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Mirkwood and Beyond

Chapter 22 / ?
Authors: Mary A and Malinornë
Pairings: Mainly Thranduil/OFCs
Warnings: ADULT sexual situations, nudity galore, beautiful naughty elves in and out of bed, we made you wait long enough for this one – enjoy!
Disclaimer: Written for fun, not for profit, with characters and setting borrowed from JRR Tolkien.
Chapter summary: Glorfindel takes his sweet, sweet time deciding if Mal is, indeed, human. Mary has some questions for Thaladir.
A/N: You will need some time and privacy for this one.

~ Mary ~

If this sight would be the only I'd ever have in my life from that moment, I'd still be contented. How could I possibly tire of looking at what I saw as I looked down: the glorious elf on his knees before me, with his hands reverently holding my thighs spread as his tongue brought me immense pleasure. His mussed hair covered his face, although his eagerness and the muffled sounds of his voice made it easy to imagine his expression.

The act was clearly not for my sake only. Glorfindel confirmed this when he took a pause from his work, glancing up into my face with his head cocked. Moistness glistened on his chin and nose, and he had the look of a small boy in a candy shop. He licked his lips. I shivered.

"Do I judge correctly that you are not often treated to this?"

His honest question roused me from my state of near swooning. If he only knew! Thranduil had only once showed interest in applying his mouth to my nether regions, and that was mostly to make Mary jealous. Possibly he thought it beneath him - I had not tried to find out. The king's talents in bed were more than any mortal could ask for, even without this particular element.

"No," I replied without explaining further. I did not want to risk committing high treason by spreading unfavourable rumours, in case someone was listening in.

"I shall remember that." Now, why did that sound as if he planned to use the information against me? Not that I would mind, of course. In fact, I could take a little more just now.

As if he could read my thoughts, he bowed that luscious head again, and gave me a series of powerful licks that brought me to screaming completion. I would have fallen over if it hadn't been for his firm grip, now around my thighs. When he deemed me steady enough, he stood and gave me a generous kiss. An urgent matter pressed against my belly.

"And now," he breathed huskily into my ear, "how would the precious lady like the evening to proceed?"

Tricky question. I wanted to say 'take me now, hard and fast,' but in a nick of time settled for a more lady-like reply, which would hopefully make things last longer. I told him that I would very much like to reciprocate, if he would lie back on the bed and allow me to take my time. Of course the gentlemanly elf agreed. His only condition was that I would wear his tunic not to feel cold.

He divested, but, after a look at me, left his pants on. I watched his elegant movements as he lay on the bed, how his lean muscles played under the surface of his smooth skin. There was no mistaking the warrior beneath the gentle seducer. Not wanting to lose a single moment, I struggled with the tunic to put it on as quickly as possible. There. It felt pleasant against my skin, although I doubted that I would stand the risk of feeling cold in Glorfindel's company.

"Come pluck your golden flower," he teased when suddenly I hesitated. Resting on the red velvet bed cover, he looked like something from a painting, a display too perfect to touch.

But, I found courage again when he winked and invitingly reached out a hand. I did not take it, however, but climbed onto the bed from the lower end. That way I could easily kneel between his legs. Carefully I opened his pants, sliding them down his hips just the few inches I needed. Apparently, I wasn't the only one to be eager.

Before touching him, I cast a glance at his face. The look I saw there made me feel powerful, but also insecure. What if I did not perform according to his expectations? But I very much wanted to try.

I bent my neck and placed a soft kiss on the head of his proud member. His response to this simple gesture was overwhelming. A tremble rippled across his abdomen like a tiny wave, and he sighed contentedly. I repeated my action and then took the whole tip into my mouth. And waited. This was about as far as I had ever come with Thranduil before he would flip me over with a growl and bury himself in me.

But Glorfindel was a different lover. He responded eagerly to the attention I paid him, and seemed to understand perfectly what I asked of him - to simply receive. He had excellent self-restraint and more than once refused to come when I thought him so near the edge that he could not possibly resist. He just told me, but with obvious difficulty, that it was better for him that way.

