A/N: This is a little something that just floated into my mind yesterday. It will be a short story, and it is more of a "poem" than a story with a plot. It has been inspired by my own ongoing story Me Without You, and will probably make more sense to you, my dearest reader, if you read my other stories, especially the ones in Timeline #1 and Me Without You. Still, I hope you enjoy :)

Also, I know what happens next, and there is a 'next' so don't throw veggies at me just yet :) But I don't know how the story ends, I'll see how you react to it, my lovelies ;)


PROLOGUE


Thorin woke up, and in a habitual gesture he pushed his right hand along the sheets to his wife's half of the bed. His fingertips slid through emptiness and bumped into the corner of his own pillow. As soon as his mind was a bit more awake, he remembered he had no wife. He rolled on his back, without opening his eyes. The dream was still creeping in the corners of his mind, and in a familiar trick he didn't chase it. He let it brush at the edges of his mind, in all its warmth and golden glow. My husband, my King, my love... The voice melodic and tender, teasing lilt, confident undertone... All so kindred, and familiar... He took a slow breath in, dreaming of fragrance of lilacs and knowing none of it was in the air of the cold room in the inn in Bree.

The harsh reality was taking its place, and he stirred and opened his eyes. Some foreign weight lay on his chest, and his hand flew to it. It wasn't the key to Erebor, which would take this spot in a few moons, when the Grey Wizard were to give it to him in the house of Bilbo Baggins. It was the burden of the quest that now lay on him.


The house of the Hobbit had finally quieted, his companions having settled in their beds, and the fire put out in the fireplace. Thorin lay in the bed in one of the many guest rooms. It was soft, he had quite forgotten the comfort and ease of an established household, and the dreams were brighter and so much more vivid this time.

A small strong hand brushed at his sternum, and then the fingertips playfully ran up his neck.

"You need to shave, my King..."

He smiled softly, and rolled on his side, wrapping his arm around her supple body. Another set of fingers tangled in his hair.

"You are growing old, husband of mine. Look at all this silver." He snorted, and pulled her even closer.

"Impudent woman..."

He woke up just after dawn, and the fresh smell of dew on the grasses and trees outside the house carried through the window of his room. He remembered the dream from last night, just like he always remembered them in the morning. As much as he was full of anticipation to start their journey to the Lonely Mountain, he allowed himself a few minutes of idleness under the light soft duvet of the Hobbit's house.

This night she was so much more of flesh, he could almost feel her under his fingers, his nose full of her fragrance. He had seen her hundreds of times but this night even the freckles on her skin were more clear. As if the veil that hid her from him all these years was thinner... My love, my husband, my heart... Thorin...


He remembers that first dream. He is half battle age, not yet a man but not a child either. He spends a day in training with Dwalin, and falls into his bed exhausted.

That first night all he sees is a woman sitting by the window, her back to him. The shutters are open, and the sunlight is streaming into the room, lighting her up. He can see bright copper hair scattered on her shoulders, and a brush in a half raised hand. She doesn't turn this time...

He only remembers this dream when she starts coming more often. The first few years he is worried and embarrassed by these dreams. She is of Men, and it is unheard of for a Dwarven prince to have such fantasies.

Quite soon they become of the lecherous manner, and he is mortified. Young men around him talk about it more and more, in hushed voices, in ambiguous words, but everyone thinks of such matters. Then the first one out of his circle marries. It is Gloin, and when too much ale has been drunk, others joke. It is never malicious or inappropriate, but they are Dwarves, there is fire burning in their veins, and Thorin and others look, and wonder, and look forward to their own nights.

She comes more and more often, he sees her in his arms, in a wide bed of the most unusual kind. There is a green canopy above them, and the bedposts are carved to look like large branches. It is an oaktree, and there is a carving on the bedrest, of a small bird sitting in the foliage.

Wren...

He cannot remember if she ever tells him her name, or it just comes to him, but it is. His little bird...

He is expected to start looking. His Father starts throwing hints, Balin mentions names and family trees. He has no excuse, but he cannot bring himself to even consider it. By then it has been a few years of finding her in his dreams, of loving her and being loved by her...

At the very beginning he realised that though the dreams he sees seem to be frozen in time - it is almost as if it were the same day and the same night in them - he can talk to her. When he is young, he hardly does. Their bodies intertwine, and it is ardent, and fiery, and he cannot get enough of her fervour for him.

When the dragon attacks, and moons after it, the smell of burnt flesh and the screams of his dying kin fill his mind and his senses at night, he presses her into him, shaking and hiding his pain. He breaks quite quickly, he is young, and King or not, he just cannot hold it together anymore. He is crying in her arms, and strong hands are caressing him, fingers run his features. And she listens.

They build the life in the Blue Mountains, and he thinks he has settled into it. There are talks, that he should certainly find a wife, since there are so fewer Khazad left, but then the war starts and the thought is forgotten.

The battle takes his grandfather, his brother, and his father away, and Dis is soon left a widow. He watches after her sons, and it is almost enough.

He thinks he sometimes hears children's laughter somewhere at the back, in the dreams that he has, but he is almost afraid to investigate. She is enough.


