Love the One You're With

BY : Zhie
Category: +Third Age > Threesomes/Moresomes
Dragon prints: 2937
Disclaimer: I do not own the Lord of the Rings (and associated) book series, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

DISCLAIMER: I MAKE NO MONEY FROM THESE STORIES. I OWN NOTHING. IF I DID, I WOULDN'T HAVE TO KEEP ASKING MY PARENTS FOR A PONY. PALM TREES LOOK KINDA NAKED. I LIKE CHEESE.

----

Haldir stepped down to the ground from the long winding staircase that encircled the Great Mallorn to find his brother Rumil standing at the bottom. Rumil saluted, and Haldir gave a nod. "What news?"

"The delegation from Greenwood is being escorted into Caras Galadhon now. Orophin leads them."

"So soon?" Haldir heaved a great sigh. "I have only just taken Lord Elrond and his party to see the lord and lady now. Can you have them stalled?"

"Can I have Pr- King Thranduil stalled?" he asked, correcting himself. "Your word I obey, Captain, but he will not be happy. He seems already ill at ease here."

"We are all ill at ease," replied Haldir sadly. "However, this will be the first time they will meet since..."

Rumil nodded as Haldir trailed off. "I will think of something." He saluted again, and sprinted off in the direction he had come. Haldir smiled sadly as he watched his little brother go. Little hardly could be said of him anymore, but at only forty-eight, he was the youngest of the wardens. So many had been lost at Dagorlad, that elves who bordered their majority were now enlisting with the Galadhrim. It was a tough choice to make, but for Rumil, who had seen his parents and four brothers leaves for the great battle and only greeted two who returned, the decision was an easy one.

Waiting as patiently as he could, Haldir began to pace with every extra minute that the Imladris elves remained in council with Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. The gathering was to discuss the fate of the remaining elves of Lindon, and what was to be done about rebuilding their realms, and of relations with Gondor, and the evil which had seemingly passed. Greenwood would have a strong showing, despite their drastic loss. They were known to bring an excessive amount of councilors under the rule of King Oropher, and Haldir suspected the newly crowned King Thranduil would be no different.

There was a faint sound above, and Haldir knew that the brief meeting had come to an end. He stood tall and waited for Lord Elrond and his advisors to make their way to the ground so that he could escort them to their accommodations for their stay. It was the Lord of Imladris who led the group, with his two most trusted advisors trailing behind - Lord Glorfindel, formerly of Gondolin, and Lord Erestor, a rumored prince of Doriath, but Haldir concerned himself little with such matters. He was simply a guardian, and his father and those before him soldiers and protectors as well. It wasn't that Haldir was not proud of his past, for he was, he merely had no interest in the genealogy of others.

Bowing his head when Lord Elrond reached him, the older elf did the same. "Captain Haldir, I had not the time to tell you how bravely your company fought at the last alliance," he said, the sadness in his eyes prominent of all his features.

"Thank you, but we only did our duty," Haldir replied, bowing once again. "We were fortunate to be placed under the command of such a skilled tactician."

Lord Elrond's eyes brightened ever so slightly. "Your words are kind, but I will admit to you that most decisions were made by committee." He turned to regard his companions behind him. Abruptly, Glorfindel clasped his hands together in front of him, and now Haldir noted as Erestor's fingers curled up, his hand slipping into the shadow of his sleeve, that the pair must have been holding hands. Not something forbidden, not at all, but considering Elrond's current state, not the wisest of moves. Lord Elrond looked back at Haldir with a sad smile. "Perhaps you might show us to our rooms? The journey has tired me," he admitted as Haldir began to lead them through the trees.

- - -

"You seem to have had a joyous reunion." Haldir smiled as Orophin climbed up into the modest dwellings he and his brothers shared. It was a simple tree, only three flets high. The lowest was for cooking and eating, and sitting together. They slept in the middle, and at the top stored this and that. The mere sight of their family home had caused Orophin to throw up at the base of the tree, and none had gone back to it since, not even Rumil, who had stayed there by his lonesome while they were away at war. Orophin dropped a sack down on the ground as he carefully set his weapons aside, a silly grin on his face.

"Oh, he is a wonderful-" Orophin reached over and placed his hands over Rumil's ears, "-lover-" he let go, "-and he says he hopes he might spend a hunt with us if we've the time."

Rumil gave a laugh, an impish sort of giggle. "I know what you're talking about," he said to his eldest brother, and Orophin shook his head with a disbelieving expression. "I know he's more than just your friend."

"And what of it?" Orophin challenged playfully. "What of it, squirt? Huh? Huh?" Orophin wrestled Rumil out of his chair, leaving Haldir to pour water into the goblets at the table with a smile on his face. It was strange to see Orophin in these new moods of his, for the eldest had been a stern warrior, a scout and a sharpshooter. But now it seemed that Orophin had forgotten all of that, how he had kept Haldir, Coruon, and Melannen in line, and even Rumil, though by then, plans were being made and Orophin was home less and less. Now it was Haldir who kept order, Haldir who had proven himself and moved up the ranks. Orophin seemed to have less and less stomach for it.

