February 3-10, 2014

Disclaimer: Sometimes I make stuff up. Don't tell anyone. Written for porn battle XV, for the prompts bath, fire, snow. Do not archive without permission.

A winter's tale

One thing Alistair really appreciated about the royal palace was the bathing rooms. He had a whole separate room for bathing now, his very own that he didn't have to share with anyone, which was half strange and half wonderful. More than half wonderful, to be honest. Alistair thought it was one of the best things about life in the royal palace. At least once he'd made it clear to the palace staff that he really didn't want anyone to wait on him while he had a bath, because having someone stand there, ready to hand him soap or towels, would be hideously embarrassing.

He liked the way he could actually get to be by himself here, the way he'd managed to make it clear that some times and places had to be private; not even Eamon would intrude while Alistair was in the bath, especially not at this time of night. Especially not on a night like this, with snow outside of a kind that Denerim rarely saw. Everyone had exclaimed about it today and explained to Alistair over and over that Denerim was so far to the north, and it was on the coast, and really it almost never snowed here at all, and if it did, the snow certainly never settled.

Except it was snowing, it had snowed all day, some pretty impressive drifts were building up outside, and Alistair had seen at least one statue of Andraste up to her waist in white because people had to put the stuff somewhere when they were trying to clear the ways between their homes and their shops and their taverns.

No real business got done anywhere, and most of Alistair's meetings had been cancelled because someone was stuck in the snow somewhere. His afternoon had mostly consisted of telling the guards to go out and shovel in particularly snowed-over areas, light fires in big open places and keep a careful eye on them, make sure the chantry stayed open and people could get to it. Be useful, really.

Now it was late, and dark. The chantry bells could still be heard, muffled by the snow. Alistair intended to take a very long bath in very hot water, maybe toast some cheese by the fire in his room later just because he could, and go to bed. That was probably all the excitement he'd get on a night like this, but it didn't sound bad to him. He walked into his bathing chamber, one hand tugging at the laces of his shirt, and stopped short. There was already steam in the air, soft lamplight, and the splash of a body moving in water.

"The security here is truly dreadful, my lord king," Zevran said from the bathtub. "What if I had been an assassin?"

Alistair shut the door, keeping the heat in. His heart began to beat a little faster. "You are an assassin," he said, knowing it was the expected reply and still enjoying the gleam of amusement in Zevran's eyes. "And the guards have orders to let you go wherever you want, if they happen to see you, which I'm betting they didn't. But I thought you were still in Amaranthine."

Zevran shrugged. The tips of his hair were just barely damp. "I was indeed in Amaranthine," he said, "but I thought I might as well come back. I had not anticipated being slowed down by snow as I made my way here, though."

"I don't think anyone anticipated that," Alistair said. "They keep telling me there's never been snow like this in Denerim. Did you have any trouble?"

"Oh, no," Zevran said. "I dislike snow, but it doesn't trouble me."

"What about in Amaranthine?" Alistair raised a hand before Zevran could answer. "I don't mean with the snow in Amaranthine. Do they even have any snow? Never mind that. I meant, did you have any trouble, see anything that looked like more trouble, at Vigil's Keep."

"Everyone seems to be committed to the rebuilding," Zevran said. "Both in Amaranthine and at Vigil's Keep. The Orlesian commander has things well in hand there. He is a little odd, this Gerod Caron of yours, but he seems competent enough. I believe he can make the wardens a force to be reckoned with once again."

"He's not any Caron of mine," Alistair said, stepping up next to the bathtub. Only the knowledge that Loghain would have hated it had cheered Alistair enough to make him accept the necessity of an Orlesian warden-commander to sort out the mess in Amaranthine, and he'd only met Caron once, very briefly. He needed to do something about that; he needed to get over the deep reluctance he felt. "If I'd had a free choice--"

"Then you would no doubt be in Amaranthine yourself, settling everything the way you wanted," Zevran said. "But you cannot be both king and warden-commander."

Alistair shook his head. "If everything was the way I wanted, that'd be Lyna running things in Amaranthine," he said darkly. The memory of Lyna Mahariel, red hair falling in her eyes, smile sweet and fey as she shouldered him out of the way and ran to strike down the archdemon, caught in his throat.

"Yes," Zevran agreed, sounding a little subdued. She'd been a friend and a sister to both of them. "I too would very much like to have her with us. But then you would be the one who were dead, my king, and I cannot make myself wish for that."

