Windows of the Soul
Chapter Nine

The stroke of midnight found Erestor prowling the halls of the palace, lost in thought. He had changed into nightclothes, but knew sleep was hours away. He thought to clear his mind by taking a brief walk through the vast and winding corridors, but soon lost track of time.

Most of the palace residents were long abed, though as he passed like a quiet breeze through the halls, snatches of sound could be heard from various rooms. From a few the murmur of hushed conversation could be heard, though the words were undistinguishable through the heavy wooden doors. A ringing peal of hearty laughter from one, the clinking of glassware from another, the raised voices of a quarrel from still another.

With a start, Erestor became aware as he passed Gildor's quarters of the unmistakable sounds of lovemaking resounding from within. He stared at the door, dumbfounded. Never had he and Gildor pretended what they felt for one another was love, but neither had Erestor ever seen the younger Noldo with a lover, nor had he ever spoken of someone who had claimed his heart. The impassioned moans brought other things to mind, and Erestor felt his groin tightening at the spontaneous vision that popped into his mind, that of a golden, blue-eyed Elf spread out beneath him, wanton and undone in passion. Immediately he suppressed that image, and with a shake of his head at his own folly, he continued on, quickly consumed again by his musings.

Erestor became conscious of his whereabouts a short while later. It was with little surprise that he realized his wanderings had brought him all the way to Glorfindel's chambers, two levels above his own and in a completely different wing. "Good eve, Pedhrin," he greeted the guard seated in a straight-backed chair stationed a few feet away from the Elda's rooms. The same guard who had accompanied Glorfindel to the woods earlier that day.

Erestor's stomach lurched uneasily. Had Pedhrin seen him watching Glorfindel's swordplay? Seen his cheeks flush with lust as he hid behind a tree, lurking like a thief?

Pedhrin nodded in greeting. "Lord Erestor," he responded politely. "Captain Dórion told me what happened earlier. I can assure you, sir, that Lord Glorfindel has not been unguarded all day. He asked leave to practice with his sword early this morning. I accompanied him to the woods myself."

The elf-Lord barely restrained a sigh of relief. From Pedhrin's words, he had been unaware of Erestor's presence. It would make sense that the guard's focus was on Glorfindel – he would have had no reason to suspect the Elda was being watched. "Excellent. He would not still be awake, by any chance?" he said. Now what made me say that? He wondered.

"I believe he is. There is light showing from under his door, and I have heard some rustling about."

Erestor nodded. "Thank you." He knocked sharply and waited until the door opened a crack, revealing a tousled golden mane and a single blue eye that peered suspiciously out into the hall.

"Lord Glorfindel," Erestor said. "May I come in?"

The door opened wider and Erestor stepped through into the spacious anteroom. A small dining table was in one corner, the pristine white tablecloth bearing a plate, some cutlery, and a small tray that evidently had held Glorfindel's dinner that evening. Beyond the common room were two doors, one to a private bathing chamber, and the other to a bedchamber. "What do you want?" Glorfindel asked. "Have you come to hurl false accusations at me, Lord Erestor? Did you not do enough of that earlier, and thought you decided you needed more?" Glorfindel's voice was hostile, and he did not offer Erestor a seat. "Have you found me guilty of stealing the King's silver, perhaps? Or of drowning a litter of puppies?"

Erestor sighed heavily. "No, Lord Glorfindel. I was simply walking, and found myself near your chambers." He rubbed his eyes tiredly. "I thought we could talk."

"No?" Glorfindel came straight to the point. "If you have not come to cast further aspersions upon my character or to heap falsehoods upon my head, then why are you here?"

That is a very good question, Erestor thought. Why exactly am I here? Because I saw you in the forest today and had doubts about your guilt? Because I found myself aroused and wanting you? Instead, he settled for a half-truth. "You profess your innocence. I want to know why I should believe you."

"Why would you believe me now, when you refused before?" the blond's lip curled into a sneer, the handsome face twisted into a gruesome mask.

Because I have trouble reconciling the beauty and grace that I saw today with the actions of a cold-blooded murderer, Erestor thought, but did not say. He pinched the bridge of his nose and counted to ten. Slowly. Then counted again, for good measure. "You say you are innocent. Convince me," he said again. "Make me believe you did not kill those ellith."

Glorfindel harrumphed. "Whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'?"

"You are a murder suspect, Glorfindel," the Noldo stated, dispensing with the formalities of titles. "A suspect with a somewhat questionable past. You must admit that the evidence against you is damning."

"There *is* no evidence, Erestor," the blond retorted. "The only thing I am guilty of is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I killed no one."

"You killed no one?" Erestor mocked. "Did Námo purge your memory when he released you from his Halls? Does ‘Kinslaying' mean nothing to you?"

