Title: Goldilocks and the Three Kisses
Written for: Dana
Requested: The story of Goldilocks and Faramir, with a Yule setting at Brandy Hall or the Great Smials.
Rating: A mild PG
Setting: Brandy Hall, post-Quest
Characters: The Gamgees, Tooks, and Brandybucks, with various Ocs.
Summary: Mistletoe makes Yuletide merry, whether Goldilocks likes it or not.
Chapter One: Kiss the First
The road to Brandy Hall was a long one.
Not that the Gamgees minded; they were used to tramping hither and thither, on one errand, journey, visit, or another. There were few things any of the Gamgees liked more than a long ramble. It was common enough for two or three of the Gamgee children to strike off alone and reappear a few days later with baskets of berries, flowers, and the occasional fish to make up for their absence. But with Yuletide fast approaching, and a light dusting of snow on the road, the biting air reminded each and every uncovered nose that hobbits belong in a hole in the ground, preferably with a cup of hot cider and a pie or three for company.
Still, they tramped on, a merry little caravan. Missing from their number was their much-beloved sister, Elanor, married now, and expecting her first bairn. Elanor always had a tale to tell, and no one could tell it better. Merry and Pippin tried to make up for the loss with an overabundance of jokes, which ranged from stuffing snow down Frodo-lad’s neck (there was a brief pause whilst Frodo soundly boxed Merry for the offense) to somersaults along the road (Pippin had slipped, earning himself a snow-coated forehead, several times). Tolman was whistling, ignoring them both. Hamfast, Daisy, Bilbo, and Primrose were practicing their newly formed quartet, which was alternately encouraged and despaired of by all; their mother was currently attempting to direct, with varied results. Robin and Rose walked sedately behind, sharing a handful of chestnuts. Ruby had long since disappeared ahead of the group, elated by the promise of Yuletide at Brandy Hall. Sam smiled into the frosty air, surveying his family with pride.
“Here, now,” he muttered suddenly. “Goldie? Catch up, lass, we’ll not hold Yuletide for you.”
“I’m coming, Da,” Goldilocks protested. She trotted to join her father, holding out a handful of mistletoe. “I just saw this, there, along the path. It’s a good bunch, and it had fallen from the trees.”
“I reckon there’ll be mistletoe to spare at the Hall,” Sam chuckled. “They’re not likely to pass up a chance for kissing. Had you thought to steal a kiss of your own, lass?”
Goldilocks colored, burying her chin in her muffler. “No, Da. Don’t be silly.”
“Oh, don’t take on so,” Sam scolded cheerfully. “Your old da’s not that old.”
“I didn’t mean,” Goldie protested, then dropped her eyes. “Nobody wants to kiss me, Da, that’s all.”
“You don’t hold much stock in the Brandybucks, I see,” Sam said gently. “What’s this about?”
Goldie shook her head. “It’s nothing.”
“Seems to be something.”
Goldie gave a crooked smile. “I’m not much to look at, Da.”
Sam snorted. “If you’re not much to look at, lass, I’d best go out and eat with the ponies, for no one will even see me as a hobbit. Now what put this nonsense in your head? You, with hair like the leaves of Lothlórien and all!”
“It’s not like Elanor’s.”
“No, that it’s not,” Sam agreed. “But I wouldn’t want all of my babes to look alike. You’re Goldie, not Elanor, and so is your hair.”
“Oh, Da,” Goldie sighed, suppressing a giggle. “You don’t understand.”
“Seems not,” Sam nodded. “Can you explain a bit better?”
Goldie bit her lip. “I’m not beautiful like Elanor, so my hair isn’t pretty, it’s just strange. And Elanor has blue eyes, and I have brown. And all the lasses say that I’m so quiet, the lads won’t know I’m there. And I can’t dance, you know that.”
Sam frowned. “I think you’re beautiful.”
“Oh, Da,” Goldie sighed. “You have to think that.”
“I don’t,” Sam insisted, wrapping an arm around his daughter’s shoulders. “Look, there. With that streak of mud on his face, and scowling like that—Frodo’s clouted him, I’ll bet—Pip looks nothing so much like an orc who’s missed his dinner.”
Goldie stifled a giggle into her father’s shoulder.
“And there,” Sam continued. “I do believe Tolman’s forgotten to comb his hair. He’ll have birds landing on his head next, mistaking it for a nest. No, lass, I think you look fine.”
