For the anon who requested the bed-sharing trope. It kind of turned out…odd.
The original version had copied wrong onto the post, hence its deletion and this updated one. Thank you @samaykay912 for pointing it out. However, all grammar and this sorry excuse for writing is unedited and strung together last minute (Why have I not started studying for calculus yet??).
The timer sharply ran at ten o’clock, and Nesta plucked the micro-device out of her ear, tossing it onto the soiled Earth. Her heels crushed the piece of tech, and soon her legs stalked forward, hands holding the edges of her ruby gown swishing around her. Once her high-stiletto shoes reached the marbled tiles, she dropped the silky fabric, a slight breeze in the crisp night kissing her skin.
Rounding the corner of the castle grounds, her eyes darted over the faceless security patrols who spared her a passing glance, some daring glance over the high slit of the dress on her right leg. She merely smiled prettily, running a tongue over her lower lip, painted with blood-red lipstick. Her fingers dipped into the curve of her breasts, and she smirked at the dazed and glazed looks cresting over the younger guards marching past her. Snapping the golden embroided invitation out of her bra, she winked at the flustered males, and continued her walk. Fanning the invitation against her face, she studied the towering columns and dark, tinted windows peeking from the upper walls.
Flipping her brown strands gleaming with golden flares, Nesta Archeron stalked to the entrance, listening to the faint whispers of orchestra’s melody and courtesan’s small talks.
She considered it a shame midnight would end with cacophonies and rumors. Pressing the papyrus into the butler’s white gloved hands, she stared down the escort who stepped from the long line of males and held out his elbow to user her up the gilded stairs. The escort swallowed and she dismissed him with a sparse look, striding up and into the gleaming castle. Inside, drafts of warm currents pierced her flesh, the beating sounds of blended notes spiraling throughout the domed room with glass chandeliers sparkling from several quadrants. Low murmurs arose as she stalked through the entrance, a bland smile curled onto her face. When an arm reached out, slightly bent, Nesta gladly took it, and stepped into the lines of circles to dance. Faces turned away from her, the attention of wave’s receding lapping into the back of the mind, as she disappeared from the main sight, and the next guest walked in.
“You didn’t walk with an escort,” the male voice murmured. “Meaning your date’s not here or you want to be scooped up by some other higher ranked—more than a courtesan in the royal courts could offer.”
Nesta offered him a sharp smile, one cultivated from dancing with the viper and drowning in poisons. Her eyes turned towards the warm body offering pouring heat, and blinked at the hazel eyes intently studying her under those dark brows that framed his rough, unshaven face. Wide shoulders corded with thick muscles roped around to his arms, and the black coat hung unbuttoned across his buttoned shirt.
He dipped her low, and leaned back as his eyes skimmed over her exposed collarbone.
“If it’s the first, I frankly don’t believe you’d be stood up,” he leaned down to caress a breathe against her collarbone. “But you already look powerful enough to not need someone else. So what is it?”
They arched back up, and resumed their small circles of steps and little twirls.
A third option, she silently mused, allowing the music to bounce around them, their bodies swaying together in synchrony. Noting the guards slipping behind the curtains and hugging the shadows along the walls, she cocked her head. A distraction fit perfectly as all the royals would be dining and dancing in the other secluded areas, choosing to grace the other invitees later on in the night.
“Want to go somewhere else?” she murmured, weaving her around his chest, each step they took too precise and full of the tensions lurking beneath the luxuries exteriors.
A flash of a grin. “Anything to loosen you up, sweetheart.” A hand strayed near the small of her back, guiding her to one of the dimly lit hallways. Goosebumps flew over her skin as she felt focus slipping from her.
A hush fell over the crowd, the faint tinkling of the glorious music halting. From the opposite direction of the entrance, two goldened and darkened double doors had flung open, one shadow of a figure descending the curve of slanted stairs.
A crown of pure obsidian—no fringe of gold or silver or diamonds or rubies. Not when the King’s own phantom absorbed all darkness and riches. Not when the King’s soldiers had pillaged her own village, one lower-ranked cornering her into the barn the night her house had been set afire. Not when she’d been separated from her own sisters, and then sought her revenge for seven years.
A cold smile settled on that square face—ancient and heavy, full of curses and endurance, eliciting pulses of hatred and demise to pound through her veins and echo within the crevices of her own heart chamber.
Every shape and figure bent, bowing to the King. Nesta let out a low hiss, clenching her teeth.
The music began, sharper and faster, and clean cut blade caressing her ear.
“You still want to get out of here?” the male muttered, not bothering to mask boredom.
