A/N - I prefer to picture Eomer as Karl Urban with his natural dark hair. The new king of Rohan's bride is Lothiriel, the daughter of Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth. They got married in the last year of the Third Age but Tolkien doesn't say exactly where or when. I'm assuming the wedding took place in Minas Tirith during all the post-War festivities. Warning: romantic fluff ahead.

Disclaimer: All things Middle Earth are Tolkien's. I make no money from this. I just spend it on DVDs and movie tickets.

Chapter 1 - Plot? Witnesses? Porn? ;)

The room was dark but for the fire in the hearth and a small lamp beside the bed. The bed itself was large and covered thickly with quilts. Atop all was a shining fur. Flickering firelight and lamplight rippled across it creating the illusion of a great bear hibernating. Scarce else of the fine furnishings could be seen in the dimness except a dull gleam of silver thread in the tapestries. Thus was the wedding chamber of King Eomer and Lothiriel of Dol Amroth appointed.

Light spilled in from the passage outside as the bridegroom led his bride in, briefly silhouetting the two figures; the large and not quite as large. Then the door closed and blindness set in. As they blinked in silent adjustment, a soft thud came from the other side of the door and a faint rustle.

"What was that?" gasped Lothiriel as she spun toward the sound.

Eomer coughed slightly and replied, "Our witnesses sitting down to vigil most like. They will wait there until we call them in. After."

"Witnesses?! We have witnesses? No one told me that. Can't we send them away?" Suddenly she remembered hearing of such customs in foreign lands but she had never imagined she would be subject to it.

She still barely knew Eomer himself. They had met only a few times on the rare occasion when their fathers held counsel together. They almost had to be reintroduced each time as a few more years of childhood and adolescence wrought their impression on the young people. The last time they reacquainted with each other was some years before but Lothiriel had grown into woman enough to smile when the betrothal was suggested to her. Here was a man of worthy position who was not dwarfed by old age or misfortune of parentage. For Lothiriel was unusually tall and broad of shoulder and, though her face was not unlovely, she had not met any other man who would look into her eyes and see a woman instead of a challenge or a threat.

Now here she was on her wedding night with a man she admired and she knew that admiration of a sort was returned and it both frightened and excited her. At the wedding excitement predominated and she had been grateful for Eomer's quiet reassurance when he held her hands. But now, now she alone in the dark with her new husband. And she knew they were not really alone. And she had a nagging worry she didn't want to express.

"Excuse me, my lord, but I must use the privy." She dashed to the adjoining room and promptly dashed back out to grab the bedside lamp. "I'd hate to trip over the nightsoil bucket," she said sheepishly and disappeared again.

By the time she returned minutes later she found things had been rearranged. Eomer was standing wearing just his tunic and trousers. The fur was spread on the floor before the fire and the bed had been turned down.

"The floor seemed rather cold to sit upon but I doubt we shall need so much on the bed to keep us warm," he said. "Come here. I was about to kiss you when nature so rudely interrupted. Or were you being coy?" Lothiriel's stomach promptly hatched a fresh set of butterflies.

Eomer saw his wife's anxious face and drew her over to the light of the fire. He held both hands and looked directly in her eyes. "It is a custom of long standing that a wedding is not just between two people but of the larger community who would celebrate with us," he explained softly. "In spirit. Don't worry. They won't come in without permission," he chuckled. "Their purpose is as much to keep people out."

Lothiriel glanced back at the door and called out, barely raising her voice, "Hello. Can you hear me?" After a few seconds of silence, she repeated the call more loudly.

The third time a muffled female voice came through the door. "My lady? Have you need of anything?"

She lowered her voice slightly, testing. "We are fine. You may return to the reception for a time if you wish. I'm sure there is still enough wine and song to last half the night."

A giggle was barely heard. A male voice broke through, "I think my companion has had enough to drink tonight already. We will remain."

Lothiriel clenched her hands slightly in annoyance, then had her attention returned to Eomer when the squeeze was returned. He smiled at her and raised a hand to brush the hair back from her face. She smiled shyly back but her eyes kept darting back to the door.

"I promise I can be quiet." He kissed her hand. "And I will try not to make you shout too loudly." He kissed her wrist. "They won't be out there every night." He pushed back her sleeve and kissed up her arm.

She shivered at the touch. It seemed much more intimate than the ritual meeting of lips at the close of their wedding ceremony. She had not known any lover before her betrothal at seventeen and in the intervening years before her wedding she learned little from the smirks and winks that answered most of her questions. She knew love might hurt and that it could be so pleasurable that people would behave in strange ways for it. She knew her betrothed was lusted after by many. Her curiosity was piqued. She was married now. Her husband was beautiful and puissant and it was high time she learned what all the fuss was about.

Eomer left off her arm when the material resisted being bunched up and looked to his wife's face again. She met his eyes wide open and leaned in slightly, expecting but not quite inviting. He took her face in his hands and searched her eyes for a clue to her heart. Finding only riddles, he realized he had never really known his own on the matter. Arranged marriages of allegiance were normal in royal houses. Some came to love. Some didn't. Success in marriage was judged by the heirs produced. His body found her attractive. His mind liked the Lady of Dol Amroth. His heart was not bound to any other, it was undecided. But, oh yes, his body was decidedly attracted.

TBC

This is my first attempt at writing PWP. Incendiary devices (aka flames), reviews, comments etc can be sent via the box below.