Summary: Reader attends her first Devil’s Night at the Hotel Cortez with James. James loves the reader in more ways than one. He could never even think of killing her. And so god help anyone that laid a hand on her in a disrespectful way. They never really discussed their status, but they both knew where they stood with their feelings, and that was enough for them to go off of. When the reader gets overwhelmed by her first Devil’s Night, James takes the time away from his guests to comfort her and make sure she is alright.
Warnings: language (i think. not too sure how much), obviously some creepy murderer stuff. its AHS for crying out loud, mentions of blood, mentions of anxiety.
It was Devil’s Night at the Hotel Cortez. I didn’t know much about it except that James hosts a dinner the same night every year.
I know who James is, and I know he’s a ghost. So it shouldn’t have been any surprise to me that his guest were ghosts of past murderers. However, it did.
James had been taking care of me for quite some time now. And by that I mean he makes sure I have what I need. I never really understood why, or how for that matter, considering he was a ghost. I always just pushed that thought back. I always had a hard time trying to get things to work in my favor. Now that I have James, things are so much easier, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
James, for some reason, was completely infatuated with me. He was overprotective, caring, loving. It’s hard to believe that all those emotions can come from the world’s greatest serial killer that ever lived. But it was true. He never wanted any harm to come to me. I was the only living thing he never allowed himself to kill. And he’d kill anyone who laid a finger on me.
I guess I liked James too. And not because I thought I should. He was very handsome, needless to say. And he treats me like a queen, which is more than any other guy has ever done. And I’ll admit that we have indulged in certain… activities. The sex was fantastic, even for a ghost. My only wish is that we’d be able to leave the hotel; be a normal couple. But James wasn’t normal. And I guess now, neither was I. Despite him being a ghost, I was very content with the way things were.
However, Devil’s Night turned out to be a different story. It unsettled me. I should have figured all of James’s guests would be ghosts, but I was still shocked when I entered the room.
I walked into James’s hotel room as I was told. I was wearing a long, navy blue gown that had a sweetheart neckline and showed off my cleavage. I saw a woman first. Aileen Wuarnos, to be exact. She was dancing with a man that looked like Richard Ramirez. There was a man with glasses, sitting awkwardly at the table next to man dressed like the zodiac killer. I quickly recognized the man in glasses as Jeffery Dahmer. Walking out of the bathroom I recognized John Wayne Gacy, and over by the window was detective John Lowe. I had met him last year, and was devastated when I learned he had died.
It came as a shock to me to realize these were the ghosts of the world’s greatest serial killers. It overwhelmed me a bit. I knew James wouldn’t let anything happen to me, but the idea of being in a room full of mass murderers is what unsettled me. So I walked over to John Lowe, because he was the only one I knew, and the only one I trusted.
“(y/n)!” He said when he noticed me. “James mentioned you would be coming!” He hugged me awkwardly as he spoke.
“Yeah,” I breathed out nervously. “I wasn’t sure what this was when he told me, but I thought I’d give it a go. And now that I am here, I am genuinely shocked.”
“Well, this room is filled with serial killers. I mean, I should have guessed that knowing James, but actually seeing them all together is one room…”
“Don’t worry,” he said. “James is very fond of you. He’s told everyone what would happen if they tried to pull anything. I can’t guarantee that they will actually listen. They aren’t ones to follow the rules, obviously. But you’re safe with me until he gets here.”
“Thanks, John,” I smiled.
“Well, who is this pretty lady,” Richard said, approaching me and John.
“That’s March’s new lady friend,” Aileen said. “Not anything I expected. You’re nothing special. I wonder why he’s so smitten with you.”
“Believe me. I’ve been asking myself that for a long ass time,” I said back, trying to sound light so she wouldn’t kill me.
“Look at you. You think your a little smart ass, dontchya?” John Wayne Gacy said.
“What? No… I just…”
Everyone started to crowd around me and I felt John push me behind him protectively. “Back off. Do you remember what the consequences are if you touch her?”
“Oh, c’mon! We’re just trying to introduce ourselves,” Aileen said.
“Enough!” James’s voice boomed across the room. “Seem’s like Mr. Lowe is the only one who took what I said into consideration. Thank you, John, but I can take over from here.”
