Glorfindel’s Darkest Hour
Chapter 2 - Danger
The pack of Orcs and Uruk-Hai appeared out of nowhere, giving Glorfindel and his escort hardly a chance to defend themselves. Glorfindel had drawn his sword and was trying to take down as many of the foul creatures as possible, but there were too many of the beasts. One by one, Saruman’s creatures murdered the members of his escort. Finally, he was closed in. Raising his sword, he wondered if this would be the end… Again.>
But to his utter surprise the beasts remained at a distance and their gazes were now aimed at the Uruk-Hai who seemed to be their leader. A growl left the fanged mouth and Glorfindel barely repressed the shivers that traveled down his spine. Things didn’t look good for him.
The Uruk-Hai’s fangs flashed in the sunlight when he nodded. “This is the one the master wants. I saw him in the black stone… This is the Balrog Slayer.”
Glorfindel’s eyes narrowed. /The *master* wants me?/
“Saruman will be pleased to learn we achieved our objective. Take him, but make sure he remains unharmed. The master needs him in one piece.” The Uruk-Hai sheathed his sword, grinning menacingly.
If the creature thought he would surrender without a fight he was dead wrong. Glorfindel raised his sword, ready to strike. Two Orcs charged and he deflected their blows, but then he heard movement behind him and he spun around to defend himself against another attacker. The problem was that there were too many Orcs attacking him at the same time and he was only one against many. It was a matter of time before they would take him prisoner.
The air swooshed behind him and suddenly something hard connected with the back of his skull. The impact of the blow sent him reeling on his feet and his sword slipped from his grasp, as he sank onto his knees. Within seconds several Orcs had trapped his arms and legs. His head was spinning and black spots danced in front of his eyes.
Due to his temporary weakness he barely managed to put up a struggle when the Uruk-Hai tied him hand and foot, using Elven rope to restrict his movements. Feeling helpless was something he hated and he growled angrily when the Uruk-Hai holstered him up to his feet and then draped him over his shoulder. The sudden movement made him nauseous and a splitting headache was forming where he had been hit.
“Let go of me!” His protest came out weak and he closed his eyes, as this morning’s breakfast made a return visit.
The Uruk-Hai cursed and threw him unceremoniously onto the ground where Glorfindel emptied his stomach. The Orcs and the Uruk-Hai were laughing at his weakness whilst he waited for the now dry heaves to stop. Once his breathing was steady, he was picked up and draped over a shoulder. It worried him that the Uruk-Hai carried him with such apparent ease. He shuddered; wondering what would happen if Saruman sent more of these creatures into Imladris.
“The master will truly be pleased,” mumbled the Uruk-Hai. “Maybe I will be rewarded for capturing you.”
Glorfindel’s shudders worsened, seeing the lustful and predatory expression in the vicious eyes.
“I surely know what I want as a reward.”
Glorfindel sucked in his breath when one of the Uruk-Hai’s hands squeezed his buttocks through the fabric of his leggings.
“Saruman wants you unharmed.” The Uruk-Hai laughed unexpectedly, “but maybe I will find ways to enjoy you anyway.”
The words caused goosebumps> to form all over Glorfindel’s body.
Elrohir shrugged his shoulders. “Elladan, stop talking about Erestor. Ada expects us to join him for dinner.”
“But you can count on me watching Erestor more closely.” Elladan had a strange sense of foreboding that there was more to their former tutor than met the eye. And if there was, he would find out!
Elrond noticed his friend’s unease and smiled reassuringly. “Dinner won’t last long and your spies are already at work. There is nothing you can do at this moment.”
“I could be out there killing more of Saruman’s creatures,” hissed Erestor, but then he settled down, seeing the twins approach. He read growing suspicion in Elladan’s eyes. He had been careless when arriving, but he had been in a hurry to report to Elrond. Now he had to restore the damage his sudden arrival had caused.
The twins seated themselves opposite the two elder Elves and Elladan’s eyes searched Erestor’s face for clues. He noticed that the advisor’s eyes had a slightly aggressive expression and he decided against addressing his suspicion. Erestor had never made him feel uncomfortable before, but there was something in the dark eyes that warned him not to push the elder Elf.
