#this was a wild read. I've never heard of her and her books before
Summary: It takes a year of trial and error, of love and heartbreak, for the two to finally realize there's no one else they'd rather be with. Or in which she becomes they're photographer for a summer tour and falls in love with the dark haired drummer.
Word Count: 10.3k
Warnings: swearing, angst, sexual content
A/N: I just want to say a huge thank you to @ethanesimp for proofreading and hyping this fic up, thank you so much amore! This is the first piece I've written for any of the members of maneskin, and also the longest thing I've ever written! Feedback is greatly appreciated!
It’s a call in the middle of the day that begins it all. She’s been in a shoot all morning, running around snapping photos of a wanna-be teen idol. She’s been here many times, being hired to do promo shots for someone who never makes it farther than this. But this call, she knows it’s different. She’s heard the name, seen some videos, she knows this won’t be like the rest. She’s instructed to clear her schedule for the week and to be in Rome by the end of the day.
The cold air hits her as she leaves the building, suitcase and camera bag in hand. This is the moment she’s been waiting for since joining the company, the chance to become a permanent fixture instead of hopping from gig to gig. She’s told that they requested her specifically, that one of the band members saw her collection from a festival last summer and was dead set on booking her for their summer tour. It’s all new to her, the feeling of being the first choice and not second best. She barely hears anything that’s said on the plane by their manager, too busy trying not to freak out.
It’s only a few hours plane ride, but it feels like a lifetime. Thoughts run wild in her head as the seconds tick by, she can’t remember the last time she’d been this excited, or nervous, for something. She’s greeted by more people from their team as she steps off the plane, and is quickly ushered to the villa they’ve been staying in. She barely has time to process the beautiful new city she’s in before she’s hidden by walls of an even more beautiful place.
They give her time to relax and unpack, but clear instructions to not leave the property without security. Things have been crazy, she’s told, since their winning last year fans have become more clever with their tactics. She laughs at some of the stories, but heeds the warning all the same. She’s seen quite a few things that have shaken her to her core, so she knows to be careful and wary.
Music floats through the halls and into her room, the band practicing on the other side of the villa. The music fills her veins with a feeling she can’t quite place, but it’s a welcome humming that gets her blood pumping. She grabs her camera and follows the melodies, laughing at the jokes thrown around in english whenever someone messes up. She angles herself behind a corner just right where she can take pictures while still being hidden from the band.
Her heart races at the scene in front of her. It’s a family like she’s never seen. They all seem to orbit around each other, pushing and pulling each other into their atmospheres. She watches Victoria dance around the room, bass in hand, strumming the lines to an old song. Thomas lays on the floor with a notebook reading off words, Damiano repeating them as he draws on eyeliner. And Ethan, who sits at his drum set, twirling the drumsticks in his hand as he observes the scene before him.
She captures picture after picture of their dynamic, taking the most of Ethan, who seems to have a magnetic pull to him. She only pulls herself from the moment when she’s spotted. “Sai, qualcuno chiamerebbe questo strano comportamento.”
The words are warm against her ear, and she jumps at the unexpected presence. She turns around, laughing to hide her embarrassment, trying to translate the words in her head. She freezes when she sees it’s Ethan, trying to figure out when he slipped away from the rest of the group.
“Ah, niente italiano. Er, it’s unusual, what you are doing.”
Another nervous laugh leaves her lips, “Sorry. I didn’t mean to be creepy. There’s something about the way the group is when no one is watching, it’s hard to ignore, it needed to be captured.”
He smiles at that. It’s soft and warm and she feels as if the world has stopped spinning. A song plays between their hearts as a silence falls over them. There’s a beauty about him that makes it hard to focus on anything but him.
A series of crashes followed by loud curses in Italian breaks the spell that they were under and Ethan pulls himself away from her to go and manage his friends. She uses this moment as an excuse to slip away and tour the rest of the house, ending in the kitchen where dinner is being prepared. She snaps a few photos of the chefs cooking, already envisioning the blog post they’ll go along with.
When everyone has made their way to the dining room a toast is made; to new adventures, to new friends, and to family. Sweet wine and light rain makes the time pass faster and the evening flows into night easily. The group parts only moments after midnight, long days ahead calling them to catch up on sleep now.
The month flows by with days and nights blurring together. It seems the studio is really the only place they call home, spending every waking moment in the room that houses their instruments. She stays with them through the long hours, snapping photos of the weird things they get themselves up to. Her hard drive slowly fills with collections of each band member, ones for the public eye and ones she sends to them to make them laugh.
The end of the month brings a party, something small to celebrate sold out tour dates. A night out to a local bar and far too many drinks. She dances with Victoria, who has become her best friend in the few weeks she’s been with them. Damiano and his girlfriend are not far away, but much more caught up in their own world. Thomas has disappeared somewhere, no doubt warming someone's bed for the night. But through all the commotion, she can’t stop watching Ethan.
He’s sitting at a table nursing the only drink he’s had that night, planning to take on the role of babysitter at the end of the night once everyones had too much to drink. He drums his fingers on the table, following the beat of each song that plays. He seems lost in his own world, content with being by himself. She moves away from Victoria, who easily finds another partner, and makes her way to the table.
“Sembri solo,” the words fall from her lips quietly as she takes a seat beside him.
He smiles at her, “Seems your little lessons are paying off.”
She blushes at that, not realizing he’d picked up on her daily lessons with their English tutor. “Only enough to not seem like a tourist.”
A small chuckle escapes his lips, and she wishes she could bottle the sound.
“But don’t change the subject. Tonight was about having fun, celebrating a big accomplishment. Yet you’re sitting here alone.”
He sighs at her insistence, “Sometimes we don’t need to celebrate everything so publicly.”
Something pulls at her heart. She can’t imagine having such a public life, but she understands how it must feel to never have anything to yourself. Before she knows what she’s doing, she places a hand on his arm and gives it a reassuring squeeze, a light tingle shooting between the two of them.
She pulls her hand away quickly, a small blush forming on both their cheeks. He offers her a small smile to make the moment less awkward, and she returns it.
The night ends not too much later, the rest of the crew having decided that warm beds would be much more comfortable than the crowded bar. She helps Ethan herd their friends home, laughing along with him at their drunken antics. Victoria jokingly calls them mom and dad as they help her to bed, and the blush that was plastered on her face earlier that night makes a second appearance.
It’s almost morning by the time she makes it to her own room. Ethan isn’t far behind her, realizing for the first time tonight that they share the same hallway. “Buona notte,” comes his voice from down the hall.
She turns to face him, catching herself stuck in his stare. She can’t quite place the look in his eyes, but it gives her butterflies all the same.
February brings more time in the studio and less time outside the walls of the Villa. While winter in Rome is not like the ones you’d experience in colder places, it still brings a chill to her bones. She steals one of Victoria's sweaters after a night spent lounging under the stars, a small break from a busy schedule.
A fire had been lit and a bottle of sweet wine was making its way around the group. She’d set her camera aside for the evening, planning on enjoying a night without the calls of work. She doesn’t know when it happens, but suddenly she’s swaying to a drunken beat in the arms of Damiano who can’t stop giggling at her two left feet. The man had not believed her when she said she couldn’t dance, but was now biting his tongue as they moved around the courtyard.
As the night seemed to come to a lull, a game of truth or dare was proposed and all were in agreement. She finds herself sitting beside Thomas on the floor as Victoria begins the game, a stupid dare aimed towards Damiano that earns him a new haircut. The night drags on in a flurry of laughter and silly dares. By midnight half the group is wearing someone else’s clothes, and the others have barely any on.
She’s moved to be sitting by Ethan, who has an arm casually draped across her shoulder. It shouldn’t feel so electric, his skin touching hers, but it does and it’s the only thing she can focus on. Her heart feels like it’s almost beating out of her chest and the blush on her face isn’t caused by the alcohol in her system.
Damiano is the first to notice her situation, and starts poking fun at her whenever it was his turn to ask her something. It started off innocent enough, small questions aimed towards her love life, but it soon caught the attention of Thomas who was the first one to issue a dare towards the girl. This was how she’d ended up sitting beside Ethan, cuddled into his side. Ethan was oblivious to the things going on around them, until Victoria dared her to kiss him.
It seems as though time stops, the laughter fades and the silence becomes deafening. She turns towards Ethan, a mixture of panic and excitement painted on her face. He smiles at her, “We don’t have to, amore.”
“A dares a dare.” She shrugs at him.
A round of cheers raises up around them as the two lean in. It’s meant to be only a small peck, something good enough to count in the eyes of those around them. But as she goes to pull away his hand reaches up to tangle in her hair and he pulls her closer. Their lips meet again without any hesitation and it’s like the world lights up around them. Blame it on the alcohol, but if she were to die right now she’d be happy.
They pull away a second later, a small laugh leaving both of them, chests rising at an unsteady rhythm.
“Awe, they’re blushing! How cute!” Comes the voice of Damiano, further pulling a blush from the girl.
She grabs one of the pillows beside her and aims it at his head, laughing when she misses terribly.
The night fades into morning and they all climb to the roof to watch the sunrise. It’s a moment she wants tattooed in her memories forever. She’s got her arms wrapped around Victoria and the three boys huddle around them, alcohol still flows through their veins and they’re all singing different versions of the same song.
The beginning of spring in Rome is magical. Flowers start to bloom, mornings are coated in a light dusting of rain, and clothing starts to become less of a necessity. She takes photos of the band trapezing the streets. The Villa studio has become too familiar, moving instead to a studio in the city.
By now, a routine has been put in place. Mornings sipping coffee and eating fresh pastries while she laughs at the varying states of wake the band is in. Afternoons in the studio, recording their new album while she collects photos and videos for their ‘making of’. Evenings spent in restaurants and bars, eating some of the best food she’s ever had, and she swears she’ll never eat anything better.
She’s never fallen in love with a city like this before. Maybe it’s the city, or maybe it’s the people she’s with, but she swears she never wants to leave. It suffocates her in the best way possible, the feeling of being home. She hopes that when the tours over and her contracts up, that she’ll move here, maybe even keep these people she’s grown so close to in the past few months.
She’s thrown out of the daydream by Thomas yelling at her in a mix of italian and english for not paying attention. It’s the middle of the afternoon, they’ve taken a lunch break at a restaurant down the block, and Thomas is expressively telling a story. His hands are in the air and he’s almost knocked his wine glass over too many times to count.
Damiano sits across from her, fiddling with her camera, snapping his own photos that he presents to her proudly. She laughs at every one, but never discourages his actions. Victoria is on her left, Ethan on her right, both vying for her approval as they argue over something. She’s overwhelmed by the different directions her brain is being tugged, but the hand that snakes its way into hers calms her.
She looks down to see Ethan rubbing his thumb along the back of her hand, a soft smile grazing his lips as they make eye contact. She returns it, whispering a small thank you to the boy.
That night, she lays in bed, in the room she’s begun to finally call hers, thinking of the boy with stars in his eyes. She doesn’t know if it’s feeling like she finally belongs somewhere, or the wine that still coats her veins, but there’s something about him that she wishes she could become a part of. She wants to wrap herself in it and never leave. She’s falling for him, hard. Vaffanculo.
It is Victoria's birthday and everyone has decided that she must be princess for the day. Ethan and Damiano have been up since dawn making an extravagant breakfast, something that should be put in a five star restaurant. Her and Thomas had disappeared shortly after waking, returning with a stack of presents that was almost as tall as him, and the best bouquet of flowers she could find.
After decorating the patio with anything and everything they could find, it was a mad dash to Victoria's room to wake her up. She protested, claiming that sleep was more important than being awake, but at the mention of presents she was the first one out of the room.
It was a morning of happiness, and a much needed break from their hectic schedule. She recorded the entire day, from the dramatic wake up call to the celebratory sparklers that were set off that night, it was all captured.
After breakfast the princess requested a trip to the beach, and no one would dare refuse her. They found something private, a little hidden oasis an hour's drive from the villa. They spend hours there, switching between swimming and laying in the sun. She finds herself alone on the sand with Ethan at one point, watching the others like proud parents.
She tries not to think about how close his body feels to her, how she can feel the heat his body is radiating seeping into her, the smell of his body wash. He’s invading all of her senses and she’s trying so hard to focus on anything but him. “Let’s go on a walk?”
His voice is warm as the question escapes his lips. She turns to look at him and she’s thankful to be able to blame the sun for the blush on her cheeks. She nods and gets up to follow him, brushing off the sand that’s clinging to her bathing suit and wrapping a towel around her shoulders.
They disappear down the beach, walking side by side, a comfortable silence enveloping them. It’s not till they’re halfway down the beach that either of them speaks. “Are you enjoying your time?”
She doesn’t miss the hint of worry that laces his voice, and she’s quick to reassure him that she is. “Yes, very much. This is probably the best job I’ve had in years.”
He softly chuckles at her words, “Good. Good. We’re trying to make you feel like one of us, don’t want you running away.”
She’s grateful for the confession, glad that they don’t see her as just another person that works for them. “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.”
He bumps her shoulder with his, a small smile forming on his face, “Yeah?”
They head back to the group soon after, realizing they’ve let the day slip away and need to leave soon if they want to make their dinner reservations.
A small vineyard hidden in the valley, they’ve booked the place so it’s just them, and ordered every bottle of wine on the menu to taste. They laugh away the night, enjoying plates of delicious food and letting their minds wander. A gorgeous cake is brought out at the end, half of which ends up destroyed thanks to an impromptu food fight. More presents are opened and Victoria starts tearing up, blubbering about how much she loves the idiots she’s surrounded with.
They walk through the dark streets of Rome, singing happy birthday loudly in every language they know. It’s unusually cold, but she’s somehow been wrapped in Ethan’s jacket, his arm slung over her shoulder. She’s holding Vic’s hand, Damiano and Thomas taking turns with her camera.
The air surrounding them is electrified, she looks up into the sky and thanks the stars for the life she’s living.
The summer tour is fast approaching, and nerves are starting to set in. The already high energy group somehow is bouncing off the walls even more, making for an interesting collection of photos. Nerves are starting to get the better of them, and she often finds one of them wandering around the Villa at odd hours of the night. She’s good at being able to channel her nerves into something else, focusing all of the energy on a new project.
One night though, it gets the better of her. She tosses and turns in her bed for hours before she decides that sleep isn’t coming. Instead of lying in bed willing her brain to shut off, she throws on a pair of shoes and heads for the front door, thinking a walk in the warm spring air will do her some good. What she doesn’t expect to find is Ethan sitting out on the terrace, cigarette in one hand and a book in the other, lost in his own world.
She doesn’t mean to catch his attention, hoping to allow him this little bit of uninterrupted peace, but he spots her anyway. “Buona serata,” He rasps, voice laced with the quietness of the night.
“Buona serata, Ethan.” She returns the greeting.
He motions for her to sit down in the chair beside him, closing the book and placing it on the table. “What’s troubling your mind tonight?”
She’s not used to the way someone can read her so well, but there’s something about Ethan that brings her comfort in the fact that he can. “Nerves, I guess. I’ve never done a gig this big, never spent so much time with one group. I’m used to being moved around a lot, still getting used to being a permanent fixture I guess.”
The words are heavy on her tongue, never having voiced her worries out loud before. He takes a long drag of the cigarette hanging from his lips, “La vita ci dà solo ciò che sa che possiamo gestire.”
“Some would think you were a poet in a past life.”
A small laugh escapes his lips, and he shakes his head. A comfortable silence falls over them and she wishes she could bottle this feeling to keep with her forever. He turns to look at her, and it’s hard to put into words the feeling that washes over him. He’s not sure where it comes from, the urge to kiss her, but it sends him spiralling.
He reaches his hand up to brush a few strands of hair out of her face, “Le stelle brillano più luminose nei tuoi occhi, amore.”
The words and his actions cause her heart to raise and her breath to hitch. They’re close now, the closest they’ve been since that night in February, and all she can think about is that kiss that they shared.
Neither knows who leaned in first, but suddenly their lips are touching and it is everything and nothing like they remembered. While the other kiss had been hesitant and brief, this one was full of purpose. Their noses brush and their breaths tangle together, he bits her lip for a moment and a small moan escapes her. He swears it’s the best sound he’s ever heard.
He grabs at her hips, lifting her from the chair and placing her so she’s straddling his lap. She tangles her fingers in his hair and tugs softly, earning a groan from the man. The sound sends shockwaves through her and she rocks her hips against his almost involuntarily. His lips move from hers to the side of her neck, pulling small whimpers from her as he nips and sucks at the skin. It’s everything she’s ever imagined and more. The feeling of his body pressed to hers, the pleasure he can so easily give to her.
She moves her hands down to fumble with the hem of his shirt and that’s when he pulls away. “While I would normally love to do that here, how about we continue this somewhere more private?”
She nods eagerly and removes herself from his lap. He all but drags her inside the villa and towards his room. She trips over her own feet and they both laugh at her clumsiness, falling into each other as he tries to catch her but trips over his own feet in turn. He leans in to kiss her again as their bodies collide, this one sweeter and softer than the previous one.
The moment passes quickly and soon she’s being dragged through the halls again, only to be met with a half asleep Damiano standing in the doorway of his room. They stop in their tracks, jumping apart, trying to act like nothing was happening. “It’s rude to have a party and not invite everyone, you know.”
She lets out a breath she didn’t know she was holding, glad that he didn’t know what had been happening moments prior. Ethan is quick to explain that they were just having a cup of tea on the terrace and were now heading to bed, and thankfully the lie is believed. Damiano wishes them a goodnight, heading back into his room, and the two are left in silence in the hallway.
“Maybe we should go to bed,” he whispers to her.
Her heart sinks, but she nods her head in agreement and turns to walk back down the hall to her room. She’s not really sure how the night was going to end, but this was definitely not how she wanted it to; walking in silence next to someone her heart aches for, pretending that nothing had happened between them.
He walks her up to her door, still ever the gentleman, and places a gentle kiss on her cheek. “Buona notte, amore.”
The words should not sound as sad as they do, and she tries her hardest to keep the tears welling up in her eyes at bay as she watches him turn and walk away.
How do you go back to being just friends after making out with someone? Well, you don’t. At least, not fully. They dance around each other without knowing it, avoiding any contact that could lead to something more or allude to something else, but there are still moments where the world seems to slip away and it’s just the two of them.
The tour kicks off at a festival in Amsterdam. Blue skies and sunny days greet them as they get off the plane. They have a day to explore before their first show, and no one can decide how to spend it. In the end, Victoria drags Thomas off to do some shopping, Damiano plans a trip to a few museums with his girlfriend, and she is left with Ethan.
She’s not truly stuck with him, but she doesn’t feel like wandering a forgein city all by herself. Since the night in the Villa, they haven’t spent longer than a few minutes alone together, both refusing to acknowledge what had happened.
A trip to the beach seems like the best place to be, and within the hour she’s lounging in the sun listening to Ethan read a book. It’s peaceful, the sound of the waves and his voice lulling her into a half sleep. She’s got a drink in her hands, something sweet and fruity, and she’s sharing a cigarette with Ethan. It’s a scene she thinks one would find in a movie.
She rolls herself over so she’s laying on her back, staring up at Ethan who sits beside her. She places her hand on his leg and traces random shapes into his skin. Goosebumps rise in the wake of her fingertips, and he tries to stay focused on the book in his hands but finds it hard to do so. “You are very distracting, amore.”
She looks up at him innocently and she can’t help but admire him. His hair is tucked away in a bun, but a few pieces have fallen out and are flying in the gentle breeze. He’s only wearing a pair of swim trunks, broad chest on full display. He catches her roaming eyes as they make their way back to his face, a smirk slowly forming on his face. “Or maybe I’m the one distracting you, no?”
She smiles shyly and looks away from him, because yes, he is distracting her, and she’s finding it very hard to not kiss him right now. He chuckles at her, reaching his hand towards her face and turning it back towards him. He leans down towards her, “I’m going to kiss you now, okay?”
All she can do is nod, and a second later his lips are on hers. It’s sweet and slow, she can taste the tobacco on his lips and it’s intoxicating. She moves so she’s sitting up, leaning into him more, the world around them fading out until all that is left is them.
A few days later they find themselves in a hotel room in Munich. There’s music playing and everyone’s laughing. Her camera hasn’t left her hands all night, every moment needing to be captured as they ride the after show high.
She’s in the middle of recording Thomas’ one man act when a pair of arms wrap themselves around her waist. She knows exactly who it is by the scent that invades her nostrils and sends her brain into overdrive. She lets out a sudden, loud laugh, as his fingers trace themselves up and down her sides, collapsing into his chest as she struggles to breath.
He picks her up and spins her around, letting out an equally loud laugh at her protests. He’s happy, and it’s something that looks better on him than any designer outfit he could ever buy.
He falls onto one of the beds, pulling her down with him. She lands beside him tangled in his arms, he’s looking at her with a goofy grin on his face. The world seems to silence around them as their eyes lock. Her smile softens and she reaches her hand over to brush an eyelash off his cheek, he catches her hand before she can pull it away and brings it to his lips, kissing it gently.
He looks ethereal in this moment, hair strewn all over the place, a wild look in his eyes. She reaches for her camera and brings it up to capture him, never wanting to forget this moment.
The streets of Prague are empty, save for the two of them walking hand in hand down them. It’s early, almost too early to be considered an acceptable time to be awake, but they continue on nonetheless. A wild craving for something sweet had brought upon their adventure, and with the look she was giving him, he couldn’t say no to accompanying her.
They had been sitting on the balcony of her hotel room, watching the sun starting to peak out over the horizon and sharing a cigarette when she had turned to him with a mischievous look in her eyes. “I want something sweet.”
The comment had earned her an offer to order room service, but she shakes her head at the idea, standing up and walking back into the room. “No. Something real, maybe a coffee too.”
He follows her in, watching her pull on a shirt to cover the bralette she had been sitting in. “È presto, amore. Let’s go to bed. We can order something when the sun is awake also.”
She smiles at his words, but makes no move to stop dressing. She grabs her wallet and room key before heading to the door, stopping to turn and look at him, a question in her eyes.
“Fine, I’ll come with you.” He says after a moment, throwing on his jacket and walking over to her.
It’s 7:30 in the morning, the sun is starting to make it’s daily appearance, and they are happy. The small bakery they stumble into is just opening for the day and they’re greeted by the owner, an older lady with the sweetest smile. She speaks in broken English, an obvious language barrier between the group of them, but no one seems to mind.
She orders herself a poppy strudel and a coffee, Ethan ordering a croissant and an espresso, before sitting down at one of the small tables. He sits beside her, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her into his side. He presses a soft kiss into the crown of her head and she sighs in content.
Moments like this are what she lives for. She might only be here because she works for them, but somewhere along the way she’s become part of their little family. She looks over to Ethan who’s lost in conversation with the owner, and she whispers to herself, “Penso di essermi innamorato di te.”
She doesn’t know that he hears her, his smile spreading wider across his face.
The turnover from June to July happens mid concert in Stockholm. She swears she can feel it, the sudden shift, a slight change in the air. She’s running around in front of the stage capturing pictures of the band in what she’s come to call their ‘natural habitat’. There’s an indescribable buzz in the air as they perform, the crowd becoming louder and louder with each song.
She keeps catching Ethans eye and there’s something primal in the way he looks at her. During a song switch, while Damiano rambles to the crowd, he motions her on stage. He tells her to get closer to everyone, promising that they won’t bite, and she giggles at him. She does what he says nonetheless, capturing some up close photos of the band and a few great shots of the crowd.
All too soon the show is ending and everyone’s piling into the car, a small party taking place in the backseat. Damiano has music blasting from his phone, Victoria and Thomas are dancing along to the beat, and Ethan is belting out the lyrics. She watches the group of them, laughing so hard her sides hurt, and she’s never felt more at home.
When they get to the hotel he’s quick to pull her towards his room, thankfully void of a roommate for the night. The second they get into the room, his lips are on hers. He pulls her close to his body and her hands tangle themselves in his hair. It’s nothing like any of their previous kisses, it’s heated and fast, every thought trying to be conveyed by the fever of it. She pulls back slightly to catch her breath and he leans in to whisper in her ear, “Join me in the shower?”
It’s not so much a question as a statement, but she nods her head eagerly, quick to follow him into the bathroom. He strips himself of the few clothes he’s wearing (most having been thrown off during the show), before turning to her. He reaches his arms out towards her, pulling her close to him and tugging on her shirt. She barely registers him pulling off her clothes, too focused on his body in front of her.
She’s never seen him so bare, and she’s having a hard time focussing on anything else. It’s not until her body hits the warm water that she snaps back to reality. He looks wild, eyes blown with lust, a wicked smile on his face. She firmly plants her lips on his, moaning into the kiss as he grabs at her. His hands are skilled and know every way to pull those delicious sounds from her lips.
It’s quick and dirty, and it is everything she has ever imagined it would be.
An hour later, she’s tangled up in the sheets of his bed, his entire being engulfing her as they watch the stars outside the window. She wonders if they are watching them too.
Paris is the city of lights, a statement she’s never been more sure of. The streets are lit with every light, shining brighter than the stars. She’s in a permanent state of bliss, after the night she shared with Ethan. Their relationship is hidden from the public, living in stolen moments and nights in hotel rooms, but she’s never been happier to be someone's dirty secret.
The band is electric on stage, something about the city they’re in taking their performance to a whole new level. The show goes on longer than it should have, but none of them even care when their manager comes over to reprimand them. They hang around to greet fans and take photos with anyone and everyone, and it’s not until security has to kick them out that they finally leave.
They find themselves in a bar, not sure what part of the city they’re in, but no one cares when the night feels like this. They drink expensive drinks that they can’t pronounce the name of, dance to songs they don’t know the words to, and feel more alive than they’ve ever felt. It’s like the world turned itself up to 11 just for them.
She dances with Ethan, not caring who sees because the night is theirs and no one cares. She kisses him in the middle of the dance floor and he pulls her into a vacant bathroom. It’s hot and heavy and the smell of alcohol envelopes them, but they couldn’t care less. Is this love? They don’t care. They’re young and dumb, and well, you only live once.
Back at the hotel they spend the night wrapped in bedsheets on the balcony, a bottle of champagne and a pack of cigarettes shared between the two of them. He points to the stars, a stupid grin on his face, “Le stelle brillano solo per noi.”
She snorts, throwing an abandoned pillow at him. He grabs her arm and pulls her into him, tickling her sides until she’s begging him to stop, tears staining her cheeks but a laugh like no other leaving her lips.
As the night bleeds into morning, and both are hazy with sleep, he whispers to her, “Sei il mio universo.”
They walk down the streets of London, his arm slung over her shoulders as she rambles away, both blissfully unaware of the few fans snapping photos down the street. They don’t notice the group of girls following them, cameras and phones in hand, capturing picture after picture of the couple.
By the time they reach the shop, the photos are already out into the world.
As they order, reposts and comments start flowing, and their phones start lighting up with notifications.
Before they can pay, she’s crying.
Rule number one of being in the public eye; never look at the comments, distance yourself from social media as much as possible, it will never end well.
The final stop in Rome was supposed to be a welcome home. A big celebration was to occur after their last concert, but now, it’s nothing more than finding the quickest way back home. She sits in one of the dressing rooms the entire show, waiting for it to end, scrolling through her social media.
She knows she shouldn’t be, that’ll all it’s doing is hurting her, making her feel worse. But she can’t stop. The comments aimed towards her and the drummer are terrible, and she wishes she could just delete herself from existence. They aren’t even dating, at least not officially, but she’s been deemed the girlfriend from hell. She’s unknowingly stolen something that never belonged to anyone to begin with.
Damianos girlfriend is in the room with her, telling her of her own horror stories dealing with fans, and she knows she’s just trying to help, but she really wishes she would just shut up. She loves the girl to death, she’s been a blessing this entire time, but she feels her mind is too far gone to be saved from the madness.
It’s only a few minutes later that the band wanders in, the usual after show high replaced with a sudden heaviness. Ethan comes to stand by her after putting his things away and pulls her into a tight hug. “Amore mio.”
He’s sweaty and could definitely use a shower, but the hug is comforting. She rubs his back soothingly, knowing this is just as hard on him as it is on her. Their management team has told everyone to remain quiet about it, disappearing from the internet until further notice while they figure out how to manage the situation. It’s maddening, the inability to speak out and protect her. He wishes he could snap his fingers and everything would be fixed, but he knows nothing is ever that easy.
They make their way back to the villa in silence, the car filled with a strangeness. She’s sandwiched between Victoria and Ethan, leaning on the bassist's shoulder, watching her play a game on her phone. It’s not how anyone wanted to end the tour, but the world is a strange and cruel place. Everything good always comes burning down.
There’s a party at the villa one night. Things have calmed down enough that she doesn’t spiral every time she looks at her phone, but there’s something in the way Ethan acts around her that makes her uneasy. She’s standing out on the patio, trying to avoid the questioning eyes from everyone in the house. She hasn’t spoken to Ethan all day, and the alcohol coursing through her veins makes her even angrier than she knows she should be.
Out of the corner of her eye she sees him walk out the door beside her, a small scoff leaving her lips as he tries to speak to her.
“Couldn’t be bothered to talk to me all day, what’s changed that you’ve decided to grace me with your presence?”
He looks at her, stunned. “I don’t get what you mean.”
She scoffs again, placing her glass on the table across from her. “Since London you’ve done nothing but ignore me. I get that this wasn’t easy for you, but it wasn’t exactly a cake walk for me. I needed you, Ethan, and you left me.” Her voice is raw and scratchy, the feeling of wanting to cry tickling the back of her throat.
“I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how Dami does it, how he can deal with the comments and messages. My brain won’t shut off, I can’t stop thinking about how if I had been more careful, I could’ve protected you and none of this would’ve happened. I feel stupid for thinking I could have. I hate seeing you like this, I wish I could take you away from all of this.” His voice slowly lowers, till it’s nothing more than a whisper, words meant only for her.
“I was never what you wanted, was I? This was just all some stupid game to you. I was just someone you could use to get off.” Her voice is laced with pain, a small crack coming out as she speaks.
He shakes his head, laughing slightly, and turns to look away from her. He walks a few steps before turning to face her again, “No. No, you were exactly what I wanted. You were everything to me. We were the same type of crazy.”
“I don’t understand Ethan, then what was the problem? This feels like a confession and a break up all in one.” She crosses her arms and leans against the wall, watching as he pulls a cigarette out from his pocket and lights it.
The familiar sight creates something warm in her chest, memories of summer nights like this flash through her mind. Spending the evening sitting on the balcony of different hotel rooms, sharing a cigarette between the two of them while they let the events of the day soak in. She’d give anything to go back to one of those moments. He blows a breath of smoke out and starts to speak again, “I don’t know, amore. I don’t. I want to tell you I love you, to hold you and call you mine. But I can’t.”
“Can’t, or won’t.” It’s not a question, but a statement.
“No, don’t do that. Don’t turn this into something it’s not. I want to, believe me, I do.” He steps towards her and reaches out his arms, “But we both know we can’t.”
She doesn’t know where the tears come from, but they’re there, pooling in her eyes. It’s only been a few months since they’ve met, there were no promises to be anything more than a summer adventure, but this doesn’t feel right. Her heart should not be breaking at the thought of losing someone she barely even knows.
He stops when he notices her state, reaching out to wipe the tears falling down her cheeks. “Merda. Merda! This wasn’t how this was supposed to go.”
