polish shelf

4

Home studio is finally coming together! Got just about everything; still need some studio monitors to replace my old computer ones, a rack for my interfaces and pre-amp, sound dampening around the desk, and some better lighting for the actual recording booth. Finally switched over to a tablet for the latter when reading scripts, printing them off all the time was getting annoying.

Even got my nerd shelf polished off there. Exciting.

dr jekyll and mr hyde: aesthetics
  • henry jekyll: a white silk handkerchief, unembossed and yet extravagant; white wine, dry and perfect upon the tongue; a new cravat, black and neatly tied about one's neck; a lit oil lamp in the corner of a comfortable study; leather chairs in worn condition, books piled upon their arms; strong hands clean but for a smudge of ink upon the finger sides, easy to brush away; thick white hair that had once had colour, in past days; black shoes, polished to a shine; a single drop of blood upon a clean, wooden floor.
  • edward hyde: a rag that was once silk and white, but now is stained with blood and grit; red wine, rich and thick, left so long on the kitchen side it's very almost vinegar; a new cravat, black and tied so tightly about another man's neck he turns swiftly purple; a dying street lamp dimming in the Edinburgh night; an antique chair ripped at its seam, books thrown upon the floor beside it; small hands that nonetheless strangle well; hair so thick it shines with pungent grease; shoes so caked in mud and dust and another man's lifeblood one could barely think them black; a man's aching body, shuddering and gasping before going suddenly still.
  • gj utterson: a cool, brisk wind that smarts at one's cheeks; a clean line in the stand, straight and deeply drawn; a gramophone that spins its records but makes no noise but for the click of its needle; straight gin in a tall glass, settled upon a mahogany desk, white sheets on a neatly-made bed, clothes for the day laid upon the mattress; an old coat, sturdy, long and well-fitted; dark stubble scraped away with a clean, well-wetted razor.
  • richard enfield: a stiff grasp on a young lad's collar, pulling him out of the cart's path with a brisk shift of the arm; volumes of poetry bound in unassuming brown leather, well-read and stacked upon the mantel with annotations in their margins; a single cigarette smoking quietly in a clay ashtray beside an empty glass; a firm handshake between friends on a cold city street; silence in the comfort of a warm library.
  • hastie lanyon: laughter, loud and raucous, made warmer with a measure of good whiskey; a fireplace crackling merrily over a clean, red rug; white hair under a black-brimmed hat; a tight embrace between two schoolfriends that haven't met for half a decade; a pale cup of tea hiding five sugars; an old tabby cat, curled upon a black cushion upon the window sill, milk clinging to its greying whiskers.
  • poole: a family crest, honourable and yet centuries-lost and forgotten; sweat shining on a prematurely lined forehead and reddened cheeks; an old uniform well-pressed and dignified; stacked books held in gloved hands ere ordered upon the shelf; ebony polished to a beautiful, black shine; a mug of coffee upon a tray that trembles with the nervous hands; a quietly tender word from a loyal tongue; loose script on paper, the words short and not-florid; a gasp in the dead of night at a glimpse of one's master, followed by an apology and a quick down-turning of the head.
5 Of The Best Essence Cosmetics Products

So if you’ve been reading Makeup Tips for a while you probably know about my long lasting love for Essence Cosmetics. The European beauty brand is filled with hundreds of great products at super affordable prices, some of which are staples in my daily makeup bag. Trying to choose just one of my favourite products, never-lone just five of them is like picking a favourite child, but after much consideration here are five of my favourite Essence products that you MUST try. 

Essence Eyebrow Stylist Kit

This is one of my all-time favourite eyebrow products and beats out so many high-end brands. I tried this on a whim and don’t regret it one bit, the colours are cool-toned (no need to worry about orange brows!) and the powders have just the right amount of pigment so you don’t overdo it. This is a staple in my makeup bag and for the price you simply cannot go wrong.

Keep reading

Thought you fellow nail polish addicts would enjoy this picture of my reorganized collection in substitution for my lack of nail art.

