16 March 2004 @ 01:15 am
To Serve the King (Lord of the Rings)  
Title: To Serve the King
Author: Lilith ([info]lilithilien)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Pairings: Faramir/Boromir, Boromir/Aragorn
Warnings: NC-17 for slash, incest, BDSM, AU.
Disclaimer: I did not create these characters, I do not own them, I just make them do my bidding!
Notes: Twenty years before the fellowship, Thorongil comes to Minas Tirith to claim the throne of Gondor and encounters the sons of the Steward. This was written for JuxianTang, who wanted whips for her birthday – daudz laimes dzimsanas diena! Somewhere along the way it transformed into a twisted Boromir coming of age story. With some gratuitous FaraBoro sex thrown in for good measure. Thanks to my wonderful betas Alex Cat and Julie-Rae for their time, great advice, and support. This was originally posted at LiveJournal.


To Serve the King


Boromir’s mind was far away when his father spoke. “I’m sorry, sir, what did you say?”

With a look of impatience, Denethor repeated, “I want you to pay another visit to the prisoner tonight, Boromir.”

The young man’s mouth went dry. “Can he really read my thoughts?” he wondered. Faramir sometimes imagined that their father had that uncanny ability, but Boromir always dismissed his fears. Yet he had been thinking of the man chained in the dungeon...

“Yes, father,” he finally stuttered. He studiously avoided looking at Faramir. One glimpse of those smoky eyes would be his undoing.

“Oh, Boromir, you sound as weak as your brother,” Denethor spat out the words with undisguised contempt. Boromir sensed Faramir’s involuntary flinch even without looking at him. “You will go tonight and remind that unwashed ranger that he dare not trifle with the Steward of Gondor. Long have our fathers held the realm for the rightful king of the land, not for some unkempt northerner corrupted by the perversions of elves. You will teach him to writhe like a worm before the son of Denethor.”

Boromir forced a strength he did not feel into his voice. “Yes, father, I will do your bidding. I am not like Faramir.”

This at least was true. He could never hope to match his brother. This was all Faramir’s idea, after all.

*****

Three nights earlier, Boromir had dined in the canteen with his men. When he returned, the house guard told him that his presence was required in Denethor’s study. He found his father pacing the room in a rage.

“Father, what is it?” he asked, hoping against hope that whatever it was did not involve his younger brother.

All he could make out were scattered words: “usurper –” “traitor –” “treason against Gondor –” He could not remember ever seeing his father so livid. Denethor’s face was bright red and his temples throbbed angrily.

“Sit, father, and tell me what has happened,” Boromir insisted. “Please don’t let it be Faramir.”

Still flushing from fury, the Steward sat down heavily. Boromir filled a goblet with wine and brought it to him. After downing the liquid in a single gulp, wiping his chin absentmindedly with his sleeve, he announced, “The House of Húrin has suffered a terrible affront, my son.”

The steward’s long fingers gripped the armrests to steady himself. “Tonight I was visited by an old ‘friend’ of your grandfather’s – a filthy ranger named Thorongil. Long did he court Ecthelion, bending his mind in his old age, turning him against his own flesh and blood –”

Denethor scowled as he remembered the man who had first come to Minas Tirith when he had been but a few years older than his son was now. “How I hated him then,” he recalled. Thorongil had exuded a quiet competence that infuriated him, but charmed everyone else, even his own father. For almost twenty-five years, Denethor had lived in the shadow of the popular soldier. This despite his own status in the court as the Steward’s son, and the ranger’s uncertain parentage and upbringing in Rivendell. Denethor still blamed the elves’ magic for bewitching his father. Now, twenty years later, the ranger’s reappearance had revived all his feelings of envy and rage.

Boromir watched his father’s face closely. The anger burning in his eyes surprised him, and he wanted desperately to know what had transpired at this meeting. But years of tiptoeing around the Steward’s volatile temper – and of watching his brother deal with the brunt of it – had taught Boromir to be patient until he was ready to speak.

Finally, Denethor calmed down enough to explain. “Tonight, Thorongil came before me not to pledge his loyalty to Gondor, as he once did before Ecthelion. Tonight, he came to claim the throne.” He paused to let his words sink in. Seeing Boromir’s confusion, he continued, “The ranger now takes the name of Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and says he is the last remaining heir of Isildur. He makes the ludicrous claim that he is the Lord of the Dúnedain.”

Denethor scoffed indignantly. “He is nothing but the pawn of that elven king, and of Mithrandir. Long have they sought to supplant me. But I will not have it!” he shouted. Boromir jumped as his father’s hand slammed down on the armrest, cracking the wood along the grain. Denethor did not seem to notice. “I will show them that the Steward of Gondor does not take his duty lightly,” he continued in a menacing voice. “Our fathers served this land well. I will not despoil their memory by relinquishing the kingdom to some impostor!”

Boromir’s mind reeled. The king returned to Gondor? This was the day for which the House of Stewards had been created, for which they had kept in trust the white crown of Eärnur. His brother had also dreamed of a king returning to Gondor in their lifetimes. Still, Boromir always believed that his more likely future lay in governing the realm as his father had done, and his before that, through twenty-six generations. He had never seriously considered anything else, and was not quite sure how to react now.

“I must talk to Faramir” was his first thought. His knowledge of the legends would be useful here, and his perceptions invaluable. He would know what to think.

