Exclusive Months before Aelin reclaimed her identity as the long-lost Queen of Terrasen, she still called herself Celaena Sardothien - and was trained to wield her rekindled magic by a Fae Prince in a mountain fortress of Wendlyn… Despite their rough beginning, Aelin and Rowan have finally formed a solid friendship, based on mutual respect, trust, and more than a bit of banter. But just when their bond begins to shift into something neither of them quite anticipates - something far deeper - the fortress of Mistward receives a visit from three Fae nobles. And one of them claims some very, very personal ties to Rowan himself. Read on for an exclusive deleted scene from Heir of Fire, in which Aelin gets her first glimpse of the Fae nobility of Doranelle, and a bit more of Rowan’s history is revealed to her … with fiery consequences.
Requested by the stunning and always lovely @togreblog who sent this request so long ago it is 100% reasonable to think she may have forgotten she did it at all 😂
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Rowan knew when he was talented at something. He excelled in the art of war, was a superb fighter, a strong magic user, and an exceptional lover.
Rowan also knew that his knowledge of cooking was… limited at best.
If it was foods from the wildlife like roasted duck or snacks made from rare reeds he could make you a feast that would make you forget that you were anywhere but the most lavish of restaurants. Rowan had the survival knowledge that meant none of his soldiers - or himself - starved while fighting a war. But although he knew how to care for a whole regimen, keep anyone away from the brink of starvation, he did not know how to make Chocolate-Hazelnut cake.
And Gods save them all if he didn’t figure it out soon.
His mate was practically radiating fire from her office in their palace in Orynth. It had been a very frustrating day and everything he normally did to calm her down or placate her wasn’t working. He had nibbled at her ears to distract her, tried to take over from her, sent Lysandra in with gossip and scones, but nothing could get her out of her foul mood. Rowan didn’t blame her, he would also be furious if there were lords still refusing to give him his crown after saving the whole world from utter destruction in a perilous war, and he hated the situation she was in as much as she did. The only difference between the two is that he’s had three hundred years to learn how to deal with unexpected pain and turmoil, and his Fireheart had yet to learn that particular skill. Rowan hoped that she never would, because that would mean that she hadn’t suffered enough pain to.
Rowan was stuck on how to make her feel better. He had just finished a patrol, where he was inspecting the guards to guarantee their skill, when he saw the statue of Aelin that a craftsman has insisted he erect after the war. It was his queen, in all her blazing glory, in as much detail as the artist could muster. It was truely beautiful - nearly as much as the real woman. The flames of his state made him reminisce on all the antics she’d caused with her flames. It made him think all the way back to Mistward when they had just started training. Then, he remembered a time when a simple cake had given her such joy after having to deal with his monstrosity of an ex-lover. And if there was anything that was able to make Aelin as made as these lords were, it was one of his ex-lovers. That was it - that was how he was going to make her feel better.
So he sent the cadre away to do his work for him, ordered Aedion to summon Elide and deal with the few lords that were still hesitant with the powerhouse that is Aelin Whitethorn Ashryver Galathynius and her reign, and then he stalked into the kitchen ready to make the best Gods-damned cake of the century.
The cooks, who were washing up after lunch, stopped what they were doing to bow to him in respect. Rowan had told them not to do it, especially when they did it multiple times a day, but it seemed like it was a habit none of them were going to break anytime soon.
“If you could all leave, I would be very appreciative.” He said in a low voice. They nodded quickly and left their dishes in the full sinks. He could’ve asked them how to make a cake, but he was pretty sure he had the basics down. And besides, maybe if he made it Aelin would feel better just because it had come from him.
He started by getting all the ingredients out - well at least what he thought the ingredients were. He lied them all out on the stone bench and then made an approximation of how much he thought he would need of each one. He mixed them together, put them in a pan and put them in the woodfire oven.
He sat there for an hour, Aelin’s thoughts flowing freely through their bond. She had been this distraught all day, and as much as Rowan wanted to run to her and tuck her safely into him he knew the most possible way to make her feel better was to get her this damn cake. This damn cake that was taking forever to bake.
Rowan inspected it closer, it hadn’t changed a bit, and that’s when he realised he had been so distracted by Aelin’s thoughts that he hadn’t set the fire that would heat the oven. His cake had been sitting in an unlit oven, and it had taken him an hour to notice. He sighed inwardly, and lit the matches to light the oven. He was a true idiot sometimes, more often than he would like to admit, and it was always when he was too distracted by his wife. Whether it was her stunning blue and gold eyes, her blonde hair he liked to wrap his hands in, the smooth curve of her breasts, the spot just below her earlobe that if you kissed undid her, the -
Stop. He needed to stop.
