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In Mourning

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Alistair,

She’s gone.

I have left for the City of Chains. Do not seek me out. I shall finish what we have started and hope to follow her within the year.

Fair thee well, my friend.

Zevran


Blood trickled from the corner of her mouth.

Panic flooded through him.

“No,” he whispered, desperately. He set her down on the stones in the back alley as gently as he could, silently cursing the darkness that was protecting them from the army of Crows they had so foolhardily thought they could take on in one go. His hands shook as he searched her pack for anything that might help – a salve, a potion. Anything.

“Zevran.” Her voice was soft, but resigned. He did not stop his searching to look at her until her hand gently rested on his arm and she said again, “Zev.”

His hazel eyes met her soft grey ones and his heart felt as if it was shattering like glass.

“My love,” she whispered as she reached her hand up to stroke his tattooed cheek. “You must go.”

“No,” he said sternly. “I will not leave you.”

His hand grasped hers tightly. She gripped back but her grasp was weak. He could see the color draining from her face as her blood began to stain the flagstones. His mouth dried and he could taste the bile welling in the back of his throat. He had not bothered to count the arrows that were piercing her body. One, three. She was fading and fast, but the idea of walking away made him seethe with an anger he hadn’t known in many years.

“If you don’t go,” her voice was surprisingly strong as she held his gaze. She had the same unwavering look she always had before she was about to make a crazy decision. “We will both die. And I will never forgive you if you don’t live.”

“Aurelia—”

“Do you trust me?”

He swallowed. “Of course.”

“Do you love me?”

It felt like she’d knocked the wind out of him. Why must she always do this? She knew that of all the things to say to him to throw him off his equilibrium, all she had to do was bring up that one emotion. It immediately brought him back to the gates of Denerim all those years ago.

Before he could stop himself, he whispered, “Cruel to the end.”

Her smile showed teeth covered in blood and his stomach twisted violently but he smiled back shakily.

“I love you, Zevran,” she said as she slipped a ring from her finger and pressed it into his palm. She closed his fingers around it and pushed his hands away. “Now, go.”

He pressed his free hand to her cheek and kissed her softly, making an attempt to memorize the feel of her lips, but the taste of blood made him grimace. Closing his eyes tightly, he pulled away and stood. Casting her one last glance, he hesitated at the entrance to the ally.

“There he is!” he heard someone yell in Antivan from a few dozen yards down the street.

“Go,” he saw her mouth.

Without another thought, he yelled, “Here I am!”

Jumping into the street and full view of the guard, he made a show of drawing his blades and running towards the intruders. When he had the majority distracted far enough away from the alley, he set off a smoke bomb.

And then he was gone.