“Gandalf … Gandalf, awaken … “

Gandalf stirred in his half-sleep, hearing the voice and instantly recognizing its provenance. “I hear you.”

“It’s time … time to choose an apprentice … “

“I have no need of an apprentice.” The wizard snarled, defensive even in his sleep.

“No one should be alone in this world, dear Gandalf. You were sent here to live your life among the people of Middle Earth. There is no reason that you should be forced to exist alone.”

“I am a wizard, Galadriel! I am not of this world nor do I submit to its rules and regulations.”

“Both you and I know, dear wizard, that the rules and regulations are tentative at best. Only death is certain and yet, you beat even that.”

“Is there a point to this invasion of my dreams, Galadriel?”

“That all must live and grow in this world, Gandalf, and that you are not exempted from that. You must choose an apprentice and you must procreate and grace the world with your progeny. Your offspring will be much needed in the future.”

“Galadriel … ”

“It is not divined by me, dear Gandalf. It is the way of all things, to seek companionship, to lengthen one’s line in the world and to meet death in the arms of one who loves you. You have accomplished much, wizard, yet the harder things in life elude you.”

“You don’t call battle hard?”

“No, I don’t. Battle is in the blood of all men and violence is a natural tendency. Love, care and romance are not natural to men. It has to be learned and cultivated. Those who are blessed, consider the gift of love the greatest victory a man or woman can ever win.”

“That is not a blessing that I willfully seek, Galadriel. Now, let me sleep!”

“Not until you agree that at the least, you need an apprentice. You are reaching up in years, Gandalf. You must pass on your knowledge and power to another worthy vessel.”

“Fine! Fine! Just go away!”

Galadriel smiled and dissipated into the scheme of things, assured of the happiness of her crotchety friend. She returned to her people, informing her Lord that soon, if her visions became true, that Gandalf the Grey and White would have a son.

The moon was high in the sky as she scaled the rickety tower. Ariana looked down, forced her fear back and climbed upward. The weathered trellis ended at an open window and she crawled inside, taking care not to injure the plants that hovered on the sill, waiting for the kiss of daylight. A long, deep snore came from the bed and she quickly tiptoed past, navigating the stairs down and finding the kitchen. She filled her bag with onions, carrots and heads of lettuce and cabbage, then found a leftover haunch of rabbit that had been covered with a vinegar-berry sauce.

She didn’t think anything strange about the meat being out; she simply started eating it as she stuffed a bottle of garlicky oil, a wheel of cheese and a half-filled bottle of red wine. She shoved a loaf of crusty bread, a string of garlic and a box of dried basil leaves into the bag also and headed for the door. At the exact time she reached for the knob, it twisted in her hand, pushing inward and admitting Grelthorn Ambias, who was coming into his house. He didn’t notice her in the shadows, although the scent of food should have led him but he was tired from a long day of work and he shuffled into the main room to grab a glass of wine and sit down. He would find the wine missing, of course.

Ariana exited the house and dashed into the cover of trees, her heart pounding. At least she would have something to eat and that would keep her from the city. The city was not a good place for an unattached young woman to be. Especially not one who was a beautiful as she was, though she’d violently disagree. She was on the tall side, an attribute that few men liked. Women should not be taller than a man, it was said. It gave the improper impression that the woman was in control.

She pushed a lock of dirty blonde hair out of her eyes, took out the cheese and nearly cut her finger off when she was startled, by of all things, a horse. The animal was by far, the most beautiful she’d ever seen and his shining white coat brought the brilliance of the moon down to her feet. Mesmerized, she put the cheese and knife away, exchanging them for a carrot. She quickly broke it into pieces and fed them, one by one, to the majestic steed, stroking its silvery mane as it chewed.

After the last piece, the horse whinnied, nudging her. “What do you want? I need the rest of the carrots!” Another nudge, pushing her back along its side. “You want me to ride you?” A loud whinny and a shake of the head. “Sorry, boy, I can’t get on you. You’re too big!” The horse bent its front leg, giving her a step up. She grasped its mane and climbed aloft, suddenly weary. She’d been three days without food and about as long without rest and it was catching up to her.

