West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive



A Certain Truth
A Yuletide snowstorm and uncommon pipe weed reveal the truth.
Author: gullygilly
Rating: NC-17


"The only lie is a lie discovered," Peregrin Took said, pulling a patchwork quilt snug around him. Frodo looked over to where Pip sat with Merry on the floor near him-- Merry's toes precariously close to the crackling fire in Bilbo's old study. Frodo pressed close to gaze out the frosty windowpane, watching the snow falling pristine against the hills on the late lazy Yuletide afternoon. The sparkling waves wrapped the landscape, wind swirling and kissing the tops of trees, making the branches twinkle-- each gust flirting. Soon the drifts would be far too deep to wade through. 

"Not so," said Frodo drawing with his finger on the frosty pane-- a crystal swan. "A lie is a lie no matter if it's found."

"Says who?" Pip asked. "Do you always speak the truth?"

"I find it easier to be truthful," answered Frodo. "Remembering lies becomes complicated."

"That is experience speaking," Merry said. "I seem to a remember a Frodo Baggins pilfering mushrooms from farmer Maggot's property. The last time Frodo got caught, Maggot didn't believe his pretty excuses."

"Yes, and look at all the trouble that caused me. Those dogs of his almost ate me alive-- and then the beating he gave me. Years later, I still can't bring myself to face him," Frodo said, placing his mouth next to the pane, watching his breath cloud and frost-- coating the window.

"Then Frodo," Pippin asked. "You think lies should be careful?"

Frodo thought a moment as he watched the blustery wind shift the snow deep against the fence, and he blew again against the glass. "Well..."

"The best truth is a truth not discovered," Merry interrupted.

"For example?" Pippin said.

"For example," Merry leaned in closer to Pippin, "when Samwise sees Frodo has been drawing on that window pane, he's going to be put out. That's why Frodo is over there frosting up the windows again. He's hiding the evidence."

"Frodo?!" chirped Pip.

Frodo sat up, thinking. True, he was hiding the evidence from Sam. The last time Frodo etched on the window he drew an icy dragon-- Sam looked at the his finished work and instead of saying, 'What a wonderful sketch' or 'beautiful likeness' Sam said, 'looks as if I'll be needing to wash the window again.'

Frodo wondered if this was the true distance between the two: When Frodo looks at the window, he sees art. When Sam looks at the window, he sees work.

"If it's a truth, and it's hidden-- isn't that lying?" asked Pip.

"Withholding, isn't the same," said Frodo and sighed. He didn't really want to deceive Sam. It was only a little lie of omission. 

"What's this about lies?" Sam walked in scrutinizing Pippin. 

"Done picking up after supper?" asked Frodo.

"Aye," answered Sam. "Put away what little twas left and washed up."

"With a wonderful cook such as you, there is never much left," said Frodo. "The last time I had such a feast was, well, the last Yuletide meal you made. Oh, this was special. Dinner was particularly delicious tonight-- the biscuits exquisitely fluffy. What new herb did you add to the gravy? -- much better than Bilbo's customary Yuletide sauce."

"Um-- rosemary," Sam blushed.

"Rosemary, yes. You must add that again. So good," said Frodo, patting his stomach. "I can hardly breathe, I ate so much." Pride radiated from Sam.

"That..." Merry whispered to Pippin, "is called distraction-- baiting one away from the truth, but Sam will still notice the window. Give him a moment." Pippin looked over at Frodo conspiratorially.

"Sit down, Sam, and join us," Pip said, pulling out his pipe and pouch of weed from his weskit's pocket. 

Sam hesitated. Frodo pulled up a chair near him and fumbled around in his jacket for his pipe. "Please stay, Sam," Frodo said. "Have a smoke before you go home."

"I guess I could stay a bit although I shouldn't stay too much longer. The snow's coming down mighty hard now." 

"Do you have your pipe with you, Sam? If you don't, you may borrow this one," Frodo offered.

"No, I have one here," Sam said, patting his pocket. "Thank you, sir. I could use a good bit o' the Old Toby." Frodo passed his pipe to Sam who handed both to Pippin.