(I have a severe case of Carpal Tunnel in my right hand and wrist and haven’t been able to paint a thing. Think good thoughts for me because I’m going to see a specialist about it on Monday and hopefully he’ll be able to fix me one way or the other…)

LOVE to all of you!!!

XOXOXO !!!!

Chrissy

Not Ready to Let Go

Originally posted by jasminevillegasportugal

Author’s Note: This is a Happy Lowman imagine based on Chainsaw by Nick Jonas, as requested by the lovely @lovatolowman23 (Happiest of birthday sweets, I hope you have a spectacular day, and I’m sorry if this imagine isn’t what you had in mind, but I hope you like it!) as well as request number 3 for MM8.


Not Ready to Let Go

-XX-

I’ll take a chainsaw to the sofa
Where I held your body close for so long, so long
Walk in the house, lights are off
In the closet by the door, there’s your coat
I wasn’t thinking of you before
Too many rooms in this house, so I keep going out
What the hell is that about?
We gotta find a way to be okay

And maybe I’ll just take a chainsaw to the sofa
Where I held your body close for so long, so long
I’m gonna break the fucking china
Cause it’s just one more reminder you’re gone, you’re gone

-XX-

She swears the walls still echo from their argument, and with the duffle bag on her shoulder she wonders how a house so full of life and love can suddenly seem so cold, so angry. Her footsteps on the hardwood echo loudly in her head, and pulling open the hall closet she finds his jacket hanging inside, right beside hers, like it always has; she can’t help herself. She reaches out and runs her hands over the leather.

‘I can’t do this anymore Happy!’ her own words roll in her head.

‘Then your shit will be gone when I get home,’ Happy’s voice was cold, disconnected. He’d made up his mind already. His choice was clear; and she wasn’t it, so letting out a shaky breath she gathers her coat and walks away.

-XX-

When I get home, TV on
Drink in my glass, better make it strong
Some nights wanna fill this space
A tight dress and a pretty face
Keep finding things that you left on purpose
Did you plan that your timing’s perfect?
Gotta find a way to be okay

Maybe I’ll just take a chainsaw to the sofa
Where I held your body close for so long, so long
I’m gonna break the fucking china
Cause it’s just one more reminder you’re gone, you’re gone

-XX-

There was a time when he looked forward to coming home, and despite how long it’s been since he swears that he can still smell her in the air, and despite how many women he’s tried to fill the space with, she’s still all he thinks about.

The first few weeks after she left he was constantly finding shit she left behind. Her box of nail polish on the top shelf in the bedroom closet, bottles of perfume cluttering the counter in the bathroom. Little pieces of her were left all over the place, and in the early months without her, when all he could bring himself to do was drink he swore she did it on purpose.

Leaving bits and pieces of herself behind to remind him of her, and countless times he’s packed her shit and contemplated driving it to her new place, dumping it on her lawn, and yet every time he finds himself stopping, unpacking the boxes, and with a hope he knows is in vain, he waits for her to come home.

::

She missed him. God she missed him. The list of things she missed about him grew longer every day. The way he always smelled of his favorite shower gel and motor oil, the way he chewed on toothpicks, the sound he made whenever she kissed all of his favorite spots, how he’d roll over in the middle of the night throwing an arm over her and pulling her close.

So many times she reached for the phone; she knew he’d tell her to just get her ass home. He’d meet her there, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. She was always the one to cave first. She was tired of that.

But if she’s so tired of it why is she at the stoplight with her phone in hand, a text message already typed up to him, finger hovering over the send button, but before she can press send the world explodes.

-XX-

We were building brick by brick
Now it’s just a quicksand home, yeah
So I’ll take a chainsaw to the sofa
Where I held your body close for so long, so long

I could put a sign in the lawn
But it’d mean that I would wanna let you go
And I don’t wanna let you go
I could put a sign in the lawn
But it’d mean that I would wanna let you go
And I don’t wanna let you go

-XX-

“I’m not selling the house Gem,” his voice is hollow as he sits at the kitchen table.

