The Look of Love

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The Look of Love

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Glorfindel had been acting strangely that morning. He had stripped their bed, ignoring curious looks from Erestor, who found himself soothed with a ‘you’ll find out later, love. Don’t get too caught up in the evening’s work tonight, yes? Hurry back.’ 

That, as well as the distracting kiss from an insistent mouth, stopped Erestor from asking more probing questions.

He was seen off from their rooms after that lingering goodbye, but he had not yet left the hall when he saw Glorfindel charming a maid for a pair of worn-out bed-sheets. He also observed, with a wry twist of the lips, how quickly his lover’s request was granted. Glorfindel was very well liked around the Last Homely house, known for his kindness, his willingness to help everyone, and his not insubstantial good looks. 

Erestor didn’t want them to think he was spying, so as soon as they appeared to be concluding their conversation, he left and hurried off to work. He arrived, thanks to his curiousity, late.
 
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Lunch was a quiet affair. Differing work schedules kept Erestor and Glorfindel apart most of the day, but they always met up together where they could. Today was Glorfindel’s day off, and Erestor had almost expected him to show up, lunch in hand - along with something sweet - but his lover was absent. Erestor concluded he’d probably spent the lunch hour wandering the market place, one of his favorite places, looking at trinkets and talking to everyone he met. Even, Erestor thought with a smile, the stray dogs who congregated around the stalls, looking for handouts and scraps. 

The day went on from there rather quickly, the parchment and inked words of trade agreements and notes from Elrond and his assistant occupying Erestor’s time. He was a studious worker, and by no means an introvert, being able to deal with people quite well, with words or in person. 

The stack of papers on his desk became once more small and manageable, and Elrond stopped by when the evening deepened, to ask about the progress of the Lórien talks. They talked for a while, with the easy familiarity of old friends, before Elrond left, promising to pass Erestor’s information about the flower dilemma on to Bri. It had been a busy day, a full day, Erestor reflected as he locked up his office and stepped into the hallway. 

He made his way toward their rooms, the events of the morning forgotten. The smell of lemon and rosemary drifted up to him as he opened the door, swinging quietly on new hinges. The room was decorated in a mix of their own styles - Glorfindel’s sometimes quite incomprehensible eye for colour was decidedly different from Erestor’s own neat, warm eye for decoration, but as the days and months and years had gone on since they moved in together, Erestor had found that, in some strange way, their styles complimented each other. 

He found from where the delicious scent had come when his eyes fell on the table. It was set for dinner, and held a platter of summer fish dressed and prepared with greens and vegetables from the garden. It smelled wonderful, and his stomach growled. He had been prepared to quickly wash up, change robes and eat in the dining hall, but this was a much nicer way to end the day. It was a gesture that had Glorfindel’s fingermarks all over it, but his lover was nowhere in sight. 

Erestor called out, and Glorfindel’s voice drifted from the bedroom, telling him to eat. He would have preferred to have company, but he shrugged, settled down in the seat, napkin over his lap, and tucked in hungrily. He was eyeing the pastries stuffed with fruits and nuts and drizzled over the top with honey, when Glorfindel - shirtless, hair unbound, finger tips smeared with paint - emerged from behind the closed bedroom door and went to their washroom, asking Erestor about his day, the same light casual conversation they’d become accustomed to with their years together. 

He was a bit absentminded, which Erestor was used to – Glorfindel was like that when he was working on a painting. The curious thing was that Erestor had not remembered his lover working on anything recently, and he would have been sure to notice it… then he remembered Glorfindel’s request for the sheets, and the secrecy of the morning.

Glorfindel disappeared into the bedroom again, leaving Erestor with a smile and an invitation to join him after the meal. Bemused, Erestor stared after him, but finished his dessert slowly. His curiosity had gone from a spark to a raging fire, but he didn’t want to appear as such. He’d been teased thoroughly by Glorfindel because of his curiosity, which was known to be quite strong, and the reason behind a few scrapes in which he had found himself over the years. 
 
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The room was very well lit with candles, the wind from the balcony carrying the lavender scent to him. Glorfindel sat cross legged on the floor, low earthen pots of paint arranged neatly in the corner of the drop cloth beneath him. Erestor watched, smiling fondly to himself, as Glorfindel tested the thickness of a gorgeously sky blue hued paint. “I’m here,” he said at last. 

Glorfindel looked up, blue eyes meeting amber. “I know.” He set the paint pot down, long, muscled legs unfolding neatly as he rose from where he sat. “I need you, for something quite important.”

Erestor raised an eyebrow. “You know I’ll help you with whatever it is. Just as long as you tell me, and it doesn’t involve burying any dead bodies. The vegetable garden is getting rather full.” He teased, dark humour a fall back when he was not entirely sure what was asked of him.

Glorfindel grinned, and something in the way the corners of his eyes crinkled made Erestor relax. “No dead bodies of all the people who’ve annoyed us, at least for today, no,” he joked. “I need you to strip.”

Erestor blinked, a relatively slow motion, showing off the thickness of coal black eyelashes. “What, now?”

