evening. The freshly laundered bed sheets and the newly spread straw upon the floor locked with her intensely feminine aroma, causing his nostrils to flare and quiver with excitement. Moving his hand to the coverlet which concealed her shivering body, he drew the blanket slowly down, inch by inch, until it at last rested below her dainty feet.
"Please, my lord, I am so cold," she whispered, trembling almost violently with both fear and delicious anticipation.
"Not for long," he chuckled devilishly as he lifted a rosy foot and brought it up to his mouth, teasing over the bottom with playful kisses. Her blue eyes were wide, disbelieving, as she looked down at him and felt his tongue licking, coiling around each toe, coating the recesses between with cool moisture. She could not control the delighted moans which escaped her lips, nor suppress the maddening ache betwixt her legs. As he sucked each of her toes into his mouth, she laughed in senseless delirium as his caressing tongue outlined each of her toenails.
"My lord, you should not - my husband--"
"He is far away and his thoughts are upon fighting. He has little time to think of gentle pleasures. Woman, do not concern yourself with him, for he is not concerned with you. Think only of this time we have together and the pleasure I will bring you!"
Her toes were pleasantly warm in his mouth, and when his lips departed, the night air chilled them, making them feel cold and forlorn. She frowned at him, but her displeasure was soon turned into squeals of delight as his caressing lips moved up one of her ankles, planting kisses light as down upon her sensitive skin. And then he was sliding the hem of her night-dress up her legs, and instead of feeling fear or danger, she was impatient for what was to come! As he drew the gown up ever higher, she sensed a lessening of his power over her, sufficient enough for her to be able to thrust her hips up wantonly to allow him to remove her clothing.
She sobbed with desire as his comfortingly cool hands spread her thighs wide apart. Closing her eyes, she tried to remind herself that the longings which filled her were wicked, and that she was being unfaithful to her husband. But somehow morality did not seem important any longer. She wiggled as she gave her mind over to delicious abandonment, fantasizing of how it would feel when his massive weapon was enclosed up to the hilt in her throbbing sheath.
"Do I disappoint you?" he chuckled deeply.
"My lord, I scarcely know what to say. I am sure that this is terribly wrong, but it feels so wonderfully right! I think that you have bewitched me!"
"Do you enjoy my caresses?" he asked, as though the question really mattered to him. How different from her husband, who, after satisfying his own needs, grunted, rolled over and fell asleep!
"Ohh, yes!" she cried out. "Even though I may be condemned for it - yes!"
"Then how could anything that felt so good be wrong?" He was tempting her, she knew it, but yet she could not resist him and what he was doing to her body! Reveling in her sensual torment, he bent his head and slowly, sensuously licked first the inside of one silky thigh and then the other. Writhing in ecstasy, she screamed in the throes of passion. His tongue drew closer and closer to the swollen apex that marked the beginning of her valley of love. As he kneaded its surrounding slopes with his strong fingers, she feared that if he continued, the urgings he stirred within her would drive her mad with desire!
"Oh - my lord - you must not!" she whimpered, her words coming between gasping, ragged breaths. "Ohh! What you do is not - ahhh! - not done! Ohh! Not even my husband has - oh, oh - ever, ever touched me there like - like - ohhh! --" she screamed, arching her back, "--like that!"
"What a pity, Madame," he murmured, his voice husky with sensual hunger, "that your husband has denied himself so much by never savoring the sweet nectar of your passion. I have no intention of making the same mistake!"
Her body was now burning with a fire that had lain dormant for far too long! Her senses left her, and she screamed in rapture as he sucked the ruby of her passion into his mouth. Then when she felt his thrusting tongue plunge into the seething depths of her fiery pit of love, the fount of passion erupted, spewing her molten honey into his mouth. Another intense spasm rippled through her recesses, and an even more violent wave rocked her as his tongue kept up its erotic rhythm, sending her falling back upon the mattress in a deep swoon.
He awakened her later with a kiss that drove into her soul. She opened her eyes and found that she could move once again. She reached out for him, but he was no longer there! A vacant emptiness, a sorrow more intense than any she had never felt in her life, rushed over her like the cold winds of autumn, threatening to consume her soul. She yearned to call his name, but she did not even know what it was!
