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Mirkwood and Beyond

Chapter 28 / ?
Authors: Mary A and Malinornë
Pairings: Mainly Thranduil/OFCs
Warnings: Adult sexual situations, various stages of undress, naughty elves galore.
Disclaimer: Written for fun, not for profit, with characters and setting borrowed from JRR Tolkien.
Chapter summary: Mary spends time alone with the twins and Mal provides a valuable service for two other worthy elves.

~ Mary ~

When Elladan told me that we were all going back to Lórien, instead of back to Mirkwood, I stopped feeling as happy about not being sent away to someplace named Eryn Lasgalen. Was there going to be a never ending traveling council-meeting?

"What do you mean by 'we are all going'?" I had asked. "All of who?"

"Everyone who traveled to here from there, to begin with," answered Elrohir. "And our father, and a few other of the resident elf lords and ladies. Perhaps a ranger or two?"

"We were going to ask our friend Anborn to come along, as well," said Elladan, but he sounded as if he was puzzled and his brother nodded in agreement.

"Do you know what confuses me?" Elrohir said to me. "We were sure that he would want to travel there with us, but he told us he needed to hurry on his way to Eryn Lasgalen to visit Legolas. I can not imagine why he would turn down a trip to the legendary Golden Wood to visit those gloomy dark caves, can you?"

"No, I can't," I answered, and then continued, quickly, "So, fine; we are all going back to Lorien then, okay. That could be fun," I said, as if I was surrendering. "But after that we are going back home, right?" I thought of Anborn hurrying off to the caves to meet up with me there. "For goodness sakes that darn king and Celeborn have been closed up and talking nonstop for days and days!" I added. "What else needs to be said and to who?"

"The Galadhrim," said Elrohir. "They deserve an explanation, do they not?"

"Thranduil could very well send Thaladir," I argued. "The seneschal is great at explaining things. And then Mal and me and the king could jump on an eagle and be home before the sun sets."

Of course, if Anborn was on foot then he would probably not arrive at the caves any sooner than we would, even if we spent a week in Lórien first. The thought of sleeping in my own bed again, in the quiet dark caves, had made me feel homesick. Despite that, the image of a certain handsome March warden's face suddenly swam into my mind, and I recalled our moonlit skinny dipping. "When do we leave for Lórien?"

"Why are you in such a hurry to depart our valley?" Elrohir had lost his grin and looked sad. I felt guilty for a half a minute.

"There is much to do and see here that we have not had the chance to show you," added Elladan, similarly downcast. "What is this rush to say farewell?"

"It isn't like we won't ever come back here, is it?" I asked. "And when we are done in Lórien there will be lots of places in Mirkwood, er, Eryn Lasgalen, excuse me, which you have never had a chance to see, yet, either. At least not with me." I thought of the royal bathing pools and how nice it would be to play with the twins in them. Maybe they could help me coax the gentlemanly ranger into joining us? He would probably not understand.

"Darling," said Elladan softly, in his 'I-hate-to-tell-you-this' tone of voice, which set off little alarm bells inside my head.

"What now?"

"We are not going back to Eryn Lasgalen."

"Oh." Now I was sad, instead of eager to leave. I could not look at either of them and instead stared out at the garden. There was a little fountain nearby that sprayed out a fine mist in all directions, which attracted various birds and butterflies. I pretended to be intensely interested in it and the tiny rainbows it made in the sun.

It had not occurred to me that the twins would not be coming back to the caves with us. They were neither subjects of the king nor were they native to Lórien, despite their grandparent's blood, and were not going to be a part of the newly combined realm. They lived here, in Rivendell, and had only been visiting Thranduil's halls for a little while.

I was going to miss them.

"We are not leaving for Lórien immediately, however," said Elrohir heartily, cheerful again, and he patted the back of my hand that he had been holding all that time. "The eagles will not be arriving until dawn tomorrow."

"Dawn? How awful. I hate getting up early." They laughed at me, knowing that was true, and Elladan grabbed my other hand and, when I looked up at him, gave me his sweetest smile.

