Main Page ~*~*~
there are differences between us and Men, just as there are between
us and your... kindred. Hardly means one is better than the other.
We are all part of the Music, only - distinct in a few important
Gil-galad suppressed a sigh as he spoke. Not only did he sound older
than Cirdan and six degrees more ponderous, but he had almost said
'type', not 'kindred', which was derisive and rather too close to
his true feelings. His only excuse was that for over an hour now he
had been sitting on the patio of this small but beautifully
appointed house, watching the sun sink low over the sea and talking
about - nothing.
His host sat opposite, one leg crossed gracefully over the other,
blue silk robe falling decorously to the floor in impeccable folds.
His expression one of polite ennui, Eönwë the Maia, Herald of Manwë,
servant of the Valar, swirled clear liquid in his goblet and arched
a perfect eyebrow. “Indeed, Majeste? Are the Quendi on this shore so
far reduced as to term those short-lived creatures of the sunlight
their equal?" His light voice rose and fell with an unfamiliar
cadence, and a ghostly echo whispered behind the words.
Supercilious ponce. Gil-galad, who numbered a pair of Half-elven
cousins amongst his immediate family, refused to be intimidated,
although he conceded the Maia could take creepiness to new heights.
He frowned. "Short lived, yes. Personally I lack the arrogance to
regard any of the creations of the One as beneath me."
His voice had an edge to it. Also, his glass was almost empty. He
had sipped his wine as slowly as a maiden at her first formal
dinner, determined to ration himself to no more than one cup, but he
was coming round to the idea that a refill might dull the urge to
strangle the Maia.
Violet eyes regarded him distantly.
"Quite." Eönwë’s softly accented voice was starting to grate on the
High King's nerves. That one word, coupled with a haughty downturn
of lip, expressed a wealth of detail.
As though reading his mind - a disconcerting thought - the Maia
indicated the wine flagon with an elegant, long-fingered hand. "More
wine, perhaps? They tell me this is a fine vintage… for these
The implied insult was not lost on Lindon’s king. Gil-galad eyed the
decanter expressionlessly. "There's one clear difference between you
and I this afternoon," he commented "I notice you’re drinking water.
Can I assume our wine is not to your taste?"
Did they even have wine in Valinor? He had no idea; no one
had ever mentioned Fëanor overindulging in the grape, nor any of the
ladies of legend reduced to flushed, laughing indiscretion on its
Eönwë indicated his glass, his expression one of faint incredulity.
"Not water, Majeste, most definitely not. This is a fine white from
a vineyard on the outskirts of Tirion. I thought it perhaps - not
sufficiently familiar, and therefore offered you one native to this
Not good enough for the peasant, in other words. "Well, I would have
thought it simpler to drink the local fare than bring your own all
the way over from the Undying Lands. Unless of course," the king
added with deceptive mildness, "You find our local product too
coarse for you refined palate."
Silence dropped like a stone into the ocean’s distant roar.
Gil-galad tried to feel bad about his lack of diplomacy, but to no
avail. He was there at Eönwë’s request to find a middle ground
between the economic needs of Forlond and those of Eönwë’s project,
the building of a fleet of small ships to transport the Second born
to the island refuge newly created for them by the Valar. There was
intense competition for the services of shipbuilders, sail-makers,
carpenters and the like and, while Gil-galad was all for consensus
and compromise, Eönwë appeared to feel the ‘give’ element of 'give
and take' should be supplied almost entirely by his guest.
Irritation had finally won out over tact.
"I am sure it is - most pleasant," Eönwë said finally, his voice and
manner belying the likelihood of this possibility. "I have no
previous experience of - local - wine."
"Nor I of wine that looks more like water than the product of any
grape that I’m familiar with," Gil-galad pointed out reasonably.
"But there it is, or so it seems. How about...how about an exchange?
You try a glass of mine, and I'll sample yours?" Warming to his
theme, he leaned forward, suddenly animated. "I’ll grant there might
be a number of differences between Elves and Men - things that may
need to be taken into account in your plans for them," he added
warningly, suspecting no such thought had occurred to the Maia. "But
you and I? We are perhaps more alike than you imagine. Call it a
cultural exchange. Come, pour.”
Eönwë considered, his expression doubtful. Finally, with the
suggestion of a shrug, he drained his glass and filled it instead
with rich, red wine, one of the first harvests from the
newly-established vineyards of south Forlond. Gil-galad in turn
extended his now-empty goblet, which the Maia filled with clear
liquid from a pale green jug of unfamiliar design.
