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#sjm fanfic
duskandstarlight · 2 days ago
So......true story—about every other Sunday morning, BF sheepishly asks ‘is the update posted?’ If I say ‘yes’ then he sighs (dramatically) and says ‘fine! Read! I am going to the gym.’ Because he knows that I ain’t moving until I am done reading the new installment of E&L.
At this point, it’s so rich and wildly imaginative and with such amazing characterization that I forget that I am even reading a SJM ‘fanfic’. At times, I think hers is the fanfiction while yours is the real deal, the book that she should’ve written.
I adored this chapter, because it was so much of everything!!! Training, Rhys, mutual jealousy, panting and pining, protective Sala, ( why did you break Azriel’s beautiful nose????), Maya’s backstory and human reaction to Marsh’s death, Cassian being the little secret real estate mogul that he is, his cute, pathetic horniness, different sides of Velaris.
I legitimately swallowed this chapter like a hungry, greedy beast. All I can say is ‘thank you’!
I cannot tell you how much I was buzzing reading this 😂 I even read it to my fiancé because the picture of your BF sulking off to t the gym brings me life @nikethestatue hahaha.
I’m so so glad you liked the chapter. Love your reference to Cassian being a retail estate mogul. I think he should put that on his CV tbh..
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tealnymph24 · 2 days ago
Text
A Song of Shadows: Chapter 14
Title: Chocolate Kisses
It’s the end of their shopping trip and Azriel takes Gwyn to a secret spot by the see. They share dessert, secrets and a few kisses.
If you would like to be tagged in updates, please let me know!
Read on AO3
Azriel X Gwyn
Warnings: Mostly fluff, but a little steamy
Word Count: 5,045
Single POV
Masterlist
“Can I open my eyes yet?” Gwyn asked with a giggle as Azriel carefully guided her forward. He had told her to close her eyes right before he winnowed them, having just acquired a basket full of dessert from their favorite restaurant. She had no idea where they were, just that she could smell the sea. The uneven ground made walking with her eyes closed difficult, but she trusted Azriel to lead her safely.
“In a second, hold on,” Azriel replied, coming to an abrupt stop. She nearly stumbled into him, but he quickly steadied her, gently grasping her arms to keep her upright. “Okay, you can look now.”
She slowly opened her eyes, adjusting to the darkness around her. She was standing in a large, grassy meadow that overlooked the sea, a trail near the edge of the field leading down to the beach. Behind her, lush forest stretched into the distance, the tree line stretching for miles into the mountains. On her other side, the meadow sloped toward the city; the lights of Velaris glittering like stars below them.
“Az, it’s lovely!” She exclaimed, excitedly turning in circles to take it all in. It was marvelous. Just when she thought this day couldn’t get any better, Azriel had completely outdone himself. “How did you find this place?”
“I fly over the city a lot,” he responded with a chuckle, stretching out in the grass and pulling the basket of treats toward himself. “I found it one time when I was going to the Summer Court. I could have winnowed, but I decided to fly over the sea instead. I found this place on the way.”
“It’s beautiful,” she sighed, slowly settling down next to Azriel, crossing her legs and facing him. He stretched his legs out next to her, his large body providing a comforting warmth beside her. “Do you come here a lot?”
“Not as often as I’d like,” he admitted, leaning back on his elbows with a small smile. “I get caught up with everything else, so I forget to take time for myself, I guess.”
“Hmm, you should come here more,” she said matter-of-factly, absently playing with blades of grass around her. “And I’m taking it upon myself to ensure you do exactly that.”
“Oh really, and how do you plan to do that?” He asked, giving her a crooked grin.
“I’ll just ask you to bring me,” she stated, playfully poking his leg. “You can’t say no to me.”
“No, I certainly can’t,” he laughed, leaning forward until his face was only a breath away from hers. Her heart started racing, anticipating his next move. She didn’t have to wait long; he quickly dipped his head, his lips softly trailing down her cheek until his mouth found hers. He gently kissed her but pulled away far too soon for her liking.
“That’s not fair, you know,” she teased, bumping her leg against his. The proximity of his body was making her feel warm all over – in multiple ways. “You can’t just kiss me to distract me all the time.”
“Why not?” He smirked, eyes dancing with mirth. His shadows circled around them, playfully twirling in her hair. “It seems to work quite well.”
She rolled her eyes but didn’t argue. He could kiss her as much as he wanted; she wouldn’t complain. His kisses were far too enjoyable to deny herself the pleasure of them for the sake of arguing with him.
“Well, do I get to find out what’s in that basket?” She gestured at the item in question, feigning an exasperated sigh. Azriel smiled but didn’t respond, instead opening the basket and pulling out the carefully wrapped delicacies inside.
“Here, try this,” he instructed, handing her a flaky looking pastry with bits of chocolate seeping out. “It’s a chocolate croissant.”
She took a small bite, savoring the buttery flavor of the pastry mixing with the sweetness of the chocolate. It was delightful. She might have found her new favorite dessert, she thought.
“This is so good,” She happily gasped, taking another bite of the dessert. “I’ve never had anything like it.”
“I’m glad you’re enjoying it,” he smiled, taking a bite of his own croissant. “They’re my favorite.”
“I didn’t realize you liked sweets so much,” she teased, carefully peeling off layers of her pastry and popping them in her mouth. “I was worried you might be like Cassian. All vegetables, no chocolate.”
He let out a deep laugh, the sound rumbling through her. He had such a comforting laugh, the kind that made you want to laugh with him. She secretly felt a rush of joy every time he laughed because of something she said.
“Unlike Cassian, I happen to love sweets,” he responded with a wink, his mischievous smile making her heart race again. “Especially things with chocolate.”
She grinned in response, returning to her pastry. They fell into a companionable silence, quietly enjoying the clear evening and their dessert. After a moment, Azriel broke the silence, taking Gwyn by surprise.
“My mother actually makes these,” he quietly said, so low that she barely heard him. She turned to look at him only to find him staring at the ground, toying with the end of the dagger at his side. “It took me years to find a place that made ones as good as hers.”
Gwyn’s breath caught, shock rendering her speechless. Azriel had never told him about his mother, not even in passing. And she had never asked because she understood his hesitancy to discuss certain aspects of his life – she was the same way.
“Are these as good as hers?” She asked, watching him steadily. She could have sworn there was a faint flush on his cheeks, but it was too dark to know for certain. He finally raised his head to look at her, a scarred hand running through his hair; the only obvious sign he was nervous.
“Almost, but not quite,” he finally replied, his throat bobbing. He still wasn’t meeting her eyes, so she took his hand in hers, trying to soothe him. “These are the next best thing when I can’t go see her though.”
“Do you get to see her often?” She gently questioned, stroking his hand with her thumb. She had about a million questions flooding her mind, but she held them back. Azriel would tell her in his own time; she wasn’t going to push too hard.
“Not as often as I should,” he admitted, a rueful smile on his lips. “But she always makes chocolate croissants when I do visit. Her name is Davina by the way.”
“That’s a beautiful name,” she remarked, steadily rubbing soothing circles on his hand. “Does she live far from here?”
“No, not too far,” he began, finally meeting her gaze, a softness in his eyes she knew was rare. He didn’t talk about this often, she was sure of it. “She lives at my estate, which is only a few hundred miles up the coast.”
“So that’s where you go sometimes,” she mused, the mystery of his occasional disappearances now making sense. “You visit her. When you’re not on a mission, but you’re gone for the whole day, I mean. What’s it like there?”
“Yes, that’s where I go,” he acknowledged, squeezing her hand slightly. “My estate is a lot like this spot. It's in the middle of a big meadow; ocean to one side and forest to the others. It looks a little wild because I left most of the meadow as is, with only a small garden on one side. I wanted most of it natural. Neat, perfect gardens are too formal for my taste. It feels suffocating.”
“It sounds so peaceful,” she smiled, his admission about not liking perfect gardens bringing an odd sense of comfort to her. She felt the same way; she much preferred wild, untamed nature.
“It is,” he quietly agreed, a faraway look in his eyes. “I’m sorry I’ve never told you before. I should have.”
“It’s alright, I understand.”
“You’re so forgiving,” he softly chuckled, seeming to relax again. “Most females would be upset that I sneak off to a secret estate without them.”
“Well, I’m not most females,” she joked, patting his leg with her free hand.
“No, you most certainly aren’t,” he agreed, his eyes surprisingly full of emotion. He paused for a moment before adding, “My mother would like you. I can take you to meet her eventually if you’d like.”
“I’d very much like that,” she assured him, squeezing his hand affectionately. “If she wants to meet me of course.”
“I think she would,” he smiled, looking out at the sea before turning back to her. “I’ve told her about you actually. She’s already decided she likes you and wants to be friends.”
Her eyebrows shot up, taken aback by his confession. It was clear how important his mother was to him, so to know that he had told his mother about her completely stunned her. He wanted his mother to know about her. And wanted her to possibly meet his mother.
“I’d love that,” she breathed, barely able to speak around the sudden lump in her throat. She studied him for a moment, overcome with emotion at his unexpected vulnerability. “Az, is there a reason you’re telling me this now?”
He took a minute to respond, seeming to contemplate his words. She wasn’t sure what he would tell her. She knew he was being far more open than was normal for him, which usually meant he was doing it deliberately. Sure enough, his response confirmed her thoughts.
“You were vulnerable with me today, and I wanted to return the favor,” he explained, looking down at the ground again. “I wanted to…be vulnerable with you. I'm not shy about my body, but I am shy about my life.”
She waited as he took a deep breath, gathering his thoughts again. She continued stroking his hand, tracing the intricate lines of his scars with her free hand. After a short minute, he went on.
“I…I know that today, in the lingerie shop, was difficult for you,” he slowly continued, voice rough. He ran a hand through his hair again, taking deep steadying breaths as she watched him. “I know how hard you’ve worked to get here, and I wanted to show you how proud I am of you. But I also…just wanted to share a part of myself with you that I don’t normally talk about.”
The lump in her throat had returned, completely rendering her speechless. His words meant everything to her, more than she could possibly explain. Instead of responding, she simply leaned forward and kissed him. She had never been the one to initiate kisses, but now felt like the perfect time to start.
She felt him freeze for a split second before he pulled her into the kiss, tugging her forward until she fell against his chest. She kissed him thoroughly, savoring the sweetness of the chocolate that lingered on his tongue. He didn’t resist when she deepened the kiss, brazenly exploring his mouth. But just as she was about to push him back into the grass, he pulled away, gently returning her to an upright position.
She sat in stunned silence, blinking at him as she caught her breath. He was always so careful; it was infuriating. Was she doing something wrong? Or was he just being overly cautious? Before she could contemplate further, he suddenly spoke.
“That was different,” he noted, an amused smile on his slightly swollen lips, his hair mussed. A blush warmed her cheeks at the realization that she had done that to him. “Much like earlier. Did that kiss have anything to do with the one in the library?”
Her face went crimson, her mouth gaping open. She had hoped he would have forgotten about earlier, but he had apparently only been waiting for the right moment to bring it up.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she weakly deflected, her breathlessness giving away how nervous she had become.
“Of course you don’t,” he quipped, eyes gleaming with mirth, biting his lip. Gods, did he know how sexy she found that? “So, you didn’t act differently today at all then. My mistake. It must have been some other female I was kissing.”
She huffed, swatting at his arm. He feigned pain, falling back onto his elbows with a pout. She crossed her arms defiantly, refusing to give in to his games.
“Gwyneth, you wound me,” he whined, rubbing his arm soberly. “You promised you would tell me. I am merely calling you out on your promise.”
“You’ll laugh,” she protested, fighting a laugh of her own at his somber expression. “I don’t want you to tease me.”
“I won’t, I promise,” he insisted, brows furrowing slightly. “You should know better than that. If you don’t want me to tease you about something, just tell me.”
She let out a sigh, knowing he was right. He wouldn’t tease her if she didn’t want him to, but that didn’t make it any less embarrassing to tell him.
“I was acting differently because…” she paused, taking one long, deep breath before saying everything all at once, the words rushing out of her. “Because I was trying out a tip for kissing you that Nesta, Mor and Emerie gave me when I asked them last night.”
She stopped, chest heaving as she waited to hear his response. It took her a moment to realize she had said more than she should have. She hadn’t meant to tell him that she had asked for kissing tips. She suddenly felt more ridiculous than she would have thought was possible. He was so experienced, yet here she was having to ask for kissing tips. And it was all his fault. If he had just been less reserved than she wouldn’t have had to ask her friends.
“You asked for kissing tips,” he stated, dragging out each word. She couldn’t read his face, which only made her blush deeper. “What kind of tips?”
“The kind for kissing – obviously,” she replied huffily, avoiding his question.
“Yes, but you’re already good at kissing,” he said calmly, tilting his head to study her, seeming for all the world as if his statement should be obvious. But it completely caught her off guard; she hadn’t realized he considered her a good kisser. “I don’t understand what kind of tips you would need.”
“I didn’t need them,” she huffed, trying to deflect the conversation away from his inquiry. “I just wanted to learn something new, that’s all.”
“If you say so,” he conceded, quirking an eyebrow at her. She was certain he knew she was avoiding the question, but she wasn’t going to give in that easily. “But I don’t know, Berdara. It’s seems unfair to test these mysterious techniques on me without telling me what they are.”
“Well, I can try them on someone else who is more willing and asks fewer questions then,” she shot back, crossing her arms haughtily and turning away from him to stare at the sea. She silently scolded herself for promising to tell him about this earlier. He wasn’t going to drop it until he had a proper answer.
She felt him move closer to her, sitting up straight so he was right next to her, his strong torso brushing against her shoulder. He placed a kiss to the side of her forehead, caressing her cheek with his thumb.
“Gwyn, I’m just curious why you were seeking kissing advice from Nesta, Mor, and Emerie,” he gently coaxed her, idly playing with a lock of her hair. “I’m not going to tease you, I promise.”
She looked away for a moment, debating if she should tell him or not. After a moment, she decided in favor of explaining.
“I wanted advice because I…I wanted you to be less careful with me,” she explained, blushing more deeply with each word. He silently studied her, waiting for her to continue. “I know that you’re only being patient with me, but I wanted you to be less…controlled, I guess. Like when you first kissed me.”
Her voice had grown smaller as she spoke, self-consciousness unexpectedly making her nervous. Now that she was voicing her worries to Azriel, she felt so silly. Maybe he didn’t want to kiss her like she wanted him to. She hadn’t considered the possibility until now.
“Bird, is there something else?” Azriel asked, softly brushing her hair back. “You seem worried now. What’s wrong?”
“I…it’s nothing,” she deflected, staring at the ground, her throat tight.
“Gwyneth, tell me. Please.”
“I thought you were holding back because you were being patient, but…” she trailed off, picking at the grass around her, trying to find the right words. “I realize I might have misread the situation. I’m sorry, I –”
“Gwyn, honey, stop,” Azriel cut her off, taking her face in his hands, forcing her to meet his gaze. “You didn’t misread anything. I was just being patient. Please tell me you don’t think that I didn’t want you. Please.”
“I…I wasn’t sure,” she admitted. “You have so much more experience than me. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m not used to this type of thing.”
“Bird, that doesn’t matter,” he firmly assured her, leaning his forehead against hers. “I might have more experience in the physical side of relationships, but I’m new to this too. I want you, more than anything, but I’m terrified of messing this up.”
“Really?” She asked in surprised, slowly moving her hands up to rest on his arms. “I thought I was the only one who worried about that.”
“Not at all,” he chuckled, his breath tickling her skin, his forehead still resting against hers. “I don’t want to lose you.”
“I don’t want to lose you either,” she agreed, her anxieties slowly fading. He did want her. She had no reason to doubt that. “Az, you’re still my friend, even if we are a couple now. I don’t want that to ever go away.”
“Then let’s make a bargain,” he offered unexpectedly, leaning back slightly to fully meet her gaze. She studied him, looking for any signs of amusement in his hazel eyes. But there was none. He was serious.
“What kind of bargain?” She questioned, brow furrowing slightly. Bargains were serious; something not meant to be taken lightly. They needed to think this through carefully.
