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#azriel x elain
daisybrekker7 hours ago
Elriel Headcanons
They'd probably adopt a baby (most likely an orphan and I could see it being a boy) and the Inner Circle has never seen Az so overprotective over anyone like Elain and his child. (Imagine his shadows cradling the boy馃槶)
As Azriel was the one to realise she's a Seer, I expect that he may have had encounters with Seers in the past (I mean, he's been living for 500+ years) so he definitely would help Elain develop her abilities and that would lead them to work on spy missions together
Since we have had hints that Azriel can be quite self conscious, every time Elain sees him shy away from her, she kisses the scars on his hands to remind him that she doesn't care about his "imperfections"
After being forced into the Cauldron, I think it's highly likely that Elain suffers from PTSD, therefore she may experience horrid nightmares and panic attacks. Whenever one happens, Azriel makes sure to comfort her (maybe sing to her too since we know he can?)
When Elain's necklace will come back to her (cause let's be honest, it will) she'll make sure it never comes off again. Also, whenever Azriel is away on a mission for a long time, she hugs it close to her heart at night
Elain tries teaching Azriel how to bake and it's a disaster. Flour ends up everywhere but they have a lot of fun during it (Maybe Elriel baking scene could be the new Feysand soup scene?馃槒)
ACOSF confirmed Azriel can do the waltz and sing so whenever they have free time, they dance around Elain's garden, among the roses, as he quietly sings in her ear. (There have been occasions where Azriel is so transfixed by her beauty that they accidentally trip and laugh it off)
When the Inner Circle have time to goof off, they tend to play hide and seek around Velaris and since Azriel's wingspan is the biggest, he always sneaks off into dark alleys with Elain, making sure his wings cocoon around them. (When everyone's already been found except them, they all know what they're up to馃憖)
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suelky9 hours ago
Why rejection leads to the endgame: Rowaelin and Elriel comparison.
This meta is based solely on textual pieces of evidence that can be found through the whole ACTOAR and TOG series written by SJM. My observations come from the text and what was given to us, the audience, by the author of the book. This post is going to be about two very prominent scenes that occur to the main characters and how they are played in the books, setting-wise but also plot-wise. Of course, a small warning: this is strictly pro-Elriel meta, so if it isn't your cup of tea you are in the wrong place. Also: SPOILERS FOR TOG!
I would like to start this meta with a short preface about how I am going to approach the subject. The things I will be looking into are setting, wording, and emotional attachments. (With a sprinkle of speculations).
We will begin with Rowaelin and how the rejection scene developed. The plotline setting is after a very tense situation, which was confronting Arobynn.
Queen of Shadows, pg. 321
Rowan was done waiting. (...) The lamplight glinted off the combs in her hair and along the golden dragon on the dress.
Emphasis on: - hair - light, and how it glides across combs of Aelin hair - "glinted"
Also worth mentioning is how Rowan finally overcame his inner battle. He became impatient.
Azriel POV, pg. 1
Azriel couldn't stop it. (...) he found himself leaving the room. Entering the foyer. (...) and there she was. The faelights gilded Elain's unbound hair, making her glow like the sun at dawn.
Emphasis on: - hair - light, and how it lightens Elain hair - "gilded"
Again, we have a male who is questioning his inner feelings and after an imminent mind battle, he decides to move and goes towards a place when he meets up with a female.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 321-322
She half turned toward him. (...) The look in her eyes鈥攇uilt, anger, agony鈥攈it him like a blow to the gut.
(...) and though she tried to hide it, he could see the fear in her gaze, and the guilt.
Rowan can read Aelin without words. Just one look and he knows exactly what she feels or what hides behind her words - which often are laced with lies. Yet, he, Rowan was able to always see beneath the false facade - even before they were told about them being true mates.
Azriel POV, pg. 2
Lie. Well, the second part was a lie. He didn't need his shadows to read her tone, the slight tightening of her face.
Elain's large brown eyes flickered, well aware of all that. Just as he knew she was well aware of why Azriel so rarely came to family dinners these days.
Azriel, just as Rowan can easily deduct lies underneath Elain's words. Him being a shadowsinger and spymaster could help him in knowing the truth, yet we have an emphasis on the fact that he didn't need his powers to realize and catch Elain's lie based on her tone and facial expressions.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 322
He watched her throat bob as she swallowed.
Azriel POV, pg. 2
He watched her swallow.
The same imagery, similar wording. Both males are focused on the females' emotions and their nervousness/trepidation.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 322
She rested her head against his chest, the tips of the bat-wing combs digging into him enough that he eased them one at a time from her hair. The gold was slick and cold in his hands (...)
Emphasis on: - Aelin initiating physical contact - piece of jewelry - golden color - Aelin's hair
Azriel POV, pg. 2-3
"Put it on me?" His head went quiet. But he took the necklace, opening the clasp as she exposed her back, sweeping her hair up in one hand to bare her long, creamy neck.
The golden necklace seemed ordinary -- its chain unremarkable.
Emphasis on: - Elain initiating physical contact - piece of jewelry - golden color - Elain's hair
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 323
She huffed a laugh that might have been a sob and wrapped her arms around his waist as if trying to steal his warmth.
He flattened his hand against her waist, his fingers contracting once as if debating letting her go.
We have Aelin seeking Rowan's touch, she is the one who pushes on the physical line between them. It's important to note that it's her constantly assessing Rowan, trying to close the distance between them. She's acting on her feelings and a need for closure.
Emphasis on the wording used by SJM: - "flattened his hand (...)"
Azriel POV pg. 3
Elain shivered, and he took a damn long time fastening the clasp.
Slowly, Elain pivoted into his touch. Until his palm lay flat against her neck.
Emphasis on: - "until his palm lay flat (...)"
In this setting, we have Elain who, once again, closes on the distance between her and Azriel. Just like Aelin she chooses to move along her feelings - which are obstructed from the reader's point of view due to the text being singular POV. It is her who slowly builds up the courage and makes Azriel touch her. Settle on her skin.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 323
She waited for him to pull back, but he just stared at her鈥攕tared into her in that way he always did. Friends, but more. So much more, and she鈥檇 known it longer than she wanted to admit.
Carefully, she stroked her thumb across his cheekbone, his face slick with the rain.
Aelin realizes her feelings. She comes with the terms of their friendship and its possible development - both she and Rowan started out on the wrong foot, yet they formed an amazing friendship. They built their relation slowly, surely with many heartful moments that bordered on the line of friendship and something more.
Emphasis on: - Aelin "stroking" Rowan's face
Azriel POV pg. 3
It had never gone this far. They'd exchanged looks, the occasional brush of their fingers, but never this. Never blatant, unrestricted touching.
Azriel's fingers lingered at her nape, atop the first knob of her spine.
Letting them brush the side of her throat, savoring the velvet-soft texture.
As in the Rowaelin case, Elain and Azriel also built their relationship from a friendship. It was formed during the very dark period of time on Elain's behalf - just like it was for Aelin's. Both Azriel and Elain found comfort with each other, they both started to enjoy the company of the other - sitting in comfortable silence. Yet, we have an idea that this friendship slowly started to bloom into something riskier, more emotional. Both, Azriel and Elain already had their first love ripped away, never fulfilled, and ending in a painful manner. And for the first time when we are inside Azriel POV, it confirms that they balanced on this thin line for a while.
Emphasis on: - Azriel "brushing" Elain's throat and nape
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 323
It hit her like a stone鈥攖he wanting. She was a fool to have dodged it, denied it, even when a part of her had screamed it every morning that she鈥檇 blindly reached for the empty half of the bed.
Emphasis on: - realization of desire - mornings in the bed - desperate search for Rowan in the sheets
Azriel POV, pg. 2-3
Prayed she didn't understand the shift in his scent. He had only allowed himself these thoughts in the dead of night.
(...) a headache powder he kept on his nightstand at the House of Wind. Not to use, but just to look at. Which he'd done every night he鈥檇 slept there. Or attempted to sleep there.
Emphasis on: - desire - night and bed - looking at the gift from Elain on his nightstand
Both scenes and paragraphs signalize that both Aelin and Azriel fought with their newfound feelings. They were realizing that the friendship was slowly turning into something more - a feeling of desire to not only be close to the other person but also a desire to close the distance between friends and lovers.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 324
She lifted her other hand to his face and his eyes locked onto hers, his breathing ragged as she traced the lines of the tattoo along his temple.
His hands tightened slightly on her waist, his thumbs grazing the bottom of her ribcage. It was an effort not to arch into his touch.
Azriel POV, pg. 3
(...) his thumb sweeping in long strokes along the side of her throat.
But Azriel just stroked her neck again. Elain shuddered, drifting closer.
Emphasis on: - constant engaging in physical contact - touching vulnerable parts of the other person - answering to the touch
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 324
鈥淩owan,鈥 she breathed, his name a plea and a prayer. She slid her fingers down the side of his tattooed cheek, and鈥
Azriel POV pg. 4
鈥淵es" Elain breathed, like she read the decision. Just this taste in the dead of the longest night of the year, where only the Mother might witness them.
Emphasis on: - how the last word before the almost kiss is breathed - "religious" themes such as comparison to Rowan's name to the prayer - Mother (a "religious" figure) being present during this intimate scene between Elain and Azriel
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 324
Faster than she could see, he grabbed one wrist and then the other, yanking them away from his face and snarling softly. The world yawned open around her, cold and still.
He dropped her hands as if they were on fire, stepping away, those green eyes flat and dull in a way she hadn鈥檛 seen for some time now. Her throat closed up even before he said, 鈥淒on鈥檛 do that. Don鈥檛鈥攖ouch me like that.鈥
Rowan rejected Aelin in a brusque manner - and it wasn't necessarily because he didn't want to engage in expanding their relationship past the friendship. Rowan at this moment still lacks self-reassurance about how he should feel after Lyria. He is scared. It is something different than the feelings that restrained him from the kiss.
Azriel POV, pg. 4
Rhys's voice thundered through him, halting him mere inches from Elain's sweet mouth.
His stomach twisted as he pulled his hand from her hair and stepped back. Forced himself to say, "This was a mistake.鈥
We have Azriel who rejects the kiss because of Rhysand. It was not on his own terms. It was an order of his High Lord that involuntarily stopped him from kissing Elain.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 324
There was a roaring in her ears, a burning in her face, and she swallowed hard. 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry.鈥
鈥淚 didn鈥檛 mean鈥斺 She backed away a step, toward the door on the other side of the roof. 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry,鈥 she repeated. 鈥淚t was nothing.鈥
Azriel POV pg. 4
She opened her eyes, hurt and confusion warring there before she whispered, "I鈥檓 sorry."
He shook his head, unable to stand the bleakness he'd brought to her expression.
In both scenes, it's the female that apologizes. The one who initiated physical contact. Aelin apologizes twice, meanwhile, Elain is rendered speechless and hurt - and it's Azriel who assures her that it is she doesn't need to apologize. However, Elain is left alone without an explanation and Azriel can't stand seeing her like that.
Both scenes are built in a similar manner - we have friendships border lining on a thin line of something more. Both Elain and Aelin are the ones who initiate physical contact and are the ones who are "rejected", left hurt, and confused. Rowan and Azriel are battling their self-hatred and feeling of unworthiness that is very sound in both of their POVS. There is a lot of things that contribute to the rejection - especially their feelings. Rowan and Azriel feel the romantic pull towards their loved ones - they know that desire and their feelings are reciprocated. Yet, their inner struggles are in the way of fully accepting the fact that the female they yearn for is able to accept them.
More parallels:
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 322
He鈥檇 almost fallen to his knees when he鈥檇 first seen her earlier tonight.
Azriel POV, pg. 3
He'd beg on his knees for a chance to taste it.
Both males are on the verge of falling to their knees in front of Aelin/Elain. They are ready to submit to their loved ones.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 324
(...) understood that though she鈥檇 seen his eyes shine with hunger鈥攈unger for her鈥攊t didn鈥檛 mean he wanted to act on it. Didn鈥檛 mean he might not hate himself for it.
In this chapter in Queen Of Shadows, we are presented with dual POV, both from Rowan and Aelin so it's easier to see what Aelin had felt when she was rejected. She tells the audience that she was aware of the fact that Rowan exhibited a desire for her. Furthermore, we have another instance of Aelin being able to understand Rowan without words. She knows that Rowan feeling lust for her might have resulted in him hating himself for that because of what had happened with Lyria.
Azriel POV, pg. 2
Just as he knew she was well aware of why Azriel so rarely came to family dinners these days.
We are obstructed from Elain's point of view and her understanding is explained by Azriel. He knows that Elain understands him. It's an important thing to remember since their friendship was built on the comfortable silence in which both of them bask. Elain and Azriel, just like Aelin and Rowan understand each other without words.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 337
He hated it. Hated that he couldn鈥檛 reach her when she was that person. Hated that he鈥檇 snapped at her last night, had panicked at the touch of her hands. Now she鈥檇 shut him out entirely. This person she鈥檇 become today had no kindness, no joy.
Azriel POV, pg. 2-4
(...) Azriel had needed to stay by the door the whole time because he couldn't stand the sight of it, the scent of their mating bond, and needed to have the option of leaving if it became too much.
He shook his head, unable to stand the bleakness he'd brought to her expression.
Both Rowan and Azriel don't want to hurt their significant other. They battle their inner demons, their inner self-worth problems while trying not to put the weight of it on Aelin and Elain. Rowan has his mind troubled because he, at this moment in the books, is still burdened with what had happened to his "mate". On the other hand, we have Azriel who can't bring himself to be in the same room as Elain and Lucien due to their bond. A mate that Elain doesn't want. Azriel's reaction to the mating bond is also very strange - he can see it and scent it. Which I believe should be very telling if we're taking true mate/second mate theories into consideration. So, overall the problem of both males stems from the notion of "mate".
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 345
Even now, he honestly couldn鈥檛 decide if he was amused or enraged by Rowan鈥檚 words鈥擠on鈥檛 touch me like that鈥攚hen it was obvious the warrior-prince felt quite the opposite.
Azriel POV, pg. 3
He needed to know what the skin of her neck tasted like. What those perfect lips tasted like. Her breasts. Her sex. He needed her coming on his tongue --
Rowan and Azriel want to indulge in their desire for Aelin and Elain. Both of them weren't able to do so because of the "rejection", yet we are presented with the fact that even the rejection doesn't mean anything as long as both males feel completely opposite to what they had told during the refusal scenes.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 348
Her scent hit him as she unbound her hair and nestled into the pile of pillows. That scent had always struck him, had always been a call and a challenge. It had shaken him so thoroughly from centuries encased in ice that he鈥檇 hated her at first. And now 鈥 now that scent drove him out of his mind.
Azriel POV, pg. 3
Her arousal drifted up to him, and his eyes nearly rolled back in his head at the sweet scent. He'd beg on his knees for a chance to taste it.
Emphasis on: - the scent - how it affects the male
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 348
They were both really damn lucky that she currently couldn鈥檛 shift into her Fae form and smell what was pounding through his blood. It had been hard enough to conceal it from her until now.
Azriel POV, pg. 3
Azriel's cock strained behind his pants, aching so fiercely he could hardly think. He prayed she didn't peer down. Prayed she didn't understand the shift in his scent.
Both males explain to the audience that their desire and lust were and are something they are battling as well. Rowan and Azriel are anxious because of their own problems with self-worth that they are struggling to keep as a secret.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 348
He鈥檇 seen her naked before鈥攁 few times. And gods, yes, there had been moments when he鈥檇 considered it, but he鈥檇 mastered himself. He鈥檇 learned to keep those useless thoughts on a short, short leash. Like that time she鈥檇 moaned at the breeze he sent her way on Beltane鈥攖he arch of her neck, the parting of that mouth of hers, the sound that came out of her鈥
Azriel POV, pg. 3
He had only allowed himself these thoughts in the dead of night. Had only allowed his hand to fist his cock and think about her then, when even his shadows had gone to sleep. How that beautiful face might appear as he entered her, what sounds she'd make.
Emphasis on: - keeping the desire to himself - imagery of the female body - the sounds/moans
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 348
She was now lying on her side, her back to him. 鈥淎bout last night,鈥 he said through his teeth. 鈥淚t鈥檚 fine. It was a mistake.鈥
Azriel POV, pg. 4
His stomach twisted as he pulled his hand from her hair and stepped back. Forced himself to say, "This was a mistake.鈥
I think this is self-explanatory. The same words, similar situation. Rejection followed by a declaration of it being a mistake when the truth is that both couples are yearning for each other and want to be with one another.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 349
The desire hadn鈥檛 been what shook him at all. It was just 鈥 Aelin had driven him insane these past few weeks, and yet he hadn鈥檛 considered what it would be like to have her look at him with interest.
Azriel POV, pg. 3
Her arousal drifted up to him, and his eyes nearly rolled back in his head at the sweet scent.
So close one deep breath would brush her breasts against his chest. She looked up at him, her face so trusting and hopeful and open (...)
Rowan and Azriel didn't even think about the fact that their desire could be reciprocated- and more than lust they were shocked that Aelin/Elain would look at them with interest, longing, hope. They weren't ready to acknowledge the fact that they weren't alone in this spiral of emotions and feelings.
Moving forward we have the acceptance stage and romantic moments for Rowaelin in Queen Of Shadows. Of course in the case of Elriel we are limited to an extra chapter, however, there are still very prominent similarities in setting and wording.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 378
鈥淎elin,鈥 he breathed. Not in reprimand or warning, but 鈥 a plea. It sounded like a plea. He lowered his head to her exposed neck and hovered a hair鈥檚 breadth away. She arched her neck farther, a silent invitation. Rowan let out a soft groan and grazed his teeth against her skin.
He let out another low groan, answer and confirmation and request, and the rumble echoed inside her
Azriel POV, pg. 4
鈥淵es" Elain breathed, like she read the decision.
Azriel's hand slid up her neck, burying in her thick hair. Tilting her face the way he wanted it. Elain's mouth parted slightly, her eyes scanning his before fluttering shut. Offer and permission. He nearly groaned with relief and need as he lowered his head toward hers.
Both couples operate without words. In the case of Rowaelin we have: - a plea - a silent invitation - an answer - a confirmation - a request
In the case of Elriel we have: - an offer - a permission - a decision - a relief - a need
The same setting, very similar description, and usage of words. As I was saying, in the case of Elain and Azriel relationship we are obstructed from Elain's point of view due to the content being a bonus chapter. Yet, we can draw a comparison between both couples. Why? Because SJM structured both rejections in the same way. Rowaeiln's rejection leads to a relationship, later to a discovery of being true mates. Is it a coincidence? From a writer's point of view and an avid reader - I don't believe so. She structured both rejections, in the same manner, using very similar vocabulary and even the familiar setting. In the case of Elriel - Azriel's "rejection" is what essentially builds a start for their relationship in the next book. We also have to remember that in Elain and Azriel situation we have:
- a mate - political background - forbidden romance - compatible powers - blood duel - connection to Koschei SJM gave us a setup for the premise of the next book which we know is Elain's. Azriel and Feyre's POV focus on her, but we know that it's one couple per book. Which perfectly aligns with Elriel and their rejection and pining. In SJM universe such rejections as the ones presented are used to further develop a couple, not to bring it down. The parallels are evident and if you are thinking that she doesn't use foreshadowing and she doesn't focus on details I would recommend rereading both series and see that SJM is an expert in foreshadowing - even the tiniest bits of it come out through the series.
That's why in the cases of her HEA couples rejection means endgame.
Queen Of Shadows, pg. 379
鈥淭his changes things,鈥 she said, hardly able to get the words out. 鈥淭hings have been changing for a while already. We鈥檒l deal with it.鈥
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jungleslang17 hours ago
So I discovered this absolutely gorgeous Polish model named Maja Strojek and she reminds me so much of Elain:
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And now no one can convince me that Elain doesn't look like this. Like damn no wonder the cauldron (and Azriel 馃槒) is in love with her
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daisybrekker20 hours ago
Debunking Gwynriel/Anti Elriel Theories Pt2
Why would SJM put Gwyn in Azriel's bonus chapter if she wasn't his endgame?
