cccrystalclear · a day ago
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Felt nostalgic and wanted to draw the lads from acotar again
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azsazz · 2 days ago
You Too
Azriel x Reader
Summary: You are with your son and his cousins going out for ice cream when something attacks the city. Bat Dads come to save you all.
Warnings: None
Word Count: 2,507
You never thought you’d be planning for another war…not with a child at least. But here you were, sitting around the large circular table in Rhysand’s office – big enough to fit the entirety of the growing Inner Circle – planning for the worst.
The only thing keeping you sane was the laughter from the three mischievous babes playing down the hall.
Preparing for battle was exhausting, you all had to simultaneously strategize war plans while pretending that nothing was going on, to keep the babes safe and happy.
You felt like you hadn’t slept properly since you’d caught wind of this battle. Your mate and his dumbass brothers tended not to let you nor the other females in the group in on anything until you found out for yourselves, not wanting the lot of you to worry. It was endearing at times, and you thanked them for it once in a while, as when the whole of the Inner Circle got together it was a lot of bickering and not much planning.
Tuning out the High Lord and his cousin spouting ideas back and forth you craned your head towards the door, listening in on the three youngins the next room over. They were having a discussion of their own, serious whispers amongst the three of them loud enough for you to hear, strategizing how they were going to convince one of their parents to take them out for ice cream.
You smile softly at the sound of them, so young and animated about anything and everything, not a single care in the world. In fact, you could use some ice cream right about now as well, any sort of break from this never-ending discussion would be heaven.
Your attention is drawn over to your mate as he places a gentle hand on your knee, noticing that you’d tuned out the conversation at hand in favor of the much more appealing one happening down the hall, as his shadows reported to him while he amusedly watched the verbal lashing Rhys was getting from Mor.
You smile softly at him, your own hand moving automatically to caress his jaw, thumb brushing over his cheek in a soothing pattern. Azriel looked tired, and you know he hasn’t slept in days, he had been away all week, scouring for any information he could find. Maybe you’d bring him some back as well, knowing how big of a sweet tooth he had although he’d never admit it, just him and no one else from the Inner Circle.
He presses a kiss to the palm of your hand in a silent goodbye, hazel eyes sparkling with adoration for you and the babes. He’d go if he could, you knew that, but he had to stay and help out.
Slipping from your chair no one noticed as you stealthily left the room. If it was because your mates' shadows were hiding you or because they were all too busy arguing, you had no clue, but didn’t care as you neared where your son and his cousins were playing.
“What kind of ice cream are you going to get?” Junior asks giddily. Peeking your head around the corner you see the three of them huddled close together, toys discarded all around them.
“We have to get them to take us first,” Nyx, ever the rational one, responds. He is just like his parents in so many ways, already the cunning mind of the six year old surprised you. “How are we going to do that?”
And your son, an exact copy of his father, shadows and all, perks his head up, meeting your gaze with the biggest smile on his face. Wren climbs to his feet, scrambling over to you to throw his arms around you, so full of love.
“Hi Mommy,” he says, squeezing around your legs tighter in a hug. “Have you come to take us for ice cream?”
You release a breathy chuckle at your son's innocent question. He is a very smart boy, and had probably known you were on your way down the hall once you’d left Rhysand’s office, the wards around the room keeping his tiny prying shadows out of.
You soothe your hand through his dark hair, brushing some away from his big, pleading hazel eyes. A soft smile graces your lips, “Yes babes, let’s go get a treat.”
“Mommy, come on!” 
You chuckle as your son races back to you from where he was walking ahead with his cousins, grabbing onto your hand and tugging you forwards.
You had all taken the short walk from the River House down into town to the best ice cream parlor in the city. Velaris was bustling, much like every other day unless there was torrential rain or a snowstorm, and even then the Rainbow was still quite populated.
It was nice to get away from the battle talk and take a leisurely stroll with the younglings, so carefree and excited, climbing on everything in sight and pretending to play swords. You hadn’t let them bring any toys this time, not wanting to clean them all up from the ice cream that was sure to spill at least twice between the three of them.
You are about a block away when something strange happens, making you halt in your path and clutch your son's hand tighter. The hair on the back of your neck rises and you look up into the sky, feeling like something isn’t quite right, like something has pierced the wards around Velaris’ border.
Calling the other two children back to you, your voice a stone cold warning that they do not argue against, clinging to your other hand together like they were taught, you scan the sky for any signs of potential danger.
