by Laura Mason
There are dozens of sayings oft repeated by Gaffers and Gammers, and Frodo knows none are true. His face never froze in a frown. Boiled tea didn't make hair grow on his chest. No troll carried off the children who left vegetables on their plate, and dropping a fork didn't bring visitors. Of course, with Hobbiton's constant streams of callers, that one was difficult to disprove.
But travel is broadening and tonight, after yet another banquet filled with speeches and dull dinner conversation, Frodo escaped down a hallway and stumbled across a private garden full of night-blooming flowers silvered by moonlight. He knew he shouldn't trespass -- but he entered.
"Frodo?" He jumped at the soft, deep voice.
"Your majesty," he gulped guiltily. "I'm sorry to intrude. I just..." The dark eyes were so kind he managed to speak openly. "I was longing for fresh air and peaceful beauty. But I didn't intend to disrupt your solitude."
"Ringbearer, you are most welcome in every corner of Rohan. If not for your deeds, none in Middle Earth would know beauty or peace again." The King gestured to the open space beside him on the long wooden bench. "Please, join me."
He did, and polite words soon became friendly conversation that lasted until the moon sank behind them and only the friendly stars gazed down. Then there was silence charged with unspoken words and new-born emotions until, finally, Eomer reached out. Frodo lifted his arms to be held in a warrior's unyielding grasp, stroked roughly, and kissed until he couldn't speak for breathlessness in the warm darkness that enfolded them both.
When the dawn found them sated and sleepy in the King's huge, silk-covered bed, Frodo knew that old hobbit's tales taught one truthful lesson.
A kiss can, indeed, make your toes curl.
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