Arkenstone Heart

Layers

***OmG all the reviews! :D *dances* thanks to everyone I love hearing your opinions! So this is the longest chapter yet! And as usual, some crazy stuff occurs :P***

I moved with purpose towards the main hall. She had not arrived yet and it was getting late - and I had no intention of getting to sleep anytime soon. I moved quickly so as to not disrupt the palace and everyone in it. Thorin was the last person I wanted to meet. I stood in the large, open area wondering where would be the best, most comfortable place to wait. Finally I decided on the dining room located just off the entryway. There I would be able to hear even the slightest hint of an arrival.

The heavy door creaked open to reveal a dark room. The only light that was present was the roaring fire in the corner which cast large flaming shadows on every surface. I gave one last look at the main entrance and quietly pulled the door shut behind me until only a faint line from the corridor could be seen through the crack. I made my way to the large armchair that faced away from me; the idea of its soft, heated cushions inviting me over.

As I approached though I gasped involuntarily and stood there paralyzed. There, sleeping soundly in the very chair I wanted was Thorin. My initial response was anger as it seemed that I could not get away from this man, but then I realized that it was I that now invaded his space and blew it away with a sigh. Before I turned to leave, I observed his face with a new found curiosity. The way the firelight danced on that face was so...mesmerizing and for the first time he actually looked peaceful. He was still in his rigid breast plates of armour, and I noticed his fur coat laying across the other chair. His large arms were folded loosely across his torso and they seemed to emphasize ever breath he took.

Standing there, under the influence of the fire and to some degree lack of sleep, I kind of felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for the fact that this king had to seek out precious stones to find love in this world. That he was almost incapable of letting anyone get close enough to him so that he could have a sense of love. I mean, sure he had Fili and Kili, but the way those brothers were, they were able to love even the coldest of dwarves. So, maybe, there was a slight chance that I could not blame him for what he did.

Being as stubborn and as curious as I was I decided to stay. Why should I be the one running all the time? If I wanted to sit here i would - just without waking him up. Before long I got tired of standing and moved stealthy to the chair across from Thorin. To my irritation his bulky coat was in the way and I proceeded to carefully pick it up to move it. At the last moment I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a large key laying on top of the coat and I watched it in horror as it slipped off and tumbled to the ground. With a loud clang it hit the floorboards sending what felt like an ear-deafening noise through the silent room.

I reluctantly looked back to Thorin who had already woken and was glaring at me through sleepy eyes.

"What is the meaning of this?" he demanded crankily.

"I was just..." I had no idea how to finish that sentence. I was just going to sit here and watch you sleep? No way, he did not get to have two victories in one day. "...looking for a place to rest." And what a poor excuse that was.

"Are your chambers unsatisfactory?"

"No. Well yes, I mean I live in a closet for Durin's sake but that's not the point. I'm staying up, waiting for Raessa to arrive."

"Go to bed." He commanded. "And if your current arrangements do not suit your needs then you are welcome to mine."

"No. I have no intention to." I was determined if nothing else. I was going to stay up all night if that's what was necessary.

"It is late. I am in no mood to argue with you. Now I am asking you to retire to our room."

"And I'm telling you no. How many times are you going to try to exercise your authority on me before you realize that I don't take orders from you?"

He rose slowly from where he was sitting and carefully took his coat from my tense grasp. He took his time putting it back on. I had to believe that he meant what he said back in the field- that he was a decent kind of man. Once he was finished he stood calmly.

I shrieked as he abruptly grabbed my waist and threw me over his shoulder.

"THORIN! This isn't funny, put me down NOW!" I punched and kicked as hard as I could and though it was making it difficult for him to walk he didn't seem bothered by it. "I swear I will wake this whole castle up!" He chuckled.

"Go ahead my dear, it will be an example to you of what my authority really means."

"Ugh! You are so out of line! What if she does come now? Do you plan on locking me away?!" He didnt answer. Meanwhile I just began to notice that he was climbing the stairs and that he was almost at the top. This was my chance. I took advantage of his slight unbalance as he stepped onto the landing and violently shifted my weight. Suddenly all I could hear was his voice cursing and the walls flying past my vision as he threw me off to save himself from falling. I slid across the floor into a pair of double doors that lead out onto the balcony. I groaned as I felt a pain radiate through my body. From where had landed I became aware of the distance at which he threw me. As he recovered himself I backed up on the floor and pushed through the doors blindly. I felt the stone ledge at my back and I used it to push myself up to face him as he stormed out to face me. He barrelled through the doors sending them swinging out from his hands. As he reached for me again I watched as the doors swung back with such force that I had no time to react. They slammed with a definite sound. He turned and looked, his hair swinging with him and lightly brushing me in the face. Sure enough, they were dwarf doors - which meant they sealed shut and it was impossible to get in from the outside. I could feel the colour drain from my face as I pictured Thorin's key sliding off and onto the floor - and neither one of us had picked it up. He appeared to have noticed it's disappearance too as he walked over and began feeling the wall up.

