Glorfindel's Darkest Hour
Chapter 15 - Admission
The next time Glorfindel woke, he looked into calm, dark eyes. Erestor was studying him and suddenly he became aware of the blissful, warm sensation coursing through him. This felt right, --incredibly right. Slowly, recalling the doting expression he had seen earlier in Erestor’s expressive eyes, he raised a steady hand and pressed its palm against the dark-haired Elf’s cheek, rubbing the soft skin.
Erestor remained absolutely motionless, uncertain why Glorfindel was touching him in this tender manner. His mouth felt dry and he was at a loss for words. He wanted to reach out so badly and return the caress, but he wasn’t sure the blond would welcome it. Tremors shook his frame when Glorfindel’s fingers moved closer to his lips, trailing their outline. "What are you doing?" he whispered breathlessly. Speaking the words made the blond’s fingers move against his lips.
Glorfindel studied Erestor’s expression for a decisive moment and then said, "For how long have you been in love with me?" He felt fairly certain he was right. There was no other possible interpretation for that warm and loving look in those dark eyes. Erestor though, seemed utterly stunned by the question. Glorfindel retained a tight hold on the raven-haired Elf, when he tried to move away from him.
"I… am-m… n-not…" Erestor stopped stuttering, when Glorfindel placed a finger across his lips.
"Do not deny it. I am not *that* blind."
Erestor sighed deeply and closed his eyes. He couldn’t look at Glorfindel any longer, knowing that his feelings were palpable in his eyes.
"Tell me the truth, Erestor, and make sure it is the *whole* truth." Glorfindel felt surprisingly calm. /Maybe I feel this calm because I have long ago accepted that he feels about me in that way. I was just too preoccupied to realize it. My own feelings puzzled me for some time as well, but I understand them now. Somewhere along the line I fell in love with him as well./
"For centuries," whispered Erestor eventually, knowing that lying wouldn’t get him anywhere. "It began the day you joined Elrond’s household."
"That long?" Now that did surprise Glorfindel. "Why didn’t you say something?"
Erestor forced himself to open his eyes. Glorfindel deserved to look him in the eyes when hearing his reply. "You preferred Elrond’s company."
"Aiya…" Glorfindel had hoped that his nightly escapades had remained hidden, but apparently he had failed to keep them a secret. "Who else knows?"
"The twins… Arwen… Lindir… Most members of Elrond’s household." Erestor cringed, seeing the guilty expression in Glorfindel’s eyes. "I assumed you were happy with that arrangement and I did not want to come between Elrond and you. Elrond has suffered much after Celebrían’s departure and he is entitled to his happiness."
"And what about *your* happiness?" Glorfindel tenderly fingered a lock of dark hair and Erestor’s sigh told him how much the dark-haired Elf craved his touch.
"I am still mourning Gil-galad’s death… And I did not have the heart to tell you, for I did not want to destroy the little happiness Elrond had found with you." Erestor trembled upon feeling Glorfindel’s fingers tangle in his dark tresses. "You never gave me any reason to believe you were interested in me in that way."
"Very true," admitted Glorfindel, "But it seems that has changed. Ever since waking up from my… ordeal… I crave your touch. I want you close. I want you to hold me… I think I have fallen in love with you. I do not know when it happened exactly, but it did."
Erestor slowly shook his head and the movement caused Glorfindel’s fingers to caress his skin and raven hair. "You cannot be in love with me."
"But I am!" Glorfindel smiled enthusiastically. "I wish it had happened earlier, then you would not have suffered that much. Seeing the disbelief in Erestor’s brown eyes, he leaned in closer and, gently but determinedly, pressed his lips against Erestor’s soft ones. "I want to kiss you."
Glorfindel’s words, which displayed genuine desire and interest in him made Erestor feel weak. "Are you sure? I—"
Glorfindel effectively silenced the raven-haired Elf by pressing his lips against Erestor’s. The kiss was slow and lazy, as they both knew there was no reason to rush this. They had all the time they could possibly want. His heart missed a beat, seeing the tension flee from those dark eyes when he brought up his hands to place them on either side of Erestor’s head, holding him tightly in place.
