Hammer and anvil
It was hot, burning hot. Nobody could remember a summer like this and the heat of the forge didn't exactly make things any easier. The golden light of Laurelin streamed in through open doors and although curtains were pulled down to create at least the illusion of shade it didn't work at all. The elves stayed indoors now, panting and wishing for the days to end quickly, but the nights had been warm too of late.
Fëanor wiped the sweat from his brow and gasped slightly, working at this time of the day should have been banned, it was sheer torture. But it had to be done, the farmers needed new plows and so he was forced to work like a horse. He cursed himself, becoming a smiths apprentice was everything he had wanted but he had no idea it would be this hard. He had imagined that he would be creating wonderful things, beautiful things, things others would admire and gasp in awe at.
But here he was, forging plowshares instead of beautiful knives or jewelry or other intricate and lovely things. Mahtan had told him he needed to learn how to walk before he could start running and this was the sort of work an apprentice could expect to be given, but it was darn boring. His master had of course told him that what he did make now was just as important as any fancy piece of jewelry, a smith should know that the beauty of an object lay in its practical use more than in its appearance. He sighed and hammered away at the steel, he had made half a dozen when Mahtan decided that the work was sloppy and bad and he had to start all over again. He had been given a rather harsh lesson and he felt ashamed of himself. Of course Mahtan was right, such tools were important, without a proper plow the farmers couldn't plant their crops and everybody would starve, but it was deathly boring. Just hammering, bang bang bang at that stupid steel.
Mahtan told him to take pride in every piece of work he did, even if it was just a mere horseshoe. No smith wanted to get a reputation of being indifferent or sloppy with their work, each and every piece had to be perfect, as if it was the very pinnacle of one's career. He did see why of course, and his father did agree with Mahtan, even as a prince he would have to start at the bottom, learn the basic methods and techniques like any other apprentice. But plowshares? Oh Eru, it was hard work. The metal had been cut into shapes and laid in the forge to become soft and malleable and now he had to hammer it into shape.
Mahtan had done the most important part of the job, he had patiently shown his apprentice how the blade had to consist of several different types of steel. A hard and tough one for the very edge of it, and a softer more shapeable one for the main part of the blade. A plough would encounter rocks and hard roots, it had to be able to cut through the roots like a sword through flesh and yet not be so brittle that it would crack when a rock was in its way. It was the same with any good blade and this he did understand, he already had a good idea of how to forge very good blades indeed but Mahtan didn't want to teach him such things. They were not needed, did they not live in a world of eternal peace?
The dark one was imprisoned and no longer a threat and who needed swords and armor now? The smith had prepared ten plowshares and they lay in the forge now, he had to finish them this evening and Fëanor had struggled for hours. His arms felt like they were made from lead and the clanging of his hammer hitting the anvil was giving him a throbbing headache.
Mahtan had grinned and ruffled his hair. "You need to build some strength lad."
Fëanor had just shrugged, he had thought that he was strong already but apparently he wasn't strong enough. He had just two of those darn shares left in the forge, glowing red and ready for the shaping. He had been given quite a lot of criticism from Mahtan on the first ones he had to redo. The shape was wrong, the surface not smooth enough, he had to work faster, a lot faster. The steel had to be formed before it cooled down too much for it could not be reheated, if it was it would become brittle, lose its strength.
Mahtan was working outside of the main room, he was sharpening the blades and the prince heard the sound of the wheel he used to shape the edges right. You propelled it with your feet and it was an ingenious invention Fëanor wished he had come up with. He gasped and hammered away, Mahtan was listening to his rhythm, if he started lagging behind there would be a howl of dissatisfaction coming through the open door and he didn't want to upset his master, and absolutely not now. The heat made Mahtan very irritable and grumpy and he had been given a smack across the back of his head one time too may now. He had to finish the last ones too, and make them perfect but it was so darn hard.
He sighed and moaned, clang clang bang. The vigorous rhythm needed to shape the steel was exhausting to say the least and he felt sticky and slick all over. Due to the heat he only wore a leather apron to protect his upper body from sparks and high gloves, his breeches were made from soft cloth and they were soaking wet, he had been sweating like a pig the whole day and Mahtan had over and over again told him the importance of drinking enough. Fëanor had nodded and smiled but it made him run to the privy all the time and the water made him feel nauseous too. Nerdanel, Mahtan's daughter had come to the forge on a few occasions with water containing ginger and it didn't make you feel sick, no matter how hot you were. Oh how he longed for some of that now, cool and sweet.
