Lavender's Lessons, Chapter 3
|Rating/Warnings:||Rated R for adult sexual situations with some nudity; more spicy than graphic.|
|Disclaimer:||This is a work of amateur fan fiction written just for fun. No infringement is meant on the rights of JRR Tolkien or his estate.|
|Timeline:||Semi-bookverse, shortly before the Ring Quest.|
|Summary:||A young woman in Ninglorost wants to learn how to be more womanly and looks to the elves for instruction.|
Lavender tried not to think about what she was doing as she held out her hand to the elf, Legolas, and let him guide her toward the inn. Her stunned, but equally curious, cousins had agreed to keep her private archery lessons with him a secret, but only after they had pulled her aside and made sure she understood that the price she would have to pay afterward was a recitation of everything that happened to her.
"Of course I will tell you everything," she whispered, embarrassed to be discussing events that had not taken place but that she hoped soon would. If they would ever leave. "Now please go back," she added, "before someone comes looking for us." Lavender made slight shooing motions with her hands as she spoke, hoping they would go before she changed her mind. She could have added, truthfully, 'Or before I lose my nerve and come with you!' But she managed to keep that thought to herself.
Lily and Rose were not worried about Lavender's safety. One thing that they had firmly established in all of their speculations about elves was that they were a gentle race. If they, any of the three, had ever heard of a single incident of an elf harming a mortal maid, they may have been more wary. But one thing they did know about the folk of the wood was that they did not pose a danger to humans in the way other creatures of the forest were known to do, or other humans for that matter.
But once Lavender was alone with one, she felt nervous all over again. What was she getting herself into?
"Do not be afraid," Legolas said softly as he drew her around toward the back of the inn. "No one will see you go inside, I promise." And she actually relaxed a bit when they were no longer visible to any possible passer-by on the street. She guessed that he must be taking her to the secret entrance he had referred to earlier, in an effort to hide her from the men inside the common room, which she saw as a gentlemanly gesture.
Attached on the back of the inn was a staircase that led to a short balcony at the back of the upper story's rooms. Before Legolas took her up the steps, he paused and turned.
"There is something that I have to do first. Something that I have wanted to do since I first saw you," he said, while letting go of her hand and grasping her shoulders gently to steady her before him, "since today, at the archery contest."
He was going to kiss her! She just knew it. With pounding heart and shaking knees, Lavender closed her eyes, tilted her chin up, and puckered her lips.
As she waited Lavender thought that her banging heart sounded so loud that he must hear it, and then she wondered what was taking him so long. When she felt the elf's hands in her hair, she jumped a little, but then her eyes flew open when she felt his quick, nimble fingers find and pluck out the hairpins that were poking her scalp, bringing instant relief to the constant, but bearable, irritation, and letting her hair fall loose to her shoulders.
"Much better," he pronounced as he arranged the thick mass to his satisfaction.
"It's horrible like this!" Lavender complained while pushing the hair that instantly fell into her face back behind her ears. "I hate it," she hissed as it fell right back.
"Perhaps I can fix this problem," Legolas said and he moved around to stand behind her. She stood still, puzzled, as his hands twisted pieces of her hair up and back from her eyes. "There, is that better?" He turned her to face him and grinned at her. She reached to feel what he had done, but he stopped her hand.
"Be careful," he cautioned, and then let go so she could pat the pieces of hair he had somehow twisted in such a way that they stayed firmly placed on either side of her temples, and out of her eyes. "Trust me, it looks beautiful."
"You are too kind," she said, gratefully. Did he know that she thought he was going to kiss her? Before she could worry about it, he took her elbow and led her up the stairs.
They entered a door that opened up into a narrow empty hallway, which he explained was used by the inn's workers to have access to the supply cupboards, which were located along the wall. Lavender nodded numbly in reply, but was too nervous to speak. Was it possible that he was taking her to that special room?
Legolas opened another door that was between the cupboards, and, this time, peeked inside first, before drawing her through with him. This one opened up into the regular hallway where the guest rooms were located, and it was empty for the time being. Lavender saw numbers on the doors as the elf pulled her swiftly past them. From the common room below came the sounds of the happy crowd.
When he stopped before one of the doors on the side of the hall that was not facing the street, Lavender was confused. Was there more than one special room in this inn?
"Please, let me enter first," he said, politely. "I want to make sure that I have no unexpected company within." As he spoke, he walked into the room and peered around as if suspecting danger, while she followed behind him. It was exciting, but Lavender could not imagine what possible peril there could be inside. The room was empty.
