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lime & salt upon our souls

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The night air is crisp and clear. Goosebumps crawl over Legolas' arms as he walks through the dimly lit streets. The pavement shimmers in a steely wet grey from the rain earlier that evening. His steps are heavy, the Doc Martens' weights pulling him down. Quietly he curses under his breath and pulls his blazer tighter around his shoulders. In the shop mirrors he watches his silhouette, the cranky angles of his shoulders. He might be scrawny but at least he is tall, though not as tall as his father. He brushes aside the thought with a wave of his hand. Turns the corner.

 

Before him stands a building of glass and steel, clean cut modern Bauhaus style. Dark purple lights glim in the polished windows of the higher floors and the sound of a low beat pulses in the night. Legolas purses his lips and approaches. In front of the doors two bulky bouncers in black jackets and caps suck on their cheap cigarettes. Grey smoke drifts from the tips of their fags.

One of the bouncers huffs out a laugh that sounds more like the bark of a pit bull.

“Piss off you little shit,” the other one snorts.

Legolas rolls his eyes and takes out a fifty pound note and with a forced smile holds it out to the one who had laughed before.

“Rich kid, huh? Still, ain't no way you getting' in.”

“My father is in there,” Legolas says and gnashes his teeth, “He's always on the guest list and someone you don't wanna fuck with. So you better take my money.” He knows exactly how ridiculous he sounds.

“Yeah, sure. Now fuck off.”

“Name is Thranduil. Look it up, bitch,” Legolas says and before one of them can stop him he slips in in one fluid motion, avoiding both the bouncers. The lift around the corner just opens up—he makes a run for it. It closes before the bouncers can get to him. There's some shouting then silence.

 

“Pricks,” he says and folds the fifty pound note back into his purse. Next to him stands a man in a suit, from the looks of it it's Hugo Boss. Legolas owns a few himself. Not that he'd ever wear them. The man frowns at him. Legolas cocks an eyebrow.

God, how he hates these people. Business men. Bankers. Politicians. Lawyers. Just like his father. And if he hadn't forgotten his key at home he would not have to walk into this club and look for him. As if it hadn't been humiliating enough to talk to these bouncers, no, he will have to carry the whole boatload of condescending looks from these coke-heads here.

With a quiet bling the lift doors open. Legolas strides out and into the next room. A heavy metal door shuts out the hypnotic techno beat. Before the man from the lift can get a foot in, Legolas lets the door fall shut behind him.

 

Black light and laser rays. Yes, these establishments are so classy. Legolas takes off his blazer and stuffs it into his backpack, he slings it over one shoulder and takes a look around. Better search for the fucking VIP area at once. A quick glance at his iphone tells him it's half past three. Best time to get busted. Great. If his father is on XTC again he will fucking kill someone.

The club is filled but not cramped. The average thirty to sixty year old rich men are accompanied by a whole lotta whores. Legolas starts humming Led Zeppelin against the penetrating, bone grinding techno beat.

It takes him some fifteen minutes of walking around, ascending to the next floor of filthy-rich debauchery to find Thranduil. Legolas swallows. He feels very much in need of a drink himself.

 

He is never sure what to think of his father. They don't see each other often, eventhough he still lives with him during holidays when he comes home from boarding school. But even then Thranduil is rarely present. Usually he just leaves him an envelope full with hundred pound notes on the top counter in the kitchen. So he takes the money and spends it any way he likes. He buys records and clothes, occasionally books and a shitload of alcohol. He's doing OK in school now, so there is really no reason to talk to each other. Fair enough, Legolas thinks, he doesn't need a fucking drug addict as a father anyway. He has a few teachers who've taken him under their wing and they are more family than Thranduil ever was.

They don't talk about his mother.

 

All in all, life could be worse. Legolas is long past caring. He left his hysterical and depressing phases with his teens. Now he's half a year from finishing school and then he can go anywhere to uni where he likes. Maybe Paris or Berlin. Then he won't have to see Thranduil again; and he'd receive the money directly on his bank account.

 

When he finds Thranduil he hesitates. Thranduil is leaning back on a heavy armchair, his eyes closed and his head tilted to the side. His beige Burberry trench coat hangs loosely around his shoulders. The first few buttons of his white shirt are opened and reveal his gently curved, long neck. Over his shoulders his hair spills; champagne-coloured strands, dishevelled and in disarray. A few fall over his eyes, pale streaks over the blackness of his lashes. The picture of a modern god, yet a creature of old—and he is drunk on debauchery. Legolas stands there and feels his own heartbeat. There is a coldness at the back of his spine, a quiet sense of doom spreading through his veins.

For a moment Legolas only stares, wondering how he came to be and imagines enormous, wrinkled hands, strong and calloused but with clean nails forming earthly-brown clay into the shape of Thranduil's ivory body. So tall, so fluid the line of his shoulders leading into long arms, delicate the curve of his wrists. Thranduil lies in the chair like someone flung a coat of silk on it, the movement so loud in its stillness.

 

Then his eyes flatter open. Legolas moves in. Thranduil's looks at him, his pupils are dilated. Legolas finds himself sucking in a shuddering breath.

