The Company of Strangers

"There you go, Léoma," Onthéon murmured as he placed the blanket on the horse. "That'll keep you warm even with this bone-freezing cold."

A frenzied banging on the stable doors nearly caused the groom to jump out of his skin. The horse in the stall was similarly startled, but Onthéon gave him a reassuring pat on the neck before he rushed to the door.

"It's Léofur!" a familiar voice shouted from outside. "Open up!"

"Keep your boots on!" Onthéon called back as he undid the heavy latch and pushed the door outward. Snow danced into the stable through the gap while the other young man came inside, stamping his feet and shaking the clinging snowflakes from his perpetually tousled hair. He was breathing heavily as though he'd been running.

"Béma's horn! What's going on for you to pound on the stable doors like that?" Onthéon asked, his heart knocking against his ribs from the unexpected noise.

"Visitors," the farrier said, pulling a satchel of his tools from his back to his front and tugging the wide strap over his head. "Important ones if I had to be summoned by a messenger from Meduseld and be told to get to the king's stables as though I were a bird and not an iron-worker."

Onthéon peered out into the quietly falling snow before pulling the door to again. Léofur had already made his way to an open space where a stone fireplace sheltered a cheerily crackling fire. Unceremoniously he let his satchel slide to the floor onto a patch of hay.

"Why haven't I heard from Halma if this has to do with King Brego's business?" Onthéon said, irritation threading his voice, when there was yet another knock on the wide stable door.

"Onthéon! It's Halma. I bring two guests of the king and their charges."

"Of course!" Onthéon exclaimed, again pushing open the door with a loud creak.

He braced himself against the cold, which seemed intent on taking advantage of the interruptions in his usually uneventful, cozy evenings at the royal stables. He stepped back, lowering his head in deference to the rank of the visitors and Halma himself, their ailing king's head of household. It was when Onthéon heard Léofur's sharp intake of breath that the groom's head snapped up to regard the guests and their equine companions. The shock must have blazed as brightly on his face as the sun in high summer, because Halma said, "Master Elves, this is Onthéon, march-groom to the royal horses. Your fine steeds will be in his excellent care."

Onthéon stood taller with that compliment, stepping back out of the way so that Halma and the two Elves and their horses could find comfort in the warmth of the stables.

"Onthéon, please accompany Elladan and Elrohir back to the Golden Hall once Léofur has tended to the needy horse," Halma commanded, turning his attentions to the tall, hooded Elves. "Rooms will be ready for you by the time you are finished here," he said with a gracious nod of his head.

"There's no need to trouble the king's staff with two lodgings," one of the Elves said, his face mostly hidden by the hood of his silver cloak. "As twins, we are used to sharing. One room will be luxury enough compared to sleeping out in the long-stretched arms of winter."

They glanced at each other, an unspoken message passing between them, or so it appeared to Onthéon's wide-eyed gaze.

"Twins?" Léofur whispered behind Onthéon, who hissed an almost imperceptible, "Hush!"

"As you wish," the king's steward said, quickly taking his leave and shutting the door with a sturdy clank.

"Well, we are definitely in the right place to take care of Tinnuroch's foot!" one of the Elves said to the other. He wrinkled his nose, though his voice was light with mirth.

"Be grateful we were on the border of Calenardhon and not near one of the Dwarvish enclaves," the other replied, his voice identical in tone. He pulled back his hood, revealing a fierce, handsome face, his grey eyes as keen as a hawk's.

"I can see by the limp which of your horses must be Tinnuroch," Léofur said, pointing at a chestnut horse. His reins were held by the Elf who'd commented on the unique scent found in all stables. "Is he skittish?"

"Not at all around those he knows, or trusts," the Elf replied, sliding back his hood and shaking out his dark hair. It lay long and straight, falling in front of his shoulders.

Onthéon knew he was staring and chided himself, but he was utterly captivated by the pale-skinned creatures, even more so than by their horses— a sentiment which was atypical for him. Onthéon forged deep bonds with the horses he cared for, and only to a lesser degree, their masters. He'd heard tales of Elves, but he hadn't fully believed in their existence. And he'd certainly never expected two to show up, strong of limb, fully armed and on horseback like any who joined the éoreds in the Mark. When he realised that both Elves were regarding him with bemused smiles, a flush crept resolutely up his neck.

"Do not be troubled about your surprise at our presence," one said, patting Tinnuroch and handing his reins to Léofur, who took them with slightly trembling fingers. "We have not been in your land for many years, and our kind, except for Elrohir and myself, tend to keep to their own."

He gave Onthéon an evaluating look, one that caused the groom's blood to heat. He'd heard of certain men in the éothéod who bedded other men, especially during long patrols. Onthéon knew nothing of Elf-kind, however. While he felt that he'd been sized up and found at least not unappealing, he could well be misinterpreting the look in the foreigner's eyes. He chastised himself for being disappointed if that were the case; he was there to serve their horses, not drift off into a fantasy in which he served them.

"My apologies, Master Elrohir and," he stopped, looking guiltily at the warrior-Elf who'd been speaking to him. "I am so sorry. I was caught so off guard at your arrival that I didn't catch your name."


"Thank you." Onthéon hung his head, spending a few moments to scrutinise the stable floor. He was bound to make an idiot of himself; he couldn't tell the two apart. They were exact mirrors of each other.

