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Temper, Temper: Interlude

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"I want to see it." Fynnea is lying stretched out on her stomach along a thick tree branch, one arm dangling in the free air. Zevran looks up at her from where he rests against the trunk of the tree.

"See what, my Warden?"

They're on the road towards Denerim, maybe four days' journey from Redcliffe, and fair weather and a distinct lack of darkspawn smell or sensation has halted them. Leliana had loudly proclaimed that it was no time to be on the road (and ignored Sten's correction that this was, in fact, a perfect time) and Alistair had sat down in the middle of the road. From the far-off sound of arguing, Fynnea thinks he must still be sitting there. Morrigan is likely continuing to insult him while he and Barkspawn recline for a sun-drenched nap.

Fynnea and Zevran had snuck off into the shade, and a few minutes into relaxing and looking down at the top of Zevran's head, Fynnea had been struck by a thought.

"It," she presses, and he quirks a brow.

"I am sure I do not know what you are talking about. Wynne's bosom? Alistair's lamppost? Sten's-"

Fynnea groans, struggling to block out the mental images forming all to readily. "Stop, stop!"

Zevran smiles beatifically up at her. She resists the urge to swing down from the branch and use his head as a stepping stool.

"You know what I'm talking about," Fynnea resumes, after a moment's deep breaths and another moment's uncomfortable, nervous squirming. "I didn't get to see... it. Last time. You kept your smallclothes on the whole time!"

"I did," Zevran agreed, watching her with the damnable smirk on his face.

"And," she continues, "back in the Brecilian forest, I heard you and Alistair talking."

"Truly, a scandal!"

"About your tattoos." Fynnea refuses to let his quips get to her, but it's hard, and she can feel herself begin to blush. "And you said something like, 'They're on more than just my back,' and since then I've been wondering..."

That same carefully arched brow. She wants to punch him, if it'd get that smirk off his face. It probably would. But then he'd never show her. Probably.

"I've been wondering if what you were insinuating was actually true," she finished, swallowing and letting out a shaky breath.

"And what was I insinuating?"

He's been like this the last three days, ever since she had invited him back to her tent for the first (and so far, only, as she wants Alistair to forgive her and he didn't seem to be in a Fynnea-forgiving mood the morning after they'd made all that noise) time. She dances around saying things explicitly, and he teases and tries to pull it out of her, knowing how it makes her squirm. For all her bravado, this is the one area where she knows next to nothing and is scared of making a fool out of herself.

Because, obviously, Zevran will know. He's had more than enough partners for the entire party's combined lifetimes to know when she's faking knowledge or calm.

"That. That." The words won't come for a moment, and she huffs and thumps the branch with her fist, a few leaves drifting downward towards him. He catches one of them, stroking its smooth surface idly, thumb following the veins. "That you have tattoos on- on your-"

That smirk is going to make her kill him.

"On your, er, penis," she finishes, and even though she's comfortable not being arrogant, her shyness is still appalling.

And he laughs at her, oh Maker's mercy. He's laughing!

"So I want to see it," she huffs out, then pushes herself up, moving to sit with her back against the trunk and her legs dangling on either side of the branch. She crosses her arms over her chest, refusing to look down at him.

Zevran hums thoughtfully, reaching up to grasp her ankle and slowly work her greave and boot off. He strokes along her sock-clad instep, not seeming to mind the smell of four days on the road in metal covered boots.

Fynnea hisses and jerks, but he doesn't let go and she has to fight for balance for a second.

"Well," he murmurs, fingers trailing up her ankle and calf, "perhaps we can come to an arrangement. But you shall have to work for the privilege, I think. Yes, that sounds right. Are you prepared to earn the ability to gaze upon the marvelous and legendary Zevran in his full glory, my Warden?"

"Only if you stop laughing at me," Fynnea mutters, trying not to worry about what she's getting herself into.

--

He doesn't mention anything that night, or the night after, and she finally pulls him aside after yet another meal of slightly burnt porridge. "Well?"