“If you say so, Da,” Goldie said, studying the mistletoe in her fingers.
“I do say so,” Sam said firmly. “And as I’m the lad nearest, I believe you owe me a kiss, Goldilocks Gamgee.”
Goldie raised her eyes and smiled, a genuine smile. Rising on tiptoe, she planted a firm kiss on her father’s cheek. Sam took her face in both hands and kissed her forehead.
“A happy Yule to you, my daughter,” he said formally.
“A happy Yule to you, Da,” Goldie replied.
“Oi!” Sam cried, his arm wrapped around Goldie again, falling back in step with his band of travelers. “Would you lot find a walking song in your heads? If you keep up that dirge, I’m like to fall over on the wayside and sleep until spring!”
“You start, Da!” Hamfast returned.
“The road goes ever on and on,” Sam sang, his voice strong and true. It was an old tune, and a particular favorite of the Gamgees. Before long, the road rang with their voices, and they traveled a little faster on the road to Brandy Hall.
Brandy Hall hummed like a beehive as a matter of course; the Brandybucks saw to that. There were enough Brandybuck relations in the Hall to make a hobbit of any other familial persuasion fairly dizzy. Of course, a Hall full of Brandybucks becomes old hat after a while, and so the Hall was always peppered with the odd Took visitor, just for variety. Yuletide, though, spelled a different story. The Hall was full to bursting, and still more hobbits came, and somehow, found room. There was a special magic to the Hall at Yule; for no matter how many hobbits came, they found welcome, and a bed and food besides. It was whispered that Meriadoc Brandybuck, Master of the Hall, needed a fortnight after Yule to recover.
Be that as it may, it was Master Meriadoc himself that greeted the Gamgees, delight shining in his eyes.
“Sam!” he cried, warmly embracing the old gardener. “Rosie! Oh, how wonderful!”
“Merry, let them inside, for goodness’ sake,” chided Estella, with a sly wink at Rosie. “I declare, it’s as if you hadn’t seen them since last Yule.”
Merry made to look indignant at his wife, but his expression was lost as the Gamgees trooped inside, shedding cloaks and stomping feet and rubbing their hands with all the flurry of arrival.
“Good gracious!” shouted a voice from the hall. “Merry’s invited a herd of Oliphaunts to Yule!”
“He’s invited the Tooks, anyhow,” returned Sam with a laugh. Peregrin Took appeared in the doorway, beaming, and the rounds of hugs began again.
“We’ve saved you a suite of rooms next to us,” Estella said, looping her arm through Rosie’s. “Diamond and Pip are across the corridor. You shan’t have any sleep the entire time you’re here, for we have a parlour to share.”
“Oh, Stella,” Rosie sighed happily. Estella gestured grandly, and the Gamgees, Brandybucks, and solitary Took made their way into the heart of Brandy Hall.
As her family settled in to a late tea, Goldie slipped away, unnoticed. Years of visits to Brandy Hall had taught her the maze of stairs and corridors that wound through the smials, and she took a narrow, dark passage now, making her way steadily downward. The passage suddenly widened to a cloakroom of sorts, with rows of pegs bearing aprons, cloaks, and shawls on every wall. Goldie tied an apron around her middle and pushed open the door to the kitchens.
Inside was a well-organized chaos. Feeding the number of hobbits that lived in the Hall was a task; feeding them and their guests for Yule was some sort of quest out of a tale. Marjoram, known more commonly as Marj, ruled the kitchens with a wooden spoon, and no general ever commanded a better army. Soups bubbled merrily over a long fireplace, and the ovens clanged to and fro, producing mountains of bread, biscuits, and cakes. Over a spit in one corner, two hobbit lads were roasting no fewer than four geese, with two more plucked and ready at their side. At the wide tables in the center of the room, lads and lasses alike were stirring, cutting, measuring, and tasting myriad dishes, sauces, and puddings.
Goldie smiled and dove into the melee.
She armed herself with a knife from a block on the table and slipped in beside a lass slicing carrots. Goldie took a few from the mound on the table and began to slice alongside her.
“Have a care!” the lass cried several moments later. “These are for candyin’, so not so thin!”
“Sorry, Poppy,” Goldie answered meekly. The lass’s eyes flew wide open.
“Why, it’s Goldie Gardener!” she squealed, and, dropping her knife, threw her arms around Goldie.
“I’m here for Yule,” Goldie laughed, holding her own knife well out of the way.
