West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
Really astoundingly dark. Lotho and Grima reflect upon life under Sharkey's rule.
This story was written for the hobbit_smut
Livejournal Community "In the Wardrobe! Under the Bed!" Challenge.
Warnings: You need more, after seeing the pairing? :-D Okay: slash, interspecies, noncon, horror, violence.
Gríma shuffled down the musty corridor, shoulders stooped to avoid the low ceilings. How he hated this rat hole! His place was in the lofty halls of Meduseld, drinking sweet mead and enjoying (if only he could!) the caresses of the bright-eyed niece of his former lord. That was Gríma's rightful place and deserts. This the wizard had stolen from him - always the filthy wizards! Gríma gnashed his teeth.
The stink of refuse filled his nostrils, competing with the sickening odor of the food upon his tray. His lip curled in disgust. But there was nothing for it. His master owned him. For all his justifiable hatred, poor Gríma must comply. Even so, there was room to maneuver. There was always a little room, however miniscule, for oneself. Resolved, Gríma slunk towards the rear of the hole.
Sometimes, if he placed his head right against the wall, Lotho could see a star. The sheds had been built so close to the smial windows that they cut off most of the light. Yet Lotho could sometimes see, if he looked straight up, a white twinkle that managed to penetrate the smoke that wafted continually over the Shire these days. The sight raised mixed feelings in Lotho. It was beautiful, but it did reinforce his loneliness. There was little for him to do these days, locked in the third-best bedroom that served as Lotho's office and residence, ever since Sharkey had come to Bag End.
Sharkey. Lotho balled his fists in impotent rage. Things had gone well enough, until that creature had arrived. He had moved into Bag End without so much as a by-your-leave, taking over the best rooms and displacing Lotho's people with his own. At first, Lotho had tried to treat it as an honor - that he was the sole hobbit permitted such close intercourse with the Men's de-facto boss. Yet in the days and weeks that followed, it became obvious to Lotho that he was in fact isolated from the rest of his kind. Even his mother no longer visited. Gríma had told him some weeks ago that she had gone to her people in Hardbottle. Lotho never blamed her; Bag End was more a nerve center than a residence, even before the Men had moved onto the grounds and set up all those huts and destroyed the lawn, which would have thrown his mother into an uproar. The knowledge dragged at Lotho: that his mother should be deprived of the enjoyment of Bag End, after aspiring to it all her life. Yet the transformation of the hole was essential to the success of the enterprise. Her eventual desertion, therefore, did not surprise him. But it was a blow.
No, Lotho reserved his principal anger for the Thain. Lotho could have stood against Sharkey, had the Thain stood with him. When things heated up, Lotho had approached Paladin (through messengers) most admirably, he thought. An alliance provided many benefits, which he had argued eloquently -- not least of which (for him) would be Lotho's marriage to the Thain's youngest daughter. Pervinca had only just come of age; Lotho could think of no more honorable suitor for her than the Chief of all the Shire. Unfortunately, Pervinca's answer to the proposed merger was to send Lotho a love knot, torn to pieces, packaged in a box of dung. She had wrapped it so cunningly that Lotho had opened the lid before the stench hit him. He could still hear the tittering of his lieutenants who had witnessed his humiliation. Lotho had never forgiven Pervinca for the insult.
Paladin had behaved no better than his daughter. Rather than responding to Lotho directly, he chose instead to tighten his borders, the rest of the Shire be damned. Worse, his people took to hunting - hunting! - any future messengers which Lotho sent to Tookland. Never mind that they were really Sharkey's Men, acting on Sharkey's orders. Sharkey then (and still) acted in Lotho's name, which was only proper.
Yet, as the weeks crawled by, Lotho suspected that he had sunk from being the true Chief of the Shire to a mere figurehead -- and perhaps not even that, any longer. Who knew what folk were saying outside these walls? Lotho's one consolation was that, by receiving no visitors, no one could carry a report to the rest of the Shire about the true condition of their Chief - locked in his dismal room day after day, with meals increasingly scarce, and of a quality he should not have inflicted upon his staff, back at the time when he still maintained one.
The locked door was the greatest insult. Gríma had told him it was for his own protection, but Lotho knew better. Sharkey didn't want Lotho to overhear his plans. To be sure, Lotho had considered escaping through the window. But the indignity of burrowing between the wall and the shed, and finding ways to hide the dirt from Gríma during his sporadic and never-scheduled visits, had always seemed rather beyond his abilities. Besides, flight would be admitting failure, and Lotho could not admit failure.
