The rain plaguing Northern Fereldan hadn't let up in three days. Several key roads were flooded, forcing Lavellan and her party to camp in the shelter of the woods until the storm had passed.
Despite being rather wet and miserable, however, Edara was enjoying at least one side benefit of the inactivity. The tent next to hers, Solas' tent, had been sitting empty for almost the entire time they had been stopped. Currently, the apostate was lounged out in Edara's tent, doing wonderful things to her ears with his mouth.
"Ah, Solas, that's nice," breathed Edara as the other elf nipped and nibbled along the point of her ear. While his mouth was occupied, his hands were busy unbuttoning her tunic. Edara gasped when his hands finally met her bare skin, and Solas pulled away just long enough to tug his own tunic over his head. With a fond smile, Solas bent down and kissed her softly.
"You are so beautiful," he said. Edara wrapped her arms over his shoulders and pulled him down so the length of his body was pressed against hers as they kissed. She could feel him stirring in his leggings, and it didn't take long for him to remove those as well. Wordlessly, Edara parted her legs enough for Solas to settle between them. His mouth moved downward to pull one of her breasts between his lips, drawing a surprised gasp from the elf.
Solas slid a hand between them to tease the slick, hairless folds of her sex, slipping a single digit inside. Edara moaned, louder than was wise, and immediately clamped her mouth shut. The rest of the camp knew they were together, certainly, but they didn't have to hear the evidence of it firsthand. Solas was still working magic with his mouth and with his hand, and soon Edara felt the pleasure cresting inside.
"Solas," she gasped in warning. The mage removed his finger and mouth, letting her cool down for a moment. His length was pressed firm and weeping against her thigh, and Edara could feel the tension in his body from the effort of ignoring it for her pleasure. A hand crept around his lower back, gently urging him forward and encouraging him to continue.
"Ma vhenan," whispered Solas. My heart. He drew Edara into a slow, sweet kiss as he entered her, holding for a moment before slowly rocking his hips. Edara moaned quietly and arched her back to draw him in deeper. Her hair was unbound from its usual, tucked braid, and Solas combed his fingers through her soft, blonde tresses.
The elf shivered beneath him and danced her fingers over his angular jaw. His pace was maddeningly slow, always so controlled, like everything else he did. Edara had to coax that control away from him to get what they both needed. She nipped his bottom lip, pulling at it teasingly. Solas drew back, blinking in surprise until he saw the command whispered in Edara's pale, green eyes.
Solas growled low in his chest, his eyes darkening. Edara's hand curled around the smooth back of his head, physically holding his gaze as she whispered her next words against his lips.
"Ar'din nuvenin felas," she said in flowing, near-perfect elvish. "Ar'isala ir, Solas. Ma'arisala."
I don't want slow, she told him. I need more, Solas. I need you.
It was Edara's greatest weapon against him. A single phrase of whispered elvish, and Solas was undone.
"Ma nuvenin," he growled in return. As you wish.
The hand in her hair tightened, just enough to make Edara gasp as he pulled her head back to expose her pale throat. He snapped his hips forward sharply, just once, just to tease. Edara whimpered, but her hands splayed on his back, encouraging. Chuckling darkly, Solas nestled his face into the taut column of her neck. His teeth closed on her pulse suddenly, hard enough to leave an impression and cause her to cry out in more surprise than pain.
"Ma emma harel, da'len," he smirked. You should fear me, little one.
He silenced her with a fierce, possessive kiss, devouring her mind, body, and soul as he drove into her at the rapid, punishing pace she demanded. Her slender legs wrapped around his waist, and her blunt nails raked his back. Solas grunted, the fingers of his free hand digging into her hip for support, surely leaving fingerprint bruises.
He needed her. Like the starved wolf he was, she was laid before him as a feast of the flesh. Solas had been alone for so long, never realizing how much he hungered for the company of another. Edara awakened something dark and primal in him, all fur and instinct and need. She called to the very nature of his wolf, drawing it from his blood like poison from a wound. Man and beast warred within Solas. He needed to mark and claim her, even as he needed to hold and protect her. The wolf in him wanted Edara bound and mated to him for all eternity, while the elf in him wanted love and tenderness.
Just one command from her in the Old Tongue was enough for beast to triumph. He was Fen'Harel, before whom every elf trembled in fear. He was the Dread Wolf, and he would have his prize.
And so he took it.
Edara's name fell as a litany from his lips as Solas surged into her. He forgot the rain outside, and their companions sleeping mere feet away. He was desperate now, practically sobbing her name as he took her. He took her as a wolf claims his mate, even as he gave himself over to her, opening his soul for her to take. Edara was his, but only because he was hers first, damned from the moment she kissed him in the Fade.
"Ma'arisala," he gasped. I need you.
Edara's hand found the back of his head, yanking him down for a hard, hungry kiss. Their teeth clacked, and their tongues lashed. They were both so close. All thoughts of discretion were forgotten as her quiet moans rose to harsh cries. Outside, lightning streaked the sky and thunder boomed, though it did little to mask their frantic lovemaking.
