This is it, my darlings. This is the last chapter. And it is the end of a very big chapter of my life. If you want to know more, read the note at the end.
She leaned to his lips, and her breath tickled his skin.
"It's so very unfair..." she muttered, and all he could see were the lashes, and the gentle ivory skin, with the golden specs of freckles ornating it. "You should not be allowed to have so much power over me..."
"Aye, of course..." he agreed, not quite sure what she'd said. His ears rang, and his mouth felt dry.
"I am a woman in her dotage… I shouldn't let my… urges govern me..."
"No, of course not." He nodded, all his thoughts occupied by the consideration of how warm her lips were.
"Stop agreeing… with me..." She then inhaled, and all he could think of was the porcelain skin he could see in the cut of the dress. She had the most perfect breasts, and blush had powdered the tender hills - and he imagined pressing his mouth to them.
"It's not fair!" she suddenly exclaimed, and her features twisted almost in anger. "First, I fawn over you like a girl for a hundred years; then forgive all your faults, and endure you seemingly lust after another; then you throw me aside, and now I am ready to let you back in, just for the physique, and the eyes, and..."
Thorin struggled with the heat and the inebriation that were clouding his mind from her proximity, and he met her eyes.
"Don't take me back for the body. Trust my heart," he asked somberly, and she pressed her lips tightly, and the burning in the slanted eyes subsided.
"How could I?" She frowned, and he shifted closer and cupped her face and gave her a direct earnest look.
"Because it is yours."
She studied his face for a few seconds, and then slightly shook her head. "But what if you..."
"I won't," he answered, and then quickly kissed her. She'd been right, he thought - damn with it all! A man could wait for only that long.
She didn't reject him, but her face hadn't softened.
"But what if it happens again, and..."
"It won't," he answered just as firmly as before.
"You can't know it," she said stubbornly.
"I can't. But right now I'm certain all our difficulties are behind us," he said, and stole another short kiss. "Isn't it what love is? Promises, no matter how untrue, but pronounced in certainty?"
"You're muddling me! You're weaving sophisms, and..." she muttered, and he nodded.
"Trust me, Wrena, right now I'll say anything, promise anything..." He gave her a smile, hoping she'd see the jest he meant his words to be. "I'm undressed, you're close, and we're on a bed."
"Well, that is..." she started; and then finally, her red lips twitched. "Are you trying to seduce me?"
"Mahal help, what else do you think I could possibly be about?" he asked with a feigned surprise. She leaned back, keeping her hands on his chest and shoulder, nonetheless - and gave him an exaggerated look over.
"Well, let's hear it then," she deadpanned.
That was a challenge - and an unexpected one. And perhaps, one he couldn't rise to - but he had to try.
"Take me back, Wrena..."
"Why?" She jerked her chin up defiantly.
"You will not be sorry." He moved closer; and brushed his lips to her cheekbone. "Think of our nights from before… I will cherish you even more now."
"Are you saying you've cherished me before?" There was a fair share of mockery in her tone.
"When I say 'cherish,' I'm being delicate." He gave her a pointed look from under a raised eyebrow. Something changed in her eyes; and he decided to raise the stakes. He tilted his face to hers, and made sure his whisper fluttered on her lips. "I will keep you in our rooms; and you won't ever want to leave. I'll keep you there, and I'll keep you mine. You won't doubt me ever again, not after what I'll be doing to you." Her lashes fluttered, and he slowly lifted his hand. He stroked her bottom lip with his thumb - he already could see he was allowed. And then another idea came.
"Wrena..." he whispered. "The fawning you'd done in the previous years of our marriage - it has nothing on what I feel right now."
He put his other hand on her knee, and started pointedly sliding it up, along the thigh. He could almost taste the skin he knew was hiding under the skirts. Once allowed, he was planning to enjoy it fully.
"Let me, Wrena..." he whispered, raspily, his voice disobedient, from piercing love, and longing, and hunger. "Let me feast on you..."
