Tannusen took a step backwards without truly meaning to, and then planted his feet resolutely, watching as Zevran slowly stalked him from across the room, sidestepping a table and pausing with a chair between them.
The other elf had thrown the wooden bolt on the door as soon as he'd entered, tossing a heavy cloth bag onto the bed. When Tannusen had turned to look, the Antivan had deliberately removed one of his thick leather belts from his waist, and held it in a particularly menacing manner, folded over and taut between his partially-gloved hands. The assassin standing between the mage himself and the door out, his expression unreadable, it was enough to make anyone a little... worried.
"What are you doing?"
"You once said that my trust was a gift, yes?" Zevran gave Tannusen that strange, measuring look.
"...Yes," Tannusen confirmed, gaze drawn to that belt. What was Zevran planning to do? He'd been acting a little odd ever since they'd left the Circle tower, staring with an odd intensity and not looking away when Tannu caught him at it, standing a little too near his back when the mage was kneeling to go through a pack, sliding a hand down his spine from out of nowhere...
All clearly orchestrated to throw Tannusen off-balance, but... why?
"I wish to have yours in turn, my Grey Warden. Will you give it to me, if only for the night?" Zevran let go of one end of the belt, lowering his hands. The leather strap hung down the side of his leg, only slightly less distracting now.
The mage raised his eyes back to Zevran's face. "What brought this on?"
"We have a room to ourselves again," Zevran gestured at the bed, and the bag of mysterious origins, "and you have been... tense for weeks now. I wonder if it's the same tension you have wrung out of me before? I, too, know how to do the wringing..."
Zevran was too observant by far.
"What makes you think that I even like that?" Tannusen asked, drawing himself up to his full height. He was a little taller than Zevran, and just as broad despite being a mage. Zevran was heavier, however; stronger, denser... tougher.
The two of them made an interesting-looking pair, Tannusen knew. He himself was pale; tall for an elf, broad for a mage, and yet his platinum-blond hair was longer than Zevran's, his face a little finer-boned, and his eyes were a vivid, startling blue. His rogue companion was all tanned Antivan skin and golden-brown eyes, and even his blond hair looked more golden when compared to the mage's own.
They were akin to winter and summer, and beside Zevran's heat, the healer just looked... cold. And if Tannusen moved with an understated grace, like a silent snow-fall at night, then Zevran was a dancing blaze; everything dangerous and thrilling and beautiful.
And the poetry with which he thought of the Antivan worried him a little.
Zevran had been silent, staring at him, perhaps taking in the way his breathing had changed and how his eyes kept straying to the belt Zevran tapped lightly against his thigh. "My dear Warden," he finally laughed, "this dance grows so tiresome..." tap, tap, went the belt. "Choose a word."
"..." Tannusen stared back at him for a long moment of silence, uncertain if it was wise to go along with this. Although, if there was anyone at all he could possibly trust that far... "Red," he finally sighed. Of course it was red, like blood. He broke eye-contact.
"And if you cannot speak, you will pound a hand or foot against the nearest surface if you truly wish for me to stop," Zevran added, his voice pitched low. It wasn't a question, and Tannusen nodded that he understood, apprehension running skeletal fingers over his skin.
The chair between them was suddenly kicked aside--
--And then the assassin was behind him, the wide belt around his throat so fast he barely had time to flinch. Zevran pulled it tight behind his neck with both of his hands, hauling Tannu back and down so that he had to bend his knees and struggle to breathe, hands automatically grabbing at the leather strap. Never had there been a more poignant reminder of which of them was the dangerous one in close quarters!
"I spoke to one of your Fereldan templars while you were off trying to seduce Knight-Commander Greagoir," Zevran's thickly-accented voice in his ear, pitched low, made his heart race all the faster even as he fought for each gasp of breath, his fingers digging into Zevran's own on the belt behind his neck. But he didn't stomp his feet; didn't try to gasp out a spell... "I hear you were quite the whore yourself, for a few years," a sharp nip of teeth at his earlobe had Tannusen's hand going still, forgetting the struggle for a single blazing moment. "Would you like to know what else I heard?"
Tannusen opened his mouth to speak, and all that came out was a peculiar noise as Zevran jerked back hard on the belt, preventing his voice from forming more than a strangled exhale. The healer dropped his hands to Zevran's hips behind his own, staggering back a half-step as he was forced to bend back even further. His vision swam.