The king politely sniffed the contents of his glass. The wine
recalled an interesting mix of unknown berries, with hints of
asparagus, of fennel perhaps, and... meadow grasses? Summery. Gil-galad
had never been one to turn down a drink on account of its unfamiliar
aroma. Had he done so, he might never have sampled dwarf brandy. He
raised the glass with a smile that was adequate but bore little
resemblance to his usual lazy, charming grin. "To cultural
differences," he said. "Disparity and compromise."
Two hours later, eased along by several more glasses of unfamiliar
liquor, the conversation had become quite lively. In that time they
had agreed to a division of Forlond’s resources which, surprisingly,
was mutually agreeable, and had moved on to consider such cultural
distinctions as music, art, dance, and fashion.
"Just all round, we have more in common than not when you think
about it,” Gil-galad declared finally. It was growing dark, and if
he wanted to be home in time for dinner, he needed to start taking
his leave. “We eat. We sleep. We have sex. We dance. We sing...."
"Sex? It is not our way to – rut like animals. I assume it is to
this – activity - that you refer?" The disdain was palpable.
"Good gods, no.” Gil-galad took a mouthful of wine, then considered
his recent history and winced. You’re only young once, he told
himself firmly. Aloud he said, “Well, sometimes I suppose. Not
always. Should be more about... closeness, foreplay - build-up?"
Eönwë’s brow furrowed. He rose with unnatural grace and began moving
around the small patio, and for the first time Gil-galad noticed the
candles. They were grouped unobtrusively on tables or set in
discreet sconces, there was even a tall trio on the floor in the
corner near the door. Within moments the sheltered area in which
they sat took on a soft, golden glow. He made no use of flint and
tinder, Gil-galad noticed, but simply passed his hand, fingers
circled, up and above each pillar of wax, and flame blossomed. The
action was - strangely erotic.
Elves could do that too, of course, but normally employed more
prosaic means. Well, some elves could. His aunt excelled at this
sort of thing. He had a good sense for fire himself, come to think
of it. There was a candle on the occasional table near his chair and
he surreptitiously tried to increase the energy about the wick to
make it burn. It smoked sulkily at him, and he dropped his hand
before the Maia could notice his less than adequate attempt.
Gil-galad came back to the conversation. "Yes... you know...
kissing, feeling up, that kind of.... "
Violet eyes met his blankly. "'Feeling - up'?"
The silence stretched until it slowly dawned on Gil-galad that Eönwë
was waiting for an explanation. He cleared his throat and set out to
find words for something that was as natural to him as – well, as
natural as sex, really.
“Well, yes, not sure what you’d call it. You know --- touching
someone for pleasure while you kiss.’
Candles hissed, the sea murmured. He was unsurprised when the cool
voice finally asked, “Kiss?”
Eönwë was a point of shimmering blue in the centre of the small
patio, his silver hair and shadowy violet eyes glittering softly as
though starlit. Unnatural, Gil-galad thought, taking another sip of
the rather excellent wine from Valinor. Too perfect. No one really
looked like that outside of a nursery tale.
“It’s a thing we do,” he explained bluntly. “Two people place their
lips against one another’s, apply pressure. Then they… part their
lips and their tongues touch and – explore.” He wondered if he was
shocking the Maia. The prospect left him feeling distinctly
“To what purpose?” Eönwë asked. For once his face mirrored a real
emotion – puzzlement. “Why would you – want to do such a – strange
He went over to the table and poured himself another glass, which
put him ahead by one, Gil-galad thought. Or two. He wasn’t sure.
Some things were starting to run together in his memory. “Um, it
feels good? Exciting? Sexually arousing?”
“This – sex. This is for the procreation of young, is it not?” Eönwë
brought the Valinorian flagon over and topped up the king’s glass.
“Why is it necessary to find pleasure in such a - necessary act?”
“We don’t always do it to make baby elves,” Gil-galad declared
firmly, drinking deeply of the wine. Oddly, it remained as cool as
though kept on ice, a practice that had recently become fashionable.
He began ticking items off on his fingers. “Do it for pleasure, do
it to show affection, do it for – fun? Excitement? I prefer it with
males rather than females, so no, not always for… that.”
Instinct suggested ‘procreation’ might stumble on his tongue; short
words seemed the better part of valour.
