"I really wish you would reconsider Arwen." Melpomean pleaded again for the fourth time.
Not one to be deterred, Arwen shook her head, "No, I will not. I need to learn how to protect myself, Mel, and you are the only one that will help me."
Trudging along behind Arwen as they traveled away from the Last Homely house he answered, "Yes, but the reason no one will help you is because you don't need to know how to protect yourself, you are a Lady and will always have others around to protect you."
Mel should have known better and regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth. Arwen stopped short, spun around and glared at him.
"I thought you were different! I thought you understood!" she said accusingly.
Reaching out he took her hand. "I'm sorry Arwen, I misspoke, I do understand. Of all people you know I understand how frustrating it is when people want to protect you because they think you are weak."
Taking his hands in hers Arwen said, "Oh Mel, no one thinks you are weak. They just think of you the same way they think of me; that because of who we are or in your case because of what you do, we need to be protected."
Mel squeezed Arwen's hands and motioned for her to continue. "Let's go then. We can get some good training in before anyone misses us."
Mel and Arwen would sneak off whenever they had time and when they knew no one would miss them. They had started with a bow and arrow since Arwen already had some knowledge on the use of it. Over the first few weeks her accuracy became so good that she could probably have beaten her brothers in a contest.
Once she had mastered the bow and arrow they moved to a broad sword. This was a little trickier to start because Mel only had one training sword and he didn't want to start her off with one of his fighting swords so they had to sneak a training sword out from under Glorfindel’s eyes. Between the two of them they succeeded and Arwen soon started her lessons on that. As before she took to this as well as the bow and arrow, and soon they moved on to the fighting swords.
They had just finished a session with the swords and were lying in the grass resting before they traveled back home.
Lying on her back looking up at the sky, Arwen spoke, "You know Mel, I don't remember you telling me how and when it was you came to learn how to fight so well?"
Mel was leaning back against a tree and he picked up the sword lying next to his side. He stared at it a few moments then looked over at Arwen and touched her fingers. “I learned to fight just after your Nana sailed,” he said quietly. “As to how, it was sort of the same as this – in secret”
I ventured off and would watch the men fight. At the time everyone was joking that I was watching one soldier or another, trying to catch someone's eye, but in truth I was watching them all, watching and learning."
Arwen, whose eyes had closed when Mel started talking, looked over at him, "I'm really glad you're such a good learner, Mel."
"Me too, Arwen, me too." Standing up he clasped her arm and helped her up. "Let's get back, we've been gone a while and I need to make sure I get the swords back into my room without anyone seeing." Picking up the swords he joked, "Besides I have a meeting with your father and I don't want to get on his bad side by being late."
Laughing Arwen said, "Oh please, Mel, believe me you can do no wrong in my father's eyes." Looking over at her friend she winked, "Besides, even if you haven't noticed it, I've seen how he looks at you when you're not looking." Seemingly happy with herself with the shocking revelation Arwen began walking back toward home.
As Mel followed her back along the familiar trail, the words she said sank into his brain. Was she just teasing him because she knew how he felt about her father? No, Arwen was too good a friend to do something cruel like that. And by mentioning it, did that mean Arwen would approve of a relationship between him and her father? That thought made him slip on some leaves on the path and Mel quickly stopped daydreaming and hurried to catch up with Arwen. He would think about it more later on.
Unfortunately later just happened to be at the meeting he was having with Elrond and Erestor. They were there to discuss the details of the upcoming summer celebration and it wasn't until he realized that both Elrond and Erestor had stopped talking and were looking at him that he realized he had been too engrossed in his thoughts and also had been staring at Elrond.
Clearing his throat Erestor asked, "Are you all right Mel?"
Trying his best to keep from blushing Mel answered, "Yes of course, Master Erestor, I'm fine, just a little preoccupied." He looked over at Elrond who was still smiling at him and said, "I apologize, Lord Elrond, for my inattentiveness."
Elrond waved his hand in dismissal, "There is nothing to apologize for, Melpomean, and I have told you numerous times you can address me as Elrond, there's no need for titles."
"Of course sir, I'm sorry." Mel replied quietly.
Elrond laughed at his reply and reached out and touched his hand. "And you don't have to call me sir either, Mel."
Looking from Elrond to Mel and realizing work wasn't going to get done, Erestor gathered up his papers. "Maybe we should get together tomorrow, same time? It's time for dinner now."
