My Library, My Love
Aelin Galathynius x Rowan Whitethorn - Library Oneshot
After moving into their new house, Rowan helps Aelin organize her new library and gifts her a very special present
Written for Rowaelin Month 2021. Day 4: Library/Librarian AU. @rowaelinscourt
Masterlist | Read on Ao3 | Rowaelin Month Masterlist
Too giddy to sleep in any longer, Aelin carefully removed herself from the cocoon of Rowan’s arms. It was rare he slept in later than her but occasionally there were days when she’d rise first and get to look at his face, soft with sleep, or listen to the steady rhythm of his breathing as she savored the warmth of being wrapped up with him.
Today, however, she barely spared him a second glance before changing into a pair of comfortable shorts and a sweater, and slipped out, making sure to close the door quietly behind her.
Aelin pulled her hair up into a messy bun as she found her way to the kitchen. Her first—and most vital—task was to make coffee.
She was careful not to trip over any of the boxes she and Rowan had set haphazardly in the way. As the machine came to life and the rich, sweet smell of coffee filtered into their home, Aelin looked around sighed contentedly.
She and Rowan had found this house by accident. They’d been driving around this neighborhood because it was one of the best places in Terrasen to see the fall leaves change color when they passed a quaint, beautiful house with a ‘for sale’ sign in the front yard. They’d already been looking for a place but so far, nothing felt right. Until they saw this place.
It was perfect.
It wasn’t massive, but it was perfect for her, Rowan, and Fleetfoot who particularly loved the backyard. It was on a quiet street with beautiful trees that canopied over the road. She could look at them from the bay window of their living room, or, a little less clearly, from the kitchen given the open floor plan that immediately made Aelin and Rowan love the place. Even with their boxes littering the floors and furniture placed sporadically, she could picture what the house would look once she and Rowan finished moving in.
They’d spent the entire day before moving out of their old apartment and into this house with the help, and loving complaints, of their friends. They finally finished unloading everything and celebrated over pizza and drinks on their new back porch, content to toast with their friends and watch the sunset. Once everyone else left, Aelin and Rowan celebrated in their own way by breaking in their living room (the sofa up against the side wall), their kitchen (the wide, perfectly-placed island), their bathroom (the shower: a necessity after a long day of moving), and finally, their bedroom (the king-sized bed Aelin insisted they buy).
They both were very excited to finally be in their own home.
The coffee machine buzzed and Aelin fixed the drink to her liking. She took a long sip and smiled as the warmth and sweetness of the caramel flavor flowed through her. In her opinion, coffee was the closest thing to magic.
She grinned again as she remembered why she was so excited to wake up today. Aelin clutched her coffee cup in her hand and walked upstairs. The upstairs only had space for a small sitting area near a large window and a room just off the staircase. They hadn’t put any curtains up yet, so the morning sun was shining in through the window brightening up the entire space.
She pushed the door of the room open carefully so she wouldn’t damage any of the boxes inside. This was her favorite room in the whole house—or, it would be once she finished setting it up.
Aelin placed her coffee mug on a box and looked around the room that would be her—and Rowan’s of course, but mostly her—library.
It was a good thing she’d splurged on the good beer last night because it was the only way that Lorcan, Fenrys, and Aedion reluctantly forgave her for making them haul her dozens of boxes of books up the stairs and into this room.
Unable to wait any longer, Aelin opened a box and began unpacking her books into various stacks around her. Once she’d gotten them all out of their boxes then the real fun could start.
Rowan expected to wake up the way he normally did: Aelin tucked in his arm with her own wrapped around his middle, her hair tickling or, more often than not, suffocating him, and her light snores that she adamantly refused to acknowledge filling the room.
That’s not how he woke up.
The first thing he noticed was the lack of Aelin. When she slept, she was always touching him in some way, but he didn’t feel her hand or her face or any other part of her body on his. He also didn’t hear any snoring or smell her shampoo.
Cracking his eyes open, it took Rowan a moment to remember why the room looked so unfamiliar. They’d moved into a new house yesterday. A house. Fenrys liked teasing them that they were finally real adults even though Rowan was almost thirty. He and Aelin knew they had a future together so when the lease on the apartment they’d shared was set to expire they decided to look for a house of their own.