“We agree that we’ll always be friends, no matter what happens between us,” he began, jaw set in concentration. “Meaning, we never walk away from each other, or refuse to talk to the other. Or anything like that. We always put our friendship first.”
“Alright, I think I like this bargain so far,” she said slowly, mulling over his proposal. He seemed to have thought this out, which calmed her concerns. “Is there more?”
“Yes,” he took a deep breath, swallowing several times before continuing. “If, for whatever reason, we…separate then we have to remember that we were friends first.”
She studied him for a moment, considering his suggestion. The cost of breaking a bargain was not something to overlook as it often resulted in certain death, but she hated the idea of losing Azriel’s friendship more than anything. He was her best friend, no matter what else they had become now.
“Okay,” she said simply, giving him a small smile. He blinked, seeming shocked by her quick agreement to his offer. “Let’s make the bargain.”
“Are you sure?” He questioned, eyes narrowing with concern. “We don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
“I want to,” she assured him, running her hands soothingly along his arms, his hands still on either side of her face. “I want to make this bargain with you, Az.”
“Okay,” he nodded, slowly dropping his hands to his sides. “Okay then. A bargain: We agree to always put our friendship first, no matter what, and if we ever separate, we have to remember that we were friends first.”
He reached out a hand, preparing to complete the bargain. She took a deep breath to steady herself, then slowly took his hand in hers.
“It’s a bargain,” she agreed, magic zapping through them as her words left her lips. They both jerked slightly but held onto each other, warmth spreading through her. As the magic faded, she watched in awe as an intricate tattoo appeared on her right wrist.
Before she could stop them, tears welled in her eyes as she studied the new mark. The tattoo looked like a friendship bracelet, exactly like the one she wore on her wrist from Nesta. She looked back up to find him watching her, their hands still joined between them.
“Looks like you’re stuck with me now,” he chuckled, brushing the knuckles of his free hand along her cheek. She leaned into his touch, smiling as she slowly pulled her hand away from his to lightly trace the tattoo around his wrist. It wrested just beneath the bracelet she had gifted him months ago, the patterns almost perfectly aligned.
“We’re stuck with each other,” she replied, breaking into a broad grin. She wasn’t sure she had ever felt happier than in this moment. She knew without a doubt in her mind that Azriel would be there for her no matter what, and she would do the same for him. She felt an odd spark in her chest at the thought, one she wasn’t quite ready to explore yet. All she knew was she was completely and utterly happy.
“Az?”
“Yes?” He raised an eyebrow at her, still tenderly caressing her face.
“Thank you.”
“For what?”
“All of this,” she said softly, feeling overwhelmed by emotions. “For today. For buying me lingerie even though you might not see it. For bringing me here. For not making me feel ridiculous when I was anxious earlier. For…not looking at me like I’m broken.”
He looked at her for a moment, face softening into a look full of so much tenderness it made her heart swell. He suddenly gently took her face in his hands, pulling her closer until their chests were pressed against each other.
“You are not broken, Gwyneth,” he said roughly, eyes blazing with emotion. “You are strong and lovely and brave.”
Before she could respond, he leaned forward, closing the small gap between them and crashing his lips into hers. He kissed her fiercely, one hand drifting to the nape of her neck and the other moving to her waist to draw her tightly against him. She gripped his shoulders, clinging to him as she opened her mouth for him, granting him access.
His tongue immediately swooped in, exploring her mouth eagerly. She moaned, a shudder running through her at the pure, undiluted need he was pouring into her. If she had ever doubted that he wanted her, that doubt was swiftly being removed. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t focus on anything other than him. The shadows swirling around them. His lips expertly teasing her until she felt like nothing but heat and desire.
The control she had wanted him to loosen previously had completely come undone. He was kissing her with reckless abandon; it was everything she had imagined and more. And she wasn’t scared. Not that he would hurt her, or that he would take things too far. This was the most raw passion she had ever experienced in her life, yet, somehow, she wasn’t scared at all. He made her feel completely safe. If she had wanted it to stop, he would have instantly honored her wishes. Of that, she was certain.
When he finally pulled away, they were both gasping for air, hearts pounding rapidly. They stared at each other for a long moment, both a little shocked by their actions. His brow furrowed, worry coloring his features, but she broke into a wide smile before he could voice any concern. She knew he was probably worried he had gone too far, but he hadn’t. She had enjoyed every single blissful second.
“You taste like chocolate,” she finally said, leaning back in to kiss him softly on the cheek. “I like it. And I like when you kiss me like that.”
He let out a breathless laugh, slowly releasing his grip on her but pulling her into his lap. She leaned into his chest, intensely aware of every inch of his body pressing into hers as he held her close. She could stay like this forever.
“I’ll remember that for next time,” he replied, softly running a hand along her spine. Despite the intense warmth radiating from him, a shiver ran through her at his touch. “And you can also test those tips you learned next time. To make sure they’re effective, of course.”
“Why can’t I test them out now?” She giggled, snuggling against him. He was always so warm; she couldn’t get enough of him. She wanted to feel his body against hers as much as possible – a thought she had never expected to have.
“Uhh, well, I wouldn’t mind, but…” he huffed a laugh, sounding almost nervous. “I’m not sure it would be a wise idea.”
“Why?”
“Do you really want to know?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, as much as I like the idea of you kissing me for the rest of the evening,” he began, his voice oddly shaky. Oh gods. He was nervous. “My self-control has already been tested more than I was expecting today. I don’t think it would be smart to push it further.”
“What do you mean?” She questioned, leaning back to see his face. What had happened today that she was missing. “I don’t understand.”
He let out a sound of exasperation, running one hand through his already messy hair. “Gwyn, I’m a male. What do you think I mean?”
She stared at him, lost for a moment longer, but then it hit her. He was talking about the lingerie shop. She let out a shaky laugh, her eyes going wide. She had known he had been aroused when he had seen her in the negligee she had been wearing, but she hadn’t realized just how much he had been aroused.
“Ohhh, I see,” she finally breathed out, a nervous laugh escaping her. “I wasn’t really thinking about that when I asked you to come in with me. Sorry.”
“It’s alright, really,” he smiled, running a hand through her hair, his other arm still wrapped tightly around her. “It was more than alright. I just don’t want to test my restraint too much.”
“Next time then,” she smiled back at him, snuggling back into his chest. “Az, can I ask you something?”
“Of course.”
“When you said you would keep your room open for me, did you mean only when I’m having a rough night or…?” She trailed off, letting her question hang in the air. She had been surprised by his offer this morning, but also curious. She liked the idea of spending the night with Azriel at some point, perhaps sooner rather than later. She knew he wouldn’t expect anything from her physically either, which made the idea even more appealing. She could just be with him without any expectations.
“My offer was for when you’re having a difficult night,” he hesitantly responded, his voice dropping to the low tone that often meant he was anxious about something. “But…I also meant you could come to my room whenever you feel like it, for whatever reason. If you want. But you don’t have to.”
“Hmmm, good,” she happily hummed against him, brazenly running a hand along his chest. She could feel his firm muscles underneath his thin shirt, his strong body a solid weight against her. She wondered what it would feel like without the fabric between them. “That’s what I was hoping you meant.”
“Oh?”
“I like the idea of spending the night with you,” she confessed, tracing the hard edges of his abdomen through his shirt. Gods he felt good. “To sleep, I mean.”
“Of course,” he responded breathlessly. She could feel his heart pounding, the knowledge making her feel oddly satisfied. She liked that his body reacted to her as much as she reacted to him. “My door will always be open for you, Bird.”
“Thank you,” she smiled against his chest, content to stay here all night. “Azriel, where did that nickname come from?”
“Bird?”
“Yes, that one.”
He softly chuckled, “Umm, my shadows started calling you that a while ago and I liked it. I can stop using it if it bothers you though.”
“No, I like it,” she reassured him, rubbing his arm gently. “I like all the nicknames you give me.”
“Oh, um, good,” he laughed, returning to his soothing stroking of her back. “Are you sure you don’t mind?”
“Not at all, I like them,” she promised, closing her eyes and letting herself revel in his strong embrace. It felt so natural to be like this, all tangled with him. “Maybe I should come up with a few nicknames for you too.”
“You already have a few,” he murmured against her hair, his breath softly tickling her skin. “But I like when you call me by my full name the best.”
“You like when I call you Azriel?” She clarified quietly, beginning to doze off slightly.
“Yes, I like when you say my name,” he confirmed, squeezing her tighter. “But I’m not opposed to any other nickname you give me either.”
“Mmm, I’ll remember that Azriel,” she mumbled, slowly drifting off, lost in the comfort of his presence. “Can we stay here a little while longer?”
“We can stay as long as you want,” he agreed, pressing the ghost of a kiss to her temple.
So they did. They stayed until Gwyn had completely dozed off against Azriel, his warm body and steady heartbeat lulling her into a peaceful slumber. She didn’t wake until he quietly whispered her name outside of the library, gently rousing her from her nap. He set her down with a sweet kiss to her lips before ushering her through the door, the taste of his chocolate kisses still lingering in her memory.
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lightlyblooming · 3 days ago
Hello darling! I love your writing so much...so I was wondering if you could write mor x reader where reader is insecure about their body if not it's okay ...thank you 💕
A/N: Thank you so much for reading my other stories and for requesting one! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my previous writing, I hope you enjoy this. Please, feel free to request more! I love writing requests.
Trigger Warning: Body image issues
You stood in front of the mirror, staring at yourself. Just the sight of your body made you uncomfortable. Sometimes you were fine. Sometimes it didn't bother you, because you knew you were loved, but sometimes it really dug under your skin. Ate you alive, nagged at the back of your mind until you were a mess of tears. Sadly, today was one of those days. 
You knew that you should step away. Go get dressed in clothes that made you feel like you were at the top of the world. But all you could see, and all you could think about, was the image of you standing there, dishevelled by sleep, wrapped up in a very unflattering robe.
A room away, you could hear the love of your life, Morrigan, moving around the living room, preparing for her day of work. She hummed slightly as she did so, something that you knew she only did around the people she trusted the most.
You wanted to join her, wish her a good day and kiss her goodbye, but... You just couldn't make yourself step away from the mirror.
Suddenly, the soft humming stopped. The door to the bedroom opened and a single tear fell from your eye as you saw Morrigan standing in the threshold, looking at you with pinched lips and a tilted head.
"What's wrong?" Morrigan asked, her features smoothing out as she stepped into the bedroom and closed the door behind her.
You said nothing and forced yourself to step away from the mirror, knowing that Morrigan knew already. She knew everything when it came to you. Not to mention her ability to instantly recognize when someone's emotions switched. A product of her sad, disgusting upbringing in the Court of Nightmares.
She walked up to you and took your hand. She smiled in her soft, dreamy way. "You're beautiful."
You couldn't stop yourself from wincing.
Morrigan pulled you close and wrapped her arms around your waist, looking at you with such love in her eyes that you could hardly breathe. It was hard to imagine someone as perfect as her falling so hard for someone like you.
"I wouldn't be with you if you weren't the single most beautiful person I've ever laid eyes on," Morrigan said, pressing a light kiss to your lips in emphasis. 
Even though the feel of her arms around you, her lips on yours, brought you to a near-ecstatic place, the nagging thoughts in the back of your mind didn't back down. You wanted them to. You wanted to be here, happy, in Morrigan's arms. But your mind could be a real pain in the ass, and it wouldn't leave you alone. 
In a last-ditch effort, Morrigan raised one of her hands to cup your cheek. An expression filled her features, so full of emotions and adoration that you nearly melted right there. She looked at you like you were her world. Her everything. It made your stomach twist in the most delightful way.
"I couldn't have dreamt up a more perfect partner," Morrigan said, her voice soft and full of meaning. 
Just when you thought your heart couldn't get any more full, Morrigan brought you into a long, precious kiss that left you feeling like you were floating.
Really, you couldn't be any luckier. You couldn't have found a partner any more loving or attentive than Morrigan was. Her patience was absolutely godly and you made sure to constantly show your appreciation whenever you had the chance.
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acciowests · 6 days ago
Prompt for modern world elorcan:
" you're a really shit driver you know that?"
" what, no I'm not!"
You can decide who the bad driver is
So, I really took this and ran with it, I hope you enjoy! :)
Early Arrivals
WORD COUNT: 1034
SUMMARY: Lorcan drives Elide to the hospital when she goes into early labour.
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"Lorcan!"
Elide's scream echoed through the car as he did a sharp turn, hand spinning on the wheel and barely missing the car that was exiting. Her own hands were on her knees, head bowed toward the dashboard, but still, she saw the flash of traffic from the window, heard the horns of cars that beeped at them. Her husband's hand moved to her back, rubbing gently before she smacked it away, "Both hands on the wheel, how many more times?!"
She had told him twice, but still. It was late evening, everyone was coming back from working and they were in the midst of the city, heading toward the outskirts. The darkness didn't help, a bunch of headlights casting the way wasn't too comforting.
"Do you want me to turn the radio on?" he asked, glancing toward her as she shuffled in her seat, trying to get into a position that didn't encourage the lightning shooting over her lower back. Contractions.
"No," Elide seethed, pressing her palms against her eyes, "I just want you to keep your eyes on the road because there's no way in hell I'm giving birth in this car."
They'd had it all planned out. She wanted to have an at-home water birth with her midwife and doctor who had agreed to the home visit. That was supposed to happen in two weeks, and apparently, someone had decided to arrive a little early. She'd tried ringing Doctor Westfall when her water had broke, but it was a few hours later and still nothing. They had all but piled into the car when the contractions had started to form a consistent rhythm. Everything was now messily shoved either in the back seats or the trunk. Elide was about to snap at Lorcan again for swerving between two other cars which had been way too close together when her phone rang.
A moan full of relief escaped her lips, accompanied by one of pain as her whole stomach and back tightened, making her eyes water. Leaning to the side, just reaching over her enormous bump, she swiped up her phone, happy to confirm that it was, in fact, Yrene.
She pressed the screen to her ear, hand shaking, "Yrene, Yrene, he's coming."
Silence filled the line before a gentle chuckle came from the other end, "I was calling to see why I'd missed multiple calls from you, but now I see why. Are you on your way to the hospital?"
Elide wanted to curse her calm demeanour, "Yes. Lorcan is driving like a fucking maniac but we're on the way. I can't—I can't wait, he's coming now."
Lorcan chuckled, rolling his eyes and reaching out to squeeze her hand. She pushed him away before he could try, pointing menacingly at the wheel and leaning back against the chair.  Despite his teasing, she could see how scared he was as well.
"I know," replied Yrene, "Elide, I know how you're feeling but I just need you to breathe. Focus on your breath, in and out, okay? That baby will not come until your right here in a bed with nurses and doctors around you, I promise."
Tears wetted her cheeks, a hand dropping to rest on her belly. "Okay," she whispered, knowing she couldn't promise such a thing but holding onto hope anyway.
After reminding her to breathe and telling her to call back if she needed anything before they arrived, Yrene hung up, leaving Elide desperate and in pain, with only her husband to comfort her. She knew pain with her ankle, knew pain with throbbing migraines and the Braxton hicks she'd started to experience, but nothing hurt like the contractions she was feeling now, and she'd give up her very soul just for an epidural or some gas-and-air.
"Just breathe, El," Lorcan smiled, being sure to keep both hands on the wheel this time, "We're going to be there soon."
He was driving over the speed limit, but she knew that he wouldn't slow down until he knew both her and the baby were okay—which wouldn't be until they were at the hospital, so there was no way he was slowing down at all. Lorcan was grumpy and protective, but that was nothing compared to how he was as a father and a husband. He was always touching her, whether that was a hand on the small of her back, an arm around her shoulders, or their fingers intertwined, he was never away from her side. His palm would rest on her belly, fingers tapping and waiting for a kick in response. She'd often wake up to find him talking to the babe, propped up on his elbows and utterly immersed in his son. Now, as she sat withering in pain, mere hours away from giving birth, she could see the distress in his brows.
