Come Morning
Chapter Two

Erestor watched silently as the morning light gradually filled his room. It crept slowly over the figure still comatose in his bed. The sun bathed the sleeping Elda in its golden light, lovingly caressing flaxen strands of hair and brushing sleep warmed flesh with its rays. Silent as a ghost, Erestor rose and dressed. Before leaving his room, he directed one more glance at the intruder in his bed. Erestor's thoughts had achieved no clarity in the morning's light. He was just as confused as the night before and now only sought escape. That escape would come through the familiar and comforting routine of his work. He still had to finish those translations for Lord Elrond.  Why had Glorfindel done it? Erestor did not recall any contact between them; indeed Glorfindel had brushed off an early introduction Lord Elrond had attempted. Erestor hated the Elda for what he did, but his body's response confused him. Why had he responded to unasked for and unwanted touches? Erestor had to empty his mind or return to his room and confront his attacker.

Erestor spent the rest of the morning catching up on work that had been interrupted from the night before. He finished the translations first, then moved on to other projects his Lord Elrond needed done. Erestor ignored the lunch hour and made steady progress when he was interrupted again, but this time, the interruption was welcome. Lord Elrond moved to a chair next to Erestor's desk. He had observed the somber attired councilor for a few minutes from the door before his presence had been noted. Lord Elrond thought highly of the serious Erestor. Erestor was incredibly knowledgeable in lore, and his advice to Elrond had been invaluable. He was exacting in his work. Erestor wrote in the finest hand, Elrond had ever seen. He was also well aware of the fact that most of the work he did for Elrond came from Erestor's private time. His regular workload took up most of the normal working hours, but he never denied a request from Elrond and indeed sought to do more for the Elf lord. But all that additional work was the reason Erestor was often in the library well after the dinner hour.

Erestor hastily rose and came from behind his desk. He handed the finished translations to the Elf -lord and stood anxiously waiting Elrond's opinion.

Elrond waved Erestor back towards his chair. "Please Erestor, sit down, these look fine. I wanted to speak with you before the other councilors arrived," he said.

Erestor nervously took his seat. "My Lord, is everything okay?" he asked.

"Yes, yes, Erestor. Everything is fine. I have been very happy with your work, as has the High King. I wanted to speak with you about a position with me." Elrond got up and closed the library door.

An hour later, Erestor hurried back to his quarters, anxious to pack his belongings. He was being given a finer room, closer to Lord Elrond. He was also especially excited about his new office. His own private office! This position with Lord Elrond was a golden opportunity. Erestor had known very well that his opportunities within the High King's council were limited. But to gain position with Gil-galad's herald, a renowned lore master, and Master healer! Erestor was very happy; this is what he had been working for since his arrival in Lindon. Erestor stopped, hearing voices around the corner. One of the voices he recognized right away. It was Glorfindel's! Erestor quickly stepped into a linen room, leaving the door ajar so he could see the Elda pass. He did not recognize the other's voice, but the conversation- it was about him!

"So, Glorfindel, you do not know whose room you awoke in this morning?" The unknown speaker asked.

"No idea, my friend. It was obviously some servant's quarters. But the room's owner was not there," Glorfindel said.

"So you spent the night with a servant and you don't even remember it," the voice laughingly said.

Erestor watched with a sinking heart as Glorfindel and the unknown Elf walked past his hiding place. Glorfindel's final words pierced his already aching heart.  Glorfindel had remarked how commonplace the night must have been for him not to recall his bed partner's name or indeed his face. Erestor made it back to his room before letting the tears fall. He surveyed the unmade bed and in a fit of rage, ripped the sheets off and threw them onto the floor. Never had Erestor felt so used. His very flesh crawled in horror! Bad enough to be subjected to the Elda's lust, but then to be dismissed as unremarkable and talked about like a casual whore. Erestor crumbled, falling to his knees, sobbing. Never could he have imagined that his first time would have been spent in such a matter. Erestor vowed to himself, never again!  Never again would Glorfindel dismiss him so basely, he vowed.

Outside forces arose that proved Erestor's value to Lord Elrond, for it was Erestor who urged Elrond to convince the High King of the need for a swifter response to Sauron's aggressions against Eregion. But help arrived to late to help Eregion and Celebrimbor. It was with Erestor and Glorfindel at his side that Elrond led the refugees from the runes of Eregion to what would become the hidden valley of Imladris. Erestor played a pivotal role; indeed he was of great assistance to Elrond in the designing and building of Imladris. While Glorfindel saw to the refugees' safety, Elrond and Erestor worked tirelessly to create a safe, peaceful haven for all.