If he thought too much about Lyna, he would cry, so Alistair tried to make himself laugh instead. "No, whose private bath would you invade then? I was going to use that tub, you know."

"Oh, but there is room for two," Zevran said, picking up the forced lightness in Alistair's voice and making it his own. He was much better at it. "Never let it be said of me that I would keep the king of Ferelden from maintaining his personal hygiene. Just let me move a little, here, and I am quite sure that I can squeeze you in."

Alistair's ears felt suspiciously warm all of a sudden. You'd think he would be used to this kind of thing by now. Zevran could find something suggestive in a pair of old socks. "N-no," he said quickly. "Maker, Zev, in a bathtub?"

"But that is where people normally take baths, is it not?" Zevran smiled up at him.

"Baths, yes! Nice, wholesome, innocent baths, not what you were suggesting."

"I merely thought that I could bathe you," Zevran said. "Which would of course involve touching every part of your naked body, but I assure you I would think of cleanliness first."

"No, you wouldn't," Alistair said. "You never think of anything else first. You might think of it second."

Zevran laughed throatily. "Ah, you know me too well. Although it is sad to think, my entirely too upright and clothed king, that we have been lovers for months and you still cannot say the word sex."

"You were gone for weeks," Alistair said, tugging at his shirt laces once again, determined not to blush any more. "I got out of the habit."

That got him one of Zevran's genuine smiles, small and warm and private. "Oh, a very good answer," Zevran said. "Now please get undressed, unless you would like me to get up and do it for you."

Alistair pulled the shirt off and looked hesitantly at the bathtub.

"Do you really think there'll be room?"

Zevran leaned one elbow against the edge of the tub and stared frankly at Alistair's shoulders. "Oh, yes. Now the rest, please."

Alistair grimaced, but he did strip off the rest of his clothing and stepped into the tub before he could change his mind. Zevran turned him around and sat him down, and the water slopped up against the rim, some of it spilling over. Alistair loved that feeling of sinking down into the water of a really warm bath, feeling it come up around him and embrace him. He couldn't sink as far as usual this time; Zevran's body at his back held him upright. One of Alistair's feet was squished uncomfortably sideways, and when he wiggled his leg to fix it, he hit his chin on his own knees. The water was wonderfully warm, though, even warmer than Zevran's body against his. Zevran tugged at him and he leaned back cautiously, sighing with pleasure as Zevran began to rub soap over his chest.

"I've had worse baths," Alistair admitted. "Lots of worse baths, actually." Washing in a rain barrel at Redcliffe Castle, ducking into an icy stream in the Frostbacks... well, that definitely couldn't compare to this. Unlimited access to hot water was a wonderful luxury, practically worth being king for.

Zevran nipped at the back of his neck, but then went on to wash him quite thoroughly and steadily. There wasn't any of the suggestive commentary that Alistair had more than half expected, nor were Zevran's hands more intimate than they had to be, lingering only for brief moments on the inside of his thigh and the curve of his hip. It confused Alistair enough that he twisted his spine to look over his shoulder at Zevran, who smiled wryly. "It would seem that you were right," Zevran admitted. "This tub is not big enough for anything very strenuous and athletic." He sluiced some water down Alistair's arm. "Even though you are quite the temptation. Now stand up so I can rinse you off."

"Aren't I supposed to be the one giving orders? I mean, which of us is the king, here?" Alistair said, but he stood up all the same.

"And here I thought you enjoyed not having to give orders," Zevran said. There was a wicked edge to his voice, a promise that made something warm and secret blossom deep inside Alistair. Rinsing off was swiftly accomplished, and they stepped out of the tub together; Alistair took care not to let Zevran slip on the water on the floor. Not that there was any risk, really, because he had no doubt of Zevran's agility. He just liked doing it.

He would have rushed the drying-off, but Zevran took the towel out of his hands and went over him quite thoroughly, guiding him away from the puddle on the floor to finish by drying his feet, even taking the time to rub between the toes. "Tickles," Alistair said on a drawn-in breath, and Zevran glanced up at him in silent laughter.

Maker, Zevran was gorgeous when he was naked. Alistair tried to reclaim the towel and do a little drying in return, because he wanted to linger over the long lines of Zevran's tattoos, get reaccustomed to all that silky brown skin under his fingers. But Zevran smacked his hands away and dried himself with the very quick carelessness he'd stopped Alistair from just moments ago. Alistair frowned.

