By Any Means Necessary
The night passed slowly in the darkness of Mirkwood. The royal talan seemed swamped with Shadow and Erestor’s heart fluttered madly in his chest, seeing Thranduil squirm beside him in obvious discomfort. The blond’s skin had grown cold against his and the bloodless lips were turning blue. The breath that left Thranduil’s lips was cold and crystallized in the air. He was quickly losing the blond to the Shadow and he had to find a way to stop that from happening.
“What do I do?” he wondered aloud, as he brought up his hands to rub some warmth onto the frozen face. Amazed, he realized that the skin beneath his fingertips regained its normal tint and began to warm up as well. “Is that it?” Was touch the way to keep Thranduil on Arda? He had to try!
Reaching out again, he gently rubbed Thranduil’s face and throat, and was pleased when the normal tint returned there as well. Gathering the blond’s hands in his, he rubbed them and after some long moments, the icy skin warmed. But larger parts of Thranduil’s body were still cold and that realization made him act at once.
Grimly, and determined to beat the Sauron, he began to strip the Sinda. First, he removed the shirt, then the boots and leggings, and eventually the loincloth. He regretted having to let go of his charge, but now he had to remove his own clothes.
Both naked now, Erestor lay down again, face to face with Thranduil. Ignoring any emotional discomfort he felt, he wrapped his limbs around the blond’s body, trying to pull him as close as possible. “I will stop the Shadow, I promise you.”
Thranduil didn’t react and remained trapped in his nightmares, which made him call out occasionally in obvious distress. Although the Sindarin Elf was growing warmer against him, Erestor realized more was needed to wrestle Thranduil free from the Shadow’s claws.
Recalling last night, he tentatively placed his lips against Thranduil’s, kissing the King gently. A soft groan escaped his charge, and Erestor released a relieved sigh when Thranduil calmed in his arms. Encouraged, Erestor kissed Thranduil again. This time the blond’s lips and teeth parted and Erestor accepted the silent invitation, letting his tongue slide into the other Elf’s mouth.
Thranduil moved against him, trying to get even closer and Erestor reacted by tightening his hold. Had he found another way to strengthen Thranduil? Running his hands down the long, elegant back, Erestor relished the sensation beneath his fingertips. Still kissing the fair-haired Elf, he studied the sunken features. Thranduil must have been beautiful before the Shadow had begun to consume him and that instant he regretted never having met the Ruler of Mirkwood before.
Unexpectedly the green eyes regained an ounce of awareness and looked at him questioningly. Erestor deepened the kiss, taking away any questions the blond might have. Experimentally, he squeezed a buttock, pulling Thranduil close. His own body reacted to Thranduil’s closeness and Erestor cursed privately, realizing he was growing erect.
Another desperate groan escaped Thranduil’s bruised lips and the emerald eyes lost their sparkle as the Shadow pulled him under again. Thranduil’s lips however, remained locked with his in a passionate kiss. It seemed like Thranduil needed this contact as much as he did.
Unable to pull away, Erestor allowed his hands to explore the blond’s body and he was appalled, clearly feeling Thranduil’s ribs beneath the skin. The blond was too thin; he had lost too much weight since the Shadow had made its presence known. /I need to make sure he starts eating more./
The kiss eventually ended and Erestor tucked Thranduil’s head beneath his chin. His hands kept up the soothing caresses, rubbing circles on the blond’s back. /Sauron won’t claim you as long as I am close. I won’t let him have you./
As if hearing that promise, Thranduil moaned his approval. His arms snaked around Erestor’s waist and he clung to the raven-haired Elf. His life depended on being as close as possible to the Noldorin Elf.
“I will see you through this night and all others yet to come. We will fight the Shadow together,” vowed Erestor passionately, meaning every word of it. The Shadow couldn’t have Thranduil. He wouldn’t allow it.
Elrond woke in the morning because his men were calling out to each other to gather their belongings so they could leave the cave. Briefly he felt annoyed that Glorfindel hadn’t woken him as well, but then he grew aware of a strange sensation that enveloped him. A warm body was possessively curled around his, holding him close. Blinking once, he wondered who would dare hold the Ruler of Imladris whilst the other’s arousal pressed against his buttocks. He was about to demand an explanation when a strand of golden silk flowed across his face, making it easy to identify his unexpected bed partner.
“Ah, I thought you would never wake up.” In spite of his casual tone Glorfindel felt nervous. He had no idea how Elrond would react to his closeness, especially when his attraction was so obvious. Strengthened by the knowledge that Elrond desired him as well, he made his boldest move ever. He swept aside the raven mane to press a kiss against the nape of the half-Elf’s neck. “I hope you do not mind me holding you like this.”
Elrond had seldom been rendered speechless, but he was lost for words now. He moistened his lips, stalling. He took a moment to consider his response. “I do not mind you holding me, but…” Ah, how to phrase this delicately? “Your body seems to be reacting to mine.”
