AN: this was inspired by a small mention of campfire fantasies that Elishka had about Alistair at camp before they became involved. One-off prequel to "Duty Doesn't Come for Free"

Muscles rippled, skin glistened with well earned perspiration, drool formed. Elishka sat adjacent to the fire ring at camp, her mouth welling with hunger – hunger for the man swinging the big sword and prancing about shoving his shield at empty space. There was something about the way that Alistair moved during his morning training ritual that always left Elishka a little undone. They had flirted before, even gone so far as to exchange knowing glances, but beyond the innocent verbal joust, the pair remained very much uncoupled but to Elishka's chagrin. It was so easy to imagine what it might feel like to trace the peaks and valleys of his musculature with her tiny hands, to feel the touch of his lips against her own, and to do other things that she could only imagine in her blushing mind.

She tried to look inconspicuous as she watched him. Poulstice supplies were laid out in front of her in varying states of use. See? She had a reason to just sit here by the fire. It most certainly was not to watch the brown haired slice of man candy flexing in front of her. No!

And as she was prone to do, her mind wandered as she stared. While she lived at the Circle, she had managed to collect and hide a rather huge library of romance novels – the extremely trashy kind filled with phrases like 'engorged member', 'staccato spasms' and 'damp petals of her womanhood'. It was the closest she had ever come to experiencing the real thing. While sex was not forbidden amongst mages, it wasn't always easy to come by. Elishka had found most of her mage brethren to be unattractive. Perhaps she simply did not like men in robes.

Templars on the other hand, they were all together intoxicating to the young woman. They bristled of a masculinity she just wanted to drown in. She had considered cornering Cullen at one point simply to experience what it felt to have the feel of 'love's sweet arrow' in her 'downy mound'. She knew he had a thing for her. But whenever she thought she might have the nerve to ask him, she always chickened out.

And now, here she sat, watching perhaps the finest male specimen she had ever had the privilege to lay her eyes on and could not help but wonder: what would it be like if Alistair and she lived in a romance novel?

The beautiful princess, Elishka, walked through the fields surrounding the castle, plucking flowers from the ground. It had become a daily routine for her ladyship. She found a bouquet of fresh flowers in her bed chambers brought the sunlight from outside indoors – brightening the cold interiors of her rooms.

She had another reason for her daily sojourn. The neighboring Arldom's son often rode by this path on a daily basis. She had found him quite handsome and dashing. A blush usually followed by a giggle would come to the soft lines of her face whenever she thought of him. And on time as usual, the Arl's son rode along the field, engaging in his daily ride. Today, however, he stopped as he neared Elishka and dismounted his trusty steed.

A billowy breeze wafted in the air, caressing her hair in gentle embrace, the cascade of curls upon her bared shoulders tickling at her skin as she looked upon the gentleman. The tightness of his pants only served to accentuate the well formed mass of his thighs. A doublet of embroidered blue velvet and a white silk shirt covered his chest. Boots of the supplest leather rose up his calves and thighs, hugging him like second skin, filling Elishka with jealousy.

"My lady," he greeted, a warm smile forming upon the welcoming slopes of his mouth. She wished to reach out and kiss those very lips but dared not. Young ladies did not do such things. He took her gloved hand into his own and raised it to his awaiting mouth. Before leaning to kiss the hand, he turned it over and instead laid the ginger attentions of his mouth upon an exposed portion of skin along the inside of her wrist. "I do not believe we've had the pleasure of meeting. I am Alistair."

The touch of his lips burned against her skin. Her breath hitched, nerves rattling at her insides. The stays of her garment felt entirely too confining. At any moment, she might swoon. "I am Elishka," she responded, her head tilting down modest while eyes remained steadfast upon the gentleman before her.

"I have seen you here before…" His head inclined thoughtful. "...plucking flowers from the field. I also like to pluck…flowers."

Heat flushed the ivory contours of her cheeks. "My lord, there are many flowers in this field that are worth plucking. Does my lord have a particular type in mind that I might help you find?"

"I believe I have already found it." No invitation given and none required, Alistair scooped Elishka into his vascular arms. His clutch upon her was strong and commanding.

She yielded completely to his advances – any resolve she may have had to resist his charms dissipating at his touch. She was his for the plucking.

He claimed her mouth with his own, at first gentle and careful. But with each progressive kiss, his passion rose and became more demanding. His hands moved, sweeping along the lines of her back before moving to the cloth covered swell of her breasts. Diligent fingers made careful work of her bodice, nudging fabric aside to expose the roundness of a well formed….

"My dear little warden, is there a reason you are fondling your breast so?" The voice ripped through the veil of her fantasy. It was not hers nor Alistair's but quite familiar all the same. Zevran.

Embarrassment sparked ruddy, her entire body enveloped in the heat of her distress. Had she? Was she? Oh Maker. Her mind spun rapid, trying to formulate an excuse. Why would she be clutching her breast so in the middle of camp while making potions? A single idea sprung to life.

"I..had an itch. I was scratching it." That was her story and she was sticking to it. She even managed a small smile to try to further reinforce her claim. See? Totally telling the truth here. Nothing to see. Move along.

Zevran stood before her, a rascal of a smile sliding across his mouth. "An itch that needed to be scratched? " His eyes darted, taking in Alistair a moment before returning to Elishka. "Might I suggest that you scratch that particular itch in your tent?"

She pulled her knees to her chest and buried her face within their shelter. It was obvious that Zevran had caught her in a lie.

Let me just die now.