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This story was written for daw the minstrel for her birthday. Eilian, Lorellin, Ithilden and Maltanaur are her characters and used with her permission. Happy Birthday, daw.
Eilian’s Begetting Day by Nilmandra
Eilian strapped on his small quiver of arrows and slung his bow over his shoulder. He checked his small rucksack of provisions, satisfied that the seed cakes his nana had promised were carefully wrapped and placed on top of the apples and fresh bread she had packed for him. He squirmed into the straps of the pack, carefully arranging them so that his hands were free and his bow and arrows accessible. He patted the belt at his waist, feeling the dagger Ithilden had given him tucked safely in its sheath. He straightened with a satisfied sigh and grinned.
Today was going to be his best adventure ever.
With the air of a warrior leaving for battle, he marched proudly down the hall to the family sitting room and presented himself to his commanding officer.
“Naneth, I am off,” he announced.
Lorellin stood and bowed to her small prince, a smile tugging the corners of her lips as he bowed to her in return. She looked him up and down, clearly admiring the picture he presented, and he stood even prouder before her.
“Where will my brave warrior be today, should the King have need of his presence?” Lorellin inquired.
“I shall spend my begetting day exploring the forest west of the realm,” answered Eilian solemnly. “The King has heard tale of dwarves in the far north, and of strange doings in the trees near the Forest River. I shall investigate and bring reports back to the King and Prince.”
“Indeed this is a fine way to spend your begetting day,” agreed his naneth. “Have you adequate provisions for your journey?”
“Yes, Naneth!” Eilian answered, his warrior façade slipping momentarily. “Thank you for the honey seed cakes!”
“Please be home for dinner, and do not stray from where Ada said you might go,” she whispered in his ear as she straightened his tunic.
She was rewarded with a winning smile and a brief wave as her little warrior moved swiftly down the corridor and out the front stairs of the palace.
* * *
As Lorellin watched her son fly down the path to the river, strong arms wrapped around her waist and she leaned back into the embrace, resting her head against the shoulder of her husband.
“What is his task today?” Thranduil asked.
“He is investigating dwarves and strange doings in the trees,” Lorellin answered with a smile. “Expect a full report upon his return.” She caressed his cheek gently. “Thank you for letting him go.”
Lorellin followed her husband’s gaze to see the figure of an elf disappearing into the leaf canopy far above her son. She smiled; Eilian would never see nor hear his protector unless he had need. Turning slightly she pressed her lips to the soft skin below Thranduil’s ear and nuzzled him softly. He smiled at her, turning her the rest of the way into his arms and kissing her fully and deeply on the lips. She saw the desire in his eyes and laughed softly.
“We celebrate one begetting day nearly a score of years ago. Is it your wish to have reason for other cause to commemorate this day?” she asked teasingly.
Thranduil laughed. “Nay, that one is enough!” He pulled her into the shadows of the cavern entrance, out of sight of the guards. “My desires need not produce more offspring, and yet could satisfy and appropriately mark this day.”
Lorellin traced the rim of his ear with the tip of her finger, the soft touch causing Thranduil’s eyes to darken with passion. “I can procure a blanket, perhaps even the same one we used then, and we can retire to the meadow and hope for another rainbow to appear.”
“I would make love to you in the rain or the snow, under the sun or in starlight, whenever you so wished and how ever often you so desired,” Thranduil replied as his nimble fingers loosened her gloriously thick hair from its single braid.
“My Lord, will you undress me publicly?” she scolded him lovingly as his hands slipped into the folds of her dress.
One eyebrow arched at her impertinence; then the King’s gaze wandered around the dim light of the cavern, finally ending in the bright sunlight that was before him.
“Tempting, but scandalous. Nay, I will undress you before the trees, that they might sing of your beauty and spread the tale of the Queen’s loveliness to the birds of the air, who shall then carry the news to the furthest reaches of the kingdom” he replied, fingering locks of her hair, which he held to his face that he might sniff of the delicious fragrance that was his wife. “Come!”
Taking her by the hand, he led her swiftly back to their quarters. There he gathered wine and goblets while she found her favorite blanket. Their provisions were dumped hastily into a basket and they slipped back out the front of the cavern palace. Thranduil paused only to whisper an order in the guard’s ear. To his credit, the guard nodded serenely and kept his gaze averted from his queen.
Lorellin slipped her hand through her husband’s arm, knowing that they would not be disturbed for hours, and leaned into his comforting presence as he led her to the spot where a rainbow had appeared many years earlier in glorious celebration of a new life conceived.
