A/N: The story was born out of a prompt for my collection of one-shots First Time, Every Time (it was Chapter 6 "Punch-Drunk and Merry," removed from it now). I really enjoyed writing it and decided it could be fun to turn it into a ridiculous multi-chapter. It will be light, and I do not have any specific plans for it, I'm just rolling with it, hoping you'll have a bit of fun reading it.
A/N#2: Please look at the end of Chapter 2 for PROMPTS ideas! :D
Love you all ardently,
Love hit Thorin Oakenshield like the best Dwarven straight pein hammer, hard, but unlike the tools of the Khazad, dishonourably, to the vulnerable back of his head. A Dwarf of two hundred years was not supposed to turn into a love sick puppy in a blink of an eye, but that was exactly what happened.
In the middle of the restoration works in Erebor, two years after the Battle of Five Armies, already a King and finally, as he naively thought then, a man in peace, Thorin was having a rather pleasant audience day. His citizens were given a chance to share their concerns and grievances with their liege, the population of the Kingdom Under the Mountain growing rapidly. Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror, enjoyed assisting and solving their vexations, as well as knowing what was happening to his people.
It seemed the endless stream of visitors was finally ebbing, when the doors to the Smaller Throne Hall burst open, and a clearly enraged Dwarven maiden rushed in. He noticed the mane of flaming orange curls and an appetizing bouncy bosom, after all the King was a man too. She was clad in a stylish expensive travel attire and marched approaching his throne. After the first glimpse on her high-cheekboned, beauteous face the Kind had to tear his eyes off her and pay the well-deserved attention to the Dwarf she was dragging into the room, his long white beard clasped in her small fist.
She bowed and spoke in a clear confident voice, "My King, I have come to ask for justice." He gave her a small nod and shifted his eyes at the Dwarf on her improvised leash. His face was scrunched in pain and embarrassment, but the King noticed the victim wasn't fighting.
She threw the beard away from her with an indignation and disgust on her face and pointed at the Dwarf. "I have agreed to marry him, but now he is cancelling the wedding. It's an honour to marry me, my ancestors were among those reclaiming Gundabad from the Orcs of the Dark Lord! I have fulfilled my side of our contract, and now he is not keeping his word!"
The King lifted one brow and looked at the male Dwarf. The latter was still surprisingly silent, his eyes shifting and brows jumping up and down.
"Explain yourself, honourable sir," the King spoke softly, but to his shock the man looked at the maiden for permission to speak. Surely, the word of the King would outweigh that of a given alluring but still just a maiden! She twitched her nose in a strange nervous gesture and nodded curtly apparently allowing the Dwarf to speak. The King's eyebrows jumped up.
"My King, I did indeed offer this maiden my hand in marriage, and she travelled here to become my wife, but the six months of betrothal are indeed established for that I have a right to abdicate my rights for her hand..." The girl inhaled, and the Dwarf pressed his head into his shoulders. The glare she was giving him was clearly stating that she doubted such a spineless, gormless worm had any right for anything.
"What is your name?"
"Werna, daughter of Lyr." She squared her shoulders.
"I was asking the man, Werna, daughter of Lyr." The King added some steel into his tone and saw her blink a few times nervously. She didn't seem intimidated even close to the degree he expected though.
"Roin, son of Nali," the man looked at the King hopefully, "I am a mead and cordials merchant from Ered Luin, I was hoping to establish a shop in Erebor..." The King raised his hand, and the man choked on his words.
"What is the reason for the change of your heart, Roin, son of Nali? Has this maiden committed any crime against you?" Thorin thought he heard a scornful puff of air from the red haired Khazad, but when he looked at her, her face was schooled in a cold haughty expression.
"I do not think our marriage will be… fruitful..." Master Roin pronounced in an uncertain tone, throwing cautious looks at the woman. She flared her nostrils. "I do not dispute lady Werna's many virtues, and her talents in brewery are well-known, and she would indeed be the perfect companion for me in my business, but I just think I might not be the right Dwarf..." The King saw her narrow her eyes and had to place his fist in front of his mouth hiding a smile. Master Roin looked increasingly terrified. He rushed to mollify the enraged maiden. "I think I'm possibly not Dwarf enough..." It made it worse. She took a deep breath, the King couldn't help but notice how her tantalizing chest rose, and she already opened her mouth but the King spoke.
