Disclaimer: I don't own any of Tolkein's world

Chapter One

The day was ending; a black curtain of velvet sky with pearl sewn stars creeping towards Meduseld from the horizon could be seen from the window Lothiriel was looking out of. A crisp summer night wind blew over her face, slipping her raven hair off her shoulders to her back.

Lothiriel was sitting in her favourite spot atop the window sill, one leg mounted while the other dangled inside. She was the new queen of Rohan, named so not a month ago. She would barely be able to go back home now, which she was missing immensely; she missed the soft sea breeze, warm and thick, not like the chill wind that blew against her now, a harsh and thin wind that whipped Rohan's banners in a violent frenzy.

A month. Lothiriel sighed; she had been here a month and she still had not found the love they all promised she would find within herself for the king. He was a tall solid brute, at least, that is what she thought the moment she laid eyes on him in Minas Tirith. Their courtship, if you could call it that, was short and ruthlessly official. She knew that she was being introduced to him as being a little less than a bargain chip for Rohan, the middle man, the vessel for trade between a struggling Riddermark and a prosperous Gondor.

The day they were married was the second time they had seen each other, Lothiriel feeling nervous and resentful to her father for giving her up so easily. She and her family had travelled to Edoras for three weeks at the end of spring, the plains lush with their renewed growth. It had seemed to her they could go no faster to marry her off. She did acknowledge the fact that she would be able to help reconstruct a fallen Rohan. They needed her, and that gave her no more than a grain of self assurance.

She recalled that throughout the journey Arwen would give her reassuring glances and pats on her back, "This will turn out for the better Lothiriel." said Arwen, she was bent on making the Princess of Dol Amroth feel better, for she saw the look of a lost child in Lothiriel's eyes. "Yes, I believe it will be beneficial to Rohan as a whole, my lady." answered Lothiriel, giving the queen of Gondor a strained smile. Arwen giggled, "My dear, I was speaking of your relationship with King Eomer," she corrected, "I know that you two have spoken only once, during our latest winter, but fear not Lothiriel. I feel that you and he will feel the renewal of spring in your hearts, for they are still stubborn buds not yet in bloom and awaiting the sun's first kiss upon their hidden petals. They have received enough rain in their lives."

It was summer now. And still Lothiriel had not felt her heart tugged by Eomer. She was sure he felt the same way. She could see it in his manner with her, still official and blunt as a blade. She could remember one instance her heart saw a glimmer of hope for their insipid relationship; she recalled their wedding day, a week after she had arrived in Edoras:

She was woken up by Geradea, the head maid, a robust and warm woman. She felt as though Geragea knew more about her than Eomer did by now. She bathed and was put in a beautiful wedding dress; it was made with the many layers of pure white sheer, gossamer-like, fabric that pooled at her feet and sprinkled with pearls, her dress flowed to trail behind her like an escaping wave on a shore. It swept across her chest to rest on the edge of her shoulders, showing her long graceful neck that did credit to her land's affinity with the swan. Her sleeves were of delicately sewn lace that flowed away from her arm to the ground. Geradea looked at her in awe, Lothiriel looked truly captivating, with her long hair undone and glossy, going past her hips.

She was taken outside then, the sun warming her skin and the wind blowing in her hair. Although she felt warm on the outside, inside, she was shaking with nerves as she looked upon the reverent faces of her future people that crowed up to Medulseld's stairs.

Once she reached the top of the stairs and was awaiting the great doors to her future to open, horns were played and all who were inside rose.

She was a sight to behold when she was shown at the doors of Meduseld: she was glowing like a bright white star, great winds lifting and swishing the feather light fabric of her dress. Eomer noticed how the sun's rays penetrated her dress, faintly revealing the silhouette of her form. His heart skipped a beat as she approached; he had not remembered her to be so disarming when they had first met. Lothiriel's eyes widened, taking in Eomer: he wore his polished armour along with a long, deep green cape. Its edge rigorously embroidered in fine gold and mithril thread. His gold hair was neatly styled under his crown. Lothiriel thought he looked like a beautiful golden god as her delicate brows arched in surprise. Perhaps it won't be as hard as I thought, was her last thought before placing her hand in his large warm one.

