Tales of the Fox & the Fawn [ Masterlist ]
A series of short snippets to fill my Elucien heart.
[ I ] A Touch of Your Love
[ II ] Rabbit on the Run
[ III ] Territorial and Proud
[ IV ] Inappropriate Interruptions
[ V ] Morning Mischief
[ VI ] Tools of the Trade
[ VII ] The Lucien Effect
[ VIII ] A Family of Our Own
[ IX ] Quickie for Luck
[ X ] Team Ginger
[ XI ] Be My Forever
[ XII ] Ice My Cupcake
[ XIII ] Date Night
[ XIV ] Bringing Sexy Back
[ XV ] Only the Beginning
[ XVI ] Bedtime Delights
[ XVII ] Paint Night
[ XVII ] Woo You
[ XIX} Giddy in the Garden
[ XX ] Insatiable
[ XXI ] Party Surprises
[ XXII ] Distractions
[ XXIII ] Home
[ XXIV ] Smiley Pots
[ XXV ] We Are Enough
[ XXVI ] The Games We Play
[ XXVII ] Beauty Meets the Beast
[XXVIII ] Something New
[ XXIX ] A Vision to Plan For
[ XXX ] 365 Days
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Inbox is open for headcanons, fics and x reader shenanigans! Feel free to drop me a message!
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Taking Care Of Me - Elriel Fanfic
When Azriel comes back from a mission with a cold, Elain manages to take care of him. \\ or When Elain and Azriel spend the night together and he confesses that he loves her.
Azriel had returned from a mission with a cold due to days of rain and snowfall and Elain had managed to sneak into his room, under the excuse of bringing soup to him.
“Az?” - She called, noting some swords, reports, and the truth-teller placed on the desk. When he didn't answer, Elain closed the door with his hip and walking over to the bed to leave the tray of steaming soup there, she called him again.
“Here” - Azriel's voice came from the direction of the bathing chamber and Elain went over there, leaning against the doorframe and watching him in the bathtub, his body covered in foam.
“I brought soup” - She came over and sat on the edge of the bathtub.
Giving him a kiss on the forehead, she's noting he was seething with fever. - “And wanted to know how you were.”
“I’m fine” - He smiled looking at her and with that she ran a hand through his hair, removing some leaves that were caught between the strands.
“You have a fever.” - She rested her hand on his forehead, worried and he smirked before saying: - “Is the effect you have on me” - Azriel winked at her and she can't contain a laugh, it seems he was also raving.
Elain gave him a quick kiss and tried to get up, but Az was quicker and pulled her into the bath.
“No way. I don't believe…Azriel - ”She started to protest but he shut her up kissing her deeply.
"Say my name again" - He asked between kisses.
“Az...” - She couldn't resist and returned his kisses, trapping her fingers in his hair and savoring his taste as his tongue invaded her mouth, killing the longing they were both feeling. - “I missed you” - He spoke against her mouth.
“I missed you too. - She smiled, putting their mouths together quickly. - "But how will I get back to my room now? How am I going to explain my wet dress?’ - Azriel hugged her around the waist, with a mischievous smile on his beautiful mouth while unbuttoned the buttons on her dress.
“Easy. You spend the night here with me.” - He winked and she looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
“And would nobody suspect that?” - She was already breathless, due to the kisses that Az was leaving on her neck and on every piece of skin that he was revealing when opening her dress.
“Not when I'm sick and you're just being a sweet and kind Elain, worried about me.”
The sound of her name in his mouth sent chills all over her body, but Elain laughed - “Az. You have a cold, I can't take advantage of you” - Azriel chuckled trying to open another button on her dress and Elain threw foam at him, then got up. - “Good try, bat boy.”
Az pouted and Elain blew a kiss as saying: - “Take your shower and go eat the soup. Soon I'll be back.”
"Do you swear this is the best option?" - Az started to get up from the bathtub and Elain shook her head, leaving the bathroom before changing her mind and put them at risk of being discovered.
She heard Azriel's laughter and smiled alone, leaving his room as quietly as possible towards her own room, where she would charm her body to camouflage their smells. Half an hour later, after telling Feyre that she was tired, she put on her sleepwear and sneaked to Azriel's room. The lights were already off, but as soon as she crossed over to the bed, he lifted the cover in an invitation for her to go under it.
“Better?” - She asked, snuggling her body close to his as he hugged her.
“Much better.” - He replied and she kiss his chest, smiling as noticed that the fever had subsided.
"Your fever has subsided.” - She whispered in the dark and he held her chin, meeting her gaze.
"I had a beautiful healer, who prepared a delicious soup."
"I think she deserves a kiss." - She said, bringing her mouth closer to his.
"Just one?" - He propped himself up on one elbow, his body partly on hers and she laughed, joining their mouths and moving away before Az deepened too much the kiss.
"Az. You still have a cold." - She whispered and he kissed her cheek, while she was talking. - "And we can't make any noise."
“I know.” He nodded, lying down again and pulling her against his chest as slid his hand down her back in a gentle caress.
They held each other in silence
for a while, listening only to each other's breathing, before Az said: - "Thank you" - His words just a whisper in the darkness.
"For what's?" - Sleep was already clouding her mind.
"Being you and taking care of me" - He ran a hand through her hair and she kissed his chest, while whispered drowsily: - "Always."
When Elain was almost falling asleep, she could have sworn that Az had said he loved her while giving a kiss on the top of her head, and with those words in her thoughts, she fell asleep quietly in the embrace of the shadowsinger she loved.
Let me know if you liked it. Now I'm also on A03, access the link and check out my other fanfic. ♥
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Incrementum- Chapter 9
Hardly Human is up! as i said in the chapter notes, i’m so sorry for the late update (and on a friday) but i’m getting busy at uni with assignments so unfortunately my inspo is lacking and i’m in a bit of a wrtier’s block. i’m going paragraph by paragraph but i don’t want to release low quality, frequent updates that i’m not happy with. bear with me though guys, lots of fun stuff planned for future chapters!!
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Protectors of Illyria
Pairing: Lord Devlon x OC/Reader!Archeron Sister
Summary: Mira Archeron's life changed the day she was forced into the Cauldron. In order to find meaning in her new life, she becomes the Night Court's emissary to Illyria while training to become a formidable warrior under the watchful eye of Lord Devlon.
Word Count: 1k
Warning: Spoilers, this is set post ACOSF so spoilers ahead, talk of anxiety
Author's Note: LOL I decided to drop this chapter way earlier than I planned. I just get too excited about this fic. Let me know what you think! I'm gonna say this every time but Devlon has a backstory and is redeemable in my story. Slow burn as fuck, enemies to lovers, the pining is real
After Lord Devlon assessed my skills, Cassian walked me to Rhysand and Feyre’s house in Windhaven. Cassian told me Lord Devlon was shocked seeing me use the Illyrian bow, but he quickly schooled his features back to nonchalance. I’d been swiftly dismissed afterwards. Lord Devlon had talked with Cassian before striding towards his warriors.
“He agreed to let you train, hopefully in his group, like you are supposed to, but you never know with Devlon. You start early on Monday, don’t be late,” Cassian informed me as we entered the house, the fire in the hearth flickering to life. It was Fall in Windhaven so a chill hung in the air. I couldn’t wait for the snow. I’d always loved it as a child.
“He will probably send me off to train with all the other women, since no one is worthy of his precious training group,” I said. Make no mistake, the Illyrian women were quite impressive and were quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. My skills only exceeded theirs because I had the capabilities to spend all day training. The Illyrian women had their chores and housework to do most of the day.
I had noticed as Cassian and I left the ring earlier that Emerie’s group was still going, well past the usual time I’d heard they went to. I was curious if Rhys and Cassian had pushed for the women to get more time, but Cassian had looked confused as well.
“Rhys said you can stay in his old room. Don’t worry the room has been cleaned and sheets changed since him and Feyre were here last,” He snickered as he spoke.
“Oh thank god, we all know how much Rhys loves Feyre in this cabin for some reason,” I said disgusted.
Cassian leaned against the door of Rhys’ room as I looked around. “Serious talk now. I’m heading out shortly, but I wanted to remind you that if you ever need anything or want out of this you let me know, any time of the day or night ok? We are all here if you need anything,” Cassian said.
I smiled fondly at Cassian. After I was made in the Cauldron I had grown close with Cassian. He was like the brother I never had. Then, once he and Nesta had finally mated, he became even more protective of me than before. I was officially his younger sister so it only made sense he assumed the older brother role.
“I know, I know. Don’t worry Cas, I can fend for myself, and if I need anything I’ll let you know,” I said.
“Ok come here. I need a hug from you kid before I leave,” Cassian said as he opened his arms wide for me.
Once we said our goodbyes, I watched from the downstairs window as Cassian left Windhaven. Mor winnowed in, grabbed Cassian, and winnowed back out in the blink of an eye. It dawned on me that this was the first time I was truly alone since being made. I had been around my sisters ever since that moment in Hybern. They had become my shield against the world, protecting me from everything. It was part of the reason I wanted to come to Windhaven, to find myself.
All my life I’d simply been the youngest Archeron, always needing to be cared for. No longer would I be that small little girl hiding behind her sisters. I wanted to learn who I was and what I could do, alone, away from anyone else but strangers. I was simply me here. And that meant low on the totem pole and lost, but still me. I was terrified of what being me meant though.
Watching Nesta’s journey pushed me to make a change in my own life. I’d been suffering with severe anxiety since being made. It was incredibly debilitating. Nesta had approached me a few months ago but backed off when she realized I needed time. She understood since she had felt similarly before.
I was happy for my sister. She seemed so happy nowadays. To be honest, even before Hybern she’d never been this happy. She was so full of light and was kicking ass with her Valkyries. Her and Cassian were surprisingly adorable. They were honestly kind of disgusting together, always touching and kissing. It was almost worse than Feyre and Rhys, almost.
I shook my head, clearing it of my siblings and their mates. I looked around the room. It seemed Feyre and Rhysand went out of their way to make the room comfortable for me. The bed was loaded with pillows, just how I liked it. A green, velvet blanket lay under the pillows. Feyre, I assumed, had placed small family paintings throughout the room. She knew I would still need my family here even if they couldn’t be here physically. I giggled at a painting of Nyx tugging on my hair.
I was startled from looking at the paintings by a knock on the front door. I sprinted down the steps and opened the door a crack. Shocked, I opened the door wider to allow Lord Devlon inside.
“Devlon. Hi. I wasn’t expecting you,” I said, closing the door as he walked further into the room, settling in front of the fireplace.
“Lord Devlon,” he said with a pointed look. Guess I couldn’t push against the rigid Illyrian hierarchy. “You performed well today at your trials. As a result, you can join my Illyrian warriors in their training. You will learn how to fight like an Illyrian under my strict supervision.”
I was stunned. I honestly hadn’t expected to be allowed in that group. No woman had been allowed to train with the male Illyrian warriors, not even Emerie and she won the Blood Rite.
“However, if you so much as step a toe out of line, you will no longer be training in my camp.” Lord Devlon said.
Rolling my eyes I nodded my head. “Fine. Now, I, don’t take this the wrong way, but why me? Did Cassian and Rhys threaten to cut your balls off if you put me with the rest of the women?”
“No. I think it’s finally time.” With that Lord Devlon turned and left.
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Baby's steps - Elriel Fanfic
Elain was sitting on the couch with Nyx while Azriel walked around reading some reports he was due to deliver to Rhys soon. Things were still a little tense between them, with charged looks, they had not exchanged any words since the solstice, let alone share the same room by themselves.
Nyx was restlessly trying to get down from her lap to go after his mother, who had gone to get the baby bottle to feed him, the flower that Elain had used to try to distract him was already completely crumpled.
- Easy, my love. Your mom's on her way. - Elain put him standing on her thighs and he tried to throw himself on the ground.
Laughing she put him standing in front of her and he calmed down, holding her fingers as he swung back and forth as if he wanted to walk. If it was hard enough to hold human children when they tried to learn how to walk, she couldn't imagine what a baby with wings would do to this family. Azriel turned as he heard the sound of her laugh and eventually dropped a sheet of his report right in front of Nyx, and when he leaned down to catch it, Nyx's eyes followed the bright siphon in his hand. Letting go of Elain's fingers, the little Illyrian walked out towards Azriel.
It was only 5 steps, but enough for Azriel and Elain to widen their eyes, the first dropped the reports and extended his arms to the nephew who laughed cheerfully as he reached for the bright blue siphons.
- I didn't know you were already walking. - Az said in awe, sitting on the floor and letting Nyx play with the bluestone in his hand, still afraid the scars would scare the baby.
- He has never walked before. - Elain said softly, smiling at the scene in front of her. – It’s his first time.
Upon hearing her voice, Nyx looked at her and let Az's hands out to clap, which made both of them smile more as they repeated their nephew's gesture.
Elain felt her heart filled by that image. Azriel on the floor, with no signs of his shadows as he smiled and watched Nyx play with the siphons.
Elain couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if that was her life, with Azriel and a little baby with wings. Az looked at her and she could swear he thought the same, but swallowing dry he returned to look at the baby.
- Can you do it again, little guy? - Az asked and Nyx seemed to understand his words.
- Come, Nyx - Elain called, swallowing hard in order to forget the image on her head, and stretched out her arms to her nephew. After taking another look at Az, the little boy dropped his uncle's hands and with shaking, steps walked towards Elain.
- Very well, my love - Elain kissed his rosy cheeks and laughed when he clapped, happy claps for his own conquest. She looked up and found Az watching them, a sweet smile painting his lips and she was happy to at least be sharing that moment with him.
When Feyre returned with the baby bottle, she found the room filled with laughter and applause as Nyx walked from Elain to Azriel, both of them seemed absorbed in the time they shared. She couldn’t help but notice the charged look that existed between the two of them every time they observed each other with the little baby between them, making her smile, already imagining the picture she would make with that image. They were like a fresh day in spring, the sun was setting behind the doors leading to the garden, bathing the room in a golden light as Azriel smiled as he watched Elain kissing Nyx's cheeks as he reached for her and clapped happily. It was a beautiful image that Feyre would love to paint so, one day, they could observe.
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I did a one shot alt ending to ACOFAS in 'We're Leaving', and here is another alt ending where Nesta decides to walk away from the Night Court with some unexpected consequences. Huge thanks to @callmestarky for story development, beta support and the inspiration to write a story of Nesta deciding her own fate. This story has 3 parts.
Velaris, River Palace, Morning, The Day Nesta Left
Nesta stood in the High Lord's private study with the Inner Circle arrayed before her. Cassian had brought her here after ejecting last night's fearful male by his formidable presence. His formidable presence, she thought, such a shame that it wasn't formidably present when I so desperately needed it in the early months after the last battle against Hybern.
She habitually straightened her back, created the glacial expression that everybody knew and hated and waited for the blow.
"Sit down", Rhys snarled out softly. Nesta didn't sit but said nothing. Tension in the room was quickly rising, but nobody else spoke. Feyre was pleading with her eyes for Nesta to sit down, but she wouldn't, not for this insufferable, arrogant prick of a male. Rhys' dark power rumbled pushing against her fae self to intrinsically obey the power of a stronger being. Her knees trembled, but her willpower kept her upright. More pressure came against her, the trembling increased but her eyes never left the High Lord's. Nesta knew she couldn't win this battle eventually, not like this, so she carefully reached inside her for the silver flames.