"There will be more room in your bedchamber, no?" Zevran said. "And a bed, which I think we might find useful. Did you remember to lock the door, or will we find the room filled with eager servants carrying trays of cheese?"

"That was only the once," Alistair said. "When they didn't really know me yet here at the palace."

"They certainly knew you a great deal better when they had seen you wearing only a tiny scrap of towel and an elf," Zevran said. "That dark-haired maid stared so hard at you, she could have made a sculpture from memory afterwards."

Her name was Isendre, Alistair knew now, and he earnestly hoped she was kept much too busy in the kitchens to think about it, because there was probably a market for little king-in-a-towel statuettes. It had taken him weeks to be able to look at her without blushing. "I think I locked the door," he said. "I can check if you want."

"You are very sweet," Zevran said and patted his cheek in a way that wasn't soothing at all. "But no. I will check the door, and you will go to the bed and lie down with your hands over your head, and perhaps I will tie you up."

Alistair swallowed. It was very lightly said, more of a tease than a promise, so perhaps Zevran wouldn't tie him up after all. And really, it didn't matter very much if he did or not. He could if he wanted to, and he knew that, and he knew that Alistair knew that, and Alistair knew that Zevran knew that... He shook his head at himself as they went into the royal bedchamber, air a little cooler here despite the fire in the fireplace. The room looked very warm, though, with red velvet everywhere. Alistair crossed the floor to the bed, which was turned down and ready for him.

"On top of the covers?" he asked Zevran. "Or on the sheets?"

"Sheets," Zevran answered easily, checking on the door, which was in fact locked. It wasn't really that Alistair liked his privacy so much, he just liked the ability to have privacy. Of course, now that Zevran was here, he knew he was going to need it.

Alistair pushed the bedcovers aside, all those lovely thick blankets and even one quilted thing with some kind of seabird down sewn inside, and lay down on the bottom sheet that covered a relatively firm mattress. He'd had to insist on that. When he'd first moved into the palace they'd put him on top of layers and layers of feather-stuffed ticks, more than he'd ever imagined existing in one place, soft and lumpy at the same time, and he'd had a backache for quite a while before he managed to say that just a straw mattress would be quite enough for him. He did get one feather tick on top of the straw, because anything else would be unsuitable for a king, but he was more comfortable now that he didn't feel he was being smothered by a flock of geese every night.

Seeing Zevran walk up to the bed, Alistair felt a soft tingle of anticipation. Zevran was surprisingly unscarred for someone in his line of work, and quite muscular for someone who looked so light and slim in his clothes. Of course, an assassin probably did better if he looked harmless, Alistair reflected. Which Zevran might be able to manage for a few minutes, if he didn't talk.

"We forgot something," Alistair blurted as Zevran stood looking down at him. "I mean, I forgot something. Something important."

"Oh?" Zevran cocked an eyebrow.

"I forgot to kiss you," Alistair said. "I've been wanting to do that since you left."

Zevran climbed onto the bed and stretched himself out on top of Alistair, one elbow propped to the side of Alistair's chest. Compared to the weight of wearing a full set of plate mail, which Alistair did regularly, Zevran really wasn't all that heavy, and considerably more pleasant to the touch. "But surely you don't imagine," he said, mouth curving, "that I would have you like this and not kiss you." He dipped down and brushed his lips against Alistair's, just lightly at first, then with more intent and a firmer press, finally tugging Alistair's lower lip down for a warm, open-mouthed kiss.

Alistair liked kissing. Well, he liked sex, too, of course, and he'd be very surprised if that wasn't where this was going, but he was in no real rush to get there, because kissing was a splendid thing all on its own, once he'd learned to do it properly. It had taken Zevran a little while to teach Alistair not to rush in, to hold back and enjoy it gradually, but now this leisurely enjoyment was one of Alistair's favorite things. He relaxed into it, letting Zevran set the pace, taking Alistair's mouth the way he wanted, from light, teasing licks to kisses so deep and intense Alistair thought he could feel his bones melting.

When Zevran drew back, Alistair made a soft sound, not of complaint exactly, but definitely disappointment. "Don't stop," he breathed.

