Heart In Chains
Erestor had expected the knock on his door and drew in a deep breath, trying to mentally prepare himself for the upcoming confrontation with Glorfindel. Since his arrival he had barely seen the Elda and he had been comfortable with being ignored, but now he wondered if that would continue for the duration of his stay here. “You may enter, Glorfindel,” he said softly, resting one hand on the windowsill to steady himself. He stood in front of the window and now turned toward the doorway to meet Glorfindel head on.
Glorfindel hesitantly stepped inside. His gaze immediately sought out Erestor, seeing the dark-haired Elf in a new light. This was the Elf who had pulled Elrond back after Ereinion had died, who had given Elrond new energy when Celebrian had sailed for Aman. This Elf had carried Elrond’s sons and had lost them. /I will do everything I can to make sure this child is born. I just wish I could tell Elrond./
“Glorfindel,” said Erestor softly, inclining his head to show his respect. He had expected Glorfindel to show up, but he had no idea what the blond wanted to tell him. The look in those heavenly blue eyes still revealed shock and Erestor reckoned this could go both ways. “I gather Haldir told you?”
“Aye, he told me everything he knew.” Glorfindel frowned deeply. “Why do you feel you have to hide your bond from Elrond?”
That question confused Erestor temporarily, but then he made an effort to answer it. “Elrond was never given a choice. Binding him to me in such a way would be unfair.”
/And did *you* have a choice?/ wondered Glorfindel. From the way Haldir had presented the facts to him, he had gathered that Erestor had been forced in a more subtle way. “And now that you are pregnant with his child, you still prefer not to tell Elrond?”
Erestor’s fingers clawed at the wooden windowsill. “I cannot take the risk that he will take my daughter away from me.” At exactly that moment, his baby kicked again. He gasped softly and swayed.
Glorfindel reacted with concern. “Erestor?”
“’Tis only the baby kicking me. She has been doing that much lately. She must be growing impatient to be born.” Erestor had composed himself again and asked, “Why are you here, Glorfindel? What is the verdict?”
/Haldir was right, Erestor expects to be judged./ “No verdict,” said Glorfindel, slowly approaching Erestor and noticing the way the dark-haired Elf began to push back against the wall. He stopped in his tracks, realizing he was intimidating the other Elf.
“Then why are you here? To announce you are going to tell Elrond and ruin the little joy I have finally found in my life? I like living in Imladris. I do not have to watch my back where Galadriel is concerned. Everyone here is friendly, even concerned and means well. But you will ruin that, won’t you?”
Glorfindel now fully understood Erestor’s fears for the very first time. /He really is convinced Elrond will react with rage when learning the truth. He needs time. Forcing this issue now will only cause him to worry and his health will deteriorate. That is a risk I cannot take with him being almost eight months pregnant./ On his way over here he had prepared a little speech to reassure Erestor, but he now realized it wouldn’t work. He had to do something else – something better. His mind set -- now that he had made his decision -- he approached Erestor again. He pretended not to see the beginning tremors that rocked the Elf’s body and when he stood in front of Erestor, he went down on one knee.
Glorfindel’s move utterly stunned Erestor, who wondered what had gotten into the blond. Unexpectedly, Glorfindel claimed his right hand and slowly pulled it toward his chest.
Glorfindel moistened his lips and spoke in a most solemn tone. “Many centuries ago I vowed to protect Elrond and his family. Millennia ago, you sacrificed yourself by binding yourself to my Lord and, by doing so you saved his life. I now also pledge my allegiance to you.”
Erestor tried to swallow the lump of emotions that was forming in his throat at hearing Glorfindel’s words. This had taken him by surprise; he never expected the Elda to do such a thing and he didn’t know how to react to it.
“You carried and lost my Lord’s heirs and my heart grieves for the loss, but it also rejoices at this new chance that you have been given. Haldir told me – and you just confirmed this – that you are certain that you are expecting a daughter and I extend my protection to her as well. From this day on, I will die for you and your daughter.” Slowly, still holding onto Erestor’s clammy hand, he rose from the floor and looked deeply into large, chocolate eyes.
