A/N: And here we go! Remember, you asked for it yourselves :D Thorin will appear in the second half of this story, but before it there will be plenty of Wren's memories and dreams for you to still feel close to our grumpy King and enjoy some steamy action :P
The first chapter is identical to A Word A Day #41, the second is AWAD #42 but I added the ending, don't miss it :)
Welcome everyone who started following me in the last few days and those who left their reviews for the first time! I love you all, my darlings! And yes, I am always very affectionate towards my readers, beware :D
The story takes place in the Vales of Anduin, after BoFA the lands are inhibited by Northmen united under the rule of Beorn. It happens during Wren's fourth Spring in Erebor, when pushed away by Thorin's neglect she leaves for four months and ends up in Bree (see "Thorin's Spring" Chapter 4), but before that…
You push the door of the inn, pulling the hood lower on your face. You are drenched, cold rain water trickling from your cloak. You approach the innkeeper and throw the money on his desk. "A room for a night, Master Dwarf?" You nod and pick the key he puts in front of you. Thick leather gauntlets and lined gloves hide the size of your hands.
You are dressed in male Dwarven clothes, dark red trousers and tunic, light chainmail, doublet, all hidden under bright blue, fur adorned cloak, the only difference is that you are wearing light comfortable boots up to your knee. But you have found over years that people see what they want to see. You turn around to head upstairs when a tall hard body clashes with you.
You peek from under the hood. He is indeed very tall, lithe, a mop of dark brown hair. "My apologies, honourable Dwarf," the man has a strong Northern accent. You give him a small bow and start walking around him. "Hey, Godnorian!" A local, large and obviously inebriated, pulls a Dwarven ax from a scabbard on his belt and takes a wobbly step towards you two. "You owe money, you scum!"
Two more step from a wall, and the Gondorian chuckles. "My chances here do not seem very fair, my dear sir, three against one," he has a husky fruity voice, with a slight drawl in it, and you have a better look. High cheekbones, chiseled lines of a jaw and chin, brilliant dark brown eyes, and a smiling mouth, strong line of lips, the bottom one full and sensual.
"I am certain even Master Dwarf over here would confirm that is not how business is done in here in the North of Rhovanion."
You take a step away from him, obviously showing that you have nothing to do with him, and he laughs loudly and merrily. The frolics rolls out of him openly, and white teeth gleam in the dim light of the inn. "Well, well, the widely known Dwarven reputation to always let other races sink in their own mire, as I can see, is indeed true." A couple of Dwarves sitting at a table by the wall jump on their feet.
You think with regret that as peppy and buoyant as he is, he will not live long to enjoy it. You notice a long bow on his back and a long one-hand sword in a scabbard. The clothing bears no markings but you have a feeling that if there were any it would be the White Tree on the green banner of the Rangers of Ithilien.
"And the Northmen under the rule of the honourable Skin-changer Beorn, will you not help a humble traveller, or you are still drowsy after the winter sleep?" He is laughing even more, and the rest of the people in the inn rise on their feet. You momentarily think that if this is his attempt to end his own life, he has chosen a vastly complicated approach. He could have just jumped off a cliff or on his sword. Less fuss, and less trouble for others.
The Dwarves rumble some swearings in Khuzdul, and the Northmen make a step ahead. "Don't touch this filth, he owes me money!" "He is ours now," the Dwarves pull their wide swords out of sheaths, and you see a white toothed grin on the Gondorian's face.
Several of his opponents make a step ahead at the same time, and you see that a young red-haired Dwarf places the first punch. The Northman standing closest to him oomphs and bends in half. His companion roars and lunges on the Dwarf.
You start backing off and somehow you end up near the wall with the Gondorian by your side. He looks down at you. "Not sharing the desire to cut my throat, Master Dwarf?" You are too preoccupied with looking for an escape route to answer him.
At that moment a Northman lunged at you with a growl, and you duck to evade his giant fist. The Gondorian catches him across his forearms and cuts him down under his ankle. He gives him a strong and decisive punch into stomach, and the heavy body crushes on the floor. "If I were you, my friend, I would either start fighting, or get out." He flashes his white teeth at you again and then jumps on the stringer of the stairs. He grabs the rails and with an easy grace throws his lithe body over them. Another leap, and he is swinging from a chandelier. With a forceful swing of his long legs he throws his body to a tall sill. The window leads to the roof, and you understand that it is the only way out.
Only a half of fighters in the inn notice his absence, and they are busy evading the punches from the other half. You run up the stairs and try to reach the window as well. You are not tall enough, and then his curly mop shows up in the window again. "Coming, Master Dwarf?" He stretches his arm, and you grab his hand.
He jerks you, and you hang on one arm. The hood falls back, and his eyes widen. "Give me the second hand!" You pull yourself up, grab his hand, and he pulls you through. When your upper body is already out of the window, you push from the sill with you foot, and the momentum throws you on him. He falls on his backside on the roof shingles. You are in his arms, and he is looking at you with a warm smile.
"Well, isn't it my lucky day? It is like finding a pearl in dirty river sand!" You push away from him and jump on your feet. You hear loud screams from inside, and some of the fighters tumble outside. You sprint across the roof, and he follows. You two slide and slip, jumping from roof to roof, crossing the small settlement, and then off the roofs you jump into the tall grass and run into the woods.
After a few minutes of vigorous jog, when the voices and lights of the settlement are left behind, you lean on a tree and try to catch your breath. He stops in front of you. He is obviously scrutinizing you. You assume he already knows who you are. You are not far enough from Erebor not to be recognized. Your hair and small stature are well known in these lands.
He straightens up and stretches his palm to you, "What is your name, fair maiden?" You looks at him askew. "Are you jesting, honourable sir?" He hikes up striking dark brows. He has magnificent eyes. You shake your head. "You are obviously not from around here." He laughs. "It is my first travel so far North. It seems I have been right not to venture in these lands previously. The climate does not agree with me."
You shake your head again. There is something endlessly charming in his ways, but you still remember that you lost money and a chance for a nice warm bed for this night because of his rascal ways.
"Have a nice continuation of your travels, honourable sir," you give him a small bow and start walking deeper in the woods. You can always climb a tree and spend a night on it. You have done it before, though you suspect the last four years of comfort and luxury might have spoilt you.
"Wait, you are going the wrong way! The road is there!" He points at the opposite direction. "Good day, honourable sir!" You continue strutting when you hear him catching up with you. It is not hard since his legs are so much longer. "Allow me accompany you at least. These lands are not safe." "Thank you for you offer, but I have to refuse. The least safe place in these lands is the closest to you." He chuckles. "It was just a misunderstanding."
You hum and continue walking deeper into the woods. He chuckles again and stops. You smile, he finally gave up. "At least give me your name, fair maiden." "Good day," you throw across your shoulder. "The name!" He is going to wake up the whole forest. You turn around. "Why? You will never see me again." He presses his palm to his heart, "I will keep it as a precious memory." You hesitate, but then you think, you will never see him again, and the last thing you need is for him to boast somewhere that he spent a night in the woods with a small redhead, only to later find out it was the azyungel of the King Under the Mountain. "It is Thea." He gives you a ceremonial bow. "I am honoured to meet you, my lady. I am Amrod." "And good night to you, honourable sir." You turn away and start walking.
The next morning you are splashing cold water from a small stream on your face when you hear a rustle behind you. You pull your sword out of a scabbard you placed by your elbow, and then you see him. He is leaning on a tree and smiling. "Good morning, lady Thea." He is dangling a food basket on his index finger, "Breakfast?"