hammer & anvil

Your hands feel like home

Request: Some college au lance and keith, where maybe keith gets like really badly sick (Up to you my friend how) and lance has to force him to stop going to classes/go to the hospital but keith gets so freaking stressed because he must have perfect grades (Klance if you want!!) Thank!!! C:

Summary: When Keith comes down sick, he assumes its nothing and carries on. But as classes and deadlines start to take their toll, it becomes more and more obvious to both Keith and his boyfriend Lance, that this ‘cold’ is anything but normal. How he made it to lectures with full blown pneumonia, he’ll never know, but something he does know is that no matter what, Lance will always be by his side. 


‘Babe, did you get the coffee?’

Keith raised his head, pausing in his feeble attempt to remove his shoes without experiencing a rapid, unplanned introduction to the floor.

‘Huh?’ he called, a small wince seeping through his teeth at the irritable scrape in his throat. He had been feeling ill for days, sluggish and tired, with a growing wet cough that burned his airways and pounded his head like a hammer on an anvil. He knew he had a fever - that morning while Lance had still been sleeping he had snuck into his bathroom and borrowed his thermometer, only find that his temperature had risen to 38.5 degrees. But college was just too busy to take a day off from, and so he had popped a few fever reducers and paracetamol and gotten on with his day.

‘Coffee,’ Lance repeated, sticking his head out of the kitchen door to raise his eyebrows at Keith. ‘you said you were gonna stop by the store on your way here and pick some up. I’m nearly out,’

Keith groaned, leaning his head against the wall, second shoe all but forgotten. ‘Damnit.. I forgot, sorry. Want me to go back out and get some?’ he asked, but every fibre of his body was praying that Lance would say no. Apparently, whatever Gods were looking down on him chose to be kind, and Lance shook his head, at ease.

Keep reading

instagram

So I’ve been trying to figure how to set up my forging press for hot punching hammers. I think this set up should work well. ( punch is H13 steel) The video is some clips making the tooling, I should of put more of the forging in but I wanted to show the tooling. Thanks to @sunsetforgenj @cjdufton & @fungtionalforge for helping me figure it out. #anvil #bladesmith #haybudden #hammer #forging #madeinvermont #welding #welder #metalsmith

Made with Instagram
Stay With Me // Ten Chittaphon

-

the prompt: Can you write a prince!ten fluffy scenario??

words: 4968

category: angst + fluff, prince!au

warnings: night terrors and mentions of death (nothing rlly graphic)

author note: this is literally my fourth or fifth attempt (I lost count lol) of trying to write this fic. but it’s finally finished and I’m proud of the result. I hope you guys like it as well! (he’s so handsome i’m crying i love my bias)

- destinee

Originally posted by tenchittaphonsnose

Keep reading

Some Thoughts on Imbolc

If you have been reading up on Wicca for a while, online and perhaps in books, you have probably read a bit about the eight sabbats. It’s important to note that these sabbats were included in Wicca by Gerald Gardner, and they are borrowed from several different places, from several different traditions. There is not one ancient European religion that celebrated all eight sabbats. 

In this post I want to talk about Imbolc on a slightly deeper level, from a different point of view than you might have come across in basic books on Wicca. 

To begin with this was the sabbat that I had the most trouble connecting with, but what I am going to share in this post has made it easier for me to feel a connection to this sabbat. Nowadays I am always looking forward to Imbolc and I feel a very strong connection to this beautiful celebration. 

Originally posted by mirandathekinglet


Basics About Imbolc

Date: 1st/2nd February (some places say 2nd but I like to celebrate on the Eve of the 1st)
Other names: Imbolg, Brigid, Candlemas

For me the biggest issue with Imbolc started when I found Wicca while still living in Sweden. In English books, this sabbat is described as the first spring sabbat. You are to celebrate that the nature is re-awakening, new life is growing. In the Goddess and God mythological cycle, the Goddess is entering Her phase as a young maiden, while the God is a child. There are snowdrops and other flowers too - the books tell you.

Originally posted by pagewoman

Swedish Imbolc

And this is probably true in some other places in the northern hemisphere as well (and in the southern hemisphere, this goes completely out the window!)

Right, so it says that now you can see the first signs of spring. 

And as a Swedish person you look out through the window at all the snow and wonder where exactly these signs of spring are hiding.

I know I was even thinking that the date for this sabbat should be changed, because it so obviously does ring true with the Swedish climate. Of course you can see Imbolc as a chance to help spring move along, but I never thought this was enough. It was always very frustrating to me, because I felt like I completely missed out on this part of the Wheel of the Year. 

It wasn’t until I moved to England, to Devon, that I actually felt I could get a connection to Sweden’s Imbolc. This is a bit ironic, since Devon is known as England’s Riviera. Here crocuses have already started to appear. Though this winter has been cold: the temperature has dropped below zero at least a couple of days. Sometimes we have had to have the heating on in the house all day. One day there was even sleet for an hour or two.

When Imbolc appears there are snowdrops, crocus and often daffodils. There are buds on the trees and I can really see how Imbolc is the first spring sabbat. 

Originally posted by pragmaculture


But Imbolc is so much more than that, and that is what I have gained a connection to that will also work in Sweden and other colder countries in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Because Imbolc is also called Brigid (pronounced ‘Breed), and Brigid is the Goddess of poetry, the forge, fire and creativity. She is also the Goddess of healing and midwifery. This is connected to the Goddess having given birth to the God, but it is also about re-awakening and give life to one’s own creativity and creative force after the winter darkness.

Even in Sweden the light is returning, and people know that they are headed toward spring and they have more energy. So this is a perfect time to honour the fire within ourselves, and its creative flames. That is what has allowed me to make a connection to Imbolc.