"Not Old Toby," Pippin said. "I've a special treat. Bought this from a special vendor in Bree. Unusual blend-- quite exotic." Pippin sniffed the contents of his pouch first before filling the bowls and passing them back to their owners saving his own for last. Pippin watched closely as Sam lit his pipe. 

Sam took a few quick puffs and sat back in the old stuffed chair-- a curious look crossed his face.

Puzzled, Frodo waved his pipe under his nose before taking a puff.

"Doesn't smell like any pipe weed I've encountered," Frodo said, thoughtfully taking a drag.

"Most unusual," said Merry. "Has a rather sweet musky taste. Where was it grown?"

"The man I bought it from said it was imported from over the sea somewhere," Pip answered.

"From elves, mayhap?" Sam asked brightly.

"No, Sam," Frodo answered. "Elves do not smoke Old Toby or any of the like-- and they certainly would never grow it. I heard Bilbo once tell that elves think of smoking as a dirty habit."

"I wouldn't be thinking that-- smokin' pipe weed has an art to it. At least that's what my Gaffer says. Still, I guess elves are above such things," Sam wondered.

"I've never smoked a pipe weed such as this," said Merry, taking another puff. "Most peculiar. I'd like to know a bit more about this. What climate and soil was this grown in I wonder? Did you get this vendor's name? I'd like to speak to him-- I might be interested in growing this myself."

"Name? No," said Pip. "I got no name. He did say he came to Bree but once a year-- most usually at the same time and won't be back until next year."

"Disappointing," said Merry, stretching out and leaning back against Pip's leg.

Frodo took one last puff, marveling at the taste and the beauty of this day. He'd overdone at dinner. He yawned and stretched, a bit full and uncomfortable. Sam served him thirds of practically every dish on the table. Frodo gorged himself as much to please Sam as to satiate his own appetite. Sam was an excellent cook, and Frodo meant what he said about Sam's banquet-- yet he did want to please Sam. He knew the time and care Sam put into preparation. Sam spent much time preparing, and Frodo often repaid him by simply picking at his food. Today he did what made Sam happy. He ate. Glazed pork roast, creamy potatoes, sauces savory and sweet-- all manner of baked goods. All his favorites made by Sam's hands. And that luscious apple pie topped with thick rich cream--Frodo loved best of all. The careful hours Sam spent preparing and taking care of him. By the Valar, he was fortunate.

From a glance at the others, Frodo knew he wasn't the only one who over indulged. All three leaned back, sleepy eyed, stuffed from their dinner, happy to be wallowing in this unique after dinner pipe weed-- a fitting topper to Sam's meal.

Frodo hummed an old elven tune Bilbo taught him while watching his friends finish their smoke. They all sat in the same silent stupor. Frodo looked over at Sam, catching his eye, exchanging a smile with him. Frodo shifted in his chair. The waist on his breeches pinched. Blame Sam for that. He undid the top button and noticed Sam's gaze following his hand, eyes catching the movement of his own fingers. Frodo let them rest atop the second button watching Sam's eyes. They remained fixed on his hand with nary a waver. Very unlike Sam to stare. Not that Frodo minded; he rather fancied his own reaction from Sam's steady gaze although it did make his breeches a bit more uncomfortable.

'Most curious,' Frodo thought, undoing the second button on his breeches. A flush spread from Sam's cheeks to his neck. As Frodo watched Sam's hungry attention on his hands, Frodo could feel the same flush stir in him. Frodo became mesmerized by a bead of sweat just at the corner of Sam's lower lip--wondering how the salt might taste and how that tiny spot might feel under his tongue. A sudden low howl of the wind rattled the panes in the window and startled him. He turned to look outside certain now that his plan to keep Sam with him tonight would succeed. No, Sam would not be able to go home tonight. His eyes skipped to a Sam deep in thought, watching Frodo's thumb stroking the third button on his trousers. 

"The snow is far too deep to be trudging 'round," Frodo said. "And it's far too dark now to see to shovel a way through."  Sam's eyes lifted into his master's expectant gaze-- blush deepening. "I don't think it wise to be traveling home tonight. I don't expect your Gaffer would mind if you stayed here at Bag End. He'd rather you were safe and warm here." 