But Faramir was not here – which was good, Boromir admitted. His presence might cause Denethor to completely lose his last grasp on reason. Boromir noticed a gleam of excitement in his father’s eyes that contrasted with the coldness of his voice. “The time has come for you to defend the honour of our name, my son.”

“What would you have me do, father?”

“I want you to remind the traitor that the Stewards of Gondor are yet strong, and that we guard the throne with all our might,” Denethor replied. “The man is in the lowest level of the prison waiting to be punished for his treason. I would have you enact that punishment.”

Denethor walked over to a large wooden chest and rummaged through its contents. Finally he found what he sought. As his hands closed around the polished handle of Ecthelion’s whip, his hatred for Thorongil was renewed. His father had been corrupted by the ranger’s elven perversions. Now Thorongil would feel the bite of that lash again, this time not for pleasure, in the hands of Denethor’s flesh and blood.

Denethor pressed the long coiled lash into his son’s hand. “I want you to whip the traitor until his blood fills the cell. I want you to hear him beg you for mercy. I want him to despair that he ever entered Minas Tirith.”

Boromir felt knots in his stomach. Although he was trained as a warrior, he had only ever faced orcs and other dark beasts that plagued the borders of Ithilien. Never before had he drawn a man’s blood – and certainly never one as defenceless as he knew this prisoner would be. “But father, the guards can do this thing. Why do you ask me?”

A dark shadow crossed Denethor’s eyes. He could not tell his son the truth – that he longed to strike him himself, but that once he started beating Thorongil, he feared he would be unable to stop until the man was dead. And that if he could not do this thing, then it must fall to his favourite son.

“Because you must discover what it takes to deal with your enemies,” he answered instead. “You must learn to steel your heart against their cries and carry out the sentences that they deserve. Oh, I do not want you to kill him,” his father added, seeing the pallor in Boromir’s face. “No, I would only have him suffer, and that at my son’s hands. He will know that the heir of Denethor is mighty, and that he is but a dog pawing at his feet.”

Denethor laid his hand on Boromir’s shoulder in a surprisingly gentle gesture. “You must do this thing for me, my son, and for Gondor. It is our duty to protect this land, and this man bodes ill for us all. Do not disappoint me.”

“Yes, father,” Boromir said with as much strength as he could muster. His father rewarded him with a cold smile, then guided him to the door.

*****

Later Boromir could not remember making his way to the man’s cell. He must have followed the winding corridors, through the dim tunnels that cut deep into the heart of the mountain. He must have reached out his hand to steady himself as he climbed down countless steep stairs. He must have nodded to the guards posted along the way, must have acknowledged their knowing smiles as he passed. But all he could think about was the object in his hand.

The whip was a thing of terrible beauty. Its hard handle seemed to fit perfectly in Boromir’s palm, as if made for him alone, even as it revealed the shapes of other hands that had wielded it before. The well-worn leather was polished to a high sheen. Boromir winced as he realised the care given to this weapon – for that was all it was in his eyes, a weapon to inflict pain upon a hapless foe.

Nevertheless, he had to admit that it was a beautiful object. The lash itself was braided, a thicker plait near the handle that tapered gradually down its six-foot length. It seemed weightier than it should be, yet well-balanced. Boromir wondered how heavy it would be as it slashed through the air, and through the man’s back.

“Will I be able to do this?” Boromir thought as he fingered the slightly frayed tip. He had only seen one flogging before, of a man accused of rape. While Boromir had accepted the sentence, the public spectacle had been gruesome. The man’s screams of pain as his raw skin was shredded still echoed in his head. Boromir had to steel himself to watch until the end; it would never do for the Steward’s son to show his squeamishness.

And it was the same sense of duty that called him here now, Boromir knew. “Don’t think too much, just do it as quickly as you can,” he told himself as he reached the last cell. One guard handed him a torch and a set of keys while the other explained how to adjust the shackles, before opening the heavy door. “You may go now,” Boromir said as he entered the chamber. “This will be hard enough without others listening.” The guards bowed and started up the steps, leaving Boromir alone with the prisoner.

The room was very dark. He could barely make out the rough edges of the stone chamber, hewn directly into the mountain. Boromir shuddered to think of how far away this cell was from the comforts of the citadel. Gradually his eyes adjusted and he made out the faint outline of a chair; empty.

Then a pair of eyes met his in the dim light. They glistened in the torchlight like polished obsidian. As the shape took form, he saw the man sitting on a bare cot. Iron shackles bound his hands together. His cuffs were chained to a peg in the wall – a pointless gesture since the only way out of the cell was up the steep, heavily guarded stairs that Boromir had just traversed, but still a valuable reminder of the prisoner’s captivity. The man was naked with only a rough blanket covering his waist. “At least they gave him that,” Boromir thought, then reproached himself for his thoughts. It would not do to sympathise with the man before he even started.

“On your feet, traitor.” Boromir said with false bravado.

The prisoner met his eyes with a sly smile. “I will stand, but you will know that I am no traitor. I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn and heir to Isildur. And you must be Boromir, son of Denethor.” His raven eyes appraised Boromir before adding, with unguarded admiration, “Though I see that you favour your grandsire. Ecthelion was a noble man.”

“Silence,” Boromir snapped. He placed his torch into its brace in the wall. Other unlit torches lined the room, but he decided against using them. He could not bear to see the man’s face too clearly, or the welts that would soon appear on his back.

