Arkenstone Heart

The Meadow

*** I don't own anything except Leena.***

A/N: THANKS to all my reviewers! So I hadn't originally planned this scene to occur, but to be honest it kinda wrote itself... And it may be a tad on the cheesy side, I dunno, but the fan girl inside of me was giggling the entire time so whatevs :) anyway, enjoy!

What choice did I have? I had no where else to go. It would have been utterly foolish to go wandering off into the distance just because my nightmares were becoming my reality.

I hurried back through the streets, the rain had finally turned into a fine mist but I could feel the cold begin to set in. And I knew it was a fair ways home. I cursed myself silently. That was not my home. It couldn't be, I wouldn't allow it to be.

Before long I came across what looked like Thorin's cloak. Relief washed over my face as I rushed to grab this source of warmth. I glanced around quickly to make sure he wasn't hiding in the shadows again and threw it on. Yes, it was his alright; the smell was overpowering. If I wasn't so furious at him I would have quite enjoyed being surrounded by it. Not to mention it was much too big for me and I had a hard time keeping the bottom from dragging in the muddy street behind me.

The gates guarding Erebor loomed before me, looking quite dark and threatening. I realized then that I had no real urgency to return. Thorin had left me, so as far as he was concerned I was gone forever, which meant I had some free time to myself. I took the high road to the east side of the gates and walked past them, my eyes filled with beautiful scenery. The picturesque landscape was adorned in green hues, and every other colour imaginable. I smiled for what felt like the first time since I had arrived here and began my way down the slope to the meadow. As if by fate the rain had stopped altogether and the sun graced me with its warm light. Thorin's cloak danced behind me as I picked up speed before actually running through the field. I felt like I was flying; and I could've gone on forever. At that moment the world was mine and everything was just simply happy.

I picked a spot among the colourful weeds and laid down on my back with the cloak spread like a blanket underneath me. It was so peaceful and calm. I had almost forgotten what I had just learned that very same afternoon; I was an object, a tool. A mere pawn waiting to be used by the more powerful.

I brushed that though away though and focused on the moment at hand. I was still in soaking wet clothes. I supported myself on my elbows and looked around. There was no one in sight. It seemed like a good idea, so I carefully peeled the nephews' garments from me and draped them over a nearby branch to dry in the sun. I felt better already. It was as if the clothes themselves contain bad memories and I felt lighter in both mood and weight. I proceeded to regain my previous position and laid sprawled out in the grass in nothing more than my neutral bra and high waisted panties. It felt even more free to be rid of my corset and the hairdos and everything superficial and constricting. I stared up at the dissipating clouds losing myself in their hypnotic movement. I closed my eyes and sighed in contentment.

I must have fallen asleep because I awoke suddenly to a loud, booming noise. The ground felt like it was shaking underneath me. I sat up and scanned the area. There was nothing there. But neither were my clothes that were hanging on the tree. I reached for my cloak without looking down and to my horror my hands grabbed fistfuls of grass. I heard the noise again and whipped my head around throwing my messy hair out of the way. It was a pony, and the sounds that had woken me were its hooves as it approached I suddenly realized. I wouldn't dare look up at the rider- something told me I knew exactly who it was.

"Are you injured?" he questioned as if he really did give a damn.

"What? No. Do I look like I'm injured?" I answered.

I regretted those words immediately as Thorin took this opportunity to check out my entire scantily-clad being. My offence quickly turned into a defence as I made a poor attempt to cover myself with my arms.

"No," he cleared his throat, "it appears you're not." He leaned back in the saddle, all the while observing me. It was obvious that he prided himself on this sudden turn if events. I could no longer meet his eyes and cautiously looked around but there was no where to escape, nowhere to hide from his penetrating gaze.

He dismounted then, landing heavily in front of me. If I had ever felt small in his presence the feeling was rendered insignificant to how I felt then. He continued to gaze at me with a stone cold face and he was perfectly still save for a few loose strands of wavy hair that brushed his features gracefully.

"It does appear though that you are in dire need of a ...covering." he had to add in another glimpse of my body when he said this.

He pulled the cloak from behind the saddle and held it before me. I lunged for it, but he was ready and swiftly swung it out of reach. Now my action had only narrowed the distance between us.

"Thorin, I'm in no mood for you or anymore of your games!" I cried. He slightly smirked and from his height he looked down at me.

"Nor I, yours." He agreed.

I gasped, trying to control myself. "MY games?! Who's the one in the compromising position here?"

"Compromising?" He repeated. He looked around the pony a little too dramatically. "You should not feel compromised in your husband's presence." He pointed out.

"Under his scrutiny I do." I snapped back under my breath.

"What?" He had heard me. "The pony makes you uncomfortable?" And with that he gave it a slap on the rump and it took off back to the castle. My eyes followed it as it left wishing for it to return. With it gone I suddenly realized how very much alone we were. This both excited and frightened me.

