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Where The Heart Lies

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Skyhold was being particularly chilly today, or so it seemed to Kaaras as he wandered over to his fireplace to throw another log inside. Any minute now and he would have to start using his fire magic to keep warm, at least that was reliable compared to this room with its far-too-open windows sitting on top of a mountain. Whatever the original architect was thinking when he or she built this place Kaaras could not possibly guess.

A knock at his door made him turn a little. "Come in," he called, holding his hands out to the fire to warm them.

He heard the door open and boots clopping up the stairs. "Hello, Inquisitor," the distinct drawl of Cassandra's voice reached his ears, "I needed to—are you alright?"

Kaaras looked back at her with a smile, catching her at just the right moment to see the concern written plain on her face before she coughed and tried to compose herself. "I am fine, Cassandra," he said, turning around so his back could feel the warmth next. "Just cold, is all."

She glared at the doors and windows around his room as if they personally offended her. "I will tell Leliana to deal with this problem," she said decisively. "You shouldn't feel cold in here, no one should. What if you get sick?"

Her concern was cute, extremely cute actually, and Kaaras merely shrugged. "I think it's just a part of being Qunari. We weren't exactly made for the cold." With his hands behind his back, he flared a small fireball between them, relishing in the heat it generated. "But, what did you want to talk about? I'm all ears."

The scowl fell away from her face, replaced by something that, if it wasn't Cassandra, Kaaras might have called unease. "Yes that," she said, avoiding his eye. "In fact it has something to do with you being a qunari."

How strange. Kaaras never had to pry questions out of Cassandra and here they both were now. "Is there anything specific or...?" He shrugged again.

"Yes. How do you deal with not being in the Qun?"

That was not something he ever expected to hear. Kaaras blinked at her, his fireball fizzling out of existence in his confusion. "Um...I feel quite fine actually," he said, unsure of how to respond except with the truth. He tried to think of why Cassandra might ask such a question out of the blue like that and added: "Being a qunari has never bothered me at all. I don't feel out of place here."

"It is not that," Cassandra admitted, coming forward and placing something on his desk. It was the thick book that they had recovered from the Seekers, he recognized the eye on the cover. "In the Qun everyone has a place, a purpose that becomes their whole identity. I..." she trailed off, her fingers tracing idle patterns along the eye. "I did the same when I decided to become a Seeker. I devoted my life to the order. I never let myself even think about being anything else because I never wanted to be anything else." She jabbed her finger into the book as if she could take all her frustrations out on it. "And now they are gone. And before that they became obsolete with the war between the Templars and the mages. For the first time in my life I am bound by nothing; I am part of the Inquisition but I still always considered myself a Seeker." Her brows furrowed as she went silent, her mind obviously trying to find the right words to continue.

Unease pricked at Kaaras as he listened to her and he decided to lighten the mood before she could get too far down the track of her thoughts. "So you decided to come to me because I don't have a purpose in life?" he joked.

"What? No!" Cassandra's utter mortification was even better than he thought it would be and he had to fight to keep down his laughter. "You're the Inquisitor! But before that you were Tal-Vashoth, free and unbound by any purpose in the world. You know what it's like to live a life like that."

Oh, that. Kaaras scratched one of his horns thoughtfully. "Yes, I do, but it wasn't so great all the time. I am still a mage. I wasn't chained and had my lips sewn up like how they handle mages in the Qun but I still had problems with hiding from Templars. Sometimes even other mercenaries and Tal-Vashoth were afraid of me. So in a way I guess you could say I'm bound by that."

Cassandra was quiet for a moment, her face softening out of its scowl from his words. "I'm sorry," she said in a soft voice. "I had no idea."

"Don't get me wrong, it was great. I wouldn't have had it any other way. But being a mage still brought problems of its own."

"How foolish." The venom in Cassandra's voice took him aback. "Yes, mages can be dangerous but that is no excuse to treat them like wild animals that will bite off your hand if you try to touch them! Especially you." She seemed to understand where her words were leading her, and bulled on ahead anyway. "Anyone who takes a moment to see you for who you are, not just a mage, will see how much of a noble, wonderful person you are."

