Endless plains of tall grass and jagged stones covered in yellow lichen was all that Himlad’s scenery had to boast. A flat land, harried by constant howling gales, spanning between the giant silhouettes of Ladros’ snow-covered mountain peaks and the towering dark trees of the unnavigable woods of Nan Elmoth.
It was from the south that an elf came riding alone. Curufin’s scouts intercepted him and brought him before their commander for questioning. In but a few sentences the Dark Elf managed to insult the son of Fëanor not once, but three times. It was fortunate for the Sinda that the Noldor had strict laws that protected kinship, else Curufin would have cleaved that insolent head right off the ungrateful body.
More than tradition, it was Fëanorian pragmatism that stopped Curufin’s hand. There were things he wished to learn, and if Eöl’s claims of marriage to Aredhel were true, then Curufin knew that he could benefit from the wretched savage’s continued existence.
For his insults, Eöl was imprisoned. Even as the Fëanorian soldiers tried him with rope to a pole, the Dark Elf’s eyes showed no fear. For hours Eöl sat on the cold ground, stripped of his cloak and his weapons, made to wait beside the Fëanorian camp. The Sinda’s expression remained hard and aloof and he asked no questions, didn’t say anything at all as he endured the treatment without a sound or a complaint.
Curufin went about his business, ignoring the prisoner until night fell and the Northern wind slapped against the thick canvas tents of the Noldor. Like fingers it crept through every seam, every nook, and not even the fire that burned in the middle of Curufin’s tent could ward away the cold’s bite.
The fifth son of Fëanor asked for a lavish evening meal to be served to him - roast buck, pottage and bread, cheese and honey-almonds. And wine - always red wine - to sate the dark appetite that hounded Curufin each night.
When all was arranged on the commander’s table, Curufin ordered that the prisoner be brought. Eöl was chilled - his pale skin was almost blue from the frosty gale outside, his lips were chapped, but his gaze was as cutting as ever. It slid over the scene in Curufin’s tent - took in the luxury of the furnishings, the warm glow of the fire-pit, the table set just for one. His nostrils flared as he inhaled the tempting scent of roast meat and freshly baked bread, but still he remained silent and his eyes betrayed nothing.
“You must excuse me for making you wait, kinsman,” Curufin offered casually as he broke the bread and dipped it into rich vegetable stew. “There have been orc spies spotted coming from the north. I have been busy guarding the pass.”
Eöl offered no response.
“You may go,” Curufin dismissed his subordinates, who nodded before leaving him alone with the Dark Elf.
“Would you not sit?” The Fëanorian lord nodded to the chair opposite his own.
“Clearly you have not invited me to dinner, Golodh. And if you have, I must say that Fëanorian hospitality lives up to its name. If you want something from me, spit it out!” Eöl answered at last, and his voice was commanding, but hoarse from being out in the cold all day.
Curufin grudgingly admired his gall.
“Do you wish to insult your host again? Why don’t you sit down and converse like a civilized elf?” Curufin asked while cutting meat into delicate strips and placing one into his mouth.
Eöl watched him chew for a few terse seconds. In the end he heeded the veiled threat and sat down.
“Do civilized elves gorge themselves while their kinsmen starve?”
“I knew you could do it,” Curufin ignored Eöl’s remark. “I invited you here to discuss the terms of your release,” he continued with a half-smile. “You insulted me in front of my soldiers today. You insulted my bloodline, you insulted my people and you insulted my generosity for releasing you.”
“You never released me,” Eöl growled.
“I did.” Curufin’s smile spread across his handsome face, “I allowed you to continue on your way, but as you turned your back to me I saw you spit on the ground that I govern. My brother would have claimed your life for that.”
“Your brother, yes, Celegorm the...” Eöl’s speech abruptly died off and he ground his teeth in frustration.
“Yes, bite that filthy tongue,” Curufin whispered. “Kinsman or not, speak ill of my brothers and no law or tradition can save you.”
Eöl wasn’t a fool and offered no retort.
“You are lucky I am not Celegorm,” Curufin continued calmly. “I’m not one to waste such an interesting opportunity - to get to know the husband of our wayward cousin Aredhel.”
