You Painted Me Golden — Chapter 5
Summary: Elain enters her reputation era. This chapter includes: girl talk, confrontations, and first times.
This story can also be found on AO3
Chapter 5 — I Did Something Bad
They say I did something bad — Then why’s it feel so good?
The silk sheets of Azriel’s bed clung to Elain’s sweaty back and the sound of the wooden bed frame hitting the wall rang out through the room — it was accompanied by Azriel’s heavy breathing, the high-pitched moans creeping out of Elain’s throat, and the repetitive slapping of skin as Azriel thrust into her. The hard bud’s of Elain’s breasts grazed against Azriel’s damp chest, she had just found out that night how sensitive they were, and Azriel wasn’t afraid to torture her with that information.
His rough hand grasped her left knee, the one with the evidence of their bargain marked upon it, and lifted her leg up higher. Elain’s scream reached an octave she didn’t know was possible as he reached deeper in her than ever before.
When she had knelt before him earlier that night in order to rid Azriel of his clothing, she was shocked at the sight of his cock — thick and veiny and glistening right before her eyes. The length startled her, and she suddenly wondered if she had gotten in over her head, but the deep moan Azriel let out as her fingers drifted over his sensitive skin caused her insides to warm and briefly swept away all her worries. Elain had the urge lick the blunt tip of him, and briefly thought about ignoring it, but the way his glazed, golden eyes stared down at her through heavy lids practically dared her to do it.
His hand fisted in her hair at the touch of her tongue, and he pulled her head back abruptly — otherwise he ran the risk of coming right there on her face, even though the image of Elain covered in his seed was deeply appealing. This was so like the dream he had while he was away that Azriel was almost convinced himself that he was dreaming again, but he wasn’t. Azriel had forgotten his strength and accidentally jerked her head back a little too roughly, but the way Elain’s cheeks flushed and the small sound that escaped her told Azriel everything he needed to know. His little fawn liked it.
She looked at him with wide, trusting eyes and Azriel said, “We have time to explore that later.”
Azriel had shadow-walked her home this morning back to the river house. He placed the most delicate of all kisses on her cheek and stepped away before the door opened to a fuming Rhysand.
“Get. In. Here. Now.” Rhysand said through clenched teeth, his violet eyes were spitting fire at Azriel. Elain felt a blush scorch her cheeks as she realized she hadn’t bathed since yesterday morning — everyone in the house could smell the evidence of what she and Azriel had done last night.
Elain quickly walked past her brother-in-law as he held the door open for her, and she noticed that Rhysand didn’t wait for Azriel. He followed her as she walked into the living room off to the side, where Feyre was sitting having tea. Her sister looked pale as she held a delicate, porcelain tea cup and stirred in her sugar. The faint tapping of the silver spoon echoed throughout the room as they waited for Azriel to join them, and Elain felt the sinking suspicion that she and Azriel were about to be scolded like a couple of teenagers.
Rhysand was clenching his jaw so tightly that Elain thought his teeth would shatter completely. He stood with crossed arms watching his Spymaster and sister-in-law. Elain knew exactly how they looked. They both wore the same clothing from yesterday; Elain’s blue dress had lost some of its luster and gained wrinkles and creases from where it laid at the foot of Azriel’s bed, there was even a tiny tear that appeared when Azriel had taken it off, and the bow tied at the back of her neck had gone limp. Her hair was knotted, tangled, and frizzed from the friction of Azriel’s pillow.
Azriel didn’t look too different. His clothes were oddly neat, but a pleased smile graced his lips.
“What the fuck were you thinking?” Rhysand growled, his violet eyes burning bright as he looked at them. They were a respectable distance apart, but only a fool wouldn’t be able to tell what they were doing just hours ago. Elain was certain that their scents were so laced together that no fae would be able to tell where one scent began and the other ended, especially with the heady smell of desire radiating off of them. Elain loved the aroma so much, the aroma of them that she wanted to bottle it into a perfume and wear it everyday.
Elain fought the urge to reach for Azriel’s hand for strength. If they were going to act like it was a one time thing she would have to distance herself. She took a deep breath.
“I’m not sure how it’s any of your business.” Elain said in a voice that wasn’t unkind and clasped her hands behind her back. She didn’t want anyone to see that they were shaking.
“You’re our sister, Elain,” Feyre said delicately from the couch with an expression of confusion and concern. “We worry when you don’t come home.”
Nuala and Cerridwen must have kept her secrets.
“It wasn’t as if I met some random male, I was with Azriel,” Elain said, her gaze flickered to him to see his stony expression. “I was safe.” If she didn’t know better she would have thought the words had no effect on him, but she did know better. His shoulders relaxed just a bit, and his hands were no longer fisted to the point of showing white knuckles, but they were still balled into fists at his sides.
Rhysand pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes, and he was most likely counting to ten.
“That is besides the point,” Rhys grunted. He opened his eyes and ran an annoyed hand over his face. His glare fixated on Azriel. “Are you incapable of thinking without your cock?”
Azriel’s stare turned deadly, and Elain moved before the two brothers came to blows.
“It was my idea!” She exclaimed, fury bubbled in veins. “I was the one that suggested we leave and…” Her face burned under the eyes of her sister and brother-in-law. Elain wasn’t a prude, as Azriel was aware, but that didn’t mean she wanted ther family knowing the intimate details of her life. “I was the one that wanted a night together. I’ve been attracted to Azriel since I laid eyes on him, and I wanted to act on it.”
Rhysand turned green and looked vaguely disgusted. Feyre, however, looked more confused than ever.
“A night?” Feyre asked.
“Yes,” Elain said with confidence. “One night. We decided it would be for the best if we had one night together to get this… attraction out of our system.” Her stomach curdled at the lie and the heavy silence emanating from Azriel. He knew, Elain comforted herself, he knew that she was lying.
They say I did something bad — but why’s it feel so good?
“I’ve never done this before.” Elain said as she straddled him. Azriel twisted them around, allowing Elain to rest on top of him — her breasts presented to his hungry eyes, and he delighted in the fact that her hair tried desperately to hide the rosy peaks that pebbled forward. Elain felt exposed on top of him like this, but the desire etched plainly on his face and the warm, firm hands that clasped her hips made her feel safe.
She felt his hardness slide against her slick center, and Elain was in awe of the fact that he was able to go again so soon after his release. Azriel’s stamina was added to the ever growing list of surprises that she discovered about him tonight.
His cock twitched and poked at her as Elain slid against him. The animalistic growl that came from his throat told her that he didn’t appreciate the way she was teasing him, so she bit her lip as she raised herself up just to lower onto his impressive length.
Elain felt overwhelmingly full. It felt different being on top, but she wanted to try it. All she could feel was how tauntly she was stretched around him to the point of discomfort. The look of complete and utter bliss on his face made her hesitate, but he had asked her to be vocal about what she felt. She decided to take a little more of him, but abruptly stopped. It hadn’t felt like this when he was on top, it was utterly delicious when he was sliding into her, but now she felt him too much.
“Az?” She asked in a tentatively small voice which caused his eyelids to fly open. “I think you’re too big. At least, it's too big for me — this way.” Elain whispered sheepishly. An embarrassed blush spread across her body, but as soon as the words were out of her mouth he immediately had her on her back. Her head towards the foot of the bed while their feet nudged the pillows, his wings above them.
“I’m sorry,” Azriel sputtered. “I forget how large I am sometimes, and you were taking me so well before.”
It was Azriel’s turn to blush, but her discomfort had eased in this position, and soon that heavenly warmth was pooling in her core once again.
Elain used the tip of her index finger to trace the length of his nose and asked, “Maybe we could work our way up to it? I’d like to try again some day.” She gave a bashful smile.
Azriel smiled a boyish smile in return, and Elain noticed a small indent in his cheek. She let out a gasp, and immediately pressed her pinky into his cheek.
“You have a dimple!” Elain exclaimed.
“What? No I don’t.” Azriel replied. His smile had faded into a look of confusion, which Elain had found utterly charming.
“Yes you do,” Elain stated and pressed down into the spot the dimple had been. “Right there.” Elain giggled as Azriel turned his head to nip at her pinky.
His hips shifted ever so slightly, but it was enough to cause a ripple of pleasure in her, and soon one of his arms was propped beside her head while the other grasped her hip as he drove into her again, and again. All laughter had faded into breathless sighs, which in turn became wails of euphoria as Azriel’s cock hit the sensitive spot deep inside Elain. She clenched around him and screamed as he bit her shoulder — their climaxes coming at the exact same time.
