West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive

 

 

Hourglass
When mysterious travellers arrive in Hobbiton, Frodo is drawn onto a dangerous path.
Author: Igraine
Rating: NC-17

 

Sam turned the hourglass, starting time once again; hope draining and then renewing with each slow turn. He watched for a moment, the silver slipstream beginning - building the garden within - grain by grain, then replaced it once more, being careful to position it within the very centre of the mantelpiece, as he had been shown.

Yarroway, Yarroway,
Pretty herb of eastern tree,
Bear a white bloom,
If I bleed, my love love's me...


The yarrow is a pretty herb - but its roots are invasive, they travel in the darkness, bursting into borders where they have no place. The yarrow has a sharp leaf, capable of harm. It can divine the nature of true love, if the rhyme is spoken with the cutting edge against the skin. Like pulling petals off daisies, only crueller.



The sky had grown dark. Sam walked over to the window and looked out, anxiously noting the red rimmed clouds gathering over the trees, threatening snow. Frodo had been gone for hours; Sam had counted each and every one as they passed, looking out over the empty fields and beyond, where the trees stood black against the pale sky, growing ever darker as the sun sank low in the sky. After every dark spell of plummeting hope, there came another hour of waiting as the glass was turned and again Sam would take up his watch by the window. If only there was a way he could divine the outcome of this day, he would gladly throw himself upon the fates, for the time weighed heavily upon his shoulders and the hope in his heart seemed tremulous and thin.


The study was dark and cold, as it always was when his master wasn't present. It slept without him, empty as a hearth without a fire, nothing within it making sense, even the mathoms on the shelf seeming formless and empty, purposeless without Frodo.


If he didn't return - what would happen to them?


He noted them one by one. The hourglass, the urn, the blue glass, the little dwarfish carving - the silver candlestick...


The silver candlestick...


Getting up and walking over to the mantle piece, he put his hand on the empty space between the carving and the wall. There was a faint ring in the wood where it had once stood. Gone. Sam's heart missed a beat as the truth settled on him, bursting out with the first heavy flake of snow tumbling against the window.


What else had he stolen?


A hard knot of ice forming within his heart, he saw the small spaces he had overlooked, a slight distortion of the familiar arrangement of heirlooms and books. Here and there, his hands brushed over the ghosts of missing things, wondering how he had failed to notice so many vacancies.


What else had he stolen?

Yarroway, Yarroway,
Bear my love away...



Sam pressed his fingers against the cold glass, watching the snowflakes hurrying from the dark sky, frantically trying to cover the garden in a blanket of ice. Begging them to cease, he looked out, through the glass, wishing he were with his love, keeping him from harm. Aimless, he stood, angry and fearful, his breath a warm cloud melting.


Why was it he was always standing on the wrong side of the door?