And so, I straddled his abdomen, for now avoiding the place where I would have liked to sit. Surely I could manage to wait a little longer, too. He ran his hands over my chest, over the tunic and under it, too. I teased his tiny nipples and decided that I loved to watch them pucker up.

"You are so very wet," he remarked when I stirred.

"It is hardly my fault," I told him with mock annoyance.

"It is not a fault, but a blessing." He laughed and I knew I had to kiss him right then.

"Please," he groaned when I leant forward, which caused something to prod my behind in a very interesting way. I gently pressed back, and then relaxed. It bounced, and then rested against my crevice.

"Malinorne," he whispered, strained. "Do it now, or else I..."

Having no wish to cause the elf's second demise by withholding mutual pleasure, I rose onto my knees, held him straight and then sank back upon him. Not all at once, but slowly, at first letting only the rounded head caress me inside as I glided up and down. I let every downward movement be slightly deeper than the previous one, and took immense pleasure in getting to know his most intimate part gradually.

~ Mary ~

Thaladir stood still even after I took another step closer to him, but he did finally look at me, now that I was properly covered. His expression was not as dour as usual, but I did not see any real interest in his eyes for any further peeks at me without my towel on, so I left it in place.

"Don't you ever want to let your hair down, Thaladir? Every once in a while?" I took another step closer which meant I was pressed against him slightly, but I kept my hands to myself.

"My hair is down, Lady Mary," he uttered calmly. "All of the time." But he did not step back, or in any way indicate that he was uncomfortable with me being so close to him. Usually he would frown at me if I flirted with him. I pressed a little more firmly against him although I could not feel anything through his robe, but I knew what was under there, under all those layers of officialdom.

"There is something else that I remember, Excellency, besides my nice bath." And before I could press myself just that much more closely to him, to see if I could detect through all of that fabric what I was actively remembering, he finally reacted. Both of his hands were on my shoulders, holding me still. I had forgotten again that he could read my thoughts.

"I know it was you that asked to be with me tonight, Excellency; admit it."

"His Majesty indicated to me that he did not desire for you to be alone tonight, Lady Mary."

"Oh. I see. So, this is just another 'His Majesty's command is your wish' deal?"

Of course, that is why Thranduil had seemed so amused when he told me that an elf had asked to be with me tonight. He had left out the part about the offer being made out of a sense of duty, which meant that I was wrong about Thaladir's interest in fooling around with me. And even though I was momentarily disappointed, it did make more sense than my original suspicion.

419:15 2005-10-21 Let's go eat," I finally said as I pulled myself away from him. "Our dinner will get cold if we stand around here all night." Although I was resigned to my fate, I could tell it was not going to be any fun being left alone with the old grouch now that I was pretty sure he was being a baby-sitter and was not hoping to be a potential bed partner. That might have proved amusing.

"Lady Mary, surely it is not your intention to eat dinner improperly dressed?"

"After such a great bath, Excellency, it is certainly not my 'intention' to wear the same old dirty dress that I wore from Lórien," I explained patiently. "Besides, it smells of eagle feathers." It really did, but that is not a bad aroma at all. It was, however, the best excuse that I could come up with and not be telling a lie.

The damp towel was not the most comfortable dinner attire and it was all I could do to keep myself from shivering from the chill now that I was cooling off from the hot bath. I was determined to show some of my glowy skin off to the old elf, even if he did not want to admit how much it agitated him to see it. It was good for him.

And now Thaladir did frown, a little, because he had no way of countering my argument. With a sigh, he removed his robe, draped it over me, and fastened it at my neck. It felt like an old friend on my shoulders. I loved the way it trailed on the floor when I followed the seneschal over to the food carts.

"Why did the king want you to be here with me tonight, I wonder?" I asked, although I spoke more to myself than to him as we filled our plates from the trays on the carts. "To keep an eye on me, you think? Probably to prevent me from falling off the balcony since this place is so high above everything. That or maybe to keep me from inviting anyone interesting up here to spend time with? But none of the elves here would come, so I don't know why he would do that."

