The Moth & The Flame

BY : Avaloyuru
Category: +Third Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 2331
Disclaimer: I do not own any copyright to the Tolkien/Middle-Earth Fandom, nor his canon characters or languages. I do not receive any form of compensation for this fanfiction. Original characters are my property.

“It has been a month.”  Galion said quietly as he poured a cup of spiced apple tea and handed it to the king.  “How long do you intend to torment her?”  He added, arching a brow.

“Is that what I’m doing?”  Thranduil smiled sweetly from behind guarded eyes as he accepted the cup.  “She simply needs time.”

“Time for what?”  Galion pressed, seating himself opposite him as the king looked away from him to gaze into the hearth.

The only sound was the soft crackling of the logs in the enormous hearth as Galion studied him from over the rim of his cup.  The kings’ expression was now guarded and unreadable, even to him who had known him for most of his life.  Their losses had been heavy during the battle in the shadows of the Lonely Mountain.  Galion knew this weighed heavy on the kings’ mind and heart.  While Tauriels’ departure had angered him, it was the absence of his only child that brought him the most pain.

“Or is it you who needs the time?”  Galion ventured as the silence stretched too long between them, a slow smile curling his lips as his soft green eyes narrowed slightly.

“Whatever do you mean?”  Thranduil asked, tilting his head as he looked at him innocently.

“She is young and grows more frustrated by the day.”  Galion told him, pausing to take a sip of his tea.  “Tauriel has never been known for her patience.”

“Neither is she known for understanding her place.”  Thranduil replied casually, yet there was an odd look in his sapphire eyes as he turned to look at his longtime friend and personal servant.

“And what place is that?”  Galion chuckled, although he already knew the answer recognizing the slight curl of the kings’ lips.

“Patience is a virtue.”  The king replied, turning his attention back to the dancing flames in the hearth.

                                                                    ~*~

 “Why will you not answer my questions?”  Tauriel demanded more than asked.  Her dark green eyes flashed angrily as she swung to face Eluandúnië, the only one of the kings’ personal guards that treated her with some degree of politeness.

“You know as well as I do, the king does not explain himself.”  He replied, his tone far more calm than he felt as he watched her turn away from him.

“For what purpose has he dragged me back here?!  Only to ignore me!!”  She continued to question him, folding her arms beneath her breasts as she paced the length of the sitting room.  “Have I not suffered enough?!”

Tears stung the backs of her eyes as she paced, stubbornly she blinked them away.  Refusing to give him the pleasure of reporting her weakness to Aldalómë, it would only get back to the king.  Alone for the most part, with only her thoughts and memories to keep her company, she neither wanted or needed his pity and longed for the freedom of the forest.  Striding purposefully toward the bed chamber, Tauriel felt the tears leak down her cheeks as the memory of Kili overwhelmed her.  The pain of her loss was only intensified when Legolas abandoned her.  Slamming the door behind her, she threw herself onto the bed, burying her face in the soft pillow as she let them flow freely.

“I hate you!”  She screamed into the pillow, the ache deep within her grew to a sharp pain as if a knife had suddenly been plunged into her heart.

So were all the days that passed, she suffered in silence within the private rooms assigned to her.  The guards came and went, her questions falling on deaf ears, their stoic expressions revealing nothing.  Silent servants brought her meals, straightened her rooms and lighting the fires at night.  Each day fading into the next, her tears fell less often yet the memories still haunted her dreams.  Against her will, Tauriel found herself succumbing to the monotonous routine of life within the spacious rooms that had become her prison.

Sitting quietly in front of the hearth, Tauriel frowned slightly as she heard a soft knock on the door at such a late hour.  The evening meal had long since passed, the servants had collected the tray and brought her a fresh pot of cinnamon spiced hazel tea.  Her gaze remained fixed on the flames that danced on the logs in the hearth, knowing it was little more than a courtesy as the guard would enter with or without her summons.

“Tauriel.”

Turning quickly at the sound of his voice, she rose hastily to her feet.  A myriad of emotions washed over her as she stared at the guarded face of the king.  Stiffening slightly as she stepped back from him, she rested her hands on the back of the chair where she had been sitting.

“My Lord.”  She stated, meeting his gaze evenly.

“Are you afraid of me?”  Thranduil asked quietly as he approached her, arching a brow as his eyes moving over the length of her.

“Should I be?”  Tauriel asked, her eyes narrowing slightly as she tilted her chin almost defiantly toward him.

