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An Entity Apart - part 3 (3/3) - fanfiction

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After his last spanking Bilbo told Thorin, "There won't be a next time." Well . . .

part one is here.

part two is here.



Disclaimer: No copyright infringement is intended. This story is not meant to violate the rights held by New Line, Tolkien Enterprises, nor any other licensee, nor is any disrespect intended. I don’t own Tolkien’s original characters. I just like to play with them.

An Entity Apart - part 3 (3/3)
by Larrkin

As before, he struggled to get anything through his weeping and hiccuped coughs. But that was alright. I began rubbing his back and his sore bottom, murmuring, "Shhhh. All over now. No more spanking. Shhhh. Breathe for me. Deeeep, slow breaths. That's it. Goood. My good little fauntling."

I should have felt ridiculous speaking to him in such a manner. I called my nephews by special names, but those names were not as 'little' in nature and sound. I could not seem to help myself with my hobbit, though. I enjoyed his special names. They did fit him, and when he was over my knee I used those names freely, pleased by how easily they spilled out of me. Aye, he had lodged a small protest earlier, but I knew 'twas merely a token complaint. If Master Baggins truly hated those names he would be voicing his objections more loudly and more often than he had been thus far. No, my burglar-grocer-fauntling-little one relished those names that I alone called him.

I reached over to pet his curls again and his crying slowed to ragged weeping and shuddery gasps, then he turned his head to one side and peered back at me. "Sorryyy," he said. "Sorry I-I went to petted the p-ponies. Should've listen-ned. S-Shouldn't have left the garden. Big-Biggest s-sorry."

I moved my hand down to rub his back, saying, "And why should you not have left the garden?"

Seeming to remember where his hand was, he drew it away from his back and brought it around to begin rubbing his eyes with his wee fists. "Danger-rous," he said, coughing to clear his raw-sounding throat. "Was life-thred'ning. The meadow w-wasn't safe. Orcs could've got me. And you told me, 'don't wander,' but I did. I-I disobeyed y-you. Sorry,sorry,sorry!"

I grinned at him. "Apology accepted, my burglar," I said, eager to scoop him up and hold him. He was settling down well where he was, though, and I had one more question for him. My halfling was still new to this and I needed to make certain he understood an essential truth. So I rubbed his back and his bottom, calming him further by murmuring words of comfort, and when he lay boneless and melted over my lap, I asked, "Am I angry with you, my little fauntling?"

He studied me for a long moment, then he dropped his gaze. I watched him think. "No," he said. He turned his eyes on me again. "No. N-Not angry at me, Thorin Oakenshield. Y-You were angry 'bout w-what I did."

I cannot say what surprised me more, the fact that he answered so flawlessly or that, amidst his endearingly stammered 'little fauntling-speak' he had managed to say my name without tripping over it. I smiled down at him. "Aye. Very good," I said. "I am not, nor was I ever, angry with you. I was angry about what you did, putting yourself in danger."

He nodded. "Yessirr. And they're big-ly differ-rent."

Chuckling under my breath at his wording, I said, "'Big-ly' indeed. Well said, little one. And now you have taken your spanking and said your sorries and all is forgiven. 'Tis over and done with. I am proud of you, my burglar." My praise triggered fresh tears, as it often did from my nephews - 'good' tears, as Kili had dubbed them.

"Th-Thank you."

I thought of the first time I spanked him and how I had longed to hold him afterward. Instead I'd walked away, leaving him alone and uncomforted, a crucial error in judgment nearly costing me my hobbit's trust. I vowed to never again abandon him after a spanking. So now, unable to hold back a moment longer, I picked up my boneless halfling and held him close. He drew a deep breath, then a quiet sigh shuddered through him and he wrapped his arms around my shoulders. Holding him this way was unique to the two of us. After spanking my nephews I would embrace them and console them, but that was a far cry from gathering this little one in my arms when he was weeping and upset and needing to be held. I cannot recall how I'd been able to resist this the first time. I enjoyed my new closeness with him, and earlier, when I scooped him up to comfort him, I realized that from the time of his first spanking until now I had begun to crave holding my burglar as much as he clearly craved being held.

Now I knew why I'd been withdrawing from him. It was simple. But, just as my burglar had been unable to admit to himself that he'd been seeking my attention, I had been unable to admit to myself how much this little one now meant to me. It all went back to that whispered notion: I chose to keep him at a distance because I feared he would not survive. If I cared too much about him it would hurt too much to lose him. So when I sensed I was growing too close to my burglar I backed away from him thinking to spare myself the pain of his possible loss. A rush of shame burned through me. I had been cowardly and self-serving. I never used to entertain such gruesome imaginings. Life was brutal and loss was part of it.

But Master Baggins had shifted much within me. We were, indeed, changed together. I could lie to myself and try to push away the truth all I liked, but I had grown fond of my little fauntling, and in trying to spare myself any possible future pain I had been causing him pain every time I withdrew from him. Unacceptable.

I realized I was rocking my body slightly back and forth. He was clearly enjoying it. Burrowed in against my shoulder and snuggling his head under my hair, he was breathing evenly, calm and settled.

I gave him a squeeze and said, "Still awake?"

He croaked a soft, "Uh huh."

I waited a moment, then said, "I have been thinking of your first spanking today."

"Me, too."

"What I said still stands: No matter what you have done, my burglar, you cannot disappoint me. And, as you just said, I may be angry, especially if you have endangered yourself needlessly, but I shall be angry because of what you did, not angry with you."

"Uh huh."

"Then you also remember my promise: When you have been disobedient I shall not turn away from you, nor dismiss you, nor leave you alone with your guilt. I shall spank you, then let you say your sorries and all will be forgiven."

"I 'member. And you kept your p-promise."

"Aye, little fauntling. And I always will. You can count on that."

"I'm glad. I-I mean . . .." He paused a moment, thinking. "I-I'm glad you're there and . . . and . . . I--" He paused to think, then huffed and rubbed his face on my shoulder, clearly frustrated. "I don't like getting s-spanked, but, deep inside, I'm glad you won't let me d-do anything life-thred'ning. I-I know I do things and I shouldn't be reck-kless, and you're right, I . . . I do it to get your attention, but, I . . . I don't think about that, I just do it, and-and--"

He paused to huff again, struggling. I patted his taut back and murmured, "Shhh. 'Tis alright. Take a breath. You are doing so well."

He sighed, his tension easing a bit, then: "It-It's hard to say this, because I love being on this adventure, but sometimes . . . sometimes, with all the scary orcs and the scary other things that keep happening, I-I feel safe when you see me do things I sh-shouldn't do and then make me stop. I-I know that doesn't make sense. And I 'special-ly like . . . this." He gave me a quick hug, then he went quiet for a long moment and finally he buried his face against my shoulder again and released a long, low groan.

I also went quiet, moved by what he had said. He had shared his deeply private thoughts. Some he could scarce confess even to himself, much less to me. It was an extraordinary act of trust and courage. As Balin had said, the courage of hobbits. Had my burglar been in a less 'little' frame of mind I wondered if he could have been so honest about so much. He seemed to be fighting to sputter it out quickly ere full awareness of what he was saying caught up to him. But now he had plainly lost the race and he shuddered with embarrassment, awash with second thoughts.

I hugged him back, saying, "I 'specially like this, too, little one. And I am proud of you yet again. You told me something that was hard to talk about. I appreciate your trust in me. And I understand what you are saying."

He drew back and looked at me. "You do?" he asked with a searching gaze.

"Aye. You bespoke yourself well," I said. "Come. Sit and talk with me." He gave a whimper of protest, but I pulled his languid body away from mine and lowered him with care on my lap.

"Owwwww!" he exclaimed, arching and squeaking, his back rigid. "Ow!Ow!Ow!"

