ironstone

10 cool rocks you probably didn’t know about

1) lepidolite

lepidolite is a variety of mica and is typically pink or lavender colored. when tumbled it is extremely glittery – pictures don’t do it justice!

2) ulexite

ulexite is also called “tv rock” and has a super unique optical effect – when placed over something it displays that image onto the top of the rock. it’s not merely opaque – the fibers within the mineral literally project an image onto the surface of the stone.

3) pietersite

pietersite has chatoyancy – much like tiger’s eye – that creates movement and shine through the surface of the stone. however, unlike tiger’s eye, pietersite’s chatoyancy is in swirls instead of straight lines. it’s incredible to behold – i recommend looking up pietersite on youtube and checking out videos of it under good lighting.

4) optical calcite/iceland spar

this type of calcite is actually completely clear, but refracts the light going through it in ways that create rainbows and other neat optical effects. isaac newton himself actually studied this rock to help better understand the nature of light itself & the phenomenon of optical illusions.

5) alexandrite

alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl that exhibits a color change! it changes from a greenish hue to a brilliant red depending on the type of light and the source. the color changes in alexandrite are phenomenal and rarely seen in other stones.

6) spectrolite

don’t let the image fool you – this stone is actually pure black. the brilliant colors it exhibits are just a flash (it’s actually called labradorescence, which is what the stone labradorite is named for). spectrolite is an uncommon form of labradorite mined only from finland. some varieties of high quality labradorite from madagascar can show a spectrolite play, but nothing is as dark with as brilliant a flash as spectrolite.

7) specular hematite

specular hematite is a variety of hematite that has a beautiful, glimmering surface especially when polished. much like lepidolite, the shimmer of specular hematite is caused by mica.

8) boulder opal

boulder opal is ironstone with cracks of brilliant natural opal running through it. these formations are entirely natural. opal has the most brilliant and vibrantly colored flash of any other stone.

9) enhydro quartz

enhydro quartz is a variety of quartz that was formed with naturally occuring water & air bubbles within them! in some specimens the water bubbles will actually move underneath the surface of the crystal.

10) fire agate

fire agate is actually a form of chalcedony, and is well known for having a beautiful rainbow effect caused by schiller, rather than flash or labradorescence. 

One Yowah nut, bisected

One of many opal mining sites in the red continent is called Yowah, and is famous for its opal nuts, veins of precious glowing opal within nodules of siliceous ironstone that often form amazing patterns. They vary from 0.5 to 20 cm across, and occur in an iron rich sandstone, near the border with an adjoining mudstone.

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Elorcan Werewolf AU part 6

It was so damn hard to not write Lorcan instead of Lory and vice versa. You know you’re tired when you write cock instead of cook.

“Just like our eyes, our hearts have a way of adjusting to the dark”

Elorcan Werewolf Part 6

Lory didn’t come back. No matter how many times she left raw meat out in the woods or called his name. No one responded to the have-you-seen-this-dog posters she dutifully taped on tree trunks, listing rewards she’d scour from her trust funds. The animal control couldn’t find him, and found no traces of a large-sized dog or wolf in the woods. There was no sighting in the inner cities either.

Lory was gone without a trace, as if he were a ghostly whisper whose secret existence only Elide knew.

Elide mourned him, and even held a funeral for him, placing all his collars in formation around a patch of grass he often frequented, moodily staring into the forest as if cursing the restraints on his body.

Only the pink collar was gone, leaving a foul aftertaste in her mouth: never had before Elain so despised a color, and demonstrated her pettiness by refusing to wear anything of that hue.

On her third night of eating rocky road ice cream and staring blearily at her papers, Manon and Aelin burst through her door without warning. Elide popped off the the chair, hand snaking out to reach for a spare dagger. Seeing it was only her Alpha and Beta, she placed a hand over her heart and managed a glare at them.

The frown had easily been swept away as she took in her friends’ appearances. In Manon’s arms, a grocery bag of chocolate covered strawberries winked at her. In Aelin’s own hands, shopping bags of dresses and short skirts filled the very top to bottom.

