6. All a Clever Ploy
After that night, I found myself constantly thinking about Glorfindel. In the space of one evening, he was become an irresistible mystery. I could think on little else. As I sat in Erestor's office, staring down at old maps, it was Glorfindel's bizarre actions that filled my mind. I was unable to concentrate enough to do my work. Erestor spoke to me and I did not hear, I found myself re-reading the same sentence in his reports eight times before I noticed, and the smallest of errors became a source of large-scale frustration. Every hour, I had to leave the room to walk outside and clear my head.
Erestor attributed my prickly moods to homesickness, and suggested I return to Eryn Galen for the winter to discuss some of his propositions with Father. I agreed with him, thinking it would be nice to go back, but not yet. I needed to see to a few things before I did that.
Glorfindel, who was surely avoiding me, had become almost as rare a sight as the unicorns of Eryn Galen. I knew he was still in Imladris, because I heard people speaking of him and whatever amazing thing he had just done that morning, but I saw no more of him than the occasional fleeting glance as he turned a corner ahead of me or left a room by one door just as I entered through another. The more effort I put into finding him, the more elusive he became. On a few occasions, I went to his bedroom after nightfall, certain he would be there. What I found was a closed, locked door. Sometimes, a thin stripe of candlelight showed from a crack beneath, but he did not answer when I knocked and called his name.
I wrote him a note, leaving it on his dressing table while he was out for the day, and he did not reply. I wrote him another. Both were short: only simple requests that he come see me in Erestor's office at his convenience. Perhaps we could go for a walk by the river, I suggested, or eat dinner together. I wrote him a third, slightly longer, and then a forth, which was more like a letter than a note. Each one earned the same response: nothing.
"Are you in love with Glorfindel?" Elrohir asked me one afternoon toward the end of fall when he was pretending to be Elladan at the archery ranges. The trick he was unsuccessfully trying to execute involved me professing my amazement at how much "Elladan's" skill at archery had improved since the previous day, thanks to some magic amulet. Elrohir was an accomplished archer, while Elladan, who preferred the sword and pike, had more than once almost taken his own eye out with an improperly strung bow.
His question caused me to tense and I lost my aim right as I took my shot. The arrow flew carelessly, hitting the outside edge of the target, where it stuck in at an odd angle. "No, I am certainly not in love with Glorfindel," I growled. And I was not. I was interested in him. Curious about him. Infatuated. Maybe even obsessed. But by no means in love.
Elrohir-as-Elladan rubbed his amulet, which looked like it had been stolen from his mother's jewellery box, drew the bow, and loosed his arrow. "Ha!" he yelled, waving his fist in the air. "Look at that! Right in the centre!"
"That's incredible," I said. "Yesterday, the best you did was a handspan from. Elladan."
He grinned at me. "I tell you, it's the amulet. I can't fail as long as I'm wearing it. It's magic! You should have one. Might help you with Glorfindel."
"Elr- uh, Elladan, for the last time, I am not in love with Glorfindel!" I drew another arrow, but my concentration was too muddled to properly aim. It hit the second ring on the target. I was doing terribly.
"Maybe you would be if you had an amulet. I'll bring you one. I know where to find them. It's a secret, but I can do it for you."
"No, really, that's..." I let the words fall away into a sigh. "Sure," I said. "Bring me an amulet. Why not?"
"I'll find you a good one," Elrohir-as-Elladan promised.
True to his word, he did. Two days later, as himself this time, he found me eating dinner on a bench on a sunny terrace. "Elladan?" I asked, deliberately guessing wrong. I was careful to make the wrong choice at least half of the time, to preserve the ruse.
He shook his head. "No. I'm Elrohir. But Elladan asked me to give you something." From a pouch on his belt he pulled something wrapped in cloth, which he pushed into my hands. "I have no idea what it is," he said mysteriously, "but it has a strange aura. Can you feel it?"
