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Honeypot

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The square of white moonlight that came through the smoke-hole in the roof had once been nearly to the door, but it had moved and now fell straight over Bilbo's face where he slept on the straw pallet in Beorn's parlour. He opened his eyes and stretched and smiled at the scent of wholesome summer fields; he felt the most comfortable he'd been since Rivendell.

But that moon wasn't letting him sleep, even though he also had the fullest belly he'd had since Rivendell. Beorn was terrifying and not overfond of Dwarves, but once the rather gruff and alarming introduction was done, Bilbo could find no fault at all with his hospitality. Not that he and his company were in any position to be critical. Bilbo huffed and sighed and closed his eyes again, annoyed with himself. There was no reason he should be having trouble sleeping, and he'd regret it later when their journey took them to less welcoming surroundings, which would come long before he was ready.

The house had a mild uncanniness -- everything was so much too big, even above and beyond the Man- and Elf-sized furnishings that had a way of making a tiny hobbit alone in the world feel even smaller - but that become unsettling in a quiet, harmless way, like the shifting and rustling of the mice and insects and other small inoffensive creatures that Beorn would never suffer to be harmed or even removed from his house.

That wasn’t the cause of Bilbo’s restlessness: that was the sense of alert watchfulness that the house never lost in the dead of the night. For all that the house was strong and Beorn was fearsome, there were dangers ever lurking, and Beorn's abode never went unguarded. Bilbo could only think of how adamantly Gandalf had warned against leaving its safety by night, and the growling and snuffling sounds he heard from time to time seemed proof enough that there were things out there it would probably be best for him not to see, even if they meant him no harm.

But the world was fascinating, and Bilbo thought Beorn was especially so, and so he started to let himself think that if he’d been hired on as a burglar even with no experience, it might be to his advantage to get some more practice in acting like one. He knew couldn't leave the house by the big barred door - even if he stood on a chair to reach the heavy iron latch, he knew how much noise the hinges made. Even when an enormous bear wasn't slamming his whole bulk against it. (And hadn't that been a bit of a thrill, even under the terror.) And now that Bilbo knew that Beorn probably wouldn't kill and devour them all even in bear shape - probably - that freed up the part of his mind that kept coming back to the thrill.

He had been half-dreaming, with a vision of black bears dancing in the vast vegetable garden, surprisingly graceful with their huge shaggy bodies and gigantic sharp-clawed feet, from time to time giving a happy little roar and swinging at each other playfully, wrestling like puppies, but still careful, managing not to crush any of the peas and tomatoes and bean vines that twined in the moonlight.

The idea of it still pleased Bilbo, and he knew that, as terrifying as this adventure had been so far, and at times so extremely inconvenient and uncomfortable, he had also already seen far more than any hobbit's fair share of awe-inspiring and beautiful things. The Tookish side of him was well-pleased.

And wanted to see some more. Large and airy as the house was, it was becoming a bit stifling with so many Dwarves sweating and snoring in it, and the sultry late-summer night air called to Bilbo through the window. The window he was certainly small enough to wiggle through, he thought, especially now that he was missing some of his waistcoat buttons and a good deal of the little paunch-belly he used to have before adventuring put such a strain on his regular mealtimes.

Speaking of mealtimes - which Bilbo was not, because he wasn’t speaking at all - surely a late night snack would not go completely amiss? He couldn’t half murder a side of bacon, but he already knew it was Not Done to speak of meat in Beorn’s house. They’d been well fed nonetheless. Wanting to tame his hunger without imposing overmuch, Bilbo helped himself only to a slab of hearty bread, a pat of butter, and practiced his skills by pocketing a small clay honeypot without spilling any.

The window turned out not to require much wiggling at all, and with a careful little hop he was soon on the porch of Beorn's house. The garden and the meadow stretched out before him, and the evening dew had coated it in tiny drops that reflected the moonlight, so the whole land was cast in pale bluish silver. It was not completely unlike the view and the scents of a summer night in the Shire, and Bilbo closed his eyes as, just for one moment, homesickness washed over him in a rapid flood of sorrow that dissipated as quick as it had come.

He ate half the bread, and laid what was left of it and the butter and honey by his side and reached in his waistcoat pocket for his pipe and pouch, and his fingers brushed the ring absently. Bilbo jumped, for he had not thought of it in hours. He had, as always, the urge to put it on, although he could see nothing that needed hiding from nearby. He shook his head to clear the nagging thought away, and packed himself a pipe instead, sitting back against the wall with a happy little sigh as he sent smoke rings sailing off towards the moon.

