Summer Heat by Glorfindel
Summary:

A modern day, elves who never sailed, detective story in the style of film noir.

Erestor was the most evil elf in Gondolin and Imladris, yet he managed to hide it so that only a few saw him as he really was.

Glorfindel was his lover who thought that he had escaped Erestor forever after the ringwar.

Neither elf sailed and by chance they meet up in modern time. Glorfindel is a detective, constantly creating new identities for himself, and Erestor was until five years before, a hardened criminal who killed for fun. Now he seeks Glorfindel again with promises that he has changed.

A puzzling trail of bodies appear over the next few days and it seems Erestor is to blame for killing them, but exactly how many murders did he really commit, and also, who tried to kill Glorindel? Finally, how will Erestor flee when he hears the call of the sea with the police chasing after him?


Categories: Fiction Characters: Elrond, Erestor, Glorfindel, Melpomaen/Figwit, OFC, OMC
Content: Action/Adventure, Angst, AU, Character Death, Drama, Dubcon, Erotica, Explicit Sex, Horror, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery, Rape/Non-con, Romance
Challenges: None
Series: Dark Judgement
Chapters: 26 Completed: Yes Word count: 36285 Read: 23079 Published: March 31, 2012 Updated: June 05, 2017
Story Notes:


Part of the 'Dark Judgement' series.

Disclaimer: I do not own the elves or their surroundings. The elves made me write this even though they belong to Tolkien; they are very naughty making me do this! I make no profit and have no intention of making any.

1. Chapter 1 - Deception by Glorfindel

2. Chapter 2 - Death in the Morning. by Glorfindel

3. Chapter 3 - Blue Veins by Glorfindel

4. Chapter 4 - Gondolin by Glorfindel

5. Chapter 5 - Cherri by Glorfindel

6. Chapter 6 - Death by chocolate by Glorfindel

7. Chapter 7 - Summer Hills by Glorfindel

8. Chapter 8 by Glorfindel

9. Chapter 9 - The Tears of the Morning by Glorfindel

10. Chapter 10 - Imladris by Glorfindel

11. Chapter 11 - Torture by Glorfindel

12. Chapter 12 - Melpomaen by Glorfindel

13. Chapter 13 - The Parting by Glorfindel

14. Chapter 14 - Honey Miggins by Glorfindel

15. Chapter 15 by Glorfindel

16. Chapter 16 - The killing by Glorfindel

17. Chapter 17 - Being shot at home by Glorfindel

18. Chapter 18 by Glorfindel

19. Chapter 19 - Telephone Conversation by Glorfindel

20. Chapter 20 - Breakfast with Fern. by Glorfindel

21. Chapter 21 - The Call of The Sea by Glorfindel

22. Chapter 22 - Falling into place. by Glorfindel

23. Chapter 23 - Love in the afternoon. by Glorfindel

24. Chapter 24 by Glorfindel

25. by Glorfindel

26. Chapter 26 - Final Farewell by Glorfindel

Chapter 1 - Deception by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:


Glorfindel visits his new client. Can he trust him and has his drink been spiked?





The air was hot. I could hardly breathe and the sweat ran between my skin and my clothes. I made my way up the stairs to the dark, airless office that I was proud to list on my business cards. My answer service revealed a request to escape the city heat and spend an afternoon in the hills with a prospective client. Nothing to be gauged except that the caller was male, sounded middle-aged and lived in a very affluent area. I decided to go; I needed to feel elven again.



I drove away from the suffocating stickiness of the city to the clean coolness of the hills. The owners of the properties here had more money than I would make in a lifetime, if I were human that is. Still it did not matter much. I have money and, by not flashing it, I have a happiness and freedom of sorts, and that is more than most will ever have.



Bright awnings of the type described as cheerful shaded the leaded windows. Pink brick and a rustic style wooden door overhung with climbing berries gave a country feel. The spray mist from the sprinklers watering the garden felt fresh against my skin as I walked up the path.



The most bored man on the planet answered my knock. He led me to a small sitting room. “Wait here,” he said in his middle-aged voice, the same as the one on my answering service. “The Master will see you in his own time.”



I was used to the snobbery of servants and, in former times, my own had indulged in their tiny displays of power. So what? All they had was their position and a piddling piece of control that could be snapped in a minute. I was not interested and yawned as if unimpressed.



He showed me to a comfortable looking chair. I sat down and leaned into the soft leather. I am old, even though I look young. Soft comfort is always welcome. My blond fringe flicked away from my face and I put my head back.



“You might get me a drink.” I said to the superior butler, who managed to hide his surprise at being ordered into action. He smirked and remained in position. I stood up and walked to the door. “Tell your master that he can contact me at my office.”



I walked into the hall and stopped. The butler’s master was standing in front of me and I felt as though there was no breath left in my body.



“Do you really have to go?” he asked sweetly before taking my hand and walking me back into the room I had left. “Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Mr. Eress, and you are Mr. Dell. Am I correct?” I nodded dumbly.



We walked over to the settee; two slabs of soft cream leather set at right angles, nearly as comfortable as my bed. He looked at me and held my hands. Beautiful, warm brown eyes looked into my fa and I felt naked. “I need you to investigate something for me.”



Eress looked at his butler and asked where my drink was. “It is a hot day Miggins. Mr. Dell is our guest.” The butler smirked, then sauntered off.



I walked to the door to make sure Miggins was not spying on us before going back to the beautiful yet seemingly fragile creature on the settee. “He is gone. Now tell me everything.”



“I do not know who I can trust anymore. Can I trust you?” I held his hand to give him confidence and assure him of my loyalty; he seemed to like holding hands. “Miggins is blackmailing me. I have asked you to come here to investigate a missing woman at the Summer Springs holiday complex and that is all he must know. Please, is there a way to get him off my back without involving the police or courting publicity?” His voice was low and he was scared.



For all I know this could have been bullshit; however, the butler’s superior, ‘I don’t have to do my job’, smirk and his master’s pleading eyes swayed me. I could smell his scent and out of curiosity, I brushed away his long black hair. He flinched and tried to stop me but there was no mistaking the delicate pointed tip of his ear. “You are an elf.” I whispered and he started to shake.



Footsteps outside the room necessitated a change of subject and the withdrawal of hands. “I need full access to records, photos and staff. You understand that this may become a police matter which will attract publicity?”



Eress nodded. “We will cooperate in every way we can. My staff already know that you are to be allowed access to all areas and the household and business records. You can contact me at any time.” A drink slammed down onto the table beside me and I gave Miggins a warning look. He chose to ignore me.



I took a sip. Homemade lemonade and something else. Something bitter. Mr. Eress watched me as I put it down. “Perhaps some bottle water?” He seemed anxious to please and walked over to the cooler hidden behind a dark wooden shutter in the wall and pulled out an unopened bottle of water; he got one for himself.



I drank some and it tasted clean. “It is hot in here, shall we go outside?” It would give us some privacy. I stood up and so did Eress. He seemed grateful for the suggestion.



We walked through the large French windows and down the path to the fountain. We sat on a stone seat near the falls of water issuing from cherubs mouths. I asked him his name.



“Your real name, not the one you use now.” I took a swig of the water and waited.



He looked nervous and his eyes studied the gravel at his feet. “Erestor.” Quietly said and almost a whisper.



“Erestor?” He nodded and looked away. “I knew an elf once called Erestor, in Imladris. He was an advisor. A sarcastic, mean spirited harpy. Do you know of him?” He made a small distressed noise and ran.



I caught him easily and held him as he struggled. His eyes were wild with fear and tears ran down his face.



“Why did you hire me Erestor?” He struggled but I held on tight. We walked over to a bench. “Sit.”



He sobbed, so I waited for him to stop. “I did not think you had recognised me.”



“I recognised you as soon as you took my hand. What has happened to your face?” I wanted to strike him. The old feelings rose in my throat as bitter bile.



“My face was rebuilt after a car crash. Glorfindel, I am so sorry.” Tears ran down his cheeks. I had seen it all before.



“Why did you hire me?” He broke down at my coldness and it was a while before he stopped. I waited silently, not offering comfort but sitting in stony silence.



“I did not lie. Miggins is blackmailing me and a woman has gone missing at the holiday complex.” Erestor looked hopefully at me, his eyes shining with tears that were yet to spill onto the lovely cheeks. It was all an act; he still had it in him to live a lie.



I seized the front of his shirt and pulled him close. “Why did you hire me?” I looked dangerous and could feel his fear. I wanted him to feel it. I wanted him to be so filled with terror that he could not breathe.



“Because your name reminded me of the elf I so stupidly gave up, the elf I did not know I loved until I lost him. There are you happy now?” He shouted and fought to free himself. I pulled him close and kissed him. I kissed him as though our lives would end if we did not, then I let him go and slapped him hard across the face.



“You always were a liar.” I stormed off and made my way to the house leaving him sitting on the stone bench. Nothing had changed.



The French doors hung open and Miggins stood by the frame, a sneer on his lips. I grabbed his shoulders and slammed him face first against the wall so that his eye was perilously near a hook holding a small ornament. “You tried to poison me.” I spoke softly so that he would be frightened.



“I don’t know what you are talking about.” He gasped, eyeing the hook.



“Yes you do. When your master went over to get me a bottle of water I tasted his drink and his was sweet, not bitter like mine.” I spoke softly but with a more menacing undertone.



“Why would I poison my husband’s latest bit?” I could feel his smirk and pushed his eye onto the hook, then let go. The hook had caught on the brow bone and he was suspended and screaming.



“He is not your husband. You are lying, you bastard.” I hissed in his ear and pushed his head forward again.



“It is no lie…” Erestor stood watching as I unhooked his husband, and then he fainted. He lay on the floor, cool and beautiful.



“See to him.” I snarled at Miggins as I left.



Chapter 2 - Death in the Morning. by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Miggins the butler is in a very strange and unfortunate position.




I let myself sleep in. It was not hard to do.



The events of the previous day ensured that sleep was late in coming. I lived the events repeatedly in my mind, looking for a nuance or a lead and finding nothing. The fact was that Miggins, if that was his name, had spiked my drink. Erestor was too quick to get me a bottle of water; he knew what Miggins was up to. Even if he did not, he isn’t stupid. Erestor’s face is different but he must have known that I would recognise him. How could he not? Once again, he played me for a fool, or tried to. I knew I would not rest until I had official confirmation of Erestor's marital status. If I could not have the psycho then why should some jumped up smirking butler? How was it possible anyway? Perhaps they had been in it together. Perhaps they had both meant to poison me. Erestor saw that I could taste whatever it was in my drink and offered me the bottled water to allay my suspicions. Yes, he saw. He is in it up to his neck. Why would I be anything but not surprised?



I live in a small house by the beach. It sits atop a rock and when the tide is high it seems like an island. No one lives near, and that is how I like it. I wondered how Erestor managed his life. Did he move and live somewhere else every twenty years when the people around about saw that he never looked any older, or did he live the life of a recluse. Was this the hold Miggins had over him? By living so far away, I had managed to live in the same property for eighty years; every twenty years changing my name and selling the house back to myself. I employed a good forger and paid him well for his silence. Morally, it felt easier getting my birth certificates from him, than using those of the dead, and he ensured I had ample documentation for the future; after all, he would not live forever.



Heather strewn moorland rings the back of my property. One road leads to my house and the same road leads back out. Visitors are not welcome. A high wall and electric gates keeps out those who would pry, so I can relax, splendid in my isolation, if I wish. However, I do not want to. Every day I crave contact. Every day the separation hurts more. Every day I wish for the call that will take me over the sea, but it never comes. Are Erestor and I the only elves left? Is this why our paths have crossed or does Erestor have another purpose?



I run a bath; a shower will be too quick. I still need time to think. There is a small shop that makes bath oils to order and so I pour their orange and almond bath oil into the running water. If I close my eyes, I can believe for a split second that I am back in Gondolin. To dream of Imladris is too painful, so I protect myself; I dream of when I was innocent and not subject to the vicious whims of the dark elf. Ecthelion, my friend, you were right when you said that he was the way of madness; but who chooses love? Love chooses us and does it where it will hurt the most.



Enough of this musing. I wash quickly in the hot water and then soak. The random imperfections on the ceiling plaster join up with imaginary lines and become triangles to take my mind away from the events of yesterday. My golden-blond, shoulder length hair hides my pointed ears, although I see that some people pay to have surgery to make their ears that way. Perhaps they want to be elves. Who knows?



After dressing, and a couple of slices of toast and coffee, I make my way out through the house to the garage. The remote controlled door doesn't work. It does not budge. Again I press the remote, but nothing happens, just a judder and a whining noise. Highly irritated, I get out of the car and kick the garage door. There small dark red drips seeping under the base. My knives are already in my hands. I throw faster than a speeding bullet. My senses heightened, I walk silently through the house, moving quietly through a side door. The front door seems the obvious choice and is nearer to the garage; I am not making it easy for anyone. No sounds, no taste on the air; there is nothing fresh, so I can relax.



Nothing prepared me for what I saw next. Miggins is upside down and nailed to my garage door.



I try to feel sorry for him, but what the hell; he tried to poison me so I do not give a damn. Seems like justice to me. He sees me and moans; face pale and deathly white. I tug out the nails in his wrists with a claw hammer and then I do the same with his ankles. He screams and I apologise hundreds of times. He screams so much that I get irritated and tell him to shut the fuck up. Wide eyed, he looks in disbelief before passing out.



He lay on the ground unconscious, so I left him there. I rang the police and the paramedics. They told me to stay where I am. I was not about to go off on a day trip or anything. What it is to be surrounded by fools, they run everything and tell everyone what to do; another reason to sail west. Back outside and Miggins is stirring. He does not have long and it bothers me that there is not enough blood. There should be more, much more.



The folded towel under his head helps him breathe easier, but the gurgling continues. Small foamy flecks streaked with blood fly from his mouth when he coughs; he is drowning. "Who did this to you?" I already know the answer. He can give me confirmation.



Miggins looks at me and gives a strange, satisfied smile. "Erestor." He smirks one last time before giving a final wet gurgle and dying on the ground.



I was wrong. My drink was spiked and I was meant to notice so that I would drink the bottled water, which was drugged so heavily I slept through a man screaming as he was nailed to the garage door. I wondered what sort of low Erestor had sunk to and how his madness had continued unabated. Perhaps I was the one to help him. Perhaps I could not travel across the sea until I had. Perhaps I should stop running and face my fear. Perhaps Erestor was not to blame at all. Or perhaps I could not give a damn.



Chapter 3 - Blue Veins by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Glorfindel goes to the records office to see Miggins and Erestor's marriage certificate.







Miggins lay dead on the ground. Detective Fern looked at him, then went to the door and examined the marks. "Looks like he was drained of his blood before coming here; should have been more. How long since he died?"



"Since just after I rang you." We walked inside the house leaving the body for the forensic team who were yet to arrive. My hands needed washing and then we could have a coffee. I like Fern, he is decent; doesn't try to get one over you just because you work private. He has a nice family too. They are about the nearest I ever came to having relatives for a long, long time.



Fern sat his two hundred pound bulk at the table and looked around. "He say anything before he died?"



I nodded. "Nothing." The coffee machine gurgled much like Miggins had done, but this time the sounds did not annoy me. "I received a commission yesterday to investigate a missing woman at the Summer Hills holiday complex from a Mister Eress; Miggins was his butler." Fern looked at me and I shook my head. "Looks too fragile. Looks like he couldn't even lift a slice of toast to his mouth." I told him some of it because he would find out anyway, but I was not going to reveal the secrets of my heart. I would let mad Erestor do that for himself.



"You know Fin; you could do with a good woman. How come you got nobody?" Fern chuckled, his florid, round face beaming with pleasure at the pile of toast and marmalade I set before him. He already knew the answer.



"I am not marrying your daughter." I laughed. "She wouldn't want me."



He laughed along with me. "My son might." His face went still. "Caught him in bed with his friend. I just walked out the room and shut the door. Did not know what to do and so I did nothing." He took a bite of toast and chewed. I knew all his family problems and he knew that I preferred men; that is why he told me.



I broke the silence. "I'm not marrying your son either." I grinned at him and took a drink of coffee.



He smiled. "I thought he would carry on the family name and give me grandchildren, but I guess it's not to be. Can't live his life for him." He sighed and took a drink. "Nice coffee, is this the stuff you bought off the net?"



"It's the same as the stuff you bought off the net." I replied and raised an eyebrow.



"Water must be different here." He yawned and stretched. "I don't want him to be lonely. Know what I mean?"



"No reason for him to be lonely." I replied and drank more coffee. "I'm not lonely; I can have company whenever I want."



"You can have all the company in the world and still be lonely. In fact, you can be surrounded by a sea of people, who all know you, and still be lonely." He drank the last of the cup and I poured him another. "Hell, I just want him to be happy and find someone who loves him. Someone nice."



"We all hope for that in our lives." I drank the last of the coffee in my cup.



Fern leaned forward and regarded me thoughtfully. "You are lonely and you are looking for love. Stands out a mile and that's just a recent thing. You want to tell me about it?"



I shrugged. "I'm thinking of moving on. I'm getting older and I am doing nothing except the same old things every day."



"Can't have you bored with life, can we? Why don't you go travel the world, have some fun, do all the things young men your age do? How old are you? Late twenties? Early thirties? You should be out having fun, not wasting away in this backwater. It will all be here when you get back and nothing will have changed." He spoke like a dad. Wise words from someone thousands of years younger than me.



"Maybe I will find someone nice." I laughed; it was feeble and he knew it.



Fern put his cup on the plate, the crumbs wiped to the side in a small mound; he always did that. "We will look into the murder and you can look into the other stuff, 'cause as far as we know no missing woman has been reported, how does that grab you?"



I nodded. "I have a feeling our paths will cross." The plate were put in the dishwasher. Fern grinned; they were the only items in there.



He rose from the table, his ample belly grazing against the edge. "I am very much hoping they do."



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



My first stop was the records department in the town hall. I smiled amiably at the clerk and she felt disposed enough to find the marriage certificate between Erestor and Miggins herself.



"Well this is odd." She frowned and pointed at the relevant section. "There's a page missing. Looks like it has been torn out. The name is in the index but the certificate is gone." We stood looking at the ripped edges in the book until she decided that she could not help me. I smiled and thanked her for her time.



As she was about to disappear through the door, I called her back. "My brother will be terribly upset that his marriage certificate is gone. What do you think I should tell him? He had hoped to get a passport, will this hold it up?" So I lied. That is what we do. She flirted with me thinking I called her back for more than a mere question. Eyes ringed with clumpy mascara and smudged eyeliner looked up at me, as she leaned forward so I could see her pale, blue-veined cleavage. I looked because that is what she expected me to do. I breathed in her cheap perfume and thanked the Valar that she would never be mine.



"Well, you could tell him that it has been ripped out and we are investigating it. Of course, we will have to inform the police. You could tell him that we are very sorry and it's lucky that you asked for a copy or else we would have found out much later." She looked at me and gave it all she got. "You might also tell him that you couldn't keep your eyes off my breasts all the time I was talking to you." Her eyelids fluttered, she looked down demurely before staring straight up at me, wide eyed and thinking she had a chance.



I stepped back a fraction. "Well I suppose I could." I raised an eyebrow and looked directly at her. "He wouldn't believe me though." Her open-mouthed expression was a delight. I grinned and walked out.



It did not matter. Very soon a death certificate would be lodged there and the marriage academic. I crossed the street to a small sandwich shop and bought aubergine and hoummous in a crusty roll and a can of coke. Back in the car, my mind raced as I ate my lunch.



Who would steal a marriage certificate and why? No point in stealing this one; all Erestor or Miggins had to do was request another copy and the theft would be obvious. Small grains of thought, not yet ready to form coherent strands, were taking shape. Everything in this case pointed to Erestor. That alone makes made suspicious. Everything was too neat and too tidy. Life is not like that.