Fenrys also teased them about how they were doing things backward by buying a house together before they were even properly engaged. But Rowan didn’t think there was anything wrong with it—any right way to do things—and neither did Aelin.
And, unbeknownst to Aelin, that other part was going to be rectified soon, anyway. Very soon.
Rowan sat up and rubbed the sleep away from his face but couldn’t stop his satisfied grin as he remembered how they got well acquainted with their house last night after their friends left.
Rowan pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a plain shirt he’d made sure to set out before packing the rest of his clothing away, then padded out to the kitchen and towards the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
He smiled at seeing the extra mug Aelin must have let out for him near the still half-full coffee pot. Rowan drank half the cup in one go and felt better as the caffeine surged through him. Now, his mind a little more coherent, he knew exactly where Aelin would be.
As he pushed the door to the library open, Rowan leaned against the doorframe crossing his arms. Aelin was sitting crossed-legged in the middle of the room, surrounded by towering stacks of books as she continued to pull novels out of a box. Thankfully, it looked like it was the last box if the pile of cardboard in the corner was any indicator.
Rowan’s lips curled up as he watched his girlfriend excitedly unpack her prized possessions. She hadn’t heard him come in, too caught up in her books, so he took a moment to watch her.
Rowan didn’t think he would ever get used to Aelin.
Not in the sense that he didn’t know her or understand her, because he absolutely knew those things. Rowan knew that Aelin liked her coffee golden brown with enough caramel in it to drown out the actual coffee flavor. He knew that when she was feeling sad she would watch Ocean’s Eleven, but when she was sad and angsty she would watch Practical Magic. Rowan knew she loved an adrenaline rush when she could feel the wind rushing through her hair whether that be on a roller coaster or a go-cart, or that one time she convinced him to go skydiving with her. He knew that she knew exactly how to convince him to do anything. Rowan knew her favorite songs, how she got the scar on her finger (falling off a swing as a kid after Aedion accidentally pushed her too hard before he spent the rest of the day letting her play dress-up with him as an apology), and how she was normally tapping her fingers to some melody only she could hear.
No, when he thinks that he’ll never get used to Aelin, he means, he’ll never get used to the way her smile brightens up a room or how her eyes twinkle when she gets an insane idea in her head. Rowan will never get used to the way his heart stutters when she pins her full attention on him or the way her hair shines like liquid gold when the sun hits it just right. He’ll never get used to the rightness he feels when he wakes up and she’s in his arms.
Taking a sip of coffee and hiding a grin in his cup, Rowan casually felt for the two small boxes inside his pocket.
“Have you decided how you want to organize things in here?” Rowan asked, startling Aelin and making her head jerk up.
She offered him a smile and he walked over to where she was sitting to press a quick kiss to her forehead. “Good Morning.”
“G’Morning, babe.” Aelin tilted her head up and pouted until he pressed an identical kiss to her lips.
Aelin sighed and looking lovingly at all the shelves “I’m figuring that out. I thought maybe I could sort them by color, you know, because it’s a nice aesthetic, but then the series would be broken up and I would get too frustrated with that. Then I thought about alphabetizing them by the author because I want to keep an author’s books together, but some of them have written so many books that they won’t all fit right and then the series would still be broken up because of the size of the shelves.” She loosed another sigh and stood up from her spot on the floor. “So, I’ll probably break up authors, but keep series together. I’m going to try to keep genres together, too. Just as long as everything looks good.”
She blinked and turned towards him, “This is yours, too, Ro,” she waved a hand around the room and raised a brow at him, “Do you have any preference?”
As much he loved hearing that the room was theirs, he smirked because they both knew exactly who would oversee this room.
“Aelin,” Rowan rolled his eyes at the obviously asked-out-of-politeness question and stepped closer to her to press another kiss to her forehead, “my books will fit onto one shelf, maybe two. All the rest of this is yours, you can sort them however you want.”
She grinned and scrunched her nose, “I know, Buzzard.” She stood on her toes and affectionately patted him on the cheek. “I just thought I’d put it on record that I asked; I would’ve done it my way regardless.”
He rolled his eyes again as she laughed.
