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If I Had You

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Dorian adjusted his tie nervously as he looked up at the imposing building. Despite having been politely asked to consult on a case for the Ferelden Bureau of Investigations, somehow it still felt as if he were about to face the entire Magisterium on some trumped up charges.

Since fleeing to Ferelden five years ago, he’d made a name for himself as both an expert on Tevinter culture and as an irreverent playboy. He’d already published three books regarding Tevinter culture and was working on a fourth when his agent called to tell him that the FBI needed his expertise on a case.

Dorian took one final, deep breath and then headed into the building and approached the reception desk. Behind the desk was a rather harried looking elf who seemed busy taking and rerouting calls. As he reached the desk she put up a finger to indicate that he should wait a moment.

Dorian nodded and tried to wait patiently. The phone kept ringing and the poor elf looked at him apologetically as she kept answering and rerouting calls.

“Dorian Pavus?” a man asked, startling Dorian.

“Yes?” Dorian replied, turning to face a dashing blond man in a full three-piece suit.

“I must apologize,” the man said. “The phone has been ringing off the hook since the news broke this morning and we’re sadly a bit short-staffed today. I’ve come to fetch you and get you checked in.”

The news? Oh yes. There had been an attempt on the King’s life. Again.

“Charmed…um?” Dorian left he question hanging as he reached out to shake his hand, hoping the blond would properly introduce himself.

“Um? Oh, yes. I’m Cullen. Agent Cullen Rutherford, at your service,” he said with a dashing smile.

Dorian smiled back. For a brief moment, he thought there was a gleam of interest in Cullen’s eyes, until he noted the wedding ring on the man’s finger. Oh well, having an FBI agent as a lover would have been less than ideal anyway. Right?

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Cullen,” Dorian shook the man’s hand.

Cullen led Dorian back and took him through the various security check points. Nearly an hour later and Dorian had an official FBI badge which granted him limited access to areas within the building.

“Next up is to meet the agent you’ll be working with,” Cullen said as he led Dorian along another long corridor.

“I was rather under the impression I’d be working with you?” Dorian asked in confusion.

“This is one of several cases I am directing, but Agent Freeman is leading the investigation,” Cullen explained. “He also immigrated from Tevinter, but his perspective comes from a different angle than yours.”

“Freeman? That’s not a Tevinter surname,” Dorian sounded confused.

Cullen paused for a moment. “Look, I don’t want to throw you to the wolves, so to speak, but there’s something you need to know. Leto had it hard in Tevinter. He had no surname when he arrived in Ferelden because he had been a slave.”

“Oh!” Dorian understood now. “It would make sense that he leads a human trafficking case then.”

“He has openly objected on bringing you in to consult for this,” Cullen continued. “But our director insisted we approach the case from every angle. He has the perspective from the slavery side, and we’re hoping you will give us the perspective from the side of being a slave owner.”

“Well I hope he knows that I personally never owned any,” Dorian said defensively. “My family, of course, had a house full of slaves. I daresay that they were treated humanely. My father believed how one treated their slaves reflected a person’s true character.”

“Well, don’t tell Leto that if you value your life,” Cullen warned as he continued to lead Dorian down the hallway.

***

Dorian followed Cullen into a large room. There were several people working in various corners and along the far wall was a large digital display with a complex link chart displaying various pieces of evidence and how they linked together so far in this case. Dorian was suitably impressed even with the brief glance he had.

Cullen steered Dorian towards the center of the room where an elf with a shock of white hair stood studying something on the table before him.

“Agent Freeman,” Cullen said, getting the elf’s attention. “This is our new consultant on Tevinter culture, Dorian Pavus.”

The elf raised his head with a vicious snarl. “I told you I will not work with him!”

Dorian was initially a bit taken aback by the outward hostility of the man, but then in the next moment his breath was taken away by how absolutely stunning the man was. His dark complexion and pure white hair complimented each other perfectly. His eyes were a most remarkable shade of green, like two pale emeralds. Most extraordinary of all were the white tattoos that elegantly curved up his throat and over his chin.

“What are you staring at?” Agent Freeman growled. “Didn’t get your fill of elven slaves back in Tevinter that you have to salivate all over me as well?”

Dorian shook himself out of his reverie. “I must apologize, I was just surprised. I didn’t realize they allowed FBI agents to wear visible tattoos. Pleased to meet you Agent Freeman.”

The agent just huffed in annoyance and went back to whatever it was he had been doing when they arrived.

Cullen sighed. “Leto, you know that Director Hawke is insistent on this. The traffickers are always five steps ahead of us. We need a fresh perspective.”

Leto stood, running his hands over his face in frustration. “I know we need a fresh perspective. I just don’t want the kind of perspective someone like him would offer,” Leto practically spat.

Dorian subconsciously backed away from the angry elf. He clearly had gotten himself into the middle of something he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to be in. “Perhaps I’ve come at a bad time. Why don’t you call me when you get this sorted, if you still even want my input?”

Cullen reached out and grabbed Dorian by the upper arm. “Don’t go anywhere. You’re coming with me. Leto, you too. Follow me. That’s an order.”

Leto sighed and followed reluctantly as Cullen led them to what looked like a small conference room. “You two will sit here and get to know each other. I will have food and refreshments brought but Leto, you cannot and will not judge this man just based on where he was born. Is that clear?”

Leto nodded curtly. “Crystal, Ser.”

As Cullen left, Dorian heard the lock on the door snick.

Great he was now locked in a room with a bitter, angry elf. Clearly, he couldn’t win him over with his dashing looks alone.

“Look, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry,” Dorian broke the ice.

Leto looked up at him, a mix of anger and confusion crossing his face. “Sorry for what?”

“Cullen told me you were once a slave in Tevinter,” Dorian clarified. “I am sorry that you had to endure that.”

“Hmmpf,” Leto huffed. “How many slaves do you own?”

Dorian was stunned. Hadn’t Leto heard of him? “None at all. Don’t you know who I am?”

“You’re some wealthy douchebag from Tevinter,” Leto shrugged. “What more do I need to know?”

Dorian’s shoulders drooped. “I’m sorry…I sometimes forget that not everyone has read my books. I escaped from Tevinter five years ago myself. Yes, I was part of one of the upper-class families, but you have to believe me. I’m not like them. I could never be like them…” Dorian’s voice trailed off with a sad note.

“I thought they were bringing in someone from Tevinter,” Leto sounded puzzled. “You are also a refugee?”

Dorian nodded. “I’m afraid so. It’s a sordid tale. Perhaps I’ll tell you it sometime. Just know that I have probably been disowned and I suspect my father has most likely adopted a new heir by now.”

“Your family name is…Pavus?” Leto asked, his eyes narrowing. “I don’t recall that family ever attending my former master’s soirees.”

“Who was your former master?” Dorian inquired.

“Danarius. Danarius Elatus,” Leto replied, his voice barely a whisper.

“Oh, by the Maker,” Dorian breathed. “Now I understand. That man and his ilk are monsters. My father purposely avoided attending his parties because he refused to support anyone in those circles.”

“If your father was such a saint, why did you leave?” Leto prodded.

Dorian sighed. “That…is a long story. If you really wish to know, look it up online. It’s really not something I wish to repeat, again.”

“Hmm,” Leto acknowledged.

“So where does this leave us?” Dorian asked just as the lock on the door snicked again, the door opening to admit Cullen and one other agent, carrying cups of coffee and a box of donuts.

“How are you two getting along?” Cullen asked as he handed each of them a cup of coffee. “I’m glad to see you haven’t murdered each other yet.”

“I’d be more likely to flog him than kill him,” Leto deadpanned, making Dorian look up in surprise. Dorian felt a flush creep over his face as that particular image flashed in his head. Leto held his gaze for a second before smirking and Dorian realized that the broody elf had actually made a joke.

Dorian allowed himself a chuckle and sipped at his coffee. “I think we’ll get along just fine, Agent Rutherford.”

Leto stared at him for a moment longer and then nodded. “Fine, I’ll work with him for now…but if he steps out of line for even one moment, I want the right to throw him off the case.”

“You get to recommend throwing him off the case,” Cullen amended. “As long as you have a valid reason. An inappropriate slip of the tongue won’t cut it. Especially if he sincerely apologizes.”

“Agreed,” Leto said. “Now can we get back to work?”

“Have a donut first,” Cullen insisted. “You’re far too skinny and I know you’ve been skipping meals.”

Dorian and Leto both took a donut. Dorian smirked when he realized that they both selected the same kind; chocolate-iced. Leto merely rolled his eyes and quickly ate his confection.

Once they were back in the case room, Leto asked. “How much about this case do you know?”

Dorian shook his head. “Not much I’m afraid. I had to wait until I received clearance first, which only happened today. I know this is a human trafficking case that involves the illegal capture, sale and importation of slaves from Ferelden to Tevinter.”

“Do you recall the slave ring that His Highness King Alistair broke up before he ascended the throne some years ago?” Leto continued.

Dorian nodded. “That was a huge scandal at the time. It was one of the first times a slaver had been caught and the slaves freed. All elves from the Denerim Alienage as I recall?”

“Yes,” Leto frowned. “As I’m sure you’re aware, the elite in Tevinter seem to prize elven slaves above all other races.”

“Yes, especially as bed slaves,” Dorian nodded. “It always surprised me how any of the brothels even stay in business when so many households kept bed slaves.”

“The brothels are also staffed with slaves,” Leto explained. “Surely you were aware of this?”

Dorian blanched as he shook his head. “All of them? Surely some of the brothels must employ willing staff?”

“With such a large supply of slaves in Tevinter? Highly unlikely,” Leto ventured. “Now some may have chosen to sell themselves into slavery in order to pay off a debt or something along those lines, but in the end, they are still slaves.”

Dorian felt a lump of guilt rise in his throat. All those years that he’d gone to brothels, thinking he was taking the moral high ground, instead of bedding one of his family’s slaves. Oh Maker preserve me.

Taking a breath, Dorian redirected his thoughts. “So, what exactly is the goal of this case?” Dorian asked.

“We want to take down the head of the biggest human trafficking ring in Thedas,” Leto explained. “We’re cooperating with agencies across Thedas but the ring has been difficult to crack. We think that the ring is being controlled from somewhere in Ferelden. We’ve sent in two separate undercover agents and so far, both have been found murdered. Every time we think we’ve closed in on the head of the organization, they are long gone. It has been most…frustrating.”

“How can I help?” Dorian wondered. “While my family did have a small staff of slaves, I’ve never actually purchased or owned one of my own.”

“We’re trying to identify the buyers and sellers in Tevinter,” Cullen joined in. “We want to get some undercover agents in place to interact with them, which we hope will flush out who in Ferelden they are buying from.”

“Hmm, alright,” Dorian thought for a moment. “Can I have something to write on?”

Cullen handed Dorian a pad of paper and a pen. Dorian began to write down some names. “These are the buyers in Minrathous and Qarinus that I know my father used. My father loathed the slave auctions. He preferred to buy direct from private sellers. The slaves they sold were healthier and in better condition.”

“Yes, this is exactly the information we’ve been after,” Cullen smiled. “The ones who run the public auctions were easy to track down but they don’t seem to be dealing much with slaves from Ferelden. It was the private buyers and sellers that we suspect most of the trafficking in Ferelden slaves, mostly from our Alienages.”

“Would you also be able to coach the agents going undercover on how to approach these buyers?” Leto asked.

Dorian nodded. “My father brought me along on a few of his dealings when we needed to add to our household staff. I could give your agents some of the finer points of negotiating with them.”

“Excellent!” Cullen smiled. “See, Leto. We’re making progress already.”

“Hmmpf, I suppose your right,” Leto reluctantly agreed. “Thank you for your contribution and willingness to help. I must admit I am surprised you are giving us these names so readily.”

“I have no love for the slave trade,” Dorian said. “I will admit when I first came South I was very naïve about it all. I had always assumed everyone kept slaves. Now I ashamed of it. My father had more than enough wealth. We could have simply hired paid servants, instead of spending all that money on slaves…so if I can help put an end to it? I’m more than happy to.”

A strange look crossed over Leto’s face as Dorian made that confession. It intrigued him that he could have such an effect on the elf.

“I have to check in on the other cases I’m supervising,” Cullen announced. “Can I count on you two to work together peacefully from now on?”

Leto nodded. “Yes, Ser.”

“No problem at all, Agent Rutherford,” Dorian agreed.

“Good,” Cullen said, sounding relieved. “Leto I want you to bring Dorian up-to-speed on all the details of the case so far. The undercover agents won’t be here until tomorrow for their briefing. I’d also recommend perhaps you both dine together this evening. Get to know each other.”

A flash of annoyance crossed Leto’s face before he took a breath and schooled his features again. “Alright, if you insist.”

“I do,” Cullen confirmed.

Oh my. Did Cullen just set them up on a date? How intriguing.

 

 

Chapter Text

By the end of the day, Dorian was feeling slightly overwhelmed by all details of the case. The FBI had been working to shut down the human trafficking trade in Ferelden for several years. This investigation was a mandate directly from King Alistair himself. The king had been appalled to learn that human traffickers were kidnapping innocent elves from Ferelden alienages and selling them to the elite families of Tevinter, the only country left were slavery was still legal.

Apparently, Leto himself had been rescued directly due to the efforts of the FBI and because of that he chose to stay in Ferelden and join the organization. He rose through the ranks quickly and had been put in charge of this operation two years ago. They had been successful in reducing the number of people, especially elves, that were being trafficked, but it seemed a near impossible task to stop it entirely.

***

It was nearly eight in the evening when Leto felt that Dorian had been sufficiently filled in on the case. “I need a half-hour to freshen up. I’ll meet you in the lobby.”

So, Leto hadn’t forgotten the direct order to go out to dinner? Dorian smiled a little at that. The elf seemed to have warmed up to him quickly enough, which Dorian was grateful for. Although it puzzled Dorian a bit that Leto had changed his attitude so quickly. The Agent had still been brusque with him all day, but at least he was no longer openly hostile.

Dorian made his way back down to the lobby to wait for Leto, and then got on the phone to make a reservation at one of his favorite restaurants. If he had to have a “date” with the elf, he might as well make it a good one.

Right on time, Leto arrived in the lobby. “So, where do you want to eat?”

“I hope you like Antivan,” Dorian said. “I took the liberty of making us a reservation at Boqueria.”

“Hmmpf, of course you did,” Leto grumbled. “It’s acceptable, but you’re paying.”

“It would be my honor,” Dorian smiled as he led the way. Once outside, they hailed a taxi to take them to the restaurant.

They sat in awkward silence in the back of the taxi. Once they reached their destination, Leto insisted on paying the fare. Soon they were seated in Dorian’s favorite corner of Boqueria, studying the menu. Leto scowled at the way the restaurant staff fawned over Dorian.

“I’m sorry,” Dorian apologized. “I eat here so often, everyone on the staff knows me, and they also know how well I tip,” Dorian said with wink. Leto just rolled his eyes and continued to study the menu.

Apparently decided. Leto put down his menu and looked up at Dorian. “I suppose I should thank you,” Leto conceded.

“For what?” Dorian asked, intrigued.

“For not dragging me to that awful Tevinter place across town,” Leto clarified. “From what I read you frequent there quite often as well.”

“Ah, so you did more than just freshen up, I see,” Dorian smirked. “Yes, under the circumstances, I didn’t think you would enjoy dining at such an establishment.”

“Considering my earlier hostility, I must admit I am surprised at how hospitable you’ve been all day,” Leto mused.

“Your initial hostility was understandable, and I was pleasantly surprised how quickly you let go of it,” Dorian observed.

“Yes, well once I realized you weren’t some Tevinter citizen the FBI went out of their way to fly in to work with me, it made the situation more tolerable,” Leto explained. “Finding out you were also a refugee like myself, was a pleasant surprise. I will admit your calm composure in the face of my hostility also helped me change my mind. That still doesn’t mean I like you, but I will work with you.”

“I’ve learned not to take such hostility from elves personally,” Dorian admitted. “I had my eyes opened after I left Tevinter. Very often when elves meet me for the first time and realize I’m from Tevinter, they tend to have one of two reactions, fear or anger.”

“So, you being tolerant of my hostility was merely a defense mechanism?” Leto surmised.

“Well, in part, yes,” Dorian admitted. “But I’ll admit it wasn’t at all a difficulty. Not when you’re so incredibly attractive as well.”

Dorian almost immediately regretted that admission, with how quickly Leto’s features turned to pure rage. “Did. You. Just. Flirt. With. Me?” he ground out each word with a slow growl.

Dorian raised his hands. “Sorry. I’m sorry. That was inappropriate and I apologize.” Yes, there will definitely be no canoodling with FBI agents in my future.

Leto looked at him skeptically but the look of rage gave way to mere annoyance.

“Let’s order a bottle of wine,” Dorian suggested as a change of topic. “Do you have a preference?”

“Agregio Pavali, if they have it,” Leto replied.

“You have good taste,” Dorian appraised. “May I ask why a Tevinter vintage?”

“It was Danarius’ favorite,” Leto explained. “He never allowed his slaves anything but water, so I savor the fact I can now enjoy his favorite wine whenever I like.”

“That makes perfect sense,” Dorian said as he flagged down the waiter and put in their order.

“I promise I won’t pry,” Dorian said after a few moments of silence. “However, I want you to know if you ever want to talk about…your life in Tevinter…I’d be happy to listen.”

“Would anything I say end up in your books?” Leto said warily.

Dorian shook his head. “Not unless you wanted it to.”

