CHAPTER FOUR - GLIMPSES OF THE PAST
CHAPTER FIVE - PLAYING GAMES
CHAPTER SIX - UNDERSTANDING
CHAPTER SEVEN - HEALING AND LOSS
CHAPTER EIGHT - MISSION'S END
CHAPTER FIVE - PLAYING GAMES
CHAPTER SIX - UNDERSTANDING
CHAPTER SEVEN - HEALING AND LOSS
CHAPTER EIGHT - MISSION'S END
Chapter Nine: Kings, Dogs and Decisions
Neria gasped at the food set before them. She had heard about the nobles eating better than the rank-and-file of the army, but she hadn't quite realised how much better until just now.
With a wistful sigh, she passed over the tureens of rich gravy and helped herself to some grilled fish.
“I never thought the nobles got quail's eggs on the battlefield while the rest of us in camp make do with oatmeal,” said Daveth in a whisper.
Neria smiled at the King, whose eyes had hardly left her since she had entered.
“They are nobles after all, Daveth,” she said absently. “Of course they eat better.”
“Oh yes, I should've remembered you never had to eat the oatmeal. You had fresh meat killed by us in the Wilds.” said Daveth. “Now me…I only had oatmeal to eat as a child growing up. You wake up, it's oatmeal. You come home from working in the farm for a bit – oatmeal. Sometimes for supper we made oatmeal cakes. And if you got hungry in the middle of the night – well, you drank milk, but you get the picture.”
Neria tried to smile politely, but Daveth’s charm had worn off; his words grated where once they had pleased. Whether it was something that had happened since Morrigan’s mere presence had reduced him to mindless drivelling or since she had let him do what he had the previous night, she could not tell. But for now, she found him irksome.
She turned her eyes towards the King instead. He was resplendent in a robe the colour of the sky and an amulet of pale yellow around his neck. The light of the braziers made his eyes shine and showed off his lightly-tanned complexion, making her feel quite giddy.
She herself had dressed in her green-and-white gown that reached down to her ankles and though it was cut low at the neck and wrapped alluringly around her contours, was yet modest enough to be appropriate for a royal audience. It was, she could not help but acknowledge, perhaps her only dress that so qualified. When she got a chance, she meant to ask Duncan if there was any regular pay for being a Grey Warden. If they ever got to Denerim or one of the other big cities of Ferelden, she meant to get herself some nice clothes.
Around the table, she could make out Teyrn Loghain and another man who looked like a noble as well, with greying hair and a large, hooked nose. Duncan was sitting on the other side of her, and there was a formidable-looking woman of about thirty with black hair and a face that, though harsh, was not unpleasing in its roundness and regular features. This, she guessed, was Ser Cauthrien, Loghain’s most trusted lieutenant and one-time squire. Even her finery was grey and black and suggested armour rather than fabric.
Neria started, as she realised that it was she who was being spoken to. The only other lady present was Ser Cauthrien, and Neria was sure that even the King addressed her as...Ser Cauthrien.
“Y-y-y-your,” she stuttered, flushing the colour of a raspberry.
Duncan gave her a little shove under the table.
“Get up and curtsy,” he rasped.
Neria rose, squeezed between her chair and Daveth’s and curtseyed. She had a distinct feeling that the people present were only desisting from laughing out of politeness. For a moment she felt rather conscious of the way the dress’s fabric was cut to pass between and below her breasts to draw attention to them, and wished she had worn something else. Then she remembered all her dresses were cut in a more or less similar way. She had cut them herself.
“We would like to hear a little about you,” the King was saying. “It is but rarely that we get to hear from the Tower.”
Neria was not a little surprised and uncertain about how to answer that. Teyrn Loghain MacTir, sitting next to Cailan, looked darker than the darkest storm-cloud. The noble with the hook nose merely looked amused. Ser Cauthrien was indifferent, formidable and immovable. Daveth’s face was not visible, buried as his nose was in a goblet of wine. Ser Jory, who had ejaculated with helpless groans on her mouth, chin and neck not twelve hours ago, could hardly look towards her now. Then her eyes fell on Duncan. His dark eyes were expressive, and they expressed rather clearly that he wanted her to be discreet.
“The Tower looks after us, your majesty,” she intoned. “We are taken good care of. First Enchanter Irving is tough but fair, and Knight Commander Gregoir - ” she hesitated “ - carries out his duties diligently.”
