You can read more about my recent creative struggles and exciting NEWS on my blog (kolmakov dot ca ), but the gist is such:
1. I have severe arthritis in the joints of my fingers, which has been flaring up recently like there's no tomorrow. It prevents me from typing and drawing (sleeping and holding a tea mug as well, but that's beside the point);
2. I decided to limit my writing, and regroup my pages/accounts/stories;
3. In the nearest future I'm planning to continue updating one story on Wattpad (currently it's "Official Town Business") and one story on ("Four Corners of Middle Earth");
4. Starting next month I'm planning to hire an editor/formatter/publisher, and I'll be turning ALL of my complete stories (with the exception of purely fanfiction, which are actually pretty few), e.g. "Due North," "Jack in the Box," and once it's finished "Frost Over!" (former "Ice, Ice Baby!") into Kindle books.
5. They will be available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have it, stay tuned!
6. I'm planning to turn my ORIGINAL Wren/Thorin fanfiction (Timeline #1) into independent fantasy/romance and post it on Kindle. I'll be changing only what is definitely Tolkien-ish there; the plot and whatever details are purely mine will stay intact.
As usual I'll keep you posted! You can follow my writing Facebook page: facebook dot com /katyakolmakov
If you're still reading my stories, THANK YOU! And I LOVE YOU!
Love you all ardently,
Wren did not sleep the night before the company was to leave Rivendell. She pretended to be asleep, when Thorin slid under the covers, after his bath and and the last preparations. She lay silently for a long time, in his arms, listening to his breathing. She was intending to turn around later, to watch him, to see his face, to memorize it, although she was certain that every line of it was known to her - but she just was not sure that he had fallen into slumber, despite his immobility and the slow even heartbeat. And then she realized that if he was indeed awake, they were wasting time they could spend together. She slowly turned and met his wide open eyes. She rushed into a kiss, with a greedy moan; and he met her ardently.
After long passionate love, he slept, and she finally had her chance. She did not allow her thoughts to linger on the morning ahead of them, and the days to come. She drank his features, the soft line of the lips, the wrinkles in the corners of his eyes, the shadow lying on the cheekbone. Even in the darkness of the room his skin had a warm colour to it, and she knew she would remember how it felt under her lips. Wren did not allow self-pity to flood her; and yet the irony of once again spending a night gazing at the man whom she was perhaps destined to lose did not escape her.
Cold light of dawn crawled into the room; and Wren lay in someone else's bed, away from her home, her fingers gently wrapped around the hand of her husband, on the sheets between their bodies.
Thorin stirred, and slowly opened his eyes.
"You should rest," he muttered; and pulled his hand out of hers to rub his eyes.
"I have," Wren lied.
Thorin rolled off the bed, and walked to the bath chambers without a look at her. Before he turned his face away from her, she had caught a glimpse of a tense frown and the thin line of his pressed lips. Nothing had to be said. She knew he felt just as anguished as she did.
They ate the morning meal with their children, in silence; and then it was suddenly the time to go down to the great Hall where the company was to say their goodbyes. The cool air of Imladris and the sleepless night were making Wren shiver, while her eyes burnt and her skin felt flushed.
While Thorin stepped aside with Dain, their faces leaned to each other in a conversation, their voices hushed, Wren approached Aragorn. He sat with his head bowed to his knees.
"Estel," she called softly; and he lifted his face and met her eyes.
Wren smiled to him softly. She did not know what to say.
"Will you ask me to look after him?" he whispered, and Wren gave out a shaky laugh, low and hardly audible.
"Of course not. He is not your ward - and he would never want to be anyone's." She leaned and softly touched the Man's shoulder. "I only wanted to wish you luck, my friend."
He nodded silently, and Wren softly patted his shoulder. There was nothing else to say. She could only hope he understood. He carried the weight on his shoulders that she could hardly imagine; and her heart ached for him.
