So, someone has been Lurking a round the Shadow and Bone fandom - mostly inspired by the fabulously talented @orlissa’s and @jomiddlemarch ‘s glorious fics, which give a GREAT nod to a more historically grounded Grishaverse. And... I do keep going to Pinterest and staring at pretty gowns, (coincidentally in shades of gold and black)... so...
Oh, what the hell. I make no apologies, people. This mad historical fashion dump is my ‘give Alina ALL the imposing gowns and elegant outfits’ -and possibly a shadowmancer husband post...
A Radiant Ballgown - Literally!
First off, I COULDN’T pass up this gown! It was designed by Charles Frederick Worth for an 1883 fancy dress ball in New York for one of the Vanderbilts, who appeared as the personification of “Electric Light”.
This was a very cutting edge costume for the time. The dress even came equipped with a battery to power an electric torch carried in one hand.
(But who needs batteries when you’re a Grisha Sun Summoner?)
It’s a glorious combination of butter yellow and white silk, with hints of lustrous black velvet at the hem. The spangled gold embroidery all over the gown would glitter under strong light - which is just PERFECT for a Sun Summoner to wear whilst demonstrating her powers. It’s also no bad outfit to wear if you have Unresolved Sexual Tension with your shadowy nemesis whilst dancing in the midst of a decadent Lentsov masquerade ball. This gown sort of begs for that kind of high-melodrama!
Now, I don’t know whether I’m subconscious channelling some ‘last days of the Romanovs/Anastasia’ vibes when I think about keftas for Alina...
(Not ... quite what I’m going for)
but... I ended up looking at Paul Poiret Edwardian evening coats for inspiration, and oh my goodness, the sheer luxurious drama of them all!
Grisha keftas... because they’re worth it. (The one on the right feels very ‘Decadent Tango with the Darkling’ to me)
I mean, if you’re going to have to rule as a benevolent dictator with your shadowmancer husband after overthrowing a corrupt regime in order to protect Grishakind and Ravka, you might as well look amazing while doing it, right? In colours which show how you “balance” each other out...
The gorgeous yellow velvet robe on the right looks like maybe the costume designer from Shadow and Bone used it as inspiration for Alina’s gold kefta? either way, the black appliqué is GORGEOUS. And I would wear it in a heartbeat.
Plus, if you couple them with the breathtaking Mario Fortuny gowns of the late teens/early 20s, it gives a gorgeous look that very much plays into the ‘Sankta Alina’ image...
They come in gold and black, for choosing your look: ‘Sun Summoner’ or ‘Dark Bride of the Starless Saint’.
I have to admit, my shipping brain chose these last couple of fluttery dressing gowns for the fact they would be very tactical for persuading Aleksander to stop working on his battle strategies and come to bed.
I’m sorry. i’m trash.
A massive, massive thank you to all the wonderful fic writers out there!
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Idk why this is something to be excited about. Tbh, imo, i'd be pissed. It feels like I belong to him or that he owns me or something (which is his goal). Esp if im the sun summoner and my colours are gold, yellow and white. Why would i wanna wear black, the exact opposite of my powers?
If its about being his favourite, like Royalty tend to do back in the day, then his insignia or just black lining would work (e.g Alina's dress in episode 8) but no to full black!
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what it is to be a thin crescent moon
“Miss Starkov, I bid you good morning,” Aleksander said, inclining his head in acknowledgement. “I trust you passed a restful night and that the Vezda suite was adequate to your needs.”
Alina knew they had agreed to conceal whatever their true attachment was, but she was still taken aback by Aleksander’s formality. He had been less polite when they first met and he revealed her power. His tone made her feel she should respond with a curtsy or the brief salute used in the First Army when a superior officer spoke; there was something in his dark eyes though of the man whose arms she’d slept in, whose tears she’d wiped away.
“Very much so,” she said, striving to match him. “Everything has been done with the greatest degree of consideration.” It wasn’t a lie; she was sure the maids had intended to hurt her and that Genya had done her best to counter it. She did wonder how long they had to speak to each other as if they were trade ministers meeting in a foreign capital or at least how she imagined trader ministers would behave. Maybe they just met at a bar and drank the local ale.
“Ivan, you may go and leave whichever of the Oprichniki you deem suitable outside my quarters. The Sun Summoner and I will meet for an hour and I do not wish to be disturbed. Should anyone inquire, you may let them know we are discussing the Sun Summoner’s imminent presentation to the Tsar,” Aleksander said.
“Yes, moi soverenyi,” Ivan replied. He turned and nodded to Alina. “Miss Starkov.”
As soon as the door shut behind Ivan, Aleksander spoke again.
“What happened to you, Alina?” He sounded puzzled now and not a little distressed and she thought he looked as if he hadn’t slept well, even though he’d been back in his own bed.
“What do you mean? I don’t—”
“You look different,” he said.
“She said you’d like this kefta, Genya did, that I’d be properly dressed no matter who you might have in your quarters when I arrived or while we met,” Alina said.
“It’s not the kefta,” he said, taking a step towards her, regarding her so intently she would have been uncomfortable except for the fact that he was biting his lower lip without seeming to notice. “She Tailored you.”
“You don’t like it?” she said.
“You didn’t need Tailoring. Not to be with me,” he said.
“Don’t I?” she said.
“You said I must, we must not be as we were,” she said, hating how awkwardly she was speaking. “When we were in the cottage. That no one could know what, how we felt…Don’t I need a mask then?”
“Not when you’re alone with me,” he said.
“Well, I don’t know how to undo what Genya does and I don’t see how I can get to be alone with you without walking through the Little Palace,” Alina said.
“You’re angry with me,” he replied. “The risks are too great—”
“I’m not angry,” she said. “Maybe frustrated. I don’t know how to do this, how any of this works here, but already, it seems like I’m doing it wrong.”
“You’re not. I am,” he said. “All you’ve done is what I’ve asked of you but I’m selfish, to say I don’t want you put in any danger and then to suggest you should do so, for me.”
“Does it look so bad?” Alina said, putting her hand up to her face. “I thought it looked nice.”
“You look lovely,” he said. “Genya does exquisite work. It’s simply that I didn’t think, I don’t think you needed any alteration. Except perhaps some feeding up—”
“I’ve always been scrawny, plain, I know that,” Alina said. Aleksander shook his head slowly.
“You’ve been ill. Malnourished. Your powers suppressed, turned against your body,” he said. “You only need to be given what you need to bloom.”
“Like a flower,” she said.
“Like a flower,” he said, smiling. “But I’ve been remiss—won’t you sit down? There’s no reasons we have to literally stand in ceremony now. It’s just the two of us and I had the kitchen send up a samovar and some pastries.”
“All right,” she said and settled the skirt of her kefta around her as she sat in one of the two leather armchairs he had in front of a fireplace. “But only the tea for me. I’m still full from breakfast.”
“Did you sleep well?” Aleksander asked as he handed her a glass of tea and poured one for himself, then sat down in the chair facing hers. It was such a far cry from the cottage she couldn’t help smiling, which he took as her response. “It would seem so. I was worried—”
“I was thinking how different this is,” she said. “I did sleep well enough, better than I expected to.” Without you, her mind supplied as well as the memory of waking with his kefta against her cheek. “Did you?”
“Not particularly,” he said, sipping his tea. His gestures were as economical and graceful with the silver filigree handle as he’d been with the battered tin cup in the woods.
“Were you in pain? I thought Healer Balakina was too quick to say you were better—”
“You weren’t there, Alina,” he said. “When I tried to fall asleep and when I woke up in the night, you weren’t there.”
“I didn’t, I’m sorry—” she broke off, flustered by his candor, by the look in his eyes.
“I said I didn’t know how I’d spare you and I still don’t,” he said. “That’s my problem, though, not yours.”
“That’s Volcra shit,” Alina said, so quickly she surprised herself nearly as much as Aleksander, based on his expression. “I’m sorry—I don’t expect anyone speaks to you like that here and I guess I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it—”
“Why is it Volcra shit, Alina?” he said.
“Because I slept with your kefta, Sasha,” she said. “Because I don’t understand what there is between us, whether it’s because I’m the Sun Summoner, or something else, but it can’t only be your problem. It hasn’t been and it won’t.”
“I wish it were,” he said. He almost distracted her from responding by brushing his finger across his upper lip and then along his jaw. Almost.
“No, you don’t. You don’t believe in making wishes,” she said. “Someone else grants wishes. You’d hate that, even if you got what you wanted.”
Aleksander laughed then and it sounded as it might have if they’d been back at the cottage but if he’d been well or well enough that she wasn’t studying him for any sign of a cough or collapse.
“Finish your tea and then we can talk about what comes next,” he said. If she’d hoped he would try to address what she meant with something else, she was disappointed, but it was such a pleasure to be with him, she couldn’t feel it, at least right now. Later, she’d wonder if she could bear to ask him directly without knowing how he would answer. She took a sip of her tea and set it down far enough away to indicate she wasn’t drinking anymore and then looked at Aleksander.
“What comes next?”
What came next was a rigorous roster of classes with Master Botkin, to begin with rudimentary Grisha combat skills, as the First Army’s preparation was deemed woeful at best, and a more open-ended course of study with the Librarian of the Little Palace, who would make sure Alina read and understood the basic Grisha texts and then guided her on more in-depth exploration of Summoning, philosophy, natural sciences and languages, starting with Kerch. What came next were daily Shatranj matches with Aleksander, which would be time for him to teach her military strategy and explain the complex machinations of the Tsar’s court, ending in a small meal recommended by the Healers to help her build her strength and to help Aleksander replenish his after their recent injuries; he would also take her horseback riding once the stables had presented some likely mounts to choose from and Genya provided her with a riding habit. What came next was her introduction to the Tsar which must be carefully orchestrated.
What came next was every night spent alone in that wide white bed, knowing Aleksander was just down the hall and impossible to reach, that she would walk away from him every day and have to wait to be allowed to see him again at a scheduled time.
What came next was Alina doing her very best to conceal being completely overwhelmed.
She had trained herself never to cry at Keramzin, but if she wept in the night, she caught the tears in the sleeve of his kefta. Corecloth was designed to resist bullets; a little salt couldn’t hurt it. Since no one at the Little Palace knew her well except for Aleksander, she soon had a reputation for being aloof and even the warmest of the Grisha gave her a wide berth. There was no Mal to run with her into a meadow, no team of fellow junior cartographers to gripe about shoddy materials and worse rations, and Genya, who was the closest person she had to a friend, spent the majority of her time at the Grand Palace. Which was how Alina found herself in David Kostyk’s workroom on the Saturday afternoon before she was to be presented to the Tsar.
“Hello?” Alina called out, imagining her voice ricocheting around the room, bouncing off the many devices and pieces of equipment that littered every work-surface and shelf and hung from the ceiling the way Ana Kuya had hung twists of herbs to dry; there were jars filled with bits of metal or stone, some with a clear purpose and others Alina could only guess at that reminded her of Ana Kuya’s jars of preserved fruit. It was a peculiar place and she felt right at home, except that the lights were on and she couldn’t see a Grisha anywhere in the room.
And then David Kostyk rolled out on a narrow, wheeled wooden platform from beneath the bench across from Alina. He was lying on his back and had a smear of something that looked like grease on his cheek. There was a murky green streak across his purple kefta that defied explanation and possibly any laundering without the use of merzost.
“It’s you,” he said. “Alina Starkov. The Sun Summoner. You’re here.”
“Yes,” she said. “I didn’t mean to intrude—I can leave—"
“But you came in,” he said. “So you wanted something, didn’t you?”
“The lights were all on and I was curious,” she said. David was still lying on his back and she wondered whether she should offer to help him up or whether that would offend him in some obscure way.
“And you didn’t have anything better to do,” he replied.
“I can go, I will, you’re busy,” she said.
“You can stay if you want. I don’t mind,” he said. “I don’t need any light Summoned though.”
“I can see that,” she said. “I can do other things, help out maybe?”
“I don’t need any maps,” he said. “You were a mapmaker before, weren’t you?”
“Yes. It seems like a long time ago,” she said, letting herself remember the scent of the ink, the mustiness of the tents, voices of the First Army soldiers laughing and teasing, Alina starting to be included before she’d destroyed the map and begun her journey to the Little Palace. David got up quickly and reached up to a shelf to take down a jar of what looked like gears made of copper.
“You should have a reasonable degree of dexterity then,” he said. “You can help me get these sorted.”
“How? They all look the same,” she said. She couldn’t afford to be picky—David was the first Grisha to invite her to do anything and she’d certainly had more tedious tasks at Keramzin.
“I meant you could help me install them in a device I’m making,” he said. “I know you are being presented to the Tsar tonight. Genya will be able to fix your hands if you break a nail or get any stains on you. She’s quite adept.”
“You’re sure?” Alina said.
“I am. Are you? You needn’t stay,” he said.
“I’d like to,” she said. “What are you making?”
“It’s not unlike a compass, but it has more than one point of reference,” David explained, cradling his creation in his hand. It had a glass face or rather, something that looked like glass but had some other aspect—the sheen of finely woven silk, the pour of honey. That must be his Small Science. It looked familiar in an odd way…
“Is this the only one?” she asked.
“No, it’s an iteration. I made an earlier prototype,” he said, then pointed to a crevice, “Here, I need one of the gears in this spot—”
“In Aleksand—I mean, General Kirigan’s saddle-bag, I found something like this,” Alina interrupted, catching herself. Would David even notice?
“Yes, there was that one,” David said, continuing to work, to hold out his left hand for yet another gear. “It needs further refinement to be truly effective at determining one’s location.”
“Did he know about it?” Alina asked.
“That’s an accurate assessment,” David replied, an awfully elaborate way to say yes, which made Alina narrow her eyes. David, however, was squinting at the device in his hand and shaking it very gently, so he didn’t appreciate the change in her expression. In response, the device made a little humming noise and then a chirp, as if he held a hungry chick covered in down, instead of the metal and crystal disc. He held it as she held her sfera and that was worth remembering.
“I see,” she said. David suddenly became very still, the grease on his cheek more lurid, the angle of his jaw sharply cut against the rich violet of his dirtied kefta. In a moment, there was a ticking sound and the face of the device had changed into a very pale green.
“General Kirigan always knows what he needs to,” David remarked. “You’ve been very helpful, even without Summoning the Sun. If you wanted to return, I would welcome your assistance. But the next steps are mine alone to take and Genya will not want to rush your Tailoring for the Tsar. You should go.”
“I’m not wearing my kefta?” Alina asked. “But I thought the whole point was for the Tsar to meet the new Sun Summoner. A Grisha in a First Army uniform?”
“General Kirigan has given the orders himself,” Genya replied. She was studying two rose petals with the intensity that Aleksander gave to the Shatranj board when Alina had nearly boxed him in, but Alina had only the faintest idea of what criteria Genya was applying, unlike watching Aleksander choose his next gambit.
“Whichever one you pick will be fine, I’m sure,” Alina said. Genya had spent what felt like hours on her hair, making Alina miss the night Aleksander had braid it with only his fingers combing through, and had been working on her face for the next eternity; putting on the actual clothes would be the least of it, as it turned out, though Alina had been preparing to be trussed up like a fowl in various undergarments Genya would insist were critical to the drape and line of the kefta.
“I think this one,” Genya said, ignoring Alina and holding the slightly darker petal up against Alina’s mouth again, then drawing her finger along her lips and stepping back to evaluate. “Yes, that’s right. I need to do your eyes next. I won’t change their shape but you need something more formal to approach the Tsar. I won’t do anything to disguise you but you don’t want his first reaction to be to you as a Shu exotic the General is parading around in front of him. He must see you as Ravkan, as a loyal subject but unexciting as an example of womanly grace. And that means doing what I can to offset that veil.”
“There’s a veil? There’s no veil with a First Army uniform,” Alina protested.
“You cannot be seen by any member of the court before the Tsar sees you. That is the custom and the veil is the solution,” Genya said. “It’s the gold lace that creates the real problem.”
“I’m wearing First Army fatigues and a gold lace veil?” Alina said. “Has everyone gone mad?”
“General Kirigan wants you in a First Army dress uniform and a veil. I wasn’t given much choice about what veil to use—the gold lace came from the Tsaritsa’s lady-in-waiting. If you don’t wear it, it’s a grave affront to the crown,” Genya explained. “I’ve devised a way to attach it to the shako so that it won’t be too difficult to raise it up yourself and have to appear natural.”
