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August 16, 2012
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Both of my betas are sick so this chapter is unedited.  Please forgive all typos and grammatical errors.  I am my own worst editor.

Chapter 13 -  Feel So Close

"I feel so close to you right now it's a force field
I wear my heart upon my sleeve, like a big deal
Your love pours down on me, surrounds me like a waterfall and there's no stopping us right now
I feel so close to you right now your love pours down on me,
surrounds me like a waterfall and there's no stopping us right now
I feel so close to you right now, and there's no stopping us right now"

Feel So Close by Calvin Harris

When they were a half a day's journey to Denerim Josie had decided to make camp in the foothills of Dragon's Peak. She could have pushed them to make it into the city by late evening, but she knew once they entered the City everything would change.  Once it was known that they were within the city limits it was anyone's guess how Loghain and Anora would react and she wanted one last night with her companions…her friends before everything changed.

As they set-up camp she couldn't help, but stare at the tattoo on her finger that was now a permanent symbol of her commitment to the man that she loved.  If she was honest with herself she had mixed feelings regarding the emblem and the mating ritual that she had participated in, but had no recollection of.  She loved Alistair, she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, but she honestly didn't know if that would be possible. In a perfect world, Anora would be innocent of any foreknowledge of her family's murders or Loghain's betray. If that was the case then she had no problem leaving her on the throne and allowing Alistair to remain with the Wardens. However, if Zevran couldn't find evidence to clear the Queen than in good conscience Josie couldn't allow her to remain on the throne; in which case she would have to support Eamon's demand to put Alistair on the throne.

She smiled as Alistair's words rang in her ears.

"Almost losing you again made me realize I can't live without you and I don't want to.  I know you want me to be on the throne, I know that it will be difficult for us to provide an heir, but I can't image ruling without you by my side.  You mean everything to me...."

His words had almost brought her tears.  He had spoken them so sincerely from his heart and it was the sheer naivety of the statement that had pierced her so deeply, cutting like a dagger. Alistair didn't understand the cost of taking the throne and not providing an heir.  He didn't understand the pressures that the nobles would place on them to produce successor, and when no heir came, he couldn't fathom the tactics that they would resort to in order to force him to put her aside, take a different wife and attempt to provide Ferelden with Theirin descendant.

She, however, knew all too well how that game was played.  Before Cailan's death the gossip had already begun.  After five years of marriage and no heir in the cradle the nobles were growing restless. Rumors had already started to circulate that the nobles were pressuring Cailan to set Anora aside for wife who could continue the Theirin bloodline.  Josie knew that she would be no different when the two of them didn't conceive.  

She looked over at him and her heart ached at the thought of not having him by her side. In her head she knew that if she had to place him on the throne that letting him go would be the right thing to do, that providing an heir would secure his reign and strengthen him as a ruler, but she loved him so much.  At times she thought her heart might literally burst from the overwhelming emotions that she had for him.  She needed him like she needed air to breath.  Everyone saw her as the emotionless leader, as a pillar of strength, but it was Alistair that had become her heart.  It was Alistair that had become her anchor.  It was Alistair that was the well that she drew her strength from.  It was Alistair that knew her so completely, so thoroughly that a mere glance from her and he knew exactly what she was thinking.

Josie knew he wouldn't let her walk away without a fight and she didn't know how much of a resistance she would be able to put up because deep down leaving him would be the last thing she would want to do.  She honestly didn't know if she had the strength let him go and if she did how she would survive.  As if sensing her gaze he looked at her, his warm, tender eyes reassuring her that somehow everything would be alright.  

He got up, came over to her, sat down beside her and pulled her into his arms.  "Such deep thoughts for a night that is supposed to be for lighthearted camaraderie," he whispered as he kissed the top of her head.

"It's hard to let go of all the things we will be facing in the several days," Josie said as she settled into his embrace.

He nipped at her ear as he whispered, "I can think of a way of helping you let go."

She smirked at him.  "I like the way you think."

"Well, you are the inspiration for most of my more deviant thoughts."

