5. Sword Play
"You may be right, meleth," Elladan replied. "But it would be prudent to wait until we've gathered our supplies for the homeward journey. I wouldn't fancy trying to get through Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains with nothing to eat but bark and rainwater!"
"I know we must be careful. No one will know," said Elrohir. "He is ripe for the taking. Ah, I can feel him on my tongue!"
"You are really smitten by him, aren't you?" Elladan took Elrohir's chin in his fingers. "Just remember who your first love is." He kissed his twin hard.
"Jealous already, brother?" Mischief lit Elrohir's eyes. "I think you should make me forget about the lovely Mirkwood prince."
"Like so, Elro meleth?" Elladan said.
Standing up suddenly, Elladan wrapped his arms around his twin's chest, hauling him sideways out of the chair onto the carpet. Before Elrohir had a chance to move, Elladan was on top of him tickling until Elrohir was laughing and writhing on the floor. How Elladan loved the familiar feel of his brother between his legs. His twin's jerking movements jostled against Elladan's cock, fueling his desire.
Elladan hauled off Elrohir's boots, rapidly unlaced his leggings, and pulled those off as well while the younger twin teasingly struggled against him. He pushed Elrohir's tunic up and over his head to reveal his broad shoulders and long, slender torso delineated with muscle. So beautiful! Elladan ran his hand over his twin's solid chest, pinching his nipples. He wanted desperately to thrust himself deep within his brother, to feel their connection. He had waited so long for this.
Elrohir's cheeks were flushed as he looked at Elladan suggestively. "What are you going to do now? You've still got your clothes on and the minute you get up, I'll run off."
Elladan jumped up, ran across the room, and slid the bolt across the door. "Alas for you dear brother! You can't get out and there's nowhere to hide."
He came back, peeling off his clothes as he went, pausing to pull off his boots, then sliding the leggings down over his hips to reveal a very erect member.
Elrohir leapt to his feet, his eyes widened in mock horror. "Gods, brother, what is that monster between your legs? You weren't thinking of using that on me, were you?"
"The thought had occurred to me," said Elladan. He went to the table and scooped some softened butter from a plate which he rubbed all over his cock. "Come here now, you wicked thing, and get what you deserve!"
Laughing, Elrohir danced away, putting the bed between himself and his brother. They circled each other, feinting to the right, then the left. Elrohir made a dash for the other side of the room, but Elladan darted out an arm, caught him on the shoulder, and spun him around, then pushed him onto the bed.
Elladan landed on top of his twin and began tickling him again until Elrohir was helplessly out of breath with laughter. His brother's skin felt so warm and smooth against his own. Their cocks rubbed, tingled, and slipped by each other, like swords in battle.
Elladan stopped tickling, leaned forward, and captured his twin's laughing mouth, kissing him deeply, feeling Elrohir's passion rising. Elladan finally broke away and began kissing down his brother's torso. He hovered teasingly, right above Elrohir's straining member, then bent to lap quickly at the head, reveling in the salty-sweet taste of the slick fluid. His brother wriggled and moaned.
"Do you want it?" Elladan asked between licks.
"Uhh," Elrohir inhaled harshly.
Elladan sat up. "Not good enough, meleth. Tell me!"
"Yes, yes, by the gods, you make me so hot!" Elrohir cried.
The elder twin plunged his mouth down onto his brother's cock, feeling the hard column push against the back of his throat. He began moving rapidly up and down.
"Uhhhh! Oh Valar's gifts, that's good," Elrohir cried in ecstasy, thrusting his hips. "Ah, I love your mouth."
Elladan came off of him. "Tell me how it feels."
"Make the connection and you'll know for yourself," moaned Elrohir. "Ah, yes, suck it hard, like that. Now take it deep down your throat. Like that. Uh, yes."
Elladan brought him to the brink of release, delighting in his brother's cries of pleasure. Then he pulled off and Elrohir sighed in disappointment.
"I have something better for you than my mouth," Elladan said.
Elrohir propped himself up on an elbow and eyed him seductively. "Now, what could that be, I wonder."
Elladan moved backward off the bed and began stroking his own cock. "This is what I have for you," he purred, as he watched Elrohir's eyes close briefly, his lips part.
Elladan grabbed his twin, hauled him to the edge of the bed, and pulled his legs up onto his shoulders. He positioned himself at Elrohir's entrance, then hesitated and looked into his brother's eyes. "Are you sure, meleth?" he asked in a gentle voice.
Elrohir's eyes were smoky with lust. "Do it," he said. "Now! Before I think better of it."
Elladan ran his buttery hand down over his twin's buttocks, rubbing slick fingers over his entrance, then penetrated him with a quick thrust. Elrohir arched his back, shook his head, and released a breathy moan.
"You feel that, don't you," Elladan said. "And this one."