"I heard, my dear... my stoic, handsome Grey Warden," Zevran all but purred into his ear, "that you like being beaten, strangled, spoken down to... Is this all true? You may nod, or shake your head."
Audibly struggling for air now, Tannusen nodded slowly. He was rewarded by the tiniest bit of slack in the belt, and struggled to not fall as he was pulled backwards and turned, side-step by side-step, to face a large mirror on the wall. This was not a cheap inn they were at for the night.
"Show me," Zevran's gaze bore into him, glittering gold from over his own shoulder. "Strip, my lovely mage. To the waist."
Tannusen stared at himself for a moment, noting that he was being forced backwards more than a mere few inches of height difference. Cautiously, he pried his hands off of Zevran's hips, almost falling back, but a little more slack and Zevran's shoulder under his head fixed that, and the Antivan smiled coldly at him in the mirror. "Do as I say, my Warden, or who will whip you tonight?"
An odd threat, at least if spoken to a more 'normal' person, but both of them apparently knew that Tannusen was hardly normal. The mage's fingers undid the clasps and ties to his robe, slipping out of the dark fabric and dropping it unceremoniously onto the floor off to one side. Zevran tightened the belt for a moment, shifting his grip to free up one of his hands, which he slid over Tannu's chest, down over the muscles of his stomach, straining as he fought to keep his balance... and finally, down over the fabric of his trousers, squeezing the hardness beneath, assessing. Testing.
The healer choked out a tiny moan, arching his back even more, somehow. He was already very hard, even as his vision swam...
"They were right about you," Zevran breathed into his ear, "you really are a whore."
Tannusen stumbled backwards, but Zevran was ready and kept him upright easily between the belt and his hand at his front. The mage caught a glimpse of... wonder? on Zevran's face in the mirror, before it was quickly replaced again by his cold mask. Was he truly surprised to have found Tannusen's weaknesses? Or was it just that odd to do such things to a man who had so thoroughly dominated him in the past, and watch him switch over into... this?
He stopped wondering about it as he was hauled backwards slowly, choking step by hard, choking step, until Zevran could touch the bag on the bed behind them, reaching into it and grabbing what he wanted from it by feel, his eyes never leaving Tannusen's in the mirror. The way the assassin kept absolute control of him, as though he was his prisoner, made Tannusen's remaining will waver. It was possible that he could utter a spell, get away... but it was possible that he couldn't, as well.
Just the thought of it made him even harder. Safe-word or gestures entirely aside... Tannusen knew that Zevran had him utterly at his mercy. And yet, if anyone else had tried this, he wouldn't have left enough of them to be buried.
"Put these on your wrists," Zevran thrust the items out in front of the mage, and Tannusen was startled at how badly his normally-agile fingers fumbled with the buckles as he slipped the thick leather wrist cuffs on and fastened them shut. A short, thick chain connected the two, but he was too distracted to wonder where the Crow had found these. "Now," that thickly-accented voice teased his ear, "toss this over the rafter overhead."
A rope, one end weighted with a hook, was presented next. Once Tannusen did as ordered, he was rewarded with a lick behind the ear. "You know that at this range I could be on you with a knife before you could ever finish a spell large enough to win your freedom, yes?" Zevran reached forward and grabbed the chain between his wrists with his free hand, tightening his hold on the belt around Tannusen's neck with the other until the mage's vision began to tunnel.
Somehow, he had the presence of mind to nod.
And then the belt fell away, released, and his arms were hauled over his head before he could even hope to react, dazed by the slow strangulation and sudden burst of easy air as he was, the thick rope being pulled taut with the chain over the hook. Within an instant he was nearly as immobile as he had been while being choked, and he stared at the Crow in stunned appreciation of a trick well-played.
The rope was tied off near the far wall, conveniently far out of Tannusen's possible reach, and then Zevran stalked back to him, circling him thoughtfully. The very fact that the mage was half-bare and that Zevran had only taken a single belt off was not lost to him, and even the rogue's blades were still in place at his back.
"We will consider this like an... interrogation, yes?" Zevran stopped behind him to run both of his partially-gloved hands over Tannusen's ribs, sides, hips... like assessing an animal for sale. Finally, he toyed with the mage's belt buckle. "You enjoy violence, pain... humiliation? Of a sorts?"
Tannu pressed up against the hands at his waist. "Yes," he whispered. "Of a sorts."