“I’m going to greet the King of Hybern,” Nesta said, and started to detach herself from the male’s arms.
A hand wrapped around her wrist. “This is your first time attending this type of event, isn’t it?”
“What?” she snapped.
“Talk to the King and have your head disconnected from the rest of your body.” Those hazel eyes stared down at her, contemplating more than she liked.
She arched a brow, and debated whether slipping out her opinion. She refrained.
“No one’s allowed to infect his presence,” the male recites. “Unworthy to near his space, and worthy to watch from afar.”
That complicated things for a bit. Her information briefing hadn’t been exactly accurate, it seemed.
“But if you want to catch his attention, I suggest you tug down that dress.”
Nesta shot the male a sharp glance. “Excuse me?”
A shrug. “These things get quite dull. I wouldn’t mind a little blood spilled.”
She matched his grin, and they sashayed towards the fringes of the east hall. Rolling her shoulders, she tilted her head, and watched the dark robed King stalk through the corridor, the backs of guards swallowing up his form.
She pressed her hands against the male’s chest, and said a bit loudly, “Let’s find some privacy.” Tucking her face in the crook of the male’s neck, she allowed him to guide her into the darkness and away from the glamor of the middle of the ball.
“Anything you want, sweetheart,” he whispered, stroking her hair. Nesta noticed the patrols closing in towards them, most likely about to command them to return back into the ballroom. Nesta wrapped her leg with the open slit around the other male’s, and kissed him fully on the lips.
A cry of protest rumbled from the male’s throat, but he quickly absorbed her lips, wrapping her around him, one hand grounding around her hips, the other pressing against the small of her back. A low growl thundered from the base of his throat as they broke apart for air, a crazed and wild look flailing within those hazel eyes, and those orbs raked across her form as if seeing her for the first time.
He leaned down and slammed her against the wall, the shadows of metal and steel streaming away from them. Nesta watched a guard retreat from them, shaking his head, and resumed soaking in the warmth of the stranger of a male. He held her tightly, emanating warmth beyond her once dreams, and devoured her. She groaned as he slowly nipped his way down, exposing the pale column of her throat. A thumb stroked lower from her waist and fingered the fabric of her gown. Her finger lashed out and she tilted his head back up, capturing his mouth within hers, and they waged their own war between teeth and tongue, soiled in the seconds of heat and devourment. His own fingers travelled up over the curve of her shoulders and down, leaving lingering sensations of desire and need erupting within every pore.
A loud crackling sound of metal grinding had Nesta peeling away from the male and mentally scolding herself. She’d gotten too cooped up in the moment, and allowed herself to become too exposed. By the cold, dark eyes of the one wearing the blackened and solid crown, the King of Hybern had spotted another prey, those fathomless eyes staring at her tousled state.
He jerked his chin at the male embracing her, dark eyes flickering. “Out,” he droned.
The hazel eyed male smoothed his hands down her back and tightened his hands on the small of her back, grasping the folds of the back of her gown. A second later, he abruptly released her and stalked into the light where the tinkering of music sounded.
Coldness flooded her once again, an emptiness settling within her core.
The King stalked towards her, and Nesta flattened her back against the wall. She knew that predatory look, the one who forged her into the pillar of ice and steel.
Her hand itched down, as if covering her slit in the dress.
“You dare disrupt my halls,” the King mused. “To lose yourself in feeling.”
Dark eyes, dark heart.
“I wonder what it would be like for a damsel to lose all sense of feelings,” the King pondered.
Nesta spotted the syringe, and danced around the first stroke.
Cold eyes, cold heart.
“You cannot escape,” the King warned, and reached out a hand, which Nesta realized was dripping with blood. “The end of this hallways lies for my…experiments. You’d do your country an honor to join them.”
Nesta knew, knew of the experiments, of the agony, of the horror, of those who walked out there, and were never the same.
Not when Tomas, her first lover of six years, had volunteered service to the King, and returned with dark eyes, a dark heart, cold eyes, and a cold heart.
Nesta unsheathed a dagger from her knife strap, and allowed the reflection of the blade to arc within the darkness.
A weapon to match that inked soul.
A sick smile. “I see,” the King said slowly, and tossed the syringe to the side, the sound clattering.
He lunged towards her, and grabbed her wrist so harshly the knife dropped. He tossed her against the wall, her head colliding with the hard surface. He reached down and ran a finger against the blade.
The strength the King possessed—but the deed had been done.
Nesta smiled, and watched the King prick his finger.
Dark to flame, shadow to madness, lunacy to bone.