Her words touched him deeply, right in that small part of him that always lamented the fact that he had been born as a mage. A smile started to curl his lips. "And I can't find anyone who is more  loving and dedicated to her duty than you," he said, walking toward her as he spoke. She watched his approach with a soft, yet growing interest, which turned to a near wicked expression as he closed the last few steps between them and slid his arm around her waist. "Besides, to me you will always be Lady Seeker Cassandra, no matter what," he whispered into her ear.

Cassandra's face broke into a delighted grin and she laughed, the sound so alien to hear from her yet so beautiful. It was giddy and light, two things Cassandra never seemed to be but fit her so well. "Oh, you are sweet," she said, indulging him with a kiss. "And that is what I'm talking about."

Karaas stroked her face and kissed her again, always surprised by how fiercely she liked to kiss. "You deserve it. No one deserves more happiness than you."

"No, you do," Cassandra replied, tracing a finger down his jaw. "For everything you are and more." She shook her head a little, her gaze turning inward. "Look at how foolish we are being, bemoaning things in the past that we cannot change."

"Neither of us have tried to say that we aren't foolish," Kaaras countered, grinning a little as he spoke. "But thank you all the same."

Cassandra looked back up at him, her gaze weighted with something he couldn't place, before she suddenly pressed herself close and kissed him again. But this was an entirely different sort of kiss than the previous ones; it was tantalizing, teasing, and heat licked down his spine to coil in his gut from the sensations Cassandra's lips were wringing from him. Kaaras heard the moan in his throat and he was moving, grabbing Cassandra by the hips and pulling her closer. Even a wide as her hips were, they were still engulfed by his huge hands. If anything she loved it, her answering moan loud in his ears as she pushed into his grip.

Kaaras chuckled a little and bent closer to her ear, giving it a nip before whispering, "What are you doing?"

For once Cassandra seemed to be having a reaction that wasn't complete deference or respect. "You know exactly what," she responded, vague and teasing.

Kaaras was so surprised that he had to laugh a little. He loved it when she was naughty like this, when that veneer of calm and control melted and showed what she was really like inside. He smirked at her and a piece of a memory came to him, from a month ago when he had been browsing through poetry books to surprise Cassandra.

"She flies toward me, feet dancing,
Her eyes pin mine upon her weighted gaze,
Upon her shining sword.
Her breasts heaving,
Her breath panting,
She swings at me
And our swords cross."

Cassandra was chuckling again as she listened to him. "I hope you know what they're really talking about," she said, drawing lazy patterns in his chest.

"Of course I do," Kaaras said with a grin. "Isn't it obvious?"

She ran her hands down his waist, her eyes dark as she followed their path. "Inquisitor, you mean more to me than anyone else I have ever known. Let me show it to you, please."

That was a bit of a change, but not enough so that Kaaras was surprised by it. "Anything you want, Cassandra," he replied.

Immediately Cassandra went down to her knees, shocking him with her speed and lack of hesitation. Her hand palmed him through his breeches, watching as the bulge there grew bigger under her ministrations. Deft, sword-calloused fingers started undoing his buttons, freeing his manhood from the confines of the fabric so it could stretch to its full length.

Kaaras loved it, and the sight before him, but there was a small problem that bothered him. "Cass, you know that Quna-ahh! " his words were cut short as she wrapped her hand around him and started stroking.

The Seeker looked up at him smugly. "I can handle it," she said before leaning close to kiss his flesh. She kissed it over and over, still stroking him with her hands, and he watched in amazement. That is, until she opened her lips and and slid his cock between them.

"Ahh!" Kaaras cried out again, jerking his hips at the sensation of her hot, wet mouth on him. Even among Qunari it was sometimes hard to do oral and Cassandra was taking it all. "C-Cassandr-ah!" His hands moved down to twine through her hair, mindlessly playing with the locks between his fingers.