"Would you prefer to lie over my lap?" I asked, swallowing my chuckle.

He wiggled around, seeking a comfortable perch whilst thinking over my offer and casting me an accusing glance from the corner of his eye. Now I allowed myself the chuckle.

"'Tis no use looking at me as though I have maltreated you, little one," I said. "Did I drag you into the meadow against your will?"

Ever fair-minded, my burglar winced and said, "No, s-sir. You din't. Sorry. I'll-I'll stay here, sitting up, thank y-you."

"My brave hobbit," I said with a grin. I was in danger of grinning myself silly today. I began to rub his back again, triggering a low purring sound from deep in his throat. He gazed off, his eyes half-open and unfocused, and when he felt settled, I said, "I was impressed by everything you told me. Why did you say that it made no sense? I thought it made a great deal of sense."

He blinked from his stupor, saying, "Well, I . . . I didn't say it too g-good. I couldn't seem to say it gooder. It was hard to say."

"Indeed it was. But you did say it. And you said it well. It was a very brave thing to do."

He 'tsked' and looked away. "Brave," he muttered. "Why 'brave?'"

"When you know something is going to be difficult, or scary to do, and you do it nonetheless, you are being brave," I said. "You struggled, but you persevered. Aye, you were brave indeed, my fauntling."

Eyes downcast, he picked at the edge of his long shirt pooling over his lap. "I said . . . a lots."

"I am glad you did say a lots," I said with a small grin. "The more you said the better I understood. You told me that you sometimes do certain things so that I will notice and put a stop to it, and that you feel safe when I do."

He groaned, covered his face with his hands and hunched over again. "Can we please s-stop talking 'bout this now?" he said.

"No. Come, little one. Sit up and listen to me. This is important." I helped him straighten and pulled his hands away from his face, holding them between mine, little good it did me. My stubborn halfling kept his gaze lowered and sat with an air of sulky detachment. I thought for a moment, then said, "When Fili and Kili were younger they sometimes used to stray too far from home, hunting, or so they would try to tell me later when they faced me."

He looked up and studied me with his puzzled little frown and knit brow. "They weren't hunting?"

"Aye, they were. But there was plenty of game within the safe boundaries I had given them."

"Then why did they go too far?"

"Because they were doing more than just hunting. They were testing their boundaries. Do you know why?"

He shook his head in a quick, half-hearted manner, as though trying to deny that he knew the answer.

"They wanted my attention," I said. "When they decided to test their boundaries they would misbehave or do something they knew was forbidden to them. And if I did not respond right away they would push their boundaries more and more until they had what they wanted. They were seeking consequences for their actions. They wanted me to see what they were doing, and to make them stop."

"Like I just did," he murmured.

"Aye, my little fauntling," I said, releasing his hands to brush the curls from his eyes. "Like you did today in the meadow."

"So you'd spank them?"

"Aye. And they knew what to expect when they misbehaved." I lightly patted his bottom. "As you did."

He hurriedly said, "But I don't like to be spanked."

"Neither do they," I said, fighting a grin. "Trust me, little one; they hate being spanked. Nevertheless, they would test their boundaries any way they could until they earned my attention and ended up over my knee. They do so to this very day."

"Like with the trolls," he said.

"Indeed. They disobeyed my orders to guard the ponies and scouted around instead. They told themselves that they were adults; they were able to make decisions on their own; they were trying to be helpful. But deep inside Fili and Kili had another reason for what they did, a reason they kept hidden even from themselves."

"Like I just did," he said again.

"Aye. Fili and Kili were seeking my attention."

"Testing their boundaries."

I patted his knee. "They needed to be reassured that I was watching over them, that I cared enough to discipline them when they chose to ignore my orders. I've given them rules and boundaries, and when they disobey and I enforce those boundaries . . .."

"They feel safe," he murmured.

"Aye. They need to know that I'm there, as I have ever been there for them. Sometimes they seek my attention because they think I have been too busy and neglectful of them. Sometimes they do something appalling just to see what will happen, even though they know the consequences if they're found out. And sometimes they need attention simply because they need attention. There is nothing wrong with that."

He watched me with wide-eyed fascination. "You said that you feel safe when I see you do things that you know you shouldn't do," I said. "You feel safe when I make you stop, and you said that this made no sense. But it makes a great deal of sense, my fauntling. You are a long way from home. You were not trained to be a warrior, yet you have faced monstrous evil and bravely battled it. You are ever needing to adjust to the ways of a people not your own. You are doing things and seeing things you never imagined possible, some of it most terrifying. And through it all you have shown yourself to be patient and accepting and courageous, even heroic. You are an asset to the Company."

His cheeks grew rosy from my praise. Incredibly modest, my hobbit. I doubt he gave much thought to all he had been through and how well he had been doing.

"Thank y-you," he murmured.

I gave him a soft grin and ruffled my hand through his curls, then said, "There are times, however, when everything becomes overwhelming and you long for the comfort of safe boundaries, as my nephews do. 'Tis easy to understand why. Aye, you are a grown-up hobbit, but there is also a little fauntling inside, and at times you feel frightened and alone and you long to feel comforted. Just like Fili and Kili, you feel safe in knowing that someone is watching over you and cares about you, and that someone will pull you back and discipline you when you go too far. Of course you would seek out that safety and comfort, despite the consequences. So I think what you told me makes a great deal of sense. Can you see that, my burglar?"

Still pink-cheeked, he gazed off past my shoulder, thinking. "Yes," he said, "I-I see, and it makes sense. You're right." He nodded, but an uneasy shadow flickered in his eyes. He darted me a sideways glance then looked down at his lap again, little fingers nervously working the hem of his shirt.

"There is nothing wrong with needing attention," I said, feeling I could not say this enough, "nothing wrong with wanting safety and comforting, especially when you are feeling alone and abandoned, as you have been, my fauntling."

His head shot up and he looked at me, curious. What I had to say now would be difficult, but I was eager to say it. There were things I could never tell him as they would bring him more pain than comfort. I would never be so callous as to admit that I'd withdrawn from him because I feared losing him. Not only would it be cruel and morbid, but Master Baggins would turn it around and assume the blame for making me so uncomfortable. I knew him. He would seek to protect me as he had from Azog's minions, even if it meant foregoing my company in future and withdrawing from me as I did to him. I rubbed my palm over his knee, thinking over my next words.

*************

The first time he spanked me he left me, then came back and apologized for leaving me alone and uncomforted afterwards. I thought it amazing that he so willingly apologized like that. Now I sensed that he was preparing to once again tell me he was sorry. There was that look of raw honesty in his eyes, the same look I first saw atop a high eagle's perch when, bloodied and battered and just roused to consciousness Thorin apologized for doubting me. He had apologized to me several times since, and he was always so decent about it, blurting out his sorries with straightforward certitude and not a moment's hesitation. Being able to humble oneself is a sign of greatness. It explained why Thorin Oakenshield could acknowledge an offense more willingly than several hobbits of my acquaintance. So now I waited, barely breathing.

"I've been letting you down, little one," he said. Then he hesitated, staring at me in a faraway manner, as if thinking too hard to really see me. I waited, feeling jittery and uneasy, hating watching him struggle. I didn't want him to explain anything to me if it was hard for him. I didn't. I again longed to cry out, 'Can we please stop talking about this now?'

But he lifted his chin, clearly ready to go on, and said, "I think you'll agree with me that since your last spanking you and I have become more companionable."

'Companionable.' Not, 'you and I have become closer,' but 'you and I have become more companionable.' Nothing wrong with what he said, but, honestly! Sometimes Thorin's archaic manner of speaking was too endearing. It was. It truly was endearing.

"Yes." I nodded. "Companionable."

"We have spoken late at night, sharing a pipe while you told me stories about your home and your people, and I've enjoyed our time together."

