A/N: Hey everybody! So another reader had mentioned to me that those of you following this story might not be aware that I've already started the sequel, and suggested that I give you a quick update here to let you know. So yes, this part of the story is complete and finished, there will be no more chapters posted here, but there is a sequel which continues on in this universe, so to speak. The sequel will be centered around Hawke and Dragon Age 2, with Ayla's brother Mardin being one of the main characters, but as you will see in the brief teaser below, Ayla and Alistair will be making cameos in the sequel later on. So if you want to know what happens to them after this story, check out Somewhere We Belong! This little glimpse below hasn't actually happened in the sequel yet, it will be a few more chapters at least before I get there, but I thought it'd be nice to give everybody a little teaser of what's to come! Keep in mind, this is just a small glimpse of unfinished chapters that will be fleshed out more later ;). And I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the sequel if you do happen to check it out :). I'm continuing with the gift fic every 50 reviews for anyone who's interested, and thanks as always to everybody who favorited, followed, and read this story! I'm glad you all enjoyed my labor of Origins love and hope you check out the sequel!
He'd know that move anywhere. That was his move – his move and Ayla's, Mardin thought as he squinted at the slight figure in the distance, flipping over the heads of the bandits after launching off the back of a man in plate armor. And that was – it had to be – Ayla. He was still too far away to see her clearly, but he could see a long braid whipping around behind her as she stabbed one bandit in the back and spun to engage another, wielding a sword in either hand, and that was all he needed to see. He hurried to close the distance between them, Brianna and the others following, but he was only about halfway there when Ayla and the man with her finished off the last of the bandits.
"AYLA!" he shouted, certain that he was right now, for he could see the sunlight glinting off her flaming red hair. And sure enough, in spite of the distance between them, her head whipped in his direction when he shouted, and in the next minute, she was racing towards him, the man in the plate armor following at a slower pace.
Mardin stopped where he was, knowing that his sister was running at him full tilt. He dropped his shield on the ground, and opened his arms as she got closer. "Mardy!" she cried before leaping into his arms, and he caught her, holding her tight as relief washed over him at how alive and well she looked.
"Ayles," he breathed, "you're okay." He held her tightly, breathing in the familiar scent of flowers and the outdoors that always hovered around her, frowning when other scents hit him. She smelled strongly of an unfamiliar man, fairly reeked of it, in fact. He wrinkled his nose, scowling as he spotted the locket hanging around her neck. She had gone and bonded with that Commander; the locket shone brightly with the force of the bond, and smelled so strongly of it that he had to repress the urge to growl over it.
"Of course I'm fine," she said, leaning back, her green eyes shining with joy. "But what are you doing here?!"
"I'm . . . I insisted on being sent here too," he answered distractedly, for he'd discovered a second unfamiliar scent on her, buried beneath that of her mate's scent. It took a moment for him to figure out what it was, and when he did, his eyes widened. "Ayles . . . are you –"
"How could you not tell me?!" Alistair shouted, his anger raging through Ayla like a thunderstorm, washing out any emotions either of them had been feeling prior to her confession.