• Hello Guest, the Post-Trespasser timeline is open to all characters now. If you want to play your DA:O/DA2 timeline characters in the Post-Trespasser timeline, please check out the thread below. It will give you all the information you need to get up and running in no time:

    Getting your DA:O/DA2 Character ready for Post-Trespasser!

Smell The Sea And Feel The Sky [Closed]

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#1
((28 Haring, early evening, after this thread; Nicolette O'Hara ))

The sun had dipped well below the rooftops of Lowtown by the time they emerged from the Hanged Man, and the moons and a first sprinkling of stars were visible in the spreading darkness of the western sky. The chill in the air had deepened - or maybe she’d just been too fired up to notice it earlier - and flurries of snow eddied around them, though the sparse clouds made any real accumulation unlikely. Celeste cast a jaundiced eye skyward nonetheless and slipped an arm around Nicolette’s waist; neither of them wore cloaks. She’d been a child of the sun from her earliest years, and while she had been charmed by her first encounters with the white stuff, the appeal had quickly worn off when she discovered that it was inexorably linked with cold. That Daniel had gone over in a blinding snowstorm that had kept them from searching for him had only increased her aversion, and her policy since becoming captain had been to be north of Wycome by Firstfall.

Until now.

They walked in silence, Celeste’s mind turning over the details of the plans and contingencies that had been laid in the impromptu council of war, but her eyes staying in motion, the wandering gaze seemingly casual even as it probed every shadow. Barrett Orland had not flinched at ordering a disobedient son to be killed; he’d have even less trepidation where those who had led his daughter astray were concerned. That there seemed to be nothing only raised the worry that he was venting his wrath on Addie alone.

It wasn’t likely, not yet, but they would have to move fast when the Tevinter ship tied up, decide which of the strategies they had laid out would work and carry it out. Once Orland discovered that his plan to sell his daughter wasn’t going to happen, he might resort to even more drastic measures.

Kalindra met them at the bottom of the worn sandstone steps that led to the docks. “No activity,” she reported. “He’s got a brute squad of eight patrolling the exterior, with at least two more inside. They’re beating the bushes every time a bird lands in them, but nobody is looking up.” She rolled her eyes scornfully. “An archdemon could land on the roof and they’d never notice.”

Not surprising; the average person never looked up. It was the reason that the rooftops of any city of size were a veritable highway of illicit traffic.

She nodded. “Keep two people on it.” They’d stay separate, each able to see the other. If one got caught, the other could get away and report. “Let me know if it looks like he’s trying to move her. Any word on the ‘Vint ship?”

“Not in port yet,” she confirmed, then smirked, “but the Knight-Commander has given orders that word is to be sent to the Gallows as soon as any Tevinter ship passes the harbor mouth.” The welcome wagon, Kirkwall style.

“That’ll buy us some time,” Celeste remarked. But not much, particularly if word of the templar interception reached the Orland house. Hopefully, Josc was able to connect quickly with the friend who would be sneaking aboard. “I want all hands on deck at first light. Find Charade. Tell her I need more eyes … and only eyes for now.” Charade headed up Red Jenny activity in Kirkwall - as much as anyone did, anyway. She’d know of a few who could restrain their urges for mayhem, particularly with the promise of open season on a rich prig as a carrot.

Kali nodded and vanished into the night. “Not likely that any ships will be docking at night,” she explained to Nicolette as they continued onward. The minstrel might be new to this semi-legal lifestyle, but she absorbed information like a sponge, and the more she knew, the more likely she would stay safe. “The entry to the harbor is tricky if you’re not familiar with it. We’ll pull everyone together in the morning and start planning.” Whether it was the fake Tevinter delegation or a straight up snatch and run, they’d need to be ready to move.

Along the docks now, music and voices spilling out of the cheap bars that catered to the soldiers, the stench of the harbor thick in Celeste’s nose. Arriving in a port was almost always exciting, but within a few days, the noise, the crowds and the stink of the refuse that nobody seemed to be able to resist dumping into the water had her itching to be back on open water with the crisp tang of salt water in her nostrils.

Ahead now, her ship: both masts back in place, rigging set and sails furled atop the booms, ready to raise and billow with the wind, propelling the Wicked Grace across the waves like she was flying.

And just as stuck here as she had been when she was mastless.

“Dammit,” Celeste muttered under her breath.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#2
They were quiet as they left the Hanged Man. The silence continued to reign as they found their way back to the docks, fortunately without confrontations or fights; the denizens of Lowtown left them alone. Even Thibault, trotting at her side, did little more than let out his usual series of low noises when she rubbed his head. Part of it was the cold. Snow had started to come down and they leaned into each other for warmth, conserving energy with their silence.

But mostly Nicolette was turning over the events of the ‘council’ in her head. While there was no damping the fear she felt over the idea of deliberately inciting guards to chase Edwin and trapping them, most of all she could not help imagining what Addie was going through. The young noblewoman was brave and resourceful beyond doubt, but the fact she had had to resort to a note meant she had not been able to find a way out; which meant she was stuck in that house, not knowing how long she might have or even if help was on the way. Nicolette could become agitated if she spent an hour in one room unless she was sleeping or had a companion. Skies knew how she would take being captured, with the knowledge that she was going to be sold.

The thoughts made the walk seem longer than usual, and she was shivering by the time they reached the docks. Kali was already there with a report on the guards, and fortunately the Tevinter ship had yet to actually dock.

“That’ll buy us some time. I want all hands on deck at first light. Find Charade. Tell her I need more eyes … and only eyes for now.”

Kali vanished, and Celeste explained the reasoning for the light surveillance. “Not likely that any ships will be docking at night. The entry to the harbor is tricky if you’re not familiar with it. We’ll pull everyone together in the morning and start planning.”

Nicolette nodded, taking in the information and storing it. She did not know what the chances were of them having to keep eye on an incoming ship again, but it was good to know that most of them would be hampered by a night-time arrival.

Past the qunari compound and the slums came the dockside bars. Each one was heaving with sailors and other exciting people, with music, laughter – and the occasional sound of a fight breaking out – riding on the night air. It would be easy to turn ever so slightly towards one of them, let herself be drawn into the chaos, and drown out everything in her head.