"Nothing! Nothing!" laughed Rumil until Orophin relented. Rumil sat up and tried to straighten his hair. "Do I get to meet him?"

"No, we're going to lock you in the closet when he comes," teased Orophin, sitting down at the table.

Rumil frowned, and then snickered. "We don't have closets here, Orophin."

Orophin grinned and glanced over at Haldir, who was smiling politely and waiting for them to finish. "We'll have to build one, then, won't we, Haldir?"

"Without a doubt," he answered, passing a basket of bread to his elder brother. "Tell me, how is your Legolas faring, now that his father is king and he a prince?"

"As well as can be expected," sighed Orophin. "His father is another matter. He grieves constantly in private for the loss of his father, for the decision his wife made to go to the West, for so many of his kin now gone. But in public, he carries on with the regal air of a Mirkwood King. 'Tis sad, Legolas tells me that his father worries about the relations with Imladris, and of Lord Elrond himself. Do not let this go beyond our walls," said Orophin in a low voice, "but Thranduil thought long to court Elrond, until Elrond and Gil-Galad suddenly formed their famed alliance, and Thranduil took a wife. But he's too proud to do a thing."

"That's so sad," remarked Rumil as he scooped corn onto his plate.

"Not really. If they had ended up together, there would have been no dear, sweet Legolas for me to court!" he said with a merry laugh. "Oh! He sent these with me," he said suddenly, remembering his bag. Retrieving it and plopping it onto his lap, he untied the sack and pulled out an oddly shaped fruit. "Fresh from Greenwood."

Rumil reached out and took the offering from Orophin. "What is it?" he asked, sniffing the pale green skin.

"It's a pear. At least, that's what he called them. They are delicious! I only tasted dried ones out at-" Orophin paused, a look of distress marring his features. "When I first met him, but now he's brought this whole bag for me! I couldn't help but share with my brothers," he said, tossing another across the table to Haldir.

Haldir caught the fruit with one hand, but set it down on the table. His brothers could tell he was thinking something from the way he had not answered, and was staring with more than normal interest at the pot of stew. "Are you sure of what Legolas has told you?"

"Quite sure," replied Orophin. "Even as I escorted the delegation into the city, Thranduil asked whether or not Lord Elrond had arrived, and had his journey been safe, and had he found it pleasant. Why?"

"As I led those from Imladris to their flets, from the way Elrond spoke to me, it seemed he was looking to find comfort here, but his mind was not at peace. Oh, damn," Haldir said suddenly. "I meant to say something to Lord Celeborn about that."

"About what?" questioned Orophin.

"That his advisors should perhaps be placed in their own tree. He seems envious of them, I could tell how much it pained him."

"They are lucky. I would envy them, too, but it was in war that I found my true love. You know I hate to travel, and I very much doubt he would have wandered across the river and run into me otherwise. But those who went to war and stayed together, and are still here, there are so few." Orophin bowed his head and sighed. "If we could all have been as lucky as they were." Rumil leaned over and wove his arms around Orophin, while Haldir reached across the table and squeezed Orophin's hand. "Perhaps something might be done to cheer them, if only a little."

Haldir pondered these words through dinner, and even as he drifted into reverie that night. In the morning, he had an answer.

- - -

Walking cheerfully along, Orophin could not recall when he had been given a better assignment. Perhaps the lady knew and this was some sort of reward- who was he kidding? Of course the lady knew! She knew everything. And when she had told him that morning that he was to be the guide to King Thranduil and his son- his gorgeous son, Orophin reminded himself- how could he have missed the wink she gave him?

Originally, his plans included finding diversions for King Thranduil so that he could combine work and play and spend as much time as possible alone with Legolas. Now, with the scheme his little brother Haldir (oh, they were all little, even Haldir was still little to him, and brave Coruon and kind Melannen, bless their souls, and of course, Rumil would always be little) had concocted, he had not only a reason to find something for the King to do, but he had a specific direction in which he was to sway him.

"Your highness," said Orophin after a mere hour's conversation, hoping it was not too soon to offer the suggestion Haldir had, "had you the chance to visit the springs upon your arrival yestereve?"

Thranduil, seemingly distracted, glanced over at the guide. "Ah, no. I did not have the pleasure."

"Well, before you leave, you will have to consider a visit," suggested Orophin, trying not to be too obvious. Legolas poked his side discretely and gave him a 'I know you're up to something' smirk. Orophin ignored it best he could. "Oh, but the border guards switch patrols tomorrow, the ones that return hog them for at least a week. Perhaps I might discuss things with Lord Celeborn, if you are interested. They are lovely, what with the flowers all in bloom right now and the meadowlarks singing behind the trickling waterfall."

"It sounds to be a relaxing place," said Thranduil, "though I would not wish to inconvenience anyone. Are they usually busy?"

"At night and in the early morning they are. But right now, I'm positive that they would be free to use, likely with no one around at all," explained Orophin.