"Why are you doing this? Cant you just let me accept the fact that I'm jut another acquired object to you and leave me alone?"

"You know I cannot." His look adopted that regular seriousness. He was thoughtful for a moment and then with a hint of reluctance he handed me the cloak. I rushed to grab it and wrapped it tightly around me, though I thought it would make no difference- I'm sure he etched my image in his mind.

I was just about to storm off when he stopped me with one arm. He turned me to face him again and reached towards the open clasp at my neck. I reacted by throwing my arm to swat him away but it was suddenly trapped in his grasp. His eyes burrowed into my own. All sense of play had disappeared in him.

"You fear my touch." he accused. His voice hardened. " Have I ever given you reason to fear me?" I noticed a darkness developing in his eyes.

"No." I struggled against his hand. "But from what I've learned you're capable of anything...to stoop to any level."

He immediately grabbed my other wrist as I tried to pry his fingers away. His breathing became heavier and he closed his eyes for a second.

"I'm sorry that you feel that way. However your confident words indicate that you are ignorant of the fact that I have control here. That I could take you right here." he wasn't threatening, though the words had every potential to be.

My eyes widened involuntarily but I made no movement to continue struggling. I didn't want to risk getting him angry, or worse.

He lifted my arm up and pressed his lips to my palm. His deep blues never left mine and they elicited a response in me that I couldn't control. I shut my eyes and cursed myself, bracing for what was to come. There was no one to blame here but me; I had made it too easy for him. What was I thinking? Letting myself be that...exposed.

Without a word though, he released me and my eyes flew open in confusion.

"You are also ignorant of the kind of man that I am." he stated as he reached for my collar again.

"Let me." I narrowed my eyes and stood still. I watched his face as he played with the clasp with his large fingers. As if I had a choice. He was all over the map. One minute he's a tease, then a somber serious king, then this act of kindness!

"Why did you go after your sister alone? Why did you not wait for me?" the question hung heavily in the still air. He looked almost disappointed or hurt, I couldn't tell which.

" I didn't! They came after me!" The distrust in his eyes was more than apparent. "I swear." I pleaded. Why I felt the need to regain his trust I had no idea.

"But you would have. If given the chance."

I looked at my feet. "Of course I would. She's everything to me."

"Did I not give you my word?" He demanded angrily as if I had just somehow insulted him.

I looked at him in confusion. "Yes, I suppose you did, but -"

"Then you do not trust me."

I laughed out loud. "Trust? Thorin, we may have to share a name, a home, and even a bed - but we will never share trust. Not after what you did."

"So you were returning." he sounded surprised. He conveniently ignored my whole soliloquy on trust.

"Yes, I was." I stated matter-of-factly. I couldn't help but notice the relief that washed over his face, though he looked away to hide it. "So how were you able to find me?" I asked suspiciously knowing very well he could've been following me the entire time.

"So you missed us then, after all." he tried to smile at me. Even i knew that was a rarity and had a little appreciation for it. Regardless though, was that supposed to be a truce? He did manage to completely avoid my question...

"No. You said you would save my sister. I came back for her, because I want her safe." even to me this sounded like an old excuse, like I was using it to cover up some other reason for coming back.

"Are you sure that is all you want?" he asked, raising his heavy brow. Apparently he thought i was covering something too.

I went silent. What was he insinuating? Was he referring to himself? I blinked a few times and pondered this idea. I recalled the past and most recent events that occurred between us. Sure, they were mostly blurred and clouded by my anger and frustration but could there have been a minuscule feeling of excitement and hope? No. Looking at him now all I could see was the Arkenstone and what that meant for us.

"Yes. There is nothing -nor anyone- else that keeps me here."

I turned and began walking towards those dark gates. No matter how charming or kind he could be I could never bring myself to accept him - or this fate.

He called after me, and try hard as I might to block him from my mind there was one point that made me stop and look back to him.

"Your sister, she arrives tonight."

My eyes narrowed. He was testing my trust in him. "How do you know that?"

"The messenger arrived after you left today. She comes for Durin's day, and to bring her blessings on this union." He grumbled at having to justify himself, he wasn't used to people questioning him so openly.

"Is she coming alone?" I asked suspiciously. He approached and stopped a little ways behind me.

"No...but that should make little difference to you." He ordered, suspecting what I was thinking.

To dissuade his suspicion I gasped, "Well I can't exactly meet them looking like this!"

He grunted in agreement and moved past me without a second glance. He was so moody! I paid him no mind though and kept a fair distance back as the pair of us returned to the mountain. What I would've given for that pony right now.

*** So yeah, Thorin's being handsomely bipolar again *sigh. So I promise that there will be a greater development in their 'relationship' cause there are some hints of 'stirrings' in the pair. It's been so very difficult writing about how she despises him when I'm there yelling at her to just hurry up and love him already! Lol I know I do :P ***

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