"Undoubtedly," said my sitter, "His Majesty has his reasons which are wise and not to be questioned."

We sat and ate, and I kept quiet, at least verbally. I could not stop myself from wondering about something else now.

Why had Thaladir asked to be alone with me on that night with the blindfold, or had he even asked? Maybe Thranduil had commanded that to happen, too, and because what the king wills is Thaladir's wish, or whatever, then maybe I was tricked into believing the seneschal actually did desire to be with me.

The more I thought it over, the more I realized how right I probably was. And it made me sad. I do not like to feel sad. I tried getting angry, but that made me sadder. I set my fork down after a couple of bites, my appetite gone at the realization of how shabbily I had been used by these elves, and fought back tears.

"You really do hate me, don't you?" I said once I felt able to speak. "That night at the inn with the blindfold was just a big act, wasn't it?"

Somehow it was a relief to know that I had been right all along about Thaladir. "You know," I continued, "when I found out it was you, I wondered why you were so mean to me all the rest of the time, and now I understand, I understand everything. You did it with me so you could read my mind and you really don't care if I live or die, do you?"

"Lady Mary, eat your dinner, it has been several hours since you have last eaten."

"But, all I want to know is what did I ever do to you?" And whether I liked it or not, the tears started falling now and I had to use the robe to wipe my face. "That is all I want to know, what did I ever do to you to make you hate me so much? I've gone out of my way sometimes to make you happy and you still look at me all the time like I am an insect that you want to step on. But I guess if I was perfect like Mal then you would smile at me once in a while..."

And that is when Thaladir reached over, took me by the shoulders again, and kissed me.

~ Mal ~

The introduction proved too slow, for me at least. Judging from Glorfindel's blissful expression, he would be satisfied with having me bounce on my own for some more time, but I wanted more. I found a faster rhythm, one that took my breath away. Within seconds, he began guiding me to an angle that felt the most pleasurable for both of us.

He helped me get rid of his tunic, which really wasn't needed anymore, and then his right hand seemed to glue itself to my left breast, while his left settled between my thighs.

"Noro lim [Ride on], Malinorne, noro lim!" he urged me, as if I would need encouragement beyond what he was already giving me with his hands. He bucked wildly, now an untamed stallion more than the gentle elf I had encountered earlier in the evening.

I did not last long after that, and neither did he. We were both panting hard by the time I collapsed on his chest with my face nestled beneath his ear. He stroked my hair calmingly, and then held my face between his hands to kiss me. His lips were a soft velvet now, and his eyes had turned from lust-filled black to gentle blue. As I drifted into sleep I hoped he would still be there in the morning.

I woke up to the sound of twittering birds, but there was also an unearthly cry, like of an animal in distress. Glorfindel put his arms around me when I flinched.

"Good morning, my dear," he whispered with his mouth nearly touching my ear. "Do the peacocks scare you today?" I admitted that I had been startled by the unusual sound, and it continued to make me uneasy, even when I knew what it was. How un-elfy.

"So I guess that proves that I'm not an elf."

"You gave me better proof this passed night. Such passion, such sweet eagerness can only be found in the daughters of mortal men..."

"But?" I had heard hesitation in his voice.

"Oh, nothing," he said, eyes glittering with mirth. I sat up so I could study his face better. There was definitely a teasing little smile playing on his lips.

"Tell me." He pulled me down to his side before replying.

"I do believe that I may need to examine you again, to make sure that you have not turned into an elf while you slept." I laughed out. "No," he continued, sounding almost serious, "there are stories, you know."

"So..." I sneaked my hand around the gloriously naked elf lord's waist. "How do you propose to make sure?" He made a face of thinking hard, wrinkling up his forehead and rubbing his temples when that didn't seem to help.

"I may have to consult a specialist," he finally said, still with that expression that was too serious to be real. "Or, at least visit the library. Erestor has some very interesting volumes in there, for those who know where to look. Yes, I think I will do that." He moved as if he intended to rise, and I held on to him harder.

