The frosts had come early and there was still much to prepare. Dwalin saw that the chimneys were clean and in good repair while Talliya stocked the root cellar and cured meats. The two now lived very comfortably together. The dwarf no longer seemed to be a hired hand and the town's people began to whisper. The half-dwarf would just laugh and brush off the assumptions. "He is leaving in the spring," she would say with a chuckle. The though made her heart ache for she was *very* fond of the dwarf and her dreams had become more tantalizing as of late. Still, she never spoke to Dwalin of personal matters preferring ignorance; less likely to get disappointed. So, the two prepared to settle in for the long hard winter.
Talliya knelt on the bank of the small lake just behind her property. Cattails were abundant and the roots made for good roasting. However, she needed to harvest them before the ground froze. She hummed to herself as she dug in the cool ground. Suddenly, Talliya froze, the half-dug bulb forgotten. She sensed something. The world around her went still and she slowly turned. There at the glade's edge, not fifty paces crept a beast so foul, it feared nothing. The mangy warg crouched, drool and foam dripped from its jaws. The beast snarled, the element of surprise lost. Still it inched forward, its prey trapped against the flowing river. Panic flooded into Talliya's soul. She could not out run it, nor make it to a sturdy enough tree. Her small blade would be of little help against the thick matted hide. There was only one option and it did not guarantee her survival. In a burst of self-preservation, the half-dwarf screamed as loud and as long as she could as she dashed not forward but back, back to the cold dark lake.
The warg bounded towards her, but slowed as it neared the water. Its meal had already darted into the lake and swam towards an outcropping of rock. The beast growled and snapped its great jaw, pacing in frustration. Wargs, though powerful swimmers, did not like water; but if the animal wished to eat, it would have to give chase. It padded into the shallows; it had time. Its meal had nowhere to go and once the beast overcame its hesitation, the hunt would continue!
Dwalin piled the split wood and retrieved another log. As he was poised to drop the ax, a sound reached his ears. Suddenly terror gripped the dwarf's heart. Wasting no time, he grabbed his battle-ax—which he kept with him always—and ran for the river. Talliya was in trouble! As Dwalin raced through the small glade, he prayed to Mahal that he arrived in time. As he came over the embankment, he let out a great yell, drawing the mongrel's attention.
The great beast turned with a snarl, its body moving more fluidly than one might expect from so massive a fiend. It lunged. Talliya's scream melded with Dwalin's battle cry as he swerved to the side and raised his ax. First blood was his! The creature howled in pain and came around for another attack, the hair on its back bristling. Dwalin stood ready, great axe in hand. Now he stood between the warg and its intended prey. The demon would have to get passed Dwalin and that was *not* going to happen as far as the warrior was concerned. The two combatants charged.
Clinging to the rock Talliya watched with a mix of awe and horror as Dwalin fought. She had never seen a dwarf in battle and she found it frightening, yet enthralling. Her heart raced with each blow the dwarf landed. It took little time before the fearsome dwarf delivered the fatal stroke and the beast fell dead in mid lunge. Dwalin was panting heavily as he kicked the carcass. Raising his bloodied ax on last time, he neatly sliced its throat. He bent over, willing the rage and fear inside him to stop.
Splashing caught his attention. Turning, he moved to the water's edge. He saw Talliya struggling to make her way to the shore. Despite his own exhaustion and dislike of random bodies of water, the dwarf rushed forward, pushing his way through waist-deep water. Something inside him erupted like the fires of Mount Doom! He had found it; at long last, he knew what he sought for all those restless years! The very thought of losing the half-dwarf drove him mad and the need to hold her almost unbearable.
Talliya's wet clothes weighed her down and she struggled to stay above the water. She set her eyes on the grim dwarf before her and focused on him. She was safe; he was safe. With a final lunge, she fell into his arms, tears streaming.
"I thought it would kill me! I did not know what to do…oh Dwalin, I was so afraid! If you had not heard me…if you had not come…I…" Talliya was quickly becoming hysterical.
Hysterical was something that Dwalin did not do. He gave her a solid shake, his slate eyes finally catching her gaze.
"We must go. There might be more about and the struggle may have alerted them."
Talliya let herself be led ashore. The two trudged to the house, Talliya completely soaked, cold clothing plastered to her body and rivulets of water running down her face. Entering the main room, Dwalin stoked the fire and grabbed a blanket. Wrapping it about the dazed woman and tucking into her grip, Dwalin pulled his own cloak from the hook. Ignoring his own dripping clothes, he pulled it across his shoulders.
"I need to let the town know about the warg. I will be back soon. Draw yourself a bath and get warm." The dwarf stepped through the door.
In a flash, Talliya followed, grabbing his cloak desperately. "Please, don't go," she pleaded, terror rising within her again.
"They need to be…"
"NO! You can't leave! You said yourself there will likely be others and not even you could fight off a pack." Images of her father began to flood through her frightened mind.
