I would really like to read a book about the autumn court
Yes, I am being serious. I think it would be very interesting because to be honest I think they all have dirty little secrets and a lot of shit going on with the Vanserra’s.
HEAR ME OUT
I bet that one of the reasons why Elain doesn’t want to get to know Lucien, is because of his Family !
She doesn’t know that Beron isn’t luciens father and I think knowing that he isn’t the son of this bastard, bringing all the bad genetics with him, would change a lot. It would probably change her to a point that she would give lucien just a little chance
I think she’s mostly afraid of Lucien being exactly like his fam at the autumn court
✳︎ . ⋆ *ﾟ | introducing princess titania. she has arrived at the high court and rumor has it she is against the peace treaty signed 100 years ago. they are a one hundred sixty-three year old high faerie and you know they’re around when you get flashes of gowns fitted with golden armor; eyes like a crackling fire, too intense to stare into for long; a laugh that fills the room with warmth and light; untamed curls, as black as the night sky, and a wolfish grin; the warm brush of lips upon a dying man’s forehead. ₓ ( adelaide kane, female, she/her )
12) What are your guesses for the main plot conflict in the book?
Okay so this is a doozy and kind of a long post but I’ll try my best.
The blurb says they’re dealing with the human queens who are looking for revenge. Their main goal in ACOMAF was to gain immortality through the Cauldron which was why they had that alliance with Hybern. They were not completely successful in that, and so that makes me think that their main motivation in this book is to not only destroy their enemies (the Night Court), but to also gain control of the Cauldron which Rhys and Feyre currently possess. However, they are currently very weak after loosing the war, so they would need to forge the alliance between someone else who views the Night Court as enemies. We’ve seen in ACOFAS that Beron wants to expand into the human lands, which the Night Court does not want, and we’ve gotten that spoiler that includes Eris. I don’t think Eris supports Beron, since he very much wants his dad dead so he could be High Lord (this is from ACOWAR). Beron likely forged a secret alliance with the human queens that would allow him to expand into the human lands, and later the continent, and the human queens would have an access point to the rest of Prythian via the Autumn Court.
Now here’s the issue: we’re in Illyria most of the time, so how exactly are we gonna connect that. Illyria, despite how the IC view it, is a big aspect of the Night Court’s power because that is where it’s armies and primary defenses are concentrated. (Let’s be honest, Velaris is really only just ornamental, there is almost no politics going on there because Feysand just don’t tell people about it + it’s been destroyed before and didn’t impact the larger power of the court as much.) If the Night Court wanted to fight against anyone or prevent territorial expansion, they would send their Illyrian army. But if they have no Illyrian army to do this, there’s no obstacle for the queens of Beron in gaining what they want.
Azriel is also going to be in ACOSF a lot, so I don’t doubt that the little rebellion that was in ACOSF is not going to be addressed to some extent here. Perhaps there are spies in Illyria working for Beron of the queens, since they also hate the Inner Circle. Maybe during some big moment when Illyria is momentarily weakened, Beron and the human decide to strike.
NOW. While of this is happening, there somehow needs to be set up for the next book. I fully believe the next book is going to Lucien, there’s just too many unaddressed threads with his character that I don’t think the plot can wait any longer for him not to have some kind of journey. If we go along with the idea that the humans queens and Beron are going to attack Illyria, based off geography (see: Prythian map), they would have to go through not only the Winter Court, but also the Day Court (which no one knows yet that Lucien is heir to except for Feyre and Rhys).
I feel like this set up is going to happen all the way towards the end. Eris, being in Autumn and hating his dad, will orchestrate the assassination of Beron with the help of the Night Court who already learned a great deal about the queens’ plot. The human queens’ armies have gone through the Winter Court and have attacked the Day Court. Day Court is saved with the help of Illyria and queens are defeated but Helion dies or gets severely injured. Eris, thinking he would be High Lord of the Autumn Court, is faced with the fact that Lucien has the potential to be the High Lord of Autumn and has sent out assassin for him. HOWEVER, because Lucien is also the heir to Day and Helion has died or is dying, this makes thing complicated. Lucien is on the run, Night Court doesn’t know what to do, Autumn and Day are in turmoil, and this is where the next book picks up.
As for how Nesta and Cassian fit into this, they are connected both to the Night Court and Illyria, both have connections with Azriel who is likely spying on this once he gets wind of it through some Illyrian defector, and Nesta has an attachment to her old homes in the human lands, so I feel like a lot of Nesta and Cassian’s journey will involve fighting for keeping the human lands and the Night Court safe. Once they accomplish this, the story will change to Lucien and his conflicts.
- human queens want Cauldron + revenge, Beron wants territorial expansion, both hate Night Court = alliance
- human queens and Beron want to attack Illyria to destroy the Night Court’s main source of power
- Illyrian defectors who support the queens because they hate the IC
- Eris works with Night Court to execute Beron
- Human queens destroy Winter Court but get defeated at Day Court BUT Helion is either dying or dead
- Day Court + Autumn Court succession issue that leads into next book that’s probably centered around Lucien
Lucien Vanserra, 4/?
