golden leggings

Believer - Bughead Fic

[A/N: The aftermath of that scene, smuttiness because we all needed it, this is only my second Bughead fic so I’m still finding their voices a little so please bear with me! The song used below is the song from that very scene, it only seemed right. Only briefly proof-read but I will probably go back sometime later tonight and fix any errors I’ve missed, hopefully not too many but I did make the decision to swap tenses halfway through writing this.]


I was broken from a young age
Taking my sulking to the masses
Writing my poems for the few
That looked at me, took to me, shook to me, feeling me
Singing from heartache from the pain
Take up my message from the veins
Speaking my lesson from the brain
Seeing the beauty through the…

-Imagine Dragons - Believer


The worn leather nestles itself warmly against his neck, fingertips grazing against the frayed polyester cuffs and the smell of faded cigarettes and liquor envelope the air around him.

‘Juggie-’ Her voice wavers with uncertainty, the small smile that had crept its way into the corners of his mouth falls in an instant. 

Betty.

Sorry kid, I didn’t realise you had a lady-friend over.’ The broad Serpent chuckles throatily. 

‘Uh, Betty-’ he offers lamely with an outstretched arm to the door, ‘my girlfriend.’

The Serpents in unison stretch to peer around the door, meekly Betty remains hidden, her slender fingers with periwinkle polish grasping firmly at the edge of the door with knuckles turning white.

‘My-my,’ smirks the leader of the pack, ‘don’t you just paint a familiar picture.’

Betty steps back cautiously as the larger man strains to get a better look, instinctively Jughead’s arm raises against the door-frame offering the bearded man a stern look. Taking a step back he rocks on the heels of his feet, his own hands raised in surrender and a curious gaze playing on his features.

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Kissing Booth: All Genders Welcome

“Well that’s something you don’t see every day,” Kayla noted as they stared at a booth in the Houston rodeo.

“I don’t think that’s sanitary,” Austin mumbled.

But Will was hardly paying attention. He was looking instead at the raven haired guy running the booth with a smile on his face and a jar in front of him. He was… well gorgeous. His features were sharp, angled, exotic even. His skin was a beautiful olive tone, his eyes dark, ringed with dark lashes, his lips plump, his cheekbones high.

Will was completely swept away.

Suddenly two elbows jabbed into his sides and he yelped, swatting his siblings. “Do you want to stand in line?” Austin asked with a smirk.

A scarlet blush filled Will’s cheeks and he scowled. “No! Of course not! That’s completely unhealthy and… ridiculous.”

“You sure? Because I have five bucks in my jeans. You can either get five pecks or one good make out,” Kayla said.

Blushing furiously, Will walked away, hands deep in his pockets as he mumbled and tried to slow his heart down. His siblings fell into step beside him, laughing at his expense. Will couldn’t help but glance back at the kissing booth which was brightly decorated and had a very decent line.

A darker girl with tight curls surrounding her heart-shaped face and golden eyes sat cross-legged on a chair beside the booth, calling out for people to stand in line. There was a smaller sign under the one that read Kissing Booth which said, “All genders welcome!”

He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t considering it.

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この二人本当すき #FateGO |  |  [Twitter] 

Source Link: twitter.com/meganekureyo/status/835101970436272128

“I can not emphasize how incredibly hot and attractive both Alter Saber and Jeanne are, gosh those outfits are just too good to be true. 10/10 would join the dark side. They can step on me any time they want. 

Characters: Alter Saber & Alter Jeanne/Ruler 💗💗💗💗💗

Game/Anime: Fate Series / [F/GO] 

The Bet- A Cassian/Azriel/Mor Fic

….Listen my dudes, idk what to tell you, I’ve never written this pairing before, never really felt that inclined to either… But they wanted to bang…so I let them. Bless my dearest, @pterodactylichexameter for betaing!! 

