This short was written for the Morrigan Live Journal community Seven Deadly Sins Challenge "wrath" prompt. Like a lot of the short stories in this collection, this is definitely NSFW.

A big, huge thank you to both Dinah Lance and mutive for the betas. Without them, this fic would be an incoherent mess. And finally thanks to everyone who has read and commented so far. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Fait Accompli

'Twas the moment Morrigan had been waiting for since the cold and rainy night her mother had plucked a dying Grey Warden from the top of a tower overrun by darkspawn. She had followed this man across Ferelden and back, fought by his side and even shared his tent for a time. But as Morrigan watched Marcus Amell's jaw tighten with each word she spoke, she knew it had all been for nothing.

He drew himself up to his full height, his massive frame an imposing silhouette before the roaring fire, and said, "No."

The word reverberated through the room, hanging between the Circle-trained mage and the wild apostate witch.

Morrigan's hands clenched in her lap. "That is all you have to say to my offer?"

His voice did not rise, but brown eyes narrowed behind a pair of gold-rimmed spectacles. "You couldn't think that I would actually go through with this."

"Why would I not?" she asked. "'Tis true that occasionally you allow useless sentimentality to cloud your judgment, but that did not stop you from convincing Alistair to claim his birthright or arranging a marriage for him despite his wishes. If you are willing to be so pragmatic with someone you claim as a friend, I do not see why you refuse to be practical now."

Marcus studied her with his thoughtful gaze for a few moments before nodding. "You wouldn't. Duty and sacrifice mean nothing to you."

"There is no need for sacrifice." Morrigan rose from the bed she wanted them to share tonight. "Have you considered what will happen if Riordan is not there to make the final blow as he plans?"

"Loghain has asked to make the final blow, and I have agreed. If he falls, then I will do it," he said, the shrug of his broad shoulders reflecting how little regard he had for his own life.

An unexpected shiver of fear raced up her spine. Such emotion was a foolish weakness, but she felt it nevertheless. "You would throw your life away rather than give me what I ask?"

Marcus's tone turned wry. "Don't pretend you're doing this to save my life. This is about you grasping for power. How could you think I would be reckless enough to say yes?"

"I give you my word that I will leave Ferelden and never return. This will not endanger what you have worked for."

"Even if that were true, why would I believe you? You've traveled with me for over a year, keeping your true purpose a secret. Half truths and lies of omission don't inspire trust, Morrigan."

Marcus didn't wait for a response. Indeed, he did not seem interested in one, instead walking to the table and turning his attention to the stack of vellum documents on top.

Stung by his indifferent dismissal, she gaped at him. Morrigan knew she was being a fool, but there was a part of her that regretted the loss of what could have been had she allowed this Warden to be more than a warm body in a cold tent. Had she not kept him at a distance, had he not taken her at her word when she pushed him away, they could have been true companions, at least for awhile.

Still, in the end, what was lost was irrelevant. All that mattered now was his agreement to her plan. And there was one weakness she had not exploited yet; a weakness she did not want to admit he had. But now was no time to allow jealousy to interfere when she was so close to her goal. Now was the time to use all of the weapons at her disposal to grab his attention and ensure her success, and if Marcus hated her for it, so be it.

"If you will not do this to save your own life, then consider how your refusal will affect others you care about. Like the Queen, for instance."

Marcus's eyes widened as his attention returned to her. A bitter smile spread across her lips. "Oh yes, Marcus. I am quite aware of why you stopped coming to my tent. You are not as discreet as you think."

He recovered quickly, putting the vellum down and crossing his arms over his broad chest. "Make your point."

"Her father or her lover may die. Surely she would not want that. Perhaps if she were aware of the offer I've made…" Morrigan trailed off, leaving the rest unsaid, her amber gaze darting to the door.

Marcus did not answer; he simply looked at her in silence. Morrigan arched an eyebrow in response. Moments stretched as the mages stared each other down across the room until finally Morrigan turned toward the door fully intent on carrying out her threat.

Just a few steps from the door, a rough hand encircled her bare arm. The familiar spark of desire skittered across her skin at his touch. Marcus jerked her around to face him. He loomed over her, his intoxicating nearness fueling the ache that had plagued her ever since he had left her bed. The slow and deliberate words were underscored by the way his fingers tightened around her arm.

"Stay away from the Queen."

