and-her-skin

Blue Black - like Krishna. The blackest blue in India and she is subject to extensive prejudice cause of her dark hue! Dravidian ..The ancient “blue race” of India still exists in the bloodlines. Dravidian indeed. Kushite
Indian Beggar in Mumbai, South India

(Stumbled across this bit of information on this photo. I am mesmerized by this woman! She is exquisitely and uniquely beautiful. It is so sad that Indian society would look down on her for her skin. Do they not see how she resembles Indian Gods and Goddesses the most.)

Throne of Glass Series The Assassin and the Empire

“I’m a coward,” she repeated. “And I’m scared. I’m scared all the time. Always.”

He removed her hand from his cheek to kiss the tips of her fingers. “I get scared, too,” he murmured onto her skin. “You want to hear something ridiculous? Whenever I’m scared out of my wits, I tell myself:
My name is Sam Cortland … and I will not be afraid. I’ve been doing it for years.”

it was a typical evening for her as she saw a solitary boat floating on the surface of the water, a lone boy enjoying the sunset. swimming closer to the surface, she began to let the most beautiful noises fall from her soft pink lips: a siren song. with a tail a dark shade of blue and occasional scales of black, her skin slightly too pale for life near islands, and a face so alluring it was almost otherworldly, she was the textbook definition of a siren. the boy in the boat was entranced by the beautiful sounds coming from the water, beginning to lean over the sides to listen better. as the siren began treading water, she lifted herself out of the water somewhat and brought her hand to cup his face, still singing. the boy had dark hair, and a beautifully tan complexion to match it. tattoos littered his hands and arms and chest, and he had the prettiest plump lips. His eyes were unfocused, his mind trapped under her spell. and as she lowered herself into the water once more, his body followed after. the siren swam out of his falling body’s way, but what she saw when she turned around caused her to stop singing completely. in place of his legs, a charming red and gold tail had materialized. with her lack of singing the boy had returned to awareness and noticed her. they just stared at each other intently, slowly circling and edging closer until they were inches apart. some kind of fire had lit in their bellies, afraid but at the same time so intrigued. Mermaids and sirens were never really supposed to fraternize with each other, but something was pulling these two together. And by the time their lips had found each other’s, neither of them cared if it was right or wrong.

for merman!5sos night hosted by c-lifflings and anarchyaustralia

malec week day #3

headcanon set #3

prompt: parent!malec (writing he and/or she for their child in each headcanon)

  • They both react very differently when their daughter comes home, her cheeks streaked in heartbreaking tears, her skin an irregular red. Alec automatically hugs her, sweeping his long arms around her torso and asking her what’s wrong. Magnus is to his side, looking extremely worried, straining to hear the response. When she manages to babble out that a boy did this, Alec pulls away, his expression looking murderous. Alec starts threatening to kill him, spewing out imaginative ways that he can go. Magnus, on the other hand, crouches down towards their daughter. Alec’s sweater has managed to rub away her tears while they were hugging but her lip’s still quivering and she looks awfully unsure so Magnus just kneels beside her, offering her a shoulder to cry on or a ear to vent to. Alec’s rifling through the random daggers he has laying around and Magnus hisses at him when their daughter starts talking, her words interrupted by soft hiccups. She ends up falling asleep against Magnus’s lap and he swiftly brings her to her bed, kissing her forehead and when he returns to the living room, Alec’s fuming.

“Alec, you need to calm down.”

Our daughter,” Alec snarled. “Was crying because some stupid boy was being stupid. I’m going to kill him.”

“Alec-”

“I won’t actually kill him, just make him think I will. Make sure he never does anything stupid like that to our baby again.”

“Alec,” Magnus started softly, grabbing Alec’s hands and massaging them, opening up the fists. “You know you can’t protect her from everything.”

“I just, I hate to see her like that Magnus. I don’t want anyone to ever make her look like that again.”

“Neither do I darling, but if you’re cradling her, her entire life, how do you expect her to grow up? To learn?”

“I don’t want her to grow up.”

“She’s not six anymore.”

