7. Ossë's Gift
Warm and dry, his stomach full of grilled cod, roast corn, and fiery drink, Erestor was quite content. The people were charming, and he was with Glorfindel. Erestor leaned against his friend's solid shoulder, realizing that he never wanted to move from the spot. There had been a time when the warrior's company would have filled him with trepidation and he would have used his biting wit to keep him at arms-length. Now he knew what his trouble had been. He had been guarding his heart. But sadly, his situation had not changed. He was still Ossë's servant and he could not act on his newly discovered affection. So, he took what comfort he could from the proximity of Glorfindel's strong body.
Nearby, Oiolairë munched on sea grass gathered up for him by the villagers. He was surrounded by admiring youngsters who Erestor guessed didn't see many horses.
A group of young women sat on the far side of the fire. They were looking at the elves sidelong, whispering to each other from behind their hands, and giggling.
"What's wrong with them?" Erestor asked. "Do I have corn stuck between my teeth?"
Glorfindel chuckled. "Widgewyn warned me of another custom," he said. "A maiden can spend the night with one of the guests, if it is agreeable to both." He winked at a girl with long dark hair. "I suspect we've got some prospects, if you are interested."
"By the bloody Valar!" Erestor growled. "Well, I cannot and you really, really should not or you'll end up stuck here married to some fishmonger's daughter!"
Glorfindel dropped his head back and laughed. "Now that's the old Erestor I've missed. Don't worry, I have no intention of complying with the custom. However, that one is very pretty." He grinned at Erestor, then wiggled his fingers in greeting at the dark-haired girl who blushed beet red and hid her face.
"Glorfindel!" Erestor said sharply. "Come with me!" He stood and hauled the slightly drunk elf to his feet, then with an arm about his waist, dragged him behind a sand dune out of sight of the revelers. There, with his hands on his hips, Erestor confronted him. "You simply can't keep it laced up, can you? This is not suitable conduct for a member of Gil-galad's court. I swear if you make any move to seduce one of these villagers, I'll wrestle you to the ground and keep you pinned there all night!"
Glorfindel looked highly amused. "Go ahead and try it," he said.
They circled around each other. Glorfindel made a feint to the right, then he pulled back just as Erestor closed in. They circled again, maneuvered back and forth. Erestor watched Glorfindel's eyes, which were sparkling with humor. He was playing with him. Then, as suddenly as a pouncing cat, Glorfindel lunged from the other direction, grabbed Erestor, flipped him onto his back, then fell on top of him, straddling his waist and using his weight to pin him neatly to the sand. He pulled Erestor's hands over his head and held them down by the wrists. For a long moment Erestor had the wind knocked out of him and couldn't speak. The sand was cold against his back. He could feel Glorfindel's warm breath husking along his cheek, could hear him panting slightly. Through their rough trousers, he felt the warrior's need growing to match his own. Glorfindel's hips rocked forward, then back, then forward again, grinding hard against him. Blood pounded into Erestor's loins, spreading like fire throughout his body. By the gods, how he wanted this!
"Findel," he moaned. He tried to say, "Stop me," but instead he heard himself say, "Kiss me!"
Glorfindel relaxed his hold on Erestor's wrists and entwined their fingers in an intimate gesture that made Erestor’s heart pound. The warrior leaned down and dusted his lips lightly across Erestor's. Then with a sigh, he pressed harder, taking Erestor's mouth in a desperately devouring kiss that stole Erestor's breath away. When they finally separated, there was a terrible throbbing between Erestor's legs. He wanted, needed, oh gods . . . But he couldn't, couldn't break his vow. How do you betray a deity without terrible consequence? It was tearing him apart. "Findel,” he said, “Please understand, I want you badly, you don’t know how much, but I am sorry, I cannot.”
In disgust, Glorfindel rolled off him. He lay on his back staring up at Ithil's brightness. "I hate this," he said. "It is terrible to have such competition. Who can rival a god?"
"I wish that it were different," Erestor said.
