Magnificently arrayed, as was befitting his station and the evening’s entertainment, Glorfindel of Gondolin tilted his head back against the smooth bark of the tree he sat against and listened for a moment, to the soft, sad, melody that Lindir played upon his Lyre, his voice lending harmony to it. It was beautiful as it echoed around the glade and he smiled because, for that one moment, he felt content; as if the weight of his life had lifted for one, blessed, moment and he was young again, his soul no longer dragging the iron ball of broken dreams and lost lovers behind him, pulling him down, submitting him to a life of melancholy, veiled self pity, and a bitter yearning for past splendor and bliss.
You see, Glorfindel was old, as old as the mountains of his birth land. He had seen much, done much, and had many. But the passage of time weighed heavily upon the Lord of Gondolin; too much suffering, disappointment, and heart ache, too much battle and loss. ‘Tis the curse of eternity, they said, and yet these things can be made right, should one happen to come by the one who can make it all worthwhile, for what is suffering if not the road to happiness?
But Glorfindel did not have that, not any more…
He had seen glaciers in the moonlight, lit as if from beneath: he had watched as liquid rock spurted from barren mountains, rivers of light and heat carving the land; he had seen the planets aligned and the Sun turn black. He had seen the face of his soul mate…
There had been two centuries of bliss, in which his life had made sense. The sacrifices he had made as a warrior had been rewarded with the presence of the one who had given his whole heart to him, his very mind - the only one Glorfindel had unveiled himself to in all his glory, the only one he had ever loved.
He too, had been old; as wise and as perceptive as Glorfindel, and it had all been lost in one, eternal moment, a single flash of metal taking his life in one, absurd instant – and with it, Glorfindel’s heart – the one he could no longer feel.
There were few left, few that could count as many years as he, and those that were still upon Arda were taken – not that he was attracted to any of them anyway. He was destined, it seemed, to live his life beside his lord, protect his family as he had sworn to do, upon this land that no longer had anything to offer him save the valor to be had in battle, the honor of his position in Imladris, and the comfort of his friends. It was not insignificant – but it was not enough…
Soft murmurs and a stifled giggle brought him back to Elrond’s garden, against the tree that supported his strong back. He blinked the fog from his eyes and breathed in the chill air, letting the cold bring him back from his heavy thoughts.
A large drop of water burst upon his angular nose and he looked up in anger at the starless sky, where great, billowing, clouds towered up into the heavens, their silhouettes lit up by the moon’s comings and goings. The storm was finally breaking and it was time to return to the manor; another day, another evening, another patrol tomorrow, another game of chess…
Life continued its endless, eternal flow and Glorfindel took a deep breath, as he stood and straightened his fur-lined cloak, slipping the hood over his wavy golden locks for the night was dark and dour, just like his ancient heart.
He dreamed of fire and destruction. He dreamed of searing pain melting his skin, and piercing his heart as a scream echoed in his fading ears…
He jerked awake, just as he had done on most nights since his return to Arda. It was only when a warm body lay beside him that deep sleep took him, and the dreams did not come. But that had not happened for a while now, for where would one as old as he find lasting satisfaction?
Fleeting pleasure was never a problem. There were plenty in Imladris for a quick dalliance, where the mind did not matter, only the body and the affection that came with a night of indulgence. That was all well and good, but where was the companionship, the understanding, the deep empathy, the beating heart? All he ever got was young, awe-struck lovers who pleased him in every way his body needed, but they never touched his mind, his intellect, they never moved him in the way experience and wisdom could.
They distracted his errant mind for but a night of joy – no more, never any more.
They were too young, too inexperienced, too unaware of the nature of elves, of love, of the deep needs of one such as him.
Raking his hand through his tussled locks, hushed conversation from below brought him back to his room and the present, and he listened for signs of distress; the security of Imladris was his responsibility, and unexpected visits were always potential threats, at least in Glorfindel’s mind.
However there was nothing to suggest this had been nothing more than the arrival of some poor soul who had had the misfortune of being caught in the storm that now raged over the valley.
He would be called upon should the need arise and so Glorfindel of Gondolin, now of Imladris, lay himself down once more – alone in his bed with his thoughts of bygone times, happier times when everything made sense in his life, when he had had a living reason to drive him forward, not just the dusty memories of the dead.