A white light seemed to suddenly shimmer around the Elda, and he took a menacing step forward. His eyes sparked blue fire as they bored into Erestor's.

"I killed no one," Glorfindel hissed.

"Then tell me. I want to believe. I *need* to believe you."

Make me believe, Glorfindel, or I am lost, Erestor implored silently. I am dangerously close to falling in... something... with you. I need to know that I did not misjudge you. I need to believe that there is something good and pure in this world. Please.

The Elda leaned closer, so close that Erestor could smell honey and chamomile on his breath from his evening tea. "Turgon was my liege lord, and where he bade me go, I followed. He spoke out against Fëanor and counseled against leaving Tirion, though in the end, Fëanor's desire prevailed and we set out.

"Turgon would not be parted from Finrod, his cousin, and lagged behind with the house of Finarfin. A sense of foreboding was upon us, our hearts filled with dread. Fëanor's fury drove his sons on, all of them filled with the lust for the Silmarils and their terrible vow.

"He was mad, Erestor, blinded by desire to recover his jewels, and would not be gainsaid. By the time Finarfin's host arrived in the Havens of Alqualondë, Fingolfin's House had joined the fray, believing wrongly that the Valar had decreed Fëanor be stopped at any cost. It was a massacre, and we could do nothing to stop it. We did everything we could, but it was only after most of the Teleri were slain and the rest cowed by Fëanor's rage that we could draw close; by that time, he had taken their ships and set sail. Finarfin turned back then. He begged pardon from the Valar, but Turgon went on, driven by guilt and fear."

Glorfindel took a step closer, that unholy white aura flickering brighter. Erestor took an uneasy step back. "I can only imagine the horror of that day," Erestor murmured, beginning to understand the full impact of the tragedy from one who witnessed it firsthand. He was only a small boy then, though he had heard the tales from his parents of the sorrow of the Kinslayings.

"You have no idea what horror is, my friend. That was only the beginning," the Elda spat. "Horror is living with the guilt of being helpless to stop what amounted to wholesale slaughter."

Another step closer. His nostrils flared with his anger. "Horror was hearing the crackle of the flames even from miles away as the ships burned at Losgar, the screams of the Teleri carried on the wind as they burned to cinders."

Step. Retreat. "Horror was the crossing of the Ice, hearing Turgon cry out in anguish as Elenwë stumbled and fell through, her mouth forming soundless screams under the ice. We could only stand and watch as her body was carried away beneath our feet. I restrained Turgon when he thought to throw himself in after her. I could do nothing to save her, and it was only sheer chance that I managed to keep him alive."

Erestor paled. His voice cracked and he shook his head. "I have heard enough."

His chest heaved and his voice shook, but Glorfindel went on. "You have not heard nearly enough, Erestor. Shall I tell you about Gondolin? I counseled Turgon not to trust Maeglin, but he would not heed my warning. Idril and Tuor escaped with Eärendil, but the rest could not flee. Almost an entire city – dead. I could not save them, either."

"Then I died, too. And in a twist of supreme irony, I found myself sharing that dark prison with the one responsible for my own death – Maeglin the Traitor."

Glorfindel advanced on the dark-haired Elf, backing him against the wall with no means of escape. Tears of frustration and anguish shone brightly in his eyes. "And the burden of thousands of years spent in silent reflection of my wrongs, the blood shed, the guilt and pain... No, beautiful one, you cannot *begin* to imagine what horror is. It is no small wonder I have nightmares." His eyes burned into Erestor's, their lips only a hair's breadth apart.

Erestor, shaken, could only whisper. "I had no idea."

"No, I cannot imagine you would," the blond said heatedly. "And now I am here, supposedly purged of my transgressions, yet nothing is the same. All that I know and loved is gone. I go to bed alone, and I wake screaming in the morning, with only my right hand to give me comfort."

The heat poured from Glorfindel's body. The scent of his anger was sharp in Erestor's nostrils, the tang of his rage palatable. Like the energy in the air before a lightning storm, his fury enveloped them. Erestor shivered; the raw, untamed power rolling from the Elda went straight to his groin – his wrath was a potent aphrodisiac. Those eyes, gone blue-black, sparked feverishly. Like Fëanor's eyes must have, Erestor thought randomly.

Glorfindel reached out, trapping Erestor in place against the wall. Erestor's fear and arousal in turn fueled the Elda's hunger. He pressed against the dark-haired Elf, letting Erestor feel the extent of his desire. His length ground painfully into Erestor's hip. "Now do you understand, Erestor? Can you finally believe I did not kill those ellith? I *could* not. The very thought of bloodshed turns my stomach. Never will I forget the screams and the horror of those who were so brutally slaughtered that day. We could not stop it, Turgon, Finrod, and I. We were powerless, and we all died knowing of our guilt."