Oh Nerdanel, that was another cause for concern, he had met her by chance one day just after he started his apprenticeship and at first he hadn't liked her at all. She was disrespectful, she didn't curtsey or call him a prince and she acted just as if he was an ordinary ellon. He was fuming after that first meeting but gradually that changed. It was refreshing to meet someone who didn't cower in front of him, who challenged his opinions and he loved her rough sense of humor and rather peculiar way of dealing with everyday life. She wasn't a stunning beauty the way some of the noble ladies were, and yet she was more lovely than they were for her beauty was so rarely seen, it was hiding in her smiles, in her playful character, in the glimpse in her eyes and the mischievous laughter. She would sparkle more brightly than any jewel on such occasions and he saw only that, not her somewhat less than perfect features and strong body some claimed to be almost a bit masculine due to the strength in her shoulders and arms. To him she was perfection, his dreams, his heart, his future. His missing other half of which he had been ignorant until he met her.
She was a sculptress and he had seen her work. It was magnificent, in every statue she was able to capture some sort of life, an essence of what it was that she was making. Her work was made from stone, cold marble or granite but it was yet alive in some way, almost as if it was about to awaken, to start breathing and moving and speaking.
He quickly developed a habit of arriving at the house before she would leave for her studio just so that he would have a chance at seeing her. He didn't know if Mahtan would approve of his awakening emotions at all, he strongly suspected that the smith would blow a fuse if he believed that Fëanor was interested in his daughter. After all, he was terribly protective of her and Fëanor knew he already had gotten quite a reputation for himself, and not a very good one neither. He had lost his temper rather often, been seen with the wrong people too, perhaps bedded a few too many. It was forgiven since he was royalty but he didn't think that Mahtan would be so forgiving, and absolutely not about that last part of it. Nerdanel was his pure little rose and Fëanor knew he probably had no chance at all.
But he already knew that he was lost, forever and completely. Her fiery personality did match his so well but hers was controlled and gentle, there was such warmth in her eyes, such tenderness in her gaze. He felt his heart swell with feelings for which he yet had no words whenever he laid eyes upon her and he had managed to meet her a few times without her father knowing it. He loved her, he just knew it. He longed to be with her, to become bonded with her, to know for sure that they were meant to be. He loved her sweet voice, the mischief in her smile, the patience she showed while working. She had the same sort of ability to lose herself completely to her work as he had and he so yearned to see what they could accomplish together.
They had spoken of great plans and dreams and he had kissed her, a few times. It was torturing himself for he knew that he couldn't go any further, not without her consent anyhow. And yet he yearned to, ached to. In the heat she wore a very flimsy dress that was very revealing and he stood there aching every time she visited the forge to speak with her father about something. She ignored him each time, just so that her father wouldn't get suspicious and he wanted to yell, to shout out his protest. He didn't want it to be like that, why did they have to hide it? Yes, he was a prince, scion of the house of Finwê but so what? He would never be king, never be anything except what he himself decided that he should be. He wanted to be a smith, to create things. That ought to be enough, that ought to be all that mattered. He had talent, he knew it. Mahtan had in a rare soft moment confessed that he never had come across anyone with such talent and Fëanor had been beaming with pride. He hadn't chosen to be born as royalty, but as a smith he could shape his own future and life just as he would form a piece of metal into anything he wanted to create.
But she was on his mind all of the time and she made it hard for him to concentrate on his work, his body was in chaos whenever she was near and almost every night when he finally got back to his bed after having taken a rather cold bath he would end up stroking himself, her face and tempting body in his mind and her name on his lips when he came. He did sometimes feel ashamed of himself, of his lack of self-restraint and control but he couldn't help it. She made him mad! That fiery red hair, the sparkle in her eyes, the waist so narrow he was sure he could grasp around it. Her scent, the way she almost slid across the ground, as if she was weightless, her silly jokes and her wisdom.
Oh why didn't everybody see the truth? She was his, as he was hers.
He dropped the metalpiece into the barrel of water and heard the hiss as it cooled down, then he laid it among the other finished ones and got the next out of the fire. He closed his eyes, just two left, sweet Eru it was a relief. Then he heard a soft voice whispering to him and he almost dropped the hot metal, she had been sneaking up on him. He held his breath. "Keep hammering, or else father will get suspicious."