"Happy to be your muse."

The rest of their companions settled around the fire pit as Oghren passed around a bottle of spirits. Wynne walked up to her and sat down on the log beside her.

"My dear, it is well known among your friends that unless something unforeseen happens that you plan on placing Alistair on the throne."

Josie felt Alistair stir uncomfortable beside her.  "Well, it's a little early in the game to say that.  I don't want to jump to any conclusions without having all the information."

Wynne gave her a knowing smile.  "Let's just work on the assumption that Alistair will be our next king.  With that in mind I couldn't help, but buy you this tome when I saw it."

The mage handed Josie the tome.  On the cover was a scantily clad woman in the heated embrace of a bare chested man with long blond hair and a crown on top of his head.  The raven haired woman had her leg up around the man's hip, the king had his hand resting on a dagger that was strapped to her thigh with a leather garter. The title was A Rogue for His Majesty's Pleasure by Isabella Monroe.   Josie burst out laughing as Alistair began to choke.

"M-maker's breath, woman what in the Void possessed you to purchase such a book," Alistair stuttered.

"Well, the couple looks remarkably like you and Josie and of course the title…we have all heard what kind of pleasure our little rogue has given you,"  Wynne replied jovially.

"W-what!" Alistair stammered.

"For Andraste's sake, you would have to be deaf not to have heard.  I've taken to placing a silencing charm over my tent just so I can get some sleep," Wynne retorted.

Leliana and Zevran walked over to them and the bard pulled the book out of her hands with a devilish grin. Josie eyed the assassin up and down. He was dressed in a white sheet that exposed his shoulders and back and that flowed down to the ground as if he was wearing a gown.

"What the hell are you wearing?"

"We decided for this evening's entertainment with the assistance of our drunken dwarf we would act out a scene from this lovely smut novel. This is my costume," Zevran stated.

"W-what!" Alistair exclaimed again.

"Please tell me that all articles of clothing will remain on," Josie pleaded.

"If you insist, my pet."

"I do."

"You're such a spoilsport at times," Zevran muttered as he took his place beside Oghren and Leliana.

Leliana cleared her throat as she began to narrate the story.

The king looked down at the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. She was everything he had ever wanted or needed and she was here in his arms once again. For the first time in a long time there was no guilt as he held her tightly. He moved her around the dance floor into a darkened alcove so that there were less prying eyes on them.

Following what the book had described, Oghren pulled Zevran into his arms and began to dance with the elf.  The contrast between the two had everyone laughing.  Then in a husky tone Oghren imitated the voice of the king.

"From the moment you walked in this evening I have wanted you in my arms."

Leliana suppressed her smile as continued her narration.

The King whispered into her ear, sending a visible tremor down her back.  Ella's eyes darkened with desire as she smiled up at the man she loved, the man she would die to protect, and her sovereign ruler.

"Your Majesty, you could have had me in your arms anytime you wanted. All you had to do was ask." Zevran purred in a seductive voice to the dwarf that was holding him.

"Did someone kick the assassin in the gahonnies to get his voice that high?" Alistair asked.

"Well, my luscious rogue, that's good to know and if I want you in my arms later on tonight back in my room will I get the same response."

The King asked seductively.  Ella smiled her crooked little smile at him that always made it hard for him to resist her.   Even though they were hidden in the unlit recess, in order to stop himself from taking her right there, he had to remind himself that the rest of the nobles were only a few feet away.

"Sire, you will never know if you don't ask."

The King smiled as he looked down at her and the revealing dress that she wore. It was a white strapless dress. A thin piece of material that could barely be called a corset clung tightly to her frame and covered her breast; it was held in place by a thin strap that went around her back. The tiny corset gathered slightly in the middle forming a V that emphasized the shape of her breast. Just below the bust line the satin dress flowed freely down front. The sides the dress flowed down and cross the small of her back and the back up the other side completely exposing her creamy back except for the strap that held the corset in place.

"This dress should be outlawed."

"Oh, why is that, your Majesty."

"Because I think I have broken about a dozen Chantry rules imagining all the different ways of getting you out of it."

