ASKING PRICE


The Mirkwood King made his way up to the royal talan. He was late, though he knew neither Erestor nor Celeborn would say anything to him. The Lórien Lord had summoned him from Mirkwood; the silver-haired Elf seemed to want to make peace between the realms. Thranduil had been reluctant to make the journey, to simply send Saelbeth or Legolas in his stead. But, his son had insisted he see to this treaty himself.

His heart sped slightly as he neared the library where the meeting would take place. It had been almost a century since he had last seen Celeborn. Thranduil remembered how he had idolized the Prince of Doriath... Oropher had been a close friend of Celeborn's and Thranduil had grown up worshipping the very ground Celeborn walked upon.

Of course, Celeborn never knew.

Thranduil strolled confidently into the large room atop the massive mallorn with an arrogant strut. He wore only a simple pair of leggings and a green tunic along with heavy cavalier boots. The mithril circlet was a permanent fixture upon his head, laced with the first leaves of spring. His hair was loose, and his green eyes surveyed the room with his usual smugness. It had been clear to him, when he received the summons from Celeborn, that the two realms greatly desired his cooperation with this treaty. The situation was in his favor and he intended to milk it for all it was worth. He made his way to the largest, most comfortable chair in the room, flounced down into the cushioned seat, and put his dusty boots onto the elegant conference table. "Lovely home you have here, Celeborn."

The Elf-king watched Celeborn's eye twitch slightly, the only outward _expression of the Lórien Elf's displeasure with him. "Thank you, King Thranduil," Celeborn said politely. "Welcome to Lórien." Celeborn's silver tresses were bound in simple plaits, and he wore no outward symbol of his rank. Celeborn carried himself like the Prince he was. The Elf-lord wore only a simple grey-blue robe with the hint of a white under tunic peeking at the collar. Celeborn respectively bowed his head to the King, and Erestor did the same.

"Your trees grow tall and broad here, which is why I warrant you live up among them. Or is it simply that your... discomfort with Dwarves prevented you from enlisting their aid in digging out some lovely caves as we have in Calenglad?" Thranduil chuckled at the bristling he could see in Celeborn's glare. He waved his hand dismissively. "No matter. The climb to your aerie was most taxing. Perhaps I could have a goblet of wine before we begin?"

"Of course," Celeborn said with a strained smile. Thranduil watched with satisfaction as Celeborn stood and poured three cups of wine; he handed one to Thranduil, another to Erestor, and finally took one himself.

"Are we ready to begin?" the Lórien Elf asked as he sat once more, his cold blue eyes resting on Thranduil. The Elf-king raised an eyebrow at the obvious impatience of his companion, but chose to pay them no attention.

Thranduil took his time with the wine. He sipped delicately, swishing the liquid around in his mouth before swallowing. The wine was actually quite good, but he effected a nonchalant _expression nonetheless. "Where are Lord Elrond and Lady Galadriel? Surely they should be present for this meeting?"

Celeborn shifted uncomfortably. "My Lady is in Imladris with Elrond and my grandchildren, helping them through this difficult time. You may not be aware that my daughter Celebrian has recently sailed to Valinor."

The Mirkwood King sat a little straighter in his chair. He had not heard about this. His demeanor sobered, and he attempted to change the subject. "Then, by all means, let us begin. Tell me about this treaty of yours."

Erestor began going into the details of why the treaty was important, what joining it would entail, and the political import of it. When he had finished the official explanation, Celeborn spoke up. "Thranduil, we need your agreement, your signature on this treaty. Imladris and Lórien alone, separated by the Misty Mountains, cannot maintain meaningful connections without Mirkwood's support. We three Lords must speak with one voice. That is why we need your aid." Silver-blues flashed with a defiance that Thranduil desired to break. "Name the price and you shall have it."

Thranduil's eyes widened ever so slightly. Name the price, did he say? For a silly non-aggression, mutual defense treaty that he would have signed anyway? Of course he would consent to ally with the other two kingdoms, but that statement from Celeborn intrigued him. Perhaps he should exact a significant payment in return for his alliance. He wondered just how much he could get away with... "Are you certain that you can compensate me as extravagantly as you claim? My price is high and is not negotiable. Be sure you know what it is you offer."

