West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive

 

 

Coming of Age
Sam falls victim to a birthday prank.
Author: Bill The Pony
Rating: NC-17

 

Samwise Gamgee's birthday fell when the autumn winds were growing crisp in the Shire, and the grasses were golden, and the leaves touched with red. Pumpkins lay ripe in the fields, and in the Southfarthing, the broad-leafed pipeweed plants were cut and hung in long, low byres to smoke-dry.

This year the onset of autumn seemed particularly special; the air was clear and the sun bright, the harvest a bounteous one, and Sam was thirty-three: his coming of age, by hobbit reckoning.

Frodo Baggins breathed in the savour of autumn on his doorstep at Bag End, where he sat with his pipe, watching the bright, frosty morning of Sam's birthday creep over the land. Already there was a commotion about the Gamgee house; he could hear them shouting and laughing far down in Bagshot Row, teasing Sam. Merry and Pippin had come for the party and spent the night at Bag End; they were banging about inside Bag End, cooking breakfast and probably tearing the walls down while they were about it.

Frodo was content.

"Hey! If you don't come set the table, we won't save you any breakfast!" Pippin banged two pans together loudly, and Frodo tapped out his pipe, grinding the embers under his heel.

"And you'll save me my share of the breakfast, or you'll be sleeping in a field, come evening," Frodo cried, but he went inside and took the dishes out of the pantry and laid them on the table. They were Bilbo's old china and came from his mother's side of the family, and Frodo cherished them, but Pippin was all too likely to be careless.

"We'll be doing that anyway," Merry laughed. "I want to be back at Brandy Hall as soon as I can. Pippin and I have business there."

"You mean you want to be out and about putting scarecrows in children's windows and stealing apples before winter closes in to nip your toes," Frodo laughed, and Pippin tossed an apple at him. He caught it and bit into its spicy sweetness.

Between the three of them, they made short work of the table, the breakfast, and of the dishes; then they emerged and headed down Bagshot Row toward the party field, where Sam's birthday festivities were to commence with second breakfast. Sam was out in the front yard of Number Three, and there were sounds of feminine shrieking from within; he looked redfaced and uncomfortable in his best clothes.

Seeing his friends, Sam brightened and came out of the gate; Merry and Pippin clapped him on the back but Frodo just smiled, hanging back and watching the other hobbits together. Sam caught his eye for a moment, then he flushed a little at the warmth of Frodo's silent regard and looked away.

"They're making the last few arrangements inside," he explained to them all, "or I'd ask you in, but as things stand, I think I mustn't."

"Now that you're of age, Sam, you'll have to be thinking about getting your own hobbit-hole," Pippin teased him.

"And filling it with a wife and daughters to torment you like your mother and sisters," Merry added, laughing.

"I wouldn't mind getting into a place where I could have a bit of peace, to tell the truth, Mr. Pippin." Sam answered, good-natured. "It gets rare crowded in there, and that's a fact. It's no wonder our Hal left to make a go of it on his own up in the Northfarthing."

"Let your mother and sisters have their way with things, then, and when they're ready they'll join us." Frodo had already noticed the Gaffer puttering with a bit of leather-mending away down the hill. "Your father has the right idea, Sam!"

"That he does, Mr. Frodo. He's been out here since before dawn." They started down toward the party field.

Laughter alerted them to the presence of other hobbits approaching on the road-- Sam's friends and kin, walking up from Hobbiton and Bywater. Frodo was glad he'd volunteered the party field for the gathering; it was modest, but there was a pavilion and benches and tables laden with food, and there was a banner in Sam's honor fluttering in the morning breeze. Musicians stood about on the green, tuning their fiddles and horns.

Frodo and his cousins had determined that Sam's coming of age party would be a rousing success, and that it was, with food and to spare, and plenty of entertainment. To Frodo, the day seemed to pass in a daze of laughter and dancing and good simple fare-- and plenty of ale; and yet as the day wore on he felt remote, almost sad, as he watched Sam coming and going amidst the group. He put a good face on it though, speaking when spoken to, laughing with his friends and taking a dance on the green from time to time.

