When Elissa Cousland walked through the halls of the Royal Palace, people moved out her way. As she passed by, some of them spoke to her, while others stared and still others looked away. Everyone noticed. She was, after all, King Cailan's favourite, his mistress, and the second most influential woman in the country.
She was on her way to see the King right now, in response to a summons that had come unnaturally early, cruelly chasing away her dreams. But when Cailan called, you came, no matter who you were, and Elissa had always done everything she could to keep him happy. It was her duty, after all, and she was very good at it. Still, something about this morning meeting had her on edge and so she had forgone most of her jewels and wore her hair bound simply, not wanting to wait for anything more complicated.
She opened the door to the King's study and was immediately surprised to see Teyrn Loghain standing inside. She squared her shoulders and raised her chin slightly, refusing to show any wariness, even if it was all she felt when this man and his cold, piercing eyes were near. Loghain, for his part, showed no sign that he was even aware of her arrival, though she knew better than to believe this was true. He stood near the wall, looking at a map of Fereldan. Just beyond him was a desk and behind it, a man who was certainly paying attention to Elissa being there.
“Elissa, darling,” Cailan exclaimed, rising from his chair and walking around the desk to embrace her, never mind that his wife's father was in the room. “I am sorry for waking you so early.”
“You have nothing to apologize to me for, Your Majesty,” she told him in a low voice. “Not now or any other day.”
Cailan smiled. “You are too good to me, my lady.”
“That would be impossible, Majesty,” she replied, enjoying the warmth in his arms and expression.
“There is, of course, a good reason for the intrusion.” Loghain's voice cut through the intimacy and Elissa took a small step back, in order to meet his stare.
“Yes, yes,” Cailan agreed, meandering back to lean on the desk. “You've heard, no doubt, about the recent reports from the south?”
“The ones about the darkspawn?” she asked, knowing already that it had to be.
“Yes. While there is still no sign of an archdemon, the darkspawn numbers are enough to warrant action. And so it has been decided that the army shall march on them, with me leading them personally into battle.”
It made perfect sense, but ... “Oh no, my King, you mustn't!” she exclaimed. “What if you were injured? Or worse? I do not think I could bear it.”
Loghain made some sort of sound but Elissa ignored it and Cailan did not seem to notice, as he was too busy rushing forward to embrace her again. “I must go, it is my duty. Besides, think of the songs they will sing about me when I return, victorious, just like the Kings of old. Surely you want that for me, don't you, love?”
Her only answer to this was to wrap her arms around him, pressing her face into the place where neck and shoulder met. His hands stroked her hair gently as he whispered into her ear that everything would be alright.
Finally, she looked up at him, his face inches from hers. “Whatever shall I do, while you are gone?”
He pressed his lips to her forehead. “Lo – I think it would be best if you were to spend some time away from court. I know your father is due to leave for Highever tomorrow, to gather the Cousland troops. I think ... it would be best if you were to join him.”
For once, Elissa did not know what to say. She knew what she wanted to say, she wanted to beg Cailan to reconsider, for him to say no, of course he would never send her away. But she couldn't say that, not with Loghain in the room, the master architect of everything. So instead she just nodded slowly and tried not to see all her plans unravelling around her.
Cailan turned his head slightly, looking over at Loghain. “Please, Loghain, would you give us a moment?” The teyrn left without comment, though the door that closed behind him did make quite a noise. Sometimes, Cailan's gall was hard to believe.
The door was barely closed before Cailan's mouth descended upon hers, hot and demanding as ever. She moaned softly against him, the muffled sound only encouraging him to take more liberties with her. He placed his hands on her waist and began to apply pressure, forcing her to turn until they had reversed positions. Then, not missing a beat with his lips or tongue, he began to move them backwards, towards the desk. When she bumped up against it, his hands fell to her waist and lifted her up.
Cailan's hands quickly moved down to her legs now, lightly but firmly pushing her thighs apart, until there was room for him to stand between them. She could feel him, hard and straining, pushing up against her body and she gasped. He took the opportunity to press his lips to her throat, leaving a trail of kisses mixed with small bites as he moved down. “Cailan,” she cried out softly, finally able to let formalities drift away.
He stopped at that and suddenly his face was before hers, his expression more serious now than she had ever seen it before. “You won't forget me, will you, while I'm gone?” he asked. “You won't find some lordling to replace me?”
“Never,” she told him. “There is not a man in the world who could ever replace you.”
He said nothing to that at first, only staring at her and she felt as though she was being weighed and measured. Eventually though, he grinned. “Of course there isn't,” he said, his cocky smile back on his face as he kissed her again. Apparently, she had been found worthy.
He began to pull her skirts up with one hand, while the other snuck underneath the hem to run along her inner thigh. When he reached the apex of her legs, his thumb stroked her through the fabric of her dampening undergarments and she moaned, needing more and needing it now.
“You like that, do you?” he asked, his voice and breath husky against her ear.
“Yes,” she managed between gasps, “you know I do.”
He nibbled on her earlobe. “I know what you like even more too,” he murmured as his fingers slipped around the fabric and began pulling the garment down her leg. His other hand was on his trousers, working at the fastener.
“Cailan, oh yes ...”
It didn't take him long to free himself from his clothes and Elissa reached down with one hand to stroke his cock, hard and ready for her. It was the King's time to groan then and he moved quickly to position himself, tip at her entrance, and then in one swift and smooth movement he was inside of her.
“Elissa,” he moaned. It always thrilled her when he said her name, drawing the s sound out as he took his pleasure. She wrapped her legs around his waist, pressing against him, taking him deep. They moved together, knowing each other's rhythm well, and it wasn't long before she felt the beginning of her orgasm. She closed her eyes, clung to Cailan, and let the waves wash over her. At her height she called out his name again, just as he cried out hers.
Afterwards, she let herself cling to him for a moment, feeling the pounding of her heart echoed by his. It was different than usual but not unpleasant – and also so necessary, given the circumstances. He was going off to war and if something happened, if he didn't come back ...
Cailan pressed his lips to hers softly before sliding out of her and taking a step back. “I will come back to you, my darling girl. I promise.” And with that he re-fastened his pants and turned, walking towards the door. She opened her mouth to call him back, until she saw the squaring of his shoulders. He was on royal business now, no more time for pleasure. So she just sat there and watched him leave, then listened until his footsteps faded down the hallway.
She pushed herself off the desk and began to make herself presentable again. As she did, she let herself think about everything that had just happened. It was a Blight, or at least it might be. She had heard about them but only in story books and in the histories Aldous always tried to make her learn. She had never imagined that they might turn out to be real again. But scared as she was, she knew Cailan would be fine. He was their King, golden and untouchable. And even if he faltered, Loghain would be there.
Yes, Elissa was certain that there was nothing she would have to worry about. Maybe it would even be pleasant to go home for a bit – at very least it would be better than being in a court ruled by Anora without the King's protection. Perhaps there would even be ways to advance her plans from Highever. And, of course, when it was all done, Cailan would call her back and everything would return to normal.