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Flames Of Eternity

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Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

-Winston Churchill

 

~ ~ ~

 

Hidden Folk, Hidden Places

 

Adelaide, Australia
December 2020

Megadeth and Metallica Kim-Jonsson were having their thrice-weekly piano lessons. Alinta Jonsson smiled as she watched from the doorway to the rec room, once again glad that she'd found a cool teacher who not only didn't bat an eyelash at the fraternal twins being mixed-race, but was teaching them to play pop and rock as well as classical pieces. Her son and daughter were only six but gifted.

Very gifted.

"Thanks for coming, Jer," Ali said as Jeremy Hogan was packing up.

"Ah, you're welcome. Your kids are always a delight." The deeply tanned aging hippie grinned, and affectionately tousled the kids' mullets as they hugged his waist.

Ali tousled Jer's long grey hair then and slapped him on the shoulder. She gave him his usual fee for the session and then an extra few bucks as a tip.

"Oh no, you don't need to -"

"No, I insist." Ali looked through the sliding glass doors out at the patio, where her boyfriend Kenny Kim was setting up the grill. "Actually, you want to stay for dinner, and drinks?"

That was what he did. Ali was a moderate drinker - painfully aware of what alcohol had done to much of the Aboriginal side of her family - but one mojito was nice on a warm summer day like this. The kids played on the floor as the three grownups watched telly, and then Megadeth and Metallica wanted to go outside and kick a ball around so Ali stepped out with them, leaving Kenny and Jer to their mojitos.

Then Kenny slid open the door and leaned, folding his arms. "Hey, Ali... there's some Icelandic dude on the news. You might wanna come see this."

Ali raised an eyebrow. First, at Kenny's use of "dude" - the Korean-American had lived in Australia for twelve years now and still hadn't completely adopted Australian vocabulary, though he sounded more Aussie than California these days. Second, that some random Icelandic person would be of interest, even though it was her father's home country and it was a small enough place to assume that everyone sort of knew everyone. Ali had never been to her father's homeland, though it was on her bucket list.

Ali came in anyway, as Metallica and Megadeth continued to kick the ball around.

"The scientific community remains in shock following the mysterious disappearance of the thirty-six-year-old astrophysicist Dagnýr Sigurdsson, his husband, and their two daughters..."

There was a photo of Dagnýr, boy-next-door look, short dark hair, grey eyes like hers, dimples when he smiled. His husband, who the text strip with the newscast identified as Matt, was unfortunate-looking - big ears, messy dyed platinum blonde hair, thick glasses, kind of a funny face - but they were cute together in their happiness, and cuter in the picture of them holding their babies.

One of the babies had dark hair, one had red hair.

"Canadian authorities are still investigating all possible leads..."

Ali's heart started hammering. She remembered her haul for Apollyon Enterprises earlier in the month, picking up "three cunts" at Uluru, not told that they would also have two babies who, as it turned out, had dark hair and red hair like in the photo. Baby girls, and it was girls who'd gone missing. It had been Protocol Delta - top-secret, not to be discussed with anyone outside her boss, no names given for her passengers, no interaction allowed beyond basic instructions to the passengers on a needed basis only such as giving travel itinerary, and they were dropped off at a warehouse at the end of the trip; Ali had somewhat broken protocol to help comfort the girls when they were crying, and one of the three men had an unusual accent, though he didn't look like the man in the picture apart from also having dark hair, but his was shoulder-length and curly. 

Even with the limited information Ali had about them and their situation, she had figured out they were on the run from something, though she'd assumed refugees, maybe, and now...

A flash of memory. Her father, Böðvar Jónsson, showing a much smaller, precocious version of her a picture of his eldest sister Brynhildur, at her marriage to a man named Sigurd. The very briefest mention, once upon a time, "you've got cousins back in Iceland but their guardians -"  apparently Brynhildur and Sigurd were both dead - "won't let me talk to them 'cos I married a black lady."