And just like that, I found myself breaking free of the mob and fleeing to James, who welcomed me with open arms. I think I took him a bit by surprise when I embraced him in a total bear hug, wrapping my arms around his waist and resting my head on his chest. I felt him let out a sigh of contentment as he requited my actions. He kissed my temple and asked, “Are you alright, dear?”
“Yeah. I’m fine,” I responded as I pulled away. I looked up at his face. His brown eyes looked down upon me with love and concern. I gave him a reassuring smile.
“Good,” he responded and kissed me lips chastely. “This is (y/n),” he said, turning me around, but keeping one arm around my shoulders. “She is my guest of honor and she is to be given the same respect as you would give me. She is also mine. If I see any one of you try to do anything to her… well, I’ve already explained what would happen.”
James lead me to my seat. I was sat between him and John Lowe, probably because I’d be safest between the two. Ms. Evers began to serve us our meal. James kept his left hand on my knee. I found it comforting considering the circumstances. James made a toast and everyone began to eat. Jeffery complained about the meal, and I was pretty sure why. The voices around me eventually turned into noises underwater, so I was a bit confused when I saw Ms. Evers present Jeffery with a man. Then it clicked. I knew what was going happen, and I knew that Jeffery would play with his food for a good hour before he did anything, but I really didn’t feel like witnessing a murder so I just nonchalantly pulled my phone out from my clutch and started to scroll my instagram.
James noticed my distraction and he gave my knee a reassuring squeeze. I knew he wanted me to socialize. But how? They all literally tried to corner me a half hour ago. But I did as James wished and put my phone away. I lasted maybe forty five minutes after that. I began to feel sick to my stomach. Watching Jeffery turn this man into a lobotomized vegetable made me uneasy. I assumed James thought I was ignoring it, but how could I? I felt my breathing hitch. No, not now. Now is not a time for a god damn anxiety attack. I tried to be smooth about taking deeper breaths, but James finally noticed something was off.
“Is everything alright, darling,” he asked as he brushed a piece of hair behind my ear.
“Yeah, the wine is just a little strong,” I lied.
“You were very engrossed in your cellular device earlier,” he mentioned.
“Oh, yeah. Sorry. It’s just that my favorite band is on tour and I’m waiting for them to announce the dates for North America. I’ve seen them on every tour they’ve had so, as a dedicated fangirl, I’m super excited about going again.” God damn, that was terrible.
“Would you like me to pretend that I understood everything you just said,” he said in a light tone, a small smirk on his face.
I chuckled. “Sure, and I can explain it later.”
James smiled and kissed my head. I tried to finish my salad. Jeffery was now finding an easy way to harvest the man while he was still alive, and everyone was conversing with each other like it was normal. I felt eyes on me constantly. Eventually I couldn’t take it any longer. I was going to be sick.
“Excuse me,” I said, standing up. “I need to use the little girl’s room.” With that, I made my way to the en suite bathroom. I was thankful it was an en suite, that way nobody could see me come in or out. I sat on the floor, the skirt of my dress draping over my legs, and just hovered over the toilet. But nothing happened. Just as it always does. My anxiety racks up enough to the point where I feel sick, but as soon as I am fully prepared for the contents of my stomach to resurface, its gone.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the moment that I forget all the coping mechanisms I’ve learned over the years. Once I realized what was happening, I just sat with my back against the wall, trying to steady my breathing. About ten minutes later, James walks in and finds me on the floor.
“Sweetheart…” he said, kneeling down next to me.
“I’m fine,” I said, my voice quiet. I stared in front of me at the bathroom sink. The bathroom was dimly lit from the light of the bedroom. I could just make out the shadows on James’s face when he turned my head to look at him.
“What’s wrong? Was it the food?”
“No, no. The food was great. I just… I had a decent idea of what I would be walking into tonight, but seeing all of them together in one room was a bit overwhelming. And Jeffery… its bad enough he’s a cannibalistic serial killer… but he’s legitimately playing with his food. That’s just fucking weird.”
James sighed. “I’m sorry. This is my fault. I should have talked to you about it before just inviting you-”
“No, don’t be. Honestly, it’s fine. It’s just my anxiety psyching me out. I know you wouldn’t let them hurt me.” I said the last word and then let my head fall back and rest on the wall.