She looks up at him through clouded eyes, “Then how was this supposed to go, Ethan? Breaking my heart wasn’t supposed to hurt me this bad? I was supposed to smile and tell you that I'm not madly in love with you and these past few months meant nothing to me?”
His heart breaks slowly at her words. He never meant for the night to go this way, and he wishes he could just pull her into his arms and tell her he loved her, that everything could be okay. But he can’t, so he pulls away from her, “I’m sorry, I’m so fucking sorry.”
They’re the only words he can manage to get out without breaking down. He takes a second to watch her, memorize all the features of her face, before turning around and walking away. It’s a sight that rips her heart out, watching his form disappear back into the house. She knows this is it, the goodbye she’d been preparing for these past few weeks, but it doesn’t hurt any less.
Before she can help herself, she’s calling after him. “Being in love isn’t a weakness, you know!” But the words fall upon deaf ears.
Vic finds her standing in the same spot an hour later. She’s got a smoke lit in her hand, the third one from the pack. She hasn’t touched her lips to any of them, but the smell and the feeling of holding it brings her comfort. She was never really one to smoke, but she found it entrancing to watch Ethan do it, and right now, it’s the only thing keeping her grounded. It’s silly, how something so small can mean so much.
Her heart aches in the most unbearable way, but she can’t bring herself to do anything about it. Vic doesn’t speak, just stands beside her. She doesn’t need to ask to know that she is well aware of the events that have just unfolded, she’s just grateful for the company.
It’s stupidly hot in London for the time of year, but mother nature loves her unexpected heat waves. She’s home now, having left Rome shortly after the fight with Ethan, assuring their manager that she would be able to edit and upload all of the photos and videos from the comfort of her own flat.
Vic and Thomas had driven her to the airport, had walked her all the way to security and hugged her tightly before letting her go. She’d promised to keep in touch and Victoria had made her pinky swear that if she was ever in Rome again, she’d come visit. The flight was short, and she was glad the time difference was only an hour.
Her sister had picked her up and dropped her off at her flat, and she’d immediately collapsed into bed. That was three days ago, she’d barely moved since. Someone had caught her at the airport and the photos were everywhere, articles upon articles had been released, she’d had non stop messages from everyone, but all she could bring herself to do was turn her phone off.
Her photos make it to the front of magazines, her articles getting featured all over the globe, she’s made a name for herself. She gets emails from prospective clients wanting to book her in at shows, her boss sending her information for more high end gigs, but all she can think about is her drummer boy.
Her phone still sits turned off on her desk, she refuses to turn it on for anything, resorting to using only her email, but she knows everything that’s going on with the band. She’d been asked to join them again in a few months, to become a permanent part of their team. She hasn’t been able to reply.
She gets panicky thinking about seeing him again, about the things people will say if she’s caught in the same country as him. She’s stopped receiving death threats, but there’s still comments that creep in, fans thanking whatever gods made them seperate.
Victoria tries to reach out every few days, worried about the state of person she’s become, but she can’t even manage to type out an I’m okay. The world seems to be too fast and too slow, too bright and too dark, too much and not enough. Her heart aches and it’s a pain so deep she thinks she’ll never be okay again. Love is a cruel, cruel creature.
She finally brings herself to go back to work at the beginning of the month. She books herself in for a small band, someone no one really knows but she hopes they will one day. She’s in Amsterdam now, trying hard not to think of the memories the place brings. The band is good, the music heavy and the beat strong. They find a way to tell a story that leaves everyone with a soul searching question by the end of the night. Do you know who you are?
She’s only with them for a few nights, a short gig, but something she needed to get the ball rolling, to remember why she was doing this in the first place. After submitting the photos and writing an article that sends another wave of offers her way, she takes a few days to explore the city. It was wonderful before, when the air was warm and it felt like there was magic enveloping the city. But now, with the change of seasons, it’s even more beautiful than she remembers.
She walks the empty streets one night, huddled in the safety of her hoodie, camera in hand, and captures moments. A couple standing under a street light, a cafe closing for the night, kids running. It’s not until she hears a laugh she’s all too familiar with that her heart stops and her blood turns cold. She turns, ever so carefully, hidden behind the side of a building, and sees him.
He’s beautiful, even more than she remembers, and he looks happy. He’s walking with two girls, the resemblance making her sure it’s his sisters, but in this light she can’t be sure. She’s never met them, but he talked about them often, and she felt a pang in her chest for the homesickness he must have felt.
She tries to run, tries her hardest to get away, but she’s in an alley that leads nowhere and he’ll for sure be able to see her no matter what. The voices of the three get closer and she starts to panic, but there’s nowhere to go and she knows she’ll have to pull on her big girl pants and face him. But her heart won’t stop beating so loudly and she’s afraid she’ll break if he looks at her.
She pretends to be busy with her camera, focusing all of her attention on settings she knows are perfect, but a voice carries it’s way to her ears. “Hey stranger.”
It’s soft and it makes her knees weak and she hates herself for it. She looks up at him and his expecting eyes and her heart breaks all over again. She can’t help it, but suddenly there are tears running down her face and she can’t breathe. “Hey, hey. It’s okay.”
He places a hand on her shoulder but she pushes it away, “No it’s not.” She says between breaths.
“I shouldn’t be here, I should not be here. I have to go.”
She turns to leave, but one of his sisters stops her, “Let us walk you home, please. My brother may be a dumbass, but we have good genes. Let us make sure you get back safe.”
She doesn’t know why the words calm her, but she nods her head and lets the girls lead her in the direction of her hotel. The twins, Eleanora and Lucrezia, talk to her in fits of italian and english, trying to keep her brain occupied. But her whole body is on high alert, too aware of the man trailing behind them and how much of a fool she must look like. She feels like a mess, like someone drowning in a foot of water, but she can’t help it.
They walk her into the lobby of her hotel, the girls wish her a goodnight before shoving Ethan towards her. She doesn’t want to talk to him, and he must see it in her eyes because he tries to leave. But his sisters won’t let him, they stand tall and he looks like a child being scolded by his parents.
“Can we sit?” He asks, pointing to a couch.
She doesn’t want to, she wants to run up to her room and cry, but she nods. They sit and it is silent. Her stomach is in her throat, her eyes hurt from trying not to cry, but she sits and she waits. She studies his face, the crease in between his eyebrows that only forms when he’s confused or thinking, she wants to reach over and smooth it out. He turns towards her and catches her staring, a small smile forming on his lips.
He takes her in, allowing himself to really look at her for the first time in months, and something in his heart breaks. How did he ever let her go? Why was he so stupid to ruin something so beautiful?
“I’m sorry.” He blurts out before he can stop himself. “I’m so sorry, amore. I know I can’t say it enough, I know it’s not as easy as that, but I’m sorry and I love you. So much it hurts.”
The words hit her like a truck, they knock the air out of her lungs and the tears she was trying so hard to keep at bay start falling down her cheeks. She stands up so fast she gets light headed, “I can’t do this. I thought I could, but I can’t.”
She turns and starts walking towards the elevators. He calls after her, but she’s determined to leave, to get away. He runs after her, catching her right before the doors of the elevator close, and he wishes she didn’t look so broken. The doors slip close and she is gone and he feels like he could break something.
Her room is cold and she wishes she was home in her flat. She throws herself into the shower, the water burning her skin, and she sobs. She sobs so hard her body shakes, she screams and hopes no one can hear her.
He’s still standing by the elevator, crying now, too. His body aches in a way he’s never felt before and he hates that he isn’t holding her right now. He knows he messed up, he beats himself up for it everyday, but he doesn’t know how to fix it. He can’t just say sorry and expect everything to be okay, but he has to do something.
The ground is covered in snow. It is peaceful and quiet. He’s not used to this, the cold and the snow, but he understands the appeal. He’s standing outside her flat, or at least what he hopes is her flat, Victoria wasn’t exactly sure which one was hers. He’s bought her favourite flowers and he’s prepared to pour his soul out to her.
He paces outside her door for what feels like hours, trying to get himself to knock, but before he can, she opens the door. “Ethan?”
Her voice is soft, his heart sings at the sound of it. He turns to face her and the sight before him takes his breath away. She’s wearing a dress that shows off everything he loved about her, a coat thrown over her arm, she looks like an angel on earth. “Do you have a moment?”
She’s running late for dinner with her sister, but she’s afraid if she says no to him, she’ll never see him again. She hasn’t forgotten that night in Amsterdam, wishes she would have been brave enough to stay and talk, but she can’t change the past. “Yes, yes. Come in.”
She lets him into her flat, taking the flowers he hands her, and brings him over to her couch. “So.”
The script he’d had prepared in his head is suddenly gone from his memories. “I’ve thought this through a thousand times, planned this out a million different ways, but I can’t figure out the right words to say. I’m sorry, amore mio. I can’t say that enough. I never should have left you, shouldn’t have let things happen the way they did. Loving you was easy, and I think that scared me.”
She takes a deep breath, not sure what to say. She feels tears bubbling in the back of her throat and she hates that this is her response to everything revolving around him. He notices the shift in her, can tell she’s about to cry, “Amore mio, please don’t cry. I’ll start and then neither of us will be able to do anything else.”
She laughs quietly at his words, “I don’t think there are any tears left inside of me. I cried them all for you.”
His heart breaks at her confession. He moves closer to her and wraps himself around her. She hates how easy it is for her to melt into his touch, but she enjoys the comfort of it. “Tell me how to fix this. Tell me to stay and I will be here for as long as you’ll have me. I’m yours amore.”
“Please, don’t leave me again.” The words are barely more than a whisper, but he hears them.
He pulls her tight to his chest and holds her. She doesn’t care about anything else but this moment and him.
She wakes up the next morning in her bed. The sun is streaming in through the windows and she can smell Ethans body wash laced in the fibres of her bed sheets. She rolls over, expecting to see him beside her, but is met with an empty bed. Her heart sinks, afraid that everything he’d said was too good to be true, that he’d left her, again. But the sounds coming from her kitchen prove her wrong.
She gets up, quickly changing out of the dress she was wearing the night before, and follows the sound of clinking dishes. She’s greeted by the sight of a shirtless Ethan, back turned to her, hunched over her stove. There’s the smell of coffee brewing and something soft playing from the radio. If she doesn’t think too hard, she can almost imagine this being a daily occurrence.
He turns around when he hears the floorboards creak, a smile on his face, “Buongiorno amore mio.”
He hands her a cup of coffee and plates the pancakes he’s made. She smiles at the domesticality of it all. He sits down beside her on the couch and they eat in silence, leaning against one another. Afterwards, she washes the dishes and he dries them. Neither one of them says anything until the sun is high in the sky and they are laying in bed together. “I love you.”
It is the first time she’s said it in such a permanent way, she recites it like it is a fact written in history books. He looks down at her, she’s curled up on his chest, a hazy look on her face. He reaches down to tuck her hair behind her ear and leans his head towards her, “Ti voglio bene.” He seals the statement with a soft kiss.
It’s light and barley there, she chases after his lips as he pulls away, and he chuckles in a way that sends butterflies into her stomach. She places herself on his lap, weaving her fingers into his hair as his tether to her waist. “Hi.”
He stares at her, memorizing all of the features of her face. He loses himself in thoughts of days spent exactly like this, of a life he hopes isn’t just a dream. He flips them over carefully, laying her down on the bed. He hovers over her, arms on either side of her head, “I’m going to show you how much I love you.”
“Move in with me.”
It’s early in the morning and they’re sitting in bed sharing a pot of coffee and a pack of cigarettes. His arm is wrapped around her shoulders, she’s leaned into his side, and he whispers those words.
She hasn’t yet told him about the offer from the band's manager, to become their permanent photographer, but it seems like the perfect moment to. “Yes.”
She laughs at his shock, “I was offered to come and work for the band full time, I haven’t replied yet. But I want to take the job.”
A goofy grin makes its way onto his face, “Do it! Right now. Tell them yes, come and stay with us. Be my girlfriend?”
He’s rambling and he doesn’t care. She smiles at him, her heart bursting with love for the man. “Okay, yes! Absolutely!”
Christmas is celebrated in their apartment in Rome. The band is there, her sister flies out and his family comes too. It is a day filled with love and laughter. They eat a grand lunch that they spent the previous day cooking, his mom brings a homemade panettone. They exchange gifts in the evening, and it is everything she’d dreamed of.
On New Year's Eve they make a trip to the villa. They sing songs and drink expensive wine. Fireworks light up the sky brighter than the stars. They sit out on the porch and tell stories of things that seem so far away. He’s sitting beside her, hands intertwined. He tells her about all of the things he wants to do in the new year and she is mesmerized by the way he talks.
There will be a moment in time when the world stops spinning and everything goes quiet, and she thinks that if that were to happen now, it would be the perfect way to go. Surrounded by the people she now calls family and the person she loves most in the world.
Fireworks go off in the distance, someone shouts out a drunken happy new year! and as time flows from one year to the next, she realizes that this is all that will ever matter.
Meant to Be — Chapter 2
Pairing: mafia!bucky x innocent!reader
Word count: 4,113
Warnings: It's a frat party, angst, drinking, sexual advance, fight, suggestive language, guys are creeps.
Note: I've never actually been to a college party before, so this is completely based on stories my friends have told me and books I've read.
P.S. I finally posted!!! YAY! I'll be a lot more consistent now, every Tuesday, 9:00 am MST.
Main Masterlist — Series Masterlist — Series Playlist
Chapter 1 — Chapter 2 — Chapter 3
“Yet each man kills the thing he loves, By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword!
“Some kill their love when they are young, And some when they are old; Some strangle with the hands of Lust, Some with the hands of Gold: The kindest use a knife, because The dead so soon grow cold.
“Some love too little, some too long, Some sell, and others buy; Some do the deed with many tears, And some without a sigh: For each man kills the thing he loves, Yet each man does not die.”
— Oscar Wilde
April 23, 2018 — 6:30 pm
“Jesus, do you turn into a nun when the sun goes down?” Dove threw yet another item of clothing on her friend’s bedroom floor. “Something you wanna confess?” she asked with a raised brow, still focused on the task in front of her.
The girl rolled her eyes, not bothering to respond. It wasn’t her fault she had no time to keep up with the latest fashions. Her clothes were sensible and plain. They kept her warm, covered, and that was where their purpose ended.
“How didn’t I notice this before? None of these show any skin, barely show any leg—what, are you allergic to the sun or something?”
“I'm not,” the girl murmured.
“And you have nice legs—real sexy. On the shorter side, but still.”
The girl huffed half-heartedly and picked up the clothes littering her floor. “I don’t have nice legs. I have average legs.”
Dove took yet another dress out of her friend’s closet, examining it critically before turning towards her with a smirk. “Nathan Acosta would disagree.”
The girl blushed at the implication.
“Why do you think I was trying to hook you up with him? I caught him staring at your legs—probably imagining what they looked like wrapped around his shoulders—and he asked me for your number.”
She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “What did you do?” she asked accusingly.
“Relax, I didn’t do anything… Just implied that you liked him back and that I'd introduce you.”
“Yes,” Dove retorted. “Why do you think DKE has thrown so many parties this month? Nathan’s a chairperson—man—or whatever,” she dismissed his title with a wave of her hand, “and he wants to see you.”
“I don’t believe you.” The girl shook her head in denial, continuing to clean her room. Unable for even a second to indulge the idea that anyone, much less Nathan Acosta, captain of the football team, found her attractive.
“Whatever. You don’t have to believe me. But you are hot and so fucking sexy. Don’t know why you can't see it.” Dove suddenly gasped, pulling something into her arms. The girl offered a single uninterested glance before going back to tidying up. “Oh, that’s yours. Must have gotten mixed up in the laundry.”
Dove shook her head like a crazed maniac. “No. No, no, no. This? This is yours now. Holy shit, this is perfect. Here,” she pushed the soft material into her friend’s hands. “Put it on.”
“Dove,” the girl examined the dress with a critical eye, “no.” The dress in question was a knee-length, stormy blue satin with spaghetti straps. It was by no means promiscuous yet was still too revealing compared to what she usually wore. “This won’t fit me.”
Dove maneuvered her in front of the mirror. “Please,” she scoffed. “You are so tiny and small, you’ll fit in anything.” No matter that almost everyone was tiny compared to Dove. “Go. Put it on,” she urged, pushing her friend towards the bathroom.
The girl begrudgingly did as asked. The fabric was silky against her skin and to her distress, fit perfectly. It showed a bit too much chest than she was comfortable with but was longer than she had been expecting. She took a deep breath and tucked some loose hair behind her ears. Here goes nothing.
She left the relative safety of the bathroom and stood in front of Dove, who immediately began gushing over her. “Oh! It’s so much better than I imagined.”
Dove wore something similar—shorter, with a different material and style, but the same colour, resembling a soft silver. “You look beautiful, Dove.”
Dove posed dramatically, one arm in the air and over her head, bent at the elbow, the other placed under her chest, emphasizing the size of her breasts. “Hot enough to fuck?” She laughed when the girl blushed and stuttered. “Come here.” And dragged her back to the bathroom. “Now…” she started, appraising her from head to toe. “What should we do about that hair?”
An hour or so later—the girl couldn’t be sure. She lost track of time before putting on the fake lashes (which she discarded immediately) and after waxing her legs (hair didn’t magically disappear, you know)—they grabbed their purses, put on their heels, took the car keys and were out the door.
Dove grabbed the girl’s shoulders. “Your life is about to change tonight, Babe. It won’t ever be the same.” And the girl smiled hesitantly in response.
How could either of them have known how accurate Dove’s statement would turn out to be? And in the least unexpected way. Maybe the pair would have decided to spend the night in their pyjamas, binging on ice cream and mediocre shows. It would save them a lot of trouble, that’s for sure.
The girl adjusted the straps of her dress; gave her friend a hesitant smile. “Can’t wait,” she muttered… though she could.
“Peter said he would meet us here. Come on, he should be in the back.”
Greek village, located on the edge of campus, was as she imagined it. Loud and congested, it felt as if the entire school had forced itself into one house. Music blared from speakers placed externally around the house, making it hard for her to hear Dove, who was standing right beside her.
Girls were dressed varyingly, some in sweats with the university’s logo etched on the side, some in cute blouses, classy but still casual. Others were dressed like her and Dove. Little pieces that showed just enough skin to warrant some attention and praise, but still modest and appropriate for its surrounding.
However, between the sea of silk, cashmere, and leather, the girl couldn’t help but notice an alarming amount of skin. Girls in bikinis and guys in shorts.
“Dove.” She called for her friend’s attention and did not even have to voice her concern for Dove to understand her.
“Relax. They’ve got a pool in the back,” Dove shrugged nonchalantly. “We’re not here to swim, though. Don’t worry.”
The pair made their way towards the back of the house, where the music quieted to background noise, and significantly fewer people occupied the area. Dove craned her tall head to look around. “There!” she shouted, waving her arms crazily in the air. “Peter!”
Moments later, a tall figure appeared before them, with ice-blue eyes and messy, ash blonde hair skimming the tops of his ears. His lean form towered over both girls, and Rosie had to take a step back to be able to look at him properly.
“That was fast. You called me only two minutes ago.” Peter’s Sokovian accent bled through between his words.
“What can I say?” Dove smirked. “I really wanted to see you.”
Peter turned towards the girl with a raised brow. “She was speeding, wasn’t she?”
“Excessively,” the girl confirmed with a nod.
Peter wrapped Dove into a bear hug, lifting her off the ground and spinning her. He gave her a quick kiss before putting her down. “God, you’re beautiful.”
Dove giggled at the praise, smacking him lightly on the shoulder, and the girl couldn’t help the sad smile that touched her lips. She was happy for her friend, truly, she was. But the hole in her heart that had formed fourteen years ago, seemed so much bigger, so very much more painful, and hollow when she saw the way Peter and Dove looked at each other.
It was something she could never have but would always want.
Peter stepped towards her, and she managed to turn her smile genuine, returning his embrace. “Pete, how are you?”
He lifted her off the ground as well, hugging her tightly. “Good now that you’re here. I haven’t seen you in forever, it feels like.”
“You saw me two days ago,” she laughed.
“As I said,” Peter responded, “forever. You look gorgeous, by the way.”
The girl blushed at the compliment. She should be used to Peter’s friendliness by now. In fact, he had asked her out on a date during their first meeting, but she was not interested in a relationship, was wary of strangers, and turned him down. For the first few weeks of him dating Dove, the girl felt awkward, but soon any and all doubts left her mind when she saw how in love the pair were together.
She considered him a brother.
“She does, doesn’t she?” Dove butt in with a smile. “I made her open her hair for once in her life, and good thing because Nathan Acosta loves curls.”
“Acosta?” Peter questioned with a slight frown. “The quarterback? What does he have to do with Rosie?”
The girl gave Peter a slight push, attempting to portray her frustration. “You too? Why do you all insist on calling me that? I have a name!”
“Blame Acosta,” Dove chirped.
“Wait, why?” Peter questioned.
“Don’t you remember second year, Babe? Rosie here was helping me with candy grams for Valentine’s Day, and I asked her to buy a bunch of roses from the department store. So she’s walking down these stairs, right? And the flowers are so big she can’t see where she’s going. She misses a step. Lands right on top of Acosta and falls down half a flight."
"Shit! Half a flight?"
"Yeah. No one gets hurt though, because—get this…”
Dove paused dramatically, waving her hands for emphasis, while the girl sunk into herself from embarrassment. She remembered very clearly what happened next.
“They fell on top of almost twenty pounds of fresh flowers. Rosie, like the pussy she is…”
The girl scoffed at that. “I'm not—”
“—ran. Left poor Nathan there, swimming in a pool of red roses.” Dove was wholeheartedly laughing now, holding on to Peter’s shoulder for support. He only smiled back in amusement, used to her theatrical storytelling. “Nathan spent the entire day looking for ‘Rose girl’.
"Word spread. Rose girl turned to Rose, and Rose turned to Rosie, like some game of telephone, and since then, it stuck.”
Peter hummed after Dove’s colourful retelling. “Rosie… from Rose girl, because of the roses?”
“Unfortunately,” Rosie mumbled under her breath, but as usual, her friend picked up on her half-hearted words.
“Stop pouting!” Dove warned, smacking her shoulder. “It’s a bit too late for that now. Literally, everyone knows you as Rosie. They think it’s your actual name.”
“Why don’t I go get us some drinks?” Peter offered upon seeing the glare on the girl’s face. “I’ll be right back.”
With Peter gone, Dove looked at her friend with a sheepish smile. “Sorry.”
“Don’t,” she sighed. “You never have to apologize to me.”
Dove suddenly threw her arms up, making the girl stumble a few steps. “Nathan! Over here!”
And suddenly, the girl’s personal space was being invaded as Nathan Acosta leaned over her to give Dove a hug.
“What’s up, Rivers? Please tell me you finally brought…” Nathan’s voice trailed off as he caught sight of the object of his interest. His chocolate brown eyes found hers, and a smile spread across his face. “Rosie. Hey!”
“Oh. Uh—Hi!” The girl brought her hand up in a small wave, inwardly cringing at stuttering over a simple hello. Nathan was looking at her with a weird smile on his face, not saying a word.
Dove stood there with an amused look. If she did not intervene, the two would get nowhere. “Uh, Nathan?”
The sound of his name shook him out of his daze, and he sheepishly looked at Dove, running a hand through his hair. “Sorry,” he gave a short laugh, then turned to the girl. “You’re so pretty that you made me forget my pick-up line.”
The girl was stunned into silence at that. Nathan Acosta thought she was pretty? It was an almost impossible notion to fathom.
“Oh, uh, it was all Dove!” she exclaimed on an impulse. “She’s the one that got me ready.” She wrapped her arms around her chest self-consciously, unknowingly displaying her cleavage for all to see. And oh, did they see.
Nathan made a show of looking her over. Starting from her legs all the way to the curls on her head. Stopping for longer than was appropriate at her chest, though she did not notice.
She felt herself burning under his gaze. Felt her heart beating out her chest. Her palms were sweaty, and her mouth was dry. It was everything she had read about—minus the butterflies—and nothing she had ever experienced.
Pretty. Nathan Acosta thought she was pretty.
Nathan let out a low whistle. “Thank you, Dove. Truly.”
“Welcome.” A similar smirk was on Dove’s face, and the girl could tell from just one look what her friend was thinking. She widened her eyes and shook her head in a subtle warning. “Now, if you'll excuse me, I’ll be over… there,” Dove said, completely ignoring her friend’s complete look of horror, “talking to… anyone who’s not here,” she rushed out. “Bye!”
And she was gone, leaving her friend flushed and nervous in her midst.
A hand on the girl’s chin brought her attention back to the man in front of her. Nathan kept a firm grip on her as he leaned down closer. “Hey.”
Her voice cracked when she replied. “Hi.”
“If I told you that you’ve got a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?” he asked softly.
Nathan was standing only inches from her, and his closeness caused the innuendo to go right over her head. “No,” she frowned. “I wouldn’t hold it against you.”
“Shame,” Nathan chuckled, his lips almost touching hers, and she couldn’t help the shiver that ran down her spine. This was the closest she had ever been to a boy before, and that boy being Nathan Acosta wasn’t doing her rapidly beating heart any favours. “I really want you to.”
“You want me to what?” They were breathing the same breath, lips mere inches away from each other. She could feel the heat of his body radiating through her skin, warming her. She was a burning inferno under his gaze.
A voice in the back of her mind warned her that it was wrong, doing what she was about to do. Their kiss could lead to more, and she had read enough books and seen enough movies to know that emotions usually got involved at that stage.
“I want you to hold it against me.” And the voice vanished, leaving her with a blank mind and burning body. Nathan’s nose brushed hers, and she let her eyes close naturally, anticipation running through her veins like a drug. Hands grabbed her waist, pulling her flush against his body, and she sighed. Any moment now…
But their lips never touched.
“I'm sorry, you want her to hold your what?” A booming voice made her jump back in surprise, though she did go very far. Nathan still had a hold around her.
Her eyes widened as she realized just how close she had been to giving him her first kiss.
“Peter, I—” she began when she saw the rage in his eyes. He was livid, teeth clenched and shoulders heaving.
“What the hell, man?” It seemed Nathan did not share her relief at their being interrupted. He was pissed, eyes narrowed in annoyance.
“Get your fucking hands off her.” Peter’s voice was calm, eerily so, considering he looked just seconds away from ripping Nathan’s head off.
“Listen, man, last time I checked, you were dating Dove, so why don’t you let Rosie here make her own decisions. She's a big girl. She can handle it.”
A crowd was beginning to gather, and the girl’s eyes widened in alarm. Bad. This was bad.
The force of Peter's grip threatened to shatter the booze-filled glass in his trembling hands. She was convinced if they were free, Nathan would already be sprawled across the floor. She had seen Peter in a fight only once before, and it was a terrifying sight. Not one she wanted repeating.
“That’s not her name.” The warning was evident in his voice, though it seemed to go over Nathan’s head.
“Whatever man, fuck off. We’re leaving,” Nathan rolled his eyes in annoyance, and the girl couldn’t imagine ever having found him attractive. What was she thinking?
“Nathan, maybe we should—” she started in a soft voice, hoping to deescalate the situation, but he didn’t hear her.
“Let’s go, Rosie,” he said.
Nathan held her wrist in a tight grip, making her wince, and pulled her towards the stairs that led to the top floor. Little did he know, it would be the last time he ever touched her.
It was the shattering of glass that the girl registered first, followed by a collective gasp, before her body was jerked backwards. She screamed—not that she could help it—as she fell. Her wrist ached from the sudden pull.
Thankfully, Dove was there to catch her. “Rose!”
Behind her, Nathan Acosta, Quarterback for the Thunderbirds, stood no chance against Peter’s fury. With a single hit, he was out cold, staining the marble floors of Delta Kappa Epsilon House… red. The crowd cheered. They oohed and aahed, encouraging the violence. Most had their phones out, capturing the moment in HD.
Peter did not waste another second. He was on top of Nathan once more, landing kicks on his side. It took two burly players of the football team to remove him.
Dove maneuvered the girl away, knowing how blood and violence sickened her. It was then that the girl realized, as she rocked back and forth in Dove’s arms, that she was shaking.
“Hush, Babe. It’s over. It’s over.”
The crowd parted for them like the red sea, no doubt because of the pale and sickly look on her face. Dove ran her manicured fingers through the girl’s hair, massaging her scalp, and sat her down on a couch in the corner of the room. Away from prying eyes.
“His nose,” the girl managed between breaths. “His nose is—”
“I know, Baby. I know. It’s okay, I've got you.”
The girl was still shaking when she tucked herself as close to the armrest as possible.
“Hey, you’re okay. You were badass out there, handled it like an absolute champ.”
“Dove, I almost kissed him.” She couldn’t help but think that the fight could have been avoided if she had kept her distance from Nathan.
“Don’t,” Dove hissed, anger seeping through her words. “Don’t you dare blame yourself!”
“I wasn’t—” the girl defended.
“You were. You always do. Someone could hit you with a car, and you’d say it was your fault. You gotta stop, Rosie. If anyone is to blame, it’s Peter.”
“Pete didn’t mean to.”
“Yeah,” Dove said spitefully, sarcasm dripping from every word. “Pete never means to. He’s just wired that way. Isn’t he? One second he’s the sweetest guy ever, and the next second he’s bashing someone’s face in. He didn’t need to start a fucking fight. There were a million other ways to solve the problem.”
“He just got angry, is all.” The girl’s breathing evened, and she had stopped shaking. “I just don’t know why.”
“Does he need a fucking reason?” Dove snapped. “He almost started pounding on some guy last week because he whistled! And not even at me! The poor bastard was singing along to some goddamn song. And he was gay!”
“Yeah,” the girl said, not having any other answer. “You told me.” Suddenly her eyes flicked behind Dove, to where Peter was making his way towards the two.
“That son of a bitch! If I ever see him again—” He abruptly cut himself off, pacing in circles to calm down.
Dove spun around then; eyes filled with fire. “Can you please stop huffing and puffing like some fucking caveman, now? It’s done!” she snapped at him.
“What the fuck?” Peter exclaimed.
“Yeah. What the fuck, indeed!” Dove took a step towards him. “What were you thinking?”
“I was thinking that little bitch needed to get his hands off her.”
“Guys, it’s okay. I'm fine,” the girl tried interrupting, but both her friends were too far gone in their rage.
“You shouldn’t have let him anywhere near her. God!” Peter continued, running a hand through his hair, “I leave for five fucking minutes, and everything turns to shit.”
Dove matched Peter’s energy, shoulders back and teeth bared. “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re blaming me for your stupidity? News flash! I didn’t make you cause a fucking scene; you did that all by yourself!”
“He was hurting her! You couldn’t expect me to just stand there and watch.”
“She was fine, and he wasn’t hurting her. Nathan’s a good guy, and he would’ve treated Rosie real nice if you hadn't put your nose where it didn’t belong.”
“You’re telling me you set them up?”
“Yeah! She likes Nathan, and Nathan likes her. What's so wrong with that?”
“Everything! She can’t be with him.”
Dove scoffed. “Can't be with him? As opposed to who? Fucking Greg? The crackhead creep who follows her around like a lovesick puppy?”
Peter threw both his hands in the air, exasperated. “God, are you actually this stupid or are you just pretending to be?”
“What?” Dove choked out, surprised by the sudden turn.
“Pete!” The girl said sternly. “You’re being mean. Stop it!”
“You’re both so fucking naïve,” he said, addressing the girl for the first time.
“Peter?” she sucked in a breath.
