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This was first posted on Silk Screen Views.
PART TWENTY-NINE – REUNION
Tamsyn was even further out of breath before she was even halfway up the hill, but she pushed on, craning her neck to try and catch a glimpse of Perry. He had chosen to face away from the path though, and only when she finally got to the top could she see someone leaning with his back against the trunk. This was a different hobbit, though, with the same bright auburn hair as Diamond’s baby, and she guessed that this was Sarry Brandybuck.
He noticed her and stared at her in surprise while she caught her breath, but then recognition flashed in his eyes and he gave her a wide smile.
“Perry, I think there’s someone here to see you,” he said, turning to the person beside him, who had been hidden until then.
Tamsyn held her breath, clasping at the fabric of her shift with her hands. Perry leaned forward to look at her, his face a mask of bland disinterest, but as soon as he saw her, his eyes went wide and he jerked upright in shock.
“Hello, Perry,” Tamsyn said, not knowing what else to say. “I’m back.”
He gave a strangled sob and made as if to get up, then hesitated. “For how long?” he asked, his voice a barely audible squeak, and she could see the fear in his eyes, the dread that she would go away and leave him alone again.
“Forever, Perry,” she replied, clearing her throat when her voice broke on his name. “I’m here to marry you, to bear your children, to never leave you for the rest of my life. If… if you’ll still have me.”
He moved with that lightning speed she remembered; one moment he was staring at her in disbelief, the next she was in his arms with his face buried in her hair as she clung to him. “Tam,” he whispered. “It’s really you. Oh, Eä, it’s really you. Yes, of course I’ll still have you, how could you think otherwise?”
She didn’t reply, just threaded her fingers into his hair and kissed him, sinking into the feel of him like a starving person tasting their first meal in weeks. His body was solid and real against hers, the flavour of him was better than honey, and his scent almost overwhelmed her: still smoky, but fresher now, as if his smell mirrored the seasons. She never wanted to let go, and it seemed an eternity later when he drew away a little.
“When did you get back?” he whispered, cradling her face in his hands.
“Just now. I came here as soon as I could, and I left… Oh! I left Radagast in the forest! I couldn’t carry him.”
Perry looked over her shoulder, and behind her Sarry chuckled. “No problem, I’ll go sort a rescue party. You two want to be alone anyway, just introduce us later.”
As Sarry trotted away Perry turned his gaze back on Tamsyn, and she nearly drowned in his deep green eyes as she reacquainted herself with the little black flecks on the irises. He smiled at her, and it warmed her like the sun on a bright summer day.
“I love you,” she breathed, and he kissed her again, pulling her back against him.
“I’ve missed you so,” he murmured. “The past months have been a nightmare. I can’t live without you, Tam. Please, don’t ever leave me again.”
“Never,” she promised him, and he lifted her up and twirled her around in a sudden burst of exuberance.
As he set her back on her feet his smile turned sly, and he rubbed the cloth of her shift between his fingers. “This looks a lot like what you were wearing the first time you arrived here,” he said, the look in his eyes now smouldering.
“It does, doesn’t it?” she replied, giving him a sultry look of her own.
“Hmm, and I remember one specific aspect of that travel-wear. Is that still the case?”
“No underwear, you mean? Yes, that is still the case.”
His breath caught and his grip tightened, and suddenly Tamsyn couldn’t tear her eyes away from him. “Every night, Tam,” he whispered as he slowly pulled the fabric upwards. “Every night since you left I have tried to recall what it felt like. The feel of your skin under my hands, the sensation of being inside you…” His hands reached the hem and closed around her naked buttocks, and he took a deep, shuddering breath as he pulled her against him. “…And I couldn’t. I tried to remember the look on your face, and it was nothing but a blur. I tried to remember your voice, and it was as elusive as a breath on the wind. Oh, Eä, I’ve missed you so!” His voice broke and she hugged him tightly.
“I’ve missed you too, Perry,” she murmured, pulling him with her as she lowered herself to the ground. “I’ve missed you more than I could ever tell you, so let me show you instead.” She untied the drawstrings of his trousers and slipped her hand inside, and Perry moaned when she closed it around his rigid shaft. He closed his mouth over hers again and slid his hand up along her leg, then pushed two fingers inside her when he found her moist and willing.
“I’ve dreamed of this,” he breathed when she pulled his trousers down and led him towards her. “I’ve wished for it so many times…”
“This isn’t a dream, my love,” she said, lifting her hips as he entered her and closing her eyes at the feeling. “This is real. I’m here for you, always.”
He moaned again as he sank into her, and Tamsyn wrapped her legs around his and clasped him to her tightly. She shifted her hips, and with a groan Perry started thrusting, slowly at first, but soon his movements were fast and frantic as six months of pent up desire rushed towards release. Tamsyn met his every stroke, just as desperate as he was, and before he could even think of helping her along she suddenly opened her eyes wide and grabbed his hips to yank him even closer.
