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Every night was a little bit different with Iron Bull. Sometimes he was restrained, sometimes he wasn’t. Sometimes there was wax or ice cubes, and sometimes there weren’t. Sometimes there was swearing and fighting, and sometimes there wasn’t. Dorian could no more predict what Iron Bull would do to him than he could predict the weather. So far, he loved it all. He loved the ice cubes sliding down his belly, loved the hot wax dripping into his collar bone. Dorian adored the ropes tied around his arms and legs in a maze of complicated knots that left him helpless under Iron Bull’s skilled hands. He loved when he struggled and Iron Bull pinned him down and growled in his face. It sent his heart beating and his cock twitching with lust. It only worked because he knew Bull would never actually hurt him, not really. Dorian loved the game.

Tonight, his arms were bound behind his back and his ankles were tied to his thighs in such a way that his ass was high in the air, legs spread wide as Iron Bull plowed into him like an animal. Dorian gasped and moaned, his shoulders aching with the strain of laying on them, Bull huffing and leaning over him with one hand pressing down on his chest. Bull was really into it, he could tell just by looking up into his eye and seeing that glint of intense concentration. No one had looked at him like that in so long… Dorian bit his lip on a stupid grin, pressing his head back against the bed with a muffled groan of pleasure.

The hand on his chest was sliding up, pinching his nipples until he gasped with delight, then further up. Dorian opened his mouth, positive that Bull was going to stuff it full of thick calloused fingers. Instead his hand closed around Dorian’s throat and squeezed.

I’m just trying to help you!”

No! Noooo!” A hand around his throat pinning him to the floor as blood gushed over his face. Another hand painting symbols around his thrashing head. Coughing, wheezing. Begging. No, no, no, no. No air, blood in his mouth and eyes and nose, gummy, hard to see anything but his fathers face frantic and pale above him.

Stop struggling, Dorian!” The hand around his neck tightened but the blood made everything slick and it slipped away.

Dorian lashed out as he sucked in a coughing breath, choking on a mouthful of blood. His fist connected with his father’s face, knocking him onto his side with a grunt of pain. His throat burned and he could hardly see anything, but Dorian shot to his feet and ran, his father right behind him. Hands reaching, grabbing for his neck-

“KATOH!” The word ripped itself from Dorian’s throat like a hot coal, burning all the way out. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t- Bull was pulling away from him quickly, hands undoing the ropes tying Dorian up until he was completely free.

“Dorian, look at me, what’s wrong?” Bull was giving him space, but he had one hand stroking up and down Dorian’s shin, rubbing the slightly cramped muscle.

He couldn’t stop shaking. This was so humiliating! Bull was even still hard and Dorian immediately felt bad for saying anything. He could get over this himself, he didn’t need to pull Bull into it, to ruin what they had. “Nothing,” said Dorian quickly, wiping some cold sweat off his forehead. “Sorry, you can keep going.”

“No, we’re done,” said Bull, and Dorian’s heart froze in his chest. “I need to know what hurt you so I won’t do it again.”


Dorian pressed his palms against his eyes until he saw stars bursting out under his eyelids and bit his lip on a broken sob. He was a grown man and his family continued to haunt his every step. Why did this still bother him? He’d gotten away. His father had failed… Tears were leaking out from under his palms and Dorian didn’t even notice it until a thumb was brushing them off his cheeks. Dorian moved his hands to see Bull leaning over him, gaze clearly worried.

Kadan,” that big voice was soft and small now, comforting instead of combative, “what is wrong?”

Dorian just shook his head. To say it out loud would be to give it power. He had told people what his father had tried to do, but never how he had tried to do it. As far as Dorian was concerned, it was done. Over with. He had escaped and now he got fucked by a big Qunari dick every night; couldn’t be more against his Father’s wishes if he had set fire to the family home and held an orgy in the smoldering ruin. He was startled from his internal battle when strong arms lifted him gently off the bed. “H-hey!” Dorian thrashed a little in surprise, but Bull just adjusted his grip and carried him into the restroom as if he didn’t weigh anything at all.

“Stay here,” he said, setting Dorian down in the copper tub, “I’m going to get some hot water brought up.”

“You’re going to bathe me?” said Dorian incredulously.

The look Bull gave him was so serious, so intense, that Dorian shut up and looked down at his hands. He was left alone in the copper tub, watching his fingers clench together while he tried to wrestle his feelings under control. They had been having a perfectly nice evening together; Dorian had been loving it, Bull had been loving it… so why couldn’t he just…forget everything else? Bull returned with four huge buckets of steaming hot water on his arms, muscles bulging as he carried them over and dumped them one by one into the tub. Dorian felt goosebumps flare up over his arms at the sudden change of temperature but they settled soon enough as the hot water lapped up to his chest with the last bucket.

Bull didn’t say anything to him, just kneeled on the floor by the tub and grabbed a clean rag to scrub over Dorian’s skin, wiping away all the sweat and other fluids that had dried there. Bull’s touch was firm as he rubbed along Dorian’s back, even paying special attention to that spot between his shoulder blades he loved scratched.

“What’s all this about?” Dorian finally muttered, unable to take the silence for another second.

“We both know it wasn’t intentional, but I hurt you,” said Bull, dropping the rag in the water to cup a handful of liquid and pour it over Dorian’s head to slick back his hair, big fingers gentle as he washed along his forehead and cheeks but avoided his neck.