The morning had dawned with the promise of a beautiful, early spring day, and Glorfindel allowed the playful breeze to swirl around his strong, naked torso, bringing his flesh to life for one more day as he stood upon his balcony.
He had a barracks inspection this morning, followed by a visit to the training fields to check on the new moves he had instructed his captains to teach the warriors.
Then lunch, and briefing from Elrond, and a stroll in the garden with Erestor.
Early evening would bring with it his own work out, and then some office work – read through the patrol reports, make adjustments to tactics…
Then, it would be time for the evening meal and light-hearted banter with the lords. He would escape the hoards of young would-be lovers, who would flock around him with failed subtlety, and then he would enjoy the highlight of his day; drinks with Elrond and Erestor, when he could just relax and share his thoughts with the few that could understand him.
And yet, later, in the privacy of his own room he would again sit and think, think of the past, of what he had lost and could never have again, not this side of the sea.
Minutes later, he was striding towards the barracks, fully dressed and armed, for Glorfindel was nothing if not resolute. No one would ever imagine his inner turmoil, for he was the picture of Elven nobility. Beautiful and strong, commanding yet humble, and all who passed him would lay their admiring eyes upon his peerless form and dream for a moment that they were him, or that at the very least, they could be with him.
With the barracks inspected, Glorfindel walked out into the surrounding glades of Imladris and chose a quiet, rocky pool to sit and disconnect for a moment, before returning to reality. But just as his mind began to reconnect with his thoughts from that morning, the quiet gurgle of bubbling water and then a soft splash, turned his head to a rock in the centre of the pool.
Upon it sat an elf, his back towards Glorfindel and he doubted for a moment if it was a male or a female, for although the body seemed tall, the platinum blond hair stuck in wet rivulets far past their waist, the tips trailing in the crystal clear water beneath.
Male, he guessed, as he watched. He seemed unaware of Glorfindel’s presence, and so he considered calling out – alas his tongue would not cooperate, and so he sat and stared until the elf turned his head and locked eyes with him, bright blue eyes, set in the face – of an angel.
He was supposed to have checked in with the captains, but he had neither the inclination nor the strength. All he could do was sit upon the ground and watch his young lover slip on his breeches and then pull on his strange boots.
His form was magnificent – young and strong as he was – a warrior for sure although they had shared but two words, and they had not exactly been related to warfare.
Yet despite the youth’s beauty, Glorfindel had been surprised at how scarred he was. There were old arrow wounds here and there, thin, silvery lines where blades had cut into his soft pale skin, and what seemed to be claw marks high on one thigh, more recent he would wager. Under normal circumstances, these marks should have faded, but it seemed injury had been a constant in this one’s life.
A front-line warrior then, he deduced, and his respect for the Silvan went up a notch. For one so young, he must be good in order for his captains to send him to the fore, to allow him such an honor.
Speaking of captains, he wondered if he was from Lorien. It would certainly explain his coloring. Yet the few words that had escaped that sinful mouth had been coloured by an accent Glorfindel had no recent experience with and the cogs of his mind began to search for the answers it required.
He could, of course, simply have asked, but pride did not allow it, indeed what point would it serve? It was simple curiosity, and so he continued to watch as the warrior finished dressing.
“Well then,” said the youth softly as Glorfindel stood. “It has been my great pleasure to meet you, my Lord,” he added in that accent the general still could not place.
The boy smiled provocatively and scenes of his own flesh disappearing, sliding between those plump, wet lips, had Glorfindel hard again and he smiled ruefully at his own utter lack of control.
“The pleasure was all mine, young one. Perhaps we will meet again during your stay here?”
“I would like that very much,” said the Silvan as he moved his head towards Glorfindel, brushing their lips together so that they tingled and begged for more.
But then he simply walked away and Glorfindel was left standing, a toothy smile spreading upon his face, for he had just enjoyed the best sex he had ever had, and by the Valar he wanted more. It did not occur to him that he had just considered breaking his own rules, for this had been but a moment of bodily pleasure and yet – he did not want it to pass – not yet.
