Two weeks. Fourteen longs days I’ve been stuck in this gods damned townhouse. Stuck with Rhysand and his overbearing High Lord self. Stuck with Mor who won’t leave Azriel’s side. Stuck in this body that isn’t mine, stuck in this life I don’t seen an end to. I look at my sister and I see her adjusting, she doesn’t even seem upset that Feyre is gone. She hides her pointed ears, she smiles and laughs when Mor explains her new life to her.
She’s adjusting and learning. While i’m just stuck.
It’s dark, well past midnight when I find my way to the kitchen. I grab a glass and pour myself some water, my eyes darting to the door we were all told to avoid. The door that hides the pain of that day we’re all trying to desperately to move on from. The day my sister was taken, the day my life was changed. The door that leads to the one man who tried to save us all and lost a part of himself in the process.
Cassian. He’s stuck just like me. Stuck behind that door, in bed, his wings shredded. Stuck in a new life, one that won’t offer him the sky as his playground anymore.
Even my cold heart hurts for him.
I take in a deep breath, my feet moving before my mind catches up. I walk towards the door and grab the knob. I open it without a second thought, I go to the man who swore to protect me. The man who laid in a mess of his own blood and reached for me, because I was crying out while the Cauldron took me under.
His room is dark. It takes my eyes a moment to adjust to the moon shining in through the window. I set my glass down on the desk to my left, then walk towards his bed. There’s a chair there, one I’m sure Mor or Rhys has been sitting in, keeping him company. No one has given Cassian space since the healers told him they weren’t sure what would happen to his wings. No one wants to leave him alone to his own mind, to let him grieve the loss of everything he’s ever known.
I let out a slow breath, trying not to wake him. He looks so young, so unlike the cocky Illyrian I had come to know. He looks like the young man I never got to meet, the bastard born child who was left to die in the woods. I bite my bottom lip, afraid I’ll cry out in pain for him. A shiver runs down my spine, something pulls me towards the bed.
I reached out, my hand fluttering in front of me. I stop myself, but then I fight the shields I’m always wearing. I run my fingers lightly over his forearm, watching the steady rise and fall of his chest. He’s alive, he’s breathing. He’s here and he might not be whole anymore, but he’s still Cassian. His skin is warm under my fingers.
I take his hand in mine, thinking of the short time I have known him. I don’t deserve his loyalty, I don’t deserve him promising to protect me. From the very first meeting I hated him, I did everything I could to push him away. But he did everything to pull me closer, to promise me that Elain and I would always be safe with him. He did nothing but look at me, and swear on his life to protect me. All because I was his High Lady’s older sister.
All because he was more than a bastard born nobody.
A tear slips down my cheek as I realize how cruel I’ve been. He didn’t deserve any of the words or pain I’ve thrown at him. I struggle in another breath and close my eyes.
“Don’t cry, love,” his voice is soft as I open my eyes, “I know the view is beautiful from where you are.”
He’s staring at me with those beautiful brown eyes, the moonlight reflecting off of them. That cocky grin spreads across his face slowly. My heart twitches, he hasn’t smiled in days Rhys told Mor earlier. I want to reach out and push his hair out of his face. I want to press my lips to his, I want to melt into him and promise him everything I never knew I had inside my little body.
But something stops me, as it always does. Something screams at me to stop letting my weak heart control my body.
I start to pull away, but his big hand closes around mine. He laces our fingers together, “I didn’t mean to wake you up,” I whispered softly, “I just. I felt the need to check on you.”
He winces as he moves, his wings catching on the mattress beneath him. He runs his thumb slowly across the back of my hand, “I’m okay. I’ll be okay,” he whispered trying to soothe me, “as long as you’re safe, here with us. I’ll be okay.”
My guard is gone, the walls I have spent so many years building shatter around me as this man looks up at me from his bed, “I keep telling myself the dreams aren’t real, that you’re alive here with me. But I can’t stop seeing you there, on the floor. I can’t stop hearing you cry out while the healers look at your wings.”
Cassian pulls himself up into a sitting position. He lets go of my hand to frame my face. His eyes are dark and endless, “I am here and I won’t ever let them hurt you again.”
I nod slowly, leaning my forehead against his, “it’s not just them I’m afraid of,” I whisper as I feel the tingling in my stomach. I have known, ever since I arrived at this house, I’ve known why I’m drawn to this man. It’s the same reason why Rhysand agreed to let us live here while his mate is being held in the Spring Court.
Cassian takes in a deep breath and his thumb runs across the bags under my eyes. Neither of us have been getting much sleep in the last few weeks, “what is it you’re afraid of love?”