Alina shook her head. Her hair didn’t move, which meant that part at least was a success. She would look like a fool but with any luck, she’d look like a fool in the way that Genya and Aleksander intended. Aleksander had explained she wouldn’t have to demonstrate her abilities at the presentation and that he would be beside her the whole time; she couldn’t help feeling a sort of pity for him that he would have to stand next to her in the silly get-up that had been ordered, even if he was responsible for much of it. He would still be tall and impressive and breath-takingly handsome and she would look like the lampshade she’d once glimpsed in a brothel’s window.
“The turnip its top, the beet its root,” Alina muttered under her breath but not low enough because Genya gave her a look that suggested she thought Alina had gone mad. “It’s a saying, back in Keramzin, the woman who ran the orphanage used to say it if we made a fuss about anything.”
“What does it mean?” Genya said. “Close your eyes and tell me.” She started stroking Alina’s eyelids even more lightly than she’d touched her lips and then Alina felt a sensation, cold as ice, hot as a flame, right along where her lashes were, which passed almost immediately.
“I don’t know,” Alina said. “Don’t complain or we’re eating nothing but turnip and beetroot stew? There’s value in things we don’t always appreciate? Or maybe it meant nothing at all, just a jumble of words to say when there wasn’t anything else she could think of. If we didn’t settle after that, she’d bring out the switch.”
“Did you make a fuss often, when you were a child?” Genya asked.
“No. But I was stubborn,” Alina said. “I just tried to find good places to hide. It helped that the punishment was no supper a lot of the time. I was never hungry, so it didn’t bother me.”
“Was it because you didn’t like turnips and borscht? Or because you were hiding being Grisha?” Genya asked.
“Both, I guess,” Alina said. “Are we almost done?”
“Almost, Alinochka,” Genya said, using the nickname easily. She had to notice how still Alina went, even if she didn’t know why, how Alina was hearing Aleksander’s voice calling for her, a memory and the memory of a dream she’d had nearly every night since they’d arrived. Sometimes he wept in the dream and sometimes, as soon as he’d finished saying her name, his lips were on hers, the kiss of a fairy tale princess, when all Alina knew was the ordinary and the monstrous.
“There now, you can open your eyes,” Genya said as she stepped back, surveying Alina with an artist’s critical appraisal of her own work. “That will do. You can start putting on the uniform. I’ll help with the boots.”
“Genya, what if I make a mistake?” Alina asked. She took off her dressing gown and laid it on the bed, then picked up the uniform’s starched blouse and slipped it on, looking down at the buttons.
“I would tell you that nothing you say or do can be a mistake, because you are the Sun Summoner, but I don’t think you’d believe me and I’m sure it wouldn’t make you feel any better, however true it is,” Genya said, coming over to finish fastening the buttons for Alina. “I’d remind you that everyone at the court has made a mistake, some desperate, some desperately embarrassing, but you’ll just shrug your shoulders.”
“I’m going to mess something up, I know—”
“He’ll be there,” Genya said. “General Kirigan will do whatever you need. You won’t be alone, Alina. He’s—”
“He’s not the Tsar, Genya,”
“No, he’s not,” Genya said flatly. “He’s a far better man. He’ll listen to you—”
“Genya, you don’t sound—” Alina began.
“Not now, Alina. Now you have to finish getting ready. To meet General Kirigan and then the Tsar,” Genya said. “Everything else can wait. Has to wait.”
“Later, then,” Alina said. “I won’t forget.”
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Alina Starkov + keftas
Shadow and Bone (2021)
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LOOK AT HER OUR GIRL IS FLAWLESS
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I want a black** kefta now
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ALL THREE URL CHANGES AND THE THEME LAYOUTS LOOK SO GOOD !!!!
i tried to make things fit the show and vibe 🤩
Alina in her black and gold kefta
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Morning Doodle: "Zoya picked up a kefta hanging over the back of my chair. It was gold brocade, the sleeves and hem embroidered lavishly in blue, the cuffs marked with jeweled sunbursts. 'Sable,' she said to me, stroking the lining. 'I have never loathed you more.'" Leigh Bardugo's Ruin and Rising Ch 8
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Draw your swords, pt. 3
Summary: While his bride is exacting her plans from the very first day in Little Palace, the Darkling finds he has a soft spot for the enemy.
Warnings: sexual references, swearing, angst
Part one // Part two
The last thing Y/N expected upon waking up was to wake up alone. Spreading out in the bed, she huffed a loose strand of her hair off her face. Narrowing her eyes, she stared up at the canopy with her wicked husband on her mind.
After the way he had acted the night before, she found herself wondering what game he’s playing. They were meant to be married in paper only, yet he seems to have a possessive streak that extends to her as well. A part of her wasn’t sure if he truly had a shred of decency within considering he didn’t take advantage of their marital status, but the other part of her wasn’t easily swayed. That part of her remained defiant as it was forged in a fire the Darkling set. Intentionally or not, his actions have damaged her before they ever even met and she wasn’t very forgiving.
Opening the door, unannounced, strolled in the most beautiful woman Y/N had ever seen. Her long, auburn hair was perfectly styled and framed her face without obscuring an inch of her stunning beauty.
Genya, she realized. Even on the other side of the fold, Y/N knew of the empresses’ tailor.
Large, amber eyes fix on Y/N who slowly sat up. She stared at Genya without shame, admiring her appearance.
“Well, from what the general told me, I expected I’d have more work on my hands.” Genya huffs, her hands on her hips as her lips form a thin line.
“I have nothing wrong with me”, Y/N defends, graciously getting out of the bed that was far too comfy considering who she shared it with. “And where is the general?” Raising her eyebrow, Y/N folded her arms. No matter where he disappeared to, she couldn’t let him wander too far in case he tries to break their agreement and attend a meeting alone.
Humming, Genya didn’t try to hide her curiosity as she looked Y/N up and down. “Are you sure you don’t need my services?”
Glancing at the door, Y/N saw the servants waiting in front for a command. “Leave us”, Y/N waves them off, swiftly closing the door behind them. Her eyes settle on a seemingly startled Genya who cocks her head to the side.
“Interesting. So you do need me?”
Inhaling deeply, Y/N nods. Coming closer, her eyes remain on Genya’s whose gaze drifts at first. Once Y/N stopped before her, their eyes met.
“I need you, but not as a tailor.”
Furrowing her eyebrows, Genya steps back. “What is that supposed to mean?”
Swallowing thickly, Y/N licked her lips. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but you hate the emperor and you’d do anything to make sure he never lays a hand on you?”
Genya’s nostrils flare, her lips drawing back between her pearly whites. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m loyal to my emperor.”
“I know”, Y/N reaches for her hand, “I’m saying if your loyalties shifted, I’d make sure that fat fuck died in agonizing pain.”
Yanking her hand out of Y/N’s reach, Genya stepped back with wide eyes.
Gnawing on the inside of her bottom lip, Y/N wished she was more tactful. Hearing of Genya and her fate, she assumed she’d gladly ally with her in this fight. Not only does she need Genya on her side to fight against Kirigan, but the emperor as well. Genya would have been an ideal ally if only she was willing to hear her out. But she should have waited, befriended the Grisha. She should have been more tactful.
“Does the general know of the treasonous plans you speak of?”
Chuckling in disbelief, Y/N shakes her head, “Do you truly believe I’d be breathing if he did?”
Pursing her lips, Genya turned her back on Y/N, contemplating all the possibilities that could stem from her decision.
“It’s a lot, I know, but I am here with a few secrets of my own.” Y/N takes a step closer, her hand clasping Genya’s shoulder as a show of support. “I realize you barely know me, but we can change that now.”
“How?” Genya whispers, more to herself than Y/N who released a shaky sigh.
“By revealing a secret that would be lethal for me if you shared it with anyone.”
Glancing over her shoulder, Genya’s eyes narrowed at Y/N who felt genuine, more than anyone had been since the day she arrived in the Palace. Despite the initial mistrust, Genya nods.
The guards stationed outside of Y/N’s room only heard a loud gasp behind closed doors, unaware that very gasp was a start of a friendship that would define Ravka’s future.
Meanwhile, the Darkling had spent the morning out in the fields. Riding his favorite horse usually served as a way to distract his mind from ongoing worries, but it had no such effect today. No amount of speed or distance could possibly erase the feeling of Y/N’s hand on his body, much less of her body pressing against him.
He behaved as a pious man, an honorable gentleman with self-restrain of a saint. If he could, he’d have taken her without regrets, but he never crossed that line and doing so with a woman meant to be his wife would set him on a path of no return – of true evil.
The Darkling may have done some heinous things, but they were never without reason. If he had done anything against her wishes, he’d be beyond redemption and he couldn’t help but grit his teeth every time he imagined himself losing his mind around her long enough for her to turn him into the villain she sees him as.
Another thing he’s decided to do is break the rule he knew she expected him to uphold – sleeping in separate chambers was the worst thing for them now. He had to be in her bed every night, regardless if she wanted to let him between her legs or not. He wouldn’t force her, that much would be true, but he wouldn’t sleep in his own room anymore. The room they were given last night would be the one he goes to, stumbles to, crawls to, in order to fall asleep beside her. And though it’s a risk as he could easily find himself with his throat cut, he refused to back down.
Dismounting, he headed to the map room where his subordinates waited for further instructions regarding the war.
“Shall we start?” The Darkling tossed his riding gloves on the desk as he looked at his people. A new face caught his attention, making him do a double take until his dark skies narrowed at her.
“Now that you’ve arrived”, Y/N stands, smiling sweetly. “I believe we can present to you what we’ve discussed while you were off on a joy ride.”
There’s nothing sweet about her, Darkling realizes. Even her smile is coated in honey but laced with poison.
He licked his lips, “Well, if you want my opinion-“
“I don’t”, she stood her ground, “I have my own.”
Chuckling darkly, he leans forth on the table. His nostrils are flared, his hands gripping the edges until his knuckles turn white. “And what exactly is that?”
“We agreed on having the First army general having a vote in the decision making process as you all do, and since I’m his proxy, I’ve decided you will no longer use humans as canon meat.”
Gliding the tip of his tongue over the inner side of his teeth, he stared at Y/N as if she were made of glass he had every intention on shattering. That would be a mistake – glass is only brittle until it breaks, the shards can cause more damage.
“We will train Grisha to protect humans and humans will use their weapons to protect the Grisha in a more effective manner with the emperor’s gold.”
“Gold?” Kirigan says through gritted teeth as she approaches him, her hands behind her back and he has no doubts she’s stashed a weapon in them and the blue kefta she wore. He’d tell her to take it off and never wear one since she’s but a human, yet as his wife, she was entitled to a kefta. Besides, she looked like a dream in one.
“The emperor agreed to fund the First army’s armory during breakfast”, she smirks, lifting her head up to maintain eye contact.
“Get out”, he grumbles.
Raising her eyebrow, she giggles, “Are you that incapable of admitting I may have opinions and capabilities with potential to do better than the ones you brought before the emperor?” Hardening her gaze, she cups his cheek so tenderly he felt a shiver run down his back. “Did I hurt your feelings?”
“GET OUT!” He turns to the others, watching them scramble to leave before he unleashes the darkness everyone feared. Once the last one left, the door slamming behind them, Kirigan locked his eyes on hers.
“Don’t ever try to get inside my head”, he snarled, slamming her against the door. As his heartbeat echoed in his ears, they stayed there with his grip crushing her wrists, keeping them pinned to the wall.
She didn’t breathe, trying to guess his next move. There was a risk she’d push him over the edge and she quite liked herself in one piece, so she waited – waited for him to move first despite the aching pain in her wrists. Releasing a shuddered breath, her chest deflates.
Finally, his eyes soften as he realizes he might have scared her and while he’d usually triumph, he found no satisfaction in being rough with her. He imagined himself releasing her from his grip, cupping her cheeks and asking for forgiveness, but the way she refused to blink made him unsteady. Yet he whispered still, “It’s too dark for you.”
Squinting, Y/N pressed her lips into a thin line. She easily breaks out of his grasp, shoving him against the wall with her forearm on his chest. Trailing her hand lazily towards his neck, she tightens her grip, lightly choking him. Pulling him down, she stands on her tiptoes as well. Leaning in, her lips brush against his ear; whispering, "Darling, you may wield darkness but you don't know the meaning of dark."
Stepping away, she raised her chin defiantly and he wished he could grasp it and pull her lips to his until her jaw relented and her mouth opened for his. And that’s when he realized – why would he hold back?
Her eyes drifted up to his and she knew his resolve was gone. His lips captured hers in a hard kiss, driving them apart with the force of it. There was something gentle about it, regardless of the brute strength he used to push her into the door. She felt the door rattle against her back as he shifted, pressing her into it, taking her face between his hands.
When he kissed her, she felt as if she were losing his mind. She couldn’t comprehend why her hand wasn’t holding her dagger at his neck, or why she allowed herself to moan into the kiss as if he had brought her pleasure.
Every thought she once had evaporated as the darkness of lust drew her in, bending all her rules, stealing the last trembling bit of restraint. She tries to pull away, to stand firm and turn away his affection if she could call it that.
“No”, he whispers, bringing her lips back to his.
And when he kissed her again, she wasn’t sure she wanted her sanity back. She slid her hands under his kefta, wrapping arms around him to press him closer. The low groan at the back of his throat, a small, pleading noise set every inch of her skin on fire.
Opening her eyes, they widen as she notes his are closed as he lost himself in their passionate exchange. A single intelligent thought formed inside her mind, sparking others to appear as well. Playing with fire is her favorite hobby, but this wasn’t a game – not when she was losing.
Pushing against him with all her might, Y/N gasped for breath as he stumbled back. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she narrowed her eyes at him. Lifting her chin, Y/N met his gaze decidedly. After all, she couldn’t avoid her marital duty if she allowed him to kiss her like that. He may not be an old, unattractive, undeveloped man she had imagined in her mind, but Y/N still wasn’t quite keen on giving herself to him. She had kept her maidenhood all those years only to lose it to a man who shall never be more to her than a husband in name only. She’d never love him…she promised herself that. She never broke a promise before and he would not be the one who changes that.
“Don’t touch me”, she spoke through clenched teeth.
He looked at her in surprise. There was hatred in her enchantingly cold eyes, her cheeks flushed red. If possible, her anger made her even more beautiful. Never had he felt such a raging desire.
His hand went around her neck, his thumb digging into the soft flesh. “You are my wife,” he said in a low voice. “You are mine!”
“I believe we have already covered that. I’m not yours and I never will be.” Y/N told him with such spite, such determination that he let her go immediately.
“You’re untouched, aren’t you?” Darkling’s voice softened, his eyes holding more understanding than she liked. Had he acted unreasonably and taken her against her will the night before or now, she’d at least be right about his horrid heart and vile mind…but he didn’t. Instead of being a savage she imaged him to be, he offered her gentle understanding.
“I’m sorry I was rough. I’ll try and be gentler. If you don’t want to go through with this, I won’t force you.” Running a hand across his face, he leaned back on the table. “I want you…really fucking bad, but I won’t take you against your will.” The Darkling sighed as she stared at him with her doe eyes, seeing confusion pass her features.
“Good to know where you draw your line. Murder – good, rape – bad.”
Rolling his eyes, he squinted as he looked at her again, “We can’t sacrifice Grisha for your men.”
Knitting her eyebrows, Y/N could hardly believe he just forgot the kiss they shared. In seconds, he crossed his arms and the lustful look was gone. The man before her was a general once more, and though he tried to hide it, he was still a man who had a hard-on despite the subject change. She wished she could ignore the evidence his blood is still boiling for a touch, more so because he was fucking right – he wasn’t small at all.
“If you keep wasting human lives, we will stop defending yours entirely.”
Raising an eyebrow, his face hardened, “We’ll kill you.”
Scoffing, she raises her eyebrow to mimic him. “It’s you or Volcra or the Druskelle and Fjerdans or Shu. We end up dying either way.” Stepping closer, she folded her hands behind her back. “We can work together and lessen our losses or you can do it your way and have a massacre instead.”
In less than a minute, her eyes turned from ice to flame and he found himself captivated by the change.
“I’ll agree on one condition.”
His gaze roamed over her as if he is unable to fully comprehend her beauty. Only when he looked back at her eyes did he see she was troubled. Was that expression fear? The possibility struck him as so humorous he nearly laughed out loud.