Carefully removing his sword from its sheath, he offered the hilt to Erestor. “Accept my sword arm in battle and my friendship and dedication in times of peace.” Looking at Erestor steadfastly, he waited for the dark-haired Elf to accept or refuse him. He was fairly confident that Erestor would accept, but it was obvious that he had shocked the pregnant Elf and Erestor needed a moment to sort out his thoughts.
“I do not understand,” whispered Erestor softly.
“Please accept,” whispered Glorfindel, once more offering Erestor the hilt of his trusted sword. He had stated his intentions and forced himself to wait for Erestor’s answer.
Erestor blinked, his eyes filling with tears, and he quickly forced them back, unwilling to cry in front of Glorfindel. “I thought you had come to condemn me, or to announce you were going to tell Elrond. I never expected this.” When Glorfindel remained quiet, still awaiting his answer, he placed one hand on the hilt of the Balrog Slayer’s sword. There was only one thing he could do as he desperately wanted to befriend Glorfindel. “I accept, but feel I need to warn you that I am not worthy of such loyalty. Elrond is not bound to me and will take a new mate in time. My daughter is…illegitimate.” Bastard: that is what Galadriel would call her.
Glorfindel brought Erestor’s hand, which still rested inside his, close to his heart. “My sword and friendship are yours as long as you will live, Erestor.” Seeing the weak smile on Erestor’s face, he felt confident enough to continue. “I know you probably do not want to hear this, but I do think you should be honest with Elrond. He is a goodhearted soul and would never hurt or punish you. He would mourn his sons’ deaths and then look forward to his daughter’s birth.”
“I cannot take that risk,” said Erestor softly, hating to disappoint Glorfindel. “I have so much to lose; my freedom, my happiness, my daughter.” He removed his hand from the hilt of the sword and felt relieved when Glorfindel released his other hand as well. Protectively, he rested them on his abdomen. “My greatest wish is that my daughter will be happy here and that Elrond, Haldir and you will raise her well.”
“Why would you say that?” Did Erestor plan to leave Imladris? Glorfindel frowned; the dark-haired Elf had just told him how happy he was here.
“As you know by now I am a healer and I have studied the few documented cases on male pregnancy. In all cases, either the child or the pregnant Elf died and I told Elrond to choose for my child’s life in case of complications. There is a chance I will never see her.”
“Please do not say that. Elrond will make sure both of you survive.”
“Elrond is a well-trained healer,” said Erestor, slowly walking away from Glorfindel. He headed for one of the chairs, as he was growing tired and needed to sit down. “But even his skills are limited.”
Glorfindel’s frown deepened. “Haldir told me about your natural healing powers. It is a pity that they do not work on yourself.”
“Most of my healing energy is focused on Elrond and now that he is healthy and somewhat at peace, only a little of my energy is flowing into his mind. That means I can use more energy to sustain our daughter.”
“Elrond should complete the bond and strengthen you in that way,” said Glorfindel firmly. The sad smile that Erestor gave him made his heart clench with sorrow.
“I do not want him to be bound to me. He deserves someone better, more worthy of him.”
Glorfindel stared in disbelief at Erestor. How could the Elf’s opinion of himself be that low? “Which reminds me, Haldir mentioned you briefly helped Elwing to take care of Elros and Elrond. Just how old are you and what about your family?”
“They long entered the Halls of Waiting – at least I think so,” said Erestor thoughtfully, briefly closing his eyes. “I lost contact with my mother when we fell out of grace with Finwe.”
“Finwe?” Just when Glorfindel had thought Erestor couldn’t surprise him more, the dark-haired Elf said something like that.
“My mother was Indis’ sister and Finwe took a liking to me. Feanor however instantly disliked me and…” Realizing he was revealing things even Haldir didn’t know, he quickly grew silent.
“You are that old? You knew Feanor?” Glorfindel had to sit down and collapsed onto the windowsill, which was just big enough to hold him. “I cannot believe this.”