The day’s work was done and Glorfindel was appropriately attired for the evening meal. He wondered if the young warrior would still be in Imladris, for if he were, he would need to secure his claim. He was beautiful and irresistible and would surely not be spending the night alone and, suddenly, that thought bothered him.
With newfound purpose, he strode towards Erestor’s quarters, only to come face to face with his friend as he opened the door to leave.
A squeak escaped the dour councilor, and Glorfindel snorted his mirth, to which Erestor cocked his imperious eyebrow before falling into step with his friend.
A sideways glance from Erestor told Glorfindel there was a question on his lips.
“Out with it…” said the councilor in mock anger, before adding, “you are smirking…”
“I? Nay, I am simply tickled by your antics. I have not heard you squeak for over a century, ever since Elladan….”
“Alright, alright!” he hissed, before continuing.
“Yet that changes nothing – you are smirking and I do not believe I am the cause, Glorfindel.”
The general breathed heavily through his nose before turning to his friend.
“Alright. It is true, I am smirking, and in answer to your rhetorical question, it is because I have just had the most amazing tumble in the bushes with…”
“What!” exclaimed Erestor, stopping to turn to his friend. “Who? Who with?” he whispered ferociously. “Tell me, you fool before I beat it out of you,” he hissed again, his need for knowledge lending unfelt anger to his words.
“Calm down, Elbereth. I will tell you! – after dinner,” added Glorfindel with an impish chuckle as he strode away, a desperate Erestor trotting behind him.
But it was too late, for they were already in the Halls and Erestor was pride bound to act nonchalantly, and so he sat regally beside Glorfindel, purposefully stepping on his friend’s foot under the table and enjoying the subtle frown the pain elicited.
“What has you flustered, Lord Erestor?” asked Elrond.
“Lord Glorfindel may provide you with the answer to that, my Lord.”
Elrond turned to Glorfindel. “And what has you smirking, my Lord Glorfindel?” he asked, a hint of humor creeping into his tone.
“Yes, Yes, alright,” said Elrond in defeat, “I understand! Ah!” he added as he stood, drawing Erestor and Glorfindel’s attention to the door.
There, stood three elves and, in the middle, was Glorfindel’s young lover – no longer dressed in simple leggings and a loose shirt, but with the finest of velvet and silk. It was still discreet, but the quality was unmistakable – this was no base warrior.
Confusion took him for a moment, before his heart sank to the bottom of his boots, for, to be presented thusly, the one he had tumbled with at the pool was someone of import.
“Lord Glorfindel, may I introduce Prince Legolas, son of Thranduil King, and his escort Dorhal and Koron.”
Erestor bowed together with the other members of the council at the table, but Glorfindel simply stood, desperately trying to school his expression.
“Do you know each other already?” asked Erestor, clearly wondering why Glorfindel would break protocol by not bowing, his slanted eyes narrowing as his agile mind began to work.
“Ah, well yes. Actually,” stumbled Glorfindel, “we met, in the wilds, recently in fact, although circumstances did not allow for formal introductions. I was simply – surprised,” he said, hoping that would be enough to get him out of the knot he had so successfully managed to tie himself into.
“Indeed, my Lord,” said Legolas. “Such is the truth and, in all honesty, I too am taken by surprise at your true identity, Lord Glorfindel. ‘Tis an honour.”
That was it, that accent, it was the Greenwood accent. No wonder it would not come to him. He had not visited that forsaken land and had had no more than scant contact with a handful of couriers.
“Well then, let us sit and dine together, for it is not often we have royal visitors from the Mirkwood,” said Elrond, gesturing to the table.
Glorfindel sat somewhat stiffly, and Erestor jabbed him discreetly in the ribs.
“What is wrong with you?” he whispered.
But Glorfindel could not answer, for his mind was in a turmoil he could not give free rein to, as protocol required pleasant conversation and, right now, he could think of nothing more challenging than that.
And so he sat as he always did, and smiled here and there, refusing this or that elf who wished for a dance or a stroll in the gardens. From time to time, his eyes would glance over the Mirkwood Prince. He was serene, and oh so very beautiful to look at; even Elrond and Erestor had cast appreciative eyes over him. Pity, mused Glorfindel, that he was so young.
