Aurelia awoke bright and early the next morning, still wrapped in Kili's arms. His breath was warm, tickling the back of her neck pleasantly. Her hands trailed under the blanket to pull his arms closer around her middle. The morning came with a whole new variety of temptations; she could feel his interest stirring and it did strange things to her stomach, desire coiling within her belly. She might have been tempted to indulge that desire, if only slightly, if not for the sound of her Adad pottering about in the kitchen.
"One day," Kili murmured lowly, speaking for the first time, "We will be in our own bedchambers, married and answerable to no one."
She laughed, nodding. It was as if he had read her mind.
"That day can't come soon enough." Aurelia agreed, rolling over to face him. His hair was dishevelled, but he was as handsome as ever. His sleepy eyes wrinkled with happiness as he smiled at her, and she was quite certain at that point that it was the most perfect and pure thing she would ever gaze upon.
"Good things come to those who wait." He said. " Though the wait feels unbearable sometimes. Good morning." He said, kissing her softly. She slung an arm over his side, shifting closer.
"It would be a better morning if we could stay in bed, but I am going to have to get up sooner or later." Aurelia lamented.
"We had better get a move on before your Adad sends in a search party to keep us proper." He said, and they reluctantly disentangled from each other, sitting up. "Once we get this move over with, we can enjoy our day."
"I'll tell you what, I'm just that glad that we don't need to be moving our furniture." Aurelia said to Kili as she sorted through her things, making a pile to leave and a pile to pack. She was sitting on the ground, surrounded by her clothes and belongings, figuring out how best to fit them in her bags.
"It certainly makes it easier." He said, sitting on the edge of the bed. "Are you sure I can't help?" He asked again, feeling bad that he was just watching her work while he sat twiddling his thumbs.
"Worry not, you'll have plenty to do when I require your strong arms to carry my things to my new room." Aurelia reminded him. "Besides, I'm nearly finished."
Kili practically preened at the flattery. "You think I have strong arms?" He teased, flexing for her.
"The strongest." Aurelia promised, helping herself to a squeeze of the firm muscles. "That's why you're helping me move."
Kili pouted playfully. "I suppose I had better get dressed then." He realised, moving to gather his things from the corner where he had left them.
He brushed his long hair out of his face, choosing to tie it all back into a bun to keep it out of the way. Now that was a look she could definitely appreciate.
"That's a shame." Aurelia said, eyeing him as he bent over. "I rather enjoy you in your underclothes."
Kili made a choking sound as he straightened, turning around to fix her with a surprised look.
"You, woman, are a horrible influence." He kept a straight face for as long as he could, before he couldn't help but laugh, tossing her a saucy wink. "And you should be getting dressed too, unless you intend to walk through the mountain in your nightgown."
"I suppose you have a point there." Aurelia said, shoving the last of her things in her bag. Luckily, she hadn't amassed a great collection of things since moving to Erebor, so it was mostly the basics and a few sentimental things coming with her to her new room. Moving the shop's orders and equipment, however, would not be so easy.
He started to get dressed, pulling his vest on over his blue cotton tunic. She took a moment to appreciate the domesticity of the moment, and how natural it already felt to spend her morning with him, before standing up to find her own outfit for the day.
When they left Aurelia's room, they found that Vlin had already prepared breakfast.
"Perfect timing. I was just about to wake you two." Vlin said with a wink, setting the pot full of porridge on the table.
Aurelia hurried to help, gathering bowls and spoons for each of them.
Aurelia placed the bowls and spoons on the table as Vlin fetched the jar of honey from the pantry, despite the fact that he preferred his plain. Kili immediately helped himself to a large heaping of porridge, with a large dollop of honey on top.
"Thank you for making breakfast, Adad." Aurelia said, spooning a smaller serving into her own bowl.
Kili hummed in agreement through his first mouthful of porridge. "Yes, thank you." He said sheepishly, once he had swallowed his food.
"My pleasure." Vlin said with a cheerful smile, digging in to his own breakfast. "It is the very least I can do after all you're doing for us."
When they had all finished their breakfast, Aurelia returned to her room, to make sure she had packed everything important. Meanwhile Kili headed downstairs to the shop to wait for Fili's arrival. Fili was going to help them move into the royal wing, before enjoying his day off with Sigrid in Dale.
Kili had assured her bedding and linen wouldn't be needed, so she left her bed as it was, checking underneath it to make sure nothing was left forgotten.
Finally, certain that she was ready, she went to help her Adad finish his packing. He owned even less than she did, as he was a simple, humble man, and they hadn't been able to take much on their journey. But he wouldn't be able to carry any of his things, or help with the move. As much as he was loathe to admit, at the ripe old age of 242, he was getting too old and frail to do much at all. It was the natural order of things, Aurelia knew. But it didn't make it any easier to watch his rapid ageing. At 240, Dwarves started to show their age, and he had definitely aged from their journey to Erebor.
"Adad, do you need some help?" Aurelia sat on the end of the bed, watching Vlin as he neatly folded his clothes.
"I'm almost done, Nathith. Maybe you could make a start on packing the shop?" He offered, and she nodded.
"Okay Adad. I'll be downstairs if you need me." She pressed a kiss to his cheek before slipping out the door, taking the steps two at a time. The store would take slightly longer to pack.
When she arrived downstairs, she found Fili had already arrived.
"Good morning!" She greeted.
"Same to you." Fili said. "I was just telling Kili that your Adad's room is ready but yours will be a little longer."
"Oh that's no matter, I need to pack the shop anyway. If you could help my Adad with his things, Kili and I can pack everything up here?"
