Bilbo Baggins stayed in Erebor for the beginning of the rebuilding. After risking his life to save Thorin and his nephews, all within the company was forgiven. Thorin had even ordered Bilbo’s quarters to be the first renovated and the notion was heartily agreed upon by everyone--including Dain, who barely knew him. It probably should not have surprised Bilbo that he had picked up an admirer, but surprised he was.
The first note was slipped under his door after dinner one evening. He didn’t think to peek out in the hall until after he had read its contents.
My hand is shaking and I’m having trouble finding the way to begin to say what I’ve long wished to tell you. It seems funny that we trekked halfway across the land numbering only fourteen to face-off with a dragon and yet I am terrified to speak to you about these feelings I have inside. Anonymity gives me the courage that I otherwise lack.
I’ve fondly watched you from afar for what seems like an age. The feats of bravery you’ve performed all along our road have astounded me. I had no idea when we met in your cozy home that the charming hobbit that fainted at the description of a dragon would be so fierce, so cunning, and so protective of a people that were not even his own.
You are as lovely as you are brave. From your honey waves to your furry feet, you are a delight for the eyes. I find myself trying to be more witty just to see your smile. It warms me more than the sun. I hope you are wearing it now.
Wishing you the sweetest of dreams."
Bilbo looked around his empty room as though the author would appear out of thin air. Who could this be? Obviously one of his companions on the journey. He could rule out Gloin and Bombur immediately. They were happily married. He was also sure he could discount Dori, as he had rather adorably found a sweetheart in Dain’s army to fuss over and they were nigh inseparable. He went through his mind to think of who that would leave.
Bifur? Unlikely but not impossible. Bilbo did not understand his spoken language, but Bifur understood him when he spoke and Bilbo was pretty good at interpreting his signing. They had their share of good laughs over the course of their acquaintance.
He considered Bofur. They were very good friends and it was not a far stretch to imagine that maybe he had developed deeper feelings for Bilbo. Bilbo figured Bofur--of all people--would have the nerve to confess, though.
Kili was undeniably attractive, but also nearly joined at the hip with his brother. Kili and Fili were closer than twins. Bilbo had no proof, but he would not be a bit surprised if the two of them were fooling around with each other. He could not envision Kili or Fili either one being able to keep a letter secret from the other long enough to write and deliver it. But again, it was not impossible.
Oin was another unlikely candidate, though he and Bilbo spent many hours discussing plant lore and sharing tales of their homelands. Bilbo could not quite wrap his head around it, but he also did not rule it out.
Ori. He certainly did love to write, and he and Bilbo got along famously. He was probably one of the people with whom Bilbo spent the most time these days, too.
Bilbo tried picturing Thorin writing a lovesick letter and failed. He and Thorin had a close friendship--made richer by the events of the battle--but Thorin’s mind was full of Erebor. Even if he had the desire, Bilbo did not imagine he had the time to secretly woo anyone.
Nori and Bilbo got along, but they were never exceptionally close. Still, they had their fun on the road with Nori helping him to be a better burglar. Bilbo was a great audience for tales of Nori’s escapades, too. Probably not as unlikely as Bifur or Oin, but not a standout by any means.
Balin took an early liking to Bilbo and was a great defender of his on their travels during the times when Thorin was being less than hospitable. Bilbo always felt Balin’s affections were more like those of kin than of someone who wished to be a sweetheart, but affections there undeniably were.
Who was left? Only Dwalin. Bilbo smiled a bit to himself. He did not see Dwalin as a Great Suffering Romantic, writing letters from afar. He liked Dwalin quite a bit, though, and the thought was not unpleasant.
So, in truth, it could be nearly anyone. He would have to pay closer attention to his friends and see if he could glean any clues.
Bilbo had spent the past couple days over-analyzing every look, nod, or brush of a hand. The problem was, dwarrows were fairly tactile once they assumed someone into their private circle of friends and kin. Bilbo had been allowed this honor by everyone on his list. Bofur regularly slung an arm around his shoulder, Kili liked tickling him, Thorin ruffled his hair, and the list went on.
Trying to figure it out by eye contact also proved hopeless, because he was the one doing the staring to see if anyone was staring back. Oin actually asked him if he needed some eye drops. So much for that.
Opening the door to his room, there was another note on the floor.
I thought the first letter would get this need to confess out of my system, but I fear it has only made the problem worse. I find myself biting my tongue to keep from telling you how I love the smell of your hair or the color of your eyes.
I wondered for a moment if you would be able to tell simply by looking at me that I was the one who wrote to you. That does not seem to be the case. Or, if it is, you are being very tactful in not letting on you know.
Your pull on me seems to grow by the day. I very much wish to thread my fingers in your hair and press my lips to yours. I’ll bet you taste sweet.
Bilbo could not deny his heart was beating fast in his chest. It had been a goodly while since he had shared a kiss with anyone. He licked his lips. He had to find out who this was.
Bilbo’s research was not turning up any new answers. He was inwardly cursing how all his friends were being so infuriatingly normal when he heard the soft whoosh of a note being slipped under his door. He leaped from his chair and yanked the door open. From side to side, he saw no one in the corridor. Muttering to himself, he picked up the next letter.
