Fast Firsts and Sloppy Seconds (Part 3)

A Rowaelin/Manorian AU

It’s still 10:23 PM Tuesday, May 23, 2017 (HST), holla!!! This part’s pretty short, because I really struggled with it :( So, part 3.5 will be coming in a day or two, probably, and then I will make an immediate push for part 4 (Becca and Cas please become really annoying and fight me if I don’t) so 3.5 should be done by like Thursday night/Friday morning, and 4 will be ready by Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Also, if anyone wants to teach me a thing or two about photo editing, I have a pinterest board of 487 pins which is part of why this chapter’s kind of a disaster sshhh that I would love to turn into edits for you guys :) I’m feeling like an instagram or snapchat vibe? Idk, hmu if you know anything on the subject. Lol it’s 4:23 EST and I’m low key deceased but like it’s fine why do I keep doing this to myself so apologies if there are any typos - I tried my best. Tagging @highlady-casandra​ because this is the reason I haven’t edited for you yet and I’m sorry, I love you!!! Also @miladyaelin​ who is asleep, lol - thanks for trying pal :) 3.5 will probably be posted at a more reasonable time so you can actually look at it first before I make a fool of myself post it … but i say that every time so who knows Also tagging @fictionalcharactersaremyreality​, @rowanismybae​, @the-north-star​, @throneofstars​, @fortunatelycleverpaper​, @snaps7​, @thegirlwith-that-smile​, the anon who sent me that ask earlier today, and so so so many more, thank you for caring about my story and wanting more of it, I love you guys! HUGE thank you to everyone for the kind words and reblogs and notes, I appreciate every single one <3  

Happy reading!


Part 1  Part 2      Part 3.5


The second Dorian saw that look in Aelin’s eyes, he knew the dance was over. He easily stepped out of the way, a small smirk on his lips as he glanced behind him, catching the slightly scared and entirely determined look in the barkeep’s eyes as Aelin stepped directly into his arms.

The barkeep almost immediately stepped back, attempting to keep Aelin at a comfortable arm’s length away. Dorian couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness, as though Aelin would actually let him keep her at a distance. In any case, he didn’t really have time to spend watching the soon-to-be happy couple. His eyes quickly scanned the pub, once again falling onto Manon. He took in the satisfied smirk on her lips as she watched Aelin dance with Rowan. If you could call it dancing, that is. Rowan was awkwardly waddling from side to side, stiff as a board, as Aelin moved around him like a force of nature – absolutely breathtaking.

She was the one he’d dragged to ballroom dance lessons when his mother had forced him into them the summer after his freshman year of college. He didn’t need to be stuck partnered with any of the other pretentious bitches at the country club. And as much as Aelin pretended to complain, he knew she enjoyed it. No one could make Aelin do anything she didn’t want to do.

Their dancing had been comfortable, as it always was, as they learned to be. But this, this was a tragedy. However, even in the face of tragedy, Aelin looked like a princess.

And while he was the one dancing, Dorian was damn sure he looked like a prince. He couldn’t help but smile to himself as he thought about Manon angrily glaring at Aelin while they fell back into old patterns, easily moving around the floor. He definitely hadn’t quite gained the upper hand, but he felt like he was at least just below a tie at that point. After looking Manon over once again, he decided it was time for another drink. Another incredibly muscled, incredibly tall man appeared to have taken over for the white-haired barkeep. What were they putting in the water here? He had dark shoulder-length hair, a nose that looked like it had definitely been broken at least a few times, and overall looked generally pissed off at the world.

However, Dorian was absolutely determined to get more Guinness. The pub had emptied out significantly since they arrived, as the night carried on well into the next morning. He grabbed a seat at the bar, and tried his best not to be offended when the bartender grumbled about “typical Americans” after he’d ordered the beer. It took every ounce of determination in his body not to turn around, to look for those heart-stopping golden eyes, but then all attempts proved futile as she settled into the seat beside him.

“Looks like you’ve been replaced, twinkle toes,” she smirked, unable to keep the satisfaction out of her voice. “Jealous?”

He glanced over at her then, eyeing her casually crossed arms, her tired eyes, and her undoubtedly pleased smile. He couldn’t help the small smile that grew on his own face as he looked at what was likely the most earnest side of her he’d seen all night. He guessed she was probably too tired to put on her own mask in that moment.

“Manon,” the bartender grumbled, sliding the pint over to Dorian. “Don’t you have tables to serve?”

“Don’t you have glass to clean, Lorcan? Or better yet, business to mind?” She snapped at him. Her cold glare would have stopped Dorian in his tracks, but the bartender – Lorcan – merely rolled his eyes and walked over to the other end of the bar. He was clearly trying to pretend he was checking on another patron, but it was pretty clear to both Manon and Dorian  that he honestly just didn’t seem to want to deal with her shit.

