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Far Beyond Mirkwood, Chapter 32

Authors: Mary A and Malinornë
Pairings: Mainly Thranduil/OFCs
Warnings: Sex, Thranduil style, finally!
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: Mal renews her vows of fealty to the Elvenking in a mutually satisfying manner, but the morning after is not without regrets. Mary finds herself in unexpected company.

~ Mal ~

Thaladir, thank heavens, stayed silent. Abandoned by the Elvenking on the dance floor in the state of arousal, I was most decidedly not in the mood for well-meant reminders of the virtue of patience. The seneschal seemed to realize that. He walked with me outside for a short while – I finally saw the famous White Tree – and then took me to Thranduil’s rooms in the guest suite.

There, in the small antechamber just inside the door, he helped me out of my dress and instructed me to remove my shoes. Having neatly arranged the dress on a chair in the way that was likely to cause the less creases, he gave me a glance of scrutiny and then nodded. Apparently, King Elessar’s servants’ taste in underwear met with his approval. I agreed – the soft golden tones went well with Girion’s necklace. I felt beautiful.

“His Majesty King Thranduil is waiting for you,” Thaladir said quietly, and then added with a rare hint of a smile, “I wish you a good night, my lady.”

As I entered the next room I immediately saw the Elvenking, sitting in a throne-like chair at the far end of it. Something commanding about his appearance made me stop by the door, rather than rush to embrace him. My desire was lit again as I saw him, but I would show him I could wait if that was what he wanted.

His smirk told me he had read my thoughts. “Do you recognize my right to command you, my love?”

“I do. Sire,” I added, suddenly feeling a need to acknowledge his status. My heart exulted – he had said ‘love’ – a word rarely used in his vocabulary.

“Then come to me. On your hands and knees.” He smirked again, seeming to dare me.

I willingly accepted. It had been a long time since we played this kind of game and I realized I had craved it. I nodded, observing the promising bulge that made his leggings strain alluringly. The heavy emeralds around my neck dangled as I crept to him on all fours, the precious gift turned into a collar. Anticipation brewed inside – what delightful debauchery would he command me to perform? I was only moments from resting my head in his lap when he spoke again.

“No,” he said to my surprise. Leaning forward, he reached out his hand towards the floor, palm down. The great jewel on his ring seemed to call to me.

I looked at the king. Did he want me to kiss it?

He nodded majestically.

Sitting back onto my knees, I bent my neck and kissed the ring reverentially. A glance at its owner confirmed that he expected more. Encouraged by his tongue wetting his lips, I took the jewel into my mouth.

I explored it with my tongue, its angles and planes, its comparative coolness with the warmth of his skin. Then I bit it, knowing that my teeth would not cause a dent, but needing to see it, to feel it for myself. Nor could I slide it off his finger.

I swirled my tongue around the ring, then involved the royal digit it graced. Satisfied with the muffled groan from its owner I went on to lavish this finger with all the attention I had been prepared to give to a nobler member.

The Elvenking was never renowned for his great self-control, nor was he known to abstain from immediate gratification when such could be enjoyed without harm. Thus, it surprised me greatly that he let me continue, rather than direct my efforts elsewhere. Spurred by his stubbornness, I became more forceful in my caresses and I moaned as I let his finger slide in and out between my lips.

His other hand began playing with my breasts, cupping them through my camisole, caressing them deliciously through the material, pinching my nipples and efficiently crushing my resolve to pretend I could wait forever for his touch.

“You are ready,” he stated, somewhat raggedly as he removed his hand from my mouth. Instead he slid both hands under my camisole, pushing the material up over my breasts and baring them to his hands, and moments later his eager lips as he suddenly slid from his seat and dropped onto his knees in front of me. My hands firmly pinned to the floor by his I could do little but sit there, presenting myself to him, feeling his tongue and lips on my nipples, and a torturous tickle further down as strands of his long blond mane worried the skin on my belly and inner thighs.