Aelin walked so that the shelves were to her back. She placed her hands on her hips to survey the room and the piles of books in front of her.
“Do you want help, or should I give you some alone time with the books?” he asked her, smirking.
Aelin snorted but said, “I want you to help me,” she looked at him in that way that made him want to smile. “Can you pass me the books I ask for so I can put them up?”
Rowan set down his coffee and she flashed him a smirk.
“I will also need you to reach the top shelf.”
He shook his head as she chuckled while he exaggerated cracking his knuckles, “What do you need, Fireheart?”
“Aelin,” Rowan groaned from behind her, grabbing several books at once, “how many copies of one book do you need?”
She rolled her eyes as she placed the book she was holding on the shelf in front of her before walking over to her exasperated boyfriend.
“This one,” she grabbed one from his hand, “is a first edition hardcover. This one,” she plucked another up, “is from a publisher who adds bonus content.” Aelin put the books on the shelf and grabbed the rest from Rowan. “This one is a signed copy, this one is an anniversary edition, and this one I just have because I was at the airport and finished the book I brought so I bought this one at the store. But, look, it has a different cover on it.”
Rowan watched bemused as she picked them all up and sorted them accordingly. “You have that book as an audiobook and an eBook, too, don’t you?” It was less of a question and more of an I already know the answer is yes, you ridiculous, wonderful, book-hoarding woman.
Aelin winked, “Of course I do.”
Rowan huffed a laugh and went back to handing her books.
Aelin loved her books. She loved her books and she loved the authors who wrote those books. She repeated that to herself over and over again as she got more irritated by the fact that some authors write so many books that they can’t all fit together on her shelves.
Aelin supposed it wasn’t a bad problem to have. But she’d only had one cup of coffee this morning, so it was definitely an annoying problem.
“Ugh, I knew this wasn’t going to work.” Aelin groaned as she tried again to maneuver multiple series by the same author into a particular shelf.
“What wasn’t going to work?”
Aelin turned to face Rowan and watched for a moment as he flipped through a book before grabbing another and doing the same thing. He hadn’t looked up when she complained, just kept looking through her collection. She smiled softly as he humored her, but then remembered her problem and scowled.
“There are too many books.” She told him.
At that, his head jerked up and he raised a brow at her. “Too many books?” she narrowed her eyes at the teasing in his voice. “Did Aelin Galathynius just say she had too many books? My gods, the world is ending.”
Aelin snorted and rolled her eyes, giving her boyfriend a shove that, to neither’s surprise, didn’t make him budge an inch.
“Smartass. I meant too many books in this series to fit together.” She explained the obvious. “And, for the record, there is no such thing as too many books.”
This time Rowan snorted, “Yeah, that sounds more like it.”
Aelin sat on the floor sorting through books for the bottom shelf. She didn’t spot Rowan abandon his current pile to grab a book from the row she’d reserved for her romance novels. The porn with(out) plot as Rowan liked to tease. He glanced down at her concentrated face and smirked as he found one that looked well-worn.
As Rowan read—or, flipped through aimlessly, more like—he couldn’t stop the small chuckle that escaped his lips as he recognized a few scenes from the book as things he and Aelin had tried.
“They really make up for lack of plot,” he said, raising a brow and startling Aelin from her own pile of books, drawing her attention towards him, “with imaginative writing.”
She leaped up and made a squawk of indignant protest.
“Give me that.” She insisted, stepping towards him with her hand outstretched and her face quickly turning red.
“What?” he was fully grinning as he held the book just out of reach. “it’s not like we haven’t done worse.”
She made another embarrassed sound and his grin became a shit-eating smirk as he turned and opened the book to a particular scene. “We did this last week.”
“Rowan,” she tried to grab it as he flipped the page, “I swear to the Gods if you don’t give me that—”
He turned again, keeping the book just out of her reach, still grinning, as he glanced at another scene. “And we did that at last year’s New Year’s Eve party.”
Both of them paused their squabbling to smirk at one another as they remember that night. That very satisfying night.
Aelin finally gained her composer back and shook her head. She let out an exasperated sighed as she crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. “Fine. Make fun of my book all you want, you’re the one who’ll stop benefitting from it.” She gave him a feline smile that he knew meant wicked trouble. He loved it. “At least read chapter forty.”
