Do I want a boyfriend, or do I just want someone who treats me the way fictional boys treat their girlfriends/wives?
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Cassian, to the Valkyries: Hey, guys, why are you all standing on chairs? Are you playing a game?
Nesta: Yeah, we're playing "we saw a big-ass spider and don't know where the fuck it went".
Cassian: *scrambles onto a chair*
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Midnight Velaris watching
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Cup of Warmth
Gwyneth Berdara x Azriel
When it’s winter and you’re cold, what is the drink you choose? Apple Cider or Hot Cocoa? Gwyn and Azriel argue over the best winter drink.
This is my first Gwynriel fic, it took me a little while to get into their voices so let me know what you think
Masterlist | Read on Ao3 | Wintery Collection
The second Azriel unlocked and opened his door, the persistent knocking stopped and he was instead greeted by the sight of Gwyn prancing into his apartment and immediately unwinding the scarf she’d somehow gotten wrapped around her three—no, four times.
“It’s too cold.” She mumbled through the layers of soft fabric as she continued to pull her scarf off. “Why do we choose to live somewhere that gets so cold?”
Azriel chuckled and couldn’t stop his fond smile as he shut the door behind her and stepped closer to help untangle the last bit of her scarf.
“We’ve only had snow for a week. I think you’ll have to deal with it getting a bit colder,” he told her, turning to hang the scarf on the hook by the door as she took off her coat and hat, handing them both to him when he held his hand out.
“It’s freezing, and I need something hot and sweet.” Gwyn declared, walking into the kitchen. She looked over her shoulder at Ariel who’d smirked and opened his mouth, as she said, “Besides you.”
He chuckled but raised his hands. “I didn’t say anything.”
“You didn't have to.” She rolled her eyes, but her lips twitched up in a half-smile as she dug around for two mugs. “This is the perfect time for a cup of—”
Gwyn whirled around, looking scandalized, as she and Azriel spoke at the same time. “Did you just say Apple Cider?” She asked incredulously.
Azriel merely raised an eyebrow. “What's wrong with Apple Cider?”
Gwyn scoffed, setting both mugs on the counter. “What's wrong with Apple Cider he says. I’ll tell you what's wrong with Apple Cider. It's snowing.”
“It is snowing. And?” He asked, sitting down at the kitchen island.
“And when it's snowing that means it's Hot Cocoa season.”
When Gwyn turned and went looking for the Cocoa supplies, she missed the fond but exasperated eye roll as he quietly opened the fridge door and pulled out the gallon of Cider to heat up, stealthily sitting back down before she came back with the Cocoa.
She got two steps back into the kitchen before freezing, looking pointedly at the Cider he set out. “Az.”
“What?” He waited for her to say something but she huffed and grabbed a pot to heat up the milk and Cocoa.
“Apple Cider is better.” He said, straining not to smile at her.
“Apple Cider is not better. Cider is for autumn leaves and Halloween parties and chilly days before the snow falls. Cocoa is a warm hug in a cup. Sure you can put cinnamon in Cider, but you can do that with Cocoa, too. And Cocoa comes with whipped cream, ooh—and all the mini marshmallows!
“The marshmallows are the best part,” Gwyn was on a roll now. “The mini ones, not the big ones, who wants to deal with two giant marshmallows that you need to bite into? Nobody. The mini ones are cute, and you and can get a few with each sip, and they just make the Cocoa so much better. One time I bought these red marshmallows around valentines day, but when you put them in with the chocolate, milk, and whipped cream all the dye faded and they looked really sad—”
“Gwyn,” Az murmured, trying to get her back on track. Normally he would be happy to listen to her talk for hours, more content to sit back quietly and watch as she became more animated the longer she talked about something that made her happy. Or frustrated, or surprised, or just about any emotion. But if he didn’t stop her before she got on a rant about different candies and chocolates, then they’d never be able to start the movie they planned on watching.
“Hmm? What was I saying? Oh, right, what the fuck do you mean Cider is better?”
Azriel choked on a laugh, nothing but amused at Gwyn’s indignant face and pouted lip. “You’re cute when you swear.”
She huffed through her nose, sending a stray piece of copper hair flying. “I’m always cute.”
“Yes, you are.” he grinned.