✳︎ . ⋆ *ﾟ | introducing princess briar elodie of the autumn court. they have arrived at the high court and rumor has it they are for the peace treaty signed 100 years ago. they are a 107 year old high faerie and you know they’re around when you get flashes of dancing in poppy fields, singing in the rain, and honeysuckle ( giorgia whigham, cis woman, she/her )
Maybe I am just stupid for not seeing this before or I might be making a stretch but…
power of fire
a court of foxes….
AUTUMN COURT | JUNGKOOK
SEVEN COURTS OF PRYTHIAN
Okay but Eris being in ACOSF kind of makes me think that the “family drama” SJM talked about is actually Vanserra family drama
Nesta and Eris dancing, possibly in the Autumn court, where she definitely will be given a dress, and according to the colours of this court, she’ll probably be wearing a RED DRESS!!!
Just imagine her hair in curls touching her shoulders etc, and rest are either in a top notch or are not tied …… But she looks so beautiful..and Red is Cassian’s favourite colour,
And he is wonderstruck by her beauty, and is so jealous that she has chosen Eris as a partner, or by some scheme they went there for…
Idk where I am going with this, but Nesta wearing a red dress in this scene or during there visit , but not paying attention to Cassian will be wholesome.
oh not for any good reason. but the drama. i would eat that shit up. not only is cas feeling betrayed and upset but mor… oh mor would be furious. the intrigue… the spice…
I’m quickly writing this down before I forget (the gen z in me is strong) but what if SJM makes Lucien find out he’s Helions son…. now hear me out, she killed off Sam without so much as a wince…. by killing Helion and Lucien inheriting his fathers powers…..
She’s not that cruel….. right?
My bb heart can not go through any more pain.
An Insider’s Guide to A Court of Thorns and Roses: the Crown of the High Lord of the Autumn Court, 1/?
Introducing Saffron!! Selene’s older and much more reserved brother. Instead of taking up hunting and weapons training, Saffron took up the arts. He does a lot of work with protraits and body paints. He has an eye for beauty and believes everyone is beautiful. Like, objectively everyone is pretty.
I just realised that the Autumn court have no holidays. If they do then it’s not mentioned.
Winter and Night court celebrate winter solstice
Summer , day, dawn and spring court celebrate summer solstice.
But there is no such holiday for Autumn….
Also , the humans don’t have any such Holidays as Nesta said…
And the cover of a court of silver flames is most likely relatable to the Autumn court….
There is therefore a possibility of Nesta visiting the Autumn court,
A possible Eris x Nesta romantic if not, platonic relationship…
I just realised that there are no solstice holidays in the Autumn court…just like there isn’t in the human realms as Nesta said in acofas…
The winter and the night court celebrate the winter solstice
The summer, spring day and dawn court celebrate the summer solstice
This would then mean that the Autumn court is somehow similiar to the human realms….
And the similarity might make Nesta somewhat at ease..
Because, acosf’s cover is considered to be related to the Autumn court. ( Orange colour)
So that would mean that Nesta might visit the autumn court..
Where a possible Eris x Nesta relationship might take place, Platonic or Romantic..
This might take place because ( I read somewhere ) that Eris and Nesta are almost the same!!!
Infact we would know more about them!!
Now I want an Eris x Nesta friendship. Because I know Sarah has made Nessian canon.
( not that I hate Nessian. I love Nessian!! It’s just that there is only one book of 687 Nessian pages)
I’ve made a couple references for my character Selene because I’ve been productive lately! Selene is a bit of a royal pain in the butt lol. She’s sporty and adventurous, especially compared to her brother Saffron and her friend Wren. She regularly hunts and basically spending the night acting like her favorite vagabonds from books. All she wants to do is meet a rival she can have flirty sword fights with.
A/N: Part two of Midnight at Rita’s is finally here, everyone! Sorry it took so long, I started a new job and I’ve been a bit overwhelmed. As you can tell, I’ve named this series something different. That’s because Midnight at Rita’s was supposed to be a smut one off, but it has a mind of it’s own and has become an actual fic. This will be part two of a series called “Flame of Autumn”. This fic is going to be quite long, and more elaborate than anything I’ve written here so far. I hope you enjoy!
“Oh, fucking hell.” I curse, clapping a hand over my mouth in shock.
Azriel chuckles sardonically, running a hand through his already sex mussed curls, puffing out a shocked breath. His cheeks are an adorable shade of pink, eyes wide.
For a few moments, we just sit and feel the bond thrum between us, like the plucked string of a cello. We’re still flushed and dazed, our panting breaths the only sound in the room as we stare at each other.
A strange intermingling of emotion overwhelms me. Elation, joy, desire. A desire to take hold of Azriel and never, ever be parted from him. But all of it is entirely eclipsed by a sense of dread. It wraps itself around my throat, my heart, like a noose of ice.
A mate is just another person to lose, to endanger with my own existence.
The faces of all those that have suffered to protect me, that I ultimately lost, flash across my vision. A macabre version of a scrapbook. Just as easily as he perceived my earlier insecurities, Azriel notices the rising emotions in me. With the mate bond newly revealed, I wonder if the connection we’d felt all night had been the first clue. That, and his uncanny ability to read me like an open book.