He turned back to the ragged man standing before him. The ranger must have known what he was about to endure, yet he revealed neither fear nor anger. He stood proudly, naked as he was, and met Boromir’s eyes. Against his will, Boromir felt his esteem grow. Even in the shadows, he could make out the prisoner’s sinewy torso and muscular arms that evidenced his prowess with the sword. Soft hair curled on his chest and drew Boromir’s eyes toward his belly, and then further down, to the dark hair around the man’s flaccid penis. He started as it twitched to life under his gaze. Forcing his eyes back up to the man’s face, he discerned his thin smile.

A quiver of discomforting excitement shot through Boromir’s body. He hid his distress by unlocking the chain from its peg. As the guard had instructed, he threaded the chain through another peg higher on the wall and drew it back to lock on itself. The shackles were taut now. The man’s arms were forced over his head, opening the rest of his body to his captor’s gaze. Boromir forced himself to look away before his eyes were drawn back downward.

“Turn around,” he commanded gruffly into the man’s ear.

Without hesitation, the prisoner did as he was told. Once his back was turned, Boromir closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Just get this over with quickly,” he told himself. “Just do it and leave.”

And so he did. He beat the man without finesse, the lash falling inconsistently in his inexperienced hand. He beat him too lightly at first, and then overcompensated by cutting too deep. He beat him until the pale skin split and blood spilled out, some spattering on his own clothes. He beat him until his arm ached, until the whip grew terribly heavy in his hand.

And as each stroke fell, Boromir felt an ever greater shame. Sweat washed over him, rolling down his face and stinging his eyes. He wiped it away with the back of his hand, noticing drops of the man's blood on his unblemished skin. The sight sickened him even more. He knew that what he was doing now was undeniably wrong, even obscene. This was beyond punishment; this was cruelty, and vengeance for he knew not what offence. There was much that his father had not told him; Denethor’s hatred went far beyond a threat to the house of stewards. Boromir hated his father for making him play this part in his revenge, but he hated himself even more for agreeing to it so readily.

Boromir’s hands were shaking so violently that he could hardly hold the whip. The lash continued to fall, but carelessly now. Bands of torn flesh striped the man’s arms, the curve of his buttocks, his legs. His recklessness was hurting the man needlessly, Boromir knew, but he could not correct his grip. Taking control of the whip’s direction would bring back a stark awareness of what he was doing, and he was not ready to face that. Not yet.

But despite his clumsiness, the ranger never flinched. There were no cries, not a single murmur of protest. This man possessed a courage that he had never before witnessed. Whether he was truly the king was irrelevant; here was a brave soldier that Boromir would have been proud to call a friend. The man standing naked and vulnerable before him was full of dignity; and though he wielded the means to dominate him completely, Boromir was the one humiliated.

When he could no longer bear to raise the whip, Boromir released the chain and helped the man sit back on the cot. Aragorn raised his head, his shining black eyes locking on Boromir’s smoky ones. Despite what must have been terrible pain, the prisoner’s gaze was devoid of malice. Boromir saw forgiveness there and felt even deeper disgrace. “I do not deserve his forgiveness,” he thought sadly as he hung his head. “I should be judged harshly for this wrong.”

The ranger seemed to read his thoughts. He laid his shackled hand upon Boromir’s, the touch producing an electric shock that coursed through the young man’s body. In a husky voice, he whispered, “Someday you will relish the bite of my lash upon your own skin, my friend.”

The words were spoken as to a lover. They resonated deep within Boromir, eliciting an unexpected rumbling between his legs. He felt sick as feelings of lust battled his shame, and he knew he had to escape before his body betrayed him. Clutching the whip, he quickly turned and left the room.

*****

Once outside, Boromir braced himself against the heavy cell door, panting heavily. “What have I done?” he said aloud. Catching himself, he looked around for the sentry and gladly remembered that he had sent them away. His composure returned as he climbed two flights of stairs to where they waited. “Send the city’s best healers to tend the prisoner,” Boromir ordered. Then, fearing his words might be interpreted as weakness, he added, “I would not have him too weak to withstand another punishment.”

Somehow he made it back to his own room, thinking the whole way about what the man had said to him. He could not deny that his words had excited him in a way that he had never imagined, and that he could not really understand. There had been no pleasure in wielding the lash, but the thought of the whip cutting his own flesh, of seeking its own retribution for what he had done –.

Boromir shook his head hard to clear the image from his mind.

After securely bolting his door, Boromir tossed the lash away with disgust. His blood-spattered clothes quickly followed. He had never welcomed a clean nightshirt so readily. Then he glanced toward his empty bed. Although exhausted, he desperately needed to see Faramir tonight. Too much had happened and he desperately needed his brother’s confidences. Lifting the heavy tapestry on his wall, he crept through the secret passageway between their rooms, pushing back a similar tapestry on the other side.

His brother’s bed was directly under the window; Faramir hated the dark and always slept with the draperies open. The moonlight streamed in on his sleeping face. “I won’t wake him,” Boromir told himself, “I just want to lie beside him.” He gently eased into bed behind his brother. Faramir smelt of sweetly spiced soap, his hair still damp from his bath. As Boromir inhaled the scent, the unbidden image of the ranger’s long matted locks entered his mind. He saw again the blood streaming down his back and his shame bubbled up like bile in his throat. Forgetting his vow not to rouse Faramir, Boromir nuzzled his brother’s warm neck to block out the image. His movements woke the boy, who whirled around to face him.

“You have been with the king!” Faramir cried excitedly.

Boromir started. “You were just dreaming, little brother,” he replied as casually as he could.