"You are quite lovely like this," Zevran said. "And manly, of course, and ruggedly handsome and muscular and kingly and... well, possibly not commanding just at the moment." He dropped a swift kiss at the corner of Alistair's mouth. "But most of all, you are lovely."

These compliments made Alistair feel extremely awkward, because he didn't think he was either lovely or ruggedly handsome, but he knew Zevran liked to say those things and make Alistair listen to them. He met Zevran's eyes with his own and tried not to blush too much, and after a moment, Zevran quirked a small smile at him and began to kiss his neck and shoulder.

Alistair certainly had no objections to that. Discovering, with Zevran's enthusiastic assistance, which parts of his body were sensitive and responsive to what touch, well, that was an adventure that didn't seem to have an end. He'd always thought sex would be more of a straightforward matter, but then again, nothing Zevran did was really straightforward, and everything that seemed like a detour turned out to reveal something new and pleasurable.

Like the nipples. Zevran's mouth on his nipples, and Zevran's clever fingers. Alistair had always thought of his nipples as fairly useless ornaments, but that was before Zevran had shown him what tongue and teeth and fingertips could do, before he found out that the back of a nail flicked in just the right way could make his whole body draw tight and shudder. Or those places along his sides, over the ribcage, where a too-light caress tickled but an only slightly firmer one would make him writhe in an entirely different way.

Now Alistair loved nothing better than to offer himself up like this for Zevran's entertainment and delectation, to be teased and toyed with and played to perfection. It thrilled him to wait, to hold back, to wish for a certain touch and be left frustrated and breathless and yearning by something else entirely.

This time, Zevran seemed intent on touching him everywhere, but not to linger in any place. Swift, sure caresses brushed over Alistair's shoulders and arms; kisses landed in the crook of one elbow, on the inside of the other wrist. Zevran sucked on each of Alistair's fingertips in turn, but only for a moment. When Alistair got a quick swipe of tongue over each nipple in turn, they drew up hard and tight and his back arched, trying to get closer, trying to get Zevran's mouth back, but Zevran had already moved on.

He spent a little more time on Alistair's stomach, playing suggestively with his navel, but then he moved on to gnaw at a hipbone, to scatter kisses down the side of his hip and up again. And all the time Zevran held himself up with one arm and positioned himself very carefully, putting no real pressure where Alistair most desperately wanted it. No, what he got was Zevran kissing and nipping along the insides of his thighs, and one clever hand coming up to play with his sac, rolling his balls gently against each other, running nails along the skin in a light touch that made him shudder.

Finally, Zevran sat up. He smiled at Alistair, who was a sweaty, trembling mess, and if one of them was lovely, it was definitely Zevran, so sleek and confident. "Let me touch you," Alistair said. He wanted his turn to put mouth and hands all over that amazing body, but he'd settle for just feeling Zevran lie down on top of him again, pressing skin against skin.

Zevran tilted his head to one side, as if considering it, but then he said, "No." He swung himself around to straddle Alistair's waist, backwards, and Alistair's eyes followed the stark black lines that swooped in leisurely curves down Zevran's back and trailed tantalizingly, like ribbons etched into the skin, over the swell of his arse. "No, my king, I think you should just watch."

Alistair wanted to say that he wasn't really Zevran's king, that Zevran was Antivan, and they had their own royalty in Antiva, as messed up as it was, but then Zevran leaned forward and brought one hand back, fingers slick and shining, to dip between his arse cheeks, and he began to press one fingertip into that tight little opening between them, and Alistair wasn't thinking about any kind of royalty any more. He watched, as Zevran had known he would, breathless and aching, as Zevran took his time fingering himself open.

Hearing a soft moan, Alistair tried to work out if it had come from Zevran or himself. He was so full of desire, of pure heated want, Alistair thought it had to be rising from his skin like steam. And Zevran was drawing this out, there was no doubt about that, being very slow and very thorough, and at the end, just pumping his fingers in and out, making more little noises.

When Zevran was done, at long last, he turned around again, so he could look down at Alistair and Alistair could look up at him. He took hold of Alistair and smeared the last of the slick cream over him, and Alistair bit his lower lip hard, because that felt very good. Not as good as what came next, though. Zevran steadied him and sank down slowly, tight heat slowly taking him in, and this was so much better than sinking into a hot bath, this was a feeling that Alistair could never get enough of. Zevran taking him and taking him inside. Zevran claiming him and holding him and owning him. It made him feel so utterly wanted, and not like a king at all.