Nesta stalked to the syringe and tucked into into her thigh strap securely. Then she strode the King of Hybern, who stared at the domed ceiling with criss crossing beams with an empty look. That ancient face now glazed over, the pulse at his neck fading.
Nesta leaned in. “Not so fun to be experimented on, is it now?” she whispered. “Took my six years to concoct.”
Blood gurgled from the King’s lips, the strangled sound lighting her veins.
“I know you’re going to die. Slowly. But I have to leave now. So,” she twirled the hilt of the dagger around her fingers, her red nails flashing in front of the King, “I’m going to have to speed up the process.”
Nesta Archeron drove the blade. Not through the heart where layers of armor awaited, but across.
She’d practiced this move too many times for too many years.
In utter patience into utter completion, where the head flew across the spine and body and rolled across the ground, coming to a halt. The crown slithered off the black hair and crashed against stone, the sound of the rim of the onyx and ink symbol echoing through the corridor.
The King’s body crumbled at her feet.
Dark eyes lolled up and dark heart unbeating. Cold eyes ripped from this world and dark heart ceased. Picture perfect.
Footsteps neared, and Nesta braced herself.
She stared at the hazel-eyed man, who merely looked at her, and then at the body—and the head.
“Cauldron boil me,” he managed to gasp out, and crossed his arms.
Nesta waited, finding herself oddly rooted to the ground.
“What the hell?” the man snarled, and Nesta angled the knife carefully under her arm and wrist. “You killed my kill, with less blood. Damn my ego and mission.”
She blinked, and stared at the large sword in his hand.
Too obvious, yet obviously typically male.
She silently scrutinized the male in front of her, hearing the distant and clunky patter of footsteps. Slipping the knife into his free hand and damning the aghast look on his chiseled face, Nesta tossed herself against the wall, mustering one of the facades she knew too well.
“Hands up!” Large seas of coats and suits swam through one end of the hall, swords, metal, and steel pointed towards them.
A tear leaked down her face, and Nesta reminded herself to not wear waterproof mascara again. By the looks on the castle’s guard’s face, she’d successfully portrayed herself as the damsel in distress.
“He—” she hiccuped, and stared at the body and head, waving her arms frantically. “He killed the King of Hybern!”
Nesta booked it, slipping out and pushing past the guards, slicing those limbs who reached out to ensnare her. It was another maddening dance, one learned from monstrosity, and living as a corpse within.
She hurried away, away from the male and from the dead and from the memories.
Her eyes turned away from the castle as she stalked away and leaped out the entrance, the stares of many driving her away. Hitting the rendezvous point, she didn’t cast a look back at the towering, tall, and dark castle. She slipped off her shoes and unhooked the rope wrapped around the stern of a slim boat, and pushed the vessel into the river, quickly jumping in. Balancing the boat, she picked up the paddle and rowed, ignoring the beat of the drums of the peals of alarms.
She didn’t bother to catch her breathe her arms continued to move in synchrony, once to a longing beat of music and desire. The cold air kissed her skin, whispering little slivers of words and gentle caresses.
Nesta stared at the moon as she quickly rowed, hours seeming to pass by as she passed by, listening to the chirping of crickets and unidentified howls. In the wilderness, she coexisted.
The vessel hit the edge of the river, and she dragged it under the cover of mosses and overgrown leaves. Trudging up the bank, Nesta listed the edges of her gown, and slipped back on her heels.
She caught the light from the distance, and followed it, ignoring the branches reaching out with ghostly hands to chain her back. Nesta picked apart the sharp tendrils and trudged forward.
A hand wrapped around her elbow, and she jerked back to no avail, only to have her entire body encased by another towering one.
Her body flared in response to the other male’s heat.
She stopped squirming and hissed lowly.
“Kill the King,” the voice snarled. “And frame me? Whose damned side are you on?”
She shrugged as well as she could. “Saw the opportunity and took it.”
“Wouldn’t you like to know.” She twirled around, not before she shot him her infamous viper’s grin, her knee flashing out.
Through the darkness, the moon shining down faint rays of shine, Nesta could recognized the hazel-eyed male.
“How’d you escape?” she bit out.
A roll of eyes—that much she could decipher. A closer look, and she saw flecks of blood coating his hands.
She walked forward, he back to him.
Nesta didn’t understand the underlying feelings running undercurrent through her, her heart vying to trust him, her mind accepting him.
She continued her trek forward.
Those bloodied hands found the small of her back.