“Yes, now. Strip and go lie on the bed,” Glorfindel said firmly, and turned his attention back to his paints, adding a finely ground powder to adjust the hue of one colour.

Erestor shrugged and removed his clothes, quickly and efficiently folding them and putting them on the chair in the corner of the room before he walked over to the bed. He sat down on his regular side, taking a moment to try to piece together what Glorfindel was planning, then swung his legs up and laid back. He noted the sheets the maid had given his lover that morning, cool underneath his skin. He shivered, a rare show of vulnerability from him. 

He didn’t have long to wait before Glorfindel was seemingly finished, satisfied with his colours. Erestor felt Glorfindel’s eyes on him, sweeping over his body, almost like a touch.

“Move over, love. More towards the center. Relax. Relax for me.” 

It took a wriggle of Erestor’s bum and a small push and he was there. The relaxing took a little more effort, but was worth it, when Glorfindel turned and saw him on the bed. The appreciation in his smile made Erestor’s breath catch.

Glorfindel came over to one side of the bed and leaned over him, fingers cupping Erestor’s cheek. “Now, he said softly, “I am going to paint you.”
 
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Erestor had no sense of time anymore. He had lain still for a long time – minutes, hours – they had all blended together after a while. The tickle of the paintbrush had only lasted as long as the shock of slightly cool paint on his bare skin. He had hissed a bit at first, and laughed, but Glorfindel had shushed him, looking at him and his body with a thrilling intentness that Erestor hadn’t seen before. 

Erestor’s reality narrowed, the outside world disappearing into this entrancing one. There was nothing but the two of them. He watched and felt as Glorfindel painted, retrieving each progressive colour in its turn as he worked up Erestor’s body. Deep purple, soft but bold yellow, earthy brown, dark as night black, burnt orange, and crimson. The colours made no sense to Erestor, but somehow they did to his lover, he could tell by the small comments Glorfindel made to himself while he reached for different colours to paint light touches. 

Erestor had been coaxed into the state of absolute relaxation, almost to the point of slumber, and the feel of the paintbrush on him sent his skin to a hypersensitive state. With time, he didn’t care what the over all picture looked like, he just wanted to feel where the brush went next, and see the look in Glorfindel’s eyes as more and more of his vision was realized. 

With a murmur in his ear and a hand on his hip, Glorfindel guided him onto his hands and knees and slide the thick, black braid of hair over his shoulder and out of the way, the pale line of his back exposed and ready for painting. At that point, Erestor’s patience had worn thin, his eagerness for this to be done and over and Glorfindel’s hands to be on his body made apparent by the thickened flesh hanging between his legs, but Glorfindel steadily ignored it, and Erestor found himself frustrated with the single-mindedness that on occasion came out damnably strong in his lover. 

The backs of his arms and thighs, along with the painstaking care lavished on his buttocks drove him slowly mad, and he bit back a demand for Glorfindel to hurry it up, already. The fineness of the bristles, the slickness of the paint, now drying, hearing how Glorfindel breathed – this all filled Erestor’s mind, and it was difficult to stay still.

Finally, the paint brush left him and did not return. Erestor looked back over his shoulder questioningly, and he received a nod in return.

“You can get up now, love – careful, watch where you put your hands.” 

Erestor got up gingerly off the bed, walking over to where the mirror stood. He stood there, looking at himself and wondering, until Glorfindel came up behind him.

“I look – like nothing I’ve quite ever seen,” he said, eyes wandering over his chest, which was covered in an array of colours, each mixing and blending seamlessly into the next, his arms and legs, dark whorls of jewel and earth toned colours. He turned his back to the mirror, looking over perhaps the most intricate piece, down the length of his spine to his tailbone, dark and exotic over pale skin. 

“I’ve never worked with a living, breathing canvas before.” Glorfindel commented, and Erestor looked up, turning his attention to the artist. Glorfindel’s eyes looked almost tired, but were filled with a different sort of energy, one Erestor quite recognized. His blonde hair was also braided and pulled back, something that must have happened sometime while Erestor was on the bed – Erestor had heard him cursing once about getting it in his paint, and from then on insisted that he tie it back – and paint smudges marred his high cheekbones. Glorfindel had even managed to get it on his forehead.

“Did you like it?” Erestor asked, curiously. He felt like the paint was a mask, covering him and yet leaving him exposed in an entirely different way. He moved closer, wanting to touch his lover, but unsure of what to do paint-wise.

“It is perfect,” Glorfindel said seriously, “and it was hellishly difficult to concentrate.”

Erestor’s smile widened. “Oh? Why?”

“Because it’s hard to touch you that much and not want more.” Glorfindel stepped into Erestor’s space, arms going around him. “And nothing should break a painter’s concentration when he is working on his masterpiece.” 

“Wait, aren’t you worried about the paint?” Erestor fretted, even though the touch felt excruciatingly good. 