"What if I can't do it," she cried, wanting to hold her son more than anything but being utterly terrified of actually pushing him from her body, "Lor, I'm so scared."
"I know, baby, but you got this. That little boy is waiting to meet you, he needs you to breathe and stay calm. I can't even imagine how much pain you're in, but you're the strongest person I've ever met. If anyone can do this, it's you," he breathed, eyes locked on the road as they drove past a sign telling them they were near the hospital.
She could do it. She could hold on. She was about to tell her husband how much she loved him, how lucky she was to have him as the father of her child, when he took over another car and the road erupted in blazing horns. Elide couldn't help but laugh, "You're a really shit driver, you know that?"
"What?" Lorcan frowned, though even he couldn't contain his smirk, "No I'm not!"
The baby kicked then, as though he was laughing at his father, or perhaps agreeing with his mother. Either way, Elide relaxed into her seat, both hands cupping her bump as she gritted her teeth, ready to ride out the next few hours if it meant meeting her son at the end of it all.
* * *
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sareyesj · 6 days ago
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I'm starting to think people only are following me cause I post random complex shit on my page and like to see if others are gonna get made lmfao ANYWAYS
Rhysand can kiss my feet and ass because of his sexual offender actions and abusive ones. Yall say Tamlin is abusive take a look at Riceman, ricepop,ricesoup,riceshit,ricecake, ricewings,ricetwoinches. rhys did sexually assault her when he made feyre give him a lap dance while being drugged on the strong wine in acotar. all was unconsensual. It also says in acomaf “Nothing else transferred to me.” “It’d just be rather … interesting,” he smirked at the word, “if it did.” “It didn’t, and I’m not going to learn to read or shield with you.” “Why? From spite? I thought you and I got past that Under the Mountain.” “Don’t get me started on what you did to me Under the Mountain.” his actions utm. It is also mentioned acotar how she felt pain underneath her breasts before she found out what had happened that night.  Rhys also assaulted her in acotar “Well?” I bared my teeth. “Go. To. Hell.” Swift as lightning, he lashed out, grabbing the shard of bone in my arm and twisting. A scream shattered out of me, ravaging my aching throat." Wanting to fucking fuck your personal love interest in a place where people have been sexually assaulted or tortured is problematic. Having someone meet up with their abusers without knowing is problematic. And i'm assuming you've all read acosf so i'll say this, keeping medical information from your partner is also abuse. "But he was protecting her🥺" by that logic tamlin was also doing the bs. No matter if it was to protect her from pain it does not make it ok. Also I'm pretty sure Feyre would want to lay dead then be assaulted. And people say nesta was the abusive man when feyre's mate is touching people unconsensualy right here smh. SO EXPLAIN THIS RICY STANS! YOUR PERFECT MAN DOING THIS BULLSHIT?!
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lightlyblooming · 8 days ago
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Morrigan x Female Reader
"Runaway with me."
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You lay in bed, exhausted, with your long-time secret girlfriend, Morrigan, right beside you. Her breath feathered against your shoulder as she turned to face you. She propped herself up on an elbow and looked down at you, a gentle smile gracing her lips.
Your heart felt so full, looking at Morrigan, haloed in the morning light. Her smile, her laugh, her scent, her touch. It was enough to drive you absolutely mad with joy. Not to mention the divine things that she was able to do with her fingers. That alone was enough to consecrate her as a goddess.
Then there was everything else.
Despite you being a secret to her friends and family, she always carved out multiple days a week for you. Should that be only speaking for about ten minutes or spending a quiet night under the stars, entangled in each other's arms.
On the rare occasion that both of you were able to find space in your schedules for a date, Morrigan usually took control of the planning.
She picked out the perfect night every time. From watching a play and going out to dinner to having a picnic in a secluded grove with nothing but the pale blue sky and sun-warmed grass to keep you two company.
Your relationship with Morrigan was a collection of sweet, loving moments. Of course, there had been up and downs, but nothing that the both of you couldn't work through.
This was one of those infinitely precious moments.
Morrigan traced her fingers over your stomach, light and patient. As if she had the rest of eternity to be with you. To touch you and savour your presence. To kiss your soft lips and take in your radiant smile.
Your eyes drifted closed, the exhaustion of a full day and night awake finally weighing down on you. Dancing underneath a sky of stars, skinny dipping in the ocean, gossiping over a glass of wine, having mind-blowing sex... it was certainly enough to leave you dead tired and ready for a lifetime of sleep. Especially with Morrigan at your side, her heartbeat a steady rhythm next to yours.
Just as you were drifting off into sleep, Morrigan whispered, "Hey."
Even with her voice as quiet as it was, it was enough to get your attention. You forced your eyes open and squinted up at Morrigan, her eyebrows raised slightly in surprise. She let out a soft laugh.
"I thought you were asleep," she said, running her fingers up your stomach to rest in the centre of your chest, brushing her thumb along your skin.
"Why did you talk to me, then?" you asked, already getting pulled back into sleep by the soft caresses of your lover.
"I wanted to ask you something," she said gently, as if knowing that you were half-asleep.
"Ask away."
She paused for a moment, debating rather she should say it or not. Morrigan gave in, sighed, and said, "Runaway with me." That was enough to push any thoughts of sleep out of your mind. You blinked up at her.
"What?" you asked, confused.
She grinned, a sort of unplaceable sadness in her eyes. "I don't have work for a week, so let's go somewhere. I can rent this lovely cabin in the middle of the woods, or we can stay here. Enjoy the beach and the sun and, more importantly, each other."
When you didn't say anything, she added, "Please. I don't know when we'll have a chance like this again."
At the desperate tone in her voice, you just about melted. You let out a breath, a smile finding its place on your lips. "All right. Only if you promise to buy me my favourite foods."
Morrigan's smile was something to behold.
She planted a kiss on your forehead, chaste but full of love, and nestled down beside you. "Of course, my love. Anything."
Morrigan held onto you tight as you slept, her heart nearly bursting with love and contentment. Life wasn't perfect and it never felt like she got enough time with you, but this week... it'd be the closest to perfection she'd ever get. Not one second would be wasted. Not one moment would be spent without you next to her. It'd be an absolute dream.
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acourtofbookishdreams · 9 days ago
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Azriel ~ Different
Azriel x Reader
Summary: You have been having nightmares frequently and Azriel always is there to help you. This time, though, you finally open up about your nightmares and the things you experienced Under the Mountain.
Warning: Mentions of r*pe and sex*al assault. Please be wary.
Word Count: 1785
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Azriel POV
Her screams had woken me again.
"Azriel! Azriel, no!"
This was becoming a recurrent, nightly tradition. A tradition I wished would would just simply not be anymore.
I did what I always did, bursting into her room, Truthteller at the ready to fend off whatever ailed her but we both knew it was mostly for show. Still, I would never not rush to her side, never leave Truthteller behind for the sake of the fact that the one time I didn't would inevitably be the one time something was truly, physically wrong with her and I would kick myself for treating it as any other night - especially since the fear was certainly not all that unfounded.
But it was just a nightmare. Another nightmare.
'YOUR' POV
My screams had woken him again.
He had done the chivalrous thing of course, bursting into my room with Truthteller, prepared to fight the evil lurking in the shadows he couldn't predict or trust but we both knew nothing was there to fight, it was all in my head.
Another nightmare.
One like all the rest but this time...it was worse.
"Y/N" Azriel breathes, lowering the blade
"I'm okay" I shake my head, offering a weak smile, "Routine procedure at this point, right?"
I bite my lip, trying to hold the tears back and averting my gaze. It was usually at this point that Azriel would ask if I wanted him to stay but for some reason tonight was different. He closed the door, left Truthteller on the bedside table and climbed into bed with me immediately after, no questions, no waiting for an invitation.
Of course, I knew if I told him to leave he would do so. It was always my choice. But tonight it appeared maybe he needed this contact as much as I.
"You're safe" Azriel murmurs, gathering me into his arms.
I choke on a sob, curling into his side and resting my head on his bare chest. Usually, when he was shirtless it was an effort to keep focused but at the moment it was just further proof he was here, alive and free. It was proof he was safe.
"It's not my safety that scares me" I breathe. Once again, we were breaking from normal pattern. Previous nights, it had always been my screaming waking him, he would run in, ask if I wanted him to stay, I would agree and then he'd hold me until I fell asleep.
I never talked about the nightmares I had, never. Not even the first time...
"No!" she screamed, thrashing violently in the bedsheets, almost tearing them apart, "No, don't take-NO!"
"Y/N!" Azriel yells, bursting in through the door at the same time she awakens, clutching the sheets to her chest, sweat slick hair plastered to her forehead, tears streaming down in uncontrolled rivers of fear and pain, "Y/N, what is it?!"
"Nothing, Az, I'm sorry for waking you" she sighed, running a hand through her hair, "It was just a nightmare, I've had them for a while."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Azriel frowned, Truthteller lowering to his side.
"It wasn't necessary. I've been dealing with these since-before I got back."
"Would you..." Azriel trailed off, "Do you want me to stay?"
"No, I..." she began to reject the proposal but suddenly changed her mind, "Actually, yes, please."
Azriel nods, placing Truthteller on the bedside table before moving to open up the covers, having since nervously been put in some semblance of order as they had spoken but he stops mid-way noting that her resolve had shaken - that she was now shaking, violent sobs wracking her body.
"Y/N" Azriel said and the one word was enough to break her.
"Azriel" she sobbed, tears flowing freely again, face screwed up into an expression of unfiltered pain.
"Y/N" Azriel whispers, sitting on the bed and pulling her onto his lap. She wrapped her legs and arms around him, securing herself to him as she sobbed into his neck until the sun rose.
She had fallen asleep that way, her legs and arms secured around him in a tight embrace, tears dried and leaving her skin slightly sticky with the moisture.
He had placed her down in the bed after he had fixed the sheets with one hand, the other supporting her body, becoming limp each second sleep overtook her.
He had intended to leave but she had subconsciously clung to him with a grip so strong it had surprised him and rather than risk waking you or, worse, upsetting you, he had climbed into bed beside her, tucking her into his chest so her face rested right where his heart was.
He had found it a very fitting place for her to rest.
Azriel had done it every night since, every time a nightmare came around unless you wished otherwise, which had never happened as of yet. Even if you didn't scream out, his shadows were so attuned to you, he would sense it and come in anyhow - where you would be sitting cross legged on the bed, hugging yourself or crying or just staring at the ceiling with a dead expression on your face.
Having him with you, holding you in his arms, stroking your hair, legs intertwined and breathing synchronised. It was the best remedy for your fear.
A cure.
"Then what does scare you?" Azriel asks, his voice hesitant to bring up a memory that causes you pain.
"You do" I breathe, "My nightmares are always about you."
Azriel breathes in deeply, "I scare you?"
"No, no!" I rebuke, "No, not you personally! My nightmares always involve you...they..."
"You don't have to tell me" Azriel whispers
"I think I need to" I admit, "These dreams, they're obviously not getting better. Maybe telling someone...maybe telling someone will help."
Azriel waits patiently. Content to listen or to completely disregard everything you said if that was what you wished, the way he'd always been.
"Most nights, A-Amarantha comes back" I explain, stumbling over the name, "And this time she takes you instead of Rhys and other nights...other nights it had always been you that was taken."
"And she took you because she knew he was hiding something" Azriel confirmed, it was the little knowledge he did have of Amarantha and her motives, "So to punish him further, she took you, his only living relative, and..."
"And that's all you know" I nod, "But what you don't know is that...she didn't just punish Rhys. She punished me too."
Azriel stiffens in my arms, his hand momentarily freezing in it's soothing stroking up and down my spine.
"If any of it gets to be too much, I can stop" I say
"No" Azriel shakes his head, "You lived it. I can at least stand to hear about it, especially if it helps you."
"She used to...make me watch." I spat in disgust, "While she...basically raped Rhys I had to watch. Everything she did to him, the malice in her eyes while she did what she did, the enjoyment in knowing he was doing this not for her but to protect what he loved...Worse, we both had to pretend it was normal. That we enjoyed it. If we didn't, our facade as the Court of Nightmares would fall apart and we couldn't let that happen."
Peering up at Azriel, I stopped for a moment to assess his reaction. His eyes were hard as flint, like chips of hazel ice. He nodded softly, encouraging me to continue.
"On the odd occasion she would also...bring me into the scene. It wasn't often, she didn't like it all that much herself it was mainly just to put us on edge. Thankfully, she never made us do anything...to each other. I never touched Rhys once nor he me and I'll always thank the Mother for that but she would still...it was still..."
"You don't need to say what it was" Azriel cuts in, "I know."
Traumatising.
It was traumatising.
"So, when the nightmares come about. It's not Rhys under Am-under her. It's you. I see her with you. Some nights you're faking it like we had to, others you're genuinely enjoying it, and sometimes you're...screaming and-and begging her to stop-" My tears choke off the words and I sob loudly.
He pulls me ever closer in response, hushing me as his hands stroke my hair, "That's not me. It was never me."
"What if it could be?" I cry, "What if another one of her comes around one day and they take you. I couldn't bear it-"
"You could. I had to" Azriel admits. Both comforting and upfront. He would never lie to you and to say it would never happen again could be a lie, "When you were taken, I...Cauldron, I would always try to leave Velaris, damn the consequences. It was always Amren and sometimes Mor and Cass who would pull me off the ledge. I couldn't stand it, thinking about what she could be doing to Rhys but, to you...it was worse. Infinitely worse."
"If it ever does happen, I need you to be strong" Azriel continues, "I will do everything in my power to keep it from happening but if the Mother decides that's how things play out...I will need you to be strong, to protect yourself because the idea of you ever being hurt for the sake of me...it's not right."
"It would be" I sniffle, "To keep you safe, I would do anything. I did. Rhys did."
"You'll never have to again" Azriel resolves, kissing the top of my head, "Never again."
I exhale loudly, making a sudden decision that could change everything.
"Azriel?"
"Mmm?"
"I love you."
"I love you too" His response was automatic. I mean, we had said it a dozen times but this...was different.
"I don't mean it like that" I admit, peering up at him sheepishly, "I'm in love with you. I have been for a...a very long time."
Azriel's silence spurs me on to speak more, explain myself.
"I understand if you don't feel the same and I'm sorry I never told you earlier but at first it was a crush and then...then I got taken and I was stuck without you for so long. After that, I knew it was love and not a crush on my part but I couldn't say anything. I just...I couldn't. But then you came in every night to help with my nightmares and that was-"
My words are cut off as Azriel takes my chin in his hand, dipping his head and kisses me. Soft, tentative, comforting. It wasn't the kind of kiss that made your toes curl or butterflies erupt, it was the kind of kiss that admitted everything words could never express.
He pulls back only slightly, leaving you nose to nose.
"I have always loved you" Azriel breathes, "From the moment I saw you barrelling into the Illyrian camps, bright smile and unruly attitude."
"I love you" I smile, tears sliding down my face, - happy tears, "So much"
"And I you."
After that, neither of you slept alone ever again.
Masterlist
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sareyesj · 10 days ago
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me when I see someone defending Rhysand's sexual offender actions saying it was for her own benefit and protection while hating nesta archeron for being a little mean to her sister even when feyre mentioned they were equally spiteful towards each other and she didn't know who was worse:
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tealnymph24 · 12 days ago
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A Song of Shadows: Chapter 13
Title: Delicate Leather
Gwyn and Azriel go shopping for Mor’s birthday, and the simple trip turns unexpectedly interesting.
Note: Sorry for the delay on this. School has been hectic, but I only have one more week left. So, posting should be semi more consistent after that. :)
If you would like to be tagged in updates, please let me know!
Read on AO3
Azriel X Gwyn
Warnings: Steamy
Word Count: 6,562
Masterlist
This is quite a long chapter, hope you enjoy! Thanks for being patient with me!
Azriel was oddly nervous as he walked through the library to find Gwyn. Ever since this morning when he had offered to keep his bedroom open for her, he had been concerned he had crossed a line. She had seemed receptive to his offer, but he couldn’t help but wonder if she might have rethought it and found it too forward.