Placing a hand on his son's shoulder, Thranduil said, "Legolas, would you mind terribly if I were to spend a few hours there? I could use the relief after the ride, and no doubt a tour of Lothlorien would be much more fun for the two of you without me there to hinder it," he said with a knowing smile.

Orophin nearly gasped - it was just too easy! Which only meant Haldir was probably having a hell of a time with Elrond...

- - -

"The very idea of a public bath is positively indecent," countered Elrond. "That is why those of us who are civilized use a tub in the privacy of our own home."

"I do apologize," said Haldir, "but we offer only two options - the warm springs or the Nimrodel. While I suspect certain parts of the Nimrodel, being colder than others, would afford more privacy, the springs are much more pleasant. Especially-" Haldir cut himself off. "Perhaps we could find something that might work for a tub somewhere."

"Especially what?" pressed Elrond.

"Nothing, I'm sorry," replied Haldir, but Elrond gave him a rather perturbed look, and Haldir said, "Especially... since you would notice the cold... more than..." His cheeks flushed as he left the sentence to linger again. Elrond's expression softened a bit, but he sighed heavily.

"More than a real elf," grumbled Elrond. Haldir shook his head fiercely.

"I am so sorry, that is not what I meant to say!" Haldir raked his mind for something to make the situation better, wishing Orophin were around. The eldest was most diplomatic in these cases and would have easily known how to calm things down.

Elrond held up his hand. "You didn't say it, I did. Merely stating the obvious." There was an awkward silence before he said, "You must forgive me, I did not sleep well."

"Is there anything wrong with your bed?" questioned Haldir. "Was there a draft, something unpleasant in the rooms-"

Supressing a chuckle, Elrond shook his head. "The elves of Lorien have nothing to do with my plight. You have all been most willing to please," he commended, and Haldir gave a bow of his head. "It is the elves I brought with me from Imladris and of Gondolin before who have little decorum. Apparently, my advisors have never been together in a tree before," he said rather bluntly. "If you... get my meaning."

"Perfectly," answered Haldir. "We have other accommodations. I will speak with my lord see to it that you are given a tree to yourself."

"Thank you," said Elrond. "Now, where are these baths you were speaking of earlier?"

- - -

"It was too easy," said Haldir, tipping his wine glass back and forth. He sat with his elder brother and his brother's lover in the guest quarters assigned to Legolas. "I almost thought I was going to have a problem, but then when I found out I was not the cause of his irritation, and how to remedy it, everything was fine."

"How can they have done that with their lord just one flet below?" wondered Legolas. "I would be terribly embarrassed."

"That's because your lord is your father," snickered Orophin, and leaned over to sneak a kiss to the fair elf's cheek. Legolas nodded to this and sipped his wine. "Which reminds me... he isn't here right now..." Orophin drank the rest of the wine in his goblet while resting a hand on Legolas' thigh.

Legolas gave an undignified snort. "Forward, aren't we?"

"I'd have tossed you on the bed already if we didn't have company, my dear." Orophin grinned at Haldir, who was finishing his wine swiftly, picking up his bow from where it leaned beside his chair.

"I'd love to stay," said Haldir, as if he truly meant it, mischief gleaming in his eyes, "but I must seek out Lord Celeborn and ask for a new room for Lord Elrond. Perhaps another time?"

"Farewell, Haldir," called out Legolas. "Wonderful to see you again."

"Likewise. Until this evening, my brother," Haldir shouted to Orophin, already with his feet upon the grey rope ladder.

"Do not wait up for me!" Orophin called back.

- - -

When Elrond had first arrived at the hidden alcove that led to a steaming cavern with a warm pond within it, he was unsure whether to stay or not. He had expected to find a few others here, but not to find him, him being Prince, well no, King Thranduil now. His first thought actually was to turn away, but after feeling the warm, wet feeling of the steam on the skin that was exposed, he gave in to his senses and quickly undressed, leaving the neatly folded pile near to the entrance. A large pile of thick, white towels sat on stone hewn shelves, and he took one with him, wrapping it around his waist as he came into the main area.

There was a ledge that circled around the water, and various spots within where stalagmites had their points chipped away, providing small stools here and there for one to sit upon and dangle their feet in the water. As he walked further in, he noted that Thranduil's eyes were closed as he sat in the water, his arms out at either side on the ledge and his head cushioned by his own towel. Elrond had to shake from his mind the images that came to him, and quietly slipped into the water.

He had been stealthy up to this point, but the ripples from his entrance alerted Thranduil to another occupant. Thranduil opened his eyes and gave a little nod, which was returned silently by Elrond. Stirring in the water a little, Thranduil beckoned Elrond over in a friendly sort of manner. Elrond hesitated, but then with a sigh walked along the edge around to where Thranduil was. Any conversation was preferable to none, and Elrond slipped into the water after discarding his towel.