Celeborn raised an eyebrow in indignation. "Aye, *I* know what it is being offered." After a moment of regarding the King, Celeborn asked, "What is it that you would ask?"

Thranduil removed his boots from the table and gracefully stood. He paced around the table to where Celeborn was seated, only a slight hint of a swagger in his step. He reached a slender, pale hand out to cup Celeborn's chin, lifting the silver eyes to his. "My price, my Lord Celeborn, is you. Your body. Your submission to my will for one night's time. Do you accept?" His voice was low, his emerald eyes focused on the startled gaze in the ageless face before him.

He felt the shiver run through Celeborn's body, heard the quickening of his breath. "I accept," he said quietly, his lips parting invitingly.

Thranduil grinned wolfishly, then turned his gaze to the other occupant of the room. "Do you have any objections, Lord Erestor?" he asked the stunned Noldo.

"B-but the Lady Galadriel..." Erestor finally stammered out, his eyes wide with shock.

Celeborn looked between the two, and Thranduil saw his gaze fall on the Imladrin Elf. "Erestor," Celeborn said softly, yet firmly, "I will speak with my wife when she returns." Celeborn then tilted his head, watching Erestor closely. "Do you have any further objections, my Lord Councilor?"

Erestor colored slightly. "No, my Lord," he said, looking away from the two Elf-lords.

Celeborn nodded and returned his gaze to Thranduil. "It is done. You will have me at your side this evening."

Thranduil lifted the quill from the table, dipped it into the ink, and signed the treaty with a flourish. He dusted fine sand across the large, flowing letters that spelled 'Thranduil Oropherion'. Turning his attention back to Celeborn, he said, "I shall see you in my guest talan then, once Ithil has risen." The Elf-King leaned down and nipped playfully at the pointed tip of Celeborn's ear before exiting the library, self-satisfied and eager for nightfall.

*****

Thranduil waited in his talan, sitting by the window, watching the sun set. He half-expected to hear from a page soon telling him that Celeborn would not be joining him. He would not blame the Elf for backing out; after all, he *was* married. Thranduil had no idea if Celeborn had ever had a male lover, or if the proud Sinda had ever submitted in his life. The treaty was signed, it was no great matter to Thranduil if Celeborn appeared or not. If the only thing he received from the negotiations was to make Celeborn and Erestor sweat a little, his signature would be worth it. Still, he could not stop himself hoping.

The King turned from his window-seat when he heard the approach of footsteps, his heart racing, and smiled upon seeing Celeborn silhouetted in the doorway. He stood up, the light dressing gown falling about his shoulders. Crossing the room, he ushered the Lorien Elf into the room and closed the door behind them. Without preamble, he wrapped his arms around Celeborn's shoulders and kissed him firmly on the lips.

Celeborn tensed in obvious surprise, but, to Thranduil's delight, he relaxed into the kiss. Thranduil slid his tongue into the warm cavern of Celeborn's mouth and tasted deeply of the Elf-lord. Celeborn began to respond, tentatively brushing his tongue against Thranduil's. The Wood Elf deepened the kiss further, drawing a quiet mewl from his soon-to-be-lover.

Thranduil broke the kiss and licked his lips, savoring the unique flavor of Celeborn. He stepped back slightly, appraising the fellow Sinda, his eyes resting on the swollen, glistening lips he had just ravaged. He thought for a moment, and when the glaze, apprehensive eyes of his companion opened, he made a decision. "If you wish to leave, Lord Celeborn, you may. Your treaty is signed; you appeared in my talan as requested. I will not endanger your fidelity any further against your will. I hold your obligation fulfilled."

He watched Celeborn's face, saw the anxious look cloud the Elf-lord's eyes. After a moment of internal debate, Celeborn made his choice. "I would stay," he said, and Thranduil swore he heard a tremor in the proud, strong voice.

"Do you know what it is to be my lover?" Thranduil asked. He toyed idly with the tie fastening Celeborn's robe closed as his eyes tracked the motions of Celeborn's gaze. He trapped the Lorien Lord's stare and refused to look away.

Celeborn swallowed visibly. "I have... heard things," he said hesitantly, and Thranduil felt a shiver course through Celeborn's lithe body.

Thranduil raised an eyebrow, smirking as he brought his lips almost against Celeborn's. "So, the tales of my bedroom prowess have reached even the ears of the Lord of Lorien, have they? Now I am even more amazed that you came here tonight."