Safe and warm. That was a curious thought. He undid the third button. Sam's breath caught. His eyes lifted to look at Frodo. Sam's brows furrowed as his eyes focused on a spot behind Frodo.

"Say!" said Sam. "What's that on the window?" Frodo turned to look at his fading frosted swan. He scrunched his nose. No use denying now-- he was discovered.

Merry laughed. "I thought you'd notice Frodo's handiwork long before this."

"This pipe weed was an excellent distraction wasn't it Frodo? Frodo?" Pippin asked.

"What?" said Frodo absently. "I'm sorry Pippin. I wasn't listening." 

"Well, yes, I see Sam's not the only one distracted," Pippin said, looking with interest at Frodo's hand hovering over open breeches. Frodo, following Pippin's gaze, swung his hand from his trousers and up to cover his mouth. "I've also been distracted in a similar way-- just the other evening for example, I was alone in the bath thinking about Merry and--"

"Pippin!" Merry interrupted. Any other time Frodo would have loved to hear Pippin's fantasies. Right now Frodo was confused himself as to why with his hand was on his pants, disrobing for Sam, and why he had this overwhelming desire to bend over and kiss him. Not that this was something new, but at that moment he felt his body pulled toward Sam. There. He felt that desire again then a palpable snap. 

At the same instant, Sam came to himself with a start. 

"Sam," Frodo said, feeling the pull again. He turned, taking Sam's hands-- the feel of them strong, rough and intoxicating. "I'm sorry. I should not have smeared my fingers all over the window. It was thoughtless of me, making more work for you--  you who already do so much for me." 

Frodo looked at his hands tightly clenching Sam's. He let go and sat back in the chair. His thoughts were an edgy blur. What was wrong with him? He was almost blubbering and over what? Guilt over drawing on the window with his finger? Guilt over luring Sam to stay all night? Guilt over trying to seduce his gardener? A euphoric calm swept through him. It remained, along with the sudden urge to lick off that drop of sweat from Sam's lip. 

"Don't you worry yourself about how much work you make for me," Sam said. "I love every moment of what I do for you. I like doing for you, Mr. Frodo."  Sam fidgeted-- his eyes going from Frodo's mouth to his breeches, which were still undone.

"Mmm," said Pip. "Does that feel good?"  Dimly, Frodo pulled his line of sight away from that drop on Sam's lip to notice that Pippin was massaging Merry's temples with his fingers. One clever little finger was deftly playing with the tip of Merry's ear. "I can make it feel better," Pippin whispered to Merry, a secret he said loud enough for Sam and Frodo's ears.

Merry bolted from his spot between Pippin's legs where he'd been resting much too comfortably.

"What are you doing?" asked Merry holding his head. "I feel odd. This can't be right." 

"Yes," Frodo said looking to Sam who was nodding. "I was thinking the same." 

"Yes, it is. Or I mean none of you are right," exasperated, Pippin struggled to explain. 

"What are you on about now, Pip?" said Merry.

"I'm afraid you will all be very angry with me," he answered. "It's like this, Merry. Look at us, always pretending, always ignoring the truth. Excuse me, Frodo, it's the same with yourself and Sam. The two of you pretend not to have feelings for the other. You feel odd now. But it's right. It's true. Rather, our actions and words are right and true."

"What did you do?" asked Merry.

"The only way any of us are truthful is if it's forced upon us. At least that is what the promised effect was to be."

"Promised effect?" asked Merry "What are you blathering about, Pip?" 

"Peregrin Took!" Frodo sputtered, walked across the room, grabbed Pip's pipe weed pouch out of Pip's lap and waved it in front of his face. "What exactly is this?" 

"Has any one ever told you how cute your bottom lip is when you're mad?" said Pip to Frodo. "You have an adorable pout. Makes me want to..."

"Pippin?!" said Merry. "You better be explaining and now. I feel tingly and anxious-- like I do before I sneak behind the bushes to watch the lasses with naught on bathe in the stream." Merry paused-- a look of confusion on his face. "What in Eru made me say that?" 

"Mmm. glad you did," said Pip. "That's exactly what I'm blathering about-- and by the way-- why didn't you take me? Lasses. Phoo.  You're always leaving me behind when you do exciting..."