The room temperature dropped and she let the silver flames come to her eyes, blotting out her normal beautiful blue orbs. Rhys' pressure stopped rising, but it didn't fall, as he worked out what this meant. It meant the possibility of a shattering collision of his and Nesta’s power with resulting devastation of the palace and anyone not quick enough to get away. He was frustrated but not stupid and uncaring. Rhys dialled down his power and sank into his seat. A split second later Nesta followed and seated herself, the temperature returned to normal. Everyone except Nesta, Feyre and Rhys released a collective breath.
Nesta looked at Rhys, and Feyre and waited for the inevitable. The chastisement would be designed to be painful - to offset their pain stemming from her words and actions - but set in a direction designed to lift from her current state of debauched living. She didn’t give an ant’s fart what they thought of her.
Feyre cleared her throat, glanced a warning to Rhys, doubtless to keep his damned mouth shut. “We’ve decided that you need to leave Velaris. Leave this trail of self destruction and bring you back to our family.” A snort of derision came from Nesta, she knew who her family was and it certainly wasn’t this collection of fucked up misfits and oddballs who neither understood her nor cared to. Feyre ploughed on, “We want you to go with Cassian to the Illyrian mountains and train yourself physically and your powers, now that we’ve seen with our own eyes that your powers still exist with that little demonstration.”
Cassian. The one person who, who… who what? Cared for her, believed in her? Actions not words were the measure of that and he was scoring deep in negative territory for actions. No, not quite true, he watched over her to make sure she got home safely. A small plus point.
Another snort came from her left, this time from Amren, “I told you sssoooooo…..”, came a sing song falsetto from the tiny fae, “Not bad from a pathetic waste eh?”
Simultaneously, Nesta looked sidelong at Amren and raised her eyebrow while Feyre cast the small female a withering glance. She turned back to face Feyre expectantly and her sister carried on, with something approaching what appeared to be genuine concern, “The other alternatives are to work for Mor in the Hewn City” Appalling choice. Never. “Or return to Mortal Lands and find your own way in that society.” A death sentence obviously given current tensions. Feyre fell to silence and all eyes were on Nesta.
Nesta sighed and spoke through the hurt that flowered in her chest, “My alternatives are accepting an internal exile in Illyria with the Big Bat or in the Court of Nightmares with the Golden Haired One or be kicked out to Mortal Lands to fend for myself?” Feyre’s lips tightened and she nodded.
“Personally speaking, Rhysand and Feyre, I think your authority extends over the Night Court solely not to all of Prythian. Therefore, I believe it’s within my rights to declare myself an exile, free of the Night Court’s authority and simply leave your lands.” Feyre’s and Rhys’ faces were like frozen masks. Amren merely chuckled, “She’s got you there boy and girl. Got you good and proper.”
A sidelong glance to Morrigan showed a face half in a frown and half in shock. Cassian had stilled, but along the bond she could feel the first tremor of terror. Azriel was just, Azriel and stood arms crossed with his shadows flickering around his armour. Rhys was the first to speak, “You’re right, you can declare yourself an exile and simply leave the Night Court. And I certainly don’t need to tell you of the dangers that the other Courts may present to you. It is the fervent wish of my mate, and therefore that means, whether I like it or not, that it’s my fervent wish that you get better and rejoin our family. But, I have to respect your right to choose your own fate.” Rhys threw a meaningful look at Cassian, but said no more.
Bastard, preening, self serving, smug prick. Trust him to pull that card. The only card that had a tiny chance of influencing her.
Nesta looked right at Rhys, “Thank you for finally respecting my rights and allowing me the luxury to choose my own fate.” A low snarl, this time from Feyre as this was obviously not going to plan. She paused for dramatic effect, “I choose self exile from the Night Court”, this time the gasp of amazement rippled through the room. “I request a human form of exile. One bag of food and water and one day to quit Night Court territory before I am declared outlaw, and whatever fate is given to outlaws if found within the Night Court after one day. Do you agree?”
Feyre stood, her face deathly pale as she realised Nesta was choosing the absolute worst and most dangerous choice available. Feyre turned to Azriel and said, “Now please, if you could.” A curt nod from the shadowsinger and he disappeared in a swirl of shadows. Silence reigned and Nesta merely waited. After thirty seconds, Azriel reappeared with Elaine and Nesta surmised that this made sense as they were rapidly approaching the point when the three sisters could be sundered from each other’s lives forever. Elaine crossed to Feyre and held her hand.
No, it couldn’t be Nesta’s hand could it? No, that ship had sailed and the bridge burned to the ground.
Elaine’s eyes were wide and she stuttered out, “Is it true? You’re taking the human way of exile?” Nesta didn’t trust herself to speak as Elaine’s fear skittered across the room into the pit of her stomach, coiling there like vomit refusing to leave, so she just nodded. Tears formed in Elaine’s eyes and then she turned to look at feet quietly repeating to herself, “You can’t, you can’t, you can’t, you can’t.” Nesta steeled herself, this was just as difficult as she had imagined but she had to continue to protect them all from this toxic thing that was herself. She had to protect them.
Nesta stood, smoothed the front of her grey dress and addressed them all.
“In order to make this easier on all of us I have a request and a favour to ask. Firstly, I request Morrigan”, how often have I actually used her name?, “to write an official Night Court note stating that I am no longer the Night Court’s problem. Given her history, that should carry enough weight and understanding to all other Fae.” She felt, rather than saw, the wince from Morrigan. “The favour is that Morrigan winnows me to the edge of Night Court territory so that I have a fair chance to get out within one day. I have no wish to be torn apart by hunting dogs or summarily beheaded by an over eager guardsman eager to prove his loyalty and worth to his High Lord and High Lady. Do you agree?”
Now Feyre and Elain were openly crying and Nesta didn’t dare look at Cassian for fear that his reaction may very well cause her to backtrack and go with him to the Illyrian mountains. Going to Illyria is NOT the best decision for Cassian. She had to protect him from her at all costs. Rhys looked grim as thunder and he looked askance to Morrigan.
“Yes, agreed to both”, came the clear voice of Morrigan. It seemed laced with another emotion…. sadness? Certainly not for her, but maybe for him.
“Thank you, and I’ll appreciate it if you don’t nail it to my womb.”
This time a much larger snarl from Rhys, followed by a caustic, “You don’t get to talk about that!”
Nesta unflinchingly met his eyes and simply stated, “Then what shall I talk about? How I have fought in the service of the Night Court? Killing the enemy King, wiping out a legion of his soldiers, saving the life of your brother?” Her voice was rising in volume and she fought for control.
“Or shall I talk about, like most of you, how I drank myself into a stupor, fucked my way back to feeling something after battle?”
“Or maybe sacrifice? You were Amarantha’s whore for forty nine years, suffering to protect your people. I was willing to whore myself to the son of a wife beater and I only stepped back because he tried to take something by force, which I would have submitted to when we were married.”
“You no longer get to talk about me either.”
She hadn’t realised that her breathing had gotten so fast or her heart rate going like a gallop through her chest. She was tired of being angry and tired of being in pain. She just wanted it to stop, and leaving the Night Court, leaving all of this was the only way Nesta could think of achieving some semblance of peace. Rhys was silent, everyone was silent. The tears rolling down the cheeks of Feyre and Elain were silent.
She took a deep breath, there was one last thing to do. And it was going to be the most painful of them all. “Can I have my bag of food and water please?”, Rhys waved his hand and the bag appeared on her shoulder. “Thank you”, she said quietly. She walked to her sisters, took their hands in hers and kissed them on their cheeks. “I’ll be fine, just you see, I’ll be fine.” Feyre and Elaine hugged Nesta with a fierceness that they had not done since they slept in Rhys' tent during the war. What a shame that it’s taken this for us to get close. What a gods damned shame. Nesta stepped back and turned to Morrigan.
She held out her hand to Morrigan, who clasped it with icy fingers, and slowly and deliberately turned to Cassian. His eyes were blown wide with terror, his feelings pushing against the bond, unshed tears forming. His mouth wasn’t working, as if he dared not say anything for fear of driving her away. So she spoke for them, what had to be the best way for them.
“Cassian, I know you don’t understand but in time you will. You will see that this is best for us, not to rend each other with talon and claw until we shred our bodies and souls to bloody, tattered ribbons. You don’t see it now, but you will. Your family will help you heal and you can move onto a happier life. It’s for the best, truly. But know this, you have given me the best of times and the worst of times and I will always remember the depths of our time together. Fare you well.”
With that Nesta rejected the mating bond, dug her nails into Morrigan’s palm and they winnowed away from the River Palace. The last sight burned into her eyes was the sheer horror in Cassian’s face.
Night Court / Day Court border, Morning, The Day Nesta Left
Nesta and Morrigan arrived at the border and surveyed the landscape to the south. The sea was to their right. OK, we’re on the Hybern side, not the near Court of Nightmares, that’s a good start.
She turned to Morrigan and looked her deeply in the eyes, “It’s for the best and you know that. You have always counselled him against me, warned me off him, so what has come to pass is what you always wanted. You cannot deny that.”
Morrigan looked away, but turned back and replied, “Yes, because I didn’t want our triangle of protection broken, I love him like my brother ever since that fateful day and didn’t want him to go through the pain of finding true love and then maybe losing it. I used him as a tool to get me freedom from a hellish future and then I loved him as a brother for getting me that freedom. It would have been too …. complicated with Azriel, but I manipulated Cassian’s jealousy of my interloping into what the three brothers had to get what I wanted. A broken marriage treaty. Also, I remember that pain of losing one I loved all too well from the Great War before the Treaty. So yes, I understand why you rejected the bond to protect him. But also, a part of me wanted you to become like us and to be with Cassian and we could move on from the endless circle of the last few centuries.”
Morrigan sighed and carried on, “You know I think this is the greatest amount of words that I have ever spoken to you and probably the most honest as well.”
Nesta looked at her and said, “I understand that you didn’t want to be used by Keir and Eris and not live your life to its full potential, be turned into the tool of someone else’s will. So, I never understood why you didn’t want the same for me? But, given what you said I do understand that you saw your family as salvation for a frightened girl facing a terrible future. It just wasn't right for me. Maybe I made some terrible decisions, hurt a lot of people, hurt myself. They were my decisions to make, mine, no one else’s.”
Both females stood surveying the hills to the south and the sea to the west, wrapped in their own thoughts.
Morrigan spoke first, “Are you planning on doing something stupid or reckless or both?”
Nesta smirked, “Just reckless.” Morrigan laughed and shook her head. She carried on, “I know I don’t need to say this, but take care of the big bat and help him understand this was right for us. Under different circumstances we may have worked, but not now, but for the Cauldron's sake don’t tell him that!”
Morrigan nodded and half stepped towards Nesta, but stopped. Nesta gave her a rare genuine smile and said “Consider yourself hugged.” The beautiful female dressed in red, nodded, smiled back “I will on both counts”, Morrigan hesitated again, “Anything to say to Amren?” Another long sigh, “Yes, that she didn’t deserve my ire and contempt and that I’m sorry and wish I could take back my hurtful words. She may be a nagging, insensitive, spiteful elfin sprite, but she didn’t deserve that.” The tall lady clad in red simply nodded and then winnowed away.
Nesta was alone again, she was always alone. Now it was just a matter of time as she opened her satchel and had a small meal. She just had to wait for sunset.
Night Court / Day Court border, Evening, The Day Nesta left
Nesta’s POV / The Other’s POV
It was time. It was finally time.
Nesta stood and watched the sun set over the western sea, opened her mind and reached down into the power. The silver flames of her stolen power rose through her, chilling her bones and flesh. The voice of the silver flames spoke to her, and not for the first time. She and the voice had been whispering to each other for months now, but never had Nesta spoken of it to anyone.
“Are you ready, child?”
“As ready as I ever will be.”
“There will be no pain child, nothing but peace for you.”
“I thank you, when do we start?”
“We already have, child, what do you see, what do you feel?”
Nesta looked at the sky, it was fading to black and the sun was getting greyer. Soon, she was in blackness but the faces of Cassian, Feyre and Elain floated in front of her. Behind the faces two orbs awash with silver flame watched her…. watching, watching, watching. Finally, she couldn’t see or feel anything and the blackness consumed her and she felt at peace.
The body of that which was once Nesta Archeron rose and watched the sun finally set below the waves. The body turned to the hills of the land and one finger rose and pointed, drawing the shape of a door. Silver light scored the shape of a door in the air and it opened to another world. Grey coloured long grass swayed in a warm wind, there was a purple sky overhead and the silhouette of a castle atop a hill beyond. The body of that which was once Nesta Archeron walked forward to the portal, silver eyes blazing and hissed the words.
We are home. We are home. We are home.
After the body walked through the portal, the doorway shimmered and disappeared leaving no trace of Nesta on Prythian.
Velaris, River Palace, Evening, The Day Nesta Left
One second after the body which had belonged to Nesta had disappeared through the portal Cassian, Feyre and Elaine screamed and screamed and screamed. She is gone, she is gone, she is gone!
They didn’t stop screaming for seven days. Then when the screaming had stopped, the recriminations began.
The day after, there was a Reckoning.
To be continued…..
Tagged people (let me know if you want added/removed)
@champanheandluxxury @secretbondsandloveconfessions @my-fan-side @angelofmusic81 @frosted-crackers @sjmsstuff @sjm-things @sannelovesreading @arinbelle @vidalinav @thewayshedreamed @darklove9314-blog @duskandstarlight @vasudharaghavan @sapphomoony @cassianscool @fakesnakesablaze @woodland--fae @min-yoonglezz @thron3ofbooks @gabstluz @thepinaka @chaotichurricaneoffandoms @youngthote @ncssian @ladynestaarcheron @vidalinav
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Morrigan (ACOTAR) x female reader
Pining!Morrigan x oblivious!reader headcannon
You’ve been friends for years, probably nearing a decade now, and Morrigan has loved you for most, if not all, of those years
Sure, you think she’s beautiful and the most amazing person to exist. But you’re just friends. If there was something there, Morrigan would’ve made a move long ago, right?
Wrong. Morrigan had never done anything for fear that she’d push you away. Even in those fledgling days of the friendship, she’d known you were more. That you would mean more to her than her usual secret partners.
And damn, she was right.
Whenever you’re in the same room as her, Morrigan can’t keep her eyes off of you. You’re the centre of her universe and when you’re near enough to smell... well, nothing else matters. The world could be crumbling down around her, and she’d be oblivious.
She always spoils you, no matter what you say. She buys you jewelry and clothes and brings you out to dinner at least once a month, just to make sure that you don’t forget about her. But how can you forget her with the thrice-weekly flower deliveries? Really, it’s a wonder you, or anyone else, hasn’t realized Morrigan’s true emotions yet.
She takes every moment to touch you, though she makes sure not to make you uncomfortable. If that means she only gets to hug you once every couple of months, then so be it. But if she gets to hug you whenever you met up, or brush her hand against yours, or give the occasional massage, she’ll be all over you. Of course, none of it will go further than platonic touches, but that doesn’t mean they are any less sensually charged.
Every time you meet, Morrigan tries to get up the confidence to come out to you, to spill her true feelings, however she always draws up short when she sees your smile and hears your laugh. It takes away all sense and logic, making it impossible for Morrigan to talk herself into confessing to you.