‘Valar, what have I got myself into?’ He asked himself as he watched the interaction. ‘What if he falls for me and I must fight him off – what if he runs home and tells daddy?’ A strange tingling in the base of his gut told him that would not be pleasant at all and so he rid himself of the idea completely, for Thranduil’s temper was legendary.
Nay, he must keep the lusty creature at arm’s length – he had only wanted a quick tumble. He was not looking for anything else, and least of all with Thranduil’s child! Or indeed any child!
“Oh, Haldir of Lorien would disagree for sure,” that had been Erestor.
“Nay he would not, I know him well. He is in agreement with me on this, at least,” said the prince as he smirked cockily into his goblet.
“Lofty words from one so young!” said Elrond good-heartedly, but Legolas started for a moment, before collecting his cool once more.
“The Silvan Games are testimony to my claims, not my arrogance, my Lord,” said Legolas pleasantly, but there was a bite to his words that did not go unnoticed.
“You may wish to show us your skills while you are here, Prince. What say you, Glorfindel?” said Erestor, successfully redirecting the conversation.
“Indeed. We could match you with this year’s Noldorin champion. It will be fun to watch, and maybe there will be something to learn from the experience,” said Glorfindel, for the child’s arrogance had both impressed and irked him, for child he was, his distaste for Elrond’s words were proof of that.
“I am afraid that will not be possible, my lords. My agenda here in your lovely home will not permit for such an appetizing pastime,” said Legolas softly, evasively.
“Oh come, come, I am sure you can find some time to indulge our curiosity!” exclaimed Erestor, but he was met with silence from the Prince, before the strangeness of the situation forced the young Silvan to give a more convincing answer.
“I am forbidden to fight unless strictly necessary – for the next two weeks,” he said, a hint of shame coloring his lovely cheeks and turning Erestor’s eyebrows down.
“Fighting in the Greenwood has been fierce of late…”
Elrond, Erestor and Glorfindel watched the young one for a moment, realizing he was not going to elaborate, and so Erestor, being Erestor, changed the uncomfortable direction the conversation had taken once more.
“Well then, rest, you will – and what better place. Welcome, young Prince!” he exclaimed, to which the table raised their goblets in salute, and then drank.
Elrond’s grey eyes lingered on the boy for a while, before he nodded subtly at Erestor, who returned the gesture just as skillfully. The meal was all but over, and suddenly, Glorfindel dreaded his evening drink with his friends, for the first time in many years.
“Out with it, Erestor, just say it!” said Glorfindel grumpily as he sipped his wine.
“It was him, wasn’t it?” asked Erestor, his eyes slightly rounder than usual, his body sitting forward in its chair, eyes avidly awaiting confirmation of his suspicions.
“What is going on?” asked Elrond testily.
“Well, Lord Glorfindel of Gondolin and Imladris had a tumble in the bushes this morning – with Thranduil’s child!” exclaimed Erestor with a flurry of his free hand.
“What!” thundered Elrond, to which Glorfindel flinched most uncharacteristically.
“It was not intentional, Elrond. I thought him a simple warrior…”
“You did not ask for his name!”
“I, eh, no – it all, happened so quickly…” he said lamely.
“Well, I don’t blame you for that, the boy is sin incarnate, I tell you,” drawled Erestor.
“Erestor, for the love of the Valar, you above all others should understand the possible ramifications of this, it is…”
“Inappropriate?” offered Erestor.
“Irresponsible! He is a child, damn it – and you,” he thundered as he shook a long finger at his friend, “you are an ancient lord – how could you?”
“Elrond, are you blind to the boy’s charms?” said Erestor calmly, with a smirk on his usually stern face, clearly enjoying the scandal and outrage coming from Elrond, and the simmering embarrassment emanating from his friend.
“Of course I am not blind, but with his surname I would not touch him with OromŰ’s pike!!!” raged the lord as he stood abruptly and strode towards the window, his hands clutching compulsively at the railings.
Erestor cast a sympathetic glance at his obviously mortified friend, but Glorfindel was too lost in trying to justify himself to notice.
“Elrond – I am a big boy. Alright, diplomatically, that was not the best move – but I cannot tell you I regret it! It was a simple tumble, no more…”
“And no less,” added Erestor, but Elrond remained quiet for a while longer.