That had to be a coincidence, right? That there was some bloke with the patronymic of Sigurdsson, who had two babies who bore a resemblance to the two babies that were in her truck earlier this month?

Ali's twenty-seven years of life had taught her there were very few actual coincidences.

There was another picture of Dagnýr on the screen now, from when he was a student at Oxford, maybe 19-20 years old, hair to his shoulders, curly. Like the hair of the man with the weird Scandi-sounding accent in the truck.

"You all right, babe?" Kenny noticed.

"Yeh, ta." Ali got up. "Would you excuse me for just a few minutes?"

She went to their bedroom, where her cell phone was on its charger. She waved her hand and the phone flew off its charger into her hand. She pulled up her contacts and her father's number. Calling her father would be a crapshoot, since he lived on a sheep farm in the middle of nowhere in South Australia and eschewed a lot of modern technology, only having a cell because his kids made him - he didn't even have Internet, his knowledge of anything online came from what his kids told him - and he didn't always have his phone on, or charged, but she had to try.

One ring. Two. She pushed hard into her father's mind, even though she knew it would give her a headache later. Pick up the sodding phone, Da.

Three. Four. Five. Pick up. Pick up... Ali rubbed her dreadlocks, feeling ready to explode.

"Possum?"

"Da."

"Possum! Hey!" A soft chuckle. Then, "Are you all right? 'Cos you don't normally scream into my head..."

"Yeh. Uh. Da. Ha ha..." She ran a nervous hand through her locks again and sat at the edge of the bed. "This is gonna be a really strange and random question, but just. Like. Answer it, if you don't mind."

"42."

"Da, I swear to fucking god."

"I'm sorry."

"No, you're not sorry, and don't do this shit to me on a Thursday." A pause. "I could never get the hang of Thursdays."

They had a little laugh over that, and then Böðvar said, "What is it, possum."

"You said, once upon a time... god, how old was I then, five or six? That I had cousins in Iceland."

A long pause. "Jæja, you do. Why, one of them try to look you up on the Headbook or something...?"

"It's Facebook, and no, 'cos you said that you weren't allowed to talk to them, 'cos of Mum, you know, being black."

A sigh. "Já."

"Yeh. I don't think they even know I exist...?"

"Shit, probably not."

"Well... we're adults now, they don't have their guardians in the way, so... what are their names? Do you remember?"

"I don't, but I have a picture of them when they were wee, it's got their names on it, if you hold on for just a sec..."

"A sec" turned out to be five minutes, and Ali snickered as she heard Böðvar yelling at their sheepdog in the background. "AULI, YOU CUTE LITTLE ARSEHOLE, WHERE DID YOU HIDE MY SLIPPERS THIS TIME?"

And then at last Böðvar was back on the phone. "OK possum. They're Magnús, Sören, and Dagnýr."

Shit. "...Dagnýr."

"Já, Dagnýr."

"Dagnýr Sigurdsson?"

"Jæja."

"About mid thirties or so?"

"It's got their birthdates on the photo aaaand he and Sören were born in '84. They're twins. Fraternal."

"Kayyyyyyyyyyy." Fuck. Fuck. FUCK. "Ta, Da. I'll... talk to you again soon, OK?"

"OK. Hope finding your cousins goes well, possum."

Of course he wouldn't know, since he rarely watched telly - Böðvar read a lot of books, constantly, something he'd instilled in his children. She wondered if her mum would tell him, since Medika did watch telly, though typically avoided the news because "it's always sad things". Both her parents were gifted, which was a big reason why they fell in love when they met three decades ago; they were both powerful empaths, and the news tended to make her mum cry.

Ali hit "End" and let out a deep sigh. "Fuck. Fucking fuck, bloody fucking hell..."

She let the phone float back to where it had been sitting on the dresser, and then she waved her hand and the dresser drawer underneath it opened. She closed her eyes and opened them as the sketchpad that the one with the heavy accent had accidentally left in her truck. It had really been bothering her that she hadn't been able to return this, as Protocol Delta had given no names, no contact info. She'd brought them from Uluru to Sydney, which was one hell of a drive, and she assumed they were somewhere there, maybe.