There…like a storm of black rolling around the city from all angles, much like the one you had heard about during the war with Hybern. You had not been present but you had seen the worst of it when you had returned, the carnage and devastation of your beloved town.
It had killed you to not have been there to help, but out on a mission from Rhys. You hadn’t known anything other than the spike of fear you felt across the bond, then the utter rage roiling through Azriel’s body as he jumped into immediate action.
There couldn’t be another breach in your city so soon. The winged creatures took form the closer they got. There was nowhere to run, tugging the terrified boys closer to your body as you sent a sharp warning through the bond, the returning feeling burning with icy fear.
“Mommy?” your son's terrified voice breaks your heart. They are much too young to be going through this sort of thing, and you and the rest of the Inner Circle had done your best to keep them out of the know.
Where are you? The High Lord’s voice enters your mind as the first creature lands in the center of the square, red eyes hungrily dancing from screaming and scrambling fae, trying to decide who it would attack first.
The creature was something you’d never seen before, not even in a nightmare. It had characteristics of an Attor, but the other features of the animal were unknown to you as its eerie eyes caught yours, mouth pulling up in a rancid grin, teeth mangled and broken as it crawls towards you, its long limbs slipping against the cobblestones.
Rhysands voice rings through your mind again, this time more desperate than the last, (Y/N), where are you!?
You cursed under your breath, glancing away from that thing headed your way to find somewhere you could protect the children better. Once you round the corner of this block you’d be in the heart of the Rainbow where more and more creatures were surely landing now, if the shrieks of townsfolk were anything to go by.
But next to you, an alleyway. It would have to do.
You usher the three little boys in, asking you question after question of what’s going on. They can sense your fear no matter how hard you are trying to mask it. You curse yourself for not bringing a member of the Circle that could winnow. Rhysand is still yelling out in your head and the bond is burning so cold that you can barely breathe.
Fuck Rhys, we’re in the Rainbow, you respond, By the ice cream parlor. The babes are safe for now, and I will protect them with my life.
Even though the children had been warded since you left the property of the River House, you knew that these creatures wouldn’t give up until they could take them.
You look over your shoulder for the creature but the entrance is still empty, then back to the three terrified little boys crouching down and gathering them close. It’s heartbreaking, for them to find out like this, realize that people are going to be coming after them for their entire lives, just because of who their parents are.
“Listen here,” and your voice is as steady as it can be. You have to show them that you are not scared, though you are absolutely petrified to your very core at the thought of someone capturing any of these babes. You would never let that happen, not while you are alive. “I need you boys to face the wall and close your eyes and cover your ears, yeah? Can you do that for me?”
“What’s going on?” Wren clings to your shirt, round eyes filled with tears. You wipe away one that rolls down his round cheek with your thumb, offering him what you hope is a reassuring smile.
“Nothing wrong baby, just a little intruder that we’re going to take care of. You are all safe, okay?”
“What was that thing?” Nyx asks, holding onto his cousin's hands tightly.
“We can talk about that when we get back to the house,” you assure them, hugging them tightly and giving them the nudge to do as you instructed, “Go on now, do as I said.”
The three are the most obedient you’d ever seen them, backing into the corner and facing the wall, their arms intertwined but covering their ears. Wren peeks over his shoulder at you and you nod at him, a silent command to do as he was told. You can see the fear in his look as you pull the knife from your thigh, hidden in the pocket holster of your leathers, the only thing you’d wear out of the house with the impending war.
The creature nearly takes up the entire opening of the alley when it stumbles to a stop. You take a deep breath as you stare it down, ugly maw scenting you and the little ones fear in the air. The blade is clutched firmly in your hand, the screams of horrified citizens ring in your ears, the tang of fae blood heavy in the air, Rhys still screaming in your head, a terrified father, and your mate tugging on the bond, burning hotter and hotter the closer he gets.
Like an animal stalking its prey the creature inches in on you but you do not yield even the smallest step. You are going to need as much room as you can get to keep the babes safe.
And it’s like everything stops and your heart calms slightly when swirling shadows sweep in, filling the alleyway. Azriel steps out of the shadows, siphons blazing a brighter blue that you’d ever seen before, Truth-Teller clasped tightly in his hand, his Illyrian sword in the other.
Cassian slams down into the ground powerfully with his large wings splayed wide. His face is that of a true warrior, hard and furious, his own son in danger. He’s seeing red, the color of his own stones adorned in his armor, as he takes in the sight before him.
