Chapter 8

He still felt very embarrassed by what had happened, but he could not stay locked in that room all afternoon ... Also, he was very hungry. So he sighed and (after making sure he brought his clothes on) Bilbo went back down to the room and then went to the kitchen. Fortunately there was no sign of Smaug, at that moment he wanted to be alone, especially after discovering that he was attracted to the dragon.
He felt calmer when he focused on making something to eat and forgot where he was. His mind went back to their old concerns and added a few new... and it was the matter of Thorin... He shook his head and began to make an omelet, fortunately in that kitchen had everything he could want. And that only made him think again in Smaug's loneliness... he had everything but no one to share it with.

Finally, sighing as he realized that the dragon does not appear again, he sat at the table and began to eat. The first thing he had to do was to return to Noctem and ask permission from Eric; he had to get his stuff, at least the few he had brought to that city...
And then he got distracted by listening footsteps, knowing that was coming toward him, Bilbo tried not to turn around and focus on his meal, even if it was extremely difficult to ignore him once he sat next to him and leaned closer. However, what made him more nervous, was the feeling of Smaug's eyes on him and his quiet silence spread throughout the kitchen.
He heard him breathe deeply.
'What happen?' he asked, daring to lift his face.

'It smells delicious' commented Smaug, supporting one hand on the table to lean more. His blue-green eyes darkened.
'If you want it... umm ... you can eat a little,' said Bilbo, bringing him his plate. For some reason he always had trouble forming a complete sentence when he was near.
Smaug laughed and the human frowned, thinking that he mocked him. The dragon stroked his face and Bilbo shook.
'I wasn't talking about the food' he murmured near his ear. Bilbo flushed and tried to move, but before he could, the skin-changer kissed his neck.
Bilbo tried to ignore him as he ate, but it was impossible, his eyes seemed to follow his every move, finally he finished and was about to turn around and ask him why he looked at him like that when Smaug put his large hand on his knee and that took his breath away. Suddenly Bilbo forgot what he was gonna say.

'I was wondering if Eric gives you a day off' began the dragon, who, for the first time, looked insecure.
'Well, actually we've never discussed that...'
'You should ask for it, maybe tomorrow.'
'I think so, it is a good idea... But... why?' asked Bilbo increasingly confused.
Smaug looked away, seemed like he was not used to such situations. The human could not help smiling.
'I want to ask you out to dinner.'
And it was at that moment his smile faded, the questions again arose in his mind.
'That's what the humans do, don't they? When they're courting each other...' Smaug-approached him and took one of his hands in his.

Bilbo felt his face burning again. He began to wonder how many times in the day could still blush being with him. His face kept changing color whenever the skin-changer approached or looked at him intently.
'You mean... a date?' said human, feeling his heart pounding. No one had ever asked him out, ever. He still could not believe how someone's fate could change so much. In his town no one seemed interested in him and as soon as he set foot in Pentamerone...
'But you don't need to, I mean... there is no need to do this,' began Bilbo. 'You already have me.'
And suddenly the human shifted uncomfortably. He wondered how much truth there was in those words, but immediately shook his head, making sure that this was only temporary, he would find Drogo and returned home.

'But you're only here because you want to find your friend' Smaug replied, his eyes lost their luster. He approached the little human and kissed his forehead. 'I want to find a way to convince you, to make you want to be here with me.'
Bilbo could not keep his heart skip a beat at his words. He bit his lip. No, he could not have a date with him, that would make it much more... intimate. And he did not want to get involved.
'If you all do not have dates' he said with sudden curiosity and waiting to make him desist from his purpose 'then... how you woo each other?' he added, though that word sounded a little strange on his lips.
'It's actually much easier for us,' said he, approaching him and stroking his leg. 'We know who is the right choice for be our partner from the moment we see them in the eyes.'
Bilbo looked away; he did not want to think about what he had seen in Smaug's eye; he did not want him to say he was sure he would be... that he could be his consort.