The day passed in merriment, and with the coming of evening Sam passed out the traditional birthday presents-- solid homely gifts for the most part, many that Sam had made with his own hands. Merry got a pipe carved from a sturdy gnarled tree root, and Pippin was given a hand-tooled leather belt with designs burned in, including his name-- perfectly spelled in cautious, upright strokes. Frodo smiled to see it, remembering days spent sitting with Sam and reading while Bilbo taught the younger hobbit his letters.

His own gift was beautiful-- a carefully carved wooden box with a hinged lid-- many hours of hard work from Sam's strong, callused hands. He opened it carefully, smelling the clean scent of the carved cedar wood-- a rarity in the Shire-- and the oil Sam had rubbed into it to bring out its sheen. "Thank you, Sam," he murmured, and Sam blushed as he watched Frodo's hands caress the smooth wood with reverence.

"What shall he put in there?" Pippin asked, ever-curious.

"A book, maybe, or his pipe-weed, or, well, anything he likes," Sam mumbled. Pippin leaned in and said something that made Sam redden to the ears, but the noise of the crowd covered the words.

"Sam, the Gaffer says you can't sit about with Mr. Baggins all the night!" Sam's youngest sister flounced up saucily, very conscious of her fine new petticoats. "You've got a party to be hosting!" She whisked him away, and Frodo tucked the little box into his coat.

"A toast to Sam Gamgee, the finest gardener in the Shire!" Frodo called out, lifting his mug, and everyone raised their glasses, the Gaffer pretending to scowl with envy, but patting Sam's shoulder with evident pride.

After a time spent sitting watching Sam dance-- as was traditional for a coming of age party, the hobbits danced trading partners, so that each of the girls got a share of him-- Frodo slipped away into the dusk, unwilling to risk seeing his gift harmed if he left it in order to join the dancing himself. It was indeed the perfect size for his favorite book, and the cedar wood would keep moths away from the parchment. Doubtless Sam had considered such things when he planned its making.

There were no fireworks for Sam, as there had been at Bilbo's party, but bright lanterns swung from the pavilion and from the boughs of the party tree, and they surrounded the green on poles stuck into the turf; Frodo paused at his doorstep to look down on the lights glowing like fireflies and the happy hobbits dancing within their circle. Sam was spinning Rosie Cotton in his arms, and Frodo could imagine his flustered face.

He took his box into his bedchamber and laid it on the dressing table, feeling weary from the long afternoon he had spent in the sun. He'd had an eye on Merry and Pippin all day, especially Merry, and keeping track of the two was exhausting, but Frodo considered it worth his caution. In Brandy Hall it was traditional to play pranks on friends and kin when they came of age, and sometimes those pranks could be cruel. When the sinking of the sun had seen Pippin and Merry departing toward Bywater in a waggon, Frodo's mind had eased considerably. Fortunately for Sam, it seemed Pippin's quiet comment was to be the only joke of the day.

Frodo stretched, glad to be alone. He hated to abandon Sam's party, and yet Sam was obviously as occupied as he could reasonably be expected to handle. Deciding that Sam wouldn't be hurt, Frodo acknowledged that he'd had enough of the company, so he filled a flask with Old Winyards and slipped back out of his hobbit-hole wearing a dark walking cloak. He climbed the stair up onto the top of the house, whereupon he set out over the hill. Dew from the grass wet his feet and legs but he kept going until he felt that he was perfectly alone, gazing up into the sky at the stars, letting the noise and chatter of the day flow out of his mind, leaving him peaceful.

Sitting down to lean against a tall hay-rick, Frodo rested at last and lifted the flask in silent toast to Sam's health, then sipped from it, humming one of Bilbo's elf-songs softly to himself and thinking.

Sam Gamgee, his dear childhood friend, come of age. Pippin was right; Sam would be looking for hobbit-hole of his own, thinking of settling down-- probably with Rosie Cotton. Frodo thought he had an eye for her, though he was too shy to own up to it. He supposed it likely Sam would marry Rosie and settle with her, and afterward it seemed probable he would still tend Frodo's garden, but he would no longer have time for more than an occasional quick pint in Frodo's kitchen, and when the children started to come, that too would pass, and he would mind his own concerns instead of his friends'. Frodo wished him well in that and in all things, and yet the thought of losing Sam's company saddened him deeply.

