Melkor’s wrath burned hot inside him, the words of his siblings reverberating in his head. “You are not wanted here any longer.” They had cast him out and Manwe had done nothing to help him. Since he had gone his own way with the Music, his brother had turned away from him. “I don’t know you anymore, Melkor. You have become like a stranger to me,” he had said and looked at him with sad eyes.
Melkor growled, none of them had tried to understand him. The only thing that mattered to them, was that he had annoyed Eru. Not even his father understood him, he that had made him. Melkor forced back his tears. He would show them, them all! No one treated him like that! He would prove that he could do things his father never wanted. Melkor looked up when he heard a quiet noise. A Maia had come up to him and knelt down. “How did you find me?” Melkor recognized him, he had sung with him.
“I want to serve you, herdir, I will find you everywhere.” Melkor smiled, he wasn’t so alone after all. “What’s your name?” “Sinthoras, herdir. I belong with you, herdir, I know it.” The Maia was fire, Melkor could feel it, although he had taken a form that resembled the vision they had seen of Eru’s Children. “Sinthoras.” Melkor savoured the taste of his name. “Show me.” The Maia lifted his head bewildered. “Herdir?” “I can’t afford to believe you at your word. You could be a spy of my siblings.” “Of course, herdir, I understand.” Sinthoras opened his mind wide for him. Melkor closed his eyes and dove into the music of his soul, he understood the Maia to say the truth. He was his – wholly.
Sinthoras felt sore when he woke. Melkor had thoroughly taken him apart, his memories, his feelings. He had lost control over his body while Melkor questioned him, but now he clothed himself again and looked around. He was in a windowless room, a fire burned in a fireplace and spread light and warmth. Sinthoras dragged his hands slowly through the flames, they left a pleasant tingling on his skin. His naked toes sank deep into the carpet when he walked to the bed. They only had to sleep when they stayed too long in their bodies but you could do other things on a bed.
Sinthoras hadn’t had much contact to his siblings since they had entered the word. He had hesitated to bind himself to a Vala and that had estranged him from the other Maiar, but the pleasure a body could give wasn’t new to him. It only needed a thought to let the clothes, he had laid around his body, vanish. Melkor... would his master want him in this way? Sinthoras closed his eyes and let his hand wander down his body and between his legs. It wouldn’t be so hard if he did. He tensed when the door opened, Melkor examined him closely, his face unreadable and his song concealed.
“You are aware of the possibilities these bodies offer us.” A small smile came to his lips. “May I join you?” Melkor’s finger caressed his chest. “You are my master, I wouldn’t ever reject you.” His voice sounded unsteady, breathless. Despite the respect he wanted to express with his words, they felt pale, insufficient. “Yes”, he added firmly. “I want you to.” Melkor hadn’t yet undressed so he pulled him close by his shirt and kissed his mouth. Kisses weren’t new to Melkor, he felt that clearly.
Soon they lay on the bed, Melkor’s lips on his body. Everywhere he kissed him, it felt as if his skin would burn. Sinthoras moaned and moved into his touches. He wanted more, so much more. He could hear him now and his song spoke clearly of his desire. “It’s not the first time, is it?”, Melkor whispered breathlessly into his ear. Sinthoras could only shake his head with a desperate sound, he wasn’t able to form words. And when Melkor took him, it seemed to him as if he took possession of him. He had found his Vala, he would never serve anyone else again.
“I want you to do something for me.” Sinthoras laughed quietly and caressed Melkor’s side. “I’m not sure I can do this again already, herdir,” he answered. Melkor grinned and stole a kiss from his lips. “Not that. Although I have to admit I wouldn’t object a repetition. No, I’m afraid we will have to separate for a while.” Sinthoras felt his words like a slap. “You send me away? But...”
“I don’t send you away.” Melkor embraced him again. “But I want you to find others like you. Ainur who want to serve me. You had the courage to come to me, but that might not be true for all. Search them, invite them to come here. Everyone who isn’t happy with the Valar’s leadership is welcome. We will not bow before them.”
Sinthoras nodded slowly, relieved that the separation would not be permanent. “I will do what I can. I know that I’m not the only one who admires you. You are so marvellous.” Melkor hummed gently. “Speak always like this and you will fare well in my service.”
Sinthoras came home from a long journey, he still searched for new followers for Melkor. His people had grown already, the caves where Melkor had withdrawn to were full of life. He looked forward to seeing his master again. Sinthoras walked directly to Melkor’s room, he knew that he had the privilege to come to him at any time. He relished the feeling of being the First of Melkor’s people. Sinthoras knocked and walked in on Melkor’s answer.
His master smiled at him. “You are back, my friend.” Sinthoras bowed, feeling Melkor’s happiness like a wave wash over him. “ “I’m glad you appreciate my presence.” Melkor stood up and walked over. “You know it is so much more than that.” He kissed him slowly, Sinthoras wrapped an arm around his hips. Of course he knew. Melkor was his master but he was also his friend, and his lover. He had dreamed of him, in the time he had been away. It was a fact that he had to share Melkor with others, but that didn’t trouble him. He knew that he had a special place at Melkor’s side. Sinthoras moaned when Melkor pushed his knee between his legs.
Sinthoras groaned when he had to move, his body hurt. Even in sleep the pain had troubled him. When he tried to sit up, he realized that he was still tied to the bed. He whimpered silently. The war brought out all the bad in Melkor. Every week the fights went on, his wrath burned hotter. He wanted the old Melkor back, the attentive lover – his friend. He had never hurt him like this. Sinthoras hated the Valar for changing him like this. It had begun after Osse had gone back to Ulmo. Melkor’s rage had filled all of Utumno. Sinthoras had still dared to come to his side, that was his place, and Melkor had beaten him for the first time.