"Do tell, Sire."

The King pulled her closer to him and pressed against her so that he could whisper softly in her ear.

"Well, I would first start by kissing my way down your velvety soft back till I reached the spot just below the small of your back that drives you wild when I kiss you there."

She moaned quietly into his neck.

Zevran knelt down in front of Oghren so that he was level with the dwarf's neck.  He moaned loudly and everyone broke out laughing.  

The King who was now instantly hard and pressed against her.

"Don't you dare, my stout friend," Zevran warned.

"Have no fear of that.  A genlock has a better chance of getting me hard," Oghren grunted before falling back into character.  

"And then I would slid your dress off and spend some time reacquainting myself with your luscious backside before I flipped you over."  

He felt her quiver against his body and the King imaged her naked body spread out on his bed…ready…eager.  A smile slid across his lips; yes she was always ready for him, always eager to please him.

Zevran bent down and whispered loudly so that everyone could hear, "But the front of me has some of my best attributes."

"Oh I know, my sweet, I was saving the best for last."

Oghren paused and turned to Josie. "Do humans really talk to one another like that?  Does that really put dew on the carpet?"
Josie laughed, Alistair choked and Wynne blushed.

"It's been my experience that all females, no matter what the race, like to be sweet talked, my drunken friend," Zevran chortled.   

"You should have tried it. Then maybe you wouldn't have made your wife go insane driving her into the Deep Roads in the arms of her lady lover," Morrigan jeered.

"Maybe if you weren't such a cold hearted bitch your own mother won't have tossed you out of the Wilds with the first group crazy enough to take you," Oghren growled.

Morrigan reached for her staff, but Josie grab her by the arm to led her away from the group as Alistair handed Oghren his flask.  "You know better than to get into a word duel with Oghren.  He will go for the jugular every time even if he knows what he is saying isn't true."

"I know.  I don't know why I let that drunken dwarf get under my skin."

"Because on some level there is truth to his statement or at least you believe there is truth to it," Josie replied.

"My mother was right, I think at times you are too wise for your own good."

"Morrigan, you have to believe that your mother was wrong about you, that she didn't know you as well as she thought she did; if you don't you will spend the rest of your life trying to prove a dead woman wrong."

"Thank you, Josie.  Thank you for being such a good friend.  You have become like a sister to me."

Josie hugged the apostate and she felt her stiffen in her arms, but she refused to let go and eventually Morrigan relaxed and hugged her back before the two of them rejoined the rest of her friends.

The next day they had barely arrived at Eamon's Estate when a servant announced that Teryn Loghain was the gate demanding to speak to the Arl.   Josie knew that Loghain would waste no time making his presence known, but she had hoped to at least wash the dirt from the road off before their inevitable meeting.

Loghain was waiting for them in the main hall; standing behind Loghain was his second in command, Ser Cauthrien and Josie immediately stiffened when she saw Rendon Howe beside her.  

"Loghain, this is an honor that the Regent would find the time to visit me personally," Eamon stated.

"How could I not welcome a man so important to call every Lord and Noble in Ferelden away from their estates for a Landsmeet while we are in the middle of a Blight," Loghain said coldly.

"It's because of the Blight that I called the Landsmeet. With Calian died, Ferelden must have a King to lead it against the darkspawn," Eamon replied.

"Ferelden has a strong leader – it's Queen!" Loghain exclaimed. "And I lead her armies."

"Well, after Ostagar it would seem that Ferelden needs new leadership. If Anora rules than let her speak for herself, Loghain," Josie stated.

Loghain's eyes hardened on her, but she held her ground.  If there was one thing she knew about the General it was that if he sensed weakness he would pounce on it without hesitation.  "Josephine Cousland, you seem to turn up in the most unusual places.  You have my sympathy with regards to what happened to the Ferelden Grey Wardens.  It's unfortunate that they turned their allegiance and betrayed the King and their country."

"You disgust me and so does what you did at Ostagar.  I have come to expose your crimes you for revolting traitor you are. It will bring me great pleasure to bring you down, Loghain," Josie snapped.