Rowan brought the book back within reading distance and tried to find the right page. He huffed a laugh and said, “Believe me, Fireheart, I’m not making fun of these books,” he winked, still flipping through pages, “they’re great inspiration.”
She rolled her eyes and leaned against the shelf carefully, watching him with unconcealed amusement as he finally found the chapter she mentioned. Her smirk grew as his eyes flew across the page, widening with every line. When he got to the paragraph Aelin was thinking about, he choked. His eyes rapidly flicked between the book and her. Her smirk grew impossibly wider and she raised a brow in challenge.
“This—” Rowan stammered and cleared his throat, “This is uh—hm—creative.”
Unable to hold back her laughter at his flustered state, Aelin threw her back and laughed. “Inspiring enough for you?”
Rowan closed the book and cleared his throat again, seeming to get himself back under control as he slowly stalked towards her.
When he stood in front of her he dipped his head and brushed his lips across her cheek. Then down her neck to land at the base of her throat, right where it met her collar bone. He nipped at the skin and she sucked in a breath as he pressed closer to her.
“We haven’t broken in this room yet, Fireheart.” He murmured against her skin as she wound her fingers through his hair, pulling him closer.
Aelin gasped as he sucked a mark onto her sensitive skin. “We can’t,” she cut off as a soft moan left her lips when he kissed his way up her neck and his hands moved to cup her ass. “We can’t have sex in front of the books, Ro,” Another moan as he licked up to her ear, sucking the lobe into his mouth and it took all her focus to not get lost in the sensation, in him. “that’s—that’s sacrilegious.”
He detached his mouth from her and pulled back to look into her eyes with a look mixed with amusement and satisfaction at her heavy breathing, and snort, “Sacrilegious? Really?”
Aelin rolled her eyes and despite her comment, pulled Rowan back down towards her. She didn’t know how long they stayed like that, wrapped up in each other, savoring the taste of the other. But as Rowan pressed himself more firmly against her, her leg hitched up around his hips, the bookshelf behind her made a creaking sound that immediately drew her attention.
They broke apart and Rowan leaned down to bury his face in her chest as she glanced behind her and checked on the books.
“Ro,” she said in a voice that made Rowan groan because he knew what she was about to say, “let's finish putting the books away,” she grabbed his face in her hands and smiled at his exaggerated pout as he detangled himself from her. She smirked again and told him, “When we're done, we can try out chapter forty.”
Rowan had never been more efficient at sorting books.
Aelin slotted the final book into its place on the shelf and stepped back.
It was beautiful. The shelves were a warm white that seemed to glow in the sunlight streaming in through the window. They were filled with books; each shelf housing her favorite stories, travel guides, textbooks, vintage editions, and of course, there was a full shelf for Rowan’s books, too.
She beamed as she turned towards Rowan to see him already watching her with a fond expression. She broke down the last cardboard box and placed it in the pile with the remains of the other boxes that had held her books.
Aelin couldn’t stop her grin as she wrapped her arms around Rowan and said giddily, “I have a library. An actual library—not just a wall in my room, but an actual library.”
Rowan’s eyes twinkled as he looped his arms around her waist, keeping her close, and smiled at the pure joy radiating out of her. “You have a library.”
“My own library.”
“Your very own library.”
Her arms tightened and she pulled back an inch and winced, “I mean, our library.”
He snorted and fought back a smirk, “Our library.”
Rowan watched her face as she itched to say something else. He just raised a single brow and waited for her to say what he knew she was going to say.
She sighed and gave him a knowing look. “My library.”
Rowan laughed, not at all upset at Aelin’s claim on the room. They both knew it was true from the moment she saw the room during their tour and declared it a perfect home for books. She smiled as he tilted his head to kiss her. After a long moment, they broke apart and Rowan agreed, “Your library.”
Rowan took a deep breath and said as casually as he could, “I have something for you.”
Aelin was about to make a joke but she caught the apprehension on his face that he quickly tried to mask. No, not apprehension—nervousness. She cocked her head in confusion and tried to think of why he would be nervous. They were having a great morning, a perfect morning, so she asked, “You do?”