He clenched Erestor's jaw in his hand and claimed those ruby lips in a bruising, harsh kiss.

Erestor was stunned. He could not move, could not respond. He stood motionless while the blond ruthlessly plundered his mouth. Glorfindel's lips mashed against his, a slick tongue forcing its way between his lips. Only when the blond's strong white teeth caught a bit of tender lip and drew blood did he come back to his senses and begin to struggle.

Glorfindel's body was strong and immovable, pressing him firmly against the wall. Erestor was pinned in place, on hand gripping his jaw, the other knotted in the length of his hair. He struggled to work his hands in between their bodies to push the Balrog-slayer away.

The Elda finally broke the kiss and raised his head, panting. "You want me. Do not deny it."

"You are wrong." Erestor could not meet the blond's eyes.

Glorfindel dropped his hand to the bulge between Erestor's legs and squeezed lightly. He leaned close, his lips stirring the silken ebony hair over Erestor's ear and breathed, "Am I? This tells me otherwise."

Erestor whimpered, conflicted. This was wrong – Glorfindel was a murder suspect, for Elbereth's sake. But after everything the Elda said, Erestor simply could not believe the famed and revered Glorfindel of Gondolin was a murderer, no matter how strongly the evidence spoke otherwise. The anguish in his voice and the pain reflected in his eyes was genuine. And by Manwë's crown, he wanted this. More than anything he could remember in recent history. Oh Valar, he wanted Glorfindel.

He forced his eyes to meet Glorfindel's lust-darkened sapphire gaze. "You do not need to take what I am willing to give."

Understanding dawned on Glorfindel's face, and he loosened his grip on Erestor's jaw. His features relaxed, and he leaned down to kiss Erestor again, but more gently this time. It was not a soft kiss by any means, but gone was the rage and fury of before. The white shimmer surrounding his body slowly faded as his anger abated.

Glorfindel swiped his tongue over Erestor's swollen lip, cleaning the tiny drop of blood away. He pressed against the smaller Elf's body, roaming his hands over his slender frame, feeling the hidden strength in those deceptively slim limbs.

Erestor's arms rose to caress the broad shoulders and he leaned his head back against the wall, allowing the blond warrior free access to his body.

Strong, white teeth nipped as the tendons of his neck stretched tightly, his head thrown back in rapture. His breathing quickened when the warrior's battle-hardened hands slid under his robe and drew it down over his shoulders. Glorfindel drew one pebbled nipple into his mouth, rolling it around wetly while his fingers tweaked and pulled its mate. Glorfindel's hand continued to stroke Erestor's arousal through the silk of his bed pants, the Elda's hand roughly gliding, stroking along his length, causing Erestor to moan in need.

"I want you, Erestor." 

"Valar, yes," Erestor groaned. "Here, now."

Glorfindel pulled away, panting. He strode the two paces over to the table and with a broad sweep of his arm, sent crockery and silver crashing to the floor.

Erestor watched with lust-darkened eyes as shards of porcelain and crystal littered the tiled floor. This would be no gentle coupling, he knew, with pretty words and romantic trappings. No, this would be unrestrained and forceful, and that was fine with him.

A loud rap sounded at the door, and Pedhrin's voice called out sharply, "Lord Erestor? Is everything all right?"

Erestor's head jerked toward the door, his eyes wild and feral. He had forgotten about the guard just outside. Erestor swallowed twice before his voice would finally work. "Aye, Pedhrin, everything is fine. Lord Glorfindel simply, er, dropped his dinner tray."

"Shall I send a maid to clean it up, my Lord?" came Pedhrin's solicitous voice, muffled through the door.

Erestor's voice was high-pitched and wheezy as he responded, "Nay, we will take care of it. Thank you." For at that moment, Glorfindel pulled Erestor toward him. With one hand, he snapped the knot on the advisor's bed trousers, and they fell to the floor, freeing a long, slender shaft, purpled with arousal and weeping freely. The Elda pushed Erestor roughly face down over the table and kicked his ankles apart, spreading his legs wide.

Breathing harshly, he loosed his own trousers and stepped out of them, and a heavy, thick shaft sprang free. Frantically he looked about the room. "Oil..." he muttered, "No oil."

Spotting a small dish of fresh, soft butter left from the remains of his dinner, he grabbed it and slathered the greasy substance over his cock. He returned to the dish, scooping up a bit more, and with no warning slid a slippery finger into Erestor's passage. Erestor barked in surprise but before he could utter another sound, Glorfindel thrust in a second finger, pumping them in and out a few times, coating Erestor's channel well..