“Sabine, I don’t expect anything from you. But I- I’d like to explore this. We can go at whatever pace you’re comfortable with.”
His face shines with hope as he takes my hand in his, squeezing gently. A hesitant reach down the bond caresses against me. His eyes are open and earnest, a shy smile on his face. The epitome of honest and trustworthy.
I wonder what he would think if he knew Sabine isn’t my real name.
A pang of guilt shoots through me, at the dishonesty of it, and it’s suddenly hard to breathe. Lying to others has become disturbingly easy over the years I’ve been in hiding. I’m skilled at it now, diversion and distraction like second nature. But the thought of keeping up the ruse with my mate is unbearable. Having to lie every day, and to the person who should know the absolute truth of myself? I can’t do it. I won’t do it.
I’m opening my mouth to admit things I haven’t in years, when my mothers face flashes through my mind. She was the first to implore me to hide my abilities, and the first to die because of them.
“You threaten his crown. He will destroy everything you love to keep you quiet, my girl. You cannot give him more ammunition. You get close to no one. You keep moving. Don’t ever come back here.”
Her words ring in my ears like I’m hearing them for the first time. I shut my mouth with a snap. I can’t tell Azriel anything, for fear of bringing the wrath of my father down on him. Can I even stay in Velaris?
When I first heard of the hidden city of the Night Court, heavily guarded by the most powerful High Lord, I rejoiced. Isolated and with a varied population, it made the perfect hiding place. Not to mention that Velaris is far outside the reach of my fathers court. I’ve felt almost safe here, and the thought of leaving this city, of leaving Azriel, has my heart sinking into my stomach. Azriel slowly places a hand on my cheek, breaking me free of my internal struggle. Concern shapes his features, hazel eyes heartbreakingly gentle. He is too perceptive to not see the indecision and fear in me, bond or not. Without meaning to, I speak.
A relieved grin graces his lips. I feel the apprehension fading from him, being replaced with soft joy. It makes my decision for me. Azriel is an Illyrian, not exactly an easy target. We’re in the safest place there is for me. If I guard my secret well enough, I can stay. Stay, and see where this newfound bond leads us. I pray to the Cauldron that I’m not making a stupid, selfish mistake.
“Are you sure?” His brow furrows, intent on my response.
In that moment, I know that no matter how strongly he feels, Azriel will let me walk away. If I decide he’s not what I want, he would honor my choice no questions asked. It only makes me more certain of my decision. I’ve never been one to tolerate a controlling male.
“Absolutely. Are you?” I ask, inching closer to him, still clutching the sheets against myself.
His eyes flicker down to my chest, and back to my eyes. When a faint blush paints his cheeks, I nearly drop the bedding in shock. So the confident male can get flustered. I file the information away for later, barely containing a smirk.
“Of course I am, I’ve waited almost six hundred years for you.” His voice is low, each syllable more sure than the last.
My heart soars inside my chest at his words. Depthless hazel eyes bore into mine, and his shadows brush against my bare skin. They send shivers all along my body, and I edge even closer to him. He meets me in the middle of the bed, his forehead touching mine as his gaze roves over me like I’m a precious, once lost jewel. I do the same, drinking in the sight of the magnificent shadowsinger before me. My mate.
Long ago, some inexplicable force decided that he belonged to me, and I him. I wonder what makes us so compatible, and I find I’m excited to discover every reason for myself. I want to know all the simple, small details of him like the back of my hand. I want to memorize the planes of his face, every color in his eyes.
If my mother could meet him, I imagine she’d remark on the beautiful grandchildren we’d make her. It’s that thought, and the sudden realization that we are both very naked, that has a fierce blush coloring my face.
“Maybe we should get dressed.” I whisper, only slightly breathless.
Azriel’s eyes run along my sheet-clad form once more, before he pins me with that now familiar alluring smile.
“As you wish.”
He says again, only making me more flushed at the memory. Without an ounce of shame, the Illyrian rises to his feet and walks to the dresser at the other end of the room. He begins digging through the drawers, before selecting some grey sweatpants and a long sleeve black shirt for himself. I’m still wrapped in his sheets, attempting to not gawk at the unobstructed view of his ass, when Azriel looks over his shoulder at me. He smirks at my obvious observation of his body.
“Do you want something other than your dress? Something more comfortable?”
I look down at the rumpled silk garment on the floor and grimace. He’s right, the thought of shimmying myself into it right now is about as appealing as a cold bath in the middle of winter.
“Yes please. Preferably something a bit warmer.”
He nods, and picks a few items from his dresser. He places them on the bed before me and fixes me with a sweet, slightly shy grin.
“Are you hungry? I have pastries from the bakery down the street. I could make coffee?”
My ears perk at the mention of food, and my stomach grumbles in agreement. I like that instead of pushing me to continue our conversation about our future, he’s making sure I’m fed and comfortable. That warm, light sensation flutters in my belly again.
“I never turn down coffee or carbs.” I manage to get out, smiling coyly.
“Noted.” Azriel smiles again, a quiet amusement in his eyes.