Alec stayed silent, he felt like the world was slipping past his fingertips, their daughter growing up faster and faster. He wanted to protect her from the hurt. He thought about Izzy and the first time she’d come home in tears because a boy had done something shitty. Alec never forgot the image of his sister in shambles, of her first heartbreak. He remembered his own, how he felt like his heart was being ripped out of his chest, as if a gaping hole was left. He thought about how Jace had treated girls before Clary, never really giving a damn, not really caring about the consequences. 

“Hey.” Magnus interrupted his thoughts, bringing him back. Magnus always managed to bring him back. “No more threatening to kill young boys for acting like dicks.”

Alec laughed smalley. “Even if they make our daughter cry?”

“Even then I’m afraid.” Magnus responded. 

“Sorry.” Alec said, embarrassed. “For freaking out, I just saw her and I thought about Izzy, and I just-”

“It’s okay Alec, you’re protective, you always have been. It’s who you are. One of the things I love about you is how fiercely you love and protect those you care about. Though,” Magnus paused, smiling slightly when he realized Alec had become more relaxed, the murderous rage no longer present in his sapphire iris’s. “That doesn’t mean I condone murder of prepubescent boys.”

  • Alec having to book doctors appointments and hating it because 1) mundanes 2) communicating with mundanes and 3) conversations on the phone. (He usually gets flustered and throws the phone towards Magnus, a second after the conversation begins)
  • Alec’s out on another hunt, his absence dripping into the early hours of the morning and Magnus, who had been lying awake in bed waiting for Alec, had heard a slight scuffling in the hall, right outside his bedroom door. He ends up finding their son, tiptoeing down the hall, into the darkness even though it was something he hated.

“Dad?”

“What are you doing up? It’s very late.” Magnus winced. “Or early, depending on how you look at it.”

“Nothing, I just…” He trailed off and Magnus waited patiently, moving towards him and sitting beside him, both sliding down the wall until they were flat on their butts, their legs stretched out. “I miss dad, sometimes when he’s out this late, really late, I don’t-”

He doesn’t end up finishing his sentence, his emotion drowning out the rest of his words, a feeling that Magnus understands all too well. It’s the reason why he was awake in the first place, repeating small prayers that Alec was okay and not bleeding out on a sidewalk somewhere along the empty streets of New York. Magnus thinks about reassuring him, telling him that Alec was strong. He decides to take a different route instead. 

“I worry about your father too. When he’s out there, fighting demons.”

Their son sniffled. “You do?”

“Every single time.” Magnus smiled softly. “I don’t know what I’d do if something bad happened.”

“I miss him. I just want him to come home so I know he’s still here.”

“Me too. But you know your father is fantastic at what he does, what would he say right now if he saw us sprawled across the floor, thinking these thoughts about him?”

“He’d probably wonder what you were doing on the floor of all places.”

“I’d rather worry on the couch.” Magnus laughed. “It’s true.”

At the sight of his son’s face still downcast, an idea popped into his head.

“Okay, how about a distraction?”

“You’re not doing to make me go back to bed-”

“No, of course not.” Magnus tutted. “I’m thinking late night snack? Comfort food? How do you feel about baking something sweet?”

The two end up in the kitchen, trying to cook, batter smeared along the counter and their faces, their child eating more of the batter than actually participating in baking. Magnus’s face is smeared in flour and he’s wearing a frilly pink apron, and their son is onto of the counter, his feet swinging lightheartedly. This is the scene that Alec runs into when he finally arrives home, a question about why his husband and son are still awake springs onto his lips but before he’s able to mutter a syllable, he’s being trampled by both. He’s still got blood over his jacket and smeared across his neck and Magnus smells like brownies and their son smells like sugar and it’s weirdly perfect

  • MAGNUS AND ALEC NEVER GETTING ANY SLEEP BECAUSE THE BABY’S CRYING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. There are bags under Alec’s eyes and Magnus doesn’t even have the energy to do his hair anymore but they can’t help but smile tiredly at their daughter, a beautiful little baby who has the sweetest dimples and the bluest skin. (She’s pretty much worth losing a couple hours of sleep) (Alec ends up falling asleep at the next Clave meeting, drooling over the paperwork and he’s red faced when he’s awoken by a random shadowhunter, an entire audience set on them)
  • The first couple of the group to have a child is Jace and Clary and though they were fucking good parents, Jace can be a handful and Clary can be stubborn and whenever their daughter gets upset, she ends up at Magnus and Alec’s apartment every single time. They always let her in, Alec quickly moving to get some blankets while Magnus quickly snaps some hot chocolate for the three of them, and the three end up sprawled across the living room floor, a movie playing in the background, excessive rants about her parents falling from her lips. Alec nods understandingly in all the right places playing the role of the listener, whereas Magnus joins her, ranting alongside her like

“And then dad had the nerve to say that it’d been my fault.”