Though he was dismayed, Frodo knew he could hardly hope for a different ending. He and Sam had frolicked together as children, as he had with all the hobbits near his age who lived in Hobbiton and Bywater, but as they had all grown older the knowledge that he was Bilbo's heir had seemed to sink into them all, even Sam. Frodo keenly felt the distance of formality that had grown up between himself and his childhood companions, saving only Merry and Pippin.

The change in Sam was perhaps the hardest to bear: living so near and working for Frodo as he did, he tried harder than the others to please, and was unusually sensitive and obedient to Frodo's wishes. Frodo had always loved him best among his companions, but Sam's insistence on careful respect and proper diffidence made it hard to be his friend-- and impossible to be more. For one thing, Frodo knew Sam was likely to give anything, regardless, just because it was him who asked for it, but he couldn't bear the thought of taking advantage of his best friend in such a way.

Frodo sighed and looked up at the stars, which kept their own counsel. The flask was empty, and the night was growing still and cold. He thought of burrowing into the hay to keep warm and sleep, but he thought better of it and made his way back toward his warm bed, a little dizzy from the strong wine.

He'd been longer about finishing the wine than he thought; the lanterns were out in the party field, and all was quiet on Bagshot Row. He yawned behind his hand and let himself in to Bag End, pocketing the key and hanging his cloak. It had been a good day and a fine party, and it was not Sam's fault that Frodo had ended it in sadness.

He lit a candle from the kitchen fire and wandered off to his room, yawning-- the Old Winyards was strong, and his head was heavy. He shrugged out of his coat and his waistcoat and let them fall, then blew out the light and tumbled into bed still wearing his shirt and breeches, reaching for his pillow--

--and his hand touched warm skin.

Frodo sat bolt upright, staring into the darkness; he reached out again tentatively and again his hand touched flesh. It was bare flesh, a shoulder, and he did not dare explore further. He crept out of the bed stealthily and carried his candle back into the kitchen, but by the time he had lit it again his head was clear and his fright was passing; he thought he understood.

How could he have believed Merry and Pippin, acting all too eager to return to Buckland, without even waiting for the end of Sam's party? Frodo groaned and cursed himself for a fool; he had not been wary, as he ought. Sam had not escaped after all. This prank was the prize of them all, and was rarely managed: to coax someone to venture too deep in his cups and then carry him off to leave him without his clothes in the bed of the girl he hoped to wed....

But Frodo was not a girl, and Sam did not wish to wed him. Frodo's throat felt tight. This was cruel indeed, and not only to Sam, but to Frodo himself. He supposed that Merry and Pippin had not thought it wise to try to sneak Sam past Farmer Cotton and his sturdy sons, but this was hardly a kinder choice.

He padded back to his room on whisper-quiet feet, and the candle cast looming black shadows into the corners of the room as he lifted it. "Sam?" There was no answer. Sam lay on his right side. His curly head, red-gold like ripe wheat after a summer spent under the sun, lay still on Frodo's pillow. He snored quietly, perfectly content to be drowned in the heavy sleep of ale. He had no cover against the night chill, and nothing to protect his modesty should Frodo awaken him.

Frodo closed his eyes and then opened them again, moving to the linen closet for a blanket so that he might cover his friend. As he unfolded it, the candle sent honey-golden shadows playing over Sam's smooth back and Frodo bit his lip. He could go find Sam's brother and his father; they would fetch Sam back to his own home and bed... but they would know where he had been left, and they would tease him for it after.

Frodo hesitated, torn, and let the blanket drop. He had often noticed how beautiful Sam was by firelight, but never had he seen Sam naked like this-- and never had he dared to let himself dream of Sam lying naked in his bed.

His hand ventured forward as though to touch Sam again, and he drew it back to make it shield the flame of the candle as he stepped around the bed to see Sam's face. His eyes were closed and his lips parted, his expression peaceful.

Frodo bit his lip; he could not disturb Sam, not if it meant exposing his friend to the ridicule of others. They would bear this secret between the two of them; their friendship was strong and would stand firm under its load. Merry and Pippin would be disappointed when their joke failed.

His decision made, Frodo let his eyes drink deep, though he would not allow his hands the pleasure of another touch. Sam's broad chest was dusted with hair that would thicken as he grew into his prime; his belly lay in shadow, his top knee bent, touching the mattress. His legs were sturdy and strong, browned by the Sun from the calf down, and his feet were dusty from dancing on the green. His work-roughened hands lay folded like a child's next to his face.