"And what was the name--" Frodo interrupted, "of this special pipe weed?"

"The fellow called it by a name-- elvish I guess," said Pip. "Ah, Seron galenas o themed, or something like that." 

Sam looked at Frodo. He knew enough elvish to know the gist of the meaning. "Lover's pipe weed of truth?" said Sam under his breath. "What is that?"

"Trouble," Frodo frowned at Pip.  "That's what it is, Sam."

"What were you thinking?" Frodo said. "This pipe weed is grown by men as an aphrodisiac." 

Frodo stared at Peregrin Took. The high color in his cheeks and the sparkle in his eyes always made it difficult for Frodo to deny the imp. Was this asking so much? Especially since Frodo wanted the very same himself? 

"A what?" Pip asked, his knee nervously bouncing against Merry's back. "An a- fro- dee what?" 

"It's for purposes-- purposes of love making, you stupid ass," Merry turned to face Pippin, placing his hand on the young Took's thigh, stilling his knee. "What did you think was going to happen? All of us fall together on the floor and begin to rut?"

"Not a bad thought," said Pip. "I admit, making love was part-- though most important was making truth. I want  us to speak from our hearts. Is that so awful?" 

"Truthfully, Master Pippin," said Sam. "My heart wants my hands to beat you senseless. You know naught about this weed 'cept what a stranger told. You know naught about what it will do. You speak of right? It weren't right to have us smoke this not knowing." 

Frodo watched the corner of Sam's mouth twitch, thinking how handsome Sam looked when angry. 

"Frodo?" asked Merry. "Why are your breeches half undone?" Frodo looked down.  He had left himself half exposed to Middle Earth. Why, he'd forgotten to fasten them back up. Curious.

"I was trying to seduce Samwise," Frodo explained looking down but making no move to button his trousers.

"No tryin' about it, sir,"  Sam laughed. "It was workin', and you're very good at it too, might I add. Maybe a bit too good." Frodo studied Sam-- now that comment was out of place. Odd.

"I'd like to see that. Would you like to continue?" asked Merry, leaning back again into Pippin. "If you're so good at it, seems a waste not to show us all." 

Frodo's hand dropped to the next button on his pants-- slowly, deliberately undoing the button while watching Sam's eyes. 

"I don't know as you have to do that, sir," Sam said swallowing hard.

"It's perfectly fine. Strangely, I don't mind at all," Frodo said, pulling at his brocade weskit. "These clothes are rather hot. Don't you find yours a bit confining, Sam?"

"Now that you mention it, sir, they are rather tight-- after eatin' that big meal and all. Mayhap, I should loosen them a bit," Sam said, unbuttoning his shirt.

Frodo thought how this was all so deliciously insane. Why was he taking off his clothes? Off came his weskit and then his shirt. It was unbearably hot in this study. He undid the last two buttons on his breeches and kicked them off. Must be very hot-- both his cousins began taking off their clothes too.  It suddenly occurred to him how terribly rude it was not to offer any assistance. Taking off clothes can be so cumbersome. 

"I could help you with those breeches, Sam," he offered.

"That would be lovely," said Sam. "I noticed how skilled at unbuttoning you are." Frodo steadied his hands. "Such nimble fingers. I bet you could nip the buds off close of them chrysanthemums you like-- the ones that are lavender with the pinkish centers. Tiny buds, they are."   Looking at Sam's bare chest was distracting. Talking about buds and pinching them was giving Frodo ideas. As he knelt down in front of Sam, his mouth found Sam's pert nipple stiff and ready to be nipped. Sam moaned as Frodo suckled and flicked the bud betwixt his teeth. Frodo removed his hot breath and lowered himself between Sam legs and reached for the fastening, finding a new distraction. 

His hand brushed against Sam's groin-- a rewarding groan came from his Samwise. His buttons slipped smooth through the holes one by one. Undone except for the tie at Sam's waist, Frodo reached his hand inside. Sam gulped and pushed himself into his master's hand. 