“But I thought it was real.” Faramir sounded crestfallen. “I saw you with the king, it seemed so real.”

Boromir sighed. He knew the peace he sought would not come until he told his brother everything. With resignation, he said, “So you spoke with father tonight.”

“Oh, no,” Faramir shook his head. “I knew you were dining in the barracks, so I had Anborn tell him I wasn’t feeling well. I did not want to go downstairs alone.”

Boromir could well understand his brother’s concern. When he was not around to protect him, Denethor toyed with his younger son as a cat did a mouse. Faramir was a clever mouse, to be sure, but he did tire of the game and never willingly sought it out.

“Then Anborn told you what happened?” Boromir asked.

“No, I have been here reading all evening. I have talked to no one.”

“Then how did you know about the man who arrived tonight?”

Faramir’s eyes shone with delight. “So he is here? I knew it! I dreamt it, but it was different than my other dreams. I saw the king so clearly, and you and I with him.”

“No, he’s not the king,” Boromir insisted. He needed to hold on to Denethor’s version of the events, though he wasn’t sure why. “Father says he is a usurper, not the true king.”

Even in the dark Boromir could sense Faramir’s dismissive expression. “Of course he would say that,” he said coldly. “But in my dreams, I have seen Narsil reforged and I have seen the king re-crowned. I told you about this already. Now he is here. Where is he?”

Boromir could say nothing. “What if he truly is the king?” he wondered. His next thought horrified him. “What if I have just spent the evening beating the king?”

But Faramir’s excitement could not be abated. “What is he like? Is he noble and strong? What did you talk about? Can I meet him tomorrow?”

Boromir shook his head. How could he confess what he had just done? “What I did should not have been done to any innocent man, least of all the king.”

Faramir watched as sadness settled on his brother’s features and he realised that something was terribly wrong. Stroking Boromir’s stubbled beard with his hand, he said softly, “You are upset, brother. Tell me what’s happened.”

Reluctantly, Boromir began to relate the evening’s events. Faramir was shocked to hear that Denethor had thrown the ranger into the dungeon. He was also surprised to learn that the man who claimed the throne was the ranger called Thorongil. Faramir told his brother all about Thorongil’s life as a captain of Gondor, and of his favour with their grandfather. Boromir understood his father’s earlier rage a little better, though he still hated what he’d made him do.

When Boromir came to Denethor’s request, he found it hard to go on. He felt deeply ashamed to admit what he had done. But Boromir had never kept any secrets from his brother; once more, his confidence was rewarded. Faramir listened silently and without judgment, squeezing his hands in sympathetic support as Boromir confessed his part in their father’s revenge.

“The worst of it is that the man is noble,” Boromir finished. “He never flinched, he never cried out. I doubt that I could be that strong. I could not help but admire him.”

“Did he say nothing to you?” Faramir asked.

Boromir hesitated just for a moment. He wanted to share the prisoner’s words, but he was still uncertain of his own reaction to them. In a gruff voice, he admitted, “He said that someday I would feel his lash – no, that I would relish his lash – on my own skin.”

A lascivious smile spread across the boy’s face, and Boromir gave him a confused look. “Does that make you happy, little brother?” he asked.

Faramir avoided the question. “Did he say anything else?”

“He called me ‘friend.’ I do not know why he would do that, after what I did to him.” When Faramir smiled more broadly, Boromir insisted, “Faramir, you must tell me what I have said that makes you look so happy.”

“I have seen other things in my dreams.”

Faramir – “my little brother,” Boromir reminded himself –then proceeded to describe his visions of a man with sharp black eyes wielding a whip against the willing – nay, eager – flesh of both elves and men.

“They want to be beaten?” Boromir asked incredulously. He shuddered as the crack of the whip and the red trails running down white skin filled his head again. “Does that not cause them great pain?”

“Yes, it does, yet at the same time, it causes great pleasure. Some think that only by experiencing pain can you truly appreciate pleasure.” Faramir’s voice took on a deliberate tone as if he were a tutor talking to a child. “Sexual pleasure,” he added as an afterthought, just to make sure his brother understood.

And Boromir did understand, though he had never heard of such a thing. There had been nothing of that pleasure in what he had done tonight, or in the beatings he had experienced at their father’s hands. Yet the ranger’s words had certainly stirred something inside him. “How do you know of these things?”

He felt more than saw Faramir’s shrug. “I read. Not all books are about battles and enemies, brother. There are other types of stories, other types of victories.”

Boromir thought about this for a moment. “Is that all they do, Faramir?” he finally asked, half afraid of the answer.

“There are many different games,” the boy replied. “Not all are played with the lash, though it seems that Thorongil is a master in that. This is what I have seen in my dreams. He evokes pain, to be sure, but also great love.”

In almost a whisper, Faramir repeated, “He is a master. I want to meet him.”

Looking into his brother’s shining eyes, Boromir was struck with a pang of jealousy. He was not sure he wanted to share his beloved brother with the black-eyed ranger, even if he was the king. Boromir did find these new ideas intensely arousing and knew that he could not deny his brother’s desire, but he wanted to make sure Faramir worked hard for it. So with mock petulance, Boromir rolled away as he said, “I am not sure I want to let you meet him.”

His sulk only lasted a moment. Just as he had expected, an arm encircled his waist as a warm hand slide up under his nightshirt to tweak his nipple. That first pinch sent shock waves racing through Boromir’s body. He lived for Faramir’s forbidden touch, for the secret kisses that were now trailing across his shoulders, now rippling down his spine.

