a/n: i think the most important thing that i need to say rn is that this will be the last chapter of fafs for a lil bit. this isn’t the last chapter by any means, i’m just taking a little hiatus from it to work on thoroughly outlining the next half of the fic. i think it’s a good place to take pause, and it’ll also give me a little more freedom to work on some other things that i really wanna get out but feel too much pressure to keep updating this on a weekly basis. so my writing/blog isn’t on a hiatus, just this fic, and only until i get the second half plotted out the way i want to.
secondly: big thank you to @starseternalnighttriumphant because she really helped me outline the last bit of this chapter and it really wouldn’t have happened without her because i tried and failed to write the spicy shit like three times and she really swooped in like the mvp that she is and gave me a skeleton to work with. thank u, i love u. also big shoutout to @punkassbookjockey26 who has accidentally pretty much become my beta reader and every single chapter is elevated to the next level because of her suggestions and the tlc that she gives me and my writing. my friends are dope. thank you. and thank you for reading!! my blog is my happy place and you guys motivate me and make me feel like i’m not a garbage writer. so thank you.
masterlist // fafs masterlist // // rowaelin // roughly 5.3k words //follow @highqueenofelfhamewrites and turn on post notifs for better updates. i might do away with tags soon. i also tag every chapter with fafs so if you want to follow that tag as well, would be good maybe.
The first thing Rowan noticed when he slowly came to was how dry his lips were. He tried to wet them with his tongue, but for some reason was having difficulties getting it to move. The next things he noticed were the dull throbbing in his temple, and an odd taste in his mouth that he couldn’t quite place. It felt like he was waking up with the hangover of the century, a hazy fog clouding his memory of how any of this came to be. It was only when he tried to bring his hand to his face to rub at the ache in his head when he realized something was wrong.
Things started to click into place then. He was definitely tied to a chair, the restraints chafing his skin when he tried to wiggle his hands away from each other. Judging by the way his eyes kept rolling back in his head while he tried to get them open, he likely had been drugged with some sort of sedative. It took him longer than he cared to admit to pry his eyes open, his blurry vision trying to fix on anything in the room but it was so godsdamn dark.
An eerie glow was all that lit the room, and as his eyes sluggishly moved from shadow to shadow, he realized that someone else was in the room with him. Jagged breathing and muffled words filled the space, and Rowan could only focus on a few things at a time. A glint of metal. A blonde braid swaying as a body moved like lighting through the dark. The sickening crunch of bone and the sloshing of liquid as it splattered on the floor.
A few scattered curses reached his ears and despite everything, the sound of that voice filled him with so much warmth.
The sound of her voice.
Rowan peeled his tongue from the roof of his mouth and tried to shift where he sat as he said, “Aelin.”
She didn’t respond, his voice swallowed up by her breathing, by the dripping of water coming from behind him. His voice was barely a whisper, lost to the raspiness of disuse and the drugs they gave to himt. Rowan cleared his throat and she still didn’t look up.
“Aelin,” he tried again, voice stronger and more insistent. Her head lifted, braid slicing through the air as she whipped around to look at him. A sharp clatter sounded, the blade catching the light enough that he knew she’d dropped a dagger. When she stood he noticed something fall from her hand that thumped on the ground in a mockery of a heartbeat. It was a dull slap that he didn’t have time to make sense of because Aelin was in front of him, kneeling and appraising his face so quickly it made his head spin.
“Rowan.” His name was a soft sound, a sigh. She lifted her fingers to his face but dropped them, yanking her gloves from her hands and discarding them on the ground before touching his temple. In the dim light, he could see blood splattered over her face. Even her hands had dried blood that seemed to have dripped into her gloves and spread over her palms. Beads of sweat dotted her forehead. There was a wrinkle he wanted to smooth over with his thumb but he still couldn’t move. “What hurts?”
“Besides everything?” He tried to joke, and something dark flashed in her eyes while she pulled a dagger from a pocket along her thigh. Aelin went to work on the ropes, sliding the blade beneath them and jerking up in a swift motion that had them falling away. “Just my head mostly. I’m sore but… nothing major.”
Instead of speaking, she simply nodded and cut through the ropes binding his legs. Aelin paused as they hit the floor, tilting her head over her shoulder. Rowan hadn’t heard anything, not until rustic creaking filled the room.
“We have company,” she said, rising to her feet. Rowan still felt like a dead weight but tried to stand beside her, swaying slightly while she braced her feet like she was ready to fight. A large body rounded the corner, gun raised and pointed directly at her chest.
“Gods above,” Fenrys sighed, lowering the weapon. Several of Rowan’s other colleagues— Lorcan, Vaughan, Connall, and even Gavriel— rounded the stacked crates. Nobody else lowered their weapons. They all stayed trained on Aelin, who dropped her knives and held her hands palm up.
“I’m going to disarm,” she informed them all, kneeling to start at her boots. It was almost comical how long it took for her to deposit all of her weapons on the floor. By the time she was standing straight again, Rowan was unsure how she’d even been walking with that much metal hidden all over her body.
Aelin looked at him over her shoulder, blue eyes damn-near glowing while she checked to make sure he was okay. There was a ferocity on her face that he’d never seen before. This was the woman that they called the Queen of Assassins. This was the woman that was said to have ended hundreds, maybe thousands of lives. The expression on her face was entirely unreadable as she looked back at the agents that pointed guns at her chest. There was no fear there.
It probably should have disturbed him that, with her hair stained with blood, with crimson freckles dusting her face and even her mouth, she was still the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
“Put down your guns,” Rowan rasped, dropping back down into the chair behind him. Aelin knelt before him again and her hands, her powerful and skilled hands, cupped his cheeks while she scanned his body for anything alarming. It took too many heartbeats for them to lower their guns, but they finally did as Aelin looked at his friends over her shoulder. One of her hands remained on Rowan’s knee.
“I told you to stay at the apartment.” Fenrys was looking Aelin in the eye while he spoke, the click of his gun being fastened into it’s holster punctuating the statement.
“You wouldn’t have found him if I had.”