He is tight, oh gods so tight, Glorfindel thought. He could wait no longer, and removed his fingers. He positioned the blunt tip of his arousal at the greasy entrance to Erestor's body and pushed steadily until he was fully sheathed.

Erestor, bent forward, face pressed against the rumpled tablecloth, could do nothing but whimper as he was breached. His fingers gripped the edge of the table, his knuckles white, tensed against the pain. Glorfindel was not small, and the preparation was barely adequate. Before his body could fully adjust, Glorfindel withdrew and thrust forward again, wringing a protracted moan from Erestor's lips.

The sound seemed to break through Glorfindel's lust-haze, and he stopped his reckless thrusting. Mandos, what have I done? He thought, distressed that he had lost control so easily, and so quickly. Ever so slowly, he withdrew slightly from Erestor's body, biting his lip at the pained sounds from his lover. Carefully he examined his shaft where it pierced Erestor, checking for blood. Seeing none, he heaved a sigh of relief.

He curved around Erestor's slender back and reached below, wrapping his fist around Erestor's length, and found that it had wilted from his discomfort. "I am sorry, Erestor. ‘Twas not my intent to harm you," he said quietly, beginning long, slow strokes of the flaccid flesh. "It has been a long time for me, and I lost control. I will make it good for you, I swear."

Erestor nodded slightly and closed his eyes, letting the warm, strong hand coax him back to full hardness. At last, the gripping muscle around Glorfindel's cock loosened as Erestor's channel finally adjusted, as he surrendered the pleasure of Glorfindel's pumping fist.

Glorfindel sensed his partner's readiness and finally began to move. He shifted forward and gripped Erestor's hips with both hands, silently urging the dark Elf to raise his bottom a bit more, and adjusted his angle. As he began thrusting, the slightly changed position caused his shaft to brush against Erestor's prostate.

Growling, Glorfindel lunged forward, impaling the pale figure over and over.

His thrusting became more erratic as he neared climax. Mesmerized, he could not tear his eyes from the sight of his own cock, glistening from the greasy butter, disappearing repeatedly between the pale curves of Erestor's buttocks. It had been so long since he had felt this – the blissful heat stretched around his girth, the pooled warmth deep in the pit of his belly, spreading outward in waves.

White heat consumed him, and Glorfindel snarled with his release, filling Erestor's passage with his milky seed. He slumped over Erestor's trembling form and caught his breath, and as his heart slowed, he realized belatedly that the dark Elf had not yet reached orgasm.

Tiny mewls escaped Erestor's mouth when Glorfindel pulled his softening shaft from Erestor's body. Erestor remained sprawled across the table, his anus red and raw, while a slow trickle of the Elda's seed seeped from his body. Weakly he attempted to stand, but his legs were unsteady and would not hold him, and he fell forward again.

Glorfindel wiped himself with the shirt he had cast off, and gently swabbed Erestor's abraded bottom of his essence, thankful there were no signs of blood. He threw the garment on the floor, and then helped Erestor to stand up. As though the advisor weighed no more than a child, Glorfindel picked him up, carried him through the door into the bedroom, and tenderly laid him on the bed. You are so beautiful, Erestor, he thought. A feeling he had not experienced in Ages, or ever thought to feel again, welled in his chest. If only you could believe I speak the truth.

Erestor moaned softly, pumping his hips against the air. His hand sought his erection, engorged still and dripping constantly, creating a small pool of clear fluid on his taut stomach. A cry escaped his lips as Glorfindel's large, warm hand covered his own, encouraging him to move.  In unison they stroked, until Erestor shuddered and bucked, coating their joined hands with his pearly essence.

While Erestor lay spent, his eyes glazed, Glorfindel stood and retrieved a warm, wet cloth from the bathing chamber and wiped the flushed body clean. Each finger was carefully cleansed of any trace of fluids. Finally he discarded the cloth on the floor, then climbed onto the bed next to Erestor. He lay down and pulled the darkling Elf near. "I am sorry if I hurt you, Erestor," he said quietly.

Erestor mumbled drowsily, "I am well, Glorfindel. Do not fear."

"I am glad," Glorfindel smiled softly into Erestor's raven mane. The lovers rested together as their breathing slowed.

Glorfindel's eyes began to glaze in reverie, when Erestor's quiet voice broke the silence.

"Glorfindel?"

"Mmmm?" the Elda responded sleepily.

"I believe you."

A tiny, tired smile graced the Elda's golden features. "Will you stay with me tonight?" Glorfindel asked, sounding for all the world like a shy youth and not a formidable, reborn warrior.

Erestor curled up on his side and wrapped an arm around Glorfindel's broad chest. "Aye, I will stay."

To be continued...