"He'll definitely need to have his shoe repaired," Léofur said from a short distance away, where he had been occupied with the job he'd been summoned to do. It was far more than Onthéon could say for himself. "I brought my tools and can remove it for the night. Will you need him road-ready before the morrow?" he asked, standing at the horse's side, running a calming hand through its thick mane.

"No, we are not in great haste," Elrohir stated, smiling when his horse nosed at his shoulder. "Onthéon, I would like to stable Suldal myself. While I've no doubt you're quite skilled in this realm, having the position you do, I wish to assist in his tending. He's carried me for many leagues and years."

"You just want to ensure he's appropriately spoiled now that we're out of the wilds," Elladan joked, winking at Onthéon, who began to feel an embarrassing ache between his legs. He quickly turned his thoughts to the list of tasks involved cleaning a royal horse of its day's work and preparing it to rest for the night.

"I'll take Tinnuroch's shoe with me back to our forge, if that is acceptable, and return it after first light tomorrow," Léofur said, seemingly as awed as Onthéon by the presence of the princely Elves. His gaze flitted from Elladan to Elrohir and back again, as unable to focus on just one of them as Onthéon was. "I'd be honoured to look at both horses' hooves, and take care of any trimming that might be done. Since you've been on the road for a time, I mean. From the workmanship of the shoes, your kind knows horses well, I didn't mean to imply you didn't…" The farrier's rambling sentences faded as he fidgeted with the iron horseshoe.

"Returning the shoe tomorrow morning after a hearty fast-breaking will be more than adequate," Elladan said, his kind words helping to ease Léofur's obvious chagrin. "Your expertise will also be most welcome."

"Thank you," Léofur said, gratitude etched on his features. "You will be well cared for in Meduseld, though these are still days of mourning."

"Aye, we were told," Elrohir said, his voice solemn. "No father wishes to bury his child, but further darkness can bind to his heart when death is certain, but the physical body is never seen again."

A period of respectful silence passed until Suldal let out a low whinny, shuffling his hooves as though to remind his master that he was still wearing all of his tack.

"I'll be off, then," Léofur stated, gathering his satchel and sliding the horseshoe into a front pocket. "I'll have him re-shod in the early morn."

"Many thanks." Elrohir gave the farrier an elegant nod of his head.

Onthéon busied himself guiding Suldal to one of the spacious stalls, hearing Elladan — or Elrohir — speak to Tinnuroch in soft, warbling tones that didn't resemble any language he recognised. He heard the stable door be unlatched, creak its disquiet as it was opened, and then being slammed shut once more.

"Our horses can share the stall," Elrohir said, removing the finely made saddle, covered in designs of flowing script and ivy leaves.

"Are you certain?" Onthéon was taken aback; the king and his household always wanted their horses to have their own space for the night. "The royal stables are new, just like the recently completed Golden Hall. King Brego specifically made them to be able to shelter a dozen guests' steeds at once."

Elrohir eased the bridle over Suldal's handsome nose, murmuring under his breath before turning to the equerry. Just then, the torchlight caught on a stone hanging just below his left ear, a small diamond. Onthéon clung to the hope that Elladan didn't have an identically placed jewel— if not, he could tell them apart! The Elf's ear tapered to a point, belying his status of immortal. Onthéon felt suddenly rustic, unsophisticated, and dreadfully inferior.

"You're kind to offer," Elladan replied to Onthéon's earlier question. "Our horses are like my brother and myself in many ways; they're used to spending most of their time together, whether waking or asleep."

Onthéon nodded, shuffling out of the way as the Elves proceeded to dress down their horses, speaking gently to them and each other in their lyric tongue. Onthéon glanced at Elladan's ears as he worked, letting out a barely audible sigh of relief when he saw a similar adornment in his right ear. The Elves' capes hung on them with the fluidity of silk, but must have been made of special cloth to keep them warm against the winter weather. Just as Onthéon was feeling utterly useless, Elrohir asked him for a brush, and Elladan inquired about a cloth and a stool. Seamlessly the three worked together and in no time at all the horses were contentedly enjoying some grain, clean water in a trough and fresh hay under their feet.

"I need to be cleaned up as much as they did," Elrohir said ruefully, raising up his cloaked arm, sniffing near the hollow, and then making a face.

"The ripe scent of the North-South road lies on me as well," Elladan retorted, a bemused laugh huffed through his nose.

"There will be a servant at your room, ready to assist and draw you a bath," Onthéon said hurriedly. His words continued on, racing ahead of his mind, still entranced by the graceful motions of the Elvish princes as they'd cared for their charges. "There's also a hot room for sweating out impurities. It's also good for aching muscles, which you must have if you've been riding for days," he went on, nearly stumbling over the words as he realised how presumptuous they might sound.

"The kind of Calenardhon has a sauna," Elladan said dreamily, his gaze skating over to this twin's with a flash of feral delight. "Doesn't that sound like a surprise gift from the Valar?"

Elrohir nodded his assent, running his hand up and down Elladan's back in a comforting motion. The way Elladan's eyes fluttered closed and his mouth parted just slightly, Onthéon wondered what other thoughts might have been going through the Elf-prince's mind.

"I don't go to the sweat room often, but I always feel refreshed afterwards," Onthéon enthused, trying unsuccessfully to rid himself of a highly inappropriate image of joining the two Elves and seeing their sweat-slicked bodies on display. "Your horses look quite content— follow me and I'll take you back to Meduseld and to your room. I will have your servant bring you towels and he can show you to the sauna."