And the High Lord of the Night Court winnows in front of you, his power like electricity in the air, and the lightning in his eyes suggests the storm of bloodshed that is about to begin.
No one threatens their babes.
The three of them are a unit, a team of silent stealth as they jump into action, Az falling back to your side as Cassian and Rhysand encroach on the beast. Your mate watches with trained eyes, his shadows a wall around the children. He knows that his brothers have this under control, but his gaze lingers until he deems it safe for him to turn his back, the both of you rushing to where the three cousins stand, huddled together and covering their ears with their eyes shut tight like instructed.
“Hey, it’s okay,” Azriel soothes as Wren squeaks at the gentle hand on his shoulder. When your son sees his father he bursts out in tears, wrapping his arms around the shadowsinger’s neck and burying his face in the crook of his neck. 
Your mate's eyes soften as the other two boys crowd in on him, following your son's actions. He holds them close, he will always protect them.
“Az,” you warn, noticing more flying creatures circling in the air, “Get them out of here.”
“You too,” he responds, holding the boys as close as he can in one arm, his other hand outstretched towards you.
You shake your head, “It’s too much.”
“You too,” his voice is stern and he’s giving you that look, the tug on the bond urging you to grab his hand is the reason you take his hand.
It’s a strain, for him to winnow four others with him, but his adrenaline is pumping and his instincts are wild with the need to protect his family. His shadows feel the same, keeping you and the children wrapped tightly to him away from danger.
You all make it, appearing in the foyer of the River House, a heap of limbs and children still sniffling. They climb off of you and your mate, their mothers nearby, while Az pulls you into his arms, Wren cradled between the both of you. He presses a kiss to your son’s forehead, then yours, his heart finally calming now knowing that the two of you are safe.
But he has to go, has to get back out there and protect the city that he loves, and you know that, giving him a firm kiss on the lips and releasing him, holding onto your child as you back away.
And the spymaster rises, shadows curling around his broad shoulders, siphons flickering, eyes shining with vengeance as they lock with yours, and you nod, giving him the go to save his city, but come home safe.
His shadows shroud him, thick and angry, and the last thing you see is his smirk, a promise that he’ll be back in your arms soon, ready to do what the two of you do best when you need to release pent up adrenaline and tension.
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perfectengineertragedy · a day ago
Elriel Month
“𝑇ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑠𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑒 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑤, 𝑏𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑒𝑛𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑡 𝑙𝑖𝑡 𝑢𝑝 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝐴𝑧𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑙’𝑠 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑑𝑜𝑤𝑠 𝑎𝑐𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑜𝑜𝑚”
Art by @/lucielart on IG. 🌸✨
Commissioned by @soyzaweels @acourtofelriel @/valbookstan and me.
Characters belong to @sjmaas
Pʟᴇᴀsᴇ,ᴅᴏ 𝗡𝗢𝗧 ʀᴇᴘᴏsᴛ. Lɪᴋᴇs ᴀɴᴅ sʜᴀʀᴇs ᴀʀᴇ ᴀʟʟᴏᴡᴇᴅ.
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acomaflove · 2 days ago
Everyone else winnowing: silent
Rhysand winnowing: BOOM *black smoke* jazz hands. IT’S ME ASSHOLES
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bi-carli · 2 days ago
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@gokushairgel on Instagram
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the-bookish-valkyrie · 17 hours ago
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Hello everyone! Here is the giveaway commission I won with the amazing libiarts! It was such a pleasure working with her on this gwynriel met gala piece! 💙
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offtorivendell · 2 days ago
Did Azriel feel the echo of a bond when he met Elain?
Elriel Month, Week 4: Choice, True Mates & Balance.
This is obviously stretching what is written, and is definitely a crack theory, but consider the following:
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This has been analysed before, in terms of Elain's whispering cobalt dress and its parallels to Azriel's siphons and shadows, but what if that's not all?
Azriel, canonically, has "stone cold manners," so why would conversing with Feyre's sisters - human or not - be any sort of struggle for him, or make him so uncomfortable that he wanted to disappear entirely? Surely he has dealt with far more difficult people, and awkward situations, than two nervous humans who are inviting faeries into their home in order involve themselves with the Night Court's political machinations?
It doesn't make much sense to me, that this would be where he drew the line in terms of what he can bear, so what if - and again, I know this is a stretch - Azriel felt the echo of some sort of a bond with Elain when he first met her, though he didn't know what it meant at the time. He only knew that it was new.
