Bella was exhausted even though she had just woken up. Her back ached and her head was next in line with complaints. Fortunately she wasn’t nauseus; it was still a few weeks too early for that particular ailment to begin.
She had seen one of the human midwives wintering in Erebor to confirm her suspicions; their physiology was more similar to hobbits than dwarves, surprising considering the size difference.
She had told her husband that very night the moment they were alone. It was news to share with him privately before telling their closest friends.
Thorin had been thrilled at the idea of being a father and had kissed her and made love to her more tenderly than he ever had before. The mere memory was enough to set her blushing anew.
Of course, none of this explained why he had just interrupted first breakfast by dropping to one knee and asking for her hand in marriage.
Her head throbbed. She did not have the energy to parse whatever odd dwarven custom had her husband asking her to marry him over hot honey mash.
Instead she looked to Ori, her dwarrow interpreter for assistance, but he was no help. None of them were. The entire company was staring at them looking happy and hopeful and a little bit concerned.
Ah, that last bit was because she still hadn’t answered his question.
“Bella?” Thorin asked again as the moment stretched uncomfortably. Someone coughed and was hurriedly shushed by someone else.
She sighed, this was tiresome. “I’m just confused as to why you are asking me to marry you in the first place?”
“What does she mean?”
“Is that a no?”
“Is she refusing?”
“I told him it was too soon! Anything less than a decade isn’t enough time!” Gloin added to the whispers imperiously.
They ignored their gossiping friends out of long practice.
“I’m asking because I love you and want to spend the rest of our lives together,” Thorin answered, slightly confused. He was trying to hide his nerves but she knew his tells to well. He was truly concerned she was going to say no!
“That’s very sweet dear and I feel the same,” she smiled as he relaxed at her words. “I’m just puzzled since we were married two months ago at Samhain,” she explained calmly.
Silence fell across the assembled company. Thorin blinked, opened his mouth and closed it again before cocking his head to one side, “We what now?”
“Uncle, you didn’t tell us you were married!” Kili sounded betrayed.
“How could you keep this from us, lad? And you too, lassie?” Bofur sounded hurt.
“What does she mean, married?”
“Silence!” Thorin yelled, voice echoing off the stone walls. “Bella, we had no such ceremony! Of what do you speak?”
“the lass is addled!”
“Have Oin look her over!”
“On November first we said vows to one another and walked hand in hand around a bonfire attended by our friends and your kin!” she said sharply, receiving a blank stare in return.
Thorin couldn’t deny any of that. The celebration had come a few weeks after the Battle of the Five Armies and while there was little to go around, there was much to be thankful for, not least female sitting before him. But that didn’t make it a wedding. He opened his mouth to say so when she continued.
“We shared a plate and a cup and you tossed coins to the children of Laketown! Then you danced barefoot with me under the stars and we…” she faded out with a blush. Remembering the cold air as they left the fire behind, his fur coat serving as their bed as he pulled her atop him for their first joining. How the stars had been their only light, shining down on them like a blessing from the Valar. She was sure that was the night their child had been conceived.
She had never been so happy, it was everything she could have wanted in a wedding and more and Thorin had thought they were simply having a tumble. Bella was not pleased.
“Ye did what now?!” Bombur cut into her reminiscing, horrified.
“Uncle!” Fili seemed appalled at that last bit.
Thorin couldn’t deny that all she’d said was true. He had been high on having not succumbed to the lure of gold sickness, and bringing together an army of Dwarves, Elves, and Men to defeat the armies of evil. He had been celebrating having his love by his side, willing to stay and rebuild Erebor with him.
“I just… didn’t know that was a wedding to your people,” he still wasn’t sure that counted as a wedding. It all seemed a bit lax to him. Still, he recognized the irritation on her face for what it was. So he stood and scooped her into his arms dramatically, causing her to squeal and bat at his shoulders.
“Thorin, what are you doing?!”
“Taking my wife to bed,” he said roguishly and proceeded to do just that, the cheers of their company following them down the hall.
Since that was where Bella wanted to be anyway, she didn’t put up a fuss.
It wasn’t until the Festival of Midsummer that Bella truly understood how obscenely lavish dwarrow weddings were. It made sense, given how rarely they occurred, much less in the royal family. Thorin looked amazing in his formal wear, and she loved the dress Dori had made for her.
After the endless ceremonies were said and done, the party finally started. She was sitting out a round of dancing to nurse Disanna, named for her beloved aunt. Thorin was at her side and at the far end of tipsy by her estimation.
“You know, this is grand. But I preferred our first one,” he said flirtatiously.
She cocked an eyebrow at him playfully, “Oh, we’re calling that a wedding now?”
“Aye, we’re calling it the best day of my life,” he leaned in for a kiss and gently cupped Disanna’s head in one of his large hands. She grunted and continued nursing feverishly like the perfect little doll she was. “How about we hand her off to her namesake and stage a repeat? After all, this is another of your holy days is it not?” he let his voice drop lower, knowing how it sent chills up her spine.
Bella blushed at his bold words and handed him the baby to burp while she quickly buttoned her under shift.
She waved Dis over from her horde of admirers in lieu of replying. It was a sound proposition. Besides, she was more than ready to get started on their next little one.