Nen ono weohnata, Arya Dröttningu

Arya was acting strange.

Eragon noticed it right after their battle with Varaug, when she had approached Eragon and Saphira on the battlements, where he had held Glaedr in his hands. He had smelled her before he heard her light footsteps, and he briefly basked in her scent, before turning his head to great her.

Ever since then, whenever he had left the room he was given at the keep in Feinster, Arya could be found not far from him. Nearly a day after the battle, he had approached Roran, who was working with some other men to clear the wreckage of the previous battle, and he saw Roran's eyes briefly flick over his right shoulder. He turned to see what had caught his cousin's attention, and he was briefly expecting to see Saphira somehow try to squeeze between the narrow streets, but he was surprised to see Arya following him.

She had approached his side, greeted Roran, and merely stood there as the two cousins talked. Even during war councils, he had noticed that instead of sitting directly across from him at the long table that was situated in the room, she had sat next to him. When he finally dared to ask why she moved, his only response was a slight shrug of the shoulders.

Saphira had merely claimed that perhaps after Oromis and Glaedr's death, she felt more comfortable around him. That and it probably didn't help that the room they used was the one where they fought Varaug. Occasionally, Arya had to jostle Eragon and Saphira out of their daze, where they would experience the reminisce of Glaedr's consciousness.

Panting from the effort of cutting into yet another magic-reinforced door, Eragon stopped to recover his breath. It had been a long trek to Belatona, due to Nasuada's wish not to tire out the Varden's men. They had arrived at Belatona, and Eragon was surprised at the ease at which they decimated the empire soldiers. The most difficulty that faced the Varden were the few hundred painless soldiers, but a hot stream of fire and fourteen elves made quick work of them.

They were running up the large staircase in the massive keep, where the Lord was obviously housed. Not caring to remember the name of the Lord, Eragon merely charged into the keep, his guardians and Arya hot on his feet. Glancing up at the door he had just cut through with Brisingr, he saw the twelve elves spread out into the large room. There were three rooms connected to the larger one, and Eragon watched as the elves split apart to clear out the rooms.

Flicking his eyes to the left, he was unsurprised to see Arya waiting for him with Brisingr in hand to catch his breath. It was customary to see the two Shadeslayers together, but it seemed that most of the Varden's men were surprised to see the lone elf constantly at the side of their Dragon Rider. Even the elves seemed curious, but they had refrained from commenting on the fact.

Blödhgarm walked towards Eragon, and nodded towards the door on the far right. Taking Brisingr back from Arya, Eragon walked through the wooden door, and saw that the dozen men inside the room had laid their weapons on the floor, and where kneeling down with their hands behind their head. Between the men was an older gentleman, who Eragon took to be the Lord. He glanced at Arya to see if his suspicion was correct, and gave an amused chuckle when she rolled her eyes in exasperation.

The older man slowly stood up, and one of the elves moved forward and helped the old Lord to his feet. Glancing at the men surrounding the lord, Eragon saw that none of them wore the emblem of Galbatorix's army. Frowning, Eragon asked the Lord, "None of your men partook in the battle?"

The old man merely nodded, and Eragon turned to lead them out. As soon as they reached the larger room, Arya reached out and grabbed Eragon's wrist, stopping him from walking any farther. Seeing that she wished to speak with him, he turned towards Blödhgarm and said, "Go, take them to Nasuada. Tell her that we shall join her shortly."

Nodding, Blödhgarm seemed to understand that Arya wanted to speak to Eragon privately, and led the company towards the staircase. He saw the old lord briefly flick his eyes towards Arya's hand, which still held his wrist, before following Blödhgarm and the other elves.

Once Arya had made sure that they were alone, she released Eragon's wrist, and took a step back. Raising his eyebrow, he waited for her to say whatever she wished to him, and he quickly ran his mind through anything foolhardy he had done, to see if she was to reprimand him. Whatever he was expecting her to say, it certainly wasn't that.

"What?" he asked, trying to figure out if what she said was just a trick of the mind.

"Take off your shirt." Her face was neutral, but the slight tone to her voice told Eragon that she was amused by his embarrassment, and he heard Saphira lightly chuckle in the recesses of his mind.

Blinking, he felt his face heat up slightly, and said the first thing that came to his mind. "What?"

Rolling her eyes, Arya reached out and took Brisingr from him, gently placing it on a table next to the wall. He noticed that whenever she would handle his blade -which lately, had increased- she would show the utmost care, as if she was handling a delicate glass structure that would shatter at the lightest touch. She turned back towards him and merely stared with her neutral expression straight at his face.

Sighing, Eragon pried off his tunic, which took a considerable amount of effort, adding to the fact that his chest felt like it was cleaved in two. Looking down at his chest, he saw that several long, deep cuts had penetrated his skin, caused by a weapon that was concealed from his sight. After engaging his target, he had found out that the man was a member of the Black Hand, and seemed very intent on killing Arya. Eragon had pushed her out of the way of the man, sending her sprawling onto the floor, only to bounce back up, nimble as a cat.