What if Az (and Elain!) each had a "and there she/he was" moment, but neither understand the significance?*
* Elain not understanding what she felt would have been because she was a human (ie. what even is a "mate"?), and Azriel because he likely doesn't think he's worthy of a mate, so he wouldn't have considered it as a possibility, especially with a human. Feyre and Rhys could have been a fluke, for all we knew (until Nesta and Cassian), but at that time their bond wasn't known, anyway.
We know from Rhys that faerie-human bonds are muffled, and he wasn't certain that Feyre was his mate until after she was Made. Could Az have experienced the same thing? He's been described as an "echo" of Rhys before, in terms of his power, but what if it's also in terms of being mated to an Archeron sister?
It's interesting to note that Cassian was grimacing, too, which could obviously be due to Nesta's blunt words, but again: they are mates, and were drawn to each other from the start. Could Cassian, who - like Azriel - has surely dealt with far "worse" than a human not being a welcoming host (his experiences wouldn't even be on the same page as Nesta with an attitude), have also felt something at this point?
In comparison, Rhys' only reaction was to raise his eyebrows.
I don't know. It could be nothing at all (I could be reading into it way too much), but it could also, potentially, be another parallel between Azriel and Cassian, and their reactions to Elain and Nesta: like when they both went a bit still at seeing them at breakfast, or when they both reacted before each sister was threatened and thrown into the Cauldron, or when they both wanted to touch and taste and smell them, or when they have both been protective, or when they both made sure their wings were displayed to full effect in front of each sister, or when they both went on "certain death" missions for them, or when neither could stay away...
Also worth reading: this post, by @merymoonbeam, which ties in really well with this particular crack theory.
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siyana95 · 18 hours ago
The third week of #Elriel has already ended, though belatedly, but a drawing that is made in color is always more interesting, right?) I wonder if my vision coincided with yours?
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seneschal-jude · a day ago
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Character Moodboards: Elain Archeron
And it was Elain who sighed and murmured, “I hope they all burn in hell.”
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kayla-2 · 22 hours ago
The walls pushed in on me. The quiet, the guards, the stares. What I’d seen at the Tithe today. “I’m drowning,” I managed to say. “I am drowning. And the more you do this, the more guards … You might as well be shoving my head under the water.” I cried out, instinct taking over as his power blasted through the room.”
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“Does Tamlin? Does he ever ask you why you hurl your guts up every night, or why you can’t go into certain rooms or see certain colors?” “He locked you up because he knew—the bastard knew what a treasure you are. That you are worth more than land or gold or jewels. He knew, and wanted to keep you all to himself.”
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“But I forgot to tell him,” I said quietly, opening the door, “that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key.” I shrugged. “He was the one who let me out.”
Credit: thedustyshop & starscrapers (Instagram)
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elainsgarden · 2 days ago
people who dismiss elain’s trauma in regards to being made against her will and instead sympathize only with nesta’s trauma because nesta’s is more “loud” and elain seems more well adjusted and quiet can just block me and never speak to me again because that is vile
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duvetdaybooks · a day ago
“ Because of the shit with Elain?”
Azriel stilled. “What happened to Elain?”
~ a court of silver flames.
Note the wording. When Cassian is talking with Azriel look at Azriels first response to hearing about the fight between Elaine and Nesta. It’s not what happened with Elain that gets his attention. No it’s what happened to Elain? He doesn’t care what the situation was no his first thought was something happened to her. Was she ok?
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gwynethvalkyrie · 2 days ago
Friendly Reminder
According to Sarah, Lucien and Elain would go to London and tour through the gardens before making their way out to the countryside on a Modern Date.
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perfectengineertragedy · a day ago
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Art: vale.jzarts
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feyre-starborn · 2 days ago
A modern Feyre Archeron would love Autumn and Winter because it’s the perfect time to drink a hot chocolate by a crackling fire with Taylor Swift playing in the background as she paints the falling leaves outside the window, while her husband, Rhys, sits in the corner of the room reading a book, drinking an espresso and making loving, encouraging comments about her work every now and then as a toddler Nyx sleeps in his lap. It’s the perfect time for relaxation, love and safety. All things Feyre loves and cherishes 💫💜
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bi-carli · 14 hours ago
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the-bookish-valkyrie · 2 days ago
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Hello everyone! Here is my Jassa commission done by the amazing _Ink.Eyes! 🔥
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theladyofdeath · 2 days ago
The Viscount Who Loved Me {Two}
TVWLM Masterlist
An A Court of Thorns and Roses fanfiction, inspired by the first 2 seasons of Bridgerton.
