87. Chapter 86 - October 1437
Pippin waved his hand at Freddy as he slid down from the wagon. “We’re fine, Freddy! It’s just a short walk. Then you don’t have to bother getting the wagon across the ferry.” He turned to help Ivy down.
Ivy took hold of Pippin’s hand and slid off the wagon, but she wasn’t so used to being drunk. In fact, this was the first time she’d ever drank this much ale. So she stumbled a little when her feet hit the ground, sending her right into Pippin’s waiting arms.
She giggled and wrapped her arms around him. He smiled at her. He had the loveliest smile. The loveliest mouth. She really liked to kiss that mouth. In fact, she really wanted to kiss it right now...
“Merry will kill me if I let you out of my sight, you know.”
Ivy sighed at the mention of her dad. Her father usually frowned when she kissed Pippin.
“Oh, Freddy! They’ll be fine!”
Ivy smiled. Aunt Celly was always on their side. She was always letting them “sneak away” outside the pub for a little time alone. Not that they could do much out behind the Golden Perch. She rested her head on Pippin’s shoulder, still wrapped in his embrace, and looked up at Uncle Freddy. He was frowning at them. Just like her dad. Then he sighed and turned to his wife. “Fine. But if Merry becomes a granddad in nine months, I’m blaming you.”
Celandine laughed, giddy from many cups of wine at the Golden Perch, and kissed her husband. Then she turned to look at them. “No babies!” she scolded, wagging her finger at Ivy. She giggled again and wrapped her arms around Freddy.
Ivy felt her face get warm and she got a fluttery feeling in her stomach that she was sure wasn’t from the ale. She always got that feeling when she thought about having babies with Pippin.
Freddy sighed and snapped the reins. The wagon lurched away up the Causeway. Aunt Celly waved to them, then went back to snuggling up against her husband.
“Ready for a walk?” Pippin asked, rubbing her back lightly.
Ivy sighed. She’d really just like to stay here, wrapped in Pippin’s embrace, her nose buried in his shirt collar. He smelled like pipeweed and ale and Pippin. She inhaled deeply and got an achy warmth low in her belly.
“Ivy?” He pulled away from her to look in her face. He had lovely eyes, too. Beautiful green, like the Shire. She could look in his eyes forever. “Are you all right?” he asked.
She startled, suddenly realizing that they were standing in the middle of the road at the intersection where the Causeway met Ferry Lane. “Um... Yes. I’m fine.”
He chuckled a little and took her hand, tugging her down Ferry Lane. “I think the walk will do us good anyway, before we meet up with your dad.”
She frowned. “I’m old enough to get drunk, Pippin,” she scoffed.
“Yes,” he said, patting her hand, “but I think he’s more concerned with what we might do while you are drunk.”
She blushed again. She knew very well what she’d like to be doing. But he was right. Her dad would be very upset if he found out about it. Not that he’d have to find out...
They reached the ferry and Ivy had to sit on the rough logs while Pippin pushed them across the river. The movement on the water was making her a little queasy. She was very happy to get to the other side.
They reached the road that led to the Hall and on impulse, Ivy threw her arms around Pippin. They’d had a wonderful time at the Golden Perch, laughing and singing and drinking. She didn’t want the evening to end. “Let’s go riding!”
“We’re not going riding, Ivy. You’re drunk. I’m taking you home.”
Ivy pouted. “I’m not that drunk!”
Pippin laughed. “Yes, you are! And I’m not letting you get on a pony in your state.”
She glared at him, but then a thought struck her, some Rohirric innuendo she’d learned from her mother concerning ‘going riding’. She giggled so hard, Pippin had to hold her up.
“What’s so funny?”
She took a deep breath to try to calm herself, then looked into his eyes. “I don’t have to ride a pony,” she said coyly. She let her hand drop to his waist, then slide around the front to his--
“No!” he said, grabbing her hand.
“Pippin!” she whined. She twined her arms around his neck again. “We’ve done it before. Remember? And we’re going to be married in the spring!”
“Then we don’t have long to wait, do we?”
Ivy pulled away from him with a huff. “Fine.” She turned away and stumbled up the road towards home. Why did he have to be so difficult? She wanted him. Very, very, very much. And she thought he wanted her. She’d felt that when she’d been embracing him. And she’d almost felt it even more, but he’d grabbed her hands away. Fine. She’d go home alone and he could just take care of it himself. Not that he’d ever let her take care of it--
She ignored him, but he caught up with her and grabbed her arm, pulling her to a stop.
“Why are you running away from me?”
“Because you don’t want me,” she said, pulling her arm from his grip and stepping away from him.
He laughed, which made her mad. She started to stomp away but he stepped forward and caught her. He pulled her close for a deep kiss that involved quite a bit of tongue. Ivy sighed. Her knees felt weak, so leaned into him and wrapped her arms around his waist.
He broke the kiss to look at her. “I want you more than anything,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper. He gave a slight push of his hips into her and she could feel him, hard against her belly, making her gasp. He touched his forehead to hers. “But not until we’re married.”