“My work is done, we’ve seen it, appreciated it, now it’s time for me to appreciate you.” Glorfindel said before he leaned in, hand on Erestor’s neck, and kissed him deeply, with all the fervor of someone who’s restrained himself almost past forbearance.

They melted together, guided by years of experience, knowing all the places to touch to produce a moan or a muffled curse, the sharpness of pleasure. Erestor soon found himself on the bed, waiting for Glorfindel, breathless and entirely too hot, the hair on his head prickling with sexual tension. He watched Glorfindel settle on the bed, bringing the pot of oil they used for such occasions, and a simple look had Erestor moving to his hands and knees. He had been there not an hour before, but this time it was different. No brush, just him and Glorfindel.

“Have me,” Erestor pleaded, his voice husky, inviting, needing. He closed his eyes, slickness against him, felt Glorfindel moving behind him, thighs to buttocks, prick pressed against him, nestled. Erestor reached back, grasping him and guiding him in, firm pressure, almost too much. “Please.”

Erestor gasped as Glorfindel swore and slid fully inside. They froze, Erestor adjusting, arms shaking slightly – didn’t matter how many times they had done this, it still felt good, so good…the burn was there at first, as always, but soon it faded. “Move, damn it, move.” 

Glorfindel laughed, but started to make slow rolling motions with his hips. Thrust after thrust, they rocked together, Glorfindel’s hand on a hip, the other wound in the black silk of Erestor’s hair. Glorfindel tugged and, guided by the grip on his hair, Erestor’s head curved back, the skin of his throat, marked only by one swirl of azure paint, exposed in one long line. A hissing curse left his lips, pain sharpened pleasure. 

It spurred Glorfindel on, for he moved in several sure, deep thrusts before he leaned over, seeking Erestor’s vulnerable throat and sucking a love mark on the place between neck and shoulder. The burning, twisting coil of lust inside Erestor sparked and flared higher, as though he were being burned from the inside out. He felt Glorfindel move inside of him, firm, large heat, over and over until it all stopped with one shuddering thrust and swearing. Erestor stilled, every muscle taut, with nerves alight and sensitive to a touch. Glorfindel left him, and Erestor marked his absence with a soft sound, before he was turned over onto his back by strong hands.

Glorfindel seemed like a great big golden cat, looking down at him with darkened, satisfied eyes. He felt them sweep over him, seeing everything, his body, his feelings, his need. Their eyes locked and Glorfindel reached out to him, fingers brushing his cheek. Words didn’t seem to matter then – they knew. Erestor closed his eyes, body thrumming with need and no more desire for his feelings to be so –exposed. 

He heard Glorfindel move, felt the brush of hair on his thighs – it made him shudder – but nothing really prepared him for the wet heat of Glorfindel’s mouth. A low groan left him, and his hips jerked up to push inside. A knowing hand held him down to the bed, lips and tongue working his sex. Trapped between the bed and the pleasure given, Erestor’s paint-whorled hand fell to Glorfindel’s head, touching the wavy strands. He spread his legs wider, his lover’s large frame in between them. After Glorfindel’s fingers slipped back inside him and found that place that made his toes curl and caused him to swear, it was only a few moments before he was lost to it, reaching the high.

Erestor felt, rather than saw, Glorfindel let go of him gently, moving up to gather him up in strong arms. Erestor moved into them and put his head on the broad, sweat-slick shoulder with no protest, still breathing heavily. There was no where else he’d rather be. They were quiet for a while, the aftermath of pleasure, but soon Erestor looked up.

“You had better not be falling asleep on me.”

“Me? No, never.” Glorfindel replied, languidly. “Merely resting my eyes.” He slid his arm down to grasp a firm ass, pushing up, guiding Erestor to move closer to eye level. “And enjoying my time off.” 

Fingers tracing the strong jawline, Erestor raised an eyebrow. “You planned this. Who knew you could be so…inventive?” 

“I can make plans. Seen you like this in my head for – a while.” Glorfindel admitted, bringing Erestor’s hand up to kiss the finger tips, and admiring his – slightly smudged – handiwork. “You look incredible.”

“Really? Looks different from when you put the paintbrush down.”

“Oh, that’s even better. Nothing quite like knowing I got you to look…” He paused for a moment, looking for the right word. “…wild and thoroughly taken care of?” Blue eyes smiled at Erestor, and Glorfindel’s mouth curved in a distinct grin of male pride.

Erestor shook his head – boys would be boys. He took the extra bit of distance and kissed Glorfindel, heart in his mouth. Hands wound in his hair, and under Glorfindel’s touches he felt – alive and desired, but sad as well, as after-love could be. 

They lay intertwined for a while, quietness reigning as Erestor mused about his own feelings. Then he looked over and saw a now-sleeping Glorfindel, eyes closed, arm still curled possessively around Erestor’s waist. 

Erestor’s heart gave one painful throb before he poked Glorfindel in the shoulder – hard. 

Glorfindel awoke with a start. “I’m awake, I’m awake!”

“Liar. Now get up. No sleep for you until you have personally scrubbed me clean.”

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Finis

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Beta: Min