"Won't you be joining us?" Elrohir asked. The words were innocent enough, but Onthéon thought he caught a flicker of lust spark in his eyes… then it was gone, probably imagined.

"I'd— I'd be honoured," the equerry stammered. "Yes, that would be a tremendous honour," he soldiered on, walking quickly up to the doors after giving the fire a quick glance and reaching for his fur capelet. "I'll need to send another groom down to watch the horses until I return, but that won't take long."

"That will give us time to change out of these fragrant clothes," Elladan said, pursing his lips.

"The servant can draw you a bath while we're in the sauna," Onthéon said, now intent on trying to impress the guests and showing them the full extent of his people's hospitality, even when the king's household was in mourning and the king himself in an ailing condition. As they all approached the stable doors, Onthéon heard the distinctive sound of a rumbling stomach behind him. He turned around, the look of mortification obviously stamped on his face, because Elrohir — left diamond — quickly said, "It is true, we haven't eaten in a while. We know we have missed the evening meal. Perhaps the servant could bring us some cold meats, bread, maybe some cheese and wine?"

"Yes, yes, of course," Onthéon answered, relief flooding him as both Elves gave him a warm smile while they readied themselves for the cold walk. Even though he was considered tall and lanky among his people, he wasn't quite their height. He stood up straighter and opened the door, gesturing for the twins to go first. Onthéon's own simple lodgings were right next to the stables, but he decided he'd change clothes later, after their time in the sauna.

Thankfully it wasn't a far walk up to Meduseld. They climbed the wide stairs up to the inspiring doors, rich with carvings colored with green and gold. The door wards moved aside for the groom, but gave a wary eye to the heavily armed Elves.

"I must ask you to surrender your weaponry," Grimbald stated. "At least your swords and daggers. I assure you that you will be safe while you are lodged under King Brego's roof."

"We do not doubt you," Elrohir said smoothly, throwing his cape over his shoulder so he could unsheathe his sword. Elladan followed suit, handing over his sword and a knife in its decorative holder. Onthéon noticed the Elves' gloves, black and of supple leather. A thrill went through him; gloves had never seemed erotic before, but on them, the utilitarian coverings were provocative.

Shaking his head at his rampant flights of fancy, Onthéon spoke in hushed tones to Grimbald's fellow guard, asking him to send Byrnstan down to the stables immediately. Once the door ward had stepped away to do his quick task and the Elves were deemed disarmed, the three of them strode into the Hall. The inside of Meduseld was still in a sombre state. The King's councilors and extended family continued to keep their voices more hushed than usual, especially around the throne on its dais. Onthéon glanced in its direction— it was empty, indicating that the king's illness had him lying in bed. Aldor was now often seen conferring with the king's advisors, and Onthéon nursed the sad belief that he would soon be part of another royal funeral. He led the Elves away from the main receiving area down a corridor to a suite for guests, assuming that was where they would be lodging.

"Your monarch," Elladan said softly as they walked down the stone hallway, torches burning brightly in bronze sconces. "He suffers from an ailment of heart and spirit, not body?"

"Yes," Onthéon replied. "None say so aloud, but his second son, Aldor, will in all likelihood ascend the throne before the summer comes. Unless you could cure the king?" he blurted out, seized with a flare of hope that the mysterious Elves had healing or medicines far beyond those of the people of the Mark.

Elrohir looked gravely at him. "Elladan and I, neither we nor any Elf can remedy a broken heart. Too well do we know that," he said.

The bitterness in his voice revealed sterner aspects to him that Onthéon had suspected must lurk beneath the surface. He considered pursuing the topic further but then decided it was probably taboo, something deeply personal that would be rude to inquire about. As they turned the corner, he saw Fram standing in the corridor near the room Onthéon had hoped was the correct one.

"Onthéon!" the young man exclaimed with enthusiasm. "And— " He busied himself getting the door open and standing at attention as they approached, obviously bursting with curiosity about the identical companions following the groom.

"I am Elrohir, son of Elrond, ruler of Rivendell," Elrohir said, bowing slightly and placing his still-gloved hand atop his heart. "And this is my brother, Elladan."

"It is our pleasure…?" Elladan said, his inflection rising as the statement became a question.

"Fram," the servant said, awestruck and looking slightly uncomfortable.

"Please see to their immediate needs, then bring them to the sauna," Onthéon said, giving the Elves an eager look. "I think they'd also like some food. Meats, bread, some cheese—"

"And wine," Elladan said sweetly. "Unless ale is the preferred beverage made among your people."

"We do make both," Fram noted, gesturing the Elves into their room. "I'm sure I can find at least two bottles of last year's vintage. I'm told the wine was exceptional. I'm not an expert. Yet," he rambled on.

"That is probably for the best, at your tender age," Elrohir quipped, beginning to tug off the fingers of his gloves.

"I'll go tend the fire and make sure it's hot enough for a proper sweat," Onthéon said, glancing into their room to see what sort of travelling gear they had. His cursory look revealed that whatever they had brought from their Elven realm, Fram had already unpacked.

"We will join you shortly," Elladan promised.

