We got a puppy two days ago. After one of our huskies passed away in November I decided it was time and got this lil girl for my partner’s birthday. She’s 3 months old and is OBSESSED with water. Sleeps by it, hangs out by it, eats it, blows bubbles, slaps it, digs in it, sources it out if it’s on the dirt, anything. Right now she doesn’t have a name but we’re thinking of something water-themed. She’s a very happy go lucky well behaved lil girl who loves shoving her faces in yours for kisses and laying on your lap forever.
Elizahbennett: Happy birthday to my partner in crime, couldn’t have imagined last year without you. Everybody show this girl lots of birthday love today! ❤
Margaret and Mary Tudor, princesses and later Dowager Queens, the daughters of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, the sisters of Henry VIII. Born nearly a decade apart, the two knew little of each other after Margaret departed to Scotland, yet shared the same passionate and self-possessed nature, choosing their own mates to the scandal and scorn of others.
You are one gorgeous, talented, amazing human being and I want you to always remember that. You’re an inspiration and source of strength for me every day. I’m just so glad I got to read your awesome writings and be your friend. I wish for you to stay happy, warm and as crazy as you can be!
She wonders if this is how it feels to have death upon your shoulders.
Just a name, five words and it’s like her soul being ripped, like the light of the moon is forcefully being taken from her bones.
“I am sorry, I am sorry, I will never say it again, never, I swear it, but please, just-come back to me.”, she hears the voice, so full of tears and pain, and she knows it is her Sun.
She doesn’t want her Sun to cry.
“I will not say it again, never say it again, come back to me, I love you, you can’t- I can’t-”
The air in her lungs feels like a waterfall of ice.
She expects to see the moon, cruel and white and so far away, but instead she sees a mess of black hair, a lovely face hidden in the crook of her neck.
Her Sun keeps on whispering, keeps on shaking, cradling her so close to him she marvels at the heat of his skin.
She passes her fingers in his hair with her now short nails, the nails she cut when all she could think of was touching his skin without hurting him and for a moment he stops breathing, he is so still she would think he is asleep if it wasn’t for the frantic beating of his heart.
He looks up to her, face wet with tears, his chin trembling, opening his mouth as though he cannot speak.
“My Sun.” she says, cradling his face in her hands. “Say my name again.”
Cassian shakes his head quickly, a pointed refusal.
“I can’t,” he says, his deep, jovial voice trembling “I can’t. I thought you were dead. That I-”
She kisses him, cradling him and the sobs that escape his lips at the contact makes the room go colder.
“Say it.” she whispers and he looks at her, sparkling brown eyes.
“Promise me. Promise me you’ll stay with me, that nothing will happen. Promise.”
She kisses his knuckles in answer, sealing the promise and she can feel the fear that wrecks him as he says “Nesta,” he stops, breathes “Nesta Archeron.”
It’s like a flood.
It’s memories, rushing so quickly behind her eyes that she can barely see them, it’s three little girls with gold in their hair, it’s an absent Father and a Mother in a grave, it’s racing around the village, it’s a little boy who would always let her win, it’s snow and the ring of laughter, playing hide and seek in the belly of a beast.
“Cassian.” she says, calls him, that little boy and this beautiful man, her mate, her love, her Sun.
And it’s that smile, the smile that graces his face, it knits her back together, more luminous than the moonlight, “You remember?” he asks and she nods, beyond words, her hands still around his face.
She sees as the tears of pain turn into tears of joy on his face and he kisses her cheeks, her head, her nose “You remember. We could- Your sisters are here, in the Castle and we-” he kisses her, like he can’t contain himself, like all his dreams came true “Do you want to meet them now? Or we could wait. Do you want to see the village? We could-no, no, we have all the time for that, and-”
He stops, looks at her eyes and she reads the awe in his face, his thumb brushing her cheekbone.
“The color,” he says, his voice full of wonder “it changed. It’s just how I remembered it.”
He gently moves his finger to her chin, making her head move toward the mirror on the wall and she sees the two of them, skin against skin, rich brown versus pale white, and she runs her eyes over Cassian’s body, over the faint scars and the stark black of his tattoos, the waves of his hair and his lovely eyes.
