Arkenstone Heart

Suspense, Fertility and Tears

*** Aaah I'm so excited about this next installment! Thank you to all my reviewers you make my day :) Enjoy!*** (btw I sadly don't own thorin etc.)

I could here Lord Beayon's sinister voice echoing through the castle. Before the pair reached us I took the opportunity to confront Fili.

"This is your idea of a surprise?! How could you do this to me!"

"Thorin just told us to bring you here, he simply advised us not to tell you because he said you loved suspense!" he defended.

"Oh he did, did he? And how, pray tell, would a man I've been engaged to for five minutes know something like that?!" I answered fiercely. I felt a pang of guilt as I shouldn't have been taking my anger out on him.

Kili jumped in to help his brother, "You told him so last night! We asked him why we should keep the secret and he said that, 'last night he learned that you were fond of being kept in suspense' " his look turned pleading as he tried to reason with me.

Oh he was good. That sly bugger was good. He knew that they would relay that message back to me and that I would be forced to recall the events of last night. And he just wanted to let me know that he knew exactly what he was doing.

I sighed. What was I going to do? I didn't have enough time to completely figure it out before the two men who currently controlled my life entered into view.

"Leena! My dear Leena, how well you look!" my step father cooed. I smiled calmly and took a deep breath.

"Thank you, Glasur. You look good yourself." Civility never came easy to me.

Thorin carefully made his way over to me and took his place beside me. I couldn't help giving him my greatest death glare and to that I saw some spark in his eyes.

"And who are these two fine young gentleman?" the lord asked cheerfully. The brothers beamed at their new personas as Thorin introduced them. "Excellent. Simply excellent." my step-father replied. Just then I caught a glimpse of the man I knew underneath that fake mask.

"So tell me, how are the wedding plans coming?" he purposely looked to me. I grinned past the gut wrenching truth and did the most unspeakable; I slid closer to Thorin and wrapped myself tightly around his bulky person, leaning my head casually on his shoulder.

"We're not in any rush, are we darling?" I questioned him with the most adoring eyes I could muster.

"Ahemmm, no. No, I don't believe we are." that hint of a smile creeping on the corners of his mouth. He knew what I was doing.

This act seemed to take the lord a moment to process; apparently he was too enthused to witness my unhappiness and was surprised to have not seen it yet. Needless to say though, he was not a man so willing to leave without getting what he came for.

"Nonsense! You have your WHOLE lives together to procrastinate important decisions. While I still have a say in my little girl's life I'd like to see to it that this happens." I could almost here the 'aww's' coming from the nephews who were standing off to the side. My eyes went wide. This, I had not counted on. My step-father's creepy features reeked of malice.

"You ARE ok with this, aren't you dear? I mean, I only want what's best for you." For a moment I wanted to believe him. But that wasn't the case here. I knew what ties he would want to possess to Erebor and its king and my marriage would be the only way to secure that.

I loosened my arm from around my future husband and moved it up to the back of his hair. I played with a few of the waves. "Of course I am." with that I pulled on a fine strand of hair - just to invoke enough pain to make my point.

I had not forgotten that the king had his hand rested snugly on my hip and after that stunt he dug his hand in with a little more force. "As am I." he declared, his deep voice resonating through the air. I laughed at the idea that we might actually go through with this just to see who would win. Lord Beauyon stood staring at us for some time, deep in thought. Either he was waiting for me to give up the act, or he was planning on what to do next to get me to do so. And I honestly don't know why. He already had me wrapped up with a neat little bow - what more pain could he possibly inflict on me?

"We shall decide a date later today then. I can only stay for the day and then I am to return to look after your sister. You know she just isn't as sensible and mature as you Leena, and I fear that may get the better of her one day." I just smiled and nodded. Great. Only 14 more hours to go.

I spent the rest of the time trying to ward off my step-father's incessant questions. I couldn't care less about the colours or the food or the guests - the only people I had really met were his nephews. Thorin seemed to take a sick pleasure in watching me suffer; he would add his opinion at the end of a topic so that we would spend more unnecessary time discussing things like flower arrangements or the lighting. (We were in a cave for god's sake!)