Once safely en route to the sauna, Onthéon let his creative thoughts run riot, wondering whether or not the twins would have any scars, or whether their skin healed completely from battle wounds. Would they wear towels, or bare all as the men of the Mark did? Elves in stories he'd heard never travelled to Calenardhon, and they didn't seem to suffer any indignities. Elladan and Elrohir were far more down to earth than Onthéon could have imagined, though of course he'd never expected Elves to appear in the royal stables at all. Certainly he'd never have expected the arrival of two who were identical, with mischievous looks in their eyes, sensuous lips and leather boots snugly laced up their calves…

"Don't be stupid," he said disgustedly under his breath as he neared the sauna, built just outside the northwest corner of the Hall. "They wouldn't find you attractive— look at them! They might try to bed Byrnstan, or perhaps his sister," he mumbled, picking up a couple of logs to stack by the iron stove inside the sauna.

He could feel the heat of the stove from outside; he'd have encouraged the Elf-princes to eat first, except that Onthéon knew a small group of the éothéod had returned a couple of hours prior and mentioned using the sweat room. He glanced in through the narrow glass in the door and saw, to his relief, that it was empty. He took a little while to feed the fire, draw some water from the nearby aqueduct, and then took off his clothes in the sheltered porch area, shivering for a few moments when he first got in the sauna. It was just reaching full heat when he heard the mellifluous voices of the twins bidding thanks to Fram. His pulse began to race, though he tried brutally to quash any notion that he would be able to enjoy either of the twins in any carnal manner. They might well be insulted or appalled that he harboured erotic thoughts about other men; he'd found that out once, and had been discreet ever since, to the point of having only fumbling, mostly unsatisfying experiences since then.

The door opened and a cold rush of air came in, though it was accompanied by the two Elves, clad only in towels around their waists.

"Ah, tôr, is this not an unexpected wonder!" Elladan said, giving Onthéon an inviting smile as he unfastened the knot of his towel.

"Yes, Ladan. Thank you for letting us know about this place, Malthennith," Elrohir said warmly, his voice rich as cream. He, too, undid his towel, shook it out and laid it on a bench.

Onthéon had started to stand, but plopped back down when confronted by the vision of the naked Elves. It was as though he were an adolescent again, his body reacting without decorum. He tried averting his eyes up to the twins' bemused faces, but the damage was done. The sight of their lithe, muscular bodies with sizeable, not fully quiescent organs hanging enticingly between their legs was an image now seared forever in his memory. He found that Elladan — right earring, more outspoken — sat to his side, and Elrohir sat on the wooden bench opposite them, lying back on his elbows in a prone position.

"What did you call me?" Onthéon asked Elrohir, pulling one leg up as though that would disguise his growing arousal.

"Malthennith. Golden youth." He gave Onthéon a provocative look, letting his gaze drag down to Onthéon's groin before returning his attentions to the groom's face. The smile that settled on his lips was anything but innocent; Onthéon's erection twitched.

"So, young horse lord," Elladan purred, pulling his long hair back behind him and plaiting it with deft fingers. Sweat beaded on his forehead, but not to the degree that Onthéon was sweating. His eyes stung from the drips of sweat sliding down from his temples.

"Yes?" Onthéon was proud that his voice didn't crack.

"You seem to respond to us — positively."

He devoured Onthéon with his eyes, but after past rebuffs, Onthéon didn't want to be mistaken or taken in by misconstrued innuendo.

"I'm attracted to my own kind," he said boldly, looking at Elladan full on. "I'm not ashamed of that, but it's not common among our people. I've mostly kept such knowledge to myself."

"You should never be ashamed of being true to yourself and your nature." Elrohir spoke the words with fervour as he turned onto his side, facing his brother and Onthéon. "While it may be a lonelier road, the rewards and pleasures taste far sweeter than settling for something you do not truly desire." Intrigue danced in his eyes as he continued on, "The stone walls of Meduseld seem as though they would contain noise well. Laden and I talked alone before we came to the sauna, and we'd like for you to join us in our room once we have sweat our fill. He and I respond positively to you, as well."

The dark eyebrow lifted in invitation was too much for Onthéon. "I would, of course! But— you… I…" He gulped, strangely reassured when Elladan placed his hand on his sweaty thigh, the fingertips not quite reaching his sandy thicket of wiry hair. "I'm not— I haven't had the experience I wish I did. My nature hasn't allowed for me to seek out many willing partners. But I would try to please you. Both of you," he breathed, the blood roaring in his ears when Elladan echoed him, pinning Onthéon with his wolfish gaze.

"Both of us."

"Yes, but not at once!" Onthéon quickly noted, his backside tensing at the thought of both of them trying to breach his untried channel at the same time.

"Golden lionheart, we won't hurt you," Elrohir said, his voice drizzling reassurance on Onthéon like warm honey. "There are ways for us to be all together that will bring you nothing but pleasure."

Onthéon relaxed somewhat, letting his propped leg fall open. Disguising his desire was pointless, and the Elves seemed appreciate more than anything else.

"You have been ridden before, horse-master?" Elladan asked, his fingers stretching into the heated vee of Onthéon's groin. The back of his knuckles brushed up against the groom's heavy sacs, hanging away from his body. Onthéon swallowed, wondering if the Elves could pick up on his thoughts.

"No, my lords," he said hoarsely.

Elladan's grey eyes gleamed. "Well, then, we'll be especially thorough in our preparation," he said, his tongue darting out of his mouth to lick suggestively across his bottom lip. He turned to look at Elrohir, now lying on his back, his hardening length the focus of both Elladan and Onthéon. "I suspect you had no inkling that we would find such a rewarding and memorable visit to Calenardhon, tôr," he went on. Elrohir turned his head to look lazily at him through heavy-lidded eyes. "No, but I am not sorry in the least. Onthéon, lion cub, what pleasures of male flesh do you know?"

