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Shades of "The Hanged Man"

Chapter Text

This one shot was inspired by Arideya and Ansunobe after I answered to an ask about Falherna in this post :D Thank you girls :) I knew I have friends in you :)


The Hanged Man was peaceful in the middle of the night. Empty tables, the scent of soup and roasted meat was replaced by the smell of wine and burned wood from the fireplace. The door slammed open and Varric turned his head towards the source of the sound.

A woman and elf came inside looking around the tavern. The brown-haired elf waved to Varric grabbing the red-haired woman's elbow and leading her to the table. Both of them were covered with blood, mud and breathing hard. The woman's face was hidden behind her thick, red hair.

The elf sat her down on the bench opposite to Varric and walked to the bar. Blue eyes focused on dwarf's when the woman raised her head. She was covering the wound on her temple with her hand. Her fingers were red from the weeping blood. Her right cheek was cut deep, yet her blank expression made Varric anxious. He knew her well enough to know that something bad had happened.

"What are you drinking?" she asked with soft and hoarse voice looking at his mug as she loosened the straps of her cloak and slid it off her shoulders.

"Only wine, Brighteyes," he answered frowning. The elf appeared suddenly at their table with a bottle and a rag in his hand.

"Show me the wound" he requested. He seemed worried and angry when he sat down next to her grabbing her hand and pushing it away. The blood dripped down to her cheek while the elf wet the rag.

Varric's face contorted "Is that spirit?" he asked shaking his head and covering his nose.

"Yes, Varric. I need to clean the wound," the elf answered focusing on Falherna.

"Shit. This is gonna hurt, Brighteyes," Varric murmured taking a sip of wine.

"She can handle it," her companion answered while she stayed silent.


* * *


Falherna closed her eyes when the wet rag touched the wound and invited the pain and the burning. It kept her mind distracted from the mission they had just returned from.

"You need stitches" she heard and opened her eyes to look at her companion "The cut is under the line of hair Fal".

"Shave the spot, Faron" she answered. Varric raised his brow staring at her with surprise "Really? You cannot heal it?".

"She already tried. We don't have any other choice." the elf looked at him briefly as he brushed a stray strand of hair behind his pointed ear.

"Shit! I don't want to watch this" the dwarf shook his head while Falherna reached for her knife and gave it to Faron. They both ignored the dwarf who averted his gaze and concentrated on the contents of his mug.

Faron grabbed the strand of Falherna's hair just above her temple. His movements were quick and firm, almost comforting. At least, she did not need to guide him or occupy her mind with more concerns.

"Done" he stated, looking into her eyes and putting the knife on the table as he reached for the rug with his other hand.

"Show me the cheek".

Falherna slowly turned her head exposing the rugged cut on her face. Her jaw tightened when Faron's fingers touched her cheek.

"Drink this, Fal" he demanded handing her the bottle of spirit.

"Yes, master" she growled then she took a long sip swallowing quickly.

The alcohol burned her throat flowing down to her stomach.

"Now, I like this attitude" Faron laughed cleaning the wound and grabbing her chin with his hand.

Blue eyes glimmered with irritation, but the woman's voice stayed calm and quiet "Don't get too excited, Faron. I am not some stupid goose who will wet herself because of your supposed authority."

He laughed again, letting her chin go "Sadly, you are not" he said and started to search for a thread and a needle in the small pocket of his leather jacket.

"You two are adorable" Varric choked loudly reminding them about his presence. Falherna shrugged in response. She had no intention to engage another dispute about her relation with Faron.

"So, what happened?" Varric asked while Faron started to stitch the wound on Falherna's temple. Her face twisted, she clenched her teeth but kept her mouth shut. A soft growl escaped her mouth when the needle pierced her skin. The pain was bearable, more welcome than the images and sounds her mind was filled with. Small, twisted in agony bodies, cut off limbs, screams in the dark. Her soul torn between the desire to rescue them all, to pull out the children from the fire or to pursue the sons of bitches that did this. Her heartache when the realization that neither was possible hit her. The burning hurt, helplessness she hid deep down in her soul.

"Don't move" Falherna heard Faron's whisper and she peeked at him with surprise. She was not aware she had moved.