For me this is now a celebration of fire, a time to start forming what I want to achieve during the coming year. This is a chance for me to find myself and stand in my own power, just like the Goddess is doing. This is the sabbat when She has the least connection to the God; She is out there celebrating Herself and Her desires, and we have the chance to do the same!

Originally posted by fornootherreasondave


What You Can Focus On

The Goddess is in her forge. She is strong, she surely has soot smeared on her face, her skin is blank with sweat while she is lifting the hammer against the anvil, to form what she is working on. She is forming her own life. She works with what she wants. She decides which one of her ideas she wants to make reality, and then she makes it happen. There is nothing that can stop her. 

She is the mistress of her own life. 

So take this moment to have a ritual where you are honouring the Goddess’ immense power of creation. It is this very power that will soon melt even the snow. It is this power that makes nature crackle with new life. And this power is present within each and everyone of us. 

How can you use this power within a ritual? Here are some of my suggestions =)

  • Use this creative life force to think about what you want to make in your forge. What do you want to achieve the coming year?
  • Focus on your own inner creative fire. How does it look? Is it lit? Or do you need to kindle it? What fuel does it need? Think about how the fire used to be the very heart - the hearth - of the home, and how we need this to survive. If yours has gone out it is time to feed the flames!
  • Do you feel your are stuck in some project and you’re not sure how to move it forward? This is the perfect ritual to find new inspiration.
  • Do you need healing? Let Brigid’s healing hands help you to heal.
  • Do you want to get rid of bad habits? Let Brigid’s fire burn them away, and let yourself be born again from the flames.

Ideas For Magic

Originally posted by heartsnmagic

This is the perfect sabbat to work with healing magic both for yourself and for others. 

Candle and fire magic are also great to work with here, to re-connect to the power of the fire. 

It’s also a really good time to plant seeds representing that which you want to achieve the coming year. Plant a seed for something you want to grow and charge it with your energy and inention. See how it grows as your project is growing, and take some time each day to connect to your seed (and in time plant!) to deepen your own connection to it and that which you want to achieve. 

I hope this have given you some new thoughts about this glittering celebration!

How do you celebrate Imbolc? 

Just to remind you who Gendry is, and why someone needs to legitimize him as Baratheon.

Gendry: But just explain it to me. He offered to have any three people you wanted dead. All you had to do was give him the names. Anyone. You could have picked King Joffrey. 

Arya Stark: Shut up! 

Gendry: You could have picked Tywin Lannister. 

Arya Stark: Jaqen got us out of Harrenhal. So why are you complaining? 

Gendry: Because you could have ended the war!

~~~

Thoros of Myr: Where’d you train? 

Gendry: King’s Landing. Tobho Mott’s shop. 

Thoros of Myr: That criminal! He charges twice as much as every other armorer in the city. 

Gendry: That’s because he’s twice as good.

~~~

Gendry: How’d you know he was a knight? 

Hot Pie: Well… ‘cause he’s got armor on. 

Gendry: You don’t have to be a knight to buy armor. Any idiot can buy armor.

~~~

Gendry: I’m done serving. 

~~~

Gendry: Oh, you like picking on the little ones, do you? You know, I’ve been hammering an anvil these past ten years. When I hit that steel it sings. You gonna sing when I hit you?

punkrocknerdfighter  asked:

you think barristan will die in meereen? warsandpoliticsoficeandfire laid out a pretty compelling theory of barristan switching to aegon's side

Thanks for the question, @punkrocknerdfighter.

I cannot speak to that author’s supposed argument. But I can discuss why I think it more likely that Barristan will die in Meereen, before Daenerys returns, than that he will betray her for Young Aegon.

Barristan’s POV arc in ADWD was undoubtedly short, but I believe it proved more than satisfactory in crystallizing the thematic elements of his story in a meaningful way while also setting up his downfall. In my opinion, Barristan’s story has largely concerned the question “What does it mean to serve a king?”, and that question comes to a head for him after Daenerys leaves, when he finds himself serving King Hizdahr. As the court changes under Hizdahr - Daenerys loyalists being dismissed or reduced in importance, replaced by Hizdahr’s men - Barristan grows more uncomfortable, and more willing to listen to Skahaz’s conspiracy to depose him. When Hizdahr refuses to retaliate against the unjust murder of the hostage Groleo - something Barristan thinks even weak Jaehaerys II would have done - Barristan’s move against Hizdahr is assured. The “Kingbreaker” thus becomes the climax, not just for Barristan in ADWD but Barristan as a Kingsguard: he finally does what he never had the courage to do with Aerys or Robert - depose an unworthy king in favor of a rightful queen, or at least ruling in a rightful queen’s name, breaking the blind oath of loyalty expected of a Kingsguard in the cause of justice.

However, Barristan made a critical error in ADWD, one that I think will prove his undoing: trusting the Shavepate. Barristan is not a fool, but he entered into agreement with an unscrupulously ambitious and very deceptive man. It’s the Shavepate who almost certainly poisoned the locusts at Daznak’s Pit, the Shavepate who spent ADWD angling against Hizdahr and his set, and the Shavepate who is now in control of the city proper (with Queen’s Hand Barristan bringing war outside). I have no doubt that the Shavepate is going to take advantage of Barristan’s absence in battle to further his political goals - goals Barristan will find horrifying.

