Dorian recognized the Fade immediately upon entering it, as any self-respecting mage should.
He’d gone to sleep some hours ago, after all, as was customary when the skies drained of their sunset watercolors and blackness swallowed Thedas whole. And though Dorian wasn’t usually much of a rule-follower, he did cherish his beauty sleep.
To its credit, this section of the Fade had made a valiant attempt at replicating the sort of decadent suite Dorian might expect to see in Tevinter or Orlais. Ignoring the fact that it was essentially a farce, Dorian strode further into the suite to admire it. Ornate moulded wall paneling, dark mahogany wooden floors covered partially by a dark red patterned rug, a low fire crackling in the hearth at the rightmost wall and casting flickering light about the room. There was a velveteen settee and two high-back chairs in the corner, accompanied by a coffee table with a stack of leather-bound tomes on its polished surface…and directly in front of him was a four-poster bed, complete with silken covers and pillows in black and crimson with touches of glimmering golden embroidery.
The work of a Desire demon, no doubt. No Pride or Fear or Rage demon—or any of the others—would go through the trouble of painstakingly combing Dorian’s mind for familiarity and reconstructing a setting so meticulously. The creature, hidden though it was, must have already deduced that Dorian would have turned his nose up at something overly plebeian.
I wonder which form it might take this time, Dorian mused to himself, traversing over to the bed to feel the soft, plush covers under his palm. A bit of variety might be fun. The last couple had been human and brunette: a common thing in the east of Tevinter.
They always took male forms—Dorian would’ve been nothing but deeply amused if one had attempted a female form. Women were perfectly lovely creatures, to be fair, all smooth skin and bright eyes and soft curves…but they didn’t stir his insides the same way.
No, typically they appeared as the sorts of men he’d seen and had dalliances with back home in Tevinter; human, often. A few had taken on the convincing appearance of an elven whore, likely after discovering the scant memories of elven whorehouses Dorian had visited before he’d left. One had even tried a hulking Qunari form, although the moment it mentioned the Qun, Dorian had been put off.
Not that he could ever do anything with these demons, regardless of personal intrigue. Demons did not give freely without expecting something in return, and Dorian wasn’t terribly inclined to become a Desire demon’s drooling vegetable of a pet anytime soon.
So long as the form it attempted wasn’t—
A flicker of magic brushed against his senses, feather-light, tendrils of allure twining their invisible way around him. He smelled faint touches of incense in the air, sandalwood and bergamot.
The demon was going in for the kill.
Despite his curiosity over which form the demon would try, Dorian didn’t look its way just yet. Waiting made the surprise all the more enjoyable, and he fully intended to at least ogle the demon for a little while before parting ways with it.
“Aren’t you going to look at me, Dorian?” said the demon.
That voice—deeper than usual, smoother, devoid of its typical cheery singsong cadence, but still completely unmistakable.
Dorian lifted his head and turned to look.
This demon must have been an exceptionally clever one. Dorian recognized the lithe yet muscular elven body in the quick flash of a second. Tight black breeches hugged long, just about perfect legs, emphasizing the slight swells of thigh muscle and calves. The deep blue tunic wasn’t loose enough to hide the trim waistline and slender, toned musculature, although it was long enough to cover what Dorian might have happily ogled first. By the time his eyes reached the face—wavy hair the color of newfallen snow, almond-shaped eyes as blue as a glacier, blue vallaslin lines sweeping over caramel skin—his own face had already begun to flush and his skin to burn.
He’d been thinking almost nonstop of Finn Lavellan since he’d met the elf months ago. And the demon seemed to have every intention of exploiting that.
“That’s very clever of you,” Dorian said dryly. “Bravo. Alas, I would prefer to sleep peacefully and not take part in your shenanigans.”
