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There was no light in the talan tonight. He could watch it undisturbed,
didn't have to worry about being seen. They were probably sleeping, he
reasoned. Exhausted from their lovemaking, curled up in each other's arms.
Bodies sated, lips sore...silken hair unruly and damp from their passion.
He swallowed hard. His dark eyes searched the talan's outlines in the dark..
They were bound now, he knew that. Their souls were united. The thought
tasted bitter, hard to accept. The Prince and the Marchwarden were as close
to each other as elves could be. Bond through love for eternity.

For others... the night was cold and empty. Filled with shadows, memories
and sorrow.
To have lost in a game he never was allowed to play in. Fate could be so
merciless and cruel...

Rumil of Lorien turned his back on the Mallorn who held the lovers in her
branches and left. Walked silently through the woods. Just a grey clad
shadow in the dark. Not even the moon could find him this night, making his
hair shine like polished silver as she was used to. For Rumil was
ashes...ashes and thorns...tonight.

*************

Nothing like waking up wrapped in that scent: Fresh green herbs...musk and
woodland. Silvery hair a soft, shimmering pillow under his head. He wondered
if it had hurt. If he had tried to move away during the night, but no...it
didn't seem so. Tightly embraced in his arms, Haldir's fair features were
calm. So soft his skin, the warmth they shared, it was hard to say where one
began and the other ended. So close to each other the feel of the other had
become a part, an extension of the loved one's body. Except for that one
particular part, throbbing hot and undeniable against Legolas' thigh...

"Haldir..." He smiled lovingly and leaned over, placed a teasing kiss on the
other's lips.

Pools of dark blue appeared in front of him, black lashes fluttered as the
other elf tried to focus.

"My prince..." he muttered with a grin and stretched his body like a cat.
Every firm muscle uncurled and woke up, embraced the lithe prince with new
force. "Have you slept well?" he asked and buried his face in Legolas' hair,
breathed through the golden mass - hot air on his skin.

"I always sleep well in your arms, fair Haldir." The Prince smiled at his
consort, the shimmering silver at the top of his head. "Come, let me see
your face," he bid and placed one finger under the other's chin.

Haldir blinked at him, smiling.

"Do you like what you see?" he teased his soul mate, his newly bound lover.

"I do..." Legolas said dreamingly and placed another kiss on the loved one's
lips. "Now, will you come with me and greet the day or would you like to
stay up here a little longer?" he half-teased, letting his tongue trail his
full, dark lips, his fingers the marble of his cheek.

"Oh, my Legolas," Haldir said with a sharp intake of breath. "How did I ever
live without you?" He sighed and grabbed a hold of Legolas arms, rolled them
both over so he landed on top of him, pinning Legolas' hands above his
head. Legolas giggled beneath him, shameless in his nakedness. His chest
began to rise and fall heavily and then fell silent. Parted his lips
invitingly while a faint blush spread on his cheeks.

"I know what you want," Haldir teased him, looked down at the sky blue of
his gaze.

"What is it that I want?" Legolas breathed expectantly, his eye lids half
closed, left his eyes a sparkling sliver of blue under his long, thick
lashes.

Haldir kissed him, covered his lips with his own and demanded entrance to
his mouth with his tongue. It was a long kiss. A deep one, as they tasted
each other again. Rediscovered the planes and valleys, the flavor of the
other's lips. Brought together like that their scents mingled and became
something special: Their own.

Sweet and strong, the scent of them. As their hair entwined and created a
different color, a mingled mixture of gold and mithril on the blankets, so
did their tastes and scents do the same. Became something new, something
beautiful and right. Soft and hard. Gentle and demanding. Dusk and dawn. Day
and night...

Legolas uttered a moaning sound when Haldir gently spread his legs; met the
caressing palm that began playing between his thighs with soft thrusts. He
continued to moan softly into their shared kisses, met Haldir's twinkling
gaze with his own. Darkened with lust now that gaze. Haldir's eyes would
always give him away...

His erect flesh moved in Haldir's palm while his hands still were pinned
above his head, held there by Haldir's strong hand. It was a gentle grasp
and Legolas didn't mind it. It was nice like that, being utterly exposed and
vulnerable under Haldir's body. Feeling the flexing muscles and the silken
skin that moved on top of him. Haldir's hair tickled his sides and he smiled
against the moist lips caressing his own.

"Is this what I want?" he muttered between deep sighs of pleasure.