"Oh, Merry," Pippin moaned. Frodo grinned-- sounded like Pip was getting what he wanted. Frodo glanced over--their clothes in a heap by their side, Merry and Pippin were tangled together in front of the fire. Enchanting, how prefect they looked in the shadows-- the firelight licking their bodies, their skin melded together as if they were one. Sam followed his master's gaze over to the two entwined and instead of lust, concern lined the corners of Sam's mouth.  

A worry and doubt climbed inside Frodo's mind. 

"Sam?" Frodo said in a hushed voice. "What is wrong? Is this too much? We will stop. I will stop."

"Nay, it's not that I don't want you. It's more..." Sam stammered. "It's ...please don't take your hand away.  Where you're touchin' me feels nice. What I want is-- would you kiss me?"

Frodo didn't answer. Instead, with his left hand, he grasped the back of Sam's neck, pulled him down to his mouth.  Frodo's lips brushed his Sam's. "If you only knew how many times and how long I've wanted to kiss you and how I've wondered how your lips would taste," Frodo whispered as he squeezed Sam's heat in his right hand.

"Then what are you waiting for?" asked Sam. Frodo smiled at Sam then crushed his lips to Sam's waiting, eager mouth, devouring the spot on the bottom lip he found so tempting-- feasting on it. His lips tasted of the sweet pipe weed; his mouth a banquet from which Frodo would never be full. Sam leaned into his kiss, hands caressing Frodo's face.

Frodo fell back and pulled Sam down to the floor on top of him. He never wanted to take his mouth away. Frodo lingered, letting his tongue glide along Sam's lower lip and took the gardener's mouth, open and wanting. Sam moaned into his mouth, slowly grinding his hips into his master. Frodo's hand fumbled down and struggled to free Sam from his breeches. A whimper of protest escaped his lips as Sam's mouth left his. He looked up at Sam. Their hands met. He felt Sam's sturdy fingers on his own. Pulling the strings of Sam's breeches, both struggled to free the knot. Frodo felt the string releasing, and Sam's hand on top of his. Hands moving over Sam's bottom, they slid his trousers down together. 

The blissful shock of skin sliding against skin became an agony. Shaky with need and want, Frodo reached between them, his hand meeting Sam's again. Frodo was amazed how soft Sam's hand felt. Smooth, not coarse. And mayhap it was also the soft touch of his gardener which amazed. Light, yet firm. Measured. He touched him now with the same care. Patient, yet eager. Reverent.

He sought the promise again of Sam's lips. As Sam bent to Frodo's face, a small drop of sweat fell from the tip of Sam's nose into his master's eye. Rather than burn, as sweat from a brow is wont to do, all became clearer, Frodo's senses keener.  He felt each of his own breaths slow until there was almost no breath at all. He heard Sam's heart beating in his own chest. Across the room, the crackle of the fire reached inside his veins. Merry's murmurs of "I love you," and Pippin's soft whispers echoed inside him.  

As if it was all for him, every motion, every breath, Frodo wanted to hear those words himself. How good Sam felt. Each pore open to his own. Sam's body moved not against him but through him. Careful, tender fingers encircled him. He pushed his body up into his Sam. He called to Sam-- whispering his name, pushing harder into his capable hand. Pulling Sam's mouth down again to his, he tasted the future that in his soul Frodo thought would never be. No rising sun, no waning moon, no elven song was as lovely as his Sam at that instant. All his life he would remember the Sam of that moment.  

"I planned to have you stay here," said Frodo. "To stay the night. I wished for all the snow. I wished so many nights for this."

"I know," Sam said. Nothing but the truth was between them now. Bare need against bare need. Sam bent to kiss Frodo's neck. He continued light kisses down, down-- each kiss lower than the one before. Each planted with a gardener's care. From each kiss a new, excited gasp grew from Frodo. 

Outside, Frodo heard the wind sing a lonely song. Inside, for the first time in his life, Frodo did not feel that lonely song belonged in his heart. 

It seemed he'd waited his whole life for this moment-to feel Sam's heart beat against his own. Now, at last, his heart would be answered.

Frodo closed his eyes and listened to moans of pleasure and murmurs from Merry and Pippin. He wondered if Merry had wished for this as long, as hard as he. He could hear Merry's soft cries. He needn't look to them to know where Pippin's mouth was. He knew from the catch in Merry's breath where Pippin's mouth was, for Sam's mouth was finding that very same needy spot on him now.

