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A Word Before We Part

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Had Cullen been asked, he could not have given a consistent, logical reason as to why he agreed to meet Hawke for drinks. The first time had been accepted with bemusement; few people saw past Cullen's armor to wonder about the man within it, and Cullen had found himself agreeing for the sheer novelty of it. The second time had been more confounding yet; Cullen hadn't had such an awkward evening as the first in many years, not since he'd come to Kirkwall, and he'd been dumbfounded when Hawke had extended another invitation to him. The third had been accepted while the alcohol from the second was still warming his blood. From there, Cullen had stopped counting.

Hawke was surprisingly good company. Cullen had initially expected him to be playing an angle, to try to win Cullen over to his mage-sympathizing side, but Hawke had never so much as brought the subject up, much less attempted to influence Cullen in any way. Rather, they spoke of inconsequentialities, trading stories of life in Ferelden, childhood escapades and favorite foods. Hawke was easy company, and Cullen was finding himself more and more loath to leave it.

They'd met for drinks as usual at the Quilted Bear, a slightly-overly ostentatious Hightown pub, where the drinks were not as badly watered-down as at most of the Guild-run establishments and the food was consistently not inedible. They'd found a comfortable nook and settled in, but, while the drinks flowed freely, the conversation did not. Hawke was distracted, replying to half of Cullen's comments with non sequiturs, and the rest with silence. It was wearing, unusually so, and Cullen wondered absently if he wouldn't have been better served to spend his leave day in meditation.

"You seem a hundred miles away, Serah Hawke," Cullen said after the barmaid had left their third round on the table before them. "We can do this some other time, if you have other concerns."

Hawke blinked, then grinned sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head. "No, it's not that I don't want to be here. Rather, I was thinking about how much I enjoy your company." He ran his finger around the lip of his mug, eyes flickering briefly towards the door. "I suppose I should think less and enjoy more."

Cullen cocked his head. "So you miss me when I am here?" He frowned slightly when his words sank in. "Not that you miss me anyway," he added, then shook his head. “Not that I do not enjoy spending time with you.” He pressed his lips shut quickly, thinning them at Hawke’s amused expression. “You need not tell me how bad at this I am.”

Hawke’s grin won the battle against control and spread across his face, adding glimmers to his bright eyes. “I wasn’t going to comment,” he teased, “but, now that you mention it...” He reached over the table to rest his fingers lightly against the exposed skin of Cullen’s wrist, skin that was usually hidden under layers of leather and metal but bared now by his civvies. “You don’t do this often, do you?”

The touch of Hawke’s fingers burned. “My duty does not allow for much time to myself, and I-- there are not many people with whom I may speak like this. I am... out of practice, you might say.” He lifted his mug to his lips, shaking loose Hawke’s fingers, and drank deeply. “I apologize,” he said as he set the mug down on the table, his gaze lingering on it before rising to meet Hawke’s. “I am not the best of company.”

“Your company is fine.” Hawke’s fingers returned to Cullen’s wrist and traced the line of his hand to his fingertips, pulling away after brushing the sensitive pads. "I enjoy your company quite a bit, honestly." He reached to take another drink. "I hope that I do not make you uncomfortable."

Cullen's fingers twitched as though Hawke's teased them still, the tips tingling with the unfamiliar touch of skin; he only ever touched people with his gauntlets on. "I am not uncomfortable," he heard himself say, as though from a great distance. "Should I be?"

Hawke's sigh was a surprise, as was the exasperated gaze he fixed Cullen with. "Apparently my intentions aren't as clear as I had hoped. I apologize, serah, if I cause offense."

Cullen's 'what?' was never voiced, as Hawke surged towards him. For one brief instant, Cullen was certain it was an attack, that it had all been an elaborate ruse by a mage-sympathizer to do him harm, but then Hawke's mouth crashed against his, Hawke's fingers twisted into his hair, and an attack was the farthest thing from Cullen's mind.

It had been years since he'd touched another person with desire; it was before even his ill-advised crush on the Warden he'd been sworn to kill, should it come to that. He'd traded awkward, hurried caresses with other recruits, had even braved a brothel once, only to leave almost as soon as he'd arrived. Even then, the thought of having a man had never entered his brain; he fantasized about lush curves, breasts to fill his palms and soft thighs to settle between.