"An ambush," she answered focusing on Varric's question and sending him a brief glance.

"How? An informer betrayed you?" the dwarf frowned leaning closer to her.

"Not surprising, Varric" she responded looking at Faron "We came too late".

Falherna closed her eyes "The whole village was burned to the ground" she said quietly. Her hand formed into a fist.

"Enough talking" Faron muttered, "If you want to busy her with something give her some wine" he proposed while not taking his eyes away from her wound. Varric pushed the bottle of wine to her with a wink. She smiled and took a sip while Faron cut the thread with a knife.

“Done” he said as he left the knife on the table. He looked at the wound one more time and went to the bar to pay for their rooms.


* * *


"I know how to cheer you up, Brighteyes. I will write a full chapter about the two of you. After all, you had so many victories" Varric stretched his legs looking at her with an arched eyebrow and a sly smile.

"NO," she cut him off quickly, but didn't appear particularly interested in his response. She was looking at the flames in the fireplace. Her gaze was absent.

"Shit, one chapter is not enough right?" Varric scratched his chin "Alright, I will write a whole book" he laughed trying to catch Falherna's attention. He wanted to move her, to see any emotions on her face, in her eyes. He could not bear this empty gaze and expression. Maybe he should let her speak of it? He wasn't sure. Hawke handled problems in a different way. Falherna wasn't even a close friend, she spent some nights here, in The Hanged Man, drinking with him and playing cards. She was mysterious. Unnaturally calm and quiet. He never saw her angry, only snarky and unpleasant. Even for her friends. When she appeared in Kirkwall at first her only companion was the wolf, Fen. Then she met Faron and as far as Varric could tell the young man was her only friend.

He cleared his throat and leaned over the table to look straight into Falherna's face.

"Brighteyes, it will be a nice book. Imagine it" he smiled and stretched his back on the chair.

Falherna suddenly lifted her head, touching the dwarf with her gaze in the process of impassively observing the inside of The Hanged Man.

"Maybe a romance novel, Storyteller?" she murmured "Some kinky shit would be good. For example; *Faron is standing over Fal grasping a plaited, leather riding crop.  He flicks the crop slowly into his palm as he gazes down at the half-elven woman.  He’s smiling, triumphant.  She cannot move.  She is naked and shackled, spread-eagled on a large four-poster bed.  Reaching forward, he trails the tip of the crop from her forehead down the length of her nose, so Fal can smell the leather, and over her parted, panting lips. He pushes the tip into her mouth so she can taste the smooth, rich leather. “Suck,” he commands, his voice soft," she chuckled "It would be your worse novel ever, Varric".

The dwarf gulped violently, the mug hit the table while Varric wiped his lips with his hand. His embarrassed gaze reached her amused eyes.

"You certainly have a vivid imagination, Fal" he laughed "But this is bad even for me".

Falherna's laughter filled the room. Faron looked at them and smiled with relief. She took another sip of wine as her smile slowly melted away.

"If you will write anything I will make sure that you will never see Bianca again," she leaned forwards, resting her elbows on the table "I will kick your ass so hard that you will never be able to remove my shoe....".

Varric raised his hands "Alright, alright, I get the picture, Brighteyes" he laughed "Leave Bianca and my ass alone".

She drummed her fingers looking at Varric. Her gaze was steady, calm and serious. The dwarf swallowed slowly not averting his glance.

Falherna smiled, patting his hand "Your Bianca is safe" she titled her head "And after consideration, your ass too".

Another burst of laughter, this time of them both, filled the tavern.

* Quote from the book "50 Shades Of Grey" 

Oh, and if some of you want to see Faron, here you have him :D

Chapter Text

Falherna sighed and lifted herself from the bathtub grabbing the edge to maintain balance. She dried her body with a magic spell and wrapped the bathrobe around herself.
She eyed the drink at the table next to the bed. The tankard was filled with a dark liquid. The sharp and heavy smell of rum filled her nostrils. After a deep breath, she leaned on the bed and knocked back several swallows, then winced at the harsh taste.
She closed her eyes, resting her head on the headboard trying to follow the dizziness that she felt. Images under her eyelids slurred and quickly changed into the scene full of screaming children and burning huts. The smell of smoke irritating eyes and nostrils, with a hint of flame-broiled meat, filled her mind. In seconds tears wet her cheeks, bile filled her throat and a groan escaped from her mouth. Falherna opened her eyes, straightening her body as she reached for the bottle.