"Well, what?"

Oh no, not this again. She takes a deep breath. "Well, what job am I doing for you?"

"Oh! Right." He smiles at her, then takes her hand, bringing it up to his lips and brushing kisses against her knuckles. She's already shed her armor for the freedom of a loose, long nightshirt."First, you shall invite me back to your tent. And then... I shall show you."

She nods, toes curling in her boots a little in anticipation, and with a sly little smile leads him by the hand back to the (limited) privacy of canvas walls. She pointedly ignores Alistair's groan and whispered, "And here I was hoping that was a one time thing!"

As she ducks to enter, Zevran's free hand comes up to cover her eyes. She curses and stumbles, nearly falling, but he catches her around the waist and eases her down to the ground. He follows in close behind her, letting go of her only to seal the tent flap closed.

"What was that for?"

"Oh, I am just giving you a little taste of what's to come." He gives her another of those winsome smiles, and she tries not to melt, tries to stay strong and questioning. She also tries not to watch too intently as he reaches into her pack, rummaging around for a moment before coming out with bandages.

And she tries not to look very, very nervous at that.

"Ah! Fynnea, I have frightened you. Not my intention," he reassures, quickly, plucking one of the strips of fabric from the bundle. It has old blood stains on it, but it's clean and supple in his fingers as he winds it around his hand, idly. "But, I must ask for your trust, my Warden. Give me trust and hard work, and you shall be rewarded."

Fynnea searches his face, but all she finds is that same smirking, teasing friendliness, that proud self-consciousness. "You won't hurt me."

"Never, my Warden!" And then he pauses, winks. "That is, unless you ask me to. If asked, I must oblige, yes?"

Fynnea flushes, but nods. "Hah- right. Well. Do what you will, then. I trust you."

"And you shall tell me if you stop trusting me, even if it occurs in the middle of something?" There's a care in those words that she hasn't heard much of from him before, an awareness of her nervousness that goes beyond his promises of care and pleasure that first night.

"Of course. If I don't punch you first."

"I am so glad that you do not keep a blade strapped to your thigh, my Warden!" Zevran laughs, then leans in and brushes a kiss against her lips. He meets her gaze, smiles, then lifts the bandage up and over her eyes, securing it and blinding her.

She whimpers, immediately ceasing all movement and pressing her palms to the canvas stretched beneath the tent. She's disoriented without even moving, afraid to shift in case she knocks into something or brings the tent down around them. (Alistair would be sure to appreciate that, especially since she can feel Zevran's hands on her, undressing her.) He presses kisses to each inch of bared skin, murmuring soft, soothing words. Slowly, she relaxes, breathing evening out.

He sits back once he has her naked, and while she thinks she can feel his eyes still on her, she doesn't know where he is until he speaks. "A moment while I remove all this cumbersome armor," he murmurs, and then there's the shifting noises of him crouching and peeling off leather and cloth. When he settles down again, he's behind her, warm, arms wrapping around her to pull her back against his bare chest. Skin on skin. She exhales audibly, and he laughs against her hair.

His hands dance along her skin, over her belly and shoulder before meeting between, palming her breasts and kneading them lightly. "You are really quite lovely, do you know?" he purrs to her, and she sighs in response, head falling back onto his shoulder. He leans forward, kissing her throat, following the line of muscle from jaw to clavicle. He arches over her, his fingers teasing, his lips seeking. She squirms in his arms, and he laughs quietly.

"Didn't I say not to laugh at me?" Fynnea whines, softly, and he stops laughing in favor of lifting her up and turning her over, so their chests rest flush together. Her arms wrap around him, steadying herself, and he spreads his legs to draw her in close against him.

"You did," he murmurs once he has her settled against him. "Forgive me, my Warden. But you are just so- delightful, that it is hard."

"Mm." Fynnea's lips find his now, and she takes the lead, exploring and experimenting, not content anymore to let him dictate everything. She can feel him fighting the urge to chuckle again, and she tugs on his hair with the hand that has slid up against his scalp. That stops the soft shaking.

