Boromir had followed a small band of Orcs up the Anduin River until he could no longer find them. He sent the majority of his men back, keeping only a handful with him. He felt the urge to explore while they were this far north. He knew he should go back to Minas Tirith but he somehow could not. Perhaps they could flush out those Orcs. Besides, he had been soldiering since he was little more than a boy and his father demanded much of him, being the ‘favored’ son. He simply wanted a few weeks to hunt and explore.
He came finally to the Gladden Fields. They were covered in acres of irises of every color imaginable. Boromir sat on his horse and looked out upon the lovely sight. It was hard to believe that this was the killing field where Isildur died. He dismounted and picked a blue iris and stood still, looking at its beauty.
“The flowers are much prettier if you leave them in the field,” a silky voice said behind him.
He wheeled around and there stood an elf, tall, blond and dressed all in green. “It is dangerous to sneak up on a man, my friend.”
The elf laughed, a sound even silkier than his voice. “I have been watching you for some time. I do not think I am in any danger from you. Nor your men. They are camped several miles down the River.” He smiled at Boromir. “Oh, and I am Legolas of Mirkwood.”
“I am Boromir, Captain of the Armies of Gondor.” He still did not know what to think of this person who looked to be little more than a teen. But he knew that elves lived long and this one could be thousands of years old, if the tales were true.
“What brings you to these lands? You are far from home.”
“We followed a band of Orcs up this way and when we did not find them, I sent the bulk of my men home and decided to pursue them with just the few you saw down river.”
“I am sure that my warriors can take care of a few Orcs. You and your men are safe to return home.”
“I thought to explore a bit while I was here, perhaps hunt some. ” He did not like the elf’s haughty tone of voice. Not at all.
“You could find more than Orcs if you venture too close to Mirkwood.”
Boromir at first thought the elf was threatening him but then he recalled the tales of spiders, horrid, monstrous spiders in the forests of Mirkwood. He said nothing.
The elf surprised him when he spoke next. “I have a camp nearby and a hearty rabbit stew simmering if you would like to join me.”
Boromir nodded, confused by the friendliness after the earlier cool reception. He followed Legolas, leading his mount behind him. The elf was camped in a secluded clearing. He had no tent, just a fire and a bedroll. His horse was in a nearby field grazing on the new spring grass.
He started to tether his horse but Legolas put a hand over his to stop him. “He will be fine. He will graze with my horse until you have need of him.”
Legolas dished up stew for them and poured wine from a wineskin into metal cups from his pack. Boromir looked at the elf as he ate. The stew was delicious, thick and perfectly flavored. The elf, he was perfect too. His long hair looked like spun silk and made Boromir blush at the thought of running his hands through it. His face was smooth and unlined, his eyes a deep, dark blue. Boromir thought he had seen few maids as comely as this…Legolas.
“Tell me of your family, Boromir of Gondor.”
Boromir found himself doing just that, talking about his brother and his father. He told the elf how he worried for his father and how he could not understand why his father was so hard on Faramir. He told Legolas of their mother, who had died too young and left her sons alone and her husband desolate.
“I have no brothers. Sometimes my father is hard on me but I know he does it for the good of Mirkwood. That does not make it easier though.”
It was only then that Boromir realized that this elf was the son of the king, that he was the prince of Mirkwood. He fought the urge to say something foolish to Legolas about being a prince. He simply nodded and ate another bite of stew.
“I should get back. My men will worry.” He stood.
“Did you not tell them that you were going out alone? They are comfortably camped.”
Boromir nodded. He sat back down. Legolas smiled at him.
“I make you nervous. Why?”
Boromir cleared his throat. He was not about to tell the elf that he stirred unwanted feelings in him, tender feelings, feelings men should only feel for women.
“I need to check on my horse.”
“Your horse is fine, Boromir of Gondor. Why do I make you nervous?”
Before he was able to stop it, the words came tumbling out. “You are beautiful and stir my blood.”
Legolas laughed, a sound not unlike a bell in the quiet forest. “And this disturbs you?”
“Among my people, men do not… mate with men.”
Boromir almost lost his breath when a delighted smile broke across Legolas’ face. The elf was beautiful before, but now, he was radiant. “I am not a man, my dear Boromir.”
“No, you’re not,” was his choked reply.
It seemed almost as if the elf floated across the fire to where he sat. He could not stop himself from reaching out a hand to touch his hair. It felt as good as it looked. He brought it to his nose and breathed in the smell of woods and fresh air.
He closed his eyes. He could not do this. It was wrong. He tried to pull away when Legolas embraced him, but found that he could not make himself do it. The embrace was far sweeter than those of the women he had been with in Gondor. He told himself that he would let this go no further, but he was again lost as soft lips touched his.
“I have never kissed a man before,” Legolas whispered. “I think I like it. Your beard tickles.” He leaned close for another kiss.
“What are we doing?” Boromir finally forced himself back. “This is wrong!”
Legolas dropped his arms to his sides.
“Aren’t you going to try to persuade me?” Boromir shocked himself with the question.
“It is your decision, my friend. I do not enter lightly into such things and I do not force my will upon those unwilling.”
“I—I want to but…”
“It is not the way of your people,” Legolas finished for him.
Boromir nodded, wishing the elf would press his case. He wanted to be persuaded, to do as he desired and be able to absolve himself of blame by telling himself Legolas made him do it.
“No, it is not.” He could not keep the disappointment out of his voice.
Legolas poured himself another cup of wine and sat back down. “Would you like some more wine?”
“I should be going. I suppose my father is waiting for his report and my men are probably wondering what has kept me so long.”
Legolas nodded. “I have enjoyed our encounter, Boromir of Gondor. I seldom see any but elves in my explorations. Men are rare in these woods.”
Boromir started to the field where his horse was but he stopped and turned back. He knew he would never get this chance again. And he wanted the elf, wanted him like no one he had ever met.
He ran back to the fire and pulled Legolas to his feet, both hugging and kissing him breathlessly until he had to pause for a breath.
“I don’t know what you’ve done to me but I cannot go. Have you enchanted me?”
“Not unless you’ve done the same to me.”
They stopped talking then and said nothing else until much later. Boromir had dozed and woke with a start, embarrassed by his nudity and looking for his clothes. Legolas stayed his hand as he reached for his trousers.
“No. I would look upon you more. I like your body. It fascinates me.”
Boromir smiled. The smiled changed to a gasp as a long fingered hand slid across his abdomen.
“I like the way it feels,” Legolas whispered as he kissed him again.
It was two days before Boromir left the clearing. When he rejoined his men, he wondered if he looked different, if they could tell what he had been doing.
They set out for Gondor, for home. His father would be angry they had not killed the Orcs but somehow it did not weigh on his heart as heavily as it had before. He would deal with his father when the time came.
By the time they rode into the White City, it all seemed as if it were a dream. Maybe it was. Maybe he had dreamed the elf and what followed. He put it into the back of his mind as he dismounted and went to talk to his father.
It was a long time before he thought of Legolas again, a long, long time.