Author's Note: This is a scene I wanted to add to the other two stories featuring Sebastian and Solara Hawke, but since I wrote it with multiple viewpoints it really doesn't fit in either one. If you wanted to read this in order you would insert this scene between the end of their first morning together, and the beginning of Solara sitting in the Chantry, ready to tell Sebastian about her awful day. I haven't put the Gaelic translations at the end of these. If you've read the other stories you'll find the translation and pronunciations at the end. If people really really want them I'll add them to this later.
The title comes from the same poem as my story Who Ever Loves,
Who ever loves, if he do not propose
The right true end of love, he's one that goes
To sea for nothing but to make him sick.
-John Donne, Elegy XVIII: Love's Progress
As always constructive reviews are always appreciated. And to all the folks who've just said how much they enjoy the stories, thanks so much!
The Right True End of Love
Sebastian Vael lay sprawled on his stomach next to the impossible. Less than a day ago he'd been reduced to stolen glances across streets and courtyards, the woman beside him reluctant to even speak to him for more than a moment or two. It seemed like the Maker had granted him a miracle so much had happened in the course of a day.
Of course, the miracle had come at the expense of a near death experience but a man so blessed shouldn't quibble regarding the process by which a miracle was brought about. He should, as Sebastian was, simply give thanks for such blessings and celebrate them as often as possible. A smile spread across his face as he regarded the outcome of his personal miracle.
Solara Gráinne Hawke lay beside him, her pale white skin gleaming in the glow of the fire, dark hair spread like silk over her pillow and straggling across her face. A lazy smile curved her lips as bright blue eyes opened to regard him. The joy in those eyes was like a burst of oxygen to the blood; Sebastian felt dizzy at the thought that she felt so happy in his presence.
"You're staring at me again my love." Solara told him and his smile turned into a wicked grin.
"Merely appreciating the Maker's gift." Sebastian slid his hand over the soft skin of her back, enjoying the feel of her under his palm. Being allowed to touch, to express the love he'd hidden for so long, was intoxicating.
Solara sighed under his hand and regarded Sebastian Vael thoughtfully. He was so beautiful, handsome to be sure with his tanned skin and auburn hair, and sculpted by the Maker's hand into an exquisite specimen of a male, but his heart…that made him truly beautiful. The kind, gentle caring heart that shone in his eyes and captured her without effort or thought to ensnare. Sebastian wasn't perfect, he had a temper and was occasionally impetuous, and being a man he was sometimes so dense he made her want to scream, at least he had in the past six years; time would tell regarding the next six.
"I hope you don't mind if I do the same?" She asked finally, her eyes moving from his face to the rest of his tanned body. "Part of me still thinks I must be dreaming, I'd been hiding my heart from you for so long. It just didn't seem possible that you could ever love me."
"I am happy to prove you wrong, over and over again." Sebastian slid over so his body pressed against hers, marveling again over the delicacy of her skin, how pale she was against him. "Only a fool wouldn't love you a chroí."
"Hmm…" Solara sighed against him, loving how it felt to have his arms around her. "Then there are a great many fools in the world."
"Aye." Sebastian chuckled and kissed her forehead, "Which brings to mind a question."
"Ah, of our companions, who do we tell about this?" Solara guessed his thoughts.
"'Tis truly frightening a stór, just how well you know me." Sebastian murmured, a smile still curving his lips as he considered the issue. "I think you will agree I must tell Elthina. She knew of my intentions…but that you have…"
"Capitulated to your wicked demands?" Solara nearly giggled she felt so happy. "I agree, Elthina must know. Which leads to another question," She hesitated, old fears and the habit of hiding her feelings constraining her.
"Solara… you wish me to live with you, not at the Chantry, don't you?" Sebastian surmised, accurately reading the look of worry on her face. "How could I leave you now?" He pressed kisses to her cheeks and eyes and lips. "How could I spend my nights away from you, not hold you when for so long that was all I prayed for?"
"You know me far too well." Solara sighed, kissing his neck. "I suppose I thought you'd want to spend nights at the Chantry, in order to help Elthina." She wrapped her arms more tightly around him as if the thought made her reluctant to release him. "And I wasn't sure she would approve of…well…this."
"Fornication?" Sebastian chuckled. "Elthina is far more worldly than you would think, and she knows me very well. Besides, when there is love between two people, it isn't the sin of fornication."
"So Elthina then." Solara agreed, returning to the original subject. "Bodahn and Sandal and Orana will have to know if you are to live here."