So I do believe TWOW will serve as a great triumph and then an immediate, tragic denouement for the white knight. The released preview chapter “Barristan I” ends with a strong pre-battle speech, one clearly fed from his decades of martial experience - a speech that, for my money, has “heroic last words” written all over it. Hell, I’ll admit that the ending to “Barristan II” of TWOW (never released formally in text, but read aloud) even makes me shiver a little, I like it so; the whole chapter is a stage to show off Barristan’s prowess as a wartime commander, but especially the glee in his voice when he compares the landing of Victarion’s fleet to the hammer and the anvil of the Redgrass Field … well, it’s one of the more stirring moments in ASOIAF for me, even though it’s not even released yet.

How tragic then, for Barristan to return to his adopted city a hero, the savior of Meereen, the loyal and true knight - only to find that, in his absence, the Shavepate has had Hizdahr, Reznak, and the child hostages killed. The Shavepate’s hatred of Hizdahr was an open fact throughout ADWD, and time and again he has called for the the child hostages Daenerys took to be murdered, first in retaliation for the Sons of the Harpy murders and then the murders of the Meereenese hostages with the Yunkai'i (though Daenerys and Barristan refused to countenance the murder of children of whom both had become fond). Barristan will come back to the city to discover the Shavepate has effectively seized control of the Meereenese government in his absence, eliminating his political enemies and their children for good measure - and now that Barristan has helpfully deposed Hizdahr and won the battle for him, Skahaz has no further need to keep the old man around. So I imagine the end of Barristan will come as Barristan goes after Skahaz (perhaps after Skahaz orders him killed), and is cut down by the Shavepate’s loyal Brazen Beasts; tired from the battle, the old knight will be swarmed upon the masked men he already deeply distrusts. Barristan’s ending as such would be completely fitting with something I’ve been trying to emphasize as a recurring theme in ASOIAF: the fall of a protagonist can be tragic while still rooted in that protagonist’s own missteps and failures.

I also prefer this ending for Barristan for the impact it will have on Daenerys. I’ve said before that I could see Daenerys spending two chapters with the Dothraki - one killing Khal Jhaqo, and one being acclaimed in Vaes Dothrak - before returning to Meereen in or around “Daenerys III”. Daenerys will find on her return that her white knight is gone - the only other Westerosi in her crew (without Jorah), the connection between her and her family past, a man she thought she could trust. Wouldn’t you know it, though, a whole new crop of advisors will be there to help - Tyrion, Moqorro, and Marwyn, among their associates. Moreover, unlike Barristan, these men are not going to try to reign in her more violent side: Tyrion sees Daenerys as his means of getting back to Westeros and destroying his hated family; Moqorro and the red priests think Daenerys is the chosen of R'hllor, who feasts on human sacrifice; Marwyn clearly blames the “grey sheep” of the Citadel for killing the dragons before, so he’s about the last person who would try to keep her dragons locked away (on top of his interest in Daenerys as the martial “prince that was promised”). The loss of Barristan will help transition Daenerys into a full “fire and blood” mode I think she needs, thematically speaking, before she can become the humanity-saving hero at the end of ASOIAF.

Thinking on a meta level about this supposed turning cloak for Aegon, it would hardly be narratively surprising at this point for Daenerys to face another betraying counselor. The saga of Jorah’s betrayal and questionable loyalty has been a recurring theme even with Jorah out of her immediate circle, and the defection of Brown Ben Plumm to Yunkai was a major plot point in ADWD. Would it be interesting from a plot perspective to have her betrayed again by another trusted advisor? Certainly, it is possible that GRRM would repeat the same tactic, but there are surely other, more intriguing means Daenerys could face her prophesied “treasons” than by another counselor defecting from her service.

Consider also the structural integrity of TWOW and beyond. If GRRM chooses to bring back all alive POV characters for TWOW - and I cannot see a reason he would not, with the series escalating to its final climax - that means 20 separate main POV characters (compare to the 16 of ADWD, the book with the most separate POV characters so far). Unless each character gets a paltry number of chapters, I think it likely that GRRM will start winnowing down the POVs, killing them off to focus on the truly important viewpoints. Neither Daenerys nor Aegon has a need for Barristan to remain with them: Daenerys has her own POV as well as Tyrion’s in her area, while Aegon currently has JonCon and will soon have Arianne as well (and I’ll eat my hat if the Dornish princess doesn’t endeavor to make herself Aegon’s queen). Three POVs is a substantial amount to look at any character, particularly one who has “doomed” practically stamped on his forehead.

Finally, I very much doubt that the fight between Aegon and Daenerys lasts for a long time; indeed, I can see Daenerys having enough to do in TWOW that she doesn’t even reach Westeros until the very end of that book, and we instead end in King’s Landing with King Aegon VI on the Iron Throne. Would it really be sensible to keep Barristan around so long for a “civil war” that will last, in a generous calculation, for a handful of chapters? What would be the ultimate point to Barristan’s story then - that Daenerys is triumphant, and Barristan should never have left her? Would that be narratively fulfilling? You’re welcome to think so; but I do not.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

sunnydelightcomics replied to your post “Hi there, i wanted ask, other tgan tge recent revelation of Anode, is…”

That midwife comment just confused me, what? Am I not understanding something due to language barrier?