"Then give me what I want," she murmured, breathing in the scent of clean male and autumn leaves. Morrigan trailed a finger down his chest, reveling in the feel of hard muscle underneath the robes, anticipating what he would feel like gliding against her own soft skin. Once he had not been able to resist her; perhaps it could be so again one last time. "Certainly the act of laying together is not such a burden?"

He pushed her hand away. For the first time, ire leaked into his tone. "You know that I am not a man to be trifled with. Anora is under my protection. Leave her out of your games. "

Morrigan's hope shredded under the weight of her jealousy and humiliation. She could not pretend anymore that mage was simply taking his pleasure or manipulating the monarch. Whatever envy Morrigan had felt in the past was nothing to the bile that crawled up her throat now.

Flemeth had been right. Love was a weakness and the Warden was a fool.

"How ridiculously sentimental of you to think you can protect her." Morrigan spread her hands wide. "Rumors are such nebulous things, after all."

A dangerous stillness settled over him as she continued to speak, and Morrigan knew her victory was within her grasp. Marcus just needed one final push.

"If the Bannorn heard whispers of how the Queen and her mage lover are cuckolding the new King, there might be talk of treason. Traitors to the crown come to such horrific ends…"

There was no warning. As soon as the last word fell from her lips, he moved, using all of his bulk to slam her against the stone wall. Pain lanced through her skull as the back of her head connected with hard rock, and then the ink-stained hands that had given her so much pleasure were tightening around her neck, cutting off her air. She grasped for her spells but they splintered in her mind, her concentration shattering when she tried to call them.

The hard lines of Marcus's face betrayed both his fury and contempt. In all of their travels and all of the battles they'd faced together, he'd never once looked at an enemy the way he was looking at her.

Helpless, she clawed against his forearms in her panic, her nails cutting into the fabric of his robes, drawing blood from the skin underneath. But the mage was nearly as large and as strong as the Qunari, and she could not shake him off. She grasped at the dagger on her belt, but with a word of charged power, he knocked it from her trembling grip.

Marcus did not speak until spots started to dance in her vision. Then the mage bent down until they were eye to eye. His spectacles magnified the searing fury in his brown eyes, but even more frightening was his icy calm voice.

"If anything happens to Anora, anything at all, it won't matter where you run and hide. I will hunt you down and end you, Morrigan. Do you understand?"

She managed a jerk of her head and finally he released his grip. While she was gasping for air, he threw open the door and said, "Now go. And don't ever let me see you again."

Morrigan hissed as she gathered her power, and for a moment she was tempted to abandon her plan, give into her anger, and attack him for what he had just done. But instead she shifted into a wolf and fled. She raced down the empty and still halls of Redcliffe Castle, four paws padding against the luxurious carpet covering the floor, stopping only when she was certain that the Grey Warden was not following. With a hoarse growl, she was a woman once again.

Gasping for breath, she slumped against the wall. Her heart was hammering so loudly that she did not realize the bastard King was approaching until he nearly tripped over her.

Alistair looked down at her with a pair of confused and bleary eyes, swaying slightly. "What happened to you?"

Morrigan glared up at him. "'Tis no concern of yours."

"Haven't you heard? I'm the King. I even have a shiny crown," he said, his lips twisting into a bitter sneer. He threw his arms wide in a clumsy gesture that encompassed the empty hallway. "Everything is my concern now."

Morrigan pushed herself to her wobbly legs and took in the dark smudges under his eyes, scruffy stubble on his cheeks, and the smell of wine on his breath. "You're drunk."

Alistair leaned in close, holding his thumb and forefinger up before her. "Maybe just a little," he said in a conspiratorial whisper. "But I still want to know."

"Why would you possibly care?"

He shrugged. "I don't. Not really. Just curious about who put that sour look on your face, so I can congratulate them."

Morrigan's hand drifted to the bruises that were forming on her neck, wondering if she would ever forget the feeling of Marcus's fingers around her throat. "You are truly vile. Go and leave me be."

"Wait a minute." He tilted his head and squinted at her neck. "You're hurt."

"Your powers of observation are astonishing," she snapped. "With such a towering intellect, no wonder they made you king."

But her barb did not drive the fool away. If anything, he seemed worried. "We should do something about this…" She watched the thoughts turn in his head, slowed even more than normal because of the fog of alcohol. In another circumstance, it would have been most amusing. "Wynne! I should summon Wynne. She'll fix you up."