Elrond sensed the tension between Elladan and Erestor and tried to engage Elrohir in some small talk, but even the youngest twin seemed troubled.
Suddenly a hard knock was heard and Lindir hurried inside. The white-haired Elf’s expression was shocked as he hurried toward their table. “My Lord Elrond, something horrible has occurred. Please come with me to the Healing House.”
“What happened?” Elrond immediately rose from his chair and noticed that Erestor and his sons were following suit.
Lindir finally caught his breath. “One of Lord Glorfindel’s men has returned. His wounds are severe and the healers fear he might lose consciousness.”
Erestor tensed at hearing the blond’s name. Had Glorfindel happened upon more Orcs and had the foul creatures attacked the patrol? He exchanged a look with Elrond, who seemed equally worried. He sighed, relieved, when they finally reached the Healing House and they followed Lindir to the room where the injured guard was resting in.
Elrond entered the room and immediately headed for the bed. He would listen to the healers’ assessments later. First he wanted to learn what had happened to the patrol. He cautiously sat down on the edge of the bed and made eye contact with the guard, who had been struck in his chest and shoulder. “Who attacked you?”
The guard did his best to keep his gaze focused on Elrond. “Orcs… Uruk-Hai… They appeared out of nowhere… They outnumbered us… I was one of the last to fall… I ended up behind a bush… and watched them… They took out Lord Glorfindel and tied him down.”
Erestor’s hands became fists, hearing the distressing news. “Where did it happen?”
“The south border…” whispered the guard, who was clearly growing weaker. “The Uruk-Hai said… that Saruman had sent them… to capture the Balrog Slayer…” His eyes closed momentarily but then flashed open again. “They are taking him… to Orthanc and I could not stop them.”
“Rest now,” said Elrond, calmly, while signaling for one of the healers to attend to their charge. “I will make sure Glorfindel returns safely.” His words seemed to reassure the guard, who relaxed when his eyes grew vacant with sleep. Rising to his feet, Elrond made eye contact with Erestor. “We need to talk.”
Erestor had no desire to *talk*. He wanted to leave for Orthanc and make Saruman pay for abducting Glorfindel.
Seeing the fury in his friend’s eyes, Elrond drew in a deep breath. “Go. I will take care of Imladris’ defenses.” Keeping Erestor here against his will wouldn’t work. It was best his friend left now when the trail was still hot.
Erestor nodded once and hurried out of the room.
Elladan and Elrohir stared at their father in shock. “Ada, what is happening and where is Erestor going?”
Elrond had always known that Erestor’s secrecy would backfire one day. “Erestor will find Glorfindel and bring him back.” He signaled for them to step into the corridor with him. The guard needed rest and their talking might disturb him.
Elladan exploded the moment Elrond closed the door behind him. “Ada! You cannot send Erestor after Glorfindel! He cannot even wield a sword! Let Elrohir and I go! We can free Glorfindel!”
Elrond gave them a long, hard look and then sighed. “If anyone can free Glorfindel it is Erestor.”
“Ada, I must agree with Elladan,” said Elrohir, softly. “It is madness to send Erestor on this mission. He does not possess the necessary skills to free Glorfindel.” Puzzled, he wondered about the thoughtful look his father gave him. “You cannot want to endanger Erestor in that way.”
“Follow me to my study,” said Elrond, signaling for them to follow.
“We are wasting precious time!” Elladan didn’t agree with his father. “Elrohir and I should be leaving *now*!”
“My study -- now,” decreed Elrond in a clipped tone.
The twins recognized that tone; their father was serious and wouldn’t be denied. “We will follow,” said Elrohir in the end, silencing Elladan with a glare when his older brother wanted to protest again.
Once they were on their way to Elrond’s study, Elrohir grabbed Elladan’s arm and whispered, “We will humor Ada and listen to him. Then, after he dismisses us, we will leave and track down Glorfindel.”
Elladan realized it was their best option. He nodded his agreement and hoped their father would dismiss them quickly.
Erestor opened the chest, made from ancient oak, and sighed deeply, staring at the clothes and weapons that lay inside. When Elrond and he had chosen this place to build Imladris he had vowed to never use these weapons again, but now that Glorfindel was in danger he no longer had any choice.