“Glad I am to know it!” exclaimed the King. “I must set up a mechanism for the First Enchanter to have my ear. We need to make changes to how Ferelden is governed on a day-to-day basis. A ruling council would be a start. It would consist, I suppose, of the Teyrns – that's you and Cousland, Loghain – and a representative each from the Wardens, the Circle, the Chantry and the order of the Knights Templar. Do you think that would be fair, Arl Howe?”
“A…fine idea, your majesty,” said the noble she had not been able to identify thus far. The Howe family, if Neria remembered her geography lessons well enough, held the Arl-dom of Amaranthine. Loghain, Neria couldn't help but note, remained silent and brooding.
“How much longer before the horde attacks again, do you think, Duncan?” the King’s attention turned away from her, much to her relief, and she sat down.
“Our scouts estimate it will be two more days, your majesty.” said Duncan.
“We must make the best possible use of that time, then,” said the King. “Loghain, do you have everything you need?”
“We have been disappointed in the forces from Redcliffe, your majesty,” said the Teyrn.
“Young Cousland arrived yesterday didn't he?” said the King. “Where is he?”
“I sent him on a scouting mission to harry the horde in the Wilds,” said Loghain dismissively.
“That's unfortunate. We could have used his counsel,” said the King. “The next time, Loghain, you shall consult me before deploying our Captains in the field. Will he return in time for the battle?”
“I would hope so, your majesty.” was the crisp answer.
Neria looked around uncomfortably. Surely, they had no place here. Duncan, yes, but the recruits seemed like fish out of water. She lost track of what was being spoken as she contemplated the King. He was a big man, tall and magnificent, nearly as much in his shirt as he had been in the golden armour she had first seen him in. His long fair hair were tied up behind him, revealing a broad forehead and large, kind eyes which alighted, oh-so-frequently upon her. It was not his eyes that were making her uncomfortable though. It was him – his body, his powerful arms, his chiselled face. The eyes only seemed to reflect the desire she felt – they had a hunger in them she was all-too-familiar with. She hoped it would be over soon. She would go back to her tent and try to find a way to relieve herself...not with Jory, who would avoid her, she was sure, now that he had a whole encampment to get lost in, but perhaps Daveth or some other willing soldier might be found…
Yes, she had taken Daveth too. At night, as she had lain there next to him and Jory’s turn at the watch was over, the big Knight had entered her tent and thrown himself at her with an animal lust which she had beaten down by pressing her fingers around his neck and kicking him to the floor. That awoke Daveth just in time to see her slap Jory several times and then mount his raging, hard shaft and ride him with a violent, angry fervour that opened her shoulder wound. What it had triggered in Daveth she could easily guess, for she had seen it often enough – an uncontrollable urge. The cut-purse was better-endowed than the Knight, and it was with him in her mouth even as Jory thrust away between her legs that she felt the heights of pleasure, though she made no sound, and only the fact that she pushed Daveth away to bite down on her lower lip gave her away. Jory had finished first, as she had just recalled, and Daveth not long after, both making a right mess on her upper body - the kind of mess she liked. Alistair’s call to arms had come just as she had finished dressing again and was about to bandage the bleeding shoulder. In hindsight, it was opportune. It allowed her to offer to stay awake to dispose of the corpses with fire and take the last watch. She had no intent of going back in the tent with the two men after that, preferring to leave them to hate and despise each other.
“That will be all. I wish you all a good night!”
She broke out of the reverie she had fallen into, which had made her ignore nearly all of the conversation as she ate. There had been some talk of splitting the army into two parts with the smaller part of it, along with the Wardens, under Cailan’s command attempting to lure the horde towards the curtain walls of Ostagar before Loghain, with the bulk of the forces, could bring down a hammer-blow and destroy them.
She made a curtsy towards the King that nobody noticed, and shuffled towards the tent’s exit, where two guards stood, looking quite bored, though not so much that they failed to cast an appreciative glance at her as she stepped out.
“Duncan, Loghain – stay with me, would you?” she heard the King call. “And have someone send for Alistair.”
“Neria,” Duncan called. “If you would…”
“I’ll send him,” she said, and bowed again to Cailan before venturing out.
The camp was lit with torches on poles, braziers burning under the starlit sky. She was not sure where she would find Alistair, but she made for the Warden encampment. Daveth and Jory had gone their separate ways, not waiting for her, and that did not surprise her either. Jory would try to avoid her, up until the point either sleep overtook him and he passed out in his tent, or lust did and he would come seeking her out. Daveth would probably want to get some more wine.
