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Return To Me


Qunari attack Weisshaupt Fortress and Loghain must protect Ellana Lavellan
who escapes the fortress. When he arrives at the Grey Warden safehouse,
both are swept up in the moment and declare their love for each other.


Note: Preview is SFW.


Ellana sighed, gazing across the room at Loghain who sat on a chair near a small table, leaning back casually. He had one arm draped over the back of the chair.
        ‘I just feel trapped,’ Ellana complained.
        ‘I understand.’
        The man had a rugged face with many lines from years of fighting wars and darkspawn. Ellana had for several months been staying at Weisshaupt Fortress with Loghain as her bodyguard.
        ‘Am I not entertainment enough for you, then?’ He grinned.
        ‘If you spoke more maybe you would be.’ Ellana sat down on the edge of the bed. ‘Perhaps a song and dance to cheer me up?’
        Loghain chuckled. ‘You’re a popular woman, Lady Lavellan. It is safest for you to remain indoors. I wish I could give you a tour of the Anderfels, but alas, I, myself, have not visited much beyond Weisshaupt.’
        Ellana shook her head. ‘You mean I am a woman who is wanted by every enemy faction Thedas has to offer,’ she muttered. ‘The Qunari, the Venatori, anyone who opposes the Inquisition. Makes me wonder if I should have disbanded it. I’m surprised no one’s sent the Crows after me.’
        ‘You are wanted,’ Loghain confirmed. His gaze grew intense before he cleared his throat. ‘You’re a formidable woman, Inquisitor. You have powerful allies and many connections. If I were your enemy, I’d sure as hell be coming after you too.’
        Ellana let her sarcasm seep into her voice and rolled her eyes. ‘Thanks.’
        She shrugged, looking at her left arm. It had healed well, and she was getting rather used to it by now. She didn’t mind so much anymore that Solas had severed her arm when he removed the anchor, she minded that he had lied to her for the entire time he had been with the Inquisition.
        After the…ordeal at the Winter Palace, she had returned to Skyhold for some time until the attacks had begun. Venatori had first come for her; it was all the others could do to thwart them. Then the Qunari had assaulted the fortress, and rumour had begun of various groups attempting to stop the Inquisition. So, it had been deemed best to hide her, and she had been here at Weisshaupt ever since. The only person who wasn’t coming after her was… She didn’t want to think of him.
        She looked at Loghain; his deep gaze remained fixed on her, his blue eyes piercing.
        Ellana’s lips quirked into a smile. ‘If I didn’t know better, I’d say you just enjoy admiring me.’
        ‘Thankfully,’ Loghain sighed, ‘you know better.’
        Ellana feigned dejection. ‘Gee, thanks.’
        Loghain remained transfixed on her. ‘Besides, you wouldn’t want an old man like me.’
        ‘Oh? What makes you say that?’
        He shrugged, leaning forward, resting his arms on his knees, looking grim. ‘I’ve long since stopped allowing myself to care for another. I’ve lost all the women I ever loved in my life. I’ve lost family, and friends I cared deeply for. My mother, my father, Maric, Rowan, Celia.’ He momentarily closed his eyes, a pained expression on his face. ‘It’s better for me to put things of the heart behind me, for it only ends with heartache.’
        ‘Yeah, you probably do well.’ Ellana bowed her head. ‘Love someone, and then they lie to you and leave you, take your arm off, and go off to destroy the world.’ Then, she added, muttering, ‘Lying god of an elf.’
        That got a chuckle out of Loghain. ‘Now you know why I’ve spent most of my life distrusting elves.’ Ellana looked up, cocking a brow. ‘Actually, you’re the first elf I’ve ever fully trusted.’
        ‘Wow, what an honour.’ Ellana put her hand to her heart. ‘I will do my best to ensure that trust is not misplaced.’
        They both laughed before sobering again. Loghain’s gaze always remained on her.
        ‘And you’re not hoping to rekindle…’ He trailed off.
        ‘No,’ Ellana replied flatly. ‘It’s over between Solas and me. I made that very clear when he…removed the anchor.’ She studied Loghain for a moment. ‘You have nothing to worry about.’ He looked away suddenly, as though flustered. ‘I will not let my past relationship with him stop me should I be required to save Thedas.’
        ‘Right.’ Loghain sounded all business-like. He shifted. ‘Well, I have matters I must attend to. Grey Warden matters.’
        And without waiting for an acknowledgement, Loghain left the room.