“So, that’s what this is about?” Eöl murmured and shook his head. “You want to know where she’s headed, don’t you? You want to know the location of the Hidden City.”
Curufin smiled sweetly.
“I am always pleasantly surprised by the intelligence of some of the wildlings,” he commented slyly. “I knew that Aredhel could only stoop so low...”
“I don’t know where Gondolin is,” Eöl hissed, ignoring the jabs.
Curufin’s face turned to concern.
“If that’s so, how do you hope to find her?”
“I am hunting down her trail,” Eöl begrudgingly admitted. “I will find her. But I don’t have the gift of foresight to devine exactly where her trail will lead me.”
“Otherwise you would tell me.” Curufin raised an eyebrow and it was then that Eöl’s patience ran out.
“No!” Eöl slammed his palms against the empty side of the table. “In truth, I wouldn’t tell you even if I knew! I’d be dead before I agree to help the smug invaders from the West! Sit here and seethe in your incompetence, son of Fëanor! You won’t get this or any other boon from me!”
Curufin regarded his rage with a grin and in the silence that followed it, he began to laugh.
“I hope Aredhel’s trail won’t go too cold by the time you get over your stubbornness.” Curufin shook his head. “As amusing as this has been, I’m afraid it’s time for you to go.”
He called out to the soldiers just outside his tent and they came to take his ‘guest’ away. Eöl hissed curses when they dragged him up by the elbows, his sleek, loose hair whipping about his frame. The Sinda put up an impressive fight before he was finally overpowered.
Curufin watched the scene with interest.
“We will talk again, Eöl.” Curufin raised his glass as the guards hauled the Dark Elf away.
Eöl spent the entire night chained to a pole outside and left to the mercy of the elements. However, despite the cold, the gentle, familiar darkness of the night soothed him like a lover’s embrace. But then the sun chased away his mistress and the Dark Elf was subjected to a different sort of torture. With nowhere to hide from the sunlight, no tree and no shade to offer him respite, Eöl spent the long hours of the day reeling in semi-consciousness, parched and sweating, until blessed darkness came once more... but so did Curufin’s soldiers.
They threw a bucket of cold water over his head to wake him up. Drenched and chilled, they forced him to drink from their water-skins, a sip of something both sweet and fresh that brought clarity to his blurred vision, but left an alien aftertaste in his mouth.
The soldiers unchained him from the pole. Despite the relief of it, Eöl felt nothing but disdain for the Golodhrim. He asked for nothing that they offered him, so he refused to feel grateful and instead renewed his struggles in earnest - punching one of them and attempting to kick the other.
The soldier who he managed to hit barked something to the other in their unseemly language. Eöl didn’t need to know what words they exchanged - they were invaders, his enemy, and he kept fighting as his wrists were tied once again behind his back.
Curufin’s infuriating smile again greeted him when Eöl was led into the commander’s tent.
Once again the Fëanorian offered the Sinda a seat at his table, but no food. The proud lord of Nan Elmoth refused to let his eyes linger on the meat, the bread, or the wine, despite the painful churning of his empty stomach.
Eöl was a large elf, sitting a head taller than his captor, broad in shoulders and chest, with arms strengthened by an entire life toiling as a prospector and smith. His body was used to regular meals and in the absence of such, he felt a wolven hunger gnaw at his insides. It brought out a reckless edge in him that he usually kept well covered beneath a cold veneer.
“Do you know how to train a hound, kinsman?” Curufin asked between sips of wine.
“I don’t need dogs to do my hunting for me,” Eöl answered testily.
“If you are going to be so sour, perhaps I should send you away and we may talk tomorrow.” Curufin waved his hand dismissively.
The soldiers, who still waited by the entrance of the tent, descended upon Eöl, ready to take him away.
“No! Wait,” Eöl protested and at the barest look from Curufin, the Fëanorian soldiers released him.
Curufin smiled expectantly and Eöl fought the rising bile down his throat as he answered as pleasantly as his pride would allow him.
“You were right in what you said last night, kinsman,” he begun. “The trail I follow grows ever colder and I am eager to be on my way. Forgive me, I don’t have any patience left to play games. Tell me, how can I buy your favor tonight? Surely it’s not pleasant conversation that you summoned me here for?”