Haldir chuckled deep in his throat. "Always," he breathed. "This is always
what you want..." His lips searched for and found the damp skin of Legolas'
neck. Lapped at it greedily while making a low, growling sound.

"Am I that shameless?" Legolas gasped and arched his body when Haldir's
teeth grazed his skin. He felt his heart pound faster, the blood coarse
through his veins. So strong the passion the other could conjure, call forth
from his loins...
He felt Haldir shift and felt the matching member of the other touch his,
Haldir's palm now held the both of them. Rubbed them together as he moved in
time with Legolas. Both of them thrusting into his palm.

"Only with me," Haldir replied hoarsely, looked up from what he was doing
and met Legolas' gaze. His own eyes a pair of twinkling twin stars of
burning blue.

"Only you...always you..." Legolas moaned and thrust upwards. "Have me,
please!" he begged in a strained voice.

Haldir chuckled again and dipped down to lick across his lover's lips.

"Again?" Haldir teased in his deep voice although his breathing came out
ragged and loud. "I thought I had you last night..."

"Please!" Legolas' hips couldn't lie still on the talan floor. "Please," he
said again and tossed his head from side to side while his thrusting
increased in power and pace. Strands of sun-licked hair fell across his face
and he touched his lips with the tip of his tongue. "Haldir!" he breathed.
"Have me, please!"

He heard Haldir moan on top of him, his body jerked slightly and he knew it
was his words' doing. He was always inflamed by Legolas' begging. And
begging him came easily, when he always wanted him...always needed to
feel...have the other elf inside.

He felt Haldir let go of their straining flesh, felt his body stretch as he
reached over, never letting go of Legolas' hands. He heard but didn't see
Haldir open the small vial with his teeth, felt the little glass stopper
fall down on his chest and roll down to the blanket he was lying on. The
spiced scent of the oil they were using spread in the talan and caught in
his nostrils. Fresh herbs and sweet honey. Legolas sighed deeply, met
Haldir's oiled fingers as they searched for his entrance.

"Have me, please..." he whispered again and impaled himself on those
fingers, rocked his hips slowly but demanding. Felt Haldir's gaze on him,
trailing his body with that special look of hungry admiration and awe.

Finally the Galadhrim let his hands go. The fingers that had caressed his
insides disappeared as well. He kissed him to distraction while he did so
and bent his legs, pushed them upwards.

"Keep them there," he said lowly and placed Legolas' hands at the back of
his knees. They were pushed so high up and down that they touched Legolas'
chest. Lifted him up and opened him to Haldir's gaze and searching hands.
Left Legolas resting on his spine alone. Haldir bent down and sought his
lips.

"So beautiful," he whispered, and then he entered him. Slid effortlessly
inside his body and took possession of the space that was purely his. Oil
slick and open, inviting him in.

Haldir pulled his own knees up and steadied himself on Legolas' bended legs,
pushed himself inside his lover's warmth. Withdrew and repeated the action.
Smiled slightly and watched Legolas' face with hooded gaze. Like flames
those eyes, Legolas thought while the passion coursed through his body, a
surging, moving, spiraling heat that forced him to flow with it. Lose
himself in that building warmth; the rocking, rhythmical pleasure.

"Ai, Haldir!" he cried and clenched his teeth.

"My golden prince, " Haldir answered, pushed himself faster, deeper, inside
the other elf. "Show me," he breathed and Legolas let himself go. His member
twitched between his legs and he cried out as the salt of his body poured
out of him in a creamy, liquid stream.

Haldir gave one deep sigh and buckled on top of him, his silvery hair fell
in moist tendrils around his face while he emptied himself in Legolas' body.
Leaned down on him while his body jerked and convulsed on top of him.

"So sweet, " he gasped. "Loving you..."

************

He smelt the scent of them as they came to greet the sun. That particular
blend of herbs and flowers. Honeyed musk. They had made love.

He regained his composure and greeted them politely. Hoped that the spark of
envious malice wouldn't show in his eyes. They didn't deserve that. Haldir
did not deserve his anger. Neither did the Prince - it was never their
fault. It was entirely his own...although...although the web of fate was
never his to weave and the fault lay within their souls if anywhere.
Haldir's only wrong in all of this was being who he was. Such a bright star
with that red, pounding kernel. Like a poison, that passion of the beautiful
Galadhrim, forcing them all to bask in his rays. Desirous to touch
it...Taste the glowing heat of his soul.