Celeborn's face flushed lightly, but the elder Elf said nothing. Thranduil could hear the Lorien Elf's heart racing and watched the rapid rise and fall of Celeborn's chest. Celeborn was either eager or terrified; Thranduil hoped it was a mixture of the two. Suddenly, Celeborn dropped his eyes, and he cleared his throat. "I made an agreement."

Thranduil smirked. "Which you have fulfilled. Why do you remain now, Prince of Doriath?" Thranduil loosened the tie, allowing Celeborn's robe to fall open, revealing the under tunic that reached Celeborn's thighs, hiding the Elf-lord's arousal from Thranduil's hungry gaze. He stepped closer, holding his body near Celeborn's, tantalizingly close, but not touching.

The silver-haired Elf's breath caught. "I do not know," he said breathlessly. "I desire to stay." The Elf-king could sense the conflicted lust in Celeborn, but he had given his companion more than one opportunity to leave.

Thranduil walked past Celeborn, moving into the center of the room. "Very well, then," he said with a new hardness to his voice. "Take off your clothes and stand before me."

Celeborn slid off first the light slippers, then his robe and tunic quickly and, with a nervous air about him, stood before the Mirkwood King.

The Wood Elf paced a slow circle around Celeborn, looking him up and down appraisingly. When he moved behind Celeborn, Thranduil gave an experimental slap to the Lorien Lord's backside.

Celeborn yelped in surprise and Thranduil watched with amusement as the Lorien Elf instinctively moved away. Silver-blue eyes flashed dangerously at Thranduil. "My liege..." he said with a shock gasp.

Thranduil slapped Celeborn's buttocks again, harder. "From this point on, you will not talk and you will not move unless you are told. You are here by your free will, but now your will is not your own. The time for choice is over. The only option remaining to you is the word 'kelu'. That is the only word you may speak without permission. If you speak it, the evening ends, and you will be permitted to dress and leave. Do you understand?"

Celeborn nodded, his breathing slightly labored. Thranduil watched the Elf-lord close his eyes in order to collect himself. He could smell the elder Elf's arousal, and he wanted to take the Lorien Lord then. Thranduil could also see the trepidation written on Celeborn's face and took pity on the proud Sinda.

"If you have questions, then I give you permission to ask them. Ask all your questions now, for you will not be given another chance. I will not have you go into this evening unwilling or misperceiving."

"What is in store for me?" Celeborn asked softly, simply. He attempted to shield his nakedness from Thranduil's gaze, but the King caught his hands and placed them firmly at Celeborn's side.

"I want to see you." Thranduil smiled indulgently at the flushed countenance of Celeborn before continuing. "You can expect pleasure. You can expect pain," Thranduil replied, with hints of neither malice nor lust in his voice. Thranduil waited a moment longer, to see if Celeborn had any further questions. When nothing more was forthcoming, he nodded, mostly to himself. "Put your hands behind your head. Lace your fingers together and hold your elbows out straight."

Celeborn obeyed instantly; the blush on his face deepened.

Thranduil turned away from Celeborn, and rummaged through his saddlebags. He finally emerged with a slender wooden paddle. The light, fresh smell of pine filled the room. Thranduil gave the smooth, stained wood a few experimental swings to ensure the journey had not damaged it in any way. Once satisfied, he moved to stand again behind Celeborn. He placed the cool surface of the paddle against the naked flesh of the Sinda's buttocks and slid it across the skin sensually.

The silver-haired Sinda shivered at the contact, but remained silent. Thranduil watched his lover's body tense with uncertainty.

Thranduil's other hand snaked around Celeborn's waist, and he wrapped his slender fingers around the Elf-lord's semi-erect shaft. He gently stroked the soft skin as he continued to drag the smooth wood across Celeborn's behind. "It's no good if you're too tense to enjoy yourself," Thranduil whispered, his lips almost touching Celeborn's ear.

