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Honored Guest

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In his youth, Thorin had stood beside his grandfather's throne to greet the Elven envoy, filled with the pride and ferocity of youth, scarcely bearded and scarcely blooded, a new warrior hungering for glory. He had, until that moment, imagined Elves to be like taller dwarves, broad in shoulder and grizzled with war. He was not prepared for the grey-clad visitors, supple and warlike but lean as saplings; he was not prepared for the stick-straightness of their waterfall hair, the smooth skin of their cheeks, the moonlight in their eyes.

He was not prepared for the Elvenking's gaze, or the heat it kindled in his body as it lingered upon him; and he was not prepared for the plummeting loss he felt when that gaze left him, the agony of rejection even though no word had been spoken.

When his father asked him later what he thought of the Elvenking, Thorin had frowned. "He is a stand-offish fellow," said Thorin after a moment's thought, and his father nodded.

"He is that," said Thrain, "and exceedingly old, and exceedingly cautious. You must remember, son, that he will do anything to protect his own."

So Thorin remembered it with each visit, with each moment that Thranduil's eyes rested needlessly upon him, with each kindling of desire and each sickening dismissal, until the day came when he and his remaining kin staggered forth from the great gate to see the Elvenking astride his great elk-mount. There Thranduil's gaze pierced him, held him like an insect pinned to a board, flayed him open to the root of his hungry soul even with the screams of the burned and terrified around him, and there he stood gasping with rage and desire as Thranduil turned his perfect face away.

---

Now night fell upon Erebor, darkness thick with smoke and blood. In the aftermath of battle, crows and looters picked over the corpses of men and goblins and elves alike, and the living dwarves carried their own kin away to be buried in stone. Thorin sat in his tent, tending his wounds alone; he had no taste for company in his black mood. His body thrummed with the echoes of bloodlust. Had he been a Man like so many of his fellows-in-arms of exile, he might have sought the company of a woman, but dwarven women were few, and even after battle the dwarven way was austere and self-controlled.

There was a scratch at the flap of his tent, and Kili's voice spoke muffled through the canvas: "An honored guest for you, uncle."

"Very well," said Thorin, "I am at my leisure," and the flap opened to admit the tall grave figure of an Elf, bound at the wrists, with a bit of ruined bed-linen wrapped over his face as a makeshift hood.

"Have we taken Elven prisoners, then," said Thorin, lifting an eyebrow at his nephew; the utter stillness of the figure before him, with its battered woodland armor, unnerved and intrigued him.

"We have been stealing Elven prisoners," retorted Kili, with a flash of teeth that was not quite a smile. "There seem to be quite a few of them in what remains of the goblin camp."

"Durin's beard, Kili, the place is crawling with wargs. There will be no more daring this night; stop your foolishness, lad, the elves will wait."

There was a sound the hooded figure, impatience or protest, and something about the voice sent hot shivers running up Thorin's spine. "Go, Kili, and tell your brother to stay with you in our camp." He waited until Kili's bootsteps faded into the darkness-- Thorin's tent lay isolated from the other tents by a respectful margin-- before rising from his hewn oak chair to approach the visitor.

"They will not wait," said the visitor. "The wargs will devour them by sunrise."

"Shall I send my own nephews to their deaths for the sake of a few warriors?" Thorin examined the shape of his visitor's shoulders, the tilt of his swan-like neck, the grace and power of those pale strong hands in their bonds; an awful swooping suspicion had grown in his mind.

"They are more than a few." The visitor did not flinch as Thorin took up the corner of the ragged linen. "Fifty of my men, most injured grievously, a great portion of the virtue of Mirkwood. I come to beg succor, for your aid."

"Your men," replied Thorin wonderingly, and pulled away the linen to reveal spider-silk locks, arresting eyes and forceful brow, the alabaster jaw and mouth of the Elvenking himself, the alien expression of Thranduil, now bound in Thorin's tent.

"I seem to recall," said Thorin, in the few precious moments of numb shock left to him, "that I once required your help to save my own people, and instead I saw you turn your back."

"I might argue," responded Thranduil, his voice empty of inflection or warmth, "that I could scarcely lead a hundred elves to battle a dragon for the sake of twenty dwarves. But I am not here to argue; I am here to plead for your mercy, King Under the Mountain, and to beg that you lend us your aid, and to promise whatever I can in return."