Erestor temporarily lost his ability to think logically when a sweet and demanding tongue pressed against his teeth. Eagerly, he parted them, allowing Glorfindel entrance.
Maintaining eye contact, Glorfindel searched Erestor’s eyes. /I was blind not to see this. This is why he came after me, followed me into Orthanc and brought me back./ Glorfindel made the kiss last, but had to pull back when they grew short of breath. "You are a good kisser."
"Thank you," whispered Erestor shyly. "It has been a while though, since I last kissed someone." He had kissed Glorfindel in the Great Halls, but he couldn’t tell the blond that.
Glorfindel understood. /Gil-galad./ He didn’t want to say the name aloud, afraid it would remind Erestor of what he had lost. "Then it is a shame you had to wait this long to be kissed again." Smiling radiantly, he claimed Erestor’s lips, engaging their tongues in a sensual duel. Erestor easily awarded him the victory. He frowned a little at that, but ignored it. Erestor would grow more comfortable around him in time and he reckoned the treatment he had suffered in Orthanc had much to do with the raven-haired Elf’s extremely cautious behavior toward him.
Erestor gently suckled and nibbled Glorfindel’s bottom lip. There was little else he was still capable of. All he felt was the blond’s body pressed close and soft lips against his. It was utter bliss. Happy to let Glorfindel take the lead, he watched the golden-haired Elf pull back, regretfully, but with a huge smile on the blond’s face.
Caressing a plait, Glorfindel looked inquiringly at Erestor. "May I undo them? I like it when you wear your hair loose."
"I will never be able to deny you anything," whispered Erestor truthfully. "Of course you may." He closed his eyes temporarily, concentrating on the feel of Glorfindel’s fingers, moving through his hair. It felt good to have his hair loose again and he smiled warmly at the blond when Glorfindel fingered a strand. "What do we do now?" He was afraid of the answer, but he needed to hear it anyway.
Glorfindel frowned. "What do you mean?"
"Do we go back to being… friends, or would you like me to court you?"
The frown deepened. "Why would I want to go back to being friends?" The only thing he could think of was that Erestor didn’t want to be with him because of the abomination he was carrying. "Oh, I understand…" Involuntarily, one hand left the dark hair and settled on his stomach.
"Nay!" Erestor understood at once. "I meant what I said earlier. I will love the baby because he is your flesh and blood!"
Glorfindel’s frown remained. "Then I feel truly lost."
"I can imagine you would want to go back to Elrond…" He couldn’t help feeling insecure and in need of reassurance. This was so unexpected, so unreal! Not in his wildest dreams could he have imagined Glorfindel having feelings for him!
Glorfindel’s eyes filled with compassion and understanding. "I am sorry that I never noticed you had feelings for me, but you could have told me."
"You chose Elrond…"
"Because I did not know you were interested in me!" Glorfindel was growing frustrated. Determined, he placed his hands on either side of Erestor’s head and waited until he had the other’s complete attention. "I chose Elrond because I was attracted to him, but he told me at the very start that he did not feel that way about me. But like him, I was lonely too. I had been reborn and thrust into a new life without much to hold onto. I needed someone, -someone wise- who would help me find my way and Elrond did that."
Erestor swallowed hard. That was one admission he had never thought to hear and he could tell that Glorfindel wasn’t finished yet.
"There was an understanding between Elrond and me, but there was never any passion, nor the love that I feel blossoming in my heart right now. I do not know what I would have done, had you told me, but as you didn’t, we will never find out. If I have learned one thing in my life --well two lives actually-- it is that you have to let go of the past and focus on the present and the future. Can you let go of your resentment?"
"Resentment?" Erestor’s eyes widened.
"You resent the fact that I chose Elrond whilst you were in love with me. You have to let go of that feeling or it will always keep us apart. We can start anew right now." Glorfindel’s heart was pounding and his mouth had gone dry. "Can you?"