“Happy, she isn’t coming home baby,” Gemma’s voice is soft as she pours him a cup of coffee and as he stares at the steam swirling off the lip of the mug he grits his teeth. He knows that. Doesn’t she know that he knows that?

The paper said it was an accident that took her life.

He knows it was retaliation. Didn’t matter that anyone who paid even a little bit of attention knew that she and him were no longer together, she still paid the price for his sins. He saw her laid to rest, but he kept his distance. Her Mom didn’t want him there, a request that was made perfectly clear by her grieving brother’s fists. He didn’t even fight back. He didn’t have it in him too.

He always thought she’d come home. That somehow they’d find a way to make it work. They always did, but with the last of her scent lingering in the air, he knows she won’t be coming back, not this time, and despite knowing that, he’s just not ready to let her go.

He’ll never be ready to let her go.

-XX-

I’ll take a chainsaw to the sofa
Where I held your body close for so long, so long
I’ll burn everything that binds us
Take a lighter to the mattress and run

We were building brick by brick
Now it’s just a quicksand home, yeah
So I’ll take a chainsaw to the sofa
Where I held your body close for so long, so long
Yeah, so long

-XX-

A cup

The set of cups sits on a shelf in the store, slightly dust, but glinting underneath its layer of grime. It catches Flint’s eye when he enters; it does every time. Today, however, things are different. He nods at the shopkeeper and after a few words and a few coins the cups are being wrapped carefully and given to him in a small crate.

Miranda’s eyes shine as she unpacks James’ little gift. He delights in it, the same way the he delights in her fingers caressing the fine porcelain and the little smile playing around her lips. It reminds him of Thomas, oddly; Thomas always had the same gentleness to his hands and expression of soft joy in his eyes. Far too rarely has Flint seen it on either Miranda or him since they left England.

Miranda makes tea for them in the two cups and if Flint squints through half-closed eyes he can imagine that time hasn’t passed, hasn’t smashed apart their so carefully built sand castle with its big waves. He touches his cup almost awkwardly as he sips the tea, afraid the fragile thing will break in hands that have grown so cruel now in his eyes.

***

The teacups are always there when Flint returns. Always at the same place on a shelf, polished to a bright shine and thus almost looking out of place, a piece of a different life that has been ripped out and planted where it can never grow roots.

Miranda always gets them out when he comes. He doesn’t know whether she uses them when he isn’t there or not, but he does know that is always the same tea, always prepared with the same precise motions that will await him whenever he comes to visit. Slowly, a home emerges from the chaotic rabble of their lives. A home that will never be what it once was, but home nonetheless – built from Miranda’s rare smiles, the sound of the harpsichord in the air and the sight of tea in two spotless porcelain cups.

***

The teacups are covered in dust when Flint returns. They sit on the table, slightly tilted, as if someone had simply forgotten them there. Flint wonders whether the taste of tea is still clinging faintly to their sides. He reaches out as if to touch them – and then withdraws his hand without being able to. It feels like disturbing a crypt somehow.

He doesn’t look at them as he walks slowly through the house, tries not to let his eyes linger on the dust and sadness that has built up in here over the weeks. Perhaps he should be grateful that no looters have been here in the mean time; but somehow he only he feels empty. He wishes the cups would disappear.

That night, when he sleeps in Miranda’s old bed alone, he dreams of drinking the tea she has made and seeing her smile. Thomas is there, too; there are three cups now, just like the three of them were always meant to be a set. His eyes hurt when he wakes up.

***

The cups are broken. Flint knows he should not feel anything about it, cannot allow himself to. He has attempted to purge anything akin to softness from his heart since he knows that even a single crack could widen far enough to swallow him. And he cannot afford that. For the sake of Nassau, for the sake of his men, for the sake of what little he has still left. He cannot afford to break.

And yet; when his fingers pick up the shards, caress the once so shining surface and smear the dust on them, he can feel something inside him give way. He holds the remnants like a long lost precious gem, wondering what Miranda would say if she could see all this. What Thomas would say. What had once been such a treasure to a living, breathing soul is now set aside and disregarded and he cannot help but think that soon, he will suffer the same fate. Soon all that is left of the name Flint will be a whisper at the back of people’s throats, a dark memory covered in the dust of time. So easily forgotten.

