Goldi pulled Moira into her room and shut the door. “So!” she said. “Tell me all about it! What did he say? Where did he ask you?”
“We were walking along The Water and he just suddenly said that he felt like he’s known me forever and would I want to marry him.” She giggled. “Then he kind of apologized for asking.”
Goldi rolled her eyes. “He needs to be more confident. I think Theo got all the ego in that family.”
“It’s sweet, though,” Moira said. “And I know that when he gets up the courage to say something, that he really means it.”
“I suppose.” Goldi smiled. “Eomer is the sweetest one out of the three of them.” She turned around. “Could you help with my laces?” Moira loosened the back of her bodice, then Goldi did the same for her. “Fari, he just says the first thing that pops into his head.” She grinned. “You’ve probably noticed that Tooks are known for talking first and thinking later.”
Moira laughed and stepped out of her skirt, picking it up and draping it over a chair. “I did notice he tends to say... interesting things.”
“He can be a pig, you mean,” Goldi said as she hung up her dress. “But I love him anyway.”
They climbed into the bed and Moira rolled on her side to look at Goldi. “So what makes you love him?” she asked.
Goldi shrugged. “We’ve always been friends. He’s fun and makes me laugh. He’s very handsome. And he can be sweet...when he’s not being a pig!”
They giggled, then Goldi asked, “What makes you love Eomer.”
“He understands me. He doesn’t care that I’m odd.” Moira grinned. “And he’s very handsome.” She thought for a moment, then sighed. “But mostly, there’s just something about him that struck me when we first met. He’s got a sense of kindness and caring about him.”
“Mum says he takes after Aunt Estella,” Goldi said. “She was very nice. Mum said she cared about everyone. That’s how she died. She was a midwife and she was caring for the sick during the plague.”
Moira nodded. “Eomer told me about her. I know he misses her. I think I would have liked her very much.” She smiled. “We’ve talked a lot these last few weeks, about family and...everything.”
“We’re just glad he finally spoke to you in the first place,” Goldi giggled. She found Moira’s hand under the blanket and squeezed it.
“I’m glad, too. I hear he agonized about it quite a bit. But at least he’s not so shy anymore. Though, he isn’t always shy.” She grinned. “I didn’t have to wait long for him to kiss me.”
Goldi grinned. “When did he first kiss you?”
“The evening he asked to court me. We were sitting by the river, a little ways from the mill. At first...well, he looked nervous, so I didn’t think he’d try to do anything like that. But then he just leaned in and...” She sighed. “It was really nice.”
“Did he use his tongue?” Goldi giggled, then slapped her hand over her mouth.
Moira raised her eyebrows at her friend. “What’s the matter?”
Goldi slid her hand away from her mouth and averted her eyes. “Um...I don’t know if he told you...but...he’s kissed me.”
Moira’s eyebrows shot up. “He has?”
Goldi grabbed her arm. “Are you mad? Because it was only once, and we were drunk, and I’m really sorry--”
Moira put her hand over Goldi’s mouth. “Goldi, I don’t mind. Really. It was just a kiss, right?”
Goldi nodded and Moira took her hand away. “We were just very lonely and miserable. But we realized it wasn’t right and that’s when we decided we needed to talk to you and Fari.”
“Does Fari know about it?”
Goldi nodded. “He said he doesn’t mind, though. Because it was Eomer.”
Moira smiled. “See, so it all worked out, didn’t it?” She blushed. “And he did use his tongue. He’s good at that, isn’t he?”
Goldi nodded. “It was really nice. It took Fari a bit of practice to get that good.” They looked at each other and broke out in a fit of laughter. When they were able to breath again, Goldi asked. “Have you done more than kissed him?”
“No. It’s a bit soon for that. And I want to wait for the wedding to bed him. I know it’s not considered too unusual, once you’re betrothed, but...waiting just seems a bit more romantic.”
“Fari wants to do things,” Goldi said. “And I kind of want to do them, too. But I’m scared to. I don’t really know what to do, and what if I let him bed me and I get pregnant? My dad would kill us.”
“It’s probably best to wait, then,” said Moira. “Have you talked to your mum?”
She nodded. “I think Mum would understand if I bedded Fari, but she’d be disappointed.”
Moira sighed. “I miss having Mum to talk to. I guess I could talk to one of my aunts, but they all live far away now since we moved into Bree. And I’m not really close to any of them anyway.”
“You can talk to Éowyn,” Goldi said. “I’ve asked her about things I was too embarrassed to ask my Mum about, and she’s really nice about it. She’ll explain things and she doesn’t make it embarrassing at all.”
“What did you ask her?” Moira grinned. “Or don’t you want to say?”