Lavender was disappointed, too, with how rustic the special room turned out to be, compared to her and her cousins' imaginings about it. There were no satin sheets on the normal sized bed and there was very little other furniture. The window was shuttered and the air was still to the point of almost being stifling. There were two chairs beside a table and they were all very plain and made from pine.
But the elf did not seem to notice anything awry with the accommodations. Instead he lifted his bow from where it sat in a corner, next to a quiver filled with arrows, and laid it on the table. After gesturing for her to sit, he drew a string from within his tunic and showed it to her. Then he sat in the other chair to teach her how to attach it to the bow.
Lavender's hopes were dashed as the awful realization crept over her that he truly did intend to teach her about archery, after all! But she was also cheered when she also realized that she was not expected to immediately remove all of her clothes, like she had believed. It was quite a relief. His patient voice was soothing as he held the bow between his knees and showed her how to bend it backwards to place the string at both ends.
The rest of the lesson, however, was a disaster. As soon as Legolas was done demonstrating to her how to attach the string, he removed it and handed her the bow so that she could try it. Her thick skirt proved to be slippery when she tried to grasp the narrow weapon between her knees, and even with all of her might she could not pull the bow backwards a single inch.
And it was so warm in the room that it made Lavender even more uncomfortable as she worked at bending the iron-hard wood. Sweat dripped from her forehead and trickled down both her back and between her breasts. She had to fight the urge to let go of the bow to wipe her face or pull the fabric of her bodice away from her skin.
When she raised her eyes to her archery instructor, he returned her gaze with the same glowing heat that she had noticed earlier, when they were out in the street, which gave her a start and made her heart flutter. But then he smiled at her in a friendly fashion, leaned forward, took the bow from her hands, and quickly restrung it.
"Let us leave this part of the process on the wayside for now," Legolas said, and then offered his hand to her and drew her to stand. He added, "I can see that is more important that you know how to hold a bow to begin with."
After moving around to stand behind her again, he handed her his bow and then put his arms around her, his arms right over hers, in order to help her place her hands correctly. Her banging heart finally was quiet as it came to a complete halt. For a moment, she could not even see.
"Do not hold your breath," said the elf. He had turned his face slightly as he spoke, which caused his lips to caress her ear, and it sent shivers down her spine. This brought her to a new level of awareness of how he was physically closer to her than any person had ever been before now, except her parents. "To aim and shoot, you must breathe and remain calm," he finished. She thought she might scream.
"I'm sorry!" Lavender gasped out. She gulped in air and then tried to breathe more normally, which was decidedly impossible after he had pressed the full length of his upper torso against her back, and leaned forward slightly, to help her hold the bow.
"You have done nothing to be forgiven for." His warm breath seemed to stroke her cheek.
Finally, he had her hands placed on the bow how he wanted them; her slippery palms gripped the bent wood and taut string so fiercely that her knuckles were white, and he stood away from her. Now she could breathe.
The elf circled her slowly as he instructed her in her stance and posture, reaching out now and then to touch her back or hips or shoulders or head. "Bend your knees a bit," he would say, or, "Relax your elbows," or, "Keep your chin up," and she was soon dizzy from all of the different directions. It was almost as if she forgot how to stand and hold something at the same time, and she felt very awkward.
"Very well done," said the elf, to her relief. "I will make an archer out of you tonight." After crossing the room to pull an arrow out of the quiver, he approached her again, and she tried not to feel sad that he was not leaning against her anymore. "Now," he told her as he handed her the yellow-feather tipped shaft, "you will learn to put the arrow on its string."
Before she could ask him how, he stepped behind her again and put his arms around her just as he had done before, to show her. Her hand shook so badly that she dropped the arrow, but he reached out and caught it before it hit the floor. When he handed it to her, their fingers touched for an instant, and then he grabbed her hand, took the arrow from it, and pressed her palm to his face.
"You are far too warm! Your skin feels on fire!" he exclaimed. "I should have paid more attention to your mortal needs, but I was too intent on our lesson to pay enough heed, please forgive me," he said, as he dropped her hand. "Should I open a window? It must be miserable in here for you, I had not thought of that."
To Lavender's dismay, the elf moved away from her yet again, this time to open the window shutters, but she was grateful when the fresh air reached over to her. The room had been very stuffy, although there was no fire in the hearth. It had been a warm day and the heat from the common room below seemed to radiate upwards.
Legolas beckoned her to come to the window and she was happy to stand next to him there. The view was mostly of the starlit sky above the silhouette of the forest lands behind the inn. He took the bow from her hands and set it to the side. Even though it was cooler now, she wished her hair was off of her neck. Impatiently she ran her hands underneath it and lifted it to catch the breeze before letting it fall again the way the elf had placed it. He turned to her and smiled into her eyes.