"Please, please come back, my lord!" she cried in her anguish. "I was so lonely before I felt your touch!"
"Madame, I would never leave you before I had solaced the loneliness that you have felt for so long. I assure you, that when I depart from here, you will have known a more intense and deep fulfillment than you have ever experienced in your life."
Relief flooded her heart like the rush of water through a dry creek bed at the end of a drought. "What is your name, beloved spirit?" she asked, tears of joy causing her eyes to sparkle in the dim moonlight which shone through the open window.
"I have none, but surely you have learned by this time that I am not altogether spirit," he chuckled. He reached a hand down to her and pulled her to her feet as though she weighed nothing more than thistle-down. She closed her eyes as he slid the hem of her gown up her body and over her head, the material rushing over her skin like a breeze. Opening her eyes, she tried to find him in the darkness of the room.
"Where are you? I can no longer see you!"
"In front of you." Once again she saw the spectral figure and felt his strong arms around her. Then his lips moved over hers in a fiery kiss that was nothing like the feeble attentions of her husband! His lips burned into hers as his tongue pushed its way past her lips, plunging deeply within her mouth. So great was her excitement that she felt close to swooning again, and her hands clutched his shoulders to anchor her to the earth!
Her husband... She was betraying him! Oh, what a wicked woman she was! She was no better than a common harlot! What was she doing? Oh, damn this evil spirit who had ensorcelled her with a spell of utter wantonness! She pulled away from his mouth, but still she kept her hands on his shoulders, both to help steady herself and because she could not bear to let go.
"I cannot!" she gasped, attempting to cling to some shred of lingering loyalty to her husband.
"Why not?" he asked as he took command of her lips once more.
"I am... married," she choked out between his kisses, her heart feeling as though it were being wrenched in twain.
"We established that fact earlier," a deep chuckle rumbled in his throat.
"It would not be right--" she tried to speak, but his lips only forced themselves upon hers again. Much to the dismay of her conscience, she did not object at all and softened her lips as she gave into him willingly. Now it was as though her lips were sealed to his as he slid his tongue in and out of her unprotesting mouth. Moaning, her fingers dug deeply into his shoulders. If she gave into his demands and willingly allowed him to make love to her, her soul would be lost for all eternity! But what did it matter - just so long as he kept touching her, arousing her, inflaming her with forbidden lust!
His hands slid like serpents over her body, ceaselessly caressing, touching spots that nearly sent her hurdling over the edge. His fingers brushed over her breasts, teasing the swollen nipples before taking the globes in his hands. Her legs trembled under her, and as she teetered, one of his hands darted between her legs. Her body arched in response and she moaned as she clenched her thighs and rode his hand. Her head spun dizzily as two of his skilled fingers added more fuel into her already seething furnace. His probing fingers stoked the fires and she felt every last shred of her resolve break as she drenched him once more with a torrent of heated rain.
"Madame, such a lovely and passionate woman as you should never be alone on a night of enchantment!"
"Oh - my - lord! No!" she choked out, as though smitten by a death blow.
He caught her as she fell, whimpering and quivering, into his powerful arms. "Close your bewitching blue eyes and rest a while," he whispered into her ear. Then picking her up, he carried her to her bed, placing her gently down upon the mattress.
"Please do not leave me!" she wailed weakly as she reached a hand up to touch him.
"Then you have changed your mind and wish for me to stay?" He sounded surprised. "When I first appeared before you, you tried to drive me away."
"I was foolish!" she sobbed in anguish. "I thought that you would hurt me! Please stay, O beloved Dwimmerlaik! You hold the key to my heart!"
"Beautiful one, I will abide with you for a while. This is Midsummer Eve, when the gossamer curtains are parted and the hidden is reveled. This is the night of magic and rapture, when mortals sometimes walk amid the forbidden realms."
"My lord, I am drunken upon the wine of your kisses! Never have I known such ecstasy as you have brought me!"
"You must rest, Madame, for mortals do not possess the strength to endure for long the passions of those who have been... changed... as... I have been. You see, we are insatiable, and our lusts know no bounds!"