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The Dark Fire Will Avail You

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Iaun’s gaze was calm and intense, yet Sérelókë could feel the throb and flutter of his pulse, belying his stillness. It was true, the half-wild wood-Elf still slightly feared him. And such was Iaun’s nature, that fear made his desire all the stronger.

Sérelókë could not now look away from the depths in those eyes he had not taken the time to explore so closely before. The dominant colour was a dark blue that only existed in a few spaces between the stars, but there were other shades - a deep brown-green, like the moss that grew upon stones in the forests here; a sharp dark grey that appeared on some mineral veins in some mountainsides; a rich golden strand there that evoked for just one tiny moment the last lights of dying Laurelin, and the black depths of the center expanded to fill nearly to the edges of darkling colour.

Iaun had not the light of Valinor, Sérelókë observed. He had the lights and colours and shades of his own homeland, which should hardly be counted inferior in the face of one so fair.

Sérelókë moved fingers of one hand through Iaun’s golden-grey hair and curled them around his head, as if to bring him closer still, fixing in his mind that expressive face, handsome but careworn in a way the Elves of Aman did not show, not even fate-wracked Fëanor.

And while Sérelókë thought long on these matters, gazing down into Iaun’s eyes, Iaun leaned in closer, though he had not yet been bidden to do so, and his eyes dropped lower to make a study of Sérelókë’s curving rod of desire, which slowly swelled and grew as Iaun breathed upon it and licked his lips. The mere thought of accepting the gift of that eager mouth, feeding Iaun with his staff, taking his pleasure so quickly, made Sérelókë harder still. How long - how long could Iaun crouch there before he would take the bait, and then Sérelókë would have to punish him to maintain his mastery?

It seemed to him that Iaun’s resolve was beginning to break, for his face now had a truly ravenous expression, and his body trembled with the strain of holding still. Perhaps Iaun’s old injuries were beginning to pain him, Sérelókë thought. He would have to work around that, for he did not want his partner distracted by pains of inferior quality.

But let it not be said that Sérelókë of Aman was cruel only to his erotic thralls and never to himself, for he allowed thoughts to torment him of how it would feel to press his cock where Iaun so dearly wanted it, to be stoked and soothed and satisfied by eager lips and tongue caressing and sucking him, reaching his peak to fill Iaun’s hungry throat. For it was apparent to Sérelókë that Iaun had experience in these matters, that his craving was clearly that of seeking to revisit a remembered pleasure.

That could not stand. Sérelókë would tolerate being no mere repeat. He would make certain all of Iaun’s past pleasures paled in comparison to the throes he would soon feel beneath Sérelókë’s hands.

So then Sérelókë pressed Iaun’s face a little closer to him, until the slick, bared head of his member nearly brushed Iaun’s strangely dear little turned-up nose, until he was certain the scent of it must be driving Iaun nearly mad. When Iaun opened his mouth to take what he thought he was being offered, Sérelókë tightened his fingers in Iaun’s hair and pulled, drawing him back again.

“I can feel you burning with lust to taste me, Iaun,” Sérelókë said with a laugh in his voice as he held Iaun’s head away. “Did you think I would give you what you want so easily, so quickly?”

Iaun made a deprived sort of whimpering sound, but his stormy eyes hinted at rebellion. Good, oh so very good, Sérelókë thought.

“Stand up, Iaun,” Sérelókë said, pulling on his hair with a steady pressure upward. “Rise and show me what is mine.”

Iaun breathed in sharply and stood as smoothly as he could, water trailing from his flanks and hips. The proud stand of his member had suffered no diminishment from the cool water - hopefully and shamelessly its tip bumped against Sérelókë’s thigh, and Sérelókë decided then that he ought to punish it. Sérelókë also noted with satisfaction that Iaun’s leg trembled not at all; if it caused him any pain, there was no sign to observe.

Straight and proud did Iaun stand as he obeyed Sérelókë’s command, and seemed reluctant to lower his eyes as Sérelókë studied him for signs of hesitance. Slightly Iaun trembled as Sérelókë’s gaze fell to his scarred shoulder, studying the raised scoring and picks and pocks of rearranged and disfigured skin and muscle. He may believe me to be repulsed by this, Sérelókë thought. Be cruel to him in other ways, but always kind to him for the sake of this, for this is fascinating, and for me, that is what is truly beautiful. Sérelókë had seen little of scars, for the wounded ones had not yet begun to cross the sea. But having recently seen so many types of weapons upon the battlefield, now Sérelókë was almost certain he could tell the specific shape of the Orcish pike that had pierced him. “This wound nearly killed you,” was all he said, careful to let no pity show through.

“Yes,” Iaun said flatly, clearly holding his chin steady with effort.

“Yes, what?’ asked Sérelókë, in a voice that was deceptively gentle.

“Yes, ah . . . my lord,” said Iaun, and the minute movement of his cock was enough for Sérelókë to know that, as much effort as it caused him to speak so, it also paid Iaun back fairly in pleasure.

“Mm, yes,” Sérelókë said. “Not always,” he then said, for he felt that he ought. “But for now, while I make use of you and you let me, then I do love to hear those words from your mouth.”

