1. The Testament
Erestor smiled saying, “The things you say to make my blood rush, Gil!”
(The Song of Sunset, Chapter 39: Even the Stars Fall)
The Second Age,
“Make your blood rush, hmm?” Gil-Galad laughed as he met those passionate black eyes that had enslaved him from the moment he had first seen them in Lindon.
Erestor raised an eyebrow, a gesture that made the king think of the striking resemblance he bore to his lost father. Gil-Galad smiled tenderly and pressed a kiss to the tousled black hair that crowned his head.
“I meant it; I would be your slave if you asked me to.” The King proclaimed fervently as he wondered how Erestor’s mother could have abandoned him without feeling the least guilt.
“I have thought of something,” Erestor smiled dangerously, a glint shimmering in his guile-filled eyes.
Gil-Galad’s words were cut off by a deep kiss. His thoughts spiraled away as Erestor rolled neatly atop him without breaking the wild dance of their tongues. Gil-Galad bit down on Erestor’s tongue in a hiss of pain when the latter dug his elbows on the King’s chest as if to brace himself. Gil-Galad’s eyes widened as Erestor arched above him and entwined the king’s hands in his own. Gil-Galad broke away from the kiss panting from his need to breathe. Erestor did not allow him more than a moment’s respite before his lips consumed the King again, the fire that characterized Erestor’s house blazed in him as he fought to dominate.
He shifted slightly so that he could grasp the king’s hands by the wrists in his left hand while with his right hand he reached across and grabbed a belt. Gil-Galad stared at him stunned as he broke the kiss to deftly tie the King’s hands together with the said item.
“Erestor,” Gil-Galad began uncertainly.
He knew that Erestor had a strong streak of domination and the king loved it much. But tying seemed rather degrading and unnecessary at the moment. The king’s body tensed and his desire waned as Erestor sat back with his eyes quietly regarding Gil-Galad as an eagle would look upon its prey.
Gil-Galad shook his head angrily and tried to bring his hands to the eye-level so that he could work on the constraining knots. Erestor pounced upon him demanding another kiss, his slender frame a mere deception that lay as a foil to his wiry strength.
Their eyes met as he withdrew whispering, “Trust me, please.”
“Always.” Gil-Galad smiled reluctantly. He did trust his companion, but he had to admit that every pore of his body hated this helplessness.
Erestor smiled warmly as his gaze devoured the king with near fanatic longing. He shook his head as if to clear his thoughts and then descended upon his lover slowly. Gil-Galad groaned in helpless need as a hot tongue suckled the smallest toe of his left foot. He had to take deep breaths to will himself not to shout as Erestor continued to worship his toes with all the reverence that another might have accorded the Valar.
“Let there be no words, not now.”
Erestor’s breath ghosted over wet skin before a lazy flick on the underside of a foot sent the king into a paroxysm of need. Gil-Galad writhed and wriggled on the narrow cot, his hands held back by the constraint as Erestor slowly travelled up his legs.
The king had a moment of starbliss as he keened on feeling Erestor’s fingers against the flushed, sweating skin of his inner thighs.
They had always been passionate in their lovemaking. But there was something different that night. Gil-Galad melted into the silken sheets, becoming a cacophony of moans and low guttural cries of encouragement as Erestor continued exploring the king’s thighs with his tongue.
His breath heated the king’s navel as he raised himself into a more efficacious position. Gil-Galad opened his eyes and begged Erestor mutely, rampant desire wreaking madness on the king’s senses. Erestor’s long fingers ghosted over Gil-Galad’s groin as he held the king’s gaze. Gil-Galad closed his eyes and surrendered himself arching up towards his lover’s skilled touch.
A broken sound issued from Erestor’s throat as he brought his lips to the king’s hip bone and began tracing a path down it. Gil-Galad lacked the energy to even moan as Erestor paused within inches of his lover’s groin. The king tried to topple his companion with his legs, but Erestor had tired him too much and Gil-Galad ended his vain struggle half-heartedly.
A heated inferno swallowed him whole and he arched back and cried, a long, exquisitely drawn out scream of pleasure bought with agony. He opened my eyes and met Erestor’s desire-darkened gaze.
“Take me. Now!” The king whispered commandingly.
Erestor nodded and pulled Gil-Galad’s thighs apart nestling himself between them. The suggestive positioning left the king panting for breath as he drowned in desire. His hooded eyes greedily etched the portrait his lover made.
Erestor’s dark eyes had turned into pools of lust as they roved on the prone body beneath him. The pale skin glistening with sweat shone as moonlight in the dark tent. Black hair cascaded on their bodies tickling them excruciatingly. Gil-Galad took in Erestor’s heaving chest that trembled with suppressed desire. A heated flush had come to shade Erestor’s high cheek-bones with a dash of colour.
“Untie me.” Gil-Galad murmured as Erestor brought his lips to the king’s groin again.
“As you command, My King.” Erestor whispered as he complied hastily before returning to his task.
The king felt himself careening on the precipice of climax, waves of lust and need devoured him cruelly. With a strangled groan, he parted his legs and raised his hips in blatant invitation, praying fervently that his companion would not make him beg more.