When she does confess to you, however near or far that day may be, she already has about ten responses ready for each reaction you could possibly have. If you don’t reject her, she’ll probably ask you out on a date right then and right there. One that she’s been planning for years now.
It’ll be the best date ever. She’ll take you to all your favourite places, buy all your favourite things, push the boundaries a little—a kiss on the cheek here, a hand on the waist there—but never to the point where you’re uncomfortable or she’s afraid of you backing off.
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Fandom: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series - Sarah J. Maas
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Elain Archeron/Tamlin, Lucien Vanserra/Vassa, Elain Archeron/Azriel, Azriel/Gwyneth Berdara, Feyre Archeron/Rhysand, Nesta Archeron/Cassian
Characters: Elain Archeron, Tamlin (ACoTaR), Lucien Vanserra, Vassa (ACoTaR), Feyre Archeron, Rhysand (ACoTaR), Nesta Archeron, Cassian (ACoTaR), Azriel (ACoTaR), Gwyneth Berdara, Morrigan (ACoTaR), Amren (ACoTaR), Koschei (ACoTaR), Emerie (ACoTaR)
Additional Tags: Epic, The Spring Court (ACoTaR), The Night Court, Gardens & Gardening, Firebird
Elain has a vision and winds up in the Spring Court.
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A bit long over do, sorry, some more set up here, next chapter we’ll dive in a bit more…
SWAK--Sealed With A Kiss
Chapter Two—The Boy Who Was
I never imagined that meeting you would change me the way it has. I never imagined that anything would come of it. Yet here we are.
When he was eight years old Rhysand Avitas saw the face of death. And ever since that day, he did what he could to forget. To tuck the memory away and lock it deep within himself. He succeeded, just as the child of Quentin Avitas should.
Of course, Rhys learned early on that success did not translate into victory. Victory in the eyes of Quentin Avitas meant utter power. Utter control. And for the life of him, Rhysand had never been able to reconcile that with who he actually. Of course, admitting that would be like selling his soul to the devil.
As he exited the studio where he’d been taking promotional photos for his new television show, Rhysand wondered why the hell there were so many people there to see him. Not just fans, but paparazzi and reporters too. He tried pushing out the cheers and the sounds of questions. Everything was almost too much. But admitting to that, of course, would be like selling his soul to the devil.
Everything these days always cycled down to that.
Behind him, Azriel kept easy pace. He remained just a few steps behind. Only because Mor insisted that Rhysand never be overshadowed. By anything or anyone. He couldn’t help the pull of a sneer to his mouth.
His photoshoot with Demetra went well, a quiet woman with a penchant for photography, she always managed to capture the essence of whatever role Rhysand found himself in. From the roles as troubled teenage boy, leader of a biker gang, FBI agent, pirate, and now King in a new fantasy television show. All the photos had a way of bringing the character to life.
“We don’t have time for autographs,” Azriel said from beside him.
Rhysand scowled at his longtime friend who also worked as one of his bodyguards.
“I think we can spare five minutes,” Rhys said.
Azriel merely gripped Rhysand’s arm and pulled him to the waiting SUV.
The crowds were kept at a decent distance away making it easier to obey Azriel’s instruction. While Rhysand didn’t care for crowds or the constant cocophany of noise—he knew he had appearances to keep. Even if all he could manage instead was to raise a hand in greeting to them all. It was enough for now.
The Los Angeles sun burned down and almost made Rhys regret wearing his signature black. Almost. It was an image that Mor said needed to be kept up. He was known as a cold bastard to the press and that was all anyone deserved to know about him.
His life had been kept under careful lock and key for so long that it just became natural to decline interviews, watch pictures that were leaked. Despite his popularity and A-list name—he was still an enigma.
At least it kept his father happy.
As Rhysand got into the air-conditioned SUV, he sighed in relief. Azriel got in beside him and passed over Rhys’ phone. In the driver's seat Nuala already had the car started and ready to go.
“Where’s Cassian?” Rhysand asked as he took stock of his missed messages and other notifications.
“Amren has a task for him,” Azriel said. And for once, his brother relaxed. His shaggy hair fell in his eyes and he leaned his head back. “Damn, I’m tired.”
“You could always take a day off,” Rhysand muttered. He flicked through several messages from Ianthe on his Instagram. He really wished he could block her.
Azriel cracked an eye open. “No.”
“Nuala, take us to the main house,” Azriel instructed.
“Yes, sir,” she replied. The car moved to the highway and expertly wove through traffic.
“I have language practice with Kallias,” Rhysand said with a frown.
“Not anymore.” Azriel kept his eyes closed as he spoke. “Amren wants to meet us at the main house. It’s not something that should be done at the town house.”
Rhys rolled his eyes. Sometimes it felt like his life was never his own. Did anyone care if all he wanted to do was flop down in bed and not get up? Maybe go running until his legs collapsed? Disappear to some foreign island and not come back?
Sure, Rhys enjoyed his life. Enjoyed what he had made for himself in the world of tv and cameras, but…
He pushed the thought back. Doubts would not lead to developing his aspirations. Doubts would not let him become who he was always meant to be.
The city passed by outside quickly. It was always interesting to see how much the landscape could change so much in just a few hours. Between the warehouse district, middle class developments and how they combined with the smog and pale blue sky. Then there were the trees and palms, the gold-yellow light of stucco houses and hillsides.
All utterly familiar.
“You’re not telling me something,” Rhysand said as Nuala exited the highway.
Azriel grunted, still flopped precariously without a damn seat belt in his seat.
“Amren is usually giving me a play by play of security and Mor updates me on events that I have to attend,” Rhysand continued.
Rhysand supposed he could have ordered a straight answer. But he didn’t. Azriel was more than an employee. They were basically brothers. Raised together for a long, long time. Even if Quentin hadn’t approved.
They drove through the gated homes of other celebrities. The neighborhood was only large because the homes were literal mansions with dozens of rooms, enormous yards, and sprawling driveways.
Rhysand’s “main house” as they’d dubbed it, was gratefully deep in the nests of homes. Far from the main entrance of the gates and tucked back in palm and juniper trees. He could almost convince himself it was quaint. Wholesome. If not for the towering three floor design of the house and its enormous windows. If not for the brick and oak and whatever other material was used to make this monster of a house.
He of course had no issue with his wealth. None at all, it was a part of him. What he was raised in. Yet as he stared at his home with Amren’s sleek red Ferrari and Cassian’s enormous tank of Jeep sitting in the driveway—Rhysand couldn’t help but feel uneasy.
“Am I going to have to kill you?” Rhysand pressed Azriel again. The silence and lack of answers was becoming too much to bear and he didn’t like being left in the dark.
“Technically, this was all Amren,” Azriel finally said. He straightened, but carefully avoided Rhysand’s eyes.
“You know I hate technicalities,” Rhysand grumbled.
Azriel snorted and gave him a significant look. Alright, so Rhysand looked for loopholes in everything he did, but when they were used against him, he hated them.
As Nuala parked the car and did a quick perimeter sweep over earbuds with Rhysands other security team members, she gave the okay that things were safe.
Rhysand thanked her and got out of the car. At least in the mansion he had more space to avoid people if he felt like it. That was the only promise carrying him up the walk to the front door. Knowing that Amren and Cassian were already inside, he wasn’t bothered by the fact the door was unlocked.
“Amren?” he called out. “We need to talk!”
Even with the brief walk through the scorching summer air, the air conditioning of his house was welcome. Rhys deposited his phone on the small table just inside the door. A plush, dark thread rug stretched through the front entryway blending easily in with the dark wood of the flooring. Everything was open to allow natural lighting in with high ceilings and wide windows. Granted Rhysand liked keeping darker furnishings. Which defeated the purpose of the windows and natural lighting.
He often wondered if letting Mor take over interior design was a mistake.
“Amren?” He called again and went to the kitchen.
He often called Amren his political director—the one person who at least attempted to keep him in-line for the tabloids and television. And while Cassian was head of security, Rhysand had long ago let Amren ensure everything was in order within his house hold.
She was nowhere in sight as he walked through the house. The kitchen was as untouched as when he’d left it this morning, not even an orange was missing from the fruit basket. Only a small pile of mail sat at the center of granite.
Casting a final look to the dining room, Rhysand shuffled through the letters. Nothing out of the ordinary. No one had managed to find this location as his main base. Yet. He’d moved in barely two weeks ago so it was only a matter of time. It helped that they’d put everything in Mor’s name.
A small envelope caught his attention. The stationary was pale pink with rose designs impressed on the outside. Rose perfume wafted from the paper, indistinct that Rhysand almost dismissed it. He almost believed that it was only a letter from his aunt. It was wishful thinking of course.
His name and address were printed cleanly on the front. It looked as though the writer used a stencil to create the sharp lines. Turning the letter over, Rhysand found the signature seal. A kiss. Bright and burning red that was carefully pressed in so the contours of the lips were noticeable. Whoever had made the mark at least had a decent mouth on them.
He debated on throwing the letter away before Amren found it. Because if Amren found it, she would do something stupid.
Well, not stupid. Amren didn’t have a stupid bone in her body.
Rather it would be something that would be classified as overreacting.
“Amren!” He called again. Damn he was going to regret this.
When the tiny force of nature didn’t respond, Rhysand opened the letter. The lipstick seal had dried completely and been blown over with a sheen of hairspray (by Mor’s estimation after looking at the last few notes). The parchment ripped neatly in his hands and Rhysand pulled out the neatly folded card within.
And while he would never admit it—he felt a small chill race up his spine at the sight of the letters and words sprawled so neatly across the page.
There is no remedy for love but to love more.
It was a quote by Henry David Thorou. Rhysand had at least paid enough attention in his brief college interlude to recognize that. The writer continued to expound on their thoughts and feelings on Rhysands latest trip to Baja and the pictures taken. Beneath the simple words was the usual sign off.
Remember me until we meet again.
Rhysand took the note and was going to toss it in the trash.
He looked up in time to see Amren stalk across the kitchen and snatch the note out of his hands.
“Amren,” Rhysand groused.
She glared; her gray eyes steely cool. “Why did you open this?”
“It was addressed to me.”
He earned a smack upside the head. “Rhys.”
“Amren,” he muttered and rubbed the back of his head.
“You need to take this seriously,” she said as she carefully folded the note once more and put it back in the envelope. She made sure to keep her finger pads clear so as not to leave any excess prints. Just like with every other letter.
Rhys scowled. Truly, the woman had done so much for him in all the years they had known each other. Saved his ass plenty of times. And he was always grateful for her. But sometimes her overprotective nature was too much.
“It’s a letter Amren,” he said.
“You have a stalker,” Amren replied. And then much to Rhysands dismay she put the letter in a ziploc bag. “And that means you aren’t safe.”
“Hell,” Rhys muttered. He ran a hand through his hair and shook his head. “When have I ever been safe? You do remember I’ve been kidnapped before, right?”
“It’s a miracle they let you live,” Amren said ignoring his ire. She was quite good at that unfortunately. It made it almost impossible to piss her off. “I would have killed you after the first half hour.”
“A full half hour?” Rhys clutched his heart in feigned adoration. “Be still my soul, she has a heart.”
Amren stared. He grinned.
“I’m working on hiring a new security detail,” Amren said finally.
“No,” Rhys said automatically.
“Rhys,” Amren sighed.
“No. Whatever you did, undo it,” he said. Despite Amren’s terrifying authority and cold demeanor he would at least try and hold his ground.
Amren waved the plastic baggie with the letter at him.
“Two days after the last one,” Amren said. “They’re getting longer and more intense, Rhys.”
“I’m an actor, Amren,” Rhys said. He ran a hand through his hair exasperated. “I knew this is what I signed up for.”
“Have you even read these?” Amren asked. She set her wine down, nearly sloshing it over the sides of the glass. She jabbed a well-manicured finger on the note. “This isn’t something you’re going to be able to easily ignore, Rhys.”
He turned away from her hard gaze. Instead of facing her, Rhys turned to the basket of fruit one of his staff members always kept on hand. He bit into an apple to buy time before speaking. Amren was one of his closest friends. He trusted her with his life and would always turn to her for anything. The fact that she was concerned over this should have triggered more of a reaction from him.
“Where’s Cassian?” he asked instead.
Rolling her eyes, Amren grabbed her wine and drank.
“It’s three in the afternoon,” he told her as she drained the glass.
Wine drunk Amren was not a common occurrence. Not that she was particularly drunk in that instance but Rhys had a feeling that if given her way, Amren would most certainly drink his entire wine cellar dry.
“What did you do?” Rhys asked already dreading the answer.
He and Amren watched each other in silence, a clock ticking somewhere in the house.
“You need protection,” Amren told him. Her tone matched his with a softness that belied the authority she held herself with.
“I have you. I have Cassian and Azriel. Mor. Hell, everyone that’s been hired to keep the house and all that crap probably has an FBI background, right?” Rhysand shook his head, not waiting for an answer. “And what’s another guard going to do? Just make it easier for someone to come up with even more elaborate ways to get notes like this to me.”
“Not if they don’t know the guard is there,” Amren replied.
He most certainly did not like the sound of that.
“No,” he said.
“Is that the word of the day?” Amren scoffed as she stood. She crossed to the fridge and pulled the wine bottle out and refilled her glass. “I honestly don’t care if you like this Rhys, but it’s mine and Cassian’s job to keep you safe. And unfortunately for all of us, your father is being very insistent that I, you know, actually do something.”
“Technically,” Rhysand began.
“Don’t even think about it,” Amren said. She wagged a finger at him. “We both know your father won’t let me quit solely to work for you. That’s not how it works. How it is going to work is you are going to listen to me and what I planned.”
And Rhysand knew it. Back when he was still underaged, his father had signed off on everything. Security. Agents. Managers. And then when Quentin Avitas had become a Senator...well things changed more. Sometimes Rhysand believed that the change gave him more freedom. But more often than not he knew he was just lying to himself.
Running a hand over his face, Rhysand shook his head.
“Fine,” he said. There was no arguing with Amren. Not really. “Cassian’s dragging me through some stunt training and then I need a nap.”
“Don’t take too long,” Amren said. She pulled up her phone and smiled lightly at whatever notification she’d gotten. “We have dinner plans at seven.”
Rhysand cursed under his breath. He already knew that either way he was going to get very, very drunk tonight.
I know we have our differences. Just know that every night when you’re not by my side—I’ll always dream of you.
as always thanks for reading! comments and reblogs are appreciated!
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Hi! So I need more Cassian x Reader in my life so I was wondering if you could write something like that Cassian has a nightmare and the reader comforts him? I love your writing!! <3
Hello! Aw thank you so much! It warms my heart to know someone enjoyed my writing!
Of course, I adore Cassian! He needs some loving. I hope you like it!
Without further ado -
Cassian was loud.
When he and Feyre joked in the main dining room of the House, his belly laughter would rumble across the walls. You’re convinced that shoppers of the rainbow could hear him rattle the building.
He always ate cheerfully. He smacked and chomped down on his food happily. No matter how many times Az nudge him to clean up his act, nothing could stop the pure delight from tumbling from Cassian.
Whenever he and the boys sparred, he roared the loudest. When he swooped and ducked and sprinted he cried out in victory over the others. He would holler and scream until his voice was hoarse.
Which is why when he let out a small whimper next to you, you almost missed it.