"Whatever you can?"

"Whatever you want."

There it was: the slightest incline of Thranduil's brow, the faintest tension about his mouth, the wise and doelike eyes affixing Thorin with their strangeness. Thorin's breast became a forge, and molten metal poured through him and pooled in the base of his belly. No higher authority stood by to command Thranduil's attention; no excuse to break that mirrored gaze.

Thorin was not accustomed to the ways of elves, living as he had with men and dwarves, who spoke their minds and let their faces show what they would. He could not read this Elvenking; he only knew that some nuance of expression had changed, and that his body responded now to some glimpsed reservoir of emotion that he could not begin to interpret.

"And if I wish to see you punished for your arrogance? For your crimes?"

"Must I acknowledge my actions to be criminal? You must know, King Thorin, that I will submit to any punishment you deem fit, so long as you save my people."

It was a concession, of sorts, but Thorin could not bring himself to push further, not with Thranduil standing before him, solemn and lovely and drawn up tall.

"Kneel," breathed Thorin, and Thranduil tilted his head in acquiescence and took a knee before him, obedient. The sight of it took away Thorin's breath-- the bound hands, the gentle curve of Thranduil's spine, the shadow of silvery hair falling across that flawless mouth. Thorin took it all in, frowned at the sight of blood on Thranduil's shoulder.

"Are you injured?"

"Not sorely."

"I would see." Thorin undid Thranduil's ragged cloak, and the clasps of his armor, as a dwarf might take apart a tool for cleaning; Thranduil bore it in silence, though the muscles of his jaw tightened. He feared this, Thorin realized-- the beautiful Elvenking who so tormented and confused him, now fearing his touch.

The armor fell away, revealing a fine bloodstained tunic and the porcelain lines of Thranduil's collar-bones. Gore crusted Thranduil's shoulder, adhering the linen to his flesh. It would not come off him easily, and Thorin burned to see the wound and the skin around it, to know that his guest was of flesh and blood and could be pierced with a sword. He would bathe the wound, he decided; he was that honorable, at least, though an uneasy lust coiled tight and ready to strike within him. Thorin drew his knife to cut away the tunic--

--and Thranduil shuddered, his eyes flickering closed for a second, only to open again, carefully steeled to blankness. "I will not cut you," said Thorin, brusquely; but the slip in Thranduil's control had set him shivering, made him long to see more. He laid his blade at the hollow of skin where the long lines of Thranduil's collar-bones and throat converged, and with one swift movement slit the tunic as far as he could reach.

"Stand," he ordered, and Thranduil complied, pulse leaping in his throat and the faintest flush upon his cheeks. His breath came quicker as Thorin finished his knifework, whether from cold or pain or something darker Thorin could not tell, and at last Thorin took up a bowl of steaming water from a brazier and motioned to the bed.

Thranduil did not move; his pupils dilated and gooseflesh spread along his exposed skin. Thorin thought at first to reassure him, but in truth he knew it would be falsehood. He would see every inch of this elf's flesh, he knew, and he would taste what he wished and touch whatever came to hand, and perhaps he would compel the Elvenking--

Thorin pushed him, ungently, backing him to the bed and then sitting him down upon the edge, where he set to washing the adhered linen until it came away from the wound. Thranduil started violently at his first touch, then averted his eyes, still as a stunned deer and breathing swiftly through flared nostrils. When Thorin finally peeled away the ruined cloth, Thranduil's mask dissolved for a moment, brows rising and lips tightened, an expression of pain and perhaps humiliation that tempted Thorin past all bearing.

The cut was not deep, only ugly, and Thorin anointed it with a healing balm before doing anything else. Then, with the air full of a pleasant herbal astringency, Thorin gestured at Thranduil. "Remove the rest of it."

Thranduil's grip tightened on the edge of the bed, and Thorin thought he would refuse; then he composed himself, and stiffly removed his boots. "All of it," said Thorin, gruff and hungry. "When you are naked I will send word for your men to be rescued. Though--" for Thranduil had taken on an expression of pained hope-- "you will spend the night in my tent, as payment for the danger to my loved ones."

"I understand," said Thranduil, and he shucked his clothing with alacrity, until Thorin had called out a gruff order to his sentry-- the better to get him away from whatever happened here-- and Thranduil perched, naked and flinching, upon the bedspread.