I need to find them. I need to find him.

A pillow hit her in the bum. She whirled around and watched as the pillow floated into Kenny's waiting hands.

"Ali, what's going on?" Kenny put a hand on his hips. "And don't tell me nothing, Alinta." Because we both know it's not nothing.

"That missing scientist we saw on telly is my cousin."

"What?" Kenny's eyebrows shot up. "What the -"

"OK, listen, Kenny? Don't say shit. To anyone. I think I know something but I'm not sure what I know, I only know that the little bit of it is bad -"

"OK, so maybe you should call a hotline -"

"I fucking can't." Ali vehemently shook her head. "This is..." She took a deep breath. "Something's going on, I don't know what, and I can't tell you the little bit of what I do know about it, I'm sorry, but calling a hotline, telling the government, it just." She took a deep breath. "Might make things worse. It's a gut feeling, but my gut is rarely ever wrong."

"Yeah." Kenny nodded. "I know." He frowned. "What are you going to do?"

"I don't know. I don't fucking know."

He gestured with his head at the sketch pad. "What you got there?" He held out his hand and the pad sailed across the room over to him. He started flipping through it. "Oh holy fucking shit, Ali, there's even a fucking sketch of him."

"What?" Ali hadn't looked beyond the first few pages, feeling like she was intruding on something deeply personal.

There it was. A colored pencil sketch of Dagnýr Sigurdsson, who she'd seen for all of two minutes on telly but his face was stuck in her head now. He was dressed like a wizard, summoning a giant serpent. A serpent that looked like it was made of space, its scales all rainbow galaxies and nebulas, with starry voids in between. Eyes of fire. The date "2008" was scrawled in the corner, with a strange runic-looking symbol that she guessed was a signature.

That was one of my cousins in the truck, and he has his brother's kids. She closed her eyes and she could almost see it. Some geezer bloke, like Jer but with longer hair and a longer beard and taller, handing the babies over."Keep them safe. Keep yourselves safe. Good luck."

Then the feeling like she was being SHOVED, enough that she had to lean against the bed to hold herself steady. The mental image of a door slamming and the same accented voice from the truck: Don't you EVER fucking do that again.

Ali could smell fire, but nothing was on fire. Then the smell was gone.

That did nothing to deter her resolve to find him. If anything, it made it stronger. He's like me. Her heart was racing again. He's like me...

"We've got elf blood, you know. It's magic." A memory of Böðvar after a few beers, watching the sunset. "Yer mum, she said she saw it when we met."

Ali had always thought he was joshing, the same way he liked to joke about wrestling polar bears back in Iceland and - on his rare trips out into civilization - enjoyed taking the piss out of American tourists by pretending he was Steve Irwin, but the memory gave her a chill now, remembering again the bloke in the truck with the long, long black hair and silver eyes, the beautiful voice, where Ali's first impression was He's not human. He was alive during the Dreamtime, followed by I know him, somehow. Somewhen.

And of course, she'd dismissed it as crazy fucking shit, even though she'd learned over the years that her impressions were rarely wrong.

Ali pinched the bridge of her nose. I have no idea how to even start. She had a feeling that if the one with the weird accent was her cousin ("IF", she thought to herself, seeing quotation marks), and he was on the run for something connected to his brother's disappearance, he would be using an assumed identity.

It occurred to her then there was probably someone in Apollyon Enterprises who did know, and she would be risking her job if she went digging, because that in and of itself was a violation of Protocol Delta, never mind the ways she'd already violated the protocol just by interacting with the people she was transporting. She was the breadwinner, Kenny was mostly a stay-at-home dad with the occasional photography job that didn't pay much, and if she got fired from her job times would be rough for awhile.

Not to mention that whatever was happening was probably dangerous. If her cousin Dagnýr was taken by god-knows-who and one of her other cousins had to go on the run and take the kids, well... that was some pretty heavy shit. They had run afoul of some bad people, clearly, and she would potentially be putting herself and her boyfriend and kids in danger for family she didn't even know.