My sweet naive children...This is what authors do. She wants her readers to drive themselves crazy by wondering how this full thing will play out. Do you guys remember when in ACOFAS Nesta outright rejected Cassian and he threw her gift away? The full fandom went psycho trying to figure out what was in the box and if Nesta would somehow get the gift back. She wants us to think what will happen between Elriel now that Gwyn might have Elain's gift. If they weren't interrupted then Elain would keep the necklace and they would definitely kiss so the chapter would end in a nice happy way. But then, that would most likely confirm our endgame, right? SJM doesn't want us to be confident in anything yet, instead she wants us to be confused. Like with a cliffhanger.
Elriel won't happen because ever since Azriel's bonus chapter, which was set in the middle of the book, there were no more Elriel scenes in ACOSF
Once again, it's obvious why SJM has done this.
For people who have read the bonus chapter (since it's not available in all editions of the book) it's going to make them question what the relationship is currently between Elain and Azriel? Especially, after Azriel saying that their almost kiss was a mistake and inevitably hurting Elain (even though it was clear he would've kissed her if he wasn't interrupted馃槒)
Therefore, this means that we have a little bit of a misunderstanding that will most likely have to be solved between them...It's pretty obvious SJM wouldn't resolve this in a book about Nessian. Why? Because she's saving it for ACOTAR5. Elriel's book.
She wants to build the tension. It's as simple as that.
Since Elain didn't keep the necklace, but kept Lucien's gifts, she clearly doesn't care about Azriel
Yeah, no. Did some people skip the part where Azriel said that their almost kiss was a mistake? Elain was clearly hurt. Despite the fact that the readers know he said it because of Rhys interrupting him mentally, Elain doesn't know that. She genuinely believes that Azriel thought that their moment was a mistake. Why would she keep a gift from someone who says something like that? As for her keeping Lucien's gloves, she might have kept them, but did the antis also forget that moment in the series where Feyre literally pointed out the fact that Elain doesn't even use the gloves and prefers to come back with bloody hands? Y'all will really forget the key details when it suits you, won't you?馃え
After what happened between Elain and Azriel in his bonus chapter, they're clearly over
Funnily enough, you guys couldn't be more wrong. The only way I'd believe Elriel was over in that bonus chapter was if Elriel actually kissed without interruption...If that kind of thing happened, followed by Azriel claiming their actual kiss was a mistake, then I'd be less confident in Elriel endgame. But that's the thing, they never got to kiss, leaving tension not only between them, but for the readers too! When will this tension be resolved? Repeat after me. Elriel's book.
It's only sexual feelings between them
You know what...I'm not even going to argue against this but just leave a couple questions for you to wonder about馃挒
Why would Azriel give Truth-Teller to Elain, something he's never done with anyone before. (Keep in mind he's 500+ years old, he's went through many dangerous situations yet still never gave it to anyone馃憖)
Why did Azriel give up on Mor after 500 years? (Once again, remember that he's met billions of people throughout his whole life yet remained infatuated with Mor. Suddenly Elain comes along and look what we have here馃槒)
Why would SJM be building tension for them since the 2nd book AND constantly show how uncomfortable Elain is in Lucien's presence just to make Elain accept the bond with Azriel ending up with a side character introduced in the 5th book?
If it really is only sexual, then why was Azriel so frustrated when Rhys basically commanded him to leave Elain alone? He could've easily just found himself someone for sexual purposes but he didn't. Wonder why...
Elain is boring and has no personality
This one honestly frustrates me because it's so unfair to Elain.
We haven't had that many scenes with her compared to other characters but there is a perfect explanation for that. The first 4 books were set in Feyre's POV, right? ACOTAR was literally Feyre being away from her family for majority of the book. As for the other 3? It was mostly about Feyre adapting to Rhysand's world, developing her powers, etc. And during that time period, Elain and Nesta both decided to shut themselves off from the world because of how they became Fae. Now, some people might argue that even then, we still got to see Nesta's personality but not Elain's. But that's the thing! Different people grieve differently! Nesta was more open with her anger towards the IC and what happened to her, meanwhile Elain preferred to deal with it in a more private, quiet way. There's nothing wrong with that and yet, people do nothing but slander Elain, overlooking what she's been through.
Quite a similar point to the first one but related to ACOSF more. This was Nessian's book and since Nesta was forced to live in the House of the Wind, it's fairly obvious we wouldn't see much of Elain since she doesn't live there. Kinda like with Mor, in the 3 books after ACOTAR we saw her frequently because Feyre saw her but since we then moved to Nesta's POV, Mor's appearances significantly decreased.
Since SJM has said that if an ACOTAR character was to be her best friend, she'd pick Elain, I think it's obvious there's more to her than we think. There's been plenty of foreshadowing for that too! Feysand's bonus chapter from ACOSF is literally centered around Elain, Feyre talking about the fact that Elain prefers to get her hands dirty when gardening, Nesta calling Elain out that she's finally beginning to grow a backbone...Trust me when I say that Elain is going to shine in her own book.
Azriel's shadows hide from Elain, must be a bad sign!
There have literally been scenes where they hide with Mor, Cassian, Rhys, etc. I guess they're bad characters too, right? Case closed.
Gwyn is such a badass meanwhile Elain can't fight so she wouldn't suit Azriel
Things don't work like that馃槶Last time I checked, Yrene from TOG was mainly a healer, not a fighter, yet her relationship with Chaol blossomed perfectly fine. Besides, with all the foreshadowing from SJM, it looks like Elain will be more of a spy than a fighter. Oh and guess who else is a spy! Repeat after me :) Elriel book
The way that Chaol went from Celaena, Nesryn to Yrene will be just like Azriel going from Mor, Elain to Gwyn
Nope. Firstly, that would be SJM repeating her plot which would be bad writing. (Especially since we know that these universes are somehow linked)
Secondly, I don't know how much of the ACOTAR fandom has also read TOG but personally, I knew from the start that Chaol and Celaena wouldn't be endgame. I did believe they'd last for a while but there was just too many things that didn't match for me with them. As for Nesryn, her and Chaol literally lasted one book...
Elriel has been slowly developed for 4 books now...That's way more than what SJM did with Chaol so as much as people will hate what I'm about to say, Gwyn will probably be used to develop the Elriel romance. (Don't get me wrong, I like Gwyn as a character but there's nothing between her and Azriel馃し鈥嶁檧锔)
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exquisitley-obsessed22 hours ago
Does anyone else think that the rose-glass pendant is inherently symbolic of Elain?
Like Azriel has his blue siphons and Gwyn has her blue gemstone - it just makes sense that this pink gem belongs to Elain. It鈥檚 also a friggen rose like, c鈥檓on!!!
I just think that if a lot of Gwynriel is based on Az giving her this necklace then it鈥檚 kind of a weak ship, like the core 鈥榬omantic鈥 element between them is a necklace that was not only meant for another woman, but also, is an inherent reminder of said woman.
I just think Az isn鈥檛 going to be able to see the necklace on Gwyn and not think of Elain, like how are they supposed to build a relationship if every time they鈥檙e together, Gwyn is literally wearing a symbol of Elain around her neck.
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cahrileana day ago
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Yesterday Will Never Die - Master List
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cover art made by me
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Warnings - Angst, Eventual Smut, Detailed Descriptions of Violence, Blood & Injury, Potential Food Triggers
I will have more detailed warnings on top of each post
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series playlist
also posted on Ao3
and on Wattpad
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Part One - Born From Shadows
01. The Autumn Court
02. Spy Master
03. Kaira
04. Blood and Mirrors
05. Pearly Gates
to be continued . . .
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Taglist (OPEN) : @katiebellf @tastedlikedamnation @azriel-mate @carlotinhajujuba @gcfty @gliteryunicorns @famousbasementpainter @imperishableblade @thehighladyofday @paulis0499 @notsuzegomes @moony-is-bae
Taglist Form Here
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cahrileana day ago
Yesterday Will Never Die - Prologue (Azriel x Reader)
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warnings - mentions of blood & death of parents
a/n : I am so excited to start of this new Az series! I hope you all like it, updates will be weekly!
Wc - 535
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Two Hundred Years Ago
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Nine years old, knobby knees and matted hair, Y/n hides in a hollowed-out section behind the wall. Hidden by a portrait, painted by her father of the Illyrian mountains, her only companion, Kaira. The mighty beast, big enough to squeeze into the hovel, her warmth radiating, making the hideout feel as though it were an oven.
In days past, you had been permitted to sleep in your bed, with the stuffed bear your mother had gifted you clutched tightly to your chest. Those days have long passed since the people residing in the small village on the Night Court's coast have been at the mercy of the hunter.
Venetus, they called him. Many believe he is to be an old god, others claim he is a monster who has crawled from the sea. Said monster comes in the night, picking off family by family. He leaves their bodies hung, their blood pooling under their feet. Death is his calling, Mother says, each night when she locks you behind the painting, That doesn't mean you have to answer. She presses a warm kiss to your forehead, runs her fingers through Kaira's dark coat. Her eyes are distant even though her mouth curls into a smile. She closes the painting. The canvas isn't thick enough to hide your Father's sharp voice, He will come for us, and he will find her too. Mother doesn't respond, but the floor creaks, then the covers on the bed rustle. Until silence basks over the small hut you call home, and the only sound you can hear is Kaira's quiet breaths.
The night passes on, and no sounds further alert quiet, but the comfort of the familiar silence passes. Replaced by fear, that sends shutters down your spine. Kaira sense's it to, her ears are high with alert, her teeth bared, though she made no notion to growl. You place a small hand on her paw, trying to remain still, to listen to the one rule your parents had set. Do not open the painting, you must wait for someone to retrieve you. The thought that your family was next, that it would be their blood on the wood floors sends your other hand forward.
The canvas is rough against your hands. You push, putting the better part of your weight onto the painting. It lurches forward, not enough to show that the painting was only a cover, but enough for you to see him. You had expected a monster, with broken tattered skin, your imagination going as far as to imagine a creature made of darkness with red beady eyes. The male that stood before your parents' limp bodies did not appear to be capable of such a thing. From the way he held himself, to the sharp edges of his jaw, even at your young age, you could recognize his beauty, the power that radiated off of him. The only thing truly terrifying about this male was the shadows that seemed to dance around him. As he left the cottage, not baring a glance in your direction, his shadows curling by his side, you vowed that you would be the one to see him bleed.
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Taglist (OPEN) : @katiebellf @tastedlikedamnation @azriel-mate @carlotinhajujuba @gcfty @gliteryunicorns @famousbasementpainter @imperishableblade @thehighladyofday @paulis0499 @notsuzegomes @moony-is-bae
Note * I don't Tag Az's General On Series
Taglist From Here
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elidereads2 days ago
You Came For Me (NSFW Elriel Fanfic)
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Summary:聽The night after Azriel rescues Elain from Hybern Elain goes to his tent to make sure he's okay.
Word Count: 5,800
Warnings: NSFW
Notes: This is my first fanfic. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated it. 馃枻
She couldn鈥檛 sleep. Every time she closed her eyes she shivered remembering the things she was trying to forget, the feelings she wanted to scrub away. She couldn鈥檛 make herself trust that she was safe. She tried to focus on Nesta鈥檚 steady breathing and failed. Sounds that had once assured her of her safety now felt meaningless. Nesta had always been her safe haven, the only person who wouldn鈥檛 fail her or leave her. But the last time they had slept in this tent Elain learned that she was not safe. The cauldron could find her anywhere.
Not that it was Nesta鈥檚 fault, really she only had her own stupidity to blame. Her heart and mind warred with themselves, trying to decide what feeling made her cringe more, fear or shame. If she had allowed herself to see what everyone else saw, that Graysen now detested her, then she could not have been so easily lured. But last night she hadn鈥檛 wanted to accept that his affection could be anything but true. Even now a part of her brain defended him, reminding her that Graysen had been the one to lead her to the cauldron, is was the cauldron acting alone. She felt an internal embarrassment for continuing to defend Graysen to herself, that she allowed her stupid heart to create some hope that wasn鈥檛 there. She was pathetic.
Everyone in her village had grown up hearing terrifying stories of the Fae above the wall. She had always believed them to have godlike strength. Nothing could, or would, break them. Often she envied them. She was always the meekest of her sisters. Everyone assumed she lacked an opinion on anything, just doing whatever her sisters, mostly Nesta, wanted. In reality she lacked confidence in herself, she always told herself that letting her sisters lead made them happy, why should she push back. But she could imagine herself gaining everyone鈥檚 respect by becoming Fae or revealing some secret magic. Now, that secret dream made her feel even more pathetic. She had become Fae and had gained no one鈥檚 respect. She was still told what to do more often than she was asked her opinion. The lack of any transformation into the strong female she had imagined she truly was only added to her shame. No, even as Fae she was pathetic and boring. Perhaps Graysen had tired of her before her transformation, he just now had an easy excuse to end their engagement.
How many times did she need to suffer embarrassment in front of these people she barely knew? Starting with Graysen making the very public proclamation that he did not want her. Then, she made herself a further fool by wandering off and getting herself captured. In some ways it would鈥檝e been easier if she had died in captivity. Then she could have been spared everyone鈥檚 pity that was so palpable she could almost see it hovering over them as they looked at her. But no, because of her stupidity she had to be rescued forcing Feyre and Azriel to risk their lives to save her.
Although now she thought very courageously about her death she had to acknowledge that that had been a very real fear just a few hours ago. She would swear she felt the world shift when she saw Azriel appear in the tent in Hybern鈥檚 camp. She had never felt relief like that. His presence had a way of making her feel like the person she imagined herself to be, certain, fearless. He looked at her as if he knew her. Well maybe not her, not the her that everyone saw, but the her she wanted to be, the heroine in her daydreams.
She exhaled loudly and rolled over, trying again to fall asleep. Mother, she was pathetic, creating some romantic scenario in her head where Azriel was the one person who saw her. He was probably the angriest with her. He suffered the most injuries attempting to rescue her. Would he resent the fact that he was injured before the battles had even begun? All because Elain couldn鈥檛 let go of her fianc茅. What if Azriel鈥檚 injuries hindered him in the battle? What if because of Elain鈥檚 rescue he couldn鈥檛 fight as well and he 鈥
Elain sat up quickly.
No she couldn鈥檛 think this way. She would have to speak to him, ensure he was fully healed before he could be allowed to fight. Surely the others had thought of this but if they hadn鈥檛, she wouldn鈥檛 allow that to happen, couldn鈥檛 allow it. If there was a time for Elain to speak up it would be now. Well not now, not in the middle of the night with everyone sleeping, but now in there proverbial sense. Would he be angry with her if she was the reason he couldn鈥檛 fight? It didn鈥檛 matter. She was sure he was angry with her anyways.
Maybe that was why she couldn鈥檛 sleep.
She slowly pulled back her blankets and set her feet on the ground. Keeping her eyes on Nesta the whole time, making sure she didn鈥檛 stir. She pulled a blanket off her bed and wrapped it around herself as she moved towards the entrance of her tent. A part of her brain was warning this was a very bad idea. If she was worried about everyone being mad at her then she should definitely not make it worse by wandering the camp at night. Again. But another part of her brain, likely the sleep deprived part, was urging her on. Telling her a conversation with Azriel was the only way she would be able to calm down and get any sleep. She slowly pulled back the tent flaps and, with one more glance at Nesta, Elain slipped out.
She was almost positive Azriel鈥檚 tent was to the left of theirs and Cassian鈥檚 to the right. Too soon she and began to doubt herself. Was he sharing a tent with Cassian? Or Mor? Possibly even both. This was a bad idea. She couldn鈥檛 even knock and announce herself because how did you knock on a tent. She would just need to go right in.
She began to turn back to her own tent suddenly Azriel was there at the opening, catching her off guard and leaving her standing there speechless, like an idiot.
鈥淓lain?鈥 Azriel seemed to exhale her name after a few seconds of silence.
鈥淗ow did you know I was here?鈥 A perfectly appropriate greeting.
鈥淢y shadows. They patrol while I sleep. They told me you were outside my tent but I didn鈥檛 鈥 are you okay?鈥 Azriel鈥檚 eyes narrowed as he ran his gaze over her, looking for a source of harm.
鈥淵es. I鈥檓 okay. I just 鈥 I wanted to see you. To apologize.鈥 Azriel gave her a look of surprise as a wind whipped through the camp causing Elain to pull the blanket tighter around her shoulders.
鈥淐ome in. Please.鈥 Azriel quickly opened the tent further and stepped to the side so that Elain could get out of the cold.
At first his tent seemed smaller than hers, but she saw that was due to the amount of things he had inside. Not that he was messy, but he had a desk covered in neat piles of paperwork. Armor on a dummy in the corner and an impressive display of knives lied out on a small table top. A fire burned near the middle of the tent, immediately warming Elain as the tent flaps closed.
鈥淎re you okay?鈥 Azriel asked again.
Elain turned away from his things scattered throughout the tent to look at him. 鈥淵es. I promise you I am okay. I couldn鈥檛 sleep and I wanted to 鈥 I hope I didn鈥檛 wake you. Were you asleep?鈥
鈥淣o I wasn鈥檛 asleep. I was reading.鈥 He motioned to his desk of papers and Elain caught him wince as he lifted his arm.
鈥淧lease sit down. I鈥檓 sorry I made you get up. Are you okay?鈥 Everything came out in a rush. Gods. What was she thinking coming here and bothering him in the middle of the night. She touched his arm, gently guided him to a chair and sitting herself down across from him.
鈥淚鈥檓 fine. You don鈥檛 need to worry.鈥 She noticed how he slowly lowered himself into the chair.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e not okay you鈥檙e hurt.鈥 Elain reached to touch his bandage before catching herself, leaving her hand hovering between them. 鈥淚s there anything I can get you? Maybe some tea?鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 fine. You don鈥檛 have to get me anything.鈥
鈥淧lease. I would like to help.鈥
Azriel paused, ready to repeat his no, before seeing that accepting the tea from Elain would help her more than himself.
鈥淪ome tea would be great. Thank you.鈥
Elain busied herself bringing water to a boil over the fire and, after Azriel鈥檚 shadows brought her the dried tea leaves, making a pot for the two of them.
鈥淥ver there. There are drawers under the table with the knives. They should be in there.鈥
鈥淭hank you.鈥 She located the cups as the tea steeped in the pot. As she poured the tea she realized how calm her body not felt. Perhaps she shouldn鈥檛 have come here. She suddenly felt exhausted and very ready to sleep.
鈥淗ere.鈥 She set Azriel鈥檚 cup on the table in front of him. She blew on her own and began to take a sip before thinking better of it and setting it down. Finally, with nothing else to busy herself with, she looked at Azriel. He was already looking at her.
She wasn鈥檛 sure where to start.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry.鈥 She decided to lead with the phrase she couldn鈥檛 stop repeating. 鈥淢y foolishness put Feyre and you in danger. I will never forget myself for that.鈥
Azriel closed his eyes, as if steeling himself for what he was about to say. 鈥淵ou have nothing to apologize for. It isn鈥檛 your fault the Cauldron tricked you.鈥
鈥淚f I hadn鈥檛 been such a fool about Graysen it wouldn鈥檛 have been able to trick me so easily.鈥
Azriel shook his head. 鈥淚t is not foolish to believe the best about the person you love.鈥
Elain grimaced. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 love him.鈥
鈥淵ou don鈥檛?鈥 He responded, slightly tilting his head to the side.
鈥淲ell,鈥 she blushed. 鈥淧erhaps a part of me does but no 鈥 not anymore. I see the situation for how it is. How everyone else sees it.鈥
Something in that statement made Azriel pause. He looked away from her, as if considering something. 鈥淒oes it matter how everyone sees it?鈥
鈥淎 few weeks, even days ago I would have said no. It only matters what we, or I, felt but 鈥︹ She gestured in a direction that she believed was south. 鈥淏efore today I thought everyone was wrong and didn鈥檛 understand what we had. Now it appears I was the only one wrong. When the majority of the people in your life disagree with you, at some point you have to admit it鈥檚 probably you who鈥檚 wrong. Don鈥檛 you?鈥
Azriel didn鈥檛 say anything from a few seconds, continuing to stare at something on the ground, before responding. 鈥淭hat logic makes sense.鈥
They lapsed into a brief silence where Elain attempted to drink her tea again. This time only slightly burning her tongue before turning back to her next question for Azriel.
