Bilbo felt a great fool for not seeing Kili’s distress sooner. Once Kili relaxed, it was very obvious just how worried the lad had been. He laughed more, deigned to play music with Fili, and stopped cleaning obsessively. Bilbo did not realize just how much cleaning had been going on until he noticed three hours together without Kili dusting and thought it odd. Caution was good, but not if it gave Kili indigestion or a sore back. Fortunately, discovering that Bilbo had his own motivations ended Kili’s worries.
Impure as those motivations were, therefore, Bilbo could not regret them.
The grower’s shed in the south vineyard was freezing in the early morning, but not as badly as it could be. Deep snow actually served to keep out the draft. It piled high enough to block the space a the bottom of the door, icing over every crack and crevice in the weather beaten wood.
Unbuttoning his shirt remained a punishment. Bilbo’s nipples tightened, and his skin turned immediately to gooseflesh. Fortunately, the second he let the garment fall, Thorin’s hot mouth pressed against his chest, sucking wet, glorious kisses in a long slow line.
Had he once thought Thorin inexperienced? Bilbo knew better now. The dwarf lifted him easily, pinning him to the wall for more convenient access to the sensitive place just beneath Bilbo’s armpit. It would be easy for that strength to bruise, but Bilbo never came away from their encounters with so much as a love-bite. Thorin’s power was controlled, banked, like a fire in a grate. Like fire, danger might be part of the appeal, but Bilbo had no desire to burn his home down. The real thrill came from Thorin’s control.
Thorin lowered Bilbo, just a little, to kiss his neck. The exotic brush of a beard still made Bilbo shiver, even after over a dozen encounters. So did Thorin’s unerring ability to find the spot just at the base of Bilbo’s throat. Shuddering and trying not to moan, Bilbo caught Thorin’s jaw with an eager hand, pulling him up for a proper kiss.
“Will you tup me?” Thorin’s voice against Bilbo’s lips was so low and enticing that the hobbit nearly soiled himself early, ruining their fun.
Instead, Bilbo huffed a little laugh, meeting Thorin’s eyes ruefully. “We’d freeze to death during the lead up.”
“You want to.” No one’s eyes should be that heavy so early in the morning. “You are all the heat I need. At your side, I feel no cold.”
Naturally, Bilbo had to kiss him again for that. Then once more because Thorin’s kisses were so very sweet. Unfortunately, hot as Thorin was, pressed against Bilbo’s bare chest, the hobbit could feel cold stone against his back. Squirming a little, he made Thorin put him down.
“Come along,” he promised, ridding himself of his trousers quickly. “We shall have the next best thing.” On another day, with another partner, the cold might have been enough to cause Bilbo’s desire to wane. Happily, the sight of Thorin naked and erect could arouse Bilbo from the deepest sleep, and he was hardly feeling lethargic at the moment.
“I would have you tup me,” Thorin said, with what Bilbo had come to think of as dwarven stubbornness. “If you desire it.”
By force of will, Bilbo kept himself from rolling his eyes. He also managed to quash the deep fondness that filled his chest. Both were inappropriate. Instead, he said, “This is not the time or place for birthday cake. You may have the scones on offer, or you may go hungry.”
Thorin’s mouth set in an unhappy line. Which was fair. Bilbo meant to tease, but his words were too condescending by half. Arching up on his tiptoes, Bilbo pressed another kiss to Thorin’s mouth. Soon enough, the dwarf softened to return it. A strong, calloused hand slid down Bilbo’s back to grip his bottom firmly. Thorin began to rub slow circles in the muscles there, and Bilbo’s cock twitched eagerly against the dwarf’s thigh.
“I thought you wanted me to tup you?” Bilbo’s voice was little better than a gasp. If Thorin pressed the issue, if he pressed one of his thick fingers into Bilbo, the hobbit might relent. It had been a year or more since his last good tupping.
“I want to pleasure you in every way I can.” Thorin’s other hand cupped the back of Bilbo’s neck and his tongue filled Bilbo’s mouth. Sucking on it obligingly, Bilbo spread his legs just a little, leaning into Thorin’s body as much as he could. But Thorin did not breach his body, and eventually Bilbo came to his senses.
“Then turn around for me.”
