I can’t believe we’re going to get little mentions of soft, established Nessian in future books... like???? Imagine!!
“Azriel sighed as he entered the office, not because of the news he had to deliver from his latest mission, but because of the sight that greeted him. The sight that always seemed to greet him lately. Feyre and Rhysand were bad enough, but Nesta and Cassian were worse. Because they thought they were being subtle. They thought no one could see Cassian’s thumb just under the back of Nesta’s top, stroking up and down the divet of her spine. They thought that no one marked the way Nesta’s face and posture tightened every time someone mentioned Cassian going on a mission- which was his gods damned job. But she never said anything. Never said no or told him it was too dangerous. Just stiffened in worry. And that quiet intimacy, the silent worry... that was so much worse than overt affection. Because it was something Az could find himself craving, could feel his heart aching for, and that was almost unbearable.”
“We can’t hold Elain back, Nesta.” Feyre sighed “if she wants to do this then...” she trailed off and Nesta clenched her jaw so tightly her teeth almost broke inside of her skull. Rhys cast an eye toward Cassian, but he was already moving toward his mate, one hand outstretched. It had been over a year, but the High Lord’s eyes still nearly popped out of his head every time Nesta relaxed and let Cassian pull her to his side like a sleeping tiger cub. Claws retracted, but never fully out of sight. Cass whispered something low and gruff in her ear and Nesta glared at her mate.
“I hate you”
“You hate me because I’m right.”
“It just happens so rarely that I’m never sure how to react.” Cassian barked a laugh in the same moment Rhys and Feyre did. “That wasn’t a joke” Nesta shrugged.
mor would probably never be friends with Nesta the way that she was with Feyre. They just weren’t... compatible. But even she had to admit that she’d been wrong about her and Cassian. And Mor never admitted to being wrong. But every now and then she’d stumble across them when no one else was around, like right now. Dawn loomed over the river palace and everyone else had long gone to sleep, which meant that Mor was in search of wine. What she found instead was Cassian sitting in front of the fire in an overstuffed armchair, Nesta perched across his thighs with her legs draped over the arm of the chair. One of Cassian’s hands was on her hip, the other holding a mug of tea that Mor knew was Nesta’s. Because Nesta’s hands were busy, twisting themselves through the silken strands of Cassian’s hair, weaving them into tame braids that Mor would have bet money would be impossible to coax those unruly strands into. And Cassian, Lord of Bloodshed, General Commander of Night, the most powerful Illyrian warrior in centuries, was leaning into her touch, eyes closed in perfect contentment, moving only to press a kiss to Nesta’s wrist every time it came close enough. Yes, Mor thought, she’d never been so spectacularly wrong in her very long life.
Gwyn was busy doing everything she could to staunch the flow of blood from Azriel’s side. If it was a normal blade it would never have been a fatal wound, but with ash wood... who knew. She was so focused on her task that she almost didn’t notice Koschei advancing towards them again. Not until Ataraxia’s massive weight gleamed silver in front of her.
“Take one more step towards my brother and sister, and it will be the last thing you ever do.” She growled.
Koschei stilled, a smirk playing on his lips “you do not frighten me, Nesta Archeron. Once, perhaps, but love made you weak as it has so many others.”
Nesta took a step forward, and for all of his grand words, Koschei took one back. “You will not be the first deathless creature to underestimate me and meet their end by this blade.”
Koschei laughed, shadows pulsing in time with Azriel’s own, even as they were fading. They didn’t have much time. He needed a healer, a real healer. Gwyn pressed her hands harder into Az’s side, thinking that she would rip the skin from her wrist if she could patch it over his own.
Then she saw Nesta smile, felt a change in the wind, and breathed a sigh of relief as Koschei faltered. As the entire grassy expanse beside the lake was flooded with red the colour of watery blood.
No one knew they were here. No one knew about Az’s crazy spying against Rhys’ orders or that Gwyn insisted on following him and Nesta insisted on following her. No one knew, but of course Cassian did. Of course the mating bond must have been screaming at him that the other half of his heart was in danger. The shock and the blast of power was enough to knock Koschei down, enough to distract him.
Lady Death positively beamed in deranged delight at the arrival of her true sword, her mate, her love. “What was that about love being a weakness?”
Those were the last words Koachei the deathless heard before a once mortal girl separated his head from his shoulders with a single swing of her Made sword.
In the end, he put up less resistance than the ribbon.
“I would murder you all for this insane plan if I hadn’t just flown 4 hours to save your sorry asses” Cassian growled.
Nesta only rose on her toes to kiss him, black blood smearing both of their lips. And because Gwyn knew that Cassian’s ability to stay mad at Nesta was nonexistent she felt no qualms interrupting the moment.
“You haven’t saved us all yet.”
Cassian’s face turned grave as they all sunk to their knees before the shadowsinger. He ripped into an inside pocket of his leather jacket and produced a vial that he poured down Azriel’s throat. “From Thesan” he said “it’ll counteract the Ashwood, but he still needs a healer for the wounds.” Cassian cast an eye upward “Day is closer than Night. I’ll take him there and be back in a couple hours.” He lifted his brother easily, throwing up a shield to protect him from the wind “try not to get into a fight with any other true immortals while I’m gone.”
“No promises” Gwyn and Nesta responded in unison.
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