33. chapter 31
Erestor made arrangements for his friend, the smith, to meet with Maedhros two days after Elrond pronounced him fit. Although the master smith uncertain about employing the eldest son of Fëanor, Erestor assured him it was for the best. Maedhros refused to disappoint. Usually it took years to grasp the finer points of smith-work; fortunately the tall elf had some prior knowledge and was a quick learner. Physically strong and mentally sharp, Maedhros could lift twice the load the average elf could and he did not think himself above grunt work. Agreeing to start the following morning, Maedhros thanked the elf and headed back to the house with Erestor.
"I can not thank you enough. I do not know what would have become of me if…"
"You would have managed and survived, of that I have no doubt." Erestor blushed a bit and quickly changed the subject. "You will like working with Thelious. He truly is a master. Not only does he work with steel, but he also does fine silverwork; requests come in from all over."
"I am looking forward to working. I have felt so useless lying around, being doted on."
"You needed to heal."
Maedhros nodded his head. Taking a sidelong glance at the smaller elf, he spoke. "I want to thank you for the beautiful rooms. I understand you arranged them for me." Again, the younger elf blushed. "Although I think the point is moot and at the risk of stepping across the line, I know there is to be a feast when the delegation arrives and hoped you might consider allowing me to escort you."
Erestor stopped dead in his tracks with an astonished look on his face. Misreading the shock, the older elf quickly spoke up. "I did not mean to upset you. Glorfindel said that you were not involved with anyone and might be free."
Maedhros came to stand in front of the raven-haired beauty. It was the closest he had ever been to the fair elf and realized that to call him fair was a great injustice. Erestor was beyond fair. His hair gleamed like polished onyx. His eyes were just as dark and the mahogany-haired elf could stare into them for hours. Maedhros was head over heels. Coming back to the present, he asked, "Yes to which part?"
"I am not with anyone." Erestor lowered his eyes and Maedhros finally noticed the sweet blush that crept over the delicate features.
Using his two fingers, the reborn-elf gently raised Erestor's chin, forcing the quiet elf to look him in the eyes. "I would be honored if you will allow me to spend the evening with you. And Erestor… never look away again. There is no reason for embarrassment. You are strong, wise, and beautiful…always hold your gaze up." Erestor attempted to look away at the compliments but Maedhros would have none of it. Sliding his fingers along Erestor's jaw, he gently cupped the soft cheek. "Why do you look away?" He asked softly.
Erestor just shook his head, the older elf's gentle caress sent waves of heat through his body. He knew that Maedhros' offer was a kind gesture, a sort of 'thank you'. A Noldor prince would certainly not entertain any romantic thoughts about a young elf with no great heritage. It was enough to break Erestor's heart; he was so attracted to the powerful elf before him. He was lost in the caress and did not answer Maedhros.
"Erestor?" The Noldo asked again, softly.
With a small sigh, Erestor squared his shoulders and looked the imposing figure in the eye. Before he could falter, he rushed out his answer. "I am not sure that is a wise idea." He quickly averted his gaze; afraid the former warrior would see the depth of his feelings. Surely Maedhros would see it as a silly crush. The elf could have anyone he desired, right down to the king of Mirkwood…okay, not Thranduil…but any other, including the highly sought after prince.
Maedhros stayed his hand when Erestor answered. He could sense the other elf leaning ever so slightly into the caress. Taking another step forward, he now stood nearly chest-to-chest and towered over the slight elf. Maedhros decided it was all or nothing time.
"Why do you say that?"
Erestor continued to avert his eyes but he could not help tremble at the nearness of the strong body. "Well, it is just that…I mean to say…you are so…and I…" He dropped his head, he was babbling. With a dejected sigh, he began to step away but the hand still cupping his face shifted to the back of his head, effectively keeping Erestor in place. Resigning himself to the humiliation, he took a deep breath and looked back into the cinnamon colored eyes. He had to crane his neck, so close were they standing. Maedhros returned his hand to the flushed cheek, caressing it with his thumb. Looking deeply into the black eyes, Maedhros spoke in a mere whisper, "Erestor." He lowered his head and ever so gently kissed the petal soft lips below him.
The kiss was brief, however it left Erestor dazed. The younger elf, not used to being in such an unbalanced state, looked up with wide eyes. "Why did you do that?" He questioned in disbelief.
"Because, I wanted too." came the gentle reply.
"Why?" Erestor did not get it.
Maedhros chuckled quietly. He was going to tease the young elf but thought better of it at the last moment. He opted for straightforward honesty. "Because I am attracted to you."
"Oh." Was all Erestor could manage.
"I would like to kiss you again if I may."
A nod was the best Erestor could do. He trembled as his eyes fell shut and he felt warm lips upon his. It was a chaste kiss of sorts, soft and nibbly; however, the underlying current was there, the desire. Maedhros cupped Erestor's face with both hands and continued the torturous nibbling. Never once did he try to deepen the kiss, this was not something he wished to rush. Pulling away, Maedhros asked his question again.
"May I escort you to the feast?"
