Disclaimer: Neither Lord of the Rings nor anything associated to it belongs to moi. Shocking, I know. No monetary profit was made from this, only the fun and anxiety brought by writing it.
Rating: Teen. Rated Teen for mild romance. (They're married for goodness sakes...)
Time frame: about a year after the twins were born
A/N: So...This was supposed to be written 8 days ago. Obviously that didn't happen...*cough* Honestly, this was a ton of fun to write, although I admit that it was a bit harrowing for me, seeing as how this was the most graphic romance I've written to date (yes, feel free to laugh...). Many thanks to the people from the Facebook page "Arda: A World of Epic Adventure" for your help :), as well as Alex Michelle who kept me calm, listened to my mental breakdowns whilst writing, and approved pretty much every sentence as it was written.
I would of course adore you if you would be willing to leave a few wods on your way out, but I shan't resort to begging ;) Most importantly, I hope you enjoy reading this.
Dedication: a birthday present for Greenleaf's Daughter, who has been a friend and staunch supporter pretty much from my first endeavors of writing Elrond. Thank you for everything my friend.
Elrond's eyes blinked fully open in the predawn light, the pale grey of sleep peeling away to reveal the much thicker grey of a cloud-blanketed early morn. For a long moment he laid still, eyes half-lidded, enjoying the warmth of the bed – a stark contrast to the frigid air that brushed against his face and neck.
The raven-haired elf turned his head to the right, and found himself staring at a tangle of silver-gold cascading over the pillow just barely visible at the top of a blanket-swathed huddle. He could not stop the smile that crept onto his face at the sight – Celebrían so disliked being cold, or even the slightest bit chilled.
Rolling up onto his side, Elrond moved closer to his wife, slipping beneath the extra blankets piled atop her sleeping form. Carefully, so as not to awaken her, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against his chest. She shifted in her sleep, instinctively curling up so as to nestle her head beneath his chin
Nearly an hour of comfortable silence passed, silence broken only by the steady hush of the couple's breathing. Elrond drifted in and out of reverie, quite content and, for the first time in many days, completely relaxed.
Celebrían sighed deeply, breaking the steady silence, and drawing Elrond back to the realm of wakefulness. Elrond, conscious of the fact that she was awakening, leaned down and kissed the top of her head amid her silver-gold locks.
"Good morning, meleth," Elrond murmured.
"Mmm," came Celebrían's drowsy response, and she snuggled closer to her husband.
Elrond disentangled one hand from the blankets and began to run his fingers through Celebrían's hair, gently working the sleep-tousled knots free. For a long moment she was silent, simply enjoying the feel of him playing with her hair. She felt utterly content, and not in the least inclined to disrupt this moment of peace.
"What time is it?" Celebrían asked, finally building up enough gumption to speak.
"A little after dawn I think," Elrond replied, just as softly and still running his fingers through her now tangle-free hair.
"'tis very dark still," Celebrían observed.
"A storm has come," Elrond replied. "It snowed sometime during the night, and it will snow again before noon, I think." Celebrían did not ask how Elrond knew that it had snowed, nor how he knew that it would snow again. He just…knew, and he was rarely, if ever, wrong.
Elrond finally ceased playing with Celebrían's hair, and his hand came to rest on her shoulder.
"We should get out of bed," he murmured, his voice muffled by her hair as he buried his face against her neck. He kissed her neck softly.
"The day can wait for a few more moments," Celebrían pleaded.
"Time does not halt for anyone, not even me or you," Elrond reminded his wife. But even as he said such, Celebrían could feel that he relented, could feel him draw her just a little closer. "Oh, very well," he whispered, and kissed her again, this time just behind her ear.
Elrond's lips brushed the sensitive skin at the base of Celebrían's ear, and she couldn't help but twitch slightly even as she laughed lightly. Another kiss landed on her jaw, then trailed down toward her chin.
"Oh stop," Celebrían laughed again, and turned her head up so she could see her husband. For just an instant, they were both completely still, trapped within the other's gaze. Then Elrond leaned down, and their lips met.
Celebrían lost herself in that kiss, lost herself in his taste, in the feel of his lips against hers. One of her hands crept up and cupped the side of his face, fingertips caressing his cheek. Elrond's hand, which had been on her shoulder, tangled in her hair once more, bracing the back of her neck.
Elrond finally broke the kiss, the need for air overcoming desire. Celebrían drew in a deep breath as their lips parted, but she was smiling. She darted up and brushed a quick kiss on Elrond's bottom lip, then settled back down against his chest, allowing him to draw her close once more.
Celebrían was now lying completely against Elrond, her body pressed to his. His arms were once more wrapped around her, holding her safely to him. One of his feet brushed hers, and before she could react, he had hooked her ankle with his and drawn it between both of his own.
