Sex and Chocolate by Varric Tethras
Disclaimer: The Dragon Age setting and its characters belong to Bioware. I'm just borrowing! Minor DA: Inquisition speculation, beware!
A/N: A sequel to Chocolate and Sex, requested by the lovely Cullenites on the BSN Cullen Thread. Cookies accepted! :) I hope they were worth it. Also inspired by the 30 Days of Dragon Age Tumblr prompt: "Pretend to be Varric, and tell a short story."
Special thanks to my beloved beta, MeanieWeenie!
Trev entered the War Room late that night, expecting to get some work done, but was puzzled to find it completely empty and darker than usual. The night watchmen were nowhere to be seen, and only a few of the candles were lit, each a shimmering pool of light in a sea of darkness. At the center of the room, the vast wooden War Table was cast into shadow and she could barely make out the troop markers she had intended to study. She approached the table with the intention of lighting a few more candles when she heard the click of boots on the slate floor behind her.
She spun and saw Cullen standing with his back to the massive double doors to the room, slowly closing them both in. The thud of the doors shutting echoed.
"Cullen," she said, a nervous tremor in her voice. "Where is everyone tonight?"
He didn't answer, instead walked toward her, inexorable and determined. There was a hunger in his eyes she had never seen, and without knowing why, she started to back away. He continued to advance, like a predator on the hunt, and before she knew it, she had bumped up against the War Table behind her, caught.
"Cullen?" she started, but he lifted a finger to her lips to silence her. His fingertip burned where it touched her. She held perfectly still, heart pounding in her chest, frightened, but also excited. After weeks of feeble flirting and furtive glances, her relationship with Cullen had yet to move beyond the friendship stage. Or so she had thought.
"There's something I've been wanting to share with you," he said. Then he chuckled, that sinful, knowing laugh that had captivated her imagination so completely. It sounded like molten chocolate and sex, she had once thought. Like someone who knows he has done something naughty. Tonight, her fantasies might be closer to the truth.
He still hadn't removed his finger, as if daring her to speak or move.
"What is it?" she asked. Her lips brushed against his fingertip as she spoke, and she sounded slightly breathless and muffled.
He moved his hand at last, tracing lightly the outline of her lips. His touch was electric and she visibly shivered.
He grinned suddenly, his eyes dancing with mischief, and reached past her left shoulder to something on the War Table at her back. She turned to follow his movement and saw him reach into a dark bowl that certainly hadn't been there that afternoon.
Did Iron Bull leave those damn eels on the table again? she thought. She squinted down into the shadows, but still couldn't make out what it was.
When Cullen straightened again, he was holding something. Something that dripped. She peered at it with a frown. Was it brown? Maybe red? He stepped closer and brought it up to eye level.
It was a strawberry, smothered in what appeared to be melted chocolate. Her mouth fell open in astonishment.
He lifted it toward his mouth, and without breaking eye contact, took a slow, sumptuous bite. The strawberry immediately burst and his tongue darted out to catch the chocolate glistening on his lips. A thin stream of chocolate dribbled off the corner of his lip and down his chin. She watched the drip catch in the stubble of his goatee before it traced along the strong line of his jaw. She realized that she was holding her breath. Without thinking, she reached out and wiped the chocolate away with her finger before it hit the floor. The coarse stubble raked against the pad of her thumb, a delicious contrast to the smooth chocolate.
She stepped back again, but his hand shot out and grabbed hers before she could pull it away. With a wicked smile, still holding her gaze, he slowly lowered his lips to her chocolate-covered finger. She gasped at the warm feel of his tongue as he sucked the chocolate away, and suddenly she couldn't seem to get enough air. Her ragged breathing sped up as his tongue languorously circled around the tip of her thumb again before releasing her.
She swayed a little on her feet, so leaned back against the table edge for support.
Cullen took another ripe strawberry from a plate sitting beside the bowl of chocolate and dipped it in. It dripped once on the War Table and she almost protested until he brought the strawberry up to her mouth. He let it hover there for a moment, teasing her as she automatically parted her lips to taste it. When he still held it back, she leaned forward slightly to take it in her mouth, but instead he ran the chocolate along her lower lip first and then slowly circling her mouth twice before letting her bite into it.
It was like nothing she'd ever tasted, hot and cold at the same time, sweet and tangy. He watched her reaction, his lips curved into a sensuous smile, before taking the remaining half of the strawberry into his own mouth and licking the chocolate from his fingers.
She moved to wipe away a drip of chocolate from her own face, but he stopped her, holding both her hands against the table on either side of her. This brought him so close that his face was just a breath away. His golden gaze caught and held hers as he leaned in and very gently dropped a kiss on the center of her chin.
He paused, looking her in the eye with an unspoken question, before leaning in and repeating the almost-chaste kiss. He then moved his lips slowly along the edge of her jaw, nibbling with feather light kisses along the trail of chocolate, and ultimately moving up to devour her lips.
With a moan of pure abandon, she kissed him back feverishly, the chocolate forgotten but no doubt covering them both now. He deepened the kiss, his tongue dancing with hers. She wanted to pull him closer, but forgot that he was holding her arms at her sides. She strained up, leaning further into the kiss.
He ran his hands up her arms to cup her face and, without breaking contact, he slowly eased her back onto the War Table. His mouth started to roam down her neck and his nimble hands began to snap open the front of her shirt into a deep décolletage.
"Cullen," she said breathlessly, "what if someone . . .?"
"No one will come," he said against her skin, the rumble of his soft voice making her tingle. "Except perhaps you."
