opaque water

the witch who brought the rain

water magic was in the air, a humidity that curled in her hair and muffled all her movements. not enough to work with, not enough to summon even a crackle of energy, but it was there, all around her.

she brought the humidity with her, along with storm clouds and rain. in the warm months after she arrived rain splattered almost constantly, letting up for only minutes at a time before beginning again and again and again. mornings were filled with gray light, like watercolors washed too thin. afternoons were warm but wet with the constant drizzling, everything suffocatingly green. and the gray-blue evenings felt like velvet on your skin from the humidity, the expanse of ocean bleeding into the endless deep blue sky.

so they called her a mermaid, or the girl who walked out of the sea, never mind that she’d come to town from the mountains, feet on solid ground all the way. yes, she’d brought the rain with her, but it had found her on its own.

it started back in those mountains. she’d woken up one day to find her morning tea singing bright, wordless songs at her, and the kettle steam whistling with far more skill than it ever had before. the water she splashed on her face ran off and left her perfectly dry when she only thought about it. rivulets of water trickled after her the wrong way up a slanted street.

people started to look at her sideways, to talk to her less and about her more. one day when she waded through the shallow river and emerged with her skirt soaked in spiraling patterns of wet and dry, the clothes-washers at the bank went silent until she finished her laundry and left. no one met her eyes as she walked home.

she decided it was time to leave. the rain found her as she descended into the foothills and guided her steps to the coast, to an abandoned cottage too close to the shore, and settled in with her. no one in this new town met her eyes either, but at least to them she wasn’t a girl they’d once known turned strange.

she practiced her magic. coaxing the rain to stop and then to pour. freezing the remains of her tea into swirls of frost in her cup. making oceans of her washbasin and bathwater.

one day she pushed a path into the ocean and walked out as far as she dared, until the walls of water built up on either side of her far over her head and she grew frightened of the dark, grinning things that stared back at her from the clear water, and ran back to the shore as fast as her feet could scramble in the sand.

“is the ocean safe today, miss?” fishermen asked her sometimes when the sky looked gray, and she could never quite shake the shudder from those glassy, grinning stares.

“it’s never safe,” she’d say, “but you’ll come back today unharmed.”

and they believed her. they always believed her. who wouldn’t trust a sea witch to know the ocean?

but no matter what myths the villagers conjured, she hadn’t come from their ocean. she was a rain girl, a river-touched witch. saltwater obeyed her, but it resented her for it. the dark grinning things hidden in the water knew they were beyond her power.

go to the ocean, the rain had told her, guiding each step away from her home. to the ocean, it repeated, running down her skin. she arrived at this village with her hair and clothes soaked, barely able to see for the rainstorm around her, shivering and resentful and cold. the ocean is dangerous, the rain told her, and they need your help.

that was the call of the rain in the warm months, as she settled into her new home and ignored each summons, each drop of water leaked under her door. help them. help them. help them.

the villagers never met her eyes, but they stared after her as she walked through town once a week. hoping. pleading. the puddles she stepped over stirred and trickled after her, winding through the cobblestones to rush after her feet. the hem of her dress was always soaked, and the villagers were always watching her back.

help them. help them.

the second time a boat failed to return after a storm, she could hear the wailing even from the isolated cottage. the drizzling rain seemed to amplify their footsteps as a group of damp, ragged villagers trekked from their houses to her door.

“the sea creatures take us one by one,” the woman who led them said when she opened the door. “children unattended on the shore. fishers and trappers near the water when the light is dull. the elders say they’re monsters, that they creep out of the waves when there’s no one looking.”

the witch stared over their heads. the waves had calmed after the storm, but the water was opaque and black in the nearly-night. “they have been satisfied for a few months. you will be safe at least until winter.”

they cried softly and pressed her hands and dipped their heads. it was easy to give them this small bit of comfort when she’d already noticed the pattern. desperate people will accept even what they already know as hope.

help them, the misting rain said as the ragged group made their way back to the village. she shut the door.

the constant rain kept up, but more heavily. it fell laboriously, always seeming as though it should have exhausted the dark clouds overhead by nightfall, yet it never did. the weather cooled. she had lived on their edge for half a year by the time the villagers lost another life to the ocean.