He shook the thought away as he neared the spot his shadows had indicated she was located. If she was bothered by his actions this morning, he would find out momentarily. He rounded a corner of bookshelves and spotted her bent over a stack of papers, red-brown hair thrown over a shoulder, forehead scrunched in concentration. His heart skipped a beat.
Gwyn lifted her head as his shadows gently caressed her cheek, swirling around her as they always did. She spotted him approaching a moment later and burst into a wide grin. His heart soared in relief. If she was uncomfortable with his offer from this morning, she would probably not be looking at him so happily.
He smiled as she bounced over to him, abandoning her work to meet him halfway, throwing her arms around his neck as she reached him. He laughed at her eagerness but wrapped his arms around her, lifting her off her feet as he hugged her.
"Hello, Gwyneth," he murmured against her hair, breathing in her lovely scent. His shadows settled around them, content to be near Gwyn. "How are you?"
"I'm good, especially now," she squeezed him tighter, pressing herself into him. He almost groaned at how good she felt in his arms. "How are you, Azriel?"
"Better now," he sighed, pulling his head back, pointedly looking at her lips before meeting her eyes again, seeking permission. She closed her eyes and leaned in, granting his request.
He kissed her softly, slowly moving his mouth with hers, savoring the sweet taste of her. She pressed into him, tangling one hand with his hair, and lightly running the tips of the other down his neck. He felt her slip a hand underneath his collar, running her fingers over his skin and grazing her nails along his spine.
He gasped into her at the sensation, tightening his grip on her to try and ground himself. Her exploratory touch was sending his mind into a frenzy, his restraint quickly slipping as his pants grew tighter. He forced himself to pull away, eyes wide.
"What was that?" He asked breathlessly. She smirked, clearly fighting a laugh.
"Nothing," she pecked him on the cheek, running her fingertips back up his neck. His breath hitched as he raised an eyebrow in question. "I'll tell you later."
"I'm going to hold you to that, Berdara," he huffed a laugh, searching her face as he set her down. Did she have any idea what she had just done to him? "I can tell you're amused about something, so you better tell me."
"I will," she grinned mischievously. "Now, let me go change and then we can leave."
He nodded, leaning against a nearby desk as she bounded off, slightly dazed. She had never touched him like that – so curiously. He wanted more; it was going to be a long night.
His thoughts were confirmed when she returned a few minutes later clad in leggings and a loose-fitting green blouse that brought out her teal eyes. He was in deep shit, he thought as he took in the sight of her long legs. Gods she was beautiful.
He took a deep breath as she approached, reaching his hand out to lead her upstairs. She ran a hand up his arm, sending heat coursing through him. At this rate, he was going to need to throw himself in the Sidra before the end of the night.
A few moments later he winnowed them into the city, setting her down outside a small café and quickly finding a table on the outdoor patio. As they sat down to eat before shopping, he immediately tugged his chair closer, wanting to be close to her.
They talked and laughed throughout dinner, lost in each other’s company – as they often were. He couldn’t help but appreciate how happy she looked. It made his heart swell to think that he was contributing to that joy.
They chose not to linger at the café long, knowing they still had other places to be. After he had paid the bill, he led them deeper into the city, Gwyn quietly leaning into him as he guided her to their destination. He finally stopped at a shop filled with specialty items for horseback riding.
"What is this place?" Gwyn asked as they entered, her eyes roaming around the neat displays filled with riding boots, gloves, hats, bags and countless other items.
"They specialize in horseback accessories and other outdoor gear," he explained as he walked to a table covered with gloves. "I thought I would get Mor riding gloves."
"I didn't know Mor rides horses," she gaped, watching him examine the selection. “She's never mentioned it."
"She doesn't tell most people. I only found out because she needed my shadows to check on her horses during the last few decades."
His voice grew quieter as he spoke, memories of that time surfacing. She gave him a reassuring smile, silently assuring him he didn’t need to explain. She understood what he meant by the last few decades. He shook off the memories, focusing on the present.
"What do you think of these two?" He held up two leather gloves, one a soft pink, and the other a deep burgundy with undertones of purple. As he had hoped, she pointed at the burgundy pair with a smile, picking up on the subtle joke in the colors. They almost matched a certain Illyrian female’s wings.
He grinned at her, sharing her amusement, and selected the pair she had indicated. He strode to the counter to pay, leaving her to wander through the shop. She took his hand when he joined her a moment later, tucking his purchase into a pocket of shadows.
"Where to next?" He asked with a small smile, squeezing her hand as they walked outside. He would never get over the thrill of happiness he felt simply holding her hand.
“Umm, Mor told me I could get her anything, but she mentioned she liked a place called Delicate Leather,” she told him, eyes on the river.
Delicate Leather. He should have known Mor would tell Gwyn to go there. He swallowed back a laugh, causing a fit of coughing. She brought her attention to him, staring at him in confusion. Her perplexed face only worsened his amusement as his coughing turned into laughter.
“Did she…did she say anything else?” He asked between laughs, trying to collect himself. “Or did Nesta say anything?”
“No, why would they?” She questioned. Her obvious confusion confirmed his suspicions. She had no idea. He felt a mix of worry and excitement over how she might react when she found out Delicate Leather was a lingerie store.
“They didn’t tell you what that store is, did they?” He said, ignoring her question. He fought a smile, amusement and nervous energy flowing through him. He wasn’t sure what to do. The only option seemed to be taking her there and letting her see for herself.
“No,” she shook her head exasperatedly. “Mor just told me that she likes getting gifts from there, and that the shop girls would know what she prefers.”
“Oh, I’m sure they do,” he vaguely responded, brows high in amusement. “Gwyn, I’m more than happy to take you there, but I’m not sure you’ll want me to go in with you.”
“Why?”
“You’ll see,” he promised, pulling her along as he began walking, leading her to a street lined with various clothing stores. She didn’t question him further, silently following him to the shop.
When he finally came to a stop, Gwyn froze, a deep blush coloring her face. She was obviously in shock as she took in the small shop that sold everything from lacy underthings to items for more interesting escapades in the bedroom.
“This is where Mor likes gifts from?” Gwyn gawked, not meeting his gaze. “Wouldn’t she only want her… lovers to shop here for her?”
“Mor isn’t shy about what she likes to wear underneath her clothing, Gwyn,” Azriel explained, his shadows brushing her cheek reassuringly. Now that she knew what Delicate Leather was, he was filled with concern. What if this made her uneasy? Especially with him here. “It’s her tradition to tell people to get her something from here for her birthday. She likes to see if anyone will do it.”
“She makes her birthday gift a challenge,” Gwyn mused, staring at the storefront with wide eyes. “That sounds like Mor.”
“Yes, it’s very much like her,” he chuckled, trying to sound relaxed despite his worry. “But Gwyn, you don’t have to get her something from here. She would appreciate whatever you choose for her. I know Mor. She would never expect you to do something you were uncomfortable with.”
“Oh, I know that” Gwyn responded confidently, still not looking at him. “I’m not uncomfortable. More shocked and nervous is all.”
“We don’t have to go in,” he assured her, lifting her chin with his hand to study her face. “We can go somewhere else. Or I can wait here while you go in.”
“Az, I am not going somewhere else,” she said, seeming to have reached some internal resolve. “I’m perfectly comfortable going inside as long as you come with me.”
“Are you sure?” He questioned, half amused by her determination and half worried she had lost her mind. “I can wait, I don’t want to make you feel awkward.”
“Azriel, I am not uncomfortable,” she said emphatically. “I wasn’t expecting a lingerie store. That’s all. Will you please come in with me?”
He nodded, choosing to trust her decision. He moved to the door and held it open, staying close behind as she walked in. He watched her take in the shop, eyes slowly roaming over the two distinct sections. At the front of the store and on the nearest walls, a rainbow of delicate underthings was displayed. Toward the back and far sides, blindfolds, restraints, and all manner of leather items were visible.
Before they could move farther into the store, Arina, one of the shop girls drifted over to greet them, her short brown hair bobbing. He was relieved to know she was here today; Arina would make sure Gwyn was comfortable.
“Hello, how may I help you?” Arina cheerfully asked, looking at Gwyn first before brightly smiling at him. “I didn’t expect to see you, Azriel. How’s Cassian?”
“Good to see you too, Arina,” he responded with amusement, placing a hand on Gwyn’s back affectionately. He knew Arina was shocked to see him here with a female, it was extremely unlike him. “Cassian is happily mated now, but I’m sure you already knew that.”
“Yes, he comes here frequently for that gorgeous mate of his,” Arina said knowingly. “Well, what can I do for you? Are you here for something pretty, something leathery or both?”
Gwyn looked up at him, eyes silently pleading for help. He instinctively ran his hand soothingly up and down her back, reassuring her she wasn’t alone. He felt her shiver slightly at his touch, bringing him a wave of satisfaction. He loved that her body responded to him.
“Arina, we’re actually shopping for a gift. It’s Mor’s birthday in a few days. Can you show us something she might like?”
“Oh, of course, I should have remembered,” Arina laughed. “You two are the only brave ones so far this year. I’ll go pull everything together in the back. Why don’t you two look around while I get things ready.”
Arina bounced away, leaving Gwyn and Azriel to explore. He carefully observed Gwyn, watching for any signs that she was anxious or uncomfortable, but she appeared to be relaxing. He breathed a sigh of relief.
“So, Arina? You know her?” Gwyn inquired with a raised eyebrow, pulling him to a nearby display of lacy underthings. She picked up a pair of panties, her blush deepening to a delightful shade of red as she realized the back of it only consisted of a string.
“Yes, she’s friends with Cassian,” he responded with a small smile, enjoying her reactions. She was so expressive. “They met about a century ago when he dragged me in here to buy a pair of lacy underthings for Rhys as a gag gift. There’s never been anything between them though. Only friendship.”
“Mmm, she seems nice,” Gwyn smiled, picking up an even skimpier item. She held it up for him to see, giggling nervously. “What is the point of wearing this? It’s just string. On both sides.”
“Maybe some females like a nice draft in personal areas,” he teased, biting his lip to stifle a laugh. She giggled again, dropping the item back on the table. She looked adorable; it was driving him crazy. She was exploring lingerie with him and giggling about it, a gorgeous flush across her lovely face. Could she get any sexier?
“Ooh, this is pretty,” she said, walking over to a midnight blue bra with silver stitching on the wall, a pair of matching panties below. The fabric was sheer but dark enough to provide some coverage. He now knew the answer to his question. Yes, she could get even sexier.
“What do you think?” she held up the bra with a laugh, showing it off to him. He gulped, unable to stop the image that emerged in his mind of her wearing it, her skin flushed beautifully as it currently was, her body arching below him as he leisurely explored her with his tongue. Oh shit. He needed to stop thinking about this. Now.
“Umm, it’s nice,” Azriel replied, throat bobbing, praying she didn’t notice the change in his scent or the sudden bulge in his pants. He needed to get a grip before he lost his sanity entirely. He refused to let his fantasies make her uncomfortable, even if he desperately wanted to kiss her right now.
She laughed, seeming amused by his sudden nervousness. She put the bra back, drifting to another table. He followed, gently grazing her back again to calm himself. He could handle this; it was just shopping.
Before they could browse more, Arina returned and led them down a short hallway to a small room with a plush sofa in the middle facing a circle of mirrors, velvet curtains tied on either side. A low table sat against the wall, full of options for Mor’s birthday gift. Arina left them to look at the items, promising to return if they needed anything. Gwyn strode to the table while he sunk onto the sofa.
He watched her quietly sort through the selection, but quickly got distracted by the excellent view the sofa offered him. Her leggings hugged her perfectly, showing off her well-shaped backside and long legs. He was staring so intently at her ass that he almost didn’t notice when she said something to him.
“I’m not sure what to get Mor,” Gwyn said, turning to him for help. He blinked, trying to refocus on the task. “I know she likes red but that seems predictable.”
“I’m sure she’ll love anything you choose,” he responded, moving to stand behind her and clasping his hands firmly behind his back. He didn’t trust his ability to keep his hands from wandering at the moment.
“You’re no help,” she quipped, not questioning the shadows swirling around her. He loved that she never cared how close his shadows were. “Azriel, what if we gave her our gifts together?”
“What do you mean?” He asked, moving to stand next to her, eyebrows raising. He had been too busy staring at her to notice what she had been looking at.
“Why don’t we give Mor our gifts in the same package,” she said, holding up a skimpy lace burgundy bra that would barely cover anything. “It would be a complete outfit.”
He looked at her in confusion for a moment, his mind still unfocused, but he quickly understood her joke. He burst into laughter, delighted by her positively deviant idea. She never ceased to surprise him. She laughed with him, her face breaking into the loveliest smile. Gods he wanted to kiss her.
“I like that idea,” he finally responded, recovering enough to speak. “I think Mor – and Emerie – will like our gifts very much.”
She grinned at him, seeming pleased with herself. For a moment, he considering forgetting all common decency and kissing her senseless right then and there, consequences be damned. He was spared the decision as Arina returned to check on them.
“Did you find something you like?” Arina asked, striding into the small space. “Or can I bring you more options?”
“I think we’ve decided,” Azriel answered, turning to Gwyn for confirmation. She nodded, adorably holding back a laugh. “We’ll take this burgundy set, please.”
“Of course, I’ll wrap it up for you,” Arina took the items and turned to Gwyn. “Now that you’ve chosen your gift for Mor, I’ll bring back a selection for you to try on. It’s Mor’s tradition to give a gift to anyone brave enough to come shop here for her.”
His jaw dropped, a stream of curses running through his mind. Arina left the room before either he or Gwyn said anything. Gwyn turned to him, understandably shocked. He watched her swallow several times, both of them struggling for words.
“Did you know about this?” She interrogated him, looking at him incredulously.
“No,” he immediately responded, shaking his head vigorously. Mor had never told him about this part of her tradition. “I never buy anything for Mor from here. I don’t buy lingerie for females who are not currently sleeping in my bed.”
“Well, what am I supposed to do?” She questioned anxiously. Shit. He shouldn’t have brought her here. He was such a fool. This was making her uncomfortable.
“We can leave if you want to,” Azriel assured her, his concern growing as he studied her face. “You don’t have to try on anything. I’m sure Mor would understand.”
“I…I want to try on things,” she slowly replied, chewing on her bottom lip. “But I’m a little nervous. I’m not nearly as brave as Mor. I’m not ready for things like this.”
She held up a pair of panties that was more or less a string with one tiny strip of lace on it for emphasis, looking at him with pleading eyes. What was she asking him? Surely she didn’t want him involved in choosing things.
“Umm, what are you ready for then?” He asked, his throat bobbing, eyes darting between her face and the panties she still held. He had no idea if he was saying the right thing or not. “We could just tell Arina what you prefer.”
“Could you tell her?” She requested, dropping the panties back on the table and grabbing his wrist. “I’d prefer something less revealing, but I don’t want to explain that. Please.”
“I… sure,” he nodded, stunned by her request. Was she really trusting him to tell Arina what she liked? He brought a hand up to stroke her cheek, both to soothe her and calm himself. “Of course. And I’ll wait outside.”
“What if I need you?”
“I can wait right outside in the hallway, if you want me to,” he promised, shocked by her continued desire to have him nearby. He would have expected her to want him as far away as the small store would allow.
“Please. I don’t want you to go too far.”
“I won’t, I promise.”
Arina returned then, arms full of items. Gwyn looked up at him, silently pleading again. He quickly understood this time, realizing the selection Arina had brought was not to Gwyn’s taste. He immediately took charge, telling Arina they’d like to see simpler choices today.
“We have plenty of items like that,” he explained, fighting the amused smile that crept onto his lips. He heard Gwyn stifle a laugh at his thin excuse. “Do you have anything more…demure?”
“Oh, of course,” Arina chirped, smiling broadly. “I know exactly what to grab. I’ll be right back.”
He took a deep breath, grateful Arina hadn’t asked him to explain what they wanted in more detail. Unexpectedly, Gwyn erupted into a fit of giggles next to him. He looked at her in confusion, his worry returning. He waited for her to explain, but she only leaned her head against his chest, still giggly madly.
