The third and final week of Thorin's absence from the lonely mountain had finally come and gone. It had been the longest of them all, and Ila had tried to keep herself as busy as possible throughout so that it would pass faster. She had made Thorin the new scarf she promised, often bringing it to the council meetings to work on while she listened to the other dwarves. That was the only way she was going to finish it in time, since she had spent so much time in bed and worrying herself that first week. None of them seemed to mind however, and even if they had they would not have dared tell their queen she could not knit their king a scarf in their presence, no matter how important the matters they discussed were.

Ila had also been making sure that everything was ready for her husband's return. All of their bedding was freshly laundered along with all of his clothes, his favorite meal would be served that night at supper, and everything about the palace was especially tidy and polished and clean. She did not know what time Thorin would return of course, only that it should be today. Everything was ready in advance however so that when he arrived all would be perfect to welcome its king back to his kingdom.

Presently, Ila stood in front of her mirror, taking care to be as fresh and pretty as she could for Thorin. She wore a gown in the same blue that he favored, her dark tresses free and tumbling down her back save for the braids around her face, which is the way Thorin preferred it. Her nearly two month baby belly was showing, but still not really that big yet. But as she looked at herself from the side and noted that she certainly did not have her flat stomach and thin waist anymore. She hoped she did not grow too large before it was all over and that she would be able to return to her form after giving birth. Her thoughts didn't dwell on that long though, she was far too excited for anything to get her down today.

Even the knowledge that they would have to tell Thorin about her little tumble. Luckily, her bruises had all but gone, just light traces of it that hadn't faded entirely yet from her very pale skin. That would not give him too much cause for worry, she hoped.

Dwala entered the room then, bringing some freshly laundered dresses with her to hang. Ila noticed from the reflection in her mirror that Dwala was looking extra pretty today as well. She had of course helped her her dress that morning, but since that time she had freshened up too.

"Dwala?" Ila asked.

"Hmm?" Dwala answered casually while she focused on putting Ila's dresses away.

"Are you….are you wearing make-up? You never wear make-up." Ila inquired.

Dwala giggled a little. "Yes, just a little. It's not to much is it?" she asked turning to face Ila now so that she could see her face.

Ila noted that her cheeks were a little rosier than usual and her lips were a shade darker, but it suited her well.

"No, no it suits you. And I'm sure Dwalin will like it too," she replied smiling.

Dwala returned her smile and went back to what she was doing. "I hope so."

Ila returned to looking herself over and decided that she looked as good as she was going to. She then went to pull out the jewels Thorin had given her on their wedding day. The magnificent necklace and matching earrings made of blue diamonds. She did not wear them too often, they were too spectacular for everyday use and very precious to Ila, but today called for her to look her very best and she felt the occasion was appropriate.

"I told the guards to send word as soon as the company comes into sight." Dwala called to Ila.

'Wonderful, that should give me time to get down there and greet him properly," Ila said. The guards keeping watch on the ramparts over the main entrance to the mountain would see Thorin and the company coming from a ways off and send word that he had finally arrived. Until then, Ila thought to stay in their rooms, since she was so anxious and if she was going to walk holes in the floor it may as well be there where no one could see her doing so. Except for Dwala, but she was just as anxious.

"Hopefully they will arrive early enough for supper, since you ordered the cooks to make his favorite meal and so much at that," Dwala said.

"Yes, surely he will though. It is still not even lunch time yet. Not that I feel anyting like eating." Ila said and Dwala turned to speak, but Ila cut in before she could, knowing what she would say.

"But I made sure to eat plenty at breakfast. The baby will not starve. If anything I am sure he would take nourishment from me if he were hungry, and then I would just be the hungry one."

"But how can you tell if it is you or the baby that is actually hungry when you are hungry?" Dwala said and Ila gave her a look. Dwala gave her one back. "That's what I mean."

"He or she is fine," Ila said with her hand on her belly, but wondering if she should send for something all the same. She wished much that her mother was there to guide her in this, and answer the thousand questions she had about babies. Not that her mother had been much help in preparation for her wedding night though. But, Ila could see how that would be a very strange thing to explain to anyone that had never been through it. Babies however, that is not an awkward thing to talk about. And there are things she needed to know if she was going to be a good mother! She had only held a baby once or twice, never changed or bathed one, and hoped feeding them was as easy as it looked. They looked so very fragile, Ila hoped she did not drop hers or hurt it because she didn't know what she was doing.