Edara's body jerked with the force of his thrusts. Solas was still gripping her hair with one hand, so tightly now that it brought tears to her eyes in the best way. Her own fingers were leaving furrows in his back and shoulders that Solas would surely feel later, stinging beneath his tunic as a souvenir.
They were no longer making love, but rutting like beasts. She was so hot and tight around him, clenching around his length as her end drew closer and closer.
It was Solas who broke first. As his release built low in his stomach, breathless words in Elven flowed unchecked in his haze of lust, so far gone in his instinctive rutting that his mind was unable to even remember the words in common parlance.
"You are mine, little one," he growled. "Bend to me, fear me, because the Dread Wolf demands it so, and I will be as your slave." He bit her ear sharply, demanding she answer.
Edara was too far gone herself to catch his words, even if she could translate them. "Yes," she agreed, abandoning her attempts at Elven. "Anything for you, Solas."
That was enough for Solas. He shouted his release into her neck, pumping his hips jerkily as he emptied inside her. Edara felt his warmth fill her and met her climax at the same moment, crying his name to the heavens. The tent filled with a sudden, brief flash of blue light, magical discharge set free with such a powerful release, though neither could tell which of them had triggered it, nor did they even care.
Solas was shaking as his body covered Edara, still too in shock to move.
Edara was trembling, too. He had never been that forceful with her before. It had been exciting, thrilling, and frightening, all at once. She would have to push him like that more often. As she idly stroked the heated skin of his back, Edara barely caught the words Solas whispered under his breath.
"I love you, too," smiled the elf affectionately. Her eyes drifted closed as she enjoyed the closeness following one of the most intense bouts of lovemaking of her life. She could feel his softened length still inside her, and the sweat pooling between their bodies. Her neck twinged where Solas had bitten her, a reminder of his marking.
Suddenly, Solas seemed to come back to himself and stiffened. He raised his upper body so he was hovering over her, his face a mask of worry.
"I... I am sorry. Did I hurt you?" he asked worriedly. Seeing the perfect imprint of his teeth on her neck sickened and shamed him. How could he have lost control so easily?
Edara was quick to reassure him, however.
"No, of course not," she said, laughing. "Solas, that was amazing. I loved it."
"Truly?" Solas didn't sound convinced. Edara pulled him back down and shifted so they were on their sides, holding each other.
"You're always so in control when we make love. It's alright to let go once in awhile."
Solas still seemed upset. "That side of me... I did not mean for you to see that. If I frightened you..."
"You didn't," said Edara, stroking his cheek. "I like that side of you, Solas, and you could never frighten me because I know you'll never hurt me. I trust you."
Solas almost let out a bark of ironic laughter. Trust? You would be a fool to trust me, da'len. It is in my very nature to hurt you. If you only knew, you would run as only those with the Dread Wolf himself at their heels would run.
A slender finger smoothed down the bridge of his nose.
"You're being grim and fatalistic again, hahren," said Edara without heat, leaning in to kiss the tip of his distinctly elven nose. "I love you, and that means every part of you, even the parts you don't let me see."
Solas felt his heart clench. The things she said...
"Ma tu emma halam," breathed Solas, barely loud enough for her to catch. You shall be the end of me.
"Still, I hurt you," he continued, reaching up to touch the angry, red mark on her neck.
"I hardly call that a wound," chuckled Edara. "I've been hurt worse by bandits. You'll have to try harder next time if you want to compete."
Solas' hand glowed with healing magic, and he wiped the mark away. Deep within him, his wolf growled quietly at having its mate mark erased, but Solas was back in control of himself now and ignored the feeling easily.
"There," he said, chastely kissing where the bite had been. He pulled her close to his chest, tucking her head beneath his chin.
"Silly old wolf," Edara laughed sleepily, nuzzling his chest. Solas bristled at her unknowing words, as he alway did when she called him that. It was an affectionate pet name she had given him after an early conversation about Solas being something of a "lone wolf" in his travels. As much as the parallel startled him, the trickster in Solas also rather enjoyed the irony of it.
"Hush, little one," he chuckled. "Allow an old wolf his moment of peace."
"Whatever you say, hahren," yawned Edara tolerantly, settling in to go to sleep.
* * *
That night, they walked the Fade together. There was a small ruin nearby, almost completely reclaimed by the forest, that Solas wanted to show her. Ages ago, it had been a way-shrine to Sylaise, a place for passing hunters to shelter from the frequent rain and pay their respects to the Hearthkeeper. Solas felt he would never tire of the wonder that kindled in Edara's eyes when he showed her a new memory, a new secret. Never would the old trickster have imagined that he would find any mortal worth sharing his time in the Fade with, let alone someone with whom he wanted to share.
But he did want to share it, for as long as this doomed romance would last.
Solas did not, however, want to dwell on that end, not here in his place of safety. Aneth ara.
Beside him, Edara clasped his hand and smiled. She tilted her head toward him and kissed the side of his jaw. Solas returned the smile with one of his own.
He didn't know what the future held for them, but for once in his existence, the Dread Wolf was able to enjoy the present, putting aside his anger for the past and his fear for the future. He had fallen for Edara, well and truly. This woman, who had quite literally fallen into the middle of the disaster he was trying to fix, changed everything. She was gilan'nain banal'vhen. The path that leads astray.