Frodo's breath hitched. He'd imagined so many times what this would feel like. His imagination had not prepared him. Now, time stilled-- the air around him became heavy. As Sam's lips teased the head of his cock, Frodo writhed beneath him, pushing up into Sam's mouth.

But Sam took his time. He felt Sam's mouth, warm and soft, slide down his cock slowly. Frodo felt the moans and whimpers from his Sam vibrate against his heat. He felt Sam's hand stoke his inner thigh as Sam slowly slid his mouth up and down. Frodo's blood pounded in his ears.  His stomach muscles tightened; his thighs quaked. He could feel his heart throbbing inside Sam's mouth.  Frodo knew he would not last much longer. He sobbed Sam's name, hands finding his sandy hair, kneading his curls, helpless to the enveloping wave that washed over him. He came hard into Sam's mouth, his loving throat tightening with each swallow. Frodo flushed at Sam's acceptance of what was him-- his seed, his most intimate gift. 

"Come," Frodo said, willing Sam up to his mouth. He looked into his Sam's soft, hazel eyes and moist mouth. "Kiss me." Frodo tasted himself on Sam's lips. He threw his arms around Sam, pressing himself close. "Sam," Frodo whimpered, wrapping one leg around his lover's calf and pushing Sam's erection tight into his belly. "Lie back, let me see you." Sam untangled himself and rolled off Frodo. Sam sprawled next to him. Body flushed, erection pulsing- his eyes penetrated Frodo's heart. Frodo devoured Sam with his eyes, so beautiful. Senses curled tight, Frodo saw he was not the only one in the room admiring his lover.  Merry and Pippin lay quietly in each other's arms, watching to see what Frodo would do next.

Teasing, Frodo reached out to Sam and dipped his finger to Sam's lips then traced lightly down Sam's chin, down his neck. Like drops of rain, his fingers danced around his chest coming to Sam's hard nipples, deftly plucking them, sending Sam's muscles twitching, yet no moan came from his stubborn lips. Frodo watched his Sam move beneath his hands, his body shaking. Frodo moved himself beside Sam. His hip touching Sam's.  Frodo propped himself up to drink in Sam's body, his face, his anticipation. To touch his Sam and see him want his touch excited Frodo more. His fingers flitted down, just brushing Sam's cock, making his member jerk. A cry came from Sam. Flexing his fingers, Frodo wrapped them around Sam's hard member, stroking up gently. Up, up, reaching the tip.  He rubbed his thumb against the head.

Merry and Pippin lay quiet, watching.

Frodo wondered what Sam would taste like. He gave Sam a small, wicked smile then moved down Sam's body, slipping down his sweaty form.

He would no longer tease his Sam. No, he wanted  to please him, taste him, feel him. And if he could crawl inside and be him, he would. Anything to make Sam happy. All that mattered was his Sam. All that mattered was to make him come hard--to make Sam feel the pleasure Sam gave to him.

Frodo had never done this before, nor experienced this until Sam had it done to him. Still, he'd read a few erotic elven tales and more base tales written by men.

He took Sam deep into his mouth. This was him. His Sam. Frodo felt his own cock stir and grow hard again and he drew Sam's length up to the tip and rolled his tongue around the head and gently raked his teeth against him. He sucked him deep into his mouth again, taking him a bit deeper into his mouth each time.  Then Frodo stopped.

Sam whimpered in disappointment. He looked down to see Frodo slip his own finger into his mouth. Frodo looked to Sam and gave him a knowing smile. Frodo withdrew his finger seductively from his mouth. Sam moaned in surprise as it gently tested a new opening.

"Steady, Sam," Frodo whispered. He carefully eased his finger inside Sam's tight opening. Frodo took Sam back into his mouth-- his tongue and finger both exploring. Sam moaned beneath him pushing into his hand and mouth. Frodo knew he'd found the spot. He moved his finger slowly, deliberately.

