Heart In Chains
Elrond distinctly noticed Erestor’s relief now that dinner was over and they could make their way back to their quarters. He didn’t know when it had happened, but Erestor had wrapped an arm around him and his lover’s head rested on his shoulder. Finally, Erestor seemed comfortable. Maybe he could try some light conversation, as he wanted to keep Erestor in this relaxed state. “Did you also notice something about Orophin… and Celeborn?”
Erestor smiled, rubbing his cheek against Elrond’s shoulder. “Aye, I did. They stared at each other throughout dinner and I can only label Celeborn’s look as predatory, but Orophin did not seem to mind.”
“Do you not think it odd? That Celeborn would fall for Orophin only weeks after severing his bond with Galadriel?” They had reached their quarters and Elrond now pushed the door open.
“No, I don’t. Celeborn and Galadriel no longer loved each other. Only the Valar know for how long Celeborn felt trapped inside that bond.” Erestor’s eyes softened, finding Rumil asleep in the rocking chair, his daughter safely tucked away in the cradle. “I hope Celeborn and Orophin will be happy.”
Elrond considered Erestor’s words and decided to adapt his lover’s attitude when it came to this matter. Erestor had also been trapped inside a one-sided bond and probably knew best. /Thankfully, we *do* love each other and completed the bond. I am beginning to believe that Galadriel never did./
“Rumil? Wake up! You cannot be comfortable sleeping like that.” Erestor gently rocked the chair and smiled, seeing Rumil’s eyes fill with awareness. “Thank you for watching her.”
“She is a sweet little baby,” said Rumil, yawning. “And, you are right. I should head back to my quarters. Haldir wants Orophin and I to become part of the Imladris’ guards and tomorrow is our first training day.” He pushed himself to his feet and his eyes sparkled, seeing the happiness in Erestor’s dark ones. “I fed her and she will probably sleep for a few more hours.” He headed toward the doors, running a hand through his tangled hair. Raising a hand in goodbye, he disappeared into the corridor.
Erestor came to a stand still next to the cradle and studied his daughter. Elrond walked over to him, embraced him from behind and pulled him close. Erestor sighed blissfully. “I am really happy, Elrond.”
Erestor smiled, hearing the soft purr in the half-Elf’s voice. Turning in the embrace, their gazes met. He involuntarily tensed slightly, seeing the lust and passion in Elrond’s eyes, which were at half-mast. “I…” He backed away from the half-Elf, his stomach suddenly tense and his fingers shaky. “I cannot… not yet…”
Sighing, Elrond berated himself for letting go when knowing he had to proceed slowly. “’Tis late, and Ithil is high in the midnight sky. We should go to bed.” Elrond frowned, realizing Erestor was still trembling, “And sleep.”
Erestor released a relieved sigh. “I apologize… I do not know what is wrong with me.”
/I think you do./ But Elrond was careful not to say those words aloud. Leaving Erestor at the cradle, he walked over to the bed, where a servant had already laid out two nightshirts. He picked up his shirt and began to disrobe, constantly aware of Erestor’s eyes on him.
Erestor felt embarrassed for his reaction earlier. Just what was wrong with him? After drawing in a deep breath, he removed his robes as well, quickly slipping into his nightshirt, relieved that they wouldn’t sleep naked. He wasn’t sure he could deal with that yet. /Why am I so nervous?/
“Erestor?” Elrond, who had pushed down the covers, now extended a hand, inviting Erestor to join him. The dark, doe-like eyes reminded him of that first night in Lothlorien when he had been about to take Erestor without any preparation at all, just like he had done after the Battle of the Last Alliance. Thankfully, in Lothlorien he had realized that something was wrong and he had prepared Erestor properly. /But that very first time traumatized him and his subconscious expects it to happen again. But I will never again hurt him! Never!/ He kept his hand extended, laid down and said, “Join me? You must be tired too.”
And yes, Erestor was tired. After shuffling his feet indecisively, he made up his mind and placed his hand in Elrond’s.
Elrond realized the fragile trust he was given and moved aside, giving Erestor all the space the other Elf needed to lie down and make himself comfortable. “May I hold you in my arms tonight?”
Erestor nodded weakly, knowing Elrond was worthy of his trust and yet, he remained nervous. “’Tis not you,” he tried to explain. “I know you love me and… ‘Tis me.”