Title: The Bet

Summary: Modern AU, established relationship. Cassian, Az and Mor have somewhere to be and while the boys are up their sleeping beauty is nowhere to be found. Az comes with a novel way of getting her out of bed….NSFW. Sin. Much sin ahead. You’ve been warned. 

Teaser: Az’s dejected form isn’t what leaves their bedroom however. Instead, Cassian freezes in the act of raising his mug to his lips for a drink when he hears a soft, feminine moan escape. He waits for all of a second before the mug and half-eaten breakfast are abandoned and he wanders down the corridor to investigate.

Link: AO3 

Azriel doesn’t look up from the piece of toast he’s slowly, precisely, buttering as he hears the unmistakeable sounds of Cassian sloping into the room behind him. His boyfriend doesn’t stop walking until he crashes, albeit gently, into Az’s back, jolting him against the counter. His thick, muscled arms slide easily around his waist and he nuzzles softly at his neck, still slightly damp from the shower.

“Mm, you smell like Mor,” is Cassian’s dreamy idea of a mumbled morning greeting.  

Az comes as close to grimacing that he ever does at that. “I think I used her shampoo this morning,” he confesses drily, now tipping coffee into the mug in front of him. Cassian lets out a gasp of mock horror at this and withdraws from him as though tainted. He claps him playfully on the shoulder, “Good luck,” is all he says before he heaves himself up onto the worktop, his heels knocking gently against the cupboard door.  

A soft smile traces Az’s lips as he slides the coffee towards Cassian who raises the mug in a grateful salute after grabbing it before taking a long draught. “I don’t think I have to worry about it,” he says evenly, melting out of the way to let Cassian at the toaster and hob, “She won’t be coherent enough to notice for a while yet.

Cassian glances over Azriel’s head towards the door of their bedroom, slightly ajar, revealing the darkness within, then he snorts. “It looks like the lair of some fell beast,” he observes, casually swiping a piece of Az’s buttered toast and transferring it to his mouth. Az huffs but doesn’t protest, considering it a fair trade for the half a pack of bacon Cassian has just slapped into a pan.  

Az makes a business of checking his watch, “At this time of the morning you’re not far wrong,” he murmurs, ambling to the fridge and pulling out eggs which he lays on the counter within easy reach of Cassian’s broad, deft hands.

Cass snorts at that assessment, barely even looking at what he’s doing as he cracks the eggs and transfers them to a bowl to whisk them up, “How long do we have before we need to leave?” he asks, eyebrow raised.

“A few hours yet,” Az replies mildly, taking a small sip of his own coffee, “But she should get up now.”

Cassian snorts again, “You expect her to manage that without some sort of encouragement?” he demands, “Waking Mor up at this time is like waking the dead, we’d have an easier time finding a new girlfriend at the graveyard.”  

Az just smiles at that, watching his boyfriend work, “Mm, I’m quite fond of this one, as it happens,” he murmurs quietly.

He’s fully aware that he already has a plan to deal with their…situation. Cassian never eats his eggs scrambled this way, and his bacon is always half raw. Sure enough, a few moments later, tipping the eggs into a frying pan, Cass grins, “Don’t you worry, sweetheart,” he says affectionately, leaning over and kissing Az on the cheek even as he rolls his eyes at the petname, ”I have just the thing. She’ll be up in a minute, all bright eyed and bushy tailed.”

 It’s Az’s turn to snort at that. Of the three of them, Cass is the one most likely to tend towards optimism but even by his standards that’s stretching the bounds of belief. “Okay fine, she’ll be conscious,” he amends irritably before waggling a spatula threateningly in Az’s direction, “you get to take over from there.”

“If you actually manage to get her up I’ll take over from there,” he promises faithfully, taking another idle sip of his coffee.  

“Ha,” Cass grins, “Just you wait, Az, she can never resist my cooking. Ever.” He reaches past him and swipes the large ‘princess’ mug out of the cupboard, filling it with coffee from the pot before dumping in a small mountain of sugar and half of their milk reserves into it with his customary grimace that anyone would dare besmirch the good name of coffee the way that Mor does.