“Gwyn, are you alright?” He finally asked, gently wrapping his arms around her. She didn’t immediately respond, quietly laughing against him. He was about to ask her again, but she pulled her head back and gave him a reassuring smile.
“I’m fine,” she promised. “This day has just turned out to be far more interesting than I was expecting. I’m glad you’re here with me though.”
He chuckled; not sure he fully believed her last statement. “I feel as if my presence is making this situation more awkward than it should be.”
“Az, it’s not awkward,” she soothed him, no hints of fear or anxiety in her face. “I’m not uncomfortable. I would tell you if I was. It’s unexpected, that’s all.”
“Alright, as long as you’re okay with it.”
“I am. I promise. You can stop worrying.”
He laughed at her command, about to respond, but Arina interrupted them. The female carried in a new array of items, all appearing to be less revealing than the previous selection. Gwyn seemed to be more comfortable with the new choices, so he quickly excused himself, whispering to Gwyn that he would be down the hall if she needed him.
He walked to the end of the hallway, silently commanding his shadows to stay with him despite their desire to wander back to Gwyn. He would normally let them go, but he wouldn’t have them spying on Gwyn while she tried things on.
Snippets of conversation from the two females in the dressing room drifted back to him. He tried to ignore it, but his spying instincts kicked in, unconsciously perking his ears up to listen.
“He’s so handsome,” Arina’s light voice wafted down the hall. He smirked, wondering how Gwyn would react. “You’re very lucky.”
“Umm, thank you,” Gwyn responded quietly, the sound barely reaching Azriel. He heard the ruffle of clothing, indicating Gwyn was now undressing. It suddenly occurred to him that Gwyn was going to be naked with only a thin curtain between her and the hallway. The thought caused him to lose track of the conversation, his ears ringing as blood rushed to his pants.
Oh shit. What was he thinking? Gwyn was utterly vulnerable, and he was thinking about her naked. His shadows were pestering him, begging him to let them return to Gwyn. He managed to keep them restrained, but just barely. It would have been easier if he wasn’t in agreement with them. He also wanted to return to Gwyn.
He tried to focus on less arousing thoughts then Gwyn’s body, but his mind kept drifting back to her, wondering what she was trying on. He knew it wouldn’t be anything like what they had chosen for Mor, but that just excited him further. It would be items that matched her personality. Her tastes. Her body.
What would those items look like? More importantly, what would they look like on her? Would he ever get to find out? He wasn’t sure, and he also didn’t care. The thought alone of her in lingerie was enough to drive him insane. Admittedly, the thought of her in anything drove him crazy, but imagining what she was changing into was threatening to make him lose any self-control he had left.
He knew he needed to wait, to let her decide how their relationship progressed physically, and he was more than happy doing that. But that didn’t stop him from thinking about her. All the gods damned time. He wanted to learn everything about her. About her mind, her body. All of it.
“What about this one?” he heard Arina ask, momentarily brought back to the present. “I think you’d look striking in it.”
“I…I don’t know,” Gwyn replied, sounding hesitant. “It’s a little sheer.”
“Well, how about we try it and if you don’t like it, we can keep looking,” Arina reasoned. “I have one more piece after this that I think would look just stunning on you.”
“Okay, I’ll try it,” Gwyn agreed with a slight giggle. He lost the conversation again, his thoughts running rampant. What did Gwyn consider sheer?
His shadows offered to go find out the answer to his question – just as curious as he was. He firmly held them back, knowing it would cross a line to spy on Gwyn like that. His shadows reluctantly obeyed, not arguing with his reasoning.
He again tried to focus on something else, but all he could think of was Gwyn. Of her kiss. Of her taste. How she felt against him. He could spend the rest of eternity with her wrapped in his arms. He normally tried to keep a tight leash on his desires around her, but damned if he didn’t want more. He would give her anything she asked if he could just kiss her without restraint.
He was terrified of scaring her though. He didn’t want to push her, not if it meant she felt unsafe with him. He wanted her to feel nothing but pleasure when he kissed her, or when they did anything else for that matter. He wanted her to feel safe enough to explore what made her feel good. And gods he wanted to help her find out.
Something is wrong, his shadows whispered in his ear, drawing him out of his thoughts. The lovely bird seems anxious.
He silently questioned them, asking what they meant, worried they had spied on her without him noticing. They informed him they had only been listening to the conversation while he had been distracted. A few seconds later, Arina walked down the hallway. His chest tightened, worry for Gwyn overriding everything.
“Is Gwyn alright?” He asked before Arina could say anything. He should have been paying more attention. What if something had made her uncomfortable?
“Yes, I think she’s just nervous,” Arina assured him with a small smile. “She needs you. I’ll be out here whenever she’s ready for me to come back.”
He didn’t respond, too focused on Gwyn. He strode down the hall, crossing the distance to her dressing room swiftly. He almost walked straight in, forgetting that she might not be dressed yet, but he managed to stop himself.
“Gwyn, are you okay?” He called through the curtain, fighting the urge to let his shadows go to her. When she didn’t immediately respond, he tried again. “Bird, what’s wrong? Arina said you needed me.”
“Can you come in here, please?” Gwyn said in a small voice, deepening his concern.
“Gwyn, are you sure? I don’t want –”
“Az, please,” she cut him off, sounding almost desperate. He hesitated; unsure how to proceed. All he knew was she needed him.
“I…okay,” he conceded, voice strained from how hard he was clenching his jaw. He slowly pulled back the curtain and stepped in, meeting her eyes in the mirror. It took a moment for the scene in front of him to fully register, shock making his mind go utterly blank. He froze, the sight of her almost sending him to his knees. His jaw dropped; the ability to think completely abandoning him.
She was dressed in a turquoise silk negligee that barely fell past her backside, showing off almost the full length of her legs. The bottom edges were lined with black lace, accentuating where the fabric ended and her skin began, including the slit that went up one side of the short skirt. The fabric clung to her skin, accentuating her curves. At the top, the fabric snuggly pushed her breasts up, the neckline plunging into a deep V lined with more black lace, complete with a small bow between her breasts, all held up with thin straps.
Heat coursed through him, instantly making his pants uncomfortably tight. He prayed she didn’t look down and notice how hard he had gotten, that she wouldn’t notice how thick the scent of his arousal had become. He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think. She was absolutely, devastatingly gorgeous. Every curve and dip of her body fully on display. Never in his almost five and a half centuries had he been so close to losing every shred of self-control he possessed.
“Oh no, I knew it,” she suddenly groaned, breaking through the fog in his mind. “I look ridiculous.”
“What?” His eyes snapped to her face, a muscle in his jaw working furiously. She was blushing deeply, not meeting his eyes. She wasn’t making any sense. What was she saying? “You don’t…I. What?”
“Nothing, I just…,” she trailed off, turning her head away. What was happening? How was she not seeing how amazing she looked? He shook his head, attempting to focus. Jaw clenched, he hesitantly walked to her. She turned back to the mirror, watching him approach. He stopped behind her, close enough that if she turned, she would be in his arms.
“Gwyn, you don’t look ridiculous,” he told her in a low, rough voice. He was desperately trying to stay restrained for her sake, but his entire body ached for her. “You look…incredible.”
She met his eyes in the mirror and he could have sworn he saw her shiver. Every fiber of his being was screaming at him to touch her, to kiss her, to pleasure her. He resisted, clinging to the fact that she needed him. But his control almost slipped when he realized her scent had changed, arousal seeping into it.
“Why would you think you look ridiculous, Gwyn?” He asked, unable to stop his eyes from roaming up and down her body in the mirror. She looked positively gorgeous. It was taking every ounce of control he had to keep himself from carrying her to the sofa, spreading her legs and burying his face between her beautiful thighs.  
“I don’t know,” she responded with a shaking voice. He worried he had scared her, but there was no fear in her scent – not even a trace. “I’m not used to wearing things like this.”
“I know,” he met her eyes again, jaw muscle still working. He could barely think through the growing ache in his body, but he focused on her, wanting to help her see what he saw. “But I promise you, Gwyn. You look far from ridiculous. You look beautiful.”
“Thank you,” she shyly smiled, goosebumps erupting on her arms and legs. He barely resisted the temptation of running his hands up her hips to feel her pebbled skin. From roaming even farther to find out if there was anything underneath her sinful ensemble.
He clenched his hands into fists, refusing to give in to his thoughts. By some miracle, his shadows stayed by his side too, even though he knew they wanted to touch her as bad as he did. He swallowed, trying to focus again.
“So, is this what you’re getting then?” He asked roughly, throat bobbing rapidly as he clenched and unclenched his fists. This was not the time or place to tell her any of the ideas he had running through his mind.
“I don’t know,” she replied, looking at herself in the mirror. “Where would I even wear this?”
“In the bedroom,” he answered without thinking, a smirk appearing at her innocent question. His eyes roamed her body again, taking in all of her. Every glorious inch. He ran a hand through his hair, praying she wouldn’t be frightened by his obvious desire. “That is where one generally wears these things anyway.”
“Yes, but...”
“But what?”
“Aren’t these things normally meant for…not sleeping?” She asked with raised eyebrows. “I’m not really planning on doing that right now.”
“Oooohhh. Oh gods, Gwyn,” he gaped at her, fear slamming into him like ice. Shit. Oh fucking shit. “Gwyn, I didn’t mean…I just meant. I was not coming onto you like that. I swear. I am so sorry. Gwyn, I didn’t mean my bedroom. I would never –”
What was he thinking? He shouldn’t have teased her. He hadn’t meant to scare her; he had just slipped into their normal banter without thinking. It was so easy to do that with her, even when she was standing in front of him looking like something out of his wildest dreams.
“Azriel, I know,” she laughed, easing his fear. He silently thanked the gods he hadn’t made her feel uneasy. “I know what you meant. I just don’t know what I would do with this if I got it. It seems more like something Nesta would buy.”
“Well, it’s up to you,” he consoled her, face softening as he realized why she had wanted him here in the first place. This was new to her; it probably felt strange, and she wanted his support. The thought made his heart swell. “Not everyone buys something like this for the sake of…not sleeping though.”
She chuckled at his use of her silly term. “Then what do they buy them for? It seems awfully extravagant.”
“Gwyn, we’re here shopping for Mor. What do you think she shops here for?”
“But that’s different, she’s with Emerie.”
 “No, it’s not,” he argued, determined to help her understand that this was normal. She had just as much reason to wear lingerie as Mor or Nesta. “She has been coming here much longer then Emerie has been in the picture. She buys things like this because she enjoys them. You don’t have to wear something like this for someone else. You can wear it simply because it makes you feel good.”
As he had hoped, his words worked. She blushed deeper but gave him a timid smile, sending a wave of satisfaction through him. There was something about the fact that she was seeking his comfort in this moment that filled him with overwhelming pride.
“Az, you’re right, but I’m not sure what set I want.”
“Oh?” He choked out, her sudden change of conversation knocking the breath out of him. A fresh rush of heat coursed through him, making his already hard cock strain against his pants.
“There’s this one, but I also liked the blue set I showed you in the shop earlier,” she explained, sounding completely innocent to how aroused she was making him.
“Why not get both?” He asked, the words coming out of their own accord. He should have been worried his question might seem forward, but something in her face told him it was safe to flirt with her again.  
“I’m only supposed to pick one.”
“Well, let Mor get you the blue set,” He said quietly, slowly breaking into a satisfied smile. If her only problem was choosing which set she liked the most, he was more than happy to solve the issue for her.
He hesitantly placed his hands on her upper arms, reveling in the softness of her skin as fresh goosebumps erupted along her arms. He moved closer, leaning his head down over her shoulder until he was at her level, meeting her gaze in the mirror. He felt her tremble, silently assuring him that she was far from being uncomfortable now.
“What about this one?” She whispered, chest heaving, her breasts straining against the fabric of the negligee with every shuddering breath she took. Any doubt he had had that she didn’t know how aroused he was disappeared. She knew. And she wasn’t running from it.
The thought filled him with pride, for himself and her. He was so damn proud of her. He knew how much she had worked to get to his point, to reach a place where she wasn’t scared of her own desires. And he was equally proud that he was the one she chose to share this with. That she felt safe enough to put herself in this situation with him.
“I’ll buy this one,” he breathed into her ear, lightly stroking her arm with his thumb. He desperately wanted her to know how proud he was of her; buying this was one small way to do that. “If you’ll let me.”
“I thought you didn’t buy lingerie for females who aren’t sleeping in your bed.”
“You’re a special exception.”
“Az, I…you might not get to see it though,” she confessed nervously, a hint of worry in her tone. That wouldn’t do at all, he thought. He wanted her happy, excited. He wouldn’t have her worrying about him right now. This was about her.
“I know,” he said roughly, letting his desire creep into his voice as he tucked her hair behind her ear. “But knowing that you might be wearing this while you sleep, even without me in the bed, is more than enough satisfaction for me.”
“Oh,” she responded, eyes wide. He continued lazily stroking her arm, confident he had gotten his point across. “Then you can buy it, if you want to.”
“Okay,” he nodded, unable to stop the satisfied smirk that formed on his lips. He knew exactly what images he’d be dreaming of from now on. “How about I go get Arina so you can change? If you’re ready, of course.”
“I’m ready,” she agreed, smiling at him. He smiled back, forcing himself to pull away from her. He was about to leave but decided he didn’t want this night to end. He paused by the edge of the room, thinking about how he might repay her for the vulnerability she had shown him.  
“Gwyn, would you want to get dessert after this?” He asked, nervous she might be tired from shopping. “We could pick something up from the restaurant you like and take it to a spot by the sea I know of.”
“That sounds nice,” she assured him eagerly, calming his anxiety. He grinned at her, then slipped into the hallway to find Arina to help Gwyn change.
He waited at the front of the store for Gwyn, smiling to himself the whole time. His shadows were flitting around him, just as happy as he was. He couldn’t believe what had just happened; it felt like a dream.
When Gwyn finally emerged from the dressing rooms, dressed normally again, she eagerly took his hand, allowing him to handle their purchases. Arina wrapped their selections and waved them off with hopes to see them again. He secretly hoped Gwyn would return, even if she chose not to bring him next time. He liked how happy and confident she looked; satisfied with her selections.
Azriel led her back out into the cool evening air, pulling her tightly next to him as they headed toward their favorite restaurant, the one where this had all started. He felt Gwyn quietly lean into him, her gentle touch filling him with excitement for the rest of their evening.
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tacmc · 12 days ago
Text
F A M E {17}
The sequel to City of Starlight {ACOTAR/TOG crossover}
Masterlist: Fame {City of Starlight - Part II - ACOTAR/TOG crossover}
Summary: It’s been four years since the end of City of Starlight, and everyone has graduated from Velaris School of the Arts. Both those who have become successful in their chosen fields and those who have not have quickly realized one common thing: the real world is complete and utter bullshit.
Trigger Warning: language, fighting, sex
Written with @snelbz
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The headache was unbearable. 
Dorian had gotten drunk plenty of times throughout his life, but very few resulted in this type of headache.
The last time he’d gotten so drunk, he’d woken up in bed with Feyre.
What an atrocious mess that had been. 
His eyes remained close, trying to cling to those last few minutes of sleep. Too bad his head was pounded and the nausea was unreal. The discomfort made it difficult to fall back asleep, even though he desperately wanted to melt back into the pillows and blankets that surrounded him. 
Even if they weren’t his pillows and blankets.
The realization hit him and his eyes shot open. At first, his vision blurred, the ceiling fan not becoming clear until a minute later. The ceiling fan, that was spinning around, in a bedroom that was not his.
Dorian rolled over and met the face of a sleeping Azriel.
Elain was draped over him, her head nestled in the crook of his neck, still asleep as well. The blanket was low enough on her back that he could tell she was naked, which meant he could only guess Azriel was, too.
And he knew he was.
He was still staring at her when her eyelids fluttered, and he debated on pretending to still be asleep, but knew it wasn’t worth it. He was in their bed.
There was no getting around what they’d done last night.
Flashes of it came to him, but there chunks of the night that were nothing but blackness.
