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Far Beyond Mirkwood, Chapter 19/?


Authors: Mary A and Malinornë
Pairings: Mainly Thranduil/OFCs
Warnings: Adult sexual content, nudity, naughty Elvenking antics.
Disclaimer: This is a work of amateur fanfiction of the parody type and is meant solely for entertainment purposes, no profit is made.
Chapter summary: Mary learns more about Edric's attempt to kidnap her, Mal returns to Meduseld and receives a royal welcome.


~ Mary ~

In Underharrow, the twins refused my request to return me to Edoras, and the king, immediately after dinner. Instead, they took both me and their damsel in distress, whose name turned out to be Lily, upstairs to a large, luxurious room. The pouting wench brightened up when we were all inside the multi-roomed suite, and she squealed when she found there was more than one bedroom. She immediately slammed the door shut to the one she preferred, and took up residence inside of it.

"Take me back to the Golden Hall," I insisted, before the brothers got any ideas in their heads about who would be sleeping in the other bedroom. That was my night with the king, and I wanted to spend at least part of it with him. The twins must have stabled their horses nearby, and we could get back to Edoras much faster on horseback than by carriage.

The twins produced a wineskin, having kept it hidden from Lily, and we all sat on a sofa in front of a cozy fireplace. As we shared what turned out to be Lorien wine, they told me we would have to wait for the town master to return, which would not be until the next day. He was at a meeting in the village of Upbourn. That way, they would be sure that Edric was left in the hands of the local constable and then locked up in the jail.

"I saw no jail when we were outside," I interrupted Elrohir to say. The town was very small, with only a few large buildings, of which a couple were obviously stores, with pictures of what they sold on the signs that hung from their second stories. I had seen what looked like a school, or a house of worship, tiny and white, with double doors in the front. The largest structure was a stable yard, with many horses corralled and a small fleet of carriages in the yard to its side.

"Surely," he replied patiently, "you did see the blacksmith's establishment, just next door to this inn?"

"That tree we left Edric beneath, was right in front of it," added Elladan.

"Of course I saw it," I said. "Who could miss that sign with the anvil on it? What does that have to do with the jail?"

From what I had seen in the moonlight, the blacksmith's business was performed in a series of sheds, most of which had doors that seemed more appropriate for a barn than a business. I had imagined, when I had taken the time to glance toward the ghostly gray buildings, as the twins were tying Edric's hands and feet together, how horses would be led inside for shoeing.

"That is where the jail is," said Elrohir.

"Or what is used for a jail in this region," added his brother.

"One of the blacksmith's sheds has the only door in Underharrow that is made with iron, and it also has bars on the window." The twins went on to list various other features contained with that particular structure. There were iron benches and an iron table, and one of the few pot-bellied stoves in existence within Rohan.

"I am told that the beds are made of iron, too," Elladan said with a grimace of disgust at the idea. I kept to myself the sudden image of my king and his hard-as-a-rock throne back in the Mirkwood caves. He would probably love such a bed to sleep on. It cured me from wanting to send out a distress signal to him for a quick rescue, since the twins were not going to be easily persuaded. Eomer had given Thranduil his own mearas; the distance could be covered quickly if he rode one to Underharrow. I could be in his arms within hours.

I decided that the king must never come here and find out about that iron bed. I kept my mind quiet.

"Are the prisoners around here so vicious that they need such treatment?" After thinking it over, I was on the border of being horrified at the idea of Edric, who was not an elf, being shackled to an iron bed. It seemed too harsh, no matter what he had tried to do with me.

"Darling," said Elladan. "There are mattresses on top of the iron beds, so don't get worried about your little horse boy and his pretty behind."

"The shed we are talking about is also where the blacksmith sleeps," said his brother. "How else would he be able to keep an eye on his prisoners?"

"He sleeps on an iron bed?"

"The winters here are that long and boring," explained Elrohir, "for the man to have the extra time to be so creative with his base metal." Elladan snorted, but he nodded his head in agreement.

Both of the twins had been trained in use of the forge at Imladris, but they had never considered any metals worth working with that were not the most precious ones. Gold, silver, and mithril were only a few of them. When they were at home, they showed off the various trinkets they had created. They had both made the swords that they carried at their hips.