Azriel just hums as Cassian starts to load Mor’s breakfast onto a tray, leaning against the worktop, saying nothing. As he starts to leave the room however, Mor’s breakfast arranged in the shape of a smiley face with tomato eyes, a bacon mouth, scrambled egg hair and a spikey toast hat however, Az dips down and presses a soft kiss to his lips, “Good luck,” he murmurs.

Cassian waves an airy hand, “Oh ye of little faith!” he huffs irritably as he sets off in the direction of their bedroom.  

Azriel waits patiently and he and his lack of faith are rewarded by a Cassian stomping out of the room five minutes later, caught somewhere between astonishment and dejection, resolutely munching a piece of Mor’s toast. “Unbelievable,” he grumbles, looking sincerely crestfallen. “She’s made of stone, Az, we’re dating a statute, I hope you know that.”

Az just smiles as Cassian helps himself to some of Mor’s eggs, clearly lamenting their wasteful scrambling. “That was never going to work,” he says smoothly.

Cassian lets out a good natured growl, now eating a piece of Mor’s bacon with his fingers. He brandishes it at Az, “I bet you a tenner you can’t get her out of bed before I can.”

Cass watches as Azriel considers this, can practically hear the cogs turning in that mysterious, shadowed brain of his. Finally, with a decisive little nod, he sets down his piece of toast and says, “Deal,” before padding towards their bedroom.  

Blinking, slightly startled by this sudden turn of events he calls after him, “On this try mind you!” Az just vaguely nods his agreement, gently pushing open the door at the end of the corridor. What a well meaning idiot, Cassian muses with a shake of the head, happily stuffing one of Mor’s tomatoes into his mouth. She doesn’t know what she’s missing, this breakfast was up to his finest high standards, but Az is taking part in a truly hopeless mission. Fire-breathing dragons would have been easier and safer to approach than their Morrigan this morning.

Cassian waits, shovelling down more of Mor’s bacon with what Az would probably consider indecent enthusiasm. Mor would understand though, he has to give this breakfast a proper funeral, worthy of her approval. He expects to see Az slinking back to him, defeated, rummaging irritably in his jeans for his wallet to offer him the spoils of his victory. He freezes, another piece of toast halfway to his mouth, loaded with scrambled eggs and dread – if Azriel fails in this task it’ll be his turn to rouse Mor again…He contemplates this for a few seconds then shovels the toast and egg into his mouth, deciding it’ll be worth it. His boyfriend had been so achingly sure of himself and while Cass doesn’t think that Az’s ego needs to be deflated any more than it already is, on the other hand he really does like the idea of him coughing up the bet money.  

Cassian waits some more, still devouring Mor’s breakfast, feeling a slight pang of worry for Az. In her current state, well aimed pillows might just be lethal, and he’s quite fond of Az’s pretty face…He decides to give it a few more minutes before launching an emergency rescue operation. Any second now he’s going to have to kiss that small frown from his beautiful face, console him even as he delightedly accepts his winnings.  

Az’s dejected form isn’t what leaves their bedroom however. Instead, Cassian freezes in the act of raising his mug to his lips for a drink when he hears a soft, feminine moan escape. He waits for all of a second before the mug and half-eaten breakfast are abandoned and he wanders down the corridor to investigate.

Gently pushing open the door, decorated with Az’s careful, neat lettering of their names (Cassian’s idea) and the small stick figures in the top left corner, (a drunken Mor’s contribution) he pauses to properly drink in the scene. Azriel is kneeling on the floor at the side of their bed, Mor’s long, golden legs hooked over his shoulders, his head buried between them. Mor is arching in pleasure, another faint moan spilling from her open lips as her body bows from the bed. Her hands fist the crisp white sheets, clutching at them as Az teases her with his tongue.  