“You know you can’t sleep peacefully with me around,” the demon said, and the elf stepped closer, blue eyes heavy-lidded. He’d never heard Finn’s voice go so low as it was now—probably because the Dalish elf wasn’t exactly prone to seducing people—but with its touches of Starkhaven accent, the way his tongue rolled over each word, it was…sinful.
And the demon was right, too, blasted thing.
It had been attraction, at first, ever since the elven mage had walked up to him in Redcliffe’s Chantry. A sort of carnal urge to feel body against body, flesh against flesh; Dorian was no stranger to rutting like an animal.
But he’d refrained from seducing him, difficult as that was. Finn had too good of a heart, too much of an obvious propensity for falling hard and never letting go unless his heart was forcefully broken. And maybe Dorian wanted that sort of falling hard thing too, deep down, but a surprise bout of nervousness had always struck him at the thought.
So he’d done nothing, in the grand scheme of things. Flirted, certainly. Watched Finn move about, of course—the elf joked that he was clumsy, but in battle he had more grace than flowing water. Lost a lot of nights to tossing and turning and thinking about him, naturally.
This, though…fasta vaas.
“Off with you,” he told the elf-shaped demon, adding in a dismissive jerk of the hand for good measure. “I’m more than familiar with your games and there’s nothing I intend to give you.”
The demon only smiled instead, Finn’s cheeky half-smile, and it wore it like a badge of honor. The elf stepped closer again; Dorian didn’t move away. Couldn’t.
“Why?” Desire asked. “I’m not doing anything wrong, standing here.”
No, technically not, but maybe it was wrong to be as Maker-damned enticing as Finn naturally was, wrong to evoke so many wicked things in Dorian’s mind and body without even trying.
He shook his head, cursing himself silently under his breath. It had been unfair of him to think that; none of it was Finn’s fault.
“I suppose you can stand there, then,” Dorian acquiesced with a sigh. And torment me with the sight of you.
“Is that all?” The elf crossed toned, tattooed arms over his chest.
It should’ve been simple enough to say yes, thank you, that will be all, and yet Dorian…couldn’t. In a heartbeat he’d given up a bit to temptation and allowed the demon to stand there, willed it to do so, and now it was trying to sink its metaphorical claws deeper into his psyche.
He wrestled with himself for a moment, with his own already dubious morality. Maker only knew how many times he’d gotten himself painfully hard at night just thinking about the lean, athletic lines of Finn’s body. And Desire had replicated the elf’s long-legged form flawlessly without Finn even standing there for reference.
Would it really be all that bad to give in a little more? Touch him? Perhaps it would satisfy some of the more intense cravings he’d been having as of late. If Finn somehow found out about this, Dorian would ask forgiveness for his own moment of weakness…but surely there was no harm in indulging himself with a creature that had no concept of shame.
“No, I suppose not,” Dorian said in answer, forcing the words out before the little voice of reason in the back of his head stopped him.
He wasn’t a staunch Andrastian, only a believer that a Maker existed somewhere out there in the wild blue yonder. He’d probably already desecrated half of the rooms in Tevinter during his wilder years. He was smart enough to catch when a demon was about to attempt possession, and skilled enough to force it away or kill it entirely.
The demon in the elf’s body watched him with eyes like pools of fresh mountain water, clearly waiting for him to commit to a course, although it looked impatient about the delay.
To the void with it.
“Step closer, damn you,” Dorian growled, sinking back and sitting on the edge of the bed.
The elf grinned, flashing a line of white teeth, and came closer to him, standing only just a foot from where Dorian sat.
Slow. Dorian often took things of the physical persuasion too quickly—something he recognized in himself, at least—and so he’d make himself slow down. He had the sinking feeling he’d lose all willpower and control if he let himself. And he was just going to do a little touching—nothing more than that.
He made his hands curl around the back of the elf’s—demon’s—knees instead. Brushed his fingers upwards, towards the backs of his thighs. He watched his hands move as if they did so of their own volition, saw his palms skim up the backs of Finn’s thighs and felt them grip just slightly.