“Make use of my mouth as you wish, my lord,” Iaun said hopefully. “Of all of me, as you please, and you need not take too much care to be gentle.”

“Oh, splendid,” Sérelókë said on a low breath. “So far you are simply perfect. All I could desire. Turn around.”

Iaun nodded, swallowed once, and did so. Sérelókë gathered up his long fair hair in one fist, lifting it, dragging first his nose and then his teeth across the nape of Iaun’s neck, breathing his scent in deeply and taking sharp, luxurious tastes with his tongue. Wonderful, that scent. Moss and loam, skin and musk. Intoxicating.

Sérelókë ran his sensing fingertips over the corresponding rises and lines of scarring on the back of Iaun’s shoulder - marvelling at Iaun’s tenacity to survive, allowing himself a moment to grieve the possibility that this meeting, with only a small change of fortune, might never have occurred, that he would never have known Iaun’s watching eyes and guarded obedience, his curiosity and his courageous lust.

He took hold of Iaun’s shoulder and dug his fingers in hard, pressing where he might be vulnerable, listening for the gasp of pain, carefully attuned to every stutter and surge of breath and pulse, every twitch and flex of muscle and skin. Iaun gave a low sound that he was clearly trying to suppress, and Sérelókë released him immediately, soothing the ache with a purposeful kiss that seemed to set Iaun at ease, for the tense muscles softened and his spine flexed invitingly. Iaun gave a soft shivering sigh as Sérelókë let his hand slide lower, his fingernails following the natural path of the curved groove of Iaun’s spine.

Graceful muscle met him here, as Iaun’s back flexed toward Sérelókë’s touch, every slight movement redolent of pleasure and craving. Iaun’s skin shivered in little bumps all over, and he jumped just a little as Sérelókë took hold of a delightful round handful of flesh, Iaun’s beautiful firm buttocks so enticing above the split of his thighs. Sérelókë squeezed hard - not at the full force of his power nor anywhere near it, but enough to produce a groan and a shudder. With a smile he released Iaun’s arse, but not before bending his fingers underneath, with a quick glancing touch of crease and opening, the promising gateway hinted at beneath his curves. Iaun might think he wants it as rough as Gothmog, Sérelókë thought. But that is not how I will take him. I will drive him mad with slow care and firm guidance at first, until he sobs and begs me, until he finally pronounces my name correctly.

Sensitive to Iaun’s shivers, Sérelókë wrapped an arm around him from behind and drew him close against his body, making sure to rock his hardened shaft slowly in the curve of Iaun’s back that sheltered it so perfectly, running his hand over the quivering muscle of Iaun’s chest and slowly, cruelly, tugging at the nipple when he reached it. Once, he had wondered why the male form even had these. Now, of course, he knew. Even if that purpose was not what the original design intended. Iaun groaned quietly, clearly struggling to maintain his firm warrior’s posture, every nerve within him aching to relax and lean back into Sérelókë’s embrace.

Not yet. He would have to earn that honour.

“You are pleasing to my sight when you are cold and wet,” Sérelókë said into Iaun’s ear, his voice low and calm. “It could make you pliant, very obedient to my whims for promise of warmth. And I promise you that, Iaun. Very warm you shall be, in my care. But I deem we have shivered here long enough. Go. Fetch my cloak and my sword-belt.”

He leaned back then, running his hands down Iaun’s arms as he backed aside, and gave Iaun a sharp slap to the rear to send him on his errand, knowing that the combination of items would leave him wondering and perhaps slightly frightened. Which was just how Sérelókë wanted him. Iaun gave a small look of defiance, as if fetching small personal effects on order was beneath his dignity. It was, which was precisely why Sérelókë had commanded it. Delightful.

Oh, many were the ways Sérelókë wanted him, as he watched Iaun climb from the water - not a trace of a hitch in his limbs as he scrambled up the rocks gracefully: a woodland creature he was, son of river and forest, a feature of the landscape. Sérelókë wondered if this was how Iaun’s people had looked at Cuiviénen, awakening for the first time beneath the stars and opening their eyes to the loveliness of their homeland and each other, naked and equal before the Sea had sundered them.

Sérelókë struggled to stay still as Iaun returned, with Sérelókë’s sword-belt in his hand and cloak of dark-grey and violet draped over one damp shoulder and trapping his hair, half-covering his nakedness with a teasing sway in the forest breeze - his head bowed in submission but his eyes gleaming with insubordinate promise. Sérelókë had certainly conquered partners much more formidable, but never before had he such a treasure to call his own.

And how best to treat such a treasure? Cruelly of course, for that was what Iaun desired.

Sérelókë stood with his arms folded, in water up to his thighs, as Iaun approached, and then he stepped forward, sloshing, reaching dry ground easily with his long legs. Iaun’s eyes were lowered in his willing abasement, yet nonetheless flickered over Sérelókë’s body, for Iaun had little control of his wandering eyes, and the errand had done nothing to diminish his desire.

Swiftly did Sérelókë reach out and snatch the belt from his hand. More slowly did he pull the heavy drape of Valinorean cloth from Iaun’s shoulder, and bent into the motion a small effect of his Will, to warm and dry Iaun’s skin as it passed over him.