"For goodness sakes, it makes sense to me that the man likes to show off what he can do with iron, I get it. Why don't we go wake up the blacksmith and just have him take custody of Edric tonight?"

"Darling, we told you that the blacksmith is gone."

"The town master, the constable, and the blacksmith are traveling together?" In my mind, I envisioned some sort of important conference of town leaders taking place, possibly historic. Both of the twins were chuckling, and I could tell they thought I had said something silly for the way they avoided eye contact with me, for a moment.

"The blacksmith is the constable, and the town master."

"He also owns this inn we are staying in, but he does not run the place, he has hired men for that task." Elladan grew very quiet after he said it, so did Elrohir. They both stared into the fire.

"Can't we ask one of them to unlock the blacksmith's shed?" I asked. "Surely one of them must have a key?"


~ Mal ~

Waking up together with Thaladir was a nice surprise. He didn't do anything untowardly, and had even put all his clothes back on, but even just resting on top of the cover he was a calming and reassuring presence. The events of last night, at least the first part, seemed to have faded into distant memory already, as if participating in a naughty performance was a sin of my youth, not worth dwelling on. Nothing could have made me forget Thaladir's tender ministrations afterwards.

"Am I correct assuming that your state of emotional well-being has returned to an adequate level, my lady?" He had propped himself up on one elbow and looked down at me. I nodded.

"I'm fine, Your Excellency."

"That being the case, I will withdraw from your side presently." He sat up.

"Do you really have to?" I pushed down the coverlet on my side of the bed.

"My lady! My duties having been concluded, it is no longer proper for me to remain in the current intimate proximity to you."

"Can I at least give you a hug?" He seemed to contemplate this for a few seconds.

"You may," he concluded.

He didn't even wince when I climbed from the bed and stood on the floor to be able to embrace him. Not that he should, considering how much of my nude body he had seen just some hours ago, but it was still unusual. He might have looked just a little bit guilty, though, and he left the room abruptly when I let go of him.

When I had dressed, and had my choice of breakfast from a tray by the door, Thaladir returned, announcing that our hosts insisted that we 'view the wonders for which the caves are named' before we leave. I happily agreed. I like seeing beautiful natural landscapes, and besides, it wouldn't hurt to have a memory from my visit to the Glittering Caves that I could actually tell Mary about.

I followed Thaladir through two corridors and three doors, and then we were at the junction of several pathways, some going up, others turning left or right, and one leading further down into the depths of the mountain. A dwarf appeared from the path on our left, bowed and said that he would be our guide. He took the path that sloped downwards, soon to be replaced with winding stairs. Walking there among the torches reminded me of the King's caverns in Mirkwood, but only a little. Thranduil's hill was silent, not ringing with the sounds of many hammers striking against stone.

At the bottom of the stairs was a low, narrow passage, unlit as there was simply no room for torches on the walls. It was somewhat unnerving to have to squeeze through it, not knowing when it would end.

"The surrounding rock is too hard here," explained the dwarf. "But hold on, and you will be rewarded." He chuckled merrily to himself and dashed along at a pace that was hard to follow in the dark.

When I had finally felt my way to the end of the passage, not without the help of Thaladir's steadying hand from behind, there came a sudden turn to the right, and then I stepped out into the light. It was bright, the flames of a hundred torches being reflected by the walls that shone with embedded crystals and lodes of ore. The reflections made the room seem endless.

"Most of it is natural," said our guide. "This hall was carved out by an underground river in a distant age, and we prefer to disturb it a little as possible. The walls have been polished, of course, and some of the crystals cut to reveal their inner purity, but we do not mine here."

I nodded, speechless from the splendour that revealed itself as we walked along. "Adamant," muttered Thaladir when I stopped at a particularly shiny crystal that looked as if it was lit from within.

"Adamant and amethyst," continued the dwarf with pride, "chrysophrase and berylline, rubies redder than the lady's lips and finest emeralds to rival her eyes. It is not true what the elves say about my people only appreciating stones for their usefulness or worth in money."

Thaladir looked like he was going to protest, so I quickly said something about how beautiful it all was. The dwarf beamed with pride.