鈥淗ow bad are your injuries?鈥
鈥淭hey are fine.鈥
鈥淚 could see you grimacing as you sat down. Please Azriel, be honest with me.鈥
He raised his head when she said his name and met her eyes. 鈥淭hey are bad, but I have had worse. Rhys, however, has already implied that he doesn鈥檛 want me in the battle if it starts tomorrow.鈥
Elain started to apologize again but he waved her off.
鈥淚t鈥檚 fine. I don鈥檛 plan to listen to him. I will be fine.鈥
That caused her to gasp. 鈥淵ou cannot fight tomorrow. Not if it鈥檚 not safe.鈥
He offered her a grim smile. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 think battles are ever considered safe.鈥
Elain did not return the smile. 鈥淵ou know what I mean. You are already injured from rescuing me. You鈥檙e already vulnerable. If you were to hurt yourself more, I couldn鈥檛鈥︹ She trailed off, not being sure what it was she 鈥渃ouldn鈥檛鈥.
鈥淚 will be fine. I have seen many battles and survived.鈥
She felt her anger grow, both with herself and his casualness. 鈥淵ou shouldn鈥檛 have rescued me. You are more valuable than me. Your life means more than mine.鈥
His grim smile quickly changed to something close to a glare. 鈥淢y life means nothing compared to yours.鈥
Instinctually she reached out to touch his arm, wanting to offer him comfort in any way she could. 鈥淗ow could you say鈥︹ But when her arm touched his she was too overwhelmed with images to speak.
They reminded her of the dreams she had been having. Ever since she was Made every night she dreamed like she never had before. Dreams that were as vivid as Feyre鈥檚 paintings. Sometimes that how they started. She would be looking at one of Feyre鈥檚 paintings and not realize she was dream until it came to life or pulled her into it. Some of the dreams were filled with light, the warmth of the sun, the feeling of a new day. Some filled with shadows and whispers, hidden objects that she could never find clearly.
Surprisingly the dreams of the sun were the ones that preceded her worse days. Days filled with anxiety and unease that made her long to go back to sleep but also made her afraid to. These are the days she spent her time in the garden. Dedicating complete focus to her plants and flowers, working through meal times and until the night was so dark she could no longer see the roots. It wasn鈥檛 until day turned to night that her heart stopped racing.
But now she was sure she was not asleep. She could feel Azriel鈥檚 arm and hear the crackling of the fire in his tent. Smell a combination of musk and sweat that she noticed whenever he was close. But what she saw was out of place with the war time tent.
Golden, barely-there sunlight coming in through the windows. Another fire in a different hearth. Windows left open, light grey curtains blowing in the breeze. A garden could be glimpsed through the windows full of red roses. A soft moan that sounded vaguely familiar. Was it her own? She looked around to see white sheets were gripped in her hands. She felt a heat climbing through her body starting at her core. She felt something between her legs. She moved her gaze down her body. Heavy breathing moved her peaked breasts up and down as she tried to find air. Scarred hands on her hips. A head of dark hair between her legs. Another moan. She couldn鈥檛 help but move her hips in time with his tongue.
Her dreams had never felt this real.
鈥淓lain?鈥 She heard someone call her name, but she wasn鈥檛 sure who. She could still feel a tongue moving between her legs, bringing her to the edge of something she had never felt before. Her body began to shake at the feeling, getting closer and closer to a feeling that wasn鈥檛 familiar with but was desperate for.
Then her body was truly being shaken.
Her eyes fluttered. Had she closed them? She tried to focus on why she was shaking.
鈥淓lain? Are you okay?鈥 The scarred hands were no longer on her hips but on her arms. Holding her firmly, shaking her gently. Azriel鈥檚 head was no longer between her legs but looking her earnestly in the eyes.
鈥淚 鈥 yes. I think. I鈥檓 okay.鈥
鈥淒id you have another vision?鈥
鈥淵es. I think so.鈥
鈥淗ave you been having many?鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 not sure. I have dreams every night, but I鈥檓 not sure if they are visions. They aren鈥檛 like this.鈥 She motioned to the air as Azriel lowered his hands.
鈥淲hat was this one of?鈥
She hesitated.
鈥淓ven if it doesn鈥檛 make sense it may be important, for the war.鈥
鈥淚t was of us.鈥 She couldn鈥檛 help but answer.
Azriel gave a brief pause, concentrating on keeping his face neutral. 鈥淲ho do you mean by 鈥榰s鈥? You and me?鈥
Elain nodded.
鈥淲hat were we doing?鈥
A description of the images flowed out of her. 鈥淲e were in a house, I鈥檓 not sure where. It was peaceful and beautiful. There was a garden outside. We were in bed.鈥 She could feel a blush creeping up her chest to her cheeks. Why did she answer his question. She could have deflected. She must not be fully awake.
Azriel鈥檚 cheeks began to blush as he sat up straighter. 鈥淥h. And what were we doing in bed?鈥
Was it a repercussion of the visions that they had to be spoken whether she willed it or not?
鈥淲e 鈥 your head was between my legs and you were鈥︹
Azriel stood up suddenly, effectively cutting her off. 鈥淚 got it Elain. Thank you.鈥 He quickly walked over to the fire and angled himself away from her.
After a few moments of taut silence Elain braced herself and stood. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know why I said all that. I鈥檓 sorry I鈥檝e made things uncomfortable for you. I will go now. I鈥檓 glad you鈥檙e okay.鈥
But before she could make it more than a few steps Azriel was behind her. Placing his hand gently on her arm, quickly dropping it as she turned around to face him.
鈥淚t鈥檚 okay. I know what it鈥檚 like being a seer. Some visions must be spoken.鈥
Elain raised her eyebrows. 鈥淎re you a 鈥︹
鈥淣o.鈥 Azriel cut her off. 鈥淏ut my mother is, I know what it鈥檚 like.鈥
鈥淒id all of her visions come true?鈥 Elain asked, pink staining her cheeks again.
鈥淚 cannot remember if all of them did, but I believe most. Although, not often in the way she suspected.鈥
鈥淥h.鈥 Elain breathed. The air filling with tension and words left unsaid, until Elain had to say something.
鈥淚 would not be upset, if this one came true.鈥 She surprised herself speaking so boldly, but she supposed the vision of the possible future gave her courage that her feelings would be reciprocated.
鈥淓lain.鈥 Azriel repeated her name in a rough tone she hadn鈥檛 heard him speak before.
She wasn鈥檛 sure who moved first.
His scarred hands were on either side of her cheek, pulling her towards him.
Her hands found his shoulder blades, pulling him to her.
A few touches they had shared before. His hand on her elbow. Her hand on his shoulder. Their fingers brushing. Always they had been gentle, reverent even.
This time their lips clashed. A different kind of reverence, as if their bodies were made to worship one another鈥檚.
The line between sin and sanctification had never been so thin.
With Graysen Elain had been always been demure, unsure of herself. She had rarely felt much pleasure of her own and had the vague impression that he didn鈥檛 expect her to have any.
With Azriel she felt uninhibited, she could be herself with him. Elain Archeron, the naive, mortal girl and Elain Archeron, the high fae, the seer. Either way Azriel knew her and accepted her. It drove her confidence now.
Her hands moved to his chest, broad and firm. She had been held against it many times when he winnowed her, but she would never forget how it felt earlier today when he rescued her from Hybern鈥檚 camp. Now she allowed herself to give into the temptation she had felt so many times before and ran her hands over it. Unbuttoning the top of his tunic.
His tongue ran across the seam of her lips, urging her to open them for him. She did so eagerly and when their tongues met they both exhaled quiet moans. His hands moved down her hips, over her ass, gently squeezing before moving further down to the backs of her thighs. He bent slightly to get a hold of them and life her up. Pulling her closer to himself, so that their bodies were perfectly aligned. Her hands moved from his chest to circle his neck, one hand threading through his hair.
She felt his pause. His uncertainty in what she wanted next. She pulled his mouth away from his only far enough to speak. 鈥淭ake me to bed.鈥 Azriel emitted a louder groan before moving his mouth back to hers as if to claim her. After a few steps he was gently lowering her to the bed before positioning himself on his elbows above her, ensuring no weight was put on her. But she didn鈥檛 want to be treated so gently. She wasn鈥檛 afraid of the weight of him, of this. She pulled his neck down towards her as she lifted her hips up to his. Her body responding on it鈥檚 own.
Azriel shifted to one elbow so that he could move a hand to her cheek, gently, down to her neck. His hand circled her neck and he squeezed, lightly. Now it was Elain鈥檚 turn the moan, the idea of being at his mercy making her come undone. He squeezed harder before releasing and moving his hand down her body, pushing down her loose nightgown until her breasts were exposed. He broke their kiss to look at them.
鈥淕ods.鈥 He muttered before moving his mouth to her neck. Kissing and nipping until he reached her breasts. She arched her back, begging him to take them into his mouth. He looked up at her as his mouth hovered over her right nipple. His breath causing it to tighten, nearing pain. He kept eye contact as his tongue darted out. Barely licking the peak. Elain trembled and moaned his name.
It was his undoing. His mouth covering her nipple, a hand moving to the other. He sucked and bit until she couldn鈥檛 stop writhing beneath him, then he moved to her other breast and repeated his worshipping. She felt ready to explode from the feeling on her breasts alone, not to mention the hard length she could feel through his pants when she rubbed against every time his teeth closed around her nipple and she couldn鈥檛 help but rub against him.
鈥淭ake off your clothes.鈥 She managed between breaths. She knew she was shaking too much to manage removing them herself, not to mention she wasn鈥檛 sure how to remove them from his wings.
He removed his mouth from her breast and lifted his head up so that he could look down on her and meet her eyes. He paused, as if he wanted to capture the moment like he was afraid that when he moved to take off her clothes she would suddenly disappear. She gently placed her hand on his cheek, hoping to offer reassurance through her touch. He lowered his head to place a gentle kiss on her lips but raising himself to stand at the end of the bed.
He made quick work of his clothes and she pushed her own night gown the rest of the way off her body. The soft blues of her gown melting into the dark greys of his clothes at the end of the bed. She barely had an opportunity to take in his hard length, standing straight at attention.
Then he was on her again. Without the barrier of clothes every inch of their skin is touching. Elain had never felt so alive. Like her skinning is on fire and freezing at the same time. Every inch of her taut and screaming for more of Azriel. In any way. In all ways.
He leaned forward to leave another kiss on her lips before moving down her body, leaving a trail of kisses between her breasts, her stomach, above her sex. When he was between her legs he looked up at her. 鈥淚s this what you saw in your vision?鈥 He didn鈥檛 wait for her reply before his mouth was on her. He wasted no time kissing her legs, her thighs. Suddenly his lips and his tongue were between her legs, her sex, exploring her, feasting on all her. 鈥淕ods Elain.鈥 Azriel moaned into her, causing her to write more. 鈥淲hat do I taste like?鈥 She had to ask, had always been curious. Her question caused Azriel to moan again, she felt the vibrations in her core. His tongue dove into her, as if he was trying to distinguish her taste. 鈥淪ugar.鈥 She laughed gently at his general assessment. Something, anything, sweet. She wondered how he would taste.
His tongue was unrelenting. Licking her up and down. Moving between her folds. Pushing into her. There wasn鈥檛 a spot of skin between her legs that his tongue didn鈥檛 touch. Over and over. Her hands moved to his hair, gripping it hard enough that she was sure he must be in pain. But he didn鈥檛 relented. She couldn鈥檛 help as her hips began moving on his mouth, riding his tongue. He brought one of his hands to her ass, helping to lift herself onto him. She didn鈥檛 spare a thought for the fact that they were only in a tent, did not stifle her shouts with the fear of being overheard. She became overwhelmed with the feeling that she was about the explode. Her body barreled towards some kind of release, but there was some a part of her mind that seemed to hesitate, fearing there was something she wasn鈥檛 doing right, that her sounds were too loud or her writhing too much.
As if sensing her hesitation Azriel moved his hand from her ass to her clit, rubbing it while his tongue moved inside her.
She saw stars.
Her hips bucking into him as he helped her ride out her orgasm. He continued to lick and suck her until she had all but stopped moving. Once he saw that she was exhausted he left one chaste kiss on her before moving back up her body until they were eye to eye. They held their eye contact until Elain lifted herself up to kiss him on the mouth, tasting herself as she did. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e right, like sugar.鈥 She offered, surprised that her own voice was deeper and scratchier than usual. Hopefully that wasn鈥檛 an indication of how much she had been screaming.
Her declaration pulled another groan from Azriel as he moved to kiss her more deeply. After a few tangles with their tongues she pulled away, bringing her palm to rest on his cheek. 鈥淚鈥檝e never felt like that before.鈥
鈥淣ever?鈥 He asked with a slight raise of his eyebrows.
She laughed softly. 鈥淣o. Never.鈥
He kissed her again, at first gently, before she was lifting herself to deepen the kiss. To take more of him in. She wasn鈥檛 done devouring him, having him. Tension began to find it鈥檚 way back into her body, her veins. The satiated bliss she felt just moments ago being replaced with the need for more. One hand remained on the back of Azriel鈥檚 neck, gently holding his mouth to hers while her other moved down his body. Over the planes of his broad chest, down to his solid stomach, further down until she could feel course hairs and then her hand found what she had been looking for, had been so curious about. The touch of her hand caused Azriel to hiss.
鈥淎re you okay?鈥 She began to feel embarrassed that her inexperience had somehow hurt him. She and Graysen had had sex yes, but there was no extra touching aside from what was needed. She had been content with what it was, but the orgasm Azriel had already given shattered all illusions of satisfaction she had had with Graysen. She now knew how much she had been missing.
Azriel moved his hips so that his hard length was again touching her hand. 鈥淲ith you I am always okay.鈥
Her lips turned up in a smile as she kissed him again, capturing his moans with her mouth and she touched his length with her fingers, her hands. Running them up and down him. Marveling at how hard he was, with skin smooth as silk. She wrapped her hand around as much of him as she could and squeezed, pulling another moan out of Azriel. He bucked into her hand once, twice. 鈥淔uck Elain. Fuck.鈥 He moved his mouth to her neck and bit down on the skin between her neck and shoulder, causing her to gasp as the pain and squeeze him harder.
Suddenly he was pulling her hand away from him. 鈥淚f you keep doing that I鈥檓 going to explode.鈥
鈥淚s that such a bad thing?鈥 She went to move her hand back to him, but he caught her wrist.
鈥淚t just depends on what you want.鈥 Azriel didn鈥檛 make it a question, not wanting to push her in any direction she didn鈥檛 want to go. He wanted to be sure it was completely her decision, her call.
鈥淚 want this. I want you.鈥 She had felt that draw towards him, that longing, ever since he first showed up at her father鈥檚 estate. Cassian had been the Illyrian who had caused her paused, caused her palms to sweat and her legs to tremble with fear at his presence. But upon seeing Azriel in the doorway she had felt a calm wash over her and had somehow known that if Azriel was with Cassian, then she had nothing to fear.
鈥淗ave you ever?鈥
鈥淵es. With 鈥 yes I have.鈥 She didn鈥檛 want to ruin this by speaking Graysen鈥檚 name. She didn鈥檛 want any thoughts of him in her mind ever, much less in this moment.
Azriel nodded, understanding, before lowering himself, lining himself up with her.
鈥淪top me if it hurts.鈥 She nodded but he before he moved he looked her in the eyes and repeated himself. 鈥淎sk me to stop.鈥
鈥淵ou won鈥檛 hurt me in any way I don鈥檛 want you to.鈥
He kissed her as he pushed into her, slowly, only a inch but still causing her to gasp. He pulled out slightly before pushing in further. Her gasps mingling with his moans. On the next push her eyes fluttered close, a pain mixing with the pleasure. He moved his left hand to where they were joined, his right staying by her head where is elbow was propped. He moved his thumb between her legs, above where they were joined, he rubbed her until she began moving on him, arching into him, wanting more.
Then he gave her more.
He pulled out nearly all of the way before sheathing himself inside her fully. Pushing her legs wider to accompany his hips. Her hips arching up further to meet his as she let out a loud moan. When he had allowed himself to picture this with Elain he had imagined going slowly. It was an image he had tried to stop himself from thinking but one what often came to him in the time between waking and dreams, when he didn鈥檛 have full control of his consciousness. But now that he was inside her, her perfect tightness surrounding him, all rational thoughts were gone and every instinct he had took over. He kept himself from unleashing completely, but only barely.
He squeezed her breast as he moved inside her. She pulled his hair. The sounds coming from her mouth were better than anything he could have imagined. No matter how much he wanted this to last all night he knew he would not last much longer. He raised one of her legs slightly, so that he could push deeper into to her and also be closer to her. He kissed her mouth, her jaw, her neck. Grazing his teeth down to her pulse point, he bit down, claiming her in all the ways he knew how.
The sudden pain of his bite mixing with the wild pleasure she felt every time he reached a spot deeper inside her pushed her over the edge. She clenched around him, bucking wildly to ride out that final explosion of pleasure, moaning her first coherent words.
The feeling of her coming around him, the sound of her moaning his name, brought Azriel over his own the edge. He spilled himself inside her, glad for her clenching walls milking him till he was thoroughly spent.
He stayed on top of her after, catching his breath. Hearing her labored breathing in his ear, feeling her breaths gently moving his hair. He gently kissed her cheek, ending their passionate fucking with something so sweet she struggled to catch her breath.
Then he moved, pulling himself out her. She groaned at the absence of him. He got up and walked over to his wash basin. Dipping a cloth into the water before returning to her and gently wiping her between her legs. After he was finished he tossed the cloth back towards the bin. It landed on the floor near by and he didn鈥檛 bother picking it up. Instead he turned back towards her, taking her in as she lay bare in his bed, starting at her toes and ending with her eyes, as if committing her to memory. Then he brought his hand to his face, as if wiping at the shadow of hair covering his jaw. Finally he sighed, seeming to reach some internal decision, and picked up her nightgown from the floor and holding it out to her.
She frowned as she took it from him, hoping that he would lie down next to her instead.
But he caught her disappointment, as he seemed to catch all of the emotions written on her face.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 want you to leave. Never that. But if Nesta wake and you aren鈥檛 there, there would be hell to pay.鈥
She smiled at that truth. 鈥淒o you think I can get in without waking her?鈥
鈥淚 will put you in your bed with my shadows. She will never know.鈥
Elain pulled on her nightgown and picked up the blanket she had wrapped herself in to come to his tent before turning to face him.
For a moment they both looked at each other. Trying to read each other.
Finally Azriel broke the silence.
鈥淲as that like your vision?鈥
She blushed. 鈥淵es. Well. It was similar but we weren鈥檛 in this tent, we were somewhere else and I didn鈥檛 see us do everything.鈥
He offered one of his rare smiles. 鈥淕ood. So we don鈥檛 have to be worried this was the last time.鈥
鈥淣o.鈥 She agreed, returning his smile. 鈥淲e certainly don鈥檛 need to worry about that.鈥
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onceupona-chaos3 days ago
Belladonna Noctunis
Notes: One-shot, because spy Elain is living in mind rent free and I needed to get this out of my system 馃槀 As usual, forgive me for any English mistakes, it's not my first language. I just wanted to have some fun and try something new. Be kind!
Warnings: Language, violence and NSFW (mention).
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After three days traveling without so much stop to sleep, the gloomy, seedy tavern looked like Flynn's particular paradise. Even with the dirty, wooden floor and the cobwebs on the corners, he'd never been happier whilst he took a long drink from his cheap beer.
Flynn had never been to Night Court territory before and although he found the rumours about the unparalleled night sky to be true, it was difficult to admire anything when you were too busy trying to not get caught. Either by guards or by the evil, bloodthirsty creatures that lived in that area.
