It had burned him: the evidence of that lay tight within his throat…….
Without will, without thought, his hand crept upwards, touched the
wounded flesh that even yet burned with the terrible proof of his
As if pulled by the very force of the earth itself, his head lowered in shame.
He could not have given it up. Not even if he had wanted to.
And he hadn't wanted to.
He could hear his heart beating, feel it, in fact, thick, like the sombre cadence of a drum.
He could not give it up, hadn't given it up…..had, in fact, took it greedily and willfully when it was not even his to take.
Never in an Age of regret, of sorrow, of shame, should he ever be able to meet Sam's eyes again.
Two hands. A cup. His cup, the blue one that put him in mind of the Sea on a wind-tossed day……
Ah, sweet and cool, like drops of crystal from the First Spring. It slipped down his throat like mercy…….
He found he still could not meet Sam's forthright gaze.
"There now, Mr. Frodo. Better that way, ain't it?"
What reply, really, could he ever make to that?
And so, he made none, and Sam, who knew best when to speak and when to
leave be, knelt by his side and gently took his hand.
Samwise had said his given name without the title! In startlement, he looked up, met bemused river-green-wheat-gold eyes…
"Mr. Frodo, it pains me to see you taking on so, and over such a little thing, too……"
Frodo's voice was naught but a whisper.
"But Sam, I….."
"Hush. Your Sam knows, Mr. Frodo, he knows.
And he hopes….....aye, he hopes, Master, that next time you've a
longing for hot chocolate, you might just say so, sir, and not be so
bold as to drink other folks'."
And Sam placed a stout silver chocolate-pot, all steamy and rich-cinnamon-y smelling, at Frodo's elbow.
Frodo sighed in gratitude at the very knowingness of Sam.
And poured himself a portion of the lovely confection-which-was-not, steadying the cup in his damaged hand.
Some desires, he reflected, as the very smell and taste overpowered him, some desires, after all, could be safely satisfied without the loss of one's finger……