Zaljaf sat in the front seat of the caravan, chewing meditatively on a length of sugarcane. Alongside the caravan, their two small kodos grazed idly on the hill. A warm zephyr stirred the long, green grass, rippling up and down the hillside. Overhead, great white clouds rolled silently across a blazing blue sky, casting lengthy shadows over the knolls. The massive plateaus of Thunder Bluff stood silhouetted against the white mid-day sunlight. Snorting, Zaljaf threw the rest of his sugarcane aside. One of the kodos let out a guttural baying. "I know, I know." Zaljaf sighed. Shifting, he inched out of the seat and dropped onto the ground, "She'll be back soon."
As if on cue, Jenxa appeared on the top of the next hill, hauling a large sack of kodo feed. "I'm back!" She called cheerily, her muscles straining as she carried the feed sack over the knoll. Zaljaf hobbled out to help her, shouldering as much of the large sack as he could. "Thanks, papa! Dis ting is really heavy…"
"Ya carried it all dis way by yerself? Heh! Yer gettin' strongah by de day." Carrying it between them, they towed the feed sack to the back of the caravan and threw it inside. Zaljaf grinned, wiping off his brow, "Glad ta see de exercise is payin' off."
Jenxa flexed her bicep. Her muscles swelled under the skin. Zaljaf couldn't help but smile. On her back, Jenxa carried a heavy wooden maul. The shaft of the weapon was decorated with brightly colored bits of string and feathers. He'd given her the maul the day they'd left Orgrimmar. If they were to be travelling, she had to carry a weapon and learn to fight. Channeling her aggression through focused combat would also help her master her berserking. Still, she'd hated the maul when she first got it. It was plain, sturdy wood with no embellishments (most of Zaljaf's money went to buying the caravan and the kodos). Along their travels, though, she'd picked up vibrant pieces of shells, glass, and string, and added them to the maul. It was now more of an art project than a weapon, but it still served its purpose.
"I'll get de kodos, papa." Jenxa beamed, giving Zaljaf a mock salute, then went to go hitch up the kodos. With a grunt of effort, Zaljaf climbed into the back of the caravan. His jewelry making tools lay spread out on a low desk in the back with the supplies. Creating fine jewelry required a steady hand and the bumping of the wheels didn't help, but the transition from a stationary shop to a mobile one had gone surprisingly smoothly. The brightly painted caravan drew the eyes of many a curious customer. While Jenxa had grown a bit more muscular in the last few months, she was still a capable model and enjoyed wearing the jewelry. They'd departed from Orgrimmar and travelled down through the barrens, stopping at all the towns along the way. Thunder Bluff loomed before them. The Tauren were a plain, dignified people, but they loved jewelry same as anyone else. Zaljaf felt at ease.
Jenxa poked her head around the side of the caravan. "Erm…" She looked down, blushing, "How do I get de kodos in de harness again?"
"Jus' call 'em ovah wif a whistle…or get some food fer dem. Den slip de harness on ovah de antlahs." Zaljaf bent over, rooting around in a nearby sack. He tossed Jenxa a pair of apples. "Dat should do it."
Jenxa grinned. "Thank ya!"
"Oh, wait!" Zaljaf called. Jenxa paused. Shifting through his tools, Zaljaf picked up a small, soft bag, "I keep meanin' ta give dis ta ya, bu' I always forget. Here." He tossed it to her. Jenxa caught it deftly. She peered into the satchel and let out a little squeal of pleasure. Zaljaf grinned as she reached in and pulled out her pearl necklace.
"I thought it was lost ferevah!" She exclaimed, lifting the necklace so that it glinted in the light.
"Nah, mon. I kept it fer ya. I knew ya'd want it back." He hobbled to the edge of the caravan, sitting down on the edge next to Jenxa. He helped Jenxa tie it around her neck, "Pearls suit ya, Jenxa. I, ah, also added sometin'."
Jenxa looked down at her necklace. An oval-shaped natural pearl hung on her collarbone. She fingered the natural pearl, smiling in awe. "Where'd ya get dis?"
"Off a goblin in Ratchet. A bit expensive, bu' yer worth it." Zaljaf answered. Jenxa beamed, hugging him tightly around the neck. It was hard to believe this smiling girl had committed a murder. The events in Orgrimmar seemed like they'd happened years ago Zaljaf hugged her back. Murder or not, she was his daughter. He'd promised to be a better father in Sen'jin and he intended to keep that promise.
(Author's Note: Thanks for reading! This is my longest fic to date and while it does have some flaws, I really enjoyed writing it. I hope you also enjoyed it. I love reviews, so don't be afraid to leave a comment or a criticism. Also, if you liked this, please take a look at my other fics.)