“You did something bad, Elain.” Feyre said, breaking Elain out of her vivid, vivid memories of the night before. She was suddenly grateful her hair was down and covering her shoulders. It was one thing to smell them on eachother, Elain couldn’t help but think Rhysand would have an even stronger reaction if he saw the bite mark Azriel had left on her shoulder. Elain, on the other hand, would run to a mirror as soon as she got the chance. “Lucien is a good male, and he didn’t deserve what you did to him,” Feyre scolded. “I remember what it felt like when I thought Rhys was interested in someone else at the Summer Court. It was completely awful.”
But if he drops my name, then I owe him nothing
Elain couldn’t stop the twinge of guilt that threaded through her, but he had claimed her as his mate to a complete and total stranger.
“Lucien,” The name dripped like acid from Elain’s tongue. “Was acting as if I had accepted the bond, and I hadn’t. I was practically starving for a week because everytime I picked up food he would get this hopeful look on his face. And nobody even noticed. He,” Her hands tightened in anger at the situation, she hated that she was somehow portrayed as an evil shrew for tempting Lucien with the mating bond when she had done nothing. “He claimed me as his mate to complete strangers at Rita’s.
A growl tore through the room, and Elain turned to look at Azriel. The shadowsinger looked like wrath incarnate; Shadows swirling around him to create a black, murky aura. Truth-teller gleamed on his thigh, and a pulse of blue glowed from his siphones. His expression promised war and vengeance, but it was darkly arousing. Elain could help the rush of arousal that overcame her and pooled between her legs, and by the way that his hazel eyes met hers, she was certain that everyone was aware of the effect the shadowsinger had over her.
“One night?” Rhysand asked violently, and Elain clenched her teeth to hold her aggravation at bay.
“Yes,” Elain repeated. “We don’t want to jeopardize our friendship, or the inner circle. It would be awkward, to say the least, if we decided to get involved and have our relationship turn sour. I,” She calmed herself. “I would never forgive myself if I came between Azriel and his family.”
That one sentence seemed to dispel some of the tension in the room. The High Lord and his Spymaster were still tinder ready to combust at the slightest spark, but a weird, uneven peace blanketed the room.
“I don’t understand,” Feyre said, her brows furrowed. She took a small sip of her tea. “Why say you want to explore the mating bond just to explore your… attraction to Azriel?” Her blue eyes looked soft upon her sister.
Elain, standing tall with crossed arms and a determined set to her jaw, said, “I didn’t.” And set her gaze directly upon Rhysand, who turned bashful at his mate’s stare.
“I may have been scheming again, Feyre darling.”
I can feel the flames on my skin
Azriel’s tongue glided along the column of her neck leaving a trail of fire in its wake. His large hands slowly wandered across her body, which was languid after their second bout of lovemaking. A sleepy, sedate moan rippled out of Elain as Azriel trailed his tongue into the hollow of her collar bone.
“You have lovely collar bones,” Azriel muttered, his lips a whisper on her skin. “But then everything about you is lovely.”
Elain opened her heavy eyes and took in the delicious sight of a rumpled Azriel after sex. Warmth started churning deep within her from the look of Azriel alone; His eyes were smoldering as he gazed up at her, his raven hair was sticking out in every direction, and the smile on his face was satisfied and sinful. It was a sight that she wanted to see everyday.
Elain was sprawled on her back with her arms thrown up over her head, and her legs spread to accommodate the heavy male laying on her. She welcomed the heavy weight of him.
“You know what I was surprised to learn?” Elain questioned, and continued when Azriel lifted a dark brow. “That your bottom looks just as cute nude as it does clothed.” She smiled at the light blush that appeared on his cheeks, and she took the opportunity to pinch said bottom which caused Azriel to jump slightly.
“You mean to tell me,” Azriel said and propped himself up on his forearms. “That while I have been waxing poetic in my mind about the lilt of your voice, and your undeniable grace, and your beauty that rivals anything in the natural world, you’ve been thinking about my butt?”
She didn’t try to stifle the laugh that erupted out of her.
“I can’t help it. It’s so distracting and cute,” Elain started laughing so hard a small tear trickled down her cheek. “It’s taken all of my self control not to p-pinch it during one of your training sessions, or just whenever you're standing in front of me. You have a very pinchable bottom, Shadowsinger.”
Azriel looked at her in amazement, and leaned down to press his lips against her lone tear. He supposed if he was going to make her cry it was better to be from laughter than from heartache.
He sighed and said, “You have permission to pinch my butt whenever you like.”
His kiss muffled the sounds of delight that she made.
It was a soft kiss at first, just a brushing of lips, but it turned molten like all of their other kisses that night.
Elain felt as Azriel shifted weight to one warm as the other slid down her skin, stopping momentarily to show appreciation for her breast, before gliding over her stomach and settling between her thighs.
Long fingers slid up and down her wet folds, and Elain found herself mewling into Azriel’s shoulder. Two seconds ago she was sated beyond belief and all it took was Azriel’s touch to make her needy for more. She lifted her hips, eager for more of his touch, but he just whispered in her ear,
“Relax. Let me take care of you,” His voice was low and silky, and she wanted to hear more of it. “You were so good, taking all of my cock. It stretched you so much, didn’t it?”
Elain managed a jumble of syllables, but her eyes were closed and she was too absorbed in her desire to form words.
She felt a sharp sting as he flicked her clit.
Her eyes opened wide at the sudden change, his fingers had stilled, and she saw the devilish look on his handsome face.
“Didn't it?” Azriel repeated.
“Yes, you stretched me so much,” She said and was rewarded as he moved his fingers once again. “No one has ever filled me as much as you did,” A growl was pulled from deep inside of him. She shifted her legs so that one was draped over his, giving him better access. “No one ever will.”
His humid breath tickled her neck as he bent his head to hers. His fingers started working her faster, and one plunged deep within her.
“I’m going to fuck you everywhere,” Azriel promised. “I’ll fuck your pretty little mouth, and I’ll be the only who knows what your perfect lips look like wrapped around my cock. I’ll fuck you right here,” One of his fingers drifted lower, towards a place no other male had touched her. “The next day when you’re bent over your garden I’ll be tempted to fuck you again, and when we are all gathering for dinner I’ll be the only know who knows the reason why you’re fidgeting in your seat,” Elain grew hot at his words and started thrusting her hips to the pace he had set with his hand, another finger joined the one inside of her. “And tomorrow I’ll think about how greedily you fucked yourself on my hand,” Flames started licking at her skin as she clenched around his fingers. “For the rest of my life I’ll be thinking about how no female felt as perfect as you around my cock.”
His thumb came up to press against her clit, and the flames consumed her. With a loud scream she released herself around his fingers, and she was surprised that her third orgasm of the night was just as strong as the first two.
“I love knowing that you scream when you come.” Azriel said gently in her ear.
He says, “don’t throw away a good thing”
“He left you a note, Elain.” Feyre said and gestured to the small table in front of her where her tea set was placed. For a moment Elain didn’t realize who she was talking about.
“Lucien? Has he left?” Elain asked, her delicate brows raised in surprise.
“Imagine that,” Rhysand said, his voice teetering between sarcasm and spite with an overall air of cattiness to it. “He didn’t want to stay around while his mate was fucking someone else.”
The words stung deep and sharp, but Elain kept her chin high. She didn’t want to give Rhysand any form of satisfaction.
“Be careful how you speak about Elain.”
The words were soft spoken, but they made everyone go on edge. There was an unspoken pledge in Azriel’s voice — that he would gladly inflict pain upon anyone that would demean Elain, including Rhysand. The tentative peace that settled over them completely evaporated.
“Yes,” Feyre said and stood. She slowly made her way to the rest of the group and handed Elain the letter that was left for her. “Be careful how you speak about my sister.”
It was obvious that the two of them were speaking mind-to-mind, so Elain took the opportunity to read the letter.
I am sorry for whatever offence that I did to cause you to take such drastic actions, and I want you to know that I did it unwittingly. I thought we were finally making progress, and finally working towards being fully mated. I thought it was best that I put distance between myself and you know who. I hope to hear from you soon. Please, I beg you, don’t throw away a good thing — especially for someone so beneath you. I have known of him for the longest time, and I say with confidence that you are too good for him.
Elain was seeing red. Whatever sympathy she had been feeling towards Lucien fizzled out and morphed into something ugly. How dare he? He doesn’t know Azriel, and he certainly doesn’t know me, Elain thought. The heavy handedness of the letter, the pompous, arrogant male who wrote it — it all caused Elain ball the letter up and toss it into the simmering fire. It was one thing for him to make assumptions about her, she could see the effects of the mating bond causing some of his emotions, but how dare Lucien say that Azriel wasn’t good enough for her, as if she would be soiled by being in his mere presence.
Don’t throw away a good thing? They didn’t even have a thing. Not one singular thing did they have between them.
She was quietly raging by the fireplace, watching as the flames licked at the paper until it turned into nothing but ash. The mated couple were too absorbed in silent conversation to notice Elain and the brave, friendly shadow that was comforting her.