“You know what darling? Your father has always been like that, let me tell you I could rant all the time at the stupid things he’d done just because he was too busy being stupid than to pay attention to the consequences.”

“He just never listens.”

“Never! Even when I’m graciously giving him advice, I’ve lived a while now, you’d think he’d pay attention when I’m saying something imperative.” Magnus shouted alongside her.

“He says I’m impulsive.”

“Please.” Magnus responded. “If you’d known half of the stuff he’d done when he was younger.”

They rant together and Alec nods nervously whenever they look at him, offering to get them snacks or change the movie in the midst of their conversation. 

  • Magnus coming home and seeing Alec play Barbies with their daughter/son and it’s the most endearing sight because while their child is combing through Barbie’s hair, Alec is sitting cross-legged beside them, hunched over, pulling Barbie in another flashy top, waddling the doll around as if forcing her to walk and speaking as if he was her. Alec’s pushed the doll into the toy kitchen, moving her hands so it looks like she’s cooking and when Alec offers their child a plastic french fry that he pretended to cook, they smile so brightly. Magnus melts and ends up joining the pair, magicking the flashiest doll house and wardrobe. 

ask-kimberly-and-atheria asked:

[To: Skylar and Melody] -Kitty Chase and Puppy Jemma- a woman in a black cloak that covered her face places a box by the two girl's home and knocked on the door before quickly running off. Soft meows and little barks escape the box as the door opens

The two girls were watching a creepily eerie film, the lights were out as they practically held eachother. They heard the knock before screaming and hiding, melody poking her head from their large blanket they dragged in and sighed.

“I-I’ll get it” the younger said as she stood and shakily walked to the door.

She felt the cold brass touch her skin as she twisted the knob and looked down at the box.

“What’s this?” She asked.

I’m writing rather randy today
but that’s hands down due to
her criticism of my lit life
guess I haven’t normalized
and I have a lot to learn about eye contact
because I catch myself looking up and down her body
and when they square up on her emerald circles
she smirked and called me a quirky jerk
and I imagined myself biting her inviting shoulder blade
should I be considered weird
for my urge to mark a character piece of art
I’d shrug and blame her skin for starting it

anonymous asked:

7 for Cassaric

7 - A Moan

He hates it. He hates that it’s coming from her lips like this.

He’s fantasized about her, about his hands across her skin, dipping between her legs and coaxing that noise from her, a symphony of pleasure as he brings her over the edge. He’s wanted that for months, waited for the right time to approach her, considered her potential responses - he’s not wrong, he can see it in the way she holds herself around him, those subtle shifts of her weight and nervous eyes. He knows she thinks of him, too. He can only imagine exactly how she thinks of him, but it is enough that she does.

But now she was moaning for all the wrong reasons, fingers desperately pressing against the wound in her stomach, and he hates it.

“Hold on, Seeker,” he murmurs as Vivienne tips the woman’s head back, pouring a potion down her throat. “Just hold on.”

“W-w-will t-t-tr-try,” she gasps, before coughing violently, her hand tightening around his hand, slippery with blood. “S-so m-m-much t-to s-s-s-say.”

He leans down, forehead pressing against hers. “Just hold on,” he whispers, “and we’ll talk until there’s no more words to say.”

It Began With An Ending... Part 2

With his heart rate slowly returning to normal, he tried to regain some control over his breathing as he tilted his head back to look at her.  Her eyes fluttered open, blinking up at him as a slow blush crept across her cheeks, and he couldn’t stop the grin from spreading across his face.  She looked flushed, and sated, and it gave him a rush to know that he had made her look this way.  She was as gorgeous as he had remembered her.