He barely noticed the deep cuts, so intent was he on killing the man who tried to secretly assassinate her. It seemed like Galbatorix was intent on killing the Elven Ambassador or he had heard rumors of someone else who was close to Eragon. Either way, Eragon didn't take the threat lightly.

Hissing in pain, Eragon was brought back to reality as Arya gently prodded the wound that was meant for her. One of the cuts felt close to coming towards one of his rib bones, and it was the first wound that Arya began to heal. Groaning in pain, he mumbled, "You don't have to."

Arya continued her work, softly running her hands across his chest, murmuring in the ancient language. And that was how Angela found them.

Staring out into the land surrounding Belatona, Eragon rested his tired body against Saphira's massive bulk. Standing next to him was Arya, who seemed to be in a silent conversation with Saphira. The only tales tell signs that there was a conversation going on was the brief flick of eyes towards each other or him. That, and the fact that Saphira had blocked off part of her mind from him.

Yawning, Eragon recalled the previous conversation with Angela. He honestly could not remember blushing so hard, and it was the only time he had seen Arya's cheeks scarlet from embarrassment. It seemed that only Angela could turn a scene where Arya healing his chest had to do with something of a more private nature. It seemed that Angela was surprised as well to find Arya healing his chest, when Eragon was once again capable of doing it himself, though he would be considerably weaker.

Glancing towards Arya, he saw that she was staring at him intently, as if trying to figure some mysterious puzzle. It was ironic that she seemed to be trying to piece together something about him, when she was the mysterious one. Even after all this time, Arya was constantly at his side. At first it was quiet companionship, but then it turned into a ritual where he would wait for her at her tent before heading towards a meeting. They spoke of many things, and Eragon made it his goal to get her to laugh.

Staring at her, he wanted to see what she would do if he stared at her just as she was staring at him. Saphira seemed to find the staring contest humorous, and let out her laugh. Staring at her green eyes, Eragon felt the side of his lip slowly raise itself, and he saw that Arya was struggling to keep her face neutral. Suddenly, and without warning, they both burst out into laughter, until Saphira bumped her head into Arya's back, sending her on top of Eragon. He felt the air leave his chest as she crashed into him. During her fall, she had placed her hand out to catch her, which ended up grabbing his shoulder. The force of Saphira's head bump forced Arya to collapse further onto him, effectively pushing him to the ground on his back, with her lying on his chest.

He stared into her eyes, and saw various emotions flash through the green orbs, gone as quick as they appeared. She was light compared to how tall she was, but Eragon knew that she could easily toss him into a building if he did something inappropriate, so he stayed his hand that wanted to move towards her back.

He felt himself begin to get lost in her emerald eyes, and he forcefully drew his eyes away from hers, latching onto something soft that was pressing against his lower chest. In the darkness, the sight he was currently staring at would have been completely darkened by the night that snuck its way across the land, but with his elven eye sight, he saw it in perfect clarity.

Arya's chest was pushed against his, with her arms on either side of her body. The softness he felt where her breasts pressed into his chest, and he felt heat run down his body. He stared at her chest, unable to look away. He always tried his hardest not to lust after her body, no matter how beautiful she was, but with her on top of him, he felt all of that self-control slowly start to leave his body. Normally, Arya would have already stood up and brushed off the matter, but she seemed glued to the spot just as much as he was.

He didn't dare push Arya up for fear of what she would do once the moment was broken, so he reached out his mind towards Saphira, and asked, help?




She's going to kill me.

Then stop staring at her chest.




The heat in his body slowly started to rise, and he felt his length begin to strain and push into her stomach. Slowly dragging his eyes up towards hers, he saw that she was still studying him. He opened his mouth, but words failed to form, and he promptly shut it. It seemed then that she snapped out of her daze, and he quickly shut his eyes, expecting to either get hit or for a cold reprimand. The wait seemed like an eternity to Eragon, until he felt a soft hand against his cheek.

Shocked, he opened his eyes wide, and saw a look he couldn't describe in Arya's eyes. Just as soon as she laid her hand on his face, she was up, and facing away from him. The cold air hit his body where hers used to be, and he glanced at Saphira. She had what he could describe as an amused grin on her face, and he felt her amusement flow through their bond.

Arya faced out towards the night sky, and Eragon watched as the moonlight danced across her raven hair. Getting up from his position on the ground and covering his length, he heard a voice call out to him.


