She awoke to the soft light of the sunrise flooding in through her bedroom windows, accompanied by the gentle cool breeze from the Frostbacks. Breathing in the crisp air, she sighed happily, taking her precious time to fully awaken; she stretched her limbs, popping the joints until her body felt perfect. She moved her left arm up to wipe the crusty sleep from her eyes, but remembered halfway through the motion that she was now down a hand and forearm. It was certainly taking some getting used to, and the appendage had been gone over two months now.
Wiping her eyes with her right hand instead, she used her stump to push herself up, and turning her head, found the most lovely sight in the world. A head of messy blond curls, normally so perfectly constructed by their owner, now wild and crazy, sticking out in every direction. Smiling fondly, she maneuvered her body forward, until her chest was pressed firmly against his side. Leaning in, her plump lips met his in a soft kiss, one that was quite chaste yet so tender. Just as she began to pull away, she felt his lips turn up into a smile as he awoke, and a hand tangled in her short platinum hair, coaxing her into another, more passionate kiss.
She giggled into the kiss as he rolled on top of her, trapping her beneath his form of solid muscle, his fingers gently tugging at her short hair as his lips caressed hers. She wrapped her arm around his back, sliding her hand down his spine until she reached his firm yet supple butt, pinching it teasingly. He broke away from the kiss in surprise, looking at her with a playful glare as she gave him a sinful smile; removing his hands from her hair, he slowly ran them down her sides until he reached her breasts, taking one in each hand and giving them a light squeeze. Moaning, she arched her back as he massaged her chest, leaning back down to kiss and suck at her lithe neck.
“Cullen…” She breathed out his name as a sigh of both relief and ecstasy, her body instantly responding to the love and care he was giving her as he worshipped her skin. He smiled against her neck as she sighed his name, placing a gentle kiss on her racing pulse point whilst pinching one of her perky nipples. She cried out his name again, her back lifting off the bed; needing something, anything, to help ground herself, Xylia dug her fingers into his lower back, grasping at his skin. Cullen responded by shuffling down her form, groaning at the delicious pain of her fingernails scratching up his spine, and sealing his lips over her left nipple. He lathed his tongue over her nipple and breast, while his right hand ran down her chest, over her stomach, and into the curly platinum hairs just above her sex.
“Fuck, Cullen…!” she cried out as he began to massage her clitoris, rubbing the soft little bud until it became firm under his index finger. Shifting his thumb to her clit and continuing to rub, his index finger ran down her slit, and plunged into her weeping cunt. She cried out in ecstasy, moaning loudly as he fucked her with his finger, adding a second finger once she was wet enough. Her whole body felt alight as he loved her, skin covered in sweat and mouth agape, her breathing fast paced.
“Please! I… need you!” she cried out, moving her hand up to his head, grasping his curly blond hair in her fingers, and pulling his head off her chest. He gazed down at her, his honey brown eyes dark as their eyes met; she was breathing heavily, and felt as if she would explode any moment. Removing his fingers from her cunt, she whimpered sadly at the lost contact, but he made up for it as he sucked his soaked fingers into his mouth, tasting her sweetness. Once his fingers were clean, he leaned back onto his haunches, placing his hands on her legs and moving them even farther apart until she was completely open to him.
“Yes?” he asked, gazing into her emerald green eyes.
“Yes, please,” she sighed, her head leaning back against the pillow as she waited in delight for him to enter her. Smiling, he took his cock into his hand, giving it a few quick strokes before lining it up at her entrance. He took a deep breath, one that shuddered just a bit as the tip of his penis grazed her wetness, and then slowly, almost agonizingly so, pushed himself inside her. They both let out a low moan, their eyes fluttering shut, and Cullen ran his hand from her thigh to connect with her hand, their fingers intertwining as he began to pump in and out.
