It began as a slight patter; little stray drops dribbling here and there around the camp. Everyone turned their gaze upward at the rumble of thunder, mixing ominously with the increasing staccato of an encroaching downpour.
Terra Cousland side glanced the elf as she heard Zevran mutter under his breath. Of all of them, his tent was the only one not yet raised. Within seconds, the blinding downpour hit them, drenching them. With screams, curses, and laughter, the entire group broke into a run, each making for whichever tent was nearest. Without pausing to think about it, Terra grabbed Zevran's hand, pulling him as they broke into a run. Laughing, they darted into her small tent.
"Please take your boots off. I hate getting mud out of my furs." Terra asked over her shoulder as she sat and unlaced her own leather boots. Zevran chuckled.
"As the lady wishes." He sat behind her, pulling off his clunky boots and tossing them beside hers. Terra couldn't keep herself from smiling, a little glow coming to her cheeks. She may have grown up accustomed to being addressed as 'my lady', but for some reason whenever Zevran referred to her as such, she simply couldn't keep the blush from rising to her cheeks. She felt him move behind her, and could hear the dull clink of metal against leather. Turning slightly, she felt a trickle of alarm go down her spine as she saw him remove some of his armor.
"Uh, Zev? I appreciate the thought, but I didn't drag you in here for that." Zevran chuckled at her tone, but he did not stop as he pulled off his chest armor.
"I have no clue as to what you are referring, my dear lady. I simply wish to remove my armor and dry it before the metal has a chance to rust. Of that mind, do you have a spare cloth I can use to dry it?" He smiled innocently at her, but she could see the amusement twinkling in his eyes. Impish, that's what he was, she thought as she shook her head and reached for her pack.
She had to roll to the side as a thoroughly soaked Knight came charging into the tent, shaking out his wet fur. They both held out their hands in a feeble attempt to shield themselves as they were drenched. Terra grabbed a blanket and threw it over the dog, who wagged his tail happily.
"Dang dog…"She growled slightly, though she couldn't keep the affection out of her tone. Roughly grabbing her pack, she rummaged through it until she came up with a cleaning rag. She tossed it at Zev. He laughed.
"You Ferelden's and your dogs. In Antiva, no dog would be allowed indoors, let alone into a bed, when they are so saturated." He grinned at Terra, who in turned laughed heartily.
"I think the word 'allow' is subject to debate here." Terra glanced down at her robes, which had become thoroughly soaked. Sighing, she pulled the tent flap closed, tying the ends together to keep the worst of the storm out. Knight yawned, curling up in the blanket and quickly fell asleep, his snores drowned out by the heavy percussion of rain against the tent.
Terra sat back down, turning herself to face Zevran so they could continue their conversation. After all, she enjoyed listening to him speak. His accent was charming, and his way of weaving stories almost hypnotic. She often found herself sitting by him in camp, looking for any topic to discuss, simply to hear him speak. His bawdier stories never bothered her; indeed, she found herself on level with Oghren more often than not when it came to crassness, a fact that she wasn't completely proud of. After all, she was supposed to be a 'lady', as her mother had often chided her. Remembering her mother, Terra felt a moment's guilt.
Though she had loved her family greatly and would give anything to have them returned to her, she now enjoyed a freedom she had never thought possible. She could swear, curse, and share lewd stories with people other than Adney and Cath. In traveling with this group, she had shed all vestiges of her former well-mannered self and embraced her inner crudity. She felt no need to hold her tongue anymore and found this new freedom to speak her mind liberating. As such, she never seemed to have trouble finding new and interesting topics to discuss, having never had the opportunity to do so before.
Now, however, she sat facing Zevran as he sat half naked, rubbing the rain off the metal on his armor, and she found herself at a loss for words. She'd seen him unclad before, and had openly admired his well muscled body. Now long rivulets of water ran down his bare arms and chest, caressing his deeply tanned skin, taunting her as they lovingly stroked down his line of abs to disappear underneath his belted waist. Terra forced herself to avert her eyes as a warm glow began just below her stomach.
Zevran kept his head down, pretending not to notice.
* * *
"Maker's breath, it's really coming down out there, isn't it?" Alistair tried to sound casual. Like a gentleman, he kept his entire body firmly turned away as Leliana dried herself off and changed. Leliana smiled to herself.
"Well, hopefully it will stop soon. After all, we've yet to make dinner. It's your turn to cook tonight, no?"
