"Fine. But there better be sex to make up for it later."
They arrived at her Hightown estate in silence, the once more victorious Champion sharply heading up the stairs, and to her room, without so much as a word. She didn't even spare a backward glance to poor Bodahn when he enthusiastically greeted his mistress as usual, leaving the dwarf to look up to Isabela, a brow raised in innocent curiosity.
The pirate merely tsked, a small smirk curving her lips. "Oh, you know women, Bodahn. Time of the month and all."
It was an easy lie — one that seemed to satisfy the dwarf while also adding a delectable tinge of color to his cheeks — but one Isabela strangely could not take stock in. Hawke may have easily fooled the others of their party with that easy smile of hers and that clever tongue… Mmm, that glorious tongue…What had she been thinking about? Oh. Hawke, their situation—right.
It was only behind closed doors that the layers began to melt away, and the other might as well have yelled her disapproval. Hawke had that look. That horrid one she only reserved for special occasions when 'blatant nonchalance' and 'inappropriate mockery', would not do. It even rivaled Merrill's puppy eyed, 'but I swear this wasn't supposed to kill everyone' stare, really, pricking a conscious the pirate was not supposed to possess. And ever since Isabela wished to play 'catch up' (among other things) with Zev before he departed from the Antivan camp, she'd been…
While attractive on that tattooed face of hers, those cute creases at her forehead while her brows knitted with obvious chagrin, Isabela knew that it had to be dealt with. Perhaps sooner, this time, rather than later.
And, it was not as if she had anything else to do. The Hanged Man was dreadfully dry until Corff got his new shipment in the following night.
Following the same path up the stairs, (after taking a quick moment to chuckle at her handiwork still upon the rail) she made her own approach to Hawke's room. Door not only unlocked, but completely ajar, the pirate took this as a good sign; one that saved her the hassle of picking the lock. Boldly, Isabela stepped into the quiet area, adding weight to her usually light steps and making sure there was no way the other rogue could miss that she now entered in all her glory. Immediately, a wall was picked to lean on, a leg instinctively propping up against it to catch her weight.
Greeted with only more silence—suddenly, the pirate did not know why she was here – in her room, waiting for acknowledgement. She should have left. A smarter person certainly would have. Yet, her making foolish decisions whenever Hawke was involved was becoming all but a common occurrence.
That alone made her want to strap a rather large rock to Hawke's body and toss her out in the sea. Or simply tie her up and ravage her. Maybe both at the same time? She'd have to think on that….
Resurfacing to the here and now, Isabela's eyes trailed the other woman as she moved about the space—sharp, brusque movements—the other finally lingering at her desk after bringing even more documents to add to the lovely mountain there.
Amber eyes rolling in exasperation, she finally let out a long-suffering sigh. "Are you going to do this silent, moody bit for the rest of the day? If so, I'd like to put in my bid that we skip to the part with all the dirty, sweaty, make-up sex. Tell you what: I'll even let you use the rope on me this time."
Subtlety? It might as well have been a line in the Chant for all the pirate knew of it.
Hawke didn't turn to look at her, seemingly more interested in the ridiculous amount of papers occupying her desk. "What does this mean to you?"
Way too serious. Her question held no ready undertone of mirth, and not one snide comment yet escaped her lips. She hadn't even commented on the rope.
"What?" Isabela removed herself from the wall and began to amble to the other side of the room. She would not be cornered. "Is there something on that bore of a desk I should be aware of?"
"On your desk for a quick tumble? Ooh…We could, quite literally, fuck the system." A hand rested against her chin in thought. "Is it too late to retract the 'quick' part?"
"The two of us." There was a strain to her reiteration; apparently, her giving suggestion would not be taken advantage of. "Does it mean anything?"
A raised hand. "I want to know if this is how it'll always be. Even now…" it was a sentence left incomplete, "You're still petitioning others for sex?"
So, this was about Zevran. Though not in a promising way. "Look. Old habits…die hard, all right? And it's not as if it were just anyone. I told you before: the man's an artist." A shiver. "The things he can do to a woman's body…"
Hawke finally faced her. "Am I not enough?"
Shit. This look was even worse. The vulnerable, 'you just seduced my faithful husband of ten years for one night of debauchery', kind. "You could have joined in, you know. I wouldn't have minded." In fact, Isabela wanted her to. Zev's mastery technique with Hawke's raw intensity? It would have been spectacular.
Hard eyes. "Is that really all that matters to you?"
The pirate loosed another sigh, shoulders shrugging as she simply stared at the other woman, "What do you want me to say?"
"The truth, Isabela."
"And if that was the truth?" Her posture stiffened. "What then?" The barriers were rising now; the damn woman just made it too easy, getting under her skin. She didn't even understand why they were having this bloody argument. "You told me not to have sex with Zevran, and I didn't. What more do you want?"