“You wondered about the contact who gave you the false invitation?” the male murmured. “That was me. My dealings include women desiring to meet a courtesan or indulge in royalty for one night. Their fantasies fill my pockets with gold.”
The orange glow grew brighter, and Nesta picked up her pace, the male behind her easily matching her strides.
“I didn’t pay your dealer one trove of gold to merely worm into a man,” she noted.
A pause. “No. I plan on returning the trunk to you.”
Nesta faltered a step, and the male crashed into her. His arms instantly wrapped around her, and she sucked in a breath.
“Because you killed the man that killed my parents,” he murmured against her ear. “For having more balls than I.”
Nesta could make out the lanterns of the inn, and jerked her head to it.
The male released her and gave her a nod.
They stalked through the clearing, and Cassian opened the doors.
The receptionist gave them wary looks, observing the muddied fringes of Nesta’s gown and the red painting the other male’s black tux.
“A single room,” said Nesta.
“A single room for me as well.” Cassian winked at the receptionist, while Nesta surveyed the dimly lit entrance, too small for a large command of troops to search through. The back alleys had potholes to impeded vehicles, while the insides did have the array of tables and chairs to use as shields and weapons if utilized correctly.
The receptionist coughed. “I only have one spare room available. You’ll have to share.”
Nesta glared at the male next to her. He merely held up his palms and leaned across the front, winking at the receptionist. “Are you sure?” he said lowly.
The other woman flushed. “I’m sure.”
Nesta held out her hand. “I asked first. Give me the key.”
Cassian slapped a bloodied hand over her palm. “No way. You owe me.” His eyes bored into her.
The receptionist coughed, and Nesta reached out with her other hand for the key.
Cassian’s other hand went into his suit and came out with a thick wad of bills. “One night, one room. Give me the key.”
The traitorous female handed him the key, and Nesta’s jaw hardened. She attempted to disentangle her hand from the male, but he gripped her tightly.
The receptionist took out a pen, and scratched something down. “Name?” she asked.
The male looked at Nesta, full of surety. “Cassian,” he drawled out, and stroked a thumb down the back of her hand.
The receptionist cleared her throat, and eyed both of them. “The room may be single, but has a King’s bed.”
Cassian dragged her deeper into the inn, a cocky grin etched onto his face. No doubt the fate had worked in his odds.
“Release me,” Nesta snapped, but her heart snapped back the opposite. Cauldron, what was happening to her?
The male released her hand, but wrapped an arm around her waist. “You think I’d let you sleep in the wild?” he asked, and guided her up the first step of stairs. “We’re sharing the bed.”
“No,” she simply said.
“Oh really?” he arched a brow. “But who paid for the room?”
Nesta said nothing, and stalked down the hallway until he reached her, those hazel-eyes dancing over her.
“You owe me,” he repeated. “You killed the man I wanted to kill.”
“The King was not a man,” she sneered. “A monster beyond humanity.”
The male inserted the key through the last door, and pushed it open. He beckoned her in, and she pushed past him.
“I don’t see why you’re full of ire,” Nesta continued. “When you were the one who allowed the King to look at me.”
“Because I decided to have you use your feminine wiles so I could get close to him. You think I expected you to be the King’s assassin?”
“Sad you didn’t claim the title?”
Cassian leaned forward, his nose pressed against her forehead. “I’m sad that you’re going to make me sleep on the floor, Nesta Archeron.”
Her eyes flashed. “How do you know my name?”
That cocky grin. “I do make it my business to know those who request false papers, sweetheart.”
She crossed her arms and kicked off her heels. “How’d you escape?”
Cassian unabashedly started to undress himself, shrugging off his coat. “While I didn’t have a damned boat, I did have legs that walked at the same snail pace you were rowing.”
Heat flooded her cheeks. “Excuse me?”
Cassian leaned down and took of his shoes, displaying the soles, beaten and reinforced with secondary material. “Once I killed the guards, I followed the trail of red, and followed the sounds of the rowing through the river.”
The male flicked the buttons of his shirt, and displayed the toned and muscular, thick skin underneath. Nesta felt her body warm up, and she took a step back when he stalked towards her.
A hand yanked the frills of her dress up, wielding the torn scraps of fabric. “The layers of your gown were my breadcrumbs.”
Nesta cursed. This was too sloppy.
Cassian seemed to read her mind, and shook his head. “Looks like you’re going to have to destroy that dress, sweetheart.”
Before Nesta could open her mouth, Cassian ripped her dress off of her.
Nesta’s knee lunged up again, but he caught her kneecap. “A cheap shot.” His hands released her knee, and he grinned. She steadied herself, and grabbed a pillow and blanket, tossing them on the floor. Within the movements, she stuffed her thigh strap within the pillow covers.
