Calm The Fire: 14

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“I think the innkeeper is right,” Náriel broke the silence after many minutes. “This rain is not going to stop.” Pausing she let out a quiet sniffle. “A never ending storm.”

Frowning lightly Thorin moved from leaning against the bed frame. Looking down at her he smiled slowly. “Each storm must end.”

“Literal or metaphorically speaking there, Thorin?” She asked with a grin as she tilted her head back to look up at him. “The way I see it; it could work both ways.”

“Well, if you're going to look so into my words, then I must say at first I meant it in a literal sense.” He explained.

She gave a nod, and looked back to the window. “Can I be honest about something?”

“What is it?”

“There is a part of me that wishes that the rain won't let up, and that this storm won't pass.”

Taking to twirling some of her damp locks around his fingers, Thorin looked down at her curiously. “What makes you say this?”

“When the rain stops and the storm passes, we'll have to return to the mountain. Do not get me wrong, I like it there and you know I do. It's just...I don't wish to return, not yet anyway. I mean, I am content and happy here...” Náriel trailed off, “With you,” was added a few seconds later in a quieter tone, yet he had heard her fine.

Feeling him shift, Thorin nudged her gently to sit up. Náriel did so and turned to meet his gaze. “Are you unhappy in Erebor?” It was something of a concern and one that he felt niggling away at him in the back of his mind. No matter how many times she denied it.

“No.” Náriel answered simply while he placed his arm back around her.

“Then where does your hesitance to return come from?”

His question caused Náriel to grow silent. “I may have had a falling out with my uncle. We've not spoken since our disagreement. When we return, he will be waiting, and if I am to be honest...I really am not in the mood for another moment.”

“What did you two disagree with?” Náriel frowned and rolled her eyes up at him. “Oh,” Thorin shifted awkwardly and looked around. “It was me.”

“It was you,” Náriel confirmed. “He merely wished to know why I spend so much time with you is all.” Thorin frowned at this. “He is protective of me.” Náriel quickly explained. “So as such he is apprehensive of any male who pays me attention or spends time with me.” Squeezing his hand she smiled. “It is nothing personal. It's just how he is, and how he'll probably always will be.” Náriel nodded. A part of her was content knowing the last of her words were the truth. Thorin didn't need to know what Thranduil clearly really thought of him.

“I picked up on his protective characteristics already.”

“The banquet?”

“Indeed,” Thorin nodded slowly. Managing to get one of his hands free from her grasp, he reached up and placed it against her cheek. Slowly he lifted her face up to look at him. There was a sad glint in her eyes. She felt restrained by her uncle, and Thorin could see that, he understood. Despite it all though, there was a small shine of happiness. Suddenly a smile broke out on Náriel's face, leaning forwards she managed to nudge her forehead against his. Through the sad look in her eyes, the small speck of happiness stemmed from him. He clearly caused her to feel utmost happiness. Just knowing he had the ability to cheer her up caused him to join in with her contagious smiling.

Quickly Náriel gently kissed him, before coming to familiar and responding Náriel leant away, while childishly grinning at him. Rolling his eyes, he leant his head back against the headboard. Settling back down, she leant her head against his chest.

Thorin let out a quiet sigh, frowning lightly he looked down to Náriel's content form. “May I court you, Náriel?” His question caused her to tense in his arms. Slowly she sat up and turned to look at him. A confused expression was on her face. The confusion slowly ebbed to joy, but then the confusion appeared again. It was clear she was trying to process what he had just asked. It wasn't so much the question, but the way he just simply and promptly came out with asking it.

“Sorry?” She eventually said.

Leaning forward, he put his hands on her shoulders and turned her to face him. “You heard.” He smiled, Náriel shook her head slowly, this caused whatever confidence he was feeling to slowly dissipate. Slowly his hands ran down her arms, “I apologise,” he said awkwardly. He thought it was an obvious question to ask of her. It was clear that he cared for her, and she clearly cared for him in return. The case of courting seemed obvious to him, so he asked. Only he didn't expect silence from her.

“Oh, Thorin,” Náriel's quiet voice finally spoke up. She put her hands on his cheeks and lifted his head up to look at her. “Don't look saddened, I am...shocked, that you asked, not offended. Nor am I saying no.” She smirked and childishly tapped him on the nose. “I am saying yes.” Reaching out slowly she wrapped her arms around him and nudged her head in the crook of his neck.

Hearing a quiet clicking noise, Náriel leant away and looked around confused. Thorin reached out and picked up one of the small braids in her hair. Tilting her head to the side she looked to the clasp which was at the end. Taking the braid from his grasp, she twirled it in her fingers. Eyeing up the clasp again she narrowed her eyes thoughtfully at it.

“The symbol on this, it is yours?” Náriel asked while flitting her eyes up to look at him quickly. Thorin proudly nodded. “Hm, it's perfect.” She scrambled off of the bed, leaping off she landed quietly on the floor. There was a small vanity mirror in the room which she ducked down into to see the new accessory.

Thorin walked slowly over, putting his arms gently around her waist, he leant his head against hers. “I agree,” he said while looking into the mirror too.

Náriel rolled her eyes, putting her hands over his, she leant back against him. “Now the whole of Middle-Earth knows that I am yours.” She said mock seriously, but each word she spoke caused him to smile and nod, which caused her to smile too.

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