Written alongside @snelbz
Ships: Nesta x Cassian x Elain (I said what I said) Feyre x Rhysand Elain x Azriel x Gwyn
As the season begins, a new Diamond is named. She catches the eye of a prince whose feelings remain unrequited. However, the man who catches the eye of the Diamond remains off the market, refusing to get married as a jab to his late father.   Meanwhile, the Diamond of the Season’s sisters have found themselves in a bit of a quandary. The elder is pushing the younger to get married to help her move on from the horrid disaster that happened last season, but in the process, the elder catches the eye of the younger’s match, even though she is considered to be an old maid and far past her time to be wed at the age of six and twenty. As they say, all is fair in love and war. 
A/N: I don't think you all realize how excited I am to share this fic with you all. Like. I'm so excited. I'm even more excited now that Shelb has finished the series (all 2 current seasons, of course) and can now write it with me. Let us know what you think!
Tag list is at the end. If you’d like to be added, please comment below or submit an ask. :)
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My lovely readers,
Join me as we all anxiously await the Queen's announcement of this season's Diamond. Is it just me, or after years past have we fallen in love with the tension of waiting for the Queen's announcement more and more? Whoever this season's Diamond may be, hopefully she brings us a season full of undeniable scandal.
I cannot wait to hear of whom will be in the spotlight this season. Hopefully Her Majesty has learned her lesson in picking fools.
Until next time,
The Suriel
“Has April always been so warm?”
Feyre pondered the unseasonable weather as their carriage meandered along the streets of Velaris. The fan in her hand was pointed at her face, but at her bosom as Nesta and Elain had drilled into her. Her chest didn’t feel like it was on fire, didn’t have what felt like an entire pound of cosmetics painted onto it.
“It’s just your bodice and skirts,” Elain said, resting a placating hand on her silk covered knee. “Last season, I nearly passed out on the ride over.”
Nesta said nothing, but nodded in confirmation. Their father was reading a newspaper across from them, not even acknowledging the conversation around him.
As she looked out at the fog filled morning, Feyre was conflicted. She’d spent the early hours getting prodded and pampered, much to her dismay. She wore a dress that she wasn’t fond of but, then again, she was not fond of most dresses. She preferred pants, although she only wore them when she painted. If she were to wear them at any other time, both her father and sisters would reprimand her.
“The key is to find an object just behind the queen and focus on it,” Elain was saying. Feyre was trying her best to listen. “When in doubt, just keep smiling.”
Feyre took a deep breath and met Nesta’s gaze. “Is that what you did?”
Nesta’s eyes narrowed and she quickly looked toward the passing streets as they hurried down the cobblestone path toward the palace.
Elain was participating in the season, as her coming out had only been a year before. Nesta, however, was no longer in the prime of her youth, and would be acting as both Elain and Feyre’s social sponsor, after this initial visit with their father. He would not be in attendance for the rest of the season. No, he would be working, amassing and growing their fortune.
“It doesn’t matter what either of us did,” Elain said, trying to quell the tension growing between her sisters in the tight quarters of the carriage. “What matters is that you be yourself, and let Her Majesty see the wonderful beauty that you are.”
Feyre wanted to roll her eyes but she didn’t, wouldn’t, never to Elain. While Feyre and Nesta had their fair share of squabbles, Elain had been through enough as of late and Feyre would not add to her own burdens by giving her a bad attitude. 
As they turned the corner, they could see the palace looming in the distance. It was clear they were not the only family on their way to pay a visit to Her Majesty, which only increased Feyre’s nerves.
She had a lot riding on this.
Her entire family did.
They had already been through enough scandal. It was now Feyre’s job to clear the air, to find a good husband and restore their family’s name. 
“Father,” Feyre began, although her eyes remained on the road ahead. “Do you have any advice?”
Isaac Archeron did not look up from his paper. “Listen to your sisters.”
She waited for him to say something more, but when he didn’t, the carriage fell into another tense silence.
For the last few minutes of the ride, Feyre closed her eyes. She imagined she was painting a calming picture of the ocean, but it quickly turned into the ocean in the midst of a storm and when she opened her eyes once more the carriage had come to a stop.
They had arrived.
Elain must’ve sensed the tension that had contorted Feyre’s body because a soft hand rested in hers as the footman came to the door and opened it up for them. 