As the horse began moving, she didn’t ask where it was taking her. She merely laid her head against its corded neck, wrapped her fingers in its mane and fell into a deep sleep.

“Shadowfax! What is this?”

It was impossible not to hear the loud voice, even more so because the owner was standing above her. Ariana tried to shake off the thick cloak of sleep, clutching her precious saddlebag and arising clumsily. The man moved into her sight, imposing in his flowing white robes and angry gleam in his eye.

“Who are you?”

“Ariana, sir.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I just fell asleep on the horse, sir. He brought me here.”

“Are you accustomed to stealing people’s belongings, child?”

“I am not a child, sir! I am nearly twenty and three years and I never steal unless it’s necessary.”

“And it was necessary to steal Shadowfax?”

“I did not steal him, sir.” She growled at him through gritted teeth, refusing to let the handsome older man intimidate her. “He brought me here.”

Gandalf paused a beat, glaring at the young woman. His aged eyes didn’t miss the supple curves beneath the oversized and ripped clothing and he quite liked the fire in her eyes. But she had to go. “Fine. Then you may leave.”

Ariana hadn’t realized that her face had fallen until she caught the look on his face. “I have nowhere to go.”

A tiny voice spoke to Gandalf. She could be your apprentice. “Damn you, Galadriel!” He growled under his breath, still glaring at the girl. “Come with me. It will do you no good to sleep amongst the animals unless you wish to smell like one.”

A smile lit Ariana’s boyish features and the effect was stunning. The simple change transformed her from a waifish mongrel to an alluring, but dirty, young woman. Gandalf felt his cock stir, something completely unexpected and it made him uncomfortable. “I hate to be the one to tell you, sir, but I already smell like one.”

He tried not to laugh. He wanted to remain aloof but her innocent charm was quickly taking hold of him. Raising an authoritative eyebrow, he said, “Believe me. I noticed. Come on. You can bathe in the pond and maybe I can find you some clothes.”

The dark blue of her eyes met the brown of his. “Thank you, sir.”

“The name’s Gandalf.”

Gandalf had searched his home for quite a while, looking for something suitable for the young lady to wear, his mind running a thousand miles a minute. It had been quite some time since he’d lain with a woman. His cock twitched at the memory of sweaty bodies locked in amorous combat. A spurt of adrenalin tightened his chest as he remembered the unforgettable feeling of being enveloped in a woman’s body, of the hot, slick tunnel that welcomed him, of the mouth that ensnared him. But while the act of lovemaking had brought him sweet release, it had done nothing to make him want to remain with the women. The feelings were common and he could find them with any woman, he surmised. He never thought about children.

“Maybe you should.”

“Damn you, Galadriel! Isn’t it enough that I’ve accepted this woman into my home? Must you persist in bothering me?”

“Only when it comes to the health and welfare of my friends, dear Gandalf.”

“I’m perfectly fine.”

“Your thoughts tell me otherwise. Never have I found you recalling the act of sex.”

“I wasn’t recalling it for you.” He tossed the robe and undergarments over his arm and headed outside. “Now, will you please leave me alone!”

“I will leave you to your thoughts, dear Gandalf.”

“Meddling woman.” Gandalf snarled to himself, secretly pleased that Galadriel cared for him. He trudged up the path and paused at the top of the hill, frozen in place as he looked down towards the pond. The woman was gorgeous. She knelt at the pond’s edge, cupping water and tossing it over her shoulders. Her wet hair gleamed in the approaching sunlight and crystalline beads of water clung to her alabaster skin, sliding over rose-tipped breasts and the luscious curve of her hips. The saliva dried in Gandalf’s mouth as he leaned against his staff, taking in the scene.

Ariana was oblivious to his presence. She was enjoying the beauty of her surroundings and the cleanliness of the water. She hated to be grimy and dirty but it had been necessary to hide her beauty. Now, she didn’t have to worry. She felt that she could trust him. As she spooned water over her body, her thoughts turned to the man, Gandalf. Of course she had known who he was. Everyone knew who the great wizard was and had heard of his exploits. But to meet him … she would never have imagined that!