Even assuming that he got beyond the shed, what then? Lotho had seen the kind of Men that Sharkey kept close to him. They were brutes, animals. Why, once Lotho had seen Sharkey set them loose on a pig - a pig! A full-sized hog, yet these crouching, hairy-faced savages had fallen upon it like a pack of dogs, snarling and clubbing it as it fought and squealed, and in the end tearing the corpse apart before his very eyes. That was the sort of beast that patrolled the grounds. Lotho heard them at times, beyond the shed, grunting in their uncouth speech. Sometimes he heard cries - hobbit cries, and the thudding of blows. Lotho would screw his eyes shut, knowing that he could do nothing. Yet he was forced to listen, to hear his countrymen reduced from cries to tears - or worse, to ominous silence.
No, Lotho was not going to escape by the window.
A key rattled in the lock. Lotho sat up hurriedly. To assist his star-gazing, he had pushed his bed beneath the window some weeks ago. He now affected a lounging pose, as if he had been pondering great matters before his visitor arrived.
The door creaked open. Gríma's pale, heavy-lidded face poked into the gloom. Lotho's heart beat faster when he realized that his attendant carried a tray. (Lotho supposed their relationship was more that of a prisoner and his keeper, but he refused to think of it that way. Thought leads action, and Lotho was still Chief of the Shire, and intended to act the part.)
"Ah, supper," said Lotho casually, as if he did not feel the pinch of hunger. But his stomach betrayed him; it rumbled loudly at the prospect of food. Lotho flinched in horror. Yet Gríma, if he heard it, did not react in any way, except to lock the door behind him, as he usually did. In the early days, Lotho had considered attacking him, perhaps getting past the Man and into the hall. Gríma was hardly a sturdy representative of his species. Yet escaping past Gríma would be no more effective than escaping through the window, inasmuch as it would leave Lotho unprotected in the heart of Sharkey's headquarters. And inside the smial, there was Sharkey to contend with.
Besides, over time Lotho had come to develop an appreciation for the dour counselor. It would be too strong to call this feeling a liking, but Lotho had moved beyond the initial revulsion that the slinking creature had first engendered in him. In point of fact, Gríma could be quite conversable when the mood took him. In his heart of hearts, Lotho longed for speech - for ordinary, simple conversation. Yet he remained on his dignity with Gríma. To do otherwise, to beg for companionship or news, would be pathetic.
Gríma turned towards the room. Lotho had long since run out of candles, so the dusk hung heavily. Yet even in the failing light, he could see a goblet beside the covered dish that represented his (doubtless meager) supper. Even across the room, Lotho could smell the sweetness from the cup. He sat up. "Ale!"
"Mead," corrected Gríma.
"Oh." Lotho tried not to be downcast. Still, drink was drink. "I don't believe I've had that before."
Gríma crossed to the desk that was wedged between the bed and the door, and set down the tray. "I served it often, to great warriors and to my lord Théoden, in his great hall at Meduseld." Gríma's eyes glittered as he turned towards the bed. "I serve it now to you, Chief of the Shire."
"Thank you." Lotho crossed to the desk. "Is there some special occasion?"
"Tookland has fallen."
Lotho froze. He looked into the counsellor's face, shocked beyond speech.
"The rebel Paladin has been taken," continued Gríma, in his soft, whispering voice. "His lands are now in the hands of our people. Tomorrow, Chief Lotho, the prisoners will be brought before you, and made to acknowledge the Chief of the Shire. Even now, they are on their way."
Lotho could barely take it in. "Tomorrow?"
"There will be a parade of the vanquished. You will stand alone on a riser above the crowd, and receive their supplication. All will be made to recognize the true master of the Shire."
Lotho closed his eyes, as indescribable relief flooded through him. He had been right to wait. His foolish doubts now seemed the mere fretfulness of a child. But patience had won out. Sharkey must have realized that he needed Lotho after all. A hobbit would make a better commander of hobbits than an unknown Man of who-knew-what lineage. It had taken time, but Lotho's hour had come at last.
"I tell you this tonight," said Gríma, "so you might give some thought as to how you might treat the hobbits who defied you."
"Sharkey has no preference?" asked Lotho, then wanted to bite his own tongue. The question sounded weak, servile - nothing like the Chief of the Shire, making his own decisions as he pleased.
"There are certain hobbits that Sharkey prefers to leave to you. Particularly Paladin, former Thain and traitor, and the daughters of his household."
The daughters. Lotho was struck still. He whispered, "Pervinca?"
"I have heard only rumors, of course, but I believe she means to wed you, now that the power has shifted. And assuming that you are still willing." Gríma's voice sounded offhand, as if it was a small matter. "Sharkey has already begun the preparations." Gríma's eyes flashed in the gloom. "I hope that does not displease you."