Erestor said not a word to anyone about what had transpired that late night in Lindon. He treated Glorfindel with a cold indifference, but since his demeanor was like that with everyone, it was not marked upon. Erestor was proud of the facade he was able to show the blond Elda. To him it proved that the events between them bore no damage to his own psyche. If Elrond occasionally lifted a brow at his dismissal of the blond, well, Erestor could live with that. Now it was he, Erestor, that Glorfindel addressed with respect. For nothing was unknown to the chief councilor, indeed, nothing was done without his approval. Communications between Lindon and the newly established Rivendell began arriving almost daily. Sauron's reemergence and the corruption of the Numenoreans made such communications vital. Erestor was never seen during those days, anywhere but at Elrond's side. He was the only one who had the power to urge the Peredhel to rest. Elrond strove to complete his refuge as well as handle his duties to Gil-galad, and drove himself to exhaustion. That he was also separated by these duties from being at his lover's side could well be seen by the shortening of the infamous Peredhel's temper. Only Erestor stood unfazed by rants and rages, even when directed at his own person. As time went on, Erestor's position and power within Rivendell became well known by all.

Erestor stood in the courtyard eyeing the influx of warriors that had answered the High Kings call. But it was not only Elves that crowded the land around Rivendell; Men of the West also answered their King's call to arms. A Last Alliance of Men and Elves was about to march against the darkest threat Arda had yet faced. Erestor scanned the various tents and temporary structures anxiously. He searched for one blond warrior in particular. Glorfindel was to have had the tallies of foodstuffs needed by the various regiments in Erestor's hand by morning. It was now late afternoon and there was no sight of the numbers or of Glorfindel. Erestor would have stomped his foot in anger if such actions were not beneath Elrond's chief councilor. As it was, he settled for coldly glaring at any unfortunate persons that crossed his sight. Where was Glorfindel? It was with a great deal of rage that Erestor finally spotted the blond walking through the encampment towards Erestor.

"Lord Glorfindel," Erestor's authoritarian voice rang loudly across the field. All surrounding activity halted as several watched the black robed figure quickly cross to his prey. All eyed the councilor nervously, glad not be on the receiving end of one of those furious glares or cold rebuffs. Glorfindel was not so lucky. Erestor halted before the blond and eyed him coldly.

"You were to have some numbers for me first of the morning. Where are they my Lord?" Erestor demanded. While his voice asked for an explanation, his eyes clearly showed that none given would be acceptable.

Glorfindel glared right back at the sharp-tongued Erestor. He had too often these past years been on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing or contemptible stare. He had never figured out what he had done to the councilor, but it was obvious that the dark haired Elf held him in little regard. "Erestor, I have more to do than count wheat for you. I-" Glorfindel was cut off before he could say anything further.

"That's Lord Erestor, and I will just have to explain to our Lord Elrond that the food totals needed for the army are not available because Lord Glorfindel had more important things to do! Yes, that is exactly what I will tell him." Erestor whirled away, black hair flying out behind him as he prepared to walk away.

"Wait," Glorfindel called. He knew just how much work Elrond had at the moment and the enormous pressure the Peredhel was under. He did not wish to burden him further. "Wait, Lord Erestor. I will go now and get those numbers for you." Glorfindel rubbed a tired hand over his face. He, like, all his commanders, had been working day and night trying to outfit the largest armed force ever gathered. He could not understand the councilor's attitude, but knew it would do no good to attempt to reason with the Elf.

Erestor swung around to face Glorfindel and did nothing to hide the sneer that graced his lips. "You will get them now? How big of you. However, what if I do not have time now to read them? Once again, my schedule must be put aside and disrupted by your lack of effort regarding your work. Well, my Lord Glorfindel, I hope you are grateful that again I save your position by making up for your lack of dedication." Without awaiting a response, Erestor left an open-mouthed Glorfindel behind. He ignored the shocked stares and embarrassed murmurings of the observers of their exchange. It was just a brief time later that Glorfindel entered his office bearing the requested tallies. He silently handed them to a stony faced Erestor. Erestor deliberately ignored the hurt expression that briefly flashed across Glorfindel's face as he took the numbers and returned to work, dismissing the Elda without uttering a word.

To be continued...