"Maybe the three of us could do something during our last hours together here?"

"Our last hours together?" I repeated.

They did not really fool me because I knew they would be coming in the spring for the transition and naming ceremony. Besides, did I really want them around while I tried to tame me a ranger? I played along anyway.

"Oh my, our last hours together sounds so… so bleak and final." The grins spreading over their two identical faces were telling a different story. "What did you two have in mind?"

"What did you most want to do the last time you visited?"

"Oh, I see." I did, too, see what was going on. The only place that I had not had a chance to explore fully, during my visit when it rained so hard, required that I take my clothes off. "I could use a good bath," I said. "Why not?"

~ Mal ~

Shortly after Thranduil and I had returned from our afternoon on the mountainside, Elrond came to greet us. He raised his expressive eyebrow in an unmistakable question.

"Aye," the king told him. "My concubine has been healed from her condition." The Imladris lord nodded thoughtfully.

"All is well, then," he said. He was smiling benevolently, but I think he might have been just a little disappointed that he couldn't bring me into the healing wing again, if only for a quick check-up. I was glad. His skills and bedside manners are excellent, but I'd had enough of being ill, and anything connected with it.

"Then, if you please," he told the king, "there are some final matters I would like to discuss." Thranduil agreed, and after telling me to 'amuse myself', the two of them walked away towards the Last Homely House.

I let my gaze follow them for a while. They were so different: one blond, the other raven, one dressed in long robes that swept the path he was walking on, the other in tight pants and soft leather boots that sent little showers of gravel flying in his wake. Both tall. Both regal in their bearing, wise and handsome and...

"Fascinating folk, the elves are, don't you think?" The unfamiliar voice startled me, and I spun around. There, on the nearest bench, sat a ranger, the same one whose long legs I had admired in the Hall of Fire that first evening. He looked a lot more rugged in daylight, but less frightening, too. Those wolf-eyes of his were actually smiling now, and a broad grin adorned his face when he wasn't sucking on his long pipe.

"Startled you, did I? Pardon, my lady, such was not my meaning, although one who had lived among the fair folk as long as yourself ought to be used to stealth."

"You seem to have lived pretty long among them, too," I said to him, and not too politely. I guess Elrond's gardens were free for any guests to enjoy, but I felt like this man was taking liberties by just sitting there and talking to me. He chuckled.

"Longer than some say is good. But," he continued, leaning forward and lowering his voice, "the truth is I come here whenever I can. The house of Elrond Halfelven has long been the refuge of my sort and, although the world is a safer place now, old habits die hard." He straightened his back and sucked on his pipe again. "Besides, his sons are as fine companions for hunting game as they were for hunting more sinister prey."

"Yes," I replied, "this is a good place, and with an excellent host. I feel ungrateful for wanting to go home."

"Don't. Look, here comes another one who can't wait to leave. Anborn," he called, "don't hide from the fair lady, but come join us."

The man who emerged from behind the hedge was younger and more innocent-looking than the one I was talking too, and his clothing was different, but he had the same appearance of one who was used to fending for himself in the wilderness. His face was vaguely familiar, so I had probably ran into him on one occasion or the other.

"My lady Malinorne," the newcomer said, bowing politely, but fidgeting a little, in a very cute way. "I do not wish to intrude upon your conversation. I merely came to return this instrument to its proper owner, Targon here." He lifted the lute in his left hand, as if it wasn't proof enough that he was already carrying it. I wondered for a second how he knew my name.

"Thank you," he said to the other man, his face shining up remarkably.

"Were you successful then?" I thought Targon's question rather superfluous. Whatever the younger man had used the lute for, whether wooing an elf maiden or giving a public concert, must have been a great success.

"Yes!" exclaimed Anborn and his gaze became dreamy as he described how his lady had come out on the balcony of her room, mesmerized by his song, yet, so touched by it even, that her adorable little heart could not take the excitement for long and she had begged him to let his voice rest. It was all rather sweet, albeit a little sad, too. I doubted many of the local ladies would repeat Arwen's choice. But perhaps hairy men were in fashion?