She couldn't help herself but blush. She'd never seen this side of Cullen before. "B-but . . ."
He slipped his hand under the crook of her knee, hitching up her leg against his hip, and then captured her mouth again, effectively silencing her. She relaxed back against the table again, surrendering to his certainty.
Her eyes had fluttered closed but snapped open when she felt a sudden trickle of heat at her collarbone. Cullen had another strawberry and was dripping hot chocolate in a trail down the V of her exposed skin.
How does the chocolate stay this hot? she wondered inappropriately.
His mouth soon followed and whatever she'd been about to say turned into a wordless gasp. Her skin was on fire and she arched her back into the sensation, wanting more. He grabbed both sides of her opened shirt and yanked the rest of the snaps open with one strong pull. His hands slipped underneath her bared back, and he held her tightly up against his questing mouth. He licked the sweetness from her skin, working his way to one exposed breast.
She shuddered as his mouth closed on her erect nipple, and her hand flailed against the table for support. She accidentally caught the edge of the chocolate bowl, spilling its contents across the table.
"Oh no!" she cried, sitting up in dismay.
"Ssh," he said, "it will be fine." He leaned in to kiss her again.
"But, n-not on the War Table," she gasped. "It's mahogany—"
"Oh, that is it!" Trev shouted, crumpling up the page in her two balled fists. "Varric!" She rounded on the dwarf who stood at her side, beaming at her while she read his new story. Sera lounged one hip against the War Table nearby, waiting with a small, expectant smile on her face.
"How could you . . .? How could . . . How could you? I only said his laugh sounded like molten chocolate! Not that I . . . not that he . . . or that we . . . have ever . . ." She sputtered to a stop, incoherent with anger and mortification.
"Now, now, Fearless Leader. It's just a story," Varric said, trying to sound reassuring.
"But, this never happened! Nor would happen! Cullen is nothing like this!" Trev cried. Varric nodded in grudging agreement.
"And, I'm nothing like this!"
Varric looked away. "Mmmm . . ." was all he said, not answering.
Trev turned to Sera and insisted, "I'm nothing like this!"
"Mmmm . . ." Sera mimicked uncertainly, just diplomatic enough not to disagree openly.
Trev slapped a hand to her forehead. "Great. Even in bad friend fic, I get to be the awkward one."
"It's just a little writing exercise, Trev," Varric said. "You and Cullen won't be closing the deal any time soon at this rate, so I took some creative license." He shrugged.
"Very creative," Sera said, grinning appreciatively. "And hot." She started to fan herself with one outstretched hand, but suddenly dropped her hand and slammed her lips shut. Varric also stopped smiling so openly, eyes darting between the door to the War Room and back to Trev.
Trev took a deep breath, sighed, and rubbed her eyes before turning to face the newcomer who must have just entered the War Room at that inopportune moment. Turning around, she tried to smile casually at Commander Cullen who strode toward them.
Cullen nodded companionably at Varric and Sera. Then, as was his new habit, he inclined his head toward Trev, and with that honeyed drawl that turned her bones to water, said, "Trev."
Hearing his voice after reading that story, she involuntarily shivered. His soft tenor really was like liquid chocolate, warm and stirring. How does he do that?
"Cullen," she replied, feeling a blush work its way across her cheeks.
He gave her an inscrutable look, saying nothing.
She couldn't think of anything else to say, as the scenes from Varric's story played in her mind's eye. The corners of his expressive lips curved up slightly. Sensuously, she realized, blushing anew and cursing Varric and his damnable story for putting the new description into her head.
Suddenly, Varric cleared his throat noisily. "Well, we'll leave you two to it. Sera and I have to talk to Cook before we finish our travel preparations." He sauntered away and Sara hopped up from the table to follow, leaving Trev alone with her embarrassment. And Cullen.
Cullen caught her eye and they both smiled briefly before she looked away again. The silence stretched and she risked another glance at him. His tongue flicked out to wet his lower lip, and she was mesmerized at how it glistened. Her cheeks burned.
"Speaking of Cook," he began, "I understand she has quite the dessert prepared for our dinner tonight."
"Our dinner?" she asked, puzzled.
"Ah, yes," he replied smoothly, "most of our companions will be away this evening, so Cook suggested you and I dine in my tower instead of the cavernous mess hall." There was something in the way he looked at her, his eyes moving around her face. Like he was watching for something. Or knew something.
Does he know about the story? she suddenly thought in horror. She felt the blood drain from her face. She hoped to the Maker, Andraste, the Creators, and anyone who would listen that he didn't.
"Oh, I see. Well, that should be fine," she said, starting to babble. "We haven't discussed the report from the Hinterlands yet."
He wet his lip again, and all she could think about was chocolate. And sex. Her pulse sped up.
"The report. Yes," he said. He sounded distracted as he looked over her head and around the room. "Cook's new recipe should be a delight, Dagna says." His eyes shifted back to her face, still watching. "She's calling it fondue. Orlesian, apparently."
"I've never heard of it," Trev said, trying to focus on the conversation. "What is it?"
His eyes fastened on hers and she couldn't look away from his sudden intensity. "Some kind of melted chocolate dip. Dagna's been perfecting a heating system to keep the consistency just right. Can you imagine? Molten chocolate?"
He held her gaze for a moment longer before turning to go. He paused at the door. "See you tonight," he said, and his words had the ring of a promise. He nodded almost imperceptibly and murmured, "Trev."
A/N2: As always, thanks for reading!