Dream a Bitter Style: 2. Fire

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2. Fire

The benefit of wearing seven layers of clothing was that Glorfindel found it very easy to smuggle books out of Fingon's room of a morning. After breakfast, once Fingon had left to go about his daily business, Glorfindel would tuck one of the thinner volumes between crossing wraps of fabric and head down to the lower stairwell to meet Oropher. Quenya speaking lessons had progressed to Quenya reading lessons. On pleasant days, when they could go outside to scratch letters into the dirt with sticks, there were writing lessons as well. Whatever Glorfindel learned from Fingon, he passed on to Oropher.

Oropher, highly satisfied with his new literacy, had taken to calling Glorfindel "LL" as a short form of "Laurefindil". Glorfindel in return called Oropher "Quezo," a word that had no real meaning but was particularly enjoyable for the fact that Oropher could not pronounce it. The best he could manage so far was "Cuédho".

But the morning after the riverbank adventure was colder and greyer than usual. Shortly after breakfast, a rumour of imminent snow spread through the tower's corridors. Within hours, the astronomers had confirmed it. The next day there would be snow, and to herald its coming, that night there would be a festival. What this meant, as far as Glorfindel and Oropher were concerned, was that Fingolfin, Fingon and every other Noldo of importance would be occupied until sundown with the preparations. They had an entire day to themselves without worry.

Every able-bodied Sindarin boy had been sent into the forest to gather wood for bonfires. All men who weren't cooking were set to digging the fire pits in a courtyard lawn just inside the city wall while Noldorin soldiers worked as carpenters to assemble a stage and pavilions. Sindarin women washed dishes and cleaned floors. Noldorin women hung wreaths, garlands and tapestries. Young Sindarin children stayed indoors, out of the way. Glorfindel and Oropher stayed with them.

They lined the walls of Barad Eithel's great hall like clusters of scruffy, earthen-robed moss, if moss had silvery pale hair. The hall was heated not by fires but by vents; every two yards there was an iron grate covering a hole in the stone wall. Through the hole came hot air from the kitchens below. On cold winter days, Sindarin children had a habit of huddling around the vents. Each vent warmed four or five. Hundreds of children sat along the walls while their parents worked in the kitchens or corridors of the castle. Most were girls, as the boys were put to work tending the fires as soon as they were strong enough to carry an armful of logs. The oldest girls were perhaps twenty or twenty-five, not quite old enough to go to work with their mothers and sisters. Most of them held fussing babies on their laps.

They looked like the Lucindorin beggars who lined the holy streets in Valmar, Glorfindel thought. Only they did not hold out little wooden bowls for money. They held out their small, cupped hands for food. As Oropher passed, they tugged on the hem of his coat and left desperate, dirty finger marks. If he was in a teasing mood he would ask them to sing for him, but more often he bent at the sight of their wide eyes, seeming too large in their thin faces, and gave away all the candy he carried. It amazed Glorfindel that Oropher always managed carry enough candy to appease a roomful of children. He wondered if Fingolfin knew where all that candy went.

Later, once Oropher was reduced to scraping powdered sugar from the inside of his loucoum bag to satisfy his desire for sweets, they sat along the top of the city wall and watched the digging and construction below. Glorfindel sat with his back firmly against the parapet and his chin tucked down inside his collar, seeking shelter from the wind. Even Oropher shivered and pulled his cape tighter around his shoulders.

"And there," he said without pointing, "that's where the food goes. Reckon I won't be allowed to have any this year either. Last year, the King said I had to keep out of trouble and stay indoors. So I went to the Thindren festival on the other side of the wall." He gestured with his head to the aspen bluffs on the north side of the city. "Way more exciting, I guess. Don't have no stupid plays or minstrels at our festival. We just get to eat and drink lots and dance to the drums."

"I'd rather stay indoors," said Glorfindel, listening to the wind howl across the parapets.

Oropher shook his head. "No way. The festivals are the best time you'll ever have round these parts. You can dress up and act like however you fancy and nobody cares because they're all dressed up and acting funny too. What'll you wear tonight?"