“I think I understand,” said Elrond, thoughtfully, when Erestor tentatively snuggled up to him. Face to face, he saw the apprehension in the dark eyes. Completing the embrace, he wrapped his lover in a loose hug, not wanting Erestor to feel trapped. “This goes back to our first time, or am I wrong?”
“Our first time…” Erestor’s voice was full of surprise at hearing it phrased like that. “You thought I was the High-King.”
Elrond knew he was venturing onto thin ice, but went ahead at any rate, trying to tread carefully. “How badly did I hurt you? That night is a bit… vague to me. The only thing I remember clearly is finding the sheets stained with blood. I tore you badly, didn’t I?” It would certainly explain why Erestor was this ‘hesitant’ around him when they were about to become intimate. The fact that Erestor had paled and was now as white as a sheet worried him. “Erestor?”
“Yes, you did… hurt… tear me…” Erestor forced himself to draw in his next breath and not panic. He had to grow out of his fears and doubts.
“I am sorry that I hurt you,” said Elrond sincerely, caressing the long, partly braided hair that flowed down his lover’s back. “I was not thinking rationally that night, being consumed by grief. And when I thought Ereinion had returned to me and wanted to make love with me, I did.”
“I… I forgave you a long time ago. Do we have to talk about this now?” Erestor felt confused and was doing his best not to fall apart in front of Elrond.
“I feel we need to discuss this now,” explained Elrond, whilst his other hand gently stroked his lover’s hip. “Because of that night you expect our future lovemaking to be like that; painful and humiliating.”
“I do not think so,” said Erestor, surprised. “That last night in Lothlorien…”
“I was coherent then, but I still acted rushed. Making love can be beautiful, Erestor, and I intend to show you when you are ready to take that step, but in the back of your mind, you still expect to be hurt.” Elrond saw Erestor flinch, and instantly knew he had guessed correctly. “And that is why you need to hear this – now.” Deserting stroking Erestor’s long hair, he placed the palm of his hand against his lover’s cheek, rubbing the skin gently. “I will never hurt you again. I will never force you into anything. You are my very soul; you might not realize that, but I would rather hurt myself than allow you to be hurt. You are safe with me, now and for always.”
Erestor listened breathlessly, finally hearing words he had desperately needed to hear, without ever having realized that he needed to be reassured. “I do love you, Elrond, and I want you to touch me, but…”
Elrond was tempted to finish the sentence for Erestor, but didn’t, wanting his lover to say the words himself.
“But I am not ready yet… for… intercourse.” Erestor managed to maintain eye contact whilst saying that. “But I think I can deal with kissing… And I like the feel of you running your fingers through my hair.” He didn’t want to disappoint Elrond, and now that the half-Elf seemed to understand, Erestor felt safe enough to admit the truth.
“Kissing…” whispered Elrond softly against Erestor’s lips before brushing them. “I like kissing you.” Running one hand down his lover’s back – and his hair – he shifted closer, settling down for some serious kissing.
Erestor eagerly parted his lips and teeth, trying to answer with all the passion he felt.
Surprised to find Erestor this eager, Elrond quickly handed control of the kiss to his lover, knowing Erestor needed to be in charge for now. Lips brushed, tongues danced, chasing after each other, and he slowly rolled onto his back, bringing Erestor with him.
Finding himself on top of Elrond, straddling the half-Elf’s hips, Erestor wondered how he had gotten into that position, but then the kissing started again. Breathlessly, he took charge of the kiss, exploring his lover’s mouth, and playfully nipping at Elrond’s bottom lip before releasing the bruised tissue.
“You are beautiful,” whispered Elrond, enchanted. Erestor hovered above him, strands of long hair teased his skin and his lover now rested his hands on his abdomen. Elrond wished they were naked, but for Erestor’s sake didn’t do anything to rid them of their nightshirts. The chocolate eyes had gained a dark glow, which was utterly captivating. Knowing Erestor would love it, he slowly ran a hand through the long mane, whilst his other began to undo the braids. “Still comfortable?”