“Seriously, Dove? You put that asshole on some pedestal and act like he’s God. He’s a piece of shit. A little bitch. He made a bet with his buddies… a hundred dollars if he fucks ten virgins before graduation.” Both girls were stunned. Dove froze in place while the girl took a step back, hurt marring her features.
“Stop,” Dove demanded, body rigid and unmoving.
But Peter was on a roll, controlled by rage. “Our girl here was the last. Ten dollars… That’s all she’s worth to him.”
“I just don’t understand why you’re so fucking obsessed with getting Rosie laid. If the guy’s so great, why don’t you fuck him!?”
The sound of Dove’s hand against Peter’s face was loud amidst the resulting silence. A hush fell over the small crowd that started to gather once the screaming began.
The girl covered a gasp with shaky hands and felt panic making an appearance again.
“I hate you. I hate you so much.” Tears streamed down Dove’s face as she attempted to compose herself.
Peter took a single step towards her, arms outstretched, face drooped with regret. “Dove, I—”
“Don’t touch me!” she recoiled.
“No. Wait! I didn’t mean it, Dovey. I didn’t—”
“Get away from me! You need to leave.”
“I'm so sorry, Dove. I'm so fucking sorry.” Peter pulled at his hair, pacing back and forth.
“I don’t care,” snapped Dove. “I don’t want you here right now; I can't even look at you.”
“Let me fix this, please. Let me make it up to you.” He turned towards the girl, whose eyes were wet with unshed tears. “Both of you… Fuck! I'm so sorry.”
“There’s nothing you can do,” Dove told him.
“There’s gotta be something. Anything!”
“There isn’t!” Dove shouted. Then softer, almost confused, “I don’t even know who you are anymore.”
“Dove,” Peter pleaded, but she was unmoving.
“Rosie… please,” he tried again.
The girl ducked her head and wrapped her arms around Dove. The message was clear. Peter would get no help from her.
His shoulders slumped in defeat as the girls made their way past him and up the stairs to the second floor, not sparing him a second glance.
He let out a shuddering breath and wiped away tears of frustration. Peter couldn’t understand how the situation got out of his control so fast. In what felt like seconds, he lost the two people he loved most in this world.
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Rhysand's "problematic" behavior towards Feyre in ACOTAR
I have just finished reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. I have been in book fandom for a while so I've heard criticism towards this particular relationship and author, so here I am debunking/explaining why that criticism isn't justified. Not saying you can't dislike the book obviously, but a lot of bad things said about this came from a place of ignorance and not reading in between the lines nor with full attention.
Now, if you're a passionate anti with no chance for changing your opinion, please do turn around and look at posts about something you enjoy :) Let's all stay in line and be civil, I am merely going to explain something a lot of people seemed to have missed in this book.
Words in blue are quotes.
First of all, lemme say that I totally understand why someone would think this book is "problematic", it seemed that way to me as well at first but when you read carefully and in between the lines it's not problematic, dark yes, hence why it's new adult and not young adult, but not problematic.
Rhys definitely does bad things to Feyre and comes off as an asshole at first, which is why I hated him, but if you approach it more carefully you'll see that there is a lot more beneath the surface.
Feyre has two moods while Under the Mountain - depressed and angry at Rhys. Rhys, as he states himself, is on Feyre's side, because he, much like everyone, hates Amarantha and wants Feyre to succeed in freeing them.
Something I haven't noticed immediately is how Feyre is sinking deeper and deeper into depression and some dark corner of her mind, and every time she bounces back is with Rhysand. He makes her angry, because that is the only emotion he is capable to provoke in her and the only one that would keep her from falling apart. Being lovey-dovey or friendly or sad, as we have seen Tam and Lucian were with her, didn't help, it just made her more depressed.
By keeping her angry he is keeping her alive: "It took me a long while to realize that Rhysand, whether he knew it or not, had effectively kept me from shattering completely."
To be fair I gotta add that it wasn't his only way of keeping her alive; he healed her arm, did one of the tasks for her to keep her from being roasted, and led her to the correct answer on her second trial.
Also, something really important, he forcefully kissed her. When I read that I was furious and wanted to kick him honestly and I am not excusing him whatsoever, and imo he could have been a little more gentle, but he did that in order for Amarantha to believe it was him who kissed her, not Tamlin who was kissing her before. If Amarantha saw Feyre and Tamlin together, which is something Rhys interrupted, she would have gone wild because she is obsessed with Tamlin. Not only did Rhys save both of them (and Lucien, for that matter, because Amarantha kept pushing him in Tamlin's place) through his shady method I in no way approve of, immediately after his mood shifts. He knows Amarantha for 50 years, and he knew he'd take the punishment for kissing Feyre, which was, sadly the thing Amarantha is doing to him all the time, r*pe, which was obviously worse than usual because he was in a very mental state afterward: His tunic was unbuttoned at the top, and he ran a hand through his blue-black hair before he wordlessly slumped against the wall across from me and slid to the floor. “What do you want?” I demanded. “A moment of peace and quiet,” he snapped, rubbing his temples. I paused. “From what?” He massaged his pale skin, making the corners of his eyes go up and down, out and in. He sighed. “From this mess.” I sat up farther on my pallet of hay. I’d never seen him so candid. “That damned bitch is running me ragged,” he went on, and dropped his hands from his temples to lean his head against the wall. “You hate me. Imagine how you’d feel if I made you serve in my bedroom. I’m High Lord of the Night Court—not her harlot.”
Again, I am not excusing his actions because it was not okay, but he took r*pe as a punishment for the forcful kiss so Feyre and Tamlin wouldn't get something worse, which was probably death. He, once again, did a bad thing to prevent a horrible thing, but this time suffered himself as well. I personally, as a reader, can get over that, if you can't that's totally fine.
"If he hadn’t been kissing me, if he hadn’t shown up and interrupted us, I would have gone out into that throne room covered in smudged paint. And everyone—especially Amarantha—would have known what I’d been up to. It wouldn’t have taken much to figure out whom I’d been with, especially not once they saw the paint on Tamlin. I didn’t want to consider what the punishment might have been."
Feyre herself at one point starts looking forward to seeing Rhys and going to the parties with him and drinking glamoured wine, because it is the only rest her tortured mind can get: "A permanent darkness settled over me, and I began to look forward to the moment when Rhysand gave me that goblet of faerie wine and I could lose myself for a few hours. I stopped contemplating Amarantha’s riddle—it was impossible. Especially for an illiterate, ignorant human. Thinking of Tamlin made everything worse."
All he is doing, whether good or bad, is to help her succeed. I am not saying his actions are to be excused, but they are definitely reasoned. He isn't an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. His way of helping Feyre was a messed up one, but it was the only way. He was doing bad things (while also keeping certain boundaries) to prevent a horrible thing, which would be Feyre mentally shattering.
Feyre herself is in a similar situation at the end of the book, the only way to free everyone from Amarantha was to finish the final trial, which was to kill three (actually two) faeries. Murder is obviously wrong and something that can't be excused (except for Amarantha she deserved it), but taking two lives to save thousands was the only reasonable thing to do, and that's why Feyre did it even though she was disgusted by the deed. The same thing happened with Rhys, it just wasn't as clear and simple.
"Regardless of his motives or his methods, Rhysand was keeping me alive. And had done so even before I set foot Under the Mountain."
It is definitely DARK, and definitely not something that could be applied to a real-life situation.
I hope it helped clear that up, I'm not saying you should like Rhys or the series, I personally do enjoy a more dark and complicated story and characters, I hope if you're not a fan that you have plenty of other books to enjoy :)
The Cat and Mouse Game ❛ the devil I know ❜
President’s son!Sebastian Stan x Reader with mentions of Senator!Chris Evans x Reader
Word Count: 7.5k~
warnings: 18+ only!!! Mentions of infidelity, bits of angst, unprotected sex, creampie, breeding kink (!!!), age gap (not a large one for Seb x Reader, just about 5 or 6 years between them), power dynamics, sort of dark!Seb
A/N: Not completely beta read. This relationship is just a slight deviation in this little universe I’ve created. It probably won’t become a major pairing, but I don’t think I’m quite done with president’s son!Sebastian.
She came alone and it was absolutely terrifying. She walked with trepidation into the building, but she felt it melting away once she realized how lost she was in this crowd.
No one was looking at Y/n, they were looking at the wealthy donors, politicians, and the wives of those powerful people. It wasn't on her agenda to draw attention from everyone she passed, but she can't lie and say she isn't dressed to the tens right now. She saved up for a dress when she was invited months ago. She has never been invited to a White House dinner. It made the galas at her state's Captiol look like a local fair. Everything was decadent, everyone looked decadent. Y/n wondered if she looked like she fit in. She sure wasn't a stranger to D.C., nor the White House, but it was never in a setting like this. She wondered who it was exactly that put her name on the list of invites. The senator she worked for wasn't even attending tonight. Y/n isn't exactly unknown, as she's worked hard to get her names in the mouths of people who she needs on her side.
There were a few eyes on her, and of course she relished in them, she's human after all. She couldn't deny how good she looked. The easy part was looking good, what's giving her anxiety is the networking part. It is such a huge part of her job and a skill that she learned to perfect in her later college years. She knew when she was being rejected without being verbally told and she knew when the person she was talking to just wanted to ogling at her breast and not actually listening to her. Y/n felt like she was selling herself to the devil when she made sure was showing a little bit of cleavage, but it was one of the best ways to get one of those demons to make time for her.
It was not that bad though, in fact things were going better than she expected just an hour into it. Everyone was mingling, some dying to get close to the President and get a few words in. As much as it was surreal to be in the same room as him, the President wasn't on Y/n's list of people to talk about. She'd be embarrassed if anyone found out she wrote a list of people in her notes app that she wanted to exchange contact info with. She got her hands on the guest list through her friend, who could possibly get in trouble for it, but she was eternally grateful. Her eyes scanned the list and stopped when she saw Chris's name. She shouldn't have been surprised but her heart began to race when she saw it. Adding 'avoiding my sort-of-kind-of ex' to her list was no on the agenda.
She hadn't spoken to him in about a month, but their problems really began 3 months ago. One disagreement, over a trip he booked for them, led into a full blown fight. She told him that it was stupid to risk getting caught just so he could take her to see some mountains in Montana. He said one little thing that set her off and she was screaming that she hated him. She wishes she was in his office, or maybe even at his house so she could throw something, but they were at her apartment and she wasn't going to break her stuff over him, even though she wanted to really bad.
"You can't be a career woman all of your life. Especially when your proposals get rolled over so much"
It was so hurtful. Y/n has heard similar things from people before but never from him. No matter how many times her and Chris butted heads on many values, he never doubted her ability. He knows that the only reason she gets rolled over is because she allows him and his cronies to roll over her progressive ideals. He was an absolute politician; he was very good at planting the seed of doubt in people's heads. She never expected that from him...all over stupid mountains in Montana.
Chris did his best to make it up to her, apologies, gifts, and just about anything a boyfriend could do to get his girlfriend back. The only difference was that her boyfriend had a wife. He hated when she brought that but how could she not? Her hands weren't entirely clean either, but if he wanted to go low she would go even lower.
Y/n didn't tell him she would be here tonight, he didn't deserve to know. He isn't her boyfriend, nor an important figure in her life anymore. She desperately doesn't want to run across him. She knows that his wife is going to be hanging off of his arm, probably wearing precious jewels and a dress that was his favorite color.
It doesn't matter. They were done, she didn't need to think about him for more than five seconds. Plus, she had another dog barking up her tree.
"You seem like a girl who likes her alcohol straight."
The President's son, Sebastian, was talking a damn good game. He was distracting her from finding the last two people on her list, but he was also a distraction from the inevitable hurt she was going to feel when her eyes landed on Chris and his wife, seemingly happy together.
Sebastian had been trying for a while now. It was somewhat pathetic, but Y/n found it endearing at times. She was never going to give him any play since he was the President's son and she didn't want to get tangled up in that. But her interest in him confirmed her personal pathology of having a thing for unavailable men. He had such a messy personal life that would make him a burden, but she could not stop herself from engaging with him.
"I like a little sweetness in my alcohol."
Sly smiles and wandering eyes were the thing between them. She could tell he was already tipsy while she only had one drink. Sebastian really had to clean up his image once his father became President, but old habits die hard. When Y/n looked at him, all she could see was that messy man that his father's opponent tried to use against their campaign. It didn't work for them, in fact people saw Sebastian as a fun guy. Y/n just knew by looking into his eyes that he was still looking for trouble. She let one man drag her into trouble, she wasn't going to let another one do the same. She may have her fun for the night, but that's all it's going to be.
"Why are you so antsy? Afraid to be seen with me?" He joked. He always made jokes like that. It kind of annoyed her, but she humored him.
"S'not you. I'm just...trying to avoid someone," she confessed.
Y/n never even hinted to Sebastian that she was previously involved with someone, and that that someone is a US Senator. She didn't think it was necessary, and she didn't know how he would react.
"I know the feeling. Except I'm trying to avoid everyone here."
"Never you honey."
Something about the way he said that, honey, made her melt. She did not want to admit that she felt heat between her legs or that she was fantasizing about how wild his kisses probably are.
"Who are you avoiding?"
Y/n was hesitant. She was open with him about one thing, but she was unsure if she should fully indulge him in her dilemma. Getting him involved would make things so much worse.
"A disgruntled ex you could say."
"Who? Who is it?" His eyes lit up. Y/n didn't know if it was because she indirectly stated that she was available or if it was because he loved the thrill of drama. He was probably bored of the milquetoast clean image and lusted for something more exciting.
"I'm not going to say it, Sebastian," she brings the glass up to her lips after she finishes her words. She knows that he isn't going to drop it, and that in fact he was going to continue to pry even more.
"You can tell me. I know a thing or two about having dirty things people don't want to know."
Y/n didn't realize how close he was to her. He was slowly inching closer to her as their conversation progressed and now he was damn near whispering in her ear. She could smell the alcohol and faint smell of cigarettes on him; it was intoxicating. Y/n was slowly coming to terms with what made her come back to him because of how messy he was. She could see that darkness swimming in his eyes and every part of her screamed to dive in.
"Guess," she said with a smirk playing on her face.
Sebastian chuckled. Of course she wasn't going to make it easy for him, she never did so why start now?
"Well, the fact that you're talking to me makes me believe you have a particular type. Someone who has their name out there and not just a faceless billionaire. I've seen you reject two guys tonight and I don't think it's because you don't find them attractive; Meiers is a trust fund kid but his name isn't big enough for you, is it?"
Y/n didn't realize he was watching her before catching and cornering her at the bar. She felt her face with both embarrassment and desire. It was fun to be on the receiving end of being psychoanalyzed.
"You're not exactly wrong, but I'm not exactly as predictable as you think."
"You're not, I would know that the best. Still, I don't think you know you're more transparent than you believe."
She watched him look around the room, as coyly as he could. There were people, mostly women, who wanted to catch the attention of the President's son. He avoided their eyes and instead looked at them men in the room who were in his line of vision. Y/n wouldn't go for someone just because they have money, nor does she strictly fawn over looks. It had to be someone like him or similar to him.
Y/n wasn't confident in him finding out who exactly she was talking about. He kept his face straight as he looked around, she hoped that it meant obliviousness.
"Do you want to tell me why Chris Evans is staring at us right now?"
Y/n dared to look around the room and her eyes met his. She dragged her eyes away from his and back to Sebastian's eyes; she isn't sure which one is worse.
"Don't fucking tell me that's the guy you were screwing." Her silence was enough to answer his question. "You've been blowing me off because you're hung up over that?"
"I'm not hung up over him," Y/n snapped. There were some people around them that looked to them, but quickly turned away. "We've been done for a while. You think I'd be talking to you if I was still involved with him?"
Y/n wasn't lying about that last part, however she is still in love with that man. She was so caught up in their romance until their big argument gave her the space for reality to come crashing back to her. As much as it hurt to kick him out and tell him to never speak to her again, it made her reflect on the last year of her life with him. While Sebastian wasn't a fresh start for her, he was the perfect distraction.
"How did you get involved with someone like him? I know you work for his constituent, but how did that uptight bastard get you?"
"It's complicated and not something I want to talk about her in the goddamn White House."
Sebastian paused to take another gulp from his glass. Y/n was the most confusing woman he has ever tried to court. She was a walking contradiction at times, but he didn't judge because he's been in worse situations. Being in a relationship with a married person was a walk in the park compared to some of the shit he's done. He hoped that that's not why she's rejecting him. Knowing that she just got out of something (he's hesitant to call it a relationship) relieved his ego a little bit. Plus he really did believe her when she said she wouldn't be talking to him if she was caught up in something else. She was actually talking to him for more than ten minutes, she was more interested than she let on.
"We can talk about it at my hotel."
"You and I both know that if we go back to your hotel, which I'm not saying I'm agreeing to, we aren't going to be doing any sort of talking."
Sebastian was about to speak but he was cut off by his father's voice. Y/n thought she was going to die. It was hard for most people to understand that she had no interest in meeting or fawning over the President. If she ever spoke to him, words of contempt would rattle in her head. Severely disliking politicians and working for and with politicians gave her some crazy cognitive dissonance; but it was necessary if she wanted to get the work done.
Y/n was able to slip away before she was trapped into an awkward conversation with Sebastian and his parents. She doesn't know how he'd introduce her and what the optics of that would look like. Being the girlfriend of the President's son terrified her, not just his messy personal life.
She accidently got swept up into a crowd of people slowly dancing with each other. She was mindlessly walking away without even considering where she was going. Someone grabbed her hand and she was gently pressed into someone's chest. It was a little bit relieving that she didn't make herself look like an idiot by standing in the middle of a group of dancing people. She looked up and was even more relieved. It was Dave Meiers, California state representative who had a promising future to become a Senator. He came on too strong, stronger than either Sebastian or Chris. Any other time she'd be irked to see her face but now she looked at him like a senator.
"You wander around like Bambi," Y/n accidentally stepped on his toe before she was able to realize what direction they were moving in, "dance like it too."
She feigned a laugh and looked away from him. Sebastian was in the spot she had left him, in a conversation with his parents and a few other people, but he looked as if he was looking for Y/n instead. This felt so fucked up. Jenna had told her she shouldn't go if she was too nervous, but she thought she was braver than that.
"You look absolutely stunning tonight," Dave's voice drew her attention back to him.
"Thank you. You look handsome too."
Y/n knew what was going to happen eventually. She was going to have to trade dance partners soon just like everyone else. (She never understood why this was a thing at these events. It always made her feel like she was in a ballroom dancing class).
Thirty seconds later and Dave was handing her off to someone else while he acquired a new partner. Luckily she just got some old guy, probably a donor because she didn't recognize his face. He didn't try to make conversation with her and just enjoyed the music. Y/n found it odd to find solace slow dancing with a Chrisom old man, but it gave her a temporary moment not to worry. But that time went by much faster than she wished and she was handed off again.
Y/n doesn't have to look up to know. His hands are so familiar to her; she's had them on her body so many times before.
"I think you want me to cause a scene, don't you?"
Chris's breath tickled her ear. The fact that this was the only way they could be this close in public without anyone, especially his wife, batting an eye was almost comical.
"We aren't together. You'd make yourself look like fool and you have about a decade or two left of your career; you wouldn't dare do anything to make yourself look stupid."
"You don't think I wouldn't consider that, for you?"
She avoided his eyes, she had to or else she was going to undo all of the work she did in their time apart. He was a great liar because she is well aware he isn't going to throw his career away for her no matter how many times he says it. Y/n doesn't particularly want him to do that anyway.
"Like I said, we aren't together. What I do is my business."
"That boy is in the headlines almost every month stirring up some trouble. You and I both know you're not that kind of girl, you hate trouble."
"You don't know me like you think you do."
The music changed, indicating that it was time to switch partners, but Chris held on to her. He pressed himself to her and kept her close, not caring if anyone was looking but luckily they were not.
"I'm not done with you. Meet me in ten minutes."
"No. This isn't our State Capitol, you can't just tell me to meet you somewhere."
"Fine, where are you staying?"
"I'm not telling you."
Y/n's defiance was starting to get to him. Normally he liked it, but not when she was being this stubborn. He was doing all the right things to make her feel better, yet she wasn't crawling back to him. They weren't two teenagers in high school, but he sure felt like they were.
"I miss you so fucking much. I feel like I'm dying here. It kills me not to talk to you or touch you or taste you. I'm all alone without you." Y/n looked at him like she was appalled, which he wasn't surprised by. And what followed didn't surprise him either.
"You have a wife."
"That marriage is dead. She can barely stand me and only stays for the benefits of being a Senator's wife. I wouldn't be surprised if she has a boyfriend or two."
"That doesn't make it better."
"I'm not trying to make it sound morally better, I've long given up trying to do that. I just need you back Button." He knows that calling her that would make her give into him.
She stopped responding to him. There was nothing she could say that would make him stand down. All Y/n can do to send a message to him would be to slip away. That's why she forced herself out of his embrace when she saw other people switching partners. It was back to dancing with some Chrisom man.
Partner after partner and she's wondering why did she even come. Yes, she did network with a few new faces, but it wasn't worth the emotional turmoil she was put through. She felt her mind ping-ponging between Chris and Sebastian. Sebastian must've left because she didn't spot him anywhere; lucky him.
Y/n was ready to call it a night. She let herself be passed off again, telling herself just two or three more dances then she's out of here.
"I've finally found you again." Sebastian always appeared out of thin air. She's not used to him like she is Chris or even Dave. Her guard is always up with him because she can't fully get a grasp of him as a whole. "You ran off when my parents came."
"I wasn't exactly that enthused to meet them."
"I can't blame you."
He lingered a bit, Y/n could tell he wanted to ask her that particular question once again. It was just a matter of what mood she was in. Both were tired, physically and mentally. He wasn't sure how she would perceive it now, but there was something on her face that made him want to give it another try.
"Let's get out of here."
It wasn't a question, it was a demand. He was leading her off the dance floor and out of the room. Y/n's feet had a mind of their own. She followed him without question. It was bold of him to just take charge but after her run in with Chris she didn't mind it one bit.
"I just want to make you feel good."
Y/n felt bad for the taxi driver who had to endure their giggling and whispering. She was drunk on his attention and the way his hands moved over the fabric of her dress. She couldn't believe she was giving in but it felt so good to do so. His touch was tantalizing.
Sebastian had left the driver a good tip for barely being able to contain himself around her. He was shameless about how he behaved around her. He felt like a kid about to open a Christmas present he's been asking for all year. She was uncharacteristically clinging to him, her face pressed into his neck the entire elevator ride up to his room.
"You smell so good," her speech was slurred for absolutely no reason. He loved how giddy she was.
His hotel room was huge, much bigger than the one she was gladly leaving empty for the night. Of course his hotel was stocked with wine, expensive wine too. She wanted a taste of the Masion Leroy but he couldn't keep his hands off of her. His lips delicately kissed her neck. She was surprised at how he could kiss her so unhurriedly despite pining after her so hard. But he wanted to take his time with her as this could be his only chance. A moment of weakness for her was the opportunity of a lifetime for him. He found a new obsession in her, especially when his name rolled off of her soft lips.
"I'm going to fuck the shit out of you," he whispered into her ear, causing her to whimper.
Y/n wouldn't allow him to do anything less than fuck her until her brain stopped working. Those rumors about him may have dispelled her from wanting to date him, but fucking him was a completely different story.
She felt him slip the straps off her dress off of her shoulders. Just a thin veil of fabric separated them from each other. He just wanted to see her naked before anything else. He was going to ravish her, but he needed to see her standing in front of him in all of her glory.
"Show me how fucking pretty you are sweetheart."
When he dropped the professional, good son act, his voice had more of an edge to it and his words were ragged. Something about it was somewhat sleazy too, and it made her drip. Y/n was never the one to go for the "bad boys" but he scratched a curious itch that she had. If he was troubled then his mouth was sin.
Y/n watched him sit on the edge of the beg, his face a cross between being smug and hungry for more.
"You think you've earned to see me naked?"
"Don't get antsy on me now sweetheart. I'll literally get on my hands and knees and beg for you." The visual of that made her want to torture him so more, but his declaration of pure devotion was just enough.
"That desperate? I find it hard to believe that you haven't used your title as President's son to get into someone's bed." She stepped back from her and began to peel her dress off. His eyes wandered over every part of her body, trying to study every inch that he can. He wouldn't hesitate to admit that he fantasized about what she looked like underneath her clothes before and the reality was so much sweeter than the fantasy. "How much do you want me?" She just couldn't stop herself from asking.
"You're going to make a man beg? You're hellish."
Sebastian loved the thrill she gave him. She made him chase her even when she was standing in front of him half-naked. Y/n was only a few feet away but not within arms reach. He needed to feel her smooth skin underneath his fingers. She ought to know that it doesn't take much to make him weak for her.
"I'd sneak you into every unathorized zone and fuck you there. Hell, I'd even fuck you on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial."
Y/n finally stepped closer to him. His arms wrapped around her and brought her closer to him. She felt his lips ghosting across her stomach, it made her shiver.
"So juvenile." Maybe his promises would impress someone who was not involved in this life, but it didn't impress her much. However she couldn't stand to torture herself any further, she needed this poor man's to show how much he's dedicated to her.
Sebastian just kept kissing her skin, like he was completely grateful that she allowed him to do so. She found it pointless to keep her walls up when she was already in a compromising position. And she had no choice but to be vocal when his hands squeezed her ass. She yelped and felt him laugh against her skin. He pulled back to look up at her. Her make-up was so pretty and looked perfect enough to ruin. He was still fully dressed in his suit and he liked the dynamic it created.
"C'mon pretty girl. I want to see you on your knees for me."
The gruffness of his voice made her obey. His bulge was prominent in his pants. She rubbed her hand lightly over it until he began to groan. She looked up at him, looked into his beautiful eyes as she unzipped his pants.
"You want me to suck you off?" Her voice paled in comparison to his. She kept her tone teasingly soft. Sebastian only nodded his head, at a loss for words when seeing her looking up at him. He pulled himself out and Y/n was a bit awestruck. Maybe it's because she hasn't seen a dick in real life in a few months, or it could've been his size that had her looking at it like an idiot.
Sebastian placed his hand on the back of her head and pushed her closer to him. Her mouth opened instinctively and she took half of him in her mouth. A string of expletives fell from his lips when her hot mouth wrapped engulfed him. Y/n pressed her tongue against the underside of his cock and laved him when she saliva. She could feel his cock pulse against her tongue. It made her throb to feel the weight of his cock against her tongue. He forced her down to take him a little more into her mouth. The urge to gag was bothering her, but she relaxed herself to take his cock further in.
"Such a sweet little thing."
Both of his hands grabbed her hand and he started to slowly fuck her face. Y/n moaned around him, eyes nearly rolling into the back of her face at his carnal sawing. It was clear to her that he was just trying to make himself feel good, but it made her feel warm inside to please him. She couldn't help herself when she snaked her hand between her legs and rubbed herself through her panties.
A tear or two slid down her cheek and Sebastian's heart stuttered. She looked like she was in a daze sucking his cock. Her mouth felt like silky heaven around him and Sebastian wondered how her pussy would feel like. He noticed that she was playing with herself, but let her continue to do it. However, he was somewhat jealous that he couldn't see it for himself. He leaned over to unhook her bra and let her tits fall free; he just wanted another pretty sight to see while she was sucking him off.
"Wrap your hand around me...yea...just like that baby. Such a good girl, I knew you'd be."
He petted her head like she was a dog. It should've been degrading but it just left her enthralled. The mix of her saliva and his pre-cum dripped onto her breast. Each time she felt a wet blob hit her skin she moaned around him.
"You keep doing that and I'm going to blow my load into your mouth."
He used much more crass terminology than Chris. Chris usually used the most loving words that focused more on Y/n herself than the actual act. Sebastian, on the other hand, fawned over every move she made.
"I thought that's what you wanted?" She said briefly before taking him back into her mouth. Y/n never particularly loved her mouth being used like it was just a vessel to get someone off, but she loved the noises Sebastian made when he fucked her face. His hips picked up in pace when he was back in her mouth. His cock hit the back of her throat and she gagged around him.
"You're so fucking pretty Y/n. I should be recording you right now, keeping this memory forever. Love hearing that little mouth of yours make so many noises," his words were so sweet on her ears.
Sebastian wanted to keep going, but if he came now, came so soon, then it'd be a while before he would have the energy to go again. The alcohol was already making him feel heady, so he didn't want to take any chances. Y/n's mouth felt so good, but he knew that pussy was going to feel even better.
Y/n gasped loudly when he pulled out of her mouth and gave her the much needed air. Her eyeliner was slightly smudged from the tears he caused her. It was hard to come into the moment when he was moving her into positions that he wanted her in.
"Open up for my baby, I want a taste of that pretty pussy."
Y/n was more than eager to do so. It's been too long since she's had someone give her the attention she so deeply craved. She wasn't used to lust being the motivating factor instead of love, but she was going to take it.
The only thing she still adorned was a necklace and her underwear. He could see just how wet she was from the damp patch of fabric.
"I bet that ancient fucking senator never went down on you. You're a goddamn beauty but you don't have the best taste sweetheart."
"You're between my legs right now, does that constitute good taste?"
Sebastian groaned at the sight of her wet cunt when he pulled her panties down. He parted her legs even further before resting them on his shoulders. He didn't like to tease once he had the prize in his possession. Too many days he has thought about her sweet honey pot to not just dive right in.
His name was sensual on her lips. The pride he felt when he had to hold her hips down was indescribable. He should've known how addictive she was going to taste. He liked to see which areas and pressure made her gasp and moan the most. She liked the most when his tongue slid under the hood of her clit, he noted. He was driving her wild with such a simple stroke of the tongue. Her back arched into the air, her nipples hardening. She would foolishly give everything up to keep Sebastian's mouth on her, even though he wouldn't dare do that.
His pink lips wrapped around her clit and he sucked harshly. Y/n swore she saw the devil dancing in his eyes when looking into them. "Sebastian," she whispered his name like a silent prayer. The noises his mouth made against her pussy were almost louder than her cries.
She was so close to cumming, until he pulled away. He hated to see her pout but he was going to make it up to her.
"I'm gonna make you cum, don't worry honey. Roll over."
Turning her back to him worried her a bit. Her bare ass was exposed to him and she always pegged him as a guy who liked to spank. She waited to feel his hand come down on her and to feel that sting against her ass, but it wasn't coming. Instead his hands grabbed her hips and pulled her towards the edge of the bed. She yelped at how sudden he moved her.
"I'm going to fuck you bare. Unless you want me to leave you here, opening and waiting for me on your knees while I take about an hour or two before deciding to come back and fuck you with a condom."
"No! Please just fuck me...I trust you," he had made her completely desperate for him that she didn't even question him. It was a far different message than the one she had always thrown at him. Apparently he wasn't too messy to deal with when he was promising to fuck her to her heart's content. He wasn't going to fault her though, nor was he going to take it out on her now. He was completely smitten with her. And it's a hasty feeling he has, but he wanted to spend every day of his life like this.
"So you want me to fuck you raw? Don't you think that might cause some issues?"
Sebastian didn't give her the chance to answer because he was dividing her folds with the head of his cock. He rubbed the tip through her wet petals until she was whining for more.
"Too horny to answer, huh?"
Finally he pushed into her. She was open and wet for him. He nearly knocked the wind out of her when he thrusted swiftly into her. Sebastian nearly buried himself inside of her until he drew back and filled her up again.
"Seb," she whimpered blindly. He could get used to hearing her saying his name like a whiny whore.