that night they did not go to the witch for comfort. it poured so heavily that it seemed the world was made of water.

they did not know that to her, each drop screamed as if in agony at her stillness. she sat all night wrapped in a shawl before her fireplace, the embers long ago smothered by what rain managed to get through, staring almost without blinking out the nearly sightless window. toward the ocean. toward the sea creatures with the grinning mouths.

that morning when they went without rain for hours for the first time since she’d arrived, she knew the rain had given up on her. the water in her cup boiled with a thought, steeped at her command, but it was silent as water had not been since the morning it began.

she stepped outside to unnatural stillness, in the same colorless dress and drooping shawl she’d worn all night. the villagers were holding the morning vigil for the dead in the center of their houses. smoke drifted through the scrubbed-raw air.

they watched her back as she left her doorway and went down the beach, feet bare in the cool sand. she reached the foaming edge of the ocean and kept walking. deeper, deeper, deeper, the water sucking at her skirt and then covering her shoulders, rising over her nose, eyes, head. those who didn’t turn away would claim they saw her silhouette beneath the water being embraced by something darker, and that a clawed hand reached out of the ocean and drew her trailing shawl in after her.

Just Breathe... Rowaelin Oneshot.

Hiya, guys! I have been nearly dormant when it comes to fanfiction, so here’s a little oneshot for you beauties!
Prompt: Aelin has a stressful day.
*******************************************

   Rowan Whitethorn Galathynius didn’t glance up from his book as the door to their chambers swung wide, the oak of the door smacking hard off the wall.
 Smirking towards the fire, he murmured, “Bad day, Princess?”
His only answer was a loud groan and the slamming of the door.
 “If I ever see another snowflake again, I shall kill someone,” Aelin seethed.
Rowan turned in his seat and bit back a thunderous laugh.
Aelin was covered head to toe in snow, her hair plastered to her head, her deep blue gown soaked.
“One gods-damned sound, Rowan Whitethorn, and you’re finding another bed to sleep in.”
 Rowan saw the venomous glare in her eyes and the stress lining her body, and reined in his laugh.

   “I’m sorry, love,” he said as he stood, sliding a spare bit of parchment into his book before tossing it down.
Aelin frowned and swore colorfully as a large glob of melting snow sloughed off of her.
Suppressing another laugh, he crossed the room, stretching out his hands, “Let’s get you out of that dress.”
  Aelin heaved a sigh, then shivered violently, and Rowan closed the distance between them. Aelin looked at him gratefully, and turned. Brushing the dripping wet hair from her neck, Rowan silently began to unlace her tight gown. The strings were stiff, and Aelin was still shivering, despite the warmth of the room.
  After a few moments of silence, Rowan probed, “What happened?”
Aelin let out a long-suffering sigh, and craned her neck to look at him.
“I was talking to Yrene about the apprentices when one of the page boys came up to me, practically bleating like a lamb. He started rambling off nonsense about a stable hand and fighting and something else, so I went down to the stables,” she paused to help him shove off the gown, then turned to face him, her shift sticking to her skin.
 “It was simple really, two of the stable hands had had a row, the just scuffed each other up, really. I told them that if it happened again they’d be out on their ass.”
  She glanced down at herself and shivered again, “Why they asked me and not the damned Captain of the Guard, I don’t know, but anyhow, when I was walking back, I slipped.”
  Rowan glanced down at her again, assessing the amount of snow covering her, and her thorough soaking.
“Exactly how many times did you slip?”