Dorian cleared his throat, sliding his hands around his beer and taking a sip. Manon’s golden eyes were focused on him as  he forced himself to spit out the words he’d been desperate to ask since he first saw her looking like she was plotting a hundred different ways to kill Aelin. “So, were you? Jealous, that is?” He avoided her eyes, taking one of his hands off of the death grip on his beer to run it through his hair.

“Yeah,” her voice was even, almost aloof. “I was.” His eyes snapped to hers - confusion, and fear, and something more swimming through them, all at once. She rolled her eyes at his response, twirling her braid between her fingers. “Well don’t look too excited,” she scoffed, pulling on the white strands.

“So does that mean you want to dance?” Their eyes met, and for the first time, Dorian didn’t look away. He couldn’t look away, even if he tried. There was something there, tying him to her. Paralyzing him.

Her low laugh cut through him, inflating his lungs, and finally letting him breathe. She reached for his beer, taking her own sip before offering him a small smile. Her golden eyes had become molten, a warm amber. “Well played, princeling. Well played.”

“Come on,” he goaded, lightly bumping her shoulder with his. “You can’t be nearly as bad as that guy!” He gestured towards Rowan with his chin, and Manon laughed even harder then, an honest laugh, as she watched Rowan awkwardly fumble next to Aelin. “If you think my brother’s bad, you wouldn’t even be able to handle seeing me.”

Brother. He hesitated at the words, then suddenly saw the similarities, glancing back and forth between the apparent siblings. The hair was of course a blatant giveaway. But also, their strong chins, the high cheekbones. Dorian wasn’t sure how he’d missed it before. And then suddenly something in Manon’s face changed.

Confusion, shock, and then – something along the lines of disgust? Dorian followed her gaze to find Aelin and Manon’s brother all but dry-humping as they danced. He let out a sharp laugh at the sight. There was no way to know exactly what Aelin had done, but whatever it was, it worked. Two became one as they fit together perfectly, moving in time to a rhythm Dorian would’ve sworn the hulking bartender had absolutely no sense of rhythm only seconds before. But he supposed Aelin had enough rhythm for both of them, as the white-haired giant helplessly followed along, drowning deeper into Aelin. A smile spread across Dorian’s face as  he watched his friend let herself feel pure joy for the first time in a long time.

He turned back around to find Manon watching him instead, a skeptical eyebrow perfectly raised at his pleased expression. “Shouldn’t you be angry? Off to defend your girl or something?”

Dorian barked out a laugh at the thought, shaking his head at the ridiculousness. “Aelin isn’t anyone’s anything. And the last time she was – well,” he hesitated, “let’s just say it didn’t end well.” The thought of his other best friend brought a tightness in his chest that he would rather have ignored just then, as he brought his beer to his lips once again. He couldn’t exactly say he would have enjoyed being stuck in Dublin with both Aelin and Chaol, but that didn’t mean he didn’t feel bad for both of his friends.

When he refocused his attention to Manon, he was surprised to find her still watching the dancing couple. Although – when he looked closer – he got the distinct feeling she wasn’t watching anything. Manon appeared to be lost in a world all of her own, drowning in memories she was either afraid to lose – or desperately wanted to forget.

“Hey,” Dorian prodded, bumping his knee against hers – and leaving it there – terrified of the contact, yet desperate for more. “You okay?”

The second she turned to him, he knew he’d made a mistake. Her mask was back in place just as quickly, as she leaned into him, running a long nail down his chest. Her hot breath sent a chill down his spine as her lips lightly grazed his ear. “Let’s play a game, princeling, and I’ll show you exactly how okay I am.” As she leaned back against the bar, a savage smile graced her lips that should have made him afraid. But instead just made him want her more. Clearly, that was because he was a self-loathing idiot, because there could be no other explanation for his need – his impossible desire.

That, or she was clearly a witch. Seducing him somehow, with her charms. In that moment, he realized that his hand was somehow – suddenly in her hair? He was entirely unsure how it had happened? But somehow, in some way, his hand had ended up pushing one of the white strands behind her ear, as if he had no other option. He simply couldn’t help it – it was instinct, an impulse he couldn’t stop, and didn’t even realize was happening. Like breathing.

“Witchling,” he whispered. His sapphire blue eyes were locked on her golden ones, and in that moment, he could feel it. A part of him shifted and he knew – he knew – that whatever they had, it was precious. His hand had a mind of its own, moving to cup her cheek, and he didn’t think she could help herself either, as she closed her eyes and leaned into him. A hint of a small smile appeared on her lips as her mask began to crack again. They breathed as one. Inhale. Exhale. And then her eyes shot open. A fear was in them – uncertainty – and then an unbreakable hardness. Dorian suppressed a growl – and then let out a gasp.

