Finished ACOWAR and the only real thought I have right now is that Azriel, the infamous spymaster, the badass shadowsinger, my sweet lil’ bby bat, better find the love and happiness he deserves in one of the spinoffs because Azriel ‘Be careful how you speak about my High Lady’ is the real fucking mvp of Prythian
So this just popped into my head last night when I couldn’t sleep. Set post-ACOWAR and contains nothing but fluff.
“You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you?” Feyre found herself commenting, smiling slightly as she tried not to groan in pleasure under Rhys’ hands.
He chuckled from where he was seated behind her, the sound sending a thrill through her spine, even decades into their relationship. “I should hope so; I have to keep my High Lady entertained somehow. Wouldn’t want her eternity to get boring.”
“Boring? How could I ever get bored with a mate who thinks so much of himself?” She shot back, though its effect was lost when she leaned further into him, her hands running over the legs that were on either side of her. She could feel the delicious heat of his bare chest so close behind her, the thin nightdress she was wearing a poor barrier between them.
Rhys’ fingers continued to comb through her hair, expertly separating it into three equal parts. “I take offense to that.”
Feyre let out an aborted snort. “No, you don’t.”
“No, I don’t,” Rhys agreed, in a blithe voice.
They fell into a comfortable silence then, built on years of learning how to just be together. Neither of them felt the need to always fill the air between them with pointless chatter. Oh, they liked to joke and bicker… but they also knew when to let words fade away and just enjoy each other’s company.
It had been happening more of late, likely because Rhys had refused to leave Feyre’s side for the past few months. He was a constant presence at her side, though he did his best not to hover too much (he knew all too well how she loathed feeling locked in, how it still made her bones lock up in fear, even after all this time). He needn’t have worried; Feyre never, never felt tied down by her mate, never felt confined by him. She knew that even now, when he was so concerned about her, he would give her space if she asked.
(He’d once told her, in a fit of hopeless romanticism, that he would give her the very stars above Velaris if he could. Feyre had believed him, of course, if only because she said she would do the same for him.)
So Feyre was quiet, letting Rhys gently braid her hair as if he’d done it hundreds of times before. She’d been utterly surprised when he’d offered to do it for her earlier, after he’d heard her curse in front of the mirror while she struggled with trying to tame her wild locks into something more manageable. Feyre was so tired these days and sore too, the heavier she got. And she was constantly hot then cold, her hair always in the way and, Cauldron, she didn’t care for it much now and all the work it took to keep it neat, not when she was already so uncomfortable. She’d been beyond tempted to just chop it all off, had Rhys not stepped in when he did with his innocuous offer.
At first she tried to deny the existence of a problem but she really couldn’t hide anything from Rhys; he knew her too well, felt her struggles through their mating bond and tried to ease her discomfort as much as he could. (Rightly so, Feyre sometimes thought when she particularly annoyed with how limited she was lately, considering he’s the one that put me into this situation in the first place.)
So here they were, Rhys’s gentle hands working wonders on Feyre’s nerves, his fingers softly tugging at her hair as he built the braid into something spectacular; Feyre herself was usually no slouch when it came her hair (at least when she wasn’t so cranky), but she had the feeling that Rhys was even better. So many hidden talents, this mate of mine.
“Where’d you learn to do this?” she finally asked, curiosity getting the better of her. She’d felt his hesitancy when he first offered, that pang of grief that he’d been unable to conceal from her.
“My sister,” Rhys said after a long pause. His voice had lost that light-hearted edge from earlier, filled instead with wistful regret. “She’d come to me when our mother was too busy for it. She could have asked the servants, of course… but she liked to spend a few moments with me, I think. She continued to ask even long after she could do it by herself. I never had the heart to say no.”
Feyre’s own heart ached for her mate, for the family he’d lost so long ago. He rarely spoke of the little sister she’d never meet, even less so than his mother. From what she’d gleaned over the years, his sister had been quite a bit younger than him, had looked up to him in a way no one else ever had. Feyre couldn’t even imagine what it had been like for him to have to bury her broken body.
She rubbed her thumbs comfortingly over the sides of his knees. I’m sorry, she sent softly to him through their bond. I’m sorry.
Rhys’ mind caressed hers. Me too.
Feyre kept running her hands soothingly over him, tempted to turn around and pull him to her, wrap her arms around those broad shoulders of his. She didn’t though; the act of braiding seemed to calm him… like coming home to something he’d thought he’d long forgotten. (Still, she wished she could protect him from all the pain he endured… but that same pain had made him into the wonderful male he was today.)
When he was finally done, she saw his finished work briefly through his eyes, the image flashing through her mind.
“It’s beautiful,” Feyre said with a smile, reaching up to run her fingers over the intricate pattern he’d managed to weave her hair into. “Thank you.”
Rhys’ strong arms around wrapped around her body, finally pulling her back to rest against his chest. “I figured it was about time I got some practice,” he whispered in her ear as he moved one hand to cover her rounded belly. “I wouldn’t want our poor daughter to be left with an inept father.”
Feyre tangled her fingers with Rhys’, holding them over her stomach, where their unborn baby was slowly growing. “You could never be an inept father, Rhys,” she told him softly. Rhys only pressed kiss under her jaw in response, though she could feel his quiet gratitude for her faith in him. “Besides, how do you know it’ll be a girl?” Feyre continued, turning her head so she could arch an eyebrow at him.
Mischief lit his violet eyes. “Perhaps I asked Elain.”
Feyre leveled a look at him. “Elain would never tell you, even if she knew.” Her sister had become quite the responsible seer over the years, never revealing more than was necessary. (Well, that and Feyre had wanted it to be a surprise, telling Elain in no uncertain terms not to let Rhys charm the answer out of her.)
“Then let’s call it a father’s intuition,” Rhys replied now, unable to stop his grin.
Feyre laughed, leaning her head against the edge of his jaw. “She’s going to have you wrapped around her little finger, isn’t she?”
“Of course,” he kissed her forehead, his happiness a near tangible thing. “And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Feyre could only cuddle in closer. She looked at where their joined hands were resting on her belly. Don’t worry, baby, she thought, we love you already, no what you turn out to be.
(A few years later, when their daughter runs up to Feyre, her hair braided in a crown around her head, little flowers carefully tucked in the midnight blue strands, she doesn’t need to ask who did it. Rhys’ proud smile is answer enough.)
My Bloomtale blog reached more than 1,000 followers!! Congratulations, me!!
I am so touched, really! I know fics aren’t that popular here on tumblr so 1,000 is a really big number for me! I hope that number will keep growing, because I want all of you to know and love my beautiful Athela <3
I made a small comic to commemorate this moment. Athela as a baby is the cutest thing ever <3 Annnnd that’s her mother, Rose! She loves her baby daughter. Too bad she won’t be seeing again…. at least not soon c=
Thank you guys so much for following my story <3 I love you all!!
Extra panel which includes a short animation but it’s short since I suck at animating stuff: