Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just play in their world.

The King of Gondor watched the stars as they sparkled over the black of the waves upon the beach. The soft lapping of water against sand lulled him into relaxation, and for a brief instant he envied the residents of Dol Amroth for being so close to the sea.

Earlier in the month, the King's advisors had accepted Prince Imrahil's invitation to attend the wedding of a minor noble, and despite his personal reluctance to make the journey for so boring an affair, Aragorn's advisors had labored over the importance of the King to make himself accessible to those who honored him as ruler. And so he agreed to attend, and make the most of the situation by dragging along with him the Queen and his Steward. Faramir of course had insisted on bringing a heavily pregnant Eowyn, and Eowyn insisted on bringing her own handmaids and attendants, should she enter labor away from the confines of their residence in Ithilian. So what should have been a minor state visit became an extended traveling court, and Aragorn found himself wondering just when he had lost control of his own reign.

Their arrival had prompted mass celebration, and as they rode their horses through the elaborate arches and streets of Imrahil's citadel, merchants, commoners and beggars alike all clammered to catch a glimpse of Gondor's King and the famed beauty of his wife. The day after the wedding, the people of Dol Amroth crowded around the walls of Imrahil's palace, all harping for a chance to meet with his Majesty. Though eager to return to his own city, Aragorn understood the need to meet with his people even without the constant remainders from his councilors. He willingly extended his stay in the city, and made every effort to meet with those who desired his hearsay on court cases, domestic arrangements, and political rheotoric.

However, long days spent in counsel had finally taken their toll on the weary King, and he had announced his intentions of taking a night for himself to spend with his wife. Upon returning to his chambers, he had convinced the Elf to abandon her escort and sneak away with him beyond the palace walls and into the lively city night. Arwen, quite used to her husband's occasional need for freedom, quickly agreed to his plan. They shirked their majestic robes in favor of more simple, everyday attire in an effort to both blend in with the inhabitants of the city and remain cool in the heavy summer air.

It was while walking through the loud and boisterous streets that Aragorn found a small tavern quite unlike those he had discovered in Minas Tirith. Arwen, for her part, found herself agreeing to enter simply to help Estel regain a semblance from his days as a ranger. The place was small and cramped, full of drunkards and tavern maids all eager to earn an extra coin in whatever way possible. Not quite the reputable establishments Aragorn had grown accustomed to in his years as King. He cast a glance at his wife as they took a seat in the furthest corner of the room.

Arwen's face registered her curiosity that such a place might exist. She had never accompanied her husband and his friends on the rare nights they might venture out, choosing instead to allow him a bit of personal freedom. He had tried on many occasions to bring her along, as Eowyn frequently joined the men, particularly if her brother Eomer was in tow. Arwen, however, had been content to let him have his fun with his friends, all the while knowing that he would return to her at the end of the night.

Aragorn suppressed a grin, and motioned to his wife as her attention drifted to a loud man yelling his tales of valor and virtue. Arwen looked back at her husband, and smiled a shy smile as he took her hand and kissed it lightly.

"Do the sights amuse you, m'lady?"

Arwen giggled, and looked around again, seemingly taking in every sight before her. "I must admit, it is not something I would have expected to find in so beautiful a city as Dol Amroth."

Aragorn laughed as he threw a glance around the room. "Even the most beautiful of places have their eye sores. Have I never told you of a small town neighboring the Shire? It is called Bree, and it is not the most lovely of settlements. The taverns are equal to this. Surely I must have mentioned the Prancing Pony in all the years we've been wed."

The Elf Queen shook her head and met her husband's gaze fully. "I am aware of Bree, love. I have been through the shire, years ago, accompanying my mother on her journey to travel to the west. Some things remain in my mind." Arwen's eyes took on a sad look, but she quickly shook it off, and instead smiled coyly at her husband. "Estel, will you not buy a pretty lady a drink?"

Aragorn laughed and kissed her fingers again, and raised himself from the wobbly table. "Ay, Indonya, I think a cold ale is a splendid idea. I shall return." With that, Aragorn weaved through the drunken crowd towards the bar, occasionally finding his way blocked by a stumbling bar maid or old man. It was minutes before he was able to acquire two steins of the house brew, and it took all of his coordination to avoid being knocked over by the swaying tavern populace. Trying to peer over the heads of men, Aragorn caught sight of a seated Arwen, busy defending her husband's empty seat against a clearly smitten (and intoxicated) stranger.