He could definitely see the cake baking now, and with no small amount of smugness, saw that it looked far more appetising that what Aelin had given him all those months ago. Just thinking about the cake she made for him in Mistward and its foul taste made him gag. He ate nearly the whole thing though - even then he loved her so much he would do anything for her. Back then, just him taking a small bite of the cake brought a brightness to her that was too far few and in between for his liking. His Fireheart. His love. His mate.
When he thought it was cooked to satisfaction he used his wind magic to pull it out. That way he didn’t have to bother finding the mits the cooks used, and he cooled down the cake enough so that it was ready to be eaten.
He didn’t bother with icing or any fancy decoration - he just put it on a plate with a knife and fork and swept it up to take it to Aelin.
She was still seething in her office. When he opened the door, he saw that she had her head resting on the table and her arms splayed around her. Her hair was messy, and her green dress was crumpled. She looked up at the sound of his entrance, and her focus snapped onto the plate in his hands.
“What’s that?” She breathed. Her eyes had gone so wide he could see a full ring of white around her irises.
“It’s the love of my life’s favourite cake.” Her reaction made him smile tenderly. Her fists had clenched and it was clear she was trying to refrain from snatching it out of his hands.
“Where did you get it?” She said slowly.
“I made it. I know you’re having a bad day, and-“
She interrupted his answer by launching herself at him. He nearly dropped the cake, but it held it in one hand while his other arm firmly wrapped tightly around her waist to lift her as she kissed him.
“I love you I love you I love you,” she said between peppering kisses all over his face.
“Well are you going to eat it then?” He teased.
He eased her down with a sweet kiss to her lips and as soon as her toes hit the floor she plucked the cake from his hand and went back to sit in her chair. She put in on the desk in front of her - crumbs already littering the spread out papers - and leaned in to smell the cake.
“It smells delectable.” She sighed happily. She looked up at him, a small smile gracing her lips. “Thank you, Rowan. I don’t know how you remembered it was my favourite-”
“Of course I remember! I doubt I will ever forget the time you made me eat that piece of sh-”
“Well I doubt yours is any better!” She scoffed playfully. She eyed it again, a smile playing on her lips. “How do I know this isn’t just revenge from when I served you a cake that I’d made? It could just smell deceptively good and then when I bite into it be so rancid it makes my stomach turn.”
“I would never dream of something so sinister, Fireheart.” He laughed. He approached her from behind and bent over so he was half draped over her chair. “At least not when it comes to you.”
“Rowan - I…” She pulled her hands away from the cake and reached up so she could hold tightly onto his hands that were clutching the back of her chair.
“I am so grateful, and it’s moments like this where my love for you hits me hardest… but I feel sick to my stomach, I don’t know if I can eat it. It’s wonderful though, truely. I just can’t stop thinking about…” She shuddered hard at the thoughts of the lords denying her her crown.
“Stop thinking about it, Fireheart.” He leaned forward and kissed her cheek. “Just eat the damn cake.”
She tilted her head to capture him in a kiss. “As you say.” She kissed him once more before turning back to the cake on her desk.
She picked up her fork and greedily ate into it. “Oh Gods,” she moaned. “This is way better than mine. I hate you for that, but I also love you for it.”
She had eaten, not that she would admit it, nearly three quarters of the cake before she offered him any. “Did you want a taste?” She said as sweetly as she could with a mouth full of food.
“I wouldn’t mind one,” He snickered.
Aelin cut off a piece and held the fork up to his mouth. “Did I mention I love you?” She asked.
“It’s never something I’ll say no to hearing.” He joked before swallowing the bite she held up.
As the taste entered his mouth, the absolutely putrid taste of dry cake, he choked and spat it out on the table. “What in the God’s name was that?!”
Aelin giggled and danced away from the table and him. “It seems my true calling is to be an actress. Maybe that’s what I’ll do if I can’t be Queen!”
Rowan scooped up the remnants of the cake, one hundred percent ready to throw the awful thing out. He then decided against it - it had been a while since he’d given Fenrys a gift, and he looked forward to seeing him try this ‘delectable’ cake.
“I can’t believe you ate so much of that. It was disgusting!” Rowan exclaimed.
Aelin was still prancing around the room, breathless with laughter, and didn’t stop until she had made her way back into Rowan’s arms. She didn’t stop dancing though, and simply pulled in the front of his shirt until he was swaying around with her.
“That’s the worst thing I’ve ever eaten.” She happily confessed.
“I’ll make sure to never cook for you again.” He grumbled - albeit, also happily.
Even if his cake had tasted like the streets of the slums in Rifhold, it had still achieved its only goal - to make Aelin happy again.