Lani lay on her back, staring at the night sky. As much as the sky might make her feel exposed by day, the way it looked at night was altogether different – beautiful, comforting and endlessly interesting. The tiny twinkling points of light, which topsiders called "stars," were fascinating. The moon was less than half of its usual self, a thick crescent, shaped just like the hooked blades used to butcher nugs. Some might find it a gruesome thought, but the sight of those wickedly curved blades had meant real food on the rare occasion she had seen them. She could still hardly believe food was so readily available, so good and full of flavor. The peaches in particular had been something that astounded her. She'd never experienced anything nearly so wonderful in all her years in Orzammar, not even when she had been able to afford better food while working for Bherat. Remembering they were now gone, she sighed, disappointed Zevran had made her share with Oghren. Not that she hadn't appreciated his help – she and Oghren had been at a rather unpleasant stalemate for a while before he stepped in – but the thought of half of an entire peach going to waste on someone too hung over to appreciate it still made her a little pouty. Still, maybe they'd stumble upon another at some point, and she could eat her fill again.

Smiling to herself, she stretched her arms above her head and tried to hold back a yawn. The others had gone to bed a while ago, but she couldn't sleep. There was too much to see, to experience up here. The smell was so different and the air felt cleaner and clearer than it ever had in Orzammar. The few humans they'd met had only eyed her oddly because she was a dwarf and the feeling of belonging to her people was strange. It was a strange sort of comfort to be identified as one of the dwarven people when her own people considered her worthless.

Strangest of all was the elf she'd spared. He hadn't made a single attempt at her life – or at escaping – and she had found herself increasingly at ease with him. The way he formed his words made her smile, and the way he looked at her... The brown eyes always looked at her with such intensity, and the slightest of knowing smiles would tug at those full lips. His tattoos were an endless fascination to her – they were there as a thing of beauty, not as the mark of a lower class. The very idea baffled her, particularly since she had known nothing but brands, or tattoos meant to disguise brands, her entire life. He'd mentioned he had other tattoos that followed the lines of his body the way those on his face did, which had fueled more than one private fantasy of hers. She kept trying to remind herself that he had tried to kill her, but she knew as well as he did – business was business, and when it was over, there was nothing personal.

Sighing to herself, she tried to not fidget as she wished she'd pitched a tent tonight. The day had been so hot, though, and the cool night air had tempted her into a place in the open. It was too late now, the night dark and the fire mostly dead. She was poor enough at getting all the pegs, ropes and stays up at the correct angles when it was light; she didn't even want to think of the mess she'd make in the darkness.

The slightest sound behind her made her sit up, startled, hand grasping for the dagger that lay in its sheath at her side. She could see the faintest outline and saw a pointed ear lightly silhouetted against the night, the bit of moon giving just enough light to highlight prominent features. "What are you doing here?" The sudden appearance of Zevran made her jump a little – she trusted him, but sneaking around in the dark of night while she was so exposed made her wary.

The Antivan crouched beside her and ghostly shadows of hands lifted towards her face, showing both of them to be devoid of weaponry. The whisper that came from Zev was soft and musical. "Ah, you are awake. I did not mean to startle you, but I am not tired."

Easing her dagger in its sheath, she shifted for a better position in case he had weapons secreted about his body as she did. "So you decided sneaking up on a former mark in the middle of the night was a good idea?"

The elf's head shook, and she saw the slightest frown. "I was not 'sneaking.' I did not mean to startle you." Lani waited several heartbeats, hoping the Antivan would offer an explanation, but he simply remained where he was, staring at her passively.

Running a hand through her short blonde hair, Lani let out a soft sigh. "Then what were you doing, Zev?"

The assassin leaned forward slightly and now his mouth was curved in a smile. "Taking a short stroll around camp and pausing to admire the only woman courteous enough to lay out where I could fully appreciate her beauty." She could see a mischievous glint in his eye. "What are you doing, my dear Warden?"

Shaking her head, Lani couldn't help smiling. Zevran would take the chance to do something of that nature, particularly since he always put on an act of looking innocent anytime she gave him a disapproving look. She wasn't used to be looked at the way he did – his eyes would roam over every inch of her and there was always approval there. Dusters and commoners had usually just leered at the bits that told them she was a woman and satisfied themselves with that. "Besides freezing? I've been looking at stars and wishing I had just one more peach... or that I'd at least had the entire peach this morning."