Elain’s eyes finally opened and she found Dorian looking at her. For a moment, she blinked trying to orient herself as to why she was, indeed, waking up with Dorian, until she realized she was still laying on Azriel’s chest. And he watched as her eyes widened as she, too, realized what they’d done.
Dorian raised a finger to his lips. It seemed to say, If we don’t wake Azriel up, maybe he’ll think it was all a dream…again.
Elain blinked, which Dorian took as, Okay.
He scooted off the side of the bed and swung his feet onto the floor, before quietly pulling himself up. 
It took him a moment to find his sweatpants, then his t-shirt, but he soon had them gathered and was sneaking out of the room. It didn’t matter if Elain was watching him, nude.
She had seen plenty of him the night before.
As he walked into the bathroom and started the shower, the holes began to fill. He could remember his mouth on Elain’s, his mouth on Azriel’s, his mouth on other places that he never thought he’d put it. But, most of all, he remembered it feeling amazing. They took their time pleasuring one another, took their time exploring each other’s bodies. 
Dorian felt his cheeks heat as he stepped into the shower. 
He wondered if he even wanted to let Azriel think it had all been a dream, if it meant he could experience that type of overwhelming pleasure again.
He didn’t stop himself from letting his mind linger as he took his time under the warm spray.
*********
As he stepped out into the bright sunlight of Velaris, Cassian spotted the man leaning against his vehicle, waiting for him. He made his way over to Lorcan as he pushed off and embraced his brother. “Welcome back, man. Was she surprised?”
Cassian let out an awkward laugh. “She was definitely surprised…”
He didn’t want to get into the whole Tomas thing. Not yet at least.
“I assume you had a good time. You stayed three extra days,” Lorcan chuckled, as they got in the car and he pulled away from the curb.
“Awe, did you miss me?” Cassian asked, leaning across the middle console and patting Lorcan’s cheek.
“Fuck off,” he said, laughing softly. The two settled into a comfortable quiet as they drove, but after a minute, Lorcan said, “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved the alone time with Elide. Like a lot.” Cassian rolled his eyes, but Lorcan went on. “But yeah, I did. I’ve gotten used to coming home to your fat ass always in the kitchen, making something, or lighting up with you after a long day.”
Cassian was quiet for a moment.
“I’ve never heard you this quiet, though,” Lorcan mumbled. “Baffled by my affections?”
Cassian chuckled. “I just…have a lot on my mind, is all.”
Lorcan glanced across the seat at Cassian, nearly looking concerned. “Did something happen?” Cassian shrugged. Lorcan didn’t push when he remained silent, but after a minute Cassian said, “Nesta wants me to move to Orynth with her.”
Lorcan didn’t hide his surprise. Instead, he said, “Shit.”
“Yeah,” Cassian breathed.
“What did you say?” he asked.
Cassian shook his head as he looked out the window. “Told her I’d have to think about it.”
Lorcan nodded, merging onto the interstate. “And how did she react to that?”
Cassian chuckled. “Fine. She understands. I mean, I’ve lived in Velaris my entire life. My job is here. My friends are here. My family is here.” He gestured to Lorcan. “The only thing that's missing is her.”
“She’s a pretty important part of your life, man,” Lorcan said, glancing over at him.
“What would you do if Elide had to move to another country?” Cassian asked, his eyes still ahead. “If she asked you to go with her?”
He thought about it, for a minute, as they drove. “I don’t know. I haven’t ever considered it.”
Cassian sighed and nodded. “I hadn’t either. Nesta moving on her own was hard enough, and I miss her every single day. But I never considered…” His words trailed off. “I don’t know. It threw me off when she asked. But with that asshole Tomas-.”
“Who’s Tomas?” Lorcan asked, interrupting as Cassian nearly snarled the name.
“Some douche Nesta has befriended,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest. “She says he’s harmless, but he wants to fuck her, I know it.”
Lorcan didn’t say what he was thinking, that most men took one look at Nesta and wanted to fuck her.
Especially since he had.
A fact that Cassian often tried to forget.
“You said you’re thinking about it,” Lorcan went on, “which side are you leaning towards?”
Cassian sighed, rubbing his temples. “I don’t know. I mean, Aelin and I have to finish our album, yet. I like our apartment, I like where we live. I like being able to go out with our friends. I love the Velaris starlight…” He shook his head. “I’m torn.”
Lorcan nodded. “It’s not forever, though. If you choose to go with Nesta, it’s not forever.”
Cassian gave him a sideways glance. “If I didn’t know better, it sounds like you’re trying to get rid of me.”
Lorcan laughed as he pulled into a big, crowded parking lot.
Rita’s.
“You’re my brother, Cass,” Lorcan said. “Whether you want to be or not. I want you to be happy.”
Cassian nodded as Lorcan pulled into a parking spot.
“Which reminds me,” Lorcan went on. “Talked to mom today. She says we need to visit soon. The girls miss you around.”
Growing up as an only child, Cassian never would have expected he’d end up with a brother and four younger siblings he adored. When he lost his mother, he never expected to have another step in and love him as unconditionally as his own had. Especially her ex-husband’s bastard son.
He nodded. “I miss them.”
His voice had taken on a wistful tone that Lorcan wasn’t used to hearing from someone who joked as much as Cassian did.
Lorcan looked toward the building. “Hey,” he said, getting Cassian’s attention. “Would you rather have a beer or smoke a bowl?”
He snorted, rolling his eyes. “Like we don’t have beer at home.”
And that was that.
They headed home, Lorcan deciding to spend the day with his brother, to help clear his head, and just maybe, give him some clarity for the choices ahead.
***********
Hunt was sitting in his driveway, in the exact same spot he’d been in for twenty minutes. In those twenty minutes, he was trying to come up with a plan that would not get him into deep shit.
He smelled like whiskey.
He smelled like smoke. 
He wasn’t proud of it, and he knew Bryce wouldn’t be, either.
Hunt knew Ezra’s schedule like clockwork. Any minute now, Bryce would be bringing her up the stairs to lay her in her crib for the night. When that time came, he would sneak into the house and go directly into the shower.
He’d brush his teeth.
No scent, no issue.
At least, that’s what Hunt kept telling himself.
There was no issue. He didn’t have an issue. His issues were in the past.
The smoke was easy enough to write off. He’d been at the bar, with the guys. The smell clung to his clothes, especially since Ren smoked when he drank.
It didn’t help that now, so did Hunt.
The whiskey was a completely different story.
A dark figure passed by the closed blinds, and Hunt shut off the engine and hurried to the door, waiting a minute to ensure Bryce had gotten into Ezra’s nursery before letting himself in. But once he did, he didn’t stop, closing the door as quietly as possible, tiptoeing up the stairs and successfully making it to the bathroom. He turned the shower on, letting it heat up as he pulled his clothes off, tossing them into the back of his closet, hoping the smell wasn’t too strong to catch Bryce’s attention.
He’d just stepped under the spray, dumping a liberal amount of body wash in his hand, when a knock sounded from the door. “Hunt?”
He quickly tried to scrub away the smell of the acrid smoke from his body before he cleared his throat and said, “Yeah?”
He heard the door open and Bryce’s voice carried to him over the glass shower door. “Hey, baby. I didn’t even hear you come in.”
“You were putting Ez down, I didn’t want to bother you and keep her from going to bed,” he said, not a complete lie.
“Ah,” she chuckled. “What a good daddy.”
“I try,” he said, trying his best to keep his words normal.
Bryce’s laughter filled the air. “I’m gonna go lie down. Come lay with me when you’re out?”
“Of course,” he replied. 
He heard her walk out and shut the door behind her.
Hunt scrubbed his body, and washed his hair, and once he was satisfied, he brushed his teeth until his teeth began to hurt.
When he walked into their bedroom, Bryce was sitting up in bed, reading a book. 
“Hi,” she said, closing the book and setting it on her nightstand.
He climbed into the bed, pulling her into his arms and brushed a soft kiss over her temple. “Hi, sweetheart. How were my girls tonight?”
“Good,” she said, smiling up at him. “Ezra is so close to rolling over. She’s trying so hard.”
It was true, Hunt had seen her just about do it two or three times.
“My smart girl,” he smiled, his fingers tracing a path up and down Bryce’s shoulder.
She leaned into his touch. “Have fun with the boys?”
He nodded, making a noncommittal noise. “Lucien has made it his personal life goal to find Ren a girlfriend. Says he’s sick of his single-ness raining on our parade.”
Bryce laughed. “That sounds backwards from a usual boys’ night out.”
Hunt chuckled to himself, settling back into his pillows as his arms tightened around Bryce. She snuggled closer to his chest and let out a contented moan. “You smell good.”
He tried not to tense up, tried to stay natural as he mumbled, “Just my body wash, sweetheart. I always smell like this.”
“I know but you don’t usually shower before bed.” She burrowed closer. “I don’t usually get this strong of a scent.”
It has nothing to do with the fact that I used half the bottle at once, he thought, swallowing roughly.
“Wanted to get the smell of the bar off of me,” he lied, smoothly.
“Mmm.” She kissed his chest softly and he felt her yawn. Her voice was sleepy when she spoke next. “I’m proud of you, you know?”
His eyes shot open. “Why’s that?”
“I know how hard it must be, to resist the temptation every time you go out,” she said, voice drifting off. “But you’re stronger than it is. And I couldn’t be more proud of you, Hunt.”
Hunt’s hand began moving up and down her back. Words tried to escape him, but nothing came out. He was a liar. A dirty, filthy liar. And yet, he wouldn’t correct her. Instead, he kissed her forehead. 
“You’re tired,” Hunt said, at last.
“Exhausted,” Bryce confirmed. “Ez gave me a run for my money this afternoon.” 
“Grumpy?”
“Wouldn’t go down for her afternoon nap, was so pissed off about being tired that she wouldn’t take a bottle…” Bryce’s voice trailed off and she groaned. “She’s as stubborn as her daddy.”
“As stubborn as me?” Hunt snorted. “Nah, she gets that from her mama.” 
Bryce laughed, quietly, as her arms wrapped tighter around Hunt’s bare waist. 
“You should plan a girl’s night,” Hunt said, at last. “Gather the ladies, have a night out on the town. I’ve been going out too much, I feel guilty.” 
She shook her head. “I don’t think I can leave Ez like that. Not yet. A trip to the grocery store is one thing. A night out? I don’t know, Hunt.”
“Just think about it,” he said, that hand still making slow passes up and down her back. “You know Aelin would love to, and Feyre.”
She nodded, but he could tell she was dozing, mercifully. “Think about it,” she murmured, and he pressed a kiss to the top of her head. 
“I love you,” he whispered.
Her voice was near silent, but she said, “Love you.”
And she was out. Hunt let out a sigh.
He was exhausted, both mentally and physically, but he felt so much guilt inside of him, it was nearly impossible for him to even close his eyes. When he did, he saw Bryce, smiling up at him, telling him how proud she was. It made him sick.
So he laid there, waiting for sleep to claim him, while he let his demons wage war inside.
**************
Aelin was awake as the sun began to rise.
There were three text messages on her phone once she awoke, all from Aedion.
How do you make a unicorn out of pancakes?
Do three year old girls like mini golf?
I’m so damn tired I’m about to fall asleep on this flaming hot stove. RIP Aedion. Scatter my ashes along the Sidra.
Aelin rolled her eyes as she read them, just before tip-toeing out of the room and calling her cousin. 
“Hi, I need coffee,” he said, in way of greeting.
“Is Lyla even up yet?” Aelin asked. 
“No, but she was around five,” Aedion said, yawning. “Had to go potty. Needed an entire glass of water. You know.”
Aelin chuckled. “At least it sounds like she’s settling in nicely.”
Aedion laughed, quietly. “Yeah, she is. We were all up late last night, playing games. She’s a smart kid, Ace. Got a lot of personality for three.”
She chuckled. “To answer your question, by the way, I’m sure she would love mini golf. But I don’t know how good she’d be at it.”
“We’re gonna go shopping with her later, but Lys wanted us to do something fun, too,” he explained. “I figured shopping would be fun for the two of them but she insisted on an activity.”
“It’s supposed to be gorgeous today. Mini golf would be a good choice.” He didn’t respond, but knowing her cousin well, she knew he was nodding. “How’d that unicorn pancake turn out?”
“Ah,” he said, and Aelin started to laugh at the sound of defeat in the one syllable. “It ended up looking like Shrek. So I ate it. Decided I’ll be going with a smiley face made out of chocolate chips and whipped cream instead.”
“Can’t go wrong with that,” she laughed, pouring herself a cup of coffee. “Is Lys up yet?”
“Nope, she and Lyla are passed out in our bed. I know the second I try to go in there and join them, one or both of them will be up. So instead, I’ll prepare breakfast.”
Aelin’s heart warmed. “You’re an awesome daddy, Aed.”
He was quiet for a moment. “I just want her to know that she’s wanted. I don’t want her to grow up feeling like Lys did.”
Aelin heard sleepy footsteps coming down the stairs.  “She won’t. Not with you and Lys.”
“Thanks,” Aedion said, and Aelin knew that he had a dopey smile on his face. “I’ll call you later?”
“Sounds good,” Aelin said. “Bye.”
Aedion hung up and Aelin was left sipping her coffee as a befuddled Rowan came into view.
“Good morning,” he yawned, running his hands through his hair as Aelin observed him in his underwear. 
“Good morning,” Aelin chuckled, completely checking him out. “You could’ve slept in for a little while longer, you know.”
“I know,” he said, yawning again. “But, then the coffee would get cold.”
Aelin laughed as she met him in the middle of the kitchen, wrapped in his embrace. “You’re excited to go to the venue today, aren’t you?”
Rowan chuckled. “I’m excited to make you my wife. That’s what I’m excited for.”
“Two more weeks,” she said, leaning up on her toes to kiss him.
“Gonna be the longest two weeks of my life,” he groaned, picking her up and carrying her to the counter.
Aelin just laughed quietly, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and legs around his waist. The embrace, though intimate, would lead to nothing like it had before. Much to Rowan’s annoyance, the night before, Aelin had made him promise that they would not be having sex again until they were married.
It nearly started another fight, but Aelin told him she wanted their wedding night to mean something to them both. He had argued it would mean something no matter what, but she held firm.
Except for the sex right after the agreement was made.
One last time, she’d told him, but no more. Not until they were man and wife.
“What time are we supposed to be there,” he asked, dragging his nose up the column of her throat. He knew what he was doing, how he was trying to tease her.
Aelin tried not to let him see how it affected her. She cleared her throat and hopped down, reaching for her coffee. “Eleven-thirty.”
Rowan blinked. “It’s barely after seven-.”
“I’m going to get my nails done,” she claimed. “Care to join me?”
“I think I’ll pass,” Rowan laughed. “May go to the gym.”
“Should we meet back here at ten?” Aelin asked. “I can do that,” Rowan said, eyeing her bare legs beneath his old t-shirt that she wore.
“Down, boy,” she crooned, pushing against his chest before he allowed her to hop down off the counter. He poured himself a cup of coffee and she said, “I’m going to get ready, let me know before you leave?”
“Of course,” he said, leaning down to press a soft kiss to her lips. She turned to head up to their bathroom. He called, “Let me know if you need any help in the shower.”
She threw a vulgar gesture over her shoulder.
The morning flew by for both of them and a few hours later, they were on the way to the venue. Though the sun was shining, they would be getting married at sunset, and Aelin could imagine how gorgeous the day would.
How perfect the day will be.
By the soft look in Rowan’s eyes, she could tell he was thinking the same thing. 
Time was running out, and that would stress most brides out, no doubt, but Aelin just wanted the time to move faster.
She was ready to be Mrs. Rowan Whitethorn. 
Rita greeted them by the door and walked them up to the rooftop. It was the perfect setting, Aelin decided, and she started looking around.
It was a pretty blank canvas, but Aelin knew that’s how Rowan worked best. She could already see him calculating his surroundings when she looked up at him. 
“Just tell me what you need,” Rita smiled. “We’ve got the chairs and tables, and I have a few companies that I’ve worked with before to get the rest.” 