“I can’t have my favorite healer down.” Aelin breezed through her living room, pulling aside her curtains and tossing all her tissues into the waste bin. After a heartbeat and cocking her head, she amended, “Well maybe Sorscha as well.”

“We have this day all to ourselves,” added Manon. “The Thirteen are in command for twenty four hours.” She stalked through the threshold, inspecting her cottage, and noting the lack of pictures adorning her tables and walls.

Elide reached for a strawberry, but Manon slapped her wrist and ushered her to her bedroom. Her friends tutted in distaste at the simple designs; Aelin nearly threw a fit when she saw her gray-lined bedroom.

“How can you live like this?” Aelin tugged her fire-gold strands of hair, surveying Elide’s simplistic room. Elide watched as Aelin tear through her dresser, clucking her tongue with an almost revulsion reserved for her utmost disappointment. Manon, however, sniffed the air, and flocked to the window, her spine stiff.

Elide played with the hem of her shirt. She’d also stared out that window, wondering where Lory had gone, and why he decided to not return, to abandon her. She had offered him a steady hearth and affection, pieces of her heart, and glimpses into her past.

Emptiness tugged at the corner of her heart. She didn’t need glamour when she had Lory’s presence. There was a soothing quality to his presence that didn’t need to speak volumes from the human tongue. The mere steady and silent exposure to an animal with no ill intent towards her, in which he’d lick her palm and twitch those ears, stare at her, as if she were the only human in the world—

Aelin flopped onto Elide’s bed in defeat. “The only option I see is getting laid.” She tapped her chin in thought. “Shopping and eating won’t cut it. You need physical contact.”

Elide shook her head, and stood next to Manon. The Beta’s eyes fixed on the path of grass where the collars sat in heart formation, mocking Lory’s absence. She imagined Lory curled up on the grassy plains, his hind legs bent in restlessness, and those dark, dark eyes following her shape as she did her yoga exercises, watching the Sun gallantly spiral into the vast sky.

Her heart warmed as she studied the two females in her room. One herself blazed with fierce mortality and sheer determination, the other a honed icicle and ironstone. They were two sides of the same coin, and if Elide wished, she could flip them into the air at her command.

Manon surreptitiously sniffed the air again. “Dog,” she hissed.

Elide nodded in confirmation. She’d always thought herself a cat lady, but there was something different about Lory other than his moodiness and his steely demeanor that seemed to simply see more than she did. The way his eyes would flicker with deeper intellect, and the powerful muscles rippling across his back as he stalked around her house as if he owned every inch. The way that nose would twitch in aversion when another male neared her, and a deep growl would thunder from the base of his throat—

It was almost as if her were her guardian angel. Her watchdog.

Elide pinched her arm. Dear Hellas, she really was hung over a dog, an animal that most likely found another warm home with another owner who would treat him with care every second—

Why was she so damned jealous?

Aelin joined them at the windowpane, and laid a hand against Manon. “Speak,” she ordered, and Elide recognized the Alpha command, one she rarely used.

“If my senses aren’t deceiving me, just a mere dog wasn’t here.”

“Your senses don’t lie.” Aelin crossed her arms. “What is it?”

“I detect a Lycan. Not a full-blooded one, mind you, but a wisp of a male that has Lycan blood running through his veins.”

Elide’s veins turned to ash. “No,” she said.

Wolf, Nox had said, and she’d dismissed him. What did a human know about dogs and wolves?

“Lory’s just a wolf. Or a large dog,” she blurted, and leaned back as Manon towered over her.

Aelin dragged Elide to her bed as Manon flipped her white-ash hair over a shoulder. “Tell us about this Lory,” she hummed.

Elide decided she did not like the glint in Manon’s eyes.


Lorcan was in deep shit. Deep, unrelenting shit. He had returned to the cadre, his bones cracking in protest, hair tousled and grim coating the exposed inches of skin, and sweat running down his neck in rivulets. He could feel his wolf thrashing inside of him, craving any type of release that didn’t involve a dead body, but utter dominance.

