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This was first posted on Silk Screen Views.
PART TWENTY – GOODBYE TO THE SHIRE
Sleep proved elusive. Tamsyn dozed a little, but woke again when she felt Perry’s hand stroking her hip. He was spooned against her back, and she could feel his rigid shaft pressing against her buttocks as he caressed her shoulder with soft, nibbling kisses. She crooned and rubbed against him, and he slid his hand from her hip across her belly to cup her breast in his palm.
Tamsyn turned, twisted, wrapped an arm around his shoulders and pulled him to her for a deep kiss, and in one smooth movement Perry rose over her, nudged her legs apart and slid himself into her to the hilt. She closed her eyes, savouring the moment, memorising the feeling, then moaned when Perry pulled out and pushed deep again.
He rode her with long, lazy strokes for a while, face intent as he watched himself disappear inside her and listened to Tamsyn’s murmured encouragements. The previous two times had taken the edge of their desire, and this time they were slower and more absorbed in each other.
When Perry dropped to cover her, Tamsyn wrapped her arms around him and twined her fingers in his curls. She felt his hot breath against her neck, then his lips closed around her earlobe, and her hips pistoned faster in subconscious response.
Perry moaned; a low, lustful sound, then murmured in her ear, “I wish I could have more time with you. Time to explore every last part of you, to try every position it is possible to make love to you in.”
Tamsyn stilled, but he moved his hips, encouraging her back to her grinding rhythm as he continued, “This is so much more than I ever thought it would be… To feel you around me, to be this close to the woman I love. To know that you love me, and that you’ll do this, be like this, make these noises, only for me…”
His voice was enchanting her, a low, husky rumble in her ear, and she writhed against him as she nudged closer to that blissful crest. Perry dropped his hand, seeking out the spot that he was beginning to know so well, and Tamsyn arched against him, letting out a long moan.
“I love you, Tamsyn,” he whispered. “I have a lifetime of love to give to you, and only this one night to give it in.” He was moving faster now, breathing hard, and Tamsyn heard him gasp when she squeezed herself around him.
“Can you feel how much I love you, Tam?” he panted. “Can you?”
“Yes…” was all she could manage to bring out, desperate now for that shattering release.
“Come for me, my love,” he breathed. “Let me hear your voice. Let me feel you, and follow you…” He pushed in deep, and Tamsyn shivered when the bliss hit her, spreading through her in waves.
“Perry…” she moaned, and then he was with her, his hips spasming in his release, both of them holding on to each other and wishing the moment would never end.
When the last remnants of ecstasy had faded away they snuggled together, and Tamsyn tried not to think about Perry’s hot tears, dripping onto her shoulder where he had nestled his head in the crook of her neck.
Lingering in that mixture of satisfaction and sadness they finally fell asleep.
* * * * *
When Tamsyn awoke the next morning she felt both physically and emotionally exhausted, though she wouldn’t have traded the night’s experience for anything in the world. Beside her Perry was still asleep, looking as tired as she did.
She studied his face, trying to engrave it in her memory forever: his long, straight nose, his square, ever-beardless jaw and determined chin. His coal-black hair, curly and overlong, though the style suited him. She brushed a strand of it away from his face, wishing she could take a lock of it with her, and at the touch he woke, raising his impossibly long lashes to look at her.
Her heart felt like it was being squeezed in her chest. His eyes showed love, sadness, pain, despair, and she lowered her gaze before she started crying again.
At that moment, Esme knocked on the door. “Peregrin, get up! Breakfast is ready.”
Tamsyn shot upright in panic, but Perry pulled her back to him, and she remembered that she had locked the door the night before.
“I’ve only just woken up,” he called back. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
“I’ll have some eggs ready for you. Can you wake Tamsyn too?”
Perry looked at Tamsyn and gave a sad half-smile. “I will, mother.”
They heard Esme walk away, then Perry pulled her on top of him. “We have ten minutes,” he whispered, and Tamsyn needed no further encouragement.
* * * * *
When she slipped back to her own bedroom ten minutes later she quickly ruffled the bed to make it appear as if it had been slept in, then pulled on the first dress she laid her hands on. She entered the kitchen looking pale and wan, and Esme clucked over her like a protective mother hen.