Flint sighs and puts the shard down again, as gently as he would a child. What is gone is gone and no raging will bring it back.

If only the future would hold something else but dust and blood.

Listen

Touhou 06   (Locked Girl ~ The Girl’s Secret Room)

—English fanlyrics—

 

Beginning anywhere, and never ending then,

There is a cycle that turns the tide and recycles again.

So, with a grasp of the elements, I can construct a whole

Within the delicate borders of a mind, fit to my role.

 

  Still.  Rising, falling;  waiting, stalling.

  Through the silence,  hear me calling…

 

  (・-・・ --- ・・・- ・)

the lock is broken with a single token

the key is a word but not a word spoken

something secret, urging me to read it

written in a language with no one to speak it

it’s coded in the air, decoded just as soon

clear as the sun, elusive as the moon

strong as fire, and pure as water’s surface

born as metal forged, yet ancient as the earth is

 

A dusty tome upon a polished shelf:

Spotless surroundings, and not a thought of ever moving myself.

So, with a gasp as the heavy breath is caught in my chest,

Until from deeply within the key may be carefully pressed…

 

Beginning anywhere, and never ending then,

There is a cycle that turns the tide and recycles again.

Words… born of wood and passed from paper, disappear,

And, like the beating heart beats, repeat, to meet just the right ear…

 

2

I’m finally getting the last heavy-duty moving-and-decorating things done this weekend! Yesterday the shelves in the bedroom were hung up, including my nail polish shelf (topped off with my lovely commission by @maria-tries of Clint and Natasha painting their nails).

The gallery wall looks really fancy and adult, but nearly half of it is some kind of fandom reference. (And yeah, some of the frames don’t have art in them yet and the blue one is gonna be swapped out, it’s still a work in progress.)

There’s a tiny loki in a frame, from the time my friends pranked me and I came home to find  the place COVERED in Loki. On the walls, in the shower, in the fridge, hidden between my clothes, in my sock drawer… I found some Lokis like four months later between my summer clothes.

A pizza dog frame with all the Clint and Kate symbols. My commissions from @dr-kara (Phil and Clint being schmoopy on a date) and @notallbees (Bucky and Nat knitting).

And of course the ‘that sounds totally gator toes’ artwork I made in honour of @essieincinci‘s Chubby College Bucky x Cap AU.

Writing Exercise: Fixing Grey

What follows is a challenge I gave myself to re-write the first chapter of E.L. James’ murder thriller “Grey: 50 Shades of Grey From Christian’s Perspective”

The goal was to make the text less bad, less creepy, and less boring without changing the overall flow and structure. Specifically I refraind from making changes to the spoken dialogue unless absolutely necessary.

Additionally there’s a poetic justice to re-writing something with roots so firmly planted in fan fiction when the author vocally despises fan fiction and tries her damndest to root it out.

I hope you enjoy Chapter 1 of “Fixing Grey”


A commotion at the door brings me to my feet as a whirl of long chestnut hair, pale limbs, and brown boots tumbles headfirst into my office. Instinctively I laugh at the slapstick, though instantly regret it, embarrassed for us both. I hustle from my desk to help her up, but clear, embarrassed eyes meet mine and halt me in my tracks.

They are the most extraordinary color, powder blue, and guileless, and for one moment, I think she can see right through me and I’m left…exposed.

She has a small, sweet face that is blushing now, a no doubt stressful day made all the worse.

“Ms. Kavanagh. I’m Christian Grey. Are you all right? Would you like to sit?”

Her blush deepens as she collects herself and her things from the floor. She’s quite attractive—slight, pale, with a mane of dark hair barely contained by a hair tie.

I extend my hand as she stutters the beginning of a mortified apology and places her hand in mine. Her skin is cool and soft, but her handshake surprisingly firm.

“Miss Kavanagh is indisposed, so she sent me. I hope you don’t mind, Mr. Grey.” Her voice is quiet with a hesitant musicality, and she blinks erratically, flustered from the spectacle. Unable to keep the amusement from my voice I ask who she is.