Mel didn't dare move with Elrond's hand currently on top of his. "Of course, Master Erestor. Tomorrow."
Elrond looked at Erestor and smiled, "You are correct, my friend, it is late and tomorrow would be better." Looking back at Mel Elrond asked, "Would you care to walk to dinner with me?"
"Of course Lord Elr.., uh I mean Elrond." Mel stammered out. Cursing himself for his behavior he swore to himself that he was going to kill Arwen the next time he saw her, putting fanciful notions in his head. Elrond was just being nice, nothing more.
As he walked down the hallways to dinner, he listened as Elrond spoke to him about some of the suggestions Mel had made about the celebration. Each time another elf passed them in the hallway they seemed to smile at the two of them, which put Mel on edge. Why was everyone smiling at the sight of him and Elrond walking together? Then as Elrond pushed open the door to the hall it seemed as though everyone stopped and watched them walk together toward the tables and Arwen had an especially bright smile on her face. Oh yes, she was going to get an earful.
When they reached the family table Mel made to veer off and head toward the table he always sat at, but Arwen spoke up, "Mel, why don't you come and sit by me? I haven't had the chance to talk to you in a while and I'd love to know what is going on with you." She moved a seat over, giving him the empty seat next to her father.
Mel stopped short and looked at her. Smiling a little he thought 'two can play at this game.' "Of course, Lady Arwen, I would love to know what you've been doing with your time lately. I haven't seen you around the house as of late either."
Arwen's eyes crinkled at his comment and Mel realized as he took his seat that this was going to be a very long dinner. But if Mel thought Arwen was going to try and engage him in some word duel in front of her father he was soon proved wrong. Suddenly Arwen was thoroughly interested in what her brothers were doing, leaving Mel and Elrond to talk throughout the dinner. Having Elrond's full attention for such a prolonged amount of time was unusual for Mel, but he soon relaxed and as they were finishing their meal he even teased Elrond about something that happened at the last council meeting.
Then as their dessert was served Elrond asked, "So, Mel, I haven't seen you in the library as of late, where have you been keeping yourself."
Mel picked up his cup of wine to give himself a moment as he tried to come up with a suitable answer that wouldn't give away what he and Arwen had been doing. "Lately I've been doing a little private tutoring and this seems to have taken up some time."
"Tutoring?" Elrond asked a little too interested.
Hoping he sounded nonchalant rather than totally stressed, he answered, "Yes, there is a young elf in need of some extra help and I've been devoting my extra time to help them." Rolling his eyes at his vague answer he hoped Elrond didn't continue on this line of conversation.
Thankfully Arwen must have overheard and decided to come to his rescue. She began to talk about the upcoming celebration and ask her father questions about it. Mel sent her a grateful look and she smiled in acknowledgement.
Later that night Mel went to the library to get some much needed work done. He didn't mind helping Arwen at all, but the time he was spending with her took him away from his duties. As he shelved a stack of books he went over in his mind the events of the evening; the looks and smiles others gave him when he and Elrond were walking together, the conversations he had with Elrond at dinner and the relaxed way Elrond seemed to be when they were talking, the way he had hesitated when they had parted at dinner. That combined with the comment from Arwen sent thoughts through his head about Elrond and his relationship with him and some new found feelings that he hadn't known were there.
Realizing he had not shelved a single book in the last ten minutes, he turned to go and bumped straight into Elrond. The books in his arms went flying and Mel would have fallen flat on his backside if Elrond hadn't grabbed him by the arms and pulled him close.
With Elrond's arms around him and those dark eyes staring down at him, Mel seemed to be lost.
"Are you okay, Mel?" Elrond asked quietly. "I didn't mean to scare you."
"Of course," Mel said, "I just wasn't watching where I was going." He really hoped Elrond couldn't hear how fast his heart was beating. When he realized he still hadn't gained his feet yet he straighten up. As he stood Elrond let his arms fall away, but slowly, until just his fingers rested on Mel's arms.
Still not pulling his fingers away, Elrond said, "I really enjoyed our conversation at dinner, Mel."
"I as well," Mel answered.
Smiling Elrond asked, "Perhaps you would join me for a late lunch tomorrow? I have meetings most of the morning but if you aren't busy maybe you could come and have your noon meal with me, say around two?"