She remained firmly by Celeste’s side, close enough as they arrived at the Wicked Grace to hear Celeste’s muttered curse. The ship was finished and ready to go, another few days and they might have already been laded and out to sea – and then Addie’s note would have gone nowhere. She would be sitting in that room with almost no hope of rescue at all. So it was no bad thing, but at the same time she felt a strong tug of sympathy for Celeste. Like her lover, she yearned to be away from the city at last, looking for something new.

Nicolette looked up. There were still specks of snow falling, and it was still freezing, but the clouds were thin enough that moon managed to break through them at points, spilling light out onto the inky water. She wound her fingers with Celeste’s, hoping her idea would not come across as foolish in this weather. “Can we go up to the crow’s nest?”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#3
Celeste could wait, but that didn’t mean she liked it. And now, after over a month of waiting for her ship to be seaworthy, to be forced now not only to have to wait to sail away from this shithole to warmer waters, but also to wait to spring Addie from the clutches of her shitstain of a father, had a caged restlessness chasing beneath her skin. If she’d been alone, her cabin would have been the last destination on her mind, but Nicolette was with her, and she’d felt the steadily increasing shivers rolling through the minstrel as they’d walked, and time spent in her company would soothe a good deal of the turbulence in the sailor’s blood.

But Nico surprised her with a gentle squeeze from the hand that held hers. “Can we go up to the crow’s nest?” she asked, amber gaze tipping upward.

Celeste smiled at her, affection tinged with wonder. “You read my mind,” she murmured, slipping her hand free from her lover’s as they stepped onto the deck and raised it to her lips for a quick kiss before letting go. “Wait here.” She ducked into her cabin, still smiling and enjoying the flicker of warmth in her chest too much to be unsettled by the way the minstrel seemed to be so closely attuned to her at times. The differences were there, and enough to create some interesting sparks, but in moments like this, the gentle warmth appealed more than she would ever have thought possible.

She snagged a couple of cloaks from the hooks on the wall: oilcloth over wool, they would block the winds aloft and not get soggy with snowmelt. A silver flask of Antivan brandy went into a vest pocket. She debated losing her shoes; she preferred bare feet in the rigging, but ultimately the temperatures settled the question.

Back on deck, she offered one cloak to Nicolette and tossed the other over her shoulder. “He can snooze in my cabin,” she offered, nodding at Thibault, who was ill equipped to be monkeying about aloft … and would have made for a tight fit in the crow’s nest besides.

“You first,” she invited her lover, nodding towards the shrouds. If Nico slipped, Celeste was fairly confident of her ability to keep them both from falling if she were below her … and the view wouldn’t be bad, either. She looked up to the crow’s nest atop the mainmast, a part of her heart taking flight at the prospect of finally being back up there after so long. It wasn’t as good as being back at sea and sailing north, but it would do for the moment.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#4
A little of the chill was chased away by the warmth of Celeste’s smile. Nicolette still did not always know how her lover might react to some of her suggestions – in fact, it was one of the things she liked about her – and it always gave her a little frission of pleasure when she said something that appealed. Celeste bade her to wait, after a quick kiss, and Nicolette obeyed, tucking her arms around herself to keep the worst of the cold away once the captain had left her side.

Celeste did not keep her waiting long. Within moments she was back out, holding out a cloak which Nicolette took but did not don yet as it might tangle in her feet on the climb. Celeste gestured to Thibault. “He can snooze in my cabin.”

Nicolette patted her dog’s back. “Aller à l’intérieur, Thibault.”

He did not need telling twice. Thibault shot through Celeste’s legs, evidently glad to be back in the warm. He was a hardy dog, and used to the cold, but that did not mean he would not make himself comfortable where he could. Nicolette chuckled, before turning towards the rigging – which looked a little higher than she had made note of originally.

As usual, curiosity overran caution, and she went ahead as Celeste indicated she should go first. Climbing the rigging was a little more difficult than she had imagined. The wind blew harder towards the top, and cut sharp enough that her fingers almost went numb, so instead of the sway with which she had intended to climb, in order to give her lover the best view, she went up the last few yards as fast as she could so that she could get to the top and tug on the cloak as fast as possible, before rubbing her hands together to try and get out the cold.

But oh, the view was worth it. The water stretched out to the horizon, the edge of the sky so dark it was impossible to differentiate it and the water; but there were two moons, one high, one rippling on the ocean. The clouds closest to them had the yellowish tinge she associated with snow, and a few flakes were still drifting past. The ship creaked slowly and even from this height she could hear the soft lap of waves against the sides.

Ouah. This…is amazing.”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#5
Thibault wasted no time in following his mistress’ instructions, nearly knocking Celeste over in the process. She couldn’t really hold it against him. Standing on deck shivering wouldn’t have been high on her list of Shit To Do, either, and he’d spent enough time in the cabin unsupervised that she trusted him not to make any messes. He’d actually started growing on her a bit (the rest of the crew adored him, except for the Thing, who tolerated him as long as he didn’t get too close), and when he nudged his burly head beneath her hand, she generally obliged with an ear scratch.

Nicolette readily accepted her suggestion to go first, but while the sway of the minstrel’s hips was definitely worth watching, most of Celeste’s attention was on watching her hands and feet as they sought purchase in the rigging and keeping herself in position to break a fall. The wind off the water cut to the bone, though there had not been enough precipitation to ice the ropes, and Celeste breathed a sigh of relief as Nico scrambled up the last little bit and over the railing, then covered the remaining distance herself while the other woman hurriedly donned her cloak.

Ouah. This…is amazing.”


The softly wondering exclamation curled pleasantly beneath Celeste’s ribs, and she turned to follow her lover’s gaze, leaving her own cloak draped over the railing as she drank in the view.

“Never been aloft?”
she asked with a smile. “It’s even better at sea. I made it up the first time when I was six … and I’d been trying for two years at that point.” She laughed softly at the memory. “Caused quite the ruckus on deck, with my father ordering me down and my nanny screeching that it wasn’t her fault. The sailor who came up to get me down smelled of tobacco and tar, and he told silly jokes to make me laugh. What do sailors play when they’re bored?” she looked sideways at Nico with a smirk. “Cards, because they always have a deck."

“He got me down, but there was no keeping me on deck after that, and eventually they let me alone unless the weather was dicey … except for the time I managed to smuggle some rotten eggs up and started dropping them. It was my favorite place in the world until I learned to man the helm, and I still love it.”