Curufin’s smile appeared genuinely pleased for the first time since Eöl had met him.
“Glad to see that you found your manners, kinsman,” he said. “Perhaps an anecdote about punishment and reward won’t be necessary after all.”
Curufin rose to his feet and nodded to his soldiers, who understood the dismissal for what it was and left the tent. The fifth son of Fëanor circled the table and stopped before the central hearth where a fire burned, his back to his prisoner.
Eöl didn’t mistake the gesture for trust even for a second. It was a show of power. Despite his smaller, more fragile stature, Eöl’s hands were bound and Curufin was armed - a long, curving dagger hung at his belt, its skillfully crafted sheath glittering with small red gems like droplets of blood.
The silence stretched and Eöl had nothing else to look at but Curufin’s straight back, his long black hair falling in intricately woven braids all the way to his waist, threaded with more jewels than a bride of Eöl’s people would adorn her entire body with. Admittedly, there were worse things to examine than Curufin’s person, but Eöl truly had no time for games, and he knew that this was yet another one. Curufin wanted to hear him beg.
Choosing his words carefully, uttering each one against his pride, Eöl spoke:
“So, I am the proverbial hound that you wish to discipline. Let’s say that after a day spent in your hospitality I have understood the concept of your punishment. What reward will you offer me?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Curufin asked. Turning around with a small flourish he flicked his wrist towards the table heavy with food. “You must be famished.”
“And what trick,” Eöl swallowed the hungry saliva that rose in his mouth at the mere suggestion of being allowed to eat after so long, “would this dog be expected to perform?”
“You should know that already as well.” Curufin smiled condescendingly. “Gondolin - I want to know it’s location.”
Despite the patronising attitude, Eöl was secretly glad. Curufin was finally being genuine, which meant that he was close to revealing his hand and ending the humiliating game that he had forced Eöl to play.
“I already told you that I don’t know where it is,” he answered flatly. “Do you want me to swear on it, because I will!”
“No, no need for that.” Curufin studied him intently with those disconcerting bright eyes, filled with the same light that haunted Aredhel’s. “I know that you are speaking the truth. But I would make a pact with you.”
Curufin walked the short distance between them and stood just behind Eöl’s seated form. The dagger on his belt was unsheathed and the Dark Elf held his breath.
He felt Curufin’s breath in his hair, just as he felt the Fëanorian’s warm hand touching his cold ones behind his back. The touch of a naked blade pressed against his wrists, right above where they were tied.
“I know you hold no love, nor loyalty for us. You will not accept Turgon as your King.”
“Of that you are right,” Eöl agreed. He felt the threat of the Fëanorian’s stance, and the blade against his skin. He knew that one wrong word would be the end of him. Still he kept his breathing and his tone even.
“What do you intend to do once you find your wife?”
“I will take her home, with my son,” Eöl whispered, anger seeping into his voice at the thought of his family’s betrayal.
“And if they refuse to go?”
“I will make them.”
“And if Turgon forbids you?”
“I will make them all the same!” Eöl growled, anger shaking him to the very core. “No one can forbid me to do as I please with my family! I will sneak them out in the dead of night, if I have to, but I won’t let Turgon separate them from me!”
Curufin hummed thoughtfully and with a soundless flick, the blade slid through the ropes that bound Eöl’s wrists.
“Please, help yourself,” the Fëanorian invited and Eöl rubbed some feeling into his hands before reaching over the table to drag the meat and the stew to his side.
Once he started eating, his ravenous appetite only increased, and for a while he did nothing but chew and devour, as Curufin watched him with calculating eyes.
Once the worst of his hunger was sated, Eöl leaned back in his seat and Curufin pushed a glass of wine, already filled to the brim. The Fëanorian toasted him in silence and they drank together.
“Family comes first,” Curufin broke the silence at last, still looking intently at Eöl. “As different as we may be, on this I think we both agree.”
Eöl nodded, keeping himself from commenting and watching the sly Fëanorian wearily. Curufin had yet to state what deal he wanted to make.
“I have no doubt that you will claim your wife and son, and bring them back,” Curufin continued.