 Aelin snarled, and began stomping away her boots squelching grossly as she made her way to the bathing room, her magic lighting the few candles around the large stone tub. When Rowan heard the gurgle of water, he chuckled softly and followed her in. She was already tugging awkwardly at the laces of her corset, and when he leaned against the doorpost, an amused grin playing at his lips, she snarled again.
 “Wipe that look of your face and help me.”
Rowan chuckled again, and gestured for her to turn, slowly beginning to ease the corset’s tight strings apart. Why females wore these torture devices, he didn’t know.
When he had finished, Aelin let out a deep sigh, pulling it off with a groan.
She turned to him and closed her eyes, reaching up a freezing hand to cup his cheek as she laid her sodden head on his chest. Rowan reached an arm around her waist, breathing her in. The stress lining her body began to ease, but he could tell something beside the whole “Slipping Incident” was on her mind.
   “What’s on your mind, love?” He murmured against her hair.
“Sleep. Tax on the nobles.” A little sigh. “What Lord Bryceon and the other lords said during our lunch today.”
  Rowan felt himself tense.
Lord Bryceon was a conniving little prick. Most of the other lords were semi-amiable.
But really, there were no other ways to describe him.
 
  Rowan had dealt with him enough to know that this was a fact. The man had always made Aelin uncomfortable, and he’d tried with all his might to be able to join her luncheon, but his duties had called him elsewhere.
 “What did he say, Fireheart?”
Aelin didn’t answer him. Instead she pulled away, her clever fingers finding the buttons of his shirt and popping them open one by one.
Aelin kept her eyes on Rowan’s as she finished with the buttons, running a hand up the plane of his muscled torso before shoving off the pale blue cotton. “Please— Just hold on,” she murmured.
Rowan furrowed his brow, but said nothing, only nodding. And maybe it made her a selfish, weak, bitch, but she stood on her tiptoes, brushing her mouth against his. “Join me, Ro’.”
  Rowan hummed and nodded against her. “I will, but you are going to tell me what is wrong.”
She knew she needed to, but gods, she didn’t want to tell him.
She nodded silently, and turned away from him, stripping off her breast band and undergarments. She felt Rowan’s heavy gaze on her as she stepped into the swirling hot water.
 As she sunk into the water, she heard Rowan’s belt hit the floor, then felt as Rowan stepped in.
She watched as he sunk into the water, those eyes of his boring into her. Aelin shifted her eyes away and plucked a vial of bath salt off the edge of the tub, dumping it in. As it swirled into the water, she glanced back to Rowan.
 “Come here,” he said into the quiet.
 Keeping her eyes on his, she turned off the faucet, and practically swum across the large tub. Rowan lifted an arm, allowing her to tuck herself into his side.
  An easy silence seeped into the candle-lit room, the strong scent of the lavender salts rising to her senses, the steady beat of Rowan’s heart calming under her ear nearly lulling her to sleep, Rowan’s calloused hand drawing slow circles on her shoulder… It was calm, lovely, a romantic evening they hadn’t had in months, but the memory of today’s events kept replaying in her mind.
 Heaving a sigh, Aelin angled her head to look at Rowan.
He was resting his head back on the tub’s lip, his neck and chest glistening with water, those eyes closed…
  “Rowan?” She breathed, and he cracked open an eye.
“Yes, love?”
 She glanced down at the water, the opaque water swirling as she pulled away from him and his warmth.
“They want me to see a healer.”
There it was.
  Rowan straightened slowly, taking his time before responding.
“Why?”
The word was a growl, low and deep, and she squeezed her eyes shut.
 “Because, I- I haven’t produced an heir yet, and they want to make sure I am able to bear. “For the good of Terrasen,” they said.”
 Rowan’s face tightened, but Aelin went on.
“I tried telling them that it would take time, I only stopped using contraception a year ago, and with my Fae blood, but they—,” she paused, and glanced down at her bare breasts. Faint scars from battles and terrors long since passed lingered there.
“They said that a queen should be able to have children. They said that I was just trying to keep the kingdom for myself.”
 It was all bullshit. Utter bullshit, but it seemed males liked to think they knew all about a woman’s body.
Rowan looked as murderous as she felt.
“They had no right to say any of those things.” He growled, and Aelin nodded.
“I know they can’t force me to have children, and I know it is my body, but I just feel so selfish when I say I’m not ready. I want children—gods do I want children— but not now, Ro’. It just seems too soon.”

