Other: torture (non-explicit)
I only managed to get 1/3 of this next chapter done. Well, it’s better than nothing?
I totally got Wylem’s name wrong. Nobody pointed it out. Oh well, that’s who he is in this AU from now on. Not that he’ll be back :X
<center><strong>Return to Denerim Part One: Interrogation</strong></center>
Wylem was surprised to see them.
His face was frozen in shock even as Bannon’s fist smashed into it, knocking the scrawny human to the floor. “Stand guard,” the thief told Morrigan and Sten. “Scare away any potential visitors.” He pushed the door closed.
He was in one of his black moods, Zevran noted with approval. He’d been concerned that this return to Bannon’s home town would make him fret over his family again, and waste time trying to see them, or find out any information.
No, he was focussed on the task at hand.
Zevan and Bannon hauled the shem to his feet. “Back room,” the assassin suggested, and they headed that way. When Wylem began to resist, Bannon slugged him in the gut. The elves wrestled his dead weight into a chair. It was a fine, cushioned chair, but it had arms, which was the most important. The elves tied Wylem at wrist and ankle.
Zevran looked at Bannon. He was staring down at the shem, his eyes dark, his breath a little heavy. His muscles were taut. “Have you ever interrogated a shem before?” Zevran asked mildly. He thought the Denerim elf would be fine, but you could never tell. Some hardened warriors became squeamish at the littlest things.
Bannon shook his head, then he looked at Zevran. “Show me.”
A small smile curled one side of Zevran’s mouth. “First, we will need a gag.”
Bannon’s brow creased. “Don’t we <em>want</em> him to talk?”
“Talk, yes. But in an unsecured, un-isolated location such as this, <em>screaming</em> can attract unwanted attention.” He shared a grin with the thief.
Wylem sucked in a breath, recovering his wind. “Brother Genitivi… not here,” he grated. “I told you….”
“He’s in Lake Town, right,” Bannon finished sarcastically. He pulled out his belt knife and sliced at the top seam of Wylem’s sleeve. He tore it down and cut it off above the cuff. He handed to strip of fabric to Zevran. A gag.
“He is in Lake Town, I swear,” Wylem babbled. “That’s what he said, Lake Town. The Spoiled Princess Inn. I only know what he told me!”
“You mean what your <em>real</em> boss told you to say,” Bannon snarled. Wylem’s retort was cut off as Zevran doubled up the cloth strip and flipped it over his head, yanked it back into his just-opening mouth, and tied it tight.
“Now,” the assassin said as Wylem chewed on the gag. “The first consideration when preparing to interrogate your target is not to damage the mouth or the throat. Not to break the jaw, split the lips, knock out teeth, or slice the tongue…. You do want them to be coherent after all.”
Bannon looked at him, clearly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Zevran admired his quick mind. “When considering a gag, it would also be good if he can breathe without using his mouth.” Bannon gave him a flat look. Zevran shrugged, as it was of no consequence. He simply grabbed Wylem’s swollen, bloody nose, and yanked.
“YEARGH!” The shem managed impressive volume even when gagged. Blood poured freely from one nostril, by which Zevran judged it open enough to allow air. He flicked blood drops from his hand.
Bannon pulled the medallion from his belt pouch. He held the chain wrapped over the knuckles of his fist, in front of the shem’s face, making Wylem flinch at the veiled threat. “Do you know what this is?”
The man shook his head vehemently.
Bannon glanced at Zevran. The assassin pulled out one of his thin-bladed daggers. Holding it point down, he moved it carefully to the wide-eyed Wylem’s neck, between skin and collar. With a yank, the collar slit open, and another yank pulled the shirt wide. Zevran carefully tapped the medallion with the dagger point. “That’s funny,” he mused, “since you are wearing one identical to it.” The medallion quivered on Wylem’s chest, his heart was beating so hard. Yet when Zevran looked into his eyes, he saw rage, not fear. Interesting.
“It seems he needs some softening up.” Zevran tapped the blade against his chin in contemplation. “This can go one of two ways,” he said to his apprentice. “We can use a small bit of pain over a large portion of his body….” He turned the dagger and waved it back and forth to indicate the human’s bared torso. “Or, we can concentrate a great deal of pain in one of the more tender areas.”
He leaned down over Wylem and gently placed the dagger tip against his lower eyelid. “We could graduate on to maiming,” Zevran mused, pressing just hard enough to draw the skin down and expose the eyeball. Wylem rolled it to stare at him. “If he proves stubborn enough. But that depends quite a bit on whether or not you plan to let him live when you’re finished with him.” A tremor passed through Wylem’s body, and a whimper escaped his throat.
Zevran straightened and turned to Bannon. “Of course, it must always be planned. To have someone die on you, in the middle of an interrogation, is terribly bad form.”
Bannon was staring down at their victim, his face intent. His lower lip was partially tucked in. Zevran caught a glimpse of tongue tip as Bannon looked over to him. “Show me.”