It was the same one that was sent to her before, the one Elain left in her bedroom, it had the same cat-like quality to it. It curled around the hem of her dress and then her ankles, and the warmth coming off of it matched the warmth of the fire. Elain watched as it danced through the air, swirling and settling around her neck. It felt like the nose of some small animal nuzzling into her.
Elain let out a small giggle.
“Would it be terribly uninspired if I called you Shadow?” She whispered to it, and it just brushed against her cheek lovingly. Unintentionally she looked over to Azriel, who was staring at her with wide eyes. He looked surprised. She wanted to ask him why, but Rhysands voice broke the quiet of the room.
“I’m sorry, Elain,” He said, looking thoroughly put in his place after Feyre’s scolding. “I — I didn’t mean to insult you. It’s just that,” Rhysand took a deep breath and his face was more vulnerable than Elain had ever seen . “I remember what it was like when Feyre was still with Tamlin. I remember how it felt when she would…” He trailed off and suddenly everyone in the room was blushing except Azriel. Elain didn’t exactly want to hear the details of Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship, in fact she always felt a deep surge of guilt when she thought about how Feyre was suffering and she didn’t do anything to stop it. Rhysand let out a deep sigh, one that spoke of his tiredness and for once he actually looked his centuries old age. “I just hope Lucien doesn’t call him out,” His chin nudged towards Azriel. “For the blood duel.”
The conversation ended as Cassian and Nesta charged down the stairs. Cassian with his wolfish smile and Nesta with her catty grin entered the room and they all waited for breakfast to be served.
It just felt so good
“It just felt so good,” Elain said, setting her cup of tea down with extra precision. She was liable to slosh the liquid right over the rim of the cup with all of her excitement — she felt as if every nerve in her body had been electrified and then dunked in water and wrung out. “Not just good, but right.”
Nuala and Cerridewen sat on the opposite side of the wooden table in the dimly lit kitchen. They wore twin expressions on their faces: sly grins that always made Elain wonder what they knew, dark eyes that seemed to absorb light, and dark, expressive brows. The twins showed more of their true forms to Elain than anyone else, besides Azriel and Rhysand. Even for their High Lady, whom the twins respected and liked, some of their features remained shrouded in shadows. It was second nature to them as spies to remain at least partly shadowed, ever since they had befriended Elain Azriel was sending them on missions less and less, but they never knew when those missions were going to occur. It was easier for them to remain partly in the shadows, but they dropped them completely around Elain.
“That’s not surprising,” Cerridwen said and took a sip of her tea. The whole room had taken on the aroma of mint from their tea, but it hadn’t done a thing to calm Elain. “We have seen the two of you together — your bodies are always perfectly insync.” She smiled kindly at Elain, but the spark in her dark eyes told Elain that she had observed more than that.
“Are they really?” Elain asked eagerly and pressed her palms flat against the table.
“Definitely, it looks as if you two had been around each other for hundreds of years. You two can work together in silence and never miss a beat, remember for Cassian’s birthday last year? When the master helped with the cookies?” Nuala said, the golden stud in her nose glimmered from the flicker of the fae light in the room. It was the easiest way to tell them apart, Nuala had a golden stud in her nose and Cerridwen favored multiple golden earrings in her ears — Elain always marveled that they never tangled and pulled at her curls. That was the other way to tell the twins apart: Cerridwen's hair was curlier and Nuala preferred doing her hair intricate braids. “It helps that he can’t keep his eyes off of you.”
“Truly?” Elain said, her fingers digging deeper into the wood. “He can’t keep his eyes off of me?”
“As if you don’t know,” Cerridwen said with a laugh and waved Elain off with a flick of her wrist. “I remember how you had to get your hair off of your neck because you were so overheated,” The wraith sighed dramatically and gathered her curls on top of her head, in a surely exaggerated pantomime of Elain, and then fanned herself off with her hand. “I’m sure the fact that you were in a dress with a scandalously low-cut bodice never crossed your mind, especially considering how heavily you were breathing.” Cerridwen dropped her hair, the curls falling heavily around her face, and Elain felt her face burn at Nuala’s laughter.
“Remember when the frosting accidentally fell onto her bosom?” Nuala said, laughing at the memory, her voice made it clear that she didn’t think it was an accident at all.
Elain did remember that part of the night. A dollop of vanilla frosting had fallen right into her cleavage, and she didn’t want it to get onto the fabric of her party dress, so she used her finger to scoop up the cream before popping it into her mouth. She just so happened to look at Azriel to notice intense gaze upon her mouth and the finger that was cushioned between her lips. Had he been watching her the entire time they had frosted the cookies?
“It was nice,” Elain said, and tucked a strand of hair behind her pointed ear. “To be with him like that.” Her voice was low, as if her words were too delicate to be said aloud— like the hope that accompanied those words would be immediately trounced upon by someone trying to keep her and Azriel apart. A small sigh escaped her as she thought of her family that would soon be running through the door. “I miss him already.”
“Who said the night had to be over?” Cerridwen said with a wicked grin.
“What do you mean?” Elain asked, a small fire of hope burned brightly in her chest.
“Well,” Nuala said with an identical smile to her sisters. “We know where he lives when he doesn’t want anyone to find him, and we can take you to him. Shadow-walk you, like we did during the war.”
Elain chewed on her bottom lip, a rush of excitement and some nervous jittey feeling churned within her.
“He won’t mind?” She asked with a hesitant smile, and the broad grins of her friends put her at ease.
“Of course not.” Cerridwen said and abruptly stood up in a fluid showcase of grace, and her sister followed suit. Elain joined them, not nearly as graceful as the shadow wraiths, and clasped their outstretched hands. Her wide eyes watched as the edges of her friends frames feathered until their forms became complete shadows, and then those shadows enveloped her — for a brief instant Elain was suspended in time and shadow, a coolness settled around her, and then the darkness cleared and gave way to a bland apartment door.
“Here?” Elain asked the swirling shadows of her friends and looked around the unassuming hallway. She didn’t know what to expect, but it made sense that the shadowsinger would choose a basic, clean apartment to live in and not one with the extravagant taste that their High Lord perferred.
The shadows didn’t respond, but Elain watched as one hand manifested and formed into a fist to knock loudly on the door. Elain blinked and her friends had completely disappeared.
She heard a metallic clang, and then nothing.
Elain stared at the door, her hands curled into her dress, and watched as it slowly opened to reveal a shirtless Azriel holding Truth-teller.
“Do your attackers usually knock first?” Elain asked, eyeing the dagger.
“How did you get here?” Azriel asked. His voice was flat, but Elain managed to catch a brief flash of surprise in his hazel eyes. His one arm was reached out to hold the door knob, blocking her view of his apartment.
“Our mutual friends.” Elain grinned and Azriel relaxed his shoulders briefly, but then tensed again.
“You’re here? Alone?” Azriel asked, his hazel eyes wide and almost frightful, no that couldn’t be right. It wasn’t possible, Elain thought, that the fearsome shadowsinger was frightened at the thought of having Elain alone at his apartment in the middle of the night.
“Yes,” Elain said smiling and leaned forward to peer inside his apartment. From what she saw it looked incredibly bare, as if it was never used, but she wanted to see more than the brief glimpses she got from straining her neck. She looked up at him. “May I come in, please?”
She watched as his jaw tightened, his hand still clenched around the door knob, but he took a grudging step to the side. She heard him say, “I wasn’t expecting company.” as she stepped over the threshold and around him to see where he lived when he wanted to be alone.
Elain couldn’t determine if his residence was unnaturally clean, or just empty. There was nothing hanging from the walls, no decorations to brighten the space up, in fact, there wasn’t anything homey about this space at all. Yes, space, that’s what it was. It was a space with practical furniture and appliances with enough room to feel comfortable, there wasn’t an object that she could see that held any sentimental value.
There were shoes by the door, Elain noted and hid her smile that formed at his expense, as if he didn’t want the rest of his apartment to get dirty. She snuck a peek at Azriel’s feet and saw that they were bare, long toes nestled into the cushioned carpet, and she immediately moved to step out of her slippers.
“You don’t have to.” Azriel started, but Elain cut him off with a bright grin. She wanted to make him feel comfortable with her presence here, so she would follow his rules.
“I want to get comfortable.” Elain replied and watched as his expression turned heated, he slowly closed the door, and Elain thought it was to give her the opportunity to leave. “I rather like being barefoot. As a child I would run barefoot all the time, I loved the feel of the earth beneath me, and my mother would always wrestle with me to put my slippers on. She would throw a fit whenever she noticed that I would sneakily take them off whenever her back was turned.”