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3

Snaps from Sunday’s adventures ✌🏼️
the kind lady at the market always remembers us and gifted me two bits of peacock ore 🙈

anonymous asked:

photographer jughead meets a shy betty and through instagram they become a power couple

A real cole sprouse Jughead huh? You got it! This may be a little different but hang tight!
****

He tagged the location for his most recent instagram picture and posted the beautiful field of poppies, keeping his theme strong still. As a photographer it was important to have an organized social media platform where models and jobs could see your work, instagram was almost a form of a portfolio for the real world. He clicked on the location and pulled up someone named “Ronnielodge” s instagram.

Staring intently at the picture he couldn’t believe how beautiful the blonde haired model was. The focal point of the photo was a gorgeous, long legged, golden haired blonde wearing a simple white sundress and looking away from the camera, a peek of her dimples showing as she stood in the poppy field he had just been at. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her and clicked on this “ronnies” instagram to see if he could find more pictures of her. Of course there were group photos and dramatic pictures of the dark haired girl he assumed was Veronica. Clicking on a particularly funny shot he couldn’t help but smile at the pretty blonde in a very short cheerleading skirt with the NYU emblem, her tongue sticking out and her hands in the air. So she went to NYU? So did he.

Picking his phone up he dialed his best friends number

“What’s up Jug?” Archie answered on the first ring

“Do you know a Veronica Lodge?” He asked quickly

“Hi nice to hear from you too, yeah the dorm is fine. Oh the poppy fields were nice? That’s great.” Archie rambled

Jughead rolled his eyes and grinned
“Hi arch, Veronica Lodge?”

“Oh yeah man, she’s a total babe. She’s in my civics class and I’m kind of in love with her….she’s off limits dude, I’ve been trying to get a date with her for ages!” He warned

Jughead rolled his eyes again
“I’m not interested in her. I’m interested in her friend..blonde she’s a…”

“Say no more, you’re talking about Betty Cooper, her and Veronica Lodge are inseparable. Hey! I actually heard them talking about heading to the poppy..” Jughead hung up the phone and pulled instagram up again, typing in Betty Cooper.

Her page was simple and well managed, pictures of books and coffees, selfies of her and her friends, a few family shots and a bunch of pictures of her and animals. His eyes glanced up to her bio and he instantly smiled

“Betty Cooper: I’m 22, half of the pair B&V, future veterinarian and hopeless romantic.”

After about half an hour of debating, he finally pressed the follow button, pleasantly surprised when she followed him back only minutes afterwards.

He became obsessed, searching campuses to find her, spending hours refreshing Instagram, following Veronica just to see pictures of her. It all came to fruition when he finally found her leaning casually against a coffee cart, balancing books and a coffee cup as she tucked her phone into her pocket. He walked towards her, the warm sunshine spurring his confidence on as he grabbed the books from her hand and she smiled up at him, her eyes instantly widening when she recognized the face.

“Oh Thank you so much! Its Jughead right?”

He nodded, still speechless at being this close to perfection,
“You followed me on Instagram right? You’re very talented, I could look at your pictures all day. The places you go to take those pictures? They’re amazing, I’m so jealous.”

Jughead smiled before rubbing a hand in his neck nervously, “I could take you. Ya know.. to some of those places.. they’re not that far and it would be amazing to photograph you.. I mean if you’re okay with that! You don’t have to be..” he rambled before Betty cut him off and smiled brightly

“I’m no model but … I think that would be pretty awesome” she giggled and grabbed his phone inputting something quickly
“That’s my number, text me anytime. If I’m not in class or cheerleading I’m usually always free.” Taking her books from him, she went on her tippy toes and pressed a kiss to his cheek

“Hope to hear from you soon Romeo.”

Pretty soon Jugheads Instagram was filled with photos of Betty in various settings, she was so beautiful and as her boyfriend he took great pride in showing her off on all social media. Betty took photos of him as well, after he taught her how to use his camera it was over, her own Instagram held pictures of the dark haired boy and couple shots. Around NYU they became known as “couple goals” and almost everyone knew they were meant to be. Some of the More popular shots were featured in Buzzfeed articles and they were happily dubbed “the Romeo and Juliet of NYU”

Being a writing major Jughead didn’t appreciate the poor choice of coupling but hopeless romantic Betty swooned nearly everyday she read a new article on the pair.

