Reading about love, and actually experiencing it, Erestor learned, were two entirely different things. Being the smart Elf that he was, Erestor had thoroughly researched love. He had pored over every book housed within Imladris' vast libraries that dealt with the emotion. He read on its joyous evolution. The first time your eyes met, the faint fluttering of your nerves when that certain someone was near, the sweaty palms, flushed face; to Erestor, it had all made love sound as if it was some disease to be avoided at all cost.
He also read love stories. He would never admit to it even under the worst penalties of torture, but in the dark of the night in the privacy of his own rooms, he read of the great lovers. Their tales told of colossal first meetings, when love struck like a lightening bolt. Some were gradual revelations, a strong friendship that turned into something deeper. Others spoke of star-crossed lovers kept apart for various reasons, but triumphant in the end to live happily-ever-after. But in all his reading, no tale told of beginnings like his and Glorfindel's. What, then, did that say for their love? Doom? Erestor did not believe this.
Erestor did not need to make his most secret desires known to the Elda, for Glorfindel seemed to already know them. Every day Erestor was courted as if he were the most valued being on Arda. In millions of small ways Glorfindel expressed his love. For the very first time, Erestor had someone who asked him how his day went. He enjoyed having someone hold the chair out for him and sit next to him at every meal. Erestor no longer walked alone under the stars. Neither did he any longer pick his own flowers, for frequently a loving hand tucked a delicate blossom behind his ear.
Rainy nights were no longer spent alone, but with another either reading or simply talking. Erestor relished the nervous stomach, the sweaty palms, and the flushes that graced his features. Erestor thrived under Glorfindel's tender attentions. None in Imladris said it to his face but he could well read the amazement on their faces as he smiled at breakfast or laughed a loud at the noon meal.
Erestor was not the only one who changed, however Glorfindel also seemed to thrive on spoiling the one he loved. The tender regard he held for his dark Advisor was plain for all to see in his sparkling azure eyes.
Erestor and Glorfindel took their time, not rushing their new relationship. Everyday was spent discovering something new about the other. Erestor learned that Glorfindel loved the sunrise, hated blackberries and was an avid map enthusiast. Glorfindel uncovered Erestor's love of chocolate, candle light and his obsession with storms.
Once Glorfindel was completely healed, he resumed his duties. Haldir had departed and Erestor ask no further questions of Glorfindel. Erestor watched Glorfindel leave for his first full patrol and welcomed him home with a sigh of relief. There was one area in their deepening love, however, that was not progressing, and that was their intimacy. Except for the one night when Glorfindel revealed his love and slept beside Erestor, they had returned to their separate rooms and beds. They had exchanges kisses and gentle innocent touches, but nothing more intimate than that. Erestor knew it was up to him to make the next step in their relationship a reality. The only problem was he had no idea how to go about it. Add, a real fear of intercourse to that lack of knowledge, and Erestor was frazzled.
Erestor wanted very much to move forward and become Glorfindel's lover, as well as his love. He knew Glorfindel would wait indefinitely for some sign of readiness from him, and he loved the blond all the more for his patience and understanding. The thought of actually speaking of his desires with the one he loved, though, terrified him. He knew he could seek out Elrond's wise counsel, but it was Glorfindel to whom he needed to speak, although the very thought cause him to blush.
Erestor sat at his desk, an idea forming in his mind. Quickly he pulled out a piece of parchment and scribbled off an invitation to Glorfindel to dine in his rooms that evening. The scribe who delivered the note brought back Glorfindel's acceptance. Erestor then opened a bottom shelf in his desk and carefully withdrew several sheets of his hidden treasure. The parchment was some of the finest on Arda and Erestor guarded its use religiously. Thick and soft to the touch, the paper lovingly soaked up ink. Next Erestor opened a bottle of his favorite red ink. He had only used the color in the past to correct the twins' lessons when they were still Elfling's. This was the most perfect of plans, he thought. This was what Elrond's Chief Councilor excelled at: strategy. Why had he not thought of this approach before? Erestor shook his head at himself. Foolish Elf!
He painstakingly outlined his ideas on the fine parchment with its bright red ink. "First", he wrote, "kissing". Next came "gentle petting" followed by "heavier kissing" and "heavier petting". "Gradually," he wrote, "we then move on to partial nudity." There Erestor paused, his face awash in heat. The very thought of a partially nude Glorfindel... Erestor swallowed. He tried to finish outlining his plan for Glorfindel to read, but once he had gotten to nudity, all rational thoughts fled. Well, surely Glorfindel would get the idea, Erestor hoped.
That evening Erestor took extra care with his appearance. The deep ruby robe he chose brought out the dark red highlights in his hair and gave his pale skin a luminescent glow. His quarters also received some additional decoration, in the form of fresh flowers and new candles. Upon the small dining table in the middle of the room lay the rolled-up parchment, a red ribbon holding it together. Erestor nervously smoothed down his robe as he moved to answer Glorfindel's knock. The Elda was a vision himself as Erestor invited him in. A royal blue tunic with sparkling white leggings adorned his tall broad-shouldered frame, and when he leaned in to kiss Erestor in greeting, his scent flooded Erestor's senses.
