Sam: Well I am *quite* satisfied with how that turned out.
H.G.: I bet you are.
Rosie: Considering that you had no idea where it was going, it went very well.
Frodo: But I don’t think any of us were surprised with how it turned out. *grins*
H.G.: Yes, Frodo and I will sit back and watch our ship take off.
Frodo: They are good together, aren’t they?
H.G.: Perfect together. Just like you and Sam are perfect as best friends and brothers and all.
H.G.: So Rosie, want to give me some tips on how to get a boyfriend? A good one?
Rosie: Sorry, but there are no hobbit boys where you live.
H.G.: No, but there are human boys with hobbit souls, and I will not be satisfied with anything less.
I lie in bed, smiling as I think about Sam. Odfrin waited at home for me, so he’s in a guest room on the other side of the hole. I’m not at all happy about that, but as long as he’s gone in the morning.
Odfrin didn’t come after me, of course. He’s too selfish to go out in the rain for something as unimportant as his fiancée. I’m glad, though. It means that there was nothing to keep me from reaching Sam.
We talked for a few more minutes after he agreed to elope with me at some point down the road, and then I decided I ought to get going, and he said he had to go back to Frodo. He kissed me goodnight, very gently, and then went to the door. I watched until it shut, and then went back to my pony, still grinning from ear to ear like a small child given a candy.
My door creaks open, and Mother comes in. I close my eyes and pretend to be asleep. She stands over me for a few moments, and then turns and leaves again. I open my eyes, but all I can see is Sam.
“I could talk to your parents,” says his voice in my mind, and I sigh. Dear Sam, thinking everyone is wonderful and reasonable like him. I love him so much. I’m just a tiny bit jealous of Frodo, who gets to spend all his time with Sam, but maybe we can meet in the future. I do like Frodo, and I’ve never grudged him the time of Sam’s that he takes, but, well, a girl can wish for more time with her beau if she wants.
I feel my eyes shut, and I give in. I need to sleep at some point.
Besides, it’s not as though I won’t see him in my dreams…
I’m awoken by a knock on my window. I roll over, blink a few times. The knock comes again. I look over and am shocked to see Frodo standing outside. I pull a blanket around my shoulders and open the window a crack.
“I am in my nightclothes,” I hiss.
“I know. I’m terribly sorry about this.” He smiles. “I won’t ask to come in -”
“You’d better not.” I push back my hair – I just know it’s a mess. “What time is it?”
“Just before dawn. Sam’s still asleep. I think. I got up two hours ago and rode here.”
“Won’t he notice you’re gone?”
Frodo considers. “No, I don’t think so.” He adds, as if to himself, “I usually only have one each night. And I already had it before I left.”
“Had… what?” I ask.
“A nightmare.” He straightens and smiles. “Anyway, don’t worry about that. I just wanted to tell you that Sam came back to bed and talked on and on about you.” He smiles fondly. “I couldn’t fall asleep for half an hour because he wouldn’t shut up. Not that I mind, of course. He loves you so much, Rosie.”
“He loves you just as much,” I say. “Maybe more. He refused to leave with me for your sake.”
A shadow crosses Frodo’s face. “What? Well, don’t let that stop you. Elope!”
“We’re going to. Just not until he’s found some way to keep both of us safe.”
Frodo frowns. “I’ll talk to him. With any luck, you’ll be married by the end of the week. Anyway, I’m just here to tell you that he’s coming over tonight to talk to your parents.”
“He is?” I ask, surprised. “How is he going to get them to invite him?”
“Oh, he’s not. He’s just going to walk in. Anyway, see you tonight.”
“Of course I’m coming! I have to help Sam, don’t I?”
“Frodo,” I say firmly. “Does Sam know that he’s coming tonight?”
“Well, no, not yet, but I want him to. He needs to at least try.”
Frodo smiles. “If it fails, you can still elope, but if it succeeds, you can marry anyway. There’s nothing to lose.”
“Frodo, you can’t plan my and Sam’s life.”
“I was the one who made him dance with you seventeen years ago.”
“Well -” I sputter.
“And you wouldn’t have started courting if not for that.”
“We might – have-”
Frodo raises an eyebrow. “I’m right. Admit it.”
“Why are you doing this?” I ask. “Why are you trying to make everything work out for us?”
Frodo sighs and looks away. “Because I love Sam very much, Rosie,” he says. “I love him so much that sometimes I think I’ll forget how to breathe if I look at him for too long, or my heart will just explode from it all. I want him to be happy.” He looks back at me and grins. “And Eru knows you two are adorable together.”
“So, you get your fiancée out of the way tonight, you get your parents into a good mood, and Sam and I will drop by between dinner and supper.”
“It’s not going to work.”
“No, but we have to try. And now if you’ll excuse me, if I’m not there when Sam wakes up, I’ll be in serious trouble. See you soon, Rosie.” Frodo closes the window for me and then creeps away.
I lie back down. Frodo loves Sam like mad. I can see it in his eyes. I can’t believe he’s going to do this for me – for Sam, for both of us. Surely he knows that if Sam and I are married, things will be different for them.
And yet he’ll give that up, so that Sam can be happy. What have I done for Sam? I love him, of course, and naturally in a different way than Frodo, but somehow…
Somehow, compared to Frodo’s, my love for Sam doesn’t seem to mean quite as much as it did only yesterday night.