“So I can see,” Poppy said, tweaking Goldie’s cheek and returning to her slicing. “And here in the kitchens, no less. One of these days, your Mam will have your hide, and mine besides.”
“Poppy, I’ve been sneaking off to the kitchens since I could walk,” Goldie replied, grabbing a fresh stack of carrots. It was an old argument, one Goldie and Poppy traded nearly every time they met.
“Suit yourself,” Poppy sniffed. “What news from Hobbiton?”
For a while, they chatted and chopped amicably, trading gossip and, in Goldie’s case, greetings with old friends who passed by their table.
“I don’t suppose you’ve seen Faramir Took of late,” Poppy said, dicing a potato.
“I haven’t seen anyone of late, save Uncle Merry and Uncle Pippin; I came straight here,” Goldie answered.
“He’s grown into his ears at last,” Poppy confided. “And his da has had him drilling with a wooden sword, or so I hear. Leastways, there’s not a hobbit with stronger arms in the Hall, and mind you, the lasses have noticed.”
“Don’t be silly,” Goldie scoffed. “Merriman Brandybuck has the strongest arms in Buckland, and you know it.”
“Aye, but Merriman happens to be sixty years old, married, and has a hole full of faunts to toss about for exercise. Goldie, you know what I mean. Faramir is the toast of the Great Smials, and now he’s come to Brandy Hall, and the lasses are pulling out the marmalade.”
“Faramir?” Goldie said disbelievingly, shaking her head. “He steals mushrooms, Poppy.”
“With eyes like that, and sword practice with his da, he could steal whole farms and get away with it,” Poppy said, fanning herself with a bit of parsley.
“I think you’re mad,” Goldie said, neatly dropping her vegetables into a bowl. “Faramir Took is the only hobbit alive more obnoxious than my brothers, and that takes some doing, let me tell you. I don’t care what he looks like.”
“You’ll care once you see him,” Poppy insisted. “You’ll be lurking beneath the mistletoe soon enough instead of cooking with me, just you wait.”
“I’ll do no such thing,” Goldie mumbled. Her face flushed and she reached for another potato, avoiding Poppy’s gaze.
“See ‘ere,” Poppy said gently. “What’s this, then? Mistletoe never got you flustered before.”
Goldie snorted derisively. “I never worried about mistletoe before.”
“Oh, there’s a tale here. What’s in it, Goldie?”
“It’s nothing much,” Goldie said reluctantly. Poppy cuffed her lightly with the back of her hand.
“There’s a tale, I’m sure of it. Go on. Somebody break your heart, lass?”
“Pish,” Goldie spat. “I’m not worth the trouble.”
“Oh, dear,” Poppy clucked. “You can tell me, Goldie. What is it?”
Goldie sighed heavily and sank down onto a convenient stool. “I’ll be of age soon enough, Poppy, and I’ve never had so much as a kissing-friend. I’m too quiet, and I can’t dance, and I’m not fair enough for anybody to look at me twice.”
“Oh, lass,” Poppy sighed, wrapping her arm around her friend. “Heart broken and nobody even knows. Did you have your cap set for anyone?”
“There was a lad in Hobbiton,” Goldie admitted. “I liked him. I tried to talk to him, though, and got all flustered. Later, I saw him with another lass—Violet, you don’t know her—kissing and hugging. She kept giggling, and when I got close enough to hear, I heard him mimicking me.”
“Oh!” Poppy cried. “The cad!”
“It doesn’t matter,” Goldie sighed. “I just wish… Well, I wish someone saw me as pretty. Or at least enough to pay attention to.”
“I think you’re as fair as the day is long,” Poppy said staunchly. “Your hair is the prettiest I’ve ever seen. And you’ve got eyes like fine brandy, you have. And nobody makes a berry tart like you, or draws such pretty pictures. Just because you can’t dance and you’re a wee bit shy doesn’t mean you’re less of a lass.”
“You’re awfully kind, Poppy,” Goldie said, smiling a little. “But I’m afraid I still don’t have much use for the mistletoe. Why, if I were to be kissed right this instant, I wouldn’t have an idea how!”
Poppy studied her friend for a moment. “I think I have just the thing.”
With that, she turned and dashed away, weaving through the bustle of the kitchen. Goldie made to follow her, but Marj caught her by the elbow.