When Haldir happened by the entrance, he heard the pair conversing pleasantly. He had procured a separate tree for Lord Elrond and had come to tell him, but upon listening to the light banter and suggestive comments being exchanged, he decided his plan was progressing much faster than he could have hoped. Haldir peeked inside, and was even more surprised to see the pair together in the water. What was more, Thranduil was kneading Elrond's shoulders. They were laughing and Elrond was telling a joke about Beleriand, so it hardly seemed things had progressed quite the way Haldir had hoped them to.

'But they might,' he thought, and spied the two piles of clothing near the entrance. Picking up a towel, he wrapped up the clothes in a bundle and ducked back outside with a smug grin.

"So you think you know who did this?" asked Elrond, holding one towel around his waist, another draped over his shoulders.

"Oh, I don't think I know, I know I know." Thranduil took hold of the rope ladder, but instead of using his feet to climb the steps, he pulled himself up the rope of one side of it to the top. Elrond followed behind, using the rope steps, and cautiously looking down every few feet to be sure that no one was down below in the twilight hours.

It was a shock to both of them to find that someone had pilfered their clothing while they had been bathing. With no clothing, the pair had done the best they could to cover themselves with the towels. They were now searching not only for their missing garments, but also for the one responsible.

Elrond reached the flet to find Thranduil standing at the foot of a bed, his arms crossed, and glaring at the two occupants as he spoke. "... and I want to know what you did with them! Legolas, this is not the sort of prank I expected someone of your age to play."

"Nay, it was not I!" Legolas said, his eyes wide, and his face bright red. He was holding the sheet up to his chest and looked more than embarrassed. Orophin, on the other hand, looked slightly disappointed, but the blanket was merely draped over his lap as he sat in bed. His hands were behind his head, and he looked fairly relaxed.

"Indeed, then why were the two of you so insistent that I was to go to that little cave?" Thranduil shook his head. "I am of a mind to send you home like a naughty elfling."

"Ada! It wasn't my idea!" Legolas shifted his gaze to Orophin. "Tell him, it wasn't me!"

Orophin bowed his head and sighed. "It wasn't him."

"You, then?" questioned Thranduil. "Disgraceful. Your lord will know of such disrespect," growled Thranduil. "If you wish for a less severe punishment, kindly tell me where my clothes have been hidden."

"Our clothes," Elrond reminded him.

Orophin bit his lip, and Legolas nudged him. "Orophin, please. I know you don't want to get him into trouble, but please, Orophin, it's not your fault."

"Who don't you want to get into trouble?" Thranduil's eyes narrowed considerably as realization crossed Elrond's face.

Looking up and seeing that Elrond knew, Orophin's shook his head in a pleading manner. "Please, do not be angry with him. Firstly, he had reason for what he did, and second, I had no idea his plan included taking your clothing or I would have told him in no uncertain terms that it was not an acceptable idea!" Orophin rubbed his forehead. "He has been through a lot. His way of coping has been to make others happy. He only thought he was doing the right thing."

"What are you talking about?" demanded Thranduil. "More importantly, to whom are you referring?"

"Haldir. It was my brother, Haldir." Orophin's shoulders slumped. "Please, I will discipline him. He probably does not think what he did was wrong, and to him it was no prank. He thought the two of you... might ease each other's pain. He saw how you hurt. He just wanted to help."

Relaxing, Thranduil looked to his son. "You knew?" Legolas bowed his head and nodded in affirmation. Thranduil took a deep breath and looked to Orophin again. "Where is he?"

"Please, I will-"

"You were right in the middle of something, if I am not mistaken," replied Thranduil. "Now, I am sorry to have disturbed you, but kindly tell me where it is that your brother hides himself this night."

"He's probably tending to Rumil, he knew I would not be home until late," Orophin said softly. "Please, for the sake of Rumil-"

Thranduil held up his hand. "I only wish to speak with him. Elrond?"

Having been silent and contemplative, Elrond pulled himself from his thoughts and gave a nod. "We're simply going to speak with your brother. Nothing more."

- - -

"Rumil?"

"Yes?"

"Are you asleep?"

"...yes?"

Haldir chuckled and walked to his brother's bed. "Rumil, I have something to attend to this evening. Orophin probably won't be back until morning." Haldir picked up the still smoldering candle from the table. "It is dangerous for you to read in bed," he scolded his younger brother.

Reluctantly, Rumil pulled the covers down from his head as Haldir sat on the edge. "I know, but I'm nearly at the end of my book. It's about pirates, it's wildly fascinating," he gushed. "I know it is late, but I am not assigned until the late afternoon. May I finish it, please?"

Smiling, Haldir nodded. "Go to the chair and light the lamp, but as soon as you finish, to bed with you. A tired warden is a danger to the others," he said sagely, and Rumil nodded with a serious expression. "Good night, squirt, see you in the morning," Haldir said, and kissed his brother's forehead. He received a hug in return before Rumil went to the chair with his book and lit the lamp.

Haldir climbed to the flet below to put away the dishes that he had cleaned from his dinner with Rumil, and then picked up the bundle from the doorway. He had been called off to take care of a few minor things with some of the archers, and so had not the time to deposit the clothing he had stolen at the flets of the rightful owners. Clutching the bundle to his chest with one arm, he nimbly made his way down the ladder with the other, sliding half the way to the ground.