But The Night Court was the perfect place for someone who didn't want to be found. The vast land had miles and miles of forests dangerous enough to make the bravest warriors hesitate. Even the Lord of Bloodshed would think twice before stepping into those places. Of course, the border shared with Day Court made it all easier as well.
Flynn let out a long sigh. Two more days in the back of a horse was all that separated him from his payer. The job hadn't been easy. It was the most challenging he'd done so far. But he and Akir had managed just fine.
Since Akir was the one who got the short stick, therefore the messy part of the job, it was only fair Flynn received the money. Still鈥 whatever the prick was doing right now, it was better than being in this hellhole.
Most of the customers had already headed upstairs, the lucky ones with some company. Only a few other males remained in the tavern, sleeping miserably in their chairs, probably too drunk to even take a step, when exhaustion began to settle over Flynn, heavy like a blanket.
He was finishing his third beer, about to raise his hand to call the bartender to ask for one of the rooms upstairs, when a flash of purple and gold caught his attention.
He didn't hear her enter the room. But right there, taking a seat at the other side of the bar, was undoubtedly the most stunning female he'd ever seen.
In a lilac gown that did nothing to hide her curves, especially her backside, her golden-brown hair braided was thrown over one shoulder, exposing her pointy ears, a five petal withe flower behind the left one.
Beautiful, with pink lips that were begging to be kissed鈥 She was every male's dream. Flynn didn't try to hide his eyes glued to her, scanning slowly that perfect face and traveling through the delicious curves of her body. She would be even more beautiful between his sheets, that was for sure.
Given that the bartender was almost drooling when he served her a glass of wine on the house, he probably was thinking the same thing.
Under the scarce faelights, she glowed so at odds with the dark tavern. It was strange, he admitted, that a stunning lady like her frequented such a place. But Flynn didn't pay so much attention to that. Not when doe-brown eyes found him already staring and a little, sweet smile curved her lips before she sipped from her glass.
It was everything he needed to approach her.
He made a point of lowering his voice before saying, "If I knew I would find the most beautiful female I've ever seen in the Night Court, I would have visited these lands sooner."
If it was possible, she was even more stunning from up close, with her soft, creamy skin and large eyes. And her scent鈥 almost made him dizzy.
Her face remained neutral though, as if she had heard that many times before. Which probably she had. "A traveler, are you?"
He smirked, "I'm whatever you wish me to be, gorgeous."
At that, she let out a low laugh. Totally unimpressed as if he had told her the funniest joke she'd ever heard. And strangely that only made him want her more. He wanted to know what would take to make a classy lady like her give in, to make her crawl into his bed.
Every ounce of tiredness suddenly gone.
"If this is how you approach someone where you came from, I have pity on those females," she remarked.
"No one has ever complained. Maybe you just need to try something new." The words left his mouth before he even realized.
Flynn didn't know if it was the stress of the last days or the two months since he had sex. But he could already imagine every filthy thing he would do to her, every place he would fill her.
She didn't respond, only raised her eyebrows in disbelief. It was the sweetest thing that look on her face.
His voice dropped an octave, "Maybe you need an actual male to treat you the way you deserve."
A small blush stained her cheeks, but she just crooked her head and studied him. Her eyes assessing him from head to toe in a way that made him feel bare.
The female narrowed her eyes at him and grabbed her glass, standing from her seat, "What makes you think you are an actual male that can give me what I want?"
Her tone was quiet and low as if she was telling him all of her secrets. And damn him if he didn't want to know them all.
She moved toward a table in the corner, her hips swaying in a way that he couldn't help but watch.
A heartbeat later he joined her.
They talked for a while. The flirting, the innuendos slowly blending into meaningless conversation.
Usually Flinn wasn't one who would talk to get someone into his bed. He would rather pay to have what he wanted than having the job of talking nonsense. But for her鈥 well, it wasn't everyday a pretty thing like that crossed his path. And he doubted she would appreciate it if he offered her money in exchange for a good time.
But also... maybe it was her easy smiles or her open expression, but she did have something that made him want to keep talking, keep the conversation alive.
The fact that she wasn't boring also helped to ease his impatience.
So there he was, talking about a particularly charming incident that happened to him at Solstice when he was younger. It had ended with him lost in the middle of a deserted beach named Prateada, completely naked.
He hoped she would get intrigued as to why he was naked in the first place, the perfect cue to smoothly shift the conversation to a more heated direction.
But the female tilted her head back and laughed. Strangely, he took satisfaction from it. Everything about her was sexy and lovely in the same, perfect measure. Gods, she was killing him. He wished things could go a little faster.
"So you're from Summer, then." She mused, propping her chin over her first.
He shaked his head, "My friend is from Summer, gorgeous. Actually he lives close to that beach, but he didn't come to rescue me, the little shit." Her laugh was a song to his ears and hopefully a promise of what it would come next. "But I'm from Day."
She asked, "Oh? And where is this friend of yours?"
Flynn didn't miss the suggestive edge hidden in her tone."Why? Interesting?"
She bit her bottom lip, and a delicious, deep pink colored her cheeks as she whispered, "You know what they say... three is a party."
Gods above.
His blood heated and his cock ached in his pants.
She was really just sitting there, pouring sweet nothings into the conversation, batting her eyelashes and making his head spin.
The delicate flared of her nostrils told him she smelled it, too. His arousal.
Flynn locked his gaze with hers and drained his drink to the edges, her eyes tracked every bob of his throat.
"Unfortunately for you, my friend had an urgent matter and had to head home. But two can make a party just fine."
She merely hummed and took a sip of her wine. "Sure about that? You do look tired."
"My journey has been tough." He added after a heartbeat, his words full of promise, "It takes more than that to make me tired, don't worry."
She nodded to herself before grabbing their glasses. He made to help her, but one look from her froze him in place. "Sit. I'll take care of you, tonight." And with that, she was gone.
Cauldron boil him alive.
His pants were getting tighter by the second. Flynn took a deep breath, shaking slightly in anticipation.
A beer was placed before him a few moments later and this time she didn't bother to sit across the table, pulling a chair to sit by his side. Her sweet scent hit him hard and he tried not to look too much at her cleavage as he drank his beer, but failed spectacularly.
"I heard the people in Day are very鈥 concerned." She started, her delicate scent enveloping him. "After what happened in the High Lord's palace."
His eyes shot to hers, meeting those doe eyes of hers. Flynn kept his face careful blank, even though a wave of smugness went through his body. It wasn't everyday a plan was executed with such perfection - and right under the High Lord's nose. He knew he shouldn't be talking about it. But changing the subject would only make things more suspicious so he had to play along. "They have reason to be. No one saw who did it."
Flynn took another long sip from his beer, eyes still fixed on her. He didn't know if that scent of hers were messing with his senses, but we could swear even his drink was sweeter, his head lighter.
She inclined her body a little, getting closer to him as if she was about to reveal even The Mother's secrets. Her eyes flickered in a way that should be forbidden.
He felt chills going down his spine.
"It is disturbing, though." She went on, tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear, careful to not mess with the flower. "They say the palace wing where one of his lovers was killed is the most guarded one."
He chuckled, too lightheaded. "Perhaps the west wing guards were off duty that day."
Her grin turned wilder as she nodded. "Well鈥 maybe they should be fired, don't you think?"
With that gods' damn scent of hers filling his nose, he couldn't take it anymore. He was too drunk in desire, the corner of his visions turning black. He couldn't even breathe right anymore.
He murmured, "Here I was, thinking you were a good girl."
His heart was beating fast when he dropped his head, aiming at last for those plumb, pink lips.
He wouldn't even make it to the room. No, he would exposed that beautiful backside right there, bent her over the table and fuck her hard, just the way he liked it.
Flynn was already sweating, his mouth was inches from hers - when he felt the air get caught in his throat.
Frowning, he pulled back and gasped slightly at first, swallowing hard as he tried to pull air into his lungs. But it was like his throat had become too tight all of the sudden.
Still trying to ease that feeling, he undid the first bottoms of his tunic.
But it was like there wasn't enough air in the world anymore.
The female didn't show a hint of concern as she stood just to sit on the table before him. Wine in hand, she just observed.
Sweat was pooling in his forehead, his own hands and feet going numb.
"You proved yourself to be a better company than I've imagined, Flynn," she said.
Realization hit him like a punch in the gut.
He knew he hadn't given her his name. His guard was down, but he wasn't so careless, so stupid. Or so he thought. A small, secret smile bloomed on her face. "Although I do think it's interesting that you know in which palace wing his lover was killed when this is private information of the High Lord."
His eyes went wild. Shit.
"You-", he gasped, looking between her and his drink as his numbed hands covered his throat. His vision darkened further, but he still looked at her, at that adorable, fucking flower behind her ear. And utter panic almost made his blood stop cold in his veins.
Only four petals remained.
"Belladonna Noctunis, in case you're wondering. I grow it myself." Her face was harder, any trace of amusement gone. "It wasn't enough to kill you."
The world got darker around them and Flynn noticed it wasn't only because of that damn flower she'd put in his drink. He tried to look around, but he couldn't see past that darkness, that veil of swirling shadows. Where the hell were the bartender or the drunks, he had no idea.
He was still gasping for air, his throat almost completely closed, when a male stepped from a shadow behind her as if he was hidden somewhere in between them. Enormous wings peeking over his shoulders. Ilyrian.
A shiver shook his body as shadows curled around the male, his eyes blazing between them. His voice was deep, but soft as he asked, "Are you ready to go, El?"
That wasn't a common power, Flynn knew that much. He had heard stories about it for centuries, but it was like his brain was as numb as his entire arm now. He couldn't quite place who those people were, not when he was in desperate need of air, his legs getting too heavy to even lift a foot.
A smile bloomed in her face at the sound of the male's midnight voice. "Yes."
Flynn's eyelashes were becoming heavy, sweat running down his face as he still tried to make sense.
The male walked toward them. "Do I need to make him speak more?"
She shook her head. "No, I already have our confirmation. And you owe me fifty golden marks, by the way. I know where the other one is, too."
Shit. Flynn tried to stand at Akir's mention, but his own body wouldn't obey him.
The male gave her a smile as well. "Of course you do," he murmured, chuckling. "You are the sweetest little minx."
She turned to the male, something sparkling in her eyes before asking, "Will you take care of him?"
The male stared at Flynn, his hazel eyes cold. No softness in his voice, no amusement curving his lips. No trace of any emotion now. "He will be our personal present to Helion. They both will."
Fuck. Fuck.
"Generous of you, my love." She was still smiling at the male when she took his scarred hand in hers.
But the way he'd say the High Lord's name, with such casualness as if he knew him鈥 even with his mind and body almost giving up, Flynn saw through his panic, the pieces of a puzzle clicking slowly into place.
That remarkable, perfect face of her鈥 and those shadows鈥 They actually knew the High Lord of The Day Court, because they were members of the鈥 what was the name, again? Inner Circle.
He had heard the tales that travelled through Prythian of how the powers of fate united three brothers and three sisters, including the High Lord and Lady of the Night Court. And the Generals.
Which means鈥 if the male was the Shadowsinger, if they were the High Lord and Lady of The Night Court personals spies...
The last thing Flynn saw was the face of the Kingslayer herself looking down at him - and then the Shadowsinger touched his arm and the world vanished into shadow.
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exquisitley-obsessed3 days ago
Cardinal Catastrophe
Author: @exquisitley-obsessed
Summary:聽Elain reaches out to Azriel after that dreaded Solstice night and they once again meet under the moonlight in the River House - but everything is different now (post ACOSF, Azriel鈥檚 the focalizer)聽
Pairings: Azriel x Elain, Elriel
Word Count: 13,300+
Warnings: This does get a bit smutty and then there鈥檚 some violence towards the end.
A/N: This is like super long. It basically has everything it鈥檚 fluff, smut and angst so yeah, something for everyone. This is probably the longest oneshot I鈥檝e ever written, I don鈥檛 know where this has come from but it鈥檚 taken me way longer to write than any of my other stuff. There鈥檚 a lot of catharsis in this and reflection on how I think both Azriel and Elain think of the situation. You鈥檒l also get a bit of Rhys鈥 pov towards the ned ;)
Preview:聽With Elain鈥檚 eyes closed he allowed himself to greedily devour the sight of her. Just her face alone captured his attention entirely. With his eyes he memorised the curve of her cheekbones, the specific angle of her brows, even the exact chocolatey shade of her lashes. He went over it again, and again, and again, like a worshipper devouring the holy text. Azriel needed the perfection of Elain committed to memory, because he was sure that one day his luck would run out entirely. That soon he would not be permitted to even these meetings in the dead of night, with only a thousand stars as witness to their mutilated fate.
鈥淓lain...鈥 He tried again; his voice softer than he had ever heard it before. The person he became around Elain was foreign to himself. He had never been someone privileged enough to both love and be loved, not like this. Now that he had tasted such passions, he found he could not always recognise himself. Because he was Azriel, and he was cursed and damned, destined to be alone, to be unloved, mutilated both in mind and morality. He could not love; he shouldn鈥檛 be able to love - and yet.
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It was no exaggeration to say that Azriel鈥檚 work was of a most gruesome nature. His daily routine involved cutting into people, making them sing to his shadows, working them like a carcass in a machine until they鈥檇 spilt their guts to him before painting the walls with those same organs. As the Night Court鈥檚 spymaster, Azriel knew things that would bring kings to their knees, secrets that were interwoven into the foundations of courts, hidden information that would dissolve alliances in seconds; and yet, here he was, pacing the room like a schoolboy as he tried to swallow the fluttery聽鈥榖utterfly-like鈥 feeling twisting his gut.
He鈥檇 noticed the note the minute he鈥檇 entered the room. A tiny slip of paper that glowed in the moonlight from where it was perched on his work desk, a stark contrast to Azriel鈥檚 messy, tea-stained paperwork. Azriel had smelt her on it before he read it, in fact, the second he opened the door to his River House bedroom he was surrounded by her faded aroma. She must鈥檝e breezed in and out, not wanting to overstep her bounds as she left him a note no one else was to read. Knowing her, she was probably currently riddled with guilt for entering his private space, even though, quite frankly, Azriel wouldn鈥檛 mind her invading on every aspect of his life, personal or not. Not wanting to face what her scent in his room did to him, he鈥檇 crossed the room in three strides and devoured the note in seconds; the words still rang in his head.
I need to see you.
Everything had been聽fine.聽Ever since Rhysand鈥檚 outrageous demand of Azriel several months prior, Azriel had fallen into a routine, stricter than the last, for ignoring Elain Archeron. He was working more than he ever had before, not just in quantity but in quality. Unnecessarily detailed reports were showing up on the High Lord鈥檚 desk of situations that were entirely irrelevant to the current political climate and yet, Azriel thought it was only fair Rhysand suffered somewhat from this situation too.
I鈥檓 sorry for everything.
While he was anywhere but Velaris, Elain was never anywhere else, specifically in the River House, a place he had thus far avoided with painful success. Until his High Lady had demanded he come to dinner to celebrate Nesta鈥檚 birthday, Nesta who was happier than he had ever seen her before, practically glowing with the dreaded mating bond. It still baffled him how much prevalence mating bonds had played in his life the past few years after 500 years of silence, strings of fate which seemed to only bring about the greatest happiness or the wickedest pain.
I just want to make things right.
They were so happy, all of them. Rhysand with Feyre and Nyx, Nesta and Cassian - and though he just wanted to be glad for his family, the miasma of their bliss was suffocating. Because Azriel had never felt more alone, had never been so buried in his work, so achingly tired from the unnecessary flights and dreary missions, and his harmful behaviour was turning his body into something foreign. Azriel never used to have the constant tautness across his shoulders, nor the constant black shadows under his eyes from the sleepless nights, or the aching muscles that never seemed to heal. But it was necessary 鈥 if he wanted to obey Rhysand鈥檚 order, if he wanted to maintain civility between courts, and for a plethora of other supposed noble reasons 鈥 it was necessary.
I miss you.
He just wanted her. Not in any possessive way, he just wanted to be around her. He鈥檇 come to find a specific kind of peace in her company, something about that soothed his worries and aches. So, he missed their walks in the gardens, their shared book recommendations, their inside jokes, their unspoken understanding, their healing. And above all he missed her: her smile, her laughter, the shade of her flushed cheeks, her kindness, her silence.
Azriel hadn鈥檛 realised what had been happening to him as they had gotten closer, hadn鈥檛 realised how far he鈥檇 fallen till Rhysand had pulled him out of the air. Now all that was there, was a lacking. He was busier than ever, but all around him hung the privation of聽her.
Meet me in the foyer when the sun sets.
So he couldn鈥檛 be around his family, couldn鈥檛 face their overwhelming joy when he was so, so alone. Maybe it would鈥檝e been better if he had never met Elain, or at least if he hadn鈥檛 allowed himself to fall for her. But in those soft moments he shared with her, the brushes of fingertips to the sun-kissed smiles, he鈥檇 been forced to face just how alone he was, how alone he had always been. Through Elain, Azriel had had a taste of honest, unwavering love - and yet he was expected to turn his back on such a discovery, by his own family no less.
He would meet her in the foyer when the sun set. He would follow her to the ends of the Earth if she asked him to, because maybe he was just so masochistic that he didn鈥檛 mind meeting Elain only to be reminded of everything he couldn鈥檛 have. Reading the note Azriel couldn鈥檛 help but think bitterly of how the flower-grower was far more courageous than he. That she was reaching out to him after he had rejected her so brutally. Azriel jolted, flaring his wings slightly to stop the train of thought. That pained, confused look in Elain鈥檚 eye when he had said that word, haunted him. Mistake. He鈥檇 called it a mistake. Azriel raked his hands down his face and sighed.
He wished he were strong enough to either commit or drop it entirely. He wished he had it in him to do聽something. Azriel should鈥檝e bitten back at Rhysand all those months ago, should鈥檝e just dealt with this catastrophe back then rather than let it fester and rot under the proverbial carpet.
As time passed in Azriel鈥檚 knotted thoughts, the sun plummeted towards the horizon. It was a perfect summers evening, and Azriel stilled at the window to watch as the sun melted the sky into shades of pink and purple. He saw it and thought of the colour of her dress tonight, or even that dress she had worn when she鈥檇 made traditional Illyrian biscuits and demanded he tried one. He鈥檇 taken it in his pocket and only took a bite when he was alone in the shadows of a different court, and he had savoured every bite, quietly smothering his growing adoration as he did so.
Elain, Elain, Elain.聽His shadows whispered to him, as though they knew they would soon be in her presence. No one had ever had such an effect on his shadows, and around her he was more aware of them being a separate entity to himself. Though they were bound, around Elain they seemed to grow more confident, they acted of their own accord and would often disappear in her presence, as though his shadows knew he wished to be entirely alone with her.
Foyer...Elain...flower-grower...beautiful.聽Azriel was inclined to agree. And before Azriel could lose himself to shyness, the sun finally dipped behind the curve of the land, allowing a thousand glimmering stars to prickle through the endless black sky.
She would already be waiting for him, and though Azriel was nervous, he had to restrain some part of himself that longed to throw open the door and jump down the stairs two at a time. Instead, he used the shadows, stepping through them to the base of the large foyer staircase. It would be more silent this way. He wouldn鈥檛 make the same mistake of not listening to the corridors as they spoke. For Elain鈥檚 sake, he would demand the utmost privacy, even from his High Lord and Lady.
He could see her before she saw him. She was leaning of the Foyer鈥檚 centre table, fiddling with the bouquet of flowers in a glass vase - of course she was. All he could see of her was the lower half of her pale gown and her dark golden hair, cascading down her back like a waterfall. The moonlight streaming in through the large French windows gave her an angelic glow, whereas the more sensuous light of the flickering candles painted shadows across her thinly veiled curves. Both warm and cold light coming together to worship the woman who seemed to him as light herself. At the sight of her, Azriel involuntarily sucked in a breath and felt her scent hit the back of his throat, his entire body seemed to sing from her aroma alone, as though it were his own personal drug.聽Dangerous, this was dangerous, to be with her and to be so alone. He didn鈥檛 care.
