Without warning, someone came up behind Arniel and stilled her hands, which were busy fastening the back of her dress. Arniel jerked her hands free of the loose grip and spun around to face the intruder in her bedroom. The neck of her gown slipped down her shoulders just before she could catch it.
"Imrahil!" she gasped as her heart slowed upon recognition. "You startled me!"
"I know." His voice dripped with self-satisfaction and something sparked in his grey eyes as his gaze swept over her bare shoulders, something that had become bone-meltingly familiar to her. "Perhaps I should have surprised you a mite earlier?"
He stepped closer, pinning her between his hard, warm body and their bed. Instantly, she felt heat course through her own body and waited for the kiss that usually followed. Instead her husband focused on something over her shoulder. His black brows furrowed as he nodded toward the bed.
"What are all these, meleth nín?"
Disappointed, she glanced over her shoulder to the pile of clothes he'd indicated, "My new dresses."
Imrahil stepped around her and plucked a gown from the pile. He held it up by the sleeves, studying it as though it were a treaty to be signed.
"Do you like them?" she asked a little breathlessly.
"Beautiful," he smirked after dropping the gown—a rare silk— onto the rug. Arniel's mouth dropped open as he continued this unusual behavior, and soon the rest of the clothing on the bed lay strewn about the bedroom floor in a similar fashion. "You have good taste," he told her after surveying the mess.
"But…what are you doing?" She bent to pick them up, but he caught her elbow.
"Making sure that your new clothes look as good as your old ones do on the floor…where they belong," his eyes roved over her body and the husky drag in his voice caused Arniel to blush. "Ah ha! I don't recall seeing this gown before, either," he murmured as he reached to finger the low, silver trimmed collar of her gown.
The attention his finger gave to her clothing made her body quiver, yet she backed away from his reach. "Don't you even think of adding this dress to wrinkle with the rest of them!" she chided, but then ruined it by laughing.
Arniel bent down to retrieve her gowns, wanting to set the room to rights before any of this behavior continued. When she peeked up, Imrahil grinned smugly while his eyes rested on her…oh!
She had forgotten to finish fastening her gown.
AN: Thank you, Deandra for beta-ing!
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.