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It had been a long journey, both to the southern reaches of Orlais and back to Skyhold. The excursion in Emprise de Lion had been riddled with problems from the start, and it left Cullen exhausted. Even he nearly fell asleep on his horse as he and a handful of his men returned in the night. It didn’t help that he had nearly broken his wrist in a tough skirmish, half his arm now wrapped tightly in white bandage. He was determined to be as quiet as possible as they came through the gates, and had even sent word ahead not to make a big ordeal over their arrival—especially if she were there.


Cullen cursed under his breath, knowing he’s gone against the Inquisitor’s orders when it came to destroying the mine in Sahrnia. He had given her the reports, had shown her the obvious trail that led to where Samson might be found, conducting horrors in the snowed-in town. Yet, she ignored it, paying closer attention to the threat looming over the Grey Wardens. More mage problems, Cullen was frustrated, to say the least. Everything she believed in and personally stood for went against everything he thought needed more attention. Why she was so self-serving, when there was this much at stake was beyond him. No matter what, there was no arguing with Lady Aurelie Trevelyan.


As he walked from the stables towards the battlements, he glanced up towards the tower where he private quarters were located. Even with all the contempt he held for her, he felt a strange longing in his heart. It wasn’t the first time either- when he first met her, he instantly recognized her beauty, but her brash and biased nature had him guarded. Still, he felt a strange pining for her, wondering what her lips tasted like, even when she used them to yell and argue with him. He wondered what it might be like to take her, fuck her over war table while she screamed out in passion. 

Cullen chuckled to himself, knowing if anybody could read his thoughts, they’d think he was a masochist, turned on by her anger. Instead, he felt the fire burning within her, the cloud of a troubled past lingering over her shoulders. Somehow, he knew without her saying so that they came from similar paths of betrayal. Different in so many ways, and yet the same untrusting soul beneath. It took a lot for him to admit it to himself, but knew he would never tell her. Not if it risked his role as commander.

He entered his office with a sigh, but froze as he closed the door behind him. Whatever made up conversation he had conjured left his mind as he realized he wasn’t alone in his quarters. There was limited light from the moon shining in through his windows, but he instantly recognized the scowl etched on her otherwise beautiful face. He rolled his eyes, knowing now was not the time to remind himself of his stupid crush. After all, it seemed he wouldn’t have to wait for his punishment.

“Where were you?” Her voice was even, but her tone cut into him just as hard as one of her daggers could.

Aurelie pushed herself out of his chair, rounding the desk as she rested her hands on her hips. Cullen nearly laughed, feeling like a young boy again about to be scolded by his mother. He had to ignore the way she was so informally dressed, wearing a short silk nightgown, hardly covered up by a thick cotton robe. It didn’t leave much to the imagination.

“Emprise de Lion, Sahrnia to be exact.” Cullen told the truth, but made sure his tone was patronizing, teasing her with rudeness. “You remember the mine, overrun with Red Templars?”

“Of course.” She knitted her brows together as she glared in his direction. “What I don’t understand is why you went on your own.”

“What was I supposed to do?” He raised his voice, tossing one of his hands in the air in frustration. “Wait for you?”

“Yes.” She answered him with little effort. Cullen scoffed, nodding his head sarcastically.

“Sure, and how long would that have taken?” He asked. “You are always too busy, prioritizing what you think is more important.”

He paused as he watched her eyes begin to scan his face and body. For a moment, he felt nervous under her gaze, wondering why she was looking at his chest, his arms—his groin. Or at least he thought she had flicked her gaze there. He shook his head, stepping a few inches closer to her.

“I got sick and tired of waiting for your approval.” He breathed out in a huff, knowing none of this was worth it. It was better off to just grin and bare it—take whatever judgment he had coming. And yet, Aurelie only rolled her eyes before eyeing the wraps of bandages around his wrist.

“You’re injured.” Aurelie’s tone softened just a fraction. Cullen glanced to his own arm, lowering it back down to his side.

“I’m fine.” He argued, and stepped back when he found her standing closer, attempting to reach out to grasp his arm. Cullen stared down, finding her expression still annoyed.

“No you aren’t.” She countered, grumbling when he slipped from her grasp again. “Stop being so stubborn!” She hissed, her bottom lip puckering out as she glared at him from under her lashes.

“Stubborn?” He laughed outright, shaking his head. “Me?” 

Aurelie relented, crossing her hands back over her chest. “You really just hate me, don’t you?”

Cullen felt taken aback by her claim, and felt his gut clench at the rush of emotions he felt. Loathe her attitude? Yes. Was her temper sometimes annoying? Yes. But that didn’t mean he hated her. His heartbeat picked up, feeling a little angry at her accusation. He looked at her, and found her almost smirking, as if she were challenging him.