“Feanor hated me and so did most of his sons. It took Maglor decades before he could get me into safety. By that time, Feanor had died and I was to live at Maglor’s keep. He then arranged for me to live with Elwing and the twins.” Although his instincts were telling him to stop confiding in Glorfindel, he couldn’t. “I was happy there. You might be surprised to learn that Elrond was a really quiet child. It was Elros who got them into trouble.” Fond memories returned to him. “Elrond loved to listen to the sound of the waves inside seashells and his favorite toy was this stuffed dolphin, made from the softest fabric. He would attack Elros’ octopus with it...” Erestor grew silent, seeing the flabbergasted look in Glorfindel’s eyes. “But you cannot tell Elrond any of this, do you understand?”
“I pledged my allegiance to you and I will not go against your wishes, but it hurts me to see that you are making a mistake out of fear.” Glorfindel cocked his head, trying to deal with everything he had learned. “I am surprised Elrond did not recognize you if you took care of him when he was a toddler.”
“I was not with Elwing for a long time. I arrived shortly before Maglor and Maedhros attacked. When I learned that Maglor had been involved in that attack, it took me a very long time to accept that fact. But he raised Elrond well, for which I am grateful. Maglor always had a kind heart.”
“I still cannot believe you want to keep all of this from Elrond. I have known him for a very long time and I know he would welcome you with open arms – well, maybe after throwing a tempter tantrum at first – but those are nothing to worry about.” Glorfindel sighed deeply. “Please know that you can always count on me.” He rose from his chair, bowed to show his deepest respect to Erestor and then headed for the doorway. “You have my eternal gratitude for saving Elrond from Mandos’ Halls.” After looking at Erestor over his shoulder and seeing the swimming eyes, he quickly closed the door behind him. He had gotten more than he had bargained for when he had pressured Erestor into giving Haldir permission to tell him.
He quickly headed back to his rooms, eager to be reunited with Haldir.
Haldir -- like Erestor -- had been unable to go to sleep whilst the matter stood unresolved. He had taken a bath and had then slipped between the covers, awaiting Glorfindel’s return. Hopefully their talk had gone well. For some time he had considered following Glorfindel and keeping an eye on them, but he had dismissed the idea, knowing it was something the two of them had to resolve.
When the door unexpectedly opened, he immediately sought out Glorfindel’s eyes. They burned with fierce emotions, but his lover seemed at peace. “I gather you talked to him?”
Glorfindel nodded, removed his sword, slipped out of his clothes and joined Haldir in bed. Still feeling rather protective, he now released those feelings toward Haldir, as Erestor hadn’t let him release them to him. Wrapping his arms tight around the silver-haired Elf’s waist, he guided Haldir’s head onto his chest and then rested his chin on top of his lover’s soft hair.
Haldir was vexed, forced to stare at Glorfindel’s chest instead of his lover’s face, but he allowed it. “How did it go?” Glorfindel’s hold on him tightened and now the blond also folded his long legs around him, almost drawing him into himself. That reaction worried Haldir.
“Not as I had hoped,” said Glorfindel eventually, patting the long, silver hair. “I offered him my allegiance, sword arm and friendship. He accepted, but when I advised him to tell Elrond he refused.”
“Erestor needs time. He needs to understand that he is safe here and it helps that Elrond likes him. Do not try to force this issue, love.”
“I trust your judgment in this matter.” Glorfindel made another decision that moment and slowly rolled Haldir onto his back. Straddling the other’s narrow hips, he brushed some silver locks out of the way and lovingly stared into the hazel eyes. “I wish to consummate our marriage.”
Haldir arched a perfectly formed eyebrow. “Now?” Instinctively, he parted his long, muscular legs and allowed Glorfindel to settle between them.
“Aye, now. I need to know that you love me and that you are mine. That you will be mine until one of us dies.” Glorfindel placed his hands at either side of Haldir’s head and studied the hazel orbs. “And I would like to be the one to give you pleasure.”
Haldir was tempted to make a teasing remark like ‘And still you won’t yield,’ but the words never made it onto his lips, seeing the need in those azure eyes. “I trust you know how to do this?”
“I do, but you might have to guide me at times.” Glorfindel lovingly caressed Haldir’s face and offered his lover a fingertip to suckle on, which Haldir promptly did.