Glorfindel rolled his eyes. "Do you? Do you really?"
Erestor sighed. "Findel. The last thing I saw before I . . . well, when I thought I was going to die, was your face. And I realized something terrible. I realized that I love you."
Glorfindel turned to face him. His expression softened into a white radiance. His mouth curved into a secret smile as he leaned down and kissed Erestor again, this time gently. "Something terrible, indeed," he said. "I never thought to hear those words from your lips."
"And what of you?" Erestor asked. He felt shaken to his core, having finally admitted the unthinkable. He didn't know where this would lead, and then suddenly he feared Glorfindel would deny his own feelings as they had both done for so long.
But Glorfindel said, "This must be a dream because I dare not think it real. My dearest, I have loved you hopelessly for over two hundred years, ever since that Mettarë when we had the heavy snowfall and you and Elrond used your shields to slide down the hill behind Ereinion's chambers. I heard your laughter, saw your ruddy cheeks and your flying dark hair, and realized there was another side to that dour Counselor who terrified everyone so. I began to watch you and before I knew it, you had my heart. I never thought a day would come when my feelings would be returned. Thank the Valar."
He leaned forward for another kiss.
Erestor put his hand on Glorfindel's mouth. "Our feelings change nothing. I am bound by a vow to Ossë, god of the waves. He will not release me. I know, I asked him when he rescued me yesterday."
Abruptly Glorfindel sat up. He threw a handful of sand, then another. "I would challenge him to a duel, if I thought it would do any good," he growled. "Is there no other way? What would happen if you just broke your vow?"
"Well, for one thing I would have to renounce travel by sea." Erestor smiled grimly. "Not a good plan if I ever decide to go to Valinor. Besides, it goes deeper than that."
"You might recall that I was in a shipwreck when Ereinion and I were returning with the Númenorean fleet carrying the army that he had recruited to challenge Sauron's hold on Eriador."
"I was mustering forces near Ost-in-Edhil," Glorfindel said. "And I remember hearing about the storm . . ."
"Yes. It sank several of the ships, including the one Ereinion and I were aboard. Ereinion had taken a blow to the head from a fallen spar and he was unconscious. I was trying to keep his head above water, but I was losing my strength and we were both sinking. In desperation, I prayed to Ossë, and marvelous to say, he appeared. I begged for Ereinion's life and Ossë took pity on me and spared us both."
"By Manwë, Erestor! You did it for Ereinion?" Glorfindel exclaimed. "No one carried that tale back to Lindon. It all makes sense now."
"Yes, what else could I do? Apparently Ossë took a fancy to me. He is possessive. He made me pledge myself to him, body and soul. I have kept my vow to him, served as his priest in Lindon all this time. When he came to me the day before yesterday, he seemed amused that once again I was in the same plight. He was going to keep me suspended in time, as his personal servant. I bargained my way out of that one, but he held me to my original vow."
Glorfindel looked intent. "You bargained with him? What did you offer?"
Erestor laughed. "Pleasure. Release."
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow and Erestor ran a finger tip up the in-seam of his friend's trousers. "My dear Findel, you are not the only one with erotic skills."
Glorfindel chuckled. "You are ever full of surprises," he said affectionately. "Here’s another title to add to your credit: Erestor, seducer of a Maia. Yet clearly the fact that he bargained with you shows that he is open to negotiation."
"He is. Further, I offered to increase his followers, for that is what he really desires. I do not fool myself into believing I am all that important to him. I have learned over the last five centuries that I am a mere plaything to be discarded at a whim."
Glorfindel's face lit with a sudden revelation. "That's it!" he said.
"What is it?"
"What does a god want?" Glorfindel asked. He got up and began pacing.
Erestor thought for a moment. "In Ossë's case, he is vain, insecure, and subject to temptation. He wants to be worshipped as one of the Valar."
"Yes! As one of the Valar!" Glorfindel cried. "We may yet have something to bargain with him. Come!"
"What are we doing?" Erestor asked as he rose to his feet.
"Appeasing a god," Glorfindel replied.
He strode back to the bonfire past the crowd of revelers. Walking up to Oiolairë, he patted his neck. "Come, friend, let's go for a ride." He grabbed a handful of mane, swung up onto the horse's back, then offered his hand to Erestor. Erestor grasped it and Glorfindel pulled him up behind. As soon as Erestor was settled, Glorfindel squeezed his legs about the stallion's sides and the horse took off. They galloped across the moonlit dunes heading towards the shore. Erestor did not know exactly what scheme Glorfindel had in mind but, for once, was content not to ask. He wrapped his arms about the warrior, pulling him close, taking pleasure in the feeling of the hard body rocking strategically against him.
They reached the ocean, stretched endlessly along the horizon. Erestor heard the sound of waves crashing to the shore. Moonlight danced on the water. There was a slight breeze.
Glorfindel swung off Oiolairë's back and ran up to the water's edge. "Ossë, hear me," he cried. "Attend my words!" There was a long silence. Glorfindel strode up and down along the shore. "Ossë!" he cried again. "Erestor and I, we owe you for our lives. We owe you a sacrifice. You are wise and powerful and yet you do not receive your fair share of the praise that goes to the Lord Ulmo. I wish to make a bargain with you, one greatly to your favor!"
Still, there was nothing but the sound of the waves sighing as they slid onto the sand.
"Do not ignore me!" Glorfindel cried. He lunged into the water and pulled his knife.
"No," Erestor cried out, but Glorfindel had already made a cut across his palm. He raised his hand high, letting the blood drip down into the water. "Hear me," he cried. "Hear my promise, now sealed by my blood."
There was a disturbance in one of the waves. It reared up high and Erestor could see two gleaming eyes within it. The wave sliced onto the shore, foaming all about Glorfindel's legs. Out of it, right in front of Glorfindel, Ossë arose. His hair glowed a phosphorescent white with shades of green and purple. He took Glorfindel's bloody hand and licked across the palm. "Ah, sweet Elda," he sighed. "What do you want of me?"
"Erestor, please come here," Glorfindel called, holding out his cut hand. Erestor noticed that the bleeding had stopped. He kicked off his sandals and entered the surf. Glorfindel drew him close. "Erestor has served you faithfully for many long years, has he not?" Glorfindel asked.
"Indeed he has." Ossë turned to Erestor. "Faithfully and well." He licked his lips.
"Is it not time to release him?"
"Why should I?" Ossë asked.
"Because if you do, I will give you something you want. I shall build you a temple."
"A temple?" Ossë's eyes widened.
"We will build it upon that promontory over there." Glorfindel pointed. "At night, we will kindle a fire in a great brazier within the temple. The light will shine through the pillars where it can be seen far out to sea and serve as a warning so that no ship is wrecked upon these rocks again. People will sing your praises when they see the glow at night."
It was a brilliant ploy, Erestor thought admiringly, and it might just work. He hastened to add, "Yes my Lord, it will be beautiful, much better than the sea caves where I come to sing your praises. We will make it of white marble and it will gleam golden in the sunrise and silver at night. People will come from all over Arda to admire it and to chant your name."
Ossë looked slyly at them. He twisted a lock of hair around one of his fingers. "It is tempting. And, after all, today is Mettarë, a time for giving gifts." He held out his fist and opened his hand. There, miraculously, were the tiny horse and the little bell that Glorfindel had left upon the altar. He dropped them into Erestor's hand, then put his palm against Erestor's heart. "Indeed, you have served me faithfully, Erestor. I now give you a gift and release you from your vow. And after all, how could I hold you when I know where your heart truly lies?"
Erestor bent his head. "I am your servant, my Lord, and I will ever give thanks to you for saving my life and that of my King." He placed the tokens in the belt pouch at his waist.
Just then, they saw a dolphin leap from the water. Ossë smiled. "Ah, before you depart, you should meet my new companion." He turned and beckoned. Soon they saw another figure rising from the waves, a familiar one, wearing a scarf wrapped about his head, from which escaped a long ringlet of dripping wet black hair.