Anode isn’t an actual, literal “blacksmith” - that is to say, she’s not someone who forges metal into weapons and armor in a “hammer-and-anvil” in-a-workshop way, like Solus Prime is. The title is euphemistic - she is the Cybertronian equivalent of an obstetrician (a doctor who specializes in pregancy and childbirth), who helps the protoforms of newborn Transformers that may be struggling to find their shape. That’s a new concept Lost Light has introduced.

i had an su theory ages ago, that music was something of earth. sort of. music and song are obviously very important for gems and have a lot of power (fusion dances, the “corruption song”), and i came up with a theory that the diamonds purposely kept it from ordinary gems so that it couldn’t be used against them.

but the thing is, humans? we’re really good at music. and when the gems came to earth, we somehow helped them rediscover it. maybe rose quartz was the first, and others followed along behind, and found “their” songs - the gentleness but power of a piano for rose, the grace of a ballerina’s dance for pearl, the natural harmony any instruments can have together for garnet, a drumbeat like a hammer on an anvil for bismuth, and so on.

homeworld gems can’t fuse because they can’t balance seemingly discordant rhythms like the crystal gems can. how could peridot have fused with anyone if she’d never heard a tune before? jasper and lapis remembered the songs of the crystal gems from the war, but didn’t quite know what they were doing, and made a cacophony by mistake.

and this would be the power of steven’s human side - music! his dad IS a former rock star, after all, and steven’s clearly loved music since he was small. steven has a massive natural talent for harmony, melody, notes, anything to do with music. his fusions turn out strong and in great harmony. he can unlock more powers than a normal rose quartz could because he’s so “in tune” with himself. and he could even write a song that, combined with his mind-hopping and his healing spit, could undo the corruption song!

it doesn’t help that quite a few people in beach city are musical. greg’s an ex-rock star. connie plays violin. sour cream is a dj. sadie’s a good singer. and while the gems can play instruments, they only seem to do it when led by a human. (or half-human.)

but… it looks like i was probably wrong.

instagram

My little power-hammer is 70 years old this year… I love all these mechanical hammers not that I don’t appreciate the air hammers but the mechanical hammers are such simple and amazing machines … Mine is very temperamental and if it’s too cold or wet she will give me a lot of attitude. But with enough love she runs great… #littlegiantpowerhammer and @iamtessparks cd playing #somedays it took me 3 months to get that CD in the USA but finally have it…❤️

#blacksmith #anvil #metalsmith #powerhammer #blacksmithing #hammer #hammerit #iron #tessparks

Made with Instagram
Andor’elin - Mystical Weapon

ANDOR’ELIN - BALANCE OF LEAVES

[+1 to Mod damage/healing on basic attacks and abilities]
[+2 to Max damage/healing on basic attacks and abilities]
[Reach: +5ft range to basic attacks/healing and abilities]

In the heart of the Dawnspire, the dragon-flame fueled Dawnforge has created numerous weapons of antiquity and legend. Rekindled to arm the forces of the Sunguard, its anvils have hammered blades, tempered axes, and burnished the strength of shields.

However, not all creations are made in the heart of fire– from the careful hands of the Quartermaster and Weapons-Smith of the Spire, Vulthaen Voidsunder had a very unique weapon created– for it was not forged, it was grown.

With the aide of druids of Hyjal, shamans of the Maelstrom, priests of the Holy Light, and his own metallurgical skills, he created Andor’elin for Elleynah Stormsummer, Oracle of the Dawnmenders. The staff, made from living wood, is the prefect receptacle for the woman’s abilities– it responds to the minutest change in her magics, reflecting her skills in several schools and empowering her modest energies.

One thing is certain– the weapon is as new and untested as its wielder, but both have grand expectations to fulfill, and great legacies to leave behind.


@thesunguardmg @curiouslich

military mondays: Why did Alexander the great never lose a battle? 

as suggested by: @knightopolis

Alexander the III of Macedon, Hegemon of the Hellenic league, Pharaoh of Egypt, Lord of Asia, Khaleesi of the great grass sea, mother of dragons, breaker of chains, considered among the greatest commanders of all time, tutored by aristotle, given command of an army at 16, proclaimed king by 20, conquered the Perisan empire by the age of 26, and dead by 32. In terms of personality alexander was calculating, clever and charismatic, however he was prone to violent bursts of anger, impulsiveness and arrogance. Despite this Alexander never lost a battle. But how did he do this?

Citizens army - Alexander became king after his father was assisinated in 336 BC, he inherited a large army. This army was a professional army made up of macedonian citizens. This army was paid a good wage and was able to be drilled everyday. This was not a mob of peasants and conscripts, this was their job. Each company of troops came from the same area of macedon, ensuring close bonds of friendship and shared culture which lead to greater cohesion on the battlefield. 

Combined arms - Alexander made sure every possible man was part of the action. He used variety, his army could be made up of Phalanxes, archers, javelin throwers, siege towers and companion cavalry. Each unit would be assigned a job that played to their strengths and complimented the other units weaknesses. 

The Phalanx - The phalanx was often the most used unit in alexanders army. 256 men arranged 16 across and 16 deep. Each armed with a small shield and a Sarissa, this 18ft macedonian pike gave the phalanx greater reach than the spearman. This formation was a bristling hedgehog of spearpoints. Although inflexible. The phalanx was Skilled at both defense and offense. The phalanx dominated the ancient battfields of persia and asia minor. 

Hammer and the anvil - Alexanders preffered tactic and highly effective, the phalanx would pin the enemy in place either by a frontal assualt or a defense. Remember horses would not charge a row of spears. While the enemies main force was engaged. Alexander would send his companion cavalry on the flanks. This cavalry was heavily armoured and the finest in the ancient world, this is called “Shock cavalry” their frightening charge and long lances would force the enemy to retreat inward. The enemy now completley surrounded would be sandwhiched between the infrantry and the cavalry. 

