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This was first posted on Silk Screen Views.
PART THIRTY – WELCOME BACK
When Tamsyn and Perry walked into the kitchen, hands clasped tightly, it contained not just Esme, Sarry and Diamond, but also Faramir, who looked uncommonly shaky when he stood up.
“Tamsyn,” he said. “They said you were here, but I could barely believe it. Are you… are you here to stay now?” He looked from her to Perry, taking in his son’s glow of intense, utter joy, and breathed a sigh of relief before Tamsyn could even answer.
She reassured him anyway. “Yes, Faramir, I’m here to stay,” she said, walking up to him to give him a hug, though she did not let go of Perry’s hand.
“That’s the best news I’ve had this year,” he said, regaining his calm. “Come, my dear, sit down and talk to us. We’ve missed you like a daughter.”
“You’ve never told me you missed me, father,” Diamond said with a mischievous grin.
“That’s because you were the bane of his life, sister dear,” Perry retorted with a wink.
“This, coming from you!” Sarry joined in. “Come on, give us some proper introductions. Where are your manners?”
Perry smiled. “Tamsyn, dearest, this is Saradoc Brandybuck the Seventh, eldest son of Master Meriadoc the Fifteenth of Buckland and destined to be Master after him, Eä help them. And this is my eldest sister Diamond, Sarry’s wife, and their son Theoden. Sarry, Diamond, this is Tamsyn Moriarty, the love of my life and my wife in all but name.”
The significance of what he said appeared to be lost only on Esme, who was too busy wiping away tears to have listened closely. Faramir’s eyes widened, but then he looked at the way the two lovers still clung to each other, and gave an almost imperceptible nod. Sarry’s grin showed emphatic approval, and Diamond gave Tamsyn a slow wink, bouncing her son in her arms.
“I’m glad to finally meet you,” Tamsyn said. “I have always regretted that I didn’t get the chance to meet you last time I was here.”
“We will get you to make up for that,” Diamond said. “Hopefully Perry will be better company as well now, he’s been insufferable without you.”
“He’s always been insufferable,” Sarry said with a snort, and deftly caught the apple that Perry aimed at his head.
“Git,” Perry said with a grin. “Mother, is there anything to eat? I’m hungry.”
Everyone at the table froze for a second, and Tamsyn got a lump in her throat. “Let me guess, he’s not said that since I left? I know the feeling. I’ve not been hungry either, but now that I’m here I find that I’m famished.” She looked into Perry’s eyes, seeing the understanding that it was not just food she was talking about, and for a few moments they forgot there was anyone else in the room when they kissed each other.
They were interrupted when Esme placed a big bowl of stew in front of both of them, and Tamsyn blushed as she picked up her fork and started to eat.
“So, when shall we have the wedding then?” Faramir asked.
Tamsyn looked at Perry. “Tomorrow?” he suggested, and she laughed and nearly choked on her stew.
“Certainly not!” Esme huffed. “You’re the eldest son of the Thain! We’ll have to invite half the Shire, and Tamsyn doesn’t even have a dress yet! Diamond, you’ll help me with that, won’t you? Your fingers are defter than mine, and my eyes aren’t what they used to be.”
“Gladly,” Diamond said. “That is, if you want me to, Tamsyn?”
“I would love for you to help,” Tamsyn said. “I’m afraid I know little to nothing of hobbit weddings, so I’m entirely at your mercy.”
“Good, that’s settled then,” Esme said. “But that still doesn’t give us a date.”
“What about Mid-Year’s Day?” Sarry suggested. “That’s always a good day for a party.”
“That’s my birthday,” Tamsyn said, who had worked it out on the hobbit calendar. “I think… I think marrying Perry would be the best birthday present I have ever had.”
“Tamsyn, if I may be so bold… How old will you be on your birthday?” Faramir asked.
“I will be twenty-eight. But humans in my world are considered to be adults at eighteen. I’m not sure what my hobbit age would be; from what I have observed with your children the difference isn’t entirely linear, but I think I’m very close to Perry’s age, maybe even a little older.”
“You don’t look it,” Diamond said. “You could easily pass for a twenty-eight-year-old hobbit girl.”
“Then how about we stick to what I claimed before, and I’ll turn thirty-three on my birthday? That would explain why we’ve waited until then, when my beloved would clearly have wanted to settle down sooner.”
Faramir nodded. “That works. We’ll start preparations for that.”
“Right,” Perry said, pushing his empty bowl away. “If that’s sorted, I will take my wife and find her something decent to wear rather than that sorry excuse for a dress.” He stood up and Tamsyn followed, and they made it halfway through the kitchen before Esme found her voice.
“Peregrin! What do you think you’re doing?”
He turned around, resting his hands on Tamsyn’s shoulders. “I just said. I’m going to take this rag off her and find her something decent to wear.”
“But… but let me prepare a room for her first,” Esme spluttered. “She can’t stay in Diamond’s room this time, now that Diamond is here.”
