21. The Balm of Friendships Part Three
“Aldor,” Glorfindel sat up disbelievingly.
“Glorfindel,” Aldor approached the elf and knelt before him, “I am sorry for hurting you thus.”
“To know love is to be hurt,” Glorfindel said sadly, “You have been hurt more than me.”
“Would you rather that we had never started this?” Aldor asked him quietly, “Do you regret this?”
Glorfindel looked down at his brave lover, there was a weary acceptance in those cobalt blue eyes. It must have taken the human a lot of courage to be so frank with him. Courage that he did not find in his heart. He was a coward, had been one his entire life. He shook his head firmly, enough of his life had been wasted on waiting and regretting. Now it was time to live life the human way, without regrets.
He placed his hands on Aldor’s shoulders and kissed him slowly. The human stiffened for an instant, but then seemed to lose himself to the moment as he greedily delved his tongue into the elf’s mouth. Glorfindel felt himself drowning in the kiss. He smiled; it was ironic that he, who had been so old fashioned in matters of courting, now actually loved being kissed to asphyxiation by a passionate human.
Aldor rolled over him and straddled his hips before laying claim to his lips again. Glorfindel ran his fingers lightly over the human’s neck causing him to squirm like an elfling, before muttering, “It tickles, Glorfindel.”
Glorfindel laughed softly before doing it again.
“Tonight,” Aldor said nervously, yet determination evident on his face, “I give myself to you. You have yielded to me all these days. I leave tomorrow. Before that I wish a souvenir of our time together.”
Glorfindel tilted his head as he considered the change in the usually brash, impatient young human, there was more to it than met the eye, “If you wish so,” he acquiesced finally, “But don’t complain if my pace puts you to sleep.”
Aldor said adoringly running his hand through the elf’s golden locks, “I want this. And be assured that I will cherish every moment of this.”
Glorfindel said laughing, “Then, my handsome lover, you shall learn the virtue of patience.”
He bent over and slowly pulled apart Aldor’s robe exposing the tanned skin inch by inch. He ran his nails over the already tensed nipples and felt them become taut under his fingers. Aldor groaned and thrust forward impatiently. Glorfindel shook his head fighting laughter, if he did not get on with it, Aldor was likely to lose his limited patience and claim him, for so near completion was the human.
Glorfindel dipped his fingers in his hair oil and applied it over his member. Though Aldor seemed too excited and lust fogged to remember that it was his first time, Glorfindel had not forgotten. He gently claimed Aldor’s mouth and duelled in a battle of tongues. Confirming that Aldor was too involved with seizing control of their kiss to notice anything else, Glorfindel slid a finger into the human’s entrance. There was a reflexive tightening of muscles around his fingers as Aldor gasped and broke away surprised by the sudden, new sensation. Glorfindel determinedly captured the human’s lips again and added one more finger. Aldor bucked in pain. Glorfindel’s fingers brushed his prostate and he moaned in a mixture of pleasure and discomfort.
Glorfindel withdrew his fingers and asked him quietly, “Are you in pain? I promise it will go away.”
“Every moment with you is a pleasure, Glorfindel,” Aldor said hoarsely, as he gripped the bed covers with his fingers tightly.
Glorfindel entered the human in one swift move, sheathing himself completely. Aldor bit his lower lip until he bled as his body tried to accommodate to the sudden invasion. Glorfindel moved slowly, holding back his lust in order to pleasure Aldor. But the human thrust frantically in his need and climaxed with an incoherent cry, “I love you, Glorfindel.”
Glorfindel reached his own climax and he said something he had never told an elf before, “And I love you, Aldor, king of my heart.”
They exhaustedly wrapped their limbs about each other and fell asleep.
Thranduil pouted at his father. They were seated at the breakfast table. Elrond was talking to Thalion about some healing herb or the other. Thranduil had used the chance to beg his father to come out with them, for he planned to show Elrond a few of his favourite places in the forest today.
“My son,” Oropher said firmly, “As a King, I have higher priorities than prancing about in the woods!”
“Ada!” Thranduil begged shamelessly, “It is your only son asking you. Can you not spend a day with him?”
“My son,” Oropher began.
Thalion muttered to Elrond, “The Ernil is the most spoilt elfling I helped raise.”
“Ada, do you not love me enough to take a respite from your duties a single day?” Thranduil said predatorily, for he knew that his father could never resist that argument.
“That is low, my son,” Oropher sighed, he looked over at the smirking Thalion and said defeatedly, “I will meet my counsellors tomorrow, do inform the Lord Counsellor. My son, now that I am at your disposal, tell me where exactly in these woods are you going to drag us to? In case, we get lost, Thalion might have to send the search patrols out.”