“And if I did?” He inched closer, tilting his head down. He had to take a moment, not realizing how much taller he was than her when she wasn’t wearing her thick heeled boots. Aurelie didn’t flinch away from him—not like she would. She lifted her chin so she could lock eyes with him.

“I’d say I hated you as well.” He caught the little glimmer that shined through her eyes, and knew she was bluffing. “Your self righteous attitude, the way you pretend to care so much, that ridiculous lion’s—“

“Shut up.” Cullen murmured. He could feel his blood boiling over at her attitude. They were adults, and shouldn’t be acting like school children bullying each other with petty words. Aurelie only stepped up a little on her toes, her mouth ghosting over his as she flashed a devious smile.

“Why don’t you make me?”

For a long time they just stood there, glaring silently at each other, only mere inches separating them from touching. Cullen struggled against the tension building around them, and wanted nothing more than to cut it away. But how? His heart raced harder, as he searched her eyes for any sign of backing off. Aurelie only drew her lips back, pursing them as she scoffed again, rolling her eyes.

“Just as I thought-“

Cullen couldn’t take it any longer, and cut her off, gripping her shoulders tightly with his gloved hands before closing the distance to capture her lips. The kiss was searing, and she struggled for the moment it took her by surprise. She relaxed in seconds, sliding her lips open at his tongue’s request. Aurelie’s hands tugged at his face and neck, her nails scrapping the exposed flesh she could find. It had Cullen kissing her harder, their teeth clacking together from the force.

He stepped forward until he pushed her against the edge of the desk as he broke away. He trailed his tongue along her jaw before biting hard along her neck, smirking at the sharp yelp she let escape. He was wondering what had come over him, but knew it had been her, and what she had unknowingly been doing to him since they met.

“You were saying?” He teased, but froze as her hands snapped from his neck to his front, her fingers making quick work of his belt.

Before Cullen knew it, one of her hands slid against his flesh, pushing past the band of his trousers and smalls to cup his growing arousal. He felt himself pulse in her hand, and his breath hitched against her ear. Aurelie squeezed, trailing her fingers along his length before brushing her thumb across the head. He gripped her shoulders tighter, and clenched his teeth to hold back the moan developing in the back of his throat. Aurelie only softly chuckled at catching him off guard, her head craning to kiss the shell of his ear.

“Is there something you want to tell me, Commander?”

She licked along the side of his neck, nipping and sucking the sensitive flesh there as she pumped her hand in a slow rhythm. The friction of her hand beneath his clothes made the pleasure that more agonizing. Cullen closed his eyes tight; maybe he did hate her, but for all the right reasons. Right now, he hated the fact she was winning at the made-up game they had started long ago. He couldn’t—wouldn’t let her.

With one swift movement, he gripped her hips, picking her up onto the desk while simultaneously pressing his clothed erection between her legs. He knew he had caught her by surprise, and only smirked at the sharp gasp that turned into a moan. Cullen moved one of his hands to the hem of her nightgown, pushing it up only to reveal she wasn’t wearing any smallclothes. The sight of her naked sex only had his desire growing, building faster than he ever expected. He could feel his hesitation rising, but it was gone in the instant her legs hooked up around his waist, her body angling back to give him better access.

“Don’t you dare stop.” She breathed, and Cullen through any caution to the wind.

With a free hand he pushed his breeches down far enough to allow his erection free, and unceremoniously spat in his hand before pumping himself a few times. He took the same hand to her core, savoring the heat emanating from her before running a few fingers along her folds, opening her to him. Aurelie scooted herself closer again, barely keeping herself on the edge of the desk. Cullen hesitated again as he aligned himself, but when he locked eyes with Aurelie, only finding the same fire she always held, he thrust in, completely filling her in one go.

Aurelie’s back arched towards his initial push, and she threw her head back, exposing her neck. Cullen leaned forward, giving himself a better angle to push into her harder and faster. He bit at her neck again, sucking on the exposed flesh until he knew there would be marks. Her fingers clutched the fur of his armor as he pounded into her, feeding all of the pent up tension he had been carrying into each thrust.

He came hard against her, pining her against the desk as he fell over her. Aurelie clenched around him, her sharp cries filling the empty space of his office. He breathed a smile, hoping all of Skyhold heard—he had done that. A part of him hoped he could do it again, and again, and again…

“Cullen.” His ears perked up at the sound of his name, and realized it was Aurelie beneath him, her breath just as heavy as his. He was surprised; he couldn’t recall a time where she had ever said his name. He leaned back, groaning as he pulled away from her. She sat up, her hands trailing along the front of his armor as her expression softened. “I think I still hate you.”

“Don’t worry.” He understood the joke, what she meant.  “I hate you too.”