"She has invited me to visit her," he continued. What did he mean by that? Was she not a permanent inhabitant of Rivendell? "In Mirkwood," he added, which puzzled me even more. Ithilwen and Miriel had remained in Lórien, which only left one option. Mary!

The man chatted happily on about how he was leaving immediately to be able to arrive in Mirkwood the sooner, and, before too many weeks had passed, be reunited with his dame. The thoughts in my head fluttered to and fro like crazy swallows that didn't want to sit still for even a second. What had Mary done to this poor man to make him so besotted with her? At one point this new romance would have made be happy, but I knew by now that she would never leave Thranduil, so why encourage the ranger?

It also irked me that Mary was apparently free to flirt with handsome men, while I was not. I waited for Thranduil's voice in my head to remind me, but it didn't come. Perhaps I should take my chance, then? Not that I was really that interested. I would rather try to spend more time with the elusive elf in the library, Erestor. Or perhaps I should go and find Thaladir, to find out more about the announcement that had been made the previous night. But maybe Targon knew something? He appeared to be the shrewd kind that listens and remembers a lot.

When I turned my attention back to the two men, it was obvious that the topic of the conversation had changed. The lute had changed hands, too, and the younger man had taken a few steps back. He looked like he was ready to dash off over the Misty Mountains on the spot, but now he suddenly gestured towards me.

"Make sure to ask her about the squirrels," he told the other. "She has a most intriguing heritage."

"Squirrels?" The look of surprise on Targon's face would have made me laugh if I hadn't guessed where the conversation was going.

"Yes," Anborn continued, "at first I, too, found it hard to believe that the lovely lady here had been raised by the furry creatures. It is not a tale to be spread around outside of our circles, mind you, but lady Mary revealed it to me on a very special evening. Remarkable ladies, both of them." His dreamy expression returned and he no doubt was reliving part of that shared evening. Again, I wondered exactly how much they had shared. "But now, I bid you farewell."

I nodded to the younger ranger as politely as I could under the circumstances, and dug my heels deep into the sand while I waited for him to disappear out of hearing range. Then I turned to Targon.

"Don't believe a word of it," I said between squeezed together teeth. "Either your friend there is more gullible than I thought was possible for a ranger, or Mary's story-telling skills are far too expert for her own good."

~ Mary ~

The foliage covered garden bathing house resembled a crudely dome-shaped hut on the outside but had a more luxurious interior than I had imagined it would. The twins and I had not gone directly there from the gazebo, however, as I had made sure that they fed me first before we started doing any strenuous bathing exercises.

My body being clean was the farthest thing they had in mind when making their clever invitation. They did know me well, though; that was the one place in Rivendell that I had most longed to see. I was glad they had thought of it.

Once inside the rounded structure, with its bowl like ceiling, it felt as if I had accidentally strayed into a steamy jungle tucked away in the enchanted valley. There was a breeze blowing now and the late summer's day sun still shone down in flickering rays through the vines and leaves that covered the latticed roof. This colored the white marble around the edge of the sunken steaming pool a pale greenish gold hue. Even the tendrils of steam that rose off of the otherwise dark bath water were tinted by the filtered light.

The large windows, even with their curtains of hanging plants, made me hesitate. The twins promised me that no one would peek at us, at least not for very long.

They were both naked before the door was even completely shut behind us. Their smooth skin looked lovely the way it was continuously dappled by the random rays of the lingering sunlight. They amused me by flexing their muscles and posing as if to swan dive before they jumped into the bathing pool feet first with big splashes.

"What are you waiting for?" asked Elladan, after he swam over to the edge nearest to where I stood.

"The water is fine," added his twin, now beside him, and with a sexy grin that reminded me of a certain elf king.

Until that moment, I had not thought much about Thranduil all day. It was Mal's night with him, so that meant I was on my own. Seeing the stark nude twins, however, reminded me of something that I had not thought about in weeks. The trauma of traveling through the forest tunnel must have wiped all memory of it away.