She was looking to Aelin, but Rowan was the one who began explaining it all to her. She took notes, nodding occasionally and listening to every word he said. Aelin was content to chime in every once in a while, to better explain something she was set on having that Rowan didn’t fully grasp. And by the end of the hour, Rita was beaming at them both.
“I can handle it all from here,” she said, clutching her notebook to her chest. “Why don’t you two come down and have some lunch, my treat?”
“Of course, that would be wonderful,” Aelin smiled. “We’ll be down in just a minute.”
Rita nodded and headed down the stairs.
Rowan wrapped his arms around her from behind and they gazed out over the Sidra, quietly enjoying the sun, the breeze and each other’s presence for a moment longer.
Two weeks.
Just two short weeks before they stood in this very spot, proclaiming their love for each other, in front of their family and friends, and became husband and wife.
Aelin’s hand tightened where it clung to Rowan’s forearm over her chest.
She couldn’t wait.
***********
Manon had too many emotions to put into words, so she danced. 
She was in the studio alone with the lights dimmed, tuning out the whole world as she moved her body to the music playing from her phone in front of the mirrors.
Asterin had been her constant since she kicked him out. Asterin had been her constant, always. Even though she and Fenrys lived hundreds of miles away, Asterin had called every morning and every night since Manon started sleeping alone.
That morning, she let Manon bitch for an hour without saying a word.
Manon appreciated it, too.
She had never felt such a hollowness in her head and her heart. It had been years since she’d been content to be the cold hearted bitch who didn’t need anyone but herself.
She didn’t want to think about who or why had changed that.
Thinking of him… It just made the ache in her chest, that emptiness, deepen. Made her feel like she was going to crack in two.
There were so many times she picked up the phone to call him and didn’t. 
She ignored the urge to call him, over and over again, just like she ignored the fact that her cheeks were wet and her eyes were puffy while she danced.
But the dance couldn't last forever.
The song ended, and Manon was left in a deafening silence. All she could hear was the raging beating of her heart.
She swallowed harshly, ignoring her heavy breathing and grabbed her phone, tossing it in her bag, not bothering to shut off the lights in the studio. Her ride home was near silent, her Bluetooth connecting and playing whatever song it wanted. She couldn’t focus on it enough to pay attention, couldn’t focus on anything except getting home.
And once she got there, she dropped her bag by the door, and pulled out her phone.
She stared at it for a moment, before dialing a number she knew by heart, freezing before she pressed send.
And said to hell with it.
She called him, holding the phone to her ear, her heart in her throat and began to pace the living room. Their living room.
It rang.
Once.
Twice.
Three times.
Four.
Then his voicemail came.
Hey, it’s Dorian. I’m a little busy, but I’ll call you back. Leave your name and number and I’ll call you back as soon as I can.
The beep came, and Manon remained silent.
There were a thousand things she wanted to say, but nothing came.
Seconds passed, but nothing came out. 
In a moment of panic, she hung open, then stared at the blank phone.
He didn’t answer.
Maybe he didn’t want to answer.
She deserved as much.
After setting her phone on the coffee table, she fell back onto her couch. 
She didn’t turn the t.v. on.
She didn’t do a thing.
Instead, she waited, wondering if he would ever call her back.
Not that she deserved it.
_______________________________________________________
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104 notes · View notes
llsnart · 13 days ago
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Helloo. Here is a fanart of the incredible Rhysand. I wanted to draw him since a long time ago, but now that i have a little more of skills i decided to do it 🥰 hope you like it.
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cuquitalocita · 14 days ago
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my writing :)
(i am ALWAYS accepting prompts and asks!)
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~PJO~
One-shots- 
‘Tis the Season- (Percabeth fluff)
Captain Crunch or Cookie Crisp- (Estelle Blofis) 
Birthdays- (Percabeth post TLO angst)
All You do is Pine- (Percabeth fluff)
Multi-parters-
A Secret Valentine (Percabeth)- Part One, Part Two
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~ACOTAR~
One-shots-
Smile and Lie- (Feysand Fluff)
Multi-parters-
Kids and Car Rides (Feysand)- Part One, Part Two, Part Three
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tacmc · 14 days ago
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F A M E {15}
The sequel to City of Starlight {ACOTAR/TOG crossover}
Masterlist: Fame {City of Starlight - Part II - ACOTAR/TOG crossover}
Summary: It’s been four years since the end of City of Starlight, and everyone has graduated from Velaris School of the Arts. Both those who have become successful in their chosen fields and those who have not have quickly realized one common thing: the real world is complete and utter bullshit.
Trigger Warning: language, fighting
Written with @snelbz​ 
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Rowan was surprised to find the lights off in their apartment (house? Townhouse? What the heck do they live in?) when he got home. Aelin had been home all day and usually, when he was out and she wasn’t, she’d have dinner ready and movie picked out, ready to spend time together on the couch.
But it seemed like no one was home.
He unlocked the front door and let himself in, looking around suspiciously. “Ace?”
Not a word, but he found her purse, keys and phone on the kitchen counter.
His heart began to speed up, worried that something might have happened.
He made his way to their room, flipping lamps and lights on to check out the area, where he found the door to the bathroom shut, light peeking out from beneath it.
“Aelin?” He called, not having the will to open the door yet.
He heard water sloshing in the tub and he let out a sigh of relief, knowing there was a good chance she had music playing, and that she couldn’t hear him.
Sure enough, when he pushed open the bathroom door, Aelin was lying in the tub, pods in her eyes, bobbing her head. When she spotted Rowan, she stilled, eyes narrowed.
“Hey, babe,” he said, smiling. “How was your day?”
Aelin said nothing.
She simply took one airpod out, then the other. 
Rowan hesitated. “What?” “I cleaned today,” she said, simply.
Rowan blinked, then looked around. “Yeah, it looks nice.”
“I even cleaned in your office,” she continued.
Rowan wasn’t a fan of her tone. He cleared his throat. “Thank you?”
“It was there that I found a sketch,” she went on, “of my wedding dress.”
He swallowed roughly, once, twice. She watched as the panic flared in his eyes and he said, “Aelin-.”
“Don’t Aelin me,” she said, sharply. She stood from the bath and though his eyes glanced down to look at her gloriously naked body, he couldn’t even begin to try focusing on enjoying it. She wrapped a towel around her chest and stepped out of the tub. “And don’t even act like it was an accident. It was so far back in the closet that you had to snoop to find it.”
“I didn’t snoop!” He said, holding his hands up, as if to show his innocence. “I was putting your winter clothes away and I saw it, and…”
“And you deliberately disobeyed the one thing I asked you not to do!” She interrupted shoving past him as she headed for the bedroom.
He caught her arm. “I’m sorry, baby, I just- My curiosity got the better of me and Lorcan convinced me it wouldn’t be too bad if I looked-.”
“Why in the hell would you ever listen to Lorcan about something like that?” She snapped.
Rowan knew he’d just gotten his friend in deep shit. Lorcan’s dumb advice had gotten him into deep shit.
“It’s not like I called him for advice, he was already on the phone-.”
“Don’t you know what this means?” Aelin asked, flying past him into the bedroom.
Rowan sighed, slowly turning around. “That I’m an ass?”
“That I can’t wear that dress,” she groaned, spinning around to meet that gaze with a fiery one of her own. “I can’t wear my dream dress because you’ve already seen it!”
“What’s the big deal?” Rowan asked, at last. “It’s a dress, Ace, you’ll look amazing and everything will be fine-.”
“It breaks tradition!” she yelled, exasperated.
“Who gives a damn about tradition?” Rowan asked, raking a hand through his hair. “You’re making this a lot bigger deal than it needs to be.”
“Am I?” Aelin asked, voice raising. “Gods, you’re such a…”
“Such a what, Aelin?” Rowan asked, pushing himself off the wall.
“Such a man!” she answered, shaking her head. “An ass!” 
“We’ve already established that!” Rowan yelled, running his hands down his face. 
“Why the hell would you look at it?” She asked, pausing in front of the dressed and turning to face him, “when I explicitly asked you not to?”
“Because I had to know,” he said following her into the bedroom. “I’m a visual person, Aelin, you know that-.”
“It’s bad luck!” She interrupted. “And the tradition-.”
“Pretty sure we’re breaking tradition,” he said, throwing up air quotes around the word, “by living together right now. Pretty sure we break tradition every single night when I make love to you.”
The air in the room instantly became tense.
“That’s not the point,” she breathed, leaning against the dresser and crossing her arms over her chest. “I can’t wear that dress now.”
“You can and you will and you will be absolutely gorgeous in it,” he said, taking a step closer to her.
Aelin said nothing as she tracked his movement, her chin lifting as he took yet another step forward. 
“I’m not wearing it,” she said, at last, when he stopped in front of her. “If you still insist on marrying me, you’ll have to buy me a different dress.”
“Oh, I insist,” he muttered, running his fingers over her breasts, across the top of her towel. “But, I’m not buying another dress because the one you have is perfect.”
“Fine,” Aelin snapped. “Then I’m not wearing a thing.”
“A nude wedding?” Rowan asked, tugging on her towel. She allowed it to fall to the rug around her feet. “I won’t protest.”
Aelin slowly shook her head as Rowan took in the entirety of her beautiful body. “You’re an idiot.”
With that, Rowan was leaning down, pressing his lips to hers. There was nothing soft or sweet about it, but something primally hungry. Aelin’s hands were moving to the band of his jeans, yanking his button apart and his zipper down. Rowan was gathering her in his arms and holding her against him, her legs wrapping around his waist, pushing his jeans down with the heels of her feet, before he could even form a coherent thought.
He rested her on the edge of the dresser, as his lips traveled down her jaw, to her throat where he bit gently. Tilting her head back, giving him better access, she breathed, “I’m still mad at you.”
His reply was a soft grunt, as he worshipped her, letting his mouth trail down lower and lower. He paused at her breasts, but still farther down her body he trailed kisses until he reached what he was aiming for and proved to her just how sorry he was.
**********
True to Elide’s threat, when he got to physical therapy the next day, his therapist asked him if anything had happened between their last session and now. He’d beat around the bush, not actually planning to follow through on his word, until he’d leveled Lorcan with a look.
“That’s not what your girlfriend told the girls at the front desk when she called earlier,” he said, watching as Lorcan tried to balance on a half-medicine ball.
He’d sighed and come clean, admitting to not only the dancing, but also the fighting. To his surprise, he didn’t get in trouble for it. Well, too much, that is.
His therapy session was cut short, because his therapist didn’t want him to put too much strain on his knee, and he told him under no circumstances was he to dance or get in bar brawls again.
Lorcan had made him laugh when he asked if it were just bar brawls or if he could get in other types of fights. He’d just shaken his head and sent Lorcan home with an ice pack around his knee, and he had to admit, he was feeling a bit more sore than usual as he slowly made his way up the stairs.
But he wasn’t pissy anymore. He was glad he’d admitted what had happened to his therapist, otherwise he could jeopardize the entire healing process he’d come so far on already.
With a sigh and oncoming exhaustion, Lorcan unlocked his front door and stepped inside. He stopped, surprised to find a familiar, small pair of Vans sitting right inside the door.
“El?” he called, closing the door behind him. 
“Bedroom!” her sweet voice drifted from down the hall.
“I didn’t know you’d be here,” he said, kicking off his sneakers before making his way through the apartment. With Cassian gone, they’d definitely taken advantage of the time alone together. She had left, though, when Lorcan had gone to his therapy session. 
And when he walked into his room, he saw why.
She wore a thin, black lace teddy as she sprawled out on his bed. When he came in, she grinned. 
“You didn’t have that here before,” he said, his eyes lingering as they roamed her body.
“Did a little shopping while you were out,” she said, her voice going quiet. “Picked up a few things that I thought you may enjoy.”
“And what exactly,” he said, prowling closer, pulling his shirt over his head and dropping it to the floor, “am I supposed to enjoy more than that?”
She glanced over to his nightstand, where not only were two pre-rolls sitting, perched on the edge of a new, clean ashtray, but also two very large, very thick brownies. He looked back over at her. “Made a stop at the dispensary on my way home.”
“Have I mentioned how much I love you?” He asked, crawling onto the bed and over her, his body absolutely dwarfing hers. It was one of the many, many things she loved about him.
“A few times,” she said, reaching up to run her fingers through his loose, long hair. “But you can always remind me whenever you want.”
He leaned down to kiss her, pressing his lips to hers, to her nose, her forehead, her cheeks, her jaw, her neck. Which was where he stayed for a moment, biting down softly on the spot where her neck met her shoulder and then letting his tongue soothe the mild sting away.
Pulling back to look at her, he cleared his throat and asked, “As much as I’m loving this and absolutely want to take my time with what I’m doing, will you be mad at me if I light that and we smoke it first?”
Elide chuckled, and shook her head as she flipped him over and straddled his waist. “This is your night, Salvaterre. We can do whatever you want.”
The words themselves were harmless enough, but the way she said them had Lorcan’s heart beating just a little bit faster.
Just like it did as she reached over and grabbed the joint, putting it between her lips and lighting it. His hands gripped her hips and he expected her to hand it to him. She surprised him by taking a deep inhale, leaning down and barely letting her lips skim his. He let his fingers slip into her hair as she exhaled slowly, letting him take the hit directly from her.
When he blew it out, watching as the thick smoke filled the air, he couldn’t help but let his hands skim up and down her sides. One of his calluses occasionally snagged on the pretty, black lace, causing the fabric to shift and expose more or less of her creamy, pale skin.
Taking the joint from her, he put it to his lips and took another hit, before saying, “Anything I want, huh?”
She laid her hands flat on his chest and said, “Anything.”
“That’s a very dangerous offer,” he said, letting his hands drift down to cup her rear.
Elide rolled her eyes as a giggle sputtered out of her. “You act like you haven’t done everything there is to do to me already.” 
“I have a few ideas,” he grinned, running his fingers between her lace-covered breasts. 
Elide took the joint from his lips and took a hit, her head falling back as she blew smoke into the air. “Ideas?”
Lorcan groaned, softly, as Elide began to rock her hips in a slow, steady motion. “An endless list,” he promised.
“Starting with what?” she asked, quietly, humored.
Lorcan gave her a lazy grin. “Starting with getting you out of this sexy little outfit of yours. Where did you get this, anyway?” he asked, fingering the lace.
“I can’t tell you all of my secrets,” she said, shaking her head. “Gotta keep the mystery alive.”
Lorcan took the joint from her, taking one last drag before reaching over and carefully placing it in the ashtray.
He took advantage of her distraction while she watched him, and he rolled her, pinning her beneath him with his hips. She gasped quietly, feeling him already hard in his jeans. Her eyes were glazed from the drug, but bright with her need for him.
“Like I said,” he murmured, leaning down so his lips were right by her ear. “First, I’m going to peel this off of you, so, so slowly. But after that?” He pressed a featherlight kiss to the hollow beneath her ear. “You surprised me, I think I’ll return the favor by surprising you.”
“I like surprises,” Elide breathed.
Lorcan took the straps of her teddy and pulled it down her pale, slender arms. His grin was feral when he said, “I know.” 
~~~~~
Cassian and Nesta laid together on the living room floor, wrapped up in a heap of blankets. Cassian hadn’t worn a thing since his clothes had been ripped off him the night before, nor had Nesta. They’d made love, endlessly, and talked about nothing and everything, yet refusing to revisit the fight they’d had over Tomas. 
Even though it consistently lingered in the back of his mind.
“I don’t want you to go back,” Nesta said, quietly, as they laid on the floor, watching one another.
“I don’t want to, either,” Cassian whispered. “Long distance is shit.”
Nesta nodded, bringing herself closer to him.
Cassian gathered her up in his arms and sighed. “You like it here, though, don’t you?” Nesta remained quiet for a moment, so Cassian clarified, “In Terrasen?”
“I- Yes, but…” She glanced out the window, overlooking the sprawling city. “Orynth is nice, there’s nothing wrong with it, but… It’s not Velaris. It’s not home.”