The wine arrived and they both sat in silence as they waited for their meals to be served. Dorian tried not to stare at Leto, but he hadn’t been lying when he told the elf that he found him incredibly attractive. Leto was probably by far the most beautiful elf Dorian had ever laid eyes on.

Leto tried to ignore him by focusing on his smartphone, clearly texting with someone and chuckling occasionally, between sips of wine. He was forced to put the phone away when the meal arrived. Eating the pollo al ajillo he ordered would require both hands.

Dorian smirked at the face Leto made as he took his first bite. The food here was always superb and clearly Leto wasn’t accustomed to eating food of this quality based on the look of pure ecstasy on his face.

“Excellent, isn’t it?” Dorian remarked before he took a bite from his paella.

His earlier anger forgotten, Leto nodded as he finished chewing. “Spending most of my life in slavery has taught me to savor food like this.”

They lapsed into silence again until Leto finished his meal.

Topping off his glass of wine, Leto refocused his attention on Dorian. “So, your father,” Leto began. “Did he really try converting you?”

Dorian had wondered how long it would take for Leto to bring that up. He put down his fork, carefully wiped his mouth and took a long pull of wine before he was ready to answer. “Yes. I knew he didn’t approve of my sexuality, but I never thought…” The rest of the words stuck in Dorian’s throat.

“You never thought he’d be so cruel?” Leto finished for him. Dorian nodded, fighting back the angry tears that were threatening to crest.

Leto took a breath. “Look, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry I keep being so hostile towards you. It’s just…not easy for me to even look at you sometimes. You just remind me of…everything.”

“I am sorry. I can’t even imagine what you suffered,” Dorian said, taking another gulp of his wine. “I’d heard stories of what Danarius put his slaves through…what he’d do at those parties of his. No one should have to suffer like that.”

Leto studied him for a moment before nodding slowly. “That’s why I have dedicated myself to stopping human trafficking. Knowing what’s possibly in store for those who are captured and sold, I just can’t in good conscience just stand by and do nothing. Not when I have the means to help.”

“I know you don’t trust me,” Dorian said. “But believe me, I am on your side. I want to stop the human trafficking trade as well. I almost regret being disowned. If I could go back and take my father’s seat in the Magisterium, I could help enact real reforms from within Tevinter.”

“You’d be assassinated before your proposal could even be considered,” Leto sneered. “It’s a nice sentiment, but Danarius and his ilk are too powerful.”

“Perhaps, but when I was younger, many people whispered about my potential for being up for Archon one day,” Dorian bragged. “Can you imagine what I could do if I held that position?”

“It’s pointless to daydream of things that will never happen,” Leto shook his head. “Focus on what you can do here and now.”

Dorian smiled at the elf’s pragmatism. “Yes, I suppose you’re right…and here and now I want more wine.”

Leto seemed to relax after a few more glasses, while the wine began to embolden Dorian. “So, I’ve been curious about something. Earlier today you told Cullen you’d be more likely to flog me than murder me. Is that a fact?”

Leto’s eyes shot up as he studied Dorian intently for a moment. Then a wicked little smirk crossed his lips as he perched his head on his steepled hands. “Why? Would you enjoy a good flogging?”

Dorian felt heat rush to his face at the mere suggestion. “Well, um…I’ve never tried so…I don’t know?”

Leto’s smile grew more wicked. “But you’d like to find out?”

Dorian emptied the contents of his wine glass before responding. “I…um…don’t know…maybe?”

“Intriguing,” Leto mused. “You and I may get along better than I anticipated. I’ll have to give it some thought first. This is not something to take lightly and one critical element between us is missing. Trust.”

Dorian gulped. Was Leto seriously considering this? His heart rate picked up as some very naughty images flitted through Dorian’s mind. Oh yes, he was certainly fascinated by the idea. More than, if truth be told.

However, Leto was right. They had no trust between them. Not yet. Hopefully that was something they could establish over time as they worked on this case together.

Dorian settled the bill and they prepared to leave. “Which side of town are you on? Perhaps we could share a taxi?”

As it turned out, Leto still lived in the Alienage. Of course, he did. Sometimes Dorian forgot that most elves were still forced to live in those wretched neighborhoods. He still often wondered if that really was an improvement over slavery.

“I hope dining with me tonight was tolerable,” Dorian said as they exited the restaurant.

Leto nodded. “You were a better dinner companion than I expected. Don’t forget to be in bright and early tomorrow. You will be needed to brief our undercover agents on the next phase of the operation.”

Dorian was about to reply when out of nowhere a man with a camera popped up in front of them and snapped a photograph of them both. The flash temporarily disoriented them both. By the time the spots in their eyes diminished, the man was long gone.

“Damn those paparazzi,” Dorian huffed. “I’m so sorry about that.”

“Why on earth did he want our photograph?” Leto asked in annoyance.

“As you probably read, I have a bit of a reputation as a playboy,” Dorian explained. “I must apologize but I think by tomorrow morning your likeness will be plastered all over the tabloids as my latest paramour. I really am very sorry about that.”

“You must be kidding me,” Leto growled.

“I’m afraid not, I’m sorry, I should have warned you,” Dorian sighed. “C’mon let’s hail you a taxi before anymore decide to show up.”

Dorian hailed a taxi and bade Leto a good night, before hailing a taxi of his own.

On the drive back to his penthouse apartment, Dorian worried about how that paparazzi could jeopardize any chance of building some trust with Leto, not to mention the possibility of compromising the very case he was consulting on. Reluctantly he pulled out his phone and called his agent. “Varric, I’m sorry to call at such a late hour, but I need your help.”

“This better be good,” Varric groused.

“I was out having dinner with the lead agent on the FBI case I’m consulting on,” Dorian explained. “Unfortunately, a paparazzi surprised us on our way out of the restaurant and I fear the photo will be splashed across the tabloids tomorrow.”

“Fraternizing already?” Varric accused with amusement.

“Maker, no,” Dorian insisted. “Agent Rutherford actually insisted we dine together as a means to get to know one another and try to build a bit of camaraderie.”

“Did it work?” Varric asked.

“Well, he’s no longer being openly hostile,” Dorian chuckled. “So, it’s definitely a start.”

“Just lay on the charm,” Varric advised. “You’ll be fucking his brains out by the end of the week.”

“Varric!” Dorian sounded scandalized. “I will do no such thing. Now are you going to help me or not?”

“Let me guess? Try to keep that photo from ever seeing the light of day?” Varric presumed.

“Yes, if at all possible,” Dorian affirmed. “He is an agent with the FBI after all. I don’t want this to jeopardize their case.”

“Alright, consider it done,” Varric said. “Just be more careful next time.”

Dorian breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Varric.”

***

The next morning, Dorian arrived bright and early as promised, and brought Leto a cup of coffee. “Good morning!”

Leto eyed him suspiciously but accepted the coffee anyway. “So, what happened to our photo being plastered all over the tabloids?”

“I called my agent and he took care of it,” Dorian explained. “I worried that a photo like that might jeopardize the case and I didn’t want that to happen.”

“Is that the only reason?” Leto asked.

“Well, I also didn’t think you would appreciate being associated with me in that way,” Dorian admitted. “I wanted to protect you from that.”

Leto looked surprised at that. “Well, thank you. I do…appreciate that. Now, are you ready to meet the undercover agents? They are waiting for us in the conference room.”

“Lead the way,” Dorian gestured to the door.

Chapter Text

Dorian followed Leto to meet the undercover agents. When they entered the conference room, Dorian was initially surprised that both agents were female. So far all the agents he’d met were male.

“Dorian Pavus, meet Agent Josephine Montilyet from the Antivan Bureau and Agent Isabela Arvale from the Rivaini Bureau,” Leto introduced. “As we discussed yesterday, this operation is international, and we felt that agents from Rivain and Antiva might be more successful at convincing the human traffickers in Tevinter that they were interested in the private purchase of slaves.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you both,” Dorian smiled and shook their hands. “That is a brilliant plan. I had wondered how convincing a couple of Ferelden agents might possibly hope to pull it off.”

The two women both seemed to appraise Dorian as he sat down. “You’ve been holding out on us, Leto. Where have you been hiding this handsome specimen?” Isabela said, with a wink towards Dorian.

Dorian blushed and chuckled. “I only just began consulting for the FBI yesterday,” Dorian explained. “While I do appreciate the compliment, I must inform you that I don’t…swing that way…as it were.”

Isabela made an exaggerated pout as Josephine tried to suppress a giggle.

“Now that’s out of the way,” Leto sighed with exasperation. “Let’s get down to business, shall we?”

“Agreed,” Josephine said, pulling out a pen and notepad. “Where do we begin?”

“I know your goal is to try and get in touch with the private buyers in Tevinter,” Dorian began. “I believe your plan is to try and use them to track down who they are buying from and where the transactions take place?”

“Yes,” Josephine acknowledged. “We are hoping we can also get the names of the leaders of the Human Trafficking rings operating out of various countries, including the one in Ferelden.”

“We will have teams standing by in each country,” Isabela clarified. “We both have embedded microchip recorders implanted in our ears. They will broadcast our conversations with the buyers in Tevinter and our teams will analyze the conversations for clues as to where the human trafficking leadership may be holed up in each area. The plan is to do a coordinated strike on several fronts at once.”

“Very ambitious,” Dorian praised. “So how do I come in?”

“You’re more familiar with Tevinter politics and diplomacy,” Josephine explained. “Our microchips will also allow others to communicate with us. While we also need you to brief us as much as possible on what we need to know, we also expect you to both listen in, and send us instructions on how to proceed.”

“I can try,” Dorian said. “That being said, if I were able to observe the buyer’s body language, it would make it a lot easier.”

“Oh, that will be no problem, handsome,” Isabela flirted. “We’ll be wearing special contact lenses that can broadcast everything we’re seeing to you.”

“Wow, those actually exist?” Dorian was impressed. “That will make this a lot easier.”

“We’ll be testing them tomorrow, so you could see a demonstration of them,” Josephine invited.

“I look forward to it,” Dorian smiled.

They spent the rest of the day grilling Dorian and Leto on Tevinter culture, each of them giving their own unique perspectives. Unfortunately, they often contradicted each other due to their very different experiences and it led to several arguments that thankfully Josephine was able to diffuse quickly. She was clearly the diplomat of the two. Isabela just sat back and enjoyed the free entertainment.

***

It had been a long day and Dorian was worn out. There were still details of the plan to iron out, but thankfully Leto finally ended the day’s session. “Let’s pick this up first thing tomorrow,” he suggested.

They all agreed and began to gather their things and clear out of the conference room. Josephine had taken extensive notes and it took her a moment to gather them together.

While they were politely waiting, Isabela seemed to get a wicked look in her eye. “So, you boys are taking us to dinner tonight, aren’t you? Show us some local hospitality?”

Dorian could see Leto stiffen, even as he schooled his features. “Yes, of course. Allow me a few moments to freshen up. We can meet in the lobby in twenty minutes?”

“You made me wait for thirty yesterday!” Dorian teased.

Leto harrumphed and they all left the conference room together. Dorian took a detour and stopped in the bathroom on his way down to the lobby. The two agents seemed competent. Josephine was clearly the better diplomat, while Isabela had a commanding confidence about her. Dorian felt they might be able to pull off this mission.

Making his way down towards the lobby, Dorian began to muse on how much of this experience he could parlay into a novel. The daring agents against the sinister human traffickers all screamed at him to write it. So far, he’d only written factual books, revealing the realities of life and culture in Tevinter. The country itself had enshrouded itself in mystery when it cut itself off from the rest of Thedas, to keep their empire from crumbling even further. Outside of Tevinter, people were endlessly curious about life there, especially from the perspective of a former noble like Dorian.

The money he’d earned from his books so far had afforded him a very comfortable living and his agent had been pushing for him to try to write a novel or two as well. Perhaps that’s why he’d been so eager for Dorian to take on this consulting position, because he’d hoped it would provide Dorian’s overactive imagination with fodder for a possible novel. It seems his agent was right.

As he sauntered into the lobby he saw the two agents giggling like school girls with one another. When they saw Dorian, they tried to stop and compose themselves. “So, what kind of food do you ladies enjoy?”

“I’ve a hankering for some good Orlesian,” Isabela replied. “Do you know any place good?”

“As a matter of fact, I do,” Dorian replied. “There’s an excellent place near my flat. Let me make a reservation.”

Dorian made his call, while keeping an eye on the agents with one eye. Isabela was clearly ogling him and Dorian sighed internally about the tenacity of certain females. He made the reservation and then took a breath before rejoining the two while they waited for Leto.

“So, handsome,” Isabela purred. “I don’t see a ring on that finger. How is it someone like you hasn’t been snatched up yet, hmm?”

Dorian forced himself not to roll his yes. If he’d had a sovereign for every time he’d heard that line.

“It seems I need to be a bit more blunt than I was this morning,” Dorian said coolly. “I’m gay.”

Isabela seemed unfazed by the declaration but before she could continue, Dorian heard Leto clearing his throat behind him. Dorian turned and thought he saw the slight hint of a blush on the man’s cheeks. Interesting.

“Shall we get going?” Leto suggested.

“Yes, let’s shall,” Dorian agreed. “I hope Orlesian is alright? The ladies suggested it.”

Leto simply shrugged as he strode outside and hailed a taxi.

Leto clearly had a cruel streak, as he snagged the passenger seat in front while leaving Dorian to have to share the back seat with Isabela and Josephine. The ladies forced him to sit in the middle. At one point, Isabela’s hand ended up on Dorian’s knee and began sliding up, but Dorian put a very swift stop to that.

“I would prefer to keep our interactions professional, if you don’t mind,” Dorian said as he firmly removed her hand from his leg.

Isabela sighed but didn’t molest him further.

Dorian instead turned his attention to Josephine, who was clearly more interested in remaining professional, which helped put Dorian at ease.

At the restaurant, they were seated at a booth and Dorian insisted on sitting next to Leto and opposite of Josephine. Isabela finally relented and turned her attention to Leto instead, who just as quickly rebuffed her advances. “You boys are no fun,” she pouted.

“Are you always like this?” Josephine sighed. “May I remind you that we are here in a professional capacity, Agent Arvale?”

“Alright, alright, I get the message,” Isabela sighed. “I just don’t see any harm mixing business with pleasure, that’s all.”

Finally put in her place, the conversation turned to other topics. “I have read every one of your books,” Josephine admitted. “I wanted to say something earlier but the opportunity never presented itself. Your use of prose truly brings Tevinter to life. I am looking forward to seeing it for myself.”

Leto huffed in annoyance. “I’m sure he’s painted Tevinter as an exciting place, filled with luxury and endless parties.”

“Have you not read his works?” Josephine admonished. “His books focus on the depths of corruption in Tevinter and the levels of depravity that are allowed to exist.”

Leto didn’t have a response to that as he looked over at Dorian, an embarrassed blush darkening his cheeks. “Perhaps I should read them,” he admitted.

The evening wore on and Isabela kept ordering bottles of wine. Clearly if she wasn’t going to have sex that night, she was opting for getting black out drunk instead. It made Dorian wonder about her past and perhaps what abuses she may have suffered to cause her to act this way.

What surprised Dorian was Leto keeping pace with her, or trying to. The agent was slurring his words before dessert and was starting to nod off as Dorian took care of the check. Dorian helped Leto up and tried to walk him out of the restaurant as gracefully as possible. Isabela seemed to have no problems striding out of the establishment as if she were completely sober.

Josephine looked concerned, but said nothing. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of him. You ladies get back to your hotel and we’ll see you tomorrow,” Dorian reassured her.

Josephine nodded and hailed a taxi, giving Isabela a stern look as they got in. The last thing Dorian heard was Isabela being defensive. “It’s not my fault he can’t hold his liquor!”

Dorian looked at Leto leaning against him and realized he couldn’t send him back to the Alienage in this state. His own apartment was just a block away so instead of hailing a taxi he decided a bit of walking would probably do Leto some good.

Half-way towards his apartment Leto looked around and mumbled. “Where…where am I? Where’re you taking me?”

Dorian paused for a moment and turned Leto to face him. “You’re drunk off your arse and I’m walking us back to my apartment. I cannot in good conscience send you home in this state.”

Leto looked a bit green as he swayed on his feet and Dorian knew that look. He immediately led Leto to a nearby, and conveniently located, trash can just before Leto began to empty his stomach of the very expensive meal he’d just had.

Once Leto was done, Dorian handed him a handkerchief to wipe his mouth with. “I’m sorry I can’t offer you something to drink, but we’re only a half-block from my apartment. I’ll brew you a strong cup of coffee.”

Leto was looking a little better but still a bit green around the gills. He only nodded and allowed Dorian to help lead him the rest of the way. Once they made it into Dorian’s place, he immediately showed Leto to the guest toilet. “Just in case you have anything left inside that needs to get out. I’ll go make the coffee and come fetch you when it’s done.”

Dorian left Leto and went to into the kitchen to begin brewing the coffee. This wasn’t exactly how he’d pictured getting the handsome agent into his apartment. However, he knew Leto had no interest in him so having him here at all was nothing short of miraculous. He was determined to befriend the grumpy agent and have him right as rain by the next day.

Once the coffee had brewed Dorian slipped into his master bedroom and fetched a bottle of elfroot before checking on Leto. Sure enough, he was kneeling over the toilet, dry heaving. Dorian felt sorry for the man and knelt beside him, rubbing his back.