“You never had a reason to be afraid of me before, why would you now?”  He said quietly as he stopped within arm’s length of her.

The tone of his voice carried the soft lilt of humor that grated on her.  Unconsciously her fingers gripped the back of the chair as they stood there for long moments just staring at each other, her thoughts jumbled over each other.

“You have never held me prisoner before.”   Tauriel stated, struggling to control her anger as he smiled at her, tilting his head curiously.

“I can understand why Legolas would desire you.”  Thranduil said in a distracted tone, enjoying the flash of anger in her eyes as he appeared to absently wet his lips with the tip of his tongue.

“I assure you My Lord...”

“You can assure me of nothing.  I know my son.”  He interrupted her as he stepped slightly closer, his smile broadening as he watched her eyes widen.  “Did you really think your little trysts were not known to me?  Do you really think you were the only one?”  He continued, arching a brow at her yet he watched her every movement.

“How dare you!”  She hissed, lashing out instinctively only to cry out in pain as he quickly snatched her wrist.

“I dare whatever I chose.”  Thranduil breathed heatedly in her ear as he twisted her arm behind her and pinioned her tightly against him.  “Once I saw the way you looked at each other, did you really think I would not know?”  He asked as he leaned down closer, purposefully brushing her neck with his lips as he spoke.

“I hate you!”  She hissed as she tried to pull free of his grasp, only to feel his arms tighten around her, pressing her against the length of him.  Fresh tears stinging the backs of her eyes as she felt the hardness of his desire against her the small of her back as he kissed her neck softly.  As angry as she was with him, the realization of her own desires overwhelmed her making her tremble.

“There is a way one looks at another when there is only desire.”  He whispered, brushing his lips against her ear as he spoke.  “Yet it is something quite different once one has come to know another.”  He continued, his voice barely above a whisper as he breathed in the scent of her.

“What about you?!”  She demanded, turning her face away from him.

“I just wanted you to know that I knew.”  He said quietly, kissing her temple then suddenly released her.

“Damn you!”  Tauriel exclaimed as he turned away from her, striding purposefully toward the door.

“Tell Aldalómë I wish to speak with him.”  Thranduil informed Macilvoronhûr as he pulled the door closed behind him.  “Lock it.”  He added as the guards eyes glanced quickly at the door.

“As you wish.”  The guard answered with a quick nod.  Shaking his head as the king turned away from him, he locked the door and went in the opposite direction.

Smiling to himself, Thranduil walked purposefully around the corner and down the steps to his more private areas within the palace.  The scent of the lavender and lilac soap mingled with her own seemed to cling to him as he entered the lower chambers.

“Tell Aldalómë not to bother knocking.”  He informed the guard as he reached to bottom of the stairs into his private audience chamber.

“My Lord.”  Thalieth replied quietly, nodding as the king strode passed him without pausing.

Entering his private study he moved straight to the wine cabinet, collecting two goblets and a carafe of his preferred Dorwinion wine.  Although the evening had grown late it was still early enough he knew the Chief March Warden would still be awake.  Setting the carafe and the goblets on a small table between the two tall chairs before the hearth, he set about lighting the logs himself.  There had been no need to leave instructions for the servants to light this one as he normally conducted his daily business immediately following the morning meal, preserving his evenings for his own leisure.

“You are a fool.”  Aldalómë stated as he closed the door behind him, his blue eyes guarded as he walked toward him.  They had known each other since they were young elflings and he was one of only a handful who could speak his mind to him.

“Starting tomorrow Tauriel may come and go as she pleases within the confines of the palace.”  Thranduil stated as he leaned forward, filling the other goblet for him.  “I expect that you will still keep an eye on her.”  He added, noting the curious look from Aldalómë as he accepted the goblet.

“What did you do?”  Aldalómë sighed heavily as he sank into the comfort of the padded chair opposite the king.

“She has a fire in her.”  Thranduil said quietly, his eyes dancing as he smiled devilishly from over from over the rim of his goblet.

“Yes, and you’re going to get burned if you keep stoking it.”  He chided him as he watched the odd play of expressions across the kings’ face.  Frowning slightly when Thranduil only laughed softly and shifted his position in the chair.

“You can have any elleth (elf maiden) you want, why this one?”  He asked, shaking his head but couldn’t help smile at him as he relaxed back in the chair.