I close my eyes, I can’t look at him as I finally say the words out loud. I have been fighting myself, afraid of letting myself feel anything for anyone in this new body. I’m not ready to accept who I am, what I am. But I knew the moment it all happened, something had changed. The moment Cassian was here and well enough to sit on his own, I knew why Feyre risked everything to save this family she had found.
“You,” I finally answer him.
There is a beat of silence, Cassian’s hands still against my cheeks. When he doesn’t say anything, when his breathing becomes softer, I open my eyes and look at him. My heart is pounding in my ears, I am more than sure he can hear it too. I can smell the fear mixing with the sandalwood of him. I can see his mind working to understand what I am saying. He never did anything to make me fear him, he doesn’t know what to say.
“Nesta,” his voice catches. I can hear the longing, I can hear the confusion and the pain at my confession.
I finally reach up and brush a strand of dark hair out of his face. Ever since he had been put in this bed he refuses to let anyone near him to do any sort of grooming. He is barely allowing himself to live. He doesn’t want to survive without his wings. He doesn’t know who he is without them.
“I’m afraid of myself,” I whisper, the tears suddenly filling my eyes, “for the way you make me feel.”
His breath catches in his throat as he looks at me. I stand up off the chair, climbing onto the edge of the bed. Cassian moves to give me more space, but I shake my head. I keep his hand trapped in mine, pulling it up and placing it over my heart.
“Nesta,” he says my name like a prayer. Like it is an answer to a question he has been asking for a million years, “I am broken and half the man who promised to protect you. But my heart, it’s yours. It’s been yours ever since that very first time we met.”
I can’t help but smile as he reaches up and wipes away a tear. I hold his gaze, feeling the bond that I had been fighting slowly slip into place. I stop fighting, I stop fearing everything this man and his family have to offer. I stop fearing myself and feel life align back into place around me. I take in a deep breath, smiling as I watch Cassian feel it happen too.
“You’re my mate,” I whisper softly, his eyes wide as the shiver rolls down my spine. I feel his love, I feel his pain and his fear all at once. I feel everything as he holds me in his arms. My walls are gone, they will never be rebuilt now, not when this man is so gentle, is so loving as he looks at me, “and you scare the hell of out me.”
Cassian leans in before I can stop him. He presses his lips to mine, silencing the words that will no doubt ruin this moment for us. He kisses me slowly, his hands never leaving my face. My tiny fingers wrapp around his wrist, my body craving to feel his pressed against it. My heart speeds up as I realize what this means, as I realize how important this moment is. I am giving him everything I have left. My still hardened heart is now in the palm of his hands.
I pull away first, breathing in his scent, letting it fill my body. My mate.
Cassian has tears in his eyes as he opens them and looks at me, “my mate,” he whispers softly, breathing in my scent as I had just done with his, “so beautiful.”
I can’t help but smile as I wrap my arms around his neck, mindful of his broken wings. I press my lips against his shoulder, the warmth seeping into my body just as he pulls me tighter against his chest. I close my eyes, wondering if I would ever get used to this life. Maybe I could if this is the man I wake up beside everyday. Broken or not he is mine.
Together we will find a way to heal each other.
“Sleep love,” his deep voice whispers in my ear, “we can celebrate in the morning.”
I curl into his side, laying my head against his chest. I feel him kiss the top of my head, then his lips graze my forehead. I can feel the emotions pouring out of him. I can’t help but smile because his pain, for the moment, is completely gone. All I feel is happiness, so much happiness and love wraps around me. Because Cassian never believed he would find someone to love. He never thought he deserved a mate.
I close my eyes and drift off to sleep knowing I wouldn’t be woken by a nightmare. Because I was wrapped safely in my mate’s arms.
The bed is colder when I wake up. My pillow is gone, replaced by a blanket wrapped around me. I open my eyes, Cassian’s side is empty. My stomach falls, his scent still lingers, but his body heat disappeared long ago. I take in a breath, wondering if last night had been too much for him. I let down my walls, I let him into my heart. If anyone was to be afraid of this bond, it was me.
“Good morning,” his deep voice is brighter than it had been in weeks. He is up and carrying a tray with him as he closes the bedroom door. He is smiling as he sits back down beside me. My heart pulls as Rhys words filled my ears again; he hasn’t smiled in days.
I lean into his side as I look at the food he has brought us, “for a second there I thought you were reconsidering being stuck with me,” I whisper as I wrap my arms around his muscles.
He laughs and it vibrates through his chest, “with your fire? Never.”