Leto’s heaves turned into heavy breaths that slowly calmed and he finally sat back and looked at Dorian.  Maker he looked a mess and so vulnerable too. “Come, up you get,” Dorian encouraged. “Let’s get some water and elfroot into you, and then a nice fresh cup of coffee.”

Leto nodded and let Dorian help him up and guide him to the kitchen where Dorian helped him sit on one of the stools at his kitchen island. Then Dorian grabbed a bottle of water from his refrigerator and handed Leto a couple of elfroot tablets. “Take these with at least half of that bottle.”

Leto nodded, doing as instructed. Dorian kept rubbing the man’s back, remembering when a former friend of his used to do that for him after a night of excess back in Tevinter. Dorian had always found it soothing and hoped Leto did as well.

When it looked like Leto was going to keep the water down, Dorian moved off and poured two cups of coffee before Dorian sat himself in a stool next to Leto. “Here you go, this should help.”

They sat in silence, sipping their coffees. Slowly Leto began to sit up straighter and began to look a bit more like himself. He looked over at Dorian. “Thank you, but why did you help me?”

Dorian looked at him in mock horror. “Do you think I would just let you go home in the state you were in?”

“You barely know me,” Leto pointed out.

“Why should that matter?” Dorian asked. “We are colleagues and I have no desire to see anything bad happen to you.”

Leto studied him for a moment. “You really aren’t like them, are you?”

Dorian knew the question was rhetorical, but he couldn’t help but reply anyway. “That is what I’ve been trying to tell you.”

Leto smirked at that before he drained his cup of coffee. “Thanks again but I should get home,” he said as he stood. He made it two steps before he stumbled and lurched towards Dorian’s couch.

Dorian shot up and caught him. “I think you should probably spend the night here and sleep it off first. I promise I won’t molest you.”

Leto held on to him for a moment longer than necessary. Perhaps a few moments. Then he finally nodded, agreeing.

Dorian guided him over to the couch. “I have some pajamas you can wear, and I’ll get you a blanket and some pillows. My couch is quite comfortable.”

Leto sat down and Dorian ran off to fetch the things he’d promised. He had a comfy old pair of pajamas that he grabbed, along with his spare blanket and pillows. Leto was already half asleep on the couch when Dorian got back and was in no shape to change clothes. So, Dorian helped Leto remove his shoes and took off his trousers so they wouldn’t be irreparably wrinkled. Leto hadn’t been wearing his suit jacket when he met them in the lobby so Dorian just had to remove the man’s tie and shirt.

Leto was wearing an undershirt and boxer briefs so Dorian didn’t worry about seeing anything inappropriate as he carefully helped Leto lie down on the couch, placing a pillow under his head and tucking him into the blanket. Dorian placed the pajamas on the coffee table within Leto’s line of sight, in case he woke up and decided he needed more clothing.

With that done, Dorian turned off all the lights, made sure his apartment door was locked and made his way to his own bed. After stripping out of his clothing he collapsed, completely nude. It had been a long, exhausting day and he was dragged under, into sleep, within moments.

Chapter Text

Dorian woke the next morning feeling very much in the need of some coffee. Without even thinking about it, he rose and padded out to the kitchen to start brewing a pot, completely stark naked. He lived alone, so he often wandered his apartment in the nude.

It wasn’t until after he’d started his coffee maker, which ground fresh beans before brewing, that he became consciously aware of his own nudity. That’s because as he turned to go back to the master suite to take a much-needed shower, a groaning head of white hair popped up from the couch in the living room. Leto.

“Where…where am I?” Leto groaned. As he raised his head and looked startled to see a stark-naked Dorian staring at him like a deer in headlights.

“Why in the Maker’s name are you naked?” Leto mumbled and then a look of panic overcame him and he checked to see if he was also nude. “Did…did we?”

“No, I can assure you we did not,” Dorian reassured him. “Give me a few moments to shower and dress, and I’ll tell you everything. Help yourself to some coffee once it’s done brewing.”

Leto nodded and flopped back onto the couch with another groan.

Dorian made his way to the shower quickly, feeling the heat of embarrassment rise in his face. He should have remembered that Leto was there, but what was done, was done. This truly hadn’t been how Dorian had imagined Leto seeing him in all his glory. Maker preserve me.

Dorian showered and dressed quickly, returning to find Leto perched on the same stool as the night before, savoring his cup of coffee. “How are you feeling?” Dorian asked as he poured himself a cup and sat next to Leto.

“Embarrassed,” Leto confessed. “I don’t recall much, just blurry images. Did…did I vomit into a trash can?”

Dorian nodded. “I’m afraid you did, yes.”

Leto hung his head. “I haven’t done something like that in…a very long time.”

“Well we can safely say that Agent Arvale can easily drink most people under the table,” Dorian joked.

“Indeed. That woman isn’t human,” Leto laughed.

“Perhaps she has one of those hollow pirate legs,” Dorian joked.

They both laughed. “I hate to admit it, but Isabela the Pirate Queen would suit her well,” Leto said.

“And I think she would take it as a compliment,” Dorian agreed.

They went back to silence for a while. Then Leto cleared his throat. “So, just to be clear, nothing untoward happened last night?”

“I was a complete gentleman,” Dorian assured him. “So, to let you know exactly what happened last night let me give you the highlights.” Dorian explained bringing Leto back his place, making sure he was alright, giving him elfroot and coffee and tucking him in before collapsing himself.

“I am sorry for my state of undress this morning,” Dorian apologized. “I’m not used to having guests and I’m often nude when at home."

Leto shrugged. "You're a bit more fit than most Tevinter elite I am acquainted with, despite your love of fine cuisine."

"That's because I take pride in my appearance," Dorian explained. "I go to the gym quite regularly. I can't maintain my reputation as a playboy if I allow myself to become all pudgy."

Leto let out a huff of amusement at that. "I don't know...a little pudge might suit you. Otherwise you're almost too perfect."

Dorian did a double take a that and he noticed a blush creep over Leto's cheeks when he realized what he'd said. Dorian tried to hide the pleased smirk that was threatening to break across his face. "More coffee?"

Leto looked relieved at the change of topic. "Yes, please."

***

They had spent the better part of a week prepping the undercover agents for their mission. After the agents left to head to Tevinter, Dorian was trained on how to handle himself during the undercover ops. Leto would be with Dorian throughout the operation, but Dorian had to be prepped for any eventuality.

Because of the technology they were using, Dorian and Leto would be able to see and hear everything the agents did. There would be two separate feeds from each agent. Having both equipped would ensure a lower chance of the technology failing them outright.

Several weeks later, when the day finally arrived for the operation began, Dorian had to admit to himself that he had a case of the jitters. He was normally calm and collected, but he worried that if he misread something and gave the agents false guidance, that it could very well result in the loss of their lives…or worse.

Dorian entered the operations center where he and Leto would be working from. Their station had an array of displays and they would both be wearing headsets so they could both hear and speak to Agents Montilyet and Arvale as they tried to obtain the information their operation desperately needed to finally get ahead of the human trafficking ring.

Leto had not yet arrived so Dorian just paced nervously before the station. He startled when he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t be nervous,” Leto reassured him. “We’ve been over every contingency a dozen times now, and I’ll be here to keep control of the situation. Between the two of us, our agents are in good hands.”

Dorian took a deep breath and nodded. “You’re right. I know you’re right. I just have never two other people’s lives at stake based on how I read someone before. It’s only ever been my life, which isn’t really worth all that much, if truth be told.”

“Nonsense,” Leto admonished. “Your life is every bit as valuable.”

Dorian huffed at that. “Well haven’t you made a complete one-eighty in your assessment of me?” he teased.

“You’ve proven to me that you aren’t one of them,” Leto shrugged. “You clearly care about other people’s well-being. You aren’t a self-absorbed, self-important bigot like many of your countrymen.”

“Fair enough,” Dorian smiled. “Thank you.”

Leto sat down and Dorian joined him. They enabled all the equipment and donned their headsets, and then waited for the signal to come through from the agents. Based upon the time difference and the information they had received as to when the meeting would happen, they expected the signal to come in within the half-hour, give or take.

Leto kept checking various feeds and data streams on one of his monitors while Dorian just watched him work, not having much else to do until the time came.

Then suddenly the monitor before Dorian flared to life with static as sound began to filter into his headset. “Fenris, Sparkler? We’re just about to enter the trafficker’s estate. We’re expected in about five minutes. Do you read?” Josephine spoke quietly, but clearly using their agreed-upon codenames. Dorian’s was chosen, or so he was told, for his sparkling personality. Leto had apparently chosen his own codename and Dorian had not yet been able to get him to explain the meaning behind it. He was determined to change that one day.

Leto pushed a button to transmit his voice. “Fenris here. We read you loud and clear Ruffles. Are you both receiving me?”

Yes, loud and clear on our end as well,” Isabela acknowledged. “How are you holding up Sparkler?”

Dorian pushed his own button. “I can hear you fine, Rivaini. The video feed still seems offline however.”

Activating the lenses now,” Josephine acknowledged and suddenly Dorian saw a split screen video view, one with Josephine and one with Isabela, who were clearly looking at each other. Leto had the same display before him as well.

“We’re both receiving your video feeds,” Fenris informed them. “Everything looks good on our end.”

Excellent,” Isabela practically purred, causing Dorian to roll his eyes. “We’re heading in now.”

The display changed as the women turned and approached the gate to the estate. They were greeted by what was clearly the Steward of the house, a well-dressed, elderly looking elf. The only way you’d know he was as much a slave as the rest in his household was the clearly visible collar on his neck. The color was ornate and encrusted with jewels, but it was still a slave collar nonetheless.

Dorian could practically feel the disgust ripple off Leto, as he subconsciously rubbed a hand around his neck where undoubtedly his slave collar had once sat. Dorian felt a wave of sympathy for the elf before he was distracted as the agents were greeted by their host.

Dorian had never met the man personally before but he instantly knew the type. He had accompanied his father several times when he went off to purchase new household slaves from men like this. Dorian felt a frisson of guilt now, for once believing that purchasing slaves this was somehow more humane.

The slaver led the agents into an elegant parlor and offered them both a drink and gestured for them to sit on the one of the couches, while he sat opposite them. “I’m told you ladies are here to make a sizeable purchase?

Yes,” Josephine began. “I have purchased a new estate in Antiva and I need to staff it. I will require a number of new household slaves, including ones with various skills, such as cooking and gardening.”

And how about you?” the slaver asked Isabla directly.

I’m just here to help her evaluate your stock,” she replied. “I have a bit more experience in these sorts of purchases.”

I see,” the host said as he clearly leered at her. “How delightful. So, do you have a preference? Human or elf? Male or female? I even have a wide variety of skin tones if you desire anything specific.”

I care more about their skills than their species or gender,” Josephine said. “However, being it is Antiva, darker toned would be preferable for the gardeners, so their skin is less likely to burn too quickly when working in the hot sun. Any tone would be fine for the indoor slaves.

The slaver took a sip of his drink as he evaluated her words. “I do admire a lady who knows what she wants,” he complimented. “Besides cooking and gardening, are there any other skills you require? Perhaps one or two skilled in the art of pleasure?”

Josephine clearly hesitated then and Dorian imagined she was probably blushing at the mere suggestion. Fenris activated his mic. “Go ahead and look at what he has on offer, but don’t commit to taking any. We want to see as many of his slave stock as possible so we can do facial recognition.”

Dorian could see Josephine carefully nodding. “Yes, I will look at your available stock in pleasure slaves as well, both male and female. I am very particular about such slaves, but I am always open to purchasing a new toy or two if they catch my eye,” she replied smoothly.

A wise choice,” the slaver crooned as he rang a bell. A slave entered and the slaver whispered in his ear. After the slave left, the agents were offered a refill on their drinks. “It will take a moment to have the slaves prepared for viewing.”

They began idly chatting and Dorian saw an opening in the conversation, so he activated his microphone. “Now is a good time to inquire about where his stock originated from.”

Out of curiosity,” Isabela spoke up. “Where do you acquire your slave stock? Which lands do they originate from?”

The slaver shrugged. “My source procures them from all over Thedas. I don’t particularly care what their origins are, as long as they are pleasing to the eye and able to be trained.”

I do have a fondness for Ferelden men,” Josephine added. “Also, the Ferelden and Orlesian elves seem to be fairer skinned than those in Antiva. A few from Rivain and Antiva with their darker tones would also be lovely.”

If it matters, I will double check their papers to see their points of origin,” The slaver offered.

That would be wonderful, yes,” Josephine confirmed.

A brief look of suspicion seemed to cross the man’s face before he smiled again. “If you’ll excuse me a moment then. I’ll go to my office to retrieve that information. Please wait for me here.”

Dorian looked at Fenris. “Did you see that look? He suspects something.”

Fenris nodded. “Indeed. Rivaini, Ruffles, be on your guard. We think your host suspects something.”

They noticed both agents nodded slightly based on the video feeds.

Soon the slaver returned and escorted the agents to his viewing area where all of this selected slave stock was lined up for inspection. There were a mix of humans and elves, male and female, with a mix of both fair and dark-skinned slaves. Everything was still going according to plan when all of a sudden, the video feed from Isabela focused on a particular slave. He was an elf with long, blond hair, and a slightly darker tone to his skin. Along one side of his face he bore tattoos that did not resemble a Dalish design.

The feed began to move back and forth between this particular slave and Josephine’s face. Clearly it seemed Isabela was distressed. They saw Josephine shake her head slightly, warning Isabla not to give them away, but then the next time Rivani looked at the slave he raised his eyes and they widened in surprised recognition.

While this was going on, Fenris was running the slave’s face through a facial recognition program. “Zevran Aranai. Affiliated with the Crows, a rogue assassin’s guild operating out of Antiva,” Fenris read from the file. “Hmm, how did a skilled assassin from Antiva end up for sale as a slave in Tevinter, I wonder?”

It seemed the slaver had picked up on all the looks the agents gave each other. “I see you’re taking an interest in this one,” he said as he walked over and pulled Zevran out of the line-up. “He’s one of our most skilled pleasure slaves.” Flipping through some files on a tablet he held, he pulled up his records. “He came to us from Antiva. Clearly, he is an elf, but not Dalish despite his facial markings.”

Josephine seemed to evaluate Zevran, looking him up and down, trying not to pause too long when looking at the healthy endowment between his legs. She began to circle him, viewing him from all sides. “Put him aside. I may consider him.”

Zevran was led to the other side of the room where he was made to kneel.

Their attention returned to the other slaves. One by one Isabela made her selections and the slaver provided what information he could about each. So far, he had been very careful about what he divulged and so far, they only knew the countries of origin from the slaves they were selecting, not the ports the slavers were shipping from.

Then Dorian noticed a few in the back that looked far more terrified than the rest, indicating they must be fairly new, recently captured slaves. “Ruffles, inquire about one or two from the frightened ones in the back, please.”

Josephine walked toward the group Dorian pointed out. “What about these? What skills do they have?”

Ah, those are from my most recent shipment from Gwaren,” the slaver said. “They haven’t been evaluated yet so I can only recommend them for common domestic work.”

All the way from Gwaren?” Isabela asked. “That’s quite a long way to ship slaves.”

My Ferelden source can no longer operate out of Denerim or Amaranthine, so he’s resorted to shipping from Gwaren now.

All the while both agents were looking carefully at each slave as Fenris began to run the facial recognition. Each of these slaves were reported missing by their families about two-to-three months ago. They could be key in bringing down the operation there.

So, Isabela and Josephine purchased them as well. In the end, they selected a total of twenty slaves, originating from Ferelden, Orlais, Rivain, Antiva and the Free Marches.

Where would you like them delivered?” the slaver asked as the concluded their transaction. Little did the slaver know, the funds that were just transferred to him had a digital marker that allowed them to track where the funds went. It was yet another means to help bring down the entire slaving operation across Thedas.

I have a private dock outside Antiva City,” Josephine explained, handing a card with directions to the slaver. “However, I would like to bring the pleasure slave with me now. Can you have him clothed for me?”

Of course,” the slaver smiled at her wickedly. He still had that suspicious look in his eye, but still said nothing.

Once they left the slavers’ estate, they led Zevran to their car and sped away as quickly as they could. Once at a safe distance, Isabela practically threw herself at the slave. “Zevran!!!! What in Maker’s name were you doing there?”

Chapter Text

While Dorian watched as Zevran explained to Isabela how he ended up for sale at the hands of a Tevinter slaver, Leto began coordinating with their teams in Antiva and Ferelden. They had teams standing by in every port city they had jurisdiction in, hoping to bring down as many of the human trafficking rings as possible.

The Crows were unhappy with my failure during a high-profile job,” Zevran was explaining. “So they decided to sell me as a pleasure slave. Honestly it could have been worse. They could have sold me for manual labor instead. That would be quite distasteful, yes?

Dorian shook his head. The chances that they would rescue someone known to one of the agents during this operation astounded him. It made him realize even more keenly that each and every person trafficked as a slave was someone’s friend, family member or even lover. Sure, some were born into slavery in Tevinter, especially many of the elven slaves.

Dorian felt a wave of guilt remembering all the slaves he’d grow up with in his father’s household. He felt even more guilty as glanced over at Leto, knowing how much the elf had suffered. Dorian was almost glad that Leto never showed any interest in him outside of work and friendship. He didn’t think his conscience could take having a tryst with Leto, no matter how damned attractive he was.

***

It took several more hours before they received word from the teams in Gwaren and Antiva City, but it seemed that this phase of the operation was a success. They managed to take down two of the largest human trafficking rings with minimal casualties. The leaders had still eluded them, but there had been many arrests and several dozen humans and elves had been rescued.