“DId you enjoy wearing that for such a brief time, Iaun?” Sérelókë said, giving his voice a mocking tone. “Is it your wish that I should dress you in finery and keep you as my catamite? Do you imagine we have such luxuries in Valinor?” He expected that Iaun might laugh at that for all he would try to hide it, and he was rewarded in his foresight.


Then Sérelókë could startle him, whipping his cloak around to viciously snap Iaun in the chest, knocking him backwards several steps with a cry of shock and pain. Iaun reeled back unharmed, but with a clutch at his breast and a look on his face of shock and betrayal turned sharply to lust.

Surly. Resenting. Tongue all-a dance upon his lips that burned to speak reproachful words but held shut in silence as if by a force outside himself that acted upon him. Sérelókë was doing no such thing - it was all in Iaun’s battle with himself where his pride strove with his desire.

With a windy swing Sérelókë brought his cloak round to drape about his own shoulders, its weight falling into place where it belonged, its thick sensuality caressing his drying skin. As if in reflex he stood straighter, allowing himself to grow in size but a little until he towered even more than usual over his willing thrall, until the stormy and demanding blue eyes had to turn far upwards before remembering their place and turning down. And Sérelókë did not lose the thread of his design, for Iaun’s eyes tracked the swirl of his cloak and the way it limned Sérelókë’s form so closely that not until it was too late did he mark the swift unsheathing of Sérelókë’s sword with the hand he did not watch.

Not until the Noldorin blade was at his neck did Iaun dare to breathe, and such breath came hard and fast as the sharp point followed the notch of his throat and the groove of his breast before hovering bright and cruel below his heart. Long did they gaze upon each other then, in tense contemplation, and it may be that each of them felt a shiver of yearning for a red bud of blood to sprout upon skin and steel - only a gasp or a small swaying away. And at times each of them did sway; though whether towards or away they could not be certain.

Then did Sérelókë become certain of the will of Iaun, and of the manner in which he wished to be won. “Kneel,” he said, with finer-tempered steel in his voice than in the sword that a son of Fëanor had made.

Iaun obeyed, and beneath his cloak did Sérelókë conceal a hand prepared to steady him should he wobble or waver in his descent - but he did not, and Sérelókë felt a warm wave of new sensation in his chest at the beauty of Iaun on his knees before him. Sharper did his senses become in that moment - the soft murmur of the water, the peal of a distant nightingale, the rustle of the beech leaves in the gentlest of breezes, all became as flourishes of the musician’s art to frame the perfection of his moment. Lightly did Sérelókë touch Iaun’s shoulder with his sword, caressing and tapping with the flat of the blade, becoming fully conscious of the ritual they were enacting as Iaun offered his life, knowing it would not be taken.

Iaun bowed forward, but Sérelókë nudged him to straighten his lovely spine, for he would not have Iaun’s shoulders blocking his sight of the glorious, unwavering arousal between his taut thighs. As long as that sturdy vane pointed true, Sérelókë would know he need not temper his attentions.

For his part, Sérelókë thought he would be content to revel in the beauty of Iaun’s submission for long ages of the world to come, before at last taking his pleasure - but Iaun was of a more earthly constitution, and his silent pledge of fealty deserved a more intense, more immediate reward.

Just for one moment, then, he balanced the tip of his blade beneath Iaun’s chin, and turned the Elf’s face upward to his, careful to show him a stern mask. “I could keep you on your knees until your body began to fail you,” Sérelókë said. “It is a magnificent sight. I could gaze upon it forever. But that would be a poor reward for the gift you have given me, and I know I have only begun to explore what there is in you for me to take. I see little fear in you, Iaun, though you have seen things that would freeze the heart of many much more powerful. Once you had it, but I perceive it has been stripped from you.”

Iaun’s lovely head turned a little, cocked the better to hear, though there was a question in his face.

“Shall I tell you what I see in you? I see one who has survived, and does not comprehend the reason why. One who believes he would trade places with the fallen, the houseless ones, the spirits who wait in the halls of Mandos. You believe this is bravery, and perhaps it is.” Sérelókë let his voice run dark, twisted it. It occurred to him for a moment then that he might not have learned this art, had he never had the ill fortune to hear Melkor speak. It was not such a great matter, to weave one’s speech with layers of deception and threat and subtle insult, through such means to achieve certain ends. This was too close to the shadow for his own liking - and perhaps just close enough for Iaun’s. So Sérelókë peeled back that veil with great relish. “For it is not the dead you wish to atone for. It is those who would be better off dead - those who were taken, those who are slaves in Melkor’s pits, who writhe in his torments. Or those of his most terrible servants, I should say, for I doubt that Morgoth Bauglir himself, as he is called now, would deign to personally flay any but the worthiest victims. The ones he loves enough to destroy with his own hands. The most cherished. The most precious. Is that what you become, in your nightmares? Is that what keeps your member hard as bone even in your long grief?”

Iaun looked up at him with darkened, angry eyes, his fine lips pressed together tight, and Sérelókë desired much to hear his thoughts. “Speak,” Sérelókë commanded him.