Shivers of excitement overwhelmed him as the hand left the pebbled mounds on his chest and moved lower to stroke his stiffening length. His brother might be young, but he had the firm grip of a man trained in swordplay. The strong, calloused hand brought forth the familiar longing within him. Boromir bucked forward even as his brother slid down his back, bestowing soft kisses along the way.

Boromir gasped as a tongue flicked along the cleft between his legs. Faramir knew how much he loved this, and Boromir knew he was doing it now, in part, to get his way. But he did not care. As his opening was probed first with teasing feathery glances, and then penetrated with more insistent licks, he felt his confusion about the day’s events disappear. When his seed bubbled onto the sheets, his entire being dissolved into nothingness. All he knew was the hand stroking him, the flickering tongue inside him, and his deep love for Faramir.

As soon as he could move again, Boromir pulled his brother back up the bed and laid him on his back. He held Faramir’s arms outstretched while straddling his thighs. Then he leaned over to claim his brother with a kiss. Boromir moved down to explore his brother’s body. His teeth grazed his sensitive nipples, sucking them to erectness, and Faramir groaned in pleasure. With tantalizing kisses he devoured his brother’s taut belly, making him squirm helplessly as lips teased the ticklish spots on his side. He felt Faramir’s cock pressing against his chest, aching for attention. With just the slightest of movements, he ran his tongue over the slit on the head of Faramir’s length. The boy tried to arch against him, but Boromir held him fast. He slowly ran his tongue around the entire tip as Faramir moaned in pain, or in pleasure – or, as Boromir remembered, a combination of the two.

Faramir continued to struggle, clutching the sheets in his fists, but Boromir was too strong for him. His tongue caressed his brother’s straining erection, licking the dark vein underneath from top to bottom with consummate patience. Faramir cried out, “Boromir, please, this is torture.”

“And weren’t you just telling me how pleasurable torture could be, little brother?” Boromir teased. Faramir groaned something unintelligible as his brother’s lips returned to caress him. Boromir finally took pity and took his brother’s arousal into his mouth. As his entire length slid into his throat, Boromir moaned. The vibration caused Faramir to writhe, and it was all Boromir could do to hold down his thrashing body. But Boromir well knew what the boy liked. He controlled the speed and depth of the motion, sucking him to the edge of ecstasy and then holding him there for eternal moments while his brother’s body begged for release. Only after another torturous amount of time had passed did he bring Faramir to climax.

Like everything else about his little brother, his seed was sweet. Boromir savoured the taste as he licked clean his softened member. Faramir lay limp on the bed, recovering gradually. Boromir loved that his brother always surrendered so completely to his orgasm. Only his hands moved, releasing their grip on the bedcovers to explore Boromir’s lanky hair. When he felt his raven locks being tugged gently, Boromir pulled himself up and covered his brother’s body completely with his own, relishing the contact of their skin down the full length of their bodies. Faramir pulled Boromir’s head towards him, seeking out his lips for a deep kiss, before pushing him over onto the bed.

“Ugh, you’re too heavy,” he cried out.

Laughing, Boromir grabbed his little brother and turned his slender body onto his side with ease, pulling the boy’s back against his chest. He slung his arm over his waist and pulled him close. Tucking his knees behind Faramir’s so he could hold him close in his arms, Boromir kissed his shoulder.

“I love you, little brother.”

“I love you, too,” Faramir replied. “You are less troubled now, I take it?” he added mischievously.

“Aye, I am,” Boromir admitted. “Though I am still very worried. I will gladly serve the king, but I know not how to remedy what I did tonight.”

“It is a problem,” Faramir admitted. “I think a sacrifice is definitely required.”

*****

The next days passed slowly. Boromir found it difficult to concentrate on his duties, and he knew his little brother was also distracted. Both were anxious to see the man in the dungeon – Faramir to finally realise what his dreams had revealed, Boromir to somehow make amends.

And so Denethor’s announcement on the third day was gladly welcomed by both brothers. Boromir fought the urge to push his chair back and rush down to the dungeon; his brother had already warned him against appearing too eager. Faramir was his usual unflappable self, though he seemed to pay an inordinate amount of attention to the food on his plate.

At the end of an excruciatingly long meal, the brothers excused themselves and walked as calmly as possible to their chambers. Boromir collected the whip, which he had held with greater reverence now that he better understood its use. For a moment he was lost in his thoughts. “How will this feel against my skin?” he wondered as he fondled the frayed tip with his fingertips.

The knock on his door startled him. It was Faramir, carrying a small pack of food he had pilfered from the kitchen. Boromir slung the pack over his shoulder and led the way to the dungeon. They walked silently, each heavy with their own thoughts. Finally they reached the cell and the two prison guards. Faramir took the lit torch; Boromir collected the keys himself before dismissing the men. Then he pushed open the door.

The man must have been sleeping. In the dim light, Boromir saw surprise in the dark eyes. He crossed the room and knelt before him with his head bowed.

“Here is some food for you, sire,” Boromir said. As he lifted his head, he noticed the ghost of a smile flicker across the man’s mouth. “I’m afraid it’s not much, my lord, but it’s better than what you’ve been given here.” He reached out and grasped the shackles, trying to ignore the shock that bolted through his body as he brushed the man’s hand. “First let me unlock these,” he said, starting again when he touched his other hand. "Steady, now," he said to himself. “I’m just overly sensitive – no doubt from thinking of nothing else for the past two days.”