Shedding his heavy, formal robes, he stepped into the dark-blue leggings. Next was the black shirt and Elven cloak, also made from black material. Sitting down in front of the mirror, he braided his hair, something he hadn’t done in centuries. He couldn’t afford missing an opponent because a lock of hair obscured his view.
He uncovered a pair of soft, leather boots and stepped into them. Girding on his sword, he pulled it from the scabbard. The weight in his hand was familiar and comfortable. After sheathing it again, he strapped on the black leather harness that held his long hunting knives. Bow, and a quiver filled with black arrows, completed his outfit. Never knowing when he might need the outfit and weaponry again, he had kept everything in prime condition.
Feeling melancholy, he stared at his reflection in the mirror. It had been centuries since he had last worn these clothes and had used these weapons, and yet it felt like it had only been yesterday. Grabbing the saddlebags, he added a spare shirt, leggings and a blanket. There was no way of knowing what state Glorfindel would be in upon finding the blond and he liked to be prepared.
He left his rooms and stopped in the kitchens to stock up on water, miruvor and lembas. Fully set for departure, he headed for the stable where his horse was waiting for him.
Elladan took up position near the window, closely watching the courtyard where several patrols were being dispatched. “Ada, what is it you want to tell us?” He wanted to get this over with so they could join the search parties.
“I do not want you to venture into Orthanc. I need you here.” Elrond sat down behind his desk, realizing it would take a lot of convincing to make sure the twins stayed in Imladris.
“Respectfully, Ada,” started Elrohir, who looked deeply into his father’s eyes, “We care about Glorfindel and we want to help.”
“You will help me best by staying here and organizing the patrols and search parties.” Especially now when he couldn’t count on Erestor’s counsel.
Elladan gasped, seeing Erestor, clad in dark clothes, emerge from the kitchens. The dark-haired Elf was heading for the stables and the older twin couldn’t believe his eyes, realizing Erestor was armed to the teeth. “Elrohir? Come quickly!”
Hearing the urgent tone in Elladan’s voice, Elrohir immediately joined his brother and followed the direction of his twin’s stare. His eyes widened as well, seeing Erestor mount a black stallion and then take off like the wind. Part of him had a hard time believing what he had just seen and moving as one, they turned to face their father.
“Ada?” Elrohir gave Elrond an inquisitive look. “Erestor is armed and his hair is braided like that of a warrior’s.” Looking over his shoulder, he caught one last glance of the quickly fading dark figure. “And the way he is riding that horse… It is like Sauron himself is breathing down his neck.”
Elrond realized he couldn’t keep the truth from his sons any longer. “Erestor is not what he seems.”
His curiosity piqued, Elladan arched an eyebrow. “In what way?”
“He is more than a scholar and advisor. At the Battle of the Last Alliance he fought behind enemy lines, gathering information and guiding our steps. Originally Erestor was trained as a spy and…”
“And what?” Elrohir frowned, growing concerned at his father’s tone.
“When the threat the Orcs presented first registered, our forefathers selected certain Elves to train as spies and assassins.”
“Are you telling us Erestor is one of them?” Elladan shook his head. He had a hard time believing that, but he had seen Erestor leave, fully armed.
“At the Battle of the Last Alliance he worked for the High King and Gil-Galad trusted Erestor completely.” Elrond was growing more uncomfortable with every passing moment.
“Why was this kept from us?” asked Elrohir, puzzled. He couldn’t think of a reason why Erestor wouldn’t want them to know.
“Erestor decided to change his ways after Sauron was defeated. He had his reasons to bury this part of his past, believe me.” Elrond decided not to discuss Erestor’s personal loss. His friend was entitled to some secrets. “He wanted to start anew and I gave him that chance.”
“And he pretended to be a scholar,” said Elrohir, slightly disappointed. “I feel like I do not know him. I regret he did not confide in us when we were old enough to understand.”
“Assuming you told us the truth, he could have taught us things Glorfindel could not,” remarked Elladan.
Elrond cleared his throat; he didn’t really want to volunteer this information, but realized the twins would find out eventually. “He did train Estel.” Elladan glared at him. “You must understand. Estel is destined for great things and needed these skills.”
