The muscles of Kili's shoulders were thick and hard, honed from years at the forge and wielding sword and bow. Tauriel loved them, especially in moments like this, when his whole body was loose and slick in the afterglow. He was wonderfully unguarded after lovemaking – not that Kili was ever one to be shy – and it gave her the opportunity to explore his body to her heart's content.

"Mmm, what're ye doing back there?" the dwarf in question hummed. He was sprawled face down in the pillow, halfway between waking and sleeping.

"Admiring Aule's fine craftsmanship," Tauriel remarked with a tender smile. The dip between his shoulder blades where the muscles flexed was endlessly fascinating to her. Where elves were lean and built for grace and speed, dwarves were stocky and built for power and strength.

"See anything you like in partic'lar?" Kili chuckled.

"Allow me to browse a little longer, Master Dwarf. There is much to see and admire."

"Take yer time. I don' think I can move m'legs yet."

She laughed softly and bent her head to press a kiss to the knob at the top of his spine. Her lips left a delicate butterfly impression in the fine sheen of sweat that was slowly evaporating from his body, taking with it all that glorious, sizzling heat. Kili's body was a furnace, and Tauriel often luxuriated in draping herself across his naked form to soak up as much of that warmth as possible. Elves were not much affected by extremes in temperature, able to withstand heat or cold without incident. So it had come as a wonderful surprise to Tauriel - the first night she'd spent wrapped up in Kili's arms - to find all the tension coiled in her muscles melting away under the steady, radiant heat of his body. Now she found it quite impossible to sleep without it.

Nuzzling downward from the nape of his neck, Tauriel made sure to pay special attention to the curve of his spine where it swooped into his tailbone. Kili's upper body tapered from broad shoulders to a narrow waist. The muscles here were no less firm than those of his shoulders, and she admired the way they moved under her delicate touch, shifting beneath his skin like shadows.

"I know how you love my arse, sweetling," Kili yawned, wiggling the body part in question. "And with good reason; it's a fine specimen of dwarfish arse. But it's damn cold tonight. Lay with me and keep me warm?"

"I will, my prince," she assured him with a wide smile. "I beg just a few minutes more."

"Insatiable elf," he chuckled, then sighed as she straddled his calves and smoothed her hands down his spine to rest on his backside.

All joking aside, Kili's "arse" – as he so whimsically put it – was, indeed, a work of art. Solid as stone, smooth and tight, with a little dimple on either cheek. "It is as though your backside is smiling," she'd told him their first night together, naked and dreamy-eyed in his starlit chamber in Erebor. Being with him always brought out her youthful side, and she found she could be silly with him without feeling diminished. That, as much as anything else, had made it so easy to fall for him so quickly and so deep.

"Just don't go tellin' Fili that, sweetling," he'd remarked with an easy laugh. "I'll never hear the end of it. He'll have ballads written about it. 'The Dwarf Prince with the Smiling Arse.' The stuff of bards and ale halls, that one."

"What're y'laughing about down there?" Tauriel shook herself out of her reverie and glanced up. Kili had pushed up onto his elbows and was watching her over his shoulder, a playful smile on his lips.

"Was I laughing?"

"Tittering like a sparrow in springtime, aye."

She leaned forward and steadied herself with a hand on his shoulder as she kissed his smiling mouth, his ubiquitous stubble pleasantly rough against her own sensitive skin. "I was dwelling in pleasant memories," she assured him, resting her cheek on his shoulder and closing her eyes as he kissed the tip of her nose.

"I ought to have known." He nuzzled her forehead and kissed her softly. "You were thinking about the dimples again, weren't you?"

It is memory. Precious and pure.

She giggled, and before she'd met Kili she'd never dreamed of giggling. "They really are terribly adorable, my love."

"Figures that of all the bits of me to fall in love with, yer favorite would have to be the blasted dimples on my arse."

"Who says they are my favorite part of you, Master Dwarf?" Tauriel grinned and gave his bottom a playful squeeze before sliding off of his back and stretching out beside him, her body arching like a cat. Dwarfs were short of stature but their beds were wonderfully large, and, since he was a prince, Kili's bed was a particularly luxurious example.

"I did not complete my inventory of your lower half, my sweet prince," she remarked, stroking his wild, dark hair back behind his ear as he rolled onto his side to face her. "I feel quite bereft that I had no opportunity to lavish praise on your hips."

"Ye did that earlier, when yer pretty thighs hugged around them like a kiss."

Her heart fluttered. "Even half asleep and sated my prince speaks in poetry," she murmured.

"'Tain't very good poetry," he answered, and she felt more than saw his blush. "But the only words that do ye proper justice are poetry."

She rested her palm on his cheek, feeling hopelessly, desperately fond. "There is no word in any language that could describe how very precious you are to me, my love. Every glorious inch of you."

"Psh, ye'll be giving me a big head if ye keep up with that talk."

"It is no matter. I will always have the promise of 'The Dwarf Prince with the Smiling Arse' to keep your ego in check." She gave him her sweetest, most innocent smile.

"Oh you will, eh?" Kili growled, his eyes twinkling as he pulled her in close against his chest. "Blackmailing, lusty elf maid."

Her arms settled around his neck as her smile changed from innocent to devious. "Perhaps you should find a way to keep me quiet, Master Dwarf."

Challenge accepted, he kissed her back into the pillows, pulling the blankets over their heads to plunge them into darkness. Tauriel moaned with delight as she ran her hands over the coarse hair on his chest, feeling the hard nubs of his otherwise flat nipples under her palms, and an all together warmer hardness pressing insistently against her hip.

"Men lananubukhs menu, hiril vuin," Kili breathed against her lips.

Tauriel hugged him close, pressing her face into his neck.

She could write sonnets about his smiling backside, but she would gladly pen a saga for his heart.


Men lananubukhs menu - "I love you" in Khuzdul

Hiril vuin - "Beloved lady" in Sindarin