"Don't have much to say now?" He held onto her hips and created a hypnotic rhythm, "take my cock baby."
Y/n wholeheartedly believed that Sebastian was set on fucking her brains out. He was spoiling her, that's for sure. Every punishing thrust gave her no chance to digest his words. She was drunk without access to alcohol in her system.
"I'm going to cum inside of you, and you're going to take my cum." He didn't care if she was on birth control or not. He believed that she was the one for him; just perfect in every way.
"Yes yes yes, just please keep pounding me," her warbly voice made it easier for him to envision the tears on her face. "Please cum inside of me!"
He pulled her back onto his cock, his hips meeting her ass creating a loud slapping noise of sweaty skin. Her begging made him fuck her faster. The way she called him daddy and begged for his cum helped spearhead his fantasy. His fingers dug into her skin as he dragged her back brutally over and over again. Sebastian fucked her like a true hedonist. Y/n was drowning in his wants and his desires only.
Y/n was overwhelmed causing her mind to partially go blank on her. The only thing in that pretty little head of hers was the promise of Sebastian cumming deep inside of her. She wanted to feel his warm cum splash inside of her. The consequences absolutely did not matter when she was being fucked this good. Maybe she died and went to her own personal heaven because that's what her body believes. Her walls grip him so sweetly as he hits deep inside of her. At the moment, she believes that he belongs there, right inside of her and telling her what he's going to do to her instead of asking for it politely. He was conquering her in the most delicious ways; Y/n was not going to think about anything besides Sebastian and his fat cock for the next few days, maybe even weeks.
"Wanna see that pretty face as you cum."
He pulled out of her momentarily to put her onto her back. His cock filled her again. Y/n looked up at him, his eyes closed and mouth open in pleasure. She could tell he was lost in pleasure because he was damn near fucking her off the bed. She felt the edge digging into her back. "Sebastian," she tried to call him back into reality. He only came to when Y/n was completely hanging off the bed, her arms stopping her from falling.
"Baby you're so clumsy." He grabbed onto her waist and continued to fuck her hard despite the compromising position.
He was fucking insane. Every rumor she's heard about him had to be true. The gossip about him indulging in wild sex was absolutely true. But Y/n never expected her to be on the receiving end of it.
Sebastian loved being able to watch her tits jiggle, but she probably wasn't enjoying being upside down. He hated to pull out of that warm cunt, but her comfort was more important.
It was easy to move her around like a ragdoll. She was receptive to everything he was doing to her. When her knees and palms met the floor, she braced herself for him to take her again.
"So nice and wet for me. All that denying you did only to end up get fucked on the fucking floor like a goddamn slut in college."
Y/n whimpered pathetically. She felt like his slut and every moment of it sent a fire through her.
"I'm not letting you leave tonight without a reminder of me," his darkening voice alarmed her a bit. She was trapped, her face pushed against the soft carpet while he held her hips up to fuck her from behind. There was a chance that she didn't want to protest whatever he was going to say next.
"I'm going to give you something so precious. You're going to look so beautiful carrying our baby," she let out a long groan which made me laugh at her, "from the way your pussy just clenched around me, I think you want that too."
All Y/n wanted was to cum. How he was able to withstand his own torture was baffling to her. Maybe he got off the most on seeing her squirm. But the way he spoke to her about giving her his cum must have meant that he was desperate to cum too.
"You're so fucking pretty. Everything about you is so perfect that I want to ruin it," he paused to leer after his cock repeating filling her wet gash.
Sebastian was going to be nice to her and let cum. He reached under her and played with her clit. His fingers pressed into her, making her cry.
"Cum for Y/n. I need to feel you tightening around me and coating my cock."
She felt completely inept as she tried to verbalize just how good her orgasm felt. Y/n wanted to scream it out to the high heavens that she felt like she was floating on a cloud. The wave of relief that washed over her felt foreign after a few months of mid orgasms and heartbreak.
"That's it girl."
Y/n endured him fucking her through her orgasm until he began to slow down. She couldn't believe that he was still hard and going, that he hadn't cum yet. She was almost too exhausted to continue, but all she had to do was keep her legs open for him and let him pump into her.
"You can barely keep yourself up. I didn't think I'd be able to make you that weak."
Her pussy was dripping, too enticing for him not to dip his head down and swipe his tongue through her folds to collect her excess nectar. Sebastian tired too, but he was not quite down with her. He was going to make good on his promise and cum inside of her.
"I won't make you do much work. Just lay back and let me cum inside of you."
Y/n's body relaxed when she felt the softness of the bed beneath her. Her eyes were halfway closed but she could see Sebastian towering over her on the bed. She sighed heavily when her legs were placed onto his shoulders, and her legs stretched under his weight. He was deep inside her again, but he went easy on her by pumping into her slowly. It was better for him this way too since it gave him the time to really feel her velvet walls.
"You take me so well, just like I was made for you. You wanna have my baby?" The vulnerability in her eyes alone could make him cum.
"Yes," she whined stupidly. Sebastian cupped her face and his lips captured her into a sensual kiss. Her bottom lip had been a bit battered from biting into it.
His hands on her face caused her more dread than the promise of giving her an unplanned child. That wasn't something she took that seriously compared to every reminder of Chris.
Y/n couldn't think of him for much longer because Sebastian was slowly pumping his cum into her. She couldn't stop herself from moaning at the sensation. He looked like an angel when he came, far different from the energy he emits.
Sebastian nearly fell on top of her. He had exhausted himself completely, but not enough to have no energy to roll over and pull her into his chest.
After all of that, that's all he had to say. He divulged into laughter. The parts of him that turned Y/n off were starting to show when her self-awareness came back.
"I didn't think you could take dick like that. I was fucking you in all kind of positions."
He was too much at times, but what was she going to do? Get up and leave? Not while his cum was seeping out of her.
"Why did you say you wanted to get me pregnant?" She asked after looking up at his tired face.
"Why did you say 'yes' when I asked if that's what you wanted?"
"I'm serious Sebastian. I may have been caught up in the moment, but I'm not going to have your child.
"I know that sweetheart," he kissed her forehead. His arm draped around her shoulder and he circled her nipple with his pointer finger. "I'm just having some fun. Can't you just indulge me for once?"
"Not when it involves my uterus."
Sebastian sighed in defeat but he still chuckled. She was something else; one minute begging for him to cum in her and the next telling him off. He couldn't blame her though, it was a lot to spring up a kink on someone without disclosing beforehand, but her reaction was priceless. No one would be able to take the memory of her spread open to take his cum away from him. He felt like the luckiest man in the world, like he could do anything and come out unscathed. He still couldn't place his finger on why she drove him wild but he never questioned his instinct. It was also warming to know that she was with him instead of that demon Chris.
If it were not for Sebastian, Y/n might've made a more regrettable decision. At least getting fucked crazy by the President's controversial son was a safer option than falling back into Chris's arms. She could walk away from this with a story for her close friends or someone new to see when she was in D.C.
"Stay with me for the weekend. I'll cover the cost of your hotel room-"
"Doesn't matter, I didn't pay for it."
"Is that a yes?"
"It's a yes if you promise to go easy on me tomorrow. I'm already sore."
"Don't worry sweetheart. Maybe I can get you in at the spa they have here and then fuck you afterwards."
She didn't really want that, the spa part. Y/n didn't mind spending the rest of her time here with him, but she wasn't fond of the idea of him trying to soften her up anymore. Her entertaining his advances and a kink of his was enough.
He snored loudly and obnoxiously wouldn't let her go. Her plans were slightly ruined by him and his bravado. But the idea of being ravished for an entire weekend doesn't sound that bad.
Pairing: Fred Weasley x Reader
Summary: Fred has a huge crush on you but is too much of a nervous git to actually ask you out. So what is he gonna use to help his situation? A piece of candy obviously.
Reader’s House: Ravenclaw
A/N: I freaking adore this one njsjdowlsp It’s, of course, based off a song! This one being Art Class by Beabadoobee! It’s a really cute song and I def recommend listening to it! Hope you guys like this one! Requests are open right now! I’ll take about two or three before closing again so send ‘em in!
Word Count: 2510
Lee let out a groan as Fred dragged him and George up the stairs leading to the Gryffindor common room. Muttering the password Fred looked around anxiously, not wanting anyone to follow them.
“What is this that you have to show us in secret? We’re gonna be late for potions Fred! Do you want another detention with Snape?” George asks, raising an eyebrow at his twin as he pulled the two into the common room.
Once they were in the room and the door was shut, Fred made sure no one else was in there, checking behind chairs and corners. Lee and George stood near the fireplace, their arms crossed.
Fred let out a sigh of relief, not finding anyone. Walking back over to his best friends, he pulled a small piece of candy out of his pocket. The two raised their eyebrows at him, not really impressed.
“This is what you dragged us out of the great hall for? Merlin Fred! I wasn’t done with my chicken!” Lee complained and Fred shot him a look, making him shut up.
“It’s not just a normal piece of candy you gits. If you’re looking at one person while eating this candy, you’ll be able to hear their thoughts for an hour.” Fred said with a proud smile on his lips.
The two boys in front of him looked at him, confused looks on their faces.
“And why do you need this?” Lee asked, not understanding this at all.
Realization hit George like a truck. He shook his head at his twin, making Fred nod his head with a smirk.
“No, you didn’t Fred. You didn’t.” George mumbled, hoping this was all a joke and that his twin actually hadn’t done what George thought he did.
“Sure did Georgie. Gonna eat this in potions and finally see what Y/N thinks of me.” Fred replied, pride in his voice.
George groaned, running a hand over his face. Lee still had a look of confusion on his face, not having been in the loop on Fred’s relationship, well lack of, with the quiet Ravenclaw in their potions class.
Sighing at his brother’s actions, George turned to look at his other best friend.
“Fred here has a crush on Y/N L/N. She’s a Ravenclaw in our potions. Rarely talks. But he’s still head over heels for her.” George explained, Lee finally getting it.
“Oh! Is she the smart one that sits at the table across from us and up?” He asked, George nodding and turning back to Fred.
“Fred, you can’t do this. It’s an invasion of her privacy.” George tried to reason with his twin, making Fred scoff and shake his head.
“And when have you ever cared about someone’s privacy before?!” Fred asked with a laugh.
George crossed his arms, not giving into his brother’s antics.
“Yeah but not when it’s someone like Y/N! She hasn’t done a single thing to bother us or make us want to do something to her. She’s barely even spoken to us!” George says, throwing his hands up.
“I don’t care George, I need to know how she feels.” Fred said, stuffing the candy back into his pocket and turning to leave the common room, George and Lee hot on his tail.
“But why don’t you just ask her out like a normal person would?” Lee asked.
George let out a laugh, glancing at Lee as the three continued to make their way to potions.
“He’s liked this girl since the beginning of the term. He’s never going to man up and ask her.”
Fred rolled his eyes at his brother’s comment and the three sped down the hallway to avoid being late to class.
The three boys entered the classroom, taking their usual seats at their table. Glancing at your seat, Fred grinned seeing that you were there, hunched over, and looking through your notes.
Fred looked at the boys beside him who didn’t share his smile.
“I still don’t think this is a good idea Fred…” George mumbled as he looked between the girl and his brother.
“Lighten up Georgie! Everything will be fine!” Fred said and turned towards you, popping the candy into his mouth.
It had an odd taste, he’d have to work on that if they decided to sell it. As he ate the candy he kept his eyes on you, not wanting to mess up and read someone else’s mind. He swallowed the candy, still looking at you, and waited to see if it worked. Suddenly you looked over at him, the two of you making eye contact. You blushed and quickly looked away, a small smile gracing Fred’s lips.
You look pretty good today, is it me or did you shave?
Fred’s eyes widen as he heard you speak the small-phrase in his head.
It worked! It had actually worked! He smiled and quickly got his book out as Snape walked by and hit him on the back of the head.
He kept looking at you as Snape started the day’s lesson, noticing that you would look back at him every once in a while.
Good, you’ve been looking at me twice as more, so I can see your face.
Fred smiled even more at that. He had in fact shaved today, not wanting to have scratchy stubble on his chin if something happened between the two of you.
You sit across from me in the classroom, but do you even know my name?
Fred’s head popped up from his book, his jaw dropping slightly. He sat across from you! Could you be thinking about him? Oh, merlin he hoped so…
If you want to ask me how I am, don’t hesitate.
Fred started to smile again at that. Of course he would love to ask you how you were, but the one time he choked up on words was when he was around you. If you weren’t there he wouldn’t stop talking, everyone knew that. But when you were near him he got all nervous. Sweaty palms, dry mouth, the whole 9-yards.
Cause you’re my crush, and I like you very much.
If Fred had been taking a drink he would have spit it out everywhere. You had a crush on someone! He really really hoped it was him. Oh, what he would give to be the one who you liked.
And I’d appreciate if you liked me back, but it’s okay ‘cause you make my heart an art class…
Fred could practically feel the love pouring into his heart. His cheeks were a light shade of pink as he looked at you, watching you doodle in your notebook. You probably already knew all about what Snape was talking about. Suddenly you turned to look at him once more. Fred smiled more at you before you quickly turned away. Fred’s smile faltered, hoping you weren’t scared of or weirded out by him.
Why do you always stick to smiling and sit still being so quiet?
Fred’s eyes widened once more at that. You had just caught him smiling… And this was one of the only classes where he actually sit still and didn’t bother everyone. Could you actually like him?
I've been pretty distracted for some days, and it's ruining my diet.
Furrowing his eyebrows for a moment Fred frowned. He had noticed that every time he saw you in the Great Hall you hadn’t been eating, and you’d usually be looking in his direction…
If you don't take the hint already, I'm afraid I'll start a riot.
Fred let out a small chuckle at that one, making Snape stop talking and raise an eyebrow at him.
“Something funny, Mr. Weasley?” Snape asked in his usual slow drawl.
Fred quickly quieted down, his eyes flickering down to the table.
“No Professor.” He mumbled, elbowing his twin when he sniggered.
Once Snape starting talking again, Fred looked over at you, seeing you already looking at him and covering your mouth as you giggled quietly.
The sight made Fred’s whole face light up, grinning happily back at you. Merlin you were beautiful…
You soon turned back around in your seat, but a smile stayed on your lips.
'Cause you make my whole world go crazy, yeah your smell just sends me flying.
Fred sniffed his shirt a little, surprised that he actually didn’t smell that bad. But he was used to his scent by now, could you have found his usual smell of gunpowder and candy to be pleasant?
'Cause you make my heart an art class.
An art class? That was the second time you’d said, well though, that. Fred was known to be rather wild, much like an art class could be. Maybe you did like him…
All my days, been trying to find a reason to stay. Say my name, and I'll go ahead and pick a date. I'm okay, if you understand that this is fate.
A date? You were waiting for them to make the first move! Maybe he could finally man up enough to ask you out… But what if it wasn’t him you liked? What if he mad a total fool of himself by confessing his love to you?
After that your thoughts trailed off. Looking at the time, Fred realized that an hour had passed. The candy had worn off.
Snape began to dismiss the class, telling everyone the homework for the week. As people groaned in protest, Fred watched as you stood up, slowly gathering your things. Without thinking he shoved his things into George’s arms.
“Hold these for me Georgie.” He muttered before starting to walk over to you.
“Is he actually going to do it?” Lee asked, watching as Fred weaved through the people leaving to get to you.
“Maybe…” George mumbled, not being able to help the smile that made it’s way onto his lips.
Most of the people in the class had left, including Snape who had gone to hide away in his office. Your back was to Fred as you struggled to get your book into your bag, papers spilling out everywhere. With a sigh you bent down to pick up the fallen papers. Fred hurriedly came to the front of you, helping to pick up the papers. When he handed them to you, you slowly followed his hand up to his face, making eye contact with the one and only Fred Weasley. Your cheeks turned a deep shade of red as you blinked at him. Fred smiled, his hand brushing against yours.
“Hi…” He mumbled, standing up with you, your hands still both holding the stack of papers together.
You shook your head a little, snapping outof whatever trance you were just in. The redness of your cheeks didn’t go down, if anything it got worse.
“Th-thanks…” You said, barely above a whisper, as you shoved your papers into your bag, breaking your eye contact with Fred.
Fred almost swooned out loud at the sound of your voice, it being the most angelic thing he had ever heard.
“Yeah, no problem. Y/N, right?” He asked, trying to play it cool and act like he didn’t think about you all the time.
Looking back up at him from your bag, your cheeks somehow grew darker in color. Your mouth opened slightly in surprise. He knew your name? But how? He was Fred Weasley, and you were well, you.
“Um… yeah…” You mumbled, your voice a little bit louder than earlier. This mad Fred smile, wanting you to be comfortable around him.
Fred realized he wasn’t going to get anywhere with pretending he didn’t know you, he had to just come straight out with it. With a deep breath, he let out all his feelings.
“Look Y/N, I’ve had a crush on you since the beginning of the term. Maybe it was the way you stuck out your tongue whenever you were concentrating or the way you crossed your ankles under the table, I fell for you like I’ve fallen for no one else before. I know we don’t talk but I want to, so bad. Everytime you smile at someone or turn a page in your book I want to be right there next to you. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like you. Hell, I love you! I love you Y/N L/N!” Fred finished, his lip caught between his teeth as he awaited your response.
You stared at him with wide eyes, taking in his words. He liked you? He actually liked you back? You realized that you hadn’t said anything because Fred had started to get a bit fidgety.
“Please say something…” He mumbled, barely being able to finish his sentence before your next action.
Dropping your bag onto the table you moved closer to Fred, throwing your arms around his neck. Fred’s eyes widened, not responding for a second as he was in shock but he quickly recovered and wrapped his arms around your waist, pulling you even closer to him. You buried your face into the crook of his neck, not being able to help the smile on your lips as you breathed in his scent. Fred swayed the two of you back and forth slightly, nuzzling his face into the top of your head, pressing a light kiss to your hair.
Once the two of you separated Fred smiled down at you, his hands still on your hips.
“Guessing that means you like me too?” Fred asked with a smirk.
You let out a laugh, making Fred smile at the sound.
“I love you Fred…” You mumbled, reaching a hand up to run through his hair.
Fred smiled even more and wrapped his arms all the way around your waist, picking you up and spinning you around. Giggles left your lips as you held onto his shoulders. Once he sat you down he lifted a hand up to cup the side of your face, his thumb running over your cheek.
“Can I kiss you?” He asked in a quiet voice.
You smiled softly at him and nodded, leaning him with him until your lips met. Your arms once again wrapped around his neck as your lips moved together. His hand squeezed your hip while the other stayed cupping your cheek.
George let out a small chuckle from the corner him and Lee were hidden in.
“He actually did it…” He mumbled, actually happy for his twin.
“I still don’t know why he just didn’t just do this in the first place instead of going to all that trouble to make a candy to read her mind.” Lee pointed out.
“He’s a idiot.” George said, Lee agreeing with him.
The two of you didn’t see the pair in the corner, nor did you care. You were happy and you were together. And it was all thanks to a piece of candy. Well actually thanks to Fred manning up and talking to you for once.
Lucio x FemAppren - Fulfilling
A/N: This is pure smutty garbage. But I had this idea floating around and decided to make you read it. I've seen a lot of posts of the Apprentice being like this wild sex machine and I'm always like... where did they learn this??? Did Asra have a full on lesson on how to be kinky in bed??? cause.... I don't think anyone is able to look up these things on the fly. haha could you picture the Apprentice asking Asra what the heck sex is. LMAOOOO
So, I thought it would be fun to have have the Apprentice be somewhat naïve to these things and she tries her best to come up with ways to be 'exciting' in the bedroom.
Summary: Evie wonders if she's good enough for Lucio after finding out he's INFAMOUS for being a rapscallion in bed. Will she be able to step up her bedroom game?
Word Count: ~2,200 words
Warnings: Sex, Bondage
“So… you and Lucio, huh?” Portia smirked with a gleam in her light blue eyes. I looked away from her as heat crept up my neck. I didn’t like the way she said that in her mischievous tone of hers.
“Yes, much to everyone’s disappointment.” I snapped more than I should’ve and I winced at my unwarranted hostility. “Sorry.” I mumbled.
“It’s alright. I’m sure you’ve been getting an earful.” She smiled in understanding as I let out a sharp laugh.
“That’s a nice way of putting it. He’s not perfect. But, he’s been really good to me. And really doting and sweet.” I couldn’t stop my warm smile as I thought about Lucio.
Portia nudged me with a smirk. “I heard the Count was quite the charmer.”
“I suppose he still is.” I giggled. I paused as the question on my mind hesitated on my tongue. “Wh-What else have you heard about him?”
Portia hummed in thought before saying, “Oh, he was such a socialite. He would have these extravagant parties with all this expensive food and drink. Towards the end pretty much everyone was-,” Portia stopped herself when she looked at my awaiting face. She was suddenly red with embarrassment.
“What? Everyone was what?” I pressed.
“Well, let’s just say that everyone was very close to one another at some point. Lucio was quite… adventurous in regards to bedroom antics.” Portia giggled.
“Adventurous?!” I felt my heart sink to my stomach. I’ve never considered myself ‘adventurous’. Thinking on how Lucio and I have been acting, everything was rather tame compared to how Portia just described him.
“Hey, don’t look so glum. It’s alright.” She patted my back with a slight grimace.
“How can I not be? Lucio and I haven’t been ‘wild’ in the bedroom. What if I’m not pleasing him?” I groaned at the thought and covered my face with my hands.
“You’re thinking too much into it!” She tried to ease me by rubbing my back. “What have you two done exactly? If you don’t mind my asking.”
Heat crept up into my cheeks as I bit my lip. “Well… um, we’ve been intimate. Like really intimate. Stare into each other’s eyes and passionate kisses. Although, there was this one time he did make me-um... beg. For it.”
Portia nodded as she had a faraway look in her eye. “I think you should give him a taste of his own medicine then. Make him beg. He’ll love it.”
Portia nodded with a bright smile. “Of course! Men love a good chase. Especially in the bedroom.” She winked.
“A chase, huh?”
My head swarmed with ideas on how to accomplish this. I felt myself being consumed with thoughts on how to make myself more adventurous. It wasn’t until I passed some ropes hanging on the balcony did I figure out what I could do.
I stared at my book with my pen in hand. I was supposed to be writing down notes, but my mind wouldn’t stray far from Lucio.
“Not busy, are you?” His voice purred me out of my thoughts. He was leaning against the doorframe to my room with a glint in his moonlight eyes. I quickly shoved aside my books and papers while I stood from my chair.
“Not at all.” I bit my lip as I said, “I was actually just thinking of you.”
A bright smile came over him as he stalked closer to me. His feet were silent as he took deliberately slow steps towards me. He placed his hand over his chest. “Me? I’m touched. Especially when you’re all I think about.” He finally stood in front of me with a smirk. “What about me were you thinking about?” His golden claw traced along my cheekbone before brushing back my stray hairs behind my ear.
Heat spread all over me, making it impossible to look at him. His fingers moved under my chin and nudged me back to meet his hungry gaze.
“I think I might know.” He whispered as he moved his face closer to mine. “But, please correct me if I’m wrong.” He pressed his lips against mine, drawing out an eager moan from me. I felt his smile against his lips as he deepened the kiss. His hands… they were all over me. I could barely keep up as I kept getting lost in the way his hair felt in my fingers, or the way his tongue tangled with mine so well. His expert hands had us disrobed quicker than I could think. He guided us over to the bed, making sure to keep us together as he lowered us down onto the plush mattress. I tore myself away from his heated kisses. He stared up at me, our chests panting as I hovered above him.
“Everything alright, love?” He ran his hands up and down my arms.
I nodded and felt myself growing shy at what I wanted to tell him. “I-I was just thinking. That… um. Maybe. We could… try something… different. Tonight.” I stumbled my way through.
Lucio raised a curious brow before a devious smirk took over him. “Alright. What did you have in mind?”
I took a deep breath then leaned down towards him. I went past his awaiting lips towards his ear. “Do you trust me?” I whispered, goosebumps formed on his flesh for a moment.
“With my life.” He whispered back.
I closed my eyes and forced myself to calm down. This was just like I had imagined. I just needed to make it a reality. I grabbed his hands and pinned them above his head. Golden tendrils wrapped themselves around his wrists then sunk into the mattress.
His eyes widened as he tested the strength of my magical bonds. “Oh, feeling a bit naughty today, are we?” He bit his lip in anticipation and I felt a surge of confidence at his eagerness. I kissed him and he moaned into my mouth. His tongue begged for entrance and I pulled myself away before I granted it.
“Let me know if I need to stop.” I panted.
He looked flushed and his light hair was starting to get disheveled. The look of want in his silver eyes made me nearly break. “Don’t worry, gorgeous. I can take anything you throw at me.”
I was amazed at his ability to still be in control even though he was bound. I moved my lips over his cheek and down his chiseled jawline. My hands wandered over his chest, his body meeting my touch. Since we were using magic, I might as well take it a step further. I let my hands warm and he gasped at the sudden change.
“You truly are magical.” He hummed in bliss as my hot hands moved down his neck and across his chest. The feeling of raised flesh met my fingertips from the numerous battles he had fought made my head dizzy. I focused on making my lips ice cold then placed a kiss on his perky nipple. His body rocked and shuddered away.
I looked up to him in panic. “Was that too much?” I was about to break the bonds and end this game before his light laugh made me pause.
“Don’t stop.” He met my gaze with his lust filled one. “Please. Keep going.”
I let out a breath I had been holding and smiled. I let my warm hand play with one of his nipples while my cold lips toyed with the other. I would switch and he would writhe with excitement. I could feel him pressing against my belly and made my core excruciatingly tight. I trailed further down to his glistening tip. I watched him bob his throbbing cock against his stomach, waiting for me to do something.
I remembered how he teased me by kissing and licking me everywhere but where I wanted. I decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. I trailed my tongue down his lower abs and to his legs. One of my hands massaged his other leg while the other hand kept a firm grip on his hip. He groaned as he watched me kiss and lick all around him.
“Please. Evie.” He moaned out, which surprised me. “Touch me. I want you to touch me.” He was begging. Hearing his voice, weak with desire, made my body ache for his. I just wanted him. I was conflicted on wanting to drag this out though. I needed to be adventurous. But, when I looked at him, his eyes staring back with lust, I only desired to please him.
I held his wanting gaze as I licked up his shaft. He let out a sigh that shifted to a moan when I put my lips over his leaking head. I let my hand wrap around his pulsing shaft. With my lips freezing, my mouth and hand warm, Lucio was already seeing stars.
He tentatively thrusted into my mouth. “Oh gods. You make me feel so good. Yes. Don’t stop. I’m so close.”
I kept sucking and rubbing him until I felt like he was about to burst. I pushed myself away and couldn’t contain my smirk when he let out a disappointed groan. His chest was heaving and sweat dotted his brow. He truly was disheveled now, with his hair messy and his composure broken. I crawled back on top of him and captured his eager lips with my own. He moaned in my mouth as I rubbed my body against his, making my want obvious.
“Lucio.” I whined, not being able to voice my desires.
A smile tugged on his lips as he kissed me. “You’re in control, darling. Take me. I’m all yours.”
I nodded as I slipped him inside of me. We both moaned at finally being together. His eyes rolled into the back of his head as he thrust inside of me. I ground myself against him, enjoying the pressure beginning to build up inside of me. I started to ride him and take him at a slower pace than he clearly wanted.
His body would eagerly meet mine and his arms would struggle against the bonds when I hovered above him for too long. I could only tease him for so long though. I was nearly close to breaking. I’ve never felt this aroused before. I think it was seeing Lucio so turned on that was making me this way.
I picked up my pace and he moaned in gratification.
“Evie, let me touch you. Please. I want to touch you.” He pleaded with me through half-lidded eyes. I wanted him to touch me. I wanted his hands all over me. I released his bonds and he didn’t hesitate to flip me onto my back. He captured my lips and held me firmly against him as he pounded himself into me.
“Lucio.” I repeated his name as he hit a part of me that made me shudder in pleasure. He grabbed one of my legs and wrapped it across his lower back. His hand squeezed the meaty part of my thigh as he growled. He was close and I had one more trick up my sleeve. My fingers laced into his soft hair while my other hand strayed on his back. I let the heat I was feeling spread throughout him.
His rhythm sputtered for a moment before continuing with renewed vigor. He grabbed the nape of my neck and kept me in place to look at him as we both reached a blissful climax. I could feel a heat bloom in me as he thrusted several more times. His body shivered as my magic left his body.
A lazy smile came over him as he gave me a sloppy kiss. “Evie… that was amazing. Truly.” He hummed with closed eyes as he nuzzled against my nose then down to my neck. “What spurred you to do that? I might need you to make a habit of it.” He teased as he nipped my neck.
“I was told you were adventurous in the bedroom. And…,” I felt myself growing quiet. I didn’t want to admit the truth as to why I did this.
He took my pause with concern. He stroked my cheek and placed soft kisses on my temple. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”
“I don’t want you to get bored with me.” I blurted out.
He stopped what he was doing before laughing. I thought I was going to throw up, I was so embarrassed. He pulled my chin over to meet his eyes. “Evie. I could never be bored of you.”
My brows furrowed and I avoided his gaze for a moment. “I’m not very good at this. And I know you had a very… prolific sex life before me. And I’m afraid I can’t deliver on that.”
He frowned before his features softened. He caressed over my cheek and down my neck. He kept repeating this path as he said, “I don’t need you to be ‘adventurous’ in bed. I just want you. You’re the one that makes this more… just more. I don’t need anything, or anyone, else. You’re all I need.” He reassured me with a kiss. He dragged me onto his chest and enveloped me into his strong arms. “Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. You really wore me out.” He buried his nose into my hair and gave me another kiss on my hairline.
I closed my eyes and enjoyed the way he felt against me. Warm, strong, and loving.
Ok, I am here because I need your help. I think I might not be normal (in a good way) but I need my witchy friends to tell me what they think.
I just ask that you please be kind and don't read if you don't believe in this. I just really need some guidance because no one has ever been able to answer my questions.
Here are some facts about me:
1. People have told me I'm a witch before
This is actually what made me create this account and ask for help. I once went into a shop that had all kinds of witchy things to buy a dream catcher, I had a lot of nightmares and heard it helped (it does). As soon as I walked in with my sister the old lady behind the counter looked at me and widened her eyes. I didn't know why, but said hello and continued browsing. She eventually came up to me and said she was a witch and that she felt she should tell me that I was one too. I was honestly completely shocked, but she left right after because another client entered the shop. When I paid for my dream catcher she winked at me and said "don't forget what I told you."
I asked my sister and she laughed, saying she was probably going crazy because of old age. I laughed and agreed, but that always stayed with me.
After that, it continued happening throughout the years.
2. I guessed the gender of every single pregnancy of people I know until now.
It started when I was 2 and my aunt got pregnant with my cousin. As soon as she said I might have a girl to play with, I said it was a boy.
Same thing happened with my sister. And with all my mom's close friends and now mine. I was so determined it they would be male or female that my mom was concerned for me if I was wrong. I was never wrong, not once.
3. I have really weird dreams
I don't know why, but ever since I was a kid I've had weird dreams. Not silly dreams, weird dreams. Animals talking to me (advices, warnings, dying), dead relatives talking to me (even ones I never met), of myself in ancient clothes and other times, things happening in my dreams then happening irl, just weird dreams in general.
4. I have a green thumb
I have literally NEVER killed any plants I was given (even as a child) and I absolutely love having plants everywhere.
