Erestor was unusually excited. Glorfindel hated when this happened, because it meant someone -- usually Glorfindel himself -- was in for some sort of bodily harm. Elrond’s Chief Counselor had some unusual hobbies.
Glorfindel was, regrettably, reminded of the occasion on which Erestor had been convinced that some sort of device could be invented that would make an Elf capable of flight. He’d seen the drawings, the models, the final product, and the end of THAT experiment had resulted in a broken leg for Glorfindel, removing him from heavy duty for a year. He was not eager to repeat the experience, even as several others sprang to mind:
‘I’m certain that if the wind is just right, that this will act as a balloon…’
That one had led to Glorfindel burning off most of his hair.
‘You see, all I need is a sort of wheel…’
‘According to the migratory habits…’
‘With the proper lenses, we could …’
‘All it takes is a little skill. See?’
… a black eye.
And the mental list could go on.
It was beyond him both how Erestor constantly avoided injury and how Glorfindel constantly let the Elf talk him into these things.
“What is it this time?”
Glorfindel’s lack of enthusiasm did nothing to dull Erestor’s gusto.
“Look at this!” Erestor proclaimed with a great deal more animation than he ever displayed during councils, and Glorfindel found a sheet of parchment thrust into his face so close that he went cross-eyed.
He gingerly plucked the paper from Erestor’s ink-stained hand to examine a strange chart. There was a list of names, and beside each name, a row of ten smudges. “What is it?” Glorfindel grumpily asked.
“Come see!” Erestor grabbed the paper back, smacked it down on the table, and scratched Glorfindel’s name, misspelled, into the column with a beat-up quill all chewed at the end. He dragged forward a shallow bowl with a sponge in it. The sponge was soaked in ink.
Erestor grabbed Glorfindel’s hand.
Glorfindel was embarrassed at his physical reaction, and shifted sideways just a bit. But, as usual, he let Erestor manipulate him. ‘Ah,’ spoke up that nasty voice at the back of Glorfindel’s mind, ‘THAT’S why you let yourself get dragged into these things . . .’
Erestor’s fingers, black from the ink, entwined hopelessly with Glorfindel’s. Erestor did not seem to notice the intimacy of the position. He pushed Glorfindel’s thumb onto the sponge, and then rolled it across the paper beside his name. The process was repeated with the next four fingers as Erestor babbled. “See, I have this theory!” Glorfindel shuddered at the number of times he’d heard THAT one. “Have you ever looked at the pads of your fingers? REALLY looked? There are all these little swirls in the skin, and they’re patterned, and I thought, each of my fingers is different! Well, not everyone would have the same patterns, would they? So, I went around . . .”
Before Glorfindel even thought to stop him, Erestor released the first hand and reached for the other. He was just extending their joined hands toward the bowl when it happened.
Glorfindel was pushed up distressingly close to Erestor’s side and there was no way now to hide the fact that he was sorely aroused.
Apparently, he did notice some things.
“Uh,” Glorfindel said. He backed away and jerked his hand out of Erestor’s grasp. “I can do the rest myself.” Focusing solely on what he was doing, Glorfindel pressed each of his clean fingers into the damp sponge and dutifully completed his part of the chart. He stared at it a moment and then mumbled, “I ought to wash my hands.” He knew he was blushing. He HATED when he did that. He turned to leave.
Erestor scurried about in front of him, blocking the path between the shelves.
Brown eyes were curiously wide. The joy of his experiment had evaporated and Erestor was wearing That Look. Glorfindel hated That Look. It was the Look Erestor had on his face at the beginning of every meeting he’d ever sat through. It was too thoughtful. Too calculated. Too emotionless.
“I need to wash my--”
Erestor reached up to caress Glorfindel’s cheek. “I didn’t know,” he said.
“Yes. That was sort of the p--”
“Why didn’t you tell me? Is it just . . . physical, then?”
“Uh, Erestor, we’re in the library; do you really think--”
“Everyone knows I’m here experimenting. They won’t come within a furlong of this place if they can help it.”
“Are you going to let me finish a simple sente--”
“No. Answer my question.”
“Is it physical? YES. Is it more than that? . . . yes.”
“Oh.” Erestor continued to lightly brush his fingers along the strong jaw, as though he could read something from Glorfindel’s very skin.
Glorfindel jerked his head away.
Erestor clamped both of his hands to Glorfindel’s head and pulled him forward.
It was a bit abrupt, but Glorfindel went with it.
Erestor was a very sloppy kisser, and Glorfindel couldn’t help but laugh. He lightly batted Erestor’s hands away to frame the Counselor’s face in his own large hands and steady the kiss into something both slower and sleeker.
Erestor moaned wantonly. Glorfindel pulled back and looked down at him with surprise. “What did you kiss me for?”
“I was curious.”
“Glorfindel. Are you busy tonight?”
“You wanna go for a walk later?”
They looked at one another, both of their beautiful faces smeared in the ink stains of love-lingering fingers.
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