Erestor focused inside and had to admit Glorfindel was right – to some degree. "I always felt jealous of Elrond, because he had you." Seeing the accepting look in the azure eyes, he added, "Aye, I can let go because I love you."
"Say it again," whispered Glorfindel dreamily.
Erestor grinned smugly. "I love you… melamin."
Suddenly something clicked in Glorfindel’s thoughts. "You once almost called me that on our way back, did you not?"
"You noticed?" He had thought Glorfindel barely coherent back then.
"I did, but I did not pay it any attention at the time… Again?"
"I love you!" exclaimed Erestor, growing giddy. "Love you, love you, love you!" Boldly, he bestowed butterfly kisses onto the blond’s smiling face. "I have loved you for so long." He had even challenged Mandos for Glorfindel. He had never thought things would work out for them. "I love you so much, melamin."
Glorfindel examined his own feelings thoroughly. "I love you too, Erestor." It was true. He had fallen for his mysterious, raven-haired savior. He giggled softly; Erestor’s light kisses made his skin tingle.
Erestor smiled and rested his head once more on Glorfindel’s chest. "I am sorry I made you come after me into the storm last night."
"That was my decision. I saw you leave and Elrond suggested that I should follow you to find out why you were leaving." Glorfindel nodded once in sudden understanding. "He knew you wanted to honor the love you had for Gil-galad."
"Aye, he did," whispered Erestor, suddenly feeling guilty for having lost his heart again. "Part of me is still grieving."
"He must have been exceptional for you to love him that much."
"He was. I just wish I had been there to protect him."
Glorfindel raised a hand and soothingly stroked the black tresses. /I am glad you weren’t, for else I might have never known your love./ Holding Erestor close, he sighed deeply.
"Why the sigh?"
"I am glad you finally decided to confide in me. Had you denied that you love me, we would still be suffering in silence."
Erestor raised his head slightly to look into Glorfindel’s eyes. Quizzically, he asked, "We?"
Glorfindel nodded, once more caressing Erestor’s soft skin as his fingertips explored the dark-haired Elf’s face. Licking his lips, he said, "In my vision Vaire hinted that someone had been loving me for centuries, and I had no idea who she was talking about. But during these last few days I began to love you back and I wondered if my love would be unrequited. I was suffering too, not knowing if you wanted me."
"How could I not want you?" Disbelief colored Erestor’s voice. "I love you!"
"Aye, I know that now, but I did not earlier." Glorfindel applied minute pressure to force Erestor to lay down his head again. Resuming the soothing caresses to the dark hair he looked through the window. "We can still sleep a few more hours."
"I *am* still tired…" admitted Erestor in a fatigued tone. Carefully, he wrapped his arms around Glorfindel. Sleepily, he whispered, "Love… you… mel… amin…"
The words caused Glorfindel to smile. "I love you too, nîn bellas." He felt like a burden had been lifted from his shoulders and he snuggled closer to Erestor, returning the hug. "You are mine now." And he definitely noticed the underlying tone of possession, when speaking those words. "Mine."
A few hours later, a familiar sound woke Erestor from his sleep. Glorfindel was trying to leave their warm bed, hand covering his mouth. He was on his feet within seconds, gently supporting the blond when they made their way into the bathroom.
Whilst Glorfindel submitted to the nausea and heaving, Erestor tenderly brushed the long blond locks away from Glorfindel’s face and pressed a cool wash cloth against the other’s brow.
Glorfindel rode out the heaving and then leaned against Erestor. "I am not sure… how much… more of this… I can take."
Erestor realized it was time to take action. He helped Glorfindel sit down on a chair, which was standing in a corner of the bathroom and then began to let the pool fill. Glorfindel felt clammy and maybe a bath would refresh him.
Glorfindel watched Erestor absentmindedly. One hand had settled onto his abdomen en he was involuntarily rubbing his distended stomach.
After adding some soothing oils to the water, Erestor turned around and knelt in front of the blond. "Can you undress yourself or do you need my help?"