Once her feet were on the earth below, she had to close her eyes to keep her body from swaying. Then Nesta was tugging her forward, tight-lipped as always, dragging her up the stairs and into the palace beyond.
Feyre had been inside the palace twice now, when both of her sisters were presented for Her Majesty, but this time it felt different. The walls blurred as they swept through the foyer and down to the sitting room where the young women of Velaris were anxiously awaiting. 
Feyre joined them but kept her distance.
“Elain, go wait with father,” Nesta said, looking warily at the girls in their frilly, white dresses.
Elain gave a quick kiss to Feyre’s cheek before scurrying out of the room, leaving Nesta alone with Feyre. As her eldest sister, the eldest woman in their family, she would be the one to escort Feyre before the Queen. Part of Feyre thought that she would reject the responsibility, but she didn’t even bat an eye.
Although Nesta had never found a husband of her own, it was almost as if she truly wished that Feyre would find a good man to walk with her through life. 
No one would ever realize it from the way Nesta stared at the golden-painted walls ahead of her, lips pursed and chin raised high. 
There were surely rumors spread of Nesta already that morning among the women they were surrounded by, a fact Feyre knew that Nesta was aware of. She would pretend it didn’t bother her, though, what other people said, the nasty hate they spew in her name. 
Nesta Archeron. The woman who no man could love. The woman who scared all men away. The woman who brought shame to her family.
The Diamond that did not wed.
The Diamond who brought shame to the Queen. 
Nesta never spoke of it, of her failed season as Diamond, of the year after when she was laughed out of every ball. Elain might have been embarrassed and heartbroken, but Nesta had been shamed. 
Yet she stood next to her youngest sister, straight-backed and proud, just as she had done for Elain the season before.
The murmuring in the room was more hushed than that of what was out in the presentation hall. They were sharp laughs and unexpected spikes of voices that signaled Her Majesty was not yet present in the large room and Feyre was thankful for the sounds of normalcy. Last year, she was among those watching, waiting for the Queen to make her decision as to who the grandest prize or the season would be. This year, she was to be judged.
She suddenly felt like a prized animal being taken to the country fairs, to be scrutinized and nudged and gazed at by far too many people. Still she kept the pretty, bland smile Elain had helped her muster on her face. No matter that Elain made the smile look pretty and genuine. Nesta had informed Feyre that it made her look like she had.
The whispers and conversations outside the closed door halted and Feyre stilled, her head turning towards the abrupt silence.
She met Nesta’s eyes.
Nesta’s jaw locked, but she nodded. 
It was time.
The doors opened and, one by one, the young women were led out of the room with their escorts and lined up before the doors of the throne room. 
Nesta held out her hand.
Feyre took it and for a moment it felt foreign, but she quickly pretended as if it did not.
It was not that Feyre didn’t love Nesta. She did. But, after so many years of bickering and disagreeing and growing apart, Feyre accepted the fact that they would never be the closest of friends.
A muffled voice came from the other side of the doors and Feyre knew the Queen was being announced. It was followed by silence, in which everyone bowed. 
Feyre couldn’t help but close her eyes.
She took a deep breath. 
The doors opened and Feyre got a glimpse as the first girl entered before the doors closed once more. 
Feyre and Nesta took a step forward, along with everyone else in line.
Two minutes passed.
They repeated the process.
Before she could gather her thoughts, Feyre and Nesta were standing behind the double doors, staring at the engraving, next in line. 
“Don’t be nervous,” Nesta said, although her words were clipped. “She senses fear. Act like you don’t have a care in the world. Be respectful, of course, but hold your ground.”
Her words had just left her mouth when the doors opened, yet again, and they entered. Feyre’s feet moved without her telling them to, and she was convinced that it was Nesta dragging her along.
When she looked up, she met the eyes of the queen.
Queen Amarantha did not smile as they entered.
“Miss Feyre Archeron, escorted by her sister, Miss Nesta Archeron.”
The room fell nearly silent.
Feyre averted her gaze, as she knew Nesta was likely doing as well, as they crossed the long hall. She felt the eyes of the entire ton on her, felt the weight of their gazes, the judgement and snobbery. Elain and her father were mixed into the crowd, but she didn’t look for them. She kept her eyes forward, found a gorgeous painting of a countryside landscape, the first fingers of night reaching across the cloudless sky. It was serene and peaceful and Feyre found herself longing for the solitude of their country home. The quiet there was different from the quiet she currently endured.