As he let go of my wrists, we tore off my underpants in a joined effort.

I was burning for contact with his royal sceptre, but again was denied. Instead, he rashly sat back onto the chair, while I resumed my earlier position kneeling at his feet. Then he reached his ring hand between my parted knees and I straddled it, eagerness to please and be pleased quickly overriding the sense of awkwardness as I rubbed myself against his hand, increasingly slicker.

It was humiliating. I cared not. There was only his face contorted by a covetous grin, his eyes that saw through my innermost thoughts merciless in their attention to me, his hand, his ring, his pleasure. And mine.

Then his voice echoed in my head, low, sincere, and serious in spite of the heated moment. “Will you renew your vows to me?”

“Oh, yes,” I whimpered, “gods, yes, please!”

He chuckled. “We will leave them out of this. Do you swear then to...”

Somehow he managed to guide me through the words he desired to hear, of trust and allegiance, obedience and protection – for all it was worth in the current situation. In my condition of desperate lust I would have sworn to anything that could bring me closer to completion and he must have known that. And yet, it mattered to him.

When all was said, he captured my lips in a fervent kiss as he brought me to mind-blowing climax with his hands. Then he finally allowed me to do what I had wanted since first I saw him sitting there.

Not for long, though – I had barely taken his royal sceptre into my mouth when he roughly pulled me onto his lap to ride it instead. His impatience rewarded us both greatly.

When the aftermath of bliss had finally subsided, the Elvenking carried me through a door to the left and along the corridor beyond it. He opened the door at the other end and I recognized the room – it was the bathing chamber we had visited earlier that night. Now it seemed deserted – it was quiet and all that witnessed of recent activity was the steam rising from the tub and a chandelier on the wall. A middle-aged woman appeared from the doorway, carrying towels and looking like it was average fare in her profession to see esteemed guests in various stages of undress. Which it had to be, though surely a royal elf with his sceptre escaping from his breeches would likely be the height of her experiences. She placed the towels on the bench beside the tub, curtsied and left.

I removed his clothes with as much reverence as any servant, and with a few touches of my own that would have made me outraged to see anyone else practice on him. Then the Elvenking lifted me in his arms and climbed into the tub with ease, with no need of the low ladder provided.

I made several honest attempts at washing, but if the king had honourable intentions with this bath, those did not spread to his most royal member, which seemed to take every occasion to try to press itself against my entrance. It first found its mark when I bent over to reach for a piece of soap, and later attempts were successful as well, but all of them were limited to a few quick, shallow thrusts, always interrupted when I began to enjoy myself too much. The Elvenking could not have made it more obvious that he was teasing me deliberately, very much in control of all his royal parts.

Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to wait very long for him to tire of his games. Suddenly I found myself lifted out of the tub, wrapped in a towel and then carried back to the bedroom. On his command, I remained where he laid me on the bed, watching him dry himself perfunctorily when all I wanted was to lick the water from his strong and slender limbs.

Then he joined me in the wide, comfortable bed with its pristine sheets and the woollen blanket we had no need for. We made love. Slowly, gently and with passionate ardour, and much different from any of the many times I had been with the Elvenking. I felt revered like never before. Worshipped, adored, placed on a pedestal for him to admire. He even kissed my nether lips, one of few spots on my body previously untouched by his mouth. I soared high on his attention, guided by his lips and hands and tongue until I was no more, nor he, only we together in lust. In love.

~ Mary ~

If there was a time of day that I missed the Mirkwood caves the most, it was bed-time. Even the nights we had spent among the elves in the forests of Ithilien were not as profoundly and completely dark as my stone bedchamber could be. It was perfect for sleeping, and I was ready to sleep tonight. I wondered if I would be able to relax here in the White City, where I was nearly blinded from all the lights around us.