“Glorfindel. You have not the age to play with children,” sighed the lord, “one of these days you will get yourself and this household into trouble.”
“He is a fully-grown elf, Elrond – child he is from our perspective, but he is not forbidden fruit,” said Glorfindel carefully, for he did not care for Elrond’s line of reasoning at all.
“Still, your lust is your weakness, my friend, you must temper it.”
Silence prevailed as the three lords pondered the moment, and Glorfindel battled with his conflicted mind. He did not care for Elrond’s patronizing words, yet it irked him that he was right. Glorfindel had paid no attention to the duties of his position. He had seen, he had taken, and had given not a thought to who he lay with. He had simply assumed it was just another young, star-struck, elf with an eye on bedding a legend.
He had been wrong.
“Alright. I … concede that I was …. reckless. It has been a while and he is simply stunning to look at. For all my years I could not control myself…” he trailed off, drinking from his goblet, angry at himself now.
“Well, I will give you that much,” said Elrond, his voice now reconciliatory as he sat heavily.
“He just sat there, naked and wet save for that long, long hair that cloaked his white skin, that hid from me a body made by the Valar…”
Elrond’s eyebrows rode skywards, as Erestor smirked into his goblet, listening to Glorfindel’s panegyric of the young prince.
“And when he turned and I first spied his face I could not speak. Those eyes…”
If Elrond’s eyebrows had been aloft before, now they turned down in confusion.
“And then, as he swam towards the shore and emerged upon the mossy ground, as naked as the day he was born, I was lost, I…”
“Glorfindel…” said Elrond again.
Glorfindel snapped back to the room and his two friends, only to find them both staring at him in something akin to horrified shock.
“Glorfindel. Do not tell me you have fallen for the boy…” said Elrond carefully.
“Fallen? No! Valar, Elrond, you speak nonsense! Nay – I admit only that I worship his body – you should try it!” he said joyfully, with a naughty smile that did nothing to convince his friends at all.
“And how would you feel if we did?” said Erestor emphatically, leaning forward until his face was but inches from Glorfindel’s, his dark eyes boring into the twinkling blue eyes that widened a little at the intensity of his friend’s gaze.
“I would feel nothing at all,” he said bluntly, before gulping once more on his wine and turning his head a little to the side lest his eyes give him away.
The absurd conversation was over as far as Glorfindel was concerned, and Elrond and Erestor could do nothing but stare at each other in worry and disbelief.
He could not sleep, and his restlessness had led him to the gardens once more. Tonight, it was not the horror of death and suffering that kept him from slumber, but the lustful memories of his young lover’s body. Yet they were tempered by the uncomfortable conversation that had taken place with Elrond and Erestor.
‘Do not tell me you have fallen for the boy…’
‘Fallen? Bah – how could I? I know nothing of him, of his mind, his qualities, his ethics – I cannot fall for a body; I cannot fall for a child.’
Glorfindel sat down upon the forest floor and leant back against his favorite tree, closing his eyes in a desperate attempt to clear his mind and order his thoughts.
But that was not to be, for soon enough, a soft voice tickled his ears and he looked up into the boughs of the tree. There, sat upon a thick branch, was Legolas, looking down at him placidly.
“Have you come to watch the stars?” asked the young prince, in a voice so soft and wistful he seemed – fragile.
“Nay,” replied Glorfindel just as quietly, “just to think,” he said dismissively, for Elrond’s accusing words came back to him and his jaw clenched in anger – at himself.
“We seem to have been drawn to the same tree,” said the young elf quietly. “Watching the stars clears my mind, puts things into perspective.”
“And what would one as young as you have to put into perspective, hum?” said Glorfindel somewhat condescendingly. He had been thinking of himself and not the words that tumbled from his mouth. He briefly regretted them, but then once more convinced himself that it did not matter.
A prolonged silence spoke volumes of just how his words had been interpreted.
“Oh, this and that – duty, death, the enemy, frustration, anger. And you, my lord? What does an ancient lord have to think about?”