“We do not do such things in the Undying Lands.” Eönwë could not
have sounded more disapproving had a snail crawled out of the wine
“Your loss,” Gil-galad told him equably, waving his glass vaguely.
“Though the elves over there were certainly doing it back before my
family left. Plenty of baby elves. Look at Fëanor? Seven of them.
And I’m pretty sure the swans didn’t bring any of that crowd.”
Cirdan’s original explanation for where babies came from. Not a
topic he was about to share with his host. “Never mind, long story.
Point is, we don’t just do it to – pro-cre-ate.”
Well, he was obviously still sober. His tongue coped with that just
“You regard yourself as – proficient – at this – activity?” Eönwë
asked carefully, apparently picking his words with caution.
“I’d like to think so, yes. In fact, I like to think I’m quite good
at it, all in all.”
The patio beyond the circle of light suddenly seemed darker, the
sound of the waves more pronounced. The candles burnt with a steady
flame, apparently immune to the breeze that rustled the creeper
clinging to the trellis at Gil-galad’s back. He puzzled over this
anomaly briefly before focusing on the Maia, who had moved closer
and was watching him consideringly. The king was struck by how
subtly ‘alien’ he seemed.
“Is it – difficult?”
Warning bells did more than ring, they jangled loudly. Shaking his
head briefly in an attempt to clear it, Gil-galad put down his glass
and tried to remember exactly what he had said. “Difficult?” he
asked. “Uh, no, not difficult. Should just – take its course,
The stillness increased, the air felt heavy. Eönwë tilted his head
to the side and seemed to be thinking. Finally, in a voice whose
exotic sibilance folded within the rush of the ocean, he said, “One
of my instructions was to take note of the new customs and norms of
the Noldor on this shore. This – kissing – may or may not be known
amongst the Vanyar and Teleri, but I have never, personally heard of
such a thing. Nor am I aware of such – physical intimacy amongst
“Quite all right,” Gil-galad said in what he hoped was a brisk
voice. “Different cultures, different morés.” Had he really admitted
he preferred males? That deceptively light Valinorian wine had a
kick like a mule.
Eönwë nodded slightly. “Of course. Will it take long to learn?”
“Not much learning involved. You just - do it… follow your partner,
give them what they want.”
“Ah.” Eönwë looked relieved. “In that case, I assume you can spare
me a little more of your time, Majeste?”
Yes, he had really said that. And as far as the king could tell,
yes, he really meant that, too. Before Gil-galad could compose a
suitable response, if there were such a thing, Eönwë had covered the
final distance between them and sunk down onto the couch beside him
in a slither of silk.
“How does this begin?”
The word ‘no’, accompanied by several others, reached Gil-galad’s
lips and froze unspoken as he found himself staring, mesmerized. Up
close, the Maia had skin like alabaster, pale and flawless. Where
the light caught his silver hair it shimmered and sparkled as though
each strand had a life of its own. His scent was unique: clean wind
off the ocean, forest greenness, and… lilac. Warmth awoke within
Gil-galad, its butterfly wings caressing his loins.
Eönwë’s eyes were amethyst, darkening to an outer ring like morning
mist and fringed with quite the longest lashes Gil-galad had ever
seen: thick, dark… His finger lifted seemingly of its own accord and
carefully touched their tips. Eönwë blinked, but kept still. It was
a simple affair to bring his hand down, stroke the smooth cheek, cup
that perfectly sculpted chin… Gil-galad slid his free arm about
slender shoulders and leaned forward, his eyes holding Eönwë’s gaze.
“We do it like this,” he murmured huskily.
The Maia’s lips were impossibly soft, like rose petals, like velvet.
Gil-galad moved mouth against mouth, pressed, rubbed. Eönwë sat
obedient in the circle of his arm, head tilted back, eyes
unnervingly contemplative. Gil-galad drew back. “We close our eyes,
usually,” he explained quietly. “It helps us to focus on the
physical sensations without other – distractions.”
Twilight eyes slowly closed as Gil-galad brushed the tip of his
tongue along the line where Eönwë’s lips met. He applied gentle
pressure, and after a moment they parted and his tongue entered into
a place that tasted of summer. He tightened his arm about the Maia’s
lithe body and deepened the kiss, his tongue sliding against Eönwë’s,
teasing, tasting. After a moment of confusion, Eönwë submitted
totally, responding to every movement no matter how subtle. His head
dropped back against Gil-galad’s shoulder, his hand rose hesitantly
to rest on the king’s chest with a touch that felt like fire.