Celeborn moaned softly, but he managed not to move. Under Thranduil's gentle touch, he relaxed, his body becoming more pliant. While the tension in slender body in his arms bled away, the flesh in Thranduil's fist grew in length and firmness. The Elf-king took great pleasure in feeling Celeborn's member stiffen in his hand. To know he had such power of one he had desired from afar for many years made him almost giddy. He gently kissed Celeborn's shoulder, then drew back the paddle and delivered a sharp blow to Celeborn's rear; just a slight smack that he followed quickly with more gentle rubbing of the paddle and more tender strokes with his hand.

A sharp gasp echoed in the quiet room, but Celeborn did not pull away. Thranduil was satisfied with the initial response, and he removed his hand from Celeborn's erection and stepped back slightly. He pulled his arm back and connected with the Lorien Elf's arse again, smacking one side and then the other in quick succession.

Thranduil began peppering Celeborn's backside with a series of strikes, varying in intensity, location, and timing. He worked on keeping Celeborn guessing, never knowing when the next blow would come, where, or how strong it would be.

He could see Celeborn growing frustrated, not able to prepare himself against the blows Thranduil dealt. The King had many lovers over his long years, and many had stood in Celeborn's position. He knew what the Elf-lord was struggling with, knew Celeborn wanted to both beg for release and beg for him to never stop.

When Celeborn's backside was bright red from the paddle, Thranduil suddenly stopped. He brushed his fingertips across the heated -- and very sensitive -- flesh, enjoying the feel against his cool touch.

A soft moan escaped Celeborn's lips and a shiver ran through the Elf's body. Thranduil glanced at Celeborn's arousal and saw it glisten with his need. Another low moan found its way out of Celeborn's throat and he saw the Elf-lord's eyes dart toward him. Thranduil was impressed with Celeborn's eager submission.

"That's right," Thranduil purred. "You can moan or cry out, pen-velui (lovely one). I like those sounds from you, hirellen (my little lord)." He continued to slide his hand against Celeborn's soft buttocks until the crimson shade had faded to a warm pink. Only then did he return to his saddlebags and to retrieve the next item he wished to use. He stepped in front of Celeborn to display the toy -- a black leather flogger. A dozen soft strips of leather dangled from a firm handle, which Thranduil gripped. He used the tips of the strips to tease across Celeborn's chest and down across his arousal.

Thranduil saw Celeborn take in a sharp breath and stare at the flogger in shock and apprehension. The silver-haired Lord bit his lip, and Thranduil resisted the urge to take Celeborn's mouth in a savage kiss; he had other plans. He cocked an eyebrow and smirked at the _expression on Celeborn's face. The Elf-king reached up and behind Celeborn's neck. He gathered the silver hair into a mass, which he twisted into a makeshift knot. "Hold this in your hands," he ordered. "Let me see your back, exposed and free."

Celeborn held his hair as instructed, turning around so the golden Elf could see him. He was flushed with humiliation, but Thranduil knew Celeborn still hungered for more. And he would give the Elf-lord everything he wanted. Thranduil always knew who was truly the slave of whom in these situations, but Celeborn did not. He focused on Celeborn's hands intently; the Lorien Elf's hands trembled.

Thranduil had given Celeborn an escape word, so he felt no qualms about continuing. He began lightly, criss-crossing the strikes of the flogger across Celeborn's back, bottom, and thighs. The leather strips slapped against the pale skin with a percussive rhythm, not yet hard enough to even discolor the perfectly unmarred skin.

Once Celeborn's skin had been softened by the light strokes, Thranduil began to increase the intensity and speed, playing Celeborn like an instrument, keeping time with the Sinda's rapid heartbeat. Now he could see the skin turning pink under the strokes, painting a diamond-lattice pattern across Celeborn's back.

Celeborn began swaying with the strikes, and Thranduil was reminded of a primal dance. He watched with bright eyes, drinking in the erotic sight of Celeborn arching and crying out, panting and squirming with each strike. The silver-haired Elf was beautiful.

Thranduil began interjecting firmer strokes into his pattern, lashing out fiercely with the flogger once out of every ten to twenty normal blows. Celeborn moaned loudly, pain heavy in the sound, and would flinch from the lick of the leather when he hit him in a particularly abused area with a harsh stroke.

Finally, covered with sweat from his exertions, Thranduil returned the flogger to his bags, giving Celeborn a moment to collect himself while the King shed his dressing gown and released his own straining arousal into the open air. He approached Celeborn's back and pressed his hot, slick body against it, nestling his erection against Celeborn's backside and covering the Lorien Elf's sensitive back with his chest.