However, this dragon was not one who surrender easily and wanted his human knew exactly what had happened that day... Smaug took Bilbo's chin and made him turn to him again.
And he kissed him; it was a quick, tender kiss.
'I knew it, Bilbo, I knew it the moment I saw you.'
But the human could not keep listening to that, he got up and ran. His apology came hastily from his lips, and his heart seemed to want out of his mouth at every opportunity.
'I will prepare myself, I have to work tonight,' came out of his lips as an incoherent babble before he turned to the stairs.
Smaug insisted on taking him to the bar and, although Bilbo was never used to such attention, beginning to enjoy to fly. He liked to feel the wind on his face and seeing the city from above and, indeed, his confidence in the dragon increased. He began to think that nothing could happen while he was beside him.

Bilbo tried to tell Smaug that he did not have to go to Noctem with him, but the dragon insisted on leaving him behind the bar, where nobody could touch him. Although, no one would dare, not after seeing Smaug beside him, clutching his right hand and giving him a passionate kiss before saying goodbye to him.
'You are condemned, you know' Eric commented, once the leader of the skin-changers left. 'There is no way he let you go. No one could ever take you from him... well, if they do not want to die in the attempt.'
The human shook his head.
'No, it's not what you think, he just...'
Eric raised his hand to silence him.
'No, Bilbo, you must understand... I do not know exactly what this is, but it's not just physical attraction. If you could realize the way he looks at you...'
But the human did not want to realize it, he did not want to know, so he interrupted him.
'I need to get out,' he said, 'just a moment. I have to get the rest of my stuff.'
Eric frowned.

'I do not think it's a good idea, what if something happens to you?'
'I lived there, also it's not too late, nothing is going to happen,' said Bilbo.
'You don't know that, anywhere in this city bad things can happen. Normally I would not care, but if I let you go and something happens, Smaug will kill me. I've never seen him in his dragon form and I don't think it's something I would like...'
'I'll be fine,' insisted Bilbo, 'I will return soon.'
Eric sighed, resigned.
'I must be an idiot, but okay. You can go.'
And the human hurried away before his boss could regret it. He faced the darkness of the other side of town again.
Bilbo decided not to waste time, so when he entered the department he focused only on the essential things, he put everything in a bag and quickly left, however, he could not go unnoticed because Gregory saw him.

'I thought you were dead!' exclaimed the man. 'Where have you been?'
'I decided to move...' lied Bilbo.
'What's wrong with this place?'
'Nothing I just... I need to do it.'
'What should I say to the hunter if he returns?'
Bilbo's heart nearly stopped, his face pale.
'What hunter?'
'The leader, Thorin. Some time ago he came to ask for you; he wanted to know where you worked, he seemed very interested... so I guess he will return...'
Bilbo bit his lip... No, it will happen nothing, after all, maybe he still see him at the bar and would find a way for he would not find out what was going on.
'Tell him nothing' he said, and paid the rest of the month. 'Thank you!'

And he walked down the streets again, hoping to reach the bar soon. But he stopped when he realized that there was a fight between hunters. He did not know why it had started but looked serious, even if they were only eight. He decided to walk quietly to avoid attracting attention, while the noise of swords and arrows covered the sound of his footsteps... And suddenly more came; they were hunters with green and brown clothes and boots, bows and arrows, their hair were long and smooth and they had a lot of elegance. They seemed like their purpose were to take control of the situation. Very soon the hunters had cornered them and those who were fighting stopped and fell to the ground, helpless.
Bilbo was so distracted, turning his head back constantly before reaching the corner and so he could take the next street, but he collided with something hard and fell down. Realizing that someone was close to him, his first instinct was to cover his face with his arms.
'Do not worry, little mortal' said a voice, 'I will not hurt you.'
Then Bilbo realized that the hunter with long blond hair was leaning toward him and offered kindly hand.
He was not sure what he was doing, but Bilbo accepted the help and managed to get up again.

The hunter smiled and kissed his hand, causing the human to blush violently.
'I've never had the pleasure of seeing an amhal'is with my own eyes,' he said. 'I thought you were just a legend.'
Bilbo wanted to tell him he was right, it was all a lie and that he did not understand why they insisted believe he was that kind of human. However, he had a feeling that he was no ordinary hunter. He had to be someone very important.
'What is your name?'
'Bilbo Baggins.'
'I am Thranduil.'
The human stepped back, surprised. Luckily he had not such a bad memory and he still reminded the other name that Eric had mentioned when they met. So, if he was not mistaken... he was standing in front of the other leader of the hunters.