鈥淓lain,鈥 she didn鈥檛 start as he spoke into the thick silence. If she had the confidence to call him here tonight, then he must source some of his own. He at least owed her that. Delicately, Elain turned and looked over her shoulder, her beautiful brown eyes finding his and melting the whole world away.
鈥淵ou came,鈥 She breathed, her shoulders sagging slightly out of relief. She turned to him properly then, and Azriel flickered his eyes over her so quickly she might鈥檝e mistaken it for a mere blink. But he saw her, saw what she was wearing, and some core part of his soul longed to weep at the sight of her beauty.
Elain was in a nightgown, off-white cotton and silk, with cream and dusty pink lace. Pale ribbons pulled the nightdress around her breasts and down to her naval, dipping in a slight聽鈥榲鈥 before the skirts flowed around her natural curves and then dropped to the floor. The neckline was agonisingly flattering, though Azriel was sure he wouldn鈥檛 look twice at the nightdress on anyone else. Her creamy skin seemed browner in the warm candlelight of the house, and as the shadows flickered, he was aware of how her collarbones stretched out to the curve of her shoulders, how she didn鈥檛 have freckles on her chest and arms but rather a specific constellation of moles, even how her hair was impossibly thick and, if memory served him well, soft too. Upper sections were pulled away from her face in an intricate pattern of braids and ties, and yet lock after lock of pale brown hair cascaded down her back and over her shoulders, framing her angelic face. Oh, that face. Poets and painters alike would weep at the sight of that face. The small, angled eyebrows that somehow made her doe eyes bigger, the freckles across her cheeks and nose, her plush lips-
鈥淚 know that you鈥檙e avoiding me,鈥 she began, crashing Azriel back into reality. He shifted slightly, ruffling his wings as though to wake himself up. Her voice wasn鈥檛 accusing, but calm and quiet,聽鈥淚 know there鈥檚 a reason why you鈥檙e never around. For a while I thought you were just cooped up at the House of Wind but Nesta says that she never sees one ever sees you anymore.鈥 Azriel stayed quiet, just holding her gaze. He never聽needed聽to speak around Elain, she had quickly understood that when he had something to say, he would say it, but till then, he was comforted by the silence. And so she continued, more nervous now.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 want to be...narcissistic...but it seems to me that you鈥檝e been distancing yourself with everyone after what happened on Solstice and...鈥 She shifted uncomfortably, her confidence running out as she looked down at the floor and wrung her hands.聽鈥淚 can鈥檛 take it. I can鈥檛 take being the person whose pushed you away and I...I think we need to talk about it - or not talk about it - I鈥檓 not sure. I just, I don鈥檛 want you to avoid me anymore, even if that means we pretend that it never happened, that鈥檚聽fine. I just...鈥
He could tell her right now the exact reason why聽he couldn鈥檛 be around her.聽Elain, he would say,聽I would do anything to be around you. I would kill a thousand men just to have the privilege聽of your company.聽But I can鈥檛, Elain. Because when I鈥檓 around you, everything turns inside out, I forget everything I鈥檓 supposed to be afraid of. I become this person around you Elain, I become someone who I鈥檝e always wanted to be, and I don鈥檛 know how to be him, if I even can. I鈥檓 not used to this, to wanting something so viscerally it feels as though I might fall apart every day I don鈥檛 see you. Elain, I don鈥檛 know how to choose happiness, I don鈥檛 know how to be selfish in that way, and above all...I don鈥檛 know how to fix this.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 care if you don鈥檛 want me like that, not if it comes at the price of your friendship. I still...need you in my life, Az,鈥 Elain was whispering now, her large eyes slightly glassy in the candlelight.聽
Azriel couldn鈥檛 help but think that Elain was evidentially stronger than him, that she could still want to be around him even if he supposedly didn鈥檛 want her. If the roles were reversed, if it had been Elain who had pushed him away, he was pretty certain he would鈥檝e manipulated his work to make him leave the Night Court for at least several years. Of course, she was stronger than him, he was beginning to think she was stronger than them all, because of this exact trait of hers - forgiveness.
鈥淧lease...say聽something,鈥 Elain鈥檚 broken voice rose through the silence. She looked at him again, tears threatening to spill. Her looking at him in such a way made something deep in his chest twist, and twist and keep on twisting.聽
He didn鈥檛 know what to do, so he took a step forward, and another and another, until he was a foot鈥檚 distance away from her. The whole time her eyes never left his, her hands still twisting together at the front of her beautiful, beautiful dress. He opened his mouth to speak but once again Elain had rendered him speechless. Where could he begin, how could he begin - how could he聽fix聽this?
鈥淓lain...鈥 was all he managed in the end, but that seemed to be enough to soothe her as her eyes fluttered shut and she breathed deeply at the sound of her name mingled with his breath.
With Elain鈥檚 eyes closed he allowed himself to greedily devour the sight of her. Just her face alone captured his attention entirely. With his eyes he memorised the curve of her cheekbones, the specific angle of her brows, even the exact chocolatey shade of her lashes. He went over it again, and again, and again, like a worshipper devouring the holy text. Azriel needed the perfection of Elain committed to memory, because he was sure that one day his luck would run out entirely. That soon he would not be permitted to even these meetings in the dead of night, with only a thousand stars as witness to their mutilated fate.
鈥淓lain...鈥 He tried again; his voice softer than he had ever heard it before. The person he became around Elain was foreign to himself. He had never been someone privileged enough to both love and be loved, not like this. Now that he had tasted such passions, he found he could not always recognise himself. Because he was Azriel, and he was cursed and damned, destined to be alone, to be unloved, mutilated both in mind and morality. He could not love; he shouldn鈥檛 be able to love - and yet.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry,鈥 He began, his voice barely audible. And by the way Elain鈥檚 brows furrowed slightly and her mouth tightened, he knew that she knew he was talking about the last time they鈥檇 been here, in this foyer. 鈥淚 wish things were different,鈥 He whispered, now trying to memorise the exact constellations of her freckles.
鈥淢e too,鈥 She breathed, her eyes still closed.聽鈥淚 wish聽I聽was different,鈥 She surprised him by whispering.
鈥淒on鈥檛...鈥 He murmured, silently stunned,聽鈥淵 don鈥檛 know how you...鈥 But he had to stop himself mid-sentence, had to bite his tongue between his teeth hard enough to draw blood. Because if he started to talk, he wouldn鈥檛 stop. He would tell her everything, and he wasn鈥檛 quite ready to be so vulnerable, not when he didn鈥檛 know how to be vulnerable at all.
鈥淚...鈥 She opened her eyes and seemed to look at him as though for the first time. After a long pause she spoke again,聽鈥淚 wish I had courage.鈥
鈥淐ourage?鈥 Elain paused and shifted slightly from foot to foot, as though she were debating what she would say next.
鈥淚 want to be strong, like my sisters...I want to etch out my own path rather than fumble in the dark.鈥 Azriel thought for a moment.
鈥淵ou are strong, whether you perceive yourself to be or not.鈥 He wanted nothing more than to reach up and stroke his hand along her smooth cheek, instead he dug his nails into his already marred palm and focused on the pain鈥檚 bite.
鈥淚 will never be a general,鈥 Elain whispered, her eyes still damp,聽鈥淚 will never be a High Lady or a leader, I don鈥檛 care for any of that...I聽wish聽I did. You can鈥檛 imagine how badly I wish I...鈥 Her words ran out and her eyes became slightly glossed over and detached. Again, he felt the urge to touch her, to ground her back in reality, but he just dug his nails in deeper.聽鈥淚 don鈥檛 belong on battlefields, though I鈥檇 always fight when the world needed me but...I鈥檓 not a warrior; and that petrifies me.鈥
Again, Azriel paused, taking time to absorb every word Elain offered to him under the moonlight. Azriel adored Elain, he could鈥檝e stood there for an hour and listed everything about her that had brought him hope. How her outlook on life had been so foreign to him, so unrealistic when he first met her, that it was extraordinary now just how jealous he was of her ability to look at the morbidity of the world, and still seek out the good.
鈥淚n a world of endless bloodshed and bitterness, do not be ashamed of not wanting to be a warrior,鈥 Azriel whispered.
鈥淏ut I鈥檓 useless,鈥 Elain quickly interjected, 鈥淚 have all this power, I feel it stirring in me and there is no part of me that wishes to manipulate it or-or exploit it.鈥 Elain鈥檚 hands came up and danced in the air as she spoke, another quirk of hers he鈥檇 both memorised and adored. Azriel thought again, long and hard, before he spoke.
鈥淚鈥檝e been around a lot longer than you, and from what I鈥檝e learnt of people is...that they鈥檙e horrible,鈥 Azriel watched as Elain鈥檚 eyes widened and drank in his words and something twisted in his chest. People didn鈥檛 look at him like that when he talked. His brothers would wink and laugh with him, his enemies cowered and flinched, those whom he bedded would smile slyly or watch his mouth as he murmured dirty things in the dead of night. But no one looked at him like that, as though he were reciting poetry, as though he were beautiful enough to say something worthy of those big eyes and parted lips.
鈥淵ou wouldn鈥檛 believe the horrors I鈥檝e seen, or the court secrets I鈥檝e uncovered. The way people, particular those in positions of power, treat each other, treat those around them and those below them - it鈥檚 tragic. It鈥檚聽merciless聽and聽cruel.鈥 Elain was still drinking him in, still hanging onto his every word.
鈥淚 think over the centuries, I myself became desensitised to the horrors of power and politics. Especially given my start in life. When you were human I understood your naivety, your belief in the good of the world, especially after your riches had returned and your life was content.
鈥淏ut what I didn鈥檛 understand was how you continued to believe good after everything you went through. After facing the most brutal torture from the Cauldron still chose to believe in the wonderful and I-I didn鈥檛 understand that. Because I couldn鈥檛 do that. Because I鈥檇 never believed in the good of people the way you do...I had never even believed in the good of myself.
鈥淧lease don鈥檛 think that kindness is something small, or something that can be overlooked. Because when the world is little more than ruin and rubble, kindness is all we have left. We鈥檝e just been alive so long that we forget about it, us Fae, we鈥檝e spent so much of our lives at war that it鈥檚 easy to forget why we鈥檇 even engage in such bloodshed. It wasn鈥檛 till I met you that I was reminded that such things as tenderness and humanity even existed outside my family, and once the wars were about defending those virtues rather than snuffing them out鈥 just, I can鈥檛 help but think that if there were more people like you in the world, maybe Prythian wouldn鈥檛 succumb to carnage every few decades, just so that the heartless noblemen of this land can feel something.鈥
Azriel hadn鈥檛 meant to speak for so long, in fact, he didn鈥檛 quite understand where the words had even come from. They were true, of course. He did whole-heartedly believe everything he had just said, he just hadn鈥檛 realised how much he鈥檇 ached to say it aloud. Elain was still staring at him wide-eyed, and then there was the worst thing of all, a single tear spilling over her damp eyes and trickling down her cheek.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry I didn鈥檛 mean to-鈥
鈥淣o,鈥 Elain whispered, suddenly reaching out and sliding her palm into his from where it was hanging limp at his side. Electricity shot through his arm, and he forced himself to look at her in the eye as he tensed his legs so that they didn鈥檛 crumple underneath him.聽鈥淣o, it鈥檚 good I鈥檓, I鈥檓 glad you said it I...鈥
But again, words seemed to evade Elain as she looked up at him. Azriel was now hyperaware of her how close she was, of her smooth palm that fit so nicely in his own. His body often reacted on its own accord around Elain, and he had spent months leashing his desires into chains, beasts that could only come out in the dead of night. But since that dreaded Solstice night last winter, everything had changed.
Life these past few months had consisted of the battle between two extremes. Either he was drowning in the way his body seemed to ache and beg for her, his mind obsessing over their stuttering relationship as though it were a philosophical debate. Especially since he now knew that some part of her聽wanted聽him and had wanted to kiss him even with her mate sleeping upstairs. The fact that he now knew what her scent tasted like, how her voice sounded when it was breathy and desperate - it all fuelled the fantasies that haunted him the moment he made it back to his room. He could be on the other side of Prythian and somehow the presence of Elain Archeron would find a way to him.
The other extreme was complete and total deprivation. The reality that he hadn鈥檛 seen her for months, that she would soon exist more in memory than experience. Even though his fantasies of her were so visceral, so tangible, the reality that she was not in the room with him always came crashing down by the time his head had cleared - and then he鈥檇 feel more alone than ever before.
But when he was here, with her, the argument ceased. The torture and the pain, the writhing mind and aching debates, it all fell into beautiful silence. And so, looking at her now, he was unable to help himself. And without thought, he reached up and tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear as he murmured under his breath, no more than a whisper, 鈥淓lain Archeron...saviour of the cursed and damned...鈥
As Azriel鈥檚 fingers grazed Elain鈥檚 cheek, a horribly confused and upset look twisted her face. She seemed to freeze at the contact and Azriel halted at her discomfort, internally berated himself for pushing her too far, for being so arrogant in thinking he could touch her in such a way.
鈥淚...Azriel...I don鈥檛 understand,鈥 Elain鈥檚 breathless voice seemed to caress him, and once more he found himself tensing his legs so that they wouldn鈥檛 give out under him. 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 want said it was a聽mistake...鈥 Azriel stilled, and he caught her eye in a moment of alarmed sobriety.
鈥淵ou and I both know that鈥檚 not true.鈥
He couldn鈥檛 stop the words before they spilled from his lips. It didn鈥檛 matter how soft, how quiet, his voice was, the words were innately harsh and something deep against his spine lurched at the thought of her hurting her - of hurting her聽again.
But Elain didn鈥檛 flinch. Her eyes, instead of widening in shock, stayed stoically still and calm. And then Azriel watched as those honeyed eyes he loved so much lapsed darker and darker, the floral musk of her arousal drifting to him like a moth to a flame, the same scent he鈥檇 been dreaming of for months, the memory of it alone making his body achingly hard and taut, as though his own skin existed only to respond to the call of hers.
The scent surrounded him, sending blood to his cock which was now throbbing viscerally against the seams of his leathers. His arousal had never felt so tight before, so extreme and sudden. He felt it, heavy in his lower abdomen, twisting and knotting his guts in both pain and pleasure. That was familiar, that he鈥檇 felt a hundred times before, but for Elain Acheron his whole body seemed to sing. His blood burned under his skin as it pounded through his body, whilst his heart was light and fluttery in his chest, as though it might edge up his throat and fall from his lips. His eyes felt heavy lidded as though he were drunk, and even though he were standing stoically still, even though he hadn鈥檛聽done聽anything yet, he found himself short of breath.
He had never wanted something more -聽never. Not Mor. Not a job. Not a secret, not information. Not salvation, not mercy. God, it seemed as though in this instant, Elain had invented want for him.
He would beg for her. Right now, in the foyer where he鈥檇 first tasted this personal drug. Had Elain not been holding him up by her eyes and a single palm he would already be on his knees. He moved to fall down before her, like a worshipper at a temple, when movement at her mouth caught his eye. Azriel watched as her delicate, pink tongue slowly dragged along her lower lip to wet it as she blinked innocently at him. Azriel鈥檚 resolve was gone in a puff of smoke.
Fuck Rhysand. Fuck Lucien. Fuck the Mother, the Cauldron, the world. Fuck anyone who stood between him and Elain who he knew, he聽knew, wanted him as badly as he wanted her. Because of course she did. Because whatever this was, whatever was happening between them, was otherworldly and impossible to ignore.
And good luck to them, was the last though Azriel had before he leaned in. Good luck to anyone who ever dare stand between him and her, because he鈥檇 kill them - he鈥檇 fucking kill them.
Despite his body beating like a drum for Elain鈥檚 melody, he did not kiss her right away. Once he鈥檇 accepted that he would kiss her, once he鈥檇 come to that inevitable conclusion it felt like a thousand doors of golden light opened before his eyes, and it took everything he had to not sob with joy.
All those fantasies he had revelled in for the past year that had been shrouded in a miasma of fantasy and shame, rolled through his mind clear as day. He could kiss her lips. Those soft pads of blushing rose that he had already committed to memory. Or he could trace down and press his lips to the sensitive spot between her neck and shoulder, a crook of intimacy that he鈥檇 already figured out from watching her protect it with her hands when someone stood behind her. He could kiss her temples, her cheeks, her throat - every fucking inch of her.
Now that his resolve had snapped like an elastic band stretched too far, he found that he was finally free. Looking at her he hadn鈥檛 realised how long he had taken, how slowly he was leaning in until Elain鈥檚 fingers suddenly gripped the leathers across his chest and her brows furrowed as she pulled closer to him, her eyes dark and desperate, her mouth wet and parted as she half-gasped, half-whispered, 鈥淧lease....Azriel...鈥
He did moan then. A low, throaty sound that escaped him at the sound of his name intertwined with her breathy gasps. He snapped.
He had intended to savour every second of kissing her, but the moment his lips touched hers, he felt fire. Elain鈥檚 hands ran up his chest before intertwining themselves in his hair as she pulled herself against him and he moaned again, the second time in a minute, into her mouth. Because he could feel her, all of her, pressed against his hot throbbing body. The soft pressure of her breasts, the bones of her hips, even one of her legs had tucked between his own, the sides of their knees brushing together. She was going to kill him. She was going to fucking kill him.
And then there was her mouth. Softer than petals, and so obviously hers in taste and touch. Every time their lips brushed, every time he felt her perfect breath mingling with his own, shivers erupted across his body. Unable to stop himself he brushed back her hair before firmly grasping the side of her neck, his hand was so large against her velvet skin that he knew he could probably hold her entire throat in one hand. He put it there as an ode to the last time he鈥檇 been here. He鈥檇 put it there as a fuck you to fate.
His other hand curled around her waist and pressed against her back where - and he moaned again - Elain鈥檚 exposed skin greeted him.
He wanted to take her right her. Wanted to lie her down on the carpet and bury his head between her thighs as he had done so many times before in his fantasies. How he ached to taste her, all of her, to pin her writhing thighs back with one hand and wrists with the other. He wanted to look at her perfect angelic face as he made her sing sinful sounds for him. Wanted to make her toes curl and back arch as she came on his tongue. Again, and again, and again.
Elain tugged slightly on Azriel鈥檚 hair and he was thrust back into his body, back into the present, and he had to stifle another moan because those thousands of fantasies had nothing,聽nothing, on this.
In response to Elain鈥檚 needy tug, Azriel bent slightly and curled a hand around the back of each of her thighs and hoisted her up against his chest. Elain, much to his delight, snapped her legs around him as he lifted her against his chest, their lips still ferociously dancing. He only had to walk a few paces to set her against the edge of the lobby table, but that particular move was one that had been haunting him more recently of late.
He went to pull away after she was set down on the wooden tabletop. He wanted to see her, with her hair ruffled and her cheeks flushed, her lips swollen and her chest heaving. He wanted to commit that image to memory because there was still some part of him that could not believe this was聽real.
But as he moved to step back, Elain caught him off guard as her legs tightened from where they were wrapped around his hips, something of a growl arising from the back of her throat as she fisted his leathers and pulled him against her. Azriel obeyed her, like a puppy on a leash, leaning his hands against the table, either side of her hips, in order to stay standing.
She was flushed against him once more. Her breasts pushed against his chest which felt suffocated by the Illyrian leathers, he ached to have her skin brushing against his own, but all in good time. He slipped his tongue into her mouth then and revelled in the juxtaposing thrill and relaxation of exploring her in this way. But there was still an inch of space between their hips. He didn鈥檛 know why he left it there, even when Elain dragged him against her, perhaps it was because he knew the minute they were aligned in cardinal perfection, there would be no turning back. He would be hers and vice versa, and she would be his muse and his priority, and he would put her before everything - even his High Lord.
To steady himself, Azriel made the mistake of taking his hand and bracing himself on Elain鈥檚 thigh. What he was not expecting was for his palm to find the soft, exposed flesh of her leg from where her dress must鈥檝e mischievously ridden upwards when he had lifted her.