“Maker’s breath,” Cullen breathed out as he squeezed his wife’s hand, picking up the pace of his thrusts until he was at a steady and deep rhythm. Xylia cried out in delight as he lovingly fucked her, and she squeezed his hand as well, using their joined hands to pull him down on top of her; this surprised Cullen, but he kept his pace, and steadied himself over her, resting his forearm beside her head. Moving her other arm, she reached up, wanting to caress his face, until she again remembered that she was lacking her other hand.
Noticing her outstretched stump, Cullen dipped his head and brushed his cheek against it, his eyes meeting hers as he did so. Xylia smiled, caressing his cheek as best she could, and he returned her smile, turning his head to kiss her arm sweetly. Moving his head, he rested his forehead against hers, his thrusts increasing slightly in pace and force, his eyes fluttering closed as he basked in the glory of their joint pleasure.
“Ma vhenan,” she groaned softly, shutting her eyes and leaning up, kissing him tenderly; even though he had only just asked her to teach him some elven after they had married, Cullen instantly knew what she had said. His lips ravished hers in response, and one arm slid down her body to rouse her hips upwards, giving him a new angle that made him somehow sink even farther inside her. Xylia was filled to the brim with her husband, and his presence and heat consumed her.
Her fingers had moved into his hair once more, and she tugged at the messy curls, lost in the absolute pleasure of their vigorous lovemaking. She knew she was reaching her end, and she could tell her husband was close as well. Wrapping her legs tightly around his waist, she began to move her hips in perfect synchronicity with his, their sexes making incredibly lewd noises as they connected continuously. He groaned out her name, almost like a prayer to the Maker; they were both about to lose themselves to unimaginable pleasure, and they were more than ready.
With a few final quick thrusts, Cullen called out her name, shouting it so loud that Xylia was sure all of Skyhold could hear him, and he came inside her with an almost animalistic growl. Whilst in the midst of reaching his own personal nirvana, he moved his hand in between their close forms, and flicked the swollen nub that lay atop her sex. Xylia gasped with surprise and delight as her orgasm erupted in her loins, sending wonderful shivers all throughout her body, and making her vision go white.
As she came back to reality from that mind-blowing orgasm, Xylia found herself still beneath her husband, who was panting and sweaty, worn out from such intense and passionate sex. He raised his head slightly, meeting her eyes, which were still just as dark with desire as his own, and he let out a chuckling sigh. Pulling out of her slowly, he lifted himself off her body and flopped down beside her on the bed, his breath beginning to even out as he finally got some air back into his lungs.
“Well… good morning,” Cullen breathed out in another chuckle, turning to look at Xylia, who was still trying to catch her breath. She laughed heartily, turning her head to gaze at him, rolling her eyes playfully at his sudden nonchalance; she them used her stump to push off the mattress, maneuvering herself to lay partially on top of his chest.
“And a very good morning to you too,” she replied, leaning down to capture his lips once more, but this time, only briefly. “I take it you slept well?”
“Surprisingly, yes. This has been my third nightmare-less sleep in a row,” he answered with a wide grin, his left hand reaching up to run fingers through her messy hair. “You just have that effect on me. I always sleep better when you're here.”
At this, Xylia's heart melted; her husband was not only strong, smart, and oh-so handsome, but he always said the sweetest things to her, and she often wondered how she had got so lucky, as to have this incredible man hold her heart. Unable to resist, she placed her lips to his once more, hoping to convey through this soft and intimate touch, just how much he meant to her. By the way his fingers tightened in her hair, and his lips ravished her own, she knew he understood.
Pulling away slowly, Xylia rolled off of Cullen, and pushed herself up into a sitting position, stretching her joints, listening to the little cracks and pops as her body once again adjusted for the day ahead. Pushing off the large bed, she padded around the bed, and entered the adjoining bathing room. After relieving herself, she grabbed a cool, wet washcloth and began to rub any remnants of their previous activity from her body. She then opened the nearby small chest of herbs, and extracted the sap from a small piece of fresh Witherstalk, swallowing the bitter syrup dutifully; there was still much work to be done, so no baby Rutherford's just yet. Once she felt refreshed, she came back out into the bedroom, where she found Cullen dressing himself for the day.