Silently cursing, he heard the group of Nightstalkers make their way towards him, with Nasuada clearly visible in the middle. Arya turned around to face the incoming group, and Eragon saw that once again her face was neutral. As Nasuada came up to him to speak, he could only envision the feel of Arya's body pressed against his, the warmth he felt…


Saphira's call snapped Eragon out of his lust induced stupor, and he saw that Nasuada and Arya where looking at him expectantly. He went to open his mouth, but Saphira pushed her mind through the bond and Eragon felt her speak through him.

"Staying in Belatona would be the best wager, as the coming storm will test the will of the men. Better to let them recover, and use the storm to as cover. Galbatorix wouldn't dare sent his men, lest he wishes to lose most in the coming months."

It seemed that the answer appeased Nasuada. Eragon was grateful that she didn't see through the fact that he wasn't paying attention, and Eragon thanked Saphira deep within his mind. Arya, however, glanced at Saphira and then Eragon and he knew that she knew.

Arya spoke to Nasuada, and Eragon felt waves of confusion flow through his mind. Excusing himself, he hugged Saphira and bid goodnight to the two women. The more he thought about Arya's peculiar behavior, the more the confusion seemed to grow. He was thrown out of his thoughts as he smashed into a solid mass, and only his quick elven reflexes saved the both of them from falling to the ground.

Looking up, he saw the familiar face of his cousin, and was glad to see someone who might be able to help him. Grinning, he grabbed his cousin and dragged him to the keep where his room was located.

"-I mean, it seems like she is acting normal, but it just confuses me so much. I'll be walking towards somewhere alone, and she just appears randomly! Even Saphira notices, but so far she thinks it funny to just watch me try to puzzle it out."

Roran nodded, and downed the ale given to them by the chef's in the kitchen. Before making it to his room, Roran stopped and diverted them to the kitchen, telling him they needed to get something. Eragon was glad for the ale, even if it was a bit bitter. They carried a barrel of ale, and Eragon was secretly glad Saphira wasn't here with them.

Downing the rest of the ale in his glass, Eragon placed his head against the wall next to his bed. He was sitting on the bed, with Roran on top of a small table across from him, and the two barrels acting like foot rests for the two cousins. The ale seemed to dim the confusion, and Eragon found that his tongue slipped more times than he could count. When he started to drink, Saphira reprimanded him for drinking without her, and he merely shut her out, much to the amusement of Roran when he told him.

Turning the conversation back to Roran, Eragon was once again happy to have family left to those he could talk to. Roran gave Eragon some advice as to how to act around Arya, and Eragon took it to his heart. "How's Katrina been? I haven't seen her since after the battle in Feinster."

A grimace crossed Roran's face, and Eragon saw how the strain of fighting took a toll on his cousin. "I told her to stay behind at Feinster with the other women and children, but she said that she didn't want to be separated. I tried to convince her, but it didn't seem like a good idea at the time to try to stop her."

Eragon nodded, and placed the last of the ale inside both their glasses. "If Garrow could see us now, he'd yell at us for wasting time drinking ale when there was something to be done at the farm."

Roran smiled, and said, "Aye. You remember the Carvahall dance festival? The one with when the-"

A knock at the door interrupted Roran, and before Eragon could get up, Roran had opened the door. Roran jumped in surprise, and quickly let Arya in the small room. She was carrying Eragon's Brisingr, much to the surprise of the rider. Arya's eyes roamed the small room, settling on the partially empty tankard in Eragon's hand, and she arched an eyebrow at him.

Before he could stop himself, he downed the rest of the drink, and threw the glass towards Roran. His cousin quickly caught them, before setting them down behind him on the table. Arya silently strode over to Eragon, and Eragon averted his gaze do to the thoughts that were flowing from the ale. Heat raced across his face, and he hoped Arya believed that it was from the ale he consumed. Stopping in front of him, Arya held out Brisingr, and Eragon reached out to grab it from her.

As soon as he took the sword from her, it ignited in his hand causing him to throw it in his drunken surprise. The sword clattered to the floor, and Arya gave him a cool look, before reaching down and taking the sword. She took the sword and placed it on top of a barrel, before walking back to the door. Before she left, she turned to Eragon and said, "Nasuada requests your presence early in the morning. You, as well, Stronghammer."

And with that, she left the room. Eragon blinked at the empty spot that she stood in, before looking across at his cousin. Roran had a huge grin on his face, obviously enjoying the torment that Arya caused Eragon. His grin however, slowly faded.

Narrowing his eyes at Roran, Eragon asked, "What's wrong?"

Roran visibly gulped, before saying, 'The sun rises in a few hours time."

Eragon's face paled at the thought of going to a war meeting hung over, especially when no one else was drinking.

For the fifteenth time, Eragon let out a painful groan. His head was pounding, and for some reason Saphira didn't try to rid him of his ache. Arya seemed amused as well as to both Roran and his problem, but hid the blatant grin behind a hand.