"It would be hard to hide from them, I'm not exactly pocket size am I." Sebastian laughed again. "But you do not wish to tell the rest of your friends?"
"Our friends." Solara corrected him. "They like you too. They wouldn't put up with your perfection if they didn't like you."
"Oh, is that why they tease me?" Sebastian wondered mockingly. "And here I thought they were impatient with my holier than thou attitude, and my attention to the teachings of Andraste. And the fact that I resemble a lacquered pilot whale." To his amazement Solara blushed as she began to giggle.
"At least Varric gave you a nickname. I don't have one, and neither does Aveline, and she's asked." She told him between giggles. "It means he likes you. And Fenris likes you."
"Och, I'm thrilled to death." Sebastian retorted dryly. "And Anders hates me, which is to be expected, Merrill finds me confusing, Isabella…" He paused. "You know I'm really not certain what Isabella thinks, and that might be to my benefit."
"She thinks you being in the Chantry is a waste." Solara told him bluntly. "And I've been inclined to agree with her."
"But you never…" Sebastian blinked as a thought struck him. "You haven't…" He bent and fused his mouth to hers; kissing her passionately as he realized just how good a friend she had been to him for the past six years.
Solara moaned into his mouth as he kissed her, responding even through her surprise at his sudden fervor. His body rolled over hers, holding her beneath him as his hands found her breasts, his callused palms erotically rough on her sensitive skin. His mouth dipped to her neck, teeth and lips nibbling on the tender skin and her back arched up to him in need.
He groaned as Solara returned his passion, suddenly unable to stop himself from having her again. He put his lips to her breast, sucking hard on the tight pink tip and slid his hands down her body to her thighs, parting her legs in erotic demand. "Maker help me Solara, I have to…I can't wait…" The words came out in a growling moan as he took himself in hand and began pushing inside her.
Solara knew she was crying out, he felt so right, it felt so good; she tilted her hips, helping him slide home in one long slow thrust. Her body welcomed him almost greedily, the heat and hard length of his body inside her. "Have me…Sebastian…have me." She finally got the words out, wrapping her legs around his waist.
"I…Maker!" Sebastian almost cursed as their bodies met and joined, hips colliding. "Solara," He forced himself to slow down, to take his time with her, stilling his body within hers and pressing his body down to her own, length to length, so he could look in her eyes. His lips dwelt lazily over hers, kissing and tugging at her mouth until she moaned with impatience. "You're mine Solara Gráinne Hawke." He told her, no doubt in his entire being.
Solara was breathing too fast to think, but his voice, that wonderful addictive voice drew her eyes open until she was staring up into his dark blue eyes. "Sebastian…I…" Words failed as she looked up at him.
Sebastian let his hips pull away from hers, withdrawing and slowly sinking back into her body, emphasizing his point. "You're mine. The Maker gave you to me. His Grand Cleric helped me to find you," Another slow deliberate stroke of possession, "You belong to me Solara Gráinne, and I belong to you."
Solara tried to breathe, her heart was beating too fast, nothing made sense except his eyes and voice. "Sebastian…" His name was a low moan of need. "Please…"
"Mine." He tormented them both with another measured stroke, feeling her body clenching at him desperately. "Give me the words Solara…" Sebastian bent and whispered into her ear, kissing the delicate skin he found there before lifting his head to stare into her eyes again. "Please, a chroí, a ghrá, say you're mine."
"Sebastian Vael!" Solara felt like shrieking in need. "Maker help me…" She pressed her hips to his desperately and was thwarted as his body pushed hers firmly against the mattress, keeping her from moving except as he allowed. "Sebastian…"
She was killing him, Sebastian groaned as he kissed her cheek, her neck, the soft sweetness of her lips. "Solara…be mine." He whispered, "Be mine as I am yours." He moved his hips against hers, a subtle rotation that had every muscle in her body tightening around him and a moan of passion bursting from her lips.
"Sebastian Vael…you are mine." Solara grabbed his face with her hands, staring up into his eyes. "And I am yours. Yours, Sebastian." She lifted her head and kissed him fiercely, finally understanding why he needed so badly to hear her say it. "I am yours." She whispered against his mouth. "I promise, from the moment we met to the end of the world." She slid her hands down her shoulders and around his back, holding his body to hers as he kissed her passionately.
Sebastian groaned into her mouth and pulled away from her, kneeling between her thighs, their connection tenuous. Solara moaned in dismay as his body began to withdraw from her and Sebastian groaned, reaching down for her.