His wolf needed to claim his lovely, sweet, vixen of a mate, and Lorcan had forbade that.

His wolf needed to at least dominate a female, a poor attempt to loosen the edge of feralness that chipped away at him. Only his mate could fully quell him, but his mate did not want anything to do with him. A part of him disagreed, that the rules of nature and raw hand of fate had paired them together, but if his pure mate did not want him, then he would not object.

Because he was bound by blood and the fallen. Could his mate look past the hands that had snapped the necks of even the children? Could his mate accept his dark-woven future and calling for bleak death? Could his mate tolerate his penchant for starkness, the life of a spartan?

Fenrhys let out a low chuckle as Lorcan stalked through the entrance, his body shuddering in pain. His wolf was a monster inside of him, and it took his entire willpower to turn away the demands of intimacy. He would not touch another female unless his mate permitted him.

His wolf cursed Lorcan’s decision, roaring in protest. Both savage and pathetic, every Lycan’s wolf side needed a gentle hand in their life, and over the years, that softness expressed itself in watching submission, and Lycans resorting to casual sex.

It was another reason for his mate to hate him, he supposed. He could sense the innocence radiating from his mate, and while that made him and his wolf beyond ecstatic, a small part of him had wished that mate wouldn’t be so pure—so that he could also have a reason to hate her.

And in the hatred, they could find themselves back to each other, easier. Pain was the easiest emotion to deal with, the easiest feeling to manipulate. Words and the heart intertwined so deeply, all he could do is lie and break a strong psychological mindset.

But disgust had to be earned. Something had to go a little wrong, a little awry. A stone had to be overturned to reveal the dirt underneath rather than the smooth, cool surface. His history was no secret, his path as a warrior, as the cadre’s gamma, or first general. The tales of his executions and interrogations were no sight for his mate, a young girl who delighted in clean, savory truths. His rock had been tossed into the swamps to rot and he had emerged as the victor. Unscathed, but internally scarred.

He was not the male for her, and he cursed the Moon Goddess for this pairing. He had waited eons for the notion of love, and had waited for another broken soul who had wrecked havoc upon others—so they could share this pain in empathy. But the hand of nature had given him someone who could mend him, and that was something Lorcan knew he didn’t deserve. He could break his mate’s neck without so much as a blink, and ruin that soft skin and fill it with scars and blemishes. He could crush her with a single blow, and this precious, delicate creature that was Elide Lochan deserved more in life than a murderer.

Fenrhys laughed under his breath, watching Lorcan make way to his room. “She’s got you more whipped than Maeve.”

Maeve, their past Alpha Queen who had haunted his nightmares still. 

Now the only nightmare consisted of his mate’s rejection.

He could feel the ebbing of his darkness receding with his wolf’s ferality. Soon his own body would fade away into a weak waste of flesh if he and his wolf did not see eye to eye. If a Lycan’s human and wolf side did not live in harmony, the body would fail, and Lorcan had never once imagined himself in this scenario. The things his mate caused him without knowing—Elide Lochan would be his downfall.

He could only snap his teeth at Fenrhys and stagger towards his room, promising to wring the Fenrhy’s neck later.

His wolf called for Elide; to be simply near her would be enough to quell him for a week—months even.

But Lorcan refused to run the risk of claiming her outright. It was the rare case that his wolf overtook his body completely, pouring his intentions and will into every muscle and tendon. And the mere mention of his mate was enough for him cross the line into where the true feral lurked.

It was dangerous. He was dangerous. His mate made him more dangerous. He had no control of these matters of pure emotion coursing down him, making each step unbearable. His wolf demanded release and claiming and binding, and Lorcan slammed down on his will just as hard.

He had slaughtered armies. He would not allow the picture of his mate be his undoing. But that was her purpose, perhaps. To bring a Lycan to his knees. It would not be the first time in history such scheme had been done, and with all the misery Lorcan had caused, he wouldn’t expect anything less.

But sweet, sweet Elide—he didn’t believe she could harm a fly. She’d guide the insects that dared to breach her house out. She cooed and soothed. She was his angel. She was soft and gentle. She was everything he wasn’t.