“I could also have my choice of quite a few ellyn’s (male elf) but where’s the challenge in that?”  Thranduil laughed and took a long drink from his goblet.

“She still mourns for the dwarf and pines after Legolas.”  Aldalómë stated, his disapproval clearly visible by his deep frown.  “This cannot lead to anything good.”

“I cannot let her go.”  Thranduil said quietly as he looked down into the dark liquid in his goblet.

“Cannot or will not?”  Aldalómë pressed him, arching a brow when the king only glared at him.

“Either way it does not matter.”  Thranduil snapped at him, flashing him an angry glare before turning to gaze into the leaping flames in the heart.  “She belongs here.”  He said quietly after long moments.

                                                                    ~*~

 “Damn him!  Damn him!  Damn him!”  Tauriel ranted as she paced along the rug in front of the hearth.

Resting one elbow in her hand, she covered the place on her neck where kissed her, the heat of his lips had shaken her.  The scent of him lingered, a strong scent of sandalwood mingled with the softer scent of Niphredil, the white star flowers found throughout the forest.  She could still smell the sweet scent of his breath as he whispered to her.  Slowly as her anger began to fade, she remembered not only the strength in his arms and the heat that emanated from him as he held her so tightly against the hard length of his body, but his clear desire for her.

Closing her eyes as the heat of her blush stung her cheeks.  Against her will her thoughts turned to those stolen evenings under the stars with Legolas.  How gentle he was with her, treating her as if she were made of fine spun glass afraid she would shatter at the slightest touch.  The king was so different, everything about him from the way he looked at her, the way he held her, the heat of his breath, even his whispered voice was far more bold and it excited her.

“Oh my God!”  She choked as the full realization of her thoughts hit her.

Nearly jumping to her feet, she hurried toward her bathing chamber.  Stripping off the gown she had selected that morning, she left it in a pile on the floor.  Lifting the small lever on the back of the copper tub that provided a continuous flow of heated water from the huge copper vats in the kitchen, she sank down into it.  Pouring generous amounts of the scented soap onto a washing cloth, she set about vigorously scrubbing every inch of her body, determined to remove even the slightest scent of him.  Stopping her task only when the water had cooled enough to chill her, rinsing away the soap, she pushed herself out of the tub and hurriedly dried off as she went into her bed chamber.

Slipping beneath the covers, she hugged the overly soft pillow and felt the tears stinging the backs of her eyes.  The scent of him might be gone but the other memories still haunted her as she lay quietly.  Willing herself to go to sleep, it would be long into the night before sleep found her as her mind tormented her with the memories of how he held her, the unwanted feelings he had stirred within her as he cuddled against her under the cloak.

Jolted awake as she felt someone touching her arm, Tauriel sat straight up in the bed, clutching the blanket up over her breasts as the servant jumped back.  She stared wide eyed at the young elleth (elf maiden) who normally brought her the tray for her morning meal.

“I didn’t mean to startle you but you were sleeping so heavily you didn’t hear me.”  The elleth (elf maiden) said shyly, still staring at her.  “Glaurhalbër asked me to give you this.”  She said as she handed her a small sealed envelope.

“Thank you.”  Tauriel said quietly as she accepted it and watched her disappear silently.

Looking at the plain envelope that could have been meant for anyone, she hesitated for a moment before tearing it open.  It was a very brief message informing her that she was free to enjoy her meals in the dining hall, her gaze lingered on the scrawling signature that she recognized as his own handwriting.  There was no official seal nothing that would indicate who it was from much less the king.

Laying it on the stand as she pushed herself out of the bed, angry with herself for feeling slighted when she didn’t even have the right to expect anything personal from him.  Berating herself as she pulled the brush through the tangled mass of her reddish auburn hair, frustrated at herself for going to bed without waiting for it to dry.

Rummaging through the gowns in the huge wardrobe, wondering not for the first time where they had come from, particularly since they all seemed to fit her perfectly.  Choosing a deep midnight blue silk with long sleeves, she quickly slipped it over her head and struggled for a bit with the row of tiny of buttons that ran down the bodice.  She still missed the more comfortable fit of her uniform, yet they were nowhere to be found.

Opening the door, she paused for a brief moment before striding past the guard as she made her way to the dining hall.  The enormous room was already quite full, she heard the low hum of many conversations before she even entered, scanning the tables quickly for a vacant seat.  Almost as if drawn there like a magnet, her gaze moved to the raised dais at the far end of the room where the king and his council were seated.  Turning away as quickly as she met his gaze, she headed toward a table where she had seen a couple of her former patrol friends sitting.