He barely made it twenty paces before something distracted him. When he looked to see what it was, something else grabbed him. He tried to shout, but a hand covered his mouth and he was forced with his back to a tree. His eyes widened to see Thranduil, wearing only a towel tied at his waist. One hand firmly pressed his shoulder, while the other was kept over his mouth. A few moments later, Elrond stepped forward from the place that had caught Haldir's eye.

Trying to rapidly think of how to get out of the situation, he was surprised by what Thranduil said. "Your elder brother has informed us of your plan. We have come to... discuss it with you. Do not make me regret this," he said as he removed his hand from Haldir's mouth. "The tree I am assigned to with my son is currently more than occupied. Elrond tells me you were to find a new flet for him?"

"I... there... yes, yes, I did," stammered Haldir. He swallowed and pointed to a tree not far away. "That one there, it's a little smaller, but it is quiet."

"For now," Thranduil said mysteriously, and put an arm around Haldir. "Walk with us," he said, giving the younger elf little choice in the matter.

Elrond picked up the bundle that had been dropped before swiftly catching up to the pair. "Haldir, we understand why you did what you did." When Haldir did not answer, Elrond said, "We are flattered by your attempt to cheer us up."

"Something intrigued us, Haldir," admitted Thranduil as they neared the new tree. "Why it is that someone with such a capacity to do good things- for it was also revealed to us that this is not the first time you have arranged such a match- does not himself have someone to spend the long, lonely nights with."

Haldir's cheeks burned and he replied, "There's no one for me. Not anymore."

"What makes you so certain of that?" asked Thranduil. They had reached the ladder and were stopped. Haldir looked around uneasily, and shook his head. Nodding, Thranduil pointed to the ladder. Haldir sighed and began to climb, reaching the top just before Thranduil and Elrond did.

As soon as all three and the bundle were safely on the flet, and the ladder pulled up, Thranduil took a seat in the only chair in the room. "Now, why would an elf as young as yourself think that there is no one for him?"

Haldir sat down on the bed nervously. Elrond leaned back against the desk, observing his new room as Haldir spoke. "When I went to war, I left behind someone whom I thought loved me. When I returned..." Haldir bowed his head, squeezing his eyes shut. "She did not wait for me. She said that battle would make me cold and bitter, as it had her father. Unwilling to take the chance that perhaps I would not change, she married a poet. She stayed long enough only for me to find out upon my return; they crossed the sea the next year." He shook his head. "I swore I would never love another elleth again, but I have striven to match those who are in need of love, who are deserving of it. I am sorry if I committed any offense against either of you."

"There has been no wrong done," spoke Elrond. "Your heart was in the right place."

"Shall I go?" asked Haldir after an awkward silence.

Elrond looked to Thranduil, who had discovered that the chest he sat beside contained a half dozen bottles of wine, each a different flavor and year. "We were just about to have a drink, Haldir. Why don't you stay for a while, and please, by all means, make yourself a little more comfortable."

"Comfortable?" he asked uneasily.

"Elrond," said Thranduil idly, "Why don't you give him that extra towel of yours. Haldir, I assume there is a washroom with some amount of privacy in the talan?" Haldir nodded. "Well, then, make yourself a little more comfortable."

The extra towel was held out to him, and Haldir dumbly took it and went to the extra room, drawing the curtain. When he reemerged with a stack of clothing, the towel was tightly wrapped around his waist. He placed the clothing beside the bundle at the doorway and accepted a glass of wine from Thranduil, who was placing a second bottle on the table. "Thank you," he said, sitting on the edge of the bed. It was obvious that the pair had been having some sort of conversation while he was gone, from the looks they exchanged, but Haldir tried to ignore it and sipped the wine.

It was Elrond who advanced upon him first. Strolling across the room from the desk, he stopped in front of Haldir, causing the younger elf to look up. "We truly are thankful for your concern." Bending down, he cupped Haldir's chin with his free hand and claimed his lips sweetly, stopping just short of invasion as he swept his tongue across Haldir's lips and then stood back. "Very thankful," he added.

"I... uhm..." Haldir swallowed. "You're welcome." He shifted a little, wishing not only that he was wearing more than a towel, but also that he was at home alone and hadn't tried to interfere. Then again, he really didn't wish that, for it had been a long time since anyone had kissed him, and the sweet memories of those long forgotten days came back to him as he licked his lips and tasted Elrond and the wine upon them.

Thranduil smiled, swirling the wine in his glass as Elrond sat down on the bed beside Haldir. "I had forgotten, until today, that there are certain things I enjoyed that I greatly miss. Conversation about nothing at all, telling jokes, laughing... I missed these things. Simply spending time with pleasant company, having a glass of wine with friends," he added, raising his glass.