5. My favorite animals are owls
My mum told me that when the I was 5, my teacher started teaching us about animals and we had to tell them our favorite. I had never seen an owl in my life, but I immediately chose it as my favorite. Ever since then I have learned more and they continue to be my favorite.
6. Animals are attracted to me
I mean like, it's creepy. Cats I have never seen run in my direction and rub themselves against my legs, or sitting on my lap when I'm sitting down; dogs (even a huge pitbull once) i have also never met jumping on me and licking my face; ladybugs and butterflies landing on my hands, shoulders and even the books I'm reading almost weekly; even wild birds have eaten off my hands (no, not in a bird park or places where people often feed them. In actual wilderness.); I once met a domestic baby elephant and she would not let go of my wrist for the life of her (she was holding me with her trunk), I mean not even food bribed her to let go.
7. I love the moon and the stars
Always have, I'd stare for hours when I was a child. I'm that "look at the moon!" Kind of person. Also, total astrology lover. Till this day (I am an adult) I have glow in the dark stars on my ceiling.
8. I used to come up with spells as a child
They obviously never worked, but ever since I was a kid I'd come up with rhymes about things I'd want. It was something I have always loved doing.
9. Impulse to heal and help
I have always been the one to remove bee stings, clean up wounds after surgeries or falls, and now I'm in college on my way to be a doctor. Also, every time any of my friends have any problems or need to cry, I'm the first person they talk to (even if we aren't that close). I'm the therapist of the group, the one people come for advice, even when I have never been in that situation myself. I don't know if this is relevant really, but I read somewhere that if you have the impulse to heal you might be a witch.
10. I don't know how to describe this one shortly but: intuition?
I can always tell when something is off or something bad is going to happen.
I know this may seem weird, but you know when the sky is completely clear, but you just KNOW I going to rain and then it does?
Or when someone is lying and has everyone fooled, but you just know in your heart it's not true?
Or even when someone invites you to go somewhere and you have a bad feeling, but despite everyone insisting that you should go you don't and something bad or tragic happens?
You know when you decide to ask someone you ran into about their family or their job and discovered that it saved your life because those few seconds saved you from a car crash, being run over by a driver looking on his phone or even a bridge falling?
Or when you say, "Hey, I'm not going to buy these books right now because what if something happens. Let's save up for a few months!" Then an economical crisis happens?
Oh! When a song starts playing in your head and you starts singing it out loud at the same time as the person next to you?
When you have your playlist on shuffle and you know what the next song is going to be (not just once, but multiple times?)
All these things have happened to me and I always thought it was sheer luck, until now.
11. Ever since I was a baby, I collect shells, rocks and crystals
Don't know if this is relevant, but this seems witchy and is a very big thing for me hahaha
I don't know if this is relevant or true, but I once read an article about witch trials and birthmarks were a "hint" that the woman was a witch.
All the women in my family have the same birthmark, each one in a different place and sizes, but always the same shape. I have two of them.
I also have a huge birthmark on my back that my mom tells me looks like a constellation. My body is also covered by freckles and small moles.
13. I am extremely connected to nature
Not in a sun out = happy, rain = sad, and "I love hiking" kind of way! I mean that I absolutely love rain and the smell of wet earth after it, I love the sound of thunder, feeling the wind blowing through me brings me happiness, going to the beach brings me inexplicable peace and joy, and the things I've mentioned before.
If you are a witch or know what's wrong/right with me, I'd be very grateful for your insight!
14. Always waking up at 3 am
I have insomnia ever since I was a kid and something that always happens is waking up at 3 in the morning and not being able to sleep again until 4. I have no idea why, but it's never before 3 never after 3:30.
That's all I can think of for now, but feel free to ask me questions! I just want to know why I'm like this. If I'm a witch, just have a quirky personality or even something else!
What's Happening to me?
A few days have passed by and the world seems to be right again after a long long time. For a few days, life has been good and life finally feels nice. Since we don't have any life-risking do I have been on top of the world. Right now we are on our way to the defense against the dark arts classroom to do Poseidon knows what but I couldn't care less.
"You seem happy." Says Ethan walking next to me, and bumping my shoulder. "Can I get a little dose of that happiness?"
Before I could open my mouth Sally answered for me. "It's not a drug Smith. It's looovvv."
"It's not love, Sally" I said shaking my head ad laughing.
"Oh, it most defiantly is. I've known you for years and I have never seen you this happy." Said Ethan.
"Never!" Gasps Sally.
"Nope. Never" He said shaking his head and being his dramatic self.
"Ok even if I was in love, which I'm not" I covered up quickly, "Who would I even be in love with?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Said Donna who was walking along with us silently reading her book on dark arts and its use.
"No, it is not," I replied. "Please do enlighten me."
Sharing a look at all three, Ethan, Sally, and Donna replied "R.A.B"
Scoffing I started "Regulus-" And as fate would have it a voice, which I dreaded yet loved to hear, said-
Frozen in my tracks, I turned around to find R.A.B, Regulus Arcturus Black.
"H-hi." I stuttered.
"Hey" he replied. "What's up?"
"Oh, nothing much. Just going to see what version of hell they have planned for us." Replied Ethan and started walking and the rest of us followed.
"Well if that isn't the truest thing I've ever heard," Regulus replied.
"We'll meet you both in the classroom" Said sally pulling Ethan and Donna with her. "Beyyyy."
"She's an odd one." Said Regulus chuckling.
"Well aren't we all?" I countered.
"True that." He replied. "So what's up? Been reading any new books lately?"
"Yep. Just started a new one." I said taking the book out of my bag. "Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy."
"Ooo. I've heard about that one, but never got the chance to rea it."
"You never get the chance to read anything."
For that, he just laughed and blushed.
"Do you have any idea what we're going to do today?" I questioned looking straight ahead.
"Don't know. It's probably something ridiculous."
"Your right," I said and we walked the rest of the way silently. It was a comfortable silence, the one you come to love later on in life. We entered the classroom and parted ways as the guys and girls had to sit on separate sides of the room.
All the seats were full so I had to sit next to Gryffindor's golden girl, Lily Evens. Lily seemed nice but you can never judge a person from their face. Sitting down I gave Lily a little nod and then began to look around the room. At the far right corner was a big gramophone on a table. Before my thoughts could run wild about it, all the professors made their way out and professor McGonigal started -
"The yule ball has been a tradition of the Triwizard Tournament since its inception. On Christmas eve night, we and our guests gather in the great hall for a night of well-mannered frivolity. As representatives of the host school, I expect each and every one of you to put your best foot forward and I mean this literary because the yule ball is first and foremost a dance."
When she said the words every girl started gasping and giggling while all the guys started groaning. At this moment Regulus and I just shared a glance, which did not determine whether we were happy or sad about this situation.
"Silence" began again "The school of Hogwarts has commanded the respect of the wizarding world for nearly 10 centuries. I will not have you in the course of a single evening besmirching that name by behaving like a babbling bumbling band of baboons." She said looking directly at James and his friends, who had just whispered 'Try saying that 5 times faster' to them.
"To dance is to let the body breath." She started again, making weird motions with her hands. Turning to the girls she said, "Inside every girl there is a secret swan slumber, longing to burst out and take flight."
Now turning to the boys she said "And inside every boy a lordly lion ready to prance." Looking at my brother who was too busy talking to his friends she said "Mr. Potter, will you please join me?"
Sirius, Remus, and Peter couldn't help but laugh at this. When Remus looked at me, with a big smile that went up to his eyes, I could do nothing but crack a smile myself. As James and McGonagall were dancing around, everyone was having the time of their lives watching them.
After a few minutes, McGonagall said "Well all of you get up and dance with the person who is in front of you."
Getting up I went to the 9erson who was in front of me, Remus Lupin. Now I have never really talked to him, or any other marauder in fact, but I've heard that Remus is the only sensible one out of them.
"Hey." Siad Remus as he made his way towards me.
"Hi." I replied with a smile. "How have you been?'
"Good. What about you?"
"Well, I've been fine," I replied. "As fine as I can be with dragons and dipshit brothers."
"I'm really sorry for what we're putting you through.' He said with actual sorrow on his face. "The night that the whole thing happened we were wasted and thought it would be funny, but now we know that it isn't."
"It's alright Remus. If anything I finally have the chance to prove that I'm better than James." I said.
He chuckled and replied "Well that's true. Did you see the way he almost ruined the whole damn school with that dragon? Oof god only knows what goes on in his head."
I just laughed at that.
"So how have your studies been going?" He questioned.
"Well, they're fine."
"What do mean by fine?"
"I'm not doing that well in the history of magic," I answered. "When I first opted for it I thought it would be fun, but now it's become my worst nightmare."
"I get it. I don't really talk bad about teachers but Bins is really boring." He replied. "Hey if you want maybe I can help you with it."
"Really?" I asked surprised.
"Sure. I'm down to it if you are."
"Oh God, you are a lifesaver. When shall we meet?"
"How about tomorrow. Everyone will be at Hogsmead, we'll have the whole library to ourselves."
"That would be amazing," I replied with a smile and he reciprocated that.
Soon enough we went into a period of silence in which my eyes wondered to Regulus. God, he looked so gracefully while he was dancing. When his eyes met mine I felt this bubbling feeling in my stomach, like it had butterflies in it.
'Oh Posidne, what's happening to me?'
Do you have any recs for Star Wars novels for ppl only really familiar with the movies? :x idk anything about the Clone Wars shows, or any of the games, and have no idea where to start
i've started many novels but only finished like... a few gjkfhg
also caveat that i only really interact with the PT era so OT and ST novels are out of my area of expertise;;;;
** = novels i've finished
* = novels i've read but haven't finished
no asterisks = novels i haven't read but have heard good things about
these aren't ranked by order of how i like them just listed as i think of them. it's also not a comprehensive list since i dont really have a lot of spare time to read anymore so..... :'(
jedi centric pre-PT novels
high republic: light of the jedi by charles soule
apparently a massive love letter to the jedi which obviously means i need to have a copy in my hands as soon as possible
jedi-centric PT era novels
master and apprentice by claudia gray**
this one takes place a few years before TPM and is a must read for anyone who likes qui gon and obi wan shenanigans. also rael averross and dooku!! the whole squad is here!!! (also yoda but in very very short bursts)
any of the PT movie novelizations tbh*
jedi apprentice series by jude watson (and dave wolverton but only book 1)*
never finished this. i wasn't strong enough jhdkgjf if u want to feel ur blood pressure rise out of sheer frustration then godspeed. it's got really cute moments in it though.... and a lot of information you might need as context when u read sw fanfics about obi's past jssjsk (melida/daan my beloathed...)
dooku: jedi lost by cavan scott
a dooku centric novel that i dont know much about bc ive been trying not to spoil myself for it. it's on my list, u understand. :3
dark disciple by christie golden
WHAT'S THIS? IT'S QUINLAN VOS WITH A STEEL CHAIR
this one is a clone wars concurrent novel featuring ventress and quinlan... i think this one had mixed reviews??? but it's pretty interesting in that it's a novel ft. my underrated king quinlan vos
wild space by karen miller*
this one is just pure "obi wan gets turned into the universe's punching bag yet again" except this time BAIL IS THERE!!! O: i never finished this one...... i think i ran out of steam? i was like 80% done i think. also i didnt agree with some characterizations in the novel. but the candle scene was very good
non-jedi-centric PT era novels
queen's peril/shadow by e.k. johnston (queen's hope to drop sometime in november as i understand)
padme centric novels ft her handmaidens!!! these are also on my list of things to read so i dont know much about them
i was going to rec the republic commando series by karen traviss since it's got the clone bois in it but i hear it's got a lot of anti-jedi sentiment woven into it so....... read at ur peril ig???
there's way more on the list of course but this is already long enough hgkjfhgjf godspeed anon o7
Any book recs for historical romance novels with creative sex scenes?
The thing is that I read a lot of traditionally published books, where the sex scenes can be a biiit less creative, and of course in general historicals can often be fairly explicit but not super creative. The heroines are often virgins (though that is falling out of vogue more) and there isn't a loooot going on in the realm of like, anal and group sex and sex with toys etc.
With that being said, I'll rec the Duke I'd Like to F... anthology for some higher heat novels. THEEEEE Sierra Simone contributed a novella to the anthology, though I'll also add that Nicola Davidson's Duke for Hire contribution includes a duke being paid for his services~ as well as historically accurate sex toys. I haven't read anything else by Nicola Davidson yet, but from what I understand she writes historicals more in the vein of erotic romance, and they can get kinky.
Similarly, Scarlett Peckham has made a splash for upending expectations re: sex in her books. I've only read The Lord I Left, which actually doesn't have a TON of penetrative sex in because the hero is a virgin minister, but the heroine is a dominatrix in training and there's a lot of generalized kinky vibes in it. I've also heard good things about The Duke I Tempted, in which a woman ends up in a marriage of convenience with a submissive duke.
I would recommend Sarah MacLean's One Good Earl Deserves a Lover always for the creativity of including a scene in which the heroine gets off by touching herself while the hero just.... sits there and tells her what to do. Not CRAZY, but definitely not something you see in historicals often. Her Rules of Scoundrels series probably has my favorite sex scenes she's written, as the characters often are able to kind of get out of the bedroom--there's some exhibitionism in A Rogue By Any Other Name, my favorite MacLean (the hero fucks the heroine against a window while she looks down at his casino and tells him all the shit people are doing to each other). There's boxing ring sex in No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, and the Rare Historical Swimming Pool Sex in Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover.
Elizabeth Hoyt is often willing to explore~ a little more. A lot of her Maiden Lane books feature characters having sex in places where people could potentially hear them. Scandalous Desires, my favorite Maiden Lane, features what Learning the Tropes just recently referred to as "death row head", which.... I loved. I think there's full on prison sex in that one. Sweetest Scoundrel is another one where the hero and heroine masturbate a lot in front of each other before she's down for penetrative sex (TW for trauma which caused her to be sex-averse at first). Her Raven Prince debut features a heroine pretending to be someone else so that the hero fucks her--she wears a mask throughout and it's kinda lowkey kinky?
If you're into "lemme pretend to be someone else so that this man fucks me" shit, Joanna Shupe also wrote The Courtesan Duchess, in which the heroine creates this entirely different identity so that the hero will fuck her (and get her pregnant).
Lisa Kleypas's books are more about CIRCUMSTANCE in terms of sex than a ton of crazy positions or whatever (I always wait for the moment when a Kleypas hero flips the heroine onto her stomach, HAPPENS EVERY TIME AND I LOOOVE IT) but I'd like to point out that her standalone Suddenly You features some of the only traditionally published Historical Anal Play that I've ever read, however brief it is (Kerrigan Byrne is proooobably the only other one lol). Dreaming of You famously has some adult breastfeeding at the end, Devil in Disguise is the first Kleypas I've read with 69ing. Lisa thinks about it!
Kerrigan Byrne is probably alongside Elizabeth Hoyt in there being a lot of like.... idk, there's just an undercurrent of kink to a lot of what they both write, even if it isn't as WILD AND CRAZY~ as what you might find in some indies and contemporaries. I always cite the Glove Scene in The Highwayman, which not only has the hero fuck the heroine while wearing leather gloves, but also has him tie her up a few times. With his plaid, of course. Another interesting.... detail of her books that is so cuckoo bananas lol is that the male members of this one family? Come twice? In rapid succession? Like, the refractory period is nonexistent. This happens in The Highwayman, The Highlander, and The Scot Beds His Wife. I'll also call out The Hunter, as there's a lot of "kiss me/kill me" tension in that one as the hero is literally paid to kill the heroine. He also has an aversion to looking at people when he fucks them, which leads to some fun shenanigans during the sex scenes.
Hope this helps!
I watched the Green Knight too, and I actually found it too dark and disturbing. I didn’t really expect that having read and wrote research papers on the source material. I also found that the trailer did not accurately represent the movie, and after watching it i then rewatched the trailer and still…. They were two whole separate vibes. I also struggled with his mother’s motivation, especially since he really was beheaded at the end. What was the point on sending her son out on a quest just to kill him? I understand that she (through the fox) tried to turn him from that path, but she still created the path he took and it’s end. Also my fiancé (who had never read the origin work) was often confused because nothing was really explained. And I had read him the Wikipedia plot summary of the original text, so he would have some context because I knew there would be major differences, but even that didn’t help. Especially because Morgana’s motivation was just never explained. I mean other than inferring as a pagan witch she resented Christianity, and so ruined the Christian festivities, what was the motivation for the Green Knight’s challenge? It never explained that she resented her brother and his wife. And as far as wanting to prove his knights are not truly honorable, why would she want to use her son for that point? And only from reading the book do you really know that the old blind women at the castle is her, and in the movie, did she possess the lord and the lady and initiate the physical intimacies ? It’s just never explained. So I do agree with you in that the themes and messages were just too ambiguous, plus I found the actual plot to scattered as well. I also (just a personal nitpick) couldnt stand that after he was robbed, they left valuable stuff behind!!! I mean peasants would need (they’d kill for!!!) such a fine and sturdy cloak. And if the male bandit had a hankering to be a knight, why did he break the shield and leave the sword behind? And then Gawain, who was just attacked and left for dead!!! ALSO left the sword behind!!!! And set out again with no means to protect himself. I know, a minor complaint, but it really did just drive me wild because it made no sense at all. Anyways, sorry for the rant!
Thank you for sending all of this!
I agree and disagree about the vibe of the trailer--I think there was evidence that the movie would be a darker take on the story, because there were a lot of gory shots and it was kind of cut like a horror trailer. But I got the impression that it'd be a more... commercial adaptation than it ended up being? But the story is of course super cerebral and metaphorical (as opposed to straightforward and linear) when you actually watch it. I've heard mixed things on the horror aspects so you're not alone. Some people say it was too much, I kind of wish there was a little more 🤪 because I feel like the Green Knight's intro scene didn't really match the rest of the movie.
After I saw it, I advised a friend to read the original poem before watching, and she said it helped her but not by much. That's just not a good sign imo. Like I understand that they're trying to capture the strangeness of the text and the discourse around it and challenge our expectations of a story in general but eh it didn't totally land for me. I completely agree about Morgana. I feel like she and most characters' motives were very unclear, which gave it almost a nihilistic feeling. It's like they're trying to say "things happen just because, and that's the inescapable inevitability of life!!!" when that's simply not the case and not any more significant or interesting than characters having motivations/goals. I for one think Gawain would've been way more interesting if I got a stronger feeling that he was a supreme dick ON PURPOSE instead of vaguely wondering "do they expect me to be on his side or not???" the whole time.
ocean eyes – chris evans
previous part: PART XX — masterlist
concept: you run into chris again when you return to collect the rest of your things. part twenty-one of many.
pairing: chris evans x reader
word count: 1.4k
warnings: angst, kissing, profanity
author's note: i'm a hoe. also, this one is for @efferuse cause i miss her
"Are you sure you'll be alright?"
"Yes," you brushed her concern away with what you hoped was an easy smile. Judging by the furrow of her brow, it was decidedly not. "I'll be fine. I'm just picking up the rest of my stuff and giving him back the keys."
"And what if he's there?"
"I'll ignore him."
"I don't like it. It's been two weeks, you're doing much better now. Just let me go in and..." she gestured her hands in the motion of packing.
You laughed off the exaggerated movements. "I don't think Dodger or Chris will like a stranger in their house."
"He doesn't seem to have a problem if that stranger is playing tonsil hockey with him..." She grumbled. The look you shot her was lethal. "Too soon, sorry."
You'd been living on her couch for too long now, and it was taking a toll on you. There was only so much of her you could really take. Don't get you wrong, you adored your friend. But you two were simply too... different. But you had nowhere else to go, and she'd been a major help. With everything. Getting over Chris especially.
"I'm a grown woman," you sighed, already growing tired of the interaction. "I'm sure I can handle it."
For the most part, you handled it quite well.
Without Chris and Dodger being there, it was almost easy. You could slip in and out, like a motherfucking ghost, and they'd never even know, aside from a cleared room and the set of keys on the table. The house felt haunted enough. Luck was on your side.
And then it wasn't.
You'd been looking for your journal when they had gotten back. Just the sound of the door had your heart in your throat, the scamper of Dodger's paws on the tile and wood, and sheer panic overcame you.
You had avoided seeing his face again easily enough. Chris was not a problematic or publicly wild person, so likelihood of him turning up in the tabloids were slim to none in just those two weeks. And your friend had made a big show of dumping all of the old DVDs she had that even hinted to Chris – surname was irrelevant, and she pulled Hemsworth, Pratt, and Pine from the shelf too – in a box and kicked it under her bed the moment you got there.
You didn't know how you would react. You hadn't laid eyes on even a picture of him, and you'd never felt like this before. About anyone. Your mood was unpredictable, and that scared you – you couldn't give yourself away now.
Your search for that stupid book with all your stupid fucking feelings was newly energized, and you were practically ripping open your drawers, flinging cabinet doors to the point their hinges whined.
You didn't care about the noise you were making. The Evans' would find you anyways, especially while you were on your way out. And if that happy bark at the door was any indication, Dodger had caught your scent long before your search began.
You wracked your brain as you heard Dodger paw at the door. Where was it? Where could it have been? It never left your room. Hardly ever, of that you were certain. Too much room for error.
But that night... The last night you'd been there. You had been writing in the lounge – passing time – waiting for Chris to get home so you could leave. Dodger – although able to handle himself on his own – more often than not preferred company.
A wave of nausea hit you. The world spun, white spots dancing in your vision. No. Nonononono.
Not willing to let yourself believe that inevitable catastrophe, you reinvigorated the search in your room. It had to be there, it couldn't–
"Looking for this?"
You had accidentally left it out in a very public area and fuck you were kicking yourself for it now.
He was leaning against your doorframe, non-chalant, legs crossed at the ankles, arms folded... And in one hand, a very distinct leather bound book that you had currently been searching for.
The ice in your veins turned to molten lava – anger – but you refused to look him in the face. You couldn't bring yourself to do it.
You didn't respond, your hands curling into fists, nails cutting crescent moons into your palms.
"You know, you maybe shouldn't leave it out like that," he said softly. "Open. Someone might stumble upon it, catch a few words before they realise what it is."
Your voice was strained, whispery. "Give it back."
"Look at me," he responded gently. He sounded so earnest. And you knew it was because he wanted that confirmation, the one your eyes would give him. The confirmation for what he had read, what you had actively tried to dissuade him of.
You reached for it, eyes still looking at his shoes, solely focused and not willing to cave.
He grinned in your peripheral vision and held it out of your reach. "You lied to me."
"Chris," you ground out. It was the first time you'd even let yourself say his name, and it felt strange on your tongue – like you were made to say it, but you had only just discovered that. It tasted foreign and familiar all at once. "I'm not fucking around. Give it back. Right fucking now."
"Come and get it."
He purposefully moved away from you to elude your snatching hands. You followed him, obviously.
But Chris was quick, continuing to evade you.
Always just a little out of reach, Chris easily slid between boxes, vaulting over the bed to keep the distance. You clambered after him, clumsy, sheets twisting around your legs.
He was laughing with the exhilaration, and still, he kept the book out of your desperate hands.
"Give it to me," you hissed, trying to grab at his shirt to keep him still.
He easily manoeuvred away, and you were grasping at air.
You ended up chasing him down – embarrassingly late – and damn near tackled him for ownership of the book. You landed on him, ripping the book out of his hand, triumphant.
And then you realised the position you were in.
The moment was charged with something electric, something intangible yet palpable. Your faces were close – too close for comfort, yet you didn't find yourself withdrawing – and your breaths mingled, and your chests are pressed together, able to feel every beat of his heart synchronising with your own. You were caught in a half straddle, low on his hips, your one leg slotted between his in a way that definitely didn't suggest innocence.
And he was laughing breathlessly and you somehow ended up laughing too. A genuine laugh, the first in weeks.
And you were both just laughing and breathless and then quietly – when both your laughter had subsided, but you're both wearing warm smiles – he asked you so softly: "Did you really mean that? What you wrote?"
You sat up, attempting to extricate your limbs from his, debating lying or coming clean. It was too late for either.
But he must've seen, in your eyes, the truth – because suddenly, he bolted upright to press his warm body against yours, trapping you in his arms and pulling you to him to meet his lips in a gentle and chaste kiss: the choice being yours on whether or not to deepen it.
A choice you made as you responded in kind, mouth moving urgently and feverishly against his.
He moaned, a choked noise in his throat, pleasantly surprised at your response, and his tongue swiped a quick, hot stripe against the seam of your lips, begging for entrance.
You hand slipped between the two of you, under the hem of his shirt. They raked down his musclebound torso, and your hand idly traced over the growing bulge in his jeans.
"Stop," he strangled out. He pulled himself away, keeping you at arms length, catching his breath.
"I-I'm sorry," you managed to stutter out. Embarrassment flushed your cheeks.
It wasn't your fault. And Chris let you know as much, with a lingering kiss to your forehead.
Chris knew that he had broken your trust, and he wanted to earn it back before anything happened. No matter how bad he wanted you.
The romantic in him wouldn't have it any other way. And there was something supremely unromantic about taking you on the floor of your bedroom, surrounded by the boxes you'd packed in the full intent of leaving him.
"I've been thinking of this for too long, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right."
all: @fangirlovestuff @rebthom89
ocean eyes: @agnesk @myakai13 @ilovetheeagles
chris evans: @thatoneperson5000
I was looking to exposingsgm and is cool, had you read their blog?? Sometimes the way you express seems similar to them hahah like you are just open and don't give a shit about anything, also they talked about MJ and your info is similar to what they have also the dark Hollywood side of the industry, very detailed and disturbing unu in that blog they said Beyonce is blocking normani to succes since she want Chloe to be the next big thing, I don't doubt this is true, wonder why beyonce never did nothing to Rihanna is too obvious she is jealous of her in many levels and her fan are stupid af since everybody know that Rihanna is a selfmade billionaire now her fanbase say but bey is a billionaire too bit she doesn't update that info to the public like tf?? You are stupid
Also a wonder do you thing there's A list celebrities that are successful without being part of the dark Hollywood mechanism as that blog exposed? Can you be that successful without going to those weird ass party and the drug use? Love your blog giirl can't wait for your opinion on this
Oh my god...you know what.... I never thought of this at all. Maybe Beyonce is behind this or has played a role in oppressing her from way behind the scenes we can't notice at face value. WOW!!! I immediately believe it cause it's always analyzed and dissected that Normani herself is the problem and then other 50% is her management. But I believe the "management" everyone keeps moaning about is Beyonce in their ear or sending things over to pay off her management to make sure she is stunted. Chloe is turning into a little Beyonce and its sad / annoying to see. Even the consistent blonde hair now it's all too obvious. Beyonce knows Chloe isn't hitting those numbers yet and she wants a return on her investment.
The fact Normani fans had to scare MTV into giving her a performance slot is wild. She wasn't booked until everyone bitched enough to get Normani in. I wonder how Normani feels I feel bad for her but everyone days she is boring as fuck and she has no connection to the fans, which I agree with.
I've never heard of that blog before. I will look it up.
Thank you for the commentary and remarks cause I'm glad everyone enjoys our open approach to entertainment gossip Asian & American. But something is off with The normani thing and I want to know what the hell her management is doing and who paying them off.
Um...... Possibly so.
But there is a MASSIVE busscourt thread on Lipstick Alley of a list of all the male celebrities in Hollywood who sold ass and sold out by being gay escorts or gay for pay / gay casting couch to get to where they are. It's obviously predictable In the sense all the men in Hollywood who are very "fem" or beautiful or always called gay in general are on the list but a lot of randoms are on it too I think.
I think every male to some degree has to under go the women's dress / crossdressing ritual or do something privately. This wasn't always the case though like black hollywood the old stars didn't always have to do this but maybe that applies to television. I can't think of anyone who became big and didn't sell out or have some sort of loss / strange encounter.
Dolly Parton maybe? She has oversized enlarged implants she was smart and cunning enough to make a part of her branding & image, everyone gives her an auto excuse bizarrely and she seems like the only woman in Hollywood immune to a lot of open Criticism about it. Very strange. I can only say Dolly for now. I would say Cher but Chers son is transgender. This isn't about trans issues or anything but technically it is a loss as she does not have a daughter anymore but a son. And I think sonny her husband died in the skii incident?
I can't think of anyone honestly.
Okay, I'm reading Chap18, and I really hope this comment won't hurt your feelings because I love your fic and I really just want to understand why you wrote it this way, but I have to tell you that for the first time I've been disapointed with Diamants AU. I already felt it was going this way with Daphné, Arthur, Vallès, Emma and Alexia being LGBT, but I kind of felt betrayed with the Yann/Alex thing, and now I'm sensing Manon and Daphné will be together at some point too and ...(1)
...I don't understand why you made all your characters LGBT. I get that they are under-represented in most of the books and shows, but with Diamants I'm kind of feeling like being staight is a bad thing, like it's either boring or you're juste an asshole. I've always loved Skam because it shows that very different people can be friends and help each other no matter their religion, sexuality... and this kind of felt like the only reason they stand together is they're all LGBT (2) and I guess this comes from personal experience but that would have been so much more powerful to have straight people being as much invested in this war as the others. Honestly I don't see the point of Yann, Alex, Emma, Manon or Arthur not being straight, for me it doesn't bring more to who they are. This really feels like they would be nothing if they were straight. So I juste wanted to ask you why you decided this? Again, really hope this won't hurt you... (3/3)
hey anon. So, I’m going to assume this comes from a place of good faith and a sincere desire to understand, and explain my choices. That said, I do have to say that even though it didn’t really hurt me (it mostly made me laugh), it did make me a little angry too, because there are a lot of harmful implications in your messages.
1) First of all, about you “not seeing the point” of making certain characters LGBT. This functions under the assumption that there needs to be a reason for people to be gay, bi, trans, etc - and that straight people are the default. That is...really not great. People are gay in real life, for no reason whatsoever. If you don’t go to writers asking why they made their characters straight if there is no reason in the story, you shouldn’t do this either. Characters can be queer without it being a big part of the story - it’s just a part of them, and the idea that they have to ‘deserve a place’ in the narrative through their gayness (often through a deeply tragic arc full of suffering to Educate Straight people) is deeply heteronormative, and fucked up. LGBT people are not in a story to make a point, they’re there because they exist. Yes, some of my characters have arcs that are deeply entangled with their sexuality and struggles with it. Some are not. When it comes to Yann and Alex, I didn’t think too much about it, I thought it would be funny and unexpected and give some good shenanigans. Sometimes that’s all you need.
2) As for turning a majority of the canon straight characters LGBT : listen, in the end, this is my fic, and I do it because I want to. I’m bi and my life is full of queer people. This is my normal, this is what comes naturally to me, and what I find interesting to write about. I set out to write a James Bond parody with some deep character exploration, it’s meant to be a very transformative fic. I have no obligation to stick to any Skam ‘guidelines’. I am also not aiming to write a particularly realistic story, if the secret mobster conspiracy didn’t tick you off already. The ethos of fic is to make canon your playground and to let your imagination go wild. That said, this trope you’re probably used to, of having one or maybe two queer characters and not more in any given story, I would say is the less realistic one. In real life, LGBT people often tend to cluster together, often before they even realize their sexuality, especially as they get older. But a lot of mainstream media is afraid of that because they don’t want to alienate their straight audience, so they don’t show it. I have no such compunctions. Your message seems to imply that there is a limit to how many gay people there should be in a story and I find that deeply offensive. There is incredible relief, peace and power to be found in community, especially after being struggling so much with your sexuality, like Lucas did for instance. I wanted to show that joy in this chapter, and how it plays a part in him slowly letting his walls down.