“You look exhausted. I guess anxiety and serial killers don’t mix very well. I will keep that in mind for next year,” he said. I gave him a small smile. “Well, the night is almost over so why don’t you get into something more comfortable and get into bed. Mr. Lowe will be here a bit after everyone leaves, but as soon as he and I are finished, I will be into bed with you.”
I nodded. “John I can handle. He’s the only one I trust out of all those wackadoodles.”
“You do realize that I am, essentially, one of those ‘wackadoodles’?”
I smiled and said, “Yes, but you are my favorite wackadoodle.”
James couldn’t help but smile. “This is one of the many reasons I love you.” I smiled back. “Alright, dear. Go on and get ready for bed,” he said after helping me up. “And I will see you in a few minutes.”
I nodded and he gave me a quick kiss before getting back to his guests.
About twenty minutes later, James came back into the room. He had already undressed and was wearing a plain white shirt and boxers. I was scrolling on my phone when he crawled into bed with me. He laid next me and watched as I stared at my phone. I locked it, and looked over it at him.
“I’m sorry you didn’t get to finish the night,” he said.
“Did you enjoy yourself though?”
“I did. Especially when you were by my side.”
“Well, if you had a good time, then that is all that matters. It was your night.”
James smiled at me. My phone lit up and it was the notification I had been waiting for.
“Fucking finally,” I murmured to myself.
“You have had a mouth on you tonight, dear,” James mentioned, a bit of disappointment in his voice. He never liked it when I swore.
“I’m sorry. I’m just excited.”
“Is that the announcement you were waiting for?”
“Yes it is.”
“Explain to me what a ‘tour’ and a ‘fangirl’ are.”
“So, a tour is when an band or artist or comedian travels to different cities and does a performance at different venues. It’s like another term for travel but mostly for the music industry. A fangirl is a person, usually female, that freaks out and screams and squeals about their favorite celebrity or band. I am, essentially a fangirl, just on a lesser scale ‘cause I really only scream and squeal at concerts.”
“And you have been to every tour of this band you want to go see?”
“Yup. I know every word to every song they’ve ever released. Even ones that weren’t released in the United States,” I said with a small laugh.
“Wow. That really is dedication.” James sighed. “I wish I could go with you.”
“Awe, I know, baby. I’m sure there will be a live stream of it though. That’s when someone records the the show on camera and broadcasts it live through the internet. I’m sure Liz wouldn’t mind showing you how to set it up so you could watch it while I’m there.”
“That would be an interesting experience.” James looked at me fondly. “You seem better than earlier. Did the anxiety subside?”
“A little bit. It’s still lingering ‘cause I’m talking your ear off, but ya know.” I said and shrugged my shoulders.
James pulled me into his body and said, “You could never talk my ear off, sweetheart. I’d listen to you all day long if I could.”
I nuzzled close to him, feeling comforted by his embrace. “I love you, James.”
“I love you, too, (y/n).” He kissed the top of my head. “You’re still trembling a little bit. Try your best to relax and fall asleep. I’m not going anywhere.”
I hummed a response and took in a deep breath, his scent filling my nose. I sank into his hold and drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
Requested by Anon: Oh, I love Lance. I really enjoyed ‘Give me that gold’ and I’m patiently (longingly) waiting for the next part of 'not an Athlete’. Can I request something about going on a date with him on valentines day and getting a bit irritated when the waitress won’t stop flirting with him? Smut and a fluffy ending, if possible? As fluffy as anything with Lance Tucker can be, anyways. Thank you! Ratings: Mature/ Implied smut, I went more fluff route. I am writing smut on my Tucker series so I kinda, wanted to focus on smut. Word Count: 1,670 - I’m still editing but I wanted this up!
Note: AGAIN, I feel like whenever I write smut I say this but I am not pro-smut writer, I am not one of those blogs that find it easy. I am learning every day, so hopefully, you see the improvements! - Rosalee
“You didn’t have to make reservations, I am happy spending the evening inside with take out.” You smile as you entered the luxurious restaurant, arm wrapped around your waist and lightly tensing around you.
You look up at your boyfriend of almost three years, who was lightly chuckling. “We do that every night; I wanted to do something special for you, so just enjoy it.”