And yet, she remembered the haunted look in those brown eyes, the thousand-yard stare, the feeling of utter defeat and hopelessness rolling off him and his companions (lovers?). She had family in trouble, who felt lost and alone in the world.

Family that had been stolen from her.

Let me see what I can dig up without getting sacked. But that could wait, as Kenny was dragging her out of the bedroom now, to where Metallica and Megadeth were waiting to be read their nightly bedtime story.


_


Akureyri, Iceland
September 2020

It was Tuesday the twenty-second, but not any typical Tuesday. Sören and Maglor had their usual classes at Logifugl Listaskóli, the studio Sören owned - Sören taught art classes and Maglor taught music - but today was Sören's two-year wedding anniversary with Dooku, and the one-year anniversary of Sören, Maglor, and Dooku's triad handfasting, performed in Scotland by Sören's aunts Gitta and Jane.

Gitta and Jane, who were now immortal, as they were, but while Sören, Maglor and Dooku still had a few years left in Iceland before people would start wondering why Dooku was approaching eighty and "Alejandro" turning "fifty" and not aging, Jane's terminal cancer had been healed by Vanimórë's blood and Gitta and Jane had to leave their bed-and-breakfast in Scotland to not cause a stir; Sören's cousin Ari - on the other side of his family - was now running it. Charlie Audley, the family's "guardian angel" in MI6, had arranged a fake death for the two women, and once a month or so Sören got a call from Gitta's new number.

Today, as Sören and Maglor were pulling in front of their three-bedroom house, they saw a drone fly over the backyard, meaning a drop from Charlie's department. There was a package, which they started opening once they got inside - it was gift-wrapped.

Right then, Sören's phone went off.

"Sören!" It was Gitta's voice. "Happy anniversary!"

"Awwwww, you remembered!" Sören immediately felt like a dumbass for saying that.

"Well of course I did, I performed the ceremony. Did you get my present?"

"Oh... that's..." Sören looked at the gift-wrapped package. "That's what just arrived?"

"Yes, I asked our 'mutual friend' to make sure it got to you." That "mutual friend" was of course Charlie.

"We haven't opened it yet, we just got in..."

"Oh that's OK, I can't talk too long, we're about to go on our after-dinner walk on the beach."

Sören beamed. He'd received photos of Gitta and Jane a few months ago, where Jane was back to a healthy weight, the two of them living in Malta under assumed names. "You still in..."

"Malta? Yes. We'll be here for awhile, I think, before it's time to go again. It's so gorgeous here, you should visit sometime."

"Heh. Well, we may end up doing more than visit, you know, later." Sören still didn't like to think about that, even though he knew it was inevitable - Iceland would always be home. "We'll see where we end up." They still hadn't decided on where they'd move to next, since that was a ways off yet as far as they were concerned, and a sore spot.

"You'd love the food and all the gorgeous people. Alejandro would love the beaches. Dooku would love the culture and the history, most likely."

"I miss you, you know."

"I know. We miss you too. So think about coming to see us sometime soon-ish, OK?"

"I will. And takk, so much, for the anniversary gift. That was very thoughtful of you, whatever it was."

"You're welcome. Give your husbands my love. And love from Jane too."

"I will." When the phone call ended, Sören told Maglor, "That was Gitta -"

"I know." Maglor nodded. "Shall we open this?"

"Let's wait for Nico to get back."

Ion Nicolae Dooku was at the grocery store, and once he got inside he used the Force to move the bags into the kitchen, even though he was capable of carrying them himself, because he wanted to embrace both his husbands. And of course, their dog Huan and cat Snúdur - immortal like they were - came up then, not wanting to be left out of the pettings.

"We've got a package from Gitta and Jane," Sören said, feeling as excited as Huan looked. "Do we open it now or after dinner?"

"How about while dinner is cooking?" Dooku asked, and then he looked at Maglor. "Your assistance is required in the kitchen, Macalaurë."