“Hi,” he whispered, using his nose to nudge her hair from her forehead as he gently kissed her skin, feeling her smile against him.

“Hi yourself,” she whispered back, turning her face into his and breathing in deeply.

He had so many questions.  He wanted to know why she had left, sneaking out of his London hotel room before he was awake.  Where had she been for the last four months?  Why was she here, now, in Spain - was she here to see him?

Just the thought that she might be sent signals to his groin, and he felt himself twitch inside of her.  He already wanted her again.  He moved his head back far enough to look at her, trying to find the right words to voice everything running through his head and instead finding himself tracing his fingers down the curve of her face, tucking her hair behind her ear.  Still somehow desperate to touch her.

“I should probably be going.”

She spoke so softly he thought he had misheard her.  He blinked, waiting for her to speak again, but instead she slowly lowered her leg from around his thigh, her hands smoothing down his upper arms as she moved.  The second he felt their bodies disconnect he tightened his hold on her waist, an instinctive reflex.  He wasn’t ready to let go of her.

“No… don’t.” he said quickly, a rush of panic prickling at his scalp as he felt her move.  “Don’t go… I…”

Raised voices from outside floated in through the windows, cutting off his words as they both glanced up at the door.

“…must be in here… Shannon?”

He groaned, the sound of his brothers voice approaching reminding him of how very little privacy they had on the road, and he whipped his head back round to meet her wide-eyed gaze.  “Shit.  In here, quick,” he said, grabbing her hand and dragging her into the sleeping area of the bus, turning to slam the door closed behind her, trapping her against it.

“My clothes…” she whispered, a horrified look creeping across her face as the sound of the main door opening echoed through the bus.

“Fuck your clothes,” he growled, pressing himself against her as he claimed her mouth with his again.  She hesitated, but only briefly, her body responding to him as he lifted her arms above her head, pinning them against the door by her wrists.

With one hand holding her arms in place, he dragged the other down her throat gently, tracing over the curve of her chest until she moaned softly into his mouth.  “Where have you been?” he whispered against her lips, opening his eyes to see her already looking at him.

“Hey Shannon, you in here?”

He didn’t move, his nose gently brushing against hers as he sighed quietly.  “Not now man!” he called back, distracted by the soft smile playing on her lips, barely registering the beat of silence on the other side of the door before Jared’s low voice continued murmuring to whoever was with him.

Ignoring the interruption he kept his attention on the woman in front of him, pulling her wrists away from the door and placing them round his neck, wanting her as close to him as possible.  “You disappeared. In London.” He said quietly, leaning forward to bury his face in to her neck, kissing the soft skin under her jaw line.

“I had a meeting…” she whispered, her breath catching in her throat as he took her earlobe between his teeth, her arms tightening around him as her hand snaked into the back of his hair.

“What are you doing in there, we’ve gotta go!” Jared shouted, knocking sharply on the door.

“Fuck off and give me a minute, I’m busy!” he yelled back, watching her jump as the door vibrated behind her.  She bit down on her lower lip, her face a mixture of amusement and embarrassment, and he traced his thumb over her lip gently until she released it.  “Your phone was disconnected.”

She blinked, confused momentarily, before opening her mouth as though to answer him.

“…looks like he’s busy… whose jeans are these?!” he heard Tomo laughing, and he closed his eyes with a sigh as he realised what was coming next.

“I have no idea… Shannon! No fucking on the bus!” Jared yelled, once more knocking at the door.

“Oh my god,” she cringed, letting go of his neck to cover her face with her hands.

“God damn it Jared would you just give me a minute!” he yelled, exasperated, before feeling her start to giggle against his chest.  He looked down at her, his anger instantly dissipating at the sound of her soft laughter, and he shook his head as ice blue eyes looked up at him once again. “Who are you?” he asked quietly, smiling gently at her as he pulled her hand away from her face, wrapping his fingers around it tightly.

She fell quiet again, an unreadable look on her face as she looked up at him for a moment before letting her eyes drift down to her hand enclosed in his, lowering her head with a wry smile.  “I’m no one.”