Mel nodded his head in agreement and said, "Of course, I will be there."
Elrond finally let his fingers drop and turned to go. "Don't stay here too late, Mel. The work will still be here tomorrow."
Mel watched Elrond leave and when the last bit of his cloak disappeared let out the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding. He began picking up the books he dropped and stacked them up by the door on his way out.
The wonderful feeling lasted till the next morning, until he realized he had to meet Arwen for a lesson. As he walked toward the spot where they always met, he debated with himself whether to tell Arwen of his luncheon plans or keep it to himself. Approaching he started to greet her then realized she had tears in her eyes.
"Arwen, what is wrong?" he asked. "What is making you upset so early in the morning?"
Dashing away the tears with an impatient hand she answered, "Nothing Mel, really. Estel and I had words this morning but it's not important."
She turned to walk down the path to their spot and Mel followed behind.
They finally reached the clearing and Mel saw Arwen was still crying. "Arwen, it isn't nothing if it is making you cry and to be honest we probably shouldn't practice today if you are upset."
This seemed to upset her more. "Oh please don't say that Mel, I must practice today. I need to finish as soon as I can."
Taking her hand he asked, "Arwen why the urgency? What has happened?"
"Oh Mel," Arwen said as she threw herself into his arms. "In two weeks time I travel to the Golden Wood to spend time with my grandparents."
"But why does this upset you so, you love it there?" Mel asked.
She buried her head in his cloak and whispered, "Because last night I told Estel that I was leaving and he said it was probably for the better."
"I see," Mel said and he held Arwen until she had calmed. "But maybe we should just take today off and continue tomorrow? I don't want either of us to get hurt and when we practice you need to concentrate."
Arwen took off her cloak and picked up the sword. "I promise I will concentrate; besides you said today would be our last day on the sword."
Mel laid his cloak next to hers and wished he had brought the training swords today. "All right, but we will just parry, no fighting. Let's just talk our way through the moves like we did in the beginning."
Smiling at him, Arwen shook her head in agreement. "Thank you, Mel."
As they began, Arwen kept true to her word, she paid attention and talked through the moves they had practiced. But then something changed and she seemed to swing the sword with a little more strength. Mel could tell Arwen wasn't paying attention; she had stopped talking about her moves and started fighting.
Mel backed up and lowered his sword toward the ground. He was just opening his mouth to tell Arwen to take a break when suddenly she lunged and her sword caught him unaware. He raised his blade a scant second too late and felt a burning sensation in his side. He quickly and easily knocked her sword away before it could go any further, but not before a bit of damage was done.
Arwen’s face went white as she realized what she had done and she rushed over to his pack where he always kept supplies in case one of them was hurt. "Oh no, Mel, I am so sorry, you were right. I got distracted." She rushed back over with a cloth pad and pushed it onto his side.
Mel took a few deep breaths to slow his breathing and hopefully staunch the flow of blood. The blade hadn't gone in too far but as soon as Arwen pressed the cloth in it seemed to take his breath away. Seeing the fearful look on her face, he knew he had to be the calm one. "It's all right, Arwen; it will be fine in a moment." He turned away from her to walk over to his pack and grab some more supplies. He pulled the cloth away and realized it was a little deeper than he originally thought. He grabbed another and replaced the now bloody one. "I think we should start back though. I don't have what I need to bandage it here."
Arwen quickly gathered their things and followed behind him. "Mel, are you sure you're okay? Maybe we should go see Father when we get back, it looked pretty deep."
Seeing Elrond was the last thing Mel wanted to do. "I don't think so, Arwen. I have what I need in my room and it will be fine. Honestly, I don't want your father finding out I've been training you by healing a cut; might not be the best idea, yes?"
"Of course you're right," Arwen answered. "Are you sure you're going to be okay? The cloth is bloody again."
Looking down at his side, Mel almost swore aloud. The sword must have nicked something more than just his skin, but Arwen didn't need to know that. "Yes, Arwen, I'm sure. As long as we can get to my quarters without anyone seeing then things will be fine. I know what to do to fix it and it will be just fine."
He knew Arwen wasn't quite convinced, but she helped him to get his rooms and left with a renewed promise not to tell her father or anyone else for that matter.
Mel went to the bathing chamber and began to wash the cut. Once it was washed it began to bleed more and Mel packed it with the healing herbs he kept in his room and wrapped a binding as tight has he could around his body. This was easier said than done with the injury hampering his left arm.