“And how did you find him, Celaena?” Lorcan tilted his head in a way that might have been predatory if he was looking at anyone else.
“If you’re insinuating that I had anything to do with this, or that I would ever hurt Rowan, I will cut—”
“Lorcan,” Rowan cut in, using the small amount of energy he had to touch his fingertips to hers as she rose to her feet. Threatening him would hardly do her any favors. Rationally, she probably knew that. But he wasn’t entirely sure that the woman in front of him was capable of being rational at the moment.
“She was at Rowan’s apartment when he was taken. I’ve already told you that. Six times.” Fenrys’ voice was bored, flat like he was trying to keep his own emotions in check. Rowan’s eyes shifted to each of the men in his team, his cadre as Aelin liked to call them, and landed on one in particular. Gavriel’s eyes were fixed on her curiously, an expression on his face that he couldn’t quite read in the dim light. Rowan was sure that if the lighting had been any better, he would have noticed the striking similarities in his son’s face and Aelin’s own.
Luckily, it was dark as hell and she was covered in blood, and right now Rowan’s biggest priority was figuring out how much of that blood was hers.
It was late when they finally got home. Rowan had sat in the back of an ambulance and given every detail he could remember while receiving fluids. He had a minor concussion, a headache, and everyone wanted him to go to the hospital. Rowan had refused, giving his statement while his smaller wounds were doctored. Aelin had refused to even be looked at, saying she wasn’t injured and didn’t require any service. That the paramedics should focus on making sure that Rowan was okay. Instead of allowing herself to be examined, sat on the curb just outside the ambulance and gave Fenrys her own recounting of events. He hadn’t been able to hear any of it, but she’d seldom taken her eyes off of him the whole time, save toward the end of the story.
He knew why.
When they’d been leaving, Rowan had paused for a few seconds to look at Arobynn’s body. One of Aelin’s daggers was discarded beside him, drowning in a puddle of blood. There was a gaping hole in his chest, and Rowan had remembered her dropping something earlier.
It had been his heart.
Later— they would talk about all of it later. By the time they got into his apartment she was scratching at the collar of her suit and reaching for the zipper before the key had tumbled the lock. He followed her through his little home, tossing his ruined jacket over the back of the couch before starting on the buttons of his shirt.
Aelin had been quiet on the ride home, picking at the fabric of her suit while her eyes followed the streetlights. Fenrys hadn’t said much while he drove them, either, just made them both promise to let him know how they felt tomorrow.
The silence continued while they both undressed and headed for the bathroom. Rowan snorted back a laugh when Aelin laid three small throwing daggers on the sink as he turned on the water. Tomorrow, he would ask her where all the pockets were in that suit and how she managed to not impale herself while getting dressed or running.
For now, he stripped down to his boxers. Aelin wiggled out of her suit and left it in a heap on the floor by the door. Rowan stood behind her and undid her braid, pulling the strands matted with blood apart and mussing it at the roots. She pulled her bra over her head, underwear quick to follow.
Steam billowed out of the shower as she opened the door and stepped inside, her blood-stained body dyeing the water red. The water streaked her curves, leaving trails that Rowan wanted to follow with his fingers. So he removed his last bit of clothing and stepped in with her.
The water was so hot that it burned in the best way. It worked at his stiff muscles, washing the stress and chaos of the last twenty-four hours down the drain. Aelin stood still under the stream, eyes closed and head tilted back. Rowan took it upon himself to fill his hands with shampoo and began to lather the blood from the end of her hair.
With weary, bloodshot eyes she looked at him over her shoulder. An objection seemed to be lingering on the tip of her tongue and he silenced her with a kiss.
“Please let me do this,” Rowan whispered against her mouth, her jaw. “Please.”
Aelin didn’t respond verbally, like she was exhausted beyond the point of words. Instead, she turned back around and seemed to resign herself to the moment. Her hands clutched her elbows while his fingers worked into her hair, the soapy foam a pale pink by the time he tilted her head back under the water to rinse. For good measure he washed her golden locks a second time, not wanting any remnants of the day to linger once they stepped out of the shower.
When he started massaging conditioner into her roots, the moan of approval that tumbled off her lips would have been his undoing if he weren’t so utterly exhausted. If it had been a normal day, he would have lifted her against the wall and pushed into her until they were fused together entirely. But it wasn’t a normal day, and Aelin seemed thoroughly wiped out in every conceivable way. That he was able to give her even a slight moment of relaxation was more than enough, so he kept scratching at her scalp until it was time to rinse it clean.
Rowan helped her rinse until her own fingers took over to thoroughly work the product from her roots. He reached around her then, picking up a fresh wash cloth and loading it up with body wash that he worked into a bubbly lather. Before she could even attempt a protest, he began to rub it over her skin and scrub at the lingering stains the water hadn’t quite managed to get. Aelin was still, merely holding her head while he got her upper back and neck. When he got to her sides and lower stomach she shivered, goosebumps erecting over her skin. Rowan knelt before her, carefully lifting her foot to rest on the top of his knee while he cleaned her thighs, her calves, her toes. He didn’t stop cleaning her body until the rag was muddied, faintly pink and rinsed clean of soap. He didn’t stop until she seemed to relax under the hot spray.
And then she took a turn of her own, taking a new, clean cloth and washing Rowan’s body the same way he had washed hers. When finished, she dropped it over the handle and ran her hands over his body and brushed her thumb over the bruises he’d acquired today. Over the cut on his head that didn’t hurt beyond a headache anymore, before resting against his cheeks, cupping his face tenderly. But the tension didn’t seem to leave her body, her muscles tightly coiled over her bones like she was still ready to snap at an invisible threat.
“I’m okay,” he murmured to her, his hands going up to rest against hers, pulling one away to place a soft kiss against the palm that had been covered in so much blood earlier that day.
Aelin’s face crumpled, removing her hands as she ducked her forehead down to rest against his chin, her shoulders shaking with a silent sob. Taking a deep breath, he slid his hands over her skin until they were slipping gently up and down her back. Aelin’s own arms wrapped tightly around his middle and she stepped impossibly closer to him, tilting her face to press against his neck. Still, she shook as her tears fell and Rowan held her through every single one of them. He alternated between rubbing circles and lines, harder motions between her shoulder blades to rub out the tight tension she held there. They stood beneath the water with their chests pressed together, twin heartbeats pounding at a matched pace.
