Eve often missed the months she spent traveling Ferelden fighting the Blight. Certainly it had been dangerous, the constant threat of darkspawn and Loghain's persecution, but she had never in her life felt so alive, so right, as though her destiny lay out before her, guided by the gods, driven by a single purpose.
And she had her friends.
She missed Morrigan dearly. Often the two of them would hunt together, running fleet footed through the forest, Morrigan in wolf form flushing prey from the undergrowth and into the path of Eve's deadly arrows. Or Morrigan in spider form would weave a giant web and Eve would chase prey into her waiting trap.
And sometimes they just ran for the joy of it, the wolf woman and the huntress at home in the wilds, racing each other without making a sound, breathless and giddy with the heady scent of leaves and grasses. Or Morrigan would become a bird and fly from treetop to treetop and Eve would follow, swinging and leaping from the branches of the ancient trees.
They did not need to speak. They shared a camaraderie deeper than words, the powerful bond of two wild creatures that traveled and hunted together, working as one mind, one predator. Two witches under the moonlight, one who thrummed with untamed magic, one who danced with the wooden weapons of the forest itself.
Zevran tried to follow them once or twice when they disappeared in the fickle hours when the sun was close to the horizon and the light cast long shadows through the forest. But nimble and quick as he was, he could not navigate the wild with ease. He was city born and raised, and on cobblestone streets and crowded marketplaces he was like the wind, everywhere and nowhere, a whisper just before death. And he envied Morrigan and Eve their wild ways.
A true elf, he thought, would navigate the forest with ease and grace, never lost in its shadows and whispers. And he understood what the Dalish meant when they called him flat eared.
And when the women hunted, he mixed poisons or trained, dancing gracefully with his daggers drawn and thrusting. And the movement of his body and the peace on his face were the same, whether he was following the steps to the dance of death he'd been taught or making skillful love to a beautiful partner.
Zevran's coldness unnerved his companions. Wynne searched for some redeeming regret beneath it. Leliana told him there was a reason for his trials, a path paved by the Maker that he was suited and destined to walk down. Alistair avoided him and watched him, eyes narrowed and suspicious across a flickering campfire. Oghren tried to get him drunk, but the assassin would never be so foolish as to let down his guard like that.
But Eve was not like them. She did not search for his regrets or try to justify his atrocities. He often felt as though her intense gaze saw to the core of him, the tender vulnerability and the hardened killer.
Perhaps it was because she too was a killer. To her each wild thing was a brother or sister, to be cherished and loved, and yet she hunted and took pride in her skills, gloried in the kill. She knew what it was to survive and what part of oneself perished, sacrificed, when an innocent fell to her hand. She did not regret the doe that died to feed her companions and she did not expect Zevran to regret the men and women he murdered to stay alive.
Alistair wondered, with the benefit of hindsight, why he had ever been attracted to her. She was as cold as Zevran and as ruthless, they truly deserved each other.
It was the desperation of a man who had lost all that was dear to him, clinging to the only remnant of what had once been his family. And Eve had loved him as she might have loved a younger brother, cherishing his innocence, his unabashed goodness. She had done everything in her power to protect him.
And when she stood before the darkspawn infested city of Amaranthine and found that the bulk of the attack was headed to Vigil's Keep, she thought of the innocent people of the city and the need for Grey Wardens. But she could not forget also that Alistair was at Vigil's Keep, that he would be leading the defenses against the horde of darkspawn, running out to greet them, Cailan's armor shining in the last rays of sunlight, his sword drawn and Duncan's shield raised.
She made the right decision, of that she was certain. She had to save the Wardens, all else was secondary. What was a single city when the darkspawn threatened all of Ferelden?
And yet it haunted her, because she had turned her back on the smoldering ruins of Amaranthine and ran not because the Wardens needed her. She ran because the vision of Alistair overwhelmed by darkspawn, torn apart, his shining armor spattered with red, drove her back to Vigil's Keep.
She chose him and he damned her for it.