He nodded, “I do.” Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small rectangular box. Aelin looked between him and the unadorned black box. She lifted it from his hands and carefully pried the lid off.
It took less than a second for Aelin to realize what he’d gifted her.
“You got me a book stamp!” She grinned up at him and it immediately calmed his racing heart. “I love it, Buzzard.” She stepped closer to him and kissed him quickly before turning towards her books.
He rolled his eyes at the nickname but reached around her to grab one of her favorites off the shelf and handed it to her.
She took the book from him but didn’t open it, instead, she quirked her mouth to the side and said, “Not that this isn’t great, because it is and I love it,” she rushed to reassure him, “but why didn’t you give this to me before we put all the books away? I could’ve stamped them as I shelved them.”
Because I know you and it would’ve ruined the surprise.
He smirked, “Because I know you love any excuse to reorganize and reshelve your books.” He wrapped his arms around her waist, “now that you’ve figured out where you want them all, you can go through and stamp them accordingly.”
Aelin beamed and grabbed his face in her free hand, her other still holding the stamp wrapped around the back of his neck, and kissed him.
“You know me so well, Buzzard.”
“I’d like to think so, Fireheart.”
Aelin let go of him and set the stamp down as she opened the cover of the book to the first blank page.
Rowan could feel his hands getting clammy and his heart start pounding as she lifted the stamp and muttered something about liking how the ink was already in place.
Aelin smiled brightly as she opened the book Rowan had grabbed. It was one of her favorites. Not only because the story was so well-written and the characters felt real, but because Rowan had gifted it to her on one of their first dates.
Somehow, they’d gotten to talking about the best books to read on a road trip and she’d rambled on about her favorites. She remembered finally taking a breath after a long-winded explanation of a particular book series to see Rowan watching her with rapt attention and a smile. He looked satisfied to listen to her talk about books for hours. Especially when he told her, “I think I could listen to you talk about your favorite books for hours.”
He’d said it with such sincerity that that was the moment she started falling in love with him.
The next day, Rowan gave her the book she was currently holding and told her that it was one of his favorites and wanted to share it with her. Aelin had immediately wiped away any insecurity or hesitation he had at the gesture by wrapping her arms around him and thanking him profusely and intimately.
Now, the book was filled with her annotations and little notes in the margins, and the pages were soft with use. It really was her favorite.
Carefully choosing a blank spot on the page, Aelin didn’t notice how Rowan moved to stand behind her out of her eye line, as she took the book stamp and pressed firmly onto the page.
“Ta-da!” She grinned happily as she removed the stamp and set it down, making sure the ink wouldn’t get on anything else.
Aelin looked at the small design. It was circular with a minimalistic image of a stack of books.
Her breath caught in her throat and her heart stuttered as she read and reread the inscription. Around the image held the words:
“This Book is Belongs to the Personal Library of Aelin Galathynius-Whitethorn.”
She blinked and it took a moment for her brain to catch up to the word she was reading. Taking a steadying breath, Aelin slowly turned around.
Rowan was standing behind her with a smile. When their eyes met, hers watery and his nervous, but both so filled with love, his smile softened, and he held her gaze as he slowly lowered himself to one knee.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out the second small black box he’d kept in there. Aelin was speechless as he opened it and she saw the striking emerald ring sitting inside.
Aelin couldn’t hold back the choked sound she made as she fully realized what was happening. Her hands flew to her mouth to keep any more noises at bay. She wasn’t going to ruin this moment by emitting any more incomprehensible squawks or sobs.
Rowan’s hands shook slightly, and he tried to calm his racing heart.
He didn’t think he had ever been more nervous. But he’d also never been more sure of anything in his life; never more sure of anyone.
It was the way she was looking at him with hope and certainty and love that allowed him to say with a steady voice, “Aelin, Fireheart, you are my friend, my confidant, my partner, my love.”
Aelin knew she was crying but couldn’t help it as she listened to Rowan.