“My sweet,” Thranduil purrs, Legolas can hear it from the way his lips move. And he sees the sarcasm in the lines of his eyes in his shifting skin as he smiles. The next moment Thranduil stands before him, blocking out one of the bigger lights that had been piercing his eyes. In the new twilight the stretch of his lips and the sliver of teeth let a shiver run down his spine. There is alcohol in his breath and there is smoke.

 

“I forgot my key,” he says without moving. Thranduil steps closer.

“Well what a shame.” Thranduil's voice is smooth and dark.

“I have to get up early tomorrow,” Legolas says.

“Is that so?” Thranduil inclines his head, smiling. There is such careless arrogance in the movement, Legolas wants to throw a punch. Wants his fist to connect with these high cheekbones. He looks to the side, maybe Thranduil has brought a bag, because if he has he will simply take the key. But there is no bag, just Thranduil's smile and the pockets of his trench-coat. Without thinking Legolas steps forward and slips his hands in the pockets on either side. Above him Thranduil's laughter sounds delighted. Then there are Thranduil's hands framing his face. He wears rings and they are cool against his skin. Warm lips press against his cheek, the grip of Thranduil's hands tightens, then his lips wander to his ear.

 

“Lets have tequila,” Thranduil murmurs. His breath is hot and moist against Legolas' skin. “Then I will give you the key.”

With his hands against Thranduil's chest he pushes him away, eyes wide, heart racing. Thranduil smirks. For fuck's sake.

“OK,” he stutters. Because what else is he supposed to say? Anger boils in his stomach, he wants to wipe away the traces of Thranduil's mouth on his skin, but he won't show him, won't grant him this victory. So he only clenches his fists and feels the comforting pain of his nails digging into the skin of his palms. Thranduil tuts lowly, then he cups Legolas' chin loosely with his thumb and his index-finger. “Mhm, so grim my beautiful child,” he stretches the words in a sultry drawl.

Legolas trembles as he tears away his head, nearly falling over somebody's feet. The man just wants to say something as Thranduil steps closer, cutting him off with violence in his gaze, then takes Legolas' hand and pulls him towards the bar. Against his will, Legolas clutches Thranduil's hand. A picture of his childhood flashes before his eyes. Thranduil taking his hand when he walked him to kindergarten for the first time, Legolas crying.

 

Then they have elbowed their way to the bar counter and Thranduil holds up index and middle finger as he orders two double shots of tequila. The bartender puts the shots at the counter along with two slices of lime on the rim of the glasses. Thranduil pays and takes the salt shaker to the right of him.

 

Before Legolas can say another word, his father is crouched over him, long fingers sliding away the collar of his shirt, then hot breath, a hot, wet tongue licking over his collarbone.

“What are you d—” Thranduil's gaze shuts him up along with a hand at the nape of his neck, grabbing his hair and pulling his head back. The skin of his head burns. The image of Thranduil's pale, cold eyes has left an imprint behind his eyelids. So much want, raw and ravenous was in his stare, such hellish fires. And Legolas feels like he is breathing the flames.

 

Adrenaline shoots through his veins, prickles in his stomach as he watches how Thranduil downs the shot, then bends down, sprinkles salt on his moist skin and licks it off immediately. His lips closing over his skin, sucking. Heat throbs through his body. He twists his fingers in Thranduil's shirt. Then Thranduil moves back, bites the lime. It's his turn. He does not think. He pushes Thranduil's chin up with his flat hand and licks over his throat. Smears the salt over his Adam's apple. Downs the shot. The tequila bites and burns, he takes the lime, sucks its bitter juice, moves up to his toes, licks over Thranduil's throat again. There's still a hand in his hair, he feels the heat of Thranduil's body against his, his thigh brushing against his middle. With a step he separates their bodies. Terror claws at his vision, heat gorges on his body, feasts on him. His tongue prickles, disgust and desire cauterising into his lungs.

 

“The key,” he says, voice rough, sharpened by dread.

Thranduil is breathing heavily, lips slightly open. His gaze is like the voice of the devil.

“The key!” It seems his father wants to say something, but he does not. He just slides his hand into an pocket inside his trench-coat and produces a set of keys. Without further ado Legolas plucks them from his fingers. He wants to turn around and go, but then he is seized by his shirt and drawn in.

“Leave the door unlocked,” Thranduil breathes into his ear. Legolas doesn't answer, just nods and rips himself away.

 

Then he is on his way out, vision blurring, heart beating like a war drum in Pandemonium. He does not understand what just happened. He does not understand what they just did. And he does not want to.

He takes the stairs, not the lift, needs the movement, he can not stand still now. When he finally reaches the end of the stairs, he takes a careful glance around the corner, looking for the bouncers. With trembling fingers he pulls his hair into a bun, pulls his blazer out of his backpack, throwing it over his shoulders, then he pulls his sunglasses and slides them on. Outside the sun is coming up. The bouncers are talking, so he walks out quickly, taking the next corner. Don't think. Just walk.

 

With quick strides he takes the way to the night-buses, one hand still clutched around the key, the other over his mouth. The taste of the tequila still burns on his tongue.