"What I most missed," Elrond said, handing his glass over to Thranduil, who leaned forward and took it from him, "was the touch of another, the sensuous feel of skin upon skin. I did not realize how much I longed for it," he said. Slowly he reached out his hand and touched Haldir's shoulder gently. When the young elf closed his eyes and nearly dropped his drink, yet did not pull away, Elrond took his glass, handed it to Thranduil, and then let his fingers move down the pale skin to Haldir's heaving chest.

"There is something else you long for, my lord," observed Haldir as he opened his eyes. Elrond's head was tilted lazily to the side as he traced his fingers over the bare skin of the warden, but he managed to nod. "How can I help?"

"I don't think you can," admitted Elrond. "By the stars, you remind me of him," he murmured, drawing Haldir closer. Breathing in the scent of the other elf, Elrond nudged Haldir's head to the side and closed his mouth over the base of his neck, nipping the skin. "You even taste like him," he groaned. "I'm sorry, I-" A trembling sigh left his lips. "I miss him. I miss him so very, very much."

Haldir enfolded Elrond in his arms and kissed the tip of his ear. "Take what you will, I will give you all I can. Tell me what I might do to ease your pain, if but for a little while. What would you do to him if he were here right now?"

Elrond swallowed hard. "I was the dominant one," he said quietly. "He wanted release from his duties, from his responsibilities. For someone else to be in charge."

"Go on," pressed Haldir. "What is it you would do?" he asked, gently caressing Elrond's arms, sliding his hands over muscled back. There was something so different with Elrond compared to the other elves he had been with, for there were hairs across his skin in certain places. Tiny hairs that excited Haldir's own skin, and having noticed the thick patch surrounding his hardening length, the Lorien elf began to wonder just how such a thing would feel against his skin if Elrond entered him.

"It was always best when he would kneel before me," panted Elrond as he felt a hand tease his erect member. "He would tip a chair on its side and grip the legs, or sometimes he merely kept his hands upon the ground." Pausing with a gasp as fingers wrapped around him, he said, "He was so tight, it was bliss, Haldir. And deep, oh, so deep..." Elrond began to thrust into the hand that encircled him, digging his nails into Haldir's shoulders.

"Do not call me Haldir," corrected the warden, "for I know what it is you want. I may lack his looks and be not so fair, nor is my voice a match to his. But come lie with me, and call out to him when you find what you need."

There was no complaint as Elrond was led to the bed, Thranduil still sitting on the edge. His eyes had never left the pair, and they did not now as he stood and watched them crawl onto the mattress. "Will you not join us?"

Thranduil stepped carefully around the bed, observing the pair at different angles. His towel still remained tied loosely at his waist, but did not hide the bulging at the front. "In a while, perhaps," he said, and sat down in the chair nearby. A bottle of wine he picked up from the table, and he drew out the cork with his teeth, spitting it to the floor. "Indulge me, if you will, and I will join you."

"As you wish." Haldir turned to Elrond and ran his fingers through the soft, dark hair, curling a ringlet around his fingers. "Close your eyes and imagine your high king; tell me what you desire."

Elrond's face held no expression as he reached forward in turn to touch the fine golden strands that hung down Haldir's neck and spilled off of his shoulders. "He spoke less softly than you, more arrogantly. Just a little," he said, closing his eyes.

Haldir licked his lips and leaned forward nipping at Elrond's throat. "Like this?" he drawled, and his tongue flicked under Elrond's chin as the Peredhel shivered. "Something... more like that?" he asked in a drawn out voice.

In his chair, Thranduil nursed the bottle of wine, leering appreciatively at the naked elves on the bed. They began to touch one another, a hand slid down a spine, a foot teased a thigh, and tongues sought skin when they did not seek one another. His drinking deepened as he continued to watch, and one hand pushed aside the obtrusive towel to reach his erection.

Catching this sudden motion as he reached for a jar of salve that would work to prepare himself, Haldir smirked at the newly crowned king. "Haven't we indulged you enough yet?"

Thranduil's chest heaved as he met Haldir's eyes, but his hand continued to stroke a few more times before he made up his mind. With a wicked smile, he gave a nod. "Alright," he said, and he walked to the bed, taking the jar from Haldir's hand. "On your knees, Ereinion," Thranduil said to Haldir, and Elrond leaned back against one of the bedposts, indulging in the fantasy with a groan.

Haldir positioned himself with his knees on the edge of the mattress at the bottom of the bed, lower legs sticking straight out behind him. He felt a gentle pressure on his back as it pushed him down, and he placed his palms upon the bed before looking over his shoulder. Thranduil stood behind him, and was swirling his fingers in the open jar while Elrond simply watched. Haldir bowed his head as Thranduil stepped to the table and put the jar down before moving back behind Haldir once more. "Spread your legs, your highness," he said, and as Haldir did so, he felt cool fingers slide across the cleft he revealed. The slippery balm relaxed him, and he let out a deep breath as he felt the first breach.