To say that Hawke had none of those things was an understatement. He'd seen the man fight, could feel him against his body now, and there was nothing soft about him. Where before Cullen had sought yielding, now Hawke was demanding, kiss roughening as his tongue pressed against, then into Cullen's mouth. It was a heady feeling, the surrender to Hawke's aggression, and Cullen found himself gripping Hawke's shoulders before he'd even realized he was moving his hands, as though desperate to keep the man so close.

For a long moment, nothing mattered but the slide of Hawke's tongue against his own, the light scratch of Hawke's blunt nails against his scalp. It seemed endless, terrifying and heady, and it was with some resentment that he found them breaking apart for the sake of air. They both breathed heavily, as though they'd just run a race while kitted in full armor, and Hawke's fingers continued to stroke through Cullen's hair, doing nothing to abate the arousal that was sparking between them, heavy as an imminent lightning storm.

In the end, it was Hawke who pulled himself away first, his fingers sliding grudgingly from Cullen's hair as he reached for his mug, draining the last of the ale from it. "I won't blame you if you take your leave now," he said, the effort behind his light tone evident in the whiteness of his knuckles as his fingers clenched around the mug. "Never let it be said that I corrupted the unwilling."

"That is all?" Cullen found himself asking, wondering at the unfamiliar rasp in his voice. He swallowed the last of his own ale, then set the mug down with deceptive calm. "You think to leave it at that, something to be played off, no doubt chalked up to drink?" He frowned into his empty mug, anger growing with each moment he considered Hawke's bland expression. "I will not have that," he growled.

Practiced he might not be, but Cullen was a great believer in giving your all once you were committed to a path; it was but a moment's thought to catch Hawke's head between his hands, holding him still as he brought their mouths together again. His kiss was graceless, awkward and perfect, and when Hawke moaned softly and angled into it, Cullen thought that he could be no more content if he was brought to the Maker's side at that very moment. Hawke offered no resistance when Cullen's tongue brushed uncertainly against his lips, rather opened to him in a blatant invitation that a stronger man than Cullen wouldn't have been able to resist. Only when Cullen's answering groan vibrated between them did Hawke pull away, and then only enough to rest his forehead against Cullen's.

"Serah, I believe we have two options now," Hawke began, breathless and low. "We can take this upstairs, or we can order another drink and pretend this never happened." His lips touched briefly against Cullen's, even that slight contact enough to set them aflame. "I believe I have made my position clear; the decision is yours."

It would be so easy to take the path of least resistance, to order another drink, share some more idle chatter and leave for his lonely quarters. It was familiar, safe. He had no doubt that Hawke would be as good as his word, would move on as though he hadn't shaken Cullen's world to its foundation. In time, Cullen would forget the taste of Hawke's mouth, the feel of Hawke's fingers tugging at his hair. Things would be as they always had been, comfortable and rote.

Cullen suddenly couldn't imagine a worse fate.

It was madness that drove him, madness brought on by the touch of Hawke's skin against his own, even the brush of his breath against his cheek. Were Hawke a mage, Cullen would have suspected blood magic, but Hawke had no magic of his own, was hardly capable of making a Templar into his thrall. No, the spell Hawke cast was purely a figurative one, wrought of desire, singing of a life that Cullen had never known, might never know again. Opportunity had appeared before him, and the time had come to seize it.

"We go upstairs," Cullen murmured, wondering at the spinning in his head as the words dragged from his lips. "I am not willing to give you up yet."

Hawke's breath caught, then was expelled in a rush as he extricated himself from the tangle of limbs they had become. "Won't be but a moment," he promised, then slipped across the barroom to make arrangements with the barmaster. A few minutes later, for all that it felt like days to Cullen, Hawke returned with his fingers curled triumphantly around a large key and a grin the size of Orlais stretching his lips. "This is your last chance to change your mind," Hawke said, even as he reached for Cullen's hand to tug him to his feet. "I won't hold it against you if you decide it's too much."