Chapter 4 - Gondolin by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:




The mystery deepens when Glorfindel sneaks into Erestor's house and finds him unconscious.







The hills were as fresh and as cool as they were yesterday. I wondered if Erestor was happy that Miggins was dead. I wondered if he even knew. Everything pointed so neatly to him, too neatly. Certainly Erestor was able to kill Miggins and not give it a second thought; he was even able to persuade someone to do it for him. As a cunning advisor and master manipulator in Imladris, he had blood on his hands. He was feared and untouchable. Elrond thought it wiser to look the other way and he was right. No one wanted to be the focus of Erestor’s attention. Seemingly fragile and delicate, his innocent visage belied a capriciously violent and jealous temper. He courted popularity and those who opposed him disappeared quickly. Legend was that he was dropped on his head as a baby. I think it must have been several times.



We first met in Gondolin. Ecthelion whispered a warning to me. “He is mad and dangerous. Do not go near him.” Like many others I could not resist when his attention turned to me. That the Valar could create someone so beautiful and so poisonous is a mystery to which I never found the answer. I loved him and I still do.



I heeded the warning until Erestor caught me in his gaze. He flirted and snared me using charm, wit and protestations of love. I was his willing prey and he enthralled me. Nothing existed anymore. No one could deter me from my devotion. Then it started. Small accusations and questionings. Where had I been? Why did you look at him? A warrior I sparred with only once, overdosed on hemlock after an accusation of being too close during the practice. In time, I dreaded going back to our house. Would he be sweet and gentle or in a murderous rage? I could never tell. He was deceptively strong, skilled with weapons and accomplished in the art of fatal persuasion. A small locked room at the top of the stairs was for his use only. The noxious smells that issued forth convinced me that he was brewing poisons and it filled me with terror.



Slowly and subtlety he inched me into a state of fear and dread from which there was no escape. How could I, one of Gondolin’s foremost warriors, admit that I was terrified of my mate? He knew this and taunted me; he even suggested that the food I ate was tainted, that he could feed me poison in my sleep and that a small smear upon my skin would kill me and leave no trace. He was right; he could do anything.



Erestor stopped trying; he did not have to be anything but contemptuous; so that is how we lived. Outside the home, in front of others, he reverted to the sweet, gentle, pliant Erestor, but away from the eyes of others he was a demon and tore my fa apart. I sound so weak, and looking back I can allow myself the luxury of wondering what would have happened if I had stood up to him; every time the scenario ends in death, my death.



The fall came. Fire was all around, and masonry flew from buildings. In the mayhem stood Erestor, his beautiful face terrified. I laughed at his fear. Where he sought protection there was none. The odds leveled for the first time; a poisonous whisper or a subtle threat would not work and he knew it.



“Glorfindel.” He shouted my name and I felt the tug at my heart. I could not afford to be weak anymore. Too many lives depended on my actions and I would not fail them for the viper at my heel. “Please Glorfindel.” I relented and pulled him up on the horse. “I am so scared.”



I looked at him, face to face. “Now you know how it feels to be me.”



“Glorfindel, I am sorry. I cannot help myself. I love you. If you die, I will wait for you to come again.” Erestor hit the ground at speed as I threw him away.



Leaning over I grabbed his front as he tried to stand. “If you are truly sorry and really love me, stop running around trying to save yourself. Gather everyone together and take as many as you can through the pass.” I pushed him away; he disgusted me.



Tears ran down his face. He stood up and screamed at me. “I hope you die, you bastard. I hope you die… I hope you die.” Then he ran for his life. I heard him the first time. I did not care. Dying was better than spending an eternity with a devil.



He herded those unable to fight out of the city, onto the pass and to safety. It was the one good thing he ever did. I saw him from the back matching the injured with the able bodied so that all could have the best chance of escape. We were so close, then the balrog attacked and everything changed. I fell with his words ringing in my head and in my heart.



The cheerful awnings shaded the leaded windows. The sprinklers were off and the house silent. A car moved through the open gates. I slumped down in the seat and watched. A huge, muscle-bound, bald headed thug drove smoothly over the gravel and down the access road away from the house. In the back was a smaller, sharp feature man. I knew that profile. I wondered why he was visiting Erestor. Why would I care? He was more than a match for anyone.



The gates remained open, so I walked through them and around the side of the house. Erestor’s state, before he knew of my presence, was worth checking out. He seemed so frail and fragile the last time I saw him. He could not fool me. I knew he was as strong as an ox. The cook passed by the end of the house, making her way to the kitchen garden. Walking swiftly around to the back door I let myself in.



The kitchen was a huge stone affair. Slabs of honey coloured stone covered the floor, multicolour rugs lay all over, I guess because a stone floor is cold to stand on. The rugs covered the noise of my shoes and I walked into the hall. Glass panes in the door revealed a hazy figure laying on a day bed. I walked in.



“Who are you?” The nurse beside the sleeping figure jumped up in surprise. I looked her over. The uniform was impossibly tight and her mouth was a shiny red gash of lipstick across the tan of her face. She smiled so wide I could not trust her.



“Who are you more to the point?” I loomed over her and she was excited. Why do women always lick their lips when they see something they want to put in their mouths?



“I’m the nurse, of course.” Her lips pouted; she flicked the tip of her tongue over them . I raised my eyebrows. “Eddie Fish sent me to look after Mr. Eress; he runs the Summer Hills Complex for him. I bet you didn’t know that.”



“I bet you, I didn’t even want to know.” I looked at her and she seemed miffed. “What sort of nurse are you? One that appears in a certain type of movie or a real one?” I should not have smirked. The slap across my face was hard and I caught her wrists on the return.



“Eddie’s gonna hear about this.” Her face mixed outrage and fear but she was not trying to get away from my tight grip.



I backed her against the wall and pressed my body against her. “Now tell me what you are doing here.” I stroked her neck and she looked greedily at me.



“I told you. I’m looking after, Mr. Eress.” Eyelids batted so hard there should have been a hurricane in the room.



“Why are you looking after Mr. Eress?” How simple did I have to make it for the bitch?



“Well, I don’t know if I should be telling you this but as I haven’t been told not to say anything I suppose it cannot harm. Mr. Miggins rang last night and said that he had a row with Mr. Eress and that he needed sedating because he threatened to kill him. The nurse who works the other shift came over and Mr. Miggins was gone by that time. Mr. Eress was hysterical. She doped him up with Lorazepam and he slept all night. I took over this morning and she will take over at eight o’clock this evening. Really, she is the one to ask.” She looked at me as if awaiting approval.



“Have the police been here?” I rubbed against her to maintain the interest.



“Yeah. They came. Mr. Eress is in a deep sleep so they said they would come back later. I told them that the nurse took twenty minutes to arrive from the phone call and they seemed satisfied.” Her nipples were hard and poking through her uniform. I ran my thumb over one of them.



“Does Eddie deliberately dress you in clothes that are too tight? You don’t look too comfortable.” Her eyes opened wide as I peeled away some twenties. “Tomorrow, go buy yourself a uniform that doesn’t look like it came from a sex shop.” She was speechless but the twenties disappeared fast. I could see the hard outline of them in her chest pocket.



I sat down. Erestor lay on his side, whilst the nurse picked up her magazine. Perhaps she was disappointed. Who knows and who cares? “You want to go get some tea?” She took the hint and walked off in the direction of the kitchen.



I stroked the beautiful head and he stirred. One groggy eye opened a fraction then closed. “Erestor.” I kept it low so the nurse in the kitchen would not hear. His face turned towards me and he gasped in fear. He tried to push me away. I held him during his halfhearted struggle and when he gave up, I held him close. “I am not going to hurt you. Go back to sleep. You are safe now.” He relaxed, shut his eyes and I kissed his cheek. I sat back and crossed my legs. He looked so peaceful and so beautiful. If only he could always be like that.



Chapter 5 - Cherri by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Why does Erestor's housekeeper adore him?
“Look after him and don’t shoot anymore of that shit into him.” I gave my stern look and the nurse melted. I knew she would.



“Supposing he wakes up?” She looked up at me, lashes batting a hurricane. It took only one of my eyebrows to question her stupidity.



“If he wakes up, be a nurse and look after him. Think you can do that?” I shook my head, wondering why I had to spell everything out.



“I was only asking.” She glared at me. What the hell. I was not into sparing anyone’s feelings. I could not care less.



“I will be in the kitchen. Don’t move from this room and take care of him.” I gestured towards Erestor and left. In the background, I could hear her muttering about who the hell I thought I was ordering her around like that. Women like that are easy to ignore; it happens to them every day.



The cook was at the table, typing away into a laptop. A large middle-aged woman with the shiniest blond hair I had ever seen. I wanted to touch and smell it, but did not want the slap that would accompany it.



“Excuse me, Mam.” I used my softest voice. The biggest blue eyes looked up at me through a pair of gold-rimmed glasses. She said nothing, just raised an eyebrow. “Can I make a coffee?”



“Didn’t the nurse take some through before?” She paid hardly any attention and continued typing.



“She made tea. Anyway, she is a nurse; who knows where her fingers have been?” I grinned and looked amenable. It is a talent of mine.



She softened and grinned. “I saw you here yesterday. My name is Cherri. You know Mr. Eress?” I nodded and she smiled. “No sugar in mine, thank you.”



I put two cups out and loaded the machine with Blue Mountain. “I’m called Fin. Mr. Eress wants me to look into the disappearance of a missing woman down at his Summer Hills holiday complex.”



“You looking into the death of Miggins too?” She closed the laptop slightly, hiding the screen from my prying eyes, but I caught the name on her live journal account before she did.



“The police are looking into Miggins; I’m just looking into the missing woman, who I know nothing about.” I walked over to the machine, took the jug and poured the coffee. I set a cup in front of her. “You writing a novel or something?” I was genuinely interested. I like to know everything about everyone.



“I write short stories, publish them on the net.” She blushed and I grinned. “I’m not showing you what I have written, so don’t even ask.”



“You sussed me pretty quickly, Cherri.” I gave my widest smile and she giggled. “Anyone would think you are writing slash or something.”



A slight blush, but she recovered quick. “I told you. You are not seeing what I have written.”



“That’s a shame. Those ladies who write slash certainly have great imaginations. I have learned so much off them.” She was not taking the bait. “Do you know anything about the Summer Hills Complex?”



“I do not know why it is called a complex. There is a lake and log cabins all around. Over the back is a golf course and a couple of tennis courts and there is a clubhouse with a small spa tacked on. You wouldn’t take your kids there unless you wanted them to get bored and play up all the time.” She took another sip of her coffee, then yawned. “Excuse me it’s been a strange couple of days. I haven’t had much sleep.”



“Are you making lunch today? If you are I could help you.” You cannot use your sexuality with a grown woman; they see through it like a shot. Anyway, she seemed like a nice person. I wanted to help.



“It’s just soup and ham sandwiches for lunch. Mr. Eress likes something light at lunchtime. Is he awake yet?” She looked genuinely concerned.



“He has been filled so full of shit I doubt he will wake for a while yet.” She pushed a newspaper in front of me and put a cauliflower and three potatoes on it, then gave me a knife.



“He hasn’t woken up for ages, just slept all the time. He is such a nice man. He shouldn’t have to put up with this. People take advantage of him because he is so nice.” That surprised me. Who would have thought that about Erestor? Was she off her head, in love with him or had he changed?



“How did you meet him?” I peeled the potato and put it in the bowl of water. The peelings dropped onto the paper.



The pot on the stove hissed as it came to the boil and the bubbling water lifted the lid and dripped down the side on to the flame underneath. The lid tapped back down again. Cherri went over to it and prodded the contents with a large spoon. “That’s tonight’s chicken dinner if you’re staying; the broth can be used in the soup.” She sat down again. “Mr. Eress had a car crash and he was recovering. Mr. Fish wanted someone who would not faint at the site of injury. He also wanted someone who could help with things other than cooking, if need be. That’s how I am here.”



“What’s Eddie got to do with it?” Another potato in the bowl of water. She cut them into dice and threw them back again.



“Mr. Fish runs the complex for Mr. Eress; has done since he set it up.” She stared at the potato in my hands. “We gonna wait all day for you to peel that potato?”



I set to and peeled fast. “Where does Miggins come into all this?”



“Miggins was the butler. He worked in the complex first and then transferred here. I wondered if he had been sent by Mr. Fish to keep an eye on Mr. Eress, but I do not think that could have been. Mr. Fish and Miggins did not get along and they argued several times so we could hear it.” She stopped and looked as though she were considering something. “You must understand Mr. Eress was ill for a long time after his car crash. He is better now but Mr. Fish said he is not the same person and that we had to make allowances for him. His face was rebuilt and the front of his brain was severely damaged. Mr. Fish cares a lot about Mr. Eress and the rows were about Miggins not taking enough care of him.”



I started chopping the cauliflower. “What do you mean about Miggins not taking enough care?”



“Would you mind if I go check Mr. Eress first?” It was not a question. She walked out of the door and went into the other room with coffee and chunky choc cookies for the nurse. I followed.



Erestor lay sleeping on the day bed. The nurse paid no attention to us even when the snack presented in front of her. The chick-lit novel in her hands took every bit of attention she had. Erestor was breathing fine and in a light sleep. I took the last of the drugs on the side and put them in my pocket. “Not that I don’t trust you.” I smirked at her momentary panic at the loss of her tools of control and left the room.



Cherri smiled as we went out of the room. “Don’t tell me she is a real nurse. Anyone can stick a needle in an ass.”



“I was wondering that too.” I sat down at the table whilst Cherri made some more coffee.



Slices of homemade bread, fresh pats of butter and thin slices of ham with mustard on the side, in a little pot, appeared on the table during a flurry of activity from Cherri, who was not going to wait for the soup it seemed. We sat and ate in silence. Cherri was not the sort of woman who liked to talk while she was eating, which was fine by me.



“Miggins was not a nice man. He was good looking and personable, but sly. You know what I mean?” I nodded in agreement. “One day he came in and announced that he was married to Mr. Eress. I do not recall Mr. Eress ever agreeing to marry him or even leaving the house to do so but Miggins showed everyone the marriage certificate to prove it. Mr. Eress was so ill at the time that he did not know whether he was coming or going and Mr. Fish really lost it with Miggins. He tried to get the marriage annulled because Mr. Eress was not in his right mind, but Miggins taunted him and said that even he could not go against the law. Mr. Fish then said, why not, he had always done so thus far in his life.” Cherri smiled and I was glad that Erestor had someone to look out for him.



“What happened last night, Cherri?” I asked softly, she looked worried and seemed upset.



“Mr. Eress was going out and Miggins asked him where he was going and he was told that it was none of his business. Miggins got totally pissed off and they argued. Then Miggins, who was drunk, tried to manhandle Mr. Eress and he resisted. Funny thing was that Miggins got the crap kicked out of him. Mr. Eress must have snapped or something.” Cherri took a few mouthfuls of coffee, and then continued. “He was always trying to touch Mr. Eress and get him to sleep with him, and he refused every time. Anyway, Miggins rang Mr. Fish and told him that Mr. Eress had gone crazy. Mr. Fish came round and, by that time, Miggins was gone. He brought a nurse who filled Mr. Eress with some stuff to make him sleep. He was hysterical and screaming that someone should kill Miggins because he was not going to be raped by a little shit who had faked a marriage. So, Mr. Fish and his driver went off in search of Miggins.”



“You need to tell the police this.” I looked at her, thanking the Valar for what she had told me.



“She don’t need to, I heard everything.” Fern stepped out of the garden and into the room. “Forgive me for listening in, Mam, but this means that Mr. Eress should be in the clear.”



Cherri gave a sigh of relief. “Nobody likes an eavesdropper. Can tell you’re a policeman.”



“What about me?” I looked at Fern, wondering why I had to do his job for him.



“Miggins died at your house so you’re still a suspect. You knew that anyway.” Fern grinned and sat his bulk down on the chair. I smirked as it creaked dangerously. “I wouldn’t worry about it, Fin. Not unless you killed him, anyway.”



“Miggins saw you kiss Mr. Eress and he told Mr. Fish that was what some of the row was about when he rang him, and when Mr. Eress said he was going out. Miggins accused him of hooking up with you.” Cherri looked at Fern and then me, trying to make up her mind about the both of us.



“Hell, am I glad there is no death penalty here.” I looked at Cherri who blushed and then Fern who thought it was the funniest thing he had ever heard.



“Still doesn’t explain the water, Fin. You suspect it was drugged but it did not put you to sleep immediately even though you slept heavily. What sort of drug would have done that? Do you think that you might have slept heavily because you were tired?” Fern looked pleased with himself and I would probably have agreed if I were someone else.



The figure at the door looked pathetic and ill; he had trouble standing and held the doorframe for support. “Fin is right. The water had a drug to increase depth of sleep. It would have no effect while he was awake.” I ran to the door and caught Erestor as his sweating hand slipped off the paintwork.



“I got you.” I carried him over to the table and sat him on the chair.



Cherri went to the cupboard and took a white bone china cup, then she poured coffee into it. “Drink this Mr. Eress; you look like you need it.” He smiled at her and I could see why she thought he was such a nice person. A smile like that to me, and I would too.



Fern went into the other room; the one Erestor had just left. “Fin, get in here.”
Chapter 6 - Death by chocolate by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
What has happened in Erestor's bedroom?
The nurse lay on the floor, eyes wide open and jaw slack. Her mouth contained a half chewed chocolate; a thin line of brown stained drool hung in one long strand from her mouth and pooled on the carpet. The air was thick with the type of haze you get when walking through the perfume section of a department store. Neither of us went to help her. She was beyond anything we could do. Fern stood looking and shaking his head.



I walked into the kitchen, took a small cloth, and grabbed Erestor by the arm. “Come with me, Mr. Eress and tell us why your nurse is dead on the floor.” Cherri took his other arm to support him and we walked into the bedroom; she gasped, then collected herself. We sat Erestor on the bed and he stared at her.



“She was like that when I woke up.” Erestor continued staring, barely acknowledging us.



“Did you kill her?” Fern always asks the obvious, as if he expects a proper answer in return.



“No, I did not kill her.” Erestor dripped irony as he smirked in disbelief.



Fern looked at me and I shrugged. He turned his attention back to Erestor. “Are you sure she was she like this when you woke up?”



Erestor nodded and his eyes seemed heavy. Cherri moved closer and put her arm around him, guiding his head onto her shoulders. He fell asleep.



With the cloth wrapped around my hand I picked up the box of chocolates. Two were missing.



“What ones she have?” Fern was a sucker for chocolate; he made little chocolate houses for his kids every Christmas when they were small. He had to make double, so they would all get one. He even made me one last year.



“The tangerine surprise and the blackberry bombe, somewhat appropriate don’t you think.” I gave a small smile. “There’s a death by chocolate in here too and a cherry daze.” I winked at Cherri, who raised her eyebrows in return. She was not impressed.



“No laughing matter here, Fin. Put the chocolates down and let us all get out. I need to seal the room.” Fern looked at Erestor. “Get him out of here.”



Erestor hardly stirred in my arms. I sat him on the chair and he slumped forward with his head on the kitchen table, sleeping like a baby. “I want some blood taken off that one. I want to know if he is for real.” Fern held his mobile phone to his ear and called for the necessary backup.



We sat in the kitchen and waited. Cherri busied herself by boiling the potatoes and cauliflower in the chicken broth. I made coffee. Fern ate a ham sandwich and Erestor slept. It was not long before a whole swarm of people arrived. Everything in the room was examined, inspected, then taken away. Erestor hardly stirred when the doctor took his blood. He, at least, seemed convinced that Erestor was not faking.



Occasionally, Erestor would wake up and then fall asleep again. In his lucid moments, Cherri managed to get him to eat. Fern finished dealing with the influx of interested parties then asked me to step outside with him into the garden.