Suddenly, her lips were against his. Her tongue immediately took advantage of the gasp, moving in, and invading his senses. She was all he could feel, the only thing he ever wanted to touch, as the taste of her burned into his memory. He needed her. All of her. His hands traced her hips, her waist, her breasts, pulling her against him, and onto his lap.

He took control of the kiss, a new savagery taking over him that it  seemed – it seemed she liked, even responded to. She opened herself up to him, fully straddling him as he turned her back towards the bar. A low moan slipped past her lips against his mouth, as his hands climbed up her shirt, tracing slow lazy circles against her soft skin. He was determined to take his time. To claim her. By the end of the night, he was going to have all of her. And she will have been begging for it. He barely pulled away, breathing heavily as their lips lightly brushed against each other. She was entirely still in his arms, waiting for him. Her golden eyes poured into him as they met his, a shiver running down her spine at the words that left his lips. “I want to taste every inch of you.”

Manon let go of all pretense of reason as her princeling closed his eyes and claimed her mouth once again. She opened for him, melting against him even as a deep chill set deep within her bones.

His fingers slid to her jaw, tipping her face to thoroughly take her mouth, every movement of his jaw a sensuous promise that had her arching into him. Had her meeting him stroke for stroke as he explored and teased until she could hardly think straight.

This wasn’t the plan – he wasn’t supposed to taste this good, this right. He wasn’t supposed to make her feel this way, she wasn’t supposed to feel. She’d had enough feeling for a lifetime. But as every part of her burst with need, with an impossible heat, with an icy thrill, she felt everything. And she just kept falling, deeper and deeper, his touch on her body, his hands everywhere, stroking, tracing. She melted into the hardness of him, aching for all of him, as his dick strained against his jeans, pushing against where she needed him most, but not giving her nearly enough.

And then it just – stopped. And in that moment, Manon was entirely certain she could have murdered Lorcan. “For Christ’s sake, Manon,” he growled, his hand still clinging onto the back of Manon’s shirt where he’d pulled her away. “If you’re gonna fuck ‘im, fuck ‘im somewhere else.” He roughly let her go, walking away again and grumbling to himself once again about chaperoning. Manon cleared here throat as she awkwardly slid out of Dorian’s lap, pushing more pieces of her white hair back as she attempted to collect herself.

Dorian, however, was the calmest he’d been all night. Because finally – finally – he knew exactly what he wanted. And he knew they weren’t done. And he knew he was going to get it. And as Manon struggled to breathe – she knew she had never been more desperate before in her life.

A distraction.

She needed a distraction.

“Darts!” She blurted out, after scanning the room, looking for something – anything – to drag her out of this fiery, hot, hell. She flashed a grin at him, trying her hardest to keep it together. “Fancy a game?”

And as she floundered, and her chest rose and fell, and her face flushed, he smiled. An absolutely, irrevocably, rakish, panty-dropping type of smile. The kind that showed a little too much teeth – and reminded her of what it felt like when they bit her lip. The kind that made her helplessly think about all of the other things she wanted him to do to her with that mouth – those teeth. And at that look in her eyes – that glazed over, lost look – as she bit her lip, and focused on his, he finally let out a calm breath. Because for the first time that night, he was truly in control. And he liked it.

So because he could, his grin turned almost feral, and his voice was a sensual caress, sending chills down her spine. “I could think of a significantly better game to play involving sticking things in a target, and far more interesting things to do with my hands, but your wish is my command, witchling.” His voice was a velvety purr by the end of it, and she was left questioning how in the hell their roles had changed so quickly.

Boys never left her like this. She didn’t allow it. Manon was always in charge, and never got attached. They were two very simple rules. Yet this stupid boy, with his stupidly soft lips, and irritatingly delicious tongue, and new dumb confidence, and infuriating smirk was suddenly causing her to reconsider everything. And she wanted to hate him for it. Except there she was, ready to beg for more. What the actual fuck?

She said absolutely nothing as she spun around, her braid whipping around her shoulders. A large gulp of his beer and a few large steps later, he was right beside her. The burning hand he placed at her lower back only caused her to walk faster. She wanted nothing more than to have that hand in places that ached for his touch. So she sped up instead, desperate to run away – to forget.

Never forget, but never remember.

And then they were there, across the room. She grasped for the mask she needed to pull on to survive as she pulled the darts out of the board. But the action was more or less futile. The game had already begun. And she was losing.

What Sarah said at her book signing

- Rhys’s last name is Hotpants (then she retracted and said his name might be revealed in future novels).