“So that is why Erestor and Estel always disappeared whilst Glorfindel was busy training us? I wondered about that at the time,” whispered Elrohir. He still regretted the fact that Erestor had kept them in the dark. “But now I understand why you send Erestor to free Glorfindel. It does seem like he is the best choice.” He ignored the dirty look Elladan gave him.
“Can we go now, Ada? I am sure they need help organizing the search parties and patrols.” Elladan was careful not to mention that he planned to follow Erestor. He still didn’t really believe their former tutor could hold his own against an Orc.
Elrond nodded once; trusting he had convinced his sons to stay in Imladris and help him. “Aye, you may go now.” He watched them leave and when he was alone, he finally acknowledged the queasy sensation in the pit of his stomach. He was worried about Glorfindel and hoped Erestor would get to the blond in time.
Glorfindel felt bruised, after having been draped across the creature’s shoulder for hours. The Orcs and Uruk-Hai had run relentlessly, seldom pausing and the distance between him and Imladris was quickly growing. He was still sick to his stomach because his head wouldn’t stop hurting and he was afraid things would even get worse.
Somehow he had to think of a way to escape and find his way back to Imladris. The Uruk-Hai had hinted Saruman wanted him in Orthanc and he shivered, wondering about the Istar’s plans for him. They probably entailed a lot of pain.
“We will rest now!” screamed the Uruk-Hai and the pack came to a standstill, dropping onto the grass to catch their breath. Directing his pack, the Uruk-Hai told some of them to hunt so they could eat later on.
Glorfindel, still hanging helplessly in the creature’s grasp, was suddenly dropped onto the ground, hard. He repressed the pain-filled groan that almost escaped him. Still bound tightly, he could only watch, as the Uruk-Hai sat on his heels, unexpectedly running a clawed hand through his hair. Jerking hard at the roots, the Uruk-Hai forced him to lift his head and look at him.
To his dismay, he found that he was quite some feet away from the rest of the pack, and hidden behind a rock. The lustful glance the creature directed at him made him shiver, but he maintained eye contact, refusing to back down.
“I inhaled your scent the entire time and it drives me crazy,” panted the Uruk-Hai, his eyes simmering with lust. “And you *will* serve me.”
Glorfindel’s jaw was set firmly, as he shook his head. “Never.” He spat at the beast, knowing he was making things worse for himself, but he wouldn’t give in without a fight.
“You will pay for that, Elf,” hissed the Uruk-Hai, wiping the spit from his face. “I can think of a much better way for you to use that impertinent mouth.”
Glorfindel flinched in spite of his bravado. Tied down like this he was defenseless and the beast could do whatever he wanted. Rough hands buried themselves in his hair, pulling him close. His eyes filled with pain, but his lips remained a narrow line.
“Open up, or I will make you.”
Another sudden jerk ripped some hair roots from his skin and droplets of blood flowed down his brow and onto his cheeks. One of the hands left his hair and fingertips pried his mouth open. Anger blazed inside him. “I will bite it off.”
The Uruk-Hai burst out laughing. “Do that and I will make your kin pay.”
Glorfindel grew motionless. His kin?
“You are not the only Elf we caught. Resist me and the others will pay.”
Glorfindel suddenly didn’t feel that confident any more. He didn’t care what hurts they inflicted on him, but he refused to cause someone else’s pain.
“Ah, I thought that would change your mind.” The Uruk-Hai laughed, amused. “Now open up, Elf.”
Glorfindel still refused, but cruel fingers pried his lips apart and pushed inside. Shallow pain washed through his jaw, as the pressure increased and he unwillingly opened his mouth.
That was just what the Uruk-Hai had waited for. Within seconds he pushed forward, rubbing the head of his erect cock against the Elf’s lips.
Glorfindel nearly retched at the stench and his eyes widened when the hard flesh was pushed into his mouth. The beast’s hands regained a tight hold on his head and actually moved him in the desired rhythm. Gagging on the sensation, Glorfindel’s stomach contracted with nausea.
Thankfully it only took the Uruk-Hai a few moments, -a few deep thrusts-, to reach orgasm. But Glorfindel hadn’t realized what would follow that. A bitter, biting essence crawled down his throat and he was suddenly released, thrown onto the grass, where he instantly began to throw up as his body rejected the foul seed. Glaring at the Uruk-Hai, he vowed to take revenge one day. No one used him in that way! But the creature just laughed.