"Me, too," I said, swallowing 'round a sudden sore lump in my throat. He studied me, then his big palm began moving over my back again. I hadn't realized he'd stopped rubbing, but oh, how I loved him starting up again! I eased back against his hand, my fists unknotting around the crushed hem of my shirt.

"But sometimes I've withheld my companionship, letting you down when perhaps you were hoping for a listening ear and some company. I left you alone after promising not to do so. Aye, the conditions of my promise were different. But withdrawing from you, ignoring you, is just as wrong as leaving you uncomforted after a spanking. I apologize for doing so, little one."

I couldn't bear this. He wasn't apologizing for doubting me or abandoning me after a spanking. This went to a deeper place between us, and hearing Thorin Oakenshield say he was sorry for failing to pay enough attention to me made me want to writhe out of my skin. I truly could not bear it. I began squirming from his lap again, moving so swiftly this time that I caught him off guard and nearly succeeded. My feet actually hit the ground before he grabbed me under my arms, saying, "And just where do you think you are going?"

I had no idea, and I hoped he wasn't expecting an answer because I didn't have one. He hauled me up whilst I yammered as fast as I could, slipping back into that mortifying 'little fauntling speech' I thought I'd moved beyond: "No need to 'pol'gize. Please d-don't. 'S alright. Don't worry 'bout it. 'S fine. I-I'm fine. Don't hafta 'pol'gize." And whilst I cringed at what was spilling from my mouth he plunked me, with considerable firmness, back down on his lap. "EEEE!" I squealed and cupped the part of my bottom I could grab.

"Settle down, little burglar," he said. My backside freshly stinging, I kept squirming, none to eager to possibly hear any more sorries. "Very well," he muttered in a decisive voice.

He picked me up, flipped me over and two seconds later I lay face down across his lap again, one large palm on my back, rubbing again, one on my bottom. Well, this was familiar. He'd done the same thing after my first spanking. He'd returned, picked me up and turned me over his knee to calm me down and talk to me. Merciful lands! Odd post-spanking ritual we were forming.

"Don't make me swat this little red backside, Master Baggins," he said in a softly stern voice. "I vow you would not enjoy it. Settle. Down."

I settled down, drawing several large breaths. He was right in his droll understated way - I surely wouldn't enjoy more spanking. "Sorry," I exclaimed, a shiver racing across my skin. "I'll be good now."

He patted my bottom. "You are always good, my fauntling. But, as you seem uncomfortable sitting up and facing me, we shall continue our talk like this."

"Yessir." If Thorin was going on with more of this apologizing I'd rather bury my face in my balled up britches than look at him . . . as long as . . .. "No more spankin'?" I asked, sounding every bit like the fauntling he kept calling me.

"Not unless it is called for."

"I-I won't call for it."

"Then I shall restrain myself, however you do present me with a tempting target, Master Baggins." He patted my bottom a few more times. He certainly seemed to enjoy doing that. "There may be no more spanking, but I'll not hesitate to award a swat or two to any uncooperative young hobbit. Understood?"

"Unnerstood. I mean, un-der-stood." Enough of this. If I could think like a grown-up I could very well talk like one. I lay braced up on my elbows, head bent, waiting.

"Good," he said. "A moment ago you said I didn't need to apologize, but I do, little one. I have wronged you. You deserve better than to be treated kindly one moment and shoved aside the next, to be left alone, wondering why I'm suddenly indifferent to you and what you might have done to cause it. You are worthy of my attention any time you feel the need of it." He paused and released a long quiet sigh. "My withdrawal was never due to anything you did or failed to do, little burglar. You did nothing to cause it. The problem was mine alone, but you felt the brunt of my troubles. It was unfair of me to treat you as I did. So, you see, I do owe you an apology. I truly am sorry."

I stared down at my britches, and this time I made myself really listen to him and think about what he was saying. He knew. He knew he'd been pushing me aside. And he said it wasn't my fault! It wasn't because of something I'd done. He'd withdrawn from me because of some private something churning inside him that made him act that way towards me. As to what that something was, who knew what drove Thorin Oakenshield? I couldn't begin to imagine the pressures bearing down on him. But I wasn't the cause. I hadn't done anything to drive him away. A hot flood of relief shuddered through me and my vision blurred, his words echoing 'round in my head. He didn't like what he'd been doing to me. He felt bad about it. And he'd said, "You are worthy of my attention any time you feel the need of it." My throat burned and I felt trembly inside and I started to cry big silent tears, some so heavy they tumbled from my eyes, skipped over my cheeks and plopped straight down onto my britches.

"Are you alright, my fauntling?"

His voice was deep and warm, his legs solid under my body, his big, heavy hand smoothing over my back, the other resting on my hot, bare backside, and at that moment I felt much, much more than just alright. I nodded my head and smushed my face into the damp cloth of my no-doubt unwearably wet britches, wiping the fresh tears from my cheeks. He felt bad enough without having to put up with more crying.

"Talk to me," he said. "Are you alright?"

"Uh huh. Fine, th-thank you. How'r you?"

He made a small chuckly sound and patted my bottom again, saying, "That wouldn't be a lie, now would it, my little burglar? You already have one soaping coming. Are you daring to risk another?"

"No! No, I'm not daring! I-I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine!"

"But you are crying."

Well done, Bilbo. I sniffed and rubbed my face on my britches. "Uh huh. But I'm fine. Finest of fine."

"Finest of fine," he repeated with a grin in his voice. "Mmhmm."

But I heard something else in Thorin's voice, too, something I couldn't place. And I suddenly wondered what he must be feeling right now. When I'd told him my private thoughts he'd praised me and called me brave. I couldn't very well praise Thorin Oakenshield and call him brave. A burglar tell a great dwarf Prince that he was brave? It seemed unbearably awkward. Such praise was the kind of thing you told to a little one. And for all I knew Thorin didn't consider his confession to be difficult, so he wouldn't consider it brave. Well, I thought it was brave of him to admit what he'd been doing and why, and to apologize for something he wasn't proud of having done. Now his words hung between us, and he sat there, unflinching, waiting for my reaction. Oh, my, but Thorin Oakenshield was brave.

I braced myself up on my arms and twisted 'round, and he turned, his gaze meeting mine, and there it was again, the look Thorin had worn atop the eagle's perch when he'd said to me, "I am sorry I doubted you." Everything he was feeling was in that . . . that vulnerable look, a glimpse of his protected inner self. And suddenly it didn't matter if he was a great majestic prince and I was just a burglar. He was a person who had revealed something about himself and was now looking at me, waiting, seeking forgiveness. Thorin Oakenshield awaiting my forgiveness. A tremor of compassion and concern shot through me. I scrambled back up into his lap, silently fighting my wince. Once again, he allowed it, trusting me, watching me with that unguarded expression still in place. I put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Thank you for explaining. That means a lots to me."

He flashed a quick wry half-grin and raised a brow. "A 'lots?'"

I grinned back. "Uh huh." Most of the 'little fauntling' speech had fallen away, but I'd said 'a lots,' hoping it would amuse him as it had before and perhaps help him relax and see that he needn't worry, that all truly was well with me now. And it was. I was so relieved to know that I hadn't done something to cause Thorin's withdrawal that I really was quite fine indeed. Thorin's eyes were now crinkling at the corners, joining his grin, and I knew that he felt relieved, too. It just didn't get better than that. I hugged him again, because he deserved it, and I just had to do it. "It's alright. Let's forget all about it," I murmured in his ear, quickly adding, "You're brave, too."

I felt a faint hesitation from him, a gentle pressure instead of an all-out hug. And suddenly I knew why. When did Thorin Oakenshield allow himself to be comforted? How often did the opportunity arise for someone to comfort him? It seemed unlikely he would ever seek it out. Little wonder it would give him pause. But he faltered only a few seconds before he lifted me up into a true big-armed hug.