He frowned, opening his mouth to tell her exactly who she was to him; what she had done to him these last few months without being anywhere near him; what she was doing to him this very moment by just standing in front of him in her underwear smelling like sun tan lotion and
fresh air and sex – but his brother clearly had other ideas.

“Shan we are leaving in two minutes, with or without your lady friend!”

A look of panic crossed her face, and he smiled down at her gently. “Give me a minute,” he said, bringing her hand to his lips and kissing her knuckles quickly, before swapping places with her and opening the door just enough to step out and close it behind him again.

Jared stood in front of him holding up the jeans in one hand, his eyebrows raised at his brother while Tomo sat on the couch, giggling.

“She’ll be needing these…” Jared smirked, tossing him the jeans.  “Who is she?”

Shannon opened his mouth to answer, only to realise that he couldn’t - he didn’t know who she was.  It was a disconcerting thought.  Jared frowned as he watched him close his mouth again, folding his arms across his chest with a sigh.  “Is this the groupie you made me pull up on stage?  What are you doing man, you know the drill…”

“It’s not like that.” Shannon said gruffly, watching his brother shake his head at him.

“So you pull a fan out of the crowd and then fuck her on the bus, but it’s not like that?  This is a bad fucking idea…” Jared retorted.

“What’s a bad idea?” Emma said, climbing on to the bus behind Jared and dropping the bags in her arms on to the seat, looking at Jared in question.

“Shannon, fucking a fan.”

“Woah, yeah that’s a bad idea - you remember what happened last time. Let’s not go through that again,” Emma replied quickly, looking across at Shannon.

“Too late!” Tomo sang, nodding his head towards the door of the sleeping compartments.

Shannon cringed, watching as Emma looked from the door, to the jeans in his hand, and back to him.  “Shannon… seriously? She’s on the damn bus?!”

“Just… leave it alone,” he muttered, turning back to the door.

“You need to get her out of here – we are leaving in like five minutes…” Emma called after him, rolling her eyes as he shot her a warning look before sliding back in to the sleeping compartment, closing the door behind him.

She was perched on the edge of one of the bunks, leaning forwards with her elbows on her knees, fingers twisting together nervously as she watched him walk back in to the room.

“Well… this is humiliating…” she mumbled.

“You heard all that?” he grimaced.

“Your friends don’t disperse their advice quietly.”

“Don’t even worry about them…” he said quickly, hoping to calm her down.

“That’s easy for you to say, you’re not the one who feels like a whore,” she said, standing up and holding out her hand.  “Can I have my jeans please?”

He frowned, grabbing her outstretched arm with his empty hand and tugging her towards him sharply, circling his other arm around her back to hold her in place against him.  “You are not a whore.” He said firmly.

“He says to the girl who just fucked a complete stranger for the second time…” she said, her voice faltering as her eyes darted down to his mouth.

He smiled a little, watching her try to keep her cool.  She was affected by him, her breathing changing the second he touched her, that flush of pink rushing back to her cheeks.  He couldn’t keep his hands off of her, tightening the grip of his arm around her waist.

“Well… technically after the first time we’re not strangers anymore…” he whispered, pushing his hand into her hair and tangling his fingers through the curls, hearing her little intake of breath as he touched her again.

“You don’t even know my name.”

“So tell me.” he said simply.

The rumble of the bus engine starting vibrated through the floor under their feet, and he heard the footsteps heading towards the door.

“Shannon, we’re leaving.  Get her off the bus.” Emma’s voice said sharply.

He clenched his teeth together tightly, loosening his grip on her just enough for her to slip out of his grasp and take her jeans from his hand, and he watched her dark hair tumble forward as she quickly dressed herself, his mind frantically trying to find reasons to make her stay even as she looked around the sleeping compartment.

“I take it there’s no back door on this thing?” she said quietly, pushing her hair off of her face as she looked at him.
“Well…no…”

“Right. Of course not. Let’s get this over with, then.” she said, squaring her shoulders as she moved to walk past him.

“Wait…” he said, unable to hide the desperation creeping into his voice as he reached out to catch her elbow, stopping her as she reached the door.