Many, many Years later when their son had decided he was finally old enough for an instagram, Jughead and Betty had welcomed it with open arms.

Their love story was forever documented by a series of Instagram photos and they could only Hope Cody would fall in love the way they had, because hey if it was good enough for Betty and Jughead it was good enough for him.

Palatine Hill (II)

Just a little Roman AU smut.  (Part I)

Bellamy tipped his head back against the tile and sighed. He waved his hand and dismissed the slaves, savoring the humidity of his private bath.  Ruling an empire was hard work, not in the least because his wife had expectations that he behave like a proper Roman noble while feasting the other major families.  Bellamy found those feasts tedious beyond all reason and the social rules governing them even more so, but Clarke had pointed out that if he wanted to avoid Pike’s mistakes he would play the game.  Roman nobles are an easily offended lot, she’d told him back when she was still just a slave, armored for the arena.  If you want to survive, you have to flatter them.   She’d walked past his altar to Vesta, a smile flickering across her face at the sight of the phallic flame, and then proceeded to drill him again in how to properly ask a domina about her new necklace without insulting her style or wealth.

At first, Pike had been amused by his heir’s new pet.  He found it amusing that a man who prided himself on his virtue had taken to calling a slave from the Coliseum to his bed and Bellamy let him believe it, but the truth was he’d never touched Clarke.  Not then, and not when he agreed to marry her after the coup to solidify his alliance with her mother’s family.  By the time Pike realized Clarke was more than just a gladiator, it was too late.

But he’d told Clarke on their wedding day he wasn’t going to touch a woman who didn’t want him, slave or free, and he’d meant that.  They were an alliance, nothing more, even if at times he found himself staring at the curve of her collarbone, wanting to taste the bead of sweat that tracked down her neck to pool there.  

Skin slapping against tile made him open his eyes.  His wife was walking into his chambers in a simple white tunic, her hair loose and flowing.  The sun streamed in behind her, showing him the outlines of her legs— still strong and muscled from her months of fighting, although she had softer, fuller curves now in her hips and breasts— through the flimsy fabric.  Tonight she’d wear a richly dyed stola, but he knew when she was alone she preferred this; simple and unadorned.

“Is anything amiss?” he asked, and hoped the bath was deep enough to obscure the way his body stirred at the sight of her.  It was damnably inconvenient, being attracted to his wife this way.

“The feast is ready,” she replied, and stopped at the steps into the water.  Her eyes were hooded, and she licked her lips.  “I came to speak with you, husband,” she said.

Bellamy kept his shoulders relaxed, one arm draped along the edge of the bath.  “Yes?” he asked mildly, and brought a cup of wine to his lips.  It was sour and potent, and he felt a little lightheaded.  It was either the wine or the heat, or maybe it was the way she was looking at him.

Clarke stepped down into the bath without removing her tunic.  “You said you wouldn’t touch me unless I wanted you to,” she said, and the water lapped at her knees.  The fabric around her legs clung to her skin, and Bellamy swallowed thickly.  “I was wondering if that still held true.”

“Of course,” he said, bringing his eyes to her face.  She moved a step deeper and the water reached her hips.  He could see a shadow of the dark golden hair between her legs and he wanted to feel her curls brushing against his palm while his fingers teased her, but he kept his face impassive.

“And what if I want you to?” she asked, her voice dropping as she reached the bottom of the bath.  The water came just to the undersides of her breasts, tantalizingly close.  He was fully hard now, and it took tremendous effort to remain lounging where he was and not crush her to him and kiss her senseless.

“If it’s your choice, of your own free will…yes.  I’ll touch you however you like,” he said, and she moved forward with a wash of water that soaked the rest of her shift.  Her breasts were full, her nipples a dusky pink beneath the translucent cotton, and he stood when she reached him.