Rushing all the faster, Aragorn hoped his wife was not too angry with him for leaving her defenseless against the common drudgery of the tavern. Had she accompanied him at least once, she would have been better prepared for the onslaught of drunken men seeking company in the pleasures only women could offer. Carelessly pushing through the crowd, he paid little attention to however he might shove or step on in an accelerated effort to reach his wife's side. Amusingly, he caught the grumbles of a nearby patron, busy remarking on Aragorn's frantic gestures.

"The way he pushes 'em aside, you'd think the man were a King! All high and mighty like he's got more important things to do than sit in a tavern with us mere commoners."
Aragorn smirked but suddenly heaved a groan as a bar maid knocked him in the groin with her empty pitcher.

The short girl turned wide eyes on Aragorn, and looking up at his face, smiled a wide grin at the incognito King. He grimaced, and clenched his eyes shut in a concentrated effort to will the nauseating ache away. Exhaling heavily, he looked down at the tiny bar wench. She placed her pitcher on the dirty table top, and moved closer to the tall bearded man. Though not all together unattractive, her breath reeked of stale ale, and Aragorn found himself nearly gagging as she opened her mouth to speak.

"Sorry about that, sweets. I didn't see you there. My name's Arynni. Are you lookin' for a bit of company this lovely evening?"

Aragorn shook his head violently in refusal of her invitation. "Sorry, but no. I am here with someone. Perhaps some of these other fine gentlemen can offer you what you seek this night." The bar maid sulked, and pursed her lips in a mock pout. Smiling back up at him again, she pressed her bosom against his chest, and tried once more to gain his attention. "Are you sure, love? I make right good company. Maybe your friend would like to join in?"

Aragorn snorted. "That, m'lady, I would highly doubt. You see, I am here with my wife, and I don't think she is eager to share me with anyone, no matter how good of company they might be."

"Ahh, I see. Right, well, enjoy yourselves." As Aragorn moved to continue on, she grabbed his arm and leaned in closer to whisper into his ear. Quickly holding his breath to escape the waft of stink coming from her mouth, he felt his eyes water at the stench. "Just for your knowledge, we also rent rooms by the hour. Just something for you and your missus to think about through the night. Our ale always brings out the lust in peoples, it does." Playfully swatting Aragorn on the bottom, the girl slipped back into the crowd to find her next victim.

Finally, Aragorn found himself back at his table, his wife throwing a vicious glance at him as the drunken stranger loomed over her, his back to Arwen's husband. Placing the steins on the table, Aragorn tapped the man on the shoulder, offering a quick hand when the man stumbled and nearly fell on his wife. Holding the man up, Aragorn watched in frustration as the man stared at him in recognition. Before he could silence the man, the drunk slurred in excitement. "You're him! You're the King, ain't you?" Quickly looking around to see if anyone had heard, Aragorn silenced the man with a shush.

Hoping to dissuade the man from revealing his identity and messing up his night, Aragorn shook his head. "I'm sorry friend, but I'm not a King in any place other than my home. You must have me mistaken. Now, if you'll excuse me, I wish to enjoy the remainder of this night with my wife." Hoping that little bit of slight dishonesty would move the man along, Aragorn sat down and cast an apologetic smile at his wife, now quite amused.

However, the drunk was not so easily gotten rid of. "I could swear you were 'im. I saw the King this very winter in Minas Tirith, and you have 'is face."

Aragorn sighed, and Arwen chose to down some of her ale rather than laugh at her husband's predicament. Trying to figure out a way to rid himself of this annoyance, Aragorn again caught sight of the networking bar maid. Launching himself from his chair, Aragorn waved his arm over his head in an effort to draw her attention. Grinning widely, she purposefully sashayed over to Aragon's side, and wrapped an arm around his sturdy waist. Noticing the quick flash of fury across Arwen's face at so intimate a gesture, Aragorn quickly extracted himself from the girl's embrace. Raising a hand to soothe her jealousy, Aragorn turned towards the drunkard and pushed the bar maid into his arms.

"This is Arynne..." he began.

"My name is Arynni!", she interrupted, one hand rising to settle on her hip.