* * *


        It was near night when Ellana heard a scuffle down the hall and some shouting. She turned, startled, as Loghain hurried into her room, his bow drawn with an arrow already nocked for good measure. Many other wardens followed him in and they barricaded the door.
        ‘What’s going on?’ Ellana asked, alarmed.
        ‘The fortress is being attacked,’ Loghain said hurriedly. He turned and barked some orders to some of the other wardens.
        ‘By whom?’
        ‘Qunari!’ He paused, looking at her intently. ‘You must leave.’
        ‘What?’
        ‘We’ve bought you enough time to gather your essentials, then you must go.’
        ‘But go where?’
        Loghain took one step forward and lowered his voice. ‘I’ve assembled a team to protect you and escort you to Hossberg.’
        Fear gripped her in the pit of her stomach. ‘You mean, you’re staying here? Loghain, I thought you were to guard me.’
        Loghain narrowed his gaze. ‘That is precisely what I’m doing now.’ He motioned to himself and other wardens. ‘We’ll hold them off for as long as we can. But… They’ve come for you. My job is to ensure they don’t reach you.’
        ‘I could stay and fight,’ Ellana insisted. ‘I’ve trained with my prosthetic. I can shoot my bow just as accurately as before.’
        ‘Perhaps, but can you defeat an entire army of Qunari?’
        ‘And you can?’ Ellana hadn’t realised just how high-pitched her voice had gotten and her heart was racing as much as her mind was.
        Before Loghain could argue, a Qunari leapt into the room through the window, brandishing an axe.
        Loghain shot the Qunari with his bow, but the arrow barely did any damage. An arrow flew in from the other direction as a Qunari archer leapt in after the warrior. Loghain took the arrow in the shoulder. He grunted in pain, plucking it out, and poked the warrior’s eye with it. He kicked the Qunari as the other wardens took down the archer.
        Loghain skillfully switched to his sword and slashed at the Qunari’s neck. The warrior brought up his hand to block the sword. Loghain pulled it out of his grip and lunged forward, impaling the Qunari before pushing to drive his sword in deeper. Then, he kicked the Qunari off his sword.
        Panting heavily, he looked at Ellana. ‘Your window of time has closed. You must leave now.’
        Blood dripped from his sword, as did some from his wound. Ellana took a step forward. ‘I’m not leaving you.’
        ‘Go!’ Loghain growled, taking a step towards her. His gaze was earnest and his eyes lingered on her a moment longer before he spoke more softly. ‘Go.’
        For the first time since she’d arrived at Weisshaupt, Ellana realised what it was she felt towards the man before her.
        ‘Not until you promise to return to me.’
        Loghain sucked in a breath. He half-whispered. ‘I promise.’
        Ellana nodded, backing away. Loghain turned to the door as the Qunari on the other side of it began to pound it.
        Loghain snapped his head towards Ellana. ‘Go!’ he shouted.
        Ellana turned and hurried, following her Grey Warden escorts through a secret passage in the room, down several stairs, and out through a door she didn’t even know existed in the fortress.
        Another group of wardens joined them after they had travelled for several leagues. A small band of Qunari gave pursuit but were quickly taken down by the wardens. Otherwise, the hurried trip to Hossberg had gone with less incident than Ellana had feared.
        The wardens housed Ellana at a Grey Warden safehouse near the centre of the city. And there, as the days passed, Ellana waited for the return of her Grey Warden bodyguard.

* * *


        One morning, after many long days, there was a commotion within the estate, and in stumbled Loghain, limping into the hall.
        ‘Where is she?’ he growled. ‘Is she safe?’ He leaned heavily on his sword.
        ‘Loghain!’ Ellana exclaimed.
        The man had multiple wounds and was bleeding from many places. His Grey Warden leathers were torn, the metal plating on his chest scratched and bent, and his face bore a gash along one cheek.
        He looked up at her, eyes wide with relief. ‘Ellana,’ he whispered.
        And then he collapsed.

