Fingers Trace Your Every Outline
Cherry Pie: Part 6 - Azriel x Gwyn
After eating a slice of pie in the Spring Court, Gwyn finds herself desperate to be closer to Azriel and put an end to their accidental bout of abstinence.
Warnings: NSFW. Very NSFW. Smut. Smuttiness for days.
Word Count: 8,476
Read on AO3
Masterlist | @tealnymph24 or @tealnymph-writes
This is part of the Cherry Pie: ACOTAR Kinktober Smut Extravaganza collection. Make sure to check out the rest of the collection and the other authors!
Part 0.5: Helion x Lady A | Part 1: Elucien | Part 2: Jurian x Vassa
Part 3: Feysand | Part 4: Emerie x Mor | Part 5: Nessian
The entire collection will be posted to AO3 and @tealnymph-writes.
Gwyn watched Nesta disappear into the Spring Court manor before turning back to the pie tin in front of her with a relieved sigh, settling into the wicker chair she had sat in while she waited for Azriel to return. He had gone to check on some of his spies nearby while she and Nesta had gone around to the patio in search of their party. But no one seemed to be here, which made Gwyn even more annoyed than she already had been.
At least she didn’t have to pretend to be impressed by the gardens anymore. She wasn’t entirely sure why Nesta had insisted they tour them, as Gwyn had never liked perfectly manicured gardens like these ones. She had curated the wild, natural landscape of her and Azriel’s home for that very reason. But she suspected Nesta had simply wanted her to enjoy her first visit to the Spring Court, and she couldn’t begrudge her friend that, even if she would have preferred lounging on the patio the whole time.
As she stared across the moonlit gardens, she forked another bite of cherry pie into her mouth, sighing happily now that she was alone. She didn’t care if she was being rude to her hosts or not. She was starving, and all she wanted to do was go home and beg Azriel to make her pancakes. He made the best pancakes.
She huffed in annoyance, wishing she had refused this dinner invitation like Azriel had suggested. She liked Elain and Lucien, but the timing for this dinner couldn’t have been worse. She and Azriel had been working constantly, getting closer and closer to figuring out the last few causes behind the uprisings in Illyria, with the help of Cassian, Nesta, Emerie and Mor. Which meant they were more than a little worn out, and neither one of them was in the mood for a party.
It had been weeks since they had had a moment to just enjoy each other’s company, work and family obligations forcing them to sacrifice much needed alone time. It had made her far moodier than normal. And Azriel hadn’t been much better. The lack of sleep, and, unfortunately, sex was frustrating them both.
She couldn’t believe she had even hinted at her frustrations to Nesta. There were some things that she simply didn’t tell her friends - even Nesta and Emerie – for their sake and hers. It suited her just fine if they continued thinking she was innocent and shy about certain matters. It left her free to indulge her curiosity with Azriel without facing probing interrogations from her sisters. They would be beside themselves if they knew the things she let Azriel do to her. That she asked him to do to her.
She sighed, brushing her frustration away as she scooped up more pie. It was delightful, the tart cherries contrasting perfectly with the flaky crust. If only it wasn’t so damn hot in the Spring Court, then she could enjoy it more. She lightly fanned herself while savoring another bite, trying to cool herself off. Had it been this warm when they arrived?
“You know it’s rude to eat when you haven’t even greeted your hosts yet, right?” Azriel’s deep, amused voice came from behind her. She whirled around, fork still poised by her mouth, the incriminating remnants of pie lingering on the tip. Azriel’s face spread into a mirthful grin as he approached her, his shadows swirling around him as he crossed the patio and sank into the chair next to her.
“I was hungry,” she said primly, shamelessly pulling the pie tin toward her and scooping up the last bite. Azriel smirked, his eyes narrowing in amusement. “Don’t look at me like that. It’s not my fault no one was here to greet us. Or feed us.”
“Fair enough,” he murmured, draping his arm behind her and absently toying with the thin strap of her flowy, green gown. She shifted in her seat, the heat making her even more distracted than she normally would be at her mate’s touch. Why was she so warm all of a sudden? “Where’s Nesta?”
“Oh, she went upstairs,” Gwyn hummed, setting down her fork and fanning herself. Gods she was hot. She was vaguely aware of Azriel raising his eyebrows at her, but all she could think about was the way he was rubbing her shoulder. Every stroke of his fingers seemed to ignite something in her.
“Nesta made us late to this and now she’s not even here,” Azriel grumbled, his wings flaring slightly in annoyance. “And our hosts aren’t here either. Remind me why we had to come to this dinner again.”
Gwyn remained silent, unable to find the words to respond. She would normally tease him to lessen his sour mood, but her mind was a puddle. There was no denying that there was a distinct warmth spreading between her legs, even though all Azriel had done was touch her shoulder. Her body was on fire – hot, burning desire filling her senses.
She knew they hadn’t had sex in almost two weeks because they had been too busy and tired, but that hardly justified how needy she suddenly felt. She was used to having him gone for a week or more at times, so this was hardly different, even if it had been frustrating. But nothing like this had ever happened to her. She felt positively desperate for him, and she had no idea why.
“Gwyn, are you okay?” Azriel asked, breaking into her hazy thoughts. She met his gaze, her cheeks flushing crimson as she tried to stay calm. His brow was furrowed, the hand on her shoulder squeezing gently. “You seem distracted, Bird.”
“I…I’m fine,” she forced out, clamping her thighs together as she stared at him. He was wearing a simple black tunic and pants, like he often did, but she found herself aching to undress him. To feel his skin on hers. The mere sight of him was making her slip further into whatever this strange haze was. What was happening to her?
Azriel opened his mouth to respond, but his jaw merely sagged open as she found herself reaching for the hem of her skirt, utterly throwing caution to the wind and letting this strange feeling completely take over. Without thinking, she hiked her dress up around her thighs and quickly moved to straddle Azriel, kicking off her shoes in the process. She moved too fast for him to argue, but as she tried to kiss him, he dodged her, staring in confusion.
“Gwyn, honey, I know we haven’t been as intimate as normal, but what the hell are you doing?” He questioned, gripping her waist. She ignored him, pressing her body into his, and sighing when she felt him hardening beneath her. “Gwyneth, did I miss something?”
She blinked, then shook her head before leaning down and kissing his jaw. He didn’t fight her, but he didn’t kiss her back either, which only spurred her on. She peppered his jaw with kisses, working her way down his throat as she reached for the buttons on his shirt. The aching in her body was inescapable, her core throbbing with need. Her earlier frustrations had now been replaced with an entirely different kind of hunger.
“Gwyn, talk to me, please,” Azriel urged, still resolutely refusing to touch her, his shadows swirling around them in thick waves. She kept kissing him, tugging at his shirt impatiently. She needed to feel him, to have his hands on her. “Gwyneth, I’m serious. As much as I’m enjoying this, will you please just…”
She moved to cut him off with a deep kiss, but he suddenly stopped speaking and captured her jaw in his hand, his eyes blazing. She froze, resisting the temptation to rock her hips into his now fully present erection. Azriel just stared at her, holding her face while she gaped in shock.
“Gwyn, show me your tongue please,” Azriel quietly commanded, his shadows deepening. She hesitantly obeyed, her body screaming at her to move against him, to touch herself, to do something. Anything. She just needed relief from the desire-filled haze that had overtaken her.
Azriel let out a deep sigh of frustration as he studied her tongue, then released her jaw, softly stroking her back as if to soothe her. “Gwyn, don’t panic, but that pie was laced with Red Iris powder, a drug used to make people unbearably aroused for roughly 12 hours unless you take the antidote,” he slowly explained, his tone measured. “We need to get you home, love.”
“Why would I panic?” she asked, ignoring his explanation, almost wanting to cry from how potent her arousal had become. She didn’t understand why Azriel seemed so worried. She clearly wasn’t the only one who had eaten the pie, so why did it matter? “How do you even know that?”
“My shadows found a note,” Azriel explained, his tone clipped, revealing just how aggravated he was. “The pie was a gift from Lucien’s parents. It was meant for tomorrow, but clearly things didn’t go as planned. That’s why your tongue is blue.”
“It is not!”
“Yes, it is,” he said firmly, gripping her thighs when she tried wiggling her hips again. She could see the sincerity in his eyes, but she was past the point of caring. The only thing that mattered to her now was getting him to make her cum. “Please just cooperate, Gwyn. If you let me take you home, I can make you the antidote.”
She shook her head and huffed in annoyance, leaning as far away from him as possible while still straddling him. The ache in her core was beyond distracting, but she was even more frustrated by his reaction to it. All she wanted was him, and he was blatantly refusing her because of a pie.
“I don’t want to go home,” she argued petulantly, her irritation growing. “It was just pie, Azriel. I don’t care about some ridiculous aphrodisiac. If you don’t want to have sex with me, then just say it.”
His eyes shot to hers, hot fury lacing his features. “Don’t go there,” he growled, roughly pulling her closer. “This has nothing to do with me not wanting to have sex with you. All I want to do is pleasure you in every possible way because I haven’t gotten to touch you like that in two fucking weeks, Gwyn. You know that.”
“Then take me,” she challenged, attempting to grind against him. The pure need coursing through her was becoming unbearable, the need to orgasm consuming every thought. “I need you, Az. If you really want me, then take me.”
“I can’t! You’re not thinking straight,” he argued, keeping her body still even while she continued trying to find some sort of friction. She let out a strangled sound of frustration, shoving at his chest in exasperation.
“Yes, I am!” She protested, shamelessly reaching a hand between her legs. If he wouldn’t touch her, then she would simply take care of it herself. A scarred hand halted her movements, gripping her wrists and holding them between their bodies.
“Don’t you fucking dare,” he said quietly, a muscle in his jaw working furiously. She could tell she was treading dangerously close to the point of pushing him too far, but she couldn’t bring herself to care. She wanted him to lose control. To take her any way he pleased. She was past the point of wanting him to make love to her. She wanted him to fuck her.
“Az, please,” she begged, not bothering to resist his grip. Her mind was too full of her own wicked fantasies to put up much of a fight. “I need you. You can give me the antidote later if you want. I just want you. Please.”
“Gwyneth,” he rumbled, releasing her wrists and leaning back in his chair. She took advantage of her sudden freedom, shamelessly pulling her skirt farther up and rocking her hips into him, a loud moan of relief escaping her. “Fuck, Gwyn. I’m trying to do the right thing, and you’re making it incredibly difficult.”
She leaned down to kiss his jaw again, a tight coil of pleasure already building below her stomach just from the slight friction she was causing. “Then do the right thing and fuck me,” she challenged, trailing a hand up her waist and cupping her breast. “I want you so much, Az. I trust you. Please just touch me.”
He groaned loudly, then grabbed her hips again, taking back control of her movements. “Fine, but I am only doing this on my terms,” he conceded, his tone leaving no room for argument even while the scent of his arousal slowly mixed with hers. “Tell me your safe word.”
“Um…blade. It’s blade,” she reminded him, her heart racing with anticipation. She knew what it meant if he was asking for her safe word, and if she had been standing, her knees would have gone weak. He had very specific plans for her; plans that she was more than willing to let him carry out.
“Good. You won’t need mine tonight,” he assured her, his voice taking on the seductive tone that always made her shiver. “But you have to be quiet for me until I can get you home. We don’t want anyone to find us out here. Okay?”
She nodded quickly, willingly giving him control. Only with him did she ever completely let go. He was her mate; she was safe. Which meant she could let herself fully enjoy every second of this. And gods, she had missed him touching her. Even if it had only been two weeks.
She didn’t have to wait long for relief, as only a moment later he suddenly lifted her off his lap, and then her backside landed on the small metal table in front of them, Azriel’s large body cradled between her thighs. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to drag him down for a kiss, but she was once again met with resistance.
She whimpered, her back arching into him slightly. “Az, please, I need you,” she whined, clawing at the buttons of his shirt. He chuckled, but didn’t argue, helping her undo the buttons and quickly shrugging off his shirt. She let out a happy sigh as her hands roamed his chest, but it quickly turned into a moan of relief as his hand trailed up her thigh and hooked on the edge of her panties.
“Remember, if you want this to stop, just say your safe word or scratch my wings,” Azriel said as he slowly dragged her soaked panties down her legs. She lifted her hips for him, her skin flushed even while a cool breeze flicked across her aching center.
She nodded, pulling her dress around her waist to give him better access. He smirked as he finished dragging her panties off and tossed them to the side, his eyes roaming across her exposed center. Before she could beg him to touch her again, his mouth was on hers and his hands were pushing her thighs farther apart, fully spreading her out on the table. She gasped, bucking her hips toward him. He pushed her back down, nipping at her bottom lip as one of his hands cupped her soaked cunt.
His tongue teased her mouth open, claiming her as he palmed her core. She bucked her hips into his hand, moaning and gasping into his mouth. Her nails raked down his back as her legs wrapped around his waist. His free hand slipped behind her neck, angling her the way he wanted. For a small moment, she worried they might be seen by someone, but then his fingers were slipping between her wet folds and she was entirely at his mercy.
She broke away from the kiss, gasping for breath, but he didn’t stop, his mouth only moving down her throat. A cry escaped her as he found her entrance and sunk in two fingers, sliding easily into her. He raised his head with a chuckle, slowly pumping his fingers in and out.
“Shh, you need to be quiet, Sweetheart,” he reminded her, shoving his fingers roughly inside of her. The movement brought another loud moan to her lips, the sound echoing across the patio. He tsked, pulling his fingers out and repeating the same motion. “We’re going to get caught, little bird.”
She bit her lip, trying to hold back a whimper, but failing miserably. “You asshole,” she gasped out, shamelessly grinding her hips up to meet his thrusts. “You like it when I moan for you.”
“Mm, maybe I do,” he murmured, leaning down and nipping at her jaw. “Maybe I want everyone to hear you. To know who’s making you feel like this.”
She opened her mouth to respond, but the only sound that left was a soft sob of pleasure as his thumb came up to her clit and began circling it. His fingers increased their pace, fucking her relentlessly while she moaned and bucked her hips wildly. The pleasure was already beyond intense, her body drawing close to the edge. She clawed at his shoulders, biting her lip to try and stifle the cries flooding from her mouth.
He kept circling her clit, adding pressure as he thrust inside of her, curling his fingers to hit the spot that always made her come undone. As his mouth found hers again, pleasure exploded through her, her orgasm coming on so fast she had no time to prepare herself. She shattered, a scream bubbling up as burning ecstasy washed through her.
Azriel stifled the sound with his mouth, kissing her through her climax to keep her somewhat quiet. His fingers kept working her, drawing out every ounce of pleasure she could handle. Her body shook uncontrollably, her pussy clenching around his fingers while her release slowly eased. He gave her a few more slow thrusts, then removed his hand, pulling his mouth away to watch his fingers slipping out of her.
She watched as he brought his fingers to his mouth and sucked them clean, a small whimper leaving her at the sight. Somehow, despite how strong her climax had been, she was already aching for more, her body still throbbing with need. She clenched her thighs around him, forcing him to lean closer to her again. But he only smirked, dragging a single finger from her entrance to her clit and back again.
“You have to be patient, Sweetheart,” he commanded, gripping her hips and pulling her against him. She gasped, reaching for the buckle on his pants. But he pushed her away, holding her wrists in one large hand. “Not yet, Bird. Tell me what you want first.”
“Fuck me, Az,” she whispered, knowing he liked it when she was very specific with her requests. She could feel how hard he was, and it made her mouth water. “Please. I…I want to feel you inside of me. I want your cock. I just want you to fuck me. Please, Az.”
“Such dirty words from such a pretty mouth,” he smirked, satisfaction blazing in his eyes as he brushed his thumb across her lips. She squirmed in his arms, a fresh wave of heat flooding her. “Hmm, I like the idea of having my cock inside of you, but I don’t think it should be that easy. Do you?”
She trembled, but managed to shake her head, heated anticipation building. Gods, she loved it when he was like this. All demanding and uncontrolled. It made her shiver just thinking about what he would do to her.
“That’s what I thought,” he murmured, finally releasing her wrists. She hesitantly wrapped her arms around his neck, trembling with excitement and desire. “I’m going to take you home, and you’re going to do exactly as I say. And if you’re good, then I might just let you have your way. Okay?”
“Yes, please,” she eagerly nodded, clinging to him, still half naked in his arms. He smiled, his hands gripping her ass, and then he winnowed, plunging them momentarily into darkness.
Only a second later, they reappeared in their seaside home, Azriel’s shadows swirling around them in excited circles. He strode purposefully up the stairs, not bothering to turn on any fae lights as he carried her to their bedroom. Gwyn clung to him, the drug still coursing through her body screaming at her to find release. She was once again overcome with the need to climax, the slight rubbing of Azriel’s bare chest against her clit causing her eyes to flutter shut with pleasure.
Before she could fully process what was happening, she was being set down on the end of their large bed. She tried to pull Azriel down with her, thinking he was going to join her, but he pulled away, leaving her spread out on the bed for him. She gaped at him, not caring that her dress was still bunched around her waist, exposing her.
He smiled at her, walking to the dresser in the corner and pulling out two familiar silky items, along with something that she couldn’t quite see before he tucked it behind his back. As he approached her, she leaned up on her elbows, ignoring the increased wetness between her legs at the sight of the ribbon and blindfold in his hands.
“Stand up,” he demanded, his eyes dropping to her core. She obeyed without question, her normal tendency to tease him fading in the face of her desperate need to orgasm again. Her dress fluttered around her, concealing her core from view, but she knew it wouldn’t take long before Azriel had her undressed and exposed again.
He kissed her softly, brushing her hair back from her face with a smile. Then he carefully slipped the blindfold over her eyes, rendering her completely at his mercy. This wasn’t the first time they had done something like this, but her arousal was almost unbearable, reminding her of the first time they had ever played with ribbons and blindfolds.
“Are you thinking of our mating frenzy?” Azriel quietly asked, sensing the direction of her thoughts. “Are you thinking of that night when I tied you up and fucked you until dawn? Does it make you wet, Sweetheart?”
She weakly nodded, helpless to her own desires. He guided her to where he wanted her, turning her until she was almost sure she was facing the bed, her knees trembling with anticipation and want. She could feel herself almost dripping with arousal, his shadows slowly caressing their way up her legs as she tried to hold still. She felt Azriel’s hands leave her for a moment, but then she felt the familiar cool touch of a blade on her skin.
She shivered, the cold of the metal contrasting with her burning desire. Azriel dragged the blade up her arm, his body just far enough away that she couldn’t quite tell where he was standing. She stood perfectly still, waiting for him to move or say something. But he remained quiet, dragging the blade torturously slow up her arm until she could feel the tip slip beneath the strap of her gown. In one swift motion, one side of her dress suddenly slipped, exposing her breast.
She gasped but managed to remain motionless. Cool air danced across her skin as the blade traveled across her collarbone, slowly gliding under the second strap. A second later, her gown fell to the floor, leaving her completely bare for him.
“I’ll buy you a new dress, love. I promise,” Azriel murmured from next to her, his breath tickling the skin on her shoulder.
“What if I liked that dress?” She questioned; her voice far breathier than she had intended.
He chuckled quietly. “Then I’ll buy you the same one,” he suggested, his hands ghosting up her sides before slowly pulling her arms in front of her. “Tell me now, and we can stop.”
“Keep going,” she demanded, desperate to feel him closer but grateful that he was still making sure she was okay first – as he always did. The normalcy of his actions helped make this strange evening easier, allowing her to fully give in to the irresistible desire she felt.
“Tell me if it’s too tight,” he replied, slipping the ribbon around her wrists. She shifted impatiently in front of him, biting her lip as he expertly knotted the ribbon, forcing her to rely on his help if she wanted to move.
He pulled away, his shadows still softly caressing her. She waited, praying he would start touching her now. His hands drifted to her waist, hovering just above her hips, his thumbs stroking her skin. The wetness between her legs had fully spread across her thighs now, her nipples peaked in the cool air, goosebumps spreading across her body.
She felt his hands pull away, leaving just the tips of his fingers on her skin as she heard him moving. His shadows followed the path of their master, drawing patterns across her body as Azriel slowly traced every inch of her. The movement of his fingers kept her anchored, stopping her from becoming too disoriented. Each stroke of his hands sent shivers down her spine, her chest heaving as he circled her.
His hands drifted dangerously close to her most sensitive areas, teasing her before he pulled away. Each movement of his fingers felt like he was branding her, each touch so sensual, so deliberate that her knees shook from the sheer force of her arousal. Finally, she felt him come to a stop in front of her, his hands resting on her sides, just underneath her breasts.
His lips grazed the shell of her ear. “Kneel,” he commanded, his voice low and rough. She sucked in a breath, her chest heaving.
“I…I need help,” she admitted, wanting to obey him but unsure if she could get on her knees without falling. She already felt unsteady, and the lack of mobility in her arms only made it worse. “Please, Azriel.”
His hands found her elbows, gently guiding her to the floor. She lowered herself without question, trusting him to keep her safe. She felt him kneeling with her, and confusion fluttered in her chest. She had thought he wanted her on her knees for other reasons, but that wouldn’t work if he was on his knees too.
When she was settled on the ground, her breasts jutting out in front of her as she sat back on her heels, he kissed her slowly. She opened for him eagerly, whining softly when he pulled away too quickly. But then his hand was gently pushing her legs apart, his fingers just barely brushing over her slick sex, and she was overcome with need. She was ready to beg if that’s what he wanted her to do, as long as it meant he made her cum.
“Gwyn, I need you to trust me,” he whispered, his hand still hovering between her legs. She felt his other hand slip past her thigh, joining the other underneath her. “I’m going to try something different to try to help take off the edge from the drug. Is that okay?”
She nodded. “Yes, I trust you, Az,” she assured him, her legs shaking. She thought she might faint from how potent her arousal was. It was like being in the mating frenzy again, except she felt like she had no control over her own body, which was far more difficult to handle than the frenzy had been. At least then she had been able to exhibit some restraint when necessary. She was quickly understanding why Azriel had wanted her to take the antidote to this odd drug.
“Keep your legs spread for me, Bird,” Azriel commanded, accepting her answer. She forced herself to pay attention, trying to ignore the desperate clawing of desire that was ripping through her body. “This is going to feel strange, but just stay relaxed.”
She thought about asking what he meant, but she never found the words, the sudden movement of his hands between her legs forcing every thought from her head. A finger circled her entrance, gently entering her before pulling out. But it was quickly replaced with something cold and hard, the mysterious object slipping easily inside of her.
As her inner walls involuntarily clenched around the item, she suddenly realized what it was, a breathless giggle escaping her as Azriel slowly finished putting it inside of her. It was the gift Nesta had jokingly given her for her birthday, a glass sex toy that Nesta had said might be useful for when Azriel was away. Gwyn had never used it, partially from nerves, but mostly because she had grown accustomed to Azriel’s hard warmth inside of her. She thought the toy would feel strange, and she was quickly realizing she had been right.
But gods, did it feel good. It wasn’t quite as large as Azriel, but the odd ridges that ran along the sides of it made up for it. Every time she so much as breathed, it shifted just slightly inside of her, teasing her enough to cause her breathing to turn ragged. But, to her surprise, Azriel didn’t move the toy. Instead, he released his hold on it, his shadows replacing his fingers and holding it in place. She whimpered, quickly growing desperate for Azriel to fuck her with the toy.
To her dismay, she felt him move away from her, leaving her side, the toy still resting in her aching cunt. She whined, her inner walls clenching fruitlessly around the object. His shadows didn’t help, as they kept gently caressing her clit, her breasts, her neck – everywhere.
“Azriel, please, I…gods, please,” she moaned, shifting frantically to try and bounce her hips up and down on the toy. But his shadows kept it in place, denying her the movement she wanted. “Az, I want to cum. Please.”
“Shh, it’s all right,” he assured her, his voice much too far away for her liking. “All you have to do is stay exactly like that for five minutes. Then, if you’re good, I’ll come back and do anything you want me to. Can you do that for me, Sweetheart?”
“Az, I…what?” She stumbled out, the pressure from the toy making her almost dizzy with need. “Where are you going? Are you just going to leave me here?”
“I’ll be back in just a few minutes, Sweetheart.”
And with that, she heard the door open and shut, leaving her alone in the darkness. His shadows remained with her, coaxing small whimpers of pleasure from her as they teased her body. She tried to stay as still as possible, but every second felt like an eternity, the glass toy inside of her a constant reminder of how much she needed to cum. Azriel’s shadows began working her clit, adding pressure to her already throbbing core, her whimpers turning into moans.
But she still couldn’t find enough friction to climax, the shadows keeping her release just out of reach. She wanted to scream in frustration, the blindfold keeping her from knowing how much time had passed. Her safe word floated through her head, something that rarely happened, but she wasn’t sure how much longer she could handle this. Her body was screaming at her with the need to orgasm, every inch of her body aching with need.
But just as she truly considered saying her safe word, desperation clawing at her throat, she heard Azriel reenter the bedroom. She sagged in relief, softly sobbing as she heard him approaching. She heard rustling, and then movement in front of her, followed by scarred hands cupping her face. His lips pressed against her temple, his thumbs stroking her cheeks reassuringly.
“Shhh, it’s all right. I promised I’d be back, Sweetheart,” he murmured, peppering her face with kisses. She sighed with relief, too needy to form words. “You did so good, little bird. You were so patient. I think you deserve a reward. Would you like that?”
“Yes, please,” she moaned, forcing the words out, nodding frantically. She clenched her thighs, causing the glass toy to shift, drawing a gasp from her lips. “Oh gods, Az! Please, please do something.”
“Shhh, it’s okay, I will,” he promised, brushing his hands through her hair. “Do you still want me to fuck you, or do you want something else? You’ve done so well, love. Tell me what you want, and it’s yours.”
She whimpered, shifting restlessly on her knees, her wetness fully dripping down her legs now. “I…I still want that,” she whispered, her mind a frenzy of heat and need. She felt dizzy, her desperation to climax reaching new heights. “But I…I need you to touch me. Please, Az. Please, just touch me. I need your hands, your mouth, anything. Please. I need you.”
“Okay, I’ll take care of you, I promise,” he soothed her, gripping her elbows to guide her to stand up again. She obediently stood, her legs shaking uncontrollably, the glass toy still nestled inside of her throbbing center.
“Come here, Sweetheart,” he murmured, guiding her forward before turning her around. The backs of her knees hit the bed, and he helped her sit on the edge, his warmth filling her with renewed arousal. She clenched her thighs, clawing at the restraints on her wrists. She wanted to touch him, to feel his skin beneath her.