"Thank you, little one," he said close to my ear.

I pressed my face to his shoulder, feeling so very privileged. "Not at all."

After a few minutes he drew me back and studied me, his eyes shining with the same fond look he often gave Fili and Kili, and while I basked in that he gently settled me back down in his lap. Ow. This time I didn't hold back my honest reaction. I hissed and arched. Owww!

"Problem?" he asked, still with his lopsided half-grin.

"Well, yes," I replied, feeling a scowl coming on. Problem indeed. As if he had to ask. "My bottom hurts a bit, you know."

"I dare say."

Suddenly I wanted to blurt out, "And it's all your fault you awful, awful dwarf!" But it wasn't all his fault and he wasn't awful. I just wanted to blame him for my sore backside rather than placing the blame with myself, where it belonged. Nevertheless, I mumbled, "It does hurt. Really, reeeally hurts. Maybe you spanked me too much."

He rumbled a deep chuckle. "I wouldn't push your luck. I should spank you every other night for a week."

"What?" I cried. Every other night? For a week? Horrid notion! "You wouldn't!"

"Well, Master Baggins, I'd sooner have you sitting here in my lap, pouting about your sore little bottom rather than sprawled out dead in the meadow, your wee hobbit body shot through with orc arrows. Perhaps a stronger lesson will help you think twice before wandering around unawares."

I shook my head rapidly. "It wouldn't help." He raised a brow and looked to be holding in a laugh, so I winced and rethought my words. "I-I mean, every other night - that wouldn't - it wouldn't work . . . I mean . . . I'll remember. I will. Please, Thorin. No every other night. No,no,no. Tha's too horrible. I'll be good." Oh, lovely. More fauntling speak.

"Mmm. Perhaps not this time," he said, reaching behind me to grab my balled up britches-pillow. "We need to finish our discussion. But first, let's put these back on you."

I'd forgotten that I had nothing on below the waist. My long shirt hung halfway to my knees, covering me in front, and I'd just, well, forgotten about my britches. Thorin shifted them over my feet and up my legs, then he handed them to me and let me do the rest. I huffed and squeaked a bit, but I managed to get dressed with a bit of dignity still intact. My backside stung more with my britches on than off, like last time, but if the rest of our discussion took a turn for the worse I'd just as soon have something between my bare skin and Thorin's huge hand.

"Damp?" he asked, eyes twinkling.

Wriggling to get comfortable, I said, "Yes. Back of my thigh this time."

He grinned, then he quickly grew thoughtful and serious. "Master Baggins, do you understand the difference between taking a risk and doing something truly dangerous?"

Sometimes when Thorin looked grave and called me 'Master Baggins' a shiver crept up my spine. I peered at him. "Well, I . . . yes, I-I think so."

"Fili and Kili took a risk when they disobeyed my orders and scouted around instead of watching the ponies. Approaching the trolls as you did, alone, unarmed and untrained, was truly dangerous."

"Yes," I said with a swift nod. "Yes, I see the difference between taking a risk and doing something truly dangerous."

"Good," he said with grim intensity. "Because while I can tolerate the former to a certain degree, I shall not tolerate the latter. Am I making myself clear?"

"Yessir," I said, knotting my hands together and wishing I still had the hem of my shirt to abuse.

"You have been taking more risks of late, usually while in the company of my nephews. I know Fili and Kili can protect you if need be, so I am willing to put up with it, as I said, to a certain degree. However what you did today was . . . ?" He waited, gazing steadily at me.

"Truly dangerous," I said without hesitation.

He gave a nod. "We both understand that you had your reasons for what you did, but I cannot allow you to take life-threatening chances because you feel in need of some attention." A pause, then a softly-spoken warning: "Stop that."

I spat out my bottom lip. I hadn't realized I'd been biting it but it hurt pretty good right now so I must've bitten down hard. I gave it a quick lick, expecting to taste blood. "Sorry," I muttered, pretending to study my fingers. I know he said there was nothing wrong with wanting his attention, but revisiting the manner in which I sought it today made me feel more naked than when I was sitting around without my britches.

"Look at me, please," he said.

I did, though it wasn't easy. But Thorin now wore his kind-eyed gaze, and he rubbed my back and closed one big palm over my clenched hands, working my fingers loose with his. My hands hurt, too.

"Stop, little one," he said with gentle seriousness. "Stop fussing. I'm as much to blame for what you did today as you are. I drove you to it. What we must do now is to make certain it doesn't happen again. So we are not leaving this shed until we come up with a mutually agreeable plan of action. Are you with me thus far?"

"Of course," I said, brightening inside. "I'm very with you."

He snorted a chuckle, then grew serious again. "Good. Then let's look at the matter. I withdrew from you and you decided to seek my attention in a way that would assure you would receive it. As you can see, I set this in motion, and most unfairly. So, in future I vow that I will, to the best of my ability, never again shove you away or withdraw my attentions in the manner I have been of late." He paused and looked at me, and when I merely gazed back he jogged his knee, giving me a good bounce.

"Ow!"

"I should make myself more clear," he said. "I made a vow to help avoid this unfortunate situation in future, and now I expect you to do the same."

"I was getting to it," I said with complete dishonesty. He gave me a look. "Well, I-I was about to say that I vow to never again do something truly dangerous, but . . . but --" I had to gather my thoughts. Thorin waited patiently. Finally I said, "You see, the thing is, if it was up to me to save someone by doing something dangerous, I'd do it. So I'm just not sure I can make such a vow."

"I know," he said with more calm than I expected. "I'm not asking you to."

I felt my forehead clench. "But--"

"I don't expect you to cease doing what's necessary," he said. "I shall never restrain you when it comes to survival, Master Baggins. Were it not for your courage and your willingness to do what was truly dangerous I would not be here. You have proven your worth many times over, and I'm certain that ere our journey ends we shall need your courage again and you'll be called upon to engage in the truly dangerous."

His deeply rich, mellow tone entered me and lodged itself somewhere in the region of my chest. I was still somewhat baffled, though. "Well then --"

"Remember what I vowed, my burglar," he said. "I vowed that I would, to the best of my ability, never again shove you away or withdraw my attentions in the manner I had been of late. All we can ever do is to try our best. I may, on occasion, need privacy to think things out, but, if at all possible, I'll never turn away from you when I'm needed. Now, I reckon my clever little fauntling can come up with a vow for me in return."

I sniffed and smiled and said, "I vow that, to the best of my ability, I'll avoid doing something truly dangerous just to get your attention. But . . .."

"What is it?"

"How will I . . . I mean, how will you know when I want your atten. . .." My face went hot and I just couldn't think of how to ask . . . and suddenly my lip was between my teeth again.

Thorin reached up and tapped my lip free with one finger. "A certain quiet watchfulness enters your gaze and your eyes follow me when you are seeking some companionship," he said. "I've felt it, and I've seen it, and I've turned away from it. But if you were to continue as you have been, watching me with that steady, wide-eyed look when you need my company, I shan't turn away, and we can either wander from camp a bit and talk alone, or say nothing alone, or we can continue as we have been, sitting together by the fire and sharing a pipe or two when the others are sleeping, you sharing your stories of the Shire with me. You know how I enjoy your tales of the Green Dragon. So, what say you, little one? Does that sound agreeable to you?"

Agreeable? Ohhh . . .! "Yes! Yes," I said bursting out with a small chuckle. "That's most agreeable." And I suddenly remembered what I'd said to him last time. "Fair enough, Thorin Oakenshield."

Now Thorin laughed. "Fair enough, Master Baggins."

**********

Kili nudged me in the ribs. I glanced over at him. Eyes forward, he gave a nod straight ahead and I looked further down the hall towards the door. Bilbo and my uncle had returned from their "stroll."

