Dinîf en Qualen
When Erestor opened his eyes the next morning, he found that he was still in Glorfindel’s arms. The golden-haired Elf was sound asleep with his face nestled in the crook of his shoulder. Tentatively he raised a hand and caressed the long, silk hair, marveling at its beauty. What, in Elbereth’s name, did Glorfindel see in him?
The Elda purred against his shoulder, moving closer to him, and Erestor sucked in his breath, feeling Glorfindel’s erection brush his hip. What was he to do? He could pretend he was still asleep and ignore his lover’s arousal. The last thing he wanted was for Glorfindel to wake up.
Stealthily, his hand drifted lower, down the fabric of the silk shirt and eventually encountered, hot, soft skin. Glorfindel smelled like a meadow, after a refreshing rain shower had released all kinds of sweet fragrances. The blond was seductive in his sleep and Erestor quickly pulled back his hand, berating himself for touching his lover when he was still asleep.
Several long moments passed and still Glorfindel wouldn’t wake up. Now the golden-haired Elf even began to thrust against him, moaning pleadingly. Erestor swallowed hard, feeling at a loss. He wanted to return the pleasure Glorfindel had given him, but the blond was asleep! He couldn’t touch him like that! It reminded him too much of finding his father at his bedside, fondling him. And although it had happened many decades ago, it felt like it had happened only yesterday.
“E…res…tor…” Glorfindel moaned and even in his sleep, his fingers curled in the black hair.
Biting his lip, Erestor wondered what to do. Maybe waking Glorfindel was the best thing to do after all. “Glorfindel, wake up,” whispered Erestor, rubbing the blond’s hip. The skin seemed to grow hot beneath his touch and he flinched away, letting his fingers tangle in the golden locks instead. “Wake up…” He sighed, relieved, when Glorfindel’s eyes filled with awareness. “I do not know what to do.”
Glorfindel frowned, wondering what Erestor was referring to. “What is it, melamin?”
“You… are… hard,” stuttered Erestor, nervously.
Glorfindel smiled, relieved that nothing was wrong. “That is fairly normal.”
Erestor averted his eyes. “I… would like to return… the pleasure you gave me…. last night…” Squirming in Glorfindel’s embrace, he stared at his lover. “But not when you were… asleep.”
Glorfindel thought he understood what was going on. “Your father would approach you in your sleep?” The mere thought was enough to make his morning erection go away.
Now Erestor felt guilty for worrying Glorfindel. The blond’s arousal had faded and he knew it was because of what he had just revealed to his new lover. “It happened a few times, yes.” Suddenly he was buried in a warm, all-enveloping hug. Glorfindel was squeezing the breath from his lungs and he gasped. “Please…”
Realizing Erestor was having difficulty breathing, Glorfindel loosened the hug. “I just want to hold you and keep you safe for the rest of your life.” Erestor blushed, which made him smile. “Are you hungry, melamin?”
“I think so,” admitted Erestor slowly. It had been a while since he had eaten a full meal, and breakfast was probably being served right now. “Do you want to head for the dining room to eat breakfast?”
“That,” said Glorfindel, leaning in to press a teasing kiss on the tip of Erestor’s nose, “is an excellent idea.” Erestor stared at him, cross-eyed, when Glorfindel treated the tip of his nose to one sensual lick. “And now, we need to leave this warm bed!”
Erestor regretted letting go of Glorfindel, but watched the Elda as he walked over to his closet, not bothering to hide his private parts. “I do not have any clothes,” realized Erestor. “I will need to go to my rooms.” His features briefly contorted. “Aiya, I do not think I can ever go in there again.” He would always see Eridhren lying on the floor, blood pooling beneath him.
“I will ask one of the servants to gather your personal belongings and to bring them here,” decided Glorfindel, still checking the content of his closet. “You can wear my robes until then.”
