Warnings for adult themes, including a discussion of rape. It is told from the POV of a rather disturbed character, so I should make perfectly clear that any opinions he expresses are his and not mine.


He woke, as he often did, thrusting hard into the bedclothes. The dream was not infrequent, for only in this dream could he find pleasure still in Arda Marred: the tight riding-hardened body of his beloved, her thighs parted for him, her belly soft, her arms welcoming, her moans encouraging, entering her slowly, just a taste, a tasteOne more movement would bring him fully inside her, in the union of seed and blood, spirit-life and begetting, a child forged of the body's need. Awakened, as always, so close, to return to the pitiful reality of the world where his beloved was no more.

Celegorm shook off the dream and pulled himself upright, still fully erect. Aredhel was dead, slain by a false husband. The laws of Mandos would never return her to the flesh after what she had done, would never give a warm and solid body to her spirit for her true-bonded husband to hold in his eager and empty arms. And if she were to return, it would be long after the everlasting darkness had taken him, from which there is no escape.

As he often did after this dream, he wanted to hurt himself, to cut or damage the erect member that pointed its hopeless need heavenward. Instead, he strapped his leggings as tight as they could go, so that his condition would be unmistakable. Let his pretty little captive see it, and think it was for her.

He had, after all, threatened to marry her.

His harsh footsteps pounded to the dungeon where Luthien was held. Her cloak was gone leaving her bare-shouldered. Celegorm dimly recalled taking it from her when he brought her into captivity. She knelt, fair-faced as always, in jewel-like perfection even in the stink of the dungeon, and her beauty was a rebuke to him. Celegorm disliked beautiful women, with their implicit constant offering of the self to any stranger. If beauty were what he desired, there is nothing more beautiful than the light of a Silmaril.

And Aredhel was most beloved in her imperfection, covered with quarry-blood and her hair matted, her garments torn and feet mud-drenched, her eyes lit with private joy. There was nothing of the Silmaril in her, nor would she take one if it were offered.

The captive, chained Luthien appraised her imprisoner, unafraid. Her eyes took in his grimaced face, his golden hair and broad exposed chest, the hips thrust threat-like forward. Then her gaze met his, and held it.

"If you touch me you will die," she said. Her voice was sweet like a nightingale, like the singing of a song-bird once shot with bow and arrow in Valinor.

"Do you threaten me?" he sneered.

"No," she said, sadly. "I can see it in your eyes. You are wed."

Of course. For a married Elf to take or be taken by force was to die.

But was it right that he was wed? This member had never entered inside a maid, never bathed an open womb with seed to bring forth a child. His lost beloved had birthed the dark bastard Maeglin. Her womb had opened, and not for him. Cursed be the laws of the Noldor that bind me to her forever, whether she keep them or no, and more cursed be my own heart.

And how dare this Maia's get threaten him? What could be done to him that was worse than the childless futureless emptiness he endured? Surely not death. That would find him in any case, and with it the everlasting dark. He was worse than a mortal now, for mortals have their sons to outlive them.

"It might be worth it," he said to her, "to take you and die."

She considered, thoughtful, as if she could see beyond his words to his desires. "But it would not bring you what you seek, for I would die as well, and not live to bear a Feanorian in Doriath. You will not escape your doom through me."

He looked at her again, as if for the first time, and saw in her eyes, as well, the echo of a bond.

"You have given yourself to that human," he wrenched the words, nauseated.

"Of course," answered Luthien. "My father can stand or not at my wedding, but my love is not his to give or withhold." She seemed to grow in strength as she watched her captor's despair.

For what had he brought her here? He had hoped to wed her, to gain power in Nargothrond, a chance at his vow-cursed Silmarils (if, indeed, this girl and her human lover had power to gain them) and, perhaps, a child who could outlive him, who could still feel the warm sun of Beleriand when he was rotting out his eternal damnation in the everlasting darkness to which he was sworn. Celegorm saw now the futility of that last hope. Dispossessed we are, and futureless we shall be. He softened, finally, all his potency drained from him. Only one desire remained that it was still possible to fulfil.

Celegorm looked at Luthien again, and her eyes were many-coloured like a kaleidoscope of tinted glass, or like the distant lost light of the Silmarils. The brightness made him want to blind those eyes so that they would not shine. He would take the Silmaril at least, and die with it darkening in his hand, following him to the everlasting dark. He would redeem his vow, and curse Mandos and all the Valar as he fell.

"You will stay here," he said, "and if your human seducer can find a Silmaril for Thingol he can find one for me. Or I will slay him."

"Beren is stronger than you," Luthien said proudly, "and if you attack us or our heirs you will die, alone and unloved."

"I will kill your children first," Celegorm said, recognizing the one truth in the words he had just spoken - that she, like his lost Aredhel, would have children. And he would not.

Then, as there was nothing he could take from her, he turned away.



Footnote 5 in 'Laws and Customs of the Eldar': "there is no record of any among the Elves who took another's spouse by forceone so forced would have rejected bodily life and passed to Mandos. Guile or trickery in this matter was scarcely possiblefor the Eldar can read at once in the eyes and voice of another whether they be wed or unwed." It seems logical to me that if a married rape victim would die, a married rapist would doubtless suffer the same fate. (This, of course, only applies to those Elves who consider every detail of Laws and Customs binding.)

For Celegorm being married (or not) see 'The Guardian of the Walls.'

Many thanks to Finch and Ithilwen for inspiration, and to Cirdan for betareading.