"Do you both remember," I asked them, "the last time we were all naked together?" To encourage an answer, I slipped out of my dress, kicked off my shoes, and joined them in the bath. Only I did not jump in like they had. The water was warm and silky.

"In Thranduil's carriage?" Elrohir guessed as I joined them at the edge. "That was a fun time, what say you, brother?" He slipped his arms around me and pulled me close to him. Elladan pressed against my back.

"I am not asking for a repeat of the activities," I regretted having to say as I gently pushed them away. "I wonder why Thranduil didn't bring that carriage with us. He got it the same day that Mal and I got ours." Undaunted, they both cuddled closer anyway; their wet slippery skin against mine felt delicious.

"You may not be going home very soon, darling," said Elladan, slipping his arms around my waist along with his brother's. "Some of our cousins from Lórien, on our nana's side, are visiting here, and they told us an interesting tale."

A series of large crates had been rafted down the Anduin from the north and carried into Caras Galadhon on the day after we left. That same day a party of craftsmen, and other elves from the king's palace, had arrived, opened the mysterious containers, and unpacked a completely disassembled carriage.

"They are putting it together on the spot," said Elrohir. He was nuzzling my cheek while he spoke and it tickled when he talked against my skin. It was hard to stay focused on what they were telling me, especially when a particularly rigid bit of Elladan's elf flesh began to caress my bottom below the water. I tried my best to ignore it.

"What are you trying to say?" I asked. "Why does that mean I am not going home soon?" There were a lot of reasons why Thranduil's carriage might have been shipped to Lórien, I pointed out, like the fact that the tunnel-like path was too narrow for it to squeeze through. It did seem odd, however, that he would have it sent there if we were going to turn right back around for home. There might be a more innocent reason.

"We are not sure ourselves," answered Elladan, he had pulled my hair off my neck and spoke with his lips pressed against the exposed nape, sending shivers down my spine. There was a flash of golden light that dazzled my eyes in the dim bathhouse as the door was flung open and Thranduil entered, and I am not sure which event startled us more. The twins' hands, lips, and rest of their bodies, were quickly unglued from me.

"Out," said the king to my bathing companions before he pulled his tunic off. "You stay," he said when I pretended that he meant me too and began to leave the tub. A couple of elves followed in after him a few moments later, bringing wine and a tray of dainties to nibble on and, after lighting a few lamps to illuminate the bath house, they departed along with the obedient twins. The king waited until everyone was gone before removing his leggings.

~ Mal ~

To my relief, Targon just chuckled, and said something about impressionable young rangers from Ithilien. The men of the North had seen enough squirrels to know that the small creatures were as unsuitable as nannies as were any animals, be it horses or wolves. "But it is an interesting idea," he said, putting aside his pipe and picking up the lute. "It might even fit for a ballad... something solemn..."

When he began humming a tune I decided it was best to disappear, and fast. He had a pleasant, manly voice, and the melody was enjoyable in its simplicity, but I refused to listen to any more about 'The Sad and Curious Tale of the Squirrel Concubine'.

"Just make sure she is rescued in the end," I told him crisply. "By a prince on a white horse. Or a king." Targon nodded absentmindedly.

"Rescued by royalty, you say? That was a novel concept... but it might fit in somewhere... yes... between the troll and the talking raven."

I sighed. Clearly my cause was lost. I could only hope the ballad in making had so many complicated verses that I would no longer be in Rivendell by the time it was completed. Men! From now on I was even more convinced that staying with the elves of Middle-earth was a much better choice.

At the evening meal I found myself seated in a lively group of male and female elves whom I hadn't met before. The company was merry and, believe it or not, made me forget all about both squirrels and announcements. At least until I was alone in my room and preparing for bed.

Thranduil had, unexpectedly, let me understand that he would not require my company until later. Much later. He had also indicated that our visit in Rivendell was coming to an end, but had not revealed any details. Which of course was just like him. So, there I lay in my bed, trying to rest, with a thousand thoughts buzzing through my mind.

