Jez giggled at Zij, winking devilishly at him as she hauled a large fish from the Nagrand lake, carefully avoiding getting the water on her new robe. The male troll smiled at her, his hair an even brighter red in the sun, his skin even bluer next to the water, his robe matching hers – purple with gold trim, though Jez’s was tailored to show off her flat stomach, while Zij’s was not.

Fishing with Zij watching wasn’t so bad as fishing alone, and the young troll girl relaxed, casually tossing out her line and forgetting about it, instead paying attention to one another.

“Such a sexy figure…” Zij groaned softly, licking his lips.

“Not ‘alf so sexy as a certain male Troll I know,” Jez grinned, her line being pulled quickly from her hands as she sat on the soft, green grass beside Zij, placing her hand in his lap.

Zij snickered, nodding, “Ja right. But we can agree we’re bot’ sexy. Like bruddah’, like sistah!” he exclaimed, throwing his arms in the air, and forgetting the tone of his voice. She grinned wickedly at him, shushing him half heartedly.

“Da same sexy genes dat are in ju, are in me,” Zij replied, ignoring her minor protest, safe in the wilds of Nagrand, far from prying eyes. Jez relaxed into his arms, staring across the water, the faint outline of large stone structures in the distance.

“Wondah if mom an’ dad were ‘ot too,” she spoke softly, only half kidding.

“Sick,” Zij chuckled, squeezing her body into him. “First time ju ask o’ dem in… years, an’ ju ask if dey were ‘ot?”

“What else mattahs ’bout d’em. I don’t know ’bout d’em at all,” Jez shrugged, dipping her toes into the chilly water.

“Well… if ju wanna know…” Zij stroked his tusk, looking over the water. “Dad was a lot like me, I s’pose. But oldah. ‘is ‘air was grey, an’ weren’t as tall or large. Not quite.”

“Sounds ‘ot, if ‘e’s like ju,” she grinned, leaning her head on his chest, listening intently.

“Mom… now mom… She was…” Zij squinted his eyes, looking up at the sky. “I don’t really remembah ‘er dat well. When she was aroun’ she was usually quiet an’ by ‘erself.”

Jez nodded, a reflective pause coming over them both. Jez hadn’t asked of her parents in years, and Zij hadn’t thought of them in quite a while. They had died when he was still a young troll, and she was little more than a new born. When they passed away in an accident their wealth went to their young son, who had the ability to provide for his sister and was left alone to do so.

“Is it wrong d’at I don’t care ta know mo’ ’bout d’em?” she frowned, struggling to get out the words she’s pondered so many times, feeling like a terrible person every time she did.

“Nah. We all de family we need.” Zij said, after a slight pause, smiling down at her face.

“D’at’s what I t’ink.” Jez replied, nodding seriously, before resting her head back on his chest, her fingers playing with the material of his robe.

“Right ‘ere in front o’ me, I got de girl I raised like she were my own… my sistah… my best friend… my lovah… my wife,” he smiled, kissing Jez’s forehead as she blushed happily, turning to rub her hands over his arms and chest.

“Ju all I’ll evah need,” Jez smiled, kissing Zij’s lips lightly as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close.

“I’m glad. I did my best ta raise an’ treat ju right Jez. I love ju.”

“Zij… ju ‘ave taken great care of me. Ju’ve been da best brod’ah I could ‘ave ‘oped fo’, taken care of me like bot’ a mod’ah an’ a fad’ah could ‘ave struggled ta do, but chu did it wit’ ease, even wit’ yer studies. I couldn’t ‘ave ‘oped fo’ bettah,” she blushed, embracing him as well.

Zij smiled happily, seeming a little embarrassed for a moment. “Ju were wort’ every moment I put inta raisin’ an’ ‘elpin’ ju. Ju grew up ta be a Lady dat surpasses any odah, an’ a leadah beyond even me.”

There was a pause, silent as they peered over the still lake.

“Is it bad ta be glad mom an’ dad died? I jus’… don’t know t’ings woulda been so good wit’ d’em around…” Jez blushed, embarrassed, eagerly waiting Zij’s answer.