Beautiful, the elf was, and otherworldly, every part of him elongated and sculpted for elegance. His bare chest, thin but muscled, worked with each breath; his legs, long and graceful, drew up slightly to cover himself, affording Thorin only a glimpse of dark silken hair at the crux of his thighs.

"Look at me," ordered Thorin, and the Elvenking raised his eyes to watch, and Thorin began to strip himself, beginning with the slightest articles and moving to shirt and trousers. Thranduil watched him closely, and Thorin saw his articulate lips tremble and part, noted the way his eyes sank in shame and apprehension and then flicked back up to obey Thorin's command.

By the time he had unlaced his trews, Thorin was harder than he had imagined possible, his cock dark and swollen with heavy desire; when he saw that Thranduil's gaze lingered there, a thunder like the lust for battle rose in his ears, and he knew he must do this thing or die for wanting it.

"Tell me what you see," commanded Thorin, and his voice was hoarse. "What is it that you stare at so keenly?"

"Is it love-talk that you want?" Thranduil tilted his head, regathering his aloofness, his confidence, like frost spreading across a still pond; Thorin hated the sight of it, even though as Thranduil's spine straightened he exposed more of the pale muscle of his chest and abdomen.

"I want to know what it was," growled Thorin, "that drew your eyes so frequently to me, unbidden, in my grandfather's hall." It was a stab in the dark, a chance to shake Thranduil's stillness, but it found its mark and the ice shattered. Thranduil's eyes opened wide, and the faintest breath went out of him, the cough that accompanies a blow.

"I saw," began Thranduil, and faint color spread across his cheekbones; "I saw that you were fair of face, in the halls of dwarves so often coarse and grotesque; strong and vital, unlike the stone your forefathers imitated. And you stared back, unabashed, which no mortal of less than kingly blood has managed in a thousand years."

"And what do you see now?"

Thranduil took more than a moment to gather his words; Thorin felt the pressure of his gaze upon his bare body. "You are strong, broad and deep of chest, sinewed mightily, a dwarf of stalwart proportion, scarred with many battles but hale and sound of limb. Is this what you truly want from me?"

"What I want from you," said Thorin softly, advancing until his thigh brushed naturally against Thranduil's knee, "is that you acknowledge to yourself that you have enjoyed looking at me, so that when I touch you--" and he raised his hand to lift a lock of that straight silver hair-- "you cannot pretend that you are entirely repulsed."

A shudder wracked the Elvenking, and another as Thorin's fingers released his hair and followed his collar-bone, and Thorin gave him no chance to recover before he laid one hand upon that white strong thigh and slid his fingers along the skin like a man testing the hilt of a blade, strong fingers and thumb slipping chastely between at the level of the muscle just above the knee, and gently but implacably parting Thranduil's legs while under him Thranduil shivered and clutched at the bed-linens and took rattling, jagged breaths in stuttering hisses between his gritted teeth.

The pride of elves seemed an easily broken plaything now, in Thorin's powerful hands. He had scarcely touched Thranduil, gently and without defilement, and yet the Elvenking seemed ready to come apart at his touch: terrified, shaking, with downcast eyes and small pleading movements of his lips that in a lesser man would have been mewling cries, and yet for all his terror Thorin saw-- as Thranduil leaned back shaking to put his weight on one arm, exposing his nakedness in full-- the first stirrings of arousal.

There was almost no challenge in it; Thorin had tumbled human dairy-maids who had put up more resistance to his charms, and them all but pleading for his favors. And yet every flinch of Thranduil's skin was sweeter than a kiss, intoxicating as fine wine. He did not resist, for how could he, knowing that Thorin's kinfolk were even know striving against the wargs for the sake of his own elven subjects? Thorin tested the skin of Thranduil's face with his thumb, cradling his fingertips along the edge of his jaw, pressing the softness of his lower lip and tracing the bold lines of his brows, enjoying the struggle-- not against himself, for Thranduil had chosen surrender, but within the Elvenking's own spirit, striving to submit, striving to endure rather than to enjoy, feeling himself betrayed by body and spirit in every extreme.