“Your spit-fire personality and wit drew me in, and your kindness, compassion, and fierce protectiveness for the people you love has made me fall in love with you more every day. I love the way your nose scrunches up when you focus, and how you mouth along with the words to your favorite movies. I love staying up until two in the morning and dancing around the kitchen with you. And even though you make me want to pull my hair out most days,” Aelin choked out a laugh as he continued. “I can’t imagine my life without you in it. You are it. Aelin, you are my heart. In this life and the next, to whatever end, Fireheart—”
Rowan was cut off from saying anything more as Aelin launched herself at him and wrapped her arms around him tightly. The force of her impact knocked him off his knee and sent them both tumbling to the ground. Rowan twisted his leg quickly and landed on his back with Aelin on top of him, one arm gripping firmly around her waist, keeping her close as she held his face in both her hands and kissed him deeply.
“Yes,” Kiss. “Yes,” Kiss. “Yes, of course, Rowan.” Kiss, Kiss, Kiss.
Aelin pulled back from his dazed expression and smiled more joyfully than he’d ever seen. He brought the hand still holding the emerald ring up to gently brush away some tears that were trekking down her face.
“I haven’t even asked you yet.” He pointed out, grinning.
She huffed a laughed and rolled her eyes but didn’t dim her smile. “Then hurry up and ask me, Buzzard.”
Rowan’s booming laugh filled the room as he looked up at the woman laying on top of him who held his heart.
“Aelin, will you marry me?”
Her smile softened into one she only ever showed him, and whispered, “Yes, Rowan, I will marry you.”
This time, Rowan pulled her down and kissed her. It was sweet and filled with every ounce of love they could pour into it. When they broke apart Aelin rested her forehead against his and placed one more chaste kiss on his lips.
Slowly, they sat up. Rowan removed the ring from its box and took Aelin’s hand in his.
“To whatever end,” he spoke the words reverently as he slid the ring onto her finger.
Aelin looked at the ring and twisted her hand to see it catch the light. When she caught his gaze once more, she smiled again.
“To whatever end.”
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“I MET THE CUTEST GIRL IN THE BAR AND I YELLED DIBS” for any ship lol
"Dibs!" Lorcan spun around, meeting Rowan's humored gaze. "I met....I met the cutest girl in the bar and I yelled dibs."
"I know, buddy," Rowan said, patting Lorcan on the shoulder. "We were sitting right here. Although, you didn't meet her. She's literally on the other side of the room."
"She's perfect," Lorcan said, looking over his shoulder at the girl across the bar. "Look....look how small. I could just hold her in my hand. Put her in my pocket. Carry....Carry her around in my pocket."
"Yeah, I think it's time he's cut off," Fenrys mumbled, nodding toward Lorcan's nearly empty glass.
"Let him keep going," Rowan replied, crossing his arms as he watched Lorcan watch a girl he'd probably never get. "I like drunk Lorcan."
Fenrys just chuckled as he shook his head and raised his hand for another whiskey from the bartender.
It was ladies' night at the local bar on the corner of their block. It's pretty much where the roommates spent all of their Friday nights, and some Saturdays. It was always all fun and games until Lorcan got so drunk that Rowan and Fenrys had to drag his ass - literally - back home.
"We're in love," Lorcan said, raising his emptied glass into the air.
"You know, to do that you actually have to go introduce yourself first," Fenrys said, sipping from the newly filled glass in front of him. He was the roommate known for pacing himself. "And, all you've done is yelled dibs. She doesn't know you exist."
Lorcan slowly looked at Fenrys, his eyes narrowed. "Maybe you should find someone to go home with. Grumpy-ass."
"I made a vow not to, since Ro won't be going home with anyone," Fenrys said.
"The only reason I'm not going home with anyone is because my girlfriend is out of town, and she's the only one I go home with," Rowan argued. "So, poor excuse."
"Leave him alone," Lorcan said, walking to Fenrys and tossing an arm around his shoulder as his words slurred. "He's just sad. Heartbroken. If you're....not ready to make sweet love to someone just yet, Fenny, you don't have to."
Rowan couldn't control his escaping laughter.
"We're not animals," Lorcan went on, apparently on a roll. "We are men, and we are men with feelings, and it's okay, Fenny, to have feelings."
"Fenny?" Fenrys asked, exasperated, looking at Rowan.