“Off to dinner with you, Goldie, and not a word about it. You’re a fine helper, but if you don’t make a show at the table, your mam will worry. Off with you, now!”
Nobody argued with Marj. Goldie cast one look toward the way her friend had gone then made her way back upstairs to dress for dinner.
Dinner was a disaster. The food was perfect; the company better; the wine, best of all. But Goldie wanted nothing so much as to crawl under her chair and wait for spring. She was seated across from Faramir Took.
Goldie had known Faramir for as long as she could remember. Whenever he visited Bag End, or whenever the Gamgees made their way to the Great Smials in Tuckborough, Faramir was sure to be included on one of the Gamgees’ jaunts. He was pleasant enough, if a bit high-spirited, and he was rather fond of teasing Goldie. He used to hide her dolls, or pull her ribbons, or follow her incessantly when she would take her sketchbook into the forest to find a quiet place to draw. He was rather maddening, actually. Goldie’s recourse for years had been pulling his ears, which were rather large.
But she could hardly pull his ears now. It had been some time since Faramir had been to Bag End, and in the interim, he had grown from a stumbling hobbit lad with big ears to a fine specimen of a hobbit, with strong arms and soft grey eyes. Goldie suddenly understood what all the fuss was about, though she wasn’t sure she liked it. Faramir was different. Instead of teasing her, he asked her about the harvest in Hobbiton; he’d heard the apples were particularly good this year. Instead of clumsily knocking things about, as Goldie was used to, he handled his goblet with uncanny grace, sipping the wine elegantly and eating without dropping so much as a crumb. Goldie, by contrast, had never felt so clumsy in all of her life. Her silverware felt like shovels, so awkwardly did they rest in her hands, and she could scarcely move without bumping something. She was so unnerved, her wine glass slipped from her fingers, spilling over her plate.
“Don’t fret, Goldie dear,” whispered a soft baritone at her side. It was Tom, one of the serving-lads, a popular one in the kitchens. He winked at her and whisked the plate away. Hugo, one of the stable boys drafted into service in the Hall for the occasion, deftly covered the spill with a white cloth, gently squeezing Goldie’s hand as he moved away. Tom returned with a new plate, piping hot, and poured a new glass of wine over her shoulder.
“All’s well that ends well,” he whispered to her and, with a grin, backed away.
“Still sneaking off to the kitchens, I see,” Faramir said with a faint air of disapproval. Goldie summoned all of her willpower to stay in her seat and not flee from the room.
“Quite,” she agreed weakly, and tried to eat her dinner.
Goldie spent a restless night, dreaming of mistletoe and spills and Poppy chasing her with a wooden spoon because she wouldn’t kiss Faramir. She was so out of sorts in the morning, she went straight to the kitchens, not bothering with breakfast.
“Up early, I see,” Marj said as she entered, tying an apron on. “There’s enough to do. Mind that toast, will you?”
Goldie nodded and dutifully tended the toasting rack. Poppy sailed by with a stack of mixing bowls, smiling cheerfully as she passed. Tom came in with a bag of oatmeal, trailed by Bolco, one of the younger lads, who toted a bag of sugar.
“It’s getting colder,” Tom announced. “Goldie, can you spare a slice? Bolco’s hungry.”
“Aye,” Goldie said, neatly flipping a piece of toast off the rack and catching it with a dishtowel. She carried it to Bolco and Tom, both waiting by the door.
“Thanks, lass,” Tom said, smiling, and took the toast. Handing it to Bolco, he gently took Goldie by the elbows and glanced upward. In the doorway hung a sprig of mistletoe.
“Happy Yule, Goldie,” he said, and then kissed her.
The kitchen erupted into hoots and whistles, and Goldie pulled away, blushing. Tom took hold of Bolco’s collar and pulled him out of the kitchens, humming merrily. Goldie hurried back to her toasting rack and kept her eyes on the bread.
“That’s quite enough!” Marj bellowed. “There’s second breakfast to be done! Belle, stir that before it burns. Anwise, you back away from my porridge. To work, the lot of you!”
She snatched a basket off a shelf and made her way to Goldie.
Goldie took the basket and fled the kitchen. On her way outside, she nearly collided with Faramir, who leapt aside to avoid the crash.
“Steady!” he cried, holding up his hands. “Where’s the fire?”
“Just… Eggs,” Goldie stammered, holding up her basket. “I’m…outside.”