Purely on instinct, Azriel moaned and drove his hips forward into her core, earning a breathy sigh from them both as they finally found an inch of friction in their writhing. There was only fabric now. Measly layers of fabric that came between them.
鈥淔uck...鈥 Elain gasped into his mouth and some outrageously animalistic part of him growled in satisfaction at having pulled a sinful swear from her angelic mouth. Azriel kept one hand against the wood near her hips to stay steady, to stop himself from grounding his hips into her like an uncontrollable beast, the other stayed on the warm, smooth flesh of her exposed thigh.
Slowly, he began to trace rough circles with his thumb on her inner thigh earning a flutter of breathy sighs to dance from her lips which pleased his soul to no avail. Azriel parted from her lips and began to pepper kisses along her jawline as he torturously inched his thumb up, inch by inch with each circle. When Azriel began to kiss and suck on the spot just below her ear he allowed himself to peek at her as he worked.
Her head was tilted back slightly, her throat bobbing as high hums fluttered from her. If he could paint he would paint the perfect blush of her swollen lips. If he were a poet he would turn her breathy moans into the sweetest of sonnets. And then she tugged on her bottom lip with her teeth as a soft moan escaped her and he had to look away, if only to stop himself from reaching down and fisting himself at the sight of it.
With his head turned Azriel hissed out of surprise as his thumb rubbed against a sticky sweetness coating her inner thigh. God she was wet. And as he rubbed further, coating his thumb in her essence, he had to bite his cheek as to not come in his pants like a schoolboy. Azriel stopped rubbing circles in favour for taking his first finger and tracing back and forth over the highest point of her thigh, slow and torturous as he familiarised himself with the feel of her. His heart threatening to beat out of his chest when his fingers brushed against a lacy frill at the apex of her thigh. Tilting his head Azriel was able to husk into her ear.
鈥淲hat do you want Elain?鈥 His voice was low and breathy before he caught her lobe between his teeth. Another shuddering gasp floated from her lips.聽
鈥淚 want you to touch me...and I don鈥檛 want you stop,鈥 the sound of her voice so mingled with pleasure and need was almost enough to undo him. 鈥淓ver,鈥 She went on, 鈥淣ot until I don鈥檛 know my own name.鈥澛
She was going to kill him. Growling in satisfaction he rewarded her answer with one quick brush over her lace underthing's, the touch was like electricity for them both. Elain physically tremored as Azriel finally brushed where she needed him most, and Azriel shuddered at the contact with the girl of his dreams.聽
鈥淧lease, Azriel,鈥 Azriel stilled for a moment, wondering how she would react to his instinctual next move. His particular flavour of making love.
鈥淪ay that again,鈥 He said slowly, his voice barely more than a brutal, low husk. As he spoke Azriel allowed some of his power to ebb into the words, the siphons a top his hands guttering as they came to life. It felt slightly wrong to use such a voice on her, the one he so often used with enemies, but Azriel watched as Elain鈥檚 lips parted, her pupils expanding as her breath grew heavy in response to his dominant voice.聽Oh,聽Azriel couldn鈥檛 help but think in agonising awe. Maybe his deep assumptions, the ones that only haunted him in that void he entered before he fell asleep, were true. That Elain, the purest of sisters, was also the filthiest.
鈥淧lease, Az,鈥 Her voice was breathy and pleading, but there was something alight in her eyes as she begged him.
鈥淕ood girl,鈥 Azriel couldn鈥檛 stop himself from husking as he peeled back the top of the lace. They both stared unwaveringly into each other鈥檚 eyes as Azriel dipped his hands along her, not touching just hovering. He held his hand there, an inch away from where she needed him most, waiting until she almost whimpered before he slid a single finger slowly through her folds.聽
Her reaction was blissful to see. The way she bit her lip, her back arched, and her eyes fluttered shut. Azriel moved with her, his own mouth parted, and brows furrowed as he stroked her again.
鈥淒on鈥檛 close your eyes,鈥 He murmured in his voice of steel,聽鈥淟ook at me.鈥 Elain鈥檚 eyes snapped open, and it was his turn to be caught off guard. Gone was the hazelnut colour, even the sensuous black he had somehow lulled them into, what met him was the colour of bright honey and her eyes, they were聽glowing. They stood out like gemstones being pierced by golden light. It was then that Azriel began to take note of their surroundings and realise that the thrumming was not just happening inside him but all around him. Ripple after ripple of raw, ancient power was bleeding from Elain, fizzing into the air and turning the entire foyer into something alive and electric. A shiver ran along Azriel鈥檚 entire body as his own powers itched to sing in harmony with hers; cobalt energy rising to meet her golden light.
Her folds were dripping, and he was having an internal debate on whether or not to rip off her underwear. On one hand he would have better access, he would be able to pleasure her better, and he could even push her back against the table and lower his head and taste her. On the other, he couldn鈥檛 stand being disconnected from her for a second.聽
Whilst he debated, he slowly raked his finger up her again before finding that small bundle of nerves. When he caught it with his fingertip and began to drag slow, luxurious circles over it, a throaty, guttural moan escaped her lips. He bit his cheek again. He wondered if anyone had fucked her like this and again, that pride bloomed when he realised that he might be the first. Not her first, but the first person to show her the true ecstasy of pleasure.
鈥淥h fuck, oh聽fuck,鈥 Elain gasped as her head fell forward on his shoulder. Azriel allowed the eye contact to break, too absorbed by the feeling of having Elain writhing under his fingers to care.
He鈥檇 always thought that he could die a happy man if ever he was blessed enough to experience such a joy as Elain Archeron, but now he realised what a stupid notion that was. Because Elain wasn鈥檛 cause for death but cause for life. He鈥檇 live for Elain, Azriel realised. Elain who was writhing and mewling into his shoulder as he slowly brought her to the ecstasy she deserved. She was close and following this he would winnow them away to either his unused apartment in central Velaris, or deep in the gardens on this summer night, where they would be entirely alone, and everything would be perfect. And once they鈥檇 had their fill on the pure bliss of one another they could talk about everything, and they鈥檇 find a solution and they鈥檇 work it out, and everything would be okay - and聽then Rhysand walked in, and everything came crashing down.
Some part of Azriel鈥檚 hazy mind had been aware of the movement deep in the house but it had been so, so inconsequential compared to what was in front of him. And his shadows, well his shadows were nowhere to be seen, not with golden light quite literally thrumming from Elain. There had been no warning, and as聽Rhys met Azriel鈥檚 eye when he still had his fingers flush against Elain some primal part of Azriel reared its head.
In an instant Azriel鈥檚 siphons were spluttering to life as power surged through Azriel, his wings instinctively flaring as wide as they would stretch, so that the cresting talon of each wing scraped into the polished walls. Rhys, who was standing at the edge of the foyer, an unrecognisable expression scorched into his face, was a threat at that moment, and the whole world seemed to still as Azriel slowly came down from the high of his arousal.
Slowly, Azriel removed his hand from Elain鈥檚 underwear and smoothed down her skirts to cover her legs, all the while never moving his eyes from Rhys. He didn鈥檛 care if he was in for the doghouse, didn鈥檛 give a shit about what consequences his happiness had just induced - Elain came first.
And right now, even though it was a ludicrous thought, Azriel was preparing himself to protect Elain from Rhysand.聽Elain鈥檚 whose nightgown had slipped down her shoulder, whose eyes were wide as she glanced over her shoulder at her brother-in-law, exposed and vulnerable just as she鈥檇 been on the worst night of her life.
鈥淎zriel,鈥 Rhysand finally spoke and Azriel shifted slightly to pull Elain closer to his chest.聽鈥淢y鈥 It seemed as though all sense of formality had dropped as Rhysand鈥檚 High Lord voice billowed into the room. Azriel didn鈥檛 speak, didn鈥檛 move either, just shifted his eyes to Elain whose face was blanch and confused.
鈥淐an鈥檛 this wait?鈥 Azriel asked, his voice low and full of strength. Instantly he realised that he should鈥檝e worded his question better. He didn鈥檛 want time in order to finish off what he and Elain had begun, but rather to give Elain a moment to breathe, for her to fix her dress and smooth her hair, for her to do whatever she needed to do before she was forced to face her family. Rhysand鈥檚 eyes darkened, and he entered the room in a low stride, both hands digging deep into his pockets. Azriel moved instantly, stepping around Elain to put himself in front of her as Rhysand approached.
Without a word Rhysand came closer and closer, and Azriel continued to stretch his wings to cover Elain from whatever vitriol was about to be thrown his way. But Rhysand didn鈥檛 say anything, he didn鈥檛 even move suddenly, just reached out a single hand until it was barely touching Azriel鈥檚 arm as darkness surrounded them both.
Before Azriel even had a chance to realise that Rhysand was winnowing them away 鈥 away from Elain 鈥 they were standing in his office, and Azriel couldn鈥檛 help but shake his head at the slight Deja-vu of the whole situation. Except this time, he wouldn鈥檛 be bounding himself in shackles, he鈥檇 be setting himself free, whether Rhys wanted him to or not.
Azriel was standing in front of the large mahogany desk of Rhysand鈥檚 office whilst it鈥檚 owner moved behind it, one hand still in his pocket. Already the air in the room was taut with energy, as though the very air were cowering in the face of the upcoming argument.聽And still Azriel鈥檚 mind was still thinking of the girl in the foyer, her name like a mantra beating through his body,
鈥淧ut your cock away Azriel,鈥 Rhys immediately spat in response to the ripples of cobalt energy rippling from Azriel鈥檚 form. Azriel didn鈥檛 deem the childish comment with a retort, though his arousal was already gone, and quickly replaced by the tautness of anger and frustration. His shadows had returned to him now that he was away from Elain, and they were writhing uncontrollably around his legs and back.
Azriel stayed standing, folding his arms over his chest just for something to do. It was then that Rhys sighed heavily, leaning against his desk and hanging his head. He wasn鈥檛 as tired nor as desperate as when they鈥檇 last spoken like this - of this. No, now Rhys had聽everything. Everything he had ever, and could ever want, and now his fight lay in protecting the paradise he had found in Feyre and Nyx. Whilst Azriel was still in the dark, still alone, still secretly in agony - they were not the same.
鈥淚 gave you the simplest of orders,鈥 Rhys sighed like a disappointed father and something brutally aggressive awoke in Azriel. How dare he, how dare Rhys speak to him like that?
鈥淚 know,鈥 Azriel said, his voice indiscernible and calm. Rhys swung his head up to glare at Azriel, something emotional lingering in his violet eyes.
鈥淵ou know? Then, Azriel,聽why聽did you take it upon yourself to聽disobey聽me?鈥 Azriel鈥檚 grip on his biceps tightened.聽
鈥淓lain is...鈥 Azriel began before he had to lower his eyes. What was Elain? How could he explain to Rhys the inexplicable way he felt about the angelic gardener? The effect she had on him, it was both irrational and yet made perfect sense. And right now, he could barely focus with knowing that somewhere in this house she was looking around confused, wondering what the hell had just happened.聽鈥淪he鈥檚 important to me. More than you realise.鈥
鈥淪he has a聽mate.鈥
鈥淭hat is irrelevant-鈥
鈥淚rrelevant?鈥 Rhysand looked as though he might laugh and Azriel once more gripped his arms tight enough to bruise.聽鈥淚 thought I made it perfectly clear to you Azriel that the bond between Elain and Lucien-鈥 Azriel growled at his name, Rhys ignored him, 鈥-is paramount to the civility between us and not just the Autumn Court, not just the Spring Court or the Day Court, but also the Band of Exiles and the Human realms.鈥
鈥淎nd have you ever wondered if maybe Elain deserves better?鈥
鈥淏etter than Lucien-鈥 Rhys practically squawked.聽
鈥淣o,鈥 Azriel growled, allowing his anger to show,聽鈥淏etter than聽us. Better than a family who reduce her to little more than a聽political pawn-鈥
鈥淪he is my sister,鈥 Rhysand spat, standing up straight with a newfound intensity.聽鈥淒on鈥檛 you dare question my treatment of her, don鈥檛 you聽dare聽suggest I don鈥檛 care for her.鈥
鈥淎re you truly so out of touch that you do not see the shackles聽you鈥檝e聽tied around her wrists?鈥 Azriel uncurled his arms,聽鈥淵ou鈥檝e stripped her of any choice-鈥
鈥淭his is not about聽choice!鈥
鈥淭his has聽everything聽to do with choice!鈥
鈥淓lain is a valued member of my family but also of my court. As her High Lord, I have made a difficult decision but one that will undoubtedly strengthen this us in the now impending war. It was a tough decision and if you want me to be the bad guy,聽fine, I鈥檒l be the bad guy, but you will obey my orders as this is the best choice for Elain.鈥
鈥淭hen why don鈥檛 you ask her,鈥 Azriel growled, grappling with the internal leash on his powers,聽鈥淲hy don鈥檛 you actually include her in the decisions you鈥檝e made about her life.鈥
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know what you鈥檙e insinuating,鈥 Rhys flicked invisible lint from his suit,聽鈥淏ut Elain聽is聽a valued member of these discussions.鈥澛
鈥淭hen why isn鈥檛 she here?鈥 Azriel husked quietly, full of venom. Rhysand apparently didn鈥檛 have anything to say to that, so Azriel went on.聽鈥淵ou聽claim聽to value choice Rhysand, and yet you鈥檝e stripped Elain of not just her own volition, but the simple聽knowledge聽of the choices made about her life.鈥
There was something bitter clanging through Azriel as he spat the words, he knew what it was, it was a word - hypocrite. Because whilst Azriel was fighting for Elain, really he should be allowing for Elain to fight for herself. He should鈥檝e left the office the minute Rhysand winnowed them and searched for Elain. He should鈥檝e told her, all those months ago, about聽why聽he could no longer be around her. And that鈥檚 why Elain deserved better, better than Rhys and better than him, because even now they talked of her rather than with her.
鈥淵ou are to stay away from her,鈥 Rhysand said at last, glaring out the study鈥檚 window almost as though he was ignoring Azriel.
鈥淚 can鈥檛 do that. Not anymore,鈥 Azriel husked, and Rhys paused, catching Azriel鈥檚 eye before he hastily looked to the side and raked a hand through his hair.聽
鈥淚聽told聽you, Azriel. I聽told聽you to stay away from Ly-鈥 Both Azriel and Rhys鈥 eyes widened at the name that nearly fell from Rhysand鈥檚 lips. A revelation occurring to them both as the name Rhys鈥 long deceased sister was brought into the room.聽鈥淓lain,鈥 Rhys corrected himself, acting unbothered by his slip.聽鈥淚 told you聽stay away.鈥
Azriel didn鈥檛 know how to respond. He鈥檇 spend hours in training rings, on long haul flights or espionage ventures thinking of this specific argument. The way he鈥檇 tell Rhys all the things he should鈥檝e said on that Solstice night, about the disservice they were both doing to Elain, about how it was outrageous of Rhys to demand Azriel put politics before his happiness after, well,聽everything.聽
After Azriel had spent 500 years alone with only a doomed infatuation with a woman who would never love him back. After Azriel had always favoured to be alone, to suffer in silence, to take the blame, and now he finally had an out. After Azriel had to put up with both his brothers finding their perfect happiness, Rhys himself almost starting a war by perusing and protecting Feyre.
Why was it so different for him? Why was it the moment Azriel had happiness within an arm鈥檚 reach there were a thousand excuses for him not to have it? What was so poisonous about his desires? About him?
鈥淪he鈥檚 not Lydia,鈥 Azriel said at last. It was a low blow. Especially since Rhys had so clearly tried to cover up his slip a moment ago.聽鈥淔or one, you would never treat Lydia with such little respect. Elain is her own person and I鈥檓 not going to fight with you, or聽Lucien, or anyone for that matter like she鈥檚 some kind of prize.鈥
This argument was too real. Of course, they鈥檇 had arguments before, all three of them had. Azriel could remember a particularly nasty one between Cassian and Rhys where they hadn鈥檛 spoken for a year, Azriel bouncing between them like an owl. But this wasn鈥檛 a brotherly squabble, not when the stakes were so high.
Rhys sighed, still not meeting Azriel鈥檚 eye as a muscle in his jaw ticked. It seemed as though the High Lord also understood the irregularity of the dispute, or maybe he was just furious at facing his own errors, at his spymaster criticising him on failing someone so important on a matter which Rhysand prided himself on - the volition of the women in his life. After what happened with his mother and his sister, to find out he was now failing his new family must be driving him聽mad.
鈥淵ou just can鈥檛 keep it in your pants can you Azriel?鈥澛
It may have been less shocking if Rhys had just leaned over and stabbed Azriel in the gut. His words clanged into the air with a sour metallic taste, and for a moment Azriel lost his breath, his jaw slackening as his shock registered before he could swiftly cover the expression with the mask of steel he鈥檇 perfected. The silence following the comment was perhaps worse than the blow itself. Now it was Azriel who couldn鈥檛 stand looking at his brother. He didn鈥檛 care if Rhys looked apologetic, didn鈥檛 care for him at all.聽
鈥淒o you really think so low of me?鈥 Azriel鈥檚 voice was deathly quiet, before he finally shifted his eyes up to see the raw regret plastered on his brothers face.
鈥淣o, I-鈥 A vicious knock came at the door then, interrupting whatever apology Rhys was going to throw his way.
鈥淥pen the door,鈥 Came Elain鈥檚 voice, more brutal than he鈥檇 ever heard it before. Something electric shot through Azriel at the sound of it, of her. If anything, her voice was a reminder that this was real, that his hair was tousled, and lips swollen because of Elain-fucking-Archeron.
Rhys didn鈥檛 move for the door, so Azriel did. Turning around, he walked the length of Rhys鈥 office to the large double oak doors and pulled one back without hesitation. He knew she deserved to be here, that she should鈥檝e been here from the start.聽
Azriel was so set on opening the door for the sake of justice and fairness that he momentarily forget that it was Elain on the other side, and the sight of her made his breath stop in his throat. Her hair was still ruffled from where he had raked his hands through it, and her lips still blushed from where he had tugged on them with his teeth. There was also a faint flush of her cheeks, either from their previous activities or from running through the River House searching for him and his brother.
Something electric and charged ran the entire length of his body at the sight of her - not arousal, something deeper. And by the way her glowing eyes drank him in, he knew she felt it too. Azriel stepped aside and let her pass into the office and walk up to Rhysand鈥檚 desk. As he followed her, something bitter twisted in his gut - whatever was blooming between himself and the gardener was a thing to celebrate. Such love, light and warmth in his life which had thus far consisted of cold loneliness was a joyous and wonderful thing. And yet he was made to feel ashamed of his happiness, by his brother. His own damn brother.
鈥淲hat鈥檚 going on?鈥 Elain spoke in her traditionally soft voice, but even Rhys must鈥檝e picked up and the unwavering steel that seeped from her tone, so similar to Nesta鈥檚 pitch.聽
鈥淣othing, Elain. Just a dispute between myself and Azriel. It鈥檚 nothing you need concern yourself with,鈥 Rhysand鈥檚 easy smile warmed through his cheeks and Azriel was sure he was going to punch him before the night was out.聽聽
鈥淒on鈥檛 lie to me Rhysand, it鈥檚 not a good look for a High Lord,鈥 Elain spoke smoothly, folding her arms over her chest as Azriel had done moments ago. Rhys鈥 expression only flickered in response.聽鈥淣ow,聽what鈥檚聽going on?鈥 Elain asked again.
鈥淲ell,鈥 Rhysand began,聽鈥淢e and Azriel have been discussing you actually, you see, your bond with Lucien is unfortunately paramount to a lot of peace and unity between our court and others.鈥 Rhysand looked blankly at Evie as he spoke, completely dethatched from the emotional anger he鈥檇 unleashed on Azriel moments ago.
