The laces were taut; the slip of a sharpened blade would have them snapping in an instant, but Isabela preferred the simpler touch of bare fingers on skin, where the calluses she wore met nothing more than smooth, warm flesh, secretly soft beneath the leather. They hid their gold in the shadows between them, hips rocking with the same sweet rhythm of a fine new galleon upon the waves, breath caught in their throats like the wind itself in unfurled sails, and their hair was still tangled with salt. She’d said something, burning hot, about the scarf he wore; he’d mentioned her rigid boning but, more importantly, what it shaped. And they’d fallen into each other after that, close enough that she could taste the whiskey on his stubble, the flavor of metal in the burnished stud when her tongue darted out and she licked it. Her earrings were bigger than his, and her chest, and that was all she needed—although his body was scattered with dark hair and the trail of treasure leading down from his navel, under his belt, did have its pleasures.
The belt, though—that would have to go.
Her lips parted, ready for the moment just before a kiss, an anchor lifted, bodies so much lighter and so much heavier than they had any right to be—
‘You know, Rivaini,’ Varric said, ‘there’s a writer’s term for what you’re doing. It’s called self-insertion.’
‘Oh, like you don’t do it yourself all the time with Anders,’ Isabela replied, then licked the tip of her quill and kept writing.
HOLY SWEET MAKER