Glorfindel’s first reaction was to decline any help, but then he reconsidered. Both of them needed to grow closer physically. "Help me…"
Erestor smiled adoringly and helped Glorfindel to shrug off and then step out of his sleeping robe. Glorfindel looked uncomfortable now that he was naked, but Erestor found comfort in the fact that the blond didn’t flinch at his touch. He assisted his lover when Glorfindel stepped into the pool and placed a pillow under the other’s head. "Comfortable?"
Glorfindel nodded. "I think the bath was a good idea." For the first time in days his tense muscles seemed to utterly relax.
Erestor, sitting on his heels, gently stroked the blond hair. "Would you mind being alone for a few minutes? I want to consult the healers for some kind of potion that will lessen your morning sickness."
Glorfindel considered the question. He didn’t like the idea of Erestor leaving his side, but then again, this morning sickness was exhausting. "As long as you hurry back I will be fine."
Nodding his head, Erestor leaned in closer and placed a chaste kiss on the flaxen hair. "I will be right back!"
Azure eyes followed him when he left the room and then closed blissfully; he was truly enjoying the soft caresses the water bestowed on his body. For the moment, all was well!
After quickly changing into a shirt and leggings, Erestor hurried over to the Healing House. As he wasn’t looking where he was going, he suddenly bumped into a warm body. He was about to whisper an apology when he realized it was Elrond. "I was looking for you." Getting his first good look at his friend today, he frowned. Elrond looked troubled.
Elrond cleared his throat. "I hope Glorfindel found you… and that you talked to him. You worried him by leaving that unexpectedly."
"I am sorry," said Erestor sincerely.
"I know last night was important to you," whispered Elrond softly, "But you must put Glorfindel first. He needs you."
"I know that," admitted Erestor, now beginning to feel guilty for leaving Glorfindel without a proper explanation. "And you are right. I talked to him. I… I told him I love him."
Elrond smiled warmly at hearing that. "And what did Glorfindel say?"
"He loves me back." Hesitantly Erestor met Elrond’s eyes. "He actually chided me for not speaking up earlier."
Elrond’s smile warmed even further. "At least you told him now. I am happy for the two of you. I always hoped you would make your move."
"I know you did." Erestor moistened his lips. "Are you… How do you feel… about… You know… that we are…" He just didn’t know how to ask this. Was Elrond mad at him?
Elrond easily read the emotions in Erestor’s eyes. "As I said, I am happy for the two of you. Glorfindel and I were never in love. We just needed each other."
"Do you *still* need him?" asked Erestor, acting on impulse. He would hate for Elrond to feel lonely.
A hesitant expression appeared in Elrond’s eyes, but it quickly vanished again. "I am sure I can find my balance again. It will just take some time."
Erestor’s heart contracted painfully. "You are always welcome to spend time with us, Elrond."
Elrond’s smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. "Erestor, I know that the two of you are my friends. I do…"
"I hope so." Erestor was determined to keep an eye on the brooding half-Elf. "Mellon-nîn, Glorfindel continues to suffer from morning sickness. Do you have a potion that might relieve his agony?"
"I think I do," said Elrond calmly. "It is a pity that his pregnancy came about under such grave circumstances." Deciding to confide in his friend, he said, "Last night, he referred to the baby as ‘it’. That worries me."
Erestor, falling into step beside Elrond as they walked toward the Healing House, nodded once. "I understand your concern, but you weren’t there when I found him. He really was in a bad way." His thoughts drifted back. "The mere thought of having an Uruk-Hai’s child makes him feel intensely sad and angry. He had no say in this. Saruman forced him to do this."
Elrond understood, but he still worried about his friend’s mental health. "What else did he say?"
"He is afraid that the baby will have claws and rip him open when the moment of birth comes." Erestor wrung his hands. "I try to reassure him, but he is afraid to hope for the best."
