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It’s late in the evening when Lindir finally returns to Elrond’s office, having spent the better part of the day restoring Imladris to its former glory. Although Elrond wouldn’t say so aloud, privately, he does realize that the dwarves, now repeat customers of his home’s hospitality, have put a strain on things. The seven of them finally departed in the morning, after eight nights of long, loud commotions, and there is much to clean up in their wake. Elrond trusts it all to Lindir. He doesn’t need to check on things personally to know that Lindir’s done a splendid job. At the end of it all, Lindir enters with an air of exhausted relief. His normally crisp robes are crinkled and flaked in little particles of dust, his brown hair is fraying in odd places, and his shoulders slump. But his eyes are bright, his face distracted.

He bustles about the neatly ordered space to check the inventory scrolls rolled out on the far table. Elrond, perched at his desk in the midst of a long letter, looks up to observe his helpful attendant. Lindir always runs himself ragged with large groups of guests, but he comes out of it with a sense of satisfaction. There’s something a little off in his step this time, and that prompts Elrond to ask, “Is everything alright, my Lindir?”

Lindir nearly jumps. That shows how distant his mind must be—usually, Lindir is aware of Elrond above all else.

When Lindir looks back towards the desk, Elrond sees the pink flush across his cheeks. That doesn’t ring any alarm bells for Elrond: Lindir is prone to such flustered reactions. After a few failed attempts at speech, Lindir sighs, “I... received a gift from our departing guests, my lord.”

Elrond can feel himself smiling with pride. “How kind of them. And I am pleased to hear you have left such a strong and positive impression as to warrant that. Was it something made here, or did they plan this since their last visit?”

Again, Lindir flounders a moment before deducing, “It seems they brought it with them, remembering me from their past visits. But...” Elrond patiently waits until Lindir finishes in a small voice: “They are dwarves.”

Elrond waits a little longer, then has to prod: “And?”

Lindir bites his bottom lip. He always looks particularly cute when he worries it that way. His eyes divert, and Elrond has to resume the conversation for them. “Did you like this gift?”

“I... well, I am considering using it, but... but they are dwarves, and... it...”

Although Elrond tries to treat all his guests with equal acceptance, he does understand Lindir’s trouble. Lindir is an incredibly tidy, proper creature, and it clearly distresses him when guests are obnoxious and inappropriate, as dwarves are wont to be. It doesn’t matter that they’re from another culture—Lindir’s always scandalized when anyone storms through the gardens naked, trampling innocent flowers and bellowing bawdy songs. Lindir’s simply too gentle for such wanton behaviour.

Nevertheless, Elrond would have him learn acceptance too. So Elrond softly says, “It would please me if you were to use it, Lindir.”

Lindir hesitates. But he’s never once defied his lord, and he doesn’t start now. He nods. Elrond decides that’s enough trouble for one day and adds, “Perhaps it is time we retire for the night. I am almost finished here, and then I will rest. I think you should do the same.”

Lindir’s nod becomes a bow, a deep, low thing that’s entirely unnecessary. Elrond doesn’t require formal niceties from the elves that he’s closest to, but Lindir is the sort to observe every tradition regardless of relationships. When he rises, he turns to leave, though he pauses at the door.

He looks back to quietly asks, “Might I see you tonight, my lord?”

“Of course. I am always at your disposal.” He doesn’t add that Lindir will have to catch him soon before he sleeps, because Lindir must know that. Lindir offers a wavering smile and disappears through the doorframe.

Elrond is left in peaceful silence. The windows in his office look out over the dark sky and iridescent gardens, soundless save for the stir of insects and the occasional call of a bird. The minstrels and guests seem to have all beaten him to bed. Elrond pours his concentration back into his letter. It’s been some time since his last communication with Galadriel, and he has much to tell her.

It’s some time before he finishes, but when he does, he packs it away to be sent out tomorrow. There’s no need to pack up much else, as even in the rush of a large departure, Lindir has kept the space well organized. Elrond has only to blow out the candles.

He walks through the empty halls, feet growing heavier with each step. It’s been a long day, and he’s looking forward to sleep. He climbs the last winding staircase and reaches his chambers.

Inside, he falters, then closes the door behind him and paces towards the bed.

Lindir is sitting there, dressed in the most improper garment Elrond’s ever seen.

For all intents and purposes, Lindir’s naked. Nothing is truly covered, though thin and sheer scraps of fabric try to obscure certain areas, all without success. In place of robes, he’s wearing a tiny camisole—the sort of thing a hobbit or a Man might wear on a hot day, except that it doesn’t have any sleeves, only two miniscule pink straps, and the fabric is so lean that Elrond can see right through it. It falls flat over Lindir’s breast, highlighting the colour of his rosy nipples underneath. Below it lies a belt of fabric that’s connected via ribbon to long stockings that reach from thigh to toe, tightly hugging his legs. A petite V of lacey material sits between them, just barely covering the hump of his cock. Elrond can see the imprint of it, can see the dark hair peaking out above it and the way the fabric can’t quite reach to fit flush against his skin. The final tough is a pink bow in Lindir’s hair, just drawing a few strands together at the back, while the rest spills down his bare shoulders. He looks up at Elrond with large eyes and a hopeful, nervous expression.

Elrond is too enchanted to speak. Lindir does so first, tentatively offering, “I... hope this is not too forward, my lord...” His cheeks are nearly as red as his ‘clothes’, which only adds to the vision. “It... is not really my style, but, ah... I will admit, the craftsmanship is not poor. And, I thought, perhaps...”

He trails off, and Elrond cuts in, “You look beautiful.” The words come out breathless. Lindir blossoms in relief. “Is this the gift...?”

Lindir nods. Elrond steps closer, staring unabashedly. He examines every detail—the way it all clings to Lindir’s trim form, highlighting his peach skin and slender not-quite-curves. Elrond can see each rise and fall of his chest, and the way his nipples push against the top. The stockings dig into Lindir’s thighs, making the flesh above those indents slightly bulge around them: particularly ripe and juicy. Elrond wants to sink his fingers into Lindir’s bare skin and pull Lindir closer.

Lindir murmurs, “My lord...?”

“I apologize, my Lindir. I cannot stop looking.”

Lindir drops his gaze, smiling. Elrond takes the last few steps towards him and curls a few fingers beneath his chin, tilting him up for a kiss. Lindir mewls and leans into it. Elrond savours the touch, and when he pulls away, Lindir whimpers and tries to press forward.

Elrond steps out of reach and admits, “I am torn now. I am glad to see you enjoying your present... but I feel badly, because I wish to tear it away.”

A noticeable shiver runs through Lindir’s body. “This outfit was my gift, my lord. But I am yours, and you are welcome to unwrap and claim that anytime that you should like.”

Elrond can accept that. He takes Lindir in a longer, much deeper kiss, filling Lindir up with his tongue as he slips an arm around Lindir’s waist. He only stops long enough to hike Lindir up along the bed, taking him right to the headboard and laying him down in the pillows. Lindir dazedly grins and opens his arms wide.

Elrond peels away his own outer robes, then sinks into Lindir’s embrace, ready to unwrap the one he loves.