She gave the jug of Cider on the counter a side-eye glare, then turned with her arms crossed and narrowed her eyes at him. “I am agog, I am agast.”
Azriel smirked and raised a brow, leaning on the counter “Are you quoting Les Mis at me?”
She blinked. “Irrelevant.”
He shook his head and got up, grabbing the second mug from the counter and pouring himself a cup of the Cider. He ignored her glare as he stuck it in the microwave and walked towards the bar cart.
Azriel faced her again, grinning as he held up a bottle. “You can mix whiskey with Cider.”
Gwyn smirked. “And you can mix Baileys, Rumchata, or even Peppermint Schnapps with Cocoa. Ha!”
He laughed softly, “I don’t get it, You gleefully drank the cup of Cider I made you last week. And most of mine. How can you be so against it now?”
Gwyn spun on her heel, leaning her elbows on the island and leveling him a look. “I’m not against Cider itself. I love Apple Cider, especially when you make it,” she gave him a small smile, “But it's snowing, and you’re saying you would rather have Cider over Cocoa? To compare the two—and choose wrong?” She scoffed again but he saw her smirk.
She mixed the ingredients and let the pot heat up, stirring the Cocoa mix. They went back and forth as Gwyn made her Cocoa and Azriel drank his Cider.
“Cider is fast,” he said as they settled on the couch and pulled a blanket over them. “All you have to do is put it in the microwave for a minute.”
Gwyn turned the tv on and tucked herself under Azriel’s arm. “Ah, but that's what makes Cocoa better, there’s more love in it. More effort makes it tastes better.”
He chuckled into her hair. “Let's see about that.” And he reached his free arm around and plucked a marshmallow from her mug.
Gwyn squeaked in protest but as she turned her head to face his, Azriel pressed a quick, marshmallow-tasting kiss to her lips.
She scowled at him as he pulled away but couldn’t hold it for more than a moment before turning to face the tv again and grumbling, “You’re lucky I love you.”
Azriel chuckled as he kissed her head. “I know.”
@acourtofsnakes @allthebooksunderthemoon @astra-ad-mare @becarefuloflove @booklover41802 @charlizeed @cookiemonsterwholovesbooks @danibutterr @doubt-less @emily-gsh @enormousbooklover @foughtconquered @fromthelibraryofemilyj @hakunamatatazz @i-have-but-one-brain-cell @in-love-with-caramel-macchiato @jorjy-jo @lemonade-coolattas @mariamuses @mayhemories @midsizewitch @rowaelinrambling @morganofthewildfire @nehemikkele @rowaelinismyotp @rowansfirebringer @sayosdreams @sheharahu @sleeping-and-books @stardelia @story-scribbler @superspiritfestival @themoonthestarsthesuriel @swankii-art-teacher @tomtenadia @westofmoon @whimsicallyreading @moodymelanist @angelic-voice-1997 @realbookloverproblems @gracie-rosee @julemmaes @yesdreamblog @the-regal-warrior @rowanaelinn @thestoriesyoutell @autumnbabylon @sunflowermoonshinewrites @maastrash @annejulianneh111
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what’s truly wild to me is how Elain literally shuts down whenever Lucien is around, how Maas has made it explicit how uncomfortable she is around him, how though his Solstice gifts are thoughtful, they also show he doesn’t really *get* her, how Elain has outright said how much she doesn’t like the bond... And people will still pull for them to be endgame, even when you see the direct contrast of how Azriel listens to her talk about her gardening plans, how they get each other, how she gives him “offer and permission”, how she *does* have explicit interest in him, with their little secret moments.
Like, would I be surprised if Elain and Lucien end up together, in spite of Elain’s explicit discomfort around him? No, I wouldn’t be. I don’t ship it at all because of that, but there’s no denying how much Maas loves the mating bond trope. Mates are supposed to be rare, but it feels like everyone has one lol.
But with how Maas said: “I thought it was obvious”, and with how it really is, looking at everything, I think she’s breaking her own trope with this one and going against expectations in having Elain choose someone other than her mate. She already gave Azriel permission to kiss her, he only didn’t because Rhys intervened.
