The soft cushion of my bed engulfs me. I sink in and try to relax my aching body but I get no relief. It seems even my own body is content to fight me. The aches spread through me. If not for Solas’s healing abilities, I am certain I would have a cracked rib or worse. As of now, the bruising is the worst. Every minute amount of pressure sends pain signals over my entire body.
Sitting up, I gaze out through the windows that encase my room. Out to the snow-capped mountains that surround my new fortress. Out to all that was lost and all that is still so uncertain. The soft glow of moonlight is enhanced and reflected in the ever growing mark on my hand. I examine it for the thousandth time trying to find some new meaning, some undiscovered wisdom, anything that would put my mind at ease, but yet again, I find nothing. When Solas first told me he spent days analyzing the mark, I thought he was crazy but now I realize, one cannot help but be curious, it does nothing to stare at it all day but the wonder of it can pull at you.
I roll over onto my stomach but the pain is exponentially worse. I try my side but still cannot seem to get any comfort. Finally, I decide I cannot sleep. Between the days worries racing through my head and my overly sensitive body, I have to realize sleep may not come for some time. Luckily, I may have just the solution. Jokingly, I had requested a marble tub from our Ambassador and to my surprise, she delivered. How someone got it up all of those stairs is beyond me. However, it is here, and I am grateful. I call to my steward and request hot water for a bath. She makes haste to ensure my demands are met quickly, stumbling over the last few steps. I am still unaccustomed to the fear I see reflected in the eyes of those around me. Fear and adoration both, I never asked for any of this.
I stand and walk over to the large mirror by my wardrobe. Varric says I am intimidating but looking in the mirror I only see the girl I was before any of this began. I may have been trained in combat and trusted to make my own decisions but this… no one could have prepared me for any of it.
Ever so slowly I begin to peel the clothing from my body. Exposing the bruises and scrapes to the cool air sends ripples of sensation over me. It takes a moment to get my top off, my sore muscles protesting my every move. With my top finally off, I am able to examine my body more closely. I run my fingers over the worst of my brusing and find the sensation electrifying. Okay, so now I am turned on by the pain, wonderful. I lift my breast to examine my ribs and my nipples perk instantly. Now my body seems willing to fight me on an all new level. I deal with enough sexual frustration just being near my Commander, I do not need more of it. And just thinking of him conjures up images of his body pressed to mine, his lips trailing down my body, that blasted armor falling to his feet. If only I could get him to give me some hint, any hint, that he would be interested. Alas, I am a mage, and he a templar, there is probably no hope beyond my wishful thinking. Who knows what he meant by his “Not in Kirkwall,” statement.
A light knock heralds the arrival of my steward and I call for her to enter. I don’t understand her modesty, having seen my naked body on multiple occasions but it never fails that she continues to knock upon entry, even after my multiple reassurances that it isn’t necessary. Really, I should have requested an Orleasian steward, then I wouldn’t have to worry if I am offending them in some way by my lack of modesty.
I bend down to unlace my boots and the softness of the leather feels like a second skin, conjuring up more images of Commander Cullen, this time where I wish my hands to be on his body, “Oh, Commander…” it slips out before I realize I have said anything. Oh, well. I do not imagine my shy steward will let slip I invoked his title while in a state of undress. As I slide the second boot off I hear a gasp behind me.
“Maker’s Breath,” the gasp transforms into a low growl.
On impulse, I stand and turn on my heel, facing the man I had been thinking about only a heartbeat ago.
It takes longer than it should for me to realize that my breasts are standing bare to the Commander of my army. Quickly, I shield them with my hands, as much good as that will do, and feel a slow blush begin to spread over my cheeks.
“I… Inquisitor… I… I should go.” he simply breathes out the last and it sends chills up my spine. My body reacts to his presence like a flower to the sun. Needing him, craving him.
I watch as an answering blush spreads across his cheeks and begins to spread down his neck. It takes him a moment to react but when he does, his sense of propriety returns and he turns to face the wall. “I am sorry. I heard you say Commander, I thought you knew it was me… I should go.”
A lusty laugh escapes my throat, “You said that already, Commander, but you have yet to leave.”
His body goes rigid and I can’t help but wonder if I have offended him in some way. I feel the need to explain, “I was just about to take a bath, I was expecting my steward.” Body still at full attention, he gives his head the slightest nod and slowly makes his way towards the stairs. My body aches as I watch him go and before I know it the words pour out of my mouth before I can stop them, “You know, when I asked Josie for my own tub, I wasn’t expecting one built for two.” He pauses and his hand grips the bannister, begging it to give way under his merciless grasp.
I decide to push it one step further, I need him to give in, to come to me, to let me know my being a mage is not an issue for him. “And you did hear your title escape my lips, but no, I was not expecting you.” I let the statement hang in the air and make my way back towards the bed. I work the lacings at my waist ready to finish undressing.
I hear his footfall growing ever lighter and let out a sigh. Of course, my Commander was too modest, had too much honor…
Hands encircle my waist. The leather of his gloves a cool and welcome touch on my overly heated body. He grips me tightly before running his thumb over the newest bruise along my back. It extends down past my waistband but his fingers linger there. He pulls me into his body, his breasplate so cold in its direct contrast to the heat running through me. His arms enfold me and I lean my head back into the hollow of his neck. His hands begin a slow exploration of my body, his lips are velvet smooth on my neck but before too long I hear the swift, light footsteps of my steward and the ensuing growl that is unleashed by the lion who has me in his grasp. His hands press into my flesh making me moan in a combination of pleasure and pain.
