It was quite late in the evening. The sun was just setting, painting the sky with light pinks and oranges. It was serene; the Tower was quiet and everybody inside were settling down.
Cullen was in the library, one of the few Templars watching over the mages there. Though it wasn't those mages he that was concentrating on. She was there in the corner, sitting with her legs up on another chair, reading a small book while another mage, Jowan he thought his name was, was whispering intently to her. She was grinning the whole time. She looked up and stared straight at him with those deep blue eyes. He felt like he could drown in them. She winked at him, causing him to shift uncomfortably, staring at the floor. He really hated her when she did that, teasing him was her favourite pass time. But he couldn't help but love it at the same time.
This will not end well, he thought to himself.
"He's doing it again, look!" whispered Jowan nervously.
"I know", Raelyn said calmly, staring intently at her book.
Cullen always did that, staring at her with those puppy eyes, ever since he came here to the Tower as a young Templar recruit to watch over the mages. But that was quite a few years ago now, though. He doesn't even seem to realise he does it. Ralyn's favourite part is his reaction when she looks back at him. He usually looks like he wants to run away and hide, which she adores, but there's that split second just before that happens, that short moment when his eyes meet hers, full of regret and want, knowing that he could never even touch her. That took a lot of the fun out of it, though the thought of being desired by someone who supposed to not like her was quite amusing. They were friends, in a sense. At least, she didn't mind talking to him, and vice versa. Even though he was a bit awkward sometimes. And he stammered. He stammered a lot. It was kind of cute though.
Raelyn looked up, Jowan still complaining in her ear, and stared straight at Cullen, into those sad, golden eyes. He looked back for a second, before realising what he was doing and immediately looked down at the ground. Raelyn grinned.
"You really need to stop that", Jowan warned angrily. "You'll get us into a lot of trouble."
"Oh please Jowan, you're just jealous that I actually have someone interested in me. Unlike you, who not even the ugliest Apprentice would want to hang around", she said with a smirk.
"Oh ha, very funny. You have most of the male mages after you and now this. You know, the Templars are already not fond of us, with the trouble we get into, and now you're encouraging one to fall in love with you, this can only end badly", he said, shaking his head.
"They don't notice. They're too busy concentrating on other things. Besides, I need something to do in my spare time" Raelyn said, her eyes twinkling with mischief.
"You are a very bad person, Raelyn." Jowan said, chuckling.
What am I doing? Cullen thought to himself, as he was walking down the hallway of the Apprentice's quarters. The mages were having evening mass and Raelyn wasn't there. He was off duty and needed some company. His troubled mind was driving him crazy.
He had to kill someone today. A young mage boy, about 15, who had turned to blood magic. He was an apostate who they only captured this morning. They almost reached the docks and it happened so quickly.
Fool, he should have just let us take him.
Instead, he called his demons. They lost two Templars. Both had families.
Raelyn's harrowing was in two days, and he was one of the Templars overseeing it. In fact, he was the one who is supposed to kill her if she failed and came back possessed by a demon. It made him sick just thinking about it.
He wasn't wearing his armour, just a normal shirt and trousers. The nightmares of the day were haunting him constantly. He hoped there weren't any other Templars around to catch him away from his quarters. He walked to a small balcony overlooking the lake. He knew it was wrong, having such strong feeling for a mage of all people. He was torn between his duty and his growing obsession for her. And he wasn't even sure if she felt the same. She would talk to him, making him laugh and happy. But she always teased him and flirted with him, which frustrated him so much he just wanted to pin her to wall and…
What was happening to him?
He stood there on the balcony, sulking.
Raelyn walked up to the Templar. She wasn't expecting him to be out here this late; then again, she wasn't supposed to be out here either, missing evening mass and all. It was only a matter of time until another Templar would find them and order them to go back.
Cullen turned around in surprise. He looked at her solemnly, and then took in her short blue nightgown, which caused him to lower his blushing face and mumble an awkward "Hello".
She went and stood next to him, causing him to shift uncomfortably. She stared out at the lake.
"So, not in the mood for the Maker either, huh?" she asked. She actually half expected him to order her back to her down. Instead he replied.
"Um…yea, uh… troubling… thoughts". He was making a very big effort not to look at her.
She sighed and stared back at the lake.
"Come on Cullen, this isn't like you. Talk to me." She said with a smile. "There's no one here. Just us and--"
"I killed a mage today…" he said quietly.
"I heard. Messy business… He was just scared a kid", she said, suddenly annoyed.
"I had no other choice", Cullen said, his voice hardening.
"Yeah, I bet you didn't".
"What is that supposed to mean?" He said straitening and looking directly at her face.
She stared straight back. "It means, that none of you probably even tried talking and calming him down", her voice hardening as well.
"You can't expect me to believe that a monster like that would have listened if we tried to say anything".
"Monster? He was child!"
"He killed two Templars! What were we supposed to do!?"
"Maybe if you didn't—"
"No! You have no idea what it's like! To live with all of this. This constant danger! The constant threat of having a hundreds of people around you who could turn into a raging monster any minute!" He stood there, as he realised what he just said.
"Monsters, huh?" she asked in a dangerously low voice "So you're coward, is that it?"
He saw the fury burning in her eyes. Before he could answer though, she turned and walked away, back to her room.
What had he done?
He didn't mean anything he just said. At least not about her. Without thinking, he ran after her. He caught her just as she opened the door to her room.
"Raelyn wait—"He put his hands on her shoulders to turn her around.
"Get off!" She snapped back. She shrugged off his hands and went inside, slamming the door in his face. He heard footsteps coming from around the corner. Two Templars.
He put his hand on the door handle, praying it wasn't locked. It opened and he slipped in.
"What are you--?" Raelyn said as she saw him, but he grabbed her and pushed her up against the cold stone wall. Hand over her mouth; he placed the finger of his other hand on his lips, indicating to the Templars outside. She nodded slowly, lowering his hand with her own.
They stood there, silently staring at each other. The Templars had passed but he wasn't concentrating on them anymore. His mind was buzzing. He couldn't stop staring at her eyes. He didn't know what to do.
He stroked her bottom lip with his thumb. Her eyes widened. Then she kissed him, quick and small. She pulled back, unsure of how he would react. Then he kissed her back. His was more intense and full of hunger. Neither of them pulled back. He was so close to her, crushing her to his warm body. After years of longing and desire. He was pushed her back against the wall, one hand on her waist, the other holding her thigh. He kissed her lips, her cheek and down her neck. Her arms were around his neck, her hand in his hair. She pushed him back for a moment. They both took in each other's flushed looks. Then Raelyn took his hand, smirking, and led him to her bed. They stood in front of the bed, kissing each other passionately. She slipped her hands under his shirt and they stopped kissing momentarily while she undressed him. He undid her nightgown, leaving her exposed. As soon as it was off, he kissed her so hard she fell backwards onto the bed, Cullen crawling over her until his face was directly over hers. He kissed her long and passionately. Raelyn wrapped her legs around his waist, smiling while he kissed her neck. She ran her fingernails down his back as he kissed the swirling tattoos on her chest and stomach. She rolled him over and sat on top of him. She bent forward and started kissing his neck and chest, while Cullen ran his hands all over her body. When they stopped, they were both hot and breathing heavily. Cullen wrapped his arms around Raelyn as lay on the bed, staring into each other's eyes.
"They'll be back soon" Raelyn whispers. Cullen kissed her lips and then her hands, and said "I know, I'll be gone by then… Raelyn I … I think I love you…"
Raelyn grinned and kissed his cheek.