She shook her head, gently removing her arm from his grip.  “There’s no more time.  I have to go.” She said, opening the door and stepping out before he could say another word.

He followed her, only vaguely aware of the others watching as she quickly grabbed her jacket from the floor, her face arranged in a carefully blank expression as she faced them.  “Sorry to have held you up.” she said, her English accent clipped and formal, before she moved quickly towards the door and hit the release button.

“Well that was… where are you going?” Jared exclaimed, watching as his brother followed her.

“I need a minute…” he said faintly, the panic returning in his gut as she disappeared through the door.

“Shannon we are leaving…” Emma started, and he clenched his fists as he stomped past her.

“So fucking leave without me!” he snapped, jogging down the steps and out the door.

She was already some distance away, walking quickly through the crew as they packed down the equipment and loaded up the lorries behind the stage, and he felt himself picking up speed as he tried to catch up to her.

“Wait… just, wait a minute… would you please stop!” he exclaimed, reaching out to catch her arm as she ignored him, forcing her to stop moving and turn to face him.

“What, Shannon?” she sighed, closing her eyes for a moment before looking at him, her eyebrows drawn together.

He blinked, her annoyed tone blindsiding him for a moment.  “I… this can’t be it!” he said incredulously, aware that his grip on her arm was tighter than it needed to be and still not able to let go.  He felt like the second he did, she would disappear.

“You have to go, and so do I.” she said, looking past him over his shoulder.  “You should get back on the bus.”

“Are you going to give me a number that actually works this time?” he asked, the question coming out almost as a growl as she dragged her eyes back to his.

Her facial expression softened, and she tilted her head as she looked at him. “I lost my old phone, back in London… I had to get it all cancelled.” She explained.

“So, you have a new number?” he asked, watching as she bit down on her lower lip again, hesitating over her answer.  “I want to see you again.” he said quietly, wrapping his free hand round her other arm to hold her in front of him, unable to take his eyes off her.

She let out a little breath, shaking her head slightly.  “I really have to go, Shannon.  I shouldn’t be here.”

“What does that mean?” he frowned, watching as she placed her hands on his chest, staring at her own fingers as she smoothed them across the front of his t-shirt and up to his neck.  She smiled, lifting her hands to cup his face gently and pull him towards her, placing a gentle kiss on his lips.

She smelled the same.  The memory of falling asleep in a London hotel bed, sheets tangled around their legs as she tucked herself under his arm and feathered his lips with kisses as he closed his eyes, crept back over him as he breathed her in.  She sighed against his lips, pulling back a little to rest her forehead against his.

“It was really good to see you again,” she whispered, smoothing the skin of his cheek with her thumb.

And then she was gone, his eyes startling open as he felt her pull out of his arms, and she smiled at him once more as she turned to walk away.

“Wait… you’re not even going to tell me your name?!” he called after her, watching as she started to weave her way through the bustle of people in front of her, his feet refusing to follow her.

She turned to look at him over her shoulder, an adorable grin spreading across her face as she looked back at him.  “Elizabeth!” she called back, holding his gaze a moment longer before turning away from him, disappearing amongst the crowd. And in that instant she was gone. Again.

Woozy

 “Robin…”

 “Mm?” Her head then turned at the feel of her right hand being held and tugged. Lower lip jutted out in confusion, Robin parted her mouth for a question.

 However, only a silent gasp slithered through once Chrom pressed the back of her hand to his lips.

 “I love you…” Eyes fluttered shut, he pressed another kiss; and another, and another. “Promise me you won’t leave me…” Her hand slowly traced upwards across his face, nuzzling his nose before sliding up to his forehead. Both his hands held her right hand, thumbs softly brushing the slightly callous skin of her palm.

Keep reading

Sick Roommate AU

She woke to a soft knocking at the door, a thin film of sweat dried onto her skin that she’d have to find the strength to do something about soon, right now though, she could barely stand on her own two feet. “Regina?” her eyes were already closing again, eyelids so very heavy when the doorknob turned slowly and his head popped into view, a sympathetic smile playing upon his face when she tried to blink herself awake enough to respond to him. In truth though, she was exhausted and even the thought of pushing herself into a sitting position had her internally groaning. “Don’t sit up,” it seemed he’d caught onto her frame of mind, “I’m just bringing you fresh supplies.”