Wren turned and saw Dain lean to his Father. Thorin opened his right arm; and the younger Dwarf pressed into him. Their embrace was tight; and Wren saw Dain squeeze his eyes, his face anguished. He had always been the most emotional out of her children; his fierce love, expected to be born in a Dwarven heart, was expressed much more freely than by any other Khuzd Wren knew, including her other children.
Wren quickly looked away, fearing to lose her control. Instead she walked to the wall where Unna stood with the rest of the emissaries from Erebor. The Khazad were silent. Unna stretched her hand to Wren, in an uncharacteristic sentimental gesture; and squeezed Wren's fingers.
"Please, stand with me, amad," the girl said softly; and Wren almost smiled, gathering that her daughter was trying to express her support, at the expense of showing herself maudlin.
"I am quite alright, my heart," Wren said quietly. "Thank you."
Dain moved away from his Father; and Wren exchanged places with him.
"And here we are again, my little bird," Thorin said, and an untimely grin played on his lips. "Saying our goodbyes again."
"As long as it is not a farewell," Wren grumbled. Her voice was scratchy.
Thorin tilted his head lightly; and the blue eyes sparkled.
"When has it ever been for us?" His voice dropped, velvet, familiar, so very dear.
Wren rushed ahead embracing him; and as much as she fought, a quiet sob fell off her lips.
"I don't… want to..." she whispered. He wrapped his arms around her, crushing her into him. "I know I need to be strong… I know my duty… But I cannot… keep giving you up..."
She made sure the two of them were the only ones to hear her unseemly words.
"You never have to," he whispered back; and the hot heavy hand, in a glove, lay on her nape. "I am yours. Always have been. Always will be."
Wren gave herself three breaths - to cherish his closeness, the embrace, to let her body soak in the familiar warmth and the sense of belonging she knew near him. And then she stepped back, painfully aware of how reluctantly he let her go. She could not lift her eyes, hiding how red, full of tears they were; and he picked up her chin with his curled index finger. She met his calm gaze.
"Nê nai'kir," he whispered. Never apart.
"Nê nai'kir," she answered, like an oath.
He then nodded, and a small smile grazed his lips. Wren half expected a kiss - and feared it. It would be her undoing. She saw his soft lips twitch, under the black whiskers; and then he dropped his hand and took a small step away from her. She could not say if she was relieved or disappointed.
More goodbyes were said, but Wren could not bring herself to approach her husband again. The Fellowship left through the tall filigree doors and into the coolness of the morning. Wren watched Frodo hesitate outside the gate - and then he took a deep breath and started walking. His nine companions followed.
Wren turned away from the gate one of the first. She was a warrior's wife; she knew that the longer one looked after those who had left, the faster pain would take root in the heart, the harder it would be to look away and turn to the everyday deeds.
When she was going up the stairs to go inside, she looked over her shoulder and saw Dain and Unna stand side by side, their eyes fixed on the road that had taken their Father away. Wren pressed her lips bitterly. Surely it had been a cruel irony: the two Dwarves had just miraculously gotten their adad back - only to lose him again.
Dain picked up his sister's hand and pressed it to his chest.
Wren walked inside, wrapping a shawl tightly around her shoulders. Something dully ached in her right side, behind the ribs. She reminded herself she had a life growing inside her - and she went in search of a breakfast.
Lothiriel found the red haired woman on one of the balconies. The wife of the Dwarven King sat at a small table, untouched food in front of her. Lady Wren was twirling a small silver spoon in her long pale fingers.
The redhead slowly turned her face to Lothiriel. The woman was wan, and her eyes burn feverishly.
"If I could request some privacy today, Lothiriel, I would be much obliged." Lady Wren's voice was bleak. "I will be ready to discuss our travel plans and answer any questions you have - tomorrow. Today I need time. To grieve the absence of my beloved."
Lothiriel gave her a confused look. These were not the words she would use to describe Lady Wren's predicament. Of course, they all worried and they are feared; but there was no quest more important and honourable than the one that lay before the Fellowship.
Wren pushed a hand under the covers on her bed. It took several seconds of rummaging in the layers of heavy fabrics and furs to finally find what she was looking for. The heat licked her skin. She wiggled her fingers. She could have been wrong but it seemed to be a limb. She dug some more, and now she was certain. She had found her husband's leg.