I just really hope Maas *does* break her own tropes, because while no, I would not be surprised if Elain and Lucian end up together, I would really hate it, because ACOWAR, ACOFAS, and ACOSF have all made it very, very clear how uncomfortable Elain is around him and how much she hates that it didn’t give her a choice, how him and the mating bond were forced on her during an extremely traumatic event. Having her choose the mating bond in spite of all that would just be so disappointing to me. “yeah, you have a choice, of course!!” and she choses what was forced on her, what she’s made explicitly clear she hates over the course of three books? Please, god, no.
But in those same books, Elain and Azriel are both in the background mostly, but you can clearly see how much they grow to care for each other, leading up to their almost kiss in the ACOSF bonus. To me, Elriel is so incredibly obvious, it hurts. And what a power move for Elain - to reject the mating bond, to truly start making decisive choices and to stop letting other push her around. It just would make such a better story, one that really cements her choice, that puts her first, that puts her in control of her own life.
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The funny thing is that during the initial meeting, SJM used the SAME words to describe both Nessian and Elriel, and how the males reacted to the females.
“I can imagine,” Azriel said. Cassian flashed him a glare. But Azriel’s attention was on my sister, a polite, bland smile on his face.
With Cassian it was:
Cassian tore his relentless attention from Nesta long enough to nod his agreement.
Both were interested from the get-go. What’s more, both acted with each woman according to HER character--sensing immediately what each one was, and what approach to take.
Cassian teased and taunted and challenged. Azriel, soothed and comforted and reassured.
Look how the evening had started for Elain:
‘Elain, to her credit did not faint.’
How did it end?
‘Elain beamed...Elain noticing Azriel’s ease as proof that things weren’t indeed about to go badly, offered one (smile) of her own as well.’
In Feyre’s and SJM’s eyes, Azriel and Elain are paired off immediately as ‘the only two civilized ones’, and Feyre consistently notices how the two pairs interact with each other. Not how Elain interacts with Rhys, or Cassian, or even her, but specifically with Azriel. How she is forced to explain herself and Nesta’s past to Cassian, but doesn’t feel the need to do that for Azriel. Instead, she opens up and questions HIM directly. Even Nesta doesn’t do that--she questions Feyre on her eating habits and her Fae transformation.
It was all clear as day during that first meeting.
Azriel’s interest and concern for Elain were immediate, and nothing’s changed in 3 years. Her interest in him--not the Fae, or Prythian--but him was just as immediate, despite her engagement, and her being human.
For Elain, it was always forbidden, her attraction to him--first it was her engagement and humanity, then it was her bond, and now, it’s forbidden for Azriel as well, by Rhys and politics.
And we all know what happens when things are forbidden...
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Just Leave - Gwynriel
I apologise before hand for all the angst I’m throwing out today. Also this was meant to be a one shot but now I’m considering to let this be a series??? (Cause I want to fix the angst 😂)….
“I don’t think we’ll be able to manage it.”
Azriel stared at her, his heart deflating.
The defeat in her eyes brought pain to him.
“We have tonight and most of tomorrow. We can find a way.”
“Can we?” She asked. “Without bloodshed?”
He opened his mouth, then closed it again. They had limited time, to find the location of the stolen trove piece. Time was running out and they barely had any leads left.
There was a knock at the doorway. Zaryn stood there in a trim auburn tunic and balck pants. The prick smiled at Gwyn, but scowled at Azriel.
“Zaryn,” Gwyn said. “Tea?”
“That would be great Gwyn,” he said, stepping inside the office Eris had them placed in.
Gwyn glanced at Azriel, “For you?”
“No,” he said, watching Zaryn. “I’m alright.”
Gwyn moved to the other corner of the room to prepare them both tea and while she did, Zaryn moved closer to Azriel.
“Did you tell her?”
They were only a few feet from Gwyn and his heart began to race.
No doubt, this male would go through on his threat. Azriel could see the want in the male’s eyes for Gwyn. He wanted to punch him every time he saw him.
He narrowed his gaze at him. “There is nothing to tell, and we have more important things to do than worry about what you think you saw.”
“I saw enough.”
“Can you focus on the problem we have on our hands right now instead of creating drama that isn’t there?”
“Creating drama?” His eyes flashed.
“I am here busting my ass to help your court and mine. I see her busting her ass as well while you go traipsing around on hidden meetings with another. You are not what she needs.”
“She is the one I love and I am exactly what she needs.”