A light gasp is all that is heard before the Commander turns, “Leave it!” The sound of buckets hitting the floor and scurring footsteps lets me know my steward had done just that. He steps away from me and my body screams at his sudden absence.
I turn to find the Commander of my army retrieving the abandoned buckets.
“Cullen, you don’t…”
A slow grin plays along his full lips, “Big enough for two, you say? I would like to test that theory.”
And I am his.
As the steam floats over the edge of the tub I release the lacing on my waistband but before I can get them off Cullen lifts me off of the floor and lays me on the bed. “Let me help you,” he leans over me and places his fingers under the waistband of my pants, lifting me up, and plants slow, lingering kisses along my lower abdomen. I feel the pressure of his strong hands as they work their way down my legs each inch answered with another kiss, all along my thighs. His fingers massage my calves as my pants fall to the floor and his mouth works a trail back up my body. I feel his teeth sink into my flesh as he reaches my hipbone and my body reacts, rising from the bed and he growls his approval.
His body hovers over mine, inches away. He grips my breast and his tongue performs languid strokes over my nipple before he sucks it gently into his mouth. I realize then he is still wearing his gloves and armor. As his body presses into mine and I feel his hard length press into my flesh I begin to push him up away from me, “Wait.” is all I can say.
Immediately, I see the doubt and insecurity in his eyes as he pulls away from me. He thinks I don’t want to go through with this. As I sit up on the bed he backs away. I stand and close the distance between us.
“I have never seen you in anything other than your armor. I want to take it off but I don’t really know how.” The smug grin returns to his face and he takes my hand in his, guiding it to every clasp, every buckle and every lace. His armor falls to the floor and his battle scarred torso stands bare before me. My fingers trace the scars and I place my lips over each one. The scars show just how much he has sacrificed in his lifetime. In the moonlight, his skin seems to glow, showing every ripple, every curve. His body is a sculptors masterpiece,” Well, it would seem I am not the only one here blessed by the Maker.” I know the line is cheesy but I am rewarded with the response I was looking for.
He let’s out a small chuckle before his mouth descends on mine. I work the last of his lacing and his body is now fully exposed to me. It is my turn to explore his body. I lead him back to the bed and lay him down. Climbing onto the bed beside him I begin to stroke his body, needing to touch every inch of him. It is not long before I am back underneath him, his rough calloused hands stroking every inch of me.
His fingers slide into me and my body bucks in response. His mouth finds my nipple and the dual sensation is enough to drive me over the edge. I scream my pleasure loud enough I am sure the entire hold can hear me.
Standing, he pulls my body to the edge of the bed. He lifts my legs and wraps them around his body. Lifting me off of the bed I feel him pressed into me again. It takes everything in me not to make the one simple motion that would join us but I realize he is taking me to the tub. He lowers me in and steps in behind me. The perfumed soap Josephine purchased for me to use before our trip to the Winter Palace sits to the side of the tub and Cullen reaches for it. It smells of lavender and is creamy and rich. He works up a lather and begins massaging it into my skin. His hands create strokes that are strong and sure and before long I am relaxing into him. He leans my head back and wets my hair. His fingers stroke my scalp and I am lost in a dream, somewhere far beyond the chaos outside these doors. I am content to have this but he is not finished. He soaps up his hands one last time and places them under the water. His touch is gentle at first as he strokes my nub, my lips, and ensuring no soap lingers, his touch becomes firmer. With circular motions, he sends my body back into the frenzy I was in before we got in the tub. My body responds, my mouth unable to contain the noises he is releasing from me, as if our love must be announced to the very heavens that brought this man to me.
Unable to take any more without feeling him inside of me, I turn and face him. Straddling him, I realize he is bigger than I had anticipated but not so big that I am afraid. I lift my body to slide onto him but this time he stops me.
“Before we… I hope you know, I care for you. I don’t want you to think… This may mean more to me than it does to you. I care for you…” the look that crosses his face is so unsure, it is heartbreaking.
“Cullen, I care for you. I had thought it was quite obvious but if this isn’t what you want…”
And with that he slides my body onto his.
Before I can say another word, his mouth covers mine, his tongue penetrating my lips and delving into me like I am his life-force. I begin to rock into him, my body moving with the water surrounding us. The rhythmic motion causing both of us to growl out our pleasure. His arms wrapped around me and his hands find my shoulders, pulling me down to penetrate even more of me. His face buried in my breasts, light nips coming with every growl.
Suddenly he stops and pulls me off of him and I can’t help the whimper that escapes my lips. He lifts me out of the water and quickly grabs a towel to dry us both off. When he is satisfied we won’t soak the bed he guides me back to it and bends me over its side. As he penetrates me, his fingers dig deep into my hips. I know I will be coming away from this with additional bruises, but these I’m happy to have. The feel of him without the water is intense and it isn’t long before we are both screaming out in pleasure.