Sérelókë paced about him now in tight, close circles, forcing Iaun to keep his balance as he struggled to keep his eyes where they ought to be. His naked feet traced out a path of rustling leaves and curving tree roots, traces of Yavanna’s hand. Still clad in nothing but his cloak, he was keenly aware of how it concealed and revealed him by turns with his movements.

“I have not dwelt long on the sufferings of Melkor’s thralls, my lord,” Iaun said, his voice shaking but a little. “Yet I have heard some talk of the . . . uses he has for certain of his servants; using the greater to torment the lesser. The . . . the Balrogs among them.”

“Yes,” Sérelókë said, tapping the flat of his sword against the triangular wing-bone of Iaun’s shoulder. “The pain of even the least of those for one of your kind would be immense. And there is more, go on.”

He heard the shudder of Iaun’s breath. “And there is his lieutenant now, the one we call Gorthaur the cruel . . . “

Sérelókë stood still as his mind raced through the fleeting faces and names of his legion, and kept returning to stop upon one in particular - pieces of tales weaved into one seamless stream with a shining and sharp blade of truth. “O! O yes, yes, it must be, he who was once but no longer known as Mairon, a vassal of Aulë, great and proud in his . . . arts. A kinsman of mine he was and yet remains, alas. Is that the appeal, Iaun? Is that whose likeness you seek?”

“I seek no likeness but yours, my lord,” Iaun said quickly. Too quickly.

With a flash, Sérelókë sheathed his sword again, and pulled the scabbard free of the belt, which he curled and curved in his hand. He brought it down across Iaun’s upper back with a strike that had more in it of sound than force. Iaun’s cry was clearly more surprise than pain. “Do not lie to me,” Sérelókë said, flat and forceful.

“I beg you to not let your attention wander from me when I am the one who kneels at your feet,” said Iaun quietly. “I care not for the intrigues of the Ainur who are far from here. Only for the one who is with me, the one I wish to serve. I wish to see no likeness in my thought but yours.”

Sérelókë thought to admonish Iaun for his bold speech - yet Iaun was right - he had been distracted by the sound of his own voice and the rushing river of his own thoughts, and far better he give his full awareness to every hair and pore and flicker of Iaun.

“O my Iaun, you are marvellous,” he said. “You keep me true to what’s important.” He drew his sword one more time, and this time slowly slid the flat of the blade across Iaun’s face, holding it still a breath’s distance away. “Say yea nor nay without words.” With a little sound in his throat, Iaun touched his lips to the shiny blade in a kiss.

Sérelókë saw Iaun’s face reflected so close in the blade, his nose and mouth, the steam of his breath. Quickly but carefully he drew it away, and stepped closer, saying. “And briefly kiss this blade as well.”

Gratefully Iaun kneeled up again and nuzzled Sérelókë’s member, touching his lips to the head, clearly struggling with the effort to keep the kiss formal, for all his desire seemed bent to opening his mouth wide and drawing Sérelókë in.

Sérelókë let him struggle with his yearning for long moments, admiring the sight, before stepping away and giving Iaun’s cheek a small, fond slap, watching the shiver of Iaun’s eyelids.
“Go now to yon beech tree by the stream - see, the one with the limbs that bend down just so? Go there and wait for me. I will see what treasures a woodsman of Middle-earth carries that are of use in my . . . trade.”

With a shiver Iaun rose, steady and straight - though Sérelókë would not have minded a hand upon his shoulder should Iaun have needed bracing - and his only tremble was of anticipation, not fear or pain.

And it was no small effort for Sérelókë to take his own eyes from Iaun’s form - oh, an Ainu he could be, a rider in the hunt of Oromë or a sailor on a swan ship riding Ulmo’s waves or a craftsman in Aulë’s forge infusing stones with light - yet also he belonged just as he was, a beautiful and dangerous woodland creature who might as well pledge his fealty to Yavanna, Sérelókë found him mesmerising. Yet he controlled himself, and watched long enough to see that Iaun had positioned himself against the tree, patient and yielding.

Then Sérelókë went to the place where their meager possessions had been left. He pulled his own boots back on, though he left all his other clothes there. He locked eyes with Iaun once again to warn him that he was about to rifle through Iaun’s travel-worn possessions, the pack that was large for a small Elf with no steed to carry for many leagues of rootless wandering, but too small to hold everything he should own in this world.

Iaun looked back at him with eyes that were shadowed yet trusting, a little bit impatient, just a touch challenging.

Sérelókë found much to please him - a small knife, rope, blankets of a light and scratchy but warm fabric. Other things there were as well - small items of jewelry, a roughly painted portrait, a few links of fine chain, a stained arrowhead. These he treated with care and carefully sifted back into their places even as images rushed through his mind. They were not part of this game, not now.

He stood up to his full height and in truth a bit beyond it, in boots and cloak and nothing else, his sword and sword-belt in his hand, also bearing blanket and rope and knife.

As he advanced, the rope in his hands began to move and express his will, testing out shapes and patterns, loops and knots, nearly coming to life with its own force. How would you bind him, rope? asked Sérelókë in his mind, letting the answer manifest in his hands.