Feeling the frustration rising, he groped around in his mind for a task to occupy his hands, for he felt he would cease breathing should he sit here any longer. Looking back into the cold, cheerless smial, he shivered and thought of Frodo and the snow and how chilled he would be when he returned. Making his mind up swiftly, he determined to draw Frodo home with a divination of his own.


~~~


Returning from the woodshed, laden down with applewood, still bearing marks of the green summer, Sam strode across the garden. Snowflakes dazzling his eyes, he lowered his head and felt wet ice slipping cold down the back of his neck, trying not to think further than the green back door. When he entered the smial a flurry of snow gained the room with him. Shivering and wet, he bent over the small bed of embers sitting low in the hearth. Throwing on a handful of sticks, he caught the flames, sending them dancing, bringing life back into the room. He sat back on his heels and watched the prisms of light scattering over the hearthstone, enjoying the sheer pleasure in the bursting heat and the dance. Careful to keep the fire alive, he placed three logs upon it, watching as the flames licked about the moss - catching and kindling sparks - releasing the sweet apple fragrance into the room. There was power in the old wood, a charm against all the evils of the world. Sam clung to its warmth and ferocity. They were nearly at the turn of the year and soon it would be time to bring in the green. It wasn't too early to begin.


Sunk deep in a purposeful calm, Sam methodically worked his way through the smial. When every hearth was ablaze, he began to light the lamps and when all the lamps were alive, every candle he could find was illuminated, dissipating every last shard of darkness. Sweating with the heat, Sam unbuttoned the top few buttons of his shirt, his skin burnished to gold in the candlelight.


After making up a fire in Frodo's bedroom hearth, he lingered a while in the intimate quiet, smoothing and straightening rumpled bed linen, pausing to lay his cheek against the pillow and breathe in the scent of desire upon the creased white pillowcase, his heart racing with the danger and the thrill of such an act. Then he rose and tidied away the clothes that lay strewn upon the floor. Amongst them he found the deep blue shirt and breeches that Asher had worn. Holding them lightly in his hands, he stood before the snapping flames, watching the light penetrating the thin fabric. It still smelt of the stranger - sandalwood and weed, overlaid with a sweetness that was almost cloying. Holding the shirt taut against the light, Sam was almost driven to cast it into the flames, the urge throwing rational thought from his mind, but he managed to still his hasty hand and, with his stomach lurching sickeningly, he took it from the room instead and threw it into a dark corner of the laundry, where he hoped it might be forgotten. Closing the door, he whispered a warning to his heart never to set a finger on it again.


The snow was slowing to a gentle pattering of lace, soft as fleece against Sam's hot cheek as he cut down the holly and the evergreen. When he had a good pile at his feet, he heaved them up into his arms and carried them into the smial. His nostrils full of the dark magic of the old trees, he stood upon a chair and fixed them up above the kitchen hearth in a heavy swathe, hung from two large hooks that had once been for the drying of herbs, but had been utilised for this purpose for as long as Sam could recall. Sharp needle stings cut his hands as he twisted and secured the branches of holly and yew and tiny jewelled berries fell pattering to the floor.


Stepping down from the chair, Sam stood and stared at the shadowing green, trembling a little from exertion and excitement, feeling the charm stirring in his blood as he smelt the dark fragrance mingling with the scent of orchard apples, crisp and sweet and mellow.


The smial had been transformed, now all he needed was to prepare dinner and find a good bottle of wine, preferably a rich, sultry red, the kind that would stain lips and tongue. Sam trembled, recalling the gliding touch of those sweet lips upon the curve of his neck - like a butterfly shivering against his hand. Sweet captured kisses. There must be more, there was so much more still left unsaid, so much unexplored. Sam had so much to give.


He mustn't be afraid. There was no reason to be afraid.


Dragging a trembling hand down his face, Sam plunged into the crisp darkness of the cellar.

~~~


When Frodo gained sight of the hill, he stopped for a moment and stood looking - the last of the snow drifting down over the dappled fields. A night of bright stars swam overhead and an impossible purity lay under his feet. Taking deep breaths, Frodo's heart stilled when he saw the bright lights in the windows of Bag End, dazzling on the snow - piercing the darkness of the early dusk.


It was home, but it had changed unutterably. It was as dangerous now as the distant mountains, full of unfamiliar territory and unsteady foundations, tricks and traps and hopeless, empty expanses. Sam would be waiting - dear, beautiful, loyal Sam - eager to please, hungry for love. Motherless and needy as he once was. Sam - with the smile that made his body quiver, and broad, strong hands that could hold him whilst he trembled with desires he hadn't the strength to suppress.


He covered the last short distance on unsteady feet, both hopeful and uncertain of what awaited him there - his heart torn and pricking with guilt.


Leaping the fence at the bottom of the garden, his cold feet landing in the old rhubarb patch, Frodo walked slowly up to his own back door, feeling like an intruder. The kitchen was ablaze, the light spilled from beneath the door. Putting his hand against the icy wood, he turned the latch and pushed into the warm room.


Heat and wood smoke and the forest rushed into his swimming senses as he stood in his own kitchen, his cloak dripping wet onto the floor, his heavy pack slung at his feet. Casting a quick look around at the altered room, his eyes were drawn to the great arc of dark yew. Walking forwards, he stood beneath the shadow of it, feeling as if he were being observed by an ancient spirit. But there was no malevolence there, only a deep understanding that rippled under his skin.


Turning back into the room, he froze. Sam was standing in the cellar doorway, his arms full of apples. His hair was rumpled and disarrayed and his clothes looked as if they'd been thrown on - the buttons open and the tails hanging out behind, soft lips were parted on a breath and his eyes were flickering amber amidst the green. A little pointed ear poked from the cloud of golden curls and Frodo's eyes fixed upon it with an urgency that surprised him. Fascinated, he walked silently up to Sam and reached out his arms to his bewildered gardener, offering assistance, even as his mouth moved inches from the beautiful golden tip, his warm breath covering it and causing Sam to tremble and drop several apples onto the floor, three heavy thuds resounding in the silence.


Neither moved, their breathing quickening in the weighted stillness, the apples sliding in their arms, eager to fall.


Sam spoke softly, his voice barely above a whisper. "You came home..."


Frodo heard at once, the pain in Sam's voice and he let his apples tumble as he raised Sam's face to the light. "You thought that I was leaving?"