"What do you mean, what will I wear?"

"I mean you got to wear a costume," said Oropher. "Everybody got to wear a costume. That's the festival rules. The whole purpose of a festival is to wear a costume and act silly."

"Oh," Glorfindel said. He had no costumes, but imagined he could borrow something frivolous and ill-fitting from Fingon. "What will you wear?"

"I'm going to be a deer." Oropher crossed his arms over his chest and grinned proudly. "See, I have these leather breeches and boots, then I think I'll paint some deer shapes on my skin and maybe make a crown out of antlers so's everybody knows what I am."

"I see," said Glorfindel. "That sounds..." He wished he could say it sounded stupid, as nobody would ever mistake a Elf covered in paint for a deer, but Oropher was clearly so happy with himself for coming up with the idea. "That's very creative."

Oropher's grin widened. "Thanks. I can help you with your costume if you like."

"No, no thank you." Glorfindel quickly shook his head. "I'm sure Finde... I mean, Fingon, will have something for me."

"I guess," said Oropher. "But I'm sure his costume won't be near as good as mine."

"Probably not," said Glorfindel. He leaned as far forward as he could without moving too far into the path of the wind, and stared down at the half-dug holes in the cold courtyard, wishing they were full of fire.


A sweet smoke of burning branches and leaves came from the new brick-lined pits. To the side, between the fires and barrows full of gathered wood, green-clad Elves stood as sentinels to guard and feed the flames. The fires had been burning since sunset and would continue to burn through the night, until all the gathered wood was gone. These fires were sacred. No tree had been harmed to feed them, and nothing green lay in the barrows. Only deadfall and dry brown leaves were allowed to burn this night: only things that had been found lying on the forest floor. In the morning, all ash would be swept from the pits and thrown over the forests and fields as an offering and prayer for a plentiful spring. This was the Festival of Fire.

The festival as it occurred in Eithel Sirion was a melding of Noldorin and Sindarin tradition. In Valinor, the Noldor had burned dry stalks and leaves after harvest and scattered the ashes across their gardens. In giving the burned plants back to Yavanna, they showed thanks for the crop while asking her blessing for the next year. The burning time was marked with a festival of bright costumes and celebration with food, drink, and song. But the Sindarin festival had traditionally been held just before the first snowfall. They gathered wood and burned it in great bonfires that provided a backdrop for dancing and singing. The purpose of their fires was to appease the winter season, hoping that a celebration at its coming would ease the cold.

The Noldor, when they settled and built Eithel Sirion, were quick to distance themselves from Valinor. They pushed their old festival back to coincide with the Sindarin and formed something entirely new, taking elements from both traditions. Fingolfin, being a very accurate and literal person, dubbed it the Festival of Fire. New rules and customs were invented each year. Any sparkling innovation one year tended to become commonplace by the next. Six years earlier, a group of merchants had decided to perform a play. In six years, the festival play tradition had evolved with the following rules: the merchants, the blacksmiths, the tailors, and so on each had to perform a short historical play; between the plays would be music and acrobatics; awards would be given for best play, best music, and best fool; all the ladies' parts had to be played by ladylike boys, as no actual ladies were allowed on stage.

Glorfindel watched the last play from a courtyard wall near the bonfires, standing at Fingon's right-hand side. At Fingon's left was his cousin Lailaniel. Beside her was Galadrin, her brother, and beside Galadrin was the lady who would soon become his wife. Both Galadrin and his lady were clad in green, with braided straw adornments. Lailaniel wore a long dress of heavy and layered dark blue, modest or even self-conscious when compared to the shoulder- or arm-baring shifts that unmarried girls were allowed to wear for the festival. A golden lace veil fell down from her headpiece so that any who looked at her would see only that veil and her thick black hair, not her face.

