Moment of Desire
The throbbing behind my jaw intensified to a drumming through the muscles in the back of my head. I crossed over the gates of Skyhold, trying to keep my body as far from the bounce of the saddle as possible. The long ride did in what little I had left of my spirit -- even my fellow companions fell silent from my mood, grumbling from my dour mood.
I got as far as technically being inside my hold before jumping off the horse. Stablehands rushed from the wings, ready to snatch up the reins. Someone planted a rumor that Dalish only rode halla because their skin could burn a horse's flesh. Normally, I'd curse a storm at such nonsense, but it did cause servants to rush to tend to my horse at record speeds. I didn't have the focus to take care of the problem myself, and was happy to pass it off.
One of the younger stablehands with knotted brown hair tried to scamper past, but I snagged his arm. Through my locked jaw I chewed one word out, "Cullen?"
"Oh, um, I believe he was last spotted in the training yard. Your worship," was tacked on at the end, his eyes drawing across my armor coated in demon ichor. It had not been a good trip. I nodded brusquely at his answer and stalked towards the commander.
Behind me I heard Dorian whistle, "Someone's in trouble."
"What'd Curly even do?" Varric asked back, but I had no time to explain to them, no words that would suffice. My temples throbbed from a buzzing in my blood and an unquenchable thirst rasped my throat dry. A sneer embedded into my cheeks, the uncomfortableness in my body draining my usual demeanor from good natured, to disgruntled, to a one syllable speaking monster liable to rip someone's head off for looking at me wrong.
There was only one solution and he was apparently surrounded by his men. This wasn't going to go over well. I tried picking up the pace, but that only made the throbbing increase, the chainmail snapping against my thighs and chafing the far too tender area. Moving like a woman with her ankles chained together, I eased down the incline to find Cullen commanding amongst a small battalion of soldiers. They weren't in the middle of any serious exercises, a few of them having taken knees to listen to the commander droning on about duty, and tactics, and other things I'd at least nod about if I were in a better mood.
He looked up from his rant long enough to spy me and smiled. I wished I could return it, but it took all my concentration to keep walking towards him. Holding a wide berth around the soldiers, I circled until I could stand beside the commander. The winds shifted, casting his musky scent towards me - I swallowed back a growl, jabbing my fingers into my eyelids to maintain my grip on reality. Cullen's diatribe slipped away as he twisted towards me, waiting for me to gift them with word's of heraldry encouragement.
My jaw tensed up, speaking grinding to a halt as my body raged war against itself. Unable to explain, I grabbed his naked hand for once free of his gloves and yanked him up the staircase. "Um," Cullen didn't fight me, but he turned back and waved towards his soldiers. "Dismissed...but make sure to properly stack your equipment. We don't need an armory of dented shields."
A couple dozen eyes followed us as the tiny elven woman dragged the commander of the Inquisition across the battlements by his hand. He tried to get a word in, but I shook him off, shoving for anywhere that was private. My hand snagged on a doorknob and I pulled him into one of the many unfinished rooms skirting around Skyhold.
Rotten planks cracked from the roof lay strewn across the bed rendering it unsalvageable and useless, but a table stood at the other end of the room. That might do. I released Cullen's hand and tried to steady my head, but that only drew out the throbbing like weep from a wound.
He, however, stuck his hand on his sword and watched me struggle to rise up to face him. Wary concern washed over his eyes. "What is it? Is something wrong? Something we need to discuss?"
I shook my head in the negative and, biting down on my tongue, managed to get out, "No."
Confusion twisted up his eyebrows as he leaned back, both hands now gripping that damn sword. I wanted to explain, to give voice to what boiled below my skin, but the nearness of him shattered what modicum of resolve I'd managed to that point. The heat of his body, the scent from his skin -- I more than wanted it. I needed it pressed against me. Desired it.
I reached my fingers out and wrapped them around his head, knotting in the curls, pulling him down to me. Shock slackened his lips as my own lapped across his, my tongue overtaking his. After steadying himself, he gripped tight around my waist - his fingers pinching the mail into my skin, trying to keep up with my wild affection. He was a refresing sip of spring water to my parched body.