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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—’
        ‘Yes!’
         ‘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.
        Already?
        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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Unmasked and Naked At the Winter Palace


Following the ball at the Winter Palace, Emperor Gaspard de Chalons
invites Lady Trevelyan to his chambres where they both remove all masks
and allow the other to see their true selves, vulnerable and naked.


Note: Preview is SFW.


Evelyne leaned against the railing of the balcony. The ball was winding down, though the merriment continued at the Winter Palace. She heard footsteps approaching, to then reveal leaning beside her the new Emperor of Orlais, Gaspard de Chalons.
        ‘It’s been quite the night, hasn’t it, Inquisitor?’ he said with his Orlesian accent.
        ‘Indeed, it has,’ she replied.
        ‘I cannot thank you enough for putting your trust in me. I assure you, our alliance will be most beneficial to you.’
        ‘It was my pleasure.’
        ‘Hmm.’ Gaspard studied her for a moment, his blue eyes searching for something, though she could not tell what his mask concealed much of his face.
        He walked to the far edge of the balcony. He looked back at her. ‘Come with me, Inquisitor, where we may speak more freely before anyone notices we are gone.’ His tone was inviting. He did not wait for a reply, however; he jumped over the railing and onto a dais below.
        Feeling a thrill she could not yet place, Evelyne followed him down several platforms to the garden, and then up again to another balcony and into a lavishly decorated room.
        ‘This your bedroom?’ she asked, feeling amused.
        ‘One of them,’ he replied. He closed the drapes and took a few steps towards her, his hands clasped behind his back. ‘Here we may speak freely and uninterrupted.’
        Evelyne had to admit she was intrigued. All evening, she had been eyeing Gaspard and had noticed his gaze had been intent on her as well. She, herself, had been hoping they could speak more openly without any prying eyes or eavesdroppers.
        ‘And what is it you wish to speak about?’ asked Evelyne.
        ‘You are a woman of many talents, Lady Inquisitor, and the face of the Inquisition. But we all wear masks, do we not?’ He walked closer to her and stopped beside her when his shoulder nearly touched hers; he looked at her. ‘Who is the real Lady Trevelyan, I might wonder? Behind her mask, when she is vulnerable and…exposed?’
        From this close, Evelyne could smell the man’s cologne. It was an earthy musky scent that was subtle and rather pleasant.
        She looked down at her hand, the dormant anchor barely reacting with but a brief glow of green. She looked back at Gaspard. ‘I wonder what it would be like to relax again. I’d like to enjoy my time with others and not have to worry about what strange circumstance I walked into that now tethers me to this title.’
        ‘Yes, I would assume the responsibility the anchor imposes upon you would be quite heavy.’ This close, she could feel his breath when he spoke, and she did not dislike that.
        ‘And what about you, Gaspard de Chalons? Who are you when you are vulnerable…and exposed?’
        ‘I am a man of simple pleasures. I am not complicated. I much rather play chess than lead the armies of Orlais.’
        He removed his mask, boring his eyes into Evelyne’s. His face was scruffy but there was a softness to it, and there was longing in his eyes. His cheeks bore harsh scars from many years of battle, yet the tenderness with which he looked at her spoke of a gentleness that relaxed his face with its fine lines of his years.
        Evelyne swallowed, daring to hope that what she had felt throughout the evening, the pull that tugged at her towards him, he had also felt towards her.
        ‘I would like to enjoy the company of one beautiful woman without the worry of how that might affect our reputations if we were to be seen together.’
        Her breath caught in her throat. Gaspard turned and walked to a small table, placing his mask on it. He deliberately removed the metal plates of his armour, then walked back to her, his gaze intense, and his thick lips quirked into a momentary smile. He stopped short of her face, his breath hot and tantalising. Evelyne felt a tingle run through her body that rested at her pelvis and her heart quickened.
        ‘So I ask if I may discover the real Lady Trevelyan. Who are you when you are vulnerable and…naked?’
        Evelyne whispered, letting her desire seep into her voice. ‘You’ll have to undress me to find out.’