Turning towards one of the mirrors, Eragon slowly asked Orik, "When are the dwarves to arrive? I think we might be low on ale, especially after last night."

A chuckle ran around the room, and even Saphira let out a puff of smoke from where she was residing. Orik threw a questioning look towards Nasuada, and she glared at Eragon while responding, "It seems that two cousins took it upon themselves to steal the two remaining barrels of ale that we had for your arrival, and drink it themselves."

Orik let out a deep, booming laugh, stroking his beard in amusement. "Is that so, foster-brother? And what would make the two of you to drink at such an untimely hour?"

Eragon was unwilling to answer in front of so many people, but Roran let out another groan, and said, "Women."

Most of the men began to laugh, while the women in the groups merely let a small smile grace their lips in amusement. Arya, it seemed, was the only one who didn't laugh, but instead shifted her seating position as if uncomfortable. Orik's laugh was the loudest of all, as it seemed that he understood his foster-brothers plight. They were all silenced, however, by a powerful voice saying, "Enough."

All those turned to face Queen Islanzadí's mirror, and Orik shifted in his mirror to look at another mirror beside the mirror he used to communicate with the Varden. The Queen gazed at Eragon for a long moment, before flicking her eyes to Arya, then towards the Leader of the Varden.

Queen Islanzadí debated with Nasuada and the others as to what to do for the coming season, and Eragon felt himself slip into a waking dream.

He felt a tap on his shoulder, and Eragon was quickly awakened. Glancing around the room they used to hold the war council, Eragon saw that most had cleared out. Looking around for the one who tapped his shoulder, Eragon saw that it was Arya. He smiled at her, and was pleased to see that she offered him a smile in return. She stood, and turned to leave, but said to him, "Follow me."

Getting up, Eragon quickly followed her out of the room towards one of the hallways. There, she led him up to the quarters were his room was, and he saw that many of the rooms they passed were empty. When they reached his room, Eragon was surprised when she continued passed, motioning for him to keep following her. Sending out a treadle of thought to Saphira, he asked, do you know where she's leading me?

A laugh flowed across the link, and she responded, yes.

Prodding her further, he asked, well, where is she taking me?

The only reply was a cryptic, you'll see.

He sighed at his dragon, expecting her to at least give him some warning. She must have sensed his thoughts, for she said, have fun.

He made to ask her about it, but she blocked him from her mind. Sighing out loud, he heard a small laugh escape Arya. Great, why do others always get to listen in on my conversation, yet she can have secret conversations with anyone.

It seemed that she didn't completely block his thoughts from her, as a faint reply came through the bond, because you never ask.

Growling, he closed the link between them, keeping her out of his mind.

They approached Arya's room, and she entered, gesturing for him to sit on the small bed. He sat down as she closed the door, locking it and whispering a few spells for privacy. She turned towards him, and her proximity alerted him. He glanced around her small room, surprised that it was an exact replica of his. The only thing that differed was that the mirror on her desk was larger than his, and there was a distinct lack of barrels and tankards.

Looking towards Arya he saw that she was once again gazing at him with the same stare she had the previous night. His mind turned to the position they found themselves in, and his body heated at the thought. Arya tucked a lock of hair behind her slender ear, exposing her neck. There was a tension in the air, and he felt the charge between them at such a close distance. Scooting slightly away from her to try to dissipate some of the tension, he wasn't surprised that she moved as well.

He was however, surprised in the direction she moved. Instead of moving away like he anticipated, Arya recovered the distance he put between them, and moved closer than before. His leg was basically grazing hers, and he only needed to shift it slightly to have it pressed against hers. She turned her head towards him, and he stared into her eyes once again.

He felt two different things at once; the love he held for her, and the heat that was making itself lower in his body. A smile graced her beautiful lips, and Eragon couldn't help the one that spread itself over his. He waited patiently for her to speak, merely basking in her smell and presence. She was in her normal black leather attire, missing only her sword which was placed on the table across from the bed.

"I am unsure how to begin," she stated. She turned away from him and gazed at the wall intently.

Curiosity took hold of him, causing him to ask, "Begin what, Arya?"

The only reply he got was, "Our discussion."

"What are we to discuss? Perhaps it would be better to explain why you have led me to your room, especially when we usually walk towards the forest to talk." He wanted to ease whatever was causing her to hesitate, but he ultimately knew that she would speak to him about whatever it was she wanted to speak about.

"Perhaps it would," she said. Arya let out a large sigh, and turned to gaze back at Eragon. "We have known each other for nigh on a year now, yet we have experienced more together than I have in most of my seventy years among humans. Faölin and I were… We were companions. I loved him, but never had I acted upon my love for him, due to the circumstances with Saphira's egg."

The mention of Arya loving someone else sent a pain arcing through his body, and he tried to quell the desire to twitch. He partially succeeded, and only ended up grasping the bed sheet underneath him. He was lucky that Arya didn't notice it.