Thorin was drunk on it, and as his hand swept down the muscle and bone of Thranduil's side to catch roughly on the arch of his hipbone, he leaned his face down close, feeling the curl of Thranduil's breath short and panicked upon his own cheek. Then he gripped tight, fingertips sinking into Thranduil's buttock as he parted the Elvenking's thighs with his own and dragged him easily forward until their lips met and the junction of Thorin's thigh and belly bore down upon Thranduil's helpless body and his hardening cock.

The sound that tore its way from Thranduil's throat was torment, a goad, a spur to Thorin's side, and he bit at Thranduil's lips as they parted to release that sound, grinding his own cock between their bellies with scarcely a thought to how that sweet friction might affect his guest. Indeed, Thranduil seemed almost to be struggling back away from him, seeking relief from the unbearable sensation; but his struggles left wet streaks upon Thorin's body where the head of his cock rutted against skin, and each writhing attempt to escape ended in gasping sobs and, oh glorious wretchedness, the arch and jerk of Thranduil rutting up into the weight of his body, abandoned to his pleasure.

Now Thranduil's lips, so serene and aloof, opened slack in pleasure, tongue curling against his teeth in silent invocations of lust; his brows arched, eyes hooded almost to closing, an image of sorrow or agony or pleading; Thorin was helpless against this, and took Thranduil's mouth with his own, tasting every whimper against Thranduil's palate until the Elvenking's hands rose to grip Thorin's shoulders in some feeble attempt at regaining control. Thranduil was a ruler of elves, powerful and wise; but Thorin was a king of dwarves, bred for thousands of years to strength and battle-hunger, and Thranduil could no more have escaped him than he could have taken flight like a bird.

Half on the bed and half off they strove, Thranduil snarling against his own desperate lust and falling to it anew with every mighty thrust of Thorin against his flesh. Thranduil fought him now, straining at his arms, pushing at his chest with his bound arms, and though he surrendered with a sob each time his pleasure grew too great to bear, Thorin grew weary of bracing himself against floor and bed while he wrestled his prey. He seized Thranduil by the wrists and, with a heave, cast him further upon the bed, stretched out and twisting; and with both wrists pinned in one of his own great hands, Thorin leaned himself dark and potent over Thranduil's gasping slender form and hissed in his ear: "Is this what you will do to protect your people? Fight even when you long to submit?"

Thranduil forced himself to stillness, though he quivered like a hare, his moon-glass eyes blown wide with fear and desire, his brows drawn up in torment. Even now, Thorin observed bitterly, Thranduil's body obeyed him, and the strength of his spirit held true, accepting sacrifice and unwanted pleasure equally.

Thorin could respect him, someday, perhaps.

For now, though, there was only anger and force, and Thorin took Thranduil's cock-- well-formed and smooth, flawless as pornographic statuary-- in his rough palm and stroked it once, twice, again. Thranduil cried out, back arching and flanks taut as twisted ropes, and when Thorin released him he shuddered and begged in wordless groans.

Oh, he was beautiful, he was everything Thorin had dreamed of in his youthful confusion, and as Thorin stretched his body out over Thranduil's he drank in the luxury of silk-smooth skin against his own rough chest hair, trembling muscle beneath his own, the treacherous hardness of his old enemy's cock. Silvery sweat dewed upon Thranduil's brow and beaded on his chest, slicking the passage of Thorin's thick cock between them.

Thranduil gasped something, lips moving against Thorin's beard, and Thorin turned his head to hear it again.

"Will you... defile me utterly?"

"Will I fuck you, do you mean?" So sweet, the red flush on Thranduil's cheek as he nodded, the tremble and gasp as Thorin rode back up across his belly, feeling the sweep of Thranduil's cock alongside his own.

"I do not think," muttered Thranduil, "that you could take me," and he thrust again, "without a great deal of preparation, and more time than we have now."

"I do not... I do not know... this is no, no Elven way--"

Thorin sighed and bent his head to breathe in the scent of Thranduil's shoulder, all trees and sunshine and sweat and fear. "If I ride you like this," he murmured with a rolling thrust that made Thranduil curl beneath him, "then you will, eventually, succumb to me, and you will come under me whether you wish it or not, and perhaps when you have come once or twice my stamina will be tried at last and I will find my own release. Until then, Thranduil, your people are being rescued, and you--" a hard thrust that thrummed in his whole body with fierce friction-- "you will lie here, and take what I give you, and tell yourself the lie that you do not enjoy it."

