I once met a girl
who reminded me
of heady spring evenings
when the sky is melting
into amber and rose
and all of the flowers
in the meadow
beside the lake
with the touch
of the wind
and you don’t quite know
if you are dreaming
I did a thing. We’ll see if I can do more before ACOWAR comes out. Below is Chapters 1-4 of ACOMAF in Rhys’s POV and above are the links to those same chapters plus the rest on AO3. Hope ya like!
Summary: Roughly Chapters 1-4 of ACOMAF from Rhys’s POV. It’s mostly a focus on the last two weeks before Feyre gets married with summation thrown in on how his time has been since leaving UtM. Includes her nightmare that opens the book and some lovely chatting with Morrigan the day of Feyre’s wedding.
Hello Feyre Darling
The mountains of the Illyrian Steppes wrought a chill through my bones I hadn’t felt in years.
We flew for most of the day, listening to wherever the shadows at my brother’s back directed us, until at last the sun began to set and we landed in a small clearing between the trees.
They were close. Near enough to sent them on the tendrils of wind that carried their blood and sweat through the heavy pine of the woods. Since my return, I’d lost count of the number of rogue Illyrian war bands I’d had to hunt down and confront. And that wasn’t counting the number Cassian and Azriel had taken care of in my absence.
Today’s hunt felt restless. The outcome had been decided the moment we left the Steppes. These primal encounters never changed even if I spent the hours flying faster towards them hoping they would.
A confrontation. An offering of second chances. Bow down and obey - or pay the debt they owed for the blood they’d spilt, the debt for using fifty years of freedom to push the boundaries however they pleased.
The Night Court would need every drop in the coming weeks that it could spare. Petty disagreements over territory, among other things, wasn’t something I could deal with in the middle of a shift that sought to overthrow the entirety of Prythian.
And once Illyrian alliances shifted, they rarely shifted back.
So in blood, they usually ended.
We threaded through the trees, Cassian and Azriel silently stalking several paces out on either side of me until we hit the gap where the band made camp. It was a small legion, perhaps a dozen or so with their chosen lord in the center. An exquisite gash ran down the center of his cheek. No doubt he had been forced to earn his rank, had likely volunteered for the blood bath.
I wondered what they had done with the bodies, if they’d bothered to bury them properly in Illyrian fashion or had left them to rot in the snow.
Their heads turned in our direction as we neared close enough for them to catch our scent, but by then it was already too late. I held their minds steady from the grip of my power long before the three of us cleared the trees lining the perimeter of their camp.
My brothers strode quietly out from the trees, the swords they’d been gifted at the Blood Rite brandished in their hands in an offensive gesture, ready to strike at a moment’s signal from me.
Slowly, I narrowed my eyes on the newly elected lord and approached, tendrils of darkness trailing in my wake, my wings stretched out wide enough at my back to send a jolt of fear down even the toughest Illyrian’s back.
“Do I need to bother asking?”
My voice was flat, hardly even a question as the lord looked me over once and spat directly at my feet. “Whore,” he cursed and internally, I savored the feel of my mental claws dragging through his mind, undoing every last piece of who he was and would ever become before I let his body fall limp and ragged to the snow. I didn’t even wait. Little impulses of pain trembled along his skin and muscles in those last seconds before he gave up and was no more.
All round me, the forest rang silent save for the bitter, cold wind howling my sins in my ears.
Red splattered in harsh contrast against the snow at my feet, large sloppy drops dripping from Truth-Teller’s blade.
Azriel looked stoically at me as if he hadn’t just shed the blood of a half-dozen men he’d once shared camp with. I often wondered how he managed to lock that darkness away so well.
Slowly, he lifted a brow as snow crunched between Cassian’s heavy boots on my other side.
“Rhys?” Cassian said, dragging my attention down to my hands. They were shaking in a near violent manner.
I grabbed both their hands and winnowed on the spot before they could say another word.
I did not join them at the House of Wind that night for dinner.
There was blood everywhere.
All over the three young fae hooded and kneeling on the unforgiving marble floor, the dagger I watched fall clattering to that same ground, and most especially all over her.
Feyre stood reaching with a trembling hand for the second dagger covered in blood. Her clothes were soaked from merely one kill that shouldn’t have garnered that much evidence of her deeds. It carried onto her hands - her poor, stuttering hands that plunged themselves upon the fae woman singing herself into death’s waiting arms.
Amarantha sat poised on the throne calling Feyre on with praise. It felt disgustingly wrong.
Feyre pulled the third dagger and I knew what to expect as the veil was to be lifted on the final victim. Tamlin would be waiting and then our fate would be in the hands of this small human girl none of us knew. I felt like I was going to be sick even as Feyre questioned whether or not she could go through with one more murder - just one more murder, and we would all be free. Such a steep price to pay for her.
The hood lifted. Silence fell.
The blood stood out in stark relief against the resounding quiet of the room.
Feyre knelt before the third victim - before herself, her ears turned up into two stiff points, her skin smooth and blended into a soft perfection only my own breed possessed. And her body, which had become so long and elegant with its new fae gifted powers, sat strongly before her, beseeching her move forward.
And that’s when I knew where I was.
I saw Amarantha up on her throne because I saw her from Feyre’s eyes and not my own place on the dias where I should have been. This was nothing new. We’d been inside this prison countless times before and always we failed to get out alive.
The words chanted inside Feyre’s mind as a flurry of self-loathing and hopelessness I only ever felt inside myself welled up beneath her skin.
She angled the dagger at herself and my lungs screamed inside of me to stop her as I felt her anticipate the relief that blade could give her. No, no, never -
A relief she welcomed, craved even. It was horrifying to watch, to feel.
And it killed me to think she could see herself that way, in any way other than the determined, resourceful woman I’d met Under the Mountain who had saved us all and lost herself in the process.
“Feyre!” I screamed inside her mind, as violently and brutally as I once had to stop Amarantha from attacking her.
But it was too late.
Feyre thrusted the knife into her own chest and I watched as my mate willingly committed suicide before my own eyes. Somehow, it was a thousand times worse than hearing her neck snap against her will.