“Yours?” Erestor swung his feet onto the floor and rose from the bed. Slowly, he walked over to the blond, who had now selected a robe, made of a silk like material in a lovely shade of mauve. On the sleeves golden flowers had been embroiled.
“Would you were these? I do think they will suit you.” Glorfindel handed Erestor, who looked stunned, the robes and then reached to push back a wayward plait.
“I do not wear colors like this…” Erestor stared at the valuable garment, knowing it was one of Glorfindel’s formal robes.
Glorfindel unhappily shook his head. “You wear black, grey and brown, and that is it. Very depressing colors, melamin. Why not try something new? The robes would go well with the circlet.” The confused stare that Erestor aimed at him, made him smile. “The long winter of your life has passed. It is summer now.”
Erestor resigned himself to Glorfindel’s cheerfulness. “I will wear them.”
Glorfindel allowed Erestor some privacy, turning around and selecting a green shirt and grey leggings for himself. A dark green cloak completed his outfit. Casting a glance in the mirror, he found that Erestor had slipped into the robes and was now putting on his soft, leather boots. The dark mane was in disarray and Glorfindel walked over to him, wrapping an arm around Erestor’s shoulder and steering him to the dressing table.
Erestor sat down in front of the mirror and let Glorfindel fuss over his hair like the Elda had done during the night.
Satisfied, Glorfindel leaned in closer, rested his chin on Erestor’s shoulder, and smiled. “You are beautiful, melamin. Are you ready to have breakfast?”
Erestor rose from the chair and straightened out his robes. Looking at his reflection in the mirror, he blinked. Who was that Elf staring back at him? Was that really him? “I barely recognize myself.”
Noticing the puzzlement in Erestor’s eyes, Glorfindel simply smiled. “You will continue to amaze yourself, nîn amdir.” Grabbing Erestor’s hand, he pulled his lover along. It was time to eat breakfast.
Elrond shifted uncomfortably on his chair and glared at Thranduil. “Don’t you dare apologize again!” Once Thranduil had realized he had left the half-Elf sore, Elrond had tried to stop him from apologizing over and over again. “I wanted it that way. It was not your fault.”
Thranduil sighed, resigned, and gave in. “At least eat, then.” He pointed at the delicious fruits, omelets and freshly baked bread the maid had just placed on the breakfast table. “Would you like me to pour you some tea?” That way Elrond wouldn’t have to get up and walk over to the buffet.
Elrond nodded once. How could he convince Thranduil to not feel guilty? “I would love some,” he said in the end, seeing the Sinda’s hopeful expression. “And add some honey.”
Thranduil quickly got to his feet, poured the tea, added the honey, and then placed the cup in front of the half-Elf. Their eyes locked and unable to hold back, he leaned in closer, claiming Elrond’s lips and hungrily explored his lover’s mouth again. He felt like he couldn’t get enough of dark-haired half-Elf.
Glorfindel cleared his throat, trying to discretely announce their arrival. Glancing at Erestor, he was pleased to see a grin on his lover’s face. “Elrond, Thranduil,” he started, walking toward the table, “I hope you do not mind our company?”
Elrond grinned, hearing Thranduil sigh, exasperated. “Sit down, nîn glaur.” After studying Glorfindel’s eyes, his gaze traveled to Erestor and he gasped, surprised at the Elf’s changed appearance. “Those robes look good on you,” he said, complimenting Erestor, “They never looked that good on Glorfindel.”
Glorfindel snickered, sitting down next to Thranduil. “Elrond, mellon-nîn, I would feel jealous if I did not know your heart belonged to Thranduil.”
Now it was Elrond’s turn to mutter softly. He briefly glared at his seneschal, but then his expression changed into a smile when he looked at Erestor. “You never wore your hair like that before. It suits you.”
Erestor, feeling nervous now that all attention was focused on him, cleared his throat and looked to Glorfindel for help.
“It is the truth,” said Glorfindel, shrugging his shoulders. “You are beautiful, lirimaer.”