Thorin obeyed eagerly. Bilbo had never met a fellow so eager to please. Nor had he ever been with a fellow with such a perfect, muscular bottom. Getting his hands on it was a treat. Sliding his cock between those two glorious globes was even better. Bilbo poured a little oil down Thorin’s backside and enjoyed the friction for a moment. It was not the tight heat of entering a body, but it was warm enough on a cold winter morning.
“Please,” Thorin growled.
Smiling, Bilbo leaned forward to kiss Thorin’s shoulder blades and wrap a hand around the dwarf’s enormous cock. As he thrust along the crevasse of Thorin’s seat, he jerked his oil slick hand in the same rhythm. Thorin’s own hands curled against the wall of the shed.
“Can you feel me?” Bilbo asked. “Inside of you, just the way you want, as hard as you want, as deep as you want. Just for you, Thorin. Isn’t it good?”
“Yes,” Thorin breathed. “Yes. Inside me. In the very heart of me.”
Of course, Bilbo could do no such thing in a small shed, but it was a very sweet nothing. Bilbo murmured a few more which Thorin answered with gratifying intensity. Each compliment built on the next: faster, better, slicker than the last. Bilbo’s breath came in pants. Thorin’s voice became nothing more than a guttural grunt. Until finally, finally—
Bilbo cleaned them both up with his pocket handkerchief and began to dress. Without the heat of Thorin’s body, the ice around the corners of the shed was a bit too noticeable. There would be tracks in the snow outside as well. Once might go unremarked upon, but even that was too risky.
“We cannot come here again,” Bilbo admitted softly.
Inclining his head in acceptance, Thorin dressed more slowly than the hobbit did. His new blue shirt suited him very well, but he needed a jacket to compliment it. Perhaps a waistcoat as well. None of the dwarves wore waistcoats, but Thorin would look very dashing in one if he could be persuaded to it.
“Where will we meet tomorrow morning?” Thorin asked, kneeling on the cold ground to scrounge for the wool coverings he wore on his feet beneath his boots.
Bilbo looked down at the snow which had drifted under the shed door at their entry. Despite the heat of their activity, there was only a small puddle of water around the edges. Most of it was still soft, white powder. “There is nowhere private that our tracks would not be suspicious.” He took a deep breath. “In a few weeks, after Yule, we might go to Bree. I know an inn there with lovely beds.”
“Bree!” Thorin paused in lacing his boots to look up at Bilbo. “That is four days journey from here at least, in snow this deep.”
And several weeks was very different from clandestine meetings every morning, Thorin did not say. Bilbo leaned seductively forward, pursing his lips to their best effect.
“I will make it worth your while,” he said in a low, sensual voice. “When we are in Bree, in a nice soft bed, you shall be in me, and not in my mouth. In fact, I shall give you my back. To turn away can be an invitation. Is not the journey worth the wait, if you can finally tup me?”
Thorin’s head tilted to the side, his tousled hair cascaded over his shoulder as his eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “I would prefer to have you tup me.”
Bilbo’s mouth went dry. That was unexpected. Not unwelcome, just unexpected. Usually fellows with callouses on their hands had ideas about what was and was not acceptable for them to do even among the set of socially unacceptable activities. “Oh?”
“Yes.” Thorin smiled. “At your earliest convenience, in fact. Ideally, in your bed.”
“We have to be careful.”
“Would it not be safest to be together in your comfortable home? Kili seems willing to keep our secret.”
Bilbo looked sharply at Thorin then, but there was no hint of apprehension in the dwarf’s face. He seemed to genuinely trust Kili with his safety. Which was just. Kili might be thoughtless and quicker to speak than to think, but he would never knowingly endanger Bilbo.
Softening, Bilbo said, “You forget, there are three other residents in Bag End this winter. I’m grateful for them, of course. You staying the winter alone would be terribly suspicious. I’ve never let Dandy stay more than two days together, you know, and no one else may stay alone at all. Once I learned Kili’s secret, I knew I must only ever take to a bed in Bree, where I am unknown.”
“Dandy.” Thorin frowned. “One of your other lovers.”
“Jealous?” Bilbo grinned. “He’s never been the sort to stay for more than two days anyway, but I’ve always enjoyed the time we spent together.”
“You have taken him to your bed.” Thorin’s mouth was a hard line that unnerved Bilbo and killed his teasing mood.
“We must be more careful than that, Thorin. You are staying all winter. If we fall into reckless habits, we will be caught.”