It took some time— so much time that Rowan wasn’t sure how long they’d been standing there, save for that the water wasn’t running quite as hot as it had been at the beginning. He held her until he felt her lips against his neck, against the sharp curve of his jaw and he moved to capture her lips with his in a soft, sweet kiss.
Rowan shut off the water when it got too cool for comfort and the little sigh she let out as she leaned into him for warmth made his heart squeeze. With ease, he reached outside the shower door and grabbed a towel that he wrapped around her shoulders. Aelin pressed her face into the plush, white fabric while he wrapped one of his own around his waist, and then he guided her into the open air.
Rowan used the towel he’d given her to squeeze excess water from her hair before gently wiping the water away from her skin. He took his time despite the exhaustion that was creeping toward his consciousness. Already he knew that they would both be sleeping like the dead.
Like all the men Aelin had cut down to get to him.
Rowan pushed the thought from his mind while he knelt and dried her legs. When finished he pressed a gentle kiss just below her navel before standing and pulling his towel from his waist. There was no time for him to begin drying himself because Aelin took the towel from him and returned the gentle favor, even mimicking the kiss by pressing one to his hip bone. Rowan smiled and ran his fingers through her damp hair, pulling her up to press a final kiss to her lips.
He was only a little surprised when she made no effort to dress. She simply crawled between his white sheets and pulled the sheet up to her shoulder, watching him as he rounded to his side and joined her. Bright blue eyes tracked every movement until he was still, her lip tucking between her teeth while she looked over his body.
“Come here,” he said, voice barely a whisper. And then she was wiggling across the space and twisting her limbs with his, nuzzling her face and cold hair against his body until she took a shuddering deep breath and pressed a final kiss to his jaw.
It took only seconds. Seconds, and then she was fast asleep, her breaths matching his own as he tumbled into a dark oblivion to join her.
Aelin was surprised that featherlight touches across her back were enough to rouse her from such a deep sleep. She always slept heavily— too heavily— after a job, but last night had been a different kind of hell. A hell she didn’t want to think too much about as she slowly blinked, frowning slightly at the buttery light that filtered through the window of Rowan’s bedroom.
Rowan was already awake, his eyes roving over her face as his fingers brushed over her shoulder and up her neck. She said nothing, watching him as he watched her. His fingers trailed up her jaw and into her hair, tangling with the messy golden strands as he pulled her closer. His legs pressed against hers and her still sleepy conscious became wide awake as she realized they had fallen asleep together naked.
She was acutely aware of her breasts pressed against his chest, cheeks heating deliciously as her thigh brushed against his semi-hard cock. She opened her mouth to at least utter a “good morning” but Rowan’s lips swallowed the words, his hands cupping her face delicately. She sunk into his kiss, her body relaxing against his. There was something about kissing Rowan that felt like lying in a meadow under the sun. Every part of her body felt warm the way you did after bathing in sunshine, her skin flushed where his fingers trailed over her curves, where his lips pressed to her cheek.
The mood shifted as he rolled on top of her, his weight resting against her in a way that reminded her that he was real, that they were real, and this… whatever this was between them was real. Aelin still felt hot all over, but when he kissed her like this she felt like she was lost in a storm at sea, all the emotions she tried to keep on a tight leash crashing in heavy waves that she wanted to drown in.
She brought her knees up to rest on either side of his hips, her heels dragging up the backs of his legs to settle against the backs of his thighs. Her hands stroked his back slowly as his mouth devoured her’s torturously. One arm braced by her head, his free hand slid down her body, fingers catching on every curve, fingertips leaving goosebumps in their wake. The calluses on his hands from years of holding guns felt delicious against her body, just rough enough that it sent electric volts straight to her toes. Aelin ran her hands over him, lightly dragging her nails over his skin as he groaned into her mouth and deepened the kiss. The feeling of his tongue sweeping into her mouth, tangling with her own had an involuntary whimper catching in the back of her throat.
His fingers slipped between her thighs, grazing the sensitive skin there. Rowan pulled his lips from hers briefly, eyes searching hers as he quietly whispered, “Can I touch you?”
The husky tone of his voice had her shivering, had her nodding her head quickly while she reached up to connect their mouths again. Rowan’s fingers teased her, dipped into her folds and drew a line from her entrance up to her clit. They both moaned at the same time, Rowan at how wet she was, and Aelin at the pleasure of finally having Rowan touch her like this. Her head fell back and Rowan pressed kisses into her neck, lips dragging over her skin until he bit down as he sunk a finger inside of her. She didn’t know how many times she’d imagined this moment, to have Rowan between her legs, to feel the way he pleasured her.
And she wasn’t disappointed. Her hands gripped the sheets hard, her hips bucking up against his as he continued to pump his finger inside her, his thumb stroking circles around her sensitive nub. He added a second finger then, keeping up the steady pace without missing a single beat. One hand shot up to wrap around his forearm, nails digging in deep as she felt the muscles in his arm flex while he moved his fingers in and out.
“Rowan,” she gasped out, swearing as her core started to tense up, a wave of pleasure building up inside her.
Stars sparked her vision when he pulled his fingers out, leaving her gasping and writhing beneath him. He laughed breathily and kissed her open mouth, pushing a knee between her thighs to spread her out beneath him. She felt him against her, hard and ready, and her fingers dug into his shoulders so hard it would leave little crescent moons behind.
“Are you okay?” he whispered, pulling back to look into her eyes. “Do you want to stop?”
Gods, no. She wanted him to keep going until all five of her senses were enveloped by him. She wanted to forget her name, forget everything except how it felt to be loved by him in every way.
“Don’t stop,” she murmured, head shaking as she pulled him back down to kiss him hard.