“No, that’s all right.” Goldi paused for a moment, lips pursed in thought. “Oh! Last year, when we were all staying here at the Hall, I went to wake up Fari for breakfast and he was...rubbing himself.”
Moira looked confused, so Goldi made a motion with her hand at waist level.
“Oh!” Moira blushed.
“I left before he noticed me. Although, I doubt he would have, he seemed pretty intent on what he was doing.” She blushed, too, and giggled nervously. “I wasn’t really sure why he was doing it, so I asked Éowyn. She said that it makes him climax and spill his seed. And I didn’t know why he’d want to do that, and she said it feels really good and that it’s a normal thing for lads to do.”
Moira eyes widened and she squeaked, clapping a hand over her mouth. Goldi giggled. “You just imagined Eomer doing it, didn’t you?”
Moira pulled the blanket over her head.
Goldi tickled her until she pulled the blanket down. Moira’s face was the brightest shade of red she’d ever seen.
“There’s nothing to be embarassed about,” Goldi said. “Especially since you’re going to be marrying him.” She smiled shyle and shrugged. “I’ve thought about things...what it will be like with Fari.”
“Do you think you’ll marry him, then?”
Goldi nodded. “He said he wouldn’t marry anyone else.”
Moira gasped. “So he’s asked you?”
Goldi shook her head. “Not really. Everyone’s just always expected that we’ll marry, so it’s just a matter of getting betrothed.” She sighed. “Dad most likely won’t let me get married until I’m of age, though, because I’ll have responsibilities at the Smials. So that’s about four years to wait.”
Moira patted her arm. “It will pass before you know it.”
Goldi snorted. “That’s easy for you to say! You come of age next fall! And then you only have to wait for Eomer to come of age the following spring! I’ve got four years!
“You’ll survive,” Moira giggled.
Goldi gave a resigned sigh, then giggled, too. “Fari won’t,” she said, and they burst out laughing again.
Goldi turned to look at Moira. “Are you scared, about bedding Eomer? You know, because it can hurt a bit your first time.”
Moira’s brows furrowed. “It hurts?”
Goldi’s eyes widened. “You didn’t know that?”
Moira shook her head. “My aunt explained a little--about how babies are made--when I started my monthly. She didn’t go into any details.”
“Mum told me it didn’t hurt very much for her. But you might bleed a little, too.”
“But Mum said it’s fine, once that’s over with. It usually doesn’t hurt anymore after that. She said it’s really nice.” Goldi looked at Moira, a bit concerned. Moira looked worried, her hand nervously toying with the ribbon at the neck of her chemise. “I think you should have a talk with Éowyn,” Goldi said, patting Moira’s arm, “when you come back this spring. I’ll go with you if you want me to. Or Rose would go with you, if I’m not here.”
Moira sighed.”Maybe I should. So I’ll know what to expect. I don’t want to be worrying about things on my wedding night.”
“No, you’ve got more important things to do,” Goldi said. Moira blushed and Goldi giggled. “And you only have a year and a half to wait to find out what it’s like. I still have to wait four years!”
Moira shook her head. “Good night, Goldi,” she said and closed her eyes.
Goldi lay still for a while, her thoughts in a whirl. She was so excited for Moira. How could she sleep?!
“Are you excited about having babies?” she asked.
Moira sighed and opened her eyes. “I suppose. I want to try to wait a while though. I want to get settled in here first, before I start thinking about babies.”
“I can’t wait to have babies,” Goldi said. “Elanor told me how wonderful it was, having a baby inside you. Although, I’m not looking forward to the birth. I saw Pansy’s birth.” She wrinkled her nose. “At least you have an adorable baby at the end to make up for it.”
“I’ve never seen a baby be born,” said Moira. “Only foals and puppies.”
“I’m sure Rose will want you there,” Goldi said excitedly. “And I’ll be there to warn you about the icky parts.”
Moira looked at her. “I’m not sure I want to be there, listening to you.”
“Oh, it’s not really that bad, only there’s blood and--”
Moira slapped her hand over Goldi’s mouth. “I don’t want to hear about it now. I’ll have nightmares!”
Goldi giggled behind Moira’s hand, then pulled it away. “Well, you’ll get to see when Rose has the baby.”
Moira smiled weakly, then rolled onto her back. “I really should get to sleep. I have to get up early.”
“I know. And we won’t get to talk for months! And you and Eomer won’t get to--”
“Goodnight,” Goldi said. She rolled over and blew out the light, then lay back, staring at the ceiling. For a few moments, only the sound of gentle breathing, then, “Moira?”
“Yes, Goldi?” Moira said, sounding the slightest bit exasperated.
“I’m glad Eomer found you.”
Moira rolled over and hugged her friend tight. “I’m glad he found me, too.”