His eyes meet mine after a moment of silence, “Nesta. I have to be honest,” he blows out a breath and his nostrils flare, “there’s this tradition. Once the bond had been put into place and you’re ready to accept it, the female usually offers the male food. I uh, I know how you are in the kitchen.” I roll my eyes, “okay so I put the plastic container in the oven and it almost caught on fire. Are we ever going to let that go?”
HIs laugh is the most beautiful sound in the world, “not in this lifetime love,” he presses another kiss to my brow, “so I did the honors and cooked us breakfast. But I just,” he is nervous. His words are jumbled and I realize he isn’t concerned about his wings anymore, “I want to make sure this is what you want. That you want me, and that you want this bond. Because I will not force you into anything, I won’t force you to be with me. You are your own person, you always have been. Don’t think because —”
I cut off his rambling, pressing my lips to his. I can feel the tense in his shoulders ease as he wraps his arms around my waist. If the tray of food hadn’t been in front of us I would’ve thrown my leg over his lap and clung tightly to his neck. But instead I pull away, shaking my head as another smile appears on my face.
“This is what I want Cass,” I whisper as his eyes find mine, “you are what I want.”
His crooked smile sends my heart into overdrive as we settled back together and he watches me pick my fork up. I raise my eyebrows at him as I slowly pick up a few eggs and then bring them to my lips. He watches the entire time, his eyes never leaving me as I eat the entire breakfast on my own. My stomach tightens when I feel the pulse between us.
“Cassian,” I whisper his name just as he grabs the empty tray and sets it on the floor.
I kick the blankets out, grabbing for him the same time he grabs for me. Careful to avoid his wings I throw my leg over his lap, straddling him the way I had been imagining just moments before. HIs lips find mine, both of us moaning as our bodies came together. I melt into his arms, I melt into him. It is like we were two halves a whole, two pieces of a puzzle searching for the other our entire lives.
“Nesta,” his whispers my name as his lips pull from mine. He leaves a trail of hot kisses against my neck, my own moans fill the room. I can feel the marks he leaves with his teeth, my hips grounding into his. The bond throbs as he holds me tightly in his arms, my arms shaking, wishing to pull the clothes that separate us off.
My eyes close, the world around us seems to disappear. I lost and found myself in the Illyrian holding me in his arms. I bury my face in the crook of his neck as his hands slide down towards my pants. Before he can hook his fingers around the band and pull them down, a loud cough sounds from the doorway.
We are both so caught up in each other it takes whoever it is three more times to get our attention. My cheeks turn bright red as I pull away from Cassian and turn to see Rhysand and Mor both standing there staring at us. Cassian doesn’t let me leave his lap, instead he wraps his arms around me and glares at his family.
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” Rhysand’s voice is velvet and smooth. Cassian holds onto me tighter as his brother looks at us. I can feel his need to protect me shoot through our bond, “but I have some things I need to discuss with Cassian.”
Mor is smiling at the two of us, her eyes bright. I can see she is happy for us, happy her friend has found someone as hurt and broken, as closed off and afraid of this world as he is. I take in a deep breath, my eyes going back towards my mate’s. He won’t let me go, he growls at Rhys as he walks into the room, coming closer to me. I put my hand against his cheek, trying to tell him it is okay.
“Come on Rhys,” his voice is strained, “I didn’t interrupt you and Feyre when your bond snapped into place. No one did, let me have my fun. I deserve it after everything I’ve been through.”
I can’t help but blush even darker as Rhysand looks at me, “I know but this is important. Mor, she’s found something,” the High Lord’s eyes flash to his cousin, then back to the general, “she’s found a way that might possibly save your wings.”
Cassian holds me the entire time he speaks with Rhysand and Mor. He wanted me there as they explain the magic that these healers didn’t have, the magic that lay in the world so different from ours. He keeps me there in his lap, holding my hand as the tears threaten to spill at the idea of his wings fitting back together again. I can feel his hope, no matter how hard he tries to keep it from soaring, as he imagines flying beside his brothers once again.
“So when will they get here? When can we start, I’ll do anything to get my wings back Rhys,” he squeezes my hand and I know he is trying to keep it together for me. He has been lost without his wings. Mor, she has saved his life by finding the magic that will put them back together again.
Rhys sighs, his eyes going towards Mor. She clears her throat and sits up straighter, “they can’t come here Cass. We have to go to them,” she winces as she looks at me, “they need to look at your wings and assess the damage. They said it could take almost a month to fully repair them.”
“We didn’t know you and Nesta would mate,” Rhysand speaks before Cassian can reply, “we told them a month was nothing and we would winnow you right there. But now,” his gaze falls on me and Cassian growls again, “now this changes things.”