He helped her shimmy backward, easing her onto her back as he crawled over her, kneeling between her legs. She trembled, her inner walls fluttering around the glass toy as Azriel shifted her arms until they were stretched out over her head, the familiar tug of his shadows pulling on the ribbon to keep her in place. His breath danced across her skin, his mouth ghosting along her chest before finally meeting her lips softly. She bucked her hips up, trying to find his body, but he pushed her back down as he pulled away, one hand gripping her hip while the other trailed up her thigh.
And then the toy was suddenly pulled out of her, drawing out to the tip before shoving back in. She cried out, her back arching as her wrists strained at the ribbon. He pulled the toy out again, dragging the tip through her wet folds and circling her clit before slipping down to her entrance again. He eased the toy back in, only going a few inches before pulling it out. She gasped and whimpered, frantically pushing her hips up to meet his thrusts.
But he kept her in place, alternating between barely putting the toy inside of her to tease her and roughly thrusting it in until she was crying out in pleasure. His movements were unpredictable, making each sensation heightened, her inner walls fluttering uncontrollably as he fucked her with the glass toy. Then his shadows joined in, stroking her most sensitive places, nipping at her before Azriel soothed the marks with his tongue.
“Look at you, so needy,” he murmured against her skin, his lips trailing down to her breasts. “I thought you wanted my cock, Bird, but you seem to be doing fine without it. I guess I don’t need to fuck you after all…”
She let out a soft sob, arching her back into his mouth as his lips wrapped around her nipple. “No…no, please,” she whimpered, tugging at the restraints as he roughly thrust the toy into her again, his teeth nipping at her swollen peaks. “Please, Az! I still need you. Please. Oh gods, please. I want you to fuck me.”
“Hmmm, I’m not so sure, Gwyn,” he drawled, suckling at her sensitive nipples while dragging the toy in and out. “You’re already squirming, and I’m not even in you yet. How do I know you really want me? If you don’t want to have sex with me, you can just say it.”
“You asshole!” She screeched as he drew his mouth away from her, taunting her with her own words from earlier. He dragged the toy to her clit and back to her entrance, inserting it just enough to make her squirm again. “Just fuck me, please! I want you. I want you to take me. I want you to cum inside of me. Please. Please, Az!”
“Mmm, if you insist,” he chuckled, the sound coming from somewhere close to her legs. The hand on her hip prevented her from moving enough to reach him, the throbbing in her core making her frantic for him. “But…I think I’ll have dessert first.”
Before she could utter more than a small whimper, the toy was roughly pulled away from her, only to be replaced a second later with Azriel’s mouth. His tongue swirled her entrance, then delved into her, thrusting into her already aching cunt. Her back arched off the bed, her thighs clamping around him as pleasure burst through her.
His shadows kept her restrained, holding the ribbon down and preventing her from touching him. She squirmed frantically, shamelessly grinding her hips into his mouth. His tongue stroked up to her clit, circling it before his teeth nipped at her, sending a jolt of pleasure through her. She cried out, feeling her climax fast approaching. She was already so overly sensitive from his previous ministrations that she knew she wouldn’t last long with his expert mouth working her.
“Azriel, oh gods, yes!” She sobbed, her pussy clenching uncontrollably as he alternated between fucking her with his tongue and teasing her clit. “I’m…I’m not going to last long. Please. Oh gods. Az, Az, Az…”
Her pleas trailed off into a string of whimpers and sobs as his thumb found her clit, rubbing her steadily while his tongue delved into her relentlessly. She felt him chuckle against her, the vibration shooting through her and making her almost scream in ecstasy. With one final thrust of his tongue, his fingers stroking her clit, she fell over the edge.
Her back arched into him, a scream echoing through the room as hot bursts of pleasure shot through her, his tongue still fucking her as her inner walls fluttered around him. He continued working her until her body slowly relaxed, a small whimper escaping her as she tried to come back down from her high. He licked at her entrance, then swept up to her clit with one long stroke before finally pulling away.
She collapsed onto the bed, her body shaking yet somehow still aching with need. She was exhausted and overly sensitive, but the aphrodisiac was already beginning to urge her to find release again. She was far too tired to resist, going utterly pliant as Azriel slipped his arms around her and pulled her into his lap.
She fell against his chest, her still restrained arms tucked between them, her head resting on his shoulder as he stroked her back. She realized he must have removed his pants at some point because his very prominent erection was pressing into her stomach, drawing a needy moan from her. She was past the point of words, merely attempting to wiggle her hips to indicate what she wanted. She needed him inside of her. Needed to feel his hard length filling her as only he could.
“Try to breathe, Gwyn,” Azriel soothed her, shifting until he seemed to be in a seated position. He eased the blindfold off, allowing her to finally see him. “You’re doing so well, Sweetheart. So fucking well.”
She softly mewled, blinking as her eyes readjusted and squirming in his arms in a desperate attempt to get him to slip inside of her, but he held her firmly, keeping her still. She clenched her thighs around him, her core somehow even more wet than it had been. His cock twitched beneath her, indicating how much he was holding himself back.
“Az, please,” she managed to whisper, clawing at the ribbon on her wrists. “I need you. Please. I want to cum for you. I want you inside me. Please.”
“Mmm, so eager,” he murmured, kissing his way down her shoulder, his hands drifting to her ass and squeezing. “I think you’ve earned it. You’ve been so good for me, Sweetheart.”
She moaned at his words, gasping in relief when he shifted her over his length, positioning her how he wanted before sliding into her tight, throbbing cunt. She sobbed in ecstasy, reveling in how full she felt as he entered her. He pulled her tightly to him, adjusting her arms until they were over his neck, allowing her to press her body firmly against his. Her peaked nipples scraped against his hard chest, her walls already tightening around his cock.
She waited for him to do something, but he merely stroked her hips with his thumbs, his mouth still softly kissing her throat as he worked his way toward her chest. She shifted on him, clenching her thighs to try and get him to move. But still, nothing. She could feel his cock twitching inside of her, but he refused to do anything besides continue his leisurely exploration.
“Az…please, I need you to move,” she pleaded, her clit throbbing with need. It was rare for her to beg so willingly, even though she knew he liked it, but she was too desperate to tease him like she normally would. “I need to cum. Please, Azriel.”
“Then cum,” he commanded, his voice rough and full of heat. She sucked in a breath, her nipples once again peaking from her arousal. “Fuck yourself on my cock. I want to watch you riding me, so use me. Show me how much you need me, little bird. Fuck me.”
She stared at him, waiting to see if he was only teasing her again, but he gripped her hips harder, urging her on. She began slowly raising her hips, then let her body slip back down, adjusting to riding him while her hands were still bound. Azriel groaned deeply as she found a rhythm, bouncing her hips on him, his hardened length hitting her at an angle that quickly had her moaning in pleasure.
Azriel used one hand to keep her steady while he trailed the other up to her breasts, lightly squeezing before he began teasing her nipple. She clawed harder at the restraints, aching to touch him. Her walls clenched around his cock with every snap of her hips, leaving them both panting and moaning as they drew closer to release.
“You look so pretty like this,” Azriel groaned, his mouth roaming her skin, leaving small marks where he let his teeth nip at her. She bucked her hips harder, his encouragement spurring her on “You’re so fucking gorgeous, Gwyn. Gods, you feel good…”
His words trailed off as he threw his head back with a groan, his hands dropping to her hips and gripping her so tightly she knew it would bruise later. She moaned loudly when he pulled her down harder onto him, finally giving her the help she had wanted before. The restraints dug into her wrists as she desperately tried to touch him, her throbbing core fluttering around him as he began thrusting his hips up to meet hers.
“Azriel, I want to touch you. Please,” she whimpered, wildly rocking her hips in time with his. “Please let me touch you. Oh gods…it feels so good, please. I need to touch you.”
He chuckled, one hand drifting between them and stroking the area just above the apex of her thighs. She gasped and bucked uncontrollably, trying to get his hand to slip toward her clit. His fingers dug into her hip, his cock thrusting into her harder and harder with every movement.
“I’ll let you touch me on one condition, Sweetheart,” he growled, his eyes blazing as the hand near her center finally drifted down. She gasped as he began rubbing her clit, circling it with his fingers while he roughly thrust into her. “Never question how much I fucking want you again.”
He emphasized his demand with several hard thrusts upward, her body trembling with the force of how hard he was fucking her. She managed to nod while she clenched her walls frantically around his cock, moaning relentlessly as pleasure built in her core. But he still didn’t release her restraints, silently telling her that he wanted a verbal response from her.
“I…I won’t,” she agreed, mewling softly as the pressure of his fingers increased on her clit. His cock twitched inside of her, his thrusts hitting the sweet spot in her core that would have her coming undone in seconds. “I won’t question it. I promise. Oh gods, please. Please Az!”
As her words flooded out, she felt the ribbon around her wrists snap, his shadows releasing her from the restraints and allowing her to finally touch Azriel. She scratched at his shoulders, one hand delving into his hair while the other trailed down his back. He groaned deeply again, biting at her shoulder while she used him as leverage to grind on him harder, meeting his deep thrusts.
Their sounds of ecstasy filled the room, the hand on her clit helping push her toward the edge. Their movements were filled with desperate, uncontrolled need; their unintended abstinence from sex making them both almost wild with lust for each other.
With one more hard thrust from Azriel, pleasure burst through Gwyn’s senses, her orgasm crashing over her as she cried out in pleasure. Azriel’s name fell from her lips in a stream of whimpers and cries, her ecstasy drowning out everything. He kept fucking her through it, his hips snapping up to hers as her release shook her body.
As her climax eased, he flipped them over, his hand leaving her clit to grip her hips again. She wrapped her legs around his waist as he continued fucking her relentlessly, his cock slamming into her at a punishing pace. Her nails scraped at his back, another orgasm already building in her core, her inner walls clenching harder around his cock.
“Touch yourself,” he commanded roughly, looking at her through his lashes as he barreled toward his own release. She obeyed without question, reaching a hand between them to rub her clit, moaning loudly at the added sensation. “Fuck, I’m gonna cum, Gwyn.”
“Yes! Oh gods, yes, Az!” She cried, her eyes fluttering shut as she felt his body shudder, his release spilling into her. His head fell to her shoulder, his movements erratic as he fell over the edge, her name on his lips.
She followed him a moment later, pleasure washing over her once again as she climaxed, their bodies trembling as they both rode out their highs. His pace slowly eased as the last moments of pleasure filled them. They clung to each other, their breathing ragged, their bodies still joined.
They stayed like that for several minutes, his cock still inside of her, their bodies tangled together. She slowly removed her hand from between them, stroking his back as their breathing returned to normal. But just as she thought she was finally returning to normal, arousal once again built, the ache in her core making her whine in exhaustion.
“Are you all right, Love?” Azriel murmured, his breath tickling her skin. “Was that too much? Did I go too far?”
She let out a sound that was half sob half laugh. “No, you were perfect,” she assured him, shifting restlessly beneath him. “But…please tell me you made the antidote.”
He lifted his head with an amused smile, chuckling as he eased out of her. “It’s in the kitchen,” he explained, kneeling above her. “Come on, let’s get cleaned up and then we can go get it.”
She smiled in relief, sagging onto the bed as he went to retrieve a damp cloth to clean her up. She had enjoyed every second of tonight, but she was utterly exhausted. Not to mention, she was still starving. She wasn’t sure she could handle anymore wild sex unless she had food and a nap first.
To her delight, within 10 minutes she was perched on the kitchen counter, dressed in one of Azriel’s shirts, happily watching him collect the ingredients to make her pancakes while she sipped on her second cup of tea. The bitterness from the tea would normally have bothered her, but the relief the first cup had given her was enough to make her continue drinking it.
“Feeling better?” Azriel asked her with a smile, pausing his search to slide in between her legs, his hands stroking her thighs. She nodded happily, the ache in her core finally eased. “Good. What kind of pancakes do you want?”
She grinned, setting aside her empty teacup to give him a quick kiss. “Chocolate chip, please,” she requested, giggling when he pinched her sides playfully. “Thank you, Azriel. For the pancakes, and for taking care of me.”
“Mmm, my pleasure,” he murmured, leaning in for another kiss. She willingly obliged him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “I love you, Bird.”
“I love you too,” she whispered against him, leaning her forehead against his. “After the pancakes, can we just cuddle? I’ve missed spending alone time with you these past few weeks.”
He smiled, kissing her softly before responding. “I’ve missed you too,” he agreed, pausing to kiss her again. “We can cuddle for as long as you want tonight. And tomorrow, we’re not going anywhere. I’d like you all to myself for a while.”
She giggled, letting him pepper her with kisses before he turned away to retrieve the chocolate morsels for the pancakes, her heart bursting with happiness. As Azriel mixed the pancake batter, the two of them falling into a comfortable silence, a thought popped into her head.
“Yes, my love?”
“No one else had the antidote…” she commented, thinking of their friends and family back in the Spring Court. She hadn’t been the only one to eat that pie, but she had been the only one given the antidote as far as she knew. That would certainly explain the lack of greeting when they had arrived for dinner.
Azriel turned to her, his eyes wide as he met her amused face, and then he burst into laughter, his deep rumble echoing through the kitchen. As Gwyn watched her mate double over with mirth, she couldn’t hold back the stream of giggles that flooded out, the two of them happily lost in each other. A slice of pie might have changed their plans for the evening, but she was right where she belonged.
Tags: @chloepereyra | @lovelyladymayyy | @gojosatorurailmepls | @valkygwyn | @remellarome | @inejjg | @azrielsgirl | @gisellefigue08 | @acourtofmidnightsnacks | @67impalagirl13 | @illyrian-valkyrie | @arinbelle | @amandapearls | @bittermuire | @cauldron-blessedarcheron1 | @starbornsinger | @princessofmerchants | @allygug | @zooni92802 | @molinden | @tallyovie | @siyeoncruella | @thelittlebookishcorner | @zerxfaithinhumanity | @words-are-what-i-hide-behind | @vasudharaghavan | @gwynkyrie | @niytavia | @fairytamy | @madie2200 | @icarusave | @spookylightkidranch | @mirubyai | @gwynsazriel | @live-the-fangirl-life | @bookprofessor | @deedz-thrillerkilller16 | @positivewitch | @cursebreaker29 | @violentdelightshaveviolentends12 | @faithisilliterate | @b00kishwh0re | @spookyfreakturtlefire | @inejbrekkxr | @whereisvaughan | @aelingalathyniusrailme | @secretlovelybeauty | @gwynrielsupremacist | @bookologist | @unpopularcharacterstan | @moodymelanist | @discorrdiia | @generalnesta | @flora-shadowshine | @amaranthas-whore | @georgialeighc13 | @selfdestructionfetish | @hlizr50 | @clearlynothere1 | @cozycomfyliving08 | @rhysandswingspan | @almosttenaciousmoon | @sia-r | @gpxxx | @annikaschwietz | @rewiue
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Halloween Themed Prompt List:
Elucien - 44. “Just one bite.” (because I imagine Lucien would dress up like a vampire on Hallowen) + 61 - “The legend said it only goes after virgins…so sucks for you I guess.”
Okay, I love this one! LOL. I may not have followed the comments exactly, but, like, I'm happy. 👀
Elain is out at a party when her eyes fall on a mysterious redhead she can't help but feel drawn to.
Warnings: Mild Smut, Biting, Vampirism
Word Count: 2,462 | Read on AO3
Elain froze in place as she looked at him.
His crimson hair fell straight, passing his shoulders, and his golden brown skin seemed to practically glow in the dim light of the club. His heterochromia was particularly stunning, with one russet eye and one golden - colors Elain rarely saw - and his sharp, elegant features made him so handsome she honestly thought she might swoon.
Even just meeting his gaze had her face heating. And the intensity of his stare only made it worse as he held hers, as if wrapping her under a spell.
"Whoa, take a look at him," an all-too-familiar voice said from next to Elain, snapping her back to reality.
"Ianthe," Elain sighed, not willing to take her eyes off of this mystery man. How had she never seen him before? There was no way he was younger than her, and Elain was a senior. He had to be one too. Unless he didn't go to the university…perhaps only recently home after going away to a different school.
"Do you even know who he is?" Ianthe asked Elain, her voice smug and condescending. Elain just shook her head. She had no clue, and she wasn't sure she cared. "He's a Vanserra."
"Vanserra?" Elain finally looked over at Ianthe, trying not to hate how gorgeous the woman was. Blonde with teal eyes and a near perfect figure, she barely even had to try to look good. Not that she didn't. No, Ianthe always put in the extra effort to make sure she was the most stunning person in the room. Elain typically wouldn't care, but Ianthe was an absolute nightmare to her, always putting her down or attempting to take the attention away from Elain. Again, that wouldn't be an issue, except it happened literally all the time. No matter where they were, who they were with, if Ianthe was there, and someone was giving Elain more attention - especially a boy - Ianthe would do everything in her power to steal that attention for herself, even if she already had five guys fawning over her.
It was what ended Elain's last relationship. Though, in the end, she supposed Ianthe was doing her a bit of a favor in luring her boyfriend into bed. Better to find out he'd be willing to cheat after one year than five.
"You don't know the Vanserras?" Ianthe mused, the shock in her voice unable to hide the delight in her eyes at being able to feel smarter than Elain. It was the one thing Ianthe couldn't steal with a smile and bat of her eyelashes - Elain's grades. And it definitely seemed to bug Ianthe. "They're the wealthiest family in the state. They own some big, international shipping company, not to mention have shares in all of the highest profit public companies, and their dad is even on the board for High Lord Incorporated."
"The retail conglomerate?"
"That's the one," Ianthe confirmed. "The nicest jewelry and clothes stores this world knows."
"And completely owned and operated by vampires," she added with a soft laugh as she connected the dots. It wasn't exactly an issue. There'd been a change in vampire leadership over twenty years ago, and it was now against their own laws to completely drain a human. Heck, the new leader even established that vampires had to receive consent from a human to bite them. That, along with the invention of synthetic blood, really improved vampire-human relations.
"As if that matters," Ianthe dismissed. "But, still, they're a very secretive family. Hard to actually find one out in public."
"Yet here one is," Elain sighed, looking back toward the man to find he was still watching her, a soft curve to the right side of his lips.
"And I don't plan to waste the opportunity." Ianthe adjusted her corset, pushing up her breasts in the process, and smirked down at Elain. "Oh, but legend has it that they only go for virgins…so, sucks for you." She flashed a fake smile at Elain and then started toward the man.
"Like anyone would actually believe you're a virgin," Elain muttered under her breath, rolling her eyes and walking toward the bar. She had no interest in watching Ianthe seduce him, and experience told her she didn't have a shot once Ianthe got involved. So, instead, a drink would have to do.
Leaning against the bar, she ordered a glass of spiced rum, focusing entirely on the display behind the bartenders. Keeping herself and her eyes occupied.
"Now that's a drink I can get behind," a silky voice admitted beside her as the bartender handed her the glass. "Could I get the same thing? And I'll cover hers as well."
"No. There's no ne-"
Her mouth cut off her own words as she turned to look up at the man, shocked to find herself staring up at those russet and gold eyes.
"Please, I insist," he offered with a smile that had her toes curling.
"Thank you," she replied, her eyes wide, unable to look away from his perfect face. Up close, she could see a scar that went across the left side of his face, looking as if it went through his eye. She couldn't help but feel it made him look more handsome.
Taking the glass from the bartender and offering his card, he clinked his drink against hers. "The pleasure is all mine." He held her gaze as he brought the glass up to his lips and took a sip. Elain mimicked him, savoring in the flavors of her drink as he cascaded down her throat. "What's your name?"
It took her a moment to register he'd asked her a question, finally spluttering out, "Elain." She then blushed heavily, realizing she must have sounded like an idiot.
"It's nice to meet you, Elain. I'm Lucien."
She smiled and nodded before coming up with something to keep the conversation going. "Do you go to this university?" she asked, already fairly certain she knew the answer.
"No," he chuckled, taking another sip. "I went to a university up north, but I graduated last year and recently came back home to join the family business. What do you study here?"
"Horticulture and Plant Science."
His brows raised at that answer. "What do you hope to do with that?"
"I'd like to work at an arboretum or in a garden, focusing on the conservation of various plant species - preferably floral," she explained. It wasn't exactly a common goal, but she'd always had a passion for flowers. Words couldn't express how sad she was when she learned that some floral species had needlessly gone extinct. She hoped to ensure that list would never grow longer.
"That's quite lovely," he sighed, smiling down at her before downing his drink. "I'd love to hear more, but it's a bit loud in here. The downstairs area is a far calmer and quieter atmosphere, if you'd be interested in joining me?"
She could feel her eyes brighten as she nodded, finishing off her own drink and then following his lead. She caught Ianthe's eye as he took her hand, leading her away, and couldn't help but wink and smirk at the girl, who was gaping open-mouthed at Elain.
The downstairs was peaceful, the area providing more of a lounge-type feel. It had crimson walls save for the one behind the bar that had dark wood paneling. There were well-lit shelves with various spirits behind it and tall, red plush bar chairs against the counter that matched the wooden panels.
He led her to the low table in the corner, a black and red couch, and two black leather chairs around it, all entirely empty. She took a seat on the couch, frowning as he sat across from her in one of the chairs, until she flicked her gaze to the spot beside her and back at him. He chuckled and accepted the unspoken invitation, butterflies flapping wildly in her stomach as she felt her own part of the cushion rise when he sat.
A waiter came to them quickly, Lucien ordering another round of rum for them while barely taking his eyes off of her.
"So…flowers?" he started, draping one arm over the back of the sofa and behind her. "What got you interested in them?"
Elain laughed softly. "Is it awful if I say I've always liked pretty things?"
"Should I be thanking you for the compliment?" he teased, a spark flaring in his eyes, causing Elain to blush and look down. His fingers gently lifted her chin back up as he 'tsked'. "Don't take those big browns away from me." Flashing him a smirk, she shut her eyelids, joining him when he huffed out a laugh. His hand traveled up into her hair as his thumb stroked her cheek. His skin was so cold, but it wasn't harsh. It was a soft, comforting cold - a chilly breeze heartily welcome during a warm day. "Please?"
At that she opened her eyes again, finding his face closer, his breath caressing her face. She could smell the spiced rum on him, mixed in with something like an autumn forest and cinnamon, and it nearly had her eyes rolling back into her head. But she held his gaze, studying those enchanting eyes. She could see flecks of copper in the gold eye, and golden spots floating in the russet, and both seemed to sparkle as he looked into hers. She couldn't understand how he'd like hers so much - plain, brown, one solid color. The only thing Elain really liked about them was that she shared them with her father. Far preferable to the curse her sisters had, inheriting their mother's eyes.
Her heart began to race as Elain felt her body start to lean in, as if she were being pulled toward him, her hand raising, fingers brushing through his silky hair.
"Elain," he sighed, using the hand tangled in her hair to stop her before she closed the gap completely. "This…may not be wise." She furrowed her brows, her head tilting in question. "You know what I am, don't you?"
She nodded, her fingers passing through his hair again as she studied his face and then softly trailed her thumb over his scar. "I know," she replied, offering him a small smile. "Doesn't matter to me."
"Are you sure? It's not al-"
"Lucien," she said, interrupting him and pulling his eyes back to hers. "Kiss me."
His eyes widened, but he obeyed, bringing his lips to hers and giving her a tentative kiss. It was just a second, but it may have been the best second of Elain's life. Despite his body's temperature, his lips were somehow warm, soft, and Elain could swear an electric jolt flowed through her at the touch. He pulled away just a few inches, but she wasn't having it. She closed the gap again and pressed her lips to his, stronger this time, her own hand gripping his hair to keep him in place.
As his other hand found her waist, she brushed her tongue against his lips and he opened for her, allowing Elain to slide her tongue right in.
She moaned as his met hers, Lucien's movements soft and gentle, yet everything she could ever want. It was like he was setting a fire inside her, starting in her mouth before it spread quickly throughout her body. Another ignited as he trailed the hand that had been in her hair down her body, finding a spot on her hips between her shirt and skirt, skin meeting skin. Their tongues danced together in a waltz before he dragged his mouth away, pressing kisses up her jaw, down her neck.
He ever-so-lightly started to trail his teeth back up her, but he paused quickly, his body stiffening as if he were trying to hold himself in place. She was about to whine and ask him why he stopped when she realized what might be happening.
"I'm sorry," he breathed, still holding her close.
"It's okay," she whispered. "You can have a try." She could hear her older sister, Nesta, screaming at her in her mind, but Elain didn't care. She trusted Lucien, and it was something she wanted to give him.
"What?!" he asked in shock, his face pulling further away as he lifted his eyes to hers.
She gave him a sensuous half smile, bringing her lips to his for a moment. "Just one bite," she explained on to his lips before she gave him another peck.
Lucien's fingers tightening on her body. "Elain…you can't be serious."
"I trust you."
"It's not me I'm worried about," he admitted, resting his forehead on hers. "It's…it can be very pleasurable, to be bitten. Potentially addictive, which can lead humans to seek out dangerous situations."
Elain didn't flinch. She'd heard as much before. "I guess you'll just have to stick around, then."
She gave him another kiss before he could spit out the argument that was clearly building, deeper this time, and Lucien groaned into her mouth. The kiss became frantic, a clashing of tongues and teeth until Elain softly led his head toward her neck. He didn't put up much of a fight as he kissed her skin again.
"Just one bite," he agreed softly as he reached her collar, licking the spot tenderly.
She tilted her neck to give him better access, and gasped as she felt a sharp pressure against her skin, the pain immediately fading as something else took over.
It was a feeling she couldn't quite explain, but it flooded through her veins, reaching every extremity and all she could think about was Lucien and the pulsing within her, a pressure building. Gods, was she going to climax from his bite? Not that she'd mind. She felt her breathing become heavier, her entire body squirming in preparation, but then it stopped as soon as it started, and she felt Lucien's tongue back on that spot, then his lips kissing her where he'd bitten.
He pulled away, looking at her with a worried expression, a droplet of her blood still at the corner of his mouth. She smiled at him, leaning in and licking it away - it was hers, after all. She then kissed him again, pushing her tongue into his mouth and giving him that final taste of her, relishing in his moan as their tongues met again. But she didn't kiss him for long.
"I think," she sighed against his lips, still panting softly, "I need you to take me home."
Lucien's eyes widened for a moment as her words hit him, and then his face fell into an easy grin. "Whatever you want…whatever you need…I'm at your service."
@moodymelanist @bridgertononmymind @live-the-fangirl-life @boredserpent
Let me know if you'd like to be on my Elucien, or any, tag list!
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Everyone thinks my version of Cardan looks like Cassian, so why not do him too? Thought I’d take a stab at straight-up digital colour over a pencil drawing, and it came out looking kind of like a page from a comic book. Based on a scene from Embers & Light by @duskandstarlight -- check it out if you’re up for some Nessian! 😊
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Azriel x Reader smut headcanons - NSFW
ACOTAR Masterlist | General Masterlist | AO3
Pairing: Azriel x fem!Reader
A/N: Thank you @geekandbooknerd for nerding out about Azriel with me!