"Displease me?" Lotho felt faint. "No, not at all." Too thunderstruck to be certain how he felt, Lotho grasped the cup. The drink was heavy, too sweet for his liking and filled with strange scents. Yet Lotho quaffed it down. He needed it to steady his nerves.
Gríma smiled as Lotho replaced the goblet on the tray. He shifted his filthy robe. (Lotho often wondered why the Man did not keep himself more clean; it was not as if he had no access to water, which was Lotho's excuse.) A flask hung from Gríma's belt. The counselor grinned. "I anticipated your pleasure, so secured this from the kitchen. Drink to your heart's content, Chief of the Shire. Tonight marks your turning point."
Lotho's hand trembled as he held out his cup. Gríma was well-mannered enough to ignore the tremor, simply refilling the cup to the brim. Lotho took another drink, judiciously stopping halfway through. He must get some food in him, or the drink would go straight to his head.
As if Gríma had the same thought, he removed the cover from the dish. The aroma was slightly sour, but Lotho was in no mood to quibble. He fell upon the dish, ignoring the fact that it was barely warm, despite the cover, and too liberally laced with undercooked blobs and actual pieces of grit. Perhaps there would be a feast tomorrow. Oh, Lotho would love to see those arrogant Tooks paraded at his mercy. Imagine Paladin, on his knees in the dirt! So much for Lotho being an "upstart." But more than public acclaim and his rival's humiliation, more than Pervinca even, Lotho looked forward to a decent meal that was properly cooked.
The mead was going to his head. He had thought it might, yet he kept reaching for the goblet regardless, unable to resist. It was impossible to know how much he had drunk, for Gríma replenished his cup after every sip. It was only when Lotho rose from the desk and felt the room spin that he realized he might, in fact, have overindulged. He swayed, only to find a strong hand behind each of his elbows, holding him up.
"Thank you, Gríma."
"I am here to serve you," Gríma whispered in his ear. The warm breath sent prickles up Lotho's neck. "It is my pleasure to do so."
"I won't forget you, Gríma." Lotho took an unsteady step towards the bed. "You always stood by me, as much as you could, didn't you?"
"How could I not?" Gríma walked slowly with him, bracing him. "Such a brave hobbit. Such a natural leader. Who could not be drawn to such a one as you?"
Pervinca, Lotho thought, but said nothing. He collapsed rather than lowered himself onto the bed, but Gríma directed his fall. Lotho found himself near the wall, looking up through the window. It was nearly full dark, yet he could still see the narrow shaft that marked the slice of sky between the burrow and the shed. A star pulsed there, dimly.
Gríma's fingers moved to loosen Lotho's clothing. The action was comfortably familiar. How many times had Lotho been put to bed in his life, after falling too deeply into his cups? Mumma or one of the servants tended to him as Gríma tended to him now, with gentle fingers loosening buttons, opening his waistcoat and undoing his collar.
"She will love you," Gríma whispered - or perhaps Lotho only dreamed it? He was deep in the comfortable memory: his mother's kind hands, parting his buttons and setting the cloth aside. You won't get ahead by falling asleep, she would scold, but her voice was soft, full of indulgent humor.
"She loves me," Lotho murmured.
The fingers moved to his waistband. "She does. She has always admired you. Once she is alone with you, she will throw herself upon you, unable to contain her desire."
Desire - Mum? Lotho frowned through the swirling memories. No, he wasn't at home; that was only a memory. He was trapped in this wretched smial, here on his ragged bed at Bag End, and Gríma was whispering to him.
"She yearns for you - how could she not? When she sees you in your greatness." Gríma's hushed voice hissed on the last word, as the buttons popped free. "She will take you to her bed, and her breasts will strain against her bodice as she pants for you."
Pervinca! Now, there was a lovely fantasy. Lotho had scarcely spoken to her - their paths did not often cross. But she was an exotic thing, all fire and flashing eyes. He imagined that pouty mouth being moistened with a pink tongue - oh, yes.
"Her hands will move upon you, and you will seize her breasts and squeeze. And she will gasp and writhe against you, pressing her hips against yours."
Lovely, lovely. Lotho floated on the fantasy. It was stirring stuff, and he felt himself rising. The hands shifting the cloth away from his groin only aided the fascinating vision.
"She will rock against you." A light touch, and then increasing pressure. It moved up and down, softly stimulating. "How desperate she will make you, knowing that the only impediment to blessed relief is this ... thin piece of cloth?"
Pervinca. Lotho rocked his hips against her. She was teasing him, teasing him - Lotho wanted more.
Yes! The hand was shifting his linens out of the way. Lotho felt his naked heat bleeding onto the night.
"She will hold nothing back." A hand closed about him; Lotho groaned. It played upon him perfectly, with just the right blend of pressure and movement. "Her pleasure will reduce her to mindlessness. Her thoughts will be only, more."