Zij looked over the water, cradling Jez in his arms, her head beneath his chin. “Jez…” Zij looked down to Jez, then back across the water. “If mom an’ dad ‘ad been wit’ us… den… I don’t see ‘ow we coulda ended up like we did. I could nevah ‘ave taken ju as my lovah. Nevah my wife.” Zij closed his eyes and smiled, “I don’t know if it’s bad. But I am glad.”

Letting out a relieved sigh, she moved closer to him, hugging him tight. “Me too. I love ju, Zij… an’ I love what we ‘ave.”

“Jez… I mighta done a lot o’ bad t’ings… a lot. Even…” He stopped, rethinking his words, “especially ta ju maybe. But I can’t regret what brought me ta dis point where I’m sittin’, ‘oldin’ ju in my arms as lovah an’ wife.”

Jez pulled from Zij a little, looking up at him, “Zij… ju’ve done da best I could evah dream fo’… if da past ‘ad been changed, I’d nevah be so ‘appy as I am every time I’m wit’chu. I love ju, Zij. As a ‘usband an’ lovah especially. I don’t care what od’ahs say ’bout whatchu did. I’m glad ju did it.”

He smiled at Jez, his eyes half open and downcast, but happy. “I love ju, Jez. I don’t care eidah. I wouldn’t give dis up for anyt’in’.”

“Me neid’ah. Right or wrong, we be ‘appy.”

“An’… I’d do it all ovah again. A million times if I was given de choice. I need my Jezzy…” Zij said, quickly seeming to perk up, his eyes widening, crinkling with joy as he smiled at her. She giggled, tackling him to the ground, lying on top of him and smiling.

“No one is allowed takin’ my Zijjy from me evah again!” she cried out, laughing and smiling. Zij chuckled and squeezed Jez to him, kissing her face repeatedly as he grinned happily.

“An’ Jez, I got news for ju…”

Confused, Jez looked down on Zij, cocking her head to the side. “Oh?” Zij sighed, still happily smiling.

“I found out why we aint ‘ad anodah child… I know now.”

Jez frowned slightly, confusion in her eyes as she looks into his.

“It aint us, Jez. It aint what we did. It’s DEM. De ones dat took ju away from me. Dose sick bastahds dat took ju away!” Zij smiled, looking up at Jez, his head in the grass.

Jez quirked a brow, sputtering, “But… I.. Ju figured…” He griped her tightly and grinned from ear to ear.

“Ju CAN get pregnant! Dere aint not’in’ wrong wit’ jour body! Or mine! Dey created some barrier! Some magical t’ing dat keeps it from ‘appenin’! Dat’s why my ‘ealin’ aint worked!”

“’ey?! Ja t’ink?!”

Zij nodded enthusiastically, “I couldn’t ‘eal ju because dere was not’in’ wrong! I mean… I still don’t know ‘ow ta fix it, but it CAN be fixed!”

Jez gasped wide eyed at Zij.

“It ain’t me?! It ain’t ju or d’at we pissed somet’in’ off?! Like somet’in’ important, not da ol’ Tribe!” she squealed, more girlishly than usual as he chuckled, nodding his head enthusiastically. “Dat’s right!”

Jez gasped, wiggling on top of him in excitement. “Ju sure?!”

“We will ‘ave a baby someday! It struck me dis mornin’, an’ so I ‘ad ta check it out!”

“Zij! Zijjy! ZIJ! D’is is GREAT!”

Zij hugged Jez tight, chuckling as he rolled over, pressing her beneath him on the grass as she giggled giddily, the water lapping at her new robe, Jez completely oblivious in her excitement.

“Zij, d’is is great!”

Zij kissed Jez’s lips, nodding, “What we got is between ju, me an’ da spirits. Dey aint punished us, it was dose damn villagers!”

“I love ju Zij! We’ll figure it out, d’en! We’ll look inta it!”

Zij showered Jez’s face with kisses as he lays atop her. “We will! It will ‘appen, Jez! I told’ja it would an’ I nevah lied! It’s just a mattah o’ time an’ effort! We’ll undo de barrier an’ ‘ave de child we were robbed of!”

She smiled, hugging her brother to her tighter, her lips pressed painfully against his. Tearing them away for but a second, she smiled and mumbled, “Zij, I love ju. Ju ain’t done not’in’ wrong in my eyes.”

He grinned, devilishly, down at her, licking at his lower lip and growling loudly, “but until we figure out ‘ow to fix it, we might as well practice!”


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