He sat down on a stool and watched in the mirror as the bandage once again filled with blood. He knew he should have told Arwen no this morning, and now look at the consequences. He sat for a few moments and watched the white cloth turn crimson and began to think which healer he could ask for help. It would have to be someone who would keep silent. He was just beginning to stand and gather more supplies when there was a knock on his door. He grabbed a robe and walked over.
"Yes?" He asked.
He heard Arwen's quiet voice, "Mel, it's me. Open the door."
Leaning against the wall next to the door he answered, "Arwen now is not a good time. I'm fine, okay." If she saw the blood she would surely go straight to her father, then ...
He didn't even get to finish his thought as he heard Elrond's voice very clear and very loud, "Melpomean, open the door now."
"Oh damn," he muttered and had no choice but to open the door.
Elrond stepped in and saw him and the blood staining the bandage under his robe. He turned to the door and began to close it. "Arwen, wait in your room."
The door shut right on her "But father…" and Mel knew the change in his relationship with Elrond was not going to be the positive one he had hoped for.
"My lord," he began, but Elrond held up his hand and the look in his eyes said ‘do not argue’. He closed his mouth and let Elrond lead him back to the bathing chamber. As he felt Elrond take off the robe he suddenly realized he only had on a low slung pair of legging and nothing else. He felt his face flush and tried to speak again.
"My Lord, I...." Elrond turned to look at him once again, but he felt the need to continue. "I’m sorry."
"As you should be," Elrond said quite vehemently and Mel lowered his eyes. He felt Elrond lift his chin to look at him and he found a hurt look where he thought he would find anger, "You should have come to me right away, Mel. Why you thought you had to hide your injury is just beyond me." Reaching out, Mel touched the strong hand that was at his waist. "Elrond, I am so sorry."
Elrond nodded and began to unwrap the now loose binding. He reached into a bag Mel hadn't noticed at first and when the fresh pack of herbs was applied to the wound, Mel instantly felt relief.
"How long have you known?" he asked.
Elrond chuckled, "Since you two 'borrowed' the training sword from Glorfindel." He looked at Mel and smiled, "Did you really think you could take a sword from Glorfindel and he not know about it?"
"Uh yeah," Mel answered, realizing now with it said aloud how silly it was that they thought they got away with it. "Why didn't you say anything?"
Elrond started to put a new binding around Mel's waist. "Because once Glorfindel figured out where the sword went, we followed you." Mel started to step back but Elrond pulled him back. "I saw what you were doing for Arwen and how competently you were teaching her. She had asked so many times to no avail and as I watched you train her, I could tell you were being safe and you would watch out for her."
He finished wrapping the wound tight, and as he tucked the pieces into each other, the heat of Elrond's fingers on his bare skin sent Mel's heartbeat racing. When Elrond didn't pull his hands away but instead tightened then slightly around his waist, Mel looked up at him. "Thank you for keeping her safe, Melpomean."
"You are welcome, Elrond," Mel answered
They both stood there for a few moments, neither one moving, then Mel felt Elrond begin to move his thumbs gently across his skin. Cold chills suddenly swept through his body and Mel leaned instinctively toward Elrond. As he moved, Elrond's strong hands moved to his back pulling him closer and Mel reached up and grabbed a handful of Elrond's robes to keep him steady. This brought them closer still and brought Mel's eyes to Elrond's mouth. As thoughts jumbled around in his mind all he could think was how much he wanted to taste those lips.
"Mel?" Elrond whispered and he looked up into the dark brown eyes and saw need and want in the strong gaze.
"Yes," was all he managed to get out a scant moment before their lips touched and heat quickly spread throughout his entire body. His hands left the softness of Elrond's robes and traveled up to tangle in his hair. He wound his fingers around the tendrils hanging down while Elrond's hands tightening around his back.
They kissed softly at first, that tentative way two people kiss when it’s the first time. Through his many years Mel had known many first kisses but none compared to this one. He felt Elrond gently nip at his lip and he opened eagerly to finally find out what Elrond tasted of.
The kisses became more heated and just as Mel leaned it to a better angle, Elrond's hand pulled back and brushed up against his wound. A small whimper of pain escaped and Elrond pulled back completely.