We should never go there, she thought while she filled her tankard with another dose of rum. I knew... I could have prevented it.

She drank the alcohol with one gulp falling on the bed and clutching empty mug in her hand.

"Felasil!" she growled at herself. From the beginning the informer behaved weird, to say at least. Faron was quite certain of this man and convinced her to trust him. She said nothing then, staring at the dark corner the informer met them in. She had no reasons to be untrustful towards Faron. She might have been an over-analyzing whole situation, she had been known to do so in the past, but there was something about this man that made her feel anxious. His restless eyes and a crooked smile aroused in her a suspicion as to the man's intentions. Now, she knew she did not analyze the situation hard enough.

Lesson learned, she thought. I should have been wiser, relied more on my instinct not my emotions.

Falherna's hand clenched into a fist and hit the bedding.

"Felasil!" she let out a growl again when she lifted up to set the mug aside on the night table. Yet, she discovered that she sees two tables. Her hand reached out and the mug hit the floor.

"Fuck this!" she hissed kicking it towards the wall. She hid her face in her hands losing control of her emotions and allowing herself to sob.

The tears wet her hands, her breathing quickened as she was trying to cry all the disappointment and sadness over the innocent who died that night in agony. She needed comfort, something to relieve the pain, something that would allow her to forget and move forward. Apparently, alcohol was not enough.

Her thoughts ran toward her father, who has had always been able to find a way to deal with such situations and concerns. Then, she reached out to the memory of the last dream that visited her a few days ago.
A dream about steel blue eyes, thick, black fur of a wolf and a sharp gaze.

Falherna closed her eyes giving up to sensations from her fantasy. It was not the first time she dreamed of this strange wolf formed only from the stories she heard from her father, statutes, and sketches she had seen. It was only her own imagination, a figment of her soul and desires.

Sometimes, he was a wolf. Sometimes a tall man with the blurred face or without a face. She was not sure when exactly the innocent dreams of a teenage girl, turned into fantasies of an adult woman about the man she would never know. The sweet, childish fascination was dominated by ripe sentiment and longing for something she would never experience or taste physically.

It was her secret, one that her father took with him to the grave. One she could not share with no one else. She held it tightly close to her heart.
Fen'harel, Falherna thought as she wiped her tears away. Perhaps it was madness, defense mechanism but she loved her dreams. She loved the man and the wolf she dreamed about. Like a stupid filly, she even put a song on him. The nights, during which she wandered through unknown lands, digging fingers in his fur or holding his hand and singing to him, were valuable and unique for her. Those visions were her only consolation, the only place she could visit and feel free from all the concerns. How she wished the Dread Wolf would be real.

Knocking on the door startled her. She raised her head which seemed heavier than ever.

"Fal!" quiet, mumbling whisper reached her ears and she slowly stood up to open the door.

Faron stood on the threshold swaying slightly. One hand leaning against the door frame, the other holding a bottle. Despite the blurred vision, Falherna saw his disbanded hair, disheveled tunic and crooked, drunken smile on his lips.

"I thought you..." he choked "need company," his voice seemed too loud in the empty space of the corridor.

"Maybe you are the one who needs company?" she leaned on the door arching her brow.

"Are you drunk, Fal?" he smiled at her, narrowing his eyes.

"Get inside before you will wake up everyone" she hissed welcoming him with a wave of her hand. She closed the door behind him and stood there for a while studying his moves, wondering what possibly caused him to visit her. Why was he awake? Why was he drunk? Why was he here?

He looked at her and she realized he was angry. He was so very angry beneath all that sorrow in his gaze. Not breaking eye contact, she said, "Sit down, Faron".

His lips twitched the slightest bit and his angry gaze softened as he sat down on the bed. Falherna came closer and leaned forward "Give me that bottle. You need another shot".

"Yeah? How do you know?" he muttered looking at the floor and handing her the bottle of rum.