“State your terms”, she snapped, refusing to concede when she’s close enough to do something she’s wanted for years – to protect the soldiers used as a shield for those who are perfectly capable of protecting themselves.
“I plan on getting to know you better”, he leaned in closer. He raised his hand, cupping her cheek just as he imagined – tenderly, enough to show dominance but not quite capable of harming her. “If you let me.”
Heart fluttering inside her chest had made her doubt herself. She stared at him, stubborn and unrelenting. “I’m still not sleeping with you.”
Chuckling, Kirigan drops his hand, noticing her relax as he steps back. With a tightness in his chest, he looked back at his wife, so small, so alone and still so fierce. He would never admit it, but he had already a sliver of love for her and knowing she did not had hurt him.
His smile falls and he nods. Clearing his throat, “How about we go for a ride in a few days?” He took her hand in his and gave her a gentle squeeze, looking up at her weary eyes.
“Does that mean I have the bed all to myself?” Raising her eyebrows expectantly, she squeezed his hands right back, as bold as ever. Genya seemed to trust him, yet Y/N couldn’t understand why. He’s too charming to be trustworthy.
Using his grip on her hand as an advantage, he tugged her closer to him and she found herself between his legs as he remained, leaning against the table behind him. His eyes flicker to her lips, “Better find more pillows, my wife. We wouldn’t want you to be the big spoon again, would we?”
With that, he turned them so swiftly, she had barely blinked as he pulled her up on the table and she gasped in surprise. Heart beating fast, she nearly gripped his kefta and claimed his lips, but he leaned in on his own accord and she had no need for brutish behavior.
The tip of his nose brushes hers and just as she begins to lean in, he takes a step back. Winking, he takes another step back.
“If you want a taste, you’ll have to ask.”
Watching his retreating figure in shock, she remained perched on the table with her mouth open and her eyes wide.
Covering her mouth, Y/N shakes her head. Her mind was right, the heart cannot be trusted.
Tags: @bruxa0007 @rangotangomango @kaitlyn2907 @thestoryofmylife9 @shelivesindaydreamswme @hxrgreeves @safetyhtom @kaqua @savannah-elliott @all-art-is-quite-useless @azure23x
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Hymn of Light ☼ The Darkling
“I love you too,” he murmured against her skin as his lips trailed down from her mouth to the base of her neck. He’s quick to tighten his grasp on the back of her dress, bunching up the taut fabric which left more of her skin exposed to the biting chill. Yes, wanting her left him weak, exposed to the next bastard who so much as dared look at her the wrong way. But in almost inexplicable ways, she made him stronger than before. She made him feel alive, like pure light — able to heal and bless.
Pairings: The Darkling x [F]Sun Summoner!reader
Content: Rough smut, oversim, pet names, dom/sub undertones, established relationship, unprotected and possessive sex, religious imagery & symbolism
A/N: I hate the darkling but GAWD DAMN! LIKE FINE, MAKE ME YOUR WHORE!
〚 Masterlist | ao3 〛
DISCLAIMER: This story contains sexual content. If you are not 18 or older, do not read. Remember to practice safe sex and do not use these stories as an educational reference. If you are interested in any of these topics, research them more in-depth. Practice safe sex!
Chapter i | Always You
“Thanks for ending early,” Y/N said with a light tone. Even though he couldn’t see her, her back facing him, Aleksander knew that she was smirking. He could hear it in her voice.
“Mhm. Bit of a bore, don’t you think?” he replied, equally as sly. He strides over to his bed, taking off his kefta made for the evening event at the Little Palace that night. The embroidery used threaded silver with highlights of gold specks. He and Y/N performed a mesmerizing light show; the shadow and light blended, merging into one before the entire room became a sky full of twinkling stars.
Light and dark, he thinks, always one to compliment each other so well.
Aleksander sighed, the knots in his shoulders appeared to slacken now as he’s in the comfort of his — no, their quarters. He finds himself smiling at the sound, their quarters.
The room was now scattered with her belongings. A vanity replaced an old full-length mirror in his room; the bed smelled like her, clothes that are far too colourful for his palette littered his drawers; with his small set of cologne, her perfume bottles laid on top of the dressers. Books, sketchbooks, makeup, the lively green plant in the corner — all belonging to her. And he treasures the sight, causing sunspots to dance around in his heart.
He felt so much more human, fulfilled now that she’s by his side.
Her dress underneath was silk and paper-thin — coincidently, it was one of his favourites. From the cold air, her hardened nipples grazed against the soft fabric before she bent down to kick off her shoes.
Her dress underneath was silk and paper-thin — coincidently, it was one of his favourites. From the cold air, her hardened nipples grazed against the soft fabric before she bent down to kick off her shoes.
He was mesmerized by the scene in front of him. Something about her was so dismantling in the most beautiful — tragic way. Her personality, the way she spoke, the ability to command an entire room… The way he loved her, it was all powering and consuming.
He recalls the first time he’d ever seen her, back in that dinghy tent years ago. To the Darkling — the Black Heretic — to Aleksander, the end was soon when he was by her side.
Aleksander grins, walking up behind her as he fiddles with the strap of her dress before his hands wrapped around her torso, bringing her close to his chest. He watched her smile in the vanity’s mirror and the happy squeal made him feel electric.
Despite what people thought, he — the Shadow Summoner, the leader of the Second Army — domineering, deadly and cunning, Aleksander was not the one with control in their relationship; it was her. He was at her mercy.
If she asked, he would gladly watch the world disintegrate into dust if it made her happy. Damn the consqeuences.
Y/N made him fall to his knees; and in any way she wanted, he would live to serve and honour her, letting her shine brightly.
He continued to pepper a few chaste kisses to her shoulder blade, his head falling into the crook of her neck, breathing in deeply.
A smile so bright formed on his lips, rare, large, but nothing short of alluring. Y/N thought to herself, as she watched him in the mirror, that perhaps he was the one that could summon light, not her.
There was a certain soft playfulness to Aleksander that he rarely revealed when they're alone, it even took him a few years for that side to be shown to her.
She turns around, looking up to him with so much love that it made a solace spread through him like a warm bath. He felt his skin set ablaze, alive and hopeful. She would never truly understand how much he craved for her — how he yeared for every touch, every smile, every rant, every giggle.
All he ever wanted was her.
He never considered himself a Starless Saint, not when he had her.
“I love you,” she whispered as his forehead pressed against hers. The blooming feeling in both of their chest was so intense, basking in their eternal glory.
A hand filled with chunky silver rings runs up and down her shoulders before settling on the base of her back. Aleksander innocently wanted to spend a beautiful, comforting moment with his lover, but she seemingly had other plans. Y/N’s lips ghosted just below his jaw, which sent shivers down his spine and caused him to smirk down; she knew exactly how to rile him up.
He pulled back, his eyes were lidded and dangerously dark as he towered over her, his chest pressed against hers as his head tilted. His eyes were the colour of moonlit ice, glinting with silver steel, shining like glass with mysterious mirth.
He eyed her like a predator to its prey, a lost traveller eyeing a found oasis.
Sometimes, it amazed Y/N how he could effortlessly signal that she was his without even having to lift a finger.
A hand went to the side of her face, tilting her head upwards as their lips pressed together in a searing kiss. It started with soft pecks, which had each other giggling in between before they progressively got more aggressive. The sweet, softness of her lips beckons him more and more, putting him into a trance.
“Jump,” he said. His hands went around her protectively as she wrapped her legs around his waist, placing her onto the vanity.
“I love you too,” he murmured against her skin as his lips trailed down from her mouth to the base of her neck. He’s quick to tighten his grasp on the back of her dress, bunching up the taut fabric which left more of her skin exposed to the biting chill. Yes, wanting her left him weak, exposed to the next bastard who so much as dared look at her the wrong way. But in almost inexplicable ways, she made him stronger than before. She made him feel understood — alive, like pure light — able to heal and bless.
He’s waited over four hundred years for her and it was worth it. She taught him more than he had learned within those lonely years.
“Moya zvezda,” he breathed. His next words were almost lethal, mocking. His index finger found a place under her chin, forcing her to look up at him as his hand trailed dangerously close to her core that had been slowly building up in arousal. His hand rubbed her inner thigh, temptation laced his voice. “Tell me what you want.”
“You, Aleksander,” she whimpered out, “Always you.”
When faith flickered out, she would be there by his side.
His lips crashed onto hers. Impatiently, he wiggled her out of her dress, her breast popping out. A hand went to cup one, fondling it in a massage, almost therapeutically before he rolled the bud in between his fingers, giving it a sharp tug that left her gasping.
Soon, he tilted her backwards slightly so his lips could latch onto her nipple. His tongue swirled in light circles, watching as her mouth gaped open and her hands woven in his hair. So responsive already and he hardly touched her.
After a particular tug, her lips parted with a quiet cry that made him get drunk off the sound. He felt his cock twitch in his pants, his erection straining in want.
His hand takes hers, so soft and small in his, as he guides her to touch his bulge. He rocks into her hand, “Look what you do to me,” he whispers dangerously. The apples of Aleksander’s cheeks were stained with a light tint that caused a beautiful flush.
“Please,” Y/N’s voice whines out.
“Please what?” His fingers ghost over her clothed clit. Even he’d been losing patience. His face is just millimetres from her face, his lips red and swollen from the kissing.
“Can you please touch me?” Her voice came out strangled, pleading almost.
“Anything you please, my Sun Summoner.” Aleksander’s voice is ragged, out of control. His hand slips under her knickers; fingers outline her outer labia with feather-light touches. Using his middle finger, he traces up her slit before rubbing tender circular and vertical motions on her clit. She was already so wet, eager to please and lose herself to the pleasure.
Y/N’s eyes shut her eyes as he continued his torment, sending waves of ecstasy through her. Swiftly, Aleksander brought his mouth up to hers and moaned into it.
His fingers find their way back to her nipples, his thumb tracing the bud before a finger slips into her, stretching her out before sliding in another. They curl upwards in a firm thrust; his cold rings adding an extra added pleasure, the sensation tickled and contrasted with how hot she felt.
The building pressure collecting in her lower abdomen released as she came in small, hot waves. Aleksander doesn’t stop his menstruation as he helps her through her ride. If anything, he picks up his pace on her swollen clit and chuckles as he watches her struggle to open her eyes.
Then he pulls away and she frowns at the lack of touch. Her chest heaves while Aleksander has to take a moment to calm down. His heart thumps wildly in his chest, his mind clouded with the most lustful thoughts as he stared hungrily at her.
Aleksander was a man of great patience and restraint, however, he’d never have been so restless in his life as he grazed her feverish skin. His body ached with need, uncontrollable desire and he wondered if he could die from the sheer, uncomfortable need of her.
Her lips licked in anticipation knowing that the night had only just begun.
〚 Next Chapter 〛
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Mizpah // the darkling x reader // ch 5
summary: You tumble a Grisha in more ways than one ;)
warnings: violence, fighting, cursing, SMUT, fingering, masturbation??, praise kink, not proofread.
A/N: this is all over the place, forgive me y'all </3
WHEN you awoke the next morning, you found a single glass of water placed on your night stand. Your head pounded as you tried to recall the blurred events from the previous night. All you remembered was catching up with Alina and then finally leaving her room. From there it was as if everything had muddled together to form a single incoherent memory. The sun had just begun to peak through your window.
While you were away last night, a servant must have stocked up your closet with clean clothes. They had mainly been a few soldiers' uniforms and some new nightgowns. Along with a few robes, each one as soft as a rabbit's fur. The gold kefta still remained in the dresser, collecting dust.
You changed out of your dirty clothes that you had slept in, and placed them in a neatly folded pile on the corner of your bed. After throwing on a clean uniform and putting your hair into a low bun, you rang for a servant. You asked her to bring breakfast to you. It seemed like there was no use in eating with the other Grisha. Where would you have sat? You weren’t a Corporalki, Etherealki, nor a Materialki. You certainly weren’t the Darkling either. There would be no place for you if you’d chosen to eat there with Alina.
Soon enough, a light knock echoed on the wooden door. “Come in!” You said, and the servant strolled in with a cart. She placed down a golden tray in front of you. You were served sweet pea porridge and fresh figs with a tall glass of water. You thanked the servant before she dismissed herself, leaving you to your food. There was another covering that laid on the tray, no plate under it. As you shoveled another spoonful of the porridge into your mouth, you took off the covering. Under the dome laid your weapons, cleaned of the dirt and blood that caked them. You placed your weapons back onto their respective places: a pistol and dagger at your hips, a knife securely tucked into your boot, and the last knife hidden away in your sleeve.
Just as you finished your food, another knock resonated in your uncomfortably quiet room. You beckoned them to come in. A Grisha with a red kefta came in, the black stitching signifying that he was a heartrender. You gave him a polite smile as he stepped in.
“Hello. I am Fedyor. I am to escort you to the training grounds today.” He explained.
“Oh no, it’s alright. I don’t need an escort. I know my way around the palace, thank you though.” You assured him. Sitting on the corner of your bed, you put on your boots. You were surprised to find them in the normal place you had put them, at the foot of your bed, near the very corner. It was a habit you had since you were a child. Every other orphan at Keramzin always placed their boots either to the left or right of their beds. It was understandably easier than leaving your boots where you normally had, yet you couldn’t shake the habit.
“The General himself required me to accompany you. As you must know, I cannot obey the General’s orders.” He stated. After lacing up your boots, you made your way to the tray your breakfast was on. You put the small plate that once housed the figs into the empty bowl of the porridge you were served. Picking up the tray, you began to walk towards the circular table near the door and left the tray there so it’d be easier for the servant to clean.
You turned to him, arms crossed on your chest as you sighed, “Fine.” You examined the new jacket you were issued, it wasn’t the same as the frayed one you were used to. The hem of your sleeves were intact, unlike your old one when you had picked apart the stitching when you were nervous. The only thing that you were particularly happy about was the fur lining. Yours had matted from being used so much and slept on.
“You know, it’s quite odd that you’re staying in the General's hall.” You let out a hm, questioning what he meant by that. “Usually guests stay in the guest hall. The General never permits for anyone to stay in his. He’s the only person allowed to sleep in this specific hall.” He whispered as we walked past a group of Materialki. They were huddled amongst themselves, whispering and giggling as they made their way to their training rooms.
“Maybe it’s because I’m Alina’s friend? Perhaps he feels like he needs to watch over me himself since he has also taken her under his watch.” You said. You took a deep breath of the crisp winter air as the two of you stepped outside.
“Perhaps. But why is Alina staying in the vezda suite? Wouldn’t it make sense for her to be staying in the General’s hall as well?” Fedyor did make a good point, if Alina was the most important Grisha of all, why wasn’t she across the hallway from the Darkling?
“It truly is a mystery I suppose. But if I were you, I wouldn’t question his choices.” You teased. You thought you might’ve offended him until he lets out a short laugh.
“Saints know what he would do if I had.” He replied, making you giggle. Your laughter died as you arrived at Botkin’s training area. Grisha alike had already been paired up and were sparring. Alina had been paired up with a girl she had mentioned last night, you couldn’t remember her name. Madia? No that wasn’t it. Narie? It wasn’t that one either. Noticing a late arrival, Botkin walked up to you.
“Botkin has never seen little girl before.” You tried to suppress the surprise you felt when you heard him refer to himself in third person. “Who is she?” He asked Fedyor. By now some people had stopped training to hear the conversation. You noticed Alina was still sparring with her friend, unaware of your arrival.
“She’s here as Alina’s guest.” At the mention of her name, the girl stopped fighting. Finally taking notice of your figure, she let out a surprised gasp.
“What are you doing here?” She asked as she came closer.
“Training. If I’m going to stay at the palace I don’t want to rot away and do nothing.” You said, rolling your shoulders to loosen up your muscles.
“First Army girl wants to train with Botkin.” His voice, although baritone and guttural, brought a strange comfort to you. “Choose your opponent.” You surveyed the crowd, looking for someone who could pose a possible challenge. Your eyes landed on a tan skinned girl with raven black hair, bangs framing her face perfectly. Her black eyes stared into yours, challenging you.
“Her.” You stated while nodding your head towards her. Botkin weaved his head in the direction you had nodded off to.
“Ah, star pupil, Zoya!” So this was Zoya, the girl who told Alina that she reeked of Keramzin. “I have trained her since she was ten.” The raven haired girl offered you a way out, which you immediately declined.
