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When she woke up the haze of sleep fell away almost immediately because she became aware of a few things. The first was that she was naked. This in itself wasn’t an unusual occurrence. It would have been odder if she had woken up in clothes. The second thing was the warm body pressed against her side. As she became more alert, she was increasingly aware of the feel of hair and muscle against her. Among other things. The third was the large, calloused hand mapping its way out over her body. It felt like no part of her was going untouched. Heated memories of waking up to her husband’s need came to her, but left her abruptly with a chill. Her husband had died a year ago and she had allowed no one so close since.

Her eyes flew open with none of the usual just-waking-up preamble. So many more things that didn’t fit. She wasn’t in her soft, far too quiet bed. What she was laying on was barely qualified as a sleeping bag. Illumination was provided by a lantern in the corner, only just visible from her angle. But she hadn’t spared these details more than a brief glance and thought to get her bearings. Much more concerning, and confusing was the man next to her.

The scar on his lip was distinct. His eyes, his hair, his body, all fit with what she had both seen and envisioned countless times before. But the scar is what really sealed the deal for her. She wasn’t awake at all. This was just another layer of a dream. A much more vivid dream than what even she was used to, but a dream nonetheless. The moment they made eye contact his hand shot down to work between her legs. Immediately she gasped before she could stop herself.

Not so shy, I guess.

“This is a dream.” She wanted to sound sure of herself but any time a dream felt this real she woke up to her husband’s hand parting her labia, her husband’s cock.

“Well this is the kind of thing I would dream up.” After a light pinch to her clit, making her yelp and squirm, he roughly pushed a finger inside her. His hazel eyes never left her dark brown ones.

“Your dream? You aren’t real.” The words took more strain to say than she wanted to admit. Part of her knew that this dream felt too real. Something was off, even though it’s not unlike fantasies she had before. She should stop his hand. But she was so slick and his second finger had slipped in so easily.

“Shall I show you how real I am? You’re the one under suspicion. Perhaps you should show me.”

With one fluid motion her shoved her legs further apart and placed himself between them. Automatically she wrapped her legs around his hips though a part of her mind said she shouldn’t. He wasn’t looking in her eyes anymore. Instead he tilted his head down to watch as he rubbed the swollen head of his cock up and down her slit. The anticipation made her toes curl as she dug her heels harder into his back. She pushed her hands against the solid planes of his chest, hands resting on the thin layer of sweat and blonde hair there.

“If you are somehow a dream, and not a gift for me from the Maker, then I must have you at least once before I wake.”

That was all the warning she received before felt him push inside of her. In one thrust his cock filled her completely but he continued to grind into her. She screamed out her pleasure, worries briefly melting underneath the pressure of sensation. He pulled out slowly and then slammed into her once again, shouting to his maker.

“Your tight cunt takes me so well. You were made for my cock.” He uses one hand to pin both her slender wrists above her head and the other is filled with an ass cheek.

His pace was his bruising and fast, unconcerned with whether or not it’s what she wanted because in that moment it’s what he needed. It’s a kind of roughness she always wanted to ask her gentle husband for but struggled to voice.

My husband. This isn’t real.

“Wait.” She tried to make the words come out between breaths and moans. His grip was too strong for her to break. “This feels too good.”

“You feel-”

“This feels too good.” It was almost impossible to think. “It isn’t right.”

“There’s nothing more right.”

He rolled her onto her stomach and covered her body with his own. When he thrust back inside her, in her favourite position, she found herself willing to forget everything and just agree with him.

With her head turned to the side she could see everything she would expect. Sword, shield, piece after piece of armor, and that coat. It added to the illusion, the not-dream. She clenched around him and he took that as his cue to move a hand between them and find her clit. The speed and strength of her orgasm caught her by surprise. The waves of her climax drew out his end too and he filled her with his hot seed. She felt it bursting inside her and couldn’t help but scream out his name.

“I’m inclined to believe that this isn’t a dream.” He shifted to lay on his side and pulled her over to be the little spoon.


He kissed her shoulder and sighed into her neck.

“Sleep. We can solve your mystery tomorrow.”

The flame of the lantern danced low, not quite ready to go out. His breathing slowed first. While he was supposed to be prone to nightmares, he was not the one tossing and turning that night.


When she woke again the lantern was out and the sun had not yet risen. There was still an arm slung around her waist, but the death grip had loosened. Iola shifted out of his reach and sat up. The remaining spend that had still been within her while she slept slicked up her thighs again and for a moment she felt embarrassed.

One thing at a time. I need to clean this and I really need to pee.

It was late enough in the night (or perhaps too early in the morning) that it was not pitch black inside the tent. Though it certainly wasn’t easy to see. She found her clothing in a pile near his. Her leggings and boots were an easy choice, but after some internal debating she pulled on one of his shirts. More comfortable than throwing on her bra and tank top. The next step Iola really didn’t want to do, but she was anxious to wander off on her own and try to fend for herself in her not-dream. Don’t think about the fact that you ‘woke up’ again and you’re still here. It’s just a long, weird dream where everything feels extra real including your full as fuck bladder. With no other option she walked back over to the bedroll and started to shake her bedmate awake. With caution, of course.

“Cullen. Cullen wake up. Please.” He jolted awake quickly, looking angry and startled until he saw her face. The lines on his face smoothed and his snarl softened into a gentle smile. “I don’t know where I am and I really need to pee.”