"I will talk to him again. Maybe I can reassure him." Elrond stepped into the hallway leading to the Healing House and signaled for Erestor to follow him. "I will give you the herbs that should relieve Glorfindel’s morning sickness. I suggest you try baths and light meals throughout the whole day."
"I left him in the pool," said Erestor, "He looked happy when I left him. I think the hot bath helps." Erestor gladly accepted the sachets filled with herbs, which Elrond handed him. "How much longer do you think he will suffer from morning sickness?"
"I am not sure of anything, mellon-nîn. I have never supervised a male pregnancy before." A soft smile illuminated his features. "And then of course the food cravings will start. Now, that might be interesting."
"Interesting?" Erestor cringed. "Glorfindel is scared the baby will make him eat raw meat."
"Even Elven maidens occasionally feel that craving during their pregnancy. I would not worry too much about it. Now return to Glorfindel. He will probably be eagerly awaiting your return." He had sensed the tight bond that had formed between them and he knew that Erestor craved being close to the blond as well. "And try to make him eat something!"
"I will!" Erestor nodded thankfully and then quickly left to hurry back to Glorfindel’s side.
Elrond instantly felt guilty, finding Elladan asleep in a chair next to Haldir’s bed. /Oh, my…/ He had forgotten to relieve his son! Soundlessly, he entered the room to check on the silver-haired Elf, letting Elladan sleep. His oldest son was a light sleeper and would probably wake up any moment now.
Sitting down on the side of the bed, he rested one hand on Haldir’s brow to check for any fever. Yes, it was still there, but fortunately it had lost some of its intensity. Haldir wasn’t burning up any longer.
"Ada?" Elladan tiredly rubbed his eyes, trying to wake up fully. Blinking twice, he sat upright and smiled at Elrond. "He is doing much better now that the healing sleep has come over him." Then he remembered; his father was attracted to the ‘Lórien Elf and Haldir was bound to no one. Once Elrohir came back, they would come up with some sort of plan to get Elrond and Haldir together. /I want Ada to be happy./
"The healing sleep will continue for at least one, maybe two more days." Elrond’s hands moved lower to unwrap the bandages. After removing the sachets, he probed the wound, eliciting soft groans from Haldir. "It is healing well." Looking at Elladan, he added, "I am confident that he will make a complete recovery." /I could not heal Celebrían, but at least I healed this one./
Indulging himself momentarily, he studied the furrowed brow of his patient. Something seemed to trouble the Elf, even in his sleep. Acting instinctively, he gently rubbed the lines of worry with his fingertips until they were gone. Haldir’s sleep was peaceful once more. "You do not have to stay with him, Elladan. I will sit with him for a while and then the healers can keep an eye on him."
Elladan slowly rose from the chair, stretched and smiled at his father. "Haldir is not bound to anyone, Ada." He grinned impishly at seeing Elrond’s shocked expression.
"You did not tell him, did you? Elladan!" Elrond was stunned. "This is private!"
"Ada, calm down. I just asked if he was bound to anyone and he said he wasn’t. I did not mention that you feel attracted to him. Your secret is still safe." Elladan shook his head. "You did teach me some diplomacy!"
But that didn’t reassure Elrond at all. Elladan had never exalted at diplomacy. "Don’t make this any more complicated, Elladan. If I want Haldir to know I will tell him myself."
Elladan cocked his head. "Now that is something I am not sure of you will do. Don’t worry, Ada, if you don’t tell him, I will do it for you!" He grinned and left the room, leaving his father behind, completely stunned.
In spite of his curiosity, Haldir managed to remain motionless. Elrond thought he was still asleep and he had no desire to change that notion. The truth was that he had heard most of their conversation, waking up when Elrond was probing his wound.
/So I was correct after all. It is the father and not the son who is interested in me./ That thought made his heart flutter. He had a hard time acting as if he was still asleep, feeling Elrond’s fingers return to caress his brow. /Well, Elrond Half-Elven, we shall see if you feel inclined to tell me. If not, I might seduce you./ The half-Elf’s touch was intoxicating and he already craved more contact. And what he wanted, he was accustomed to get!
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