"Has he committed any crimes against you, lady Werna? He does indeed have the right to cancel the wedding. Just as you do." She looked at the King defiantly and jerked her chin up.
"He has no reason for it. I know my worth. I am of noble family, and he wasn't to marry me for my beauty, he wanted my family recipes and my talent. I'm willing to give it all to him. I haven't commited a single false step in this betrothal and my dowry is generous. I am the wife anyone would be happy to have."
The more emotional she got, the brighter the blush on her face grew. She was indeed one of the most beautiful women the King had seen, and he didn't doubt the rest of men in the room were equally affected. She had unusual slanted eyes, of a mesmerizing fire opal colour, enticing red lips, the upper one curved giving her face stubborn and capricious expression, the bottom one plump and soft, and her neck was long and elegant, her red head set proudly. A low square cut on her velvet doublet showed a white tunic with exquisite lace underneath, with a promise of what was hidden under it. She had a narrow waist for a Dwarven maiden but it was generously compensated by round alluring hips, clearly seen at the moment in her travelling trousers.
"If neither of the betrothed has committed any misdeed, but one of them wished to cease their association, the betrothal is to be nulled." The King gave the woman in front of him an attentive look. "You can consider yourself a free woman, Werna, daughter of Lyr. Just as the man beside you." Thorin realised he was speaking to the woman instead of the man, and he felt disturbed. It was inappropriate, but then he realised he had a much bigger aggravation rising in his throne hall. She narrowed her eyes at him, he could not believe she would dare behaving such way towards her King, and then she clenched her fists.
"Then I demand compensation for my trouble. I have travelled from Ered Luin, I have brought my barrels, I was willing to disclose my family's secret recipe, I demand to be remunerated for this."
"Yes, yes, of course..." The Dwarf near her was shaking, relief spreading on his face, and Thorin slightly shook his head in disbelief. He looked to his right and saw Dwalin who was sitting by the wall clenching his jaws, suppressing laughter, his face red and shoulders shaking. Werna, daughter of Lyr was short even for a Dwarven maiden, she looked like a statuette intricately carved out of moonstone, pale radiant skin, graceful lines and glow coming off her, and yet the man near her was blanched from sheer horror at her fury. At the moment Thorin felt there were also waves of heat radiating from her, while Master Roin was all but whimpering happily from his impending release from a fate that he apparently considered worse than death.
"And I demand the King to try my mead." Thorin was exchanging knowing looks with Dwalin, when he heard this new arrogation. He whipped his head and looked at her again. The slanted eyes met his, she did not waver, even though he gave her his best intimidating stare. Their eyes locked, he slightly lifted one brow, it worked wonders on the cockiness of men, none could withstand, and then Werna, daughter of Lyr narrowed her eyes at him again, and the plump red bottom lip pouted stubbornly.
"You are speaking out of term, lass! It is your King in front of you!" One of the older Dwarves stood up from his spot at a table by the wall, she turned to him, and Thorin wondered what her stare was like to make the white bearded Khazad wince away and plop back on his jacksie. Thorin felt flabberghasted, she was amusing and infuriating at the same time, and then she turned back to him. And then she was insolent enough to lift a brow as if showing she was still expecting his answer! He kept his face unreadable, although he had to admit it required much more effort than usually, and she exhaled sharply, flaring the nostrils of her elegant nose.
"I brought the barrel of the best mead that had ever been made in my brewery to Erebor, I was hoping to gift my King with it as part of celebration of my marriage," her tone was venomous, "I am certain once Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror tries my mead he will not want any other. I was deprived of a chance to offer it to my King, I demand one sip."
The curls of coppered gold were scattered on her shoulders, having escaped the intricate do, thick glossy plaids weaved into it, a few flirty locks brushing at her neck when she would derisively jerk her head, and Thorin shortly wondered whether they were as soft as they looked. And then he assumed he was running a fever and required a draught. The woman, though alluring, was insolent, bordering to disrespectful, arrogant and imperious. She was clearly certain she was always right and held others rather low in her opinion. And yet, he wondered what her lips tasted like. She was fresh, full of life and fire, he was two hundred years and was suddenly overcome with adolescent infatuation!
"If this resolves this issue finally, I shall try a sip," his tone was merry yet mocking, and other men in the room laughed. He was indulging her without losing his face, he kept his expression disdainful and annoyed, and she inhaled, the lace on her cleavage fluttered, and only years of training and the upbringing of a monarch allowed him to keep his eyes away from it.
