Thorin was more exhausted than he cared to admit. An early start from Bag End sounded well, but he would have preferred an early night, instead of leading the discussion into the early morning. Disgruntled, he looked at the a clock of the very best polished mahogany on the wall of Bilbo’s illustrious spare room- it read a few minutes past three. He lowered himself onto the bed with a soft moan and lay down, flicking off his boots. By the stars, he was sure if he got under those covers he would never leave.
Resigning himself for a regrettably short sleep, he rose again and stripped his shirt and trousers, shuddering as the frigid air from the open window ghosted over his skin.
In the comfortable silence, there came a knock at the door, just as he was about to get into bed.
‘What?’ he said sharply, assuming it was either one of his nephews wanting something, or that blasted Hobbit coming to once again ‘be at his service’.
The door swung open, and Thorin’s heart skipped a beat. Gloin entered, looking at him quizzically, one dark eyebrow raised.
‘Sorry,’ muttered Thorin distractedly, looking anywhere but the other dwarf and being very aware that he was unclothed. ‘I thought it was perhaps Fili or Kili…’
Gloin’s mouth jerked in a smile and he made his way over to the bed.
‘I was given a couch in the living room to sleep on,’ he said with a smirk, and sat down next to Thorin. Gloin’s eyes wandered down Thorin’s body, and finally rested on the hand that gripped the covers close to his goose-pimpled flesh. ‘You’re cold-‘
Thorin met Gloin’s eyes as they met his again, and the gaze between them was intense. He knew instinctively what they both wanted.
‘Not tonight… Gloin,’ Thorin whispered.
Gloin laid a finger on Thorin’s lips and the older dwarf’s head reeled at the soft, warm touch. Suddenly, it wasn’t cold anymore. Despite this, he quickly shook his head to erase the imprint of the heat of Gloin’s finger at his mouth, and the pounding of his heart in his chest. They had said before the Quest that they would not carry on with this.
They could not.
‘One night, Thorin. This may be the only chance we have,’ came Gloin’s soft voice in his ear.
One night was what they had.