His legs were muscular, no doubt about that. Finn was too athletic to be anything less than well-built like a rogue.
Dorian’s breathing came much less steadily now, his heart starting to crash around in his chest. This wasn’t just anyone whose body he was currently groping; this was Finn. And maybe the Dalish mage meant so much more to him than he’d ever admit, and maybe that was why he’d denied himself the thought of sex with him for so long. Because having a one night stand with an attractive stranger was one thing, but committing himself to going after Finn was a whole ‘nother.
He sucked in a breath, one hand dragging upwards to cup Finn’s rear.
The muscle was evident there beneath his flesh, too, when Dorian kneaded his fingers slightly. Standing patiently still, the elf wove slender fingers through Dorian’s ebony hair, palms chilled from the ice magic he used so often and so effortlessly.
Stupidly enough, he hadn’t expected his buttocks to feel this nice in his hand. He pulled his lower lip between his teeth, biting down on it a little, and moved his hand from the slope of the elf’s rear to his hipbone, dragging the tunic’s dark blue fabric up as he went.
“You’ve wanted this for a while, haven’t you?” the demon said, wearing Finn’s voice like a cloak.
“Kind of you to point that out,” Dorian said bitterly.
It wasn't something that Finn would have said in real life, the real Finn. The Dalish mage didn't like to drag desires and unpleasantries out into the open like that; he seemed to be purely dedicated to saying things of the more optimistic persuasion, usually. But in the interest of continuing the current Fade scandal he was involved in, Dorian let the inaccuracy slide.
Giving in to his own impatience, he grabbed the elf’s hips with both hands and yanked him forward. Then he thumped his forehead against Finn’s stomach, closing his eyes and breathing shakily for a moment.
Finn smelled like pine and fresh ice and mountain air. It was such a real scent, and so very Finn-like, that Dorian nearly lost track of who—what—was actually standing in front of him.
Cool fingers played with Dorian’s hair, stroking it, grabbing lazy fistfuls and pulling slightly every so often. He’d always wondered what those hands would feel like in his hair…amongst many other things.
Alright, fine, his thoughts didn’t usually stay so mild. Many of them involved wondering how it would feel to bury himself up to the hilt inside him and hammer him into a mattress. He wondered how the elf would feel in his arms, too, wondered what it would be like to have those beautiful blue eyes swirl dark with lust and pleasure when they held Dorian’s own gaze.
He lifted his head and tugged on the dark blue tunic, dragging it up; the elf—demon, damn it—yanked it off the rest of the way and tossed it.
Dorian didn’t waste time, letting his hands roam the newly exposed skin, bumping over the map of fading scars on Finn’s stomach. From a bear attack, he knew; if the demon had even included these scars, it was no doubt trying to be anatomically exact.
Heat flushed through Dorian’s body at that thought and the implications that went with it, pooling in his groin.
Anyone who said elves were nothing but scrawny bags of bones was a complete imbecile and had probably never felt slender elven legs crushed around their waist. Dorian slid his hands up smooth, golden-tanned skin, feeling toned pectorals and traveling back down the slim, minor slope of his waistline. Vallaslin the color of the Nocen Sea in daylight swept in beautifully drawn lines around his chest and down his stomach, clearly venturing farther downward even though the breeches’ waistband obscured their path.
He released a shuddering sigh and leaned forward, pressing a slow kiss against Finn’s stomach, his twitching hand returning itself to the elf’s hip and then sliding decisively inward.
You said you’d only touch him, he reminded himself. That was it.
The fabric of the breeches didn’t do much to disguise the stiff hardness of cock now cupped in his palm; Dorian couldn’t bite back the resulting soft groan.
You promised yourself, he thought.
There was nothing he wanted more right now than to break every rule he’d imposed on himself, toss his moral obligations against a wall hard enough to shatter them in pieces.
He hooked his fingers beneath the waistband, two on each side, and dragged it down an inch.