"Thorin and Bilbo went for a stroll around the place," Balin had told us earlier. "He said they might be a while."

"A 'stroll?'"
Kili said.

"Aye, lad. A stroll," Balin replied in an 'it's bad form to question your uncle's choices; mind your own affairs, young beardling' tone.

"Wonder what Bilbo did now," my brother said when Balin was gone.

"Could be they just went for a stroll," I said. Kili merely snorted.

Thorin and Bilbo were now making their way through the hall, heading for the table where we sat eating a late breakfast and drinking our mead and pretending we weren't fascinated. That 'stroll' alibi would satisfy the rest of the company, but they didn't have the well-honed 'spanking alert' intuition my brother and I shared. We'd seen Bilbo like this once before, in Rivendell. He couldn't hide that well-disciplined look from two old spanking veterans like Kili and me. We shared a knowing sideways glance.

"So," Kili muttered from the corner of his mouth. "Not just a stroll."

"No, looks like our little brother wasn't just strolling."

After the troll incident Kili and I had become closer to Bilbo, soon dubbing him our little brother. So now Kili had a little brother, and he seemed delighted with that. Bilbo seemed delighted, too. He'd never had a big brother, nor any brothers, or sisters, for that matter, and the loneliness of Bilbo's solitary life had hit Kili hard.

"What must that have been like?" he had asked me when we were alone.

"I'm happy to say that we'll never know, little brother."

Thorin was now drawn aside to talk to Gandalf, so we watched Bilbo climb up the few steps to the dining area alone, his gait slightly stiff. The few other dwarves sitting around the table in small murmuring clusters greeted Bilbo and he nodded and lifted a hand and returned their g'day's whilst heading towards where Kili and I sat by ourselves.

"No teasing," I muttered to Kili.

"Are you joking?" he muttered back. "It'll help him if he can laugh about it."

"Well, maybe a little teasing," I said. "But only a little, Kili. I mean it." I watched Bilbo snag a tankard and begin filling it, Dwalin jumping up to help him hold the huge pitcher. "Looks like he's been through enough."

"Alright, alright," Kili said, sounding disappointed. "Just a little teasing then."

"Think how you would feel."

"I said alright!"

"What's alright?" Bilbo said, joining us.

"Nothing," Kili replied, flashing Bilbo a wicked grin. "Have a seat, little brother."

I could've spanked Kili myself.

"Think I'll stand, thanks," Bilbo said. Then he glanced at the two of us and sighed. "I know you know."

"Know what?" Kili asked.

"You know why I'm choosing to stand," he said, his cheeks flushing.

"Was it bad?" Kili asked with sudden concern.

"Have you ever had one that wasn't?" Bilbo said.

"Are you alright?" I asked.

He looked down and thought. "Yes," he said. "And no." Then he thought longer, looked up at us and winced a little half-grin, adding, "Yes. I'm very alright."

He picked up his tankard with both hands, took a long swig of mead, and when he put it down he began making small movements with his mouth, swirling the mead around, as though trying to wash away a bad taste. He was discreet. I don't suppose anyone but Kili and me would have either noticed what Bilbo was doing or known what it likely meant.

"Oh, no," Kili said, eyes growing wide. "He didn't."

Bilbo shifted from foot to foot and cast us a wary glance. "Didn't what?"

"Bilbo," I said, "did you say something Thorin didn't like? Maybe something vulgar?"

He blushed to an even deeper tone and grimaced. "It slipped out."

Kili groaned. "What did you say?"

It didn't matter what Bilbo had said. Uncle found it foul enough to wash Bilbo's mouth out with soap, so Kili was just prying. But I was curious, too. So I waited with Kili, both of us mercilessly watching Bilbo squirm for a moment. Then he sighed, leaned close to us and muttered what was truly one of the nastiest Khuzdûl words going. It was actually startling to hear it come out of such an innocent-looking halfling.

"Where did you hear that word?" my brother said in a small voice, as it happened to be one of his favorite curses.

"Where do you think?" Bilbo said. Then he noticed Kili's guilty frown and said, "Look, don't blame yourself. I certainly don't. You didn't force that word out of me. I just all of a sudden heard it spilling from my mouth." Kili nodded and made an effort to smile. Bilbo then leaned close again and said, "Besides, take it from me, you're not the only dwarf who says that word."

Kili brightened, and I felt grateful to Bilbo who was preparing to swig down another gulp of mead. I reached out and stopped him.

"That won't help wash away the taste," I said. "Too mild."

"You need something stronger," Kili said.

I thought a minute, then said, "Have you eaten breakfast?"

"Hours ago," Bilbo replied.

I looked at Kili and said, "Wasn't there some mint growing out by the well?"

"Yes!" Kili exclaimed. We slipped from our chairs. "C'mon, little brother!" he cried, grabbing Bilbo by the hand.

Bilbo looked at me. "Nothing conquers the taste of soap like mint," I said, falling in beside him.

"Thank goodness something will," Bilbo muttered.

We hurried through the hall, past Thorin, who gave us an interested glance, and out into the garden where there was, indeed, lots of fresh mint beside the well.

"I'll never say that word again," Bilbo muttered, munching a mouthful of fragrant green. "Never, ever again."

"Never, ever again." Kili grinned at me and raised a brow. "Never, ever again, he says."

And I grinned back, "I heard him."




end

Comments

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*FLAILSSSSSSS* This was so good, and aaaaaaaaah! <3 Thorin sometimes says That Word, and Bilbo doesn't even know what it means, and Bilbo wanted to "pet the ponies", come on Bilbo, really?

AND IT WAS LOVELY. Thank you, Larrk. <3 I'm so glad Le Muse is popping back around sometimes, even if it is contrary about what directions it takes you in, because they're all always fantastic.
Thank you! You always make me smile with your goofy little icon and your enthusiasm! I guess we all know that Bilbo wanted more than to just pet the ponies. ;) Le Muse really has been bossy lately. But it's reassuring to know that you're happy regardless. Thanks so much for the pets!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

John

I'm really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, its rare to see a great blog like this one these days.. bdfdbafffkfcggge

Re: John

Thanks, John! I'm glad you like the layout of my little nest. It's not a paid account. Live Journal has (or had many moons ago when I joined LJ) many standard layouts and themes to choose from, so I can't take credit for much other than choosing the theme and color choices. But I'm so glad to know that you like it. Thanks for letting me know. And thank for your kind words about my writing. Stuff like that makes a writer's day and I appreciate it. If you're new, I hope you'll check out my website -- Larrkin.com

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

*excited squeaking*

Hi Larrk! I've missed you. Sending a basket of strawberries to Le Muse for her efforts. I'm your big Devon-fan anon. I think I left a message waaay back, on your "A Word, Sir" fic. But don't fret, I've been reading every story of yours since. I've been silently observing the newer-ish 'The Hobbit' fics, quietly admiring the budding relationship between Thorin and Bilbo. I'm so, so excited about a certain two dwarves, who I'm sure can't stay out of trouble for so long. Also, I'd be interested in knowing whether Fili has ever spanked Kili, or if he ever will. *wink wink*

~Semper
Hi Semper! Thanks so much for your kind comment. I really have been missing my readers, too. Le Muse has been in a Hobbit mood lately, but I have several LOTR stories in mid-to-almost-finished states and I keep steadily working on them. (One features your Dev.) As for those two naughty dwarf princes, lord knows what they could get themselves into! And I'm guessing that Kili must've ended up, (or will end up,) over Fili's knee.

Oh, and Le fruit-freak Muse sends thanks as well. She gratefully dove head first into those yummy strawberries and demolished every single one. :)

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Thank You

EEEPPPPPP!!!!