"Of course," he continued as we left the glittering hall and went into another, duller one, "the riches of this mountain are vast. Even the rock itself is often of great value. Like this." He passed his hand over a smooth pinkish surface.

"Marble?" I asked, blushing slightly. He nodded.

"The finest kind." He looked like he was going to continue, but another voice butted in: "Hard enough to last for centuries, and yet lends itself amazingly to shapes of all kinds. As you well know, my lady." I turned around and saw the rat-faced little merchant.

"It would be far from me to interrupt your tour, most esteemed guests," he said when he had my full attention, "but your steeds seem eager to leave, so if you would be so kind... their stomping outside the gate worries the workers."

"In that case I guess we need to go. Thank you so much," I said to the guide.

"It is the dwarves that are grateful," he replied politely. "A trade agreement and repair works on the fortress at our threshold is a small price to pay for this wonder of Aulė. Lord Gimli sends his heartiest regards to Eomer King."

"Is Gimli here? Lord Gimli, I mean?" It would be fun to meet the dwarf again, and impolite not to see him.

"No," replied the guide. "He is on an errand to Khazad-Dum." He lowered his voice. "Word has come that a previously unknown vein of mithril has been found." His eyes began to glitter, in much the same way the merchant's had at the prospect of an advantageous deal.

"I see. But then you have to send him my regards when he returns. Tell him that Lady Malinorne is always at his service."

Thaladir cleared his throat rather audibly, and the merchant took this as a signal to lead us out to the waiting horses. Lightning and Thunderfoot were calm, which made me wonder if the man had told the truth. Regardless, I had seen what I wanted to see, and it felt good to be on the way 'home'.

"My lady," said the seneschal somewhat sternly as we reached the plains, "was not the intention that our names remain undisclosed?"


~ Mary ~

On the other side of the tree where Edric was lying, were the two men who ran the inn. They were also tied up, and gagged, and from the glares they gave the twins and me, quite furious.

"These were the men who were going to buy me from Edric?" I had insisted on seeing them before I would agree to staying the night. The twins, they had assured me, were not going to try to share a bed with me. They were going to be doing guard duty over their prisoners. "Did you think to ask one of them if they had a key to the blacksmith's jail shed?"

The large suite of rooms the twins had taken me to was not for rent, they were the living quarters of the hired innkeepers. These potential buyers of my person were brothers, too, but they were not twins.

Elladan and Elrohir had searched their pockets earlier, and had found many keys. One was to the fancy sleeping chambers, and there were keys for various other locked doors or cupboards within the inn, and one for the stable in the rear, but none of them opened anything that was part of the blacksmith's business.

"The blacksmith had at least enough good sense to keep that key to himself," said Elrohir.

"His choice of staff leaves me in doubt that he has much more good sense than that little bit," added Elladan. Neither of the twins believed that the town master, who was also the constable, the jailer, and ran the smithy, was aware of the kidnapping scheme concocted with Edric and the innkeepers.

They told me how Edric had arrived the day before to find these two men who dealt in selling humans. After letting me know that much, the twins spent several minutes checking over the knots their prisoners were bound up with, then led me back into the inn. Despite having a lot of questions in my head, I fell asleep swiftly, and I slept well.

In the morning, the twins returned to bring me downstairs to the common room for breakfast. The blacksmith had returned, and would be in to ask me some questions after I ate. We could leave after that. Despite my eagerness to return to Edoras the night before, now that it was no longer my night with the king, I was not in a hurry. I asked them to tell me the rest of the story about Edric's attempt to sell me, and how the innkeepers had been involved.

The innkeeping brothers, I was told, traveled back and forth between Rohan and Gondor by using the newly opened passageway in the mountains by Dunharrow, formerly known as the Paths of the Dead. Among the various harbor towns of Gondor, along the southern shore, there were women who normally sold themselves to the sailors that traveled up and down the coastline. These women were eager to come to Rohan, lured by promises of great fortunes to be made among the horsemen, who were reported to be mostly innocent of the idea of prostitution. Lily had been one of them, and she had been promised a lucrative contract for very little effort on her part. She would not even have to touch a man.