Despite the dreamy cold air, a bitter cold kept sinking in your bones, causing you to toss and turn throughout the night. Cassian, ever the heavy sleeper, had curled up into a tight ball, twisting the covers over his legs. You tried ripping the blankets back over your chilled form but to no avail.
You had rolled back over, facing him. He had burrowed his face into the soft pillow, hair gently cascading like a waterfall. It was only until his hand twitched, and he let out a second whine that you realized.
Voice still thick with a restless night, you began shaking his side, “Cass?”
He cringed and flung his arm over the back of his head. He began arching into the bed, squeezing his wings into his back.
“Cassian,” You insisted, grasping him firmly this time.
He shot up instantly at the contact, his eyes wild, like a deer cornered by a hunter. He relied backwards, causing him to completely tumble off the bed.
“Cassian!” You scrambled to the edge of the mattress, greeted with a very sorry-looking Cas. He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.
“Oh by the cauldron” He murmured, pulling himself back onto the bed. “Did I wake you, sweetheart?”
You hushed him, cupping the side of his face, “are you okay Cas?”
“What? I’m fine,” he shot back, before kissing the palm of your hand. He began blinking the sleep away. You narrowed your eyes.
“You had a nightmare.” You stated softly. He snapped his eyes shut, and pressed his mouth further into your hand, almost as if he hoped he could disappear with a kiss.
“It’s okay Cass-,”
“Don’t get soft on me.”
“Everyone has nightmares Cassian.” You gently took your hand from him and placed it on his strong shoulders. He shrugged and flopped back down onto the mattress. “Would you like to talk about it?”
He quirked an eyebrow at you. You were giving him an option, he could still say no.
But the sad look in his eyes, he needed you at this very moment.
He shuffled slightly, almost trying to square his shoulders despite lying down. You began to slowly stroke his hair, which made his eyes flutter shut.
“I’m here for you Cass,” You insisted.
He let out a heavy sigh, “It just gets bad sometimes you know? I wish I could do more.”
You curled him into you, so he was perfectly cradled into your side, resting his head just under your chin. “all those poor girls who have their wings clipped, I couldn’t imagine.”
“You’re doing everything you can Cassian,” you hushed, peppering his face with light kisses, “it will all come right in the end, I promise.”
He sighed into you, finally releasing all tension from his shoulders.
“I love you,” he breathed, finally relaxing.
The warmth settled back into you.
You both finally got a good night's sleep.
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I Lilac You
With Feyra pregnant with her first child. Father to be Rhysand sends his 2 best friends on a mission to reunite the Archeron sisters who have been at odds since their father’s death 5 years ago. While Cassian has the hard task of trying to convince the strong-willed Nesta to make peace, it’s Azriel who is more in trouble. All he was supposed to do was talk to Elain, not to get weak at the knees as soon as he sees her, or protect her from her manipulative ex-fiancé. And he sure in hell wasn’t supposed to fall in love with her. But that’s exactly what happens.
Please note: this is a modern-day story with no fantasy elements. Elain, Azriel and all the characters are humans living in the small city of Velaris. This will be an Elriel story but will also feature Freysand and Nessian.
Read Chapter One Now
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Casual Ruin Pt. 3 (Elriel)
Elain’s part of the Damnation Series.
Part 1 | Part 2
God help yall this shit was a rollercoaster to write
For a second, no one breathes, let alone moves.
Azriel’s hands are steady as he grips the gun, body lined with tension, eyes so cold I shiver. The barrel’s close enough that if I leaned forward an inch, it’d brush my forehead.
The man next to him holds a cigarette halfway to his mouth, looking at me like he’s never seen a woman before and has absolutely no idea what to do.
And me? I’m frozen in place, horror rushing through my veins and mixing with the shock to create a nauseating cocktail I’m not sure I’ll survive.
It’s the brutalized man in the chair slumping over and hitting the floor with a loud thud that finally snaps us out of our momentary haze.
Azriel blinks and throws the gun to the side so hard it makes a dent in the wall, the stranger drops his cigarette and reaches for me, and I sprint like my fucking life depends on it. Because at this point, I’m pretty sure it might.
What the hell did I walk into?
I race up the stairs toward the garage, where less than a minute ago, I’d heard Azriel’s voice and gone to surprise him. By the look on his face when he turned around, I’d at least succeeded in that.
I can practically feel the man behind me, can tell he’s reaching a hand out to grab me.
I’ve never been a violent person in my life, but with the amount of adrenaline coursing through me, I don’t even question the urge to use the wine bottle in my hands as a weapon.
It breaks over the man’s head, but unlike in the movies, he doesn’t go down immediately. However, he does lose his balance enough that with a firm shove to his chest, he goes crashing back down to the hellhole I’m running from.
I make it to the garage and slam the door to the basement closed, locking it for good measure. Then I drag the heavy workbench next to the line of pristine cars over in front of it for even better measure.
I refuse to let myself stop and think, because I’m pretty sure if I do, I’ll break down into a pool of tears and never get up. I’m running on nothing but adrenaline, and I know I’ll crash soon, but I force myself to keep going.
For a moment, I’m tempted to steal one of the cars to get away, but the sound of angry Italian shouts behind the locked door makes me hesitant to waste any more time.
I also definitely don’t have time to call the cab driver that dropped me off and beg him to come back.
The fear and terror don’t give me time to doubt myself as I take my heels off, take off up the driveway, and pray I’m fast enough to escape the devil on my trail.
“Get that goddamn door open,” I shout at Luca, who’s dripping wine all over the place and has a gash on his forehead from where little Elain Archeron shoved him down the stairs.
I almost fucking shot her in the head. Her.
Dolcezza mia. The girl I’m stupidly obsessed with. The one who’s always quick to smile--the same one who sighs when I kiss her and lights up when I walk into the room.
I almost shot her between those beautiful brown eyes, almost snuffed them out forever.
I run a hand over my face, listening to the sound of Luca throwing himself into the door repeatedly. “I’m trying, boss, but I think she pulled something in front of the door.”
Fucking annoying as hell, but smart.
If I wasn’t so damn pissed at myself for not locking the basement door behind me and allowing her to find us down here, I’d be mildly impressed.
Two of the most dangerous men in Italy, trapped in the basement like idiots.
I pull up the app to track her phone--which was originally for her safety, not because I’m a complete stalker--and see that she’s on foot, going behind the houses instead of down the road. She probably thinks I’ll drive by her while she gets away right under my nose.
“Fuck,” I mutter, sending out a text to all my neighbors to tell them not to shoot the beautiful young woman trespassing through their properties. She has no idea the people around us have security systems better than the President’s. “Luca!”
“Working on it,” he grunts back.
“If that shit isn’t open in the next twenty seconds, you’re going in the incinerator after this asshole,” I warn, nudging the dead body on the floor with a boot.
The threat must work, because a second later, there’s a loud bang and the telltale sound of the workbench from my garage toppling over. “Got it!”
I storm up the stairs and tell him, “Run interference with the neighbors and local police. Anyone talks-”
“Got it,” he interrupts, grabbing his phone to start threatening people.
Pulling up the app again, I track the path she’s on, curse when I see she’s headed to the bus station about a mile from here, and take off after her.
Technically, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if she got away. She’d probably go to the police and tell them what she saw, not knowing that Marco, the deputy on duty, has been on my payroll since the day he passed the police entrance exam.
Having done her civic duty, she’d probably try to recover from the trauma of what she saw, eventually finish her classes and move on, and leave. Forgetting all about me in the process.
Technically, for her, this option would not be the worst thing in the world.
But in my head, it feels worse than being stabbed. In my head, there isn’t a question about it.
I’m going after her.
There’s this weird, itchy feeling in my chest I’ve never felt before as I run and run and try not to think about the look on her face as she saw the body fall to the floor.
I realize the feeling in my chest as panic, something I haven’t felt since I was a teenager getting booked for stealing my first car.
She knows, and the look on her face... she looked at me like I’m a monster.
And fuck, maybe that’s true. Maybe I am beyond saving.
But having her look at me, and having her take away the easy smiles and bright eyes I’d grown strangely accustomed to... it feels like being robbed.
And it makes me panic.
So I’ll chase her, and catch her, and do whatever I have to do to get her back.
Because I need her, and damn if I’m going at this alone.
After a surprising amount of time, I see the thin outline of her off in the distance, sprinting like the devil himself is chasing her.
I take a deep breath and try to stay quiet, but it’s hopeless. Like she’s the one with the tracker on me, she can tell the second I’m close. I can see it from the way her shoulders go stiff and her pace increases.
I call out again for her to stop, because I don’t want to tackle her and risk hurting her. She ignores me and keeps running, turning behind the coroner of one of my dealer’s house.
That sticky, awful, panicky feeling in my chest grows as she disappears from sight, and without thinking, I follow.
Which, if I had been thinking, I never would’ve done, because shit like this leaves you open to attack.
Which reminds me: I’ve now broken all three rules for this woman, because I don’t have a single weapon on me to defend us if something happens.
I hit the ground hard enough the wind rushes out of me and my stupid brain rattles around in my stupid skull.
Blinking through the blur, I look up to find Elain standing over me with an empty metal trashcan raised like a bat, ready to strike again.
I need to explain, need to talk to her, but all I can seem to say is her name.
“Elain,” I croak, trying to force air down my lungs.
As my vision clears, I notice she’s crying, beautiful face streaked with tears and dirt.
She pauses and looks at me, like the sight of me knocked on my ass hurts her just as much as it does me, then shakes her head to clear it.
She throws the trash can at me and turns to flee, but I know I can’t let her go, at least not like this. Grabbing her ankle, I yank her down to me, making sure she lands on me instead of the ground.
She screams, the sound scraping away another layer of the trust we’d built, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so desperate in my life. Elain flails around, but I use my weight to pin her, trying not to hurt her.
She has to let me explain. She has to.
I hate what I’m about to do, but the only other option I have is making her pass out the old fashion way, which I know I could never bring myself to do.
The second the needle goes into her neck, she goes stiff underneath me, looking at me with wide, panicked eyes.
“You drugged me,” she sobs, the betrayal in her voice making my chest hurt.
I brush the hair off her face, press my forehead to hers, and start telling her things I haven’t told another living soul.
I’ll never hurt you.
Am I dead?
Why does it feel like I got hit by a bus?
Where am I?
These three questions rattle around in my brain at the same time, all demanding answers, as soon as I open my eyes.
And the weird part is... I don’t have any.
I have no idea if I’m alive or dead, but the headache I have that seems permanently settled behind my eyes points to the latter.
I blink the haze in my brain away and realize I’m at my house in bed, but my extend of knowledge seems to stop there.
There’s a voice in my head whispering something, but it’s too quiet for me to understand what she’s saying. All I know is that I feel like I need to do something, need to get out of here.
I rub my sore eyes and see there’s a note on the bedside table, written in precise, calm handwriting I recognize better than my own.
He’s here? I thought I went to his house, not the other way around.
The blinds are closed, but when I make my way to the window and peak out, I see a dark night sky, the moon reflecting off the water and making everything seen calm.
What the hell happened to me?
I start to leave the room, intent on going downstairs and asking Azriel that very question.
Except as I’m passing by my closet, I see something.
Something small and so inconsequential, I almost don’t think anything about it.
Like I’m in a dream, I feel myself walk over to the corner of the room. I feel my knees hit the floor, see my finger extend to the floor and touch the tiny drop of liquid that caught my eye.
I pull back and look, and somehow, I’m not surprised to see that it’s blood.
The floors are dark enough I shouldn’t have been able to see it from so far away, but it’s like a part of me was looking for it.
And that’s when it comes back to me.
Coming to surprise him, seeing the door in his garage, going downstairs... I press a hand to my mouth and squeeze my eyes shut, trying to fight the tidal wave of nausea washing over me.
I remember seeing the blood first and wondering if someone was hurt, then coming further into the room to find myself in the middle of a nightmare. If I wasn’t so strangely sure it had been real, I would think it was a horror movie.
The man strapped down had been so brutalized, I doubt I would’ve recognized him even if I’d known him my whole life.
I remember running without a thought more, giving into the fight or flight impulse to get the hell out of there.
I remember hitting Azriel, seeing him fall to the ground and looking up at me with those deep, wounded eyes that will haunt me more than the torture he inflicted on that poor man.
Eyes that told me everything and nothing at the same time.
I remember looking into those eyes and crying at the pain in them that was surely reflected in my own.
And then nothing.
Why don’t I remember? How did I get back here?
I finally recall that last whispered promise, and if I hadn’t already been sitting on the floor, I would’ve fallen to my knees as I realize what happened.
He drugged me.
Azriel, the same man who slow-danced with me in an empty restaurant and drove me along the coast and held me in his sleep, drugged me.
And he’s downstairs.
I start to hyperventilate, because I don’t know what to do or what he’s planning to do. Why is he still here?
What am I going to do? Should I call the cops?
I realize I don’t have my phone, probably a countermeasure on his part.
I also realize there’s no way for me to run. I remember how fast he’d caught me, how easy it had been for him to render me useless.
There’s no escaping him. Not if he’s already down there waiting, evil plan cooking in his mind.
I have no other option, unless I want to stay in this room for the rest of my life.
So with confidence I don’t feel, I walk downstairs.
I find him sitting at my breakfast table, leaning back casually and sipping a cup of coffee despite the late hour.
The moonlight clings to him like it loves him, playing off of his sharp cheekbones and illuminating his features. His face is carefully blank, but there’s a flicker of something as he looks at me, something that seems almost like relief.
He’s calm and collected and everything I’m not, and it pisses me off. My world’s on fire, yet he’s sitting here like nothing’s wrong? And he’s drinking my coffee?
I stomp over to grab the stolen drink, then sit across from him and cross my arms.
Because I sure as hell am not talking first.
He stayed because he has something to say. I don’t have anything to say to him.
For a long time, we just stare at each other, because he’s apparently playing by the same rules.
Then he accepts his defeat, sighs, and asks, “Why did you come to my house last night?”
I purse my lips, narrow my eyes, and try to stop myself from throwing the coffee in his face.
Because he said that almost like an accusation.
Like the problem is that I came over unannounced, not that he was torturing someone.
“I’m not justifying that with a response,” I eventually tell him.
He gives me a hard look. “Answer the question.”
Something about the entirely male way he demanded that, like he expects a response immediately, makes me tilt my head and ask so sweetly I almost choke, “Why? Are you going to torture me if I don’t?”
He sighs and runs a hand through his hair, showing the first sign of imperfection I’ve ever seen from him. “What you saw-”
“Was horrifying, and I don’t want to talk about it.”
He acts like I didn’t even speak. “-was something I meant to keep private from you.”
I don’t tell him that’s pretty fucking obvious at this point.
Instead I ask, “Why?”
I’m not sure why I want to know, but it suddenly feels important.
He doesn’t takes his eyes off of me as he says, “Because you’re you. You shine so brightly it should be illegal, and you look at the world like it isn’t a terrible place. I didn’t want to take that from you.”
My throat feels uncomfortably tight all the sudden, but I clear it and say, “Well, you did.”
His jaw clenches, and he looks down. “I know. If I could go back and walk away, I would. Shit, I told myself I would more times than I can count. But I just... couldn’t. And I couldn’t tell you either. I wanted to, but I didn’t know how, Elain.”
