“And what is this... thing?” The mighty Elvenking asked, thoroughly examining the long tube placed on the top of the tripod. We were on my balcony high above the city lights. The night was clear and dark, just before the new moon. We had the ideal conditions for stargazing.
“This is a telescope.” I answered, snickering. “We watch stars with it.”
“The stars?” He finally turned to me, a curious look clearly written on his face. “Do you always use this?” He asked.
“Not always, my king. But when we want to show some certain objects, we do. Come, let me show you something.” I adjusted the position of the telescope and focused it on certain object. Thranduil just watched how I moved it around the sky and fixed it on the desired position. I looked through it if the object is in the field. It was. “Come, take a look.” I encouraged him. “Look through this small object lens just like I did.”
He leant down and looked through the telescope. “What am I watching? There is some cloud apparently.”
I smiled when he straightened himself again. “Yes. It is globular cluster M13 in the constellation of Hercules.”
“Constellation?” Thranduil´s eyes darted up towards the sky. “So you do have constellations.”
I followed his gaze. “Yes, we have. Though, not many people know about them as much as I do.”
“Do not laugh, my king. My life is devoted to the stars. It is my profession, to watch them. Sort of.” I added and chuckled as well. “Do you want me to tell you the stories that are written in our sky?”
“That would be lovely.” He replied with his smooth seductive tone.
“Alright.” I placed my hands on the balustrade. “The summer is almost here so what we can see are summer constellations. Do you see that bright white star up there? Its name is Vega. It is the brightest star in the Lyra constellation. It is the lyre of Orpheus, an ancient minstrel. He loved his wife so much that he travelled to Underworld and begged the god of Underworld Hades to release her. The god obliged but there was one condition, Orpheus could not glance back at her until they were back up in the world. Yet the footsteps of his wife Eurydice were so silent that Orpheus eventually glanced back to see if she is still following. So his wife died again.”
“It is a sad story.” Thranduil pointed out.
“Many stories from ancient world are tragic. Do you want to hear another?” I asked, turning slightly to him. His eyes were shimmering in the starlight.
I focused back on the sky. “When you look slightly to the left and slightly up from Vega, there is another bright star. Its name is Deneb. It is from Cygnus constellation.”
I paused when I felt his arms circling my waist. His warmth engulfed me and I had to fight the urge to turn to him and return his embrace.
“Continue, please. Do not let me distract you.”
“Cygnus means swan in common language. It is the bird.”
Thranduil chuckled again. “I know what the swan is, my dear.” His hot breath grazed my earlobe and I shivered.
“It is said that the greatest Greek god named Zeus turned to this swan to sneak from his palace on mount Olympus to the Earth and watch people. In this form he seduced princess Leda, the daughter of king Theseus.”
“Why he had to sneak from his palace?” Thranduil wanted to know.
“Because his wife was jealous. Though it is no surprise for Zeus had many children with mortal women. One of them was Hercules. His body is the quadrangle up there. The telescope is still pointing at it.”
“That cloud was in it, was it not?” He asked, his lips almost touching my earlobe.
I smiled. “Yes, it was. You are a quick learner, my king.”
“Show me more.” He insisted.
“The third bright star up there is Altair. It is the brightest star of Aquila constellation. The common name is eagle.”
I sighed when I felt his lips on my neck. I closed my eyes to enjoy his soft caress. “You are distracting me, my king.”
“Forgive me. Your skin glistens in the starlight like a forest river.” Thranduil whispered. “I could not resist.
“When you are talking about river, we have one on the sky too. Do you see that bright ribbon on the sky? Deneb and Altair stars are both in it.” I opened my eyes and pointed at the sky with my red pointer.
“It is the Milky way, our Galaxy. But some other cultures believe that it is a mighty river and around it, there are fireplaces of our ancestors that live there.” I turned to him and circled my arms around his waist this time. “Every culture has its own myths. Though, they all have one thing in common.”
“What is it?” Thranduil looked deeply into my eyes.
“Heroes. The mightiest of our warriors are on the sky so we ordinary people will remember them forever.” I smiled, pecking his lips.
Thranduil smiled at me, returning my affections. Then he pressed his forehead to mine. “So where is the constellation ____?” He asked.
I placed my palm on his heart. “Here, I believe…”
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