She let out a humorless laugh, and said, "During the night we stayed in the Empire around the campfire and I told you of Faölin, I merely wished to see how you reacted if I made it seem as if we were mates. Saphira and I conversed, and I realize now that to do so was wrong, and that I caused you pain simply for my amusement."

Taking a chance, he reached out with his right hand, and laid it on her left shoulder. Giving her a slight squeeze, he said, "It is of no consequence. It is through no fault of your own that I would be given pain. You need not think of it."

Arya seemed to draw into his hand, pressing her shoulder against it. She nodded in response. "You have changed much in these past few months, ever since the Agaetí Blödhren. You are no longer a boy, but someone that we can depend on, that I can…"

She trailed off, so Eragon said, "Certain circumstances forced me to change."

They remained quiet for some time, until Arya softly said, "As have I." Her statement was spoken so quietly that he had to strain even his elven ears to hear her. Raising her voice back to a normal tone, she continued, "After Oromis and Glaedr's death, I felt that I could not be separated from one I cared for. I apologize if I intruded in anyway, but from what Saphira has told me, you have not been bothered at all by my presence. There are few people alive that I care for, and you are my greatest friend."

Her revelation shocked him, as for her to admit to such a time of need to be close to someone was most likely very difficult. Smiling at her, he said, "I have always considered you to be my greatest friend as well, and I would always welcome your presence. Even if you woke me in the dead of night just to talk about matters of no importance, I would hold no grudge."

The smile she gave off was positively radiating. It was rare for Arya to smile like such, and he treasured the fact that he had gotten her to do so. Her smile slowly faded, and she pushed herself closer to Eragon, and laid her head on his shoulder, forcing him to put his arm around her shoulders.

It seemed that everything that Arya was doing was shocking him, and it seemed so out of character for her.

Not so much out of character, as her opening up towards you. Do not squander or force the situation, little one.

The fact that Saphira slipped through his mind didn't really cause Eragon alarm, as he knew that such powerful emotions were causing him to let her into his mind. Thank you, Saphira.

He felt Saphira withdraw from his mind. Glancing down at Arya, Eragon couldn't help but marvel at how beautiful she was. To him, he was holding an elven goddess, and he cherished this entire moment, no matter how much pain it was causing him to be so close, yet so far. Deciding to take a slight risk, he placed his head on top of hers, feeling her raven hair against his cheek.

"It has been a very long time since I've been held by someone I loved, and one who loved me." The statement flowed through Eragon's ears, and he was unsure as to whether or not he had actually heard her speak.

"W-what?" His heart felt like it was beating a mile a minute and he felt his palms begin to sweet. Arya repeated the statement, this time louder, and in a lighter voice, as if amused by Eragon's constant shock. She pulled away from his embrace, and Eragon was left sad at the loss of contact. However, Arya gently took hold of him, and maneuvered him so that he was lying on the bed, and as far over as possible. He was pleasantly surprised when she rested her head on his chest, and placed her right hand next to her head.

Swallowing, Eragon softly said, "I- I don't understand."

She turned her head towards him, and rested her chin on his chest. He ignored the pain of her chin digging into him as he watched the side of her mouth lift up. She stared at him for a long time, and Eragon took the time to study her face. Finally, after several long intense staring bouts, she got up on her elbows, and leaned towards him. He watched in awe as her face neared his, and he nearly died when her lips graced his.

He was frozen on the spot, eyes wide as he felt her lips slowly move against his. She began to draw away, but Eragon's instincts kick in, and he met her moist lips. The ferventness of their kisses drew Eragon in, and he felt his body begin to heat up. He placed his hands on her back, pulling her closer towards him. She surprised him when she allowed him to do so, but he kept a reasonable distance between them, still cautious as to how far she would allow him to go.

It seemed that Arya didn't have his inhibition, as she lifted her legs, and straddled his body, all the while keeping her lips moving against his. He released a breathe as she settled on top of him, and she placed her hands on either side of his head, allowing her to remain above him. He felt her hair cascade around his face, encasing him. Slowly running his hands down her back, he waited for some sign that she wished to stop him, but she only continued her assault on his mouth.

When she finally separated from him, he was left breathless. She settled back on his chest, panting, and he brought his knees up so that she could rest her back against them. Gazing at her face, he saw that she held the biggest smile on her face, as if she had just discovered something truly amazing. He slid his hands to her waist, and she shifted against him, driving her body against his length. Her eyes widen in surprise as his length prodded her through their attire, and he tried to push her off of his length, but she held her ground. Arya was staring at him, and the smile hadn't disappeared from her face, only growing bigger as he moaned against her sudden movements.

She opened her mouth, obviously intending to speak, but she paused to let her breath catch up to her.

Eragon instead to the moment to speak, and said the only thing that came to his mind, "Outstanding."