"It's no use." He concluded. He returned his accusing gaze to me. "If you hadn't-"

"Oh, so this is my fault? Typical. Blame everyone else first before thinking that it might be you in the wrong!"

"So what would you have me do? We are trapped. If you weren't so obsessed with that sister of yours..."

"Don't you dare accuse me of being obsessed. You are the last person to have any ground to stand on. At least mine is an actual person and not an inanimate object!" I hissed. That was stupid of me considering I was trapped here with him.

"Perhaps it would have been best if you had left." he stated in a low voice. My expression softened. "I can see now there is too much agony and suffering in your heart and it is beyond my power to change that."

"What?" I asked, I couldn't comprehend what he was saying.

"It is getting cold." he remarked, as if the previous words never escaped his lips. I pulled myself from my thoughts to notice the air was quite frigid.

"We'll freeze." I stated with concern. Even though it was just this afternoon I was in a flowering field, the nights at the Lonely Mountain were more often than not viciously cold no matter what season it was.

"Do you have layers on?" he asked. He still remained as far as he could on the other end of the balcony.

I looked down at the floor length dress I was currently in. "No, it's a little difficult to, if you hadn't noticed, for one in my case."

He just shook his head and began pacing before suddenly halting and undoing the thick belt at his waist. He laid his royal blue vest at his feet.

"What are you doing?!" I cried. I shortened the distance between us.

"Rescuing you - again." he said irritably. There he went blaming me for everything once more.

"I fail to see how removing your clothes will help-" I stopped speaking as he threw off the final shirt and placed it down with the pile at his feet. I gulped and remained silent, forgetting what the purpose of my words were.

He leaned over to organize the clothes and when he resumed his upright stance he looked at me as if nothing was out of the ordinary.

His long dark hair fell wildly around his shoulders contrasting his tanned skin that seemed to glisten in the moonlight. His muscular shoulders and arms framed a strong and sturdy body. The well-defined chest rose and fell calmly and I saw the full tattoo that sat over his heart. There were multiple others adorning his upper body: one on either shoulder and a few on his arms. The ink did nothing but add to his striking presence. My eyes moved down his chest and rested on his distinct abdomen that stood as hard as stone. I stopped them from moving any further and instead lifted them to meet his.

His expression was difficult to read. I was expecting a haughty smirk or something to that effect but instead I receive a calm, relaxed look.

If only I didn't have a reason to hate him. If I had known that my future husband looked like that, I may have been I tiny bit more willing...

"Ok I guess you're right, you could clothe an entire army with that!" I laughed nervously and pointed to the pile, trying to distract myself from the current situation.

He simply nodded and proceeded to rearrange them again. He placed the studded armour on the ground and removed the spiked chest piece. I could do nothing but watch him work and had a hard time taking my eyes off of his muscular back.

When he had finished laying out half his clothes as a makeshift groundsheet and turned to me.

"Remove your dress."

"Excuse me?" I was a little offended by his bluntness.

"It is thick enough to be used as a blanket , is it not?" he asked, annoyed.

"It's not big enough to cover both of us..." I began.

"Turn around." He ordered as he took a few steps and stood before me.

I grimaced and retorted, " 'Please' " to remind him to ease up on the commands. I reluctantly turned around. I could feel his breath on the back of my neck. He gathered my hair in one hand and tossed it out of the way.

"Hold still."

"What? What are you-" before I could turn I heard a ripping noise and I suddenly felt the cold night air against my back. I held the rest of my dress up and saw the blade being placed back in its sheath.

"How- how dare you." Was all I could manage to say. He smirked to himself and continued what he was doing. Without another word he made some final adjustments and laid down. To be honest he did look relatively comfortable.

I considering the situation and wondered just how long I would last sitting by myself on the other side. My chances weren't that good. I did however wait a good long while before finally giving in to my body's need of warmth.