Kissing her was like waking up from a deep sleep.  He wrapped his hands around her shoulders, holding her in place while their lips moved in concert, and when she reached down to circle her hand around his cock he groaned.  He dropped his head to her shoulder and mouthed at her skin there, just like he’d imagined on nights when he would stroke himself just like she was doing now, wishing it were her.  

In one movement he lifted her into his arms and set her on the edge of the bath.  He rucked her shift up past her knees and kissed her throat, her clavicle, and then down to the valley between her breasts.  The fabric was rough as he swirled his tongue around her nipple, and her hands came to tangle themselves in his hair.  She gasped when his teeth scraped across her breast, and she moaned when he moved to do the same to her other breast.  Water splashed as he lowered himself down and urged her backwards, splaying her body across the tile floor.

He nuzzled at her inner thigh, her scent filling his senses.  He was the emperor of all Rome and yet he had never smelled a finer perfume than this, so he ran his hand up to her breast and palmed it as his tongue found her folds.  Her cries echoed around the room as he feathered his tongue from her center to her bud, drawing her slickness into his mouth with wet, messy licks.  Clarke’s leg rose from the bath to rest on his bare shoulder, her heel digging into his spine as she urged him on.

She shattered on his tongue, her thighs trembling and her back bowing, and it felt like the greatest triumph he’d ever achieved.  He straightened and she pushed herself up on her elbows, her eyes glassy and dazed and her lips pink and swollen.  He kissed her, her taste still on his tongue, and she twined her body around him, her muscles liquid under his touch.

Each of them had seen countless battles.  They’d killed in the arena, in war, and to free their people from an unjust tyrant.  He had been a plebe in the slums, a soldier, and now he was ruler of the known world.  She’d been a princess, a slave and now a queen.  But here, in a richly appointed room on top of the Palatine Hill, they were simply husband and wife.

Lost and Found

A Darkiplier story. This is not fluff.