"You may find your release," said Thranduil, and was forced to pause for the space of a few thrusts to struggle for control of himself. "But you will find it harder than you think to overpower the will of an elf lord from the West, son of Thrain."

"Oh yes, very hard indeed," smirked Thorin, and he sat back on his haunches and wrapped one hand around the shafts of their twinned cocks, and stroked them with brutal determination. Thranduil keened and bucked, but Thorin weighed him down with one massive forearm and continued his work, dragging skin against skin with cruel efficiency until Thranduil could form no words. A dull red flush spread from his breastbone upward, like a parody of his woodland crown, and his eyes fixed and became glassy, his breathing swift and wet.

"Let go," said Thorin, "come for me."

"No," gasped Thranduil, though Thorin could already feel him losing this battle by the pulse and throb of his cock, and Thorin leaned over him to growl in his ear:

"Come now," and Thranduil went rigid, choking out Elvish curses, spilling over Thorin's fingers in wanton ecstasy.

Thorin waited until the moment of Thranduil's crisis passed, until he fell trembling back against the bed, no longer fighting. His wrists relaxed in their bonds, flung up above his head in elbow-splayed surrender, and his breast heaved. Thorin marveled at him, so smooth and hairless, only the faintest traces of dark silken down in the places where Thorin's hair was thickest-- like a doll, like the most delicate of human women, and yet with a body as lithe and masculine as any of the young warriors Thorin had known in his time. And tall, so tall!

Scarcely had Thranduil begun to recover than the bliss of the moment dissolved from his face, replaced by humiliation and horror. Thorin nearly smiled, a curl of his lip exposing an eyetooth, more a snarl; well he remembered the stillness, the intensity of Thranduil's gaze, the control with which the Elvenking denied any attraction, and now not a shred of that control remained. He lifted his hand, speckled with droplets of silvery fluid, and casually drew the shining traces across Thranduil's cheek, painting him with his own shame.

"Have you not had your fill of me," gasped Thranduil. The wound on his shoulder had opened slightly, and blood beaded at its surface, though Thranduil flexed his shoulders easily enough as he tested the ropes at his wrists. This was no soft young stripling in Thorin's bed, for all his soft skin and flaxen hair; this was a warrior, tested in thousands of years of battle and rule, who did not flinch from his own blood and the pain of the flesh, and yet who trembled under Thorin's touch in an agony of conflict.

"How could I have my fill," said Thorin, sitting back on his haunches and reaching for a clean linen towel, "when you lie so easily debauched, and I am unsatisfied?" Thranduil's belly tightened as the fabric approached, but rather than wiping away the seed that glistened above his navel, Thorin reached up to bind the wound in his shoulder. "You will need your strength," he added, as Thranduil looked up at him, a line of query appearing between his brows.

With this warning Thranduil blanched and turned his face away, and Thorin let him. He did not need eye contact to see how Thranduil's heart beat swift and furious beneath his breastbone as Thorin unbound his hands, and the submission of Thranduil lying still, even freed, with his arms raised and his wrists crossed, waiting to be retied... if his eyelashes rested dark and trembling upon his cheeks, it was no crime.

Thorin lifted him at shoulder and knee, turning him facedown so that his mouth was crushed half-open against the bed-linens, and bound him again tightly with his arms behind his back, elbows as close to meeting as the sinew of Thranduil's shoulders would allow. Thorin permitted himself the pleasure of examining Thranduil's shoulders, his back (tight with the stress of binding), his lower back with its muscular dimples, his taut and trembling buttocks, which Thorin reached out to caress with one great sword-callused hand. Thranduil started, shuddered, and let out a low keening moan of terror as Thorin's thumb slipped along the inner curve of one buttock, brushing the sensitive skin that led forward to Thranduil's ballocks; but Thorin was not a cruel dwarf, and soon he left off his tormenting and stood down from the bed, reaching to take hold of the silvery hair at the nape of Thranduil's neck.

"Kneel," he said, and Thranduil obeyed, pulling himself upright-- with some difficulty, now that his hands were bound less usefully-- and allowing Thorin to tug him by the hair until he knelt, crouching low, with his bowed head toward Thorin, breathing hard.

