Come Morning
Chapter Nine

"Glorfindel."

Elrond stared at Erestor, shock, and horror written upon his face. "Erestor, was Glorfindel the Elf who raped you?" Elrond's tone, almost begged Erestor to deny it.

Erestor close his eyes, resignedly, nodding his head. One small slip of his tongue and Elrond knew the full truth. He did not see the Elf-lord kneel before him, but felt his hands being held. Erestor opened his eyes to look down into Elrond's. The silvery orbs were filled with sadness, a lone tear tracing a path down the Lord's cheek.

"Why, Erestor?" Elrond asked. "Why did you hide this all these years? Why did you not come forward, speak up?" Elrond pleaded wanting to understand.

Erestor broke free of Elrond's hold. He stood and paced the room in agitation. His words, though not meant to be, were angry and bitter. "Come forward, you say. To whom, Elrond? Who back then would have believed me? Me, an unnamed, unknown squire, accusing the King's close friend of rape? Accuse Glorfindel of Gondolin, Balrog slayer, resurrected Elf-lord of rape. I would have been run out of Lindon!" Erestor almost spat as he strode about the room.

Elrond moved quickly, grabbing Erestor by the shoulders, his fingers tightly holding the pacing Elf still. His eyes bored into Erestor's, compelling him to meet his gaze. Erestor threw back his head, locking eyes with the half-Elf. He glared almost defiantly at Elrond, hoping the Elf-lord could not see just how close he was to crumbling. He almost fought as Elrond drew him close and wrapped him in his arms. The half-Elf's words sent trembles through him. "I would have, Erestor. I would have believed you." Elrond whispered.

Erestor returned his lord's embrace for a moment before gently backing away. He could handle no more this night, remembering tormenting memories. His grimace in no way passed for a smile as he attempted to reassure his lord. "I have had enough this night, Elrond. I wish to return to my rooms. If you wish, we can speak more later." He moved to the door, but paused with his back to Elrond at the Peredhel's words.

"You have to confront him, Erestor. You know this." Elrond said.

Erestor nodded before leaving the half-Elf's room. He made his way back to his own quarters. His movements were stiff. Confront Glorfindel, Elrond had said. Even the very thought sent Erestor rushing to his bathroom where he threw up what little food remained in him. He rose shakily and rinsed out his mouth. Erestor was no coward, but the very thought of facing the Elda had him shuddering. Erestor automatically performed his disrobing and the brushing out and braiding of his hair. He lay in the bed, even though he knew full-well sleep was far off that night. The time had come, he thought. Admitting to himself that this had to end naturally led to his facing Glorfindel. Living with his demons was no longer an option. He also realized that Elrond would not stay quiet for long. Elrond would confront Glorfindel himself, if Erestor did not.

All through the night, Erestor stared at the canopy above his bed. His mind replayed an imaginary scene where he confronted Glorfindel with what he had done that long ago night in Lindon. His thoughts were no longer occupied with revenge. Erestor just wanted to put the pain behind him. He was tired of living with the hate, resentment, and fear. Yet, underneath his countless years of disdain and mockery toward the Seneschal, there still lurked a kernel of fear. Since that night, Erestor questioned his own ability to protect himself. His answer was a facade of coldness that kept all at a distance almost as effectively as a sharp sword. Now that fear would be exposed to the very Elf who caused it. But, yes, it was time.

So Erestor waited. He watched as Glorfindel left for a fortnight patrol. He waited for the Elda to return; he even gave the blond a night to rest and get settled upon his return. Then one evening, long after Imladris had settled for the night, he knocked on Glorfindel's door. The Elda answered the knock and looked with surprise at his visitor. Erestor had hoped the blond was alone, and in possession of all his wits. He ignored Glorfindel's look of disbelief and instant suspicion.

"Glorfindel, I need to speak with you." Erestor waited, outwardly calm for the blond to let him enter. He declined the offer for a glass of whatever it was the Elda was drinking. "Are you sober, Glorfindel?" he asked. He looked closely at the blond, trying to judge the Elda's state.

