Praise the Maker, we have finally made it to the Thaig. While the last few days have produced little darkspawn, the journey itself has been nothing but grueling. It seems the dwarves loved creating as many staircases as they possibly could. Nothing seemed to be one level for long. Up, down, up, down. Between the trek and the lack of activity, everyone is on edge. Tempers are flaring, those not accustomed to long hikes are complaining, and everyone is exhausted.
I had to leave Fenris and Anders at one point. I couldn’t take it anymore, their constant back and forth. The group of mercenaries Meeran had sent were more than willing to have my company. Their flirty banter a welcome change from the tension in my own group. One of them, Tate, is even quite handsome. Laughing eased my tension and my heart.
Since falling asleep with Anders, I can’t seem to even meet his gaze without blushing or becoming unnecessarily angry. I have avoided sleeping next to him for fear of a repeat of that night and I have made sure to avoid any conversation that would lead us to talking about Varric’s comment the next morning.
The entry to the Thaig is large and, returning to my boys, we set up our tent just outside. Anders starts a fire but it’s quiet. The silence is uncomfortable so I decide to make my way to Bodhan. One of the Mercs told me I could pick up some extra necessities if I was willing to trade. I’m hoping to trade one of the blades I picked up along the way for an extra blanket and a clean tunic to sleep in. Mine has developed a slight funk since we’ve not come across any significant source of water for a few days.
“Hello, Bodhan. Sandal,” I nod to them both and Sandal gives me an excited grin.
“‘Ello,” is all he says.
“Oh, Messere. Thank you again for saving my boy. I don’t know what I would have done if anything would have happened to him,” he reaches out, taking both of my hands in his and shaking them furiously.
“No need to thank me. The boy is quite capable of taking care of himself,” I toss Sandal a grin. “The Mercs tell me you may have some extra tunics. Mind if I have a look?”
A concerned look crosses Bodhan’s face, “Ah, no, Messere. None that would fit you anyhow. You see, I wasn’t aware there would be a woman on this expedition,” He wrings his hands together and looks away. It’s easy to see, he wishes he had some way to help me.
“No worries. You happen to have a men’s tunic and an extra blanket?”
He smiles and rummages through his pack coming up with two tunics and a blanket.
“Perfect! How much do I owe you,” I pull out my coin purse but he holds up his hands.
“Oh, no. I couldn’t take your coin. Not after what you did for my Sandal,” I can see it pains him to turn away the coin, so I stick with my original plan.
“Then take these. I found them while we were pillaging the darkspawn for health potions,” I set the blade and another extra dagger on his chest.
Making my way back to the tent, I pass by the Mercs camp. I give Tate a wave and he smiles, casting his own hand up. He leans in and whispers to the man sitting next to him and they both look up at me. He grins and stands, making his way to me.
“Spreading nasty rumors about me, Tate” I ask, hands on hips in mock annoyance.
“About you my lady,” he bows and the others snigger, “Never.”
I smack him on the head.
“See, I told you she was feisty,” this from one of the Mercs I had met only in passing.
“Careful, I’ve seen her use that blade there. I ain’t just for decoration,” another of the Mercs states.
I chuckle, “I always love going where my skills are appreciated,” he laughs and his companions follow suit. Standing he closes the distance between us to whisper in my ear, “I hear Bartrand has a few bottles of the good stuff that he plans on opening for us tonight. A reward for getting him through the Deep Roads safely. You should join us.”
I step back and am tempted to turn him down but knowing what is waiting for me at my own campsite I say, “I’ll think about it.” I wink at him and his smile grows. He makes his way back to the middle of his circle and I take in his massive build. So much different than either Anders or Fenris. His shoulders are wide and his muscles stretch the leathers to their max. When he faces me again he winks back at me.
Returning to my group, I see the boys have given each other some space, Anders laying on his bedroll outside the tent, Fenris sharpening his blade and Varric spread out in the tent with ink and quill, no doubt recounting our journey thus far.
“Great news,” I announce to no one in particular, “I have obtained a clean tunic. I will not be smelling of death tonight.”
After eliciting zero response, I decide scouting the area couldn’t hurt.
Walking allows me to clear my head. Not that the air down here would be considered fresh by any means, but it is relaxing to be away from all of the noise, or lack thereof.
It’s not long before I hear the welcome sound of running water. I explore a bit more, headed towards the sound. A glittering grotto, steaming water, a waterfall. A hot spring. Oh Maker! I do not bother checking to see if anyone else is around. If anyone walks up on me, they are more likely to see the steam that rests on the surface of the water than my naked body. I quickly remove my armor.