He eased into her slowly, at first just nudging the head into her entrance. Aelin spread her legs wider and Rowan sunk deeper, pausing to allow her to adjust to the size of him. When he pulled out and pushed back in, she let out a strangled noise, her ankles resting on the backs of his thighs. Rowan paused, seated deep inside her, with his forehead pressed against hers. Both of them had their eyes closed, breath mingling as their lips caught on each other. The sensation of having him inside her was almost too much, the size and weight of him the most sinful indulgence. Aelin dug her heels into his skin, urging him to continue. He let out a hoarse laugh and lowered his mouth against her throat, obeying her silence demands with leisurely but deep thrusts.
She wondered if he had been wanting this, waiting for it to happen as much as she had. If he had found himself in the shower, hand around his cock imagining it was her mouth, her body moving against it. More than once Aelin had found her own hand between her legs while she washed her body, knowing Rowan was merely feet away from her, making her choke on her moans to stay quiet.
But this was better than her fingers had ever been. This was better than any other lover she’d had, the feeling of him filling her almost too much in the best possible way. Her body seemed to ache for him, to open for him to take as much as he could give her. Every sigh and moan that tumbled from her lips was involuntary, entirely a reaction her body couldn’t contain. Her fantasies, no matter how grand they had been, were nothing compared to the feeling of him bottoming out deep inside her, hitting that spot she hadn’t ever believed to be real.
No, being with Rowan like this was overwhelming. She wasn’t sure she would ever want to stop, or be able to stop. How would she ever leave this bed? How would she ever allow him to not be deep inside her, to not feel his hands over every inch of her body? What was she going to do at work when all she could think about was the weight of his body pressed against hers in the most decadent and indecent way?
His fingers roamed over every inch of her body, leaving fire in their wake. She could hardly breathe as he moved against her, her breath falling in short, sharp gasps that she couldn’t control. Her nails raked sharply up his back, pulling low groans from him while he kissed lower down her neck. She needed him closer, needed to be utterly consumed by him.
His mouth found her chest, lips closing around one of her nipples. She arched into him as he sucked, begging him to take moremoremore. His teeth tugged on the peak lightly and she hissed out a curse, clenching around him. Aelin wanted him to take all of it, to take everything she had to offer, to take all of her. She needed all of him.
“Fuck, Aelin,” he growled against her breast, moving to the other one and repeating his motions as his thrusts picked up pace.
She yanked her hands through his hair, pulling his mouth back up to hers. It was a sloppier, messier kiss with teeth snagging on lips. It only made her want more, want him harder so she rolled her hips in time with his movements. Aelin pressed a moan to his lips as she felt her core tighten in response, her body barreling toward a release she wasn’t sure she would survive. Still, needing to feel more of him, needing to tumble over that ledge with him, she grabbed one of his hands and guided it to where they were joined. Rowan’s fingers, tangled with her own, pressed against the apex of her thighs.
“Touch me,” she breathed into his mouth, her tongue slipping against his. “Please.”
He groaned at her desperation, thumb working that sensitive nub as their kiss got heavier, hotter than she’d ever fathomed it could be. He pulled back, resting himself up on his knees as he angled deeper inside of her, his cock stretching her out in the most delicious, devastating way. He caught her gaze and held it as he continued to stroke her clit, his pupils blown wide with desire. She clenched around him on purpose, her lips falling open and a heady laugh escaping when he swore loudly.
Rowan leaned back over her and she knew the new position would have her unravelling in mere moments. He slowed for a moment, kissing her deeply and soundly while she sighed into his mouth.
She did her best to keep hold of his gaze through hooded eyes, but one more flick of his finger against her and she was coming undone, eyes squeezing shut as she cried out his name and spasmed around him. All she knew was him, the sound of his voice murmuring praise that only spurred her climax on and on until stars burst behind her eyes.
His lips were back on hers, swallowing her noises of pleasure as he followed her orgasm. He sighed her name, emptying himself inside her as she continued to shake. Aelin wasn’t sure how long they laid together, Rowan still buried deep inside her. Occasionally he would push in a little more, pulling another moan out of her. Everything was too sensitive, everywhere he touched was an exposed nerve. Even her thighs still shook from how hard her orgasm had hit her, made worse by the way his tongue lazily stroked hers.
When she was finally able to peel her eyes back open and move her arms up his back to wrap around his neck, he kissed her again, this time softer. Rowan was so beautiful in the morning light, the dark contrast of his tattoo against his skin something that Aelin wanted to memorize. Her fingers swirled over the design on his shoulder, over his heart. Rowan tilted her chin back as he thrust into her again, both of them laughing as her body trembled beneath him.
“Aelin,” he said, lips ghosting over her cheeks and neck. She hummed in response, legs locking around his waist while her fingers tangled in his hair. “I love you.”
Everything seemed to stop at that moment. The second that he muttered those words and looked at her so intensely she felt like he was seeing down to her very soul, the universe halted. The breath in her lungs caught, her throat burned and prickled at the tears that begged to be released. Her fingertips were shaking as he brought them to his mouth and pressed a gentle kiss to them.
Love. She knew it, had known it. But hearing him say it hit her harder and deeper than anything she had ever felt in her entire life. Something in her clicked. It was like the final, missing puzzle piece had been pressed into her soul.
But it was also like being in a car crash. She felt both hot and cold, images of blood dripping from her fingers flashing in her mind. He knew most things about her, yes, but would he still want to say those words to her when he saw the crime scene photos from last night? Would he love her still when he had a full realization of how much blood her hands had bathed in for the last twenty years? Would he find anything redeemable about her when he learned the darkest parts of her soul?
She loved him, yes. Aelin loved him so much that she couldn’t put it into words. Every time she learned something new about him, every time that he pressed soft kisses to her forehead or the back of her shoulder when they went to sleep, she loved him more. Every teasing joke or snarky comment never failed to warm her to her toes. But was she worthy of the way he looked at her right now? Did she deserve the complete and utter bliss after decades of being a death omen?
Rowan’s lips caught the tear that slipped down her temple. He trailed a line of kisses to her mouth, like he could see every scared thought that flashed through her mind. Like everything she’d thought was now a spilled secret that he was dying to keep. His lips met hers and he kissed her as though it was an answer to everything, kissed her like she deserved it. Like he loved her.