“I’m sorry to have to do this to you, but we need you in for questioning. Miggins died on your property and you have more than a passing interest in Eress. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.” Fern looked almost apologetic. He was doing his job. It wasn’t personal.



“Why wouldn’t I be interested? I am asked to investigate a missing woman, who as far as we know has never been reported as missing. I am given no details either and that night I am drugged, which Mr. Eress admits to, and his so called husband is found nailed to my garage door. But Mr. Eress couldn’t have done it because he very conveniently freaks out and has to be sedated.” I shrugged and walked back to the house leaving Fern to follow.



A blanket draped around Erestor’s shoulders. He curled up in the chair next to Cherri and they both read the laptop together. Standing behind them, neither was aware of my presence and both continued looking at the screen. I trained as a warrior, still comes in useful sometimes. Erestor’s eyes half shut and he laid his head on Cherri’s shoulder. On the screen was an Erestor and Glorfindel story. I recognised it. Erestor was pregnant and Glorfindel was running around Imladris in a gorilla suit to cure his angst at being reborn. What imaginations these slash writing ladies have; you just got to love them!



“Will you write me a nice Lindir and Melpomaen story, Cherri? One where they fuck like rabbits?” Erestor sounded sleepy, like a child, and Cherri tightened her hug a fraction.



“Of course I will, hon.” She smiled indulgently. “Want Saelbeth in it too? He can be their puppy.” Erestor grinned and snuggled closer.



I raised my eyebrows at Cherri’s Live Journal name; she was on my friends list and often wrote about Legolas and Aragorn. Her Aragorn was a more pleasant and cleaner character than the real life one, whom I never liked and barely tolerated. He was filthy in appearance and character, and his lack of personal hygiene could take your breath away. He made body odour and greasy hair an art form. Arwen obviously liked to slum it, but Legolas would have kicked his ass if he had come anywhere near him.



I remember Legolas: brave, forceful, even vicious and cruel, when the occasion demanded it, but stunningly beautiful and a fearsome warrior. He would be horrified at some of the fiction written about him. I thought I would take some with me when I sailed. Lucky for the slash writers he lived in a place of no return; he did not have a sense of humour. I decided not to be a fan and cleared my throat. Both jumped and the laptop hastily shut.



Cherri smiled. “I told you; you are not reading it. Go away and make a coffee. Go do something.” She flicked her hand at me. Erestor reached for his glass of water.



We left Erestor and Cherri with a police guard. Fern drove me to the police station and I told them all I knew. I did not tell them that I knew Erestor but I did tell them that the marriage certificate was missing and that Erestor accused Miggins of blackmailing him. I also told them of my discussion with the nurse. It seemed that everything was pointing to Eddie Fish by the end of it. I could not see him nailing anyone to a door though. They took some blood to check for residual traces of the drug that Erestor claimed he had slipped into the water and then I left.



“If we find the drug then you are probably not a suspect anymore.” Fern was trying to make me feel better and he had not been hard on me during the interview. I appreciated that. I have seen him in action; it could have been a lot worse. “Looks like Eddie Fish might have some explaining to do.” We drove back to the house so I could collect my car.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Erestor and Cherri ate chicken with roast potatoes. I wondered if they had left the kitchen all afternoon.



“Had enough of reading slash then?” They looked at me. Erestor seemed much brighter and grinned. Fern sighed and shook his head.



“You two want some dinner?” Cherri made to get up but I nodded. I wanted to go home, take a bath and get all the crap of the day out of my system.



Fern sat beside Erestor. “You had enough Lorazepam in your system to knock out a horse. It is a wonder you are still alive. How do you feel now?”



“I am feeling less sleepy now, thank you.” Erestor took a bite of chicken. “Every time I stirred, I felt her push another needle in me. I was so far gone that I knew she was overdosing me and I didn’t care. I could not do anything to stop her either. In the end, she would have killed me.”



“Well you are not an immediate suspect anymore.” Fern turned to me. “You could do with a chicken dinner. You look so beat that when you get home all you will do is go to sleep. I know you; I know what you are like. Get some food inside you, then go home and have an early night.”



I sat at the table and smiled. “All right, Dad.” He ruffled my hair, like I was his kid or something.



After the meal, we sat around for a while, making sure Cherri and Erestor would be all right staying in the house overnight. Eddie Fish had sent some thugs round to keep them safe, but Fern sent them packing. There would be a police guard instead.



It was well into the evening when we left. “You’re going off to see Eddie aren’t you?” Fern opened his car door and waited for the answer.



I grinned. “You know me too well, Fern.”



He looked concerned, and so he should; I am like his son, after all. “You have two hours. If I don’t know you are safe by then, we are coming in to get you.”



I grinned and got into my car. I watched him drive away and I followed behind until we reached the cut. He went one way and I went the other.
Chapter 7 - Summer Hills by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Glorfindel visits the Summer Hills Complex.
Summer Hills was exactly how Cherri described it. A large lake, with a compulsory boating shed over the far side, ringed with discreet log cabins of the luxury type. No slumming it for the people who came here. The cabins were so discreet that you could not see who your neighbour was, unless you really looked. Good place to take your lover. Your wife would never know; even if she came to spy on you she would have to look hard. A small jetty hung over the dark water. I sat at the end, feet swinging over the edge, absorbing the atmosphere. The night was still. The cicadas called out, drowning the soft splashes below when the fish broke the surface of the water. I remembered a Middle Earth covered in forest and grassland; you could look from the edge of a village and see for miles. Now you would be lucky to see across the street in most places.



Over at the far end of the lake was a clubhouse. I did not have much time, so I left the jetty and walked around the perimeter to where the music played. The open doors set a garish light onto the outside. Loud voices, chinking of glasses and false laughter accompanied the dreary seventies themed music. Middle-aged men danced how they thought they should and middle-aged women, with wide smiles and too much makeup, made out they were interested. Who would be a human? Glitter balls in the ceiling splashed bright moving lights across the walls.



Eddie Fish sat in the corner. His shared a table with an underdressed, red nailed, dyed-blonde, whom he was sweet talking and being witty to. She threw back her head in a harsh laugh. The gash of lipstick red widened and I knew I despised her.



I walked over and Eddie made as if he was pleased to see me, “Hey Fin, come and meet Chantelle.” Didn’t I just know she would be called something like that? It’s like calling a lump of lead a diamond.



She eyed me as I sat down and cared little that he was watching. “Nice to meet you,” I said, not meaning any of it, and then told Eddie that I needed to see him in private. He gestured for me to follow and told his bimbo to stay. She sulked; it meant she had to stop her hand from crawling further up my leg. If I were him, I would have tied her leash to the table leg then thrown a ball for her to fetch. I am cruel. Live with it; I do not care.



Eddie opened a door at the back of the hall leading onto a small corridor; at the end was his office. The door was open. He sat at his desk and I sat on a leather chair that reclined if I wanted it to. A large thug type joined us through a side door and stood by the wall.



“Drink?” Eddie poured a glass for himself but I refused.



“Your nurse is dead.” I wondered if he knew.



“Yes I know; police have been here already. They think she ate a poisonous chocolate meant for Mr. Eress. Can you add any to that or are you wasting my time, Mr. Dell?” Eddie was not happy to be away from his new best friend.



“Cut the shit, Eddie. Mr. Eress has told you to cooperate with me, so do it.” The thug behind made to move. “Get back against that wall before I snap your neck.” Eddie gestured that he should do so. One thing about Eddie, he had known me for years and knew I was consistent; a dead thug would be bad for business.



“Fin, Fin, Fin, do we have to talk like this?” He wanted to sound conciliatory, but I knew him too well. I waited for him to continue; sometimes silence is your best friend. “Mr. Eress said that I was to help you with the missing woman investigation.”



“Did he ever mention that Miggins was blackmailing him?” I looked directly at Eddie and he took a swallow of his drink.



“Miggins was a shit. He deserved to die. The nurse did not deserve what happened to her, but he did. Not even his mother could feel sorry for him.” He looked bothered.



“You have any idea who killed either of them?” I put my ankle on my knee and flicked some fluff from the bottom of the trouser; a movement not lost on Eddie.



Eddie told the thug to leave the room and check on Chantelle. I could have told him before he left he could not trust her. He leaned forward, voice low. “I don’t know who killed Miggins. Erestor was too drugged up to move, otherwise I would have said it was him, but as for the murder of my niece, who knows. She was a sweet, simple girl who kept her mouth and her manners clean. I was so proud of her. She made something of herself; she was respectable. She had just qualified, so I gave her a job here. I didn’t want her working too hard, besides there are too many diseases flying around a hospital; she could have caught something.”



“She was your niece?” He nodded and nearly let his grief get the better of him. “She looked a nice girl. I am sorry to hear that. To stop you putting two and two together and making five, it was me who gave her the twenties in her uniform pocket.”



“Glad you told me. I wondered if it was part of her killing. What did you do that for?” Eddie looked sharp at me and I smiled.



“I asked her to tell me what happened to Mr. Eress and she told me. I gave her the money because she saved me a lot of time.” I shrugged and leaned back in my seat.



“You always go around giving your money out just like that?”



“Careful Eddie. You know I would not touch your niece. Your hired thug is more likely to receive my attention.” Eddie laughed himself stupid at that. “What’s so funny?”



“He is her brother and you would be out of luck.” He put the glass down on the desk and I stayed relaxed.”I like to keep it in the family.”



“Was there ever a missing woman here or is it a pile of shit to pull me in?”



“One of the guests went missing here. We could not find her and Mr. Eress said he would get it sorted. So, he called you in and we didn’t file a missing person report.” He paused and I said nothing, so he continued. “She arrived about a month ago and took the cabin by the jetty. One morning, Miggins was in the bar and she walked up to him, slapped him hard across the face, and asked him what he thought he was doing. She took a marriage certificate from her bag and brandished it in his face. Apparently, she was married to him and never divorced, so the marriage between him and Erestor was never legal anyway. I tried to have it annulled but Miggins blocked it. A crooked lawyer and the world is your oyster.” He shrugged. “I should know. Miggins needed power and being married to Mr. Eress gave him a lot of protection, or so he thought.”



“How did Miggins have such a hold over you?”



“Miggins was in partnership with Mr. Eress. He didn’t have the money to go it alone and so he asked him to be a silent partner. Mr. Eress owns half this city in that way. Miggins was my employer, as was Mr. Eress, who would not let him fire me.”



“He threatened to fire you?” I was surprised; Eddie never let anyone push him around.



“He tried and Mr. Eress entertained me by holding a gun to Miggins head and firing it. There was no bullet in the chamber and Mr. Eress knew that, but Miggins didn’t and he shit his pants, literally.” Eddie laughed at that; made me smile too. “Mr. Eress told him that there was a bullet in the next chamber and he started begging for his life. I hated the bastard. I would not take his shit and Mr. Eress made sure he knew it.”



“How is Mr. Eress so powerful? I never heard of him before this. I thought I knew everyone worth knowing.” I lied. I knew of Mr. Eress, but not his true identity. His persona was of a shadowy figure manipulating half the city, killing because he could, with no one any the wiser. Eddie looked at me, wondering if he should say any more.



“Hardly anyone knows about Mr. Eress. He came from nowhere, about twenty years ago, and muscled in on everyone’s action. No attempt on his life was successful because no one knew for sure who he was or what he looked like. He was not afraid to get his hands dirty though. You ever hear of Hungry Larry? Mr. Eress walked into his building, unseen by anyone, and shot him point blank in the face. No one knows how he got away with that. Police had no idea who to look for either.” He shook his head as though it were an unsolvable mystery. I knew how he did it; Erestor is an elf and an elf chooses whether to be seen or not. It was as simple as that. I was more intrigued that I had never connected Mr. Eress with being the arch criminal who ran the city underworld. As a private detective I should have done; however, it seemed that even Fern was not aware who he really was. I felt better about that.



“How did you meet him?” I looked at the drink and wondered if it was too late to have one.



“He advertised for an accountant and was offering double what anyone else was paying. I just got out of university and he offered to pay my student loans and clear my debt. Chance of a lifetime. Just in case you are wondering; I am still very loyal to Mr. Eress and, even though things have changed, he looked after me when I first started, so I continue making sure he is all right.” The threat was not lost on me but it was useless and he knew it.



“How come you feel safe sharing this with me?” I looked intently at him.



“If Mr. Eress says to trust you then that is good enough for me. Of course, if you double cross Mr. Eress I will kill you.” He smirked and sipped the last of his drink.



“Of course.” I smiled. I had known Eddie Fish for many years as an acquaintance and I had his respect. I never knew who else employed him; just that he was my accountant. I guess you have to take in private work when covering for an illegal organisation. Too many ask questions and make it their business to know just how that lifestyle is funded. He knew he could not kill me and the threat was false, but he also wanted me to know that he feared Erestor more. If I were him, I would have done so too. “I will come back when it is light and we can talk about the missing woman some more. Right now I could do with a sleep.”



Eddie threw a cabin key to me and I caught it. “Mr. Eress says we are to look after you.” He grinned. “You sure you want to be alone tonight? I could get you some company.”



I refused. I was beat and wanted to sleep. “Thanks, I didn’t much feel like going home; never know what might be hanging there.”



“Meet me for breakfast in the restaurant. We will talk about the woman then and I can show you her cabin.” He looked tired too, but he went out into the light, took Chantelle by the arm and kissed her fingers. I went off in search of my cabin. I needed some sleep.



The cabin was on two levels. Stairs led up to the bedroom, which overlooked the main living area beneath. I used the en-suite shower and went downstairs to pour a drink. Fern answered his phone on the second ring. I told him about Eddie and said I was staying in a cabin by the lake. He was not keen, but did not argue.



“I’m ringing you in the morning, first thing.” I smiled and thanked him as I climbed the stairs.



The bed was soft. I flopped into the middle and closed my eyes. The events of the day ran through my head before I fell asleep. I never noticed anyone entering my bed until they pressed their lips to mine and caressed me with an experienced hand that knew just where to touch. Awareness hit quickly; it was like coming home.
Chapter 8 by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Who is in Glorfindel's bed?
My fingers fisted his hair as he kissed my mouth. Hands reached down and caressed my sides and I shuddered away from the delicate teasing touch. Breaking the kiss, I flipped him over. He gasped. In the dim light, his dark eyes shone with shock and desire. I kissed him roughly, hungrily and brutally. Fingers dug into my ribs and a hand pulled my hair. I paused to look, then kissed his neck, marking him as mine. I had waited so long and yet I had not known what I was really waiting for. Now I knew and it was mine, for now.




A sharp bite to his nipple and he cried out. The other one sucked so hard that he arched from the bed. No time for sensual teasing and gentleness; I wanted him badly and couldn’t hold on. Needing him hard and fast, I knew this would not be a long session.




“Lube.” I growled; his eyes widened. He passed me the tube and it emptied it into my palm. Lining my hardness up against his entrance, I pushed and watched him gasp as it entered his body. I did not wait for him to become accustomed; it was not that kind of fuck. Withdrawing slightly, then pushing in hard, it felt good, like coming home. My breathing came loud and harsh and skin slapped skin as I rammed into his wet heat. Pulling on my shoulders, he urged me to go faster. Legs wrapped around my back and pulled me in hard. He cried for me to go harder, but I kissed his open mouth, forcing my tongue down so far he could hardly breathe. Moving my hand up and down his length, we came together. His back arched as I yelled his name for all to hear.




Slumping down onto his chest, I asked the question at the back of my mind. “That lube wasn’t poisoned was it?”




He slapped me hard. I probably asked for it. Maybe the last time he had done something like that was in Imladris. It didn’t hurt to be safe.




“How could you? I came here because I still love you. I wanted everything to be good. You just spoiled everything.” Pushing me away, he made to get out of bed. Pulling him back, I held him down. Excited eyes looked up at me; waiting for the kiss, he knew would come.




“You are going nowhere and if you try I will drag you back here. You are staying, like it or not.” Strong arms held him tight, so he could not move and he relished it.




His dark eyes glittered and he gave the sexiest grin, just daring me for more. I plundered his mouth as hard as I could. Hands held his head in place, my body stopping him from moving. When I finished I gave him a satisfied smile.



“Fuck me again.” His voice taunted, as if I could not do it. So I fucked him again and did it hard. How could I resist my beautiful and dangerous Erestor?




Eventually when the sun was rising, he fell asleep beside me. I followed shortly after; it seemed a good idea; there was nothing else to do.




The morning came quickly. Erestor slept peacefully, as if an innocent. How did I feel about still being in love with one who had let madness and evil shape the actions of his life? Love chose him for me; I had no hand in it. Even so, Erestor would always be the one. He is the reason I stayed. Until I found him, there was no sailing west. Now, when the call comes, I will take him with me, but I dare not live with him again, he is too dangerous. Kissing him tenderly, I softly urged him to wake. Beautiful, brown eyes looked sleepily at me, pulling me in, and drowning me in their promise of warmth. I remembered that look and it chilled me to the bone.




Our relentless and violent coupling the night before left no room for gentleness. Holding him tenderly and stroking his face with soft fingertips, I told him how much I loved him. We kissed, my tongue pushing into the warm velvet mouth and I softly caressed his body with a lightness that made him sigh with pleasure.




Pushing up against me, our arousals brushed together, so subtly that I could not tell whose was the hand that brought us to our conclusion; both of us gripped together as if it were always meant. I looked down to a beautiful smile and I was lost.




We lay for a while, Erestor in my arms. “Where do we go from here?” he asked.




“We don’t.” I looked at his shocked face and my heart filled with pain. “Too many awful things have happened. You made my life a living hell in Gondolin and Imladris. I am not letting you do it again.” The words ripped into my fa as I said them, but I could not indulge myself. In the end I would get hurt as always and he wasn’t hurting me again.




“But…” Tears spilled from his eyes, an old trick and one he is especially good at. “I am not the same elf that I was then.”




“You said that in Imladris and like a fool I believed you. Too much has happened? I cannot trust you and I will not live like that ever again.” I did not court anger, but it came anyway. “I am sorry, Erestor. I love you, but those days are over.”




“Yes, they are over. I would not hurt you again. I love you.” His sobs wrenched me in two, even though they were not real.




“Erestor.” I held him to my chest. “I love you, but I have to protect myself. Don’t you see that? How can I trust the one who tried to kill me?”




“I’m so sorry. Please don’t hate me.” Loud sobs and his tears fell onto my chest.




“I don’t hate you. I love you.” My fingers stroked his head and, after a suspiciously short while, his tears stopped.




“If you love me, how can you give me up?” Eyes swollen and wet looked accusingly at me.




“It is hard, so hard.” My heart and fa broke. Laying on my front, I looked away and grieved for what could have been.
Chapter 9 - The Tears of the Morning by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Erestor tries to persuade Glorfindel that he has changed.
A warm tear dripped on my back. “You will love me again and you will want me. Neither of us can deny our hearts and you will always be my soul mate.” Lines straight out of a B movie. His voice broke, for effect, but he carried on. “You know this, and we will always keep finding one another until the day we agree to be together. That will be the day we can sail west. You know that neither of us can go until we become as one, so why use caution when it is what we both want?”



“I do want you and I do love you and I know we have to be together for us to sail, but I would rather fade into nothing and die here than let you hurt me again.” I looked away so he could not see the silent grief in my eyes.



“What about me? What about how I feel? What about what I want?”



“Everything has always been about what you want. All through your life everything has been about you. What about the elves and humans you killed? They had the right to ask that too, but you decided for them.” It sounded harsh, but all of it was true and he knew it.



His hand touched my shoulder and stayed there. “I cannot take any of it back, Glorfindel. I cannot undo any of it. I wish I could because it has made you hate me. You say you love me but I know this is not the truth. You have crossed the line between love and hate and you are mistaking one for the other.” He hesitated. ”You do not love me anymore and that is plain to see. I mistook your desire for love and now I feel cheap and useless. Make no mistake; I do love you and now nothing seems worth it anymore. My life means nothing. For the past five years I made it a priority to find you again and now that I have, there is nothing for me at all.”