“Lorcan,” Gavriel said.

He realized that he’d been leaning against a marble column, his entire posture tense.

“I’ll call Essar,” was all Gavriel said, before he disappeared down the hallway. A tang of gratitude swept down Lorcan that his friend did not help him limp back towards his room full of darkness.

Even Essar, the doe-eyed female, would not bother him there.

No one would bother a killer in his natural habitat.

His wolf was angered, and Lorcan did not bother to acknowledge the walls that were crumbling around him. He did not want Essar. He did not want a female who believed to see more in him, and wanted to change him. He did not want a casual fuck.

He wanted Elide Lochan.

And he would endure this pain of his body wasting away if it meant he could finally stay true to her. It was his penance, and he supposed he should thank the Moon Goddess for this chance.


“Bullshit.” Manon had walked back to the window, staring at the collars. “Although the scent is there, I refuse to believe that a male who is older than me and has killed more than me and seen more betrayals than me—will wear those pieces willing. And pink, much less.”

Aelin flung a hand over her heart. “You know, the names Lory and Lorcan are too similar too ignore. But the fact that a Lycan would willingly degrade himself for his mate—” Her Alpha let out a bitter, low chuckle.

Elide trembled, wrapping a blanket around herself. “Lory’s not Lorcan, Manon. Aelin, please.” She pleaded with them. “My mate doesn’t love me anymore than those girls he’s touched.”

She refused to believe this. Yet it explained so much, of why she was pining over a creature of the forest. It explained the comfort a four-legged creature could provide more than Aelin and Manon combined could bring her. It explained why she could trust him with stories of Morath, and why she needed to be around him constantly, checking up on him as much as he checked up on her. The way Lory looked at her—no animal would carry such tenderness in those eyes that had usually stared at everything in such solemn misery.

“You know, Rowan really has to pick up his game.” Aelin shook her head. “I’ve never seen him in wolf form, much less having a collar wrapped around that pretty neck. And we’re talking about a male who has probably has Death bowing to him. Pink, Elide? What were you thinking? That’s probably what scared him off.”

Elide bit her lip. “Did I mention that he ran off on a full moon?”

Manon’s head whipped around. She cocked her head in a way that was surely predatory, those eyes calculating. “You did not feel him cheating in anyway?”

She shook her head. “None. The mate bond doesn’t lie, and he’s actually kept…it…to himself.”

Aelin nodded to herself with grim certainty. “I really need to find a new mate.”

Manon clapped her hands. “Great. We have a female who doesn’t trust her male, and a male who’s pining after his female with one foot in the grave.” Her head swiveled towards Aelin. “Would Rowan tell you if Lorcan decided to visit Elide on a whim?”

The Alpha tossed her hands up in the air. “I think males blame females for bipolar syndrome because they displayed the traits in the first place. Who knows? One moment he’s sucking up to me, the next he’s the coldest floating piece of ice in Antarctica.”

Manon crossed over the room, her eyes dark. “Enough. I’ve done with you both fawning over your mates—” she dismissed Aelin with a bold flick of her nails, and turned towards Elide “—another reason we have come here is because we are holding a ball, and I think it would do you well to come. Leave your studies and moping for another day. Live one night, and see who you were before you met your mate.” She briefly glanced at Aelin. “And you as well.”

Aelin let out a harsh laugh and fell onto the bed. “Stars above. What have we come to, Elide?”

Elide cradled her pillow, imagining it as Lory. “Love. It does the worst to us. Doesn’t it?”


Aelin chose to move up the ball’s date by a week, so the Pack House was a flurry of commotion, silk and lace flying through the hallways. Perfumes and delicacies crammed in every corner, bouquets of every kind of flower floating in the breeze and fluttering around the curtains, which had been elegantly thrown open to allow the rays of sun and night pour into the sweeping ballroom. The crystal chandelier had been polished, with gold ornaments and statues gleaming at every facet. Soft streams of music swept away the blinding lights, the pleasantries of kisses and hugs exchanged as servants poured in, arms full of arrays of all kinds.