Frodo slowed himself. It was hard to do. Sam felt so good and tasted better. He wanted to hear Sam come. But not yet. He'd waited so long for this. He wanted to make Sam last as long as possible-- to make him come hard inside his mouth and feel him contract hard against his hand. He slowed himself more, keeping his mouth quiet against Sam's length, hard and salty in his mouth. He pushed a second finger into Sam, searching inside him, feeling, listening to Sam. He could feel each heart beat against the roof of his mouth. Then Sam's body clenched.

He swallowed Sam in the back of his throat as far as he could. Sam cried out, pushing himself in deeper. Frodo felt Sam's muscles tighten as he came into his mouth. After, Sam reached to him-- pulling him up to his mouth as Frodo had done before-- Sam's kiss delicate and close. A sigh, a whimper, Frodo felt Sam's teeth against his neck, biting pain sharp and sweet-- then a vibration of a moan as Sam buried his head into his neck, calling his name over and over.  Frodo tucked his head into Sam's neck, comforted by his musky smell and scant breaths while the storm howled outside.

Frodo turned his head to see Merry and Pippin still watching-- content in each others' arms. His eyes grew heavy, then they fluttered shut. Frodo wasn't sure at first if he'd fallen asleep, or if he had, how long he slumbered. Cold, he stirred and shifted. His eyes cleared, and he saw that he was alone.

With a shiver, he sat up. The fire had died-- just glowing embers remained. The room no longer sang through him. He looked and found his clothes in a pile on the floor. His clothes. Only his clothes. Alone.

Was this some dream? His hand raised and felt his neck-- a prickle of pain returned. Sam's bite. No, not some wild dream.

Frodo grabbed his breeches and put them on. Standing up, he picked his shirt and weskit from the floor by the old stuffed chair. He looked around the room for some other evidence of what happened. Nothing. 

Heading down the hallway, he heard light snores. He opened the door to the east bedroom a crack to see Merry and Pippin, all arms and legs twined together. No, it had not been a dream.

His heart slammed into his chest. Where was Sam? Frodo's feet pushed him on, down the hall, calling Sam's name, opening each door, looking in. His room? Maybe Sam was there, but no, it was cold and empty.

Afraid that Sam had gone out in the storm, Frodo shoved his arms into his shirt and went to the mud room for his coat. As he called out Sam's name one more time, he ran into him in the doorway of the kitchen. Sam stood, coat in hand.

"Mr. Frodo," Sam said eyes cast to the floor. "It was getting late and the storm's died down. I thought I'd be gettin' back home. I'm sure my Da is worried about me being here-- out stayin' my welcome."

Frodo could see for all Sam's words, that was not why he was wanting to head home. He looked to Sam. His eyes were red. He'd obviously been crying.

"Sam?" Frodo brushed back a tear from his ruddy cheek. Sam met his eyes. "Are you sorry for what happened-- for I'm not sorry. I've wanted for this for so long. Please Sam, don't cry. Don't leave. Come to bed with me now." Frodo took his hand, and Sam followed him.

Inside his room, Frodo let Sam go and quietly shut the door. He turned and saw Sam standing in front of his bed, deep in thought, hand resting on the top blanket. He was sure Sam wanted him still.

Then Frodo knew.

He strode to the bed, "Sam Gamgee," he said and stopped short-- his nose just touching Sam's nose. "I think some more truth needs to be spoken here-- spoken and shown." With that, Frodo pushed Sam hard on to the bed and then threw his own body on top.

"Mr. Frodo?" Sam said startled.

"No more Mr. Frodo. It's Frodo. Not master, nor sir. None of that. Do you understand?"

"Yes, sir-- I mean, Frodo." 

"Mmm. Now give me a kiss," Sam gave Frodo a quick peck on the cheek. "That's nice. Not quite what I had in mind. Just one last truth before I let you make love to me properly."

"What mayhap would that truth be?"

"Why, the most important truth of all..."

Frodo rested his forehead on Sam's and kissed him shyly. " I love you."  Sam grabbed Frodo and wrestled him over.

"I love you, too-- ninnyhammer," Sam answered.

"Ninnyhammer?! Sam!" Frodo sputtered. "I don't want you to call me Mister, but don't you think referring to me as ninnyhammer is a bit too familiar?"

"Well," Sam said grinning and then pinning Frodo's arms to the bed. "I was just speakin' the truth...sir."


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