i want flowers, honeyed in the melting dusk, and i want to live on a world with suns that never sleep and glimmering oceans and figs heavy on every tree, i want wings made of brazen petals. place me in the bud of a newborn star and maybe my fingers will prickle with poetry again.
When Annabeth, desperate to help her family, is caught stealing from the imperial treasury by visiting Prince Perseus, she thinks her life is over. But after the guilty prince helps her escape, she soon becomes entangled in a complicated web of mystery, rebellion, and (worst of all) romance. One thing is for sure: her life will never be the same again.
This is only Chapter 1! This will be a multi-chapter. It’s my first attempt at a fantasy or a royal au, so I’m not sure it will be any good…but i hope you like it!
Snow swirled serenely in the cold air, slowly fluttering down to kiss the white blanket already formed on the courtyard floor.
It almost doesn’t look real, Annabeth thought. It certainly didn’t feel real, because not even in her wildest dreams did she actually think she would have ended up attempting to steal from the imperial treasury. Is it even an attempt if I have the gold in my cloak?
She pulled her hood tighter over her head and continued to walk along the narrow terrace that lined the courtyard. Annabeth could see the large gates up ahead, where she would be able to climb over the fences and run for it. Piper wouldn’t be able to flirt with the guard for much longer; she didn’t have much time left.
Her heart was pounding as she focused ahead of her. The biting, frosty air had been a blessing; most of the guards were inside, and the few outside were more focused on building a fire than investigating any cloaked figures who might be roaming the castle. If Annabeth did get caught, she would simply claim to be part of the visiting Prince’s company. She had timed her heist perfectly.
Suddenly she heard voices from inside the walls. She froze, blood curdling, and desperately looked around. Annabeth had never wished she was a mage more than she did in this moment, wishing she could disappear.
She decided to run for it. She barrelled forward…just in time to collide head on with the man who emerged into the courtyard at that moment.
They both went sprawling backwards. Annabeth hit the stone slabs hard, hissing in pain as her fingers dragged along the cold ice. Too late, she realised the bag had fallen out of her cloak. Gold coins skittered along the icy floor.
The man in front of her quickly got back to his feet, helped by an assistant, two guards behind him. His eyes, a deep sea-green colour, raked over the gold coins on the ground. “Who are you?” he demanded.
“I’m part of the foreign Prince’s company,” she said determinedly. “I’m with Prince Perseus. If you’ll excuse me—“
The man stepped forward, and two guards behind him placed their hands on the hilt of their swords. Too late, Annabeth wondered why he had two guards. She realised her mistake.
“I don’t know you,” the man said softly, before glancing at the coins once more. He looked back. “Guards, arrest this woman. She shall come with me before the King.”
Harry put his arm up in front of me, biting down on his lip.
I groaned as I looked up at him. “What, Harry?”
“I just… want to make sure you’re okay,” he told me. “You’re very hard to read, and, okay, I’m not the best at reading people, but… I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
I kept my expression blank as I stared at him. I was hard to read? That was the fucking point, idiot.
Harry sighed, dropping his arm out of my way. But he didn’t let me pass before he said, “You know, you can always talk to me, Mase. Always. I’m a good listener. I know I talk a lot sometimes, but I will always listen.”
All I knew for sure were two things: I had a lot of thinking to do, and I hated when he called me Mase.
You Bring Me Home // Coming Soon
Mason Worton’s mum is getting married - again.
This means Mason has a very difficult decision to make: stay in America and ditch the wedding, or go back to England and see her family and everyone else from her past, which completely defeats the whole purpose of coming to America in the first place.
Harry Styles, much to Mason’s dismay, wants to help make the whole situation easier.
Sitting on the sink-counter, she looked washed-out in the harsh fluorescent light of their bathroom, a little spatter of blood staining the shoulder of her light blue scrubs, her skin a wintery kind of pale and her freckles fading as though they’d been one of God’s afterthoughts. Her braid rested tattered and ripped down her spine, long red strands falling in front of the bruises on her cheek, and as he carded her hair back behind her ear, she flinched involuntarily, her shaky hands stilling on her lap, her breath hitching.
“It’s okay,” he whispered, the bag of ice in his hand hovering before her, his brain buzzing in the overtired way he used to feel accustomed to. If his circadian rhythms were reliable, then he and his body estimated that three in the morning, maybe half past, had come and gone. A long time ago, she’d told him that keeping lights on from the nighttime hours of ten-to-ten harmed the brain’s ability to produce melatonin, but he figured that light would be the least of their worries tonight.
Softly, she met his gaze, then looked back down at her lap.
“Sorry,” she said, wincing at the word. “I’m just…I’m still a little shaken up.”
He nodded, then gingerly brought the ice to her cheek, and though she recoiled at first, luckily she eased against his touch, let out a deep, exhausted breath.
“Is there any bleeding?” she asked, her voice muffled by the ice.
“None at all,” he said.
She swallowed, said, “The nurse there seemed like she was doing a great job of cleaning it.”
“And you’re absolutely sure you’re not concussed?” he asked as he leaned against the sink, the house around them so still and silent that it made the winter beyond them feel heavier and thicker than it already was.
Looking up at him, she delicately pressed her lips together, said, “Had the nurse check. No headache or dizziness. I’m fine, Mulder.”
“Okay,” he said, nodding to himself.