"Ardan!" Glorfindel cried. He took several splashing steps forward to embrace the boy. "I thought you had been taken captive or worse!"
"No, I have escaped, praise be to Ossë." He smiled warmly at the Maia. "It gladdens me to see that both of you are well."
"Are you coming back to Lindon with us?" Glorfindel asked. "There will be a ship sailing for Umbar soon."
"Er, no," Ardan replied. He looked coyly at Ossë. The Maia took his chin and kissed him. Then he turned to address the elves.
"I have a new acolyte," Ossë said. "A very talented one."
Ardan smiled. "He said he would counter the magic that holds my father hostage and he has promised to show me the wonders of the deep. How could I refuse?"
"How indeed?" Glorfindel said. "As long as it is of your own choosing."
"It is. Farewell, my friends, for now," Ardan said.
Ossë leaned down, kissed Erestor, then took the Counselor's hand and placed it in Glorfindel's. "Go now and give expression to your love for each other," he said. And to Glorfindel he added, "Take care of him and do not forget your promise. I expect my temple to outshine Anor." He laughed. Then, shifting once more to dolphin form, he and Ardan slid into the water where soon they were leaping and cavorting together as they swam out toward open sea.
Dumbfounded, Erestor stared after them. "He never turned me into a dolphin," he said.
Glorfindel laughed. "Perhaps it's not too late to change your mind."
His hair, silvered by the moonlight, blew gently about his face. His eyes were soft with affection. Gently, he caressed Erestor's cheek with a thumb. At that moment, Erestor realized just how much he had fallen for him. And now he was free, truly free to express his affection. It was like taking a gulp of heady wine. "Change my mind? Never!" Erestor said. He gathered Glorfindel into his arms and there, under Ithil's light, with the surf surging about his legs, kissed him with the force of all his long years of suppressed passion. Glorfindel returned the kiss in equal measure until they were both dizzy and delirious. Erestor could hear their hearts thundering in their chests.
"Let's go somewhere dry," Glorfindel said. "I hope not to feel seawater on my skin for a long time to come."
Erestor chuckled. He began to run, pulling Glorfindel along. They laughed like children as they splashed through the surf and charged up over a dune. Erestor tripped and fell, pulling Glorfindel after him as they tumbled down into a secluded hollow. There they lay together, frantically kissing. Glorfindel lipped along Erestor's face, bit his neck, then with a groan went back to his mouth. "By the gods, I want you!" Glorfindel panted. “Worse than I’ve ever wanted anything.”
“I want you too." Erestor laughed with the joy of admitting it. He rolled Glorfindel over so that he was on top of him. He rocked against him and said,"I want you to give it to me so hard and fast that my arse feels as if it's on fire, then I want to take turns going at it slowly and deliberately all the rest of the night."
"Nguh!" Glorfindel panted as he began frantically unbuckling Erestor's belt and pulling off his tunic. "Get these off." They both sat up and there was blurred movement as they jerked clothing away, some pieces upwards, some downwards. The feel of the breeze against Erestor's naked skin was sinfully erotic. He felt light and free. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, reveling in Glorfindel’s passionate bites against his neck and chest.
Then, he felt a wet breath puff against his face and looked right into a whiskery muzzle. There was Oiolairë, peering curiously at them.
"Findel, our friend is here," Erestor said.
Oiolairë lipped along Glorfindel’s back. The warrior shivered. "Ack, Oiolairë, go eat some grass," he said. He crooned some words in that sing-song nonsense of his, pushed against the animal’s neck, then turned back to Erestor as the horse moved off among the sighing sedge. "Now where were we?"
Erestor held out his arms and Glorfindel threw himself atop, rubbing against Erestor's hardness with an impressive staff of his own. Erestor felt a tingling heat that was growing into madness as they rolled and slipped together and then an uncomfortable gritty rasp on his tender skin.
"Oh no, Glorfindel, stop," Erestor cried.