“Perry…” was all she managed to bring out, then she shivered and arched, her sheath tightening around him as she writhed in her orgasm. He gave two more thrusts, then cried out his own release.
Tamsyn clung to him as they caught their breath, unwilling to let go. “I’ve missed you so much,” she said in his ear. “The nights were cold, and lonely… I’ve barely slept since I left you.”
“Never again, Tam,” he replied. “I’m never letting you go again.” He brushed her hair away from her face, and she noticed a slim black cord around his wrist, recognising it as the lock of hair she had left behind for him.
He followed her gaze and smiled. “You have no idea how much it meant to me to have that. The first night without you I could almost imagine that you were still there. The bed still smelled of you.” He sighed. “And then mother changed the sheets.”
He sounded so sullen that Tamsyn chuckled. “Shush,” he chided her, kissing her until she was serious again. “You may find it funny now, but I wanted to shout at her. Except I couldn’t, because I couldn’t have explained to her why. So instead I tied this around my wrist, and every time I thought of you I could smell it.”
He took a handful of her hair and brought it to his nose, inhaling deeply. “Your hair smells so wonderful… I still can’t describe the scent, but it lingered in this. I have no idea how I kept going without you, but this helped. Eä, it helped so much…”
Tamsyn gave him a sad smile. “I had nothing. Nothing but my memories of you.” She trailed her fingers down his collarbone. “For a few days I thought, hoped that I might be pregnant…” She swallowed and fisted her hand into his shirt.
“But you weren’t?”
She shook her head. “It destroyed my last hope of having something to remember you by.”
“You could be pregnant now,” Perry whispered, kissing her jaw.
Tamsyn looked at him, then grinned. “I hope not.”
“Because, my love, that means we’ll have to try again.” She kissed him. “And again…” Another kiss. “And again…”
A slow smile curled around his mouth. “A convincing argument, my heart. I suppose it will take some effort, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.” He kissed her jaw again, then trailed his tongue to her earlobe. “How about we try again right now?”
In response she shifted underneath him until she could feel his erection, then pulled him back inside her. They made love again, more slowly this time, even if there was still an edge of insatiable hunger there, a remnant of desire too long denied.
When they had satisfied each other again they finally felt ready to face Perry’s family, and they stood up and righted their clothes. Perry winced when he saw the twigs and beechnut shells that stuck to Tamsyn’s skin and were tangled in her hair, and began to brush her clean. “I’m sorry, Tam. I should have realised how uncomfortable that was for you.”
Tamsyn laughed and kissed him. “Uncomfortable? Perry, I could have been on a bed of nails and I wouldn’t have felt it. I’ve had to do without you for months; do you really think I’m going to worry about a few twigs?”
“Okay, but still.” He brushed her cheek, then continued removing the debris. As he did so, Tamsyn studied him more closely. He was still the handsome man she remembered, but she now noticed the dark circles under his eyes and the hollowness of his cheeks.
“Your mother said I looked as bad as you do,” she said. “I can see what she means now.”
“You’re pale,” he replied, cupping her face in his hand. “Your hair has lost its sheen. But you’re still the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
“You’re still handsome too, my love, and we’ll get better now,” Tamsyn said around the lump in her throat. “God, I’ve missed you…” They hugged each other tightly for a moment, then Perry turned and pulled her with him.
“What does everyone know about me?” Tamsyn asked as they walked down the hill. “I only asked Radagast to explain to your father.”
“He did, and then father explained it all to mother. She wouldn’t believe it at first, wouldn’t believe that you’d never come back. I think in the end it was I who convinced her, when I wouldn’t eat and couldn’t sleep. I’ve been… difficult to live with, I think. I owe mother an apology.” He sighed. “She invited Sarry and Diamond over in the hope that they could snap me out of my apathy.”
“And do they know the truth?”
“Yes. Sarry is my best friend, we’ve never had secrets from each other. It’s been really good to talk to him about you.” He grinned at her. “He’ll be thrilled to finally meet you, I’ve not talked about anything else since he got here.”
Tamsyn rubbed his arm. “I wish you could have met Andy. He did the same for me, he listened, helped me with everything so I could come back here.”
“Then he has my eternal gratitude. But I guess you’ll never see him again? I’m so sorry, Tam.”
She stopped and faced him. “Don’t be. I’ll miss him, yes, but being with you is worth everything. I can’t live without you, and I don’t know why I ever even thought I could. I’ve given up everything for you, and I know I’ll never regret it for as long as I live.”
He pulled her into his arms. “I would have done the same for you, Tam. You know that, don’t you?”
“Of course I do. But this way is better. I feel at home here, with you and your family. You would never have been happy in my world. I don’t think I ever really was, even before I met you. Here, I am home.”
She kissed him, and they continued their walk to Great Smials.
What will Perry’s family have to say? Find out in part thirty!