Oh My Goodness. I loved this story. I also think you did fabulous in keeping with the characters.

It was a nice story to read after being sick all day I woke up wanting to go back to bed and I read your story through out my miserable day so thank you for the wonderful read on thankfully for me a bed ridden day.

Also I wanna know the bad word eh probably best I don't know lol.

Here is some brownies for you and Le Muse and I will continue to look out for more of your captivating stories.

P.S. Also have a good day!

Lizzy




Re: Thank You

Thanks so much for commenting, Lizzy! Sorry you've been ill. But I'm glad the new story showed up at just the right time and kept you company through the yuckies.

You're right - you don't want to know that naughty word. ;)

Thanks for the yummy brownies - well, I hear they were yummy. Bottom-less pit Le Muse scarfed them all up, of course. Hope you feel better!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Thank you!

What a lovely surprise to stop by and find that Le Muse has been visiting!

Re: Thank you!

I'm so glad you did stop by! Le Muse defines unpredictable, so thanks for peeking in.

~Larrk
I really love how Filli and Killi have adopted Bilbo as their little brother. The two of them helping Bilbo to find mint is adorable.

I'm glad to see that Le Muse is still hopping around The Hobbit fandom. Make me wonder if a certain pair of dwarf princes might wind up in a spot of trouble in the future.

Thank you so much for this amazing story, all of your past amazing stories, and any amazing stories that may be coming on the future. You are. Most definitely my favorite writer in this fandom, and I will never stop checking for updates.
Fili and Kili loved adopting Bilbo as their little brother, especially Kili, who's always been the youngest.

It's been fun exploring the Hobbit. I feel certain that our young princes would be trouble-magnets - not unlike Dev and Aragorn, or Dev and Gwinthorian, or Gwin and whoever. ;)

Thanks so much for your kind words. You're always such a faithful and generous commenter (and I love seeing your colorful, cute little icon guys, whoever they are, show up.) A reader like you fuels a writer and feeds Le ever-starved-for-attention Muse. So thanks for your loyalty and your constant enthusiasm.

~Larrk

Awwwwww, thank you for this new sweet lovely story!
You're writings are just like chocolate bars,
once you start you can't stop until are finished,
they end up too soon, but leave a sweet taste :)

I loved this part:
"I didn't care about my burning backside. And I didn't care if hugging him in the middle of a spanking was a shocking breach of disciplinary etiquette. It might be entirely wrong, but it felt entirely right. And I guess it felt that way to Thorin, too, because he hugged me back. Tightly."

Bilbo wisdon and protectiveness comin'out for Thorin.
And I love that now Kili and Fili consider him their little brother,(like a certain elf with a certain little brat of Gondor), brotherly affection and teasing it's so very cute...I hope to see Kili and Bilbo in trouble togheter in future, and maybe Fili on the other side for once...Let's see what Le Muse has in store for this three...
That's the first time my writing's been compared to chocolate bars. I love it! Thanks!

Bilbo has an abundance of compassion, and he's a demonstrative hobbit. I'm glad you enjoyed that part. I enjoy forming brotherly bonds. You're right - it's the same as Legolas and Boromir. I like your idea of Kili and Bilbo stirring up a little trouble. Take one adventure-loving hobbit, add one (or two!) thrill-seeking dwarves and you've got a recipe for disaster. And you know how Le Muse loves disaster. ;)

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

thanks

thanks again for this lovely story, Larrkin. I love all your stories, and this one made me curious to see The Hobbit again.

Re: thanks

My pleasure! I really appreciate your kind words. Thanks so much for commenting, and if you do re-watch The Hobbit I hope you enjoy it!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Another hobbity tale of mischief from my favorite author? oh I could just faint! Bilbo is just endlessly charming. You do pull at my heartstrings in just the most lovely way. I found myself sighing with delight at each new chapter, and I could only wish for more.

Thank you. You've enchanted me again. <3
Thanks so much! I'm really touched by all your kind words. I think Bilbo's just terribly adorable and he's especially fun to write. Your comment made me smile and I appreciate it. :D

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Ahhh, dearest Larrk your stories always make me feel so warm and fuzzy! It's always so great to stop by your nest for some fluff and cuddles. I used to be strictly against slash, and coincidentally the first story of yours I began reading was "A Poem of Forgiveness" due to the fact that Faramir and Boromir stories had always been a favorite of mine. Then I realized I didn't quite understand the storyline so I found my way to your magnificient website and you opened my eyes to the possibility that slash doesn't have to be strictly smut or things of that nature. Thank you for that! I do so always enjoy your stories though! Brotherly feels (such as you added to the end of this) are always a fav, but now I quite love to read all of your stories and shippings. :) Please continue gracing us with your beauties.
P.S. I believe the only time I have commented before it was anonymously though I think I shall remedy that now. ;)
-fantasydancer
Hi, fantasydancer, and thanks so much for your very kind comment! I'm assuming you read "Poem" over on fan fiction.net before you sought out the website. I have several different story arcs that link up and that many chaptered 'mir brothers arc is one of them. I can understand how reading one of those stories our of order would be confusing, so I'm delighted to know that you tracked down the Nest. Well done you! (Check out Foster Father of The Heart for lots of 'brotherly feels.') ;)

I've heard that I write what's called 'romantic slash.' But, just for fun, I did write one more explicit story- 'Patience.' I like romantic porn (if it's done really well,) I'm just kinda shy about writing it. So I'm glad you found something that suits you at the Nest. Welcome, fantasydancer! You'll always have a home waiting here.

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Thank you

Dear Larrkin,

your stories are like a warm cuddly blanket, hot tea on a cold and rainy day and all my favorite comfort food - in short, they make me completely happy. I had a really bad week, so thank you so much for this heavenly piece of comfort.
I totally understand Bilbos motivation for acting in a way that attracts Thorins attention; just reading about his reaction makes me feel small and safe, strange as it may sound.

That aside, reading this story I noticed small hints, that maybe something more than just a deep friendship might be developing between Thorin and Bilbo. Just my imagination?

And finally, just in case "le muse" ever feels inspired in this direction - could you please write about this whole nasty arcenstone business? Of course without most of my favorite characters dieing.
Because given Bilbos good intentions and the horrendous way everything went wrong, I can't think of a more suitable situation for the week long spanking Thorin mentioned in this story - besides the way the original story went was just heartbreaking, and after reading your stories about Boromirs fate, I'm very sure that your version of the events would be brilliant, so pretty please?

Again, thank you for making my day with this wonderful story, I'll be coming back later, to read it again :)
And sorry for already begging for more; I can't help it, your writing feeds my soul and until I find a Aragon, Halbarad or Thorin in the real world, I'll have to come back here to read your stories again and again.

Lots of love and hugs for you and le muse,
Andrea

Re: Thank you

Sorry about your bad week, Andrea. If it helps at all, your comments made me completely happy in return. It's a real compliment to learn that reading about Bilbo's reaction made you feel small and safe as he did. It's not strange at all.

I think the affection between Bilbo and Thorin can be read as a hint of a building romantic relationship, although that hadn't been my intent. Sometimes Le Muse has her own agenda and she doesn't offer to keep me in the loop.

As to changing what has to be one of the most tragic conclusions in literature ever, it's tempting. You rarely run across such a clear-cut candidate for an AU facelift. Thanks for your faith in me to do it well. We'll see what Le Muse wants to do. And it's okay to ask about a story you'd like to see written. Again, it's a compliment. ;)

You made my day in return for your very kind comments. It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction to know that you found comfort in this story and I appreciate you taking the time to tell me. Thanks, Andrea!