Lotho arched against the hand. "More," he groaned.
"She cannot restrain herself." Lotho felt warm breath against his lap. He spread his legs, surrendering to the insistent rhythm. "She must take you inside herself."
"Pervinca!" Lotho shouted, as her wetness closed over him. Oh, it was too good to believe. Her tongue twirled, her lips sucked with exquisite pressure that yielded only more delight. Her hand still clasped his root, moving faster and faster. It had been too, too long, since Lotho had felt this way. Climax was overtaking him swiftly; he would not be able to stop it.
Pressure built within him. Another bob of her eager mouth, coupled with her frantic hand, tipped him over the edge. Lotho spilled, enjoyment bursting from between his legs, even as he gave a great shout. His head tipped back. Oh, such ecstasy! He pulsed hard into the wet tunnel of her mouth. She swallowed again and again, enjoying him in full. She loved him! She wanted him! Lotho could have wept from happiness.
The mouth moved away, exposing him to cold air. Lotho groped blindly after the warmth. He wanted more. Her touch was bliss, but he wanted more. He wanted to feel his hands upon her skin, to squeeze her nipples, to sink his reawakened cock into the hot depths of her body. He reached towards the figure on the bed, more easily located by its heat than its shape. The room was swimming, black upon black.
"More," breathed Lotho.
"Yes," whispered a voice - but it was the wrong voice. It punctured the dream. The voice was cold, sharp, with an edge -
Sharp and cold indeed, and altogether wrong. There was a slice, a terrifying pressure that punched easily into Lotho's throat. He opened his mouth to call, but choked instead. Fluid, thick and warm and far too plentiful, clogged his windpipe. He could not get a breath. He writhed, trying to cry out, but only gurgling sounds escaped. The room was spinning, faster and faster, like a massive bout of drunkenness coupled with the most splitting headache he'd ever endured. The room grew even darker. Out of desperation, Lotho turned his head towards the wall. The window was there, open, he could feel it - the night air falling upon his upturned face, cooling the moisture that pooled hot over his throat. Straining, he looked for the star. But all he could see was black.
Seizing himself with his dripping hand, Gríma closed his eyes to block out the vision of the writhing hobbit. This was Gríma's last hope, his final effort to reclaim this part of himself. The spell, woven to induce lust. The intense release, which Gríma had taken into his own body. He tasted it on his tongue, bitter and proud, even as he thrust, half hard, into the desperate circle of his hand.
"Éowyn," he whispered. He tried to envision her as he had seen her last: shieldmaiden, icy and untouchable, looking over her shoulder with her long hair and tender, piercing gaze. She would love him - she must love him! As part of tonight's preparation, he had taken the herbs himself before mixing them into the hobbit's mead, as he had so often doctored his lord's meals at the hall. But this time Gríma wanted to be part of the spell, wanted to feel the lust, the love - something!
But the vision would not come clear. There was a mist between himself and his memory, blocking the way. Pumping desperately, he yearned towards that lovely, fading face. But his manhood betrayed him, once again. Even as the hobbit sank into the bed, and the last bloody bubbles ceased to burst at his throat, Gríma's penis withered in his hand. This, even this, the wizard had stolen from him.
Gríma slumped over the bed, and heaved a sob. What use had it been to take the life of the hobbit, powerless and weak as he was? Ultimately, following his master's order meant only that Gríma was now even more alone. Wretched as the hobbit was, he, at least, had been company. Now Gríma had nothing: no friend, no desire, not even the escape of his dreams. There was only Gríma, and the wizard, and a bloody knife in a filthy smial, stuck to a congealing blob on a tattered, soiled blanket.
Gríma threw back his head and screamed.
Saruman did not turn as Gríma reached the study door. Gríma knew his master would not acknowledge his presence - he never did, although Gríma knew that he was always keenly aware of it.
After a decent interval, Gríma announced, "Master, it is done."
As casually as Gríma spoke, Saruman froze. Gríma cursed inwardly. His master, alert to every nuance, would never miss the rage that Gríma had endeavored to conceal. Saruman turned in his chair to eye him. With the disdain that he summoned so easily, he said, "Do I detect regret in your voice - for that?"
Gríma hastily looked away. "No, master."
"Don't lie to me, Worm. You never could. I thought you would have realized by now that compassion is a fool's indulgence. No battle was ever won by the victor showing mercy."
Saruman turned back towards his writing. "Now get out. And clean up the mess - I can smell the creature's blood on you from here."
"As you wish."
Gríma shuffled down the corridor, hatred swelling in his heart. Under his robes, he clasped the sharp knife. One of these days, Gríma promised himself - one of these days. Then Saruman would learn that Gríma, too, had no use for mercy.
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