Bilbo had nearly all of his favourite pleasures accounted for. But then his thoughts turned inexorably to the missing one, for there was indeed a member of the Company who'd proved amenable to sharing that indulgence with him at least twice and could certainly be persuaded to do it again, especially since Beorn's berry bushes and fruit trees provided enough cover to almost count as privacy. So Bilbo began to contemplate the consequences of waking Thorin and suggesting a romp. Perhaps Thorin would be relaxed enough to not nearly take Bilbo's head off with his sword when startled, this time. (Bilbo rather thought Thorin owed him an apology for that.)

Bilbo would be very content to accept that apology in the form of a nice, long, proper sucking. Oh, the thought of that - watching his own firm, pink cock surrounded by the silky pull of the inside of Thorin's lips, the bristle of that heavy black beard against his soft inner thighs, the dark coarse texture of it blending with his own dark brown thatch of hair when Thorin went all the way down and sucked him in deep. That was a very pleasant thing to be thinking about, and he began to squirm a little there on the porch.

It was likely one of the last warm nights of the year and it deserved enjoyment. So there'd be no harm done if Bilbo decided to undo a button or two on his breeches to relieve a growing pressure. Dwarves were heavy sleepers when they felt safe, and Beorn was nowhere to be seen. Still, at the very least he ought to avail himself of the bushes - and that thought was also just a little bit exciting. He was completely forgetting his manners, and that was a very freeing sort of feeling. Bilbo leaned his head against the wall and pressed his hand to the front of his breeches, not quite letting skin touch skin yet.

It was very, very nice to think of Thorin, and all the sights and sounds and tastes and textures of him that Bilbo had had the pleasure of experiencing those nights in Rivendell, their moans and cries drowning out the wistful Elven music that Thorin claimed to hate and Bilbo rather liked. Thorin was so big and masterful, the thick columns of muscle that were his arms and legs, the rough coating of hair over the curves and swells of his chest and belly - oh yes, Thorin was more than enough for even Bilbo’s appetites . . .

But that wasn’t the only image that came to mind as Bilbo teased himself, was it? No, no, there had been that terrifying sight he’d glimpsed while scouting. The biggest bear he had ever seen -- well, in truth, the only bear he had ever seen with his own eyes, they were thin on the ground in the Shire - but he was sure that this one was larger than any normal bears were meant to be. A deadly beast it was, roaring its hunger to the moon and showing off its gigantic teeth and claws ... and then, it changed. It became a man, or something that looked very much like one at least, naked but for a coat of body hair. Bilbo had caught a glimpse of a powerful, muscled back and splendidly solid and strong arse and thighs, before terror had taken him and he’d run as fast as his own little legs could carry him, to tell the Company he'd seen the thing that would be the death of all of them.

Well, now that he knew a little more of Beorn the shape-changer and Orc-enemy and generous if grumpy host . . . thoughts of Beorn the mighty wild thing started to come back and Bilbo was now feeling them in a very different light. No, no, Bilbo told himself, feeling oddly disloyal. He and Thorin hadn't made each other any promises after all. But still--

Bilbo sat up straight when he heard motion on the other side of the wall, the unmistakable sound of the heavy latch lifting. He bit his lip and tried to pull his waistcoat and jacket over his lap until he knew who was coming out on the porch - or trying to, fool of a clumsy Dwarf, didn’t he realise how loud that door could be?

But the person pushing the door open was almost stealthy, and the shriek of rusted metal nowhere near as deafening as it could be. Someone who could be light on his feet at time of need, then. Bilbo realised he might not have to hide what he’d been about to do after all. He looked up with a knowing smile when Thorin stepped out onto the porch.

“You didn’t tell anyone you were going out,” Thorin said in a gruff, low voice.

“I didn’t know I had to,” Bilbo said with his best cheeky grin, the one most likely to make Thorin feel challenged. “As you can see, I haven’t gone far.”

“The members of the company should stick together,” Thorin said disapprovingly.

“Well, it’s a good thing you’re here then,” Bilbo said, and he pushed his jacket aside to give Thorin a good view of the little bulge he was now shamelessly stroking. “Two members are better than one.”

Thorin’s eyes gleamed in the moonlight, and he crouched swiftly down by Bilbo’s side. He’d shed his heaviest coat and armour in the warmth of the house, and in his blue tunic and breeches he could move with surprising grace, and only a little clinking from the sword belt that was always the last thing to leave his body.