Cullen twisted his head away for breath, something I didn't seem to need anymore. Coughing for a moment, he smiled, "Oh, it's nice to see you as well."
But the throbbing inside my bones wasn't satiated, my brain sparking in a continuous trill of tantalizations. Cocking one eyebrow, my fingers gripped onto Cullen's belt, sliding the loop through his hasty knot and whipping it off. His sword clattered to the ground, the noise echoing through the broken room and out the hole in the roof. A blush bloomed up his cheeks as I moved to work off his pants, the knot easy for one who knew where he kept the thing.
"Um, is that..." he started, glancing towards the door that anyone in Skyhold could throw open at a moments notice.
Even with my body screaming at me, I paused, holding his pants up. My voice eeked out only one word, a question. "Yes?"
Perhaps it was the uncut desire burning in those three letters, my raw throat growling the word, but Cullen caught my ill formed question of consent and nodded. Threading his own fingers through my hair and down my back, he tried to find my flesh under the armor. But I could feel him even though the bite of mail, his body heat enflaming my skin. I released my grip, his pants thudding to the ground. The unexpected breeze was enough to flare up the dampened fires. Cullen smiled at my impatience, his fingers trying to undo the dozens of straps keeping that armor pinned to me. He managed one, pausing to circle across my breasts and rustle my attention seeking nipples, before I jumped up, unable to take the tease. I ran my hands across his now naked hips and around to the perfect scoops of ass, my thumbs landing in the dimples just above. His hands fell down my body, following every curve until he gripped onto my hips, his body flattening against mine. Kissing up and down my jaw, his lips left a trail of burning impressions in my skin, before he plunged back to mine.
My own fingers were not idle, one hand sliding down through our tangled bodies to grip onto his cock. A groan rumbled in my throat from it rising - his excitement increasing as he tried to properly unhook the mail across my armor. But there wasn't time. Blood rushed in my ears, until all I could hear was the sounds of the ocean thudding through my heart and the slap of intoxicating kisses.
Guiding his hand down, together we worked off my pants, all the easier because of the lack of shoes. I grabbed onto his shoulders burrowing deep into the fur and rising to return for more kisses, but his fingers thrummed up and down my thighs. Once sore to the touch, now they burned in pleasure - a tumbling rising in my stomach from his touch. Tantalizingly slow, he traced a finger outside me - traveling each contour of my lips - before dipping in, stirring up the wetness that'd plagued me for days. The callus on his finger, where the flesh never healed from mage fire, roused my tender skin, its texture perfect to stimulate because it was him. He smiled at what seemed an instant affect, which I'd have to explain later, but his fingers danced up to thrum against the bundle of nerves connected to my core.
I grabbed onto his wrist and shook my head, terrified what anymore stimulation could do. "Not needed," my voice managed to breathe out.
That drew his attention more than whipping his belt off. "Are you certain? I don't...you deserve... I would never wish to hurt you." Any other time, preferably in any other location, I'd be more than happy to let him take his time exploring me with his fingers and tongue until I squirmed to bursting, but right now I needed only a quick release.
"Tasallan," I cursed, rolling my eyes. Grabbing onto the battered edges of his dangling surcoat, I tugged him with me as I backed up onto the table and jumped onto it. Cullen couldn't bite down the look of hunger while I wrapped my legs around his taut ass, pulling him closer. He leaned down to kiss me again, yanking his white spire away. My impatience rose from the normally sweet move, and I dug my heels in. Gripping onto his full cock, I guided him inside me.
"Sweet creators!" I cried, savoring every twist and turn from that first thrust. A gasp rattled in Cullen's throat as he leaned closer, spreading his legs wider for a better stance. His fingers bit deep into the table, the biceps rising up through his surcoat from the effort. Locking my own legs around his waist for support, I leaned back on my elbows.
He thrusted even deeper inside me, each merciful pump matched by my pushing towards him on my elbows. As his cock provided that perfect pressure, the throbbing in my body abated to something new building inside me, a cleansing counter to the burning that'd tormented me. I reached up, my fingers running along his forearms and gripping tight as the muscles contracted below. The contact spurred something new in Cullen, a growl threading through his concentrated panting.