3) I notice you don’t mention Imane. She’s straight, she’s super invested in this war, she’s neither boring or an asshole, in fact she’s probably the most important character in the fic after Lucas and Eliott. She’s badass and amazing and complex and if you don’t feel she counts as ‘good straight representation’ I find that slightly odd. Is she too ‘other’ for you that you would dismiss her like that ? Also, Basile is straight lmao. There’s plenty of straight people in this fic. And plenty of people who have incredibly different life experiences ; sexuality not being the main one doesn’t change that.
4) I do find it sort of silly that you reduce the characters’ reasons for fighting to being LGBT after I spent like 400k words proving otherwise. Like - Lucas wants to avenge his mother, Eliott wants to take down his father, Imane wants to avenge her father, Daphné wants to steal jewels, Alex and Emma are bored, Alexia’s a good friend (and also bored lol), they’re trying to stop horrible people from doing horrible things, their trajectories are layered and complex and if you tell me that can all be boiled down to ‘they’re gay’ I kind of wonder if you’ve paid attention to what you’ve read at all.
5) All that said, a majority of my characters being LGBT does have a symbolic point. It’s an opposition to the world of the Shadow, which is deeply sexist, heteronormative, homophobic, and macho. It represents how questioning your sexuality can be deeply liberating and often put you at odds with the general structures of power and oppression in society and lead you to question a lot more and find people who want to fight with you. Being LGBT can (but not always) make you more politically conscious and that’s a beautiful thing that deserves to be celebrated. And in general, being a minority makes you more aware of inequality because it’s simply your daily life. So it makes perfect sense that most of these characters who fight against symbols of horrible systemic oppression would be marginalized in some way or other. Straight/cis/white/rich/abled/etc people simply have less reasons to question the status quo. I have sat through so many action movies where all-straight heroes save the day ; I’m sure you can sit through the opposite for once. If you can’t, maybe it’s a failure of empathy or imagination on your part.
6) Imagine growing up and never seeing, around you or on TV or in books or movies, someone who shares your sexuality. Or if you ever see somebody like you, they will be a joke, a punchline, deluded, instable, doomed, or worse, a predator. Imagine the sort of damage that does. Imagine that when you finally find some correct representation, you have to make do with crumbs for years. Imagine it gets slowly better, but it’s still overwhelmingly tragic, or incorrect, or stereotypes, or only told after the story is over, or you’re always the best friend, always the minority, the point of interest there to educate, always there to struggle, never the epic breathtaking romance, never centered, never allowed community and to see yourself as the norm. In the best of cases, your identity is more or less ignored. In the rare cases where you find good representation, shows get cancelled prematurely, or your faves never get as much screen time as the straight ones, or storylines get botched because somehow writers think showing queer characters happy has no value. Imagine then you decide to take matters in your own hands and write the sort of queer utopia that makes you truly happy - the one where you’re surrounded with people like you and you don’t have to constantly feel isolated and otherized and you’re badass and don’t have to take any shit and your love story is the epic one that gets centered and you have friends who understand and share your experience. And then imagine someone, instead of taking a deep breath and going back to like, 99% of all media ever made, randomly comes to you and tells you they feel ‘betrayed’ because in this one paltry little fic you wrote, their mainstream experience is not centered like usual. Tell me, how would that feel ?
Again, I don’t bear you any ill will, but your message comes across as ignorant and very entitled. I am open to feedback and criticism but writing a story full of LGBT people is one thing I will never feel sorry for. There are a shit ton of fics out of there where those characters are straight, not to mention canon. If you feel ‘betrayed’ by the amount of queer characters in my fic, then I’d say you have some biases you need to examine. It reminds me of all the times I’ve heard people say that they ‘like gay people but only if they’re not too in your face’ (lol that was my sister, so fun) - this implication that queer people should know their place, never show their difference too openly, accept being a minority in all spaces, need to ‘deserve’ their spot, center straight people’s needs, etc etc...is deeply harmful and toxic.
If you can’t understand all this, then my writing is probably not for you.
more penny for ur thoughts on why the rothfuss books r bad (since I've heard that it's like. ~a fantasy classic~)
sure! disclaimer that I've only read the first one, many years ago, and a lot of what I'm writing here is stuff I vaguely remember and stuff from this podcast I've started listening to here. my takeaway was that it was very bland and trite and self-important with a lot of pretentious, meaningless language that isn't actually saying anything. I don't remember it eliciting any emotional response from me at all (except one scene where it's implied the mc was assaulted as a child, which was upsetting, but not explored further or clarified)
rothfuss has described his story as unique in fantasy and 'doing something that had never been done before', but the setting was very generic fantasy, the naming part of the magic system was heavily inspired by le guin's earthsea series, and the only two characters I remember are the Very Cool and Talented Tortured Red-haired protag (who has lots of sex because he's so cool and good at things, who's also a huge asshole) with the tragic backstory, and his super hot girlfriend. who is also a loan shark but I think that's it for her? character development, if it existed at all, was completely forgettable. I distinctly remember my older brother gushing about it to me and going 'haha yeah he's so poor" and I was sitting there like yeah...poor...that's a character trait I could assign him since he doesn't have many other ones besides 'cool' and 'talented'. there are no messages and certainly no themes I found worth remembering
lots of people, including several people I know irl, really love name of the wind and I'm sure it's a pleasant enough read as long as you don't think too hard or expect too much and enjoy a self-indulgent oc. there's not much of an overarching plot. basically this kid was a musical genius in this troupe that was also his family, and then loses his family then lives in the woods for a while then goes to the city and has a bad time and then goes to magic school? he playes the lute a lot. a lot of it seems based on dnd or rpg plots tbh. but it was very underwhelming for me and I would have forgotten about it entirely if I hadn't started listening to a podcast criticizing it (which is my SHIT)
side note, the mc is implied to be from a culture similar to the Rromani. his entire family is slaughtered and he's like, supernaturally good at playing music. it's not brought up again iirc in the first book after the event itself but just know that if you're going to read it because...wow
finally, prothfuss also has a huge problem with misogyny and has a record of acting like he thinks he's superior to fans and other, earlier fantasy writers. in this absolutely wild post of his, which was written after name of the wild, he compares the hobbit movie adaptation to like, a theoretical 'not like other girls' geek girl you would have a crush on in high school becoming a sex worker? it's like. extremely objectifying and degrading and full of the geek guy victim complex and hatred for swers and he hasn't apologized or addressed it at all afaik outside of defending his post to commenters that criticized him. so I'm not interested in reading anything by him except to make fun. and it's weird that he apparently talked about how overhyped toklein was when he was apparently really into the hobbit in hs? idk he's a very weird guy and he represents a lot of what I hate about male fantasy writers. and white tbh, iirc every other character besides the mc is vaguely northern european and the mc's ethnicity/culture is only used in the book for flavor or to sort of exotify him
tl;dr: overhyped, bland, extremely trite fantasy setting with no real plot, written by a shitty dude who thinks he's better than everyone including his own fans and tolkein. there are no coherent or worthwhile themes and very little even slightly interesting with the world, the plot, or the characters
I'd say don't waste your time but some people do enjoy it so if you're still ineterested maybe give it 10 pages? you should be able to get the style of the story in that amount of time. this is not a fantasy classic by any margin and it's lucky that it's still popular this far after its release.
I'm sadly out of the loop for fantasy these days but if you're okay with a young adult audience, I cannot reccomend ursule k le guin's earthsea series highly enough
also the podcast has a very bizarre and out of place homophobic joke very early on in ep1 but for the most part the hosts are left-leaning and respectful. only listened to ep1 tho
“I’ve seen you before”
Oikawa x fem!reader
Sum: Taking a deep breath, letting down your guard, getting out of your comfort zone. Opening the wall you built around your heart a long time ago.
You let Oikawa Tooru in.
But was it a mistake?
Warnings: swearing because I have no r e s t r a i n t. Insecurity, bullying. Oikawa being a dumbass. Angst and fluff. Small spoiler at the end.
Word count: A lot, it’s....it’s long. My stupid tablet doesn't have word count capabilities
A/n: this is based on a dream I had. How dare the dream gods give me oikawa and not my husbando(s) tendou(kirishima) 😩 and I write to get scenarios out of my head before they drive me insane
Well at least he's pretty
ok I 💫may💫 have fallen a little while writing this
It had been a long weekend of practice and homework for Oikawa. So what better way to zoneout and relax before bed on Sunday night then scroll through his instagram feed.
He'd been scrolling through random sunset photos when he suddenly saw your face in the 'suggested for you' section. Your picture was of you with what he assumed was your cat perched on your shoulder. It was cute. You were cute.
And you did look familiar. Yes, he has seen you before. He's seen you at school. You're always by yourself, reading a book or on your phone sitting on a bench by the front gates.
He tapped on your photo. He started looking through your posts. Landscapes, food, your cute cat, flowers, sunsets, your family. Is what you mostly posted.
Then he came across the rare selfie.
He was wrong. You weren't just cute.
You were breathtakingly beautiful.
How had he not seen that at school?
You were looking off to the side, a small shy smile on your lips. Sunlight and cherry blossom petals in your wild wind blown hair.
He saw that you were online.
He wanted to talk to you and he didn't have the patience to wait until tomorrow at school.
Hey I've seen you before. You go to Aoba Johsai right?
A message popped up on your phone. One from Aoba Johsai's resident pretty boy and captain of the volleyball club. Oikawa Tooru. What the fuck? You weren't one of his pathetic fan girls that fawned all over him. You never cared for the drama that followed the popular crowd. And in all honestly he kind of repulsed you because of the way he let his ego be stroked. You saw him as a pompous ass. You've never shown any kind of interest in the setter. So why was he messaging you of all people? But curiosity got the better of you and you wrote back. Not like he's gonna talk to you at school anyway. He's popular and you're a loner. Two different worlds.
You know that sounds creepy right? But yes.
I'm just trying to be friendly 😔
I've seen that you sit mostly by yourself and thought you could use a friend 😁
You snorted. Maybe he wasn't as bad as you thought. Still, you didn't want to be too friendly towards him.
I don't care for hs drama but thanks for your chivalry ig 🙄
At this moment your college aged sister begged you to help with one of her cosmetology classes that's due tomorrow. Eyelash extensions. You don't wear makeup but she's your sister and she's giving you puppy dog eyes. You sighed, "Fine." Forgetting to exit out of your messages, you set your phone down, ready to be put through hell.
"Thanks sis! Okay I just need you to lay down and relax." While she got to work the messages on your phone went unnoticed by you.
I'm sorry I didn't mean it like that, promise 😅
I'm REALLY sorry!
It's rude to leave people on read yk
Oikawa was panicking. He didn't mean to piss you off...and now he might have lost his chance to be your friend...or more maybe?
Trying to face time couldn't hurt right?
It just rang. And rang. And rang.
You didn't pick up.
Please. Y/n I'm truly sorry. Sometimes my mouth gets the better of me and I don't think about what I say. I just meant I'd like to be your friend. If you'd let me?
"All finished, babe." Your sister said. "You're looking gorgeous! If I do say so myself." She took a quick after picture for her class.
You grimaced. You never thought of yourself as pretty let alone gorgeous. "Thanks, I guess. Not one to toot your own horn, huh?"
She just rolled her eyes. " Your phone has been pinging like crazy by the way." Wiggling her eyebrows, "Talking to a boy? My baby sis, all grown up."
"W-what?" You stuttered, picking up your phone. 8 messages and 1 face time call. All from the setter captain. It must be your imagination because in the last message he sounded...flustered? You didn't notice the soft smile that graced your lips. But your annoying sister did.
"Oikawa. Isn't he some volleyball big shot at your school? Y/n, is that a smile I see?" She grinned from over your shoulder, seeing the messages.
"I-. Yes. He is." Furrowing your brows. Denying the truth, "And no, I am not smiling."
"Mmhm. Sooo you going to have a new 'friend' or what."
Your self consciencesness got the better of you. "Why would he want to be my friend? He's him and I'm...me." You bit your lip.
"You idiot. You really don't give yourself enough credit. Your smart, have a kind heart and you are beautiful. You just don't let yourself see it. Let someone in." She whispered in your ear giving you a hug.
You sighed. You believed that your sister believed in what she was saying...but years of middle school bullying ingrained into your heart and mind don't disappear overnight. "I'm tired. I'm gonna go to bed. 'Night sis."
"Good night y/n."
Getting ready for bed you looked in the mirror. You had a tiny smile, your sister was right, the lashes did look great.
It was late but right before you drifted off to sleep you sent Oikawa a message.
Sorry. I'm not mad, I was helping my sister with something...
Taking a deep breath, letting down your guard, getting out of your comfort zone.
Opening the wall you built around your heart a long time ago.
You let Oikawa Tooru in.
...I wouldn't mind having a friend
The next day
He woke up to two new messages from you. He had tried staying up, waiting for a reply back but he must have fallen asleep. His phone still in his hand.
Sorry. I'm not mad, I was helping my sister with something...
...I wouldn't mind having a friend.
A wide sleepy smile came across his face. Just about the time he was going to dm you his phone died. Where's my damn charger? He started rifling through everything, turning his room upside down. The last place he had it was...the locker room.
"Dammit!" He would just have to see you at school. He quickly got ready to go meet Iwa-chan and walk to school.
You weren't necessarily disappointed that Oikawa hadn't replied yet. Even though you had lowered your walls, you set the bar pretty low on expectations. Especially on a friendship with him. But that didn't stop you from being a little excited to see him. You were sitting in your favorite spot at school, reading. Same thing you did every day. It was on a small stone bench in the shade of a cherry tree near the entrance. Abruptly you heard a chorus of squealing. You've learned throughout high school this meant Oikawa had stepped on campus, Iwaizumi reluctantly in tow.
You smiled and waved.
He didn't see. But you didn't know that.
You thought he was ignoring you. Your smile faded. Last night must have been some prank. It wouldn't have been the first time someone decided it would be funny to play with you like a toy. You never should have listened to your sister and let your guard down.
Tears started to prick your eyes. You shut them tightly, willing them to not fall.
You were not going to cry over Oikawa fucking Tooru.
You grabbed you bag and headed to your classroom.
He had seen you get off the bench and walk towards the building. He tried making his way to you but there was just too many girls blocking him. Letting out a frustrated breath he waved his hand and yelled, "Y/l/n-chan!"
You didn't hear him.
Upset he couldn't get to you he said the only thing he could think of to get all these girls to back off for once. "I have a girlfriend, so could you please respect that." He didn't see the crazy girls make a connection between what he said about having a girlfriend and yelling your name.
He didn't realize he just put a target on your back.
You were spinning the dial to your locker getting your lunch when you were shoved against it. You turned around and was met with several angry looking girls. Eyes darting between them. Your fight or flight instincts kicking in.
But nobody ever mentions the third option, which is what happened.
"This is her?" Some girl sneered.
What were they talking about? You'd never done anything to these girls. You'd always kept to yourself, ensuring a situation like this wouldn't happen.
"She's not even pretty." Said another taking a sip from her juice carton.
"I bet it's just some joke. He wouldn't be with some fat worthless nobody." The girl who seemed to be the leader said as she pushed you to the ground.
Ignoring the tears starting to run down your cheeks and swallowing the lump forming in your throat, "What are you talking about?"
"Wow, Oikawa has himself a stupid girlfriend." said the leader.
"G-girlfriend?" Ok. Now you really had no clue what the fuck they were talking about.
"Stay the hell away from him. He's mine." With that she dumped the remains of the other girls juice carton on you and they walked away laughing.
Holditin.Holditin.Holditin. You chanted inside your head until you made it to the bathroom where you could cry without being bothered. You had stayed off the radar for years and now you were in the middle of it. You let out a sob, sliding to the floor. You felt like you were right back in middle school. Useless. Fat. Ugly. You brought your knees to your chest. Unloveable. Unwanted. Not worth anybody’s time. That’s why you shut everyone out when you became a first year at Seijoh. You didn’t want a repeat of middle school.
But it ended up happening anyway.
So you cried. You cried until you had no more tears. You let it all out until you didn’t care anymore. You had no problem in obeying the threat staying away from the bastard. She could have him. You stood and splashed water on your face trying to ease the puffiness around your eyes. Sighing you realized you'd probably have to stay after school until you looked like you hadn't spent your entire lunch break crying or your sister would ask questions. The now pink stained shirt you could explain away easily. The red and puffy eyes you could not. And you didn't want to deal with that on top of everything else.
Oikawa had looked for you at lunch but he couldn't find you. He did however hear some girls laughing and chatting about messing with ‘Oikawa’s girlfriend’. How could they mess with someone he made up? He turned to his best friend to ask. “Iwa-chan do you know what those girls were talking about?” he whispered so no one would hear, “How could they have messed with my ‘girlfriend’ when I made her up?”
“Idiot. Remember this morning when you called Y/l/n’s name and then immediately after said you had a girlfriend? And don't call me Iwa-chan, Shittykawa.” He rolled his eyes.
He blanched. He hadn’t realized what he'd done. Or apparently how psycho those girls are. He was so focused on you he didn't even whine about Iwaizumi’s regular insults. He wanted to find you and see if you were okay. To apologize for putting you in that situation. Standing abruptly making his chair screech, “I got to go find her--” The bell signaled lunch was over. Fuck. Maybe she’ll be on that bench after school. I’ve seen her there after practice sometimes.
And by some miracle you were there, reading your book. Oikawa took a minute to look at you before he approached. As in your picture your hair was wild but not unkept, it was hiding your eyes. Your lips were slightly pursed while you were reading and your leg was bouncing contentedly.
You were beautiful.
You looked okay.
Until he got closer and finally saw your eyes. You had obviously been crying. By the looks of it a lot. He also saw you had a huge pink stain on your shirt. What had happened?
You had heard someone approach but decided it was best to ignore them.
“Are you okay Y/l/n-chan?” Oikawa spoke softly.
You were so not in the mood for this. For him. Your hands tightened around your book, flicking your eyes up at him and then back down, “Don’t.”
It was only a second but he saw the hurt in your eyes and it was his fault it was there, “I wanted to-” He tried to say but you didn’t let him finish.
Your voice was raw with emotions you didn’t want to feel for him. “WHAT?! You what? Wanted to play with my feelings some more? I bet you had a good laugh last night saying all that shit. And then completely ignoring me this morning when I waved. Making me feel like I could actually have a friend for once?” Your voice got louder and he flinched at your next words. “That someone would even want to be my friend? I fucking knew I shouldn't have but I let you in anyway.” You let out a dark broken laugh and said much quieter, “Even after what happened last time.” Coldly, “Don’t you have a harem to get back to? Just...just leave me alone Oikawa.”
His mouth dropped in shock. He hadn’t seen you wave. What did you mean by last time? He was heartbroken that someone had made you feel this horrible about yourself and he had reminded you of it. He didn’t want to leave you alone, he had to make you understand you were special. He laid his hand on your book trying to make you pay attention. He said the only thing he thought would make you listen. “Tooru.”
You stiffened, nobody calls him by his first name. You've never even heard his best friend call him Tooru. Your voice barely above a whisper, heart stuttering, “What did you say?”
“Tooru. You can call me Tooru. I-I was happy this morning when I woke up when I saw your messages. But my phone died before I could say anything.” He cleared his throat, “ I fell asleep waiting. I was going to talk to you but then that stupid crowd of girls came. Y/l/n I swear I didn’t see you wave! I tried calling for you but you must not have heard me," he frowned, "and I was frustrated so to get them to back off I said I had a girlfriend. I tried looking for you during lunch period but I couldn't find you. Then I heard what those girls did. I’m sorry I put that target on you. I was going to try looking for you again but then the bell rang. This spot after school was my last hope. Well for now anyway, until I got my phone charged.” He rushed out, praying you would forgive him.
“That’s what they were talking about...”
“What were they saying? If you don’t mind talking about it.” Gingerly he laid his hand on yours, holding it.
During his speech you had unconsciously torn your walls down yet again. You heard the sincerity in his voice and saw the concern in his eyes. This was real. He did care. Fuck. Somewhere between last night and this morning you had developed feelings, you just hadn't wanted to believe you weren't immune to his charms. Why did it have to be him. You swallowed, “They basically said I was worthless and wasn’t pretty enough for you. They also shoved me against my locker and onto the floor.” Taking a deep breath you revealed the most humiliating part of the whole thing, “Their leader dumped juice on me.” You looked away not wanting him to see the tears starting to run down your cheeks and you didn't want to see the pity you were sure to receive in his eyes.
“Hey.” He gently turned your face with a palm on each cheek. Wiping your tears away with his thumbs. “You are not worthless. And those girls are just jealous because your the most beautiful girl at Seijoh. I’m sorry they said and did those things to you. It was my fault and I want to make it up to you if you’ll let me.”
You searched his face, surely he was lying to make you feel better? But you only found the truth in his warm brown eyes. Oikawa may be an ass but he does not lie. “Okay...Tooru.”
His heart fluttered when you spoke his name. Little did he know that yours did too when he asked you to call him that.
“Come on, lets go.” He smiled pulling you up. “I got something you can change into so you don’t have to wear that home.” He pointed to your ruined shirt.
You and him walked over to the gym. He had never let your hand go from pulling you up and you didn’t mind. You halted at the entry way dropping his hand. He was going to lead you in but, “Tooru, I can't. Only players and managers can go in the gym during practice time.”
He snorted, “Iwa-chan made that rule so the uh” he coughed, “students wouldn't bother us.” Taking your hand he pulled you in after him.
Your face was blushing like mad from the looks you were getting from his teammates. Nobody questioned their captain though.
“Please wait here while I change and grab you something.” He left you at the bleachers.
Iwaizumi walked over to where you were sitting. Before he could say anything you spoke. “I’m sorry. I know I’m not allowed in here but he drug me in and said he was going to get me something to change into." You plucked at your still sticky shirt. "I-I'll leave when Tooru comes back.” You found it easy for Tooru's name to roll of your tongue.
The usually intimidating looking ace smirked and raised an eyebrow, “Tooru, huh? We don't let students in during practice because they follow Oikawa in. He brought you in here. So you can stay if you want.”
You let out a surprised, “Oh.”
“You know he couldn't stop talking about you on the way to school this morning? About how he saw this and I quote ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ photo of you on instagram. He kept talking about your hair with cherry blossom petals in it and your shy smile.”
Your face was on fire. You knew the exact photo he was talking about. How far back did he scroll, it was buried under a ton of pictures.
“He was also worried about you the rest of the day after lunch. He was pretty upset, he even threatened to cancel practice if he didn’t find you on your bench.”
“Iwa-channnn!” Oikawa whined. “Friends keep secrets.” He didn’t look mad but his face was a light shade of pink. Was he...embarrassed?
“Ew. I’m not your friend Shittykawa.” Iwaizumi replied walking away. You laughed quietly, his tone said otherwise.
Except it wasn't just any shirt, it was his jersey. “I can’t wear this! Only couples do that!”
“You're right! You're my best friend!” Tooru called back.
He was met with a middle finger and a "Shut it, Tooru."
“Anyways here. You can change in the girls locker room over there.” He handed you one of his shirts and pointed to the room.
He shrugged his shoulders. “Well I did inadvertently call you my girlfriend. You wouldn't want to make me a liar now would you Y/l/n-chan?” He pouted.
“N-no, but I'm not your girlfriend?” You remembered the things Iwaizumi told you, your face deepening to a scarlet shade.
He took a step closer. You could smell his scent. He smelled like oranges, cloves and...clean sweat? Of course he could make sweat smell intoxicating. It was making your brain hazy. You almost missed what he said. “Do you? Want to be I mean.” The look he was giving you was so genuine and...sweet.
This was too much too fast, but your mouth and heart didn't care apparently what you thought. “I-.” You breathed. “Yes.”
His face lit up, taking one of your hands into his. “We’ll talk more after practice, yeah?”
All you could do is nod. Squeezing your hand as he left to go start practice you went to go change your shirt. It was long on you. Almost falling to the same spot your uniform skirt stopped. You rolled it up a little and tucked it in. That was better.
After changing you returned to your spot on the bleachers. You'd been to games before. It was practically an unsaid rule that all students were required to go. But you really never paid attention, usually doing anything but watching to kill time.
This time you paid attention. Tooru was remarkable. You could see why he was captain and how he got the nickname 'the great king'. You were so entrapped by the teams flow you didn't notice the hours fly by.
Tooru came back over to you, asking somewhat nervously, "So what did you think?" He didn't know why it felt so important to get praise from you. He just knew he wanted you to be proud of him.
Your smile was open and you had stars in your eyes, "You were amazing!" Dipping your toe at being flirty, you winked, "l'll have to pay better attention at the next game."
His heart leapt. You said he was amazing. "Thank you, that means so much coming from you." The second part finally clicked, "Hey wait! What do you mean you'll have to pay better attention at the next game?" He teased.
Sheepishly, "I never uh...actively watched a game before."
"That hurts Y/l/n-chan. Just you wait until the next game." He smiled, "So can I walk you home? It's late and you shouldn't walk by yourself."
"Sure. I don't live far though." You returned his smile.
After he went and changed out of his practice clothes he outstretched his hand for you to take, interlacing your fingers with his. When you got to the gates he asked which way. You pulled him to the left. You curious about earlier.
"So about what Iwaizumi said..." You left the question hanging in the air.
"He was telling the truth." He said it so simply, like he just didn't turn your world upside-down.
"Oh." Was all you could manage with all the butterflies in your stomach. Before you knew it you were in front of your house. "This is me." You turned to face him.
"Really? Iwa-chan and I live one street over."
"You're joking." He had to be.
"Nope, cross my heart." More seriously "Do you want to walk to school with us maybe?"
"I'd like that, Tooru." Shyly you peeked up at him through your lashes.
"Hey, I noticed before." He traced a thumb over your cheekbone, brushing against your fluttering eyelashes. "Your eyes look different some how?"
You let out a small chuckle, "Eye lash extensions. That's what I was helping my sister with last night. She's in a cosmetology class."
He leaned down, getting very close. "They suit you Y/l/n-chan."
Clearing your throat. "Um, thanks." A beat later, "Call me Y/n."
His eyes softened. "Can I kiss you, Y/n?"
Your breath caught. "Y-yes."
He closed the distance between the two of you. Your eyes shutting and heart thumping wildly with anticipation.
You did not expect the feather light touch of his lips ghosting over yours. You did not expect such a tender kiss from the popular setter captain.
At first your lips only brushed against each others. Testing. Until you couldn't stand it any longer. He had lit a fire inside. You leaned in closer, needing more. Pressing your lips against his and moving one hand onto the back of his neck and the other onto his shoulder pulling him closer. He took this queue to hold your waist. As you kissed time stood still. You couldn't tell if the fire inside was tearing you apart or if he was holding you together. There was just you and him, the world had long ago faded away.
He was surprised you took control of the kiss but was glad you did. He didn't want to push you after everything you'd been through. And honestly he could barely think straight. Could barely breathe. Your lips were so soft and they tasted like honey. He didn't want it to end, he would have happily drowned surrounded by air if it meant he could kiss you.
But you pulled away breathless and eyes bright. You leaned into the comfort of his arms.
That was your first kiss.
"I'll be waiting here tomorrow Y/n." He pressed his lips to the crown of your head.
"Alright." You looked up at him. "Message me when you get home 'kay?"
"Will do, my queen." The name sent tingles down your spine. Once again putting his lips to yours. "Good night."
"'Night Tooru." You slipped out of his embrace and before you made your way inside, you gave him one last wave goodbye. Dazed you shut the door behind you with your back and brought your fingers to your smiling lips.
"'Friends' huh? Lot different in my day." Your sister said from the couch, her eyes catching on his jersey.
Still grinning like a fool, "Shut up." You headed upstairs to start on your homework. About ten minutes later you received a text. Smiling you opened it.
Made it home safe and sound. And now I'm going to sleep so I can dream of you 😘
Who knew 'the great king' was such a goofball.
Sweet dreams then, goofball
They will be because you'll be in them ❤
Rude, my queen, rude
Good night Tooru ❤
But that’s why you like me
Rolling your eyes, you grinned.
The next morning he was right where he said he would be. Waiting for you. Iwaizumi with him of course. “Morning Iwaizumi.”
“Good morning Y/l/n.” Iwaizumi greeted.
You said taking your boyfriends hand. “Morning Tooru.” You were feeling confident this morning so you tugged him down a little so you could reach his face, pecking him on the lips.
His eyes widened. He definitely didn't expect that, not that he was complaining. “G-good morning Y/n.” A rosy hue dusting his cheeks.
You giggled at his reaction.
“I guess the right girl turns you into a flustered mess.” Iwaizumi joked.
"I make you a flustered mess huh? I wouldn’t mind taking advantage of that.” You nudged him playfully as you all started to make your way to school.
“No fair. I won’t allow you and Iwa ganging up on me!” He tilted his head towards your ear, whispering for only you to hear. “Besides, my queen, I give as good as I get.”
You choked. And he didn't miss the red on your face. Oh boy. If he kept up with that name you were going to become a puddle. Clearing your throat awkwardly, “Ah look, we’re here!”
Unfortunately you were met with his swarm of ‘fans’. At the head of it all were the bitches that made you feel like shit. Tooru felt you hesitate and gave your hand a reassuring squeeze and looked at you with such adoration in his eyes. That was all you needed. You were going to show these girls you weren’t afraid of them. You hoped he wouldn't mind your sudden boldness.
Turning towards him and standing on your tippy toes you grabbed the back of his neck and crashed your lips against his. This kiss was much deeper than the one you shared last night. You'd even go so far to say passionate. Last night was tentative, figuring each other out. This kiss you poured in all your feelings, all of your heart and soul. Pulling away slightly, resting your forehead against his and playing with the hair near where your hand rested on his neck, “Um, sorry if that was too much.”
You turned to face the mostly shocked crowd. The only angry one was the leader girl. Remembering what she said yesterday, “I’m his.” He wasn’t some possession to own. But you were free to give your heart to him, if he wanted it. Really you didn’t expect him to say anything during this exchange but he did.
God, you were perfect he thought. With a stupid smile on his face, “N-no don’t be sorry. Not at all.”
It made your heart catch in your throat.
“And I’m hers.” The girls mouth dropped open. “Come on. Let’s go, my queen.” he said pressing his lips to your knuckles, sending a shiver up your back.
“Tooru!” You squeaked. That damn pet name. You knew no matter how many times he said it, it would still make you weak in the knees and make your heart leap. And he fucking knew it. You walked hand in hand to your spot under the cherry tree. “Don’t call me that when a bunch of people are around...”
“Why not? It’s true. And you like it.” He gave you a cheeky look. “Besides that passionate kiss you gave me was pretty public.”
A blush creeping up your neck, “I-shut up.”
Chuckling he brought you into a hug, “Whatever you wish, my queen.”
As the months passed you and Tooru grew closer together and his ‘fan club’ realized you weren't going anywhere. Sure some still tried to bring you down but over the months you had gained some confidence in yourself. You weren't as insecure but when you fell Tooru was there to help you pick yourself back up. You had also become good friends with the volleyball guys, especially Iwa. You had a special bond over teasing your boyfriend. Even though you both teased him relentlessly he was happy two of his favorite people got along so well. In fact he had asked if you had wanted to officially become a manager. You practically were now anyway he said so why not make it official. Of course you agreed.