As Frodo watched, Sam sighed and turned over onto his back; Frodo's cheeks burned as he watched and his heart beat swiftly. He was ashamed that he could not turn away from the sight, which was not freely given to him.

Sam shifted to his left side and settled again, curling into Frodo's pillow, breathing deeply and releasing his breath in a long, low sigh. He wrapped his arms around the pillow, nestling against it comfortably.

Frodo's heart swelled with tenderness and sorrow until it hurt inside his breast. He looked helplessly at his friend, and he yearned to make a single pass of his hand along the warm smooth curve of Sam's hip, or over the dip of his waist, or across the flat expanse of his chest, or along the shadowy length of his thigh until--. Frodo's hand ached from clutching the candle too tightly, and he moved in agitation toward the blanket he had laid upon the foot of the bed.

If he had not noticed Sam sleeping next to him when he lay down, they might have awakened tangled in each other, for Frodo could not imagine lying next to Sam without slipping into the warm haven of his arms.

Frodo bent his head at the stray thought and groped for a stool; he set the candle in the floor and sat staring into the flame until it dazzled his eyes. Surely Merry and Pippin had not known how much their prank would hurt him. They were thoughtless, not truly cruel.

At last he roused himself. Sam would grow chilled; he should cover him at once. Setting aside the candle, he averted his eyes and shook open the blanket, letting it fall over Sam, who sighed and shifted deeper into the soft feather-tick on Frodo's bed.

Frodo retreated to his stool and sat there silent, watching the candle burn low. As it guttered on the verge of going out, he stood abruptly and put his clothes in order again and went out. Sam's clothes, if he remembered the tradition rightly, would be waiting for him on the stoop of his own house, neatly folded.

When he finally returned to the dark bedchamber he held the little bundle of clothing against his chest, and he laid it on the bed near Sam's feet. The window was just growing grey with false dawn. Frodo stumbled over something in the floor, and bit his lip at the noise, remembering too late that he had left the candle there to burn down in its holder.

Sam stirred and Frodo grew still, watching him rise and look about doubtfully until he recognized the room. "Mr. Frodo?" His voice sounded small and uncertain. The blanket slipped to his waist and pale light glowed on his chest and belly, catching the curve and point of his ear through his tousled hair.

"Sam." Frodo made his voice gentle. "I'm sorry I wakened you. Your clothes are there on the bed, when you want them."

Sam looked at him, bewildered and shy, and put his hand to his head as though to steady it. "Begging your pardon, Mr. Frodo, but I don't remember nothing except my party... how do I come to wake up here?"

"A birthday prank courtesy of Brandy Hall," Frodo spoke hastily, fearing that Sam might take more shame than he ought if he did not promptly learn the truth of what had happened. "Merry and Pippin bettered us both, I fear."

"Oh." Sam's voice was soft, and it seemed to Frodo that he was more dismayed than he had been before. "I thought..." he turned his face away and he looked through the window.

"It's all right," Frodo hastened to reassure him. "You finish your sleep, Sam, and I'll be across the hall in the guest room if you need me."

"I can't take your bed, Mr. Frodo," Sam cried with distress, jumping up and scattering his clothes all over the floor. He staggered and sat back down on the bed swiftly, wincing and holding his head.

"Too much ale," Frodo murmured, moving close to steady him. "You need to sleep it off, or you'll be ill."

Sam held fast to Frodo's arm, swaying a bit, and then straightened. "I'm all right to walk home now," he lied stoutly, and Frodo shook his head.

"No, you aren't." He pressed Sam back into the bed and covered him again, arranging with the blanket so that it lay about Sam's shoulders. He stepped back, intending to leave Sam.

"Don't go, Mr. Frodo." Sam sounded forlorn, and Frodo was moved with tenderness and pity.

"I'm just going to fetch you a basin, Sam. I'll be back." He slipped out to rummage in the kitchen and returned to Sam as he had promised, with the addition of a damp cloth; Sam lay with his arm flung over his eyes and Frodo drew the curtains to shield him from the growing dawn. Frodo laid the folded cloth over Sam's sweat-dappled brow, and Sam sighed his relief, unmoving.