"Oh, Elrond," Haldir heard Thranduil say as one finger slid slowly into his body, "it feels as if dear Ereinion has missed you so. His muscles are so strong, and look, now, he pulls me in on his own." This was not entirely true, but Thranduil spoke convincingly enough, and Elrond's imagination was good enough to 'see' it happening. "Can you imagine how tightly he will grip you? How good it will feel?" Thranduil increased the count to two, and Haldir gripped the blanket beneath him.

"That will do, Thranduil," spoke Elrond, gently coaxing Thranduil to stop and move away. "If you loosen him up, he will not grip so tightly," reasoned the elf lord. Haldir closed his eyes in anticipation, not having long to wait before feeling the head of Elrond's erection against his rear, carefully sliding up and down, as if uncertain where the entrance was.

Knowing he wasn't quite ready, but hating the taunting, Haldir pushed back a bit when he felt Elrond align with him again. "You are impatient today, Ereinion," gasped Elrond before shifting his weight forward, slowly entering Haldir's body. The elf beneath grunted in reply, doing his best to fully accept the Peredhel. He hadn't really taken a good look at Elrond, but whether it was his mixed heritage or simply a blessing from the Valar, the elf lord did not want for length nor width. Haldir continued to contract his muscles, then quickly expand them to accommodate Elrond, but it began to seem the task was endless. Twice he cried out in frustration, but the third time was in relief and satisfaction as he finally felt just what those soft spiraling hairs did feel like against his skin.

Though Thranduil had not stretched him, Elrond had enough sense to use an ample amount of the salve on his own member. He pulled out only a little before pushing in again. Unsure of whether the high king would have been vocal or not during lovemaking, Haldir bit his lip as a moan escaped, but he felt the hands that gripped his hips rub up his sides and down his thighs encouragingly. "Let me hear you," whispered Elrond. "Cry out as you always have, my king."

So Haldir did, doing his best to take up this temporary role of a lost lover. He met Elrond's thrusts with sharp noises and gripped as tightly as he could around the length inside of him. He held steady, not wanting to slip forward, and teased Elrond with words of encouragement whenever there was a pause for the Peredhel to catch his breath.

"I think there's a better use for your mouth." Thranduil, who had been the happy observer at first, began to pull the pillows and cushions from the head of the bed to where Haldir and Elrond were. He moved onto the bed beside Haldir. "A moment, m'lord," he said to Elrond, who came to rest deep within Haldir's body. Haldir shuddered to feel the length spasm and twitch as Thranduil carefully guided him to rise up on his knees, instructing Elrond to hold him up for a moment. Haldir felt the hands that had steadied his body move to take hold of his lower arms. He watched, completely at their mercy, as Thranduil spread the cushions and blankets along the bed, underneath where Haldir would be.

Haldir tried to watch, but his attention was taken away by a sudden pinch at the base of his neck. Hissing, he tilted his head to give better access to Elrond, who bit and sucked before letting go. There was no way for Haldir to see it, but he knew there was a mark forming that would last for some days. He was being gently coaxed down again, and opened his eyes to see Thranduil was positioned beneath where he would be on his hands and knees, but with his head near the foot of the bed. The cushions raised him up, which meant that when Haldir was finally back where he was supposed to be-

"Oh! sweet Elbereth," he cried out as Elrond pulled back and thrust forward just as Thranduil closed his mouth around the tip of Haldir's erection. The slightest movement forward in turn forced Haldir into the warm, wet cavern. He didn't know quite how Thranduil was managing it, but he could see that the true king of all three of them had his back arched a little, his own desire evident and close to Haldir's face. Bowing down as he felt Elrond slide from him, Haldir closed his lips around the purpled head. A moment later, he was rocked forward, bombarded by the feelings in his lower body, and by the length that nearly hit the back of his throat. This continued for several minutes, with Elrond increasing his pace as he observed the two before him.

As soon as Haldir realized just how the scene must look, just how completely filled he was and how he must look, kneeling upon the bed, he released himself into the tempting mouth that surrounded him. Thranduil must have known how close he was, for he reached out moments before to caress the flesh that hung down at the base of Haldir's erection and massaged with one hand as he swallowed, the other having snaked up to barely reach Haldir's back and hold him in place, persuading him to completely let go. Ignoring Elrond's need for a moment, Haldir pumped forward until he was finished.

Slumping a little, he felt the now familiar hands ease him up so that his back was against Elrond's chest. Panting hard, he was held again, but this time one of Elrond's arms wrapped around Haldir's waist and the other played lazily with an exposed nipple, rubbing it into hardness before pinching and pulling. Elrond reveled in the weakened sounds that came from Haldir due to his ministrations, and moved to the other side as Thranduil shoved the pillows out of the way and looked around thoughtfully. Elrond gave the king a questioning look as he used his tongue to taste Haldir, flicking it against the younger elf's ear.

Thranduil motioned that Elrond should lower Haldir back down, and he did so slightly reluctantly, nipping once more the tip of an ear. Without waiting for further instruction, Elrond resumed a slow rhythm, eventually building up to the former frenzy before giving any thought to Thranduil again until he felt the breath of the other elf upon his shoulder. "Tell me, m'lord," said the king, "had you ever allowed Ereinion to take you?"