"Ah," Zevran pressed against his back, sliding his hands down to squeeze and rub painfully-hard flesh through uncomfortably tight breeches. "I must admit, seeing you this way is a delight, my Warden."
Tannusen just squirmed wordlessly back against the other elf, panting softly at the almost-pain of Zevran's hands on him. His hands curled into fists overhead.
"And I must confess," the Antivan chuckled lightly, finally undoing Tannusen's trousers and peeling them down, slowly, "you had me fooled. I truly thought that that templar was weaving stories just to amuse me. But then..." at his silent prompting, Tannusen stepped out of his remaining clothing, shivering a little as Zevran ran his hands up his thighs, making him spread his legs for him, "...I started pushing at you, and you never flinched. And now, here we are."
"If you were anyone else," Tannusen promised darkly, some of the familiar velvet-covered steel snaking back into his ever-present purr, "I would kill you for this."
"Truly?" Zevran laughed, and ran -- Tannu couldn't help but arch his spine -- the wide leather belt from before down his back, over his ass, down a thigh... "And what if I wanted to watch someone else do this to you, hm?"
Tannusen tensed without intending to, and Zevran immediately noticed, running his bare hand over the mage's back. He'd stripped off his gloves, apparently. "I think... I would like to know the story of how this happened," the Crow mused, idly tracing old scars with his fingertips, "but not right now. Right now, my Grey Warden, I only want you to feel. Do not worry... you are mine and mine alone, tonight."
Zevran's hand left his back. Tannusen shivered, listening to the assassin move to one side of his back. He didn't glance over his shoulder, just stared resolutely at the floor in front of his bare feet.
The first hit wasn't hard, but it took him by surprise, landing across his upper back. The second was a bit harder, across his ass, and the wide leather strap was caressed down his spine again as he adjusted. "Spread your legs again," Zevran breathed, "I want you exposed to me," the Antivan's hand followed the belt, and slid between his thighs as Tannusen obeyed, cupping the soft sac that hung beneath hard flesh and squeezing gently. His hand was so warm, and strong, and Tannusen shuddered, his dark thoughts completely banished again.
He met Zevran's intense stare in the mirror, and tipped his head back a little between his bound arms to expose his throat, watching the possessive gleam in golden-brown eyes strengthen. Yes, he still knew how to rile a man up with his helplessness... and his reward was a stronger squeeze, a fluttering of fingers, making Tannusen spread his thighs until his wrists took almost all of his weight, bending himself slightly forward even though it pulled his arms sharply back.
"Please, Zevran," he whispered, "please."
"And what are you begging me to do, my Warden?" Zevran slid the belt over his shoulders in his free hand, his other never stopping.
"Hurt me," Tannusen shuddered.
"Hmm?" Zevran tossed the belt somewhere onto the bed behind them, freeing up his hand to stroke down over the mage's exposed stomach, the Crow stepping closer, his fingers below squeezing and caressing just so. He was still in complete control of Tannusen, even if he wasn't strangling him, and the reminder made him fully harden again even as warm fingers encircled him, giving him a slow stroke. "No, I do not think I will yet."
He had no response to that except to pant softly and lean back against Zevran, the assassin allowing it with a dangerous-sounding chuckle deep in his chest. "How are your arms?" the Antivan asked a few moments later, releasing him to run both of his bare hands lightly up Tannusen's ribcage.
"Doesn't matter," Tannusen murmured, and was surprised by the light growl in his ear that the answer earned him. "--they... they're going numb," he admitted, glad to be pulled back hard against the front of Zevran's body, feeling the creak of hardened leather armor with each move they made. It was distracting enough that he didn't notice the other elf reach back with one hand again until the rope was suddenly severed far off near the wall it was tied off at, one of Zevran's knives clattering to the floor.
The instant slack had Tannusen stumbling, disoriented as his arms dropped, pulling the rope over the rafter to pool on the floor as he found himself braced up by the much stronger man behind him, Zevran's hand on his chest keeping him pulled back against him. The hand that had thrown the knife reached forward and grabbed the chain between Tannusen's wrists, quickly buckling a leather strap around it and hauling his hands up beneath his neck.
"On your knees," Zevran ordered, wrapping the long leather strap once around Tannusen's throat. It wasn't another belt; it was too skinny and far too long, the leather soft and pliant. "And turn around. I want that disobedient mouth of yours put to better use, my Warden."