Stiffening his back, Cullen frowned mightily and snatched the key from Hawke's hand. He turned with the precision of a parade guard and marched up the stairs, only hesitating when he realized that he didn't know which room was theirs.

It hit him then: theirs. Their room. The room he and Hawke would share. It was almost too much, too quickly, but then Hawke was beside him with a hand at the small of his back and none of his hesitations seemed to matter. He was, Maker willing, going to make love with this man, just the two of them in the room, no Templars, no apostates or questionable companions, just Cullen and Hawke. The rush of arousal at the thought was enough to make his knees weak.

"This one," Hawke breathed against his ear and Cullen obligingly fumbled the key into the lock, grateful when the door swung open and they spilled into the room. Barely had the door closed behind them than Hawke had pressed Cullen against it, his mouth finding Cullen's with an easy assurance and no small amount of eagerness.

This time, there was no audience to worry about, no other patrons to glance up and spot them, perhaps recognizing the Knight-Captain, perhaps simply watching the free show. This time, Cullen threaded his fingers into Hawke's short hair and pulled his head back, lips caressing Hawke's jawline before he licked down Hawke's throat. He was dimly aware of Hawke's hands at his hips but disregarded them until Hawke pulled them against his own. Cullen couldn't help the groan he muffled against Hawke's throat as their burgeoning erections pressed together, rubbing when Hawke arched his hips and ground against him.

"Maker," Hawke groaned, heartfelt and gut-wrenching against Cullen's hair. He rocked his hips again, rolling them in a slow thrust against Cullen's that had them both catching their breaths. "You've a lot of... promise." The huff of Hawke's chuckle stirred the short strands of Cullen's hair before he continued, "I believe it would be in our best interests to get you out of your clothes immediately."

Cullen pulled back to look at Hawke, studying his face. Though his eyes were bright with desire, they seemed somehow uncertain, belying the confident levity in his every word. Perhaps Cullen was imagining it, projecting it, simply to make himself feel better, but even that little sign of possible, perceived doubt reassured him. Hawke might have a reputation as a consummate flirt, but it was Cullen he'd chosen to pursue, and Cullen would bask in it while he could.

Only when Hawke's bright, lascivious grin dimmed slightly did Cullen realize that he'd been staring at the other man. Before Hawke could give voice to the questions building in his eyes, Cullen pushed him away, firmly, until he stood at arm's length. Questions gave way to something that looked a lot like grief-- until Cullen's fingers found the catches on his jacket and began to undo them. Grief was burned away by an almost incandescent delight, nearly blinding so that Cullen had to drop his gaze, overwhelmed. He instead watched his fingers on the catches, parting fabric until he could push it aside to reveal the soft tunic he wore beneath, even as he toed off his boots.

"Please," Hawke breathed then, and Cullen looked up to find him closing the distance he'd put between them, one hand lifted but paused just shy of touching Cullen's chest. "Let me."

There was no question in it, but Cullen nodded regardless, even as Hawke's fingers burrowed under the soft wool of his jacket to coax it from his shoulders. Cullen shrugged to aid its descent, unable to keep from shivering slightly as Hawke's hands coaxed it down his arms, until he was free of it. Hawke's hands lingered at his wrists, lightly stroking before closing around one, lifting it until he could place a heated kiss in Cullen's palm.

Had Cullen not been already incredibly aroused by Hawke's attention, that one kiss would have accomplished it. His palm tingled, almost unbearably so, and each brush of Hawke's lips against it seemed to be transmitted directly to his groin, as though 'twere other parts Hawke caressed. He gasped, swallowed a moan, and closed his eyes so as not to see Hawke rubbing his cheek against Cullen's palm like a pampered pet begging attention.

"Hawke," Cullen said after a moment, scarcely recognizing his own voice, "perhaps we should proceed with the clothes-removing part." He pressed his lips together between his teeth, struggling for a moment to find the proper words, and continued, "Else I am afraid that at least one of us shall have a very uncomfortable walk back."