Frodo hesitated, unsure whether to go or stay, and settled for sitting on the edge of the bed. The glazed pottery basin was cold against his arms and heavy on his lap; fortunately Sam showed little sign of needing it.

At length one eye peeked out from under Sam's arm, and Frodo was studied suspiciously. "You haven't had no sleep, Mr. Frodo." Sam made it sound like a personal injury. He picked up the cloth and looked at it uncertainly; Frodo took it and laid it in the basin.

"I suppose I haven't." Frodo smiled crookedly at Sam. "One wakeful night won't hurt me."

"I shouldn't ought to be taking up your bed." Sam glowered at the ceiling. "I wouldn't mind if you laid down here to take a sleep. It is your own bed, and I might rest easier myself, if I wasn't worrying about you and all." He looked at Frodo with hopeful and somehow guileless cunning, and patted the coverlet at his side.

Frodo laughed softly. Truth be told, he was terribly weary, but he didn't want to leave Sam any more than Sam seemed to want to be left. "Anything to make you happy, Sam." He set the basin aside, keeping it within easy reach, and made as though to draw back the covers, but Sam was still eyeing him with sorrowful reproach.

"You can't sleep in those party clothes," Sam protested. "They'd bind you up something awful, and you'll wake with a crick in your neck." He bit his lip and met Frodo's gaze earnestly, his face coloring.

Frodo gave in with good grace and turned away from Sam to undress. Sam had to be unaware that what he had asked could be seen as anything other than purely innocent, bless him. And yet, in spite of his own unchaste thoughts, Frodo found that he was unable to deny his dearest friend anything he wished.

Nevertheless, Frodo felt ill at ease as he slipped out of his coat and waistcoat and loosened his shirt, unbuttoning it and slipping it off his shoulders. He laid the clothing over his dressing table carefully, feeling Sam's gaze touching his skin with perceptible weight. He readied his nightshirt, then rapidly stepped out of his trousers, his heart beating swiftly in his chest. His hands darted out and picked it up, for he was eager to cover himself with the soft cotton shirt, but Sam's shy voice halted them.

"Mr. Frodo?"

Frodo flinched and looked over his shoulder, feeling rather like a startled deer. Sam was looking at him gravely; he had turned onto his side and lifted the covers for Frodo with one arm. His bare body lay in soft-edged shadow against the pale sheets, half-visible, and his expression mingled bashfulness with hope and a flicker of heat.

Frodo blinked at him, balanced of a sudden on a knife's edge between desire and panic, and realized that he had judged his friend too hastily. As though a blindness was lifted from his sight, he now perceived that Sam knew what he was asking, very well indeed.... and why should he not? He was of age now, an adult by rights, and if he offered himself without being asked, then Frodo was hardly taking advantage if he accepted. Was he? Had he slipped and shown Sam what he wanted? Was Sam merely anticipating Frodo's needs, and not acting on his own?

Frodo hesitated, trembling, and Sam lay still, courageously leaving the offer open, waiting patiently for him to decide. Through the haze of his desire, Frodo was dimly aware that he could-- and should-- simply finish donning the nightshirt he held, but there was that about the steadiness of the invitation which told him Sam was certain of what he wanted. He let the shirt drop and took a step toward Sam, then another, and then he was on the bed, lifting his legs and sliding them under the warm blanket, his head coming to rest on the pillow next to Sam's.

The situation Frodo now found himself in was more than could strictly be called proper friendship by any hobbit's standards, and for a moment he faltered, but Sam was still looking at him with soft heat. There was no mistaking his desire. Frodo took his time settling the covers over himself, trying to breathe steadily. When he finished Sam was still regarding him with that same warm, joyous look in his eyes.

"I'm starting to wonder if Merry and Pippin put you here after all," Frodo's joke tasted more than half-serious on his lips.

Sam laughed in spite of that, but then he closed his eyes in pain, his lashes making soft dark smudges on his cheeks. "If I'd planned it myself, I'd not have such a headache." His hand stirred and moved to rest on Frodo's chest, warm and strong. "Here I've got you in bed at last, and us with no clothes on, but I can't do nothing about it. It don't seem fair."