   It had only been two years since the War. Two years, since she had died, only to be reborn. And she still awoke, screaming in terror, searching blindly in the dark for Rowan. He too, was still haunted by the events of those years, starting awake in the dead of night, gasps wrenching their way from his throat. And there were still bad days; days when she awoke, the hands of Cairn and Maeve tugging at her very soul.
 And gods damn her, but she didn’t want to have to explain to her child why they couldn’t sneak up on Uncle Aedion, or why their Mommy and Daddy had so any scars.
 Rowan slid his arm around her waist, not saying a word as he eased them back against the tub.

  “I don’t care if we never have children, Aelin, and I know your reasoning. And if those insensitive old pricks can’t get it through their thick skulls that we aren’t ready for children, that it is too soon, they’ll just have to deal with it.”
  Aelin laughed slightly, and kissed his chest. She wasn’t selfish for wanting to wait, she knew it. She was still young, she had thousands of years ahead of her, thousands of them to fill with children and laughter and families, but for now… Now she was content to sit in the bath, in the arms of Rowan. Just breathing. Just loving. Just healing.

water bottle material pros and cons

Plastic pros: see through, lightweight, no aftertaste cons: no cool ding sound when you knock it, doesn’t double as a weapon

Steel pros: ding sound when you knock it, doubles as an impromptu club when full cons: heavy, opaque, water tastes like a gun

Brick pros: this doesn’t fucking work, what the hell cons: i already told you this is a bad idea

Sodium pros: bendable cons: explodes on contact with water

Void pros: has no mass whatsoever cons: makes you contemplate the meaning of life itself, easily forgettable because it has no weight, kind of expensive

greatestdogofall  asked:

I'm reading SCP 294's experiment log, and this gem stands out: "Addendum [SCP-294ad]: Researcher produced request consisting solely of the phrase "surprise me". Device produced an opaque cup containing normal water, later determined to have been heated to approximately 200 degrees Celsius. Upon receiving vibration from transport, the contents of the cup turned into steam, violently spraying boiling water in a 2-meter radius." I BET YOU WERE SURPRISED, BITCH!

I’d honestly forgot those existed so lol -Roth

So the ainur don’t need to eat. But elves do (Voronwe made a note about starving to death if I remember correctly. Elves also eat. A lot. Hunting, cheese, etc).

So when the valar bring em over, they don’t understand at first and just. Don’t feed the elves. At all. What do you MEAN they’re getting deathly weak in their little marble houses we made and locked for safety? Much be the lighting?

Yavanna and Orome suggest maybe it’s the same phenomenon that happens to animals- needing to eat. Manwe decides this is absurd, the elves ought to be more like ainur than simple ANIMALS, to consider such an idea is horribly insulting.

But eventually they give it a try by bringing it what most of the animals eat. A few dead frogs. A handful of grass. A pot of semi-opaque pond water. The elves eat this up so it MUST be their right diet!! How smart of us to figure it out on the first try!!

It takes a long while for them to notice the elves having preferences in food. Not eating the bones. Favoring the leg meat. Etc. Takes a longer while for the elves to be allowed to select their own ingredients.

Cooking, and the idea of taste, is a wholly elvish invented concept in Valinor. Many elves team up with Yavanna to start genetically engineering fruits for TASTE. The valar come to love the concept of food, good food.

Manwe still secretly thinks it’s weird, but he’s ever happy that wine got invented.

Finwe and the first generation elves occasionally joke about the frogs and straw and shitty food they originally were fed.

Scandinavian pop sensation SKOTT was more than bewitching when I caught her live at SXSW earlier this year. Songs like Porcelain and Wolf were mystically moving, and SKOTT’s siren like performance quickly reminded me of her eclectic background having grown up in a small town forest with ‘outcast’ folk musicians. The Norwegian chanteuse is one of the most fascinating pop artists of 2017, and she’ll certainly “remain” in that position for the rest of the year and beyond if she continues to drop spine tingling songs like her latest single, Remain. SKOTT surprises us by venturing into inky opaque, shadowy haunting waters with this bass wobbling, echo effusive electronic pop offering.  “Remain” was written from a place of heartbreak and acceptance, the singer explains; “I fell madly in love when I was 13, and for five years we were inseparable. But sometimes we’re powerless against change – this song is about the pain of growing apart, and accepting that sometimes we have to leave something behind in order to move forward.  How do you tell that to someone, when it’s already hard enough to accept it yourself?” Despite its gloomy atmosphere, Remain is an aureate and intricate, elegant and balletic beauty. Re-visit SKOTT’s prior singles on Soundcloud, here.