Down among the fires, lines of people had gathered in the colourful rows of a court dance. Some had bells on their costumes, or chimes, so that a delicate silver music joined the cracking fires and laughing voices to decorate the air. Fingon stepped forward to watch. As he moved, the skirts of his costume, which seemed plain black when he stood still, ribboned and fell open to reveal bright satin underneath. One side was red and purple, the other blue and green. All colours were embroidered with silver leaves. By an old Noldorin tradition, costumes for the festival were sewn new each year by wives and mothers. Fingon though had neither, and his only sister was far away in Nevrast to the west. So it was Lailaniel who made his costumes. And she made them well, taking far more hours than she cared to admit to perfectly embroider and trim.

"They look beautiful down there, don't they?" Galadrin asked as he stood near Fingon at the edge of the wall. "All those colours in the firelight. Makes me think I should join them." He took his lady's hand, smiling at her. "Would you care to dance with me."

"I would," she said, and they left down the nearest stairway.

Lailaniel stepped closer to Fingon in her brother's absence, almost leaning against his shoulder. "I begin to feel the cold, this far away from the fires. Do you think it might be warmer down there?"

"I think it would be, closer to the flames," Fingon said.

"Would you come with me?" she asked. "You know how I am on the stairs. But my leg does not pain me so much tonight. Maybe it's only the excitement of the festival, but I think I could dance some."

"I'll help you down," said Fingon. "I say we have to take advantage of this opportunity, if you think you can dance. Here, hold on to my arm..."

Glorfindel cleared his throat. "Should I come, or stay here?"

"You do as you wish for now," said Fingon. "I shall find you later." He disappeared down the stairs after Galadrin, Lailaniel clutching tightly at his arm.

For the next hour, Glorfindel walked by himself along the wall, looking down at the festival. At first he walked only near the fires. But boredom overtook the desire to stay warm after watching endless, unchanging dances, and he left the courtyard wall for the parapet wall past where he and Oropher had sat earlier. The fire pits grew small and dim behind him and the dance music faded, though revellers were gathered everywhere in the city. Their voices and flutes carried up to where Glorfindel passed. Their glowing lanterns bobbed like fireflies in the darkness. To the north, where Oropher had indicated earlier, a flickering orange light illuminated the wall. Glorfindel followed it.

The Sindar preferred their own celebration on their own terms. Their festival had remained largely unchanged since the coming of the Noldor, as they saw no reason for the blending of two perfectly good opposing traditions. They wore costumes, but these were hardly the ornate dress of the Noldor, rather simple clothes for a simple night of dance and song: a crown of berries, a fur cape, a mask made from bark. There was no visible ceremony, and no rigid rules. It was sheer joy for life and living. On the edge of the forest, they lit their fires and danced to the rhythmic music of wooden drums and pipes. Hundreds of voices sang the words to a well-loved song. As it ended, another began, and another after that. The dancers held torches rather than delicate lanterns, and swung them wildly with their leaps and whirls.

Oropher, Glorfindel saw, was one of the dancers. He was dressed as he had described in leather breeches, and his bare chest and arms were painted with red animal shapes. The crown of antlers rested on his unplaited hair and he held a torch in each hand. As he danced, he spun the torches over his head and around his body, carving fiery shapes into the air. Sometimes he sang, and sometimes he only laughed, adding the sound of his joy to all the others that filled the grove. He looked neither as stupid nor as ridiculous as Glorfindel had imagined. He looked noble and free, like a king of his people.

Glorfindel could only watch from the high stone wall and wish he were down among them to be embraced by their unspoiled happiness. He stood a long while looking to those glad fires, until he was disturbed by the tiny metallic voices of bells behind him.

"Why did you come all they way out here?" Fingon asked. He came to Glorfindel's side, glancing down at the Sindarin festival below. "I was looking for you."

"I was watching them," Glorfindel answered.

"Mm," said Fingon. "They're pathetic, aren't they? Look at them: half-naked and howling at the stars like wild things."

"They look happy."