“I don’t think a dream would wake me up in the middle of the night to find the latrines.” He cupped her face with one of his hands while he teased her. Iola pulled his hand off and leaned away. Distance was a good idea. Easier to think.

“I’m sorry to wake you but I don’t know where to go.” And I don’t know who’s out there.

Cullen rose out of bed and dressed easily, no trace of the grogginess she felt. He took note of her wearing his shirt with a quirked brow, but said nothing.

“You’re going to get cold.” His cloak practically enveloped her when he placed it on her shoulders. He smiled at her surprise. “We’re at the Crossroads, in the Hinterlands. It’s not exactly the warmest place in Ferelden.” He opened the tent flap and motioned for her to exit first.

Immediately she noticed the smell. All the smells. Unwashed bodies, festering injuries, corpses, and the latrines. It was surprisingly easy to separate that stench from the others and turn her head in the right direction. If she realized she could find them by smell alone, she wouldn’t have asked. Plus they were the only sort of building away from the hamlet and near the trees. What else could they be?

“I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have bothered you if I had realized they were just over there.”

“It’s not a problem.” The ease he had with her moments earlier evaporated once he saw noticed the others awake and milling around. His features grew cold, his body language hardened and closed off. The embodiment of the intimidating commander he was supposed to be. Without another word or further acknowledgement he walked in the direction of a couple of guards who looked a little too relaxed. Iola was almost sad to see him go. She dreaded having to discover first-hand what a medieval latrine was like, but biology beckoned.


She didn’t get undressed when she returned to the tent. Iola didn’t know what was appropriate, or if it was a good idea to get comfortable. Sleeping didn’t take her out of this not-dream, and neither did fucking, apparently. Why she would have an unending, all-encompassing dream about Dragon Age instead with her husband she didn’t know. As fast as her treacherous thoughts turned to him Iola just as quickly steered them away. It was a wound that was closing and not a scab she wanted to pick at in that particular moment.

By the time the tent flap lifted again at least an hour had passed. Iola had shed her boots as she laid on the bedroll. If Cullen hadn’t returned sooner she would have shed her consciousness too. But the moment he reappeared she found herself wide awake.

He smirked that smirk that drove the internet mad, which maybe set certain parts of her aflame but not at ease. Though he bent down to unlace his boots his eyes never left hers.

“I wasn’t expecting you to still be awake.”

“I didn’t know what else to do.” She shrugged. It was a weak response but the truth.

“Sleep?” His voice teased in the way that walked the line between flirtatious and condescending. Clothes were gone at the same effective pace he put them on and then he was pushing her down into the bedroll.

“Wait, wait, wait. Let’s keep my clothes on and have a talk first.” She disentangled herself from his eager hands and sat up again.

“You can have a few moments before I have you. Again.” The lack of clothing made his erection painfully obvious. Iola knew she should look anywhere else but her eyes were drawn to it like a magnet.

“I…I don’t know how I’m supposed to think clearly after something like that.”

“Good.” Again he made a move for her but she stood up and started pacing away from the bedroll. Distance. Don’t look. Don’t get distracted.

“How did I get here?” She started fiddling with one of her piercings. A nervous habit, a compulsion to keep her hands busy.

“You opened the tent and made yourself right at home.” He chuckled.

“Ha ha so funny. I mean how did I wind up in this dream where I’m in Thedas?” As if the fictional character in your dream is going to tell you that you’re in way too fucking deep with your Dragon Age obsession.

“You really don’t remember?” The humour was absent from his voice now.

“Obviously not.” Iola covered her eyes with her hands and crouched down. The foggy feeling lingered from when she last woke, only getting worse with her frustration. “If my brain wanted to give me the most weirdly vivid dream of my life, I don’t know why it’s here. If this was a lucid dream I’d just change the scene or wake myself up. But I’m still here.”

“You fell out of a rift earlier today. There were no demons. You yelled my name and had eyes only for me.” Iola let her hands drop from her face and sat on the ground properly. Cullen had something resembling a dreamy look, eyes far away, as he recalled. “I surprised myself when I threw my sword down and ran to you as you collapsed. I asked who you were. I asked why you fell from the rift. You told me that you had come here for me, to save me, and then you lost consciousness. I carried you to my tent and had a healer take a look at you. When she found that there was nothing wrong I told her to clean you up and leave you here.”


“No. I did that part myself.”


She remained on the ground for a while after that, unsure of what to say or do next. For a while he let her just sit in silence and digest what he told her. A very fleeting version of a while.

“Come here.”

There was no reason not to since it was just a not-dream, but she didn’t want to get even more tangled in this web.

“It wasn’t a request and I won’t repeat myself.”

She hesitated for a couple of seconds and it was a couple too many for him. He grabbed her ankle and yanked her towards him. Her leggings were shoved down around her feet and he was between her legs thrusting into her once again.

“You are mine and I will fuck you until you know it.” A jolt of pleasure shot through her when he made his claim like that. Part of her knew it would be a problem later (really the whole lack of clear consent was a problem now), but in that moment all she wanted was to feel all the ways he would make her his.

They fell asleep the same way as they did previously, with him holding her close. Neither woke again until a scout called them from outside the tent. Enough people heard the noises coming from the tent last night that the gossip had already spread faster than the blight. She drew the shortest stick and that was why she had to be the one to go wake them. The scout didn’t want to face the commander’s wrath but the message was too urgent to wait.

“The Herald has returned early and she wants to speak to you immediately.”