Made with SoundCloud

anonymous asked:

Hiii Sea! I don't know if you have talked about this but I still find really interesting the album artwork Harry has for Harry Styles. There's no name, no logo, you can't see his face. If you are putting out your first album, it makes sense for you to put you highly recognisable name next to your highly recognisable face. Do you think he wanted to kinda distance his household name from his album? I'm sorry if this has been talked about a lot or something. I recently (finally!!!) got my vynil! xx

Yay for getting your vinyl!

Neither the SOTT single cover nor the HS1 cover have words, and neither show his face. 

Here’s Sign of the Times:

And here’s Harry Styles:

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#CivilWarsintheKastle ♦ Day 2

dust to dust

The first time– 

Pitch black, it’s too dark to see his eyes. The little of what light is left in her apartment at this late hour, filtering up from the street lamps, is remarkably dimmed in her gaze thanks to the blinding of the laptop screen sitting on her lap. But that doesn’t keep her from identifying how his shoulders still when she offers him the couch for the night.

Karen’s fairly certain, too, that he’s looking at her with that squinting deciphering that’s just so Frank.

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anonymous asked:

Have any Nessie headcanons?

-lesbian
-likes tv shows a lot she watches tv shows with bella and they both hyperanalyze the stories
-nessie goes away for a few years to Find herself and not be with her parents literally all the time but she and e and b snapchat constantly while she’s away
-she dyes her hair a lot
-musically gifted and plays a lot of instruments but piano best obviously, sings chorally as a hobby
-very good at getting what she wants, her close human friends think Physical Touch is just one her love languages (how she expresses affection) so they don’t think much of it when she touches their arms and stuff but really she’s planting ideas in their heads like if they’re all “where do we wanna eat” nessie obvi does that thing like “oh i don’t care wherever” but she knows she cares and she deflty plants the idea of where to go in their heads “omg guys let’s go to chili’s”
-she carries out an opaque reusable water bottle filled with “Cranberry juice”//blood so she sips on it during the day so that a) she trains herself not to go into a “Frenzy” every time blood is around (which she can do bc she’s not full vampire” and also to stave off hunger so she doesn’t get too thirsty at once
-she once accidentally bit a partner in bed and apologized profusely but the partner just thought it was a fetish and rolled with it and nessie surprisingly likes being bitten? she gets it from her mom i guess
-sometimes when she gets anxious she becomes nonverbal and her closest best friends and family she communicates via touch to tell them what she needs and her friends either a) figure out she’s special or b) just assume they’re super intuitive
-honestly???? she has that hairstyle where one side of the head is shaved short bc she’s a lesbian
-one time she and edward were out shopping and someone insinuated they were dating and she almost threw up and vowed never to leave the house with her dad alone again she has nightmares about it constantly

Manorian fanfic: The Beloved One [Part 2 of 2]

Here is part 2 of my Manorian/chaol fanfic. [Part 1 here!] To everyone who reads this, I just want you to know I tried to make up for everything with some ending mischief between Asterin and Fenrys. But I realize that I owe you all some serious smut after this. I’m already working on it! (Note: This takes place in the same universe/timeline as my Elorcan fic so if you haven’t read that then there might be like 1 or two lines where you’re like “that didn’t happen in the book?” but its nothing serious. Mainly Asterin showing her scars for Aelin’s sake.)

Thanks for reading!