She longed to soothe him, to tell him everything would be okay, but that only worked in fairy tales. In real life, she had to take charge and make things right. To be harsh and decisive.

Faron flopped back on her bed, not waiting for her response, his arms spread wide as he stared at the ceiling. Falherna pulled up a nearby chair and sat down looking at her friend in silence. Perhaps, he abandoned the idea of another tankard of rum. She waited, crossing her legs, tying her bathrobe little tighter around her waist.

"Are you drunk for the same reason as me?" looking at her out of the corner of his eye he asked her quietly.

"It depends on the reason why you are drunk," she smiled and tilted her head massaging the bridge of her nose. The bed was spinning, as well as the whole room. She only made it worse by closing her eyes. It was a long time since she was drunk and what surprised her was the fact she had not enough of it. Still, there were whispers in her head, ghosts of the people they have lost that night.

Silence had fallen between them. Faron inhaled deeply and sat up on the edge of the bed. His gaze searched for the bottle. She reached out and hand it to him observing how he takes a long sip of the alcohol, wincing when it reached his throat.

"Join me" he mumbled. Falherna narrowed her eyes for a moment wondering if it was a good idea to make herself drunker than she already was. Still, the unwanted memories were pressing on her mind leaving no space for the second-thoughts.

* * * *

"I was trying..." he broke the silence. He was not able to control himself any longer. Falherna opened her eyes and their gazes met.

Faron cleared his throat and made another attempt "I was trying to fall asleep..." he sighed. He did not have the talent to share his emotional states with anybody.
However, over the last months, it was getting easier and easier. Especially around Fal. She was changing him without any special effort. Incredibly perceptive and sharp, she got him opened up and he wasn't sure how. He prided himself on being guarded, usually hiding behind awkward, even rude jokes and words. But she got him within few days. No one ever achieved that. No one.

Except Fal.

Strong, ironic, quiet and one of the most beautiful women he had seen, she had the kind of presence or charisma that made people around her want to work with her. He had seen her take control of chaotic, bloody, terrible situations and snap everyone into shape. These moments of her taking full control were the only one to uncover any emotions. In any other circumstances, she seemed devoided of any form of sentiments.

Still, there was something fragile about her. Sometimes she seemed vulnerable. He saw it in her eyes every time someone had died despite her best efforts. When she lost someone it cut her soul-deep, and he wondered how she could live with so many emotional scars. To say that he admired her was an understatement.

Faron felt her cold fingers on his palm and raised his head.

"You were trying to fall asleep and you failed, Faron. And?" blue eyes focused on his face and the drunk smile ghosted on Fal's lips.

He frowned at her words. Wasn't she aware of the weight of his words? She should know how hard it was for him. They fucked up and he could blame only himself.

She nudged him with her finger forcing him to look at her again. He saw her drunk for the first time ever and he did not like it.

"What happened with your patience, Fal?!" he hissed with annoyance.

She rolled her eyes what only made him angrier. He lowered his face trying to control his emotions. He was never good at it. Always too impulsive, too angry.

She captured his chin in her grip, turning his face to hers.

"Spit it out, falon" she mumbled staring at him. Her expression hardened at his hesitance.

"Fuck!" she cursed under her breath letting go his chin and leaning on the chair "If you don't want..." she hiccuped quietly covering her mouth with hand "...that's fine with me".

His palms clenched into a fist. He wanted to talk. He just needed some time to gather his thoughts and for the first time, she did not allow him to do it.

"We need more rum" she simply stated and stood up quickly staggering.

"Are you mad?" he raised his voice. His jaw tightened at the idea. They needed to talk, to comfort each other, to make some conclusions from their failure. He was not able to do it while being sober. That was the reason he came here being drunk. He did not needed more alcohol, he needed Fal to listen, to focus on his words. It was shocking to watch her in this state.

"I am not!" she answered quietly. Her frowned expression told him more than her words. She was offended. Of course. How many times she heard it before?

Faron sighed and wave with a hand at her.

"Do whatever you want, Brighteyes."