Zevran laughed softly and shook his head. "You are strangely attached to that fruit, aren't you, Lani?"

She felt the slightest bit of a blush heat creep into her cheeks. She couldn't help it if it was the most amazing thing she'd ever tasted – she'd grown up in a sodding cave after all. "It's just, well... yes. I am."

An uncharacteristic snort of laughter escaped Zevran before he could quiet himself. "Lani, Lani... we are going to wake the whole camp talking out here like this. However, I am happy to find you awake. I was wondering if you might be interested in my tent. It's so very cold out here." He was closer now, his mouth only a hand's width from her and he was all too alluring.

Lani raised one eyebrow at her former assassin. The invitation was hardly innocent and he had not intended it to be. She felt a small flutter of anticipation of what he might look like, what he might feel like. It had been months since she'd been with a man, and here was a chance to fulfill one of the various fantasies that had danced through her head more than one lonely night. A tiny part of her told her to be cautious, but she didn't care. Here he was, willing, wanting her, and she could already feel her body responding to the prospect of his attentions. Licking her lips once, she slowly smiled at the thought of the two of them entwined, the idea of him moving inside her. "Only if you warm me up."

"Of that, you can be assured." Full lips pressed against hers with just enough pressure to demand a response. She did, sliding her tongue in the elf's mouth, moaning quietly at how soft and warm it was. His tongue met hers and she shivered.

Forcing herself to pull away, she tried to keep the desire from her voice. "Your tent. Now." Despite her efforts, her tone was husky, breathy and she could see triumph in Zevran's eyes.

Both of them stood up, she a pace ahead of them as they all but ran to his tent, ignoring the cold ground on bare feet. The moment they were there she all but dived inside. The tent smelled like him, spicy, foreign and alluring. A small oil lamp in the corner was on low, offering just enough light. Zev entered the tent soon after her, but busied himself with the fasteners before he turned to face her.

The way he looked at her made her breath quicken. Something in his eyes made her mouth go dry and she wanted, no, needed him. He crawled toward her, lithe body moving so smoothly, his slinking form a keen reminder of what he was. He was an assassin lithe and skilled in the art of stealth, murder and, from his stories, seduction. She trusted him enough, and if that trust proved misplaced, well, there were much worse ways to die.

Anticipation built as he inched closer to her, the slowness almost excruciating. She was torn between lying back and lunging forward, unsure whether to lead or follow. He reached her, pausing to take in her face, the slightest question dancing in his eyes. She felt herself nod slightly and she felt the curve of a smile as his lips pressed against hers once more. This kiss was more insistent and she leaned into it, allowing him to fully capture her. Delicate fingers pressed at the nape of her neck, massing her scalp oh so lightly and she melted into the sensation. A low sound of approval emanated from her lover as she submitted under his touch, throwing herself open to him without a care.

When his lips left hers she started to sound a whimper of protest, but they were on her neck before she knew it, turning the whimper into a moan. Zevran didn't just use his lips, however, and the light scrape and nip of teeth on her sensitive skin made her arch towards him, her body yearning for his. The hand that had held her head slid away, trailing over her shoulder and chest to lightly brush at a nipple that had peaked beneath her thin shirt in the cold night air. With the release of a slow breath she let her head fall back and closed her eyes in pleasure, savoring the way he touched her. She wasn't used to such attentions – her previous experiences had usually been fueled by alcohol and mutual instinct, hurried, desperate acts of base desire, or Beraht assigning her special "duties" now and then. The latter hadn't been terrible, just a job like any other. The way the elf was touching her, however... they placated and fueled her desires, all at once – the touches were blissful, pleasurable, but she wanted more of them, wanted his hands and mouth around her and she wanted him inside.

Just as she began to feel drugged into a pleasured stupor, those lovely lips and teeth left her neck. She opened her eyes again, bringing her head back to look at him, ask him why he was stopping. He licked his lips slowly and she watched his tongue, mirroring the movement before she realized it. His hands moved to her hips and tugged at her linen trousers. She lifted in compliance, breath catching as he drew them off of her in a slow movement before returning them to her hips again. He was hooking fingers under her small clothes now, one eyebrow arched in wicked anticipation as he looked to her. Still enthralled in his touch, in that heated look, she yielded again, and he had her stripped below the waist.