Lance was right about that. You’re a homebody; you love the comfort of your home and feel at peace there. It’s a safety blanket of sorts, you preferred the ease it came with when at home. Not that you didn’t enjoy going outside or to fancy places with Lance but he seemed more himself, like he wasn’t putting on some show, it was nice.
Lance pulled you towards the front desk where he stated his name; you were then led to your table. The place was fancy as hell, beautiful chandeliers, crystal glass champagne flutes. It looked expensive, you hated when Lance spent loads of money on you. You have your own job, it’s how you met Lance but he loved to spoil you and you wanted to hate it, his face of excitement when he does spoil you makes you melt.
“I know you hate it when I spoil you,” Lance began, sitting across from you, “but it’s Valentines’ Day and it’s like the only day of the year, except Christmas and Birthday, which I can’t be told off for splurging.” You chuckled and nodded in agreement.
Lance ordered champagne, ignoring your look when he said the most expensive. You couldn’t really be mad at him; he only showed this affection around you, it was like you were his weakness. He becomes a little soft whenever around you. You made light chat as you both looked over the menu, everything sounded delicious and you couldn’t really decide, you were feeling pretty hungry also.
Before you could ask Lance for help the sprightful, young waitress bounced over. “Ready to order?” Her bright smile completely aimed at your boyfriend, you pushed down the jealousy because you were sort of used to this.
Used to girls and women all fawning over Lance Tucker, it was understandable from just looking at him and he had his past, not that you ever judged him on it but it made the first year… not easy. You couldn’t blame him, he hadn’t met you and didn’t really like the thought of settling down but then he met you, and it took a lot of convincing to get you on a date.
So, you weren’t going to play the jealous girlfriend tonight.
“I can recommend anything,” her voice dropped a little in tone, a light play of suggestiveness to it and you glanced at Lance.
He hadn’t even looked up from his menu, yet, too busy looking it over. “I think I’ll have the lobster,” he finally glanced up, smiling and pacing the menu to her. She let out this little, high-pitched giggle and then looked to you.
You felt her eyes drag down your face and upper body, pursing her lips in slight disappointment, you felt slightly uncomfortable with it. Her piercing blue eyes as she waited for your order, she let out this sigh of impatience like you were taking up her time with Lance when in fact, it was the opposite.
“Uh-I’ll have the pan-seared chicken with shallots,” you handed the menu gently out to her and she takes with a little quirk of her eyebrow in response to you. She turned offering another sultry smile to Lance before walking away, you watching the back of her as she left.
It took Lance light chuckle to pull you back, you flushed out of embarrassment. “I’m sorry that still happens,” he tells you gently, offering his hand across the table for you and you gladly take it.
“It’s expected when you still look like that,” you shrugged and he let out another chuckle, shaking his head at you. “You haven’t given me any reason to feel jealous, I just hate it,” you sighed.
He squeezes your hand softly, drawing attention to his eyes. “Hey, I feel the same way when we go out and guys openly check you out. I love you, okay?”
You blushed lightly and chuckled, “I love you too. Although, I don’t have millions of fans across the country like you do but I hear what you’re saying.” He rolled his eyes but grinned.
Your food was served by the flirty waitress, who lingered a little too long when bending over to serve Lance’s meal and you tried to brush off how irritated you got. You didn’t want to ruin the evening by creating a scene, yet she was blushing and giggling, it was starting to become pretty old quickly. When she finally left, you sipped your champagne in silence and ate your food a little bitterly. Lance couldn’t help it but he wasn’t exactly stopping her little show.
You talked lightly, trying not to let Lance know how irritated you are because really, you didn’t want to ruin the night he planned out. But Lance knows you, better than anyone and he knew, of course, he knew!
When you got home that’s when he decided to ask about it. “Are you okay?”
“What do you mean?” You asked walking to the bedroom and Lance following, leaning against the doorframe watching you as you tried not to give yourself away. On purposefully not looking at him, “I’m fine, promise. Why wouldn’t I be? I’m not upset that you let some waitress flirt with you, on Valentine’s Day, in front of me. I’m not upset!” You huffed sitting on the edge of the bed and taking your heels off.
Lance raised his eyebrows, “Wait… you’re upset because I let someone flirt with me?” He asked in bewilderment, you glared at him. “I hardly noticed her attempts,” you scoffed as he held back a chuckle. “Seriously, how could I notice her when you’re wearing that dress?” he asked, crossing his arms as if to prove his point.