Instead of being allowed to ply her trade in the same fashion she was used to, in her former home in a small harbor village by the sea, Lily was sold to a merchant who had opened up a new market in Edoras. The twins seemed to find this particularly odious, but they did not explain why. Edric had come looking for the men who had sold her in order to do business with them. He had heard from a dwarf passing through the valley that a merchant in Edoras had lost a female assistant and was seeking another to take her place, and at a great price.

There was dwarf gold involved, the bearded folk had left a bag of it in Underharrow, and the Captain could not turn down the opportunity to make himself a bag full of treasure. The dwarf had given Edric the name of the inn, and when he got there he had sought out the innkeepers. He rode a meara there, having easy access to the swift horses, and was able to arrive there and return to Rohan in a matter of only a few hours.

"Edric told the flesh-trading brothers that he had just the woman they needed on hand," Elladan said. "He bragged about a very sexy woman who was elf-trained."

"He told them that she was close at hand," said Elrohir. "She was visiting Meduseld as part of a large royal party from the east, and would not be missed." My heart sank at that description, unless he meant Mal.

"Did he tell them my name?"

"No, darling, he told us only that we would not be displeased with you, he was sure that you were made for the position." Elladan's answer did not fit the expression on his face. "He inferred that the woman he had in mind was not above making a spectacle of herself."

"What position would that be?" For some reason, by the looks the twins were giving each other, they were about to tell me something that they knew I was not going to enjoy hearing. "Wait a minute," I said, before they could begin to answer. "Did you just say that he told you that you would not be displeased?"

"Edric thought that we were the innkeeping brothers." Elrohir smile told me more than his words, he loved to fool mortal men into thinking he was one of them.

"He was led to think that," said Elladan, "with the help of a small group of dwarves we met yesterday, and bribed to play act a little for us, on the spot." It turned out that the dwarves were related to Gimli, and had loved the idea of fooling a horseman. The twins had encountered the bearded folk in the morning, a few dozen of them, hurrying to the caves of Helm's Deep, but willing to stop at the inn for a meal and more than a few pints of ale.

"When the ale had loosened their tongues enough, we heard a remarkable tale from them," said Elrohir. "We had introduced them to Lily, not thinking they would have had any knowledge of the merchant or his business, and learned that they knew who she was, and what she had been hired to do."

"They were the very dwarves who had been seeking a replacement for her in Edoras," added Elladan.

"Except they did not need the services of the innkeepers any more," his brother said. "For a better female had been found, she was not going to cost them anything. Even better, they had no hard feelings toward us for abducting Lily, who they said paled in comparison to an elf-trained woman."

"When Edric showed up soon after, he made the mistake of taking one of the dwarves aside first, and telling him about an elf-trained woman that he had for sale. Within the hour, we met with your ambitious kidnapper in those rooms upstairs, and we struck a deal with him."


~ Mal ~

As Thaladir and I approached Edoras, about the same time as the gold-thatched roof of the royal hall became visible, the seneschal directed my attention to a small black spot in the distance. I peered at it; it seemed to come closer.

"What is it?" I asked. "Can you see?"

"Indeed, my lady, the visual abilities of elves do surpass those of mortals."

"I haven't forgotten. But please tell me what it is."

"A welcoming party, I would say. His Majesty."

I stopped immediately, wishing to make myself look better before meeting him. If I only had something else to wear than the not very sexy travelling clothes with their dull leggings and tunic. But at least I could make an attempt at combing my hair. The comb was within easy reach in my saddle-bag. Thaladir watched me with a mixed expression of bewilderment and amusement.

"As you no doubt realize, my lady, taking into consideration your reportedly intact memory of elven sight specifics, His Majesty has long ago noticed your present appearance. Furthermore, it is of no significance in comparison with your state of mind. Let us not tarry."

"Yes, Your Excellency." I sighed. What he said was true, of course, but it would still have been nice to be a little more presentable. The sound of hoof beats was close now.

I nudged Lightning into a brisk walk, and then a whirlwind hit me, or so it felt. In an instant I was knocked out of the saddle and onto the ground. Surprisingly, I did not hurt myself in the fall, but there was a pressure on my back and I couldn't move from my position sprawled face down onto the grass.