Melkor often was erratic, but what cruelty he was capable of frightened Sinthoras. He would never tell him, of course, he wouldn’t disappoint his master, if it made him happy to treat him like this, he would accept it. Although Melkor listened more to Artano’s advice now than his, Sinthoras knew that he still was First in Melkor’s thoughts. His master caressed his back almost tenderly but the touch let the pain flare up again. There was no blood but the welts burned.
“How beautiful your voice is when you scream under my blows”, Melkor murmured hoarsely and kissed his cheek. “I love to see it when your skin becomes red.” Sinthoras sat up when Melkor untied him and looked at his face, a hard expression lay around his mouth. He mustn’t make a mistake. “I will call for you, if I need you.” “Of course, herdir.” Sinthoras knew he was dismissed.
He stood on a vantage point and looked to the west. The enemy came slowly nearer. Soon they would be here, surely Melkor knew already, Sinthoras could feel them and his master’s senses were much stronger. It wouldn’t better his mood. Why couldn’t they leave him be? They had withdrawn from Arda, why couldn’t they stay away. Of course he knew that Melkor had overstepped when he made the orcs, but they had pushed him away first, they had not tried to understand him.
Sinthoras circled his shoulders, his cramped muscles loosened only grudgingly. Melkor was rarely gentle these days and Sinthoras didn’t get pleasure from pain. But he had sworn to serve him for always and that’s what he would do, what he wanted. He had won Melkor’s trust and favour and he wouldn’t put that at stake just because he didn’t like his master’s sexual preferences. On the battlefield he would protect his master with his life.
Sinthoras stood beside Melkor, flaming sword in hand, they were surrounded. “Go, Sinthoras, seek shelter, find Artano.” “No, herdir, I won’t leave you! I’m at your side, always.” Sinthoras looked towards their enemies and moved closer to Melkor. He could have had a chance if he ran, they feared his fire, but he would never desert Melkor. “Don’t you see that it is hopeless to fight, Sinthoras? There’s no way out for me, they won’t let me get away, but you can.” Melkor looked up at him with pleading eyes. “I don’t want them to get you.”
“No, herdir! Forgive me, but this one time I can’t obey you. I swore to serve you, always be at your side. I won’t break that vow like Artano and the others even if they did it on your order! I belong with you, master, I don’t want to be parted from you. Why can’t you understand?” Sinthoras changed his body back to the elf, Melkor was right, they were outmatched. Melkor had sent them all away, only he remained.
His master smiled ruefully. “I’m sorry that you ended here, my friend. Can you forgive me for my behaviour in the last months?” “There’s nothing to forgive.” Sinthoras laid his hand on his shoulder. “You have taken nothing I wasn’t willing to give. I would follow you everywhere.” Sinthoras looked defiantly at the Valar. “Lay down your weapons”, Manwe said. Sinthoras had never met him before in body, but he remembered his song from before. He looked at Melkor and only let go of his sword when he nodded.
Sinthoras looked around the small room they had locked him in. He was sick with fear for Melkor but also for himself. He didn’t know what to expect from the Valar. He moved fluidly into a defensive position when the lock clicked and Manwe himself came in. He felt the similarity to Melkor, his brother. “Why do you serve Melkor?” Sinthoras looked intently at him. What was that supposed to mean? “I belong with him. Do you ask your servants why they serve you?”
“You feel that you belong with him? Why? You are not evil.” Anger flared up in him. Evil? Melkor wasn’t evil. “How do you know that? Maybe I just pretend”, he said with gritted teeth and tried to hide his true thoughts. “Are you?” Sinthoras shook his head. “No. I am who I am and I belong at his side, regardless what he does. What are you going to do with me?”
Manwe looked seriously at him. “You remain here for the time being. You are going to have to prove yourself. Don’t make a mistake or you are going to Mandos like your master.” Sinthoras bowed his head under Manwe’s stern gaze. “Who long has Melkor to remain there, herdir?”, he whispered. “Three ages, then he will have the chance to ask for forgiveness again. Believe me, Sinthoras, the last thing I want to do is to hurt my brother. I want him back.” He smiled sadly.
When Sinthoras heard that Melkor was free, he asked to see him immediately. Beaming with joy he rushed into the room and stopped short. He felt how much Melkor had changed, he had turned darker, so much darker, he nearly didn’t recognize him. Was that really the man he loved and admired so much? “Herdir.” He knelt and bowed his head. He felt that his Valar wouldn’t tolerate familiarity anymore. “Look at me, Sinthoras.” Melkors eyes burned in his mind, he had to grit his teeth not to scream. “I’m pleased to see that you remained faithfull.” Melkor broke the eye contact. “Are you going to follow me on my way?” “Yes, herdir.” He would follow Melkor everywhere.
“Where are they?” The spider moved slowly up to him, the Silmaril burned in his hands. Melkor gritted his teeth. “I don’t know what you mean. You had your share, go now.” He didn’t sound as superior as he would have liked to. Sinthoras had went ahead to prepare his return and deliver the captive Maia, he needed to deal with Ungolianth alone.
Sinthoras ran as fast as he could, his master needed him. Still running he changed shape and let the fire burn. He slashed at Ungolianth with his sword. She scuttled back frightened but then attacked herself, goaded by greed for the Silmaril. A black net closed around Sinthoras forearm, he screamed with pain when burning cold seared through his nerves. Blackness closed around him. He had to force himself to fight on. Ungolianth fled when reinforcement came. Sinthoras fell to his knees, wearing his elf body again and clutching his numb, ice cold arm. He looked up when Melkor touched his shoulder. “Thank you, you saved me. I will never forget, Sinthoras.” Sinthoras smiled through the pain. He had proven his loyalty again.