The two dwarves returned sometime later and found the table set with smoked fish, hard cheese, warm crusty bread, and tankards of ale. Talliya busied herself in the kitchen, her babe resting comfortably in a sling about her chest. She moved about effortlessly, as if having the child attached in such a way was the most natural thing in the world. She finished chopping some vegetables and dropped them into the pot as the dwarves approached the table.
"Good, come sit. A light meal tonight; tomorrow something hardier."
Balin nodded and smiled politely as he and Dwalin took their seats. Both eagerly dug in; it had been a long time indeed, since they ate something so filling. Talliya moved to a rocking chair and watched the two. For many minutes, it was silent, the dwarves enjoying their respite. Finally, however, Dwalin spoke.
"When?" he asked between mouthfuls.
"Just before Yule. But, if you meant when I knew I was with child; it was a few weeks after you left." Slate eyes regarded her as she continued. "I began to feel tired and ill soon after you left. I assumed it was only disquiet and thought nothing of it. One day I was at the general store when I got sick; barely made it out the door. Again, I believed it was stress and worry; I thought I'd never see you again." She ended in a whisper; their eyes met. Talliya, unable to hold Dwalin's intense gaze any longer looked away, continuing her story.
"A few women were present but I brushed off their concern. The miller's wife however was not easily deterred. She shooed the others away and then asked about us and our 'relationship'. I told her but could not fathom why it mattered. The next day she arrived here with the midwife who confirmed I was with child. The confinement went without problems. When I could no longer handle all the chores, the miller's daughter came to help me--a sweet girl, getting married in the summer. Anyway, the birth went well and here we are." The half-dwarf look lovingly at the child sleeping peacefully.
"What do you call him?" Dwalin inquired.
Talliya hesitated. According to what she had learned about dwarf culture, it was a father's place to name a son. However, given the circumstances and her assumption that they would never see the father she took it upon herself. "Grundin…for my father and you. You can change it if you wish." The last part said in barely a whisper and Talliya held her breath.
" 'Tis a fine name," Dwalin replied, downing the last of his ale. "You should have sent word."
The half-dwarf balked. "Sent word where? With whom? You left and I heard nothing. Moreover, what difference would it have made? You could not have just told Thorin you had to leave on account of a child you conceived with a half-breed."
Dwalin stood in one swift motion, his brows knitted in anger. "Never use that word again," he growled.
Balin, who till this time sat peacefully eating, bemused by the conversation, sipping at his ale, was suddenly brought up short by his brother's out burst. The deep bellow caused the elder dwarf to jolt, spilling ale down his beard. Balin let out an irritated 'humph' and glowered at his kinsman.
Dwalin's outburst also took Talliya by surprise and she nodded mutely. Silence settled as Dwalin sat back down. Finally, Talliya asked the expected question.
"The quest was successful? Has Thorin regained his throne?"
This time Balin spoke, still blotting his ale soaked beard. Setting the cloth down he replied with a sad smile, "Aye, the quest was successful and we have reclaimed the Mountain of our birth, but it cost us greatly. Thorin and his young kinsmen were lost. Dáin now rules under the mountain."
The pain of loss was palpable. Dwalin stared at his empty plate; Balin gentle eyes misted over. Talliya too grieved for their loss. She met the exiled king, unknowingly, long ago, although at that time she sensed he carried some great burden. In the heavy silence that followed, she put Grundin in the cradle. Dwalin suddenly pushed away from table and addressed his brother.
"Balin, will you see to the child?"
The elder dwarf smirked. "Gladly." Balin rose and made himself comfortable in the sitting room, his foot gently rocking the cradle.
Talliya soon found herself being lead out to the front door. "Wait, Dwalin…the baby!"
"Don't worry lassie," Balin called after her as Dwalin pulled her along. "I've had practice. The wee one will be fine."
Dwalin was moving purposefully towards the barn and had not yet uttered a word. Talliya had to quicken her pace or the dwarf would have dragged her behind.
"Dwalin…Dwalin wait. What is this about?" she questioned as the crossed the yard.
They reached the barn and Dwalin all but flung the half-dwarf inside. Before she knew what was happening, hungry lips claimed hers in a bruising kiss. Strong hands tangled in her hair and she was pulled close to the powerful body. She answered the kiss, finding herself equality starved. Desire erupted as the kiss deepened. Frantic hands roamed bodies, remembering each curve and muscle. Outer clothing was discarded and frantic fingers pulled at clasps and buckles, yanked at ties and buttons. Finally giving in to pure animalistic need, Dwalin grasped his lover's bum and easily lifted her; Talliya took the hint and wrapped her legs around the dwarf. Keeping one hand on her bottom, the other pushed her skirt up her legs then moved to release his straining member. Tongues dueled as Dwalin blindly moved to pin Talliya against the wall. He growled as her fingers threaded tightly into the hair at the base of his skull and she pressed against him.
"Need you," Talliya panted as she nipped his ear and caught a ring in her teeth. She was rewarded for her efforts. Her under garment was shoved to the side and Dwalin entered her in one swift motion. She cried out, her head falling back against the wooden boards. Pressing herself against the wall, she found the leverage needed so Dwalin could thrust up into her. She hooked her legs around his waist as best she could as he drove in and then out and then in again at a quickening pace. Passion and pleasure grew as she moaned and sighed each time he moved her. Finally, it peaked and she cried out loudly, arching her back and drawing Dwalin in as far as possible.
With one last thrust, Dwalin followed her over the edge. He buried his head in the crook of her neck and held her tight as he rode out the waves of ecstasy. He relished the feel of her arms and legs wrapped around him. Breathing hard and utterly spent, Dwalin found his spirit renewed and at peace once again. He had found what he sought all those long years. He had his treasure and nothing was going to separate them again.
"Mine," he whispered.
"Aye, if you will have a half-dwarf," Talliya responded.
"Dwarf enough for me," Dwalin grunted.
Talliya smiled and began to untangle their bodies and right their clothing. "Guess it's a good thing we were in the barn," she said with a blush.
"Didn't want to wake the babe."
The half-dwarf giggled. "I don't think Balin would have wanted to hear us either."
Dwalin just 'humphed' and gave her a little smirk.
When at last they returned to the cottage, Balin greeted them with a knowing grin and wink that caused Talliya to redden to the tip of her ears. She moved to the cradle and gathered the child in her arms.
"Thank you," she said, still embarrassed.
"My pleasure, lassie. Good night."
She smiled at the two dwarfs as they pulled out their pipes. The half-dwarf entered her room and settled in for the night. At some point during her sleep, she was aware of movement next to her and instinctively snuggled close to her beloved dwarf, fingers idly running through the thick hair on his chest.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.