She lifted her head into the wind and closed her eyes, heedless of the chill. Up here, the smell of refuse was almost lost beneath the salt tang coming off the water, and she could hear the waves rolling in outside the harbor, feel the slight swaying of the deck amplified by their height above the deck. “I’ve missed this,” she murmured.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#6
“Never been aloft?”

Nicolette shook her head. “Oh, I tried. But I was chased away from the rigging more than once. Apparently if I fell in the sea they would not get paid for taking me as a passenger.” Her mouth twisted in an amused smile. There had been more concern than that, but she did not doubt that a loss of income on had been on the minds of those who discouraged her adventures aloft.

“It’s even better at sea. I made it up the first time when I was six … and I’d been trying for two years at that point.”

Nicolette chuckled with her. They had talked enough about their pasts by now for her to have built up a good mental image of Celeste as a child, and ‘willful’ was definitely a favourite adjective. Nicolette had pushed the boundaries of the rules as well, but never to the degree that Celeste had.

"Caused quite the ruckus on deck, with my father ordering me down and my nanny screeching that it wasn’t her fault. The sailor who came up to get me down smelled of tobacco and tar, and he told silly jokes to make me laugh. What do sailors play when they’re bored? Cards, because they always have a deck."

Nicolette responded with an attractive snort. “Terrible.”

“He got me down, but there was no keeping me on deck after that, and eventually they let me alone unless the weather was dicey … except for the time I managed to smuggle some rotten eggs up and started dropping them. It was my favorite place in the world until I learned to man the helm, and I still love it.”

Celeste dropped her head back and closed her eyes. At the moment the clouds were thin enough that the moon could shine through and illuminate her face with a soft white glow. For a moment, watching her, Nicolette felt exactly the same sense of wonder as she had gazing out at the sea. The softening sensation beneath her breastbone was back, and she felt as though she could have looked at Celeste tasting the nearness of her freedom for a long time.

“I’ve missed this.”

Nicolette stepped behind Celeste, slipping her arms around the other woman’s waist and resting her chin on her shoulder. “I love to see you like this. And I cannot wait to see you when we finally cast off.” She would likely be calling orders to her crew in that commanding tone Nicolette found so thrilling, but that was only part of it. “Once we are out of the docks, heading towards the horizon – I imagine it will be as watching a bird that had injured its wing finally taking flight again.”

The moment had rendered her even more poetic than normal in her speech, and she silenced herself with a kiss to Celeste’s cheek.
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#7
It was a bit surprising that someone as adventurous as Nicolette had never made it up to a crow’s nest, but it had not been due to lack of effort. “Oh, I tried. But I was chased away from the rigging more than once. Apparently if I fell in the sea they would not get paid for taking me as a passenger.”

Celeste snorted. “And they’d have to send someone in the drink after you,” she added. “Maybe.” Some ships would just keep sailing. The Wicked Grace tended to be more relaxed with passengers as long as the seas were calm, but there had been more than a few that Celeste had ended up ordering in no uncertain terms to keep their boots on deck, because she wouldn’t just sail off and leave someone in the water, and she didn’t like risking the lives of her crew to rescue some fool with chum for brains.

But she’d learned to recognize the same yearning that had tugged her upward as a child and tried her best to accommodate those whose eyes burned with it, remembering the kindness of those who had allowed a restless hoyden of a girl to reach for the sky.

Her lover made an indelicate sound when she shared her favorite of the jokes that Uriah - yes, that had been his name, hadn’t it? Her father had preferred hiring ships to maintaining a fleet, so the names and faces had changed all too often, but a few stood out in her memory. Like Uriah and his jokes.

“Terrible,” Nico opined with a gentle smile.

“Says you,” Celeste smirked. “To a six year old, that was the height of humor.” And to the woman that she was now, it was a reminder of all of the ones who had helped her to grow into someone unafraid of defying convention and reaching for what she wanted. The crow’s nest had been her refuge throughout the turbulent years of adolescence, and even after she’d been grown and sailing with Daniel, it had offered her a place between sea and sky, where she could let her thoughts drift with the wind or think of nothing at all if it suited her. Not having it to retreat to these last few weeks had been very nearly as frustrating as being landlocked, and even with the chill wind and swirling snow, she felt as though she could stay here all night.

Warmth at her back as Nicolette edged between her and the mast, arms wrapping around her, and she covered the hands at her waist with her own. “I love to see you like this,” the minstrel said softly, her breath warm against Celeste’s cheek and the scent of cinnamon that nearly always touched her skin blending with the salt air with surprising rightness. Or perhaps not so surprising, given the one that it was associated with. “And I cannot wait to see you when we finally cast off.”

“Won’t be long now,” Celeste promised, to herself as much as her lover. Even just knowing that they had the ability to haul everybody on board and cast off if things really went to shit was a load from her shoulders. She was no longer trapped here; she was staying by choice, and that realization made all the difference, even if her soul still yearned seaward.

“Once we are out of the docks, heading towards the horizon – I imagine it will be as watching a bird that had injured its wing finally taking flight again.”

Celeste opened her mouth, closed it again. Her minstrel had a way of seeing her as she had never seen herself, and though it was sometimes puzzling - and occasionally unnerving, more often than not, a bit of reflection would prove revealing. She had never thought of herself as an injured bird; the connotations of helplessness that the image first conjured were intolerable. And yet, her ship was as much a part of her now as her arms and legs … perhaps even more so, because her own limbs could not take her unaided to where she most loved to be. Being stuck here, unable to sail … she had felt helpless, trapped, even if she had refused to acknowledge those feelings by those names.

Lips pressed a kiss to her cheek, and she turned her head to seek their softness, trying to convey the feelings that she would never be able to put to words as well as her lover could. “Sing something for me?” she murmured when their lips parted. “Please?” She had enjoyed her lover’s music many times over the last few weeks, but this was the first time she had asked for a song. She wasn’t even sure what to request, but a part of her trusted that her minstrel would know.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#8
Nicolette had felt lines of tension in Celeste since they had first met; it had not taken long to discover it was the result of being trapped in a city she did not even enjoy with her ship all but ruined. Wrapped around her now she could still feel it, taut as a bowstring, almost trembling with the anticipation of knowing they were almost there. At least this time it was her choice to stay a little longer, rather than the happenstance of a shipwreck or the wrong masts arriving. The thought of Celeste’s joy when they finally did set sail rendered Nicolette poetic, although because she did not see the other woman’s face she could not tell if the remark had been well accepted or not.