The sound of my name on his lips makes my heart finally start beating again, but I still call him on his lie. “That isn’t why you never told me. You never told me because you knew I’d hate you the second you did.”
“Maybe,” he admits, looking back up at me. “But now you know, and I’m glad you do. You know everything now.”
It’s my turn to look down, because while I’d wanted to know the real him, I’d never imagined I’d find something like this.
“No, I don’t. I don’t know anything, because you haven’t explained anything.”
He tilts his head. “What needs explaining?”
I ask the obvious question. “Who do you work for?”
Once again, I don’t feel like justifying that with a response. He still isn’t saying anything that explains what I saw or why he’d do that to someone.
If he isn’t going to say anything meaningful, I’m not having this conversation.
Eventually, he seems to realize this. Because he says, “I’m Capo of the Sicilian Outfit of the Cosa Nostra, Elain.”
I bite my lip so hard I taste blood, trying to keep my emotions in check. I don’t know how to feel, other than confused and angry.
“Any other questions?”
“Why did you drug me?”
If he just wanted to talk, he could’ve dragged me back to his place or maybe just say that. Not chase me down like a rapid animal.
“You were panicked, and I didn’t want to hurt you. I needed time to explain, needed to tell you this was never the plan.”
There’s something else there, and I narrow my eyes in a silent demand for him to continue.
Azriel sighs and admits, “My neighbors are business associates-” aka fellow criminals, “and I didn’t want them to hear you yelling and come to... investigate-” aka kill me, “or watch me get knocked unconscious by a twenty-four year old woman with a trash can.”
I give him a smug smile, more than ready to give him a repeat of that show, and try to decide what else to ask.
But before I get the chance, he says, “I don’t see why this changes anything.”
My mouth falls open.
He doesn’t see- is he serious? “You’re joking.”
“I’m not known for my humor.”
I’m still stunned into silence, so he tilts his head and asks, “Why does it matter? Why does what I do make me a different person?”
When I don’t answer, he says, “It doesn’t. Nothing I do will ever come near you. You won’t ever have to see it again. I promise.”
“It’s not about seeing it! It’s about knowing what you do when we’re not together. You kiss me goodbye, then go home and... there is absolutely no way I can go back to what we were doing before. You killed someone, Azriel.”
He straightens his cufflinks and shoots back, “He deserved it, Elain.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you?”
“I have a feeling you’re about to tell me.”
“First off, murder is illegal. So is torture, which from the way that man looked, you’d definitely been inflicting on him. Not only is it illegal, it’s wrong! He was an innocent human being-”
“He wasn’t innocent.”
I keep going. “You aren’t judge, jury, and executioner! You-”
He’s on me before I can finish, sliding a hand over my mouth and leaning over my chair.
God, the man is fast. Has he always been that fast, or have I just never noticed?
“Let me explain something to you, Elain. On this island, I am. I decide who’s guilty, which he confessed to being. I decide the punishment, which was a bullet to the brain. I’m the executioner, and I pull the trigger myself, because I’m not a fucking coward.”
I fight his hold, trying to push him away, but he doesn’t even budge.
“I play by different rules, bellissima. Just because you’ve never been exposed to them, or my world, doesn’t mean it hasn’t always existed. I’m the judge, jury, executioner, and the goddamn king.”
A shiver goes down my spine at his words.
He pushes my head back, forcing me to meet his eyes. “And it doesn’t matter.”
I shake my head, bite his finger, push at his chest. But it doesn’t do any good.
“It doesn’t matter, because like I said, we live in two different worlds. I’d never let mine impact yours.”
I want to tell him that isn’t the problem, but his hand is still on my mouth.
“Have you even asked yourself why you’re not afraid?” he asks out of the blue, surprising me.
I stare blankly at him, no longer fighting, waiting for whatever he’s about to say.
“You’re scared of what I do, but you aren’t scared of me. Not really. If you were, you never would’ve come down those stairs.”
That’s why he looked relieved, I realize. He was worried I’d be scared of him.
Everything he’s saying makes sense, which makes no sense at all.
Because if he’s right, and he certainly seems to think he is, it begs the question... why aren’t I scared of him?
He seems to see my ask myself that, because he answers it a second later.
Eyes growing softer, he murmurs, “It’s because you know I’d never hurt you, nor would I let anyone else.”
I remember him whispering that right before I passed out. I’ll never hurt you.
He comes so close I can see the individual flecks of green in his dark hazel eyes. “I may do terrible things, and I’d do terrible things for you, Elain, but I’d never do them to you.”
“So you aren’t afraid. Just angry,” he concludes. Then he looks at me like he did the other day in the sea behind his house, right before he called me his. “Do you know why you’re angry, Elain?”
Currently, it’s because he’s explaining my emotions to me, which has to be the most male, obnoxious thing that’s ever happened in all of history.
But I have a feeling that isn’t what he’s talking about.
And I have another feeling that I’m not going to like what he’s about to say.
I take another glance at the look in his eyes and realize what he means, starting to fight again. I push at his chest and hands and try to get him to not say the words I know he’s going to.
It doesn’t work.
“You’re upset,” he says a moment later, slow and sure like always, “because I lied to you. You feel betrayed, like you don’t know me. But that isn’t why you’re angry.”
One hand on my face, the other in my hair, he holds me perfectly still as he whispers, “You’re angry because you were falling for me.”
I press my eyes closed, trying not to hear the words he’s saying as if that’ll make them any less true.
But it doesn’t, because they are true.
Every easy smile, midnight whisper, and lingering kiss he’s given me in the past month has given him a permanent place in my heart, and it hurts to have that all feel like a lie.
It hurts to look at him and not know if I recognize the person holding me.
A sob escapes me, which seems to confirm what he said, and he takes his hand off my mouth to wipe away a tear.
His brow comes to rest against mine, and I breathe him in, unable to stop myself.
There’s a war happening inside me, and it distracts me enough I don’t stop him from pulling me closer.
My heart plays me a montage of the past month, showing me countless moments where I’d been so positive I’d found paradise, so positive I’d found someone I could trust completely. It tells me Azriel has always felt like home, like something so inexplicably right I don’t even know how to describe it.
But my brain reminds me the hands cupping my cheeks softly are covered in blood and gunsmoke and victims’ tears. It tells me I’ve never really known the man I’m currently begging myself not to have feelings for.
The battle inside of me rages on, and I cry harder, not even knowing who I want to win.
It only gets harder to choose as he murmurs, “Ance io mi sto innamorando di te.”
I’m falling for you, too.
I don’t know what to do or feel or think, and I’m so helplessly confused it makes me want to scream.
Yet even though I’m confused, something about this makes sense. Something about knowing what he really does for a living makes everything in my head just click.
The way he’d redirect the conversation whenever I asked about his job. The way I’d always suspected him of hiding something about himself from me. The way every movement he’s ever made with me has been lined with restraint.
He could hurt me, has had the opportunity for months, but he never has. He’s always been careful with me, has always held and looked at me like I’m something precious to him.
My brain starts shifting to his side of the argument, and I can feel my morality ripping to shreds under his hands.
Before I can think, I shove him away, getting to my feet to point at the door. “Get out. You lied to me. You’re a murderer. A monster.”
Feelings or not, I know I can’t do this. I can’t just ignore what I saw, what he’ll continue to do. So he needs to leave.
Azriel just leans against the kitchen island counter and pulls out a cigarette, lighting it as he watches me for a long moment.
“Maybe I am,” he says eventually around a mouthful of smoke. “But just because I’m a monster, Elain, doesn’t mean I can’t give you what we both know you need. Nothing has to change.”
It already has.
“I don’t need anything from you.”
He prowls toward me, the intent shining so clear in his eyes I take a step back for every one he takes forward. My back hits a wall, and he traps me between it and himself, caging me in with strong arms.
The line between right and wrong, good and evil, seems to blur as he gets closer and closer, and by the time we’re sharing air, I don’t know which way is up. All I know is him.
He takes a deep inhale of his cigarette, tips my head back with his thumb, and then breathes the smoke into my mouth.
It should be disgusting, considering I don’t smoke and make it a point to avoid cancer-causing products in general.
It should be. But it isn’t.
It’s the opposite of disgusting.
There’s a buzz in my veins that has nothing to do with the nicotine, and I realize too late that he’s the vice I can’t quit.
I’m too far gone, too addicted already.
He pulls back slightly, tucking the still-burning cigarette behind his ear. His eyes burn with intensity, and his dark hair and shoulders are surrounded by the smoke clinging to his shoulders like a shadow.
He looks like the villain of a movie I never even knew I wanted to watch, and it physically pains me to have him this close and not be touching him, so I put my hands on his chest, fingers fisting in the expensive material of his suit.
His are on the wall by my head, bracing himself as he leans in and slowly licks a line across my lower lip, like he’s tasting me.
My want for him is a tangible thing, and I have to ask myself if he’s right. Does it matter what he does, when he makes me feel like no one else ever has? Do I care enough to stay away from him?
“You don’t need me?” he asks again, so close his lips brush against mine.
I shake my head, even though I know it isn’t the truth. I do need him, and that’s why this hurts so damn bad. Why this betrayal cuts so deep.
Even though we’re so close he’s nothing but a blur, I can feel his eyes on me, burning a hole through me.
And then he says something that changes everything.
“Well, I need you,” he whispers, so softly it breaks my heart.
I’m so goddamn lost in him, I forget everything we were talking about, forget everything he’s done.
My knees go weak, and I cling to him, pulling him into me as I slip down the wall.
His lips crash against mine, and I know instantly that this is him. This is all of him. I finally know exactly who he is, and he doesn’t have to hide anymore.
It’s probably our hundredth kiss, but it feels like the first, and I’m drunk on it, drunk on him.
Hands in my hair, he kisses me like he wasn’t lying--like he needs me.
My hands pull tighter, until there’s not an inch between us, and he makes a low sound in his throat. His are on my waist, gripping me tightly and telling me he wants this just as much as I do.
The restraint from before is all but gone, and I tremble at how much power is in his grasp, how small and fragile it makes me feel in comparison.
My willpower crumples further, like a napkin in his fist, as his tongue teases mine, making me chase him for more.
Azriel pulls my lower lip between his teeth, pulling it between us as he draws back. It’ll be bruised tomorrow, but a sick part of me likes that he’s leaving his mark on me.
“Say it,” he say roughly, voice deep and scratchy with lust.
I don’t get a change to say it, or anything else, before he’s kissing me again, running his hands up my back and into my hair.
“Say it,” he demands again.
Maybe I’m not as lost as I thought, because I know what he wants but stay silent, refusing to give it to him.
Because I can’t.
Everything he said tonight makes sense, but I just... can’t.
He kisses me again, a lingering kiss that makes my chest ache, and almost pleads, “Say it, Elain. Say it doesn’t matter. Say you need me.”
The air grows thick as I stay silent, because it’s response enough.
His eyes narrow, and even though everything inside me begs me to, I don’t stop him as he steps away.
“Only two more months here, and you want to spend them lying to yourself?”
I hadn’t even thought about the fact that I’m leaving so soon, but I don’t let myself get distracted. “I’m not lying to anyone.”
Except it feels like I am.
A smile pulls on his lips, but it isn’t friendly. “You’re fucking lying, and you know it. You know it doesn’t matter, you just can’t admit it, because then you’d be like me.”
Heart pounding, I shake my head, but he keeps going. “Fucking a monster would be condoning the devil’s work, right?”
He takes a step in, catching my wrists as I try to push him back, pinning them above my head, and laughing.
“You saying you don’t want me is the most pathetic lie I’ve ever heard, carro. ”
Mouth next to my ear, he growls, “You’re really telling me if I slip my hand between your pretty thighs, I won’t find you wet and ready for me?”
I push against his hands and look away, all the confirmation he needs.
He tsks, feigning disappointment.
I close my eyes and fight my response to him with everything I have. I try to tell myself it matters, that what he does disgusts me, but it doesn’t sound believable to even myself at this point.
“I could prove it to you, make you come right here and now, but I don’t think I will.”
I’m breathing heavily, two seconds from passing out at the intensity and violence in his voice.
“I think the next time I fuck you, Elain, you’re going to have to tell me you need me just as much as I need you. You’re going to tell me you want me, and you’re going to beg me for more.” He licks up the side of my neck, and I press my lips together to hold in the moan that wants to escape. “You’re going to tell the goddamn truth, and you’re going to fucking apologize for lying to me in the first place.”
I glare at him, silently conveying that that will never happen. He lied to me. I’m not apologizing for shit.
He sees that and everything else in my gaze, and he shakes his head slowly.
“I’ll get your confession, Elain,” he promises, going to the door and almost ripping it off its hinges as he opens it. “I always do.”
coming up next time... “Bless me father, for I have sinned.”
@perseusannabeth @cursebreaker29 @a-bit-of-a-cactus @elriel4life @girl-who-reads-the-books @shinya-hiiragi @aelinfeyreeleven945tbln @bamchickawowow @live-the-fangirl-life @ireallyshouldsleeprn @nahthanks @highqueenofelfhame @autophobiax @rowaelinismyotp @ghostlyrose2 @lovemollywho @inardour @tillyrubes10 @claralady @tswaney17 @rowanisahunk @superspiritfestival @thegoddessofyou @awesomelena555 @booksofthemoon @greerlunna @jlinez @studyliketate @over300books @justgiu12 @maastrash @aesthetics-11 @b00kworm @sleeping-and-books @musicmaam @hizqueen4life @maybekindasortaace @elorcan-trash @loosingdreams @januarystears @emikadreams @swankii-art-teacher @thedarkdemigod @full-tilt-diva @biggestwingspan-az @bookstantrash @mari-highladyof-feels @pilesofriles @teddytdr
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Protectors of Illyria
Summary: Mira Archeron’s life changed the day she was forced into the Cauldron. In order to find meaning in her new life, she becomes the Night Court’s emissary to Illyria while training to become a formidable warrior under the watchful eye of Lord Devlon.
Pairing: Lord Devlon x OC/Reader!ArcheronSister
A/N: slow burn, enemies to lovers, devlon is a sweet teddy bear I swear, updates weekly, SPOILERS POST ACOSF
Will have more these are just the ones I currently have written
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Fandom: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series - Sarah J. Maas
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Feyre Archeron & Nesta Archeron
Characters: Feyre Archeron, Nesta Archeron, Rhysand (ACoTaR)
Additional Tags: Siblings, past emotional abuse, Protective Siblings
When visiting her sisters, Feyre gets pulled aside by Nesta for a private talk.
A take on if Nesta was a little more concerned about Feyre during ACOMAF, while trying to keep true to her character and to canon
Special thanks to @asteria-of-mars and @feyrearcherons for the conversation that prompted me to write this and for reading it over :)
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Home At Last // Part 2
General Masterlist | ACOTAR Masterlist | Home At Last - Part 1 | AO3
Pairing: Azriel x Reader
Warnings: **SMUT** 18+ ONLY PLEASE. Light bondage
A/N: I am new to writing smut so this may be absolutely terrible...
Summary: Azriel shows you how much he missed you.
Tagging: @geekandbooknerd @katiebellf @spaghettinoodle1234
If you would like to be added or removed from my general, ACOTAR or Azriel taglists please let me know with an ask, comment or by filling out my taglist form.