It was useless, of course, and I decided to go to the library. Perhaps Erestor, or some other of the elves, would be there even at this hour and give me a cup of tea, or at least I could fetch a book or two. Rivendell etiquette being more relaxed than the one in Mirkwood, I decided not to get dressed, but just put on a dressing gown on top of my nightdress. The library was just a few steps away.

As soon as I opened the heavy door I understood that I was lucky. The vast room lay dark and deserted, but a faint light came from behind one of the shelves in the middle, and there was a soft mumble of voices. I closed the door carefully and tip-toed my way towards the source of the sound. They would have heard me, of course, but it somehow seemed more fitting to be as quiet as possible.

The voices ceased as I came closer, and, when I turned around the bookcase to see who was there, two familiar elves were looking at me. Erestor was sitting at a table with a piece of parchment in front of him and two brushes in his right hand. His left rested on the table, but I had a sense that he had been gesticulating lively to his companion before I arrived. The other elf, Thaladir, chose that moment to clear his throat in a manner that would have allowed me to recognize him even in total darkness.

He was standing at a small distance from the table and held a piece of his long tunic in an awkward-looking manner. His robe hung tidily over the high back of an ornamented chair. When he noticed my gaze, he let go of the tunic as if he didn't understand how it came to be in his hand. He cleared his throat again and eyed me sternly.

"Ah," said Erestor, smiling indulgently, "this library is presently not a public place." I nodded gratefully. "And also, the hour allows less than formal dress." I could have kissed him. "What brings us the honour?"

"I couldn't sleep," I told him, "and so I hoped to find a book to read, or someone to talk with. And maybe a cup of hot tea," I added hopefully. "I'm sorry if I interrupted something."

There were both tea and cookies on a side table, and while I helped myself the two elves conferred in hushed voices. Erestor gestured towards the parchment. The seneschal was quiet for a moment, nodded solemnly and then spoke loud enough for me to hear.

"It has been decided that your interruption, and subsequent company, may bring highly desirable effects, should you choose to grant us a small indulgence." His expression revealed nothing about what kind of favour the two elves had in mind.

"But of course, Excellency," I said, "if you would be so kind to enlighten me of the nature of said indulgence." He cleared his throat, but it was Erestor who answered my question.

"Thaladir has informed me that you are aware of the keeping of certain records," he began, and then added, noticing my puzzled expression, "records of certain offences against seemly conduct in the realm."

Oh. It must have been months since I last heard of the seneschal's habit to write down every detail on the 'disturbances' as he called them. I had a quick look at one of the volumes and had noticed that he tended to dwell mostly on offences that were of the lascivious sort. Some entries were accompanied by drawings, and other had a blank space left beside them. There was also room in the book for new pages to be sewn in if necessary. Combining this knowledge with the brushes on the table made it easy to guess where this conversation was leading.

"You want me to help with the illustrations?"

"That would be most kind, my lady," said Erestor. "My friend here has many talents, but his appearance is far from that of a female. Your assistance would make the result of my efforts much more adequate."

~ Mary ~

The duskier light outside of the bathing hut was losing its brilliant quality as twilight took over the day. The elfish lamplight inside was more like a candle's glow and the greenish tint to the atmosphere had diminished. His majesty's marvelous skin glowed as he entered the water and the rising wisps of steam grew thicker as he approached me.

"I'm glad you came," I said. "I have a lot of questions for you not to answer." I was still holding on to the edge of the tub from which the silent king gently pulled me away before he kissed me.

As usual, the king was able to discover everything that I had learned about Eryn Lasgalen, and my questions about his carriage, from that first kiss. "Elrond's sons have been doing a good job of keeping you informed," he said, after he broke away.

Before I could answer, he kissed me again, but deeper, until I was dizzy and breathless. Finally he released me again. His face was solemn and his eyes were dark, but with a familiar light glowing inside of them, and he asked, "Do you disagree?"