With tight loops at wrists that can slide and slip,
You may choose cruel bite or gentle grip
Facing forward, hold him, bind,
Or presenting from behind,
I know the loops and ways to turn for
Any posture you might yearn for.

Ah, splendid, Sérelókë thought. The Elves had something of true Art in their making of rope, and that gave him a flash of new insight into Iaun’s people. They had the Secret Fire in full measure, and not all the achievements of the Noldor were credited to the glory of Valinor - which Sérelókë had known, but it was good to be reminded, as he thought now that he would be again and again. This land is death to Valinorean vanity, he thought. Good riddance.

The rope seemed to move in his hands like a tame serpent, eager to please Sérelókë, but more eager to touch its master again. Careful, Sérelókë told himself, do not ascribe to it too much of free will.

Carefully and deliberately did he walk towards Iaun with the rope coiling and uncoiling in his hand, with belt and boots and feral smile. The images danced in his mind, as clear to him as a horizon he scanned with his own eyes, and now it was merely a matter of making sure Iaun was there with him.

He stepped up close and nudged Iaun back down to his knees again, pinning the Elf in with his legs, but using the cloak to keep distance. Iaun was already clearly prepared to meet him there, eyes hooded and downcast as he ran hands over the leather of Sérelókë’s boots - slowly and with reverence, starting from the place where his soles met the ground and taking his sweet time to let his hands reach nearly to his knees. Breathing deep to keep himself calm, Sérelókë watched Iaun’s eyes skitter longingly to his thighs and back down again.

“Kiss my boots and then stand for me,” Sérelókë said, his voice firm and yet infused with a lurking tenderness. He was glad to be obeyed, for he could allow traces of that strange and unfamiliar fondness to come through. Iaun bent low to Sérelókë’s feet, showing a glimpse of his strong back straining, his firm arse spreading. Several kisses did he bestow, in precision and symmetry, a small wet trail from his tongue, making Sérelókë shudder in anticipation.

As Iaun rose to his feet and stepped back against the tree, Sérelókë moved forward and pinned Iaun in place with his arms, keeping his body from touching as much as he could. Beneath his hands, the beech tree’s silver-grey bark was smooth enough for his purpose, but with a subtle roughness that would come into play later.

He drew forth from his mind the flavour of fantasy he’d been slowly weaving there as he uncoiled the rope to bind Iaun’s wrists, watching as the its native cleverness melded with his own into an intricate series of loops that would hold the Elf fast and yet still allow him to turn - or be turned.

“This is what I thought when I saw you bound in the spiders’ web, Iaun,” he said quietly, his voice a tender threat. “Your helplessness so beautiful, so wasted on Ungoliant’s lesser daughters. Their thirst is boundless and their senses limited. Melkor can mock Yavanna’s works but he has not her skill, her generosity of gifts. And his hunts are crude and cruel compared to the delights of Oromë - the thrill of his chase, the ecstasy and sweet relief of the catch.”

Bound now to the tree, arms stretched out behind him, Iaun shuddered at Sérelókë’s words, already half-close to swooning, it seemed, his legs holding firm but twitching as the muscles of flanks and thighs shook slightly with the yearning for some relief of the pressure in his fleshy staff and hanging stones, standing stiff and red in the nest of dark golden hair.

“My prey,” Sérelókë murmured into Iaun’s ear. “My prisoner. Is this how you imagined being captured and taken, if it had gone differently? You enjoy this, you long for it, and long has your desire shamed you. Give yourself to me now.”

“Yes,” Iaun said, a shaking whisper like a soft wind in the leaves over their heads. The tree to which Iaun was tied seemed now to quiver with its own life and give off a gentle warmth as Sérelókë backed up him against it, bark on eager skin, core of wood unyielding. Iaun stood up on his toes with his panting lips parted, reaching out for a kiss, apparently expecting Sérelókë to claim his mouth. So Sérelókë did not do what was expected - well he remembered the response he’d received when he’d first taken his liberties on Certhasath’s back, and now he ran his tongue and parted lips down the side of Iaun’s neck, latching onto skin and sinew with his teeth and pulling, marking him, savoring the cry Iaun made, of an anguish that was both pain and pleading.

As he bit and sucked, Sérelókë ran one hand up the tree’s trunk above Iaun, using his height advantage and exaggerating it, growing and spreading with his spirit, displaying his power until he touched slim silver branches and graciously accepted the gift of the switch that the tree had given him. With a warning hiss of leaves he drew it back and lightly lashed Iaun across the thigh, and smiled to himself when Iaun barely flinched.

“You want to show me how much you can take, do you not,” Sérelókë whispered. “And you will bear even more pain than you should, for you want to impress me with your endurance.” He snapped his wrist again and glanced down at the faint scratches in Iaun’s soft skin. “Number the strikes, if you please. Tell me.”

Iaun closed his eyes and bit his lip, and Sérelókë could feel the gentle moistening of sweat as he closed his hand around Iaun’s neck, nails digging into his bite mark. “Seven.” he said at last. “If you please. Seven for each - and, and more if I deserve it. My lord.”