Heated lips met his own, generously allowing his tongue to taste his essence within Erestor’s mouth. For a moment they melded into each other, their bodies liquid heat. Then Erestor withdrew and inhaled deeply.
Lazy fingers toyed with Gil-Galad’s scrotum, kneading and pulling until the agony became unbearable. A knuckle brushed against his perineum making him gasp as the sensitive nerve endings blazed in response. For a moment, he wondered if death due to too much of excitement was possible. A finger slickly anointed with a viscous fluid carefully worked him open, while Erestor’s lips distracted him with their languorous ministrations between his thighs. Gil-Galad groaned and pushed back impatiently, making his readiness known to his lover.
And he groaned in pain as he felt the breaching deep within him. He wrapped his legs around Erestor’s hips and gripped his companion’s thighs hard as they rode higher on the crests of pleasure.
The experience of years saw them settle into a frenetic rhythm without losing their synchrony. The first brush against his prostate sent Gil-Galad arching upwards even as his nails gouged half-moon marks on Erestor’s thighs. Erestor made a low moan deep within his throat as he felt the king’s body clenching about him.
They moved faster, their eyes closed and their breathing ragged. With a drawn out cry, Gil-Galad climaxed, coating them both with his seed. The intensity of his climax killed his senses as he fell back almost in a dead faint.
“Ereinion Gil-Galad, you shall join the ranks of your forefathers tomorrow,” a high cold voice spoke harshly in his mind.
Gil-Galad flinched awake as he felt fire engulfing him. He looked up into Erestor’s concerned gaze.
“What is it, Gil?” Erestor asked quietly as he lay by his king’s side.
Gil-Galad passed his fingers over his eyes as he tried to forget the burning sensation he had felt a moment earlier and asked, “Will you answer me frankly?”
“As always,” Erestor laughed as his warm gaze took in his lover’s form.
“If anything happens to--” Gil-Galad’s words were cut off as Erestor claimed a lazy, sensual kiss before withdrawing.
“Nothing will happen, go to sleep.” Erestor’s words held such supreme confidence that Gil-Galad could not help the small smile that broke on his lips.
He nodded and turned to face Erestor, who was already sliding into exhausted reverie. Gil-Galad sighed as he tried to follow Erestor into repose.
Memories assailed him.
……He had been in Mithlond to visit Cirdan. And he had seen Glorfindel sparring with a young elf. His eyes were drawn to the aristocratic, handsome, Noldorin features of Glorfindel’s opponent. The slender frame moved with grace and strength as the youth defended himself against the reborn lord.
“Prince Maglor’s son.” Cirdan had spoken quietly.
“Let him be brought to me. I will take him into my council,” Gil-Galad had whispered as he stared at the striking features that reminded him so of Maglor Feanorion.
“He is too young,” Cirdan had said discouragingly.
“I want him in Lindon, Cirdan,” Fingon’s wrath had flamed in his son and Cirdan had nodded.
……And the confident youth had arrived in Lindon, fearless and unperturbed by the intrigues of the royal council. Glorfindel had taken Erestor under his wing and this was enough to silence those Sindar nobles who held deep resentment for Feanorion blood.
“I want you to be on the Council,” Gil-Galad had told the young elf, trying not to gaze too much at the striking picture Erestor cut in the deep blue tunic and black leggings.
“I will be your Chief-Councillor, if you wish, My King,” The calm, self-effacing statement was spoken melodiously in a voice that recalled to many the golden bard of the Noldor.
“Lindon is the centre of our kingdom, and being my chief-councillor is no task for a gadfly,” Gil-Galad had said sharply, provoked and yet irresistibly drawn to Erestor’s brazen Feanorion self-assurance.
“But I am no gadfly,” Erestor’s elegant bow was sketched with supreme confidence.
……And he had proved it. He had single-handedly brought back order to the ailing administration and army. Gil-Galad wondered if he was responsible for killing the youth of one so young with such tasks. But the King wanted him near.
……They had bonded. They had had an eventful life together over the years. Erestor had grown into a leader of war, an architect, an administrator, an able ruler and a strategist over the centuries. Wisdom, grief, war and time had all touched him and left their marks upon him. Gil-Galad sighed.
And what would the morrow bring? Gil-Galad thought of his father...Fingon had not even acknowledged Gil-Galad as his son. It had been Maedhros who had proclaimed Ereinion as a scion of their house.
Why was he thinking of his father this dawn? A presentiment rushed through his veins, chilling his blood.
He would not return from Mordor, he knew instinctively. He watched the slowly stirring form of his lover, the black eyes fogged with silver in sleepiness.
“A good morning,” Erestor wished quietly as he stretched his limbs, letting Gil-Galad unabashedly gaze on his sinews playing under his bones.
“I am sure that it will be the prelude to a better morning tomorrow” Gil-Galad smiled as he kissed Erestor on the forehead. But he would not see another dawn, Gil-Galad knew well.
“What are you thinking?” Erestor asked curiously, his fingers touching the frown on the king’s face and smoothing it away.