"No!" Even if I didn't really think he would leave me now for a book I did not want him to even get out of the bed. "I think I know of a method," I told him.

"Oh?" He pretended to be surprised. "And what might that be?"

"Perhaps," I said, "we could do some more of what we did last night." I hated the silly blush that I felt creeping up on my cheeks.

"I don't think I quite understand." I blushed even harder.

"If you could put this," I said, brushing my hand against his hard shaft, "here." I took his hand and placed it where I meant.

"You mean that such a simple thing would achieve the desired result?" I suddenly felt an unquenchable desire to bite his nose. He would never get me to spell it out any clearer than that!

Either he read my mind, or he understood anyway that he had to stop playing if he wanted what his body said he wanted. He quickly changed our positions so that I was lying on my back with him over me, supported on his elbows. I wriggled and he flexed his hips. Oh!

"As you wish. Forgive a silly old elf."

I forgot to ask him afterwards if he had now found the final answer to my being an elf or not, but it didn't seem to matter. I forgave him, of course.

~ Mary ~

At first, I was so startled to feel Thaladir's mouth on mine that I could not respond. But my paralysis did not last long. That elf knows how to kiss. And after I finally put my arms around his neck he embraced me properly, with both of his arms around me, instead of holding me by the shoulders as if to deflect off an attack.

When he pulled his lips away, I held on to him tightly, but did not try to resume kissing him. I just wanted to know what was going on. And he did not let go of me, either.

"Why did you do that?" I gazed into his beautiful calm eyes and wished he would kiss me some more.

"His Majesty has informed me that kissing is an efficient method for ceasing your complaints, Lady Mary," said Thaladir. Not that I wanted to hear that, but, of course, once again, it made sense. Did these elves never do anything without an ulterior motive?

"I wasn't complaining, Excellency," I said carefully, still staring into his eyes, "I was asking you why you hate me, there is a big difference you see..." But I did not get to finish my sentence because he kissed me again.

And then he picked me up and carried me to the bed, while still kissing me.

Without removing his mouth from mine -- he is a very talented elf -- he managed to remove both the robe and towel from me. I may have helped a little. When he broke the kiss at last, I was too breathless to ask questions, if I had any, which I do not believe I did, at least not at that moment.

"Do you still harbor the belief that I hate you?" he asked.

"I don't care if you do," I panted. "Just don't stop kissing me."

"As you wish," he said and then he kissed me some more. When he broke the kiss again, I finally had another question.

"Are you going to take your clothes off?"

"Exercise some patience, my lady," he answered.

The seneschal's warm lips traveled slowly leaving a trail of sweet kisses from my neck to my breasts, where he paused and lingered pleasantly. His hungry suckling mouth was very effective at preventing me from wanting to talk at all about his state of dress. But when his delicious mouth with that magical tongue went lower, down over my tummy and between my legs, well, I finally found my voice.

"Can't you take your leggings off, at least?" To my surprise, it sounded like he actually chuckled before he replied, I think.

"Do you still believe that I hate you, my lady?"

"No, please, come on, please, don't make me wait!" And I had sworn that I would never beg that elf for it again. But whatever pride I had when I had entered the king's royal guest chambers had disappeared with the towel and the robe.

At last he rose from the bed and stood to remove his clothes, both a blessing and a torture. It was so hard to wait through all of those layers, and his insistence on the tidy disposal of each and every carefully folded item he wore was maddening. I could not stop myself from asking him to please hurry, although I did remember to call him 'Your Excellency'.

Seeing his marvelously sculpted body emerge was worth it, however, and when he lay back down beside me, and took me back into his arms, I was finally and completely out of questions and complaints. But I did have one more thing to say.

"His majesty has left the scene."

Thaladir actually cocked his head, as if to test my words by listening, before he looked down at me, his silky hair brushing against my face, and smiled.

"Yes, my lady, I believe that he has," said the seneschal, and then he finally stopped talking and kissed me.