Azriel could picture it: A small Elain stuffed into a gown of her mothers choosing, a determined look in her eyes and a too sweet smile on her face, biding her time and waiting for the opportunity to do what she wanted.
“I was just having dinner,” Azriel said, putting Truth-teller back into it its home and rubbing the back of his neck anxiously. “Would you like some?”
“I would love some.”
The smile that bloomed on Azriel’s was worth any headache her family might become. To see him smile a smile that was free and comfortable and easy was worth an endless amount of toil.
So, light me up
“How was it?” Nesta whispered over her cup of tea, and Elain bit back a smile.
“It was the most fun I ever had, and I’d do it over and over again.” Elain replied and the two sisters erupted in giggles, causing everyone else to look in their direction. For a brief moment it was just like old times, and Elain felt the bittersweet sing of nostalgia.
They were quiet for a moment and everyone went back to their breakfast. Nesta took the opportunity to whisper, “I thought about it. Before I realized I was mated to Cassian,” The slimy feeling of jealousy curled in Elain's stomach, turning all of its contents sour and leaving a bitter taste in her mouth. For the first time in her life Elain wanted to act on her uncharitable thoughts about her sister, and she took a deep breath to calm herself. “I had this fantasy,” Nesta continued, blissfully unaware of her sister's silent seething. “Where I was with them both.” She sighed and a dreamy haze flitted across her face.
“I’m sure it would have been pleasurable.” Elain managed to bite out in a tone that was only slightly cordial, but decidedly clipped. She turned from her sister, who was still lost in her fantasy, and looked down the table to where Azriel sat.
There was one addendum that she would insist be added to their bargain, Elain thought. Fidelity. The thought of Azriel being with another female had her careening into a jealous fit, and it was just the thought of it. She could only imagine how she would feel if she had to see him with another female. Now that she finally had some small amount of Azriel in her life — to think that he may not be satisfied with her, or to think that he might share what they had last night with another female — it hurt her deep within her soul.
Elain was never prone to violent outbursts, but they suddenly held an irresistible appeal. Not just their physical connection, but the emotional one as well. To think of Azriel having that kind of easiness and warmth… and… home. It felt like home. To think of him having that feeling with someone else was unbearable.
He caught her eyes and sent her a smile that melted her bones. It was gone before anyone else had noticed it, and fixed his attention onto the food on his plate.
You say I did something bad, why’s it feel so good?
“You did something bad, Elain,” Nesta said with a cat-like grin. “I can't believe my sister would do something so naughty.”
“It wasn’t terribly naughty.” Elain said somewhat sheepishly, her gaze fixated on her breakfast as she shuffled the eggs around on her plate.
Nesta let out a very unlady like, “Ha!” and took a sip of her water.
“After all, if it was so bad, then why did it feel so good?” Elain whispered seriously. Everyone had been telling her that she did something bad, but how could that be when it felt so gloriously right?
Water came out of Nesta’s nose as she heard her sister's words, but misunderstood the meaning.
“I shall have to tell Gwyn,” Nesta said conspiratorially, and Elain felt her heart plummet into her stomach. “She has the biggest crush on Azriel, and who can blame her?”
What did you guys think?? I had so much fun writing this chapter and I would love to hear your thoughts! I had a lot of fun with the format of this chapter and writing the flashbacks. Please like, comment, and reblog. I am starting a tag list, so please let know if you would like to be tagged.
Tagging: @swankii-art-teacher @justheretoreadsposts
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I Do Bad Things with You - Part 30
Has it really been almost two months since I lasted posted an update to this fic? Shit, I’m so sorry! This part really was a bitch to write. It fought me at every corner and I’m still not 100% happy with how it came out, but it’s time to move on and accept it for what it is.
My head has been a bit all over the place with fic ideas and lack of motivation to write - it’s been awful to say the least. I feel like I’m slowly coming out of my slump, but I’m not totally out of the woods yet. I do have some other things in the works that I hope to finish and get posted here soon. One may or may not be a sequel to my Oh Baby headcanon, but now I need to decide if that headcanon should become a full fic first too...
Anyways, I’m rambling. Mind the warnings and the length. This is a steamy, long piece. So grab a snack and enjoy! 😘
My fanfic account: @tswaney17fics
My ao3 account: tswaney17
Please let me know what you think about this update. I love getting your feedback. Constructive criticism is always welcome. 💙💜💚
Catch up here.
Credit to @featherymalignancy for Cassian’s nickname, Cash. 😘
Trigger warnings: violence, sexual assault, language, NSFW
Word Count: 8,523
Light filtered in through the sway of the curtains. The distant sound of traffic carried in on the breeze from the open slider attached to the balcony.
Elain’s eyes fluttered open. The steady rhythm of Azriel’s heartbeat pattered against her cheek. Her body was pressed into the side of his, leg slotted between his thighs, head on his chest.
Azriel had an arm wrapped around her, his palm splayed over the curve of her behind.
She smiled to herself, knowing he had a thing for her ass—he was not subtle when he checked her out whatsoever.
His warm breath stirred the hairs at the top of her head and she took the opportunity to just look at him.
At his relaxed face. His hair had gotten slightly curlier than from high school. He wore it longer too, just enough for it to settle against his forehead. Long, dark lashes brushed the tops of his cheeks—lashes women would kill for. His mouth was parted slightly, lips plump and soft. Though she was aware of how bruising they could be. The night they went to Cash’s set told her as much.
Her eyes traveled down the strong column of his throat, to the arch of his trapezius muscle, and over the swell of his bicep. She realized then that he wasn’t wearing a shirt—he must’ve taken it off in the middle of the night when she was asleep.
Not that she was complaining.
His tanned, tattooed skin was warm under her cheek. Elain curved her head closer to him and kissed his chest. Her eyes peeked up at him through her lashes, seeing if he stirred. When it was clear he hadn’t woken, she rocked herself up higher over his torso and dropped a kiss to his sternum.
He moved then, arms tightening around her. His hand flexed on her ass and she had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep herself from giggling.
Elain pushed herself up against his body even further and pressed her lips to the dark ink of his collarbone.
At last, hazel eyes blinked open and found her gaze. A sleepy smile crossed his face. “Good morning,” he murmured, voice deep with sleep.
It sent a shiver racing down her body; warmth pooled low in her belly. Elain had forgotten how husky he sounded early in the morning. “Hi,” she breathed, letting him get his bearings with reality.
His body shifted as he stretched underneath her and she saw the moment when he realized exactly where his hand was. Azriel snatched his hand back almost as if she had burnt him, muttering a profuse apology.
Elain laughed; the sound thick as honey. “I was wondering how long it was going to take you to realize where exactly your hand was at.”
His cheeks turned the most adorable shade of pink. “Truly, Elain. I apologize—”
She snorted, cutting him off. “There is no need to apologize, Az. Not when you and I both know that your hand being on my ass, conscious or not is no accident,” she teased. “You have always been an ass man.”
He made a sound of protest, but again, she interrupted with a wave of her hand. “You are so not subtle when you check me out. I think yesterday proved that.”
His fingers caught her chin and he brought her mouth down for a slow kiss. “It’s not my fault you’re so damn beautiful I can barely breathe.”
Elain scoffed against his lips. “What a fucking line,” she laughed.
With her distracted, she didn’t realize he had hooked an ankle over her leg until he flipped them. She let out an ungraceful yelp as she landed on her backside, glaring up at his stupidly, perfect face.
Azriel nudged her nose with his making her breath catch. His hands were in her hair, on her jaw, tilting her head up to give him access to her throat. Soft lips grazed over her fluttering pulse. “It’s not a line if it’s the truth,” he whispered onto her skin. “Exquisite,” he breathed dropping a kiss to her jaw. “Stunning,” he said onto her throat. “Intelligent,” he breathed onto her cheek.
Elain’s heart had begun to beat at what she would consider medically unsafe levels. Her fingers slid into his hair, grip tightening enough that he groaned.
“A fighter.” A kiss to her full lips. “And stubborn as hell.”
“Hey!” she pushed him backward, making him chuckle.
“I never said it was a bad thing.”
Her brow raised in defiance. “Really? You want me to be stubborn? I have never, in my life, heard of a male who wanted their woman to be stubborn.”
Azriel let out a huff of air, eyes rolling, but a grin turned up the corners of his mouth. His thumb stroked down the side of her neck. “Of course, I want you to be stubborn. You want to know why?”
“Do enlighten me.”
He flicked her lightly on the nose for the smartass comment. “I want your stubbornness because I want you to challenge me on things. To not just roll over with what I say and do. I know we’re going to fight sometimes, but I need you to be able to call me out on my bullshit, Elain. To go toe-to-toe with me.”
She blinked up at him, the pads of her fingers tracing down his temple. “And you think I’ll be able to do that?” she asked quietly, almost as if she was afraid to hear the answer. She had been passive with Graysen. Too passive. It was what made her weak to him.