“Fighters ready?” You put your fist up, getting into stance. “And..Fight!” You waited for Zoya to come to you first. She walked up to you, her fists hung up. You circled each other, playing the waiting game. You were about to make a move when you saw Zoya moving her right fist towards your face. You ducked left, managing to move in time to avoid the punch. With her back still to you, you jammed your elbow into her side making her hunch over.
She came at you again, this time with more veracity and anger behind each swing. Except she didn’t land a single blow. You were able to avoid each one as you let out a giggle, staggering a few steps back.
“Is that all you’ve got, star pupil?” Your comment only seemed to spur her on more. She ran at you in full force, this time you let her land a hit on you for the fun of it. What you didn’t expect was for her to punch you so hard that she drew blood. You sniffled feeling a drop of blood come from your nose. You began your attack with a right hook followed by a left one. In return she used her arms to block each time, leaving her abdomen vulnerable.
You were able to land a hard blow or two before you found yourself briefly soaring through the air, your back meeting the hard wall that was originally ten paces behind you. You let out a wheeze as you feel one of your ribs break.
Botkin had begun to reprimand Zoya, looking at her you could feel her shame as she upset her mentor. You couldn’t help but smirk as she looked at you, at least now she knows how someone from Keramzin fights. Her gaze hardened, about to walk up to you once more before she was taken away by some guards.
“Oh my Saints, now the General is really going to have my head.” Fedyor said in a panic. He helped you stand as he called for a healer.
“I’m quite alright.” You ensured, but the wince in your face gave you away. Alina came running up to you, giving you a once over before taking you from Fedyor and into her embrace.
“You know you shouldn’t be doing that.” She whispered into your ear. “It’s too dangerous for you.” She made a movement to grab one of your cold hands, giving it a squeeze.
“Everything’s a risk for me, Alina. The Doctor made that clear.” When you were younger, you were diagnosed with a heart condition. It was nothing serious really, and only acted up once in a blue moon. The tugging and squeezing feeling only lasted for seconds, but the pain left you feeling unstable for hours after. “The risk is always worth it.”
“But what if one day its not?” She pulled away from you, resting her hands on your shoulders. “The Doctor himself said there was no cure for this, no remedy that could help.”
“It’s worth it if it means protecting our honor.” You replied honestly.
“I don’t need you to protect our honor.” She protested. “I need you to protect yourself. Even if that means backing down from a fight.” You remained silent as a healer began to work on you. Starting first with your broken ribs then moving onto your bloody nose. After a few minutes of sitting still, the healer finally told you that you could leave.
Alina and Fedyor accompanied you back to your room. “What do you think will happen to her?” You asked. Alina shrugged her shoulders as the heartrender went to respond.
“She will probably get reprimanded by the General too. Zoya knows not to use her powers while training. Respectfully, especially not against someone who isn’t Grisha.” He commented.
You must’ve really gotten under her skin then if she went against all those years of training and discipline. “Good. She needs to know her place.” You snarked. “Now I’d like to get some rest.” You glanced at Alina, her gaze unwavering. “Alone, please.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. I promise I’ll be fine. If I need help I can always call for the General.” You replied, placing your cold hand on top of hers and gave it a squeeze. With great reluctance, she nodded her head. Fedyor and her leaving to return to combat training.
As you close the door, you feel your resolve break. Wincing as the pain and exhaustion came back. As you grew up, your condition continued to tire you. You couldn’t fight nor run the same way you could two years ago. At this rate, you’d probably be dead in the next two years because of your heart condition. That was if the war didn’t kill you first.
The sun was nowhere near close to setting. You still had most of the day to kill yet you didn’t know what to do. You thought back to one of the places the Darkling had shown you, perhaps you could go to the library. Gathering whatever strength you had left, you returned to the calm and composed front you had always put on.
The walk there had been time consuming, nauseating even. But you were determined to snatch a book or two to read while you were cooped up in your room. The library of the Little Palace was grand, filled from floor to ceiling with various books. If you ever had the chance to visit the Grand Palace, their library would definitely be on a list of places of visit.
You ran your finger along the spines of the books as you walked through the shelves. There were two things that you loved most in your life: the feeling of the sun on your skin and the smell of books. Strangely enough, the smell of the books had reminded you of Keramzin in a way. Probably because you spent most of your childhood with your nose shoved into a book. Collecting two books, you were adamant on getting to your room in time to be able to sit in the sun and read a couple of chapters. All of a sudden the smell of incense and mildew had taken over your sense of smell.
“My Saints, where is that smell coming from..” You whispered to yourself. Unexpectedly you heard a shuffle behind you. Turning around you saw a greasy man in a robe.
“Hello, y/n.” Said the man.
“Do I know you?” You replied cautiously, reaching for the knife you had hidden in your sleeve.
“I am the Apparat, a priest. Advisor to the King.” He stated. Knowing who he was didn’t make you any less tentative, your fingers still gripped the handle of your knife.
“Okay...right. Nice meeting you. I’ll be on my way now.” You said, trying your best to move around him but he stopped you. He latched onto your arm that had been reaching for your knife, effectively rendering your weapons useless.
“Do you remember?” He acquired his answer from the confused look on your face, “Oh, soon you will remember. Everything will face into place.” You ripped your arm out of his rough hands and ran out of the library, never looking back.
When you were finally in your room, you threw the books onto the floor as you rushed to the tub. There hadn’t been any warm water around but you didn’t care. You filled the tub with lukewarm water as you began to strip yourself of your clothes. Skewing them across the floor as you picked up a velvet robe and tossed it on a nearby chair. Stepping in, you grabbed a loofah. Scrubbing yourself clean of the Apparat’s lingering touch. You scrubbed and scrubbed until your skin was raw. After dunking your head underwater to wet your hair, you picked up a soap. It smelt of lavender and honey. In the First Army, they had always given you a singular bar of soap to last you a week. Showers came scarce due to the fact that the soap practically diminished once it touched water. Gently lathering the soap in your hands, you cleaned your hair first. The repetitive circular motions of your hands had started to calm you down, almost lulling you to sleep. Quickly finishing off your hair and the rest of your body, you found yourself smelling good for the first time in a while.
Feeling satisfied enough, you let out a sigh, letting yourself relax as you rest your arms on the edge of the tub. It wouldn’t hurt to take a nap. You thought. After all, you fought a Grisha without the use of your weapons and came out somewhat victorious. You let your hair dangle outside of the tub to dry as you close your eyes, sleep taking over you.
“Stop it!” You screamed, you could feel someone splashing cold water at you. Wetting your hair and dress. “Aleksander, stop!” You said while laughing. You could hear him let out a laugh before coming up behind you and taking you into his embrace. He wrapped his arms around your belly as he rested his chin on your shoulder. The stubble from his face tickling you.
“How are you today, my darling?” He whispered into your ear, making you shiver. He began to pepper kisses up and down your neck, making your legs feel like jelly. Your hands flew to his in order to stabilize yourself.
“Good. But it could be better.” You teased, egging him on. One of his hands travels your hips, bunching up the fabric of your skirt to give himself better access. The other hand made its way to your core, ghosting past your eager bundle of nerves.
“Look at you, already so wet for me.” He shoved aside your underwear, plunging two of his fingers into your heat. He paused at the sound of your moan, “Taking my fingers so well.” He set an agonizingly slow pace, let out a few groans himself as he rubbed himself against you. His long fingers search for the spot he knew so well, the one that would make you mewl and fall apart in his embrace. He hits it once, twice, before extracting his fingers from you. He placed his slick covered fingers atop of your dry ones before guiding them back to your wet entrance. You were able to slide in with ease as he guided your movements.
“I can’t..” You breathed out, the feeling of his fingers and yours combined had been too much for you.
“Yes you can.” He purred, tilting your head with his own to get better access to your neck. “You’re almost there, I can feel it.” Just as he said that, he felt you briefly clamp down, signaling you were close. He guides your fingers deeper, nearing your g spot as his other hand lets go of your dress and goes to your clit.
The action makes you come undone as you moan his name repeatedly, your juices coating both his and your fingers. You let out a whine as he removes his fingers from you, only to place his hand into his mouth, sucking your cum off of him.
“Sweet, as always.” He gently grabs your chin and turns you to face him, his dilated pupils meeting yours. “Here, have a taste of yourself.” His words alone made another wave of heat pool at your core. He grabs your hand before inserting into your mouth. You wrap your lips around your fingers, staring into his slate gray eyes all the while. After lapping up your juices, you release your fingers with a pop!
Even in your dream state you could tell this man looked suspiciously like General Kirigan. They shared the same face structure, their cheekbones rested at the same angle. His eyebrows were as perfectly sculpted as the General’s. Lashes equally as dark and long. The only difference was that the man-- Aleksander, had a near clean shaven face and his hair was grown out to reach his shoulders. The General had a beard and sported a slicked back look. Yet the two looked identical.
Your eyes searched his face, his body, for anything that could tell you anything. You spotted a mole near his right collarbone. Nearly hidden by the collar of his shirt, small but it would have to do. Without thinking, you reach up to grab his face to pull him in for a kiss.
YOUR doors opened with a bang, startling you from your sleep. The person entered without even knocking, alerting you to three possibilities: someone had broken in and now was here to kill you, you were being kidnapped, or the Darkling was here to brutally murder you. You let the first two options leave your mind, knowing how well guarded the Little Palace was. So there was no possibility for an intruder to get so far into the grounds. Yet the third option did little to ease your mind.
Realizing you were still in the tub, you got out. Not wanting anyone to see you naked. Not like it hasn’t happened before. You thought, thinking back to your time at Caryeva. You quickly threw on your robe, haphazardly tying it while you grabbed one of your knives and unsheathed it. You threw the knife just in time, the person emerging from the curtains being nicked by your blade before it landed on the trimming of the bathroom entrance.
“Oh my Saints, I’m so sorry…” The Darkling stared at you, surprise flicking on his features. “I didn’t hear you come in. I was asleep.”
You walked to the side, picking up a towel to clean up his wound. You dipped it into a bucket of clean water, wringing it out afterwards.
“In the bathtub?” You gave him a nod, a blush forming on your cheeks. “Well you certainly sleep wherever you can.” He joked. As you shifted closer to him, you felt that familiar wetness in your thighs. Fuck. You thought, your blush becoming deeper. You’d been so caught up with the idea of someone coming to kill you that you had forgotten about your dream.
“Are you alright?” It should’ve been you who was asking the question since you nicked him after all. He awaited your reply as you gently pressed the towel against the cut.
“I am. Nothing serious happened to me.” You replied, assuming he had heard of the events that had taken place earlier that day. “Are you?” You asked, “I mean, you seemed very alarmed when you barged in.”
“My apologies for that. You just...you weren’t responding to my knocks or my questions. I’d assumed the worst.” He said, struggling to find the words. You didn’t know how to feel, in a way you were glad that he cared for your well being, yet it slightly made your gut lurch. You’d been here for less than a week and he seemingly cared more for you than Alina. Then again, you didn’t know what the two did behind closed doors. You stopped cleaning his wound, the bleeding had stopped. The two of you remained close, only an arms distance away from each other.
“Why do you care so much? After all, I’m only a guest here at the palace. I’m not a Grisha like you or everyone else here.”
“You're my guest. It’s normal for me to worry about my guests.” He explained. You crossed your arms over your chest, eyebrows furrowing as you listened to him.
“Yes, but..” You paused, “Yesterday I was Alina’s guest. Now today, I am yours. So which is it?”
“Whatever you’d like.” He whispered, taking a step closer to you. His gaze flickering to your lips then back to your eyes.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“You just did.” He replied, giving you a smirk that made you roll your eyes.
“Have we met before?” You asked, making the General freeze in his place. His posture goes rigid, you struggle to read the emotion on his face. “.. I could’ve sworn that we…” You doubled over, your left hand clutching your chest as your right hand flew to his shoulder. The pain had never hit you twice in a day. Not even twice in a month.
“Alina..g-get her.” The General called for a servant to fetch her along with a healer. In his panic, he swept you off your feet and carried you to the bed. He laid you upon it as he took your left hand into his. In a haze, your right hand began to wander, weakly pulling at the collar of his shirt. The pain went away as a moment of clarity came over you, General Kirigan had bared the same mole that Aleksander had. As you placed your hand on his face, the pain came rushing back.
Before you allowed yourself to give into the darkness that called you, a tentative whisper left your lips, your eyes searching his.
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S.a.B. forever tag: @deceivedeer
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Keftas of the Grisha Orders
Etherealki: Sun Summoner Gold
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A Kidnapped Soulmate Part 7
Aleksander certainly didn’t lie when he said you would love it. Little Palace was unlike anything you've ever seen; its marble and gold extravagance bleeding royalty and privilege. It was how Aleksander had described it over the past few days.
Each night before you’d fallen asleep side by side, he had detailed the Little Palace to you. “You’ll be safe there, ” he had whispered, lips brushing against your neck.
Alexander had immediately brought you to his - your - room after arriving, effectively ignoring the Grisha seeking him out. A few females had given you glares as their leader led you away with his arm entwined with yours. But you were in too much awe, too happy, to bother with their petty jealously.
“Here we are, ” he initiated as he pushed the carved wooden door to open. Your head tilted in confusion at the large table placed in the room. Though beyond nice with soft lighting and detailed walls, it certainly wasn't a bedroom. Alexander strutted in, and you tentatively followed, “I thought you were showing me our room?”
He spun around to face you, Kefta fanning out around him. “Through there, ” he gestured, looking highly amused. Prancing around him, you peaked into the room he instructed you to.
Your mouth dropped open at the sight of your actual bedroom. Large in size, mahogany wood stretched across the walls and furniture pairing with the soft lighting from various candles. The bed, larger than any you've ever slept on, sat centre of the room with a dark canopy draping across the frame. Breathtaking.
Alexander snuck up behind you, twirling a piece of your hair and inquiring, “Do you like it?”
You stretched around to look him in the eyes, “I love it.”
On your toes, your arms slung around his neck. “I’m glad, ” he rasped out before you reached to kiss him.
Smirking, your soulmate kissed you back and knotted his hands through your hair. Craving spread through your body as your hands roamed across his broad shoulders. Aleksander led you towards until the back of your knees hit the plush bed.
Loud knocks interrupted the private moment, and much to your displeasure, his lips pulled from your own. Sighing, your soulmate pressed his forehead against yours in a silent apology.
“I'm sorry, ” he muttered out, straightening out. You watched as his hands flattened his black Kefta and raked through his hair. Your eyes mainly focused on his single silver ring, though. The way it gleamed in the candlelight and made him appear so - so irresistible.
“Just hurry back, ” you smiled, swallowing down the lump in your throat. You refocused your eyes, seeing his own gleaming back at you. Of course, he knew.
Wordlessly, Aleksander walked over to one of his drawers, pulling out a delicate silver box. You sat on the bed, merely watching.
The man turned back to you, hiding a hand behind his back. Once in front of you, his hand outstretched, revealing a single silver chain.
“For me?” you uttered, looking up at the man you'd been paired with. He didn't respond though, only reached and twisted the band off of his pointer finger.
“You don't ha-”
Looping the ring onto the delicate chain, Aleksander gently brushed your hair across to your right shoulder. With closed eyes, you hummed at the contact.
You felt the necklace clasp onto you, as well as the weight of the ring resting above your breasts. Gently, you held the ring in your hand as Aleksander stepped back.
You looked stunning; Sitting in his palace, in his room, with his ring dangling around your neck. You were everything, and in that moment he vowed to always protect you.
Before he could reach to kiss you again, a knock sounded at the door. He sighed once again, head leaning back to the ceiling in annoyance. Your sweet giggles calmed him, though. “Go, ” you smiled, positively beaming.
“I won't be long, ” he promised before turning and walking out. He didn't look back at you, knowing he would never leave if he did, and already looking forwards to coming back.
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Genya Safin and Alina Starkov in the Shadow and Bone Teaser Trailer
I had barely unlocked the door when it flew open and a tall girl pushed past me, surveying the room and then me with a critical eye. She was easily the most beautiful person I’d ever seen. Her wavy hair was deepest auburn, her irises large and golden; her skin was so smooth and flawless that she looked as if her perfect cheekbones had been carved from marble. She wore a cream-colored kefta embroidered in gold and lined in reddish fox fur.