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‘Remove his helmet,’ Gardus said. ‘I wish to see the face of our enemy.’
Tornus stooped and pried the filth-encrusted helmet loose. The ancient scabs lining the gorget burst, weeping clear pus and oily blood as the helmet slid upwards. The face within had clearly once been a man’s, but not for some time. Blisters and leaking sores rose out of mounds of scabbed-over flesh, and what hair was in evidence was colourless and lank. One eye was as opaque as the waters of the realmgate, while the other looked as if it had been boiled. Yet Gardus knew that the warrior could see him clearly. A ruined slash of a mouth twisted up into a smile.
‘Aye, I am handsome, am I not?’
‘No,’ Gardus said.
Gatrog gave a gurgling laugh. ‘Then I am in good company.’ Cadoc growled and drove a boot into the Rotbringer’s side. Gatrog wheezed and nearly toppled over.
— 

Plague Garden, Josh Reynolds

*drinks* lordie I hope Gatrog doesn’t die

I’m really weird about drinking out of opaque things especially water bottles. I won’t drink out of non-disposable plastic cups and if I’m using a disposable cup or a mug I’m significantly more comfortable if the liquid has some kind of transparency to it. I absolutely refuse to use opaque water bottles. Hard no there.

♫Pretty Good Year- Tori Amos//HP: POA REMUS X STUDENT! READER

A little something for the lovely @bexahontas who, despite being a stranger, helped me when I really needed it, and who I’m grateful to know coming into this new year! I’m sorry it was late lovely, and I hope it was worth the wait!

The warmth of fading amber sun rays is trapped in the icy air of the year’s final day. Y/N tightens her grip on her coat, her eyes on her breath as she exhales, billowing and curling as the white of snow glows around her, her steps leaving a determined trail in her wake.


A gentle silence settles on the grounds of Hogwarts as a tall figure stands by a glowing white tree. Brown eyes are clouded with dreams, looking out at the setting sun and its glimmer on the opaque waters of the lake. Snow creaks under her feet as she reaches him, a smile on her face and clinging to her soul, as her soft hand reaches for one of his shoulders, tapping it lightly.


He smiles and his heart is light as he turns to look at her. Silence fills the air, their eyes and hearts locked together, the key never to be found. He reaches to brush a strand of hair from her face, his palm lingering on her cheek as her eyes close lightly and her smile grows. 


“I’m sorry I was late,” she opens her eyes, a smile still on her face. “Too many y/hs decided to stay for the holiday. It wasn’t easy to sneak out.”


“I haven’t been waiting long, don’t worry,” his voice is raspy and kind, as his hand slides from her cheek and finds hers, his cold fingers a perfect contrast to her warm palm.


The Shrieking Shack was often said to be haunted by the unknown supernatural, but knowing its truth made her see that the only supernatural thing about it was the ethereal sadness of its resident. The dust on the walls never bothered her, and neither did the broken furniture she was prepared to see as they entered the small structure. 

Instead, her gaze fell upon beautiful fabrics gently draped over the destroyed walls. The destroyed remains of wooden furniture that were usually scattered across the hardwood floor had vanished, only a small, cloth covered table and two chairs in their place. Her eyes widen and her mouth falls open as she walks around the small room, lit only by candles charmed to float by the draped walls. She moves a worn curtain to the side slightly, catching glimpse of the last rays of sun fading away. She feels his hand snake around her waist and places her head on his shoulder, thoughts rushing through her stained glass mind. 


“Did you do all this for me?” she wondered at the man, his warm smile enough of an answer.


She places a soft kiss on his cheek: “This will make sneaking around a lot nicer, I must say,” she whispered, her lips still against his stubbled face.


He turns his face, his lips meeting hers as the amber of the sun fades completely, only candlelight shining upon their forbidden love.



Midnight creeps closer, blurred out by loud laughs and hand touches, by gentle kisses and feigned shyness of genuine glances. Time doesn’t exist while his eyes are locked on hers, and minutes don’t pass while she feels his hand on hers, wondering how something as pure as their love could ever be anything but cherished. Nothing is real but him, his smiling eyes and the rough skin of his fingers as his thumb runs over the back of her palm.


It’s only the sound of fireworks that startles them from their loving daze, as the clock strikes midnight and the whole world seems to cheer for their love-filled kiss.

Just in general we need more works of fiction set in swamps. Swamps are terrifying and beautiful. There’s something primal about them; a world where ancient mossy trees block out the sun and monsters lurk just below the surface of the opaque muddy water. A world where all of man’s self perceived control over the elements vanishes. There is no control. Only the bayou.