"If so, it's only because they're too ignorant to know better." He slid behind Glorfindel, pressing against him and leaning forward. His hands gripped the ledge on either side of Glorfindel's waist, pinning him. Fingon kissed his ear, and whispered, "We two are lucky to have been born among the higher peoples of Aman instead of with these savages."

Glorfindel said nothing. On the grass below, Oropher danced in rings around a girl wearing a garland of leaves. He spun his torches while she chased after him.

"Balthor!" she cried. "Balthor!"

He shouted something back to her, but his reply was lost in the laughter and music.

"My cousins left early to go home for the night," said Fingon, "and I think I would like to leave as well. I've ordered wine sent up to my room, so that should be waiting for us."

Glorfindel watched as Oropher turned and disappeared into the aspen groves before submitting to the tug of Fingon's hands around his waist and following back along the wall. Fingon had been at the wine already. His hands were hot, his cheeks were flushed, and he shuffled uneasily while still insisting on walking backwards as he pulled at Glorfindel's clothes.

"Tell me where I'm going," he said with a careless smile. "I can't see where the wall is. I shall fall off the edge and into a fire pit."

"You should turn around," said Glorfindel.

Fingon shook his head. "Oh no. I must watch you. No, you won't escape from me again."

Glorfindel stopped, staring into Fingon's bright, wine-lit eyes. "I wasn't trying to escape. I was only going to see-"

"Your Sindarin friend, I know. Was he down there? I didn't notice."

"He was dancing."

"Some sort of inelegant ritual, no doubt," Fingon snorted. "Covered in leaves and animal skins. Howling and wailing their wretched... glamren glamb... Oh, I cannot get the sound out of my head." He shuddered, as if the Sindarin language were a fearsome danger. "How Ta can stand it... his Sindarin boy... Or perhaps how you can stand it? You don't find their words terribly harsh, do you?"

"No," Glorfindel said, "I've never thought-"

"But then your Vanyarin dialect has some harder sounds as well," Fingon interrupted again. "I suppose you wouldn't mind the Sindarin then. You probably speak it very well, every day." He leaned close, sliding his hands up to cup Glorfindel's neck as he whispered in his ear, "Perhaps you could be my Sindarin boy."

Glorfindel stiffened. Those words, whatever they meant and whatever threat they held, made his stomach flip nervously. He reached up to pull Fingon's hands away from his neck, but Fingon only laughed a wine-coloured laugh.

"Come along, I said! Show me the way. I will go up to my room, and drink more wine. You must come with me, Sindarin boy. Tolo an ni! ...anni? This language will kill me, honestly..."

It took the better part of an hour to shepherd Fingon back along the parapet wall to the tower, and up the winding staircase to his bedroom. Though his Sindarin was worse than usual, no doubt thanks to drink, he insisted on saying everything in both languages for the benefit of whatever game he thought he was playing. Glorfindel humoured him and spoke back in Sindarin. But once they passed through the bedroom door, he became suddenly quieter and more sober. He shrugged off his costume, which became a crumpled pile of colourful fabric and black ribbons on the floor. He wore only black breeches underneath.

As promised, a tray of wine had been set on a small table next to a welcoming fire. Fingon picked up one of two silver cups and ran his thumb over the corded decoration about its middle. He glanced hesitantly at Glorfindel, back at the wine cup, at a drawer in his bedside table, and back at Glorfindel. "Wine?" he asked, then added before Glorfindel could answer, "I'll pour us both some."

"Thank you," said Glorfindel. He picked up Fingon's costume and draped it over a chair, then pulled off his own. It was something of Fingon's from years earlier, a full cloak made of gold and black diamond-shaped patchwork. As he undressed to his underclothes, he watched Fingon reach into the bedside table drawer and pull out what looked like only a flash of silver in the firelight. Fingon stood with his back to Glorfindel, shielding the wine from view. His arm moved. He hesitated. He glanced halfway back, catching Glorfindel in the corner of his eye. He looked tense. The festival had lowered his defences, and he seemed for the first time to be truly nervous. It made Glorfindel uneasy in turn to watch him.