"Your hair smells as fragrant as a flower," he said, and then, cautiously, as if afraid to alarm her, he slowly lifted a thick lock from her shoulder and bent to press it to his nose. "You are very clean, for a human," he stated. No one had ever said anything like that to her before.
"Mama makes me bathe in the brook behind the barn every day," she blurted out, and then regretted saying such a childish thing. Her cousins laughed over it at first. But then they found the experience of swimming in the swiftly flowing stream that flowed from the Anduin over their land, and slowed into a pool behind the barn, so much fun that they often joined her there. They would all wear their shifts into the water, with nothing on beneath. Just thinking about it made Lavender crave the feel of the clear water on her hot skin.
"To be near you is very pleasant," said her companion at the window. "And most unusually so."
"Thank you, sir elf," Lavender replied. She was happy to hear that he found her company pleasing.
"Please, my name is Legolas," he protested. "You can say Legolas, can you not?" He stroked her hair again.
"Legolas," she said. It was not such a hard name to pronounce.
"Say it again," he whispered, and his stroking hand traveled to the back of her head as his face lowered to hers. Lavender froze in complete panic. He really was going to kiss her this time! And all she had to do was say his name...
"Legolas?" Instead, the name was called in an odd sing-song way, by a woman standing at the other side of the door. It startled the both of them. There was a knock. And then again, the voice said, "I see the light in there. Is there a lonely elf in there, too?" Lavender looked back and forth between the door and the lonely elf, and wondered who it could be and why she was there.
There was a short pause. And then another knock, harder, and Legolas hurried to open it while the voice continued, "Are you waiting for some company? Did you not say to me....?" But the question went no further when he finally cracked the door and spoke to the woman on the other side in sharp whispers. The answering voice was quieter for a moment.
As Lavender watched, he constantly pulled slithering hands off of his neck that reached out to embrace him again and again, while keeping the rest of his body pressed against the door to keep the persistent visitor from pushing inside.
"But you promised!" The unseen woman wailed, and Lavender wished that she could sprout wings and fly from the window. What if that woman managed to push all the way in and saw her, what would she do or say? It was possible that only the women who worked here were allowed up into this room, and maybe there was some law being broken? Or, even worse, what if Legolas let the visitor in and asked Lavender to go home?
After more whispering, and groans of compliance from the stranger, Legolas at last closed the door. He stood with his back pressed against it and smiled ruefully at Lavender.
"How would you like to take our lessons outdoors," he asked, "where the air is fresher and we will not be interrupted?" She could not refuse such a reasonable request.
With the bow and quiver slung over his back, Legolas slowly opened the door and peeked out into the hall, looking both ways, before pulling Lavender through and then quickly down the hall to the servant's entrance they had entered through.
Now Lavender was very puzzled. She was quite sure that he was about to kiss her when they had been interrupted by the mysterious visitor, so why did he insist on carrying his bow now? But she did not ask him; it was fine with her if he wanted to show her how to hold the bow again, and again. If he would lean against her while he did so.
They plunged into the trees that grew almost up to the back of the inn, on a path that must have been so well known to the elf that he did not seem to notice the pitch-black darkness inside of the forest. Lavender trusted him to lead her. When the path finally led them into a clearing, she was surprised to see that they had traveled in a large circle and had come back to the banks of the Anduin, although they were a bit farther north from Ninglorost.
"Before any more archery lessons," he explained as he placed his bow and quiver beside a tree, "maybe we could swim a bit? You enjoy the water, am I correct?"
Without waiting for her to answer, he shed his tunic, revealing alabaster skin in the pale moonlight. He pulled his boots off and stood straight to unlace his leggings before Lavender was even sure what he was doing. She could not even imagine how she could stay dressed, but she was not ready to be naked.
"What are you waiting for?" In the darkness, she could see his teeth as he flashed a smile at her. "We will both feel much cooler in the river." And then his pants were off, and he was naked. Lavender tried to stay as calm as she could while he turned and walked away from her to enter the river, those long legs that she admired were even nicer than she had thought. Keeping his back turned, he stood still after the water had reached his waist.
"Go ahead, I will not look at you," he said. She almost started to undress, but then wondered if there was anyone else nearby, who might be watching them. As if reading her thoughts, the elf laughed gently and said, "We are quite alone, I swear it to you."
Moving further into the river, he splashed his hands in the water and remarked about how refreshed and energized he was feeling already. "You do not know what you are missing," he told her, his voice inviting. At last, she decided she would join him, and turned around to undress. Every once in a while she would glance over her shoulder to make sure that he was still there as she carefully removed her clothes and folded them.
