Eldarion smiled down from the window as Legolas raised a hand in greeting to him from the courtyard below.
"Will you be attending my party later, Legolas?" he shouted down to him.
"Nothing would keep me away, dear Eldarion," he called up. "Not even if Sauron returned!"
"To think that you are eighteen years old this eve!" Elrohir pulled his nephew back from the window to finish fixing his hair. "It seems but a moon ago that you were a babe in my arms. Tiny little thing you were, when you were born. I could cradle you in one arm. How quickly time passes us by."
"You seem sad, uncle," Eldarion noted, looking into the mirror as Elrohir fastidiously ran the brush through his hair, arranging it over his shoulders.
Elrohir shrugged, following his gaze over his shoulder and into the mirror. "You age so fast," he sighed. "Mortals, I mean. It does not seem that long ago since your father was but two feet tall and sneaking into my bed after nightmares." He smiled fondly at the memories. "I used to hide sweets under his pillow some nights, and always in the morning I would find sticky bits of paper wrapping beside his bed. I would have to remove them quickly, my father would have had a blue fit!"
"What was Father like when he was young?" Eldarion wanted to know. He walked to the wardrobe and pulled out two robes. "Which one? Green or dark blue?"
"The blue one," Elrohir selected. "Your father was a very sweet child. Elladan used to say he was sickeningly adorable. He was a rather difficult teenager who grew to be a brave and wonderful man. Very like you, really. You remind me of him more than a little, in both looks and ways. Though you have inherited my father and my brother's stubborn streak."
Eldarion laughed. "Is that good or bad?"
"It can be either, depending on the circumstance," Elrohir grinned. "I suppose it's a good thing for you, with you being the youngest with five girls before you."
"It does not stop them bossing me around," he sighed. "I'm sure they will continue to behave as such even when I am king!"
"I am sure they will," Elrohir agreed, fastening a star-shaped pin at Eldarion's collar. "There. You look a picture. You will be the desire of everyone at the ball."
Eldarion stood and studied his reflection. The robe he wore was of velvet – of just the right weight to flow where it should and cling where it should, accented by a belt of silver at his waist (a gift from Gimli). His dark hair hung perfectly above his shoulders and a light beard shadowed his jaw. "Do you really think so?"
"I would not have said it if I did not," Elrohir replied. "You have grown to be a very handsome young man."
Eldarion beamed. He knew words did not come falsely from either of his uncles. "Do you think Legolas will be impressed?" he asked, before he had thought the words over.
Elrohir smiled gently, perhaps reading his thoughts. "He has eyes, does he not?"
Eldarion gave a heavy sigh as he looked out of the window again to where the Elf was now crouching, holding a small bird on his finger, appearing to be whispering to it. "Is it wrong for me to desire him so?" His conscience had been fighting his heart for too long. "He's just like nothing I have ever seen." He felt a tug on his heart as Legolas rose to his feet and turned from his sight. "And he's fun to be with! We get along well. I want him, Elrohir, I want him so much. Is it so wrong?"
Elrohir followed him to the window. "Legolas… Legolas has been the desire of many men; I have seen the look in your eyes so many times upon others. Some have wanted him all the more by knowing they cannot have him. He holds up a strong guard – and he has reason for that, and it is not to be taken lightly – but it makes him more desirable. By appearance, he is rather effeminate, but any who know him know he is a fierce warrior and would imagine him to be a fierce lover. Do I weigh your feelings up correctly?"
"You think it is just a silly crush." Eldarion looked down at the floor.
"I would not say that, Eldarion, it is not silly to you." Elrohir squeezed his shoulder. "But I would advise you not to pursue him. You would get hurt. There was a time when Legolas was rather promiscuous, but he is no longer. He got damaged, very badly, and it took him many years to love again. And he chose to love a Dwarf of all people. I must admit I nearly wet myself laughing when I found out, but if that is who he chooses to love then he should be let be to enjoy the love."
"But I want him," he insisted. "I want him more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. And I know it is not just foolish desire! I will not feel whole until I know what it is like to hold him."