Thorin didn’t go in for a kiss at first, he just slid his hand over the top of Bilbo’s thigh, twisting and raising his wrist to grip him between the legs. Bilbo sighed and shivered and leaned in, nosing through the the thick falls of Thorin’s hair, breathing in his earthy scent and searching for a patch of neck to bite.

“Is this your usual method of burglary?” Thorin said, laughing. “Choosing a place that’s out in the open and visible to all and difficult to defend? I would not, unless I wanted to be caught.”

“I admit,” Bilbo gasped, his mouth full of hair, “it was not well-thought-out. I wasn’t sure if I’d have . . . the pleasure of your company.”

“Perhaps those bushes over there are better suited for the purposes we have in mind,” Thorin murmured, his fingers snapping at the buttons of Bilbo’s breeches. “That is, if we are agreed on what those purposes are.”

“Well,” Bilbo said with a little chuckle even as he writhed and fidgeted at Thorin’s teasing squeezes. “I think we could come to an . . . understanding. Perhaps we could . . .come . . . to that understanding together.”

“Is this what passes for good bedchamber talk in the Shire?” Thorin said with a mocking smile.

BIlbo rolled his eyes. “No, Thorin, it is not. However--” He gave a little squirm and slither until he’d rearranged himself into straddling Thorin’s lap. “Since there are convenient bushes right over there, as you pointed out,” he rolled his hips with a slow, salacious grind, putting his whole spine into the effort, and braced one hand on Thorin’s shoulder as he ran the other around the back of Thorin’s neck. “...and since I was arousing myself with thoughts of how big and strong the Dwarves are, especially their king,” and he leaned forward and bit softly, that soft pale stripe between beard and collar, “it would be absolutely wonderful if you’d just wrap those giant hands under my arse, and lift me up, and let me wrap my arms and my legs around you, and you could easily pick me up and carry me yonder to a place - “ he bit again, and sucked lightly over the point of Thorin’s pulse, feeling the vibrations of his deep moan, “where we are unlikely to be seen, and only heard if we aren’t careful, while you and I utterly despoil each other. And then you’ll know all about how the Shire folk talk - when we fuck.”

Thorin had been biting his lip and gripping Bilbo’s waist, trying to keep himself calm all through that little speech. Now his hands clamped fiercely around Bilbo’s rear as he awkwardly hauled himself up from the porch, bracing his back against the wall as he rearranged Bilbo’s weight around him in a way that was both secure and enticing, with friction in all the best places.

Then, carrying Bilbo easily, he strode through the garden, headed for a concealing wall of corn and a hidden bower beneath a green, spreading bush. As Thorin sank to his knees beneath the green shelter, Bilbo did his best to refuse to be disentangled. And when Thorin insisted (mostly by struggling and shoving), that they put enough distance between them to allow clothes to be removed, or at least opened and pushed aside, Bilbo continued to be stubborn. He wordlessly refused to allow Thorin to push him underneath without a little bit of an honest fight, albeit one Bilbo would not be terribly grieved to lose.

“Really,” Bilbo said disapprovingly as he squirmed his way back up atop Thorin. “We have got to talk about this . . . royal behavior of yours . . . it’s a bit arrogant, isn’t it, assuming that I’m always going to be the one bending over for you . . .”

“Bending over is only one possibility,” Thorin growled. “I must admit, I’d envisioned you on your back. Underneath me. With your soft little thighs spread so wide for me and those big hairy feet of yours up around my ears.”

“Underneath you, where you think I belong, no doubt,” Bilbo said, laughing. “I’m not sure my feet would reach that far. Your shoulders, at best. Would you want me to run my toes through your hair?”

“If your feet reached that far, I might bite them,” Thorin said, finally getting the cheeky hobbit into a decent position with legs wrapped around his hips once again. Bilbo let his down his insincere resistance for long enough to enjoy the filthy, hungry appreciation in Thorin’s smoky blue eyes as he undressed. Bilbo liked that thought. Biting, that was good. Clawing, too. Bilbo’s hands darted up to Thorin’s shoulders and then took a more leisurely path down his chest, his fingertips splaying and playing freely in the soft coat of hair, coarser and wilder than that on his head. Thorin had so many textures.

Bilbo closed his eyes and pulled Thorin’s hair to suggest he wanted things a little rougher, and pushed his face into Thorin’s neck to bite and to lose himself in Thorin’s clean animal scent. And tried not to think of an even bigger, hairier creature - tried not to remember how quickly his terror at the sight of the enormous bear had turned to some other emotion when said bear revealed his manlike shape.