“All Saints,” she said, looking me over. “Have you even bathed? And what happened to your face?”
I flushed bright red, my hand flying to the bruise on my cheek. It had been nearly a week since I’d left camp, and longer since I’d bathed or brushed my hair. I was covered in dirt and blood and the smell of horses. “I—”
But the girl was already shouting orders to the servants who had followed her into the room. “Draw a bath. A hot one. I’ll need my kit, and get her out of those clothes.”
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The Darkling/General Kirigan x Reader
A/N: The Darkling is a control freak, right? Handsome and suave into the bargain. Usually, you are a pretty confident person but you’re up against a master and really, you don’t stand a chance. This does not follow canon particularly, it’s all lemon zest 🍋
Warnings: 18+ NSFW due to sexual content, including some sub/dom, and oral and unprotected sex, between consenting adults*. Ambiguous regarding consent to begin with. Drinking and some swearing. This got kind of long!
*Irl, please don’t go wild in the country without protection.
(Not my GIF - all credit to owner)
General Kirigan strode angrily back into his suite. Sometimes his mother….! Gah! He could strangle her. She always managed to make him feel like a 9-year-old naughty boy. He threw himself into one of the many plush chairs adorning his quarters.
Where was his kvas? He’d barked out an order to one of the staff for a bottle of it to be brought here immediately as he’d walked back fuming from his latest encounter with his darling Mama.
The anger boiled up in his veins again. He would not allow her to thwart his plans. He just would not.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
You nervously made your way to the General’s suite with the bottle of kvas and glass he’d demanded of you on his way through the Little Palace. You’d been the only unfortunate staff member within earshot at the time, so it had fallen to you to get one from the stores and you were now hurrying back as quickly as possible. You knew that the General was not a patient man.
You hadn’t had any direct dealings with him before but his reputation preceded him, and your nerves continued to bubble as you walked as fast as you could without toppling the items off your tray. You were annoyed at yourself as usually you were quite an assertive person and confident with it. But the General made you feel anxious.
Hopefully you could just deliver these to him and then get the hell out of there as quickly as possible.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
Kirigan heard a knock at his door and shouted at whoever was outside it to enter. He hoped for their sake that they were bringing him his bottle of alcohol.
He looked up and then did a doubletake as he saw a beautiful young woman, dressed in the white and gold kefta of a Grand Palace staff member, entering the room with his kvas. The General was allowed to avail himself of their services too, which explained why she was here in the Little Palace.
“General,” she bobbed her head deferentially to him and placed the tray on the small gilt table next to him. She was turning on her heel to leave when he shot out a hand and grabbed her wrist. His dark eyes drilled into hers and he was amused to see that she looked just like a rabbit caught in a trap. He was almost fully hard already.
“Lock the door, little one,” he commanded, “….and then return over here to me.”
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
Your stomach churned.
You’d heard stories of the General occasionally choosing one of the waiting staff to spend the night with him. Any such opportunities were quite rare and some of the girls who’d been chosen in the past were constantly and jealously bitching about anyone who’d subsequently slept with him.
He was rumoured to be amazing in bed, according to those who’d been there.
And apparently it was your turn tonight.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
Your legs turned to jelly as you walked back to the door. He clearly intended to fuck you, and you were conflicted about that. Did you want that? Yes and no. Yes because the thought of sleeping with him excited you, no because you didn’t like the way he assumed he could just take what he pleased from you.
What would happen if you just left right now and ran off through the palace? But then reason kicked in as your hand reached for the door handle. He was an important and powerful man and also, you admitted to yourself, a very handsome one. Who wanted to have sex with you.
To disobey him would not be a sensible thing for you to do.
So you shut the door and locked it as he’d instructed you. Turning back towards him, you were disconcerted to find his intense stare already on you. As if you were something he could consume, like that shot of alcohol he’d just downed.
A little wave of - what? yes, fear - mixed with a thrill of anticipation you admitted to yourself - ran over you as you made your way back across the room to him.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
The General poured himself a measure of the strong alcohol while watching her walk back to the door, close and lock it. He threw back the shot and put down the glass.
She hesitatingly approached him once more and he let his eyes wander up and down her form. “Take off your kefta, darling,” he said, “…what’s your name?” She mumbled it. “Speak up, what is it?” Her head had come up and she’d met his gaze a little defiantly. She repeated it again, much more clearly this time and he said it back to her, voice low and seductive.
Her fingers fumbled a little as she unbuttoned her kefta, removing it and looking around for somewhere to put it. Now she was just in her linen blouse and trousers and his eyes travelled boldly over her curves. “Throw it onto that chair,” he remarked, indicating yet another fancy chair behind her. She placed it on the chair and turned back to him, a startled look in her eyes as she realised he was now right next to her.
While she’d turned away momentarily, he’d stood up from his chair and in just a few steps was towering over her. His hand went to her chin and tipped her face up towards his. He immediately kissed her, taking her by surprise judging by the little gasp she gave as his mouth found hers and his tongue dominantly pushed inside. His fingers were now busy undoing the lacing of her blouse and while still kissing her, he slid it open a little and then his hands were all over her breasts, massaging them roughly for at least a minute. Eventually he caused her enough discomfort that she tried to back away from him. He angrily grabbed her by the arms and put a stop to that, and as she stood immobile in front of him he again kissed her hungrily, pulling the clip out of her hair so that it tumbled down round her shoulders. He quickly moved his hands back inside her blouse once more and began to pull and roll her nipples with his fingers.
He leant down, pushing her blouse down some more and firstly sucked, then gently bit each nipple in turn. She gave a little cry of distress but that didn’t stop him. Now he firmly licked them, rasping his tongue over each nipple. Swirling that talented tongue of his roughly over the surrounding skin before going back to biting her nipples, doing this over and over again before beginning to massage her breasts once more. She was now submissive to him, standing stock still and receptive to whatever he wanted to do to her breasts, and this turned him on even more. The control he had over her.
When he’d bared her breasts a few moments ago, his first thought was that they were as beautiful as the rest of her and to his mind, it was his duty to pay attention to them. And he made sure he was paying them a lot of attention.
That this might cause her some discomfort didn’t worry him in the slightest.
He’d been certain she’d give in to him. They always did.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
He’d asked your name. You’d told him, and he’d repeated it back to you in a very sexy way. But you would notice later that he mostly continued to call you ‘darling’ the whole night.
You had literally just taken off your kefta as he’d told you to do when he was suddenly standing in front of you. Within a split second, not only had he been kissing you, but he’d also undone your blouse and started fondling your breasts, and he’d continued to do so for quite some time.
To say you were surprised at just how fast he’d taken things to the next level would have been an understatement. Now he began attacking your nipples, tweaking one of them with his thumb and finger while sucking, licking and biting at the other, before swapping nipples and starting again. You’d given a tiny squeal when he’d first bitten one of them but he’d just carried on doing what he was doing. And he’d been doing it for quite a while now, so much so that your breasts and nipples were feeling really quite tender.
Then he moved you quickly backwards, still playing with your nipples as he did so. You felt the back of your knees hit something then your back was flat on his bed with your feet still on the floor. He climbed onto the bed, knees on either side of you, placed his hands under your armpits and hauled you upwards until your head hit the pillows.
You just had time to catch sight of his hands fumbling at his trouser buttons before he began kissing you again and you could feel yourself becoming aroused - you couldn’t deny he was very good at this. His hands were now at the waistband of your trousers, the button was undone and they and your underwear were unceremoniously pulled down. Without further warning his very erect cock was pushed fully inside you, feeling absolutely huge to you. He seemed to relish the loud high-pitched squeal you gave when he entered you, grinning down at you as his hands went to your breasts again.
Giving you only a couple of seconds to adjust, he started thrusting into you deep and fast, kissing you again, tongue pushing inside your mouth, fingers playing with your nipples, before sliding a hand up your neck and closing his long fingers around your throat. This enabled him to hold your head down and his body pinned yours under his while he took his sweet time, continuing to thoroughly fuck you. Each of his thrusts were so forceful that your head hit the huge ornate headboard every time.
Gasping as he continued to thrust in and out of you, and despite the lack of clitoral stimulation, you could feel an orgasm building and suddenly you were shuddering under him. He tensed up and very quickly afterwards he climaxed, and you felt his warm seed being released inside you.
His head dropped down onto your shoulder, then his mouth was on yours again. His fingers sought your nipples once more as did his tongue. You felt him moving down your body and then his head was between your legs, his beard scratching your inner thighs, his tongue inside you, lapping at you and you heard yourself moaning like a little bitch.
Using his fingers as well as his tongue, rubbing your clit with his thumb, he’d brought you to orgasm a second time and he’d then slid himself back along your body to keep you pinned down.
“Mmmmm… that was really good sex,” he praised, kissing you again, moving his mouth to your neck, kissing and biting.
“Very, very good sex. Now, take all your clothes off, darling. Get some rest. Very soon I’ll want to fuck you again.”
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
You watched him get up and strip his clothes off his long, lean body. He got under the bedcovers, lying down and saying impatiently to you, “Come on, darling - I want you fully naked for the next round. Get those clothes off, quickly now!” You stood up off the bed and all your garments were soon on the floor. He was patting the bed next to him while his eyes were eating up your naked body, “Here, right here, little one.” You’d lain back down next to him and he’d got on top of you again, pushing his legs in between yours so that he could pin you down again but no doubt so that he was already in prime position when he got his next erection. He fondled your breasts again for several minutes, kissing you hungrily while grinding his hips against you. You lay still, compliant, allowing him to do whatever he wanted to you. Then he settled down on top of you and was asleep within a moment.
That’s when you began to get mad. He’d used you to get off with angry sex, because he’d obviously been in a bad mood. Okay, he’d given you two orgasms but he hadn’t even asked you if you’d wanted to have sex with him. He’d just gone ahead and taken you. It was as if your opinion didn’t matter. You shifted out slightly from underneath his weight and fumed.
Your eyes began to close, just as you decided you’d need to avoid him like the plague in future so he couldn’t ambush you like this again. Very soon, you were dozing too.
Before long however you were groggily aware of his hard cock sliding inside you again, no warning, he didn’t even bother waking you up first. Angry, you tried to get out from underneath him but you only heard a low chuckle as his hands grabbed your wrists and he pulled your arms up over your head, keeping you in place again. He was already thrusting into you, fast like before, and you felt as if he might split you in two. His mouth was on yours then he moved to your neck, biting and kissing before he once again licked and bit your nipples. Again he managed to bring you to orgasm just from the sex alone, before he got his own release once more. He kissed you, open-mouthed, until you couldn’t breathe.
“Such good sex, darling,” he purred in your ear, “…you fit me like a glove. This is going to be a regular thing between us in future.”
Finally you found your voice, “Oh, you think so, General?”
He laughed, “I don’t think so, I know so, little one. It will happen because I say it will happen.” He pulled out of you and purposely let his wet penis drape over your leg. “This is the only dick you’re going to be getting from now on.”
As if to prove his point, about half an hour later he was on you again, pushing assertively into you and much to your annoyance, made you gasp and scream as he fucked you to yet another orgasm. You began to feel slightly crazed from all the intense sex.
You just prayed he didn’t get you pregnant, as he obviously didn’t believe in pulling out before he came. Somehow you knew that if you did end up carrying his child, you wouldn’t get much sympathy or help from the General.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
Sated, Kirigan began to drift off to sleep.
He was thinking, ‘Can’t remember when I last had such great sex,’ before snuggling into her, burying his nose in her hair and pulling her against him as they lay on their sides. He was now in a much better frame of mind, and was actually enjoying lying here with her - usually he didn’t like sharing his bed and kicked the women he slept with out as soon as he’d finished. ‘She’s going to sleep with me every night,’ was his last coherent thought.
Then he was fast asleep.
A couple of hours later, he awoke, feeling refreshed and still horny. She’s doing wonders for my libido, he smiled to himself. She was still asleep and he rolled her onto her back, pulling her more upright against the pillows. Then he straddled her as she began to stir, his erect manhood exactly where it needed to be.
“Open your mouth for me, darling,” he whispered next to her ear.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
You slowly became aware that you were being manhandled into a seated position, opening your eyes and wondering what was going on. Once your eyes had adjusted to the dim light, you saw a large and erect cock at eye level. He had you caged in with his knees, nowhere you could go.
Then you heard his command to you, and you immediately turned your head away. You didn’t want to give him a blow job. He tutted loudly, his hand grasping your chin and forcing your head back so it was facing forward again.
“Now, little one… you were doing so well,” he said, admonishing you. “Don’t start being a bad girl now.”
You made the mistake of parting your lips slightly, and of course he took that as an invitation. You felt the head of his cock move past your lips and then he was pushing the full length of his shaft inside your mouth. You felt it hit the back of your throat and your gag reflex kicked in, making you quickly try to move your head backwards.
He grabbed a fistful of your hair, pushing your head forwards again and positioning it exactly where he wanted it. “Now, suck,” he demanded and like an obedient puppy, you began sucking and licking him, even sliding your hands around the back of his thighs to give yourself some leverage. To be honest, you hadn’t sucked off that many guys and were in two minds about whether you enjoyed it or not. You had to be in the mood, and right now, you really weren’t. He began thrusting into your mouth and you decided you’d better get in the mood and pretty quickly, or else he’d end up choking you.
You had been blowing him for what felt like forever when a swirl of your tongue round his tip seemed to push him over the edge, and you felt him coming in your mouth. Swallowing quickly, you felt him relax his grip on your hair and you took your lips off him.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
“Good girl,” he breathed as he pulled out of her mouth. He was feeling happy, pleased. He liked it when they swallowed, and she had. All of it. There was barely a trickle of his juices on her chin. She sat with her eyes closed, taking gulps of air.
He laid on his back next to her, not bothering to get back under the covers. He would have to bathe and dress soon, he realised with regret. Was there time for more sex with her? Yes, he decided, definitely there was time. For at least another two sessions.
His hand went to hers, then placed it on his cock. “Stroke me,” he instructed her. She started moving her hand up and down, and he groaned. “Faster. Do it faster. And squeeze.” To follow his instructions, she propped herself up on her elbow beside him and increased her pace and grip. He smiled. He could feel himself getting harder by the second.
He sat up now and pushed her onto her back, her hand falling away from his manhood. He parted her legs and entered her, smiling once more when he heard her loud gasp. He loved hearing that. His mouth closed over one of her nipples and he licked roughly, feeling it peak as he swirled his tongue over it. He pounded in and out of her, and soon her body had travelled diagonally across the bed due to the force he was using. He stopped for a moment, dragging her back into the centre of the bed before continuing to thrust into her. He could hear her gasps and ragged breathing, could see the way her eyes were squeezed shut, the way she was biting her lip, all of which increased his pleasure tenfold.
Releasing inside her, he lay on top of her to get his breath back before pulling out and rolling onto his back. They both lay still for a few moments before she said in a low voice, “I need to go to the bathroom.” He nodded, waving his hand towards a door in the corner of the suite. He watched her naked body as she got off the bed and walked away from him.
Saints! He was getting hard again.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
You were washing your hands when you heard the bathroom door open behind you. Looking over your shoulder, you saw the General advancing towards you, a determined look on his face. Your eyes travelled downwards and you saw that he had yet another full erection.
“General!” you protested, quickly picking up the towel and drying your hands. “You may call me Aleksander.” You ignored this for the moment, instead saying, “I have to get dressed and report for duty.” He shook his head, “No, you don’t. You’re going to spend a little more time with me first.”
He pulled some large towels from the shelf and dropped them on the floor, crouching down and smoothing them out. He looked up at you and patted the pile of towels and when you didn’t move, he stood and picked you up as if you weighed nothing, a hand under your knees and the other under your armpit. He laid you gently down on the towels, but that’s where the gentleness ended.
He lay on top of you, immediately lifting your legs up and placing your ankles on his shoulders. Then he took hold of his cock and you tried to brace yourself as he entered you, but as usual the way the rough way he sheathed himself completely inside you and the new position he’d placed you in had you squealing. It angered you that he obviously loved hearing this, if the self-satisfied smile currently on his face was anything to go by.
He adopted his normal fast pace, holding your hips against his for greater leverage. This time he had you sliding across the bathroom floor on your raft of towels as he thrusted into you over and over again. Your head eventually bumped into the pedestal of the sink and as you now couldn’t move any further, it hit against this each time he drove you forward with his forceful thrusts.