Isabela and Josephine cheered at the news from the boat they were on, which was taking them swiftly away from Tevinter. As Dorian slipped off his headset he looked over a happy and elated Leto.

“Why don’t we grab some take out to celebrate and go crash at my place?” Dorian suggested. “You know that I live much closer to here.”

Dorian expected Leto to turn him down again as he had over the past few weeks whenever he made the offer, but something in Leto’s mood seemed to change this time around. The elf glanced over at Dorian, studying him for a moment before nodding. “Alright.”

Dorian tried to keep the thrill of Leto finally accepting his invitation from showing. He wasn’t expecting anything other than just two colleagues enjoying a meal together. Dorian had long since resigned himself to the fact that there would never be anything more than friendship between them, so he never bothered flirting with the elf.

Dorian called ahead to order their food, a favorite hole-in-the-wall joint that served a Rivani and Antivan fusion. It was on the way to his apartment, so he could just hop out of the taxi and pick up the food along the way.

When the taxi pulled up to the restaurant, Dorian was shocked when Leto jumped out first and insisted to pay for the take out. “It’s my turn to pay and finally you are ordering from a place I can actually afford.” Dorian laughed and acquiesced, waiting for Leto in the taxi.

When they got to Dorian’s place, Dorian spread all the containers out on the coffee table and turned on some quiet music. He then went to pop the cork on a bottle of wine and brought it with two glasses over to the table. Then they both took off their suit jackets, ties, and rolled up their sleeves before sitting on the couch to share the meal. While they ate, they mostly talked about the operation and how everything had gone that night.

Dorian was on his third glass of wine when he  sat back and looked over at Leto. “So, why did you finally agree to come over?”

Leto took a long drink of his wine before putting his glass down and sat back, curling his legs under him as he turned to face Dorian.

“Allow me to be blunt. I know you’re attracted to me. You’ve never tried to hide it, but you’ve also never tried to pursue it either,” Leto explained. “I have come to respect you. You are not at all like the men I knew in Tevinter. You have chosen to use your wit and intelligence for something other than the pure pursuit of pleasure. You have shown yourself to be dedicated and reliable, and above all, trust-worthy.”

Dorian felt his heart flutter at the compliments coming from a man who had once almost refused to work with him several weeks before. “You…trust me? Thank you, that means a lot coming from you.”

“I have to admit that I also find you attractive. You are a very handsome man, Dorian,” Leto confessed. “I’ve held back from saying anything because I needed all of my focus on this phase of the operation. While the operation itself is far from over, I can now step back for a bit while the other teams assess the aftermath.”

Dorian couldn’t help but feel a mix of excitement at Leto’s confession. He took a drink of his wine and looked up with a smirk. “You still haven’t answered my question.”

Leto took a breath and eased himself a bit closer, making Dorian’s breath hitch. “I suppose I haven’t,” Leto grinned wickedly as he took Dorian’s glass from him and set it aside. “I think I’ve established that we find each other attractive. I came over because I would like to see where we might take this.”

Leto was so close now, Dorian could feel the heat radiating off the elf’s skin and smell the mix of wine and food on his breath. He held himself very still as Leto leaned in closer, reaching up to cup Dorian’s face to hold him in place as he brushed his lips against Dorian’s. “May I kiss you?”

Dorian nodded almost imperceptibly before Leto surged forward, his warm, soft lips pressing eagerly against his own. Dorian felt himself go pliant as Leto deepened the kiss, his tongue running over his bottom lip. Dorian moaned, parting his lips as he allowed Leto to plunder his mouth.

Kissing Leto was everything Dorian had dreamt it would be. It was passionate but controlled, with the perfect mix of lips, tongue and teeth. It was all Dorian could do to just slide his hands onto the elf’s shoulders and hang on for dear life.

When Leto finally broke the kiss and sat back, he studied Dorian for several moments, while Dorian just sat there panting, trying to catch his breath.

“If you keep submitting to me so beautifully, I think I would like to pursue this further, if you’re willing?” Leto asked.

Dorian’s cock twitched. “What exactly are you proposing?” Dorian asked in return, scrabbling for his wine glass and taking a gulp.

“As you can tell, I like to be in control,” explained. “Initially, I didn’t want to work with you because I thought you were going to try and take control of the entire operation, regardless of your lack of knowledge. It’s how most men from Tevinter are in my experience. Instead, you surprised me. You followed my lead and didn’t impose yourself on me in any way. I appreciated that and it made me think twice about pursuing something with you. As you can imagine, when it comes to relationships, I have to remain in control. Always.”

Dorian nodded. “That’s perfectly understandable, after the trauma you must have suffered. I will admit I am partial to having my partners be in control. Much to my own detriment at times, I’m afraid.”

“You’ve had a bad experience in the past? Tell me.”

“This was back in Tevinter…before everything that happened with my father,” Dorian began. “His name was Rilienus. He insisted on dominating me, despite the fact I had no idea what I was getting into at the time. The very idea thrilled me at first, but then…”

“But then he took it too far.”

“Yes,” Dorian admitted. “We had established a safeword, I used it…and he punished me for it. I never went to see him again afterward. I…couldn’t.”

Leto had an angry look cross his face. “I’m sorry Dorian. That should never happen. I promise, that would never happen, if you chose to try such a relationship again, with me.”

Dorian’s heart pounded as he poured them each more wine. “I trust you Leto. You’ve suffered abuse first-hand. I can’t imagine you wanting to inflict that on anyone else.”

“Good, because without trust this could never work,” Leto said. “I’m drawn to you in a way I’ve not been drawn to someone else before. I think first we need to discuss all of our various limits and kinks. I will respect your hard limits, but depending on what they are, I may push your soft ones a bit on occasion. Understood?”

Dorian nodded.

“Use your words.”

Dorian let a small smirk cross his lips. “Yes, sir.”

“That’s better.”

They spent the next few hours talking, sharing with each other some of their most intimate desires, as well as their hard limits and turn offs. They discussed safe words, rules and consequences for breaking them. Dorian thrilled at the prospect of all the things they discussed and tried not to be overeager to begin.

They had just finished discussing Leto’s preferred strategy for punishment when Dorian noticed Leto was looking tired. “I think it’s time we tried to get some sleep? Wait here a moment, please?” He got up and grabbed a pillow, blanket and pajamas, before heading back into the living room and handing them to the elf.

“It’s late, stay the night? You can take the couch again if you want…I don’t want to presume.”

Leto looked at the offered items before standing. He took the pajamas and tossed aside the pillow and blanket before stepping closer to Dorian. “I’ll stay, if you’ll allow me the comfort of your bed?”

Dorian blushed. “I’d be happy to share my bed, it’s certainly large enough for two.”

Leto reached up and pulled Dorian down for a quick kiss. “Good.”

Leto then took Dorian’s hand and led him down the hall towards the bedroom. “Don’t get any ideas, we’re just going to sleep.”

“Yes, sir.”

Leto squeezed Dorian’s hand in approval and it made Dorian smile.

***

Dorian woke the next morning feeling oddly more at ease than normal when he remembered that Leto had stayed the night. He cracked open his eyes only to find the elf lying next to him, watching him.

“Morning.”

“You look very peaceful when you’re asleep,” Leto observed.

“Thanks. How about some coffee?” Dorian asked as he made to get up.

Leto gently but firmly pulled Dorian back down. Dorian looked at Leto, confused for a moment. “Did I give you permission to get up?”

Dorian shook his head, a bemused smirk crossing his lips.

“What did I say about using your words?” Leto growled.

“No, sir,” Dorian replied. “I’m to speak my acknowledgements to you, sir.”

“That’s better. I’m going to get up and take a shower. You will put my clothes in the washer before starting the coffee. Then come join me.”

“Yes, sir.”

As Leto rose, Dorian followed suit. He made his way into the living room, picking up his and Leto’s clothes along the way before heading into his laundry room and throwing everything into the washing machine and starting a cycle.

Dorian then made his way back into the living area and started the coffee maker before cleaning up the living room a little. He couldn’t help thinking through everything he discussed with Leto the night before and it sent a thrill through him. There was a frisson of fear mixed in with the excitement. He felt like he could trust Leto not to overstep, but Dorian had once trusted Rilienus just as much.

Stop overthinking this.

Dorian was just tossing out the left over containers of food when Leto came into the kitchen, nude and dripping wet.

“You really don’t take instruction well, do you? That’s one.

Dorian’s heart lept into his throat. Uh-oh. He’d forgotten that Leto wanted him to join him in the shower.

“Sorry, sir.”

“Now, come join me,” Leto said as he held out his hand.

Once in the bathroom, Dorian suddenly felt self-conscious as he stood before the naked elf. The very handsome, very naked elf.

“Strip, Dorian, before you run out of hot water.”

Dorian swallowed and did as he was told.

Leto was eyeing him critically as he revealed himself to the elf. Dorian’s heart beat faster as he stood before him completely naked.

“You’re just as lovely as I imagined,” Leto mused as he stepped back into the shower. “Now come.”

Leto told Dorian to stay still as he washed his back, running his hands all over Dorian’s body. “You are in remarkable shape for an author.”

“I go to the gym regularly,” Dorian confessed.

Leto tweaked one of Dorian’s nipples, hard. “Ow!”

“What did we discuss last night?” Leto reminded him.

Oh, yes. The honorific. “I go to the gym regularly, sir,” Dorian restated. “My apologies, sir.”

That’s two,” Leto said as he resumed his ministrations.

“May I ask what you’re counting, sir?”

“I believe we discussed the possibility of punishments?” Leto said wickedly. “You have two punishable infractions now. I will decide when and where the punishment will be administered later. For now I’m just counting the infractions.”

Oh yes, punishments. Dorian had a shiver of fear run down his spine as he recalled his last punishment from Rilienus.

Leto turned Dorian around to face him. “Stop thinking about him. I am not Rilienus. I will not punish you out of anger. I will not punish you without reason. Do  you agree that not following instructions is a valid reason for correction?”

Dorian took a steadying breath and nodded. “Yes, sir. Very valid, sir.”

“Good, now finish showering. I’ll go check on the laundry.”

It wasn’t until Leto had left the bathroom and he finished washing himself that Dorian realized his cock was hard. He was about to do something about it when he heard Leto from the hallway. “Do not touch yourself!”

Dorian sighed to himself. What did I get myself into? When a flash of all the naughty images the previous night’s conversation had evoked, Dorian grinned to himself. Something very good, I hope.

Chapter Text

Dorian had never felt more embarrassed in his life. Which probably was the point of the exercise. Leto had given him a task to complete before the weekend, when they had agreed to have their first scene together. To that end, Leto had given Dorian a list of items to shop for at a local sex fetish shop.

Nothing on the list violated any of Dorian’s hard limits, but a couple were on his maybe, I’d have to try it first list. Like the cock cage. Leto had been very specific, it had to be a metal cage, not one of those silly plastic contraptions. Dorian wasn’t sure he was looking forward to having the cage put to use, although a small part of him felt a thrill at the prospect.

As he wandered through the shop he slowly filled his basket with the items on the list, Dorian couldn’t help but blush every time he walked past another customer. Regardless that they were also in the same shop, but he was the only one with an actual basket.

Dorian looked at the final item on his list. Two paddles, one small (hairbrush sized, wood), and one large, preferably leather. He made his way through the shops until he found a wall filled with an array of paddles. They ranged from cheap plastic-looking ones, all the way too some wicked ones made with Corian, which was a manmade stone-like material most commonly used for countertops. Ouch!

Letting his eyes stray over the other impact play toys, Dorian’s eyes raked over several of the leather straps. When his dick twitched at the thought of one of those hitting his bare flesh, Dorian looked around and quickly slipped the most attractive one into his basket. He then selected a small wooden paddle made of a rich cherry, and a beautiful black leather paddle as well.

Dorian took his basket to the counter and tried not to blush as the clerk gave him a knowing look. “Your girl must have been very naughty!” she teased.

“Oh, my girl, yes…that’s right,” Dorian stammered as he pulled out his credit card. “Very naughty and needs to be taught a good lesson.”

Just then the clerk pulled out the cock cage and her eyes went wide but thankfully didn’t say another word.

***

It was Saturday afternoon and Leto had sent Dorian another set of instructions. He was to remain completely nude all day, with the exceptions of the the cock cage and the largest of the anal plugs he could stand. He’d been like this for several hours now and the anticipation for the coming evening was going to drive him insane. Being put into chastity even before the scene began was surprising, but Dorian then remembered that he’d had a couple of counts towards his impending first punishment already. He was going to have to start paying closer attention to Leto’s instructions.

Dorian tried to focus on writing as he tried to work on the novel inspired by the case he’d just worked on with Leto. However, between the plug in his ass and the cage on his cock, he couldn’t find a comfortable way to sit. So, instead he found himself pacing in his living room, grumbling to himself about what a mess he’d gotten himself into this time.

As it neared the time Leto said he’d arrive, Dorian laid out the pillow next to the door of his apartment. At precisely 5 o’clock, the chime rang, indicating someone was waiting for him to buzz them into the building. Dorian made his way to the intercom. “Hello? This is the Pavus residence.”

“Hello, Dorian,” Leto’s voice replied. “I hope you are prepared for this evening.”

Dorian couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face. “I most certainly am, Sir. Please come up. The door is unlocked.” Dorian pressed the button to allow Leto into the building before making his way to the door. He unlocked it and then settled onto his knees on the pillow.

Trying not to fidget, Dorian kept himself in as submissive of a posture as he could, remembering how Rilienus had preferred him. After what felt like an eternity, he heard elevator chime followed by the sound of Leto’s steps approaching his apartment. Dorian schooled his breathing and his expression as best as he could into neutrality.

The door opened and closed. Dorian heard some shuffling before he saw a pair of bare feet in front of him. “Good boy. I’m glad to see you can follow instructions,” Leto praised.

Dorian’s heart fluttered at the words. He craved praise above all else.

“Get up,” Leto commanded. “Let me see you.”

Dorian stood as gracefully as he could, while Leto circled him. “Good choice of cock cage. The color complements your skin tone well.”

“Thank you, Sir,” Dorian replied.

“Ah, ah. I did not give you permission to speak,” Leto chided. “I believe that brings your number of infractions to five.”

Dorian almost whined. Fasta vass. Why can’t I ever do anything right?

Leto seemed to sense his distress. “Take a deep breath. Tell me, what are the safewords we agreed on?”

“Red for everything stops, yellow to take a pause, green if everything is good, Sir,” Dorian replied.

“Good,” Leto said. “What’s your color?”

Why was Leto asking that? They hadn’t done anything yet. Dorian was confused. “Green, Sir?”

“You don’t sound very sure,” Leto said. “Yellow. Come, sit on the couch with me and let’s talk.”

“Yellow, Sir?” Dorian asked as he became even more confused. “I didn’t know you could safeword as well.”

Leto led him over to the couch and sat down. “Talk to me. What’s going through your head?”

Dorian shrugged. “Oh, nothing. I just don’t understand why you’d stop like that. Why did you need to safeword?”

“Because I saw you were in distress,” Leto replied. “What made you upset? Talk to me, please. This won’t work if we don’t communicate.”

Dorian took a deep breath and thought about it before replying. “I supposed I was kicking myself for earning another infraction. I…can’t ever do anything right.”

Leto reached out and tilted Dorian’s head up. “Look at me,” he ordered. “You’re letting your experience with your past Dom affect you. I’m not like him. I won’t abuse your trust like that. If I say or do anything that makes you feel bad about the situation or about yourself, then you safeword immediately. There will never be consequences if you use a safeword, for any reason. Do you understand?”

Dorian nodded.

“Use your words,” Leto reminded him gently.

“Yes, Sir,” Dorian replied. “I’ll try.”

“Okay,” Leto said. “If I sense you are in distress again and you don’t safeword, we’ll stop for tonight. I’ll switch to providing all the aftercare you require.”

“Aftercare?” Dorian asked.

“Yes, it’s when I wrap you in blankets, make sure you rehydrate and eat, and we cuddle for as long as you need to,” Leto said, smirking at the word cuddle.

“You…don’t seem like the cuddling type,” Dorian admitted.

“It’s important after a scene,” Leto said. “Do you wish to continue, or should we save this for another evening?”

“I’ve been looking forward to this evening all week,” Dorian said. “And dreading it as well, if truth be told. I just need to get past my anxiety. Please give me another chance?”

Leto smiled at that. “Of course,” the elf said as he leaned in and gave Dorian a searing kiss. Dorian melted as he felt his cock try vainly to show interest in the proceedings. After breaking off the kiss, Leto stood and held out his hand for Dorian to take. “Come, let’s see what you’ve laid out for us to play with.”

Dorian let himself be led into the bedroom. He felt his face flush when he saw the various toys and implements he’d laid out on the bed for Leto’s inspection. “I see you made some excellent choices,” Leto praised before he picked up the strap. “This wasn’t on the list, but I approve.”

Dorian felt buoyed again by the praise.

Leto picked up the two paddles as well and made his way to the easy chair that sat in the corner of the room. He sat down and patted his lap. “Come here, lay yourself over my knees. It’s time to punish that beautiful ass of yours.”

Dorian felt both a twitch of excitement and fear at those words, but he hurried to comply. He carefully folded himself over Leto’s knees, which were spread enough for him to place his caged cock between, for both of their comforts.

Leto began by just rubbing and massaging Dorian’s ass. Feeling the warm touch of his hand on his skin helped Dorian to relax, despite his precarious position.