“I know, sweetheart,” he said, tightening his hold on her. “Home is waiting for you though. As soon as you’re ready, so is it.”
She buried her face in his chest and he pressed a kiss to the top of her messy head. He was just about to remind her that he needed to get ready, needed to take a shower before she dropped him back off at the airport, when she mumbled something against his skin, something he couldn’t quite understand. He reached down, tilting her face up to his, and she repeated, “What if you…didn’t go?”
Cassian’s eyebrows lowered. “I can look into changing my flight, but probably only for a few days. We’ve really got to work on the album, especially with Rhys booking other sessions-.”
“No, Cass,” she said, sitting up and tucking the blanket against her chest. “I mean, what if you stayed? Here, in Orynth, with me?”
He blinked at her, letting her words process. “You mean, for good?”
“For as long as I’m here working,” she clarified. “Yeah.”
Cassian looked away from her and up at the ceiling. It was something he’d never even thought to consider. Velaris was his home. There’s where his life was: his job, his friends, all of it.
Everything but Nesta.
And Nesta was his everything.
He let out a breath, about ready to reply, when Nesta said, “You don’t have to answer now...just, think about it?”
“Okay,” he said, and pulled her back down toward him. She laid against his chest and he rubbed her back, lightly, with the tips of his fingers. 
He loved Nesta, but had no idea what he’d do in Terrasen. And, on top of that, he and Aelin were only halfway done recording their album.
Yet, the idea of living with Nesta, being close to her, waking up to her every morning… He wanted that. He missed that.
And maybe, maybe he could stay a day or two longer.
***********
Hunt had just laid Ezra down for a nap when he heard his phone go off down the hall. Bryce would be home from the grocery store any time, but he still hurried to their room to make sure it wasn’t her needing anything.
He wasn’t expecting the text that he found. It was from Jurian.
Hey, man, a few of us were gonna go to Rita’s tonight. Thought I’d extend the invitation, but don’t worry if you’ve got something going on with your girls. Just wanted to let you know you’re welcome to join.
He set his phone down and shook his head. Rita’s was the last place he probably needed to be, yet the idea of a night out… It sounded nice.
He thought about who would most likely be there, who else Jurian was friends with at the school. Lucien, most likely, and Ren Allsbrook. Hunt didn’t have a problem with either of them, but he never really saw himself hanging out with them outside of work. Jurian either, but making new friends wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
He heard the front door open and he hurried to the top of the stairs, holding his finger to his lips before Bryce could call out and announce her arrival. She saw him and immediately understood the meaning behind his actions, quietly setting her bags down in the kitchen as Hunt came to meet her.
“How long has she been down?” She asked as he came up and wrapped his arms around her from behind. She leaned back into his embrace and he leaned down to kiss her cheek before helping unpack the groceries.
“Just a few minutes,” he admitted. “She’s been cranky all afternoon.”
Bryce snorted. “Sounds right.”
“Did you enjoy grocery shopping alone?” Hunt asked, unpacking a reusable bag.
Bryce sighed, happily. “Yes, it was amazing. An hour and a half of me-time. You should try it some time.” 
“You really want me to shop for groceries?” Hunt asked. “All I’d bring home is meat and milk.”
Bryce snorted. “And Wheaties.”
He blinked. “I do love my Wheaties.”
“What do you want to do for dinner?” Bryce asked, rising on her tiptoes to put something on a high shelf. She glanced over her shoulder at him. “And don’t say Wheaties.”
“About that,” he replied, carrying a stack of cans to the pantry. “Jurian sent me a text. A few of the guys are going out tonight. He invited me.”
She turned and leaned against the counter, looking at him. “Do you want to go?”
He shrugged. “Sort of. Sort of not. It’d be nice to get out and hang out with them, but I don’t know if Rita’s is really the best place for me to be, considering…”
He let his words trail off, but the sentence finished in his head. Considering the bottle of whiskey you don’t know about in my desk. Considering I’m technically a recovering addict. Considering I don’t want to fuck things up.
Bryce’s eyes softened. “You’ve been sober for years, Hunt. If you’re not comfortable going, then don’t. But, if it’s something you want to do and you know how to handle yourself, then go hang out with your little buddies.”
Hunt turned and met her gaze with a raised brow. “Little buddies?”
She shrugged, although her humor was clear. “I’m just saying. It’s been a long time since you’ve been out with the boys, babe.”
She had a point. Even long before Ezra was born, his nights out with friends were few and far between. That’s what happens when you all become adults and go your own ways, getting busy with life. 
And it wouldn’t hurt to make a few new friends. Or, at least get to know those he worked with a little bit more. 
Bryce walked up in front of him and laid a palm against his cheek. “If you wanna go, go. If you’re faced with any temptation, you call me. But…like I said, Hunt. You’ve been sober for years. If you think you’re ready for a night out, then you’re ready.”
“You’re leaving it up to me?” Hunt grumbled. “That’s no help.”
“Fine,” she said, leaning up and pressing a quick kiss to his lips. “Then I won’t. You’re going, and that’s that.”
He rolled his eyes, but brought his face to hers and gently pressed his lips to hers again. “Call me if you need anything, if Ez does anything or something happens, and I’ll be here.”
“You’re a mother hen,” she said, wrapping her arms around his waist and looking up at him. “We’ll be fine. And if you need me, I’m just a phone call away. If you need me to talk you out of something stupid or just want to hear my voice.”
“Okay,” he breathed, softly kissing her forehead. “I’ll go. I need to let them know I’m coming and go get ready.”
“I’ll finish the groceries,” she smiled. “Go enjoy yourself. You deserve it, daddy.” A dark eyebrow rose and before he could say anything, she said, “Don’t even think about it, not like that. You’re Ezra’s daddy, not mine.”
“Take all the fun out of it…” he mumbled as he walked away.
After a quick text, Hunt showered the baby spit off of him and quickly got dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. After a kiss from his wife, he was driving down the road toward Rita’s. 
He hadn’t been there in a while. 
He wasn’t even sure how to act going to a bar anymore.
Although, he was starving and he did remember them having the best burgers.
Bacon cheeseburger it is.
He hopped out of the car and headed inside to find himself drowned in a crowd dancing to live music. He caught sight of Jurian, Lucien, and Ren in the far corner with a pitcher of beer and a series of appetizers.
He could do this.
It had been years since he had a drink….until the other day.
But that was a fluke.
At least, that’s what he told himself as he ignored the fact that there was indeed a bottle of whiskey he was hiding in his desk at work. 
“Hey, man, glad you made it,” Jurian said as they made room for him.
He sat down. “Thanks, it’s…” He scratched the back of his neck as he awkwardly laughed. “It’s been a while since I came out.”
He expected questions, he expected to be asked why he didn’t drink or go to bars or party, even at only twenty-seven.
But the men thought nothing of it. The conversation flowed easily and Hunt found himself having a good time, despite not having a drink.
Though he did throw down on that bacon cheeseburger.
Lucien was getting up to get another pitcher, the one in the middle of the table almost empty, when he noticed, “You haven’t had a single drink, Athalar.”
He locked up and rather than tell them the truth, he said, “Just don’t drink much anymore. Never know when you have to rush home to the baby, you know?”
Lucien, with a two-year-old of his own, only nodded, while the other two chuckled. He clapped a hand on Hunt’s shoulder and poured the remainder of the pitcher into an empty glass. “It’s your night to live a little, man, one or two won’t kill you.”
He carried the empty pitcher up to the bar and Hunt could only stare at the slightly bubbling liquid in the glass.
“It’s been that long, yeah?” Jurian chuckled. “My wife keeps saying she wants kids, but… I don’t know, man. Takes a toll on you, doesn’t it?”
Hunt laughed in return, although he wasn’t sure if it was from the comment or his nerves. “Yeah, for sure. It’s been so long since I’ve had a full night’s sleep that I’m considered permanently delusional.”
“Jokes on all of you,” Ren joked, chugging half his glass. “I not only don’t have kids, but I’m also not married.”
Jurian laughed. “Is that supposed to make us jealous?” He clapped his friend on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, bud. You’ll find someone eventually.”
“Fuck you,” Ren muttered, continuing to work on his glass.
“Are we making fun of Ren’s love life again?” Lucien asked, approaching the table with a full pitcher.
Lucien sat back down and the conversation continued, but Hunt felt like he needed to step away, to call Bryce and talk to her about the drink in front of him and what sort of detrimental effect it could have on his life, on his family.
He was about to do just that, when the other three held up the glasses and Hunt blinked for a moment. “Sorry, what? I…spaced out for a second. Lack of sleep,” he joked again.
“A toast to Ren’s apparent vow to singlehood,”
Jurian laughed. “May he always be the miserable sack of shit he is today.”
Hunt couldn’t help but laugh, so he picked up the glass, clinking it against his friends, and took a long, slow drink.
______________________________________________________
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musicallibrarian93 · 15 days ago
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Can someone please tell me how one creates master lists for fan fictions on tumblr?
I’m completley technology inept but I wanna post some of my fics on tumble as well as AO3 x
Any help would be greatly appreciated x
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sjmsstuff · 15 days ago
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Light And Dark
Chapter 5
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4
Warnings: same as always x
A/N: Here ya go folks! I rewrote this chapter twice and I still kind of hate it but it is what it is, enjoy!
Her first kiss. Gwyn kept her back pressed against the cool wood of the door. It was several seconds before she felt Azriel’s presence moving back down the hall.
She let out a long breath, and clapped a hand to her mouth to stifle the giggle that seemed to be forcing its way out.
Her first kiss and it was Azriel.
The shadowsinger, the big bad Illyrian spymaster.
It was the powerful male who cut people down without hesitation. The one who others whispered about.
The one who had held her so softly in the morning light. The one who had taken her hand so hesitantly as they walked through the halls...
The one she had to see for training tomorrow morning.
Nesta and Cassian would probably be missing, presumably still in bed. Emerie would be absent too if her friends smudged lipstick was anything to go by.
It was funny, Gwyn didn’t remember Emerie wearing lipstick earlier in the night, but when she came back after disappearing for two hours, Gwyn had politely pointed out the smudged crimson on her lips. A crimson that suited a ruffled blonde who entered the hall minutes later.
Gwyn couldn’t blame Mor, Emerie had looked fabulous in an orange gown tonight, wings gleaming, and hair braided with her Valkyrie ribbon. The blonde didn’t stand a chance.
Neither did Emerie apparently, as she disappeared with the Morrigan minutes before Gwyn herself had left the gathering.
Nesta too had been striking in a midnight gown. She had gotten ready in her own rooms. And if the the smug male air around Cassian was anything to go by, she had had to get ready a second time as well.
Gwyn was truly happy for her friends. Even if her only comforts were smutty novels, thoughts of scarred hands and her own fingers.
Alone with Azriel tomorrow. Maybe he’d pretend nothing happened. Maybe she should pretend nothing happened.
It was only earlier tonight she had been furious with him for ignoring her. It was embarrassment that truly fueled her anger, but the point remained that he had ignored her for three days.
It was Nesta’s idea to dance with another male tonight. Jurian was the first to offer, but when she looked up from her dance with the human, Azriel was simply in conversation with Rhysand.
So she drank and danced on. Only when he had slipped into a quiet hallway did she decide to follow him.
He was leaning against the wall when she rounded the corner. He had immediately uncrossed his arms, tucking his hands behind his back, under those magnificent wings.
Then she had taken his hidden hand and they had walked until her doorway. Then she had kissed him and everything seemed to fit into place.
Fit so perfectly that Gwyn had to flee before she decided to discover how other things would fit.
***
Morning dawned cold and grey. Gwyn slid into her leathers, ignoring the headache pounding through her temples. The other priestesses were attending an early morning mass, their own celebration of Starfall. Which meant it was only Azriel who stood in the early morning light.
The shadows clambered over his shoulders to reach out to her. She waved at one and could have sworn it waved back.
Azriel was fumbling with the handle of a sword, he quickly turned his back to her and Gwyn walked over to begin her stretches.
She began her own drills as Azriel ran through his. It had been about an hour and neither had said a word.
It was getting too awkward.
“Would you like to spar?” Her question cut through the chilly air like a sharp blade through paper.
Azriel started where he stood slicing at an invisible foe. “Of course.”
He replaced his sword on the rack and Gwyn quickly cast her own blade aside.
She had been suggesting sparring with steel but Azriel clearly wanted hand to hand combat.
They entered the small circle on the ground from opposite sides. A few feet away from him but she could’ve sworn she heard his heartbeat.
A blush was high across his cheekbones, probably from exertion, and it deepened as their eyes met.
Gwyn moved first, a feint, then a strike low to the abdomen. Azriel saw the move coming and his wings flared as he stepped out to dodge. Another strike but it glanced off his chest.
It was Gwyn’s turn to duck as a swing came next, then she was in close, fists ready to strike and the world tilted.
Gwyn slammed into the hard earth and rolled. She swept Azriels feet from under him, then swung herself over his hips.
Face to face, him pinned beneath her, hands bracketed in scarred hands. He didn’t even fight, just stared up at her. Breathing each other in. Feeling every inch of where they touched.
“Well done.” Azriel’s voice was oddly rough.
Gwyn unfroze and jumped up reaching out a hand to help him up. This had the fortunate side affect of placing them face to face while both horizontal.
Or rather face to chest as he was significantly taller than her.
Gwyn was being an idiot. He hadn’t said a word about the incident last night and she was still furious at him for… something. Her memory seemed to be impaired by his proximity.
Taking initiative, Gwyn stepped backwards, turned swiftly and snatched back up her blade from where she had left it. This occupied her hands so they would not find their way into his hair.
“With steel this time?” Gwyn’s voice sounded strained to her own ears, but Azriel seemed not to notice as he strode to retrieve his own weapon.
He fumbled slightly with the hilt again. If anything Gwyn would suppose he seemed nervous.
That was extremely unlikely. They’d sparred hundreds of times and he’d been to wars and back. Perhaps his shadows had whispered some dangerous information to him that he was still in shock over.
He seemed to gather himself, then marched resolutely over to her. She readied her stance but he didn’t even raise his sword.
Azriel merely stood in front of her and opened his mouth.
Then closed it again.
Then opened it again.
This time he managed words. “I understand that you were tipsy last night, and that you may not even remember, but we kissed. You kissed me. By your door. Of your room.”
Gods was he embarrassed?
“I just thought,” He hurried on, “I’d let you know that should you want me to completely forget that happened, I will forget. Well maybe not forget but I swear I will never mention it again, and should-“
“Azriel,” Gwyn gripped his arm, “I was aware of my actions last night. I apologise if I put you in an uncomfortable situation-“
“No!” Azriel exclaimed, “No, not at all, I wasn’t uncomfortable, I just didn’t want to put you in an awkward position.”
He was blushing and that somehow emboldened her. Perhaps it was the hangover and leftover lowered inhibitions.
“Azriel, you can put me in any position you would like.”
His head snapped up, eyes darkening.
He stepped closer.
They were almost nose to nose.
“You, Gwyneth Berdara, are dangerous.”
She smiled softly.
His gaze dipped to her mouth.
His hand reached towards her cheek.
It drew back.
A noise behind her on the stairs.
Azriel’s eyes flicked over her shoulder and he stepped away.
“Azriel, Gwyn. I hope we’re not interrupting anything.”
Gwyn spun to see Nesta and Emerie climbing up the stairs.
“We can come back… if you…”
“No,” Azriel’s voice was low as he pushed past her, “I’m leaving now anyway” He turned back at the top of the stairs, “Goodbye Gwyn” Gwyn was close to punching her friends.
All malice washed away however, when Azriel had disappeared into the darkness of the house and the other Valkyries descended into fits of giggles.
Nesta was the first to surface, “Gwyn! What the fuck were you two doing up here?”
“Sparring,” came the indignant response. “Just training and drills!”
“Oh I’m sure,” drawled Emerie, “That’s why I can smell the arousal hanging thicker than cream in this air.”
Nesta snorted, “Must have been some very interesting drills.”
A/N: ooooo it’s heating up. Someone guide the two of them, they’re helpless.
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Chapter 6
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