With a long and low groan, he climaxed, kissing you feverishly and smoothing your hair back with one large hand. You didn’t have an orgasm this time - you thought that your head bumping off the sink had probably distracted you a little too much. He laid your legs back down on the towels and stood, holding out a hand to help you up. As you stood up, you noticed his eyes going to your legs and looked down. His come was starting to slide slowly down your inner thighs and as you looked back up at him, he smiled. “Looks like I’ve marked my territory - again.”
You chose to ignore his remark, merely saying, “I need to have a bath. Can I use yours, please?”
He nodded, “You can, but not right now.” He still had hold of your hand and started pulling you out of the bathroom, across the room and pushed you back down onto the bed.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
He can’t seriously be expecting to have sex with me again! you thought as you lay sprawled and naked on his bed.
But it seemed he was indeed expecting that. He flipped you onto your front, and you felt him against the outside of your thigh as he did. He was semi-hard so you knew you only had seconds before his manhood would be plunging back inside you.
He pulled your backside up into the air and pushed your head down into the pillow, seemingly trusting you enough not to hold it down. Taking hold of your hips, he entered you pretty quickly after that and you realised why he wasn’t holding your head down. Both his hands slid under your arms and he grabbed hold of your breasts. His pace was slightly slower this time, and your breasts were grasped and kneaded in synchronisation with his thrusts.
You were gasping each time he thrust into you, and he started whispering into your ear. “Do you like that, darling? Tell me you like it.” “I.. like.. it,” you managed to say in between his strokes. “Good girl. You’ve been such a good girl.”
He soon reached his orgasm, shortly after yours. He slapped your backside lightly as he climbed off you. “You know, I think you’re the absolute best I’ve ever had,” you heard as you collapsed onto the bed, “…you’re so obedient.”
You heard the bathroom door open and close, and breathed a sigh of relief.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
Kirigan came out of the bathroom, refreshed after his bath and ready to get dressed and start his day. But the sight of her still lying on her stomach on the bed was too much for him, so he flipped her over onto her back and ate her out so well that he had her gasping and writhing within a minute. She orgasmed with a scream and he laughed out loud, so very pleased with himself.
“Little one,” he said as he wiped his face with a linen washcloth, “…have a nice bath, just take your time. Don’t worry about being late for duty, I’ll handle that for you. Oh… and I’ll see you tonight, here, after dinner is finished.”
She just watched him from the bed, seemingly incapable of speech. After dressing, he leant down and gave her a long, slow kiss then left the suite.
He spotted the Palace staff supervisor as he headed for one of the large meeting rooms, ah - just the very person. He walked over to her, wishing her a good morning and mentioning her staff member’s name. “She will be late reporting for duty today. There will be no repercussions, she had… uh…” he couldn’t stop a devilish grin appearing on his lips, “…a very busy night.”
He walked off without waiting for an answer, having seen the knowing smile appear on the woman’s face. He knew it would be all over the Palace within minutes who he’d spent the night with.
His smile grew wider.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
Closing the door of the General’s suite behind you, you wobbled along the corridor as best you could.
You felt like you’d had sex with a piledriver for the past however many hours. And you could absolutely now confirm that he was amazing in bed, as advertised. You hadn’t been so thoroughly fucked in a long time. If ever in fact.
You were still pissed off with his attitude of entitlement and high-handed way of issuing commands, but the pay-off was mind-blowing sex. And his stamina! How did he do that? Of course, you hadn’t got away without him taking payment of sorts from you.
Hand going to your neck, you were glad you’d remembered to button your kefta right to the top. There were love bites all over your neck and chest. There were slight bruises on your wrists from where he’d gripped them. Unfortunately you couldn’t do much about the beard burn on your chin and between your legs. It was worst on your face, on display for all to see - you’d need to get some balm for that later on. Your nipples chafed painfully against the fabric of your blouse as you walked. Well, it was more like shuffled.
One of your co-workers passed you in the corridor and you greeted her as you walked past her. You found yourself on the receiving end of an absolutely filthy look and no return greeting.
What was all that about? As you approached your supervisor, you saw the mischievous grin she flashed you along with a wink.
Oh. Oh, right. Everyone already knew.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
Later that afternoon, you were asked to take a pitcher of water and six glasses to one of the meeting rooms. Glad to escape the hate-filled looks and jealous whisperings of your co-workers, you made your way through the corridors to the far side of the Palace.
Knocking on the door, you heard a muffled ‘Come in’ and, balancing the tray carefully on your arm, you opened the door and went in.
Oh in the name of all the Saints. General Kirigan was at the head of a long conference table, surrounded by his advisors and Ivan, his second-in-command. A smile appeared on his face when he saw it was you, and he beckoned you forward from where you’d come to a complete standstill.
“Ah! My most favourite member of the Palace staff!” he said as you approached him. He winked at you, and you felt your face grow red. “Please be so kind as to pour me a glass of water. The rest of them can serve themselves. Come closer, little one. I don’t bite!” The rest of the men laughed quietly and you stepped forward even more, stopping right next to him. “Or do I?” he whispered, so that only you could hear. His hand, concealed by the table, slid up the inside of your thigh. You were pouring his glass of water at the time and your hand jerked slightly, splashing one or two drops onto the tabletop.
“Ooh careful, little one. Did something startle you?” You shook your head, “No, General.” “Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep last night? Some man keeping you awake?” Your face was burning by now, and he smirked at you. “Never mind, you don’t have to answer, I think I can guess. Thank you for the water. You may go now.”
You dipped your head to him and left as quickly as you could. How dare he tease you like that in front of his men? Surely they must have a good idea what he’d just done and said, and what he was getting at?
Feeling so embarrassed you could cry, you walked quickly back to the kitchens.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
Just before dinner, as you were helping to set the table along with several of your co-workers, you saw the General walking into the dining room and start to head in your direction. Your heart almost beat out of your chest, what was this?! No, he must be here for some other reason, not to speak to you.
But he walked right up to you, and you were aware of your co-workers’ conversations suddenly stopping. He leant down and whispered in your ear, “I see your colleagues are taking a great interest in what I’ve got to say to you. Well, I’m just here to remind you to come to my suite right after dinner. And just to let you know that I’m going to spend all night fucking you again. Then you’re going to lay with me and we’ll sleep together in the literal sense. I like having you in my bed.”
He stood back up to his full height, before suddenly leaning back down again, one final whisper. “And that’s where you’ll sleep for every night to come. No arguments. You may as well give up your quarters as you won’t be spending any time in them. And… I can’t wait to be inside you again, darling.” His lips ghosted a kiss across your cheek and then he was striding off through the dining room again.
Judging by the looks on your co-workers’ faces, it was probably just as well you wouldn’t be staying in your shared quarters any longer.
You’d probably end up with a kitchen knife between your shoulder blades.
»»————————————-———- ⚜ ———————————-————-««
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Here we have the portrait of Alina Starkov from the Shadow and Bone series by @lbardugo!🌞💛 Some weeks ago I did a poll on my IG stories so all of you could decide how you wanted this illustration to be. The winning characteristics were white hair with blue and gold kefta and represented as a Saint. It took me a while to finish this artwork, but I’m happy with the final result, specially with the hype for the Netflix series coming on April and the trailer that was released some weeks ago! ❤️ I can’t wait to see jessie mei li playing her.
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Palace Garden | General Kirigan
M A S T E R L I S T
Shadow and Bone Masterlist
w.c | 4.8k
summary | You are the General’s personal Healer, he doesn’t go anywhere without you. So when General Kirigan is invited to the King Pyotr’s annual ‘end of year’ party at the Grand Palace, you join him. Except the King’s second son, Nikolai, takes a special interest in you.
My Shadow and Bone pieces will probably include Spoilers from the SHOW. I have not yet read the books, I have only read through most of Six of Crows. I’m finishing that book as we speak, I have only seen the Shadow and Bone tv show, I haven’t read the books.
PSA: I write with limited knowledge of who Nikolai Lantsov is, although I know he is royalty (King of Ravka I believe) but in the show he isn’t the King, so I made him a Prince. Don’t be mad at me, this is all for fun and it’s FICTION.
“You’ve received another invitation from the King, just how long do you plan to ignore him?” You snicker as you drop a letter onto the General’s desk. It’s an invitation to King Pyotr’s End of Year Celebration, attended by decorated Soldiers from both the First and Second Army, and hopefully the esteemed General. The previous year the General had ‘urgent’ matters to attend to so he was unable to attend the dreaded party in his words. In truth you always had fun at the King’s Celebrations so you didn’t know what always soured his fun.
“Until the day after next.” His shoulders were rigid and his tone was clipped.
“General, tonight is the Celebration. You must answer the King by then, you know that.” You chuckled with a roll of your eyes, watching as the General begrudgingly tore open the envelope. You watched as his eyes scanned the paper in front of him, his eyebrows pinching together in frustration.
“General?” You knew it was unwise to engage him when he was in a state of agitation but in all honesty, you didn’t fear him the way everyone else did. General Kirigan swiftly ignored you and reached for a pen, and upon further examination your eyes caught your name written on the letter from the King.
‘I am most eager to meet your esteemed Healer, Y/N.’
The General tends to get a tad, possessive, of the things he deems belong to him. You were one the things the General had claimed as his own, and anybody who shows a particular interest in you tends to annoy him. You can see the tension growing in his shoulders, and while you might not know how deeply he cares for you, you know he sees you as more than just his Healer. Hopefully, he sees you as a sort of friend as well.
“Are we going to attend the Celebration General?” You ask cautiously, watching as Kirigan’s expression shifts from mildly annoyed to thoroughly agitated. You make sure to keep at least one foot distance between you and the General at all times, he tends to be a bit unpredictable when he’s upset. You watch as the General stands, yanking at the buttons of his Kefta before tossing the heavy fabric onto his bed.
“Yes, we are. Apparently both Princes will be in attendance.” The General says through a huff, reaching for his dress jacket- the black one with gold detailing he wears for social events. The Princes? Neither of the Princes have been spotted inside the Grand Palace for a few months now, it’s no wonder the King has chosen tonight for the Celebration. The end of the year isn’t for a few weeks and normally the Celebration is closer to the years change. You try to mask the mild excitement you feel at the prospect of meeting either of the Princes, although you don’t hear much about Prince Vasily. Most of the young Grisha women training in the Little Palace whisper about Prince Nikolai.
“Does this please you?” The General asks, his tone distracted as he finishes buttoning his Kefta in the mirror. You shake your head, your eyes briefly catching his.
“I couldn’t care either way General.” You say with a shrug, and you swear you see the tiniest smile grace the corner of his lips. For as long as you could remember you’ve had a thing for the General, what women wouldn’t? He’s tall, handsome, has dark hair, dark eyes, and he’s powerful. You doubt some Prince could ever compare to General Kirigan, not that you’re hoping one will. A Tailor swiftly enters the General’s chambers then, her eyes landing on you.
“A package has come for Y/N sir, and she should be getting ready for the party soon.” She says, her eyes only briefly meeting the General’s before flickering back towards the floor. His eyebrows stitch together when he sees the box she holds. You reach for it before his hand raises, “give it to me.” He instructs sternly. The Tailor quickly hands the package to the General and you see an unreadable expression pull onto his face. He plucks a note from the top lid of the package, and hands it to you before opening the package.
I await our meeting with bated breath dear Y/N.
- Prince Nikolai
Inside the package is easily the most beautiful dress you’ve ever seen. It’s blood red with silver detailing, and it goes all the way to the floor. You take the dress from the General, stroking the smooth silk. He can see the twinkling in your eyes as you eye the gift from the Prince, it sends surges of frustration through his tightening chest. The Tailor ushers you into the General’s bathroom so you can change, and the General turns his back for privacy. It’s been like this for some time now, you hardly ever get ready for social events in your own room anymore. You’d been the General’s Healer for quite a few years now, and on more than one occasion he’s had to provide some Healing for you as well. He’s seen your entire upper torso bare from when he had to heal a stab wound through your chest. Needless to say, you were probably too comfortable in the presence of the General.
You stepped out of the bathroom and the General turned, his eyes landing on you. For a second he didn’t know what to say, you were absolutely stunning. Your hair had been let in loose curls down your back, normally you wore it up and out of the way so he didn’t normally get to admire your hair falling around your face. The dress hugged each of your curves beautifully, but the color was irritating him. Surely it was tailored to match whatever the Prince was wearing and General Kirigan couldn’t let that slide.
“Well? Am I presentable?” You ask the General, knowing you’ll need his say-so before you’re party ready.
“Nearly.” The General says, his voice trailing off into a whisper as he leans over towards the Tailor. You can see her smile but it’s quickly masked, and you don’t know what he’s saying to her. Quickly the Tailor ushers you back into the bathroom and fumbles around for a few things from her kit. She turns back to you with concentration on her face and soon the appearance of your dress begins to change. The red color fades away and is replaced with an inky black color, and the silver detailing morph into gold detailing. Soon the dress remains mostly the same, except for the fact that it matches the Kefta the General is wearing. When you step out of the bathroom again, you see a pleased look upon the General’s face.
“Now you’re ready.”
»»————- ✼ ————-««
Your arm was hooked with the Generals as you entered the main hall of the Grand Palace, your eyes immediately traveling to all the ornate decorations covering the walls. Decorated window curtains, glass chandeliers, a wide ballroom laid out in front of you. It was crowded with people, a soft Orchestra playing in the background, and soft chatter. The General wore an easy smile across his face. He was keeping up appearances, you know he didn’t want to be here. His arm held you to his side tightly, and looming before you was the throne for the King and Queen. Stood on each side of them were the Princes, Vasily stood next to the King, and Nikolai next to the Queen. The King looked positively delighted to see the General.
“General Kirigan! Good you could make it. You remember my sons Vasily and Nikolai don’t you?” The King gestured to both of the Princes, and while Vasily regarded the General with a polite smile, Nikolai’s eyes were firmly on you.
“Yes of course, allow me to introduce the Princes to my Personal Healer- Y/N.” General Kirigan sounds almost proud as he introduces you, and you bow for the Princes who both send you a smile. Although Nikolai’s smile is flirtier then this brothers, who remains polite. The Queen’s eyes trail down your gown, noticing the slight shimmer to the fabric.
“Your dress is lovely, you must have had a good Tailor.” She smiles and you blush as you take your place next to the General, your arm slipping through his with ease.
“Well actually it was a gift from Prince Nikolai. T-Thank you for such a generous gift!” You inform her shyly, feeling General Kirigan’s body go slightly rigid beside you. You carefully peek at the General, and you notice he’s locked in a heated stare-down with Prince Nikolai.
“You’re very welcome, did the color not suit you?” He asks and it’s just now that you notice the Kefta he’s wearing matched your dresses previous color perfectly.
“Oh not at all-”
“I thought it would be better for my Healer to match my Kefta, your highness.” The General cuts in, his voice polite but firm. The General says it as if you should match because you’re his Healer but you know what he’s really saying. He’s telling the Prince he wanted you to match his Kefta and not Nikolai’s, General Kirigan is saying that you belong to him and the Prince knows that.
“Of course.” The Prince’s tone is tense, and the smile on his face looks practiced. You stay firmly placed by the Generals side, offering a polite smile as the General nearly drags you away from the royalty and further into the party. You can feel the frustration washing off the General in waves, your hand curling around his bicep a little tighter as a weak attempt to calm him. Kirigan almost cant stand the sight of you wearing a dress the Prince picked for you, but seeing the Princes face when he realized the dress he picked no longer matched his Kefta, but the General’s instead was wonderful enough to make up for it.
“General? I apologize but you’re needed urgently-” A Grisha solider pushes gently through the crowd and begins to whisper hastily in the General’s ear. You see annoyance cross onto the General’s face before he shoos the Grisha away. He turns towards you, leaning down to brush his lips over the shell of your ear. The small action sends shivers down your spine.
“Can you manage by yourself for a few minutes? There’s something I need to attend to, but I should be back shortly.” He whispers and you quickly offer him a nod before slipping your arm from his. General Kirigan shoots you an apologetic look before following the path the Grisha took before he disappears from sight. You hold a glass in your palm, although you’re not sure what the shimmering liquid is. You feel slightly out of place, and everyone steers clear of you. They saw you with the General, and are probably going to continue to ignore you to prevent receiving the Generals wrath.
