Alistair sits at the fire and stares at the assassin from across the circle of light, as though he can force the Antivan to wink out of existence through sheer force of will.

Many thoughts battle for supreme dominance in the ex-Templar's mind: What in blazes is that woman thinking? is one, as is He'll slit all our throats in our sleep and Mayhap if I set Morrigan upon him he won't survive to see the dawn. It is a measure of how little Alistair likes Zevran, truly, that he would even consider handing the tanned elf into the witch's care, which is a fate that Alistair would not wish upon his worst enemy.

Well. Perhaps upon Loghain. That man deserves to have his nethers bitten off by what was surely a fanged, poison-dripping maw between Morrigan's thighs.

But he sits and stares at Zevran Arainai - if that's even his real name - and imagines burning a hole in the elf's forehead with the anger of his gaze, and after several long minutes of this Zevran glances at him with a smirk like a knife, glittering and sharp, and says, "Such heat in your gaze, ser Templar! You know, if you are so interested in me, you have merely to say so, and allow things to take their natural course."

"I - I am not interested, least of all in you!" spits Alistair, covering up spluttering surprise with anger. "I don't like you, and I do not like what you are doing here. I'd have you run out of camp this minute, were it my decision."

"Ah, but that isn't your decision, is it? It is your beautiful Warden who has us all by the short hairs, even you, I think," purrs Zevran, rising to his feet with movements like water, stalking with light steps the half-circle around the fire to approach Alistair from the left, the side that does not have sword and shield and armor sitting in neat piles in the shadows. Alistair eyes the blade, considering plucking it up and running Zevran through with it, but in doing so he makes the mistake of taking his eyes off of the Crow; when Zevran's foot impacts on his chest, he is unprepared for it, sprawling on his back with the wind knocked from his lungs, as if he has been punched in the gut.

He is further unprepared for Zevran's knee sinking into the ground in dangerously close proximity to the inside of Alistair's thigh, for the palms placed on either side of his head, for the elf's evil little crooked smirk and the blonde hair suddenly tousled across his shoulders. They are kissing-close, enough so that Alistair is panicking at the phantom of Zevran's weight upheld over him on stiff elbows, at the sensation of body heat too close for comfort. "You Fereldans have such strange customs," Zevran says in perfectly conversational tones, rolling the word 'strange' about his mouth like a hard candy. It makes Alistair's cheeks burn, his mouth dry up like a river in high summer, and he cannot move, pinned by an elf half his damned size on presence alone. "You fight and bleed and sweat together and do not call it intimacy, and yet your eyes have such passion in them, wicked, dark desires for comrades you hardly know. What demonic thoughts lay locked beneath that pure Templar's facade, hmm?" Zevran lifts a hand and his long fingers pluck at the ties on Alistair's shirt, idly, like a child might play with a ribbon, but somehow that one gesture is more threatening than if the assassin were bristling were daggers. "It is unhealthy, to bottle up such desires. Eventually, the pressure becomes too great -" Zevran's fingers skid down his chest and Alistair is absolutely terrified, mind a blank, paralyzed by fear - "and one day at the most inopportune moment imaginable, everything will just... explode, all at once -"

The Crow's hand strays below Alistair's navel, and suddenly the knight is impelled to move, twisting onto his front in a manuever worthy of the most skilled of acrobats, clawing at the ground in a desperate bid for traction as he goes from flat on his back to flat out sprinting in under a second, a noise like a suppressed shriek keening in the back of his throat.

He keeps running until he can no longer see the firelight, as if he runs far enough and fast enough, he will outpace the torrid memory of Zevran's hands in places Alistair only contemplates in his darkest dreams.


Zevran's chuckle chases Alistair into the night; then, when he is certain that Alistair is in search of a stream in which to cleanse his manly pride, the Antivan addresses the nearest tent with a dangerous and duplicitous smile, worthy of any archdemon. "Is my work satisfactory, madams?"

From the shadows of the tent, the Grey Warden to whom he owes his life flips him an entire gold sovereign.

"Did you see -"

"The look on his face!"

"I have never seen a man so red in all my life!"

Witch and bard and Warden, all a tangled pile of sisterly mirth, are too busy indulging in deep, heady laughter to see Zevran catch the sovereign midair and sketch a nobleman's bow, fist pressed to his heart, smiling still with wicked delight behind the curtain of his blonde hair.

Like any good Crow, Zevran knows where the money lies, and he aims to keep his mistress pleased, through whatever means necessary.