There is not a dark nook, cranny, or corner to be found in Minas Tirith after the sun sets. The entire city is as brilliantly lit from the inside as it had appeared from the outside the night before. Moving around the torch-lined corridors, halls, and stairways was very much like walking on top of the layers of an enormous birthday cake, for a very old elf. Like the one who was escorting me to my bedchamber.

Although I hardly needed the warmth from my cloak just to walk up the stairs, I kept it securely wrapped around me to prevent suspicious elf eyes from seeing any fibs that might jump out of my mouth by accident. As usual, I could not stop myself from stroking the silken fabric and marvelling at the texture and scent.

“Your Excellency,” I asked, “where was that famous Gildor Inglorion tonight? I thought you said he was going to be here.” I had wanted to get a look at the famous elf, plus I was hoping that such an innocent question might misdirect Thaladir from scolding me for giving myself a new title right before dinner. Without permission.

I was quite sure that the penalty for such an infraction would be at least a half hour of lecture on propriety, insubordination, and overall seemliness. As a stalling tactic, it worked quite well; the old elf could not stop himself from responding to my inquiry in great detail.

Thaladir rattled on about how Gildor and a few of the other high elves had been in and out of the area for some weeks, and that there were many places of interest besides the White City for them to visit, such as the infamous Paths of the Dead, a prime tourist attraction for the elfy folk who had long hidden themselves from the prying eyes of Mordor in their protected realms. I barely listened to him because touching my cloak had reminded me of another elf, the one who had made it.

Thinking of Feredir had launched a dozen questions in my head all of a sudden and I could not decide which one to ask first. For once, however, I was going to be subtle instead. I knew the seneschal could see me. I had figured out that wearing my cloak indoors had a different affect on my visibility than when I wore it outside.

“You can see me in this cloak while I am wearing it indoors, can’t you, Excellency?” I asked him now, interrupting an account of how Helm’s Deep and the Glittering Caves of Aglarond were also considered fashionable destinations for the elves. Apparently, even the presence of Dwarves was not a deterrent. I hardly cared. “I don’t think you could see me in it last night, could you?”

“Indeed you are quite visible by torchlight, my lady, as is to be expected,” was his non-answer answer. Perhaps I was being too subtle?

“This is a magical cloak, isn’t it, Your Excellency?” I prodded softly, and hoped I was not radiating anything from my face that would show how much more I truly wanted to know about it, elves get very picky with dispensing information about their crafts.

“Ironically, in the eyes of a mortal, anything deemed magical ordinarily connotes the use of optical illusion and misdirection of the naked eye, and therefore, yes, My Lady, using those terms, your cloak it magical.” Which was hardly an answer, but at least he was willing to discuss it. We were almost to my door by then, so I had to hurry up and ask my questions, the most important ones.

“Your Excellency, I know that Feredir made this for some elf lady a long time ago.”

“That is true, my lady,” he said, as he opened my guest chamber door for me, and gestured for me to enter.

“Wait!” I clutched his arm. “I bet that you know who she was. Was she very beautiful? Did she break Feredir’s heart? Did she sail off to Valinor and leave this cloak behind for him to always remember her by?”

“Under any other circumstances, Lady Mary, I would be more than willing to educate you on the history of your garment.” Thaladir took my hand from his arm, and guided me through the door as he continued, “However, at this time there are other more pressing matters that I must attend to, in service to His Majesty. I bid you good evening.” He bowed and fled.

He did not even stay to close the door behind me, but scurried off with his robe swirling behind him like an equally busy shadow, and disappeared down the corridor. I was no closer to having all the facts about my cloak than I was the night before, which I found very discouraging.

There was a small army of chambermaids to help me prepare for bed, with a bath, a nightgown, and even a pot of herbal tea to promote sleep. I would not allow them to put my cloak away and wore it as a wrapper around my nightdress, while I sat to drink my tea. Relaxed and ready to climb under the covers, I had them extinguish every candle and torch in my rooms before they left, but it was still as bright as day inside.

