Be My Calling

Elissa Cousland visits Loghain in Montsimmard where the two awkwardly go on a date
before passionately declaring their feelings for each other.

Note: Preview is SFW.

Elissa arrived at the Grey Warden fortress in Montsimmard in Orlais. She was glad her ordeal with the Architect was over. Besides, it would be nice to catch up with an old friend.
        She climbed the steps, and there awaited Loghain, smiling, his armour glistening in the sun. His face bore the lines of his years, the harshness he usually wore replaced with genuine joy.
        He bowed curtly. ‘Commander of the Grey.’ He rose. ‘It is good to see you.’
        ‘It has been too long,’ Elissa replied.
        Loghain began to lead her through the fortress and up some stairs. ‘And to think I once tried to have you killed.’
        Elissa let out a small laugh. ‘And now?’
        Loghain looked at her and there was something in his blue eyes that caused her to turn away and look straight ahead, feeling heat rise to her face suddenly.
        Loghain cleared his throat deliberately. ‘Nevermind me, I heard you defeated the Architect. It was about time it was destroyed, that creature had some dark magic about it. As I recall, Maric and I drove it and its darkspawn back. Once again, Maric was lucky enough to stay alive and I came in to save the day.’ He chuckled to himself. ‘So-to-speak.’ He stopped before a door. ‘Then again, we both know nothing ever is as it seems when it comes to darkspawn.’
        Elissa smiled gingerly and shrugged.
        ‘Anyway, these are to be your quarters. Mine are down the hall that way, should you require anything.’ Loghain shifted awkwardly. ‘It is good to see you.’
        Elissa realised that was the second time he’d said that since her arrival. ‘Likewise.’ She paused. ‘It’s nice to see you smile. It’s a nice change from your usual broodiness.’
        He scowled. ‘I’m not broody.’ He seemed to mull that over as she smiled, amused. ‘So what if I am?’
        ‘Don’t worry, it’s one of your best features. It’s quite…alluring.’ Elissa smiled shyly, feeling her face become hot again.
        Loghain kept his eyes on her for a moment more before clearing his throat again.
        ‘I’ll let you get settled.’
        He turned briskly and walked down the hall, pausing at a door at the far end to look at her before entering his room.
        Elissa realised she was feeling flustered. She chalked it up to her being thrilled to see her friend. They had been through a lot together, she and Loghain, had even once been enemies. But he had proven to be loyal in the end, and sparing his life and recruiting him into the Grey Wardens had been the tactical approach at the time. She was glad she had given the man a chance.
        She entered the chambre and set her things down near the vanity. She had a nice view of the city below, and a cool breeze blew in through the window. She barely had time to sit down when there came a knock at the door.
        She opened to find Loghain standing on the other side of the threshold. He hesitated.
        Elissa smiled, cocking a brow in curiosity. ‘Something you needed?’ She walked back a few steps and Loghain entered the room.
        ‘Several of the lads are celebrating a victory down at the tavern this evening. I was wondering…if you’d like—’
         ‘To accompany me?’ he completed, sounding unsure.
        Elissa felt a flutter in her stomach and found herself beaming at him before catching herself.
        ‘I’d be happy to.’
        Loghain smiled warmly. ‘Excellent. I’ll come by this evening and we can head there together.’
        ‘It’s a date!’
        Elissa realised only after that she’d said the words. Both she and Loghain stood motionless for a moment. Her heart raced and she hoped her shock didn’t show on her face.
        Loghain’s smile widened and he nodded. He backed up towards the door, before turning and exiting.
        Elissa let out a breath she hadn’t realised she’d been holding. What am I going to wear? was the first thought that came to mind. She felt completely flustered. What were you thinking, Elissa? A date! With the man who once tried to have you killed! Surely Loghain didn’t see it as more than a just friendly date…surely.
        Elissa scrambled around nervously, trying to find something amid what she’d brought that could be suitable. Finally, she left in search of assistance from the other wardens, claiming she wanted to dress up for the celebrations this evening. She found herself bumbling justifications like some teenage girl trying to cover up an embarrassment. Thankfully, one of the female wardens was more than happy to lend her a dress.
        Elissa now wore the gown while fussing over her hair. She had it in her usual bun, but for some reason, it just didn’t look right. The dress itself was a gorgeous gown made of deep blue silk brocade. Its sleeves widened at the wrists, and its diamond-shaped collar gave her a nice cleavage though discrete.
        Elissa realised she’d barely eaten her stomach was completely in knots and she felt utterly silly for it.
        There was a knock at the door.
        Elissa spun to face the door, her heart racing. She turned back to the mirror.
        ‘Come in!’ she called out.
        She turned to the door again, standing from the vanity, as Loghain stepped inside the chamber. He stopped short and gaped at her, his eyes wide in awe.
        He was dressed in dark leathers. She had never seen him without his armour. This getup was tighter and accentuated every muscle on his body.
        ‘You look,’ he breathed, ‘absolutely beautiful.’
        Elissa’s breath hitched and she felt her face redden with heat. ‘Thank you,’ she managed. ‘You’re quite handsome yourself.’ Loghain blushed.
        They stared at each other for another awkward moment before Loghain cleared his throat self-consciously. He looked down at his feet, then back up again. He turned towards the door and offered Elissa his arm.
        ‘Shall we?’
        ‘Of course.’
        Looping her arm through his, Elissa followed Loghain to the tavern where many Grey Wardens were already merrily laughing and singing, drinking pints of ale, and shouting cries of victory in the small space they were all crammed in. She and Loghain sat at one of the tables and chatted happily with many of the others who shared their stories with what sounded like much exaggeration.
        Elissa felt Loghain’s gaze on her and felt compelled to turn away shyly. His eyes bore into her and she could not meet them.
        Feeling very hot all of a sudden, she stood and walked over to the bar where a burly dwarf sang as he poured drinks for the patrons.
        Loghain joined her. ‘They’re a bit…much, aren’t they?’
        ‘Rowdy?’ Elissa offered.
        ‘I personally care not to stay much longer, if
        ‘That’s an excellent idea,’ she interrupted. ‘I mean, to leave…together.’
        Loghain opened his mouth and then closed it again. He nodded and motioned to the door.
        They walked back together, mostly in silence, sharing but a bit of idle and awkward chit-chat.
        When they reached the hallway to their chambres, Loghain stopped and looked at Elissa, his gaze deep and intent. There was a longing there she had never seen.
        ‘Well,’ they both said simultaneously, then laughed awkwardly.
        ‘It was lovely,’ Elissa said.
        ‘Indeed you are.’ Loghain looked as shocked as she felt and he swallowed, consciously clearing his throat.
        Elissa fumbled for something to do. She opened the door and entered her chambre, turning to Loghain. He took a few slow steps, following her in. He looked like he was about to speak. Then a shadow Elissa couldn’t quite place passed over his face, and he closed his mouth suddenly, a stern and impassive expression replacing the warmth and joy that had been there moments before.
        ‘Good night, then.’ He turned abruptly and strode to the door. Elissa felt dismayed and anxious, and she stared after him. He lingered at the doorway, and placed his hand on the doorframe, bowing his head.
        Suddenly, Loghain turned and marched back to her, and, placing both hands on her face, kissed her deeply, pressing his lips to hers with what felt like desperation.

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