I sat up and gathered him into my arms. “I am so sorry, Erestor. You are wrong. I do love you and even in my darkest days I could not hate you.”



“But not enough to try again.” The beautiful body shuddered as tears fell afresh from his eyes onto my chest.



“Erestor, look at me. I do love you and if I knew you had truly changed, and I would not be in danger, you would be mine forever.” The kiss on his forehead was small comfort to him.



“I don’t know how to show you or convince you that I have changed, and I do not know that I can.” He looked down. “I will go to the Halls of Waiting so that you can sail. You do not have to see me again.” He rose from the bed and dressed quickly.



“What do you mean, Erestor?” I knew exactly what he meant. I could sail and he would be reborn, but this was not the way. Everything was wrong.



He looked back at me with furrowed brow. “This is the best way for both of us.” For effect, he ran down the stairs and opened the door to the outside.



He was nearly in his car before I caught him and dragged him back into the cabin. I pushed him onto the settee and held him there, ignoring his passing smirk of victory. “I will not have you kill yourself because of me. I am not being responsible for your death. How selfish are you, Erestor?” He could go to hell with his manipulation, it didn’t work anymore.



He struggled, half heartedly, yelling that I was the selfish one and denying us both a last chance of happiness. “You are cutting off your nose to spite your face,” he yelled angrily. “I will not fade. If I go to the Halls I will be reborn. I am not scared to die, Glorfindel; it is not forever.”



“Supposing I never sail?” I wanted to punch him hard for forcing me into a corner. My fist uncurled. I would not play his game.



“That is your choice and a risk I would have to take, but I would hope you would sail because I want a new life for us.” He quietened and his voice took on a pleading tone. “I do not want this shit anymore. I have had enough. I do not want to be bad and hated anymore. I want to be better and I know the Valar can cure me. Please, Glorfindel; I am doing what I can.”



Erestor never admitted his crimes before, even when confronted with them. Guilt, remorse and regret were foreign concepts to him; he was unable to feel them. Never would he admit before that he was in need of help, or so desperate. We had to sail. I felt reduced in substance and diminishing. Erestor felt it too. These were our last moments.



“Promise me you will not kill yourself and we will find a way for us to sail to Aman together. We do not have much time left and we need to go sooner rather than later.” I held the beautiful head to my chest and kissed his hair.



He looked up at me, as a child would. “Thank you. I promise. We will sail together.” Then he put his head down again.



“Why are you crying?” I asked softly as I felt the wet of his tears fall on my skin.



“Because you have made me so happy.”



It was then that I knew Erestor had changed, or at least gave the impression of doing so. How far it went I did not know, but the signs were there nonetheless. My impulsive heart raced with anticipation at what could be but my head kept it firmly in check. We would have to see…
Chapter 10 - Imladris by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Glorfindel reflects upon when he arrived in Imladris as the new Captain of the Guard.
We sat holding one another. Silent, not saying a word, thinking our own thoughts. I couldn’t tell what was racing through Erestor’s head, but through mine were the events that separated us the last time.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



A storm greeted my entry into the courtyard of the Last Homely House. The rain fell as though it meant it, bouncing off my leather cloak and hitting the ground. I remained dry. Fastened shutters and doors secured against the storm made the house look grey and friendless. A bolt of lightning hit one of the towers. I shrugged. I was here now; they could let me in. The stables were nearby. Asfaloth needed shelter more than I did, so that’s where we went. Inside the air was warm and sweet, the hay fresh and the water clean. A bag of apples hung from a spike and a stable boy lay asleep on a sack of feed. I told Asfaloth it could have been worse. She ignored me, as she always did; she never listened to trivial speech. I woke the young elf and gave him a gold piece. Without exchanging a word, he took it and led her to a stall.



I looked out through the door, waiting for a lull. Growing impatient, I ran as fast as I could. My fist hammered on the main door; the knocker was broken. Freezing cold rain ran down my neck. I cursed myself for not putting my hood up; it was filling with water so it was not an option anymore. Those elves were slow in coming. I hammered hard and shouted until they unlocked the door.



A surly, warrior type elf asked who I thought I was, shouting like that. I ordered him to take me to Lord Elrond and he refused. I ordered him again and he asked who I thought I was.



“Lord Glorfindel. The new Captain of the Guard. Take me to Lord Elrond.”



He blanched. How I loved doing that. He said that Elrond was in a meeting and could not be disturbed. I asked him if he was a warrior and he replied that he was.



“We have not got off on the right foot, have we?” He blanched again. I knew he would. “Take me to where he is and I will do the rest.” He was unhappy, but what the hell. I did not give a shit. My hand rested on his shoulder. “Fear me the most, because I can make you know that life is not worth living.”



It was not lost on him. “Yes Sir! I will take you there, but I should tell you that when Lord Elrond is in a meeting it is not always a meeting, well not in the conventional sense anyway.” He looked uncomfortable.



“I like your loyalty...” I waited for him to supply his name. It was Andaer.



We stood outside a carved wooden door painted a matte, off-white colour. “Go now.” Andaer did not need telling twice. I knocked hard and the door opened after a minute or so.



My cloak was over my arm and the cold wetness of my clothing made me tired and I ached. “Oh! Lord Glorfindel?” I glared at Elrond. Who the fuck did he think I was? I was expected, after all. A blond elf in the back of the room wearing just a bed robe sat at the table with a cup of tea and regarded me with a tired curiosity. “Lindir, I will be back later on to see how you are getting on.” Elrond shut the door behind him and we walked along the corridor.



“I am a healer as well.” Elrond looked at me, daring me to disagree.



“Sure you are.” I smirked. He laughed loudly and clapped me on the back. “We were expecting you after the storm. It is rough weather to be riding.”



“I am a warrior.”



“So am I. It is still rough weather to be riding.”



We stopped at his rooms and he invited me inside. I sat at the table and he poured two glasses of miruvor. The fiery liqueur warmed me and I did not feel cold anymore. “Your clothes are wet. Do you want to change? My clothes should fit you and you can have a bath.” He shrugged. “I apologise but your room is not ready.” He walked over to the wall and pulled the bell cord. A servant arrived. I did not catch what they said.



The bath warmed me through and made me feel an elf again. Warmed through, everything looked much better than before. Elrond entered the bath and relaxed over the other side. It was was more like a small pool; you could teach a kid to swim in it.



I wanted him. He was strong, graceful, elegant, and so damn sexy. I wanted to fuck him hard and he knew it. I ran my hand up his calf, his thigh and then his chest. He breathed hard and fast and pulled me closer. Our tongues fought in a warrior kiss, a battle for dominance. Here was no soft and gentle lover. Here was an elf that would meet me half way and would demand as much as I would. I let him take me; I was being polite. Then I took him. Water splashed across the floor and walls, we were rutting animals and enjoying every minute. When we came down from our pleasure, we saw a figure standing before us, watching us from the door.



Elrond grinned and inside I died. “Erestor! Say hello to Glorfindel. He is our new Captain. You already know, of course.”



Erestor raised an eyebrow, gave us both a superior look, then turned around and left.
Chapter 11 - Torture by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Glorfindel continues telling what happened in Imladris. This chapter and the following one are not for the sensitive or faint hearted - non-explicit torture and extreme emotional distress in this chapter. Murder and extreme emotional distress in the next chapter. Don't worry - the story ends happily :D
How was Erestor in Elrond’s house? What right did he have to expect fidelity from me? He lost that when he yelled that I should die in the fall of our city. I determined to dismiss him, but inside I was filled with cold fear. I knew what he could do.



Elrond raised a surprised eyebrow; the other stayed in place, no doubt the more cynical of the two. “It is unlike Erestor to be so rude.”



“I knew Erestor in Gondolin. We were lovers. I did not know he would be here.” My face flushed. I did not want him to see, so I looked away.



“I am so sorry. I would never have…”



“No. He has no claim over me. My last memory was of him wishing my death. I told him to stop thinking about saving himself and to lead the survivors out of the city.” It is not often that Elrond is confused, but he was. “He wanted me to stop fighting and carry him away to safety. When I refused he lost his temper and yelled that he hoped that I was killed. When the balrog took me, I saw him laugh. That was my last memory of him and it has stayed with me ever since, in the Halls and now here.”



“This is not the Erestor that we know in Imladris; however, elves can change and it may have been that leading the survivors to safety was the making of him. I cannot even countenance the Erestor you talk of.” He did not believe me; that was my first impression anyway. Maybe, Erestor had changed; so why didn’t I believe it?



I got out of the bath, took a towel and dried off. Damn you Erestor, I will not let you screw this life up. Who the fuck do you think you are?



Elrond followed after. We sat at the table drinking miruvor with towels round our waists, our skin bare and hair tousled and wet.



“I was going to offer you the use of my bed tonight.” Elrond looked half-uncomfortable and half-hopeful.



Outside was dark and the lightning lit the room through the gaps in the shutters. I needed to feel loved, if only for a night. “You still are.” I took his hand and led him to the bed. I knew he would not resist. It was a good night. I needed it more than he could know.



Elrond introduced me at breakfast. Erestor never once made eye contact. That was how it was going to be for several weeks. There was plenty of spurious, damaging gossip; most of it about how I had ‘mistreated Erestor’ in Gondolin. That shit could have only come from him. One day, a couple of weeks after my arrival, I saw him walking down a corridor and disappearing into his rooms. It was time to set some boundaries.



His door was plain, with a small gold coloured metal flower that served as a knocker. The flower of my house in Gondolin. What the fuck was the bastard playing at? I knocked hard. No answer. I knocked again. Still no answer. The next knock was with my boot kicking the door in. I stormed in and everything went black. Erestor’s fist punched me square on the temple and everything turned dark.



I said before that he was strong, and he must have been to haul me across the floor and heave me onto the bed. I awoke spread-eagled and tied to the posts. Of course, I was nude. Erestor was never one to cut corners.



The whole of Arda would freeze over before I let him know how scared I was. To the side lay a tray; items meant for me arranged on top. I watched him, carefully testing the strength of the ties that bound my wrists and ankles.



“Untie me, you bastard.”



“You will not break free.” A cruel smirk; this was the Erestor I knew.



He leaned over and kissed me. I kept my mouth firmly shut. My body arched as the whip slashed across my stomach and I cried out. “When I want to kiss you, I will.”



“You will not break me. Do your worst.” I should have kept my mouth shut. I writhed in agony; the pain was exquisite in extremity. All the time the soft voice talking to me. Never raised and seeming so reasonable when compared to the suffering wrung from my helpless, bound and gagged body. I thought I knew pain and terror when the balrog snared me with its fiery whip and I burned alive. That was quick, and nothing compared to the ministrations of the beautiful and extremely wicked elf before me. He knew the meaning of pain. He knew exactly what it could do.



It took all day and most of the night. He broke me. He broke my body and my spirit. I lay in his arms sobbing like a child, my mind completely gone. I was grateful to him for stopping and as he held me in his arms, I did not want to be anywhere else. I was grateful for every soft touch and each endearment soothed my tortured fa. I remember saying many times how sorry I was. Erestor’s soft words, as I lay shaking in his arms, made me feel that everything would be forgiven, that by his grace everything would be all right. I loved him so much for that and it terrified me.
Chapter 12 - Melpomaen by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Glorfindel remembers how Erestor killed an elfling in Imladris and he was powerless to prevent it. You may need tissues. Rest assured - this is the worst of Erestor - everything is uphill from now on :D
I could hear the bath running. In the background Erestor sung softly. I recognised the tune, a hymn we learned as children in our Gondolin schoolroom praising Nienna for her mercy. The irony was not lost on me, but I was too far gone to enjoy it. The cloying scent of vanilla and almond wafted through the bedroom reminding me of the creamy custard confections sold on the street stands in our former home. Gondolin had been beautiful but Erestor took it away and made it seem ugly. The aroma recalled memories of naive innocence, now lost forever. The tears slipped from my eyes.



A hand caressed my cheek and my bruised slit eyes tried to open. Lips tenderly kissed them shut. “I have to tell Elrond our good news, sweet one. Back soon.” Another kiss. “Will miss you, my love. My sweet one.” The door closed behind him and I was alone.



He did not have to tell me to stay in bed or warn me about leaving the room. I could not move, not without severe pain. “Please Nmo,” I prayed, “Please take me, I cannot fulfil the oath.” Of course, no help came. I lay still and waited, wondering how Erestor could do this to me. What was in him that made him so wicked? What made him enjoy my pain? I would never understand. So that I could live with the psychological effects, I told myself that he was mad and could not help his actions. He wasn’t. He knew what he was doing. There were no answers; he was evil and that was that, despite being born into a stable family with no concerns about his behaviour occurring as an elfling; not that I know of anyway. I am at a loss to explain any of it.



A knock on the door and it opened. I could not see who it was but I heard the gasp. “Glorfindel what happened to you?”



“Ah, Melpomaen there you are. I was hoping to see you today. Glorfindel was injured in a skirmish with a group of orcs last night and Elrond said that I can look after him.” Erestor sounded cheerful and pleasant. “Poor thing. He is so brave. We are so lucky that we have such selfless warriors to protect us. Are we not?”



Melpomaen took my hand and held it. “Glorfindel, I think you are very brave and thank you for protecting us and making sure we are all safe.” I tried to answer but could only grunt. Get out of here Melpomaen. Someone, please, knock on Erestor’s door and take the elfling away.



“Mel, it is your fiftieth begetting day tomorrow, is it not?” Erestor sounded so warm and pleasant. “Let us have a glass of wine, only one glass mind. We don’t want you getting tiddly.”



“Thank you, Uncle Erestor. It smells lovely in here, doesn’t it?” The elfling drank the wine and talked excitedly about his coming of age party. “Uncle Erestor, I feel funny.” If any of the Valar are listening, get him out of here. Get this evil bastard away from him…



“Melpomaen, you will not remember being in my rooms at all this morning, do you understand?” The voice changed and I feared the worst.



Their voices faded into the distance as they left the rooms. I could not hear what they were saying, but I blame Erestor for Melpomaen’s death the following month. He was never the same again and seemed to diminish before our very eyes. He faded rapidly and we knew not why. Elrond could not divine the reason and the preparations to take him to the Havens came too late. He never had the chance to sail. I grieved for him and I still do. He was little more than an elfling. It is to my eternal shame that if I had not been so terrified of Erestor, I might have been able to stop him from dying. I cannot change things, and I cannot live in the past, but I hope there is a retribution for the death of an innocent who had no reason not to trust the one, who I am convinced, killed him.



Erestor came back after a while and told me that he had taken Melpomaen to the healing wing and delivered him into the care of Elrond. I later found this was true. Melpomaen had seemed to recover after a nap and it was thought that maybe he did not tolerate alcohol very well. The morning after his begetting celebration he was found sitting in the corridor outside his room, drooling and staring into space. He recognised no one, not even his mother. Erestor was never suspected; he had always been trustworthy in the past and was an old family friend. Melpomaen’s mother clung to him during the funeral and said that if it had not been for Erestor, she could not have carried on. Melpomaen was her only son. Her husband was killed in a riding accident some years before, so now she was truly alone. She sailed shortly after. How I hated Erestor for that, and I still do. It was so needless and cruel and I know in my heart that he was Melpomaen’s murderer.



Melpomaen had left the room alive, even though he felt strange, and so I relaxed and let myself sleep, not suspecting the awfulness that was to come. Sleep came quickly and I remained so until Erestor softly announced that I needed a bath. An arm gently slid under my shoulders and I hissed with the pain. Erestor said nothing. His other arm moved under my knees and he picked me up. It hurt to breathe and he attempted to soothe my distress by talking to me and telling me that everything would be all right. For him maybe, but never for me.



I look at him now, thousands of years later. He sits on my lap and my arms encircle him. He is upset and seemingly vulnerable; the dried tracks where his tears ran still show on his cheeks. He doesn’t fool me. I wonder how I still love him. I do not know the answer. However, I know exactly why I hate him; that is very clear. I see no answer to how I feel about him, and that may be what is holding us both back.
Chapter 13 - The Parting by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Glorfindel concludes the events in Imladris and tells of his love for Elrond before coming back to present day.
The bath was warm and soothed my aching body. Erestor held me in position as I floated in the scented water. A cloth gently wiped my skin and the blood washed away. Through bruised, slit eyes I could see my tormentor. I quickly shut them again. Strong fingers gently washed through my hair while I wondered at the paradox of how one so brutal could be so gentle. Erestor spoke to me in his soft voice, reassuring me and telling me that everything would be all right. I had to believe him; I could not do otherwise. He would have known and I feared the consequences.




He sat me by the fire and dried me, before putting me back to bed. “Sleep, precious one.” A small glass touched my lips. I drank, hoping it was poison.




Elrond was under the impression that we wanted to be alone, that we patched up our differences and wanted to be together again. He was so happy that he sent roses and some wine. As an afterthought, he gave us a couple of weeks away from our duties, so nothing could interrupt our path to ‘true love’. I had no idea that he already suspected Erestor of being unstable; there was no proof and none knew the depths of Erestor’s character, not even him. He was also suspicious of Melpomaen’s death, but could not understand how it was achieved. Therefore, no overt investigation took place. Elrond never suspected the hell I endured and I never told him; I was too embarrassed.




I recovered slowly. Slower than an elf normally would, my heart was broken and my mind not far behind. Life continued and we were, apparently, a happy couple. Erestor was not as vicious as he was in Gondolin and displayed fewer extremes of temper, so life was more bearable than before. Natural deviousness and life experience had taught him not to show any hint of his madness where it could be heard or seen. I remained extremely wary of him, but, no matter what, the slightest disobedience or rebellion would be punished with a repeat of the first terrifying assault, and it would happen without warning and at his whim.




The day came when I rescued the hobbits. I did not care if I lost my life. The black riders could strike my body down and I would welcome it. However; I fulfilled my vow and the evil swept away. After the Council of the Ring I awoke tied to the bed, no doubt drugged by Erestor. He accused me of putting myself deliberately in danger so that I could escape him. None of the previous tortures approached the intensity and agony he put me through that night. I had regained some seeds of self-esteem and, for the first time, felt that my return to Middle Earth was not for nothing. He destroyed all of that. It is recorded that Elrond sent me to make the outlying lands safe for the ring party but, in reality, I was in the healing rooms. Elrond and his healers worked all night, trying to save my life. Erestor disappeared that evening. I never saw him again, until now.




Recovery took months. I was so weak that Elrond suggested I sail. Those who looked at me saw a shadow of what I had once been, thin and gaunt, my hair like straw. Aragorn gasped when he saw me at his coronation and embraced me, with tears in his eyes. “What happened to you, my friend?”




“Erestor.” Elrond said grimly and put a supporting hand on my shoulder.




Elrond stayed with me until I regained my strength. He held me at night, guarding my body and my sanity. As elves left the house to sail, we became more intimate. Then I knew what it was to be in a relationship with someone who did not want to hurt me. Someone who cared about me, for no other reason than wanting to.




The time came for Elrond to sail. We stayed with Aragorn and Arwen for several months and he resisted as long as he could. One day, he arose from our bed and said that he would make his way to the Havens. We said our goodbyes and he left me watching him from the main defensive wall. I stared into the distance, my heart heavy and overwhelmed. Elrond was not my soul mate, but I loved him and I still do. I will never forget his generosity of spirit and his extreme care and kindness. Without him, I would not be here and I would not know the value of being; perhaps his most valuable gift.




Elves faded from living memory and became folklore. I wandered through the ages, waiting for the call to sail. When I went to the Havens a couple of years ago, they did not exist anymore, in any form, not even as an archaeological curiosity. I wonder why I thought they would. A large council estate stood over the ground where once Cirdan’s castle had proudly stood.