Everyone had said that he was old but she didn’t see that. She saw the magnificence of age in his weathered features and the wrinkles and crows feet just made him more handsome in her eyes. His dark eyes seemed fathomless, filled with knowledge and mystery. And pain. She had seen that, regardless of his light banter. The wizard was lonely and was fighting it.

She moved farther out into the pond, dunking her hair and rinsing the dirt from it. How she wished for a chip of soap!


She turned to the bank and smiled at him. “Yes, Gandalf?”

“I brought these for you.” He gestured to the clothing piled in a heap at his feet. “And here’s some soap.” He tossed the piece to her and she caught it, holding it to her nose and inhaling the rose scent.

“Was this yours? The soap?”


“You favor roses?”

Ariana saw the stern look on his face. “Am I not allowed to have my own niceties?”

“I didn’t mean it like that, sir.”

“My name is Gandalf!”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I just wanted to know if you liked roses.”

Gandalf relented in his anger when he heard the ingenuous note in her voice. Surprising himself, he sat down near the edge of the bank, leaning against the huge oak that spread its leafy shade over them. “Yes, I like roses very much.”

“I do, too. My favorites are tea roses. I like how they are so small and so perfect.”

A smile crept over Gandalf’s features, his fingers stroking his staff. “Yes, those are beautiful.” But not as beautiful as you are, he wanted to add. She looked like a water nymph with her silver hair and flawless skin and he suddenly felt the urge to reach out and touch her, to know the peace of being within her body. But she would not want an old man. That thought quickly doused his smile and he stood slowly. “I will wait for you just over the hill. Hurry up. I’m hungry.”

The joy in Ariana’s heart died suddenly as she sensed that she had somehow upset him. She would have to work a little harder to win his heart, she decided. As she returned to the shallows, lathering up the soap, she pondered over what she’d just said to herself. Win his heart? Was that what she truly wanted?

“Yes.” She answered aloud. Hearing the word made her wish real. To have the wizard’s love, she would do anything.

She began her apprenticeship the next day. Learning the ins and outs of Gandalf’s house was first. He gave her a room on the second floor and taught her how to milk the cows and collect eggs. She could cook so she alternated fixing meals with him and spent time poring over his voluminous manuals and learning how to identify herbs. Each day, Ariana spent as much time with him as she could, trying to get under his skin and into his heart. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and winter approached.

“Time to go into town.” He announced one day. “You need some winter clothes.”

“But I don’t have any money, Gandalf.”

“Not to worry.” He gave her one of his patented smiles and she noticed a touch of warmth in his eyes. “It’ll be taken care of.”

Winter came as usual, cold and dreary but Ariana was warm in her new clothes and she thanked Gandalf by applying herself to her studies and working as hard as she could. Gandalf watched her and at first, wanted to say something to her, but realized what she was doing. He also didn’t miss the roses she left wherever he would find them. In the pockets of his robes, tucked into the brim of his hat, looped through the hole in his staff. He knew that she was thinking of him and that thought kept him warm inside.

This night, she had fallen asleep in his chair, the firelight glinting off the silver of her hair and highlighting the beauty of her face. He knelt at her feet, unable to stop himself and reached out, letting his fingertips touch the warm skin of her cheek. Her eyes fluttered open and met his and for a long moment, they just stared at each other. Then, her small hand floated out and cupped his chin, her fingers tracing the hard line of his jaw.

“Gandalf.” Her whisper fired his heart and his cock began to rise to the occasion. He leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers. A thrill went through him and he trembled at her eager response. Her pliant lips opened under his and her tongue gently stroked his, her fingers looping through his hair and pressing him closer.

“Ariana, I’m an old man … ”

Her fingers softly pressed against his lips, silencing him, then moved gently over his face, memorizing every nuance of her face. “Don’t do that, Gandalf.” Her eyes glittered with tears. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“But, Ariana, you’re so beautiful.”

“Does that make you want me less?”

