Abigaile (Gaile, to anyone in the city who happened to favor all their teeth) Hawke slammed a freshly drained mug on the wooden bar ledge, giving a quick flick of her hand to swipe a few dark strands from her eye, before exhaling loudly.
"There's just no whiskey like Hanged Man whiskey. And by that, I mean its highly refined, yet surprisingly subtle taste of vomit and rat droppings." The rogue regarded her empty cup for a moment. "Ah, what the hell? It's not as if I have to venture the Deep Roads tomorrow! Oh. Wait…" she leaned forward and slid a copper in Corff's direction. "'Nother round here!"
The bartender chuckled. "One whiskey, extra rat droppings, coming right up."
Gaile grinned, having the pleasure of knowing the man for a little over a year now and taking a liking to him. "'Extra', Corff?" A hand placed over her chest. "You'll make me swoon…"
A new, but familiar laugh met her ears, hearty and altogether jovial. She smiled:
"I thought that was you." With that undeniably appealing voice of hers, the Rivaini woman sauntered through the loose maze of tables. "A lone Hawke in my neck of the woods. Ooh — that was clever." Isabela smiled at her own ingenuity while readjusting her corset, "I should write that one down."
"Bela." Gaile offered in way of greeting, beckoning her near. "I dare say it's a party now." She appraised the woman, her slightly disheveled attire. "Well, you look like you just fell out of bed."
Isabela's smile shifted, its curve now deliciously sinful. "Out, in, under — I've done it all, sweet thing." She reached behind her back to tighten the knot of the wrap at her waist. "Not much bed time this round, though. The man had an obsession with walls and, particularly, banging me against them. The rough bits were nice, but the wall's the only one I'd consider mounting again."
Gaile shook her head and laughed. "You're shameless." The pirate's expression only grew; no pressing rebuttal there. "All bad, then?"
"I wouldn't call it a complete waste. He did know how to do this really fun thing with his toes…" Isabela smirked, smoothly positioning herself behind her stool to press ample breasts firmly into her back; lips brushed her ear, "Feeling adventurous? I'm willing to sate that insatiable curiosity of yours…" her whisper was pure heat, "And any other insatiable bits to you."
Gaile managed to resist the urge to shiver, feeling the other's soft lips again. "Tempting… But, if you've still energy enough for all that, I'm guessing it couldn't have been too stirring a performance."
"Oh, Hawke," the pirate only pressed closer, each syllable dripping with lust, "you're making me all a quiver. Tell me that was a challenge."
"I'm merely suggesting that if you were to ever get in these pants of mine, you wouldn't be able to prance around, tossing stories after." Gaile leaned into the other woman's touch, craning her neck to glance backward until their lips were mere inches away, the air thick with tension, "I wouldn't let you."
Isabela pouted, though an amused twinkle in those amber eyes remained. "Cocktease." Releasing her catch, the pirate settled in the unoccupied seat next to her. "If I'm not getting sex out of you, you're buying me a drink. It's your damn fault I'm all hot and bothered now."
"You make it too fun to ruffle those feathers of yours!" The pirate shot her a look before yelling at Corff to make it a double. "Oh, you thought of something dirty there, didn't you?" Gaile laughed, before giving her attention to the bartender once more; the man seemed to wait for her word before proceeding, so she handed over four more bits as a confirmation. "Might as well make it a bottle. I have a feeling I won't be any more well-behaved tonight."
Corff nodded, telling her he'd get to it right after filling his current order.
Isabela's brow rose from that particular achievement. "You've gone and gotten him smitten, haven't you?"
"Well, yes: I'm the lovable scamp." Gaile scooted her stool closer. "What? You don't think Corff enjoys your pleasant company, anymore?"
"I don't tend to get noticed as easily. And that barmaid of his is always busy wagging her tongue at someone or other." She gave her best 'woe is me' sigh. "Last time, I damn near had to flash the goods to get that man's attention."
"Somehow, I don't think even that would faze him." The rogue grinned. "Your breasts just aren't the hiding type."
"If you've noticed, they're doing their job." Isabela quipped, a sly smirk on her lips. "You'd see that and more if you'd just let me bed you."
"I like playing hard to get." And it was true. Sex had its perks, but she was brought up too well to open her legs to just anyone. Not that the pirate was just anyone—she was a very noticeable someone…But the point stood. "On Corff, though; I'd say it's probably because he knows your type."
"My 'type'?" Her scoff was amused. "This should be good."
"Let's see…" Gaile tapped her chin in mock thought, "Lying, cheating, stealing pirate?"
