Author's Note: This is a side project from my Buffy/LotR crossover. I am a big Éomer/Lothíriel fan so I couldn't resist writing this series of a short-chaptered story. It has a bittersweet feel to it, looking at the darker aspect of their relationship before their love grows.

Co-written with a wonderful friend and fellow fanfic author, who wishes to remain anonymous at present.

Summary: Éomer&Lothíriel—A bittersweet look at Éomer and Lothíriel's relationship and how it blossomed into the greatest love of all time. The wedding night can be extremely awkward, particularly if your marriage was arranged for a political alliance.

Warning: Rated accordingly for adult themes.

Disclaimer: I claim no rights to The Lord of the Rings, which belongs to J.R.R Tolkien.

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By the Sea.

Chapter One: Wedding Night.

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The room was dim and far too cold for the thin creamy shift she donned. She could faintly hear the sound of the roaring sea waves crashing against the cliffs and sandy shores of her homeland; but this night, the sound brought no comfort to her frayed nerves.

Lothíriel absently ran her hands along the raised skin of her bare arms, shivering at the chill that seemed to seep into the marrow of her bones as she waited.

By nature she was not a patient woman; at least, that is what her father had constantly told her when she was younger.

But on this evening she wished with all her heart that her newly wedded husband would take his time in arriving. The celebrations of their wedding in Dol Amroth had occurred throughout the day, much to her dismay. And it had been a long and arduous affair, one that had finally taken its' toll upon her as the evening slowly and painfully drew to an end.

This was only the beginning—a formal ceremony still had to be held in Rohan, the home of her husband. She sincerely hoped that it was held with less pomp and propriety than the ceremony that had taken place today.

During the evening, he had seen the weariness in her eyes and the apprehension that clouded the rims of her deep blue orbs—but he had not thought to comment about it. He had not thought to reassure her. Instead, he remained in the background and had allowed her to bear the brunt of the evening alone, smiling and greeting guests with false gusto; a selfish thing to do on his part.

From what she came to know about him in their short time together, Lothíriel had found the Rohan King cold and aloof... Completely distant to the world that surrounded him. He was a warrior and she understood this. Her father was also a warrior, as well as a Royal, but he did not possess the hardened glint that constantly flashed within her husband's brown eyes... And that frightened her deeply. It was as though the heavy burden that sat on his shoulders had manifested and darkened into a sinister ebony cloud that would forever shroud his golden head.

The War of the Ring seemed to have had a hard impact upon the newly crowned King of Rohan.

His entire demeanour seemed to repress her in someway.

She had always been light-hearted person, full of spirit and joy, but she knew—she knew that once she resided in Rohan with her husband, she would change for all eternity. She would lose herself and become an unrecognisable ghost like him... And in the end not even her own father would be able to discern her haggard form.

The thought was chilling and only served to dishearten her further.

Lothíriel had not wanted to marry the Rohan King.

Her father had insisted and, as was expected of a good daughter, she acquiesced because she loved him and her people of Dol Amroth dearly; she could not bear his disappointment. Their country would benefit from the newly forged ties with Rohan and an alliance in the form of a marriage was the only reasonable manner in which the bond between the two estranged countries could be formed; that was the excuse she had been given. She had asked her father whose idea it was to create the political alliance through marriage and he had simply chuckled at her and said that she had caught the fancy of the Rohan King.

It was a pity that she did not return the King's sentiments.

However, she still could not believe her fathers words. The King of Rohan behaved in rather brutish manner whenever he was in her presence and his eyes—his eyes were devoid of any and all emotion. She could not fathom how she could have captured his attention. Although she desperately wished she had not...

Her eyelashes fluttered against her cheeks at the cool breeze that danced through the open windows of the room, brushing past the billowing gauze curtains that draped majestically to the floor. The smell of the salty sea-water permeated the air around her, clinging in small rivulets as moisture against the stone walls. She inhaled the smell of the salt gratefully.

She was going to miss her home by the sea.

The sudden sound of the door opening alerted her to his presence. As she sat upon the centre of the large and frivolously decorated bed, facing away from the doorway, she listened to her husband quietly enter the room and shut the door behind him. He shuffled around briefly and she could distinctly hear the rustle of clothing as he removed his ceremonial garb.

Her eyelids drooped down over her sea-blue eyes, covering her sight of the dim room in the comfort of darkness as she felt the right side of the bed dip under his weight.

The hollow weight in her stomach grew as she felt his calloused hand brush the river of her curled obsidian locks away from her right shoulder to the left. Every second that passed seemed like an eternity for her, chipping away at her soul with every touch of his rough fingers upon the smooth flesh of her neck and shoulders.

She squeezed her eyes shut and desperately tried not to shy away from his hand, which was soon replaced by the velvety touch of his lips against her shoulder. She trembled, knowing that he had misinterpreted her disgust for pleasure.

"Lothíriel," he finally whispered into the shell of her right ear, "My beautiful wife..."

The sickening sensation twisted deeply within her gut as he trailed kisses along the column of her exposed neck, to the lobe of her ear. With a throaty growl he quickly turned her around to face him and pinned her against the soft bed beneath him. Her legs opened involuntarily to accommodate his large form between the creamy expanse of her thighs.

He was huge compared to her slight frame. The tautly formed muscles of his arms tightened as he effortlessly held himself above her, making sure that he did not crush her tiny form with his seasoned warrior weight.