Sam's eyes filled with tears. "Aye. He told me so. That you would go and never come back."


"But you were expecting me?" Frodo replied, his eyes flickering around the decorated smial. "You made me a fine welcome."


"It was hope - that's all. Hopes and dreams..."


Frodo watched a heavy tear sliding down Sam's cheek and he knew without doubt that Sam loved him and the wonder of it nearly took the breath from his body.


"Sam..."


Sam looked up and Frodo saw gold within the green. He held Sam's face like a precious jewel and looked into it, wanting to read every little sign to be certain that he was right.


"Sam - do you love me?" Frodo asked, his voice unsteady and thick with emotion.


Tears raced down Sam's cheeks and trickled between Frodo's fingers where they cupped and stroked. "Aye, I love you," he whispered, his voice a hoarse whisper. "I don't recall a time when I didn't love you."


"As a master and a friend?" Frodo said, desperately attempting to conceal his fear.


Sam stared straight into Frodo's eyes and ran a hesitant finger across Frodo's cheek, the lightest of touches, a look of wonder on his face so piercing, Frodo closed his eyes against the beauty of it.


"I love you in every way that can be named and some that can't. I don't know if there is a name for it - only that I can't be without you and when I thought you gone I near forgot my own name."


Frodo bit back tears as he pulled Sam against him and held him tight, their bodies pressed so close that he could feel Sam's heart racing against his own. He stroked Sam's hair, the golden waves rippling under his fingers as he carded through it, brushing the little eartip as they passed, making Sam gasp against his shoulder, where his face was buried, sobbing, his hands clutching Frodo's damp sleeves.


"Sshhh..." Frodo whispered, stroking and caressing, swallowing deep the dark thoughts that rose with the memory of the one he had left behind. "It's all right, love..."


Eventually they drew apart and Sam stood, blinking and wiping his eyes on his sleeve. "I'm sorry."


Frodo held out a hand. "Don't let's waste this good fire - come and sit with me."


Sam looked down at the apples that had rolled into the corner of the room. "I was going to bake you a pie."


"Never mind, we still have apples." Bending down, he picked up a few, tossing one to Sam and biting into one himself. "Sweet," he mumbled, stripping off his wet cloak and sitting himself down upon the fireside settle, curling his feet up beneath him, his eyes dancing in the firelight.


Sam settled beside him, his cheeks flushed and rosy and his lips wet with running juice. He watched Frodo intently as he ate his apple, taking long slow bites. Hating the distance between them, Frodo reached out and laid his hand on Sam's shoulder, pulling him gently in. Sam went eagerly, settling himself against Frodo's chest, his legs splayed along the dark wood, alongside Frodo's, their feet brushing together. Frodo listened to the soft noises Sam made as he finished his apple, diligently eating every last piece of sweet white fruit and sucking the juice so as not to waste a drop. Tenderly, Frodo toyed with Sam's curls, the spreading golden crown just beneath his chin and as he did so he felt Sam's feet curling around his own. Laughing lightly, dizzy with exhilaration, Frodo bent and soft as a breath, kissed the golden ear tip. Sam jerked back against him and gasped audibly. A log snapped in the fire and Frodo leaned back, his fingers continuing their gentle play, pulling and twirling each tiny curl.


Frodo heard Sam groan low in this throat and toes twined around his own. Frodo closed his eyes and tried to still his quickened breaths.


Oh, be slow. Slowly...


He warned himself even as the fire spread out from the very core of his being, now hardened and pulsing with delight. Surely Sam must feel it, sitting so close between his legs? Sam wriggled back against him and the burning pleasure of it nearly made Frodo swoon, so he stilled his body and fought for air, like one who is drowning.


"Frodo," Sam whispered. "Frodo..."


Frodo held back, biting his lips, his fingers twisting in Sam's hair, holding him steady, afraid of his own passion.


"Sam, is this - is this what you truly want?" he said, his body tense and hard, taut as a bowstring.


Sam twisted against him, so that their faces were just inches apart, Frodo could feel the heat of desire radiating through Sam's skin as he breathed upon his lips the taste of apples. "Aye - I want it," he ground out, shakily. "I want you."


Before Frodo could think of another word, Sam was kissing him. Kissing him strong and firm, his hands sliding down Frodo's cheeks, stroking and re-forming, cupping the kiss between his hands. Frodo clutched at Sam's shoulders for support as he found his head hitting the high side of the settle, his lips opening to Sam's searching tongue. Fire leaped in his belly and his legs bent to pull Sam closer against his throbbing core. Sam ground himself against him as he plunged into the heat of Frodo's mouth, their tongues twining together, Sam luring Frodo deeper into his mouth and trapping him there, his fingers making circles upon Frodo's jaw as his own moved slowly and rhythmically up and down. When at last the kiss eased to little nips and sucks, they pulled themselves apart, still clutching and staring at one another, bewildered and enflamed.