Flexibility - Alexander was a clever man. Tutored by aristotle himself. This is shown most prominently at he battle of Gaugamela. Alexander faced a persian force commanded by darius III, estimates vary but the persian army was around 250,000 strong compared to the macedonian force of 40,000 men Alexander took his cavalry and rode parralel to the persian heavy cavarly. He had hidden spear throwers and skirmishers called peltasts behind the cavalry, they ran beside him, keeping up with the pace of the horses. Alexander was taunting darius and he took the bait. The persian heavy cavalry gave chase and left a hole in the battle lines, alexander did a 160 turn and poured his cavalry into the gap, his skirmishers let loose at the persuing persians, which unbalanced the perisan cavalry preventing them from turning and chasing alexnader. Alexander then cut a bloody path to darius, who fled into the mountains. The battle was won. 

Leading by example - Alexander realised morale was key. He led his personal unit of companion cavalry, 300 strong into battle. Fighting alongside the men in his army, giving them hope and courage. He suffered wounds himself in battle, and bled beside his veterans. At Gaugamela, alexander cut off his pursuit of darius and turned to rescue his friend and general Parmenion. Showing his troops he really did care about their wellbeing. 

Campaigning through egypt, babylon, and asia minor. At its height his empire stretched from greece to northwest India. 

If you have any ideas for what I should post for next military monday, it can be anything, a battle, a leader, an idea, a concept or tactic, a military unit or formation. Do not hesitate to send in your suggestions, either by message or comment.

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try” - Alexander the great 

Ascension - A Feyrhys Fic

For @bodtsfreckles for the @yulemaas exchange (sorry it’s a little bit late I had some issues with it!) Thank you @pterodactylichexameter for betaing this for me!! <3 

Title: Ascension 

Summary: Feyre/Rhys, first person, mixed POVs. Feyre leaves the Spring Court after being discovered as the Night Court spy. She rushes to meet her mate where he’s waiting for in the Summer Court, just across the border. Post ACOMAF/ACOWAR reunion. Long. (shockingly) 

Teaser: Keep going. I have to keep going. Rhys, Rhys, Rhys.
 As though he hears me, as though he knows, I feel him call me.
Feyre. He whispers to me, the word echoing through my mind, my heart, my very soul.
Feyre. Urging me on, urging me to him, not letting me give up, not yet.
Feyre. I keep going. I keep running. I keep fighting.

Feyre. For him. For him

AO3: Link

My heart shudders in my chest. The hammer striking the anvil of my ribs. The battering ram that slams against its cage of bone, seeking freedom. My lungs are too tight, too small and shrinking all the time. Smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller, squeezing the air from me until there’s nothing left.

I stuff my hands in my pockets to hide the shaking. Hide the fact I’m dragging my nails over my skin again and again and again in my agitation. Hide my body’s betrayal of me. Hide the evidence of my pain, my fear, my panic. Still driven to hide from those who would see only weakness to exploit. Hide though I’m utterly alone here.  

Clenching my hands into tight fists to stop the nervous movement I close my eyes, seeking to calm myself. Free. I’m free. I got out. I’m free. Words Mor had taught me, the only ones that had helped her after what she had endured. The only ones that help me now. I got out. I’m free. So is Feyre.

Closing my eyes I breathe deeply, letting the light, fresh air fill me. All I can hear are the sounds of the Summer sea lapping against the beach. Cold water tugs gently at my ankles. My bare feet have sunk into the cool sand from the time I’ve spent standing here. The ocean has long-since claimed the footprints I had left upon the sand as he paced the border line between Summer. Now I wait, still as the stars that have begun to bloom in the sky overhead. Waiting. Waiting.

All I can smell is sea. Not her. Not yet. But soon. Soon. I open the bond wide, searching, reaching for her, whispering her name into the void of pulsing music that forms their bond.

Feyre.

****

My feet pound over the hard earth beneath them. A frantic rhythm, like the hands that beat upon the drums of Calanmai, the thundering hooves of a deer as she flees the starving wolf. Faster, faster, my body screams in protest, my muscles bark in pain but I push myself on.  

Sweat drenches my back, chilling my feverish skin when the bite of the chill wind finds it. Running in rivulets down my back, it stings my eyes, making them water, my vision blurring but I don’t stop. Can’t stop. Can’t look back. I can only go on.

My chest is tight, burning, as though I’m breathing ash into my lungs with every gulp of air I choke down. Dizzy and sick I know I have to keep going. If I stop then I lose everything. Thoughts of Rhys keep me going. My mate, my love, waiting for me. Always waiting. Five hundred years for me to come into this world. Months to watch me die and drag me back into this world only to let me be with another male, to let me love as I would. Weeks to slowly help me put myself back together, help me be strong, help me survive. Hours to have me. Seconds to lose me once more. Waiting again, waiting for me to contact him with information and updates and waiting for me now, waiting for me to come back to him.  

Soon I tell myself, soon I will see him again. I just have to keep going, keep going, keep going. I had spent most of my power escaping the house and now I find myself pursued. The spy overturned, the huntress hunted through the woods like the deer I had once stalked to feed my family. Tamlin’s wolves are close on my heels. I might be the High Lady of the Night Court, the Made daughter of all seven courts, I’m exhausted and I know it’s not within my power to overwhelm a dozen of Tamlin’s sentries, gifted, centuries old High Fae each and every one.

I had left the Spring Court manor a day before and had not stopped running since. Not since Tamlin had learned of my treachery. Since he had torn apart the house in his fury and horror at what he had discovered. Since he had realised that the bride of Spring was now the lady of Night and that I belonged to no-one and nothing but the darkness in my soul I had learned to make my home.

I had embraced that darkness as I left him, more fully than I had ever done before. For my world, for my court, for my family, for my mate, I had unleashed every  bit of power I possessed. I had shown him every piece of me, had shown him who I was, had made him see me, see me and understand me. For the first time since the fateful day when he burst through the thin wooden door of the cottage I had lived in with my family he had seen who and what I truly was.