A deep, delicious groan full of pain and pleasure tumbled from Celeborn's lips as the Lorien Elf closed his eyes. Looking over Celeborn's shoulder, Thranduil watched, his eyes shining with unfulfilled need; Celeborn's length pulsed with every beat of the fair Elf's heart.

Thranduil reached around to caress Celeborn's chest, pinching the dark pink nipples until they were stiff and hard. His hand slid down Celeborn's stomach until it reached the Elf's arousal. He pumped his hand across the shaft while at the same time shifting his hips to slide his own erection along the smooth skin above the crevasse of Celeborn's rear.

Celeborn vocalized his pleasure in soft whimpers and needful moans, but he restrained himself from thrusting into Thranduil's fist. Thranduil was impressed with Celeborn's restraint. He wondered just how much restraint the Elf-lord truly possessed.

The Mirkwood King could sense the tension in Celeborn's body, feeling the muscles tighten in expectation of release. With a wry smile, Thranduil removed his hand from Celeborn's arousal and stepped away again. "Go stand before the foot of the bed. Bend over and grab the footboard," he commanded in a voice thick with desire.

The Lorien Elf haltingly approached the foot of the bed, bending over to place his hands on the footboard as instructed. Thranduil took a moment to admire the gentle arch of Celeborn's back, the full, round globes and the play of the Elf's muscles as he positioned himself. Celeborn was now terribly exposed, and the Elf-king watched as he shifted uncomfortably. Thranduil was sure Celeborn could feel the weight of his gaze. Celeborn's heavy arousal bobbed slightly, another drop of clear fluid falling from the tip. He chuckled to himself as he thought of a new form of torture for his lover.

Thranduil brought forth another toy from his saddlebags and approached Celeborn with it. He strapped a length of leather around Celeborn's waist and looped the dangling ring around Celeborn's member, pulling it taut. He then attached a small weight to the hook below the ring, increasing the strain on the Elf-lord's arousal. Celeborn's grip on the footboard increased and a loud moan broke from his lips. The silver-haired Elf trembled, causing the little weight to sway. Thranduil knew the delicious torture of the ring and weight too well.

"You will not find completion until I tell you. You must stay on that dangerous edge until my instructions." Thranduil smiled slyly as he issued the order, knowing what a difficult task that was. He then strolled over to the window and reached out into the low-hanging mallorn branches that lay just outside. He found a suitable switch and broke it off with a whispered prayer of entreaty to the great tree.

The Wood Elf looked back at Celeborn from across the room, admiring the pink-laced skin that covered the Sinda's back. It seemed almost a pity to disrupt such a delicate pattern.

Almost.

Standing a few paces back from the Lorien Elf, Thranduil began to swing the switch across the now-taut flesh of Celeborn's poor abused buttocks. The swift, stinging blows were enough to cause the small weight to swing heavily, shifting the loop of leather a tiny distance back and forth against Celeborn's swollen erection. Celeborn gasped for air every time the switch connected and sent bursts of pain through his body. The conflict was the ring. With every harsh stroke, the pale Elf was forced closer and closer to release.

Thranduil let another blow fall. "Do you want me to stop?" he asked.

Celeborn shook his head, and Thranduil saw tears fall from the pewter eyes. The Lorien Elf's breathing was ragged and short, trying to fight the urge flinch from the switch and to find his completion. Thranduil was not happy with a simple shake of the head, though, and he pressed on.

"Say it, Celeborn," the Elf-king hissed as he struck Celeborn again. "You can speak to answer direct questions. Do you want me to stop?"

The only sound for several long heartbeats was the connection of wood to flesh. Finally, Celeborn spoke one word. "No."

The Wood Elf smiled, his eyes dark with his triumph. "You want me to continue?" Thranduil prompted, striking Celeborn firmly across the back of the thigh.

"Yes, I want you to continue," Celeborn moaned, jerking slightly at the contact.

Thranduil sighed with pleasure at the admission from Celeborn's lips. "And what else do you want, hirellen?"

Celeborn's voice was rough, strained as much as his body was. "I... I do not know."

Thranduil stopped the whipping and stepped beside Celeborn. He placed a soothing hand on the Lorien Elf's backside as he knelt down. "I need to know your fantasy," the King whispered. "I'm creating this world for you -- not for myself."