With his eyes closed, Fingon turned to face Glorfindel, holding a cup in each hand. He crossed the room and held out the cup in his left hand for Glorfindel to take. When Glorfindel took it, he opened his eyes and exhaled the breath he had been holding. "Drink it," he said.

Glorfindel sipped the wine. It had a strange taste, not something he noticed at first, but a lingering effect afterward, of earthy bitterness with a metallic tang. He looked hesitantly over the rim of his cup, but Fingon calmly sipped his own wine. There was no indication of worry at anything out of the ordinary. Satisfied, Glorfindel drank more, and he drank quickly, following Fingon's lead. And once they had finished and Fingon led him to sit on the bear rug by the fire, he followed again.

The fire seemed uncommonly bright that night. Three logs burned on the grate with a beauty that had gone unappreciated until that moment. Glorfindel had never really looked at fire before. He had watched it absently, usually while trying to avoid thinking of something else, but had never watched it for the sake of watching. But now that he was watching it, it made him smile. It seemed to be telling him some sort of secret. The main difference between Valmar and Eithel Sirion, he realised quite suddenly, was that in Eithel Sirion there was a fire every day, and in Valmar there was not. He laughed aloud at his own astounding cleverness.

"Are you alright?" Fingon asked in a slowly.

"I am very well, thank you," Glorfindel answered. The sound of his voice in his ears was much louder than he had intended, but in a lovely way. He repeated himself just to hear it again. "I am very well, thank you. Very well. Very. Well. Thank. You." He shook his hands. They were beginning to tingle. His hair tingled.

"Would you like to lie down?"

Glorfindel did not answer. He blinked, but the vision of fire stayed in his eyes. He closed his eyes to see if it would stay again. It did, but only for a second: a little dance of red and orange. When he opened his eyes, Fingon's arm was around his shoulder. He had scarcely noticed the touch. He could hardly feel it with his eyes open, looking down at Fingon's blatant hand. When he tried to shrug it off, his action was delayed. A second passed before his body performed the task he demanded. He tried to wave his arm, just to move it, but the reaction was so slow. His mind was becoming detached from his body.

"Finde... káno..." His loud voice echoed in his ears, distant as it was, like a faraway ghost.

"I have you," Fingon whispered. "It's alright. You're fine. Lie down." Fingon lowered him onto the fur, laying him on his back so he could look up at the ceiling, which seemed much higher than usual.

"I... I can't feel my... I feel like I'm shrinking."

Fingon lay beside him, holding him close and petting his hair. "What you feel is entirely normal. You needn't worry. Nothing bad will happen. This feeling will last an hour or two, then begin to fade. It will be gone by morning. Just stay here with me and you will be fine."

"If I lie like this," Glorfindel said, turning to press his cheek against Fingon's shoulder, "It feels as if my head is only as big as my fist."

"It's not, I promise."

It was not a bad feeling, being so small. It was worse feeling as if his mind were leaving his body. But Glorfindel allowed Fingon to roll him onto his back again, and he stared at the ceiling. It grew brighter for him, which made him smile. The cracks between the stones grew larger. He thought that if he tried hard enough, he could probably fit through them. He thought it might be cold trying to fit through cracks between rocks. He thought that beyond the cracks would be another room full of rocks, with gaps and cracks between them, and dust, and how much dust would it take to fill all those cracks in the entire tower, and where does it come from, and would it be possible to clean it all off, or does dust come from the rocks themselves, and how does dust get on the ceiling anyhow but never on the undersides of tables? Before he realised it, he had thought a whole family of thoughts.

Somewhere, in the back of his consciousness, he was vaguely aware that Fingon was stealing his clothes. He felt more naked than usual. Fully naked, perhaps. It was difficult to see without moving his head too much. In the middle of his consciousness, he could feel Fingon's kisses: on his ear, on his neck, on his chest, on his stomach, going lower. He could see black hair without moving his head at all, only moving his eyes. There was no face to be seen. It was hidden behind a veil of tangling black hair and warm breath and small kisses that slid slowly down his body.