“Anastasia Steele. I’m studying English literature with Kate, um… Katherine…um…Miss Kavanagh, at WSU Vancouver.”

Truly she looks all the part of the bashful, bookish type, her slight frame hidden beneath a shapeless, large-knit sweater, an A-line brown skirt, and utilitarian boots. She looks nervously around my office— everywhere but at me.

How can this young woman be a journalist? She doesn’t seem to have an assertive bone in her body. She’s flustered, meek, submissive, none of the bravado and cockiness typical of fresh young journalists, self-assuredly polishing shelf space for that first Pulitzer. I begin to ask her to sit, then notice her discerning gaze appraising my office paintings. Before I even register I’ve started, I find I’m explaining them. “A local artist. Trouton.”

“They’re lovely. Raising the ordinary to extraordinary,” she says dreamily, lost in the exquisite, fine artistry of Trouton’s work. Her profile is delicate—an upturned nose, soft, full lips—and in her words she has captured my sentiments exactly.

Raising the ordinary to extraordinary.

It’s a keen observation. Ms. Steele is bright.

I agree and watch, fascinated, as that flush creeps slowly over her skin once more. As I sit down opposite her, she fishes some crumpled sheets of paper and a digital recorder out of her large bag. She’s all thumbs, dropping the thing twice on the Bauhaus coffee table. It’s so obvious she’s never done this before it’s amusing. On perhaps any other day I would find such amateur behavior grating, but now I hide my smile beneath my index finger and resist the urge to set the recorder up for her myself.

When it’s finally ready, she peeks up at me through her bangs and bites down on her full bottom lip. There’s a spark as our eyes meet, my smile grows, despite my desire to maintain professional decorum.

“S-Sorry, I’m not used to this.” She stutters, breaking the gaze.

“Take all the time you need, Ms. Steele.”

“Do you mind if I record your answers?” she asks, her face candid and expectant.

I chuckle. “After you’ve taken so much trouble to set up the recorder, you ask me now?”

She blinks, her eyes large and lost for a moment, she begins to stammer an apology, though her mouth curls with a smile of her own at the tease.

“No, I don’t mind.”

“Did Kate, I mean, Miss Kavanagh, explain what the interview was for?”

“Yes, for the graduation issue of the student newspaper, as I’ll be giving the commencement address at this year’s graduation ceremony.”

Ms. Steele blinks once more, as if this is news to her—and she looks disapproving. Hasn’t she done any background work for this interview? Ms. Kavanagh seems to have thrown her friend to the wolves.

“Good. I have some questions, Mr. Grey.” She tucks a lock of hair behind her ear.

“I thought you might,” I say, with a chuckle, teasing again. Internally I chastise myself. It’s unprofessional to flirt with an interviewer, amateur or not, but the entire meeting, from her stumbling entrance onward, has left me on the wrong foot. There’s an absurdity to it all, and it’s difficult to take it seriously.

As though sharing my thoughts she pulls herself upright and squares her small shoulders. She means business. Leaning forward, she presses the start button on the recorder and frowns as she glances down at her crumpled notes.

“You’re very young to have amassed such an empire. To what do you owe your success?”

A dull, boiler-plate question. I trot out my usual response about having exceptional people working for me. People I trust, insofar as I trust anyone, and pay well—blah, blah, blah…But Miss Steele, the simple fact is, I’m brilliant at what I do. For me it’s like falling off a log. Buying ailing, mismanaged companies and fixing them, keeping some or, if they’re really broken, stripping their assets and selling them off to the highest bidder. It’s simply a question of knowing the difference between the two, and invariably it comes down to the people in charge. To succeed in business you need good people, and I can judge a person, better than most.

“Maybe you’re just lucky,” she says quietly.

Lucky? If only she knew just how much in this universe is ordained by little more than pure luck. But that’s not the public face. Luck is terrifying, so we must pretend to be masters. I roll out the old standards, hard work, drive, ambition, vision, and the American Dream. Precision, discipline, and an unwillingness to settle for second.