Then Ila had a thought. Lady Dis had birthed two dwarves…and seemed to have raised them very well indeed. Ila wondered that Dis might not be able and willing to answer her questions. Or at least provide her with a little insight. The thing that she really wanted to ask about was giving birth, and she was the only one around who knew anything about that, that she would ask anyway. She was going to ask Oin for instance, or just any dwarf mother in Erebor. She and Dis had had an amicable exchange last week, perhaps she would be willing to speak with her if she asked. She could ask Fili or Kili to ask her even. That seemed like a better and less formal way than having Dwala ask her lady in waiting.

Maybe she would wait and ask Thorin if he thought that was a good idea first. He would be home anytime now and she made a note to ask him when she had a chance. But for the moment, she just went and sat on their bed, her hands in her lap, not knowing what else to do with herself now. She had busied herself with everything until there was literally nothing else to do but wait. Dwala finished her task and came to sit in a chair across from her, the two not saying anything but just sitting and waiting. One of them would sigh every now and then and speak briefly, but neither of them could think of anything to talk about. They sat like that for at least an hour and Ila finally just laid back on the bed, staring at the ceiling for she knew not how long until she started to doze off. She had gotten up earlier than usual that morning since she had not been able to sleep for excitement. She lay there, her eyes getting heavier and heavier until finally she was almost asleep…..

When a very loud knock came at the outter door of her chambers. Ila's eyes snapped open and she was disoriented for a moment. She looked around for Dwala but heard her in the other room. Ila rose up to sit on the edge of the bed and began to smooth her hair that she had been lying on. As she heard Dwala's feet rapidly approaching she knew it must be time.

Dwala popped in and excitedly confirmed Ila's suspicion.

"They're here!" she said practically jumping up and down. Ila squealed and hopped up, going over to the mirror to quickly look herself over and make sure she was still presentable. With that confirmed she and Dwala began to make the journey downstairs.

As they left Ila's chambers she looked towards the other wing, wondering if someone had told Dis.

"Do you think that Dis would like to be there to greet Thorin as he returns?" Ila asked Dwala.

"Well, I am sure that someone has told her, and that if she wanted to come down she would." Dwala replied.

'Yes, I suppose you are right." Ila nodded thinking that Fili or Kili would have sent word to their mother, surely.

As they descended the stairs, Ila exclaimed, "Oh, I want to run the entire way to the entrance, don't you?"

"Yes, I do, but that would not be becoming of either of us." Dwala said with a little laugh.

"No, not with me with child and you yet unmarried. Emphasis on the yet," Ila said slyly.

Dwala blushed but said nothing. All she wanted was to see Dwalin, not worry over when he would ask for her hand. At least not today.

As they made their way through the palace, it seemed word had rapidly spread that king and company were mere steps away. Dwarves were all over the place, running about and going to the balconies to see. The families of those who had been traveling with Thorin were making their way towards the entrance, eager to welcome their loved ones home. Everyone was moving out of the way once they saw their queen was coming however. Dwarves moved aside and mothers grabbed their little ones to clear from Ila's path.

Thorin and Ila's genuine and sincere love for one another was well known in Erebor. Anyone who saw them together and the way that they looked at each other could easily tell that it was true love. And the dwarves of Erebor had noticed a slight change in their king since the Iron's Hills princess had come to be with them. His spirits were higher and he smiled more than before. But it was also known how protective he was of her, having so many guards accompany her when he very rarely allowed her out of doors, and how he noticed whenever someone looked at her too long.

Ila was not noticing anything that was going on around her, though. She had tunnel vision set on the entryway. Dwala was on her heels, walking very quickly to keep up.

Ila caught sight of Fili as she was coming up on the door and called to him. He turned and made his way towards her, but Ila noticed no sign of Kili yet.

"There you are," Fili said offering her his arm which Ila took. "I am surprised you haven't been waiting by the door all day," he teased as he led her to the great doors.

"I would have gone mad searching the horizon for him that long," Ila answered. "But where is your brother?" she asked looking about some more.

Fili's smile faded. "I am not sure, but he'll be long presently I'm sure. Or at least he'd better be," he added under his breath. "But where is your cloak? Is it rather chilly outside and I can't have uncle seeing that I let you come out like this," Fili said looking her over with concern. In truth, the neckline of her dress would have her cold in no time. She nor Dwala had thought about grabbing a cloak before they left, they had been so excited.

"Oh, oh but I will not have time to retrieve one," Ila said with worry, she had to be there when Thorin drew near.