The was a sharp intake of air, and Elrond answered, "No. No one has." He shuddered involuntarily.

"How interesting," answered Thranduil, reaching to part Elrond's clenched flesh. "Then I shall be the first," he added as he ran the fingers of his other hand over the puckered opening. Elrond cried out, but did not turn to stop the invasion. Thranduil smiled to himself and coaxed the elf lord's legs apart a little further. "You need little persuasion," teased the blonde, and reverently, he began to prepare the virgin entrance well, keeping the same rhythm as Elrond had with Haldir, who was more or less blissfully incoherent.

"You know I have always wanted you," whispered Thranduil sadly as he worked a third digit only a little ways into the passage. "At least I will have a memory of just this once," he added, and upon removing his fingers, claimed Elrond both with his body and with a kiss as the Peredhel turned his head to look over his shoulder.

"Had I known..." began Elrond, but the rest of his words were lost in what followed. His body was fused between the other two, both giving and taking, and he spent himself quickly.

When Haldir felt the warmth fill him, he gladly allowed the limp muscle to slip from his body and crawled forward, dropping down onto the cushions and nestling into them with a thankful sigh. He moved around to watch the other two, Elrond with his arms stretched to hold onto the bedposts, his knuckles paling, and behind him was Thranduil, eyes closed and mouth open just a little, panting and grunting as he moved faster and faster, Elrond softly encouraging him with every stroke.

The roar of completion that came from Thranduil was nearly enough to spurn Haldir into a lustful state again, but he was sore and tired. He longed to sleep before the thoughts that came to him when he relaxed bombarded his mind, and pulled himself up and off of the bed, looking around for his discarded clothing.

"Haldir? Is something the matter?" asked Elrond with concern once he had caught his breath and noted the younger elf was hastily pulling on his leggings.

"I... I should go," he mumbled, reaching for his shirt. As he pulled it over his head, Thranduil stepped before him and took hold of his upper arm.

"Haldir? What's wrong?" Thranduil searched the still darkened eyes for some sign. "Have we upset you, for that was not our intention."

"What? No." Haldir shook his head. "I just didn't want to be a nuisance."

Thranduil motioned to the large bed. "There is more than enough room for all three of us," he said, leading Haldir back and pushing the shirt back up Haldir's back with one hand. "You should not be alone tonight."

"It doesn't matter," Haldir said quickly. "I don't want to inconvenience either of you."

"It isn't an inconvenience," countered Elrond, who has already crawled into the bed.

Again, the shirt was pushed up, and over Haldir's head this time. "Elrond is right, you won't be an inconvenience. Not at all." Thranduil spooned up behind Haldir and kissed the back of his ear. "It might not matter much to you, but it matters to me," he said, wrapping his arms around the younger elf's waist.

Elrond saw it first - the tears the Haldir unsuccessfully tried to blink away. "Thranduil," was all he had to say to alert the other, and in a moment, Haldir found himself drawn up tight with his cheek to Thranduil's chest.

"Do not doubt my words, Haldir. There are no words for me to express my gratitude this evening. I think this is something we all needed, each of us." Slowly, he undressed Haldir and then walked him to the bed. "Let's get some rest, shall we?"

They had barely crawled into the bed before a voice called out from below. "Lord Elrond? Good eve, Lord Elrond, are you there?"

"Who is that?" hissed Elrond to Haldir.

"Lord and Lady's daughter, Celebrian," muttered Haldir from where he was snuggled against Thranduil.

Elrond nodded and reluctantly left the bed, donning a robe that was provided before going to the ladder and climbing down. "Yes, may I assist in some way?" he asked as he reached the ground.

The elleth smiled. "No, actually, I'm here for you," she said, holding out a basket that was bulging and covered with a large cloth. "You missed the meal with my Adar, and my Naneth had this sent."

"And does the daughter of the royal court usually deliver baskets of food to her parents' guests?"

Smiling demurely, Celebrian said, "Only to the handsome ones." She winked and turned to head down the path back to the Great Mallorn. Turning to look over her shoulder once, she waved to Elrond, who grinned and waved back before taking the basket back up into the tree.

"Anything the matter?" questioned Thranduil. Haldir was resting beside the king, his body curled up around Thranduil's, his eyes half-closed in deep reverie. Elrond held up the basket for Thranduil to see.

"Something of a snack for us." Elrond placed the basket on the desk. "Thranduil, about this evening-"

Thranduil chuckled. "I'm not holding you to anything. It was what it was. I would be flattered and jump at the chance to do it again, but I respect that you aren't really interested."

With a sad smile, Elrond crawled up on the bed and leaned toward Thranduil. They met briefly for a few short, sweet kisses. "Thank you for helping me to ease my mind," said Elrond.

"Anytime." Thranduil said.

"I'm sorry that you didn't get what you wanted out of this." Elrond's voice was sincere, and his look apologetic.

With a broad smile, Thranduil pulled the elf resting against him closer. "I wouldn't necessarily say that.


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