She pushed him back, strong and unexpected as always - and he fell backwards, grabbing her, jerking her after him.
"Will you go back to being a grump, now that you got what you wanted? Now that you're sated?" she asked without lifting her head; and he rolled on the bed, and kissed her perfect back between the shoulder blades. And then he started moving lower, along the spine, kissing the warm skin. She lay with her eyes closer, her arm under her head; and the position suit him just right.
"Firstly, who said I'm sated?" He reached the desired destination, and rubbed his nose to a round buttock. "Secondly, I've never been a grump." She scoffed, and he gave the buttock a playful bite. "I've been an idiot. And nay, I'm not intending to ever go back."
She didn't say anything; and he knew she didn't believe him - but he had all the rest of his life to prove to her she could.
And he did. Day after day; and especially night after night; and then days turned into weeks; and then weeks turned into months; and she would laugh and say they were too old for all these dalliances; and he would grab her and twirl her and tell her to stop blathering and kiss him.
This time around, he was smarter; he didn't let himself trust their happiness; he continued building it. He'd made the effort then, after the story with Revna - and now he doubled the effort. They had been happy then, after they'd returned from the Grey Mountains - this time he made sure the happiness persevered.
He talked. He listened. He made thoughtful meaningful gifts. He appreciated - and he thanked. He looked at her more; he noticed more - and it seemed that he'd missed so much; and that there was so much to love, and so much more to feel enticed by. Every day.
When a basket of treats and gifts was delivered to their rooms on a quiet evening… he was not even surprised. After all, they'd never found out that time whom the baskets had been from. And also, if he had taken a quest upon himself, wouldn't it be only logical that there would be a test?
He was sitting in the parlour, reading a book, when a courtier brought the basket in. After a short conversation, Thorin ordered it to be put on the low bench by the wall. He then rose and left the chamber.
He knew that Wrena would be in the infirmary, finishing the day's errands, and he made sure to return before her. He had to almost run through the passages on the way back, which entertained and irritated him in equal parts.
He then picked up the basket and with his other haul in his right hand, he went into his bedchamber.
"What is this?" she asked. She'd walked in; and her eyes had fallen on the basket in the middle of their bed. She now stood still, and he saw her chest rise sharply.
"A basket. It came for you an hour ago, just as before, with a courtier." Thorin was sitting in his favourite armchair, by the window, pretending to be reading.
He looked into Wrena's face, and predictably he saw a frown. Her lips were pressed in an anxious line.
He jumped out of the armchair, and marched to her. On the way he quickly bent down and picked up the basket he'd hurriedly purchased in the confectionary shop half an hour ago and had been hiding behind the bed since then. The merchants had already closed the shop for the night, but of course had been only happy to let the king pillage their backroom.
"And this one is from me," he announced and placed it near the first one.
A small uncertain laugh burst out of his wife.
"Are you mad, Thorin? It's as large as a pony."
"Only to match how much more precious you are to me than to the unknown sender," Thorin pronounced smoothly. He decided that even under the threat of torture and death he would never confess that he'd stolen the line from a decorative ribbon in the very same shop.
Wrena was eyeing the basket, and then turned to him. Laughter was dancing in her eyes, just as he'd hoped.
"What a confoundment! Where does this nonsense even come from?" she grumbled, and Thorin stepped to her, picked up her hand, and pulled at it.
"Come, Wrena." She followed grudgingly; and he pushed the smaller basket onto the floor. Something clanked and banged.
Thorin stretched on the bed, and pulled Wrena after him.
"I got your favourite salt and honey nuts." He didn't let her speak, and started rummaging in the basket. "And the dried plums, the dark kind you like. And..."
He jerked out a small sachet of the sugared violets and shook it dramatically in front of her nose. She was still trying to say something, so he fished out one purple sweet and held it in front of her lips.
She chuckled and caught it with her lips.