“Tauriel!  Where have you been!?”  Eréndriël asked excitedly as she waved her over.

“Yes!  Sit with us, we heard rumor you were back.”  Gäérrÿk chimed with a grin.  “We thought you might have headed north with Legolas.”

“I was visiting friends in Lórinand.”  She answered both of their questions as she took the seat beside Eréndriël.

“So much for your idea of romance.”  Gäérrÿk teased, flashing a grin at Eréndriël.  “When are you coming back to the patrols?”  He asked more seriously, turning his attention back to Tauriel.

“That is up to the king.”  Tauriel replied quietly as she glanced around the room, looking for any of the other captains.  Frowning slightly as she caught sight of Glaurhalbër standing stoically at the door she had entered.  Turning quickly toward the other door she saw Eluandúnië and knew that while she had a level of freedom, she was still being guarded.

“Are you in trouble?”  Eréndriël asked, her soft green eyes growing wide with concern.

“No, I’m not in trouble.”  Tauriel said quickly, giving her a slight hug.  “I will say only that the king is not very pleased with me at the moment and we will let the subject drop.”  She added more firmly, noting the quick glances between the two of them.

It was good to have her friends to talk to and hear the reports of what was happening out in the forest.  They were still battling with nests of the shelob (spiders) but seemed to be making some progress at driving them farther south almost as far as the Mirkwood Mountains but they still returned.  They talked a little about the battle at the Lonely Mountain but mostly the slaying of Smaug and the rebuilding of both the new city of Lake Town which was now situated on the shore of the lake and the efforts to assist the former residents of Dale in rebuilding their city as well.  All too soon the meal ended as they needed to get back to their posts.

“Will we see later?”  Eréndriël asked, giving her a tight hug.

“Perhaps.”  Tauriel told her, returning the hug fiercely.  “It really is good to see both of you again.”  She said as she hugged Gäérrÿk as well before turning and heading toward the door.  Casting one final glance back at the dais, she frowned slightly as she noticed that the king had already left.

Since she was not explicitly told she could go anywhere except the dining hall, she made her way back to her rooms.  Her heart was a little lighter with the knowledge that she was at least allowed that much and she didn’t want to do anything that would change his mind.  She didn’t need to look behind her to know that Glaurhalbër had followed her at a respectable distance, still giving her the illusion of freedom.

“Did you enjoy your conversation with your friends?”  Thranduil asked quietly, arching a brow at her as she entered the sitting room.

Tauriel froze at the sound of his voice, sending her hair flying as she turned quickly toward the hearth.  Instantly overwhelmed with emotions as she focused on his face, stiffening as his eyes seemed to rake over her body yet they held her gaze, the almost taunting way he tilted his head to the side.

“Why am I here?”  She asked as she moved toward him, stopping behind the chair in front of him.

“I want you here, this is where you belong.”  Thranduil replied as he rose from the chair and walked toward her.

“You want!”  Tauriel spat angrily, her entire body stiffening as she glared at him.  “What about what I want?!  She demanded more than asked, her chin lifting in defiance.

“You do not know what you want.”  He said quietly as he stepped closer to her.  Part of him wanting to leave yet he remained, watching the rise and fall of her breasts as she stood there defining him as only she could do.

“Damn you!”  She hissed, resisting the urge to lash out at him as she clenched her hands into fists at her sides.  As relaxed as he seemed, she knew better and the last thing she wanted right now was to give him any more control over her. 

“Such a biting tongue for one so beautiful.”  He said quietly as he moved slightly closer to her.  Smiling almost tauntingly at how easily he could ignite the fire within her.  “Do you know your eyes shine like emeralds when you’re angry?”  He asked in the same quiet tone, the tip of his tongue wetting the surface of his bottom lip.

“Stop treating me like a child!”  She nearly screamed as she turned away from him.  Moving toward the hearth, putting the chair between them.

“Perhaps if you did not act like one I would not feel the need.”  He said quietly, the taunting smile returning to his lips as he watched her.

“Why won’t you leave me in peace?”  She asked as she folded her arms beneath her breasts, her eyes narrowing as she watched his expression harden slightly.

“If that is what you want, then you shall have it.”  He stated far more calmly than he felt as he gave her a slight nod and turned on his heel away from her.

“You bastard!”  She hissed as she watched the door close behind him.



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