She wasn't certain why he was pulling away from her when she could have sworn Sebastian would go mad with need to have her once she'd avowed herself to him. Then those strong hands were reaching for her body, settling her back onto him, so she was half in his lap, her legs wrapped around his waist. His hands held her hips firmly, keeping her flush against him while his mouth teased her breasts.
Sebastian took a deep breath and felt briefly satisfied at how he'd arranged their bodies. To all appearances Solara would ride him, but his hands would move her body on and off of his, her breasts level with his lips so he could suck and pleasure her until they both went mad with it. He waited a moment, letting Solara become accustomed to her position, and then began to move her.
Solara moaned as Sebastian's mouth fixed tight to one breasts, sucking hard on the tip while his hands moved her body on and off of him. She was absolutely helpless in his grip, he was easily twice as strong as she was, and lifted her effortlessly. Who would have thought the Chantry brother was so… A cry of passion burst from her throat as he began to move more urgently.
Sebastian groaned and pulled Solara's mouth to his, needing her kiss, wanting to taste her as she came around him, she was close, so hot and tight, he could feel how near to the peak she was. He wanted to feel her around him, that exquisite blinding explosion of pleasure as she came and he followed her. "That's it Solara," He muttered against her lips, "Come for me a ghrá, let me feel you around me."
Solara wondered if there was something wrong with her that her body almost instantly complied with Sebastian's commands. "Sebastian…" His name came out like a shriek as every muscle convulsed, snapping tight around his body as she bucked against him mindlessly.
"Maker yes! Solara!" Sebastian shouted his pleasure as her body sent his into a volcanic surge of passion, his seed erupting through him like fire, hot and thick and deep inside her womb. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her to him, unable to think, but unwilling to let her go.
Solara shivered, deliciously sensitive as his body pressed to hers and draped her arms around his neck, laying her cheek against his hair.
It took a moment or two for him to realize Solara's flesh was becoming chilled where his skin didn't touch. Sebastian kissed her neck and shoulder and gently lay her down, pulling the quilts over them both and cradling her in his arms.
When she could breathe and think again Solara looked at him curiously. "Love, not that I mind…but what prompted…that?"
Sebastian chuckled. "The oddest things drive my passion perhaps." He kissed her shoulder again, breathing her scent. "Or perhaps its not so odd. When you told me you thought my being in the Chantry was a waste I realized just how good a friend you were to me." Solara regarded him quizzically, and Sebastian smiled. "You never tried to influence me to leave the Chantry so that you could be with me. All the advice you gave me was sound, and of a different perspective, but you never pushed me to agree with you or tried to seduce me away from my vows."
"Well no…" Solara frowned at him. "If I'd done that… you might have enjoyed it but unless it was your decision, yours wholeheartedly, you would have felt guilty or regretted being with me." She shrugged. "I valued your friendship too much to lose it. The last three years I was convinced that you didn't find me enough reason to leave the Chantry. I was broken hearted but I couldn't…I couldn't try to turn you from your vows if ultimately that would make you unhappy. So I avoided you in part to keep from doing something foolish that we would both regret. Avoiding you made me miserable but at least I knew you were my friend if nothing else."
"Ah Solara…" Sebastian stroked her hair, running his fingers through it. "I'm sorry it took me so long to realize my heart." He tugged a lock of hair teasingly. "But what was the breaking point? I left your house after you fell asleep so I might speak with Elthina. And when I came back you were determined to never be alone with me. I'd had such hope that night love, and then…"
"You kissed me." Solara said softly, unable to look at him, so ashamed at how she'd misinterpreted his actions.
"I…" Sebastian put a hand beneath her chin and forced her to look at him, he needed to understand what had happened, what he had done wrong. "I kissed you." He repeated her words as he looked into those bright blue eyes. "And that convinced you that I didn't love you?"
"No." Solara sighed and admitted how stupid she'd been. "You kissed me…and when I started to respond…you broke off and left." She felt a tear slide down her cheek at the memory of how painful that had been. "Your kiss was the most exquisite...wonderful thing I'd ever felt but you stopped. I thought it meant…I thought it meant I tempted you, but not enough to decide to leave the Chantry. I thought it meant you found me attractive, but that you didn't love me enough for anything else. I thought it meant that I wasn't enough for you to renounce your vows."