The room falls deathly quiet. It is as quiet as the day we all arrived back here, two of the men wounded and barely clinging to life. Mor’s face is pale, Rhys is trying not to look at me. He’s trying not to chafe the bond that is so new, so raw between us. He knows he can’t rile up his friend, not while he is still injured.
I am the one who breaks the silence, “this changes nothing,” I say loudly, my words are bolder than I thought they would be, “Cassian will go to the healers and he will get his wings back. I survived without him once, I can survive without him again.”
His brown eyes look up at me, “Nesta, I don’t want to be away from you, I don’t want to be without you for that long. We haven’t even been able to mate properly,” his cheeks fill with pink as he ignores Rhys cough, “I can wait a little longer to get my wings back. If that means I get to keep you too.”
I roll my eyes, even though the bond screams at me to keep him here in this very bed, “we have all the time in the world to mate, Cass. You have this chance, this once chance to get a piece of yourself back. I won’t let you lose that because of me. We’ve both lost so much separately. Please, go with them.”
A tear slips down his cheek as he buries his face in my chest. I hold onto him tightly, I can feel what this means to him. I was putting him above myself, I am telling him it is okay to want this, to want his wings back. To put our bond on hold while he finds a way to heal his pain. A way to stitch himself back together. My heart fills up as he presses a kiss to my shoulder.
“I love you Nesta,” he whispers softly, barely loud enough for me to hear, “I don’t deserve you.”
“No you don’t,” I reply with a small smile, “but I love you too.”
Mor smiles as she watches us, “we have to return to the healers as soon as possible. Cassian can you winnow yourself there? They have one open spot and Rhsyand pulled a lot of strings to make them hold it for you.”
He lets me go slowly, reluctantly. I stand up off his lap and he gets out of bed just as slowly. He takes another look at me, I keep my features natural, but I know he can feel the loss through our bond. But I will lose him for a month, in order to get all of him back for the rest of my life. I smile as his big hand cups my cheek. He leans down and catches his lips to mine.
“I’ll be right here waiting,” I whisper as he pulls away.
His smile lights up the entire room. Rhysand is watching, his own smile just as big. I know he has missed his brother. He has missed his best friend who never took anything seriously. He squeezes my waist and then turns to look at Mor, “let’s go.”
Mor takes his hand, Rhysand nodding at me, before the three of them winnow out of the room. I shiver once there gone and realize that Cassian took the heat with him. It takes me a moment to realize I am alone once again. I sit down on his bed, wrapping his blanket around my shoulders. I lay down against the pillow, breathing in his scent. The tears fall silently as I start the long wait for my mate to return home.
I have no idea how Rhysand survived this long without Feyre. He makes it look easy living without his mate, he makes it look like a piece of cake. But my heart shatters inside my chest every morning I wake up and Cassian is still gone. Maybe it is easier for Rhys because the bond isn’t as fresh as mine. Maybe he doesn’t miss my sister as much as I miss his brother. Because it feels like a knife was twisting in my gut without my mate beside me everyday.
“You miss him,” Rhysand forces me to eat dinner with him every night Cassian is gone. Mor spends most of her time checking on Azriel and winnowing to check on Cassian with the healers. She isn’t around the house as much these day. I wish I could find something to keep me as busy as her.
I look at my sister’s husband, wondering how different our lives would be if she had never killed that wolf. We would still be human, I would still be the closed off one. I would still watch my little sister become the care taker, the one who fed us and found a way to keep a roof over our heads. I would still hate with a fire I didn’t know how to extinguish inside of my soul. My life would be nothing, I know that now that the bond was in place, without the Fae in it.
I take in a shaky breath, “every moment of every day,” I answer him. He is quiet as we eat our food together, “how do you do it? How do you live without Feyre and not go crazy?”
He laughs, a soft chuckle that make me miss the loud laughter that escaped Cassian’s lips the morning we spent together. The only memory I have to hold onto until he returns to me, “it’s not easy. God I miss her, I know she’s doing her duty and protecting her people. But I miss her just as much as you miss your mate. It doesn’t get easier, it doesn’t stop killing me. I wake up every morning disappointed that her side of the bed is still empty. The only thing keeping me here is my family, my duty to the inner circle. To my brothers who sacrificed so much to get us out of that mountain alive.”
Rhysand doesn’t offer me anything else after his speech. I don’t ask him any more questions, we eat our dinner and then find our way to our separate rooms. I have started sleeping in Cassian’s room, using one of his big tunics to sleep in. His scent is fading, the days I spend in there is making it harder to find him. But I can’t find it in my heart to sleep alone in my old room. The room that had been filled with nightmares and pain.