"Someone needs to teach you curb your tongue. This is my city and no place to speak of treason….for anyone.  There is talk, Eamon that your illness has left you feeble and mentally inadequate to give advice."

"Not everyone will believe your lies, Loghain," Eamon countered.

"It has been a while since you've been to court, old friend.  Do you not recognize Rendon Howe?  Arl of Amaranthine and Teryn of Highever."

"And current Arl of Denerim," Howe added.

"Enjoy your moment, Howe. I will personally see that it ends very soon."

"You are either very bold or very stupid to threaten the Teyrn before witnesses," Ser Cauthrien barked.

Josie stared at Ser Cauthrien then turned her glare on Howe.  She reined in her rage as best as she could before she spoke, she stepped closer to the Arl and in a low hiss she said, "My name is Josephine Cousland, loyal servant to the murdered King, recruit of the betrayed Ferelden Grey Warden Commander, daughter of the murdered and true Teyrn and Teryna of Highever, sister to a raped and murdered sister-in-law, and aunt to a murdered nephew.  And I will have my vengeance, in this life or next, on that you have my word."

Rendon Howe took a step back, trying to place distance between the two of them.  She stared into his eyes and smiled when she saw fear there.  "You're wise to be afraid, but it still isn't going to save you."

Ser Cauthrien was about to reply, but Loghain interrupted her. "Enough, Cauthrien, this is not the time or place. I had hoped to talk you down Eamon from this rash course. The people of Ferelden are frightened, the King is dead and our lands are under siege. We must be united if we are to endure this crisis." Loghain demanded. He glared at Eamon and Alistair, "You divide our nation and weaken our efforts against the Blight; all because of your selfish ambitions for the throne."

"Loghain, what efforts can there really be when you have outlawed Grey Wardens? If you truly want to stop the Blight then stand with us not fight against us," Josie countered.

"I should put my faith in untried fallen hands. Calian put too much trust in the Grey Wardens against the darkspawn and we all know how that turned out," Loghain retorted.

"I cannot forgive what you have done, Loghain. Maybe the Maker can, but I cannot. Our people deserve a king of the Theirin bloodline. Alistair will be the one to lead us to victory during this Blight," Eamon replied.

"Oh is that all I have to do. Good to know. Glad there's no pressure," Alistair said sarcastically.

"The Emperor of Olais thought I couldn't bring him down, but he underestimated me. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for my homeland and I will destroy anyone that stands in my way," Loghain declared before spinning on his heels and marching out of the room.

"Well, that was bracing. I didn't expect Loghain to show so soon.  Did you?" Eamon asked once Loghain had left the room.

"No, but I can't say that I'm surprised.  My father said that the General liked to keep people on their toes by doing the unexpected."
"That is very true.  I'm sure the Teryn has a few more tricks up his sleeve so we need to be prepared for them.  The roots of all of Loghain's plans have begun here in Denerim. We need to sift out those plans so that we can use them to our advantage. Go have a look around and see what you can find out. Most of the nobles should have begun to arrive in town. Go talk with them and test the waters. Let's see where we stand with them," Eamon said.

Josie nodded. "I will let you know what I find out."

Over the next week Josie worked tirelessly gathering information from the nobles and where they stood with regards to the upcoming Landsmeet.  It had taken a lot of leg work and some her most persuasive arguments, but she did believe that they had the numbers to carry the Landsmeet. The nobles were angry about the darkspawn and what had happened at Osagar as long as she could offer them a feasible alternative they would carry the Landsmeet.  While she was trying to convince the nobles to side with the Wardens, Zevran had been turning over every stone he could find looking for evidence that either cleared or convicted Anora, but the assassin was coming up empty.  As the day for the Landsmeet drew closer, Josie's angst about having to put Alistair forward as the heir to the throne increased.  

Eamon had suggested that they investigate an uprising that was taking place in the alienage.  Josie and Alistair were gathering their things getting ready to leave when a small elven woman ran into Eamon's study.