"Tha..." I began to call, but then I felt hot breath against my ear and a welcome voice whispered hoarsely: "Mine."

In my befuddled state it took a couple of seconds to realize that it was the king who restricted my movements, but as soon as it hit me, adrenalin rushed to my head. I felt it in my nether regions, too. And I felt him, pressing against my backside.

"Do not move," he breathed into my ear, and then I heard the sound of leather pants being opened. My leggings were pulled down just enough to allow a hand to sneak in between my thighs and feel the wetness there, and then a little more. I was moaning with sudden desire already before he entered me.

Our coupling was rough and quick, lasting far too short for my taste. Even Thaladir was taken by surprise; I saw from the corner of my eye that he had 'forgotten' to avert his gaze.

"There will be more tonight," said the king in response to my disappointed whimpers at his withdrawal. "For now, matters of state require my presence, however regrettably, and I will have to trust my seneschal with your well-being until the evening." That said, he nipped the back of my neck and then gently kissed the tender area. Then he was gone, as suddenly as he had appeared.

I stood, straightened my clothes and gingerly stretched my limbs while I watched Thranduil riding off with his hair flying behind him. My handsome Elvenking. Mine. Just thinking about him made me all giddy inside, like a little girl.


~ Mary ~

The town master, who was the embodiment of all local law authority, was not as cute as he could have been, mainly because he had to shoe a few horses before he came to question the twins and me about the kidnapping plot. Horse hooves, I was informed, had priority over the many and various petty squabbles between people.

He smelled of horse and had blackened hands. A bath, a shave, and a haircut would have done wonders for the man. A change of clothes would have helped, too.

As it was, I found it hard to take the legal proceedings in the inn's dining room very seriously, involved as I was in mentally giving the town master a complete makeover. Edric was guilty, as far as I was concerned. The situation seemed absurdly obvious, to me anyway, and what little information I had to give was probably not that important.

Except that it was.

"Lady Mary," I was asked by the stinky man, after he had silently studied my revealing costume carefully, with the most disgusting leering smile as he took in the low cut of my blouse and the shortness of my skirt, "did you willingly enter the carriage with Captain Edric?" I had to say yes. I was next asked if the horseman had hurt me, besides the drugging that I reported, and I had to admit he had not, in fact, he had fed me.

"Is it possible that you felt befuddled due to drinking a great quantity of the honey mead?" After I admitted that it was, indeed, possible, I was then asked if I had ever been drugged while I was a visitor in Rohan, which would have made me able to tell the difference. Of course, I had not.

"Were you not immediately released to these two elves, who are your friends, upon arriving in Underharrow?"

"Well that," I answered, "is only sort of true." But I had to admit that Edric had not tried to stop me from leaving the carriage and going away with the twins. As the rest of my story was told, I had to finally confess to having seen Elrohir pull his sword out and threaten an unarmed man with it.

Edric was declared innocent of all charges. The inn keeping brothers were also set free, for they were the most guiltless of all three captives. All they had done was be there in the inn when Edric came to do some business with them.

"Where else should they have been?" The blacksmith was very angry when he thundered this question at the three of us. It occurred to me, at about that time, how we three were strangers here, and Edric and the innkeepers were not. It was their word against ours, and they had told their story first.

The vindictive Lily was not helpful. When she finally came downstairs, and was questioned, she complained about her abduction from her well-paying job in Edoras, by the two elves who had posed as men to trick her. She knew nothing else about anything, she declared, except that she wanted to go home.

When all was over, Elladan and Elrohir were both to be held in the blacksmith's jail, for they had confessed to tying up the innkeepers, stealing the key to their room, in which they had housed two women for the night, and then having eaten both dinner and breakfast, all without paying for anything. That was most upsetting to the blacksmith. He had a bill prepared for them and he slapped it down on the table. Case closed.

Having been allowed to have a few moments alone with the twins, before they were locked up, I asked the them why they did not hurry up and pay for their accommodations, and we could all three get out of there and return to Edoras.

"It's the principle of the thing," muttered Elrohir. Even though I did my best to persuade both of them, they did not seem very worried about having to sit on an iron bench, in a shed that had an iron door and bars on the window, with iron shackles on their lovely wrists and ankles. Inferior metals, they declared, did not scare them.