Aelin had called in every favor, demanding an all-out production. Ancient wine and bottles of drinks beyond Elide’s knowledge were brought out and displayed. Trinkling windpipes and glistening harps of all sizes were situated on pedestals, a grand piano arcing the center. Layers of cakes were seized into the kitchen, and a flurry of cooks flooded the hallways, arms full of batter and butter.

Elide watched, captivated by all the commotion. Until she saw a flower girl and a servant boy exchanging a sloppy, but passionate kiss in the gardens. When they pulled away, still in each other’s embraces, their faces were flushed red, but happy nonetheless.

Elide turned away.

The cadre had been invited. To not would have been a public insult and as good as a declaration of war. Aelin had flourished her arms out, declaring that shit was mostly to go down, and ordered an extra shift of guards to loiter in the hallways, and blend among the shadows. Elide had fled to her old room in anticipation, wondering how she’d confront Lorcan.

Thank you for protecting me as a wolf? Not putting up a fuss for wearing the collars? Watching me dress and shower? Did you get tired of my body—is that why you left?

As the sun set, and the moon rose, Elide couldn’t help the trepidation that pumped through every vein. It didn’t matter if Lorcan showed up with another girl or two notched up in his arms. She just had to see him.

The first trickle of guests streamed in, Aelin and Manon greeting each arrival with a curt nod and quick smile in customary tradition. Elide had smoothed the soft fabric of her skirts down, twirling a strand string of black around her finger.

She wanted Lorcan to know that she wasn’t afraid of death. She was a werewolf, and she also had bled from silver, had been held hostage in the Morath pack. She knew death and death knew her. Elide had often found herself on the brink of death, poison and morphine pumping through every vein of her scrawny body. The scars on her ankle was a reminder of the memories, locked up. The lashes of the whip were no stranger to her, and the stinging had always been her silent friend. The cold loneliness that had swept through her as she had crawled because her ankle had failed her, her Uncle—Alpha—Vernon failing her in worse ways. Morath had taught her that family was not blood. Family was trust, and trust was earned. She had learned that the world was not her oyster.

The world was clever and cruel, but it was also colorful, and if she could chose to live it so that she could be content not any seeking revenge, then she could rise above the pain. She would not Morath break her.

Because one day she would bring Morath down.

Elide didn’t believe that monsters were born. Monsters were cultivated and grown from the vices of humanity, something the Were were not exempt from either. And as Elide looked down at the crowds of entering people, she had an inkling of a feeling that Lorcan would not come. And as the clock chimed away minutes that transformed to hours, she knew her suspicions were right.

She didn’t think one individual, much less a male, could affect her this way. Manon had been wrong when she’d said that mates were a bedtime story. A mate was a thorn in her side, and she cursed the mate bond as a shrapnel of pain digging into her mind, a throbbing that beat louder with each breath. Something was off, and the mate bond flared between her, pulsing in her head. She could feel a gentle caressing down her side, and an almost frenzied despair flashing down.

Aelin was instantly at her side, half-carrying and half-guiding her to the infirmary. She pressed a palm against her forehead, and Elide moaned in pain.

“She’s burning up,” Aelin whispered to someone, who slammed a dagger into the table in frustration. Manon.

“Is he cheating on you?” Manon demanded, her voice near guttural. Her tapping of her nails against the steel table drove Elide further to an edge. There was something wrong—not by fault, but by nature. There was a wedge cleaving between her mate, but not between them. A struggle between man and wolf, a fight that always ended in bloodshed.

The Prince Rowan Whitethorn burst through the door, his face ashen. He further paled as Manon whipped out her favorite blade, Wind Cleaver, that promised death. Aelin merely sat at the foot of the bed in which Elide laid, sweat pouring down her forehead. She tried to bow, but Aelin was having none of it, using her Alpha command to order Elide to sit and rest.

“How dare you,” Aelin snarled, turning to her mate with livid anger. “Have the audacity to not show up, and flaunt yourself in now?”