“Then let me tell my people,” Thorin said, as though it was a simple matter.
“Dwarves understand the importance of secrets.”
“Clearly they don’t! Two people can keep a secret. Six people is a conspiracy and someone will spill.”
“If I command their silence—”
“All it takes is for Fili to let his tongue wag a little too much at the Green Dragon, even just to be overheard gossiping with Kili, and I’ll be run out of town. I could lose everything! Not to mention the danger of attracting attention to Kili.” Bilbo’s heart went cold. “Unless that’s what you want.”
If Thorin’s face seemed hard before, it was granite now. “Still you do not trust me.”
“You aren’t giving me a lot of reasons for trust right now.”
“I give you every reason!” Thorin exploded, red faced and wild eyed. His voice was far too loud in the close shed, and Bilbo could only hope that no hobbits were out walking through the fallow fields on such a cold, snowy day. “The prophecy! My sister! My promise! My heart! I have laid all bare before you. Yet still you will not grant me the same trust you give to any hobbit willing to tug your cock.”
“You have told me many things,” Bilbo said, trying to keep his own tone low and even. “But I have no way to know if any of them are true. The plain fact of the matter is that you have far less to lose than I if this affair becomes public. Yes, both of us would be ostracised from Shire society. But for me, that means a rough life in Bree after the loss of all my property. For you, that means returning to the lands beyond the Misty Mountains come spring. Which you plan to do anyway.”
Abruptly, Thorin sagged against the wall, looking defeated. His eyes closed and his head leaned back against the stone. Beneath his dark beard, Bilbo saw the long, pale column of his throat, exposed and vulnerable. “Is there no way for me to win your trust?” The question was rhetorical. Thorin’s posture indicated that he knew the answer well enough.
“I have spent nearly two decades believing that the only way to keep Kili safe was to mistrust every outsider.” But the idea of believing Thorin, holding him close for as long as he could, was an awful temptation. So when Thorin did not say anything in reply, Bilbo continued.
“Trust is not won. It can only be given. Like any gift, it loses some of its value every time it is asked for. A present made of obligation does not come from the heart.”
Finally, Thorin opened his eyes to look at Bilbo once more. “Then, since your heart is my goal, I will stop asking.” His smile was wan, but real.
Relieved that they were back in the more comfortable territory of empty flirtation, Bilbo returned the smile. “You may not have my heart. I need it.” Then. “Do you really believe that none of your companions would care? That Balin would not care?”
This was not a shot in the dark. Balin suspected, Bilbo knew. The old scholar was too observant not to suspect, and too good to approve. He looked at Bilbo sometimes, when the hobbit returned to Bag End after a clandestine meeting with Thorin. It was a look that suggested a scolding would be in the offing if the dwarves had a way to winter peacefully in the Shire after offending Bilbo. In all, this was rather a pity. Bilbo thought he could have otherwise been friends with the clever old fellow.
Thorin winced slightly. “It is not their place to approve of my behavior or disapprove. I am the leader of our company.”
In a way, that reassured Bilbo more than any other answer could have. It was honest. “So you believe they would not gossip, even in their disapproval.”
“They would not,” Thorin said, standing up straight. “But that does not matter. If you wish to cease these assignations, I will not press the issue. As you say, our time together is a gift. I will not take what is not offered.”
His hands on Bilbo’s waist were hesitant. Just like kiss that Thorin bent down for, so slowly that it took almost a full minute for their lips to meet. Bilbo would have pulled Thorin in more quickly, but he needed the time to think.
When they broke apart, he said, “Tell them.”
Thorin’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “What?”
“Tell them.” Bilbo smiled shakily. “I cannot go weeks without you.”
Thorin’s hand came up to cup Bilbo’s cheek, stroking along the line of his jaw with a calloused thumb. “That is not why.”
Shrugging, Bilbo looked down at the icy floor of the cold shed. “Better that you should betray me now than Kili later. I can survive it. Mere indiscretion on my part will not bar his continuing on in Bag End. Nor prevent me from protecting him.”
Thorin sighed. His forehead pressed gently against Bilbo’s in a dwarven gesture of affection. He did not seem overly upset by this logic. “I will make you no promises,” Thorin said, “but when spring comes and we depart never having betrayed your trust, perhaps you will think better of us.”