"Right. Not that this rain could have made my cooking any worse, I still don't fancy soggy stew. Well...soggier." Leliana giggled. She glanced through the partially open tent flap Alistair was staring out, smiling.
"Did you see? Terra took Zevran into her tent." Leliana grinned openly. Alistair almost spun around, catching himself at the last moment.
"Wait, what?! Damn that Zevran! He's way too old for her."
"So you've said before. Tell me, how old is he?" Alistair grumbled at her light hearted tone.
"I don't actually know. I asked him once and only got 'old enough to know better but young enough to still get away with it'." Alistair scowled in the direction of Terra's tent. "Even so, he's too old for her. I mean, Terra's still...well… she's too young for him!"
Leliana laughed, slipping into some spare clothing. "You are much like an elder brother to her, no? A shining white knight to protect her and charge in to her rescue."
"Look, I know she's not a child. She's old enough to get herself recruited into the Gray Wardens, old enough to lead us; I get it! I just worry, that's all. He seems too...sleazy." Alistair shuddered, glancing over in the direction of Terra's tent, worry gnawing at him. A pair of arms wrapped around him from behind.
"You worry too much. She may be young, but she is a strong woman and quite capable. Besides, I think she fancies him."
"Hmph. Well, you would know, wouldn't you? The two of you, always off giggling and gossiping together."
"That's right." Leliana continued to smile, giving Alistair a little squeeze before releasing him. "Now why don't you stop worrying about that which you have no control of, and focus on getting out of your wet armor." She purred coyly. Alistair was fairly sure his blush rose all the way up to his hairline.
* * *
"Ferelden winters are so cold. I do not know how you can manage!" Zevran ran his hands vigorously over his arms, shaking. Terra gave him a half-hearted smile, doing her best not to stare.
"It's true; it does get cold around here. Thankfully, we passed the worst of the winter down in the deep roads, so we missed most of the snow. I still remember when Highever castle was almost buried under 6 feet. Cath and I had a snow tunnel running around most of the place by the time spring came and began melting it all." Terra smiled sadly, lost for a moment in a happy memory.
"This Cath, he was an elven servant, yes?"
"Yeah, one of the kitchen helpers. He was only a few years older than me, and his mom had worked for us for years. I knew him and Adney since I was a little kid. When Nan took over the position of head cook and they went to work for her, I often ended up in the kitchens helping out." Terra chuckled. "Or at least, I tried to help out. Most of the time I just got in the way or stole food until Nan shooed me out."
"And yet you never learned to cook. How interesting." Zevran smiled charmingly at her as she laughed.
"Cath used to say I must be cursed. Told me I was the only person he'd ever met who could burn water." Terra laughed lightly, though it faded quickly to be replaced by a firm resolution reflected in her blue eyes. "They were all killed by Howe that night. Even if he hadn't killed my family, I would have carved him up for what his men did to Cath and Adney. He has a lot to answer for."
Things fell quiet for a few minutes, until finally Zevran sneezed hard, shivering. Terra apologized, rummaging around her tent until she found the spare blanket Wynne had crocheted her recently. It was little more than a throw blanket, but it was warm. She draped it over his shoulders, pulling the ends together in front of him. Her fingers ghosted lightly over his skin for a moment, seemingly casual, before she quickly withdrew them. Zevran pulled the blanket tightly around himself, smiling with gratitude.
"And what of you, dear lady? You are looking so cold yourself."
"No, I'm okay. I'm used to weather like this, remember?" Terra tried to sound reassuring. It didn't work, as Zevran frowned. Ducking her head a bit in embarrassment, Terra glanced over at her mabari. "I've only got the two blankets besides the fur we're sitting on. I'll be good though, you need it more than I do."
"But I can see you shivering, my dear Warden. Come, if you have no other blankets to wrap your lovely frame in, at the very least we can share this one." Opening the front of the blanket, he extended an inviting hand out to her. Terra felt a blush rise to her cheeks, and found she couldn't make eye contact anymore. After a few moments, Zevran realized she wasn't getting closer and let his hand drop, shrugging. After struggling for a few moments, Terra looked up, catching Zevran's eye.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Can I respond with poetry? No? How sad." he grinned impishly at her glare.
"As am I."
Terra sighed. He was impossible to deal with when he got like this. Zev tilted his head to the side, an eyebrow raised.
"You do not wish to play? This is unusual for you. Whatever is on your mind, my dear?"
