Disclaimer: If this fic doesn't prove I am not Tolkien, I'm not sure what would.

Written for the Middle-earth Express Prompt Challenge #84: Entertainment

WARNING: This short story contains sexual innuendo and alludes to a male's reaction to seduction. Nothing graphic, but much implied.


Dedicated to 'Randy'


A Torturous Predicament Called 'Entertainment'

By Nieriel Raina

Chapter 1

A Visit To Harad

"Welcome! Welcome to Harad!"

And welcome they felt as they were offered luxurious tents, were shown how to wet clothes to wash – water is a commodity in the desert – and were then escorted to a great feast held outside - lit only by a few torches and the light of the stars. The food was delicious and exotic, and once they had eaten their fill, the King of Harad rose to announce their delegation would now be treated to some entertainment; the best dancers in the kingdom would perform for the honored visitors from Gondor.

But the King of Gondor did not look pleased at this news, Legolas noted. Aragorn stiffened, his eyes tightened, and his mouth became firm in the manner it did when he was greatly displeased but not in a position to voice his disapproval. It did not take long for the elf to find out why. High shrieks and shouts rang out, so suddenly and in such a manner that Legolas found himself reaching for his knife, but Aragorn's hand stilled him before any of the Haradrim noticed.

In a blur of glittering gold and dark cloth, and amid the sound of beating drums and more calls, beautiful woman streamed in among the men…wearing the barest minimum of clothing. Legolas felt his jaw drop and would have lowered his eyes in embarrassment, but found himself drawn into beguiling eyes lined with kohl belonging to a dark haired beauty moving towards him. His face flushed. As she edged closer, moving her hips in such a manner Legolas felt heat in areas other than his face, he could not stop his eyes from traveling down her curvaceous body. His gaze skimmed from her veiled face (only her eyes showed) down a long neck, and over a generous bosom covered by scraps of material decorated with jangling gold discs suspended by fine chains. Against his volition, his eyes continued to wander over a firm belly, which moved – how did she DO that? – in ways that he had never fathomed, and took in hips clad in more golden chains and discs and a long flowing, gauze skirt, sliced open to show off long, bare legs and dainty ankles surrounded by yet more gold, but these chains held bells.

She continued to move closer to him, and he forced his gaze back to her eyes. She was laughing at him behind her veil; he could see it in those depthless jewels which dominated her veiled face. It was as if he was falling, or he was running a race, so fast did his heart pound, and was he gasping for air?

"Legolas?"

Closer and closer, until the enticing form danced right in front of him, her eyes for him alone. And all of a sudden, he needed to stand. This 'entertainment' was proving a bit much for him and was rousing him in a way he had never felt before. He started to move, planning to retire to his tent as a manner of escape, only to feel an iron grasp on his arm, and a whisper of "Do not stand!"

Legolas turned confused and pained eyes on his friend. "Aragorn, I need to… I need to leave!"

But the King of Gondor shook his head in a firm, yet minimized manner, one Legolas recognized as an attempt to be inconspicuous. "If you stand, you will be wed by sunrise."

The elf blinked, gulped and lowered his blushing face to his lap. "Aragorn…"

"I understand your 'predicament', my friend. And I apologize for not warning you in advance, but I had no way of knowing they would honor us in such a way. Rare is it that they allow any visitors to look upon their women. Only once before did I witness it."

"I would have preferred to have been honored in another fashion. They could have given me one of their fine horses."

"I think, my friend, you are not so put off by the entertainment provided as attracted to it." Aragorn grinned at him when he looked up horrified. "And they do not give their horses to any; in fact, anyone not of their race possessing one is killed on sight as a thief!"

Fabric trailed over his head, and Legolas made the mistake of looking up. He hissed as he realized the lady was now so close he only had to reach out and… He closed his eyes and swallowed heavily, trying very hard to control his rebellious body. He whispered just loud enough for Aragorn to hear, "I'd rather be killed as a thief, I think. This is torture!"

A snicker caused him to glance over at his friend. "Oh, Legolas, I am sorry. I forget sometimes you are an elf and are unaccustomed to the wiles of women."

"Our women are not without wiles! But neither do they flaunt such 'wiles'," and he gestured at the dancing woman, "for all to see!" He groaned as a backside swished in his face.

"It will be over soon. If you can, keep your eyes on their faces. They are really quite lovely. But beware! They are very gifted in the art of seduction!"

"I suppose it is a good thing I have had much practice escaping the wiles of mortal women, then."

"Do not underestimate them."

But Legolas had steeled himself. He now knew what to expect, and took a moment to bring himself back in control and opened eyes he did not remember closing to find the lady had lowered herself to her knees in front of him. She was practically sitting in his lap!

It was going to be a very long evening, and his only consolation was that Gimli was still in Rohan...

:-:-:-:-:-:

When Legolas finally found himself in his tent, he sat on his bedroll with a moan, lowering his head into his hands. The flap of the tent stirred, and he sensed movement, but he did not look up.

"My lord?" a soft voice in accented Westron asked.

"Tathar?"

"Yes, my lord." The amused voice switched to Sindarin.

"Not one word, do you hear me?"

"But Legolas, I was only going to comment on how surprisingly beautiful our host's ladies are! And how taken you seemed to be with one of them. Why she could not take her hands off you!"

"I hate you."

A snicker. "I know." A pause, and then, "The next time your father suggests you need to be wed, shall I suggest he make a trip to Harad?"

Legolas' answer was a well thrown pillow – there seemed to be no end of pillows in the tent!

"Very well, my lord," came the muffled reply. "I'll just see you have some time alone, shall I?"

There was a slight whooshing sound followed by a thump and an "Oof" as another pillow found its mark.

"Tathar?"

"Yes, my lord?"

"Get out."

TBC


Tathar – Legolas' second and captain of his guard.

A/N - I blame this little piece mostly on spending WAY too much time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival this season, and the ladies that belly dance around The Dragon Inn and Dragon's Lair on the Tiltyard Path. I bow to their boldness! I pull some aspects of Harad custom from different desert tribal traditions and Indian influence, but a lot is simply what I saw at the Ren Faire!

Comments are welcome.

NiRi