“You look peaky, my dear,” she said. “Did the nerves for the journey keep you up?”
Perry choked on his tea, and Tamsyn looked down to hide the blush she felt creeping up. “Um, something like that,” she mumbled, and was glad when Esme turned back to her stove.
“Well, I expect you will be fine,” Esme said. “The weather has been really good recently. When do you think you’ll be back? We should start planning the wedding soon.”
Tamsyn nearly dropped her cup. “I… I don’t know, Esme,” she stammered, then added in a flash of inspiration, “I can’t get married until my birthday anyway, I’m only thirty-two.”
“Oh,” Esme said, crestfallen. “I might have guessed, you don’t look a day over twenty-five. When is your birthday?”
“M…midsummer.” Tamsyn’s birthday was in June, so she hoped the reply was close enough. It seemed to satisfy Esme anyway, and she ceased her questions.
Tamsyn picked at her breakfast, wishing she could think of something to say to Perry, and then Radagast appeared in the doorway, bent over to stop from bumping his head yet still looming tall. She got a sudden, terrifying taste of how small she really was as a hobbit, finally understanding how Perry must have felt on his trip to Bree.
“Are you ready, Tamsyn?” Radagast asked.
No! she wanted to scream. I’ll never be ready to leave Perry! She found herself shaking her head and said, “There’s one last thing I need to do. I won’t be long.”
She dashed to her bedroom, where she sat on the bed and dropped the potato peeler she had grabbed off the table. She quickly undid her braid and separated off a long, narrow strand which she plaited into a slim cord and tied off with a piece of ribbon. With a quick jerk of the knife she cut it loose close to her head and tied off the other end too. She might not be able to take a lock of Perry’s hair back with her, but she could leave one of her own for him.
In an impulse she chose the freshest rose from the vase by her bed, then ran to Perry’s room and left rose and braid on his pillow. She smoothed out his sheets, savouring the remnants of his scent, then returned to the kitchen and faced Radagast.
“I’m ready,” she croaked, and Radagast nodded.
“We’ll all miss you, my dear,” Esme sniffed as she walked over and hugged Tamsyn tightly. “Do come back soon, or I fear poor Peregrin will be insufferable.”
Tamsyn muttered something unintelligible in response, then turned to face Perry.
“I’ll see her away, mother,” he said, looking at Tamsyn with eyes that forbade protest, and she nodded at him. She had not really expected him to do anything else, though she wished she could somehow spare him the pain of seeing her leave.
Once outside he took her hand, Radagast gratefully stretched to his full height and the three of them set off into the wooded glade beside Great Smials.
“Do we need to be anywhere in particular?” Tamsyn asked, trying to distract herself.
“Not really,” Radagast replied. “Where we originally appeared is good enough.”
Tamsyn dragged her feet, but no amount of dithering could avert the inevitable. Her heart sank into her stomach when she entered a clearing and recognised it as the spot where she had landed a mere six days before, even if it felt like a lifetime ago. She turned to Perry, and with a sob they fell into each other’s arms and clung tightly, neither of them able to let go.
“Come, Tamsyn,” Radagast said, and though his voice was kind, it was also implacable.
“I’ll never forget you, Peregrin Took, never,” Tamsyn whispered, squeezing tears from her eyes. “I’ll always love you.” He started crying with desperate, heaving sobs and she kissed him – a last, frantic kiss that they tried to stretch into eternity.
“Step away, Peregrin,” Radagast said, and his voice now held that commanding ring that told Tamsyn he was about to start his spell. Perry jerked upright and let go of Tamsyn, and was three paces away before he regained control over his body. He tried to take a step back to her, but Radagast had started chanting, and Perry found that he couldn’t.
“I love you, Tamsyn Moriarty,” he said as the wizard took her hand and the magical wind started whipping around them, stirring her hair and dress. “I’ll always, always love you.” He spoke quietly, barely above a whisper, but despite Radagast’s echoing spell Tamsyn heard it more clearly than anything else.
She watched him, tears streaming down his face, and then everything went black and she lost consciousness.
What has happened in England in Tamsyn’s absence? Find out in part twenty-one!