Pen DhŪnen
Chapter Eleven

Glorfindel had convinced Erestor that since Erestorís way of courting was apparently not working, to allow Glorfindel to try his method of courtship; after several weeks of Glorfindelís attentions, Erestor had to agree it was the better method. Glorfindel did not try and match Erestor in the giving of gifts no, his was simpler, more personal. It started one evening long after the other Imladris residents had called their workdays done. Erestor was still hard at work in his office when Glorfindel decided to interrupt.

Erestor looked up as the Elda opened the door. He smiled apologetically. "I am sorry, Glorfindel. I must finish this report for Elrond. Go on to dinner without me." That said, Erestor lowered his head and returned to work.

So engrossed was he in facts and figures that he jumped when strong hands were laid upon his tense shoulders. Any protest was halted, however, as those strong warrior hands began kneading the tense muscles of his back and shoulders. Erestor groaned, and his head fell forward to rest on his desk. Erestor could not help the moans of pleasure as the hours of work were eased from his body. Glorfindel paused only once, and that was to gather Erestorís heavy length of hair and lay it over one shoulder. He worked the knotted neck and back gently but firmly, enjoying the sounds that his touch brought from Erestor. Glorfindel only wished that he were touching bare skin instead of the robe that concealed it. Glorfindel could feel the muscle shift along Erestorís back and arms as he rubbed. He indulged himself by enjoying the silken feel of the skin above Erestorís robe along his neck. It was baby soft, and the fragrance that rose from Erestorís hair flooded Glorfindelís senses, light sandalwood with a hint of rosemary. "Glorious," Glorfindel thought.

Glorfindel continued until he had reduced Erestor to mush. Glorfindel leaned down and gently kissed the crown of dark locks. "Ready for some dinner now, sweet one?" Glorfindel moved around to the front of the desk and could not control his smirk as Erestor raised his head and looked back at him with sated, sleepy eyes. His smirk disappeared, though, when Erestor stood and stretched, arching his back with his arms outspread. Glorfindel could barely prevent his groan as Erestor's delectable little body was shown off so enticingly through his robes. Erestor shook his head, sending his dark locks dancing back in place, the ends curling over his buttocks. In his innocence he had no idea how his provocative actions affected Glorfindel.

Erestor came from behind his desk to walk with Glorfindel to the door. "What?" he asked, not understanding the strange light in the blondís eyes. But Glorfindel only smiled and placed that hand back at its home, the small of Erestorís back.

Glorfindel and Erestor joined Elrond at the head table. Glorfindel held a chair out for Erestor to slip into, and before the smaller Elf could serve himself, the Elda had filled his glass with the rich red wine Elrond served at the head table. The servants quickly served the Chief Councilor and Seneschal. The meal was spent discussing their day, and the exchange of ideas and information made Erestor warm inside. To him it seemed the thing a family might do to tell each other of their days and plans. The companionship was genial and Elrond in a pleasant mood. Glorfindel also enjoyed the company and meal. He looked contently about the Hall. His warriors were seated about the room, enjoying the fine fare and atmosphere.

It was as Glorfindel was looking about that he noticed one of the newer warriors, Hauth, looking towards the head table. Glorfindel frowned and followed the Elfís gaze to see what had him so mesmerized. Glorfindelís frown became even fiercer when he saw that it was his Erestor who had captured the other warriorís regard. Glorfindel almost growled at the look of desire for *his Erestor* in the other Elf's eyes. He watched the eyes as they swept over Erestorís seated figure. Glorfindel kept his gaze on his warrior as he laid an arm across the back of Erestorís chair. Deliberately his fingers snagged a lock of dark hair and played with it, running the silken locks through his fingers over and over again. Glorfindelís chest swelled with satisfaction as the guard's gaze sharply met his own. He let the warning to stay away show clearly. His claim staked, Glorfindel returned his attention to the meal and Erestor.