“I’m fine!” Dorian snapped, rubbing his own hand along his neck stubbornly, refusing to acknowledge how much his fingers shook. “I’m fine, I’m not some stupid child who-” he grit his teeth, bringing his knees up to press his forehead against them, hands clenching into shaking fists, “-who…who…” Tears burned in the corner of his eyes and he tried to convince himself the dampness on his cheeks was from the tub. He could taste the blood in his mouth still, a tangy copper that clumped at the back of his throat.

Arms, warm and strong, wrapped around him, carefully pulling him out of the water so he was curled up in Bull’s lap. Dorian shook like a leaf with the effort of controlling himself, teeth grit so hard he could feel his jaw start to ache. He was fine… he was fine… he reached up and gripped the base of one of Bull’s horns tightly, squeezing just to feel the solid material under his palm. He was fine.

“I’m not fine,” Dorian whispered, dropping his head against Bull’s chest in defeat.

“I know,” said Bull, his voice a low rumble against Dorian’s ear.

Dorian felt Bull get his feet back under him, picking him up and walking back to the bed which had fresh clean sheets on it. Bull had obviously asked one of the maids to change it while they were in the restroom. Dorian wiped the stubborn tears away from his eyes as he was set down on the mattress, laughing between a sobbing hiccup, “Would it ruin your reputation if I told someone about this?”

“Are you kidding? One look at me and they wouldn’t dare say anything either way.” Bull prodded Dorian to sit back against the headboard so he could slide in next to him, pulling the sheets up around their waists and wrapping one arm around Dorian’s shoulders to haul him against his chest. “Speak to me, Kadan.” Bull brushed the wet hair away from Dorian’s forehead then settled his hand on his shoulder, thumb brushing back and forth along the bump of his collarbone.

Dorian sniffed, rubbing his arm over his eyes. “I’ve never told anyone this, but I guess I might as well, after everything.” He paused to gather himself, almost wishing Bull would prod him so he could lash out and close himself off. Bull was silent. Patient.

Damn him. “Very well,” said Dorian, wrapping his arms around his knees, “I am sure you heard a little about… what my father tried to do to me.”

“Blood magic,” said Bull.

Dorian took a deep breath. “Well, that involved a lot of… I… uhg…” He chewed his bottom lip, looking down at the sheets and picking at them idly while he tried to gather up all the foreign words it took to actually tell someone about his thoughts and feelings. “I wasn’t expecting it, when he called me in. He had his staff with him and he wanted me to look at something in some book. But the moment I bent over it he hit me in the back of the head with the staff. No spells, if he cast anything but the blood magic he had set up for, it would mess with the lingering magic.”

He could almost feel the crack of wood against his skull as he spoke, “I went down and he was on me, dragging me to the next room where he already had a circle set up…and so much blood.” Dorian forced out a small laugh, “Such messy magic.”

Bull didn’t laugh.

Dorian cleared his throat and kept talking. “Yes…well… I tried to fight him off and he… started to choke me. There was so much blood and I couldn’t breathe…”

“Oh Dorian…” Bull sighed. Some part of Dorian was worried he was about to tell him to get over it, even if the logical part of him knew that was unlikely.

“Well… long story short, I got away,” Dorian muttered. “The end.”

They sat in silence for a moment, long enough to make him worry. Finally, Bull drug Dorian into his lap, hands on his hips as Dorian stared into his eye. “So, new rules,” said Bull seriously. “No choking,” Dorian nodded slowly, “and no blood magic, which messes up next week’s plans but I’ll figure something out.”

By all accounts, it should have been the wrong thing to say, Dorian was sure he should have been offended but instead, honest laughter burst from between his lips, the weight on his shoulders shaking away with every hard guffaw. Soon the tears flowing from his eyes were from laughter and he ducked his head against Bull’s shoulder, snorting and gasping like some undignified peon. Bull’s hands stroked up and down his back until Dorian went silent with one last snort.

“Ahh, I needed that,” said Dorian, rubbing tears from his eyes with his palms. “You know I… I never knew what to expect if I ever said your little word.”

Iron Bull urged him down into a long slow kiss, tongue tracing Dorian’s bottom lip before he parted them to let that slightly pointed tongue slip in. Every move of Bull’s lips was grounding him, bringing him down from the mania and into himself again. Finally Dorian pulled back for a breath, a blush crawling over the bridge of his nose.

“You are my Kadan, my heart, the center of my chest. I will always listen to you and take care of you. This doesn’t work if you don’t trust me, if you can’t let yourself go completely when I take control. Do you trust me?” Bull was looking up into his eyes, big hands pressing against his lower back so Dorian felt enveloped in strength. It was comforting. He could take care of himself but it was a nice thought, knowing Bull could destroy with his bare hands anyone that threatened him.

“I trust you,” Dorian whispered, tracing the stubble along Iron Bull’s jaw then bending down to lightly kiss the mass of scars that was his left eye.

“Good,” Iron Bull rumbled. He shifted down the headboard so they were laying down with Dorian stretched out over his larger body, head pillowed on his broad chest. Dorian sighed with contentment, relaxing completely for the first time since the word ‘Katoh’ had sprung from his lips. Bull never asked him to get over it, just acknowledged it. Dorian had never realized how much he’d needed that. He didn’t need someone to fix his problems, just to accept them.

Bull wrapped both arms around him and Dorian fell asleep to the sound of his deep, even breaths and the strong beat of his heart under his ear.