Frodo's heart tipped over with dizzy sweetness, and he surrendered to his heart's longing, slipping into Sam's arms. "Close your eyes and rest, Sam." Frodo touched Sam's cheek with his lips. "I'll still be here when you wake."

They rested till the Sun dipped into the west and slipped bright fingers of light through the crack between the curtains, drawing narrow lines of glowing color across the dim room. Frodo was wakened by the Sun shining in his eyes, and he roused, startled for a moment by the living warmth that lay next to him. Light found its way through the crack between the curtains and cut like a knife-slash across Sam's cheek, caught in his golden lashes. Frodo lay quite still and studied him, transfixed by his beauty.

Frodo sighed, happy to lie in Sam's arms; they were twined together like the tender green shoots at the tips of bean vines climbing tangled in Sam's garden. Sam's eyes opened then, lashes fluttering in the light. Shyness took hold of Frodo, and uncertainty; he had never lain through the night with anyone, and never let himself believe he might lie so with Sam.

Sam stirred and blinked against the light; his eyes were soft with sleep, and his breath felt warm on Frodo's cheek. His lips curved with pleasure when he saw that Frodo was watching him.

"Feeling better, Sam?" Frodo caressed Sam's shoulder, reassured by the sweetness of Sam's expression.

"A good bit, Mr. Frodo." Sam's voice sounded rich and husky with sleep. "Better than I've a right to, if the truth be told. Well enough to be about the things I've left undone." His hands stirred on Frodo's back, and Frodo laughed.

"I never knew you to be so bold." But it was delightful, and he was responding; they were twined too closely for Sam to miss that.

Sam reddened. "Begging your pardon, sir, but waking the way I did, what with my head full of ale and all... there seemed little enough to lose, and everything to gain."

It was Frodo's turn to blush. "Everything?" he faltered.

"Everything that matters." Sam's smile was brighter than the sun lingering on his face, and he leaned in, his lips brushing Frodo's for the briefest moment.

Frodo sighed, his body shivering into flame with unexpected swiftness. "Sam..." he breathed, and let his fingertips journey across Sam's cheek to trace the curve of his ear. Sam's lashes closed and he leaned into the caress, his body's readiness answering Frodo's. Frodo gasped, almost a sob, as he felt Sam harden against him, and afterward he was never sure who moved to close the last of the distance between their mouths.

Kissing Sam was like drinking honey rendered flame; Frodo felt his hands clutching at Sam desperately as though he might tumble off and fall if he did not hold on. He almost felt the room was spinning, and he clung to Sam with his eyes shut tight, whimpering softly, pressing the kiss deep.

Sam made a welcoming noise in his throat and opened his lips for Frodo's seeking tongue. His mouth was gentle, almost reverent as he welcomed Frodo inside himself, and his hands were strong and steady on Frodo. His body felt warm and solid as he turned them, taking over, and Frodo's heart beat hard; he broke the kiss to gasp for breath, giving himself over into Sam's care.

Sam's mouth drew a line of fire across his cheek and to the lobe of his ear, making Frodo gasp; Sam had been bold before, but only as Sam's happy murmurs filled his ears between fervent kisses did Frodo begin to understand the depth of his desire. Sam's teeth closed lightly on Frodo's earlobe, his velvet tongue teasing the captured flesh, and then he left it to kiss his way downward.

When he reached Frodo's collarbone, Frodo could see his face again, and was struck by the intensity of Sam's expression as he dropped soft kisses along the skin there, tracing the line of the bone toward the point of Frodo's shoulder. He touched Sam's head, loving the texture of Sam's soft, curly brown hair between his fingers, his free hand indulging his longing to trace the graceful curve of Sam's back and shoulder.

Sam turned blindly to mouth a kiss into his palm, and when his eyes opened again, they fell on Frodo's chest; he gasped, almost a sob, and bent to Frodo's nipple, covering it with his mouth. Frodo arched and wailed, unprepared for the hot sweetness of Sam's wet tongue.

Sam lifted his head and looked up, anxious, and Frodo shook his head, too overwhelmed to speak. He arched again instead, thrusting up against Sam with desperation, and Sam read him aright, bending his head back to its sweet task. Frodo whimpered, kneading at Sam's shoulders.