The floor to ceiling windows alone let in all of the torchlight from the city, so I started closing the enormous curtains, which were made of some sort of heavy brocade, and this darkened the room immediately. Maybe I would be able to sleep after all.

I had reached the last set of drapes when a hand snaked out from behind them and grabbed my wrist. Instinctively, I kicked out at whoever stood behind the curtain, but all that did was tangle my leg up in the fabric. Before I could scream, my mouth was covered by another hand, and the rest of the body came into view as well.

When I saw who it was grabbing my wrist and covering my mouth, I was momentarily paralyzed from the shock. It was Renk! The unpleasant smelly merchant from Lake Town. Helca’s obese and hairy lover. This was the very man who had plotted to kidnap me all that long time ago, when I lived in Mirkwood. I had never thought about him since then and now I felt as if I was caught up in a nightmare.

There was no good reason for Renk to be in Minas Tirith, let alone in my bedchamber, and I had nearly been frightened out of my wits by his startling unforeseen presence. I was no match for him physically and even the swiftest elf could not rescue me if he had any plans to do me immediate harm.

I remembered that there were door guards outside of the guest chamber’s entrance, and they might hear me if I could holler loud enough, but could they get to me fast enough to make a difference if this man had murder on his mind? He could easily pick me up and toss me out the window, if all else failed.

While I prayed that the vile man would not strangle or stab me where I stood, I was sending out mental distress calls to the king, who was not replying. That made me mad, and I unfroze instantly and struggled again with the draperies around my legs to get a good kick at the man. With my free hand I tried to pry his hand from my mouth.

“Stay still and don’t fret now, me little lady,” Renk wheezed out and his sour breathe nearly gagged me. “I’m not going to bite you, just relax now and hear me out.” He kept a tight grip on my other wrist, but he was not actually hurting me. “Alls I’m here for is to deliver a message from an old friend of yours,” he added. “Then I will be on my way, I vow.”

I had no choice, really, but something about Renk’s demeanor indicated that he was speaking the truth, and I was a little curious, too, about what old friend has sent this villain to my bedchamber. I stood still and nodded my head, hoping he would uncover my mouth if I pretended to comply with him. He was not that stupid.

“There is a right fine gent down the hall a piece who would like to spend some time, er, renewing old acquaintances, in a manner of speaking, and he kindly asks for a few moments of your time to present you with an interesting proposition, mutually beneficial to the both of you, if you understand my meaning.” His leering grin made me physically ill and I believed that I understood him quite well.

Even if I did understand his meaning, however, I could not agree with his hand over my mouth. I stayed as still as stone, not struggling, and used my free hand to gesture at him to let me speak.

“You won’t scream?” he asked. Blessing the fact that it was only the elves who could tell that I was lying by the color of the glow I was making, I shook my head ‘no’, and batted my eyes. He chuckled, and, as swift as an elf, he grabbed my other wrist up with my first one, effectively handcuffing me. The sneak.

“Why should I believe you?” he said, looming over me now, his leering grin widening as he pressed his enormous girth against me. “Helca said you tell lies in your sleep. I figure it would just be easier just to take you to meet up with his lordship me own self, and save us both a lot of aggravation?”

His logic escaped me, and his bulk ultimately thwarted me, and before I could think of anything else clever to do, or even send out another mental distress signal, he had grabbed up the loose material of my magical elf cloak, and covered my face with it. With one hand, he wrapped one of the tails several times around my chin and jaw, and then over my eyes, while I wriggled to escape from his grasp. My lips were smashed flat under the pressure of the fabric, and I could not scream now. I went limp in self defense, but Renk caught me up and tossed me over his shoulder. I was on my way to meet a fine gent, like it or not.

The last window was open, and Renk daintily and quietly stepped out onto the balcony, escaping the attention of the chamber’s guards, and stealthily made his way along past several other guest chambers. All of the other guest rooms were unoccupied as the party below was still in progress. I was amazed that such a large and seemingly uncoordinated man could move about so gracefully, but I did not have a lot of time to reflect on this as we had reached our destination.