The water is warm, tempered by the fresh water coming off of the waterfall. The warmth seeps into my skin, soothing my muscles and relaxing me. I slip under the surface and swim to the other side of the pool. A small ledge rests on the side allowing me to sit in the water comfortably. I lean my head back, stretching my arms along the ridge of the pool. If I’m not careful, I could fall asleep like this. Clearing my mind, I focus on the sounds around me, the bubbling water, the splash of the waterfall. I slip into a relaxed trance. No thought other than relaxation. I bid each of my muscles to loosen. I am unaware of how long I sit like this but I decide I should head back before someone comes looking for me. I slip back under and swim back to the other side, taking my time and enjoying myself, doing flips in the water just to make myself laugh. When I surface, Tate stands at the edge of the pool.
“Hello, Hawke,” his deep voice is lusty and I can’t help the smile that creeps across my lips, “Mind if I join you?”
I take in his large body, his full lips, and I can’t help but wonder what is under all that leather, once again. I push off of the side of the pool and slowly swim backwards to the ledge I was sitting on before he appeared. He takes that as the invitation it is. I watch as he peels away the layers of his Merc uniform. When he realizes my eyes are on him, he slows his movements, turning his undressing into a private strip show.
Naked, he makes his way to the edge of the pool, dipping his hand in to test the water.
“You sure your companions won’t mind,” He lowers himself into the water. The look in his eyes tells me he doesn’t really care about my response so much as he wants to know if I am willing to cheat on whoever I may be with.
“I have no ties to the men with me other than friendship,” something in the way he looks at me tells me he doesn’t believe me.
“A beautiful woman, surrounded by men and you have no ties to them other than friendship. That seems a little hard to believe. I mean, I can see why you would like any of the three of them. A warrior without equal amongst men who wouldn’t admit that to anyone else. A mage who can destroy most men with a gesture and a dwarf who could charm the pants off anyone he desired to. You keep interesting company, Hawke,” I find his assessments amusing, accurate but amusing.
“Ha, I’m sure they would all love to hear your assessment of their abilities. They don’t receive much in the form of so much flattery,” he smiles, knowing he warmed himself to me with his admissions. “To answer your question, I am sure they would have objections. However, one is married to his weapon, one cannot bear the touch of another and…” I pause not knowing what to say about Anders, “Well, let’s just say the other has told me more than once that he has no interest in being with me.”
“Ahh, so he likes men,” his statement is so plainly thrown out that I have to laugh. He makes his way to me.
“Well, I won’t say he doesn’t like men. Of that, I am not sure myself, but that’s not what I meant. It’s just… It’s complicated,” I hear a shuffling off the the side of the pool. I turn but Tate’s hand pulls my face back to him.
“Then let me be simple. I want you, Hawke,” he leans in face inches from mine, awaiting a signal that I am willing. I close the distance and press my lips to his. His kiss is hungry, devouring. His hands find my waist and he anchors himself to me. I feel the press of his need against my mound. Slowly he rocks himself into me, stoking my desire. I wrap my arms around his neck but it causes us to slip. Tate pushes back from me, “Stand up.” his throaty demand ensures I will do as he says.
I lift my body out of the water, bare before him for the first time and he smiles, “You are so beautiful,” he pulls himself closer and asks me to sit on the edge of the pool. He anchors himself with his hands under each of my thighs, and pulling himself up onto the the seat I just vacated. He lifts my legs, pressing his lips to the inside of each one. When his mouth finds my center, I can’t help but moan out my pleasure. His mouth now devouring me in a completely different way. Tongue sliding over my tender flesh as his fingers find my opening. He slides them in, hooking them at just the right angle to find my sweet spot, beginning a rhythmic motion, a dance of tongue and teeth, fingers and flesh. Bringing me to orgasm draws a growl of appreciation from his throat.
He pulls away and pulls himself up to the edge of the pool beside me. He holds his hand out to me and I take it. He lifts me to my feet and walks me to the wall of the grotto. The stone wall is cold against my heated backside. His hands lift my breasts, thumbs circling my hardened nipples. He lowers his mouth and sucks in one nipple, then the other. His touch is so firm, so sure. This man knows exactly how to please a woman in every way. He begins a slow trail back to my lips, he tastes of my sex and it sends my body into a higher frenzy. Without breaking from the kiss, he lifts my leg and angles himself to penetrate me. He is wide and it takes a few tries before his shaft sinks deep within me, slow at first, coaxing my wetness around his length. When my body offers no more resistance, he quickens his pace. With each stroke, driving himself deeper within me. His teeth find my collarbone and his strokes become powerful, desperate. I feel him growing ever harder preparing for release. My nails dig into the flesh of his back. My moans echoing within the grotto.
He loses his rhythm and I know he is about to cum. I focus on the sensations coursing through me and he takes my nipple into his mouth one last time, bringing on another orgasm from me and his final thrust and release.