“You have an amazing ass,” Leto said as he continued his ministrations. “I can’t wait to darken these beautiful cheeks of yours. I bet they’ll look lovely with a tinge of red.”

Dorian whimpered, although he wasn’t sure if it were out of fear or excitement. Probably both.

“You have a total of five infractions,” Leto continued. “I normally give five swats per infraction, for a total of twenty-five. However, I want to try all three implements on you, so I want to add an additional five for a total of thirty, ten from each. Can you take that many? Use your words.”

“It’s been a long time, so I’m not sure, Sir,” Dorian answered honestly. “I’ll try.”

“Good boy,” Leto said. “I’ll slowly increase the strength of each swat as I go. If it gets too much, remember your safewords.”

“Yes, Sir,” Dorian replied. He braced himself for the first blow when he felt the cool leather from the strap caress his skin.

“You are being punished for five infractions,” Leto reminded him. “After receiving your punishment, you will be forgiven, and we’ll start with a clean slate. You may make as much noise as you wish, but no speaking.”

After that, Dorian felt the strap leave his skin and he felt the slight rush of air just before the strap hit the first time, leaving a stripe of…tingles. Dorian had expected the bloom of pain, but Leto hadn’t put his full strength into the blow, just as promised. Right now, there was just a lovely tingle. Then the next blow fell, and the next, each one a little harder, spreading a little more heat and many more tingles. Each blow also caused his ass to clench around the plug inside of him, giving him a frisson of pleasure that his poor cock desperately wanted to get on, if it wasn’t confined so cruelly. When Leto administered the seventh swat the true pain began but Dorian didn’t cry out at all until the tenth.

Leto then set aside the strap and laid the next implement onto Dorian’s heated skin. It felt too small to be the leather paddle, so it must be the small wooden one. Leto gently rubbed the paddle in circles over Dorian’s ass as he praised him. “You’re being such a good boy for me Dorian. You’re taking your punishment so well. What’s your color?”

It took a moment for Dorian’s brain to process Leto’s question. “Green, Sir.”

Leto began again, following the same pattern, hitting lightly in the beginning, and slowly building strength in his swats. This time Dorian’s ass was already quite warm from the strap. Even the first hits from this paddle stung more than tingled and by the time Leto had swatted him five times, he was whimpering.

The pain of each swat was now sharp, and the resulting heat of his ass was continuing to build. Dorian couldn’t help the tears that began to drip from his eyes. Despite the pain and humiliation of it all, Dorian felt a small sense of elation with each blow. He was so close to absolution and forgiveness. It was something he desperately wanted. As the last blow of the small paddle hit, he sobbed loudly.

Then the paddles were switched out and the cool leather of the final paddle was gently caressing his ass. “You’re being so wonderful,” Leto said. “Just ten more swats and all will be forgiven. You’ve taken this punishment so well. Can you do ten more for me? What’s your color?”

“G…g...green, Sir. Very green. I can take the last ten. Please, Sir,” Dorian replied through a few sobs.

The final ten swats seemed to come faster, although they followed the same progression of power behind each blow. Still, Dorian cried out with each hit this time, as the leather smacked both of his ass cheeks at the same time. Leto just let each blow rain down, heating Dorian’s ass until it felt like it was glowing.

Dorian didn’t even realize it was all over until Leto let the leather paddle fall to the ground and helped Dorian up from his lap. The elf led him over to the bed and helped him lay down onto his side before he gathered the taller man up into his arms.

“You’re forgiven, Dorian. You take your punishment very well, and I am very proud of you for it,” Leto praised as he pulled Dorian into a tighter embrace.

He reached for a tissue and gently wiped away all of Dorian’s tears and helped him blow his nose. For a moment, he felt like a silly child, until Leto pressed a kiss into his forehead. Then he just melted into Leto’s surprisingly strong arms.

Leto began to pepper his face with kisses before he pulled Dorian into a slow, sensual kiss. Dorian lost himself in the smell, touch, and taste of the elf. Leto’s hands slowly began to wander, caressing him and Dorian whimpered as his poor caged cock was unable to enjoy the proceedings.

The kiss broke as they came up for air and Leto reached down to remove the cage. “I think you’ve worn this long enough for me now,” he said with a wicked grin.

Dorian’s felt momentarily lightheaded from how quickly his cock hardened as soon as it was free. He felt himself blush again at how eager he appeared and braced himself for the inevitable slut and whore insults.

“Look at me,” Leto commanded.

Dorian lifted his eyes and saw lust and desire, not the look of domineering disgust that Rilienus had perfected so well.

“You’re beautiful,” Leto said, his voice husky with lust. “I want you. Feel how much I want you.” Leto reached out and guided Dorian’s hand towards his own erection still hidden behind the slacks he wore. Dorian moaned at the feel of how hard Leto was.

“Yes, Sir,” Dorian almost whispered. “I want you too, Sir.”

Leto smiled and kissed him again. “Just call me Leto now, okay?”

Dorian nodded and pulled Leto into another kiss, rutting his cock against the rough fabric of Leto’s slacks, desperate for the friction.

Leto broke away from the kiss and got up. “Wait a moment,” he instructed. Moments later, the elf had removed all his clothes and fetched a condom and some lube before he returned to the bed.

“How do you want me?” Dorian asked.

“On your back, please,” Leto requested. “I want to see your face when I make love to you the first time.”

Make love? Not fuck? Dorian’s mind reeled at the implication as he gingerly turned onto his back. He hissed as his still sore ass hit the rough fabric of the comforter. Leto tossed the condoms to the side for now as he gently encouraged Dorian to scoot down and spread his legs. He played with the plug that was still in Dorian’s ass, popping it in and out a few times, making Dorian groan.

Leto set the plug aside and lubed his fingers, adding to the little bit of lube the plug had left behind. Once Leto was satisfied with the slickness of his hole, he removed his fingers and tore open a condom, rolling it on and coating that liberally in lube as well. He then crawled his way up between his legs, giving Dorian’s cock a long lick and a kiss, which made it twitch with need.

Slowly Leto kissed, licked and sucked his way up Dorian’s torso, causing Dorian to arch into his touch. Dorian lost himself in Leto’s touch so much, he didn’t even feel the soreness in his well punished behind anymore.

By the time Leto was leaving a trail of searing kisses along his neck, Dorian was throbbing with need. “Please, Leto. Please. I need you.”

“Then you shall have me,” Leto whispered into his ear, before giving his earlobe a suckle. Then the elf ran his hands back down Dorian’s sides, over his hips and thighs, and he pushed Dorian’s knees up, adjusting the angle of his hips until Leto was lined up with Dorian’s hole.

“Ready for me, beautiful?” Leto asked.

“Yes, yes, please!” Dorian begged.

Leto let go of one of Dorian’s knees and held himself firm as he pushed into Dorian. He slid in one long slide that Dorian angled up his hips to meet. The brief burn and ache was nothing compared to the sheer pleasure of being filled with a hot, living cock. Dorian looked up into Leto’s face and saw a look of pure ecstasy as completely sheathed himself.

“Fuck, you’re still so tight,” Leto moaned. “You’re squeezing me in all the right ways.”

Leto leaned forward, capturing Dorian’s mouth, as he slowly slid his cock in and out, creating that delicious friction that drove Dorian wild. Dorian wrapped his arms around Leto, one hand tangled in his soft, white hair, as he kept angling his hips until Leto hit that sweet spot. He moaned into the kiss as he started to meet Leto thrust for thrust, craving more. His own cock lay hot and heavy between them, getting delicious friction from their heaving, writhing forms.

Leto broke the kiss and went back to worrying on Dorian’s neck, sure to leave a bruise or two as his thrusts started to increase in speed. “Dorian, you’re perfect. Fuck you’re so amazing. All the wicked things I want to do to you. I don’t just want to dominate you. I want to own you. Mind, body and soul.”

Dorian was so high on pleasure he wasn’t sure what he was saying anymore. Incoherent babbling most likely. He rolled his hips into Leto’s thrusts faster and faster. He felt his balls tighten as the heat and tension built until the crescendo hit, and his world whited out as he came, spurting hot and wet between them.

Moments later Leto cried out in ecstasy as he buried himself so deep that Dorian thought he felt the elf’s cock pulse his release into the condom he wore.

Afterward, Leto just collapsed onto of Dorian, trying to catch his breath. Dorian had this happy surge of emotion in his chest as he held the elf in his arms, stroking his hair gently. After a few moments, Leto looked up at him, his eyes wet with emotion.

“Did you mean it? When you called me that just now?” Leto asked.

“Did I mean what?” Dorian asked. “I can barely remember my own name right now. Care to refresh my memory?”

“When you called me Amatus? Did you mean it?”

Oh, shit.

Chapter Text

“When you called me Amatus? Did you mean it?”

Dorian’s first instinct was to deny it as a slip-of-the-tongue, something said in the heat of the moment and all that. Then he looked into Leto’s eyes and saw a spark of hope, mixed with fear. That made him hesitate. How did he feel about Leto? They’d spent many weeks working closely together on this case. He truly enjoyed the elf’s company and remembered being thrilled when their relationship evolved from antagonistic acquaintances to friendship.

Dorian never dreamt that Leto would ever be interested in him sexually, and yet now that it was clear he was, where would they go next? He was so used to quick trysts and one-night-stands, he’d never hoped for anything more than that.

Dorian shifted, and encouraged Leto to sit up. After rearranging themselves they sat cross-legged in front of each other on the bed. He reached out and took Leto’s hands in his as his heart beat rapidly in his chest.

“Do you want me to mean it?” Dorian asked tentatively.

They sat, studying each other’s face for several long moments. Dorian saw uncertainty cross Leto’s face, although the glint of hope was still there.

“You know when we first met, I wanted nothing to do with you,” Leto said. “Yet, here we are. At first, I thought my attraction was purely sexual, that we could have a casual Dom/sub relationship and leave it at that. However, I am surprised by the amount of affection I feel for you, especially after hearing you call me Amatus. So, yes, I really do you want you to mean it.”

“I will confess I didn’t even realize I was saying it,” Dorian admitted.

Leto’s entire demeanor changed in an instant. It looked almost like he’d wilted out of sheer disappointment.

Dorian reached out and lifted Leto’s chin. “Let me finish,” Dorian said as he ran his hand to caress the elf’s cheek. “You know how things are in Tevinter. They look the other way if men wish to have tryst or two with each other, but it can’t go any further. To even hope for love is foolish.”

“And yet...?” Leto began to ask before hesitating.

“And yet, the moment I let my guard down, I become a fool for it,” Dorian said as he ducked his head down. “What I’m saying, is that somewhere along the way, I let myself fall for you, Amatus.”

Dorian hadn’t realized that he’d begun to tremble until Leto reached up and covered the hand that still held the elf’s face. Leto held his hand firm and turned his head and kissed Dorian’s palm. “Let’s not rush this,” Leto said in a whispered hush. “I want this to be more than just a fling.”

“It already is more,” Dorian said. “But I know what you mean. Let us court properly. We can go out on dates and then you can still beat my ass red afterwards.”

Leto looked up at him with a laugh, wiping away the tears that had come unbidden. “I’m sorry, I don’t usually get so emotional,” Leto said with embarrassment.

Dorian smiled and pulled the smaller man into his lap and just held him in his arms. “We’ll keep it our little secret.”

They sat like that for a long while, just holding on to each other. When they finally stirred again they looked at each other and the mess they both were and laughed. “This is not quite how I thought this evening would go,” Leto confessed as he unfolded himself from Dorian’s lap.

“No, neither did I, but…I wouldn’t change a thing,” Dorian replied as he helped Leto off the bed and stood himself.

Leto reached out and gently caressed Dorian’s still red ass. “Not anything?”

Dorian turned and looked at Leto sincerely. “Not one single thing.”

***

Over the next several weeks, Dorian and Leto continued seeing each other. They went on dates and continued to enjoy scenes together from time to time. Spending time together outside of the FBI case allowed them to truly explore their feelings for one another as they kept growing closer.

Three months after their first night together Dorian and Leto were on a date at the Orlesian restaurant down the street from Dorian’s apartment. They ate here often because it was both convenient, and they enjoyed the food. As they waited for the dessert they ordered, Dorian gave Leto a disarming grin.

“What’s going on in that devious mind of yours, Vint?” Leto teased.

“Oh, nothing,” Dorian replied as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a fancy looking keychain with a single key on the ring, which he offered to Leto. “It’s a key to my apartment. I’m not asking you to move in, unless of course you want to. I know you value your independence. I just want you to know you can come and go from my place as you please. You shouldn’t have to wait for me to buzz you in every time.”

“Thank you, Dorian,” Leto said as he took the offered key. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Just promise you’ll sleep over more often?” Dorian replied. “I know you work late and you don’t always have to go all the way back to the Alienage. You can even keep some of your suits and things at my place if you like.”

“Admit it, this is part of your evil plan to lure me into your den and have your way with me,” Leto said with a smirk.

Dorian feigned an over exaggerated reaction. “You wound me sir! I have nothing but the purest of intentions!” 

They were both laughing when the waitress arrived with their dessert. They often enjoyed sharing a fancy Orlesian cake together. Tonight’s special was some chocolate truffle concoction that looked absolutely decadent.

They ate in silence. Once finished, Dorian reached out and took Leto’s hand. “All kidding aside, I do worry about you,” Dorian confessed. “I know you’ve been working late a lot, and the Alienage is hardly the safest place to be, so late at night.”

Leto squeezed his hand and took a deep breath. “I was going to wait to say anything, but I need to tell you something.”

“Oh my, I don’t like the sound of that,” Dorian said.

“It’s not official yet, which is why I haven’t said anything,” Leto continued. “We may have a potential to make a big break in the human trafficking case. It might require me to go into the field. I can’t tell you more than that.”

“You aren’t a field agent,” Dorian pointed out. “Why would you have to put yourself in danger like that?”

“If I do go, I’ll tell you everything after I come back, I promise,” Leto said. “I will let you know as soon as I do if the mission requires it.”

“Well, now the Alienage in the middle of the night seems like a silly concern, compared to this,” Dorian frowned. “I do hope you won’t need to go.”

“I hope so too,” Leto confessed. “However, I will perform my duty if it’s necessary.”

“Well, at least come home with me tonight, please?” Dorian pleaded. “I feel the sudden urge to wrap you in my arms and never let you go.”

***

Weeks passed, and Leto didn’t mention the mission again. Soon he was sleeping at Dorian’s place at least four nights each week. Dorian began to stock his kitchen with some of Leto’s favorite things, which seemed to include a lot of apple related items. Fresh apples, of course, but also apple and cinnamon oatmeal, apple tarts and apple butter. Dorian would never be able to see an apple again and not think of Leto.

Dorian had just returned from shopping and was preparing to make dinner for the two of them. Leto had promised to clock out early, so they could spend an evening together. Dorian paused as he was rinsing the vegetables and reflected on how happy he now was. Having Leto in his life, both as his Dom and his boyfriend, filled a hole in his life that he had long needed to fill.  He could already imagine spending the rest of his life with Leto. Well, so much for taking it slow, he chided himself with a chuckle.

Just then his phone buzzed. Dorian pulled it out and a smile spread on his face when he saw it was from Leto. He opened the text and as he read it the smile quickly faded.

“I’m sorry. I was just informed I have to leave on that field mission immediately. I was given no warning. It is urgent that I go. Save dinner for me until I return?”

Dorian felt a knot of worry form in the pit of his stomach.

“Yes, of course. Hurry back. Please, stay safe Amatus.”

Dorian lost his appetite.

Unlike the mission that Dorian had helped to consult on, this time he was completely in the dark. He had no idea what the mission entailed or why Leto was the only agent who could carry it out. Undoubtedly, it was related to Tevinter in some fashion, and Dorian was absolutely frustrated that he wasn’t consulting again.

Trying to distract himself, Dorian picked up a book from his bookshelf and tried to read. When that didn’t work he turned on a movie. He finally gave in and uncorked a bottle of wine and drank himself into a stupor.

Days turned into weeks. Dorian tried to focus on the novel he was writing but the words just didn’t seem to come. The more time passed with no word from Leto, the more he began to worry.

One afternoon he was browsing the internet, theoretically to do research for his novel, when he came across the news. A devastating failure of a human trafficking bust had gone horribly wrong. FBI agents had been led into a trap and the entire team were either captured or killed…in Tevinter.

Dorian’s heart lept into his throat as he jumped up and grabbed his phone, wallet and keys. He hailed a taxi outside of his building and directed it to head towards the FBI Headquarters. Once he arrived, he approached the always harried receptionist. She put a call on hold and looked at him expectantly. “Please, I must speak with Director Rutherford, immediately.”

“Who should I tell him is asking for him?”

“Dorian Pavus,” he replied. “I was consulting on the human trafficking case with Agent Leto Freeman several months ago.”

Dorian then went to sit in the waiting area. Cullen would undoubtedly be swamped because of the current crisis, but Dorian had to know what happened to Leto. He couldn’t bear not knowing.

Several hours later a ragged looking agent approached him. “Dorian Pavus?”

“Yes, that’s me,” Dorian replied.

“Come with me, I’ll take you to Director Rutherford,” the agent directed. “You were lucky that all your background checks were still deemed current or I wouldn’t even be able to talk to you.”

Dorian was led to the director’s office, where he was ushered inside, and the door closed behind him. Behind the desk sat Cullen, who looked all the worse for wear. His jacket and tie were off, his shirt sleeves were rolled up and his shirt partially unbuttoned. He sat there with a haunted look on his face.