It was almost enough to shock his body out of its haze of detachment when Fingon's tongue skirted the length of his cock. He hardly felt it at first, unexpected as it was. But the second, less hesitant movement he felt very sharply. Fingon's mouth closed around the tip of his shaft, slick and strange. With a gasp he scrambled to sit up enough to look, and stared in disbelief at that princely tongue in so unprincely a position. Fingon looked back at him, smiling, teasing. He held his princely tongue between his teeth.

"I'm trying to pleasure you, Sindarin boy, just to be nice, and you're looking at me as if this is absolute torture." His tongue made another quick, bold move.

Cringing, Glorfindel nodded.

"It is absolute torture?"

Glorfindel nodded again. He tried to inch away, or at least pull his knees up safely to his chest, but his movements were so slow and Fingon still held him so firmly.

"You have no sense of what's good for you," Fingon said. He pouted, frowning in disappointment, and slid up until they were again face to face. His skin was hot and smooth. His weight urged Glorfindel back down onto the bear rug. His erection pressed into Glorfindel's thigh like a threat. Some time ago he must have stolen his own clothes as well. "What would you like me to do?" he asked

Glorfindel could think of nothing to answer. So he answered, "Nothing."

"I can't do nothing," said Fingon. He ran a thumb over Glorfindel's lower lip. "May I kiss you at least?"

Kisses, Glorfindel knew, were not so bad. He was familiar with kisses. He did not mind them so much, any more. "Alright," he said.

Fingon grinned. But there was a fierce look in his eyes, and with suddenly reckless movements he kissed Glorfindel's neck and ear, and wound his hands through golden hair. He cupped Glorfindel's face, stroking his cheek and kissing his mouth as if kisses proved ownership. They were demanding kisses. They smothered and suffocated.

Glorfindel, frightened, weak and small, did the only thing his detached mind could think of to do. He closed his eyes and did his best to pretend nothing was wrong. The kisses were not a menace, he told himself, though without the burden of sight he could feel their weight far more acutely. There was nothing out of the ordinary. It was like any other night. Fingon would kiss him, and they would go to sleep. The terrible, shuddering feeling in his detached, naked body was no cause for worry.

He squeezed his eyes shut as hard as he could to lock out any hint of light. Darkness, he knew, helped a person go to sleep faster. It seemed to help. Fingon paused long enough to gently brush the hair back from Glorfindel's forehead and touch his tightly-closed eyes. "Laurefindil? Are you alright?"

"No," Glorfindel whispered.

"What's wrong?"

"I want to go to sleep."

With his closed eyes, he could hear the worried edge to Fingon's sigh. "Then I'll carry you to bed," Fingon said. He kept his eyes shut as Fingon lifted him and held him protectively close as they crossed the room to the bed. The blankets were a cold shock to his bare skin. Fingon rolled him over so he lay on his stomach, arms clutched close to his chest and pinned beneath his body.

Fingon did not pull the covers back as usual, but lay on top of them with Glorfindel, naked front pressed against naked side. One of his legs hooked between Glorfindel's. His hand massaged a circular pattern on Glorfindel's back, from shoulder to waist. "Is this better?" He asked.

Glorfindel nodded. It was better. He was in bed, not being kissed. He could sleep, and while he did, his body would reattach as Fingon promised. It felt nearer already. Wherever Fingon touched was awakened and connected in a direct link. He exhaled, willing himself to lie down as flat as he could on the bed, imagining his body sinking into the mattress, anchored by Fingon's warm hand. Its movements were soothing and hypnotic. With his eyes closed, he could fully feel every soft stroke: gentle touches, no longer fierce or menacing.

Fingon sang quietly as his hand worked over Glorfindel's skin, a song of somewhere distant and peaceful. His lips pressed against the back of Glorfindel's neck, separated by only a thin wave of hair. His songs grew quieter, or sometimes paused entirely to allow a kiss. Not even a kiss, Glorfindel thought. Lips pressed against skin, not moving, touched by hot breath: lips to neck, jaw, earlobe, ear tip. Involuntarily, a shiver ran down his spine. Fingon's hand stopped where it was, nails curving to scratch in fine lines.