He leaves me to change, heading towards the kitchen to start the coffee. I put on the sweatshirt and black briefs left for me. Both are too big, but they’re warm and soft against my skin. Worlds better than the dress. I pull the collar of the sweatshirt up to my nose and inhale his scent of cedar and moonlight and rain. Gods, what does he bathe in that makes him smell so good?
For the first time all night, I’m able to observe Azriel’s bedroom. My eyes widen as I take in the beautiful A frame ceiling with exposed wooden beams. The soft patter of rain on glass draws my eyes to the east wall, which is made entirely of paneled windows. Silver rivulets of water run down their surface, reflecting flickering beams of moonlight into the room. The floors are a dark oak, the walls a calming sage.
Candles burn on Azriel’s overflowing bookcase, and the fireplace crackles merrily on the opposite wall. I reach out hesitantly with my ability, and feel the heat of each flame flicker inside my awareness. For a moment, I watch the candle flames dance and twist under my will. It’s rare that I ever have the chance to explore my gift, the small flames too often exploding into an uncontrolled inferno that attracts attention. But I can’t help playing just a little.
The sound of a kettle whistling startles me from my reverie, and a few tea lights extinguish entirely. I wince, and quickly light them again before following Azriel into the kitchen.
He’s at the counter, adding hot water to a french press. The earthy scent of coffee tickles my nose as he presses the grounds down, the muscles of his arm flexing deliciously.
“How do you take your coffee?” He asks, gesturing towards a pale box of pastries for me to choose from.
“Cream and sugar. Lots of cream.”
“You like your coffee sweet.” He smiles to himself as he pours extra cream and sugar into my cup, as if adding the observance to a mental list.
I pad closer and peer at the box of pastries over his broad shoulder. On the front it reads ‘Diana’s Bakery and Coffeehouse’ in elegant script. I bite my lip to keep from laughing as I open the familiar box, and take a bagel from inside.
He notices me smiling at the pastries and raises a thick eyebrow at me, the corner of his lip quirking up.
“What is it?”
“Nothing it’s just - well I work at Diana’s.” I laugh, taking a bite of the magically warmed bagel after liberally smearing it with cream cheese.
“You do? But I’ve been in there everyday this week, I haven’t seen you.”
He passes my mug to me, filled to the brim with creamy coffee, and I take a careful sip. He leans against the marble counter, hazel eyes looking me up and down, that small smirk making an appearance once again. What is it about males liking us in their clothes? Not that I’m complaining.
“Well, you wouldn’t. I work in the back with Diana as her baking apprentice. I even baked those cinnamon rolls.”
I know they’re mine by the slightly imperfect glazing. Diana is meticulous and every single treat she bakes is always flawless.
He points to the icing covered cinnamon rolls inside the box, mouth gaping in shock.
“These cinnamon rolls? They’re the best I’ve ever had. I’ve been buying you guys out everyday.” Azriel exclaims, eyes wide and alight with surprise.
“Oh, so you’re the reason I’ve had to make twice as many recently?” I chuckle, pink staining my cheeks. The fact that Azriel loves my baking brings me way too much delight to be proper.
“I’m sorry, but Cassian and I can’t get enough of them. What do you do to them? They’re like biting into a cloud!”
“I can’t tell you that! It’s a secret recipe!” I wink, a goofy grin on my face.
Azriel rolls his eyes and smiles, grumbling about how secretive bakers are as he deposits a large mound of cinnamon rolls onto a plate. A truly genuine smile breaks across my face at the sight. He collects his own mug and leads me to a comfy couch, where we both plop down and tuck into our midnight snacks.
I can’t help but watch him, completely mystified. This sexy, adorable male is my mate? I’ve never felt lucky a day in my life, but as Azriel finishes his third cinnamon roll, I can’t help but feel like the fates smiled on this one aspect of my life. Having finished my bagel, I sip on my coffee and relax into the couch. I’ve been running for a long time, keeping everyone at arm’s length, never staying in one place for more than a few years. But maybe I can stay hidden in Velaris and keep Azriel a lot closer. Maybe I don’t have to be alone. I want that future so badly it becomes hard to breath.
“So you bake. You dance at Rita’s. What else?”
Azriel’s voice brings me back to the present, and I glance up from my coffee cup. Silent laughter dances in the hazel depths of his eyes, his plate of pastries discarded on the coffee table. Suddenly self conscious under his intent gaze, I reach a hand up to feel the tangled masses of my dark hair. I grimace when I realize what a mess it’s become. It will probably need to be dyed again as well.
“I play music. Mostly the piano. I write sometimes. And you?”
The admissions, however small, make my throat tight with anxiety. I haven’t told anyone anything true about myself in years, and I haven’t touched a piano in just as long. The feeling is nerve wracking, and I can’t help but feel exposed. My eyes follow the upward curve of his lips as he smiles at me, one arm draped over the back of the couch.
“I can see you playing piano. You have the hands for it.”
I blush at his statement, my gaze falling to my entirely ordinary hands. What does that even mean?
“I’m something of a homebody. If I’m not with my brothers, I’m probably here with a book. I train, I work, I come home.“
That explains the mountains of novels all over his room. And the incredible body. He reaches over and runs a hand through my slightly curling hair, the hours I’d spent straightening it made useless. He curls one of the ringlets around his finger, giving it a slight tug, before he tucks it behind my ear. Every single nervous thought evaporates at his touch.