"The town master must be part of this new flesh trading business taking place," Elladan said. "He will not get away with it."

"And how are you going to be able to prove that," I asked, "if you are locked in jail?" The smug expression on their faces did not make me feel more kindly toward them.

If they were not concerned with their freedom, at least they could show some consideration for the position they were putting me into, all alone in this village, with no way to travel in any direction. The way I was dressed was causing a lot of whispers from a crowd of local people that had come to watch the questioning, loud whispers. I felt surrounded by potential kidnappers.

My back was to the door, but I was close enough to it to hear it open behind me, although I had no interest in who might have entered. I was getting ready to ask Elladan to lend me his cloak, and let me borrow one of their horses, when I was interrupted.

"Perhaps that ranger can help you," he said, lifting his chin and pointing it over my shoulder. "He seems an honest-looking fellow." Even though I doubted it, I turned to see who he was talking about, and then I shrieked loud enough to startle the room into silence. The newcomer shouted back at me even louder.

"Lady Mary!"

"I think she knows him" said Elladan to his brother, after Anborn crossed the room and swept me out of my seat, hugged my breath away, and then kissed me.

"I would have to agree," answered Elrohir.

It was my very own hero, come to rescue me from the twins.


~ Mal ~

Back in Edoras, I spent most of the afternoon in my room, with only a venture to the bathtub, where Ithilwen pampered me like a doll. I almost fell asleep while her expert fingers massaged my scalp, and by the time Thranduil finally wrapped up his kingly business for the day, I was more than ready for him. Even at dinner I could do little more than look at him, as he sat with Eomer in a sea of councillors.

"You gave them a good show," he told me when I entered his room. He was sitting by the fire, swirling a few last drops of wine in a crystal goblet. I wondered briefly where that came from, seeing how only tankards and clay jugs had been offered at Eomer's table. "The king of Rohan is most pleased with the outcome of your little venture. So am I," he added as an afterthought.

"Has Thaladir told you everything already?" I had vaguely hoped to entertain the Elvenking with some of the juicier details, but knowing his seneschal's sense for the unseemly, that would already be old news.

"Naturally," he replied with glittering eyes as I sat down on the footstool in front of him. "My trusted one has delivered a full report in writing, which I have taken much pleasure in perusing." I followed his gaze towards his groin, where something was straining considerably against his leggings. I grinned and reached out a hand to touch him there, which he graciously allowed.

"Can I see it?" I asked while I fondled him. "The scroll, I mean."

"I would rather show you something else. You may read the report tomorrow, provided Eomer has spelled his way through it by that time."

"You gave it to Eomer?" I snatched my hand back in shock.

"I have deposited the scroll in the royal library of Edoras. It increased the contents by one fifth. The Rohirrim are an oral culture, as my seneschal has no doubt told you. Speaking of which..."

He took my hand and placed it again on his bulging sceptre, and then gently pulled my head in the same direction. I sank down to the floor and settled between his widely spread legs. As usual, I had hardly began my task of lavishing his length with licks and kisses, when he decided that he would rather put it somewhere else, and fast.

"Enough!" he declared, putting down the wine glass with a clang. "To bed!"

I complied eagerly, dropping what I was wearing in the process. It's good Thaladir wasn't there to see the mess. He might not have appreciated the sight of a fully aroused king hopping around with his leggings around his knees either. Thranduil evidently couldn't have cared less about his royal dignity, but he yanked off the offensive garment before joining me in bed. He even let me remove his tunic before grabbing my wrists and pushing them into the pillow above my head.

I writhed as if struggling to get away, but I couldn't hide my expectant smile. We both knew that I loved it this way. His knees easily parted my thighs, and then he used his free hand to guide himself into me.

"Aaaaahnghhh," I moaned, closing my eyes at the intense sensation. Was it really possible that I had forgotten how good this felt? His rocking motions pressed me deliciously into the mattress; I bucked against him and wished it never to stop.

"Look at me." The command was sharp, but when I looked into his smouldering gaze, I saw a strange tenderness behind his dominant behaviour. "Good," he said, with a well-directed stroke that nearly made me float into oblivion. "I want to see you."