Mel leaned in toward Elrond, missing the heat of his body, but Elrond put his hands on his arms. "Mel, you need to rest, to heal." He leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on Mel’s lips. "There'll be time for this later." Once again he kissed Mel but instead of pulling back he whispered into his ear, "Time for this and more later."
Mel shivered in excitement and anticipation. "More."
Elrond smiled and turned to reach for Mel’s nightshirt and helped him into it. He led Mel into the other room and motioned for him to lie down. Even though elves didn't need sleep, they healed better when they rested. "I'll check on you in the morning, Mel, come by and change the bandage before you start the day."
"Thank you," Mel said as Elrond turned to look at him one more time before going out the door. Right before Mel went into a healing sleep he mumbled, "Later."
Mel was standing by the window watching the sun peek its way up when he heard a knock on the door. Smiling he went and opened the door and was greeted by an equally smiling Elrond.
"Good morning, Mel," he said as he walked in, his little bag in hand.
Almost blushing Mel answered, "Good morning, Elrond."
Walking to the bathing room, Elrond asked how he was feeling. "I am feeling much better this morning, thanks to you."
Chuckling just a little Elrond joked, "Well I wouldn't be much of a healer if I didn’t make you feel better." He motioned for Mel to sit and once again he helped him off with his tunic and began to unwrap and tend to the wound. His fingers softly probed the area and he added another little packet of healing herbs and wrapped the area back up. "Yes, it's healing very nicely."
As Mel stood to walk into the other room he found himself being pulled gently into Elrond's arms again and he smiled as the warm feeling of happiness rushed through him again.
"Here we are again," Elrond teased just before he captured Mel's mouth.
This time the hesitant kissing was nowhere to be found, this was kissing entirely for need and for want of each other. Already familiar with each other, their mouths opened at the same time and their tongues gently played against one another.
Pulling back only to catch his breath, Mel found his head being pulled back and Elrond began to kiss a trail along the side of his neck onto his bare shoulder. Mel's hands went to Elrond's shoulders and when his tongue ran across his pulse his blood raced and pumped through his veins.
A knock on his door startled them both and Mel had to take a few deep breaths as he walked to it. Looking over his shoulder he watched Elrond pack up his things and walk into the outer room. Opening the door he was greeted by brightly smiling Arwen carrying a tray so loaded with food and drink he wondered how she managed to get it to his door.
"Arwen, you did not have to bring me breakfast," Mel said as she carried the tray in.
"Of course I did, Mel," she said as she sat it down. She glanced up at her father and blushed as she greeted him.
Elrond walked over to his daughter and kissed her cheek. "You are not in trouble, Arwen, I told you so last night. You can stop acting like you did when you were little and got into trouble, you know."
Arwen glanced at Mel and her faced reddened even more. "Of course, Father."
Elrond went to the door and turned to Mel, "I will see you later, Mel."
"Yes, of course. Thank you, Elrond, for taking good care of me." He watched Elrond leave and he hoped his face didn’t blush as he answered. Turning back toward Arwen he acted as though nothing was amiss, and thankfully Arwen was so apologetic that she didn't notice anything.
The day passed as many did for Mel at Imladris. After breakfast with Arwen he went back to the library to finish the book shelving. He then went to Erestor and received his tasks from him for the day. Lunch was taken just past noon and was quick because he had the meeting with Elrond and Erestor. He gathered his papers and grabbed the list of things he wanted to bring up and headed off. Thankfully today he was much more prepared and attentive than the previous day and the meeting was quickly finished. Erestor was the first to leave and as Mel gathered his things he looked over at Elrond and found him looking back at him.
"Would you have dinner tonight with me, Mel?" Elrond enquired.
"Of course, what time?" Mel answered.
Cocking his head to the side to think Elrond replied, "Why don’t we say seven, give us both time to finish for the day?" Mel nodded and Elrond continued, "My chambers?" His mouth suddenly dry, Mel again just nodded in agreement. Smiling Elrond stood and gathered his things. "I'm looking forward to it."
Mel managed to get out a quiet, "I as well," before heading toward his office. His heart began to pound a little in his chest as he wondered if tonight would bring the 'more later' Elrond had promised.
Later that evening found Melpomean flustered and thoroughly disgusted with himself. He had been rooting through his closet like a she elf trying to figure out what to wear and tossing tunics and leggings everywhere. Realizing it was close to seven he hastily threw on a midnight blue tunic over black leggings and put his robe on top. If he didn’t hurry he would be late and he was not going to be late to this dinner.
He knocked on Elrond's door and hoped that the beating of his heart wasn't as loud as it seemed to be in his ears. Elrond opened the door, smiled at him and motioned for Mel to come in. As he entered he looked around and noticed how relaxed and airy the space felt. He calmed a little and followed Elrond to a table set by the window.
"I thought we might watch the sunset," Elrond said as he sat.
"That sounds wonderful," Mel said as he took the chair across from Elrond. "You have a fantastic view."
Elrond laughed as he poured them each some wine. "Yes, one of the best things about building the house, I got to choose where my rooms sat. I chose the best for sunset because I find it peaceful." He raised his glass and Mel did the same. "To a new friendship and whatever else may come."
Mel smiled and touched his glass to Elrond's, then took a drink of the warm wine. Their conversation through dinner was easy and Mel soon relaxed completely; he enjoyed talking to Elrond. They discussed many things just as they had in the past, but now they both seemed just a bit more interested in the other’s responses.
They finished their meal and Elrond refilled their glasses once again. He took Mel by the hand and led him onto the balcony. Their hands clasped, they drank the spicy wine and watched as the last rays of the sun disappeared. Then when it was completely down Elrond reached out, took Mel's wineglass and set it with his on the balcony wall. Looking into those expressive eyes, Mel went instantly into Elrond's arms.
Their mouths connected and between the wine and the company he was intoxicated. When he wound his arms around Elrond's neck he felt his feet come off the ground. Elrond had wrapped his arms around his waist and pulled him so close it lifted him up. As they ravaged each other's mouths Elrond moved them into the room and to the bed. As Mel went back onto the bed Elrond pulled his tunic off and the cool air sent goose bumps over his skin. Elrond began kissing his way from his neck down to his leggings and Mel was finding it very hard to concentrate.
As Elrond reached the waistband of his leggings he spoke quietly, "Open your eyes, Mel.”
It took some effort but he slowly opened his eyes and looked up at Elrond. His eyes were normally a deep brown but they were so intense they almost looked black. The more he looked into those eyes the faster his heartbeat; the faster his heart beat, the faster he started to breathe. The hunger he saw in Elrond's eyes almost completely took his breath away.
Elrond slid his fingers through the waistband of his leggings. “Tell me what you want, Mel.”
Honestly he didn’t think he could talk. His body felt like jelly and it was good that he was lying on the bed. He reached up and wound his fingers through Elrond's hair and pulled him down. "I want you, Elrond. I want everything,” he said, “everything and more.”
Elrond took possession of his mouth and pulled away only long enough to take off his clothes. As Elrond lay next to him, their naked bodies connected and Mel knew at that moment this was where he was supposed to be and who he was supposed to be with. The two of them fit together in all the right places and they explored each other's bodies slowly and thoroughly.
Elrond's mouth was hot and he blew into Mel's ear, "Top or bottom."
Mel shivered and answered, "You choose."
Elrond smiled bright and kissed Mel again. He leaned away only long enough to grab a vial from the dresser. Mel watched as Elrond coated his hand and then felt one of those long fingers sliding into him. He felt everything and whimpered for more. Also ready, Elrond settled himself between Mel’s legs and thrust in, making that final connection. Mel cried out Elrond's name as he slid his hand over Mel's hardness and began to move.
Mel grabbed Elrond's shoulders and moved with him. They got into a rhythm and he pulled Elrond down so he could feel his heartbeat against his. Mel moaned in pleasure as Elrond pushed into him all the way. He pulled out slowly and Mel thought he would die in pleasure. It was slow torture and it felt so damn good. Elrond pushed in again to hilt and Mel threw his head back and cried out again.
He could feel his body begin to explode and he tightened his muscles bringing Elrond to climax with him. As they lay together, waiting to catch their breath, Elrond pulled back and looked down at him. He pushed the hair out of his face, which he cupped tenderly. Mel leaned up and kissed him, pulling him down next to him and laid his head on his shoulder. He could hear Elrond's heart beating and it matched his and it sounded perfect. Elrond placed a gentle kiss on his temple and said, "I’ve been waiting for you."
They fell asleep at the same time, wrapped in each other’s arms, both of them knowing this was just the beginning of something wonderful. No matter what the future held, they would face it with confidence together.