Glorfindel glared at the councilor. "So far, not that it is any of your business.  Now what do you want Erestor? It must be serious in order to bring you to my door this time of night." Glorfindel took a chair opposite the councilor and looked closely at the dark Elf. "You appear upset, Erestor, has something happened to Elrond or the twins?" Alarmed, Glorfindel rose and moved towards the door.

Erestor waved the blond back to his seat. "No, it is not Elrond or the twins. I must speak with you regarding something personal that happened some time ago." Erestor took a deep breath and looked away from Glorfindel. He glanced at the door. It was so far away, closed. For one moment, Erestor wanted to get up, to run from the room. Only through iron will did he remain. Erestor finally looked at Glorfindel. "What do you recall from your time in Lindon?"

Glorfindel appeared shocked at the question. "Lindon, I remember my time there, why?" He asked.

Erestor searched Glorfindel's gaze for any deception, but the blond looked genuinely perplexed. "Do you remember late one night approaching a squire in the library? The squire was working on something for Lord Elrond and you interrupted him." He closely watched Glorfindel's face, but no hint of recognition appeared on the blond's face.

"Erestor, there were many squires in the King's employ. You must be a little more specific." Glorfindel replied.

Erestor grew angry. Obviously the blond had bedded so many squires that he did not recall bedding Erestor! "One late night, you approached a young dark-haired squire. When he refused your advances, you became enraged and followed him to his room!"  Erestor spat.  He rose and turned his back on the Elda, no longer able to bear looking into those confused blue eyes.

"Erestor, what are you talking about? I never followed any squire and I certainly would remember being rebuffed by one!"  Glorfindel declared.

Erestor furiously swung around to face the blond. He took a step closer to Glorfindel and with barely-contained fury, yelled the truth in his face. "You did, Glorfindel. You approached me in the library; you grabbed me and attempted to kiss me. When I bit you and shoved you away, you became angry. I left the library seeking the safety of my rooms. But, before I could close the door, you were there, pushing your way in. You held me down Glorfindel, and then you raped me. You passed out in my bed. My bed and you did not even know my name!" Erestor could not control the torment that poured out of his mouth, every word he had shouted at the horrified Elda. Erestor stepped even closer, his whole body trembling, not noticing that Glorfindel now backed away from him. "The next day, I heard you and another Elf talking in the hall. You told him the servant you had bedded the night before must not be remarkable enough f-or re-remembrance. "

Erestor stopped, unable to go on. All the pain and humiliation came pouring back. He could still hear Glorfindel's voice casually dismiss him, over and over again. He was unaware of the tears that slipped down his face. "All these centuries, side by side have we worked. You never remembered." Erestor bent over, clutching his stomach. Pain rolled through him. He fought it, daring not to give in, not yet. He had to finish this! "For hundreds of years I have had to look upon your face while you went on your merry way, continuing your whoring and drinking, night after night. You took something from me, Glorfindel, something that I could never get back. You took my innocence." Erestor stood, braced. He felt strangely empty now that all the venom he had stored within him had been released. Erestor's body shuddered, the aftermath leaving him pale and deeply shaken.

Glorfindel huddled tightly against the door. He stared at Erestor with eyes filled with horror. His face was bone-white. Suddenly, Glorfindel threw back his head, screaming in anguish and crumpled to the ground. Erestor watched almost dispassionately, his mind curiously blank, as the blond curled in a fetal position on the floor. He could hear very clearly the sobs that tore through Glorfindel. He said not a word as the Elda began to rock back and forth, arms tightly clenched around himself. No emotion appeared upon his face as Glorfindel began mumbling to himself, and when the blond fell over and lay motionless, he left. Erestor calmly walked to the door and walked out of the room.

Once in the hall, he discovered Elrond waiting for him. The half-Elf's face was shaken. "I waited for you. I sent away Glorfindel's companion." Elrond glanced towards Glorfindel's door, an unasked question in his eyes.

Erestor walked past him, saying only, "I told him." He moved automatically, wooden, body still in shock, to his room.

To be continued...