Az smiled softly down at her like he could read every thought and emotion running through her mind. “You already have, Elain. You did that night at the club when you held me back.”
She expected herself to flinch at the memory and was surprised she didn’t.
“And at the fundraiser. And the fucking Gala when you almost broke my nose and threatened to throat punch me.”
Elain laughed. “I’m sorry about that.”
He grinned down at her. “Don’t be. I deserved it and you know it.”
Her fingers caressed his cheeks, feeling the stubble of his five o’clock shadow. She mapped the contours and lines of his face. The bridge of his nose. The shape of his lips and cupid's bow. “Maybe a little.”
He caught her hand in his and pressed a gentle kiss to her digits.
Honey-brown eyes traveled down the column of his throat to his broad chest. “You took your shirt off last night,” she stated, obviously.
“When I picked up last night after you had fallen asleep.”
Her eyes snapped back up to his and she turned her head to look over at her now empty nightstand.
“I sleep warm, but figured the pants with the slider cracked would make you the least uncomfortable.”
Elain’s neck twisted to look over at the open balcony. That explained why she could hear the faint callings of early morning traffic.
Azriel’s hand had slowly crept its way down to her hip, his fingers lightly tracing over the bit of skin peeking through on her waist. Even if it made her body heat, the feeling of his presence there was comforting.
She moved her hands to his shoulders, feeling the strength there. Fuck, he was so strong. He’d been holding himself over her for gods how long now? “What do you normally sleep in?” Elain asked though she had a feeling she already knew the answer.
His wicked grin gave it to her anyway.
She let out an undignified snort. “Figured as much.”
Az laughed, the sound deep and husky enough that made something slither along her bones. “I had no idea you were curious about what I did or did not sleep in.”
Her fingers tugged the hair at his nape hard enough that he purred sensually, which did nothing to help that tugging feeling low in her gut.
“I would be curious about what you sleep in, but I’m pretty sure I already know.”
Elain raised a brow. “I’ve worn my pajamas here before. I don’t know what you mean by that.” He had stripped her out of those pajamas after her nightmare and cleaned her up.
“Yes, but it wasn’t my old gym shirt from high school.”
Her cheeks flamed. “Oh my god, no.” Her hands fell from his neck to cover her face as embarrassment swallowed her. His chuckled reverberated through her body, but it made her peek through her fingers, eying him suspiciously. “Wait, that was in my bedroom. Why were you in my bedroom?”
His entire body tensed at the question. He fingered the fabric of the shirt she wore, his Adam’s apple working as he swallowed hard. The sight made something in her chest tighten—like what he was about to say was difficult for him.
Which didn’t make sense because they were talking about pajamas…right?
“I went to your apartment after you were taken.” Az kept his eyes downcast. “I was told what it looked like but I needed to see it myself. To assess the damage.” He moved his hand up to brush her hair away from her brow with his thumb. It was the gentlest of gestures. “I checked your bedroom, to see—” he cut himself off, unable to voice what he thought may have happened. “I needed to make sure…”
To see if they had done to her what Graysen had attempted.
Elain’s hands went back to his arms, sliding upwards over his shoulders to his neck and jaw. “They didn’t.”
It was like some unknown relief flooded his body and he relaxed slightly against her. Azriel let out a heavy breath that kissed her lips. “I know the kind of men that he employed, and fuck, I was so scared of what they’d do to you just to hurt me.”
She brushed her thumbs over his jaw, hating that he couldn’t even seem to look at her in guilt. “I don’t blame you for what happened, Azriel.” He still refused to meet her eyes. So, she decided to give him her truth. “I’ll admit that I think he would’ve toed the line had I not broken his nose.”
That made his gaze snap to hers. “You broke his nose?”
Elain nodded; a small, satisfied smile found its way onto her mouth. “I did, with a move Cash had taught me to use as a last resort because it likely would end up hurting me too, and it did.” Her fingers dipped to touch her forehead briefly before she returned them to his jaw. “But I refused to be weak again. Not like I was with Graysen. He needed to know I would fight back. It made him hesitate. Enough so that none of his men even came near me and neither did he. Not to that degree.”
Azriel leaned down and kissed her forehead, right where she had busted his nose. When he looked back down at her face, his hazel eyes were a golden blaze. “You are not weak, Elain. You have never been weak.”
He had always been a wordsmith and as an adult, it was no different. Even the simplest of phrases seemed to break through her barriers, always knowing what to say to her. Though something still nagged at the back of her mind—something she needed to ask. “I’m glad he’s dead,” she whispered. His face gave nothing away. “Does that make me a bad person?”
A scarred hand cradled her cheek and he let his thumb swipe over her the apple of it a few times. “No, Elain. That doesn’t make you a bad person. I don’t know of anyone who could’ve gone what you went through and not wished the same.” He let the words wash over her. “You are the strongest person I have ever met, Elain,” he began. There wasn’t an ounce of waiver to his voice and she had to swallow back the lump in her throat. “It’ll take time for you to move on from this, but I know you can and you will. Some days will be harder than others. And on those days, I’ll be here for you in however you need me. But as time moves on, you’ll find that those days become few and far between because you’ll replace them with new, happier days. And I hope that I get to stand there with you during those days as well.” The hand still on her face, wiped away the tear that rolled down her temple.
She chuckled; the sound rattled in her chest with her unshed tears. “Why do you insist on saying such nice things that make me cry?” she complained.
Azriel’s grin was blinding and he leaned down to kiss her softly. Just a gentle brush of his lips over hers. Before he reached back to take one of her hands from behind his neck and slid it down his chest over his heart.
Elain could feel its steady rhythm beneath her fingertips and palm. She let it steady her as she matched her breathing to it. “I can feel your heartbeat,” she murmured, breaking the silence that had settled over them. “It’s strong.”
Azriel let his other hand trail up her bicep to her shoulder and down the side of her body to settle back onto her hip. “It’s yours,” he answered honestly.
She could only blink up at him, the words catching in her chest. They had soothed the rough edges of her soul, but he wasn’t finished.
“My heart is yours, Elain. My whole heart has always, and will always belong to you.”
Her eyes glistened, but his thumb continued its sweeping motion to catch the tears that fell down her cheek. “I don’t think I ever got mine back from you. Even when I was engaged to him—” It was a truth she had never admitted to herself, and never out loud. “I think I knew, deep down that, that marriage would be doomed from the start. That I couldn’t give him my heart fully because it wasn’t mine to give anymore.”
Azriel touched his forehead to hers, taking a breath deep into his lungs. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but there is nothing I regret more than leaving you on the front porch, getting into my truck, and driving away. You trusted me with your heart and I broke that. I promise you that I won’t ever betray that trust again.”
“I know,” she murmured, eyes searching his. “I know you won’t, Azriel. I trust you.”
He kissed her then, more urgently than before. It was hot and needy. A clash of teeth and tongues; one that she reciprocated. But just as quickly as he kissed her, he pulled away, breathing heavily. Hazel eyes were swallowed by lust-filled black pupils.
There were words, she realized, sitting on the tip of his tongue that he was holding back because she knew he wasn’t sure whether or not they would make her uncomfortable. Her fingers curled slightly, nails digging into the flesh of his chest as she said what he wanted to. “I’m yours.” His entire body shuddered above her. “And you’re mine.”
The tether he kept on himself snapped. His hand on her face tilted her jaw up as he crashed their mouths together once more. The softness of his lips always surprised her—such a contrast to the roughness of his palms and the hardness of his body. But the demanding way they molded against hers made her chest flutter. His teeth drug her bottom lip into his mouth, sucking on the tender flesh.
Elain felt the sensation of that pull on her lip low in her belly. She moaned softly. On instinct, her body reacted, arching against him. The hand at his nape tangled in his hair, her fingers threading through the inky strands to tug him down, greedily taking more. Elain’s mouth opened for him, sighing at the first stroke of his tongue.
He released her hand from his chest to let his wander down her body, lightly touching at her waist until it joined his other at her hips. Azriel settled himself over her, still holding most of his weight through his knees and elbows, but she could feel everything.
Every hard edge of his torso pressed into all of her soft curves. Even through the t-shirt she wore, she could feel the heat of his body, the essence of him. It seeped through her skin and warmed her down to her bones.
And yet, she wanted more.
More, more, more.
Azriel’s scarred hands were on her bare waist, having slipped under her shirt. His touch was like a brand in the best of ways. The movement of his mouth sent shivered promises wracking through her body. Promises of where else that wicked tongue might one day ravish.
The idea only fueled her on more. Her hands couldn’t sit still. They were in his hair, on his shoulders, scratching lightly down his back. Without thinking, her hips rolled into his, feeling every hard inch of him press into her aching center.