"Higher," groaned Elrohir. "Oh yes, yes, that's it. Fuck me, brother! Hard!"
Elladan braced his hands on the bed and leaned forward, ramming into him. Ah gods, he felt good, the fit so perfect.
Elrohir folded his knees back and out, opening himself more fully to his lover, spreading his arms wide as his body was rocked forward and back by the force of Elladan's thrusts. The bed began creaking. The younger twin reached down and took himself in hand, his face contorted with pleasure.
"That's so good," Elrohir moaned. "Only you fill me so well. Only you. No other."
Elladan felt himself merging with his brother, their thoughts leaping toward each other, becoming one. Utulien, he thought, We connect. I feel you Elro meleth, úthaes nin, my desired one. The joy of their union, the feeling of completion that he longed for, overwhelmed him.
"Elladan, my bliss, gîl gûren, take me," gasped Elrohir. "Oh gods, I'm coming!" Elrohir threw back his head, emitting a long, strangled cry as his cock pulsed thick, creamy drops on both their chests.
At the same moment, Elladan made his deepest thrust, his balls slamming into his twin's buttocks. He felt his brother's hot seed spatter against him as he also came in a rolling wave of pleasure of both his and his brother's sensations combined. In the midst of the storm, he felt a supreme ecstasy, a calmness of the soul.
"Uhhhhhh," Elladan groaned as he collapsed onto the younger twin's chest. He lay still for a while, his face pressed to his brother's, still feeling the rapture of their orgasm. Elrohir shook slightly.
Elladan pulled out and used the sheet to clean off their chests.
Elrohir rolled over onto his face and lay still. Suddenly, Elladan knew the aftermath was coming, and braced himself as a deep sorrow washed over him. He picked up his brother's left hand and kissed it. "Are you all right?" he asked.
Elrohir turned his head and his eyes were filled with tears. "I love you too much, that's all," he said. "It feels too good when we do that. For a moment, I feel totally at peace, complete."
"Exactly the way I feel, meleth. It's why I crave our joining so much," said Elladan. "But now there's grief as well."
"Valar's curse. It's the guilt, as familiar to you as our love," Elrohir said in a whisper. "As if we must somehow pay for our pleasure, sometime in the future. It scares me." A tear rolled down his cheek.
"I have no answer for you," Elladan said. He gathered his twin to his chest and rocked him gently, pausing to kiss his eyelids and forehead. Elrohir sighed and soon Elladan heard him breathing softly in sleep.
I should have resisted. I should have, Elladan thought, as guilt seized him. I can't bear to cause him pain. Amidst echoes of black despair, he got up, pulled the covers over his twin, blew out the lantern, and then slid next to him, throwing an arm over his chest and drawing him near, listening as their heartbeats became one.
*utulien - I am come in Quenya
*úthaes nin - my temptation
*gîl gûren - star of my heart
Talagan opened the door to King Náin's quarters and found him seated in a large chair by a table, surrounded by a half-dozen dwarves. Cups and plates laden with the remains of a tremendous breakfast were piled high in front of them. Talagan sighed, remembering Thranduil's tirade to him in the king's chambers last night after they'd been forced to listen to all thirty verses of Náin's "Ode to Thranduil's Dwarf-Delved Halls." At least Talagan could say of Náin that he was prolific and his verse rhymed.
Náin sat solidly, his legs spread apart. His dark sable beard was forked and braided with gold twine. He wore a crimson jerkin embroidered with gold thread in a design representing a hammer and an anvil. His features were heavy with a long, hooked nose and bright, hooded eyes. Talagan supposed that he was handsome, for a dwarf. If only he could discover what Náin wanted here.
"You sent for me, King?" Talagan said.
"Yes, I wished for your advice, Thranduil's Seneschal."
Talagan bent his head slightly. "I will do what I can."
Náin's gaze flicked to the wall. "By Durin's beard, what is that?" he cried, pointing.
Talagan looked quickly and saw a long fire lizard tail disappear into a crack.
"Nothing to worry about, Sire. A pest. I'll have someone remove it."
"None too soon. Arg, it chills my blood!" Náin exclaimed. He looked at his counselors, then composed himself, stroking his mustache.
"Seneschal," he began again in a deep rumble, "how do you think your master would react if I presented him with a gift?" He gestured at one of his retinue, who brought over a small wooden box, which he opened. It contained a heavy gold ring that sparkled with faceted emeralds and diamonds.
Talagan let out an astonished, "Oh!" then recovered quickly. "I am sure he'd be, ah, delighted. Could I learn the reason for the gift?"
"I wish to express my appreciation for the King's hospitality as well as my growing affection for his person," said Náin. "I hope I may find that affection returned."