Then her eyes move and what she sees-
It’s not the unnatural color she so hated- the color of ice-but a soft gray speckled with blue, a human color and human eyes, the eyes of her mother, of her sister.
“Feyre”, she murmurs, “Elain.”
Cassian kisses her neck and she can feel the smile spreading on his lips “They are here, in this Castle. Feyre became the Lady of Velaris and married my brother while Elain is engaged to a young noble.”
“How-” she stumbles, not finding the words, not so sure she wants to know “How many years have passed?”
Cassian’s arms go around her, protecting, sensing the dread she feels, the realization of how much she lost buried in that cabin.
“Ten years.”, he says “And six months.”
“You’re twenty-two.”, he whispers, his voice gentle, making the impact of reality seem kinder with the sound of his voice, with his warmth.
The last thing she remembers is being twelve and running through the forest.
“You have time,” Cassian says, her Sun, face hidden in the crook of her neck, “we have a life in front us.”
A life; with him, with her sisters.
Nesta smiles, kissing his jaw.
“We have to get dressed, sweetheart. We have some people to meet.” he tells her with triumph in his voice, still kissing her, his hands in her hair.
He gets up from the bed, makes three steps toward the wardrobe and he’s on the bed again, kissing her, cupping her face with both hands.
“My Nesta,” he mutters between kisses, so happy he makes her name shine “my Nesta.”
They are in front of Feyre’s room, Nesta dressed in one of Cassian’s tunics, which wears almost like a dress on her.
He moves his arms around her, kissing the crown of her head.
“We can wait till morning, if you want.”
She shakes her head, raising her hand to knock on the door when she hears light footsteps coming from the corridor.
“Feyre? Is that you?” that voice, like spring and calm and flowers, comes at the same moment she hears movement from inside the room, the rustling of fabric, naked feet against the cold stone.
Nesta can feel her heart beating faster and faster and faster and she fights the urge of hiding into Cassian, but she hear that voice again and the sound of the door opening.
“Cassian? You’re back! We were so worried!”
Elain, Elain, Elain
Nesta can’t move, her body like a block of ice carved with longing.
She hides in Cassian’s chest, unable to stop herself, hides in the place she feels safest and his arms go around her, hiding her from view, giving her space to breathe, but she notices how his own heart is thundering.
She hears Elain get closer and Feyre is probably standing on the threshold, maybe wondering who this strange woman is, and it’s Elain’s soft voice, her soft touch upon her arm to completely shatter her.
Nesta hears a sound, a desperate sob and it takes her a bunch of heartbeats to realize it comes from her; she turns to look at her sister and Cassian’s arms hold her tightly one last time before he steps back, leaving her the space to embrace her sister, her hand going toward the door to find Feyre’s and the three sisters find themselves on the ground, not knowing whose legs gave up under the weight of this moment, but Nesta doesn’t care, as she kisses Feyre’s face and hugs Elain, she doesn’t care.
She never thought someone could cry of happiness- of loneliness, yes, of being in that cabin completely alone, breaking mirrors and throwing stones at the night sky- of longing, yes, looking at the moon every night and asking her, what did you steal me?
But now she knows, as she hugs her sisters until her hands and arms hurt and looks up at Cassian, tears on his cheeks and a smile on his lips, she knows.
Months pass after that eventful night, and Nesta can say without a shadow of doubt that she has never been as happy as she is now.
She gets to know the rest of the inhabitants of the Castle and even if it takes her quite a while to adjust, it all feels like family.
Mor teaches her how to dress, all dresses made of fine materials, sparkling and beautiful, and they never fail to make her Sun go red in the face and invent excuses to explain how she is incredibly needed in their room right now.
With Amren she finds a quiet company, silent conversation shared upon warm tea.
She learns from Azriel’s shadows, from their quiet whispering and his graceful patience.
Lucien tells her everything she needs to know about the people in the village, tells her what has changed since she disappeared.
She learns how to control herself from Rhysand, the man stoic but true and loving and she thanks the Mother for this people who cared for her sisters.
