Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction, based on characters and settings created by J.R.R. Tolkien. No profit is made from this work.

Tonight We Are Alive

I stand in front of the mirror in the dimly lit bedchamber, slowly brushing my thick, dark hair. It is late, and I am getting ready for bed. But I am not really tired. Actually, I am rather worried.

I have hardly seen my husband over the last few days. He always seems to be at some councils or other meetings these days, as is his brother. I know they are planning something with Lord Thorin Oakenshield – and he is definitely up to something big this time.

I sigh, and continue brushing my hair. I look at my complexion in the beautiful mithril mirror – our wedding present from my parents. I can hardly say that I am beautiful... after all, we dwarves are not actually the fairest beings that walk around Middle Earth. But Kíli says I am the most beautiful dwarvess he has ever looked his eyes upon – and I suppose I am bound to believe him. After all, he loves me. And I love him.

I hear footsteps outside in the corridor, and soon the door opens. It is my husband. I look at him.

"What news, Kíli?" I say.

Kíli looks very serious this time. Something has finally happened.

"It has been decided, Embla," he says. "I have been chosen to go with Lord Thorin on the quest for the Lonely Mountain."

I shiver on the inside. The Lonely Mountain... our ancient fortress, that was so ruthlessly raided by that evil dragon. Of course I know all the tales – but suddenly it all seems so real.

"I see," is all I can say. "So, is Fíli going as well?"

"Yes," Kíli nods.

"Who else?"

He tells me the names. Balin, Dwalin, Óin, Glóin, Óri, Nóri, Dóri... yes, all the strongest dwarves. I can definitely understand why my husband has been chosen – and I am proud of him, even though I am a little afraid.

I tell him this. He puts his strong arms around me and pulls me close.

"Be strong, my sweet Embla," he whispers into my hair. "I want you to be brave – as you always have been."

I smile shyly at him.

"I will try," I say softly.

Kíli smiles back at me.

"That is why I love you, Embla," he says, still holding me tenderly. I lean against him and sigh.

"Will you be alright?" I say, looking into his grey eyes. "This will be a dangerous journey..."

"I know," my husband answers. "But I am not afraid – and this will be our opportunity to take back what truly belongs to us. I am ready for that – I just need your blessing, my wife. I am eager to go with my uncle – but still I am reluctant to leave you, love."

I look at him again, still holding him. I take a deep breath.

"Kíli," I finally say. "Go – Go with Thorin. You are right – this is our big opportunity. I only wish I could go with you..."

Kíli smiles at me.

"I know, Embla," he says. "You are a brave lass, my sweet. And I hate to leave you - but you are needed here. My mother needs you. And she will need you even more, if anything happens to us..."

I nod. "I understand, my dear husband," I say softly, looking again upon his sweet face, where I can see such love for me. But I know that Kíli also has a great love for his people, as do I. And we both know what we must do.

"Go," I say again. "Go, my sweet Kíli – for me. For us all... Go and take back what truly is ours."

Kíli looks at me with a determined look on his face.

"I will, my wife," he says. "For you – and for us all."

We hold each other close, and Kíli presses his lips against mine in a passionate kiss. I pull him closer yet, just to feel his strong and warm presence against mine. I feel an overwhelming love for my husband, my sweet Kíli, and I know he feels the same way. Tonight he is mine, and mine alone. And I am his, and only his.

As we remove our clothes and lie together on our bed, the thought of my husband's journey pops into my head, if only for a brief moment. I wonder, will this be a journey of victory, or a journey of doom? Or both? Somehow I have a feeling that it might be both...

But I soon forget all my worries, and just embrace this precious moment I have with my Kíli. Yes, this journey will be dangerous, that I know – and it is very possible that my husband will not survive. None of them may survive... But tonight we do not worry. This night belongs to us, and tonight we will celebrate our love for each other, and that we are alive. Tomorrow we may be dead – but tonight we do not care. Tonight we are alive.