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Lavellan clears her throat and begins to read again.

“But there is more to bestiaries than this,” She stands on a stool. The stool is in the middle of the chamber. Solas sits in his armchair by the hearth.

He pretends not to notice her and the way his cock is leaking into his pants.

The fire crackles and spits.

“Along with peculiar pictures, bizarre zoology and religious parables, they contain gems of acute observation: attempts to understand and convey how things actually are.”

He isn’t drunk tonight. This unfortunate fact draws his attention to the finer details of her. 

The fire casts shadows over her body. It warps her out of proportion; one breast larger than the other, some limbs too thin, some too short and others entirely absent. He doesn’t need to look up to know that this is one of those moments where she would resemble Andruil – cheekbones pulled too high and eyes just that much more slitted.

He saw it before when she watched him blow up half of Tevinter. The prize for his hesitance was a spear through the shoulder.

He listens to her recitation of the bestiary like a sermon, offhandedly considering his spend on her stomach.

There’s no blood this time.

“Undaunted by – and unaware of – the limits of the knowledge of their time, they celebrate the beauty of being, and of beings.”

She hums at this, low in her throat. He grits his teeth.

And glances up when she’s silent for too long. He finds that look in her eyes – beneath the ghost of Andruil's face, she disappears inside herself again.

She has the curious tendency to get like this. He finds it best not to interfere before the earth remembers who she is and brings her back to her skin. So he rubs his cock with his thumb and waits.

She looks off at something he can’t see. “If indeed we are unaware of the limits on the knowledge we possess now, a hundred years won’t see us better. We won’t flourish, you know. We won’t bloom like flowers and grow drunk on discovery like you say. We’ll die before we can touch it. You would see us enslaved once again.”

Her venom lands at his feet.

Ah.

The earth never forgot. Solas rolls his eyes.

He leans forward to tap her ankle with two fingers, just above the shackle clamped tightly there. They’ve been through this before.

If his balls tighten at the prospect of her provoking his rage in a bid for information, no one need know.

It really would be too easy to tell her too much.

“Inquisitor.”

She blinks down at him. She glares. Caught.

Lavellan clears her throat and begins to read again.

“A full account of the inspirations and origins of the great illuminated bestiaries of the Ages would refer to the great scientific works of the ancients…”