Gone was the wistful fragility of his tone, for an edge had crept into it, and Glorfindel steeled himself. He could either diffuse the situation he had provoked with his patronizing words, or give free rein to his pent up anger. What would it matter? This was nothing more than a heavenly body, made for giving the most exquisite of pleasure – the boy would forgive him in exchange for another tumble…
“Much the same, I dare say…” he began carefully.
“You are angry…”
Glorfindel frowned. He had meant to sound unperturbed, but his anger had somehow become apparent.
“Then I will leave you be,” said the prince as he jumped silently to the floor, but it took him too long to stand from his low crouch, and Glorfindel jumped to his feet, his own turmoil forgotten.
“Are you alright?” he asked in concern, one hand reaching out.
“I will be,” said the prince, but his gaze was hard, and unnerving, and so Glorfindel shut his mouth, surprised at the strength he now glimpsed in the Silvan’s mien for it did not match his youth and inexperience.
“What is it, with you ancient lords, that you judge the worth of an elf by his years? Where is the wisdom in this assumption?”
He was learned and intelligent, but Glorfindel knew he was wrong.
“I do no such thing,” he said calmly as he moved towards the young elf. “I simply assumed your thoughts would be light, not heavy and dark, like mine.”
“To me, my thoughts are not light and, hence, my feelings towards them are deep and strong. You make light of them because yours are darker?”
Glorfindel moved closer, until he stood but inches from the magnificent creature. He was irresistible and his hand moved to cup the soft cheek of its own accord, watching as his own fingers caressed the smooth, cool skin below.
“Why should that bother you? It is of no import. I wish only to have you once more,” whispered Glorfindel, his breath ghosting over Legolas’ ear.
It took a while for the boy to answer, but when he did, it was not with the words Glorfindel had wanted to hear…
“Now, I see you,” whispered the boy in awe, almost. “I see turmoil... “
“You see nothing!” hissed the ancient lord, and Legolas stepped backwards, staring at Glorfindel for but a moment, before bowing, and walking away.
Glorfindel damned his unyielding pride, his prejudice against one so young and unaware, who dared to see his turmoil…
“Wait!” he called, trotting after a striding Legolas who ignored him.
Glorfindel reached out and caught his forearm, pulling him to a stop, and as the young prince’s face swirled round to meet him, Glorfindel flinched backwards, again surprised at the depth and complexity behind the strange eyes of smoldering blue.
There, in the face of his young angel, was a whirlpool of seething anger, loss, anguish and despair. There was strength and pride and nobility, there was intelligence, born not of age and experience but innate.
“You want my body – and that is nothing new to me, my Lord. Yet in you I saw something more and thought that perhaps, for one moment, you would see something in me that would make me worthy, more than an instant of pleasure, to be cast aside and bragged about. I also, thought that one as ancient as you, would not make that same mistake – that wisdom would guide your deeds, but I was wrong…”
Glorfindel stared at the prince. His words had been emphatic but they were not born of anger – they were born of disappointment, and thus it stung all the more. The boy’s reasoning was solid and thus he could not answer.
“Now then,” continued Legolas, calmer now he had made his point, “take what you want from me,” he began, pulling off his over tunic and untying the laces of the white shirt below.
“Because this is what you want, isn’t it?” his voice was soft and wistful once more, and his muscled torso was revealed, the white skin glowing under the light of the moon and setting Glorfindel’s fingertips to tingling in need.
“Yes,” was all he could say lamely as his eyes roamed hungrily over the flesh being offered to him.
Legolas pulled his boots off, and then unlaced his breeches, letting them sit low upon his hips.
“Now, use me as you will. Take your pleasure, ancient lord, prove to yourself and to me, that this is nothing more…”
He was not thinking, could not think for his sex throbbed mercilessly and this – wanton - was fueling his already unbearable lust, just as he had the day before.
Glorfindel rushed forwards and crushed his mouth against Legolas’, stopping the words and the need to think. He wished only to feel, and so he took the body into his arms and pushed until it thunked against the bark of a tree.
“Yes, like this…my lord…”
‘Wanton…’ With one hand he pressed Legolas against the tree, and with the other he pushed the breeches down and then kicked them away, leaving his prey in nothing but the loose white shirt that hung open, an open door, the path to bliss, he knew.