Terra rubbed a hand across the back of her neck, pulling her long, dark blonde hair over a shoulder to fiddle with it nervously, as had become her habit as of late. She paused a moment to collect her thoughts, then finally found the words, though her voice was quiet.
"Why don't you ever touch anyone?"
"I have touched many people-"
"That's not what I meant." Terra quickly interrupted him. While she normally didn't mind listening to his tales that involved old conquests, that wasn't what she wished to hear now. "I mean… when Alistair wants attention he taps a shoulder. Oghren punches a person in the arm just to say hello. Leliana often hugs or holds a persons hand when she gets excited. The only people in our group who don't openly touch others are Sten and Morrigan...and you."
At his raised eyebrows, Terra felt suddenly unnerved, like she was being stared down at by her tutor for having fallen asleep again. "It's just...it's always struck me as odd. You're a very open person, and you've made friends within the group. Yet you always keep to yourself physically. Like you're within a bubble you don't want breached. It makes me...hesitant...around you."
Those last words came out as barely more than a whisper, drowned out by the thundering percussion outside the tent. Even so, Zevran knew he heard them, and was surprised by them. Not that his sense of personal space had been questioned; indeed, he was familiar with this common observation from others. Instead, it was that anything would make a headstrong and stubborn young woman like Terra 'hesitant'. He had seen her charge down bandits, darkspawn; her only fear was of spiders, and even then it sometimes just made her that much more ferocious in dealing with them. She had always come across as confident, competent, and somewhat wild. Now she sat just out of arm's reach, her thick, curvaceous legs pulled under her, her arms held protectively over her chest. She looked vulnerable, frightened. Zevran wasn't sure how to respond, but found himself smiling at her as winningly as he could.
"You are right, my dear. I do not reach out to others, unless I have been given their express consent to do so. It is only polite after all."
"Aye, polite. What, you think because I kill people for a living I must be rude and abrasive? For shame, my dear Warden! I thought you knew me better than that." He chided, half-teasing. He was rewarded by a tiny smile, tugging at the edge of her plump lips.
"Doesn't that make it difficult when you're...y'know….seducing someone?"
"Not usually, no. After all, I am very, very pretty." He winked, causing her to chuckle. "Often, they are the ones who reach out to me first. Once their hands are on me, consent is more or less implied." His smirk melted into a full, wicked smile as he leaned towards her, his eyes glittering dangerously. "Besides, mia bella signora, one needs not use touch to seduce, no?"
Terra lowered her eyes, a rosy blush on her cheeks. She shivered slightly, rubbing her bare arms. Zevran waited patiently, knowing there was more she wanted to say. Finally after a few moments, Terra sighed, her expression sad. She said nothing, but scooted closer to him. He could see her bare arms covered in goosebumps, her hair still slightly damp and dangling over one shoulder. Neither made a move towards the other, sitting so close, but not touching. Finally, Terra ducked her head, her shoulders shaking. Zevran looked at her in alarm until he realized she was laughing. Finally, she looked him in the eye again, and he could see the Terra he knew; strong, stubborn, willful...and willing.
She leaned in close, until her face was mere inches from his, and he could feel her breath against his skin. Her lips parted slightly, hovering by his. He breasts rose with each breath, straining against the leather of the Chasind robe that held them back. Her luscious, round legs were stretched out along his, relaxed and warm and so close. And still they did not touch. He couldn't help but smile as she looked at him through her long, sooty eyelashes, her expression hungry, curious, challenging. Maker's breath, he thought to himself as he held eye contact with her. Finally, her lips rose in a smile.
"Is this consent enough for you?" She breathed, the words dripping like honey. Zevran suppressed a shudder that threatened to betray him. He would not let her win this; his pride wouldn't let him. He grinned at her, letting a challenge play through his expression.
Whatever he had been about to say was lost as she crushed her lips against his. Like a dam breaking, she pushed her soft, eager body against his, unable to resist anymore. Her arms coiled about his waist, as she kissed him hungrily. Zevran's hands came alive, one wrapping around her while the other grabbed onto her posterior, giving it a squeeze. While the Chasind robe did little to cover her, he found the feeling of leather standing between their skin touching to be offensive. Not to mention he still had on some of his own armor, which suddenly felt much too restricting. He needed to rectify that. Quickly.