"Good evening, my love, you look beautiful," Glorfindel spoke as he handed Erestor a small gold colored box.
Erestor followed behind the blond, closing the door. "Glorfindel, I required no gift. I invited you, remember?"
Glorfindel paused, surveying the room, which was made so much lovelier by Erestor's efforts. "I know, môren vain but I saw that little trinket and thought of you." Glorfindel turned to smile at Erestor. "Go on, open it."
Erestor took his seat at the dining table and opened the small box. Inside lay a perfect miniature glass rose, so delicate that Erestor was almost afraid to touch it. He swallowed the emotion that rose in his throat and raised shining eyes to meet Glorfindel's. "It is beautiful. Thank you, melethen."
Glorfindel leaned in and claimed Erestor's lips again for a gentle kiss. "You're welcome," he whispered before pulling away.
Erestor waved Glorfindel to his chair. "Sit down. I know you must be hungry. I hope you enjoy what I had the cooks prepare." Erestor watched, his anxiety returning as Glorfindel sat and picked up the rolled parchment.
"What's this?" Glorfindel asked as he began removing the red ribbon.
Erestor spoke quickly, his nervousness increasing. "Wait, Glorfindel. Let me explain first before you read that."
Glorfindel looked up and frowned. "Go ahead, Erestor."
Erestor took a deep breath. It was now or never. "Well, you see, I felt that-," Erestor stopped, faltering in what he'd planned to say. His face flushed and he looked away from Glorfindel's intense regard. "That is, I was hoping that you would agree with my plan." Erestor stopped, suddenly very unsure of the soundness of his idea. It had seemed the smart approach earlier in his office, but sitting there facing Glorfindel, he was not so sure.
Glorfindel leaned back in his seat, fingers playing over the ribbon that still held the parchment closed. "A plan for what, Erestor?" he asked, only genuine curiosity evident in his tone.
Erestor's eyes flickered to every spot in the room, except to his dinning companion. Several silent moments passed, before finally Erestor worked up the courage and in a rush of words told Glorfindel of his plan.
"Itisascheduleforushavingintercourse." Erestor slumped back, relieved that he had gotten it out!
He dared a peek at the Elda's face, but Glorfindel was intently studying the unrolled parchment. Erestor closely watched the blond as he read the plan. Erestor frowned, certain that he saw something unusual on Glorfindel's face. He watched the blond's lips closely. There, he saw it again. Glorfindel's lips twitched and the Elda appeared to biting the inside of his cheek. Erestor's expression grew darker the more Glorfindel attempted to fight his laughter. Finally the blond looked up. Erestor watched as Glorfindel struggled to contain himself. He took several deep breaths before addressing Erestor.
"My love, you have obviously been thinking hard on this and I do appreciate the work that went into this well-detailed strategy." Glorfindel laid the paper down and reached for covered dishes to begin eating.
Erestor eyed the Elda, stunned! That was it? "B-but w-what about my plan, Glorfindel?" Erestor's voice, for perhaps the very first time, had a hint of a whine in it. But Glorfindel said nothing, and only smiled at the upset Advisor as he continued with his meal.
Erestor selected his own fare and tried to enjoy his own dinner, but continued to throw disgruntled glances at his dining companion. Finally, after the Elda lowered his fork, did Erestor receive Glorfindel's attention. Erestor glared at Glorfindel as he rose and moved over to kneel at Erestor's feet. His hands reached under the table and grasped Erestor's knees, swinging them around so that Erestor had no choice but to face Glorfindel. The Elda's hands stroked Erestor's silk-covered legs and he slid up them until both hands were wrapped around Erestor's waist.
Erestor did not resist the lips that took his or the arms that pulled him close to the Elda's hard body. Indeed, Erestor was quite breathless when Glorfindel decided to release him. He stared down into those sky-like eyes he loved so much.
"Erestor, sweet, one does not plan intimacy. It must happen on its own," Glorfindel spoke very seriously, his eyes deeply searching Erestor's.
Erestor dropped his face, embarrassed, but a hand firmly grasped his chin and forced him to met Glorfindel's eyes. Erestor's lips received a hard kiss before Glorfindel spoke once more.
"Do you trust me, Erestor?" Glorfindel's voice was firm, showing none of the hurt that he had once revealed when he had asked Erestor that very question.
"Yes, Glorfindel, I do trust you," Erestor whispered. He had to smile back at the blinding joy that appeared on Glorfindel's face at his words.
Glorfindel stood and pulled Erestor up into his arms, holding him tightly. "Then lets not rush it. When we both are ready to move to that level, we'll know."
To be continued...