“This is all it is, Legolas, all it is…” whispered Glorfindel as his eyes gazed into the boy’s mesmerizing face.
“Yes, yes…” whispered the young elf as his eyes closed.
Glorfindel loosened his own breeches and pushed them down past his muscled buttocks as his mouth latched on to an ear.
“You slake my thirst like no other can – you are food for my body’s needs,” he whispered as he rubbed his body against the almost naked elf he held against the tree.
“Use me then…” said the young elf as he pulled his own leg up in blatant invitation.
With a groan, Glorfindel thrust forward until he was firmly anchored inside, exhaling noisily as he battled to control himself, but that was not to be for, but moments later, he sagged against his lover, his breath coming hard and his legs weak.
Before he knew it, the warm body was gone, headed back to the house, and Glorfindel watched him, a mantra in his head he could not rid himself of…
“This is all it is…”
The following afternoon, a troubled Glorfindel walked together with his most intimate of friends, under the bows of ImladrÝs’ extensive gardens.
“Erestor, will you just come out with it. Your staring is making me nervous.”
“Well now, we are pesky this morning.”
“Pesky? Erestor, children are pesky, puppies are pesky, elven lords are … concerned,” he said lightly with a flick of his wrist.
“Concerned then,” smirked Erestor.
“Well no, that is not the word either. I am simply … tired,” he trailed off, only now realizing that he was, indeed, tired.
Erestor did not reply immediately. Indeed he was wise, one of those few that were on a par with Glorfindel.
“You have nothing to say? No, witty remark? No council?” said Glorfindel as he plucked at a blade of grass.
“Nay – nothing to say, my friend. Well you know I understand your words.”
Glorfindel watched Erestor, his eyes trailing over the silky black river of perfect, straight hair, the severity of his plaits, the subtle slant of his grey eyes, the shrewdness of his brow.
He loved him, with all his heart, as a brother. Respected him above almost all others, on a par with Elrond himself. He was quick of mind and soft of heart, intuitive like no other, perceptive to a fault.
“Eternity has its drawbacks, this we all know, but – but when you live life for no other purpose than to live life, in time it becomes… tedious.”
“That would depend on how you live it, would it not?” said Erestor with a knowing smile and Glorfindel smiled back.
Indeed he was right. He had imposed a strict routine for both himself and his warriors. He kept mostly to himself save for his closest of friends, much to the chagrin of his would-be lovers, but when he did take one to his bed, he treated them well for however long it lasted, which was usually just the night. He wanted nothing more from them for they had nothing to offer him save the comfort of the flesh.
He clung to his reputation, cloaked his inner self in the shell that was the mighty Lord of Gondolin. That way he did not have to feel so much, did not have to show his weakness, for Glorfindel was weak in this one thing – the love he had once felt, had left him, left him vulnerable. He would not let that show, would not let it happen again, for with age came pride, damnable, relentless pride.
His heart had no destiny. It wandered here and there but stayed nowhere, yearned for nothing save for what it did not have.
He was tired, tired of imposing upon himself a loveless life. He had finally synthesized the problem.
“Now,” said Erestor, as if sensing the full circle of his friend’s thoughts. “We have guests, guests from the Greenwood and I for one must discern the politics of it. Are you coming?”
“Nay, not now. I will stay a while and see you at the afternoon meal. You can give me all the gossip then.”
“Gossip?” said Erestor in mock outrage. “Elven Lords do not gossip, Glorfindel, they … converse,” he said lightly, the smile back on his face.
Glorfindel returned it, nodding in salute at the wit of his skillful friend.
Glorfindel awoke with a jerk. He had dreamed under the midday sun, dreamed of the marvels of life, of that first time he had seen his lover’s face…
He sighed and shook his head, straightening his tussled hair and then rising to his feet.
With a tug on his tunic he was away, to the midday meal and reality once more. Only now his troubles had been identified, albeit inadvertently, with the help of Erestor. The question was, after last night’s episode, could it be fixed?
He had taken Legolas with no other purpose than to satisfy himself – to prove to himself that what they shared was nothing more than pleasure – and to his utter surprise, he had achieved something entirely different; he had finally understood his once lifeless heart, and he had proved himself utterly wrong.