"Well, I'm afraid you can't have him," Elrohir stated seriously. "He is not yours to have. He is bound to Gimli."
Eldarion could not help but laugh, as fond as he was of the Dwarf he had called 'Uncle Gim' since he was a child. "Why would he want an old Dwarf when he could have me? You said yourself that I am desirable."
"Because it is an old Dwarf he chooses to love, not a young prince. You are a child to his eyes, Eldarion."
"I am heir to the throne of Gondor," he objected.
"Do you think that matters to him? He cares nothing for titles and privileges. You are too young for him." Elrohir gave him a stern look. "Eldarion, you will not pursue him. He is your father's dearest friend and a great ally to him, as is Gimli. Do not stir up a hornets' nest merely because you cannot control your lust." He sighed. "Sometimes I think you have too much of my brother in you."
"Well, that would not surprise me," he spat in a sudden burst of anger. "It would not surprise me if he were indeed my father, the way you lot act." He had known of Elrohir and Elladan's relationship for some months, since he had stumbled upon the two of them together. He had not let on to anyone that he knew of it, determined to protect the family's honour – even though they clearly did not. Although he sensed it was not a secret to either of his parents. He had covered up his feelings well to the point that he had begun to think he had imagined it and it had got pushed to the back of his mind. But now his anger stirred the accusation.
"Take that back!" Elrohir demanded.
A heavy whack struck Eldarion's left cheek, startling him and knocking him back a few steps. Pain spread in red heat up his face and his head span. Turning with the speed of an Elf and the strength of a man, he aimed a punch at his uncle, enraged that he would dare to raise a hand to him. "I will not take it back."
Before his punch could land, Elrohir caught his fist and twisted his arm painfully behind his back, forcing him to drop to his knees. "Take it back, Eldarion!" he yelled. "Never mind what happens between my brother and I, confront us about it as you obviously know about us, but do not dishonour your mother like that. I will not hear it! And how do you know of us?"
"I saw you!" Eldarion shouted back at him, twisting vainly in the tight grip. "And I actually vomited! What do you think you are doing together – Elladan is your twin! You are a hypocrite! You say I am wrong to pursue Legolas while you are screwing your own brother!"
Another blow hit his cheek. "I do not have to answer to the whelp of my sister!" Elrohir raged. "You are shallow, Eldarion, shallow and incapable of knowing understanding even if it took physical form and bit you on the backside!"
"I could never understand such a thing!" Eldarion grappled to get free from the strong hands that were holding him, but it was useless, Elrohir was much stronger than he was. "Release me!" he demanded. "Release me this instant!"
"Crown prince or no, you will give me respect as your elder and mentor!" Elrohir yanked his arm further up his back. "I will not be insulted by you."
"You insult yourself!" Eldarion kicked at him but could not reach. "Mentor! That is a joke! What would you teach me? The art of seducing one's siblings? I do indeed have five to chose from!" He ducked his head before Elrohir could strike him again. "I order you to release me!"
"Elrohir, let him go!" Aragorn's voice commanded from the doorway. "What on earth is going on in here? You are meant to be preparing my son for his birthday feast, not killing him."
"Forgive me, Estel," Elrohir loosened his grip on Eldarion's arm and stood and lowered his head. "A disagreement about Legolas got rather heated."
"That I can see." Aragorn strode into the room, stepping protectively before his son. "Why did you strike him?"
Though he was annoyed at Aragorn appearing to fight his battles for him, Eldarion could not prevent a complacent smile creeping across his face as his father's anger rained on Elrohir.
"He did Arwen a great dishonour with his words," Elrohir confessed, shooting him a glare that quickly wiped the smirk from his face. "I know it is not my place to discipline him but I was defending my sister and I will not apologise for it."
He swallowed hard as Aragorn turned around to face him. "Eldarion, how did you dishonour your mother?"
"I said nothing," he murmured.
Elrohir glared accusingly at him. "You have not the courage to say it to your father."