* * *
Eilian flew on light feet along the path to the river, the leaf canopy thickening over his head as the leaf mould thickened beneath his feet. He loved this part of the forest, for the dappled sunlight that filtered to the ground cast mysterious shadows. He danced lightly from foot to foot, stepping where the sun did not touch the ground, then moved his legs swiftly through the ray of sun to another darkened spot of earth. He could hear the trees whispering merrily, for they liked the happy little prince who danced in their shadows, and without thought Eilian raised his voice in a merry tune that harmonized with the song of the trees. High above him, his guardian smiled indulgently upon his young charge and patted the large beech that murmured agreement to keep his presence a secret.
The path soon came to a fork, one tine leading to the water’s edge and the other curved slightly to run alongside the gentle current. Eilian made his choice quickly, choosing to travel alongside the waters that flowed past him and onward to his home. Today he wished to see where the waters came from, to see what they had seen before coming to flow past the cave that was the palace of the king. He slowed his pace as the undergrowth thickened, and he had to choose his path carefully lest he step on some tiny creature that burrowed beneath the twigs and leaves of the groundcover.
His keen eyes settled upon a shiny stone near the edge of the riverbank. Rainwater had poured off the path and over the bank, eroding the dirt and exposing the roots of the trees and brush. In the sandy pool left behind, very near to the river, was a sparkling gold rock.
Eilian climbed nimbly over the tree roots and jumped, landing lightly in the sand of the riverbed. He frowned at the slight print he had left, and with a deft movement of his foot, erased it. He stepped lightly from rock to rock until he was close enough to reach the prize. He crouched down and picked up the gold stone, rinsing the sand from it before drawing it up from the water.
He moved effortlessly back to dry ground and seated himself on a nest of tree roots to examine his treasure. Weighing it in the palm of his hand, he found it heavy and solid. He scraped at it with his fingernail, but the gold was not a coating. He struck it against another rock, but it would not break. As he raised the rock from where he had been striking it, the sun glinted off it, a glaring light in the darkness of the trees. Fascinated by the brief flares of light that reflected off the uneven surface, he twisted it back and forth
He heard a slight noise and froze, the gold rock held motionless in his hand. The noise rose to become a chattering and a grin spread across the small elf’s face as he realized that a forest friend was equally enthralled with the shiny nugget.
He turned his head slowly, and there, just feet from him, sat a squirrel. It did not appear to be full grown, but a juvenile. Its tail was curled up its back as it sat facing Eilian, its front paws held out and moving as it chattered furiously.
Eilian laughed aloud, frightening the squirrel into a momentary silence. When Eilian stopped laughing, the squirrel resumed his chattering, this time slightly louder, and the squirrel moved fractionally closer.
Eilian held up the gold piece. “Is that what you want, squirrel friend?” he asked in delight.
The squirrel answered by chattering more loudly and hopping a step closer. If Eilian were to reach out his hand he would almost be able to touch the furry creature.
Eilian lowered his hand to the ground and rolled the gold piece to the squirrel. The squirrel pounced on it, grabbing it up in its front paws and then scurrying back a few feet. He kept an eye on Eilian as he inspected his gift. The little squirrel turned it over and over, nibbling it delicately and patting it.
“It is not edible, gray friend,” Eilian admonished him. “But it is pretty. And since it is my begetting day and I have already received gifts, you may have this. A gift from me to you.”
The squirrel chattered in acknowledgement and then scurried away, racing up a large beech tree and disappearing into the dark canopy. Eilian’s laughter followed him and a final chattering drifted down to him. “You are welcome, merry one!” Eilian called in return.
He wiped his wet hands on his leggings, then opened his water skin and drank the cold water. It had not been that long since breakfast, and he was not truly hungry, but just knowing the honey seed cakes were in his pack made his mouth water. So he settled himself comfortably into the nest of roots again, and withdrew a seed cake and ate it slowly, relishing every morsel.
* * *
Lorellin spread the blanket out beneath the largest of the beech trees that stood at the end of the meadow. Smaller trees and some flowering shrubs surrounded it, providing a natural privacy hedge that had been used by many elves of Thranduil’s realm over the years. The sun was bright here, one of the few true meadows within the forest, and the shrubs flowered brightly in a glorious display of color in response.