One of those slim, dexterous hands slid up the inside of her thigh and she parted her legs for him, no thought of resistance in her mind. He cupped her sex gently, as if he she might bruise if he pressed too firmly. One finger teased her wetness and when she gasped, Zevran grinned at her triumphantly. The finger slipped inside her now, stroking slowly until she was writhing around it. A second joined the first and she bit her lip to stifle a whimper. She could see his eyes darken as the heat inside her built and she knew he could feel the way he was affecting her. When she was finally on the brink, those enticing lips of his smiled and his fingers stroked her there - the barrier shattered. Shuddering with pleasure, she closed her eyes as she gasped. She'd never experienced this sort of climax with another, only alone, and something about sharing this with the Antivan left her more emotionally vulnerable than she had expected.

As she panted, trying to regain her breath, Zev withdrew and brought the fingers to his mouth, sucking on them one by one. Emboldened by the teasing motion, Lani shifted, bringing her hands to the laces on his breeches. She could feel his arousal straining underneath the leather, and she worked quickly to free it. With some help from the Antivan, he was soon entirely devoid of clothing below the waist and both of them were in simple tunics. Wrapping her hand around him, Lani's smile faltered when she realized there was something different about the elf. Glancing down she gasped. "Sweet Stone, you're... you're..." She blinked several times, trying to figure out if the shadows were playing tricks on her eyes.

Lips brushed against her forehead and that sweet purr washed over her. "Bigger than what you are used to?" She could hear the delight in Zevran's voice.

Swallowing hard, she nodded. She wasn't entirely sure going to bed sober had been a good idea. "That's a bit of an... understatement." The elf's mouth moved along her hairline until he was nibbling her ear in a way that made her shudder. It wasn't that she still didn't want him, she just wasn't entirely certain he'd fit.

"Sweet little Lani, I won't hurt you." Warm breath on her ear and neck was quickly dissolving her shock. "But if you prefer not..."

She pulled away and gave him reproachful look. "Oh no, no, I want you, I'd just also like to be capable of doing this again sometime soon." Very soon. She idly wondered if the others would accept morning sex as an excuse for a late start. Probably not.

Teeth were nipping at the soft flesh of her earlobe once more and Lani gripped Zev's erection in response. "Any time you wish." The offer of unlimited access was too much and she turned her head to attack that slim, elegant neck of his with her mouth. She could feel him respond, his hips rolling as she continued to move her hand along him, grinning as she felt the throb of his against her palm. Her lover's mouth was doing delicate work of its own, teasing her, tasting her skin.

Tugging at his tunic with her free hand, Lani lightly ran her tongue up the elf's neck. "Off." A low chuckle was his only vocal response, but he complied with her order, stripping the thin linen shirt easily. She could make out long, swirling lines following the contour of his body and she let out a soft sigh of appreciation. Tracing a line lightly, she smiled, her previous fantasies a pale comparison to the actuality of such artistry. "They're beautiful, Zev." She could feel his skin prickle lightly under his touch, and she followed one line across the musculature of his chest. His slim build was well-toned and she let out an appreciative murmur. Her lover was beautiful, not just his tattoos and she had a feeling he'd absolutely ruined her for dwarven men.

Zevran couldn't help smiling at the Warden's fascination with his tattoos. They were certainly serving their purpose well and she seemed intent on following every last line to its conclusion. He moved for her when a line traveled down his spine and over a buttock, or ran along a leg to end somewhere on his abdomen. When she finally finished, she pulled away reluctantly, letting out a soft sigh that sounded wistful. Reaching out to touch the mark on her cheek, Zevran traced the strange, angular line carefully. The idea that something meant to enhance existing beauty had been twisted into a mark of shame was repulsive – no better than the way he had been sold into slavery, but at least he didn't have to look the part. She leaned into his touch, kissing the inside of his wrist softly. He could tell she wasn't used to this slow build-up, and he wasn't entirely sure he wasn't frustrating her. It was odd to have a lover so difficult to read, but she flitted between bold and shy, eager and apprehensive, so quickly that he had a hard time keeping pace. She was certainly proving an interesting conquest.