“Very comfortable.” Erestor was trying hard not to think, not to remember and just allow himself to feel his lover’s touch. Elrond had grown hard beneath him and that puzzled him. The Ruler of Imladris couldn’t possible enjoy being on the bottom. But then again, hadn’t Elrond suggested reversing their roles at one point? “You know what?” Erestor bowed forward and placed light kisses on each of Elrond’s eyelids, making the half-Elf giggle. “My behavior is ridiculous… What I am trying to say is… We are bonded… You already claimed me three times and I gave birth to our daughter. And yet I continue to act like a shy maiden on her first night of passion.”
“But this is your first night of passion,” said Elrond wistfully. “This is the first time I know who you are and that you love me. And you can finally express your own needs, instead of submitting to me.” A soft growl escaped him.
Erestor understood, knowing that the growl had been meant for Galadriel and not for him. “She told me I had to submit for you to be healed, I never questioned her words and… I am… was… am inexperienced. I would not have known what to do to completely bind myself to you.”
“She hurt you in so many ways, for so long…” Elrond caressed his lover’s face. “But I will make you happy. I promise.”
“I am already happy,” said Erestor thankfully, bowing forward to claim the half-Elf’s lips. He was a bit surprised at the speed with which Elrond was yielding to him, but allowed himself to simply enjoy and accept the gift. “It will take me some time, but I will try to become the lover you want me to be.”
“Don’t…” Elrond shook his head, placing his hands at either side of Erestor’s head, making sure his lover heard him. “I do not want you to become the lover you think I want. Be yourself. I know there is a lot of passion inside you; you just need time and to feel more secure in our bond to show it. I want *you*, not someone you think I want.” That little speech earned him the most passionate kiss so far. Suddenly, his lips were utterly possessed, bruised in a fierce kiss promising many exhausting nights once Erestor had found his confidence in the bedroom.
“Did you have enough time to ponder my question?” Celeborn coyly looked at Orophin, who was still at his side. Dinner had ended half an hour ago and they had retreated to the gardens, enjoying the peace and quiet. Ithil was liquid silver tonight, and he could literally feel the power flow into his body.
“What question?” Orophin felt enthralled by Celeborn. The elder Elf seemed surrounded by a soft silver glow, intensifying the mithril color of the now long mane.
“What do you want, Orophin?” Celeborn sat down on the grass and a soft breeze played with strands of his hair.
Entranced, Orophin sat down as well, staring hungrily at Celeborn. “I want you, I already told you that.”
“You do realize that there is no way back for you if we decide to make this commitment? You are young, handsome and utterly desirable, whilst I feel ancient. Are you sure we are not a bad match?” Celeborn couldn’t help himself, involuntarily he inched closer until he was kneeling in front of Orophin and his lips brushing the younger Elf’s. “I feel like I am going to burst with passion for you.”
“I realize what it entails,” panted Orophin softly. “And I accept you as my lover. Oh, by the Valar, do you have any idea how much I need you? How hard it is to keep my hands off of you?”
“Other parts of you are hard as well,” said Celeborn, unable to resist the corny pun. Chuckling amused, he pulled Orophin onto his lap, tightly holding the younger Elf in place. “Wrap your arms and legs around me.”
Orophin felt like he was dreaming, finally having Celeborn this close. The passion and lust that filled the dark blue eyes were making it hard for him to breathe. Suddenly, the laces to his breeches were undone and a warm and greedy hand slipped inside. “Oh, what…?”
“I would love to take my time with you, but my passion for you burns too hotly. I need you now… I want you…completely.” Laying Orophin down on his back, he used one knee to push the younger Elf’s legs apart. “But only if you desire me as well.”
Orophin, slightly stunned at the pace Celeborn was setting, swallowed hard, but then yelped softly, as agile fingers began to massage his length. Celeborn was demanding, assuming control and… /I like it./ Soft lips claimed his in an intense kiss and he lifted his hips, trying to increase the friction around his shaft. “Will you… be gentle? I have never… done this… before.” Celeborn’s strokes kept him on edge, his body demanding release. Looking at Celeborn hovering above him, he was overcome by an intense sense of happiness. “Aye, I want this… I want you…”
“I will be gentle, love,” promised Celeborn. Quickly, he unbuttoned Orophin’s shirt, removing it and staring admiringly at the smooth, hairless chest. Two erect nipples proved too much temptation and he rolled one of them between his fingertips, drawing needy mews from his new lover. “Soon,” he panted, teasing the hard nubs of flesh with the tip of his tongue. “You have no idea how long I have wanted to do this to you.”