“Do you forgive me?” Gil-Galad asked quietly, “For Isildur? For everything else? I know that I have never deserved you.”
“I know that you are all that I have ever wanted,” Erestor smiled sincerely, his eyes shining with earnest emotion, “We have our disagreements, Gil. But they merely add tang to our relationship, don’t they?”
“I do value you above everything,” Gil-Galad whispered.
“So do I,” Erestor’s hands clasped his own tightly and brought their ring fingers together.
As Gil-Galad watched, Erestor pressed his lips to their rings murmuring, “Our testament, Gil. Till the very end.”
Timing…timing was important in war. Gil-Galad had always timed his attacks, honed by the experience of centuries. He rode through the melee, his eyes fixed on the dark, steel clad form of Sauron. He could see Erestor and Thranduil fighting the wraiths. A pang of fear rose in him as he saw Erestor’s slender form meet the wraith in battle. Elrond was rushing to Erestor’s side, his noble features set in determination. Elrond’s face betrayed the deepest of emotions in battle when it had always remained a blank mask in their daily interactions.
As he rode to meet Sauron, he could scent death hovering about him. The fire and the sensation of being burnt to death were more terrible than the prophetic dream he had the night before.
His eyes looked upon Erestor’s form for one more moment before he was consumed by the flames.
He had always had excellent timing. He screamed aloud in his mind as he felt his soul slip away, “By Eru, I renounce my vows to Erestor Maglorion!”
He had loved Erestor above everything, with all that he was. But he was no fool. He had known from the very first day that he would never own Erestor’s heart. Only Elrond would. Gil-Galad could never have acknowledged it when he was alive. But he would finally do the right thing before life fled from him.
He slid into the arms of death even as Elrond and Thranduil helped a broken, disoriented Erestor away from the pitch of the battle.
The Third Age,
“A faint glimmer of gold on Erestor’s fingers caught Elrond’s sight. The wedding band of Gil-Galad.”
(**The Song of Sunset The 3rd Age, Chapter 67: ‘The Dawn of Men’)
“Elrond,” Glorfindel’s voice was concerned, “Deep thoughts?”
Elrond smiled as he met those sapphire blue eyes and said quietly, “This is a place of many memories; for all of us.”
“Indeed,” Thranduil said quietly, “I feel as if it was yesterday when I rode back to the high-king’s tent half-mad as I carried Adar to safety.”
Elrond and Glorfindel looked at Erestor worriedly as the high-king was mentioned. Erestor had been pensively staring at the wedding band on his fingers, his gaze darkening with memories.
He looked up at Elrond and smiled wanly as he murmured, “He was too noble, Elrond. He knew me well. I almost died when he fell, didn’t I?”
“What do you mean?” Elrond asked quietly, his heart thudding as a part of his mind lit up with sudden hope.
“Gil broke the bond,” Erestor averted his gaze to the simple ring that adorned his finger, “He broke the bond with his last breath. That was what almost killed me. I thought it was because the bond tried to pull me into death along with him…and I blamed myself all these years for not loving my bonded-mate enough to die alongside him.”
“But there was no bond at all when he died,” Glorfindel said stricken as he understood the high-king’s last act in life, “By Eru!”
Elrond closed his eyes to control his racing emotions that ripped through his senses. Gil-Galad must have known about Elrond’s secret then. He must have known it from the very first day. And they had been fools enacting a charade for the king’s sake all those centuries. How deeply must the king have hated them?
“He was too noble,” Glorfindel said quietly, “He did never confront us accusing us of cheating him into the bond.”
Erestor blanched and turned away, his aristocratic profile miserably sad as he gazed on the bleak lands of Mordor. If he closed his eyes, he could see the shining star that had once blazed through his life, claiming loyalty and love, but failing to conquer his heart. But they had all acted well. Erestor had never given the king a reason to believe that Gil-Galad did not command all of his love. And the king had played along till the very end.
He had to suppress a shudder as he remembered the last night they had spent together. Gil-Galad had trusted him completely, as he always had. The only consolation was that Erestor had loved Gil-Galad above everything till the very end of their bond. He had never lied to the king.
But he had hated himself when he had embarked on the path of love again. He had feared that he was following the path of Finwë, who had not remained loyal to his bonded-mate.
Thranduil said soberly, “We are grateful then, to him. The Doom of Miriel will no longer haunt Elrond and you.”
“I know,” Erestor whispered as he met Elrond’s guilt-ridden, tormented eyes, “We sail, as soon as we may. It is time to stop living in the past.”
And he removed the ring that had never left his finger since it had first been placed there by Gil-Galad centuries ago in Lindon. In the harsh sunlight of Mordor, it shone pure, uncompromising and fearless; the last testament to their love. He closed his eyes as he realized with a jolt that he had never betrayed his vows. The vows had already been absolved by the noblest soul he had ever known.
“I thank you,” he murmured to the ring as he clasped it in the palm of his hand.
A clean white band remained on his finger where the ring had been, a testament to the king’s pure love that had been strong enough to set him free.
The Song of Sunset: Chapter 39.
The Song of Sunset The 3rd Age: Chapter 67.