"Elrohir said I was like Elladan, and I said it would not surprise me if I were his." Angered at being called a coward, so shortly after being called a child Eldarion blurted out the truth.
His father stared at him for a long moment, an open-mouthed look of shock quickly turning into a frown. "I beg your pardon?"
"Oh, come, Father! This family is ripe with incest!" He had kept his thoughts on this inside for too long. "You cannot surely think I do not know about those two!" He waved a hand at Elrohir. "And you and mother are akin from afar, are you not? Her father raised you as his own, did he not?"
"Yes," Aragorn replied softly. "You know he did."
"It is worse than rabbits!" he cried.
"Apologise, Eldarion," Elrohir jumped to his foster brother's defence.
"I will not," he said, stubbornly folding his arms across his chest.
"Eldarion, you will apologise," Aragorn demanded.
"I will not!" he shouted. "I speak the truth!"
"Do not think that because you are now a man by age that you can talk to me like that." Aragorn gave him the look that told him he would be punished for his words later. "And what has Legolas got to do with this, anyway?"
"I desire him greatly," Eldarion whispered, turning towards the door before his father got a chance to try to forbid his wishes. "I do not care what any of you say, I will have him. I don't care how, he will not deny me. And you certainly won't. I am not a child anymore." He scowled as he left the room, determined to prove them all wrong.
Taking a long draught from the wine bottle, Eldarion stepped out onto the balcony. He had eaten until he felt sick, and danced with every maiden in the room until his legs felt like they would give up if he took one more step. But still, the party was hardly the event of the century. His father had scarcely spoken to him, and seemed to be on bad terms with both twins, who in turn had only passed him forced smiles as show in front of his mother.
He regretted his words from earlier. It had been wrong of him to say what he had. He had not meant it, it had merely come out in a burst of rage. And now both his uncles – who were so dear to him – would hate him forever, and his father probably would too. And his mother would be hurt when she found out what had happened. And his sisters would never stop punishing him for it.
And it all came back to one thing, the one thing that refused to stop torturing his soul. Legolas.
He could picture him now as he had in night fantasies: lithe body, naked and outstretched on sheets of dark silk; pale skin glowing under the blue fire of the stars, flaxen hair loose and spread like a halo around his head. Sapphire eyes gazing at him, inviting him; hands reaching out and touching; warrior's hands, Elf's hands, both strong and gentle. He could imagine the fire of passion that raged beneath the Elf's cool exterior. He had seen it in his eyes so many times.
He could see him from his secluded position on the balcony. His hair hanging loose down his back, stray strands falling before his eyes. He was dressed smartly but informally in leggings of a dark fabric and a white shirt, hanging open half way down his chest, revealing alabaster skin paler than the cloth.
Legolas was caught in the gaze of nearly every man and maid in the room, but Eldarion stared the hardest. There was not a soul who did not seem to want to dance with him, but he danced alone and no one dared to approach him. Eldarion inched closer to the curtain to watch him. His eyes were half closed as if he was in a state of semi- consciousness, alone in a dream, in a love affair with the flutes and the harps. He swayed as though he was a part of the music, or the music was a part of him; the strings were his veins, the drum was his heartbeat. He tossed his head back to free his hair from his face. His skin was damp with sweat and his shirt clung to him. It was such a light fabric that only the slightest bit of dampness was enough to reveal every hard line of muscle. He turned towards the light and Eldarion's eyes received a dark flash of nipple in reward for their staring before he turned his back again.
"Oh my…." Eldarion whispered to himself, leaning his weight against the wall and taking another gulp of wine.
At first, he was disappointed that the Elf had turned his back, but disappointment turned to an even greater desire as he watched him move. He had never noticed his back before, how broad his shoulders were in comparison to his waist; or how the muscles rippled between his shoulders as he moved. And how his hips moved in the opposite direction to his arms, yet perfectly in time; and how his hair caught the moonlight as it filtered through a high window to shine upon him, to cast a spotlight on him. Sweat beaded across his face, tracing a line from his forehead down his cheek. He wiped his sleeve across his brow but did not stop moving. The music had captured him and he had captured the prince of Gondor, completely and utterly with heart and soul and body.