Glorfindel cringed. His timing couldn’t have been worse. “I did not want to tell you when you are already burdened by so many things, but… I love you.” He plunged into the deep, preferring the direct approach instead of hinting and dancing around the half-Elf. He had done so for too long already. “I have been in love with you for quite some time.”
Elrond’s eyes had widened, but then he purred in delight. “I already wondered why you would feed me cherries all of a sudden. What made you tell me?”
Glorfindel blushed and was immensely grateful that Elrond couldn’t see it. “I sneaked into your rooms a few nights ago.”
Elrond snorted. “And I never noticed?”
“You were fast asleep.” Glorfindel felt nervous now that he had to confess up. “During your sleep you told me you loved me -- desired me. When I heard your admission I was determined to stop this game we have been playing for so long. Originally I wanted to wait until we had returned to Imladris, but it seems the decision has been made for me.” He held his breath, uncertain of Elrond’s reaction.
Elrond considered everything Glorfindel had told him and then slowly turned in the embrace until they were face to face. Looking at the blond, he saw uncertainty in the deep blue eyes, but also love and devotion. He smiled pleased, raised a hand and rubbed his thumb across the Elda’s lips. “Your admission pleases me, meleth-nîn, and I gladly accept your declaration of love. Know that you have mine in turn.”
Glorfindel’s eyes were swimming with tears of joy, but he fought them back, unwilling to release them when his men were this close. “We will talk about this once we reach Mirkwood. I want to talk to you in private,” he explained.
Elrond understood. “You are right. ‘Tis a private affair.” Watching Glorfindel closely, he wondered about the blond. “I am glad you sneaked into my rooms, for it means we finally admitted our feelings. I have longed for this moment for decades.”
Glorfindel smiled relieved. “Once I knew the attraction was mutual I had to have you.”
“You have me, meleth-nîn.” Elrond stole a glance at his men, who had left the cave. They had probably overheard their conversation and were now granting them a moment of privacy, for which he felt thankful. Stealing a kiss from Glorfindel’s lips, he regretted that the action was hurried. “I promise I will make things up to you once we have some privacy.”
Glorfindel swallowed hard, still feeling an echo of Elrond’s lips on his. He hadn’t expected the kiss, and his heart rejoiced at its tender note. “Nay, I should make things up to you… melethron-nîn.” The endearment was spoken softly, almost hesitantly, uncertain how it would be received.
Elrond hated breaking the enchantment, but they needed to leave this cave and continue their trip to Mirkwood. “Stay close to me today.”
Glorfindel nodded enthusiastically. “I wish I had some cherries…” Elrond had looked adorable when he had made the half-Elf eat them. Calls coming from their escort brought him back to reality. “But that must wait.” He was stunned that Elrond had accepted him --his love. He hadn’t thought it would be this easy. /But then again, he loves me. He is probably just as relieved as I am that everything is out in the open./
Elrond regretting freeing himself of his lover’s embrace, but then pushed himself onto his feet. Extending his hand, he pulled Glorfindel to his feet as well. “We will continue this later,” promised the half-Elf. “But now we have to be on our way.”
Standing close, Glorfindel rested his brow against Elrond’s forehead, staring deeply into the stormy eyes. “I love you.”
Elrond smiled smugly before leading the Elda out of the cave.
When Thranduil opened his eyes the next morning, he was relieved to have survived another night. The nightmares had been shattering and there had been moments when he had thought that the Shadow would finally claim him. Slightly turning his head, he realized Erestor was extremely close. They were still in bed, and Erestor was holding him. Some time during the night he must have snuggled up to the Noldorin Elf. That thought amazed him. /I hate the Noldor./ But it seemed he didn’t hate this one.
Erestor’s eyes were empty with much deserved sleep, but the dark-haired Elf’s arms were tightly wrapped around him, making sure he couldn’t leave.
Suddenly, images flooded his mind and he recalled the feel of Erestor’s lips against his. The Noldorin Elf had kissed him last night -- repeatedly! Why had Erestor done that?
Entranced by the other’s closeness, Thranduil let his fingers run through the dark mane. It amazed him that Erestor had gotten so close to him this quickly, but then again, a bond had been formed between them. It was the very thing that kept him alive.
Acting instinctively, he pressed his lips against Erestor’s, claiming them in a gentle kiss. He didn’t know why he was doing this. He wasn’t in love with Erestor, was he? He had only loved once -- truly loved-- when he had been with his beloved wife. He would have loved Elrond if Gil-galad had let him, but the High King had ruthlessly defended his territory.