Maglor raised an eyebrow, but grinned and followed Dooku into the kitchen. While they worked in the kitchen, Sören sat and sketched for awhile, with the cat and dog on either side of him on the couch.

When they'd gotten dinner started, Maglor and Dooku came back into the living room and Dooku carefully, neatly unwrapped the package.

"You're not just gonna rip it open?" Sören asked.

Dooku gave him a look. "I'm not a barbarian like you."

Maglor hissed, "Hells," under his breath just as Sören replied with, "Hi not a barbarian like you -"

Dooku used the Force to crumple the gift wrap he'd gone to such trouble to neatly pull off the box, and throw it at Sören.

"You walked into it," Maglor said.

"SILENCE."

Sören snorted.

Dooku cut open the box. There was a small photo album on top, which Sören used the Force to pull out and into his waiting hands. Then there was a beautiful wreath inside, resting on top of a crocheted blanket, with a note saying that Jane had made the wreath and Gitta had made the blanket.

The blanket went over the back of the couch, adding a nice homey touch to the living room, and went well with the sea colors of their decor. The wreath had seashells, driftwood, sea glass, and various dried flowers.

The photo album started with pictures of Gitta and Jane - the three men choked up to see them so happy, Jane glowing and healthy, looking far younger than her seventy-one years. They had a lovely little beachside cottage in Malta, a patio garden, and there were photos of the inside of their cottage, decorated much the same way their living space in the bed-and-breakfast manse had been. There were pictures of their elderly cats Picard, Riker, LaForge and Crusher - immortal like they were. Pictures of Gitta and Jane cuddling with the cats, cuddling with each other, Gitta being silly and Jane being dignified and serious at various places of historical and aesthetic interest in Malta.

"It's so nice to see them doing so well." Sören used the Force to bring over the box of tissues.

Once again, Sören felt a sharp pang. He'd had a close call with Gitta and Jane - after his parents died, he'd been raised by his father's sister Katrín and her husband Einar, and from what he'd been told years later Katrín and Einar had prohibited Gitta and Jane from being in contact with the children because they were lesbians. Their attempt at ensuring heteronormativity had backfired in the most spectacular way possible - the latest evidence of this being their own son Ari was engaged to be married to a man named Harrison. But it had robbed Sören, his twin brother Dagnýr, and their transgender sister Margrét of the support they'd needed growing up, grieving the loss of their parents. Sören vaguely remembered hearing about an uncle, his mother's youngest sibling, and wondered now what became of him. He'd assumed growing up that Gitta had not been in touch due to disinterest, and he'd learned that assumption was painfully wrong. But he couldn't be sure with his uncle, if he was even still alive. As many years as Einar had been dead, and Katrín had joined him in death in 2017, they still owned space in his head. You're worthless, a waste of space, nobody wants you. Gitta and Jane had wished they could have raised them - Sören often wondered how things would have been different if they did - but he couldn't guarantee the same warmth from his uncle.

At least he had Gitta and Jane. He'd almost lost them, getting to meet them just as Jane was dying of advanced cancer. Now neither of them would die. Someday, they might all live together. My moms.

In the meantime he had the closest thing he'd ever had to father figures, in his husbands. They sensed his ache and pulled him close between them and Sören reached out to touch both of them, admiring the two most beautiful men he'd ever laid eyes on. Dooku, a retired barrister of seventy-one, though he looked closer to late fifties or early sixties, sporting short silver hair and neatly trimmed silver beard, dark eyes, olive-skinned, six-five barefoot, a lean, muscular build that he kept trim through regular physical activity, a deep-voiced, elegant Englishman born to exiled Romanian nobility. Maglor... an Elf, though he had not known that at first. Closer to seven feet tall, dark hair to the middle of his back when glamoured, to his thighs when not, pale with the build of a soldier, pointy ears usually hidden by his hair, and the voice of an angel. 