I was a survivor. I was the Cursebreaker, the Defender of the Rainbow, High Lady of the Night Court. I had survived death and the abyss that had followed. I had risen filthy and bloodstained from the ashes of that mortal girl that had died. And I had triumphed. I had been reborn. I had healed. I had conquered. I had made every demon that stalked the dark recesses of my soul go in fear of my name. I was Feyre Archeron and I had taught them all exactly what that meant.  

When the Spring Court had come down around me, Tamlin’s bellow of fury still sounding in my ears I had run. I had run. Faster than I had ever run in my life. To my mate, my mate, my mate. My heart pounds in time with those words, that mantra, that echoes through my mind like a forgotten prayer. My heart keeps time with those words, those words keep time with my heart and both drive me on. A little more, just a little more, just a little more. Not long now. Not far now. Soon. Soon.

Over. It’s over now. The realisation shocks me to my core as I realise the true depth of my freedom, of what this will feel like, for the first time in my life…to be truly free .No longer will I wear the mask of the meek, shattered doll. No longer will I pretend to be Tamlin’s pet, his delicate blushing pride. No longer will I lie and manipulate and cheat and spy. No longer will I be anything but what I am. No longer will I live for anyone but me.

As I tear through the woods my focus narrows, my senses sharpen, as they had when I had stalked game as a starving mortal girl desperate to feed her family. There had been nothing but my prey. Nothing but the life I must take to save my own and my family’s. Life for life – balancing the scales of fate. If I was to cheat death I must become it, must claim what I needed, must pay what I owed, what I had stolen.

It had all been borrowed time, time taken from the lives I had harvested. Every breath, every beat of my heart had cost. And I had paid. Paid in blood again and again. In those moments I had known only that, that price, as I had walked that thin grey line like a tightrope. Death or life, life or death, it had all contracted down to that second, that heartbeat, that single, blinding, burning light of life that reduced all the world around it to darkness that I had snuffed out with an arrow.

The world blots itself out into nothingness once more as I focus my thoughts, my entire being, upon my mate. The single candle that has burned against the cold, beckoning oblivion that had consumed me in those months after everything had happened. The light that continues to guide me now, and always will, as I run to it, to him.

The trees of the lush Spring woods flash past me. Rich emerald greens peppered with lighter hues, accenting the scene, the deeper, darker notes underlying it all. Browns and blacks provide contrast and make everything seem denser and darker. Here and there flickers and flashes of colour, flowers and animals, burst across my vision like shooting stars.

Beautiful. This court is beautiful on the surface. Misleading. Blinding me to the true nature of its festering black heart. A rose I could have contemplated for years, marvelling at the bold, bright colours, mesmerised by the endless delicate folds of the overlapping petals, splayed like the skirts of a dress mid-dance. It would have kept me enthralled for decades, held in stasis, suspended as though in a trance, never noticing the thorns that tore me to shreds, the roots that would have crept over my body, trapping me in place as they slowly squeezed the life from me.

I feel every rock and root beneath my feet. Hear every ragged breath that falls from my lips. Sense every creature that hides from me, judging me, marking me as too deadly to consider hunting, knowing that they would court death to keep me from my mate. The smooth wood of my bow slides between my hands, the scent of the varnish strong in my nose. The familiar weight of it feels good, makes me feel grounded and in control.

Not long now. Not far. The border draws me ever nearer. Exhaustion sinks deep into my bones, filling them, seeping into the hollows like lead, dragging me down. I want so badly to rest, I want to sleep, I want to collapse to my knees and be consumed by darkness and find some peace at last. I want to drown in dreams and forget. No more fear, no more anticipation, no more lies or pain or war or loss, no more.

Keep going. I have to keep going. Rhys, Rhys, Rhys.  

As though he hears me, as though he knows, I feel him call me. Feyre. He whispers to me, the word echoing through my mind, my heart, my very soul. Feyre. Urging me on, urging me to him, not letting me give up, not yet. Feyre. I keep going. I keep running. I keep fighting. Feyre. For him. For him.

Rhys I whisper back through the bond.

****

I spread my wings out behind me, trying to shake out the knots. The muscles in them, like all others in my body, are tight. Drawn back like the string of a bow, ready to launch me into the air like an arrow shot among the stars. My instincts roar at me to fly. Fly and fly and fly until I fall. Until the stars find that some darkness is too black for even them to call home and cast me out.

I had never felt trapped within my own skin before I had found myself a prisoner in Amarantha’s black court for fifty years. Like clothes that are too tight it itches and suffocates until I long to tear myself from it, free myself from the confines of my own mind. The desire plagues me and to fight it, to spite it, to spite her, she who made my body betray me, made me into her own twisted fantasy and my own festering nightmare, I force myself to remain unnaturally still.

I give my wings a sharp snap, trying to rid them of their knots before tucking them in against my body once more. I keep my eyes closed, not wanting to see the evidence of how late she is painted across the sky by a bold, mocking hand as the sun sinks towards the horizon, dying the rich blue sky a fantastic burst of reds and golds. My mind screams that truth at me quite loudly enough as it is.

Late. Late. She should be here. She should be in my arms. She should have been hours ago. Late. Missing. Hurt. Gone- No, no I would know, I would have felt it. Reason and terror make my trembling body into their torn up battlefield as they war over the right to rule my heart and mind. Panic wins out, rising, boiling my blood, obliterating my reason.

I close my eyes and think of my mate, ground myself in memories of her. Feyre is strong, smart, a constant survivor. She has spent her entire life defying the odds, doing things the Mother herself would have deemed impossible. She delights in proving them all wrong, spitting in the face of death herself and refusing to apologise for it. She was my High Lady, my mate, and every shred of logic I possessed told me she would be fine. But it was difficult to hear the cool, composed words of logic over the deafening cacophony of screams my panic has become.