“Boys?”, Gwyn asked staring at us from across her desk. There was no mistaking the tension in the air.
“What’s going on?”
“It’s about Azriel.”
Azriel’s chest heaved as he waited for Zaryn to strike.
Her gaze switched to Azriel. “Azriel?”
But before Azriel could speak, Zaryn made his move.
“He’s having an affair with Elain.”
Azriel’s eyes went wide.
That’s what he thought Azriel had been doing?
“I most certainly am not having an affair with Elain.”
Gwyn looked confused . . . and dubious.
“Last night he left the Manor. I thought his behaviour was suspicious. So I followed him.”
Gwyn looked equally suspicious. “You followed him?”
Zaryn slid Azriel a glance over his shoulder.
“He walked towards the back forest and I lost him for a bit. But when I found him after a few minutes, I saw Elain waiting in a secluded clearing.” He looked back at Gwyn, ready to deliver the final blow.
“They were embracing and there was blood in the air.”
Gwyns eyes widened.
“He isn’t faithful to you. You had to know that. I had to tell you.”
“Zaryn, leave us, please.”
But he wouldn’t listen.
“Don’t you see what he’s done to you?”
“Zaryn, get out.” Gwyn said with her voice quiet but firmed with steel.
Gwyn glared at Zaryn, her expression no less polite than it had been with Azriel.
Zaryn did as he was told, slamming the door shut behind him.
Gwyn stood up and walked towards Azriel, a thousand questions in her eyes.
“Tell me,” she said. “Do not make me put our relationship in his hands.”
Azriel swallowed down his panic. He hadn’t prepared for this—for the assumption actually made.
There was no honourable strategy here. He could be honest, pray that she’d forgive him.
“Elain is leaving the Night Court.”
Gwyn’s face went white, and her eyes huge.
“I found out. She cannot deal with this new war and wants to go away to the continent to start fresh.”
Gwyn stared at him, waiting for him to finish.
“She doesn’t want anyone to know she’s running, and she asked me for my help.”
The usual light in Gwyn’s eyes dulled a bit. She knew that Azriel at some point wanted Elain, but it was never a feeling of depth. It was never love with Elain and any feelings of lust vanished when Gwyn had walked into his life. Now he just shared a friendship with Elain.
“You’re helping her leave… and then what? You leave with her?”
“Just for a bit Gwyn, just to help her settle there.”
At that her eyes completely shuttered.
“And you didn’t tell me this why?”
“She made me promise not to tell a soul.”
He saw the tears gathering in her eyes.
“When did you plan to help her get there Azriel?”
Azriel frowned at the question.
“She wanted to do it in three weeks time.”
Gwyn offered him a small sad smile, one brimming with disappointment.
“On our anniversary. That’s why you said you couldn’t come with me to the dinner I had planned for us.”
Azriels eyes widened. No… no, no… the timing. He hadn’t realised the timing.
“No Gwyn. No I swear it wasn’t planned like that.”
She just held up a hand.
“You didn’t tell me because she asked you. You decided to say no to something I planned for us for weeks because she asked you of something.”
“Gwyn, I swear it on everything.She made me take a blood promise not to tell. She doesn’t want Nesta, Feyre and Lucien following her. She said she needed some time to find herself before she decided on anything.”
“I understand Azriel. She comes first.”
Azriel rushed forward, taking her hands in his. Trying to plead with her with everything in him. Fuck, this was not happening. He couldn’t loose her. Not in this lifetime or any other.
“Gwyn. I love you. I fucking love you, she just needed the help and I am a dumbass who messed up the timing but I swear you are everything to me.”
The tears in her eyes, began to fall and she pushed them away as if annoyed with herself that she cried in front of him. His heart fell to his knees.
The sadness in her eyes hurt him more than anything else and seared him to the bone. She wasn’t just angry… she was hurt.
“I’m not a consolation prize, Azriel.”
“You should have told me, I would have understood. And I understand now, I don’t know why I ever believed that you had moved on.”
He was about to lay his entire heart out on the line. He would do anything to make her see the truth.
As if in answer, his projector rang. He didn’t so much as reach down to turn it off, but Gwyn’s eyes narrowed anyway.
“Who is it?”
“Check the goddamn call.”