The moan that left her throat should’ve embarrassed her, but it didn’t.
And it clearly only spurred Azriel on more as his lips left her mouth and traveled down her jaw to her throat. His hands were sliding up and down the length of her torso, over her ribcage, but never quite reaching up to where she wanted him to.
“Off,” she whined, her voice a husky whisper. Dark eyes snapped up to look at her face, his breath caressing her lips. She knew what he was looking for, what the golden ring left of his irises was searching for on her face.
He knew what she was asking without her even needing to elaborate. “Are you sure?” he questioned through his heavy breathing.
Her breasts tightened at the hungry look on his face. She dropped one of her hands to fist the front of the shirt she wore. “Take it off,” she told him definitively.
Azriel’s hands left her heated skin to tug her t-shirt up.
She helped as best as she could, arching her back at first, then lifting her head and shoulders until the grey fabric was slipped off and tossed behind him.
His gaze met and held hers, not letting his eyes wander until she gave him the okay. Once she nodded, his normal whiskey-colored eyes swept downwards.
Elain was pretty sure she stopped breathing as he looked his fill. Her cheeks heated and she knew that blush had extended to where his eyes were focused on. Could feel his stare burning into her skin, but when finally looked back up at her face, it was adoration she found lining his features. Adoration and devotion.
“You are so beautiful, Elain.” He leaned forward to kiss the center of her stomach, then slowly slid his mouth up until he hovered between the valley of her breasts. “I can’t tell you how much you tormented me in that dress.” She knew which one he was referring to. “Every time you wear it, I’m seconds from getting on my knees before you.” He dropped a kiss to her heated skin, making her squirm beneath him.
One of his hands slid up, over the slope of her waist, across her ribcage to the underneath side of her breast. The soft brush of his thumb made her breath catch in her throat. His eyes shot to hers, watching her carefully as he crept his palm up higher until his thumb could circle over her pebbled nipple.
Her back arched under his touch, sultry sounds escaping her parted lips. Elain’s eyes fluttered closed as she focused on the circular motions of his thumb. The bed dipped as Azriel’s sinful mouth returns to her neck, nipping at the sensitive skin there, then let his tongue lap the hurt away. Her hands slipped back into his hair, gripping hard.
He growled against her throat, the sound vibrating into her and making her shiver, but he kept his pace steady. “Fuck, you’re so soft,” he breathed, thumb and forefinger pinching at her nipple.
Elain cried out at the quick, sharp pain that sent bolts of pleasure running straight to her core. As Azriel continued to worship her neck and breast, she felt herself begin to drip. Her hips bucked up slightly, searching for him to relieve the ache that was building.
A scarred hand gripped the back of her knee and pulled it up onto his hip, allowing him to sink further into her. They both gasped when his hard length pressed into her and on instinct, Elain brought her other knee up giving him more room to thrust into her.
And advantage he took. Azriel’s movements were slow, dragging out the pleasure of it.
He did everything right. Had stroked every ember in her until that warmth had turned into an inferno. It was hotter than what she had felt the night after the fundraiser. Her body was ready, could feel the moisture that had seeped through the boxes she wore. But even with every part of her body was primed to go forward, something nagged at the back of her mind.
The awful sound of a belt tinkling flooded her brain made her body go cold. Glass shattering and the smell of tequila and cheap cologne invaded every thought. She knew it wasn’t real—the sound was purely from her memory—but it didn’t stop the goosebumps from erupting down her skin.
She heard the change in his voice, felt him lift his head off her neck.
Azriel’s movements stopped and his hand left her chest immediately. “Elain, take a breath.”
Had her breathing changed? Shit, it had. She wasn’t panting in need anymore; her breaths were far too short. “Wait,” she finally got the word out that probably should’ve been said a while ago. Elain would be eternally grateful that Azriel could read her body better than she clearly could.
Her eyes were still shut and her fingers hadn’t left his hair, but she slowed her breathing.
He brought a hand up to her jaw again, stroking it lightly. “Talk to me, Elain.”
She slowly opened her eyes to find him looking down at her with concern. Her cheeks-tinged pink under his scrutiny. “I’m sorry—”
“No,” he stated adamantly. “Do not apologize for not being ready. Ever.” When she gave him a confirming nod, he rolled off her to retrieve her shirt from the floor and handed it back to her.
Elain’s cheeks burned as she shucked the fabric back on and sat crisscross on his bed, fingers fiddling with each other in her lap.
Azriel settled in front of her. “Tell me what’s going on,” he said softly.
She met his gaze. Saw much of the hazel color had replaced the lust that was there only moments before. It amazed her how he could control his body and bring it down like that, knowing her own was not doing that at all. “I was okay for the most part. My body reacted how it should’ve. It was my mind that suddenly took a turn.” She let out a heavy breath, feeling emotions clog her throat and she dropped her eyes back to her lap. “I don’t what exactly triggered it, but I just started hearing things from that day. The sound of his belt. Glass shattering. Then the smell of the alcohol he drank and the cologne he wore.” She shuddered at the memory.
This had always been her fear. That she wouldn’t be able to let go of the past and it would affect her future relationships. And while she knew that Azriel would never let something like this come between them, she couldn’t help but feel like this was just another piece of her past coming back to haunt her present and trying to ruin any chance for happiness.
He was silent long enough that her curiosity got the better of her and she finally looked back up at his face. “It was too much all at once.”
And it was, she realized. If her anxiety hadn’t flared, Elain would’ve let Azriel fuck her senseless. Had wanted to take that step. But he was right. It was too much too soon. Realizing he was still waiting for her response, she agreed. “I think so.”
Azriel brought his hand to his mouth, thumb swiping over his plush bottom lip. “So, we take baby steps. When you’re ready to try things and move forward. But I need you to promise me something.”
“If at any point during whatever we’re trying, you become uncomfortable or you start not to like what is happening, I need you to tell me to stop. I don’t want you to push yourself to try and move past something when you’re not ready. And I definitely don’t want you not to say anything for my benefit.” There was a seriousness to his authoritative tone that made something inside her come alive. “Promise me you’ll tell me to stop.”
Elain reined in whatever it was that purred in response to that. “I will.” A twinge between her legs had her shifting on the bed uncomfortably.
Something that the male sitting in front of her noticed. “What’s wrong?”
Her cheeks heated. She knew she shouldn’t be embarrassed. The man has seen her naked before and they were talking about sex right now. But the last time she told him she was frustrated, she rode and came all over his thigh. Gods she was so awkward.
“You have a lot going through your face right now, I can’t keep up. What’s going on?”
She glared at his smirk. “I didn’t realize I wore my emotions on my face.”
“You do, just so you’re aware. But seriously, there’s something else. I can tell there’s something you’re not telling me.”
Elain sighed heavily, her face growing impossibly hot. “My body hasn’t quite come down yet.”
Az’s head cocked the side, dark hair sliding across his forehead. “I can help with that if you want me to.”
Honey-brown eyes blinked at him. “Didn’t we just talk about baby steps?”
The corner of his mouth quirked up. “I was talking about just my hand, Elain. You wouldn’t even need to remove your clothes.”
“Oh.” She blushed.
“Or, I can draw you a bath. Or I can just step out of the room if you would like me to. Whatever you wish for me to do.”
Gods, this male was the epitome of respectful. If her body wasn’t desperately needing a release, she would’ve probably started crying. She still might. “Um, you or, your hand. I’d like to try your hand…that sounds weird,” her face scrunched in embarrassment.
He chuckled, leaning forward to kiss her. Pecking her nose once, he got up and walked around to settle behind her against the headboard. His arm banded around her waist as he hauled her against him like she weighed nothing. He gathered her hair and pulled it over her shoulder to give him access to the side of her throat. “What are you going to do?” he asked
With his warmth pressing into her back, Elain momentarily forgot what he was talking about. “I promise I’ll tell you to stop.”
Az kissed her cheek. “Good girl,” he murmured.
The praise lit a fire inside her, one she had no idea existed.
“Relax into me.”
She did, reclining back into his chest. Elain laid her head back on his shoulder as he splayed his one hand on her stomach, high enough that his thumb again brushed under her breast.
He let his lips suck on her jaw and slowly glided them down her neck to her fluttering pulse. “Prop your knees up and lean them against my legs.”
Again, she did as she was told. Elain was surprised at how much she didn’t mind being told what to do. But with Azriel, she freely handed over the reins of her will and let him drive her. Especially when it came to her pleasure. It was different when you trusted somebody wholeheartedly.
His fingers stroked at her stomach, slowly making their way higher between her breasts. She breathed in deeply, her body going more languid against his as he inched his other hand down her side towards her hip before dipping inwards.
But instead of going where she desperately needed him, his fingers curled, tracing teasing lines on the inside of her thigh.