With an unceremonious flip, and an unflattering grunt from Renk, I was tossed onto something soft in front of a merrily burning fire. The cloak around my face prevented me from seeing anything else clearly, and my attempts to free myself just snarled me up more. After a few fruitless moments of kicking and squirming, I gave up, laid still, and listened.

“Why, Lady Mary, how kind and gracious of you to accept my invitation,” I heard someone say. I did not immediately recognize the voice other than it was a male, and most likely a mortal man. There was something vaguely familiar about it. Familiar enough to make me relax a little bit. At least it was not an orc that I had been delivered to or something worse. I could handle a mere man.

There was a whispered conversation between the owner of the mysterious voice and Renk, followed by silence, then a door opened and shut. During this time, I had sat up cautiously, which was not easy with my cloak wrapping, and began slowly untangling myself from my silken cocoon. I could have just torn a hole in it to escape, but I did not want to damage my magical cloak. I had only owned it for one day! I hurried.

By the time the upper part of my body was free, I was almost panting from exhaustion. I looked around me and found that I was sitting on a low couch. I would have jumped up and ran, but my legs were still tangled up in my cloak.

“We are alone,” the voice suddenly said from behind me, almost at my ear, making me jump a little. From over my shoulder I was presented with a silver goblet. “Would you care for some wine?” I took the goblet, turned my head, and gasped.

“Lord Bard! For goodness sakes you had me scared to pieces! What do you think you’re doing? You know the king will have your head if you lay a finger on me.”

The handsome lord circled around the low-slung couch and sat right beside me. I leaned away from him but he made no move to get closer, indeed he seemed more interested in looking at me than touching.

~ Mal ~

I drifted awake to the gentle rhythm of Thranduil’s heartbeats, ear against his chest, nose nuzzled into the soft fold under his chin. His arm draped across my back, hand leisurely stroking my skin. Gently, undemanding. Asking.

“Yes,” I said with a sleepy smile. “Of course I want you.”

He chuckled. “I am pleased to hear it, my dear. I was, however, merely suggesting that we rise from bed.”

“Not true. I may not be able to see your thoughts, but I know you.”

“Indeed, that makes up for some of the disadvantages of not being an elf. Now, tell me how I want you.”

“Like this?” I rolled over onto my belly; this was a favourite position of his – and mine.

“Hm.” He stroked my buttocks playfully and ran a finger along the crevice, dipping low between my legs, undoubtedly feeling how moist I already was. “Most alluring. I do, however, have something slightly different in mind.” He shifted onto his side and guided me to do likewise until I lay spooned against him with him pressing delightfully against my bottom and thighs and his hand playing with my breasts. “Now, can you tell what I want?”

“I can guess,” I said and lifted my upper leg ever so slightly, longing for him to accept the invitation immediately.

“Perfect,” he mumbled and guided himself into me.

“Yes,” I said and pushed back against him. “Perfect and excellent and please, please, more, now!”

Faster and harder we moved until we were moaning in unison. At some point I flipped over onto my belly, longing to feel him deeper inside, joined in the flesh nearly to the extent of our union of minds. This was true sexual bliss combined with feelings of love unprecedented. Pure happiness washed over me in powerful waves and I laughed out loud as we climaxed. This was where I belonged, and with whom.

When next I woke, cold sharp morning light filled the room. I was alone. My clothes were lying on a chair by the window, not yesterday’s gown, but more sensible attire in the form of a calf-long, moss-green linen dress that had been one of my favourites in Mirkwood. It was ages since I had worn it – I did not even remember bringing it on the trip.

I washed in a basin thoughtfully provided by someone who had guessed correctly that I would not remember the location of the baths, and then proceeded to dress. The pick of underwear could as well be Thranduil’s doing – skimpy lace that revealed as much as it covered couldn’t possibly be the normal everyday wear in Minas Tirith. I smiled as I put it on. Would I be wearing it for very long? I hoped not.

