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It always starts with that coy smile and a purse of her lips before he loses his mind, and today, it's not even noon.

He doesn't have the words to make it sound right, so in the hall he gives her a wicked twitch of a smirk and directs her - almost forcefully - toward the door of her chambers. Cullen leans down as if to whisper, but breathes against her ear instead and nuzzles his nose in her hair.

They've barely made it through the door and he pulls Althea back into him, crushes her in a kiss against the wall of her stairwell before he hooks his arms under her knees and lifts her away. She makes a delighted, excited squeak, and he feels the flush of excitement burn from the back of his neck to the top of his head, thrumming in his ears with a heartbeat he's sure echoes under his chestplate. Cullen navigates the stairs blind as she grips his shoulders and pulls herself up to kiss him, their teeth knocking, and both laugh as he almost stumbles. But his legs don't fail them, and at the top of the stairs he tightens his grip and attacks her throat with his lips, with renewed vigor, and flicks his tongue over her pulse when she sighs,

"Oh, Cullen..."

"Yes?" he asks, voice thick, and he tugs at her collar with his teeth to pop open the first button. Cullen pushes the fabric aside with his nose to kiss the hollow dip of her clavicle, slow, measured, lascivious, dragging his tongue up the length of her neck just to nibble at the bottom of her ear. She might be on fire, and so is he, and his smile widens as her skin flares and flushes from her chest to her cheeks. Althea squirms against him.

"Nevermind, ah, that--"

He shifts his grip to set her down against the bed, just made, and lets go of her long enough to divest of mantle and gloves. He tosses them to the side and spends all of three seconds to unclip his chestplate and pull it off before he returns to her. Cullen slides his hands beneath her as he climbs over, possessive, claiming, and Althea welcomes him with her hands cupping his face. She's the one to pull him back, into another heated, loving kiss.

The doors to her balcony are open, and Cullen could care less.

Her tongue tastes divine, bitter coffee and sweet fruit, dates and apples, and he can't help the long, hum of a growl from the back of his throat as she offers herself to him with a sigh. Her lips will be swollen, and his - Althea bites his bottom lip when he shifts - oh Maker, who cares? Cullen rocks against her, once, twice, until she hooks one ankle on his hip and he can press his cock, heavy, hard, trapped, against her. She makes a mewl against his mouth, swallowed by a grunt of praise from him, as he grinds between her legs.

His fingers work quickly. He's taken off this shirt countless times, and she grips his hair to angle him over her, turns sharply to the side to deepen her reach, the press and slant of her mouth to his. Her layers are pushed back to her shoulders before Cullen leaves her mouth with a pop, pausing long enough to wipe the saliva on the edge of his lips. He kisses a trail down her sternum, and works his hands down her body, massaging, groping, appreciating. Soft skin, gentle soap that smells of sweet pea and lavender -- home. Does she know? That's how he feels? He kisses her softer, appreciating, pays attention to each little freckle and beauty mark that graces the length of her, hopes it translates, driven to kiss more, softer and harder and tasting, memorizing, with each delighted whimper and gasp.

Cullen reaches the line of her hip and her fingers twist more tightly in his hair.

He writes her name with his tongue along the dip of her pelvis, kisses her like he hasn't seen her in days (it's been hours). Cullen looks up to her moan, slows his kisses until she looks back at him.

"Lift your hips," he murmurs as he undoes the laces of her breeches, and she does as he asks, holding herself up on one elbow while covering her mouth with her other hand.

Cullen brushes his nose against her pearl first once he's pulled pants and smalls to her knees, and turns his attention to long, slow, deep kisses against her.

"You shouldn't tease me," he says, near-grunts, as she tries to muffle her moans. He holds her steady as he slides his tongue inside of her - can't help grinning like a fool to the stammered, "Cullen!" - and Cullen is a fool, but a determined one, so he works slowly. Circling, suckling, humming against her, savouring. Spreading the taste of her, hot, wet, and grazing his teeth against that swollen bud, gripping her hips down as he does to control her reaction, control her pleasure under him.

Her cries get higher in pitch, and the hand that covers her mouth now grips the thick duvet, as she repeats his name in stuttered circles.

"You drive me mad, it's your turn," he says, a playful promise, but isn't sure if she hears him, and he moves one hand from her hip brush his knuckles against her slit, slick and begging.

"Oh, vhenan, please--"

He flattens his tongue against her as he slides in two fingers, feels the electricity spark through his veins to her cry, mixed languages as he draws the pace languid, torturous. His neck aches a little, but he's so drunk on the -- the sight, sound, reality, she's undone in his arms, to his touch.

He curls both fingers wickedly inside of her and she keens.

"Good girl," he praises -

Just in time for the door at the stairs to groan as it's brought open. Althea claps a hand over her mouth once more and Cullen, never a man to lose a battle, sucks hard on her clit, her hips buck and twist and she she tightens around him, muffled whimpers, as -

"Inquisitor Lavell--"

Cullen lifts his head to growl, "She's busy, Lady Montilyet!"

Silence, even from Althea, with her eyes screwed shut and her heavy breaths held as she comes down.

Cullen drops his mouth back down to her to fill the room again with Althea's maddening, sweet voice, and the door swings shut.