alistair, who, raised at redcliffe until he was ten years old, rarely received a hug more than once a year, and got more attention from the dogs he slept with than the man who took him under his wing, or the servants he worked for.

alistair, who, at the chantry, learned that touch is a wicked thing, who received a pinch on the ear for trying to hold a revered sister’s hand in a moment of uncertainty, who was lectured on temptations and the mastering of them.

alistair, who was so accustomed to the barking of dogs and the distant hum of a busy castle, doing anything to break the stifling silence of the chantry (talking, humming, screaming-) and being punished for doing so.

alistair, who, for the first few months, had to learn not to cry himself to sleep at night in his small cot in the chantry, because there were no warm snuffling bodies to lull him to sleep.

alistair, surprised and shocked by: the comforting squeeze of duncan’s hand on his shoulder (touch is a wicked thing), the jovial slap on the back from a fellow grey warden (touch is a wicked thing).

alistair, who meets the warden and falls in love, who holds their hand whenever he can, who believes even the smallest of touches are significant.

10

Put yourself at ease. We’ve already won.

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