“I cannot believe we leave today,” he remarked softly, looking out the open doors onto the Frostbacks as he tightened his belt around his waist, adjusting the sheathed sword so it rested in it's perfect place at his side. “Sometimes, it feels like just yesterday that we lost Haven and found this place.”
“I know what you mean,” she replied, walking over to her drawers and pulling out her normal garb; light brown pants, a leather corset, a red undershirt, and white gloves, scarf, belt, and boots. “It's strange that that was our last night here. But I'm excited for what our future holds.”
“Me too.” After three years in Skyhold, the now former Inquisitor, and the former Commander of her forces, now her husband, were off to start a new adventure; one they both hoped would be considerably less dangerous and deadly. Just a month earlier, the Inquisition had been disbanded, by order of the Inquisitor herself. The war was over, and it was time for their forces to sheath their swords, and go home. But not everyone still had somewhere to call home, so Xylia had spent the last month transforming Skyhold into a safe haven for those who had nowhere else to turn.
Former Knight Captain Rylen had been chosen to be the one to take over maintaining Skyhold, having fully proven himself as a compassionate yet strong man in his years of service under Cullen. He promised to keep the peace, and make Skyhold a flourishing home for it's more permanent tenants, as well as a bustling trading hub, and refuge for anyone in need; the former home base for the Inquisition couldn't be in better hands.
Since they no longer had battles to fight and armies to command, Xylia and Cullen had made a decision to leave Skyhold, and begin a more peaceful and secluded life back in Ferelden. Cullen, having been off lyrium for over two years now, wanted to help his fellow Templars who were questioning the recent decisions of the order, or had been cut off from their supply for one reason or another, or were simply losing their minds to lyrium, and needed a quiet place to spend their last days; so, he decided to open a clinic. Hearing of his noble idea, Divine Victoria and King Alistair worked out a deal, and granted Cullen a farm with land upon which to build the clinic, and a home for himself and his new wife.
To his siblings utter delight, this land just happened to be on the border of South Reach. And to Xylia's delight, just a day's journey away lay the Brecilian Forest, where she had heard rumors of remnants of her clan had taken refuge. When she had heard that everyone she had known and loved had been slaughtered, she had been distraught and quite angry. But Sera and her Jenny's had found evidence suggesting that some had made it out alive, and were heading to Ferelden, hoping to find a safer place to call home.
The young couple was thrilled to finally be done with dignitaries and wars, and whatever other nonsense they had had to deal with during their time as Inquisitor and Commander. They were ready to really start their lives together, building a home and a family, whilst still aiding those in need. But while the Inquisition could sometimes be exhausting, they had been such big parts of it for so long, that it was bittersweet to let it all go.
“Well,” Cullen began, pulling them both out of their contemplation, “we should probably finish packing. It's a long journey ahead, and I'm hoping to make it to Redcliffe by nightfall.” Xylia smiled and nodded, and the two began to bustle around the room, grabbing everything from clothes, to trinkets, to documents, etcetera. They weren't planning to leave anything of value behind, since they had no plans to ever return to Skyhold.
Just as Xylia was finishing packing her final trunk, the crystal on her bedside table began to glow brightly, and make a soft buzzing noise, as if there was a bee flying nearby. Grinning with delight, she picked up the crystal and placed it over her neck, activating it with a bit of mana.
“Dorian,” she said with a sigh of relief, a warm smile on her face as her dearest friend began to speak through the sending crystal.
“Xy! Oh my, I was wondering if I was going to catch you! I know you and Cully are leaving today, and I just wanted to wish you safe travels!” Dorian, cheerful as ever, always made the Inquisitor's heart happy. While he may be a Tevinter Magister, he was still her dearest friend, and she was so pleased she could still hear his voice, even though they were so far apart.