When the screeching peacocks woke me in the morning, I reached over for the noble elf, but he was gone. Behind me, I felt someone move, and I whirled to confront Thranduil, who was sitting on the bed, fully clothed. Darn it. If the king was lying on the bed, even if comfortably propped up against the headboard, with his clothes on, then he was not going to be staying long. It was still wonderful to see him.

"Nice view, isn't it?" I lay still, watching him scan the morning skies. The noisy peacocks yowled some more. "Can we get some pea...?"

"No," he said. "We cannot, they would not last a day in the forest during winter, and they would not be happy inside of the caves."

Wow, I had actually received an explanation for a 'no' answer without asking? The king was in an odd mood. Or he had gotten used to actually needing to explain himself at the hush-hush counsel or meeting or whatever those talky elves were doing and he forgot where he was for a moment.

"You really did leave the scene last night." I was relieved that he had not used me as a bridge for my time with Thaladir, and he still could not read my thoughts or he would have known that I was kidding about those noisy peacocks. I could not outwit the king even on my sharpest day and his dullest. But it was nice to think he did not know what I was going to say before I said it.

"And you look the most tired that I have ever seen you look," I told him.

~ Mal ~

After breakfast, which was served in the drawing-room of my guest apartments, Glorfindel took me to the bath-house, a small building on one of the garden terraces. It would be so much more comfortable for me, he insisted, than using one of the indoor facilities where the water was cold, coming directly from one of the mountain springs. 'Especially for a mortal,' he had added.

So, it was possibly Elrond's human heritance that I could thank for the heated water in the bath-house. The facility was favoured by more than the peredhil inhabitants of the Last Homely House, he told me, but we would hardly encounter anyone this late in the morning.

He was wrong. When we had just reached the terrace, the bath-house door opened and two regal elves appeared. One raven-haired, the other silver blond, both with drips of water on their robes. And both seemingly surprised, and pleasantly so, to see us. Elrond lifted his eyebrow higher, but it was Celeborn who spoke first.

"A delightful morning for a swim, is it not? But then, certain activities seem to cause the need to wash oneself." He winked, and I blushed for the second time this morning. Glorfindel was unaffected, if anything he straightened his back and suddenly looked not unlike the proudly strutting peacocks.

"Cleanliness is a virtue among mortal ladies as well," he said, "and it would be a shame if Lady Malinorne was not presented the opportunity to enjoy the best features of Imladris during her stay in this realm." I wondered if he included himself among the 'best features', at least I would not doubt if it was so. For all his gentleness, he couldn't be called shy.

"Certainly," agreed Elrond. "We will not interfere." I could be mistaken, but I think he looked a little bit disappointed. His pout was nearly as pretty as that of his twin sons.

"Then perhaps you will go ahead," Celeborn told him. "I believe I left something in there, and it would do me good to swim some more." It was fun to study Elrond's face the seconds before he realized that the Lórien lord wasn't serious.

"We have a council," he muttered as the two of them continued their walk towards the main house. Glorfindel looked at me and we both grinned.

Inside, the bath-house was splendid in its simplicity. Just inside the entrance were some chairs, a small table, and a shelf with towels. Along the right wall stood benches, and there were hooks on the wall. The bath itself was a sunken pool, rectangular with rounded corners, and filled with water that shifted from green to blue to turquoise depending on from which angle I looked at it. 'Mosaics', explained Glorfindel when he saw me turning my head this way and that.

But the first thing I noticed was the wall on the left hand side, or what ought to have been a wall. There were only windows, not even a screen. The trees outside protected the area from the sun, and the view over the garden was marvellous, but I felt very self-conscious as Glorfindel went over to the benches and took off his robe. He was a sight for gods and the water seemed to embrace him with delight when he dived in.

I realized that I couldn't do much about the revealing windows, or the unlocked door, so the best I could do was to get into the water as quickly as possible. I picked up a towel, hanged my robe on one of the hooks, and then went into the pool from the short side, where a series of steps led down into the water. There was also a shallow shelf sculpted into the side of the pool, and holding bottles and jars that had to be soap and the like.

While I studied them, Glorfindel swam up to my side.