Tannusen obeyed, kneeling down slowly and then shuffling around to face Zevran from a more proper height, gazing up at the assassin. He leaned forward to kiss the leather before him, but was stopped by the strap around his neck, held taut behind his head by the assassin. "Not yet," Zevran murmured, and leaned in to pull Tannusen's hair free of the leather with strange care.
He dropped the long strip of leather to the floor and pulled it forward between Tannusen's thighs before lifting it again, pressing the leather deliberately against his sensitive sac on the way back up as he straightened. Zevran gave the strap a light tug, and Tannu felt his eyes half-shut as the strap dug in there, slid against here, and tightened just enough at his throat to constrict his breathing just a little... Zevran was a master of leather, to be sure. It didn't exactly surprise him.
Zevran pressed the strap to Tannusen's mouth, his gaze boring into the mage as Tannusen obediently parted his lips and teeth, and with a nudge at his chin bit down on the leather, holding it taut, continuing the delicate torture. His eyes never left Zevran's, though they half-lidded with a sort of masochistic pleasure as he tipped his chin up just a hair further, making the strap even tighter yet, letting the assassin see the effect it had on him.
His hands free, Zevran chuckled deeply and slowly unbuckled his armor, piece by piece, setting the hardened leather aside. "You are full of many surprises, my friend," he breathed, pausing to nudge Tannusen's chin up just a little harder with his fingertip before continuing. The mage adjusted obediently, a light tremor going through him as he held the position, and watched more and more of Zevran's tattooed skin reveal itself. His sex, when exposed, was hardened and ready to be licked, and Tannu allowed his gaze to fix on it.
"Do you truly like it, when I call you a whore?" Zevran asked, taking the strap back in hand.
"While I'm like this? Yes," Tannusen leaned forward against the strap, testing, only to be brought up short by the leather before he could taste Zevran's obvious arousal. There it was, dark and heavy and beautiful, standing proudly out from the Antivan's body, not far at all from his lips, and yet he couldn't...
"Do it anyway," the assassin breathed, and put his free hand on the back of Tannusen's head. "Suck me off while it strangles you, squeezes you..." his thick accent made the words sound exotic and heavy, and he threaded his fingers into the mage's hair. "Hurt yourself to please me, and show me what a good little whore you can be, my dear Warden. I wish to see this for myself, yes?"
Tannusen took as deep a breath as he could with the pressure already on his throat, wetting his lips with his tongue. Heart hammering in his chest, he leaned forward, feeling the leather tighten around his neck, push up sharply between his legs, trapping him almost-painfully against his own body, as he slid his tongue over the head of Zevran's cock, gathering the beads of pre-cum he found there and savoring the taste...
The assassin sucked in a sharp breath, and pressed gently forward, his fingers carding through Tannusen's hair almost soothingly, over and over. A sharp contrast to his other hand, holding that leather strap so tightly that it creaked in his fingers. "Yes," Zevran whispered, angling himself to slide between Tannusen's lips and over his tongue, "just like that, my lovely whore."
The mage's only possible response was a shiver, and to lean in even further, going lightheaded from the restriction. He stroked his tongue and lips over hot, clean-tasting flesh even as his vision fogged, sparked... his focus narrowed down to the skin against his lips, closing his eyes so that he didn't have to see his vision tunnel, pushing forward... back... a long, swirling lick...
Zevran's hand in his hair tightened many long moments later, pulled him back from himself firmly so that Tannusen could breathe. He had very nearly passed out. "So determined to do as you are told," the assassin mused aloud, stroking the end of the long leather strap against Tannu's cheek idly, perhaps enjoying the contrast between the dark dye and his flushed skin. "This is no simple submission... you were trained."
"Conditioned," Tannusen corrected softly, leaning shamelessly into the caress.
"I see," Zevran frowned very faintly, his resolve visibly wavering. "I am... not sure what to say to that..."
"You don't have to say anything to it," Tannu whispered, tipping his head up to catch Zevran's gaze with his own, "Just don't stop. Not like this. Please."
"...Very well," the Antivan removed the strap from the chain between his wrist-cuffs, letting him lower his hands, and unwound the leather from around his neck. "Get up, then. Kneel on the bed, and face away. You will have your promised whipping, now."