"Thorin," she started again, her cheek protruding; and he pecked her lips and popped a flower in his mouth.
He hummed theatrically, and rolled his eyes, as if savouring in bliss; and she laughed.
"They're your favourites, by the way, you impossible Dwarf. I don't care for them." Her smile was cheeky. He looked into the sachet, and then shrugged.
"More for me then." He took out another bag. "But I am right about the pumpkin seeds with spices, am I not?"
She lunged ahead, wrapping her arms around his neck. The basket toppled, sweets scattered on the sheets and covers.
"Are we to lie in all this sugar?" he murmured, his fingers already unlacing her bodice.
"Your fault entirely," she whispered into his ear, and nipped the lobe. "You're sweeter than all of them."
In the next five moons there were three more baskets - and each time Thorin would buy an even bigger one; until Wrena begged for mercy.
"My dresses do not fit anymore, Thorin!" she screamed in feigned exasperation. "Look at me!" She pointed at her cleavage, and he smirked.
"Oh, I am looking."
She smacked his shoulder, and he laughed. Neither the abundance of her cleavage, nor the predicament with her dresses had anything to do with his gifts, it was just a game the two of them were playing - and enjoying immensely.
"Sometimes I think your jealousy and unreasonable stubbornness were more beneficial for my health," she said, and shook her head. "And now I'm fat and slow and..."
"Heavy," he murmured with pleasure. "You're so very heavy these days." She gasped and was clearly prepared to smack him again, but she forgot she was sitting on his lap. He wrapped his arms tightly around her - and around her protruding expectant stomach - and placed a loud kiss on her lips. "Feed my son well, my wife."
"It might be a daughter." Wrena placed her hands over his and smiled. "I will be just as joyous if it's either."
It was another son; they named him Othin Matahhûn, the One Whose Laughter Never Stops. He was a happy infant - just as happy, as the rest of their family.
There was nothing else to tell about Thorin's wife, really. In Thorin's mind, she was a happy woman, especially after the birth of their youngest child - but not as happy as she deserved. He only hoped that the wisdom he'd learnt through the previous hundred years of being the lucky Dwarf to be married to her, and the efforts he was making compensated for at least a shred of his previous blindness and ignorance.
All he could do was to make sure that while she was an excellent Queen and an exceptional Mother - through her wits, her intuition, and her unbendable will - there would be one facet of her life, which didn't require any work from her and only brough her joy and appreciation - being Thorin's wife.
As some of you might know, I've recently started a new job/career/vocation - I am an inclusion support worker in a childcare facility. It's an endlessly challenging work, but it is rewarding as well.
But sadly, it is also endlessly time consuming, including getting the early childhood educator degree I'm taking courses for in the evenings.
So, after four years of writing fanfiction (and then taking the inspiration from my Thorin and Wren and writing independently) and later making art… it is time to say goodbye.
Just a smidge ;)
My plan is to continue writing on Wattpad (see below) and continue illustrating my stories, which I sell on my Etsy. You can find all my links on my blog kolmakov dot ca.
On FF, from now on, I'm planning to choose one story - Four Corners of Middle Earth - and update it when I have time for it. There are a few stories I'm hoping (and has been asked) to finish, but so far I seem to have very little time.
If you still want to continue reading my fiction, I will direct you to my Wattpad. The name there is Katya Kolmakov/kkolmakov; and the stories are:
Jack in the Box (almost complete, penultimate chapter next week) - psychological drama. She's a professional muse; he's a successful thriller writer with addictive personality.
Official Town Business - cheerful cozy mystery about British countryside, a ginger secretary, and a lush Mayor.
Second Time Around - potterverse story, a sequel to Thorin Durinson and the Conundrum of the Ginger Transfer Student that I used to post here.
I hope you stay my reader!
It's been a journey - and you have been the crucial element of it.
I thank each and every one of my reader, from the depth of my heart, and with tears in my eyes.