Warnings: sexual content, smut. NSFW
He would make you cum at least twice (usually more) before he cums himself
He is very talented with his hands
And I mean VERY talented
He loves the taste of you, it is like he is a man drowning and you are his air
He wouldn't stop until you were screaming his name for everyone to hear
Especially if it meant annoying Cassian, who was trying to sleep
Azriel would use his shadows to pleasure you too
He would also use them to tie your wrists in place when you wouldn't sit still, squirming under his ministrations
Sometimes they acted as a blindfold if you asked him to
When he had been away for a while he would be burning with desire for you, not able to keep his hands off you as soon as he saw you again, sweeping you into his arms and taking you straight to his bed
Times like those he knew you needed him too, barely shedding clothes before he sank into you with a groan, finally feeling like he was home, sheathed to the hilt
Those times were when you both couldn't get enough fo each other and it was hard and fast
But Azriel never hurt you, he was always careful with you even when desire overcame him
Other times, when his wings would wrap themselves around you so the only thing you could see and feel was Azriel
That was when he took his time with you
It would be intense
Foreheads touching as he stared deep into your soul, thrusting slowly and deeply to make sure you felt every inch of him
He would make your toes curl in pleasure as gasps and moans spilled from your lips at the feeling of him filling you so completely
His impressive wingspan really did translate into other impressive areas as well
He tries to be quiet, as he is in most aspects of his life (he is a spy after all), but something about you makes him lose his inhibitions and he shouts your name as he cums
He likes to take his time with you where possible
But sometimes he just needs to feel you around him
He likes to feel you in his arms as well
He likes to be touching you all the time if he can, to make sure you're safe
When you're both spent and satiated he likes to cuddle you, wrapping you protectively in his arms while you fall asleep
He won't fall asleep until you do, preferring to hear your breathing change so he knows you're safe, happy and satiated
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Dividers by @firefly-graphics
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Azriel x reader
Authors note: Someone send help, I can’t stop writing fics about Az or Cass. 🥴 if you have other characters you’d like to read things for, send me prompts/ideas with characters from the following fandoms:
Otherwise enjoy some fluff with everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood shadowsinger. 🥰
I landed straight on my back on the mat. Again.
“You have to engage your core. Your left side is weak, you need to watch your blind spots.”
Azriel had agreed to meet me early in the morning to train. I still hadn’t fully recovered from the last mission, when one of the warriors had nearly speared me like a kabob. However, I knew if I didn’t start training again soon, I’d never fully regain all my strength.
“I did engage my core! I even leaned left to try and brace for your impact!” I growled, hands over my face. “What more can I do?”
“Let’s take a quick break. You’re still healing, and even though I’m proud of you for getting back in the ring, you’ve gotta take it easy for a while.”
I smirked at the shadowsinger, “You’re proud of me?”
A low chuckle rumbled from his chest, “Don’t get mushy on me now, soldier.”
I set down my water, and walked towards him until I was standing toe to toe with him. I craned my neck to look up at him, poking one finger into his chest, “Oh, trust me. I’m definitely not the mushy one in this friendship.”
Cauldron boil and fry me.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment where my feelings for Azriel had gone from purely platonic to something more. It happened like a summer storm - out of no where, full force. But I refuse to risk ruining the time we spend together over some silly feelings. He means too much to me.
“You okay in there?” Azriel tapped gentle on my temple, tearing my attention from my thoughts.
“Hey lovebirds! You mind if I take a turn sparing with your boy-toy?”
“We are NOT- “
“He is NOT my-“
We both stopped and glared at Cassian as a playful grin crept across his face. I grabbed my water and slid on my boots, bracing myself for the cold to come as I trudged back to the main part of the house.
After dinner that night, things got a little out of hand. It started with some ridiculous drinking game Mor begged me to play with her. She dragged all of us into it, and then I had the idiotic idea to challenge Cassian by saying I could out-drink him.
“I want to **hic** dance!! Azzie, can we dance, pleaseee?!” The strong arms that carried me away from the rest of the circle held me tighter.
“You can barely even stand upright, let alone dance.”
“Nuh-uh. I can **hic** totally stand. Watch. **hic** Put me down and I’ll walk in a straight line.”
“You’re full of shit and you know it.”
I smirk up at the shadowsinger, “Actually, **hic** I’m technically full of tequila.”
“If you want to be a smartass,” Azriel chuckles, “I can take us for a fun little flight and see how well you handle your liquor.”
My stomach lurched even at the thought of tumbling through the air, doing loops and turns…
Azriel gently set me down, keeping me between his arms as he opened the door to steady me. As we entered the dark room, I walked towards the bed and threw off my awfully uncomfortable shoes.
When I looked up, all I could see was those glimmering hazel eyes and incredible sapphire siphons illuminating Azriel’s face as he stood in the doorway.
“Stay,” I whispered, so quietly I wasn’t even certain he would hear.
He stood, still as a statue. The only sound was our breathing, and a muffled conversation from the rest of the circle in the living room.
“Stay,” I repeated, a little louder, a little more brave this time.
Those hazel eyes widened, and it took Azriel only two strides across the room to reach me.
He placed one hand on my cheek, the other tilting my head up to look at him.
“Fuck it. I can’t be your friend any longer.” He exhaled.
I tried to move my chin from his grasp and turn away, offended by his words. He held my face gently but firm.
“You’re so much more than that.”
And then we kissed. It was like, I was a star during Starfall, and I had finally found my way home. Like I had been waiting to find the missing piece of me, and it had been right there all along. I felt a tug in my chest as Azriel’s tongue swept over mine.
I gasped as he pulled away, feeling completely sober now, regardless of how many drinks I had downstairs.
“How long have you known?”
“A month. When that soldier had almost taken you from us. From me.”
I was completely in awe.
“While you were unconscious and the healers were working, I could feel the bond fraying. I tugged on it every now and then to keep you with me. I was a complete mess. You can ask Rhys or Cass -“
“They’ve known this whole time?”
“I didn’t intentionally tell Rhys, but when you were hit I lost all control over my mental shield and he could sense it. I told Cassian not long after.”
I stared up at him, completely at a loss for words. This whole time, he had known and continued to care for me out of fear of losing me.
He leaned down to kiss me again, but I took the opportunity to grab his wrists and twist him over onto the bed, pining him down.
“You need to engage your core, and watch your blind spots, Spymaster.” I smirked down at him.
His eyes were like burning embers, flaming with lust and desire.
“Oh, sweetheart, I’ll let you take me down anytime.”
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The Bond - azriel
azriel x gn reader
genre: angst to fluff
warnings: blood, cursing, kidnapping
The reader is a healer & Rhysand's sister during the human versus fae war 500 years before acotar takes place
The silence on the battlefield was mind-numbing, broken only by the sounds of birds sweeping across the field of corpses.
Carefully I picked my across the ground, my boots squelching with each footstep on the damp dirt. Not unlike the vultures circling above the mounds of bodies, I too sifted through the deceased. The Fae corpses I left with markers for the gravediggers to retrieve, and for those who still clung to life I did my best to safe. With soothing magic, I eased the path of those near the end of this life.
The humans I passed over – their wide eyes pleading and fingers grasping at the heels of my boots. It was a cruel practice, and their faces would haunt me late at night, but I knew greeting death here would be far better than whatever life they might find in the Fae encampment as a prisoner, prey, or someone's disposable toy.
Besides, we were at war.
My gaze drifted back to the ocean of tents stretching as far I could see just as a unit of Illyrians took to the skies. Soul aching, I turned back to my work, my body carrying on automatically even as my mind drifted towards the clouds.
Azriel and Cassian searched me out once the fighting was over, relief washing over their features as our gazes met across the medical tent, The trio did this after every battle and although it warmed my heart, I did not know how to tell them the ridiculousness of it. They were the ones fighting on the frontlines, I was just a healer in a tent miles from the clash. It should be the other way around.
I peered around their shoulders waiting for Rhysand to appear from the crowd. Only once I caught a clear glimpse of their faces did my heart sink. The two grim-faced Illyrians made their way across the tent as quickly and unobtrusively as their large frames allowed.
Scrubbing my hands clean in a nearby tub, I left my patient in the hands of an assistant and rushed to meet them halfway. Sweeping my gaze across their mud-splattered, blood-covered armor I immediately began triaging the wounds I found just as I had done for each soldier that entered the tent. It was purely on instinct after the large number of consecutive hours spent deep in my work under the same canvas ceiling. But other than a few shallow cuts and scrapes they seemed fine, and any blood on them smelled human.
Azriel reached me first, his hand drifting towards me before he pulled it back to his side, his face turning away quickly. It stung and I wanted nothing more than to reach out and make sure he really was okay, but no – now was not the time to brood over past mistakes choices or hurt feelings.
I pinned my gaze on Cassian. "Where's Rhysand?"
Our last conversation was hours ago. Cassian and Az had left to prepare search parties and I was here. Left behind as usual. And I let them because I knew what none of us were saying: if Rhysand was dead i was the last of my family line. They ignored my pleas using the excuse that it was too dangerous and my expertise was needed here.
However as soon as they left the other healers quickly pushed me from the tent once it became clear I was in no stable place of mind to focus in the high-stress environment. It bothered me less than being left alone because it was true. But it was impossible to focus when my heart thoughts were miles away.
Wandering in the direction I had not yet searched, I found myself in a copse of trees kneeling in the mud at the side of a deceased Illyrian. Heart in my throat, I gently rolled the body onto its side.
His dark eyes, blank and clouded, are the last thing I would remember.
The first thing I noticed was the cold. It was bone chilling, blood-freezing – the sort of cold I remembered from my childhood visits to the Illyrian mountains. The type of bitter chill Rhysand, Azriel, and Cassian had grown up in.
Cassian used to laugh at me while I shivered beneath the protection of Azriel's coat and Rhys's magic. He would offer me his body warmth to warm me up with a few flirtatious winks until my brother would hit him.
I shivered as the memories faded, the iron chains around my wrists and ankles clashing in an awful grating noise as I folded my body in on itself to keep in as much body heat as possible.
A short distance from me a group of human soldiers clustered around a fire turned to look in my direction. Seeing me conscious, one of them rose to their feet and ducked inside a tent, returning quickly with a tall man. With his decorated uniform and the cleanliness of his hands I knew he was the man in charge.
He strode with purpose around the firepit, coming to a stop in front of my face. Somehow he managed to look down on me and still keep the narcissistic tilt of his chin. "You're one of those..." He paused and from the look on his face I wondered if he would be sick right there on his shiny boots. "...Fae healers, yes?"
Questioning what sort of plan he was brewing I stared at him, the miserable cold and the lingering shock making it hard to form coherent, connecting thoughts.
He frowned, forcing me to roll onto my back with a hard nudge from his boot. "You live or die at my word, animal. Remember this before you answer dishonestly."
I licked my lips, begging my voice not to break as I responded honestly – yes. My powers had always been inclined towards medicine much to the chagrin of my warrior father.
The leader tilted his head in my direction and the two soldiers hauled me to my feet by my armpits. They half dragged, half walked me across the camp to a thick group of trees where a lone figure knelt strung up between trees, head bowed, Illyrian wings tucked tightly.
My captors let go of me, dropping me unceremoniously into the dirt before my High Lord, my brother, my blood.
Every inch of exposed skin was covered in his own blood – the smell was overwhelming – and a steady stream of droplets fell to the earth and splattered on the damp leaves below. Smeared with mud and blood, the stark lines of the tattoos inked above his knees seemed to mock us both.
Wild and red-hot anger rumbled through me, heating my skin, and warm tears blurred my vision. I wanted to rip them all apart for what they had done and stain the leaves a brighter, fresh shade of red.
Reining in the wave of emotions I hid them deep in my heart – somewhere the mortals would never find. They were fond of saying we were heartless creatures.
Control yourself. Think. Find a way out. At the least, give Azriel and Cassian time to find you. For Rhysand.
Do it for your family.
The leader's footfalls felt like eternity as he approached Rhysand.
Would he see any resemblance between us? Or did he already know?
Rhysand's eyes fluttered open, and a sigh of relief slipped from my mouth before I could stop it. He was alive.
He blinked as our eyes met, alarm flaring through the familiar violet. Snarling at the man in front of him, the chains rattled as his arms strained against their iron fetters.
"Keep this Fae alive," The man commanded me, gripping Rhysand's chin tightly to stop his movement, "and he will keep you alive in turn by answering our questions." Releasing his grip, another soldier took his place in front of my brother.
Rhys had always been the protective older brother – even forcing Azriel and Cassian to promise never to court me. His exact words were, "Unless you're mates, I never want to see either of your dirty paws touching Y/N."
My stomach rolled as the torturer began sorting through his tools.
Rhys, it is my turn to protect you.
I'll find us a way out of here and then we'll find our family.
We will end this ridiculous war and go home.
I wanted us all to be together again one last time. I dreamed about our home and Velaris every night and daydreamed so often it was bleeding my days and real memories together.
I wanted to hear Cassian's laughter. With the war it had been too long since I saw real light fill his eyes.
I wanted to watch Rhysand change the Night Court and then the world.
I wanted to be by Morrigan's side as she grew and healed in the real Night Court - the Court of Dreams.
I just wanted Azriel to take my hand.
The only time I had with Rhysand was usually after a particularly vicious session. As awful as it was I looked forward to tending to his wounds, because then at least I knew he was not bleeding out alone in the frozen forest.
That was the only time I had with him. Unless I needed to relieve myself, I was left in a tent, forced to listen to everything they inflicted on him. Alone with my thoughts I thought up a hundred plans, scenarios, strategies, but the chains never came off, there was never an attack by our forces, and the guards would beat me unconscious if I spoke a single word.
I tried many times.
The two of us flirted with a dangerous line, death hovering around every sun rise. Rhysand literally, his life force waning with each new day under the cruel hands of the soldiers. For me, I could see the decision to rid the camp of its two fae prisoners lingering in the leader's eyes each time Rhys's answers became less and less satisfying. We were running out of time.
I wanted to see Azriel one more time.
I wish he had taken my hand just once.
Forget the bond, we should have run away and saw the world like we talked about a hundred times.
Where are you, Azriel?
I thought I was still dreaming as my eyes watched the back of the tent open and Azriel slipped soundlessly inside. Struck mute, silent tears streamed down my face. His small smile was so tender, so soft, I thought I would break as his hand gently cupped my face. There were so many things I wanted to say.
He raised my hand to his mouth, pressing a kiss to the palm that left my heart barely beating. I do not think my voice would work if I tried to speak.
"Rhysand." He murmured, his shadows swirling to protect us from eavesdropping ears.
Wordlessly, I pointed towards the spot they kept Rhysand bound. He nodded, slowly releasing my hand. Before he could pull away, I gripped his hand with both of mine. Please don't go.
"I'm coming back to you," He promised, leaving a soul-rending kiss on my forehead. His thumb stroked my cheekbone, smudging the salty tears and grime on my skin. "And then not even you will be able to keep me from your side."
He pulled his hand from my grip and I watched him and his shadows fade into the darkness. He glanced back once, and in his hazel irises I saw reflected the same empty pain I felt.
I laid down, alone once more, overanalyzing every sound I heard until suddenly the camp roared to life with sounds of battle and soon Azriel was standing in the entrance, a pair of keys jingling in one hand.
He started with the manacles on my wrists, his touch careful against the raw skin as he moved on to the chains around my feet. I stood, taking his offered hand and following him from the tent into the night air.
Around us the humans were quickly failing under the night of the Far and Azriel’s grip on me was secure, but my thoughts raced as we passed tent after tent, and eventually I stopped moving altogether.
"Azriel," I called his name quietly, our joined hands tugging him to a stop. He turned to face me, his brow furrowed in question. I knew we were in the middle of a rescue mission, a war, and I was filthy, and this was quite possibly the worst time to talk about anything, but I could not let us go back to whatever we were before.
Whatever limbo from hell that was.
I stepped closer, giving him time to pull away before placing my mouth on his. I wound my fingers in his hair; his hands settling on my waist before drifting to my back as he pulled me even closer.
The mating bond snapped into place quietly, like it was pretending to have been there all along. It was unlike anything I could imagine and yet somehow everything I ever dreamed of. The soul I felt connected to mine I already knew as well as my own. It was vast and shadowed and warm and familiar – home. It was Azriel.
I heard someone groan and disentangled myself from Azriel long enough to see Rhysand standing. Leaning on Cassian's shoulder, his tired violet eyes flickering in the light of the rising sun, but standing.
He was okay. We were okay. They had come for us.
I smiled at Cassian, his smile infectious.
Azriel growled in warning as Cassian took a step in my direction, his grip on me tightening.
Cassian's mouth twisted into a smirk and Rhysand groaned, his nose wrinkling, "I cannot wait for this phase to be over and I'm not sure whether to be extremely happy or completely disgusted by that."
Sorry for going MIA! My excuses: traveled across the country, was moving around living in my car for a few weeks, had to get a new phone (lost the requests which is super fun and cool). I'm much more stable now so I should have more time to write :)
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Tattoo artist au— Nessian Month, 2021
A/N: Part 2 of 3 is here! Hope y’all enjoy. Happy Nessian Month!
Warnings for strong language, mature themes, and sexual tension.
A light thud on her workstation grabbed Nesta's attention for the third time that day. Another bottle of water sat in the corner, the condensation dripping slowly down the side and making mess. She rolled her eyes.
"You do know that, just because I don't have a tattoo, doesn't mean I don't know proper prep?"
Cassian shot her a wink. "Never said you didn't. Your schedule is packed today, so I'm assisting."
His brows came together in a frown. "And you're being difficult," he shot back, turning on heavy feet to go anywhere but Nesta's immediate vicinity. "Just drink the damn water."
The last bit was muttered under his breath, but Nesta heard him well enough. She used her most sickly sweet voice to call after him.
He didn't turn her way; only lifted a hand overhead and waved her off. Nesta guessed that being open to the general public saved her the vulgar gesture he really had in mind. A small smile tugged at her lips despite their sparring. Since their collaboration over her piece, they had settled into an approximation of camaraderie. Cassian still grated her nerves with the best of them, and she got under his skin in a way that no one else did. Thankfully though, they had found some common ground that served to reduce a fragment of their day to day frustrations.
Nesta drank half the bottle while waiting for her next client. The man was her last tattoo of the day, and she was eager to get her day wrapped up. It had been a couple of weeks since she and Cassian finalized the art for her tattoo, and the day to get started was upon them. Now that so much time had passed before they could get their schedules aligned, she felt she was liable to burst with nerves and excitement over getting her tattoo started.
No sooner had she finished her after care spiel had Cassian posted up near the front door of the tattoo shop. It was closing time, and he made polite conversation with her client before shutting the door behind him. The deadbolt slid home with an ominous thud before he turned toward her, rubbing his hands together.
"Today's the day, Sweetheart. You ready for this?"
"Could you not look so smug? It's almost like you're looking forward to inflicting pain on me."
His loud laughter skittered up her spine, almost as if it was priming her for the stimulation of a tattoo needle. Her mind was such a mess since that consult with Cassian, and everything he did seemed to insist that she take notice. To make matters worse, their quasi-truce and recent camaraderie made it hard to counter his more attractive qualities with numerous petty grievances.
"Nothing like that. I am excited about this piece though. Want to see the final stencil?"
Her eyes widened, her excitement the only thing powerful enough to drag her attention from his form. She had been busy taking in his burgundy short-sleeved button down shirt, tailored jeans, and all-black Vans. The cherry on top had been his dark hair pulled halfway back with the loose strands falling around the collar of his shirt. Well, maybe two cherries graced that sundae, because the couple of open buttons on his shirt were a treat, too.
Suddenly she was thinking about how she could knot cherry stem with only her tongue, and she knew she was way out of bounds. Shaking her head, she forced herself to seem nonchalant.
"Yeah. Let's see it," she replied, gesturing toward his table.
His step held more energy as he crossed the shop over to his workstation. He seemed like a kid on Solstice, and Nesta couldn't help but wonder if he showed as much enthusiasm for each of his clients. That would explain the hectic work schedule.
"Here she is!"
He held the stencil away from his body so Nesta could stand next to him and take it in. It was beautiful, perfect even, after the improvement his style contributed during their collaboration. Not that she needed it, but the finished product reminded her of why he was the artist doing her piece.
"Cassian," she gasped. "It's..."
"Yeah, she's fucking incredible, right? I think you may be my muse."
Nesta's breath caught in her throat, but she recovered quickly enough to offer a subtle barb. There was always a little time for snark.
"You realize I drew a lot of this, right?"
He was undeterred by her comment and instead turned that charming smile on her. "Someone had to trace it, you know."
A laugh bubbled out of her. She wanted to find him irritating and arrogant; wanted to give him shit for insinuating her brainchild was of his own making. Something about him, the genuine vibes that radiated off of him, wouldn't allow it.
"Well, I'll go get changed, and—"
"Nope," he said, setting the stencil down and loosely circling her wrist with his large hand. "We're going down to Rita's Deli."
"Cassian, it's already the evening, and this could take you hours. I brought a snack. Let's just get started."
"As someone who has been on the receiving end of your low blood sugar, I'll pass. I would rather it not drop while I'm holding a needle to your skin."
The finality in his tone made her hold her tongue. In seconds they were walking down the sidewalk toward Rita's, talking about their respective days. His company was oddly comforting, but Nesta tried not to unpack that too much.
They sat at a small table near the window and tore into the paper wrapped around their sandwiches. Nesta had barely made ground on the second quarter of her club when she looked up to see Cassian shoving the last bit of his into his mouth. She swallowed thickly.
"How are you done already?"
He sat back into his chair and crossed his arms casually across his chest. The smirk that had haunted her for the last couple weeks seemed like a permanent fixture on his face, and Nesta cursed her internal reaction to it. Note to self— her body couldn't be trusted for shit.
"I was hungry. Maybe it's you who is taking way too long."
Nesta rolled her eyes, and Cassian's smirk faltered. It wasn't irritation that fell across his features more than it was something similar to fascination. His pupils dilated as he took her in, his hazel eyes darting to her lips and back up at the speed of light. Her stomach twisted at the implication.
"Anyway," he redirected, "how you feeling about the tattoo?"
Nesta grabbed her glass of water to wash down her bite of sandwich, wrapping up what she hadn't finished for lunch the following day.
"Excited, I think?" They shared a laugh. "I'm ready. The main thing I'm nervous about is how I'll tolerate the process, especially with where I'm having it done."
Cassian raised his thick eyebrows in agreement and leaned forward onto his elbows. Nesta pointedly ignored the way his shirt flexed over his shoulders.
"That's understandable. I'll talk you through it so you know what's going on each step of the way. If that helps at all."
"It would. Thanks."
He nodded sheepishly, and the simple action made her skin heat. She silently cursed her worthless body once more.
The lull in conversation was a natural point to transition back to the shop. They walked side by side, the conversation flowing naturally as if they had dinner together each day. Nesta supposed that was a good thing that they continued to get along considering the close quarters that awaited them.
Cassian locked the door behind them once they arrived at the shop. He fished his phone from his front pocket, unlocked it, and held it out toward Nesta.
"Find what you want to listen to, and I'll put it on the shop speakers. Seriously— whatever you want."
In a blur, he was gone to start his prep work. Nesta scrolled distractedly through his music library and had to admit she was impressed with his range of taste. She settled on an alternative rock playlist, full of bands from all over the spectrum. The mix of mellow and uptempo was what she needed to keep her mind occupied.
Cassian nodded in agreement with her choice and nodded his head along with the beat. His feet tapped a rhythm on the tile as he worked.
She mumbled her intentions to go get changed and walked into one of the back offices. Changing wasn't going to be a sophisticated process; it was no more than her removing her bra and turning her unzipped jacket backward. That would keep her arms warm against the cool air of the tattoo shop and allow her front to be totally covered. Otherwise, she would be spend countless time obsessing over accidental exposure, and she couldn't afford much more to worry about.
Her last order of business was to pile her hair high on her head in a messy bun. She had worn in in a long french braid, but the bun seemed most likely to keep the strands out of her face and away from where Cassian worked. Butterflies erupted in her stomach as she walked down the short hallway toward his workstation. She had never been more sure of a decision, but the nerves insisted on themselves regardless. Being nervous before any tattoo, especially one's first, was natural. She reminded herself of that fact repeatedly to keep her feet moving forward.
Cassian smiled, bright and genuine, at seeing her emerge from the hallway. He already had his table adjusted to the proper height and was working on his stool when he noticed her. Nesta forced herself forward before she could talk herself out of it and eased herself onto the tabletop.
"Give me just a minute, Sweetheart. I'm just getting my worktable finished."
"No rush," she murmured through the lump in her throat. "I'll get comfortable."
Something in her tone snagged his attention. His hand froze as he moved things around before he turned to her entirely.
"Yeah." Her answer was too quick judging by the look on his face. Honesty seemed like her only option. "A little nervous, I guess."
His face softened. With measured gentleness, he placed the supplies in his hand on his table and scooted closer to Nesta's body. She was instantly reminded of his comfortable warmth from the last time she lay there, and the effect was increased by the weight of his hand on the back of her arm.
"You want to hear about my first tattoo?" His soft smile was almost heartbreaking.
Nesta forced a bit of bravado into her voice. "Depends. Are you going to tell me that you built it up way too much in your head, went for it anyway, and it turned out that it wasn't nearly as bad as you imagined?"
He barked a laugh, earning a smile from Nesta despite her chaotic thoughts. "Not even close. My first one started on my chest. I heard it was sensitive, but I didn't have much to go off of. That shit killed."
Nesta laughed. The confession was refreshing and candid, and she appreciated his perspective. It made her feel a little less crazy.
"I'm serious," he continued, "I nearly bit straight through my cheek that first session. And the line work around my neck..."
"Nesta," he said emphatically, leveling a playful glare beneath his lowered brow. She shoved down the feeling in her chest at hearing her name roll off his tongue. "Fucking terrible."
She laughed again, marveling at his ability to meet her right where she needed him. No wonder his book stayed jammed.
"I ended up holding my breath through most of it."
Her eyes widened. "No!"
"Yep. The combination wasn't a good one. I didn't want to take breaks unless I was almost positive I wouldn't bitch out on the rest. So, not very often," he laughed. "After a few minutes on my neck though, I had to tap out for a couple of minutes to throw up in the bathroom."
For such a negative experience, he was laughing right along with her. She supposed time had a way of putting things into perspective, even pain. He had obviously recovered from that first session considering the amount of ink he sported present day.
"Moral of the story— breathe. Take as many breaks as you want. Be honest with me, and I'll take care of you."