The thrusting stopped and his eyes flew down to the table creaking from age and some idiot jumping on top of it. "Oh dear," he muttered, removing himself from me.
No! The days long headache, momentarily broken from his being inside me, smashed into my skull - pulverizing my brains like a war hammer. I wiggled off the cracking table, landed onto the ground, and spun around. Now my fingers bit into the table, my ass butting into the man slick from my wetness. Twisting my head around, I watched him run a hand across his face. "Okay," he said, biting down a shake in his voice. Was he feeling the same burning desire spun through me? Creators, I hoped not.
First he caressed my lower back, drawing some abstract lines in my skin, then he finally dipped down to cup my ass lifting it high enough. I slid my legs further apart, but braced myself for the tight fit. He took his time, dipping in and out of me with his fingers - as if I'd suddenly dried up in the downtime. A sigh of consternation and desire broke from my throat. I'd have shouted for him to get on with it if I could get my jaw to open. The throbbing burned in every corner of my body - even my eyes blinked in a delectable pain.
Cullen got the message and sidled closer to me. With one hand on himself, and another lifting me up, he entered me again. Somehow the second was even more intense, the lower half of my body prickling from pleasure. His first few thrust started out shallow, with an eye on the table, but it was willing to play along now and didn't crack in half. My own mind drifted further away from me, the burning in my blood switching from pain to something so much better.
His hands drifted off the small of my back to grip onto my hips, the fingers digging into my bones. With the leverage, he thrust himself deeper inside of me - the ends of his coat slapping into my ass. I threw my head back, wanting to scream something encouraging but all that came out was another groan - deep from within my soul. He worked his own magic, twisting his hips with each thrust to rifle against every part of me.
Pressure rose from my core, expanding out where we connected. I lost all feeling in my toes, the numbness crawling up through the shins. It weaved my nerves, strumming each one like a lute until my body hummed in anticipation. Even my hair ached for sweet relief. But as my mind floated about three feet above my throbbing body, something waited inside me. It wasn't enough.
Whether Cullen sensed it or not, I couldn't tell. His own breathing increased, punctuated by the occasional gasp. I feared I might be trapped at the edge of this infernal abyss forever when he cried out, "Oh Maker."
My body twanged with him, a pop reverberating through all of me. It was nothing like an orgasm. This felt like a rift shredding through the veil, combined with my ears finally breaking from the mountains pressure, and cracking every out of synch bone in my body. Days of pressure broke in one second, sucking my limbs dry. I tried to keep upright, but my grip had nothing against the full weight of my body and I tumbled to the ground like a puppet with cut strings. Mercifully, Cullen pulled out in time so my graceless fall didn't break anything.
Bare assed on the floor, I curled up into my lap struggling to remind myself of my name and where I was. Even that seemed a stretch at the moment.
"What," Cullen panted, rubbing his forehead to smooth back the sweaty locks, "was that?"
Oh, maybe that loud pop hadn't just been inside my ears. A tremble knotted up my shoulders and I tried to force out the words weighing down my tongue. "Desire demon," I confessed, tears of joy pricking in my eyes from being able to finally voice the truth.
Cullen snorted a laugh, trying to rub sense into his flushed cheeks, then his face crumbled into compassion from my drained body crumpled on the floor. Using my shoulders as a guide, he sat down beside me. I managed to unknot my body enough to lean into him. He wrapped both arms tighter around me and plucked a kiss against my forehead. "Maker," he said, a tremor in his raspy voice, "that was...it felt like a mana surge at the end."
I nodded as if I knew what that felt to a templar. I'd compare it to trying to grab onto the tail end of lightning, surviving, and then realizing at some point you have to let go. My face crumpled onto his chest, bouncing slightly against the armor I didn't have the wherewithal to strip from him earlier.
"First one I ever saw," I said, the words finally flowing. "Got distracted by a rage demon and it snuck up behind me. Boom, in my head or...other bits, I guess."