Another smile spread across Zevran’s face. “To work, then.”
Zevran enjoyed a good blood-letting. Oh, not when it was his own blood, to be sure. He’d been subject to a great many of them in the Crows — as punishment, as training. In such circumstances, one didn’t have the luxury of appreciating the art; one was solely focussed on holding body and soul together while the other destroyed one to weaken the other.
No, when one was the inflictor, it was entirely different. A feeling of power coursed through his veins. It was not quite the white hot flash as you struck down your target with one fatal stab. This was more of a slow burn.
Zevran had participated in many a blood-letting with various members of the Crow assassins, and they almost always ended up in the victim’s bed, ravishing each other in violent passion afterwards.
He closed his eyes, remembering blood-stained sheets. Hot blood slick upon bare skin. Iron on his tongue as he licked it off. Her tongue on his–
He snapped his eyes open and shook himself. No, that was… the past. Thrown away along with his life. Only the here and now existed.
He watched Bannon work, feeling a familiar heaviness in his balls, and wondering if the handsome Denerim elf felt the same way he did.
<em>No, Zevran. No time for fun. We have work to do.</em>
The pious were the most difficult to deal with. The rewards of their all-powerful deity would always overshadow any threats made by mere mortals. And Wylem seemed convinced that he was doing the divine work of Andraste. Not just the Maker’s ephemeral bride; he actually believed the risen Andraste had appeared in his little wayward village, wherever the hell that was.
Bannon proved to be quite imaginative. Another trait Zevran admired. The Denerim elf didn’t smile as he worked, nor did he snarl, but his teeth showed in a feral expression. He was like a caged bear, chained and baited, always fighting, never able to escape; until one day he finds himself loose among his tormentors. The taste of shem blood was freedom.
At last, Zevran said, “That’s all we’ll get from him. Finish him off.”
Now Bannon’s lips did stretch in a smile. “Quickly? Or nice and slow?” There were a few drops of blood on his cheek. His tongue probed out to catch one that was dripping near the corner of his mouth.
Zevran shivered, and it was all he could do to hold himself back from jumping Bannon and licking the blood off, himself. He turned away, looking for a rag or towel to clean up with, instead. “Quickly. Our compatriots must be wondering by now what we are doing in here.” He felt as if he were awakening from a deep sleep. How long had they been here? It wasn’t growing dark yet, but that’s all he could tell.
He found a cabinet with towels and used one to wipe down his armor. Behind him, he heard Wylem’s faint whimpers of protest cut off with a wet gurgle. He turned to offer a towel to Bannon, only to find the elf looking down on the dead shem with glazed eyes. This didn’t bode well. “What’s wrong?” he said a little harshly, to break through Bannon’s trance.
The Denerim elf shook himself. “Nothing.” His voice was steady enough. “I was just reminded of the first shem I ever killed.”
Zevran relaxed. Of course, Bannon had slain over a dozen men on his first outing; what was he thinking? “Oh? You never forget your first,” he said, handing over the towel. “You cut his throat? Did you stalk him? Hunt him through the streets? Did he know what hit him, or did you take him by surprise?”
“Uh, actually… he was some lazy old guard who fell asleep at his post. I just walked up to him and stuck a sword in his neck.” He shrugged and wiped down his armor.
“Oh.” How disappointing.
“I’m sure yours is a much grander and more wild tale,” Bannon sighed.
“To be sure.”
“Since you’ve had so long to work on it.”
“Hey!” All right, so it was true. There was no need for the Denerim brat to impugn it so.
Bannon finished with his armor, but hadn’t thought to wipe his face. Zevran gestured. With a frown, Bannon turned and bent down over the bureau to peer into the mirror. Leaning on one hand, he used the other to wipe the blood drops from his cheek.
Zevran gazed at his thighs, open slightly in a wide stance. Those muscular, leather-clad lines swept up under the armor kilt that was tipped up so tantalizingly….
Bannon whirled on him. “What are you staring at?”
Zevran blinked and tried, unsuccessfully, to keep his eyes from wandering. “At your very handsome self, of course,” he flattered. “Do you not find yourself invigorated?” He licked his lips. “I do.”
“Do you need a little time alone?” Bannon asked sourly.
“Alone? Certainly not!” Oh, Maker, let him really notice the leer this time, and act on it!
“Maybe you need a punch in the face.”
Zevran, undaunted, drew a hissing breath through his teeth. “Sss! Hot!” He ventured closer. Surely the Denerm elf could feel the heat radiating off him. Bannon was clenching and squeezing that towel between his hands in a most telling manner. “You like it rough? So do I, especially after a bloody mission. Maybe that is what we need, hm? To release all that tension.”
Bannon scowled. “I think what you really need is a punch in the balls. That would solve everything.” He threw down the twisted towel and brushed past the assassin. “Come on. You were the one saying the others were going to get impatient.”
Zevran sighed, deflated.
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