“Az,” she mewled, body squirming.
He clicked his tongue, kissing at her jaw. “Not yet,” he murmured, sucking at her skin.
Elain’s head tipped more, giving him better access to her throat.
Azriel smiled against her. “You’re such a sweet girl,” he said, his hand coming back up her leg, teasing over the damp fabric between her thighs before venturing down her other leg.
She let out a frustrated sound, one that quickly turned into a cry when his thumb found her nipple once more. The texture of the t-shirt adding to the sensitivity as he circled it a few times until finally, finally, his other hand cupped her sex. The heat of his palm and the pressure were like an explosion of fireworks that danced in her blood.
He added more pressure before—gods bless this male—he let his thumb part her folds through the damp fabric and slide from the top all the way down and back up. Her body lurched, but he kept her held tight as he set a steady rhythm to his movements, sliding down and up, down and up until she was a mewling mess.
“Easy, baby. You’re doing so well,” he murmured into her temple, kissing her gently. And when he knew she had reached the edge, he focused his thumb into circular movements over her clit until she exploded.
Her back arched, but he was quick to hold her, never letting her get too far from him as she moaned loudly. Elain wasn’t sure if people on the street could hear her, but frankly, she didn’t care. Not as his thumb kept circling her jewel and his other fingers slid along the soaked slit of her boxers. Not as he rang out every ounce of pleasure from her, yet still had her craving more. Even with the orgasm, she still needed more, was still wound too tight.
And that was how she found her hand moving on its own accord, clutching Azriel’s wrist like her life depended on it, and pulled it from between her legs before sliding it down beneath the waistband of her boxers.
“Fuck,” he breathed as the pads of his fingers danced over her bare center, feeling the wetness from the source. But he didn’t move, kept his hand still even with her hips wiggling against him. “Are you doing okay?” he asked, checking in.
Elain wasn’t sure when her eyes had closed, but all she could do was focus on the sensation of his hand and his mouth and where they ravished her. “Yes,” she whined, breath heavy.
He brushed his fingers over her glistening slit, teasing. “What do you want me to do, love?”
Her hips jerked, searching for friction against his hand. “Please.”
Az bit down on her shoulder lightly, enough to grab her attention but not to mark her. “Please what, Elain? Use your words?”
She had a few choice words for him, but none that could come to mind when she was this hot and needy and desperate for another release. Nor any that would get her what she wanted. “Please, Az. Please touch me.”
He smirked against her throat. “Such a good girl.” His other hand came up to turn her head towards his so he could claim her mouth as his thumb pressed down on her clit.
Elain moaned into his mouth.
He took full advantage of the access, letting his tongue sweep in to claim her as his thumb toyed her nub. His middle finger circled at her entrance once, twice, three times before slowly he pushed it inside of her.
“Oh gods,” she cried, hips snapping up. Elain’s hand shot out from within her underwear and went straight for Azriel’s hair, grabbing the dark strands on the side of his head in a death grip that was likely painful, but he didn’t seem to care. Her knees closed together, adding pressure between her legs.
Az’s mouth worshipped at her neck while his finger set a steady pace, plunging into his farthest knuckle and back out. “Relax, baby. I need you to relax,” he purred. “Put your feet on the outside of mine.”
She was nothing but a whimpering mess. Legs shaking, she managed to do as asked and realized why he wanted her feet there. It gave him more control over how far her legs were spread.
Azriel shifted their feet slightly farther apart, giving his hand more room to move between her thighs.
Elain’s breath shuddered as he quickened his pace, thumb flicking over her clit with a renewed vigor. When he curled his finger deep inside her, sweeping over that sweet spot she couldn’t even remember the last time was touched, her entire body pitched.
She fisted his hair, her other hand coming down to clutch the arm wrapped around her torso, nails digging into tattooed skin. “Please, please, please.” She was nearly sobbing. It was too much. It wasn’t enough.
He would drag out her pleasure, she knew that. But fuck, she needed this drop. Needed to find that blissful edge.
Elain had gone years without an orgasm and here was Azriel, drawing out the second—well, technically third—one in less than a month, and they weren’t even officially a couple.
Increasing the pressure of his thumb and the curl of his fingers, Az tugged on her earlobe between his teeth. “I’ve got you, El. Let go for me.”
And she did. Elain shattered, screaming out a slur of words and syllables that she’s pretty sure was Azriel’s name. Her body arched, but he tightened his grip on her, keeping her pressed into him as his fingers worked her through her high.
Her walls clamped down on him and the boxers she wore were soaked with her release, but he kept moving until she went limp against him, her shaking legs slumping heavily against his muscled thighs. Honey-brown eyes fluttered open as she caught her breath.
Azriel pulled his hand from her underwear.
“Don’t rub that in your hair,” she teased, looking up at him.
He flashed her a sly grin. “And waste a perfectly good meal. Absolutely not.” Making sure he had her gaze locked, Az sucked his middle finger into his mouth, tongue sliding around to catch all of her juices dripping down his knuckles. He pulled his finger from his mouth with an audible pop. “Delicious.”
Elain’s mouth dropped open as she watched him lick all of her essences from his hand until it was clean. It was possibly the filthiest thing he had ever watched him do before and gods did it make her cheeks flush a warm pink.
Fingers gripped her chin and he leaned down to press a kiss to her lips. She could taste herself on his tongue. It was surprisingly erotic.
“How are you feeling now?”
“Better. Relaxed.” A little turned on again after she watched him suck his fingers clean—not that she was going to say that little bit out loud. They had explored enough today and she needed to get a better grip on herself. Elain blamed it on the fact that she hadn’t had sex, or any sort of pleasure, in years.
He kissed the side of her head. “You did so well, my love.”
She was also going to blame her uncontrollable hunger on the stark realization that she had a little bit of a praise kink. That was new to her. Some uncharted territory that had never been explored before, but she had a hidden desire to. Especially if it was Azriel saying those things to her.
“You’re quiet,” he stated, guiding her face to look back up at him. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
Elain smiled softly at him. “Yes, just thinking.”
“What about?” He let his thumb stroke her jaw, swooping down the curve of her neck. His heartbeat echoed against her spine.
Her cheeks heated under his intense gaze. “Some of the things you said…during.”
His brows furrowed briefly, then raised as he realized what she meant. “The praise.” When she nodded, he asked, “Did it bother you?”
She knew if she had said yes, he wouldn’t continue doing it and that’d be the end of it. But that was definitely not what she wanted. “Quite the opposite actually.”
It wasn’t often Azriel was caught by surprise, but her response clearly did. He tipped his head back and laughed, a deep, beautiful, lovely sound she wanted to bottle up and keep forever. “I’ll admit some of it slipped. I wasn’t sure if you’d like it or not, but I’m glad you did.”
“Where did you even learn to do something like that? Videos online again?” she snarked, a cheeky grin plastered on her face.
Azriel’s face turned a dark shade of red, possibly the darkest she’d ever seen before. “Oh my god. It’s been ten fucking years and that is still coming back to haunt me.”
Elain giggled, leaning forward to kiss him softly, shifting slightly against him. The soaked underwear she was wearing was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. “I should really go clean up,” she breathed onto his mouth.
“You stay here,” he kissed her briefly again. “I’ll go draw you a bath and then will make breakfast while you freshen up.” He rose off the bed, replacing himself with a pillow behind her back. “What do you want to eat?”
Her traitorous eyes dipped low, below the low-hanging waistband of his grey sweatpants to the peaked area that was far beyond what would be considered morning wood.
Holy fuck. The erotic dream from a few weeks ago had not been playing her. Elain felt her entire body clench around nothing. It made her bones go molten at the mere idea of how large he was—how he’d make her feel. Her toes started to curl.
“My eyes are up here, Elain,” he chastised, playfully.
Her cheeks flamed at being caught checking out a very private area, and she spat out the first, morning food she could think of from her heated brain. “Pancakes,” she squeaked.
Az grinned at her blushing face but didn’t call her out on it. “I knew it.” To be fair, pancakes were her favorite breakfast food. Bending forward, he kissed her one last time before he slipped into the bathroom and shut the door.
She heard the tub turn on first. It drowned out most of the other sounds, but after a few minutes, he returned to the bedroom, hardon gone, and went over to his dresser. It didn’t take her medical degree to know what exactly, he did behind that closed door—not that she blamed him. She didn’t exactly offer to “help” him this morning after what he did for her.
He pulled out a clean t-shirt and pair of boxers, then padded his way back into the bathroom and kicked the bathtub faucet off. When he came back into the bedroom, he sat down next to her on the edge of the bed. “I’ll text Nuala and Cerridwen and see if I can get an update on when we should expect an arrival of your belongings. I’ve left you a clean pair of boxers and another t-shirt in the bathroom. I also turned the jets on in the tub to help you relax.” His fingers brushed over her cheek. “Take your time and help yourself to anything in there.”