When Lavender reached her shift, she paused, and then, in a bold moment, pulled it off and stood as naked as the day she was born, in the dark, beside the Anduin. It felt wonderful. But when she turned to enter the river, she felt suddenly shy again as her nudity was revealed and she covered her chest with one arm, and placed her other hand between her legs. Swiftly now, before she could change her mind, she ran into the river, hoping to get into the water up to her chest.
The brook behind the barn on her uncle's land flowed gently, and because it was shallower than the Anduin, it was not as icy cold. Lavender was almost immediately swept off of her feet in the frigid river's overwhelming current, and her efforts to keep herself modestly covered had to be instantly abandoned as she floundered around trying to keep her head above water, and not swallow too much of it.
"There, there," said Legolas. The unexpected embrace of his arms around her was like a miracle, and she clung to him tightly, choking, coughing, and sobbing with relief as he held her up and kept her steady.
"Do not fight the water now," he told her as soon as she began to feel safe again. His mouth was inches from hers and his eyes shone with that familiar fire. This close, his wet face seemed luminous, as if his skin reflected the starlight. "Let the river flow over you," he was saying, when she finally heard him.
Slowly, Lavender relaxed, and became more and more aware of his naked body pressed up to hers, keeping her afloat as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She felt weightless and not even connected to her body as she gazed into his eyes and regained her composure enough to speak.
"Thank you, sir, I mean, Legolas."
"Ah, you finally said my name again," he answered, and then he kissed her. Now she was not afraid, because she had no time to feel afraid, and his mouth moved gently over hers, not demanding anything from her but that she not pull away. She complied, and when his hand pressed her head closer to his face, she responded.
Beneath the flowing water, his other hand moved over her back, pressing her even more tightly against him before sliding up and over her breast. Lavender thought she might faint when his tongue sought entrance and she allowed it. She fleetingly worried that he would lose his footing and then drop her into the water. It would drown her for sure because she was so limp, but then her thoughts blurred to nothingness.
The world was spinning, but when she felt something hard below her waist, pressing against her hip, she froze. Legolas abruptly broke away from the kiss and a look of regret swept over his handsome face.
"I should take you home, child," he whispered. "Before this goes much farther."
"No!" Lavender was devastated. Did he find her kissing skills repulsive?
"You are too young, and too tempting by far," he said. "But there is no pleasure in this kind of sport; it is like killing fish in a tub."
"But... but why...?" She had to fight back tears of fury, at herself for being led this far, and at this elf for leading her there. "How could you?"
"Oh, I want you, very much, that is not the reason," he said, as if knowing exactly what it was that had angered her before she had realized it. "And I never meant for it to come this far." He glanced down and his grin indicated the naked embrace they were still engaged in. "But I will come back some day to finish this properly, when you are ready. You are not there, yet."
His reasoning was flawless, but her heart faltered. She was still unsure that he was not laughing at her, after making her feel wanton with such little effort. It was embarrassing.
"Will you wait for me, I wonder?" For the first time, he seemed unsure of himself, and Lavender's anger melted completely when he added, "Will you forgive me?"
"Of course I will," she promised, her heart soaring again. "And I will wait for you, forever." He laughed.
"It will not be forever," he assured her. "I know that I will not be able to wait that long."
For the last time that night, he kissed her again, just as sweetly as he had before, and then led her from the river back to where they had undressed. Shyly now, as if she had not been naked yet before him, she dressed, pulling the dry clothes over her sticky wet skin as fast as she could, with some difficulty, but managing.
To her surprise, the dancing was still going on in the distance when they returned all the way to the Ninglorost inn. Neither of them had spoken a word along the way.
"In the spring there will be another archery contest," he said, breaking the silence. "I will look for you. Will you be there? Perhaps you will be ready for another lesson?"
"I will try my hardest to be there." As if wild horses could prevent her.
Legolas pressed his lips to her hand and bowed to her before sending her off to find her family, and explain herself to them. For a moment, they just stared at each other, and then he turned and left her. She lifted her eyes to the upper story of the inn. Some of the windows were lit, some were still dark, and she realized that there probably was no 'special room' after all. It was not a disappointment. Even without one, she had still seen an elf bare naked.
As she approached the crowd of merry-makers, Lavender was so happy that she almost laughed when her cousins spotted her and ran to meet her. She had her story carefully planned, a smile on her face, and a womanly sway to her walk. And if she never saw that elf again, she would always be grateful for the lessons.
Posted: July 30, 2005
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"Long live Thranduil, great Elf-king of Greenwood!"