He ate mechanically, precisely and efficiently, but the muted conversation around him could not be ignored and his head soon swiveled to Erestor, who sat ‘conversing’ with Elrond quietly.
“Thranduil’s replies have ever been succinct, shall we say.”
“Aye, well. You never really talked openly of what happened. ‘Tis a problem of communication, my Lord. It can be solved.”
“Well, now is the perfect time to test your theory, Councilor.”
“What are you talking about?” said Glorfindel flatly as he ate.
“Our visitors,” began Erestor, “have brought missives from the Mirkwood. They propose bilateral talks.”
Glorfindel considered Erestor’s words before replying, the ghost of a smile on his face.
“That is good,” he said simply, and Elrond and Erestor shared a knowing smile, a hint of hope shining in their ancient eyes.
Legolas lay flat on his back upon the lush, green lawn. Disappointment snaked around his heart, and frustration fuelled it. And then, the lingering weakness in his body from recent injury did nothing to redirect his negative mindset.
It was beautiful here, in a tame sort of way, for the shrubs were shaped, cut into works of art, sculpted almost. And flowers grew in arranged beds and pots, decorated with stones and lanterns and carved banks and chairs.
He breathed the fresh, crisp spring air, the aroma of jasmine and honeysuckle tickling his nose and making him smile for a moment, just one moment of bliss when the world meant nothing at all, when duty and hardship did not matter and he was free.
Tilting his head back, he felt the warmth of the sun on his face and closed his eyes slowly.
When he had set eyes on Glorfindel that first morning he had known, on some deep level, that there was something special about him. In what respect he had not known at the time, but later that very same day – Legolas realized that something had tilted inside him, had changed, and although it had been but one, simple moment of sex, it had somehow acquired an importance he had not given it at the time.
Yet that evening, Legolas had been shocked at his own disappointment with Glorfindel. It should not have mattered so much to him that he was treated as a child. But it had, and so he had punished himself by offering the ancient lord his body – to prove to himself that he had been foolish, that that is what you get for arrogantly assuming he would be respected as a warrior of his father’s kingdom.
And yet what blissful punishment it had been.
Perhaps, he mused, perhaps they could be casual lovers. So long as he guarded his heart and understood what it was Glorfindel wanted, there would be no reason to be disappointed any longer.
But then he opened his eyes once more, the sun no longer warmed his face, for there – stood a figure the young Prince of Mirkwood could but stare at, for surely this was the face of a God…
“Well met, Lord Legolas,” said Glorfindel simply.
“Well met, Lord Glorfindel,” replied Legolas smoothly, feasting his eyes for a moment, on the object of his strange desire.
“Would you, perhaps, accompany this foolish, ancient lord for a ride through the Valley?” asked Glorfindel, his face confident, his eyes unsure.
“I will accompany you, Glorfindel,” said Legolas slowly, quietly, as his eyes watched the heavenly figure above him as it knelt over him.
Glorfindel brushed his soft lips over his own. It was a tender kiss, not born of lust but of fascination as a large, strong hand smoothed down his hair in a touch so tender, so caring it brought moisture to Legolas’ disbelieving eyes.
He had been right, he had seen what lay beneath and had earned the lord’s ire for it. What had happened to change that anger Legolas knew not, cared not.
His own hand now lay against Glorfindel’s cheek, keen, bright eyes searching, silently questioning.
“This – is - all it is,” said Legolas slowly, meaningfully.
“Yes, said Glorfindel with a smile. “A moment of bliss, is all it is – life, is an endless moment, of bliss, given the right circumstances.”
He kissed the young elf soundly upon the lips then, in case he had not understood his words, for ‘all it is’ was everything Glorfindel of Gondolin and Imladris, had unwittingly been searching for.
He had seen glaciers in the moonlight, lit as if from beneath: he had watched as liquid rock spurted from barren mountains, rivers of light and heat carving the land; he had seen the planets aligned and the Sun turn black. He had seen the face of his soul mate…
Prompt: LOTR-based with an older and a younger character finding themselves in an unexpected relationship and dealing with how others may react; also one character has to overcome some past hurt, trauma, or betrayal. Balance of angst and happy and/or h/c and recovery. Any rating is fine.
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