"Spontaneity is very nice, dear, but there's a great deal of charm in a well-planned seduction." – Polgara the Sorceress, "The Demon Lord of Karanda", by David Eddings

Well Laid Plans

Tonight, there are no games, no tricks, no play. He likes that just fine, of course, and has learned all the ways to wind her up and how he likes to be wound himself. Tonight he wants none of it. Tonight, he is simply going to take her apart.

The forge fires are hot enough to flay the skin off a Man, but Fili has the hands of a dwarf, and he can stand the waves of heat. There are tools he could use, of course, and he uses them in turn. The crucible to hold the molten metal over the fire. The tongs to brace the piece long enough for it to set in the mold. But for the finest parts, the filigree and the decorations so delicate they might have been lacework, for those he uses his fingers. They are deft and clever, and do not burn.

She figures it out during dinner. He has not been subtle. The dishes he requested are her favourites, a mix of the practical, homey dishes from Dale, and those from farther abroad. He sees the moment she catches on, because she swallows deliberately. Then she asks for the wine, and her hand lingers on his as he pours.

Dwarves do not mark the years as Men do, cherishing each one as it passes. Fili marks deeds, not dates, in his gifts to her. The chains of gold and silver from when he courted her. The jeweled riddle box from when they began to puzzle one another out. This will be his most ambitious piece so far, not because of the expense, but because of the intricacies. He was correct, all those years ago, when he surmised that her taste in jewelry would be different from a dwarrowdam's. He does not mind. He has always been creative.

There are too many pins in her hair. She favours simple styles, generally speaking, and her hair is coiled thus, but it is over-anchored. His fingers drift across the tops of her ears and along the back of her neck more than usual. Apparently he is not the only one who made plans.

He stops in the kitchens after he sets the piece aside to cool. They are preparing a feast for the main Hall, but Fili has requested a separate menu. The cooks are always happy to indulge their prince, and happier still to indulge their lady. They keep their faces studiously straight when he addresses himself to them, a step up from Kili, who mocked his transparency. They assure him everything will be perfect, and wait until the believe him to be out of earshot before they catcall at their lord's intent.

He does not take the opportunity to tease her. He doesn't have to. Instead, he undresses her, and himself, and sweeps her into his arms. Once they are abed, he sets to bringing her off, hands busy between her thighs and mouth deliberately seeking out all the spots he knows will fan the flame. She crests, and before she is through it, he slides down to replace his hands with his mouth.

Back at the forges, he examines the piece for flaws and finds none. He polishes it until the sapphire gleams in its setting, and the gold tendrils shine like the sun. He attaches the chain and checks the clasp. Everything is in order. A bell rings, marking time for the mountain, and he knows that if he hurries, he will have enough time to bathe away the soot before Sigrid gets home. He will also have time to put the necklace somewhere in her vanity where she won't find it until later.

She comes again, his name on her lips, and he barely remembers to wipe his mouth before kissing his way up her body. He braces himself on his elbows, linking his fingers with hers to hold her hands beside her head. He hovers for just a moment, eyes locked with hers, and then sinks into her. The pace he sets is not so slow to be torturous, but it is markedly thorough. She matches him, eyelids fluttering and she arches and begins to lose control again.

The plates arrive just as Sigrid does. If she is surprised to learn they're not going to eat with the others, she does not show it. In fact, if Fili doesn't miss the mark, she looks a little pleased. That bodes well. He hands her into her chair as though it were a formal dinner in truth, but by the time he takes his seat, it's just the two of them, and the air is heavy with expectation. He takes up his fork, and doesn't even try to stop himself from smiling.

Afterwards, she clings to him. His arms are tight around her, and he can feel her heart pounding against his chest as their breathing calms. He is drifting towards sleep before he means to; he had other plans, but he can't remember why they were so important. It's comfortable, so he links his hands with hers again, and lets sleep take them away.

They do not speak of the morrow, when he will go to the Iron Hills. It's not a dangerous venture, or at least no more dangerous than anywhere else, but he must visit Dain's court, and it will be a long month before his return. Instead, they share portions from the same dish, hands touching by chance, and then by less than chance as the meal progresses.

The light is grey when he wakes. She shifts on his chest as he moves to get up, but stills when he tells her to stay abed. When he returns, she is awake and sitting on the edge of the bed, the blanket pulled around her for warmth.

"Maker grant you safe roads," she says.

He kneels between her feet, and pulls her down for a kiss. In it are the promises he will not say. He is a dwarf, and his works and deeds will speak for him. She will find the necklace soon enough, and he will be only too happy to take it from her neck when he has come back home again.


Gravity_Not_Included, February 9, 2014

Thank you all again so much for reading, commenting, and even talking this fic up on tumblr! Part III is under construction as we speak.