"Gods! What now?" Glorfindel sounded frantic.
"Sand. I hate sand in sensitive places," Erestor said.
Glorfindel groaned. He looked around, grabbed his cape and spread it on the ground. Erestor dusted himself off, crawled onto it and lay down, then Glorfindel pulled Erestor's mantle over them both. "Better now?" he husked as Erestor felt his body once again warm and heavy against him.
Erestor nodded breathlessly. He was unbearably hard. His body was screaming for release.
"It had better be, because I'll tolerate no more interruptions," Glorfindel growled. He sat up, spat into his hand and stroked himself as he looked into Erestor's eyes. He took Erestor’s hand and brought it to close around his substantial length. Erestor slid his hand up and down slicking moisture along the soft skin that moved over an iron hardness. “Do you want that?” Glorfindel asked.
“Gods, yes,” Erestor said.
"You wanted your arse on fire, did you? I promise, you will feel it burn," Glorfindel growled. “Guide me in.”
Erestor moved him down, felt him poised, nudging against his sensitive entrance. Then with a sudden forward lunge, he pierced Erestor, driving deep. And burn it did. Erestor threw his head back and yelped with the sudden pain and the lasting pleasure of it.
Glorfindel gasped, "Oh, by the blessed Valar, that’s good! I have wanted to do that for so long." He began pounding Erestor, driving into him with a punishing rhythm. They rocked, they struggled, they panted and moaned in anguished rapture. It felt so good, better than anything Erestor remembered before. Glorfindel leaned forward, his silvered hair falling about Erestor's face like a curtain. He fastened his mouth to Erestor's and kissed him, while he continued thrusting deep, his belly rubbing against him so that he was stroking Erestor both within and without.
Erestor dug his fingers into hard back muscle. "A stallion, indeed," he moaned, when he came up for air.
“You heard Ardan say that, did you?”
“Uh yes, I confess it. Oh gods, Findel, harder!"
Glorfindel increased the pace until Erestor felt stretched, filled, pummeled almost beyond relief until finally Glorfindel gave a great gasping cry, thrust his hips forward, and shuddered. His shout of triumph and release flung Erestor into that realm of unbearable ecstasy in which the air seemed filled with golden sparks arching against the blackness of night.
For a long time afterwards they lay panting against each other, in sticky bliss.
"That was miraculous," Glorfindel finally managed to murmur against Erestor's neck. "I cannot believe that I have you in my arms at last. I never thought this day would come."
Erestor combed his fingers through his lover's hair. "I never even thought to imagine it and the loss was mine. You are magnificent. I want to do that again and again every day for the rest of our lives."
"That can perhaps be arranged, if you'll have me," Glorfindel said as he raised himself on his elbows to look at him.
Erestor chuckled. "You do know that if you want to keep me, you'll have to give up your promiscuous ways."
Glorfindel leaned over to kiss his nose. "That will not be so hard, now that I have what I want. Stubborn elf! I spent a long time trying to get your attention. You have a will of iron, you know that."
"Hmm, you don't know what torture it was watching you flirting with every lovely creature in sight while I had to keep celibate. That night when you and Ardan were carrying on, I thought I would burst. You are a terrible rogue!" Erestor said.
"Oh, I am, completely." Glorfindel tongued one of Erestor's nipples. "Let me show you just how much." Erestor could feel him stirring against his thigh.
"Go on, then. I dare you."
"Mmmm, the kind of challenge I like." Glorfindel came back up to kiss Erestor's mouth, his hair trailing silkily along Erestor's chest. Suddenly his lips trembled against Erestor's and he began to chuckle.
"What's so funny, my love?" Erestor asked.
Glorfindel rolled onto his back. "Ah, you realize, of course, that now we must talk Ereinion into building a temple."
Erestor laughed, "I think he owes me a favor." He reeled Glorfindel in for another kiss.
And so it was that they spent the longest night of the year exchanging the gift of passion that returns tenfold each time it is bestowed.
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.