"Hawke..." she said her name as if patiently dealing with a child, "You have to look at the bigger picture." A smirk. "I'm good with locks too."
Two filled mugs of whiskey were then pushed up to both women, Corff placing a bottle next to Gaile before she thanked him.
"A stiff one after a stiff one!" Isabela seized her drink and took a long swig before exhaling with satisfaction. "It's the simple pleasures, that make it, you know." Tossing back the rest of the alcohol in her impressive way, she playfully nudged Gaile with her elbow. "So. You're in a good mood."
"You mean a generous mood?" The rogue asked, imbibing a healthy portion of her own drink before shrugging her shoulders casually. "It comes and goes."
A wink. "So do I."
Gaile couldn't help a laugh—was it any wonder they got along as they did? The pirate had an absolutely wicked sense of humor and she loved it. "I'm patting myself on the back right now — though, less with my hand and more with copious amounts of cheap whiskey." A grin, "It's not everyday a girl manages to raise fifty sovereigns to pay for a partnership that'll make her filthy rich. And, on top of that, still have enough coin to celebrate it."
"Cheers to that." Isabela raised her mug and she tapped hers against it with an appreciative smile.
"It certainly promises to be an adventure…Or, we'll all die horrible, gruesome deaths." Another healthy sip. "Good times had by all."
"Well, I'm glad I found you. I'd hate to see you drinking alone — and I'd hate missing you buying even more." The pirate suddenly eyed her curiously. "Wait—why are you here alone? I've never seen you without at least one tagalong. Especially that pretty sister of yours."
"Isabela." It was the one thing Gaile did not joke with—
Her sister was off limits.
"Oh, don't get your knickers in a twist. I'm simply stating facts. And giving you a compliment." Isabela smirked, openly ogling her body. "Good looks run in your family. I bet even Leandra got her hairs split back to back, in her day."
"No. Just no." The rogue took a quick gulp of her drink to burn that particular image out of her mind. "To answer your question: Bethany's with Mother trying to mollify her before setting out with us tomorrow, Aveline's busy with the guard, Fenris is…Fenris, Anders is writing some manifesto rant or other, and poor Merrill would have gotten lost."
Gaile nudged her head toward the upper level of the tavern. "Up in his suite still working a few more things out for Bartrand. He did say he'd be down later, though, and to 'save him a drink', since he'll 'sure as hell need it'."
"That brother of his is a slippery bastard. And not in a good way." Isabela spotted the look she gave her and chuckled. "Trust me, sweet thing, there is a good way. A very good way." The pirate reached over her (giving a marvelous view of her more shapely assets), and apprehended the whiskey bottle to provide herself a refill—only to finish the thing in one, large gulp; she poured herself another. "I suppose we'll have to make due with our own little celebration, then." She raised her hand. "I vote, you buy us more whiskey and we drink the night away."
"Drunken stupor it is, then." Gaile turned on her stool to survey the mostly empty chairs, only a few occupied with some of the tavern's regulars. "Though, leave it to the Hanged Man to be practically dead the night I finally have coin enough to celebrate."
"It is a bit dull, isn't it? And the music. Blech." Isabela made a face, disapproval obvious when glancing to the minstrel further back. "For this city to have such a stick up its ass about Fereldans, you'd think they'd be above playing the same songs." A wrinkled nose; another mug completely downed. "It's damn right depressing. All up here," the pirate gestured to her head, "yet nothing at all down here…" her hands trailed the scant fabric loosely bundled at her thighs, fingers tracing the V where they met.
"Oh?" Something told her she would like where this was going….
"Now Antiva — Rivain." Her voice had that special lilt, now, the one that only came when Isabela recalled something exciting enough to remember in the first place. "All dark beats and sweaty limbs… The closest you'd get to sex without a stitch of clothing snatched off." A sultry gleam danced in those amber depths. "Not that you didn't immediately wind up naked afterward, despite the fact."
Gaile prided herself on her arsenal of grins, a thin, lazy creation now spreading across her lips from the thought of those exotic movements. "Sounds like my kind of dance. The "naked" bits particular…fascinating."
Isabela answered her masterfully executed expression with a rival half smirk, "I'll bet." The pirate turned her head, sparing a quick glance about, before looking back to her, mischief growing. "What do you say we…liven things here?"
It was those infamous phrases that got Gaile into trouble. Those tantalizing words she just could not resist. "What did you have in mind?"
"I think I'll give you a show. For the drinks."