To punctuate his point, he flexed his hand on her arm. Heat flared in Nesta's cheeks. What she would give to manage her physical reaction to her tattoo artist. There was no limit.
"That makes me feel a little better about all the nerves, if I'm honest. I don't love surprises, so I would rather know what to expect."
Cassian returned to set-up. "Yeah, I hear you on that. I'll keep you updated every step of the way, especially the parts that are usually most sensitive."
Nesta nodded as she eased her eyes shut. The loss of his warmth was such a bittersweet relief. As much as she appreciated the grounding pressure of his palm against her arm, her odds of keeping her composure for very long were poor at best. Best not to embarrass herself in an already awkward situation.
But was it awkward? Truly? She had been laying atop his table bareback for minutes at that point, and he had done nothing but keep her comfortable despite her vulnerable position. Something about Cassian made her believe no one had experienced awkwardness in his company. She couldn't say the same for herself.
"Alright, I'm ready to get you prepped. We doing this?"
He raised a brow at her, enthusiasm all over his face. Telling him no was impossible when he looked at her like that. It felt like the equivalent of popping a child's balloon or kicking puppies.
"Let's do it."
Cassian clapped his hands and stood to walk over to the sink. He washed his hands thoroughly before sliding them into black gloves, humming along to the music. She lost her visual once he walked to her side and started to sterilize her skin. He ran his hand over the prep area, purely to orient her to the contact before applying any water. She appreciated the proper hygiene, but after feeling the full potential of his rough calluses against her back, a gloved hand felt purely clinical.
"I put warm water in the bottle, but if it's not warm enough let me know."
He squeezed the water bottle, and as she should have expected, the temperature was perfect enough to make her purr. Cassian cleared his throat as he applied the soap and worked it into a lather. Her delighted hum must have been audible. She needed to get her shit together.
She felt a soft, wet cloth wiping the area clean. "Alright, I'll just grab a razor and then we can apply the stencil."
The comment was casual and off-handed, but Nesta popped up on both elbows as fast as lightning. "A razor? Are you saying I have a hairy back?"
Cassian glanced down at her with a mischievous glint in his eye. "Just following proper protocol," he teased.
She swung a closed fist blindly behind her, and the back of it hit his hip with a loud thud. He let out a full laugh at her disgruntled expression as he grabbed the alcohol for sterilization. Nesta plopped heavily onto the table top, adjusting her arms into the proper position.
"I do not have a hairy back," she grumbled. Cassian laughed a bit harder. "Prick."
"I'm sorry, sweetheart. You have to admit you weren't thinking about the tattoo for a second, though."
Her eyes rolled of their own accord. She would do no such thing, especially when such a self-satisfied smile lived on his face— and in her mind— rent free. She hissed through the chill of the alcohol and what he used for the transfer, but his hands pressing the stencil onto her back warmed her instantly. He carefully pulled the stencil away and placed it face up on his workstation.
"Let's give it a look to make sure it's where you want it."
Nesta sat up and faced away from the mirror on the wall, accepting the handheld from Cassian to give the stencil a proper look. She gasped at seeing the more detailed work come to life and blinked as she met his gaze. He was standing close enough to wrap her in his scent, and the concern on his face made her want to reach out and touch him. Comfort him. Offer some reassurance, maybe.
"Still perfect," she murmured. "Thank you."
The tops of his ears blushed the most adorable shade of pink. He broke eye contact to shuffle around the table and throw away his gloves. Once he got all of his ink caps prepared, he went over to the sink and washed his hands before donning a new pair of black gloves. His stool squeaked under his weight as he got settled next to her and open his various supplies. Nesta shifted into the proper position, her face oriented in his direction, and waited.
"I think we'll get the outline done tonight, and we'll work on the rest once that heals. There are lot of finer details, so I want to take my time getting them right."
"So you admit fine lining requires a certain level of skill?" Her laugh was shaky, as false as her brave face.
Cassian huffed a laugh. "I never said it doesn't. Isn't that why you asked me to do it in the first place?"
She heard the smile in his voice, and it grated her nerves. His quick wit was equal parts frustrating and attractive.
"I'll start on your shoulder rather than going in close to your spine." His gloved hand pressed against her shoulder blade, pulling her skin taut. At her sharp intake of breath, he flexed his fingers. "Take a deep breath, let it out."
The whir of the tattoo machine made her flinch. A sound that was neutral to her after repeated exposure, day in and day out, set her teeth on edge and made every muscle in her body tense.
She tried and failed. No amount of glory or money could have relaxed her; she was sure of it.
“I need you to relax for me, Nes.”
She didn’t bother to correct him on the damned nickname. Her brain was short circuiting. Everything was so intense, so loud. Her teeth gritted uncomfortably, leaving her to wonder if her molars would be reduced to dust over a singular tattoo. And what if she couldn't finish it? She would be grinding her teeth down for absolutely nothing.
She squeezed her eyes shut and tried breathing again. Nothing. The sound of the tattoo machine stopped.
“Talk to me.”
“What? No— I’m fine. The waiting is killing me.”
“As much as you would like to think it of me, I don’t like torturing people.”
“You’re not. It’s just nerves. I promise I’m ready.”
Cassian gave a noncommittal shrug, and she finally managed a long, deep breath. Some of the tension left her shoulders, and the weight of his hand steadied her.
His voice tickled every nerve that seemed to lead straight to her core. To top it off, he was about to close the distance significantly between their bodies. Nesta thought she’d been short-circuiting before.
The machine whirred again, and she flinched immediately. Cassian turned the machine off and placed it on his table. Resting his elbows on his knees, he leaned forward with an earnest expression on his handsome face. Something about it increased her shame tenfold.
“It’s okay if you’re not ready.”
“But I am ready,” she insisted, pushing herself into a sitting position. She clasped her hands in her lap and played with her fingers. “This is so embarrassing. I talk people through this shit everyday, and I flinch the second the machine kicks on. What is wrong with me?”
She glanced up, half-expecting him to balk at her vulnerability. When he didn’t, the tightness in her chest eased a fraction. Cassian pushed forward with his feet and rested his huge hand on top of both of hers. It nearly dwarfed them both.
“Nothing. You've been thinking about this for so long that it sounds like you've built it up a little too much."
"Yeah, probably so."
Her thumb slipped from beneath his palm to rub gently along its side. She hadn't thought about doing it, but having something mindless to do as she thought things through helped. He made no moves to stop her, but she forced herself to move it back to its original position.
Cassian's expression didn't falter. He scooted closer to her so that his thighs were splayed wide to accommodate her legs, tightening his grip on her hands in a supportive gesture.
"What if we talk about the tattoo itself? You never told me what inspired you."
Nesta huffed a laugh. "I haven't talked about it much at all. I didn't want anyone's opinions to affect my decision."
"I get that. Well, you don't have to worry about that with me. I think it's beautiful even without context. And I really don't want to make another stencil." The last statement was said through one of his lazy smiles, and Nesta's heart started beating erratically. She wished he wouldn't do that to her.
Nesta laughed through her internal conflict. Showing that level of vulnerability and sharing her inspiration with Cassian was intimidating. To say that was disorienting would have been an understatement. She wasn't easily intimidated. He wasn't deterred by her delay.
"I'm not judging. Talking about it may remind you why you're sitting here."
She thought on that for a moment. The two of them had spend countless hours together on the piece, and she was laid out on his table nearly bare. Somehow, describing the personal meaning for her tattoo felt more intimate, but he had a solid point. Maybe she needed the reminder of why she was doing it in the first place, that she was capable of enduring this and everything it represented. She offered him a soft smile.
"I'll tell you if you tell me about one of yours."
Cassian squinted his eyes playfully and bit the inside of his cheek. "I'll take that deal."
"You can't make fun of me," she warned.
"You have my word." He paused to make sure she believed him. Whatever he saw in her expression encouraged him to continue, his tone lighter. "We've both been young, struggling artists trying to build our portfolios. You have to know I've heard some wild shit."
Her laugh came too easily in his company. "I do," she replied, steeling her nerves. "Let me start by saying I'm in a good place now, which is why I want to get it."
Cassian nodded. When she hesitated to continue, his thumb ran a soothing pass over the back of her palm. She resented that it took so much to meet her halfway. The image of the tattoo appeared behind her eyelids while she decided on what to say, how much to share. She saw the intricate and beautifully shaded hilt of a sword poised between her shoulder blades. The blade stretched along the column of her spine, ending just above the small of her back. Only Cassian could have brought to life the ornately detailed design between her shoulders, yet still possess the steady hand and light touch to execute the dimension of the blade.
"I didn't have it easy from a mental health standpoint, or a general perspective standpoint, for most of my life. I've always been a bit rough around the edges, prone to see the glass half empty. I developed some maladaptive ways for dealing with it when I was younger; everything from withdrawing from everyone around me to leaning on copious amounts of alcohol. You name it, I would be down to try it; as long as it numbed that never-ending prickling sensation. The problem became when I got a little too proficient in numbing myself, and all I knew was apathy."
Cassian's brow furrowed; not in pity but in concentration. He was taking in her words, working on the intricate puzzle of her mind. She had half a thought to wish him good luck considering how long it took her to navigate it.
“It reminds me of the perpetual battle I’ll fight over the course of my life. It’s a brutal fight, but I’m well enough right now to know it’s worth it. I needed the reminder that the fight is in me and that I’ve held the proverbial line before." She finished the explanation with a scoff; her shield against any criticisms. Surely he wouldn't resort to judgements when she was her own critic.
The loss of his touch jarred her when he leaned back. It stung in some odd, foreign way. Nesta didn't like it, and watching him cross his arms did nothing to ease the loss. His throat bobbed.
A laugh flew out of her mouth, from the very pits of her stomach. For such a dramatic and pregnant pause, she had expected a loaded reaction. His brow furrowed, but hiding his smile was a fruitless endeavor.
"Yep. Damn, indeed."
He shook his head as if clearing a faint fog from around him. "Like I said, I loved it already. But that's really beautiful, Nes."
Oh, fuck it. She was going to let him call her Nes. She had thought herself more firm than that.
"I showed you mine. Show me yours."
His head cocked adorably to the side as if she'd spoken in code.
"I told you about mine. I want to know the backstory of one of yours."
With his lips pulled between his teeth, he squinted toward the ceiling as if making the most difficult decision of his life.
"Deal. Which one?"
"I get a choice?"
His hazel eyes sparkled a shade closer to green at her enthusiasm.
"Your chest tattoo."
She gestured at his upper body with her hands. "I thought they were all... connected or something. Doesn't that make them one?"
He rolled his eyes, chuckling as if it was the most ridiculous thing she had ever said. "The Illyrian markings are all part of one piece. I do have others though."
"The markings are fine. I've noticed that Rhys and Azriel have similar ones. Are they your 'best friend' tattoos?"
She hadn't bothered to fight her smirk, but his husky laugh wouldn't have given her a choice, anyway.
"How did you know?" he teased, biting the inside of his cheek in a way that made her blood heat. "They are related though. They're a nod to our Illyrian culture. Our ancestors got similar tattoos when they were initiated as warriors many generations ago. They were believed to bring luck and glory to any warrior who had them."
Her face softened at the sentimental value. He could have lied to her and said he liked the pattern or something, and she would have been none the wiser.
"So each of yours are a little different?"
"Yeah. There was some influence from each of our family houses, and we all have a different tattooing style. I did Azriel's, Azriel did Rhys', and Rhys did mine."
"Oh. That's really amazing. I'm sure they're all beautiful, especially since they're all a bit unique."
Without a word, Cassian lifted his hand to the buttons of his shirt. He loosened them roughly, allowing him to pull one half to the side to expose the intricate art across his very distracting chest. She schooled her face with every ounce of discipline within her, refusing to betray the rapid increase in her pulse at seeing his bare skin. Swallowing against the lump in her throat, she studied the piece as if she was going to be tested on it later.
The intense focus did a decent job in distracting her. Her gaze trailed every line, each smooth curve and delicate detail. It snagged on a more pronounced pattern, as if Rhysand had gone back over a specific few inches more than once and foregone all the others. She reached out before she could think better of it, resting her fingers softly near his sternum and running the pad of her thumb over the bold lines.
"What happened here?"
His throat bobbed. Bobbed again. His skin was softer than she imagined. That was the precise moment that she realized her mistake, but pulling away didn't appeal to her. He cleared his throat but didn't respond. The delay allowed her enough time to identify a pattern that she hadn't perceived initially. What she thought was an unintentionally bold segment of line work started to take form. There was the soft curve of a long neck, the gentle swoosh of a wing. It wasn't a covered mistake at all. It was a subtle, abstract silhouette embedded within the more intricate chest piece. The curve of its body aligned with the lines of his Illyrian markings in a way that an untrained eye may not identify.
"It's a swan," she breathed, her eyes flicking up to meet his.
The intensity of his stare almost distracted from the barest nod he offered. He was so much closer, as if he'd leaned into her the second their skin connected.
"Yeah," he croaked.
"I wish I had known. I would have picked this one."
Cassian cleared his throat as he looked at her, his pupils blown wide. She wondered if her own matched his. She peeled her hand away from his chest, placing it gently in her lap and lacing her fingers together. The compulsion to touch him again grew by the second, but he relieved her by tugging his shirt together and fastening the buttons.
"How about I tell you about it while I take care of yours?" he suggested with a waggle of his eyebrows.
Nesta chuckled and eased herself down to the table. Her chest felt loose, and her lungs were finally capable of their full capacity. She could do this. She wanted the piece, had a solid tattoo artist and moral support. She focused on her breathing and getting comfortable as Cassian cleaned everything from before and put on a pair of gloves. They were cold upon first touch on her skin, but the heat of his fingers warmed them quickly. The tattoo machine buzzed nearby, and although she still flinched, her shoulders eased down much quicker.
"Good, sweetheart. Are you ready?"
His voice was closer to her ear with his focus near her shoulder. The rough quality warmed her skin, further combating her urge to tense. With a quick nod, he rested his hand on her back. He made no move to lower the machine to her skin to give her time to adjust or back out. The latter wasn't an option by her standards anymore.
She released a heavy breath. "Ready. Just keep talking, okay?"
His hands flexed in acknowledgement before he counted down. A sharp burning sensation near her shoulder nearly took her breath, but she gritted her teeth against it.
"The outline is usually the worst part. You're doing great."
Nesta clenched her fists, careful not to do it suddenly enough to interfere with Cassian's workspace. If he meant to distract her, his words of praise certainly did the trick. The tingle down her spine had nothing to do with the tattoo needle dragging across her skin. The sensations were disorienting enough without the stark realization that she had such a favorable reaction to praise in the first place. What she had thought to be a fluke, the fault of her adrenaline earlier in the session, was anything but.
"I'll be sure to warn you the closer I get to your spine, okay?"
"K," she squeaked.
His laugh was gentle, fond. "Remember to breathe."
That was easy for him to say. He didn't have a needle searing his skin, his body heat radiating against her back, or the sound of his praise ricocheting within his skull.
"We'll get this outline taken care of, give it some time to heal, and schedule a second session for the shading."
Nesta nodded and tried to stop thinking about the fire moving intentionally across her back. She had thought she would like the step-by-step, but the warnings for sensitive areas may have been all she could handle at the time. She groaned at the renewed sting of starting another line.
"Breathe," he reminded her gently. "Perfect."
His voice came over her shoulder with how his body was poised above her. The soft murmur had her picturing a very different context where his hands were occupied doing very different things. She loosened her fingers to grip the edge of the table. What was wrong with her?
"Getting close to your spine, sweetheart."
She hissed at the sudden sharpness but managed not to jolt.
"You're doing so well."
For the love of the gods.
Cassian eased up immediately and placed his machine on the table. He rolled his neck and stretched his hands high over his head, revealing the deep "v" above waist of his jeans. Nesta slammed her eyes shut.
"Yep. You can keep going."
His concern was too much with how her body was reacting to him. They needed to get this outline done before she embarrassed herself. It hadn't been the pain that made her call for a break. It was his words, his adulation. The sound of the machine shifted to a needed disruptor rather than something anxiety-inducing. She kept her hands wrapped around the table ledge just in case.
He touched the needle to her skin again, but it felt a bit easier than the last time. She could get through this.
"Ready to hear about mine?"
She gave him a nod, her eyes still squeezed shut.
"Rhysand did my markings, but it was Azriel who did the swan for me later." He paused to regroup or concentrate; she wasn't sure which. "I got it in memory of my mom. She died when I was really young."
Nesta's eyes eased open. From the way Cassian carried himself day-to-day, she wouldn't have assumed such a heavy thing had happened to him.
"I never knew my dad, but from what I've heard of him, that sounds like a win." A scoff, then he continued. "Anyway, my mom was a wonderful woman. I knew that even at a young age somehow; that she was special."
He paused again and shifted his position to get started on another section.
"This may be sensitive, too."
It was. She cringed through it, cursing the moan that unwittingly escaped her, until the pain dulled to more of a burn.
"So good, Nes."
"Break!" she exclaimed. This man meant to kill her.
Her knuckles had to be as white as snow. She wiggled her fingers, flexing them as if they would fend off the haunt of the timbre of his voice. Cassian busied himself with only the gods knew what until she let him know she was ready once more. He resumed his work at the same steady pace for a few moments in silence.
"You didn't finish telling me about your mother's tattoo."
"Oh yeah," he said. "I've known Az since we were kids, so out of him and Rhys, I wanted him to incorporate it into my chest piece. He had actually met her at one time. I doubt he remembers her much, but it felt appropriate."
"Make sense to me," she agreed, clenching her jaw as he moved. "Why that placement?"
"I wanted it to be subtle. It was for me more than anyone else, and I didn't want it to be so obvious that random people would ask about it."
"Sorry." She huffed a breath through her nose, a hint of an ironic laugh. Her heart wasn't in it.
"Don't be. It makes sense that you would pick it up. Anyway, the swan is meant to symbolize elegance, poise, love. All things she embodied. I went with black because black swans are usually the opposite, and to say I was hell on wheels after her death would be an understatement."
"No," she sang teasingly, hoping to lighten the mood. "Not you. I don't believe it."
"Oh, I promise. Trust me, I was trouble."
Still are, she thought.
They fell into comfortable silence for a while, content to listen to the music in the background as Cassian worked. Nesta had grown more accustomed to the pain over time, thank the gods. A small smile tugged at her lips when she heard Cassian's soft humming above her.
What started as a soft laughed turned into a sharp intake of breath as he neared her spine once more.
"Shit, Nesta. I'm sorry. I didn't think I was so close."
"No, no. You're good. Keep going."
He didn't fuss or put up any kind of fight. He got right back to it, and this time she felt a bit more prepared. He threw out a couple of warnings as he approached the knots of her spine and kept his pace as steady as possible.
"Look at you," he purred. "You're doing so well, Nes."
His tone was throaty and in no way as grating as she needed it to be. At least she could be annoyed with him in that case rather than battling the unexpected arousal since the beginning of their session. The sword was fitting for yet another reason.
He started on one of the lines of the blade, and she knew she was in for a longer haul than the previous ones. Her skin was more sensitive with the proximity to her spine and the previously untouched real estate. A long moan left her and set her cheeks aflame.
"I know, I know. Let me finish this line, and we'll take a break, okay? Can you tough is out for me?"
By the way it responded, her body wanted to do absolutely anything he asked of her. Another session of this was going to stop her heart. She bit her lip and nodded.
"Great— almost done. I'm proud of you, sweetheart."
True to his word, Cassian found a stopping point to give her a break. She felt her furrowed brow and knew relaxing her clenched jaw was teetering on impossible.
He trailed her cheek bone with the back of his finger and used it to tuck a rogue strand of hair behind her ear. Her eyes flew open to see him sitting near her on his stool with a look of genuine concern.
"You okay? Can I get you anything?"
"No," she snapped, recoiling from his touch in self-preservation. "You've done enough."
He blinked at her. "Are you really mad at me right now? You asked for this."
"It's not that, Cassian."
"Then tell me!" he insisted, his patience waning. "What's the problem?"
"The way you talk to me! All the encouragement. It's too much."
She was trembling and hoped he couldn't tell. This was humiliating enough. His features softened at her admission, and something at the back of her mind bristled at what felt like his pity.
"Nes, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to insult you or—"
"You didn't insult me!" she explained, her voice a bit louder than necessary as she sat up. "I appreciate the sentiment and everything, but it's your words. What you're saying— telling me how proud you are and how good I'm doing."
He blinked in that maddening way of his. They were in delicate territory, and he needed to know what he was doing to her. She forced herself to meet his gaze and soldiered on despite the crimson blush on her chest and cheeks.
"It's... affecting me."
Cassian continued his blinking until she saw the flash of understanding. His brows launched nearly to his hairline, and his eyes grew larger than she had ever seen before. She braced herself for his swagger and his teasing, but it never came.
He tore his gloves off roughly and tossed them into the nearby trashcan. Raking his large hand through his hair left his fingers tangled where he'd had it tied back, as if he'd totally forgotten its state. His stool squeaked as he rose to his feet and walked silently toward his office, shutting the door behind him.
Maybe she shouldn't have said anything, but she needed him to know. If they had a whole other session ahead of them, not to mention the fact that they worked together, she couldn't risk him using any approximation of them to get under her skin. This was no teasing matter.
Her heart thundered in her chest when he returned just as fast as he left. She'd grown used to his warm smiles in greeting since they started collaborating on her piece, and she hated how much she wanted one now. He finished the bottle of water in his hand, chucked it into the nearby trashcan, and got settled next to her.
He cleared his throat. "We just have the rest of the blade, and the outline is done."
Nesta eased herself down, pretending it didn't sting that he avoided eye contact with her. His voice wasn't unkind, but it certainly wasn't the honeyed version he most often used with her. This Cassian was all business. He worked at the same pace as before, but the only words he uttered were the clipped warnings he had promised her.
Just as she acclimated to the sting, the outline was finished. He gave her a chance to check it out in the mirror, and the unfinished piece was still beautiful enough to form a lump in her throat. Nesta tried to catch his eyes in the mirror, but Cassian quickly dropped eye contact and moved to gather the supplies he needed to cover it.
Nesta lay back down so that he could clean it properly and apply the bandage. Once everything was taped securely in place, he left her to right her clothes and gather the rest of her things. Nesta hated how he was icing her out, but she hesitated to push him. She'd done enough damage in making him uncomfortable.
He offered to lock up, which gave her an easy escape route to avoid extending the awkwardness any longer than necessary. She could have walked out of the door, climbed in her car, and left. It was a false comfort, though. She would see him the following day, and the thought of the tension carrying over nauseated her.
They walked through the lowly lit parking lot toward their cars with Cassian several steps ahead. The silence was unbearable. Nesta reached out to grip his bicep, tugging in a silent request to turn around. He was more than strong enough to shake her off, but she took comfort in the fact that he pivoted her direction. At least he was open to what she had to say.
The thin line of his forced smile hurt worse than his indifference. She looked down and toed some of the gravel near her shoes.
"I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I was trying to be honest, but I should have kept it to myself."
When she finally glanced up to make eye contact, his pupils were blown impossibly wide. His hands curled into fists in the front pockets of his jeans, and she steadied herself for his response. Whatever it was, it was better than this.
"No need to apologize. You didn't do anything wrong."
The lie stoked her frustration. "Bullshit. You've barely said a word to me since."
"No! I was more honest with you than I've been with most people— about this and everything else. The least you could do is level with me."
His chest heaved, and his eyes danced over her face. Something like anguish contorted his features as he turned away from her and made to step toward his car.
"I'll see you tomorrow," he tossed out, far too casually.
Blood roared in her ears at his dismissal. Her hand shot out without a conscious thought to latch onto the bend of his elbow. She allowed herself a short, barely audible growl of frustration as she pulled him to turn back to face her.
Cassian spun around, one of his large hands shooting out to fist the side of her jacket. He closed the distance with a half-step and brought his other hand to the back of her neck. His fingers flexed in the hair at her nape to better angle her head, and her heart threatened to beat its way straight out of her chest to have the chance to fall at his feet.
His eyes closed as he lowered his forehead to hers. The size of his hand allowed his thumb to wrap around and stroke her jaw, and she leaned into the touch without a thought. The sound of their breathing did nothing to soothe the fire in her veins. Cassian swallowed thickly before his gravelly voice broke the silence.
"I'm trying to make it out of here without doing anything stupid."
"Who says it's stupid?" she challenged.
She wished she hadn't. It had only revealed the unsteadiness of her voice. She felt his brow pinch together at her words, and his clipped groan confirmed that she had wiggled herself under his skin just as much. It was certainly an interesting turn of events. Her hands rested on the curve of his waist, but she had no conscious memory of how they got there. His nose slid along hers as he pulled back, his face mere inches away. Too far, if you asked her.
"None of the things I want to do are favorable to the artist-client relationship," he joked. His thumb continued its soft torture in its new home against the skin below her ear. "Or the colleague code, for that matter."
Nesta looked up at him, trying to swallow through the dryness of her throat. Every point of contact between them was torture. He lowered his forehead to hers again with his eyes closed.
"Goodnight, Nes," he whispered, flexing his hand against the back of her neck. "I'll see you tomorrow."
With that, he turned, leaving her no choice but to watch him walk away.
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Tags (Master + Nessian):
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Not requested but I wanted to do a one shot about azriel taking care of his mate during her cycle. I just feel like he would be THE best and THE most caring and understanding person to walk on the earth. Hope you enjoy :)
Warnings: none just fluff.
A/n: I didn’t proof read so there will be some mistakes, I’m sorry.
It hurted so bad.
You could not focus anywhere but the piercing pain on your lower stomach.
Yes, both, Feyre and mor had warned you, they told you about how painful your cycle would be. At first you thought it was just an exaggeration, but when Mor said that there were days where she couldn’t even stand up or even sleep from the pain you couldn’t help the terror that washed through you.
You knew it was just your hormones but you couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed when azriel hadn’t came home, your cycle had started a couple of hours ago, Azriel had already left and you didn’t feel like distracting him from work. You also knew that Azriel’s guilt would eat him alive if he came home and saw you in this state. He always knew when your cycle was on its way, when you asked him he said something about his shadows noticing the change in your body temperature.
When you realize that Azriel had about two more hours of work before coming home your brushed a uncomfortable pained feeling through the bond hoping that he would realize.
You were curled up on the couch, unable to stand up and walk to yours and your mates shared bedroom when you heard the front door open and close. At first you were confused, it was too early for azriel to be home and the only person who had keys for your apartment was Feyre - the only person you trusted to respect your privacy- but you doubted Feyre would come.
“Love, I’m back” a too soft voice said and you glanced towards the door, only to see your mates hulking figure walking towards where you were currently laid. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? How do you feel?”
