24. Chapter 23 - May 1423
Pippin took Estella’s hand and gazed into her eyes. “One more beautiful lass lost to me because of marriage,” he said mournfully.
“Oh really, Mister Pippin,” scoffed Sam. “There’s a whole gaggle of girls over there watching you. I don’t think you’re going to run out anytime soon.”
Pippin turned to where a group of girls stood, watching him and whispering. He smiled and waved at them and they all blushed and giggled.
“I think it’s going to be the girls with a broken heart when you get married, Pippin,” said Estella. Pippin smirked, looking quite pleased with himself.
Merry rolled his eyes. “Don’t encourage him.”
Estella laughed and leaned over to kiss her husband. Their eyes met and Merry knew there was somewhere else he’d rather be right now.
“I think we should go find my mother so she can put Ivy to bed,” he said, gazing into Estella’s eyes. “Then we can, um, go.”
“Leaving so soon?” asked Pippin, grinning at them. “Have something more important to do than enjoy your party?” Merry and Estella both blushed.
“Pippin!” Rosie chided, but she had a smile on her lips.
“Merry!” Estella gasped, throwing her head back against his chest as he kissed the soft skin of her neck. He pulled her to him, her back pressed into him, and let his hands wander over her soft curves. He cupped her breasts in his hands, squeezing gently.
“Merry,” she moaned again, reaching up to cover his hands with her own. “Maybe... maybe we should go in the house?”
He gave a soft chuckle. “I suppose so,” he said. He couldn’t help it though. She had looked so lovely standing here at Crickhollow’s front door. He couldn’t help but touch her.
She patted his hands, then reached out to open the door. She squealed when Merry impulsively scooped her into his arms.
“What are you doing?” she laughed as he sidled into the house with her.
“Looks like I’m carrying my wife into our house so I can have my way with her.” He kicked the door shut behind them.
“You’re wife is very lucky,” she said and then she kissed him, hard.
His knees felt a little week and other parts of him were getting quite demanding. He was glad they didn’t have to go far to the bedroom.
He set her down next to the bed, reluctantly breaking the kiss. She looked up at him and her usually confident face showed a little fear.
“Nervous?” he asked, running his fingers through her soft brown curls.
She shrugged. “A little.” Then she took his hands and pulled them back down to her breasts. “I believe this is where you left off, Mr. Brandybuck.”
“I believe you’re right, Mrs. Brandybuck.” He leaned down to her ear. “Can I get this dress out of the way?” he whispered.
She blushed--he’d never seen Estella blush like that--but she looked in his eyes and nodded.
He pulled the ties of the bodice, loosening the dress and she slipped out of it easily. She pulled her chemise off herself and let it drop to the floor. He drew in a breath at the sight of her.
“You are beautiful,” he said softly, reaching out to touch the bare skin of her breast. She blushed again and he suspected she was having to fight the urge to cross her arms to cover herself. Well, it certainly wasn’t fair that she was naked and he was still fully dressed. In armor, no less.
He pulled off his cloak, then stared down at the buckles of the leather hauberk. He sighed. He probably should have stripped first, so she wouldn’t have to stand there naked while he dealt with this. “Go ahead and get into bed,” he said, just a little angry at himself. “I forgot that this takes some work to get out of.”
He was surprised when she stepped close to him. “Could you use some help?” she asked, amusement in her voice. He looked at her. She was biting her lip, trying not to laugh.
“I probably could,” he said. She started work on one side and he tried to concentrate on the buckles and ties on the other side rather than his naked wife, because the sooner he could get out of this armor, the sooner he could be cuddled in bed with his naked wife.
“Sorry,” he said, as he pulled off the armor, leaving him in shirt and breeches. “I was hoping this would be a little more romantic.”
Estella giggled and slid her arm around his waist. “You’ll just have to make it up to me, then.”
“I love you,” he said and bent down to capture her mouth.
They managed to pull his shirt off in the few steps to the bed. Then Estella climbed up on the bed and he pulled off the breeches.
He saw here eyes widen just a little at the sight of him, her cheeks blushing pink, then she met his gaze again and lay back on the bed. She held his arms out to him and he went to her, kissing her and touching her.
He rolled on top of her, still kissing her, suddenly aware of how different this was compared to his first time. Estella was much shorter, of course--softer, too--and there wasn’t the feeling of despair and fear hanging over them. He could give himself fully to Estella, not wondering if she would still want to talk to him tomorrow, or whether he could ever tell her what how he felt about her.
“Love you,” he whispered into her ear.
“Love you,” she gasped, opening herself to him.
When they lay together afterward, his head resting on Estella’s shoulder, her fingers stroking through his hair, he knew without any doubt whatsoever that he had made the right choice.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.