Taking a bath - Blackwall x Lady Adaar (non sexual intimacy meme)

so here is for @elvenmaleficar (thank you for the patience) another filled prompt. (I’m really getting shit done here :D )

Set at Halamshiral after the mighty Inquisitor saved the day. Some nudity (due to the subject) and the usual guilt and hints of angsty fluff that we always have with our problem bear. Enjoy!


“It’s nice, this dancing thing, Warden Blackwall.” her voice is low, next to his ear. Her full lips tickle slightly on the sensitive skin. “But I guess I have something even nicer.”

He looks up into her dark face and her deep grey eyes while they still move slowly to the distant music that barely reaches the balcony on which they were able to find some calm and  privacy after the rushed past hours in Halamshiral. A smile, hidden under his beard. “Is that so… Care to share, my lady?”

“Absolutely. Come with me.” and she takes his hand to sneak back into the palace, following long dark hallways, passing countless pompous rooms until they stop in front of a huge door. Odd enough, but she has a key and unlocks it.

“How…” he is speechless when they enter the ridiculous large and pointless luxurious bathroom.

“Empress Célene could simply not say no to this Ox-Woman asking for a simple favor after saving her precious life.” she does not bother to smile when she says this. He flinches like always when she uses the slur on herself. She seems not to notice, already busy to slip out of her uniform.

There’s a bathtub in the center, big enough to be called a basin. And it’s filled with water. Steaming hot and enriched with fragrances that make the whole room smell invitingly exotic.

He savors her beauty and the beautiful contrast her impressive dark appearance makes within this all white and golden shiny surrounding.

“So distracted, Warden?” She smiles. So broad that he can see her fangs that she usually hides around humans she does not wish to intimidate. “Don’t you want to join?” He literally wakes up. Begins to undress in a hurry. He won’t miss a second of this. A moment later he steps down into the milky, steaming hot water.

The basin is big enough, she can even float in it with her long arms and legs stretched out. He wades to the far end, where he finds a kind of bench to sit on. He places himself there, arms resting casually on the tubs’ edge and he keeps on watching, no, admiring her.

She enjoys the peace. Her eyes are closed and her ears are under water to intensify the quiet. She still floats on the opaque water. Her wonderful breasts perk out of milky white and also he can catch a glimpse of her delta where the water dwells between the island of black curls. She is beautiful.

He reaches out and grabs one of her hands, pulls her closer. “Come, my lady.” he asks. “Let me hold you for a while.”

She is different. Tonight. Now. He knows her being determined. Harsh at times, blunt and ruthless. Some would say even cold. A demanding leader, always hard but fair.

Now all this seems to be far away. A part of herself just for him. Soft and sweet she comes to his arms. Leans her back against his chest. Rests her head against his shoulder. He closes his arms around her. Wants her to feel safe and welcome. One hand caresses her cheek, her neck, her shoulder. He likes to believe that he is the only one who ever has heard her actually purr.

She rests her hands on his forearms that hold her tight. Caressing him with a soft touch, running her fingernails playful over his skin, playing casually with the silky hair that now clings onto his skin. She loves to move her hands over his body hair and he enjoys to watch her do it, likes the sensation of touch and the intimacy it holds.

“Do you like it here?” she eventually asks.

“Who wouldn’t?”

“I don’t know. I always thought you were not so fond of all the frilly kind of amusements the Orlesians use to fancy…”

He sighs. “To be honest, it doesn’t have to be all that frilly, but a hot bath at times has it’s perks. Old bones, you know?”

“Yeah, I can see that.” she mocks back, lolling cozily in his arms. “Maybe we should think about having a bathhouse at Skyhold, too.”

“Sounds good. Maybe you should suggest it to Josephine, I bet she would not oppose.”

She smiles and places a kiss on his cheek by turning her head. “It would be nice. But never as good as this moment here with you. Thank you for having always my back, Warden Blackwall. I would not know how to do all this without you.”

He turns to kiss her. Because he longs for her. And because he don’t know how to respond. And while they melt into a soft and passionate kiss, his heart bleeds over all the things he can’t tell.