His hands shook with adrenaline, He pulled it out and checked the screen. It was Cassian.
“Answer it,” she gritted out.
“We’re in the middle of a—”
“Oh, no,” she said. “We are quite done here. Answer the call, Azriel.”
Done here? he mentally repeated. What does she mean by “done here”? Done with me? Done with us?
He raised the projector and had to work to keep his hands from shaking.
“I know my timing’s bad, and you guys are busy dealing with Koschei but we have a problem.”
Fuck him to hell. Gwyn’s eyes narrowed, fighting between concern and anger.
Cassian continued, completely unaware of the tension between him and Gwyn.
“We haven’t been able to find her. We thought she might have run away but there were signs of a struggle in her room.”
Azriel frowned as Gwyn rushed to her desk and moved around some papers.
“Nesta and I are checking the human lands, Rhys and Feyre the Day and Dawn Courts.”
“I know where she is!”, yelled Gwyn.
“What?”, both Cassian and Azriel squeeked.
Gwyn pointed to a spot on the map.
“I was doing the nightly reckon of the lands here two days ago. Koschei’s men seemed to be preparing for a prisoner here. This has to be it.”
“Fuck Gwyn. Good catch”, muttered Cassian.
Azriel couldn’t help but look at Gwyn with pride. She worked herself tirelessly since Rhys asked her if she wanted to join the war efforts. She had come through for the court every single time.
“We’ll get her”, announced Gwyn as she strapped on her knives.
“Sorry, what now?”
Gwyn gave Azriel a small glance at his exclamation before looking at Cassian.
“We’re the closest. There is no way we’re waiting for back up when she’s being held by the enemy. We go now.”
Azriel nodded, hating this. He had all the belief in Gwyn’s ability, but he hated to see her in any danger. He chose not to say anything because otherwise he was pretty sure Gwyn would kick his ass.
She nodded and walked towards the door as Azriel cut the call with Cassian.
“Gwyn, I - .”
She stopped at the door, not looking at him.
“I’m not doing this with you right now, Azriel. We have to save her. I won’t let Nesta loose a sister.”
Taglist: @katekatpattywack @amb3rpanda @schnipperxd @hlizr50
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TEARS OF GOLD
Thrilled to display the next commission I have been planning, this beautiful piece created by the wonderful @imjenndove on insta & is inspired by Eros & Psyche art.
(Do not repost. Reblog from this post or find it from source on other socials, as people refuse to credit commissioners properly. Thank you.)
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Small Elriel Headcanons
I have these really small headcanon's that add nothing to the plot, but here they are
Elain has really soft and fleshy thighs. I don't know why I think this, but it makes an appearance many of my fics. And Azriel loves laying his head on her lap to vent about his day while Elain gives him a temple massage and plays with his hair.
Elain loves foot rubs. Now, you might say, "Cait, doesn't everyone love foots rubs?" And I would say, "Yes, but NO ONE loves them like Elain." After a long day on her feet Azriel will give her foot rubs in bed, and Elain literally melts and becomes putty in his hands...She moans and lets out these crazy high-pitched sounds, and the next day Cassian will wolf whistle or crack some joke about Azriel in bed, and Elain will turn beat-red because the only thing that happens was the foot massage.
Azriel has a tiny freckle by the corner of his left eye. That's it. This freckle makes an appearance in a number of my fics, and Elain absolutely adores it and feel the need to kiss it (as she should).
Azriel loves hand massages. He never had one before Elain gently picked up his hand and started absentmindedly rubbing it, but it completely sent him into oblivion. He spent so much time hiding his hands and making sure they avoided a lot of unnecessary contact, but Elain finds his hands beautiful and is constantly kissing them. One night after family dinner, when they were all sitting at the table talking, Elain gently picks up his hands and starts tracing the scars and then she starts rubbing the scar tissue. Azriel had never felt anything so amazing in his entire life.
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Have you written about Azriel discovering that he is Gwyn's mate? If so, where can I find it? And if not, can you write? Please 🥺
I hadn't written that...I don't tend to write in canon a lot...but guess I'm doing so now. 👀😂
You will now get to witness a few of my headcanons that don't come out much, particularly: the bond looks different for everyone and Azriel's shadows don't actually speak to him...I know a lot of people write it that way, but personally, I believe that the "language of the shadows" is something far more intrinsic and deeper. It's feelings, unspoken guidance.