I squeezed the little bundle in my hand, holding it close to my face. "I think so..." I answered. "It feels like... like it has some sort of energy." It did feel warm, probably from being in Elrohir's excitable hands all day.
"Exactly!" said Elrohir. "Why don't you open it? I want to see what it is. It must be very important."
Very carefully, as if handling a delicate rarity, I unfolded the cloth to reveal what lay inside. A pendant of jasper set in a tarnished silver frame glinted back at me. I lifted it up by its chain, letting it swing back and forth from my hand and reflect little flashes of sunlight from its polished facets.
"Ohhh," Elrohir murmured, leaning too close. "What do you think it is?"
"Well, Elladan said he would give me a magical amulet to help with my failing love life."
"Of course! That must be it!" Elrohir touched the stone and sent the pendant spinning around. "Jasper is the stone of love, you know."
"Is it? I didn't know that."
"Oh, absolutely," Elrohir assured me. "It contains numerous mystical powers that will help you attract your heart's desire."
"I'll have to try it tonight," I said. "See how it works." I dropped it back onto the cloth and wrapped it tightly before stowing it in my coin-purse. "Please, thank Elladan for me. This was very thoughtful of him."
"I will," Elrohir answered with a smile.
As soon as Elrohir left, I pulled the pendant out again to have a good look at it. This one appeared to be come from his grandmother's jewellery box: it was so old the silver was become completely black on the underside, and the chain was spotty with tarnish. I had to laugh at the absurdity of it. I hoped he had not given me a family heirloom for the sake of his joke.
I went back inside and took my usual, meandering route to Erestor's office, which led me past Glorfindel's bedroom. My stomach took a momentary leap when I saw his door was open, but sank again once I realised he was not there. I stood in the doorway and looked inside. The servants must have just been to tidy: not a thing lay out of place. As I leaned against the doorframe, I swung the jasper pendant back and forth on my finger. It was a shame the silly thing would not really work. I swung it harder, back and forth, until it looped all the way around my finger in a circle. Its heaviness let it swing well. The tarnish on the chain made black marks on my finger.
And then, without warning, the chain broke and the pendant flew across the room. It landed with a clatter on the floor near Glorfindel's bed and skidded underneath. "Oh for..." I muttered. I crossed to the bed and bent down on my hands and knees. As if by magic, the pendant was come to a stop exactly in the middle. I could not reach it. I flattened myself and wriggled along on my stomach until my hand closed around the stone. "There we are."
It was dark under the bed; the blankets hung down almost to the floor on all sides, creating a private little enclosed space. It would almost be a pleasant place for a rest, if only the floor weren't so hard and covered in dust. A few pillows would improve it.
As soon as I had that thought, another, better one followed closely in its wake. A scheme. Once Glorfindel retired to his bedroom for the night I had no way of sneaking past the locked door, but what if I were already inside? What if I stowed away before Glorfindel appeared, hiding under the bed? I could lie here quietly, wait for him to fall asleep, and... I had no idea what I would do once he was asleep, but the first part sounded promising. So long as Glorfindel did not look under his bed, which I had no reason to believe he would do, the plan was flawless.
I needed pillows. There was no way I could lie on that hard floor for what might easily be hours. I needed a blanket, as well, and possibly even some food. It would be like camping. I spent the afternoon gathering what I needed, then, when I was certain Glorfindel was at the opposite end of the house and not likely to appear and discover what I was doing, assembled my hideaway beneath his bed. I spread my blanket across the floor, placed a few pillows, and draped the quilts around the bed frame so they fully hid everything beneath. Once ready, it looked quite cosy. I waited until supper, which Glorfindel took with Elrond in the salon, then crawled in.
Glorfindel took an exceptionally long time to arrive. I had been prepared to be bored, but had not considered how very boring boredom could be when one was stuck on a hard floor under a bed with nothing to do but eat bread and cheese. And I ate that within my first half hour. Because it was already so dark under there with the hanging quilts, I had difficulty judging the passing of time. The light faded, but I did not know if the sun had yet set or if could just not see its glow on the horizon. Eventually, my hiding space became too dark for me to see. While this would be helpful in preventing Glorfindel from accidentally spotting me, it also made things, if possible, even more boring. I had been keeping myself sane by counting the knots in the boards that supported his mattress.