Pulling her close with both arms, he lifted her slightly, rolling both their bodies so she was laying on her back. He didn't break off their kiss until she lay beneath him, allowing his lips to trail over her jaw and neck, sucking gently at her chilled skin. He released her from his arms, using one hand to stabilize himself over her as his other unclasped the collar and feathered pauldrons. Pushing them out of the way, his mouth began to explore the newly exposed skin, while his free hand moved down to her breasts, his fingers lightly teasing the erect nipple he could feel through the fabric. Terra whimpered, her body shuddering, as he unclasp the thin belt just below her breasts. Pushing aside the leather, he kissed along her exposed breast, his tongue mimicking what his fingers had done moments before. He sucked at her nipple, gently pulling on it with his teeth, which elicited a gasp from Terra. She brought up a hand to run through his soft, silken hair, unconsciously pulling his head down further onto her. He grinned slightly, encouraged by her attentions, and continued playing with her breast, while his free hand moved to the buckles holding on the last of his armor.
As he slid his own armor off over his hips, Zevran moved his head back up to her throat, his teeth gently grazing against her skin. He kicked his armor off his legs, finally free of it's constraints. Free to focus on Terra. He wasted little time, unknotting the belt at her waist and untying the strings that held the bodice together. He moved himself down, now using both hands as he placed them on her hips just under the fabric of her sparse dress. In one smooth movement, he lifted the dress up, Terra arching her back to assist in it's removal. Within moments, her dress was tossed to the side, landing on a confused Knight.
Without pausing, Zevran attacked her exposed skin with his lips and hands, caressing, sucking, touching. He slowly worked his way back up, trailing a line of rough kisses along her hips, stomach, breasts, neck, until he finally reached her lips once again. He lay his body across hers, though he didn't press his full weight against her. He felt her squeeze her legs together, writhing at his attention. He worked a hand down across her abs, until he felt the fabric of her panties under his fingers. He gently slid his hand underneath them, his fingers teasing, circling, until they found her. Terra gasped around his mouth as he caressed her, his fingers sliding between her thighs to find her sweet spot. Trembling, she relaxed her legs, letting them part slightly to give him easier access. He said nothing, but she could feel him grinning while he kissed her. He ran his middle finger over her clitorus, rubbing it gently in little circles. Unconsciously, her hips moved, causing her to rub against his hand.
"You are enjoying this, I see." He almost purred. Her mind fluttering and swimming with desire, Terra could only nod weakly, moaning quietly as he slid his middle finger down further, working between the lips to feel how wet she had already become. He circled the opening, teasingly, before slowly slipping his finger inside. Terra moaned again, her muscles clenching down around him. His thumb circled her clit while his middle finger stroked her inner wall, causing her hips to buck against his hand. Zevran moved one of his legs between her thighs, pushing them further apart, as he nipped gently at her earlobe. Her hands were pressed against his chest, her nails scratching at his skin. He continued to work her over, keeping her high with pleasure without letting her go over. She began begging him, silenced only when he pressed his lips against hers. She ground herself against his hand, her muscles clenching around his finger. Smiling, Zevran removed his hand, bringing it up to his own undergarment. He pulled them down over his legs, tossing them to the side. Then he began kissing her body again, allowing his lips to travel down, sucking roughly at her now warm skin. He grabbed the sides of her panties, pulling them down as he kissed her stomach. Once they were removed, he settled his body between her legs, pulling one of her thighs over his shoulder.
Without warning, he began sucking hungrily at her swollen clit, his free hand reaching up to knead one of her breasts. Terra cried out, her hips bucking as he ravaged her, his expert tongue caressing her, teasing her. Once more, he inserted his finger, running it along the ridges of her inner wall. Arching her back, she grabbed at the furs beneath her as Zevran brought her to climax. Terra gasped, crying out loudly, not caring who heard. Knight barked in alarm, whimpering, but thankfully, remained where he was. Zevran didn't pause in his attentions, keeping her within the moment, writhing and gyrating at the height of her orgasm. After a few teasing licks, he pulled away, running his tongue over his lips, savoring her sweet taste. He pushed himself away from her, crawling back up her quivering body, settling his lower half between her legs. Grabbing hold of himself, he rubbed his erect member against her lower lips, feeling her twitch against his sensitive skin. He moaned as he pressed against her, letting his length slide over her sensitive clit. Her hips moved in time with his, pressing against him roughly.
Smiling, he leaned down, kissing around her ear. "Are you that eager, my dear warden?" He could scarce keep his desire from his voice as he spoke quietly to her. Terra gripped his shoulders, pulling his body down towards her.
"Please Zev, don't tease me like this." She begged. Zevran couldn't keep himself from chuckling.