Everything is lost in the end.
Chapter 14 - Honey Miggins by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Glorfindel goes with Eddie Fish to the cabin where Honey Miggins stayed.
Part 14 – Honey Miggins



Fern rang for an update and I told him I was still alive. Perhaps he thought Erestor would kill me. He went home shortly before Fern rang, but I stayed to see Eddie Fish about the missing woman. In the restaurant we shared a greasy breakfast. Nothing like food running in fat to subdue a recalcitrant stomach. Fried bread dipped in tinned tomatoes and runny egg yolk; there is nothing like it.



“Her name was Honey. Nothing sweet about her though. Tough, like a tiger.” Eddie cut a mushroom in half. The knife scraped a high-pitched sound across the plate and I wondered if he always did that. “She was medium height, brown hair, green eyes. She had a disapproving mouth, like everything she saw offended her. Know what I mean?”



I nodded. “You could be describing most women.” I took a bite of fried bread. It tasted of bacon fat. It tasted good.



“Her nose was always wrinkling like something shit on her upper lip; still can’t have been easy with Miggins. She said he took her money and ran off with it.” Eddie waved a sausage around on the end of his fork. “So I heard, that bit was true.”



“Did she have a lot of money?” That sausage was going to part company with the fork.



“Her father owns a photographic studio. Settled a large sum on her when Miggins took her off his hands.” Eddie took a bite of the sausage and two drops of fat fell on the plate.



“What sort of photographic studio?” I mopped up the tomato juice with some of my bread and looked at him. For the hell of it, I let some juice drip onto my plate.



“Not the sort that would take your kids photos.” Eddie grinned. “I hear they are looking for well built young men for their centrefolds.” He laughed at his joke.



“You going to audition then?” I raised an eyebrow, knowing that he knew he was a skinny little runt.



“Fuck you, Fin.” He laughed; it was false and we both knew it.



“So she runs after him. Then what?” I yawned, and stretched my arms upwards. A couple of women sharing a table over the other side leered at me. I mouthed silently and smugly, “I’m gay.” They looked at each other and giggled. The blond one mouthed, “So are we.” They giggled some more.



“Well suddenly she goes missing and Miggins seems none the wiser. Maybe he killed her. Wouldn’t put it past him.” Eddie was finishing his meal and I was glad. When he opened his mouth to speak his lips made a glitchy noise and his jaw clacked when he chewed. Probably broke it in the past. Didn’t mean he should make us have to listen to it. Noisy bastard; should have eaten in a room on his own.



“You want to show me where she stayed?” I stood up and Eddie followed, after wiping his thin lips on a cotton napkin.



We walked out into the sunshine. The morning freshness faded as the heat set in. A heat haze shimmered over the lake and midges buzzed in clouds at the water’s edge. We walked to a medium sized cabin with two bedrooms on the upper level.



“Has the cabin been cleaned since she left?” I knew it had.



“We didn’t know she was gone, until she didn’t come back. Her clothes are still in the wardrobe.” He looked apologetic and gave me a photo. “This is what she looked like.”



“You assume she is dead?” Seemed a foregone conclusion and I wondered why Eddie was not being more careful. Perhaps he didn’t feel like a suspect.



“People don’t disappear leaving their clothes behind. Her purse is missing, but that is all.” Eddie went over to the window and opened it. “Bit stuffy in here.”



“You think Miggins killed her?” Eddie nodded. “How about Mr. Eress?”



“Why would Mr. Eress kill her?” Eddie gave me a sharp, angry glance.



“Because he is a psycho, that’s why.” I knew my stuff; didn’t hurt for Eddie to know too.



“Mr. Eress hasn’t killed anyone since his car crash. Says he hasn’t felt like it. Doesn’t give him the same kick. You know what I mean?” I gave him my best sceptical look. “Mr. Eress would have welcomed Honey so he could get the fake marriage annulled. Without a Mrs. Miggins he couldn’t prove a thing.”



“Who did you pay to tear the marriage certificate out of the book?”



Eddie looked surprised, but recovered quickly. “Mr. Eress is a sleeping partner in a temp agency. They supply the local council, so it was easy. She didn’t realise there was an index page; she’s not the brightest button in the box.” Eddie laughed at his joke and I grinned.



“Is Mr. Eress a sleeping partner in every business in this city?” I was being sarcastic, but Eddie nodded and said that pretty much, he was. I looked at the small photo of the woman. She looked like it hurt her to smile. Miggins stood beside her, looking her way with a wide smile and cold eyes. The whole photo was set in a faded heart border. How romantic. “Young lovers, eh?”



Eddie was losing interest and nodded. “Have to go now, Fin. Got places to go and people to see.” He couldn’t wait to get out. Maybe the place gave him the creeps. If it did then he knew more than he was letting on. “Why don’t you stay?” He tossed the key onto the sofa, grinned and left.



I sat on a chair taking in the atmosphere. I am an elf and I feel things. She was dead. When I saw her sitting opposite me with a veil over the upper half of her face, I had half expected it. I felt her presence and knew at some point she would appear.



I looked directly at her. “I can’t help you, Mam. He is already dead.”



“I know he is dead. Hell, I would have done it myself if I could.” She shifted a bit on the seat. “Find my body Glorfindel. It is in the lake. Go to the jetty and get me out of there. I want to go back home.”



“How do you know my name?” She threw me. I had not used my real name in hundreds of years.



“I don’t know. I am new at this. You think I know everything?” She seemed impatient and started picking at her dress.



“Do you know who killed Miggins?” I thought it was worth asking but she shook her head and told me to get out into the sun before a kid found her. “One last question?” She assented and I asked if Miggins killed her.



“Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, are you?”



I ran to the jetty and there was a waterlogged hand barely brushing the surface. In a while the body would break water, so I rang Fern and told him. It took barely fifteen minutes for him and the support services to reach Summer Hills.



The two divers pulled her out of the water. She wore the dress that she wore as a ghost but there was nothing over her face.



“Fuck!” Fern hardly ever used bad language but this took his breath away. I knew then why she wore a veil.
Chapter 15 by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Honey has a hidden secret.
There was no need for the way Honey Miggins died. It was an act of barbaric cruelty. The wickedness that lay behind this deed called out Erestor’s name. He was capable of doing such a deed, it just wasn’t his style. Miggins deserved to die horribly, nailed to my garage door and slowly bleeding to death. But who killed him? Only one could have stood up to this demon; that was Erestor, but he had the tightest of alibis.



Honey’s pallid, waterlogged skin was slashed to ribbons across her belly. A tiny piece of white protruded from one of the deeper cuts. She stood next to me and gasped. “My baby.” I wanted to comfort her but how do you hold a ghost? I looked at her; she seemed to be at the end of her second trimester. I wondered why I had not seen that before. “She will never be born now, I will always carry her.”



Some people your heart just dies for.



Fern was not looking anywhere but her face, and still reeling from the shock. “Where the fuck are her eyes? Where are her eyelids? What sick bastard would do something like this?” Even I was stunned. I saw many terrible things in battle but both sides knew what they were getting into. Honey was an unwitting victim and that was unfair in the extreme.



Her body was put into a bag and taken away. “Guess you found your missing woman.” Fern’s face still looked white. “Any idea who might have done this to her?”



“Miggins.” I walked beside Fern. Honey kept up with us. “He needed her out of the way so that his marriage to Eress would be legal. Eddie Fish said she showed up, loudly accusing Miggins of running off, and showing her marriage certificate around. That was the last anyone saw of her. Eddie said Miggins married her and ran off with her money as soon as he could.”



“Could Eress have killed her?” Fern looked at me over the roof of his car. I nodded. “He could have killed her and then Miggins in a fit of anger. Hell he has been known to kill even when mildly pissed off. One day we will get the bastard, something will stick. You mark my words.”



“He couldn’t have killed Miggins because he was drugged up to the eyeballs and it was in his interest to let Honey live. He does not remembering marrying Miggins and disputes that he was actually there. He hated him. I think Eress is clear of this one. It all points to Miggins.” I smiled. “Shortest murder investigation you will ever have, Fern.”



“I’m not so sure, Fin. You spent last night fucking the ass of Eress. Seems like you would say that.” He smirked at me and went to get in the car.



“You had me watched?” I was pissed and wondered if he had filmed it or something.



“Fin, he is a suspect and a nasty piece of work. You are like a son to me, so I had you watched. What of it?” There was no arguing with Fern when he was like this.



I raised an ironic eyebrow. It was the left one. The other couldn’t be bothered. “Okay Dad, have you considered that the only reason Eress did not kill Miggins is because they were as bad as one another? He was being careful, just waiting for the chance to strike.”



“You think he would have killed him?” Fern looked hopeful.



“Of course.”



“Well doesn’t that tell you something, Fin? He is a very nasty man and you shouldn’t hang around with him.” He spoke like I was a child; then grinned and got in the car.



I walked back up the track, to the cabin, collected my stuff slung it in the back seat of the car. Couldn’t put it in the front as Honey was already sitting there waiting for me. It was time to go home and I wondered what it would look like after a million police officers and forensics had trampled over it.



We drove through the hills in a straight line along the coast road, away from the resort and bypassing the city. The ocean glittered where the sun hit and the beach curved gracefully around to the rocky cliffs at the end. We were in the middle of nowhere and the beach was not as full as the amenity fed beaches up the road. I like quiet and I like privacy. I am an elf and love the sound of nature, of listening to its heartbeat, the rhythm that maintains our cycles. It is hard to hear it now; there is little left that is truly natural.



The electric gates opened and I drove inside. The garage door was missing; no doubt taken away as evidence. I knew I wasn’t a serious suspect but that brought it home to me that I still was one. The rest of the property was secure. After searching the house, it seemed everything had been tidied. I had Fern to thank for that.
Chapter 16 - The killing by Glorfindel
Honey sat on the settee and drew her feet up underneath her and a bit to the side. I made a coffee and sat down. “I did not make you one. Is that all right?”



“Nice of you to ask Fin.” She smiled, thin lips curving upwards. I could imagine the creases around the eyes in a genuine smile. No, wait…



“I am sorry that this happened to you. You look a nice person.”



“Fin, you were asked to look into my disappearance by Erestor before I even went missing. He did not want me dead because then his marriage to Miggins would have been harder to disprove but he suspected something would happen of the sort. I know this because I overhead him at the lakeside talking to Eddie about it. He made sure that Miggins knew you would be looking into a missing woman, hoping to warn him off doing anything. Erestor was extremely angry with him for his treatment of me and they argued. That night Miggins attacked me and tried to rape Erestor and he got the crap kicked out of him. Who would have thought he could do that? That is all I know. I do not know what happened to Miggins but he deserved to be killed. I hope it was as painful for him as it was for me.” She watched me as I took a sip of the coffee.



“I really do not know how to put this but I was wondering…” I was going to ask how she knew Erestor's name.



She pulled of her veil and looked at me from two gaping holes in her face. “He did this whilst I was still alive and he forced my eyes down my throat. Then he made me eat the lids. I could not move because of being tied to the table. Then he slashed me across the belly and told me that the little bastard inside was not his child. But, Fin she was his child, and she was mine too. Why do you think he hated us so much?”



“I really don’t know. I have no idea.” I felt the tears falling from my eyes and she put the veil back on.



“I am sorry Fin. I did not mean to upset you.” She looked genuinely concerned.



“I can’t help it Honey. I am an elf and all new life is precious to us.” I looked at her and she said she knew.



“Erestor is an elf too, did you know that?”I nodded that I did. “Miggins took me to Erestor’s house to talk, said it was his. Erestor was apparently not in and the staff were taking some time off. I don’t really want to dwell on it but Erestor had fallen asleep and missed his business meeting and scheduled for another day. He must have heard me screaming when Miggins removed the gag to make me eat.”



I felt sick and wanted to comfort her and tell her everything would be all right, but it would not be, and she knew it.



“Erestor stormed in, started yelling at him, and tried to free me. He said my baby was precious too.” She bit a corner of her nail. “Miggins started saying he was doing it for him, and then tried to force Erestor to have sex with him, right in front of me! Miggins got the crap kicked out of him for that. Erestor half killed him, with his bare hands as well. Said that he hated him and how dare he come and live in the house and make out he was married to him.” That seemed to impress her but I was more impressed that Erestor had valued the baby’s life. He had killed children before, and it seemed that he might have been telling the truth when he said that he had changed.



“Can you see me now or are you blind because of your eyes?”



“I can see you. I lost my eyes, not the spirit of them. You have golden blond hair, blue eyes and you are built like a…”



“Honey, I already feel uncomfortable. “ She giggled.



“I would have made a play for you if I was still alive.” She grinned coyly and I laughed.



“What happened next?” I did not know how to handle this; it is not everyday a ghost comes on to me.



“They were fighting and they sounded as though they were throwing each other around the room. I was in so much pain I could not really take account of anything they were doing and I needed to get away, then I felt the cold against my skin and a sharp stinging pain across my neck. Next thing I knew, I was standing looking at myself and Miggins was kneeling over, face all bloody, shouting to Erestor that he was going to kill him. Erestor rang Eddie Fish who came straight over. Miggins had run off in the meantime. He accused you of being Erestor’s lover just before he went and said he was off to kill you. Eddie drugged Erestor because he was hysterical and said he would not let Miggins kill you but Erestor said you could look after yourself. I saw the damage you did to Miggins’ eye so I guess he was correct. Anyway, Erestor was upset that I had died and that I had been pregnant. That was nice of him. Strikes me as a really nice person; you don’t get many nice people nowadays.”



“Yes he is nice, he is very caring.” It did not hurt her to believe that. Might have made things easier for her. I do not know.



“I went with my body in the car so I knew where it was and waited to see if it would be found. Eddie dumped it in the lake and said to give it a few days and it would surface. He didn’t like it but he had to remove me from Erestor’s house so he wasn’t blamed. Apparently he has had some psychiatric problems in the past and you know how judgemental people can be.” She seemed to be agitated and she looked more transparent.



“This means Eddie could not have killed Miggins, so who the hell did?” Everything seemed more complex now and I wondered how to put everything together.



“Glorfindel, promise me that you will take me and my baby back home.” She was rapidly fading.



“I promise.” The transparent form faded quickly but I knew she heard because through the window a small ray of sunlight beamed down onto the settee where she had been sitting. I looked outside to see where it come from. The clouds had rolled in from the sea, thick and heavy; Anor could not be seen at all. There would be a storm tonight.
Chapter 17 - Being shot at home by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
Who tried to kill Glorfindel?
I lay on the settee, in the dark, listening to the storm. No music or television interrupted my calm. The furious smashing of waves against the rocks below my house excited my being with a frisson of danger even though I knew I was safe. My old house would not crash into the ocean, anytime soon. The air, so heavy you could almost touch it, smelled of sweet earth and salt spray. The open window looked out over the ocean. The waves rose high enough to leave small droplets sprayed against the glass and inner sill.



I am an elf. I love storms. Sometimes our control of nature causes it to rear up and bite us in the ass. Just to remind us it is there.



It was easy to get lost in the noise; the ocean crashing against the rocks; the rain driving hard against the windows; the silence of the sea birds; and the thunder, the loud crashing thunder; Thor’s hammer smashing through the sky in jagged lines.



The room lit up and everything was as day, for a split-second before the dark. Great-tongued forks of lightning hit the sea, revealing angry, dark grey and smoky yellow clouds. Anyone outside would be cold and soaked to the skin. It felt warm in the dry room; the air smelt fresher and the humidity became bearable. At times like this I feel the essence of nature the strongest.



I took a drink of the wine from the table. As I sipped, the room lit up; a flash of forked lightning hit the sea followed shortly after by an explosive thunderclap. The storm was nearing; there was less time between the flashes. It would be passing over my house shortly. While putting the glass down, the lightning flashed again. A silhouette of a dark form shadowed against the outside window. I rolled onto the floor, grabbing my gun from the table as I went. The lightning flashed again and the form was gone. Did I imagine it? No, I was a warrior and those senses never leave. Twisting round, to make myself less of a target, I aimed at the window. Nothing there. I jumped up, turning quickly, and ran to the door, keeping my profile side on to make me less of a target.



Without warning, a blast came from the window. I spun round and shot, aiming for the form at the window. A flash of lightning lit him up from behind. At the time, I did not feel it. I should have done but I was too intent on firing back. After that, I felt my right buttock bleeding; it hurt like hell. Electric shocks of pain zinged through it from the hip to my ankle. I was not sure if I hit him. Even if I did not, there was a good chance he was disabled or ran away. I staggered to the front door and opened it a crack. No potential attacker there. Opening the door wider, I could see nothing. Looking the other way, there was a foot sticking out past the corner of the house wall. The owner looked to be lying on the ground. I walked to the corner, my butt screaming the pain with every step, thunder covering any noise I might make.



The bastard lay on his back, my gun pointing in his face.



“If I die, so does Mr Eress. If I don’t get back my men will kill him.” Eddie Fish looked desperate. I knew he was lying. A small pool of darkness seeped through his fingers as he held the wound in his chest.



“Do you think I care?” I cocked the gun and his eyes widened. “You think I believe that any harm would come to Mr. Eress. He is never in danger unless he puts himself in it.”



“Don’t shoot.” He pleaded and I stayed where I was. “He killed my niece. It’s nothing personal Glorfindel, but you are his lover, and I needed to hurt him like he has hurt me.”



“What is it? Were you fucking her or something?” The wound in my ass hurt and I was losing patience.



He looked guiltily. “She was my sister’s kid. She was also my kid and Eress killed her.”



What was he telling me, that he fucked his sister? “What?”



“She was my daughter, not just my niece. How simple do I have to make this for you? No wonder people tell blond jokes.” Eddie was losing it too.



“You are the one laying on the ground, Eddie. Not me.” Blood seeped through his fingers, dripping down the side of his chest onto the ground.



He looked desperate. A thin line of blood trickled from his mouth. “I can’t breathe.”



He was dying. A gurgling sound came from his chest. I relaxed my guard and lowered the gun, before squatting down to hold his hand. What could he do to me? He had no time left. My ass hurt and I winced, shutting my eyes and slightly losing my balance with the pain. Eddie used this momentary lapse and plunged a knife into my guts. I looked at him in disbelief and wondered why I had not seen the blade. I knew why. I was out of shape. My reaction times and intuition took a back seat because today is safer than when I lived in Imladris.



“You didn’t think I would go that easily, did you?” His eyelids fluttered, he was losing the fight.



“Eddie.” I shook his shoulder and he looked at me. “Eress could not have killed your niece. The chocolates were for him. Whoever poisoned the chocolates was trying to kill him. He did not know they were poisoned.” Hell, I did not know if I was speaking the truth but I was not going to let him die happy. A knife in the guts and a bullet in the ass will do that.



He looked confused. “You don’t know that.” He was gasping for breath and the gurgling was louder. Red foamy flecks landed on me as he coughed.



“Yes I do.” I gave him a superior smile. “Seems you pulled all this shit for nothing. How does it feel to die because you didn’t something through properly?”



He gurgled that I should go fuck myself but it did not come out properly. A well of blood erupted from his mouth and he looked at me, panicking and grasping at my arm. I picked him up and held him close as he shook. I knew what it was like to feel such terror and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. He died in my arms.



I put Eddie back on the ground. It was still raining and the drops of water mixed with the blood as if to wash away his sins. The cold aching in my belly made me vomit. My butt hurt like crazy. I could not remove the knife just in case it made me bleed. You think the craziest things in those situations. I knew I had to go to hospital and I wondered how I would lay down with both my front and back hurting.



I tottered into the house, crashing into things, the pain increasing with every movement. Waves of nausea overcame me and I vomited again. My mobile lay on the table. I snatched at it and rang the number at the top of my last rung list.



It took a while for Fern to reply. The pain was getting the better of me. “Fern? I’ve been shot… I’m at home…” I sat on the floor, slumped against the chair, holding my belly. I do not know what he replied; all I could concentrate upon was the pain. If I stayed still it was not so bad.