And because Rowan deserved the day of bliss, a day of kisses and soft touches in the warm glow of the sun, she gave into it. She let her touch and her mouth say everything she couldn’t get herself to vocalize. And Rowan returned everything like he didn’t need to hear it because he knew the whispers of her heart.
But she knew it was impossible for her to keep the darkness that enshrouded her soul entirely at bay. And she wondered if all she was doing was dragging him to hell right along with her.
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transgressions | part fifteen
this felt like it wrote itself! I’ve put the whole text below the cut to not spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t been able to read the last part yet.
masterlist ; general tw for this story, mentions of murder, blood, assault, crime.
Connall Moonbeam could still remember the first time he heard the names Aedion Ashryver and Aelin Galathynius.
It was a Saturday, mid-winter. Fenrys lifted one side of the headphones fixed around his ears, an earnest expression on his face.
“Have you ever heard of Aedion Ashryver and Aelin Galathynius? They’re FBI agents.”
Connall shook his head. Fenrys pressed on for an hour about gang-like murders in the capitol, an arrest for fraud, promotions in the bureau despite a lack of education. Connall tuned out the words, but could not ignore the admiration in his twin’s voice. The unfiltered awe.
It nagged him.
Weeks later, a package arrived in the mail for Fenrys, which he opened gleefully. The stories about the pioneering federal agents had faded some, but one glance at the envelopes surrounding his twin brought it all back for Connall.
“What are those?” He asked. Fenrys’ cheeks colored as his eyes roamed the papers.
“I requested some case notes on Aelin and Aedion’s big bust in the capitol. The Arobynn Hamel case. I was…curious.”
Connall fought the gnashing annoyance in his gut. Aelin and Aedion. As if Fenrys knew them. As if they were more than just two faraway federal agents that his brother had never met. He took a breath. “The podcast wasn’t enough for you?”
“I wanted more detail.” Fenrys shrugged, his attention diverted to the stacks around him. Connall could see full-color photographs among the stacks of photo-copied papers. His interest was piqued. He hated himself for it.
“How’d you get it all?”
Fenrys shrugged. “It’s readily available when you’re a member of a police force. I may have…stretched the truth a little bit. Said we thought we had something connected to Arobynn here.”
“And we don’t?”
Connall found it interesting that the bureau wouldn’t check on that. He filed the information away.
Weeks later, Connall finally looked at the stack of papers Fenrys requested. His brother had recently discussed the possibility of writing a book on the case, so interesting was the subject matter. There was, according to Fenrys, nothing that the cousin federal agents couldn’t solve.
Connall doubted that.
One color photo attracted his attention immediately. The gore shocked him, the vivid colors, the burns on the table nearly bowling him over. He waited for his stomach to roll. To recoil.
Instead, he only felt intrigued.
Connall filled a beer for Rowan Whitethorn, sliding it across the wood, the pair of them chuckling as a small bit spilled on the bar.
“How’s work?” Connall asked, to which Rowan shrugged.
“Same old. We had a small drug bust down by the river yesterday. You probably saw it in the paper this morning.”
“I did.” Connall said, nodding once. His eyes drifted past Rowan, where the chief of police stood, looking somewhat out of place, her beer clutched tightly in her hand.
Rowan followed his gaze. “Maeve.” He said, one eyebrow raised at Connall’s expression. “She’s…single…I think?” He phrased it as a question. Connall felt his face burn red, irritation bubbling in his gut.
“Not interested.” He said shortly. “Just trying to figure out if she’s been here before.”
“Doubtful.” Rowan said, shrugging once. “She doesn’t usually hang out outside of work, since she’s our boss.”
“Still,” Connall said thoughtfully. “She looks familiar.”
Connall got his answer a week later at the Black Hat.
When he bumped into a poorly-disguised Maeve near the side door of the club, she nearly spilled her drink on him. Her expression was alarmed, and Connall smiled at her.
“Did you think I was Fenrys?”
At his voice, she relaxed, they talked, and the next morning, he woke up in her bed.
“How’s the book?” He asked Fenrys, who shrugged, a pencil between his teeth. He spit it onto the desk, taking a deep breath.
“It’s okay. I need more on Aelin and Aedion’s background, though, and it’s hard to get ahold of them. They’re somewhat well-known, so all the requests have to go through a central funnel.”
“What background do you need?”
“Just more on Aelin’s parents’ murder, maybe, or on her boyfriend who was killed while they were working on the Hamel case.”
“It’s morbid.” Fenrys twirled the pencil between his fingers. “I have a photo, but you won’t want to see it.”
Connall nodded sagely, ignoring the nagging thought at the back of his mind that he’d looked at it more than once. Studied it, even.
“Her boyfriend was taken by an accomplice of Hamel’s just before the trial. He was…brutalized. I just think it must have had an affect on the outcome of the case. Or on her, I guess. I’m just trying to humanize them some for the article.”
“I figure I’ll start small.” Fenrys laughed, rolling his eyes at himself. Connall felt himself smiling, too, and felt, again, the nagging thought at the back of his mind that he was withholding things from his twin.
Connall started following Aedion and Aelin’s cases. It wasn’t hard to do; Fenrys was more than willing to provide the information he needed. Fenrys’ words continued to echo around his head, their original intention, their original tone lost as they reverberated again and again and again.
“There’s nothing they can’t solve.”
“Nothing they can’t solve.”
“Nothing they can’t solve.”
Connall snorted, the lifelong need to prove his brother wrong pushing into his gut, up his throat, and to his thoughts, where the wheels started turning.
He loved his brother, but he couldn’t help but prove him wrong. Be right. His brother the cop, the white knight, and him, a bartender to everyone, not the owner of a business, always second, always less-regarded. Fenrys had the good friends, Connall had the string of women. Fenrys had the charming personality, Connall was more quiet. Calculating.
“Nothing they can’t solve.”
He would see about that.
The opportunity was narrow.
He didn’t even need to ask Fenrys about Aelin and Aedion’s last case; it had made even their local paper. The agents had solved their latest case in just two weeks, and their notoriety was spreading like wildfire. Connall avoided Fenrys all day, just to not have to hear about how wonderful Aelin and Aedion were. What amazing detectives they were.