Finally, when I was close to abandoning my plan in favour of a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed, a flicker of yellow candlelight caught my eye. It shone through the gap between the blankets and the floor, and was accompanied by the sound of heavy footsteps. The bedroom door closed. I heard Glorfindel yawn and clear his throat, and the tap of the candle being set on the night table. He undressed, tossing his discarded clothing to the floor, and kicked off his shoes. One fell with its toe pointing directly into my hideaway. For a heart-stopping minute, I feared he would bend down to retrieve it and discover me, but he did not. Instead, he stumbled to the bed, sat down hard, and muttered something foul-sounding to himself before belching. It occurred to me that he might be drunk.
When he lay down, the entire bed creaked around me. The mattress-supporting boards bent at a precarious curve; they dipped low enough to nearly touch my chest, where before there had been inches of clearance. Glorfindel groaned and belched again as he flailed to arrange his blankets. I dared not even breathe. He lay down, rolled one way and then another, and made frustrated noises. It seemed a long time before he finally lay still. The sound of his breathing, unusually loud to my nervous ears, became heavy and slow. He had fallen asleep.
Even then, I waited another half-hour at least before crawling out from under the bed. Only once I stood next to the bed did I realise how dark and stuffy it had been under there. The bedroom air in contrast was cool and lit by the silver stars. Glorfindel, looking ghostly pale by starlight, lay on his back on the bed with his mouth hanging open. A little diamond of drool hung on the edge of his lip, ready to escape at any moment. I reached down to wipe it away with the cuff of my sleeve.
The moment I touched him, Glorfindel's eyes flew open and he jerked himself awake. "Legolas!" he half-shouted. "What are-"
"Shhh." I pressed my hand to his cheek, covering his mouth with my thumb, and leaned closer.
I expected the taste of wine on him. Instead, I found cloves. He could not have been so drunk, after all; he still had the good sense to clean his teeth before bed. I pressed my lips against his and waited for any sign of what he wanted. He answered immediately by pulling back.
"But what are you-"
"I said, shhh." I kissed him again, this time taking his lower lip between mine.
He pushed me back far enough that he could sit up in bed. "Legolas, I want to know what you're-"
"I'm kissing you, you idiot," I said.
"Because I am the Prince of Eryn Galen and ambassador to Imladris appointed by His Grace Lord Elrond, and I want to. Now are you going to shut up and let me kiss you, or do I have to give a royal order for the privilege?"
"I..." he began, but then stared at me, lost for words. "I suppose I'll be shutting up, now."
I leaned close for another kiss, but before I could touch him he had reached out and grabbed me by the back of the neck, pulling me down onto the bed. In another second he had rolled on top of me, his lips bearing down on mine furiously while his tongue slid between my teeth and the hand not holding my neck worked steadily down my side. As soon as it found my waist, I pushed up against him with enough force to roll us both back. I sat atop him, straddling his hips, looking down with my hands on his chest.
"You want this now?" I asked.
"Yes," he whispered.
"Then why have you been-"
"No," he interrupted. "No talking."
I grinned at him. No talking, indeed. I liked the sound of that. Already, I could feel the hard warmth of his cock pressing against my thigh. I slid my hands up his chest to his neck to undo the tie on his nightshirt. He lifted his arms, and I pulled it off in one fluid motion. My shirt melted away just as easily. Half-dressed, he pulled me down to lie against him, against the teasing heat of his bare chest, like fire against mine. All I wanted, in that second, was to be closer to him. All other thoughts had been erased. I needed to be closer.