"The barrel is outside these doors, it didn't fit through the passage," she twitched her nose again, and he could not believe it! Did she expect him to get up and walk to the barrel? "I need a goblet." Her face was suddenly lost, and he felt petty vengeful pleasure from the view of her deflating self-assurance. She looked around her, and then her eyes fell on a goblet he had on a small table near his arm. She rushed ahead, and suddenly she was standing right in front of him. And then she halted, apparently such impudence was too much even for her.
The fragrance of lilac hit his nose, she was even more lovely up close, he saw freckles peppering the delicate nose, and he realised her eyes were roaming his face. That was not how subjects would look at their King. Her eyes lingered on his mouth, and he saw her lips twitch and her lashes flutter. And then she shook off the haze, and he understood she was going to step back. And that was when he jumped up on his feet. He was two hundred years, he was a King, and Mahal help him, for once he was doing what he wanted, damn what others thought of him! He picked up the goblet and spoke into her shocked widened eyes, "Lead the way, Werna, daughter of Lyr."
Astonished silence hung in the hall, she blinked, her red lips slightly opened, but he knew he was not mistaken in her, she quickly gathered her wits, bowed, and sharply turning around she started marching to the door. Dwarves on both sides of the aisle, some sitting on benches, several behind long tables, some with maps frozen in their hands mid-air, many jaws slacking, watched their King calmly walk behind the minuscule woman, while his eyes were on her straight back and then on the perky round buttocks. Travelling trousers of dark red velvet hugged her curves in the most enticing of ways, she had small feet, clad in expensive soft boots, and she held her head high and strode to the door between the rows of astounded faces. There was something regal in her bearing, he shortly thought, and he smirked.
They stepped out of the hall and because she was standing so close, and her lashes were fluttering, she was slowly realising what bizarre abnormality was transpiring around her, he threw a stern look at the guard at the door, and the Dwarf quickly closed the door, disappearing on the other side of it. She gasped, she realised they were alone in the passage all of a sudden, and he saw her gulp, her delicate throat moved, and she stared at him.
"One sip, Werna, daughter of Lyr," he spoke in low voice, and feverish red spots bloomed on her high cheekbones, "You have one sip to prove to me that there is no better taste in all my Kingdom."
And then she took a deep breath in and squared her shoulders. Her eyes flashed, and her mouth twisted. And then she suddenly pushed her delicate little fingers in the lace of her tunic, right between the two round perky breasts he was pretending he was not thinking about, and she pulled out a key on a long sturdy chain pinched between her index finger and her thumb, her little pinky sticking out, and she quickly opened a lock secured around the spigot of her barrel.
Thick liquid splashed into his goblet she carefully picked up from his hand, and she handed it back to him, her cool strong fingers brushing his, and he looked at the drink, of the same remarkable colour as her eyes. He lifted the goblet to his lips, she was watching him, her teeth sunk into her bottom lip, and he smirked over the rim of the goblet. Their eyes locked again, and he took a sip. While fragrant mead flooded his senses, he saw her lick her lips, and he quickly lowered the drink, pushed the goblet onto the nearest surface, and stepping to her in one large stride he cupped the back of her head, her hands flew up to his face, he saw her lips smile an instant before he sealed a kiss on them, and he wrapped the second arm around her waist.
She tasted of honey and was just as refreshing and intoxicating as her mead. His head swam, full of some sort of sweet fog, and he pressed her into him tighter. She was quite obviously returning his fervour, her small hands was grasping his shoulders, her lips moved with his, and a soft purring sound reached his hearing. She was also arching into him, her fingers now scraping the back of his head, and he started laughing, from her playfulness and her passion, and from some sort of simple and warm certainty he was feeling. He slightly moved away, without releasing her from his arms, and looked into her flushed face. Her eyes were giant and her lips bright and swollen, and she was the most beautiful woman he had seen in the two hundred years.
"So, my King," her voice was coarse, "Is there taste better in all your Kingdom?" Her tone, though she sounded rather breathy, was defiant, and he guffawed and caught her mouth again. Insolent woman!
She would make the perfect Queen for Erebor, he thought, and then he quickly kissed her jaw and her small burning ear and whispered into it, a copper curl, just as soft as he had been hoping, brushing his nose, "There is nothing better in my Kingdom."