"No!" she said. The last person she wanted to see right now, other than Marcus, was the fussy, disapproving mage who would ask far too many questions. "Just leave me be, fool."

With a shake of his head, he muttered to himself, "And that's what I get for trying to help evil forest witches."

Alistair turned his back on her and walked towards the open door to his quarters. She watched him go, her ire cooling enough to allow her gather her wits and consider her options. Retreat was out of the question. She had come too far to give up so easily, and besides, she was too furious to allow Marcus to triumph. But while the mage's child had been her goal, he was not the only new Warden in Redcliffe Castle that night. There were two others, and one was right in front of her steadying himself with a hand on the doorway.

Morrigan's eyes widened as all of the implications of the idea occurred to her. 'Twas the perfect revenge.

"Stop!" she demanded.

Either Alistair didn't hear her or he simply didn't care. He just entered his room, swiped an open bottle of wine off of a nearby table, and grimaced when he found it empty. He put the bottle down with a thunk, kicked aside another empty bottle in his path and dropped into one of the chairs next to the fire. Morrigan slipped silently into the room and closed the door, making sure to bolt the latch behind her.

Alistair's head jerked up. "Didn't you just tell me to go away?"

"I have changed my mind. You said you wanted to know what happened and I have decided to tell you. The Warden and I argued. He lost his temper and tried to kill me."

"Right. And then he decided to put on a dress and dance the Remigold." Alistair snorted. "I'm not as stupid as you think, you know."

Morrigan rested her hands on her hips and glared at Ferelden's newest monarch. "'Tis true!"

Alistair's bitterness was a nearly tangible thing. "Marcus doesn't lose his temper. He becomes your best friend and then stabs you in the back in the name of duty."

"You're still angry with him." Morrigan barely stopped the satisfied smirk from crossing her lips. Alistair's outrage at the Landsmeet had truly been astonishing to behold. Even so, Morrigan had thought the fool too softhearted to hold a grudge for this long, but if he was still this bitter two months after the Landsmeet, this was going to be far easier than she thought.

"You could say that." Alistair's fingers tightened on the armrest. "Because of him Loghain will be standing with the Wardens when we march tomorrow."

"Oh, more than that," Morrigan said as she approached his chair. "Loghain is going to die a hero."

Alistair blinked at her. "What?"

"Whichever Grey Warden delivers the killing blow to the Archdemon dies." She arched an eyebrow at him. "You did not know?"

"No, Duncan never..." He trailed off. His brows knit together as he shot her a suspicious glare. "How could you know this?"

Morrigan shrugged. "Because the Warden told me. That is his plan, you see - to allow Loghain to sacrifice his life." She cocked her head to the side and barely contained her glee as she asked, "Did Marcus not tell so you himself?"

The answer was obvious from the deliciously shocked look on Alistair's face. He sat straight up in his chair, mouth moving in silent protest. But the words did not form. Morrigan's triumph and satisfaction swelled. Marcus could not have primed Alistair any better for her plan had he tried.

Morrigan nodded to the door. "I speak the truth. You can go and ask the Grey Wardens if you like." When Alistair did not move, she spread her hands wide and continued. "Think of it," she said. "The traitor Loghain will be redeemed in the eyes of everyone."

It was like watching a wound tear open before her eyes. The fool King's shock was ripped away by an intriguing blend of fury and pain and betrayal that hardened his handsome face.

Alistair began to shake. "Shut up."

"Perhaps your betrothed will commission great statute in tribute to her father. Maybe Leliana will write a ballad about his sacrifice and bravery. Loghain will be remembered forever as the Grey Warden who saved Ferelden from the blight."

Alistair shot to his feet, reeling for a moment until he found his balance. "I said, shut up!"

Morrigan let him stew in his fury for a few moments before adding, "Of course, it does not have to happen that way."

"What do you mean?" he demanded, clenching his hands as though he wanted to grab her shoulders and shake the answer from her.

"There is a way to stop them. A way to ensure that no warden will die dealing the killing blow. But… I need your help."

Alistair shot her a suspicious glare. "What would I have to do?"

"There is a ritual, done on the eve of battle, in the dark of night." She paused, as she considered how much she ought to tell him. Alistair was not at pragmatic as the warden mage, and she knew that he would balk at siring a child he could not raise.

Alistair's question cut across her thoughts. "Which is?"