"Let go," he presses, gently, and she relents. Once free, he rests his hands on her shoulders and guides her down along his body. "I have your first job for you, if you are ready. The first challenge lying between you and your prize."

He stills her with a touch, and then she feels him shift, sitting up. One of his hands finds her head and guides it down, closer to the ground, and she isn't sure what he has planned until she can feel him, hard and hot, brush against her lips.

She turns her head up towards him, cheeks and chest burning. "I don't know how-"

He strokes her cheek, pushes a lock of hair behind her ear. "You are a quick study," he points out, and she can't argue it. So she takes a deep breath and slowly, slowly, fits her lips around him.

She's resting on her hands and knees, supported by one arm bent at the elbow while her other hand, free from her weight, holds onto his length to keep herself oriented. His skin here tastes much the same as it does everywhere else - like sweat salt and leather and faint, old spices. He stays still as she explores, edging him in and finding out how to fit her tongue around him. It isn't until she moves and accidentally drags her tongue up the underside of his cock that he makes a sound and twitches underneath her.

"Yes-" he breathes, fingers combing into her hair. He keeps his hand barely touching her scalp, but she can feel how he begins to tense up beneath her. She wishes she could see him, see his face, see how she's making him feel - because this is the first time that she's touched him like this, the first time he's received anything - but in the evening gloom inside her tent and behind her blindfold, she can see nothing.

After another minute of awkward fumbling experimentation, she finds a comfortable position where she can slide her tongue along him and pull her lips up to his tip and push them back down to somewhere near his base. He begins to make appreciative little noises more frequently, and she can feel him shift, hears him put his free hand on the ground behind him, feels the tilt of his torso back and away from her head, giving her more room to maneuver. Once, she accidentally tightens her bottom lip as she pulls up against the head of his cock, and when the ridge of it crests her lip, he gasps, and she does it again.

There are a few moments where she gags slightly and he pulls his hips from her, and there are a few moments where he puts pressure on her head and presses her down farther than she would like, but the experience as a whole is enjoyable, more than enjoyable, and soon she's painfully aware of how much she burns and how heavy her breasts feel, hanging in the open air. She moans around him and he jerks, barely controlling himself. He's so tense, and she pulls away, swallowing. "Is- is that-"

"Wonderful," Zevran breathes, and she can hear the smirk on his lips. "Beautiful. Fynnea, my Warden- you are a quick study. Mm."

She sits back on her heels, riding out the flush of pride that mingles with her arousal and stokes it higher, smiling in his general direction. "Did I do well enough, then?"

"More than well enough," he agrees. He moves, and she can feel his warmth creeping into the air around her. He traces a finger down the center of her chest and she shivers, licking her lips. "But," and her hopes and pride fall a little, leaving her mouth hanging open. "But," and he softens his tone, leans in and kisses the juncture of neck and shoulder, "that was only your first task, yes? Lie back, my Warden."

She does, with his hands guiding her, and she realizes he's maneuvered them onto her bedroll. He kisses along her throat, takes a detour to nurse at her breast a moment, and then kisses down her belly and the against the inside of her thigh, making her part before him. He makes a pleased little sound, two fingers testing her opening gently and finding little resistance. "If I were allowed to laugh," he murmurs against the flushed skin of her thigh, "I would laugh now in delight."

Fynnea whimpers and squirms, heart pounding in her chest, needing and wanting and unable to find the words. He seems to know them, though, and he slides up along her body again, hands still on her thighs, pulling them up and holding them apart. She can feel him, hard against her, and she wraps her arms around his shoulders just as he begins to ease himself inside of her. She gasps his name, head falling back, exposing her neck to a flurry of kisses that distracts her while he presses past the slight remaining resistance and fills her.

"Zevran-"

"Shh," he whispers, tongue lathing her earlobe a moment before he nips, sending her jerking her hips against his and burying him deeper. Her hands clutch at his hair, his back. "Tell me when I may move."