"Do you like this?"

Glorfindel gave a weak nod and shrugged his back where Fingon's hand lay. He needed it to move again: needed it to make his skin glow and feel whole. He needed the kind touches.

"One moment," said Fingon. The bed frame creaked as he stepped onto the floor. "I'll be right back. Don't move."

The soft pad of Fingon's footsteps led to the distant complaint of a door opening. Seconds passed, growing colder. Glorfindel did not move. He could hear something tinkling, like smashed glass. Then the swish of the door, and Fingon's steps returning with the strong scent of oranges. "What's..." he murmured.

"Orange oil," Fingon answered. "From the bath." The bed creaked again as he climbed back on, knees straddling Glorfindel's hips. "Hold it." He propped up the bottle in Glorfindel's weak grip. Glorfindel tapped his fingertips against the oily glass as Fingon leaned down and began massaging his back again, this time with both hands, orange-scented.

The touch was different, in a subtle, indefinable way. Less soothing, maybe, and more sensual. Fingon's hands moved in strong lines from hips to shoulders and back again. Every now and again he would pause, either to kiss Glorfindel's bare skin or pour more oil on his hands. Sometimes he scratched gently with his nails. Sometimes he leaned over far enough to run his tongue and teeth up the curve of Glorfindel's ear. Glorfindel could hear his labouring breath. It made him shiver again, in a pleasant and tickling way. The shiver started in his neck and slid down to pulse between his legs. With each breath and bite and lick and stroke, Glorfindel felt his cock grow harder.

His hand seemed to move on its own, obeying his body's desire rather than his mind's decency. Morality, for the moment, had been abandoned. He dropped the oil bottle, letting it roll into a fold of blankets, and slipped his hand down under his hot stomach to his groin. The touch made him groan into the pillows. He stroked himself, first slowly, then quicker, rolling halfway onto his side to allow the movement. The oil on his hand coated his shaft. He stroked faster.

Fingon's hands on his back slowed and stopped. One rested on the bone of Glorfindel's hip, creeping around until it nearly met with Glorfindel's own. The other pushed away golden hair as Fingon whispered against his ear, "Will you let me now?" In a vague, half-aware reply, Glorfindel nodded yes.

Swiftly, Fingon sat upright again, balancing on his knees, and flipped Glorfindel over onto his back. There was no time wasted. Fingon lay between Glorfindel's legs, brushing his hand aside, and took his entire length in his mouth. Glorfindel writhed as the sensation shot up his spine.

"Not absolute torture any more?" Fingon asked.

"No..." Glorfindel gasped. "No..." Fingon's princely tongue dipped along the underside and circled the head. It was no longer strange or unwelcome. Now his body cried for it. He strained to arch his back and lift his hips from the bed, seeking Fingon's mouth. Fingon slid a hand beneath him to help support his weight. One orange-oiled finger stroked the cleft of his arse. Something began to coil inside him. With every movement of Fingon's mouth it wound tighter and pulsed hotter. He reached down again to touch himself, now slicked with spit and oil, needing something faster and harder and more desperate. Time was moving too slowly. Seconds dragged at a maimed pace.

He groaned when Fingon held his hand away, and again when Fingon's warm mouth pulled back. "Shh," Fingon said. Oily hands caressed Glorfindel's thighs, coaxing them further apart, before sliding around to cup his waist. The bed frame creaked a warning as Fingon moved closer and pulled Glorfindel up and toward him, until Glorfindel's hips rested on his thighs and Glorfindel's legs hooked around his waist

He looked as savage as anything, in Glorfindel's view. His chest rose and fell with every prominent, ragged breath. Beads of sweat gathered on his forehead, and damply matted hair fell across his shoulders. His eyes were brighter than flame. One hand closed around Glorfindel's shaft, stroking slowly but firmly, while a finger of the other probed lower and entered his body so quickly that Glorfindel had no time to even register the discomfort. By the time he realised what had happened, Fingon had found a way to justify the intrusion. A curve of the finger, and Glorfindel hissed through clenched teeth. The other hand moved a bit faster. The coil of energy in his body began winding tighter again. A second finger joined the first.