The resentfulness he felt toward the two strangers had only grown over the months as Fenrys’ hero-worship of them intensified. Between the book - article, whatever - the following of their cases, the casual use of their names, the assertions they could do no wrong…Connall was at a breaking point.
And he’d found that crime…fascinated him. Not in the way that Fenrys ingested documentaries and podcasts. But in a way that…intrigued him. Made him curious.
And so, that night, Connall Moonbeam, armed with only a small knife, entered the Fifth Street Park.
Two weeks later, he glanced at Maeve, who was dozing next to him. He cleared his throat.
“Have you followed the news lately? The murders here and in neighboring cities?”
She picked her head up off the pillow, her cheek creased from it. “Of course. One is in my jurisdiction. I thought we agreed not to talk about work?”
Connall pushed down his irritation, willing himself to focus. “We did.” He conceded, leaning forward to kiss her on the cheek, hoping to put her at ease.
Her cheek beneath his lips made his stomach roll more than committing three murders.
“I was just thinking…Fenrys goes on and on about these federal agents. Aedion and Aelin something or other?” He injected as much nonchalance into his voice as he could, fighting the feeling of his pounding heart. If this didn’t work, he wasn’t sure if anything would.
“Aelin Galathynius and Aedion Ashryver.” Maeve said thoughtfully, propping her head up with one hand. “I know the chief of the bureau. I’ve been talking with the officers in the other jurisdictions about how we need to bring in someone at a federal level since we’ve crossed city lines.”
“It was just a thought.” Connall said quickly, forcing a relaxed smile on his face.
“It’s a good thought.” Maeve said, rolling off of the bed and padding toward the bathroom. “I’ll be right back.”
From his vantage point on the bed, Connall could hear the soft rattle of pills in the bathroom, the small secret he knew, the one he kept in the back of his mind in case something went south for him. In case Maeve figured out something. He knew that she was smart, and she was a police chief, so she could figure things out, catch him, somehow…he’d never murdered anyone before, didn’t know all the details, had only studied what he could from Fenrys’ notes, but at least he had something on her, something he’d seen at the Black Hat, when she thought he was in the bathroom.
He knew there was something off about the bouncer at the side door. He’d seen the man in his bar a few times, leering at women and drinking too much. His name, Connall thought, was Cairn. Maeve knew him. Knew him well. Connall watched her buy drugs off of him one night at the back door, her face obscured by a scarf in case someone recognized the chief of police.
Connall added it to his store of information at the back of his head, right next to Aelin Galathynius’ boyfriend’s murder and the relative lack of care from the FBI when it came to requesting records.
The first night he laid eyes on Aedion Ashryver and Aelin Galathynius, it was quiet in the bar.
His first impression was that had he not known about their notoriety, had he not listened to Fenrys drone on and on about their accomplishments, he never would have looked at them twice. Aelin was short, unassuming. Aedion was tall, as tall as Connall, even, but tucked himself into a corner within moments of receiving his cocktail. Minimized himself. Made himself small.
Connall could see Fenrys, Rowan, and Lorcan out of the corner of his eye, and he waited for Fenrys to realize that his heroes were in his presence, waited to be embarrassed by his twin’s guaranteed outburst, to feel the hate of the two strangers and how his brother idolized them bubble in his gut.
Instead, he watched Aelin Galathynius lock eyes with Rowan Whitethorn, and he realized immediately he’d failed to take one important thing into consideration.
Fenrys was bouncing on his toes the next evening. He’d spoken to Aelin and Aedion at the bar, and they were everything he’d hoped for and more. Aelin was kind, he said, and now that he’d abandoned his article (or book, whatever), he looked forward to being her friend.
Connall met her too. She shouted her thanks across the bar like some kind of heathen, just because he dropped a few extra cherries in her Old Fashioned. He scoffed. This was part of the unstoppable federal investigative duo?
She thanked him a second time, Rowan Whitethorn by her side, his eyes swimming with the same kind of admiration Connall had seen from Fenrys for months.
“Let me tell you something about serial killers. Sometimes they’re really stupid and they leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Sometimes they’re not stupid. Sometimes they know things about crime. And maybe it’s to do with all the shows and movies and podcasts that are out there, but some of these guys are smart. They know what you’re looking for, and they know how to get away with it.”
Aelin Galathynius’ words washed over Connall. He fought the urge to preen. He was smart. He had studied it. He did know how to get away with it.
The smile fell from his lips as he overheard her next point.
“The knife being a pen knife or an army knife. Small knife. Small dick.”
He fought the rage in his stomach, the desire to pick up a knife and show Aelin Galathynius exactly what he could do with it.
He was palming his knife later on when Fenrys mentioned that Aelin and Aedion would be out of town for a couple weeks, investigating the other murders Connall had committed. He relaxed his hold, the knife dropping back in his pocket, only a few feet from the officers investigating the crimes he’d committed with it.
He smiled at his secret, and started to plan.
Connall followed Holly Davis home from the Black Hat into Green Park, knowing it would be closed the next day. He stabbed her with a kitchen knife, the blind hatred for Aelin Galathynius and her hateful words giving him the needed rage to throw the body from the base of a tree. He wiped the knife carefully, pinning two photos to the bark, his gloved finger tracing his message to the visitors from the FBI.
He’d only set out to prove Fenrys wrong. Show that there was a case Aelin and Aedion couldn’t solve. He’d created it himself. Now he hated them deep in his gut, Aelin’s comments reverberating around his skull on a constant loop.
He hadn’t expected, never dreamed that Rowan would fall for Aelin, that he’d be mooning around her like a puppy day in and day out. He’d watched them, listened to their exchanges from behind the bar, noting their closeness, assuming they were probably together, maybe just keeping it on the low.
He wasn’t close with Rowan, necessarily, but he didn’t want him to be hurt. Didn’t want him anywhere near the FBI agents that his twin worshipped, that he was trying to prove wrong. He didn’t care if they got hurt in the process; Aelin and Aedion could go to hell, for all Connall cared. But Rowan?