鈥淚s this about me breaking the bond?鈥 Elain said, her voice smooth like honey, healing the sparking energy in the room as Azriel and Rhysand had geared up for a fight. Something about the question twisted Azriel鈥檚 guts. It was her terminology; it was all wrong. There was no such thing as breaking a bond, one could reject it and render the attachment limp and lifeless, but breaking a bond was only achieved in death, and even then some believe the bond to continue in the next life. It was just a reminder that Elain knew nothing about this world, Lucien had placed the acceptance or rejection of the bond in her hands, but she did not even know what either option would truly entail. Her education, it was another thing they鈥檇 all failed her on.
鈥淚f you wish to reject your bond with Lucien I, nor anyone in this court, will prevent you from doing so,鈥 Rhysand said smoothly,聽鈥淗owever, given the current political climate, I must say it would be best to leave this till after the war.鈥 Elain did not look away as she thought.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 want the bond,鈥
鈥淭hat鈥檚 perfectly okay-鈥
鈥淣o,鈥 Elain interrupted,聽鈥淚 don鈥檛 want the bond at all. I don鈥檛 want to have to accept or reject anything - I just don鈥檛 want don鈥檛 know what it鈥檚 like, to be pulled apart limb by limb, and be remade against your will, to find yourself destroyed and then re-crafted by something as unapologetic as the Cauldron itself. I was violated to the most extravagant degree and when I finally came around, when I finally managed to find聽something聽recognisable in myself, months after that night, I came around to find that I had been reduced to some ancient claim a stranger possessed over me. You are all kind, and you all mean well, but I know you all see myself as聽his.
鈥淚t was on the worst night of my life, the night when I had been pulled apart till I was only vessels and blood, he called me his. He聽is not a bad person I can see that,鈥 her voice wobbled slightly then, 鈥淗e is kind and witty, he鈥檚 working harder than any of you for the forgiveness of my sister. He doesn鈥檛 deserve鈥︹ She choked up slightly, but cleared her throat to cover it up, 鈥淗e鈥檚 not bad鈥ut this bond is terrible, it鈥檚 worst then terrible, it鈥檚聽suffocating.聽And when I think of that bond, tied around my ribs like some kind of violating shackle, I just think of how it felt to suffocate on black water...that鈥檚 what this bond means to me, it鈥檚 a violation on top of a violation. So, to hear that to you, this bond gives you a political advantage,聽that you get a gain out of it and that you wish me to continue living in torment I...
鈥淚 wish I could be sorry about feeling this way, but I don鈥檛. I have stayed quiet, and I have played the role you needed me to play. I keep out of your way; I busy myself with the gardens and dinner and I do everything I can to not bare my teeth every time he visits. But I...鈥 Her wide, damp eyes turned to look at Azriel,聽鈥淚 have found something living in the never ending grave of my life. After I found myself again, all those months after the Cauldron, it felt as though it was only then I emerged from the black water. After I found...鈥 She trailed off, stilling holding Azriel鈥檚 eye,聽鈥...I was not just out the black water, but back on the ground.鈥澛
A small silence settled over the room as Azriel and Elain found themselves quickly lost in one another again, Rhys was merely glancing between the two, his mind whirring as he tried to click together the puzzle in front of him.
鈥淚 tried Rhys鈥 really did,鈥 Azriel finally whispered into the heavy silence, still not looking away from his beloved. 鈥淚鈥檝e done everything short of chaining myself in the dungeons to stay away, but I can鈥檛.鈥 It wasn鈥檛 until the words had left Azriel鈥檚 mouth that he realised his error. And it wasn鈥檛 until Elain鈥檚 brows furrowed and her eyes moved to Rhysand, that he felt his heart drop.
鈥淲hat?鈥 Elain whispered. One of the thousand questions she no doubt harvested. Azriel couldn鈥檛 look away from her, couldn鈥檛 meet his brothers eye. He had this awful feeling now twisting his guts, the feeling that everything was about to come crashing down.
鈥淚 ordered Azriel to stay away from you,鈥 Rhys said evenly. Always the honest man.
鈥淚...what?鈥 Elain spluttered softly, her eyes narrowing on Rhysand.聽鈥淲hat?鈥
鈥淗e called me away on solstice night when I was about to kiss you, that鈥檚 why I stopped.鈥 That鈥檚 why I called it a mistake. Elain鈥檚 eyes burned even brighter and Azriel wondered if he should鈥檝e held his tongue. If he should鈥檝e just waited to have this conversation tomorrow where whatever ancient power that was stirring in Elain had calmed down. Now Elain鈥檚 glowing eyes seemed to fill the room with golden light, even the black night shrouding Rhysand鈥檚 figure ebbed back and inch.
鈥淲hat?鈥澛燛lain鈥檚 voice rung out, the magic in the room quickly turning volatile.
鈥淚 am sorry Elain; I didn鈥檛 mean to meddle with your private affairs, but with Lucien under the same roof it would鈥檝e been too risky for those in the house. He could鈥檝e invoked something called a聽鈥榖lood duel鈥.鈥 Of course, Elain didn鈥檛 know that, of course none of her friends or family had taken the time to explain that to her.聽
鈥淵ou鈥ou sanctimonious dick,鈥 Elain spat. Had it been any other day, Azriel would鈥檝e had to fight an astonished grin at hearing the words on her lips, but not tonight, not when everything was turning so morbid in front of his eyes.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry Elain, I truly am. But I鈥檓 not just your brother-in-law but your High Lord and I cannot risk my聽entire聽court for the mild infatuation of a-鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛 speak to her like that,鈥 The words were writhing in venom as Azriel spat them out. He would go down with her.聽
鈥淣o, Azriel,聽you聽don鈥檛 speak to me like that,鈥 And with that Rhys鈥 last straw was gone. In an instant his power was billowing into the room in clouds of black smoke. Rhys acting in such a way in front of Elain, who was already vulnerable, her dress already ruffled and her eyes wide in alarm, made Azriel聽furious.
鈥淚 am your聽high lord, Azriel, and I gave you a direct command and you have聽disobeyed聽me-鈥 Without thinking Azriel鈥檚 own icy power rose to the surface, his siphons lighting on fire at the surge. If Elain was frightened by their display of bottomless power she did not show it, perhaps as her own fire was still burning vividly behind her eyes, perhaps since she knew she had more power than them both.
鈥淗ave you ever thought perhaps you stepped out of line by asking such a thing of me?鈥 Azriel had never heard his voice so loud and angry before. He didn鈥檛 do this. His arguments were stoic and brutal, but mostly silent. He never fought politics - he carved into people who were in chains, and when there was an argument he stayed in the shadows and listened.
鈥淵ou are my spymaster-鈥
鈥淚 am your brother!鈥 Azriel鈥檚 choked sob echoed into the room. 鈥淒o I not deserve to be happy?鈥 Rhysand at least had the decency to flinch, to reel back and allow his jaw to slacken in shock.
鈥淥f course, you deserve to be happy brother,鈥 Rhysand鈥檚 voice was low and strangled, 鈥淏ut this isn鈥檛 just romance 鈥 it鈥檚 never just romance 鈥 this will be a battle-鈥
鈥淎nd I鈥檓 willing to fight!鈥 Azriel roared, his hands slamming into Rhysand鈥檚 desk, his power causing the entire house to shudder, right down to the foundations.
鈥淎zriel,鈥 Rhys鈥 voice was deathly quiet,聽鈥淚 need you to calm down.鈥 For a moment Azriel didn鈥檛 understand, his mind was so focused on Elain, on his own shuddering heart and writhing powers that he simply could not comprehend the words that came out his brothers mouth. Finally, the message registered in his mind and he became aware of his shadows, flourishing and filling the entire room, crawling over the windows and blocking out all the light. The only way he was seeing Rhysand was via the golden glow that came from Elain鈥檚 eyes. Disgust racked through his body at the sight of the manifestation of his swirling pain, but before he could do anything, the leash on his powers snapped.
鈥淎zriel-鈥 The next series of events was a blur. Power billowed into the room in a quick explosion, God knows whose it was. Perhaps it was initially Azriel who had finally lost control on that leash on his Illyrian gifts, perhaps Rhysand moved to repress Azriel鈥檚 powers with his own, premature or not.聽Maybe the quiet Elain had had enough of the noise. In an instant, a cocktail of three brands of magic billowed towards each other before exploding outwards, sending a wave of pure, unhinged chaos through the room, the house, and the whole of Velaris.
They all were thrown back from each other, Rhys flying up and landing on his feet, bracing himself against the ornamental globe as his wings appeared and flared. But even he, the most powerful High Lord in history had his knees bent and his arms raised as he braced himself against the fizzling aftershock of the ancient power that tore through the air. Azriel鈥檚 centuries of training kicked in as he聽was catapulted the length of the room, his own wings flared to slow his flight before he caught himself on the doorframe, the weighty wooden doors having flung open, it took an immense amount of physical upper body strength to keep himself upright as the wave of power subsided, his teeth grinding together as his muscles screamed.
But he wasn鈥檛 aware of the pain of his screaming muscles, wasn鈥檛 thinking about how his wings were in danger of being shredded by the power that ripped through the room. There was only one person, that his entire being seemed to lurch for as his mind screamed her name over and over. Elain.
He had seen as her pale form was flung away from him towards the cabinets, had heard the shattering of glass over the howling in his ears. Of course, he and Rhysand were okay, they had centuries of power and training under their belts but Elain鈥lain didn鈥檛 have training, and she had flown through the air the fastest, taking the brunt of the powers rebound, her small form crashing into the case of Rhysand鈥檚 prized artefacts.
The minute Azriel had control of his own body and wasn鈥檛 being thrust back into the hallway, he winnowed to her, stepped into the shadows with a haste and urgency he鈥檇 never felt before. Wrong. He鈥檇 felt this fear before, he recognised it鈥檚 taste from the poisonous memories of that night Elain had been ripped away from them, leaving behind nothing but a vacant cot and warm sheets. Memories of that night often haunted his dreams; how ridiculously lucky they had gotten that they had reached Elain minutes before the King of Hybern got his hands on her. In his dreams he was too late. In his nightmares he fails her, and by the time he and Feyre find the tent she鈥檚 already gone. Sometimes there鈥檚 a body, and sometimes his unconscious mind is kind enough to just leave behind her lingering scent. That night he learned what it was like to truly fear, to have the blood leave your body, to feel the world still.
And that鈥檚 what the world did as he stepped onto the other side of the shadows. Elain was crumpled on the floor underneath the large bay windows, moonlight streaming into the mutilated room and illuminating her still form. It was as though the starlight was searching for her, reaching out to her with hands made of silver shadows.
Glass crunched under Azriel鈥檚 boots as he took a step forward, and another, and another. Because he could scent it before he saw it 鈥 the blood. The sour metallic taste that clogged up the air, interwoven with her own delicate scent. Wrong, it was so wrong, to have Elain鈥檚 scent fused with that of blood. She was facing away from him, crumpled on her side in a foetal position, and he could see her arms, her beautiful nimble arms so like the legs of a doe, limp on the floor and marred with what seemed to be a thousand cuts.
Her blood was black in the moonlight, and was colouring her beautiful, beautiful night dress. The roaring in Azriel鈥檚 ears was nothing short of explosive. And before him he saw a black wave, taller than the Ramiel, heading straight for him. One that was made of self-loathing, anger, frustration and agony, and as he dropped to his knees in front of Elain he felt it wash over him, burying him deeper in himself than he鈥檇 ever been before, and he knew he would not resurface.
Slowly, as not to hurt her further, Azriel rolled Elain over onto her back and into his lap. With shaky fingers he pushed back her hair, just as he had done less than an hour earlier. Her eyes were shut again, but this time he didn鈥檛 look at her face for beauty, but for a sign of life.
鈥淓lain鈥︹ He whispered; his voice was softer than petals. She did not stir.
鈥淓lain鈥︹ He murmured again as he bowed his head and pressed it against her chest, sticky blood rubbing against his cheek as he did so. For a moment it was all silent, and Azriel felt the world drop away, felt himself falling through bottomless black water only to never resurface.
And then there it was. The familiar 鈥榯hu-thump鈥 beating slow and steady in her chest, the sweetest melody Azriel had ever heard. But before he could revel in the relief of Elain being alive, movement at the side of his eye made him snap his head, turn up his top lip and let loose a nothing but feral growl. It was his brother, and a small wave of shame rolled through him at having behaved in such a way to someone whom he owed so much.
鈥淎zriel鈥︹ Rhysand鈥檚 voice was soothing, calm, 鈥淪he鈥檚 having a vision鈥ook, Azriel look. She鈥檚 okay, she鈥檚 just having a vision.鈥
And so, he looked again and yes, she was having a vision. Behind her eyelids Azriel could see her pupils flurrying side to side as though she were engaged in some riveting dream.
She鈥檚 having a vision; she鈥檚 having a vision. His shadows chanted to him, running up his back and whispering in his ear. It didn鈥檛 soothe him, but rather caused the cloud of anger around him to disappear, so that he was numb again. Some movement deep in the house pulled at his attention, but it was like a ribbon trying to move an ocean, there was nothing for it to hold onto.
And soon both men were turning to the worst thing of all: Feyre and Nesta, standing at the doorway looking at their sister unresponsive in a pool of blood, both primed and ready to kill.聽
鈥淕et away from her.鈥 Nesta鈥檚 voice clanged through the room like steel as she strode forward, seeming to fill the broken room with her strength alone. As she moved she revealed a slightly dazed Cassian behind her, still dressed in his night clothes and yet armed to the teeth, clearly having been awoken in a haste. Rhys took a step back, there was too much power, too much energy, in the room already, provoking Nesta would surely lead them all to their sudden deaths.
Then there was Feyre, walking into the room behind her sister, quiet but observant, the perfect High Lady. She seemed to assess everything around her. The tautness of her husband鈥檚 stature, the silent flood of emotions that seemed to be rippling from her spymaster, Elain鈥檚 shallow breaths and bloodied night gown. After a moment of quiet assessment, she moved forth to the stoic and emotionless figure of her shadowsinger.
鈥淎zriel,鈥 Rhys recognised Feyre鈥檚 tone as she approached his brother, it was the tone she used with Nyx, motherly and soft. Azriel pulled his eyes from Elain to look at Feyre vacantly. 鈥淚t鈥檚 okay, everything鈥檚 going to be okay鈥ut I need you to let me take her.鈥 Azriel鈥檚 mouth contorted in pain as he pulled Elain slighter closer to his chest.
鈥淚 know,鈥 Feyre whispered, dropping to her knees next to him, not caring that her own silken nightgown was turning splotchy and red. 鈥淚 know it鈥檚 hard but everything鈥檚 going to be okay. She鈥檚 my sister, and I as your High Lady will not let anything harm her.鈥 There鈥檚 no need, Azriel thought bitterly as he looked down at Elain鈥檚 deathly pale skin, her abuser is here, right in front of you. The only harm you need protect her from, is me.
But he didn鈥檛 say any of that out loud, he wasn鈥檛 even sure his voice would work for him in that moment. Azriel didn鈥檛 quite hand Elain over to Feyre, rather he just let his arms go limp around her, and Feyre was able to scoop her sister out of his arms as though they were passing Nyx from one another. Every instinct Azriel had was screaming at him to take Elain back, to at least look at her unconscious form in Feyre鈥檚 arms as they moved away from him, but he kept his eyes on the floor, now kneeling to only the pools of Elain鈥檚 blood.
Voices began to erupt around him in hushes whispers, he could distantly hear Rhysand guiding his subjects through the plan, explaining to them what had happened whilst withholding the reason why. It was all numb to him as he continued to float under that black wave, sinking deeper and deeper, their voices were above the surface and so they just sounded warbled and strange.
But one movement did catch Azriel鈥檚 eye. It cut through the room鈥檚 silent chaos like a knife, a figure appearing at the ruined doorway that caught Azriel鈥檚 attention the same way an earthquake would. It was him.
鈥淲hat happened?鈥 Lucien growled out and something roared in Azriel. He knew that tone of voice, could smell the mate-tarnished anger that was rolling out of him. That animalistic claim on the woman Azriel had nearly lost himself in only moments ago. That鈥檚 why he was here, because he would鈥檝e felt the energy down the bond, because even though he was at the other end of Prythian with his own family, he had that claim.聽
鈥淪he鈥檚 okay,鈥 Feyre breathed softly as she lifted her sister up into her arms, 鈥淗er cuts are already healing, it looks worse than it is. She鈥檚 just had a vision so it might take a while for her to come around.鈥 Feyre鈥檚 voice was so like her husband鈥檚, even and balanced, reassuring everyone in the room that everything was okay, even if that were not necessarily true.
鈥淭hat doesn鈥檛 answer my question.鈥
Azriel didn鈥檛 want to hate Lucien, even now he could see that the Autumn son was grappling with the bond that was no doubt screaming at him to rip his mate from Feyre鈥檚 arms and winnow them both to the other side of the continent. Azriel knew, because he felt it too. Like Elain he didn鈥檛 really hate Lucien, he hated the bond, hated what it told him about himself, clear as day, that he wasn鈥檛 worthy of Elain. And though some part of him already assumed just as much, no one was so self-deprecating to not at least hold of a sliver of hope in the face of such agony.
鈥淪he鈥檚 fine,鈥 Nesta snarled at Lucien, one hand on Feyre鈥檚 shoulder, the other on Elain鈥檚 pale and bloodied forehead as she guided her sisters towards to mutilated door frame. They were right to take their sister away from the scene, God knew that no one there could help Elain now.
And so Elain disappeared around the corner, and Azriel slowly brought himself off the floor, trying to ignore the sight of his marred hands, covered in her blood.
What...even...Cassian鈥檚 voice swam into Rhys mind, dripping in confusion and concern.聽Did you and Az have a fight?
Rhys put off audibly groaning. Whenever he and Az fought it was normally not difficult to keep Cassian oblivious, he didn鈥檛 always pick up and stuff like that and sometimes it was just easier to deal with debates behind closed doors. Not to treat Cassian as his and Az鈥檚 overgrown child, it was just that Cassian was never meant to be a mediator.
It鈥檚 complicated, Rhys reported back keeping his voice level and calm - his High Lord voice.
I鈥檒l let you off for tonight but, Rhys, you have to let me help you. Especially when it comes to Az.聽He was right of course, just like Azriel had been.
Deal, Rhys shot back,聽for tonight I need eyes on Az, I don鈥檛 care if he pushes you away I need someone with him at all times, at least until Elain comes around. We鈥檒l re-group then.聽Cassian didn鈥檛 respond besides the smallest of nods. He stayed where he was, more awake now with his eyes trained on their other brother, and Rhys knew Cassian wouldn鈥檛 take his eyes off him for the foreseeable future.
Rhysand couldn鈥檛 help but sigh, it鈥檚 not as though Azriel or Lucien were aware of him to notice. This was a mess. Worse than a mess, it was a catastrophe. Everything Azriel had said was right but, he had broken his order, he had defied rank in a way he鈥檇 never done before and that squeezed something deep in Rhysand鈥檚 gut. Above all he needed to be able to trust his friends, so that when push came to shove he鈥檇 be able to make the tough decisions and his friends would let him go into the belly of the beast. But tonight, that had changed. Everything had changed.
And Elain, Elain who he had nearly called by his sisters name, she鈥檇 stood up for herself tonight. And then there was the situation of her powers, savage and rippling out of her like a beast. He had tasted those powers when they鈥檇 tore out of her, and they were ancient. The same power that was interwoven in the very fields of the earth, concentrated in the form of the sweetest girl of all. Rhys knew at least a thousand fae who would pay a hefty price to possess Elain, a hundred who might be willing to go to war - and then there were the Fae who would claw for her hand, the noblemen who would see her for her potential offspring. Rhysand physically shuddered as he sent his wings away.
Yes, tonight had been a catastrophe all right.
Rhysand looked away from Cassian鈥檚 half-hidden grimace and turned to the two males standing off, the blood of the woman they were unspokenly fighting over still pooling across the hardwood floors. Lucien glaring with restrained anger at Azriel, his masculine mating bond clogging up the air, whilst Azriel wore an impenetrable mask, hiding the bottomless torment and agony that was no doubt running rife in the shadowsinger, as he stared at the weeping puddle of Elain鈥檚 blood.