"You must lie with me," she said. Morrigan knew that he wanted her. She had seen the way he would watch the sway of her hips when he thought no one was looking. Surely between his desire, his fury and his belly full of wine, that would be enough incentive for him to join her in bed?

She saw the first stirrings of lust flicker in his eyes, but there was suspicion too. "There's got to be more to it than that. This doesn't make any sense."

Morrigan jerked her chin up. "'Tis all you need to know."

Alistair scowled at her. "I need to know everything, or I won't do it."

She could tell from the stubborn set of his shoulders that he meant it. Morrigan sighed in irritation that Alistair would pick such an inconvenient time to finally show some signs of intelligence.

Morrigan chose her words carefully. "If you lie with me and we produce a child, then the old god's soul will not be destroyed by the killing blow. Instead, it will be cleansed and absorbed by the babe. Ferelden will still be saved, but Loghain will live."

He looked at her in horror. "You want me to sire a bastard? You want me to do this to a baby?"

"It will hardly be much of anything after one night. Besides, it will not be hurt, merely transformed into something greater."

"Something like an abomination!"

"No," she protested. "Not a demon or an abomination, but something very old that was twisted by the taint and now restored. Surely even with your Chantry biases, you could see how purging the taint and preserving such a being is worth doing."

He threw his hands wide. "And then what? What happens to my child?"

"It will not be your child. After tonight, you will never see either of us again, but the babe will be cared for and protected. I will allow no harm to come to it."

Alistair's face twisted as he shook his head. "I… I can't…"

She knew he was slipping from her grasp. Her voice grew hard as she delivered her last blow. "Then I suppose you will have to learn to live with the fact that when people think of the Grey Wardens, all they will know is Loghain. No one will remember his treachery at Ostagar. All will be forgiven. And after he dies a hero, your friends and the man who you thought of as a father will be forgotten entirely."

At her words, Alistair froze. When he spoke, his voice was hoarse. "No."

She took the last step, closing the distance between them. "Then let me help you, Alistair. Give me what I want. Take your justice. Show Marcus that you will not allow him to tarnish the thing you care about most. That you are a king and not a pawn in his clever games to be sacrificed and betrayed and discarded at his whim. Do not allow Loghain a hero's death." She laid her palms on his chest and murmured, "Lie with me tonight…"

He pulled away and turned toward the fire, screwing his eyes shut. Anticipation squeezed her chest and she could not breathe as she watched him struggle between vengeance and loyalty and duty and fury. And for a moment when his spine straightened and his face went hard, she thought his chantry upbringing had triumphed over his need for revenge. But Ferelden's King squared his shoulders and clenched his fists as he met her gaze.


"Good," she said, as she shoved him backwards. The back of his legs hit the chair and he fell into it with a thump. And then she knelt before him, unlacing his breeches, working quickly, not wanting to give him a moment to reconsider. His hips jerked under her nimble fingertips and she could feel his arousal through the fabric.

"Morrigan," he croaked. He grasped her hands in his. "Wait a minute. Aren't we supposed to… to kiss or something first?"

With an irritated huff, she shoved his hands aside and freed his length from his clothes. She arched an eyebrow. "There is no need to waste time on such foolish romantic gestures."

His Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed hard, betraying his panic. "But-"

Morrigan encircled the velvet tip with her thumb, and his protest died in a hiss of pleasure. "This is not a love affair. If you wish to indulge in such ridiculous sentiments, then you will have to find someone else when we are done here."

Before he could complain any further, she took him in her mouth. Underneath her long lashes, she watched him grip the arms of the chair with his hands so hard that his knuckles went white. He sank back into the cushion, any protest he might have made chased away entirely. Alistair's chastity had been well known by all of the companions, and she had never pleasured an untouched man before. He was watching her with such hunger and need that the thrill of it seared through her.

"Oh, Maker," he groaned. "Morrigan, I'm going to… I can't…"

She didn't stop until Alistair thrust into her mouth and spent himself. Morrigan sat back, taking a moment to gloat over his hazy eyes and heaving chest, reveling the power of being the first woman to have this man who had been a templar, a warden and a king. Then she stood and took a long pull from an open wine bottle on the nightstand next to the bed before fishing a piece of chalk out of one of the pouches on her belt and beginning to draw symbols on the floor.

When he caught his breath he spoke. "I thought we were supposed to…" He flushed all the way to the tips of his ears. "…you know. Even I know that's not how babies are made."