~ Mary ~

"I have been ordered to rest," Thranduil said, with a derisive snort, "by an elf that was not even born by the time I had slain my first party of orcs."

"Well then, I think you should, too, because like I said, you look tired. Not bad tired, good tired, like you have worked very very hard and accomplished something."

"I may have," he said, and he finally turned to face me, his mouth quirked up on one side for a split second. "I may have accomplished something." But then his face fell back into the same placid state as before and he studied the view again.

"Then you deserve a rest, sire, at least take your boots off and let me rub your feet." Without waiting for his permission, I pulled them off anyway. He did not stop me, but probably because he was barely paying attention. He did not seem tense so much as drained, as if he had poured himself out and needed to be refilled.

After I massaged his feet, I lay next to him but did not do anything more than put my head on his shoulder. My guess was the infant elf that had the nerve to order His Majesty to bed must have been Elrond. Thranduil had to show a certain amount of deference to his host no matter what the cost to his willful pride.

"Are you finished with your 'whatever it is you are doing here', your meeting?" I snuggled up to him closer, now with my head on his chest and arm around him, and was content to just rest and be quiet with him. We both had a long night.

"Almost," he replied quietly while he absentmindedly played with my hair. "We will begin again after breakfast." It was so nice to have the king this tired and unusually informative at the same time, he was practically at my mercy. Again, I heard the peacocks yowling, a regular chorus this time, although they seemed to have moved farther away.

"When you're done here," I asked, "can we just go straight home to Mirkwood on the eagles? Do we have to go back to Lórien?" Even though he seemed unable to prevent himself from answering questions, I was still careful not to whine when I asked and tried to sound mildly curious at best. It was not as if he did not know how much I missed the caves, and the quiet.

"Mirkwood, Mirkwood." The king said the name as if it was an old friend of dubious nature that had passed on to the Halls of Mandos. "What home, I wonder, will we return to?" And now he was not talking to me at all; his voice was dreamy and his eyes were unfocused and distant. I left him alone; he needed rest, and thought about my long night with the seneschal. That old elf had worn me out.

If it had been Thranduil's intention for Thaladir just to keep an eye on me and out of trouble, then it had worked. And I had no complaints about the chosen method. The king was always right. And during the night, I had come to know an elf that I had never seen before.

The seneschal had a sense of humor, a character trait I had never seen him display to my recollection, and that had been almost as surprising as his gentle eagerness. He made me laugh.

Embarrassingly enough, I had started crying again, afterwards, when I thought of all the mean things I had done or said to His Excellency, but he wiped my tears away silently, as I sobbed and blubbered about how sorry I was, and he held me until I fell asleep. If Thranduil had not been there when I woke up, I would have been sad that Thaladir had left.

And I wondered if we were going to be friends now. I knew I would never feel the same about him, but what if what had happened was due to his following orders, after all? It was highly doubtful that I would be given a pass for demonstrating unseemly behavior in public, too. Maybe it was best not to think of any of that and just enjoy the memory.

Interrupting my thoughts about the night before, there came a soft noise that could have been made by the breeze that flowed softly through the open walls of the chambers and rattled the woodwork, except that it was a little too rhythmic to be Mother Nature. The king spoke.

"Enter, the door is not locked." And the troupe of cart-pushing elves entered. Although they could not be seen clearly through the lattice-work screen beside the bed, their shadowy silhouettes were obvious while they laid breakfast on the same table Thaladir and I had eaten dinner.

After the elves left, I coaxed Thranduil into letting me bring him his breakfast in bed. "Doctor's orders," I reminded him. He did not look tired anymore, but it could not hurt him to rest for a few more minutes.

"Something else first," said the king, and he kissed me. As usual, the thrilling sensation of reconnecting with his mind was as potent as Rivendell wine and I felt dizzy when I was finally released to serve him.

"Was that my tip?"

"You will get much more than a tip, after breakfast," promised the king, his eyes glittering with a refreshed light deep within. And I hurried to get his plate filled while he undressed and got under the covers.

To be continued...

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Chapter posted: October 21, 2005

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