Her lips part and she nods, mutely, focusing on the odd, unfamiliar, wonderful sensation of being filled and stretched, being fitted around him. Her legs are tense against him where his arms support the crooks of her knees, adding another layer of sensation, and combined with the heat and weight of him on top of her and his slow kisses, she is soon rocking against him. "Okay-" she gasps, the word soft and certain

When he begins to move, she nearly screams at the feeling, but his lips are on hers and his tongue is filling his mouth. He fits and fills her perfectly, it feels like, with no room left to spare, but she's not sure if that's because of his physical size or the way he's moving against and inside of her. He's slow and steady and controlled, nothing about his movements haphazard or frenzied like her responses are. Her fingers scratch lightly along his back as she whispers "More," and he obliges with a laugh he can't suppress. She's too swept up to care.

He takes her slow and hard, only speeding up in the last minute or so of their coupling, when he leans back and slides a hand between them to stroke her. She arches her back, whimpering his name, cries growing louder and louder until she spasms, toes curling and legs tightening against his arms, breaking his support. He falls onto her heavily with another low laugh and speeds up again, driving into her while she throbs until he whispers My Warden and falls still atop her.

She thinks she hears a distant "Oh for the love of Andraste!" that sounds a lot like a certain princeling, but she's more focused on the heavy beating of her heart and his, the lingering throb and echoing small thrust, the delicious relief of stretching her legs out again.

He withdraws from her, and there's a momentary rush of cold and emptiness, but her own warmth is warm enough after she adjusts. She does reach for him, though, and he's so quiet and, for a moment, she's afraid that somehow that wasn't good enough. He has so much experience, and she so little. And he's so quiet-

She feels his hands nudging her to sit up, and then his hands untying the blindfold. Her heart is in her throat, and she can barely remember why it was so important to wear the blindfold to begin with, except that it amplifies every touch and releases every inhibition. And then the blindfold falls away, and he is-

Completely dressed.

Her jaw drops.

And he laughs and she lunges for him and he laughs more, squirming away from her uncoordinated half-fall and her loose, satiated weight. He makes it to the tent flap before she can stop him, and halfway out he turns back to her and winks, then blows a kiss. And then he's gone.

"ZEVRAN," she bellows, and then she gives up, frustrated but satisfied, full of contradictions and the certainty that she will get to see just how much his tattoos cover. Because she did, in her opinion, a damn fine job.

Now if only Leliana would stop giggling so she could get some sleep.

--

It's hard not to glare at him the entire next day, not to stalk up to him and demand he lift his skirt and drop his smalls immediately, but she's already getting strained looks from Wynne and Alistair and amused looks from Leliana and Morrigan (and being pointedly ignored by Sten, and being doted upon by Barkspawn). Besides, she wants to see him; she doesn't want anybody else to have the honor. Especially since she is the one who earned it in the first place. (A part of her knows this is all twisted up- Zevran Arainai, withholding himself from others?)

Somehow, though, she manages to control herself (it's seemed a little easier, the few times she's had to since that fight with Alistair, knowing that Zevran is watching and not wanting to push him away again). She even stays off the subject when Zevran begins to flirt with her again, dropping pointed, teasing hints. She simply smiles and thanks him for the wonderful night, and even as he preens she can see a little bit of doubt.

After dinner (stew, this time; Wynne has emphatically taken over cooking after too much burnt porridge by Alistair and Fynnea), he pulls her aside.

"I am sorry," he begins, though his eyes are dancing with mirth and she can tell that he is not sorry at all, "for my treatment of you last night. Or rather, the last little bit; I thought the majority of it was quite well received, yes?"

She nods, watching him silently. Go on.

"And, well, upon deep consideration, I have decided that your performance? Was more than adequate. And so! I have your reward, ready when you are. Just say the word, my Warden."