Come on Fern, hurry up. I reached over to the house remote and pressed the button for the electric gates to open. The front door was unlocked and probably wide open. The storm still raged, lighting up the room before each thunderclap. The sea crashed against the rocks below. I could not enjoy any of it.
Chapter 18 by Glorfindel
It seemed like forever before help came. My hand held where the knife protruded and my leg felt heavy and numb. My butt cheek hurt, and I tried not to put too much pressure on it. The sirens grew louder and my mood improved one hundred percent.



“I told you to stay out of trouble.” Fern squatted down. I gave a weak grin. He looked at the knife hilt and his brows furrowed. “I thought you said you were shot?”



“I got shot in the ass, the knife was an afterthought.” The paramedics talked at me, asking about the pain and wanting to look at the bullet wound. “I can’t move, it hurts too much.” They took my blood pressure and asked me all the usual about how old I was, date of birth, did I know where I was, and other stuff. The blood pressure was taken while I wondered why they didn’t just bundle me off to the hospital. The pain irritated every sense I possessed. “For fuck’s sake; just get me out of here.”



“They are just doing their job, Fin.” Fern nodded at one of the paramedics and I wondered what he was doing. He took my hand and held it.



A needle pushed in my other hand. As the drugs streamed in I relaxed. Little fingers of darkness crept into my consciousness to pull me under. The pain, though not completely gone, receded into the distance. I was exhausted. It would have been easy to fall asleep, but Fern kept talking to me.



“Who did it?” Fern looked as though he hoped I would say Eress had done it.



I did not have to answer. A police officer walked into the room and whispered something to Fern. He looked at me. “Eddie Fish, do this to you?”



I nodded. “He shot me through the window, so I fired back. Then he stabbed me just before he died.” Careful hands were guiding me onto a trolley and I winced. With every move the pain let me know it was still there.



“You will be all right, Fin.” Fern accompanied me into the ambulance. A bag of pale yellow liquid ran through a line attached to the needle in my hand. I panicked. “What’s that?” I am not a good patient. The last time I needed healing was when I fell out of a tree in Imladris and broke my arm. Elrond killed himself with laughter for several months after on that one, not because I broke my arm but because I was scared and whined like a baby when he set it.



“It is to keep your blood pressure up. You lost a lot of blood,” The paramedic replied. He sat beside me and attached an oxygen mask to my face. “I don’t need this.” My voice sounded strange through the plastic. “Get it off.” Fern caught my hand before I could pull it off while the paramedic readied another shot.



Another dose of pain relief, or maybe something to keep me calm; whatever, it was, I fell into a blissful sleep, probably because I was so exhausted. From then on, the tiny flashes of consciousness were pain related.



When I awoke in recovery, I was lucid, sleepily awake and drugged up to the eyeballs. I could not even think what I would like to do to the rather hot male nurse who was looking after me.



“My girlfriend is thinking about getting elf shaped ears. Did it hurt when you got yours done?” He grinned at me and touched the tip. “You can’t even see the scars. You must have had a really good surgeon. Did he do it all from the inside?”



I gave him a polite smile, wishing he would shut the fuck up. “I don’t know; it was a long time ago.” Yes, like when I was in the womb. Why are humans so fascinated by pointy ears? Probably because they do not have them.



“Have you seen Lord of the Rings?” Didn’t I just know that was coming? He took my blood pressure again. “I love that film.” Hell; why wasn’t I surprised? Water filled a plastic disposable cup, and he offered it to me. “Just a little bit.” I took a sip; it was cold and refreshing. “Did you get your ears done because you saw the film?”



“No.” I felt so comfortable, totally relaxed, although his inane witterings were starting to reduce my state of contentment.



A look of surprise. “I thought everybody loved that film.” He seemed disappointed, like we were best friends or something.



“Arwen was given Glorfindel‘s part. Elrond looked too old. The elves clothing was made out of someone’s old curtains. Need I go on?” I looked at him daring him to disagree with me.



“So you did not enjoy it then?” He grinned and offered me more water. I needed to get out of there. His drivel gave me a headache.



He took my blood pressure, yet again. “When can I go home? I don’t want to be here anymore.”



It was about the funniest thing he ever heard. “You just got out of surgery. You got tubes coming out of you and stuff going in. You can’t go home yet.”



“Yes, I know, but I want to go home. I feel better.” I was scared of medical treatment after my final ordeal with Erestor, but he did not have to know that.



Fern put his head round the door, flashing his ID pass. The nurse called for him to come in. “He has just asked when he can go home.”



Fern laughed. The nurse called the porter and said I was ready for transfer, and then he went over to the counter and began writing on a sheet of blue paper.



Fern kept his voice low. “You will be here for a few more days, but I have some good news. You are in the clear for the night Miggins died. Your blood test confirms you were drugged up to the eyeballs. You are not a suspect anymore.” He grinned and looked at me, as if he was going to tell me something I would not like. “That means that you can come and stay at my house when you get out of here, so you can fully recover. I have a room ready for you and the kids are looking forward to seeing you again.”



He always spoke about his children as if they were small but they were in their late teens and twenties. He had three girls; the eldest two were married. The youngest child was in his late teens and the boy that he and his wife had longed for. She died some years before, but she sounded a nice woman. He brought up four children on his own and he loved them unreservedly. I think that one of the reasons kids can go bad must be because the ones who matter do not value them.



We left recovery and I was taken to a small room. The nurse took my blood pressure once again and wanted to see my dressings; she also measured the amount of blood and other stuff in the two drains attached to me. I could not believe how many times the staff did my blood pressure and said so to Fern, who said they were just doing their job. So, they are just doing their job; Erestor’s job is also attacking people but no one makes excuses for him. I was becoming seriously pissed off.



The nurse told Fern that I needed my sleep; the hint was that he should leave. Fern took no notice though. “I think I will stay here with my boy, and make sure he is all right.”



“Oh.” She flushed. “I did not realise you are his father. Ring the nurse call if you need anything.” She left the room and I grinned.



“Get to sleep.” Fern said with a straight face.



I knew why he was staying. He thought Erestor had told Eddie Fish to kill me. I would have a police guard and until they arrived, he was staying. I felt the dressing on my abdomen and my bum cheek and decided that they felt quite large. I looked at Fern and he told me again to go to sleep, so I did.
Chapter 19 - Telephone Conversation by Glorfindel
Elves heal fast. Within three days I bounced back, as I always did, and was a pain in the ass for all those who had to look after me. At one point they gave me Lorazepam to sedate me. I couldn't sleep and kept buzzing the bell and asking to go home, in spite of their protestations. Fern read me the riot act afterwards and told me to be good. He said I acted like a child, which on reflection I probably did, but he could not know how terrified I am of any healing rooms. I carry that fear with me. It will never go. It is not so much the people, but the objects and instruments they use. They remind me of Erestor at his most wicked, talking softly while delivering the most exquisite agony with a variety of shiny, sharp metal tools, and I still cannot deal with the memories. Elrond did what he could and taught me how to push the memories to one side and suppress them. They say that time heals; Elrond says this is not true. He says that the pain remains in all its fresh rawness, but time creates a gap that fills with other more positive memories that stop the mind from dwelling so much on the more unpleasant events in life. According to Elrond, this is why ellith never fully remember the pain of childbirth.



Fern took me to his house. He would not listen to any argument about me going home. Some of my clothing and personal effects were taken to his house. I could stay there until mine stopped being a listed murder scene.



"I don't want you to do too much. You need plenty of rest." Fern carried on telling me what was good for me, while making a coffee and cheese on toast; real food at last.



I did not bother arguing. Hospital is not a place to get a good night's sleep and I was feeling tired. I could feel myself drifting off.



"Go up to your room, it's Patty's old one, and get some sleep. The air conditioning is on, you can turn it off if you like." He followed me upstairs with the suitcase of clothing and placed it just inside the door. "See you when you get up. Wear some pyjamas, I don't want my daughter corrupted or my son tempted." He grinned and ruffled my hair. "Make sure you get a good sleep, Fin. Sleep as long as you need, we won't wake you up." His heart was in the right place; I could not wait to get back home.



I wore a t-shirt and silk jersey boxers. It was Fern's house, so I went by his rules. Any misgivings I had went out of the window when I climbed into the single bed. The electric blanket was on. It was warm and it was raining outside. All the people on this grey, humid and rainy day would be scurrying home from work or shopping. It was too hot and sticky to wear a coat, and yet the rain would make the skin cold. The bed was warm and the droplets were hitting the panes. I turned the blanket off, so I did not sweat, and fell asleep.



Some hours later my mobile rang, waking me up. It was in my trousers, left discarded on the floor under my other clothing. By the time I found it the caller had rung off. The number was not familiar to me and so I rang back to see who it belonged to.



"Hello?"



I knew that voice. "You rang me just now."



"I rang to see if you are all right. I haven't seen you." The voice was mildly curious and hopeful. "I thought you might have come to see me, if only to question me more." He sounded amused at this.



"What do you really want, Erestor?" I was growing impatient.



"I want you. Are you avoiding me?" Now there was a pleading tone. "Please Glorfindel, I need to see you again."



"Why do you need to see me again? I told you I would find a way for us to sail, isn't that enough for you?" I did not feel charitable, the memory of being shot and stabbed by one of his minions was still fresh. For all I knew Erestor could have ordered it, but I did not think so. It would not have made sense and he would gain nothing from it. I wasn't going to make it easy for him though.



"Fin, the police took me in for questioning. They are saying that I ordered Eddie Fish to kill you." He sounded upset, as though he might cry any minute. So typical of the bastard.



"You are certainly capable of doing so." I sounded hard but I needed to know. "It would not be the first time you have ordered the killing of a friend."



"I did not do anything of the sort." His voice reached a higher pitch; if I had been there my hand would have smacked him. However, I was nowhere near him. In the past, the unstable bastard would have pulled a gun out and killed me on the spot for that. "I swear by the Valar that I did not. You must believe me. I don't even know how he died."



"I shot him dead, that's how." There was a sharp intake of breath at the other end of the line.



"Why?" He really did sound genuinely puzzled, maybe I was wrong, maybe he really did not know.



"Because he tried to kill me, that's why. Don't tell me you did not know." I was shouting by now. Anger got the better of me, and even if Erestor was telling the truth I still felt like yelling at him. I was at the mercy of everyone's whims and I did not like it.



"I didn't know." He sounded broken. "I really did not know. I want to sail with you. I would not do that…" His voice became thinner and higher in pitch as his apparent distress increased. He repeatedly told me, as if in shock, that he did not know.



"He said you sent him, Erestor." I lied.



"No, he could not have. I never…. Believe what you want to believe Glorfindel but I swear I never said anything to him about you. Please Glorfindel, I know what I am and so do you. I know you suspect that I could do anything but…"



"In Imladris, you tried to kill me. I have not forgotten that." I was still yelling down the phone and could hear him getting upset and denying any part in the attack. "What am I supposed to think, Erestor?"



He became incoherent in his distress and I felt a small sympathy for him. A voice in the background attempted to console him. Cherri's voice came over the phone. "Who is this?"



"It's Fin. Get off the phone. Put Mr Eress back on." My anger was about to explode.



"I don't know what this is about, Fin, but you are not going to upset Mr Eress like this. You call back when you are less angry." She hung up, so I immediately rang the number again. There was no answer.



I dressed quickly, intending to go to Erestor's house and sort out the mess, but Fern stopped me. "Give yourself time to calm down before you go out, Fin. No good can come of talking angrily to one another. He has Cherri with him and she will keep him all right."



I breathed deeply and slowly to calm myself. Fern knew he could not keep me in the house and did not even try. He reasoned with me, and I knew he was right. "You have a lot of confidence in Cherri."



He grinned. "I went round to ask her about Eress and whether he could be behind the attempt on your life. She said it would not be in his interest, although she isn't much of a witness; she thinks the sun shines out his ass. I told her not to tell him of our conversation and she agreed not to."



"What are you dying to tell me, Fern?" I smiled at his excitement and thought I knew what was coming.



"She asked if I would like to go for a drink when all this is over." He was nearly laughing now, his face split with the widest grin. I could see every one of his teeth.



"I think you should go." I reached over the table and made as if to ruffle imaginary hair on his bald head.



He reddened and grinned. "Cut it out Fin. I am too old for that."



Maybe Erestor was telling the truth. I felt a tiny twinge of regret for making him upset, but kept it in check. I needed to be cautious, especially as the case might be concluding quite soon. If he was guilty who knew where his desperation would take him. The house phone rang and Fern went to answer it. He came back to the table and told me that the night nurse who gave Erestor his first injection of Lorazepam had been found dead, apparently overdosing herself on sleeping tablets and antidepressants. Her name was Chantelle. Eddie had not bothered to tell me that she was not only his girlfriend but also the complex nurse. The plot was thickening and I tired of their sordid little lives. Still there was no going back and I knew I would have to see Erestor in the morning.
Chapter 20 - Breakfast with Fern. by Glorfindel
I went to bed early. Sleep might stop the events turning over in my mind. How did the nurse die in Erestor’s house, and why didn’t Eddie Fish tell me that his girlfriend, Chantelle, was the first nurse who injected Erestor with the Lorazepam? I wondered if he really tried to kill me, because his daughter had died, or whether there was another reason.



The results of the tests on the chocolates and all the other stuff would be through in the morning, according to Fern. They might make interesting reading, or they might not. I did not know. It was all a mess and I desperately wanted to go to sleep. My insides ached, and my butt still managed to send shocks down my leg if I moved in certain ways. It was much less now but I still felt beat. Eventually, I must have slept. My eyes closed, and when I opened them again bright sunlight shone through the small squared-paned windows.



Fern knocked at my door. “You decent?” I called for him to come in. “I got the results and they make pretty interesting reading.” He sat on the bed and handed the small slips of paper to me. “Both chocolates and smellies were tampered with, but neither would have any effect on their own. They had to be together to kill. The chocolates had been there for a few weeks, according to Cherri, and the aftershaves, perfumes or whatever Eress likes to tart himself up with, started arriving just after. I suspect strongly the nurse was an unfortunate victim and the real target was Eress or Miggins.”



“That explains why the room smelled of a perfume shop when we found her. Both Miggins and Erestor were capable of doing it. After all, both slipped things into my drink on my first visit there.” I remembered Erestor had been proficient in poisons in Gondolin and Imladris. Miggins' attempt to drug me was not so subtle, and I suspected that only Erestor would be devious enough to put two substances together. It also occurred to me that perhaps Miggins meant me to think that, so he would not be blamed for Erestor’s murder if he successfully poisoned him.



“Well last night I went to see Chantelle, the gangster-moll, nurse’s body and it looks like suicide. She had empty packets of sleeping pills, strong painkillers and an empty bottle of vodka beside her. The post mortem is later on today, so we should find out soon. Maybe a couple of days. The note said she couldn’t live without Eddie.” He sighed. “She was not very old. They are dropping like flies. We will have to arrest the last one left.”



“That reminds me. Honey Miggins, when is her body going to be sent back?” I had forgotten my promise in all the events that happened.



“What do you want to know for?” Fern was surprised, that's all. He wasn't being funny about it.



“Her ghost appeared to me and asked me to take her home.” I knew he would not believe me.



“Very funny, Fin.” Fern gave me a look as though I was stupid. “Her body has already gone back home. You were in the hospital at the time. Her father has made all the arrangements and he is waiting for permission to bury her. Should come through soon.”



Circumstance prevented me from taking her home, as I promised. I hoped she understood. I decided to make Fern laugh, simply because he cared too much. “Dad?” He looked up in surprise. “I’m hungry. Have you made me breakfast and a coffee?” I laughed myself stupid and he laughed too.



“Get out of your pit and make your own, and make me some as well.” He got up. “See you downstairs.”



I watched him walk out of the room, before showering quickly and getting dressed.



Fern sat at the table with toast and marmalade triangles stacked in a heap on a plate. Two cups of coffee sat on the table. “Oh, daddy! You made me breakfast.”



“Eat your toast, Fin, and give it a rest. I only made it because you took so long in the shower.” Fern took a slice and put nearly all of it in his mouth.



“Careful you don’t choke, Fern.” I took four triangles and put them on my plate.



“If you were a son of mine, I would kick your ass.” He waggled a piece of toast at me. He didn't mean it.



“Any objections to me seeing Eress today?” I thought I would ask, it seemed polite.



“Police or otherwise?” Fern took another slice of toast and drank some coffee.



“Police, of course.” I scratched my ass because it was itching under the dressing. Glad I was not breakfasting with a woman. They seem to have all sorts of rules about scratching during a meal. Fern hardly noticed.



“None whatsoever. Try not to get hurt though.” He smirked and ate the last triangle of toast. Damn, I was going to have that but I did not get there fast enough.



I slurped my coffee, just to annoy him, which it did, and then I stood up and took the plates to the dishwasher. “I won’t tell Eress about the poison in the chocolates, although he probably knows about Chantelle by now, all right? I am going to discuss Eddie Fish trying to kill me.”



“I would appreciate hearing from you what he has to say because all we got out of him the other night was a pile of shit. Apparently, years ago you both pledged your love forever and ever and he still adores you.” Fern smirked at what he considered was a lie.



“We were young and lost touch. It has been many years since I saw him last. In fact, I haven’t seen him since I was in my teens.” So I lied. What of it? He would definitely have said I was lying if I told him the truth.



“Young love eh?” Fern grinned. “Well, you be careful. You going to be able to drive with that ass?”



“No one drives with their ass, Fern. You know that.” I grinned and went out of the room, calling thanks for the breakfast. I can just imagine his face, outsmarted again by the upstart Glorfindel.
Chapter 21 - The Call of The Sea by Glorfindel
I went to my office to catch up on messages and any mail. The airless office felt sticky; a sheen of sweat clung to my back. It was time to take my damp shirt off and hang it up. A can of deodorant lived in the bottom drawer of the desk, so I sprayed it everywhere before splashing aftershave all over my baby smooth face, neck and chest. I wondered what it was like to have to shave everyday and considered myself lucky to be an elf. If I were human, I would lay in bed with the electric razor going over my face before I got up. Cirdan had a beard; the only elf ever to have one. He would stand there and let curious elves run their fingers through it, damn attention-seeking bastard. I never liked him, probably a personality thing clash or something.



I remember when I was re-embodied. He had to take me across the sea from Valinor to the Havens and whined constantly about it. Apparently, the rolling of the sea made him seasick. Gandalf and I had to sail the ship ourselves with the cook and a couple of others. I had no idea what we were doing, while Cirdan he spent most of the voyage in his pit throwing up into a chamber pot and complaining of the cold. Tolkien never mentioned that did he? He glossed over his faults real good. He never was a great sailor, he wrote all that shit about him because he needed a hero. Sure, he was great at building ships, but other sailed them. From time to time he had to sail and it still makes me smile to think he had no choice.



When we neared Mithlond, he came up on deck, filthy and stinking of sweat, with little bits of sick in his beard and looking worse than a plague victim. I tied him to a mast and threw buckets of water over him until he was clean. Gandalf nearly crapped his leggings laughing at that one. He was pretty pissed off at me for that, but I was not going to let him embarrass me by coming on shore, looking and smelling filthier than an orc.



The message service had a call from a supermarket; they thought their security guards were stealing food. I had no sympathy, they should pay them more. There was also a call from a man who thought his wife was cheating on him. I do not do divorce work. I used to and found that often there is a very good reason why people cheat. I am too empathetic for my own good. Only two messages. Lucky I do not make a living out of this shit.



There was the usual mail. Office catalogues, new age spiritual healing courses, book club catalogues, and free community newspapers. All gathered up and put in the bin. Some were addressed to me, and others to the previous tenants. A pink envelope with gold writing stood out. With an almost childish delight, I opened it. The smell of roses was strong. Inside was a card with a message wishing me a happy begetting day. I did not remember the day, but the writer did. I do not even know how old I am. I know roughly, but one year merges into the other and I lose track. According to my fake birth certificate, I am twenty-nine, but I am older, much older. The ancient Egyptians are mere babes compared to me.