Talagan noticed that one of Náin's counselors rolled his eyes upwards and shook his head. The corners of the seneschal's mouth twitched as he sought to control his own expression.
"I am sure King Thranduil will appreciate your gift. However, he bestows his affection quite sparingly and only after long acquaintance."
"The elven king does not strike me as the cautious type," said Náin. "Rather, he seems elemental, like a storm, given to mood swings. Of course, it is quite charming." He smiled.
"He can be very, uh, circumspect, when need arises," said Talagan. He paused and then ventured, "I must own to you that he is very curious to learn the reason for your visit?"
"I will make that clear when I think the time is ripe," answered Náin gruffly.
"Yes, of course," Talagan said. He waved his hand at the breakfast debris. "I will send some of our household to clear this away. May I remind you that the weapons competition is to be held this evening before dinner."
"I look forward to watching your finest elvish warriors go through their paces," Náin growled. "We'll see if the elves live up to their reputation."
"Very good." Talagan bowed and departed.
Náin had watched the seneschal's thin features carefully, noting the pinched expression when he brought out the gift. As soon as the door shut, Náin began to laugh heartily.
"Surely, you are not courting this elven king?" asked one of his counselors, wringing his hands.
"And what if I were, Grundin?" Nain's voice was a low rumble.
"Sire, this is an offense against our people," said another deep-voiced dwarf. "And I could not permit you to give him that ring of all rings!"
"Nay, Norin, do not concern yourself. It is not what it appears. The dwarves and the elves have too long distrusted each other." Náin stroked his beard thoughtfully. "I will see what this king is made of."
"He's what!" Thranduil said in shock. He threw down his quill and stood up from the table littered with scrolls.
"I believe Náin has fallen in love with you," repeated Talagan, moving backwards a step. He had to admit he could see how it might happen. Thranduil was fiercely beautiful and had a presence that drew the unwary, like moths to a flame.
"Yrggg!" The king made a face of such distaste that Talagan had to stifle a laugh.
"He plans to give you a gift to demonstrate his affection. He showed me a ring," Talagan continued.
"That's it, Talagan! The final blow! We must get rid of him, immediately."
"My Lord, I beg you not to do anything hasty. We still don't know what he wishes and he did say he would reveal it eventually."
"When might that be? After he's consumed everything in the palace and had me to bed? No!" Thranduil began pacing. Suddenly he stopped mid-stride, his cloak settling about him. " I have an idea, Talagan."
"Yes, Sire?" the seneschal asked warily.
"I'll tell you as we walk," Thranduil said, then he paused again and a strange look came over his face. "Talagan, describe that ring he plans to offer me."
Legolas sat on the steps of the large, outdoor amphitheater where the contest was to take place that night. Resting his chin in his hand, he watched the twins practice with two-handed swords, the weapons they were to use this evening as determined by a draw. A slight breeze fluttered the sleeves of their tunics which were rolled up to the elbows. The afternoon sun reflected light from the diamonds in their ears, casting tiny flickering rainbows on the white stone steps. The twins moved in flowing slow motion, like a ritual dance, their movements precise and powerful, countering thrust with parry. The amphitheater echoed with the sharp clang of metal.
"Well, what do you think, Legolas?"
The prince turned and saw his older brother, Feredir, coming up the steps towards him. He came and sat down next to Legolas.
"I think they present a challenge," said Legolas.
"How much of a challenge can they be?" asked Feredir scornfully. "They come from Imladris, known for scholarship, not the arts of war, and they are partly human."
"Use your eyes, Feredir," said Legolas. "It seems they combine the strength of men with the dexterity of the elves. And wherever they learned it, they certainly know how to wield their swords. I'd say the challenge is formidable."
"I'm not worried, little brother," said Feredir. "But it sounds as if you have been watching them carefully and that is useful. What is our strategy?"
"You are stronger than I; you should fight Elladan. Elrohir and I are the closer match in style," said Legolas.
"How can you even tell them apart?" snorted Feredir.
"I have noted subtle differences, but here's an easy method: Elladan is the one with the earring in the right ear; Elrohir has his in the left."
"Just like a mirror, down to the last detail. They give me the shivers," said Feredir. "As if they were unnatural somehow."
"I find them quite . . . fascinating, and not at all unnatural," said Legolas softly. "It's as if the gods created perfection, and then pleased with their work, decided to duplicate it."
Feredir looked at him sharply. "They are peredhil and Noldor, not of our race. In addition, father threw them out once for their outrageous behavior. You should be careful around them, little brother. They are a corrupting influence." He got up and stalked off.
With a heavy ring of iron against iron, Elrohir countered Elladan's overhead thrust, the younger twin sweeping his sword neatly over his head in perfect form, leg bent, arms arced to the side, sword parallel to the ground.
Such beauty, Legolas sighed to himself. Let me be corrupted.
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