Heart In Chains
Ithil shone with unrivaled brilliance that night, giving Elves and Men a chance to bury their dead and care for the wounded. Several shelters and tents had arisen where healers and soldiers were trying to ease the pain of their injured comrades. The Battle of the Last Alliance had come to an end and they had won, defeating Sauron.
But the price had been high.
Cirdan had retreated into the tent Elrond and Gil-galad used to share. The High-King had died and his Herald was about to follow Gil-galad to the Great Halls of Waiting.
Cirdan’s right hand rested on Elrond’s clammy brow, concerned now that the half-Elf felt as cold as ice. The gray eyes were motionless and Elrond’s breathing was growing shallower. They were running out of time. How could he possibly convince Elrond to return to them?
Elrond had gone into shock when the battle had come to an end. They had been victorious, but they had lost Gil-galad and Cirdan hoped they would be able to reclaim Elrond for the living instead of having to bury the half-Elf as well.
“You must fight, mellon.” Cirdan rubbed the icy brow, hoping for some sign that Elrond was coming around, but nothing happened. Worried, he pulled the blanket that covered the half-Elf’s naked body up to Elrond’s shoulders, tucking the fabric around his friend’s form. “What do I do, should you die? It cannot be your fate to die today.”
He had undressed Elrond after carrying the half-Elf to the tent. His charge’s clothes had been drenched in blood and the armor would be uncomfortable when lying down. Once Elrond had been naked, he had used a blanket to keep him warm. But now his efforts to save Gil-galad’s Herald – and lover – seemed to have been in vain. Elrond refused to return to consciousness.
“I know you loved him, meldir. We all did. But your love went deeper.” And Gil-galad had returned that love. Elrond and the High-King had been happy during these last few days, but Cirdan had seen the apprehension in the half-Elf’s knowing, gray eyes. Elrond had known their time was limited and had tried to make the best of their time together.
“Elrond, we cannot lose you as well. We need you!” Cirdan hoped Elrond would listen to him, but the half-Elf remained motionless. /He is fading, and fading fast./ Death was swiftly approaching. “And then we have to do without the both of you.”
His hand left Elrond’s brow and now took the half-Elf’s right hand in his. “You have to listen to me. Gil-galad would want you to fight and overcome this. Please, mellon.”
He continued his pleading for a few more minutes and then gave up. Elrond wasn’t responding and fighting at his King’s side had drained Cirdan. He wanted to lie down and rest, but he had one more battle to fight. They couldn’t lose Elrond!
Glorfindel, who had taken up position outside Elrond’s tent, raised an eyebrow when a party of four riders came to a standstill before him. He recognized one of them and wondered what Haldir, one of Celeborn’s personal guards, was doing here.
Haldir dismounted, gathered his cloak around him and handed Glorfindel a scroll, which carried Celeborn and Galadriel’s seal. “Glorfindel, my Lord asked me to ensure you read this.” Nervously, Haldir’s gaze traveled to the one Elf that was still on horseback, whilst Rumil and Orophin also dismounted. Rumil had a tight hold on the reins, making sure the hooded Elf couldn’t leave.
Glorfindel also kept one eye on the hooded rider whilst unrolling the scroll. He instantly recognized Celeborn’s elegant handwriting. Apparently word of Gil-galad’s demise had spread quickly and Galadriel had decided to send a healer to help Elrond recover. /So this hooded rider is a healer?/ After reading the message, he considered everything he had learned.
“I assure you that my Lady Galadriel only wants to help,” said Haldir softly. He had heard many tales of valor and bravery where Glorfindel was concerned, and he felt somewhat intimidated, knowing whom he was dealing with. “My brothers and I are acting as his personal guards. We traveled without rest to get here in time.”
Glorfindel drew in a deep breath. “Wait here,” he said, addressing Haldir. Then he vanished into the tent.
Cirdan looked up, when Glorfindel entered. “I asked you to give us a moment alone.”
Remaining quiet, Glorfindel handed Cirdan the scroll. “Just read.”
Cirdan read Celeborn’s letter and then his gaze returned to his charge. “I cannot reach him. Elrond is drifting away from us, searching for his lover.”
“What do we have to lose?” Glorfindel shared Cirdan’s worries. They had already lost Gil-galad and couldn’t afford to lose Elrond as well. “Shall I tell the healer to attend to Elrond?”
Cirdan – fatigued and feeling helpless – let go of Elrond’s hand and rose from the bed. “Aye, tell him to enter.”
Erestor was fighting his panic to his best ability. He had agreed, but that didn’t mean he wanted to do this. Being bound to Elrond Half-Elven, Gil-galad’s Herald, was a frightening prospect, but the rewards Galadriel had offered had been too good to decline. In exchange for saving Elrond, he would be allowed outside once a week and Galadriel would give him unlimited access to the library. After the life he had led, that sounded like pure luxury.