She could feel the eyes of her lover on her, and she sensed rather than heard him drawing near, for he was as silent as a deer in the wood. She closed her eyes and waited, willing those strong yet tender hands to caress her. The touch finally came, lifting the heavy tresses of hair from her back as warm lips traced small kisses upon her nape. Her breath caught and a slight sigh escaped her as his lips moved to her ear, his tongue tracing to the delicate tip and then suckling on the tender lobe. Her hands rose, seeking her lover, but a strong arm wrapped around her in response, holding her close to him and trapping her hands to rise no higher than the arm tucked beneath her breasts. The exquisite torture to her ear continued until she was nearly panting with desire, and then suddenly she felt cool air upon her neck as he stepped back. Nimble fingers deftly untied her lacings and her gown slid from her shoulders to the blanket, followed by her undergarment, and she felt the caress of the summer breeze upon her bare skin.
“Do you hear the trees?” Thranduil whispered in her ear, his mouth taking advantage of the nearness to nibble again upon the sensitive flesh. “They are singing of your beauty.”
She attempted to turn into his embrace, but he again held her in place. Warm hands slid down her shoulders and arms to her fingertips, then stroked slowly back up her inner arm, raising them above her head and allowing her to wrap them into his mane of hair. She began to loosen the small braids at his temples, working from memory, but was distracted by her own cry of pleasure as his hands smoothed back down her arms to her chest, each hand stopping to cup and caress a breast and tease a nipple to hardness. His hands then continued their downward exploration, stroking her belly and rubbing delicate circles over her womb.
His head escaped her hands as he knelt behind her, his mouth trailing kisses down her back while his hands slid across her belly to her hips, caressing her flanks and massaging the firm muscles of her thighs. Tingling sensations were left everywhere he touched her, and Lorellin rejoiced that the touch of her husband could still induce such sensation in her, as if she were a blushing maiden. A giggle escaped her as a delicate touch on the inside of her knee tickled, and she attempted to step away only to nearly fall over the one kneeling behind her. She realized this might have been his plan when he caught her in his arms and cradled her to his chest.
She slowly opened her eyes to see the love- and desire-filled gaze of her husband watching her intently. Her arms wrapped around his neck as he captured her mouth, trapping her lower lip between his own and tasting her as he deepened the kiss.
Thranduil pulled away and allowed his eyes to caress the length of his naked wife, before returning to settle upon her gaze.
“I love you, Lorellin. I am glad you are my wife, mother to our sons and queen to our people,” he murmured softly.
Her lips parted in response, but before words could be spoken he had lowered his lips again to hers. He lifted her gently, then laid her down on the blanket she had placed upon the ground. He stood over her, slowly removing the garments she had loosened and unfastened, but not managed to remove. He smiled at her, a twinkle in his eye at the desire he saw in her eyes as he stood naked before her.
He lowered himself next to her, over her, his lips and tongue beginning their descent from the pulse point at the base of her neck, down her breastbone to her navel. All the while his hands were cupping and kneading her breasts, and as his mouth passed between her breasts, he detoured to suckle first one rosy peak, then the other. Lorellin cried out in pleasure and writhed beneath his touch. He proceeded to devour her, savoring every taste and morsel of flesh.
* * *
A splash in the water drew Eilian’s attention. He slipped the knapsack from his shoulders and left it lying in the tree roots as he stepped from rock to rock out into the river shallows in pursuit of the sound. He saw glistening brown fur sliding across the top of the water, and then a broad tail slapped the water as the creature dove beneath the surface of the river.
“A beaver!” he thought to himself. “They must have a dam nearby.”
He raced back to the river’s edge and grabbed his knapsack, tossing it over his shoulder as he continued upstream on the path along the water’s edge. Several hundred yards upstream, he came to a fallen log, partially in the water, and partially overhanging the slow current. He left his knapsack at the base of the fallen tree, and shimmied up its side until he was as far over the river as he could reach. Looking down, he could see a dead fall of timber – branches and twigs and leaves all trapped against the larger logs that had been swept downstream in some earlier storm.
The deadfall made for a perfect dam, and water flowed serenely over the top, spilling gently into the river below it. Eilian stretched out flat, his cheek resting on his hands on the log, as he waited for the beaver to reappear. Quite some time went by before he finally heard another splash, and saw the broad tail strike the surface as the beaver began to swim quickly upriver.
“I wonder how they enter their house,” Eilian mused from his perch.
Curiosity overcame him, and he leapt to his feet and ran swiftly down the tree’s trunk to the ground. He went slightly further upstream, until he found a good spot from which to enter the river. He carefully removed his bow and arrows and knife, and set them on a large rock near the river’s shore. His shoes soon followed, and then he stripped off his tunic and leggings. He stepped into the cool water, then waded out into the sandy river bottom and the gentle flow of the river.