“That is so,” Eöl agreed, feeling even more wary than before.
“That’s why I trust that you will be returning the same way you came,” Curufin revealed at last, “and you won’t deny a cousin the pleasure of meeting his kin, would you? Family is important, and I shall very much like to see my lost cousin and her son...?”
“Maeglin,” Eöl growled, fighting shivers of helpless anger, “My son’s name is Maeglin.”
“I will very much like to meet Maeglin,” Curufin’s smile was a slow, self-satisfied thing, spreading across his face like a disease. “And my brother has missed our cousin Aredhel. I am certain he would rejoice in a reunion.”
Eöl’s lips thinned and he clenched his fists. So that’s what Curufin wanted. Not only did he plan to learn the location of Gondolin, but he wanted to steal Eöl’s family from him, if Turgon didn’t manage to do so beforehand.
But if Eöl disagreed, he already knew what would follow. Another day exposed to the sun, leaving him too sick and disoriented to think; and Aredhel’s trail - it was only going to get colder. He had no choice but to agree to the Fëanorian’s terms. Curufin had asked him for no oath. There was nothing easier than to break one’s word to a dirty Golodh.
“Let’s drink to family then,” Eöl raised his glass and Curufin readily toasted him again.
They drank and Eöl’s eyes followed the bobbing of the Fëanorian’s throat as Curufin finished his glass in one go. When Curufin put the glass down on the table, his pale face was flushed over the cheeks and the bridge of his nose. His eyes twinkled dangerously.
“In that case, let’s celebrate,” Curufin suggested and without warning, pushed Eöl’s chair back from the table, making room for him to straddle the Sinda’s long legs and sit on his thighs.
“I believe you are finished,” Curufin added and his arms wrapped around Eöl’s shoulders as the taller elf stared at him in shocked disbelief. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to get to know this particular kinsman-”
“Have you gone mad?” Eöl pulled back before Curufin could lean in to claim his lips.
“Have I gone mad?” Curufin raised an eyebrow. “Tell me, kinsman, why do you look so appalled, when you worked so hard to seduce me since you arrived? I am merely allowing you to have what we mutually desire.”
“I - seducing you?! What are you going on about?” Eöl attempted to push Curufin away, but the delicate Golodh was surprisingly strong and would not be moved.
“Wearing your hair loose, smoothing it out constantly, like that,” Curufin demonstrated, running his crafty hands through Eöl’s long hair and suddenly giving it a little tug that sent shivers down Eöl’s spine.
“Eating with your hands, licking your fingers,” Curufin’s other hand was at Eöl’s mouth, seeking entrance between his lips. “Truly, kinsman, if you were not planning to seduce me, what the hell were you thinking?”
There were different kinds of hunger, and Eöl had starved in not just one. For years his wife had been cool to him, and something about Curufin’s fickle, demanding nature reminded him of her, of the better times, when Aredhel had been fiery and seductive, and all over him all night, ever wanton for more.
Eöl had missed it - missed the giddy feeling of being wanted, missed the weight of another body pressed to his own. And Curufin… he wasn’t that horrendous to look at, despite being one of the Noldor. Like Aredhel, he was lithe and beautiful, and strong. And his midnight hair reminded Eöl of Aredhel more than he liked to admit.
With brisk movements Eöl reached for the strings that held his leather trousers closed and begun undoing them beneath Curufin. The Fëanorian let out a laugh that sounded a little surprised, but then his warm hand closed under Eöl’s chin and the other one tugged at the Sinda’s hair, making the bigger elf arch back, while Curufin finally claimed his lips.
Curufin kissed deeply and possessively, just like Aredhel had kissed. But unlike Aredhel’s gentle grasp, the pads of Curufin’s fingers were worn and scarred from the grip of tools and weapons, and Eöl found himself humming in enjoyment at the strange, rough sensation. His own hands finished their work on his trousers and he reached for Curufin’s belt, finding the toggle easy to operate even without looking, and tugging it off in a matter of seconds.
“Clever, clever wildling Lord,” Curufin praised and for that Eöl bit his lip.