I slipped the card in my jacket pocket, put my shirt back on, and left the building to go to the sandwich shop on the corner. “Aubergine and hoummous with raw onion in a large ciabatta roll with a coke. Please.” The unhappy looking woman behind the counter slapped loads of aubergine on the roll, normally they only put one slice on, I got at least three. I walked off with my food, then went into a sweet shop, and bought two mars bars. Loaded with my own personal picnic I got into the car, which was so hot inside it took my breath away.



After opening all the windows and the sunroof, and wondering why I did not own a convertible, I drove off out of the city. Seems like everyone else was escaping the too. In the end, I was able to reach the hills without too much bother. The heat lessened as the car climbed above the bay area. You could not see the ocean from the city, but up in the hills you could not take your eyes off it. Blue, and as still as a millpond after the storms of the past few days, it called to me and I nearly cried with relief. I thought it would never come. I parked at an indent in the road that others had also used as a stop; there was an overflowing rubbish bin further up. I sat on the grass and looked out to sea, munching on my roll and drinking coke. Soon I would sail away from this life and embrace a new one. I felt very old and tired, my ass ached and my insides still gave me small twinges. I was not healing as fast as I should, and knew that I could not stay here much longer.



I drove the last few hundred yards up to where Erestor lived, but on the way I saw him sitting small and insignificant on a large rock looking out to the west, over the ocean and away from the world.



I got out of the car and smiled widely. “Get in.” He jumped off the rock and ran to me, tears in his eyes. Our arms circled one another, we wept, and we kissed. We were going home.



We drove to Erestor’s house; he was excitedly talking about going to Anor, and I told him that we had things to do before going. He knew this but he was still excited. “Did you get the card I sent you?” He asked, eyes shining with joy. “I sent it to your office because I don’t know where you live.”



“How do you not know where I live?” I did not believe him; too much had happened at my house for me to believe an obvious lie.



“Eddie knew where you live and he told me, but I don’t know the address for sending things. I sent it to your office so you would get it.” I was mollified, that was an excuse I could believe, maybe. The person who killed Miggins knew where I lived, exactly.



We arrived at his house. Cherri made us a cup of tea, bringing it through to the cool living room with the open shaded French windows. The birds sang outside in the manicured garden and I could hear the water spray of the fountain.



I took a sip of Earl Grey. “Tell me about Eddie Fish.” Erestor sat beside me and snuggled in. “Start from where you first met him.”
Chapter 22 - Falling into place. by Glorfindel
Erestor gave me a hesitant look. My undeservedly gentle smile reassured him. He started to speak.



“Eddie applied for a job at a law company I set up to represent my interests. He came straight from university, and right away I could see that he was good. I offered him double the salary to stop him going elsewhere. His mind was as sharp as a razor and his powers of persuasion were just as good. He worked hard and rose quickly in position, looking after my interests with a zeal that I had never encountered before. He would even lie for me, covering up my actions and wrongdoings so that I was never found guilty, not even once. In the end, he was looking for a change, so I asked him to take over management of the Summer Hills Complex. Recently, I became a sleeping partner there, and I wanted Eddie in there to make sure Miggins did not cheat the business and would run it properly. Of course, Miggins tried to sack him but I threatened to kill him in return. Unsurprisingly he relented. Eddie made the place pay. He made it a place you could holiday in, and in a couple of years, it would have expanded into a proper resort. That would mean buying out Miggins, but that was hardly a problem.” Erestor smirked as he broke off for a sip of his tea. A slice of lemon floated on the top. He delicately pulled it out, shook the drips off, and put it on the saucer.



“Why was it not a problem?” I could not see Miggins giving up a piece of his own crap let alone a money making holiday resort.



“Well, obviously he would have been killed if he disagreed.” Erestor rolled his eyes at me in disbelief. “Come on Glorfindel, you know what I am like.”



He still had the capacity to shock me, even though I knew his answer already. “Carry on.”



“Well, Miggins got married to an old sweetheart of his, so I insisted he take some time off to be with his new wife. He only married her because she was rich. After a couple of months he comes back absolutely loaded, telling us some shit that they were not getting along well and her father paid him off. We all knew he was lying. He said he was divorced and, as if to prove it, he played around with as many guests as he could. Then one day he walked into my house and announced that we were married. I laughed at him, but I have blackouts since the car accident and so I could not say for sure. The signature on the certificate certainly looked like mine. Eddie said it would make paying Miggins off more difficult and that is what he wanted. I represented a huge meal ticket. If I killed him I would be suspected immediately. He even bought me presents. He bought boxes of chocolates, but I would not touch them, and he also bought different eau de toilettes for me, got really pissed when I would not use them. Why would I use eau de toilette?



Anyway, Eddie paid a girl in the council office to tear out the original marriage certificate, which she did, but she could not destroy the index section at the front. He said that if an original certificate could not be found then there was no proof of marriage. A divorce would have been costly, and for all I knew I really was married to him. I could afford it, but I was not going to give that scheming fucker any of my money at all. He moved into the house and insisted on sleeping with me. I asked him how he would like to die. Unsurprisingly, he agreed that sleeping in a separate room was a good idea.”



Cherri walked in with some roast beef and salad sandwiches, and homemade soup. It was cold, clear consomm, with little bits of ice and tiny cucumber dice floating on top. We made small talk until she left.



“Eddie advised me to keep Miggins in the house until we could get the legal shit sorted, and so I told him he would have to be my butler. He was extremely pissed off, but after I pinned him to the wall with only one hand he thought better of it. He thought I was weak.” Erestor chuckled and sipped at his soup.



Many things fitted together and a lot of background became clear. I had known of Eddie Fish for years. I knew he was a criminal lawyer on the side of the criminal, but not that he worked for Erestor; he was under my nose all the time. I told him to continue.



“Honey Miggins showed up at the resort with a photo of her husband, asking where he was. Eddie asked why she wanted to know, after all she was divorced wasn’t she? She said she was still married, and that her baby was due in three months, plus Miggins had taken all her money. It was a sizeable amount. That is when I called you in. Eddie contacted me and said that Miggins had asked one of his thugs to kill her and he would pay him whatever he wanted. No one is going to kill a pregnant woman, even criminals have standards, unless they are Miggins, of course. We suspected that he would kill her himself, and so I drove over to the complex to tell her to get back home, but she would have none of it. Eddie even offered her the same amount of money Miggins had taken, just to get her to go back home, but she refused.” He stopped and ate a sandwich. Erestor has impeccable manners. He will not talk with his mouth full, ever.



“Are you allowed to drive?” I asked him, sure that he was not.



“No.” He smiled and kissed my cheek. “They took away my licence when I had my crash.”



“But you still drive?”



“Well duh! Who is going to stop me?” He giggled and looked at me all cute like. “You want me to carry on?”



“Well that’s breaking the law, Erestor.” I really do not know why I said it because he dissolved into peals of laughter and told me that it was so unlike him to break the law, which on paper was probably correct.



“You are so sweet. No wonder I love you.” He put his head on my lap and looked up at me. “I called you in and talked about a woman going missing at the complex before Miggins actually did anything to her, so that he would know me and Eddie suspected him. Make no mistake, Glorfindel, the man was a ruthless and vicious psychotic killer and meant to do her harm.”



“So he was a kindred spirit then?” I could be witty too.
Chapter 23 - Love in the afternoon. by Glorfindel
“Very funny.” Erestor was not amused. “After you went I got up off the floor. I didn't really faint, I wanted to make you feel sorry for me after our altercation and take the job. Anyway, Miggins brought Honey round that night and I caught him killing her, which is absolutely not allowed in my house. I pulled him off her and beat the crap out of him, he said he was doing it for us. Then he tried to hold me down; he got his dick out his pants and yelled in my face that he would show me who was boss, even though I had just half killed him! I beat the crap out of him again. I was winning, but during our fighting we got a little too close to Honey; he pulled out a knife and slit her throat. Just like that. A swift slash. It was probably a release for her, after what she had been through. She was in agony; her eyes and eyelids were missing. He made her eat them, did you know that?”



I nodded that I did. Erestor’s face looked disturbed, an unusual look for him. I asked him to continue.



“She was pregnant, and he slashed her belly to kill the baby. I saw its tiny hand.” Tears ran from Erestor's eyes and his voice broke. “I have seen some terrible things Glorfindel, and done them too, but Honey and her baby were innocents. How can people do such terrible things?”



The same way you can, I thought. “I don’t know.”



“She was dead, so I rang Eddie and told him what happened. While I was calling, Miggins shouted that he knew you were my lover and he was going to kill you, so that I got the blame. He said we would both go to prison. I think he was still sore about his eye. He said only a lover would inflict damage like that, anyone else would not have bothered. I ignored him as he ran out the door. You can look after yourself. Eddie said he would come over and sort it. As long as Honey lived, Miggins couldn't claim our marriage was valid, so Eddie said he would sort it so nothing changed.” Erestor paused as if considering something. He bit a corner off his thumbnail and spat.



“Greed drove him to kill her. People like that really piss me off, they only ever think of themselves and enjoy ruining life for others. They totally focus on their own needs regardless of who gets hurt. I can see why greed is a sin. Hell, I know I have faults but I am not like that.” Erestor got off me, stood up and stretched his back, then lay down again on the settee with his head on my lap. It was ironic hearing a vicious, psychotic killer berating someone for being greedy. Was he trying to convince me that he killed and hurt others for altruistic purposes only?



I stroked his hair: long, dark, thick and silky. I kissed his forehead. “Get on with it.”



Erestor grinned, and then continued. “Eddie came over really quickly. He arranged to have Honey’s body taken away and the place cleaned up. I kept telling him that he needed to go after Miggins, but he looked at me as though I might have killed Honey, and he seemed somewhat wary of me. He told me that he would find Miggins and deal with him after disposing of the body. I said that you were in danger, and he replied that Miggins probably did not know where you lived anyway. He thought it was just an idle threat. He got his thugs to hold me down and said that his nurse was going to give me some Lorazepam for my own good. He thought I was hysterical; can you believe it? Anyway, he needed to sort the whole mess out and said I would be better off sedated, that way the police wouldn't think I had anything to do with her murder and would blame Miggins. I could not beat off five thugs all pointing guns at me, so I didn't try. Anyhow, it was lucky he did that because you found Miggins dead the next morning and I had a provable alibi. I do not even know how Fish thought I could have done that to Honey, but he did. He was not the same after that. He did not trust me anymore, and so I did not trust him. In fact, if you had not shot him, I would have done. I will not tolerate any disloyalty.”



His candour astounded me. It did not occur to him that Eddie did not trust him because he had done awful things in the past. Honey’s murder was certainly something that Eddie thought he was capable of commiting. I am sure that Eddie was crapping himself and his decision to restrain Erestor was not made lightly. He would have been very aware of the potential consequences.



I needed to hear more. I stroked his silky, black hair and he continued. “As I said, Eddie acted as though I was some sort of liability, a dangerous and unpredictable one at that, so I bided my time. When his niece died, he was completely silent until Honey’s body resurfaced. He came to my house, later that day, and accused me of killing her, because I was in the room with her when she died. I reminded him that I was too drugged to do anything. But he was not listening. He was maddened with grief and said that if he could not have his daughter then I could not have you, and he stormed off. He did not dare try to kill me, but he thought he could handle you. I did not take him seriously and threatened to kill him if he tried anything. You know the rest. I am sorry I did not contact you; if I had, he could not have hurt you and Fern would not have taken me in for questioning. I told him that I love you, but he said I was lying. I am glad you are alive and I really do love you.”



I changed the subject. “Did you know that the nurse who injected you committed suicide this morning?”



Erestor’s eyes widened. “Why would she do that?”



“The suicide note said she could not live without Eddie.” I smiled because this was a surprise for him.



“That’s crap. She didn't really like him. He bought her gifts and paid her well over the top. He did for her, until she could find something better.” Erestor looked shocked and disbelieving. “Are you sure she killed herself? I think anyone could write a suicide note.”



“The police seem to think she did.”



“What do they know? They are halfwits all of them. They need to look into it further.” I stroked his hair and felt myself harden just under where his head lay; he looked at me. “Would you like your begetting day present?”



I stood up, hauled him up from the settee, and slung him over my shoulder, making him whoop with delight. We went upstairs, and he guided me to his private suite. The bedroom was something to see; eye candy of huge proportions. Nearly the whole second floor of the house was his bedroom. Everywhere was black and white art deco, with a huge ornate bed as the centrepiece. Silk covered occasional chairs lay positioned around a curved black metalwork and white glass table. Various mirrors were set into the wall and paintings, figurines and lamps completed the effect. Over the other side of the room were large ornate doors leading out to a metal and partly covered glass balcony, continuing the theme of the bedroom to the outside. We walked across the polar bear fur carpet, so artfully made that the joins seemed invisible. The bed stood sumptuous, covered with shimmering, embroidered, white silk cutwork covers and pillows. The headboard was from the Ice Queen’s palace. Bright diamond-cut glass crystals, rods and clusters that reflected tiny rainbows where the light hit them, covered the whole structure. This was a bed for two elves to love one another, and so that is what we would do. I dropped Erestor on the bed and thrilled him by tearing his clothing off. As I removed my shirt he licked his lips in anticipation. Then I removed by trousers and he gasped.



“Oh Fin. Poor baby you have been so hurt.” I suffered worse off him in the past and I was not convinced of his sympathy. He killed it. I did not want to make love anymore, I wanted to make him pay.



I lay on top of him and kissed him hungrily. “Lube?” He pointed to a drawer and inside was literally hundreds of tiny single use bottles of lube. I looked at him in surprise.



“I always hoped.” He looked coy; I drew his legs up, coated myself and plunged straight in.



He yelled because it hurt. I wanted to hurt him. I was still sore and that was partly his fault. He wiped away the fake tears on his confused face.



“How could you?”



“I am sorry, I could not resist you.” I stopped and gave him a strange smile that made him gasp. He tensed and I stopped myself; I had gone far enough. “I will not hurt you again, I promise.”



I continued and was very gentle. In the end, Erestor let go and enjoyed our union. He came and I followed. Lying on the bed, boneless and pliant, he was surprised when I put his limp cock into my mouth and sucked him, so that he hardened again. I pushed a finger inside and felt for his prostate and rubbed it. He always liked that. I kissed, licked, and sucked, so that he came again. Then I did it again. After that, I did it once more. In the end, he begged me to stop and so I did.



“You wore me out.” He lay grinning at me. “I don’t think I could move even if I had to.”



I smiled lazily at him and pulled the sheet over us. “We have to plan our departure. We cannot go to Aman without our riches, or else we will have to work when we get there. After thousands of years working here, I do not wish to do any more. I have planned for this moment for some time now, have you?” I hoped he had, or else it meant a lot more work for us.



“I have most of my wealth converted into diamonds, the rest I can leave to Cherri. I chose diamonds because they can be used as currency anywhere, and because they will not be too bulky to carry.” Erestor seemed to be very pleased with himself. “I want to take some personal effects, some photographs, ornaments and paintings.”



“Like you, most of my wealth is in diamonds and other precious stones. I am taking a few mementoes as well. We cannot take too much, or else we risk advertising our departure. I think certain people will try to stop us going.” In fact, I knew exactly who would try to stop us.



“Why?” Erestor gave me a bewildered look.



“Because you killed Miggins, that's why.”
Chapter 24 by Glorfindel
Erestor looked defeated. “How did you know?”



“I was injected with Lorazepam in the hospital, when I needed sedating, and it had no effect on me. That is when I knew that you could have killed Miggins. I suspect you did not kill the nurse; however, I am not at liberty to tell you how she died. I also know you did not tell Eddie to kill me because you needed me alive. The doctor tested your blood and said you had enough Lorazepam in you to kill a horse, and so you are safe for now. The suspects are all dead, and only you and Cherri remain alive. Fern is hinting that is has to be one of you, so when he clears it up whoever is left will be arrested.



“The nurse was here all the time, so how did I get out to kill Miggins?” He knew, but was not giving up that easily.



“That’s easy. You all lied. You knew where I lived. You followed Miggins to my house and killed him. Then you drained him of his blood, leaving just enough to keep him alive. Why did you do that?”



“Because I did not want to make too much mess, of course.” He looked at me as though I was a simpleton. “Plus, because he was weakened it made it easier for me to nail him to the garage door.”



I carried on. “You knew I would not hear what was going on because you drugged my drink earlier in the day. After you killed Miggins you went back to the house and got back in bed. The nurse gave you so much Lorazepam that if the police took your blood they would dismiss you as a suspect because they would not believe you could get up. All you had to do was stay in bed all day to complete the lie and stagger about a bit when you did wake up. I would have fallen for it if they had not tried to sedate me in the hospital.”



“What happens now?” Erestor looked unhappy. “You know I won’t let you turn me in.”



I ignored the underlying threat and looked to the future. “We go to the Havens and sail. I am not losing my future because you killed someone who deserved it. We leave legal papers giving everything to Cherri and Fern, and then we go. How quickly can you get the diamonds?”



He turned a lever and all the bits of glass embedded into the headboard fell onto the floor. He took a small dustpan and tidied the diamonds into a box. A safe in the wall contained more diamonds, adding to the pile in the box. He went through an assortment of places and filled it to the brim. Finally, he lowered the two chandeliers in the hall, removed every single diamond masquerading as glass, piled them all into a soft leather bag, and put them into another box. Then he removed a parchment out of the safe, it it was a legal document leaving his goods as they stood to whomever he named. The witness names were already filled in and in an elegant script, Erestor wrote Cherri Fish as his beneficiary.



“Cherri is Eddie’s sister?”



“No, it’s a coincidence. She is no relative at all.” Erestor took a painting from the wall and slit round the edges of the canvas, then he rolled it up. He did this with several more canvasses, before taking some scrolls, photos, jewellery, a book, a circlet, a couple of other baubles ,and a set of elven knives from a vacuum-sealed box hidden in a cupboard. “My birth certificate.” He smiled as he waved one of the scrolls before piling the whole lot in a large canvas bag. “I am ready now.”



We went downstairs after he dressed and left a farewell note on a badside table. He told Cherri that he would be staying the next couple of nights over at mine. She gave me an, ‘I know what you have both been doing,’ grin.



We drove to my house. All I had to do was collect my wealth from a secret panel in the basement. I was already prepared in case of needing an emergency flight. It had happened before. After writing a farewell note for Fern, and leaving the necessary documentation to transfer the house and effects to him, We left the house. I felt nothing as we left, the call to go home was too strong. We loaded up with weapons and got into an anonymous white van, that used to live in Erestor’s garage, and made our way to the sea.



I felt awful not saying goodbye, but if an elf ignores the call he fades, and then he disappears into nothing. I could not do that. Fern would try to keep us here until the case was solved, and that could take forever, especially as this time Erestor would not be able to avoid prison. We drove for miles. It took all night and all of the next day. Occasionally, we stopped at garages to load up on junk food, trying not to draw attention just in case we were reported missing. For this reason we paid in cash rather than using our cards.



In the early evening we arrived at the council estate that was once the Havens. It was a desolate and crime-ridden place. We drove down to the ocean to wait for the ship. There was no beach. The water came up to the dock and we could hear it swishing gently against the concrete sides. A passenger ferry lay moored at the end, near a large shed that extended over the water. An empty container ship lay anchored about a mile out, no doubt awaiting its turn to be loaded. The random lights of buoys twinkled on the water, and over in the distance was the yellow lights of the oil refinery.



Gangs of kids prowled around in the dark. We remained in the van and watched. A couple thought they would start kicking the sides, so Erestor took a gun and aimed it at them. It did not surprise me that they ran away, or that he aimed something so deadly. He did not need to fire, but he had drawn attention to us. I pulled him back in and started the engine up, intending to move elsewhere.