"Not enough!" he sighed, garnering a low chuckle from Elladan. "I've been allowed a few men in my mouth, and had the same done to me only twice. I've kissed a few maids, and while it wasn't awful, it's nothing like being around a man. I've tended to rely on myself," he admitted, shrugging in resignation.

"A virgin." Elrohir savoured the word as though it were a ripe berry on his tongue. "Ladan, I'm positively grateful that the road took such a toll on Tinnuroch. Otherwise we would not have had this pleasure," he said, breathing deeply of the hot air, a smile on his face.

"Or this," Elladan said, splaying his hand on Onthéon's slightly quivering abdomen and sliding upwards to his chest, humming appreciatively under his breath.

Onthéon made a soft moaning sound at the Elf's feather light touch, wondering how he could survive both the heat of the sauna and the flames of passion so expertly stoked by Elladan's deft fingers.

"Perhaps we can return here later," Elladan said, leaning over to graze his lips along Onthéon's jaw. "All this talk about what we could be doing has stirred up my blood. Will we raise suspicions if you are with us?" he asked, planting soft kisses down the column of Onthéon's neck.

Onthéon struggled not to throw himself into Elladan's arms, instead snaking his arm around the Elf's shoulders, tilting his head so that Elladan could lick and nibble without impediment. "Many in the Hall are focussed on the king and Aldor," he said raggedly. "The wardens would only take notice if I abandoned my station at the stables and not sent a temporary replacement. The servants may gossip, but I'll be discreet entering and leaving your room. Speaking of, I may embarrass myself if you keep doing that. Béma's bollocks," he swore, his voice trailing off to a whisper.

"Ladan, you shouldn't tease," Elrohir chided as he rose to a seated position. Onthéon turned his head, his gaze drawn to Elladan's inviting mouth, his sensuous lips.

"Yes, kiss me," Elladan murmured, closing the gap between their mouths.

Onthéon eagerly pressed his lips against Elladan's, his eyes closing as the Elf slid his tongue into the groom's mouth. Onthéon was so enraptured by the sensation of being thoroughly kissed, mirroring what Elladan did as he heard encouraging sounds in the Elf's throat, that he squawked and jerked his head back against the wall when a hot mouth engulfed the head of his cock.

"Lionheart, are you okay?" Elrohir asked.

Tears had sprung to Onthéon's eyes; the back of his head smarted and the delicious feeling of Elrohir's lips on his shaft was gone.

"Yes, I'll be fine. But don't stop what you were just doing, great stars in heaven," he babbled, sinking back against the wall when Elrohir swirled his tongue around the dome of his cockhead, peeking out from its sheath which the Elf had carefully pulled down.

"He's good at that, isn't he?" Elladan murmured against Onthéon's lips before claiming him with a long, passionate kiss.

Onthéon briefly wondered how Elladan would know about Elrohir's cocksucking skills unless they often bedded men together, but then Elrohir swallowed him to the root and Onthéon's mind quit forming coherent thought of any kind. In almost no time at all, Onthéon felt the tingling in his sacs, a hot pulsing at the base of his cock, and he fumbled at Elrohir's hair to warn him of his imminent release. The Elf only increased his suction, taking Onthéon even deeper as the groom moaned into Elladan's mouth. With a gasp, the equerry broke away from the kiss, crying out as his hips bucked and his orgasm shot forth, swallowed by Elrohir's busy throat. Onthéon's chest heaved and he sagged against the wall. Pitiful, broken sounds came out of his mouth in huffs until his breathing slowly returned to normal. Elrohir sat back on his feels, looking much like a cat having dined on a particularly delicious bird.

"Thank you," Onthéon croaked before clearing his throat and trying again. "Elrohir, you're amazing. I've never felt anything as intense as that before."

Elrohir looked speculatively at Elladan, then focussed again on Onthéon, who was now uncomfortably hot and sweaty.

"You are more than welcome, golden one. But I will be the first to tell you, that was not at all the main course. Consider it but a small sampling of things to come."

"I'll be nothing but a boneless puddle if that's the case!" Onthéon said, laughing weakly.

"Yes, but you'll experience such pleasures that you will never forget our visit. Besides, your first time should be memorable. Elrohir and I will make sure of that," Elladan said, his gaze on Onthéon like a torch placed on oil-soaked wood. Onthéon would combust, a sacrifice on the pyre of two insatiable Elves. Perhaps that wasn't too terrible a way to go.

"You'll let me satisfy you two, as much as I'm able?" Onthéon asked, reaching for a corner of his towel to wipe down his face. Gingerly he daubed at the last remnants of his release from his softening cock.

"Do not sell yourself short simply because you haven't been afforded the opportunities we have," Elrohir said, standing up and leaning in to give Onthéon a slow, vigourous kiss. With a start, Onthéon realised the flavour in the Elf's mouth included some of his own essence, a thought and taste that didn't disturb him as much as it might have were he not with these two Elves warriors. They were still fully erect, and he'd not done a thing to assist them in their own gratification…

"Why don't you and I go to our guest room, and Elrohir will visit the kitchens to bring a large pitcher of water," Elladan suggested. "He and I can conceal our condition through presence of mind; no-one in the king's Hall will look at us and think anything untoward is coming to pass. I, for one, can be aroused quickly, especially with the anticipation of time spent mapping every bit of your eager body," he went on, causing new interest to spark in Onthéon's groin.