“'Cully’?” Cullen replied indignantly, scowling towards the glowing crystal in his wife's hand. Xylia merely giggled at her husband, rolling her eyes at the silliness of the pet name her friends had given to her love.
“Thank you, Dorian. We've just finished packing. We'll be setting out as soon as possible, and we're hoping to reach Redcliffe by nightfall. We'll be staying with Arl Teagan overnight, at Redcliffe Castle.”
“Ahh! Our old stomping grounds. Well, at least in an alternate reality where we didn't win, and everything went, well, ghastly,” he remarked, and Xylia laughed, which in turn caused Dorian to laugh.
“There's still no one I'd rather be stuck in time with,” Xylia said softly, remembering what she had said to Dorian all those years ago when he decided to join their cause. “I miss you. Terribly,” she remarked, clutching the crystal ever so slightly tighter.
“I miss you too,” he replied, his voice just as melancholic as her own. “Once you get all settled in, and I'm less busy, I'll make my way down south and visit you and your quaint little farm. How does that sound?”
“That sounds perfect,” she said with a delighted laugh, smiling widely even though she knew he could not see her.
“Wonderful! I'll see you soon then. Safe travels to both of you! Goodbye, Xylia.”
“Thank you. Goodbye, Dorian.”
Xylia stood there, unmoving, as the light from the crystal faded. She let it fall to her chest, resting right near her heart, and it was only then that she felt a tear run down her cheek. Before she could move her now free hand to wipe away the tear track, a strong arm wrapped around her waist, and a calloused yet gentle hand cane up to her cheek and brushed away her tears. As her eyes met his, she gave him a bittersweet smile, and she didn't even have to say anything for him to understand how she felt. Pulling her against his solid chest, he held her close, letting her feel safe and secure as she let her feelings be felt.
After a few minutes, she pulled back slightly, giving him a warm smile, and sealing her lips over his in a brief but loving kiss. “Thank you,” she whispered, her lips just a breath away from his own.
“Of course. Ma vhenan,” he responded, his elven accent not yet great, but even his good-hearted attempt made her heart full. She nuzzled her nose into his neck, placing the occasional kiss on the soft skin there, and for what felt like an eternity, they basked in the closeness of one another.
The caravan was loaded, the horses were ready, and the two of them had said their goodbyes to the friends they we're leaving behind. Knight-Captain Rylen had been officially given control of Skyhold by the Inquisitor and her Commander, in front of all of its occupants; Pilgrims, soldiers,templars, mages, refugees… all of them now had a safe haven, somewhere they could stay if they needed, and somewhere that they could start anew. Leaving Skyhold in such good hands, with such a good cause in mind for its future, was quite the easy decision for the former Inquisitor. She knew that this lovely place would continue to thrive, even longer after she had left this world.
Hoisting himself up onto the driver's seat, Cullen settled himself in before reaching a hand down, an offer to help his wife aboard. She gladly took his hand, a thankful smile on her lips, and sat down beside him on the driver's perch. They sighed in unison, an action that made them both chuckle, before Cullen gathered the reins into his hands, and whipped them quickly. The horses began to pull, and the cart jolted slightly forward, taking a moment to adjust to the sudden movement, but soon falling into pace with the horses as they pulled it along. Taking her only hand in his left, he squeezed it tightly, and they turned to look at each other as they exited the gates of Skyhold, the cheers of well-wishers fading with each passing moment; soon, they were in the heart of the Frostbacks, and the only sounds they could hear were the whistling of the wind, the faint chirping of birds, and each other's breathing. It was so calm and serene, it felt as if they had entered some fantastical world that you only read about in stories. And that made it all the more magical.
As the horses continued to carry them through the mountains, the couple began to talk; of the past, the present, and even their fast-approaching future. “I'm so excited to meet your siblings. The way you talk about them makes them seem absolutely delightful. I hope to the Gods that they like me,” Xylia remarked, her head resting on Cullen's broad shoulder, her fingers tangled with his own, and playing with them.