After the meal, everyone adjourned to the Halls of Fire for entertainment. Elrond had allowed a traveling group to join his own musicians that evening. Thus, dancing was a popular choice for everyone that night. Glorfindel and Erestor joined Elrond in watching the Elves twirl about the Hall, each eagerly accepting one more drink and enjoying the lively atmosphere. The music changed to a slow, romantic number, and Glorfindel seized the opportunity to hold Erestor in his arms. He rose, and smiling down at Erestor, held out a hand. Erestor accepted with a shy smile, and the pair moved to the dance floor. Gently Glorfindel drew Erestor into his embrace. They swayed slowly, their gazes locked together. Erestorís moved his arm a little higher on the Eldaís shoulder, enjoying the feel of Glorfindelís golden locks against the skin of his hand.

The Hall, the noise of others, even the dance floor seemed to disappear as they became caught up in each other. Glorfindel stared down into those night-hued eyes, swearing he could see the very stars in their depths. Erestor looked deep into the little bits of trapped sky that were Glorfindelís eyes, warm summer days coming to mind. The music changed, neither noticed. Dance partners changed again and again, they did not leave the floor. It was only the sound of the music coming to a close that reluctantly parted the pair. Erestor shook his head and finally looked about him, shocked to see the Hall all but deserted. They had danced the night away.

Glorfindel escorted Erestor to his quarters. The soft kiss they shared still bore some of the night's magic, and Erestor fairly floated. He closed the door softly, Glorfindelís eyes following his until the thick wood door parted them. Erestor performed his nightly routine with a dreamy smile upon his lips. Clad only in soft sleeping trousers, Erestor moved towards his turned-down bed. There upon his pillow lay a small rolled-up parchment, tied with a white ribbon that was almost lost among the snowy bed pillows. Picking up the rolled note, Erestor climbed into bed. Carefully he unrolled the parchment, and moving his lone candle a bit closer, he began to read:

As a young Elf in Valinor, my time was spent learning to become a strong warrior. When I crossed the HelcaraxŽ, the goal was to survive. My years in Gondolin, I served my King, my people, and my city. Never did there seem time for love, and I despaired of ever finding it. I have not the words, cannot be as eloquent as you can, in expressing myself to you, Erestor. So, I borrow the words of others to tell you what is in my heart.

Glorfindel

Your lips speak soft sweetness
Your touch a cool caress
I am lost in your magic
My heart beats within your chest

I think of you each morning
And dream of you each night
I think of your arms being around me
And cannot express my delight

Never have I fallen
But I am quickly on my way
You hold a heart in your hands
That has never been given away.

Erestor laughed and clutched the note tightly to his chest. The smile that crossed his face was blinding. Erestor fell back against his pillows, giggling like he had never done as an Elfling. He was, at that very moment, blissfully happy! He was in love, and that love was returned. Erestor longed to run to Glorfindelís room and shower the Eldaís face with kisses, but that would not be very proper. For a brief second, the temptation to throw proprietary to the wind was almost more than Erestor could resist, but then an image of Elrondís stern features filled his mind and the urge was suppressed. That night, sleep did not come quickly for Erestor, not when he had to reread Glorfindelís note several more times. That floating feeling inspired by the blondís words finally followed him to sleep.

*********

Erestor was still joyous as he rose and prepared for his day. He hurried through the morning toiletries, anxious to see his love. Once he had arrived for breakfast, however, Erestorís face fell, as he did not see Glorfindel seated at the table. Elrond saw his downcast face and reminded him that Glorfindel was leaving this morning for a fortnight-scheduled patrol. Erestor sat, dejected, and fought the sudden rush of moisture that rose in his eyes.

Elrond smiled and gently reached over to touch Erestorís hand to gain his attention. "If you hurry, pen dithen, you may catch him before he leaves." Elrond had not finished his words before Erestor was up and rushing from the room.

Erestor looked frantically about the busy courtyard, but he did not see Glorfindel anywhere. Erestor hesitantly approached one of the warriors who had not mounted his horse yet. The young warrior smiled at Erestor and directed him to the stables. Erestor stepped into the dim interior, his eyes requiring a moment to adjust. "Glorfindel," he called out.

"I am here, little one." Erestor heard Glorfindelís voice and as his eyes adjusted he saw the Elda strapping packs on his mount. Erestor hurried towards the blond, relief spreading through him that he did not miss his chance. "I wanted to say goodbye, Glorfindel."