When they reached the front of the hall, they curtsied, Feyre careful not to let her skirts sweep out too far or to let the angle of her head drop. Once they stood, she once again allowed herself to look at the queen. Her dark eyes were already on her, but they slid to her sister.
“Miss Archeron,” the Queen said, the smile on her face not friendly in the slightest. “A pleasure to see you again.”
Nesta bowed her head, reverently. “Your majesty.”
The queen hummed, something like approval in the sound, and she looked back to Feyre.
“Miss Feyre,” the Queen crooned, and Feyre could feel her eyes raking down her body. “I have heard many wonderful things about you.”
Perhaps it was a moment of weakness, or perhaps she was simply a fool, but Feyre met Queen Amarantha’s eye and lifted her chin. The moment their eyes met, Feyre regretted it, but she didn’t back away. The Queen's eyes were merciless, cold, but there was a hint of mischief in there that caught Feyre’s attention. She couldn’t look away. “It is an honor and a pleasure to see you again, your Majesty,” Feyre said, hoping her voice didn’t waiver. She curtsied and was sure to stay low for a moment before rising again. 
Queen Amarantha’s lips turned upward. “I have high hopes for you, Miss Archeron. After what your sisters have endured, the ton has still spoken highly of you.”
“That’s wonderful news, Your Majesty,” Feyre said, even as Nesta’s body stiffened beside her. “I hope to be a wonderful example of what a man should expect of a wife. I see it as my duty to restore my family’s name.”
If what she felt radiating from Nesta was shock, than Amarantha looked positively delighted. It was clear that she wasn’t expecting someone to be willing to make a statement like that. Someone that would provide glorious entertainment and poise for the season.
“How old are you, girl?” The Queen asked.
“I’ll be twenty on the Winter Solstice, your Majesty.”
Queen Amarantha tutted softly, resting a pale hand over her chest. “So young, yet already so full of duty for your family.” She looked over Feyre once again and stood from the ornate chair she’d been seated in on the small dais.
The room collectively took a breath.
Nesta had become as still as a ghost.
As the Queen approached, Feyre tried to remind herself to keep her chin high, to stand tall. She’d ensnared the attentions of the Queen and now she must endure them. Each step rang out in the silent hall, echoing almost as steady as Feyre's hammering heartbeat.
As the Queen paused in front of her, she held a bejeweled hand out to Feyre.
Feyre only hesitated for a second before she took the Queen’s hand and kissed the backside of it, softly. 
“I see promise in you,” Queen Amarantha said, watching Feyre intently.  “You are different from the other young ladies, Miss Archeron. You speak honestly and outright, yet you hold your head high with poise and grace. Any man would be lucky to have you as a wife.” She snatched her hand away from Feyre’s, nearly making Feyre fall over where she stood. She didn’t, though, she stood tall next to her sister. It wasn’t until she was walking back up the dais that Her Majesty announced, “Perhaps that is why I will make you this season's Diamond.” 
Cassian was bored.
He was so bored that he was nearly ready to call it a day, even though he, Azriel, and Rhysand had only been in the woods for an hour. The sunny morning sky was now covered in clouds. He wouldn’t be surprised if they were soon caught in a rainstorm. Hunting in a rainstorm wasn’t uncommon in a Velaris spring.
“Excited for the first event of the season?” He asked, at last, and when Azriel hushed him, Cassian rolled his eyes. “We’ve been here for ages and haven’t seen a thing. I doubt me talking will make it any worse.”
“No, but what a glorious hour of silence it’s been,” Rhysand quipped, shouldering his own gun, standing and stretching.
“Prick,” Cassian said. “You’re both attending the Beddor Ball, yes?”
“Of course,” Rhys responded. “It’s the first event of the season.”
Azriel nodded begrudgingly.
The first event would be the talk of the ton and would set the tone for the rest of the season. Everyone would present, those looking for marriage and those who were looking for…dalliances.
“Given anymore thought to settling down, Az?” Cassian asked as he pulled a flask out of his inner pocket and held it out for him.
Azriel stared at the flask for a moment before taking it and taking a long swig. “No.”
“You don’t badger Rhysand nearly as much as you do me,” Azriel interrupted. “Why is that?”
“Easy,” Cassian said, taking the flask back and draining half the contents in a single drink. “Because he lets me have unimpeded access to his cabin in the mountains, and I’m not inclined to lose that privilege. You, my land wielding friend, only have the one home in the country, and share the same title as I do. His Viscountship,” he drawled, letting his eyes land on their smirking friend, “technically has the power to shut me up. You do not.”