Also, let's not forget that they both have a lot of healing to do...especially Az. 😬
Word Count: ~1,500 | Warnings: Az still has issues...
Azriel couldn't deny he was more excited to get back to the House of Wind than usual.
It's not that he didn't like the House, but he often felt the same indifference to arriving there as he did numerous other spots around Velaris when he was just idly traveling there. Or, in this case, traveling home.
However, he'd been away for almost a week, and he was shocked at how difficult he'd found it. This was his job. And he excelled at it. Being away for a week or two to gather information was nothing. He'd once spent over two months hiding and observing a possible enemy and hadn't been even half as anxious to get home as he was now.
Not that he didn't know why.
No, that was rather obvious, considering the face that haunted his dreams each night. The teal eyes that sparkled, stars in the night sky of his dream world. The sound of a laugh that calmed him. The smile that hid in his heart when awake, only to come out in full force as soon as he closed his eyes.
Gods, he missed it all so much. Their private training sessions. The game nights at the House she'd join them for. Something Azriel was exceedingly pleased by, considering how difficult it was to actually get through a game with just Cassian and Nesta. Their secret conversations within the library when he was there doing research. He couldn't wait to get back to all of it, and he'd be lying if he said he wasn't hoping for more. To maybe get the chance to take her out to dinner, if she was willing. Or, maybe, have a private dinner with her at the House, if that would make her more comfortable. Or a picnic outside of Velaris, out of the House, but not surrounded by so many others. He'd likely prefer that too, if he were being honest.
It was new for him. This feeling…the desire to be around someone constantly, to be so desperate to see them when they weren't around. Azriel didn't know what to make of it. His feelings for Mor and Elain had been so different, but he just couldn't believe that meant his thoughts around Gwyn were wrong. If anything, they made him start to realize how horrid his feelings had been for the other two.
He'd never once dreamed about Elain's smile, her eyes. Never once heard Mor's laugh in the depths of his mind and felt so restless. And he certainly never fantasized about teaching them a new card game he'd learned, or planned out possible ways he could take them out on a date.
He was just about to land on the balcony when his shadows pulled him up to the training ring, instead. It was like a whisper on the wind that inserted itself into his mind, no words or images, just a feeling that directed him.
So Az flew up to the balcony where the training ring was held and landed silently on the surface, only to find a flurry of copper hair flowing in the wind as she worked through the exercises he'd taught her.
A deep breath in, and Azriel was moving closer, watching her every movement.
She was flawless. Each step perfectly timed, every swing of her sword mortiferous. Her hair was loose, her leathers tight against her body in a way that had Az's mind scrambling as he tried to keep a hold on himself.
He wasn't sure if he should call out to her or not, knowing she'd realize he was here sooner or later. If not given away by himself, his shadows would surely do it. But, before he had the chance to decide, she did a move that had her twirling around and halting, their eyes locking as a smile instantaneously spread on her face.
And suddenly his entire world came to an end as something wholly new blossomed before his eyes. As threads of deepest cobalt and sparkling teal joined together, twirling as they created one thick bond between them, slamming itself into place in a way that had Azriel truly gasping.
Glowing brightly before him, he could have sworn the sun's rays focused in on it, on them, even as his shadows danced around it.
The force of the snap had him losing his footing and falling to his knees as he stared up at Gwyn. His heart was thundering wildly, his mind depleting of every thought but her and that one word that rang through him, reverberating off of every bone.
Gwyn's smile had softened as she walked toward him. And then, suddenly, he felt something akin to a gentle tug on one of his ribs. His hand snapped to the spot as he watched Gwyn's eyes widen in amusement.
"Took you long enough, Shadowsinger."
"What?" he rasped, watching as she knelt before him.
Gwyn huffed a small laugh as she sat back on her heels, and Az mimicked the motion. "I was starting to think you might never realize…"
"You…you knew?" Her smile brightened and completely stole Az's breath as she nodded. "For how long?"
"A few months, though I suspected before," she explained, her eyes dropping to look down at the ground. "At first, I didn't tell you because I thought you knew and didn't want…" Her voice trailed off for a moment, and Az placed a finger beneath her cheek to softly lift her face, removing it the second their eyes met again. A flash of something mischievous flew across her gaze. "But, after a little while, I realized you had no idea. And then I just got curious, wondering how long it would take you. You were really slow."