"Here, I will be fine," Fili said and pulled off his to lay over Ila's shoulders, then taking her arm again. She couldn't help but smile at how sweet and thoughtful he was.

"Thank you, but now you will be cold," she said.

"I will live, it won't be long now." He assured her. They were now standing in front of the palace doors, with a large number of the palace guards lined along both sides. The ramparts above them were packed with onlookers and even more guards held the rest of the spectators at bay inside the doors. Balin soon joined them, along with Gloin and Oin and other dwarves from the council. Ila could see the company coming along the road, not far at all now. Ila could see from Dwala's shadow that she was craning around her and trying to see for herself.

"Will your mother join us?" Ila aksed Fili.

"Oh, no I doubt it. She does not like great crowds. I was afraid she wouldn't come to the wedding for that reason," Fili said.

"But she loves your uncle so much, I do not think she would have missed his wedding," Ila said and Fili nodded.

"You are right, she has always been devoted to him. He is the only reason she came back to live here,"

"I'm sure you and Kili had something to do with that too," Ila smiled at him and he did too.

"Yes, mother likes to keep an eye on us,"

"I mean because she loves you."

"That too," Fili smiled sweetly and Ila found that she liked him more and more everyday. If Dwala were not so in love with Dwalin she would have nudged her in Fili's direction. But that tattoed beast of a dwarf had soundly won her heart. And for the sake of his beard he had better not break it, Ila thought as they were so close now she could see Thorin's face. She unconsciously sqeezed Fili's arms in excitement. He smiled but didn't mention it.

They both heard something going on behind them then, some commotion as someone was pushing their way through the crowd and guards. It was Kili of course, almost late and a bit out of breath. He came to stand next to his brother who gave him a disapproving sideways glance.

"Sorry," Kili huffed and straightened himself. Ila looked past Fili to smile at him and he quickly returned it before looking towards the horizon. Ila told herself that nothing was amiss there, though even his smile seemed a bit short with her, not to mention she had seen little of him the past week. It was no matter either way. She was about to see her king, her husband, her love.

Throin was at the head of the company with Dwalin to his right. Ila was smiling so widely now her face almost hurt. She stole a quick glance at Dwala behind her to give her a great smile and Dwala returned it. Ila looked back to see Thorin's pony had increased its speed and was coming to them faster now. The rest of the company kept its pace steady.

Thorin's cloak began to billow in the wind behind him now and his hair followed suit. He wore his crown as well and looked straight out of the fairy tales Ila loved so much. So majestic and handsome and regal, the sight of him would have taken her breath away even if she had never seen him before.

As he finally approached, the guards on the ramparts blew the horns and Ila could hear the dwarves behind and above them cheering loudly at the sight of their returning king. It was just a routine trip, but the dwarves of Erebor loved their king. Their savior, their restorer and protector, their mighty warrior whom songs and stories of would be passed down for countless generations. Ila was on the verge of tears. She wanted to run to his arms as soon as he came off his pony. The need to remain dignified and proper was killing her. Had she been a common dwarf welcoming home her husband, she would have thrown herself at him so hard that he tumbled backwards onto the ground.

Thorin reached them then, bringing his pony to a halt and quickly dismounting as a garud rushed forward to take the reins. Ila fidgeted. She wanted to go to him but planted her feet firmly in the ground, though against her will. Thorin's eyes had locked with hers as he had rode towards them and never broke their gaze. Without a word, he strode towards her and to Ila's great surprise, took her face in his great hands and brought his mouth down on hers.

It was a powerful and deep kiss, full of emotion, need, longing, and yet restraint. Restraint hanging by a thread, but restraint all the same. It took Ila's breath away, and she forgot that her arm was still linked with Fili's. Fili had not forgotten that however, and because he could not presently free himself he simply turned his head to the other side. Kili swallowed and tried to look away, but found that he could not for some reason. As was the case in many previous instances where he would have been given away instantly, no one was looking at him. All eyes were on the king and queen or in Fili's case on the ground. Which is well, since Kili's face was one of practical disust. He soon turned his face to the ground as his brother did, waiting for it to be over.

Thorin kept is short, shorter than he wanted anyway, and disengaged his lips from his wife's. Ila let out a ragged breath and tears slipped from both her eyes now as she looked up at her husband.

"My love," he said lowly, his voice as full of emotion and longing as his kiss. He stroked her face gently and then looked down at her little belly, "My child," he added and let his other hand gently lay agasint her bump, their cloaks hiding everything for modesty's sake.

"Thorin," Ila whispered through her tears, her voice cracking with emotion.