On she went, past the King’s sleeping tent, nearly as big as the one they had all dined in just now, and then Loghain’s quarters. On, past lingering soldiers and surly Templars, men and women kissing and talking, visions of fear and bravado, hunger and longing. On, to the Warden camp, where she could hear the sound of laughter and singing and men who were happy.
“Ah, Warden-recruit Surana!” she was hailed by a large man with blonde hair and a beard to match. “It is you, isn’t it? Come here to join us for a final drink before you drift off to sleep? Don’t forget you have to wake up bright and early for the Joining tomorrow.”
“Except that we are all having a final drink before we drift off the sleep,” broke in Alistair, grinning as he broke from the group and walked towards her. “And it’s been the fifth final drink now.”
Neria couldn’t resist a smile.
“I’d love to, but I have a message – Alistair, the King wants to see you.”
“Unless there’s another Alistair and this is all a big mistake, yes,” replied Neria.
“I’m too drunk to go before a King, dammit!” said Alistair.
“He is, he really is,” agreed the big blonde Warden.
“Oh just…,” and Neria grabbed him by the hand and began to retrace her steps. He pulled his hand away, but followed her close all the same.
She did not linger for long after leaving him near the King’s dining-tent, and her feet inevitably took her to the kennels, where she was happy to see that the dog she had brought the flower for had responded to the healing potion concocted by the kennel-master. He was a big dog, a mabari hound, nearly half as tall as Neria from ground to the top of his head as he stood on all fours. They were bred to be war-dogs and even in a country notorious for its love for canines, the mabari was the most prized breed.
“’e’s named Biscuit,” the man told her as she scratched his ears idly.
“Odd name for a war-dog,” said Neria.
“’Is master was an odd man. Died in the last battle, sadly. ‘E will be wanting a new master. They don’t do too well by their lonesome, these ‘ounds.”
“Maybe he’ll be mine, then. What say you, Biscuit?” said Neria, bending down towards him. He had a strong smell, but it was nothing, she thought, that a warm bath could not fix.
“We will see about that once ‘e is full recovered,” replied the kennel-master, scratching his head.
She walked away with a smile, only to almost bump into Alistair, who was walking with Duncan towards the latter’s tent.
“Ah, young Surana. I was looking for you,” said the Commander.
“Yes, Duncan?” asked Neria, avoiding the temptation to prefix ‘old’ to the name.
“I have informed the other two already, but I suppose you were not formally told. At first light tomorrow, I shall expect you to be in the north-western section of the fortress – the ruins of what was the Chapel.”
“For the Joining?” she asked.
“For the Joining, yes. Oh, and…don’t eat anything before that.”
That made Neria wonder for a moment, but she did not ask any questions.
“I shall be there,” she said, simply. Duncan bowed slightly and the two Wardens departed. Neria saw Duncan talking to the younger Warden for a while and then Alistair went his way towards the Warden encampment.
Neria did not know why she lingered, looking towards Duncan’s tent long after the lamp next his bed burned low. She ran her fingers through her hair, twitched her nose and wondered where she should go. They had headed off into the Wilds on the same day she had arrived in Ostagar; unlike Ser Jory and Daveth, there was no place assigned to her, no tent, no bed. She had assumed that Alistair would tell her to see one of the Wardens about it, but he had either forgotten or not bothered to. Well, that just meant she would have to find him and rouse him from wherever he was sleeping, and…
“I was looking for you.”
She whirled around breathlessly. The King?
“Y…your majesty...” she stammered, and then she was in his arms, melting.
“I need you,” he whispered as he kissed her, and she knew that guards were looking at them, but she was Fire and she didn't care.
“I knew it,” she said. “I knew you wanted it too...”
“From when I saw you,” he murmured in her ear, bending down to do it. “Walking up the bridge with Duncan. I had seen the other two milling about and I thought you'd be a weedy specimen from the Tower, but you...”
“I'm not weedy,” she smiled, slipping an arm around his neck.
He picked her up as easily as picking up a doll and carried her to his tent, just a few steps away. It was gorgeously accoutred, but she did not notice the details. She needed to make love to him, to shower the Fire in her upon his beauty.
He set her down and smiled at her and kissed her again. His lips tasted of honeyed wine. She whimpered as he slid her robe off her and pressed her left breast with his hand.