“Director Rutherford?” Dorian asked tentatively as he sat in one of the chairs across from the man.

Cullen looked up and it took him a moment to register who he was looking at. “Oh Maker! Dorian! I’d forgotten you and Agent Freeman had been seeing each other…”

“Please, Cullen, tell me what happened. Is Leto…?” Dorian couldn’t finish the question.

Cullen shook his head. “His body wasn’t among the dead. We suspect he was captured.”

That was as bad as the alternative, considering Leto’s background. “He’ll be sold back into slavery, perhaps even back to his old master.” That would be bad. Very, very bad.

“I know,” Cullen sighed. “We lost an entire team of agents. Over half were brutally murdered on the spot, the rest were taken to the slave training center in Minrathous. However, being an escaped slave, Leto would have been separated from the rest and sent to the retaining and punishment center instead. They’ll break him before handing him back over to Danarius.”

Fasta vass!” Dorian swore. “Can you tell me what the plan is? Is there anything I can do to help? I don’t want Leto go have to go through that hell again.”

“They were taken forty-eight hours ago,” Cullen confessed. “The news leaked to the media today before we were ready to address it with the public. We were trying to mount a rescue operation, but that’s now been compromised as well.”

“You know that I know Tevinter and how it operates,” Dorian said. “Please, let me help. I know I’m not a trained field agent, but I still have a few connections in Minrathous. Let me try and rescue Leto at the very least.”

“I…I don’t know,” Cullen replied. “Give me a couple of days to formulate a plan. Why don’t you do the same? Put together a proposal of how you’d rescue Agent Freeman and I’ll see if I can find the resources you’ll need to aid you. If you could head up that part of the rescue, the rest my team can focus on rescuing the others at the slave training center.”

Dorian took a deep breath. “Yes, alright. I’ll come back in two days with a rescue proposal.”

Dorian headed home in a daze. He’d seen how slaves were broken in places like where they had probably taken Leto. His markings and white hair were far too well known for him to have escaped notice by his captors. The images kept flashing in his mind of what they were most likely doing to the elf right now. The beatings, rape, sensory deprivation, and other unthinkable forms of abuse, all meant to break a person’s spirit. The very thought broke Dorian’s heart.

That night, Dorian fell into his bed and wept until he fell into a restless slumber.

Chapter Text

As Dorian stepped off the plane in Minrathous, the cloying heat caught in his throat. He did his best to remain calm as he made his way into the airport and towards ground transportation where he could hail a taxi. It wasn’t until he’d made it into the relative safety of his hotel room before he allowed himself to relax.

This trip had taken six weeks of careful planning. All that time, Dorian dreaded what Leto must be going through, but it couldn’t be helped. He couldn’t just go barging into Minrathous and expect to come back alive. Due to the success of his books, Dorian was nearly as infamous in Tevinter as Leto himself. To that end his appearance had been altered so he would hopefully go unnoticed.

Dorian shaved off his signature mustache. That alone was a striking change to his appearance. He’d been sporting that mustache since he was about eighteen and he didn’t recognize himself without it. Hopefully, neither would anyone else. Next, his skin had been darkened a few more shades, so he resembled someone from the far northern provinces of Tevinter. Since he didn’t have time to grow out his hair, they also added extensions, so he could style it in the current northern trend, slicked back and tied at base of the head with a ponytail. He received the same high-tech contact lenses that Isabella and Josephine had worn on that earlier mission. The ones he wore also changed his eyes from grey to a dark blue. The final preparation had been to learn the northern Tevinter dialect.

Now that he was here, his first order of business was to find out where Leto was. The assumption had been that he’d be given back to his former master, but Dorian knew better to make assumptions. There were a few trusted contacts he planned to reach out to and see if they had any information. One or two may still be staying informed on the goings-on of Danarius and his inner-circle. Once he’d had a chance to freshen up, Dorian began making calls and appointments. He wouldn’t reveal his true identity unless absolutely necessary, even with these contacts. It had been years since he’d seen any of them, and Maker knows any one of them could have been corrupted over the years.

 Over the next week, Dorian carefully sought out and met with his contacts. They all proved fruitless. It was now the end of the week and he was down to his last contact, Maevaris Tilani. Dorian hoped that she’d come through for him, or he was all out of options.

When he arrived at the Tilani Estate, it looked the way he remembered it. Before he’d fled Tevinter, Dorian had counted Mae among his closest friends. He hoped she still remembered him as fondly. Still, he chose to be cautious and made the appointment with her under his assumed identity, Magnus Augustus. The House Augustus was a small noble house of little note, but they had been blessed with many sons, most of whom had disappeared in obscurity years ago. The name was enough to get his foot into doors without raising suspicion.

Dorian exited the taxi and made his way to the front door of the estate, where he was greeted by one of Mae’s servants. She had always been vocal in her opposition against slavery. Instead she hired paid servants who were of the Soporati class. “Magnus Augustus to see Maevaris Tilani,” Dorian introduced himself. “I have an appointment, she should be expecting me?”

“Yes, right this way,” the servant indicated to follow him. Dorian was led into Mae’s favorite study. She was seated behind a desk, looking as fierce as ever. Dorian had to restrain himself from greeting her like the old friend she was.

“Good afternoon,” Dorian greeted. “It was kind of you to make time to see me.”

Mae stared at him for a moment before gesturing for him to sit down. “What can I do for you, Altus Augustus?”

“Please, call me Magnus,” Dorian replied, trying to maintain his ruse for now and affecting the northern dialect he’d practiced. “I’ve never been one for titles.”

“Alright, Magnus then,” Mae said as her posture relaxed slightly.

“This may sound like an odd request,” Dorian began. “However, I am trying to discretely discover the whereabouts of a particular slave.”

Mae’s eyes shot up at that. “Which particular slave?”

“His master named him Fenris,” Dorian continued. “I believe he was recaptured recently and I was curious if he had been returned to his former master or if he’d been put up for auction?”

“Why would you come to me about such matters?” Mae asked with a suspicious tone. “It is well known I disapprove of the practice of slavery.”

“Yes, I know,” Dorian replied. “I was saddened to hear he had been captured and I was hoping to find a way to rescue him.”

Mae narrowed her eyes as she looked at him. “Why do you look familiar?”

Dorian decided now was the time to give up the pretense, so he changed his demeanor and dialect. “Because it’s me, Mae. Dorian Pavus.”

Eyes flying wide in shock, Mae shot out of her chair and ran around her desk, pulling Dorian up into an enthusiastic embrace. “Dorian!” she declared. “What in the world are you doing back here? Don’t you know how dangerous it is?”

“Why do you think I had a need for a disguise?” Dorian asked. “I also had to make sure your loyalties hadn’t changed before I revealed myself to you.”

“It was wise for you to be cautious,” Mae agreed. “It’s so good to see you. Why are you so interested in this Fenris? You never cared much for the plight of slaves before.”

“Well, this one in particular I do care about,” Dorian admitted as a blush crept over his face. “I’ve foolishly gone and fallen for him.”

“You’re kidding? I thought you refused to sleep with elves!” Mae admonished. “How did this even happen?”

“The FBI had brought me in to consult on part of a case,” Dorian explained. “Agent Leto Freeman was in charge of the case. That’s Fenris’ real name. We worked closely together for weeks and saw that part of the mission conclude successfully. We’d grown close and after I was no longer consulting on the case, Leto asked me to be his sub. Things evolved from there.”

Mae looked at him with a shocked expression on her face. “So he’s a Dom? That explains a few things,” she said with a wink. “It’s been weeks since he was recaptured and enslaved, hasn’t it?”

Dorian nodded. “I’ve been very worried. I know what they do with recaptured slaves. I would have come sooner if I could.”

“I understand. Your very presence here is dangerous,” Mae said. “Let me make some inquiries. Would you like to stay here? I’d love for the chance to catch up, and I’d feel better if you were in the safety of my estate.”

“I would very much like that, thank you,” Dorian replied. “I still have all my things back at the hotel. I can fetch them and return this evening.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Mae replied. “I’ll send one of my men to retrieve your belongings and settle your bill.”

***

A few days later, Dorian planned to join Mae for lunch. He just arrived in the dining room when she came in with a triumphant look on her face. “Good news! I not only found out where Leto is, but there is a perfect opportunity coming up to rescue him out of that hell hole.”

“Oh, do tell!” Dorian said, a spark of hope rising in his chest.

“First, there is some bad news. He was returned to Danarius, and we both know how badly he treats his slaves,” Mae replied in all seriousness. “I can’t imagine how he’s punishing that poor elf for having escaped so many years ago. However, he is hosting one of his infamous parties next week. I managed to get myself an invitation. You’ll be my plus-one, just another pretty man on my arm. That will help you remain invisible to most people there. You said you had FBI agents that are in place to help? Make sure they are in place so they can extract you if an opportunity to free Leto makes itself available.”

“That is good news. I’ll get in touch with my contacts immediately,” Dorian said. “I am also equipped with some technology that may be of use as well. I just have to hope it’s not too late to get Leto out of there in one piece.”

Dorian contacted Cullen and made arrangements for extraction on the day of the party. Cullen also said he would activate Dorian’s contact lenses and audio implants so he could monitor the situation and guide Dorian as best as he could. The goal was to hopefully get eyes on Leto and then try and find a way to get him out of there. Knowing Danarius, Leto may be the centerpiece of the party, a fact that made Dorian worry all the more.

***

The night of the party saw Dorian dressed in an understated tuxedo. It definitely didn’t fit with his normally more flamboyant style, but that was the idea. In the limo on the way to the party, Mae slapped at his hands that were readjusting his bow tie for the umpteenth time. “Stop fidgeting. It will be alright as long as you remain calm.”

Dorian took a deep breath. “You’re right, Mae.”

Just then a note of static hit his ears. “Dorian, this is Cullen. Can you hear me?

“Oh my, yes. Cullen, you’re coming through loud and clear,” Dorian responded. “Are you picking up anything from the contacts?”

Yes. Can you look over at Maevaris, please?” Cullen asked.

Dorian looked at Mae. “Agent Cullen Rutherford sends you greetings,” Dorian relayed. “He also said you look lovely.”

Mae laughed. “Thank you, Agent Rutherford. I’m glad to know all of the technology is working. We’re about to arrive.”

I will maintain radio silence, unless absolutely necessary,” Cullen said. “No need to respond when I do speak with you. Is that clear?”

“Absolutely,” Dorian replied.

As they arrived, Dorian did his best to school his features and affect the stance and mindset he’d established as Magnus Augustus. Mae had assured him that he was hardly recognizable as he was now, which gave Dorian some measure of comfort.

As they entered the party, they were formally announced, and no one seemed to bat an eye. They made their way through the various rooms filled with people, partaking in the food and beverages that were being offered by the many, very nude, slaves. Dorian wondered what Cullen thought of the whole affair so far.

A gong sounded, announcing the evening’s main event. Tevinter parties often had some form of entertainment to keep the guests happy. Within Danarius’ circle, you could guarantee it would involve slaves and sex in one capacity or another. Dorian had warned Cullen of this and he braced himself now. Dorian had never enjoyed such disgusting spectacles, and for what it was worth, at least his father never included them in his parties.

Mae guided them towards the front of the crowd that was gathering around the perimeter of the large ballroom. In the center was placed a typical Tevinter punishment bench. A slave could be secured on it, helpless to avoid any punishment their master deemed fit. The bench was configured so the slave would be secured on their hands and knees with their legs spread, so they could be whipped, flogged, paddled and easily raped, both orally, anally and if the slave was female, vaginally. Dorian felt a knot form in his stomach, afraid of exactly who was to face punishment on that bench.

Danarius stepped out into the center of the ballroom, close to the wicked bench. “Bring in the slave!”

Two large, muscular men dragged in a very naked Leto. The poor elf was shackled with iron manacles around his wrists and ankles, and a heavy iron collar around his neck. He was also gagged with a horse bit and his cock was bound in a tiny steel cage. Dorian half hoped he’d see some sign of struggle, but Leto seemed resigned to his fate and just allowed himself to be dragged and put into position on the bench. Once all the leather straps were in place and he was immobilized, the two guards stepped back and disappeared into the crowd.

Dorian felt Mae grasp his arm tight. “Do not make a scene. This won’t be pleasant to watch but now will not be the time to rescue your Amatus,” she hissed in his ear.

“As you all know, six weeks ago our armed forces successfully ended a covert operation aimed at bringing down our very way of life,” Danarius began. “Much to my surprise, one of the agents was none other than my slave, Fenris. His escape had been legendary and word of it fueled all the slave rebellions we’ve had to put down over the past decade. Now that he has been returned to me, I’ve decided to make an example of him. Tonight’s proceedings are being recorded. You will all be given a copy of the recording to show to your own slaves, to stand as an example of what happens to slaves that try to escape.”

Danarius walked towards a cabinet located on the side of the ballroom. Dorian gritted his teeth when he saw the contents. It contained all manner of implements, designed for punishment and pain.

“The first portion of our evening will be to punish this slave thoroughly,” Danarius said. “He did go through all the routine punishments at the slave retraining center, but I fear those measures did not go far enough. Tonight I will teach this slave his place, once and for all.”

The punishments began after that. Danarius began with a wicked looking leather strap, leaving red welts all over Leto’s back, butt and thighs. He then moved on to giving Leto a wicked paddling, leaving the elf’s posterior purple and bruised. Next Leto was caned until he bled, and finally he was whipped until his back looked raw.

Dorian made sure Cullen got every minute of that on video, as difficult as it was for him to watch. He fought hard not to let tears crest over his cheeks, but it was a near thing. Every blow Danarius gave Leto broke his heart. The only saving grace was when Leto stopped screaming and had clearly passed out.

Danarius then brought forth something that he held under Leto’s nose, in order to revive him. “The next part of the slave’s punishment will require audience participation. I ask that every man here fuck the slave to remind this elf what his true place is. In two hours, I want this slave to be very thoroughly fucked before we moved on to the final portion of the evening.”

Then the crowd, especially the men, moved closer. Several of the men already had taken their cocks out of their slacks and were getting themselves hard. Dorian looked away when the first man stepped up behind Leto’s bloodied body. “Dorian, I hate to ask you this, but please, keep watching. We need to get this on video. All of it. The faces of these men are very important to our investigation.”

Dorian opened his eyes and turned back, just as the first man was pulling a large plug out of Leto’s ass. Dorian thanked the Maker for small mercies. At least Leto had been somewhat prepped before this.

Dorian moved around the room a bit, wanting to get a better view of the man who was now fucking Leto. He zeroed in on the man’s face, trying to ignore what he was doing. When Dorian made it around to where he could see Leto’s face, he almost lost his composure. Leto was conscious again, but the dead, glassed over look on his face looked wrong. He looked completely broken and catatonic.

The next two hours were hell, as one after another the men used Leto, filling him and covering him in semen from head to foot. Thankfully Dorian went unnoticed and no one encouraged him to step up and take a turn.

When it was all over, everyone retreated back to the perimeter of the room, while Danarius came back out. “I hope this serves a lesson to all slaves. Even if you do escape, no matter how far you run, no matter where you hide, we will find you, we will bring you back, and you will learn your place. Someone come and clean him up!”

Four slaves rushed out, carrying buckets of soapy water. They tried to wash Leto quickly but Dorian noted they were trying to be gentle. Regardless, the soap in the water must have stung on all of the elf’s open wounds. Once he was washed, they appeared to apply some sort of antiseptic before they covered all the wounds with gauze and bandages.

After they were done, the slaves scurried away and Danarius stepped forward again. “For the final part of this evening, I have decided I no longer care for this slave’s company. He has grown old in the time he was away from my care, and I prefer my bed slaves to be youthful. To that end, now that he’s been properly broken, I wish to offer him up for auction to the highest bidder this evening.”

Auction? For Leto? Dorian felt a spark of hope. He would win this auction. It was the perfect way to save him.

The bidding began low at only one hundred gold. Not many seemed interested in bidding on an aging, broken slave. Cullen chimed in after Dorian’s first bid. “Keep bidding, but don’t seem overeager. We will make sure you can cover whatever the final bid is. Just do your best to keep your cool.”

The bids were up to five thousand gold when most bidders began to lose interest. It came down to two bidders, Dorian and someone with a far too familiar voice. They both kept bidding, in increments of one hundred gold. When they reached seventy-five hundred gold, Danarius asked them both to step forward. Dorian tried not to look nervous when he stepped closer, but he felt a flash of anger when he recognized the opposing bidder. Rilienus.

Rilienus narrowed his eyes when he saw Dorian, but said nothing.

“Gentlemen, I must ask what your maximum bid might be,” Danarius asked as he handed them each a slip of paper and a pen. “Please write it down and hand it to me.”

Dorian stared at the paper and tried to remember Rilienus’ level of wealth. His family hadn’t been very wealthy. Surely wealthier than House Augustus, but between Dorian’s own wealth and the backing of the FBI, he knew he could easily outbid the man.

Cullen chimed in. “One hundred thousand gold. Hopefully he isn’t willing to go much higher than that.”

Dorian agreed and wrote down the sum, folded the paper and handed it back to Danarius. Rilienus did the same, with a very smug look upon his face. He was confident he’d outbid a northerner from a small house.

Danarius stepped forward. “We have a winner. Magnus Augustus, I do hope you get some enjoyment out of what’s left of this slave.”

“I’m sure I will,” Dorian said, using his northern dialect. “I have some spectacular plans for him.”

Rilienus was seething but there was nothing he could do but skulk away back into the crowd.