I feel the beast stir beneath my skin. I feel my bones shift, my muscles melt like Feyre’s paints running in the rain. I feel talons pushing against my restraint, threatening to puncture through my paper thin self-control. I feel the roar of untamed fury in my blood, more than ready to unleash itself upon the world that would keep my mate from me. I am straining against my iron will, on the verge of losing everything, giving in to that side of me that I despise but that I can’t keep caged much longer, not in the state I’m presently in. Then a soft summer breeze runs gentle fingers through my hair. The tang of salt, the soft scent of wildflowers, the warmth of this court…And carried upon it wood varnish and fresh cut grass.

Her. Her scent. Our scent.

My eyes snap open again.

****

On, on, on, on.

Rhys pulses through me with every shuddering beat of my heart, as though he is a fire that burns in my blood, surging to every part of me, lending me his strength even as my own fails. Close, he’s closer to me now than he’s been in weeks. I can feel him, can feel the bond, can feel him hammering on the other side of it, clawing at it, determined to break through our barriers to get to me. Just as I am with him.

We’ve had to silence it for weeks for my safety, bury it down deep inside ourselves to prevent me being discovered, even though it had killed both of us to do it. It had been torture. Worse than any physical pain I had ever endured. Shutting him out, keeping him away from me, refusing to let him in, refusing to let myself feel him, not communicating unless it was absolutely necessary and only ever in brief bursts, quick words that only left us more miserable, more desperate to be together again.

Now the bond burns and sings with him. Anticipation tights low and hot in my belly. It’s a sensation I’ve become sickeningly familiar with these past few weeks. Constantly on edge, constantly unsettled, never relaxed, never at ease, always waiting. Waiting, fearing, dreading the moment I would be caught, the things I would have to do for my court, for the friends who had become family, for the male who now meant everything to me.

This is a different kind of animal however. This is a head anticipation, like hot whiskey sliding down my throat, fire burning through my veins, thunder clouds gathering around me, waiting to break. This is the irresistible pull towards something I want more than I can ever fully comprehend. A drive that is deeper than thought, deeper than reason, deeper than want, deeper than need, deeper even than base instinct. This is a call that sings from the very core of his soul. A call that was heard and drawn to by mine before I ever knew it was there. A wish that was whispered on a stolen breath into the safety of silent, peaceful night and answered over and over again by my love.

I feel the hum and taste the sharp tang of magic on my tongue as I reach the border between the Spring and Summer courts. Where freedom waits. Behind me lies Tamlin, still rattling love gilded shackles that he seeks to bind me with. Behind me lies my prison, my cage. Beautiful and comfortable and so safe but a cage all the same. Behind me lies the toxic love that would have killed us both. Behind me lies the past, black and bruised and broken as I had been. Behind me lies the shattered chains that I will never wear again; the cracked porcelain and fraying strings of the broken doll I will never be again; the hollowed eyes that may yet haunt my dreams but that I will never look into when I face a mirror again.

Before me is my mate. My family. My court. My life. My future. My own.

I close my eyes and press my palm to the crackling shield which is all that stands between me and my salvation. I think of summer, of lapping waves and glittering pearls and the feeling of sand trapped between my toes. Claimed by none and Made by all, creature of seven courts, I become Summer itself and slip forever from the mantle of Spring.  

I open my eyes and find a beach before me, bathed in the rich, warm glow of the sun that allows itself to be swallowed once more by the ever ravenous edges of the endless sea. The scent of it fills my nostrils but then…Then my lungs are full of not only the sea but of citrus too. I exhale in wonder only to greedily suck down another breath, needing to know, needing to be sure, that it is, that it  is…Him.

Rhys. My mate. My mate.

I begin to run again.

****

My wings billow like sails as they burst from my body, storm clouds darkening a clear, peaceful horizon. Driving them down I launch myself into the air in a single, powerful thrust upwards. My eyes scan the beach that unfolds beneath me, the border line at the edges of my vision, this the closest I could get to it, for my first sight of her.

It’s been weeks. Weeks without seeing her, without holding her, without touching her. Torture. Worse by far than anything I had felt in those months when we had escaped from Amarantha and she had been stuck in that court, wasting away a little more each day. Then the bond had been new and so fragile compared to the raging torrent that now bridges us. It had been quiet, meek, gentle tugs against my soul, urging me patiently to go to her, to help her, to seek her out. At the time it had been a torment, an agony I had drowned with work and my joy at being reunited with the family I had never expected to see again until we all entered the void and found one another again on the other side.

Now that the bond has been sealed between us it feels like a hurricane bursting from my bones and shredding my vulnerable being to shreds with its fury at our separation and my meek acceptance of it. My respect and love for Feyre can’t simply nullify hundreds of years worth of instincts and it’s been a near constant battle against them, one I’m increasingly beginning to lose as my nerves begin to fray dangerously close to the core of my fears.

My wings cleave at the open sky again to keep me aloft and my eyes rake continually over the landscape before me. When she rounds the bend and tears onto the beach as though being chased with death herself snapping at her heels the breath leaves my lungs. But I know that she and I are quite alone here, that she is being pursued by nothing but her own desperate need to see me again, as strong as my need for her.  

As she looks up at me I allow my wings to stop beating even as my heart does. I free-fall to the soft sand below. I see her stop opposite me, chest heaving, sweat clinging to her in a thin sheen, heightening her scent to a near maddening pitch. And her eyes…Those beautiful, startling blue-grey eyes, stubborn and fierce and unyielding as the Illyrian mountains, are fixed right on me.

