Bellis cleared her throat nervously.
Thorin looked up at the sound, pleased to see her up and about. And willing to be in his presence. The past week had been a game of cat and mouse between him and his wife though he wasn’t sure why.
On Gloin’s advice he’d decided to give her space and let her seek him out when she was ready. The advice had seemed ridiculous to Thorin who liked to confront matters head first and deal with the consequences immediately.
Thankfully Bard had overheard their disagreement and threw his whole support behind Gloin. Since both had successfully married, he had begrudgingly taken their advice. Besides, if a dam and a woman had similar behavior perhaps a hobbit lass would as well.
He had no idea about elleths as he only had Thranduil to ask and…no.
“Bellis, how are you?” he kept it simple, hoping she’d open up to him.
She opened her mouth then closed it again before squaring her shoulders and setting her jaw. He frowned, he knew that look. She was worried and frightened but about to go in anyway. He wondered what could have upset her so in her own kingdom.
“Thorin, I would speak with you privately,” she said firmly.
He bit back the retort that they could have done that at anytime had she still been retiring to their shared rooms each night instead of avoiding him. Instead he said, “Of course.” And lead her out of the council chamber where maps of Erebor were spread over every available surface being poured over by architects and miners as they developed a comprehensive plan for rebuilding.
She was silent as they made their way through the halls, though she didn’t pull away from the touch of his hand on her elbow or make excuses and disappear in the blink of an eye so he’d take what he could get.
They finally reached his study, which was thankfully empty of either of his heirs. He made a joke to that effect, hoping to ease her tension with a laugh. Instead his words had the opposite effect and she paled, her lips a thin bloodless line.
“Bellis? What is it? What’s wrong?” he asked, pulling her close, terrified to hear her response.
“Thorin.” She began shakily, looking up into his eyes. “I didn’t think this would happen. I didn’t think it could happen. But I see it as a gift and I hope you will too.” She blinked back tears, hoping he wouldn’t cast her aside for this.
“Didn’t think what could happen, amralime?” he asked softly, eyes full of concern.
It took him a moment to absorb what exactly she’d said but when the sound of rushing faded from his ears he was ecstatic.
“Are you sure?” he asked searchingly, wondering at her odd mood. This was fantastic! Why was she being so aloof?
She flinched at the question and gave him a grim nod. “I’m certain. About three months as close as I can figure. I finally noticed physical changes a few days ago and knew I had to tell you. I- I just needed to work up the nerve,” she gave a strained laugh.
“But Bellis this is wonderful! Why did you wait to tell me? What physical changes? You must show me!” he pulled her into a tight hug and tilted her head back for a warm kiss.
“You, you’re not upset?” she asked, seeming dazed.
He was baffled, why would he be upset that his wife was with child? Surely this was a blessing from above; in fact she’d used that very word herself but a moment ago. When he said as much she clung to him and pressed her face to his chest.
“It’s just that we’ve never discussed marriage and I don’t want you to feel forced.”
Thorin had no idea what she was talking about; perhaps he’d been wrong not to question Thranduil after all.
“What is there to discuss, ghivashel?” he asked, truly confused.
Now she looked irate, and pulled out of his embrace to stand several feet away. “Getting married! I won’t bear you a bastard, Thorin Oakenshield!” she snapped. “Just because I’m not a dam don’t think you can treat me like slattern!”
“Getting married? Bastard? Bellis, have you taken ill? We’ve been married for months!” he all but yelled to halt her diatribe.
She gaped at him like he’d just admitted to missing Smaug. “We’ve been what?”
“Married! For months!” he repeated, wondering how quickly he could summon Oin to check her over. Was this a side effect of pregnancy or did she have a head wound or some other ailment?
“What are you talking about, when are we supposed to have gotten married?!” she set his ears ringing with her sharp tone.
“At the coronation of course! I announced you as my chosen bride and named you dragon charmer then I braided my beads into your hair! You cried and insisted they were happy tears!!” as if anyone had heard of such foolishness he wisely didn’t say.
“Did you not know?” How could she not have known? Ah. In hindsight, perhaps he should have assigned someone to translate the ceremony for her. He tensed, waiting for her to start yelling again, or possibly collapse into tears.
“You married me in front of your whole kingdom?” she asked dreamily. “Before I fell pregnant?”
“Yes, of course! I promised you-” she cut him off with a kiss that stole his breath. “Oh, Thorin I love you too!” she cried, eyes shimmering with tears.
He pulled her into another kiss, hoping to ward off another bout of weeping. “I love you lass. I always will. I’ll marry you all over again if you like. As many times as it takes for you to believe I want you and as many children as you’ll give me. No coercion necessary.” he promised, gazing down into her wide gray eyes.
Well, that backfired in the ‘preventing happy tears’ sense but was remarkably successful in the ‘wife returning to their bedchamber and putting it to very good use’ sense. He’d happily take that compromise.