“I've never been with an elf before,” he said, kissing her.
“I've never been with a King before,” she smiled, fumbling with his buttons.
“Well that certainly makes us even,” he laughed, throwing his head back.
She giggled, kissing his chest feverishly.
“All through…I could not bear to look away from you,” he said. “What devilry is this, little elf?”
“No devilry,” she laughed. “Just me.”
“When I came to know Duncan had sent you into the Wilds, I was livid. I knew then I must have you. I did not like to wait.”
Neria had hardly hoped for such a plaintive declaration of desire from him, but then Kings, she supposed, were used to asking for things and getting them. Well, in her own way, so was she. She dropped to her knees.
“You won't be waiting much longer,” she gasped, unfastening his breeches and looking up into his face.
“Won't I though?” he said, smiling down at her. “I suppose that means you Elves do know something ordinary girls don't? Oh Maker!”
Neria knew why he had invoked the deity’s name. Men often did when she was on her knees, sucking them like she really wanted to. And she wanted the King. She was all over it, her lips were clinging to his shaft, lovingly, longingly relishing that he was already hard and long. Oh, so hard and so long!
Kings or not, in Neria's mouth, men rarely lasted long unless she wanted them to, and Cailan was no exception. When he finished, shuddering and shaking, his tool in her hand, ejaculating on her face, she sighed and smiled up at him, not with her usual arrogance but with a trace of apprehension.
“Come to bed,” he said, stroking her cheek with his index finger. A little of his seed was clinging to it, and he moved to clean the finger against his lowered breeches, but she held his wrist and directed it back towards her mouth and licked it clean.
“You don’t have to,” she said, suddenly. This was stupid of her, she knew that. She had done what he wanted her to, she had pleasured him, relieved him perhaps, at best, and she should go now, she had no business sleeping in the same bed as a King, none whatsoever.
But then he was hard again, and his eyes…that body…
“But I do have to,” he said, and she believed him.
Neria tossed and turned. The bed was too comfortable. She was not used to such comfortable beds. Groggily she clambered out of it. The King slept on peacefully. Obviously, unlike her, he was quite accustomed to sleeping on featherbeds. And making love on them, as well, which he had done gently but urgently for the better part of an hour, taking care to ensure her pleasure as much as his own, and when he had spilled his seed the second time, filling her, it had been after Neria herself had been…fulfilled, in a most screaming, satisfying way.
She pushed back her hair, falling in strands over her face, wet with sweat. Her skin was warm. Well, it always was, but this felt different. She found her robe and pulled it on. Stepping out of the two-section tent, into the night, she found herself looking up to the stars. It would be an hour past midnight, if she knew her charts correctly. The King's guards looked on as she left, but said nothing.
She was passing by Loghain's tent, intending to go to Wynne's to get the ingredients she needed to make her birth-control potion, when she thought she heard voices inside. Surprised that the old man was awake while the younger one was asleep, she stopped.
Loghain's guards were out of sight. She wasn't trained as a scout, but she knew how to not be seen when she did not want to. A lot of experience stealing across corridors and rooms in the Circle Tower to get to a rendezvous had taught her that, at least. One of the voices she heard had been that of Duncan, which was surprising. From what she had heard so far, the Teyrn was not enamoured of the Wardens in any way. She lay flat on the ground, just under the awning of Loghain's tent. She still couldn't see anything but their feet, but she could hear what they spoke now.
“There is no precedent for it,” she heard Duncan's voice. “So you have nothing to worry about. Alistair shall remain a Warden all his life.”
“Nonetheless, if the King has his way...” that was Rendon Howe, oily and obsequious.
“It would require the First Warden to agree, Arl Howe, and Ferelden is not so rich in Wardens that we can afford to let any be released from their vows,” Duncan responded.
“Teyrn Loghain, I would still advise caution. The King may not be so easily persuaded to abandon his notions,” said Howe.
“Well, that settles it,” came the Teyrn's voice. “We shall repulse this attack and then you, Duncan – you must persuade the King to return to Denerim. He has no heir, and that means we cannot risk a civil war.”
“Sending him back to Denerim does not assure the Kingdom an heir,” scoffed Howe. “He has had five years.”
“You are certain there is no fault physically with the Queen?” asked Duncan.
“Certain,” said Loghain “He has a mistress – the Bryland girl. Daughter of the Bann of South Reach.”