Azriel woke late the next morning. It was late for him anyway, for everyone else it would still be considered early. He knew it was morning because he could see a shaft of yellow sunlight streaming through the gap in the curtain and falling over your face. You were still in the clutches of sleep and he took the time to study every plane of your face, peaceful and relaxed in slumber. He lost track of how much time he had spent just looking at you since he had met you, but it was a view he never tired of seeing.
He leaned forward and kissed your bare shoulder gently. When you didn’t stir, he thought about leaving you to sleep some more while he went through his morning training routine in the sparring ring at the House of Wind. He weighed up his options and decided that no, he would rather be here with you. He had spent long enough away from you the past 2 weeks. Besides, he would settle for another kind of training instead, one which very much involved you.
Smiling devilishly at the thought, he snaked a scarred hand out and lightly brushed it from your waist up towards your shoulder and back down again, trailing past his starting point and to your hip. He heard a breathy sigh escape your lips as your body arched into his touch involuntarily. Your eyelids fluttered open as you felt his hand caressing over the bone of your hip and ever so slightly forward toward the apex of your thighs. Your hip moved backwards to encourage his hand to carry on moving forwards to where you were getting wetter by the second at his ministrations. He chuckled lowly from behind you and intentionally moved his hand back again away from where he knew you wanted him most. You growled in frustration and tried to pivot around to see him clearly, but he pulled you against his chest and moved his hand between your bodies to cup your buttocks instead and lightly nipped your ear.
“Impatient are we, love?” Azriel whispered in your ear between nips to your earlobe, then sucked it in his mouth. Your head fell back against him, enjoying the feel of his hands on your buttocks and the wet heat of his mouth on your skin.
“You went away for 2 weeks, Az.” You ground out, having trouble speaking in your current circumstances. “I missed you.”
“Hmm did you? How much?” Azriel teased, moving his lips to the sensitive skin beneath your ear.
“So much!” You whimpered. His hand started to make it’s way between your legs torturously slowly, getting closer to your most sensitive areas. You tried to shift your body backwards again in a vain attempt to force his hand forward faster to where you needed him most, but he again stopped his movements.
“Ah, ah, ah.” Azriel breathed in your ear. “That’s enough of that, Y/N. I have 2 weeks worth of teasing of catch up on.”
“Azriel!” You moaned. You knew he was the Night Court’s spymaster and had had to torture people before, but you considered this a new form of torture. One you didn’t want him to perfect. You wanted him, and you wanted him now.
It was your turn to smile devilishly as you thought of what you were going to do to him. You were going to drive him mad with desire as he was doing to you. After all, you had learnt a few tricks from the spymaster.
When his hand started to move toward your wet heat, you let out a loud moan that was punctuated by a sudden jerk of your hips backwards so that your backside was pressed firmly against his cock. You noticed with satisfaction that the friction your body created on his was enough to cause an interested twitch of his already hard cock and his shadows to writhe. Azriel growled in your ear and you pushed yourself against him again, knowing that he wanted you as well despite trying to tease you. His shadows told you as such with their movements and swirls around you.
“Patience, Y/N.” Azriel bit your ear again, but you also heard the sweet sound of desperation in his voice. He was trying to maintain some semblance of control but you knew it was wearing thin and the plan to tease you wouldn’t last long.
He moved his hands towards your hips again and he used his strength to flip you onto your back as he seated himself between your open legs. He leaned down to kiss your lips passionately and your eyes slipped closed, losing yourself in the feeling of his body entwined with yours and his tongue entering your mouth. You knew his resolve wouldn’t last long and he would stop teasing you.
Azriel’s hands and shadows glided all over your skin. His hands moved to yours and entwined them with his scarred but perfect hands, moving them above your head. A fact you noticed too late as Azriel kept your hands on the headboard of the bed and his shadows pooled around your wrists, securing them firmly but gently so you couldn’t move them.
Your eyes shot open. “Azriel! That isn’t fair!”
The depth of his gaze only glistened with amusement, eyes dark pools of desire. “I told you already, Y/N. I’m not done teasing you yet.” He sat back and let his eyes wonder lazily down your bare body, focussing on the wetness he could see pooling between your legs. A tendril of shadow snaked out and passed over your wetness in the ghost of a caress, with more shadows joining the first one to touch your body.
It was funny how his shadows moved over your skin as if there were many pairs of hands caressing you. The sensations were nearly enough to make you cum there and then but you wanted Azriel’s hands to be the ones that made you fall off the precipice of pleasure.
“I-I n-need you, Azriel!” You panted out, trying to control the winding of the coil of desire within yourself long enough for Azriel to touch you as well.
Your begging was finally enough for his patience to snap. He launched himself forward and pressed the hard planes of his body to yours, covering you with his body and wings. Azriel kissed along your jawline as his hands felt their way down your body, stopping to massage your breasts. His lips followed the trail of his hands and he sucked a nipple into his mouth, swirling the bud with his tongue. He moved onto the other breast, sucking and nipping the nipple as his hands explored over your stomach and down to between your thighs. He groaned as he felt the wetness there, inserting one finger inside you. Your hips bucked at the feeling of his finger inside you, the topography of scars criss-crossing his hands adding extra sensation. He added a second finger, quickly followed by a third, stretching you, getting you ready for him.
Azriel pumped his fingers in and out of you, getting faster with each movement. The coil inside you started to build up, rapidly bringing you closer to the edge of your desire. Your hips started bucking and Azriel used his other hand to keep them still as he kissed down your stomach slowly, keeping his fingers pumping in and out of your heat and crooking his fingers to catch that sensitive spot deep inside you.
“I need to taste you, love.” Azriel groaned as he pushed himself down the bed, the vibrations of his voice added stimulation. He settled his head between your legs, watching his fingers moving in and out of you for a few pumps before he sucked your sensitive bud into his mouth and sucked harshly, moving his tongue around your clit in unison to the rhythm set by his fingers. He felt your walls start to quiver, knowing you were close to your orgasm, and moved his mouth down to your entrance and sucked, wanting to taste you. His fingers moved to your clit to rub hard circles. The stimulation was both too much and not enough at the same time, causing you to hurtle over the edge and your orgasm to hit you with unyielding force. You came with an obscene moan, and Azriel lapped up the juices flowing from you, prolonging the pleasure you were feeling.
After what felt like a small eternity you came down from your high, crashing back to reality and the feeling of Azriel smiling against you.
“Was that good, love?” He asked cheekily with a smirk on his handsome features, and your cum still glistening around his mouth. You watched his tongue dart out of his mouth to lick it off. He knew he was making a show of it, but you were transfixed on the sight of his tongue tasting your juices, knowing that he had been using his tongue to great effect not moments ago. “You taste absolutely divine, Y/N,” he hummed contentedly.
Azriel gently settled his body between your legs again and kissed your mouth lazily but insistently. You could still taste yourself on him as he deepened the kiss and lined himself up with your entrance, the tip of his cock hovering there as if waiting for permission.
“P-please, Azriel!” You begged when he made no further move to enter you.
You could see he was about to reply when you moved your hips and caused his cock to move through your folds teasingly. His resolve snapped at the feeling of the friction on his achingly hard cock and he guided himself into you.
As he pushed the tip of himself into your wet heat, your walls stretched to accommodate his considerable size. You knew it was a joke between Illyrian males about wingspan relating to cock size, but it was hard to imagine it not being true every time you saw the size of Azriel. He had the biggest wingspan out of him, Rhys and Cassian after all.
He slowly pushed further in, both gasping when he was finally fully sheathed in you. Usually you would have run your hands over his wings at this point to encourage him to move, but Azriel's shadows were still holding your wrists to the headboard. Instead you wiggled your hips to gain some friction. He seemed to get the hint though.
“You feel so good, Y/N! So good.” Azriel murmured, staring deep into your eyes. He pulled out slowly inch by glorious inch. When only the tip of him remained inside, he slammed back into you hitting deep with a powerful thrust that felt like it rocked the world and made your back arch off the bed. Your bodies melded into one as Azriel set the pace with deep, powerful thrusts. Your legs wrapped around his muscles body and the new angle allowed him to go deeper still into your most intimate areas. His arms caged around you as he held himself on top of you, eyes glued to your face, captivated by the expressions you were making and the sounds coming from your mouth. Sounds he knew he was echoing as well. There was something about you that had him captivated and completely under your spell. He couldn’t get enough of you.
As the chorus of moans, pants and groans fell from both of your lips, Azriel increased his pace until he was pounding into you as fast as he could. He had been away 2 weeks and, truth be told, he had been desperate to get back to you. Home. You had become his home, part of his family. With this new revelation, he leaned down and kissed your remaining breath away, trying to convey everything he was feeling in that moment, the pleasure, the happiness, the love, the sheer need to be with you. He felt your inner muscles start to tremble with your approaching release. You felt it building deep inside yourself, your release speeding towards you as fast as an Illyrian dives through the sky.
Azriel strained to keep control until you had reached your orgasm. There was something near animalistic about the way he was pounding into your wet heat, hitting your most sensitive spot over and over. You were so close that with a few more powerful thrusts, your inner muscles clenched around him again. “AZRIEL!” You screamed as wave after wave of pleasure washed over you, making you see stars.
With one last deep, powerful thrust Azriel came as well. The feeling of your inner walls squeezing around him sent him over the edge into his own orgasm. He roared your name as he spilled his seed inside you, body taught with the feel of his release within your heat. The shadows that were ever present, surrounding him, flared out with his release. They writhed as if they, too, could feel his pleasure. The shadows around your wrists danced over your skin.
You both panted, foreheads touching as you came down from your highs staring deep into each other’s eyes. With a wave of his hand, he released your wrists from his shadows and they skittered back to the edges of the room, caressing your body softly as they went.
Azriel slowly pulled out of you and rolled to your side, immediately enveloping you in his arms, nuzzling your neck. “I missed you, love.” He murmured.
“I know, Az. I missed you too.” You enjoyed the warmth of his body against yours, snuggling deeper into his embrace.
Azriel was about to say more when Cassian burst into the room.
Azriel snarled and his wings flared, protecting your naked body from Cassian’s view.
“Now that you two have finished, breakfast is ready!” Cassian said in a sing-song voice with a shit eating grin plastered on his face.
“GET OUT!” Azriel shouted, throwing a knife at Cassian that embedded itself in the door where Cassian had been moments before. He had shut the door hurriedly when he saw the knife coming at him. It wasn’t enough to stop the loud laughs still coming from Cassian as he walked down the corridor away from Azriel’s room though.
“I’m going to kill him.” Azriel stated, sounding decidedly pissed off. You peeked out from beneath his wing, seeing the look on Azriel’s face as indeed thoroughly pissed off and contemplating the murder of one of his best friends.
“I think poison in his food would be best.” You said dryly, running a hand down the side of Azriel’s face to calm him.
“Hmmm, I like your thinking, love.” Azriel replied with a wink and a smile as he leaned down and passionately kissed you. “Would you like to help me?”
“Hmm perhaps another time. I seem to have worked up quite an appetite myself and if Cassian made breakfast...”
“If we eat breakfast, then can I kill him?”
Credit of the dividers to @firefly-graphics
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Protectors of Illyria
Pairing: Lord Devlon x OC/Reader!Archeron Sister
Summary: Mira Archeron’s life changed the day she was forced into the Cauldron. In order to find meaning in her new life, she becomes the Night Court’s emissary to Illyria while training to become a formidable warrior under the watchful eye of Lord Devlon.
Word Count: 2k
Warning: SPOILERS POST ACOSF
Authors Note: This is my first fanfic so bear with me lol. Mira has no character description so you can basically read this as a reader insert. I already have a decent amount of chapters written so will probably update weekly. Let me know what you think! Also slow burn as fuck, enemies to lovers, post acosf. PS Devlon has a backstory and is a redeemable character in this story.
For as long as I can remember, my sisters and their friends were the penultimate warriors and protectors of the Night Court. Cassian and Azriel were the strongest Illyrians in the history of Prythian. Morrigan was easily one of the strongest High Fae in existence and could kick everyone’s ass. Rhys was the strongest High Lord and my sister Feyre possessed a plethora of magic from her making. Their son Nyx would undoubtedly be one of the most powerful high fae in existence. And Amren was well Amren.
My sisters, Nesta and Elain, had untold powers from the Cauldron that made them incredibly powerful. Not to mention Nesta led a group of Valykries and had participated in the Blood Rite. I always looked up to my sisters, but sometimes I felt like a failure compared to them. I had never presented any special abilities after being made but I tried to make my name as a warrior in the Night Court.
My feelings of incompetence were what led me to this moment. Mor had winnowed Cassian and I into the war-camp just minutes ago, casting me a momentary glance before winnowing back to Velaris. Mor was on baby duty today, something I really didn’t envy.
Cassian turned to me. “Now are you sure this is what you want? Because it won’t be easy and not because I doubt your abilities, you know I think highly of your skills, but because these Illyrians aren’t particularly easy to work with.”
I stared out at the war-camp surveying the people who passed by.
“I know,” I paused turning towards Cassian, “but I’m positive. I’ve trained with you and even spent time with Nesta and her Valkyries, but I want something different. I want to be pushed as far as I can go and past that. Not to mention Rhys thinks this is a great chance to build better relations with the Illyrians.”
Cassian rolled his eyes. “Rhys has a point but this could easily have the reverse effect than what we are hoping for.”
“You never know Cassian, even you said Lord Devlon was allowing more females to join in training,” I said.
“Yeah because Rhys threatened to cut off his balls if he didn’t start making an effort with the females in the camp,” said Cassian.
I nudged my shoulder into Cassian’s side. “Don’t worry Cas I’m gonna be fine. I can handle a few testy Illyrians, for fucks sake I was forced into the Cauldron and then lived through Hybern, this is nothing in comparison to that shit.”
“Well if you’re sure we should probably go see Devlon,” Cassian said.
I’d been to Windhaven before, but knowing I would be here for an extended period of time, alone, made it look different to me. There were houses spread out surrounding the main training areas. Lower-class Illyrians lived in smaller wooden houses further away, the stone cottages were reserved for high ranking warriors and their families. A few tents were sporadically placed on the outskirts of camp.
Emerie’s shop and others were furthest from the training areas, placed behind the houses but close enough for easy accessibility. A large mess hall lay between the houses and shops. Lord Devlon’s house was situated closest to the training areas and was significantly bigger than even the stone cottages that dotted the camp. It was only slightly smaller than the cabin Rhys, Cas, and Az had grown up in. The front door was massive and probably as thick as a tree trunk, made out of trees from near Ramiel, Cassian whispered to me as we approached.
Before Cassian knocked on the door he turned to me and said, “now please let me do the talking.”
Cassian knew I had a bone to pick with Lord Devlon because of how he treated my sisters, particular his treatment of Nesta last year. Huffing I nodded my head and turned towards the immense door. Cassian knocked. Booming footsteps approached the door moments later.
The door opened to reveal a behemoth of a man. Despite coming to Windhaven multiple times, I had never actually met the war-lord who commanded the Illyrian legions. I briefly glimpsed him in the skies against Hybern but never up close. Lord Devlon wasn’t as broad as Cassian but he was taller, easily six and a half feet tall. His hair was surprisingly short, cut close to his scalp and a close-shaven beard covered the bottom half of his face. His eyes were a piercing hazel but they held no light as he looked upon Cassian. A sneer crossed his lips as his gaze landed on me.
The sneer wiped any handsomeness off his face and I sent him back a smug look as Cassian began talking.