“I’m sorry,” Elain blurted.
Azriel frowned. “About what?”
“For not reciprocating,” she admitted with a nod towards his lap.
The fingers on her cheek moved to cradle her face. “Elain, you don’t owe me anything. I was more than happy—and willing—to do that for you this morning. I do not expect you to reciprocate anything. I don’t even want you to think about doing anything like that until you’re comfortable too. Please believe me when I say that I can handle myself. I have been since before you came barging into my office.”
Her jaw popped open. When she went barging into his office? That was months ago. He hadn’t been with anyone since before then? “You haven’t…?” she couldn’t even finish the question.
The corner of his mouth curled up. “After you reentered my life, I couldn’t get you out of my head. Everyone else was unappealing at that point.”
His words made her heart trip over itself.
Bringing her head forward, he kissed her softly. “Go clean up. I’m going to go start breakfast.”
Without another word, he rose from the bed and left her to her business. Elain had to give herself a minute to sit there and process everything he had just done and said.
Gods, she loved this male.
Azriel had no idea why he shared with her that he hadn’t been with another woman. It was true, he technically hadn’t fucked another female since, shit, even a month before Elain had returned to his life. He’d been too busy to even go to his club to look for female company. Aside from that one girl who he picked to try and get his mind off Elain, but that had been the night Amarantha showed up and everything had changed before anything could happen. And even then, he wasn’t into it or her. It was always Elain.
He supposed he could be grateful, in a way. Because it brought her back into his life, though not in a way he would have liked. While they still weren’t technically a couple—that was something he would let her bring up when she was ready—he hoped that his overshare didn’t cross any of her boundaries. Didn’t make her uncomfortable in any way.
Az had given her about ten minutes before he went back upstairs to change into clean clothes. He'd forgone jeans in favor of sweatpants, knowing they weren’t leaving the penthouse today. He couldn’t remember the last time he lounged in sweats all day long.
Elain padded her way down the stairs right as he was pouring the last bit of pancake batter onto the griddle. She donned on a pair of his black dress socks and the sweatshirt he purchased when he went to his first professional soccer game with his brothers after he returned from overseas. The black fabric drowned her small frame.
“Cold?” he asked, flipping the pancakes.
She nodded, perching herself on one of the barstools. “I stayed in the water too long. It cooled off.”
Azriel went over to the thermostat and kicked up the temperature a few degrees. Fall was coming into Velaris fast. He could feel the briskness of his bedroom when they first woke, though it quickly warmed up with their morning activities. He shook the thoughts from his head. “How was your bath?”
“Your tub is excessive.”
A joyous laugh rumbled from his chest as he flipped the last few pancakes onto his stack and carried them over to the set table where the rest of their breakfast awaited. “Excessive how?”
Elain snorted, following him. “Aside from the size that could fit three people easily?” She narrowed her eyes at his raised brow. “Don’t even think about voicing whatever dirty thought is running through your head.”
“I wasn’t even going to say anything!” he exclaimed, laughing.
She just rolled her eyes, but he saw a small grin fighting its way onto her lips. “And the number of jets is atrocious.”
“You say that now until you have an awkwardly pulled muscle,” he stated, loading her plate up with food and then his own. He didn’t miss the shy smile that tugged her mouth at his antics. He may have been fussing. “Did you at least enjoy it and relax?”
Elain shoved a piece of pancake into her mouth, her eyes nearly rolling into the back of her head. “Yes,” she began after swallowing, “I did. Thank you.”
The elevator pinged interrupting his sentence.
Everything happened so quickly, he hadn’t even realized she moved until he felt her. Elain had shot out of her chair so she was standing behind him, her hand clutching at the sleeve of his bicep.
Azriel was up a half-second later, his massive frame blocking whoever entered his place from seeing her. He had momentarily forgotten what Rhys had told him about how Elain acted after she was attacked by Graysen. How she would flinch at a cupboard door closing too loudly. He slid a hand to her cheek, the other on her waist. “Hey,” he whispered low enough that the person who entered the apartment wouldn’t be able to hear him. “You’re safe here.”
He was grateful that whoever had entered, read the room, and kept quiet.
It cut him profoundly to see her shoulders shaking slightly. He ducked his head to catch her gaze. “You’re safe, El,” he repeated.
The worry that weighed heavily in her eyes settled at his words and she inhaled deeply, calming herself. Once she collected herself, she took the hand from her waist to lace their fingers together. “Thank you. I’m okay now.”
Az’s eyes flicked over her face, looking for any sign that she wasn’t being honest with him. When he found nothing, he brought their linked hands to his mouth, brushing his lips over her knuckles before they turned to whoever had entered his place.
Fenrys stood in the entryway of the penthouse, holding a box of what he assumed was Elain’s belongings. His head was down, likely an attempt to give them some privacy.
“Hello, Fen,” Elain said, moving them both forward.
The golden twin looked up at them. “Good morning, Elain, Mr. Knight. I apologize for interrupting. We should’ve texted or called when we arrived.”
“It’s no interruption, Fenrys. And please, call me Azriel.”
A charming smile lit his face though it didn’t quite touch his eyes. “Con and I were asked to bring over some of Elain’s things. He’s loading up a few more boxes in the elevator now. Where would you like us to put these?”
Elain glanced at him, the hesitation of where she should put her belongings evident.
That was another discussion they needed to have. Where she wanted to live and whether or not it was temporary. He hadn’t been lying when he said she could live with him. Whether she chose the guest bedroom or his, he didn’t care, he just wanted her here with him. “Right there by the foyer table is fine, Fenrys. We’ll take care of it from there.”
The male nodded, setting the box down as the elevator doors dinged, revealing his polar-opposite twin.
Az was grateful that Elain didn’t jump at the sound this time. That would be something else they had to work on to help her during her healing journey.
Connall beamed, eyes flicking between the two of them and their joined hands. “Hello, Elain, Mr. Knight. How are you both doing this morning?”
He huffed a laugh. “I’m not ever going to get you guys to stop calling me ‘Mr. Knight’ am I?”
“Not likely,” the twins said in unison.
Elain covered her mouth with a hand, trying to hold in a giggle.
Azriel rolled his eyes, releasing her hand to help the twins unload the elevator. There wasn’t too much here, a few boxes of clothes, textbooks, toiletries, and other essentials.
“Do you guys want to stay for breakfast?” Elain asked once they had finished.
He may have gone a little overboard on their breakfast for two with pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit, coffee, and orange juice. There was plenty for the twins to join them. But Az knew she loved her pancakes and would likely munch on cold ones throughout the day.
Connall hooked an arm around his brother stopping whatever response he was about to say. “Thank you for the offer, but we’re okay. We’ll leave you guys to it.”
“Thanks again for everything,” Elain murmured, reaching out a hand towards each of them, and for a minute, Az wondered just how much the twins knew about her history.
“Anytime, Elain.” There was genuine love and emotion in those words. Az could hear it. And the way she smiled softly at the twins, he knew Elain could hear it too.
She glanced at the boxes that littered the floor when the elevator doors closed, sweeping the twins back down to the parking garage. “I guess we should have a conversation about living arrangements.”
“Later,” he said, taking her hand and guiding her back to the table. “Let’s finish breakfast first and then we’ll worry about all of that. Sound good?”
Elain plopped back down in her chair.
“They really care for you,” he said once they started eating again. “The twins I mean.”
She sipped at her coffee. “We grew attached to each other while they chauffeured me around.”
He snorted. “Is that what you called it?”
She raised a brow. “Wasn’t it? What would you have called them driving me to and from work?”
Elain wrinkled her face in the most adorable way. “Now it sounds like I’m paying them for pleasure.”
Az really couldn’t just help himself. “I think we both know where you get that from.” He flashed her a self-satisfied grin.
She wanted to argue it—he could see the retort sitting on her tongue. But in the end, she just rolled her eyes and came around the table to perch herself on his lap.
His hands went to her waist to steady her, but he was surprised when she leaned forward and kissed him softly. Her arm slipped around the backside of his neck, hand sliding into his hair. It wasn’t a kiss to spark a fire—nothing like the ones they shared this morning—but simply to convey her love.
“I think we do,” she finally answered him, brushing her nose along his.
Azriel couldn’t help but smile at her, at his world. Not letting her leave his lap, he kept an arm around her, feeding her bites of pancakes, bacon, and fruit straight from his plate. The simple domesticity of the action wasn’t something he had shared with anybody else; nor had he ever wanted to until now. It was something he loved sharing with Elain and her alone—enjoying the comforting presence of each other.
It was the best morning he had ever had—one he wanted to continue having for the rest of his life.
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