To hide his trembling, Boromir stood and directed his brother to light the other torches. The room was soon bathed in a soft glow. Faramir gasped as he saw the man clearly for the first time, and Boromir knew that he was finally seeing the figure who have visited him in his dreams.

The prisoner seemed to notice Faramir for the first time. “What is that boy doing here?” he asked gruffly.

Something in the man’s haughty tone irked Boromir, and without thinking, he replied sharply, “That boy is my brother, and he is the reason tha –”

The defiant words froze in his mouth at the sound of Faramir loudly clearing his throat. Boromir could only watch, mouth agape, as his brother knelt before the king, his head bowed low. “My lord, here do I swear fealty and service to Gondor, and to the king of the realm, Aragorn son of Arathorn, to speak and to be silent, to do and to let be, to come and to go, in need or in plenty, in peace or in war, in living or in dying, from this hour henceforth until my lord release me, or death take me, or the world end.”

Boromir swallowed hard, overcome with pride in his brother. “He modified the steward’s pledge – very clever,” he thought.

Aragorn rested his hand on the boy’s head as he said gently, “And I accept your fealty and service, and most gladly, Lord Faramir.” The king bestowed a look of such love upon his brother that Boromir felt a pang of envy – not because of Faramir this time, but because he desired the king’s favour with all his heart. “I do not deserve it, but I would give my life for a look like that from the king.”

Speaking to Faramir, but fixing his keen eyes on the other man, Aragorn asked, “And what does your brother have to offer?”

Boromir needed no more encouragement to drop to his knees beside his brother, holding his grandfather’s whip before him in offering as he spoke the words he had practiced endlessly in his mind. “I can only offer you my body, to use as you will, to take for yourself, and as restitution for the misdeeds of my father, and for my own transgression against you.”

The man was silent. Boromir lifted his head hesitantly, fearing that he had caused offence, but instead saw the smouldering in the ebony eyes. They were fixed on the lash before him. Aragorn’s face softened as his fingers reached out to gingerly caress its long tail. When Boromir shifted it upwards in invitation, the king lifted the handle and gently pressed it to his lips. “Ai Ecthelion, mellonen, melethen,” he whispered reverentially. Boromir could not understand the elvish words, but the longing in his voice needed no translation.

When Aragorn opened his dark eyes, they locked on Boromir’s. “I could lose myself in those eyes,” Boromir thought, and found the idea very agreeable. Emboldened with desire, Boromir held his hands before him, palms up, exposing his unprotected wrists to the king. Aragorn lifted the shackles and clamped them on tightly. Then he took Boromir’s hands and lifted him to his feet. Again Boromir felt a current race through his body; the king’s burning look told him that he shared the feeling.

Repeating Boromir’s actions of the earlier night, Aragorn raised the young man’s arms over his head. The metal cuffs were heavier than Boromir expected, and colder, and the edge bit into his skin. For just a moment he felt a sharp stab of fear. Then he met Faramir’s eyes. His brother was gazing at him with such adoration and love that Boromir was comforted. He knew that Faramir would never allow anything to happen to him.

The king seemed to sense his hesitation. He searched Boromir’s face as if questioning his willingness to continue. Boromir nodded. “I am yours to command, my king,” he whispered.

“And you truly wish this, Lord Boromir?” Aragorn asked.

“With all my heart,” Boromir replied reverently. As he spoke the words, he knew that they were true.

“And you will show me the measure of the men of Gondor, and not cry out unless I command it?”

“I will, my lord,” was Boromir’s breathless reply.

Aragorn laid his palm against Boromir’s cheek, his gentle warmth leaving the young man hungry with desire. His other hand grasped the collar of Boromir’s tunic and, with one smooth motion, ripped it open to expose his chest. Boromir’s nipples hardened in response to the forceful gesture, as well as to the chill in the room. He closed his eyes as his leggings were pulled over his hips just as swiftly. His vulnerability terrified him, thought his pulsing erection testified to his arousal.

The king stood back and apprised the man in chains. With a swift motion, he snapped the whip, eliciting a sharp crack as it arced in the empty air. Boromir’s eyes flew open and took in the man standing before him. He stood proudly, commanding attention and seemingly oblivious to his nakedness. The torchlight shone on his weathered skin, revealing scars from long-forgotten battles. Boromir was glad he did not turn around; he could not bear to see the scars that he had inflicted just a few nights before.

“You have been trained to rule Gondor as her steward,” the man said when the last echo of sound had died from the chamber.

“Yes, sire.”

“You are a warrior and a leader of men.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“But have you been taught to follow?”

The words elicited a curious longing in Boromir. His voice cracked as he whispered, “No, my king. Teach me.”

He closed his eyes again, bracing himself for the first bite of the lash. When it came, laying a long gash along his stomach, he gasped, but stifled the cry in his throat. He knew the cut was not deep; Aragorn’s control was undeniable. As Faramir had said, the man knew what he was doing. But the slice of leather across his flesh left him bare as he had never been before. His instinct was to fight against it, to regain control, but his hands were bound. “I have never been so helpless,” he realised. And to his surprise, a part of his body welcomed that surrender.

Boromir steeled himself for the next strokes, which landed slightly higher on his stomach, just inches from the first. These were less of a shock; he found he no longer had an urge to cry out. There was just that first moment of pain when his raw flesh was torn. The sting subsided almost immediately, leaving him with an almost pleasant burning feeling as thin red lines appeared on his pale skin. A peculiar thought invaded his head: “I am being opened.” It wasn’t an unwelcome feeling. As his blood was let, he found his fears also being released. In their place was revealed his deep sense of trust in the man wielding the whip.