I feel Cassian’s pain through our bond. Whatever they were doing to him, it isn’t easy for him to go through. I feel him missing me, wishing he could’ve had more time to cement our bond. But the worst pain that is shot through the bond, is the feelings that comes to him at night, after the agony of repairing his wings.
Whenever he is still he worries I will change my mind. He fears coming back to Velaris and finding me as the Nesta who had once lived back in the human realm. The Nesta who looked at him with disgust and pain in her eyes. I can feel his fear, his doubts whenever he thinks of losing me. Sometimes it gets so bad that it makes me sick to my stomach. I try to offer him soothing words to stop worrying, but it is never enough.
There were a few nights I cried myself to sleep without him. A few nights when the nightmares became too much and I couldn’t find any peace from tossing and turning on his mattress.
A month isn’t that long and yet it feels like a lifetime to me. I am sitting in the living room, Elain is playing with her knitting needles and I was still staring at the same page of a book I had tried to start reading three days ago. The house feels empty without Cassian. My life feels empty without him.
I close my eyes and I could’ve sworn I hear his laugh. Then I hear him curse, something falls to the floor with a thud. My eyes snap open and I bolt out of the arm chair I was sitting in. I run towards his room, my hands shaking as I push open the door. There he stands, his wings as good as new. Theres a few scars that line the back, something woven within the membrane to stitch them back together. They glitter in the light, but they are even more beautiful.
“Cassian,” his name falls off my lips as I bound into him. I run my hand up the valley between his wings, kissing his neck as he laughs again. I smile as he spins around, his arms lifting me up so his lips can meet mine. He doesn’t say a thing, he just kisses me, the feeling of our bodies together enough to ease the pain we’ve endured for the last few weeks.
He wipes away a tear as he pulls away, “I begged them to work as fast as they could,” he releases a breath, as if he had been holding it the entire time he was away from me, “because I needed to come back to my mate.”
I smile, breathing in his sandalwood scent and feeling at home once more, “please, promise me we’ll never be apart again.”
His fingers run through my hair, the tips of them tickling my scalp, “as long as I am alive, I will never leave you again Nesta Acheron. You are my life, my mate, my soul in flesh. I will always find you.”
I smile as he kisses me once more, his foot shutting the door so no one else can interrupt us and welcome him home. He lays me down against the mattress and I can’t help but smile. He claims me as his mate, his soul bonded. It is in that moment that I know what it truly feels like to love and be loved in return.
So I’m not really sure how tumblr works but I had to share my Playlist Live experiences with Dan and Phil. I first saw them on their main stage performance on Saturday then they did a panel later that day. I met Phil’s brother that day as well at the Dan and Phil Shop booth he was so so nice. I got myself into their meetup on Sunday and all my dreams came alive. I then ran into Dan and Phil at Universal Sunday night and I talked to Cat a little while they were standing right there and they smiled and waved at me. THEN on Tuesday, I was still stuck in Florida because of all the snow back home and I weirdly knew that they were still in the hotel. My mom and I were just wandering the hotel because it was finally not infested with screaming fangirls and I LITERALLY ran smack into them as they were coming down from their room. I stopped and talked to them about playlist and how I was stuck there because of the snow. I found them later on by the pool bar and I sat down next to them with my mom and I talked to Phil about video editing since that’s what I’m going into for school and I had questions. They were both kinda busy on their laptops, Phil was answering emails and I’m pretty sure Dan was editing that “Vloggers vs. The Internet” video for Radio1 but they took the time to talk to me a little bit and it was just really nice and more personal than their meetup. I left them alone mostly because I didn’t want to seem like a crazy fangirl. I sat there next to them for about an hour before they got up to head to the airport and as they left they wished me a safe journey home and good luck with my video editing in school. I didn’t ask for a picture because I was kinda scared and I didn’t want to bother them. Sorry guys. And yes, they are as awkward in person as they claim but it’s awesome and they are just the most genuinely sweet and adorable people you will ever meet and I can’t wait to meet them again :)
I am withered in my sober ache, give me more whisky to wash out my mouth. Give me new words to scream out. I need to hide in the noise, I need to feel safe in the loud.
This is the devil’s music, and he wants my soul.
I tried soothing myself to sleep, but I just cut deeper. These fingers make fantastic knives. Now I see how much I hurt you. But as I bleed myself to dreams I know that we are still alive. We are alive.
I woke up with an ache in my heart and a grenade in my hand, white knuckles and whisky breath. Why do we feel so much? Is this how it feels to welcome death?
Every day is a new battle, but this will not break me.