He could sense their eyes on him. Haldir, Rumil and Orophin’s eyes never left him and he recalled that they were under orders to end his life if he tried to flee. But escape was not on his mind right now. Around him, Elves and Men were in pain and the sense of abandonment around him was suffocating. As a healer, he desperately wanted to help, but he waited for Haldir to tell him to dismount. He didn’t want to end up with an arrow in his back.
Suddenly, the blond, which Haldir had addressed as Glorfindel returned and nodded his head once.
“Your healer may enter.”
Erestor held his breath. This was it. His panic increased, but he managed to keep it under control. After locking gazes with Haldir and obtaining permission, he dismounted, making sure the hood stayed in place. Slipping his hands into the sleeves of his robes, he waited for Haldir’s orders.
Another Elf now also left the tent and Erestor stared at him in surprise. Never before had he seen a bearded Elf.
“I am Cirdan, one of Elrond’s friends.”
Erestor didn’t know what to say and simply waited.
“I gather you are a healer?”
Nodding once, Erestor wondered what would happen next.
“I will take you to Elrond,” said Cirdan, pulling back the flap of the tent to let Erestor enter. “And I will stay with you.”
“Nay,” said Haldir firmly. “My Lord Celeborn clearly states that the healer needs to attend to Elrond alone.”
Glorfindel and Cirdan had also read that passage, but didn’t feel inclined to permit it.
“My Lords, you have to trust us. We want to save Lord Elrond’s life. That is why we are here. That is why we brought this healer.” Haldir hoped they would cooperate.
After a moment’s thought, Cirdan reluctantly agreed. Seeing Glorfindel’s suspicious expression, he saw his own unease reflected in them. “Haldir is right. We need to put our trust in Galadriel and Celeborn. They know what they are doing.”
Erestor released the breath he had been holding when he finally stepped into the tent – toward his destiny.
Gingerly, Erestor looked about. To his right, on a cot, was Elrond Half-Elven. Memories of tending to the mischievous twins when they had been Elflings returned to him. He had found Elrond adorable back then and the child had been smitten with him in turn, but now Elrond was a great warrior. A warrior who was mourning his lover’s death. And there was only one way to keep the half-Elf from following Gil-galad to the Halls of Waiting.
After drawing in a deep breath, he dropped his cloak onto the ground. A bowl filled with water had been placed aside Elrond, and the silvery surface caught his reflection. His long, dark hair was unbraided as always, and his brown eyes filled with panic. The blue paint, which Galadriel had used, covered the area around his eyes, making it look like part of his face was veiled. All this to ensure no one ever found out his identity.
Making his way toward the cot, he extinguished all candles that formerly illuminated the tent. When he reached the cot, he sat down on the chair Cirdan had vacated. Taking a moment to study the half-Elf, he realized that Elrond was handsome, even with the touch of death upon him. The long, raven hair carried warrior’s braids and dried Orc blood tainted the slightly tanned skin. The gray eyes were devoid of emotion and yet the healer in him sensed the presence in the seemingly unconscious half-Elf.
Did he have the courage to follow through? He had told Galadriel he would bind himself to Elrond and by doing so ensure the half-Elf’s survival, but he couldn’t help feeling sorry for himself. Elrond would never find out who had saved him and the bond wouldn’t stop the Herald from finding a new lover, as the half-Elf wouldn’t even know he was bound.
But for him, the situation would be different. For the rest of his life he would feel Elrond’s pain, and lend him strength when the half-Elf needed his support. But in return he hoped to regain a tiny bit of his freedom, if Galadriel kept her word.
Resting a shaky hand on Elrond’s brow, he felt the half-Elf’s impending death. Instinctively he tried to stop the cold from claiming Elrond, pushing the alien presence away with his own mind. Having reclaimed Elrond for now, he rose from the chair, undid the belt that held his robes together and shrugged out of them. They pooled at his feet and stepping out of them, he centered himself. He needed to form this bond now.
Erestor saw a small, ceremonial knife on the small desk next to the bed and took hold of it. Cutting his wrist deeply, he detachedly watched the blood flow down his hand. His blood would form this link and give the half-Elf the strength to survive.
Reverently, he knelt next to the bed. His wrist now hovered above Elrond’s mouth and a few drops of his blood slid passed the open lips, flowing down the half-Elf’s throat. Now that he had set the process in motion, he waited for Elrond to react, whilst wrapping a piece of cloth around his wrist. He knew what would happen next and feared the act, but he had committed himself to this and there was no turning back.
Elrond panted hard, as a metallic tasting liquid flowed down his throat. His body was slowly coming alive again, and with it the horrid memories. “Ereinion!” The last thing he recalled was seeing his lover burned to cinders by Sauron, but then warm and inviting arms enfolded him, rocking him comfortingly and he leaned into the embrace.