"Arl Eamon,  Queen Anora needs your help," the woman said slightly out of breath.

"Erlina, what's the matter?" Eamon asked as he rose to his feet.

The elf turned nervously to Josie.  "I am Queen Anora's personal maid and she has sent me to you to ask for your help. Ever since Ostagar and the death of her husband, the Queen has become anxious over the events that have taken place there.  When she has questioned her father about it the General has become outraged that she would question his decisions and reminds her that he will do whatever it takes for her to remain on the throne…"

"Wait a minute," Josie interrupts.  "Anora suspects that Loghain had something to do with Cailan's death?"


"And does she have any proof?" Josie asked.

Erlina's eyes shifted to ground as she shook her head no.  Josie narrowed her gaze on the woman, but it was Zevran who spoke first.  "Why lie to us now?  Do you want our help or not?"

Erlina looked directly into Josie's face. "I-I don't know if she has any proof.  A few weeks ago, I saw her reading some letters. Afterwards she became very distressed.  However, I don't know what was in the letters or where they are now."

"So what does Anora want from me?" Josie asked.

"She is being held at Arl Howe's Denerim estate…"

"Against her will?" Alistair interrupted.


The hairs on the back of Josie's neck rose as every muscle in her body tensed.  "Howe, Loghain's right hand man, is holding the Queen against her will and the General is okay with this?"

"Yes, he says he is doing it for her own protection. Will you, milady?"

"Yes, I will help."

"You know my sweet, if it looks like a trap and smells like a trap, it's probably a trap," Zevran purred in her ear.

Josie motioned for him to be silent as she turned back to Erlina.  "What do you need us to do?"

"Meet me at the gates of the estate.  I will help get you in," she said.

"Fine we will meet you in an hour," Josie said.

"Thank you, Warden," Erlina said as she bowed and left the room.  Josie motioned for Leliana to close the door.

"Jo, you do realize that this is a setup," Leliana stated.

"Yes, but I can't take the risk that it's not.  If Anora is innocent she would be a powerful ally to alienate.  Besides knowing that it's a trap gives me the advantage and makes the game more interesting," Josie said devilishly.

"So what's the plan?" Alistair asked.

Josie paced around the room as she organized her thoughts and then she turned to Zevran her eyes dancing.  He smiled at her, "My thoughts exactly, my pet."

Alistair rolled his eyes.  "Care to share or should we play charades to figure out the plan?"

Zevran stepped forward and held up four fingers.

Leliana smiled. "Four words."

Zevran held up one finger.

"First word," Leliana said.

Zevran cupped his hand to his ear or pull his earlobe.

"Sounds like," Leliana grinned as she clapped her hands together.  "I love this game."

"You have got to be kidding me," Alistair said in frustration as he looked at Josie, but she was completely amused by the two.

Zevran pointed to the tip of Josie's breast.

"Sounds like peak," Oghren grunted. Everyone spun and stared at him stunned.

"What?  She has nice peaks.  That was an easy clue," Oghren growled.

"Meek…" Wynne said.

Zevran shook his head, but rolled his hand in a circular motion to indicate for them to keep going.

"Reek…" Shale said.

"Are we talking about Oghren?" Morrigan sneered.

"Sneak," Leliana suggested.

Zevran pointed one index toward Lelian and with the other index finger toward his nose indicating that she got it right "on the nose".

"Sneak into the Palace," Leliana declared then smiled sheepishly as everyone stared at her.  "I was very good at this game at the court in Val Royeaux."

"We're sneaking into the Palace?" Alistair asked.

"Yes, if the Queen is at Howe's estate then this is the perfect opportunity to look for those letters," Josie replied.

"So we aren't going to save the Queen?" Wynne asked.

"Some of us are and while most of the royal guards will be at Howe's estate the Palace will be more accessible," Josie replied.

"If she is being held against her will how do you know the royal guards will be at Howe's?" Alistair asked.

"Because Loghain will do what I would do, give the illusion that she is there as a guest of the newly appointed Arl of Denerim.  For the deception to be complete she must have her guards with her," Josie explained.