Threatening Aelin Galathynius, invoking her dead boyfriend, Connall decided, was the best way to keep Rowan away from her.
And, if he was honest with himself, Connall could feel the steady closing of the walls around him, the water over his head, the threat of Aelin and Aedion’s abilities to catch him pressing on him.
They found the body the next day, and Connall couldn’t have been more thrilled. He listened to Aelin receive a call from her boss, relishing the look on her face, the paleness of her cheeks as the taunt was revealed to her.
What he wouldn’t give to see it himself, to see her crumble, to watch Fenrys’ hero break.
Connall didn’t see them for days. In passing, he mentioned it to Maeve, who confirmed they’d been working non-stop on the case. She was distant. Aloof. Connall didn’t know why, but thought it could have something to do with her inability to go to the Black Hat in recent days. Fenrys had mentioned something undercover. It didn’t take a genius to figure out where.
He tinkered with the jukebox Fenrys had found at a garage sale, adding a crude microphone to the inside.
Just in case.
When Rowan Whitethorn and Aelin Galathynius walked into his bar holding hands, Connall felt his heart rate double.
He forced himself to relax. He yelled to Aelin, asking what she wanted to drink, trying to keep his voice steady as she requested an Old Fashioned, complete with the entire fruit collection he’d cut up for the night.
He snorted at himself. At his dramatics. Was it worth it, now that Rowan Whitethorn was well and truly involved with Aelin, to keep it going? To keep murdering? He had, in truth, gotten away with it. He’d set out to do what he wanted. He’d proved that he could pull one over on Fenrys’ heroes.
Later, Connall played back the recording from the jukebox, Aelin’s carefree voice pounding in his head, through his heart and soul, how she didn’t realize the danger she was putting Rowan in, putting them all in, by baiting him with her tone, her voice, her stupid fucking drink orders…
Connall drove around for nearly an hour before he found a victim. He found out later that her name was Christina Taylor. He placed her gently outside the door of the police station, his steps hurried as he left. He knew the cameras were out. Fenrys bemoaned the menial task only days earlier.
Two murders within four days. A new record.
Lorcan’s voice drifted through the microphone in the juke box to the listening device Connall had in the back room the next night. Aelin and Rowan were staking out Hyde Park.
Aelin continued to lead Rowan into danger, Connall thought, his teeth grinding together tightly. She had bewitched him, beguiled him, tricked him, something, and she had to go.
He’d known it for awhile. Now, the only way to win was to eliminate Aelin and Aedion entirely. They were getting close, too close to discovering him. He had to remove them from the situation while he was still ahead. With Rowan in the way, though, how could he…
He followed them to the park, making himself known almost immediately, drawing Rowan out, like some kind of fucking white knight, Aelin on his heels, and Connall panicked, shooting wildly, hearing Rowan’s grunt, and he realized with sudden clarity that he’d hit the wrong person, in his attempts to keep Rowan safe, keep him away from Aelin, he’d hurt him…
Though he’d worn different shoes, a small personal joke against Aedion Ashryver’s view that the killer would watch the press conference, Connall slept fitfully that night.
Maybe Rowan would be scared off of Aelin now.
The microphones had worked well so far.
Connall fashioned another, placing it inside of a teddy bear holding a beer. He gave it to Fenrys to give to Rowan, and from that moment he crouched over the small speaker he kept, listening to the conversations Rowan had with Aelin. Mostly about the case. Some about their relationship.
They liked each other, he realized. Maybe even loved.
It was too bad she would be dead soon.
“We have to catch this guy.” Rowan’s voice.
“We will.” Aelin’s, now. The rag tag group was leaving the hospital, finally, and Connall was an invisible spectator.
The conviction in Aelin’s voice chilled him. Though he’d resigned himself to the fact that she and her cousin had to die, he still felt, in the stubborn corner of his mind that he could have gotten away with it, had it not bee for the simple fact that he was having the time of his life.
He hadn’t expected to like it so much. Hadn’t anticipated enjoying taking lives. And so, his new problem was the fact that he couldn’t stop. And he knew that Aelin Galathynius spoke the truth. If Connall kept killing, they’d find him.
She and Aedion Ashryver were that good at their jobs.
And so, Connall knew what he had to do.
It took a few weeks, but Rowan finally let her side.
The drug store. For chocolates, of all things.
Connall took a deep breath. It would end tonight.
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What I will never get over
Sam Cortlands death
Young Aelin/Celaena having no friends her age (besides Aedion)
And when baby Aelin asks to be freinds with Baby Dorian, he rejecting her and saying he already has a friend and his name is Chaol
Celaena being broken and yelling “She left me"
Aedion crying in the stairwell after hearing of the death of everyone in Endovier and Callaculla
Celaena singing at Nehemiah’s grave
Dorian yelling for Sorscha after she is beheaded
Chaol telling Dorian he loves him
Chaol telling Celaena to get up
Young Aelin telling Celaena to get up
Asterin’s story and how she lost her baby witchling
Rowan yelling and having to be held back in order for him not to go after Aelin
Aelin being locked in the coffin
Aelin being whipped by Cairn
Fenrys becoming blood sworn to Maeve and sleeping with her to protect his brother
Sam yelling “I’ll kill you” because Arobynn beat Celaena in front of him
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tfw you realize that the story of Arobyn, Sam, and Celaena is actually a story about a man perpetuating gross child abuse and inflicting extreme psychological and physical damage on two teenagers simply because he was grooming one of them to be his slave and was jealous that she liked someone better than him
but then you realize that Queen of Shadows is the story of a child, Aelin, getting her revenge against her abuser with help from someone he sexually abused, Lysandra, and that Aelin doesn’t reveal her plans to Rowan and Aedion because she likely wants the satisfaction of seeing Arobyn brought down by the hands of the people whose lives he tried to ruin
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Men in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.
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“You can call me Rowan. That’s all you need to know.” He cocked his head to the side, a predator assessing prey. “Thank you for the oil,” he added. “My skin was a little dry.”