You did specifically buy the dress for this dinner. It was a long blue, gown. The cut was a deep-v like shape, exposing a modest amount of cleavage; it exposed the necklace Lance gave you on your two-year anniversary.
He strides over to you, leisurely and smoothly, taking a hold of your hand and pulling you up from the bed. With your heels off his significantly taller than you, he isn’t mad or smirking but he has this soft smile on his face like he thinks you being jealous is the most adorable thing you do. His hands settle on your waist, pulling you flush against his toned body.
One of his hands cups your cheek causing you to look up at him. His blue eyes are soft, lovingly looking back at you and your breath hitches in your throat because it’s so intense, full of love and adoration for you and just you. He leans down and molds his lips to yours, kissing you gently. The hand cupping your cheek creeps around to the back of your neck, lightly holding you in place as he deepens the kiss, fingers playing with your hair.
He pulls away, all too soon in your opinion, resting his forehead against your own as he breathes through his nose. It’s silent as you toy with his toy, holding onto it as a lifeline of some sort. He’s staring at you when you finally look back at him, fingers stilling and lying flat against his chest.
“I love you,” he mutters above a whisper and you nod because you know he does. You know but you always have this suspicion he’ll leave, it’s always there but you know that right now, he does love you.
You both help undress one another in silence, it’s a comforting silence. A warm kind of silence, a silence that speaks volumes between you because you don’t need to say words, it’s comforting and nice. Lance unzips your dress slowly, helping you step out of it and picking it up to drape over the vanities chair.
You both resume kissing as you lay on the bed, wrapped in Lance’ arms, as he softly caresses your body. He’s being extra gentle tonight, soft kisses and teasing touches, it’s different to how this usual happens but it’s a nice different. It’s like he wants to prove how much he loves you with each touch, each lick and nip of your skin. He didn’t leave any inch of your skin untouched. Every nerve felt like it was on fire, his touch felt scorching but yet, so good.
He had you on the brink of demise so, so many, times only to pull back. It was pure torture but the best kind because when he finally had you coming undone, it felt like everything stopped. The world, time and your breathing, everything just stopped moving.
Lance lay on top of you, breathing heavily against the crook of your neck as you fingers carded through his thick, damp hair. You felt his lips trail kisses on your collar bone, sending shivers up your spine as you breathily chuckled.
“Happy Valentines’ Day, baby,” he muttered hotly against your neck, pulling himself up to kiss your lips sweetly. “I did have a gift to give you but…” he trailed off signature smirk settling on his face as he looked down at you.
You chuckled, hands moving to rest on his broad shoulders, “Wait, you mean this wasn’t my present?” You asked; he rolled his eyes still grinning boyishly. “You naked on top of me? The present better be a puppy because that’s the only thing that can top this.”
He raised an eyebrow and laughed, rolling off of you as he carried on laughing to himself about what you said. You watched him with a little grin of your own, moving to rest your head against his chest, an arm wrapping around your body as he still shook with laughter.
“How in the world would a puppy beat sex with me?” He asked after a few seconds of silence.
(Super original title, I know. Don’t judge me, I couldn’t think of one and it’s 3am right now. If I think of something better I’ll change it to that but for now. Anyway, sorry I take so long to update Not An Athlete, my lance Tucker series but I just want every chapter to be good. - Rosalee)
this imagine is brought to you by my thirst for mark strong’s hands.
merlin x agent!reader ; let me help you.
You and Eggsy had been assigned to a local mission for the night. There was a gala being held in the theater district of London tonight, and the head of the Russian crime syndicate you’d been tracking for weeks would be there. It was exciting that this mission was finally coming to a head, even if the amount of danger you two would be in for three hours was immense.
Your outfit was different from the usual suit - tonight you’d be wearing a long, blue gown with a high slit up the right thigh. The low cut decolletage exposed… a lot of cleavage. However, the honeypot technique was going to be in full swing - it was your job to distract the mob head while Eggsy gathered intel.
A knock on the door of the changing room startles you. Blinking, you hear Merlin’s low voice speak quickly. “It’s me.”
Clutching the unzipped gown to your chest, you open the door and your better half slips in. You’re thankful that the Kingsman Tailor Shop’s changing rooms were spacious, fitting both you and Merlin comfortably.