The hillock of covers shifted, and a displeased grunt was heard from under it.
"You asked me to wake you earlier today," Wren reminded the heap. "You wanted to spar with Dwalin, remember? Before he leaves to the Iron Hills."
Another disgruntled noise came from under the blankets, and the leg escaped her grip.
"I rather you came back..." she heard his raspy voice. "Why are you up?"
"Because this is the hour I always get up. In fact I have already washed and had my coffee," she said feigning haughtiness. "While my King is still lazing in his bed."
The covers wavered, and suddenly a large hand leaped from under them, wrapped around her wrist, and she was jerked down, and towards him.
"No! I have just taken a bath!" she squealed. "You will muss my hair! And I am all fresh, and you are..."
She did not get to finish. She was trapped in the hot cavern under the covers, full of his heat and the smell of his skin and their lovemaking from the night before.
"You are fresh," he rumbled, and pressed an open mouthed kiss to her stomach. Her body jolted. "You smell so good."
"These are just soaps, and..."
She once again could not finish, interrupted by his scorching palm that brushed her leg, from under the knee and up, snaking under the skirts of her home gown.
"Thorin, you wanted to spar! And now you are just trying to weasel out of it."
She writhed, but that only gained her a low chuckle from him. His greedy hands seemed to be everywhere now. She jolted when the tips of his fingers ran the inside of her thigh.
"I am not trying to weasel out of anything. I am greeting my wife."
"Sweet talk," she muttered, already almost surrendering. "Thorin..."
As she knew, climbing out of his embrace was a hopeless endeavour; so she tried backing off, wiggling her backside in the air.
He pounced on her, like some large wild animal; with a loud preposterous roar; all four extremities wrapping around her.
"No! Mine!" he growled.
She started laughing, from his frolics, and from how giddy and enamoured she felt.
She could remind herself that they had been married for a decade, and had three children - but would not that be just another reason to cherish how much fun they could still have together?
"You need to go to spar," she said, her voice growing breathy. He was kissing her stomach now, bunching up her skirts. Wren stuck her head out from under the covers for a gulp of fresh air. She could see him move under the furs and the velvet. He was shifting lower. "You said you… Mahal help me… That you need to… Because you want to… Oh Mahal, yes, please, right there..."
He chuckled again, his mouth pressed into her flesh, and she moaned loudly from the vibration. And then she felt the warm slickness of his tongue against her skin.
"Still want me to go to the grounds?" he asked, his voice muffled by the sheets. "Or..."
"Do not dare!" Wren ordered, and arched on the bed.
"But I need to train," he drew out pensively, and the beard scratched her thigh. "What if I have to go to a war, or something… A quest… A hunt..."
"Shut up, and go back to what you were doing!" she hissed at him.
"I will grow fat and old... and the armour will not fit anymore..." he sing-songed - but followed her order.
Three hours later, she lifted her head off his chest and looked at him. His eyes were closed, a small smile playing on his lips.
"Dwalin will not be pleased," Wren jabbed, and bit into his shoulder playfully.
Thorin hummed agreeing.
"He will understand," he added in a few seconds. "He has an enticing wife as well."
Wren giggled. "Well, thank you, my lord. What brought this on?"
He shook under her, in his usual full-bodied laugh that she loved so much.
"I am complimenting you, say 'thank you,' my lady." He then opened one eye, and smiled to her lopsidedly. "And you were right. I just felt lazy to get up."
"Well, it is not as if you ended up being idle," she said. "You have… trained with your sword for a few hours."
He guffawed, and gave her backside a juicy smack.
Lady Wren's slanted eyes focused on Lothiriel. The irises were angry green.
"Tomorrow, Lothiriel. Tomorrow I will be a Queen, and the wife of a man who went on a noble quest, and a warrior myself," Lady Wren say. "But right now I just want to go to my chamber and cry, all duty and decorum be damned."
She then quickly rose on her feet and left.