A grin spread across Eamon's face.  "What a shame to waste all that talent on the Wardens."

Josie ignored the Arl's comment.  "Zevran, I want you and Morrigan to sneak into the Palace and locate those letters."

"Why Morrigan?  Why not Leliana? She's a bard," Alistair asked.

Josie smiled patiently at him. She knew he was only trying to understand her reasoning.  "Because Anora is as cunning as her father and if she has letters that implicate him the death of the King she will not only have those letters under lock and key, but enforced with a magical barrier.  Morrigan will be able to detect such a charm."

Alistair nodded in understanding and approval.

"Now, Alistair, I want you to take Leliana, Wynne and Shale and investigate this uprising in the Alienage…"

"What?  Where are you going?' Alistair demanded.

Josie swallowed hard knowing Alistair wasn't going to like what she had to say.  "I will be with Oghren and Sten rescuing the Queen."

Josie watched as his face went from shock to anger in about two seconds. "Have you lost your mind?"

"No, I haven't."

Alistair shook his head.  "It sure as hell seems like you have if you think for one minute I'm letting you walk into a known trap."

"Alistair, that's exactly the point…we know this is a trap.  I am not about to send the last two Wardens in all of Ferelden into a set-up.  One of us needs to be far away from that estate…"

"Then I'll go," Alistair insisted.

Josie stepped forward and rested her hand on his arm. "Alistair, I cannot let Loghain get his hands on the last Theirin heir.  Everything we have been fighting for will be lost if we lose you."

Alistair's arm slid around her waist as he pulled her to him.  "And I'll be lost if I lose you," Alistair sighed.

"See there it is, that damn sweet, innocent charm. Where does he get that? Morrigan is there a way to bottle that and sell it?  We would make a fortune," Zevran cooed.

"I would much rather turn him into a toad and sell him as a tonic for codpiece itch," Morrigan hissed.

"She's right, Alistair.  You don't need to be involved in this.  She will be in capable hands with Oghren and Sten," Leliana tried to reassure.

"And if it makes you feel any better as soon as I finish at the palace, I will join Josie," Zevran offered.

Alistair grinned at the assassin.  "Believe it or not, that is reassuring."

Josie wasn't sure when the two of them had developed a mutual respect for each other and had become friends, but it warmed her heart to see her best friend and the love of her life bonding.

"No fear, my spoiled rotten prince, I promise to bring her home to you safe and sound, but first we may have stop by the Pearl for a celebratory dance and drink."

"There's no dancing at the Pearl, only the strippers," Alistair said.

"Yes, its Josie that I hope to convince to perform a pole dance for me after I rescue her," Zevran cooed.

"Josie will not be pole dancing for anyone…except me of course," Alistair interjected.

Josie felt her cheeks begin to burn and she desperately wanted to change the subject, but Zevran saw that she was flushed and his eyes flashed with surprise as a roguish grin spread across his face.  He slid his arm around her waist and purred in her ear, "That's it…isn't.  That's your fantasy. That's why you willing lost truth or dare."

Josie pulled out of his embrace as she composed herself.  She gave him a smug grin. "I'll never tell."

Zevran smirked back at her. "It is…hot damn! La mia caramella dolce, I could help you fulfill this desire of yours."

"If that is what you need to tell yourself to sleep at night then by all means, Zev go right ahead," Josie purred back as she turned to her companions.  "Okay we have our instructions, let's get ready to move out."

Josie hadn't been shocked to find Anora's door magically sealed, she hadn't been stunned to find an Orlesian Warden in Howe's dungeons or the torture devices and rooms. She had always known that the man had sadistic streak in by the way she had seen him treat Nathaniel.  What had astonished her was the sheer rage that had risen in her when she saw him in that prison room, but what had truly rocked her to her core was the blind fury that had overwhelmed her as she cut a path through Howe's men to him and then proceeded to unleash almost a year's worth of grief on the man.  Even in death the man spit nothing but hateful words at her, showing not an ounce of regret or shame at what he had done to her family.   As she stared down at his butchered body, and she felt completely numb.  She had hoped that once her family's deaths had been avenged that the ache of the loss would lessen, but it was still there and stronger than ever.   Her emotions overwhelmed her.  Her daggers slipped out of her grasp as she fell to her knees and wept.