Her hand drifted between his legs again, callouses on her hands, left by years of practice with a sword, were creating the sort friction he didn't expect from women. It felt good though, and he closed his eyes, savoring the sensation. Hot breath announced a change in her attentions, and soon it was all heat and suction, her lips closed around his phallus in a way that made him groan. She wasn't practiced, but she was eager, tongue dancing near the tip while her hand stroked the rest. It was a heady mix, the roughness of her hand and the pliant softness of her mouth. Zevran hadn't been with anyone since the whore he'd hired in a drunken stupor the night he'd taken the contract. He'd never imagined he'd have ended up alive after everything, much less that he'd end up in bed with his mark. She was tempting his restraint – he was usually able to easily hold off until he wished, but something about the way her emotions and desires were so open was cracking his ability to withhold.

A slightly pressure on the tip of his length made him shiver. She was taking him deeper now, with slow, deliberate movements and a glance at her showed a flash of blue eyes peeking through her short blonde hair. "Lani." Her name escaped his lips before he could stop himself. She sucked harder, drawing a whimper, before pulling off just enough for him to see her grinning.

"Yes?" Her face was flushed, and a languid, satisfied smile curved her features. She licked her lips teasingly, and Zevran began wondering who was playing whom when he felt his mouth go dry.

Taking a slow breath to calm himself, he moved his hands to the hem of her tunic. He pulled it upward without a word, smiling when she complied and lifted her arms above her head. Tossing the shirt aside, he moved towards her, gently pushing against her shoulder. "Lie down."

She raised an eyebrow at him for a few moments, before laughing softly and lying down on the rather rumpled remains of his bedroll. Once she was reclined, he let his hand trail from her shoulder to a breast, cupping it lightly. It was full and soft, and he couldn't resist leaning down to take a peaked nipple into his mouth. A quiet intake of air let him know the action was appreciated and he followed with the lightest application of his teeth. Trailing his mouth across her skin, he repeated the actions, drawing a happy murmur. Leaving her breasts to his hands, he trailed kisses and licks down her stomach, tasting, teasing, lingering in places that drew giggles or spots that made her shift under him. Lower he went, dipping his tongue into her navel, nipping her hip bones lightly, until he'd finally settled between her legs.

One look at her face showed Lani staring at him, blue eyes wide and intent, lips parted and he could hear her quick, shallow breaths. Dipping his head down, he let his tongue find her heat. Her hips instantly moved towards him and he pressed his lips against her sex. A hand tangled in his hair as she let out a moan and he smiled to himself. She was his.

Lani gave in to the sensations, writhing and whimpering, begging for him to continue. She wasn't exactly a stranger to this, but the way his mouth and tongue moved against her was entirely different from the clumsy - and sometimes reluctant - experiences she'd had before. Zev knew exactly what he was doing, and he was obviously enjoying himself. He kept her on the edge of pleasure, driving her close before drawing her back, slowly, wickedly, his brown eyes belaying pleasure at his game. She'd never wanted to mount someone so badly in her life, but she couldn't bring herself to take him, not yet, not when her release was so frustratingly close.

Just when she thought her world was about to shatter, he started to pull away again. Frustrated and desperate to be fulfilled, she shook her head. "Oh, sod it." Fingers already tangled in his fine blonde hair tightened and she pulled him towards her, thrusting her hips with the motion. She could have sworn she heard a muffled laugh, but that thought lasted only a moment. Flinging herself over the edge, she let out a loud cry, body tensing, arching off the ground and for a moment her vision was nothing but bright, colorful specks against black.

As she began to regain her senses, a lick at her nether regions made her twitch. Another lick, another twitch, and she was trying to scoot away from his mouth, still too dazed to get away. It was pure torture, heaping more sensations on her when she could barely handle what she had. He was relentless though, and it wasn't until she begged him to stop that he finally pulled away.

Panting hard, Lani watched him settle over her, blonde hair falling over his shoulder just so. He lowered his mouth to hers and she could taste herself on his lips and tongue. He deepened the kiss and something brushed against her inner thigh. She reached down, finding him hard and ready, and she guided him towards her sex. He pulled away from the kiss, fixing her with an expression much softer than she would have thought possible from her former assassin. It was sweet, almost concerned and full of the sort of warmth she'd never thought to see in a bed partner. Slim fingers tilted her chin up and to the side, and when his lips met the skin of her neck she felt him push into her.

Teeth nipped her jawline as he pressed into her, filling her, and the act of having someone inside her after so long was a delightful relief. He began moving in a rhythm that was slow and deliberate, taking his time to work his way deeper. She could feel herself stretching around him, and despite her desire for a good hard rut, she was grateful for the time to adjust. He didn't hurt at all – he'd more than seen to getting her worked up and ready – but she'd never felt so full in her life. She began to move with him, forcing herself to keep his slow pace. His eyes were on hers, intense and dark and she matched his gaze.

