Written for the A_L_E_C "Holiday Memories" challenge. For NancyLea for her birthday.
Bell Gamgee hummed as she finally settled into the chair in front of her mirrored dressing table. Old Mr. Bilbo had given it to her as a wedding present when she’d come to Number Three as the new bride of Hamfast Gamgee, and she was that grateful for it, really. She reached for her hairbrush. She’d finally managed to see the five youngsters into their beds, Hamson and Halfred in the bed they shared in the second bedroom with little Samwise in his wee trundle bed at their feet, Daisy and May together in their bed in the third room. She could hear her Hamfast in the parlor, seeing the Yule log lit using the embers brought from the great Yule bonfire, that fire lit as it was every year in the Party Field opposite the Hill. He was more than humming--he was singing snatches of the songs that had been sung by the inhabitants of Hobbiton every year at the bonfire for as long as either one of them had lived in the village.
Ah, but her Hamfast had been magnificent tonight, singing and stamping with the rest of the menfolk once the great stack of wood was set alight! Even old Mr. Bilbo couldn’t match her Hamfast for dancing--not this year, she thought. She shivered with delight at the memory of it--and of the warmth of his hands as he’d come to catch hers and draw her, too, into the dance as so many of those dancing were bringing wives and sweethearts to leap and cavort with them, and to join in the delight for the wildness of the flames, defying the now-defeated darkening of the days, the days which now must grow longer once again. She’d danced with nearly as much abandon as he had, and together they’d leaped over the flaming margins of the pile.
She drew her brush languorously through her curls, humming Yule Pursues the Dark of Night and smiling, her thoughts still out in the Party Field with the dancing. But then the brush was suddenly lifted from her hand, and she raised her eyes to catch those in the reflection of her beloved husband, looking at her most suggestively.
“A happy, blessed Yule to you, wife,” he said, the accent decidedly on that last word.
“And to you, too, husband,” she said, giving him as bold a look as he was giving her.
He wrapped one hand in her hair, and gently (if somewhat awkwardly) drew her to her feet, turning her to face him. “You danced well.”
“You were marvelous!”
“Want another dance--here? Now?”
She smiled provocatively at him. “Now?”
He leaned forward to kiss her, and she could taste the beer and mulled cider he’d been drinking all evening on his mouth; then when he dropped his lips to the hollow of her neck she could smell the tang of smoke in his curls. Again she shivered--this time in anticipation. He lifted his face to hers, and she could see his eyes were dark with desire. “Oh, yes,” he murmured huskily, “definitely now!” He was fumbling with the laces of her festival bodice. “Yes--now!”
She laughed with delight, moving his hands away to loosen the bodice more efficiently, then allowing him to relieve her of it. Then she was swiftly undoing his buttons....
At last he lifted her into his arms, and she suppressed another laugh of anticipation. Singing, “And light in the arms of day is returned,” he spun her about, then fell roughly across the bed, tripped by the rag rug.
Both were now laughing aloud helplessly. Finally she managed, “We must hush, or we’ll wake the children!”
He gazed enraptured into her eyes. “Let them know tonight as how much I love their mother.”
Something in the way that he said that thrilled her most deeply of all. “And let them never wonder as to whether I love their dad,” she said, suddenly solemn. “And just as much!” she added, her eyes suddenly mischievous.
His lopsided smile returned, and she felt the wiry muscles flow under his skin as he shifted up on an arm to gaze down at her. “Want to prove that?” he challenged.
“Oh, but that I do!” she said huskily, and then he was leaning down for a most--intimate--kiss. “Oh, but I shall!” she murmured into his gently pointed ear, then kissed it delicately.
Quite some time later they lay relaxed and sated. He delicately caressed her belly. “Five time you’ve borne me children.”
She smiled, her heart filled with her love for him. “And perhaps there will be a sixth--soon enough?”
He laughed and turned to take her in his arms. Spooned together, the two of them drifted into their first sleep of the new year.