She let out a loud laugh, before moving back towards his face. He understood her intention at once, and met her lips once again in their fiery dance. Eragon felt as if her passion would consume him, and the reasoning part of his mind told him to slow down her movements, but his heart wouldn't let him.

Arya had taken the bottom of his tunic, and was quickly pulling it up. Displeased at the fact that he had to break off from their kiss, he tore of his tunic, before throwing it somewhere behind her. Arya's hands roamed his chest, and he groaned at the feeling of her fingers dancing over him. Sliding his hand to the separation of her tunic and leggings, he began to slip his hand underneath, only to be stopped short by the arm that grabbed him.

She pulled away from his lips, and he thought that she would leave him, but she merely remained, staring at him intently.

"If we were to continue," She said, "I believe that neither of us would be able to stop. We would cross a point which could never be taken back, and could very well send us apart. I must know how you truly feel, and that you are simply not continuing this just to be with me physically."

He stared at her, his mind racing, before finally asking, "I-I… thought that you said we could never be."

Her face lowered, her eyes gazing at his bare chest. Her hands moved across his chest, as if it strained her from not being in motion. When she spoke, it was softly, and Eragon couldn't detect the emotion lacing her voice. "We are both different now, whether that is for good or for ill. I know that this could distract us both, but I felt that harboring such feelings and not acting on them would distract us far worse than anything else."

Eragon reached one of his hands towards her chin, moving it so that she was forced to look him dead in the eye. He tried to convey all of his feelings through his eyes, but felt he was unable to. Instead, he sent his mind towards hers, and was surprised to find almost no barriers protecting it. The second he touched her mind, she threw up powerful barriers. Eragon merely waited, caressing his mind slowly against hers, trying to coax her into opening for him. When she finally opened her mind, he felt her hesitance at such intimate contact, and Eragon felt it was ironic that she would kiss him so passionately, yet keep her mind closed to even his.

He let his emotions flow across her mind, letting her feel the strain she was putting on his self-control, and the love he held for her. She gasped, and quick as an elf, she had her lips moving against his once again. He ran his hands up and down her back, before she took his right hand in her own, and placed it underneath her elven tunic. The skin he felt was soft that it caused him to involuntarily buck his hips against hers, making them both gasp at the contact.

Through their still connected minds, he felt her physical need for him, and the intensity caught him off guard. Eragon never knew that she felt such a way about him, until a familiar emotion flowed through her mind. It was something he felt in Saphira, yet it was very different. Let out a sharp gasp, he finally understood what it was he was feeling in her. Mumbling against her lips, he managed to speak three words to her; "I love you."

In his mind, he heard her respond, And I you, Eragon.

He ran his hands across her belly for some time, before grasping the end of the tunic, and gave it a sharp tug. She seemed to understand his request, and spoke in his mind once again, yes.

He pulled the tunic up and over her head, before tossing it to where his tunic was lying. He turned his attention back towards Arya, and felt his heart skip a beat. There in front of him was her chest, the same one he had been gazing at last night. The only difference was that this time, there was nothing covering her. He raked his eyes across her body, taking in her lovely flushed skin, erect nipples, and perfectly shaped breasts. Beautiful, he thought.

He felt her laughter in her mind, before a blush began to make its way across her skin. He loved the way her skin heated on her chest, and he placed his hand between her breasts, feeling the heat rolling from her skin. Sliding his hand over one of her breasts, he felt the soft, tender, object, before giving it an experimental squeeze. Running his palm to the side of her breast, Eragon thumbed her erect nipple, causing her to give a sharp intake of breath.

He marveled at the sound, before placing his other hand on her free breast, and repeated the same maneuver. The gasp spurred him into further action, and he made a quick decision as to whether to do so or not. Eragon gave into his urge, placing her mouth over her nipple. Arya let out a large moan, the sound causing his length to twitch against her inner leg. Switching breasts, he paid equal attention to the other, and used his hand to thumb over the one he had just left.

She placed her hands on his neck, directing his face upwards towards her. He was sitting upright, with Arya still sitting on him. She met his lips, before she pushed him onto his back once again, pushing their bare skin together. The contact made her moan in his mouth, and he used the advantage to flip them so that he was on top of her, between her legs. He tore away from her mouth, and ran his hand down her smooth body until he reached her leggings. Looking her straight in the eye, Eragon slowly slipped the leather leggings off of her.

As soon as he rid her of her leggings, she grasped his, pulling them down his body. He quickly helped her remove them, and once he was as naked as she, he spent the time admiring her naked elven body. She was unlike anything he had ever seen before. Her legs were slender, betraying the power he knew she held. Glancing at her face, he saw that she was staring intently at his length, which twitched at her gaze. She tore her gaze of off his length, before giving him an inscrutable look.