He turned his head in shock, stared down at her. She was grinning, that sparkle of mischief and joyfulness playing in her eyes once again. He remembered to keep hammering at the metal, but by the two trees, she was distracting. She laid a hand on his shoulder, it was so cool and light and yet the touch felt like he was getting branded. He gasped for air, remember to breathe, remember to keep hammering. "What are you doing here, at this time of the day?!"
He was hissing it and held his eyes on the red hot metal on the anvil. She giggled. "I just wanted to see how well you wield a hammer."
The word had a double meaning and he felt his cheeks burn, she could be so naughty at times, he did seriously doubt that Mahtan knew of this side of his daughter. He was dead sure that she was a fiery one also in bed and the very idea made him groan. He was getting hard, very fast. Nerdanel licked her lips, she placed a jar of cold water on a bench nearby, then her hand slid slowly down his flanks and he could just stare at her with wide eyes. He could not stop hammering, the moment he fell out of rhythm her father would hear it and come to investigate. He was sweating even more than before and he felt how that lovely hand of hers slid across his skin, so very slowly, so very teasingly. "What are you doing now?!"
She giggled. " Checking how good you are at staying in rhythm"
Her voice was husky and low, it was almost a growl and he had to look at her again, his own grey eyes wide open in disbelief and shock. He let the hammer fall onto the metal, harder than before. She slid her hand in underneath the leather apron, he tensed up. "Nerdanel!"
She giggled again, her hand caused him to squirm and she looked him in the eye. "Anything wrong? Oh, you do wield quite an impressive…tool"
He gasped for air, body shuddering, eyes half closed. Keep hammering, keep hammering. If her father entered now and saw him there with his daughters hand down his pants there would be hell to pay for sure. Her touch, so light and gentle was almost more than he could take, he closed his eyes, his hand bringing the hammer down onto the hot metal again and again, he was breathing hard, squirming against her touch.
She was inside of his pants, had unlaced them and he felt her skin against his own hot hard shaft. He wanted to scream, to beg her to stop, to beg her to never stop, he didn't know. She started stroking him, slow gentle and yet determined movements that felt so good he feared his legs would give out underneath him. Clang, clang, the sound of his hammer hitting warm steel kept him there, kept him from falling away into a haze of pleasure and need. He heard a voice coming from outside of the smithy. "That's better lad, nice rhythm, you are getting the hang of it!"
Mahtan's voice was pleased and Nerdanel giggled again, a sound like silverbells. "No, it isn't exactly hanging right now"
Fëanor was shivering, he saw that he had shaped that piece of metal, shoved it into the barrel and heard the hiss of hot steel. He groaned and felt how her hand did incredibly wicked things with his cock, things that felt so good he feared that he would pass out soon. He grasped the last one, started hammering, her strokes got faster, more determined. She whispered to him. "Can't you imagine it too? How I will be your anvil if you will be the hammer?"
He hissed, the image too clear in his mind, he was biting his own lip not to make sounds Mahtan would hear. He was already leaking pre cum and she smeared it all over the head of his cock, used the fluid so she could increase the speed even more. He kept hammering, sweat streaming of him, his eyes fixed on the door, sweet Eru, so close, so close. Keep hammering, keep the rhythm, don't lose it. He felt himself tensing up, his balls being pulled closer to his body, he was on the very edge, she kept him there, so very skillful with a wicked glint in her eyes and the tip of her tongue visible in the corner of her mouth. "You little…temptress"
She nodded and her free hand pulled at the hem of her dress, held it out from her body so he could look down the inside of her dress, see her perfect rounded breasts and then she let go and instead she lifted the skirt of the dress just enough for him to get a glimpse of the triangle of sleek silky red hair where her thighs met, he almost lost it.
Eru's mercy, he wanted to touch it, to kiss it, lick her, taste her, devour her in every way. How could she be this bold, this deliberately seductive, oh she knew what she was doing, and she was obviously enjoying herself, a lot!
He was barely able to think or talk, his arm moved as if by its own will, clang clang clang, sparks flying and he was breathing so hard he was afraid Mahtan would hear it. She leaned up, licked the skin where his collarbones met and he hissed again. "I…I am coming…soon"
She nodded, her eyes ablaze with eager energy and curiosity. Her strokes followed the rhythm of his hammering now, he couldn't help it, he pressed his hips against her touch, bucked, arched, felt it starting in the very core of him and he let the hammer fall onto the anvil again, biting his lip to stifle his scream of almost unbearable pleasure. Clang clang clang, sparks flew, also in front of his eyes, the hammer met the metal, shaped it once more. He stood there, eyes rolling, mouth open in a soundless cry, a howl of fulfilment and he felt the warm liquid of his release filling her hand. She kept the grip on him until he stopped pulsing and the orgasm let go of him. He shivered, swayed as if he was drunk. She giggled and pulled her hand out from underneath the apron, it was sticky with his seed and she sniffed it and grinned. "It smells like the sea."