Aragorn placed his hand over his chest, and nodded his head in recognition. "My apologies, miss." Turning once more to the swaying man, he gestured again to the woman. "This is Arynni, and she is most eager to find a gentleman friend to see her through the night. Perhaps you two might enjoy each other's company? Please, allow me to pay, so that we might forget the unfortunate business of mistaken identity."

The man stared at Aragorn for a moment, and narrowed his eyes in confusion before looking at the woman beside him. "You're goin' to pay for me and this wench?" Aragorn nodded, before handing the maid a gold coin. Snatching it quickly, the girl steered the man away from the couple, and he cast a look back towards the kingly man and his wife, mumbling quietly "I coulda sworn he was 'im...."

Sighing, Aragorn reclaimed his seat and looked across the table at his red faced wife. Taking a long drawl from his mug, he shrugged his shoulders and replaced the stein with a loud thud on the table. "It was the only way I could avoid being discovered." Arwen's embarrassment gave way to amusement, and she laughed outright as she watched the barmaid and man course through the crowd to the stairs leading to the upper level of the tavern.

"It was not your manner of expelling him, Estel. It was her breath. She smelled of a scullery maid. I could smell her from here. How he did not notice is beyond comprehension."

"When blissfully drunk, one does not heed such obvious misgivings, m'lady."

"It would appear so." Arwen paused, her mug raised halfway to her lips, before turning back to her husband. "Is it so common for you to be approached in a place like this?"
Aragorn nodded. "It is." He held his head aloft, before breaking into an amused grin. "It must be my noble features." Arwen choked on her ale, and raised a ladylike hand to her mouth as she coughed. Aragorn smiled as he watched his wife sputter. "And what of you, Undomiel? What was that fellow saying to you before my return?"

"That I was the loveliest maid in here, and that any man would be lucky to be my escort this evening."

"Well, for such a stumbling fool he speaks the truth."

Arwen smiled and her blue eyes darkened in the soft candlelight of the room. "One learns such interesting things when away from the palace. Are such lessons in interaction common in these places?"

"One may find themselves the keeper of all sorts of knowledge should they frequent these establishments often." Aragorn met her gaze and allowed his eyes to trail down her elegant neck, the pale silk skin immersed in her dark curls.

"And husband, what have you learned of this place?" Arwen ran her finger around the rim of the mug, her gaze shifting from her husband to wander the room.

"That they rent rooms by the hour."

Arwen's eyes snapped back to her husband's. A quiet understanding passed between the two, and Arwen smiled wantonly at her husband. "Should such an encounter be revealed, it would be scandalous. Your councilors would be beside themselves trying to preserve our honor."

The King of Gondor downed his ale in one fell swoop. Raising from his table, and taking his wife by the hand, he spoke over his shoulder. "than let them be busy with something other than annoying me."

Striding up to the barkeep Aragorn threw a few coins into the bar. "A room, for an hour." The old man looked at the royal couple, hi gaze lingering on Arwen. "Of course, my good sir. Our best room even, so fitting so lovely a maid." Turning to Aragorn, he winked. "Beggin' your pardon, sir, but you'd be a fool to just seek company in her. She's a marryin' one, she is." Aragorn wrapped an arm around his wife before addressing the man. "That she is, barkeep." The man nodded to the stairs, pointing to a door. "The last door on the right. The best room in my place for such a lovely lady."

Aragorn turned to the stairs, and nodded at the man, saying "a pleasant evening to you, sir." The man chuckled, and waved to the man. "I think the pleasures 'bout to be yours, lad."

Aragorn led Arwen up the stairs and down the hall until they reached the last door. Opening it, he followed Arwen inside and looked around. The room was small, but looked rather comfortable, unlike the rest of the tavern. A fireplace sat unlit in the wall, and an open window faced the busy streets. An old bed sat in the corner, waiting to be put to use. Arwen drew the curtain across the window, and Aragorn settled his sword against the wall. Joining him, Arwen watched as her husband lit a small candle and placed it on a small table beside the bed. Deciding they had better make the most of their hour, Arwen loosened Aragorn's leather surcoat and drew it from his shoulders and threw it to the floor.