His hands moved downwards. “Raise your hips.” Quickly, he slid off the leggings and was finally graced with the sight of Orophin’s naked body. “Perfect.” Within seconds, he had rid himself of his own shirt and leggings and now knelt between the powerful thighs. “I will be gentle,” he repeated, seeing a hint of apprehension in the hazel eyes. “I will always be gentle with you.”
Orophin yielded at once, when Celeborn’s lips descended over his in a possessive kiss. The elder Elf’s hand returned to stroking his length and he thrust, needing release fast, needing it now. “It burns me…”
“I feel it too,” whispered Celeborn, putting his hands on his lover’s body and exploring all sensitive areas. “It is in my veins. My passion for you burns me.”
Everywhere Celeborn’s hands touched him sparks erupted beneath the skin, quickly driving Orophin to an orgasmic high. Just when he was afraid he would come without feeling Celeborn inside him, his body was breached by a first digit.
Celeborn had used the juices of a healing plant, which he had found in the shadow of an old birch tree, and used it to lubricate his lover’s passage. “Roll over onto your side, Orophin.” His lover had already admitted to being new to making love and he wanted to make this as pleasurable as possible for the younger Elf.
“I want to be able to look at you,” demanded Orophin, disliking the idea of making love on his side.
“Trust me. I will make this good for you.” Celeborn spooned behind his lover and guided Orophin’s knees to the younger Elf’s chest. “Try to stay like this.” Pressing teasing kisses on his lover’s neck, he nibbled his way over to one earlobe, suckling it. Wrapping one arm around Orophin, he reached for his lover’s erection, stroking it lazily. Reaching for the healing plant once more, he squeezed more juices from the leaves and rubbed it onto his hard flesh. “Are you ready? I can still stop now. Are you sure this is the right path for you?”
“I am sure,” said Orophin in a surprisingly convinced tone. Looking over his shoulder, he made eye contact with the elder Elf. “Do you want me?”
“I crave you.”
“Then have me.” Orophin, feeling the blunt head of his lover’s erection against his entrance, began to push back. “You need to quench this fire inside me, it is burning me alive!” What was causing this need? This… lust? He had never felt it before, and by the way Celeborn was looking at him, the elder Elf felt it too.
Unable to keep back any longer, Celeborn buried himself inside his lover’s tight passage with one long, gentle stroke. “Ai…” Instincts were taking over – instincts he hadn’t known he even had! – and his teeth buried themselves in Orophin’s shoulder, drawing a few droplets of blood.
Orophin had been unprepared for the penetration and the invasion that followed. A burning pain made him tremble, but then Celeborn thrust for the first time, rubbing something inside him. “Ah… ai, what… aye… there…now…again…” Within seconds he was reduced to squirming and rambling incoherently, wishing Celeborn would allow him to come. When he finally reached orgasm, he threw back his head and released a series of grunts, pushing back to feel his lover as deeply as possible inside him.
Celeborn followed Orophin over the edge, releasing the skin between his teeth as he didn’t want to inflict serious damage, and buried his face in Orophin’s damp hair instead. Crushing the younger Elf to him, he shook, releasing his seed inside his new lover. Even during this intense state, he realized another bond had been formed, this time involuntarily and triggered by the power of their union.
But this time it felt different; it felt whole, round, complete. /A mutual bond… How is that possible?/ How could that have happened? And did he have the heart to tell Orophin?
Elrond busied himself playing with one of Erestor’s braids. Indlîrien had woken them twice during the night, demanding to be fed. Elrond had seen to her needs both times, wanting Erestor to stay in their warm nest. After returning to their bed that second time, he had been unable to fall asleep again and had enjoyed studying Erestor’s face instead. There were deep lines etched onto Erestor’s forehead that shouldn’t have been there. Galadriel’s scheming had put them there and Elrond hoped that with patience and a lot of tender loving care, they would disappear in time. Erestor had endured so much for his sake. “Good morning, my love. Wake up for me… and for our daughter?” His lips brushed Erestor’s, drawing pleased purrs from them. “We have a busy day ahead of us.” This afternoon their unborn sons would finally find their final resting place near the Bruinen.