Rowan just shrugged, his grin permanently displayed on his lips.
"When you're ready to get out there again, Fenny," Lorcan continued, leaning in close to Fenrys, who nearly gagged from the overwhelming scent of alcohol on Lorcan's breath, "I'm going to be here for you, to help you find someone."
Fenrys opened his mouth to reply, but he didn't get a chance, because a high-pitched voice from behind Lorcan caught their attention.
Lorcan spun around, his drink spilling onto his shirt in the process. He didn't seem to notice, as he came face to face with the girl he'd been admiring from across the bar. He hesitated, then cleared his throat. "Hi."
She suppressed her smile. "Hi. I'm trying to get to the bar."
Lorcan blinked, it taking a minute for her words to process. "Hi."
Her dark brows rose as she laughed, quietly. It was Fenrys who took Lorcan by the sleeve of his shirt and pulled him out of the way, causing his drink to spill further.
The girl stepped up to the counter and, although a solid foot and then some shorter than Lorcan, she had the bartender waved down in a matter of seconds.
The bartender smiled as she approached. "Hey, Elide. Another round?"
"Please," she smiled, and as the bartender scurried away, she looked up at Lorcan, who was watching her, intently. "I've seen you here before."
"I come here often," Lorcan said, leaning his palm against the bartop - which he almost missed. "Do you....Do you come here often?"
"Often enough to recognize you," she said.
Lorcan swallowed, and nodded. "Sure."
She bit her lip, trying to hold in her laughter, but failing. "I hope you're better at conversation when you're sober."
"He's not," Fenrys mumbled. Rowan snorted.
Lorcan didn't notice, though. He continued to look at Elide. "You're...."
She raised her brows, waiting for him to finish his thought, but then Elide was brought a small tray of shots. She waited another minute for Lorcan to say something, anything, else, but when he didn't, she just shook her head, amused. "Well, nice talk."
She picked up her tray and carried it to the other side of the bar, where her group of friends were waiting.
Lorcan watched her the whole time before leaning back against the bar and downing his glass. He set it on the bar with a clank, and looked at his friends with a satisfied, cunning smile. "Crushed it."
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Computer Screens and Love Scenes
Aelin Galathynius x Rowan Whitethorn - University Oneshot
“You just caught me reading hardcore smut during class and you're wondering how I can read this with a blank face”
Written for Rowaelin Month 2021. Day 2: College/University AU. @rowaelinscourt
Masterlist | Read on Ao3 | Rowaelin Month Masterlist
Warnings: Language, Light NSFW
Aelin urged the coffee in her hands to wake her up. Why, in Hellas’ name, she had signed up for an eight am class was beyond her. It didn’t help that her professor’s voice droned on in a low monotone that threatened to lull her back to sleep.
She took another sip of her hot, caramel, magic-juice and glanced around the lecture hall. It wasn’t large, but it felt too big to house the sparse number of students in the class. Dozens of rows curved around in a semi-circle placed on ascending levels, and people were spread out enough that she had a bubble of empty chairs surrounding her.
Aelin kept surveying the room while keeping one eye on her boring professor. There was a girl with dark hair and brightly colored streaks in her row sitting five or six seats away for her, doodling in a notebook. There was a guy with long dreadlocks typing furiously on his laptop three rows in front of her. Turning, she spotted a guy with silver hair and a tattoo sitting two rows behind her and a chair to the left. She dragged her eyes away from his tattoo before she stared too long to be casual. Everyone else was either trying not fall asleep or already snoozing by the sounds of it.
Resigning herself to the next forty minutes of sitting in the lecture, Aelin decided to spend her time doing something she actually enjoyed. She was in the middle of a new romance book by one of her favorite authors, so Aelin closed out of her notes document and opened her reading app. When it came to her books, Aelin was always prepared—she would get a physical copy, an eBook, and an audiobook so that she could read whenever and wherever she liked.
Smiling to herself, she zoned out the professor, opened her book, and read.
Rowan was trying his best to pay attention. Normally, he was a morning person, and being awake at eight in the morning was absolutely nothing. But sitting in a stuffy, old room listening to a very old professor talk about something—he wasn’t even sure what this lecture was about—for an hour was becoming impossible.