“Mmm,” Sérelókë said, well pleased. “You may keep your eyes closed if it please you, but make certain you do not forget who is possessing you.”

Seven for each thigh and hip - fourteen, the number of the Valar, and Sérelókë thought that might not be a coincidence. So in his mind he named each stroke of the beech-wand - fleet as Nessa, doleful as Nienna. Sharp like Manwë’s winds, hot like Aulë’s forge, bright like Varda’s lights. Iaun shivered and shuddered and endured with great forbearance, though tears shimmered in his eyelashes in the light of the stars. Yet might and pride was in Iaun’s cock as it grew and reddened with each blow that landed near it, not quite touching. And so the fourteenth stroke Sérelókë named for Melkor - the lightest blow of all of them but the cruellest, for its point lashed Iaun there, where he was most tender and wanting.

Iaun’s cry of shock and pain was a startling animal sound, and quickly did Sérelókë cover Iaun’s mouth with his hand, taking hold of his face and lifting it to his, reading the expression of his glistening eyes. Iaun’s breaths were hard and fast, steaming around Sérelókë’s hand as he gasped. Sérelókë leaned in to nuzzle him, whispering soothing tones in the tongue of Valinor, of which Iaun knew nothing.

Sérelókë slid his hand slowly down Iaun’s chest and belly, at last touching Iaun’s cock for the first time since they had begun their game, drawing down the length of it with one fingertip in the lightest of caresses, making certain the hurt he’d caused was not too great. It seemed to rise to meet his touch, desperate, straining for friction and pressure. Lightly did Sérelókë pinch the velvet skin bunched under the tip, carefully did he gather the clear bead of nectar leaking, and let Iaun watch rapt as he drew his finger back up to his mouth and sucked it slowly.

“Shall I tell you how delicious you taste, Iaun?” Sérelókë murmured. “The slick texture, the salty tang of flesh and the sea? Your pain, your desire? I would have you see what I see. Look down at yourself.”

Iaun peered down his own body, groaning softly as Sérelókë brushed his own thigh against some of the places he’d lashed, light torment of skin and fine hairs. “What do you wish me to see, my lord?” Iaun’s voice was floating and distant, not entirely his own, as one entranced.

“You cannot yet see what I see, Iaun?’ Sérelókë asked. “How beautiful you are? How those strokes of mine barely left marks at all, little red lines that sting for a moment and then fade? How you bear the lash so well? Too well, I deem. I command that you tell me the truth when you are close to breaking. I command you to endure less than you think you are able, for the fortitude of your spirit is great, and yet your form is more fragile.”

“Yes,” Iaun finally said. “As you wish, I shall . . . if I am capable.”

“You shall be,” Sérelókë said. “I want you to keep your voice. I want you to speak to me truly, and I want you to say yes and no and speak truth in every word. I command that,” and as he spoke, he let power infuse him, tingling through the thin veneer of his fleshly raiment to touch the edges of Iaun’s spirit, reminding him that his power was not simply in matter.

Iaun moaned softly, and so Sérelókë knew that he felt that touch, deep inside, in ways he had not words for. “Please, my lord,” Iaun managed to say, his voice gone raw and hoarse. “I would have just a few more strokes of your cruelty. Enough to lift my spirit up again. For I take joy in this, not least because I know you will not despise me for it.”

“Oh, far from that, I promise you,” Sérelókë said. “You have strong appetites, as I saw in you from the first.”

“If I may speak freely, my lord,” Iaun replied. “I have only begun to sample the smallest taste of what I deem you have to give me.”

“Then let us delve further together, my thrall,” said Sérelókë. “In time, we shall taste each other’s gifts to the fullest. In time. I shall not give you all at once. Turn around.”

Iaun scrambled to obey, his wrist bindings twisting easily as he turned his back upon Sérelókë without the slightest hesitation.

“I am in ecstasy at the sight of you,” Sérelókë said. “You must believe that is the truth.” He ran a hand down Iaun’s back, tracing with his palm every swell and curve of muscle, leaving fine lines with his nails, and felt the shuddering flex, the outward curve of Iaun’s arse toward him. “You still want more. You fear I may be afraid to harm you and unwilling to give you what you need. So I will need you to speak to me. Tell me, and be detailed.”

Iaun swallowed deeply, pressing his face to the bark of the tree. “Your belt, my lord. Six strokes high, and ten low.”

“Less of the sting and more of the slap,” Sérelókë said. “Yes, I will do that for you. And then?”

“Enflame me, my lord. Make me burn. And then . . . take your pleasure of me, as you will.”

Sérelókë grasped Iaun’s hair and pulled Iaun’s head back, enough to gaze into his eyes. “Your words are fair to my ears, but imprecise and that is dangerous. What if my pleasure was to slay you slowly?”

“It is not,” Iaun said. “I am sure of that. But I am yours, to do with as you wish.”

Sérelókë sighed in slight exasperation and gave the sinews of Iaun’s unscarred shoulder a bite.

And then he uncoiled his belt, and began.

Iaun shook with each blow and leaned on the tree for its steadiness. Sérelókë struck lightly - the sound of Iaun’s cries and the twitch of his skin was enough. He watched closely for signs of a stiffening spine, but it seemed to him that Iaun began to relax into the strikes, and once the few on his upper back were done, he received the blows to his lovely mounds and hams with a riveting eagerness, writhing his arse forward to meet them.