I waited until Thorin had turned over and was facing away from me before I quickly let go of my dress and laid down beside him, careful not to make any contact. There I laid perfectly still, almost too scared to breathe. I stared up at the sky above me, its starry presence partially concealed by the overbearing side of the mountain. As if on cue he rolled over to face me and reached over me to open the dress and lay it over us before pulling up the rest of the makeshift covers that were his clothes.

I squeezed my eyes shut, as if by blocking him from my sight he wouldn't be able to see me. It didn't work.

"I must admit, this was not how I pictured our first night together." he whispered in his deep baritone.

"Yes, I'm sure it wasn't." knowing exactly what it was that he was picturing.

He quietly reached over and took my hand in his from where it was placed on my stomach. I was sorry to admit that it felt a thousand times warmer enveloped in his strong grasp. I remained staring at the night sky as I felt his eyes on me.

"If you do not wish for it to happen, it won't."

"Do not take me for a fool, Oakenshield. You speak empty words: I know that if you wanted to I would have no say in the matter." I winced slightly as the hard floor beneath me dug into my bruised back from my earlier fall.

"I will not have you speak in that way." He ordered rather harshly. I turned my head to look at him sideways. How could those words have possible offended him?

"I do not wish to hear such defeatist words coming from you."

"I don't know what you want from me. But I can't fight you anymore, Thorin, I am tired of running."

He looked at me thoughtfully and I suddenly flinched as I felt his other hand on my waist. That was all he needed.

"I will not have you against your will, Magdalena." and with that he turned his back to me, leaving me in an utter state of confusion.

I laid there awake for what felt like hours. Thorin's light snoring was the only audible sound. I attempted still to wrap my head around what had just transpired. I believe that was his first and final rejection of me. This rush of disappointment filled my chest when I realized that we had given up on ourselves, that there was no fight left. Eventually though I could feel sleep beginning to drag my conscious away from me. I gently turned over to fall asleep. I felt his chest press against my back and his heated breath on my neck as he mumbled "We'll be warmer this way." before I drifted off to sleep.

The light was terribly bright when I squinted my eyes open. I remained laying down and snuggled deeper into my pillow. My eyes flew open.

I didn't have an actual pillow last night.

I scanned frantically around the room before sitting up on my elbows. I cried out in pain at the movement and slunk back down into the sheets. I was in Thorin's room - in his bed. I had no recollection of how I had got here and felt foolish for being to utterly clueless and decidedly helpless.

Soon enough though, the brothers burst through the door, concern apparent in their faces.

"Is everything ok?" Fili questioned.

"Are you hurt?" asked Kili.

I tried my best to smile at them. "I'm fine! Just, a little sore from last night."

The boys exchanged a knowing smirk.

"From sleeping on the ground." I explained forcefully. I managed to sit up this time, but I could feel a shooting pain in my left leg.

"May I look at it?" Fili asked noticing how much I was staring at my leg.

I nodded quietly and helped him take the blankets off so he could sit down. Kili remained standing beside his brother, watching. I breathed a sigh of relief as I glanced down and saw that I was back in my old nightgown. I was trying to figure out how I got in it when the same shooting pain caused me to yelp again.

" It's your calf, Leena. You must have taken a pretty bad fall."

"You have no idea." I managed to laugh in spite of the pain.

"That's too bad," Kili whined, "Uncle is taking your sister for a tour of the grounds and they're going out riding this afternoon!" my mouth dropped open. So he got to be the first one to see my sister and was taking her out riding? He never took me out riding...

"Well I have to go then!" I cried and tried to get up. Fili was there in a second shaking his head and laughing.

"Not so fast. You have to rest."

"But-"

"No but's!" Kili laughed. "Uncle said you would be unwise enough to go, so we are here to keep you company!"

"Great." I added sarcastically.

"Cheer up!" the blonde one said. "Your lovely sister said she would come up to visit you later this afternoon."

"I hope so ; I don't know why he gets to spend time with MY sister." I grumbled to myself.

The afternoon past by pretty slowly, and after determining that it was only a sprain in my leg and watching the nephews sharpen their weapons for the umpteenth time, there was a knock on the door.

Fili answered it and stood there talking to the person, nodding his head. Immediately he motioned to Kili and they made their way out the door.

"Wait!" I cried. Kili popped his head back in.

"Don't worry, we'll be back soon!" and with that he disappeared out of sight. I heard a key turning as my door was locked from the outside.

I sighed. Being left to my own thoughts wasn't necessarily a good thing. All I could picture was my fiancée and my sister together, galloping through the fields, wandering the palace. I couldn't decide what bothered me more: the fact that he got to spend time with her, or that she got to spend time with him.