He rubbed a hand down his face and took a sip from his water bottle. As he leaned over to place it back on the floor, he caught a glimpse of what the blonde girl sitting in front of him had on her laptop screen.
It took a minute for his eyes to focus on the lines of text. She was reading something, probably an article for some class, Rowan assumed. He was about to sit back when she clicked a button and the page turned. His eyes flew wide as he read the words.
“As he lifted her into his arms, she felt the long, hard length of him press into her aching core—”
It was absolutely not an article for class.
She was reading a love scene. A very explicit love scene.
Rowan wasn’t one to judge, but he did wonder why she was reading it in the middle of class. Looking around hastily, Rowan realized that he would be the only one able to see it, and that was only if he was obnoxiously leaning forward like he was currently.
He didn’t mean to snoop. Really, he didn’t, but it was far more exciting than whatever the professor was trying to explain.
Rowan shook himself. Was he really reading smut over some girl’s shoulder just so he wouldn’t have to hear about…allopatric speciation?
He tried refocusing but his attention kept dragging back to the girl. He’d noticed her before, Hellas, how could he not have? She was stunning with golden blonde hair and vivid blue eyes. He’d seen her walk into the lecture hall on the first day of the semester, she’d had her backpack slung over one shoulder and carried a coffee cup in one hand—much like the one she had today, Rowan noticed. She’d chosen a seat a couple rows ahead of him and turned as she set her bag down. When she’d met his eyes, she flashed him a wink before sitting down.
His eyes strayed back to her once more as he reached for his water. He was honestly impressed with her ability to keep a perfectly straight face when she was reading that. Rowan followed her hand as she lifted it to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, then his eyes fell back to her computer screen as he tried to take another sip of water.
“She gasped as his hand wrapped around her throat, squeezing until her vision blurred and sending lightning strikes of blinding pleasure right to her core. His thrusts didn’t stop, only gained force and speed as he pounded her lithe body into the mattress. She choked on a sob as his hand moved to rub rough circles on her clit—"
He choked. Loudly.
Loud enough, apparently, that the professor stopped talking and turned his attention on Rowan just as every other student turned to face him, too.
He tried to breathe properly, but Rowan could feel his face turning red as all the eyes in the room landed on him. He waved them off, muttering something about ‘water’ and ‘the wrong pipe’. Most of the students turned back to their own work already dismissing the, most likely welcome, interruption. His professor gave him a long shrewd look before turning back to the board and continuing his lesson.
When Rowan finally resituated himself, he noticed the blonde girl ahead of him still looking at him curiously. He tried not to, but his eyes darted to her computer before he could stop himself. He watched as understanding bloomed across her features and it was her turn to look embarrassed. She glanced a few times between him and her screen, which she had lowered the second she turned towards the disruption.
As she faced him as final time, Rowan watched the faint blush retreat from her face as she smirked before turning back towards the front.
He expected to see her close the book and return to taking notes. Instead, she kept the book open, going so far as to turn up the brightness on her computer ever so slightly. Enough to make it easier for him to read, but not too bright to draw unwanted attention.
Rowan wasn’t sure what to make of this bold girl in front of him, but he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t intrigued.
Aelin kept the smirk on her face as she faced the front of the room.
She’d noticed him before. He always seemed so focused; the first day of the semester she’d walked in early and he was already waiting with his laptop, water bottle, and snack all lined up and ready to go. Aelin had gotten a good look at him and winked before she could stop herself. He was attractive, very attractive. More than once she’d caught herself gazing at his tattoo, struggling to focus on the lecture in front of her.
She supposed today really wasn’t that different, then. Only, he’d caught her reading and obviously caught what she was reading.
But she had his attention and she wasn’t going to waste it.
Aelin knew without having to look that the guy behind her was keeping close attention to her computer. So, she drew up her bravado and opened a small note on the edge of her screen, placed easily so he could see it.
“You seem very invested in my book,” she typed, and heard the small sound of him jerking back into his seat. Aelin waited until she heard the tell-tale groaning of the chair as he leaned forward again. “What do you say we try out one of these scenes sometime?”
Aelin was rewarded with the loud sound of his knee banging into the chair in front of him.
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