Bilbo hated to think he could be the sort who would think of another while swiving someone else - it seemed so terribly rude - and he wasn’t not thinking of Thorin, he was never quite not thinking of Thorin. But he also couldn’t put aside the reason why his ardor had risen quite so fast once he realised he was safe, or nearly so, in the house of Beorn.

The house’s owner was so present, even in absence - the absurd size of his furniture, the unnatural boisterousness of his garden. The trampled grass and occasional gigantic pawprint in the mud. The permeating scent of musk and fur and honey. Master Bilbo Baggins of Bag End would never admit to himself that he was capable of entertaining fantasies of being ravished by a beast - but Bilbo had left that hobbit behind many leagues ago. Thorin was large and powerful, far beyond the measure of any hobbit - but there was another that was bigger and furrier and wilder and stronger yet, and it was his home they were about to use in a way their host had probably not anticipated.

Would Beorn consider that rude? It made Bilbo feel very bold and wild indeed to realise that he didn’t care.

His shirt was threadbare and fragile with wear; it tore a little in Thorin’s grip, and Bilbo didn’t mind as Thorin’s bristly beard descended on his soft neck, tickled his throat, and moved down his chest with little licks of Thorin’s tongue and little nips of his teeth, and each little bite made Bilbo jerk and shiver. He encouraged Thorin with fierce little sounds he was shocked to hear himself making, unrestrained and unafraid.

“Sssh, we’ll be caught,” Thorin grumbled, speaking mostly to Bilbo’s right nipple, which was certainly not the source of the noise, though it may have been the cause.

BIlbo just moaned only slightly more quietly, and wriggled himself far enough to cup Thorin’s straining hammer through the thin cloth of his breeches, plucking and pulling at the laces until the great warm velvet-skinned beast popped free, slick and eager in Bilbo’s hand. Thorin made a raw, hungry sound that went straight to Bilbo’s own cock. Bilbo pushed Thorin’s breeches down as far as he could, enough that his own desperate member could seek out the crease of Thorin’s thick, hairy thigh to nuzzle against. He cried out again at the delirious heat of it - and wondered why Thorin had suddenly gone so still.

Then he heard it, and wondered no more. There was something approaching. Something very big. Thorin moved his hand from one weapon to another - his sword-hilt, similar in shape to the tool he’d been touching, but very different in purpose. “Silence,” Thorin whispered.

“A bit late for that,” boomed a deep, slightly growling voice. “You’ve already wakened the bees and troubled the goats with your mating-noises.”

Beorn’s large head burst through the curtain of leaves - his man-head, thankfully. Well, the man-head with the face upon it, not the other one.

Bilbo squeaked, and Beorn laughed. “At your ease, little bunny. Mating doesn’t offend me.”

Thorin was spluttering - and blushing in a way that Bilbo would freely chuckle at if Thorin were not quite so well-armed and tetchy.

“Even if it’s a bit . . . unnatural?” Bilbo said, appalled at the squeaky crack of his own voice. He was really only concerned that it might be considered bad manners among Beorn’s folk to partake of such pleasures in someone else’s house or garden without inviting the host to join in. He was certain that if the issue ever came up among hobbits, it would be considered very crass. Or at least, that was what he was going to tell all other folk he met who knew little of hobbits and probably would never meet another one to prove Bilbo wrong.

“Clearly it is not unnatural, since all kinds of animals do it,” Beorn said. “But most beasts I’ve observed tend to stick to their own kind.”

Oh, that got Bilbo’s hackles up - and even in this situation, one significant hackle that should normally go down was in truth standing up even taller. “What, do you think a Dwarf and a hobbit are so different that it’s like lying with a beast?”

“I said no such thing, little bunny,” Beorn said. “I’ve never seen a hobbit before, and never quite so much of a Dwarf, that I truly do not know how like or unlike you may be. From what I can see now, though, I understand you are more like than unlike.”

“I apologise for our rudeness,” Thorin flatly, trying to tug his own clothes back on and cover Bilbo decently at the same time.

“Oh no no, don’t apologise for me,” Bilbo said. Thorin looked at him with surprise, for Bilbo had always been free with meaningless apologies before. “I’m not apologising yet. Begging your pardon, I’m very unfamiliar with your people’s customs, Beorn. I have no idea if I should apologise or not. If I must, I shall. If I’ve given offense, I’ll make amends gladly.”

“You haven’t given offense,” Beorn said, laughing low and dark in his throat. “Not by this anyway.”