Jealousy, somehow, stirs in his chest when he sees you. You look stunning - your hair was swept up off your neck in intricate plaits, drawing his eyes straight to the curve’s of your throat and collarbone and –
“Tha’s a low cut dress, innit?”
You laugh, staring at Merlin through the mirror as he looms behind you. A warm hand of his finds your waist while the other skims your shoulder. He drops a kiss to the skin there, peeking up at you.
“You just wanted to come in here and steal me away for a bit, didn’t you?” you ask, eyes soft with good humor. His mouth skims a bit higher, biting a gentle kiss into the skin on the side of your neck. You bite back a soft moan as goosebumps raise across your arms. Leaning back into his chest, you snatch one of his hands as it makes a beeline under the slit of your dress. “Careful, Hamish, don’t start something you can’t finish.”
He really does wish he could keep going - however you’re due to meet Eggsy in fifteen minutes. The use of his real name stirs a deep rumble of a laugh out his before he plants one more chaste kiss against your cheek. “I suppose you’re right. I came in t’ help with your zipper. Let me help you.”
Watching him through the mirror, you feel has hands skim up your spine for a moment. His touch leaves a hot, burning trail that makes you squirm a bit. He takes his time zipping up your gown, eyes wandering over the expanse of your back and shoulders as he does so. His breath is hot against your ear, and his voice is low and rough.
“I plan on ripping tha’ dress off of y’ later,” his gaze is heavy with lust, “So y’ better make it back in one piece.”
Note: The Leonardo installment of the Prince!AU. I’ve been toying around with this idea for quite a while.
Word Count: 1535
The Kingdom of the Wild was one shrouded in mystery. People knew that the castle housed the King and his four sons, but they hardly left the castle. They were almost never seen beyond its tall walls, and even then, no one had ever seen them. Only heard the few stories that escaped the palace’s tall walls.
But everything would soon change.
Being the youngest daughter of the Kingdom of the Moon, and the only one of your sisters not already engaged, it wasn’t surprising to you when the ball invitations started to arrive. You were a hot ticket among the eligible princes and kings-to-be, apparently.
Finally, the invitation for the only ball you had any real interest in attending had arrived.
“Your Grace, a letter.” Your handmaiden, a beautiful young woman named Ascella, delivered it one morning, just after you had gotten dressed.
“And just where is this letter from?”
“The Kingdom of the Wild, my lady.”
“Thank you, Ascella.” She handed you the letter. You carefully peeled back the wax seal and opened the envelope, revealing the fine paper within.
“Princess (Y/N) of the Kingdom of the Moon,
I hope this letter reaches you in good health. You are hereby invited to a masquerade ball to be held in the Castle of the Wild on the twelfth night of the month.
Prince Leonardo wishes you the best and hopes to see you in attendance, as your actions in the Kingdom of the Moon have made quite an impression on him. He has sent also a dress for the event that he hopes is to your liking.”
The note was stamped with the seal of the Kingdom of the Wild.
“He sent a dress?” You asked.
“Yes. He did. Would you like me to have it brought up?”
“Yes, please.” You couldn’t help but be a bit interested in this. Out of all of the invitations you had received, none of them had come with gifts. A few minutes later, the gown was brought up to your chambers. It was long blue ball gown with satin puffs at the tops of the sleeves and fine lace along the edge of the skirt. The color of the dress was unlike anything you had ever seen. It was vibrant and deep and absolutely regal. It had come with a detailed masquerade mask made of the same fabric of the skirt and lined in lace. And as you were admiring the craft of the thing, you happened upon a piece of paper hidden inside. Another note.
I apologize for the last note you received. I had wished to send something more personal to you, but my advisors thought against it for fear I might disclose private matters. However, I did wish to write something to you myself, so I did.
I hope you will attend the ball, as I’ve been anxious to meet you for quite some time now. Please come with an open mind. As to why, I’m not at liberty to say, but I hope you’ll not judge us too harshly.
If you come, I’ll be the one wearing blue.
You read the note over a few more times, studying his penmanship and the mystery behind his careful words.
Nonetheless, you picked up a roll of paper and dipped a quill in ink and wrote your reply.
“A raven arrived this morning from the Kingdom of the Moon.” Lady April walked into the grand hall, directly to the eldest prince and offered the tiny scroll addressed to him. “A reply from the princess perhaps?”