Continue reading Unmasked and Naked At the Winter Palace

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As It Was Intended – Dragon Age Threesome Smut & Angst

Prince Maric walks in on Loghain and Rowan in a passionate exchange
and things quickly get heated between them.
Taking place after the events of The Stolen Throne proper, before the Epilogue of the book.


Note: Preview is SFW.


Maric sat leaning back in his study, pondering some of the events of the latest months. The rebel army had made good progress, and the Orlesian forces were in disarray, now that he had eliminated the brains behind the usurper. It had been over a year since their victory that day. He wasn’t King yet, but he was close.
        Maric heard raised voices coming from down the hall. He stood and walked in their direction. He realised the voices came from Rowan’s room. He stopped by the door, listening.
        ‘I just hate what has become of us.’ Maric recognised Loghain’s voice.
        ‘It was your decision,’ Rowan spat back, trying to keep her voice hushed, though not very successfully. ‘Do you realise the sacrifices I’ve had to make just in the past year alone?’
        ‘And you think I haven’t made any sacrifices?’ Loghain growled. ‘Everything I have done. . .have ever done. . .’
        They lowered their voices as Rowan retorted something to Loghain but Maric couldn’t make out her words.
        ‘I did what was necessary!’ Loghain shouted in exasperation.
        Maric took the opportunity of the raised voice to slowly open the door a crack and peer in discretely. His heart thumped fast in his chest as he realised he probably didn’t want to hear this exchange he feared hearing it and yet couldn’t help but listen in.
        Rowan was wearing one of the gowns that had been gifted to her, from the people to their future Queen. She was beautiful in it, and Maric didn’t miss the way Loghain’s eyes darted across her features, even in the heat of their argument. Loghain, of course, was wearing his leathers. The Hero of the River Dane was still unaccustomed to his new armour and preferred to travel in his most trusted gear.
        Rowan and Loghain stared at each other for a beat, so Maric repositioned himself so he could see a bit better inside the room.
        ‘It’s too late for regrets now,’ said Rowan. She gave Loghain a stern look. ‘Why? Why have you come? Is it just to antagonise me? Is it
        ‘Because I care!’ Loghain was leaning forward, an angry expression upon his face.
        ‘And you think I don’t?’ Rowan stepped closer to Loghain. ‘I have always cared. Why do you think I. . .risked everything for you.’
        ‘I know.’ His voice was solemn. Loghain stepped back. ‘Rowan. . . Letting you go was the most difficult decision of my life, and I. . .’ His voice cracked.
        Maric could see Loghain’s face contort with inner torment, his eyes wet with silent tears.
        And then, Loghain placed an arm behind Rowan’s back and pulled her in and kissed her, fierce and intent. Rowan wrapped her arms around Loghain as they continued to kiss with passion.
        Maric felt a pang that ignited an angry fire within him, though he wasn’t sure which of them made him angrier in this instance.
        He slammed the door open as he walked in, his gaze intense and on them both. Loghain and Rowan quickly pulled apart. Rowan looked mortified, while Loghain’s stern gaze became inscrutable.
        ‘The old witch told me you would betray me,’ Maric said evenly, looking pointedly at Loghain. He motioned his head towards Rowan. ‘But with her. You might as well have killed me when you wanted to.’
        Loghain narrowed his gaze but remained otherwise impassive.
        ‘Maric, I. . .’ Rowan began. ‘You know how I feel about you, I just
        ‘And you!’ Maric snapped at her, his anger mounting. ‘My betrothed. Would you so readily renege your oath?’ He looked from one to the other. ‘Do you realise how much it hurts me to see you both together like this?’
        For the first time since Maric had entered the room, Loghain downcast his eyes.
        ‘Maric. . . You knew we had something before.’
        ‘Yes, and I assumed it had ended because Rowan and I’ He stopped, seeing the hurt on Loghain’s face. For the first time since that night he’d killed Katriel and slept with Rowan, Loghain had shown emotion, his steely demeanour finally breaking. Maric felt another pang, this time more sorrowful, as he watched Loghain’s tears run down his cheeks.