Erestor responded the only way his body could at that moment. Standing on tippy-toe and sliding his arms around the tall elf's neck, bringing them chest-to-chest, Erestor kissed the smiling elf. Maedhros wrapped his arms around the enchanting creature before him, breaking the kiss and bestowing a rib-crushing hug. "I will take that as a yes." He whispered, his warm breath causing Erestor to tremble, and step back a bit, quickly, lest his erection be discovered. Had he stayed put, he would have discovered Maedhros was in the same state of arousal.
Lindir was getting a bit frustrated. Although Maglor was supposed to simply be a bard, the older elf found himself attending various meetings with Elrond. Lindir sighed, he missed his lover. Since they were not bound and Maglor was considered *family*, he was given a suite in the family wing, while Lindir stayed in a room near the Hall of Fire.
The minstrel understood what Elrond was trying to do. It was important for the elf lord to show off his accomplishments and acclimate the other elf back into society, but Lindir really did not want to share. He was beginning to wish that they had stayed at the ocean. Lindir knew he was being silly, but still…
He waited, somewhat impatiently, for Maglor to arrive. They had agreed to have lunch in his room and hopefully dessert, too. He grinned at the thought. Maglor was proving to be quite the passionate lover. A knock at his door broke his train of thought. Hurrying to the door, he swung it open so hard it banged against the wall. Lindir all but dragged the startled elf into the center of the room, locking lips in a heated kiss.
"Miss me?" Maglor laughed.
"Yes." Lindir pouted.
"I am sorry, Elrond is constantly asking for my advice on matters that, to be honest, I no longer wish to care about. I just want to be a bard!"
"Have you spoken with Lord Elrond?" The silver-haired elf asked.
Maglor sighed, "No, I am afraid to hurt his feelings. He did think that I abandoned him once. I just do not want to hurt his feelings."
"Well, you can make it up to me…after lunch." Lindir wiggled an eyebrow wickedly. Wrapping the younger minstrel in a tight embrace, Maglor licked the shell of a pointed ear, saying with a purr, "I think that can be arranged." The two locked in a heated kiss, forgetting all about lunch. That could hold, the throbbing between both elves' legs would not.
"Elladan?" Rúmil dared to ask.
"What?" came the clipped reply
"Nothing." The young elf said softly. The two elves had been tracking the escaped horse for almost a day. There was no sign of the creature and Elladan was growing more upset by the hour.
Stopping his horse, Elladan looked at the silver-haired elf. It was not Rúmil's fault he was careless. The older twin sighed, this was not the way he had planned this. He wanted to get to know the youngest brother. Somehow, whenever Rúmil was around, the room brighted. Elladan admitted some time ago that he thought Rúmil striking…striking enough to awaken certain body parts.
"I am sorry. I do not mean to be harsh. This just was not supposed to take this long."
"Oh. Anxious to return home?" Rúmil had pulled his horse beside the twin's mare. There was something in the Lórien elf's voice, which caught Elladan's attention. It was a disappointed sound. Elladan would have pounded his head into the nearest tree if he could. Rúmil thought he did not want his company, which was not the case.
"No, but I would rather be enjoying a ride with you instead of having to look for the animal's cursed tracks!" The twin could not help the irritation that came out at the end of his sentence. Rúmil smiled.
"Perhaps if you thought like a horse…"
"What?" The expression on Elladan's face made the younger elf laugh.
"I mean think like a horse, where would a horse go, what would it need?" Elladan smacked his forehead, which caused Rúmil to erupt into farther hysterics.
"Of course! A horse would need to find grasses to eat, water and some form of cover. Rúmil, I could kiss you!" Elladan nudged his mare forward.
Rúmil stared after him for a moment, lost in thought. He had never entertained the idea of "kissing" one of the twins. However, now that he thought about it, the prospect did not sound so bad. 'Get a hold of yourself,' he thought, 'it is an expression. And you gave Orophin grief for fancying Glorfindel?' He had to end this train of thought…it would lead nowhere.
Haldir rode beside Elrohir. The younger twin never ceased to amaze him. He was talkative, but not obnoxiously so. He was well versed in several topics that held interest for Haldir was well. They spent the better part of the morning debating the usefulness of certain herbs and healing components. Now they were talking about cooking. It seems that the youngest twin loved to cook and usually fixed the meals when out on patrol. Others hunted and gathered, and Elrohir would cook it.
"I know it is not something a warrior should go about mentioning, not very warrior like is it?"
Haldir smiled, "If a patrol is well fed, they are less likely to come to harm. Trust me, if you were in Lórien, the border Captains would fight over you. One can only find lembas appetizing for so long."
"Maybe I need to think of a new way to server lembas. Maybe toast it with some garlic and wild onions."
"Mmmm, that does sound good." Haldir's stomach decided to make its opinion about food known. It caused both elves to chuckle.
"There is a clearing just ahead, we can stop for the night. The cook packed a real feast"
"Here I though I would get to taste your cooking."
Elrohir looked over at the silver-haired elf. To bad every elf on Arda wanted the Lórien Captain. "That may still happen." He said quickly. He did not want to be caught staring.
After setting up camp, the two washed the dust off their bodies in the nearby shallows.
The elves enjoyed a fine meal of cold meats, cheese, bread, fruit and wine.