Zevran's weight settled across Alistair's hips, warm and welcome. He started a steady rocking, at the same time stroking himself with one hand. He looked amazing, and he felt even better. Alistair pushed up with his hips, just a little bit, and Zevran grinned at him and began to move faster. Not just rocking, now, but rising up and forwards, sinking down and backwards, thigh muscles flexing.

"You're so," Alistair said breathlessly. He lost the adjective, but he didn't think there was one to describe how Zevran looked at that moment. "Let me."

Zevran put his free hand on Alistair's chest for support and nodded. "Bring your legs up," he said. Alistair did, raising his knees, and once he had his feet flat on the bed, he could thrust in a way that made his thighs burn and his breath come short. Zevran made a pleased sound deep in his throat at the new angle. He rode Alistair with more abandon now, and he started to get that look on his face that Alistair loved most of all, slightly lost and intent on seeking his pleasure.

That was something Alistair couldn't get enough of, seeing that look and knowing it was his body that had brought Zevran to this point. He pushed up again and again, until Zevran stiffened and cried out, the beautiful slackness of his mouth as much as the unbearable tightening of his body drawing out Alistair's own release, which was agonizingly wonderful and left him feeling heavy and warm and oddly clear-headed. Zevran slumped over him, and Alistair moved his arms at long last, holding Zevran and pulling him even closer. He kissed the tip of one pointed ear.

After a while he said, "We should have bathed afterwards instead."

"We can do that as well," Zevran said, his voice slightly slurred because his face was pressed into Alistair's chest. "I don't believe there are any rules about the number of baths a king may have."

"Maybe there are rules for assassins," Alistair said. He gathered his resolve and slowly sat up, taking Zevran with him, and then lifted Zevran into his arms as he stood up. He could feel their recent exertions in his legs, yes, but Zevran was hardly any weight at all; Alistair had kept up his daily training regime and his swordwork, despite a few difficulties in the beginning as the guards tried to be polite when they fought him. Crossing the floor, he went back into the bathing room and made a face at the full tub they'd left behind. That water would be barely even lukewarm now, of course, and looked unpleasantly soap-scummy.

Alistair put Zevran down and looked for a washcloth.

"Oh, there are certainly rules for assassins," Zevran said. "The Crows have many very strict rules, but not about bathing, as I recall." He caught Alistair's eyes and grinned. "They do encourage us to keep clean, naturally. There is a salutary story told to all Crow apprentices about an assassin whose attempt at a stealthy mission failed because of his strong and unpleasant body odor."

"Really?" Alistair found a washcloth and went on to get the soap. "What happened to him, then?"

"His would-be marks caught him, and I believe he was fed to the pigs."

"The pigs?" Alistair said, horrified. "Not pigs that people were going to eat?" Then he shook his head as he realized Zevran was chuckling at him. "You're having me on again, aren't you."

"Yes," Zevran said cheerfully. "Of course he was not fed to the pigs." He took the washcloth out of Alistair's hand and began to wipe himself down with some clean water out of a basin. "It was to the dogs, I recall now."

Alistair made a face. "Next you're going to tell me that these particular dogs are bred as a delicacy in Antiva, aren't you." He found another washcloth for himself. "I heard that from a trader, you know, that there are places where people actually eat dogs."

"I'm certain that there are," Zevran said. "Why not?" Before Alistair could begin to tell him why not, at least not in Ferelden, he went on, "But I think a simple meal of bread and cheese would suit us both better."

"It would definitely suit me better," Alistair said. "Do you want to sneak down and raid the kitchen with me? Or you can lounge by the fire, and I'll come back and lay my spoils at your feet."

"It's your kitchen," Zevran said. "I rather think everything in the royal palace belongs to you." His smile was much more fond than mocking, though. "As kings go, you are remarkably undespotic. Non-despotic?" He glanced at Alistair, who just shrugged. "And I believe your interpretation of the tradition of royal mistresses is perhaps a little unusual."

"You're not a mistress," Alistair said.

"No, I rather think that was my point." Clean once again, Zevran began to dry himself off with the one towel left. Alistair debated picking up his shirt off the floor and using that, but then he leaned over and stole the towel out of the hands of his royal not-a-mistress instead. Zevran said something uncomplimentary in Antivan, and Alistair chuckled. He wiped his front mostly dry and tossed the towel back again, then went out into the bedroom.