        The other man closed his eyes and shook his head. ‘I’ll let the two of you sort this out,’ he breathed and began for the door.
        Maric stopped him with his arm. ‘You will do no such thing.’
        Loghain scowled, eyes still wet. ‘Clearly, you need some time to speak,’ he said, looking from Maric to Rowan.
        ‘And what will you do? Hope I’ll forget this ever happened and return when I’m not looking? I think not.’
        Moving swiftly, Maric took a step back and kicked the door shut before stepping forward again and drawing himself to his full height.
        ‘Now you’re being ridiculous, Maric,’ Loghain growled at him.
        ‘You don’t seem to understand that I am your King and I have given you an order! Will you defy me then?’
        Loghain got into Maric’s face. ‘Whatever torment you want as revenge, let’s have it then.’
        Maric and Loghain stared at each other in contempt, their faces inches apart. Maric remembered the look Loghain had given him when he wanted to kill him back when they had first met. The look Loghain gave him today was similar, but there was something more, something. . .more heated, more emotional.
        ‘Maric, please,’ Rowan whispered.
        Maric took a step back, studying them, his jaw set. ‘You have both betrayed me. How did it come to this? How did we get here, with such. . .chasms between us?’ His tone became more desperate than he had intended.
        ‘We did that which was necessary. . .for Ferelden,’ Loghain said evenly.
        ‘For Ferelden?’ Maric’s brows shot up, he was incredulous.
        ‘Maric, ever since. . .’ began Rowan. ‘You knew. . .we thought. . .’ Tears speckled her eyes. ‘I love you,’ she whispered.
        Loghain set his jaw, looking pained, but he did not avert his eyes.
        ‘But you love him too,’ Maric growled angrily.
        ‘Is your pride so hurt that I tasted her love first?’ Loghain’s voice was filled with anger and hurt, and it sent a surge of emotion through Maric’s body.
        ‘I always cared about you both,’ Rowan admitted.
        Maric’s expression softened. His emotions were sending his thoughts in all directions. The three of them had been so close once, they had become inseparable for a time. They laughed, they teased, they cried. Since his mother died, there had only ever been two people Maric loved strongly enough that he would do anything for, including give his life. And his heart ached for that feeling of closeness he had felt with them, that feeling he feared was now lost forever.
        ‘I miss us.’ Maric looked Rowan in the eyes, and then met Loghain’s gaze. ‘I miss the way we used to be, the three of us.’
        ‘It will never be the same, Maric,’ Loghain warned.
        ‘I know, but for one moment, just this night, can we just. . .forget Ferelden and be as we once were? Can’t we just. . .be the three of us?’
        In Loghain’s eyes, Maric saw the longing he himself felt for the friendship they once had, but when Loghain looked at Rowan, that longing was different, and Maric felt a pang of jealousy, unsure at whom it was directed. Rowan looked equally longingly at both of them. He knew despite the cold that had grown between them, they still loved each other.
        ‘You are the two people I care for the most in this world,’ Maric admitted. ‘We once shared a love, one that was different for each of us, different towards each of us, but one I miss, one I now need.’ Maric felt his eyes sting with unshed tears. ‘Please, Rowan, Loghain, just this night. Let’s forget everything that’s happened.’
        Rowan took a step towards him but stopped short. Loghain remained planted where he was, his gaze no longer able to meet Maric’s.
        ‘Do you not miss what we had?’ Maric asked.
        Rowan drew in a breath. ‘I. . . Yes.’
        ‘We can never again have what we had,’ Loghain said, his voice grave.
        ‘But that doesn’t mean we can’t have something new that is equally special.’ Maric heard the hope in his voice, and he saw in both their eyes that same hope he felt.
        There was a tug in his heart of desperation, a vulnerability he had only ever allowed them to see that surged through him as his sorrow, regret and anger rose together to become a sensation of passion tingling through his body, and suddenly, he knew what he wanted this night.
        ‘If the two of you are to share intimacy. . .’ He paused. Rowan’s eyes were pleading, Loghain’s blue eyes piercing. ‘I would rather you both saved your intimacy for me, rather than for each other.’


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