For a moment she just enjoyed the wide sway of the mast, and the warmth of Celeste’s hands over hers, before her captain turned her head fractionally into the kiss she laid on her cheek.

“Sing something for me? Please?”

Nicolette was startled for a moment. Celeste had not made such a request yet; in fact, it was quite rare for people to request that she simply sing for them alone, away from the brawl of a tavern or an organised performance. In fact, the last person she had done it for had been a previous lover, now long since gone.

And yet instead of making her wistful, it pleased her. For a moment she thought of a shanty, but it did not seem right for the moment. After a few seconds of reflection, it came to her, and up here she did not have to try hard for her voice to carry clear and soft. It was almost a lullaby, and unconsciously she rocked the other woman slightly in time with the music.

“Speed, bonny ship, like a bird on the wing
Onward the sailors cry.
Carry me far from the lands I know
To where the sea meets the sky.


Loud the wind howls, loud the waves roar,
Thunderclaps rend the air.
Behind, our woes stand on the shore,
Follow they will not dare.


Though the waves heave,
Soft will you sleep, ocean’s a captain’s bed.
Rocked in the deep, I will keep
Watch by your weary head.


Speed, bonny ship, like a bird on the wing
Onward the sailors cry.
Carry me far from the lands I know

To where the sea meets the sky.”

As the last note trailed away in the air, Nicolette pressed a little closer to Celeste’s warmth. She should not be feeling suffused with contentment as she currently was, not when they were all still so concerned about Addie, but there was no denying that singing for her captain left her inexpressibly happy. “Did that please you, my captain?”

[[OOC: Nicolette's song is a revised version of the Skye Boat Song.]]
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#9
There was enough of a hesitation after her request that Celeste had time to be concerned that she had put her foot in something. Maybe private performances weren’t Nico’s thing, and maybe asking made her seem needy, and why was she even concerned about that, and maybe she should just laugh it off and say she’d been joking -

And then Nicolette started singing and all of that just drifted into the wind.

It was nothing like listening to the minstrel perform in a tavern or on the street, or even on the deck of the ship below them. The minstrel had a gift for connecting with her audience, meeting their eyes and smiling as she played and sang, by turns playful, joyful, sensual, wistful. She loved her music, she genuinely cared about the people that she performed before, and that combination was an alchemy that Celeste never tired of watching.

She couldn’t see her lover now, but the intimacy of this audience was entirely new. Wrapped in the minstrel’s arms, she could feel the vibrations of Nicolette's voice against her back as the sweet soprano, pitched for her ears alone, wound its way into her soul. The song was not one that she had heard before, and if she’d been told that Nico had composed it on the spot for her, she would have believed it. Every word - the wind, the waves and thunder, the allure of the far horizon - felt as though it had been drawn from her dreams. Her eyes drifted closed, and she allowed herself to be swayed back and forth in time with the tempo of the song, the restless yearning in her breast shifting in another direction.

The song ended, and Nicolette cuddled into her back. “Did that please you, my captain?” she asked softly.

Celeste opened her eyes, drew a deep breath and turned in her lover’s arms, pressing her back against the mast and pouring everything that she had into the kiss.

“That’s putting it mildly,” she breathed when she drew back, her fingertips tracing the delicate curve of collarbones, drifting upward along Nicolette’s neck to the contours of her cheeks, drinking in the sight of her. “It was incredible. You’re … incredible.” She bit lightly at her lower lip, brushing a few stray hands of hair away from Nico’s face. “You’re a big part of the reason I haven’t gone stir crazy,” she admitted with a faint smile, “so thank you for that.”

She leaned in, her parted lips finding the hollow beneath one delicately curving ear, teeth nipping at the soft skin before letting the tip of her tongue flicker out for a taste. “My turn to please you, my minstrel,” she murmured, kissing a slow path along her throat as her hands slipped downward.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#10
Celeste had moved with her, a slow rocking that matched the gentle pitch of the mast. As Nicolette sang, she experienced one of the bursts of feeling that usually came when she was in the middle of something beautiful, a dancing beneath her skin that, combined with the cold night air, feel as alive as she ever had. She was here in this moment, gazing out over the sea, wrapped around a woman she adored and admired more than anybody she had ever known, and she did not want that moment to end.

The song had to finish eventually, and in the silence that followed, Nicolette asked if she had chosen well.

Judging by the way the captain pushed her against the mast and kissed her until there was nothing else in Nicolette’s head besides the feel and scent of Celeste, the lean, strong muscle of her pressed against her, and Nicolette wound her fingers in the other woman’s hair and kissed her back with a passion, utterly adrift.

When Celeste pulled back, Nicolette was breathless.

“That’s putting it mildly.” The captain had liked her song, and that brought Nicolette a fresh wave of happiness that was indefinably distinct from the usual enjoyment that performing brought. Fingertips brushed her skin, leaving a trail of warming flesh in their wake as Celeste gazed at Nicolette with an intensity that stole almost as much air from her as the kiss had. “That was incredible. You’re…incredible.” Celeste’s teeth snagged her lower lip, causing another brief burst of sensation that was somewhat less cerebral in nature than previously. “You’re a big part of the reason I haven’t gone stir crazy.”

“I am glad I could help.” Skies knew that Nicolette had been chafing over being in Kirkwall so long, but if she so desired she could simply pack up and leave tomorrow. Celeste did not have the same freedom and Nicolette had hoped she could alleviate it. “Making you smile is one of the greatest pleasures I have.”

Celeste had learned her well by now, and Nicolette’s legs reliably turned to water as the captain grazed her teeth along the column of her neck. “My turn to please you, my minstrel.” Celeste’s knuckles skimmed her stomach, and heat followed in their wake. It was cold up here, but she could not bring herself to care; a soft moan followed as Celeste began to apply her skill, and Nicolette pulled her in to kiss her hungrily once more.
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#11
Celeste was aware of the cold at her back, but the fire that she was intent on kindling before her was of far greater interest right now, and she angled her body to shield her lover from the worst of the wind, adjusting the cloak that Nicolette wore so that it would capture most of the heat rising between them. It wouldn’t do for terribly long; an extended tryst here would need to wait for the balmier climes of Rivain, but the crow’s nest had always been one of her favorite spots for amorous encounters, and she wanted to share that with Nicolette.

“Making you smile is one of the greatest pleasures I have.”