Dwalin continued to pull away. He needed to get word out. He would be fine. Still he felt her pull at him with a sob. Dwalin could handle just about anything except female hysteria! He could not believe that she was acting like this. Talliya never over reacted about anything so what...Then it hit him. He understood and it made sense. Her Da was killed by wargs and now she feared he would suffer the same fate. Dwalin stopped abruptly and turned on the frantic woman. The feelings inside him, newly awaken, flared like the flames of the great dwarf forges.
Talliya stumbled back as the tall dwarf turned to her, a look of determination on his face. Suddenly, strong fingers tangled in her thick wet hair and her ramblings silenced by hot, demanding lips. All fear and thought fled from the half-dwarf's mind as she slowly registered what was happening. Then it was over. Dwalin withdrew and she felt a loss. Strong arms now held her tight against a powerful chest and she was keenly aware of his scent. It caused her face to flush and her stomach to tingle.
"I *will* return," Dwalin whispered sending shivers down her spine, "before sundown." He made sure she saw the truth in his eyes when he pulled back. "You need warmth. A bath will drive the chill away and settle your nerves.
Talliya wanted to tell the dwarf that he could drive away the chill. That she needed him. Instead, she nodded numbly. She watched as Dwalin vanished into the barn and returned a short time later on his pony. She shivered as he passed the iron gate. Finally, the cold seeping into her bones drove her inside. Dwalin's advice had been sound. Talliya checked on the stew and set kettles to boil. Now that things had quieted, she began to process the day's events. Tears began to fill her eyes as emotions flooded her. She shook as she filled the tub, hiccupped as she stripped, and downright sobbed as she stepped into the steaming water. She leaned back and tried to let the water sooth her; it worked. Soon the fear faded into calm to curiosity. Dwalin had kissed her and she wondered why.
'To shut you up, of course,' her mind told her.
'True, but he could have done it another way,' her heart whispered.
Talliya sank beneath the water and came up with a gasp. It was ridiculous! Ludicrous! Yet, deep inside she felt hope ignite. Her Da had fallen in love with her mother so it was not out of the question. Her body responded to that thought quite pleasantly. She felt her stomach flip and she could not stop the grin. Oh, she was being foolish again! But who cares? It was just her and her dreaming—no harm done. She closed her eyes and finally relaxed.
A sudden noise jolted her from her peace. In her distracted state, she had not pulled the privacy screen and if that noise was in fact Dwalin, he would walk right in on her in the tub! For a moment, she froze and listened intently. Nothing. Sighing, she decided it was time to leave the tub and see to dinner before she found herself in an embarrassing situation. Talliya stepped out of the tub; she felt better. The half-dwarf still felt sick at the thought of the warg, but then her mind wandered, again, to Dwalin's kiss and butterflies hatched. She pulled the plug and reached for a towel.
Dwalin had warned the townsmen about the warg. Only the Miller seemed to pay him any heed. Well, that was their foolishness! He did all he felt necessary. Now, riding home, his mind turned to other more distracting thoughts. He had kissed Talliya without thought and it awoke something deep within him, something that had lain dormant and which now could not be quelled. Dwalin had found the treasure he sought; he found his mate. The only thing that remained was whether she was agreeable and Dwalin had no idea how to broach that. Now, he wished his brother Balin was with him. He would know what to do.
Dwalin rode into the yard and stabled his pony. Approaching the back of the house, he caught a glimpse of Talliya through the window. She stood with her back to him. He knew he should turn away, head back to the barn, but the sight of her awoke his desire. He watched through the window as she wrapped her long, thick, dark auburn hair in a towel. He swallowed hard when she turned, inadvertently displaying her more than ample breasts, peaked nipples surrounded by soft copper wisps. Oh, she was a dwarf lass indeed! His eyes then traveled the rest of her visible body. Before Talliya wrapped the towel around her body, Dwalin espied a thin trail of hair from her bellybutton down to an area blocked by the damn windowsill. He wanted to creep closer to see the patch of copper curls he knew to be just out of view.
The dwarf finally tore his gaze from the tempting image, cursing his weakness. He turned and walked to the horse trough; in frustration, he thrust his head into the cold water, shaking it as he rose. He lived far too many years to be acting like this! He dunked his head again, sputtering as he came up. Then, he waited, patiently, until she had enough time to leave the back room and his awakened member returned to its flaccid state. Only then did he enter the house. He stole to his room and donned clean, dry clothing before going to the kitchen.
Talliya appeared to have calmed down, although Dwalin noticed her hands still shook. She plated his stew and asked quietly, "What did they say?"
"Fools think it is just a renegade; don't want to see the truth."
"Most are that way. They think they are safe in their little town. Even after Da…" her voice broke. Taking a calming breath, she continued, "Even after they found his remains and the multiple paw prints, they brushed it off. Only the miller took it as a sign to be more vigilant. He got himself a couple of big dogs. Not really a match for a warg, but better than nothing." She returned to the sink, busying herself with clean up.