Hawke's brows furrowed, brown irises warring with equal parts frustration and possessiveness as she tried to fight her feelings—keep them from her face. The woman did not wish to say it, but she no longer had to:
You. As mine.
With any other, Isabela would have ended things then and there before making a hasty retreat, realizing her partner wished to be far closer than she would ever desire. Something more than skin-deep. Yet, with the woman before her, a woman so unlike any other met before…she hesitated. She saw the need in those brown depths, and a deep shiver ran down her spine.
"Wait." A smirk was summoned effortlessly to her lips as she pushed off the furtherest wall, a natural sway coming to her hips as she began her approach. "Were you…jealous?" She chuckled, low and alluring. "You goose: you were, weren't you?"
Hawke's eyes narrowed. "You're skirting the issue."
"Sounds more like I hit my mark." If the other wished a duel, verbal or otherwise, Isabela would rise to the occasion. The pirate continued her deliberate approach, her target never backing away. "Our illustrious 'Champion', reduced to growling at anyone who comes near what she thinks hers…"
An unexpected grin touched Hawke's lips, then, cheeky and unfazed — a sudden glimpse at how the woman usually behaved, and a sure indication she'd struck a nerve. "Changing the focus of this conversation to me? I'm surprised, Isabela. Here I thought you were much too selfish for that."
That…came dangerously close to stinging. It shouldn't have, it shouldn't have come so close. Why—but she did not wish to think on it. Thinking these things out was not the reason she was alive today.
Isabela halted her advance, expression now sober as she crossed her arms. "I refuse to be yet another's plaything."
"Even if I'm yours?" That shit eating grin.
"There's a difference and you know it."
"I never wanted to own you. You know that."
Did she? The woman never demanded anything from her, taking only what the pirate would give and never asking for more—even after she admitted…Until this day. And now all these…thoughts filled her head; these damnable concerns.
Shit and balls…
Hawke scoffed, taking her silence as a denial. "So, let's have it, then: it seems I'm the only one who hasn't asked the question. Is it only about the sex? Because you can get that anywhere."
"Not good sex…" she would not say 'incredible, toe-curling' sex, even when it was. Her tongue had trouble enough releasing that awful quip.
"The lines before were clear. You changed the rules, Isabela." Agitation began to make itself known in the other's body language, muscles tensing as she started to pace. "You told me love wasn't for you and I respected that. We both agreed to use the other for a good time. Now, not a week after you say you're 'falling' for me, you do this?"
The look Hawke gave her now — she couldn't stand it. It just, made something inside twist, and… Isabela turned away from the other woman, needing space, needing to see anything that wasn't her.
What she did, hurt Hawke. She understood that. It was never intentional. It just…
The pirate bit her lip, willing the words forth. "I can't just…change, Hawke. I'm not like you." They had discussed this before; she would never be the hero, never find her balance. "That other person… There's not much left to her."
She felt more than heard the other step toward her, held her breath as Hawke's body settled inches away from her own. "I don't want you to change for me, Isabela. I just want to know where I stand in—in all this." A flicker. It did not happen often — they were too similar in the worst of ways — but the uncertainty was there.
Isabela turned to her, somewhat jarred by that intensity; those auburn orbs…the other's warm breath faintly caressing her skin. "I know what I am, and I know what I'm not. It's gotten me far in life. But you, Hawke; you…" she despised the hesitation, despised the new lump forming in the back of her throat, "blur the lines. I don't recognize myself when I'm with you. And I can't go back."
Hawke's mouth parted before her lips formed a tight line and she frowned. "Isabela…"
But, the pirate no longer wished to talk. Inches had been given, and now she needed to retract.
For her own sake.
Isabela acted without warning, hands simultaneously tugging and unraveling the cord of the woman's robe, jerking her toward her—closer. A surprised gasp left Hawke before being smothered by insistent lips, a second hand, after making quick work of the robe, squeezing a breast through the fabric of her shirt.
Hawke bit back a moan, managing to separate as she gasped for air. "What—"
"Wouldn't you rather I show you?" Isabela purred, forcing the other backward while capturing those lips once more, a knee taking its time as it rubbed against the inside of a bare leg, reveling in the electrifying feel of skin on skin. "Actions…words, and all that." Her fingers glided down Hawke's back, pressing against certain junctures at her spine before finding its place on that wonderful ass, "Putting those lips of yours to better use…"
"You…you're…" the pirate caught her bottom lip, nipping and sucking on the tender flesh before attacking an exposed neck, tasting the skin only a few shades lighter than her own, "damn unfair…." Hawke could not stifle the second moan, the pirate all lips, tongue, and teeth.
"I'm merely collecting on a debt, sweet thing." They finally hit a wall, Isabela thrusting her hips into Hawke's with the impact before pinning her wrists above her head, smirk at its finest as she witnessed the other's eyelids flutter. "And you still owe me a round of amazing sex."