“No.” Gandalf tried to calm his pounding heart. “But to give me your beauty when there could be someone else … ”

“Gandalf, there will never be anyone else. I don’t want anyone else except you.”

His eyes suddenly burned with tears. “Ariana, you don’t know what you’re saying.”

“Yes, I do. I know exactly what I’m saying … ” She pressed her mouth to his again and rubbed her tongue against his. Her hands left his face, moving over his wiry frame, luxuriating in the muscles that moved beneath. “And I know exactly what I’m doing.”

Gandalf didn’t counter her words again. He grabbed her, pulling her up into his arms and quickly closing the space between them, first with his mouth, then with his body. This feeling that flooded him was as foreign as an invader in his home. He’d never let anyone get too close. After all, during all those years of battle, he had not only lost his own life but he’d also seen others die and the pain of attachment was something he quickly learned to avoid. But now, this girl, these feelings … he was ready to give in. He was ready to lay down his staff and the inherent responsibility that went with wielding it to be with her.

Ariana shivered as his arms closed around her, binding her to his hard length. He lifted her easily, his mouth ravishing her face as he mounted the stairs, taking them to his bedroom. Once there, he laid her down, then lit the lamps so that he could see every inch of her. She sat up and moved over, making room for him and welcomed his trembling kiss. Was it possible that he was as nervous as she was? She raised her hands and stripped off her outer robe, leaving her thick woolen shift and the more flimsy undergarments beneath. His roughened palms fell upon the exposed flesh, drinking in the heat of her skin and aimlessly wandering over freckle and birthmark alike.

He barely caught his breath as her fingers untied his cloak and removed it, then unbuttoned his rough shirt, baring his lean but muscled chest to her touch. A deep quivering began that he could not squelch. Her hands smoothed his furred flesh, her fingertips circling his nipples and drawing a hiss of pleasure from him. Her fingers roamed further, falling on the ropy flesh of scars and her eyes flicked up to his, sympathy burning into him.

Pushing the rest of the shirt aside, she applied her mouth to his skin, tracing the same path her fingers had taken. His natural response gave her confidence to continue. She pressed him back against the bed, her mouth traveling across his scarred ribs and over his taut stomach, pausing just above his pant line. She raised her eyes to his, slipping the ties loose on his pants and sliding them down. His cock bobbed majestically before her, hard and thick, smelling of his musk and a faint hint of roses.

“Oh … ” The utterance morphed into a gasp when her mouth encompassed the swollen head of his prick. Her tongue swirled around the slit, tasting his essence and swallowing gratefully. Every touch of her tongue sent him spiraling upward, his senses soaring as he fought to retain his composure. The complex shell that he had built around himself was being battered, crumbling under every stroke of her tongue. Part of him desperately wanted to cling to its protection, yet he knew it was time roll over and show his underbelly. To make himself vulnerable to someone. And it would be Ariana.

Gently, he pulled her up, afraid that he wouldn’t be able to stand the touch of her mouth any longer. She made a whimpering sound, upset that he was pulling her away but soon changed to a moan when he pulled her shift off and cupped her breast through the thin chemise. His mouth on her nipple was almost a religious experience and her pussy awakened with a wet twinge, making her gasp this time. He stripped the chemise and the panties from her body and bent over her, worshipping this work of art that he had been so lucky to be allowed to love.

The Gandalf she knew became a man; a touchable man who knew his way around a woman’s body. His tongue laved her nipples until she was screaming in pleasure and her pussy cream ran like a stream. His thick fingers found her weeping slit and he pressed one finger past her puffy lips, pushing deeply into her. Ariana flew into pieces as the first orgasm of her life burst through her like fireworks. She dug her nails into Gandalf’s arms, her head thrown back as she gasped for breath. “Oh, Gandalf!”

Gandalf could never have imagined that lovemaking could be so different. His few experiences could not compare to this. His skin tingled where she touched him and his cock was so hard that he couldn’t wait to be inside her but he was trying so hard to be patient. Patience was the last thing on Ariana’s mind. She grasped his prick, gave it a few loving strokes and rubbed the head against her dripping entrance. “Ari … ”