Aragorn quickly shed his tunic and set about removing his wife's attire. Outwardly cursing the stubborn strings of her bodice, he allowed her more nimble fingers to loosen The ties. The gown feel to the wooden planks with a soft swoosh, and she stood before her husband in nothing more than a slight underdress. Aragorn groaned and drew her body closer against his naked chest. Sighing, Arwen bared her throat to him, and he placed kisses down the slender column. Her hands drifted up his firm stomach to caress his sculpted chest and up into his thick hair.

He pushed his wife onto the bed, and she landed among the thick quilt with a flirty smile. Laying beside her, he slowly drew the hem of her underdress up over her thighs. His hands, pleasantly cool in the warm night, sent shivers down her spine, and Arwen found herself fighting both the urge to dominate him and quicken the pace. However, the knowledge that Aragorn usually liked to take his time lay foremost in her mind, and they only had a single hour in which to find their pleasure. Pushing against his chest, she forced him to lie on his back, and his questioning gaze melted away when she straddled him and drew her undergarments over her head. Tossing it to lay with his clothes, she leaned over Aragorn and took his earlobe between her lips. Bucking his hips, he gasped and ran his hands down her bare back, feeling the soft skin under his fingertips.

She ran her hand down his stomach once more, and this time allowed the tips of her long fingers to explore beneath the waistline of his breeches. He allowed her to caress him for a small time, before reaching down himself to snap the lacing holding the front together. Catching the amused smile playing across his wife's lips, he rolled her onto her back and kissed her passionately. Moaning into his mouth, she shuddered as she felt his hardness press against her, confined in the tight leather she desperately wished he would rid himself of. Reaching down, she pushed the material down over his hips to rest upon his thighs, and heard him groan when he was finally released. She cried out softly as she felt him reach down to test her readiness.

Satisfied that her body for ready for his entrance, he kissed her and wrapped her legs around his hips. She felt him enter her quickly, felt the satisfying fullness embed itself within her. She caught the sound of the bed creak with their movements, but paid little attention as her husband began to thrust. Their movements became frantic and hurried, and Arwen vaguely caught the sounds of the people below. Aragorn held his wife's hips, holding her in place as he moved above her. Not content to simply lie beneath her husband, Arwen suddenly rolled over, and Aragorn found himself leaning against the headboard as his wife sat perched in his lap, rolling her hips to take him in deeper. He held her hips and allowed her to set the pace, and Arwen closed her eyes as her head fell backwards, her long ebony hair teasing Aragorn's thighs.

He cupped her breasts, and closed his eyes as he felt his wife give in to her pleasure. Crying out his name, Arwen leaned into his embrace as her body trembled from its release. Aragorn felt himself follow her lead, and let himself go.

They sat for a time leaning against the wooden headboard, their breath slowing and their bodies cooling. Aragorn placed a kiss on his wife's forehead, and watched as her eyes remained closed. Sensing her exhaustion, Aragorn slowly lifted her from his lap and moved from the bed. Reaching to the floor, he reverently dressed the Queen and then himself, settling his sword once more on his hips. Offering her his hand, he escorted her down the stairs. Catching the smile upon the barkeep's face, Aragorn waved in farewell before leading Arwen from the tavern. Noticing her sleepy expression, Aragorn smiled. "Meleth-nin, will you make it back to the palace, or might I have to carry you on the way back?"

Arwen smiled before suppressing a yawn. "I'll make it", she mumbled incoherently, before tripping over the hem of her long gown. Aragorn laughed, and bent to wrap an arm beneath her knees. Arwen felt herself being lifted from the ground, and looked at her husband. He smiled softly at her, and kissed her lips gently. "It is not that far, love, and you weigh but nothing." Arwen snuggled into Aragorn's arms, and kissed his neck before closing her eyes once more. "As you wish, your majesty", she managed before yawning again into his shirt.

And so they continued on in silence, Arwen's warmth pressed against his chest. Upon reaching the palace and their room, Aragorn placed his slumbering wife upon the silk sheets of their bed before going to stand on the balcony over looking the beach and the dark waters of the bay. He stood watching the stars as they sparkled over the black of the waves upon the beach. The soft lapping of water against sand lulled him into relaxation, and for a brief instant he envied the residents of Dol Amroth for being so close to the sea.

Finding himself worn out, he returned to the cool depths of his room, and running a finger down the cheek of his sleeping wife, lay beside her and lost himself in dreams.