~Larrk

I went on your website in order to read one of your good old stories because I was missing such level of perfection, and then... weren't the letters red last time I checked? This could only mean... YES! A new story! I can't imagine a better way to end these holidays.
Well, it's brilliant as usual. I could vividly see and hear Bilbo throughout the story. I guess it is a little bit thanks to Martin Freeman's ability to impersonate our dear Hobbit, but mostly thanks to your flawless style and talent for making characters so alive.
After a rough day on a personal level, it felt really good to immerse myself in this world of compassion and genuine kindness again. Thanks for putting my day back on track! I hope everything is going well for you. =)
Thanks so much. It's good to see you, and I'm really touched by your comments about the writing. It makes me smile, too, when I read about your reaction to the color change in the announcement banner. :)

I love the way Martin Freeman just becomes Bilbo. He puts an appealing face and voice to the character, making my job easier and wonderfully fun. So I'm delighted to know that you can visualize him through my writing. That means a lot to me.

I'm especially glad to know that after your rough day you came to the Nest for comfort. Thanks for letting me know that. :)

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Well, this was, as always, a terrific story. I love your Thorin and Bilbo. And Kili and Fili. Everything you write.

I was able to read this all at once, having been busy renovating since early August. While I don't like having 'missed' something, getting a complete story with no waiting is great!

Thorin as a main character intrigues me, and you do a wonderful Thorin voice. An imperfect, 'real', I-want-to-know-him kind of guy. He struggles to be everything to everyone, to do what's expected of him, and you portray that perfectly.

(I am also in love with the side comments of the Fili/Kili duo)

Thank you. I do hope there's more!

Wlma
Good heavens! I must've missed the email notification that your comment was here! Sorry about that, because I really appreciate your thoughtful remarks, Wilma, especially what you had to say about Thorin. He was such a challenge at first. I couldn't seem to 'hear' his voice. But I'm glad we finally connected because he's kinda fascinating to write. Gruff and bluster on the outside, but a softie on the inside. I'm happy my take on the character worked for you.

I'd like to write more (Fili and Kili big-brothering Bilbo is such fun!) so we'll see where Le Muse takes me. Thanks again, Wilma!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Oh my flails!!^^

My friend you have topped yourself! This was the most adorable and most emotional (for me least ways) of your stories yet! Please continue with the adventures of Kili and Fili with there "little brother" :3 wonderful, thank you so much and thanks to LeMuse :)

~Melissa

Re: Oh my flails!!^^

I'm so glad you liked it, Melissa. (I'm woefully pop-culture deprived, so I'm intrigued by your heading, but it's clearly a good thing.) ;)

Le Muse is all tickled by your enthusiastic response, and so am I. It really was fun writing the Fili/Kili big-brothering Bilbo ending, so we'll see what LM wants to do with that. Thanks so much!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

This was sweet :)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

~Larrk
Good lord, you've done it again! I find the relationship that you build between Thorin and Bilbo to be so fascinating. It's so different from other characterizations I've seen from other writers. Thorin is usually written so gruff and standoffish, especially towards Bilbo. But I love the way your Thorin is still a little gruff but not ashamed to show his compassionate side to Bilbo. I also adore those moments where he allowed himself to be comforted by Bilbo. Bilbo is such an admirable Hobbit though, to be able to put the pain from his sore bottom aside to comfort Thorin.

I was reading this story during a break from studying for a midterm in my university's library and when I got to this part I burst out laughing and the people around me looked at me like I was crazy:

"I was bottom up, facing my pillowed britches before I could draw breath enough to cry out, 'I'm sorry, Thorin! I've gone daft!'"

I'm not quite sure why I found this particular part to be so funny. Maybe it's just how completely bewildered Bilbo is with himself or the fact that Thorin's immediate reaction is to turn him over his knee again.

Just one thing I noticed, because it seemed to be very random, just before the above part it goes,"Thorin went silent for several years, then he clasped my arms and drew me back to face him." … Several years? Was that Bilbo just exaggerating?

Moving on, I do apologize for how long this comment got. I'm so glad Le Muse inspired you to write again and hope that she continues to do so in the future. Any new material from you instantly puts a smile on my face.

~Andy

Edited at 2014-10-24 04:48 am (UTC)
Lordy, Andy! Please don't apologize for the length of your comment. :) I really enjoyed all you had to say.

Thorin isn't like any other Alpha-type I'd previously written, so for a long time I couldn't quite get a handle on how to write him. That gruff standoffish-ness you mention got in the way. I suppose something that eventually helped was thinking of the end of the first film when he hugged Bilbo, then gave him that tenderly fond grin. So I'm happy to hear that the Thorin, Bilbo characterizations worked so well for you.

I love your laughing-at-the-library story! Bilbo gets so twisted up with his emotions and his stinging bottom that his brain kinda goes on overload during such times. (Can't say I blame him, especially when Thorin's usual default response is to flip Bilbo back over his knee.)

Yes, Bilbo was exaggerating about the 'several years.' It was an uncomfortably long silence and he was taking poetic license. Bilbo doesn't often exaggerate quite so liberally, but, well, you know. Trying to diffuse a stressful moment. ;)

Le Muse is being it's usual contrary self, but I'm still hoping to post some LOTR stories I've been working on for awhile. Thanks again for your kind comment, Andy! Hearing that my writing makes you smile is just the best.

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Great story!!!! Can you do one of Kili/Fili spanking Bilbi? You don't have to if you don't want you. Sorry if I'm annoying you. Just ABSOLUTELY LOVE your stories! They're the best I've ever read and they've definitely increased my writing skill in my own stories. I'm hoping to become an author when I grow up, and you've inspired me even more!!

Teddy
This is weird. Another reader just commented on Foster Father, asking for the same story. Fili and Kili seem more like co-conspirators than disciplinarians, but theoretically Bilbo could always do something that could make them decide to spank him. I'll have to think on it further. You never know with Le Muse. I'm really flattered to think that my writing has inspired you. Thanks for letting me know, and I hope you continue to pursue your dreams!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Hello Larrk. My name is Angela. I really like your stories and this one is one of my favourite. I was wondering if you could do one of Fili disciplining Kili. Like you said in the comment above (to Teddy?) it does seem like they are more like co-conspirators than disciplinarians but it does seem interesting. Fili and Kili both spanking Bilbo sounds interesting too. I was hoping you could do the stories I requested (I liked Teddy's ideas) but you don't have to if you don't want to. By the way, when will you be posting new stories?

Angela
Hi Angela, and thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. As it turns out, several other readers have requested a story with Fili spanking Kili, so I'll have to see what Le Muse decides to do about that. I honestly never know what's going to happen until I suddenly start writing it. And I'm sorry to say that I can't tell exactly when I'll be posting a new story, although I'm working on several at the moment. RL is going to be busy for me during the next few weeks, but thanks for your interest and your patience. I hope when I do post it'll be worth the wait.

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Hi Larrk!
I read Your stories frequently, when I need solace and consolation. Your descriptions of thoughts and emotions are really brillant! I´ve been wondering for some time now: Why does anyone/do I crave this kind of attention? I mean, THIS kind of attention? I don´t think I ever lacked attention in my life. But I would like a mentor of some kind giving me THIS kind of attention, and I just can´t find the reason behind it, which bothers me somehow. Why do You think Your characters sometimes won´t settle for anything "less" than a spnaking? I hope I didn´t bother You with my thoughts. Thanks a lot for Your stories!!!
Lotti
Hi Lotti!

First of all, I love that you come to the Nest for solace. That's one of the nicest things you could have told me and I appreciate it.

Now, turning to your clearly heartfelt question, I can't possibly give you a definitive reason as to the "why" behind what you're feeling. There are as many answers to that question as there are people who share your fondness for spanking. I encourage you not to worry about it, though. For whatever comfort it might bring you, spanking is one of the biggest kinks out there. A lot of people seek it out, everyone with their own unique reasons for doing so. It doesn't matter if you were raised with attention or raised by parents like Gwinthorian's. It satisfies something within you, as it does for many people, and as long as you're not hurting yourself or others I see no problem with allowing yourself comfort wherever you might find it.

