The second she felt his arms around her she knew without a doubt that it was Azriel. She wouldn’t mistake his smell for anyone else’s. He smelled like wind, eucalyptus and some other herbs that Elain could not place.
Now they were standing on the shore looking at each other. His face was pure fury. She had never, ever seen him like this. He always did such a good job with hiding his emotions with his neutral facial expression.
Right now something was burning in his eyes, as he continued staring at her. She realized then, better than ever before that Elain would never want to be on Azriels bad side.
After what might have been five minutes or the whole eternity of intense staring. He opened his mouth. With all the fury and cold rage on his face, she thought that he would scream at her. But the word that left his mouth was barely a whisper. “Why?”- he asked.
Didn’t he know? She thought that he from all the people would understand why. He hated his heritage. He looked at her with the sadness in his eyes, like he knew precisely how broken she was. So why ask.? And if he really did not know, then she really didn’t feel like explaining.
When she didn’t answer just looked away, he looked even angrier than before. “Talk to me!” Now he was shouting. “What in the hell were you thinking?” his eyes darkened. “Have you at least thought about all the people you would be leaving behind? What about Feyre or Nesta? Have you thought about what it would do to them, to all of us?! ” He was really shouting now. “Have you any idea how selfish that was of you?!”
At that, she lost it. She told herself that she wouldn’t be shouting, but she could not keep it in anymore. “Selfish? Of me, really Azriel?! I was doing it so I would stop being selfish, You think I don’t know that you all would be way better of without me.? Because I know that you would, I am a burden to all of you. See, you couldn’t even sleep, probably because Feyre asked you to watch over me like over some mad woman. You think I don’t see how everyone eyes suddenly became sad when they look at me. Selfish you say? Let’s not pretend that this world would not be so much better for all of you with one less of a burden. ”
Now it was not fury on his face but shock and hurt. “You don’t actually mean it, do you?”- He asked quietly.
“I lost something dear to me; I got stuck in this new life that I do not want.” She took a sharp intake of breath. “I have the ability to see death. How can I be happy, when I don’t know at what time of the day I will see another person bleeding to death. I didn’t choose this. And as long as I live in this body, with these visions, I will never be happy. And neither will those around me, not ‘til the fullest anyway.”
He opened his mouth but closed it again. Repeated the action a few more times before saying: “I’m sorry that you feel that way. I’m sorry that you though, that I spend time with you just to make sure that you’re okay or that Feyre asked me to.” He stopped for a second to think what to say next. “No one feels unhappy because of you. You are not a burden, you never were. And about your visions; they won’t go away, but it will get easier. Once you get used to it, you will know how to control them.”
She did not know when she began to cry. She only knew that tears were streaming all over her face. “Everday will be a fight,” Azriel said. “Believe me, I lived for 500 years, and it’s still hard. But at the end of the day, I get to see my family smiling an happy, and that makes me happy too. If you don’t live for yourself, live for them, until you find another reason to.” He looked at her with such intensity. “Promise me Elain. Promise me that you will not do anything stupid like that ever again.”
Elain looked down. She felt like his stare was too much. He could see too much, read to much in her. She could say she promises, but he knows her too well so instead, she said: “You can’t actually ask me to promise you that.”
She was not looking at him she was looking at her feet, which were bare now. She must have lost her slippers during the fall. His hands gripped her shoulders, and she looked at him. “If you won’t do it for you. Do it for your sisters and me.”
His face was grave now, and she asked: “For you? Wouldn’t it be one less problem for you?”
She might as well have slapped him.
Doesn’t she know? Does she really do not know how much he liked to spend time with her.? How much he grew fond of those afternoons spent in a comfortable silence or telling stories. He felt lighter around her, his shadows not so heavy and dark. He waited for what the next day so he could be with her. He thought that she felt the same.
He was not used to letting people in. But, he let Elain in. She was a desperate and sad as he was I his first decade. And it was that need to help her first. Yes, it was that. But not just that. He really grew used to her company.
Azriel would always let a woman chose. He would never take a choice from anyone, especially a woman. The need to be different from his brutal roots probably. But he could not let this happen again. What if he is not there the next time?
Azriel took her hand in his and said quietly: “You were never a job for me Elain Archeron, nor a burden. When I am with you, I am a somehow better version of myself. You know about my past, and in my 500 years, I have never felt better thinking about it. Until you. I was broken and still am. But you made me feel like I’m not alone in this. Me being around you has nothing to do with your sister.”
Elain was sobbing now. That is how she feels about him. And it was hurt on his face. She felt horrible now, but for an entirely different reason.
What he did next she even as a seer could not predict. He held her hand close to his heart and said: “I promise my life upon you. If you ever get hurt by your own hands, I will get the same wound.” what he had to say next made him shiver. “If you ever die by your own hands, you will take my life with yours as well. This bond will be one-sided, my wounds will not affect you.” With that, she could feel a little pain stinging her left arm. She took her sweater off and looked at it. It was Illyrian markings there. It seemed the same as Cassians and Azriels and at the same time different.
She looked at him shocked at what he has done. He shrugged not sounding sorry at all and said: “I’m sorry Elain, but I can’t let anything like this happen again. I will remove the bargain if you want, but only once I know that your grief is not blinding you.”
“Why?”- She whispered. How could this strong, powerful male dedicate his life to her? Why? “Aren’t you afraid that I will do it anyways, bond or no bond?”
At this, he gave her a gentle but sad smile. “If you harm yourself, you will harm me. You might hate your life, but you are no killer Elain Archeron.”
She was staring at him. His hazel eyes cracked something in her, some new emotion she could not place yet. All she knew was that she could not stop staring at him. He did not stop either.
High Lord and Lady of the Night Court 🌌
Swipey swipe to see the full image. I sold my soul for this. I LOVE this painting. Charlie Bowaters official designs were so fun to paint. And HELLO Rhys and Feyre ❤❤. I love them to bits and pieces.
This painting took a LOT of time and love. So I hope you all enjoy it. And thanks for all the LOVELY comments on the wip shots over the last few days. 😭 They were so sweet