He smiled sweetly at her and turned his attention to his nephews only when Fili spoke.

"Uncle, welcome home." He said and Thorin turned to him to bring their foreheads together while he held the back of Fili's head. He patted him on the shoulder and then moved to repeat those gestures with Kili.

"Uncle," Kili said and looked much happier to see him now that he wasn't kissing Ila. Then with one hand on each of their shoulders Thorin asked, "I trust that nothing at all interesting happened while I was gone." He was smiling and Fili answered, "Little of note, uncle. I will share all with you once you are settled." He replied and that was good enough for Thorin. Ila sighed in relief as she was sure Fili and Kili did too.

"Come then, let's get out of this cold," Thorin replied and held his arm out for Ila to take. She happily did so and the cheers and clapping became even louder as Erebor beheld their reunited king and queen. The rest of the company had reached the gate now. Ila looked back and Dwala and told her she was dismissed for now, knowing she would want to see Dwalin. Dwala smiled in reply and didn't follow Ila inside, though it was so cold out she almost wanted to wait in doors.

As Ila and Thorin passed into the palace and past the dwarves present, all who bowed and welcomed home their monarch, they began to pour outside to reunite with their loved ones. Fili and Kili walked in tandem behind Ila and Thorin and Balin and the others followed them. Dwala remained outside, her hands clasped in front of her to keep them still while she waited anxiously. Dwalin dismounted his pony and locked eyes with Dwala, moving towards her. Dwarves passed them both hurriedly, those newly arrived making their way to the arms of their loved ones and vice versa. For Dwala and Dwalin, it was as though time stood still. They noticed nothing that was transpiring around them, but only saw each other. Dwala waited for Dwalin to approach her, not wanting to seem unladylike or too eager, in case Dwalin had somehow not missed her as much as she had him.

Dwala curtsied to Dwalin when he came to stand in front of her. He pulled her up by her arms and brought his forehead to rest on hers, not caring who saw. Their hands found each other and laced their fingers together as they stood there, eyes closed and breathing in each other's familiar scent. Dwala held back her tears and Dwalin restrained himself from pressing his lips to hers in public.

Dwalin nudged Dwala's nose with his own and she smiled widely. He smiled sweetly at her, bringing her right hand to his lips to press a kiss into her knuckles.

"I see you've not forgotten about me," he said lowly.

"As if I could," she replied. "And did you forget about me?"

"No, but I did think for a bit I had only dreamed you…that someone like me couldn't possbibly have someone like you waiting on me back home," his deep brogue said sounding even deeper than it usually did.

Dwala blushed, "Oh, stop that," she said grinning.

Dwalin made an appreciate sound as he looked his lady over. Her cheeks were rosier than usual and her lips darker too, and begging to be kissed.

"I have to get my things unpacked and my pony stabled. Will you meet me afterwards?" he whispered now.

"Yes," Dwala whispered back, "of course."

"Meet me inside the door in an hour then," he instructed and squeezed her hands before pulling away and going back to his pony. Dwala watched him go unti he was half way, then turned to go back in. She was trying to calm herself and hopefully make her face return to normal. She knew she was blushing furiously as her face felt like the surface of the sun. But she knew she could not stop herself from smiling, and didn't even bother trying.

Meanwhile, Thorin was kindly greeting everyone he passed, but his mind was absent from any gesures or verbal exchanges he engaged in. He only wanted to get his wife to their chambers.

As he neared the great hall, Thorin turned to his nephews.

"If there is nothing pressing or that cannot wait, the queen and I will retire until supper." It was a statement and a question, and Fili and Kili took a moment to exchange glances.

Should they tell him? Perhaps they should let Ila tell him, he wouldn't be as angry with her and he would have had the chance to cool down once they saw him again.

Fili decided that he should say something, just so that this moment didn't come back to bite them on their bums, but then Ila answered for them

"No my love, your absence was rather uneventful." She said rubbing his upper arm slowly.

Thorin looked to her and the corner of his mouth turned up in a barely suppressed smile. She saw the twinkle in his eyes and knew what he was thinking.

Little wench. Eager to get me alone.

Fili and Kili looked a bit surprised that she interjected for them but did not aruge, just shrugged a bit and said they would see their uncle at supper for the official welcome home feast. Ila gave Fili his cloak back, thanking him for his kindness and with that, she and Thorin turned to make their way towards their chambers.