She groaned and buried her face in his neck. “But why?” she whined. “We’re betrothed!”
“First off, because I promised your Dad. Second, because you are too drunk to make the decision. Third--”
“I’m not too drunk!”
“Ivy, you had six mugs of ale and I know you’ve never drank that much before.”
“How do you know that?” she said, scrunching up her face at him.
“Because you told us that when we ordered the last round.” He grinned and kissed the tip of her nose. “Now, third...” He put his arms around her again. “Third, I promised myself that I’m going to make up for our first time. When I make love to you again, it will be at Crickhollow, on our honeymoon, and not in the woods off the road. It will be slow and romantic and everything losing your maidenhood should have been.”
She shook her head. She wished he’d stop feeling guilty about that. “Pip--”
He pressed a finger to her lips to cut off her protest. “And I will be sober. Especially that! All right?”
She nodded. Even in her drunken state--yes, all right, she admitted she was quite drunk!--she could understand his feelings about wanting to be sober.
He took her hand and they continued up the road. But Ivy was still not quite ready to go home yet.
She caught sight of a small copse of trees just off the road. She and her brothers (and sometimes cousins and Gamgees) had often used it for hide-and-seek. She grinned and tugged Pippin in the direction of the trees.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
“I need a rest for a bit,” she said. “Over there.”
She ignored him and continued to drag him off the road and around the clump of trees. There was a small clearing here, filled with daisies that seemed to glow in the moonlight and a light blanket of autumn leaves. She let go of Pippin’s hand and went and plopped herself down in the middle of it. She leaned back on her elbows and smiled up at him. She thought he looked quite lovely tonight.
Pippin knelt next to her. “What are you doing?”
“I’m laying down,” she said. She slid off her elbows, lying back in the leaves, and giggled.
He shook his head. “I see that. Why are you lying down?”
She met his eyes, gazing into those lovely green eyes, and reached to take his hand again. She pulled him closer, so he was leaning over her. “You can’t figure it out?”
“Ivy, what did I just tell you about this?”
“Shut up, Pippin.” She reached her hand behind his neck, threading her fingers through his hair, and pulled him down to kiss her.
He tasted like ale, with a hint of wine. He hadn’t touched whiskey since he’d lain with her. She was glad he didn’t drink it anymore. The smell of whiskey reminded her of what he was like... before. When he was so sad, so full of despair.
She opened her mouth wider, letting him tangle his tongue with hers. She slid her hand inside his coat to press on his back. His kisses slowed a little, then he sighed and lay down next to her in the leaves.
Pippin rolled his body towards her, so he was half on top of her. Ivy shivered as he slid his hand over her body, from her hip up to her ribs. His thumb brushed her breast and she moaned into the kiss.
He stopped his kisses and pulled his hand away. “Sorry,” he breathed.
She shook her head. She didn’t want him to be sorry! She knew she had just agreed to wait, but right now, overwhelmed by his scent and his taste and his touch, she wanted him. She looked him in the eyes as she took his hand and pressed it to her breast.
He shuddered and closed his eyes, his breaths suddenly coming deep. He shook his head. “No, Ivy.”
He tried to pull his hand away, but she held it firmly in place. “I want you,” she breathed. Her nipple was hard under his hand and the ache between her legs was throbbing. She arched her back, pushing her hips into him. She could feel him hard against her thigh and all she wanted right now was for him to be inside her.
He gasped and this time he managed to jerk his hand away. He sat up, breathing hard. “Trust me, Ivy. I want you very much, too. But...” He took a deep breath and shook his head. “Not like this. Not when I’m drunk.”
He looked so sad when he said that, maybe even a little ashamed. She should have known better than to push him like this. She blinked, her eyes suddenly wet. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“Ivy, no, don’t...” He leaned over and caressed her cheek. “Don’t cry, love.”
She sniffled. “I can’t help it.” Which was true. She didn’t know where all these tears were suddenly coming from.
He chuckled and kissed her gently. “I think it’s the ale,” he said. He brushed a strand of hair from her cheek and sat back up. He pulled out his handkerchief and handed it to her.
“Thanks,” she mumbled and wiped her runny nose.
“Ready to go home, now?” he asked. “I’m sure your dad is wondering where we are.”
She nodded. Might as well go home. The sooner she got in bed, the sooner she could get back to Pippin. In her dreams, at least.
He took her hands and pulled her to her feet. She swayed a little at first, still dizzy from the ale and the kisses, then she took his hand and they walked back out to the road.
She wasn’t feeling quite so dizzy by the time they reached the front steps to Brandy Hall. Pippin was right. The walk did do them good. She just hoped it was good enough for her father.
They went through the center set of doors and Ivy cringed as they squeaked, echoing in the quiet hall. She wondered if her father left them squeaky on purpose, because he was now striding out of his study, Estella behind him.
“A little late don’t you think, Pippin?” he said sternly.
Pippin gave Ivy’s hand a squeeze and shrugged. “We walked home from the ferry so that Freddy wouldn’t have to do the crossing.”
Her father frowned. “Freddy was supposed to bring you here.”