Hawke chuckled but obligingly released Cullen's hand, instead reaching for the hem of his tunic and tugging. Cullen lifted his arms without hesitation, letting Hawke pull the tunic over his head and discard it with his jacket. No doubt both would be wrinkled messes, but Cullen was willing to bet that neither was willing to take the time to hang them properly, not when it meant having to forego the delicious contact of skin on skin.

Cullen sighed softly when Hawke splayed a hand on his chest, closing his eyes briefly again. "I had forgotten," he murmured, "what it was like, to touch someone like this, to be touched by someone like this. Were the night to end here, I would declare myself content." He opened his eyes at Hawke's caught breath, only to have them slide shut again when Hawke captured his mouth. His kiss was biting, almost violent until Hawke made a sound low in his throat and it abruptly gentled, turning into something timeless, endless. Cullen might never have come out of it, had Hawke not shoved himself away, hand still firmly planted against Cullen's chest as he put as much space between them as he could without losing that small contact.

"Do not tempt me so," Hawke said, his voice velvet over gravel. Cullen opened his eyes to find Hawke's nearly black, only a thin sliver of iris visible around his blown pupils. He touched Hawke's cheek wonderingly, only to have Hawke seize his fingers and pull them away. "I will spoil you. I'll touch you until you beg me to stop."

"I will not beg," Cullen vowed softly as he flexed his fingers in Hawke's grip. "It will never be enough: not tonight, not in a hundred nights. You are able to touch me in ways that no one ever has."

"You really must stop saying such things," Hawke all but whispered, his gaze fixing on Cullen's lips as though he would die were he not to kiss him again. Cullen met him halfway, their mouthing slanting against each other's with a perfection that Cullen had never known existed. One kiss bled into two, into three, into half a dozen, until Hawke released Cullen's hand to instead grip his waist, his palm almost burning against Cullen's bare skin. His thumb rubbed over the thrust of Cullen's hipbone, sliding beneath the fine wool of Cullen's trousers to stroke lower yet.

Cullen groaned softly into Hawke's mouth, angling his hips toward Hawke's caress. Hawke's other hand still rested against his chest and Cullen curled his fingers over it, pulling it away until he could lace their fingers together. Hawke's fingers were smooth against his, the fingers of the rogue he was, and Cullen delighted in the simple tangle of digits. Judging from the twitch of Hawke's fingers against his, he was not alone in his appreciation, and the knowledge was a heady rush that left him aching for even more.

"Hawke," Cullen pulled back enough to say, "perhaps you could-- that is, you seem overdressed." He plucked at the shoulder of Hawke's tunic in emphasis, a grin that felt embarrassingly shy curling his lips.

"I'd have to stop touching you," Hawke pointed out, even as his thumb followed the line of Cullen's hipbone beneath his trousers again.

"A sacrifice necessary for the greater good." Cullen released Hawke's hand, both of his moving to the hem of Hawke's tunic and curling in the fabric there. "I am willing to make it."

Hawke's laugh was a delight, as was the quick kiss he pressed to the corner of Cullen's mouth before his hands joined Cullen's on his tunic, lifting it over his head and discarding it in a single smooth rush. Bare-chested to match Cullen now, he stepped into Cullen's larger frame and slid his arms around Cullen's waist, pressing an open-mouthed kiss against the pulse leaping at his throat. "Was it worth it?"

"That and more," Cullen murmured, his hands anchoring at the sharp points of Hawke's shoulder blades. He sighed softly into Hawke's hair, lips finding the curves of Hawke's ear and following them to his jaw, then across his cheek, slight stubble rough and deliciously unfamiliar against his lips. "Should we perhaps take this farther than the door?"

"You raise a valid point." Hawke turned his head to brush his lips against Cullen's again, the contact sweet, almost chaste. He pulled back after a moment to meet Cullen's eyes, one hand lifting to cup Cullen's cheek. "Where would you like this to go?"

Cullen closed his eyes, rubbing his cheek against Hawke's palm as he considered. He'd thought his decision made when he'd agreed to accompany Hawke upstairs, but perhaps it was not as simple as he'd thought. He stilled, absorbing the heat of Hawke's skin against his. Was that enough? It was soothing, a balm to something he hadn't truly realized he'd been missing, but at the same time it was a tease of something so much larger. "I would like," Cullen began, but his tongue stilled when he opened his eyes to find Hawke watching him with an expression both hopeful and wretched. He wondered if Hawke realized how much his face gave away as brushed his fingers over Hawke's chin, pausing at the corner of his expressive mouth. "I would like for this to go where it will."