"A 'show'?" One of Gaile's brows propped questioningly. "You're not going to start stripping in the middle of the Hanged Man, are you? Because—while I will—I doubt Corff will appreciate it."
Isabela chuckled. "A dance, silly. You want to see it, don't you?" She lifted a hand, nails following the thin curve of the tattoo on her toffee cheek. "You have that delicious look on that face of yours. I'm a sucker for it, really." Downing what remained of her whiskey, Isabela snatched her drink and drained it as well before placing both mugs in front of her, bottoms facing up. "Here. Just rap against those until you come up with a proper rhythm. You can handle that, can't you? Talented hands of yours…."
Gaile could only nod, events simply surging, in their wonderful way, from the pirate's influence. "I do have a fine pair." She figured that particular innuendo would be appreciated. "Besides the whole killing thing, they're also frighteningly good at knitting. And knots. Can't forget those knots."
"I might have you prove that later…For now, hands on those mugs. Whatever you manage to come up with, will determine the dance I do for you." Isabela parted with another of her devastating winks. "Make it good."
Gaile, eagerly grabbing the two mugs, turned to watch. The pirate did not walk: she swayed. Each hypnotizing incline of her hips; each fluid descent back down — she exuded sexuality and confidence both, looking not at all out of place when she found her spot in the middle of the tavern—
And this? She could not lie — it excited her. Not just the prospect of seeing a foreign dance, but the woman herself: worldly and experienced, stepping foot in places she could only dream of.
It was a thing shared, she supposed; that innate penchant for travel.
Looking down at the cups in her lap, the rogue found herself suddenly at a loss. She knew simple songs from her childhood, Fereldan to their very roots with rugged, simplistic charm. But, Antiva — Rivain? What sort of beats would they prefer? Dark, carnal rhythms eliciting sweaty forms was too hard to imagine; so she focused, instead, on the pirate waiting on her. The provocative temptress and what her sound would be.
As she worked, Gaile briefly looked up to spot the corner of Isabela's mouth curling, no doubt from the effort in her initial attempts, rhythms sporadic as she often paused to consider their sound, before suddenly changing it when thinking of something different.
Tap tap. Tap. Tap tap tap. Tap.
Tap tap. Tap. Tap. The slightest pause. Tap.
A more transitional tap, and it began anew.
"There it is…" the affirmation from the pirate left more as a sigh, Isabela's eyes closing as she listened to the rising beat, her body beginning to rock to its pace. "Louder, Hawke!"
The sitting woman grinned, acquiescing to the command before feeling more thick tendrils of excitement as she saw Isabela's arms begin a smooth ascent upward, hands and wrists writhing about each other sensually until they were well above her head. It was only a moment the pirate stood there, frozen in that position before she smiled, a deep ripple taking her entire form.
Gaile found herself releasing a breath she didn't know held, watching the woman's body slowly wind and twist—all on one accord. Long, brown arms snaked in and out and her hips swung in tandem, belly convulsing to the beat with expert control as she slowly began to turn…
Those arms continued to coil around each other, deft hands preforming more elaborate motions. The sweep of her hips was then exaggerated: Isabela's body shifted with it into a more deliberate turn, upper body arching backward as if in ecstasy while chocolate tresses poured from her blue scarf.
Gaile swallowed hard, mouth inexplicably dry. It couldn't be possible that the other woman's body remained a solid thing. Her every move was liquid—seamlessly flowing and crashing into the next like the sea she so adored. And then, her body would merely flutter; like silk at an artisan's hands…finely tuned muscles gently rippled across the canvas of her bronzed skin and simply melted into the next.
Varric made his way down to the base level of the tavern, massaging the heavy creases at his forehead before pausing at the end of the stairs. A wry grin immediately replaced the frustration that, earlier, marred his face as he watched the scene playing out before him: Isabela preforming a very flexible dance and a certain business partner of his made utterly rapt by it. Heading toward the back area, the dwarf motioned to an equally mesmerized minstrel, the man's mouth agape at the Rivani's performance.
His expression grew. "You — with the lute." The minstrel reluctantly looked down to him. "See my friend there?" A silver was apprehended from one of the pockets of his jacket and expertly revolved between his fingers. "There's a piece in it for you if you follow her lead."
Eyes widening from the gilt of good coin, the lutist quickly nodded, tapping his foot to the same beat as the drumming woman before beginning to strum. It was a simple addition, but it matched the original rhythm well, adding little flourishes every now and then. Varric nodded his approval, placing the silver on a nearby chair before making his approach to his gaping friend.
"Hey, Hawke! You'll catch flies!"