“Cassian, I see you’ve brought the female,” He looked me up and down, clearly not impressed. “So this is the youngest Archeron,” he said with contempt.
“Mira is to be treated with respect Devlon,” Cassian spat. “She comes here as a representative of the Night Court. You mess with her you mess with the High Lord and Lady.
Lord Devlon simply glared at Cassian, stepping outside his house and gesturing for us to follow. If he was annoyed at being watched and reported on, he didn’t voice it.
“Before we do anything else, Mira’s skills need to be assessed,” said Devlon. I’d come here, primarily to train with the Illyrians full time. Lord Devlon agreed to let me train but specified that I had to go through a variety of trials before being accepted into training.
Cassian and Lord Devlon continued bickering about god knows what. I was distracted by what was happening within one of the training ring. There were three big training rings and each was occupied.
The training ring to the right had caught my attention because Emerie was leading a group of young Illyrian females in training exercises. Nesta informed me that after Emerie and Gwyn won the blood rite the Illyrians had begrudgingly agreed to recognize them as Oristian. Lord Devlon must have decided that Emerie’s talents could be better served teaching Illyrian females. I wondered if the decision came because he recognized Emerie’s skills as a fighter or simply so none of his male warriors were wasted training the females.
I shot Emerie a smile and a wave as we passed her ring. During my time training with the Valkyries, I had become quite close with Gwyn and Emerie, as well as the other priestesses who joined. I was happy Nesta had found her own group of friends after spending so much time alone.
Lord Devlon, Cassian, and I entered the middle training ring. There were roughly twenty male Illyrian warriors scattered throughout the ring, training in unarmed combat. Off to one side of the ring sat a table laden with various weapons. I noticed the famed Illyrian Bow on the table. There were three targets, each at a further distance, opposite from the table. I stopped beside Cassian and turned to face Lord Devlon.
“So, despite knowing I trained with Cassian, Azriel and my sister, you expect me to prove myself despite the fact that Rhys has insisted I be allowed to train with the Illyrians,” I stated, an unimpressed look plastered on my face. Was I being an irrational ass, yes. But I had heard all about how much of an asshole Lord Devlon could be so I couldn’t help it.
Devlon shot me a glare. “Unfortunately for you, Mira,” Lord Devlon drew out my name mockingly, “this is how we do things in an Illyrian war-camp. And if you want to train with my warriors then you have to follow my rules. You question my leadership in front of my warriors again and I don’t care what Rhys says you won’t train with us.”
Cassian let out a snarl, “Don’t push it Devlon.”
“I won’t push it if she stays in line,” Lord Devlon shot back.
I was about to bite back but Cassian shot me a look that said shut up before you make this worse. I huffed and settled on glaring at Lord Devlon.
“Now, I need to see your capabilities in each area of combat, including armed and unarmed, with an assortment of weapons. We are going to start with unarmed combat and then progress through a variety of weapons. If I believe you do well enough you can begin training soon,” Lord Devlon motioned toward the center of the ring, “Vex!”
An Illyrian warrior broke off from the others training and came jogging over. He was smaller than both Lord Devlon and Cassian, but still bigger than me by a mile. His muscles rippled as he jogged and I silently prayed that I made it through this alive. I was a good fighter but I was still hesitant to take on a fully grown, trained Illyrian in unarmed combat. Focus, I told myself, I could do this.
“Vex here is one of my best warriors. You are going spar with him, if you think you can handle it,” Lord Devlon smirked.
I saw Cassian about to respond for me. I placed my hand on his arm, I could handle this bullshit myself.
“If you think this beefcake is really going to be a challenge, then I’m game,” I said.
Vex and I got into fighting stances and waited for Lord Devlon to let us begin. Lord Devlon nodded at us and the fight began. Where Vex had muscles I had speed, and I planned on using it to my advantage. We circled each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. Finally, Vex threw out a right hook. I ducked under his arm, throwing out my hands and grabbing his right arm as I twisted around it. Pining his arm back, I went to take his knees out but Vex was faster than I expected. He twisted and sent me flat on my ass.
So he was fast, whatever so was Azriel. I quickly got back up and resumed my fighting stance. Steadying my breathing, I reminded myself that I had been trained for this. Cassian and Nesta had both taught me use a warriors strength against them. I analyzed Vex. He favored his right side and was heavy on his feet.
My lip twitched up as I finished determining my next steps. I sprinted towards Vex, which according to his face, surprised him. At the last second I threw my legs forward and slid between Vex’s legs. As I popped back up behind him, I landed a kick to his back sending him sprawling into the mud of the ring. Vex staggered to his feet, letting out a growl as he turned to face me. I let Vex come at me again. As he lunged for my left side, I feinted back, quickly recovered and swept his right leg out from under him. His knee connected with the ground. I swung my leg around his neck as I threw myself to the ground his neck held between my legs in a headlock.
“Yield,” I yelled at Vex as I constricted my legs tighter around his neck.
Vex’s face was turning red as he struggled to break the hold my legs had on him. I placed my hands on my legs to ensure an even tighter grip on his neck. Finally, his face going purple, Vex tapped my leg, yielding.
I dropped my legs from his neck. Vex gasped for breath and slowly slid away from me. I looked over towards the two Illyrian leaders. Cassian was, of course, smiling widely at me, but Lord Devlon’s face held nothing but contempt and disgust. He threw a blistering look over my shoulder at Vex. I gulped hoping that Vex wouldn’t be punished for his poor showing in the ring. I’d heard what Illyrian punishments could be and hoped to never have to suffer through one.
Vex stalked back to the other Illyrian warriors in the ring who had stopped to see the fight. Eventually, the warriors went back to training. I beamed at Cassian and Lord Devlon.
“So what’s next,” I said.
I went through all the weapons as Lord Devlon looked on. I was capable with swords and spears, but I was particularly gifted with daggers. I could nail a target further than most people could with a bow. I thought I glimpsed an impressed look on Lord Devlon’s face at one point but it quickly vanished. Finally, I had finished going through every weapon on the table except for the Illyrian bow.
Prior to arriving at Windhaven, I made a point to get strong enough to pull the bowstring back on an Illyrian bow. Cassian was amazed when I finally did it, but Nesta simply smiled at me, never doubting me for a second. Lord Devlon made no move to give me the bow, so I approached it myself.
Lord Devlon scoffed, “You can’t use that, half my warriors don’t even have the strength to use that bow.”
“Watch me,” I said.
I grabbed the bow and threw the quiver over my shoulder. I slowed my breathing, using the Valkyrie’s techniques to prepare myself. As I felt myself center, I took a deep breath drawing the bow up. I let a breath out, breathed in and slowly pulled the string back to the anchor point on my cheek. As I breathed out again, I released the arrow, feeling the twang as the string left my fingers. I wasn’t as good a shot as Feyre, which was apparent from where my arrow landed far from center. Still, I had proved my point, I wasn’t to be underestimated.
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Captured By The Game p.6
AN: It’s been quite literally ages but let’s not get into it :) To everyone who has commented, liked and supported this fic, even in the face of all the waiting - thank you, you are the best <3
Word count: 2 764
Fic rating: Explicit
Chapter rating: Mature
Links to previous parts in the reblog
The chill of April air settles on his skin as Cassian leans against his truck. Swirls of wind push his unbound hair into his face, something that would normally annoy him to no end, weren’t it for the fact that it’s because Nesta borrowed his leather band this morning as she was rushing out of his apartment.
After spending the night.
Satisfaction warms him from the inside just like the shy sun rays of early spring warm up the cool surface of his car. Deep down, Cassian knows that it’s dangerous to let himself hope, to seek meaning in Nesta’s actions where there might be none.
I don’t have friends, Cassian. I have clients, she said to him not so long ago. And he understood, just as he understands her constant need to bring up the fact that the only reason she’s spending time with him is because he’s paying for her precious time. It’s her way of distancing herself from him, from whatever it is that sends sparks along his skin whenever he touches her. From whatever it is that makes him think about her - often - daily - constantly. He wants to know her secrets, wants to know what’s happened in her life to put that steel glint in her eyes and jaded words in her mouth. More than that, Cassian knows he needs her to be the one to confide in him, to tell him herself.
What a greedy fool he’s grown to be.
A greedy fool, and greedier still, because he’s just got his fix and he’s already here, waiting for her, craving more.
A commotion on the front steps of the Georgetown Law building draws Cassian’s attention and his eyes immediately find Nesta, slowly descending the steps, her graceful, measured movements setting her apart from the chaotic swarm of students spilling out of the main hall. She’s wearing fitted dress pants with a shirt tucked into her waistband, so casually formal and put together that Cassian momentarily amuses himself imagining her face if he were to undo a button or two. The leather band she has borrowed from him this morning holds her glorious hair in a neat ponytail and his fingers burn with the need to undo that too, and watch her golden locks cascade down her back.
Later, he tells himself, flexing his hand.
Nesta’s gaze meets his, and Cassian catches an almost indiscernible gleam of surprise crossing the blueish grey of her eyes before she fixes her expression into the mask of cool professionalism.
It’s a mask that he has grown to hate.
“What are you doing here?” she asks as she approaches him, her no-bullshit attitude ever present.
He cocks his head to the side, a smirk that he very well knows will not fail to irritate her stretching his lips. “Why, hello Nes. It’s good to see you too. How was the exam?”
Nesta’s lips pinch, frustration coming off her in waves. “Why. Why are you here?” she lets out, each word accentuated. “We had no appointment for today.”
Appointment. The word feels like a punch straight to his stomach and Cassian has to put in an actual effort not to kneel over. Not to show the hurt that he has no right to feel.
Business transaction. I have clients, not friends. Appointment.
He doesn’t know what it is that propels him to keep seeing her, keep trying to peel off the armour she has - justifiably - wrapped herself in. Weren’t his commitment issues the reason he decided to call her agency and book a meeting in the first place?
No. Not only. Even then, after that first meeting, he knew there was something about her, something that called out to him, that makes him keep reaching out his hand now.
Well aware that a sole fact that he feels something more doesn’t mean she shares the sentiment, he’s been holding back the words. Nesta doesn’t owe him anything. But that doesn’t mean Cassian will go down without a proper fight. He’s known her long enough now to learn that she doesn’t mince words and doesn’t allow to be pushed into doing anything she does not want to do. So he keeps tearing down her defences, one small victory after another.
Contrary to what his brothers say, he can be patient - if he wants to.
“Come now, is that how you greet your professor?” he teases her, slinking back into the role from last night. The stare that earns him from Nesta is not an amused one. “Look, I have a thing this afternoon and I thought it I’d invite you along. So you could relax after all that studying,” he explains, winking at her.
Nesta lifts a brow in response. “Do you mean the ‘thing’ in your pants? Because I’ve been there, it’s not that relaxing.”
“Not what I meant this time, no.” A laugh escapes his mouth. “But I believe it will help you unwind.” He doesn’t miss the sceptic look that Nesta casts his way and flashes her a smile in return. “Come and play with me, Nesta, you won’t regret it. Promise.”
Nesta holds his gaze, eyes narrowed, as if she’s able to see through him and his plan. Biting her lip, she strides forward until her body is almost flush against his, her posture unrelenting. It’s as if she’s afraid to give in even an inch in this battle of wills. He knows how much it means each time she decides to give him a little bit more of her time, one of her genuine smiles or a tender caress. He cherishes every single surrender.
Finally, after what seems like hours, tension ebbs away from her body, and Nesta takes a step back, flashing him a coy smile. It’s yet another mask, he’s aware of that, but the way she tucks a loose strand of hair behind her ear tells him she’s nervous under that facade. “Fine,” she scoffs, reaching out for the handle and opening the door to his truck with a little bit more force than necessary. Making herself comfortable in the passenger seat, she sets her bag primly on her lap and glares at him the moment he takes a seat next to her. “I regret it already, just so you know.”
Cassian’s grin has never been wider. “I wouldn’t expect anything else.”
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
“So...what’s the thing, then?” Nesta’s question comes as soon as they take off. Cassian steals a quick glance her way, sigh escaping his lips at the stubborn slant of her mouth. “You really cannot stand to be surprised, can you?” he shoots back, fingers tapping the steering wheel as he focuses on traffic ahead of them.
“I don’t particularly care for it, no. It’s just stress and hassle with little pay-off.”
“Well, if you put it that way.”
Eyes still on the road, he reaches for a shopping bag in the back and tosses it onto Nesta’s lap. “Here.” Rustling of wrapping paper fills his truck as Nesta unpacks the training clothes he got her. “We’re going to the community centre in Fairlawn.” He can feel the weight of her incredulous stare on his face. “What? I’d hate to keep you in suspense longer than necessary, Nes.”
“Don’t call me that,” she whispers, but there’s no bite in her voice this time. Clearing her throat, she adds with more force, “Why there and whatever for?”
“See, this is what I like about you, Nes. Always straight to the point,” he says teasingly, but the only reaction he gets is Nesta’s glare, both impatient and unimpressed. “It’s my old neighbourhood. I teach self-defence classes there. Some basics of martial arts for younger kids too. I don’t always have the time, but I try to coordinate with Az so that one of us is there at least once a week.”
His gaze flicks towards Nesta for a moment and catches her staring at him, her expression unreadable. “What?”
She just shakes her head, corners of her mouth pulled tight, as if she’s fighting a smile. “Nothing. You did tell me about growing up in a foster home. I guess I just still assumed that…,” she trails off, and Cassian thinks it must be the first time he sees Nesta somewhat embarrassed.
“Assumed that I was the rich kid nonetheless? Born with the silver spoon in my mouth? No Nesta sweetheart, I actually had to work my ass off to afford the silverware.”
“I -,” she hesitates, her nails digging into the palm of her hand, “I’m sorry. It was foolish of me to assume anything about you.”
Cassian cannot help the smirk stretching his mouth. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say ‘sorry’ before. Did it hurt? I’m talking about actual physical pain.”
The look Nesta sends him is so vicious that Cassian knows if looks could actually kill, he’d expire on the spot. It’s delightful and he loves it.
“You will be the one in actual physical pain if you don’t stop gloating.”
“Aha. Are you sure you want to keep throwing threats my way? Wouldn’t want you to overexert yourself with all the apologies.”
“You’re insufferable, I hope you know that.”
“Oh, I do. If by ‘insufferable’ you mean ‘handsome and lovable’, that is.”
“Delusions are strong with you today, I see.” Nesta’s tone is haughty, her nose scrunched in mock disapproval.
Cassian chuckles at that, and from the corner of his eye he can see that Nesta’s gaze is full of mirth too. A smile, so delicate that it’s almost invisible, dances across her lips, and his breath catches in his throat at the sight. In this moment it occurs to him that he’s been seeing this woman for almost four months now and only saw her smile a handful of times.
Then and there, he adds another point to his mental to-do-list: Make Nesta smile more. Make her smile all the time.
They spend some time in comfortable silence, for once at peace with each other and with no more barbs to throw. Cassian keeps his eyes on the road, but his thoughts keep straying to the woman sitting beside him. It seems inevitable at this point, that he always ends up thinking of her, at any given point during the day. And he definitely cannot not think of her when she’s so close to him. Even though, judging by the absent expression on her face, Nesta is somewhere far away from him right now.
“I was, you know.” Her voice cuts through the silence all of a sudden.
“You were what?” he asks, confused.