A wet laugh burst from his lips as he watched her, as he followed those freckles, her face scrunching slightly while she spoke.
"I-I'm not…not ready for…"
"Gwyn," Az sighed, interrupting her stuttered sentence, "I just want to spend time with you. We don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with, even if that means not spending too much time with me alone."
"However," he continued, "if you are willing to, perhaps we could try having dinner together? We don't have to go out into the city, or even leave the House. But if you want to, maybe we could take a picnic to a pretty lake I know? I'm sure the House would gladly pack a picnic if it knew it was for you."
Gwyn chuckled softly at the comment. "Expect a lot of chocolate."
She let out a sigh, slowly taking his hands in hers, her thumbs caressing the top of them, sending shivers down his spine. "I'd like that." Her voice was tentative as her eyes lifted, meeting his gaze again, a light shining in them Az wasn't sure he'd seen before.
Az couldn't help but smile widely at her, at the response. "We'll start with that, then. All I want is to spend time with you, Gwyn. However much you're willing to give me."
"Then you should make sure it's a great picnic."
"I'll do just that," he laughed, finally finding the strength to stand, his hands remaining in hers as he helped her up.
Gwyn let out a deep breath. "I should get going. I've got quite a bit of work to do this afternoon."
Az nodded in understanding, bending down to pick up the sword she'd been using. "I'll put this away. May do some exercises myself."
"Okay. Tonight, then?"
"Tonight," he agreed.
His eyes followed her as she left, and it wasn't until she was out of his sight that Az finally fully realized what happened.
With the shock fading away, Az was left dealing with an internal war. A desperate desire to follow Gwyn against the pounding thoughts reminding him who he was. Reminding him how perfect and lovely and amazing Gwyn is, and how he would darken her life.
They settled within him as he shed his jacket and began his own exercises.
He didn't deserve Gwyn. Could never deserve someone so wonderful, so bright. She was a true light, and all he would be is a shadow in her life. Not a gift from the Cauldron, but a curse. And he knew that, one day, Gwyn would realize that. She may have seen him at his most feral, may not be scared of him as others were, but that didn't mean she could love him, could ever truly want him.
Like he had been, she was just overwhelmed with the snapping of the mating bond, too surprised to think straight and see this truth. It intrigued her, made her want to know more. Until she learned the pieces that would have her pulling away forever.
And as he swung the sword, as he moved with the wind, Az realized he had a choice ahead of him.
Did he let her go now, to ensure he never darken her path? Or did he take the selfish route, and spend as much time with her as possible until she finally saw the truth?
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This is totally how it’s gonna go, no one can say anything else
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Nesta & Emerie: Admit it. You have a crush!
Gwyn: Oh please. I mean, am I attracted to Azriel? Sure. Do my days feel better when I'm around him? Yeah. Do I fantasize about him? Yes, but only in six positions.
Nesta & Emerie: ...
Gwyn: Do I have a crush? The answer is no. You have nothing to worry about.
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This has been said probably a million times already but Azriel feeling something glowing in his chest at the thought of Gwyn's joy is just precious—it's probably something Sarah wrote with a big smile on her face knowing that last section is the gentle cool breeze that caresses you after leaving a very cramped space 🤍
A chapter that started out icky and depressing ends on a hopeful note 🤍
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I think people in the fandom are forgetting that Sarah has the ability to change her mind when writing her series.
She originally planned to put Nesta with Lucien, but quickly realized they wouldn’t be the best fit. So then she put Cassian with Nesta and Lucien with Elain.
She may have even planned a Mor & Azriel endgame at one point, but it changed when she decided to have Mor as an LGBTQ haracter (bc she lacked that representation).
Maybe at one point she planned to have Elain & Azriel together, or maybe she was doing it to create more obstacles and increase the tension for a Lucien & Elain endgame as well as Azriel & his love interest’s endgame.
If she did originally plan it, she could have recognized that Elain & Azriel being together wouldn’t be the best for the characters or the story.
So… she changed her mind.. and decided that Gwyn/Azriel and Lucien/Elain would be the pairings that offered the most healing for all the characters.