“Y/N, right?” You hear a voice to your right and you know who it is before you even turn. Only one person is brave enough to approach somebody the General has placed an ‘unspoken’ claim on.
“Prince Nikolai.” You smile politely, taking a step to the side to create a small amount of distance from you and the Prince. He sips at his glass, a twinkling of mischievousness in his eyes.
“So tell me the real reason the color of your dress was altered. I thought we would have complimented each other nicely.” His voice is smooth like honey, his eyes a cool amber. It’s not that you find the Prince unattractive, quite the opposite actually. You just aren’t interested in him that way, and his good looks could never compare to General Kirigan. The Prince is clean cut and refined, while the General is rugged and untamed. They’re opposites in every way, and you just can’t be attracted to anybody else. Prince Nikolai could never compare to the General.
“I apologize Prince Nikolai, but I wanted to match the General.” You say with ease, finally allowing yourself to take a sip of the mystery drink in your hand. A look you can’t place briefly crosses over Prince Nikolai’s face, if you didn’t know any better you’d say he looked hurt.
“I see.” Is all he says and for the next few minutes you feel a tense silence before a hand presses against the small of your back. You turn your head and nearly breathe a sigh of relief.
“General.” You smile, although his eyes are firmly on Prince Nikolai. His hand gently pulls you closer to his side, and your heart races the tiniest bit faster when his hand curls around your hip to rest there. You know you and the General aren’t together, but the placement of his hand tells people otherwise. You lean further into his side, and you can feel his body relax ever-so-slightly as you do so. When the Orchestra plays a slow song, General Kirigan glances down at you with a raised brow.
“Prince Nikolai, if you’ll excuse us.” General Kirigan says when you notice other couples moving to the dance floor, including the King and Queen. He turns then and leads you out to the ballroom floor, his hand pressing against your lower back, holding your chest flush with his. He takes your hand with his free hand and soon you are both gently swaying to the music. The lights in the ballroom dim, the stars twinkling outside becoming even brighter.
“General, could I ask you a question?” You ask softly, relaxing into his embrace. When you hear him hum softly in response you turn your head up to look at him, he towers over you. You nibble on your bottom lip, your heart beginning to race like mad in your chest. His grip on your palm shifts to allow his fingers to lace through yours gently.
“Why does Prince Nikolai make you so...upset?” You ask, and deep down you know the answer. You just need him to say it. General Kirigan’s eyes flicker to meet yours, an expression on his face that you can’t read. His body presses more firmly against yours when his hold on your lower back tightens, pulling you even closer to him then you were before. You wished you could stay here in this moment with him forever, just the two of you and nobody else. You know that in your heart, you’ve fallen in love with General Kirigan but you doubt he’d ever feel the same way.
“Because I dislike the amount of attention he gives you.” General Kirigan admits, his eyes turning away from yours. You thumb rubs circles over the back of his hand subconsciously as your mind tries to grasp what he just said.
“Prince Nikolai could devote his entire life to attempting to impress me, and it would make no difference General.” You say softly, drawing his gaze back to yours. Your faces are nearly touching, your noses brushing against each others as you lean up on your tippy toes to be closer to him.
“Why not?” He can’t help himself as he asks, surely there’s not a chance you could ever feel for him what he feels for you. Part of him hates himself for being so weak, for allowing his heart to care for you, for allowing a weakness to crawl into his heart.
“Because he could never mean to me what you mean to me General, no matter how hard he tries...he could never be you.” You whisper softly, your cheeks burning hot and your eyes refusing to meet his. General Kirigan feels every emotion he’s tried to push away flood through him then, joy, excitement, glee, pure happiness. A small smile overtakes his face as he leans down to whisper in your ear for the second time tonight.
“What?” You’re startled to say the least, pulling back to look into his eyes. Did he just...?
“That’s my name.” He clarifies, a full smile on his face now. You feel your heart pounding heavily in your chest when you suddenly hear a loud explosion. Startled, you push yourself into General- Aleksander’s chest. His arms curl around your body as the floor to ceiling windows are thrown open, and fireworks are seen outside. Immediately people flood out onto the Palace garden to view the fireworks, and Aleksander is gently leading you outside with them. Your hand is still locked with his as your head tips up to watch the colors explode in the sky. The Alkemi really pulled all the stops for this firework show. Your breath is stolen right from your lungs as you watch the fireworks go off, but soon you feel Aleksander’s fingers turning your face to look at him. Your eyes lock onto his before you’re leaning forward to connect your lips to his.
His arms wrap around your torso to pull you against him tighter, your arms flying up around his shoulders. You hear the fireworks exploding above you and the cheering of the crowd around you, but soon all of them fade away until it’s just you and Aleksander out in the garden alone. You don’t notice the people cheering for the fireworks around you, and you certainly don’t notice Prince Nikolai eyeing you with a broken heart from across the garden. He’s heard much of your victories in battle, and he knows more about you then you thought. When you part from Aleksander, you see a smile on his face and you know that same smile is mirrored on your own face.
»»————- ✼ ————-««
By the time you make it back into Aleksander’s room, the moon is at it’s peak in the sky but you don’t feel tired. You stand shyly in his doorway, usually this is around the time you’d bid the General goodnight and begin the short trek to your room. But you’re not ready to say goodnight, you’re not ready for tonight to be over just yet and you can only hope he isn’t either. You bite the inside of your cheek just as you turn to head back into the hallway.
“Leaving so soon?” You hear his voice cut through the silence, and when you turn you see hurt flashing in his eyes. Does he want you to stay?
“I assumed you’d want me to go...like I normally do.” You say softly, your cheeks burning hot.
“Stay.” Is all he says, and it’s all you need to hear. You take a few steps into his room, shutting the door softly behind you. Aleksander crosses the room to you, his hands cupping your cheeks and pulling your lips back onto his. Your hands grab at the lapels of his Kefta, drawing him ever closer to you. His lips move languidly against yours before the kiss grows more desperate, his hands yanking your legs around his waist as he lifts you easily. His palms rest on the globes of your ass, quickly turning you and placing you down on the desk, not caring about the papers that are sent scattering off the desk. Your hands are trembling as your fingers work to unfasten the buttons of his Kefta. His hands don’t know where to touch first, gently grasping at the underside of your breasts before trailing down your curves, feeling how the dress hugs you so perfectly.
“G-General!” You gasp as his lips latch onto your pulse point, his hands digging into your hips. You finally unbutton his Kefta completely, pushing the fabric from his shoulders as soon as it’s freed. You yank at his dress shirt until its untucked from his pants, and his hands reach up your back to pull at the zipper securing your dress.
“Desperate?” Aleksander teases as he slowly pulls the zipper down your dress, the shoulders falling down your arms. You nod frantically, in truth you’ve never felt this desperate for anybody in your whole life. Your palms cup his cheeks, pulling his lips back to yours as his hands pull your dress down your body until it bunches at your waist. You’re practically panting against his lips as one of Aleksander’s hands slides up your thigh before he pulls away from you. He pulls back, just far enough that your lips can’t reach his. You try anyway, leaning forward and chasing his lips with an open mouth. He chuckles softly but stays just out of reach.
“What’s wrong?” You whine, your hands resting on his shoulders. Aleksander has a smile on his face, his hands are still on your hips, holding you tightly. He can’t believe that you’re here in front of him, letting him kiss you, letting him undress you. If only you knew all of the terrible things he’s done with the very same hands that are touching you, you’d probably want nothing to do with him. Aleksander brushes that thought away.
“Nothing, I just wanted to take in the moment.” He smiles but you groan, pulling helplessly at his shirt. He chuckles before leaning back towards you, pressing his lips to yours again. He loves that you’re so eager for him, so needy for him. Aleksander finishes pushing your dress down your legs, leaving you in nothing more than a pair of panties. His hands reach up to cup the underside of your breasts, his lips moving quickly against yours. Your hands reach to the hem of his shirt, and you part briefly to pull his dress shirt over his head.
“Sure about this?” Aleksander mumbles against your lips as his hand dips into your panties to drag a finger through your drenched folds. You nod helplessly against his lips, your fingers digging into his shoulders when he pushes a lewd finger into your tight opening. He thrusts his finger into you quickly, loving the desperate whines coming from your lips.
“Words please.” He says softly, quickly pressing a second finger into you. Your nails press crescent moons into his shoulders when he crooks his fingers into you, making you squeal.
“Yes, yes I’m sure about this.” You gasp, his thumb making contact with your clit and rubbing tight little circles. Your lips press firmly to his again, and he swallows all of your moans. Aleksander groans softly when he feels you grind your hips into his hand, your back arching as his other hand slides up your stomach to pinch your nipple.
“God all I want is you Aleksander-” You moan, saying his real name for the first time. Hearing you moan his name has shivers trembling down his back, and his fingers pulling out of your tight heat. Your hands are reaching for the waistband of his pants, fumbling with the button before you give up and Aleksander is swatting your hands away. He quickly undoes his pants and reaches into them to pull his hardening cock out. With one hand, he rips your panties from your body, leaving you naked and sprawled across his desk. It’s not a sight he’ll ever forget. He steps into your spread legs, one hand on his cock and the other hand on your hip as he presses his tip against your slippery folds. Your hands pull his chest against yours as you press your face into his neck when he pushes into you. Both of you release a moan simultaneously when you feel him stretching you open.
“Please tell me this isn’t a one time thing-”
“Stop talking.” He growls before pressing his lips against yours as he continues to work himself inch by inch into you. You mewl against his lips as he bottoms out, his tip nestled against the spot that makes your toes curl. It burns just a bit, but you’re still panting against him as he stays completely still inside you. You try to pull your hips back but his hands lock you in place, a playful smile on his face as he watches you roll your hips. His pupils are blown open in lust as he holds you against him, and he feels you growing wetter by the second. You want him to move so badly, you feel tears of frustration pushing at the backs of your eyes as you weakly try to once again get him to move inside you.
“Move please.” You beg shamlessly and Aleksander presses a quick kiss to your lips.
“You have to promise me something first.” He says softly and you groan, rolling your hips desperately again. He’s so hard inside you, you can feel your walls squeezing him tightly.
“Anything!” You nearly cry out, you ignore him when you hear him chuckle softly.
“Promise me that you’re mine. I can’t have anybody else seeing you this way.” Aleksander growls, starting to feel a little impatient himself. Your hands pull his bare chest against yours, your lips a hair’s distance away from his.
“I promise. I’m yours, only yours.” You promise, your hips wriggling against his once more. Seemingly satisfied, Aleksander pulls his hips back and slams back into you, causing you to cry out as he sets a brutal pace. He slams into you, ramming his tip against your g-spot repeatedly. You cry out as his lips latch onto your neck, leaving bruises in his wake as he bites and suckles any skin he can find. Your arms wind around his shoulders as he slams into you, reducing you to nothing more than a boneless moaning mess underneath him. Your lips press to his and you kiss him with a fiery passion, your body rocking against his. Suddenly Aleksander pulls out, gently yanking you off the desk to bend you over it. Your toes barely touch the ground before he’s sliding into you again, taking you roughly from behind. You hear him hiss through clenched teeth as his hand runs up your spine to twist your hair around his hand. He yanks you up onto your elbows by your hair, holding you in place as he keeps his brutal pace.
“Oh yes, yes-” All you can do is cry out and moan underneath him, all of your thoughts reduced to nothing more than endless praises to his cock. His grip on your hair loosens before your upper body collapses against the desk again, and his hands move instead to your hips to draw your body back against him to meet his thrusts. Pulling you back against him allows him to ram even deeper inside you, and you can feel his tip hit your cervix every time he thrusts into you. One of his hands reaches around your body to pinch and roll your clit and as soon as he does you’re crying out and moaning like a bitch in heat. His teeth are clenched as he groans above you, you feel absolutely heavenly.
“Fuck, fuck! Gonna cum, I’m gonna cum!” You cry out helplessly, your hip bones screaming in pain every time they’re rammed against the edge of the desk. Aleksander doesn’t slow down even for a second, continuing to brutally pound into you, desperate to chase his own release. Aleksander yanks your torso up so that your back is pressed to his chest and one of his hands reaches down to roll your clit. You cry out desperately as your orgasm washes through you, causing you to clamp down around him tightly. Aleksander fucks up into you, slamming into your overstimulated body until you’re violently trembling and soon he’s cumming in hot spurts. Your exhausted body nearly collapses to the floor when he pulls out and steps away. Aleksander immediately reaches forward to catch you before you crumple to the floor.
He scoops you into his arms and gently carries you to the bed, and you practically melt into the mattress. You see concern pooling in his eyes as he pulls the blankets over you, his thumbs brushing over the bruises on your neck and shoulders, plus the purple bruises on your hipbones from the desk. He leans down to press his lips to your gently and you smile into the kiss.
“I know that look, stop worrying. I can Heal myself in the morning, I’m too tired now.” You reassure him and his worry eases a bit before he’s standing to turn out all of the lights and slide into the bed next to you. Aleksander reaches over to pull your limp body against his chest. Pressing a kiss to your head, he holds you against him tightly.
“Did I go too hard?” He asks into the silence and you nuzzle into his warm chest.
“It was perfect Aleksander.” You promise, pressing a kiss against his chest. He relaxes then with you in his arms. Soon he hears your breathing even out and he knows you’re asleep. Aleksander knows by now that he’s falling in love with you, but for your sake he has to keep his distance. He’ll have to find a new Healer, no matter how much it pains him to do so. If anybody found out the Black Heretic loved somebody, you’d be in grave danger and frankly, Aleksander is afraid of what he’d do if he ever lost you. His heart breaks when he remembers what he has to do tomorrow, but luckily it isn’t tomorrow yet and he can enjoy laying here with you sleeping in his arms.
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Fools in the Darkness: Chapter Two
Darkling x Reader
Warnings: Death, violence, drugs (Parem), NSFW and sexual content. This content is explicit and 18+ at some points.
A/N: Once again I am showing off how I have zero self control when it comes to creating stable fic uploads! I simply write another chapter and then upload it immediately. I’m so sorry when this will eventually start to die down, but for now let’s enjoy the start of the story, I guess? I’m astounded at the immense love this got! Thank you all so much!
Word Count - 4k
Inej returned with three glasses of whiskey. Kaz was sat opposite you at his desk, crow-headed cane secured in one of his leather gloved hands. Inej put the glasses on the desk, before picking up and handing one to you.
“Thank you,” You said politely. Despite the few weeks you’d had to acquaint yourself with the types of people that Ketterdam housed, Inej seemed different. She was a fighter, you could see that clearly, but she also seemed... soulful. Like she had a heart, bursting to the brim with kindness and care, despite the Wraith she had to become living in a place such as the Barrel.
“So, what, the Darkling took you in?” Kaz asked, impatience all over his voice. He grabbed his glass sternly, tapping the sides with his covered fingers.
“This is only the beginning of this story,” You replied.
“Well, get to it,” He said quickly.
“I told you it was a long story, Mr. Brekker. It’ll probably take us most of the night. Can your business wait that long?” You raised a brow at him knowingly. There were men such as Kaz in the Little Palace—impatient, to the point, needing answers immediately.
“Listen, Kaz,” Inej spoke up. “I have a feeling we’ve only skimmed the tip of the iceberg,”
You regarded Inej, taking in her petite frame, the glint of the knives on her body; you counted them quickly, efficiently, until you’d added up fourteen in total. Knives for days, and you’d wager a bet that she knew how to use each one to its full advantage, as if they were an extension of her body.
Kaz breathed out shallowly, shooting Inej a stare. She accepted it gracefully, not even flinching from the obvious tension that had begun to float between them.
“Your sister,” Kaz spoke, his eyes still on Inej, until he finally turned to you once more. He nodded once, sternly and quickly, but you got the message loud and clear—I’m sorry. You swallowed uncomfortably, thankful for the small comfort the tumbler of whiskey gave you as you gripped it in your hands.
“Right, where were we?”
The Little Palace, 1 Year Ago
You woke in a bright room, unrecognisable from where you’d been before—in the snow, the ice, shrouded in a darkness that the Darkling seemed to gravitate towards himself involuntarily. You looked at your hands as they shook; dirt was under your nails, dotted with dried and muddied blood—your sister was still on your very skin.
That’s when you shot up, your heartrate exploding suddenly. She wasn’t here, her body wasn’t on the floor at your feet, nor in the bed next to you. You were trapped inside four walls of creams and golds, with décor that you’d only dreamed of ever seeing.