Being his brother was nothing but torment as his beauty and power grew and
increased by every cycle when they grew up. Fevered fantasies between
roughly woven sheets in their family talan. Those same sheets stained by his
shameful hunger the morning after. His desire to love him, be loved by him.

As the newly arrived elves knelt in the clearing, lifted their fingers to
their hearts and said their pledges to the life giving slice of fire that
traveled the sky, Orophin searched for his other brother across the
clearing. Found him among other grey-clad wardens. His eyes never left the
kneeling couple on the ground. His bitterness so badly disguised in the
clear light. The crisp air almost visible in it's merciless clarity made his
eyes burn so bright: So much sorrow in there, and still...so much hunger.

Orophin caught sight of the Lady, standing not far from the gathered
wardens. Her eyes were on Rumil as well. Concern in the vivid blue of her
gaze. A worried expression furrowed her brow.
She slowly turned her head and sought Orophin as he knew she would. He kept
silent. Did not show her much of what brewed under the surface.

"So it has happened then, Orophin of Lorien," her voice spoke in his head.
"The two of them have been bound...Does it grieve you much?" she asked him.

Orophin met her gaze across the distance. Let down his shields, just a
little, let his Lady look inside. How could he not, as she bid him, he
answered. Such was her power over his heart.
The Lady steadily kept her gaze on his as she continued speaking to his
mind:

"Do you remember what I told you once? You shall not long so for a heart
that isn't yours to have..." The Lady's gaze was stern, but softened by
compassion. "Being Haldir of Lorien's brother is no easy task. But both you
and Rumil have your own destinies to fulfill..."

Orophin broke their stare. It felt like betrayal, and so it was. Closing his
mind to the Lady. But the confused bitterness and sorrow welling up in him
by her words was too much. He would not share that, and the Lady would
understand. She was no cruel mistress.

The couple slowly rose from the ground, instantly seeking each other's
hands. The grey-clad Galadhrim and the prince dressed in his woven garments
of greens and earth colors. Wood colors. An elf from a different realm. His
hair glittered like spun gold in the rays of the sun as he tossed it back,
strands of it caught in the multi-colored arrows in his quiver. Purple and
yellow and green...not white at all. Not the colors of Lothlorien. The
Galadhrim's braids shone like polished mithril, held the flavor of moon and
starlight. Legolas' did not. Bright and deep that color, like melted sun.
Still he held his brother's hand. Laced his fingers in his. Bore his mark in
his heart, their souls had mingled and become...one.

The casual way in which he leaned in and spoke to Haldir. Smiled at him with
a trust Orophin never had earned. Always that barrier between them...Always
something warning in Haldir's eyes. Not now, when they beheld Legolas...the
way he touched him...showed with every movement that they belonged...

The smiles he gave him, loving eyes. Orophin's heart hurt. Shed bloody tears
of despair while he fought to keep his features calm and composed. Crossed
his arms in front of his chest. Stood there like a carved figure, a statue
as not to show the torment within. Saw Rumil repeat his actions on the other
side of the clearing. Like a shadow, while they both guarded their brother
with their eyes. Watched his arm slip around and encircle the golden elf's
narrow waist. His own mithril hair brush the green-clad shoulder. Fine
threads of moonlight caught in the foreign arrows as well, like a fine veil
of silver that mingled with the glittering strands of gold. Now they shone
together, caught in the bundle of arrows. Gold and mithril, woven together.
But they were not of the same blood.

A stranger took his brother. Captured the core of his heart. The one sweet
melody that Haldir of the Galadhrim would yield to was played upon a
stranger's harp.

They kissed as they left the clearing. Stopped and sought each other's lips.
The Mirkwood Prince tilted his head slightly upwards, met the Marchwarden's
mouth with his own. And kissed each other they did, for endless minutes that
felt like a void, a long tormenting piece of time that did nothing but make
his soul cry. In that moment, he hated Legolas of Mirkwood. Hated his own
brother too. Hated his own evil heart that would not stop wanting. Hated
fate for being so cruel...Hated them, for having the one that they loved in
their arms.

Orophin of Lorien loved his brother. As a brother, as a male...

The Lady stopped in front of him, on her way from the clearing as well. Her
eyes held no compassion now, were cool as distant starlight.

"Such evil thoughts..." she said to his mind. "I expected more from you,
Orophin of the Wardens..." Her gaze drifted from him and she continued. Her
white dress hardly touched the ground and the flowers seemed to bend from
her feet as she gracefully moved in her own Realm.

Orophin swallowed hard. She did not understand, he thought...How *could* she
understand...
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