Aedan Cousland, the son of a Teyrn, a Grey Warden, and the Hero of Ferelden, takes on another title after the Landsmeet: King. He was to rule alongside Anora, the late King Cailan's widow, not-so-fondly referred to as the 'Ice Queen'. Anora assumed Aedan would be as easily led as Cailan, leaving her to rule as she pleased, unmolested. Unfortunately for her, Aedan had two things in his favour. One: he knew what he was getting himself into when he married her – he knew Cailan well. And two: Aedan was not, as advertised, a Nice Guy.
"Good evening, my Queen."
Sitting in the dark, I knew she hadn't seen me as she entered. I could see from the sudden tightness in her shoulders that she wasn't pleased. I grinned and stood, stepping in to the light.
"Aedan." She nodded.
I noticed she didn't ask the question that was obviously burning in her mind. She also had the sense not to dismiss me or ask me to leave, though she was clearly uncomfortable.
"I thought we should talk."
"Couldn't that wait until tomorrow? It's been a long day, Aedan, and I'd really just like to go to bed." She turned her back to me, surveying her room with a critical eye. "Speaking of which, have you seen my hand-maiden while you were lurking there?"
"Oh, Anora, going to bed is exactly what I had in mind." Apparently I hadn't lost my skill; six months after my last real combat, and I could still sneak. She almost jumped when my words whispered softly into her ear, my breath stirring her hair slightly. "And I gave Erlina the night off."
"The night ... Aedan! You have no right to be ordering around my servants. And you are most certainly not going to bed in here, so you might as well get that out of your head now."
"Actually, my dear, I do have the right to order around anyone in this castle. That's how it works, when you're King, or so I've been told." I put my hands on her hips, gently, and felt her shudder slightly as I pressed up to her back. My feral grin widened.
She pulled away from me, squaring her shoulders and turning to look me in the eye, for what was probably the first time since we'd been married.
"You know very well this was just a political match, and-"
My step forward shocked her into silence, and I guessed my facial expression was predatory. Her slight gasp was the only thing that betrayed her fear, and I enjoyed it. Enjoyed, for once, seeing her intimidated. I could only imagine that was a first for her. I reached out and cupped her face, hands gentle despite the expression on my face.
"You forget that I know you, Anora. I was friends with Cailan, after all. Drinking buddies. I know all about the little arrangement you two had. Don't think he didn't spill that secret late at night after months of frustration. He loved you, Maker knows why. He agonized over betraying your marriage vows. You let the rest of the world think he was a bumbling, backward playboy who couldn't keep his pants on, but I knew the truth. Knew how you teased, and promised, and manipulated him. How he pined for you for months before giving up because he didn't want to pressure you. How he defended you from accusations of being barren, when he knew the truth. You may have been able to control him, but only because he let you.
"I have tried, Anora, Maker knows. I waited. I waited months. I sent you flowers. I spent hours investigating so I could choose thoughtful gifts, just to see if I could make you smile. And most days, you couldn't even be bothered to come down for dinner together.
"I tried. I hoped you might come to respect me, or at least to understand that we need to work together to make Ferelden whole again. I hoped you would realize that without an heir, anything we accomplish is just so much smoke, to be undone the moment the Landsmeet gives up waiting.
"I think you believe I'm like him. That I can be manipulated and controlled, that I won't pressure." Reaching out to grab her hand, hanging by her side, I pushed on her neck and pulled her hand at the same time, spinning her around before she could object. I stopped her spin while her back was to me, reaching around to wrap my arm around her waist, pulling her to me firmly. I ground my hips into her ass, and even through the layers of her dress and my trousers, I knew she could feel me, hard and ready. I dropped my voice even further, whispering so she could barely hear. "I'm not Cailan, Anora. I'm not a nice man, like you're used to. And I am tired of waiting."
She struggled against me weakly, just testing my hold. I wasn't fooled, and braced for the moment when she suddenly threw her full strength into trying to yank her arm out of my grasp. She succeeded only in wrenching her own shoulder, my grip more than strong enough, and she groaned slightly in pain as she subsided.
