'Here we are.' Mablung set a few bottles of wine on the table. 'This should be enough.'

Beleg raised his eyebrows. 'This game will be easier than I first anticipated,' he said, lifting a bottle and eying the liquid in it with a smirk. 'If so little is deemed so much so soon.'

Mablung let out a sigh from behind closed teeth (it made his top lip quiver, which looked most undignified). 'Right.' He set down seven other bottles. 'Is that good enough for you?'

'For starters,' Beleg said. He turned and, grabbing Túrin's arm, pushed him firmly onto the bench. 'You sit there,' he said.

Túrin did not dare protest. He was planning to just drink very little and then pretend to pass out so that the two of them would continue their "friendly" competition without him, and he could find a chance to sneak away. However children were made, he was pretty certain at that point that it was not worth knowing.

He watched glumly as Beleg drained one bottle into three cups. He pushed one at the boy.

'Keep your wits,' he said as Túrin barely managed to catch the cup before it fell off the table and onto his lap.

Túrin just nodded in reply. He was considering not speaking for a month again.

'Keep your wits?' Mablung smiled. 'I thought he was your competition.'

Beleg rolled his eyes, which even on an elf of his skills and stature still looked most undignified. (Correction: which on an elf of his skills and stature looked especially undignified.) 'Only to make this competition fun. Watching you pass out in under two minutes is not what I would call amusing.' He paused. 'Unless I could…' He glanced from Mablung to Túrin, smiled slyly, and did not finish the thought.

'So you say now.' Mablung seated himself near Túrin and clapped a strong hand on the boy's shoulder. 'Are you ready to show him what being a man means?'

'Uh…' Túrin's month of silence resolve was slipping again. He shrugged, and then nodded. It seemed the safest thing to do since he had practically no idea what Mablung was talking about and was working hard on his month of silence resolution. He looked down at the red wine and wondered if it was safe to assume that the two of them were not actually working together in a conspiracy to get him drunk, tie him up, and hang him from a tree, or whatever it was that Beleg had thought about doing to Mablung. He was sure that they could both think of plenty of wicked things, and he was not sure if they were too respectable not to try any of them on him. Maybe it was best not to drink at all. That, however, did not look possible.

'On your mark,' Beleg said, lifting his glass.

'Get set,' Mablung said, holding up his.

They both turned to Túrin. Could not a month's resolve even last five minutes?