"Now, last question, I promise." he began. I sighed and looked up at the servants clearing up from the meal we'd just finished.

"How long after the wedding do you two plan on starting a family?" I choked on my wine a little and gulped it down painfully, looking to see Thorin's reaction. Stone cold. He was a master in these situations.

"Glasur! What a question, *laugh* I don't think that's - " I was both cut off and horrified at Thorin's next words.

"The third moon after Durin's day. That is when the goddess of fertility shows herself in the night sky as one of the many constellations." he reached over and took my hand. At this point I was blushing furiously - even more than the previous night - for now the idea of it actually happening seemed more than just servant gossip in the corridor. That being said, I couldn't let him win this way, it was just too easy.

"Is that to ensure my fertility, or yours?" I asked with an innocent smile.

Now it was my step-father's turn to choke on his drink. Thorin just stared at me unresponsive, his dark brow turning into a thick black line. It was one thing to pull on the king's hair, it was another to question his abilities as a man.

"Oh my dear girl, you know not what you say! You cannot realize what insult you deliver. Come, away. I must be leaving now." And with that he rose, and gave some instructions to a nearby servant. When he had exited the room, I ripped my hand out of Thorin's.

"You have it down to an science. How attractive." I sneered at him.

"What would you have me say? I could not have your father telling me when to impregnate my own wife." he stated matter-of-factly. The bluntness of that statement made me shudder.

"Step-father. And the only one who will be telling you anything concerning THAT will be me. Understand?" I stood up and headed for the door. Before I stormed out though he projected his voice across the room.

"That's a lovely colour you're wearing." I didn't look back.

Through the front gates I could see the sun finally setting in the distance. My step-father was getting ready to leave and I had come to see him off. I had made up my mind as soon as Thorin had uttered those words. What had seemed like a harmless joke from Fili earlier today was a heart-breaking reality check by Thorin. I knew that I would always be owned by someone ; first it was my step-father who would then sell me off to the king of Erebor. And I refused to stand there and watch it happen.

The small silver dagger weighed heavily in my pocket as I approached the lord. I had no plan, I just knew that I had to get the timing right if I was to succeed. At last though, he walked up to me with a fake smile. Suddenly, a previous conversation replayed in my mind.

"Glasur, what business do you have looking after my sister?" his eyes seemed to twinkle with horrible delight. He was hoping I would ask.

"My dear, she is getting married too! To-"

"She's what?! She's far too young! She has at least 5 more -"

"I tried to tell her, but she would not have it. She is set on marrying Lord Vorin."

Everything else that he was saying faded in and out. My sister? Married? That was a worse fate that anyone could bestow upon me and her. I knew Vorin to be a hateful and cruel man, known for his terrible temper. My poor sister was to spend the rest of her young life wasting away with that horrible man. It was too much for me- sure he could marry me off, but not my baby sister!

I lunged at him, years of anger and outrage building up and finally exploding in a fit of rage. I came to save myself, but I would finish the job to save my sister.

Thorin was standing at a distance and upon seeing this, grabbed me before I got too close.

"NOO!" I cried. He wrapped his arms tighter around me and I felt his chest press against my back. "Let me go!".

I thrashed and wriggled trying to shake free. I heard him grunting as I made contact with his jaw a few times. All I could see was my target. Waves of my blonde hair swung and mixed with the raven black ones that were his as he tried to control me. I turned to face him and managed to remove my arm from his grasp. His eyes shone fiercely and his expression was a mixture of concern and frustration. By now though the evil had shrunk away into a sea of armed guards and away into a carriage.

I knew it was over. I suddenly gave up, exhausted. I cried freely and the tears blurred my vision until I closed my eyes for what I hoped would be forever. Thorin's light panting was the only sound that breached the still night air. I reached for the hand that was ever holding onto my waist in an attempt to steady myself. Thorin buried his face in my hair; I could feel his rough lips just lightly grazing my neck. In the end though, I was too tired to resist.

I noticed for the first time my future husband was actually holding me - for real this time.

***** So bit of a longer chapter... I decided to be nice and hold off on the cliffhangers-for now :P anyways let me know what you think! :) *****

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