Thranduil leant over the table and kissed Oropher on both cheeks saying delightedly, “I love you, Adar-nin.”
Elrond watched them wistfully. Oropher had given up his happiness, his wishes and his dreams for his son’s sake. But neither Earendil nor Elwing had done that. They had both chosen to value their dreams above the lives of their children. And so had Elros, Elrond thought bitterly, though his twin had less choice as Gil-Galad, Galadriel and Círdan had virtually blackmailed him into becoming the King of Númenor. Elros had been torn between choosing mortality and remaining with Elrond. But Galadriel had ‘counselled’ him and he chose a mortal life leaving Elrond alone. Elrond reflected that none had loved him enough to give up their wishes for his sake. And maybe, none ever would.
Thranduil led them to a small lake a few miles away from the fortress. The tall trees shielded the lake from the hot sun and kept the water cool. Elrond dipped his feet in it tentatively after removing his boots, the water was too cold for his preferences. Oropher sat down cross-legged, leaning against the trunk of a mighty tree. Thranduil removed his tunic and leggings and dove into the water splashing Elrond and Oropher.
“Join me,” he said as he surfaced after well over a minute. The sunlight made the water droplets on his golden skin glitter like jewels, Elrond noted abstractedly.
Oropher said, “Nay, my son, I am too comfortable here to move my weary bones into the water. Elrond, , you join him. But do not complain to me if he acts like an elfling.”
Elrond removed his tunic and leggings and slid into the cold water. He felt the goose bumps rising on his sensitive flesh immediately. The warmth of the sunlight and the cold water made him pleasantly drowsy and relaxed.
“This is as divine as the Dorwinion,” he murmured to Thranduil, who laughed saying, “Then I shall have to spoil it, , what say you to a water fight?”
Without any further warning, Thranduil dove and pulled Elrond’s legs ducking him completely in the water. Elrond retaliated furiously for he hated anyone sneaking up on him. He held down Thranduil’s head in the water for a few moments before letting go. His fingers curiously developed a will of their own as they slithered through the golden mass of wet hair in their grasp. Elrond frowned, but had no time to think of it as Thranduil toppled him and in one swift, feline move, straddled his legs. Elrond scowled and tried to regain his balance, but the prince was too watchful an opponent.
Thranduil cocked his head smugly saying, “You have lost, Elrond, say so and I will let you up.”
Elrond scowled again as he retorted, “You ask for an admission of defeat from me for a water fight that you began without a warning?”
Thranduil leant over him so that their faces were scant inches apart and said softly, “Would you ask for a warning from the orcs, Elrond? Is every game not serious for us warriors?”
Elrond did not reply as he stared into those deep, green eyes that penetrated his own. He unconsciously reached to finger a strand of golden hair plastered to Thranduil’s cheek. Thranduil bent closer so that their noses touched. His eyes held surprise and doubt as they regarded Elrond’s flushed features. Elrond half-parted his lips his nostrils invaded by Thranduil’s scent.
“OUCH!,” Thranduil lost his balance and fell disgracefully into the water. Elrond straightened and made for the shore hastily, his cheeks flushed crimson with embarrassment. He had done this before Oropher!
“ADA!,” Thranduil complained indignantly rubbing his bruised side as he swam to the shore, “That hurt! Why are you practising your stone throwing skills on me?”
Oropher said laughing, as he held out a towel to a still blushing Elrond, “I had no wish to see my only son charm a Noldor half-elf before my very eyes, my son!”
Elrond mumbled, “My Lord, it was not his fault, indeed it was me to blame. I..”
Oropher placed a hand on Elrond’s shoulder and said conspiratorially, “Yes, indeed, my son is not to be blamed, for it was your beauty that has enchanted him so, Lord Elrond. If I had not been so jaded, mayhap, I too perhaps would have tried to charm you!” he laughed at the stunned expression in Elrond’s eyes before murmuring, “My son, you deal with this; for now, I need to go back to my mundane life!”
He walked away quietly, the traces of a vanishing smile still on his lips. Oropher was troubled, there was more than mere friendship and sexual attraction between his son and Elrond, they seemed to have a deeper bond. It was almost as if, he shook his head firmly, no, Thranduil loved Anoriel and Elrond loved Erestor. But yet, he could not help feel that there was something he had missed.
Elrond hissed angrily, “You should not have done that before your father!”
“So, would you not have cared if it had not been before my father?” Thranduil asked him quietly, as he paused donning his tunic. He had been quite stunned by their sudden attraction himself. While he found Elrond quite handsome even before their friendship started, he had never had an intention of charming him. For one, he had an oath to his father regarding virgins. And then, after their friendship strengthened, Thranduil had found more pleasure in that, which, he was quite determined not to spoil by fickle lust.