Rowan shook his head, and slowly lifted his palms into the air. Elide could have sworn his Adam’s apple bobbed. “This is beyond me.” His eyes cut to Elide, and Manon loose a low growl. “Your mate is dying. Fading away.”

Elide managed to leap off the bed before her ankle collapsed and gave out on her. Aelin wrapped an arm around her shoulder, Manon pacing around Rowan, shielding her from the first threat that was the Prince of Lycans.

“Explain,” Manon commanded, her voice a thin blade of viciousness.

Rowan sighed, a sound that spoke ancient volumes. “Lorcan’s wolf is not taking Elide’s absence well…and believes she’s rejecting him. The fact that Lorcan refuses to lay with a female even for—” Rowan’s face turned to stare at the wall with shame stitched across his eyes “—a means to satiate his wolf’s side—it’s causing his own wolf to reject him. He won’t survive the night if this keeps up.”

Aelin tucked Elide closer to her chest. “I won’t allow her to go near that monster,” she nearly spat out, and glared daggers at her mate, who lifted a brow. “I won’t put one of my pack members in danger.”

Rowan stared at Aelin, an unfathomable look sketched across his face. Something like cold fury spun in those eyes. “Lycans would rather die than hurt their mate.”

The Alpha of the Fireheart pack looked like she wanted to very much disagree, but surprisingly, it was Manon who said, “I think it’s Elide’s decision.”

Elide thought back to her time with Lory, and how he’d so easily seeped happiness into her life. How he’d press his wet nose against her knees and stare up at her, resting his snout on her lap. The way he had made her laugh and made sure she’d eaten every last bite, and encouraged her to go for runs in the woods. He had made her smile. Made her appreciate life. Made her experience joy.

She thought back to the nights when he’d lick away her tears, and lay closer to her side, snuggling against her.

Elide lifted her head, even as she felt searing pain in her neck, and said, “Take me to my mate.”


“I’m going to hold another ball,” Aelin announced to no one in particular as they piled into a black SUV that screamed wealth. “Maybe a masquerade.”

Manon filled the silence by sharpening her nails.

Rowan pulled the car up to a sprawling mansion with silver gates. As they walked across the pristine, cut lawn, Elide marvelled at the honey droplets of morning dew that still drooped from the leaves, the moonlight illuminating the beauty of the greenery that was contained just in the lawn.

The entrance had no door, and Elide supposed it was fitting when it would be suicide to enter the home of the Lycans. Marbled pillars and glass panels filled her vision.

Rowan stalked down the hallways until he faced a door that was halfway open. The last door in the hallway.

Rowan frowned, slightly sniffing the air. “I think—”

Elide willed herself to hold her head high as she slipped through the door.

She didn’t expect to be engulfed in darkness, save for a burning candle lighting the room into a soft, orange glow. She didn’t think that the room would be immaculate, and no dust nor blood would stain the floor. She somewhat expected the lines of swords and daggers hooked onto the walls.

She didn’t expect the outline of women on top of the large male, sprawled across dark sheets. She didn’t expect the guilt written in the eyes of her mate as his head snapped towards her, and his arm to be wrapped around the other female’s hips. She expected the flicker of surprise in that granite-hewn face. She didn’t expect the tang of arousal that permeated the too-clean room, and the beautiful doe-eyed female on Lorcan’s lap to seem strangely sad, her hair cascading down across Lorcan’s bare chest.

Elide took one look at the embrace of her mate and the other female before she fled the room, her own wolf also turning cold and slamming down a wall not even Aelin or Manon could penetrate.

She ignored the howl that shattered the air as she felt her bones shift and crack. She ignored the image of the other female’s legs locked around her mate’s waist. She ignored the voice telling her to go back, to return to her mate.

She embraced the other voice that told her to seek rejection, revenge. The one that saw that doe-eyed female with soft curves with hands around the corded muscle of the Lycan that should have been hers. 

When white paws hit the ground, Elide Lochan felt herself bolt forward, away from her mate. And she did not look back as a series of howls and tearing pierced the dark night.