- She doesn’t think Aelin and Rhys would fight if they met, they have to much in common. If they met Aelin would be like “I’m too distracted by how attractive you are.” If they got into a verbal fight Aelin would win. Her mean streak runs deeper than Rhys’s. Then she’d feel guilty because “he’s too pretty to cry.”

- If Amren and Manon were tapped in an elevator they’d have a stare off until they both got too hungry to continue. Manon would tear off the elevator’s ceiling panels with her claws and Amren would climb the wires. Then they’d go get a cup of blood together.

- Sarah likes to write “not nice” female characters like Amren and Nesta because she doesn’t think she was always the nicest person in high school. She also believes that no one is ever completely sweet and kind all the time, we’re all a mix of good and bad (except her sister-in-law who is apparently the nicest person in the world). 

- She wrote 20 000 words of Tower of Dawn her first day sitting down to write it. 

- Tower of Dawn will be told from the perspectives of Chaol, Nesryn and Yrene.

- If her characters order Starbucks Amren would be super strong expresso, Rhys would get a latte with pretty foam art and Feyre wouldn’t drink coffee but she’d get English breakfast tea.

- If she could bring her characters anywhere in our world she would bring Feyre to the Louvre. She would just watch Feyre look at the art for hours. She would bring Aelin to the Metropolitan Opera House, which is her favorite place in the world.

- Page 666 of ACOWAR was completely coincidental. When she was reading the version with numbered pages for the first time she burst out laughing when she saw what happened on that page.

- She refused to answer who has the longest wingspan but says she might throw it in at the end of the very last novel. Until then we can choose for ourselves who has the longest ‘wingspan’ and the best ‘flying skills’.

- It upsets her that people feel like they need to apologize for reading fantasy or romance novels. She gained most of her knowledge of healthy romantic and sexual relationships from those kinds of books.

- She still has her copy of Pride and Prejudice from ninth grade where she drew hearts and wrote Sarah Darcy in gel pen.

- Throne of Glass wasn’t a huge success right away. If Crown of Midnight hadn’t sold well she only would have gotten three books.

- She went off on a really long but super sweet tangent about how much she loves her husband. She says that despite common fandom belief he is not the inspiration for Rhys (their only similarities are that they have dark hair and are tall) but their relationship did inspire the tone of Feysand’s relationship, especially the importance placed on equality and partnership. Josh was smiling like crazy the entire time to the point where Sarah had to stop because she kept laughing at his “goofy grin.”

- The very first scene of ACOTAR was inspired by the first song of the Princess Mononoke soundtrack while the last scene of ACOWAR was inspired by the last song on the soundtrack. This was a coincidence.

- Her dog sleeps in Sarah’s office while she writes. She goes there after her walk every morning like she’s going to work.

- She gets inspiration for her female characters through music. She gets inspiration for her male characters by trying to figure our how to get their shirts off in a rainstorm.

[bed time]
  • Rowan: Your mom told you to stay in bed.
  • Rowaelin’s child: There’s a scary monster in my closet.
  • Rowan: Scarier than Mom?
  • Rowaelin’s child: *goes to bed*
8

Mass Effect Andromeda - Golden Worlds

Full set.

This was an idea I have been obsessed with ever since finishing the game; loving space age travel art as much as I do, I couldn’t help but wonder about the Initiative’s tourism advertising revving up once viability was green across the board and Meridian was secured. Almost all of the formerly busted Golden Worlds, now fully habitable and relatively safe - what would the visual explosion of their marketing look like? So I went ahead and gave it a shot.

Post-ending travel ads for the Golden Worlds of the Heleus Cluster, with a bonus appearance from Aya. I released these in 2 installments, but I decided I wanted to look at them all together. Super proud of these.

Prints available!

  • *after QoS prison break*
  • Aedion: Wait, you and Prince Rowan are a thing?
  • Aelin: Yeah, why?
  • Aedion: You sure? Like, Rowan Whitethorn? THE Rowan?
  • Aelin: Yes. I'm sure.
  • Aedion: *sigh*
  • Aedion: *takes out bucket list and erases "Do Prince Rowan Whitethorn" off the list*
Amren

Remember when Feyre and Amren talked about her favourite kind of blood? Amren said that although it wasn’t her most favourite, goat blood reminded her of “some other times, some other place”…

Now, do you remember how Manon climbed mountains just to catch goats for Abraxos?

When you're reading an Sjm book and then all of a sudden come to an unexpected plot twist

Originally posted by noface-me

ACTUAL FRIENDLY REMINDER

That when Manon was injured she asked Abraxos to take her somewhere safe, and he took her to Dorian.