Sören had met Dooku while he lived in London, at an exhibit of his art, and the two had instantly formed a connection, even though they were very opposite in personality. Dooku was the second love of Sören's life, the first being "Alejandro" who had left claiming he was in an arranged marriage, then had crashed back into Sören's life after he and Dooku were married to explain the truth. And they had become a triad. 

But the truth was more complicated than even Maglor had been aware of. Maglor was one of Sören's ancestors - his son Tindómion had lived in Iceland during the 1600s under the name Tindri Magnússon, burned as a witch. He'd had one issue, Finn Tindsson, a Lutheran preacher. And Sören himself had been an Elf in a past life, along with Dooku - the legendary Fëanor and Fingolfin, in an incestuous triad with Maglor, all consenting adults, in the First Age, which had ended in tragedy. Sören had reincarnated down his family line, with Dooku being born into a Romanian family that also had rumors of changeling lineage. They had been punished by the Valar, along with most of the House of Finwë. Maglor had not known who they were, initially - they themselves had not known, until all was revealed in August 2019 with the help of Gandalf, disguised as a human named Brian Proust, one of Dagnýr's colleagues at the University of Toronto.

The Doom had not been able to keep the three of them from re-aligning, and Vanimórë had come to make sure they could never be split apart again. Vanimórë had left for the Dagor Dagorath - Sören wondered if it had happened yet - but he had come from another universe and he could travel between them. Sören had seem glimpses into a few other worlds where Vanimórë was helping to fix things there, too.

Sören still missed Vanimórë, terribly. He couldn't think about the subject of immortality without thinking of the one who had given him immortality.

"Dinner's almost ready." Dooku planted a kiss on Sören's brow.

"Do you need my help...?" Maglor glanced at Dooku as he got up.

"Why don't you set things up like how I discussed with you in the kitchen?" Dooku was poker-faced, but Sören saw the glint of mischief in those dark eyes, and Dooku gave Sören a little smile before he ducked out.

"Hey Sören, go in the studio for a minute," Maglor said.

"Why? Whatcha doing?" Sören asked.

"Just... do it."

Sören blew a raspberry at him, but did as he was told, with Huan and Snúdur following behind him. Sören flomped onto the nest in the corner of the combination art and music room and the Icelandic sheepdog/Corgi mix climbed on top of him, lapping his face, and that was how Maglor found them a few moments later, smiling fondly.

Sören came out. They usually ate in the kitchen-dining area but the living room was set up with blankets and pillows spread in front of the fireplace, a fire going. It was a cool night and just starting to rain, so the fire was cozy. Candles were lit in frosted glass tealight holders on the fireplace mantle, except for the last one in the center. "You can do the honors," Maglor told him.

The last candle, in a stained glass tealight holder, was a memorial. There was a box of the ashes of Dooku's cat Dragos, who'd died of kidney failure in old age before Vanimórë had come along. There was a jar of dirt from the farm Tindómion had owned, where his ashes had been scattered. There was a small bottle of ashes, some of the remains of Claire James, a girl Sören had met and fallen in love with back in 2003, who had killed herself over the holidays in 2004. She had not just been some random crush, but there had been something fated about them meeting each other, and Sören knew he, Maglor, and Claire were together in other worlds, he'd seen it. In another interesting twist of fate, Sören had become friends with Claire's cousin Harrison, who was marrying his cousin Ari. Vanimórë had promised they would see Claire and Tindómion again, in France in 2047. But in the meantime, Sören missed Claire, and Maglor missed his son, and they took each other's hands as the flame danced in their memory.

Dooku brought out a tray. Sören clapped his hands excitedly like a big kid at the pot of fondue, and the things to dip in the fondue - pieces of French bread, bacon, grilled mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, roasted cauliflower and zucchini. There was wine to go with the fondue. As he set it down before the fire, Maglor started the stereo system, and Sören smiled as Anita Baker came on.

It was an entire playlist of sensual, romantic music - Marvin Gaye, Sade, Maxwell, Usher, D'Angelo, Toni Braxton, Jill Scott, The Weeknd.