Glorfindel caught Erestorís hands as the advisor reached his side. He gave those slim, graceful fingers a squeeze and smiled happily down into Erestorís dark eyes. "I am glad that you caught me, Erestor. I did not wish to leave you without a goodbye, but I did not want to disturb you so early this morn."

Erestor smiled brilliantly, pleased all the more at Glorfindelís thoughtfulness. "I will miss you, Glorfindel." Erestor confessed shyly, ducking his head at being so bold. "And I loved your letter to me last eve."

Glorfindel pulled the smaller Elf into his arms and just held him tightly for several moments. "I will miss you also, Erestor. But I have arranged for little reminders of me to be left for you."

Glorfindel placed a finger under Erestorís chin and raised that lovely face to his hungry gaze. "So you do not forget me," he said, and bent down, covering Erestorís lips with his own.

The kiss was not the gentle, somewhat tentative caresses they had shared before. No, this time Glorfindel let Erestor feel his hunger for him, his desire, and his want. Glorfindelís tongue swept across Erestorís lips only once before plunging inside to taste every inch of the Councilorís mouth. Erestor had no resistance against this sheer desire, nor a chance to respond. He was swept along in Glorfindelís hunger and could do nothing but hang on. Glorfindel released Erestorís lips, leaving the advisor flushed and breathing heavily.

Erestor stared up at Glorfindel, stunned. His lips still tingled and his stomach was a flutter. Glorfindel graced him with one more loving smile before he released Erestor and moved to join his men. Erestor was left standing alone in the stables, still recovering from that kiss.

*********

For the first time ever, Erestor went about his duties with a wandering mind. Instead of trade agreements and warehouse stores, his mind relived strong arms and demanding lips. Many a strange look did Erestor receive over the next days. None could remember the efficient Chief Councilor ever needing a reminder, never needing a question repeated more than once, and never had the advisor to Lord Elrond forgotten a meeting, but all these things occurred during the time that Lord Glorfindel was absent from Imladris. What kept Erestor in that state of bliss were the reminders that Glorfindel had promised would be left for Erestor.

Glorfindel might not be present, but from afar he still wooed Erestor zealously. Each morning, Erestorís favorite foods arrived at his door delivered by a smiling, but closed-lipped servant. Each evening after a lonely day at work, Erestor would arrive in his chambers to find a full steaming bath, fragrant with his favorite scents, and next to that inviting tub, a goblet of rich wine. His favorite deserts would be served at the evening meal, and most special of all, the love notes placed upon his pillow each night.

Erestor looked over at the white rose that decorated his dressing table. He could still remember the first night after Glorfindel had departed. He had returned to his rooms after an absent-minded day, depressed. Eating alone, and with no nightly affections... with no Glorfindel... had left him sad and lonely. Erestor had been shocked at the bath that awaited him, but nothing prepared him for the note and the rose upon his pillow. He had picked the beautiful flower up and brought it to his nose, inhaling deeply. He marveled at the flower, which was pure white except for the very tips, which looked as if they had been touched by a blush. Moved, he sat and unfolded his love's gift and read:

The Red Rose whispers of passion,
And the White Rose breathes of love.
Oí the Red Rose is a falcon,
And the White Rose is a dove.
But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
And has a kiss of desire on the lips. (2)

*********

It was no wonder, then, that when Glorfindelís patrol finally did return, Erestor was the very first to greet them. Erestor maintained his dignity, barely, and awaited Glorfindelís dismissal of his warriors and his dismounting. Once some measure of privacy was given, he threw himself into the Balrog slayer's arms. He laughed and blushed furiously as Glorfindel rained kisses upon his face. Between gasps of "missed youís" Erestor was finally set back onto his feet.

Glorfindel cupped that face he had missed, and looked deep into those dark eyes. Glorfindel could barely stop kissing Erestorís sweet face, so desperately had he missed his little silent advisor. The words rushed out, no longer content to remain merely in his heart. . "I could not stand another day away from you, Erestor. I love you, pen dhŪnen. Bond to me, Erestor. Be mine for all eternity."

To be continued...