A car drew up, Fern and Cherri got out. Our hearts sunk. I turned the engine off.



“Get out of the car, Fin.” He grinned at me, but his eyes were not smiling. “Isn’t satellite tracking wonderful?”



At that moment, Erestor shouted out for us to look and pointed into the distance. A huge ship materialised and we stared as it docked.



“That is for us, Fern.” I said softly. The gangplank was set onto the dock and Cirdan walked down it, followed by several elven archers.



“You are not getting on it until I have some answers, Fin.”



Cirdan walked over to us. He greeted Erestor and me. Fern wondered how they all had pointed ears, so Cirdan told him that we were elves.



“I have explained everything in the note, Fern. Look I have lived here for thousands of years, I want to go home.” I hugged him, but he was still angry. “Thanks for everything you have done for me. I have left everything to you.” I collected our luggage from the back of the van and gave Erestor his bag.



“Whether you want him to get on the boat or not, he will travel. You cannot stop him. The Valar have decreed it thus.” Cirdan looked at Fern, daring him to stop us.



“Who the fuck are the Valar?” Fern had the angriness of someone who knew he was losing.



“They are our Gods.” I explained to him. Erestor, meanwhile, was holding Cherri whose cheeks were wet with tears because she would not be seeing Erestor again. “It’s like this. The Valar say we are to go home. When your God says you have to go home, you die and go to Heaven. It is like that for us. We are going to a place that we cannot return from.”



“You are going to die?” Fern looked panicked.



“Hell no, Fern. We get things a bit easier. We get on the ship and sail. It is something we look forward to. Then we have a new life in Aman, our version of Heaven.” I smiled and hugged him as he tried to hold his emotion in.



“I will miss you. I always thought of you as my son, you know that.” Fern was trying hard.



I tried to comfort him. “I always thought that if you were my real father I would be the luckiest son alive. Thanks for sharing your family with me, Fern; mine sailed west a long time ago. You were probably the only one who ever looked out for me.”



Fern looked at Cirdan and beckoned him closer. “Tell me there is judgement in Aman. Eress over there is a fucking psycho killer. I came here to arrest him. Just tell me that he will not get away with all the bad things he has done.”



“Rest assured Mr Fern, the Valar are aware of every transgression.” Cirdan smiled at him and Fern’s mind supplied the rest. He seemed more at ease.



“Fern, I have left you my house and enough diamonds and cash for you to retire if you want to. Everything is legally owned and the transfer work is complete. No refusing now. I can’t take it with me.” Normally I would have said nothing but sometimes you have to spell it out. I had visions of the house locked up and derelict otherwise.



“This is so final, Fin. I am going to miss you.” He hugged me again and ruffled my hair. “You behave in Aman, you hear?” We both cried. It hurt to say goodbye, and I hugged him while he patted my back and told me that he would never forget me.



Cirdan cleared his throat and told us that it was time to go.



“Not so fast.” Fern shouted. “Eress, I don’t know how you did it, but I know you killed Miggins and I know Cherri killed Chantelle.”



“You are wrong, Fern. I killed both of them.” Erestor turned to me. “Glorfindel, I think it is time to get on the ship.”



“Glorfindel? I suppose you do look like him, well my vision of him anyway.” Cherri looked quizzically at me.



“He is him, Cherri, and I am Erestor.” He laughed at her, open-mouthed in shocked expression, and hugged her when she became embarrassed.



“I wrote all those stories…”



“I loved them. Each and every one of them; they reminded me of home. You got everything exactly right. Cherri, I have left everything to you. The key to the bedroom door is above the ledge and all the paperwork is in there. Bye, sweet one.” He kissed her, a real kiss, not just a peck.



“But in my stories you were good.” Cherri had a slight cheeky grin on her face.



Erestor winked. “I still am, in some things.” He turned and walked up to the ship. As he trod on the gangplank he sang the Heigh-ho song out of Snow White.



I felt that I ought to explain some things to Fern, so he did not have a complete load of egg on his face when reporting back. “Erestor killed Miggins and Chantelle. The Lorazepam had no effect on Erestor, and so he went off to kill Miggins. Chantelle injected him with more when he got back. That is why you all thought he could not have done it. Certain sedatives have no effect on elves but still show up in the blood. After Eddie died, Chantelle got frightened and threatened to talk, and so Erestor killed her too and made it look like a suicide.”



“And you want to get on the same ship as that psycho?” Fern could not believe it, but from behind him Cherri looked relieved and mouthed her thanks to me.



“If he is naughty, we will put him below and chain him to a beam.” Cirdan grinned. “We really must leave now.



I hugged them both again and walked up the gangplank, followed by Cirdan and the archers.



We stood waving and blowing kisses from the ship as we cast off. The sails unfurled as we moved away from shore. The creaking of the wood and the smell of pitch took me back to long ago when I crossed into Middle Earth to fulfil my oath. Now I was going home and it was not a moment too soon.



Our two friends stood together at the dock, looking up and waving. I felt my heart well up inside me, Erestor felt it too. We were not just saying goodbye to our friends but to everything that we had become and all that we had achieved. We were bidding farewell to Middle Earth, to Lothlrien, to Lindon, to Imladris and to the ruins of the underwater Gondolin, which some archaeologists now hailed as the long lost land of Atlantis. Who were we to spoil their dreams? We were not of this land anymore; our future lay ahead in the distance.



We sailed about twenty yards then rose into the sky, leaving Cherri and Fern looking awestruck but still waving. Then we crossed the invisible crystal bridge that spanned the two lands. I looked for as long as I could see them, and when distance made them disappear I continued to look and send my farewells.
by Glorfindel
We stood together waving to the ones we loved; dear friends who we would never see again. I felt bad leaving Fern like that and not taking longer to say goodbye. It was all so final. Erestor slipped his hand into mine.



“That was a very noble thing you did back there.” I squeezed Erestor's hand. “I know you didn't kill Chantelle, but I am sure that Cherri did.”



“Are you sure?” Erestor looked troubled. “I only said it because Cherri was being blamed by Fern. I thought she couldn't have done it.”



“I also know that Cherri helped you nail Miggins to the garage door. That is why she killed the nurse, isn't it? I Chantelle threatened to talk, but Cherri was having none of it. What is it that makes everyone lie for you, Erestor?”



“Loyalty, Fin.” He grinned and continued looking over the side of the ship, even though we could not see anything. “Cherri did help me nail Miggins to the garage door, but I doubt very much she killed Chantelle. Why do you think that, and how do you know Cherri helped me?”



“It had to be you or Cherri. No one else had reason to kill her, and it was not your style to finish her off that way. Chantelle knew that Cherri helped you with Miggins; simple logic says you couldn't have nailed him to the door on your own. So, she was killed when she threatened to talk. Everybody but Cherri has an alibi for when Miggins was nailed to that gartage door, so it has to be her.” I smiled at him, sure that I was right.



“I still say she could have killed herself.” Erestor wouldn't hear anything against his precious housekeeper.



“Chantelle was not the type to kill herself; as you said she did not love Fish and she was looking for something better. People don't kill themselves when someone they don't love dies.” Looking over the side of the ship there was no Middle Earth, only blackness.



“I agree with everything you said, but it seems so unlike Cherri. It makes sense but I could not see her doing it. Do you think she killed the other nurse too?” He continued to peer over the side; I held onto him as he stared into the dark.



“The chocolates and aftershaves were all poisoned, but neither could work on its own. She ate the chocolate and smelled the perfume, and by doing so she poisoned herself. Somehow the two substances were inert until they were used in combination.” I wondered what chemicals they could have been to do that. Fern had shown me the slips of paper but they made no sense to me.



“No wonder Miggins kept trying to get me to eat the chocolates and use the eau de toilettes. I only escaped death because out of principle I wouldn't touch anything from him. I am glad I killed him.” He shivered for effect and turned to face me. “Do you think Cherri will be all right?”



“You admitted to the murder and so it should all be wrapped up. I think she will be all right.” He looked relieved and then a cloud passed over his brow.



“Fin, I forgot to bring my huge slash collection. I was in the middle of a story too. It was a total fantasy, one about Erestor being weak and wimpy and pregnant, and Glorfindel acting like a happy go lucky buffoon.” He grinned at me as he watched my face.



“Go fuck yourself! No one would write shit like that.” He could not stop taunting me and I wondered why I expected anything different.



“No, really…” I took his arm and guided him to the steps leading sown to the lower deck. “I really was reading one like that.”



I took him in my arms and kissed him. “Don’t talk shit.”



“You never believe me do you?”



We entered our cabin. “Shut up Erestor,” I said wearily. “Get your clothes off and get into bed.”



The next morning saw our arrival in Aman. The day was clear and hot, with a freshness that contrasted sharply with the humidity of the city we had left. Birds flew overhead, calling out the arrival of a ship to the masses waiting on the dock.



Cirdan walked over to us both. “Everyone is waiting for you. You are the very last elves returning from Middle-earth.”



We smiled excitedly. I asked Cirdan how it was the journey to Aman took only a night. When we voyaged from Aman to Middle Earth, and he was seasick, it took several days. “That is because none of you knew how to sail, and you went around in a circle for several days before hitting the bridge.” He gave a superior grin, but I forgave him because of his actions when we left to get on the ship.



Erestor and I had talked during the night about what to expect. We decided that there could have been a lot of change, and that Aman might be like anywhere else, except full of elves. It was also possible that not much had changed at all. Everything lasts forever on Aman and nothing decays, so it was likely that everything would be very old, which might hinder the advance of anything modern. Cirdan could not be drawn on the subject, and he spent a lot of time smiling at our questions. He was infuriating to say the least.



The ship sailed closer. Loud cheers came from the small dock. We looked to see if we could recognise anyone, but all the faces merged into each other so it was hard to pick any one person out. The gangplank lowered onto the ground for us to disembark.



Erestor seemed nervous. “Supposing they remember how bad I was. Do you think I will be all right?”



Privately, I thought that he had every reason to worry. Elves remember just about everything, so he was likely to be subject to some kind of justice. I could not feel sorry for him. Try as I might, the image of Melpomaen, a sweet innocent, came into my mind and I hoped there would be some kind of redress and justice.



“I do not know, but we cannot go back now, meleth.” I called him meleth because I still love him, in spite of what he is. When justice was served I would still be there, keeping his heart safe.



We walked down the gangplank, Erestor holding tightly onto my hand. Fear radiated from him, but so did defiance. He stepped onto the dock as if he had every right.



A large, black, closed carriage drew up and sat just outside the perimeter of the crowd. The crowd parted. I thought this must be an important elf not to have to get out of the carriage and a crowd make way for them.



I saw Elrond and Celebrian first and I ran to them, dragging Erestor in my wake. I hugged him and assured him that I was all right. I hugged Celebrian too. Erestor looked down at the ground looking unworthy, but Elrond was having none of it, he hugged him and asked how he was. Erestor shyly replied that he was all right. It was the same with all the ones I recognised. I was hugged and kissed many times over, and tears of delight ran down my cheeks. All my friends had come to greet me. None of Erestor’s friends turned up, because he didn't have any. Lindir, Legolas, Ereinion, Thranduil, Galadriel, Celeborn, Elrohir, Elladan, Oropher, Rumil, Haldir and others, greeted Erestor and me. I was amazed at their generosity of spirit in accepting someone whome they previously despised, and I am sure he felt grateful.



The door to the carriage opened and a tall Maiar alighted. Dark hair, as black as the darkest shadows, swept around his form, as though possessing a life of its own. He was cruelly beautiful, and I knew I had seen him before. A chill went through me and I feared his reasons for greeting us. Erestor saw him. He stood rigid, mouth open in a silent scream of terror. It was too much for him. He passed out onto the ground. I picked him up in my arms.
Chapter 26 - Final Farewell by Glorfindel
Author's Notes:
This is the last chapter. Thank you to eveyone who commented on the story :)

To be continued in Dark Judgement.
“You will not have him, Sauron. I will kill you first.” Grabbing Erestor’s gun from his pocket, I pointed it at the evil one. It fell to pieces in my hand and dropped to the floor.



“So typical of Erestor to bring a gun here.” Sauron made a small movement of his hand and the pieces of the weapon dragged across the ground and fell off the edge of the dock into the sea. “Guns are extremely dangerous, Glorfindel, and so they do not exist here. I am so disappointed in you, allowing one so deranged to bring a gun to these shores.”



“My Lord, please forgive Glorfindel. He only knows you of old.” Elrond smiled at Sauron, before looking at me. “Erestor has to go with Lord Sauron. He runs the best clinic for damaged and insane fa in Valinor.”



I would not give up Erestor that easily. “A mad and dangerous Maiar running a clinic? What is he doing creating a new army?”



“Glorfindel, Erestor will come with me so he can be cured. It is the will of the Valar, and we must obey them.” Sauron smiled at me as he lifted Erestor from my arms. Unable to resist, I shook in with anger and terror. “Do not worry, you will see him again. In my former days, I would have probably been friends with Erestor. Still, must be going. I would prefer he did not scream the place down because he has woken up and found himself locked in a carriage with me. There is only so much my ears can take.” He winked before turning and back to his carriage. I watched helpless, stunned at my inability to act, as he closed the black doors. Before closing them, he gave me a small, amused smile and winked, which served only to increase my anger. I asked Elrond what was going on.



“You remember when Sauron was killed in the War of the Ring? Well it seemed that he was part of Eru’s song and had done what was required of him, so he was re-embodied and given a new role. He cured all the elves that were damaged in fa or body, and his success rate is one hundred percent.” Elrond seemed happy and content to trust the perfidious one, but I was not.



A face appeared from behind Elrond. “Glorfindel?” I had wondered where he was, but in all the greetings I did not give him too much thought. However, there he was, my old friend from Gondolin, together with my parents. I hugged Ecthelion and my parents hard. Any words I could use to describe seeing them again would seem trite, so I will not even try. Ecthelion invited me to use a spare room in his house while I built one for Eresotr and myself.



My parents lived near to my old friend. They were dismayed at my continuing love for Erestor, remembering just how awful he was in Gondolin. Just about every elf agreed that Erestor was better off with Sauron and that I should forget him. I could not agree. Erestor lied about changing, but loving him was a risk I was prepared to take. I knew he deserved punishment, and I did not oppose it, but to say that I should not love him was too much.



Then another face.



I could not help but to be overwhelmed. It was difficult to control my emotions, especially when I saw the tall beautiful elf I last knew when he was an elfling.



“Hello Glorfindel, it is good to see you again.” Melpomaen hugged me as I felt the guilt of the long years well up inside me.



“Melpomaen, it is so good to see. I am so sorry I did not help you.” Tears ran from my eyes. I had felt bad all my life for not being able to save him from Erestor.



He smiled. “I think you suffered much more than I ever did. Still he is away being cured, so let us hope that he comes back a better elf.”



"I could have done more."



Melpomaen would not listen. He said me that I was not responsible for Erestor’s actions. I still feel guilty, even though I was horribly injured and could not move when Erestor poisoned Melpomaen. Still, it took a month for him to die. I could have said something to Elrond at least, but I did not. Erestor would say I have lived around humans for too long, and maybe I enjoy angst, but I call it being honest about my cowardice. I know why I said nothing; I was too terrified.



That night I slept in Ecthelion’s house. The next day I spent meeting old friends and celebrating, but my heart was still sad, for the one I loved was not with me. I kept silent about missing the one who consumed my heart; the general consensus was that of all elves he was the one who most deserved to be with Sauron.



Our new house, the one I intended to eventually share with Erestor, was built over the next couple of years with much help from my friends. I gradually became accustomed to life without love. The sadness my fa felt at our separation had eased and I did not feel so desolate. Elrond was the only one who understood my love for Erestor, in spite of the evil he had visited upon me. He said we were soul mates and nothing could change that.



Everything I did was with Eresotr in mind. I carved our bedstead by hand, thinking only of how he would like it. I dug a basement level with a locked area and hid our wealth below; previously it had been stored in Elrond's treasury. I had built mine and Erestor’s home, and I would wait forever, if need be, for him to return.



The years passed, and I did not see Erestor at all during that time. Early on during our seperation, I petitioned the Valar to let me visit him. They refused, telling me that my presence could set back any progress Erestor had made. Ecthelion also advised me. He said that I was becoming obsessed and risked spending time with Sauron myself. He was right, and so I filled my life with other things to keep my mind and body occupied.I had no choice but to wait.



Many more years passed as I learned to live without my love. I accepted that even though he was still alive I would never see him again. The realisation set me free in some ways but tore my heart to pieces in others.



When the grief lessened, I set about starting my life again. For hours I rode my horse; gaining me a peace that I never had before. We rode for miles. The wind flying threough my hair gave me an illusory sense of freedom. How I loved riding fast and recklessly, through the waves breaking on the shore, the hooves kicking up the water into a million rainbow coloured droplets. Sometimes I went on my own, and other times I rode with a variety of elves, normally Ecthelion, but often Elrond or Melpomaen. Even my father came out to ride with me a couple of times, although I preferred him not to as the talk always included how much better off I was without Erestor. The evenings were spent with friends or on my own. I had a life now that was independent of the elf I loved and, for the most part, I was fulfilled. During this time, I did not seek bodily contact with any other elf. My body was for Erestor alone, and the only thing I held in reserve for him.



One morning, I got up as usual and went out to the beach. Normally I would not walk along the shore, but this day it felt the right thing to do. I saw him sitting on a rock and ran. I ran and ran because he was far away, but eventually I reached him.



“Erestor.” I panted. “Meleth nn, I thought I would never see you again.”



He started, as if waking suddenly from a dream, before flinging himself into my arms. We hugged and wept, kissing intensely and whispering endearments.



“I did not know where you lived, and I did not dare go into the town and ask. So I sat on this rock and hoped you would find me. I am so cold.” I put my cloak around him, and we walked back to the house. After a hot bath, he snuggled into our bed and I held him as he slept. He was here with me and I was complete again.



Erestor is different. He laughs for joy now and does silly things just for the fun of it. He seems too trusting, almost child like sometimes, but that is a minor point. We love and there is no hurt or pain, no hidden agendas. The soft voice is still there, but used in love, not when inflicting pain. It took me a while to get used to that. He is not an evil murderer anymore, but an elf from whom a heavy weight of sin has been lifted. He seems lighter, more innocent, some how.



Every so often, we have to visit Sauron so that he can continue to assess Erestor’s progress. He seems pleased with him. He says that Erestor is still the same but has chosen to be a better elf and is now aware of the damage he has done; in short, he now has a conscience. Sauron said it would not be long before Erestor does not have to visit him again. For his part, Erestor never talks about his time in the clinic but agrees he is a better elf now. He is right, and I do not know if it is due to Sauron or because of his independence of spirit, but he never lost what made him the elf I love.



I cannot help it, but I will always think of Sauron as the Dark Lord. Every time he makes a joke or a witticism I find it unsettling. Sometimes he asks if I want to talk about it. I refuse because I do not trust him. He says it will take time and that I may never accept him; however, it does not seem to bother him much. Erestor likes him, but then he has something in common with him; they both knew evil intimately on Middle Earth and so I think they understand one another.



I sat watching Erestor, Celebrian, Ecthelion, Elrond and Melpomaen getting drunk while I roast the fish over the barbecue. They held their arms around each other, while singing the bawdy songs that we learned in the public houses of Gondolin and Imladris. It was good to see them so happy, knowing that love and forgiveness smooths the way, enabling us to carry on and live our lives.



Sometimes I think back to Fern, hoping that he hooked up with Cherri; I do not like to think of him being lonely. I wonder if he would understand her writing slash. Whatever they did with their lives, they are long dead now. With them died the last true memories of the elves of Middle-earth. I wish them the peace that I now have, and I wish them well in whatever afterlife they enjoy.



As I watched them singing I placed the fish on plates, then called them over. Inside and out I was smiling - everything works out in the end.




The End.
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