At the last, it was Sérelókë who stood panting, head a-swim with the sights and sounds and scents of Iaun’s agonised ecstasy, and that beautiful rear he’d been hungry for since they met, presented to him and striped pink with the leather band’s marks, sheened lightly in sweat.

Take your pleasure of me, as you wish, he’d said.

With a deep sound in his throat, mouth watering, Sérelókë sank to his knees behind Iaun and took hold of his trembling, scored flesh. With lips and teeth and tongue he devoted himself to the marks he had made, further inflaming them and making Iaun suppress his cries in the bark of the tree, imprinting its patterns on his face. Sérelókë grasped and bit firm flesh ravenously, relishing Iaun’s wanton movements and no longer trying to restrain him.

He could glimpse the streak of wetness Iaun’s shaft had left on the bark of the tree - that unwelcoming surface to writhe against. No, Iaun would have to endure yet more before reaching his peak, of that Sérelókë would make certain. He reached between Iaun’s legs and squeezed him at the base, a command and a warning, infused with his will.

A whimper let Sérelókë know his meaning had been taken. Then with relish and abandon he brought both hands to Iaun’s backside, opening him with lewd delight. In the groove between his great handfuls that burned with the heat of the blows lay a soft valley, tender and hidden, and Sérelókë took his tongue to it with savouring swipes both bold and thorough.

Iaun nearly sobbed above him. The tree absorbed his pleading. Sérelókë continued his onslaught, throbbing his tongue against Iaun’s furled entrance until it began to open, each soft, wet thrust venturing a little deeper within the slick rim.

Sérelókë could not speak with his mouth, but he could reach out with his mind, and Iaun was also eager to receive him in that way. Let me in. Let me taste you in every way. Let me, let me, let me.

Yes, yes, yes, sang Iaun’s hröa and fëa together. I am yours. Have me.

Sérelókë lost himself for long moments in his wanton devouring, his devoted lapping and sucking, until each pulsing thrust took him deeper into Iaun’s center. With his fingers, Sérelókë kept sneaking down to make sure that Iaun felt hot and wet far down the smooth and quivering insides of his thighs. Sérelókë’s breaths started to come in damp gasps and grunts as he buried his face in the tangy seam of Iaun’s body.

Far below, his own staff pulsed with increasing demand for attention. Not for much longer would it be willing to bide its time, not with Iaun so wanton and eager. Already now that Sérelókë had access with his mouth to Iaun’s tight, warm passage, he could think of nothing but parting that yielding flesh with his own, joining Iaun’s body to his and feeling at last their union fulfilled. . .

All his reasons for delaying grew weaker and fainter. Iaun’s motions and sounds had gone so far beyond mere invitation that Sérelókë began to feel that he was holding off now to suit only his own pride.

Sérelókë drew back and wiped his wet mouth on one plump, downy-haired cheek, giving the skin and meat of it one sharp nip, and rose to his feet, bracing his hands on Iaun’s hips. He licked Iaun’s neck with the musk of his mouth and whispered to him, “I want to fuck you.” He used the word for it in the harsh and complex Valarin tongue, and felt Iaun shudder in pleasure as he understood nonetheless. Sérelókë introduced a wet finger where his tongue had just been.

“My lord,” Iaun said with great effort. “If I did not make it clear I wanted you to fuck me from our first meeting onward, the fault is mine. If you could not deduce it from the moment when you first found me in a state of shame after watching you swive Gothmog, then the fault is yours.”

Sérelókë stood speechless for one beat of time, and then he caught Iaun’s eye, and laughter came unbidden, wild and tender, a respite of delight that surged through both of them. Lurking there in Iaun’s healer’s kit was a simple slick salve, and with a gentle laugh Sérelókë took it up and greased his aching cock. “You are still able to speak too well. Clearly I have not broken you enough.”

Iaun was bound to the tree - willing and laughing -- and it was with great measure of relief and joy that Sérelókë held Iaun’s hips, bent him just right, and nudged the head of his staff into that half-ready hole.

Iaun shuddered, and gave a strained gasp. “Yes, yes, that’s exactly what I want. But go easy at first please - you are well-endowed and I have been alone for too long.”

“I go slow because it pleases me,” said Sérelókë in a low growl. “Every inch of you, opening for me in your most secret place, all of you, mine. To feel you struggle and succumb, to hear your voice calling out in your frenzy, to smell you - raw and musky like an animal desperate to mate. Iaun!”

He thrust in deep as Iaun clenched around him, stiff and pained at first, and then opening, spreading, receiving, his spine rippling wantonly in hungry counter-thrusts, tight rim grasping greedily at Sérelókë’s sliding length.

Sérelókë closed his eyes and lost himself in scent and skin and Iaun’s sinuous squeeze. His hands found cruel places to grip and pinch and pull at Iaun’s body - nipples and thighs and balls, all slickening now with sweat.