Zevran came to join him moments later, just as Alistair was putting on a tunic and some soft old trousers that he'd had to stop the maids from throwing away. He sat down on the edge of the bed to pull his boots on; Zevran snagged a blanket and curled up in the big chair by the fire, with just his toes and his hair showing.

"I'll, ah, be right back." It felt strange to leave the door unlocked when there was a naked man waiting in his room, even if Zevran wasn't really naked naked, and quite capable of dealing with the situation if anyone should happen to walk in, which was extremely unlikely.

Alistair went along familiar hallways and down the servants' stairs at the back, happy that he didn't meet anyone. The one time he'd run into a maid with a tray, they'd done a lengthy and awkward dance as both of them tried to give way to the other. Alistair really didn't want to make life more difficult for the palace servants, and he realized that meeting the king on the back stairs had to be disconcerting, he just really didn't want to go the long way around.

He knew he didn't have to go any way around, if he didn't want to. Eamon had tried several times to persuade him that all he needed to do was call someone who'd bring him anything he wanted. But Alistair never knew quite what he wanted until he saw it. So he crept into the kitchen and waved a hand at the cook's assistant at the far end, then slipped into the larder to get a proper look around.

When the cook's assistant came up a little later and curtsied and asked, "Is there anything we can get you, my lord?" in a voice that was half deference and half resignation, Alistair was prepared.

"A few chunks of the bread I had at midday," he said, "and some of the South Reach cheddar, please. And a piece of that dried ham-- Wait, it's not from Antiva, is it?"

"No, my lord," the woman said. "That's from right here in Ferelden, Dragon's Peak bannorn, where the pigs eat acorns on the slopes of the mountain and grown fatter than anywhere."

Alistair nodded. "Ham, then. And a couple of apples if they aren't too badly wrinkled."

The palace staff had become used to Alistair's warden-fuelled appetite, and the cook's assistant just nodded, without asking, as they had done in the beginning, if the dinner hadn't been to his liking. Dinner had been fine, as far as Alistair could recall, just several hours ago. When she brought him a tray, he was pleased to see that she'd added two sets of cutlery to it, as well as two mugs and a pitcher of frothy ale. Maybe she'd worked in a tavern before.

He took the tray, over her protests, and carried it off, only letting her hold the door open as he left the kitchen again and crept back up towards the royal chambers. It made him feel a little strange, still, that the rooms set aside for the king were his now. That he was the king now. Alistair didn't meet anyone on the way back, either. He shouldered the door open and went inside, handing the tray to Zevran, who greeted him with a sleepy smile, and then going back to close and lock the door again.

Zevran put the tray on the low table next to his chair, and disappeared into his blanket nest again. Alistair wanted to join him, because surely the chair and the blanket were both big enough for two, at least if one of the two was rather lean and flexible, but first he went to the far end of the room, to the window. He could feel the chill growing as he got closer, even through the heavy floor-length curtains that had been drawn as soon as the outside temperature began to drop.

Alistair slipped between the curtains, though, so he could look outside at the city. His city. He'd started to think of Denerim as his, not when the Landsmeet picked him as king, but when he'd fought in the battle to defend it and seen how bravely the citizens had struggled to resist even when they were all but overwhelmed by darkspawn. From up here he could mostly see the fancy estates of the very rich, but he knew those little lights farther out came from ordinary houses, those homes and shops and taverns that made up the real Denerim, for him.

The snow had blown up and caught along the edges of the window. This winter would be remembered for a long time. Alistair wondered how long it would take for the stories to begin circulating that it was a bad omen for his kingship. First there was the Blight year, then we got a bastard son of Maric's for a king, then there was a terrible winter with snow in Denerim and I hear people froze to death in their houses right in the middle of the city...

Well, he'd do the best he could. Alistair touched his fingertips to the glass, shuddered, and stepped back. The air inside the room, once he'd made certain the curtains were pulled tight, felt very warm and welcoming by comparison. He went over and sat down next to Zevran and tucked his face into Zevran's neck, warming his cold nose against Zevran's skin; Zevran grumbled but didn't stop him.

Alistair straightened up again after a while, and Zevran tucked the blanket around them both and smiled up at him. "And now, my king," he said, "I believe we have some cheese to toast, yes?"

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