Positioning himself at her entrance, Eragon felt her heat rolling off of her, and he tried to quell the desire to plunge himself into her. He gave her a questioning look, but he knew they were both far too gone, lost in the throes of passion. As soon as she gave a nod, which to another may have simply been interpreted as a slight dipping of the head, he pushed himself into her.

The first thing Eragon noticed was the heat, and the tightness of her muscles. Arya arched her back, thrusting her pelvis out towards Eragon, and released a loud moan. Halfway imbedded in her, he sensed her discomfort with the intrusion, and Eragon made to pull out, not wishing to cause her further distress.

He was stopped, however, by both Arya's legs, which wrapped around his hips. She used her incredible strength to pull him towards her, and he pressed himself further into her. He saw her hands leave their grasp on the sheets of the bed, and felt them rake down his body. It surprised him when she bit down on his shoulder, before sending a thought into his mind.


And Eragon did. He withdrew himself until only his tip was in her, before slamming back down into her. Arya's moan of pleasure sped Eragon's rhythm, and his breathing became rough. He kissed her neck, before reconnecting their mouths. Their tongues briefly danced, before it was interrupted by another intense moan of pleasure. Arya began to meet his thrusts, encircling her arms around his neck.

It was surreal for Eragon. He never imagined being in such a position, especially with their previous history. He lusted for her, that he knew, but he also grew to love her. Now, she was writhing beneath him, moaning his name. "Eragon…"

Every time she spoke his name, a wave of pleasure flowed into his mind. He briefly noticed that their minds were still connected before he felt an intense pleasure pass through her mind. When she nearly screamed out his name, Eragon faltered in his rhythm, and Arya seized the moment. With her normal grace, she flipped them over, so that she was on top of him. For a moment they stopped their movements to stare at each other, until Arya began to move. She looked like a goddess riding him, and Eragon placed his hands on her waist, driving her down harder on his length. She was moving her body in such a way that Eragon was thanking whatever gods there were for her elven flexibility, and his own to keep up with her.

She grabbed his hands from her waist, pushing them up over his head, and Eragon let her do so. Even half inhibited by the pleasure flowing through him, he knew he could overpower her if he so wished. She leaned over him, kissing him deeply. Her movements slowed, and Eragon caused her to gasp by thrusting hard up into her. She held his arms in one hand, the other supporting her slight weight above him. Using this to his advantage, he drove his pelvis up, making her whimper in pleasure.

The pleasure she was giving him was driving him insane, and he only could remember the feel of her body against his. Her fingers were digging into his wrists, but he ignored the pain. Instead, he pounded into her hard, trying to reach the climax they both sought. She released his hands, and shifted so that her hands were on his chest, her nails pulling his skin. Eragon increased his tempo, and Arya matched his thrusts above him.

Arya started to mumble incoherently, but Eragon made out his own name, and a few choice words in the dwarven language. She suddenly increased her downward thrusts, and he felt his own climax approaching. The pleasure and passion flowing through his veins forced him to move faster as well, and he began to lose himself with her. Arya screamed, a sound that drew out a loud moan from him, and he felt her muscles clench and unclench around him. Her body was shaking from her release, and Eragon grasped her arms before thrusting as hard as he could, spilling his seed into her.

Arya collapsed on top of him, sweat dripping off both of their bodies, drenching the sheets below. He wrapped one arm around her shoulder, running his other up and down her back. Eragon felt complete, as if nothing could touch or disturb him in the post haze of their copulation. Arya lifted her head, and Eragon gave her a quick peck on the lips. She smiled, before raising herself slowly off of him, shaking. He felt his shortening length leave her, and he groaned in displeasure. Arya let out a small laugh, before collapsing to his side, snuggling into his body.

Glancing down at his chest, he saw that Arya had left an array of scratches, blood slipping from the wounds. In his tired state, Eragon didn't even try to heal them. Squeezing Arya's shoulder, Eragon said in the ancient language, "I love you, Arya."

Arya mumbled a reply, but it was lost at a loud knock at the door. Arya jumped up, placing her hands against the door to stop whoever was on the other side from entering, and said in a shaky voice, "Yes?"

Eragon heard some shuffling on the other side, and he let out a silent groan as to whose voice he heard. "Nasuada requests your presence, Arya. She had sent several messengers, yet none of them have been able to find either you or the blockhead."

Arya's eyes widened, before replying, "Angela, how long ago did Nasuada ask our council?"

Angela's reply was quick in coming, "Give or take a few minutes, I'd wager about an hour and a half."

Quickly scrambling, but quiet for fear of being heard, Eragon grasped his clothes and dressed, throwing Arya's hers as well. "Tell her that we shall be there shortly."

Eragon noticed Arya's mistake, and it seemed that Angela did as well. "We? It seems that the blockhead is in there as well. Tell me, do you know the cause of some screaming coming from your room? It seems that only those with the sharpest of ears heard them."