“Prepare the slave for his new master!” Danarius ordered. The same two muscular men came back and unbuckled Leto from the bench. They carried Leto away and Dorian hoped they wouldn’t abuse him further. “He will be handed to you once the money has been transferred into my account. Please follow me and we’ll settle the details.”

Dorian followed Danarius as his heart hammered in his chest. He couldn’t believe he would be able to leave the party with Leto, scot free. Cullen must already be mobilizing the extraction team and he hoped that he and Leto would be on a plane out of Tevinter within the hour.

Dorian did his best to keep his hands from shaking as he signed the ownership papers for Leto, all of them using his slave name of Fenris. He then authorized the transfer of one hundred thousand gold into Danarius’ account. It took some time, but once the transfer cleared, Danarius smiled at him. “I was worried this might be a scam to steal Fenris from me. I’m glad to see your money is good.”

“I wouldn’t have bid in such a public auction otherwise,” Dorian said. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to get my new toy home so I can play with him.”

Danarius laughed. “A man after my own heart. Please, don’t let me keep you.”

Dorian rejoined Mae in the ballroom. “It’s done. Let’s go get Leto and get out of here.”

As Dorian and Mae made their way out of the estate, they met the men who were holding Leto. They had removed all the manacles and cock cage, and replaced the iron collar with a black leather one. The elf was in no shape to walk on his own, and was barely conscious, so one of the men carried him to the limousine. They got Leto settled and finally left.

Mae looked at Dorian before she stepped into the limo and Dorian was breathing a sigh of relief as he followed her. Dorian heard shouting as he was about to close the door. Rilienus was running towards them. “Stop them! He’s an imposter!”

Dorian hastily shut the door. “Get us out of here now!” Dorian shouted at the driver. The limo peeled away from the estate just as Rilienus and the guards reached them, leaving them to pound on the car once before they were too far away. The guards immediately began shooting, Mae and Dorian ducking down and pulled the catatonic Leto down with them. “This limo is built to be bulletproof, but better safe than sorry.”

“Cullen? Are you still there? Where do we go?” Dorian asked.

“There is a small airfield about five miles from your location. The extraction team will meet you there,” Cullen instructed, giving the directions to the airfield.

Dorian relayed the information to the driver and he sped up, knowing they were already being pursued by Danarius’ guards and possibly Rilienus’ men.

“Do you know that man you were bidding against?” Mae asked.

“Unfortunately,” Dorian groaned. “We had been…in a rather tumultuous relationship. It didn’t end well. I’ll tell you all about it when we’re not being chased by a bunch of murderous psychopaths.”

The limousine screeched to a halt and Dorian got out and began to lift Leto. Their pursuers weren’t far behind and Dorian had to hurry. As he hefted Leto into his arms in a bridal carry, he saw Mae reach to close the door. “Aren’t you coming with us?”

“No, I can take care of myself. Now go, Dorian! Go!”

Dorian shifted Leto in his arms and ran for the waiting airplane. The agents welcomed him on board. They didn’t wait to take off, pulling up the small stairs and closing the door as the aircraft already began to move. Dorian strapped Leto into a seat and strapped himself next to the withdrawn elf. Dorian knew Leto would need a lot of medical attention once they arrived back in Denerim, but for now he was just glad the elf was away from Danarius.

Dorian took Leto’s hand in his as he felt the plane take off. “Don’t worry Amatus, you’re safe now.”

Leto looked over at him with lifeless eyes. “Yes, Master.”

Chapter Text

Dorian paced in the hospital waiting room, while Cullen sat bouncing his knee. “How long does it take for them to diagnose that he’s been traumatized?” Dorian growled in frustration.

“They know he’s traumatized,” Cullen said. “They need to determine how badly and what needs to be done to help him.”

Dorian slumped into a seat next to Cullen. “I know. You’re right. I just want to see him and reassure him that he’s safe. Being surrounded by strangers can’t be helping.”

“It’s necessary to understand the depth of his trauma,” Cullen said. “I’ve seen this before with some of the victims we’ve rescued. All we can hope for is that there is a way to help Leto come back to us with enough time and treatment.”

“How is the rescue mission for the other agents going?” Dorian thought to ask. “I had nearly forgotten about that.”

“That’s the good news,” Cullen replied. “I meant to tell you, but with everything going on there just hasn’t been the time. We used your rescue of Leto as a distraction to rescue the others. We managed to get them all out safely. Needless to say, they are all in various states of trauma themselves, but I don’t think any of them had been treated nearly as harshly as Leto was.”

“That is good news,” Dorian said. “At least something good came out of that mess. I’m just glad we got out of there just after Rilienus figured it out.”

“As am I,” Cullen agreed.

A doctor approached the two of them. “Which of you is Leto’s next of kin?”

They both stood. “Neither of us, to be honest,” Cullen spoke up. “I’m his director at the FBI, and Dorian here was his…?”

“Well, I guess you could call me his boyfriend,” Dorian said with a shrug. “We’d been seeing each other for several months before all this happened. We practically lived together, but not officially. I was hoping to ask him to move in after he returned from his mission.”

“Do either of you know how to contact his immediate family?” the doctor asked.

“He doesn’t have any,” Cullen replied. “His parents both died when he was still a teen, and it’s likely his sister is also deceased. I know he tried looking for her using FBI resources, but he never found a trace.”

The doctor hummed thoughtfully for a moment. “Well, technically neither of you have any legal connection to him, but he’s in no shape to be left on his own either. With no next-of-kin, would either of you you be willing to take on the responsibility of caring for him?”

“Absolutely!” Dorian said immediately. “I’ll make sure he gets the very best care. Whatever he needs.”

“I’ll have the hospital administrator draw up the legal paperwork then,” the doctor replied. “The psychologist is still assessing his mental condition now. Physically, he’ll recover from his injuries. No bones were broken. The worst of it were the bruises to his kidneys, but thankfully not severe enough to cause long-term damage. Long-term, it’s the trauma to his mind that we’re most concerned about.”

“Understood,” Dorian said. “May I go see him? Please?”

“As soon as the psychiatrist is done with the evaluation,” the doctor replied. “I’ll have a nurse come and fetch you.”

Dorian slouched back into one of the chairs. “Well, at least physically he’ll be okay. That’s something. I hope with time and care, his mind will also heal.”

“Well, for now he’s been put on medical leave,” Cullen said. “His salary will still be paid for the time being. If it’s determined that he may never make a full recovery, we’ll most likely retire him fully. Even so, he’s permanently off active duty. I’ll not see him sent into the field again, regardless of the circumstances.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” Dorian replied. “I don’t think I’d have let you if you did.”

“You really do care for him, don’t you?” Cullen asked. “I’m glad he finally found someone. He always pushed people away. Despite his early protestations, I could tell he was drawn to you, right from the start.”

***

The nurse finally came for them and Dorian sprang up, eager to see Leto. “Are you coming?” he asked Cullen who continued to sit.

“Oh, no, I don’t want to intrude,” Cullen replied. “You can fill me in when you’re done.”

Dorian nodded and followed the nurse.

As he entered Leto’s room, he had to hold back the emotions that flooded through him. Leto looked so small and frail, just lying there. Then he saw that Leto was cuffed to the bed and anger was the only emotion that welled to the surface. “What’s the meaning of this?!”

The elven woman that was standing next to Leto’s bed turned around. “I’m sorry, and you are?”

“His boyfriend,” Dorian replied. “Dorian Pavus. Now please explain to me why Leto is restrained to the bed?”

“He kept trying to leave, he was looking for his Master,” she said with disgust.

Just then Leto’s eyes focused on him. “Master! I’m sorry, I tried to come for you, but they wouldn’t let me go until I spoke to them. Please, don’t punish me. I’m sorry Master.”

The woman looked at Dorian with a horrified expression. “You!? Did you do this to him?!”

Dorian put up his hands defensively. “No, my dear leady, I assure you I did not,” Dorian replied. “I was the one who rescued him. I can prove it. I have video footage of the final trauma he was subjected to.”

“So why does he think you’re his master?” she asked pointedly.

“In order to rescue him, I had to bid on his auction,” Dorian explained. “However, I used a false identity, so the sale was somewhat illegal. It was the only way to get him away from his former master. He’s the one who traumatized him.”

“I’m Dr. Sabrae. Merrill Sabrae,” she introduced herself. “I am the psychiatrist that’s been evaluating Mr. Freeman. He’s never mentioned a boyfriend.”

“Has he mentioned being an FBI agent and having lived in Denerim for the past decade either?” Dorian asked.

“No, he hasn’t,” she admitted. “So, his true persona is buried more deeply that I thought.”

“Will he be able to recover?” Dorian asked.

“His trauma is quite severe,” she said. “Perhaps, with time, treatment and possibly medication. Some people come back from severe trauma, others never do. I can only assume that right now his mind is currently protecting itself from further trauma by burying his true self behind this slave persona.”

“I care very much for him,” Dorian explained. “He has no next-of-kin, so I’ve offered to take care of him. Whatever care he needs, I’ll make sure he has it.”

“That’s good,” she replied. “I’m glad to know he has someone, even if he currently thinks of you as someone who might punish him. Can you go reassure him that won’t happen?”

“Oh yes, of course,” Dorian replied.

Dorian approached the side of Leto’s bed. “Amatus. Leto. Please, don’t be afraid. No one is ever going to punish you again. I won’t let them hurt you. I promise.”

Leto looked up at him. “No punishment, Master? Thank you.”

“Please, call me Dorian. Do you remember me? I’m Dorian Pavus, that annoying Vint you were forced to work with.”

Leto knit together his brows as a look of confusion crossed it for a moment. “Dorian? But you’re my new Master…I should address you appropriately.”

“We’re not in Tevinter anymore,” Dorian said. “And I would very much like it if you called me by my name. Please?”

Leto gave a little nod. “Oh…okay…Dorian.”

“Thank you,” Dorian said as he reached out and stroked Leto’s hair. The elf leaned into the touch like a man starved. “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you get the best of care.”

“When do we get to go home, Mas…Dorian?” Leto asked.

“I’m still working that out,” Dorian replied. “You need to stay in the hospital for a little while so you can get better. I’ll see if I can bring you home with me after that, alright?”

“Okay,” Leto replied.

“Also, listen to the doctors,” Dorian thought to add. “Then they won’t need to restrain you. I will come and visit you every day until you’re well.”

“Yes, Dorian.”

Dorian sighed. He feared that now his name was just a simple substitute for Master, but they could address that on another day.

Turning to Dr. Sabrae, “So how bad is it?” he asked.

“He’s retreated very far into his mind,” Dr. Sarbae said. “It’s caused him to have selective amnesia. He knows and remembers many things but only from the framework of his status as a slave. Anything that challenges that framework confuses or upsets him.”

“Can he recover?”

“Perhaps,” she replied. “It will take time, and even if he does, he’ll still probably suffer from the aftereffects of the trauma for the rest of his life.”

“Alright, we’ll just take it one day at a time, I suppose.” Dorian said. “Where do I go to sign all the legal paperwork?”

The doctor directed him, and he made his way there. It turned out that based on the paperwork, Dorian was essentially taking legal guardianship of Leto. The hospital had deemed Leto incapable of making decisions for himself, so Dorian was now giving those rights.

“Why does this feel like just another form of slavery?” Dorian asked as he signed the documents.

“You don’t plan to treat him like a slave, do you?” the administrator asked.

“No, of course not,” Dorian replied. “I know this is the right thing to do, at least until Leto regains his mind again. I just fear he’ll be quite angry about it all when he does.”

“Until he does, it’s essential he has someone who cares about his best interests,” the administrator said.

“Yes, I know you’re right.”

After signing all the paperwork, Dorian found Cullen in the waiting room. “You’re still here? Would you like to go see him?”

Cullen shook his head. “I…just felt like I should wait for you. Care to fill me in over drinks?”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Dorian replied.

They made their way to a bar just down the street from the hospital and Dorian told Cullen everything he had discussed with Dr. Sabrae.

“Maker,” Cullen said after taking a long drink of his whiskey. “I should never have let him go on that mission. I told him it was too dangerous, but he insisted.”

“He did?” Dorian asked, surprised. “He told me he wasn’t given a choice and he was happy to perform his duty.”

“That sounds like Leto,” Cullen chuckled. “Always putting everyone else first. He was bound and determined to bring down all human trafficking in and out of Tevinter. It was a risky mission, but he insisted he had it under control. We still aren’t sure exactly what went wrong. All we do know is that there was a leak, but haven’t determined the source yet.”

“Well if Leto ever recovers his mind, I may have to have words with him,” Dorian said. “I’m just glad you won’t send him on any more missions.”

***

It took two weeks before Dr. Sabrae was ready to release Leto into Dorian’s custody. One afternoon she called Dorian and told him to come fetch his charge. “I’m not making anymore progress with him here. Having him go back to more familiar surroundings will probably do more to help his mind recover.

“I’ll be there within the hour,” Dorian replied before hanging up the phone.

Dorian had been preparing for this. He made sure he had all of Leto’s favorite foods stocked. All of the things Leto had left behind at Dorian’s were still there, but Dorian also went out and bought some sets of more casual clothing for him as well. He didn’t think Leto was prepared to be wearing a suit and tie every day, just yet.

Leto was quiet when Dorian came to pick him up, and in the taxi ride back to Dorian’s apartment. As Dorian led Leto into his apartment, he asked. “Does any of this look familiar?”

The elf looked around the apartment, walking through the living room, running his hand along the back of the couch. “It reminds me of a dream I had, long ago.”

Dorian walked over to Leto and wrapped his arms around the elf, much as he once did. “That wasn’t a dream. You used to come here often. I would cook dinner and we’d drink wine.”

Leto’s breathing sped up and he shook his head and struggled out of Dorian’s grasp. “No, it was a dream. I was never free. I was bad to believe I was. I was bad for trying to run away. Please, don’t punish me. Please.” Leto fell to his knees, bowing before Dorian as sobs wracked his body.

Dorian knelt down in front of Leto, encouraging the elf to sit up. He took a hand and gently lifted his chin, making him look at Dorian. “Remember what I said? I will never punish you. You are safe here. I will never hurt you. I promise.”

“If I’m bad, I’ll be punished.”

“You can’t be bad,” Dorian insisted.

“If I break the rules, then it means I’m bad.”

“There are no rules here,” Dorian said. “I may ask things of you, but I will never order or demand them. You cannot be bad if there are no rules to break.”

“No rules?!”

Dorian smiled and nodded. “No rules.”

“Then how will I know how to serve you?” Leto asked in a panic.

“Leto, you aren’t here to serve me,” Dorian said. “You are here to get better. I care about you, and I just want to help you, alright?”

“If I’m not here to serve you, what am I to do?” Leto asked.

“Get well again,” Dorian said. “Get as well as you can. I’m here to take care of you until you do. If you recover fully, then it will be up to you to do whatever you want.”

“What if I want to stay with you?” Leto asked.

“Then you’re welcome to stay with me. You can stay as long as you want,” Dorian replied. “I just want to make you happy.”

***

The first night was difficult. Dorian had gotten ready for bed in his usual manner, and when he came into the bedroom he found Leto naked on the bed on all fours, with his head down and ass up. He was also trembling with fright.

“Leto, please, I’m not going to have sex with you,” Dorian said as he tried to pull Leto up.

Leto shrunk away from him. “You…don’t want to use me…Mas..Dorian?”

“I will never use you like that,” Dorian reassured him. “I told you that you’re not here to serve me, and I never want to hurt you. I will not force you to do something you clearly don’t want to do.”

“Okay.”

“Tell me, would you prefer to sleep in here with me? Or would you like to sleep out on the sofa in the living room?” Dorian asked.

“I can choose?”

“Yes, of course you can choose,” Dorian reassured him. “You’re not a slave anymore. You might not remember this, but you slept on that sofa before and I think you told me it was very comfortable.”

“Then I’ll choose the sofa, please,” Leto replied.

“Alright, let me get you some sheets, pillows and a blanket,” Dorian said as he walked out into the hall to his linen closet.

Once Leto was settled on the couch, Dorian wished him good night and went to bed. It wasn’t until Dorian allowed himself to relax that the tears came. He had Leto back, but he wasn’t his Leto. He wasn’t the Leto that happily beat Dorian’s ass red and then fucked him into the mattress. This Leto was a scared, timid survivor of horrific abuse.

In that moment, Dorian allowed himself to grieve for the loss of his Leto, as he sobbed into the pillow. He must have been sobbing too loudly because Leto came in moments later to check on him.

“Dorian? Are you alright?” Leto asked. “Have I done something wrong?”

Dorian quickly wiped his eyes. “Yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”

“Are you lonely?” Leto asked.

“Yes, I suppose I am, a little,” Dorian confessed.

“I’m a little lonely, too.”

“Would you like to lie with me for a little while? I promise, no sex, and you can go back to the sofa any time you like,” Dorian offered.

Leto nodded and crawled into the bed next to Dorian and tentatively curled next to him. Dorian wrapped his arms around the smaller elf and just held him loosely. “Is this alright?”

“Yes, thank you,” Leto said as he clung to him.

Dorian laid awake for a long time.

***

Days turned to weeks. Leto slowly learned to not treat Dorian like a master, and became less fearful of him. Still, there were times he would still flinch away, and he often woke with nightmares. Some nights he would sleep contentedly on the sofa and other nights he clung to Dorian.

Three days each week Dorian would take Leto in for sessions with Dr. Sabrae. He was slowly making progress, but he still had a mental block preventing his true self from coming to the fore. “I think it will either just happen suddenly one day, or it may never happen at all. I just hope you keep caring for him regardless. I don’t think he could take being abandoned.”