"So they taught you something at the Chantry after all," Morrigan drawled. "You have never had a woman before. The power of the ritual will take some time to build. I could not risk you spending yourself too quickly because you are overeager."

"Yes, but now I'm…" He looked down at his lap, brows bunching in pathetic confusion. "…finished."

An irritated sigh fell from her lips. She paused in her work to glare over at him. "Did none of your Grey Warden brethren speak of their superior stamina or quick recovery times? They were men after all." Alistair's understanding was like watching a torch flare to life. "Or did Loghain abandon them to their fates before they shared stories of their prowess with you?" she added with a sneer.

At Loghain's name, Alistair's eyes darted to the door. His lips thinned as though he was considering abandoning their plan, finding Loghain and killing him this very night. Instead he rose, wobbled for a bit and tugged off his doublet. "I thought they were just exaggerating."

"Well they weren't," she snapped. "Such ignorance for a man of two and twenty is an astounding achievement. Truly, your ineptness with women is without equal. Now do something useful and undress."

He fell thankfully silent at that, and Morrigan concentrated on drawing the runes on the wooden floor around the bed they would share. When she finished, she placed the chalk aside and pulled a vial of lyrium from her pouch. Uncorking it, she swallowed the liquid, feeling the surge of magic down to her marrow.

When she saw him standing by the bed still wearing his shirt, breeches, and a panicked look that bordered on genuine terror, she frowned. "After all these minutes, all you've managed to accomplish is removing your boots and socks?"

Alistair ran a hand through his hair. It had the effect of making it stick out at odd angles. "Well… maybe we should blow out the candles first."

"Don't be ridiculous. Remove your clothes or I will do it for you, and I promise that it will not be pleasant."

It took two attempts for him to cross his arms over his chest in defiance. Morrigan could not tell if his clumsiness was due to his nerves or the wine. "You undress first."

She rolled her eyes, cursing for the umpteenth time that Marcus had not been able to see reason. For all the thrill she had felt earlier, that she had to resort to bedding this imbecile was quickly becoming intolerable.

"Fine," she said, as she shrugged off her cowl and let it drop to the ground. The small covering of fabric underneath followed quickly. Desire and hunger flickered across his handsome face, softening the edges of panic that tightened his lips. He swallowed hard, staring at her chest as he watched her push her skirt over the swell of her hips and kick her leggings and boots aside.

He continued to stare at her, unmoving, until she crossed her arms under her breasts and arched a challenging eyebrow.

Taking a deep breath, as though he was about to be dunked in cold water, Alistair pulled the shirt over his head, getting momentarily tangled in the sleeves before pulling free, and then dropped his pants and small clothes. Now it was Morrigan's turn to stare. Even though they had traveled together for over a year, Alistair's modesty around the camp had never allowed her to get a good look at him. While the Warden had been quite attractive in his own right, the hard lines and angles of his body had possessed a roughness that kept him from true beauty. But Alistair was magnificent, almost too perfect to be true. Proportion and muscle and tone all working together to achieve harmony. She was so dumbfounded that it took her a minute to focus on the words that would begin the slow burn of the ritual spell.

The runes she'd drawn on the floor began to glow as power hummed through the room. She moved to him, until they were almost touching. Alistair shifted forward and reached his hand out. The look on his face was a combination of lust and wariness, as though he thought she might shock him if he touched her. His hand stopped short of her cheek and his gaze dropped to her full lips.

"Do you wish to touch me, Alistair?" she murmured.

His eyes went wide, and his parted lips closed as he swallowed again. "I… yes." The floor creaked as he shifted his weight, bringing him a breath closer to her. His next words tumbled out in a rush. "Ever since I first saw you."

Her triumph over his admission, of something she had known in her belly ever since Flemeth had brought him to their hut, was not insubstantial. A delicious ache pooled between her thighs. Her lips parted.

She leaned forward, breathing the words against the skin of his jaw. "Then act like the king you're supposed to be and take what you want."

Alistair grabbed her then with two strong hands on the side of her face and crushed his mouth against hers. Hungry for more, she parted her lips, letting her tongue glide against his mouth until he gasped. She seized the advantage and deepened the kiss and the tang of wine and lyrium mingled into a heady blend as she plundered his mouth. He kissed her back, his enthusiasm almost making up for his lack of skill. Alistair's fingers tugged at her hair, fumbling and tugging until it brushed against her bare shoulders.