All he got in response was a noise of pleasure coming from Cassandra's throat. She began to move in earnest, bobbing her head back and forth as she sucked him, taking him in so deep that he could feel her throat before moving back to his tip. It was a maddening, incredible cycle made only more great by how much Cassandra was enjoying it. Like everything she did, she put all of her efforts into it, but Kaaras could tell from the flushed cheeks and the noises she was making that it was affecting her just as much as it was him.

His skin burned and he shivered, feeling the first waves of pleasure coming across him. "Cass, I—" he gasped softly, unable to go on. Even his fingers started to flash with magic, tiny bits of frost coating them and Cassandra's hair.

Despite his lack of words, Cassandra seemed to understand. She pressed harder against him and her efforts increased, driving him even higher. Her lips were stretched so widely in order to take him, her dedication clear in the surprising softness to her eyes, until Kaaras was groaning loudly,  his pleasure peaking in one incredible instant as Cassandra wrung it from him. Heat and stars flashed behind his eyes as waves of pleasure rolled over him, his magic crackling along his body as he tried to hold it back so he wouldn't hurt her.

He felt Cassandra eventually release him and he looked down to meet her eyes as she slowly got to her feet, wiping the white drops from her lips. Her gaze never left him and he couldn't stop himself from kissing her as she stood. Kaaras smiled against her lips, stroking her face in both of his hands. "You're amazing, my love," he said quietly, for her ears alone.

"Kaaras, it was—"

"Shh," he kissed her again. "You are amazing, there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that." He ran a finger down her neck slowly, feeling how her heart beat against his fingertips in excitement. "Let me return the favor."

"Oh no, Kaaras, I cannot. You do not have to do anything in return. In fact I—"

Kaaras put a finger to her lips to shush her. "I'm not doing it out of some sort of obligation. To tell the truth I've wanted to try something for a while and, well, I wanted to surprise you with it."

She raised an eyebrow, but he could see the intrigue clear on her face. "What do you mean by that?" she asked, her smile nearly impossible to contain.

Kaaras took her hand and led her back, winking at her as he did. Cassandra followed him, chuckling as they went to the bed and she laid obediently on it, waiting for whatever he had in mind. Kaaras, for his part, had already set up what he wanted to do: a vase with a single red rose inside. Getting one to bloom in the cold was a pain, but then again that was what magic was for.

Cassandra's face was a peculiar mix of horror and delight. "Kaaras, you didn't," she whispered.

He put the rose between his teeth. "Didn't what?" he replied, crawling close to her across the covers, reaching a hand out and running it up her leg.

A shiver wracked her body, heat rushing to her face. "You, you read my books!" she gasped at him, her face red from more than just passion. "I know you did!"

Earlier on in their relationship he might have thought that her reaction was a bad thing, but now he knew better. "And what of it?" he replied, taking the rose out of his mouth and twirling it between his fingers. "I'm an educated man, I like reading."

"Kaaras," she said, her voice heavy with unamusement. "Those books are horrible."

"And? I wanted to read some of your horrible books. Is that so bad?" He laid next to her and reached out his arm, letting the petals of the rose trail up her neck to her jaw, past her scar and tracing her cheek with the gentlest of touches.

Her eyes fluttered a little, sliding partially shut under the sensation. "Mmm, well, no not really," she replied, sounding almost like she had to force the words out. "But still, you're better than that."

"How about I decide what I'm good enough for?" Kaaras joked, trying to reach the other side of her neck. "Anything you enjoy is enough for me."

A chuckle came from her lips and he brushed the petals by them. "Alright, Inquisitor," she said, the title rolling from her lips like a purr. "If you say so."

"Much better," Kaaras said, his hand trailing idly along her side until he came to the hem of her shirt. He teased the edges for a few moments, letting the rose linger over her collar as he slid his hand under her clothes gently. He heard her moaning and she pressed into his touch ever so slightly, but when he brought the rose to follow the path of his hands it really changed. She shivered hard and it looked as if she was forcing herself to stay still underneath him, even as her fingers clawed at the blankets and twisted the fabric between them.