Gil-galad continued to devour the willing mouth; there seemed to be
nothing else in the world, just candlelight and the scents and taste
of the exquisite creature in his arms. His hand glided over silk,
passing from Eönwë’s shoulder down his side, fingers sliding
lingeringly over the ripple of ribcage before dropping to his thigh.
Smooth, firm lines slid invitingly under his touch. His hand slipped
lower, pausing to explore the curves and hollows of the Maia’s knee,
then retraced its path, questing.
Eönwë sat with his legs drawn half up, and it was a simple matter
for Gil-galad to cup and cover the unambiguous beginnings of desire.
He squeezed none too gently, his mind empty of anything beyond
pleasure, and Eönwë leaned against him bonelessly, legs parting as
he offered himself to the king’s touch.
Silk-clad fullness awakened, hardening in his hand. The heated
kisses continued, Eönwë still open and utterly compliant to every
nuance. Gil-galad wondered vaguely if he was wearing underwear; it
appeared not. The silk clung to his prick like a second skin, thin
enough that he could make out the ridge surrounding the crown,
detect and tease the already-leaking slit.
Eönwë was making soft, feral noises in his throat, and his hips had
begun moving rhythmically, pushing up into the king’s encircling
hand. Gil-galad tightened his grasp as he relinquished the
intoxicating mouth to explore the softness of the Maia’s smooth
neck. He bit sharply, and heat rushed through him as Eönwë’s cock
twitched in his hand in response. He squeezed, stroked, and the low
growl close to his ear caused his own to pulse with urgency.
He was easing Eönwë to lie back on the seat when the lessons of
adolescence took him by the back of the neck and shook until finally
his ears began to function again - and not a moment too soon.
Somewhere from within the house he heard a voice he knew only too
well saying, “…… been here before, young one. I can show myself up.
Out on the patio, you say?”
Instinct born of bitter experience took over. He disengaged from
Eönwë in a couple of swift, thorough moves, and even had the
foresight to hiss urgently, “Not one word to my foster father.”
The Maia’s hair was disheveled, his clothing less than impeccable
and he looked slightly dazed - as well he might, Gil-galad thought
wryly as he quickly tidied silver locks behind delicate ears and
shook out the fine silk robe to try and disguise a strategically
placed patch of moisture. He wasn’t a moment too soon. He had barely
retrieved his glass when footfalls sounded and Círdan stepped out
onto the candlelit patio.
Eönwë, unreadable, dipped his head in polite greeting, although he
made no immediate move to rise Gil-galad noticed with satisfaction.
“Lord Círdan,” he said evenly. “How pleasant.”
“Evening, Hîren.” Gil-galad raised his wineglass in salute. “Wasn’t
expecting you. I think we got all that business sorted out
satisfactorily?” he added, quirking a bland eyebrow at Eönwë.
The Maia nodded tranquilly. “It has been a most informative evening
thus far, Lord Círdan,” he declared, finally rising to his feet and
crossing to the table that held the wine decanters. “We have been
discussing cultural differences. Wine?”
“Singing, art, clothes, that kind of thing,” Gil-galad said a little
hastily. He had a gut feeling that it would be unwise to leave his
foster-father alone with the Maia, who was unpredictable enough to
say just about anything.
“Indeed,” Eönwë agreed with him. “All of those. It has been most –
His voice was once more cool and aloof. Nothing in his demeanour
hinted at the glorious, yielding creature Gil-galad had held in his
arms only a few minutes before.
Círdan looked from one to the other, sensing an atmosphere. He knew
that Gil-galad disliked the Herald, referring to him regularly as
stuck-up and arrogant. Probably the cultural discussion had provoked
a few tense moments; Eönwë had a tendency to patronise. “No wine for
me, thank you,” he demurred. “I stopped by to see if his majesty
would join me in a surprise inspection of one of the refurbished
military craft. You are quite welcome to join us, of course.”
Eönwë shook his head with faint pretense at regret. “Thank you Lord
Círdan, but no,” he responded. His eyes passed over Gil-galad
dispassionately. “I think I will enjoy a final glass of this quite
interesting wine, and consider what I have just learned about local
pastimes. His majesty has given me much to think on.”
The following morning when he was fully sober, Gil-galad was still
unsure if it had been a trick of the light, or if the
severely-carved mouth had really twitched with the hint of a smile.
Beta: Red Lasbelin