8. Untimely Meeting
"Ah, Master Dwalin! How fortuitous that I found you here."
Dwalin turned slowly and regarded the tall old man. "Gandalf," he greeted cautiously. Whenever the wizard showed up, something was afoot. "Been a long time."
"Well, yes it has. You seem to be faring well." Gandalf gave a slight smile.
"What is it you want? No one just happens to stop here in their travels." Dwalin busied himself with his pony. It was already later than he would like. He had work to finish.
Gandalf have a small huff at the unspoken accusation. "I thought perhaps you would join me for a mug of ale. I have news that may interest you." The Wizard tried to sound casual.
The stout dwarf turned to face the unexpected traveler. "No time for the tavern. If you have something to say to me, do it quick." Dwalin finished saddling his pony.
"I have not known you to turn down a tankard of ale."
"Then you don't really know me. Whatever scheme or plan you are cooking up old man, count me out." Dwalin now led his pony out of the stable.
Never moving from his spot, Gandalf spoke loudly, "It concerns Thorin Oakenshield and it is *his* plan."
That got the dwarf's attention. Thorin was a kinsman and his liege. Dwalin did not look at the Wizard. He suddenly had an uncomfortable feeling. Despite his heart's desire to simply walk away, go back to the homestead, and forget everything else, his dwarven sense of duty and loyalty won out. "Well, come on then. I don't have all day."
Talliya sighed in relief when Dwalin appeared on the horizon. He went to town for a few things and she thought he would be home long before now. She knew he was quite capable of taking care of himself, but with their recent run in with the warg, she worried more as her dreams often revisited her father's death.
The woman went to the barn as Dwalin dismounted. "I am relieved to see you; I was getting worried," she said good-naturedly.
Dwalin only grunted and led his pony into the barn. Talliya's relief faded; something was not right. She could smell ale and Dwalin had never set foot in the tavern before. "Trouble finding what you needed?" She tried to sound nonchalant, but failed.
"Stopped for a drink." He moved past her. He spent most of the ride home in silent debate with himself; he had hoped to have everything sorted out before he got there. The tall Dwarf stopped at the water pump and washed. Dwalin knew Talliya was ill at ease as she followed him into the house.
"I have supper ready," the woman said as she bustled about the kitchen, grabbing bowls. Her hands shook and she splashed soup on them. She cursed and finished filling the bowl. Shaky hands set the streaming dish in front of Dwalin. Talliya then quickly brought rolls and honey, followed by a mug of ale. All the while, she hoped the Dwarf would say something…anything that might ease her distress; instead, he dug into his supper. Talliya knew better than to press him. He would talk when he was ready and, as she had learned from her Da, there was no way around it. Instead, she busied herself about the kitchen, cleaning her dishes for she had eaten earlier.
"I have to leave."
Talliya dropped the dish in the washtub with a splash then quickly recovered it, washing it more roughly than necessary. Her heart plummeted. "I…I see," was all she could say. What else was there? She knew Dwarves who lived outside their mountain homes rarely stayed anywhere for long. She had hoped it was different, that Dwalin was like her Da but…
"Tomorrow," he said bluntly.
She tried to swallow the lump in her throat as she answered, "I will see that you have food and coin. I am grateful for your help and company." She kept her back to him, her voice shaky.
Dwalin sighed and set his mug down firmly. "It is something I must do," he finally said.
Talliya turned on him, unable to quell her swirling emotions. "Must? You must? How is it you *must*? I never thought a Dwarf could be pressed into doing anything he did not want to do!" Her voice rose. "If you wanted to stay you would do so! Don't feed me honeyed words! I thought…I thought…" her voice choked and tears stung her eyes. She quickly turned away, her face flushed.
Dwalin began to speak but the distraught woman held her hand to silence him, then fled the room. Her bedroom door slammed shut. The warrior stood with a growl and stormed to her door. He found it barred.
"Open the door!" He pounded loudly. "Talliya! Open!"
"Let me be!" she cried out.
Dwalin banged again, items on shelves rattling. He could have put his shoulder to it and most likely broken through, but he knew *that* would not help matters. He pounded again, but quickly lost heart. His forehead dropped against the smooth wood with a dull thud; something inside him breaking.
"I will come back," he said softly. "I swear--lest death take me. I will come back to you." For perhaps only the fourth time in his long life, tears fell. This hurt more than fleeing from Erebor. He heard movement within the room and hope flared. But, the door did not open, the bar held fast.
"Then why?" The voice on the other side of the door sounded so defeated.
"I would speak to you, not your door," Dwalin replied firmly. He heard the lock draw back but the door remained closed. After a moment's pause, the Dwarf pressed down the latch and entered. Talliya sat on the window ledge, face turned to the darkening twilight; she did not look at him when he entered. Dwalin was no stranger to pain, but this, this was torture. He sat on the edge of her bed closest to her, his forearms resting on his knees; this was so very new to him. The silence hung like a shroud.
Finally the weary Dwarf spoke. "Thorin Oakenshield calls on those he calls friends to accompany him on a quest." He paused and when Talliya did not move, he continued, "He is my kinsman and king. I have pledged my life and ax to Durin's heir."
Tear-filled green eyes turned to him but there was no anger in them anymore, only resignation. "What is this quest?" she asked quietly.
Gandalf had told Dwalin the importance of secrecy but he could not keep it from the woman how now held his heart. "You must speak to no one of this," he began. The look he received would have been comical if not for the given emotional turmoil. "He says the signs are right and it is time to reclaim Erebor."
Talliya's eyes flew wide and she moved swiftly from her perch to stand, fists clenched, before the startled dwarf. "He would ask you to risk your life against a dragon? Why? Why must he reclaim what has been lost for centuries? It is foolhardy and you know it; yet you will follow him! Where does that leave us?" She suddenly paused, her hand coming to her mouth, eyes wide. She had not meant to say it. Whatever was between them had never been discussed. She knew she should have no expectations; never had he spoke words of promise or love.
Again she tried to flee, but this time Dwalin was ready. He caught her wrist and pulled her about. She protested and tried to pull away, begging him to just let her go, that she did not mean to imply anything. As during the warg attack, her rational mind slipped away and panic and embarrassment set in. She needed to get away at all costs!
In a flash, Dwalin pulled her tight against his chest, his massive hand holding her head as his lips crushed against hers. Teeth clashed, drawing blood from soft lips. Tongues dueled for control as they plundered moist cavities. The half-dwarf stopped fighting to get away and fought for control, needing control. The dwarf blood in her surged to life as she clawed at Dwalin's clothes, desperate to get as close to him as possible. Dwalin did not protest. Fingers pulled and tugged and ripped at the barriers they encountered; soon the two tumbled into the bed, free of their garments. Hands roamed and nails scratched as the two fought for dominance. It was a powerful thing, lovemaking between dwarves.
Soon Talliya found herself on her knees as Dwalin thrust into her from behind. She cried out as he filled her. The tall dwarf was able to cover her as he thrust into her wet heat. She could feel the thick soft hair of his chest moving against her back and it comforted her. A powerful hand reached around for her breast, kneading it almost painfully. Talliya felt pleasure course through her as her lover dominated her. Faster and faster till at last, Dwalin bit down on the juncture between neck and shoulder and she pressed back in ecstasy, feeling his member pulse deep within her. They collapsed, panting, on the bed.
"I swear to return," Dwalin said with such conviction that it left little doubt in Talliya's mind of his pledge. However, her heart clenched and her blood ran cold for this quest was, in truth, suicide.
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.