"Know that I will not tarry in the kitchen," Elrohir said, padding over to his bench and fastening his towel once again around his waist. Smoothly he pressed down on his arousal, which began to submit to his motion. "As I said, this was only a foretaste, and master horse-keeper, I am ravenous."

As Onthéon toweled off as best as he could, though he found he was trembling in anticipation from Elrohir's words. He looked from twin to twin; it all seemed like a dream, that both of them would find him attractive, that he would know at last how it felt to be breached and then ridden hard— and yet this was no dream. He knew it would burn at first and he'd not want to be on the back of a horse for at least a day…

"Do not trouble yourself," Elladan said, joining him out in the covered shelter as they and Elrohir put on their clothes. Steam rose from their bare skin as the cold air nipped at their heated flesh. "Elrohir and I do have more experience, it is true. That said, we are quite particular about where we plant our trowels, as it were. We know how to ease the way and will make sure you aren't stretched beyond your limits."

"Though we may test your perceived limits of fulfillment," Elrohir rumbled, placing a chaste kiss on both Onthéon's and Elladan's cheeks before striding quickly up the stairs to the narrow door. "Hurry to the room!" he called out as Elladan held the door open, waiting patiently while Onthéon unsteadily climbed the few stairs to the Hall.

Elladan remained quiet during their relatively short walk to the guest room. Since it was mid evening, many in the royal household were in another section of Meduseld. Fram was posted outside of the twins' room, his drooping posture transformed to that of a straight-backed sentinel when he saw them approach.

"Did you enjoy the sauna?" he asked Elladan, withdrawing a key from his pocket and unlocking the carved wooden door.

"It was just what Elrohir and I needed after our days of travel with only nature's shelter," the Elf replied, glancing to Onthéon with a sultry look once the servant's face was turned away. "The company of your horse-warden was appreciated as well."

"I've never known any of your kind to visit before," Fram said. The hopeful look on his face caused guilt to flit around Onthéon's stomach like a cluster of moths. Once again, Elladan was able to choreograph the situation to the result he wanted without hurting the feelings of the third party.

"I believe that we will stay at least through the mid-day meal tomorrow," the Elf said amicably as he made space for Onthéon to walk past him into the room. "It would be a pleasure to speak with you about our people and some of our customs after our fast-breaking, if you are interested in knowing more about us."

Fram's eyes grew wide, delight etched on his broad face. "Yes, I am." Newly enthused, he gushed, "I brought you and your twin quite a bit of food, and several bottles of wine. Is your brother coming soon?"

"He will return shortly. Thank you, dear Fram, for all you have done and for your attentions to our needs and comfort. If I am allowed to relieve you of your duties, please consider yourself at ease for the night. Onthéon will remain for a time, but he has no need of an escort."

"Of course. Until the morrow, then."

Fram bowed, and then efficiently closed the door.

"We'll eat later, but wine— that we should have immediately!" Elladan stated, tossing his cloak on a chair and striding to the table. He wore only a tunic and leggings that showcased his strong legs; Onthéon wanted to see him in all his naked glory again. He felt an unexpected melancholy at knowing this would be an unforgettable night, and yet it would go by too quickly for his taste. He trained his sights on Elladan's shapely backside, rounder and more muscled than his own. Once Elladan had turned around, Onthéon was treated to the view of a mound beginning to show at his groin. He drew his gaze up to the amused Elf's face, a lascivious grin settling on his lips.

"Look all you like, lionheart," Elladan said provocatively, handing him a glass of wine. "You saw before and now you will get to explore to your fill."

Keeping his gaze fixed on Elladan's bright grey eyes, with brazen fingers Onthéon smoothed a path from Elladan's hip diagonally to the bulge between his legs. His mouth watered and he licked at his lips, squeezing oh so gently at the hardening flesh through the thin fabric. The diamond in Elladan's ear caught the torchlight, and Onthéon shuffled a step closer, running his tongue along the lobe to its exotic pointed tip. When Elladan groaned aloud, Onthéon's cock jumped in his breeches. Pleased and excited that he'd found a particularly erogenous area, Onthéon nibbled on the tender skin, breathing hotly against it as Elladan made indecent moaning sounds, arching his pelvis into the groom's hand.

"Elrohir," he gasped.

"What?" Onthéon asked, his forehead wrinkling at the thought of Elladan confusing him for his twin.

"He's coming to the door, golden boy."

Elladan took a small mouthful of wine, and then pressed his lips to Onthéon's. Startled, he slowly opened his mouth. Elladan shared the warmed wine from his mouth to Onthéon's, an erotic gift that went to Onthéon's head faster than the effects of the potent wine itself. He swallowed, and then drank some of his own wine as Elladan gently extricated himself from Onthéon's clasp.

"I'll let him in. He and I need to discuss a few matters, but we will not be long," he murmured, nipping and then pulling Onthéon's lower lip into his mouth. "Please go into our chamber and remove your clothes. Get comfortable by the fire."