"Sam..."


Sam hushed him with a gentle kiss. "Will you take me to bed?" he said, getting up and looking down at Frodo where he lay, breathless and flushed, his dark curls falling into his eyes.


Frodo eased himself upright on trembling legs that had no more substance than air. "Yes, love," he said, shaking.


Sam turned to lead the way but Frodo lingered for a moment, insecurities straining to be heard beneath the pounding of his blood. "Sam..." he said and Sam turned in the doorway, leaning against the doorframe, his body outlined in a ring of gold.


"Yes, Frodo, me dear?"


Frodo would have spoken then but the words jarred in his throat. "Nothing, Sam," he said, "it's nothing..."


Sam reached out a hand and, still smiling, led Frodo out into the flickering passage where they passed as soft as shadows, holding their breath.


~~~


The bedroom was hot, stifling even as Frodo sat down upon the edge of the bed watching as Sam moved about the room lighting candles and setting the fire to rights, piling on more logs and brushing up the cinders. Sam moved to draw the curtain across the window but Frodo stopped him.


"No - leave it, Sam. The night is beautiful."


Sam looked out and admired the stars. "They are beautiful, aren't they? They look like they're dancing!"


Frodo smiled and climbed up onto the bed where the quilt was spread clean and soft, not a trace of the previous night remained. Frodo wished he could wipe it out altogether, but there was no hope of that. Lying back on the pillows, he watched Sam looking out in innocent bliss, his eyes full of wonder.


"Come to me, Sam," he said, feeling a terrible emptiness wash over him, aching to be filled, holding out his arms to his love, vulnerable and afraid without the heat of wine in his head.


Sam climbed onto the bed, gazing down on Frodo's face, ethereal in the half-light. He smiled sweetly as he lay down beside Frodo, his head propped up to better observe the rich beauty below. "I feel like dancing," he said, softly.


Frodo smiled and raised a hand to Sam's face, gently caressing. "Dance with me," he said and closed his eyes, pulling Sam's head down so that their lips met once again and moved in hungry rhythm, Frodo urging Sam on with quick bites and darts of his tongue, feeling the blissful relief of love surging through him as he raked his fingers through Sam's hair.


Breaking apart, Sam sat shaking, his lips swollen with kisses and his eyes half -drowsy with lust. "I want to touch you," he said. "Can I touch you?"


Frodo murmured his assent, closing his eyes as Sam started to unbutton his shirt and pull it from his shoulders. The heat in the room made the fabric cling to his skin and Sam had to wrench it from his arms forcibly before casting it aside and sitting back to look down on what he had revealed. Breathing hard, Sam began to undress himself, pulling his shirt off over his head, not wanting to waste time with buttons. Frodo's heart raced and his head span with excitement, the heat prickling his skin, making him sweat, his body glistening in the candlelight, courted by shadow and starlight - the image of perfection. Sam quickly kicked off his breeches and lay down over Frodo, covering him as the fresh snow covered the fields. Frodo raised his head from the pillows and gently suckled upon Sam's neck, wanting to taste. Sam groaned and tossed back his head, their arousals brushing together expectantly, kindling flame. Sam tasted of the snow - fresh and clean - as if he were truly a spirit of the earth. Frodo suckled harder, hungry and fierce, and Sam moaned again and pulled Frodo against him, moving his hips restlessly - seeking.


Frodo let go, shocked by the mark he had made on Sam's flawless skin. Soothing it with long, slow laps of his tongue, he felt the slow exploration of Sam's hands over his chest and down to his navel. He felt Sam's fingers on the buttons of his breeches. Lifting his hips, he let Sam slide them down his legs and off his feet. He heard them falling to the floor with a soft sound.


"Frodo..." Sam moaned, stroking his fingers down the length of Frodo's body, sitting on his heels, with the firelight flickering behind, his strong, clenched thighs and full, swaying cock illuminated by the light. Sam looked powerful, confident - stronger than Frodo's wildest imaginings.


"I want to taste you," Sam said, his eyes devouring Frodo's skin. "You're so beautiful, Frodo. I love you so much."


"Please, Sam..." Frodo whispered, his head aching with the effort of watching. It slammed back down as Sam took him deep into his mouth, adoring his hot flesh with his eager curling tongue, dragging cries from Frodo's tight throat, making his hands clench in the sheets as he felt waves of sticky heat flowing through his skin. Sucking and stroking as Frodo writhed on the damp sheets, all conscious thought was driven from Frodo's mind - only sensation remained and the awareness that this was the purest pleasure that he had ever felt and he never wanted it to end.