“I like your hair like this, especially since I’m the one who made it this messy.”
He murmurs, a sudden heat in his eyes. I feel my body warm in response to that look, and I have to divert my gaze down at my lap to keep from jumping him right there. Again.
“You’re a shameless flirt, shadowsinger.” I mutter, playing with the silver ring of leaves on my finger, noticing that his thigh is now pressed against mine. When had he moved so close?
“Not usually, trust me. My brothers would be astonished.” He laughs, running a hand through his own messy hair.
“Not usually?” I trace a finger along the back of his hand, fascinated by the combination of scarring and complex veins.
He shivers slightly, and I smile in satisfaction. He’s not the only one who can play that game.
“I make exceptions for my mate.” He whispers, taking my hand from his and pressing a kiss to my palm, lips soft and warm.
“I was supposed to have drinks with my brothers. They must think I decided to stay in.” He laughs against my skin, kissing his way to the pulse point of my wrist.
“Little do they know, huh?” I gasp, made breathless by his ministrations and the thought of exactly why he’d ditched his brothers tonight.
“Little do they know. When you’re ready, I - uh. I know they’d love to meet you.” He looks up at me, cheeks filling with color as he straightens.
My stomach drops, and a bit of reality comes crashing down. A mate is one thing, but letting his family into my life? They’d be two more people to lie to, two more people in danger because of me. I avoid any straight answers, and decide to divert his attention elsewhere.
“Tell me about them?” I drink from my mug, using it as an excuse to break eye contact. I can’t shake the feeling that he can see down to the very truth of me when our gazes meet.
“Their names are Cassian and Rhys. Complete idiots. But those two have saved my life in so many ways.” His eyes glow with a warm, far away look, a goofy smile on his face.
“It sounds like you love them very much.” I speak softly, not wanting that radiant look to ever leave his face.
“I do. Do you have any siblings?” His eyes flicker back to me, the distance clearing from them.
“An older brother. Micah.” I try not to let my voice break on his name, the longing slamming into my chest like a horse at a full sprint.
I curse myself for using my brother’s real name, a slip up I wouldn’t have made with anyone else. Azriel’s mere presence is enough to disarm me, and it’s a struggle to focus with him this close. I haven’t seen Micah since the day our mother was murdered by my fathers sentries, and we both fled for our lives. In opposite directions. The day that started my life on the run.
“Are you two close?” Azriel’s shadows curl around me as he squeezes my hand in silent support, like he already knows the answer.
“We used to be, when we were young. Not so much anymore.”
I tense, hoping that he doesn’t push the subject. I can’t exactly tell him the truth of our forced estrangement. At least not yet.
“Where are you from?”
His tone is light, and I am endlessly grateful for the change in conversation. He doesn’t seem to miss a thing when it comes to me. The thought is a constant inkling of worry in the back of my head.
“Not Velaris.” I reply quickly.
It technically isn’t a lie, but the evasion feels even worse.
“I could’ve guessed that, love. I’ve lived here for hundreds of years, if you lived in Velaris I would’ve found you sooner. Are you from the Night Court?”
He chuckles, taking up another strand of my hair to play with. For a moment, I forget that he’s waiting on a response.
“No, Summer Court. Adriata. Did you grow up in Illyria?”
I attempt to change the subject, the subterfuge like spoiled milk in my stomach. I wish I could tell him all about my little cottage on the outskirts of the Autumn Court, about my mothers smile, and Micah’s penchant for getting me into trouble. Instead, I have to wriggle my way out of letting him get to know me. This is going to be harder than I thought.
“Unfortunately, I did.” Shadows rise from deep within his eyes, blotting out almost all the light in them.
I’ve heard many stories about the brutality of Illyria. Their perilous winters and sprawling mountains, the discipline that they ingrain into their children, how they throw themselves into the path of war. I wonder who put the scars on his hands, his wings, and I feel sick for an entirely different reason.
I search his eyes for answers, glimpsing an age old sadness there. I feel him trying to shove it down deep, but he can’t hide from me anymore than I can from him. A burning rage seethes in my chest at that sadness. It makes me want to grow claws and rip and tear, scorch those responsible with my flames.
He closes his eyes and rests his head where my shoulder and collarbone meet, a deep sigh leaving him. From the tension in his body, I know he wants me to let the topic drop. So instead of asking the questions on the tip of my tongue, I kiss the top of his head and stroke his back softly. He practically purrs, pressing closer, telling me to continue. I smile softly, trailing my fingers down his spine in slow circles. His back is deliciously firm, and rippling with muscles from his often used wings. Heat scorches across my face as I remember how I brought him over the edge just by kissing them, the absolute unleashing of it.
“I- I didn’t realize. That, well um- your wings. That they were so-“ I stutter pitifully, the blush spreading down my neck.
Azriel leans back to meet my eyes, a slight smile beginning on his face, previous troubles forgotten.
“You didn’t know?” He asks, disbelief in his tone and a glint of amusement in his eye.
“No, they just looked very kissable.”
He throws his head back and gives a loud, full belly laugh. I beam at the musical sound, satisfaction flowing through me. I want to make him laugh like that again and again.