The next stroke landed higher across his chest. Astonishing himself, Boromir jerked reflexively toward the sound, almost as if trying to bring the lash into contact with his sensitive nipples. He forced his eyes open in time to see Aragorn’s smile. Their eyes met as the king raised his arm for another stroke, and Boromir parted his lips eagerly. Suddenly he realised that the king was making love to him through the whip, his touch both demanding and gentle. With each stroke, Aragorn was exploring his body and learning how to give him greater pleasure. The hiss just before the lash touched his skin became a delicious kind of foreplay, the split second between the sound and the bite of the leather just long enough to drive Boromir to rapturous anticipation.

Again and again, the whip connected with the young man’s skin. His body was soon criss-crossed with red lines from which glistened tiny beads of blood. As the king’s lash kissed his legs and caressed his lower belly, Boromir’s erection bobbed uncontrollably. The whip danced delicately around his stiffened length, teasing it to greater hardness but never touching it. The feeling was intoxicating, the control in the master’s hands undeniable, Boromir’s vulnerability and fear mingling with intense desire. As he always did when his body longed for release, Boromir’s eyes drifted to Faramir. The boy was watching Aragorn with rapt attention as if memorising his every movement. “He will learn to do this,” Boromir realised suddenly, almost coming undone at the mental image of his beloved brother wielding a whip against his willing flesh.

As if he could read his thoughts, Aragorn turned toward Faramir. “Take off your clothes,” he commanded.

For an instant, a vision of Faramir bound and bleeding filled his head. As Faramir tugged his tunic over his head, Boromir cried, “Leave him out of this. He’s just a boy.”

“Silence!” The rebuff in the king’s voice stilled his protests. For the first time Boromir felt truly frightened. While he would willingly trust the king with his own life, he could not prevent his protective feelings where Faramir was concerned.

The king must have sensed his apprehension, for he approached him and pressed a comforting hand to his cheek. In his dark eyes Boromir saw a plea for trust and a promise of love. “There is nothing to fear,” a voice said inside his head. The two men stayed like that, eyes locked, until Boromir nodded his acquiescence.

Turning then to look at Faramir, Aragorn asked, “Are you content with just watching?”

“I am not just watching, sire. I am learning,” Faramir replied with dignity.

His response earned a look of admiration from the king. “You will learn this better with your body than your eyes, Lord Faramir. Remove your clothes.”

Faramir slid his suede leggings over his narrow hips, receiving another appreciative look from Aragorn. “You are hardly a boy, yet I would have you do nothing you do not wish.”

“I am yours to command, my king,” Faramir said resolutely.

“Then release your brother,” Aragorn said as he settled himself into onto the chair.

Faramir had to stand on the tips of his toes to loosen the chain. As soon as he was freed, Boromir’s legs gave way and he half fell into his brother’s waiting arms. Lifting himself, he saw the ardent love in Faramir’s face.

“You were magnificent!” the boy whispered.

Boromir was unable to reply. He could only look lustfully at Faramir, wanting nothing more than to press his welts against his brother, marking his clean chest with his own blood.

“Now kiss your brother, Faramir,” Aragorn ordered.

Faramir lifted his parted lips to Boromir, who devoured them hungrily. He tried to bring his brother’s body nearer, but Faramir’s hand on his chest stopped him. His brother was pushing him back slightly, while gently tracing each welt with his fingers. Even when Boromir deepened the kiss, and felt Faramir’s stiffening response, he was unable to close the distance between them.

“By the Valar, he’s putting on a show for the king,” Boromir realised, reeling with both surprise and awe for his younger brother. He forced his own hand up to caress the side of Faramir’s throat, making sure that he did not block Aragorn’s sight. He thrilled to hear simultaneous moans from both his brother and the king.

So lost was Boromir in the taste of his brother’s lips and his own performance for the king that he was surprised to hear the next words. “Now, Faramir, I want you to bend Boromir over the bed.”

Faramir willingly took his brother’s hand and helped him kneel upon the cot. Boromir moaned softly as, while guiding his waist into position, the boy’s hand grazed his hardness. As his brother placed his palms on his buttocks, forcing them apart as his fingertips dipped into the cleft, Boromir spread his legs wantonly.

Finally satisfied his brother was suitably prepared, Faramir stood before the king. His own erection ached, but he held no hope of release until later, when he knew that he and his brother would replay these events in their own bed. But to his surprise, the king stretched a long leg over the armrest and stroked his own erect length.

“You are such beautiful brothers,” he said then. “More than anything, I want to see you together. But first come here, Faramir.”

Boromir watched protectively as his younger brother knelt before the king, and saw Aragorn whisper something in his ear. Whatever he said apparently pleased Faramir. With a smile, the boy picked his brother’s torn tunic from the floor and ripped a long strip from it. When he returned to the cot, he raised Boromir onto his knees and grasped his hard flesh in his hand. Rather than stroking him, though, Faramir tied the cloth around the base of his erection.

“This will save you for the king,” he explained. Boromir did not understand, but before he could say anything, Faramir had repositioned him on the cot. In another moment, he felt his brother push inside him. “Eru, that hurts!” Faramir’s initial breach was excruciating, and Boromir bit back his cry. But the urge to protest was quickly eased by Faramir’s juices. Faramir’s slow pace and exaggerated movements told Boromir that his brother was again performing for the king’s pleasure. The boy was pulling himself out almost completely each time, then slowly plunging back inside.