“And she has not had issue either?”
“None. Before her, it was Cousland’s girl. She and he were rutting like dogs in the royal bedchambers not a year ago. Her father took her back to Highever as soon as he found out,” said Howe, simpering.
“Elissa?” asked Duncan. “I think I know something of that – I thought it was just a rumour though. They say she’s the finest swordsman in the Kingdom – had I the time, I would have tried to recruit her as well.”
“It’s too late, she’s dead,” said Loghain.
“Dead?” she could hear the surprise in Duncan’s voice.
“Oh you do not know?” asked Loghain. “I thought the news may have reached your ears. The Couslands were plotting with the Empress of Orlais to overthrow Cailan and install Bryce as King. I found out about it from my…sources and had Howe go there to capture them. I believe the son is here in Ostagar with the bulk of their men, and once he returns from the Wilds, Cailan can decide what to do with him – but…”
The amount of contempt that Loghain put in the word “Orlesian” made Neria prick up her ears.
“But Teyrn Bryce Cousland and his daughter were killed resisting capture,” said Howe, his voice sorrowful.
“This is very disturbing news,” said Duncan. “Teyrn Cousland was…a good friend.”
“Then perhaps you should choose your friends more wisely,” said Logahin, and Neria could almost hear the anger in his voice. “Betraying Ferelden to the Orlesians when we have fought so hard to free ourselves of their yoke is unacceptable. Simply unacceptable.”
“But that is a matter for another time, when we are safely back in Denerim, perhaps,” said Arl Howe. “For now, we have to discuss the King’s wishes as communicated to us. Can't he be persuaded to...disassociate himself from the Bryland girl, for a start?”
“As long as he thinks he doesn't need to worry about the continuation of the Theirrin line – as long as he thinks...” Loghain's voice contained barely-suppressed rage.
“The First Warden would not hear of it, so you have nothing to worry about on that front at least,” said Duncan crisply. “And now, if your lordships would excuse me, I have a Joining ritual to prepare for tomorrow. Our three new recruits, whom you met at dinner. My Lords.”
She heard Duncan's footsteps fade away. It was Howe who spoke next.
“One of whom the King is in bed with as we speak,” he said.
“A passing fancy,” Loghain said.
There was the sound of a flap being turned and then suddenly the King's voice broke upon them.
“Good evening Loghain. Arl Howe. What are you doing here? Not plotting against me, I hope?”
There was no answer. She heard the sound of wine being poured into a glass.
“You would not happen to have seen an elf mage with golden hair and dark skin somewhere around, would you? She was in my bed, but is not now.”
“You presume too much, Cailan,” came Loghain’s angered voice. “Is it not bad enough that you sully my daughter’s conjugal bed by bringing other women to it but that you must thrust your follies before me as well?”
“Anora is a fine woman, as women go, Loghain, but she has not a hint of the fire that a man looks for in a companion. She is your daughter, yes. She knows strategy and politics, history and economics, and nothing of love.”
“And Habren Bryland does?” asked Howe.
“Habren Bry…” she could hear Cailan laughing. “She’s a silly girl, but the only love she knows is for herself. But enough of that. None of you has seen the Warden-recruit?”
“Probably entertaining some of her other lovers, your majesty,” said Howe. “The other recruit – the thin one – has been telling anyone who would listen that he had his way with her while they were out in the Wilds.”
“And why should a young woman of such surpassing beauty not have her fun? Well, if you see her, do ask her to come back to my tent. I am going to find Duncan. I need to tell him not to carry out the Joining with her. She's coming back to Denerim with me.”
Neria gave a start. Denerim! Not recruited! What was he talking about?
“Did you hear a sound?” it was Howe.
Quick as a flash, Neria slid away. Something had given her away. She could make out the King walking, staggering rather, towards Duncan's tent.
There was only one place she could safely go without being seen now. She cut back towards the King's tent where his guards were chatting with each other. She guessed it was about her, because they stopped once she returned.
“Don't stop for me,” she said, charming as ever.
“We were...we were not...,” one of them blushed a pretty red.
“The King is not in, Miss,” said the other, trying to maintain his composure.
“Isn't he? Well, then I can wait here.”
She proceeded to lean languorously against a tree. She pouted, sighed and hummed tunes to herself in a manner that she knew would have the men sweating in their armours despite it being a cold night. It was maddening, as much for her as for them.