Celeste didn’t really understand what she had done to make Nicolette feel that way, or to earn the way those stunning amber eyes shone when they looked at her. She was a sailor, smuggler, mercenary and more-than-occasional thief, and damn good in each of those roles, but she found herself in uncharted waters now, dealing with feelings that even Daniel had not stirred in her. She’d been a girl when she’d met him, and a spoiled one at that, and while her pride had ensured that she had pulled her weight on board the Wicked Grace, in their relationship, she had been quite happy for the most part to be the one who was adored and cosseted. She had done nothing for Nicolette besides allowing her to be herself, which she did for everyone, and the fact that it seemed to be so important to the minstrel didn’t change that it didn’t feel near enough to Celeste right now. She wanted - needed - to make Nicolette feel even a fraction of the way she had felt listening to that song.

And she had no idea how.

Fortunately, one of the things about Nico that Celeste particularly enjoyed was that the minstrel was not the least bit hesitant to take the initiative and make her own desires known, so when slim fingers wove into her hair to pull her back into a fiery kiss, Celeste went with it willingly, losing herself in the taste of her lover’s mouth, the sensual dance of their tongues, the soft sounds of pleasure that rolled down her spine in a molten wave.

Disrobing completely wasn’t a good idea up here, even in warmer weather; invariably, some vital bit of garb got kicked over the side, and the Walk of Shame paled in comparison to the Climb of Shame with your ass bare to the wind, particularly when some smartass on the crew had a pea-shooter and some ammo handy (and Stubby was quite willing to provide on such occasions). So … a bit of rearrangement, instead, and Celeste put deft hands to work without breaking lip contact. A few buttons undone at the bottom of the blouse and the laces loosened on the trews, and then her hands slipped beneath the cloth, splaying flat briefly over her lover’s belly, letting the heat of the skin chase the last of the chill from her touch. Then motion: fingertips dancing upward, patterning across the ribs, brushing the underside of each breast, back and forth, higher with each pass. Her other hand dipped down and outward, gliding over the crest of the hip and lingering briefly before turning back inward and down.

This she could do, but it still didn't feel like enough.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#12
It did not seem so long ago that they had been crushed against the wall on the Grand Cleric’s balcony, experimenting, teasing, having to stifle giggles and moans. Even then Nicolette had been delighted with how naturally they had found the right rhythm with each other, the illicit thrill of their location adding further sparks. Now she was pressed against the mast and as before, she breathed in Celeste’s soap-leather-tar scent, underlaid with the warm fragrance that seemed to come from the woman herself, and as she kissed her, her own hands seeking the openings in Celeste’s clothing as the captain was doing for her. Chilled fingertips brushed her belly and she did not quite smother a squeal, but it was a happy sound.

Not so long since the first time, but long enough that Celeste not only knew how to toy with her, what she needed to do for a quick finish or to draw it out until Nicolette begged, but she knew all the spots that tickled her, that a firm press of fingertips to the nape of her neck made her as floppy as a rug, that running fingernails or a comb over her scalp made her purr. Not many had known her as well Celeste, and in turn she had learned a great deal about the other woman.

At times it caused a thought to gnaw at the back of her mind, one she could not quite pin down but left her quietly restless nonetheless. It was then pushed back and locked carefully away. She could not replace Daniel and it had seemed unlikely she would ever occupy a similar position. And yet, all the small kindnesses the captain had shown her, well beyond the courtesies one would expect of a bedmate…

So the moment started to fray when she noticed that Celeste’s touches, while welcome, seemed to lack their usual surety. Nicolette broke their kiss and removed her hands from inside Celeste’s clothes, bringing them up to cup her face. She looked the other woman directly in the eye, one thumb stroking slowly over Celeste’s cheek, and felt a sense of longing far stronger than made sense, considering how close together they were pressed.

Oh, Skies.

“Celeste…” Lost for words. Unusual, and deeply unsettling. She cast about for ones that made sense. “Are you all right?”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#13
Inadequate was not a word that Celeste had ever associated with herself before. She might know her limits, but she pushed them quite regularly, and her cockiness - which more than one person had characterized as arrogance - was not some facade to compensate for hidden insecurities. She was good and she knew it, whether at sea, in a fight, pranking some prig or in bed, and if what she was didn’t suit someone, that was their problem, and they were welcome to move on.

She wasn’t quite sure when or exactly how that had changed where a certain golden eyed minstrel was concerned. Certainly Nicolette had never said or done anything that would indicate that she found anything lacking in Celeste; on the contrary, the other woman seemed to have a level of regard for her that felt well out of proportion to anything she might have done to earn it. Which was causing the resurgence of an impulse she hadn’t felt in well over a decade: the need to prove herself worthy, but this time, she had no idea where to even begin.

She fell back on the reliable stand-by of passion, using lips and hands and the press of her body to communicate what she had no words for. But whether she was trying too hard or not enough, her lover realized that something was amiss. Gentle hands framed her face, honey-gold eyes piercing to her soul with no place to hide.

“Celeste…” The uncertainty … the worry in those lovely eyes felt like a knife slipping between her ribs. “Are you all right?”

“Yes.” The denial came to her lips with the ease of long practice, then, “No,” because she’d promised herself not to lie to Nico, but she didn’t want her blaming herself or thinking she’d done anything wrong, so that wouldn’t do, either. “I just -” Panic tried to flare, and she came close to simply crushing those soft lips with her own, doubling down on the seduction, and Nicolette might even go along with it, but she would know it for the distraction that it was, and she would worry that she was at fault, and that … that was something that Celeste couldn’t allow.

So she shifted, looping an arm around the minstrel’s waist beneath the cloak, drawing them together, her forehead resting lightly against Nicolette’s. Her free hand caught one of Nico’s, guiding it down and pressing the palm to her chest, directly over her racing heart, and for a long moment, she stayed that way, breathing in the sweetness of cinnamon, feeling the soft cadence of her lover’s respiration pacing her own.

“You realize that if you asked me to steal the Orlesian crown jewels, I’d be on the next ship to Val Royeaux?” she asked, her smile faintly bemused, because it wouldn’t be for the money, or the thrill of it (alright, maybe a bit of that), but to see her minstrel smile, watch those incredible eyes light up with pleasure. It was foolish, she knew; Nicolette would not require such an extravagant (and highly illegal) gesture. She was happy with the simplest of tokens: the cinnamon soaps that Celeste made sure to keep beside the bathtub; the silver anklets with bells that Celeste was using to teach her stealthy movement; a bright hothouse flower tucked behind an ear on a cold and grey day; a foot massage after an evening spent dancing. But Celeste didn’t know how else to give voice to what she was feeling.