“If by delightful, you mean annoying, then yes, I would most definitely agree,” he replied with a laugh, earning him a stern but gentle push. “And I know they'll love you. They know who you are already, so they won't be in for any big surprises. I recall Mia saying she was just overjoyed I had found someone ‘to deal with all my nonsense and brooding.’”
“You don't brood… often,” Xylia said, unable to control her laughter as her husband scowled in her direction. Hoping to appease his clearly fake anger, she pulled her hand from his and moved it to his cheek, guiding his head down until their lips met in a chaste kiss. They remained only a breath apart, gazing into each other's eyes, until one of the horses whinnied, signalling Cullen to shift his eyes back to the road ahead. A faint blush spread on his cheeks, no doubt from the embarrassment of having gotten so lost in the eyes of his wife, and this made Xylia smirk; her husband, already past thirty years old, still acted like an awkward young man, who ran away when a girl so much as tried to flirt with him. And that was just another thing she loved about him.
When they reached the base of the Frostbacks, Cullen pulled on the reins, bringing the horses and caravan to a halt. Xylia, who had fallen asleep with her head resting on his lap, woke up at the sudden jolt as they ceased movement. Turning her head, she gazed up at her husband, a dreamy smile on her lips. “Are we in Redcliffe?”
“Not just yet, my love. We've still got a few hours to go. But I need to stand and stretch, and get some food,” he said softly, running his fingers through her short platinum hair. Xylia hummed softly in delight as he massaged her scalp, nuzzling her nose into his thigh; at this, Cullen's breath hitched slightly, as if he had only just realized how close she was to his crotch.
She felt his cock twitch slightly against her head, and, not really wanting to have sex in the back of their cramped caravan, or on the forest floor, pushed herself up into a sitting position, leaning in to kiss his cheek. “Later. I promise,” she murmured against his ear, nibbling the lobe gently before pulling away and hopping off the seat.
Cullen sat there for a moment, his heart racing ever so slightly as his mind wandered to the most sinful thoughts of her. Screwing his eyes shut, he tried with all his might to make the images in his mind disappear, resorting to whispering various verses of the Chant of Light, just to focus on something that wasn't her. Finally gathering himself, he reopened his eyes and slid off the driver's seat, landing on the ground with a soft thud; taking one hand in the other, he began to stretch the stiffness from his joints, sighing in contentment as he felt and heard the satisfying pops.
As he finished stretching, her headed to the back of their cart, where he found his wife putting together a bit of food for them. Nothing too fancy, just some firm bread, baked fresh that morning in the kitchens of Skyhold, topped with a thick slice of cheese, and a small chunk of meat. When she finished preparing his, Xylia handed it to him with a smile, one which he gladly returned. With his late lunch in hand, he strode into the field by the side of the road, sitting down in the soft grass as he ate. Just as he had finished his food, he heard a happy bark come from the back of the caravan, and he turned to see Xylia laughing happily as she fed his mabari hound, Ferdinand. He had been fast asleep in the back for the first leg of the trip, but the scent of the meat Xylia had cooked for them, with just a wave of her hand, mind you, had seemed to awaken the war dog.
Standing up and striding back over to his wife and dog, Cullen grinned at the two. When Ferdinand saw his owner approach, he straightened himself up and barked a greeting, one that made Cullen nod in his direction, followed quickly by the man reaching over to pet the spot between the dog's ears. He made a sound of delight, leaning his head into the fingers of his owner, and Cullen smiled; he was so happy that he had rescued this magnificent beast from the stuffy Winter Palace. He couldn't imagine such an amazing creature stuck around the pompous and puffy Orlesian nobles. That almost seemed a fate worse than death.
After a rousing game of fetch between Ferdinand and Cullen, the mabari settled himself back into the rear of the carriage with all of the belongings, whilst Xylia and Cullen got back up onto the driver's seat. As the horses began to pull them forward again, Xylia rested her head on Cullen's shoulder once more, letting her eyes focus on the road ahead.