He worked slowly, wanting her to truly feel what he was doing as he began to lift her shirt over her head and trace the rose along her skin. "I know you're enjoying this, my dear," he whispered to her, sliding her shirt over her head and leaving her torso exposed. It was a beautiful sight that Kaaras never grew tired of. "Do you have any idea what I'm going to do to you?" He whispered into her neck, letting his lips barely touch her skin. He traced one of her breasts with the rose, moving in ever-tightening circles, making his slow way to the center.

Cassandra panted and he could feel her hands on his chest, swiftly undoing the buttons of his shirt. "Tell me," she replied, her voice somehow demanding and pleading all at once.

Kaaras let her work as he kept going. Now if he could remember how her books went... "I'm going to make this something to remember," he said, kissing her right between her breasts, letting his warm breath wash against her skin. "Even with all of the other times we make love, you will always remember this."

She shuddered underneath him, her hands tracing erratic patterns in his skin until she slid her hands under his shirt and yanked it from his body. "My love," she whispered softly, her accent making her voice even more husky. "Make me remember, my love. I need to feel you."

He kissed her neck, pressing his mouth hard against her, before moving lower, all the way down to her navel. His hand played with the hem of her pants, deliberately teasing before he suddenly unbuttoned them and yanked them down. "You're mine, all mine, mi amor." He drew his rose lower down, going so far as to caress her between her legs with it. She arched into him, panting and flushed, and her hands scratched his sides, quivering all over. Kaaras watched every movement, his heart racing inside his chest, until the rose dropped from his limp fingers and he grabbed her instead. He pulled her closer and fumbled at his pants, pushing them down and then starting to carefully enter her.

"Kaaras please!" Cassandra yelled, jerking her hips up again as if to take him fully. "Kaaras, deeper! Deeper, I need it!"

She was so loud that Kaaras was actually shocked, but he was barely paying attention to that over what she was saying. A low growl came from him and he obeyed, sheathing himself completely inside her in one swift movement and ah! She was so tight, so amazing and he wanted to do nothing more than grab her close and love her as hard as he could, which was exactly what he did. Cassandra was yelling and moving with him enthusiastically, even reaching to grab his horns as she did. He would have been amused but he had no room for it in his head, consumed by all of her and her heat around him. The heat teased at him, burning white in his veins that washed over him in waves and waves.
It was so much, it was so good and--

Hands suddenly shoved at him, pushing his shoulders so hard that he was nearly thrown off her. Kaaras made a surprised noise and then noticed that Cassandra was coming with him, rolling over until she was climbing on top of him, taking him in fully once more. She held his horns again as she rode him up and down, crying with each movement, completely undone. Kaaras held her by her hips, watching how large they were against her and she was able to engulf his entire length and enjoy it. "Cassandra," he panted, moving with her the whole time. She was so wet, she had soaked their skin with each slap against each other.

"Yes, Kaaras! Inquisitor!" she replied, shaking all over. "I love you, I lov—ahh!" She screamed suddenly and her walls gripped him tightly as she came, bringing him to his orgasm as well.

Everything was like sunlight, so bright and warm surrounding them. He felt Cassandra slump against him and he held her against him, chuckling a little and then he was cut off by her lips against his. He kissed her back and caressed her rump, feeling her push back into his hand. "That was incredible, Cass," he whispered into her hair.

She looked up at him with a smile, a combination of content, loving, and amused. "You nearly burned me," she said, pointing at the soft red marks on her hips. Her voice held no reproach, just a hint of a chuckle.

"Oh hell, I'm sorry, I'll take care of that," he said, his fingers glowing with healing magic.

Her hand grabbed his. "No, I like them," she said with a wink. "They won't hinder my ability to fight, Inquisitor."

Kaaras shrugged and smiled back at her. "Alright, I'll just keep all those Templars off you until you recover."

"My hero," she murmured, laying herself on his chest. "My noble Inquisitor."

He played with her hair. "Feeling tired?"

She sat up with a wicked grin on her face. "Of course not."