"Your feet are cold," he commented, and shifted his legs so that both of her feet were being covered with his own. She could not stop the small sigh that escaped her as his warmth flooded into her, reviving her chilled toes.
"Mmm," was all she gave by way of a response. But it was all the response needed.
"We really should arise to greet the day," Elrond murmured. Celebrían could tell that he wished that they could stay precisely where they were for much longer. However, as usual, duty called to him with increasing intensity. Celebrían sighed.
"Yes, we should," she finally agreed, albeit wistfully. Elrond kissed the top of Celebrían's head one final time, then released her and slid out from beneath the blankets.
Elrond stood slowly, stretching and working out the kinks in listless muscles. He slept with his hair unbound, but now Elrond gathered the long, raven tresses up into a loose horse tail and tied it with a thin leather thong lying at the edge of the stand by his bedside – he would brush and braid it later.
Elrond glanced back to the bed, and smiled as he saw Celebrían still snuggled beneath the blankets, although she had gotten so far as sitting up. She looked loathe to leave the cocoon of warmth and face the frigid air of the rest of the house.
Elrond rounded the foot of the bed, and approached Celebrían's side. As he passed by the hooks on the wall upon which an assortment of cloaks and shawls hung, Elrond gathered a pale green robe lined with warm fleece.
"Here," he said, and handed Celebrían the robe. She smiled as she took it, thanking him wordlessly. As she pulled it around her shoulders, Elrond sat down on the edge of the bed. "Are your feet still cold?" he asked.
"A little," Celebrían admitted, even as she kicked off the blankets, making to rise. To her surprise, Elrond reached out and halted her. "What…?" she began, but then stopped midsentence and gave an almost inaudible squeak of surprise as Elrond rose swiftly and deftly scooped her up into his arms. Celebrían's arms automatically encircled Elrond's neck, and she held on tightly. "What are you doing?" Celebrían asked indignantly, yet there was an ill-concealed laugh in her voice.
"You said your feet were chilled," Elrond replied, perhaps just a bit smugly, "So I am making sure they do not get any colder."
So saying, Elrond carried his wife out of their room and out into the sitting room that lay between their bed chambers and the hallway, the opposite side of which housed the twins' rooms. A fire burned warmly in the hearth, in front of which sat a low table, and a number of cushions were scattered around the floor nearby.
On top of the table rested a heavily laden tray, covered dishes gleaming silver in the firelight. Cutlery was stacked neatly beside a small, delicately crafted pot of tea that was steaming ever so slightly, the faint vapors escaping from the leaf-shaped spout. The rich scent of freshly baked bread and cinnamon oatmeal filled the air, causing Celebrían to realize for the first time that morning just how hungry she was. A glass vase of frost-nipped roses sat at the center of the table, their petals glowing a thousand hues of pink in the warm light. A solitary yellow rose was at the center of the boquet.
Elrond set Celebrían down atop one of the cushions lying beside the table, then settled down beside her on another, just close enough so that their shoulders were nearly touching.
Celebrían reached out to touch one of the roses, her finger ghosting along the ridge of a petal. It was cold, and felt slightly brittle. Yet even so, that there were still roses that had not withered and died from the cold was nearly a miracle.
"These are beautiful," Celebrían murmured. "Did you...?" she trailed off, turning to Elrond.
Elrond shook his head, smiling softly. "No," he replied, "But I think there is no question that they are for you."
"They could be for you," Celebrían replied dubiously. "Pink for devotion, admiration, and thanks; yellow for loyalty and friendship…." Celebrían trailed off, her fingers still trailing along the petal's edge.
"But I think not," Elrond replied, his eyes twinkling ever so slightly.
He picked something up off of the tableside and weighed it in his palm for an instant. Then he turned back to his wife and placed whatever it was that he held on the table before her.
It was a wooden box, a leaf and vine motif etched into the lid. The box itself was small, able to fit in the palm of one's hand easily. Celebrían glanced up at Elrond. He nodded, so she reached out and carefully opened the lid.
Lying on a tiny piece of velvet lay a ring. The band was of gold, and was shaped in the same vine pattern as was carved into the box. A sapphire held in place by three intertwined leaves glittered at the head of the ring, and finely cut diamonds flashed from the leaf tips.
"Oh, Elrond," Celebrían whispered, shocked.
Elrond gently picked up the ring and, taking Celebrían's right hand, slid it on to her middle finger. Celebrían looked up, her eyes wide with amazement and delight.
"Happy begetting day, my love," Elrond murmured, and leaned in to kiss her tenderly.
A/N II: So I hope you enjoyed it! :D I'd just like to make note of the fact that the meanings behind the colors of the roses are not quite the same as in today's culture, however that is what they are based on. Anyway, let me know what you thought of the story! And thank you again for reading!