She wouldn’t risk more mistakes tonight.
“What are you doing?” Cassian growled.
Nesta stripped the remains of her gown, and yanked the complimentary bathrobe, hanging over the single chair, over her shoulders. “Sleeping on the floor.”
She laid on the floor, ignoring the cramps shooting through her back from the paddling, and wrapped herself within the blanket.
Seconds later, her body was lifted within her cocoon of warmth, and tossed onto the bed. The pillow slammed into her face a beat later. Snarling, Nesta started to disentangle herself from the blanket, but a body hovered over her.
“I will not force anything on you, if you are worried about that,” Cassian snarled equally back. “You are meaner than you demons, Nesta.”
Her name sounded seemed to be filled with more life, rolling off his tongue.
“You don’t know me,” she hissed. “Who I am, what I’ve done, or what I will do.”
The body rolled off of her, and daftly whacked her with a pillow.
She arched off the bed and crossed her arms.
The male laid across the bed, his chest decorated with scars. His eyes locked on hers. The pillow rested within his fingers again, and when he moved to whack it again, Nesta pounced, and landed on top of him.
Cassian stilled. And then slowly reached out to move a piece of hair that had fallen across her face. “Who says I can’t try to learn?” His breath fanned across her face. “I want to know the woman who can dance like hell and put a royal in hell.”
She laid a hand across his chest, and traced some of the scars, noting the rise and fall of his chest.
“I don’t think—”
The pillow hit her squarely across the jaw.
“I’m trying to knock some sense into you.” He chuckled, the sound vibrating from his chest, deep and rich, and full of life. “Don’t think,” he whispered, and dropped the pillow. “Feel.”
Nesta looked into those hazel-eyes and damned her brain.
She leaned down and kissed him fully, and surely, staring into those warm eyes and warm heart that opened for her, and felt her veins spark with the sensation of desire, shivering into the heat and security in the single room with a King’s bed.
So I might have become quickly obsessed with a certain ink demon
With some zoom ins if you click! (I only used the highest quality pens I have, for Bendy. And per usual ink standards, I couldn’t fix any mistakes once they were made, so if you see any, I probably already know)
Wow drawing a 1930 style isn’t easy and I’m sure I’m not doing it right in 500 places, but I enjoy the simplistic face bendy has as it’s more fun to, well, bend.
I feel like the Gravebone fandom is not taking enough advantage of historically accurate men's underwear. Where are the union suits with the "Kenosha-Klosed-Krotch" like in the Leyendecker ads? Where are the sock garters and hole-proof hosiery? The B.V.D.s? The underwear with buttons in the front and tie strings on the back or side to adjust for fit (WWI military style)? Fandom needs to up its game.
It’s a challenge to truly describe the beauty that is early 20th century men’s undergarments in fanfiction as we, the writers and the readers, usually want to get to the good juicy bits of heated gazes and lingering touches and breaths that are both quickened and slowed and stopped all together, rather than begin a deluge of descriptions in an attempt to capture the most sensual and accurate way to untangle a man’s girth and naked form from his layers of cotton that most of us are unfamiliar with historically as well as in practical terms.
(And my guess is the magical world in the US probably had their own types of underwear, seeing as they had their own fashion styles, which differed from no-maj society.)
Well hello @mizjoely!😉 I love this, thanks! And I even did a bit of research. (Sherlock would be proud lol) And just FYI this is setup as non-established sherlolly.
“But I always try to get the 800 thread count,” Molly argued weakly. “Doesn’t that mean it’s good?”
“Oh, Molly,” Sherlock drawled with a low chuckle. “Come with me.”
He spoke authoritatively as they walked down his hallway. “Thread count alone is hardly an indicator of quality. The fiber content, weave, and even where it’s made are just as important, if not more so. Personally, I only buy 800 thread count, sateen weave, organic pima cotton sheets from Italy. That is quality.” He stopped at his bed and gestured to it. “Go on, try it.”
“What…now?” She frowned, looking back and forth between him and the bed.
“You won’t regret it,” he stated confidently.
Hesitantly at first, Molly climbed under the blankets and lay back against the pillow which, not surprisingly to him, produced a sigh from her lips.
“My God,” she breathed and looked at him wide eyed. “Is this made of pima cotton or melted butter?!”
Sherlock stood by and grinned as she continued to make herself comfortable. Oh yes, he thought to himself, bringing up the subject of how to choose quality bedding was definitely a good idea.