The rain poured, slashing in sheets outside the cave, and Thorin closed his eyes. It was cold, he hadn't allowed any fire. He could hear his company stir and groan in their sleep, and then he fell into worrisome slumber.

Her amber coloured eyes are right in front of him.

"You look tired, my King. You need to care for your heath better. You don't want to leave Erebor kingless, do you, my heart?"

She tut-tuts, and he feels her knead the tired muscles in his back and shoulders. He groans from pleasure, mostly from the feeling of her tiny weight on his lower back. She is straddling him, and he feels tension leave his body.

And then he heard the noise, and his eyes flew open, and they were falling into the Goblin caves, and he thought he heard her panicked scream in his ears.


He had no dreams of her in his dragon sickness. Those were the only few days in his life when he didn't feel her presence, didn't feel like he carried something in him, that strange warm glow.

And then the battle started, and Orcs spilled onto the Erebor Valley, and he fought, and bled, and fell...


"Wake up, Thorin!" Her voice is enraged. They have never fought before. Well, there have been misunderstandings, but what marriage has none?

"Wake up, you stubborn, cantankerous, impossible Dwarf!" He feels her hands on his shoulders, and she gives him a shake. He knows how strong she is despite the small frame and her thinness. "Get up! Don't you dare giving up! Fight!"

Another arrow pierces his body, and for the first time in his life he hears her voice in his awaken state.

"Fight, you fool! Get up!"

He does, and he slashes and thrusts, and enemies fall, but there are too many of them... His blood is pouring on the ground. He moves from under a blow of another monster, and he can see a wide strip of blood he left behind him on the dried up grass and mud. He is growing weak, and she seems to grow more and more furious with him.

"Don't you dare leaving me alone, Thorin, son of Thrain! Don't leave my children without a father! If you do not give your everything to it right now, I will whoop your glorious royal backside!"

He fights and gives it his everything...

He falls, nothing left in him...


You cannot go now. You promised. You didn't know it yourself, but your whole life is a promise to me. Your breath, your heartbeat, your voice, your pain... All of it is the song I can hear, and my song answers yours.

Wake up, Thorin, son of Thrain.


Thorin was dying in the healer's tent, and he accepted it. He forgave the Hobbit's betrayal and said goodbye to his people. He was so tired that he almost felt no pain. He felt nothing really.

Sometimes he would fall into half sleep, half delirium, and she finally came.

The dream was no different from any other. They lay in their oaken bed, and he could feel all her cool, fluid body stretched along his. Her fingers traced some patterns on his chest, and then she suddenly chuckled.

"Remember how we met?" He hummed agreeing. His eyes were closed, and he felt a smile to tug at the corners of his lips. She shifted, moved higher, and he felt soft lips pressed to his cheek. "When was it? Two, three years after the Battle of the Five Armies? I sneaked into Erebor out of curiosity, and you caught me wandering Inner Halls."

"In the Northern passage, in the Council Hall," he agreed.

"Aye," she giggled. "You were so grumpy then. What are you doing in my halls, you asked. And frowned. Oh that frown..." She laughed, and the tip of her finger brushed at his brows. He could not suppress a smile anymore, and he peeked at her with one eye. Her turn up nose twitched, peppered with bright orange freckles.

"I found you so enticing then," she drew out, and his eyes flew open, and he cocked one brow. "So intimidating, so imperious, and that dark blue doublet..." She sighed theatrically, and he decided that was enough mockery for one night. The gentle smack he gave her pert buttock was loud. She yelped, fully insincerely, and they rolled with laughter, kissing and caressing each other.

And Thorin knew he would not die in this battle.


Years passed by, Erebor had been restored, and Thorin grew into the habit of taking daily walks in the Northern passage.

As well as sending one or two of his scouts, once a moon or so, to Dale to find out whether a red haired healer had already come to service in the city infirmary.

She never did.

Five years after the Battle passed, and Thorin grew restless and irritable. All those years ago, when she first appeared in his dreams, he thought himself mawkish and young and impressionable. With years he accepted his dreams. And now that the time came, he acted.

And yet she never came.


He knew everything about her. At least as much as a husband can know about his wife of several decades.

He broke down after six years of waiting and went to search for her. None of the traces he thought he'd find were there. She had never served in Gondor, and her former lover had never heard of her. She never travelled to Dale. The wine girl, with enticing curves and merry laughter, whom he only knew of by name, and heard so much about, had never had a red haired friend.


His dreams turned out to be just dreams, and his heart felt empty and aching.


To be continued...


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CONVINCE ME THE WINTER IS OVER

{my first novel

inspired by the story initially written here}

Available on Amazon in Kindle and Paper!


Summary:

Renee Miller is a reclusive web designer who, after several hours of delirium from flu, wakes up to find a stranger in boxer briefs standing in her bathroom.

John is an archaeologist who finds himself stuck in a stranger's flat in a snowstorm.

Frozen in her neat and clean world of highly functional anxieties and her history of childhood trauma, Renee is perhaps the worst possible host for her flatmate's boyfriend's colleague. Yet, while the fervent gush of life that is John Greaves disrupts her carefully guarded existence, Renee finds herself gradually yearning for more.

Is John the first breath of Spring in her frigid world?