Erestor raised a hand and cupped Elrond’s cheek in his palm, adoringly staring into the gray eyes. “You will be at my side when we… take them there?”
“I will be there.” Elrond placed a chaste kiss on his lover’s brow and sat up. Erestor followed suit and both Elves left the bed. Erestor headed for the cradle, taking his daughter into his arms, whilst Elrond opened the door so the servants could serve breakfast.
“Did you feed her twice last night?” Erestor frowned, recalling Elrond had left their bed.
“She was hungry. She has a fine appetite, which is a good thing for a prematurely born baby.” Elrond stopped in his tracks, taking in the sight of his lover and daughter. The Valar had truly blessed him.
“Ada!” Arwen walked into the room, her eyes trained on Indlîrien instead of her father. Smiling at Erestor, she raised her hand to stroke the baby’s face. “I was hoping you would let me sit with her for a short while.”
Elrond and Erestor exchanged a glance. “That is a good idea,” said the half-Elf eventually. “We need to bath and get dressed. Arwen can watch her in the meantime.”
Erestor wasn’t so sure it was a good idea. He had just been reunited with his daughter and he wanted her close all the time. But he knew he couldn’t take her into the pool with him. Sighing, he nodded once, and placed her in Arwen’s arms. Indlîrien began to cry – loudly – and her tiny fingers reached for Erestor’s dark hair, succeeding in grabbing hold of a long strand.
“Ai!” Erestor frowned at his daughter’s action. “Why did you do that?”
“She does not like being parted from you,” said Arwen, smiling.
Indlîrien still had a surprisingly tight hold on his hair and Erestor had to cradle her against his chest once more. “I love you too, little one, but we have to part for a little while and Arwen really likes you. You will have fun with her.”
Elrond grinned, realizing that Indlîrien’s hold on Erestor’s hair was tightening. The small hand had turned into an amazingly strong fist.
“Aiya, Indlîrien, you kicked me when I still carried you and now you are tugging at my hair. ‘Tis safe to say you inherited many of Elrond’s character traits. You already have the makings of a warrior.”
Indlîrien suddenly cooed happily and finally released the strand of hair.
“I think she liked hearing that,” said Arwen, giving her father a wink.
Elrond smiled, wrapped an arm around Erestor’s waist, and led his lover into the bathroom. “Our daughter is quite possessive.”
“She must have inherited that from you.” Erestor blushed weakly, finding Elrond had stepped out of his nightshirt and was now filling up the pool. Elrond’s body was agile, built for endurance and Erestor watched the play of muscles on the half-Elf’s back as Elrond lowered himself into the water.
“Are you joining me?” Once more, Elrond mimicked last night’s action and raised his hand in invitation.
Erestor gingerly removed the nightshirt, feeling vulnerable now that he was naked and joined Elrond in the pool. Their gazes met and Elrond’s look spoke volumes. “I will eat,” he said quickly, “Elladan already told me to eat more and I will.”
“Good.” Elrond approved of Elladan expressing his concern, but tension had risen between them and he wanted to do away with it. “Would you wash my hair for me? I will do yours if you would like that.” Handing Erestor a bar of soap, he waited for his mate to calm his nerves.
Erestor nodded, moistened his lips and created lather with the soap. When Elrond turned his back toward him, Erestor swallowed hard, overcome by the need to touch his mate – more intimately than just washing his hair, but told himself that this was not the time, nor the place for it, and washed Elrond’s hair instead. He combed the long strands with his fingers, undoing the knots the half-Elf liked to wear. Touching Elrond in this way was comfortable and reassuring, and when he had finished rinsing the hair, he wished he hadn’t finished yet.
“Turn around, ‘tis your turn now.” Elrond took the cup Erestor had used to rinse his hair with and used it to wet his lover’s mane. Taking care of each other in this way felt surprisingly intimate and satisfying.
Erestor rested his head on Elrond’s shoulder. “Hold me? Hold me tight? The mere thought of having to say goodbye to my sons again makes my heart ache.”
Elrond complied, delighted that Erestor had asked him to do so. “Trust me, the time has come to let them go. They will always remain in your heart, but you have to put them to rest. Put the memories and the pain to rest. And then focus on your future – our future.” Elrond hugged him tightly, hoping Erestor was ready to start living in the present, instead of in the past.
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