Eragon's eyes widened, and Arya's face grew pale. Her voice, however, was neutral as usual, "I do not know what you are talking about."

He heard Angela chuckle, and he heard her footsteps echo down the hall. Her reply, though, did reach his ears, "Indeed. Have a pleasant day, Princess."

Letting out a large sigh, Eragon grabbed Brisingr from Arya's table, and strapped it to his side. He took her sword as well, and walked over to her, where she remained frozen, and her face still pale. Placing a hand on her shoulder, he said, "There is nothing to fear. Angela will not tell anyone. She knows the problems that would be caused should our relationship be announced at such a time."

Arya slowly nodded, and grabbed her sword from him. As she turned to open the door she held shut, Eragon grinned, and grasped her arms, pulling her towards him. He gave her a quick hug and a peck on the lips, before opening the door. He grabbed her hand, and set out to walk towards the war council room.

It seems that you are in a good mood, little one. Several of the council members had some very colorful words to say to you and Arya, yet your smile unnerves them.

He let out a small chuckle, before glancing around the room. When he and Arya had finally made it to meeting, they were met by glares from a lot of the council members, but Nasuada looked torn between frustrated and amused. He tightened his grip on Arya's hand under the table, and was glad to feel her respond by squeezing back. They had agreed to keep their relationship private, until at least after the war, or when they were comfortable enough around each other.

You two seemed comfortable before, did you not?

Aghast at his dragon's words, he replied, Saphira!

He nearly fell out of his chair when he heard another voice join the conversation. Indeed we were comfortable, Bjartskular.

Saphira snorted, releasing a massive plume of smoke. She had made herself a hole to enter the war council, and the smoke she gave off seemed to put the council members on edge. It seemed that no one other than Nasuada saw anything between the dragon rider and princess, and for that Eragon was glad. So far, they had managed to act as they usually did, minus the few sneaking glances and slight blushes. It seemed funny to Eragon that someone as Arya would open up to Eragon, and he noticed how she would close herself automatically towards others. He was glad that she was opening up towards him.

Arya shifted in her seat next to him, pulling both of their hands into her lap. His arm shifted as hers moved, and Eragon saw that Roran was staring intently at the same arm. Glancing back towards Arya, he asked, you alright? You've been shifting a lot. Normally you could stay still during these meetings, something not even Saphira can attest to.

He saw the corners of her lips twitch, before moving back towards her normal expression. During the meeting, they kept their minds somewhat connected, enjoying the link between them. Saphira seemed content to share Eragon's mind with Arya, something that Eragon was extremely happy about. He had made it a game during the meeting to get either Arya or Saphira to laugh, though both reprimanded him constantly.

I am sore. Staying still for so long does not help.

Turning his gaze towards someone who was speaking, as to make it look like he was paying attention, he asked, Sore from what?

Arya literally sighed out loud, causing whoever was talking to pause. She blinked at the speaker, and they continued their speech, although they were stuttering every so often. From before.

Memories flowed into his mind, and he temporally blocked his mind from both Arya and Saphira, so that he wouldn't get yelled at by both women in his life. A blush made its way onto his face, and he saw Arya's eyebrow rise in response. Nasuada turned towards him, staring at his blushing face, before turning away, a smile on her face.

Collapsing on his bed, Eragon was glad that the meeting was over. The meeting dragged into the night, and Eragon was ready to fall into his waking dreams. Just as he was about to close his eyes, he heard a slight shuffle of feet at his door way. Glancing up, he saw Arya there, her hand on the doorway, looking unsure as to whether she should approach. He smiled and gestured for her to come to him, and he was glad when she closed the door behind her. She placed her sword gently on his desk, next to his own, before standing at the side of his bed.

Eragon shifted over, giving her room to lay down if she so wished. She sat down, however, making Eragon give her a questioning glance. Arya sigh, and laid back, placing her had against his belly, her feet still touching the floor. He ran his hand through her raven hair, enjoying the silky feeling. She mumbled something, causing Eragon to ask, "Say that again?"

She sighed, before softly saying, "This is going to take some time getting used to."

Eragon laughed, and said, "Aye."

They stayed silent, basking in the presence of their mate, and simply enjoying the time when they could finally be alone again. Smiling down towards Arya, Eragon said, "When do we tell your mother?"

Arya merely groaned in reply, causing Eragon to laugh.

A/N: In case any of you are wondering, earlier when Arya said that it was a while since she was held like that, she was refering to the time when she was young, and either her mother or father would hold her.

A/N 2: This is a slightly revised edition, where I changed some gramatical errors that I found using a different writing program. Before, I was using Microsoft Works, and I have recently gotten Word, although it has yet to fully register. So, If you still see any errors, please tell me! And, of course, please Read and Review!