“An Illyrian males wings are the most sensitive part of their body. If touched in the perfect spot, we can finish from that alone. As you saw. But they are also our greatest weapon, and we protect them accordingly. For that reason, I usually keep them far away from any - partners.” He explains after sobering from his laughter, voice soft and a slight blush painting his elegant cheekbones.
“But you make exceptions for your mate?” I ask, eyes downcast as I play with the cuff of his long sleeve shirt.
“I do. Only for you.” He takes my hands from his sleeve, and presses them to his lips once again.
I glance up at him, to find his eyes already on me. The warmth and tenderness I find there has my heart flying in my chest, and tears pricking my eyes. I blink them away hurriedly, looking to his wings instead of the intense emotion he’s showing me. For some reason, the adoration I see there has a small burst of fear running through me.
“I’m glad you let me touch them. They’re beautiful.” I whisper reverently as l behold the incredible expanse of his wings.
Vibrant plum and lavender, veined with maroon and the silver of scar tissue. I can’t even think of these beautiful, majestic wings being mutilated like that. My hands ache to touch them again, feel their silky warmth.
“You definitely showed your appreciation for them.” He leans closer, his breath fanning across my cheek as he whispers in my ear.
It sends shivers deep into my core, and I have to squeeze my thighs together and hope he doesn’t catch my scent. The confident, seductive Azriel of earlier tonight is back.
“Not yet I haven’t.” I murmur, emboldened by my renewed need for him.
The need comes quickly, overwhelmingly. Especially now that I know what being with him is like. Entirely world shattering. He may have ruined every other male for me. Again, not that I’m complaining. A low rumble comes from deep in his chest, and he wraps an arm around my waist, pulling me onto his lap with ease.
“Is that so?” There’s a sultry promise in his voice, and I feel him stir against my thigh.
The room is filled with our mingled arousal as he inhales against my neck.
“I still can’t believe I found you.” He groans, pressing kisses against my throat.
I let my eyes fall closed, shocked anew at how easily he reduces me to a gasping mess. His hands begin to roam over my hips and waist, his touch worshipping and disbelieving. When I begin to slowly move myself over his growing arousal, I feel a shift in him. His hands halt their exploration, and he tenses beneath me. I open my eyes to find his face veiled with worry, his brow creasing.
“You don’t have to, Sabine.” He cups my face in his hands, dark eyes gleaming with concern.
I try not to flinch at the false name, and I wonder what his voice would sound like saying the name my mother gave me.
Shoving those thoughts away, I shake my head, a small grin forming on my lips. Does he not see how infatuated I am already? Of course I don’t have to, but I want to.
“Az, you idiot.”
And with that, I plant my lips on his. He doesn’t need further convincing. His body responds to mine eagerly, a low growl building in his chest. My back meets the leather couch as Azriel maneuvers himself above me, his hands sliding under the hem of my sweatshirt. He is somehow gentle and commanding all at once, his skin burning hot against mine. I sigh into the kiss as I give myself to him, entirely content to do so this time.
“You are the most exquisite thing I’ve ever seen.”
He whispers against my lips, that reverent tone back in full force. My eyes prick as my chest fills with equal parts warmth and fear. I can see how easy it would be to love my mate. To fall fast and completely. And the part of me that’s been running scared from those I once loved is terrified.
“I’m scared.” I murmur back, surprised at my own honesty.
I feel his frown against my lips, and he only holds me tighter.
“I’m scared too, love. But I won’t ever hurt you. You’re - You are everything.” His eyes, soft and dark and endlessly kind, convince me.
I smile sheepishly at him, holding out my left pinky.
Without hesitation, he wraps his finger around mine.
The next morning, sunlight streaming in through the expansive windows wakes me. A sleepy contentment keeps me drowsy and warm, and I stretch like a cat after a particularly restful nap.
Cauldron, his morning voice is the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard.
I blink my eyes open, the blurry image of a very amused Azriel coming into focus. His black hair is tousled and falling onto his forehead, and pillow marks color his cheeks.
I cuddle closer to him instead of replying, not ready to start the day yet. He wraps both arms around me as I bury my head in his very bare chest. Memories of last night rise to the surface, and I feel my cheeks warm. After his pinky promise, Azriel made love to me. That’s the only way to describe the beautiful, tender way he touched me. He made sure every ounce of doubt was replaced with complete trust. It was the most intimate I had ever been with anyone in my entire life.
“Did you know that you talk in your sleep?” He asks, a teasing grin curling his full lips.
I can’t help but remember those lips on my body in the living room. And the bedroom. And the bathtub. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep until dawn.
“W-What did I say?” I can only imagine the mortifying things my sleep self has to say to this male.
“Just my name. Over and over again.” His voice deepens, eyes darkening.
“Shut up! I did not!” I hiss, giving his shoulder a shove.
He only chuckles and waggles a brow at me, before placing a kiss to my forehead. He smells even better in the morning, his cedar scent more potent. How is that even possible?
“How did you sleep?”
He brushes my hair over my shoulder, peppering even more kisses across my collarbone. I shiver under his attention, my eyes falling closed again.