“Hey. you were busy” you murmured softly, the sound barely audible.
“Oh love” he sighted and sat on the edge of the couch, his hand sliding on your lower stomach, staying there. “I brought you pastries”
“Really?” You widened your eyes excitedly. He chuckled “yeah, really”. He helped you sit properly on the couch and opened the bag, revealing a strawberry pastry (your favourite).
“I’m gonna go and run you bath, okey?” You nodded and he kissed your temple stroking your head lightly.
Once you ate, Azriel was back, he picked you up and carried you to the bathroom. Once you both bathed together he helped you dress up and laid you on the bed “I’ll be back soon okey?” He said.
He left the room only to come back five minutes later with tea and a book, the book you were currently reading. “Drink” he urged as you picked the mug and took a sip. “It will help with the pain, I travelled to the day court a couple of months ago and a healer there told me that this would helped, it’s specifically for your cycle, it will help ease the pain” you smiled softly “thank you”
While you drunk the tea, he read you the book. You couldn’t help but smile at how caring he was being- not that it was the first time- but it never failed to make you smile.
Once you finished, Azriel decide that it would be better if you slept. He closed the book and gathered you in his arms “thank you Azriel, for everything” you murmured as you buried your head deeper on his chest. “I love you” he said before kissing the top of your head.
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Edit: All the writing spots have been filled! Can’t wait to share the final product with everyone!
Writers needed for Kinktober Smut Extravaganza!
Calling all ACOTAR writers! If you like writing smut and you want to work on a bit of a kinky project for Kinktober, then this is for you!
The Plan: All writers involved will write a smutty one shot that connects to a collection of others. Once the writers and their couples have been decided, I will further explain the plot and assign an order. Then, we will all write our scenes, with some collaboration so the story makes sense, and post everything some time during Kinktober.
The Plot: Elain and Lucien will be in the Spring Court helping things get back to normal, which means they have to lead Calanmai. On the eve of Calanmai, they decide to host a dinner for their friends to celebrate the event without making everyone attend Calanmai. Helion and Lady A are unable to attend, but they send a special gift for Elain and Lucien. A cherry pie, with a note attached.
Unknown to them, the pie was intended only to be eaten the next day for Calanmai. Why? Because it is laced with a special aphrodisiac that takes 30 minutes to set in, and then lasts all night. With time ticking until the guests arrive for dinner, chaos ensues.
The Words: Each scene for each couple should be somewhere between 4,000 to 7,000 words, or close to it. This will keep things consistent for everyone involved. Additionally, certain details will need to be shared with other writers to ensure there is no overlap.
The Couples: These are some of the couples I think might be fun to include, but I am open to other ideas.
Elain x Lucien: Claimed by @bookofmirth
Nesta x Cassian: Claimed by @duskandstarlight
Feyre x Rhysand: Claimed by @hlizr50
Mor x Emerie: Claimed by @ladyadelinergrey
Gwyn x Azriel: Claimed by @tealnymph24
Vassa x Jurian: Claimed by @seperatist-apologist
Others pairings that I haven’t listed, including Character x OC pairings, are also welcome. The max is probably around 8 couples though, depending on what couples they are.
To volunteer for a couple, comment below or DM me with the couple you want to write. We still have a few slots available, so make sure to claim them soon!
The Writers: This is open to any ACOTAR writers. The expectations are just that you are willing to collaborate with others, it has to be smutty (it is for kinktober) and you have to be able to hit close to the minimum word count. I want them to be semi consistent, so collaboration is really important. I can be flexible though, so please reach out with any concerns.
If you have any questions, just let me know!
Can’t wait to collaborate!!
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So, I have this headcanon that Cassian would be the best dad in the entire history of dads. Wrote this little scene about Nesta and Cass and their first night with their first baby ❤️
Nesta hovered in the doorway of the newly constructed nursery in the House of Wind, heart full to bursting at the scene before her.
Her mate, the great general of the Night Court’s armies, one of the most powerful Illyrians in history - and he looked utterly terrified by the tiny bundle in his arms, a bundle wrapped snugly in a soft pink blanket.
A musical name for a beautiful, perfect girl.
The baby had been born only a few hours before, and while Nesta knew her mother hen of a mate was certainly going to give her stern scolding for being up and out of the bed he’d so lovingly tucked her into, she could not resist taking in the moment between father and daughter.
Sensing her presence, Cassian turned to meet Nesta’s gaze.
“I don’t know how to do this,” he said.
Nesta would have laughed at the look of near-comical discomfort on his face if she hadn’t been so overwhelmed by the excruciating tenderness of it all.
“You’re doing fine,” she said softly, crossing the room to where he stood by the bassinet, cradling the fussy newborn. “Perfect, in fact.”
And indeed, Cassian had been perfect from the moment Nesta had found out she was expecting some nine months past. He’d sat with her through every stomach-turning morning, indulged her most absurd of cravings, and never let her forget what a beautiful, fearsome warrior she was, even when she’d felt ungainly and awkward as her belly grew too large for her to even see her feet.
“Nes,” he said, something like panic rising in his voice. “We’re parents.”
“I know,” she said, running a soothing hand across the back of his broad shoulders.
“Like, really parents, we have a child.”
“What are we going to do?”
She did laugh then. “I imagine we’re going to raise her. And likely become old and worn long before our time if she turns out to be anything like us.”
“Gods,” he muttered. “I don’t think we truly thought through what we’ve unleashed upon the world.”
Nesta leaned against her mate’s shoulder and reached a hand up to run a smoothing caress across the downy black hair at the crown of Lira’s head. From above the infant’s tiny shoulder, the delicate peak of an Illyrian wing tucked in behind her.
“I love her so much, Nes,” Cassian said, his voice thick with unshed tears. “Already, I do.”
Nesta thought then of her own flawed - though loving - father, of the complicated relationship they’d always had. She looked at Cassian and Lira and could do nothing to stop the flood emotions, the tears that spilled down her cheeks.
“I do too,” she whispered. “And we are both so lucky to have you.”
They stood with Lira for a few more long minutes as the baby settled and finally fell back to sleep. Cassian set her back in the bassinet with aching gentleness, his large warrior’s hands so at odds with the tenderness of it.
When she was settled, Cassian reached down and pulled Nesta into his arms, walking them both from the room and shutting the chamber door softly behind them.
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Nessian/Gwynriel double date!!
Notes: I'm not entirely sure if this is what you were after, but this has heavily implied Gwynriel through Nesta and Cassian's conversation. The inspiration that hit me was the following premise: Cassian comes home after a week away in the Illyrian mountains, only to find that rather than bedding his mate, Nesta had promised Gwyn that they'd be present in the dining room for a dinner with Azriel...
Tagging people in this one, because it's very Nessian heavy and I know you're all suckers for some Nessian flirting...
“Are we acting as chaperones?” Cassian mused into his mate’s ear, as they walked down the red stone corridor of the House of Wind.
Nesta snorted softly. She didn’t turn to look at him. Her expression didn’t reveal the featherlight turn in her stomach at the brush of his lips over the shell of her ear, but Cassian knew her better than anyone. Knew if he looked at her skin, that it would be covered in the goosebumps of a repressed shiver. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“We have our own dining room, sweetheart. In our wing of the House. Where I was planning on splaying you out on the table after dinner tonight—or maybe before. In case you’ve forgotten, I’ve been away for a week. A very long week without my—”
“I remember,” Nesta cut in, her voice carefully flat. “I’m not suffering from memory loss.”
It truly had been a long, horrible week in the Illyrian mountains. Usually it was made better by Nesta’s presence, but this time she’d remained behind, too focussed on her Valkyrie training to forgo a week in the sparring ring. And, Cassian suspected, she had wanted to be close to Nyx. His brother’s babe had taken a shine to Nesta, clambering to curl up in her lap for a bedtime story but screaming blue murder at anyone else who tried to do the same.
“First I’ve been shunned by my mate for my nephew,” Cassian muttered under his breath. He didn’t imagine Nesta’s faint smile of amusement. “And now Gwyn. Who is next?”
“Poor bat,” Nesta remarked drily with a roll of her eyes. “The pains you suffer.”
A few beats of silence passed, their footsteps on the stone an echo to their entwined heartbeat. Nesta’s hand searched for his, their fingers slipping through each others until they were connected. Cassian knew she’d missed him whilst he was away. He saw it in her eyes and the way that she’d leapt to hug him as soon as he’d flown onto their balcony moments earlier. Her mouth had tasted the same as it always had as soon as it had slanted on his—like home.
Later, when they went to bed, Cassian knew there would be a dent in his pillow rather than hers.
“If you behave I’ll make it worth your while.”
Cassian’s nostrils flared and his head whipped around so fast his neck cricked. But Nesta didn’t laugh. Instead, she bit her lip as his wings rustled at the promise in her voice.
“I always behave.”
“You never behave,” Nesta corrected with a huff of breath that Cassian had learnt was a half-concealed laugh.
Cassian leant over until his mouth was brushing over her ear again. “And it’s exactly how you like me.”
This time Nesta didn’t clamp down on her shiver. She let him see it, but Cassian pretended he hadn’t. Even happily mated, he and Nesta like to tussle with control, and he had a feeling he was currently winning this current game of extended foreplay .
“Azriel’s a gentlemale. They’ll be fine,” he remarked, but he continued walking.
Cassian’s hazel eyes gleamed. “Don’t talk to me about table manners, Nes. You sucked me off in the very dining room we are walking towards.”
Nesta came to an abrupt halt. Slowly, she turned her head to meet his. “Did you not enjoy it?”
“You know I did.”
Nesta hummed a noise of appreciation that sounded awfully like a moan—as if she was remembering it: How he’d wound his hands in her hair and thrust into her mouth, over and over—
It took one well-timed movement to pin Nesta against the cool wall and another to weave his hand through the golden brown strands of her hair.
Coaxing her head backwards, Cassian launched at the column of her neck, his teeth grazing and nipping and biting. Nesta shuddered beneath him, her fingers carving half moons into the leather of his jacket. He’d lost whatever game they were playing, but his desire for Nesta had always been a taut leash waiting to snap.
“Have you touched yourself whilst I’ve been gone, or did you keep to your end of the bargain?” he asked roughly.
Pink scorched the tips of Nesta’s ears, but she tugged at his ebony hair. When he raised his head, she levelled his dark eyes with a challenging stare. “No. Have you?”
“Why do you think I’m desperate to get out of this dinner, sweetheart? I’m so hard I could cut glass. If we just quickly—”
“We’d only be a few minutes late,” Cassian rasped, her hold on him loosening enough to allow him to attack her neck again. He trapped her pulse point between his teeth, before he dragged his tongue teasingly over the bite marks. “Just a few minutes—”
“We can’t,” Nesta retorted simply, cutting him off. She untangled herself from him and stepped neatly away, but Cassian caught her scent of crackling embers. Knew how much she wanted him. “I promised Gwyn I’d be there.”
A tortured moan passed Cassian’s lips.
“If you behave you can do whatever you want when we get back to the bedroom.”
Cassian’s mouth turned dry. “Whatever I want,” he repeated dumbly.
“Whatever you want,” Nesta affirmed with a dip of her chin, but when Cassian bowed his head to whisper in her ear, she flushed so deeply that her chest turned as crimson as her cheeks.
“Yes, that,” Nesta confirmed breathlessly. “You can do that and more if you come to dinner.”
“They train every night alone,” Cassian grumbled, adjusting his pants to relieve the ache as they began to descend the staircase. “How is this different?”
“It just is,” Nesta retorted sharply. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand.”
A low chuckle sounded as Cassian caught his mate’s hand again. He pressed a beseeching kiss to her knuckles. “Try me.”
“It’s a different environment.”
“We dine with them and Emerie all of the time.”
“But Emerie isn’t here.”
“Gwyn likes him.”
“I know, sweetheart.”
Nesta twisted to look up at her mate, pausing a floor up from the shared dining room. “Do you think Az likes her, too?” she asked softly, her voice unusually hushed.
Cassian grunted. Pulled his wife and mate to his chest—anything to be close to her at this point. Gods, he’d missed her. “His shadows don’t shy from her.”
“I noticed,” Nesta nodded, mirroring his earlier words. “It’s as if they’re curious of her.”
“I’ve never seen them do that.”
Nesta blinked. Stared up at him through spiked eyelashes, her eyes a stunning, cloudy blue. “Ever? Not even for Mor?”
“Not even for your sister,” Cassian added seriously.
Nesta’s lips parted and Cassian considered how much trouble he’d be in if he tried to kiss her again. But he knew it would only irritate her, so he offered her a wry grin instead. “Didn’t expect me to clock my brother’s pining?” he mused. “It seems you’ve underestimated me.”
“How long have you known?”
“Longer than you, I’d imagine,” Cassian replied, trying his best to swallow his grin at the indignation that fired across her features. “You forget I was privy to Azriel yearning after Mor for five hundred years. I’ve learnt to read the signs.”
“But he hasn’t been pining lately.”
Cassian shook his head. “He hasn’t.”
“Because of Gwyn.”
“Perhaps,” Cassian responded with a nod. He held out his hand to his mate. “Why don’t we go and find out?”
Tags (let me know if you want to be added/removed): @arinbelle @superspiritfestival @sayosdreams @perseusannabeth @mylittlebigplanet @biggestwingspan-az @bellsqueen @ekaterinakostrova @bookstantrash @prophecyerised @rainbowcheetah512 @awesomelena555 @wannawriteyouabook @lovelynesta @melphss @laylaameer01 @a-trifling-matter @grouchycritic7794 @thalia-2-rose @champanheandluxxury @swankii-art-teacher @princessconsuela02 @lavendergoomsltd @little-diyosa @princessofmerchants-reads @jeakat @sjm-things @imwritingthesewords @nestable @inejbrekkxr @silvernesta @inyourmindeye @amelie775 @helen-the-weirdo @pizzaneverdisappoints @wishfulimaginings @trash-for-nessian @my-fan-side @sophilightwood @valkyriesupremacy @vidalinav @onceupona-chaos @inardour @thesunremembersyourface @teagoddess99 @ellies-iced-coffee @nehemikkele @misswonderflower @nessiantrashh @miamorganvel18
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#Kinktober #Nessian Here's a prompt! Nesta is now leading the Valkyries. She's the one training the next gen. (Maybe with Gwyn and Emerie?) And after a loooong day training, Cassian wants to treat her. ;) Maybe multiple times. Who knows. *wink*
Oh nonnie, I do hope you enjoy this. We all know I like to have some fun with interpretations...👀
Nesta has a long day and comes home to an empty apartment. She assumes Cassian must just have plans for the night, and she's not entirely wrong...
Warnings: Smut, what did you expect? Also, light roleplaying. 😉
Word Count: 2,903 | Autumn in Velaris Series | Read on AO3
a/n: We all know I like my double entendres...and treat can just mean so many things. 👀 Did I also go a bit soft and fluffy at points? Why yes, yes I did. Because Nesta had a long, difficult day, and Cassian is first and foremost a simp.
Another one I didn't take time to edit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Nesta flopped down onto the bed, groaning into the mattress at the general exhaustion she felt all over.
She'd just spent an hour working out and then another hour teaching her Valkyrie Self-Defense class for women. Now she wanted to just pass out, but her stomach seemed to have other plans. So, after a minute laying down, she got up and went over to the dresser, pulling out a pair of lounge leggings and one of Cassian's shirts.
After her quick change, she went back out into the kitchen, her brows scrunched at the plate covered in tinfoil on the island counter. Cassian hadn't told her he'd be out, but a night alone wouldn't be the worst thing. She could eat, maybe take a bath, and then get to sleep early before Cassian showed up, likely wanting to talk or watch a movie or something.
Hopping up on one of the bar stools, Nesta pulled the plate toward her, smiling softly at the note left on top of it.
Sorry I'm not home, something came up that's taking me away. I'll be back soon, but I made your favorite as a little treat since I know Thursdays are so long.
Based on the heat radiating from the plate, she knew that was a lie. Her favorite was chocolate cake, and this was clearly an actual dinner.
She lifted the tinfoil to find a single serving of New York Strip over a piece of garlic bread, fingerling potatoes with harissa sauce, and asparagus. And extra harissa because he knows she likes to dip her asparagus in there too when she can, regardless of how healthy it really is.
After her last few hours, she deserved it.
Fork and steak knife in hand, Nesta dug in, groaning slightly at the flavors. Cassian always cooked their steak perfectly, just on the rarer side of medium-rare, the meat red in the middle and juicy.
Everything about the dinner was just right. It was even still practically hot, as if Cassian had left it out only a couple minutes before she got to it. Nesta must have literally just missed him. And as nice as it was to have a bit of time to herself, by the end of the meal, she was starting to wish she hadn't. Maybe she'd have been able to convince him to stay.
She was just washing her dish when a knock sounded at the door, startling her slightly. She wasn't expecting anyone, and she really didn't want to deal with some random person at the moment.
Yawning as she walked, Nesta reached the door and opened it, pausing in place and gaping at the sight.
There, in front of her, stood Cassian. Dressed ridiculously in a white, collared, short-sleeve shirt tucked into white slacks - though, the coloring did make his own skin seem to glow. He was looking down at a clipboard, some fold up table thing held by a handle in his other hand.
"Are you Ms. Archeron?" he asked, looking up from the clipboard, putting on a near perfectly composed face, as if they'd never met. But she could see the mischievous glint in his eyes.
"Cassian, what ar-"
"I'm sorry, miss, but my name isn't Cassian," he explained, interrupting her question. "I'm Jackson, here to give you the full body massage I was hired for." He lifted up the hand that was holding the table, as if that would prove his point, and Nesta had to bite her lip to keep herself from laughing. "May I come in?"
"Oh, of course!" Nesta stepped aside, allowing her boyfriend, who she shared this apartment with, into their living room.
"Would you like me to set up in here, or in the bedroom?" She met Cassian's eyes again, smiling slightly at the lengths he was going to for this…for her.
Nesta always did love a good role-play.
The anticipation rejuvenated her, at least enough to try and play along. Plus, it seemed she would get a massage out of it, which would be perfect. She could already feel some soreness building.
She considered for a moment. The bedroom would be easier, in the end, but she'd never let a truly strange man in there. And if she wanted to do this right…
"In here would be best, please," she responded. "I wouldn't want my boyfriend to get upset about me letting another man into our room. He can get jealous."
The light in Cassian's eyes seemed to grow brighter at her words, his lips curving upward just slightly even as he attempted to keep on his mask.
"Understood," he offered, nodding softly. "I get that a lot. Apparently, many women think I'd pose a threat to their partners." He flashed her a grin as Nesta rolled her eyes.
It seems ego was one thing he and his new character had in common.
"Now, you will need to strip down," he added, shaking out an ivory sheet. "You can do so in your room, of course, and then just wrap this around you when you're ready to come out."
"So you're not going to try to take a peek?" She stared up at him, her own eyes lit with wicked delight.
"I can assure you, I'm very professional," he replied in a guttural voice that had Nesta's toes curling.
"Hmmm," she sighed, walking over to him and taking the sheet, making sure her fingers brushed his. "We may have to change that."
Nesta didn't miss the way Cassian's pupils dilated, and she could feel those eyes focused on her as she walked into their room. She came back out a minute later, completely naked underneath the sheet, which she was now noticing was definitely more sheer than an actual masseuse would provide.
Hazel eyes trailed down and back up her body slowly as she strutted toward the table, fixating for a prolonged moment on the now loose waves of golden brown. She didn't want to make this too easy for him.
"Lay down up here." Cassian patted the set-up table, cushioned on top, as he spoke. "Head in the head rest."
Nesta nodded and then sat down on it before laying back, eyes on the ceiling, arms to the side to make sure he could see what was on display beneath the translucent fabric.
Cassian coughed, frozen slightly as he clearly tried to steel himself. "On your stomach," he rasped, noticeably staring at where her nipples were visible through the material.
"Oh, my bad," she sighed, knowing exactly what she'd just done. It was all part of the game, trying to see who would break first. And Nesta desperately needed the win.
"Okay, Ms. Archeron. I'm just going to ask you to remove the parts of the sheet that are underneath you, so I can adjust it as I work."
Nesta nodded and did as requested - only, it seemed one side was much longer than the other, and it may have had enough weight to cause the entire sheet to slip right off her. "Oops," Nesta offered, looking up at Cassian with apologetic eyes.
Cassian ground his teeth as he tried not to look, failing quickly. He muttered something incoherent and then leaned over, picking up the sheet and resting it over her body lightly.
"Not a problem, ma'am," he breathed, swallowing as he turned and started to rub some oil on his hands.
Once he was at her side, Cassian folded the sheet so that her entire back was exposed and started rubbing softly, his fingers deftly working her muscles, the touch of his skin on hers adding a heat that shouldn't have been there so soon.
"Oh, gods," she moaned involuntarily, feeling Cassian's hands pause for a just a second before resuming. Of course, her reactions were the key. They'd always driven him before, she should've known that from the start.
"You're very…tight, Ms. Archeron," he sighed, rubbing his hands a bit harder on a particularly large knot. "I'll need to get on the table to put the right pressure down, if that's okay with you."
"Please, do." Nesta nodded in the headrest as she said it, quite certain she could see in her mind the exact smile Cassian was wearing at her response.
She felt the warmth of his body around her hips as he straddled her, kneeling on the table to keep his weight off of her. At this new position, he really was starting to put more into his hands movements, but he could also touch her back in different ways, and it felt divine.
It felt even better when he leaned in and she felt a hardness brush softly against her. A gasp escaped her lips as she felt a pounding begin in her core, a desperate need building.
"Is that part of the massage, too?" she asked through a smirk.
"I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about." His words were low, spoken through gritted teeth, as if he were focusing on trying to…soften the situation.
"We're not that type of business, ma'am," he explained, but Nesta could hear the rasp in his voice. The desire he was attempting to hide for the sake of the game.
She exhaled loudly, lifting her head and propping herself up on her elbows as she looked behind her. "Well, that's quite a shame. I certainly wouldn't be opposed."
His eyes met hers, and she didn't miss the way they widened, the sparkle of lust dancing between the flecks of gold.
"You know, I have been feeling very tense lately," she added as an idea popped into her head. There was one thing, beyond everything else, that Cassian couldn't resist. "Would you be able to take a look at it…Jackson?"
He nodded, pushing himself off the table. She flipped herself over, making sure the sheet continued to cover her, as a client typically would, and then she started to pull it up, up, up.
"The general, er…vulva area," she explained, her voice soft. "I've been feeling quite tight and sore there recently."
Cassian swallowed, his eyes immediately snapping to the area as the sheet lifted. She thought she heard a slight whimper in his throat that he attempted to choke down before meeting her eyes again. "Ms. Archeron, I'll admit, that's not an area we typically work."
"But it is a full body massage, is it not?" she cooed, batting her eyelashes. It likely didn't have the effect she planned, considering the wicked smile she was also wearing. "Are you not willing to make an exception for me?"
His gaze remaining locked on hers, he flashed her that cocky half-smile and nodded. "I think, for you, it's one I'd gladly make."
Nesta's own grin widened as she spread her legs a bit, waiting.
Cassian's hands started on her legs, his calloused fingers oxymoronically soft and rough against her skin in a way that had her inhaling deeply. He took his time traveling up her legs, Nesta's anticipation growing with each second as she waited, secure in the victory that was about to come.
He stroked up and down her thighs, his thumbs drawing circles on the inner side, just how he knew she liked it, and Nesta felt another moan be released. Cassian teased her at the top of her thighs for a moment, but tonight was clearly about her, because it was less than thirty seconds before he had his hands resting on her hips as he stroked her outer folds. Typically, he preferred to tease her for well over a minute.
When his thumbs traveled further inward, she heard a whispered, "Shit," from Cassian as he registered exactly what he'd been doing to her.
"Is everything okay, Jackson?" she queried, noticing that he'd stopped his ministrations, her face the epitome of innocence.
"Of course, Ms. Archeron," he replied, his voice strained.
"Oh, good. I wouldn't want to hurt your…professionalism," she teased, meeting his eyes again and biting her bottom lip just the way he liked it.
His stare flicked to her mouth for a moment, his cheeks flushing a pale pink. But then something shifted, his eyes focusing into a determined look as he moved them down her body and started again. He turned to face her, using just one hand now as he started to rub a wide circle around the area, narrowing its diameter with each full rotation.
Nesta's moan was much louder this time as his finger brushed across her center. She could feel the pressure already building within her as his strokes turned from a massage to something far more focused on her pleasure. He put weight on it just as he knew she liked, focusing on pressing around and across that one spot.
"Cassian," she sighed loudly, practically whining, unable to say another name in a moment like this. Not as she felt herself on the verge of shattering. No one ever made her feel this good. Even before they got together, when she was trying to distract herself with other men, it was always his face she imagined. And far too often it was his name on her lips as she came with another man inside her.
A fact she still hadn't told him.
"Right here, baby," he breathed, his free hand brushing some loose strands of hair behind her ear as he looked into her eyes. Without stopping his fingers he leaned in and kissed her deeply. Nesta's own hands slid into his hair just as his tongue met hers, holding him close.
And the circles continued. Harder, faster, never faltering. Cassian didn't need to enter her for this. He knew that by now as well as she did. The right pressure, the right spots, Nesta would be seeing stars and still wake up pleasurably sore in the morning. And Cassian was the king at finding every point on her body that would make Nesta writhe.
He tore his lips away from her mouth and started nipping his way up her jawline as Nesta began to pant, sitting right at the edge of something incredible. And as he lightly bit down right where her neck and shoulder meet, Nesta broke, shuddering as she gasped wildly. She could feel herself clenching around nothing, her legs trembling as Cassian's ministrations saw her through the throes of her orgasm. His kisses were soft as he worked his way back up her neck and toward her mouth.
By the time their lips met, his finger had slowed down, but her heart was still racing, still jumping for joy at Cassian's love for her.
When he pulled away, Cassian caressed her cheek softly, his eyes gentle and shining, as if he was basking in her love as much as she was his. He pressed a kiss to her forehead and then stood up straight, taking her with him and cradling her in his arms. She couldn't help but wonder if he'd been able to somehow see that her legs were too weak to carry her in that moment, after what he'd done.
"What's next on your agenda?" she asked softly as he carried her into their room and laid her on the bed tenderly.
He chuckled softly and kissed her temple again before going into the bathroom, coming back out a moment later with a damp cloth.
Sitting beside her, he gently cleaned her up, careful with the still-sensitive area.
"Now, we go to bed," he revealed, his tone soft.
Nesta's brows furrowed. "What about you?"
"I didn't have such a difficult and tiring schedule today." He finished with the cloth and threw it into the hamper before moving toward their closet.