They fed each other like newlywed lovers, dipping the bread and bacon and vegetables into the melted cheese and putting it in each other's mouths, licking and sucking cheese from each other's fingers, stealing kisses between rounds at the fondue pot.

But there were also moments of comedy, with Huan and Snúdur coming over to beg. Huan eventually stole a piece of bacon, running off with it. Exasperated, Dooku threw a piece of bacon across the living room for Snúdur to catch, and Snúdur dragged his "prey" off and left them alone.

When the fondue and its accompaniments were polished off, they cuddled up together with wine, watching the fire. Sören was already horny, and feeling warm.

Warm and horny enough that when Dooku and Maglor went into the kitchen to take care of dishes and bring out dessert, Sören stripped, and they came back to find him looking like dessert, naked and fully erect, propped up on one elbow.

Dessert was chocolate fondue with fresh fruit to dip in the chocolate, and Dooku and Maglor decided to follow Sören's lead and also get naked. Sören "accidentally" spilled chocolate on himself and Maglor cleaned it with his tongue, and soon Maglor and Dooku were eating chocolate and fruit off Sören's naked body, then Sören and Dooku eating off Maglor, and Maglor and Sören eating off Dooku, and then just grooming his silver pelt of chest hair with their tongues, nuzzling it, rubbing it. The fruit was gone before the chocolate fondue, and they poured the rest of the pot over themselves, taking turns licking each other clean. All three were erect now, and when the chocolate was gone they licked spilled wine from each other's bodies, at last taking turns kissing as they got in a position to rub their three cocks together, stroke them together.

Licking each other all over had set the mood for a similar yet different kind of fun. After kissing and teasing each other's cocks for awhile, they assembled - Sören sucked Maglor's cock, Maglor sucked Dooku, and Dooku sucked Sören. Every now and again Sören would let Maglor's cock slip from his mouth and thrust his tongue into Maglor's opening, feasting on him there, licking slowly then fast. Maglor and Dooku followed suit, until all three were trembling, moaning loudly into each other, desperate for release.

Dooku lay on his back and Sören poured lube over his cock, teasing them both again by rubbing his cock against Dooku's, but finally Sören turned around and impaled himself before laying with his back to Dooku's chest, Dooku's arms around him, holding him as he took his first few thrusts. Maglor pushed into him then, his cock rubbing against Dooku's inside Sören, kissing Sören again and again as Dooku kissed Sören's neck, kissing Dooku over Sören's shoulder, before Dooku tilted Sören's face so they could kiss, and Maglor licked and suckled Sören's nipples, playing with the rings in them.

They fucked slowly, savoring, lost in a dreamy haze of sensual pleasure and loving connection. Sex with either of his husbands on their own was good, and Maglor and Dooku enjoyed their own private time as well, but there was something about the three of them together that was magnificent, something Sören compared to a work of art. Sören loved being between them, feeling them both inside him, holding them as they held him, the wild sweetness of passion. They let the edge build, keeping the pace slow, letting the tension wind and wind until they finally gave in to moments of pure, raw hunger, fucking hard, savage, making loud cries and howls and screams and shouts. Sören's legs were on Maglor's shoulders, and he went from losing his ability to speak English to losing his ability to make words altogether, not even able to scream as his orgasm took his breath away, coming in shuddery gasps.

The feeling of both of them coming inside him - cock coming on cock - was one of Sören's favorite things. He made a little purring noise and drifted off on a cloud of bliss, coming back to Maglor petting him, Dooku trailing little kisses over his beard. Maglor skritched Sören's beard like a cat and Sören meowed, which made them laugh before Maglor kissed the tip of Sören's nose.

They took turns kissing some more, sweetly and tenderly at first, then the kisses heated until they were roused to hardness again. Maglor ate his and Dooku's cum out of Sören as Sören and Dooku necked and petted, finally rubbing their cocks together, and Maglor took them both in his mouth, Sören and Dooku kissing even more hungrily, caressing each other, gently fucking Maglor's mouth. When they came together, the way Maglor shuddered and moaned as he swallowed them down let them know he came too - Sören could feel it across their bond, as well - and then Maglor came up to kiss them, letting them taste themselves on him, the taste of them combined delicious, salty-sweet.

