Aerowen and Cullen Chapter 1

The Harrowing had been invigorating and after her long nap, Aerowena felt buoyant. She was to be raised up. 'An apprentice no longer' she thought, as she fairly bounced down the hallway on her way to see the First.

Halfway down the hall she spotted Cullen. She'd caught him staring at her more than once. She knew she was beautiful, Maker knows she'd been told often enough. But beauty was just another weapon. She wondered, idly, if Cullen was admiring just her beauty or something more important; and then quickly dismissed the thought. It mattered not. Cullen would be a means to an end, albeit a devastatingly attractive one. She intended to escape this cage, and she'd need his help.

"Oh um h-hello. I …uh, am glad to see your Harrowing went smoothly." Cullen stuttered out with a slight blush.

Aerowena smiled and tilted her head just so. "Hello, Cullen"

"They, they picked me as the Templar to strike the killing blow, if you uh…became an abomination." He said, regretfully, "It's nothing personal. I swear! I uh, I'm just glad you're all right. You know." He looked at her beseechingly, as if asking for understanding.

Nothing personal, he says, she scowled inwardly. Like he was telling her he didn't like her shoes. Oh it's personal all right. But revenge is for a later time, she reminded herself.

Sticking her lower lip out, she touched his breastplate lightly with her fingers. "Would you really have struck me down?"

"I would've felt terrible about it. But um…but I serve the Chantry and the Maker, and I will do as I am commanded."

Imagining what was beneath his armor, Aerowena could think of a few commands she'd like to give right now. Bet I could really make him stutter with exactly what I have in mind now, "Maybe we could go elsewhere and…continue our conversation."

"Elsewhere?" He sputtered. "What do you mean?"

She looked down the hallway, mostly to avoid him seeing her eyes roll back in her head. Biting her lip with frustration she looked at him tilting her head coyly "I've seen the way you look at me".

Now he was blushing from his neck to his scalp, and probably beyond. "If you're saying…what I think…well that would be really…inappropriate. And I couldn't…I, I should go.

Aerowena stared after Cullen's quickly retreating form in astonishment. She slowly replayed the conversation in her head, wondering which part she got wrong. He certainly stared at her enough. The blushing. The stuttering. Could she have misread his interest? As she continued down to Irving's office, she wondered if the Templar's each had a room of their own, and how exactly to get to it.