Hawke's smile curved against Cullen's fingers, bright and unfettered, and Cullen traced its line with something like wonder tightening his chest, a tightness that spread when Hawke's lips parted to close around Cullen's first two fingers. Hawke's lashes fluttered and swept down to mask the shine of his eyes as his tongue teased Cullen's sensitive fingertips and his teeth scraped lightly over Cullen's skin. He slid his mouth further down Cullen's fingers and began to suck with every evidence of delight, his own hand curling loosely around Cullen's wrist as though afraid that Cullen might make an effort to extricate himself.

Cullen stared at where his fingers disappeared past Hawke's lips, unable to help the twitch of his captured digits. He groaned softly, barely a hint of sound, but it was enough to have Hawke's eyes opening again to meet his, his gaze almost as hot as the inferno of his mouth. Cullen caught his breath and pulled his fingers from their captivity, barely stopping himself before replacing them with his tongue. Instead, he placed both hands on Hawke's chest and pushed firmly, not stopping until they were an arm's length from the bed and all that it promised.

It was a struggle, but at last Cullen managed to remove his hands from Hawke's skin, letting them fall to his side for a brief moment before they lifted again to settle at the closures of his trousers. He caught Hawke's eyes, gaze holding firmly as he loosened and lowered his trousers and smallclothes both, stepping carefully out of them and leaving them where they lay. As carefully, he reached for Hawke's hand, drawing it to him and splaying it against his belly. His muscles jerked helplessly under the renewed contact, attracting Hawke's gaze, and Cullen exhaled slowly to keep from rubbing against Hawke's palm. "Please, serah," Cullen murmured as his fingers stroked the back of Hawke's hand. "I do not know how to make my desires any more plain."

"Nothing about you is plain," Hawke said as he lifted his gaze to Cullen's once more. "You're extraordinary." He pressed against Cullen's belly, his fingers tracing the lines of Cullen's defined abdominal muscles. "I do not know how I came to be so lucky, that no one else has snapped you up yet."

"I have not wished to be caught in quite some time." Cullen's muscles tightened reflexively under Hawke's fingers, hitching with his breath as Hawke continued to stroke. "I do not know what you see in me," he added a moment later, lifting his fingers to cup Hawke's cheek. "I am not as remarkable as you seem to think."

Hawke frowned, fingers stilling as he considered Cullen's expression. "You are serious," he said at last, then shook his head. "You and I shall have a long discussion about this at a later date. For the moment, I can only ask you to trust me." His hand slid from Cullen's belly, around his hip to grip Cullen's backside, applying just enough pressure to coax Cullen closer to his body without quite putting them in contact. "I assure you, you have plenty to offer."

The tease of contact against the jut of his cock was maddening. Cullen inhaled sharply, unable to keep from flexing against Hawke's grip as he struggled not to lean into him and rut like a mindless animal. It was long moments before he realized he'd closed his eyes, and he opened them to find Hawke grinning crookedly, as though he fully understood Cullen's plight and found no small amount of amusement in it. Cullen licked his lips, imagined he was instead licking the curve from Hawke's mouth, then closed the slight distance left between them and pressed himself against Hawke from knees to neck. The fabric of Hawke's trousers, fine as it was, was still a torment against Cullen's sensitive shaft, and he exhaled shakily as he angled his hips against that contact.

Hawke's soft moan was perhaps the most erotic thing Cullen had ever heard, and he reveled in it, rocking his hips again against Hawke's to draw it forth again. Confined within Hawke's trousers, Hawke's erection was nearly the equal to Cullen's, thrusting against the restricting fabric with an insistence that Cullen thought might he bordering on painful. Burying his face in Hawke's hair, he breathed in the scents of Hawke and slid a hand between them to cup it over that turgid flesh, molding his palm to it and stroking slowly.