It was a strange sensation to be so vulnerable, stretched awkwardly with a twinge of pain, but Glorfindel had ceased to care. A more primitive and heathen concern had taken over. His whole body grew taut at the mercy of the hands that stroked him outside and in, and he stared up at Fingon's fiery eyes, fixing them with an unspoken demand and a single selfish need. More. Better. Higher. Further. Relief. Please.

With the twitch of a smile, Fingon understood. He pulled both of his hands back and reached for the orange oil. He whispered in a coarse voice, "Touch yourself," and Glorfindel obeyed while Fingon slicked his own shaft with a handful of oil in shaky caresses. He leaned forward, guiding himself toward Glorfindel's entrance, and pressed until the head slid inside.

Glorfindel bit down on his tongue to hold back the groan that formed in his throat. The discomfort he felt before was doubled, with more than just a twinge of broad, flat pain, searing like a hot coal to his skin. He arched away from it, but Fingon followed.

"Stay," Fingon said. "The pain will fade. Don't think on it. Touch yourself, I said. Concentrate on that. Nothing else." The words came in short struggles of breath. And with each, he pushed forward while pulling Glorfindel's hips toward him, until he was fully inside.

Glorfindel closed his eyes and stroked himself hard and fast. Pleasure did not dull the pain, but made it bearable, as if the two complemented each other. He could feel Fingon move inside him. Back and forth, in and out, pleasure and pain. Stroking secretly and speeding to a wild pace. His hand quickened to match. There was only one goal now, and only one thought on his mind. The desire burned in him. It began as an insatiable tingle, growing slowly, needing more. A little further. Another stroke, another thrust. Nothing could come fast enough. He tensed his legs, squeezing them around Fingon's waist. Fingon replied by leaning closer and pulling him nearer. Another savage thrust, another manic stroke. He lingered on the very edge of finality. Then somewhere inside, somewhere untouchable, it broke like fire over fuel. His groin tightened and his body went rigid as it shot through him, shock after shock, and he spilled onto his hand. He dropped his head back with a choking cry.

And suddenly, too soon, it was done. His heart still pounded, and his breath still heaved, but his body was finished. Dull and heavy. He looked at Fingon, still striving toward some end, and realised, maybe for the first time, that perhaps this was not just for his own pleasure. Fingon moaned a coarse, inelegant moan, and gave his last few thrusts. The muscles of his stomach and chest were tightened and shining with perspiration. His arms trembled from holding Glorfindel's weight for so long. When he finally collapsed to the bed at Glorfindel's side, it was with exhausted pants and gasps, the sour smell of sweat mixed with sweet orange oil on his body. For a brief moment his gaze held Glorfindel's, unreadable as ever. Then his dimmed eyes closed, and stayed closed.

Glorfindel lay where he was. He felt distant, and thought nothing. He stared at the bed's canopy. Already the night felt far in the past, like a half-remembered dream. After a few minutes, he was unsure of whether or not it had really happened. He was too tired to remember. So, with a blank mind and a body growing once again distant, he rolled onto his side and went to sleep.

Balthor: 'Vala' (S)

Glamren glamb: approx. 'chaotic, confused and barbaric noise and yelling' (s), chosen for the initial G and final B, both of which never occur in Quenya and might seem harsh or unpleasant.

Tolo anni: 'come to me' (S)

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Darth Fingon

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 08/14/09

Original Post: 01/20/07

Go to Dream a Bitter Style overview


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Playlists Featuring the Story

First Age - 24 stories - Owner: oshun
My Time of the Trees and First Age favorites
Included because: Fingon, Glorfindel, with great Oropher; slash, unique. By Darth Fingon

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