Today you wore red. It looked lovely against your skin. I found myself wanting to reach out and touch your sleeve, to see if the fabric carried some of your warmth. You’ve been in my arms before, always too briefly. I wonder what you would do sometime if I did not break our hug first? Would you back away in discomfort or would you hold to me a while longer? I’m not courageous enough to make the attempt.
You deserve someone as brave as you are, not someone who can only confess his heart to you in secret letters.
“I wish you would try,” Bilbo whispered to the letter.
Bilbo was now getting a letter roughly every other day. Sometimes they would recount one of Bilbo's deeds from the road that made the author adore him, but more frequently they were simply about the way the sunlight caught Bilbo's hair or how he had a wonderful point about something at dinner. He supposed it should be more alarming than flattering that someone observed him so. Instead, Bilbo burned with curiosity and ached with a desire to write back. He had started falling in love with this gentle, shy soul--one whom he apparently spoke to nearly every day without any idea he was the one adoring him from afar.
One day, a letter was waiting for him after dinner.
The more I write you, the deeper I fall. I fear, though, that I am causing you alarm. You seem less relaxed as time goes on. You nervously look around during meals and over your shoulder when you leave. It had not occurred to me until recently that getting unwanted, mysterious attention might be scary for you.
I confess, I do not want to stop writing to you. It makes me feel better to unburden the secrets of my heart. However, it would be uncaring of me--one who professes to care for you so much--to add to your discomfort.
I've noticed there is a wide crack in the stone outside your door and to the left. If you should wish for these missives to cease, leave a note there for me.
This was it! This was the chance Bilbo desired! He wasted no time.
Your letters perplexed me in the beginning, an enticing puzzle as I tried to root out your identity. I’ve been attempting to figure you out, but as yet I have not.
I beg you, please do not stop your letters. I look forward to them and treasure each of them more than you know. Feelings are stirring in me I have not allowed to awaken in a terribly long time. I close my eyes and try to imagine you whispering the things you say in my ears, but I do not know your voice. I picture arms around me, but I do not know whose they are.
Would it be so awful to reveal yourself to me?
My heart sank to my boots when I saw a note in the crack. I almost did not open it, thinking it to contain the worst. I decided that I owed you the chance to give me a good telling-off after all the relief writing my letters brought me. Imagine my surprise when I read your words.
I think about the possibility of you and me and it makes me shiver. I want to whisper endearments in your ear, to hold you, and to kiss you at long last. Would you think it wicked were I to say that my fingertips itched to map your smooth skin?
Perhaps it would not be awful to reveal myself to you, to have the potential to be your lover instead of merely your friend. But if my identity should displease you? Or worse, if you had hoped it was one of our other companions more! I couldn‘t bear the disappointment in your eyes, Bilbo. I hope you understand.
This. Let us have this for now.
I understand your fear, I truly do, but I cannot lie that it is frustrating. I touch myself when I read your letters when I’d much rather be touching you.
I cannot decry you as wicked when my own thoughts are salacious. I do not have a face to put with my fantasies, but I imagine hands caressing my skin as wet kisses are sprinkled across my body. It gets more heated and graphic until I’m spilling in my hand…but there is no name upon my lips.
You are so close to me every day. How do you stand it? How do you keep it such a good secret? I was looking around the dinner table tonight and no one so much as blushed.
I feel like I am going out of my mind.
Are you trying to stop my heart? I re-read the part where you came in your own hand over and over until I did the same.
To answer your question, I do not stand it. I keep it a secret because I must, but you do not see the wreck I am when I am by myself. I am in love with you. I am stupidly, wretchedly, delightfully in love with everything you are. I love your heart and your soul, not only your body. Although given the chance, I would worship your form with kisses and touches.
I wonder sometimes what sounds you might make as you are stroked in your favorite places? I like to think about how it would feel for you to touch me in mine. You have no idea how badly I want to feel you shudder beneath me as I pull your pleasure from you.
I am so tempted by you, Bilbo. Whenever you talk, I watch your lips and think how much I need to kiss them. I lack your fearlessness to make my fantasies real. You say you need me now, but would you still crave my caress if you knew these letters went with my name?
Bilbo glanced around the breakfast table. His sweet, letter-writing friend had a point. Would Bilbo burn as hotly to find out that the name that belonged on the correspondence was one of theirs?
What if it were Balin‘s voice whispering Bilbo‘s favorite passages? Bilbo imagined him as a tenderly thorough lover, with the advantage of age giving him the patience to work Bilbo's body over for hours. He thought of those doubtlessly well-practiced hands playing his body with precision. His hair may be white, but what delicious carnal knowledge might be lurking underneath it? His cock twitched in his trousers.
Bifur seemed like the passionate sort. Bilbo could see Bifur throwing him against a door and kissing the life out of him. Bifur would probably throw him on the bed with the same zeal. Bilbo pictured him as a thorough one, too. He considered himself riding Bifur's cock as those large, rough hands stroked his skin.