I could sense Thranduil somewhere near. I found him in yesterday’s improvised throne room, from all signs the only carnal pleasure on his mind being that of devouring his breakfast. He patted the chair next to him and I danced to his side.

“I love you,” I said and placed a kiss on his head.

“Not my son?” he asked playfully.

“Never. Only you.”

“Good.” He plopped a berry into my mouth and patted the chair beside him again. “Sit. Eat. You will need your strength.”

I did not ask him what for, but his smile was promising. The food was very good and as I enjoyed the various breads and jams and thin slices of roast meat I found that I was very hungry.

During the silence, inconvenient thoughts invaded my head. Yesterday’s revelations could not possibly be valid any longer, could they? I now belonged to Thranduil even more than earlier – surely he could not mean to give me away to another, and particularly not against my will.

“I never want to be with another man again,” I said suddenly, surprised by how definite that sounded. I had not meant to say it aloud at all.

“Never?” His eyes spoke of amusement and disbelief. “I find that difficult to believe. You are a wonderfully sensual creature and would not last long without.”

Was that pride I heard in his voice?

“I am yours,” I said. “Yours only. I would rather spend my nights alone when you are occupied.”

He chuckled. “You cannot.” In a softer voice he added, “It would be pointless for you to suffer. You have my leave to act as you please in this. Do not deny yourself pleasure.”

“But you are the only one I want.”

“As flattering as that is, I cannot keep you for myself. You have to share yourself with another man.”


“You must, and that man is Aragorn Elessar, the coming king of all free folk on this side of the sea.” He paused, seeming to struggle whether to continue or not. Then he looked into my eyes and said gravely, “I brought you to this world for this very purpose.”

His words puzzled me. All this time I had known that Mary had some strange, higher purpose for the Elvenking as his ‘bridge’, but no title had been given to me other than to serve the king’s desires as his concubine. Had he not taken me to Mirkwood because he wanted me?

“I am king. I cannot commandeer an exotic stranger from a faraway land every time I wish for more excitement in my bed chamber. Now, this does not diminish the pleasure we have shared on many occasions – that has been an additional advantage of the arrangement, a benefit much sought after and gratefully accepted, but neither expected nor required.”

I was shocked and lost for words. “You... you...you orc! You have used me all this time...” My hand flashed to slap his cheek; I was too angry to care that he would catch my hand long before it could connect with his face.

He did, but rather than be provoked into anger, he wrapped his arms around me and held me. Close to his chest, close to his heart. I lost the fight before it could even begin.

“I have been lead to believe that the pleasure was mutual,” he said in a low voice, his lips brushing softly against my ear. “After all, I am able to see your thoughts. When you accepted me in your bed, you also let me into your mind.”

“It wasn’t in bed,” I muttered grumpily. “You assaulted me in the hall of my own home. Against a wall!”

“At your invitation, remember that.” His voice was warm as he recalled what I knew to be a pleasant memory. “You had called me in your dreams for months in advance. I waited until not the slightest hesitation remained of what your true wish was.” He cupped my chin and gently turned my face so I looked into his eyes. “The King of Elves has never forced himself upon a woman.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I did want you then and I do want you now. I’m just so confused! You said from the start that you could never love me like a mortal man would, yet you have shown me affection, not only carnal desire. And now, you are saying that this all meant nothing! That you brought me to Mirkwood because it was your bloody duty!” I was working myself up into anger again.

“Duty is the essence of kingship,” he said quietly. “It is a curse to be laid only on those who are able to bear it.”

“So, it was your damned duty to bear fucking me whenever it wasn’t Mary’s turn to be with you, and now it’s the damned duty of another king to have me! Is that it?! And you won’t even tell me why this is necessary!”

“Malinorne, Mal... please.”

I would not fall for politeness and gentle caresses. “Is that it?” I demanded. “You had me because you were obliged to?”