“Born with a silver spoon in my mouth.” Nesta squirms in her seat, as if she shocked herself with that confession. Cassian can feel her fixed stare on him, wary, thoughtful. He wills his body to relax, smooths his features into a mask of polite interest, perfectly aware that if he overreacts or makes a joke right now, he will spook her and Nesta will retreat behind her armour once again.
His tactic must be working, as she seemingly reverts her attention to the window on her right and whatever they are passing by, while she goes on, “We lived in Barnaby Woods until I was 15. Private school, ballet lessons, winter holidays in Aspen and vacation in Cabo. I never lacked for anything.”
Most probably detecting the faint hint of doubt in his tone, she responds with a bitter smile. “Not anything material, at least. But...I think we were happy, at times. At least it felt like it. Then my father took one gamble too many, and we lost almost everything. We had to move elsewhere, my sisters and him. Had to drop the fancy ballet lessons. Pondering happiness seemed pointless after that. Life became surviving.”
“What about your mother?”
Nesta visibly tenses at that, her nails digging into the skin of her hands again. Cassian starts to think that he’s pushed her too far somehow, ventured somewhere that he’s not welcome with this question.
“She died. Few years prior to that.” Comes Nesta’s curt reply, a note of finality conveyed in her tone. She’s done speaking about this.
Cassian cannot quite explain it but he knows that there are no words that he can offer her now that she’d deem acceptable, no words to console her with. So he just reaches out and clasps her hand in his, unclutching her fingers and soothing the red half-moon marks that she pressed into her skin with the pad of his thumb. A small gasp might’ve escaped her throat but it’s so soft that Cassian is not quite sure. What he knows though, what he can feel against his skin, is that while rigid at first, Nesta is slowly relaxing the muscles in her hand, interlacing her fingers through his, one by one.
Nesta doesn’t say anything else for the rest of their ride, but Cassian takes it upon himself to keep up the conversation. He tells Nesta how the idea of volunteering at the centre came about, how Rhys’ mother enrolled them all in classed at the centre in an attempt to keep them from trouble (moderately successful), what it meant to him to be a part of something like that and what it means to him now.
He talks until they arrive at the centre, and although Nesta doesn’t react or ask any questions, he knows she’s paying him her full attention, if only from the way she squeezes his hand harder whenever he tells her something particularly personal, something that makes him vulnerable.
It’s a lot more than she’s confessed to him, but Cassian is done looking at their relationship as strict quid pro quo. All the facts she’s chosen to share with him, both important and small, are precious to him, given how reluctant she is to share anything. Nesta chose to trust him a little more today, and Cassian sees it for the gift it is.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
This training session is not going according to plan.
Cassian aims again, but Nesta blocks his punch with a swift accuracy that doesn’t seem accidental anymore.
“You’re good at this,” he states, failing to keep disbelief from his voice.
That earns him a jab. “I know a couple of moves,” she shrugs, then swings another punch at him. “Company policy, occupational hazard, all that shit.”
Her words make him pause. “I thought that it was the best agency in DC. That it’s safe,” he lets out, then curses inwardly at his own naivety.
Nesta just shakes her head, shifts her feet and attempts another hit, which he miraculously manages to deflect, given how distracted he is at the moment. “Safe? There’s no ‘safe’, Cassian, not 100% of the time.”
“Then why -, “ he starts to ask before he thinks better of it.
“Why do I keep doing this?” she finishes his unspoken question, all warmth from their conversation in the car gone. “Because it pays good money. Because it takes up way less time than a shitty coffee shop job and I need that time to study. Because I might hate exercising but taking a couple of self defence courses is a small price to pay for the paycheck I get. I’m not ashamed of these reasons.” The words come strangled as she moves on her feet and parries his jabs. “I chose this, Cassian. You don’t know anything about my life and what I want. And you don’t get to play a knight in shining armour.”
“I -,” Cassian stammers, at the loss of words. He can’t remember the last time he felt so rightly put in his place. Seems like Nesta is not the only one who needs to strain their apology muscles today. “I’m sorry -, ” he says earnestly, “it wasn’t my intention to make you feel like I was judging your choices. I have no right to do that.”
That earns him a barely-there nod of acknowledgement, followed by yet another punch. It feels like the air between them has turned so heavy that it’s suffocating, and Cassian would do anything to bring back the easiness and casual closeness from before. So naturally, he says the first thing that springs to his mind.
“So, you hate exercising, huh? How do you stay in such a great shape then?”
A look that Nesta gives him in return is full of pity. Her lifted brow and suggestive smirk tell him all he needs to know.
He should’ve just kept his mouth shut.
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All I ask (Gwynriel FanFiction)
AO3 link - https://archiveofourown.org/works/30599777
Summary: Gwyn and Azriel wait till the last chance to admit how they feel about each other. The night before the war neither of them can sleep so Gwyn decides to do something about it.
Here they were again. War was upon them and Azriel was tired. It was stupid he’d thought the war with Hybern had been the end of it. In all fairness it wasn’t as vast as the war with Hybern. But there was more at stake. At least for him.
He lay awake in his tent. Alone. He wasn’t sure where Nesta and Cassian had gone, presumably stealing a few more moments to themselves before morning came but Azriel didn’t mind the small window of quiet. The bed nowhere near big enough to stretch his wings so he’d wrapped them around himself. Letting his shadows circle him.
He’d spent the evening with his family, and they’d enjoyed each other’s company as if they might not be facing their death the next day. As if they hadn’t already lost so many of their Illyrian and Valkyrie legions.
The heart break had been too much for Nesta who had spent the night just holding her mate’s hand and trying not to cry. It broke Azriel’s heart to see his friend, his sister, look that way. He couldn’t even bring himself to look at Gwyn. His shadows begging him to look up. But he knew that if he had to see that look in her eyes, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from trying to comfort her.
Now he lay away in his tent wishing that he had. Wished he’d just damned it all to hell and gone to her. He’d spoken to all his family, said their ‘not-goodbyes’ but he hadn’t gone to Gwyn. He didn’t want to face that reality. That he might live in a world without her or that his life might end before he had the chance to tell her how he felt.
They’d known each other for a while now but he’d considered her a good friend for nearly the past two years, and he hadn’t wanted to admit how much she had meant to him. Every interaction between them felt like lightening and he treasured her company more than anything. Their time spent in the library together or their secret training under starlight.
And now he was stupidly lying awake in his tent yearning for her. But he couldn’t move. He just couldn’t move.
But he found that he didn’t have to.
Not as the flap to his tent opened, the wards somehow not stopping the visitor.
He sat upright as the light of the moon shone upon her bright ginger hair.
She couldn’t stay there much longer. She was in a tent that was being shared by a few other Valkyries and she was tossing and turning.
They’d lost so many of their warriors. So many of her friends. Females she’d helped trained. She knew it was inevitable to lose them. That in the past years of a slowly growing Valkyrie legion that they would face battles and wars where they wouldn’t all make it.
It didn’t stop the ache in her heart. Nor did the thought of Azriel’s hollow expression during dinner. He’d looked positively distraught and hadn’t made eye contact with anyone, least of all her. She’d felt one of his smaller shadows curl around the ribbon that she wore around her wrist. Her Valkyrie ribbon, the one that lie next to her braided bracelet. She knew that Azriel himself hadn’t sent the shadow, just that one had snuck away, to check on her as they often did.
Gwyn had done a glorious job of ignoring that tug she’d felt in her soul for the last few years. Not ready to take those steps but wanting to revel in his friendship. She never wanted to push him, never wanted him to feel like he owed her a single thing.
But a small part of Gwyn was currently aching in regret of what could have been. The love she might have had if she wasn’t scared and just told him how she felt. If she’d just kissed him that one night at Starfall where he’d been so close, she could feel his breath. If she’d hummed along with him as he set up the ring for training. So many ‘ifs’. It was too much.
So, Gwyn decided to damn it all to hell. She rose from her cot with lethal quiet and made her way to his tent. On the way she swore she could’ve glanced Nesta and Cassian, sat on a hillside together in the distance. Her sister was breaking, and Gwyn feared that Nesta was retreating to that dark place once more; But she could see the outline of wings curl around her and Gwyn knew Nesta was safe with her mate, for tonight.
Gwyn walked the rest of the short distance to Azriel’s tent. She realised that it would only have him in it now because Nesta and Cassian were busy. She hadn’t even thought about the possibility of stumbling into his tent to be faced with the mated couple.
She didn’t knock or make herself known. Too scared that the words might die in her throat and she’d never muster the courage to continue. She just needed to see him. Then she could get some sleep.
Gwyn pulled back the flap and stepped into the tent, to be greeted with the view of him sat up in his bed.
“Gwyn?” he said so softly,
“Hi, you.” She said back, suddenly aware of how cold it was. Gods, she’d walked here in her night dress.
“You’re shivering,” he acknowledged, “I have a jumper you can wear.” Azriel stood and started to rifle through his trunk as Gwyn walked towards him. He stood to his full height and gave her a soft, dark blue sweater that she didn’t hesitate to pull over her head. It smelt like him.
“Cassian and Nesta are on the hill.” She said as she took a seat on his bed. She wasn’t quite sure what she was doing. She’d spent all her brain energy just trying to get here that she hadn’t actually thought about what she’d do once she was here.
“I suspected,” Azriel returned, sitting beside her, “It must be so difficult for them.”
“I- I can’t think about that.”
“No, I just mean,” She couldn’t find the words, “I don’t want to think about goodbyes.”
“You won’t have to,” he tried to reaffirm her, but he didn’t even seem to convince himself, “Why did you come here, Gwyn?”
“Would you call me crazy, if I said I just wanted to see you?”
“Only if you don’t call me crazy for not being able to sleep because I was thinking about you.”
She could only look at him then. There were too many unsaid words between them. Too many things she wanted to confess. So many things he wanted to scream from rooftops. It was all wrong though. Their timing was awful. A single tear escaped her,
“I think about you a lot, too.”
He reached up and brushed the tear away from her face, but he didn’t pull that hand away. She was comforted by it and nuzzled in further.
“Gwyn.” He said it like it was the only word he could remember,
“Can I stay here tonight?”
“Of course, I can set up a space on the floor for me and you can take the bed…”
“No.” She said gently, “I mean can I stay with you.”
“Azriel,” She let out a long breath, “If this is my last night, I want to spend it with you.”
“Tell me what you need.” He moved his hands to hold hers now, she knew from the look in his eyes that he’d do anything.
“I need you to just hold me.”
“I can do that.” he breathed.
Azriel moved first, laying back on his bed and manoeuvring his wings in order to make it comfortable for her. She had just shuffled before turning to lay down. Her hand brushing over his chest, her head cradled in his side. Fitting together perfectly. His wing came around to cocoon them, giving her just that bit of extra warmth, that also made them feel like they were the only two people in the world.
The soft fae lights were flickering out but Gwyn held up her invoking stone casting a beautiful blue glow over his face. His eyes shining with something she couldn’t name.
“Your bed is comfier than mine.” she mumbled, which caused him to huff a little,
“It’s far better with you in it.” He said, and to emphasise his point he wrapped his arms around her a little tighter, pulling her closer to him. The hand that was trailing over her waist almost made her shiver with delight. It felt so natural to be with him like this. She’d been worried she might have panicked and run away but she’d never been as calm as when she felt his heartbeat beneath her hands.
“I’ve imagined this before,” he said, his voice deep, “It always felt like such a distant dream; To be able to hold you.” he brushed a strand of hair out her face, “I like you, a lot, Gwyn.”
“I like you a lot too, Shadowsinger.”
And with their admission they both felt that pull deep inside them. One that Gwyn had felt many times, what she felt every time he’d smiled at her or their hands had brushed, but from the look on Azriel’s face this was a wholly new sensation. He hadn’t known.
Gwyn cut him off. In an instant her lips were on his. She’d never kissed anyone before. She’d never been kissed by anyone before. So, she didn’t quite know what she was doing, just that she wanted him more than she could verbally convey. Luckily, Azriel did know what he was doing, as he slowly opened his mouth inviting her in further.
In order to find his lips and kiss him deeper she had shifted half on top of him, the position wholly new and one she wasn’t really sure how she’d gotten herself into, but Azriel’s hands were around her in an instant.
It was sparks and fireworks but also waves of the ocean gently crashing on the shore. The bond pulsing and shining between them. Azriel’s shadows dancing around the talons of his wings. She could live in this moment forever. She almost did until Azriel let out a short low moan that brought her back to reality. War tent. They were in surrounded by their legions, their friends and family, their High Lord and Lady.
She pulled away slowly but never lost contact with those eyes.
“Wow,” she was breathless,
“I didn’t know…” he started,
“It’s okay.” she shushed him,
“I wish it didn’t take fighting a literal war for me to have the guts to tell you how I felt.”
“Even if this is our last night…”
“Don’t say it.” At his words, she let out a shuddering gasp,
“If this is our last night,” she placed a hand on her cheek, “I will be grateful for the short time we had.”
A tear slid down Azriel’s cheek,
“I will be thankful that I got to know you,” a kiss to his neck, “That I got to train with you,” another to his jaw, “That I got to be your friend,” to his cheek, “That I could tell you… that I love you.” A final kiss to his lips, but she hovered for a second.
“I love you, too,” He said onto her lips, “What happens now?” he asked.
The question caught her off guard and she contemplated it for a moment before looking into his eyes once more, “We get some sleep. We win this battle. And then you come home to me.”
“Come home to me.” he echoed,
“Everything else can wait.”
“Come home to me.” he said again. He wanted nothing more than to always come home to her.
With that Gwyn shuffled back into her position on the bed, Cuddling into him once more. He held her just as she wanted him to. With her ear over his heart beat she let the gentle thump sing her to sleep. And when she finally drifted off, warm and safe in his arms did she hear his heartbeat slow as sleep also took him.
Morning came all too quickly. Sunlight streamed under the flaps of the tent and she dreaded what lay ahead. Only briefly comforted by the weight of the arm above her. She heard some shuffling behind her, people dressing and readying for the day. A gentle hand rocked her, and Gwyn realised that the wing that had been wrapped around her shoulder had fallen limp in the night leaving her arm exposed.
The hand softly brushed the muscle of her upper arm and before she could turn, she heard “Time to wake up, sleepy heads.” It was Nesta. Her sister. So, Gwyn shuffled and turned in Azriel’s arm so she could face her. Her sister only gave her a knowing smile.
“Finally,” Cassian muttered coming up behind Nesta and placing a kiss on the back of her neck.
Azriel stirred behind Gwyn and didn’t shy away at the small audience that gathered around him.
“We’ll see you outside.” Nesta said, before dragging her mate along,
“5 minutes!” Cassian yelled as he was dragged from the tent.
Alone again, Gwyn shifted and placed a small kiss on his lips before sitting up. Her clothes were in her tent. She needed to get there to change. Walk through the campsite in her nightdress and Azriel’s jumper.
He grabbed her hand before she could stand fully. After this they’d likely not see each other until it was over. It would end today, one way or another.
She really didn’t want to say goodbye. Neither did he.
“Come home to me.” He said, lifting his hand to his lips to kiss it once more.
“Come home to me.” She said and placed a kiss on his forehead.
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Nesta leaves the Night Court, taking an absurd amount of magical artifacts with her. As it turns out, the Night Court just can't keep their lies a secret.
Go read this right now. Do it.
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