She left the room not bothering herself with closing the door. He hid his face in his hands considering if he should leave. It was obvious there was no chance to achieve anything with drunk Fal. Still, he needed her company. He relied on her and he was disappointed because tonight he could not. He was so strongly focused on his own confusion that he did not even think how hard was this failure for Fal.

Slowly he brought his body up from the bed and came to the window preparing himself for a confrontation with her. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but when Falherna came back with a fresh bottle he noticed right away that something was very wrong. He turned around and took a step forward “Fal, I want to talk to you.”

She nodded silently closing the door behind her. She looked almost bored, expressionless. There was an awkward moment. Faron searched for something to say studying her.

"I fucked up" he started averting his gaze and taking a deep breath "I was trying to fall asleep but I can still hear all those screams in my head...".

He looked at her hoping to see any reaction, but she leaned her back against the door avoiding his eyes.

"Those dead children won't leave me alone... and I am the one to blame" he sighed and his voice trembled "You trusted me with this fucking informer..." he started pacing and trying to maintain balance.

He looked at her again, briefly, out of the corner of his eye. He needed some answer. He needed some comfort. He was a mess, close to falling into pieces.

"Say something!" he pleaded brushing his long hair with his fingers.

"What do you want me to say?" her calm voice pierced him.

"Do you blame me?" he was spilling words without any control "I am impulsive, often I cannot stop my actions and I don't think about the consequences. I do long to fight, to risk" he stopped, shaken and looked at Fal. She was looking at the wall. He was not sure if she was even listening.

"How is it you are so calm when all the rest of us are shaken, Fal?" he whispered surprised by his own question. Was that the reason he came here tonight? To gather answers to questions so many asked before in secret, in their camps, when they were out of range of Fal's hearing? How was it that men did not have the balls to ask her about it directly?

She sent him a short glance but left his question unanswered.

"Why can you not say what you think?! Do you feel anything at all?!" he hissed taking another step forward. He was angry enough to feel the urge to grab her arms and shake her.

"If I want to share my thoughts" she murmured "I will open my mouth and speak. Everyone is plaguing me to speak further. For what? What good it would bring to talk about my feelings all the time, to tell you I cannot sleep because of our mission, that I cannot think clearly, that I cannot close my eyes. That even fucking rum cannot help me get rid of this nightmare?!" the strength in her voice surprised him.

She walked right past him, putting the bottle of rum loudly aside, her jaw clenched hard enough that he could see the strain from the muscles extending down into her neck. He reached out and touched her arm.

She quickly turned around, her lips drew back from her teeth in a snarl “Get out”.

Narrowing his eyes, he stood his ground “Fal, I ain’t going anywhere.”

He took a step closer and she trembled. To his shock, she raised her hand as if she wanted to slap him across the face “Get out!”.

He caught her upraised hand. Suddenly she moved to strike, using the hand he held as leverage, he spun her around and held her tight against his chest. She struggled against his restraint, her strength surprising him. He had never seen Fal behaving like this. She was always cool and collected.

“You better fucking let me go, Faron!” she tried to kick his shin but he kept her close, giving her something to fight against, to let loose her rage.

“It’s okay, Fal. I’ve got you. Let it out. You’re only human. If you keep that shit bottled up, it'll destroy you from the inside out and you'll be no good to anyone, not even yourself. Let it go.” he whispered in her ear.

Finally, she began to settle, then stilled. A moment later the first wrenching sob came and his heart ached at the utter misery of her cry. Slowly, he let her go but her legs buckled almost sending her to the floor. He grabbed her and her face fell against his neck. He held her as tight and close as he could, letting her use him for comfort.

After a while, the strength began to return to her body, and as it did, he lessened his hold until it was more of an embrace than a hug. Fal must have noticed the difference as well because she slowly slid her arms around his neck, her fingertips trailing over his banging pulse, and down to his collar. She stepped away, and he was grateful because he did not want her to feel his arousal.

Fenedhis, she was so soft, so warm against him.

Her blue eyes rested on his face as she slowly studied him. She tilted her head and moved closer to him. At the sudden, first, brush of her lips he trembled.

The second pass of her lips was bolder, lingering against his. She opened her mouth and Faron groaned, taking advantage of the invitation and meeting her tongue. Unable to help himself, he fisted his hand into her hair, holding her closer.
Moving back just enough to break their kiss she whispered, “Hold still.”