Perhaps something not quite so extreme. “If you -” she swallowed, tried again, feeling the nervous flutter of butterflies in her gut. Grand gestures were easier, it seemed. “If you wanted to move your things into the captain’s cabin, I -” wouldn’t mind, she started to say and stopped herself, because that wasn’t it. “I would like that,” she said instead, because it was true. “I’d like it a lot.” The butterflies abruptly grew to the size of albatrosses, and she hurriedly added, “But if you want to keep your own space, that’s fine, too. We almost never fill up all the berths, so it’s no trouble.” Which was, she was fairly certain, not what she had told Nicolette when she had first offered her the cabin, but since she was the captain, she got to make the damn rules. “Whatever you want.” That was it: the heart of the change in three words. Somewhere along the way, that had become what mattered.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#14
Nicolette had never intended to allow her feelings for Celeste to become as strong as they had. She had an affection for every bedpartner, however casual – that why was they were allowed to be intimate with her at all – and it was far from the first time that such affection had bloomed brighter than usual, but this was something else. Something half-remembered, and almost feared. She had not forgotten the pain of leaving Eward, no matter how necessary it had been. She had been careful since then.

Judging by the lurch in her chest when Celeste’s warm green eyes met her own, she had not been careful enough.

Celeste claimed to be fine, then quickly turned about. “Yes. No. I just-”

For a moment Nicolette thought she was going to pin her against the mast again, and she would have gone with it and let Celeste crush all the what-ifs right out of her head. She had wanted to soothe her captain and instead something crackled between them, potent as lightning – and with equal opportunity to be as calamitous as it was beautiful.

Instead, Celeste slipped an arm around her waist and drew one of Nicolette’s hands to her chest. Beneath her fingertips, she felt Celeste’s heart thudding as fast as her own. For a moment, their heads resting together, Nicolette did not wish to move.

“You realise that if you asked me to steal the Orlesian crown jewels, I’d be on the next ship to Val Royeaux?”

Celeste seemed as confused by that idea as Nicolette was, and for a moment they wore equally uncertain smiles. The notion that she would ask for such a thing was as alien a thought as realising that Celeste would do it if she asked.

“It is fortunate, then, that the brightest jewel I could wish to see is in front of me. No thieving required.”

It was a silly line, as purple as prose could get, and she stumbled on it, as sincere as it was. Nicolette realised she was on the verge of panic. She had no idea what Celeste might be about to say next, and how it might change everything. Celeste might have realised they were getting closer than either of them have imagined, and be preparing herself to establish a bit of distance. Nicolette’s heart thudded a little faster.

“If you-” Celeste swallowed. “If you wanted to move your things into the captain’s cabin, I – I would like that.” She paused. “I would like that a lot.” Then, very quickly; “But if you want to keep your own space, that’s fine, too. We almost never fill up all the berths, so it’s no trouble.” Nicolette knew that Celeste had said otherwise when they first met. The whole plan had been that when they set off she would have to become used to sharing the cabin with another. Which was only fair. She would not have expected the captain to give up the money another passenger would bring. “Whatever you want.”

She was not pushing her away. She was drawing her even closer, and Nicolette’s thoughts fluttered about like the wings of a dozen panicked pigeons. Celeste made her braver, somehow. She had done things since they had crossed a line from casual bedpartners that she had never imagined she would do, and she always felt safe with the other woman. Even now, squashed together in the crow’s nest, she knew that with one word, Celeste would let her go, and she could make her way down to the check and back to her own cabin at her leisure.

She did not want Celeste to let go.

She drew Celeste in, not to kiss her, but to hold her tight, thankful that the other woman was there to steady her. She might be about to make a dreadful mistake but she was going to take that risk regardless.

“I would like that too.” Her words were slightly muffled by Celeste’s shoulder, and she realised that her eyes were watering slightly. She was happy, happy beyond sense, and there was a lump in her throat. She straightened, trying to clear it. “I enjoyed waking up alongside you the other day, so much. I – could happily do it every morning. And kiss you when you woke, each time.”

Her body was shaking like a leaf. She hoped she was not clinging to the other woman too hard.
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#15
This was nothing that Celeste had expected, and certainly nothing that she had planned. An evening’s mischief and a mutually enjoyable dalliance after had been all that had been on her mind when she had invited the pretty minstrel along on Gaddrick’s little errand. She’d honestly been figuring that Nicolette would bail at several points in the venture: sneaking into the Chantry, scooping up bat shit, snooping in the Grand Cleric’s private rooms and enjoying a tryst on her balcony while she slept. But she’d stayed right beside the sailor every step of the way, and as close as they had come to getting caught, she hadn’t bolted the instant her feet hit the marble paving stones. That had been more than enough to pique Celeste’s interest, and one night spent in each other’s company had turned into several.

Even then, it hadn’t seemed that unusual, and they’d both agreed that neither wanted to be tied down. Celeste had more than a few friends with benefits, Isabela being a prime example, and she’d told herself that this would be no different. Offering the minstrel a berth that nobody was going to be using had cost her nothing, gained some tunes to liven the drudgery of the repair work and made it that much easier to locate her for a tumble or a prank. But every day, it seemed, she found something new about Nico that made her want to learn still more, and not just in the bedroom. That she was a talented musician and storyteller was obvious early on, but the sheer joy that she took in performing, the way that she had of genuinely connecting with her audience and drawing them into her joy … that was something remarkable. So gentle, and by her own admission fearful of combat, but willing to put herself in harm’s way to help people she had never met. Smart enough to know just the kind of life she wished to live and brave enough to live it, walking away from those fool enough to try and push her into the mold that they thought she should conform to. So many layers, wrapped up in one beautiful, sensual, intelligent and courageous woman. Celeste was no longer sure just when she had gotten in over her head, and she felt drawn to swim deeper still, but she had kept reminding herself that Nicolette wasn’t looking for anything long term. She didn’t want to be another of those that the minstrel felt the need to pull away from to keep her freedom.