He wrapped a raven lock around a fingertip and enjoyed the silk sensation that now caressed his skin. /What do I know about you? Hardly a thing. The only thing that I know is that you are Elrond’s chief advisor… and a very compassionate soul. You do remind me of Elrond in some ways./
He wasn’t sure where this line of thought was leading him, but he indulged him and caressed Erestor’s soft hair as Arien cast her first golden rays into the royal talan. Claiming the dark-haired Elf’s lips, his tongue slipped past lips and teeth and lazily wrapped itself around its counterpart. If that didn’t wake Erestor, he didn’t know what would!
Erestor woke due to a very pleasant sensation. Someone was suckling the tip of his tongue and causing him to grow erect in the process. As his eyes slowly regained their awareness, he stared at Thranduil in surprise. The blond’s gaze was directed at him and the Sindarin Elf’s tongue now trailed along the inside of his bottom lip. “What… are you… doing?”
“Finish… what you started…” Thranduil momentarily released Erestor’s lips, but tightly closed his fingers around a strand of raven hair. “You kissed me last night.” Lowering one hand, he cupped one of Erestor’s buttocks, squeezing the flesh like the dark-haired Elf had done last night. “I assume you want this?” Why else had Erestor kissed him last night? Or fondled him like that?
Erestor’s mouth suddenly went dry and he stared at Thranduil in surprise. “You were drifting away from me during the night and my touch – kiss -- pulled you back.”
“There is no desire on your part then?” Erestor’s answer displeased Thranduil. He had hoped for a different answer.
Tactically, Erestor remained quiet and he took a moment to closely study Thranduil. When he answered, it was in the form of a question. “Is there any desire on your part then?”
Thranduil swallowed hard. Until a moment ago he hadn’t known the attraction existed himself, but now he knew better. “Aye, I desire you.” One of his hands still rested on Erestor’s buttock and he squeezed teasingly, bringing the other Elf even closer to him. “I never expected to feel like this about a Noldorin Elf.”
“It must be the bond,” reasoned Erestor, trying hard to suppress the desire that began to spread through his body now that Thranduil’s hand slipped beneath the blanket to rest against his skin.
Amused, Thranduil smiled. “I recall going to bed clothed, but I seem to be naked now.”
“I had to get us skin to skin,” explained Erestor in a hoarse tone. Oh, Thranduil’s erection now rested against his thigh and the pre-ejaculate that dripped from its head made his skin slippery. “I cannot believe this is happening.” Things had changed dramatically during these last few hours. Suddenly the pleased and warm expression in the emerald eyes registered with him; they were devoid of the Shadow. What he was seeing was a temporary return of the real Thranduil and the craving expression in the blond’s eyes took his breath away.
Not longer content with watching and waiting, Thranduil wrapped his fingers around Erestor’s semi-erect shaft. Grinning wickedly, he enjoyed the absence of the darkness in his mind, which seemed to stay at bay as long as he focused on Erestor’s body and its needs.
Not giving the Elf in his bed a chance to protest his actions, he touched his lips to Erestor’s, locking lips in a passionate kiss whilst possessively stroking the hard flesh in his hand. He had never been with a male before, but somehow this felt right.
Erestor moaned at the unexpected manipulation and panted hard, when Thranduil released his lips. Arching his back, he thrust into the blond’s hand. Losing touch with reality his world now existed of the hand that was bringing him closer to the edge and then suddenly the lips were back. They now trailed down his throat, suckling the skin beneath his collarbone. /At least the mark won’t show when I am wearing clothes./ It was hard to think when he was enraptured by passion, but his logical mind continued to function.
As Erestor’s thrusts grew more fierce and irregular, Thranduil wetted one finger with his saliva and guided it down the dark-haired Elf’s cleft. Finding the tight opening to the other Elf’s body, he gently pushed inside. He grinned at the way Erestor’s eyes fluttered with surprise. “You bonded with me. That makes you mine.” He had never thought he would enjoy being bound to a Noldorin Elf, but for Erestor he made an exception. /You are truly exquisite. I hope we will find a way to remain together./
Erestor stared blindly at Thranduil and cried out when the probing finger located the gland, hidden away in his passage. One touch was enough to send him over the edge and he shook violently when he spilled his seed over Thranduil’s hand. Panting, he tried to make sense of what had just happened.
Thranduil felt truly pleased with himself for bringing Erestor to orgasm when he had never been with a male before. Seeing the confusion in Erestor’s eyes, he took hold of the raven-haired Elf’s hand and pressed it against his own erection. Erestor’s eyes widened at that, but he didn’t pull away, which pleased Thranduil immensely.
“What does this mean… for us?” whispered Erestor, allowing Thranduil to guide his hand, massaging the length.
Thranduil purred, feeling alive for the first time since the Shadow had awakened. Through a haze of need and desire, Erestor’s words vaguely registered with him. /Aye, what does this mean for us?/ But rational thought fled when he reached release.