And that was it. She thought exasperatingly.

That was probably the only time she felt as though this could work. Eomer was a brilliant king, he was meant for it: his people loved and respected him, but what would they say if they found out they hadn't even consummated their marriage as of yet? She groaned internally at this.

Their wedding night was definitely not how she dreamed it would be. The reception went by smoothly, husband and wife finally able to have discussions. But Lothiriel still felt incredibly shy and gave short answers to his questions and would constantly blush whenever his eyes lingered on her for more time than she thought was necessary.

She was enjoying the celebration: so many people looked unbearably happy, and that had brought upon a warm sense of mirth in her, that is until they had to retire to the bed chambers.

Lothiriel's stomach fell, her nerves making themselves apparent through her wide eyes and tense back as Eomer lead them through the softly lit corridors to his chambers. They both walked, a thick silence choking them as they passed her chamber door.

Eomer would be lying to himself if he said he didn't have too much to drink that night. Although he thought Lothiriel to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, it still didn't change the fact that he didn't know her at all. Her short, formal and timid answers to his questions were enough to prove that. They were practically strangers. So he attempted to drown that fact out and lean on the practicality of their union.

He had married her for an advantageous connection, he thought of how much his people needed it. The marriage would bring good to Rohan's reconstruction. All had agreed that this would be no mistake. But his mind turned back to his new wife, the new queen of Rohan, and what would need to happen this night. Lothiriel was an innocent, a lady of court who saved herself for one moment. She was different than the women he had bedded before; she seemed fragile, perfect as an untouched dewdrop on a leaf.

He took her hand and opened his chamber door, bringing her in, careful not to step and stumble over the trail of her dress. His chamber was bigger than hers; it had a larger fireplace which had been prepared before they had come in and had furs on the floor. The fire cast a soft warm light upon them as they stood facing each other; Eomer took Lothiriel's hand in his, bringing it up to his pouty lips. Lothiriel's eyes suddenly widened in shock when he lifted her hand high, his lips beginning to trail up her arm, scattering kisses here and there until they reached her elbow.

He looked into her eyes as he backed away, albeit none too smoothly. He began to undress from his armour until he left himself with his cotton under tunic and brown leggings. Lothiriel's heart was ready to burst out her chest, was she supposed to be undressing as well? Surely she couldn't, she thought, she had not put on a chemise this day.

She had never been alone with another man, other than with her father or brothers; and a chaperone had always been at her side, watching her like a hawk when she was with other male company. What was she supposed to do? Speak? Remain silent? Her cheeks reddened when she took in the sight of him; his eyes were curiously darker and half lidded. His golden hair brushed over his shoulders, which were surprisingly broad; she had always thought his armour gave him such an appearance.

Eomer approached her, a reassuring smile on his face as he softly swept her hair back, "Soft..." he murmured, making her blush all over again. Her entire body tensed when he suddenly brought his face to hers, she could smell the strong ale in his breath, making her tighten her lips and pull her head back a fraction. Seeing her retreat, he brought his hands to cup her chin, bringing her to his lips.

Lothiriel had never been kissed before until now, but found that the way Eomer massaged her lips with his began to melt her nerves away. She finally responded and opened her mouth a bit when she felt his tongue stroke her lower lip, earning her a groan from Eomer. She didn't like the way he tasted of alcohol and the way his kisses progressively turned rougher. He inhaled harshly through his nose as he felt her tongue on his and roughly pulled her near, needing to feel the soft moan of a woman. When he finally did, he greedily began to trail his hot kisses down to her neck.

Lothiriel gasped, never had she felt something such as this; it made her jaw drop and breasts perk. She was clumsily being lead to his bed, her dress being stepped on, making the fabric on her shoulders slip and swoop her neckline even lower, trying desperately to cling on the tips of her nipples.