Onthéon didn't need to be told twice. He walked into the room, a thick woven rug on the floor in front of the fireplace. There a fire Fram had doubtless been tending every few minutes, burned brightly and let off a welcome heat. There were woolen blankets and a rare luxury, a bedcovering made of sewn fox pelts. Nervous, his skin seeming far too tight, and aroused nearly to the point of pain, Onthéon drained his glass. He wished he'd had the presence of mind to bring in one of the wine bottles, but in thinking of Elladan and his apparent fondness for it, he didn't doubt that more would be forthcoming. He put his glass on the mantle and shed his clothes before lying down on the heavy rug. Idly he played with his cock, licking his palm and taking himself in hand. Would they want him on all fours? What on the great plains were they talking about in the other room?

He looked up when he felt eyes on him— the Elven twins stood in the doorway, awe inspiring in their nudity, a pair of identical temptations. They seemed a bit short of breath, and Elladan looked especially flushed.

"By the Valar, you are inspiring," Elrohir said, wrapping a hand around the rosy shaft jutting from his dusting of black curls. "I promise not to hurt you, but I am desperate to have you."

Onthéon scrambled up to a sitting position, resting on his laurels, having let go of his aching erection as though it was a hot poker. "Yes, please," he begged. "Both of you, but I may need— may need time… between…"

"Generous, lovely braveheart," Elladan sighed, the words incanted like a prayer as he reached down and pulled Onthéon to his feet. "Come lie down on the bed, on your back. More wine?"

Onthéon nodded mutely. He sat down on the edge of the bed, jumping up again when Elrohir tugged the fox pelt off of it. Refilled glass in hand, the groom eased down on the bed again and took a hefty swig.

"That's enough for now," Elrohir said, his inviting voice caressing him like softest leather on his skin. He crawled onto the bed, kissing Onthéon's navel before planting a path of nips and kisses up to his awaiting lips. "Why don't you edge up, head on the pillows," the Elf suggested, and Onthéon readily complied.

Elrohir straddled his chest, his sizeable cock guided to Onthéon's mouth. Onthéon eagerly sat up so he could taste the fluid at the top, desire coursing through him. He licked and suckled the hot, slick skin, trying to recreate Elrohir's expertise. The flavour was different from the few other men he'd had in his mouth; salty, but with an indefinable hint of something that made him think of the hush of the forest, not leather and horses. Soon he felt Elladan sink to his side, taking Onthéon's hand and pouring viscous oil on the palm. The groom had been concentrating on Elrohir's grunts and words of praise, trying to swallow as much of the hard organ as he could. But when Elladan placed Onthéon's hand on his shaft, he lost his rhythm.

"It's all right," Elrohir panted, knee walking back apace so he could cup Onthéon's jaw.

"But I wanted to do for you—" Onthéon started, his head turning first one brother and then the other as he eased his hand up and down Elladan's length.

"Oh, you will," Elrohir purred. "Just let go of Elladan first, for a moment."

He got off of the bed and walked to the end, playfully grabbing Onthéon's ankles and pulling him down so that his backside was nearly hanging off the edge. Elrohir held out his hand, his scorching gaze still fixed on Onthéon's face. A small phial landed in the Elf's palm and he unstoppered it, pouring a generous amount first on his fingers, then on his erect cock, already wetted from Onthéon's saliva. It was all going so quickly, Onthéon no longer had the luxury of time to be nervous. He glanced over at Elladan, who gave him a secretive smile as he pleasured himself.

"He's impressive, isn't he?" Elladan said, his fluty voice roughened with desire. "I'm envious that he gets to take you this first time, but I will be your first in another way."

Onthéon seemed to have lost the power of speech, pinned by their twin hungry gazes. Though he wasn't physically bound, he felt like a rabbit cornered by wild wolves.

"Just relax," Elrohir said huskily, his fingers circling around Onthéon's clenching muscle.

"I've done that before. To myself," Onthéon said, pushing down on the pair of fingers that slid into him. "Oh! That's— that's enough. Want you… fuck me."

"Yes, Malthennith," Elrohir growled, pushing inside him at a tortuous, slow speed.

"Breathe, lionheart," Elladan said gently, and Onthéon did, taking a long, gasping intake of air. He could feel the soft skin of the Elf's sacs against his buttocks, the burn of being filled by Elrohir starting at the base of his spine. Tendrils of a dull ache spread through his nethers as Elrohir paused, obviously at great effort.

"Once I move, it will change to pleasure," he said, gripping Onthéon's spread knees.

"Then do it," Onthéon ground out. It was already happening, his tight muscle beginning to draw in the steely cock, rather than clamp down around it.

"Elbereth, Ladan, so hot, like a velvet glove," Elrohir murmured before slipping into Elvish that Onthéon couldn't understand. He set up a slow, deep pace, thrusting and nearly withdrawing before entering him again and again. Onthéon was engrossed in the novelty of vague need at long last being tended, centred deep within his channel, but he let out a sharp cry when he felt Elladan straddle him.

"You will please us both, golden beauty," Elladan said, slicking Onthéon's neglected shaft, curved up to his belly.

The equerry's eyes grew wide as he realised what Elladan was going to do. He clutched the bedding at his sides until his knuckles were white, holding on for dear life as he watched Elladan sink down on his length, the Elf's strong thighs flexing as he did. Onthéon made a sobbing, wounded noise as the unbelievable furnace of Elladan's body gripped his cock. Elrohir had slowed only slightly, but began thrusting again, faster and more shallowly as Elladan squeezed his inner muscles, gazing at Onthéon with eyes glazed with passion.

"You feel marvelous, our stallion," he said before slowly rising up a few inches and then impaling himself on Onthéon again.