"You're trying to kill me," Hawke complained breathlessly against his ear, even as he rocked onto his toes in an effort to press more firmly against Cullen's hand. "It's working," he added a moment later, then tilted his head back to shake Cullen loose from his hair. "I believe that I shall have to change my opinion of you as a tease."

Cullen chuckled softly, pecking a brief kiss against Hawke's lips. "Trousers off, then?" Grinning, he suited word to deed. fingers unhesitatingly finding the fastenings of Hawke's trousers and loosening them enough for him to slip his hand inside, questing beneath trousers and smallclothes to find the firm heat of Hawke's cock and curl his fingers around it. He took Hawke's caught breath as encouragement and squeezed, a slow press of his fingers, then stroked, just once, from base to tip. It felt alien in his hand, completely unlike anything he'd experienced before, and he delighted in its unfamiliarity, much as he delighted in Hawke's high whine and the helpless thrust of his hips.

"Cullen," Hawke said, his face turned to Cullen but his bright eyes shut. "Maker's balls, Cullen, please do that again." His shaft throbbed within Cullen's grip, hot as a brand. "I will beg, if you would like."

"I do not want to see you beg," Cullen murmured as he brushed his mouth over Hawke's cheeks. "Only... tell me what you want; I am at something of a loss, here." He rubbed his cheek sheepishly against Hawke's, letting his own eyes drift closed.

Hawke exhaled noisily through his nose, a hard expulsion of air that seemed to drain him to his toes, judging by the way he sagged against Cullen. "I want you to stroke me off," he said with deliberate enunciation, head turned so that each word was addressed directly into Cullen's ear. "I want to come in your hand, and then I want you to fuck me." Hawke's hand lifted, slid between them, curled around Cullen's shaft, almost too tightly. "I want to hear the sounds you make when you come inside of me." He stroked roughly over Cullen's cock, even as he sighed. "I know that won't happen tonight. Realistically, I'll settle for your coming in my mouth, this time, and next time I'll plan better."

"Next time," Cullen repeated helplessly, doubting he could grow any harder than he was at that exact moment. It was all so much, the feel of Hawke's fingers around his shaft, the feel of his around Hawke's, the slight rasp of Hawke's trousers against his thighs, even Hawke's breath as it stirred the fine hairs before his ear. He inhaled shakily, then caught his breath as he hooked his fingers under Hawke's waistband, pulling trousers and smallclothes down in a single motion until they caught on Hawke's boots. It was a momentary tangle to navigate the removal of clothes and boots both, but at last Hawke could step out of them, leaving them discarded with Cullen's. "You can still... in my hand, can't you?"

Hawke's laugh was a bit thready, ending with a sharp sound when Cullen's fingers found his cock again. "I am at your command, Knight-Captain," he said, his own arms lifting to wrap around Cullen's neck, as sweet as any damsel. "Have me as you will, and I shall be content."

Cullen hummed, a long sound echoed in the slow slide of his fingers from root to tip. "I do not want you merely content." He pumped his hand again, growing more certain of himself when Hawke gasped and rocked onto his toes. He added a twist to the next stroke, a hint of nails, anything he could think of to bring that whine back into Hawke's breathing. Soon, he was pumping in earnest, keeping Hawke close with his other arm around his waist as Hawke thrust reflexively against him, his fingers twisted into Cullen's hair with helpless abandon.

"Cullen," Hawke breathed at last, then, more loudly, "Cullen." He rocked onto his toes again, burying his face in Cullen's hair as he thrust his hips once in a broken stutter, then again, then came messily over Cullen's fingers with an unfettered groan. He shook against Cullen like a leaf in a windstorm, hanging onto Cullen's neck as though it was the only thing keeping him upright. Only after some long moments had passed did Hawke release his stranglehold. leaning back to look between them. "I've made a mess of you," he said softly, the corners of his mouth lifting to belie his contrite tone. "Here, let me."