The Fëanorian arched and rolled his hips forward impatiently, clearly enjoying the treatment, so Eöl moved his mouth to Curufin’s throat and bit him again, harder this time.
“Ah, yes,” the Fëanorian hissed, “Just like that!”
“You have strange appetites,” Eöl commented as he licked the bite mark which he had left on the side of Curufin’s neck.
“Perhaps—” Curufin’s breath was coming fast and Eöl’s fingers found his cock were already wet with arousal.
“Or perhaps, the strange taste for wild things runs in the family, wouldn’t you agree?” Curufin added between panting breaths.
Instead of answering Eöl rose from his seat, picking up Curufin as well and roughly slamming the smaller Fëanorian on top of the table. Curufin laughed and pushed dishes and glasses out of their away, the remains of wine and food spilling shamelessly on the floor.
Livid and provoked, Eöl intended to make the audacious Fëanorian pay for his remark. His hands grasped the hem of Curufin’s trousers and yanked them down hard enough to rip them at the seam, but before he could do anything else, Curufin’s blade was once again pressed to his skin - this time to the side of his neck.
“What do you think you are doing?” Curufin laughed, and his free hand caressed Eöl’s face before it begun insistently tugging him down. “On your knees, Dark Elf!”
Eöl wanted to believe that it was the threat of the knife that made him obey, not the enticing note of absolute authority, which rang so seductively in Curufin’s voice. He got on his knees before the Fëanorian’s spread legs, faced with the arching erection, and followed the silent command of Curufin’s hand which pulled him forward.
Eöl closed his eyes and swallowed the hard length, moving his lips up and down in rhythm with Curufin’s rapid breaths.
“Keep going,” Curufin ordered when Eöl begun to tire, his mouth stretched wide around the Fëanorian’s girth and his jaw aching. He kept his eyes closed as he obeyed, moving faster, chasing the completion of his task like a hunter after game.
“Oh,” was all Curufin let out, his hand fisting in Eöl’s hair hard, keeping the Sinda in place as he came straight down Eöl’s throat.
Somehow the Lord of Nan Elmoth managed not to choke, but he spit out what he could once Curufin withdrew and his mouth was once again free.
Slowly Eöl got to his feet, watching with astonishment as Curufin pulled down his pants the remainder of the way and turned around, facing the table upon which they had dined. The Fëanorian dipped his fingers into some spilled oil from their food and then dipped them between his own buttocks, sighing quietly as they disappeared inside of him.
Eöl couldn’t tear his eyes away from that sight. His already hard organ felt so full it could go off on the image Curufin presented alone.
“Do you need an invitation?” Curufin glanced at him over his shoulder.
Eöl didn’t wait to hear whatever jabs the Golodh had in store for him - instead he surged forward and took what was offered in one smooth go. Curufin made a real sound, something between a moan and a squeak of surprise. Eöl could have laughed if he wasn’t so busy pounding into the waiting heat of Curufin’s tight body.
Curufin braced himself on his elbows and took the fucking like one who had grown accustomed to such acts. Eöl found that, to him, it was all the same - it was just a fuck - and Curufin’s ass felt good, and before long it was over and he had spent his seed in it, unable to suppress a groan of satisfaction from escaping his lips.
“There.” Maddeningly, Curufin was still smiling after all that. “I think there’s no need to shake hands on it, now that we have sealed our pact.”
Eöl quickly righted himself, taking a step away from the Fëanorian, whom he now believed to be half mad.
“Am I free to go then?”
“But of course.” Curufin’s pretense of composure was somewhat ruined when he ran a hand through his braided hair and it shook just a little. The wet spot he had left on the table also told a slightly different tale than the one his voice tried to sell. “The guards outside my tent will escort you to your horse and your belongings.”
Eöl nodded, taking yet another wary step back towards the entrance of the tent and his freedom.
“I trust that we will meet again very soon,” Curufin offered.
“Of course,” Eöl huffed, feeling awkward at the Fëanorian’s slightly hopeful tone. “As we agreed, I shall pass through here on my way back, with my wife and son.”
“Don’t get yourself killed,” Curufin called after him as Eöl turned to leave.
“I won’t,” Eöl muttered to himself and pushed through the flap to be greeted by the night.