“Better than I have in a long time.” I admit, my voice still raspy with sleep.
“So did I.”
He runs gentle hands through my hair, our legs still entwined intimately. I haven’t felt this safe and content in someone’s arms since I was a girl, when my mom would hold me after I woke from nightmares about monsters under my bed. Azriel already feels like home, and the thought doesn’t scare me as badly as it did last night. Thoughts of my father seem distant and insignificant now, chased away by the bright morning light and warmth of my mate’s presence.
“I wish I could stay here with you all day, baby.” He groans, a deep sigh leaving him. I can feel his reluctance in how firmly he presses me to him, strong arms locking me against his chest.
“Then stay.” I grumble moodily, a frown curling my lips downwards. I know we can’t stay sequestered in his apartment forever, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.
“I have to do some work for my brother today, but you’re more than welcome to stay in my bed. In fact, I hope you do.” Azriel chuckles, untangling his limbs from mine and kneeling before me. He drops a tender, lingering kiss on my lips before standing.
My cheeks warm as my blood sings in my veins, and my breath catches in my chest. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the way his touch affects me. I hope I never do.
“Oh? What kind of work do you do for him? Does he have his own shop or something?” I yawn my way through the question, cuddling myself into his vacated warm spot.
Azriel smiles over his shoulder at me, while sliding into Illyrian fighting leathers. My mouth goes dry at how the skin tight garment outlines his muscular thighs and powerful chest, accentuating the golden tones of his skin. Hubba Hubba.
“Actually, Rhysand is High Lord of the Night Court. I’m his Spymaster. I have spying to do.” His lips twitch as if he’s trying to not let the easy smile fall from his face as he continues dressing. He watches for my reaction intently.
The blood in my veins turns to ice, freezing my heart in place as my eyes shoot open in shock.
Azriel’s brother Rhys is… Rhysand. High Lord of the Night Court. All sleep leaves my body, and I have to fight to stay still. Every instinct is screaming at me to run, run far and fast.
Because Rhysand knows my father, seeing as he’s High Lord of the Autumn Court.
In fact, I know Beron has met Rhysand many times. He often spoke about the half breed bastard who challenged his authority at meetings.
I met Rhysand at Beron’s court once, when I was barely fifteen. It’s been decades, but he could easily recognize me as Beron’s bastard daughter. And he could tell my father where I am, maybe even deliver me to him.
Even if he doesn’t recognize me, grown and changed as I am, Rhysand is a Daemati. He could rip the truth from my own mind with hardly a thought. And the High Lord of the Night Court has a reputation for finding pleasure in that sort of thing. The thought has me shivering despite the warm blankets tucked around me.
“Oh. You didn’t mention that last night.” I rasp, trying not to look like I’m about to throw up. My stomach roils, and my palms dampen with cold sweat.
“I forget that he’s High Lord sometimes. He’s just Rhys to me.” Azriel shrugs, with his back now turned to me as he readies himself for the day. I thank the Cauldron for it.
I can only imagine the stark horror in my expression, and I take a few extra moments to reign my emotions in. Gods, no wonder Azriel can read me so effortlessly. It’s not only because of the bond, he’s a spymaster. Reading people is his job. A job he performs for a mind stealing, murdering monster of a High Lord. Bile rises in my throat, and I feel my heart crack in my chest.
Azriel is not who I thought he was. The trustworthy, gentle male I spent the night with could just be another mask he wears. A tremble begins deep within me.
“When will you be back?” I try to sound eager, like I can’t wait for his return.
In reality, I’m trying to find out how far away I can get before he even realizes I’m gone.
“Tonight. I just need to visit some - colleagues in another court.” He says, while lacing his sturdy looking boots into place.
What court is he ‘visiting’? Will he be spying on other High Lords for Rhysand? Despite the new revelations about his dangerous brother, I feel a stab of fear for my mate. Any High Lord would slaughter him in a moment if they caught him spying on the Daemati’s behalf.
“Will you be safe?” I hear the worry in my own voice, and Azriel either hears it as well or can feel it from me. Damn mate bond.
The male perches on the bed next to me, a reassuring smile on his striking face. The two versions of him that exist in my head clash terribly; the vulnerable, kind Azriel of last night and the formidable Spymaster I’ve heard grave stories about. My gaze falls to the dark dagger strapped to his leg. Truth Teller. I try not to shiver as the light glints lethally off its razored edge. I wonder how many truths he’s tortured out of his enemies using it.
“Of course. Always, but especially now.” Azriel strokes stray curls out of my face, his eyes brimming with unabashed tenderness. He kisses me soundly, a promise to return.
My stomach flips and suddenly my heart is no longer racing out of fear. For a moment, I almost forget the hidden lethalness and only see Az. But that’s foolish. I can’t shiver at the sight of his famed blade and crave his touch at the same time.
“I’ll see you tonight?” I ask, mentally calculating how long I have to leave Velaris. I go through the well rehearsed steps of my escape plan, focusing on mundane details to keep the fear and longing from rendering me completely useless.
“Of course.” Shadows of worry cloud his eyes, and I can almost see the sharp, spy’s mind calculating behind them.
Azriel kisses me once more, his lips hesitant for the very first time.