His hard member still pressed insistently against my leg. He had worn nothing at all under that nightshirt. I reached down to take it in my hand, feeling the soft skin encasing a shaft like iron. He groaned between clenched teeth as the pad of my thumb rubbed the head. There was no time for hesitance, and no time to act the uncertain prude. The blood pounding through my body demanded more. After a few rough strokes, I stilled my hand on his cock and slid down to take it in my mouth.
I had never done this before; I had never done anything of the like. But all I had to do was think of what I would want Glorfindel to do to me, and the imagination broke loose. I ran my tongue around the head, sucking hard as I stroked him with my hand. I took him in as far as I could, pulled up until only my lips ringed the crown, and licked from base to tip and back again. Glorfindel wound his hands through my hair to guide my movements. I kept going at a frantic pace, licking, stroking, kissing, until he pushed my head away and gasped, "Stop... stop now... or I'll..."
I sat back on my heels and moved my hands down to rest on his thighs, scratching my fingernails through the smattering of fine hair. He looked at me with a hint of a smile. A thin gloss of sweat covered his chest, which rose and fell with his coarse breathing. "Come here," he whispered.
I went. I lay down beside him, naked chest to naked chest once more, and he tangled his fingers through my hair again to pull my face close to his. His lips, this time, met mine with delicate grace. He traced the curve of my mouth with the tip of his tongue; his touch was as light as silk. I could stand it only for a moment. I crushed myself against him, every part of his body that I could reach. I pulled his hips against mine and slid my knee between his. All that separated us was the insubstantial fabric of my breeches.
"Have you ever...?" he asked when I drew back for a breath.
I shook my head. "No."
"Do you know what to do?"
"Yes," I said. "Sort of." I knew enough.
"In the night table drawer: a little metal jar. Get it."
I propped myself up on my elbow and reached for the drawer. A metal jar lay among hair ties and old letters, as Glorfindel had said. He took it from me.
"Up on your knees," he said as he removed the lid.
I knelt at his side with the hard bulge in my breeches mere inches from his face. With excruciating slowness, he toyed with my laces on one side and then the other, making sure both were fully loosened before tugging the waistband down my legs. My cock stood at the ready for him. He shifted closer, taking care that his breath tickled my skin and the soft nest of hair while his lips remained just out of reach. A shudder of lust jolted down my spine. I reflexively arched my back forward. More than anything, I wanted him to touch me, to take me in his mouth as I had done for him. Or in his hand. Honestly, I did not care which, as long as he touched me. Those inches between us were maddening.
He dipped his fingers into the jar to coat them with waxy, white oil. It melted as he rubbed his hands together, leaving them slick and glistening. He coated my shaft with the oil, using one hand then the other and then both at once, and I grew even harder under his touch. When he finished, when I was left straining in his grip and ready to throw myself down on the bed and fuck him like he had never been fucked before, he lifted his hands in a gesture that I knew meant wait.
"What?" I asked. My voice was hoarse with need.
He smiled like some evil thing as he dipped his finger again into the waxy oil. While he did so, he kept his eyes locked with mine. Whatever he was doing, he wanted me to watch, and wanted in turn to see my reaction. Slowly, he reached down with his oiled finger to caress the cleft of his arse. I held my breath at the beautiful obscenity of it: first one finger slipped inside, then two, moving with the languid rhythm of one who knew he was putting on a show. I felt my heart pounding in my throat and somewhere nearer my cock. Glorfindel's eyes gleamed darkly up at me. I knew he enjoyed watching me watch him as he drove me to an even higher level of lust.
"Now," he said as he took his hand away, "it's your turn." He rolled onto his hands and knees to present me with his perfect bottom.
I could wait no longer. Right then, there was nothing in the world short of death that could have stopped me from grabbing him by the hips and pushing on past his resistance and into soft warmth. I groaned at the sensation, hotter and tighter than anything I had ever imagined, and heard Glorfindel's loud exhalation. He arched his back, leaning into me. I thrust fully inside. The absurd thought that popped into my head right then was, Why have I never done this before?