Fynnea looks up at the sky, and then nods to herself. "Well, tonight's as good a night as any," she says, purrs, really (or attempts to, anyway), and she beckons for him to follow. He does, with a pleased little grin that says Ah, my life, it is so hard! Following where this deadly sex goddess beckons! I suffer deeply. Will you soothe my pains? She takes him back into her tent, where she sits back on her heels, thoughtful.

"Can I make a request?" she asks, voice honey sweet. Zevran laughs a little. He always laughs, she thinks, barely keeping the smile on her face.

"Of course, my Warden."

"Remember, back in the Brecilian forest? Soon after we met? The topic of rope came up... and tying you up?"

"Oh, yes." He nods, watching her curiously. She, for her part, lifts up a coil of rope.

"Can I?"

He purses his lips thoughtfully, then shrugs. "I see no reason not to. Will you strip me down, afterwards? Have your wicked, naughty way with me?"

Her sweet smile widens into a grin and her eyes sparkle. That seems to be a good enough answer, because he holds out his arms. "Have me where you will, my Warden!"

Fynnea leans in and kisses him, then guides him with her hands and lips back up against the center tent pole. He leans against it lightly as she traces patterns with her fingers over his biceps, and he waits patiently as she loops the rope around him and the pole, restraining his arms separately from his body and binding him securely.

She has to leave the top half of his armor on, but she redirects all the attention it would have required to worshiping his calves and thighs as she frees him from his greaves and socks. She unbuckles his belt of metal rounds and sets it aside. She kisses along the insides of his thighs as she unfastens his armor enough to push aside his leather skirt. And she massages him through his smalls before she drags that fabric down, too.

He watches her carefully, taking in and memorizing the sight of her on her hands and knees paying homage to his body, and meets her gaze expectantly while she tosses the small piece of fabric to the side.

Her eyes drift down.

She grins.

"You are tattooed down there," she murmurs, licking her lips, unable to pull her eyes away from the delicately realized band of dark brown ink around the base of his cock and the small cross-shaped design right below the head. She leans down, pressing a kiss to the latter and then engulfing him in her mouth down to the former.

He purrs, one leg bending at the knee, eyes sliding shut. He hisses through his teeth in pleasure as she lathes him with her tongue, adoring and attentive. He bucks his hips as she teases his slit with careful, controlled licks, then rubs him along her palette almost wildly. It's almost too much when he opens his eyes to find her gazing up at him, lips curling in a smile around him.

And then Fynnea pulls back.

She smiles innocently at him.

And then she turns and exits the tent, leaving him hard and needy and bound.

First he laughs and calls, "Fynnea, this is a lovely joke, yes. Now, come back in here?" And when she doesn't respond and he hears her footsteps heading away, he cries "WARDEN!" after her. She doesn't come back.

Leliana is giggling again.

--

It's halfway between midnight and dawn by the time Zevran frees himself, cursing her for being so good at knots (and cursing himself for teaching her in his spare time, early on in the forest). He dresses and creeps out of her tent, looking around for any sign of the red-headed elf and sending up prayers to the Maker that the entire party hasn't deserted him during her prank.

But every tent is still there, and Fynnea is sleeping on the ground by the glowing embers of the campfire. He comes to her side on silent feet, noting Leliana on watch, sitting up with Sten off in the distance. He sinks down beside Fynnea, then hesitates, unsure of what he wants to do. He could strip her bare without waking her, likely, or write in soot upon her forehead, or-

Fynnea opens her eyes with a sleepy smile, a yawn, and a slow stretch.

"Payback's a bitch, hm?" she purrs, winking, and he stares down at her a moment before giving up on staying angry, laughing quietly and settling down beside her. "And before you complain, I knew you could get out of those ropes without a problem."

And she is right, except that it had taken him longer than it should have and he is sore and tired from the doing of it. Sleep looks more appetizing than another round of vengeance.

"Remind me," he murmurs as he pulls her into his arms, "to never deny you anything, my Warden."

"Noted." She grins and yawns again, then settles in for the rest of the night beneath the stars, warm and satisfied.

She'd won.