Erestor gulped slightly, feeling the blond’s warm cream drip down their joined hands. Thranduil’s fingers remained curled around his and the Sindarin Elf quivered with obvious pleasure. /When was the last time he felt free of the darkness?/ Erestor hadn’t seen the emerald eyes free of their ghosts before. This was the very first time and he couldn’t be cross with Thranduil for taking this step. Looking back, he realized that this sensual tension had been building inside his body as well.
Now that he was calming down, Thranduil studied Erestor’s eyes, easily finding the questions in them. “I do not know what this means for us. I do know it feeds the hope I have…”
“What hope?” Confused, Erestor frowned.
“That we will survive. That the Shadow won’t pull us under.” Thranduil felt remarkable clear-headed after experiencing this intense orgasm. “You bonded with me by accident, but now I find I approve of the link that has formed between us. I cannot say I love you… -- not yet at any rate -- but I do feel something for you. My emotions are unreliable due to the nightmares and lack of proper sleep. I would ask of you to be patient with me. Will you join me and walk this path with me?”
“What are you asking for? What do you want from me?” Erestor moistened his lips, recalling the surprising desire that had welled inside him moments ago.
Thranduil released a deep breath. “I only know that I cannot walk this road alone.”
Erestor bit his bottom lip in frustration. This was new territory to him and he suspected Thranduil didn’t know either what was really going on. It was probably the bond between them that was causing the attraction, and as the link was there to stay, fighting it would serve no purpose. Their best option was to give in gracefully and accept their lives had changed for good. “You do not have to do this on your own. I am at your side and I will support you -- lend you the strength you need -- and we will survive.”
/But what will happen after we defeated the Shadow?/ Thranduil hadn’t allowed himself to think that was even possible, until now that was. Erestor’s determination shone from his dark eyes, telling him the Noldorin Elf would die trying to save him. The reason why, however, eluded Thranduil. Why did Erestor care whether he lived or died?
He just did, decided Thranduil eventually.
In Imladris, Elrohir wandered through the endless corridors. He had woken up in Elladan’s arms, feeling safe and cherished, but then his body had begun to react to his twin’s presence in a way that was completely unacceptable. He had grown hard with the need to be touched. It had resulted in excusing himself and fleeing the room after dressing quickly in the bathroom. Elladan had given him a worried look, but hadn’t asked any questions.
And now he felt lost… scared… ashamed. The emotions slid through him, causing him physical discomfort. His stomach was contracting nervously and he had wrapped his arms around his waist. He even felt slightly dizzy whenever he thought of his brother.
/Aiya, Elbereth, why is this happening to me? Why me? Why?/ Growing desperate he leaned against the wall, feeling increasingly shaky. Tremors coursed through his body. One moment ago he had felt hot, but now he felt icy cold and the trembling intensified. His teeth chattered and cold sweat formed on his brow. By the Grace of the Valar, what was wrong with him?
Elladan appeared in his mind’s eyes, smiling and teasing him and his heart missed a beat at the cheerful expression in his twin’s eyes. /Aiya, this will kill me./
Raising an arm, he stared at his hand, which shook terribly. His eyes widened. “Aiya…” He had seen this happen once before and had hoped to never see it again. “It has come down to this then?”
He gathered his strength and composed himself. His father’s advisers were waiting for him and he couldn’t show them how he really felt. He had to pull himself together… for as long as he would last.
Glorfindel continued to steal glances at Elrond. The Elda was extremely pleased when the half-Elf returned his gaze, smiling gently. He still couldn’t believe his good fortune; it seemed Elrond returned his feelings. Occasionally Elrond led his horse closer to his and managed to steal a touch.
Glorfindel had seldom been happier. For countless years he had believed his love was unrequited, but now he found that it was answered after all. Now that Elrond was close again, he used the momentum to place a hand at the small of the half-Elf’s back. “I wish we had already reached Mirkwood.” The desire to fold his arms around Elrond was mounting and he wanted to taste those lips.
He grinned momentarily, wondering who would end up on top during their first physical encounter. He would yield to Elrond if the half-Elf desired so, but he longed to take the dark-haired Elf as well. Having had a male lover before, he knew how much pleasure could be found in either role. Cocking his head, he studied Elrond.
He knew Elrond and Gil-galad had been lovers, and at times he had warned them when others were near and they were in danger of being discovered. He had even walked in on them once. Elrond had blushed fiercely whilst the High-King had scolded the intruder, trying to hide his lover from view.
/And Gil-galad was taking Elrond… Maybe Elrond will allow me to take him as well?/ But then again, he wasn’t Gil-galad and each relationship had its own set of rules.
The Lord of Imladris was his superior, and he was bound by an oath to serve Elrond until the day he died. But Glorfindel also knew that with power such as Elrond’s came even greater responsibility. He could imagine that Elrond would want to break away from such responsibility by yielding to him.
Glorfindel smirked. He didn’t know what their future would be like, but it definitely promised to be exciting.
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