I write about unconditional acceptance. My characters don't like the feel of the spanking. Honestly, ow. They crave the feeling that's behind it and, when you think about it, why wouldn't it feel comforting to think about someone who sees you for who you are and loves you unconditionally, accepting all your flaws without judgment and knowing what it is you need most? We're all seeking that comfort to some degree, and many of us yearn for that mentor you mention.

So, Lottie, I'll sum up by encouraging you to simply listen to and honor whatever's within you seeking comfort without worrying about that nagging "why." And, by way of support, I'll do something I've never done before with a reader, which is to quote one of my all time favorite poems. This is by Shel Silverstein:

The Voice

There is a voice inside of you
It whispers all day long,
"I feel that this is right for me,
"I know that this is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you - just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.


~Larrk

Edited at 2014-11-23 05:27 am (UTC)

(Anonymous)

Hey, Larrk! I'm a huge fan of your stories and I love every single one of them. This one is especially my favourite! You write your stories with such detail and I love how you do it. I was just looking through some of your commments because I had nothing else to do, and a few caught my attention. Fili spanking Kili sounds REALLY interesting to me, because there aren't any like that without graphic slash and that really annoys me because I want to see Fili spanking Kili like a loving brother, not Kili getting aroused by Fili's spanking. Anyway, I sincerely hope that you'll do a story of Fili spanking Kili that isn't graphic slash ... Thanks! Checking in for new stories practically every day!

~James
Thanks so much, James! I'm really glad you're enjoying my stories so much. And thanks for weighing on the Fili-spanks-Kili vote. It seems a lot of readers want to see this one. Le Muse is listening. ;) And I hear you about the slash element. I've written one graphic slash story (graphic by my standards anyway) and I hint around a lot about what happens afterwards, but I can't see slashing, say, Boromir and Faramir, or Fili and Kili. So, not to worry - should Le Muse decide to jump in and write this, it'd be the kind of loving discipline story between brothers that I like to write. I appreciate your input, James!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Hi Larrk! I'm Julia and I love all of your stories! I was just wondering something and if you don't mind, I have two questions for you. When will you post a new story? Where do I check to see if you posted a new story or not? Do I look at your own website or livejournal(here)? Thanks, and hope you'll type new stories soon, such as Fili disciplining Kili or maybe even Boromir spanking Faramir, even though that's already been done ... maybe someone spanking Thorin would be interesting. Sorry to be pestering you with my questions and suggestions. Hope I didn't annoy you!
~Julia
Hi Julia! Please don't worry about asking questions. You're not pestering or annoying me at all. I like hearing from readers, so I appreciate you reaching out.

When looking for updates you can check the website and link to the story here from there, or you can just check here. The story is posted here and the website announces it and links to it. Both notifications go up at the same time.

As to WHEN something new will be posted, that's harder to answer. I hate saying that I don't know, but I don't. Right now I'm working on several stories, and I just started a brand new one. (Living with Le Muse is like living with a bumble bee, flitting from flower to flower. Sheesh.) But I'm glad you also cast a vote for Fili spanking Kili. Le Muse does pay attention to such things. Thanks for the kind word, Julia!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Hello Larrk. I absoulutely adore your stories. They're writting in such detail and I love how you do it. It's just amazing, and you've inspired me more than once. I was wondering if you could do some 'big brother spanking little brother' stuff ... like Boromir spanking Faramir, Fili spanking Kili, Fili and Kili spanking Bilbo (you said that they think of Bilbo as a little brother), Thorin spanking his little brother Frerin (even though no one knows much about Frerin), Legolas spanking Boromir, Elrohir and Elladan spanking Aragorn/Estel, etc. I would love if you did something iin the list ... I don't know if you know much about Frerin (most people don't), but you can just develop a fitting personality for him, right? I mean, I bet you'll be AWESOME at that! I would love if you did another story of Thorin spanking Fili and Kili, as you did two of Thorin spanking Bilbo, because I just love reading stuff like that. Fili spanking Kili sounds really intriguing and interesting as well, and I would absolutely love it if you did that. And Bilbo could push and push at Fili and Kili until he actually did something very dangerous and Fili and Kili found need to give Bilbo a double spanking :)I love all of your stories and I hope you'll post a new one soon! Where do I check to see if you posted a new story or not?
YOURS TRULY,
Sophia
Thanks for all your generous praise, Sophia. I'm really touched to hear that my stories have inspired you. That means a lot to me.

It's always fascinating when several readers seem to be on the same wavelength and want to see the same type of story. Check out the two readers who commented before you. :) Do all of you know each other? (kidding) Le Muse gets all hyped up when lots of readers ask for the same story, so she's now become quite interested in Fili spanking Kili. ;)

I appreciate your faith in me when it comes to fashioning a personality for Frerin. Could be fun, actually. Another big brother disciplining little brother dynamic. Clearly you favor that kind of story, and I really enjoy writing them.

As to where to check for updates, here's what I told he previous reader who asked the same question - when looking for updates you can check the website and link to the story here from there, or you can just check here. The story is posted here and the website announces it and links to it. Both notifications go up at the same time

I hope that helps, Sophia. And thanks for your requests!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Uhhh, Hi Larrk. I was just wondering, when do you think you'll post a story? Will you post it by the end of December? Sorry to bother you.

~Teddy
I wish I had a definite answer for you, Teddy, but I'm afraid I don't. I write sporadically, RL permitting. And we're approaching a busy time of the year. (For instance, I was away from home for the past five days visiting family for Thanksgiving. I can only write at home.) Stuff like that, added on to RL responsibilities can cut severely into writing time. I do appreciate your continued interest and I wish I could write faster, but I'm sure you understand. Thanks for your patience!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Hi Larrk, I'm a friend of one of your reviewers, Teddy. Do you know him? He told me today at school (we go to the same school) that he really wanted a Fili spanking Kili fic that you would write, and I realized how much I wanted something like that too. I really hope you will do Fili spanking Kili theme. It'll be great!!! I love big brother spanking little brother stories, and I wish that you would do one of Thorin spanking Frerin. That would be really interesting!!!! Thanks, and I hope you do the stories!! When will you be posting one? Will you post a story by the end of December?

~Jacob
Hi, Jacob! I do know Teddy. In fact I just posted a response to his comment and since he also asked when to expect a new story I'll refer you to that. (see above) I will say that Le Muse has become very interested in a "Fili spanks Kili" story, and that's always a good sign. Seems lots of other readers would like to see this story written as well. I wish I could give you a more definitive answer about everything, but Le Muse is an fickle entity. I never know what to expect myself. But, since she's guided everything I've written, I just have to go with her flow. Thanks for hanging in there!

~Larrk

(Anonymous)

Amazing. Just amazing. I could never write as good as this. I was wondering, could you do a story of Fili disciplining Kili? Big brother spanking little brother stories are my favourite! By the way, do you think you can reveal some spoilers for a story you're working on write now? Such as maybe the characters, or plot? *Wink wink nudge nudge* sorry for being nosy, just looking forward to a new story. Checking every day!
-Kathy
Thanks so much, Kathy! Interesting how many fans there are of the 'big brother spanking little brother' dynamic. I had no idea. So your name's been added to the official "Fili spanking Kili" list. I'm tickled to know that you're looking forward to a new story. I shy away from revealing spoilers, though. I've found that it's a risky thing to do with Le bratty Muse. She might shut that hinted-at story line down just to be contrary, and then I'd feel awful. So it's probably best that I keep the stories I'm working on under wraps until they're finished. Thanks for your interest and your patience, though. That means a lot to me.

~Larrk
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