“Goldie, you’re a guest. You do know that, don’t you?” he said, cocking an eyebrow at the basket. Goldie didn’t answer, and Faramir sighed, stretching out a hand.
“Fine, we’ll try it your way.” He took the basket and led the way outside, Goldie in his wake.
They collected eggs without talking. When the basket was full, Faramir nodded toward the stables.
“You don’t mind if I check on Neddy, do you?”
“My pony,” Faramir explained. “That’s where I was going when I bumped into you. Won’t take a second, I promise.”
“Of course,” Goldie answered. Faramir hoisted the basket and set a brisk pace for the stables. Goldie followed, a bit slower. She couldn’t remember a time that Faramir had ever asked her opinion on anything; this polite, genteel Faramir was a little out of her element. She almost wished she could just pull on his ears, as she used to.
“I’ll leave these with you,” Faramir said, settling the basket on a clean bale of straw and darting off into the depths of the stables. Goldie waited, absently fingering the handle of the basket.
It was Hugo. He leaned a pitchfork against a wall and came to stand next to Goldie.
“Can I get you anything?” he asked. Goldie shook her head.
“Just with a friend, checking on a pony. I’ll be off to the kitchens in a moment…eggs, you know,” she replied.
“Ah,” Hugo murmured. “Are you sure, Goldie, lass?”
Goldie frowned. “What do you mean, Hugo?”
Goldie did. Dangling from the rafters on a rather dirty piece of string was a limp bunch of mistletoe.
“Happy Yule, Goldie,” Hugo said, almost apologetically, and kissed her, square on the mouth. Goldie gave a little squeak of surprise, and pulled back at the sound of a laugh behind them.
“Well, Goldie,” Faramir said, lazily strolling over to the basket. “Happy Yule, indeed!”
Hugo nodded. “Mister Faramir. Miss Goldilocks.”
He turned and walked away, whistling just as cheerfully as Tom. Goldie’s face blazed scarlet, and she hastily picked up the basket, hurrying toward the kitchens. Faramir called for her to wait, laughter in his voice, but she pretended not to hear.
The day did not improve. The Brandybucks were indeed fond of mistletoe, and it seemed for every bunch they had hung, there was a lad waiting to kiss Goldilocks Gamgee. Bovo kissed her as she left the kitchen for elevensies, Gerold caught her as she was leaving luncheon, Pepin sneaked two kisses as she followed her sisters to play Blind Hobbit’s Bluff in one of the parlours, and Alberic kissed her as she entered the kitchens that afternoon. Tom managed to kiss her three times in between, though at least once, Goldie was certain there wasn’t a sprig of mistletoe to be had. Worse, she kept seeing Faramir in corridors and parlours and at meals. He was laughing at her, she was certain; she tried to avoid him, but with only limited success. She had scarcely entered the kitchen when she turned and left again, hurrying down the twisting burrows to her room. Lifting the mattress, she pulled out her most prized possession: a leather-bound book of blank paper.
She tossed a cloak over her frock and made her way outside. It was cold, but she didn’t have to walk far before she found a tree with a convenient niche. She swung up and settled herself in the branches, wrapping her cloak snugly around her before opening the book.
“I say,” said a voice from the bottom of the tree. “A bit cold for that, don’t you think?”
Goldie leaned over her book to see. “I’m perfectly fine, thank you.”
Faramir shook his head. “You were always an odd mushroom, Goldie.”
“Thank you, Faramir,” Goldie said sarcastically. Faramir raised an eyebrow.
“You seem a bit short on Yuletide spirit. Why, you wouldn’t even play Blind Hobbit’s Bluff with me. You left as soon as I joined the game.”
“It had nothing to do with you,” Goldie said unconvincingly.
“And I’m an elf,” Faramir returned. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing’s the matter,” Goldie protested. “Why should anything be the matter?”
Faramir pursed his lips and didn’t say anything. He stared up at her for a few moments, then shook his head and reached up to haul himself into the tree. Settling beside Goldie, he cocked his head to look into her face.
“You always draw when you’re upset,” he said softly. “At least, you draw by yourself when you’re upset. If nothing was the matter, you would sit in your room, or a parlour, or at least on the ground. Trees and sketchbooks mean something is wrong.”
Goldie pressed her forehead to her sketchbook. “Am I so obvious?”
“Only to me,” Faramir said lightly. “I used to follow you, you know.”
“I remember,” Goldie said, slightly muffled. “I pulled your ears.”