It took all my willpower to remain with him, to concentrate on the bond between our minds, rather than the sensations created in my body. I know I'm not generally very good at it, not in comparison with Mary, who has told me too many times that she can receive detailed messages from him. For me, it's like I can open up to him, but I seem seldom to be able to feel his presence for more than seconds at a time, and only vaguely, as if a butterfly was brushing its wings against my brain. Except when there have been strong warnings; those have gotten through clearly.

A lot later, when I was basking in glorious aftermath, resting my head on Thranduil's shoulder while letting my fingers play idly over his chest, those were the thoughts that came back to me. How he had happily allowed, even encouraged, my intimate encounters with other elves, but as soon as I had taken the slightest interest in a human male, I had heard, or rather, felt, his voice saying 'no!' inside my head.

"Why?" I asked aloud. "Wouldn't it be more logical if you were jealous of other elves? I mean, ordinary men are so far behind..." I moved my hand lower, resulting in a nice, grumbling sound from the king. Not until I stopped did he answer, in his typical way.

"Why does my concubine conclude that it is a matter of jealousy? You may continue," he added when I kept my fingers still.

"What else is there?" I asked and leaned closer to give him a kiss. "Mary has human lovers." To be entirely honest, that was probably the part that annoyed me the most. There had been a wild-looking ranger in Rivendell that I desired for a second, and a few of the Rohirrim were more than passably attractive, but I realized that the core of it was jealousy, on my part.

"Ah." Thranduil chuckled in a very annoying way. "So you desire the present one?" I nodded.

"Anborn really is quite cute."

"Mary's whelp is hers alone. Do that again." The last part referred to my nipples brushing against his chest when I leaned over him. It was not at all hard to comply.

"Edric, then?" I continued. "The captain?" Another man that seemed to follow Mary around as if she was his queen.

"Am I not enough for you?" He wrapped his arms around my waist and pressed me down onto his chest; a position that soon felt very interesting. I wiggled a little.

"You know that you are." I wiggled again and felt that it was so true. "But you aren't with me all the time, and Mary can have anyone she chooses." I hadn't planned to bring up Mary again, knowing how childish and whiny it must sound, but it just slipped out of my mouth.

"You will sleep with a man, eventually."

"What?"

"Am I distracting you so much that your hearing is impaired?" He sucked my earlobe into his mouth, making me whimper, and at the same time he began to caress my bottom. I was almost prepared to drop the discussion. If it hadn't been for that last phrase.

"You will give me away to someone? When it suits you?" The prospect was more alluring than scary, but it made me angry nevertheless.

"You have clearly forgotten the conditions you agreed to when choosing to remain in my realm."

"Oh, of course." I said with as much sarcasm as I could muster in my present position. "Who has deserved the honour? Your new friend Eomer? Or is it that sleazy Lord Bard II of Dale? A concubine would be a small price to pay for cheaper butter and wine, wouldn't it?"

"You will sleep with a man," he repeated. "In the meantime, you may warm the bed of my seneschal."

It was as much of a peace offering anyone could ask for. He knew that I would be delighted; I just couldn't swallow my pride enough to admit it and thank him. I settled for a meek 'yes, Sire' and dove under the cover before I had to look at his smirk. Mind-reading elves are a nuisance.


~*~ From Thaladir's Notebook: ~*~

Status of daily schedule: Accomplished?

Remarks: It is with a significant degree of discomfort that I have noted a recent change in a certain bodily mechanism, normally at its highest level of functionality in an individual's youth. Recently, however, my mind has taken to occupying itself with lustful thoughts of His Majesty's mortal ladies to a degree most unseemly for an elf of my age and standing, furthermore resulting in the corresponding outward evidence of excitement, which remains modestly hidden only due to my fortunate habitual manner of dress. The local library is much too meagre to suggest a remedy, wherefore I shall have to rely upon frequent cold baths; yet I fear my behaviour shall soon become unworthy of a seneschal of Eryn Lasgalen.

To be continued...


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Chapter posted: October 31, 2007

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"Long live Thranduil, great Elf-king of Greenwood!"