Originally posted by rubies-and-oaktrees

The park was usually peaceful. It had been a place of happy childhood memories, but they did nothing to console you this evening. You sat with your back to the playground, overlooking the pond with it’s pointless sign imploring visitors to stop throwing bread at the ducks.
The sun was setting and you were cold. You’d hoped to clear your head, but all you’d accomplished these last few hours was smoking most of a packet of cigarettes, only adding guilt to sorrow. You’d promised her you’d give them up, but today was not going to be the day.
Funerals were never fun, but you hadn’t been this upset when your grandfather passed away. Perhaps you’d been too young. Perhaps it was just that grandmothers were special, and didn’t see you quite the way your parents did. You should have gone home hours ago, but couldn’t bring yourself to do so. Nobody quite understood how you felt, and the constant minimising of your feelings was maddening.
Hence, the nearly empty cigarette packet.
Your swirling thoughts vanished rapidly as something cold and wet nuzzled your hand. You pulled away, whisking the smouldering cigarette away from an anxious Golden Retriever beside you. She whined anxiously, pressing her muzzle against you repeatedly.
“Where did you come from?” you wondered before your eyes noticed a thin, flexible lead attached to the dog’s collar. A man held the other end of the retractable leash awkwardly, strolling towards you. The dog fidgeted, rubbing her head against your leg.
“My apologies,” he said, voice soft and low, “she seems to like you. She usually doesn’t take to strangers.”
“Oh, it’s fine,” you murmured, patting the dog’s soft head. “She’s cute.”
“Yes,” the man replied, “she is.” He stood a few steps away, tugging on the lead. He looked like he’d just got off work, still wearing suit pants and shirt, but no sign of a jacket or tie for walking the dog around the park. The dog didn’t budge.
“Looks like she wants to stay,” he chuckled. “Do you mind if I take a seat?” You shrugged.
“Go ahead. It’s not my park.” The stranger sat down beside the worried retriever. The dog scampered across to your other side, resting her head on your lap, looking up at you with big, brown eyes.
“Looks like she’s comfortable,” he muttered. You scratched the dog’s ears absentmindedly, secretly glad for the distraction.
The man retrieved a packet of cigarettes himself from his own pants pocket. He placed one in his mouth and offered you the pack. You shrugged and picked one. What was one more on a day like today?
He replaced the pack and searched his pockets for a lighter, cursing quietly when he failed to find one.
“Here,” you offered your lighter after lighting your own.
“Thank you,” he muttered, cupping his hand around the end of the cigarette. His face was briefly illuminated in the small orange light, strong features with a hint of careless stubble.
“What’s your dog’s name?” you asked as he passed back the lighter.
“Chica,” he replied, “but she’s not really mine.”
“Oh?” He seemed unsure of how to answer, somewhat awkward. You knew what it felt like when you wanted to avoid revealing a secret.
“She belongs to… An acquaintance,” the man explained. Something in his tone suggested that Chica’s owner was something more than an acquaintance, but you didn’t care to invade his privacy.
“He’s… unable to care for her at this point in time,” he continued before taking a long breath through the cigarette.
“Is he alright?” you wondered.
“No,” he replied, exhaling the smoke between his teeth. “And I would prefer not to discuss it.” You decided that whatever emotions he was hiding from, you didn’t want to pry. You took a deep pull of the cigarette, staring blankly out over the pond for a while, absently stroking the worried dog’s ears.
“And yourself?” the man asked, “Rough day?” You snickered.
“What gave it away?” The stranger gestured to the pile of fresh cigarette butts on the ground around you.
“In my experience people rarely smoke that much when they’re happy.” You sighed, staring up at the sky where the early stars were just starting to make an appearance.
“Yeah,” you confessed, “Granny’s funeral.” Your voice cracked a little as you spoke, but the stranger either didn’t notice, or pretended not to.
“Ah,” he said, nodding slowly, “my condolences. I take it you were close?” You nodded, diverting your gaze down to the golden dog nuzzling your leg.
“Yeah, the rest of my family just don’t get it. She was a good woman.” You stared back across the pond as you tried to find the words. She’d taken you here many times as a carefree kid, feeding those stupid ducks bread like you weren’t supposed to. They were happy memories, but they were faded now, shadows of what they used to be.
“She was the only one who knew I’m…” Chica’s bark interrupted your chain of thought. She forcefully pushed her nose under your hand.
“I think she wants to go,” the man said, standing up and shortening the flexible lead. The dog kept nuzzling your hand.
“I understand it’s difficult, losing someone close to you,” he said, smoothing down the front of his shirt. He dropped his cigarette butt to the ground, snuffing it out with his heel.
“Is there anything I can do for you?” he offered. You almost laughed, shaking your head.
“It’s a kind thought,” you said, “but I don’t think so. I just kind of want to stop feeling like this. I just don’t want to wake up in the morning and have to deal with this, you know?” The man nodded.
“I am familiar with the feeling.” He straightened his stretched his arms, rolling his shoulders before straightening his shirt. “Unfortunately there is little I can say to make you feel better. Would you perhaps like a hug?” You considered the offer. Despite the occasion, none of your family had offered much in the way of physical affection or condolences. It was odd to be offered one from a stranger, but you found yourself really wanting it. You’d take anything to feel real, to feel like your sorrow was valid.
Besides, he didn’t look like he was going to mug you or anything like that. What sort of criminal brings a dog?
“Yeah, okay,” you agreed. You stood up and let the man with a small smile wrap his arms around you.
The brief feeling of comfort swiftly shifted to concern as those arms tightened and he whispered,
“Both can be arranged.”

You vanished in a blink. Nothing remained but discarded cigarette butts where you had stood. Dark snuffed out your last one with the toe of his shoe. He smirked to himself.
“It’s almost too easy when they’re sad,” he said to himself.
“Come on dog.” He tugged the shortened lead forcefully, leading Chica away as she continued to whine.