Erestor lowered his eyes and stared at his hands, resting in his lap. Nervous, he wondered why they were saying these things. He wasn’t beautiful.
Thranduil realized that the teasing, however well it was meant, was getting to Erestor and silenced Elrond and Glorfindel by raising a hand. “That is enough.” Everyone heard Erestor’s relieved sigh and Thranduil frowned. Addressing his former protégé, he said, “I always looked upon you as a son, Erestor, and now, in the absence of your parents, I need to ask you a question.”
Erestor trembled; he knew Thranduil well enough to know what that question was.
Glorfindel, growing worried at finding Erestor averting his eyes, glared at Thranduil. Suddenly Erestor’s hand covered his, squeezing it tightly. The dark eyes beseeched him to remain quiet and to not interfere. He decided to wait and see what Thranduil wanted to know, but he wouldn’t stand by idly in case the question caused his lover emotional pain.
“Glorfindel has clearly stated his claim, but what I want to know is if you love him as well. Do you really want him as your mate?” Thranduil searched very familiar eyes; he had learned a long time ago to recognize any deception in them. Eridhren had ordered Erestor to lie, but the young Elf had been a terrible liar and he suspected that that hadn’t changed. Erestor’s face would always be an open book to him. “Do you love him? Do you really want to be with him?”
Glorfindel held his breath, staring at the dark-haired counselor. What would Erestor say? But then his lover squeezed his hand, raised it, and pressed a kiss on his knuckles.
“Aye, sire, I love Glorfindel. I love him with all my heart and I want to be with him for the rest of my life. He has shown me life is worth living.” Erestor saw the pride in Glorfindel’s eyes and hesitantly leaned in closer, claiming the Elda’s lips. Embarrassed at hearing Thranduil and Elrond sigh, he quickly pulled back, shooting Glorfindel an apologetic look.
Glorfindel had never been happier in his entire life. Erestor had taken the initiative and had kissed him in front of their friends! “I love you!” he exclaimed loudly, bringing Erestor’s hand to his chest and resting it close to his heart.
Thranduil and Elrond exchanged a pleased look. All Erestor needed was time, and Glorfindel was patient enough to take things slowly.
Unable to deal with the attention aimed at him any longer, Erestor looked at Elrond and asked, “Where are the twins this morning?”
Elrond frowned; Erestor was right. The twins should be here. Where could they possibly be?
“Elladan, can you not do this alone? Why do you need me to be there as well?” Elrohir cringed when they reached the door to Legolas’ guest quarters. This was the last place that he wanted to be. Not even Elladan’s company had kept his thoughts chaste last night. When he had finally fallen asleep after tossing and turning for hours, he had dreamt of Legolas, feeling the blond’s lips pressed against his.
His crush was making it hard for him to think logically and he turned, trying to sneak out of the corridor. But then Elladan grabbed him by the collar, pulling him back.
”Where do you think you are going?” Elladan wasn’t sure if he should pity or envy his brother for having these feelings. He had never been in love before and wondered about his brother’s behavior. “We will merely escort him to the dining room and then we will leave, joining today’s patrols. By the time we get back he will have left Imladris again.” He had hoped his words would reassure Elrohir, but instead his younger brother’s features contorted.
“Left?” Elrohir didn’t want Legolas to leave!
Elladan sighed, and then knocked on the door. “Legolas? It is Elladan. We are here to escort you to your father.” Looking at Elrohir, he added, “And you are staying, brother.”
Elrohir nervously shuffled his feet, trying to regain his outer calm. He couldn’t let Legolas see how confused he felt!
The door opened and Legolas stepped into the corridor. Did the Imladris Elves always get up this late? He had been awake for hours! “Please lead on. I do not want to keep my father waiting.”
Elrohir briefly swayed on his feet and was grateful when Elladan reached out to steady him. Pulling himself together, he drew in a deep breath, trying to appear calm. “Will you stay for a longer period of time or do you plan to leave shortly?”