“One can only hope.” Leonardo held out a large green hand and took the tiny scroll carefully, being gentle to unroll it so he could read it. A smile spread across his face as he read the words you had written.
I write you to tell you I will be in attendance at your ball. Thank you for the beautiful gown you sent. I assure you, I shall put it to good use. I look forward to making your acquaintance in person and promise to come with an open mind and an open heart.
I, too, shall be the one wearing blue.
“Is she coming?”
“She is.” Leonardo rolled up the parcel of paper and tucked it away, a warm feeling flooding his chest. She was going to meet him, and by the sound of it, she was exactly the type of future queen he was looking for.
“Your grace, I was hoping for some opinions on arrangements for tomorrow evening.”
“Yes, yes of course…”
Leonardo stood up and followed Lady April, and despite the many activities, all he could think of or focus on the rest of the day was you.
You arrived at the ball by carriage wearing the gorgeous gown Leonardo had sent for you. The mask was tied around your face, and your hands were covered in fine white gloves. You collected the skirt in your hands and took careful steps out of the carriage, assisted by your footman. Then, you followed the stream of nobles up the carpeted stairs into the castle.
Inside, the ballroom was filled with guests dancing. Some were chatting idly, and above it all, four princes sat on four thrones with the king in the center. The one at the right hand of the king was indeed dressed in blue, the same shade you were wearing, and when he spotted you in the crowd, you could have sworn you saw him wink at you.
It was in that moment that you had to do a double take.
The princes were not ordinary in any meaning of the word. Their skin was green and scaly, and as you got further into the ballroom, you could make out three fingers on each hand. They were each propped up in their seats as though there was something resting against their backs. And yet, his blue eyes pierced you, as human as the crowd assembled to finally look at the elusive rulers of the Wild Kingdom.
And though he was different, that was certain, you stood there unafraid, eyes locked on his, watching as a slow smile crept across his face. You couldn’t help but smile back and do a small curtsy. He leaned over to his father, told him something, and then stood up from his throne, swiftly, but gracefully making his way through the crowd that stood between you.
He was tall, handsome, dressed in a blue suit that matched yours, and around his eyes was a blue mask.
“Nice to finally meet you, princess.”
“Likewise.” You held out your hand and he took it in his, bowing down to press a sweet kiss to the back of it. “You’re…taller than I expected.”
“That’s one way to put it, I suppose.” He chuckled. “Might I have this dance?”
“Of course.” You slipped your hand into his and the two of you walked out into the center of the room. The orchestra picked up at the sight of their prince finally entering the waltz with the rest of the guests. The two of you practically glided across the floor, moving together with grace. Leonardo couldn’t seem to keep his eyes off of you, and the look on your face filled his chest with warmth.
You danced for what seemed like hours until Leonardo leaned forward to whisper in your ear.
“How about we get some fresh air?”
“I’d like that very much.” You nodded.
He offered his arm, and you wrapped an arm around it, letting him escort you out of the ballroom to the gardens. It was a gorgeous place filled with colorful flowers and fireflies. A large fountain sat in the center of the yard surrounded by paths that led through the hedges.
“Leonardo, thank you for the dress and the amazing evening.”
“Thank you for coming with an open mind, princess.”
“Promised I would.” You looked up at him. The way the moonlight danced across his features set your heart ablaze.
“I just want you to know…this,” he motioned to himself and held one of his large green hands out in front of him, “this doesn’t go away at midnight. It’s not a curse or a spell…it’s who I am.”
It was silent. You didn’t know what to say, so instead, you reached up and brushed his cheek with your hand, bringing his face down to look at you.
“I know.” Your voice was quiet but sincere, and the soft smile on your face sent Leonardo’s doubts flying. “I’ve been to thirty balls this month and this is the only one I actually enjoyed.”
“So that means…”
“Leonardo, I like you. A lot. Of all of my suitors, you’re by far my favorite.”
“(Y/N), I think you’ll make a fine queen one day.” Leonardo’s voice was gentle. One of his fingers brushed the hair out of your face.
“And I would gladly call you my king.”
In a bold move empowered by the warmth buzzing in his chest, Leonardo leaned forward and captured your lips in a loving kiss.