The Elf-lord looked down at the blond Elf with a puzzled _expression on his flushed and tear-stained face. "My fantasy?" he murmured. Thranduil nodded. Celeborn seemed to seriously think about the King's statement before answering. "I wish to please you... I don't understand it, this need in me, but I enjoy the things you do to my body and to... me."

A look of consternation crossed Thranduil's face, and he reached between Celeborn's legs and gave a tug on the dangling weight. "Not good enough. There must be something... some act, some touch, some thought that you are desperate to express."

Celeborn moaned, closing his eyes against Thranduil's intense gaze -- a gaze that saw everything. "I want release. I want to feel you... in me..." he gasped, trying to get his body under control again.

Thranduil kissed Celeborn's cheek and brushed a stray strand of hair from the Sinda's face. "Standing here like this?" he purred.

"Yes," Celeborn replied simply.

Thranduil nodded. "Then that is what you shall have." He stood and returned to his bags one final time, retrieving a phial of oil. He pulled the stopper and released the essence of rosemary into the air. He very carefully coaxed Celeborn's legs further apart. He poured a little oil onto his fingers and began to gentle massage the slick digits against Celeborn's opening. "You need to trust me, Celeborn," Thranduil purred.

Celeborn nodded, and Thranduil felt the muscle unclench under his touch. Gently, the Elf-king eased his fingers into the tight passage, adding a little more oil as he did so. He worked two fingers into the entrance, then added a third. He took great care to coat the entire length of Celeborn's sheath with the oil.

Moans and whimpers of need filled the room, and soon Celeborn was pressing back onto Thranduil's fingers with wanton lust. When Thranduil judged Celeborn to be ready, he withdrew his fingers and poured a generous amount of oil into his palm, then set the phial on the floor. He coated his arousal thoroughly before positioning the swollen head at the waiting entrance. He carefully placed a hand on Celeborn's still reddened behind, and slowly buried his length into the Lorien Lord's passage.

Thranduil paused until he was certain Celeborn was ready. When Celeborn's breath slowed and the body in his hands became pliant, he began thrusting in a gentle rhythm, holding back his own release to focus on the sensations of pleasure. Celeborn gasped and threw his back when Thranduil's length brushed against his sweet spot. "Aiya!" he cried, the King's warning of not to speak flying from his mind.

The Wood Elf slapped Celeborn's rear as punishment for the spoken word, but quickly began rubbing the spot to soothe it. He increased his pace, knowing that the ring and the weight would be teasing Celeborn's length mercilessly. The Lorien Elf shuddered and trembled in his grasp as he fought the rising wave of orgasm. Thranduil leaned down, getting as close to Celeborn's ear as possible. "I want you to let yourself go, pen-velui. I want to feel your body exploding around me," he panted.

The elder Elf screamed his release, losing all strength in his legs. The Elf-king held the orgasm-wracked body in his arms, feeling the passage convulse around him, and felt his own body stiffen in response. The tightening of Celeborn's body was too much, and Thranduil spilled into the Sinda, moaning low in the back of his throat as his completion washed over him like warm surf.

Celeborn collapsed, exhausted. "Thranduil," he mumbled.

Thranduil withdrew himself, allowing Celeborn to sink to his knees, and he picked up the phial. He put it into his saddlebags and pulled out a second, this one a soothing balm that he spread on Celeborn's behind and thighs before he removed the restraining ring and its oppressive weight. Celeborn still sobbed quietly, overwhelmed with the pain and pleasure Thranduil had given that evening. The King kept to himself, leaving Celeborn alone until he had taken care of the worst of the marks, and he had cleared away all of his things. Only then did he say, "You may stand up, my Lord. Our session is ended."

They stood, both nude, covered in sweat and semen, but neither moving nor speaking. Thranduil honestly didn't know what to say, he had not thought as far as the end of their lovemaking. He shifted uncomfortably, fatigue settling into his bones. It was Celeborn who spoke first.

"I would do this again," the Lorien Elf said quietly.

The Sinda chuckled. "We can discuss that later." He then made a decision he thought he might regret later. "Would you like to sleep this night in my bed?"

Celeborn looked up and smiled slightly. "I would."

THE END

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