The last thing I remembered was Thorin holding me in the cold. But it could not be considered sentimental as he clearly stated he was done trying to pursue my acceptance. At that moment I was unaware of what our relationship was- I had always relied on the constant fighting as if it brought stability.

I must have drifted in and out of sleep because in no time at all there was a sound at the lock of my door. Noisily, the pair came through the door laughing and carrying on.

"No! You can't be serious." Raessa giggled at Thorin. He laughed heartily as he held the door open for her. Her face lit up when she saw that I was awake.

"Leena! She cried as she hurried over to the bed, skirts ruffling as she approached. She leaned over and gave me a hug that spoke of what felt like years of separation. I closed my eyes tight, hoping to never let this moment go.

She released her arms from around my neck and took Fili's place at the side of my bed. I couldn't stop myself from smiling at her.

"So... how are you?" She asked timidly.

I laughed and replied, "I've been better." There was a silence; words were never really necessary between my sister and I. Eventually though, she began again with a new found excitement in her features.

"The king showed me the lands today! Oh Leena, we had such a wonderful time, how I wish you could've been there!"

I had forgotten all about Thorin until he cleared his throat and commanded the attention in the room.

"Thorin. You may call me Thorin, Miss Raessa." He bowed his head slightly as he said so. Was that a smile that appeared on his features?

I dragged my widened eyes from him to look at my sister's reaction. She did that same giggle and nodded to him. How could she have gotten a sign of respect like that from the most arrogant, self-righteous dwarf in middle-earth after only meeting him a few hours ago?!

Before I could dwell on that any further though, the boys burst through the bedroom doors. I suddenly felt like I was back in my little closet of a room there were so many people in here.

Kili's eyes were alight as he rushed over to Thorin. "Uncle! The festivals have begun you have to come down and see. They have the archery -"

"I don't believe we have met." Fili interrupted his brother as he approached my sister and grabbed her hand.

"No, I don't believe we have." She replied shyly and quickly glanced at me.

He placed a soft kiss on her hand and turned back to Thorin. Thorin gave a quick and meaningful stare at Kili.

In an instant he was by my sister, "Kili." he pointed to himself. "Fili." he shoved a finger in his brothers direction. "You will come with us, wont you?!" He questioned before grabbing her hand and pulling her up from where she sat. She threw me a fleeting apologetic glance and she was gone as fast as she appeared.

It seemed as if the whole line of Durin would be seeing more of my sister than I would.

I casually looked over to see if Thorin was still there. To my dismay our eyes met instantly. He said nothing as he calmly smoked the pipe he currently had in his hand.

A million snarky comments came flooding through my mind, and to be honest I was having difficulty weighing out the hardest hit

"Can you get up?" He questioned. I couldn't tell if he was sarcastic or concerned.

"Yes; I just enjoy myself so much more being bedridden while everyone else is off riding into the sunset!" I replied as calmly as I could manage.

He looked at me steadily and muttered something that I couldn't understand -ancient dwarfish perhaps.

When he gave me no real answer I faltered a little. "You wish I was more like her." I stated, though to me it sounded more accusing than anything else.

He smoked for a bit then looked towards the door. "We are required to give an opening speech at the grand ceremony tonight. As Queen it is necessary for you to be on your feet."

"So I take it that's your form of an apology? Here, I'll just throw you out onto a balcony, break your leg and then expect smiles in the morning! I don't think so. You're forget-"

"You're forgetting your place." He thundered. "Whose bed do you lie in now? Whose clothes protected you? Mine. And as long as that pain runs through your leg you will remember who it is that you belong to." That last word hung in the air over us. 'Belong to.'

He didn't mean that. That wasn't like him. I cringed at the thought that I didn't really know him that well to even tell.

"I will return for you when the time comes; until then I will escort your kin as well as mine this evening." He gave me one last look before he withdrew himself from room.

I sat in silence. Quietly I lifted my hand and wiped the newly dampened cheek. Why was he like this to me? He interrupted me before I could point out that our deal was that he would saved my sister and I would willingly marry him. And I didn't see any heroics on his part yet.

Those would be the first and last tears that would fall on his behalf. My sister may have been taken by him, but I wasn't : and I would be damn sure to put up one hell of a fight.

***haha so yet another 'exciting' situation that these poor characters have gone through :P what was thorin muttering under his breath...? Im sorry to say but his "belong to" speech kinda giving me chills here... Lol reviews welcome as always! ***

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