He felt the temperature lower and the flow of the water increase below him, and knew he was reaching the swifter currents of the river. He paddled back into the shallow eddy and contemplated his next move. The beaver’s home appeared to be deeper in the current, but the deadfall began near the shore. He stayed in the shallow water and moved downstream, pushing the twigs and small branches aside until he came to the beaver dam. The water was deeper here, a small lake forming against the timbers, and he stood on his toes with water up to his shoulders. He raised his arms and pressed down on the dead wood, and was surprised to find it strong and sturdy.
He swung himself up on top of the branches and tested them gingerly to ensure they would support even his light weight. Moving slowly out over the deadfall, he listened for sounds beneath him, but the beavers were apparently out swimming or were remaining silent about his intrusion. He tried to peer in through the branches, but mud had been caked in the spaces, ensuring a snug home for the creatures.
He returned to the shoreline and jumped back into the water where he knew the depth to be safe and relatively free of obstruction. He began moving along the deadfall, but the wood went deeper than the length of his arm. He drew in a deep breath and sank beneath the surface of the water.
The water was cloudy and he couldn’t see far, but he dove down to the bottom of the wood and began feeling the edge, looking for an opening. Twice he had to resurface for air, but on his third dive he felt a slight give in the wood, near the edge of the mass. He stuck his arm inside, but he was still far beneath the surface of the water inside the opening. He tried pushing his body through the opening, but his shoulders were too wide. He acknowledged defeat and pushed himself back into the deep water, kicked free of the deadfall and rose to the surface.
“I wanted to come see your home, beavers. But I am too big,” Eilian sighed. “I would have been a good guest. My Nana has taught me good manners.”
No response issued from the deadfall, but Eilian’s grin was back moments later. He would find more places to explore.
He swam to the shore and dug a small cloth from his sack. He dried himself off, wringing the rag out several times, and then dressed himself and places his weapons and knapsack back on his back.
“Goodbye beavers!” he called as he ran lightly up the path.
The forest seemed to grow darker and Eilian felt the change in the air moments later. Peering up through the leaf canopy he could see storm clouds. The trees were whispering warning to him, and he quickly scanned his surroundings, seeking shelter.
A large beech tree was located ahead on the path, and it beckoned to Eilian to seek shelter in its boughs. Eilian accepted the invitation readily and raced for the tree, arriving just as large raindrops began to fall and a rumble of thunder sounded in the skies above. He leapt for the lowest branch, catching it with both arms, and the tree seemed to aid him, twisting that he might gain purchase on the smooth bark. He climbed up several branches, settling himself tight against the tree’s trunk. He pressed his cheek against the smooth bark and felt the ripples of life running beneath the surface. The tree seemed to arch its boughs protectively about the elfling, sheltering him from the worst of the rain and the wind.
The storm grew in intensity; with crashes of thunder sounding nearly continuously, and bolts of lightening flashing in the darkened sky. A loud crash and crack sounded nearby, and the trees rustled and cried out in warning as a grandfather of the forest was split. A loud splinter followed, followed by an agonizing creak and the giant oak began its descent.
The beech tree shivered and trembled in warning, and Eilian leaped to do its bidding. The rain pelted him and the wind threatened to blow him from the safety of the tree’s limbs, but small boughs steadied him as he moved to the other side of the tree and up several branches. Mere seconds later the oak crashed into a smaller relative, its weight uprooting the smaller tree as it pressed it to the ground. The giant oak rolled then, and its uppermost branches smacked against the beech tree.
The beech tree’s limbs were bent, and some snapped off, as the oak bounced off them one last time before coming to rest on the forest floor. The storm raged around the mourning trees, unmindful of the hurt it had caused.
Eilian trembled, both in fear and awe, at the might of a storm that could topple a tree that surely his grandfather Oropher had looked up to when he first came to the Greenwood. The beech tree grieved its own small loss as well as the greater loss of its friend, but never ceased its protection of the elfling cradled in its branches.
The thunder and lightening finally ceased and the rains changed from a blowing fury to a steady downpour. The water formed small rivers, carving out channels in the leaves and clutter of the forest floor. The rivers crossed the path and ran over the small embankment, carving new temporary waterfalls into the Forest River. The outpours from the sky finally ceased, and small rays of sun filtered through the leaves to the ground.