Back and forth, I rocked into the velvety grip of Glorfindel's body. My pace grew less controlled with every thrust, degrading into a frenzy of feral desire. The vulgar, fleshy slap of my hips against his arse accompanied the creaks and groans of the bed. My gasps and his groans added a lewd harmony, building up to a climax with an animal howl that stuck in my throat, strangled by the waves of pure bliss that exploded from my core out to every extremity. I gave one final thrust, clawing Glorfindel so close I feared we might meld into one another, and spilled the last of my essence. I collapsed onto the bed beside him to gasp for air. I was spent in all possible ways.
He wrapped his arms around me, leaning his damp forehead against my sweat-slicked neck. I could feel his heartbeat raging where his chest met my arm. It matched mine for speed and passion. We lay in that position for a long while, until our breathing calmed and strength began to seep back into our bodies. In that time, I thought. I thought about what he had said, and what he had refused to say, earlier.
"Glorfindel?" I murmured.
"Can I talk now?"
I turned my face toward his, though his eyes were closed. "Why have you been avoiding me?"
A faint smile spread across his lips. "I needed you to come to me."
"I needed you to come to me," he repeated, looking up. "I needed you to come here, of your own free will and of your own desire. And since you are such an ornery little cur, I though the best way to achieve that would be to make myself unavailable."
I frowned. "I don't understand. You made yourself... what? You were only pretending not to want me?"
He shifted back so that we could lie more easily face to face. "Legolas, do you remember the first night you came to me? When you offered yourself?"
"And you told me no."
"I had to. What would have happened if I had accepted your grudging offer?"
"I don't know," I said. "We would have done this that night?"
"No. What would have happened is that you would hate me for it. You offered yourself not out of love or even lust, but stubbornness. You came into that room prepared to appease me as some evil master, and that's what our relationship would have been, had we gone through with it."
"So," he continued, "the straightforward approach of me trying to befriend you and earn your trust and affection did not work. You had some strange notions in your head about my character. And to rebuff your earlier argument," he said as I opened my mouth to speak, "no, I had nothing to do with the ambassador position. That was entirely Elrond's idea. After I returned from Eryn Galen with our contract, I started to wonder if I hadn't done wrong by you to insist upon this alliance. The last thing I wanted was to force you to come here, miserable and bound by duty. I confessed my guilt to Elrond, and he suggested that perhaps you should be made Eryn Galen's ambassador to Imladris instead. That way, we could keep the alliance without putting you in so awkward a position. I would be free to... uh... pursue you without any overshadowing obligation on your part."
I had not thought that there was anything Glorfindel could say that would make me feel even stupider than I had done before he was become so distant. I was wrong. This certainly did make me feel stupider. In response, all I could say was, "Oh."
"Then you arrived and managed to come to the wrong conclusion about me. I was unable to explain myself. Even if I had made a better effort at doing so, I'm sure it would have sounded like excuses to you. So I did the next most sensible thing and made up a complicated scheme to win your interest. As you can see," he patted the bed; "it worked."
He looked immensely pleased with himself. I could only stare back at him, growing increasingly irritated by the second. "You mean to say," I asked sharply, "that all this time you have been playing hard-to-get like some conceited girl in the hope that I'd be intrigued enough to chase after you?"
"I would have stopped long ago if I hadn't thought it was working."
"Oh, you're ridiculous!" I said. I grabbed my pillow and rolled over to turn my back on his laughing face, hoping I looked furious. The only trouble was, my anger melted away as soon as it rose, and he knew it.
"Legolas," he laughed, "I am deeply sorry for any offence I may have caused you. Will you accept my apology? Truce?"
Feigning reluctance, I squirmed and rolled back toward him. "Truce," I agreed.
He kissed my hand. "Good. I would hate to think that our one night together would also be our last.
"It would be a shame to stop now that I'm starting to discover the joys that can be found."
"And it was enjoyable."
"Do you want to do it again?" I asked.
He raised an eyebrow at me, smiled, and said, "Yes."
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.