“That depends on my father,” said Legolas, wondering about the blush that had settled on Elrohir’s face. The half-Elf was nervous and his eyes darted wildly in their sockets. Elladan however, was calm and controlled. He followed the twins down the endless corridors and halted when the half-Elves did. Elladan opened the door and signaled for him to follow.
Legolas stepped into the dining room and located his father at once. “Ada…”
Thranduil, surprised to see his youngest son, rose from the chair, left the table and walked toward Legolas. “What are you doing here, ion-nîn?” He wrapped his arms around his son and hugged him tightly, whilst whispering, “Are you well? Did something happen to Valthoron?” His first worry would always be for his sons.
Legolas returned the hug, whispering, “All is well at home. I am here because Celeborn asked me to deliver a message.” Pulling back, he smiled warmly at his father. “You look well, Ada.”
Thranduil felt relieved; this morning he had actually made an effort to conceal the still-healing bite mark. He would have hated for Legolas to find out about his new lover in that way. But he would have to tell Legolas about Elrond shortly; his son was intelligent enough to figure things out -- and then there was Elladan, who, he recalled, didn’t mind blurting out the truth. Locking eyes with Elladan, he mutely asked the half-Elf to remain quiet and was relieved when Elladan seemed to understand, nodding once.
Elrond rose from his chair, and welcomed his guest. He had been stunned to see just how much Legolas resembled Thranduil. His lover had been right when he had said that his youngest had taken after him. “Welcome to Imladris, Legolas. I am honored to finally meet you. Your father speaks highly of you.”
Legolas’ eyes narrowed with suspicion. The last time he had talked to his father he hadn’t received the impression that his father and the half-Elf were friends and now Elrond was honored to meet him? Strange. But his father had taught him well, and he said, “Your sons have already welcomed me to Imladris last night, Master Elrond. And I am honored that you now welcome me personally.”
“You arrived last night?” Thranduil frowned and then sought out Elladan’s gaze. “Why was I not told?”
“We thought you might like to rest after attending Eridhren’s funeral,” explained Elladan in a nervous tone.
“His funeral?” Legolas locked gazes with his father. “Ada, it seems we need to talk.”
“Aye, Elrond, would you excuse me? I need to inform my son.” Thranduil waited for Elrond to nod and then folded an arm around his son’s shoulder, leading him into the corridor and then into the gardens.
“Ada, what is going on here? Since when are you and Elrond on friendly terms?” He would never forgive the Peredhel for hurting his father’s feelings in the past. Elrond had seemed kind, but he wasn’t fooled by the mellow exterior.
“There is a lot you do not know…” Thranduil sighed, wondering how to tell Legolas that Elrond and he were lovers once more. “Let us sit down.” He steered his son toward a bench. “First tell me why you are here.”
“Celeborn asks if you would consider joining forces with him. Orcs were sighted near his borders and he is growing worried.”
Thranduil nodded once. “There is already a messenger on his way to ask Celeborn the same thing. Mirkwood is now allied with Imladris and we would be even stronger if Lothlorien joined in as well.”
“Celeborn will be pleased to hear that.” Now that the formal matter had been discussed, he searched his father’s eyes and found Thranduil averting them when his look became too probing. “What are you hiding from me? I cannot remember you ever avoiding my gaze before. Ada? Is something wrong? Are you well?” Worried, he took hold of his father’s hand, squeezing it.
“Legolas, there is something you should know, but I am afraid of your reaction.” Thranduil stole a glance at his son. Legolas was wise for his years and so strong. His youngest had always given him joy and unconditional support. He had to believe Legolas would accept this as well. “Elrond and I talked.” He sensed Legolas tense up next to him and cringed.
“Ada, he hurt you so badly in the past. Do not let him hurt you again.” Legolas rubbed his father’s knuckles. “I cannot bear to see you suffer.”
“Aiya, Legolas…” His nervousness increased. “I took him back as my lover.” He flinched, waiting for his son’s reaction. When Legolas remained silent, he looked up, locking gazes with him. “Please say something.”