"Varric?" Gaile, broken from her trance, looked in the direction of the voice calling her, completely forgetting her role of maintaining the beat.
Had her mouth been open? If so, she found it hard to care….
"Good to see you're having a good time." Varric motioned to the now silent mugs in her lap. "How about I take over that for you?"
Had that lute always been playing? "What? I—"
"You couldn't have thought I'd just let you watch all night." Isabela's dulcet tone was suddenly at her ear. "I have needs too, sweet thing." The pirate pried the empty mugs from her grasp and handed them to the dwarf, tugging on her wrists afterward. "Up you go!"
Varric only tipped one of the mugs in salute as she was whisked away, a knowing look on his face as he took her stool.
Isabela led and she was compelled to follow—back to the place the pirate had claimed before; kept close as the pirate's body began its slow, fluid sway once more.
"Dance with me."
The throaty request lent a molten touch to her abdomen, Gaile's body suddenly shifting of its own accord, the smell of her overwhelming, a heady combination of wood, metal and salt.
"Is this the part where you have your way with me?" Gaile managed the joke, but it came more as a plea, body instinctively following the measured pace Isabela set for her. "I only ask that you be gentle."
"There'll be none of that. I plan to slam you against every wall here." A tsk. "Though, you're definitely Fereldan. Here." She flowed behind her. "Like this…" Gaile's breath hitched as Isabela's hands traveled down the sides of her stomach, slowly—so slowly—to her hips. "You have to roll these bits… Like a wave about to crest," her words were sweet and low, a verbal caress, "Your entire body shuddering with it as it travels down…before its released." She could hear the smirk in her tone. "Like after a good rutting."
Gaile swallowed thickly, doing her best to emulate the other woman's movements and not, say, slam her into… Well, the nearest thing that would support their combined weights.
It wasn't as if she couldn't always blame the alcohol….
The rogue grinned from the thought. "This was all just an excuse to feel me up, wasn't it?"
"Mm…" the amorous sound vibrated against her back, "You'll ruin the brilliance."
Gaile chuckled, suddenly spinning around, "And you'll get a much better feel this way…"
Her pulse quickened when she heard Isabela coo, the pirate placing a hand at the dip of her waist with the clear intent of bringing their bodies closer. Gaile softly gasped when they made contact, reveling in the softness and warmth that contrasted with the electricity of the pirate's firm hold.
And it returned. That thrumming. It always started when the other woman was around, but it was quiet — something she could ignore. But then, Isabela looked at her, dark lashes low over seductive, whiskey orbs—a literal force of desire—and suddenly it was everywhere. Mad pulses driving each nerve to an intense buzzing that made her head swim with need….
Isabela smirked, as if reading her mind, draping both arms around her neck and pulling her closer. The music was gone, overtaken by the harsh pounding in her chest as Gaile's eyes flicked to her small, gold piercing before looking up to those full lips…
Varric gave them a round of applause.
"I shit you not, Rivaini; you'd make even the most priggish Chantry sister forget her vows." The dwarf smirked as he made his way to them. "Thing is, I need my partner well rested for tomorrow. Something I doubt will happen with what you have in mind." He lifted his hands in surrender as Isabela glared at him. "Now, now, don't fret: I'll let you have her back after we're done playing 'Wardens' down in the Deep Roads."
Gaile untangled their limbs, smiling sheepishly. "Duty calls." She leaned in, mouth closing in on an ear to deliver the whisper. "It was fun."
"Go ahead and meet me up in my suite, Hawke. There are a few new things we need to discuss. Nothing major, but I thought you'd like to know about them before we set off."
She waved a hand. "Right, right…"
Isabela sighed, watching the woman's ass as she climbed up the stairs. "Spoilsport."
"I don't know, Rivaini, I'd say you're starting to get desperate." Varric chuckled. "Private dances?"
The pirate smirked. "I go for what I want. And have you seen her when she fights? All that stamina…I get tingly just thinking about it. Betting on it just makes it all the more interesting." Isabela shot him a look. "Admit it. You helped."
He shrugged. "What can I say? I happen to like it when a good plot thickens. And all this will make a great story."
"Only because she's as much a tease as you;" she toyed with the lapel of his jacket, "I still have dreams about all that chest hair…"
"Mm-hm." The dwarf held his hand out.
Isabela grinned, dipping a hand underneath the fabric that covered her breasts to pull out two silvers. "I hope you're happy. Now I can't even go to the Blooming Rose."
Varric pocketed the coins with a chuckle. "Better luck next time, Rivaini."