“Melamin!” Gil-galad was alive then, because no one else would dare hold him like that. Elrond nearly panicked. Why was it this dark? Why couldn’t he see? “Where am I?”
“In your tent.”
The voice sounded alien and familiar at the same time. “Melamin?” It had to be Ereinion! His lover hadn’t deserted him after all! Gil-galad had tricked Sauron and hadn’t died! Ereinion was still with him.
“Hush now, and do not worry. Everything will be well.”
“Why is it this dark? Why can I not see you?” Elrond’s hands reached for the warm form next to him. The only thing he could think of was making sure that his lover hadn’t left him. “I had such a bad dream.” Now that the war was over, he needed to know his lover was still his!
Elrond grabbed the other Elf tightly, and encountering only bare skin, he sighed blissfully. Ereinion had had the same idea then and wanted to make love with him. “I need you, melamin. I need to know you are still here with me.” Saying those words would signal to Gil-galad what he needed most; to be inside the High-King. For one moment he felt confused, seeing brown eyes in a sea of blue.
His bed partner struggled briefly, which puzzled Elrond, but then a smile surfaced on his face. Ereinion was a passionate lover, who was mostly on top, but there were times when the High-King wanted to be claimed in turn, but would put up a fight first. The few times that Gil-galad was on the receiving end of his passion, the High King preferred to be taken hard. It seemed this was such a moment and he was happy to oblige. /Ah, you probably already prepared yourself for me./
Overcome with need and passion, Elrond brought his arms up behind his lover’s back, and after rolling the Elf onto his stomach, he blanketed him. “Mine, you are mine. You will always be mine. And I know what you want, for I want it too!”
Pulling his partner onto his hands and knees, he positioned himself at the tight entrance. Without thinking logically -- overwhelmed by desperate need and convinced that his lover had already prepared himself for some rough lovemaking – he pushed inside.
Erestor never expected Elrond to react with such violence. Before he knew what was happening, he found himself on his stomach and then on all fours. He had known this would happen, but the suddenness and force that the half-Elf displayed made him panic. He struggled briefly but stopped all movement when Elrond began to enter him. The hot head of the other’s sex nudged against his entrance, and he tried to mentally prepare himself for the penetration, but he had no idea what to expect. Suddenly, he was being burned and the pain that shot through him was like nothing he had ever felt before.
Elrond’s hard flesh forced its way into his body, tearing him in the process. Helpless to stop the half-Elf, Erestor bit into the pillow to muffle his cries, not wanting anyone to enter and find him in this humiliating position. Just when he thought that the pain couldn’t be worse, the half-Elf began to thrust.
Tears of pain fled his eyes and dripped down his face. He had involuntary tensed, trying to expel the intruder, but this caused him only more pain. Biting down harder, he forced himself to endure Elrond’s strokes, which now gained in speed and intensity. The sound of flesh against flesh -- Elrond’s heavy sacs slapping against his buttocks -- made him nauseous and he swallowed convulsively, trying to keep himself from throwing up the little he had eaten.
“Aye, meleth-nîn, I knew you would never leave me.” Elrond continued to drive himself home into his lover’s body, savoring the tight glove around him. It had been some time since he had last claimed the High-King and his lover felt as tight as the first time he had taken him. Pounding hard, he bit into his lover’s neck, finally reaching orgasm.
The moment he spilled his seed in his lover’s body, something changed. Warmth was born inside his heart and a glow seemed to engulf his body. Had he finally turned delirious after all?
Exhausted, he thrust one last time and then collapsed on top of his lover’s body. “Aiya, you are so tight, Ereinion.”
Hot tears of pain, shame and utter humiliation dripped from Erestor’s face as he laid there, feeling abused and hurting in places he had never known existed. Elrond felt heavy on top of him and he wondered what to do. Suddenly, the half-Elf pulled out and a slicing pain moved through his lower body, making him bury his teeth into his knuckles to keep himself from screaming out in pain.
Erestor now also felt the bond that had been forged. He even sensed the half-Elf’s ecstasy, which was still mixed with a hint of despair. Then, a sigh left Elrond’s lips and the half-Elf slipped into a healing sleep, which was being fed with Erestor’s life energy.
In shock, Erestor bit down his pain, managing to roll away from underneath Elrond. After fighting down the urge to curl up in a fetal position, Erestor gingerly studied the one he was now bound to. The half-Elf looked different and he instinctively knew that Elrond would survive and eventually recover. /You will never know I am bound to you and for that I am grateful./ What good would it do Elrond to know he was bound to such a pitiful creature?