Tannusen was unsteady on his feet as he obeyed, stepping past the other elf and climbing onto the bed with a soft rattle from the thick chain between his wrists. He wished that the situation was different, that they weren't on the move at all times, fighting and running and carrying everything with them... chains were lovely, but heavy. Perhaps if they both survived the blight--
Distracted, he hadn't even noticed one of the thick belts had been lifted until it cracked across his back, pitching him forward with a gasp. He caught himself with his restrained hands, shuddered once, and straightened back up onto his knees. "Spread your thighs," Zevran whispered, and Tannusen did, balancing back onto his shins and feet on the bed.
Two more stinging, thudding hits had him pitched forward again, and Zevran climbed onto the bed beside him before he could straighten, his hand on the back of Tannu's neck holding him down. "Stay," the Crow reached over the mage's back, and pulled the last two items from the bag. Oil, and a polished stone plug.
Tannusen clutched the blankets under his chest as Zevran expertly opened him up with slicked fingers and slowly eased the carved stone into him, seating it firmly to the flared base. He stretched his bound hands out beyond his head and arched his back, fully exposed to Zevran's every whim.
The first strike of the belt across his ass had Tannusen gasping into the blankets. The second and third had his fingers clenched in the fabric again. By the time the forth and the fifth hit, he struggled not to lift his knees off the bed, shamelessly arching his spine until it hurt to present himself for Zevran's roaming hands in between strikes. The other elf had climbed back off the bed now, putting more force into his precise lashes with his belt.
By the eighth, the sting was perfect and sweet, the pain echoing through Tannusen's entire frame. But with it came the rush of heightened senses and the knowledge that he allowed the other man to do as he pleased with him, and he tossed his head back and gasped out a warning after the ninth hit left him trembling. He wouldn't last much longer.
The belt was thrown aside, and warm hands stroked and squeezed undoubtedly-scarlet flesh, teased at the base of the plug. "And what would you like now, hm?" Zevran sounded a little out of breath himself, and surely not from simple exertion... warm fingers took the plug by the base and tugged, but not enough to remove it. "Perhaps something... deeper, yes?"
"Zevran," Tannusen shuddered, "I can't bend over any more than this, or I would. Please, fuck me."
"Hm, and such an eager little whore you can be," Zevran's soft chuckle alone was enough to make the mage shiver, his fingers clenching and unclenching over and over in the blankets beneath his bound wrists. The carved stone was slowly drawn back out of him, and Tannusen swallowed, knowing just how exposed he was. Normally it would purely be a turn-on, but this was... different, somehow.
The bed dipped as Zevran climbed back on, his knees pushing Tannusen's further apart. "Up," he was ordered, and he pushed himself up onto his hands, the chain between his wrists clinking. And then there was a hand on his hip, and the oiled head of the Antivan's cock at his entrance. "Push back," Zevran whispered, "take it yourself."
Tannusen couldn't move for a moment, he swallowed, his mouth suddenly too dry, and shivered as the hand on his hip moved to his back, sliding up and down his spine. He risked a glance back over his shoulder, and met Zevran's gaze, the rogue watching his face. The mage felt his brow furrow a little, the hand on his back continuing to stroke over his spine, over and over.
Zevran was... being soothing. It was working, too.
Not dropping his gaze from the other man's returning stare, Tannusen slowly pushed back... and slowly the resistance changed to a tight slide. He'd never had Zevran inside of him before; it had always been the other way around. He hadn't, in fact, had anyone at all in him since becoming a Warden; since his Harrowing...
Tannusen struggled to keep his eyes open, and watched in fascination as Zevran struggled the same way, their breathing ragged and sharp. He felt a shudder tear through them both as the other man was fully inside, and Zevran's hands stroked over Tannusen's hips, thighs, back... and then he began to move, and Tannusen had to drop his head, moaning softly.
Neither of them could last, and it wasn't long before they lay spent on the bed, both of them only mostly on the mattress, the assassin covering half of Tannusen's back with his panting body, his face buried in the mage's long hair. For his own part, Tannu remained where he had collapsed while he caught his breath, and only then moved to shift onto his back.
"Mn, leave them on," he murmured when Zevran's fingers went to the leather around his wrists.
It should have bothered him.
It did bother him.
But it should have bothered him much worse than it did, how oddly-sentimental he felt about the assassin as he looped his still-chained arms over Zevran's shoulders and settled the Antivan against him. "You do realize, of course," Tannusen purred softly up at the ceiling, "that this is a competition, now."
Zevran's soft laugh shouldn't have made him feel so warm. But it did. "Indeed it is, my Warden," the other elf sounded decidedly smug. "Indeed it is..."