It was she who began to break eye contact, but she couldn't help fluttering her eyes with some of the sensations he was sparking. Sweat dampened her brow as she felt pleasure building inside her again. She didn't understand how he was able to do it with such ease and so damnably little effort, but she didn't really care. He was inside her and she'd eat her boots if that wasn't exactly what she needed in this moment.

Breaking pace with him, she started to move more quickly, trying to encourage him to follow her tempo, but he only grinned and kept the relentless rhythm he'd had since his hips had started to shift. "Faster, please..." Her voice trailed off into a low moan, and she swallowed hard.

He only shook his head with a smug smile and shifted his posture, the change shifting the places he was touching inside her, and she shuddered hard. He was driving her mad, heightening her need even though he'd already given her more pleasure than she'd experienced with another. He didn't seem content to simply let her reach her release though, instead choosing to play her just as he had before, driving her until she was whimpering and needy. It was entirely too easy for him to do that, particularly in this position. Oh, by the Stone, that's enough.

Grasping the elf's shoulders, Lani began pushing him back. His eyes widened briefly, as if worried, but when he realized she was following him he seemed to relax. He withdrew and laid back, watching her as she crawled over him. She was briefly tempted to return the teasing, to turn his own techniques back on him, but that could wait for another night. Guiding him back inside her, she let out a content sigh. Now she could take what she wanted. Taking a slim wrist in each of her hands, she pressed his hands against the ground and began to move.

Zevran let out a slow breath, trying to keep his urges in check. It was not easy with the way she was thrusting against him, taking him over and over and... Biting back a soft whimper, Zevran fought the desire to thrust to meet her. He usually wasn't so bad at restraining himself, but she was getting under his skin. The pressure against his wrists only reminded him that she was in control – he was certain he could try to wriggle free, but he knew full well she was the stronger of the two. And why would I want to? It's not as though, she's – Oh. He felt her ripple around him, heard her triumphant cry as she reached her climax. Her hands tightened around his wrists, her thighs trembled against his hips and the look on her face bespoke a pleasure akin to communing with the Maker. She looked other-worldly, blissfully happy and at peace. The fact that she had used him to achieve that tore at his control.

Instinct forced his hips towards her and she groaned, a small smile curving her lips. She released his wrists and leaned over him, propping herself up on one elbow. Her sweat-slicked skin slid against his and he felt as if he were embracing an inferno as his own skin burned in response. Fingers slid into his hair, massaging his scalp in a way that put him in serious danger of melting into incoherence. He thrust again and her lips met his, tongue darting into his mouth. She was kissing him fiercely, moving over him again, harder than she had before. A whimper escaped his lips and she grinned, nipping his lip as she did so. "That's right, it's your turn." Her voice was hoarse and demanding and the fingers in his hair tightened just enough to tug in a way that spoke of a command. Closing his eyes and swallowing hard, Zev abandoned himself to her. His hands gripped her hips, fingers digging into the curves that hid the strength inside her and he drove up into her feverishly, releasing the last shards of his sanity as he gave himself over.

It wasn't long before the frenzy hurled him into his release, his back arching up against her, hands pulling her down onto him as he moaned her name. It was rapture to find such heady pleasure inside a woman again, months of little more than lonely play finally at an end. He'd almost forgotten how delicious it was to share such sweet absolution with another.

It was several moments before he realized he was shaking, and he and Lani were both panting hard. The woman was lying limp against him, face nuzzled against his chest, blonde hair a damp tangled mess. Her hand was still in his own hair, a finger or two twitching now and then in little intervals that made him jump.

He couldn't say how long they stayed like that, how long it took each of them to regain both the strength and desire to peel their bodies apart, but when they did, it left him hoping there would be more nights like this one. As they quietly adjusted his bedroll as best as they could manage with the mess they'd made of it, Zevran tried to hide his smile. It wasn't every day he had someone challenge his ability to be in control in bed, much less throw him so completely and utterly off guard. As they settled down beneath a blanket and Lani curled up against his side, Zevran sighed happily. They still had many places to travel and that meant all the more time to enjoy his newfound appreciation for a particular Grey Warden.