It was unmistakable—you were in the Little Palace, the one place you’d begged the Darkling not to take you to. He’d done it anyway, after you passed out from your extreme exhaustion.
Now you started to panic, as you looked out of the grand windows of the room. A courtyard was down below, empty of people and carriages. It was still early morning by the sun placement; the palace was quiet. The Grisha lay sleeping in their rooms, the General was in his own—
You were alone.
And saints, you weren’t going to stick around. Not with your sister’s body still lying in the Fjerdan snow, waiting for wolves to find her.
You jumped out of bed, ignoring the way your muscles were screaming at you to return to the pristine sheets. Your feet were bare, and one glance at the floor showed you your shoes had been taken. What for, you didn’t know. Maybe they thought that would be enough to prevent you running.
You almost laughed, imagining the spoilt Grisha deciding to remove your boots—She won’t run with bare feet. She won’t. Little did they know, you’d run with bare feet before. And you’d easily do it again.
You tiptoed to the bedroom door, making as little noise as possible. At the last second, before your fingers curled around the handle, you decided to drop to the floor. You lay on your stomach, shoving your skull to the floor and shutting one eye—there were two feet shaped shadows under the door.
One guard, stood on watch.
This complicated things just a tad, but you were already hatching a plan by the time you stood up again. You gave yourself a few moments to stretch your poor limbs, feeling the adrenaline course through your blood and spur you forward. Without hesitation, you curled your fingers around the handle to your room, and yanked it open—
The guard whipped his hatted head around to you immediately, but he wasn’t quick enough to get into a defensive stance. You grabbed him by the collar, pulling him aggressively into your room, before you twisted him round and placed him in a headlock.
The two of you flopped to the floor, but that allowed you to secure his body to the ground with your legs, wrapping them around his torso so he couldn’t wind his way out of your grip. That’s when you tugged—hard against his windpipe.
He struggled and flailed like a freshly caught fish, but you knew it wouldn’t be long until he passed out and went jelloid. You kept your grip on him tightly, keeping him glued to the ground and his neck secure between your chest and forearm, being pulled taut by your other arm.
Eventually, he stopped fighting. His eyes fluttered closed slowly, his body slipped into a state of sleep.
You left him on the bedroom floor then, opting not to take his uniform in case he woke up while you did, and left the room. You clicked the door shut behind you, before beginning a tiptoed journey through the winding corridors of the Little Palace.
Saints, if you had the time, I’m sure you’d have appreciated the décor. It was splendid; all bright whites and creams with accents of shining gold. There were golden curls on blank white walls, intricate designs of Grisha imprinted in the wallpaper and grandiose windows that let the light flood inside.
You felt that, perhaps, the décor made up for the fact this was effectively an army base. The Grisha brought here were trained non-stop. They couldn’t leave, they didn’t have a choice. You’d heard horror stories of this place, back when you used to be safe in Novyi Zem.
“Zowa adawe,” Your neighbour had said. She was an old woman, living a quiet life on her farm. You called her Nana.
She was stern, but often times soft spoken, with her glorious Zemeni skin and gorgeous personality. When you’d found asylum after an unfortunate incident in Kerch, you and your sister had settled in her barn; parentless. She was kind, she ran the farm and let out the barn next door.
She became a grandmother figure immediately, up until the day she died.
Zowa adawe—Grisha fight. Grisha had to fight if they were sent to the Little Palace. There was no getting out it. Nana had said that your powers were beautiful, but she’d always said it with a hint of distain on her lips, as if you were running out of time.
You turned corridor after corridor, praying that no one would see you creeping around this early in the morning. All you had to do was get outside, and then you’d be able to run—run like Hell. Not stopping to look back or even worry if General Kirigan was on your tail. You’d outrun him, even if it killed you.
When you heard voices and footsteps, you flushed yourself against the corridor wall. You didn’t know where they were coming from, or who they were, but with the rags you were wearing the mud dotted over your skin, they’d know you weren’t supposed to be wandering around.
You held your breath, praying that they’d leave, that you’d get out of this fortress unscathed; and then you started moving again. The next corner you turned welcomed you into a large landing. A spiral staircase was before you to your left, only a few metres ahead of you. You lunged quickly, ducking down as not to be seen through the large windows out to the acres of land that surrounded the palace.
“You,” You stopped, swivelling round as your eyes laid upon two Grisha—one in a purple Kefta and one in white. The lady in white had yelled, but neither got into a defensive stance as you faltered backwards, constantly creeping back to the staircase as your heart threatened to bombard out of your chest. The lady in white shot her gaze down the staircase quickly, while the man in purple next to her all but looked confused.
That’s when her gaze tracked back to you once more, her jaw clenched. “Kirigan!” She boomed. You raised your hands quickly.
“Please—just—,” You pleaded in a whisper.
“Kirigan!” She yelled once more, and as the bash of doors sounded from down the stairs, you knew he’d heard loud and clear. The smack of boots ascended the spiral staircase, until the fresh face of General Kirigan hit your own. He slowed on the stairs, overseeing the commotion, before his expression softened.
He raised his hands calmly, widening his eyes in some kind of silent language, meant just for you.
“Now, just calm down,” He said calmly. You shot your gaze from the two Grisha at the end of the corridor, back to the General, before taking in your surroundings. You were blocked in from both ways; there were no doorways on your side of the grand landing.
But, there was an empty corridor, dotted with closed doors, and at the end—
It was as if Kirigan could sense the cogs in your brain whirring. As soon as your eyes lay on the window at the end of the free corridor, he began bounding up the steps. “No!” He yelled, reaching out for the flowing fabric of your blouse, but you were already running.
You pumped your arms and moved your legs as quickly as you could, storming towards the window at full pelt. Your heart was in your throat, your limbs screaming for relief, but all you could think of was your sister—alone, cold, left in the snow in a land that had never been kind to her.
That’s when you jumped, flying with all of the momentum you’d charged up from the run up, crashing straight through the window with all of your force. You ignored the sting of shattered glass as it ripped through your clothes and skin, the pain of the wood panelling breaking apart as your body slammed through the window—
And then you were falling, falling, falling—but you never hit the ground.
You brought your hands together with your eyes clamped shut, mustering your remaining energy into creating a cushion of wind to land on. It circled beneath you, spiralling around your body and stopping your free fall comfortably, until you balled your fists and the winds dissipated.
You landed in a large courtyard outside, shaking shards of glass out of your hair as you stood. You dared to look back at the mess you’d made, staring up at the broken window—
Kirigan stood above you, gazing down at you eerily.
You thought he’d be more frantic at the fact you’d just smashed through a window and were still standing. You thought he’d be rushing to get you back inside, but he wasn’t. He was calm and collected, looking at you as if he’d already worked you out completely. And that was the scariest part of this entire ordeal.
You broke into a run, not looking back as you pumped forward. You could feel his stare on your back the entire time, but you chose to ignore it—even if it all felt too easy.
Before you could make it to the tree line, you started to wane. Your limbs felt like lead, your heart felt like a bowling ball in your chest, and all of a sudden it was far too difficult to suck air into your lungs.
You collapsed to your knees, clutching at your chest as you glanced around the clearing. Before your vision began to blur, the unmistakable colour of red hit you. Red and black, with hands dancing before them. A Grisha—a Heartrender.
You struggled against the obvious magic that he was using upon you to slow your heartrate, to stop your muscles working properly. That’s when a blob of black strolled up beside the Grisha, placing his arm upon his Heartrender.
“Enough, Ivan,” Kirigan said, but you could hardly hear him.
“Heartrender...” You stuttered out, as Kirigan began to approach you slowly. “Playing dirty,” You said, as the rest of you collapsed to the floor. The sky above you circled sickeningly, your vision seeing double. Kirigan stepped above you, his face distorted as you fought against the power of Ivan.
“You’ll soon learn that I’m not the enemy here,” He said softly, as he descended to one knee. He slipped his arms beneath you, before rising. You were cradled in his arms, to incapacitated to fight against him.
“Darkling,” You muttered. You would have added more, but even talking was too much to handle.
General Kirigan carried you back inside, as the doors of the palace were bolted shut by his Heartrender. There was nothing you could do—you were powerless, and you were stuck.
You didn’t fall asleep, but everything felt like a dream. The walk back inside, being carried to a room that wasn’t the one you awoke in, feeling the strength of Kirigan’s arms holding you up without as much as a grunt of exertion.
Kirigan gently dropped you into a large armchair, letting your head fall back against plush leather. He straightened himself, going to sit in a chair opposite you. He picked up a small bell from the table between you, ringing it once, before putting it back down and leaning back in his own chair.
You blinked away the double vision, trying to gain back your composure.
“It’ll ease. Ivan slowed your heart into a death state,” Kirigan said calmly. You were getting annoyed at the way his voice filled the air around you, floated into your ears smoothly. You didn’t want to listen. “That was quite a show,”
You think you scoffed, or maybe you tried too, because the corners of Kirigan’s mouth upturned ever so slightly.
“I told you not to bring me here,” Your words were slurred, almost as if you were drunk. You fought against the want to drift into a sleep, but he was right—it was easing with every passing minute.
“You never told me why,” He replied. You forced yourself to look at him, as your eyes adjusted. There weren’t two of him anymore; just one man. One man who’d dragged you here against your will, leaving your sister alone on Fjerdan soil.
“You left my sister there to rot,” You said, stronger this time. “How could you think I’d stay here when you left her?” Kirigan’s expression didn’t change, but he did look around when someone entered the room, carrying a pot of tea with two cups and saucers. The tray was placed on the table silently, before the attendant left immediately, clicking the door shut.
Kirigan poured two cups of tea, pushing one set towards you and taking one for himself. He didn’t take a sip yet.
“What do you have against the Little Palace?” He asked. You couldn’t help your scowl from devouring your entire face.
“The King hoards Grisha here like he owns them, like they owe him something. It’s a prison disguised as a lavish life. It’s no worse than the whore houses in Ketterdam,” You replied bluntly.
“Yet you were trying to get to Ravka, weren’t you?” Kirigan was quick to the mark, leaving nothing unturned.
“For my sister,” You said, clenching your jaw. “She’d be safe with the First Army,”
You finally looked in his eyes. They were dark, piercing your very skin, but the way they reflected the light gave them the illusion of warmth. You didn’t want to ever admit that the Darkling was a warm individual, not from the stories of his bloodline that you were taught from a young age.
“I was going to lie and stay with her. My abilities have never offered me much,” You said honestly, but you didn’t know why you were being truthful with this man. You swallowed uncomfortably, telling yourself to stop being so open.
“You killed those druskelle. You protected yourself,” He said. He was right, but you felt sick to your stomach. You saved yourself, but you couldn’t save her. You didn’t. “Your power is unrefined, unpredictable, but strong. I’ve never seen a Squaller summon a storm such as what we saw from the Ravkan border. It’s what lead us to you,”
The General finally took a sip of his tea, daintily rising the cup to his lips, before setting it down slowly on the saucer. You glanced at your own cup, wanting to take a sip too, but you couldn’t make yourself reach for it; not yet.
“We train Grisha here for the King, you’re right,” He continued, when you kept your mouth clamped shut. “But we also allow them to refine their abilities and hone their craft. This is a safe place for Grisha, when there are many out there who would try and take advantage of such power,”
“I never asked for this power,” You said quickly.
“No. But you can control it,” He replied, stronger this time. He had a smile on his face, leaning slightly forward, as if he truly wanted you to know why the Little Palace was good. “Wouldn’t you feel better? If you could truly harness your power? Bend it to your exact will?”
You swallowed once, frowning as you looked in his eyes. You wanted to say that you didn’t trust him—and never would. You wanted to splash scolding tea across his treacherous face, but you did neither.
“I’d feel better if I’d buried my sister, before you gave me a life sentence,”
Kirigan stood then, turning his back to you to stand before the window behind him. His hands were together behind his back, his chin high and shoulders broad. He wore all black, but you’d expect nothing different from a man who went by the Darkling.
He thought in depth, calmly, quietly, while you debated having some of your tea. It was steaming and warm and calling out to you. You knew it wasn’t poisoned because he’d already taken a sip, but you were still wary.
“How about a proposal?” He said then, turning back to look at you. You scoffed.
“I’d rather marry a horse than you,” You let out. It was an obvious joke, but you hadn’t expected the words to spill from your lips. Kirigan raised his brows, almost boyishly, taking you by surprise.
“We have fine horses here, I’m sure we could find you a great husband,” He hit back with. Saints forbid, he’d joked back. You hated to admit it, but your shoulders relaxed then, as a small giggle burst from within your gut. He came to sit opposite you once more, taking another sip of tea.
This time, you mimicked him. You picked up your own cup, bringing it to your lips and sipping heartily. Warm tea cascaded down your throat, bringing more strength back to your muscles.
“You train here,” Kirigan began. “You train here and learn to fully control your powerful Squaller abilities, with the help of myself,” You frowned slightly as he mentioned himself, but nevertheless let him continue. “And then, when you’re ready, I’ll... let you slip out undetected,”
That’s when you choked on your tea. You placed the cup back down on the saucer messily, spilling tea on his table.
“You’d let me out?” You stuttered. “No. No fucking way would you let that happen. I know the stories, General. The stoic man, damaged by his bloodline and his image,” As you spoke, Kirigan’s jaw tensed. “You wouldn’t let a Grisha slip out of your ranks,”
He cleared his throat slightly, straightening his shoulders. “I will, if it means you’ll let me train you first,”
You furrowed your brows at him, the cogs in your brain whirring. “Why are you so interested in my abilities? I’m no Sun Summoner, General. I can’t destroy the Fold—,”
“This isn’t about the Fold,” He interrupted you. “This is about you,” He said it with such surety that it almost took your breath away. You were silent, pondering what to say from your rapidly firing thoughts. “Squallers are never as powerful as you have proven to be,” He leaned forward on the dark wood table, coming in close to you. You were too frozen in place to move, too stubborn to back away from him. “I want to see what else you can do, with the right training,”
You stood abruptly, after he’d finished talking. You ignored the disastrous way you looked, with shards of glass still in your hair and small scratches all over your bare skin. Your feet were bad; you could tell just from the way your soles felt; but you pushed through.
“This is a deal,” You said strongly. “A proper deal—a vow,”
Kirigan stood then, too, strolling round until he was face to face with you.
“I’m a man of my word,” He said plainly, before he stuck out a strong hand. You stared at his wrist, his fingers, before slipping your own hand into his. You both shook on it, cementing the deal that he’d offered. If you felt he was lying at any moment, you wouldn’t hesitate to break out of the Little Palace and slip through his fingers.
“Fine,” You said, pulling your hand from his grasp. He looked down at you with an air of knowledge, but his eyes showed you something else; a softness, excitement, sadness. It was so intense that you simply had to look away.
“Your sister,” He said then, causing you to flinch as you scowled back at him. “Men have already been sent to the border to collect her,” He said it so plainly that you were sure he was making it up, but your heart panged as he kept talking. “They’ll bring her here in two days’ time. She will have a proper burial,”
You could have cried, if your body wasn’t on fire. You would have screamed and sobbed if you weren’t stood in front of someone such as General Kirigan. In this world, crying was always a weakness. Emotions were meant to be felt in private. Pain was only to be felt behind closed doors. You wouldn’t give up that ingrained way of life so quickly, as much as you wanted to collapse on the floor when you thought of your sister.
You tried to find the words to say something in response to General Kirigan, but nothing came out. All you could muster was a curt nod, to which he reciprocated with his own.
“Rest. Eat. Drink. You have today to recuperate,” He said sternly.
“Before the Grisha here eat me alive,” You whispered. Kirigan let out the smallest huff.
“Show them your power, and they’ll leave you be,” He said, before his hand curled around your forearm tightly. You gasped at his touch, expecting it to be cold, dark, hostile—but he was just a man. He was just... a fucking man.
With eyes and a nose and a mouth. With shining hair and stubble and broad shoulders. With hips that dipped to his thighs and knees that met his calves.
It was scary, to say the least. You knew what this man was capable of. You knew what he could do, but instead he promised you freedom. He promised to train you, to bury your sister, to keep you safe here while he could.
But that didn’t mean you trusted him. That didn’t mean you weren’t wary—
If only you’d stayed this on edge, this untrusting. Maybe things would have been different.
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