“You will get used to it,” said the Uruk-Hai. “Stay here. If I catch you trying to escape, the others will pay.” The Elf didn’t need to know there weren’t any others.
Tears of fury escaped Glorfindel’s eyes when the creature joined the pack, finally leaving him alone. “You will pay for this…” But right now, he was utterly helpless.
“We should make camp for the night,” said Elladan, frustrated that their horses needed to rest. “We cannot read the tracks when there is no moon.” They would make speed tomorrow and hopefully catch up with Erestor. It was the strangest thing; they had found the tracks the Orcs and Uruk-Hai had left behind and they were following those, but there was no sign indicating that Erestor had passed by on his horse. There were no extra tracks. “I think Erestor never found their tracks.”
But Elrohir wasn’t so sure of that. “Maybe Erestor knows of a way to hide his tracks? If what Ada told us is true, he might be able to do that.”
“Do you think we can risk a fire?” Elladan had built an improvised shelter for the night, consisting of branches and leaves, just in case it would start to rain.
“We are still within Imladris’ borders,” said Elrohir, thoughtfully. “Go ahead.”
Elladan started the fire and they sat close to another, sharing a warm blanket. “I still cannot believe the things Ada told us… About Erestor, I mean.”
Elrohir handed his brother some lembas and they munched on the waybread. They drank some water and then retreated beneath the shelter. “I am not sure I can sleep tonight.”
Elladan wrapped his arms around his younger brother and held him close. “We will find Glorfindel and take him back.” He chuckled softly. “And maybe we will have to rescue Erestor as well.”
“I feel tired, but…” Elrohir buried his face in Elladan’s dark hair.
“Try to sleep. I will keep watch, but we should be safe here.” Elladan tucked the blanket around their forms and watched his brother’s eyes close. For someone who proclaimed he wasn’t able to sleep, Elrohir fell asleep amazingly quickly.
Erestor, sitting on his hunches, stared at the twins in disbelief. What were they doing here? Didn’t they know how dangerous these woods were with Orcs close? /Glorfindel taught you better than that./ But he imagined the twins were concerned for their former tutor’s well-being and weren’t thinking rationally. /Not thinking your actions through can get you killed./ It was time the twins learned a lesson they would never forget.
Holding his sleeping brother, Elladan allowed himself to doze off a little, confident that he would pick up on any sounds that were not made by the night. Suddenly his air supply was cut off by something digging into his throat. His hands flew up and encountered a rope around his neck. While pulling at it he managed to suck a breath into his lungs, but otherwise the rope wouldn’t budge.
Elrohir awoke as his brother made some abrupt movements. He then sensed something sharp and cold moving down his throat. The sensation caused gooseflesh over his body and his eyes opened, startled. A dark form hunched close to them, hood drawn over his face, obscuring their attacker’s features. A slight glance toward his brother showed that Elladan was grasping something around his throat and looking panicked at the stranger.
Growing angry with himself, Elrohir remained motionless. The sharp blade was too close to his throat to make him feel cocky. They had been caught off-guard like inexperienced Elflings. What had they been thinking? One of them should have stood watch outside the shelter whilst the other slept. But they had needed the comfort, the closeness, and had thrown caution to the wind.
Elladan considered reaching for his dagger, but the stranger’s blade showed clearly against his brother’s throat and he stopped his action. “What-t… do> you w-want?” Even if there was only a small chance to talk his way out of this, he would, but the rope around his throat was making it hard for him to speak.
“You are much too careless. Go home.”
Elrohir frowned as the knife moved against his throat; that voice sounded awfully familiar.
“You will get yourself killed, pen-neth.”
“Erestor!” Instantly, the blade was removed from his throat and Elrohir sat upright staring at the dark form, which now cut the rope at Elladan’s throat. Elrohir reached out to soothe Elladan, who was now struggling for breath and massaging his throat.
Erestor pushed back his hood and revealed himself to the twins. “Seriously, Glorfindel would not be pleased to learn I crept up on you so easily.”