“Before we go any further,” whispered Haldir, occasionally bestowing a lick to the tip of the digit, “Do you have any oil we can use? I would prefer not to be left sore by you.”
“Oil?” Glorfindel reached for the drawer of the nightstand and removed a crystal phial. “I occasionally rub this onto my skin, will it do?”
“Excellent,” purred Haldir pleased. “You may continue now.”
Glorfindel smiled at that command and pushed the blankets out of the way, revealing Haldir completely to him. “I like seeing you naked.” Still straddling Haldir’s hips, he ran his fingers through the silver mane, savoring the feel of the silken strands flowing through them. “I hope I won’t disappoint you.”
Haldir replied by claiming his lover’s lips and gently kissing them. Raising his hips, he caused Glorfindel to slide into position.
“My, you are eager,” whispered Glorfindel teasingly. But he wouldn’t be rushed. Using the tip of his tongue, he left a wet trail down Haldir’s throat and chest, suckling an erect nipple until Haldir was thrusting against him. He would have preferred to make this last, but this need to know Haldir was truly his mate overwhelmed him. A part of him realized it was because Erestor couldn’t have Elrond. So now he had to make sure he *did* have Haldir.
His lover’s shaft moved against his abdomen and Glorfindel curled his fingers around the slick column of hard flesh, stroking it. It didn’t take Haldir long to thrust into his hand with wild abandon. Glorfindel fell in love all over again, seeing the wanton lust on Haldir’s face and the eagerness with which the proud and beautiful March Warden wanted him.
Haldir, who had closed his eyes in bliss, now opened them to look upon his beloved’s face. “Will you take me now or do you intend to draw this out, making me suffer? I need you, now.”
Glorfindel removed the stop from the phial and coated his shaft with a generous amount of the oil. “How do you want to do this, meleth-nín?”
Haldir pulled his knees toward his chest, making this as easy as possible for Glorfindel. “Take me.”
Glorfindel’s mouth watered, seeing Haldir offering himself in this way. Kneeling, he positioned himself at the entrance to his lover’s body. He had never been with a male in this way before, but knew he had to be careful and move slowly if he didn’t want to hurt Haldir internally. “Touch yourself for me,” he purred seductively.
Haldir threw back his head in pleasure, feeling Glorfindel slowly push inside. At his lover’s request, he pumped himself slowly, not wanting to come too soon.
Glorfindel bit his bottom lip, trying to do this as slowly and gently as possible and when he was finally buried inside his lover’s body, he released a deep and contented sigh. Looking at Haldir, he found that his lover’s brow was furrowed with concentration and he slowly lowered himself onto the silver-haired Elf until he was close enough to nip at Haldir’s throat.
“Oh…” Haldir still stroked himself, slowly and at leisure, but when sharp teeth pierced his throat, his member slipped from his fingers. “Aye, more…More!”
Glorfindel, relieved that he was pleasing his lover, thrust for the first time and felt like he would come that instant, so he froze, savoring his lover’s tightness.
Haldir, however, was in the throes of ecstasy as the tip of Glorfindel’s erection delicately rubbed against his prostate. “Oh!” Lifting his hips, rocking them, he tried to get Glorfindel to move.
Glorfindel understood his lover’s need and frantically claimed Haldir’s lips, invading the warm mouth and exploring it. As he delivered another thrust to that hidden gland, Haldir released a strangled whimper beneath him, thrusting back. Now that he felt he had regained some control and wasn’t in danger of coming that instant, Glorfindel slowly pounded into his lover’s body, burying himself hard and deep.
Haldir’s eyes flared with lust and he released the sheet he had been clawing at to place his hands on Glorfindel’s buttocks, driving him home even deeper.
Their lips still locked, and tongues chasing each other, their lovemaking became wild and urgent. Glorfindel possessed his lover completely, making sure Haldir enjoyed this much as he did. Hot cream now clung to his thigh, telling him his March Warden had found release. “Aiya! Haldir… what?” He thought he would die from pleasure, feeling Haldir’s strong inner muscles contract around him. Arching his back, he threw back his head and released a possessive growl. “Ai!” Finding release, he collapsed onto Haldir’s body.
