Come Morning
Chapter Eighteen

Erestor wearily sat on the side of his bed. All day he had hidden quite effectively in his office, but for all that time spent at his desk there was not much completed work to show for his efforts. He seriously contemplated asking Elrond for a sleeping herb; only his cold words from earlier kept him from facing the half-Elf. He had harshly informed Elrond that nothing was wrong and that he was just busy. To give him credit, Elrond did not take offense at his Advisor's tone or words. Erestor was not ready to reveal what was troubling him yet, and Elrond would certainly ask, especially if his usually independent Councilor came asking for a sleeping aid. He eyed his dim room in disgust. He'd not even bothered to light a candle before escaping quickly through his door, shutting out the outside world.

Erestor forced himself to get up and shed his formal day-to-day robes, and pulled on plain black sleeping pants. He lit one lone candle and carried it back to his bed. Sitting once more, he wondered what to do. Rest was out of the question. So was going where his heart was: Glorfindel's room. Erestor lay back, silently praying that he would not have to spend the next weeks seeing Glorfindel and Haldir locked in any more embraces. His chest felt tight, his throat ached with pent-up tears.  But he refused to cry once again over the Balrog slayer. He was a prideful Elf. He had a lot to be proud of and perhaps it was time to move on. So many of his thoughts for so long had been tied up with Glorfindel. If he could not have the Elda's love, at least he could retain his friendship, which was much more than they had for centuries.

Erestor was pulled from his thoughts by a knock upon his door. He sighed, hoping that Elrond had not come to check on him. Elrond would immediately see through his emotions, and he did not want to have to send the half-Elf away again. Erestor stood and moved towards the door, the intruder obviously impatient, for the knock came once more. "Coming," he called. Erestor pulled open the door. "Glorfindel!" he cried. The Elda leaned heavily upon the doorframe, clad only in his sleep-pants. Erestor quickly wrapped an arm around his waist and assisted the injured Elf into a chair. "You fool. What are you doing?" He eyed the pale, heavily breathing blond a moment before moving to the bed and grabbing a blanket. He wrapped the Elda up and scolded him once more. "Glorfindel, what are you doing up wandering the Halls? You are supposed to be in bed in the Healing wing."

Glorfindel tightly grasped Erestor's fidgeting hands, preventing the Advisor from moving away or from any further fussing. "You did not come to see me and you promised you would. Why?" he demanded.

Erestor attempted to jerk his hands free, huffing at the blond's surprising strength despite his injuries. "I did, but you were busy with Haldir, and I did not want to intrude." Erestor tried very hard to keep any emotion from his voice, but a sliver of hurt crept through.

Glorfindel tugged and tugged again at Erestor's hands until he had the Councilor kneeling in front of him. "Oh Erestor, if you had only stayed."

Erestor stared at the Elda, shocked and deeply hurt. How could Glorfindel have expected him to stay? To stay and watch Haldir kiss him? Did Glorfindel not realize what seeing that had done to him? He said nothing, only looked at the blond, knowing his eyes revealed the deep anguish he felt.

Glorfindel's own gaze widened. He seemed to realize what Erestor thought and he roughly pulled the dark-haired Elf into his arms. Glorfindel buried his face in Erestor s midnight-hued tresses and Erestor could not prevent himself from trying to pull away. His was hurt too deep.

"Erestor, stop," Glorfindel cried, tightening his hold. "Stop melethen."

Erestor froze. He pulled back and Glorfindel allowed him just enough room to gaze up into the Elda's face. "W-what did you call me?"

Glorfindel looked tenderly down into Erestor's dark eyes. "My love, you are, and so much more." He gently brought a hand up to tuck a dark strand behind Erestor's delicate ear. "Not only have you become my dearest friend, but you have also captured my heart, melethen," he whispered.

Erestor searched Glorfindel's face still uncertain, but he could see no deception. "B-but I saw you. I saw you and Haldir, kissing?"

Glorfindel looked intently into Erestor's eyes. He cupped Erestor's face in his hands. "As I said, you did not stay long enough. If you had, you would have seen me push Haldir away and you would have heard me tell him that another held my heart."

Erestor flung himself against Glorfindel. He buried his suddenly wet face in the Elda's neck, breathing deep the scent of his love. His Love!

"I love you, Glorfindel," he whispered. The pair tightly held on to each other, the pain of the journey to this moment too recent to let go just yet.

They stayed that way until Erestor felt Glorfindel wince. He pulled back, remembering the blond's injuries. Erestor climbed to his feet and reach out to help Glorfindel rise. "Come, Glorfindel. You need to be in bed. Let me help you back to your room." Erestor wrapped an arm tightly around the blond's waist and started towards the door.

"No," Glorfindel said. He halted, refusing to move forward. He looked pleadingly at the Councilor. "Can I not stay here, with you? I do not want to go back to the Healing wing."

Erestor laughed lightly at the famed warrior's pout, never having seen that particular expression on the blond's face before. While he was slightly uncomfortable about the possibility of sharing his bed with the Elda, he realized that Glorfindel was in no condition to try anything. Erestor could not help but feel grateful for that fact. Admitting his love had taken enough courage; he was not ready for things to progress any further.

He moved the sagging blond over to his bed. "Yes, you may stay here." He tucked the blond in and climbed in beside him. Erestor stiffened at first as Glorfindel immediately moved over to his side of the bed and lay his head on Erestor's shoulder. "Is this all right?" Glorfindel asked.

Erestor shifted and wrapped his arms tentatively around the blond. "This is fine," he softly said. Gradually, the unfamiliar became nice. Having a warm soft body to cuddle up with made one feel less lonely and Erestor sighed, content. Glorfindel's scent invaded his senses and the Elda's solid frame rested in his arms. Yes, he thought. This is very, wonderfully, nice.  Erestor drifted to sleep holding tightly to the treasure in his arms.

To be continued...