Legolas probed his father’s eyes, finding hope, and fear of rejection. He couldn’t say he was completely surprised; he had always known that his father had continued to feel attracted to Elrond. “Are you sure, Ada? Are you sure he won’t desert and hurt you again? You spent so many millennia mourning that love. Do you really think Elrond is sincere?”
Thranduil nodded; he understood that Legolas was worried. “I think he is sincere. No, I –know- he is sincere!” Thranduil clasped his son’s hand in his. “Elrond finally realized what he lost when he chose Gil-galad over me. I know he won’t make the same mistake twice. Please give him a chance to prove himself. For my sake?”
Legolas sighed deeply, still maintaining eye contact. “You never stopped loving him.”
Thranduil felt relieved now that Legolas seemed to understand. “You are right. I still love him.”
Legolas straightened his shoulders and stared determinedly at his father. “If Elrond hurts you, he will answer to me!”
Thranduil smiled nervously at seeing the fierce expression in his son’s eyes. He knew Legolas well enough to know his son was serious. “Do not hurt him, Legolas, for he is dear to me.”
“I will try to get along with Elrond… and his sons… because you love him.” Legolas cleared his throat, feeling rather emotional. “But if he hurts you…”
Thranduil smiled, proudly. “Then you will avenge my honor, pen-neth?”
“Of course I will!” Legolas meant every word he had said. Returning his father’s smile, he added, “Do you want me to stay or to return to Mirkwood?”
“Would you stay, Legolas? We rarely see each other these days.” Thranduil smiled at his son. “And I would like you to befriend Elladan and Elrohir.”
Legolas groaned; he should have seen that one coming. “I will try.” The twins seemed nice enough. “And what will you do?”
“I will stay for another month and then I will return to Mirkwood.” He paused, feeling nervous. “Elrond said he would stay with me in Mirkwood for one year and then we could return to Imladris and reside here for a year.”
“That sounds reasonable,” agreed Legolas, and then changed their topic. “And what happened to Eridhren?”
Thranduil nodded once and then took the time to update his son.
Elrond sensed something was wrong with Elrohir, and continued to study his youngest son, who looked pale. When Thranduil and Legolas returned, Elrohir almost seemed to panic.
Erestor, seated next to Elrohir, had also noticed that something was wrong and now slowly rested his hand on the younger half-Elf’s, hoping the touch would reassure him.
Glorfindel was pleased to see Erestor reach out to Elrohir and hoped it was a new beginning. Erestor had locked his feelings away for so long.
“Is something wrong, Elrohir?” Erestor followed the direction of Elrohir’s stare and found it was directed at Legolas. Elrohir quickly looked away, but that glance told the experienced counselor all he needed to know. So Elrohir felt attracted to Legolas? How would Elrond and Thranduil react when learning this? However, he didn’t plan on enlightening the two Elf-Lords... Yet.
“I do not feel well…” whispered Elrohir, hoping his twin would come to the rescue, but Elladan merely smiled at him.
Thranduil and Legolas seated themselves at the table and the elder Elf looked at Elrond, wondering if something had happened during his short absence.
Elrond couldn’t help being concerned, recalling that it was his sons’ turn to join the border patrols - and if Elrohir wasn’t feeling well, he was inclined to make him stay. Suddenly the perfect solution came to him. “Elladan, you can lead the patrols today. And Elrohir? Would you stay and show Imladris to Legolas?” Elrond completely missed the look of panic in Elrohir’s eyes as his gaze shifted to Legolas. “I assume you will stay for a short while?”
Legolas nodded once. He had promised his father to stay and to befriend Elrond’s sons.
Elrohir sought out his brother’s gaze and shot him a trapped look. They had to trade places! There was no other way! Just being close to Legolas caused him to stop thinking logically. /Elladan, you have to switch places with me! You must!/
Beta read by Ilye, thank you!
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