It was only your third game as a manager when they lost to Karasuno. You knew how bad he wanted to go to nationals. It was his dream and this was his last chance. He was sitting on the floor outside the gym, head hung low in devastation. You knew words were not what he wanted to hear right now. He just needed you to be there for him. You sat down next to him, waiting. He gently pulled you onto his lap, burying his head in the crook of your shoulder. Holding you closely. He was silent but you felt his warm tears fall on your skin. You held him and hummed a slow melody quietly in his ear. After awhile he kissed your temple.
“Thank you.” He whispered. He was ready talk.
“I’m here for you, always. You’re my king, win or lose. And I am so so proud of you.” A small smile lifted one side of his mouth.
You were going to tell him something important today. No matter what happened. Maybe he needed to hear it especially because of what happened. You took a deep breath and kissed his forehead briefly. One hand on his cheek and looking into his still tear stained eyes.
“I know the world has greater things than nationals waiting for you. You may not feel like it now but believe me when I say it. You are so much more than what you think you are and....and that’s why I love you, Tooru.”
He searched your face looking for pity or disappointment but all he found was love. For weeks those three words had been just under the surface, waiting to be spoken into existence, always on the tip of his tongue at the end of every conversation with you or even when he would see you do small simple things. Hearing the love in your voice and the feeling of you mend his shattered heart about nationals they finally broke free.
“I love you too, Y/n.”
He might have been your first kiss but you were his first love and he wanted you to be his last.
He gently ran his thumb against your bottom lip.
And he kissed you with everything he had, like it would be his last.
There was many more to come...
Reflection of The Soul (pt4)
Luke rubbed his eyes, half expecting Danny to be asleep somewhere. He figured he found some other spot to sleep, starting his morning routine. It slowly started to dawn on him that Danny was no longer in his home. He couldn't have escaped on his own. He couldn't even open a closed door. He wasn't robbed with his electronics still around. Luke started to look at things closely, needing to know if police needed to get involved.
“My bag… I didn't put it there when I came home. And this window is usually locked… He couldn't have…”
But why would he escape? Didn't all cats want a nice warm place to sleep and enough food to stuff them full? Perhaps Danny preferred the wild life.
Luke spent most of his day at work trying to figure out Danny’s motives while working on a common case on the side.
Vyn yawned, deciding to stop by and see if Luke would come to look for him. He rounded the corner, seeing Luke thinking near the bushes.
“How interesting for us to meet again.” he smiled, gaining Luke’s attention.
“You're the guy from last time!”
Vyn nodded, coming to a stop beside him.
“Did you ever find your precious Danny?”
“Yes but he managed to flee my home somehow. All day I've come up with theories as to why he never stays. One that seems the most realistic is that all he knows is the wild life and does not like the idea of being tied to a home.” Luke spoke, squatting down. “Look, there's a small path here. I'm sure he's got a little home in there somewhere.”
“Or maybe he's a busy cat.” smiled Vyn.
Luke snorted, straightening up.
“You make it sound like cats have a developed society like humans and work jobs.” laughed Luke.
“Who knows? But I think you shouldn't overthink it. Cats do as they please, remember? I'm sure he’ll come back to you when he's ready.”
Luke crossed his arms, wondering how he could sound so confident about a cat he barely knew.
“You really act like you know Danny. I'd appreciate it if you didn't.”
Vyn cleared his throat as he looked away. If only he knew.
“I've been curious… What kind of antique work do you do?” asked Vyn, showing him the business card he received from before. “Is it specific like figuring out history or just crunching values?”
“Anything really, but I don't want to be too vocal about it. Not to toot my own horn but I'm pretty good at what I do.” Luke grinned, puffing his chest a bit.
Vyn nodded, giving him a look over. There was clearly more to him than just an antique collector and appraiser. Most people would assume the cat ran off but he thinks there's something more to it.
“Say, you don't mind sparing a bit of time for me? There's something I'd like to talk about regarding your business.”
“Alright. There's a coffee place near here. You don't mind walking a bit?”
Vyn assured him it was fine, tailoring his questions and responses to be subtle. They sat down with coffee, Vyn taking his time in asking.
“So my mother had left me a few things after her death and one I found was a complete set of the original publications of Sherlock Holmes. Have you read them before?”
“I have. Quite a great read if you ask me. However, that isn't the point of the question is it?”
“I think it can wait. We have common ground here that can be traversed, no?”
Luke smiled and nodded, thinking of possible reasons for this topic. Was Vyn smarter than he let on? Did he know his store was just a front for his actual work? Vyn kept the conversation light, only dipping into a more in depth question a few times. Judging from his responses, Vyn concluded his suspicions to be true and the whole antique thing was a front.
“I must be keeping you, so I'll ask the question now. How much do you think the books are worth?”
“I could probably give a certain estimate if I could see their conditions.”
“I see. Perhaps I'll bring them over one day.” replied Vyn, the two getting up from their seats. “Expect a late night visit.”
Vyn had left before he could question what he thought he heard. A late night visit? From who? The monster in his closet?
Luke exhaled, finally arriving home. That Vyn guy was quite a talker. It was obvious he was trying to get something from him but would always take a step back.
It wasn't Danny, just another stray. Luke sighed, heading inside to give it food. Vyn was just messing with him because of how much he cared about Danny. The cat meowed, seemingly thanking him for the meal before leaving. He left the bowl out in case any other strays came by hungry.
Luke curled up on the couch, watching a film at night. He paused it, hearing scratching at his door. It was too light to be a knife. He cracked the door open slightly, a golden eye coming into view before a platinum paw.
Luke held back, knowing he'd scare him away if he touched him. Vyn walked in, heading straight for the coffee table. It was ice cream.
“Ah! Paws off.”
Vyn gave him kitty eyes. Luke caved, heading to the kitchen to give him a bit. Luke watched on warmly as Vyn licked at the cold treat.
“Hey, Danny. Do you like being called Danny?”
It wasn't a bad name but it could be better.
“What about Dawn? Or Sneaky? Maybe Air…”
Vyn searched for the sheets, wanting him to stop coming up with names.
“Huh? ‘Stop’? So Danny is fine then… Got it. Well, I met that weird guy again who claims to know you best. Though, I hate to say he was right about me getting a late night visitor. I don't think he's psychic, more like psycho.”
Vyn was further crushed by Luke as he went on and on about him. At this point he might as well leave and never come back.
“I know, I've done nothing but bash and complain, but it was nice to see someone else truly understand Sherlock Holmes. It's not everyday you meet an intellectual like that.” sighed Luke, unhappily eating his ice cream. “Maybe we could be friends if he wasn't so weird. You think he's weird too, right?”
This man was shameless. If he knew the truth he'd probably choke to death on his ice cream right now. He didn't say anything, pretending the ice cream was more interesting.
“Well, I doubt it matters. I don't think we’ll meet again. I really hope not. That guy is too perceptive… It was like he was testing me like some psychologist.”
Well, he technically was a licensed psychologist but never really spoke openly about it. He preferred the mundane life of an office worker. It allowed him to have a little fun without his coworkers knowing.
“Hey, did I tell you? I'm undercover right now. We- I’m working on something kinda big right now. Unfortunately it's progressing slowly. Actually, I probably shouldn't mention that…”
He was curious now. Vyn silently thought of ways to get Luke to warm up to him while Luke quietly continued to watch the film.
Luke snuggled into bed, Vyn occupying a spot near him. Considering tomorrow was the weekend, he could afford to stay the night. He'd admit, it was a little strange sleeping in the same bed with a stranger but remembering he was a feline made it somewhat better. He closed his eyes, finally falling asleep.
..A Creepy Campfire tale, for @speedyoperarascalparty ..
**Reader discretion advised: Story contains swearing, firearms, blood, character death, drowning and traumatic events.**
Combined Word count: 7041
Choices Characters/Book: The Royal Heir (Drake Walker, Maxwell Beaumont, MC Kate Walker etc.)
Author's note: In this creepy tale there are two possible endings and the reader gets to choose A or B. Links to each ending appear at the end of the main story. Because I'm evil I'm not giving hints as to what happens in either scenario.😱😳 Please let me know which ending you choose in the comments!
Writers: @speedyoperarascalparty @walkerswhiskeygirl @kat-tia801 @riseandshinelittleblossom @cordonianroyalty @katedrakeohd @texaskitten30 @burnsoslow @twinkleallnight @queenrileyrose @camillemontespan @cordonian-literature
Readers: @mom2000aggie @kingliam2019 @marshmallowsaremyfavorite @drakexwillow @liamxs-world @sirbeepsalot @fluffyfirewhiskey
It was a beautiful, late October day in Valtoria. The hardwoods were wearing their most glorious shades of orange, crimson and gold. Recent heavy rains had swollen mountain streams feeding into Lake Valtoria, causing it to test the limits of its shoreline. From a distance the cool water, majestic mountains, fiery trees and blue sky made the perfect postcard.
Bartholomey Jackson Beaumont pressed his face and hands to the window glass as the family limo traveled the winding road that bordered the lake. He was trying to catch a glimpse of his Uncle Drake's castle home, but so far he'd only seen trees, water and mountains.
"How much farther is it, Uncle Max?"
Maxwell Beaumont watched his four year old nephew with amusement. He had cast his tablet aside as soon as the view outside his window had gone from shadowy boring trees to bright, wide open mountain valley. This was Maxwell's favorite part of the journey too, as he anticipated getting out of the car after traveling for hours. Bartie was up on his knees, elbows on the edge of the door, absorbing all the grandeur of Lake Valtoria as it passed by his window.
Maxwell could imagine the child's heart brimming with excitement over stepping into such a wild and unknown place. His days were usually filled with etiquette lessons from his father and being read story books at bedtime by his mother. If it weren't for his Uncle Max taking him away to actually play every now and then, he'd never have any fun at all.
"We're almost there Little Buddy, only a few more kilometers."
Bartie sat back down in his seat wrinkling up his little face in a frown.
"I dunno what a kila- ..kilo- momatur is Uncle Max. I just wanna get there already," Bartie whined.
"Soon, Bartie. I promise," Maxwell chuckled.
Kate Walker entered the manor kitchen, followed closely by her two year old daughter Brooklyn. The toddler hugged her mother's leg as she stopped at the island to talk to the staff about Drake's lunch. Kate strokes her daughter's hair lovingly, giving her a gentle smile and a wink. Brooklyn scrunches up her face as she tries to wink back, closing both eyes with a giggle.
Kate opens the lid of the picnic hamper to check the contents, "These sandwiches and snacks look delicious. I almost wish I was going on the fishing trip with the guys."
Francis, the cook's helper, beams with pride over the compliment. "Don't worry, Your Grace. We have a hearty lunch prepared for you and the little ones too."
Brooklyn tugs at the hem of Kate's shirt and her mom stoops to pick her up, perching her on the corner of the island. As the toddler reaches for the picnic basket, Kate corrals her in her arms to keep her from toppling it onto the floor. "Oh, thank goodness. Because this little bean is growing like a weed."
Francis hands Brooklyn a dish of cut-up fruit, watching her eyes light up as she sticks her chubby fingers into the bowl and picks up a slice of banana.
Out in the main hall the skittering paws and barking of Charlie the corgi, followed by Drake's amused scolding, can be heard. Kate steals a strawberry out of Brooklyn's fruit bowl and pops it into her mouth, before carrying her daughter out into the hall. "Guess what, Beanie pie? I think our guests are here."
When the security staff open the doors to the limo, Bartie bounds out eagerly and looks up at the tall ancient structure of Valtorian Manor with awe. With its tall towers and castle-like stone facade it was so much different than the Mediterranean style estate at Ramsford that he was used to. Valtoria reminded him of the fantasy stories that his Momma read to him with knights, dragons, wizards and monsters. It even had a stone bridge over a rocky stream that reminded him of a moat and drawbridge. Bartie felt a slight shiver of fear mix with his excitement as a cool breeze from over the lake ruffled his hair. As the staff got their luggage out of the limousine's trunk, Maxwell walked up and placed his hands on Bartie's shoulders, making him jump.
"Isn't Valtoria awesome!? Can you believe your Aunt, Uncle and little princess cousin live here? This weekend is going to be so much fun."
Drake hefts the picnic hamper full of food and the cooler full of beer into the bed of his pickup truck. Maxwell watches him load up their fishing gear as well. Drake closes the tailgate, and then wipes his hands on his jeans. He turns to Maxwell with a satisfied smile,
"There Max, now we're all set. Do you want me to throw your backpack in the truck for you too?"
Maxwell grips the strap of his backpack tighter against his shoulder, shaking his head, "Nah, thanks anyway. I've got it."
Drake shrugs, "Uh, Ok. Suit yourself."
Nearby in the courtyard, Kate has Brooklyn in her arms, propped on her hip, while Bartie stands by her side. They watch Maxwell and Drake prepare for their fishing trip out on the lake. Bartie shifts from foot to foot anxiously, he was yearning to ask his Uncle Drake the question burning at the back of his throat. But his shyness was making him tongue tied.
Once Drake was finished checking his own backpack for his emergency essentials, he strode over to give both Kate and Brooklyn a goodbye kiss on the cheek. When he bent down to ruffle Bartie's hair, giving him a smile, the four year old finally found his voice. He knew it was now or never.
"Ca..can I go fishing too, Uncle Drake? I promise to do everything you say." He pleaded, tugging at Drake's sleeve.
Drake crouches down on the gravel, resting his hand gently on his nephew's cheek, he shakes his head, "I'm sorry Little Man, not this time. I don't have a life jacket small enough to fit you. And I know your Momma would never forgive me if I took you out on the lake without one."
Tears well up in Bartie's eyes, his mouth twisting down with disappointment, "But I don't need a life jacket. Momma and Uncle Max have been teaching me how to swim, I'm getting really really good at it."
He glances up at his Uncle Max as he walks over, "Right Uncle Max?! You said I was your little squid."
Max sighs, "Sorry Buddy, Drake's the boss here. He's right, it's not safe."
Bartie turns away and buries his face into Kate's leg, feeling ashamed of his crying but he couldn't help it, he'd had his heart set on going on his first fishing trip this weekend.
Drake stands up again, giving Kate a pleading look. She rests her hand on Bartie's head, petting his hair as she looks down and talks to him soothingly, "It's Ok, Bartie. We'll let Uncle Max and Drake get all fishy today. Tomorrow we can all go for a hike along the lake and explore, okay?"
Bartie sniffs, looking up hopefully between his Aunt and Uncle, "Can we? I..I'd really like that."
Drake smiles gratefully, nodding. "Of course we can. We'll make a day of it, take some pictures of the pretty leaves, and skip rocks on the water."
Maxwell breathes a sigh of relief and then turns back toward the truck. "Alright then, let's go fishing."
Out in the middle of the lake the air is still, the water smooth like glass. It's been an hour since the men cast their fishing lines, and for Maxwell an uneasiness was setting in.
"Are you sure there are fish in this lake?"
Drake looks up from the magazine he's reading, his last bite of sandwich in his hand. "Of course I'm sure. I oversaw the stocking of trout myself."
Maxwell looks down at the half empty can of low alcohol beer in his hand, resenting the lack of buzz he was feeling because of it. "I thought we would have gotten a nibble by now."
Drake shrugs, popping the last piece of his bread crust into his mouth. "You just have to be patient, Max. Sometimes they bite, sometimes they don't."
Maxwell shades his eyes with his hand and gazes off toward the Manor in the distance, it was so tiny and the shoreline seemed so far away. He tried not to imagine how deep and cold the water was beneath them, but it still gnawed at him anyway. He squeezed the backpack between his feet, its contents giving him a slight sense of reassurance.
Drake glanced down at Maxwell's backpack sitting in the belly of the boat. Since leaving the shore he's seen him take out a tube of sunscreen, a granola bar, his mobile phone to take pictures, and repack his sweater when he got too warm. Each time he set it back down there was a strange heavy thump against the wood, and so far it didn't seem to belong to any of the things he'd seen.
Drake shifted his ass on the boat seat, trying to combat the numbness he was feeling. The boat rocked slightly, causing ripples in the water, and for Maxwell to snap at him.
"Hey, man. Don't rock the boat."
Drake rolls his eyes, "Jeez, Max. Paranoid much?"
"Seriously, you don't find it creepy? The whole time we've been out on the lake I haven't heard or seen a bird, you'd think there would be some ducks or geese or something."
Drake takes a deep breath and looks around, squints up at the sky, and then looks over to the mountains and trees in the distance. He listens for anything other than the sound of the water lapping at the side of the boat.
"I suppose it is a little odd. Just yesterday there were lots of geese and ducks paddling along or flying and honking over the lake."
Maxwell lifts and bobs his fishing rod and line in the water. Looking down into the depths he's struck by how it goes from clear to pitch black so quickly. He scoffs and makes a joke, feeling uneasy as the words leave his mouth, "Maybe Gaga ate all the fish, and scared the birds away."
Drake chuckles, "Say, what now? Who or what is Gaga?"
Maxwell's eyes go wide and he looks at Drake with disbelief, "You mean you haven't heard the legend of Gargantua? The monster of Lake Valtoria?"
Drake shakes his head and opens the cooler to get another beer, "You can't be serious, Max. Not every big lake has a monster living in it."
"Trust me, Drake. My house sigil is a giant squid remember? I know my monster legends. How many years have you been stocking the lake, and have you ever caught any of the fish afterwards?"
"As a matter of fact, I caught a fish standing on the dock yesterday. So I know there are fish in the lake." Drake insists as he opens his beer and takes a long swallow, wiping his mouth on his sleeve.
"Ok, well what about the lack of birds?"
Drake sets his beer down with a sigh, scrubbing his forehead with his hands and then raking them back through his hair, "So, now you think some monster is yanking ducks down into the water from underneath?"
Maxwell shrugs, "You never know. Maybe Gaga has a taste for water fowl and fish?"
"Now you're just sounding crazy, Max."
Maxwell shifts forward in his seat, causing his pack to fall forward and make another thump, Drake looks at it again and frowns. Maxwell points an indignant, angry finger at Drake. "Don't you dare call me crazy!"
"You're the one talking about lake monsters, when there's probably some logical reason to explain everything."
Maxwell picks up his backpack again and hugs it in his lap, his hand finds the weighty item from the outside and shifts it carefully. Drake looks at him suspiciously, "Max?"
"What?" he asks, nervously.
"What's in your backpack?"
Maxwell shrugs, "You know, just the usual 'day out on the lake' sorta stuff."
Drake's eyes narrow, "Why don't I believe you?"
Maxwell hugs the backpack a little tighter to himself, he tries to avoid looking at Drake. Off in the near distance, behind Drake, there's an odd rippling splash on the surface of the lake. Maxwell gasps, trying to swallow the sudden fear constricting his throat.
"Why won't you believe me when I say there's something creepy about this lake?" Maxwell croaks out, pointing over Drake's shoulder.
Drake sighs, turning in his seat to see what Maxwell's pointing at. "I don't see anything."
"There..there was a ripple and a splash on the water. Like..like something big moved it."
When Drake turns back around Maxwell has his hand buried in the backpack, fishing for something. "Max, what are you doing?"
Maxwell's eyes are wide and he's scanning the surface of the lake for more movement. "Ssshh, Gaga will hear you."
Drake frowns with concern and then sits up straighter in the boat to look around again.
"It was probably just a big fish, Max," he says quietly. "Maybe we're finally going to catch something."
A breeze ripples the surface of the lake, and the boat tugs at its anchor line. Maxwell jumps when their fishing rods shift as well. He jerks his hand out of his bag and pulls out an antique pistol.
Drake braces his foot against the end of his fishing rod and puts his hands up and waves them back and forth frantically. He can't believe what he's seeing, "What the Fuck?! You brought a gun on a fishing trip?! Put..that...away."
Maxwell breathes rapidly as he searches the water, swinging the antique firearm from his home's armory back and forth. "It..it was Bertrand's idea. Remember his bachelor party all those years ago, when we met up with that bear, he insisted I take it with me."
He imitates his brother's voice as he quotes him, "No Beaumont will ever go out adventuring in the wilderness again without protection."
Drake ducks as Maxwell swings the gun back in his direction, "Seriously, Max! You know how I feel about guns. I've already been shot twice, and I'll be damned if I'll let you shoot me by accident while we're fishing."
Maxwell's hand shakes as he continues to look around nervously. Drake reaches forward with fear grinding at his stomach, he pleads with him quietly.."Max....just hand over the gun, okay? We'll pull up the anchor and just go back to shore. We don't have to fish anymore."
Nodding, Maxwell loosens his grip on the weapon as Drake wraps his hand around the barrel. Something splashes the water nearby, making Maxwell jump, causing them both to let go and drop the gun. It hits the bottom of the boat and fires. Drake screams out in pain as the bullet tears through the side of his rubber boot and lodges in the wood of the boat beside him. Water starts to trickle in, and warm blood starts to run down into his boot.
Drake yanks his boot off and pulls his foot up onto the seat and clamps his hands around his bleeding calf. "What the fuck?!" he screams, glaring at Maxwell.
Maxwell picks up the gun from the bottom of the boat and throws it overboard. "I..I'm so sorry Drake!"
Drake leans to the side, his hand shaking as he gets his pocket knife out of his back pocket. Maxwell panics and chops at Drake's wrist with his hand, causing him to drop it when Drake pries the blade free.
"What are you doing?!" Drake barks at him with surprise and reaches for his knife again, it's now wet from the lake water pooling in the bottom of the boat.
Maxwell folds his hands over his chest, feeling embarrassment flooding his face with heat, "Oh..oh my God, I thought you were going to stab me with it, or something."
Drake grumbles as he cuts open the bottom of his bloody pant leg below the knee with the blade, "There's still time. Now either get with hauling up that fucking anchor, or calling for help before we sink goddamnit!"
Maxwell trips over the drink cooler, and soggy picnic basket as he stands up, trying to pull the anchor rope up out of the water. It won't budge, and his efforts are now causing him to rock the boat side to side dangerously.
Drake curses to himself as he cuts a strip of denim and wraps it around his bleeding leg tightly. "Careful now, Max."
Both fishing rods teeter into the water and disappear. Drake keeps a close eye on the oars, praying they don't go next. Maxwell tries again to pull the anchor up by the rope but the nylon burns at his hands and he hisses in pain and then lets go. He stumbles back to where he was sitting and flops down heavily, wiping his sore palms on his thighs.
"I....can't. What the ..heck..did you..anchor...us to?"
Drake rinses his bloody hands in the lake, and then dries them on the sleeves of his denim shirt. "Ok then, I'll try the anchor and you try calling or texting for help."
He cuts strips from his denim sleeves and then wraps his hands for padding. Wincing in pain he swings his leg over to straddle his seat and then reaches for the anchor rope.
Maxwell holds up his phone trying to find bars of service, "You've gotta be kidding me! Oh, wait there's a blip. I'll try sending a text to see if I can get through. Who should I try?"
Drake grunts as the rope finally starts to come up out of the water, but it was a lot heavier than it should be. Sweat bloomed on his brow and stung at his eyes, he swiped his face against his shoulder, "Preston... is standing by..in case of emergencies."
"What's his number?"
Drake rhymes off his number and grits his teeth, pulling the wet rope inch by inch into the boat. The burn in his calf muscle is intense and he wonders what ancient dirty projectile that antique pistol was loaded with. He could see Maxwell frowning down at his phone.
"Well, did you get through?"
He shrugs, "I sent it, but don't know if it went anywhere."
Drake looks down into the water, wondering what his anchor could be tangled around to make it so heavy. He pauses to catch his breath, and feels the rope vibrate in his hands and then go still. It's almost as if something rubbed up against it and then moved on. His heart starts hammering in his chest and cold fear creeps into his gut. His throat goes dry as he takes a deep breath and drops the rope back into the water. He didn't want to see what was down there anymore. Maxwell was still trying to send panicked texts to anyone who could receive them.
"Fuck it," Drake mutters and uses his knife to cut the anchor free.
The nylon rope floats on the surface of the water for a few seconds and then disappears into the darkness as if it were yanked. Drake jumps back with surprise and then watches, holding his breath, not wanting to believe what he was seeing. Several feet down at the deepest point that was reached by sunlight, where the clearest water went dark, an even darker shape slowly sank beneath the boat and then disappeared.
Bartie woke up from his afternoon nap to the sound of Charlie scratching at the door. He, Kate and Brooklyn were curled up inside Brooklyn's play castle in her playroom. After lunch they had all come here to play, and later nestled inside the castle for storytelling and a nap. Kate and Brooklyn were still sound asleep. He crawled out of the nest of soft pillows and climbed down out of the castle. Charlie was sniffing at the bottom of the door and looking over at him expectantly, wiggling his furry behind.
Bartie whispered, "Hold on a second Charlie, I'll get it for you."
The soft carpet absorbed the thumping of his sock feet as he ran over. Reaching for the doorknob, he glances back at the playcastle and then pulls the door open to follow the dog out into the hall. He looked both ways and then ran giggling down the hall after the dog. "Wait up Charlie, where are you going?"
Bartie had never been down this section of the manor before and all of the doors looked the same; making him nervous of getting lost. Charlie seemed to know where he was going though, and since he lived here, he figured the dog was a good enough tour guide. As they turned around a corner that came to a dead end, Charlie sniffed at the bottom of the door at the end of the hall, looking back at Bartie with a bark.
He shrugged, hoping they would soon find a bathroom. All of this running paired with the two glasses of juice he had with lunch were starting to get to him in a bad way. "What's behind the door doggy?"
Bartie looked back over his shoulder again and then reached for the door to open it. He's surprised to find that it wasn't locked. The corridor was dark on the other side. "I...don't know, Charlie. Maybe we shouldn't go down there."
Charlie shoved his nose into the opening and forced the door open so he could wiggle through. "Hey! Come back!"
Bartie stepped through the doorway, running his hand along the wall so he could feel for doors. Few inner hallways in the manor had access to window light, especially the upper floors, so he was hoping to find a room with an open door so he could get some natural light.
"Ch..Charlie? Where did you go?"
He nearly falls down into the open space when he finally finds a bedroom with an open door. The curtains are drawn, but there is a sliver of light peeking through. He stumbles across the room, bumping into the edges of furniture, his heart pounding in his chest with anticipation of seeing outside and escaping the darkness.
He pushes open the curtains and squints his eyes shut at the bright afternoon sun. Charlie joins him at the window, jumping up on his back paws to look over the windowsill. They have a perfect view of the lake. Bartie's heart leapt with joy upon seeing the tiny rowboat with his Uncles in it. He taps on the window glass excitedly.
"Hey, look Charlie! I see Uncle Max and Uncle Drake."
His smile fades though as he watches the scene unfold in front of him. "But they don't look like they're fishing anymore."
Drake is standing in the boat waving his hands angrily at Maxwell, pointing to the bottom of the boat and then gesturing at the shoreline. Bartie gasps as he sees the water swirl in a big circle around the boat. It reminded him of bath time when his Momma would pull the plug and the water would go down the drain. The back of something big breaks the surface of water. To Bartie it looked like one of the whales on the nature shows he watched in the afternoons back at home. Bartie feels his bladder let go as the thing in the water rushes over to tip both of his uncles out of the boat and into the lake.
** Thank-you so much for reading this far, now choose your ending. **
The Lake (A) .. The Lake (B)
Breathe Me - Chapter 2 [nct vamp au]
Description: After dropping out of college and coming home for the first time in two years, 22-year-old Ava Lee gets caught up in a mystery surrounding the people she thought she knew for so long. Between friendship, affairs and true love the young women finds herself being pulled into a nightmare she would never wake up from.
Pairing: Oc x Taeyong , Oc x Johnny [side: markxoc, tenxoc, lucasxoc, jaehyunxoc]
Included Members: Taeyong, Johnny, Mark, Lucas, Ten, Jaehyun, Doyoung, Haechan (maybe more)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Angst, Fantasy
Warnings: some swearing I guess and some umm angst (this chapter)
suggestive content, strong language, violence, blood, death. probably more, not sure yet (later chapters)
a/n: yeah who doesn't like awkward encounters in cafés and bookstores? Plus an awkward party with a big surprise? Sign me up. Anyway, that's the second chapter for this baby. I got carried away a lot, so it turned out a lot longer than expected but I honestly didn't want to split it up. A lot is happening! I'm honestly so excited for the third one as the main plot will start there and let me tell you – it will go WILD, haha. Enjoy ♥
ch. 1 || ch. 3
“Oh, hey Ava. Haven't seen you in forever. How are you? That's exactly what he said.”, Ava told her best friend while savouring her freshly baked croissant.
Yunmi sighed and took another sip form her third coffee. “I mean you actually didn't see him in nearly three years.”
Ava shot her friend a glance and snorted. “Yeah, well, that's not my bad. He decided to completely ignore me for no reason at all.”
“Yeah, because he's a jerk. That's a fact.”, Yunmi said with a smile, trying to comfort her friend.
“A handsome jerk, tho.”, Ava added and drank a sip of her water, trying to avoid her friend's gaze.
“Yup, we all got eyes. But I still don't get it. I mean you two didn't even hook up, did you?”, she felt Yunmi's eyes staring holes in her body.
“No, I've told you a hundred times. We just kissed. I think I'd remember if I hooked up with fucking Johnny Suh.”, Ava sighed with frustration in her voice. Of course she thought Johnny was attractive. Well, not only attractive. It was like she was just drawn to his simple presence. Not to mention, that he was funny, smart, caring and overall just a good person. Or that's what she thought before he decided to just erase her out of his life.
She just couldn't get a hang of it. The memories she had of that night were just magnificient. The farewell party was fun and chill. Everyone enjoyed themselves while dancing or just having drinks. She wasn't even that buzzed, especially not in the moment she remembered so clearly it even felt a little surreal sometimes. But she could remember so clearly how she talked to Johnny for hours about everything. It wasn't the typical smalltalk they usually had – she told him about her worries for university, her feelings about this god forsaken town and even managed to tell him that he crushed on him for years, not having the balls to ask him out. Him being the best friend of her brother didn't make the whole situation easier, though.
And then, just like in all these movies she binge-watched with Yunmi he actually kissed her. And not like a friend, no, she remembered his lips on hers so clearly. The softness of them and how perfectly fit on hers like they were just meant to be. Yet, it felt like a dream sometimes. She felt how much passion the kiss had, it was breathtaking, like a sweet drug she couldn't get enough from and yes, she absolutely would've slept with him but she knew that he was a gentleman. They just chuckled at each other before he brought her home, promising to call the next day before her flight would take off.
But that never happened.
“Maybe you should try talking to him? Like face-to-face. You won't be able to avoid him forever, especially because of Mark.”, Yunmi said and tried to read her friends emotions but Ava just chuckled.
The café Yunmi picked out was next to the bookstore Mark worked at. Ava remembered how the spot was always closed and under construction but apparently it opened a few months ago. The style was simple and comfy. It was a light store with paintings on the walls and different types of plants everywhere. Huge windows allowed a view over the main street and the small park right in the middle. It seemed oddly familiar to Ava, even though she never set a foot in this building. But something just felt like she's been there before but she couldn't figure it out.
“I need more coffee.”, Yunmi said and pouted looking at her empty cup.
“Dude, that was your third coffee.” Ava laughed and looked at her friend, with just a tint of worry in her eyes.
“Happens when you work as a nurse. Night shifts are just so tiring here. Nothing happens anyway but I wasn't able to take a nap because I had to do all these papers.”, she said annoyed and pouted at Ava, holding up her empty cup.
The girl sighed and smiled, standing up to get her friend her needed refill.