"After all those times you teased me? This is only fair, no?" He pressed his head harder against her clit, watching the play of pleasure on her face. She whimpered, grinding her hips against him, making him shudder with desire. He leaned in close to her pink ear, nibbling and whispering to her. "So many weeks, watching you strut about in such revealing armor, your beautiful form tantalizing and teasing. Any man who laid eyes on you driven wild with desire. I am no more immune than they."
Terra smiled slightly, opening her eyes for a brief moment. He could see the amusement there, as well as the silent delight his words brought her. He grinned harder, then leaned in and nipped at her neck, causing her to gasp in surprise.
"So you are not so innocent or demure as you would have us believe. I should have guessed. Clever girl…" Zevran's admiration for her subtle manipulation, of himself and others, increased slightly. He groaned as she began to kiss his jawline, working back towards his pointed ears. Her hips continued to move against him, her wet lips trailing pleasantly up and down his entire length. It was almost too much. Removing his free hand, he placed it on her hip, pushing it down gently. Her thighs squeezed around him briefly, but she held her hips still. Zevran set himself, making sure his weight was evenly distributed and balanced. Grabbing himself once more, he pressed his head against her vaginal opening. With a shuddering breath, he pressed himself inside slowly, feeling her expand around him as he inserted his full length, pressing his hips against hers. Terra sucked in a sharp breath, tensing slightly. Zevran paused a moment, allowing her to grow accustomed to him, kissing her soft red lips until he felt her relax under him.
Sliding a hand under her thigh, he lifted it slightly as he pulled away and thrust back into her. He was rewarded with a gasp of pleasure, and felt himself smile. Before long, he set a steady rhythm, allowing himself to get lost in the movement of their two bodies. His ears filled pleasantly with her moans and gasps and begging for more. His bronze skin glistened with sweat, his long golden hair clinging to his neck and forehead. Below him lay his goddess, pale except for her reddened lips and honey colored hair. Her hands gripped his shoulders, pulling him closer, wanting to feel his body against hers. She began chanting his name between moans, and he felt himself increase his tempo with the urgency of her voice. He leaned into her, her large breasts pressing against his chest. He felt himself breathing hard, muttering phrases in Antivan, as his blood raced and burned through his veins. He ground against her slightly with each thrust, the sensations it caused sparking up his spine.
All the long weeks, watching, talking, so close but never touching, suddenly it was more than he could bare. Abandoning all thought, Zevran pounded against her, burying his face into the crook of her neck, biting and licking. Terra gripped the back of his head, her body shuddering as his ministrations brought her high again, teetering on the edge. Her voice was thick with desire, as she moaned and pleaded with him. Zevran was beyond hearing, though, as he ravaged her, gripping her thigh tightly as he felt himself rise with her. His mind emptied of everything but the sensations gripping him as he fell over the edge, his orgasm almost painful. He thrust deeply into her, crying out in Antivan. Terra's own cry mingled with his as she climaxed again, her muscles gripping down on him sharply. Zevran shuddered as reality slowly returned, and he relaxed, laying across her, gasping for breath. Terra wrapped her arms around him, gripping him tightly as she shook. They lay there, panting, holding one another, as the sound of the rain continued outside, unabated.
* * *
The following morning dawned bright and clear, with only a few scattered white clouds. The ground was cold and soggy, the leaves covered in dew. Alistair muttered darkly as he hunted for dry firewood. Leliana watched him, smiling to herself. A movement caught her eye, and she glanced as Zevran and Terra exited her tent. Terra was blushing, a pretty rose color to her pale cheeks, but there was a soft smile on her lips. Zevran looked down at her, his expression slightly possessive and proud, though he was trying his best to remain passive and relaxed. They spoke for a few moments, before Terra wandered off to assist Alistair with their morning chores. Zevran watched her go, a mysterious smile on his face. Leliana couldn't bare it anymore, and quickly walked up to the Assassin.
"Well?" The question carried more weight than the four letters ought, and Zevran greeted her with a falsely innocent expression.
"I do not know what you mean, my dear."
"Don't you play innocent with me, Zevran!" Leliana tried to sound vexed, but couldn't keep herself from smiling. "You have always set up your tent first thing when we make camp, yet suddenly you forgot to last night? So convenient that it rained, no? And you, taken by the hand of our Warden into her tent."
Zevran grinned wolfishly at her comments. "Yes, is it not interesting how things worked out?" He frowned suddenly. "Though I must admit, I had not counted on the dog…"