Sebastian felt his heart twist and crack at the heartache in her voice. His strong sweet confident Solara brought low by his own foolishness. If he'd simply woken her and told her how he'd felt, or stayed the night to hold her and explained himself in the morning. "I kissed you Solara because I couldn't resist you." He cupped her cheek with his hand, smoothing away the tear with his thumb, wishing he could soothe the ache in her heart with the same ease. "I left because I didn't want to give you any doubt of my intentions. I didn't want you to think I would make love to you and go back to the Chantry."
"I'm sorry I didn't talk to you for three years." Solara whispered. "It was so hard to avoid you when all I wanted was to be with you. But I didn't want to be a temptation and then lose you completely because of it."
"So because we didn't talk to each other, because we, neither of us, trusted the other to love without conditions…we lost three years." Sebastian murmured wondering at how foolish they had both been. "Well, that'll teach us won't it?" His mouth quirked up wryly.
Solara laughed shakily and turned her face in his hand, kissing his palm. "I wanted to do that…when you comforted me after Mother was killed. I wanted so badly to kiss you and have you hold me and love me and keep me safe." She pressed up to kiss him, softly, sweetly and felt his hand stroke her hair and skin.
"And that was all I wanted to do," Sebastian breathed smiling down at her. "I was so worried my body would react too strongly to yours, that you would be offended. Those nights holding you were the sweetest I'd known until last night when you told me you loved me." He chuckled. "Perhaps it's good that we were so careful of one another after all."
"We do have a good friendship because of it." Solara smiled up at him, her fingers threading through his hair, fingering the thick curls at his neck. "We just need to remember to talk."
"Aye, that we do." Sebastian agreed returning her smile. "Speaking of talk…" Part of him was reluctant to return to their earlier conversation but it was a needful topic.
"Yes." Solara rolled her eyes. "You're convinced that all of our friends don't like you." She grinned wickedly. "Isabella would like to bed you."
"No thank you." Sebastian shuddered. "I think Aveline would like to have my guts for garters sometimes, other times…I'm not certain."
"Aveline helped me figure out who you were." Solara smiled reminiscing. "After I saw you in the courtyard, posting to the Chanter's board I mentioned you to Aveline. She did some investigating and took me to the Chantry."
"Oh?" Sebastian grinned. "And what did you think?"
"That the Maker had a nasty sense of humor putting such a wonderful man in my path and making certain that he'd never be mine." Solara returned dryly. "And then you started traveling with us and it was all I could do to concentrate on what we were doing when you started to pull that bow."
"Oh?" Sebastian grinned. "We'll get back to that in a minute." He teased, kissing her nose. "Aveline and Isabella caught me in bed with you, you know that right?"
"No!" Solara laughed. "They did not."
"The first night I spent with you, after I sent them all off so you could grieve without worrying about appearances." Sebastian explained. "Aveline and Isabella came by the next morning, Isabella must have picked the lock to your bedroom door, because they were standing at the foot of the bed." He shook his head. "Isabella decided to wake me by pulling on my toes."
Solara couldn't help herself, she started giggling. "Aveline must have been ready to kill you."
"Until she noticed I'd worn my breeches to bed and hadn't taken advantage of you." Sebastian grinned wryly. "And I explained to them both that much as I cared for you, it would be unfair to do or say anything until I was certain of my path. I didn't want to hurt you. They both seemed to accept that."
"I'd like to tell Aveline then." Solara said quietly. "She's my oldest friend and she knows how to keep a secret. Plus she's the only one of my friends who's married. She'll understand if I don't want to spread the word just yet."
"I would have thought you'd want to tell Varric." Sebastian offered. "I can tell he does care for you and you for him."
"I love him like a crazy brother." Solara sighed happily. "But he wouldn't be able to resist making a story of it and I don't think either of us are ready for that."
"Maker no." Sebastian shook his head.
"Then it's settled. You tell Elthina when you go to the Chantry…" Solara looked at the window. "In an hour," She finished with a frown, "That's the latest you can be. And I'll tell Aveline at the same time."
"It's a plan of action." Sebastian agreed. "Now…what is this about me and my bow?"
Solara shook her head. "Another time." She kissed him, lingering over his mouth. "If we've only an hour left to ourselves I want to spend it in something other than talk." Her eyes twinkled up at him and Sebastian found himself smiling down at her breathlessly.
"Agreed." He bent to kiss her neck. "You don't live far from the Chantry and it won't take me long to wash up." Sebastian slid his hand over her body and offered a prayer of thanks to the Maker for the gift of this wonderful woman before he concentrated entirely on Solara.