Morrigan could feel herself drowning from lust. Knowing that they were mere seconds from ending up on the floor, she broke the embrace, grabbed his hands, and yanked him up on the bed. She scrabbled to her knees as he climbed up after her. Strong muscles coiled and tensed as he pulled her back into his arms. Sloppy kisses and fumbling hands seemed to be everywhere, but it did nothing to dampen her desire. Instead her lust was fueled even more by her impatience and frustration.

His calloused hand hesitated against the curve of one breast, his voice a murmur of breathless shock. "Maker, you are so soft…"

Morrigan covered his hand with hers, pressing his palm into her skin. "Stop touching me as though I will break. I am not one of those simpering females who will crumble at your touch."

His thumb skimmed her nipple, sending a delicious twinge of heat through her. He bent his head to her breast, his hot breath scorching her sensitive skin. "I want to…" He looked up at her as though he was asking permission.

She glared at him, wondering if she should indulge him or simply mount him and rid herself of this bothersome ache. "Then do it," she snapped.

Alistair took her nipple in his mouth tentatively and Morrigan sighed in both pleasure and impatience as he tasted her.

"Harder," she demanded, pleased when he complied. She took the chance to explore the hard muscles of his shoulders, as Alistair's other hand migrated to the curve of her backside.

'Twas not enough. As the ache between her thighs intensified due to the work of his mouth, his fumbling groping only made her want to be touched more. Realizing that he would never figure it out on his own, Morrigan snatched his hand and guided him between her legs, pushing his fingers into her slick heat.

Alistair looked up at her, blinking as she showed him where she wanted him to touch her. "Like this."

He nodded. With her hand still over his, he began to stroke her, clumsy and uncertain at first, but growing more steady as she began to rock into his hand. Then he bent his head to her other breast. She buried her slender fingers into his hair, urging him on. She bit her lip to keep from gasping. Fueled by her arousal, the spell began to surge around them, sending prickles along her bare skin.

She was so very close to release when he stilled. Morrigan choked out her frustration. "Why are you stopping?"

"What was that?" He looked down at his forearm. Goose bumps showed on his skin.

"Merely the spell, you fool. 'Tis no reason to pause."

"Oh." His lips broke into a smug grin. "Enjoying what I was doing, were you?"

"I…" The words died on her lips, unable to admit that this fool's fumbling touch had affected her more than she would have thought possible. She jerked her chin up. "'Twas the magic and not you."

He rested his forehead against hers and met her amber gaze. "Are you sure? Because it really seemed like you were enjoying this. A lot."


He began to draw his hand away. "Right. Well, if it's the magic, you don't need me then."

She twined her fingers through his to stop him. "Wait. I…" She swallowed. "Don't stop."

"Say it again," he murmured as his fingers brushed her with a teasing stroke.

She squirmed impatiently. "If you stop, I will curse you with the pox."

Of all things, amusement flashed across his face. But his fingers returned, and the pleasure built once again. She began to tremble. "Say my name," he murmured.

Morrigan was so close that she had to breathe the words out between gasps. "Very well. I hate you, Alistair."

He bent and nuzzled the skin of her neck, his gentle lips and hot breath soothing the aching bruises and said, "I hate you back."

Pleasure crashed into her, leaving her clinging to his shoulders and trembling under his hands, while he trailed kisses down her collarbone. She shook her head to clear her wits, feeling foolish for crying out her pleasure. Irritated beyond words that Alistair of all men had managed to bring her release, she laced her fingers into his hair and jerked hard, tugging his head up.

"Ow! Hey, that hurts!" He rubbed his head with his hands.

"Quiet, fool. 'Tis time."

He scowled at her. "It wouldn't kill you to tell me nicely, you know."

She shoved him onto his back, his whining silencing as she straddled him. He reached for her wrists again pulling her forward into another sloppy kiss. Morrigan meant to break away, to start the chant that would start the final part of the spell, but when she felt the hard plains and taut muscles of his chest underneath her soft curves, she couldn't stop from melting against his body and kissing him back. Alistair's his hands glided over her back and flank. She could feel his hard length cradled between her thighs and she rocked her hips against his, letting him slide, but not enter, her slick heat. Alistair arched under her and moaned.