She watched as he stepped further into her room, a tray held between his hands as he gently kicked the door further open to allow him room. She could see the steam rising in faint curls from a bowl, soup presumably, a mug beside it that she was sure was filled with that damn liquid cough suppressant she absolutely loathed, knowing that he’d more than likely slipped in a couple of teaspoons of sugar to help with the taste, and a packet of cough sweets, the ones she found she liked the most, cherry ‘Soothers’, ready for when she’d finished her food.

She smiled weakly at him before noticing that the room temperature glass of water she’d managed to fix herself in the early hours of the morning had been refilled with, what she assumed would be, cold water. “Have you been in here already?” her voice cracked, her chest rattling as she spoke and breathed, she was so very tired of feeling like this already.

He smiled sheepishly, tucking his hands into the pockets of his jeans as he shrugged at her after having lay the tray down upon her bedside table. “I wanted to check on you this morning,” and she couldn’t deny how sweet her roommate was sometimes, “make sure you hadn’t choked to death on your own phlegm or something” and there it was, that banter that she was glad to see he still enjoyed partaking in, even when she’d been struck down by some kind of plague.

“Well thank you,” she gave back as loudly as her poor voice would allow, frowning at the tickle that came with the dryness of her throat and shifting enough to reach for her water. She was stopped though when he instantly moved to grab the glass for her, coming to crouch beside her bed and helping to tip it back into slightly parted lips. She watched him as she drank, watched the way he waited for a sign she was done, tilting the glass further back to ensure the stream was steady. She’d moved into the place a year prior after finding an ad in a newspaper and relenting to the fact that shared accommodation was much more doable than paying for a place of her own with her meagre salary and he’d been charming from the moment she’d arrived. They’d quickly formed a friendship and a closeness that Regina had never really experienced with anyone in her life and it wasn’t long before she found her feelings had developed into something far more surprising than she ever would have thought. The fact that he was so concerned for her, so very caring and comforting when she felt her shittiest, did not help her to keep the lines she’d placed between them from blurring.

He smiled gently when she touched a hand to his wrist to indicate that she was done, moving the glass to rest back on the wooden surface beside her bed before looking back to find her looking at him curiously. “What?” he chuckled softly, completely unaware of her rapidly beating heart and warring emotions that only intensified when he reached forward to stroke back a lock of hair from the side of her head, moving his palm to rest over her forehead and frowning as he told her “you’re still too hot for my liking.”

And she couldn’t help it when she gave back sarcastically “I highly doubt that.”

He chuckled once more as he moved to stand, to grab her soup and help feed her, almost stopping her heart completely with his casual utterance of “even bogged down with a chest infection, you are still beautiful to me Regina Mills,” and well, if a chest full of phlegm wasn’t going to kill her, she was more than sure that this man crouching down once more to feed her, to care for her when she couldn’t do it herself, was going to.

3

Sundas. The only day of the week Claudia could be bothered to wear the clothes her mother sent from Cyrodiil, the ostentatious outfit that, according to Alexia, “befit a cousin of the Emperor.” Vittoria showed up at the Temple of the Divines in similar regalia but did not stay very long; she had that pinched look on her face that she often got when East Empire business was heavy on her mind. Claudia nearly followed her sister out of the temple but decided on a whim to linger a while longer - after all, it would boost her reputation to be seen here.

Akatosh. Stendarr. Mara. Dibella. Julianos. Kynareth. Arkay. Zenithar. There was one more on the tip of her tongue as she murmured the usual mantras to herself and she quietly breathed out “Talos” in a whisper no one else could hear. Her entire life had been overshadowed by the White-Gold Concordat and the restrictions on Talos worship the treaty entailed, but Claudia felt as if the empty pedestal that had once held the Ninth Divine’s shrine compelled more devotion than any shrine ever could. It demanded contemplation. Remember why I am not here, the empty space seemed to say.

In that respect, Claudia mused as she turned to leave, the Thalmor had been extremely short-sighted; for the memory of something that once was could be even more powerful than the thing itself.