Up here, with thoughts of what might go wrong when they tried to rescue Addie trying to intrude on her thoughts, Nicolette warm in her arms and the sweet song still echoing in her memory, it was more difficult to hold onto that resolve. Her words about stealing Empress Celene’s jewels were offered as a joke, but there was an exhilarating element of truth to it: an admission that Nicolette had a power over her that no one since Daniel had possessed. Celeste had long since accepted that she would never find what she’d had with her husband again, but the possibility of something altogether different but no less potent had never occurred to her, and she found herself holding her breath for the few seconds that it took Nicolette to respond.

“It is fortunate, then, that the brightest jewel I could wish to see is in front of me. No thieving required.”

It should have sounded corny, and if any other man or woman had tried that line on her, she’d have laughed at them and dumped her drink on their head, but the vulnerability in those lovely amber eyes turned it instead into something that made Celeste’s heart do a crazy flip in her chest, and gave her the nerve to suggest something that wasn’t utterly outrageous. Something much more possible and therefore much more intimidating. Pilfering royal baubles was a breeze compared to asking Nicolette to sodding move in with her, and even though she’d left the minstrel an out, her breath caught again as surprise and other emotions she couldn’t define flickered across that lovely face.

And then Nicolette was closing the scant distance between them, wrapping herself tightly around Celeste and pressing her face into the sailor’s shoulder, and all that Celeste could do was hold her in return, unsure if this was yes, no or goodbye. She’d told Kalindra that she wasn’t afraid of anything, but apparently that wasn’t quite true, because she was suddenly afraid that she had said the wrong thing, pushed too hard, and why the Fade hadn’t she just -

“I would like that too.”

Her racing thoughts suddenly piled atop each other, and her heart made a cautious leap. Had she heard that right? And did that mean she would like to move in or keep her own cabin? Not that it mattered, she could stay wherever she wanted, all that Celeste wanted was for her to stay, but -

“I enjoyed waking up alongside you the other day, so much.” Nico lifted her head, those glorious eyes shining a bit too bright in the moonlight and her cheeks a bit damp, but she was smiling. “I – could happily do it every morning. And kiss you when you woke, each time.”

She could breathe again. Breathe? She was pretty damn sure she could fly at this moment. “Only when I don’t wake up first,” she murmured, leaning in for a kiss … and then another one, just because. But she could feel the shivers wracking her lover’s body, and besides that, she was feeling a definite urge to kiss every inch of that soft, copper-hued skin, and that definitely wasn’t happening in the current locale.

“Let’s get you down from here.” She drew back enough to let her right the clothes that she’d mussed, feeling an odd but unmistakable pleasure at the tender ritual that appealed almost as much as the mussing had.

Almost.

That done, she reached up for the rope that served as a swift route down to the deck and climbed out, testing it with her weight until she was sure that it was secure. Satisfied, she tightened her grip with her right hand and braced her feet on the edge of the crow’s nest, holding out her left hand in invitation.

“This one goes all the way down,” she promised with a smile. It would be faster and safer than a novice trying to climb down the rigging with cold-numbed hands, and Celeste was confident that she could bear the minstrel’s weight for the short descent.

And maybe she felt like showing off a bit, as well.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#16
“Only when I don’t wake up first.” And to prove it, Celeste kissed her and then kissed her again, and Nicolette returned the kisses with joy bubbling up inside her like a fountain. She had feared the return of this feeling for so long and now it was here she welcomed it back like a long-lost friend. The potential for disaster was completely dismissed in favour of trying to convey just how much the offer had meant to her, and how happy she was to accept it.

Celeste’s warm was not quite enough to keep the chill from creeping into her fingertips, however, and the captain apparently felt her shivering. Although not all of that was from the cold. “Let’s get you down from here.”

It was going to be unnerving, climbing down the rigging with her hands as cold as they were, but she trusted Celeste to keep her safe, and she helped the other woman in tidying her clothes as Celeste was doing for her. There was something intimate and playful about it, and Nicolette found herself smiling almost shyly at the other woman as she re-laced her breeches.

Celeste reached above their heads, grabbed a rope and then nearly gave Nicolette a heart attack as she clambered up onto the edge of the crow’s nest. She knew the other woman was agile but this was the first time she had seen Celeste in her true element, and as she gawked up, she realised that the brief flutter of terror had been quickly usurped by another and somewhat more urgent feeling.

“This one goes all the way down.” Celeste held out her hand, and Nicolette was taken back to the Grand Cleric’s balcony. She had had no idea, then, what that whole event would lead to. With it in mind, she took Celeste’s hand without hesitation, stepping up onto the edge.

Alright, maybe there was a tiny flicker of fear left, but she trusted herself to the other woman and tucked herself into Celeste’s grip, holding tight around her waist and onto the rope with her other hand. “I trust you.”

That did not quite prevent her from letting out a bit of a squeal all the way down, though.

When they reached the bottom, it took a few moments to prise her limbs away from the other woman – although how much of that was fear and how much of it was something else, they did not have time for her to work out. Safe on the deck, she kissed Celeste, far more boldly than she had done openly before now.
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#17
The brief flare of alarm in Nico’s eyes when Celeste exited the crow’s nest gave way to a look that would have warmed the sailor in the midst of a blizzard, and when she held out her hand, the minstrel took it without question, climbing up and leaning into her, looping one arm about her waist and reaching up to take hold of the rope with her other hand.

“I trust you.” Strange, how three words, echoed in the warm regard of those glorious eyes, could make her own ability to talk drift away like fog before a breeze. Another gust of wind reminded Celeste that they couldn’t linger here indefinitely, and she shifted the arm around her waist to her shoulders so that she could tuck her own arm around the minstrel’s waist to support her on the way down.

“Not too tight,” she warned, glancing up to Nico’s hand on the rope. “It’ll burn.” She kicked away from the crow’s nest, locking her knees and feet onto the rope with the ease of long practice. Her lover’s gasp of surprise rose to a squeal as they descended … definitely a bit more quickly than she would have on her own. It was a short distance to the deck, though, and the discomfort of the slight rope burn in her right hand was immediately forgotten in the fire of the kiss that Nicolette bestowed on her when they touched down.

A low wolf whistle sounded from the direction of the bridge, and Celeste loosed her embrace of the other woman to flip Dax the bird with both hands behind her back. “We might want to move this inside,” she suggested when the kiss ended, “unless you’re wanting to scandalize the docks.” What happened in the crow’s nest stayed in the crow’s nest, but it was open season on anything taking place on deck.