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forget-me-not-s4 days ago
Shadows and the power of divination
I was rereading Empire of Storms the other day and I found a ton of similarities between Aelin and Rowan with Elriel. The Elriel fandom has always thought that the couple in TOG that had more similarities with Elriel was Elorcan, as Elide is similar to Elain in so many aspects. I know there have been posts about those similarities before so I won't go into much detail.聽 This post won鈥檛 contain spoilers for TOG besides that quote from EOS. It discuses the potential connection between shadows and divination/seers:
While reading I encountered this line here that made my head explode with the possibilities with Elain's powers, this scene is on page 182 in my copy of EoS (UK paperback edition):
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聽 Here we have Elide explain to the merchants that she used to work as a fortune-teller and that they called her聽the oracle. Which聽are other words that are related to seers and scrying, who do we know that has those powers? ELAIN.
But what made my head explode was the following line: Elide mentions she mostly worked with shadows and guesswork. Who do we know that has control over shadows? That's right AZRIEL. So you can see how my mind went BOOM聽haha.聽
Now in ACOWAR we have the famous quote of Madja where she explains to the IC how a mate can find out what's wrong with Elain and it's Azriel who says she's a seer.聽What if it is because his mom was one or that shadowsingers聽have a way with premonition but it is small compared to seers?
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I did some research about how shadows can connect to the power of divination聽and seers. At first I thought that maybe shadows can channel the visions and they help the seer show them to the rest of the world through聽a crystal聽ball. If you look up scenes in movies or series where crystal balls are used most of the time, shadows and smoke inside the balls are the way visions are shown. So that could be one connection.聽
But then I found out that there exists a way of divinations that uses shadows as the main power. This divination technique聽is called sciomancy/sciamancy also known as shadowmancy. This term is derived from Greek聽ski谩 "shadow"聽and聽mante铆a "prophecy".聽
Sciomancy is a form of divination that taps into the power and knowledge of shades and shadows, be that of the living or the dead. Shadows also were believed to represent the souls. Many believe this technique originated in the ancient civilizations聽of Chaldea and Greece, these people would mark points of shadows made by the sun and moon, and use those to hide valuable things or objects, which was useful during war.聽
The methodology of this technique, requires the seer or the diviner to examine the shape, size and color of the shadows聽and how it changes its appearance and movement聽in order to draw visions and portents for the future.聽 But they can also use shadowy forms aka spirits or bodies that have been brought to life by asking questions. In both cases it's not a thing that is easily done by anyone so it's considered a rare power.聽
This could tie into how Azriel can hide things using the shadows and how Azriel's powers as a shadowsinger聽combined with Elain鈥檚 divination/seer powers are going to help find the fourth object in the dread trove. I would love to see Azriel teaching Elain how to use the shadows to power and channel her visions. We've seen glimpses of this possibility聽before, Elain stepping out of the shadows to kill Hybern in ACOWAR for instance. People were speculating that Elain would be a shadosinger herself but what if the reason she can use the shadows is because part of her seer powers is sciomancy?.
Also Koschei s always surrounded by shadows and the black onyx box Elain saw during one of her visions in ACOWAR.聽聽
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When Koschei is first seen in ACOSF Cassian describes it as smoke and mirrors, both objects are used in divination. Then we have Koschei saying to Az and Cassian (I still believe he's referring to Azriel alone) "I spend so many months preparing for you, and you don't even wish to speak to me", what if he used this method to hide his soul inside that onyx box and that's why he feels threatened by Azriel and Elain?. Because they can not only find the fourth dread trope object but they can also find his souls and kill him permanently.
Furthermore Azriel's shadows react to聽Koschei, they are scared of him, because they know he can also command shadows to do his bidding.聽
Another aspect of聽sciomancy is that those who have that power can speak to the spirits, could this be how Elain will speak to her father and find out exactly what bargain did he make with Koschei to free Vassa during ACOWAR? And they use it to聽figure out how to save her from Koschei. A different聽variation of this theory would be that Koschei being a death god and potentially control shadows,聽 could use Papa Archeron to take Elain, because she's the only other person who could potentially speak with him and that's how he traps her?
These are speculations and probably it won't come to happen but I thought I would share my crazy thoughts on the matter. Also English isn't my first language so I might not be the most eloquent. I tried my best to explain my crazy train of thoughts after I read that scene.聽 Please let me know what you think about this.聽
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daisybrekker4 days ago
Can I just say that I really hate Booktok with a passion...
Literally whenever I see an Elriel artist post their work, the anti-Elriels are always so toxic in the comments. Here are some examples:
"I liked then unliked because it's Elain."
"I'm sorry but NO"
"Nooo. Beautiful, but no. Az deserves better."
"Hold my phone... I got to go puke. (This is great, I鈥檓 just kidding cause Gwynriel馃槀馃槀)"
"This ruined my day"
"Great Art. Terrible Ship."
"Az deserves someone WITH personality"
"Uh make that hair red please. Now."
"I think Az deserves better however I love the art"
"But you know if sjm wanted them to be endgame they would have babies but now we know they can鈥檛"
"He deserves so much better than Elain but this art is so good"
"Respectfully? No"
"I loved your Art, but this couple does not exist鉂わ笍"
"The art is beautiful but Elain can die"
"The art is gorgeous but I hate Elain and Az.... GWYNRIEL forever!!!!"
"The art is gorgeous but Im just gonna pretend its Gwyn not our loyal gardener"
"I'll just pretend she has red hair."
"Great artttt but not Elriel lol"
"Your art:馃槼馃槱鉁煒 the ship: 馃ジ馃懞馃あ馃ぎ"
"Gwynriel- Elain can f*cking die"
There's even more but these were the most horrid. I understand not everyone likes the same ship and that's okay, but what isn't okay is the fact that these people are literally so horrible. Let's compare them, shall we?
"That's amazing!" VS "That's amazing but horrible ship"
I think it's clear what's better. Artists don't need that kind of negativity in their posts. Is it so hard to just scroll if the art bothers you that much? I have NEVER seen a Gwynriel art get comments like "I'll change the hair to brown" or "Elriel Supremacy" because despite the fact we're a minority on Tiktok, we still have respect for the artists...There have been millions of times where Gwynriel art showed up on my FYP and I just scrolled, it's not that difficult. I genuinely hope they learn to do better cause even looking at some of these comments, it's clear many of them are in denial. ("I loved your Art, but this couple does not exist鉂わ笍" - lmao really?馃拃)
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queenringer4 days ago
The Taylor Swift Elriel Playlist
It is well known that Taylor Swift is an Elain stan and Elriel shipper, and vice versa. HAHA JK But seriously many of her songs just relate to Elriel so much! I made this post about Taylor Swift songs that relate to Elain Archeron before but I hadn鈥檛 made one for Elriel. So in honor of the release of the rerecorded album of Fearless on Friday as well as it being the 13th,聽here is a list of songs and lyrics by Taylor Swift that relate to Elriel!
Here is the list of songs
Stay Beautiful
I鈥檓 Only Me When I鈥檓 With You
Love Story
Jump Then Fall
Don鈥檛 You
Sparks Fly
State Of Grace
Stay Stay Stay
Everything Has Changed
Wildest Dreams
How You Get The Girl
This Love I Know Places
You Are In Love
鈥eady For It
Don鈥檛 Blame Me
So It Goes鈥
King Of My Heart
Dancing With Our Hands Tied
Call It What You Want
New Year鈥檚 Day
Cruel Summer
Paper Rings
False God
invisible string
gold rush
鈥檛is the damn season
long story short
And here are the songs with a few of the lyrics!
Taylor Swift
Stay Beautiful
If you and I are a story That never gets told If what you are is a daydream I'll never get to hold At least you'll know
You're beautiful
I鈥檓 Only Me When I鈥檓 With You
Well, you drive me crazy half the time; The other half I'm only tryna let you know that what I feel is true. And I'm only me when I'm with you. When I'm with anybody else It's so hard to be myself. And only you can tell...
Fearless (Taylor鈥檚 Version)
Well, you stood there with me in the doorway My hands shake, I'm not usually this way but You pull me in and I'm a little more brave It's the first kiss, it's flawless, really something It's fearless Oh, yeah 'Cause I don't know how it gets better than this You take my hand and drag me head first, fearless And I don't know why but with you I'd dance In a storm in my best dress, fearless
Love Story
So I sneak out to the garden to see you We keep quiet 'cause we're dead if they knew So close your eyes Escape this town for a little while, oh, oh 'Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter And my daddy said, "Stay away from Juliet" But you were everything to me I was begging you, "Please don't go," and I said Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone I'll be waiting, all there's left to do is run You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes" Romeo, save me, they're trying to tell me how to feel This love is difficult, but it's real Don't be afraid, we'll make it out of this mess It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes"
Jump Then Fall
I realize your laugh is the best sound I have ever heard I like the way I can't keep my focus I watch you talk, you didn't notice I hear the words but all I can think is We should be together
Untouchable, burning brighter than the sun And when you're close, I feel like coming undone In the middle of the night when I'm in this dream It's like a million little stars spelling out your name You got to come on, come on, say that we'll be together Come on, come on, little taste of heaven
Don鈥檛 You
My heart knows what the truth is I swore I wouldn't do this But don't you Don't you smile at me and ask me how I've been Don't you say you've missed me if you don't want me again You don't know how much I feel I love you still
Speak Now
Do you remember all the city lights on the water? You saw me start to believe for the first time. You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter. You are the best thing that's ever been mine.
Sparks Fly
Just keep on keeping your eyes on me, it's just wrong enough to make it feel right. And lead me up the staircase Won't you whisper soft and slow? I'm captivated by you, baby, like a firework show.
There I was again tonight Forcing laughter, faking smiles Same old tired lonely place Walls of insincerity, Shifting eyes and vacancy Vanished when I saw your face
Come on, come on, don't leave me like this I thought I had you figured out Something's gone terribly wrong You're all I wanted Come on, come on, don't leave me like this I thought I had you figured out Can't breathe whenever you're gone Can't turn back now, I'm haunted
Don't you worry your pretty little mind People throw rocks at things that shine And life makes love look hard The stakes are high, the water's rough But this love is ours And it's not theirs to speculate If it's wrong and Your hands are tough But they are where mine belong and I'll fight their doubt and give you faith
State Of Grace
And I never (never) saw you coming And I'll never (never) be the same This is a state of grace This is the worthwhile fight Love is a ruthless game Unless you play it good and right These are the hands of fate You're my Achilles heel This is the golden age of something good and right and real
Put your lips close to mine As long as they don't touch Out of focus, eye to eye Till the gravity's too much And I'll do anything you say If you say it with your hands And I'd be smart to walk away But you're quicksand This slope is treacherous This path is reckless This slope is treacherous And I, I, I like it I can't decide if it's a choice Getting swept away I hear the sound of my own voice Asking you to stay And all we are is skin and bone Trained to get along Forever going with the flow But you're friction
Stay Stay Stay
You took the time to memorize me: My fears, my hopes, and dreams. I just like hangin' out with you all the time. All those times that you didn't leave; It's been occurring to me I'd like to hang out with you for my whole life.
Everything Has Changed
'Cause all I know is we said, "Hello" And your eyes look like coming home All I know is a simple name Everything has changed All I know is you held the door You'll be mine and I'll be yours All I know since yesterday is everything has changed
Wildest Dreams
I said, "No one has to know what we do" His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room And his voice is a familiar sound Nothing lasts forever but this is getting good now He's so tall and handsome as hell He's so bad but he does it so well
How You Get The Girl
Say it's been a long 6 months And you were too afraid to tell her what you want (want) And that's how it works. That's how you get the girl. And then you say, "I want you for worse or for better, I would wait forever and ever, Broke your heart, I'll put it back together. I would wait forever and ever."
This Love
Been losing grip, On sinking ships You showed up just in time This love is good, this love is bad This love is alive back from the dead These hands had to let it go free And this love came back to me
I Know Places
It's a scene and we're out here in plain sight I can hear them whisper as we pass by It's a bad sign, bad sign Something happens when everybody finds out See the vultures circling dark clouds
Lights flash and we'll run for the fences Let them say what they want, we won't hear it Loose lips sink ships all the damn time Not this time Just grab my hand and don't ever drop it My love
You Are In Love
One look, dark room Meant just for you Time moved too fast You play it back Buttons on a coat Lighthearted joke No proof, not much But you saw enough
...Ready For It
I-I-I see how this is gonna go Touch me, and you'll never be alone I-Island breeze and lights down low No one has to know In the middle of the night, in my dreams You should see the things we do, baby In the middle of the night, in my dreams I know I'm gonna be with you
Don鈥檛 Blame Me
Echoes (echoes) of your name inside my mind. Halo, hiding my obsession. I once was poison ivy, but now I'm your daisy. And, baby, for you, I would fall from grace Just to touch your face. If you walk away, I'd beg you on my knees to stay.
Sometimes I wonder when you sleep Are you ever dreaming of me? Sometimes when I look into your eyes I pretend you're mine, all the damn time 'Cause I like you Is it cool that I said all that? Is it chill that you're in my head? 'Cause I know that it's delicate (delicate) Yeah, I want you
So It Goes...
Cut me into pieces Gold cage, hostage to my feelings Back against the wall Trippin', trip, trippin' when you're gone 'Cause we break down a little But when you get me alone, it's so simple 'Cause baby, I know what you know We can feel it...
You know I'm not a bad girl, but I Do bad things with you
You make me so happy it turns back to sad There's nothing I hate more than what I can't have You are so gorgeous it makes me so mad You're gorgeous
King Of My Heart
Late in the night, the city's asleep Your love is a secret I'm hoping, dreaming, dying to keep Change my priorities The taste of your lips is my idea of luxury
Dancing With Our Hands Tied
I, I loved you in spite of Deep fears that the world would divide us So, baby, can we dance Oh, through an avalanche? And say, say that we got it
Our secret moments In a crowded room They got no idea About me and you There is an indentation In the shape of you Made your mark on me A golden tattoo All of this silence and patience, pining and anticipation My hands are shaking from holding back from you (ah, ah, ah) All of this silence and patience, pining and desperately waiting
Call It What You Want
I want to wear his initial on a chain round my neck Chain round my neck Not because he owns me But 'cause he really knows me Which is more than they can say, I I recall late November, holding my breath Slowly I said, "You don't need to save me But would you run away with me?"
New Year鈥檚 Day
Don't read the last page But I stay when it's hard, or it's wrong Or we're making mistakes I want your midnights But I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year's Day
Please don't ever become a stranger Whose laugh I could recognize anywhere
Cruel Summer
I don't wanna keep secrets just to keep you And I snuck in through the garden gate Every night that summer just to seal my fate (Oh) And I scream, "For whatever it's worth I love you, ain't that the worst thing you ever heard?" He looks up, grinning like a devil
My heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue All's well that ends well to end up with you Swear to be over-dramatic and true to my Lover
Paper Rings
I like shiny things, but I'd marry you with paper rings Uh huh, that's right Darling, you're the one I want, and I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this Uh huh, that's right Darling, you're the one I want
False God
But we might just get away with it Religion's in your lips Even if it's a false god We'd still worship We might just get away with it The altar is my hips Even if it's a false god We'd still worship this love
And I can still see it all (In my mind) All of you, all of me (Intertwined) I once believed love would be (Black and white) But it's golden (Golden)
Invisible String
Time Wondrous time Gave me the blues and then purple pink skies And it's cool Baby with me
The more that you say, the less I know Wherever you stray, I follow I'm begging for you to take my hand Wreck my plans, that's my man
Wait for the signal and I'll meet you after dark Show me the places where the others gave you scars
gold rush
I don't like a gold rush, gold rush I don't like anticipating my face in a red flush I don't like that anyone would die to feel your touch Everybody wants you Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you Walk past, quick brush I don't like slow motion double vision in rose blush I don't like that falling feels like flying till the bone crush Everybody wants you But I don't like a gold rush
鈥榯is the damn season
We could call it even You could call me "babe" for the weekend 'Tis the damn season, write this down
Oh, goddamn My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand Taking mine, but it's been promised to another Oh, I can't Stop you putting roots in my dreamland My house of stone, your ivy grows And now I'm covered in you
long story short
And I fell from the pedestal Right down the rabbit hole Long story short, it was a bad time Pushed from the precipice Clung to the nearest lips Long story short, it was the wrong guy Now I'm all about you
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jungleslang4 days ago
A lot of people have talked about the Azriel POV, but I've mostly seen people focus on the Elriel/Gwynriel content, which is totally understandable. But I feel like we need to talk about what we learned about Az's shadows.
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The way Azriel's shadows are talked about here suggest that they are separate from him, at least to some extent. They talk to him, and he listens and responds to them. It seems that he can have conversations with his shadows. He also says that they keep him company. This implies that the shadows are their own being, and they don't come from within him. Additionally, in ACOMAF, Rhys implies that the shadowsinger gift came to Azriel while he was locked up in his father's keep, that "perhaps he鈥檇 taught himself the language of shadow and wind and stone."
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We also can't forget about the part where Az says he waits until his shadows are asleep to think about Elain. This part, to me, is extremely telling. Azriel and his shadows don't go to sleep at the same time. Just because Az is awake doesn't mean the shadows are, and Az being asleep doesn't equal to his shadows being asleep either. Again, this suggests that Azriel's shadows are their own, separate being. The wording of this part is also interesting. The shadows are talked about as if they are alive. Otherwise, why would they need to sleep? If something is a true part of you, it can't leave you, but Azriel's shadows do leave him when they go to sleep.
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Additionally, the amount of control Azriel can exert over his shadows is limited. This is evident by the way they react to Gwyn. In the excerpt above, when Az's shadows dance with Gywn's breath, it's something that his shadows do on their own. He didn't make them do that. This indicates that the shadows have a mind of their own and are capable of exerting their own will, at least to an extent. This is also evident by the part where Azriel says his shadows peek over his wings at Gwyn, which he also didn't control.
It's very important to note that in Az's POV, when he's with Gwyn, a lot of the emphasis is placed on how Azriel's shadows react to/feel about her. In contrast, when he's with Elain, the emphasis is on how Azriel himself reacts to and feels about Elain. I think this was purposeful, and to me, it's an indicator that Elriel will be endgame.
We've been talking about Azriel's shadows as if they are a part of him, but his POV shows that they aren't. Azriel's shadows aren't intrinsic to him, they don't come from within him. Azriel's shadows seem to be their own being, and they don't belong to him. Azriel's shadows are not part of him, but his ability to control them is. This also means that the argument that Azriel's shadows disappearing around Elain is a bad thing because they're a part of him is not valid.
If Azriel's shadows were truly just a part of him, their will would reflect his own, and they would be asleep when he's asleep and awake when he's awake. He also wouldn't be able to have conversations with them like he does. Azriel's shadows are also referred to as his companions, and that alone implies that they're their own being.
Of course, I might be completely wrong and interpreting this the wrong way, but the way Azriel's shadows are described here, it's as if they're their own creature, not just another part of Azriel himself. As always, thank you for reading, and I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts!
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Half of the people I follow are Eriel shippers, and the other half is Gwyriel shippers so to say I'm confused on who to ship is an understatement
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silver-flames6 days ago
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jessdraw.s blesses us yet again. Click the link and go show her all the love because we are so blessed with her art and willingness to share it with us all 鉂
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flowers-shadows6 days ago
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I Lilac You
With Feyra pregnant with her first child. Father to be Rhysand sends his 2 best friends on a mission to reunite the Archeron sisters who have been at odds since their father鈥檚 death 5 years ago. While Cassian has the hard task of trying to convince the strong-willed Nesta to make peace, it鈥檚 Azriel who is more in trouble. All he was supposed to do was talk to Elain, not to get weak at the knees as soon as he sees her, or protect her from her manipulative ex-fianc茅. And he sure in hell wasn鈥檛 supposed to fall in love with her. But that鈥檚 exactly what happens.聽
Please note: this is a modern-day story with no fantasy elements. Elain, Azriel and all the characters are humans living in the small city of Velaris. This will be an Elriel story but will also feature Freysand and Nessian.聽
聽Read Chapter One Now
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