As they went, they made sure to be the perfect picture of royalty and restraint. They both looked straight forward with faces that betrayed nothing to anyone who saw them, which many passing dwarves did and they smiled happily to see their king and queen reunited. What they could not see was Ila gripping Thorin's arm so hard he nearly told her she was hurting him, but he didn't. He wanted to be in their chambers as much as she did, even more he was sure.

When they reached the staircase to the royal chambers Thorin dropped his guard finally, stopping abruptly and pulling Ila into his arms for a heated kiss before she knew what was happening.

Ila made a surprised noise into his mouth, then moaned in pleasure as his tongue mated with hers.

He broke it off too soon for Ila's liking, but Thorin knew someone might see them even here. He took her by the hand now and led her up the staircase. Ila followed him excitedly, seeing now that Thorin was probably not going to give her a chance to tell him anything before he joined their bodies. She was a little nervous, hoping that he didn't notice the faint discoloration on her thigh. Hopefully he would be too focused on other parts of her body.

Thorin threw open the doors to their chambers, closed them as he pulled her through and tugged her towards the bedroom. He still hadn't said anything and neither had Ila. He closed the bedroom door and pulled her to his chest, but making sure not to press on her belly.

"Thorin," Ila said breathlessly as he ran his hand down her back and grabbed her behind to squeeze. His blue eyes were heavy with lust as he looked down at her.

"Do you have any idea...how maddeningly and impossibly much I missed you these three weeks?" he asked.

Ila was practically gasping for air she was so aroused.

"I only know desperately I missed you my love," She said hoarsely, cupping his face and stroking his beard that was a bit longer now. Not much more and he would be able to braid and bead it at his chin, as he had told her he did when he was young.

He let a hand go from her waist to rub her belly lovingly.

"You have grown," he said smiling widely as he looked at her little protrusion.

"Yes, though not as much as I would like." Ila said. "Waiting on the both of you these past three weeks has been nothing short of torture," Ila said pouting at him.

"I know my love. But I was parted from the both of you, which was far worse" Thorin replied.

"But not anymore," Ila answered and unfastened his cloak, letting it fall to the floor around him in a dark blue pool.

Thorin gently pushed Ila backwards by the shoulders until she felt the bed on her legs and scooted on top. Thorin expertly unfastend and shed his belt without even looking at it and it hit the floor with a loud clang. He dropped his trousers and pushed up Ila's voluminous skirts, not bothering with trying to get the contraption off of her which would have taken too much time where his need was concerned presently. He laid her legs against his chest and brought his tip to her entrance, heat pouring out of core and inviting him in. He let a finger gently delve into her depths to make sure she was ready for him, and sure enough he was greeted by a welcoming slickness.

Thorin growled and Ila smiled happily up at him. He waited no longer to join them and Ila moaned and let her eyes roll back into her head. She closed her eyes and her head pressed into the bed, her dark tresses spread out all around her in a glossy halo.

Thorin watched her grateful expression, her teeth chewing on her lower lips as her eyes remained closed. His excellent beauty. He grabbed her hips and dug his blunted nails into her flesh and received another appreciative moan from Ila as he thrusted gently, making sure to build pace slowly since she had been without him for a while and for the sake of the baby that was steadily getting bigger. He knew he would have to go easier and easier on her, and this was not the unbridled reunion he would have preferred. He would not be able to take her as he truly wanted until she had healed from giving birth, and that would be a while yet.

Not that he wasn't experiencing plenty of pleasure at the moment, he most certainly was. But he had to control himself a bit, whereas he wanted to unleash his wild, dwarven fury on his wife. To not only make love to her, but to mate with her. All hormones and animal impulse. He wanted their bodies plastered together, their sweating bodies hot and soaking wet, his manhood piercing her core savagely until she came screaming and begging him to stop.

That image coupled with her moans and whimpers (and the fact that he hadn't had her in three weeks), did Thorin in quickly. He knew she hadn't come yet, it was too soon and she hadn't cried out in her pleasure as she did and as he loved to hear. Ila just laid on her back, panting and with a tired smile on her face. She hadn't come but she had still been pleased. That was not enough for Thorin however.

They began to recover, panting from their union. Ila pushed her dress back down over her lower body as she began to grow cold from being exposed. Thorin remained standing but as soon as he gathered himself, fell to his knees and pushed his way under Ila's dress. Ila yelped in surprise, but then couldn't help but laugh at the sight of her husband moving around under her bulkly skirts. There was no actual sign of Thorin from her vantage point, not that she needed to see him. She soon felt his mouth cover her sex, his tongue assaulting her most sensitive flesh. Ila gasped and balled the covers in her fists as her body reacted to the onslaught of her husband's mouth. His hands gripped her thighs and Ila winced, her flesh still a bit tender. She was glad her skirts prevented him from seeing her face just then. It didn't hurt much anyway, the pleasure Ila was experiencing far outweighed any pain.