It was all too much for Onthéon to bear. His arse was thoroughly ploughed as Elrohir pounded into him, his exquisite mirror image riding him, Elladan milking his own pleasure. Onthéon struggled to cant his hips up, to press deeper each time as Elladan reached down to take himself in hand. The room was filled with the debauched music of sex: the wet slap of skin on skin; Rohirric and Elvish words tumbling over each other in a stocattoed euphony; the cheery creaks as the bed was jostled by the skilled, enthusiastic Elves as they rode Onthéon to his completion.

"I'm— I'm!" he stuttered.

"Come for us," Elladan commanded with a gasp as he sank down on Onthéon's groin.

"Oh fuck!"

Elrohir had changed angles and now sparks danced off in the periphery of Onthéon's vision. Onthéon's imminent release was a python, coiled and set to strike. A thought caressed his mind, two voices, melodious sounds bidding him to let go, he was so beautiful, strong and desirable…

The serpent lashed out. Onthéon shouted as his release was wrenched from him, his body shaking from his curled toes to his clenching channel. Darkness crept into his sight even as waves of ecstasy buffeted his body. Tingles from the base of his cock flashed like lightning through to the ends of his fingers.

"Breathe, golden boy, breathe," Elladan said soothingly.

It was a struggle, but Onthéon took a couple of heaving breaths, feeling as though he'd been rescued from drowning. His vision began to clear, and as it did, he sensed that the twins were speaking with each other, but not aloud.

"Ride me to your ends," he said, his voice gravelly.

Elrohir spent first, spearing into Onthéon several thrusts more until he stopped, a low moan of satisfaction coming from deep in his chest. Elladan sat astride Onthéon's groin, the groom's tumid cock still sheathed in his body. The Elf pulled on his erection, his head thrown back so that Onthéon marvelled at his long, pale throat, his chest flushed, the nipples standing sentry up from the wide muscles. Elrohir's arm came across Elladan's chest, his hand splayed at the top of his ribs. All at once, Elladan cried out, his back arching as his seed fountained over his fingers. Slowly he righted his head, a sated look of rapture gracing his elegant features. He leaned back against Elrohir's chest, his eyes fluttering closed. Onthéon almost felt that he was trespassing on an intimate moment between them, and thought to close his own eyes, but their beauty was so compelling that he watched until Elladan came to himself.

"Ladan, our lionheart is probably feeling our weight."

"Of course."

The two elves uncoupled from Onthéon's groin, taking the utmost care as they did. Despite that, Onthéon began to feel the beginnings of soreness. It must have shown on his face, because Elrohir said, "I will go retrieve our salve. Onthéon, no, do not get up. Ladan will get a cloth and clean you up."

"I'm not broken! Only, well, I suppose I'm broken in," Onthéon said, smiling crookedly when he saw lust flare briefly in Elrohir's eyes before he went to get the ointment.

Elladan had cleaned them both up with a damp cloth, and smoothed Onthéon's sweaty hair from his forehead as Elrohir spread some of the sage-infused unguent on the tender skin between his buttocks. "So," Elladan said, draping himself alongside Onthéon's prone form. "Would you say that your first encounter with the Elves was a success?"

A low, throaty laugh burbled up from Onthéon's chest. "Had you come on a diplomatic mission, and I been king, I would have ceded all of the Mark to you in thanks!"

Elrohir chuckled, sitting on the bed, letting his hand play first on Onthéon's legs and then drifting over to those of his twin. "It is a good thing that you are not king, then. We have land enough. And thanks to you, we will have very fond memories of this part of our journey."

"Surely you don't think that we are done with him for the evening!" Elladan said boldly.

"No, not at all. That is, if you are willing to spend some more time with us, especially after a brief repast…"

Onthéon took a deep breath, willing away the unpleasant thoughts of the Elves' departure the next day.

"We of the Mark are known for our ability to ride hard and long. To defend my honour, I would stay mounted through the night."

Twin predatory smiles regarded him.

"To your honour, then," Elladan said, descending on his mouth with renewed hunger.

* * * * *

Author's Notes

This story is a giftfic for Elfscribe on the occasion of her birthday. It grew into a longer PWP than I'd planned, and is very much in homage to her, her love of Elladan/Elrohir (which, while not expressed outright, should be obvious to the reader nonetheless), and in some ways a Rohirric panegyric for her marvelous story, "Swan Prince". Thanks to heartofoshun for her beta, done in the last few hours prior to Elfscribe's birthday because these three just kept talking! And other things. ;)

tôr— brother
Léoma— lightning (Anglo-Saxon)
Tinnuroch— early night/starry night horse
Suldal— Wind Foot (both horse names from Sindarin Names for the Third Age (
The Rohirric names are fairly standard Anglo-Saxon combinations; Grimbald means savage/bold; Onthéon means to be successful or thrive.
This is set very early in Rohan's history, hence why I didn't use the word Rohan, or Rohirrim. Calenardhon had been bequeathed to Eorl, the first king of what would become Rohan, and in Unfinished Tales in 'Cirion and Eorl' there is this notation: I took this to mean that under Brego, the second King, use of Rohan and Rohirrim wouldn't yet be in common use, but they used the term Riddermark for their land. The twins arrived shortly after King Brego has officially proclaimed his first son's death. That would be Baldor, whose body is found by Aragorn and company on the Paths of the Dead. There's no real significance to this time period except that I'm a Rohan-history fiend and wanted the twins to show up soon after the completion of Meduseld.

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