Quickly, Cassian changed into a pair of sweatpants, giving her a flash of his perfect ass just before sliding them on.
Like every night, he left his torso bare as he came back to their bed, a pair of sleep shorts and that same shirt of his she'd been wearing earlier in his hands.
He helped her into the clothes, asking as minimal effort from Nesta as possible, as if he expected her to be barely able to use her muscles after everything.
Cassian wasn't entirely wrong. Almost as soon as she'd hit the bed she started to feel the exhaustion of the day. As if Cassian's gift had taken the final scraps of energy remaining in her body.
Once she was fully dressed for bed, he pulled back the sheets from under her and then lifted them over her body before climbing beneath them himself from the other side and shutting off their lights.
Nesta turned to face him, attempting to scoot closer and failing drastically as her body refused to do more. Cassian huffed out a small laugh and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into his body. Her own arms snapped around him instinctively as she nuzzled in, Cassian resting his head on hers.
"I could help with that," she offered through a yawn, unable to miss what was pressing against her hip.
"You already are," he breathed, kissing the top of her head.
Nesta was sure she had something to add, was sure her brain told her mouth to speak, but it seemed no part of her body was listening, instead forcing the last working part of her into the lull of sleep they'd already accepted.
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Poor Illyrian Baby - Cassian
A/N: I cannot settle on a faceclaim for Cass, so I’ll just use some cute fanart. This is my first time writing for Cassian and I am so excited and nervous! This is another of my Disney prompts while I’m at Disney. I’ll be in the park today but please let me know what you think!
Fanart is by Merwild on Deviantart!
Disney Prompt: Peter Pan, #1: Poor Nana? Poor Nana?!
Pairing: Cassian x Reader
Word Count: 1,833
Synopsis: When training gets out of hand, the reader takes the opportunity to tease Cassian, and their friends are all too happy to join in.
“Cassian, I’m going as hard as I can!”
“I am!” you yelled. Cassian backed away from you, letting out a sigh. You had been training for the last hour or so, and he had continued to push and push you. But no matter what you did, it wasn’t enough for him. No matter how hard you hit his gloved hands, it wasn’t hard enough.
He had invited you to the training ring for the past couple of months, in preparation for what, you didn’t know. He told you it was always important to be in shape. To be able to defend yourself. And you had made lots of progress, but you still hadn’t gotten to the level Cassian wanted you to reach.
“You’ve got to give more,” he said.
“I’m telling you, Cass, I can’t give anymore,” you said, stalking away from him to get a drink of water. He watched you go, his eyes trailing down your sweaty body. “Can’t we just call it a day?”
“Why do you care so much?” you asked.
“I just like seeing you get so sweaty,” he said with a smirk. You rolled your eyes and drained your water and then filled another glass and drank it as well.
“Let’s just be done for the day.”
“Not until you stop holding back.”
“I promise you, I’m not holding back,” you said. Cassian stalked towards you, the smirk on his face growing as he approached.
“Did you like it when I told you to go harder?” he asked, his voice barely above whisper.
“Grow up,” you said, trying to move past him. He grabbed your hand quickly but gently, keeping you in front of him.
“Let me go,” you said.
“Break free from me,” he said. “We’ve trained for this.”
“Cassian, I’m tired.”
“So break free.”
“No,” you said, looking up into his hazel eyes.
“You like me holding you this close?” he asked. You could tell he was trying to get a rise out of you. Trying to get you to give in to his game.
“I think you do. And I think you liked when I told you to go harder. Do you like it when I tell you what to do, Y/N?” he asked. You met his eyes again and couldn’t help but smile a little. You shook your head when his smile grew wider.
“Let me go.”
“Break free,” he said again. “I know you can give more, so show me more.”
“I’m sure you’d like that,” you said, looking up at him icily.
“Maybe I would,” he said, inching closer. “But only if you finally give me your all.”
“You couldn’t handle my all,” you said. His grin only grew.
“I think maybe I could.”
A rush of wings and a loud thud broke you from Cassian’s gaze, and in a quick motion, you ripped your hand from Cassian’s, and ended up punching him right in the face. Cassian reeled back as Azriel fought off his laugh.
“Oh my-- I’m so--”
“That was hilarious,” Azriel said, chuckling at his friend. Cassian threw a vulgar gesture at him as he righted himself. As you looked at him you saw his eye was already starting to bruise, and couldn’t help but start to laugh, too.
“You think this is funny?”
“A little bit,” you said, stepping closer to him. You reached up to touch his bruise, and as you did, you felt the pain in your hand. “Fuck,” you muttered, cradling it in your other.
“What’s wrong?” Cassian asked, taking a worried step towards you.
“I think I broke a finger punching your hard head,” you said. He looked your hand over, and when he didn’t find any real damage, he grinned.
“Well, maybe I can introduce you to my other hard--”
“Stop,” Azriel said, stepping in between the two of you. He took your hand in his and examined the broken finger. “If it’s broken, it’s just slightly. Just wrap it and you’ll be fine.”
“Yeah, thank you Az for that timely interruption,” Cassian said, a hand still on his bruising eye.
“Well, the training seemed to be over,” he said, breezing back away from the two of you.
“It was,” you said, glancing up at Cassian once. He winked at you quickly before looking to his brother.
“Turns out all it took was another handsome Illyrian appearing out of nowhere to get her to finally give her all.”
“I think she just wanted to get away from you,” Azriel said.
“She didn’t hit me that hard, Az. I can still kick your ass.”
“I’d like to see you try. Unless Y/N wants to give it another go,” he said.
“I’m good. He’s all yours.”
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
When Cassian returned to the town house later that night, showered and changed into cleaner, nicer clothes, the bruise around his eye had turned an ugly shade of green.
“What happened to you?” Amren asked, cringing at his face when he stepped into the living room.
“I got punched,” he said with a shrug.
“By Azriel?” Mor asked, walking into the room, a bottle of wine in hand. Cassian held out a hand for it and took a swig. And then another.
“No, this little bruise is a gift from Y/N.”
“Good for her,” Mor said, taking a seat next to Amren. Cassian scoffed.
“Good for her? I get punched in the face and you say good for her?”
“Hush,” Mor said as Rhys and Feyre walked into the room.
“What happened to you?” Rhys asked, smirking slightly at his brother.
“Y/N punched him,” Amren said. Feyre was kind enough not to outright laugh, unlike her mate.
“Shut up,” Cassian said, taking another drink.
“Was this a scheduled part of the training?” Rhys asked.
“It wasn’t,” you said, walking into the room. You had also showered and changed into clean clothes, and Cassian saw that your two fingers were wrapped together.
“What happened to you?” Feyre asked.
“Oh, I maybe broke my finger punching him in the face,” you said, your eyes shooting to Cassian’s quickly.
“Aw, poor Y/N,” Mor said, getting up from the couch to look at your hand.
“Poor Y/N?” Cassian asked in disbelief. “She hit me!”
“Does it hurt?” Feyre asked, completely ignoring him.
“No, it’s fine. Nothing to whine about.” Again, you shot another glance to Cassian. He shook his head at you.
Elain walked into the room, Nesta trailing behind her, and they took one look at your broken finger and instantly circled around you.
“What happened?” Elain asked.
“I broke a finger punching Cassian,” you explained.
“Poor Y/N,” she said, taking your hand into hers.
“Unbelievable,” Cassian muttered.
“What’s the matter?” Azriel asked, appearing behind him.
“Cauldron’s sake, you’ve got to stop doing that,” Cassian cursed. “They’re all fawning over Y/N’s fingers.”
“How are you doing Y/N?” Azriel asked.
“I went to a healer. She said I broke the bone but it’d heal soon.”
“That’s not too bad,” Azriel said, “Poor you, though.”
“Ridiculous!” Cassian blurted, slamming the bottle of wine down on the table next to him.
“You alright?” Rhys asked.
“She punches me in the face, and yet you all feel sorry for her!”
“Well, she broke a finger,” Feyre said, and Cassian could see the smile growing on her face.
“Unbelievable!” he yelled. “Screw dinner. I’m going to bed.” Cassian made his way toward the stairs and started taking them up two at a time.
“Better rest up that eye,” Azriel called after him. Cassian slammed the door shut.
“I better go check on him,” you said. “He never wants to miss a meal. We may have taken the joke too far.” Mor only waved her hand as she continued to giggle.
“He deserved it,” Amren said.
You moved up the stairs and knocked on Cassian’s door twice. He grumbled something incoherent but swung open the door.
“You pouting up here?” you asked, stepping into his room.
“I’m not pouting.”
“So you storming up the stairs was just another training exercise?”
“Yes,” Cassian said, sitting down on his bed.
“How’s your eye?”
“It’s fine,” he said, shaking his head.
“Looks pretty ugly,” you said, stepping closer to him.
“Well, you pack a pretty mean punch.”
“Only when I’m scared,” you said, sitting down on the other side of the bed, scooting back against his pillows.
“No, you just need to relax. Trust your instincts.”
“Maybe,” you said with a shrug. Cassian reached for your hand.
“Does it hurt?”
“No, not really. It was just funny to tease you about it.”
“You got everyone in on it?” he asked, looking down at you with a wicked grin.
“Yeah. They loved the idea. I thought it would be a fitting repayment after what you did to me.”
“You liked it,” Cassian said, waving his hand.
“I liked seeing you pout because I got all the attention,” you said, smiling back him.
“My eye deserves a lot of attention.”
“Let me see,” you said, turning his head gently, your fingers on his cheek.
“How’s it look?”
“Pretty bad,” you said. “I think your face might be ruined forever.”
“You sure? Maybe you should get a closer look.” In one quick motion, he grabbed your hips and pulled you into his lap. You were breathless for a minute. “Can you see better now?” he asked.
“Yeah,” you said breathlessly.
“It’s bad,” you said, touching the bruise softly. “Your face is done for.”
“That’s too bad. Are you sure you can’t do anything to fix it?” he asked.
“Maybe kiss it?” he asked. You raised an eyebrow but inched closer to him and kissed his eye gently.
“Better?” you asked.
“It might need another.” You rolled your eyes. And then kissed his eye again.
“Better now?” you asked.
“A little. But I maybe need--”
“Just kiss me,” you said, gripping his shirt. His hands tightened on your waist as he pulled you against him and kissed your lips. HIs were warm and gentle, but the hand pulling you in was anything but gentle as he dragged it along your back.
“Oh no, poor Y/N.”
You pulled away from each other and looked towards the door. Rhysand and Azriel were standing in the doorway, smirks on their faces. Cassian whipped the pillow at them.
“Get out of here!” he yelled as the pillow bounced off Rhys’s quick shields. They retreated down the hallway with laughter.
“Poor Cassian,” you said with a giggle, looking back at him. “Poor Illyrian baby.”
“Shut up and kiss me,” he said, pulling you back into his arms.
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Azriel as a dad headcanons
ACOTAR Masterlist | General Masterlist | AO3
Pairing: Azriel x Reader
A/N: thank you @geekandbooknerd for the idea!
The perfect father
When he first finds out you are pregnant he is terrified and flies off
He pretty much freaks out
Rhys and Cassian have to bring him back and talk him down from his terror
But when they do, Azriel comes back to you immediately and apologises
You knew he would react that way, knowing what his father did to him as a child
So you tell him he shouldn't be worried because you know he will be the best father
From them on, he is by your side all the time
Watching over you as you get bigger and bigger
Getting whatever you want, and always trying to make you comfortable and do everything for you
He likes to feel the baby kicking
When you go into labour he doesn't hesitate, stays by your side holding your hand throughout it all
And when he hears his baby's first cry he cries as well, holding the little bundle in his arms
He can't believe that he is a father, and cannot stop staring at his child
You have to call his name quite a few times to get him out of his stupor
When he finally hands your child back to you, he can't keep his eyes from you and your child and his heart smells with pride and love
He thought the tiny wings on your child were the sweetest things he had ever seen
Azriel couldn't wait to teach your child how to fly
He also can't wait to teach them how to fight
He has already got the first set of knives for his child, and can't wait to train them. But only when they are older of course, you wouldn't let your child use a knife when they were still very young
Not that he would ever want them to have to fight, because he wants a better world for them to grow up in
He knows what it is like to be mistreated by his father so he tries to do the exact opposite with his child, always being there for them and spending as much time with them as he can
At the end of long days, you can often find Azriel and your child asleep on the sofa, shadows lazily swirling around them both, ready to protect if necessary
Azriel's shadows like to create shapes to entertain your child
As your child grows older, Azriel, Cassian and Rhys take them away for a few days at a time to "teach" them things, and of course Nyx goes as well
You know they just do it to play with the children they're big softies like that , and also to give you and Feyre a much needed rest from looking after your respective children
But they love it, because Azriel, Cassian and Rhys are just big kids really
Azriel gets your child involved with the annual snowball fight between him, Rhys and Cassian
Nobody suspects Azriel to have gotten his child in on his plan to win, which is why it works so well and Azriel is crowned the winner (again!)
Dividers by @firefly-graphics
Taglist (crossed out means I was unable to tag you): @geekandbooknerd @katiebellf @spaghettinoode1234 @bxnnywatts @wecallhimbrowneyess @nlnlpanini @chaliesrambles @lunar-avanti @live-the-fangirl-life @cheesycheesecakesworld @mell-bell @cinnamonroll2003
You can add yourself to my Azriel taglist here!
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Here’s my fic for @heloisedaphnebrightmore’s writing challenge! I actually wrote one the other day that I wasn’t 100% happy with. I might edit it and post it separately later. But this was so fun to write!
Congrats on 3.5k @heloisedaphnebrightmore!
Azriel x reader - Prompt: When it’s a slow burn, and the characters just look at each other like “Fuck it, I’m done with this.” and they finally kiss.
You could feel the beat of the music blaring from the speakers in your bones as you downed another shot with Cassian and Mor.
“Hell yeah!” Cassian yelled, barely being heard above the noise, “I fucking love it when you guys actually agree to go out.”
Mor cackled, “I always want to go out, it’s y/n that is a homebody!”
You pouted as your friends continued to talk about how you only wanted to sit at home and read. You really hadn’t wanted to go out tonight, but after overhearing a conversation between Rhys and Azriel, you needed to be anywhere but the House tonight. You had nearly fallen to the floor in tears as you heard Azriel confess to Rhys that he had feelings for someone besides Mor for the past 20 years. You hadn’t caught her name, but your heart broke as you fled down the hall to your room.
So tonight you were doing shots. And dancing. And anything else Cass and Mor did on a wild night out. Anything to forget that one of your best friends was in love with someone else.
Mor dragged you to your feet. “Come on!! Let’s go dance!”
“Mor, we’ve been here for 3 hours dancing!! My feet hurt!” You whined, feeling the sudden effects of the last two shots of whiskey you had taken, per Cassian’s request. As you moved to sit back down, a presence clouded in darkness joined your table.
“Fine, I’ll go.” You jumped at the chance to go off with Mor before Az could even question you about what was going on.
He stood there, puzzled, next to Cassian, trying to figure out exactly why you were there in the first place.
“What did you guys do?”
Cassian chuckled, “We didn’t do anything! This was all her idea.” He gestures towards you as you moved to the beat, letting your hair down.
Mor twirled you around the dance floor, and when you stopped in front of her she smirked.
“So what’s the deal with you and Az?”
“Wha-what do you mean? There’s nothing with Az! I mean I don’t know why you’d think there was anything with Az. What are you even-“
“You’re cute when you’re flustered,” Mor laughed. “I just know you’ve been avoiding him for the last two days. You’ll have to talk to him eventually you know.”
You glanced longingly in the direction of the Shadowsinger.
“For now, I just want to keep dancing.”
You all had gone back to the house around 2 in the morning. And while the rest of the group fell asleep the moment they got to their beds, sleep escaped you. You tossed and turned, thinking about what an idiot you were to fall for your best friend.
After sulking, and tossing and turning for nearly an hour, you carefully snuck down the hall to the kitchen to make some tea.
“Why are you avoiding me?”
“By the CAULDRON! Azriel! You cannot come out of the shadows like that! We’ve been over this! You nearly gave me a heart attack.”
He reached up to rub the back of his neck.
“Sorry. I heard you leave your room so I followed you down here. I really thought you knew I was here.”
You smiled sheepishly at him, turning your attention back to the boiling kettle.
“So…why have you been avoiding me?”
You sucked in a deep breath through gritted teeth, unsure of how to tell your best friend you have fallen in love with him when he’s clearly in love with someone else.
He took a step toward you, cornering you between the counter and him. He towered over you, but his eyes showed nothing but gentleness.
“Please talk to me,” he whispered.
“Fuck, Azriel. I can’t do this.” You pushed past him, trying to clear your head.
“You can’t do wha-“
“I know you’re in love with someone. I heard you talking to Rhysand the other day, and I’m so happy for you. Truly I am.”
Tears brimmed your eyes as you looked up into his.
“But I’m in love with you. And I don’t expect you to do anything about it. I want you to be happy and I don’t want to get between you and whoe-“
You blinked away the tears forming in your eyes.
“I was talking about you. With Rhys.”
You stood there, still as a statue. Not sure if this was real, or just a cruel, drunken dream induced by the tequila and whiskey.
“I told Rhys I was in love with you, because I had no idea how to tell you. I was asking for advice.”
He approached you and gently took your chin in one hand, cupping your cheek with the other.
“It’s always been you. I’m in love with my best friend.”
You stood up on your toes to press a gentle kiss to his lips. He moved his hands down to your waist and hips, sliding them under your thighs to lift you into his arms. You let out a moan as he swept his tongue along your bottom lip, giving him access to deepen the kiss further.
“AHA! I knew you guys liked each other!”
Azriel gently set you down before stepping back from you, both of you breathing heavily from the kiss.
Mor and Cassian stood in the doorway to the kitchen.
“You owe me 10 gold pieces, Cassian.”
“I told you I wasn’t betting on shit anymore! I always fucking lose!”
You and Azriel chuckled. As an argument started between Mor and Cass, the two of you slipped out the opposite door of the kitchen, taking the back stairwell to your room to pick up where you left off.
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Update: The Raven and the Songbird
A fluffy little jaunt in Velaris
Read on AO3
To say that Gwyn held onto his arm for dear life might have been an understatement. Both of her hands were clutched around his bent arm, knuckles white, and Azriel could feel the pleasant warmth of her body against his. He kept his gaze on her, as much as he could while still navigating them down the street, alert for signs of panic or discomfort. But, while her grip was vice-like, her eyes were alight with awe and a small smile graced her pink lips.
His shadows flitted around them, seemingly also content with their freedom and foray into the city. They floated around their joined arms and brushed through Gwyn’s hair, the dark tendrils a stark contrast to the sun-kissed copper.
“I’m sorry about them,” he murmured. “They are particularly excited about this trip, it seems.”
“You needn’t continue to apologize for your shadows,” the priestess answered, granting him a quick glance of shining teal eyes. “They’re lovely. And they seem quite friendly.” He felt her sigh contentedly, hands pulling against his arm. “And they are a part of you, so I know I have nothing to fear from them.”
He stopped, nearly causing her to stumble back against her grip on him. Heat bloomed across his cheeks as he took a moment to stare down at her as she looked to him, confused. His jaw was slack, her words slicing through his usual internal reverie – a whirlwind of self-loathing and fear, a storm that would calm here and there as he allowed thoughts of her to settle in.
“Azriel? Did I… did I say something I shouldn’t have?” Teal pools narrowed with concern and he quickly shook his head.
“No, not at all. You just…” Azriel huffed out a breath, the corner of his mouth tilting up. “You always surprise me, Berdara.”
Her head tilted, satisfaction shining in her smile. But Gwyn’s eyes were still clouded with bewilderment. “As much as I enjoy hearing that, Shadowsinger, I’m going to need you to elaborate.”
His grin widened and he tugged on her, pulling her over to a darkened alcove between two stone buildings. Hidden from the sun, he let his shadows thicken, darken, shield them from the occasional passerby.
“You realize, Gwyn, that my shadows typically send people running. That I could plunge someone into mind-shattering darkness with just a thought.” It wasn’t that he was trying to intimidate her, but ‘lovely’ and ‘friendly’ were not usually on the list of terms associated with the shadowsinger. Which was why her statement had been surprising. And his statement was met with a raised eyebrow and shallow pools gleaming with challenge, shimmering almost in defiance of the darkness of the shadows around them.
Azriel’s head tilted back as he chuckled, mirth and admiration warming his chest. This female – priestess, warrior, survivor – was not just surprising. She was so painfully special.
“You’re incredible. Do you know that?” he murmured, expression sobering slightly. He faced her fully, even as she kept her grip on his arm, and reached up to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear.
“Of course I do, Shadowsinger,” she scoffed, a grin still dancing on her lips. “But you still haven’t explained why you seem to be so surprised by it.”
A sigh escaped his lips. “Because nobody describes my shadows as lovely or friendly, Gwyneth. And nobody simply assumes their benevolence based solely on the fact that they’re mine.”
“Well then nobody has taken the time to know you as well as you deserve.” Gwyn’s hands left his arm, and before he could mourn the loss of her warmth she reached them up to cup his cheeks. “You’re not a monster, Azriel. I promised that I’d continue reminding you of that, and so I am.” His breath hitched, and he could feel his jaw slacken again under her palms. He focused his gaze on the sincerity reflecting back at him, finding himself tempted to trace the freckles splattered over her cheeks.
“I like it when you call me by my name,” he whispered. Those warm, gentle fingers drifted down, hands coming to rest against his chest. The priestess tilted her head in confusion.
“Do you not like when I call you Shadowsinger?”
“Rest assured, Gwyn,” he snickered, giving a quick jerk of his head. “I enjoy our banter immensely. But…” Azriel wasn’t sure how to explain it, how it felt when she spoke his name.
“I told you before that I have felt like I was losing myself to the dark, that I had no tether to the light. But, somehow, when you say my name it’s like an anchor. Grounding me. Settling me. It’s like a reassurance that who I am is who I’m meant to be. That who I am… Azriel… is enough.” He gave a shrug and his gaze dipped to the ground beside them, suddenly uncertain of the admission.
But this was Gwyn, and though he was unused to expressing himself in such a way he knew in his heart that the Valkyrie would not judge him. She would likely appreciate the sentiment.
“You are. You are exactly who you are supposed to be, and I… I am quite fond of who that is,” Gwyn offered, patting her hand gently on his chest. Azriel allowed his eyes to rise to her face, anxiety disappearing as he took in her expression: gentle smile and solemn, ocean-deep gaze. His lip quirked. “Even the parts that you think should scare me away.” The admission was barely more than a breath on her lips, and his heart stuttered. The shadows around them loosened, lightened, began floating and curling and dissipating, allowing the sunlight to wash back over them. Azriel couldn’t find the words, struggled for a response that could even begin to express what those words meant to him. What it meant that she spoke them adamantly, confidently.
So instead he placed his scarred hands – those pieces of him that were always a reminder of his guilt and shame, the solitude and worthlessness to which he had resigned himself – over hers, curling long fingers under them and giving them a gentle squeeze. “How are you feeling? Now that we’re in the city?”
“I am… anxious, I admit.” Her sheepish grin and blushing cheeks accompanied her confession, and he hoped she didn’t think herself weak for feeling such things. But he knew she didn’t want pity, knew that their banter – allowing her to resort to her impressive wit – was a comfort to her. So he goaded.
“Is that why you’ve been holding onto me for dear life, Berdara?” Azriel grinned as she gasped, feigning shock and slapping his shoulder.
“I have been doing no such thing!” the priestess balked. The shadowsinger chuckled, shadows thinning and settling over his shoulders and wings as he pulled at a freckled hand and led her back into the street.
“Of course not,” he cajoled. Azriel shifted his grip, lacing his fingers between hers, and lowered a shoulder to murmur softly, “Fortunately for you, my Illyrian healing will take care of any broken knuckles or fingers before I can even cry out in pain.” And while he loved to make her blush, he thought maybe that scowl with scrunched nose and mirthful shimmer in those narrowed teal eyes was his next favorite expression for her to wear – for him to draw out of her.
As if to threaten such an injury Gwyn tightened her grip. “How can you be so sweet and yet so insufferable all at once?”
The spymaster let his laugh rumble through him, deep and genuine. Drawing their intertwined hands up to his lips, he grinned. “It’s a gift.” He let his mouth graze over her knuckles, lifting his gaze to catch the sprinkling of pink joining the freckles on her cheeks. Pulling away he added, “Hold onto me as tightly as you need, Gwyn.” Turning to look down the street, he gently drew her into step beside him, feeling her hold tighten slightly. He cast a glance her way and smirked, finding that the redness in her face hadn’t lessened after that offer – a promise of support he would do all in his power to uphold.
They walked slowly. Azriel kept his steps measured, allowing his priestess to set their pace. His shadows were calm, although they still seemed to reach for her and took particular interest in twining around their joined hands. Although they never spoke to him in anything so clear as words, their satisfaction was obvious. As he considered the smile that seemed plastered upon his face, the ease with which he was able to be vulnerable with her and express his feelings, he tended to agree. He had to stifle a laugh at the notion that not too long ago he had found himself struggling for words in her presence.
Before he understood that she – like him – had wanted more.
He had never considered himself gifted with words, but he had always kept quiet more from a position of observation and strategy than his being unable to use them. The shadowsinger found that he cared more for measured expression, made sure that his contributions were born of thoughtfulness and consideration rather than a need to participate. Perhaps his uninhibited conversation with the copper-haired Valkyrie was due to the fact that he had known for some time that she was special, different than any female he had known. That those thoughts of how he felt at her easy acceptance of him, how she made him laugh and look forward to each day, had been circling his mind so much that he already knew exactly what he wanted to say. It was as if he had practiced the sentences in front of a mirror, such was his surety.
“So where are we going?” Gwyn’s voice pierced his thoughts and he dipped his chin to find those stunning eyes alight with curiosity.
“It’s a surprise,” he answered, lips quirking. Her own lips pursed.
“That sounds to me like you don’t have a plan, Shadowsinger.”
Azriel lifted his free hand to press his palm against his chest with a gasp, letting playful horror settle over his features. “You wound me, Berdara. I am the Spymaster of the Night Court.”
“So?” she challenged with a raised brow, and he was sure if she weren’t gripping his hand like a vice she might have crossed her arms to express just how unimpressed she was by mere title.
“So,” he mused, “I make it my business to know the secrets of the city, including the locations that are of the highest quality and to whose interests they may cater.” Gwyn rolled her eyes.
“Are you the Spymaster or do you just have considerable shopping habit?”