Despite his earlier words, Cullen had never expected to find Hawke on his knees before him, but Hawke was descending to the floor with boneless grace. He caught himself on his knees, steadying himself with his hands on Cullen's backside, and leaned in to run his tongue roughly over the fluid smeared on Cullen's belly. It was filthy, made all the moreso by Hawke's wanton noises, but Cullen couldn't bring himself to stage a protest. He made it so far as to curl his fingers in Hawke's short hair, but every intention he had of pushing Hawke away was forgotten when Hawke swirled his tongue around Cullen's navel before moving on to place a line of sucking kisses down his lower belly.

Cullen couldn't help the groan that bubbled from his throat when Hawke closed his lips around the tip of Cullen's erection, couldn't help the spasm of his fingers in Hawke's hair or the short, aborted thrust of his hips. "Hawke," he managed, only to nearly come undone when Hawke hummed a question around his mouthful. Cullen couldn't control his thrust that time, burying himself in Hawke's mouth in a long, glorious slide. He hunched over, shoulders tensing as he hung his head, his buttocks flexing spasmodically in Hawke's grip as he fought the ongoing urge to hold Hawke's head still and simply violate his mouth until the almost-nauseating tension released.

Hawke must have had an inkling as to his thoughts; perhaps his obviously-greater experience had left him with a better understanding of what men thought during lovemaking. He moved one hand from Cullen's backside, bringing it to Cullen's where they still twisted in his hair. He tangled his fingers briefly with Cullen's, then pressed, their combined pressure pushing Hawke's mouth even farther down Cullen's cock until it seemed that there was no physical way he could take more. Hawke pulled next, his head following the motion until only the head of Cullen's erection was left in Hawke's mouth, the crown just caught behind Hawke's lips. Hawke dropped his hand then, curling it around his own renewed erection and beginning to pull with another soft moan.

Cullen tightened his fingers in Hawke's hair at the sound, pulling slowly, almost experimentally as his hips flexed to meet his hands halfway. When Hawke moved without resistance, Cullen reversed the motion, shivering at the touch of the air to his spit-slicked shaft. He pulled Hawke back harder than he'd intended, but Hawke only moaned again, the sound shivering at the base of his spine. After that, Cullen could no more stop than he could draw the stars from the sky; the suction of Hawke's mouth was too much, so much more than he'd ever known. and it wasn't long before he was spilling himself in Hawke's mouth, shuddering like a newborn foal as Hawke's clever mouth milked every last drop from him. Only iron will kept him upright when his knees threatened to give way, his precarious balance maintained only by the clench of his fingers in Hawke's hair.

It was some moments before he realized that Hawke's hand was still moving, jerking at his cock in a manner that appeared more painful than arousing. Cullen sucked in a breath and let his knees give way, folding down to join Hawke on the floor. He closed his hand over Hawke's, stilling it. "Here, let me," he said, smiling faintly at the echo of Hawke's earlier words. Hawke's cock in his hand was still alien, but Cullen couldn't help but think as he began to stroke again that he wouldn't object to it becoming familiar in time. He was already fond of Hawke, probably more than was advisable, but, he thought as he leaned in to take Hawke's mouth, tasting himself heavy on Hawke's tongue, there was so much he had yet to learn about him. Hawke had all but promised a next time, and Cullen had little doubt that he would be accepting that invitation when it came.

He hadn't realized that his hand had stilled while he woolgathered until Hawke made a soft sound of complaint into his mouth and lifted his hips insistently against Cullen's grip. Breaking their kiss, Cullen leaned his forehead against Hawke's, eyes lowered to watch as he began to stroke again. It didn't take much before Hawke was arching, shuddering against Cullen as his cock spurted between them. Seeing it happen was an epiphany for Cullen, and he greedily absorbed it until Hawke shifted and angled his mouth over Cullen's again, driving away all other thoughts.

"Cullen," Hawke said against his mouth after long moments of devouring each other, "say that you will join me for dinner. Mother would adore you, and then she might stop making noises about marrying me off." He grinned, the curve stretching against Cullen's lips until Cullen couldn't help but answer with a smile of his own. "Please say that you will come."

It was a bad idea, one of the worst he'd ever heard. He should decline it, find his pants, and make his exit post-haste, not looking back. Hawke was a risk, a liability, not something that Cullen was willing to see broken on his account (and when had that happened). "I'd be honored," he said instead, all that was unsaid lying bitter on his tongue. "Your mother sounds like a remarkable woman, to give up so much for love."