"You are exhausted," said Thorin, as he tilted Thranduil's head back, still grasping his hair. "You and I, Thranduil, we have both fought a great battle this day, and you have taken a wound, and been taken prisoner and rescued only by chance. I wonder that you have not yet collapsed."

"We elves are made of stern stuff," said Thranduil, though Thorin could see the faintest traces of shadows beneath his eyes, an extremity of distress he had never seen upon an elf. Thorin had intended to plunder his mouth, and indeed the velvet softness of that strong lower lip remained a temptation, but beneath the surge of lust Thorin felt the growing bone-weariness of battle, and knew that Thranduil must feel it as well. The quiet pride in Thranduil's submission-- the dig of the ropes as his forearms flexed helplessly, the leap of his throat as he swallowed without closing his parted lips-- filled Thorin with a strange and fell emotion, and he stepped forward, drawing Thranduil up by his hair until they were nearly face-to-face.

Then he released Thranduil's hair suddenly, and the Elvenking fell into him, forehead resting against the great muscle of Thorin's neck, breath winging warm across Thorin's skin as if they embraced, as if they were lovers. He made no gesture or word of protest as Thorin lifted him easily by the thighs to pull him closer, though as Thorin's fingers grazed his buttocks he quivered with apprehension; and when Thorin shifted his stance to follow the line of the muscles at the base of his spine, Thranduil only pressed his face into Thorin with a groan, accepting Thorin as both his tormentor and his comfort.

Lower Thorin's fingers dipped, seeking the cleft of Thranduil's arse, and this time when he heard Thranduil's breath catch he did not stop. Gently he roved, faint patterns of pressure across delicate skin, until he felt the roughness of sword-callus brushing the flickering crux of Thranduil's greatest vulnerability. The Elvenking jerked in his arms, and Thorin shifted his weight again, letting silver hair slide against his shoulder while his free hand took Thranduil's weight easily, broad palm against heaving breast.

There Thranduil hung, sobbing for breath against the firm support of Thorin's arm and shoulder while Thorin fingered him slowly, too exhausted and spent to offer more than the token resistance of his forearms tensing in their ropes. Thorin took the moment to collect a smear of armor-grease from the open tin beside his bed, and a moment later he pressed his great thumb against Thranduil's arse-hole, letting it clutch and spasm until it took in the width of his first knuckle easily.

"Hush," said Thorin brusquely as Thranduil groaned. His earlier assessment proved true; his strong dwarven fingers were almost too much for the tightness of Thranduil's passage, the muscle wringing itself against his thumb in agony. He could not possibly breach the Elvenking with his cock, not if he wished Thranduil to live; but in a few moments Thranduil relaxed again, though his every breath came out in tattered notes of fear and burning shame, and Thorin worked his way deeper.

"Cruel," said Thranduil, "cruel," and Thorin heard in his voice that he still anticipated defilement, penetration far beyond what he already suffered. And yet, as Thorin pushed the Elvenking back against his probing hand, feeling the junction of buttock and thigh and softer skin with his cradling fingertips while his thumb worked ever deeper, he glanced down to see that Thranduil-- who had denied his pleasure in Thorin's touch, who had defied him in even the crudest and least subtle ministrations-- was once again hard, flushed dark and straining even with his belly still sticky with his own spend.

"You have not yet known cruelty," growled Thorin, an inferno of triumph kindling throughout his body; and he found what he sought, the firm and precious root of pleasure, the convulsive start in Thranduil's shaking limbs, and he rocked his thumb across it with the sure pressure of a craftsman.

If he had not known before that Thranduil was, in this way, virginal, Thorin could hardly miss it now. No control, no aloof coldness, remained in Thranduil's body; he trembled and begged, wordless, and he yielded to Thorin's intrusion as thoroughly as his over-taxed body could allow. Implacably Thorin worked him, without a moment's rest, feeling each moan and hiss as a bellows-rush in his groin, until Thranduil found his words at last and begged him, please and my lord amidst a torrent of Elvish. Thranduil's cock leapt with each thrust, and Thorin longed to reach down with his supporting hand, to let the Elvenking fall against him while he tested that rose-ivory shaft to its limit.

"Tell me," growled Thorin, bending his neck until his lips nearly touched Thranduil's leaf-like ear, "what it was you saw in me, what you thought of me, when you looked."

