A/N: Hello, everyone! I'm so glad that I'm able to finally get this sequel written. I'm hoping that it will be as successful as the first. There isn't any action in this first chapter, but I can promise you that there will be action very very soon. I usually try to write a few chapters first before I begin posting, but it'd probably be next month before I got that far so I'm going ahead and posting. This will also be rated M like the first, but there will be a lot more since Arishok and Sicilia are officially together now. I also want to note that conversation between Sicilia and other Qunari will typically be in Qunlat, though I cannot write it, since there isn't a full translation out there yet so…just use your imagination.

This first chapter is a little shorter than my usual, but I wanted it to end at that point. I tried filling it out with more observation and description, but it still didn't get long enough. Now. On to the story!

It had been nearly a year since she had set foot in Par Vollen. As Viddathari, she'd spent the majority of her time learning the ways of her new people. Sicilia had soon become accustomed to the Qunari way of life. She didn't expect to be welcomed at first, which she wasn't, but once Arishok had announced that the viddithari was his mate, it didn't take long for them to warm to her. It wasn't until the day before, once the Tamassrans had time to judge her test, that she gained respect from all.

Of course, the fact that she had a big part in obtaining their sacred tome and getting it home safely, had helped gain her some manner of respect. However, she still had to prove herself among her people. Ten months had been spent studying the language, culture, and the processes of life. She had taken part in many jobs throughout the village and it was clear that Sicilia could do well at any task given her, but she truly excelled at fighting, language, and herbal remedy.

Sicilia stood at the docks, searching the horizon for that familiar ship. The wind was harsh and it carried with it the warmth from the south. The sea was beautiful, a deep sapphire blue. The Arishok hadn't been biased when he had told her how Par Vollen was better in every way. The air truly was clearer, cooler, and the waters were blue, as water should be; they weren't the murky green that she had been used to. The sun warmed her face as it shown down from the highest point in the sky.

She wasn't alone. Many female Qunari stood with her, including her neighbor whose mate had left before she bore their twin boys. She held them both in her arms, tiny horns protruded from their heads that rested on their mother's shoulders.

She could tell that every female was happy to see their men home. Their eyes lit up when the ship just came into view. Sicilia had been longing impatiently to see those red sails again since the day they had left. She hadn't spent much time with the Arishok before he'd been sent to sea again, a total of a month and a half to be exact.

Sicilia wasn't sure how he or she would react to seeing each other after such a long time. A part of her wanted to run to him at first sight, but she wasn't sure if that would be an appropriate thing to do.

The Arishok stood at the helm, eyes fixed on the shores of Par Vollen. He hadn't wanted to leave his mate alone so soon, especially her being so unfamiliar with their ways and their people. He found himself worrying from time to time about how she was fairing, but knew that there was no need to worry about her. He couldn't have chosen a stronger, more courageous female as his mate.

Will she have changed at all? Eight months was a long time; much could've happened since he'd left. He now knew what his men felt every time they left their mates. He'd often put loneliness off as a human emotion, but he realized that what he felt was very similar. Without someone to spar so intimately with, be intimate with, and completely forget about the world with, a part of him felt empty, but he filled that space, for the time, with his duties to the Qun.

The shores grew closer and he began scanning the crowd. One would think she would be easily found.

Andraste's ass, Sis, get a hold of yourself. Sicilia had felt a tinge of emotion lying behind her eyes as the ship began to dock. She held it back. As the men filed off the ship, she noticed the look of pride on the Ashaad's face when he saw his twin boys. She smiled. He should be proud; those boys were already so strong for being so young.

She turned her focus back on the men, waiting for her own. Noticing that the mates would barely even embrace in public, she decided that it probably wasn't best for her to do anything more. The females weren't even walking to their men, but were simply waiting for them. Sicilia couldn't help herself when she saw the familiar brute coming into sight.

She took a moment to relish in the sight of him. He was just as she remembered him: the same white-silver hair, the same red paint across his muscular chest, the same black eyes, and the same horns. She shoved away the thoughts that nearly caused her to blush. There will be time for that later.

Walking to meet him half-way, she tucked some hair behind her ear as it had begun to blow into her face. She had worn her hair up for two purposes. One, the wind that day had been overly bothersome; if she had left it down, she'd likely have it tangled past the point of fixing. Two, she wanted to show off the new golden cuffs on either ear, which were still a little sore, showing her newly acquired rank. Sicilia felt pride in her accomplishment; she had never thought that she, a human convert, would be given such an honorable place among the Qun.

"Shanedan, Arishok," she said softly.

"Shanedan," he replied respectfully. She hadn't changed much at all. He noticed that her hair was slightly longer and she seemed to stand with more confidence than when he had left. She smiled and he immediately wanted to kiss her, to feel that burning touch once again.

The new jewelry hadn't gone unnoticed to him. The Arishok also saw that the area surrounding them was still tinted red, which could only mean that her rank had recently been decided. She mustn't have had time to dress accordingly. They probably had to create her uniform specifically for her height and shape. Currently, she wore a light grey tunic worn by many Qunari females, though it was a little large for her, and a pair of leather pants. Her daggers were not strapped to her back, which meant that she wasn't required to be armed at all times, which ruled out a warrior of any kind.

He hadn't expected her to be named a warrior. Females could not be soldiers for the Qun; although there were female fighters within the Priesthood, they were not commanded by him, but rather, the Ariqun. The gold on her ears, judging by the width of the cuff, showed him that, whatever her rank was, it was quite high. A sense of pride filled him knowing that his human mate, only ten months converted, had acquired such an honor.

"You have done well in my absence." It was both a question and a statement in one. The Arishok wanted to praise her rank, but also wanted to assure himself of her well-being.

Sicilia was about to answer when she was called by a young priest approaching from behind. "Ashkaari."