He obeyed and she began to slowly devour his mouth, tasting and sucking on his lips. He groaned again when she nipped his lower lip and he pulled her into his arms as she sucked on his tongue. When his hand went to her waist and began to travel towards her breast, she reluctantly broke their kiss.

* * * *

"Hold still. I want to enjoy you" her voice seemed deep and commanding for him. Faron's heart began to thud uncomfortably in his chest and he was at a loss.

He silenced his own objections as she slipped her fingers under his tunic and slid off the fabric with one move. She looked at him, tilting her head. Her fingers touched the bare skin of his chest. This was what he wanted, wasn’t it? Having her, taking her - he had thought of it since a long time, imagined it in all its possible ways. If this was the form of comfort she craved, he would supply it. If all she needed was to feel something, some distraction, some release from their failure, he could provide that. He wanted more from her than simple fuck, but he would not turn her away now.

She wove her fingers into his hair moving them off the side of his neck. The move was so sudden, so controlled that he didn’t have time to tense up. The tip of her finger stroked along his jaw and over to his neck.

She circled him continuing to slowly caress the column of his throat. Her lips brushed his pointed ear causing him to hitched his breath. He closed his eyes and shifted wanting to touch her, to taste her, to have her do something more besides that light touch
that aroused him more than anything. She stepped behind him, fingers trailing the lines on his back, sliding under his long hair, reaching his neck again.

He tried to calm his breathing, slow it down but he couldn't when her other hand reached the laces of his breeches. He moaned loudly and she laughed quietly and deeply. What was she doing to him? Why was she playing with him?

"Brighteyes..." he growled opening his eyes "Don't play with me. I want you" he grabbed her hand and turn around facing her. She narrowed her eyes tilting her head and looking at him intensively. His body was begging for some relief.

He reached around her waist and drew her against him. She released her hand from his grip and touched his bare chest stepping forward a pace. Faron stepped back, not wanting any distance between them. She led him few more paces until he felt the wall behind his back. She scraped her nails down his abdomen. He shuddered, a confusing blend of pain and pleasure overloading his mind.

She looked so controlled while he felt like a hot, sweaty teenage boy. The only thing betraying her were her dilated pupils.

"Kiss me, Fal," he asked trying to touch her face.

"No" she answered withdrawing slightly “I will have you on my terms, Faron" her voice changed, becoming a seductive whisper.

She leaned forward grabbing his hair and tilted his head to have a better access to his neck. He felt her lips on his jaw. She moaned and nipped his jaw all the way to his lips. She licked his bottom lip and he growled opening his mouth, fighting the urge to press her to his body and take her here and now. Their tongues met and stroked along each other.

Not breaking their kiss, Fal reached between them and unlaced his breeches freeing his erection. Before he could protest she had her hand around his member and everything went black. His hands clenched into a fist, he became lost in her. The slow slides of her fist squeezing tight up and down his length started the burn in the base of his spine. He opened his eyes to look at her, to tell her that he will not be able to take it anymore but the words stuck in his throat when he met her gaze. She looked like a predator, observing every wince on his face, his parted lips.

She collared his neck with her second hand, feeling his pulse under her thumb.

“Easy,” she whispered. Immediately she stopped touching him and moved on her knees. Lust blazed through her eyes and her swollen breasts pressed against the thin fabric of her robe.

"Fenedhis, Fal!" he growled loudly trying to avert his gaze, to not see the torture she planned for him.

"Easy" she repeated gently as she leaned, licking a trail over the hip bone. Her soft mouth captured the tip of his erection. It felt even better than he could ever imagine, a pleasure that made his eyes roll back in his head. Not able to control himself he thrust into her mouth. She pulled back and gave him a sharp glare stopping the caress.

He stilled waiting for her move, feeling helpless and sentenced at her mercy.

Slowly she gave his shaft a series of teasing licks until he settled back down and leaned against the wall submitting to her and all the feelings washing his body.

* * * *

Falherna put her hands on Faron's chest lowering her hips. She closed her eyes and grimaced at the first thrust. It was years since she had been with a man. The pain washed over her body slowly changing into pleasure.