Elrond turned away from those green eyes and took a deep breath, Thranduil’s scent once more invaded his senses.
“I did not mean my words to insult you,” Thranduil said sincerely, “We shall leave this behind us and go on.”
“I love Erestor, yet I find myself attracted to you,” Elrond breathed softly, “I suppose it must your famous irresistible charm that makes me feel thus. I am sorry, but I cannot lie that I don’t wish to be …”
Thranduil sighed, “Let us not talk of this now, Elrond, for I am too confused about my feelings that way. I think Adar knows of this and does not worry, for he left us alone. Come, let me lead you to a garden where we will find the tastiest blackberries.”
They spent a few more hours in the forest, trying to keep the conversation flowing. But it was a tough effort as Thranduil was worried about the situation. He could not help stealing a glance at Elrond each time he remembered the handsome flushed face with lust-dilated eyes and parted lips. This is not worth risking your friendship, he told himself firmly, You know very well how self-judgemental he is. As a friend, you are supposed to sooth his emotional turmoil, not add to it. Thranduil sighed; he had not taken a partner in pleasure since before the battle. It had been a long time. Maybe he should seek an man tonight. That might curb any desire he had for Elrond.
Elrond darted nervous glances at the Sindar Prince as they walked to the fortress slowly. In no situation before had thus an uncomfortable silence fallen between them. Perhaps he should apologize, he thought uncertainly, though he was not sure if the Prince was truly angry with him or merely confused.
Thalion watched the silent duo approach the fortress. Oropher had told him of what had happened in the woods. The healers’s eyes lingered on Elrond. Thalion had lied earlier to the young elf, for Elrond Peredhel did not resemble Elwing or Dior or any of his Sindar ancestors. He was a living echo of the ill-fated White Lady of the Noldor, Aredhel, daughter of Fingolfin, sister to Turgon the Wise and Fingon the Valiant. Thalion felt a foreboding rise, something warned him that Elrond Peredhel would suffer more than she did.
Erestor wearily sealed the last scroll of the day. It was near midnight. He wanted nothing more than to soak his tired bones in a warm bath. He got to his feet and snuffed out the candles. Exiting his study, he locked the door and walked through the long, deserted corridors. Even though Glorfindel had taken charge of Elrond’s military duties, Erestor still had to contend with the administration, the policy making, the endless councils and the day to day affairs of the realm. He trudged slowly; it had been two lonely months. He missed Elrond’s company, their easy conversations. He missed Thranduil too.
A soft sobbing halted his self-sympathetic thoughts. He listened sharply. The sound came from one of the ladies’ knitting rooms. Erestor curiously walked to the door. Don’t, you fool, his mind warned him, do you wish yet another sleep-deprived night? Erestor paused, maybe he should just retire to bed, solving the mysteries of nocturnal sobbing-souls was clearly not his domain. But, he thought uneasily, what if it was his sister? He had been worried for her since she had begun courting Galdor. He opened the door softly. A figure, slumped in a knitting chair, held its face in its hands and cried inconsolably.
Erestor could distinguish only the bright blonde tresses of the woman in the dark unlit room. Thoughtlessly, he uttered the name of the only blonde-haired woman he was on good terms with, “Anoriel?”
The figure looked up with a startled gasp. On seeing him, she got to her feet quickly and bowed, “I apologize, My Lord. I will leave immediately.”
Erestor could now distinguish the beautiful features of Celeborn’s daughter, he murmured apologetically, “Lady Celebrían,” he retreated slowly towards the partly open door, “I am sorry for trespassing. I was on my way to retire to my chambers when I heard the sobbing,” he bit his tongue cursing himself, where was his tact when he needed it?
Celebrían lit a candle and rubbed away the tears from her face whispering, “No, I am glad you found me. I must go to my chambers or Adar will be worried in the morning.”
Erestor mentally wondered why the Sindar were so over-protective of their offspring. But he bowed politely and extended his hand to Celebrían saying, “May I escort you thither?”
She nodded and took his hand. Erestor wanted to ask why she had been crying. But he did not trust his mouth tonight. It seemed to have foregone all diplomatic skills.
“Will the Lord Elrond come the next month?” she asked fearfully.
Erestor asked surprised, “Why do you ask? Nay, he will come only after the Solstice.”
Celebrían said tonelessly, “My mother and the King have decided our betrothal on the first day of the Autumn.”
Erestor paused walking for an instant. He had not even known about this! Why had Gil-Galad not told him even the slightest gist of his secret meetings with Galadriel? He needed to tell Elrond of their plans. Maybe he should tell Thranduil first. The prince might be able to break the news to Elrond less abruptly. Erestor walked back to his study. He had to send a messenger to Thranduil before dawn.
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.