Pippin sighed. “I talked him out of it, so if you want to blame anyone, blame me.”
“They just walked home, Merry,” Estella said, poking her husband in the arm.
“We didn’t do anything, Dad!” Ivy protested. She took a step toward him, swaying a little, and hiccuped.
Her dad narrowed his eyes. “How much did you have to drink?”
“Aunt Celly didn’t let me drink too much,” she said. She hiccuped again and giggled.
“Well, perhaps you should be off to bed,” Estella said cheerily, taking her hand and pulling her away from Pippin. “You, too, Pippin--”
“Wait!” Her dad said. He came over to her and pulled out a leaf that had been tangled into the back of her hair. Ivy’s face warmed and her dad narrowed his eyes again, his face going a little red. “Lots of leaves at the Golden Perch tonight, were there?” He glared at Pippin.
Pippin was staring at the leaf like it was going to jump over and bite him.
“Well?” Merry demanded.
“Oh, really,” Estella said, snatching the leaf from his hand. “They are betrothed, Merry. And how many leaves did I get in my hair on our walks?”
Ivy giggled--she couldn’t help it--and slapped her hand over her mouth. “Sorry,” she mumbled when her dad glared at her.
“Nothing happened, Merry,” Pippin said, finally finding his voice. “We stopped for a bit and we, um, kissed and... erm... nothing happened!” Pippin gave a weak smile.
Merry nodded. “We’ll talk in the morning,” he said to Pippin. He turned and walked back to his study.
“Dad’s mad at us,” Ivy said. She sniffed. The tears were threatening to come back.
“He’s just being overprotective,” Estella said. “I’ll talk to him.” She patted Ivy’s arm and smiled at Pippin. “Why don’t you take Ivy to her room. She looks like she’s about to fall over.” She winked at them. “I’ll give you a few minutes to say goodnight, but then I’m coming down to break it up.”
Ivy was really glad she had Estella. Estella always understood. Ivy hugged her, then took Pippin’s hand again and they walked down the hallway to her room. She tried to lead him into her room, but he stopped in the doorway.
“You can come in and say goodnight to me,” she said, tugging at his hand again.
“Oh, no!” He shook his head. “I am not letting your dad find me in your room. We’ll say our goodnight’s right here.” He pointed down at the threshold of her doorway.
Ivy sighed. He was probably right.
He pulled her close to him and kissed her, soft and lingering. “Goodnight, love,” he said when they parted.
“Goodnight,” she breathed, eyes half closed, warm and tingly from the kiss. Then he was gone, down the hallway to his guest room.
Ivy watched him disappear into his room, then sighed and closed her door. She pulled off her dress (won’t it be nice when Pippin could do that for her?) and put on her nightgown, then crawled into bed (won’t it be nice when Pippin could be in bed waiting for her?). She blew out the candle and lay down. Why was the room spinning?
A light knock, then Estella opened the door. “No Thains of the Shire in here?” she asked, amusement in her voice.
“No, Estella,” Ivy groaned. She took a deep breath. She wasn’t really feeling well, now that she was lying down.
Estella closed the door behind her and came in to sit on the edge of Ivy’s bed. She held out a large mug. “Water,” she said. “Drink it up. You’ll be glad you did in the morning.”
Ivy swallowed down the cool water. It felt good on her parched tongue, but her stomach wasn’t too sure of it.
“Did anything happen?” Estella asked.
“No, Estella!” Ivy glared at her. Didn’t she just say that, out in the hall? Wouldn’t anyone believe her?
Estella patted her leg. “No need to get upset. I just wanted to hear it from you, without your father glaring at you, before I go and defend you.”
Ivy stared into the mug. “Dad still doesn’t trust us.”
“He... He just worries, Ivy. He just wants to protect you.”
“Pippin would never hurt me!”
“I know that, Ivy. And I know your father knows that, too. He just--”
“I wanted to. Tonight.” Ivy made herself meet Estella’s eyes. “I tried to get him to do it. I touched him...” She ignored the burn on her cheeks, too angry to care. “But he said ‘no’, Estella! He wants to wait until we’re married. So tell Dad that, when he starts in on Pippin.”
She felt the tears threatening again, so she hid her face behind the mug, swallowing the remaining water. Her dad still didn’t completely trust them. Most couples stopped having chaperones after they were betrothed. Her dad still insisted on it. She wished he’d at least trust Pippin.
“I’ll do my best, Ivy. But your Dad can be stubborn.”
“I know Estella. Thank you.” Ivy set her mug on the table and lay back on the bed. She felt a little better now, though there was still a slight spin to the room. “I’m glad you’re my other mum, you know.”
Estella smiled at her. “I’m glad you’re my daughter,” she said softly. She leaned down to kiss Ivy’s brow. “Good night, Ivy.”
Ivy watched her go, then sighed again. Seven months. Seven months and she wouldn’t have to worry about this anymore. Then she could do whatever she liked with Pippin because she would be his wife. In his house. In his bed. She smiled to herself at the thought and fell asleep with pleasant thoughts of what she could do in that bed.
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.