Haldir instinctively wrapped his arms around him and stroked the long, smooth back. Holding him loosely, he waited for Glorfindel to ride out his orgasm.
He had never felt this much at peace before and Glorfindel purred like a big cat when he lifted his eyes to look upon his new mate. “Thank you for letting me experience that.”
“It was my pleasure.” Haldir placed a kiss on a golden tress and then held Glorfindel’s stare. “Now pull out – slowly. Do not rush it.”
Glorfindel pushed himself onto all fours and slowly removed himself from his lover’s body. “Did I hurt you?” he asked, somewhat belatedly.
“Nay, you went slow and were careful not to hurt me.” Haldir shifted their positions until they were both on their sides, face to face. “We are now officially married, herven-nín, and I pray you will never regret accepting me as your mate.”
“Herven-nín… husband mine…” Glorfindel’s eyes beamed with happiness – and even more with pride – and rested his head on Haldir’s shoulder. “I would like to rest in your arms for the remainder of the night.”
“And I would like to hold you,” said Haldir teasingly. They sealed consummating their marriage with a kiss, and then snuggled close to one another, wishing this moment would last forever.
“Erestor? Are you awake yet?” Lindir softly knocked on the door to Erestor’s rooms and waited impatiently. “Erestor? Erestor!”
Erestor startled awake. It had taken him hours to fall asleep last night, as Glorfindel’s odd behavior had kept him awake. Although he was relieved the matter had been resolved, he continued to feel worried where Glorfindel was concerned. The blond was loyal to Elrond and utterly dedicated to the half-Elf and that made him apprehensive. For how long would Glorfindel be able to keep his secret?
“Erestor? Would you please answer me? If you do not, I will fetch Lord Elrond!” Lindir was growing worried now that Erestor wasn’t answering. He was about to turn around and go to Elrond’s chambers instead when Erestor’s soft, obviously sleep-filled voice reached his ears.
“Don’t… I am awake. No need to fetch Lord Elrond…” Erestor was panting hard by the time that he had managed to push himself to his feet. It seemed like his belly continued to grow with every passing day. He covered the distance to the door, opened it, and wondered why Lindir was staring at him. “Is something amiss?”
“You are still wearing your clothes. Did you sleep in those robes? I brought you nightshirts…” Puzzled to why Erestor would sleep in his robes, Lindir passed Erestor by and studied the pregnant Elf, who looked definitely rumpled. “Did you not sleep well?”
Erestor brushed back some tangled strands of hair. “You are right. Sleep did not come easily to me last night.”
“Would you like to go back to sleep?” Lindir felt guilty for having woken Erestor when he obviously needed the sleep.
“Nay, I am awake now.” Erestor sat down on a chair, flinching when cramps caused spasms in his right leg. “How can I be of assistance, Lindir?”
Lindir frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Why are you here?” Erestor briefly closed his eyes. The cramps were moving upward to his lower back.
“I am here because it is time for you to get up and eat breakfast. Later, if you would like, I can escort you to the library or keep you company if you prefer to stay here.”
Erestor’s eyes softened. “Lindir, I can take care of myself. You do not have to attend to me because Lord Elrond told you to. I am sure you have more important tasks to carry out.”
Lindir determinedly shook his head. “I am honored to look after you.”
Realizing he was fighting a losing battle, Erestor surrendered. “I will comply, then.”
“Good!” exclaimed Lindir, pleased. “Do you require help in the bathroom or…?”
“I think I can still manage that, thank you,” whispered Erestor, slightly embarrassed.
“Any special wishes for breakfast? The cook wants to pamper you.”
“Something easily digestible, please.” Erestor pushed himself to his feet and headed for the bathroom, realizing Lindir was back in charge of his time schedule.
“I will inform the cook and whilst you are taking a bath, I will select clean robes for you.” Lindir busied himself by tidying up a bit and watched Erestor, making sure the pregnant Elf could do without his assistance. Once he was reassured, he instructed a servant to collect Erestor’s breakfast from the kitchens. Seating himself, he patiently waited for Erestor to return from the bathroom.
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