She embraced it, her head was spinning, her vision was blurred. She felt no restraint, no shame, no remorse about her actions. Her mind drifted away and she let her body control her. Faron disappeared replaced by a vision of a man she dreamed of.

"Fen'harel," she thought taking the man laying under her, making him weak, aroused, blind with pleasure. She set the pace, the rhythm without considering his ability to handle it. Faron's hands found her breasts and she moaned loudly as the vision of the Dread Wolf's hands filled her mind. She let it consume her, images of her taking him, him taking her, of their bodies tangled together appeared under her eyelids and she cried out loud.

Her moves began to be more frantic, her muscles clenching while she visualized Fen'harel lying under her, letting her take control, to impose the intensity of pace. Would he submit to her? How would he react to the moves of her hips? Would he sing her name? How would it sound on his lips?

Imagination suggested her images of elf's moaning and growling under the influence of her actions and touch.

She arched her back, her body flushed and sweaty. Her hips sped up, Faron's fingers dug into her skin and she heard just on the border of her consciousness his rapid, raspy breathing.

A series of curses flew from Falherna's mouth when the climax hit her and her mind filled with the only name she could think of "Fen'Harel".

* * * *

Voices and the sounds of bustle woke him up. He cleared his throat attempting to open his eyes. His eyelids seemed heavier than ever, he rubbed his eyes and stretched his body. His hand instinctively reached toward the pillows on his right, searching for the warmth of Fal's body. She wasn't there. He untangled his legs from the sheets with a groan, looking around. His gaze met hers, expecting to see there something soft or tender in her eyes. She was sitting on a chair with her hands clenched so tightly over her mug that the skin around her knuckles was almost white. Faron frowned seeing her fully dressed and motionless.

He felt a heat in his chest as he recognized the resignation and the guilt in her gaze. Obviously, she was thinking about what would come next. They stared at each other for a long moment while all the words that he had planned to tell her, all the feelings that he wanted to show her seemed of little importance. He knew, right then, they should stay where he kept them until now. In his heart.

"Good morning," he said simply wanting to break the silence.

"I brought you coffee" she answered, handing him a mug. He took it noticing how quickly she withdrew her fingers before they touched his.

He took a sip and looked at her again "Fal..." lying to her seemed impossible. He shook his head "It wasn't..." he tried again but she quieted him with a wave of her hand.

"Forgive me, falon" she started. The word cut his heart. Blood thudded in his ears. Stupid. So stupid!.

He forced himself to stay calm, to ignore the pain in his chest. Mistake, of course, it was a mistake.

"I apologize. What I did was impulsive and I should not have encouraged it, Faron" she stated looking at him, sincerity flickering in her eyes.

"There's no need, Fal," he said shaking his head.

It was a good fuck. Nothing more. He had fucked plenty of women and he knew how to act after it had gone too far. After all, he was always the one apologizing for his reckless actions.

"It was the effect of the alcohol,” he murmured purposefully, forcing himself to keep his eyes locked on hers, to lie to himself as much as he was lying to her.

“I let it get the better of me,” he let out a breathy laugh, too heavy, too tight to be casual.

"Well, we both let it happen " she seemed expressionless again, unnaturally calm "Still, the fault is mine. I should have stopped myself. I am sorry."

Afterward, she made no other attempt to speak, only continued to stare at him with unreadable eyes. With incredible effort, Faron smiled "Shit! So there is no chance for a replay?" the joke was ridiculous but it seemed to work as the corners of Fal's mouth raised and she chuckled quietly.

"Faron, we both know that pursuing a woman to bed is like a hunt for you. I was attractive as long as I was saying no, I was a prey. Now when you had me I am nothing more than a trophy." her eyes studied his face.

He swallowed back the lump in his throat as he straightened and nodded. Another sip of coffee helped him to collect his thoughts.

"You know me so well, Fal" he answered averting his gaze.

"Gather your things, Faron. It is almost noon and I am certain where we can find the informer," saying it she rose from her chair and began to pick up his clothes from the floor.

Faron wrenched his eyes shut, taking a deep breath.


So undeniably stupid he was.