Thranduil turned his head toward Thorin, and the desperate plea in his brow and his moonlit eyes nearly undid him. "I saw," Thranduil managed, voice broken with shame and pleasure and the motion of Thorin's hand as it fucked him; "I saw that you were beautiful, clear-eyed-- a king, a king of dwarves-- your strength, your breadth, I wanted, I wanted you as I had never-- never coveted any treasure--"

"You might have had me," said Thorin, "if you had not been too proud to ask," and he let Thranduil topple against him, helpless and writhing, and took up the length of his tortured cock in the wide callused heat of his hand and stroked him, sure and vicious.

"Ah-- please-- ah, Eärendil--" Shudders and tremors ran throughout Thranduil's body, racking spasms of unbearable sensation; the cords of his forearms stood out, straining against their ropes, and the muscle of his belly and hips flexed, rocking him forward into Thorin's grasp and then back against the penetration of his thumb. Rage and thunder built at the base of Thorin's belly, taut need in his ballocks, a furious throb in his cock where it hung swollen and leaking; but more than even release, he needed to see Thranduil undone, punished, broken under him, and every plea on Thranduil's reddened lips lanced through him with the white-hot fire of climax, a hundred culminations of desire.

When Thranduil at last succumbed, his back arching until the sinew stood out on his rope-stretched shoulders, a silent cry of agony contorting his yielding face and his despoiled flesh clenching in abjection, Thorin felt his orgasm as his own-- though his own seed remained unspilled, and the wrath of his lust did not diminish, every echoing convulsion of Thranduil's body washed over him, until he gasped with the same loss and wretched conflict that battered his old enemy, until their bodies fell apart and dropped formless into an exhausted tangle upon the bed.

"I did not know," said Thranduil after a short and breathless time, his voice slipping back into calm detachment, "that my body contained such treachery." His eyes fixed blankly upon the ceiling, he lay twisted in such a way that Thorin's body pinned his legs, while his bound arms strained at an angle; and yet the discord that so faintly colored his voice was not of bodily discomfort.

Thorin set to unbinding him, and when Thranduil lay freed upon the linens of his bed, still shivering at times and glassy-eyed with confusion and shock, Thorin took up the remaining linen towels and the warm water from the brazier and washed him until no trace of seed or blood or sweat remained, and Thranduil let him. Hot shame colored his cheeks as Thorin turned him to wash the oil from his buttocks, and he lowered his eyes, only to catch a glimpse of Thorin's cock, still thick and swollen and unsatisfied.

"You have not--" Thranduil swallowed, and the intoxicating blend of fear and hope sprang again to his dark-shadowed eyes, though his muscles trembled at the thought of more; and Thorin made a sound that might have been a laugh if it had not broken. "You are not yet satisfied," said Thranduil, and Thorin heard in those words both dread and longing, exhaustion and determination.

"Nor will I be satisfied," said Thorin, "not on this night or any other, now that I have had a taste of you."

Thranduil fell quiet at that, and Thorin draped him with a clean robe and a warm cloak; soon the Elvenking stood at the flap of Thorin's tent, utterly serene and placid as an untouched forest pool, no hint of the last hours' work in his moon-silver hair nor in the bemused tilt of his mouth. And yet he lingered, looking back to Thorin's powerful form where he stood, still naked and burning and heavy with unspent desire, and his cool eyes took in the forge-smoke of Thorin's dark gaze and did not move on.

"Your elves will be safe even now," said Thorin, gruffly. "My dwarven brothers know their work."

"I owe you a great debt," said Thranduil, and some hungry emotion flickered in his mask-like expression.

"You have paid me well for the lives of your subjects," said Thorin, scarcely daring to hope.

"I do not speak of them," rejoined Thranduil. "You are a king indeed, Thorin Lord of Erebor, and I have much to learn from you, and many debts for which to atone." In his eyes Thorin read a kindled curiosity, a half-century's worth of desire now stoked to covetous desperation; there would be no elven courtier, no immortal plaything, who could fulfill the hunger that troubled Thranduil's eyes.

"I will see you in the spring," said Thranduil, raising one hand in a gesture of farewell, "when the envoy of Mirkwood comes to pay its respects to the King Under the Mountain," and he departed Thorin's tent in silence.