"Kierrai?" Sebastian and Hawke said in unison. Hawke turned to the man in white armor.
"You know each other?" he asked quizzically. Kierrai angrily stormed over to them and ripped her knife out of the wall.
"You're a rotten bastard, you know that?" she shouted. Many of the brothers and sisters in the chantry gasped at her outburst. Sebastian frowned.
"I know, Kierrai, but you must listen-" he began.
"I don't want to hear anything you have to say, Sebastian. You gave up the right to apologize two years ago when you abandoned me!" she yelled. Isabela, who had surprisingly been silent throughout the exchange, raised a dark eyebrow.
"This…choir boy is the one who ditched you?" she said, incredulous. Kierrai nodded, a fire in her deep brown eyes. Sebastian sighed.
"Kierrai, please, can we talk about this? I have a lot of explaining to do." He begged. Kierrai stared into the eyes that had plagued her for two years, seeing that he was truly sorry for what he did. She groaned.
"Yes, Sebastian. I will speak with you. Do not expect any sympathy or forgiveness from me." She said coldly. He nodded sadly.
"I don't. I know that I do not deserve it." He said, his accent thick. Kierrai fought the urge to pinch herself. She could feel herself weakening against him. Hawke walked over to her and put a hand on her shoulder.
"Are you going to be all right?" he asked. She nodded slowly.
"I'll be fine." She assured him. Everyone left, and soon she and Sebastian stood facing each other. He looked at the place where her knife had hit.
"I understand that you are angry, but did you have to take it out on the chantry?" he asked with a small smile. She glared at him.
"Just be happy I decided not to kill you after what you did to me, Sebastian." She grumbled. His smile widened.
"Trust me, I am. The fact that you did not kill me gives me hope, however. I know if you truly wanted me dead, you wouldn't have missed." He said. Kierrai turned on him.
"Why did you do it, Sebastian? Why did you ask me to marry you and leave?" she snapped. His smile quickly faded.
"My father took me to the chantry, Kierrai. I know that is a poor excuse, but that is what happened. He put me in the chantry against my will, and I had no way to contact you. At first I was so afraid of your hatred that I didn't write you, and after a while I realized that you were probably gone and I wouldn't have any way to find you. I made a lot of mistakes in my life, Kierrai, but loving you was not one of them. The mistake was not going after you." He answered quietly. Kierrai felt tears well up in her eyes.
"I waited for you, you know. I stayed in Starkhaven for an entire month before I realized you weren't coming back." She murmured. She could see the pain on his handsome features, and part of her wanted to reach out and comfort him. They were silent for a long time, but there was no awkwardness in it. It was almost as if nothing had happened to separate them.
"You kept the ring." He said after an eternity. She looked down at her left hand and nodded.
"Do you want it back?" she asked. He shook his head.
"No, it is yours. I hope you can remember our love fondly now that you have an explanation." He whispered. She met his eyes.
"I have always remembered our love fondly, Sebastian. You are the only man who has ever loved me in that way. That is why it hurt so badly when you were gone. It confirmed my belief that I don't deserve real love." She said, emotion leaking into her voice. He put a hand on her shoulder.
"You deserve love, Kierrai. You deserve all the love in the world." He said honestly. For the first time in years, Kierrai allowed herself to cry in front of another person. Sebastian was surprised at first, but his instinct took over and he pulled her to his chest and stroked her hair. Some of the other chantry members gave him dirty looks, but he did not care. Kierrai had been the biggest part of his life, and he didn't want her to be in pain. Kierrai held onto him for dear life, still in disbelief that he was sitting right next to her. After a while, she pulled away and wiped her swollen eyes.
"How did you become a chantry brother?" she asked. Sebastian laughed. She knew him when he was still an irresponsible rake, so he understood her confusion.
"As I said, my parents put me here. They didn't want me to make my brother look bad, so they generously donated me to the chantry." He explained.
"You didn't have to stay, did you?" she inquired. He shook his head.
"No, I didn't. Not really. I could have run away and made a life for myself. In fact, I tried once." He reminisced. Kierrai raised an eyebrow.
"Tried? What stopped you?" she wondered. He sighed.
"I was about to leave, with the help of a mystery woman. I had never seen her before, but she sent me a note planning my escape. When I was about to leave, I ran into Grand Cleric Elthina. It was she who had been aiding me, and the fact that she cared so much made me want to stay. I took my vows and, until recently, I've kept them." He told her. Kierrai looked at him for a long time.
"You took vows? So you're…Oh." She mumbled, any hope of renewing their relationship dying. He nodded.
"Yes, Kierrai. I've been celibate for the last two years." He said, understanding her train of thought. She nodded slowly.
"I haven't." she blurted. She covered her mouth and blushed a deep crimson. She thought he frowned for a moment, but it was gone so fast that it must have been a trick of the light.
"I understand, Kierrai. I had hoped you moved on." He said awkwardly. She shook her head vigorously.
"That's the thing, Sebastian. I didn't. I used sex to try to forget you because I figured it would be better than drinking. It didn't work, but I kept at it anyway. I don't think I'll ever move on." She said, her voice quieting to a whisper by the end of her speech. He stared into her brown eyes in surprise. Kierrai noticed a blush coloring his cheeks.
"That is…very surprising. I never would have thought…" he muttered to himself. She shrugged. There was nothing she could do about her feelings for him.
"Sebastian Vael." She said, changing the subject. He groaned.
"Yes, the last of my line, rightful heir to Starkhaven." He replied. She nodded.
"I knew you were noble, but I never would have guessed that you were royalty!" she teased. He laughed, and Kierrai realized how much she had missed the sound.
"What of you, Kierrai? Will you tell me who you are now that you know my secrets?" he requested. She winked at him and stood to leave.
"I will not. I'll see you again, don't miss me too much. See you later, Starkhaven." She called, using her old nickname for him. Sebastian stared at her swaying hips as she sauntered out of the chantry. He sighed in frustration.
"Really, Andraste?" he asked irritably. "You had to test me with my greatest temptation, didn't you?" he said, looking toward the heavens.
"That is generally how it works, Sebastian." Elthina's voice called out from behind him. He jumped in surprise and turned to face her.
"Grand Cleric. I didn't realize you were standing there." He said, stumbling over his words. The old woman smiled softly.
"Is she the one you told me about? The one you were going to run away with?" she asked, a gleam in her grey eyes. He nodded.
"She is the love of my life. Err…was." He responded. Elthina chuckled.
"I have told you before and I will tell you again, Sebastian: It is your life. You need to be the one to choose what you do with it." She said wisely before turning to leave. She stopped and stared at the chunk of wood that was missing from the column. Elthina looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"She threw one of her knives at me when she realized who I was." He answered sheepishly. The old woman laughed.
"Be thankful that her aim was off today." She said. He shook his head.
"It wasn't off. She just decided she would rather have me alive." He replied with a smile. Elthina laughed as she left him alone in the chantry foyer. Maker, what was he going to do about this?