Hawke's expression was soft, his smile a fond line as he brought a hand to Cullen's cheek, palm warm against his skin. "She is," he agreed, even as he leaned in to brush his mouth once more over Cullen's, almost chastely. "I didn't understand why she did it until quite recently. It's amazing what one will do, when it comes to love."

Cullen's ears were burning, and his cheek under Hawke's hand felt too hot, fever-hot, as though liable to burst into flames at any moment. "Yes, it is," he managed, then had to turn away from Hawke's expression, too much of a coward to see what it held. "I should... I have duties in the morning, I should go."

Hawke's silence was opaque, heavy with something unsaid, something Cullen wasn't ready to hear. "Of course," Hawke said at last. It was he who levered himself to his feet first, who extended a hand in aid to Cullen. "I would hate to keep you from your duties." He tugged Cullen up with a soft grunt, releasing his hand as soon as Cullen was on his feet. "I'll contact you about dinner, alright?"

Cullen nodded, even as he hunted for his discarded clothing. It wasn't until he'd pulled on his pants and gathered his tunic that he realized that Hawke was not dressing as well, but rather had moved to sit at the edge of the bed, still nude.

At Cullen's look, Hawke smiled wryly. "I booked the room for the night," he explained, his eyes flickering away from Cullen's. "I might as well get my money's worth out of it, right?" He chuckled to himself, looking at his hands as they flexed in his lap. "It's no different, really. An empty bed here, an empty bed at home."

Cullen wondered at the sick feeling twisting in his guts. Surely it was what drove him to say, "I'll expect dinner to be an all-night affair, if you'll have it." He could feel the flush rising in his cheeks and fought it down with great effort, though he was unable to help the faint smile when Hawke's eyes found his again. "I'll make the necessary arrangements."

Hawke's smile was a glorious thing, and Cullen couldn't help but match it. He pulled his tunic over his head, then shrugged into his jacket, forgoing his boots for the moment to cross the room to where Hawke sat and cup his face in his hands. "Thank you, serah, for the pleasant evening. I greatly enjoyed your company." He smiled again, letting his hands fall before he did something stupid like kiss the man again, though his lips were tingling with the denied contact. He stamped on his boots, moved to the door, and paused with his hand on the handle, looking down at the smooth metal rather than at Hawke; leaving was proving hard enough without the temptation of the other man before him. "I shall anticipate your invitation," he said, and then he was out the door, shutting it firmly behind himself before hurrying down the hall. He could imagine Hawke still in that room, clad only in his skin and a smile, wanting nothing more than to please Cullen. It nearly drew a groan from him before he caught himself; whatever had happened in that room stayed in that room, and it would be in his beat interest to keep it that way, despite his words to Hawke about the duration of his dinner visit. Perhaps Hawke wouldn't mind staying up all night to discuss philosophy instead. Perhaps Hawke's mother would want to entertain them until well into the night. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

Cullen didn't remember much of his return to the Templar Hall, barely realized it when he shut the door to his quarters behind him. He could still imagine Hawke in the room he'd left behind, no doubt curled in the bedclothes now, perhaps already asleep and dreaming. Cullen would do well to do the same. It was but a moment's work to divest himself of his clothes again, and then he was crawling beneath his own sheets, stretching out on his back and closing his eyes. In the darkness behind his lids, he couldn't help but remember the way that Hawke had touched him, the way he'd responded, as wanton as any whore, and shame warred with remembered desire. Hawke had awoken a side of him that he hadn't known existed, a side that wanted to stay with Hawke in that rented room, to wake next to him, to touch him again until the world fell away.

Groaning, Cullen rolled onto his side, drawing his knees up until he was curled into a tight ball. He pushed away his thoughts of Hawke, pushed away the memory of his touch, his laugh, his smile, until all that remained was his duty. The time would come to worry about Hawke, but it wasn't then. He was first and foremost a Knight-Captain of the Templars, and it would serve him well to remember that.

If his sleep, when it came, was filled with half-realized dream of soft touches and even softer smiles, well, he was still a man.