She felt Zevran kneel down beside her as he slid his arm around her shoulder drawing her to him. "Revenge is never as sweet as one imagines it to be," he whispered.

"I…I-I thought that taking his life would ease the loss, but it's still there.  It still throbs."

"I know. You have felt guilty for not being able to save your family and for surviving when they didn't. Seeking revenge for your family gave you a sense of power and control that you felt was taken from you, but now that the deed is done the guilt you still feel remains.  It's not just the loss of them that you need to come to terms with Jo, it's the guilt that you're still alive and they aren't.  Howe's death didn't relieve the remorse.  Only you can do that, my sweet."

She turned in her friend's arms and hugged him. "Thank you, Zev."

He kissed her cheek. "Anytime, my dear, now I believe we have a Queen to rescue."

"Yes we do," she said as she rose to her feet, whipped the tears from her cheeks, gathered her weapons and headed for the door.

Again, Josie wasn't shocked when she stepped into the grand hall only to find them surrounded by Ser  Cauthrien and two dozen royal guards.  She had expected the trap and had a fairly good idea that Anora and Loghain was behind it.  She just couldn't prove it.  What did shock her companions and Ser  Cauthrien when she willingly laid down her weapons and surrendered.

"Dolce cuore, what the bloody hell are you doing?" Zevran hissed in her ear.

"We are outnumbered, Zev."

"We have faced worse odds than this," he retorted.

"I need you alive and I need to get Anora out of here safely.  My surrender will guarantee that. I do expect you to rescue me and I want to be liberated with style," she said with a grin as she laid her daggers down on the ground.  The guards immediately seized her, slammed her against the wall and bound her wrists.

"With style?  How about I come dressed as a corpse?  'Cause that's what I'm going to be when Alistair hears about this," Zevran muttered.

As they lead her she grinned at him, "As long as your corpse has panache I'll be impressed."

"Oh is that all it takes to impress you, my sweet," Zevran muttered as he grabbed Anora's arm to escort her back to the estate.

A/N - So if chapter 9 was favorite chapter this is my least favorite.  I'm not happy with it, but I've rewritten twice and so here it is.

*Thank you to everyone that has left comments and added this to their favs!
Prologue - [link]
Chapter 1 - [link]
Chapter 2 - [link]
Chapter 3 - [link]
Chapter 4 = [link]
Chapter 5 - [link]
Chapter 6 -[link]
Chapter 7 - [link]
Chapter 8 - [link]
Chapter 9 - [link]
Chapter 10 - [link]
Chapter 11 - [link]
Chapter 12 - [link]
Chapter 13 - [link]
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Please, tell me that there is more to this story?!!
There is. I forgot to add the links, but the chapters are in the folder marked Hold Me. I will add the links tonight when I get home. Sorry about that.
AshaGem Aug 17, 2012  Student General Artist
Can't wait for the next chapter :) In Origin's I wish they gave our characters voices because then we would have been able to hear the rage in Couslands voice as she spoke to and killed Howe, But this was really good :)
I agree. I also thought that at least for the Cousland Warden there should have been stronger dialogue. This was the man that murdered her family it would be natural for her to have a reaction to it and for her companions to try to comfort her.
AshaGem Aug 17, 2012  Student General Artist
Yeah exactly, I would have been raging just to see him there.
SpectreFaux Aug 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
have no idea if you have written it before, but if not, are you planning on continuing into awakening?
Josie story was actually written in reverse order. This is Book I, but the first story was Set Fire to the Rain Book III and then The Beautiful ones Book II. Don't ask sometimes my brain just comes up with crazy stuff and I just have to go with it. TBO is set in awakenings.
SpectreFaux Aug 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, I see. I do it all the time.
So you I have your sympathy...that's good.
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