"I can't even think," I managed to say, not that I minded the sensation. "Are you happy now?"

It was no use trying, the king was not listening to me anymore, and he proved it by lazily reaching over my head to the tray he had directed be placed on the rim of the tub. He offered me a small cake. It was a delicious distraction even if I liked his kisses better. It was growing darker outside, the little glimpses of sky overhead were a deep purple now, and stars twinkled.

Next to the tray of food were a jug and some goblets, the Rivendell elves having graduated from bowls, and Thranduil moved away from me to pour us some wine. It was instantly easier to think.

"Every answer I get from you elves only makes me have more questions. I just wish that I could get a straight answer once in a while."

"We 'elves'," he answered, with a lifted eyebrow on the word 'elves' as he returned to my side, "wish that you mortal maids could learn to overcome your impatient natures." After handing me a goblet, he paused to drink and eat another cake. Elrond's kitchens had unwittingly captured a sweet tooth. "The future will take care of itself despite your desperate attempts to hurry it along," he finished.

"I don't want to hurry the future, whatever that means, I just want to go home. That big carriage, the twins said you had it sent to Lórien, is it a gift for Galadriel and Celeborn?"

"All answers will eventually unfold in their own time," said Thranduil. That was as good as a 'yes' to me. It made sense, in a weird way, that he would offer the luxurious conveyance to the Lórien couple as a sort of housewarming gift for traveling about in their newly acquired realm. That meant he must have known in advance about the council and its eventual outcome. How much of this had he engineered for his own advantage?

"Are you happy that Celeborn and his wife will be sharing your forest with you? I hope this means that they will be visiting us more often now. Can Mal and I redecorate the palace? You hardly have any nice guest accommodations for your co-king. Does this make us co-subjects of his?"

In my mind, I pictured the Lórien Elflord, disrobed, and entering my bed chamber back in the caves on my nights off from the king. Where and when was I going to fit dear Anborn in?

"It will not benefit you to provoke me," said Thranduil, pulling me close to him again, but not as gently as before.

"Mind reading elves are no fun at all," I told him, with downcast eyes as if I had been suitably chastened. "Well, hardly at all. But can't you just tell me something?"

"The carriage is not a gift," he said, startling me with a straight answer out of the blue. For a moment, I thought he was going to tell me more, but he had other ideas, which he used his hands to convey. I had an idea of my own when he turned me to face away from him and I clung to the edge of the tub again.

"Can we first use some of the soap that made Mal all…you know, itchy?"

"You do not need any help." From behind, he nudged my thighs apart just wide enough to accommodate the situation.

"But I am not very clean," I argued, even though by then it was too late.

And he was right; with him inside of me I did not need any help at all.

~ Mal ~

It started out rather innocently. The entry Erestor had been working on when I interrupted them concerned a case of a lady at the court of Mirkwood who had violated the peace of the realm, as Thaladir put it, by merely lifting her dress little too high while walking up a flight of stairs in the official part of the caverns. Apparently, this had been for the benefit of a male admirer on his way down, but the seneschal had spotted her.

I posed with one foot on a low stool, a simple thing, but it turned out to be more difficult to arrange my clothes in a way that satisfied Thaladir's memory. He adjusted my nightdress until the lifted leg was visible even to the thigh, and then Erestor had him adjust it some more. He claimed it was so that the folds of the material would hang in a more flattering way, but I'm pretty sure he just wanted a better peek. And it was pleasant to feel the seneschal's cool, meticulous hands on my skin, even if he was only touching me to get a nicer picture for his book.

Erestor proved to be a quick artist. He explained that he would add colours later, but for now wanted to capture as many poses as possible. There were a few more of the sort that made me laugh, such as pretending to walk through the throne room in a sleeveless dress, or swim in the river beside the bridge without being sufficiently covered.

That last offence was particularly easy to enact, as it was one I knew I was guilty of. And the grins on the faces of the twins, who had been watching at the time, had been as encouraging as the deep looks from Erestor were now, when I sat on the floor in my underwear.