Oin was very into his plants and potions. He was probably the kind of dwarrow who had pleasure herbs for them to take. Bilbo imagined him to have a fat prick and a propensity for being taken from behind. He’d yank on Oin’s little hair horn as he buggered him senseless.
Well into the late morning, Bilbo was still playing his game with himself, seeing each of his friends as the letter writer and envisioning the subsequent sex. He was having such fun, he had to pull one off after breakfast. He supposed it was a good sign that none of the potentials so far were able to keep his hand from his prick.
He suspected Dwalin was a closet pussycat. Guys who had to be rough and tough in their daily lives frequently desired to relinquish that persona in more personal areas. Bilbo thought he might finger Dwalin until he sobbed. Bilbo would fuck him hard and fast, possibly leaving behind bruises from where he gripped him. Dwalin would be hoarse from crying out Bilbo's name.
Ori, however…Bilbo thought Ori to be just the opposite. Young, quiet, and seemingly shy, Bilbo had seen a fire rise in those eyes from time to time. He suspected Ori was capable of bone-shaking passion. Bilbo would be the one sobbing with pleasure in that scenario, he supposed. Hmm, if his mystery lover was neither Dwalin or Ori, maybe Bilbo needed to nudge the two of them together.
Bilbo considered Bofur. He was an affectionate, amiable sort but he had a wicked streak. Bilbo could see Bofur tying him up and then kissing and licking him until he squirmed at his restraints. Bofur would want it too badly himself to tease too long, though. He would quickly relent and claim him. Still tied up, more than likely.
Now Nori, that is a fellow who would probably beg to be restrained himself. The more elaborate the knotting, the better. Bilbo could see him trussed up on his knees with his hands bound behind his back. He’d still have that smart mouth, though. Bilbo bet Nori would love to be gagged with a pair of the hobbit’s dirty smallpants. Bilbo would bring him to the edge over and over. He’d finally let him finish as Bilbo ruthlessly pegged his sweet spot with one hand while pumping him with the other. He’d keep going past the point of his release and give him some pleasure torture. He guessed Nori would be back the very next day for more of the same.
Painfully hard again, Bilbo had to relieve himself before lunch.
The only ones left for Bilbo’s dinner fantasies were the royal family.
Bilbo regarded Thorin. There was no doubt that Thorin was capable of great passion. Bilbo had seen it in his determination to retake Erebor. The king would not be too tender, but he would not need roughness to impose his authority. He would handle Bilbo as though it were his birthright. Bilbo saw himself easily spreading his legs for Thorin in the hopes that he would claim him and take him apart.
Bilbo thought Kili would be reckless and wild with him in bed, up for anything that felt good. He figured that Fili would somehow be there, too. Watching maybe. Or perhaps…maybe the brothers preferred to take their lovers together? He thought about Fili splitting him wide as Kili’s heat clenched around him. Possibly the boys would both be inside him, fucking him wide open until he came without hands.
Bilbo downed an entire glass of water in nearly a single swallow.
“Are you okay?” Dori asked Bilbo with his trademark worry.
“Yes, fine. Dinner just isn’t sitting well with me tonight,” Bilbo lied.
“But most of your dinner is still on your plate,” Bofur noted.
“I, um, it is just--I’m having trouble eating on an empty stomach. Excuse me.”
Bilbo got up and left the table. A pair of particularly curious eyes followed him as he made his exit.
In his room, Bilbo paced. Well, he wanked first, then he paced. His mental experiment was a complete success. Physically, it did not seem to matter who was behind those letters. He made a decision.
I am not fearless. I’m terrified if I do not know you, I will have spent my life in love with a phantom. Because I am in love with you.
I cannot stand this much longer. I need your kisses and touches. I want to arch beneath you, feeling you inside me. Or perhaps I will take you. We can take turns if you like. All I know is I want you so badly I can taste it.
I propose this: meet me tomorrow night, 8:30, at my room. I beg you, allow me one night of passion with the writer of these letters. We will forget the world outside the door and I promise I will hold nothing back. When morning comes, we will deal with whatever circumstance it brings. Please. I need you.
To avoid awkward coincidences, knock twice, wait a moment, and knock three more times. That is how I will know it is truly you. Bathe before you arrive, because I intend to tongue your most private areas. I also request that you refrain from touching yourself between now and then because I want to be the one who wrings you dry.
Please come to me. Let me love you, even if it is just for a night.
Bathed and ready, Bilbo stared at the door and fidgeted. There had been no correspondence since he made his brazen offer, but the note had been taken. He wasn’t sure what made him more nervous--finally seeing who it was or the possibility that his shy lover would reject his offer. The butterflies built in his stomach until he was nothing but a ball of fluttery nerves.
There were two knocks on his door, a hesitation, and three more raps. Bilbo’s heart leaped into his throat. Miraculously, his legs seemed to carry him to the door just fine.
Opening the door, Bilbo exhaled sharply and grinned. He pulled the dwarf to him and kissed him hungrily.
Leaning their foreheads together, Bilbo breathed, “I had hoped so much it was you.”