"Aedan, you're hurting me. This is ridiculous. I thought you understood. Let me go, or I will scream for the guard." She tried to keep her voice even, but the fear was there if you knew how to listen. I'd never used my strength against a woman before, never taken liberties – as a good-looking nobleman with the ear of the King, I'd never had to – but as I'd admitted to Anora, I was not a nice man. I could act the part, and fool everyone; I could even admire men like Alistair, objectively – he had morals, a conscience, and would sacrifice anything for what was right. I didn't share his altruism, however. Saving Ferelden from the Blight was necessary, and Ferelden was one of the few things I loved. I'd have crowned my friend for personal gain had he any desire to take it, but since he didn't, I felt no compunction at stepping in. And I wasn't about to let some uppity, daughter-of-a-commoner cock-tease run my life, or ruin it. I didn't want Anora for herself; she was beautiful, I supposed, but I'd had better. I did require that heir, however. And I had to admit that getting what I wanted without her consent didn't disgust me like I knew it should.
"You won't call the guard, Anora, and you know it. And there's two reasons I can guarantee that. The first is that you know what gossip would be all over Denerim by morning, and it wouldn't be damaging to my reputation. The King, the Hero of Ferelden, consummating his marriage would hardly look badly on me. But for you, being held down against your will, for everyone to know you were too weak to stop me, and in fact mad enough to want to stop me ... You'd be a joke. And we both know you can't stand to be laughed at.
"The other reason you won't scream, though, is much simpler. I know that if you think about it, you'll realize there's no guard in this wing of the palace tonight. You'll realize that on your way up here, you didn't run across a single one. I rearranged the guard schedules, and tonight there's a gap. Tomorrow I'm sure it will be corrected, but tonight the nearest guard is by the guest quarters. And he ... well, let's just say even if he heard anything, he wouldn't respond. He understands that sometimes the King has needs that only his wife can fill."
She was silent, amazingly, but I could practically hear the gears turning in her head. I knew damn well when I married her that she never intended to let me into her bed, nevermind her smallclothes, but that didn't work for me. I knew about her little habit of dominating the serving women, could guess where he sexual preferences lay. I actually wondered if she was technically still a virgin, and looked forward to finding out. Now she was looking for some way to escape. I knew how clever she was, knew I had to keep her off-balance a bit longer for my ploy to work.
Securing my arm more tightly around her waist and pinning her arms to her sides, I produced a small dagger in the other hand, flourishing it ostentatiously. I earned myself a squeal, and chuckled darkly. Holding the extremely sharp implement carefully, I reversed it, plunging it down and into the neckline of her gown. The blade sliced it neatly, leaving her skin untouched, but allowing the material of the dress and undergarments to fall forward, baring her small, pert breasts to the room. I flourished again, and the dagger disappeared as suddenly as it had come. Mentally thanking Zev for teaching me that little trick, my now empty hand burrowed into the gaping hole until it found skin. Finally, for the first time, after months of marriage, I held my wife's tit in my hand.
Her skin was soft, and the nipple was puckering slightly in the chill air of the room. I stroked gently, ignoring Anora's squeal of displeasure and renewed struggle to escape, just enjoying the texture of her skin. Finally, irritated by her squirming, I pinched the nipple between thumb and forefinger, applying pressure until she gasped and arched her back, and I was sure I had her attention.
"This is happening, Anora, whether you like it or not. This marriage will be consummated. You have two choices, at this point. Relax and let it happen, and I'll even try to make it pleasant for you, or continue to fight me and I will do it anyway. I can get enjoyment from your suffering equally as from your pleasure." I gave one more sadistic twist to her nipple, and she moaned in pain. "Your choice, wife."
My words triggered even more squirming, which decided me. I still had both of her arms pinned to her sides; with a quick, practiced movement, I had one wrist surrounded by a leather cuff with a special locking buckle, and then pulled it around her front with the short chain, wrenching her already sore shoulder. In the brief moment she was stunned by unexpected pain, I had her second wrist also cuffed. This significantly limited her movement, and I was free to let her arms go and cover her mouth instead as her objections finally got loud.
.... There is more of this story ...