"Look at me."

The King of Rohan's request was simple, but she could not bring herself to open her eyes.

"Lothíriel," he coerced softly, "Will you not look upon your husband?"

At his gentle words she slowly opened her eyes, only to find them gazing into the endless expanse of his warm brown orbs. She found herself drowning in their infinite depths.

Gone was the cold expression that continually haunted his face, gone was the hardened glint that forever seemed to burn within his eyes. At that moment, the warmth he showed her in his gaze somewhat eased her bruised spirit.

He was comely—incredibly handsome in fact, with his shoulder-length golden hair and rugged yet manly features that added to the appeal of his muscled, battle-weary body. At his nearness, she could see that his brown eyes were flecked with green... She had never denied his handsome looks, but the stony features of his face always seemed to detract from the boyish charm he was exuding at present.

Now, with his barriers lowered she saw the man beneath the stern countenance... A man that she could possibly learn to fall in love with, given the time. Perhaps all was not lost to her.

"I love you," he breathed almost to himself as he peered into her deep blue eyes.

Lothíriel froze at the three words that quietly escaped through the crevice of his parted lips. She could not believe them. He knew nothing about her! How in Arda could he claim to love her! She gazed up at him, displaying the confusion she felt as she searched his rich brown eyes for any sign of deceit.

She found none.

"My lord?"

He sighed, closing his eyes and smiling slightly as he lowered his forehead to hers. "I have loved you from the very first moment I laid eyes upon you in Minas Tirith, Lothíriel."

"But... You do not know me," she murmured against his cheek, wishing that he would remove his weight from her body. It was unsettling to have him pressed so intimately against her, especially since she knew that she felt nothing for the Rohan King.

"I do," he reassured, "I watched you from afar; your bright eyes and beautiful smile soothed my broken heart like a healing balm. It is because of you that I found solace from the haunting dreams of battle and death that plagued me during the long, empty nights," he paused, looking at her once more. "When I approached your father about our betrothal, I thought that he would refuse. I thought that you would refuse me... It gladdens me that you did not."

The Princess of Dol Amroth digested her new husband's words carefully. "You mean... I had the choice to say no?" She shifted slightly under his weight as he kept her pinned to the bed.

"Yes, but you accepted. Nothing could have made me happier than this day."

Her mouth ran dry.

She could have refused!

But her father insisted that she marry the Rohan King... O, had she known about the choice she would have never agreed to the arrangement. But how could she let her husband know that she had never wished for their union in the first place? It would be a disaster and, now that she knew of his love, it would break his heart. She was not so cold-hearted as to inform him of her true feelings. What purpose would it serve now? Their were wed and her fate had been decided and sealed.

With a wan and humourless smile, she spoke, "I am glad that you are happy, my lord."

He chuckled, "There is no need for such formality now, Lothíriel. I wish for you to call me Éomer, it would please me greatly."

The princess nodded slowly, "As you wish... Éomer."

With the barest of smiles, he lowered his head to hers once more as the expression on his face sobered, "I have been wanting to do this all day."

Before Lothíriel could form a response, Éomer allowed his soft lips to gently brush across hers.

Without preamble, his lips slanted down upon her own as he slowly plunged his tongue deep into her mouth. Her startled gasp was drowned out by the pounding of his heart against her rib-cage as his lips and mouth moved accordingly, forming their own sacred rythm as he bound them together with the intimate gesture.

Her mind grew blank as his large hand deftly brushed her side, trailing up her thigh whilst he pushed the cloth of her shift upwards to bare her legs. She shivered at the cool breeze that blew upon her uncovered thighs. His warm moist tongue roved the corners of her mouth, causing her to arch and moan involuntarily.

She thought that she could allow him to use her for this one night, but it was proving difficult.

Lothíriel wanted to push him away... She was not ready for this—she was not ready to allow this man, whom she hardly knew, the pleasure of her body. Perhaps in time she would enjoy his gentle, passion-induced kisses, but could she allow it for this one night?

No, she could not.

With determination, she tore her lips away and placed her fingers upon his mouth as he moved to kiss her again.

He looked down at her quizzically.

Desperately, she thought of her only excuse, "Forgive me, my lo—Éomer... This day has been taxing and I fear that I have worn myself out..." She trailed off, hoping that he would understand her silent plea.

Éomer frowned slightly before offering a gentle smile. "You tease me, my wife."

Lothíriel paled under his intense gaze. Her mouth moved to speak but no sound would come out. The man was absolutely blind to her true feelings.

The King of Rohan took her silence as an affirmation of his comment. With a small grin, he resumed his previous course and slowly began to divest her body of the shift that clung to her delicate, golden curves.

Her stormy blue eyes grew dim as she focused on the ceiling beyond his shoulder. She remained still as her husband's gentle yet urgent kisses began to fade away, until she could no longer feel them upon her skin.

The pain was a distant throb inside her body as he began to move above and within her. With each gentle stroke, the Princess of Dol Amroth felt herself falling—falling into an endless abyss that seemed to welcome her with open arms.

She turned her head absently to the open window of the room where the moon's pale beams shone through like a beacon in the dark. And before she drowned completely, her last thought was of her home by the sea.

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Added Notes: I know it's a tad depressing, but I promise that Lothíriel does grow to love him. You will see how that will come about in upcoming chapters. As for Éomer, he is blind towards her true feelings... For the moment.

I hope you enjoyed this first chapter.