Following his instincts, he placed his hands on Elrond’s brow. He closed his eyes and directed his remaining energy into the half-Elf’s fëa. When he had given as much as he could without extinguishing his own inner light, he let his hands fall down onto the bed. Panting due to exhaustion, he imprinted Elrond’s features in his mind. He would never see Elrond again and the half-Elf would be the only ‘lover’ he would ever have. For one moment he felt disappointed that this would be his sole sexual encounter, but now that he knew how much pain was involved in this act, the last thing he desired was being subjected to it again.
It was time to leave and he pushed himself into a sitting position. He gasped in pain, and his eyes widened, realizing he was bleeding between his legs. Elrond had torn him.
Gritting his teeth, he managed to get to his feet, but he swayed and had to reach for support, or else he would have fallen. Shaking like a leaf, he bent to pick up his robes. He nearly doubled over in agony and cried hot tears when more warm blood dripped down his thighs.
With grim determination, he slipped into his robes, fastened them with the belt and then draped his cloak over his shoulders. After putting up the hood, he took a few shaky steps toward the exit. He felt utterly humiliated now that the half-Elf had made him bleed, but wasn’t that to be expected? Galadriel had warned him that Elrond would use him as the half-Elf saw fit. He should console himself with the fact that he would never have to undergo such humiliation again.
Finally, he stepped out into the open. He avoided looking at them, not wanting to meet anyone’s eyes accidentally. He slowly made his way to his horse, hoping he would be able to ride back to ‘Lorien without Haldir or his brothers finding out that he was injured.
Mounting his horse took his last strength, but he managed. Now that he was sitting on the horse’s back, the pain in his lower body increased tenfold and he nearly fainted. His shoulders slumped and he bowed his head in defeat, waiting for Haldir to mount as well. The trip back to Lothlorien would be nothing but torment.
Cirdan and Glorfindel exchanged a worried look when the healer reappeared. Both smelled the metallic tang of blood on him and wondered what had happened. Cirdan was the first to leave the ‘Lorien party and disappear into the tent.
Haldir, who had seen Erestor’s hesitant movement, mounted quickly. “I am sure Lord Elrond will recover now. Should you need the healer’s services again, please send word to the Lord or Lady.” He turned his horse around and signaled for his brothers to follow him. Rumil had once more claimed the reins of Erestor’s horse to make sure their prisoner couldn’t escape.
Glorfindel watched until the party had vanished from sight and then ventured into the tent, wondering in what state he would find Elrond.
The first thing Glorfindel noticed was the blood that clung to Elrond’s lips. The half-Elf was tucked away beneath a blanket, apparently still asleep. The Elda came to a standstill beside Cirdan and looked at him questioningly. “What happened here?”
Cirdan’s brow was knitted. “When I entered I found that all candles had been extinguished and I had to relight them. It was dark in here when I entered.”
“What about the blood?” Glorfindel touched a finger to Elrond’s lips. “It is fresh.”
Cirdan seated himself on the chair and studied his charge. “Something about him is different.”
Glorfindel had to agree. “’Tis a healing sleep now.” The emptiness in the gray eyes had vanished. He studied Elrond, wondering how the healer had accomplished this.
Unexpectedly, Elrond’s eyelids fluttered, announcing the half-Elf’s return to consciousness.
Elrond felt disorientated, but seeing the faces of his two best friends reassured him. “Cirdan? Glorfindel?” With difficulty, he pushed himself in an upright position and his eyes immediately searched for his lover. “Where is Ereinion?”
Cirdan released a distressed sigh. “He died, meldir.”
Elrond’s eyes widened at hearing this. Aye, he remembered but… “He was here a moment ago! I made lo—“ His voice faltered, mid-sentence. “It cannot have been a hallucination! He was here!”
“Mellon, can you tell me why there is blood on your lips?” Cirdan’s concern returned, seeing the wild expression in his friend’s gray eyes.
“Blood?” Confused, Elrond raised a hand and touched his lips. His fingers came away stained with blood. “I do not understand.”
“I wonder what that healer did,” mumbled Glorfindel, intrigued.
“Healer? What healer?” Elrond frowned deeply, recalling what had happened a few moments ago. He had made love to Gil-galad! “Ereinion is not here?”
“He is dead, Elrond. You must accept that.” Cirdan’s voice was laced with comfort.
“Then who…?” Elrond’s eyes narrowed. “May I have a moment alone? I need to compose myself.”
Glorfindel nodded once, judging his friend sane and alert enough to take care of himself. The change that had taken place inside Elrond was truly remarkable. “Mellon, let us give him some privacy to mourn his lover’s demise.”
Cirdan gave in and followed the blond outside.
Elrond stayed behind, feeling shocked. He had made love to Ereinion; he hadn’t imagined that! He had been inside his lover, had felt how tight the High-King was! But…
/He did not reach orgasm./ His lover’s inner muscle hadn’t milked him dry! Thoroughly confused, he pushed down the covers. Shocked, he stared at his flaccid member – and the blood that clung to it.
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