Another sneak peek of DA2 longfic I wrote for NaNoWriMo

Previous sneak peeks can be found here (beginning of Chapter 1) and here (Christmas at the Hawkes). Hoping to start posting this fic up next month! 


Set in modern-day London. Following a devastating break-up with Tamlen, Merrill decides to get her life back on track by doing something different: joining a gym, and hiring a personal trainer.

Meanwhile, Carver Hawke is a personal trainer at Hawke Health Clubs (owned by his brother), and is annoyed that Garrett has assigned this girl to him – and not to a more suitable trainer, like Aveline.

Neither impresses the other at first. But sometimes first impressions change…

— — —  

Also starring: Sebastian as a reality TV star from The Only Way Is Starkhaven, Anders as a cat-obsessed physiotherapist (and Hawke’s boyfriend, later fiancé), Fenris as the world’s grumpiest yoga instructor, Varric as the owner of Tethras Publishing Company, Isabela as Varric’s “head of erotic literature”, and the Qunari as a firm of very angry lawyers.

Malcolm, Leandra and Bethany are alive in this AU. 

Carver frowned at the form Garrett had printed out and left on the desk. New joiners at the gym were always good, and new clients for the gym’s personal trainers even better, but his brother’s scribbled handwriting reading ‘ASSIGNED TO CARVER’ on the paper confused him. Miss Merrill Alerion, the name on the form read. Fitness level: beginner.

Well. Technically it didn’t just say beginner. Whoever the girl was who filled in the form, she seemed to want to give a running commentary on each field she’d filled in, so that it actually said: beginner, I think? I’m not sure what a fitness level is!

Carver scowled as he read further down the document. Fitness goals: not sure really, just thought it might be nice to try something different!

This had to be a joke.

‘Brother,’ Carver said as Garrett breezed into the office, clutching his Starbucks order, ‘this new personal training client we’ve got…’

‘Hmmm?’ Hawke peered over and squinted at the paper Carver held in his hand. ‘Oh, yes, that one. Varric’s newest employee. What about her?’

‘You’ve assigned her to me,’ Carver said. ‘I thought Aveline was in charge of our female clients? She’d be much more suitable, anyway…’

‘What’s the matter, li’l bro?’ Garrett perched himself on the edge of the desk and gave Carver an easy grin. ‘Training up a female beginner beneath you?’

‘I thought I wasn’t allowed to train women anyway,’ Carver grumbled. ‘Something about you and Bethany being so worried I’d end up sleeping with all the clients and bringing your gym into disrepute. Not that you have any evidence that I would. As if you can’t trust me to be professional…’

‘Well, in that case you shouldn’t complain I’ve assigned you to her,’ Hawke countered. ‘Besides which, Aveline is pretty full at the moment. You had space in your schedule, so I thought I’d assign her to you.’ Hawke grinned again, more infuriatingly this time. ‘Or can’t I trust you to be professional, Carver?’

Carver snorted. ‘Says the man who molests his boyfriend in the office every morning.’ 

Garrett simply laughed, as relaxed and carefree as a man whose life was going swimmingly, and despite himself (always in spite of himself) Carver couldn’t help wishing he had his older brother’s confidence and ease.

‘Well, she’s yours,’ Garrett eventually said, after taking a hearty gulp of the hot beverage in his hand. ‘Should make a nice change from all those “macho men” weightlifters you train. I think it’s about time you went back to basics and start to help those who are at the beginning of their fitness journey, and not just those who are already most of the way there.’ 

(to be continued…)

Monday 8:27am
I woke up with you on my mind.
You called me babe last night —
my heart is still pounding.

Tuesday 10:53pm
Today I realized we won’t work.
What we are is hurting her.
And I think she matters more to me than you do.

Wednesday 11:52pm
I broke things off with you today.
She barely said a word.
I’ve never regretted anything more than this.

Thursday 4:03pm
I shouldn’t have sent that message.
You shouldn’t have been so okay with receiving it.

Friday 9:57pm
I almost messaged you today.
I didn’t.

Saturday 8:49pm
I’m walking around town in search of alcohol.
They say that liquor numbs the pain of having a broken heart.
I want to put that to the test.

Sunday 2:32am
I heard you texted a girl you’ve never spoken to before.
I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to replace me.
I can’t help but wish you weren’t.
I thought I was irreplaceable.

—  a week with you on my mind, c.j.n.
Move on, leave, run away, escape this place… but don’t forget about me, about us, about this town. Always remember where you come from so you can appreciate how far you’ve come.
—  c.j.n.