Ava went up to the empty counter and looked for the young waiter she saw earlier but to her surprise another young man came out, looking at her with warm eyes.
“Can I get a refill please?”, she asked politely and handed the guy the cup after he nodded. His eyes focused on her for just a second, but for her it felt longer. Did she know him? His hair was dyed in a ashy-blonde color, hair framing his delicate facial features. His eyes looked warm yet they had something deep and maybe even dark about them. The way he moved looked elegant. She eyed him just for a second longer, trying hardly to think why he looked so familiar. She even felt like she somewhat heard his voice before. She squinted her eyes trying to take a look at his name tag but apparently he didn't even wear one.
“Here. Do you need something else?”, he asked.
Ava froze for a split second, realized how impolite it was to stare at a person as bluntly as she did.
“No, thank you. I really like the place, though. It's pretty.”, she smiled lightly and took the cup.
The guy thanked her, his face lightened up, a smile appearing on his face, which made her feel warm all of a sudden. Why did his smile see so familiar?
She hurried back to the table her friend was sitting, giving her her desperately needed caffeine.
“Who's the guy at the counter?”, Ava asked.
Yunmi immediately turned around to take a look at who her friend meant.
“Taeyong. He owns this place.”
After Ava stayed silent, not quite sure if she knew him or not, Yunmi added,
“He lives together with Johnny and Jaehyun in that house. We met him there once, don't you remember?”, Yunmi asked and raised a brow.
“I don't know. I guess? You know how bad my memory is.”, Ava chuckled and stared at her glass of water before giving her friend a smile.
Honestly, she wasn't sure if she remembered. Maybe she did meet him back then. Maybe not.
“He's cute, isn't he? He even makes the pastries himself.”, Yunmi said and took a bit of her sandwich after inhaling her coffee.
“Yeah, he is nice, I guess.”, Ava said, looking over at the counter where Taeyong stood. She saw how his eyes met hers, holding the eye-contact for just a bit before he turned around and went to the back.
“There will be a party tonight at their house.” Yunmi said, eyeing her friend once more. After Ava didn't answer right away Yunmi sighed.
“We should go. It will be fun.” she added.
“Since when do you want to go parties?”, Ava asked her friend, raising her brow. As long as she remembered Yunmi and her weren't the type of girls who went to parties. They usually preferred a good movie night with food over drinks and bad music. Even in college, Ava didn't attend many of those famous college parties she heard about.
“Their parties are usually really nice.”, she smiled softly and started to play with a strand of her brown hair.
“Mh-mh. Their parties or just someone at their parties?”, Ava teased her friend, poking her cheek.
Yunmi pouted a light shade of red on her cheeks. She caught her.
“Well, you won't know if you don't join.”, Yunmi poked out her tongue at Ava, laughing softly at her.
“Fine. But if I see Johnny I'll leave.”, Ava said firmly and looked at her hands for a second. She really didn't want to attend another party where he was after the last time, even if it was years ago.
“He lives there, genius. Of course he will be there. But it will be fun, I promise. Maybe you could even use the chance to talk to-”
A glance of Ava cut her friends words off, holding her hands up in defeat.
“Fine. Or ignore him. Just come with me. I'll introduce you to some cool people, okay?”
The girl groaned until she gave in.
“Okay. I will be there. Mark probably wants to go too, anyway.”, Ava said and rummaged in her bag, trying to find her phone.
“Probably.”, Yunmi answered, seemingly uninterested if the boy would join them or not.
“Mh, can't find my phone.”, Ava muttered, unable to find anything in her bag anyway.
“Well, the bookstore is right next-door, I'll just ask him there. I think he's working.”, she looked to her best friend who seemed to have spaced out for a second.
“You join me?”, she asked, touching Yunmis hand for a second. Her best friend shook her head, smiling at her.
“No no, I need to take a nap and a shower before the party. Just, um, say hello from me, will you?”, Yunmi stood up, taking her jacket over her arm, helping to put the empty plates and cups on the empty counter.
“Yeah, sure. See you then.”, Ava said putting the rest of the plates on the counter, a bit surprised about the sudden haste her friend was in.
She sighed taking a look around the café once more before leaving it for the day. Ava tried her best to not overthink the whole situation and slowly walked to the next door on the street, leading into the small bookstore her younger brother worked at.
She strolled through the filled shelves, inhaling the magnificent scent of all the bound books walking up to her most favourite isle – old classics. Her fingers trailed over the spines, feeling their different textures. She used to read a lot, every week a new book in her hand, ready to savour it in just one sitting. Back then, it felt easy to just sit down, a book in her hands and shutting the world out completely, focusing only on the words forming these beautiful pictures inside her head, making all these thoughts haunting her in real life go away just like that. When did she lose this talent? Nowadays, she just couldn't get herself to actually read a book. She continues to buy them, placing them prominently on her nightstand, in hopes for her to just grab it in the evening but the pile of books just grew bigger and bigger over the weeks until she finally stopped to even buy them. She hoped to get back into her once most loved hobby. Even if it was just for a few minutes.
“Hey, didn't expect you to visit me.”, she heard Mark saying and turned around, a big smile on her lips.
“I wanted to surprise you, I've actually met with Yunmi. We had breakfast in the café next door.”, Ava answered and looked at her brother. She chuckled mildly. He looked so grown-up and mature in his plain black shirt with his round glasses on, his dark hair falling into his face. She realized how different he looked from the last time she saw him. Unbelievable that he was already 20 years old.
“Oh-Uh, yeah it opened up a few weeks ago. The owner is Jaehyun and Johnny's roommate.”, Mark said after he scratched the nape of his neck. “H-How's Yunmi? She alright?”, he asked casually while sorting a book from his hand into the shelv.
“Yeah, I guess. She said hello but had to rush home.”, Ava answered, shrugging her shoulders.
She eyed her brother and how he fumbled with the hem of his shirt, he seemed to want to say something but decided not to.
“Anyway.”, he exhaled loudly and cleared his throat before smiling at Ava. “I'm happy you're visiting. Want me to show you around? I mean you technically know it, though.”, her brother chuckled.
But as the good sister she is she nodded and let her brother show her all the different types of book they had and which authors occasionally came to give a reading. Seeing his eyes lighten up just by the name of these authors made her heart melt. He explained passionately the several differences in their writing techniques and why they were his favourites. He told her how he fell in love with classic literature, especially romance and tragedy.
Ava listened to him swooning over different works and their means to past society, yet he even read modern novels. She looked at all the books, most of them she already read by herself when she was younger. She felt proud seeing him glowing up, doing what he loved without hiding.
“I just hope I'll be half as good as them.”, she heard her brother sighing when he put down the last book.
Ava put a hand on his slim shoulder and smiled at him warmly.
“I’m sure you will be. Trust me, I will be your biggest fan!”, she laughed and ruffled his hair, making him scrunch his nose before trying to fix his hair.
“Please. I appreciate the encouragement but it's still a long way. Plus mom and dad are still not very fond of the idea of me becoming an author. They think it's still a phase and that I will soon realize it's stupid and become a doctor like – well.”, he shrugged his shoulders before speaking out his thoughts.
Ava bit her lip. “I will tell them.”, she said, not believing her answer.
“When will you, though? I mean, I'm not pressuring you. I get it, it's hard but don't you think it will be even harder the longer it lasts? They're not stupid.”, Mark said looking at his sister, his eyes were filled with worry.
“I know. I'm just – imagine their disappointment. I need a plan, you know?”, she muttered, trying to avoid his gaze. She felt guilty for lying but she would feel even worse seeing the disappointment in her parents eyes when they realize she wasn't that perfect daughter they saw her as.
“Promise me you'll figure something out, okay? It's not healthy.”, he said, looking up when he heard the door open.
“Yes, I promise. Just give me some more time, will you?”, she pleaded at him, pouting as best as she possibly could.
“Sure.”, he rolled his eyes, sighing deeply before he put on a smile and waved at the new customer.
Ava turned around and saw two young men walking in.
“Hey guys, what are you doing here?”, Mark said and smiled, walking up to his friends.
Ava just sighed, silently asking the universe why it made life for her that hard.
“Hi.”, she just briefly said, trying not to look directly into Johnny's eyes. She even managed to ignore him and just gave Jaehyun a smile which he joined.
“Long time no see. You look good.”, Jaehyun said and brushed his hand briefly at her arm.
Ava chuckled, putting a strand of hair behind her ear. “Thanks.”
She felt Johnny looking at her standing next to Jaehyun, eyeing both of them. Just like she wanted him to do.
“We're actually looking for books for the café. Taeyong wants to have some more for visitors to read.”, Johnny said after clearing his throat. Ava's eyes wandered to Johnny's just for a quick second but she already found herself being mesmerized by his presence once again. She liked the way he wore his black hair, the strands falling into his face just perfectly. Her gaze locked at his lips while he spoke with Mark about the books Taeyong wanted and even though the name still rang a bell in the back of her head she couldn't free herself from the way Johnny's lips moved. She knew how soft they felt, recognizing the feeling just too well.
Her thoughts moved back to that night like they always did and the urge to confront him about why he decided to let her hang like that grew stronger. She knew that it would probably was just a kiss for most people but for her it felt so differently. It was romantic and intimate, just how she imagined kissing him over and over again when she was younger. Plus, him declaring his feelings for her made that memory even more perfect. Yet, it all shattered when he ignored her.
She felt a hand on her back and then a breath at her ear, before Jaeyhun whispered
She felt the grin on his face when she rolled her eyes and nodded.
For a split second she saw how Johnny turned his head towards her, looking away just another second later, continuing to talk to Mark.
“Will you be at our place tonight?”, Jaehyun asked, not moving his hand from her back.
“I guess so. Yunmi asked me, too.”, Ava smiled at Jaehyun, wordlessly thanking him.
“Well, you can't say no now. I'd be happy if you came.”, he smiled at her paired with a short wink before laughing with her.
She heard Johnny clearing his throat and looked up to him.
“Anyway, we should head back to the café or Taeyong will be mad at us for leaving him alone for too long.”, he said while taking books off Mark's arms he seemed to have collected for them.
“Sure.”, Jaehyun said and smiled at the others, before looking down at Ava again. “See you tonight then, can't wait.”, he said, stroking her back slightly before leaving behind Johnny.
Ava felt her brother's piercing gaze on her back while she tried to look away, shrugging her shoulders.
“Stop staring at me like that.”, she hissed at Mark and rolled her eyes. She finally looked at him but he just shook his head, wanting to say something but all he did was open his mouth for a second before closing it again, raising both of his hands.
“None of my business.”
Ava's head felt already heavy without any alcohol in it. She stared at the dark street in front of her, trying to concentrate on driving the car her parents gladly allowed them to use to drive to the party. Of course, she didn't even want to drink. She didn't even want to attend the party at all but she had to admit that she was curious – curious about how the people had changed, curious about how they'd behave and obviously curious about certain of these people whose names she didn't want to think about again.
Even when the last time she visited the house was three years ago she remembered the way so clearly as if she'd just was there yesterday. She took a glance at Mark who was sitting next to hear, looking out of his window, seemingly way up in his own thoughts she wished to read.
Ava sighed quietly, focusing her eyes on the street. She felt anxious about meeting all these people. No one knew about her not so graceful career, still thinking she studied medicine on some ivy league college back in the city everyone dreamed of living. The thought of them asking all these questions she already had to answer her parents made her shiver. Maybe she should just hide in a closet until Mark wanted to go back home. Would be smarter than awkwardly running into someone again – once a day is enough.
Yet she took hours to get ready, carefully picking out an outfit, lipstick and the way she wore her hair, trying to look casual but not too casual. The chance of running into him was just too high for her to not try to make herself look presentable.
The street got more narrow, leading into the woods where the house was.
“I still don't get why they're living in the woods.”, she sighed and looked at Mark for a second before driving on the long gateway leading to the house.
“Taeyong inherited it from his grandma or something.”, Mark answered, waking up from his thoughts.
Ava just nodded, already seeing some more cars and people standing outside. She couldn't see enough to look at their faces. The girl quickly parked the vehicle and stretched her arms once she got out, looking around. The late summer air was still warm and comfortable yet one could sense the upcoming autumn as some leaves slowly turned darker.
The siblings walked down the path leading to the entrance, which led to a huge front yard. It was lighted with small paper lamps, showing off some of the landscaping done. She even heard a fountain splashing somewhere. She looked around, not quite sure if she'd remember the place at all. The house was surrounded by a traditional stone fence and she wondered how old it was. Ava could already hear the people enjoying themselves, with loud music pounding in her ear.
From what she saw through the darkness and the sparse light the house itself looked huge enough to probably fit a hundred people. The door was left open, shoes flooding the entrance area.
After bumping into dozens of people greeting her, smiling and waving she helplessly looked at Mark who was still right behind her looking for someone.
“You made it!”, Ava heard Yunmi screaming in her hear, an arm around her waist, pressing a kiss on her cheek. Ava could smell a note of alcohol in her friend's breath and chuckled.
“How much did you already drink?”, she asked but Yunmi waved her off, her gaze meeting Mark.
“Oh hi Mark. Nice to see you, how are you?”, she asked politely while resting her head on Ava's shoulder.
“Uhm, I'm good thanks. And you?”, he scratched is neck, looking away, probably trying to find his own friends.
“Life's great.”, she answered and laughed, removing her head from her friend's shoulder to take a sip from her cup, shaking it in front of Ava's face.
“Want something? I can totally mix you a drink.”
“No, thanks. I don't drink.”, she answered and smiled apologetic.
“I'm gonna look for Johnny. Hit me up when you want to go home, alright?”, Mark said and disappeared in the moving crowd of people.
“I take it you don't want to look for Johnny?”, Yunmi asked her friend, directly looking at her, rolling her eyes when Ava shook her head.
“Nope. So, who are these cool people you wanted me to get to know?”, Ava smiled.
Yunmi entangled her fingers with hers and dragged her through the crowd, brabbling something about a girl and a boy.
Not long after Ava spotted to semi-familiar people her friend shouted at. A girl with a black long bob smiled warmly and waved.
The boy, a bit shorter than her, with short black hair smiled and greeted her. “Ava, you must remember Ten and Sunhyung, right? We went to Highschool together.”, Yunmi introduced them but Ava wasn't exactly sure who they were. She barely remembered anyone from Highscool, though. At least not their names.
“We were in another class, though.”, Sunhyung chuckled.
“Nice to meet you. So what are you guys doing?”, Ava asked them.
“Well, we're actually officers right now. Ten is my partner.”, Sunhyung explained and smiled at Ten, who just nodded and raised his cup.
“Not on duty tonight, though.”, he winked and exed the rest of the liquid.
“Yunmi told me you're studying medicine? Pretty cool. How's life in the States? This town must bore you to death.”, Sunhyung chuckled and looked at her cup, seemingly disappointed that it was empty.
“I'm actually enjoying it. It's like a vacation.”, Ava answered and hoped no one would ask her to further elaborate on her studies, which weren't even real.
“I'd give everything to travel to a real city. The only “crimescenes” we're looking at are rather boring. It's mostly just noise disturbance or someone's speeding who isn't from here.”, Sunhyung rolled her eyes.
“Hey, last week we had one burglary!”, Ten protested.
“You mean the sixteen-year-old boy who stole some Vodka from the store? How exciting.”, his partner answered sarcastically and laughed.
“I need a refill, you want something?”, Yunmi asked in the group as she apparently spotted something at the bar which needed her attention.
Ten and Sunhyung both nooded eagerly. She didn't bother to look at Yunmi, knowing she'd say no anyway.
Ava's eyes followed her friend to the bar, by which a tall young men stood. She saw how Yunmi straightened her back and smiled at the guy, who she probably knew. Ava noticed how her friend pushed her long hair back and saw how her mouth formed into a laugh after the boy said something. Ava tilted her head, trying to figure out if the knew him or not. She would probably remember a guy like him. He was handsome, yet his face had something sheepish when he talked to Yunmi.
“That's Lucas.”, she heard Sunhyung say and snapped out of her thoughts, “He moved her two years ago. Always hangs out with Johnny and the rest.”, she added and Ava raised her brows. She was pretty sure she never saw or even heard of him before.
“I swear Yunmi has the biggest crush on him. Always swooning over his hands or something.”, Ava heard Sunhyung continue and asked herself why exactly her best friend didn't tell her anything about that guy.
“Well, quite obvious that they're flirting.”, Ten added and nodded.
“Yeah, I'm betting they end hooking up tonight.”, said Sunyhung.
“Never. Both won't make the first moves. They're flirting for months and nothing interesting happened.”, her partner replied.
“Got it in my guts. Tonight is the night.”, Sunhyung nodded with a stern voice.
“Pff, wanna bet? 50 they won't hook up.”, Ten chuckled.
“Make it 100.”, Sunhyung answered, looking at her partner while shaking his hand.
Ava's gaze meanwhile scanned the room for someone else. As if someone read her thoughts, Johnny came down the stairs with Mark right behind him.
Johnny's eyes met Ava's for a moment and she clenched her jaw. She noticed how he was moving towards her and how her heart began to beat faster in her chest.
“I'm gonna get some water or something. Be right back.”, she mumbled and quickly disappeared in the crowd, trying to keep herself as small as possible. Her eyes searched for a kitchen, which she finally found. Gladly, there weren't any people in it. Probably because the whole alcohol was at the bar and no one here wanted to drink something else.
She sighed and looked for a water bottle but all she saw were some empty cups.
“What are you looking for?”, she suddenly heard a way too familiar voice and turned around just to see Johnny standing in the door frame, a small smile on his lips.
“Just some water.”, she answered quietly, trying her best to look away from his dammed face. She saw how he moved next to her and opened a door next to her which apparently belonged to the fridge. Just a second later he handed her a bottle of cool water. Ava looked up and mumbled a quick thank you but it was enough to catch him smiling again, which made her heartbeat increase.
“I'm glad you came.”, Johnny said and leaned with his back against the door, looking down at her.
“Yunmi practically forced me to. It's nice, though.”, she answered, fumbling with the bottle in her hands, not sure what else to do with them.
Silence flooded the room and all the questions burned on her tongue. Taking a deep breath, she managed to look up at him, meeting his gaze. She locked her eyes with his for much longer as initially wanted and already felt how she got lost in his gaze just like everytime he looked at her.
He was handsome. His black hair messily falling into his face, his beautifully shaped lips curling upwards to form a small smile. Johnny's dark eyes seemed to look right through her.
“Can I ask you something?”, Ava finally found her voice and gulped, without breaking of the gaze.
“Anything.”, he answered, his voice unusual quiet.
“I need to know why you ignored me after that night.”
“What exactly do you mean?”, his brows furrowed.
“My last night here. You kissed me. You told me you'd call me the next day but you never did. And when I tried to reach out you simply ignored all my messages.” she sighed loudly, breaking their connection for a second, to gather her thoughts, “Seriously I felt so stupid. I still do.”
“Ava, listen, it's not what you think.”, she heard him answer and looked at his eyes once more.
“Then tell me, Johnny. Seriously. It's driving me insane.”, she pleaded, letting her arms drop in frustration.
Silence came up once more. The girl's frustration grew with any second passing by, not sure what she could say to finally get him to answer properly.
“I really thought about every single reason why you did that.”, she sighed, pain growing inside of her body, “And the only possible reason left is what you never liked me at all.”, she said, her voice just a small whisper, anxious about his answer.
“It's not that I don't like you. It's quite the opposite.”, Johnny said as she looked up at him again.
“I can't believe you.”, she sighed and furrowed her brows, thinking about his reasons why when he liked her.
“Listen, I'm sorry if I had hurt you but it's not that simple.”, he tried to explain but Ava just snorted and chuckled bitterly.
“Seriously just tell me directly into my face that I imagined all of that and that you're not interested. I'm not a kid and you're owing me that.” she answered, pressing her lips together.
“I can't tell you that because it would be a lie.”, now it was Johnny who sighed.
“It's the only possible explanation. Don't you want to tell me that you're not interested because you don't want to hurt me? Honestly, it would've hurt less if you'd just told me instead of ghosting me for years!”, her voice got louder such as her thoughts, which were going crazy inside of her head.
“That's not it.”, now frustration filled his voice as well. Ava looked into his face, seeing how he pushed his hair back, seemingly unsure about what to say.
“God, this is so stupid. I'm just gonna go.”, she dropped her arms in defeat, tired and annoyed. She didn't want to maintain this nonsense conversation when she wouldn't get a proper answer anyway.
Just when she wanted to move out of the door she felt Johnny's hand on her shoulder.
“Just – don't go, please.”, she heard him say and rolled her eyes.
“Then tell me why.”, as soon as she turned around she felt how Johnny laid his arms around her figure, pressing her against his chest softly.
“I'm sorry. I honestly am, please believe me.”, she felt how he buried his head in heir hair and wrapped her arms around his torso, her heart hammering loudly in her chest.
“I want to.”, she mumbled in the material of his black shirt and tightened her grip around him.
It felt unbelievably good to hug him, yet she still didn't get an answer from him, making her anxiety rise inside her body. She still didn't know why and the sudden touch confused her even more.
Ava started to wiggle when she realized her thoughts wouldn't shut up. Reluctantly, she looked up at him, loosening the hug a bit, yet not ready to let him go completely.
“This is confusing. I just want to know what's going on, please.” she pleaded once more, locking her eyes with his, just staring into them, trying to find answers.
She felt how Johnny moved one of his hands up her back, reaching her head, carefully putting one of her strands of hair behind her hear, his hand lingering on her cheek.
Her breath quickened when her eyes wandered over his face, absorbing every inch of it, until she stopped at his just perfectly shaped lips. She licked over hers, memories of how his tasted on hers flooded her mind. Her gaze went up again, meeting his once again that night.
The girl was once again hypnotised by his gaze, unable to look away this time.
Without further thinking about it, she put her hands on his neck and pulled him closer to her, to finally press her lips on his. His lips were just as soft as she memorized them, fitting on hers just as she remembered. The kiss was careful, still anxious about his reaction but when he actually pressed her closer to him, deepening the kiss her mind went completely blank.
Her eyes fell shut, her fingers slightly tightening on the back of his neck, trying to keep him even closer. Their lips moved in perfect sync, just as they belonged on each other. The girl cherished every second of it, how his hands cupped her face while one thumbs caressed her cheek, touching her so softly, as if she could break any second. The taste of his lips were sweet, she couldn't even taste a bit of alcohol, which ensure her that this was what he wanted.
As soft as the kiss was, she knew she wanted more. She needed more. After all these months of anxiety, pain and worry she finally kissed him again. Ava opened her mouth for him, allowing his tongue to play with hers, just like she always wanted to be kissed by him. Her fingers buried in his thick her, while his hands trailed down her body to rest on her hips.
Just before she could press her body closer Johnny pushed himself away, as if he'd burn himself.
Completely puzzled, the girl stared at him, not understanding what was going on.
“I can't. I'm sorry.”, she heard him say, his voice sounding strained, as he quickly ran out of the kitchen, leaving Ava alone once again.
She stared at her hands, her heart still beating fast, trying to catch her own breath. The girl felt how tears formed in the corners of her eyes and how her chest, which felt so light and carefree the other second, now felt like some heavy stone was laying on it, stealing her breath away. She had the sudden urge of fresh air and stumbled out of the kitchen, trying to leave everyone in that house behind her while not being seen. She couldn't manage to explain her situation to anyone. She wanted to be alone.
Ava breathed in the cold air and closed her eyes for a second, trying to get as much distance as possible between her and that house. She took a look at her smartphone to check the time but it wasn't even midnight yet, and she didn't want to be a killjoy and spoil Mark's fun. She made her way out of the garden and looked at the woods behind the property and stopped for a second. She heard how the wind whistled through the branches and how the leftover leaves trailed through the air. Her heart was still pounding in her chest, the latest event flooding her mind. This didn't make any sense to her. Why did he kiss her again? It wasn't just a casual kiss, she could feel that. And this time it wasn't her freaking imagination. The way he hold her and returned her kiss, the way he pressed her against his body – that wasn't imagination.
She actually believed him. She trusted his words yet he was acting like something completely different was on his mind and she just couldn't figure it out. Her thoughts went crazy and she felt how her throat got sore. Why did he stop when it felt so good? Any why did he leave her like that, not explaining his behaviour once again.
Ava kept going towards the trees, sometimes looking up at the sky which wasn't as clear as she thought. Thick black clouds were blocking the moon and stars and she sighed, yet it felt nice to move and properly breathe since the air in the house was muggy and way too hot. Or maybe it just felt like that to her. Her body felt exhausted, yet still full of adrenaline. What did she do wrong? Once again, she went through all the possibilities and couldn't get the hand of it. She didn't want to get hurt again by him, yet there she was. Feeling exactly the same as two years ago. It felt like some kind of absurd Deja Vu.
She flinched when she heard a loud crackle next to her and squinted her eyes, when she couldn't see anything. For a second, she thought someone was here, probably some drunk people enjoying themselves in the woods. She rolled her eyes and continue to stroll when she heard a noise again, but this time it sounded more like a hiss. Ava turned around, trying to see anything but it was too dark. Maybe some brainless jock saw her and tried to scare her.
Another crunching noise, this time right behind her, made her flinch once more, the hairs on her neck standing up. She felt her muscles tighten, when she turned around yet still no one was there. The girl looked a round several times, until she decided to head back to the house which she only saw in some distance thanks to the lights outside. Maybe she could just wait inside the car until Mark wanted to leave the party.
For a few seconds, it was silent again when she heard another noise, this time way closer to her, besides her.
Ava started to run, fear suddenly filling her body as her breath and heartbeat quickened, a feeling of danger flowing her body. The noises got louder, someone was definitely following her. She heard fast footsteps approaching her, whispers and hisses starting to echo inside her head, making her want to scream. She shook her head, trying to leave the voices behind but it was like they were just stuck, burying every other sound under it.
The blood pulsated in her head, breathing loudly. Sweat running down her forehead while her feet tried to run as fast as she could, yet she didn't seem to come any closer to the house.
A dark laugh suddenly appeared as she saw a black figure suddenly standing in front her, which made her stop in her steps, almost falling over.
She couldn't see a face, nor anything else which could possibly explain who it was. The figure took a stop closer to her, making her move backwards until her back met with once of the trees, the tree bark scratching her back uncomfortably.
The girl blinked once and the figure was gone, her blood still pulsating in her veins. She gulped, looking around before continuing to run in the direction she thought was the right one, while still turning her head every other second.
Suddenly she felt a breath on her neck, paired with a deep chuckle, making her stop in her tracks once more. She wanted to ask something, scream, anything but it felt like she suddenly had a lump in her throat. The voices inside her head growing louder and louder with each second passing by.
As soon as she wanted to start running again, a hand grabbed her wrist, forcing her to stand still. The grip was harsh and strong, not moving an inch even when she tried her best to wiggle her wrist free. She grunted and tried to take a look at the person behind her but she couldn't move at all.
“Oh no, you can't look at me. Not now, dear child.”, a voice said. It was more of a whisper than a real voice. The sound seemed hypnotic.
“There, there, hold still. Don't scream now.”, he said as she tried to wiggle herself free until her body stiffened. Suddenly, it was like all the noises she heard a second ago were gone. She didn't hear the whistles of the wind, the arches or their leaves. Nothing. It felt like the was in a vacuum, only the voice echoing in her head, telling her to hold still.
“You see, it's nothing personal.”, he continued and chuckled, sending shivers through her body.
“It's just, you got to understand that you're part of something bigger.”, she felt a hot breath on her neck again, making her want to scream but it felt like she lost her voice.
He heard him click his tongue, followed by a cold finger stroking over her neck.
“Such a pity. So beautiful. I see what he's found in you, honestly. But, you know, sacrifices must be made. And such a pretty one.”, the voice continued.
Tears started to form in her eyes, rolling down her cheek, burning her skin. She didn't know what was going to happen but she felt afraid. More than that – she feared for her life. Something in his presence made her body fill with this primal fear.
“Oh, so pretty while crying, what a sight.”, a finger wiped one of her tears, chuckling mildly.
“You know, I like it when they scream. And now you need to scream, so he can hear you, you know?”, like a snap, Ava seemed to found her voice and screamed in a high-pitched voice.
Suddenly he let her go, making her stumble over her feet, her knees meeting the cold earth. She coughed while pulling herself up, commanding her body to start running again. When her feet started to move and her thoughts came back, the voices also did. They laughed at her in different tones, from every direction. It felt like a circle was around her, closing closer around her, laughing louder with every step she took.
Another desperate scream fell of her lips as she pressed her hands against her ears, trying to make the voices go but they got even louder, so loud she felt like becoming deaf. She couldn't even hear her own breath anymore, while tears ran down her face.
“It's so much fun to play, don't you think?”, she heard his voice echoing inside her head again, the screams suddenly disappearing.
“You know why? Because I always win.”, a chuckle echoed inside her head, turning into a loud laugh next to her ear.
“Maybe he'll find you, maybe he won't. I hope he does, otherwise it would spoil the fun.”, the voice added and she felt the grip on her wrist again.
“Ah, I'd really want to keep you for myself, such a shame.” he sighed, her body stiffen again, whilst she felt like choking, unable to bring out the slightest sound.
“It's nothing personal against you, my love. You just picked the wrong person to spend your time with, that's all.”
Her eyes widened in fear, her mouth suddenly hanging open without leaving a sound when the world around her suddenly turned pitch black.
hey, do you have any book recommendations like The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo??
i’ve already read Daisy Jones and the Six and Malibu Rising, but i love reading complex main characters (esp those who are rich and famous lmao)
hi yes i do! this is like my favorite subgenre in literature i think it's SO interesting. under the cut because it's kind of messy and long
i've only read one of these books but started the second one last night and have heard nothing but good things about the third. i'll be writing my own summary for the first one but the second and third will be copied from goodreads cause i haven't read them. please check tws for all of these before reading!!
the view was exhausting by mikaella clements and onjuli datta: whitman tagore and leo milanowski have been involved in a fake dating scheme for almost a decade. the public thinks they are made for each other, when it's actually all fake. whitman is a british indian actress trying to find success and fame in Hollywood, which is as difficult as it sounds. whenever she nears scandal, she calls in leo to distract the public with photos of the two of them together. the arrangement works, until one night leo's secret is revealed and everything falls to pieces. they have to figure it out all over again, and whitman has to decide which is more important: a chance at real love or her rising career. i love the commentary this book gives on what it is like being a woman of colour in the industry, i love how leo's perspective on whitman's issues is given but is never usually right. i love the romance and the behind the scenes and the publicity. i loved it!!
wild women and the blues by denny s. brice: 1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose.
2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right—if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting...
piece by piece, Honoree reveals her past and her secrets, while Sawyer fights tooth and nail to keep his. It’s a story of courage and ambition, hot jazz and illicit passions. And as past meets present, for Honoree, it’s a final chance to be truly heard and seen before it’s too late. No matter the cost...
i'm only a few chapters in and i'm absolutely loving this so far. both sawyer and honoree come off the page in such a brilliant way, their internal monologue is so different yet so vivid. the writing draws you in and doesn't let you leave, i haven't been able to put it down.
valley of the dolls by jacqueline susan: Dolls: red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight-for Anne, Neely, and Jennifer, it doesn't matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three women become best friends when they are young and struggling in New York City and then climb to the top of the entertainment industry-only to find that there is no place left to go but down-into the Valley of the Dolls. like i said, have not read it yet but have heard nothing but good things. seems like an interesting read and has been said to be what evelyn hugo could have been if it went darker.