“Once would have been enough to fulfil my duty of obligation. The rest... the months that have followed since have been for my indulgence.”

“And the others?” It hurt me to ask, but not knowing would be more painful. “Celeborn, Elrond, Glorfindel – were they for your indulgence too? Or mine?”

“Both. Although it has been part of what I must do to encourage you to share yourself with other elven lords, the exact number was not specified.”

“Haldir is not a lord. Then at least he slept with me out of his own will.”

“I assure you none of the other needed to be coerced the slightest, merely given leave to act on their inclinations. Two young rascals did not bother to ask my leave.”

“And Erestor?” I could not believe that the dark elf had been insincere.

“Acting according to his own sense of duty, as well as my seneschal has been doing.”

“How can you say that so calmly and believe I would be willing to do something like that? To sleep with a man out of duty, when I don’t even know what that duty is?!”

“You have long desired to bed a man of your own kind,” he said gently. “I remember the lovely effect the rangers of Imladris had on you, and how displeased you were when I said no.”

“And you did that because it was your duty to save me for Aragorn Elessar.” I spat it out.

“Indeed, my dear. It pleases me greatly to see that you understand what I had to do. And what you must do. Do not tell me you find him undesirable. I will hear no lies.”

“He does not desire me!” I realized as I said it that this might be my true reason for refusing.

“That is what you think because he is too much of a gentleman to let you notice.”

“Why would he care to have me in his bed? He has a wife of unsurpassed elven beauty who adores him, and it is clear that he loves her deeply. No, do not tell me. I don’t want to hear the word ‘duty’ a single time more.”

“He desires you like any man who would receive the honour of such an offer. It is commonly rumoured in these parts that sleeping with an elf’s woman brings eternal youth.”

“Nonsense! Aragorn is no superstitious commoner, nor does he need prolonged life beyond what he has already as a descendent of the Numenoreans.”

“Should I send for Thaladir and draft an official query? ‘It has come to our notice that our concubine wishes to know whether Your Majesty indeed desires to put your most royal...’

“Do not mock me, Thranduil. I have been deceived enough and I will not sleep with one more man who does it primarily out of duty, horny or not.”

“You must. You have sworn an oath of fealty to me.”

I remained silent for a long time, weighing everything Thranduil had told me. In spite of his refusal to explain the core of his mysterious duty and my role in it, he had revealed more in this conversation than in all the months we had spent together.

He had deceived me all this time, and yet it was true that all my elven lovers had wanted me, as I had wanted them. As I had wanted Thranduil and still wanted him. I waited for him to touch me, to do anything from his vast repertory of seductive diversions. I knew I would fall for them again. In fact I wanted to – then I would not need to make this decision.

Nothing happened.

I looked at him. What I saw scared me: for a fleeting moment, I saw naked terror in Thranduil’s eyes. It was only for a second, and yet it was enough for me to realize that whatever the truth may be, Thranduil believed for certain that horror unmentionable would come to pass in his world if I would not do what he asked. It lasted only a second. Then his gaze was calm again, a sign of will strong and unbending. Yet he did not repeat his demand, nor did he try to sway me further.

Suddenly it was not so difficult to decide.

“I will not do it out of duty,” I said, “and not because you command it. But I will go to him because I love you.”

~*~ From Thaladir's Notebook ~*~

Status of daily schedule: N/A

Remarks: Having escorted both of His Majesty’s mortal ladies to their respective quarters for the night, I proceeded to the edification of the local womanhood present in Aragorn Elessar’s hall – at His Majesty’s behest and express instruction, naturally. Partaking of the most noteworthy and indecent manner of dancing practiced by a number of the populace at the late hour – undoubtedly enhanced by considerable intake of certain beverages – proved a highly valuable exercise in self-restraint and decorum for all parties involved, and furthermore served to demonstrate the excellence of His Majesty’s realm in this respect. Long live Eryn Lasgalen!

To be continued...

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Chapter posted: July 3, 2010

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