“I tried the ‘dagger in the sail’ trick that the writers put into those bodice ripper novels once, when I was twelve,” she admitted with a crooked grin. “I don’t recommend it, unless you don’t have any other choice. You come down a lot faster than the books make it sound, and you have a very pissed off bo’sun waiting for you on deck.” It had earned her one of the most thorough hide tannings of her life, but having mended sails and put out coins for new ones, she understood now why it had been so poorly received.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#18
Celeste gently warned Nicolette against gripping the rope too hard, and Nicolette loosened her grip a little, although instinct was demanding that she hold on as tight as she could so she didn’t plummet to the deck. She knew that somewhere on the other end was a counterweight, but she did not know if it would be heavy enough to adjust for her and Celeste at the same time.

As it turned out, it could, but not to the degree that it was a slow descent. The deck came rushing up at them quickly and once on the ground she had to pour the sudden spike of energy into kissing Celeste, which she did until somebody whistled loudly at them. Nicolette turned enough in Celeste’s arms to see Dax, grinning and giving them a wave. She giggled, blushing a little, as Celeste advised they move inside. “Unless you’re wanting to scandalise the docks.”

“On a warmer night I might have chosen the option involving scandal,” Nicolette teased, “But I think we would have to outdo ourselves to keep warm out here tonight.” And it would be bad to get both of them barred form Kirkwall for indecency when they had a rescue plan that needed carrying out. The reminder of Addie caused a brief tug of guilt in her chest – should she be behaving like this, when she knew that the girl was trapped in her home with no idea if she would be saved in time? – but Celeste, either sensing the slip in the mood or just with very good timing, brought up an anecdote about her younger exploits.

“I tried the ‘dagger in the sail’ trick that the writers put into those bodice ripper novels once, when I was twelve.” Nicolette turned wide eyes on her. During her time on the Wicked Grace when she was not playing, she had learned quite a lot about how a ship was run. The effort to run down a sail and the time to sew up the tear properly – assuming it did not have to be replaced altogether – was exhaustive. But she could not prevent a chuckle at the sheepish expression Celeste’s face. “I don’t recommend it, unless you don’t have any other choice. You come down a lot faster than the books make it sound, and you have a very pissed off bo’sun waiting for you on deck.”

“I am quite glad we did not come down that way. Not least because if we got stuck again because the sail needed mending, you might have exploded.” Nicolette grinned, nuzzling Celeste’s cheek with her nose. “And I might have had a heart attack on the way down.”

She pulled back a little in the circle of Celeste’s arms, but only by the barest movement. “Shall I get my things from my cabin now? Or shall I leave that for a few minutes longer?” Her hands skimmed down Celeste’s back, squeezing slightly as they reached her bottom, as Nicolette pressed a kiss just below Celeste's jaw.
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
226
#19
“On a warmer night I might have chosen the option involving scandal,” Nicolette said, perhaps not entirely in jest, which was definitely one of the reasons that Celeste delighted in her company. “But I think we would have to outdo ourselves to keep warm out here tonight.”

“Sounds like a challenge to me,” Celeste suggested, brushing her lips along the minstrel’s throat, just over the line of her pulse that still raced from their descent, but the cold had been enough of a distraction already, and she was quite ready to focus her full attention on her lover for a while.

Her story of her childhood adventure in sail-cutting drew a laugh from Nico. “I am quite glad we did not come down that way,” she agreed, her breath warm on Celeste’s cheek. “Not least because if we got stuck again because the sail needed mending, you might have exploded. And I might have had a heart attack on the way down.”

“And if we survived, Torgun would have killed us anyway. And Kali,”
Celeste quipped. The former seamstress could mend sails, but she definitely didn’t like it.

Nico drew back a bit, amber eyes regarding Celeste inquiringly. “Shall I get my things from my cabin now?” she wanted to know, fingertips grazing down either side of Celeste’s spine, trailing shivers of sensation that had nothing to do with cold in their wake, then pressing more firmly into the curve of her ass as her mouth teased at the sailor’s neck. “Or shall I leave that for a few minutes longer?”

Oh, two could very much play that game. “I’d imagine it’ll all be there come morning,” she replied, feigning nonchalance in her voice as her hands slipped beneath the minstrel’s blouse, moving lightly over the bare skin of her back. She turned her head to intercept her lover’s lips with her own, the kiss teasing and fleeting, backing away and brushing in again, breaths heating the air between them. “Your choice, though,” she concluded with a faint smile. She could wait, but she wasn’t averse to trying to tip the scales.
 

Nicolette O'Hara

Prominent member
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
146
#20
“Sounds like a challenge to me.”

One of the things Nicolette liked about Celeste was that she never shied back from a bit of extra effort. Not that it took much on either of their behalves around each other; while they could extend their teasing games for hours at a time – sometimes long before they reached anywhere with a bed, assuming they made it there at all – they were both equally happy to give in to immediate need, ravishing each other on the spot. Nicolette had initially been concerned that she might not be exciting enough for the daring captain, but those worries had been long since banished. She tilted her head back as Celeste justbrushed her lips down her throat, her own fingers slipping upwards beneath the captain’s shirt, tracing over the skin of her back, her heart continuing to beat at the same rate it had coming down the rope.

She could have let them continue right there, and might well have, had the weather been warmer. Instead she chose to toy with Celeste a little, dangling the possibility that the captain might have to wait a little while for her. Her mischievous streak had led her on occasion to wind Celeste up on purpose and then disappear into the city for a few hours for work. The results when she returned had usually been pleasing.

It only worked when she was not experiencing a rush of blood to the head from something exciting or daring they had just done, however, and descending from the crow’s nest at high speed qualified. She could not keep her hands off the other woman, who reciprocated by sliding warm hands over chilled skin, teasing her with a kiss. “I imagine it’ll be there come morning.” Celeste pulled away, then back in again, and Nicolette chased her lips. “Your choice, though.”

Nicolette was by this point almost drunk on adrenaline, need and the joy that Celeste’s words in the crow’s nest had brought, and she laughed softly as she pulled the other woman back to her quickly, before stealing a kiss that was much deeper and hungrier than those before. When she broke it, her breathing was ragged. Celeste had won this particular - admittedly short - battle of wills. “I need you now, my captain.”

She finally managed to let go of her lover, but kept hold of her hand, drawing her towards Celeste’s cabin.
 
Top