Perry sighed. “Mother, she is staying in my room.” He sounded exasperated, but there was also an edge to his voice that told Tamsyn he wouldn’t budge on this. She leaned against him, and he slid his arms around her waist.
“She… You… What?” Esme stammered. “She can’t, Peregrin!”
“Can’t she?” he asked. “Mother, for seven months I have tried to sleep in that room, knowing that I had lost her forever. Today she has given me my life back. Do you really think I’ll let her be apart from me for even a moment now that she’s back with me again?”
Esme stared at him, still in shock, then her eyes turned pleading when she looked at Tamsyn, who smiled but shook her head. “Don’t look at me, Esme. Didn’t I tell you whose side I would always take in an argument?”
The stalemate lasted for a few more seconds, then the tension was broken when Diamond laughed. “Oh, mother, stop being so prim and proper. It’s not like Sarry and I didn’t do the same thing.”
Esme turned incredulous eyes on her daughter as Sarry walked up and put his arm around her. “Come on, did you really think that Theo was born early?” Diamond continued. “If anything, he was late. Weren’t you, little one?”
“F…Faramir, say something!” Esme said in a last resort effort.
“Very well.” Faramir sighed and turned to Perry. “Son, go find your wife a decent dress to wear and take that extra nightstand with the pitcher and bowl from Tulia’s room. I’m sure Tamsyn would prefer to have her own clean water in the morning rather than using your dirty dregs.” Esme started to splutter again, but Faramir raised his hand. “Enough, Esme. They need each other, and that’s the end of it.”
“Come, let’s leave them to it,” Perry whispered in Tamsyn’s ear, and she followed him while Faramir continued to placate his wife.
“I’ll go get that chest out of Diamond’s room,” Perry said as they walked down the corridor. “Just wait in my room.” He gave her a gentle push and smiled as she went inside. The door clicked closed behind her, and even those few moments without him felt like a loss to her.
In an impulse she pulled her shift over her head and dropped it to the floor, kicking it aside. There was a bumping noise as the door opened again and Perry came in, dragging the heavy wooden chest with him, and while he moved it to the foot of the bed, next to his own clothes chest, Tamsyn closed the door again.
Perry turned at the click of the lock, and Tamsyn dragged her fingers through her hair, spreading it like a curtain before letting it fall back to her naked body. Perry gazed at her as if hypnotised, his eyes changing from loving to lustful. With a quick motion he pulled off his shirt and tossed it away, then shrugged off his trousers and underwear so he stood before her in glorious nakedness.
For a few seconds Tamsyn feasted her eyes on him, then she closed the distance between them, pushed him until he sat down on the bed and straddled him. He pulled her close and shivered when her hair brushed his skin as she bent to kiss him.
“How can I want you again?” he wondered. “You’ve satisfied me twice already… Is this normal?”
Tamsyn chuckled. “I have a feeling that for us, it will be.” With that she started moving her hips, and there was no further talk.
* * * * *
The rest of the day Tamsyn spent talking to Sarry and Diamond, who were everything she had expected them to be. Sarry was as mischievous as Perry, even if he had been tempered somewhat by fatherhood, and Diamond was a confident, self-assured woman who was obviously fond of her eldest brother and did not hesitate to take his side against their parents. She and Sarry were very much in love, and when Tamsyn held their little boy she felt her motherly instincts soar. She fervently hoped she would have a child of her own to cradle soon.
They went to bed early; emotional turmoil as well as prolonged lack of sleep had finally caught up to them, and their mutual presence was enough to let them both fall asleep within seconds.
It was the middle of the night when Tamsyn awoke with a shock. Groggily she took stock of her environment, wondering what had woken her, but then she heard a strangled cry of distress from Perry and realised he was having a nightmare.
“Tamsyn!” he called, and she wrapped her arms around him.
“Hush, Perry, hush,” she crooned, cradling him close. “I’m here. I’ll always be here.”
He woke up then, and when he found himself in her arms he started caressing her feverishly, stroking her breasts as he kissed her hard. She sensed that what he needed right then was the comfort of her body, so she rolled over and pulled him on top of her, spreading her legs to invite him into her. She gasped when he complied, then lost herself in his lovemaking until they both tipped over into bliss.
Afterwards he remained on top of her as they caught their breath, and she ran her fingers along his back in long, lazy strokes, waiting for him to calm down. His heart was racing, and it took a while before it steadied and he raised his head.
“I thought you’d gone again,” he said. “I thought I was alone again. I’ve had this nightmare almost every night since you left, only to wake and find it the truth.”
“Not this night, my love,” Tamsyn said. “Nor any night from now on. I’m yours, I’m here.”
“I love you so,” he whispered, stroking her face. “Thank you so much for coming back to me.”
“Anything for you, my love.” She rolled him off her and nestled herself in the crook of his arm. “Go on, go back to sleep. Don’t fear your nightmares, I’m here to guard against them.”
He squeezed her tight for a moment, then relaxed, and within seconds his breathing evened into sleep. Tamsyn followed soon after, falling asleep to the steady beat of his heart in her ear.
What will the wedding be like? Find out in part thirty-one!