“Say my name,” he murmured at the last, having found a rhythm that was rough but sustainable. His hand grasped the base of Iaun’s cock, burning hot and slick. “Pronounce it right and I will let you have release. I will make you come so hard they will feel it in Valinor.”

“Sérelókë,” Iaun cried, his voice rough and half-sobbing. His Sindarin accent flattened vowels meant to roll and landed too hard on consonants meant to step lightly.

Sérelókë repeated his own name, emphasizing the slight susurration and suggestion of a sh in the first syllable, shaping the o as a spherical-shaped sound with his lips against Iaun’s back, leaving the final vowel light as a barely-voiced thought - but an important one, not to be forsaken entirely. Iaun’s pronunciation had never been wrong precisely, but there were nuances of Quenya that clearly overworked his tongue - and Sérelókë planned to train that tongue well.

Iaun got a little bit closer when Sérelókë’s hand squeezed his shaft harshly, for the pressure pulled the right sound out of his chest and into his throat as he squirmed desperately, nearly nailed to the tree by Sérelókë’s impatient cock driving into him. “Sérelókë,” Iaun gasped, his hitching breath breaking the rhythm oddly and misplacing the accent. Sérelókë pulled back, nearly all the way out, though it pained him much to do so.

“Terrible,” he muttered into Iaun’s ear as he pushed back in, deep, to the hilt, rolling his hips in slow, deep circles. He clutched at Iaun’s soft sac and sank his nails into delicate skin, causing shivering breaths, shuddering pain. “Lean into my hips, Iaun. Find the rhythm of my name. Please. Please get it right so we can both let go.”

Iaun moaned helplessly and slumped in relaxation, letting himself go free and loose, pinned between the tree and Sérelókë’s body holding him up, impaling him with pleasure. He chanted the name slowly and quickly, in a whisper and a raw pleading cry.

“Close, so close,” Sérelókë groaned. He latched fingers harshly into one of Iaun’s arse cheeks and pulled him open, watching his own cock stretch and spread him as it moved in and out. Beautiful and lascivious, a mesmerising sight. “Slur it less. Clip the “s” and “l” like this.” He demonstrated as best he could with a jerk of his staff and a sting of Iaun’s flesh.

“Please, please,” Iaun said with voice hoarse and strangled. “Please. I need it. I need you. Sérelókë.”

It was perfect.

It had never been so perfectly pronounced since Eru Ilúvatar dreamed him along with all the Ainur into being, naming them all. It might never be again. Sérelókë gave an ecstatic, deep sob of joy and relief, and swiftly now his hand whipped the head of Iaun’s cock, slick and juicy and ripe, primed to jerk and swell and spill.

Iaun was bucking and rolling against him, wracked by great sobs of pleasure; Sérelókë’s hand coated in wet heat where it gripped him, the tree bark streaked with this spending - oh Sérelókë drank in the sensations, committing them all to the treasure hoard of his mind, to be kept in delight until the remaking of the world.

Iaun was whimpering now, his body shaking, his valiant muscles at last threatening to surrender and collapse.

Sérelókë wrapped his arms around Iaun, supporting him and cushioning him from the tree’s bark. He must be so keenly oversensitive now, every sense flaring, half in pain from the force of his long-delayed release - and out of kindness Sérelókë fucked him deep and fast and at last gave himself permission to let go, to plunge deep into Iaun, body and spirit. With a loud cry, he let his own crisis rise and burst; and in his violent fit of delight he filled Iaun with more than material essence, he was sure, as walls between flesh and spirit came shaking down.

Trembling, Sérelókë only just managed to untie the soft rope of Iaun’s bonds before he sank to his knees with Iaun in his arms, still joined to him, relieved that he had managed to avoid inflicting any great pain by accident in his convulsions.

“Oh . . . Sérelókë,” Iaun said, shivering a little. Sérelókë wrapped him up in his cloak and marvelled to hear that Iaun’s pronunciation was almost as good, still. “That was . . . wondrous. I am utterly sated, and floating in delight. Thank you.”

“My Iaun,” he said, laughing. “My pleasure. And yours. Your pleasure is mine as well. Or . . . yes, I think that’s what I mean. My meaning was . . . ”

Iaun’s hand reached back to skim his palm against Sérelókë’s cheek. His hand was warm, and it trembled only a little, with exertion. Sérelókë inhaled of him, deep, the warm masculine scent of the tuft of hair beneath his arm, the delicious earthy sweat of his ear and neck. “You have stirred life in me again, Sérelókë.”

“Mmm, well,” Sérelókë said quietly, well aware that he was nuzzling Iaun all over and very unwilling to stop. “Your weariness is speaking for you now. Rest and I shall watch over you.”

“Mm yes, that was the original plan, was it not?” Iaun said, detangling himself reluctantly and rubbing his wrists. The Elven rope was wise and kind and had caused him no bites, left only the mildest of marks - the sort that he would not be displeased to wear, for their erotic reminder. “If you would be so kind, my lord - my bedroll is in the pack by my clothes, and I am certain I could arrange it for two. And I would like to dress, at least my soft underclothes - I tend not to sleep in the nude when I am out in the wild.”

“A pity,” Sérelókë said. “I should like to keep you nude as much as is possible.”