Where the mighty oak once stood, a great gap now existed. The sun poured through where once it could not reach, and Eilian watched with eyes widened in amazement as a great rainbow slipped from the sky to the forest floor. A cry of delight slipped from his lips as he climbed swiftly to the ground and raced to stand beneath the rainbow. He could see the beech tree through the colored mist and he danced in joy at seeing so closely that for which he was named.
The voices of the trees rose in joy as well, for a rainbow in their forest was a rare and welcome sight. All too soon the air began to dry, the mist vanished and the rainbow withdrew. Eilian watched it disappear, then walked to the base of the great oak.
Even lying upon its side, the girth of the oak was taller than Eilian. He patted its side and sang a mournful ballad as the tree whispered its last song. Then the beech called to him again and he returned to his guardian, wrapping his arms about its base, and thanking it for its care. With a final bow he departed for home.
* * *
Lorellin dozed in Thranduil’s arms, sated and drained and content. The fingers of one of his hands played in her hair, a lock wound round his fist, springing free and then being captured again. His other hand lay across her belly, below her breasts, cradling them gently. She closed her eyes, listening to the sounds of the birds and the trees, until a change in the song caught her attention. She sat up and looked to the west, where storm clouds were gathering.
Thranduil sat up behind her, noting the storm clouds, but more fascinated with the gentle curve of his wife’s back. He gathered her hair into one hand, and kissed the nape of her neck, a smug grin on his face as he saw the light marks still present from his last exploration there.
“A storm draws near,” Lorellin stated needlessly.
Thranduil glanced again at the darkening sky and read his wife’s heart. “He is well protected, meleth-nín.”
She smiled at him and he remembered again the first time she had done so. He could melt beneath that smile.
“This I know. Eilian will see it as an adventure, another great experience, as he does each new thing in life. I fear at times he gives little thought for his own safety,” she mused.
“He is a child of the forest. It will protect him, and so will Maltanaur,” replied Thranduil, his attention now turned to the hardened nipples that had pressed against his chest when Lorellin had turned to speak to him. He nudged her down into his arms, and bent his head to the feast before him.
Lorellin ran her fingers through the golden mane falling about her as he again heightened her desire. He was agonizingly thorough and only the distant rumble of thunder pulled her from the pleasure she was experiencing. She could feel that his own desire had increased and she pulled on his hair, drawing his lips back to her own. She kissed him, then whispered, “If you do not wish to be interrupted, I suggest you hurry.”
She discovered just how quickly the king could hurry. With a feral grin he rolled her to the ground, pinning her there with his weight. His body was lean and hard and full of desire, and whereas their early lovemaking had been slow and tender, this time he thrilled her with his driving need. Their bodies joined with a deep hard thrust, and they consummated quickly as the trees whispered in delight at their cries of passion.
The first raindrops fell as Thranduil collapsed on top of her, and he rolled over to feel the soothing wetness cover his body. Laughing they leapt to their feet, seeking shelter near the base of the amused beech tree. The initial rain was light, and Lorellin pulled Thranduil to dance naked in the refreshing shower.
Thunder rumbled over their heads and a bolt of lightning lit the darkened sky, driving them quickly back to the security of the great beech. They dried with the blanket, and slipped back into their clothing.
The fury of the storm lasted only minutes, finally abating after a final burst of heavy rain. Lorellin had watched it from the security of Thranduil’s arms, his chin resting on her shoulder and his warm breath in her ear. She tipped her head back for a final kiss.
“Now we must wait for our rainbow,” she reminded him.
They walked slowly back to the palace, and as they looked west to where Eilian had gone to spend his day, a glorious rainbow appeared above the forest. At this they both chuckled in delight, for such a sign held great meaning. It soon disappeared, but still they waited.
Finally the rainbow they had been waiting for appeared. A small elf ran from the cover of the forest and headed towards them. A smile lit his face as he recognized his parents and he flew into their arms.
“Ada! Nana! I saw a rainbow!” he exclaimed.
Lorellin hugged her son tight. “I am glad, Eilian, but on this your begetting day I received a greater gift.”
Eilian looked at her in surprise. “What is it, Nana?”
“Today I saw two rainbows. Welcome home, Eilian,” she smiled at him. “Come and tell us about your day.”
Eilian skipped along between his parents and decided this had been the best begetting day ever.
Thranduil turned his head to watch as another elf appeared from the forest canopy. Maltanaur waved and disappeared for home, and Thranduil smiled as he silently agreed with Eilian’s assessment. Next to the actual begetting day, this had indeed been the finest.
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