Moments of Ned Cousland's relationship with Morrigan, focusing on its development. Morrigan's PoV

Chapter 3: Travelling with Men

Chapter 4: A Night at the Camp

Chapter 5: Soaring High

With her usual graceful step, Morrigan approaches the fire to collect her portion of the evening meal, ignoring the others but deliberately swaying her hips, knowing that it will not go unnoticed.

The way Alistair quickly averts his eyes whenever he might be caught staring, is most amusing. The fool probably thinks that she never notices.

And Sten… He never changes his expression, his eyes never linger – but she knows that she will have a reaction, eventually.

The main object of her action also responds accordingly: as she passes by Ned between the tents, he briefly snatches her in his arms for a kiss, as a promise of things to come.

"Oh, superb. Excuse me while I begin projectile vomiting."

Alistair's remark was probably never meant to be heard, but everyone has just fallen silent and Morrigan has a sharp ear.

"What was it, Alistair? We were not listening," she calls sweetly over her shoulder, breaking away from the kiss. With wicked delight, she notices that Ned's shoulders stiffen a little: darling Alistair seems to be pushing too far.

Both for her own pleasure as well as for the show, she prolongs the kiss, feeling her pulse speed up. As she presses against Ned before they split, she feels yet something else. "Come soon," she purrs and heads back to her tent, still swaying her hips since she knows that he is looking, he always does.

Later, when they are done, Morrigan rolls over to her belly on the blanket which they have spread by the fire and watches Ned getting dressed. She does not bother with her own clothes: the night is warm and she certainly has no scruples about exposing her body.

As she glances over to the camp, she notices that Alistair has stationed himself at the farther edge of the glade, and she does not hide a smirk: she was intentionally vocal, more than usually, knowing that he has the first watch. "My, my," she shakes her head. "'Twould seem that our dear friend Alistair does not approve of our little misadventure."

She cannot discern Ned's expression in the dark but he is definitely not amused. "You are both impossible," he says rather coldy but despite his words, he still bends to kiss her before he leaves.

Seeing his determined stride, Morrigan feels a tinge of curiosity. She hesitates but for an instant; then, on soft wolf paws, she runs around the glade.

Her assumption proves right: Ned does not head to his tent but towards Alistair, standing at the border of the firelight and the dark.

Morrigan is safely hidden behind a thicket before the conversation starts, hoping for yet another satisfaction tonight.

"Alistair. May I for a word?"

The way Alistair startles is definitely amusing: now, unused to hearing such tones with our own person, aren't we? But wolf throats are not accustomed to chuckling, and so she remains silent as Ned continues: "I'll say this just once. I don't make smart comments about your private life, or rather the lack of it, you stop making comments about mine. Am I perfectly and abundantly clear?"

Morrigan tilts her head back, her maw wide open: even better than she expected. Little wonder that Alistair barely manages to stutter something incoherently apologetic, but Ned is not done with him yet. "Really, instead of prying your nose into other people's business, you'd better attend your own. Get yourself someone and have a nice roll in the grass, it will definitely provide you something to occupy your mind with."

Morrigan also feels like rolling, with laughter, especially as Ned adds: "Given the way Leliana ogles you at every opportunity, that 'someone' really shouldn't be hard to find." Even in the darkness, she can see Alistair's ears burn red like hot iron.

Ned then turns his back on the dumbfound ex-Templar but before he can leave, Alistair blurts after him rather desperately: "She'll hurt you!"

Morrigan cannot help but perform the wolf equivalent of raising her brows. Hurt Ned? Why should she do it? A capable warrior and leader – all right, he does have his flaws but they are quite minor – and a skilled and attentive lover who brings her valuable presents… why should she wish to hurt him? There is absoutely no gain in this, and given the time they yet have to spend together, an action that would alienate him and possibly undermine his abilities would be highly impractical – for both of them.

With delight, she thinks of her latest acquisition: the bracelet of five pearl strings, clasped with a massive silver clasp, intricately wrought and inlaid with blue stones of impossibly deep hue – she has never seen their likes before. It perfectly fits to her wrist, neither constraining nor meddling with her movements as she casts spells.

A perfect gift, from – ah, well, not absolutely perfect but almost, yes – a perfect man. Why should she wish him harm? In fact, doesn't she do her best to keep him unharmed in fight?

And, above all, how does the fool Alistair imagine that she might hurt Ned? Should she bewitch him with her charm to make him fawn over her like one of those love-struck fools Leliana sings about? Really, Alistiar doesn't seem to think very highly of the man who treats him with far greater respect than he deserves. Their fearsome leader is too complex to fall for such simple tricks.

Obviously, Ned also thinks that the notion is entirely ridiculous: he makes quite a performance, looking up, down and up again before he turns back to Alistair. Morrigan pricks up her ears in anticipation of another sarcastic reprimand but much to her disapointment, Ned speaks very softly, and the rustling of leaves in a gush of breeze prevents her from grasping his words. Annoyed, she lays her head on her front paws as she watches the two men part with a pat on the shoulder. Alistair is hardly going to remember this lesson if he is graced immediately.

Lazily, she returns to her tent and shapeshifts back. She runs her fingers along the smooth cold pearls around her wrist. Such a little trinket, and what pleasure it can give.

As well as Ned. She smiles contentedly. There is nothing wrong with taking one's pleasure, as long as she remains in control.

Surely, there is nothing wrong with that.