For a moment we simply stop and compel the world to do the same. Eternity balances on a knife’s edge; the impossible weight of the future is taken from our shoulders and suspended by a thread as fine as silk above us. The space between us remains taut and frozen, like wings flared and drawn, poised to pulse, to move, to pitch the world into motion again.

But now we wait. Simply staring at each other. Every moment that has passed before us and every moment that will condenses itself into the pocket of space that is all that now separates us. Neither of us moves. Neither of us speaks. Neither of us dares breathe. Afraid to break something, afraid to break the thread, afraid to seize the one thing we want above all else where it waits before us lest it be snatched away at the last moment. As everything in our lives so often is.

Disbelief. Weeks I’ve waited for this moment. Hours I’ve stood alone in this beach, knowing she was coming to me. Yet all I feel now is disbelief. Because she’s here. Here. After so long, so much fear, so much pain, so much loss and uncertainty and risk. The potential to lose everything- again- had loomed over me like a death shroud every day she had been gone. But she’s here. Here. Whole. Unharmed. Free. Mine.

The knife slips. The thread snaps. The moment shatters. My heart dares another beat. And we move, surging for each other, at precisely the same moment.  

****

My feet slip over the loose sand, slick as silk, and I falter for a moment as I attempt to adjust to it. It’s so different from the steady, rugged forest floor of the Spring court. But I adapt after that first stumble and fall into a new, swift rhythm that has me flying over the beach towards him.

I don’t know what strings my mate had to pull, what promises he might have had to make, what threats or bribes or tricks were involved in making this possible, allowing us to meet here in Summer after our banishment, those blood rubies. I don’t care.

The exhaustion that had threatened to overwhelm me in the Spring Court is gone. Blown away by the soft gusts of ocean air that carry my mate’s scent to me. Stronger with every bounding step I take it fills my mouth, my throat, my lungs, until I’m drowning in nothing but him. My aching muscles quiet, my desperate flight through the Spring Court, pursued by Tamlin’s dogs, might never have happened, already distant as a half-forgotten memory. There is only him, only Rhys. The bond swelling between us all the time, blossoming like a new sky in the dark heavens, pulling me to him.

I hurtle around a bend and the full expanse of the small golden beach, bathed in the last rays of the dying sun, unfolds before me, pristine and perfect. And there he is. Hovering above it all. Rhys. My Rhys. A midnight silhouette against the glowing sky behind him.

The sun blazes at his back, burning through those magnificent translucent wings, spread to their fullest extent, dominating the scene before me. Hot red veins, like liquid fire pulsing through black rock, stand out against the rich velvet canvas of the thin membrane. My mind begins cataloguing every colour, every shade, wondering how I might capture each and every one of them, how I might preserve this moment with paint and brush. I want to store it all in some vault in my mind I can draw upon later. The rich crushed blackberry violet of his illuminated wings. The roaring fiery reds, oranges and yellows that flare around him. The deep, uncut sapphire blue of the ocean at his back. The moonlight white of the sand at my feet that sparkles at my feet like a diamond hoard.

I want to capture this moment forever in my mind, place it onto canvas the same way it’s imprinted itself upon my heart. My mate seems to erupt as though a sun has exploded behind me, bursting forth in tendrils of pure, bright light, consuming me . I feel as though I’m watching the rebirth of a god, binding himself into a body of flesh and blood and bone as he descends to earth. A shooting star that falls at my feet. For me. All for me.

My mate. Beautiful. Terrible. Crafted from power and cunning and compassionate grace. Perfect. Flawed. Strong. Vulnerable. Infinite. Mine.

He folds his wings and lets himself crash to the ground, body bowing as he absorbs the impact of the fall. Straightening to his full height his eyes meet mine at once and a jolt of pure, raw emotion snaps through me. His eyes a rich, violet sky, that burst with the starlight returned to them again in my presence.

I barely dare to breathe as I look at him. This moment feels so achingly, so dangerously fragile. Like a baby bird cradled in my hands I’m afraid if I hold it too tightly, if I seize onto it the way I want to, to press it to my chest and keep it against my heart I’ll crush it even as I aim to preserve it. But my chest is heaving with exertion and emotion that tightens to a hard lump in my throat. Swallowing I try to push my heart back down where it belongs beneath my ribs but it refuses to move.

All I can do is look, just look, at my mate and the space between us. Like a painting upon the wall all I can do is stare at it, frozen and immobile, its subjects cursed to remain in that one snapshot of time for eternity. I would spend a hundred eternities in this…If only I could hold him.

Then something, something in both of us, buried deep beneath my understanding, snaps at the same time. One moment we’re both standing at either end of the beach, staring at one another, trying to convince ourselves that we, that this, is real. Then we’re moving, moving at exactly the same time, launching ourselves towards each other.

The bond explodes between us and for a heartbeat I slip from my body, from my self, and see through Rhys’s eyes.

I’m dimly aware of him experiencing the same thing in reverse, seeing himself as I see him. But my focus, as Rhys’s is, quickly becomes consumed by me. Dressed in worn, dark flying leathers, covered in blood and sweat and filth, my hair dragged back in a now loose and fraying braid…Somehow, in over five and a half centuries in this world, of all the things he’s witnessed, all the things he’s experienced, the sight of me, ragged and exhausted and half-dead on my feet, is the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. The most beautiful thing he thinks he’ll ever see.  

A second before our bodies crash together with all the raw, untamed energy of a wild, unchecked thunderstorm, I come back to myself to feel his arms wrap tightly around me.

****

Keep reading