“I have also been told, by the High Lord,” he continued, ignoring her jab, “that I am a brilliant strategist. The most powerful High Lord – in all of Prythian – trusts my instincts. Now, does that sound like someone who wouldn’t have a plan? For something so monumental as Gwyneth Berdara’s first trip into Velaris?” Azriel watched her beautiful face as she reacted, and he felt his heart squeeze as her features softened – that playful, nonplussed expression sobering into something he wasn’t sure he could read. The light glittered in her eyes more brightly, and he thought she might shed a tear. Was it understanding? Realization?
“It is monumental, isn’t it?” she murmured, as if she truly hadn’t thought of it that way, and turned a wistful gaze down the cobbled street lined with stone buildings and colorful awnings. “I’m… I’m really here.” He ran a thumb over her hand in quiet comfort.
“Indeed you are.” Pride warmed his soul as he studied her profile. He had met many beautiful females. Bedded some. Pined after others. He knew he was an outwardly attractive male, regardless of the hellscape inside him, and many women would spare a second or third glance his way. But Gwyn outshone them all. And it wasn’t because of the freckles that danced over her nose and cheeks, her plump pink lips, or those stunning eyes that belied her nymph heritage. There was a light inside of her, a bright ray of sunshine that flew in the face of the darkness that had shrouded her short life. She brightened the lives of everyone around her. She was bold and intelligent and strong and funny. It was all of those things, and the wonder in her eyes as she took in the city around them and truly understood what that meant, that made her quite possibly the most incredible female he would ever know. His High Lady and Nesta Archeron included. “How does it feel?”
“It’s a lot,” she admitted, and for a moment he thought she might have had enough for the day. But she just took a deep breath and faced him with the most dazzling, gut-wrenching smile. And then her arms were wrapped tightly around his neck, her weight thrown against him. He circled his arms around the small of her back to keep her from sliding down. “I did it, Azriel. I made it to Velaris.” He felt her chin on his shoulder, heard her voice only inches away from his ear. Taking a breath, he tightened his grip on her, inhaling her scent and her shampoo and reveling in the closeness of her and the gravity of this moment.
“You did it, Gwyn. I’m so very proud of you.” He could have stayed there forever, unconcerned with anything outside of this moment. No passersby, no responsibilities, no thrumming city current. Just Azriel and Gwyn and the deep admiration he hoped she could feel in his embrace. She had truly accomplished so much, in possession of a strength that he was uncertain even he or Cassian could muster. Her arms loosened around his shoulders, and he bent to plant her feet back fully on the cobbled ground. Wanting nothing more than to gaze into her shallow teal pools, he pulled back. Her fingers traced down the length of his arms, a feather’s touch leaving a trail of flame. His skin prickled at the caress. Her eyes crinkled, lined with silver, and he lifted a thumb to brush away a tear that threatened to fall. Her grin grew impossibly wider, glowing in the morning sunshine, and he thought his heart might burst. “You are so strong. So next time that bat Merrill gives you any trouble, you can tell her where to shove it.” The priestess threw her head back with a cackle.
“Very professional of you, Shadowsinger.” She stepped back, turning her attention to the mottled skin of his hand and laced her fingers with his. “Alright, master strategist who definitely has a plan. Lead the way.” Azriel grinned, something he was wearing more and more these days, and they fell into step together down the cobbled side street of Velaris.
Gwyn sighed contentedly as they roamed down a nearly empty side street. The cobbled path they had started on that morning had become a bit more bustling, and Azriel had so thoughtfully led her down a block and onto a thoroughfare that was much less crowded. Their clasped hands a comforting anchor through the entirety of the day.
He had indeed had a plan – pastries and books. She couldn’t imagine that anyone would dislike such an afternoon, but it was still a delight. Because he had chosen to do it with her, to make sure this first step was one of happiness. A joyful first step into a future that was full of potential, new and exciting and achievable.
The book shop had been particularly lovely, a small storefront with unique works and art and baubles. But what had warmed Gwyn’s heart the most was when the owner beamed at Azriel, asking if she was the girl she’d heard so much about – the girl he always said would love the little shop. When he’d confirmed as such the priestess had been whisked away, down narrow aisles of pristine shelves packed with gold-stamped leather bindings, paper works, artworks. It was such a lovely little place, and had she not been reeling from the emotions of the day, the jitters, she may have indeed left with a quite a few new novels and knickknacks.
The shadowsinger would have bought them for her. She’d nearly balked when he had asked if she had found anything that she liked. Gwyn hadn’t really thought through the need for money on the trip, and thought she might die of embarrassment as her realization was likely painted across her face in a wide swath of heat as her mind had raced. Azriel had simply chuckled – one of her favorite sounds – and had assured her that he wouldn’t have brought her to this place if he hadn’t intended to purchase whatever she’d wished to have.
“That is quite the relief, but I think my mind is so overwhelmed by the day that I wouldn’t be able to choose,” she sighed, gesturing to the shelves surrounding the two of them.
“Next time, then.”
He had only given her a winning smile. For a male who claimed to be inexperienced in relationships – courting – he sure seemed to know exactly what to say, how to reassure her and encourage her.
And so they walked now, still hand-in-hand, as they enjoyed the sunshine and the city.
“So what did you get?” She had spied the small bag he had carried out of the book shop and had successfully kept herself from asking about it until now, but she couldn’t help herself. The curiosity was eating her alive.
“Nothing of importance,” Azriel answered with a shrug. The priestess scowled.
“If it’s not important, then tell me what it is,” she demanded, glaring up at the side of his face. Mother, he was beautiful. He dipped his chin, casting her a sideways glance.
“If it’s not important, why do you care to know?”
Gwyn opened her mouth to retort, but her eyes were drawn to a window across the way. Behind it was a mannequin clothed in a gown of navy velvet, studded with crystals and embroidery. She had never had occasion to wear or own such things, couldn’t imagine that she would anytime soon, but the beauty of the garment rendered her speechless.
So speechless that it had apparently alarmed the shadowsinger. “Gwyn?” he asked gently.
“It’s… beautiful.” Her voice was a reverent whisper, and she pulled him over to the store window to look more closely at the dress. Silver and blue and teal stones formed a belt at the waist and rained down over the bodice and skirt. Sheer sleeves. Gwyn wondered if having something sheer like that over her arms would make her feel more comfortable with the attention that would be attracted from wearing something so lovely.
“It would suit you.” His voice felt distant, an echo in the midst of her wonder, but she felt him squeeze her hand. She averted her gaze and lifted it to the spymaster, finding hazel eyes twinkling with a casual affection. “Would you like to go inside?”
For some reason the question made her anxiety peak. Did she want to? Should she? Did she want to shop for clothes? With Azriel? Was it appropriate? Did that matter?
As if he sensed her uncertainty the spymaster tugged at her fingers again. “Hey,” he murmured, and she blinked back into herself before locking eyes with him again. “There is no hurry. No pressure. We can come back any time you like. I have no doubt this is not the last trip to Velaris that you will make.” Her eyes crinkled, appreciation warming her cheeks. He was so damned considerate, so patient. She was endlessly grateful.
Gwyn shrugged and turned toward the street again. “I should hope not,” she sighed. “I have no occasion to wear anything so elegant, anyhow. This is probably the nicest thing I’ve ever worn.” Looking down at the dress Nesta had let her borrow, she smiled. It was indeed lovely, the deep blue had caught her eye almost immediately.
“Does the warrior priestess wish to don such finery?” Azriel chuckled, and she lifted an eyebrow at him.
“Dresses may not be the most convenient when it comes to keeping daggers on my person, Shadowsinger, but I am not unlike most females. I admit the thought of dressing up in something nicer than fighting leathers – nicer than this dress, even – is rather enticing.” Gwyn lifted her chin as they continued to walk, quiet falling over the two of them. It would be nice… to look pretty, perhaps even feel that way. She had never worried much about her appearance, knew she was attractive enough. But she knew she was no great beauty, not in the midst of the likes of Nesta and Mor. How would it feel, though, to do more with her hair than just tie it out of her face for training? Would the pin straight strands manage to curl? What if she might paint her lips and eyes? Would Azriel like it?
A yawn escaped her lips before she could stop it. Her cheeks heated as she covered her mouth with her fingers. “Pardon me,” she squeaked.
“Am I boring you, Berdara?” the spymaster snickered. She reached over and slapped the muscled curve of his shoulder.
“I suppose I didn’t realize how tired I’d gotten,” she answered thoughtfully. “It’s been a big day.” The Valkyrie couldn’t help but glance around again, a smile parting her lips as she took in the citizens and city street they had been walking.
“Shall we return to the house, then?” Azriel was tucking the small bag – whatever secret trinket he had purchased – into a pocket when she turned back to him. Warm hazel eyes greeted her, and a soft quirk of his lips. He was so handsome; it truly wasn’t fair. His hand left hers, and even as he opened his arms to her she felt a twinge of disappointment at the loss of that joining between them. But she stepped up to him and he scooped her up under her knees and shoulders. This time, though, she wound her arms around his neck. She swore she might have spied the smallest dusting of pink across his tanned cheeks.
“Hold on tight,” he whispered, dipping his chin so she could hear. Then he flared his wings and they were enveloped in darkness. For a moment she was weightless, then felt the fanning of wind from his wing beats as he lowered them beyond the wards and onto the balcony of the House of Wind. Too soon, he was setting her down, and she somewhat begrudgingly released her hold on him. She held her hands clasped at her chest and looked up at the shadowsinger.
“Thank you, Azriel. Today was… it was more than I could have ever hoped for.” Gwyn could feel the prickle in her eyes, even as the corners crinkled with her bright smile. She could feel the color blooming in her face as the spymaster tucked a hair behind her arched ear, hazel eyes burning nearly golden in the summer sunlight.
“It was an honor, Gwyn. Truly,” he answered, then held up the small paper bag he’d had in his pocket. “To commemorate.”
Her cheeks were aflame, now. She could feel it. But she quirked an eyebrow at him. “So you wouldn’t tell me what you bought because it was for me?” she balked. “You didn’t need to do that –“
“I did it because I wanted to, Berdara,” Azriel scoffed as he gestured with the small parcel, urging her to take it. Her eyes narrowed at him, though she was secretly gleeful at his thoughtfulness. How could so many people think him so intimidating and cold when he was the epitome of consideration and care? She fished a small box from the bag and opened it, revealing the small contraption inside. Her eyes widened as she brought her fingers up to her lips, parted in surprise.
“A book light? Like the one you gave Nesta for Solstice?” she breathed. She had been fascinated by it when Nesta had shown it to her and Emerie, and had longed for one of her own. Of course, Azriel would have known it was a gift that Gwyn would also adore.
“The very same. I told you how much I enjoy the book shop. That’s where I bought it for her,” he explained. “I hope you like it. That you will use it often, and each time you will remember how your conquered your fear this day.” The pressure behind her eyes grew, and she couldn’t stop the few tears that fell from her lashes.
“I love it. I truly don’t know what to say,” she sniffled and then let out a quiet giggle. “And you know how rarely that happens, Shadowsinger.” Her gaze followed one of his hands, callused and scarred and enormous, as he raised it to her face. There he waited, and her heart pinched at the gesture, so she turned her cheek to feel the roughened skin of his fingers against her flesh. His thumb brushed the wetness from her cheek as she closed her eyes. She let her shoulders sag, immersed in the serenity and safety this male always gave to her.
“I think that, if I can render you speechless, I should either be very proud of my efforts or very concerned.” His words earned a wet laugh.
His fingers drifted down to her jaw. Others may have been surprised at Azriel’s ability to be so gentle, but the priestess knew better. He was so much more than his fearsome reputation, and while she understood that he was indeed the shadowsinger, that he was the spymaster – known continent-wide for his wrath and his skill for pulling information from unwilling victims – he was also a male of great depth, his silent observation and thoughtfulness often mistaken for cold aloofness. And while he did brood, and often, she could see how he continued to open himself to her and to his friends. She could not feel more honored that she was a part of his journey. Those long, deft fingers reached her chin and tilted it up, so she lifted her eyes to meet his.
All of him was beautiful, but even that word did not do him justice. High cheekbones, strong angular chin, full lips, and lush onyx hair that Gwyn wanted nothing more than to comb through with her fingers. And his eyes. The hazel that melted into gold when he was willing to let her see what he was feeling. It was one of the first things she had noticed when they had begun their evening vigils. His stare could be so frigid and terrifying, but when they softened with vulnerability, as they had been with each other, she felt like she could shroud herself in his warmth and be protected from the most violent winter winds.
“If you would like an occasion… to dress in finer things than leathers,” the spymaster began, lifting his fingers to tap thoughtfully on his lips. “Not that I don’t think you are obscenely attractive in leathers, by the way…”
Gwyn felt the flush course through her, heat coiling low in her belly. She knew her ears were likely as red as her hair. Azriel grinned devilishly, and she tried to hide a scowl. He reveled in making her blush, and Cauldron damn her if it wasn’t hellishly easy for him to do.
“We have family dinners every week. I’m sure you’ve probably heard myself or Cassian or Nesta mention them from time to time. Perhaps, sometime in the future, you would like to accompany me?” Gwyn tilted her head, considering his offer. She had indeed heard mention of family dinner. Nesta had even invited her once or twice, though she had declined at that point. But now…
“I think I would like that,” she answered, letting the smallest hint of a grin lift her lips. “Eventually.” That was the caveat, after all. She had faced something monumental today, but she would be a terrible liar if she claimed that dinner with the High Lord and Lady, their inner circle, and the family that had been built there did not make her stomach lurch.
“Of course,” Azriel conceded, patient as always. “I believe you do know most of the people who would be in attendance: Nesta and Cassian, Rhys and Feyre. And Mor is always dressed so immaculately that you could wear that gown we saw in the window today and still not consider yourself overdressed.” Gwyn snickered.
“I suppose, then, that next time we go into Velaris to satisfy your shopping habit we will have to stop in so I can try it on.” There wasn’t any part of her that was touching him in that moment, but she could still feel that deep, rich laugh down to her bones.
“Indeed, we shall,” was all he said.
Tag List: @tealnymph-writes @trashforazriel @secretlovelybeauty @imsointobooks @meher-sumedha @flora-shadowshine @positivewitch @tanvee1231 @imwritingthesewords @camreadsum @vikingmagic33 @shisingh @gwynrielsupremacist @sagureads @katiebellf @deedz-thrillerkilller16 @sv0430 @writing-spaces @onemorenightdreamer @feyretale @almosttenaciousmoon @mystical-blaise
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Hello my lovely! Congrats on 800!! 💋 I have, of course, a smutty Elriel prompt for you. 😉 However, I can’t seem to choose between the two. So, how about you surprise me?
5. Just let me finish this/this level and I swear I’ll go down on you until you finish at least three times.
18. If I have to pull over, you won’t be able to walk for the next week.
Hi, my dear Tay! As requested, here is some shameless Elriel smut for you!
I went with this prompt (I got the other one for Nessian, too, so I wanted to give this one its own)—
5. Just let me finish this/this level and I swear I’ll go down on you until you finish at least three times.
I also combined this with a smut prompt from @achelois-daughter [thank you so much for sending it in!]— “I’ll think about this when I’m jerking off later.”
This is another one that refused to be contained to a word limit. You and @perseusannabeth broke me, but I'm not even mad about it.
NSFW. At all.
[too many] words.
As much as Elain loved watching her boyfriend play pool against his brother, it was causing her some issues. For one, they were in public, so she was trying to keep from ogling him as shamelessly as usual. The game itself created some challenges considering he was often bent over the table, the muscles of his back rippling beneath his charcoal tee as he squared up his shot. The sight was enough to tempt her to slip her body between him and the table, to let him bend her over it, too.
"I know that look," a dark voice rasped. Elain blinked, realizing she had long since drifted into her vivid daydream.
Azriel stood in front of her, holding the pool stick in a loose grip to keep it from falling over. He tapped it mindlessly a couple of times on the bar floor and used his free hand to slide up one of Elain's thighs. She spread them to give him space, hoping his firm ministrations over her skin wouldn't send her toppling backward off the bar stool. She didn't bother with coy.
"We should go."
Azriel leaned in to nip her ear, his rough chuckle sending gooseflesh down to her toes. Her hands settled on his waist, but she couldn't promise they wouldn't wander the longer he stood there.
"The others will know why we're leaving if we go mid-game."
"That's fine," she challenged, leaning her head toward his affections. "Let's go. Please."
He pulled back with a glint in his eye that told her he was pleased with her manners. She wasn't above begging if that's what he wanted, but he wasn't that easily deterred. Azriel could be such a tease.
"Just let me finish this, and I swear I'll go down on you until you finish," he rasped. "At least three times." Dark promise was laced into his every word.
An embarrassing sound left her throat before he gave her a gentle squeeze and resumed the game. With each passing turn, Elain was dangerously close to walking over and shoving each pool ball into a pocket by hand. Finally, Cassian won, and they were shoving through the bar hand-in-hand toward Azriel's car.
His eyes were impossibly dark once they were inside. He gripped her by the back of the neck to pull her into a rough kiss, muttered a low curse, and turned toward the steering wheel to start driving.
Elain was almost squirming in her seat. The tension between her thighs was enough to snap, and with each passing minute, she had to resist the urge to run her hand below her waistband to take care of the ache herself.
As if reading her mind, Azriel gripped her thigh to bend her knee and prop it against the center console. His fingers trailed down the inside of her thigh, and without taking his eyes off the turn he made, he slid his hand beneath the hem of her skirt. His clever fingers dragged over the thin cloth of her underwear, and she bit her lip when they dipped beneath to stroke her.
"Fuck," he muttered, his dark gaze sliding to her and back to the road. "How long have you been this soaked, El?"
Her head hit the rest, her eyes rolling at the divine pressure he applied. She moaned into the quiet car, fighting the urge to ride Azriel's hand.
"I—" Her breath hitched at his increased pressure. She swallowed to compose herself. "I tried to tell you we should go."
"Baby," he chided. "You didn't tell me you were aching like this."
Her teeth pinched her bottom lip, her eyelids suddenly too heavy to keep open. Elain gave herself over to his soft ministrations while trying not to scandalize anyone driving alongside them. Traffic moved quickly, so her odds of being caught were low. Her luck had never been the best in that department though.
Azriel pulled his hand away slightly, but before she could let out a whimper of protest, his finger hooked the elastic of her underwear. He let it go with a soft pop as he rasped, “Get rid of these for me.”
She didn’t need to be told twice. Shoving them down her legs, she pulled them from around her ankles and placed them in his outstretched hand without question. Azriel tucked them into the pocket of his jeans to save her any unintentional scandals the next time someone rode in his car. There was no chance she would remember to grab them upon their arrival at the apartment.
Azriel's hand returned to where she wanted him— no, needed him— the most. He parted her with his fingers, trailing down to tease her opening before pushing two fingers inside her. His eyes never left the road, not even when Elain looped her arm through his and dug her nails into the cotton covering his bicep. The muscles worked beneath her hand in time with his fingers, and something about the added sensation beneath her palm had her leaning her head against his shoulder as he worked her.
Elain's breath hitched when his palm tucked tightly against that sensitive bundle of nerves he'd teased before, and she turned her face to muffle her cries against his arm. Her restraint snapped, her hips rolling shamelessly of their own accord. She was already so close, and they hadn't yet managed the 15-minute drive. Azriel curled his fingers tighter, and the intensity of her pleasure had her free arm jutting out to grip the dash.
His breath was warm against her ear when he nipped the delicate skin, his voice gravelly when he asked, "Who are you holding back for, El? I want to hear those sweet little sounds you make."
With another thrust of her hips, her release taunted a blazing bath down her spine. Every muscle grew tired under the tension, and she gave herself over to it, leaning back in her seat and gripping the headrest with her hand. The other still pressed crescent moons into his skin, her whimper filling the car and her back tightly arched. Gods, she hoped no one was in the neighboring lane, but at least Azriel had the good sense to keep her skirt draped over his hand to avoid exposing her. Not that her blissed out expression left any room for imagination.
"Az," she cried. "Fuck. Please. I—" Did she remember how to construct a complete sentence? Did she care?
The heel of his palm ground harder against her, and she shattered. A string of incoherent sounds left her as she came, only interrupted by Azriel's deep groan at the way she pulsed around his fingers. Her hips rolled until the waves settled, her body trembling when he slowly slid his fingers from her. He brought his fingers to his mouth to clean them before adjusting his hardness roughly in his jeans, moaning shamelessly into the quiet. The sound made Elain's blood heat, and she reached for his lap, eager to bring him even a fraction of the pleasure he'd given her.
To her disappointment, Azriel stopped her and laced their fingers together. They pulled into the parking lot, and he whipped into a parking spot with a palm pressed against the steering wheel. The ignition had barely died when his mouth was on hers once more.
"I need to get you inside," he growled, sliding his tongue alongside hers.
Elain grew impatient and reached for him. Much to her irritation, he stopped her again.
"That wasn't the deal. I'm looking forward to having you come on my tongue." He winked and opened the door. The light of the car cast a glow over them and showed the mischief dancing in his bright hazel eyes. "That one didn't count toward your three, by the way." Elain wasn't sure she could manage three more, but she didn't dare discourage him.
With that, he stood and shut the door behind him. His legs carried him over to her door in only a few long strides before he was pulling her out of her seat and leading her to the door hand-in-hand. His urgency was the only thing that kept her wobbly legs beneath her while he fiddled with his keys and gained entry to the apartment. One quick pivot, and he had her against the wall inside, the planes of his body pressing deliciously into hers.
His kiss was sure, demanding. Elain could hardly keep up with how ravenous he was in seeking her pleasure, especially as his strong hands gripped her hips and guided her toward the table in the entry way. Without a word, Elain slid on top, sending various objects careening to the floor.
Azriel was on his knees before she could blink, his tongue parting her in a long, fluid stroke. Her knuckles were white as she gripped the edge of the table with one hand, and the other slid into his hair to allow her some tether to reality. He groaned at the feel of her nails scraping at his scalp, only spurring his eagerness.
Her thighs were perched over his broad shoulders, and his long, skilled fingers pressed into each of her thighs as he worked. He alternated between long sweeps of his tongue and flicks over her sensitive bud, and it only took a few passes to have her throwing her head back as she came again. He tapped her thigh with a finger, but he didn't say a word while he worked her down from her high. She guessed he had plans to move them; further evidenced by his standing, his powerful hands gripping her waist and hauling her body against his on the way to the couch.
He deposited her roughly beneath him, his hands firm and impatient over the curves of her body, her petite breasts. Elain whimpered at the loss of his weight when he eased onto his knees, tearing roughly at her clothes to bare her entirely.
"Fuck," he growled.
She could feel the heat of his gaze over every inch of her body. She stretched her arms over her head and arched her back, knowing the lean lines of her body tortured him and tested his self-control. His knowing gaze met hers while he draped her leg over the back of the couch and shifted back to lay on his stomach. To accommodate his height, he straddled the couch; one leg bent behind him and the other knee supporting his weight against the floor. Elain draped her other leg over his shoulder before he got the chance, filling his expression with sheer determination as he gripped her thighs and pulled her roughly against his face.
His grip loosened on the thigh draped over the couch, and his knuckles dragged delicately along the back in a teasing path. Elain keened at the contrast of his delicate fingers and the strong hold of his other hand, sending her in search of anything to hold onto as he teased her. While she appreciated the delay to give her body time to recover from two earth-tilting orgasms, impatience crept over her skin like a faint breeze. How Azriel managed to kindle both in her simultaneously, she would never understand. She would never complain, either.
Like a man starved, Azriel dragged his tongue in slow torment up her center and back down to her opening. The broad pad of his thumb pressed against her clit, earning a choked cry from deep in her throat. That pressure continued in slow, concentric circles while his tongue worshipped her in time. Elain dissolved into incoherent cries, chopped words and curses, and futile attempts to roll her hips. Azriel's other hand never let up its hold, and it was enough to keep her lower body resolutely in place.
All it took to send her over the proverbial edge was the slide of his tongue against her opening, the way he curved it just inside to press against the textured skin of her inner walls. Elain bowed under the force of her release, crying out to the gods as if it was enough to worship them through the echoes against the walls.
Elain relaxed the tension in the muscles of her back, noting the light sheen of sweat erupting over her body. Azriel applied grounding pressure to her clit while she panted, the fingers of his other hand tapping her thigh. Her eyes snapped open to see his eyes on her, and she tried to communicate with her eyes that there was no way she could manage another change in location. That was until she realized the motion of his fingers differed slightly from before, a gentle double tap against her skin compared to a single tap when she came atop the entryway table. The mischief in his eyes confirmed her suspicion and sent a spark of incredulity down her spine.
The cocky bastard was counting*.*
Elain wanted to be annoyed at his presumption, but who was she kidding? Azriel played her body with the skill of a musical prodigy. He knew exactly what he did to her and how often. The signals of her pleasure were imprinted within the steel trap of his mind, and all she could muster was gratitude for it.
She offered a sleepy, sated smile, running her stiff fingers through his dark hair. The kisses he pressed to her inner thighs were gentle, even though she noticed how his hips ground against the couch cushion. She cupped his cheek, brushing her thumb over his elegant cheekbone.
"You're too good to me," she rasped, her breath hitching when his mouth pressed against her center.
Azriel grunted his approval. "I'm not done with you yet, baby."
Elain drew her bottom lip between her teeth and dropped her head against the couch. "Let me take care of you, too," she pleaded, "before you fuck me boneless."
His dark chuckle made her skin erupt in gooseflesh, and she knew before he said a word that he would refuse her.
"I'm a man of my word." Why did she bother arguing with him? "The last thing I want you to worry about is me, alright?" Another kiss to her core, a flick of his tongue over her clit. "I'll think about this, about you, when I'm jerking off later."
With that, he released his grip on her thigh in favor of pinning her open for him with his other hand. His attention returned to her core, sending her resolve, her common sense, any principle out the window with her pride. She reached over her head to grip the cushion along its seam against the arm of the couch, fighting and failing to keep her hips still in the process.
Azriel wasn't deterred by her undulations. His lips shifted their attention to her sensitive— too sensitive— bud, massaging it with the lightest suction to avoid overstimulating her. His finger slipped into her without resistance, and he halted his advance to pull back and insert a second finger alongside it.
The pressure was divine, the stretch around his fingers— perfect. Elain moaned shamelessly, uncaring that her hips were frantic or that she was covered in that fine layer of sweat from her scalp to the tips of her curled toes. He had reduced her to a rolling, begging mess. The edge of release burned through her tired muscles, screamed against the building tension. How much pleasure could she afford before her body gave up entirely?
Az moaned at her growing wetness, growled at the withering mess she was. Despite the guttural reaction he had to her arousal, his lips remained gentle while he crooked his talented fingers at the perfect angle. Elain's thighs trembled under the force of her climax. Her voice was little more than a sob when she called out his name among other, barely coherent, words of praise. He eased her down from the pleasure and braced her with a hand against her lower abdomen to ease his fingers out of her.
With her eyes screwed shut, chest rising and falling in desperation, she didn't see Azriel shift onto the couch close to her. With tender fingers, he eased her iron grip from the edge of the cushions so that he could lift her into his lap. He didn't bother to tap a rhythm against her skin that time. There was no denying how hard she'd come.
Exhaustion lived in every nook of her body, leaving her limp against him the second her head hit his shoulder. She could feel his hardness against her backside, but he held her as if it didn't exist at all, petting her hair away from her face. His lips were soft against her forehead, her temple, her cheek before he stood and carried her to the bedroom, laying her atop the cool sheets.
"Sleep, baby," he murmured.
Elain barely heard the order before she followed it, tumbling into deep, contented oblivion.
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Hiii can you do a really angsty azriel×reader where they have a huge fight about him not opening up to her but with a happy ending so they make up at the end?
Hey! I have a lot of request atm and I should probably be doing them by chronological order but I LOVED this idea so here it is.
Tw: cursing, slight mention of sex :)
Hope you enjoy this!
You and Azriel had been friendsfor what you’d say a long period of time. You knew each other for four years now and it was safe for you to say that you had left yourself open for him to see. Especially after you two had gotten together, no you weren’t mated but he still was a huge part of your life. You didn’t hesitate once, you told him 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔, around him you were yourself. You wanted him to know every single part of you. You trusted him that much.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same for him. Although you two had known each other for so many years he’d still be too close to himself. He’d never talk about his feeling, about his day. cauldron! He’d never talk to you about anything important, the only way for you to know a somewhat small part of him and his life would be cassian.
But you’ve had enough of that, enough of this bullshit behavior. You trusted him more than anyone and although you couldn’t and didn’t 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 to force him to tell you. No, he was a grown male and he could do whatever he wanted but you wanted some answers, you wanted to know why he was so secretive, why he didn’t trust you.
It was a normal day, nothing special really. You had just came home from a meeting with rhysand (as you, yourself was a part of the high lords court). Azriel came back to your shared apartment briefly after, the skin under those beautiful captivating hazel eyes bruised, his own gaze hiding pure rage. You would admit, he did do a good effort trying to hide his anger but you’d see under those eyes.
“Hey” you smiled. But your smile quickly faded as he dismissed you with a small ‘hey’ , barely audible in the quiet, empty room.
“You okey?” Such a simple question, but his next words meant so much to you.
“You wanna talk about it?” You tried again.
“No” he retorted abruptly. You seriously didn’t know why would you get your hopes up. It was more than obvious that he simply didn’t want to talk to you.
“Are you hungry? I could make dinner” you tried again.
“Azriel,‘I’m talking to you. Are you okey?”
At this point you had stood up walking towards him. He was just standing there, he was gazing at the window, at this point you didn’t even know if he actually heard you.
“Azriel!” You raised your voice.
“Can you please be quiet!” He shouted loud enough for you to flinch. “I don’t 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 to talk about it” he said pure venom dripping of his voice.
You’d never see him this mad over something you had said, and you, for sure, didn’t expect for him to be this mad over such a small question.
“You see that the thing Azriel, you 𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 seem to want to talk about it” you snapped. No, you’ve had enough, this was the last straw. “I’m here, I’ve been by your side for years, I’m trying so hard. I’m always trying to make you happy however I can. I’m trying to help you, I’m trying... Cauldron boil me I’m trying so hard” your voice broke slightly at the end “what can I do for you to trust me? To open up to me for once? What do you want me to do?” You raised your voice
Now it was his turn to flinch, he just stayed quiet, his eyes burning yours. His lips forming a thin line, almost as if he was restraining himself from saying something.
You soon realized what he was trying so hard to hide, it had 𝑐𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑑, the mating bond had just clicked. You watched him carefully, his look was enough for you to realize that he had know about the bond.
“The bond, you knew about the bond?” Of course that was what he was trying to hide.
No answer, just a guilty look sprained across his face.
“How long?” You questioned. “Y/n please just hear me out”
“That was what all of this were about,Right?” You laughed bitterly “you didn’t once see me as something important, just some stupid female you could keep around so you could use whenever your wanted a quick release, right?” You watched him, he was completely out of words. What could he say really?
“And to think that I was worried about you not trusting me, now it all make sense” you said more for yourself to hear “you barely talked to me, you barely had time for me except only when you wanted to fuck” you sobbed.
“No, y/n please just let me explain I- I“ he lookd shuttered. His gaze was a mixture of pure regret and guilt.
“No- dont! I won’t tolerate this anymore Azriel, I’m tired. You want a quick lay out? I don’t care anymore use your hands, go to a pleasure hall cause I don’t give a fuck anymore Azriel. Because you clearly don’t want 𝑚𝑒“ you turned to leave but something stopped you midway “just answer this one question” you fiddled with your fingers, afraid of his answer. “Did you really wanted to hide the bond so badly? Is really being my mate so tragic?” You immediately regretted your questions “actually don’t- don’t answer, goodbye” you said before you ran away, you needed space- lots of it.
It had been a week since you last talked. You’d be so desperate to find a way to get him out of your mind, to forget him that you had asked Rhysand for more work, a whole lot more work.
You’d barely sleep, barely eat. You’d wake up train, work, work, work and then, 𝑖𝑓 you felt too tired you might have actually gotten some sleep.
You’d also bought a new apartment for yourself, you couldn’t bare staying there and also you didn’t want to kick out azriel so you did the next best thing. You’d spent a small amount of money for something small, just enough till you found something better cause your decision was final. You weren’t going back to him, never.
Of course the inner circle had started to get worried, you wouldn’t even attend the family dinners anymore, you just disappeared. You had hidden the location of your new apartment for a couple of weeks before mor and cassian appeared at your doorway desperate for a talk.
Cassian was like a brother to you, mor was your sister. You talked to them, you trusted them but this, this was different. What would you say? They would probably tell you to talk to azriel. That he couldn’t bare being alone or some shit like that, he was their family after all.
It wasn’t that you were being ungrateful, the inner circle never once made you feel out of place, they all welcomed you and treated you like family but that didn’t mean that would last long enough after you and Azriel brake up.
“Hey” mor said quietly.
You muttered a small ‘hey’ in response before moving out of the way sot hey would come in.
“We’re have you been y/n? We were worried” cassian started, he didn’t do it on purpose. Cassian would always jump in questions, he cared deeply for you and you knew that. Mor on the other hand shot he a glare before starting, hereself asking questions “do you want to talk about it? I could ask the baby to leave if you want to” she said.
You let out an agitated sight, blinking back the tears that were mere second from breaking away as you remembered ℎ𝑖𝑚 “There’s nothing to talk about”. You would never imagine how much a heartbreak would hurt. It felt like you had lost a whole part of yourself, a part that would never come back.
“It was never meant to last anyway” you said finally, hoping that they would just drop the subject. It was true, you knew that this relationship would work out, couldn’t work out. He was, well he could have whoever he wanted, what special did you have? Well certainly not whatever he wanted.
A month, it had been a month. A whole month with tiring days and endless, sleepless nights. Your under eyes were bruised and your body had changed. The work was swallowing you whole but it did wonders when it came to forgetting him.
Mor, cassian, rhysand, Feyre, even amren and nesta would come to talk to you and make sure that you were okey. You had also realized that Azriel, himself was trying get you to talk to him.
He’d do some hopeless tries. He’d tell Azriel to convince you to join the dinners and start coming on the inner circle gathering more often, mor had told you. But you just knew that whoever Azriel had wanted instead of you just didn’t feel the same way so he tried to found you again.
As you were drowning in you thought a knock was heard, weird. Nobody and told you anything about any visit today. You stood up and made your way towards the door, it was probably cassian and he probably had forgotten to tell you that he would visit.
But you weren’t ready for the person that was standing right outside your doorway. Muscular, tall Illyrian, wings tucked in tightly, grazed eyes scanning you whole. Look filled with guilt. 𝐴𝑧𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑙.!
“Hey” he gave you a soft smile, but it did nothing to hide the pained expression that lingered on his eyes.
You averted your gaze as you clenched your jaw. For a moment you contemplated shutting the door in front of his face, scream at him, or even launch yourself at him.
He had lied to you, he had hurt you, he never trusted you and you didn’t know what was worse the fact that he never saw you seriously or the fact that you believed in this relationship- you believed in him….
“What do you want?” You fought with everything you’ve got for your expression to remain neutral.
“I want yo talk, I- I know what I did was wrong and I know that I hurt you, deeply, but” he paused taking a deep breath as if to calm himself.
“But what?” You snapped venomously and he flinched, he actually flinched “You come here trying to what? Apologize?” You started pacing “I am your mate, and I can understand and accept the fact that you don’t want the bond, that you don’t want something more intimate between us but not telling me? That’s was beyond cruel, because you knew, you 𝑘𝑛𝑒𝑤 that I wanted to find my mate, you knew that I wanted you to be my mate and you didn’t care”
Azriel’s eyes widened in disbelief as he heard you talking. You laughed bitterly “you’ve been dragging me besides you for years and for what Azriel? For what? To dump me when you’ve found someone better? Someone that you actually want?” You blinked furiously trying to restrain your tears.
“Y/n please, I- I do have feeling for yo-“ Azriel tried but you were quick to interrupt him once again. “You think that I’m mad because you don’t have feelings for me? You’re unbelievable! I angry because you hid something like this from me, you humiliated me”
“No!” His voice rose slightly “I never said that, just please let me talk” you snorted but let him go on “I- I love you, all this years weren’t a waste for me. I knew you were my mate from them moment I first saw you. I hid it and it was wrong of me, yes. But I did it because I didn’t want you to feel obliged to accept the bond, I wanted you to see me, I wanted the best for you and still am and I know that I’m not the one that can make you happy y/n” his eyes shone, tears threatening to escape.
“I love you so, so much and the fact that I cannot be the one to make you happy… it kills me. I do t deserve you, I never did and I never will do yes I’m sorrry that I hurt you, I’ll never forgive myself for this but I don’t regret not telling you about the bond from the start, because I know- mother burn me, I know that I’m not the best for you” he was crying, the legendary shadow singer 𝑤𝑎𝑠 crying in front of you.
Your heart broke at the sight of him, at the sight of someone you cared abott it so deeply being so vulnerable in front of you. “Azriel I- I had no idea” you couldn’t restarting your own tears. “I- you, you are amazing you deserve 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 this world can give you, you are everything I could ever wish for and even more. If someone does not deserve this relationship is me. I’m sorry. I- I love you”
His lowered head rose as you uttered the last words, his lips twitched slightly, but the smile didn’t last long as he continued talkibg “It’s not that I don’t trust you, I do trust you, it’s just hard for me to share my feelings and sometimes I need some time before I am ready to talk about some things. But I swear I’ll try, I’ll try so hard to be everything you want me to be. You are my everything”
It was your turn to smile “I love you, I love you, I love you” you repeated again and again as this head lowered, his lips met yours and the room erupted. The kiss was filled with all the love you two had for each other.
“I love you more” he whispered as he pulled you in for a hug.
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Kinktober Smut Extravaganza
Mark your calendars for Cherry Pie! The Kinktober Smut Extravaganza will begin Sunday, Oct. 17!
Every day from Oct. 17 through Oct. 24, a new scene in the collection will be posted by a different author. Make sure to follow the accounts below for all the updates. Trust me, you do not want to miss this!
Also, be sure to follow @tealnymph-writes as that is where all the different scenes will be collected and put into a masterlist for later reading. Everything will also be posted on AO3 in a collection.
We can’t wait to share with you! Happy Kinktober!
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Leotards and Leather | Nessian Month
This is a modern AU fic for both the “Ballet” and “Motorcycle” prompts.
Also, I was planning for this to be a one-off, but the more I wrote of it the more I am kind of obsessed with it?? So potentially more to come ;) Please let me know if it’s something you would like to read more of.
3400 words | Read on AO3
EDIT - wanted to come back for a quick edit on this. Chapter two is out now on AO3, and all chapters will be posted there moving forward (though I will post on my page when new chapters are available). Thanks to everyone who read and responded!
Nesta absolutely did not want to be at this bar.
She had been invited to come out and celebrate Feyre’s engagement to her boyfriend, Rhys, and as much as her relationship with her little sister had been strained over the past few years it was one invitation she didn’t feel like she could refuse.
The place itself was nice enough - new and trendy with dimmed lighting and comfortable, plush seating around low tables. When she’d arrived the rest of the group was already there, save for one of Rhys’s friends who was showing up late.
Feyre, Rhys, Elain, Lucien, Mor, Amren and Azriel were gathered around a table near the front of the room that they’d reserved for the occasion. They’d all given Nesta polite greetings as she arrived, well into their drinks and appetizers, chatting happily and making toasts to the couple.
Feyre looked lovely and was practically glowing, and Rhys couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Nesta had always been a little uncomfortable with her sister’s partner and wary about the intensity of the relationship that seemed to have swept Feyre up in its whirlwind. Indeed, it hadn’t even been a full year since the two of them started dating and from the conversation it sounded like they were looking to waste no time tying the knot.
Still, they looked happy and in love tonight and Nesta was willing to put her judgment aside and be happy for them too. It wasn’t for her, she supposed, to dictate anyone else’s relationship choices when she herself hadn’t been on a date in over a year.
A waiter came by to take orders for the next round of drinks and Rhys offered to put whatever she wanted on their tab, but she politely refused.
Nesta was in the middle of preparations for a big show and wasn’t drinking. She sipped her plain water with lemon and tried to follow the threads of conversation between this group of people who were all so close to one another, doing her best to push down the uncomfortable feeling of being the outsider looking in. After a few minutes, though, she found her mind wandering back to the ballet studio she’d left just an hour before, mood turning even more sour as she thought about the day she’d had.
Rehearsals lately had been …. frustrating to say the least. Nesta had snagged the lead role in their creative director’s new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, which had been a life-changing moment for her as she’d never been named a principal in a headlining production, but the trouble had started when she found out who she’d be dancing opposite.
Eris. He was the best male dancer in the company, and the only one she truly disliked.
Mercurial, too polished and always slick with his words, Eris was a beautiful dancer and an exceedingly handsome man, but something about their personalities made them like oil and water. Perhaps it was because they were too similar in their single-minded focus and pursuit of excellence in the studio and on stage. Whatever the reason, they’d been butting heads all through the last month of rehearsals, even as the piece they were dancing came together with stunning artistry.
A roar went up from outside the bar and she turned to see a motorcycle pulling up to park just down the street. A broad-shouldered, tall man got off of it, took his helmet off and gave his long, dark hair a shake.
“Oh, that must be Cassian,” Feyre said happily, peering out the window.
Nesta had never met Rhys’s friend and business partner. Truthfully, she was barely acquainted with the rest of the group, and had never had the occasion to cross paths with Cassian during the year Rhys and Feyre had been dating.
Or, at least she couldn’t remember doing so, and looking at him now as he entered the bar she was certain that was something she would have remembered.
He was undeniably handsome, but in a way that was absolutely not her usual type. Nesta spent most of her time around men built with sleek muscle and lithe grace, it was what she had grown used to.
Cassian, however, was a different species entirely.
Broadly built and stacked with muscle that she could practically see moving beneath his leather jacket as he walked toward them, she had to stop herself from gaping at him. His face was cut with a sharp jaw and straight nose, high cheekbones that gave him a wild, primal look to his face, and burning hazel eyes slightly obscured by that obscenely long and soft-looking hair.
She gave herself a mental shake and told herself to pull it together. It’s not as if I’ve never seen a handsome man, she told herself.
He walked to where they were sitting, giving Feyre a bear hug and Rhys a firm handshake as he offered congratulations for their engagement and apologies for his late arrival. He looked around at the assembled group and his eyes landed on Nesta as the only unfamiliar face among his friends.
“This is my sister, Nesta,” Feyre said. “Nesta, this is Cassian. He and Rhys are old friends.”
“Hello, Nesta,” Cassian said with a smile she couldn’t read.
She returned the greeting and felt her eyes flare a little wider as he strode down the length of the table to take the open seat next to her.
Nesta nodded toward the door and street beyond as he sat. “Nice ride.”
“Thanks,” he said, flashing her a megawatt smile. “Beats driving a car any day of the week.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” she told him, “It’s been years since I’ve driven anything.”
She relied on taxis, rideshares or the metro to get around the city, but she had to admit there was something appealing about the thought of being able to hop on a motorcycle and get herself from point A to point B without all the hassle.
They spent a few minutes exchanging pleasantries about how he knew Rhys and Feyre - the former from their childhood growing up together and Cassian’s involvement in Rhys’s real estate business, the latter from all the time the close-knit circle of friends spent together. It seemed that Feyre had fit right into their group.
“You know,” he said. “Feyre was always going on about how we needed to meet. I think she has some hairbrained idea of playing matchmaker.”
“Despite her seemingly good judgment in her own choice of partner, I can’t say my sister has ever been particularly skilled at setting people up,” Nesta said.
“‘Seemingly good?’” he said, raising a brow. “That doesn’t seem like very high praise for the happy couple.”
Nesta took a sip of her water instead of answering.
Sensing the slight annoyance that flared in him at her implied critique of his friend, she returned the stare he shot at her, wanting somehow to wipe the swagger from his handsome face.
“So what do you do, Nesta?” Cassian said, changing the subject.
“I dance,” she told him. “Ballet.”
“That’s an actual job?”
She bristled at the condescension in his voice. “Well, it may not be real estate investing, but it certainly does pay the bills.”
He laughed. “Fair enough. We can’t all build multimillion dollar companies like our boy Rhys here,” he said, nodding to his friend at the other end of the table who they could both tell was trying to appear as if he wasn’t listening in on their conversation.
The endless busybody, Nesta thought, biting back a scowl.
“I suppose some of us need to be a little more artistic,” Cassian finished, looking back to her with that same teasing light in his eyes.
“You don’t seem impressed.”
“Oh no,” he said, raising a hand and laying it against his chest. “I’m very impressed. I’m also picturing you in a tutu and tights and it makes a very pretty picture.”
Pig, she thought. Arrogant, too.
“You’d be surprised at how much strength, pain and training it takes to be good at ballet,” she told him. “It’s not just prancing around on a stage looking pretty.”
“So you’re saying you’re good, then?”
“I’m not bad. Good enough to be cast as a lead in our upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet, at least,” she said, letting herself match his arrogance.
“Romeo and Juliet? Star-crossed lovers and all that? Sounds very fluffy.”
She was going to end up throwing her drink in his face by the end of the night, she just knew it.
“We’re holding a preview tomorrow afternoon and we’re allowed to invite two friends or family members,” she told him, not knowing exactly what possessed her to do so. “I have an extra slot open if you want to come. So I can prove you wrong.”
Truthfully, she had both her slots free - not that she was about to tell him that. The perils of sacrificing your entire social life for your dream.
He looked surprised at her offer, intrigued. “What time?”
As they hashed out the details she was struck by how insane it was to be inviting him at all. She didn’t even know this man. Nesta blamed it on her own competitive streak and his maddening confidence - if she could take him down a few pegs the insanity would be worth it.
“I’ll be there,” he said, tone steady and serious. “But if something does come up, I’d like to let you know. Can I get your number?”
She raised her eyebrows at him, but gave it to him anyways.
They fell into conversation with the people around them, and despite the feeling of being slightly shaken by their whole interaction, Nesta found herself relaxing and beginning to enjoy the evening.
“Can I give you a ride home?”
As the night wound down and members of the group started leaving, Nesta had been debating between springing for an Uber or taking her chances with the creeps who usually lurked on the trains this time of night. She wondered if allowing Cassian to take her would be any less dangerous, but exhaustion and recklessness won out and she found herself accepting his offer and following him out of the bar.
He had an extra helmet strapped to the back of the motorcycle that he unhooked and placed over her hair, adjusting the straps. She tried not to focus on the warm, rough rasp of his calloused hands against her cheek and jaw as he worked.
She wondered idly how a man who spent days in offices and boardrooms came about possessing hands like these.
“Perfect,” he said, brushing the back of a knuckle over her jaw
She resisted rolling her eyes at his shameless flirting. To be fair, they’d both been at it all night, bantering and drawing more than a few self-satisfied looks from Feyre who seemed pleased by whatever devious intentions at matchmaking she’d had for the two of them.
Despite herself, Nesta found herself warming to him. His bluster and bravado had a certain charm, and even though neither of them had been drinking and couldn’t blame it on the alcohol, there was a certain buzz and familiarity in the air between them as they’d spent the last few hours chatting.
She was almost sorry that the night was coming to an end.
He plugged her address into his GPS and straddled the bike, gesturing for her to get onto the passenger seat behind him. Climbing on, there didn’t really seem to be a better place to put her arms than around his waist, so she did, taking care not to press herself too closely against him or pay too much attention to the pine and spice scent of him.
“Hold on tight,” he said with a smirk back at her as the engine roared to life.
They were off with a jerk forward that had her leaning more closely into him, not even caring about the inappropriateness of it as a thrill of adrenaline shot through her.
They made their way through the streets that had emptied considerably as the night grew later. Though she knew they weren’t going any faster than the typical car would be, the wind whipping by certainly made it feel like they were. She felt Cassian’s body shifting as they made each turn, and herself leaning along with him, his warmth seeping into her.
The arrived outside her building and she stepped onto the pavement on legs that were more than a little shaky. As she steadied herself she looked up to find him grinning at her.
“How was that?”
She couldn’t help but smile in response. “I don’t think I’m going to go out and buy myself one tomorrow, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”
“Hey, I’ll take it,” he gave her a wink. “Give me a few more weeks of ride-alongs and I’ll have you practically running to the dealership.”
A few more weeks of ride-alongs. His tone was teasing and she didn’t let herself dwell on the implications of the words.
They both paused for a moment, aware that the time to part ways had come. Cassian looked at her like there was something he wanted to say, to do, and she thought she saw him give the barest shake of his head as he spoke.
“I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Yes,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll be able to see you before, but feel free to give them your name and head into the theater when you get there. I’ll make sure you’re on the list.”
“VIP, I like it.”
“Yes, you and the rest of the crowd.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Nesta.”
“Goodnight,” she said, watching him snap his visor back into place and drive off with a roar of the engine.
An older man who Cassian assumed was the director stepped onto the stage and thanked the assembled crowd for coming. He explained that the dancers would be performing the pas de deux of the scene where Romeo and Juliet first meet, and went on a little about his creative vision for the whole show.
Cassian had arrived just before things were about to start, having gotten delayed at the jobsite he’d been visiting. He was glad he hadn’t missed anything.
The lights dimmed and the curtain went up. The stage was not yet set with its full dressing for the actual performance, just a few rough set pieces that framed the couple standing on opposite sides of the stage.
Nesta and her partner stood absolutely still, waiting for something. And as the swell of the music began they moved, other dancers joining them on stage to dance in and out and around them as they orbited each other - two lovers destined to meet one another. Whether it was by their skill as performers or whatever connection they shared, they seemed drawn to each other like magnets, weaving a spell of beauty and longing that pulled the entire audience in.
Cassian was awestruck as he watched her dance. Each movement, each leap and turn and gesture flowed seamlessly together as she practically flew across the stage.
He had never seen anything like it.
The company of dancers on stage was in plain leotards and tights rather than full costume, but somehow seeing her unadorned was all that much more powerful. He couldn’t help but wonder what it would feel like if it was his hands running up and down her body, lifting her into his arms, rather than that redheaded partner of hers.
Not to mention the way her partner looked at her.
Cassian remembered Nesta explaining the concept of the ballet last night and he knew the man she was dancing with was supposed to be portraying her Romeo, her soulmate, but … this was more than that. The burn in his eyes was darker, more carnal than it should be for a mere performance.
And for some reason it made Cassian’s blood heat as he watched.
Pushing aside the unreasonable twinge of jealousy, he instead went back to focusing on her. Nesta’s face was perfectly expressive as she danced, giving no hint of the monumental effort he knew it must have taken to move with such precision and grace through each impossible physical feat.
I’m not bad, she had said the night before. He didn’t have words for how much of an understatement that had been.
As the scene ended and the curtain fell, in the audience there was a moment of hushed silence, awe, before everyone around broke into applause and the dancers began to file back on stage, in front of the curtain to take their bow.
As Nesta and her partner appeared to take their well-deserved applause, Cassian found himself clapping along with everyone else and watching a slow smile spread on Nesta’s face as she spotted him in the audience. As the company retreated behind the curtain he walked out of the theater to the lobby and lingered for a moment, wondering if he would be able to see her before he left.
At that moment he felt his cellphone vibrate in his pocket.
I’m outside in the alley if you want to come say hi
Be there in a minute, he typed in response
Cassian walked around to the back of the building, looking for her. He spotted her just outside the theater’s back door, changed out of her ballet shoes and bundled into legwarmers and a thick sweater.
“Sorry for not coming to meet you inside,” she said, shaking a bit from adrenaline more so than from the chill in the autumn evening. “I always just feel the need for some air after a performance, to let go of some of that energy.”
“That was really something,” he told her, cringing internally a bit at the lameness of his words. “The dance, I mean.”
“It’s a lovely composition,” she said, feeling a little nervous and awkward as she made small talk. “Our director, Anthony, he’s a genius. I’ve seen this story told so many times on the stage, but something about this production feels … different. I’m so happy I get to dance as Juliet.”
“It’s not just that,” Cassian tried to explain. “It was … you. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. Even with everyone else around you.”
She gave him a slow, satisfied smile. “So I was right, then? I was good, wasn’t I?”
“You were … magnificent,” he said quietly.
She didn’t know what to say to that, to the solemn intensity in his tone. For some reason, it made her throat tighten.
Cassian wasn’t sure what possessed him to move toward her until they were only a few inches away from each other in the dim alley. But whatever it was, it was like a tether between them, pulling him closer. He could mark her every breath as she looked up at him, her eyes bright and cheeks still flushed from the dance.
And as he leaned down to kiss her it felt more like a cosmic inevitability than a conscious choice.
She gasped slightly as their lips met, and as he tasted her surprise he curled an arm around her back, pulling her up against him and sinking into the embrace. Her arms wound around his neck in response, and her mouth opened for him, the kiss becoming something deeper, more searing.
Heat bloomed through her and she moaned against his lips, his tongue, feeling a rough groan and a tightening of his arms in reply.
I’m making out with a stranger in an alley, the thought crossed her mind unbidden and fled just as quickly as she let herself stop thinking entirely and lost herself in him, in their embrace.
As they pulled back from each other a few long minutes later, she met his gaze again and felt a tight coiling low in her belly from the unabashed and unmistakable lust clouding his features.
“Say what you will about Feyre’s matchmaking,” Cassian said, his voice hoarse and husky. “But she may have been onto something.”
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