At first, he'd thought his interest was simply in how large and strong the giant was, all firm muscle and looming stature... because he certainly appreciated such things at face value. But that wasn't all there was to it. A lot of people were larger and stronger than Tannusen Surana, despite his own solid build, and he didn't want all of them.
And then there was Sten's attitude; he was unattainable and stern and honor-bound, which Tannusen also had a habit of finding attractive. One need look no further than his long-time interest in Knight-Commander Greagoir to know that much.
But that wasn't it, either. Or at least, it wasn't all of it. There was something in particular that sparked Tannusen's interest beyond a simple appreciation for the giant's impressive physique, and for the longest time he just couldn't put a finger on it.
They got along surprisingly well, for all that Tannusen was an elf and a mage. The warrior was cunning, and he had a certain dry wit that the mage appreciated in his companions... and Sten took barbs just as well as he dished them out, without fail. Unlike Tannusen's fellow Warden, Sten's feelings never apparently got hurt when the mage snarked right back at him. If anything, he rather seemed to like it. Conversations with Sten about magic were equally fascinating and frustrating, but the giant had eventually admitted that the Warden was not the same as the honor-less beasts he was accustomed to, and that Tannusen was not responsible for all of mage-kind.
The frustration had mostly dissipated after that, leaving Sten a far more interesting (if reluctant) conversation partner than not.
But that wasn't it, either, because Tannusen could get along marvelously well with a person and not desperately want to fuck them. It was shocking, but true.
And that was closer to the issue at hand, wasn't it? As tempting as it would be to fantasize about the big, ridiculously strong Sten pinning him down somewhere and fucking him (and that was a pretty nice image, Tannusen had to admit), what kept him up on some lonely nights was an entirely different scenario.
All that strength, all of that control; intelligence, curiosity, but there was something else about him. Something unexpected...
It took climbing the mountain into the eerie village of Haven to make things completely clear to Tannusen. Sten turned on him, demanding answers and then, when Tannusen's patience wore too thin for him to be persuasive or patient, the qunari demanded to lead. And he'd even attacked Tannusen, which ended in the qunari swaying dangerously on his feet with his head bowed so low that his chin dug into his collar bone, suddenly wholly subservient even as he towered over the mage. The tips of his braids were still on fire from Tannusen's spells.
And Sten had stood there, waiting to be judged. As soon as the mage had told him to simply get back in line, rather than sending him away, Sten had given into his injuries and collapsed straight to the ground at Tannusen's feet. He'd held on despite his injuries for the mage's word. And even as he'd healed the qunari, Tannusen's hands had all but shook with the intensity of his sudden lust.
To hell with Haven. He'd wanted to climb Sten like a mountain.
He couldn't pin Sten down with sheer brute strength, not like the qunari could easily do to him... but he'd suddenly realized that he desperately wanted to. The qunari had inadvertently triggered every dominant instinct in the elven mage... which was considerable, to say the least. Sten's absolute control over himself combined with his underlying submissiveness was an almost irresistible combination, and had the qunari shown any sign of interest in recreational sex, Tannusen would have made his best attempt at seducing him to his bed. It wasn't like Zevran would mind, particularly if he could join in on the fun.
But after that, Tannusen understood his attraction to the tall, stoic, strong qunari. And sometimes, on those occasional nights when Zevran didn't join him in his bed or tent, Tannusen took himself in hand and imagined what it would be like if Sten did show an interest in sex, and if Tannusen did seduce him. It wasn't always Sten that came to mind when his bed was empty, but sometimes it was.
And this was one of those nights. The Warden lay in his bedroll in his tent, alone, with Zevran off taking his turn at camp watch, partnered with none other than the beresaad himself.
Tannusen had his trousers open and his half-hard cock in his hand before he even knew it, squeezing, letting his mind wander freely.
What would Sten look like stripped of his armor, spread out on a soft bed or a smooth floor or a mossy bit of ground. How tight would someone with such strength be? What would Sten sound like in his pleasure? Could he be made to stammer and groan, perhaps in his own language? And would 'kadan' be heard among the words, if so? How magnificent would he look when tensed in pleasure?
Of course, it wouldn't be safe to just slide between those gloriously-muscled thighs; Sten would probably crush him in the heat of the moment. No, he'd need to be tied down, restrained with his legs held open. Maybe with chains, and leather, because rope would snap so much easier than thick metal links and sturdy leather bands. With firelight playing warmly over his strange skin and gleaming in his dark eyes...
Because oh yes, Tannusen would want him on his back. He'd want to see.
And the qunari's cock, of course, couldn't go neglected. He could only speculate at its size. Would Tannusen be able to take it down his throat? Or perhaps he would take himself on it while Sten strained beneath him? Maybe he would just lick and stroke and kiss it until it pulsed in his hand and streaked his face with heat, after he'd taken his own pleasure inside the larger man?
...What was it like to kiss someone like Sten? Tannusen wasn't normally the sort who focused on kissing, but what would Sten's lips feel like? Surely they'd be soft, but maybe not. He wasn't of a race Tannusen could remember ever touching that way, so was there any telling?
But they looked like they'd be soft.
Dear Maker, what if Sten wanted to taste him? Still tied down, his strength harnessed, Tannu would have to straddle his head...
That final thought finished it. Tannusen groaned, louder than he'd intended, thrusting hard into his hand as he came, his booted feet pushing his hips up from the ground in a series of savage jerks.
It wasn't until he was finished, and his heart calmed and his breathing slowed, that he realized he'd heard the whisper of the tent flap. Whoever it had been, there was no sign of them.