"That sounds like a good idea." Fili agreed. "I'll help you while we wait for your Adad."
"My Brother, the gentledwarf." Kili said, immediately recieving an elbow to his ribs for the jibe. He punched Fili in the arm in retaliation, and it became clear that the two were itching for a spar.
"If you're going to fight, take it outside, you two. There are pins everywhere and I don't need two large, brutish pincushions."
"You have a point." Kili conceded. "So, what needs packing first?"
"I have to put all of the complete orders on this rack," Aurelia gestured to a rail installed on the far side of the shop. "Then orders in progress can be boxed up in these crates," She pointed to a wooden crate next to her workbench, "And equipment in all of the other crates."
All of the orders, complete and in progress, were packed within a few minutes, and they were just starting with the equipment when Vlin announced that he was ready. Fili and Kili brought Aurelia and Vlin's things down the stairs and arranged them by the shop's doors, before Fili and Vlin grabbed what they could carry, which was all of Vlin's things, setting off for the first trip. Vlin carried one bag, while Fili handled four easily. Vlin would remain in his new rooms, while Fili would come back to take Aurelia's things. They would need a few extra pairs of hands to move the shop, so it was decided to leave that for the next day.
Fili returned with more news.
"It looks like it will actually be tomorrow morning that your rooms are available, Aurelia. Uncle sends his apologies." Fili said, sitting down on a fitting stool for a short break.
"Oh, that's quite all right, I'm sure I can figure something out." Aurelia said, carefully wrapping her sewing machine and placing it in a crate. Now finally finished packing, she stretched her back, the muscles tense from so much bending over.
"Well you can't stay here with everything packed. You can stay in my rooms, if you'd like?" Kili offered.
"That sounds perfect." Aurelia said, sitting down for a break herself.
"I'm sure it does." Fili teased. Kili rolled his eyes.
"I'm beginning to see why they made me the Crown Prince." Kili said, and Aurelia laughed.
"Well, we're done packing now. How about we move my things and let Fili go so he can see Sigrid?"
There were only six bags of Aurelia's, so Kili and Fili split the load, taking three each. Aurelia protested that she could carry at least one bag, but they steadfastly refused to let her carry anything, so she gathered a bundle of finished orders, carrying them looped over her arm as they made their way to Kili's rooms, where everything would be stored until Aurelia's rooms were ready.
She heard whispers and mutterings as they moved through the city, talkings of her sleeping her way into the Durin line, and manipulating her way to the throne. They were disgusting accusations, but everyone that mattered knew that there was no truth to them, so she held her head high, and hoped that Kili and Fili did not hear anything. They would not be as calm or forgiving as her, especially not after the week they'd had.
"I heard that Aurelia was seen leaving the royal baths just after Prince Fili." A snooty looking Dwarrowdam stage whispered as they walked past. That gave her pause. Kili stiffened. He had definitely heard that.
The rest of their walk was silent, and she struggled to get a read on Kili. They finally arrived at the Royal Wing, bypassing the guards and coming to a stop outside Kili's doors. Kili unlocked the door, dumping the bags just inside.
"The rumor mill in this city astounds me. To think that you two were having an affair!" Kili shook his head. "Will they stop at nothing to see me shamed?"
Fili clapped him on the back. "Nadadith, I heard their mutterings just as you did. I won't lie, one of them is true, but not in the way you might think. Aurelia can explain. I'm already late to meet Sigrid. I have to go." He laid the bags next to the ones Kili had dumped, and left, closing the door behind him.
Kili looked confused and wary. "What did he mean?"
"Well, a few days ago, you and Fili were in the Royal baths, yes? The day we met." Aurelia began, and Kili nodded.
"We were. Is this to do with that comment about you leaving the baths after Fili?"
"Unfortunately, yes. But let me explain?"
Kili nodded, but did not look happy.
"Well my Adad told me about the baths when we moved here. He said they were little-known, and he had been given permission to use them when he lived here before Smaug's attack. I headed down to the baths after dinner, the night we met. There's this little nook behind the big stalagmite. I like to read there."
Realisation dawned on Kili, and he flushed. "You were there that night? You heard everything."
"I did. I was in the nook, reading when you and Fili arrived. I was naked, though I had my towel, and I didn't know what to do, so I remained hidden. I didn't know you would be talking about me, and I never intended to eavesdrop. When you left, Fili stumbed upon me. He didn't see anything, I had my towel on. But it was very embarrassing for both of us and we agreed never to speak of it again."
Kili sat on his bed, rubbing his face stressfully. "I see."
Aurelia chewed at her lip, feeling the shaky rush of adrenaline run through her, hoping they weren't about to fight. "Are you mad?"
Kili shook his head. "No, I trust you. And this was before we were together. And it was an accident. I'd be an utter cad to be angry. But it will cause trouble for us with the rumor mill. Is there anything else I ought to know before I hear it out in the halls?"
"Well, Fili propositioned me."
Kili's eyes flared angrily. "He what?!"
"Don't worry, he didn't mean it. And I told him off. He was testing me, making sure I wasn't like those other horrible women."
"I appreciate his sentiment, but I knew you weren't like those other women from the moment we met." Kili said. "I suppose he was looking out for my interests, in his own way."
"I promise, that's my only secret." Aurelia assured. "Can you forgive me?"
"Of course, amrâlimê. Forgiven and forgotten." Kili said, patting the bed. She joined him, and they laid down together. "Now, can you think of anything you might like to do today?"
"I can think of several things."