Elladan swallowed hard. “Erestor? Why did you do that?” He didn’t want to admit it aloud, but the elder Elf had scared him. He hadn’t so much been worried for himself as for Elrohir. He would never have forgiven himself if someone had killed his brother. And Erestor was right; they should know better. “Is that really you?”
Erestor sat cross-legged, put the dagger away and wondered about them. “Elrond must have told you to stay in Imladris.”
“He did,” replied Elrohir, studying his former mentor. “But he also told us about you.”
“He shouldn’t have,” sighed Erestor, “but I assume he felt it was necessary.”
“Were you really trained as a spy and an assassin?” Elladan now sat up fully as well. He was still angry with himself for letting Erestor sneak up on them like that.
“I was,” said Erestor calmly. “But I cannot discuss this with you. I am wasting precious time talking to you. I need to catch up with the Orcs that took Glorfindel.”
The twins nodded simultaneously. “But Erestor,” started Elladan, “won’t you let us come along? You might need help.”
“No, pen-neth. I refuse to endanger you like that. I stand a far better chance at helping Glorfindel when I can operate alone. I want you to go home. Elrond will need you.” Erestor got to his feet and looked at the two half-Elves. “Don’t continue to follow me or I might be forced to make sure you return to Imladris and you will not like that.”
Elrohir saw Erestor’s clenched fists and realized the elder Elf was desperate to leave and take up pursuit. “Is it Glorfindel?”
Erestor frowned momentarily and considered pretending he didn’t understand why Elrohir had asked him that. But in the end, he decided differently. “Aye, it is.”
Elrohir ignored his brother’s confused look. His eyes softened, realizing what Erestor had also kept a secret. “You love him.”
Now Elladan’s curiosity was piqued. Decades ago they had discovered about their father’s ‘nightly’ activities, which often required his seneschal’s presence in his bed and they had kept quiet, figuring it was a private matter that only concerned Elrond and Glorfindel. But their father had never hinted at any love between them. And now Erestor loved Glorfindel? “Does Ada know?”
Erestor nodded once. “But, pen-neth, I do not have the time to talk about this now.”
Finally Erestor’s abrupt departure made sense to the twins. Elrohir rested a hand on his brother’s arm and said, “We should not keep him.”
“But we can help!” protested Elladan. “You might face a large pack of Orcs and—“ But Erestor silenced him.
“I have my ways to deal with them. I know that you may find this hard to believe, but I work best alone.” He hoped they understood. He didn’t want them to see how cold-hearted he could be if the situation called for it. They had always seen him as a warm and caring soul and he didn’t want that to change. “Elrohir…”
Elrohir smiled, reassuringly, reading the worry in Erestor’s dark eyes. “Gwador?”
“I never lied to you when I said I loved you and your brother. If I’d had children of my own, I would have liked them to be like you.” He had never felt this insecure before; he really didn’t want the twins to think he had deceived them completely.
Strangely enough, it was Elladan, who replied instead of Elrohir. “We do not question your affection for us. We just feel saddened that you hid this part of your personality.”
Elrohir nodded firmly. “Why did you hide it?”
“That is something I do not wish to discuss.” Seeing Elrohir’s crestfallen expression, Erestor carefully hugged the younger twin. “Promise me you will return to your father. Elrond should not have to worry about the two of you with Glorfindel missing.”
“We promise,” whispered Elrohir. When the elder Elf finally pulled back, Elrohir wasn’t ready yet to let go, but Elladan’s arms settled around his waist, and the comfort which he found in that contact, convinced him it was okay to let go. “Be careful, Erestor. We do not want to lose you.”
“I will bring back Glorfindel,” vowed Erestor, passionately.
Elrohir and Elladan exchanged a glance when Erestor suddenly moved and disappeared between the trees. Elladan’s arms remained tightly wrapped around his waist and Elrohir sighed, deeply. “I hope Erestor will succeed. I do not want to lose them.”
Elladan nodded his head once. “Maybe we should just put our trust in him like Ada did.”
“Aye, but it is strange,” said Elrohir, thoughtfully. “To me, Erestor always was a scholar, our teacher, and not a trained assassin.”
“I know how you feel, Elrohir. I need time to accept this revelation as well.” Elladan turned toward their shelter. “I will take first watch. No one will sneak up on us again.” He had learned his lesson.
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