“Oh good,” Bilbo said. “Then I have to tell you I’m not the least bit sorry.” With a grin, he began to undo all of Thorin’s hasty work to decently cover him, watching Thorin’s face for reactions. To Bilbo’s great pleasure, Thorin seemed to have quickly decided to let Bilbo be as wanton as he wished. (This was a rash decision, as Thorin had not yet experienced the full extent of that, and knew not what he was getting into.)

“Nor should you be,” Beorn said with a sharp grin. His shaggy hair fell over his small, intelligent eyes in a fetching way, and he swept it back with a massive hand as he leaned in closer. “I see little bunny is not so little everywhere.”

“It’s still got to be the smallest you’ve ever seen, isn’t it?”

“It suits you,” Beorn said in a voice that was not exactly a growl. More like a purr, which Bilbo found confusing as he was fairly sure that bears did not purr. “Effective little stinger for a sweet honeybee.”

The noise of Thorin clearing his throat loudly was not the least bit like a purr. Bilbo actually did feel a bit guilty then, but it passed quickly. Thorin looked wary and resentful - but not entirely uninterested. Not entirely blind to Beorn’s charms. That was exactly the line of thinking Bilbo wished to encourage. “Perhaps a Dwarf’s great tallywhacker is more to your liking,” he said to Beorn slyly. “Still smaller than I’m sure yours must be, but proportionally I think it’s quite impressive.”

Thorin did look shocked at that, but Beorn not at all. He was wonderfully frank and unembarrassed about, well, mating, even though they didn’t have the excuse of making offspring. Such it is with animals, thought Bilbo, who’d lived his whole life in a farming village after all, and knew that modesty was never a priority in the barnyard. How much more so must it be for truly wild creatures, who lived free and untamed by civilisation’s rules? Oh, Bilbo began to squirm just to think of it, what it must be like in the mountain caves, in the forest, the hidden never-ploughed virgin meadows.

“Bilbo,” Thorin whispered uselessly, to Beorn’s apparent amusement. Bilbo almost imagined Beorn’s ears swivelling to catch the sound, his nose snuffling the air - the scent of arousal giving out its unspoken call.

“If I didn’t know better,” Beorn said, sniffing. “I’d think that was an invitation.”

“You don’t know better,” Bilbo said, and for the first time he reached out to touch Beorn’s wild hair, thick and coarse and uncontrolled. “You said before, you know nothing of hobbits. As the first hobbit you have met, sir, I feel it’s only my duty to reward your hospitality with generosity of my own, lest you think my people are all take and no give. Dwarves you seem to have already made up your mind about, and it isn’t very nice, so perhaps if you give Thorin a chance he might be able to make you think a little better of them?”

Thorin was gaping, apparently caught between shock and jealousy and a sort of horrified lust, for clearly the idea intrigued him as least as much as it scandalised him. Best not to give Thorin too much time to think - Bilbo leaned in quickly and took a handful of Thorin’s hair, and pulled Thorin’s mouth back where it belonged, onto his own. Hard and lewd was this kiss, with Bilbo making certain to wiggle his tongue in filthy, suggestive ways until Thorin’s own pulsed up to meet it, and then Bilbo began to suck upon it, pulling his mouth back and then forward again until Thorin could not fail to notice what he was implying. A quick glance out of the corner of Bilbo’s eye assured him that Beorn was watching this with rapt attention, trembling and possibly trying hard not to smile quite so broadly.

“Bilbo-” Thorin muttered as best he could.

“Hush,” Bilbo said with surprising force. “When will an opportunity like this arise again?”

“My dear generous hobbit,” said Beorn, with a rough edge to his voice. “If your . . . partner . . . is afraid, then perhaps . . .”

 

“Afraid?” Thorin cried. “I am not afraid.”

Bilbo had caught on to Beorn’s game right away, of course, for it promised the result he wanted most. “It’s quite all right if you are, Thorin. We don’t have to do this if it’s too much for you.”

Thorin froze for just a moment. Then his eyes went dark and wild, and quick as a strike he reached out for Beorn, curling shaking fingers through Beorn’s scruffy dark mane, and pressed the huge head closer towards his. “I am afraid,” Thorin said stiffly. “But I do not back down from my fear.”

“Wisely spoken, master Dwarf,” said Beorn, and crushed his mouth to Thorin’s as Bilbo looked on with feverish glee and nearly stained his breeches on the spot at the sight of the two powerful, muscular creatures attacking each other in the most pleasurable of ways.