“I know,” Faramir chuckled, rubbing his ear. “You hurt.”
“Sorry,” Goldie muttered, lifting her face.
“I survived. But Goldie, do tell me. What is it?”
Goldie frowned at her sketchbook. “Yule.”
“Yule? How can anyone be upset by Yule?”
“Mistletoe,” Goldie growled. “Yule means mistletoe, and I hate mistletoe.”
Faramir looked genuinely puzzled. “Really? But…all those kisses…”
“You’ve seen them all?” Goldie gasped. Faramir laughed.
“I don’t know. How many are there?”
“Oh, never you mind,” Goldie grumbled. “I didn’t know you’d seen.”
“Oh, I saw enough,” Faramir admitted. “That doesn’t explain why you hate mistletoe, though.”
“I didn’t want to kiss all of those lads!” Goldie cried, slamming her sketchbook shut. “They were just everywhere! I can’t go anywhere without getting kissed!”
“Most lasses would be rather happy by that,” Faramir said, chuckling.
“Not me.” Goldie studied her sketchbook intently.
“Oh.” Faramir sounded disappointed, and Goldie looked up.
“You don’t… There’s not a lad… In Hobbiton, I mean, there’s nobody that’s…” Faramir trailed off, looking lost. Goldie rolled her eyes.
“Of course not. I just don’t fancy Tom, or Hugo, or any of the lads that keep…mistletoeing me.”
“That’s not a word, Goldie.”
“It is so. I just made it up.”
“So,” Fararmir said again, dragging his fingertips along the tree limb. “You don’t want to be kissed by anyone?”
Goldie sighed. “I don’t know, Faramir. Why does it matter?”
Faramir looked vaguely ill. “I know of another lad who’d like to kiss you.”
“Oh, no,” Goldie groaned. Faramir groaned, too.
“Please, Goldie, just…” He leaned forward quickly and pressed his mouth to hers, bracing one arm against the branch and wrapping the other around her waist. Goldie struggled for a moment, but there was no place to pull back to, and the heat and press of Faramir’s mouth made her forget why, exactly, she should pull away. Some undeterminable time later, Faramir broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against hers.
“I’m sorry, Goldie,” he whispered. “I just had to. At least once.”
“But…but… Why?” Goldie forced out. “Why me? With all the lasses half out of their heads for you, and I’m…”
“Perfect,” Faramir finished for her. “You’re the only lass I know who will wander out into the forest just to see the trees. You don’t prattle on about nonsense all the time, you care about tales and Elvish and you know everything about everything, even though no one thinks to ask you. You’re the best cook in the Shire, including my mother, and I know it’s because you’re always sneaking off to the kitchens. None of the lasses in the Great Smials would do that, but you do. And you draw better than anyone I know, and I could watch you forever, when you study the paper, like you’re trying to figure out what’s locked up inside. And oh, Goldie, you’re so pretty. Da says your hair is just like the leaves of Lothlórien, but I think the leaves are like your hair, Goldie, and… Goldie?”
Faramir paused, for during his speech, Goldie had leaned quietly against his chest and begun to cry.
“Oh, Goldie,” he murmured, stroking her hair. “Goldie, I’ve been in love with you forever. I didn’t know it for the longest time, but when I realized I even liked you pulling my ears…”
“Do you mean it?” Goldie whispered, raising anxious eyes to his face. “You don’t care that I’m not beautiful, and that I’m quiet, and that I can’t dance?”
“I don’t care a bit that you can’t dance. And you’re not quiet, you just listen. And Goldie, you’re the most beautiful hobbit lass to set foot in the Shire. Do you really hate mistletoe?”
Goldie blinked. “What?”
Faramir looked up, and Goldie followed his gaze to a clump of mistletoe growing directly above their perch.
“Because I’m about to kiss you again,” Faramir said, grinning widely.
“You know,” Goldie mused. “I think mistletoe isn’t quite so bad.”
With that, she tilted her face up to be kissed.
“The plan is a success,” Poppy gloated, pouring sauce over a dish. “Beautifully done, lads.”
“It’s always a pleasure to kiss a pretty lass,” Tom said gallantly. “Even if we have to follow her all day.”
“Well, Faramir will be kissing her from now on, I think,” Poppy grinned. “We’ll have to find someone else for you to follow.”
“No need,” Tom said, brandishing a sprig of mistletoe. “I think I’ve found one myself.”