She asks Feyre to teach her how to paint but she can never get the colors right, so she settles for watching her sister paint, admiring the focused look on her face, the smile when she portrays something exactly how she wanted it.
She buys flowers for Elain, helps her adjust vases and bushes, beware of thorns and caring of roses, her sister’s face stained with earth and a big, satisfied smile on her face.
And like this, Nesta creates memories.
They all believed the lie that Cassian found her in the forest, no wolf in sight, just a lost girl who looked familiar, a girl who couldn’t remember what happened, in those ten years.
She doesn’t know if they believed her or it they wanted to believe her just because she is alive and safe, but they never speak of it, mostly for the shadow of guilt on Cassian’s face as he lies to his family.
He’s here now, under her, her hands around his wrists and her fingers can’t even touch, her hand too tiny around the bones and tendons that create the man she loves.
“Are you happy?” he asks, his hips moving slowly up to her, making her moan and roll her head back.
His eyes are more green than brown today and she smiles, smiles till her cheeks hurt, smiles through it all, smiles for this life that she never thought she could have, smiles at the possibilities, smiles at happiness.
The market is a colorful place.
Her senses are still heightened, still a reminder of what she was, but it pays well when she can tell if a merchant is trying to trick her.
She’s buying seeds for Elain and colors for Feyre, a little necklace for Cassian with a red stone when she sees a flash of yellow between the forest trees.
She knows that color, knows that woman, knows that wolf.
Coward, coward, coward.
The voice says, right in Nesta’s head.
Giving up the gift for the love of a man.
Coward, coward, coward.
Nesta closes her eyes.
This is a nightmare, just a nightmare and she will wake up in Cassian’s arms and will see Elain’s smile and Feyre’s fingers smudged with paint.
Coward, coward, coward.
Nesta wants to run, cover her ears, run away from the moon and never come back.
Come to me little coward, little prey, come to the forest.
Nesta turns, does the opposite of what she’s told, the world around her a blur.
The voice in her head makes a sound of clear disapproval.
So what will it be, blue-eyed wolf? There are no plants in the snow and no colors but white, will the gentle grower and the fierce painter take your place?
Her blood runs cold.
She doesn’t even think before she runs toward the forest as quickly as she can, her legs nearly giving up under her and she thinks of her sisters and she thinks of Cassian and her heart breaks and breaks and breaks.
She falls on her knees and her hands hit the snow and she sees her, exactly as she remembered her, the short gray hair and the wicked mouth and the cruel yellow eyes.
“Here you are, little coward.” the wolf that bit her all those years ago says, more animal than woman, and it’s in front of Nesta faster than she can blink, her hands holding Nesta’s face.
“You think that just because he knows your name it ends like this? The gift is not a just a curse. It’s the moon and it’s justice and it’s eternal. No matter how much you run, you’re always bound. Little wolf, little sister, little coward.”
Nesta feels a tug inside her chest, like a call, like reassurance and like love, right amongst the frantic beating of her heart.
The woman looks at her with pity in her eyes, her hands on Nesta’s face turning gentle “Bound to him and to the moon, little one. But you never had a choice.”
The woman moves fast, Nesta’s wrist just an inch away from her mouth and Nesta’s only thought is that she wanted to say goodbye, at least this time, just this once, she wanted to say goodbye.
But then she hears quick footsteps behind her, the ragged breathing of someone who ran.
And she knows who it is like she knows her own heart and when she turns, Cassian is smiling.
“You will have to teach me how to howl, sweetheart.”, he says.
Nesta closes her eyes, and it all begins again.
There’s something in the forest, the legend says.
Some say a bat, some say a wolf, some say a viper.
Some say two lovers.
They say that what lurks in the forest could be recognized by the color of its eyes, but no one can remember if it’s the color of the ice or the color of the wood.
They say monster, they say creature and they say wolves.
Or maybe it’s just fire in the old cabin in the woods and no glass on the ground and no broken furniture or drapes to keep the light at bay.
Maybe it’s just ice gently covering the windows, two lovers under the covers of an old bed and whispers of I love you and I remember you.