From there it all deteriorated, or, dare I say, became a thrilling experience. The dark elf remained sitting, sketching, but his breathing seemed to become harder, and his gaze more intense, for every new scene that was laid out before his eyes.

Thaladir, it seemed, had cast all inhibitions aside - in the interest of accurate recording of events, of course - and was deliciously naughty.

"Come, sit here," he instructed, patting the smooth surface of the table beside Erestor's. I did as he said and with interest watched as the tall elf put a low stool right in front of me and sat down. "If it pleases my lady," he continued, "I would now perform an act that appeared most gratifying when I accidentally witnessed it a few decades ago." I opened my legs expectantly.

"Yes," he said. "Allow me but to remove this final hindrance." He touched my underpants and managed to remove them in a way that felt more like making love than undressing. That was when I decided to lay back, close my eyes, and stop paying attention to anything else than the seneschal's skilled tongue and fingers. Which I did, until I was on the very verge of seeing stars.

"Ahem... Thaladir? Malinorne?" Feeling the seneschal's lips leave me I opened my eyes and lifted my head. Was Erestor still there? What did he have to say that was so important that he couldn't wait just another minute? I groaned, which earned me an almost not too stern gaze from Thaladir.

"I believe," the other elf said, "that my work would benefit if I were to experience the situation with all my senses." My annoyance at being disturbed at a very sensitive moment vanished immediately. Instead I was prepared to swoon just from the way he looked at me as he rose from his chair and slowly took the few steps towards us, eventually taking the seneschal's place.

For the second time I experienced the bliss there is to gain from an elf with an able mouth and lots of patience. Erestor's technique was entirely different from Thaladir's. Instead of moving carefully from area to area, raising expectations to new heights just because I knew he would eventually go where I wanted, the dark elf thrilled me with his unpredictability. He shifted from using only the very tip of his tongue to almost nipping, and there was no way to tell when he would do what, or where.

I couldn't get enough of it, but at the same time I wanted him to be braver still. The seneschal took mercy on me, telling Erestor what I was incapable of communicating in words without being vulgar.

"And I believe," Thaladir said, wetting his lips with his tongue, "that the act was eventually completed." I moaned, and Erestor lifted his head to look at the seneschal. "In fact," the taller elf continued, "I am most assured that the lovers would not have ceased their exploit for mutual pleasure by limiting the actions to those of the tongue..." There, his voice trailed off, but the other elf needed no more encouragement.

I held my breath as Erestor rose from the stool, just enough to free himself of all clothing, letting everything slide to the floor. If Thaladir noticed, he did not show it. I admired the dark elf's lean limbs, which appeared to glow in contrast with his hair. His fingers drew patterns all over my body and I felt as if I was being caressed with the lightest of brushes, painted on by a master artist. He captured my mouth in a sweet kiss, hungry but not possessive, and then caught my gaze with his.

He held it steady and as I felt him caressing my most secret place, and then replacing his fingers with a harder instrument, I was treated to the tiny changes in his expression that showed his emotions clearer than words might have done. My own expressions of delight were less subtle, and I could only hope that the library walls were thick enough to be soundproof. Or at least that Elrond was not in office in the adjacent room.

Afterwards we kissed again, and I regretted that I had not taken the opportunity to spend more time with him earlier. There was something secretive with Erestor and after sharing this intimate moment with him I wanted more. My mind wanted more, not just my body.

But it was getting late, and I couldn't help letting out a small yawn. Thaladir insisted that I go to bed immediately, and although I had no particular wish to leave Erestor already, I understood that he was right. I needed the rest, and I let him escort me to my room.

And then, as he was leaving, I suddenly I remembered. The announcement! The seneschal was happy to oblige, and I was treated to one of the strangest and most interesting goodnight stories I've ever heard. By the time the Elvenking finally came to join me I had learnt all about Eryn Lasgalen, and I also knew that we were going back to Lothlórien.

To be continued...

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Chapter posted: February 15, 2006

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