Groaning with the effort, he felt dimly in his mind that he wanted to stop Sam before it was too late and he clutched feebly at Sam's hair as the blinding waves of orgasm started to claim him. Sam tried to pull up Frodo's hips, holding him captive, but Frodo cried out Sam's name with such vehemence that Sam was shocked into submission and let him go, relinquishing the trembling, shining cock with reluctance, kissing it softly where it rested against Frodo's hitching belly.


"Sam, come here," Frodo gasped and Sam crawled up the bed and lay down beside him, looking into Frodo's face with love struck eyes, his lips moist and glistening, his fingers caressing, pushing back Frodo's hair.


"I love you, Sam, you know that don't you? You know that I love you?" Frodo urged, his eyes flashing dark and wild.


"I know now," Sam said, smiling, "I think I always knew..."


Frodo laid a finger against Sam's lips. "I never told you - I was so afraid..."


"Of what?" Sam asked, laughing, kissing Frodo lightly again and again, draping his thigh over Frodo's hip.


"Of this," Frodo said.


"This?" Sam sounded surprised and looked at Frodo with amusement in his eyes. "Why would you be scared of me loving you, making you happy?"


Frodo shook his head, the sting of his own folly making it hard to meet Sam's gaze. "Let's not talk anymore, not now," Frodo said. "Love me, Sam, just love me."


Sam's smile broadened and spread to his eyes, bathing them with warmth. "Yes..." he whispered, pulling them together, feeling Frodo gasp as he held his slender hips and guided them against him. "Turn around," Sam whispered, shifting Frodo so that he lay with his back to Sam's chest. Sam stroked Frodo gently as he moulded his body against the soft curve of Frodo's behind. "Sshhh, love, you're trembling..."


"Sam...."


"Shhhh....it's all right, me dear - I won't hurt you." Sam moved gently, rubbing himself against Frodo, pushing between his legs, reaching with his hand, their cocks brushing together with each gentle thrust. Frodo gasped and arched back to pull Sam closer, his head twisting to reach Sam's mouth. Kissing clumsily, they moved together, quickening as Frodo began to moan and push back against Sam's chest. Sam's thrusts were slick and fast, sweat and stickiness easing each thrust, so the next was smoother, hotter, bringing Frodo to the edge and then pulling him back, his climax tightening and heaving inside as he cried Sam's name and fought to hold them both together, his stomach muscles clenched and quivering.


Love you, Love you, Love you, Love you...


"Oh, love..." Sam groaned and gripped Frodo's shoulders as he shuddered and spurted warm between Frodo's thighs. Frodo twisted in Sam's arms and held him as he came, feeling the wings of his climax lifting him as he fell onto the pillows, pulling Frodo down on top of him. "Ohhhh..." Sam groaned and looked blearily into Frodo's face. "Ohhh...what have I done?"


Frodo smiled, kissing Sam with infinite tenderness, tasting himself on Sam's lips.


"I took for meself and left you wantin'" he panted. "Let me..."


"No, Sam," Frodo said, curling into Sam's broad chest, his face nuzzling the soft golden skin, breathing in the loving warmth.


"But you haven't..."


"No," said Frodo and smiled, listening to the slowing of Sam's steady heart.


"It would be no matter, Frodo, honest..."


Frodo laughed and wriggled against Sam, pulling Sam's hand over and curling it around his cock. "If you insist," he said, sighing as Sam began to slowly stroke and pull. It wasn't long before Frodo was crying out and spilling over Sam's hand and Sam held him until the shudders had subsided and his cock had softened and shrank away, and even then he held it in his palm, like the most delicate of flowers.


Frodo blinked and the room stopped spinning. He raised his head and his Sam was there, smiling and watching over him, stroking his damp hair back from his forehead. "Thank you, my love," he said, looking up into Sam's gentle eyes.


"For what?" Sam pulled the quilt up over them both where they still lay entwined.


"For waiting for me."


"I would have waited here forever, Frodo. I would never have given up hope." Sam bent and kissed the top of Frodo's head. "What would you have me do? Should I leave you to rest?"


Frodo raised a hand and clutched at Sam's curls. "Sleep here, please Sam love, don't leave me..."


"I'll not leave you, Frodo."


Sam held him tight, breathing in the dark yew - the stars glimmering on the snow and the fires slowly dying.


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