He didn't have the strength to answer, but he took the metal, shoved it into the barrel, heard the hiss, it was finished, it was done. She rinsed her hand off in the same water, grinning. "I bet that was more interesting than just standing there hammering out plowshares or what?"
He wanted to answer but they heard someone moving outside of the door and she was suddenly gone, she even took the jug of water. Fëanor pulled the metal out of the barrel, grimaced. It probably had some of that sticky white liquid on it now, a part of him. The though sort of stuck to his mind, did it mean that the piece of metal contained some of him, a part of his essence? Could it be used somehow? He just stored it in his mind. The door opened and Mahtan entered. He went straight to the heap of finished plowshares and picked up the last ones. He whistled between his teeth. "Now this is good work lad, perfect I must say. You really found the right rhythm there, and the right energy. It is all about the energy."
Mahtan turned and stared at him, frowned. Fëanor felt a hint of panic, could the smith somehow see something, did he smell it perhaps? "Are you alright lad? You are pale, and by Eru, you are covered with sweat."
Fëanor tried to smile. "So…hot!"
He felt his legs give way underneath him and Mahtan managed to catch him just before he fell head first onto the anvil. The smith swore. "Morgoth's rod lad, you haven't been drinking enough now have you, and this heat! You have overexerted yourself, taking pride in your work is good and a goal but by Eru, don't push yourself so hard you injure your health!"
He grasped the prince and dragged him onto a bench, placed him upon it. "Oh you are so stubborn, like your father. I shouldn't have made you work in this heat now should I, I ought to know you are capable of working yourself to death!"
The door at the end of the room opened and Nerdanel entered, she just stopped and stared as if she hadn't seen Fëanor at all that day, she frowned. " Hello father, I thought I would bring you some cold water, what's the matter with your apprentice? He looks…terrible"
Mahtan sighed with relief. "The valar bless you child, you came just in the nick of time, he has suffered a heat stroke poor lad, too eager to please everybody isn't he?"
Fëanor just moaned, his body felt like jelly and he had a headache of epic proportions. She poured water into a cup and he drank greedily, felt her hand caressing his own while she supported the cup. "Just…needed…to….finish!"
Mahtan sighed. "Now don't we all, but I suppose you have learned a lesson. Nerdanel, help him get to the healer, I have to finish sharpening the plowshares. Don't let him try to escape."
She looked very determined. " No way father, he will not be able to escape from my grasp."
She helped him get onto his feet, he staggered out of the door and she supported him with a hand around his waist. He whispered to her. "One day I am sure you will be the death of me, what were you thinking?!"
She just smiled innocently and used her spare hand to wave at her father, grinning like a little girl. "I just wanted to see if you are as fiery as the rumors say you are"
He moaned, his head spinning. Note to self, do not try to achieve an orgasm in a baking hot smithy again. " And?"
She giggled and her hand slid down, caressed his firm rear in a way that made his cock twitch even though he was truly sated and feeling more than a little unwell. "They were right, you are. Just as I am."
He felt a little better, it wasn't that hot outside and the gentle breeze did smell of flowers and ripe fields. " Adding fire to fire may be dangerous."
She shook her head. " Our flames are different Feanaro, fight fire with fire remember? We both know the truth don't we? Our flames will feed upon each other, grow stronger, brighter. They will level each other out when they burn too fiercely to control, we will be the balance of each other."
He placed his arm around her shoulders, let more of his weight rest onto her, just because she could handle it, because she was his anvil and could take anything he would throw at her, she was his foundation and strength, upon which he would create his future, his life, his family. "There is no turning back now is there?"
She stared up at his face, her eyes so bright, so filled with light. Light as sacred as that of the trees, just as alive, just as precious. She smiled, a smile filled with the promise of countless nights of passion, of love unending, of the laughter of children. "There never were my love, there never were."
She grasped his hand with her own and he let her lead him to the healer, and from that day on they both knew that it would be the two of them. Not even the Valar would be able to prevent their union. They belonged together and needed each other to be complete, to function, to be all that they could be, like a hammer and an anvil. Useful on their own but brought together amazing things could be created and sparks would fly, for years and years to come.