Valariya Cousland had always marched to the beat of a different drummer. The area of romance was no different. One of the main reasons she kept resisting her mother's efforts to see her married, was because she knew that no single man could ever satisfy her.
This clearly was still the case, when she felt equally drawn to two men in her party that could not have been more different. On one hand there was Alistair, the tall, broad shouldered former-almost-Templar. His innocence and naiveté was adorably charming, while his strong sense of justice was also very alluring. On the other hand there was Zevran, the lithe, wiry Elf assassin. She found his self-confidence and passions very titillating.
Yet she also found a sense of warmth and tenderness in both of them. That surprised her most of all about Zevran. They were both wounded and broken underneath their facades, and the woman in her longed to embrace them both and make their pain go away.
"Tonight, when we make camp," Valariya vowed to herself. "I will ask them both to talk with me in private. I need to resolve this before my feelings interfere with our task at hand."
Later that evening, after everyone had finished their supper around the campfire and her party members began to start settling in for the night, Valariya approached Zevran and Alistair.
"Zev, Alistair, we need to talk. Can the three of us go somewhere a little more private? There is a small clearing by the shore of the lake to the South. Meet me there." She tried not to make it sound like a command, or anything ominous. Both men looked at each other quizzically, shrugged and silently followed their intrepid leader.
When they arrived at the shores of the lake, the small clearing was illuminated by the nearly full moon above. It was a perfectly warm, still night. You could almost forget about the oncoming Blight here. Almost.
"So, why have you asked us here, Val?" asked Alistair. "Don't they usually do floggings in public?" he joked, with his usual dry wit.
"Yes, Warden, I too am curious as to what has put this look of concern upon your lovely face," Zevran said.
Valariya took a deep breath and began.
"Alistair, Zev, first let me ask you both to let me say my peace before you say anything. I know we haven't had much time to talk lately. I also know that you are both aware that I've invited each of you into my tent in the past couple of weeks. It all started as a need for release. A way to get my mind off *everything* for a while."
"However," she continued, "it has turned into something more. I feel a deeper connection I have never felt before. This is a connection I wish to explore further."
"My dear Grey Warden…" Zevran began.
Valariya looked annoyed at Zev and stopped him mid-sentence. "I said let me say my peace! This is difficult enough for me as it is..."
Zev bowed in contrition while Alistair smirked at the rebuke, but wisely kept his own mouth shut.
"As I was saying, this deeper connection I've been feeling – it's not just for one or the other of you." Valariya took another deep breath. "It's for both of you."
At that Zevran and Alistair looked at each other and then back at Valariya. Zevran looked bemused and intrigued, while poor Alistair looked slightly horrified.
"Now, wait, I'm not quite done yet." Valariya was now visibly shaking, feeling slight nervous about this next part.
"I think I'm falling in love, with both of you," she confessed. "I can't choose between you and I don't want to have to. Now I know the two of you don't generally like each other. Alistair I know you still don't trust Zev. You've made that clear ever since I spared his life and let him join our party."
"Ideally, I would like to be able to continue my relations with both of you, but I know that possibly one of you, or both of you, may not be comfortable with that. My proposal is this – discuss this with each other, tonight. If you can both agree to get along and be ok with both of you being with me, then both of you meet me in private again the next time we get a chance to camp for the night."
"If you cannot agree, then I would like to ask the two of you to determine which of you will walk away from having a relationship with me, just don't kill each other in the process."
"I would prefer not to lose either one of you right now, but this is driving me to distraction and I need help resolving this. Whatever is decided, whichever of you ends up remaining with me, in that way, come and meet me alone the next time we camp."
"So, I will leave you both to discuss with each other what I just said. Please, for my sake, don't try to kill each other, or I may end up killing the survivor," she warned.
With that Valariya ran off, leaving the two men by the side of the lake, in stunned silence.