She literally did it with Nesta and Lucien, and also potentially for Chaol and Aelin in ToG.
She always says she lets her characters lead her where they need to go, and things don’t always go as she originally plans them.
Just saying SHE CAN CHANGE HER MIND. 3 books of what some say is “buildup” doesn’t always mean something when it comes to SJM.
You cannot discount a “side character” as a potential ship for this reason. Also, Gwyn’s character arc was focused on more than Elain’s in ACOSF. Yes, Gwyn was part of Nesta’s healing and ACOSF was Nesta’s story, but why would SJM choose to highlight Gwyn’s history and her interactions with Azriel… but not do the same for Emerie?
Food for thought 😁
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This is hot for what?
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"I don't see why Sarah would do such nice scenes between Az and Elain for him to be with Gwyn in the end"
SARAH LITERALLY MADE AN ENTIRE BOOK JUST ABOUT TAMLIN AND FEYRE AND NOW SHE IS MATE AND THE MOTHER OF THE SON OF HIS BIGGEST ENEMY!!!!! ARE YOU SURE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME SARAH?????
And all this just in this saga, without commenting on Sarah's other books that she did worse, I didn't read yet but I had received spoilers so...
We have serious cases of blindness in the fandom
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Gwyn: Do you want to know something weird?
Azriel: First of all, it's four in the morning.
Azriel: Second of all, continue.
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Azriel is used to live a peaceful, quiet life until Gwyneth Berdara moves to the apartment next door. She is pretty, sweet and wakes up annoyingly early, listening One Direcrion. And has a freaking bizarre cat. The little demon get’s inside his apartment at the most inappropriate hours, following him like a shadow and it’s owner apparently does nothing to stop it. She is irresponsible, he thinks. He never thought, though, that he would get attached to his little shadow. And it’s owner.
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Elriel is gross and disgusting but not El*cien? As if we didn’t have an entire scene during solstice where Nesta observed Elain cringing away from him, losing her boldness when he came near her, sitting as far away from L*cien as she possibly could. Barely thanking him for his gift and not using them as Feyre pointed out.
In contrast, we have Elriel during Solstice where a mutual attraction was established, where they shared a charged look, where Elain wanted to kiss him as well. Offer and Permission. Where she accepted his gift and wanted to wear it unlike L*cien’s gift. Where Elain was aroused when he put the necklace on her. Where Elain got a gift for Azriel but not her mate. Where “hurt and confusion” warred on her face and Azriel couldn’t even stand the bleakness on her face when he stopped the kiss after being interrupted by Rhys.
And in that discussion about the Blood Duel, Rhys brought it up not Azriel. And in this hypothetical situation that Rhys brought up, L*cien would be the one to invoke it, not Azriel. And I’m sorry, but L*cien is a grown ass man, not a child. And if he is dumb enough and arrogant enough to call for a blood duel against someone stronger than him over a woman who has never shown any interest in him even though they share a mate bond, then I’m sorry but he would get what’s coming to him.
I don’t think it will ever come to this or that L*cien will challenge Azriel over Elain if he’s who she really wants but again it was a hypothetical situation brought up by Rhys where L*cien would have to call for it. So what is Azriel supposed to do if L*cien invokes the Blood Duel? Apologize to him because Elain wanted him and not her “mate” and then stand there and let him kill him? Would that not hurt Elain as well? Especially if she knew the repercussions of rejecting the mate bond and the pain it would cause not just to L*cien but herself as well…and she still decided that losing Azriel would hurt more and so she’d rather be with him.
One of these relationships is based on a mutual attraction and the other is based on a forced mate bond that Elain didn’t ask for and has shown no interest in pursuing. Azriel defeating L*cien in a BD is disgusting, but L*cien invoking the BD over a woman who has shown no interest in him is perfectly fine and not at all hurtful to Elain? (And again, I don’t think this is going to happen, but it was a hypothetical situation brought up by Rhys) So which one is really gross and disgusting? Why is Elain’s wants and desires constantly being disregarded. She has conveyed verbally and non verbally how she feels about L*cien, the mate bond and Azriel.
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I am torn between Az and Gwyn either having:
Or they have one boy, then later, they have the twin girls.
I seriously can’t decide.
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