Though she avoided late shifts and preferred not to work on Saturdays, she’d been on a Saturday evening to Sunday morning emergency room shift, eight pm to eight pm, but a one am call let him know that a drunk patient, a punch to the face, and some police involvement meant that she would be coming home early. The last time he, in her words, went caveman left them both embarrassed and uncomfortable, but now, he wished he could’ve been there, could’ve watched over her and had her back so that some drunkard would’ve never decked her behind a modesty curtain, wouldn’t have had a chance to let her head thud against a sterile linoleum floor before punching her again. Though he wanted to think of this protectiveness as more than an ancient biological imperative, though he wished he didn’t find himself at fault for something so clearly irrelevant to his existence, he still brought Duane Barry and Phillip Padgett and all of the other men who had wronged her to mind, wondered once more if he could’ve done more. While at the Bureau, he could’ve argued that he was her partner, that it was of the utmost importance for them to watch each other’s backs, but now, he could hardly merit the wish.
And had he been there, he probably would’ve been decked too, only he would’ve cried about it instead of stoically driving home afterward like she did. Sometimes, he figured, the universe chose to punch the ones who could take it, not the ones who couldn’t.
“You’re never working a night shift again,” he said, hoping to elicit a laugh or at least a pained smile; thankfully, she reached toward him, wrapped her fingers in his open hand, kept her eyes down but let him know that she was present and receptive anyway.
“I sure hope not,” she said, “but if they ever want me to, I’m sure that citing this incident will make them change their minds.”
Softly, he laughed, and though he figured it would hurt her to smile, the purplish and red smears of bruises on her cheeks keeping her from moving her face too much, she still quirked her lip, the movement minute but visible.
“Did you have any Advil before you got home?” he asked.
“I had one before I left the hospital.”
“Do you think you’ll be able to sleep?”
She sucked her lips in again, met his gaze, so he nodded in understanding. He figured neither or them would be getting much sleep tonight.
“Well,” he said, his voice turning theatrical, “I can offer some warm milk-”
“No hot liquids,” she said quickly. “Have to keep the swelling down.”
“Okay,” he said, off-put. There went his ideas for chamomile tea and maybe a warm bath in order to calm her down. “Then, cold water.”
He squeezed her hand.
“What are you looking for, then?” he asked. “My mind goes numb after midnight.”
Taking a deep breath, she said, “A movie, something mindless. Just until we feel we could fall asleep.”
So she shed her blood-smeared scrubs and opted for pajamas and thick socks; while she migrated to the couch, held the ice against her more bluish cheek, he rifled through their bookshelf, found Sleepless in Seattle and liked the irony it provided, so he popped the tape in, the lights off in their living room, the fish tank fluorescent and bubbling in the background, the winter winds shifting the shutters on their fixer-upper farmhouse. He sat on her less-bruised side, and as she spread a shared blanket over their laps, he fast-forwarded coming attractions of many years ago, her two hands wrapping around his free one. While the movie began, he tuned Meg Ryan out and kept his eyes on her instead, tried to survey her body for telltale signs of stress.
She’d told him long ago that she felt anxiety not in her mind but in her limbs, in her joints; while her thoughts told her to push forward, her body cringed and faded, her demise coming not from her will but from her physical breakdown, so he’d tried to be a constant for her, had kept track of her hours and made sure that, even when she seemed so determined to finish just one more stack of paperwork, she would go home for a good night’s rest instead. From those many times, he knew what to look for: raised shoulders, shaky hands, huffed breaths, glasses pushed up far more often than one would expect. However, tonight shifted that response because her breakdown had come from a patient, not from herself, so while she took shallow breaths during the movie, he traced his thumb against the back of her hand, let her lean into him with her face angled so that his shoulder and her bruises never quite made contact. As four am ticked past, he realized that he’d never watched this movie in full, but because he’d distracted himself during the first half of the film, he hadn’t a clue where the plot went.
“Scully?” he whispered, almost wincing at how his voice interrupted the special, rural silence around them.
When she didn’t shift, he craned his neck, and though he should’ve been able to tell through her long, languid breaths against his chest, he only noticed that she’d fallen asleep when he looked down and saw her closed eyes. Reaching for the remote, he turned the television off, and with deft, gentle motions, he managed to lift her up without waking her - after all, she could sleep anywhere, from passenger’s seats of cheap rental cars to bleach-ridden motel beds to his old leather couch back before he’d been able to offer her a bed instead - and carried her upstairs though his aging joints protested with each step.
Thankful that he’d left the bed unmade after she’d called, he managed to slip her beneath the overturned sheets on his side of the bed, tucked her in before he climbed in on the other still-made side. Out here, the nights were dark save for the endless lines of unobstructed stars in the sky, so he kept their bedroom’s blinds up, soft light falling over her bruising face, the rise and fall of her chest shifting the duvet while she slept. Her pillow smelled like that lavender shampoo she liked, and though the stuffing was too thick for him, he found that he could still relax into it, their respective alarm clocks off for now, her bedside book-stack dwindling as his seemed only to grow larger, her reading glasses askew and the closet door left open in a way that would’ve scared him as a child.
And he presented himself with two lonely options: either he could work out hundreds of different scenarios that left her unscathed and him some kind of half-assed hero, or he could watch her soft breaths until their cadence lulled him to sleep. For once, he picked the second option and drifted off before morning began to creep through the windows.
I’ve made arrangements. You’ll be safe here until I return.What are you talking about? I’m going with you.You heard what she said. It’s too dangerous.If I’m standing next to you, he’s far more likely to see you for the man you were. He’s more likely to see you as a woman abetting a known pirate and hang you alongside me. I see no reason for you to take that risk.Of course there is reason.None that I am willing to take.It was m y f a u l t .