Morrigan pushed herself upward, palms flat on his chest, and began to murmur the words that were the most important part of the ritual. Wind, coming from nowhere, whipped through the room, causing the candles to sputter and flicker. And then she shifted and took him inside her.

She moved slowly, building the delicious friction bit by bit, letting the spell guide her. Alistair thrust his hips in response, throwing her rhythm off. But either he was a quick learner or was starting to get caught up in the spell, because soon his movements began to match hers.

Morrigan nearly whimpered as the pleasure built. She bit her lip hard to keep the sounds of pleasure from spilling out. But this time, Alistair reached up and traced her lips with his fingers. She could not resist parting her lips and taking his finger into her mouth, scraping with her teeth, soothing with her tongue. Ferelden's King shuddered with pleasure below her. Her own hands raked down his chest, and she leaned forward and tasted skin and muscle. Strong arms wrapped around her holding her close, and then before she could protest there was a ripple of muscle as he flipped her onto her back.

Their mouths met again as he pushed her into the mattress, the spell thrumming between them, increasing the rhythm. His skin glided against hers as he moved his hips. She arched up to meet each thrust, raking her nails down his back as the pleasure built, urging him closer.

There was another crackle of power, this time surging between the two of them. She could feel the magical connection, beyond their interlocked physical bodies, pulling the two of them together, building a pleasure that was nearly painful in its intensity. Alistair moaned her name against her lips. The spell stretched and twisted time, until it seemed as though everything except for the two of them ceased to exist.

And then it was as though lightning struck them. Magic cascaded through their bodies making them both cry out. Alistair jerked into her one last time, and then the world went dark.

The first thing Morrigan felt when she regained consciousness was the weight of Alistair's body crushing her into the mattress. 'Twas not as unpleasant as she thought it would be, and she spent a moment underneath his solid warmth before moving. She shifted and sat up, realizing by the way the candles had burned down, that she must have been out for at least an hour. Next to her, Alistair's eyes flickered open.

"Maker, that was… " he croaked, trailing off and reaching for the bottle of wine on the nightstand next to them. He took a long pull before wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "Wow."

While Morrigan agreed, she didn't answer, simply pushing her unsteady legs over the side of the bed. She could feel the fool king's gaze upon her bare back. She heard the shifting of silk and then a strong hand wrapped around her wrist and spun her around.

"Let go of me." Her words were sharp, but the tone lacked its usual bite.

"You're leaving already?" Alistair looked at her with those damned wide eyes as though he was actually disappointed that she would not stay.

Confused, Morrigan's spine stiffened. "Of course I am. I told you this was not a love affair. And I told you that I would leave when we were finished."

Despite her words, he didn't let go and she couldn't quite bring herself to move away.

"How do you know that the ritual worked?" he asked.

Her brows knit together. It was the last thing she expected him to say. "What?"

Alistair shifted closer to her as he spoke, his face flushing pink again. "Well, I mean, maybe we should, you know…" He cleared his throat. "…make sure." Alistair reached out with his other hand, resting it on the curve of her hip. "I wouldn't want Loghain to die because it didn't work the first time."

The desire that flickered in his eyes matched the burn in her belly. "You have a point," she murmured, as she traced the firm lines of his chest. "With someone as inept as you, we should do this twice just to be certain."

He pushed her onto her back. "Or maybe even three or four."

She cut him off with a kiss and for the remainder of the night they made certain that the ritual had been completed.

In the morning, Morrigan woke much later than she intended and this time when Alistair stirred next to her, she untangled herself from his arms and touched his forehead, murmuring the spell that would send him back to the Fade. As quickly as she could, she gathered her belongings from the floor, dumped them on the bed, and pulled her clothing and gear on. With no other reason for delay, she moved to the casement, taking one last look at Ferelden's sleeping King, when a wink of gold on the sheet next to him caught her eye.

She reached into her now empty pouch, realizing that the ring that she'd considered giving to the mage Warden was on the bed next to Alistair. Morrigan couldn't bring herself to retrieve it. It was too much of a reminder of the humiliation and anger she still bore Marcus. Better to leave it for the fool king as a reminder of the night that they had both taken their revenge.

With one last satisfied smirk, she turned to the casement, picturing the look on the Marcus's face when he realized that he had been outmaneuvered. Morrigan unlatched the window and jerked it open. As soft snow drifted into the room, she changed into a raven and took flight under the rising winter sun, leaving Ferelden's king and the father of her unborn child snoring softly on the bed.