His mouth tastes like sorrow, and I feel a flicker of something down the bond. It’s gone too quickly for me to decipher it. I curse internally, hoping he only thinks I’m intimidated by his brother’s position. Between the bond and his spymaster abilities, who knows what he can decipher from my reaction alone.
“I’ll be back soon, okay?” He stands, tucking his wings in close and letting his shoulders droop slightly.
He searches my face, lips slightly turned down at the corners, brow furrowed.
“I’ll be here.” The lie burns my throat like acid, and I can’t bring myself to meet his eyes.
Instead, I pretend to settle deeper into the bed, closing my eyes as I bring the blankets up to my chin. I don’t want to see the confusion and worry in his gaze. And I can’t watch him leave, knowing that I may never see him again. Azriel squeezes my thigh softly, whispering another farewell as he leaves the room with a sigh.
I wait until I no longer feel the thrumming current that is Azriel’s presence, when I know he’s well and truly gone. Then I spring into action. I burst from the bed, and head straight for Azriel’s dresser. I yank a pair of sweats from the drawer and pull them on hurriedly, shaking so hard it takes me three tries to get my legs through the correct hole. I practically run through the living room, propelled forwards by thoughts of obliterated minds and the dank cells beneath the Autumn Court.
I glimpse the forgotten mugs and pastry box from last night on the coffee table. Tears prick my eyes at the memory of the hope I felt during that meal. I told Azriel, my mate, more than I’ve shared with anyone in years. He let me see some of the anguish he carries with him, buried so deep it’s become a part of him. I gave my body to him. And he felt like home. Can I really run from that?
Yes, I can. I have to. I was a fool to think that I could ever be outside my father’s reach.
On impulse, I hunt down a pen from the kitchen cabinets and scrawl a quick, cowardly note on a scrap of paper. Shame coats my tongue so thoroughly I think I may choke on it.
I’m sorry. - S
With the note finished, I raise the hood to conceal my face and tear down the stairs, avoiding the elevator Azriel first kissed me in. Soon enough, my bare feet are slapping against the rain slick pavement, my heart cracking with every step. I don’t stop to notice the people that watch me fly by, or the sun shining over the Sidra. I let the fear cloud every guilty thought, until all I know is adrenaline.
Once I reach my apartment, I change into clothes more appropriate for an escape attempt, and collect my emergency bag from beneath some loose floorboards. Not the most creative hiding spot, but it’s better than my underwear drawer.
Less than an hour later, I’m standing on the rickety, wooden deck of a foreign boat, sailing away from Velaris. Tradesmen man their vessel, hardly paying attention to me as I stare out over the water from their starboard side. I can imagine the mystery I pose. A lone, cloaked female, begging to stow away on their watercraft.
The money I slipped to their captain keeps the curious glances to a minimum, and I hope it keeps their mouths shut in the future. Either way, I won’t be settling where I first disembark. I’m not entirely sure where I’ll go yet, but maybe that’s for the best. If I’m entirely impulsive, my actions will be harder to predict.
I’ve run scared so many times over the years that I’ve lost count, but I’ve never been so conflicted. Every mile I put between me and the shore of the Sidra is another knife shoved up under my ribs, and it becomes harder and harder to breath. Eventually, the vibrant colors of the Rainbow fade from view and the citrus scent of the river becomes the salty brine of the ocean. Hot tears sting my eyes, and I let them fall. The hood of my cloak covers my face anyway.
I cannot wait to dive into more of Eris and his backstory. There’s alot to unpack with him and I’m honestly looking forward to it. Yeah, he’s roughly around 500 years old.
I don’t think we will see alot of him in Acosf. I do think in one of the many heart to hearts Cassian and Nesta will have, Cassian will tell Nesta about what happened with Mor.
Anyway, from the beginning, we’re told via Lucien and Mor that Eris is well a dick. He’s arrogant and cruel. Has done horrible things in the past. The way he is in ACOWAR, tells us a different story. I think he could be like Rhys. In the aspect of he puts up a front. The entitlement and cruelty is a mask hiding who he is. As the oldest son, there’s a lot on shoulders. He doesn’t think he has the freedom that Lucien has. Eris probably believes he has to follow his fathers footsteps.
(Guess what man? You don’t)
That cruel arrogance, is a mask to appease Beron. Just like with Rhys, except his mask his to protect Velaris.
We already know that he wasn’t part of Jesminda’s death. Idk about you but If I was some sadistic, villainous guy. I would’ve delighted in her death. So why wasn’t he there? If he’s such a horrible person?
Aside from the Lady of the Autumn court, I think he’s the only who loves Lucien. He may even be sympathetic towards Mor which brings me to this.
The Mor situation:
This is a little complicated. We only know what Mor said, and Feyre’s response to it. Here’s my opinion, he didn’t want it either. Why? Who knows. He didn’t. Usually with marriage alliances neither one of the people are entirely thrilled. At this point I’m not sure he even he made the comment of Mor being “sullied by a bastard.” That was all Beron who was pissed.
His actions, or non actions to what happened with both Jesminda and Mor don’t line up. I can’t wait to see what happens to him and dive into who Eris really is.