When they reached the edge of his bed Eomer looked up and saw the condition of her dress, he quickly stripped himself of his shirt and roughly captured her lips again, making her open them for him with his prodding tongue as he brought her down to the bed.

She was overwhelmed; his hard hands fondled her curves as they ran up her body. Her eyes suddenly snapped open and she froze the moment she felt something hard against her thigh. She saw when his darkened eyes glanced down to her breasts again, begging to be released from her dress. She jumped in surprise when he desperately tore her dress, exposing her breasts and hips, her body screamed to stop this. Not like this, she thought as tears stung her frightened grey eyes.

Eomer brought her hands up over her head as he greedily attacked her chest with sloppy wet kisses. But it was a whimper that made him freeze over her. He looked up to her face and saw tears in her eyes; he would never forget the tears that made him snap out of his stupor that night.

He quickly got up from the bed, his eyes wide in disbelief. He was so ashamed; he had let the power of drink cloud his reason, how could he be treating her in such a way? She wasn't just a vessel to seek his release in; she was his queen, his wife, an innocent woman whose look of fright in the depths of her eyes killed him. He watched as she covered herself with her torn wedding dress, looking at him with shocked eyes.

"Lothiriel....I'm so sorry," he started off shakily, "You are not willing, I see. Forgive me, please, I meant not to frighten you, my sweet." Eomer's eyes glowed with regret, his lips forming into a frown. What had he done? He had virtually ruined any semblance of a loving relationship with this woman. "We cannot do this now." He said sadly as he approached her, sitting on the bed. She stared at him with questioning eyes, "But...everyone will know we did not consummate our lo—marriage." said Lothiriel, a tear managing to fall from her eye. Eomer followed the tear and wiped it away, hating to see it leave it's trail on her smooth skin. He knew she spoke the truth; the custom was to reveal the blood-stained sheet to Rohan's advisors, proving to them that not only was the union made complete, but also to prove of the queen's virginity. He let out a sigh, bringing a tense hand to his brow. This can't be happening.

Finally, he stood resolutely and went to his weapon trunk he kept at the foot of his bed. It creaked open as he lifted it, Lothiriel looking at him with tense curiosity. Her eyes snapped open in shock when he took out a dagger, was he going to kill her for not laying with him? She thought desperately, these Rohan men were known to be barbarians. She scooted over to the other side of the bed as he lifted off the furs, and saw a determined look form in his eyes as he brought the blade down to his finger to create a slice that leaked with blood over the middle of that side of the bed. Her jaw dropped in shock. She watched as the blood seeped into the sheet, leaving a bright red stain in the middle of a sea of white.

He had left her soon afterwards; storing away his blade and making his way to her former bed chamber, which was connected with his, with a forlorn expression on his face, leaving her to sleep by herself.

Late into the night she kept awake, (much like Eomer) thinking that he was sleeping in her frigid room alone.

Since then Eomer had always left to her chambers via his room to sleep at night, not wanting to make a fire that would raise suspicions within his court concerning his wife. He would return to her room at the crack of dawn, whilst she slept to lay beside her until Geradea would come and inform him that his bath was ready. The kiss he left on Lothiriel's head every morning was as soft as a whisper and as tender as a heartfelt apology.

Lothiriel let out a long sigh as she looked up to the moon that was glowing brightly along with the twinkling stars, illuminating the rooftops of Edoras. She never once heard Eomer call her 'my sweet' since that night-gone-wrong; she couldn't kid herself, she remembered her cheeks reddening and heart stir when she heard those words come out of his lips then.

She jumped when the door opened, Eomer coming in. She smiled from the window and was rewarded with a warm one as he began to undress for bed. He came up to her in his tunic and leggings, "Goodnight Lothiriel" he said as he took her hand in his, the only touch she was familiar with from him, she thought sadly. They still knew barely anything of each other, but it has only been a month, thought Lothiriel hopefully. Things will get better.

He left her and walked to the chamber door, leading to the other bed, shutting it softly behind him.