As they kissed, Beorn’s huge hands grasped Thorin’s hips and pulled him closer, and Bilbo had a choice of being pushed out of the way or crushed between them, and he made the second choice, angling his rear into Beorn’s lap so he could use his arse to feel - oh goodness. Oh my stars, it is immense. But Bilbo wriggled and writhed to see if it could grow any further. He pushed his hand backwards to grope at the fastenings of Beorn’s breeches, and with his other he finished freeing Thorin’s cock as best he could, and found it scorching hot and slick and wet. His fingers and thumb could barely meet around it - and around Beorn’s, with his other hand, they could not meet at all.

Lost in the heady scent of both them combined with the sweet waft of the night-blooming flowers, Bilbo did his best to work them both at once, and of course it happened to be Beorn’s giant member in his weaker hand. But he could let himself do nothing but his best, because he and Thorin were with someone new and first impressions are very important . . . and then all his thoughts were snuffed out with sparks when Thorin gripped Bilbo’s jaw and claimed his mouth. The prickle of his beard and mustache felt wondrously tickly against Bilbo’s soft face, and the plunge and probe of his tongue carried the rich, unfamiliar, foresty taste of Beorn.

Bilbo opened his mouth for the plundering and raised his own little tongue to slide against Thorin’s, yelping softly into Thorin’s mouth as huge hands grasped his hips from behind and pulled his rear more tightly against Beorn’s massive bulk. A blunt nose - a snout, almost - snuffled at his ear, his jaw, and the back of his neck, blowing his curly hair aside with huffing breaths, taking hold of his nape with large, sharp teeth that menaced even as they held him still, gently and carefully. “Could carry you like this like a wayward cub,” Beorn whispered. “You’d like that. All the way to Mirkwood.”

Bilbo moaned and grasped at Thorin and Beorn harder, counteracting that unpleasant little feeling in his belly at the name of the place where he really wished he wouldn’t have to go, he certainly didn’t want to think about that now. “Want to stay right here,” he panted as he writhed between the two large, strong bodies that squeezed him hard between them, and humped and writhed against him both front and back. “Do this forever.”

“Forever is a long time, chubby bunny,” murmured Beorn, catching Bilbo’s belly - not nearly so soft as it once was - and kneading it lightly. Bilbo glanced down for a minute to see those huge hands pawing at him, scratching him gently with clawlike nails, and the sight of it sent a surge of heat through him, and if someone could touch him where he needed it most that would be just lovely. But considering the two powerful creatures surrounding and holding him, he thought he ought not be too demanding just yet.

There was much wriggling and struggling and undignified grunting, and if Bilbo was in perfect position to drive Thorin a little bit mad with his struggles to rearrange his legs, then so be it. Thorin was looking daggers across Bilbo to Beorn, who was beginning to huff and growl in a distinctly un-Man-like manner as he gripped Bilbo and humped against him.

The tension building in Bilbo’s loins was fierce and sharp. Wild and hungry he felt, a feral creature himself, as he immersed his hands and face in the scent and feel of hairy skin, pushing his rear up wantonly.

But - oh heavens, the sheer size of that thick tree-trunk rod that pressed into his back with each rocking movement! Oh, he had thought so highly of himself, certain he’d be able to take all that Thorin had to offer, but this -- he might have to admit defeat before he’d even properly tried, for that giant prong would surely split him in two if he could manage to get it in at all.

He squirmed against it to hear Beorn roar a little, a low dangerous sound that threatened mortal mauling before it softened to a chuckle, still tense and unfettered.

“Tempted?” Bilbo asked.

“Yes - but perhaps not in the way you think,” Beorn said.

Thorin sat up straight at this and decided to put a foot down, even though his feet were in no position to move very far. “I won’t allow that,” he declared. “Anything, anything else but that.”

“Oh, you think my eyes are bigger than my belly, do you?” Bilbo said, eyes narrowing.

“It’s not your belly you’re overestimating,” Thorin snapped, and immediately blushed.

“Now, now, little fellow,” Beorn said, in a way that was both deeply kind and impressively insulting. “It need not be so fearsome.” He lifted Bilbo easily out of the clutch as if the hobbit weighed nothing, and laid him down on the ground on his back. Bilbo shivered at the ease with which Beorn did this, and he was happy for the nonce just to lie there as he was bid, naked and hard and proud and thoroughly enjoying his own mild fear.

“Well, I’m not afraid,” Bilbo said, as if by the saying alone he could make it true.