Dwalin knew he had not given her enough time to dress *and* eat, yet she made no bowl for herself. "You will not eat?" he asked.
"I don't have an appetite; perhaps later," came the quiet reply.
The dwarf took several more mouthfuls, silently watching the woman work. Finally, he spoke again, "Good I'm staying the winter, safer for you."
Talliya's heart beat quickly. "Aye, I suppose," she replied suddenly feeling awkward. After a long silence, she dropped the dishcloth in the bucked and with her back to Dwalin, she asked the question that had been nagging her since it happened. "Before you left, that... that kiss, it was just to stop my panic, to draw my attention, right? She tried to sound casual, to keep her true meaning hidden, but Dwalin spent years hearing what others did not say.
"Aye." He watched her shoulders drop just a bit and the barest hint of a sigh escaped her lips. He stood and came to a stop right behind her.
Talliya could feel the heat of his body; feel his breath in her hair. She stood as still as a hair in the sights of a fox.
"And desire." He went out on a limb, trying to coax some insight from her. It was phrased something like a question though it was said rhetorically.
The rumble of his voice made her body quiver as she processed his words. She turned and found herself pressed against the counter and his presence. The dwarf might not be taller, but somehow, at the moment, he seemed to tower over her. He was so close she could smell the pack of pipe tobacco he kept in his shirt pocket. She could smell him and it made her senses come alive. Finally, she looked at him through long lashes. "Desire?" she repeated in a whisper.
"Aye; did I overstep?" He didn't wait for her answer, instead he threaded his fingers into her hair and guided her lips to his.
Talliya could do nothing but shake her head before he captured her lips. She felt dizzy as his soft mustache and beard tickled her cheeks and chin. He coaxed her lips open and slid his tongue in to meet hers and she melted into him. A moan escaped as she returned the kiss, her arms coming around his broad shoulders.
He shifted to kiss her cheek and nip at her ear. His control quickly fading, he took her lips again, this time in a hungry, demanding kiss. She did not resist and the dwarf let his newly discovered passion take control. Keeping one hand wrapped firmly about her waist, Dwalin's free hand began to work on the buttons of her shirt. Soon, his large hand slid beneath the fabric and cupped a generous handful of soft flesh.
The woman groaned and arched into his touch, encouraging the dwarf further. Moving his hand for just a moment, he loosed a few more buttons before pushing the fabric off Talliya's shoulder and down her arm, sliding her under sheath with it. With her breast now free, he dipped his head and took the rosy nipple in his mouth. He was rewarded with a mew and slender arms wrapped about his head keeping him securely in place. Keeping his lips locked on her breast, he wrapped his arms about her waist and lifted her easily. Carefully he maneuvered to his room—it was closest—and deposited Talliya on the bed. He pulled back just long enough to pull off his own shirt.
Talliya may have seen him bare-chested while working, but it was nothing like seeing him shirtless in a bedroom. His broad chest was covered in thick dark hair that she so wanted to reach out and touch. Dwalin's arms, like the rest of him, bore many silvery scars, tribute to the strength and courage of the warrior dwarf! Marked with runes and riddled with scars, he was the most beautiful being to Talliya's eyes and his raw appeal made her wet. She knew not where this would all lead; her body hoped it would finally feel an unbridled release of passion lying in Dwalin's embrace.
She did not have to wonder long for Dwalin crawled over her, taking her lips in a demanding kiss. His large hands slid over her flesh' squeezing her breasts and pinching her nipples. The rough calluses scraped Talliya's soft skin causing her to shiver. The dwarf seemed to touch every inch of her exposed body as his lips traced a line of fire along her jaw and teeth grazed her neck.
Talliya squirmed under his ministrations as pleasure and passion mounted. Pulling her blouse open completely, Dwalin kissed his way down her sternum; her stomach quivered as his hair tangled with the soft down on her belly. The dwarf moaned as his hands slid under her skirts, hiking the fabric higher and higher. Now he moved by pure instinct, desire ruling his actions, passion guiding his heart.
Now she understood, knew of what her mother spoke in the pages of her journal. The passion Da carried deep within him. Any further thought flew from her mind, however, as the very wicked tongue licked and lips sucked on her; strong hands fondled her breast and arse, She felt a hand slid up her leg and cool air brush her leg as it was freed from her heavy skirts. As she watched, Dwalin pushed her skirts to her waist. Her heart raced as he took in the sight of her and she saw desire burn brightly in his eyes. A hand skimmed Talliya's thigh as a demanding mouth claimed hers. One strong finger slid between her folds and glided through her wetness. Pressure against her swollen nub made the half-dwarf writhe and arch her back. Oh, she could not take anymore and ecstasy surged through her body as Dwalin brought her to orgasm; something no other had ever done before.
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.