“I would never do that, no matter what happens,” Dorian assured her. “I’m in this for the long haul. I care about him too much not to do whatever it takes to keep him safe and happy.”

“That’s all I needed to hear,” she replied.

***

One evening, they sat together in the living room watching a movie when Leto rose and casually made his way to the kitchen. “I’m going to open the Agregio Pavali. Would you like some?”

Dorian turned to Leto in shock. He sounded like his old self. “Leto?”

“Yes, Dorian?”

“Is that you?”

Leto’s face scrunched up in an odd way and then his eyes went wide. “Dorian!”

“Do you remember, Amatus? Please tell me you remember…”

“I’m…not sure, it’s all coming to me in a jumble,” Leto said as he came back and sat next to Dorian. “I remember I was going to come home early and you promised to make dinner, when I was called on that mission at the last minute…fuck! The mission! Dorian what happened?”

Dorian told Leto everything.

“You risked your life to save me?” Leto asked.

“Yes, I did, and I’d do it again if I had to,” Dorian replied. “I love you, Amatus.”

Leto launched himself into Dorian’s arms. “Dorian. I love you too. I guess I just forgot myself for a while.”

“Perfectly understandable,” Dorian replied, holding Leto tight. “After what you went through. I doubt I would have survived that.”

They just held each other for a long time. When Leto finally let him go, his face was wet with tears. “Thank you for your patience with me. I’m starting to remember parts of the last few weeks. You never once tried to take advantage of me, did you? Would you have kept taking care of me like that? Even if my mind never recovered?”

“Yes, of course,” Dorian replied as he reached up to wipe the tears from Leto’s face. “You have no one else, I couldn’t possibly abandon you like that. You would have ended up in a state institution somewhere. That’s a fate nearly as bad as winding up back in Tevinter.”

Leto nodded. “True.”

***

The next day Leo had an appointment with Dr. Sabrae and he insisted Dorian join. Normally, Dorian would just sit in the waiting room until the session was over. Dr. Sabrae seemed a bit surprised by Leto’s insistence.

“Has something happened?” she asked as they all sat down.

“My mind has returned to me,” Leto said. “I know I will continue to suffer lingering affects from the trauma I suffered, but at least now, I am of my own mind again. I’m no longer stuck in the slave mindset that I was in.”

“I just knew it would happen suddenly!” Dr. Sabrae said excitedly. “Now our real work can begin.”

They spoke at length regarding how much Leto remembered of his mission, his time in captivity and his rescue. He had flashes of recollection but there were a lot of gaps as well.

“You will most likely suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,” Dr. Sabrae said. “It’s too soon to know how bad it will be, so I won’t prescribe any medications right now, other than some valium in case of an emergency. I also strongly suggest you do not go back to living on your own, not just yet.”

“Leto knows he’s welcome to stay at my place as long as he needs to,” Dorian said.

 

***

As they left the clinic, Leto turned to Dorian. “Could we go by my apartment in the Alienage? There are few things there I’d like to retrieve.”

“Of course,” Dorian replied. “I’ve never seen your place yet.”

“I’d hoped you never would,” Leto confessed. “It’s a dump.”

When they arrived, Dorian told the taxi driver to wait for them, before following Leto up into a decrepit looking building. “You weren’t joking. I knew this area was dangerous, but I had no idea the Alienage was this badly run down.”

“All the Alienages are,” Leto said with a shrug. “No one bothers to maintain them, and most of us elves don’t earn enough to do much other than simple repairs in their own apartments.”

“Certainly, the FBI pays you a decent salary,” Dorian said as Leto stopped in front of one apartment door and unlocked it.

The interior of the apartment was threadbare. It was merely a studio with abed in one corner, a small kitchen with a table and chair, and a door that presumably led to the bathroom.

“I knew you were frugal, but this is spartan, even for you,” Dorian teased.

“I spend most of my money on my suits,” Leto shrugged. “My income isn’t that much because I’m an elf. I barely earn half of what the human agents do.”

“Well, that’s just atrocious,” Dorian replied. “Look, there was something I was going to ask you, that night you left for the mission. You spend so much of your time at my place anyway, and now you’re sort of forced to, at least for a while but…”

“But…?” Leto prompted when Dorian hesitated.

“Would you like to move in with me? I mean permanently?” Dorian asked. “I know you always wanted to hang on to your independence, but I like having you with me. We could even look for a two-bedroom place together, so you could still have your own space if you needed it?”

“I had a feeling you might ask me that,” Leto replied. “That’s sort of why I wanted to stop by here. I don’t have many belongings and I thought I’d just grab them all before we head back to your place.”

Our place,” Dorian corrected. “For as long as you can tolerate having me around.”

“Yes, our place,” Leto replied with a smile. “I like the sound of that.”

Chapter Text

10 Years Later

 Dorian is abruptly pulled out of his slumber by the sound of Leto screaming next to him. He immediately sits up and wraps his arms around the elf, pulling him close. “Hush, Amatus. It was only a dream. You’re safe. I promise, you’re safe.”

Leto stopped screaming and just clung to Dorian for several long moments, taking deep breaths to try and calm himself. Once he was finally calm again he finally spoke. “Thank you. I’m sorry to wake you. Again. All these years later and I still can’t shake these damned nightmares.”

“You know that I don’t mind,” Dorian reassured him. “Why don’t we go to the kitchen and I’ll make us some chamomile tea? That always seems to help after a particularly bad episode.”

They made their way out to the kitchen in their cozy little home. Dorian sold his condominium apartment several years before and bought a little house in one of the small suburbs outside of Denerim. Leto’s doctors had recommended it, in order to get Leto away from the stressful hustle and bustle of city living.

Leto sat himself a the kitchen table as Dorian prepared the pot of tea. Dorian kept looking at the elf from the corner of his eye as he set the kettle on the stove. Leto was still handsome as ever, even though he was a bit more rough around the edges as he struggled to get enough sleep.

Dorian was startled from his reverie by the kettle whistling. Moments later he was setting two large mugs of chamomile tea on the kitchen table, sliding one over to Leto. “Here, this should set you right again, at least for a bit.”

“Thanks,” Leto replied with a small smile. “I was just thinking back to when we first met.”

Dorian chuckled. “Yes, I’ll never forget the daggers in your eyes when you first laid eyes on me. I honestly believe if looks could kill, you would have!”

Leto reached out and took Dorian’s hand. “I’m very glad I gave in and let you work with me on that mission. I don’t know where I’d be without you. Probably locked up in some mental institution. You saved me Dorian, in so many ways.”

“You saved me, too,” Dorian replied. “I think I’d still be alone if it weren’t for you taking a chance on me.”

“A wealthy, handsome man like you?” Leto replied.

“Oh alright, perhaps not, but I’d probably have ended up with another Rilienus instead, most likely,” Dorian said with a shudder of disgust.

Leto played with the golden ring that Dorian wore. “Do you ever regret it? Getting married?”

“That was the best day of my life,” Dorian confessed. “I never imagined getting married. Can you imagine the scandal we probably caused across Tevinter? A disgraced Altus marrying an escaped slave? If my father hadn’t disowned me by then, he most certainly must have that day.”

“You did look dashing in your tuxedo,” Leto reminisced. “It was adorable how speechless you were after I recited my vows.”

“Yes, well, I had no idea you felt…that deeply for me,” Dorian replied, his mind going back to that day. “The memory of those words still gives me butterflies, Amatus.”

“You literally saved my life, how could I not feel deeply for you,” Leto replied with a squeeze of his hand.

“I know. You know I just never felt very worthy of…being loved.” Dorian said.

“I know, and I swore I would take you over my knee if you ever said that again,” Leto said with a smirk.

Dorian looked up in surprise. Leto hadn’t joked about doing something like that since before that fateful mission, and Dorian hadn’t had the heart to bring it up. “You wouldn’t dare,” Dorian goaded.

Leto drained his cup of tea and stood, making his way back to the bedroom. “To the bedroom. Now,” he ordered.

Dorian felt his cock twitch as he drained his own tea before following the command. “Yes, Sir!”

When Dorian arrived in the bedroom, Leto was already seated on the edge of the bed with his old favorite paddle in hand. Dorian had no idea Leto had even kept it after they moved.

“Take your bottoms off, then lie across my lap,” Leto instructed.

Dorian’s cock was already starting to fill, and he blushed as he revealed to Leto just how much he was looking forward to this. Leto was seated far enough back that Dorian could lay himself across Leto’s legs, while also laying on the bed.

Leto began caressing Dorian’s ass. “Still eager for your punishments I see,” Leto teased. “Tell me, why are you being punished?”

“For still believing I’m not worthy of your love,” Dorian replied.

“How many will it take for you to feel worthy?” Leto prompted.

A shiver ran down Dorian’s spine at the question. They hadn’t done this in a very long time. How many did he want? How many could he take? “Fifty, Sir. I’ll feel worthy at fifty strikes, Sir.”

“Do you still remember our safewords?” Leto asked as he picked up the paddle and caressed it along Dorian’s thighs and ass.

“Stop lights,” Dorian replied. “Red for stop, yellow for a break, green for keep going.”

“Good boy,” Leto praised, making Dorian huff with indignation. That earned him a sharp smack from the paddle.

“When I praise you, I mean it, remember?” Leto asked.

“Yes, Sir.”

“No need to count,” Leto said. “Focus on how worthy you are of my love. You saved my life when no other would have dared. You stuck by me through all these years, despite my lingering PTSD issues. You married me. All you do is take care of me. You show me how much you love me. You are worthy of so much more than just my love.”

The words alone made Dorian’s heart clench. He was about to protest when the paddle came down again, and began smack his ass in a steady, blistering rhythm. At first it didn’t hurt too much, as it began to warm his skin. Slowly the heat built, as did the stinging from each subsequent strike. Clearly Leto hadn’t lost one bit of his talent for wielding the paddle, not striking too hard or soft, just keeping up a relentless pace. Soon the pleasant sting turned into real pain, and Dorian let the absolution of it wash over him. By the time the paddling was over, he was sobbing into mattress.

Leto helped Dorian right himself and they rearranged themselves on the bed so Leto could pull Dorian into an embrace. “You needed that, didn’t you?”

Dorian nodded into Leto’s shoulder where he was still sobbing. “Yes, Sir. Thank you.”

Leto pulled Dorian back and looked at him. “Dorian Pavus, I love you with all my heart and soul, and I always will. You deserve every bit of love and affection I can bestow upon you.”

Leto wiped away Dorian’s tears and then leaned in to kiss him. They lay there kissing and holding each other until they both fell asleep again. Leto didn’t wake from another nightmare that night.

***

The next morning Dorian woke slowly. As he stretched he felt the soreness is his rear. “Ow!” he grumbled sleepily.

Leto chuckled at him from the bedroom doorway, holding a tray. “You’re the one who said he needed fifty swats last night. I would have been content to only give you twenty.”

Dorian tried to pull the covers over his head. “It didn’t used to hurt this much the next morning.”

“Come on, sit up. I made you breakfast,” Leto coaxed. When the scent of the freshly brewed coffee reached Dorian’s nose he finally stirred.

As Dorian sat up he winced as he carefully positioned his well-paddled bottom. Leto then placed the tray in Dorian’s lap and crawled into bed next to him.

“Oh, my,” Dorian said as he looked at all the delicious breakfast offerings on the tray. “What’s the occasion?”

“I wanted to thank you for last night,” Leto said. “I think I needed that release as much as you did. I slept better than I have in ages.”

“Well, my ass say’s you’re welcome,” Dorian teased before taking a sip of the coffee. Putting the cup back down, Dorian turned to Leto. “In all seriousness though, what happened last night? I never brought up doing a BDSM scene with you because I wasn’t sure if it would be a trigger, and I thought I was right since you never brought it up either.”

“Something about hearing you disparage yourself again, the way you always used to, it brought that side out of me again. The side of me that wants you to learn to let go and allow yourself to be loved,” Leto said as he leaned in and gave Dorian a quick kiss. “Also, I’ll admit I’ve been wanting to turn that beautiful ass of yours red again for a while now.”

“Well I’ll let you admire your handiwork after breakfast,” Dorian said with a laugh. “I get the feeling your therapist will see this as some kind of breakthrough.”

“Do you think I should bring this up?” Leto asked, sounding unsure. “I try not to talk too much about us because I don’t want to invade your privacy.”

“Oh, nonsense,” Dorian said. “This feels like an important turning point. Please, by all means discuss it. I don’t care if your therapist knows that I enjoy having you warm my ass on occasion.”

“I suppose you’re right,” Leto said before changing the topic. “So,  how’s your latest book coming?”

“Nearly there, actually,” Dorian replied. “Just in time too. Varric’s been riding my ass about not letting the deadline slip again.”

“He better not be riding it literally,” Leto teased.

Dorian laughed. “Oh, Maker, no. I really didn’t need that image in my head!”

***

They enjoyed a lazy morning together, finishing their breakfast and enjoying each other. They finally emerged just before noon with Dorian planning to spend the rest of the afternoon on the back porch working on his novel.

Sometime in mid-afternoon the doorbell rang. Dorian knew Leto would answer it and call him if needed. A few moments later Leto was escorting a men in a suit out onto the back porch.

Dorian looked up in surprise before he greeted their guest. “Cullen! I haven’t seen you since our wedding! What brings you around?”

“I have news that you both might want to hear,” Cullen replied. “May I sit?”

Dorian gestured to one of the empty chairs and Leto joined them as well.

“What’s happened?” Leto asked.

“We just made a significant break in the human trafficking case,” Cullen said. “It’s taken us over a decade, but we finally cracked the top of the international slavers ring and rescued a couple of thousands of slaves. The best part is that Danarius Elatus was there when the sting operation went down. He was killed during the fire fight. Oh, and one other that you may know, Dorian. A Rilienus Accius.”

Leto looked stunned at the news.

“Oh my word,” Dorian replied. “I’m not sure what to say. Congratulations, certainly. I hope you didn’t lose too many agents this time around.”

“Not a single one,” Cullen said. “We learned a lot from the mission you led, Leto. We also found out who our leak was and shut them down. The intel that Dorian gathered at that awful party also helped. I’m just sorry it’s taken us this long to finally make it happen. We may have erred on the side of caution, but it’s finally done.”

“That’s good to hear,” Leto said. “I’m glad something good came out of my blunders.”

“You did nothing wrong,” Cullen said. “Your mission should have been as successful as we just were. You didn’t know you had a leak.”

“So, who was the leak?” Dorian asked.

“Unfortunately, Agent Isabela Arvale,” Cullen said. “She got drunk, got on the slaver’s radar, and they bugged her. They even sent in an agent of their own to seduce her and keep her drunk and talking.”

Fasta vass,” Leto cursed. “So it’s because of that alcoholic bitch that I ended up in that situation? I hope she’s rotting in a cell somewhere.”

“She is,” Cullen assured him. “She was arrested and charged. She’ll be spending the rest of her life stone cold sober.”

“Good,” Leto said.

“Well, this calls for a celebration, wouldn’t you agree?” Dorian said. “At the very least I think we could all use a drink.” Dorian went into the house and fetched his decanter of brandy and three glasses, bringing them out to the porch. He poured a measure for each of them, handing Cullen and Leto theirs. “To a successful conclusion.”

They clinked glasses and just sat sipping their brandy in silence.

Once Cullen was finished with his, he stood to leave. “That’s really all I had to tell you. I thought you should hear it in person.”

“Thank you, Cullen,” Dorian said, and Leto echoed the sentiment. “Please, stay in touch.”

After Cullen had left, Dorian sat back down but instead of continuing his novel, he closed his laptop and reached out to take Leto’s hand. “Are you alright, Amatus?” Dorian asked. “You’ve been quiet about all this.”

Leto nodded. “I’m just processing it all. That monster is finally dead…but if it hadn’t been for Isabela, he would have gone down a long time ago. To think of how many suffered at his hands over the past decade.”

“I know,” Dorian said. “But now no one else will ever suffer at his hands. “I will say I’m glad Rilienus was there as well. He deserved a far worse fate than a clean death.”

Leto smirked at that. “As did Danarius.”

“Well, to the Void with both of them!” Dorian exclaimed as he poured them each another measure of brandy.

“Agreed,” Leto said as he clinked his glass with Dorian’s.

After taking a sip, Leto took a deep breath and looked at Dorian with a smile. “You know, I feel as if a great weight has lifted from my shoulders. To know that the monster who tormented me is gone. It’s…a strange feeling.”

“I agree. Rilienus wasn’t anywhere near as bad, but knowing there’s no way he’ll ever come waltzing back into my life one day, or come to try and steal you away from me…I know I’ll sleep more peacefully now,” Dorian confessed.

“After last night, and this news, I feel as if we’re starting a new chapter,” Leto said. “Like we can finally start living our lives again without being so weighed down by the past.”

“So what shall we do with this new chapter?” Dorian asked.

“Let’s go out to dinner,” Leto suggested. “We haven’t gone in so long and I think I am finally able to go and actually enjoy it. Then we can plan what we want to do next.”

“That sounds perfect,” Dorian said. “Here’s to the first day of the rest of our lives.”

They both finished their brandies and then Leto grabbed the decanter and glasses and headed back inside, turning just before he left the porch. “Now finish the work you need to do on that novel, or I may have to put you over my knee again,” Leto said with a wink.

Dorian laughed as he reopened his laptop. “Yes, Sir!”