A History of Lies - Chapter 1: A Kiss to Save the Day
Dragon Age: Cullen/Mari Hawke, cast
Summary: As political stability in Kirkwall decays, Knight Captain Cullen must learn to provide leadership in an impossible situation. Meanwhile, he forges an unorthodox relationship with an apostate named Mari Hawke.
Chapter 1, “A Kiss to Save the Day,” opens in the middle, less than a week after Hawke battles the Arishok and is declared Champion of Kirkwall. Cullen has been told to accompany Hawke on an official visit to Cumberland. Unbeknownst to Cullen’s commanding officer, Meredith Stannard, the beginnings of a romantic relationship between Cullen and Hawke have been secretly blossoming. Now, on their trip to Cumberland, everything is about to change…
Throughout the day, Cullen rehearsed the barefaced lie he would write in his evening report.
Starting early in the morning, when he and Hawke set sail, heading west out of Kirkwall Harbor, alone on a tiny, single-masted boat, Cullen shuffled words in his head, moving them like pieces in a puzzle. He sought out innocuous patterns. Simple statements that read as unquestionable truths. He sprinkled in details to add touches of realism. Stock phrases to confirm what his readers already thought. By noon, he had composed his evening report more than a dozen times. Each time he felt satisfied with the picture his words would paint, he chided himself for creating a premeditated lie. After all, nothing worth hiding had occurred. At least, not yet. And then Hawke would catch his eye as she brushed back her windblown hair. She’d flash him a smile far warmer than his templar title should invite. In his head, he refined his fiction one more time, building the shield of words that would protect him while he sought out what he knew he wanted. She gave him strength, and everything about him and Hawke was a matter between himself and the Maker. This time, Cullen refused to feel shame.
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