At last Sam lifted his head. "I'll be coming back to you later," he promised the nipple with soft intensity. Frodo would have laughed if he had breath, but he did not, for Sam was kissing his way downward once more, his thumbs smoothing gentle circles at Frodo's waist. Frodo hardly dared hope that Sam's goal was as it seemed; he lifted himself on his elbows to watch Sam plant careful kisses along his ribs and over his belly, lingering to dip his tongue into the hollow there.

He soon resumed his journey, and when Frodo could feel Sam's breath caress him, he clutched the sheets, letting his body fall back against his pillow. Motes of dust danced in the golden shaft of sunlight that filled the air over his head; his eyes dazzled as Sam finally touched him with his callused hand and his warm dry lips-- both at once.

Frodo choked back a cry. Sam's hand steadied him, and his lips brushed up and down, whispering against Frodo's skin like silk. At the first touch of his tongue, hot and liquid, Frodo could no longer keep silent; he flung his arm across his mouth and wailed against it, trembling. His body leaped to Sam's touch and he could not still it, but Sam's strength was enough, holding Frodo in place.

Then Sam's mouth closed over him, and Frodo wailed again; his vision dissolved into golden light that he could not separate from the sensations within him. There was only the sweet wet heat of Sam's mouth, and the callused strength of his palms on Frodo's hips, and Frodo's own helpless cries echoing in his ears as he thrust-- and Sam let him, accepting Frodo inside his mouth even when Frodo could not contain himself any longer and yet was beyond speech for warning.

When Frodo's lashes fluttered open, Sam was rising, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand; his eyes were smoky as they found Frodo's. He moved up to take Frodo in his arms, and Frodo could feel the coiled tension in his body, unsated but patient.

He paused for a moment, trying to decide whether he wanted to kiss Sam again, but Sam's eyes were dark and hazed with desire, and he was beautiful, so Frodo tugged him down and opened to his kiss, feeling Sam clasp him close. Sam thrust against him urgently, though his arms and lips were gentle. Frodo broke the kiss and held him, encouraging him by whispering soft words of love to him, watching his face with wonder.

Sam lost in pleasure was a wonder such as Frodo had never beheld, his brow creased with concentration, his bottom lip caught between his white teeth. His whole body quivered in Frodo's arms, tense with effort as he worked alone for his own body's ease, and Frodo suddenly felt abashed that Sam did not expect him to return the pleasure he'd been given, so he reached between them quickly to take him in hand, stroking a little clumsily.

Sam gasped his name and shuddered, his fingers tightened painfully, digging into Frodo's skin. Warm heat spread against Frodo's hip and Sam buried his face in Frodo's throat with a low whimper.

Frodo held him tenderly, his heart near to bursting; the light was going out of the air overhead, the Sun slipping beneath the window sill and behind the low grassy hills of the Shire. Sam's hoarse breathing slowly eased; Frodo felt their mingled sweat chilling on his body and he flipped the blankets over them.

At length Sam stirred. "The Gaffer will be wondering where I've wandered off to," he murmured ruefully.

"When I went for your clothes, I left a note on the doorstep saying that you'd had too much ale, and were staying with me," Frodo answered him, feeling color touch his cheeks at the unintended truths concealed in the message he had left.

Sam's stomach rumbled a response and Frodo laughed, feeling his own answer it. "I'm a poor host, keeping you in bed all day without a bite to eat." He slipped out of Sam's warm arms and rose, reaching for the nightshirt he'd abandoned the previous evening and tugging it over his head. "Come on and help me make some dinner."

Sam sprang out of bed to obey, and Frodo paused, caught by the sight of his body-- he had yet to drink his fill of Sam's skin, either with hands, mouth, or eyes. He watched as Sam began dressing, stepping into his breeches and buttoning his shirt, and a sense of loss filled him. He could not leave the moment to fade.

"Sam..." words abandoned him, leaving him helpless and uncertain again. "You're always welcome, Sam." His hand gestured weakly at the bed, then he expanded the gesture to include all of Bag End. "Will you... will you come back?" He felt a fool for asking, but he must know.

Sam stepped near and clasped his hand, and Frodo leaned into the warmth of his comfortable embrace, relaxing when Sam's arms tightened around him. "Always, Mr. Frodo." Sam kissed his brow softly. "Now, let's go find supper."

-The end-

 

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