One of Thorin's hands joined his mouth to assist in racking his love with pleasure, and Ila came shortly after. Her hands would have pressed his head deeper into her as she rode out her orgasm but her gown served as a barrier. Ila simply grabbed at the bed covers instead. As she lay on her back basking in the after glow, Ila heard Thorin moving out from under her gown and about the room. She heard him take a drink of water and come back to the bed. She then felt his impression on the bed as he moved to prop himself up next to her.

Ila opened her eyes to stare up into his adoring blue ones. She reached up to lightly stroke his face and push his hair back while he simply studied how beautiful she was.

"You must have missed me very much since you did not even bother to undress us," Ila mused.

"I needed you, and not a moment later. It would have taken far too long to remove your gown." He explained. "But tonight….after all formalities are done with, I will make sure to reverently kiss every inch of your skin….so that your every part knows just how much I missed it," he crooned and Ila giggled with delight at the promise.

"You had best. My breasts are feeling rather put out with you at the moment," she quipped.

"Ohhh, well I can't have that." He replied lowly and traced the bustline of her dress. Ila pulled at him until his mouth was on hers again and they shared a deep kiss, she tugging at his bottom lip with her teeth as they separated.

"You little wanton," he accused huskily and Ila gave him an innocent smile in reply.

"You like it," she said, not even defending herself. Thorin covered her mouth in another demanding kiss and Ila wrapped her arms around him, pulling him closer. His mouth left hers to kiss her jawline as he traveled down to her neck and chest to press kisses into the bit of skin not covered by her great necklace. Ila sighed and let her eyes close halfway, simply enjoying the attentions of her husband that she had been denied for too long. If he wasn't careful he was going to arouse her again.

Thorin's lips kissed what little of her bosom he could get to, his tongue trying to dart underneath the fabric and capture a nipple. Ila giggled and tangled her hands in his hair, tousling his locks and gently scratching his scalp.

He finally came back up to lie next to her, seeing that her breasts were securely bound by her dress and there was no use. So instead he let one hand lesuirely rub her abdomen while he faced her on his side.

"Giving up?" Ila asked.

"For now," Thorin answered and gently pulled her into his arms to hold. "I believe we have time for a little nap before supper, which would suit me well,"

"I know you must be tired after a week of traveling and not sleeping in a proper bed."

"Yes, I am growing too old to be very fond of sleeping outdoors anymore. And my old bed in Ered Luin is not nearly as comfortable as my bed here. Nor is it as otherwise enticing…"

Ila smiled and kissed the tip of his long nose. "There had better not be any dwarves in your bed there…" she warned playfully.

"Never," Thorin kissed her forehead. "There were none before you and there will be none after you."

"The same is true for me," she said sweetly and Thorin made himself smile. Dwalin's concerns the last night they were in Ered Luin had given Thorin something to think on as they traveled that next day. He had pondered how he wished Ila to live after he was gone. She would likely be young enough to still bare children, and certainly young enough to be married again. If she chose that. She would be a queen and no one could force her.

But did he want her to remarry? He did not want her to be lonely or sad, but the thought of some other dwarf touching her, or her swelling with another's child ignited his insides with jealously. You will be dead, your bones turning to dust, you won't even know, he told himself. But he still rued the thought.

He pressed a soft kiss into her temple, making himself forget those thoughts and not letting Ila know he'd thought anything remotely unhappy. They were together again, and all he wanted was to nap in her arms before supper. They could catch up on everything else later. He pulled her firmly into his embrace and Ila laid her head in the space between his head and shoulder, her hand resting on his chest. She felt him lightly toying with her hair and his breath becoming deeper and steadier.

She needed to tell him, she knew that. The longer she waited the more upset he would be when he finally found out. But she was tired too, and so happy and comfortable to be back in her husband's arms. She would tell him when she woke up, she thought as her eyelids grew heavier. She would tell him as soon as they woke….

A/N: Here is a little longer of a chapter as it is a week since an update again. An extra special thanks to the especially kind reviews I have received in the past few days. You all are wonderful and I am taking your suggestions under advisement, I promise. I don't want to give away too much of course, but can promise the issue with Fili ruling something/at some point will be addressed. I find him the hardest of all to write for some reason and am trying to incorporate more and more of him.