Cullen nodded along, "Fought a few of those before. Not as bad as the pride ones."
"After this, I'd take two pride demons," I interrupted. "And a despair one to finish the set." My body couldn't be more exhausted than if I'd run across all of Thedas while carrying Bull on my back. Creators knew how long it'd be until I could walk again.
Cullen's fingers tried to unravel my knotted hair, still clogged with debris from the forest I hadn't been in the right mindset to remove. "When templars are hit by a desire demon, we try to find some, um, alone time to take care of the problem."
I rolled around to eye him up, malice dripping from my stone face, "I tried that. Many times. Didn't work."
"You did?" he broke away, "and it...doing that didn't help?"
"Did a fantastic job of making things sore and then somehow worse," I sighed. Moping over my predicament while my lover tended to me seemed preferential, but a lightness rose in my heart. After so long under the curse, it felt wonderful to be able to think again, speak again, not have every light breeze turn into a dirty thought. I might even be able to properly sit!
"Andraste's breath," Cullen cursed, "that must have been a powerful demon."
I shrugged, "It didn't seduce all the arrows to its face so well."
"Where was this rift?" Cullen asked, twisting around as if he could see it through the walls and far of the mountain.
"Down in the Emerald Graves," I said, "which I'm not going back to for a few weeks. Months. Years."
"Emerald Graves, but that's a..."
"Three day ride," I finished for him. "I know."
"You suffered that for three days?" he cried, now piling the sympathy on me. I snuggled deeper into him, my warm breath fogging up his breastplate. He rubbed up and down my back, trying to appease my body tormented by a particularly vengeful demon. A pang bit in my hips, and as I shifted something told me I'd find some finger shaped bruises across them. Neither of us had been ourselves.
Now, Cullen tended to me in the strangest after play, his fingers softly caressing up and down my skin as he stared through the wall. I suspected years of demon fights churned behind his distracted eyes, trying to catalogue whatever I ran into. After a moment, Cullen shrugged and placed his lips to my beading forehead. "It's a lucky thing you are not a man."
"It's not much better," I grumbled, wanting to wallow longer, "a bit less awkwardness in the pants department maybe, but things get...sensitive real fast. Especially on horseback." Cullen fell silent from my vague explanation, his fingers drumming against my arms. "Besides, if I were a man, you'd probably have to fight Dorian for me."
"Dorian? Really?" Cullen asked, arching an eyebrow.
I shrugged, "He is very pretty."
That drew a hearty laugh from him as he nodded his head. "Fair enough, I suppose."
A cold breeze blew across the gap in the door and I shifted, realizing both of us sat upon the filthy ground bare bottomed. It would be quite the sight to stumble upon - the Inquisitor and Commander squatting half naked in rubble. I shifted to reach for whatever pair of pants I found first, but Cullen pulled me tighter to him. My worrier seemed in no mood to jump up and return to his duties. Who was I to argue?
Rolling my fingers across his face, I sat up to kiss him, soft and gentle - the sweet one I'd have preferred upon returning to him if my blood weren't boiling in my veins. He smiled, his golden eyes blinking softly as he pushed the always errant hairs off my forehead. After a breath he whispered, "Just in case, if you don't know but a templar could have purged the desire demon's spell."
"Or, I suppose a mage," he said, shrugging as if this was just some slip of information no more vital than a tavern song or a grocery list. Yes, I'll take three eggs, a loaf of bread and one dispel please. My nipples have bitten through my chainmail.
"Seriously. I could have been rid of this problem three days ago from a wave of Dorian's fingers?"
Cullen blinked and deadpanned, "I hope there'd be a bit more to it." I glared at him, but he only smiled, "It should serve you well if you run into another desire demon. Not that I didn't enjoy purging the spell with you."
"Gonna be hard to top that one," I said.
"Oh, I have a few tricks up my sleeve," he smiled, easing my chin up for another kiss.
A knock reverberated from the door I'd slammed shut and a soft voice apologized through it. "Um, Inquisitor and, uh, Commander. Could you maybe, that is, if you're done doing the...oh I shouldn't have said that. We just, we really need to get through. Please."