THIS. THIS IS THE BEST PART
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finished painting Arobynn
even tho he is shitty person i cant really hate him
hope you guys will like it
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Very Unfriendly Reminder
Lysandra's virginity was bought by Arobynn Hamel
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Sam Cortland - Headcanon
Imagine that Sam Cortland never died. Instead, beaten just to the brink of death and into a deep state of unconsciousness.
Imagine Arobynn Hamel coming into his room on the day he wakes, a menacing look on his face as he points his finger towards Sam, blaming him for the death of Celaena Sardothien, murdered by Rourke Farran after Sam’s failed attempt to kill Ioan Jayne.
Imagine Arobynn showing him a body on a slate. Blonde hair bloody and face so beaten up you can barely tell who it used to be.
Imagine Sam believing Arobynn that it was Celaena who was on that slate. Celaena who died. Celaena who was tortured. Celaena who he lost.
Imagine Sam leaving Erilea believing Celaena was dead and gone.
Imagine Sam Cortland living far from Erilea when he hears of the return of the Queen of Terrasen.
Imagine Sam remembering Celaena and so he leaves for Erilea once more, to help fight for the place that she used to be from.
Imagine Sam finally returning to Erilea and realizing who the Queen there had been so much talk about was.
Imagine the tears on Sam’s face as he realizes that Celaena never died, and that she was not Celaena, but the Queen of Terrasen.
Imagine Sam finding out what Aelin went through in the salt mines, in Rifthold and what Arobynn put her through.
Imagine Sam finding out who this famed fae Prince Rowan Whitethorn was to Aelin.
Imagine Sam feeling heartbroken and sad for the love he was so selfishly torn from.
Imagine him feeling proud and happy for Aelin despite everything that happened.
Imagine him traveling to Terrasen, to the court of Aelin Ashryver Galathynius and for Aelin not to be Aelin.
Imagine the choked sound that Lysandra would make as she sees Sam Cortland but can’t tell him who she really is and where Aelin is.
Imagine Sam Cortland being alive but not understanding why Aelin would be so distant with him, not knowing that its not Aelin who is standing in front of him, but Lysandra because Aelin Ashryver Galathynius has been imprisoned once more inside an iron coffin.
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I googled sassy bird I wasn`t dissapointed
Rowan: thank you for the oil, my skin was a little dry
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arobynn, during the dinner in QoS: fUcK rowan whitethorn
aelin: bitch i’m trying
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So many of you guys kept asking for Arobynn .. so here he is. WIP for upcoming illustration. Hope you guys will like it xoxox
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So, we all know that Sarah J Maas is the queen of foreshadowing. She rarely says something without it being important to later plot. In this excerpt, Aelin is telling Rowan that she feels hollow at the thought of Lysandra killing Arobynn and he sympathizes.
“If he’d been asked to put down Maeve, and one of his cadre had done it instead—if Lorcan had done it—he would have felt the same.” (Queen of Shadows).
He very specifically says Lorcan. He could easily have left it at “one of his cadre” and it would have been fine. But he enunciated Lorcan.
It makes me wonder if it will be Lorcan who kills Maeve— if that will be his redemption after EoS. He is no longer blood-bound to her, he has been betrayed by her, and his power is similar to her own. Enough so that she keeps him close because of it. Aelin doesn’t need to be the one to kill Maeve, nor does Dorian. Their main enemy in the series is Errowan. So, I just wonder if this isn’t foreshadowing Maeve’s eventual demise at the hands of her Second in Command.
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Friendly Reminder: Aelin didn’t kill any of her big enemies, she just facilitated the kills for others
Arobynn ⬅ Lysandra
King of Adarlan ⬅ Dorian
Erawan ⬅ Yrene
Maeve ⬅ Fenrys (main blow)
Cairn ⬅ Rowan
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Sam Cortland Headcannons
- When Aelin was first brought to the Keep he sat in front of her door for the whole first night, he never told her that but Ben saw
- After his first job he was so remorseful that he just kept crying and saying “I’m Sorry” while washing the blood off of his hands
- When ever Celaena played the piano he had to catch his breath and would stand and just listen
- Sam would read all the books Celaena read in hopes that she would someday notice
- Only once did Sam ask Arobynn what happened to his mom and if he knew who his dad was, Arobynn didn’t answer and Ben didn't know the answers
- Sam first realized that he loved Celaena when they were on a mission. They had to dress up as nobles and got to a party that was outside and under the moon
- When Sam kept watch and Celaena slept on missions she would sometimes cry or talk in her sleep. She would say the name Aedion a lot and the first time he heard his name he got really jealous and wanted to ask Celaena about it but never did
- Sometimes he would leave books or chocolate in her room after a brutal day or a hard mission. She always assumed they were from Arobynn
- The first time he saw her cry was right after magic was gone. He didn’t understand why but he sat with her in the crypt
- Every year on the day of Celaena’s parents death and she left the city he could never concentrate until he saw her again to make sure she was okay
- Sam is claustrophobic and doesn’t like thunder
- Sam tried running away but he never did, he never even got as far as the front door because Ben talked him down
- When Sam first heard that Ben was killed he punched the wall so many times that his knuckles became raw and red
- The last word that Sam said before he died was “Celaena” and the last thing he thought about was her smile and her laugh and her eyes
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So I'm Re-reading ToG if you didn't already know and it creeps me out even more this time how creepy Arobynn is. He is literally the creepy uncle at the party that everyone stays well away from. Like I don't understand why he's such a creepy mother fucker. Like he brought Aelin up as his daughter but then he creeps on her in queen of Shadows. Even rowan finds it freaky. I just don't understand why he jumped from being the brother/father figure. Like he knew she was never gonna love him that way. He should of just stuck by her side in that way he probably wouldn't of died then.
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Sorry guys, it needed to be done
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I will never stop laughing at the dinner scene in Queen of Shadows. Like Arobynn is trying so hard to emotionally manipulate Aelin and it deadass ain't working because shes too busy making googoo eyes with Rowan
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Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift is TOTALLY Aelins song to Arobynn. Just saying.
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No offense but if Dorian dies in ToG7 I will throw the biggest bitch fit the world has ever seen,
Me (and the rest of the ToG fandom)
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