Eldarion felt as though he could have stormed through the crowd and grabbed him right then, not caring less what anyone thought, but he could not interrupt his affair with the music. He could not stop watching him.
Then the spell was rudely broken as Elrohir caught Legolas's arm and pulled him between himself and Elladan. The three danced as old friends but closer, for each feel the attraction of the male.
"Perhaps it runs in the family," Eldarion muttered to himself with a snort, wondering why his uncles should be allowed all the fun.
Legolas was caught between them, Elladan at his back with an arm snaked about his waist; Elrohir close to his front, reaching around him to lightly lay his hands against his brother's waist. They were apparently unaware of how many eyes were staring at them or how strange and uninhibited they looked. Most folk looked shocked. Aragorn looked displeased. Gimli looked furious and Eldarion thought it was a good job for the twins that the Dwarf had left his axe at home. Only one other looked across at the three with desire – Rumil of Lothlorien. He was staring with blatant hunger in his eyes, but not just at Legolas. He watched all three, and Eldarion noticed his focus was on Elladan. And it didn't slip his attention when Elladan glanced across at Rumil and winked at him. He feared the night would end in an illicit Elven orgy.
"Well, they're not having Legolas," he whispered, scowling at Rumil before returning his eyes to the strange dancers.
Legolas led the movement, slipping his arm around Elrohir's neck as he pressed close against his body, a naughty little smile on his lips. He tipped his head back against Elladan's shoulder and closed his eyes as he leaned backwards. He touched neither of them with his hands, only his body.
Eldarion wished he had stayed in the hall now, and maybe he could have had the chance to dance with the Elf. Though his father would have surely gone berserk if he had been dancing with Legolas like the twins were. Even he had to admit, it was not really something to do in public.
He noticed the twins smile at each other over the top of Legolas's head, speaking with their own private thought. He wondered what they were thinking as the beautiful creature writhed between their bodies, so close they must have been able to feel each tiny movement, even his breathing; they have must been able to feel the heat from his body, smell his sweat.
He felt aflame with jealousy that Elladan and Elrohir should be in such a position with his love, that they should have him moving in such a way between them when, even as he did, they so obviously only had eyes for each other. Legolas was merely the filling in the sandwich for them.
And Legolas was drunk, anyone could have seen that, and he was obviously very aroused by the movement of the twins; Elrohir grinding against his front, sliding his knee between his legs, Elladan whispering softly at his ear. He let them guide his movements, up and down and around until his chest heaved with laboured breath and sweat shone on his skin. His head lolled back against Elladan's shoulder and his bottom lip hung open as he tried to catch his breath. Eldarion watched with rage as his uncle unashamedly ran his tongue along the edge of Legolas's ear. Even from the balcony, he could see how it caused Legolas to shudder.
Legolas slipped his other arm around Elrohir's neck and pulled him tight against his body, grinding his hips against him. Elrohir grinned at his brother, who in return pouted a little kiss in his direction and extended his tongue into Legolas's ear again.
Eldarion was nearly shaking with the anger of envy. Or was it lust? But he could not help but feel amused at the way they appeared not to care less what anyone thought of them, and at the looks on peoples faces. A movement from the corner of the room pulled his eyes away for a second and he saw his father rise from his chair with a look on his face that would have crumbled mountains, likely going to break them up before things got anymore out of control.
The music suddenly ceased and Eldarion was certain the only sound in the world was his heartbeat in his ears. It was like someone had turned a key in his mind and he shook his head to try and shake the clouds of lust from his senses. He hadn't even realised his hand had wandered between his legs as he had been watching. He cursed himself and adjusted his robes to try and hide the bulge.
It was only then, as he looked up to see if his father
was going to
kill anyone, that he realised Legolas had pulled from
twins and was walking across the hall towards the
Continued in Part 2
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