Azriel stared at him for a long moment before letting his inner child take over and punching Cassian playfully - for the most part - on his shoulder.
Even though Cassian let out a sharp laugh, he winced. “Besides. Rhysand will marry whether he wants to or not… You, on the other hand, refuse to and won’t hear otherwise.”
Rhysand gave Cassian a warning look before sneaking a glance at Azriel. “Az does not have to marry if he does not wish.”
Cassian opened his mouth to reply but thought better of it. At first, it was playful, but now it was entering dangerous territory. They all knew why Azriel didn’t want to marry, didn’t want to have children. And, although Cassian mostly understood, there was still a part of him that did not.
“Besides,” Rhysand began, breaking the silent tension, “with neither of us looking for a wife, we get to spend our season helping you find yours.”
“Oh, I have no need to look,” Cassian replied, crossing his arms over his massive chest. “I’m going to marry whoever Her Majesty names this season’s Diamond.”
Azriel scoffed, while Rhysand didn’t even try to hide his bark of laughter. “You and every other eligible bachelor in the ton will have your eyes set on her as soon as the announcement is made.”
“The Suriel will have to confirm it,” Azriel added. “You know how she kept us on our toes last season.”
Cassian snorted. “The Suriel. Rubbish gossip is all. The ton cares too much what the Suriel has to say.” 
“Including yourself,” Rhysand fought, grinning. “You’ve read every issue.”
“Only when bored,” he muttered, and even Azriel couldn’t help his spreading grin. “I never thought I’d see the day when the opinion of Queen Amarantha was outweighed by a petty, anonymous gossip.”
“You’re only angry because she called you a Rake in her last issue,” Azriel muttered. “As if it’s not true.”
Cassian didn’t deny it. He knew what he was called among the ton behind closed doors. “Doesn’t give me a solid foundation for this season, does it?”
“The only foundation you need includes your handsome face and your riches,” Rhysand said, looking up at the sky as a quiet thunder rolled in the distance. “Women will be lined up for a word with you, I assure you.”
“You think I’m handsome, then?” Cassian asked, batting his lashes at Rhysand who was setting his gun against a tree.
“And arrogant,” Rhysand added.
“But handsome, nonetheless?” Cassian pushed.
Rhysand just shook his head and scanned the horizon as Azriel unscrewed the cap of the flask, once more. “May the Mother bless the woman that ends up with you.”
Cassian had the audacity to look offended. “I will be a brilliant husband, thank you. I have money and, as Rhys says, I’m incredibly good looking. What more could a woman want?”
“Someone who doesn’t sneak off with a whore every night,” Azriel muttered.
Cassian wasn’t offended. “Ah, I did have to tell Tanwyn we won’t be getting on for much longer. It truly is the end of an era.”
“Ten more minutes of not seeing a thing and I’m leaving,” Rhysand muttered, crossing his arms, changing the subject.
“We won’t see a thing with all this talking going on,” Azriel mentioned, gulping from the flask. “And drinking.” 
“Then let’s not wait the ten minutes and head to the gentlemen’s club instead,” Cassian crowed, tossing his hunting rifle into the air and catching it again. Any animals that may have been nearby would certainly be gone thanks to his obnoxious volume, precisely what he’d wanted.
Azriel stood with a sigh. “If we’re done, I’d like to—”
“To what?” Cassian interrupted, pausing where he’d begun to head for their horses. “Lock yourself up in your studio and draw?”
“Let him do what he wants, Cass,” Rhys drawled, wrapping his free arm around Azriel’s shoulders. “Though I’m sure it’d be much more quiet in your studio without Cassian’s laughably large mouth,” a protest from Cassian, “if Cassian is to begin courting a young lady soon, this could be our last chance at normalcy for a while.”
Azriel’s hazel eyes bounced between his two brothers before he nodded and wrapped an arm around Rhysand’s middle. “I guess I can come, for a round or two of cards at least.”
“And a drink,” Rhys added, meeting Cassian and clapping him on the back. “In celebration of our brother’s upcoming betrothal.”
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shadowsingerofnight · 2 days ago
I have this image so clear in my mind of elain braiding lucien’s hair like you don’t understand
I could become convinced they are endgame on that image alone I swear
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spareplanets · a day ago
the acotar fandom is so weird. i love feyre and nesta. i love gwyn and elain. why are y’all determined to put women against each other? it reeks of misogyny.
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