When the King did appear ten minutes or so later, she made it a point to brush her fingers against the cheek of one of the guards as she went back in.
“Where were you?” he asked her.
“Where were you?” she shot back, pulling off her robe.
“I got you out of it.”
“My clothes?” she asked playfully, her hands playing with his breeches.
“The Wardens,” he said, lifting her up, carrying her to the other section of the tent, and throwing her on the bed.
“What will I be then?” she asked, moaning as he entered her.
“My mistress,” he thrust urgently in her, “my lover, my heart's desire.”
“I need more,” she said. “More than you can give.”
“I know,” he panted, “I know about your needs. You're not a lover, you're Love given form. You won't lack for men, Neria. You can have any man you want, but you must have me when I want you. I will have you live in a mansion near the city and you may entertain who you wish, when you wish.”
She said nothing, waiting for him to finish. A buck of her hips, a squeeze of his arm, and kiss on his lips, and he did just that, collapsing on her. She did not find the weight overbearing, not now, not when her body was primed so.
It was time to put his assertion to the test. Why should a young woman of such surpassing beauty not have her fun? He had said those words. Now, he would have to deal with the consequences.
“I want your guardsmen. The two outside,” she said.
He rolled to the side and waited until Neria rose from the bed, wiped herself with some warm water – the warmth, of course, provided by her magic – and returning to the bed, lay under the covers, head and breasts exposed. He dressed too, wearing a blue robe.
“Oswyn,” he called out then. “Wolstan!”
They came at his call, and did not do much of a job of hiding their surprise at seeing her as she was.
“The lady wishes your company for a while. Do you best to please her, would you?”
The Neria who rose from her conquest of Cailan’s guards was naked and utterly radiant. She could almost feel it herself, a glow that seemed to begin from deep inside the epicentre of her pleasure and spread to the tips of her fingers and toes.
Oswyn and Wolstan were asleep - exhausted, spent, drained. Cailan was sitting on his chair, eyes fixed on her as they had been throughout, incessantly, eyes she had locked in hers all through, for she had been performing, in her way, as much for him as for herself and the men she was with.
She walked up to him, and leaned down, mouth to his ears.
“I will be taking part in the Joining ritual tomorrow, your majesty,” she whispered.
“What?” he asked, placing a hand on the back of her head, stroking her hair.
“I cannot be your mistress,” she said.
“Why not?” He had stopped stroking her hair. He was clutching it now instead.
“Because, your majesty, I have needs.”
“Your needs will be fulfilled,” he said. “You have my promise – silks, jewels, lovers, I shall deny you nothing. You will be as a Queen. Let anyone who knows say what they will.”
“I don’t want to be a Queen, your majesty,” she sighed, putting an arm around his neck, kissing his shoulder. “But you have a Queen, and…no, that is not true, I do, I do, I would want that, all of it, and the world can go to the Fade, but…”
“My other needs, your majesty,” she said, sorrowfully stepping back, standing straight.
“What are you...?” he began, but then stopped, seeming to understand, as she raised her hand, palms open upwards, and he saw the soft flames emanate from it. The fire started as a sphere, orange at the core turning to red on the outside, translucent all through, and the flames were gentle, warm but not hot.
“I am a mage, your majesty,” she said. “I am Love made Fire, but I am Fire made Love as well. I need to fight. I need to save Ferelden from the Blight.”
“I can force Duncan's hand,” he said, but there was no menace in his threat.
“I will defy you anyway, your majesty,” she said softly. “I cannot sit, in state, pampered and powdered, while the darkness closes in on us.”
“It could all be over in a week,” said Cailan. “And then it won't matter.”
“Somewhere, you know it won't be over that easily, don't you?”
He didn't answer. He did not meet her eyes either.
“Grey Warden or not, we have some more nights,” he said. “And I mean to use them.”
She pressed her lips on his. His tasted of wine, not honeyed wine this time, but a bitter blend. To him, she knew, hers would taste of rose petals and man's seed – his, and also not his.
“Then we have to live through this, Neria,” he said. “I promise you, when this is over, and you have defeated the 'spawn, I will bring you to Denerim as my lover, my mistress. When your war is over and the magic is not needed...”
She smiled, rose to her feet and then mounted him, feeling his shaft stir under her.
“I might hold you to that promise, your majesty.”
[Anything you might recognise from playing Dragon Age: Origins is (c) BioWare. This work is not intended to earn any profit or make any money.]