Dooku pushed Maglor onto his back and kissed him again and again, fingers playing over Maglor's body, as Sören licked Maglor's cock, just licking it, teasing him. At last Dooku grabbed Sören's curls and pulled him up to kiss him, tasting Maglor's precum on his tongue. Sören poured lube over Maglor's cock and Dooku poured it into Maglor's opening. Sören straddled Maglor's hips and sank down, and then Dooku got behind him and pushed into Maglor, his arms around Sören again, kissing his neck, tilting his face so he and Sören could kiss as Sören rode Maglor's cock and Dooku took Maglor, slowly.

It was another haze of desire, the three losing themselves in sensation, in each other, that heady mix of vulnerability, surrender, and possession. Dooku reached around to play with Sören's cock as Sören's hands roamed over Maglor's body and Maglor's hands were on Sören, every now and again on what he could touch of Dooku, as well.

Coming together, their orgasm was even more shattering than the ones before. Sören collapsed in Maglor's arms, and made a noise of deep contentment as he felt Dooku resting against him, nuzzling his curls. Being petted and held in the warm glow of the fire, the warm glow of orgasmic bliss, Sören slid into a nap.

This time he was out for longer, and he woke in Maglor's arms, still snuggled into Maglor's chest, but Dooku was up, and Sören wondered where he was. Then he heard movement in the hall. He got up and walked over, naked, moving a bit gingerly after the use of his body.

Dooku, completely naked, had chosen right then to do a home improvement project. Dooku had been an active senior before immortality, but since he'd taken Vanimórë's blood Dooku had reported feeling downright young again, doing things he hadn't done in years like running, and now it seemed he had a surge of energy after sex, when usually he'd be asleep. "This has been bothering me since we moved in," Dooku said, gesturing to the hall closet, which was now empty, with everything in it in the hallway. The clothes rack was slanted, and there was a small hole in the closet wall. "I was thinking of where to hang the wreath Jane made, and the hall closet door seemed like the perfect place... and I decided then it was time to finally fix this."

"Buckass naked."

Dooku looked down, and blushed. "I... I suppose."

"Mkay." Sören grinned. He peered into the closet again. This house had been where he'd spent the first four years of his life - it had become his again rather by not-an-accident or not-a-coincidence in August 2019 - and Sören vaguely remembered those same cosmetic errors being there. Dooku handed him a flashlight so he could get a better look at the hole in the wall, and Sören stepped into the closet.

That was when he saw it. There was something in the hole in the wall. "What in the fuck..."

"What?"

Sören switched places with Dooku. Dooku glared at it. Then he turned to Sören. "Hand me a stick."

Sören put his cock in Dooku's hand.

"Goddammit, Sören, I mean an actual stick. Like the kind you play fetch with."

"You can play fetch with this stick."

"I'm being serious."

"Hi being serious -"

"SÖREN."

Huan had a stick near Snúdur's cat toys at Snúdur's cat tree, and it was just the right size to poke into the wall. Dooku pulled out a piece of paper that was wrapped up with an elastic band. He handed it to Sören.

"I don't know what that is," Dooku said.

"I don't either, but we'll find out, I guess."

Dooku put his hands on his hips. "It makes me wonder if we'll find anything else in here."

He started to take down the clothing rack, instead of just trying to lift the crooked side back to its proper height, and when he removed the rack, a panel fell out from the wall.

Dooku shone a flashlight into the open panel, made a noise of surprise, reached into the wall and pulled out a notebook.

Sören opened it. The writing was still legible, and the first page noted that it was the diary of Sigurd Tollasson, dated 1985. Thirty-five years ago.

"You look like you've seen a ghost," Dooku said.

Sören slammed the notebook shut. "My father's, to be precise."