Each determined thrust transformed Boromir’s pain into ever greater pleasure. He feared he would lose himself in the feeling, but the tourniquet stayed his climax. He remembered Faramir’s words about saving himself for the king, and glanced at Aragorn. He was obviously enjoying the show, stroking his formidable length fully now. Despite his nakedness, Boromir thought he looked regal. “Like a king on a throne,” he realised.

Aragorn noticed that he was being watched, and smiled slyly as he came over to stand before Boromir. The young man looked up at him hungrily, licking his lips.

“Let me serve you, my king.”

At Aragorn’s nod, he took his cock into his mouth, relaxing his throat as it slipped deep inside him. He heard a gasp from his brother behind him and knew that Faramir was watching him intently. “Well, if he can put on a show, then so can I.” Boromir slid back along the king’s hard cock, rolling his tongue around it and sucking hard before easing the entire length back into his throat.

Faramir’s motion behind him had been dictating their leisurely pace, but his younger brother sped up now, driven by his own excitement at seeing his brother’s mouth upon the king. His angle suddenly shifted, creating waves of intense pleasure that would have evoked cries of pleasure from Boromir had his mouth not been filled with the king’s throbbing length.

Faramir came without warning, shooting his burning seed deep inside Boromir as he released a hushed cry. Even as their rhythm failed, the king exploded into the young man’s mouth with a throaty groan. Surprised, Boromir tried to swallow it all, but the king pulled out too suddenly. An escaping spurt of hot seed shot onto his face, marking him as surely as the king’s lash strokes had done earlier.

Aragorn helped Boromir settle himself back on the bed. With a smile at Faramir, he commanded, “Now clean your brother off.”

Quickly, Faramir moved to sit beside Boromir. After a loving glance at the mark on his cheek, his eager tongue lapped up the creamy trail. He followed this with a line of soft kisses as his hand stroked the stubble on the other side of his face. Then he moved lower, his lips tracing the swollen welts on his brother’s chest. Delicately he laid kisses on each red mark, moaning gently as he savoured the metallic taste of blood and sweat on his tongue.

Boromir’s swollen cock ached for his brother’s touch, but although Faramir kissed each lash stroke completely he carefully avoided his erection. Boromir looked with pained longing at Aragorn, whose eyes met his with desire. Faramir’s ministrations had apparently had the same effect on the king, and his cock was again hard and ready.

“Are you ready to serve your king?” he asked.

“Oh, yes, my liege,” Boromir whispered huskily.

The king’s strong arms lowered him onto his back then, pulling his hips up to receive him. He was still slick from his brother’s seed and the king slid in easily. He was longer than Faramir, though, and each penetration brought with it new spasms of pleasure. When Aragorn’s hand clasped around his cock, he was sure he would explode. But the binding was having its desired effect and he remained as hard as when they began.

Aragorn’s excitement seemed to be building, though. The thrusts that had been long, slow, and deep were now shorter and faster, the increasing pressure on Boromir’s sweet spot building to an almost painful force. When he thought he could bear it no longer, he heard Aragorn’s voice. “I want to hear you scream, Boromir. I want to hear you crying out my name.”

As the king rolled the cloth binding up off his hard shaft, everything tumbled out in a fiery rush – the king’s explosion inside him, his own seed upon his belly, and the name of the king, his lover and his lord, on his lips.

As the world slowly returned to normal, Boromir felt Aragorn bending over him, his mouth pressing upon his own. He parted his lips and moaned as the king’s tongue slid inside, joining his own in a joyous dance of exploration. He tasted Aragorn’s mouth, felt the pressure of his lips, ran his tongue along the back of his teeth. He realised that only Faramir had ever known him this intimately; then he recalled that this was the first time he had kissed the king. After all that had happened between them, even this passionate kiss seemed chaste.

When they finally stopped for air, Aragorn saw Faramir kneeling by the cot, watching. The king reached for the boy and drew him to his lips. Boromir was enchanted by the sight of his brother kissing the other man. “You have proven yourself loyal, my young lord,” Aragorn said when their lips parted.

Looking down at Boromir with love, he said, “You have both served me well. I will remember this day always, and will hold myself bound by our actions tonight.”

*****

The prisoner was released five nights later. Denethor wondered how Mithrandir had managed to discover his whereabouts so quickly, and suspected a spy within the city, but had little recourse but to do as he commanded. It would never do to have the whole of Gondor rife with rumours and false promises about the return of the king.

It was well past midnight when he set out from Minas Tirith, but Aragorn left with a light heart. He had never really expected to claim the throne of Gondor; those days were yet to come. But he had accomplished his goal – to claim the loyalty of the two that would help him one day regain the throne. The assistance of the steward’s sons had long been foreseen, and though he had not expected it to take quite this form, he knew that, with their bodies, the three had forged an unbreakable bond.

Although they had not visited the dungeon again, the brothers had been busy conspiring to inform the king’s friends of his whereabouts. And each night they renewed their pledge of loyalty to the uncrowned king of Gondor. As his tongue redrew the fading lines on his brother's chest, Faramir imprinted the king’s marks in both their minds. They knew that when Aragorn called for them, they would be ready. Afterwards, they lay curled together under the open window, sleeping peacefully in each other’s arms.