I quote the words of Andrew Carnegie, “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”

“You sound like a control freak,” she says. Is she teasing me now?

“Oh, I exercise control in all things, Miss Steele.”

That attractive blush steals across her face, and she bites her lip again. I ramble on.

“Besides, immense power is acquired by assuring yourself, in your secret reveries, that you were born to control things.”

“Do you feel that you have immense power?” she asks in a soft, soothing voice, but she arches a delicate brow with a look that conveys her censure. She is definitely teasing me now.

“I employ over forty thousand people. That gives me a certain sense of responsibility—power, if you will. If I were to decide I was no longer interested in the telecommunications business and sell, twenty thousand people would struggle to make their mortgage payments after a month or so.”

Her mouth pops open at my response.

“Don’t you have a board to answer to?”

“I own my company. I don’t have to answer to a board.” It’s a lie. Well, a partial truth. Grey Enterprises Holdings has no board, but Grey Enterprises Indonesia, Grey Enterprises Development, Arc-tel Communications, each of a dozen smaller arms, each an isolated and insulated corporation, they have boards, and I sit on each one. But image is everything, and few images are quite as potent as that of the young billionaire ruling like Caesar.

“And do you have any interests outside your work?” she continues.

“I have varied interests, Miss Steele. Very varied.”

“But if you work so hard, what do you do to chill out?”

“Chill out?” I laugh. The phrase is comically unprofessional, but she looks at me again with those ingenuous big eyes, and I find myself easing into it. What do I do to chill out? Sailing, flying, I rattle off the typical hobbies of the wealthy, though it’s impersonal and I’m left feeling like I’ve avoided answering the question that was asked.

She rolls through the questions given to her by Ms. Kavanagh, disappointingly rote questions about business and philanthropy, my reputation as a private man, and much of the earlier playfulness drains from the conversation. I find myself wishing she’d break from script again, wishing that we could converse rather than interview. I wonder what her own answers would be. What does Ms. Steele do to chill out?

“Do you have a philosophy? If so, what is it?”

“I don’t have a philosophy as such. Maybe a guiding principle—Carnegie’s: ‘A man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.’ I’m very singular, driven. I like control—of myself and those around me.”

“So you want to possess things?”

I pause. An interesting question with a curious framing. Despite the almost half hour of rote questions I’m disarmed. It’s easy to be in her presence, and I want to be honest with her. Looking her in the eyes, those wonderful pale blue eyes, I nod, “I want… to deserve to possess them, but yes, bottom line, I do.”

My answer seems to have evoked some curiosity, her head has cocked to the side, and she lets my words hang for a moment. A smile on her lips, she opens her mouth and inhales as though she were preparing to follow up. To my disappointment she seems to change her mind and her eyes return to her script.

“Are you gay, Mr. Grey?”

What the hell!?

I cannot believe she’s said that out loud! She appears to be equally mortified by the words coming out of her own mouth, but it’s too late to put them back in.

The mood whiplash hangs like a ringing in the ears after a bombshell, as I debate answering. I could, and perhaps should, end this right there. The question is not only invasive, it’s insultin.

Slowly I answer, “No, Anastasia, I’m not.” I furrow my eyebrow, as I try to suss out where, exactly, such an inappropriate question came from.

“I apologize. It’s, um…written here.” She’s in a borderline panic.

Are these not her questions? I ask her, and she pales, like an animal caught in the headlights. My chest flushes with sympathy; what a miserable day this must be.

“Er…no. Kate—Miss Kavanagh— she compiled the questions.”

“Are you colleagues on the student paper?”

“No. She’s my roommate.”

No wonder she’s all over the place, Ms. Kavanagh didn’t just throw her to the wolves, she coated her in sauce before hand.

I scratch my chin. Despite the offence there’s something endearing, something genuine, in her reaction.

“Did you volunteer to do this interview?” I ask,

“I was drafted. She’s not well.” Her voice is soft.

“That explains a great deal.”

There’s a knock at the door, and Andrea appears.

“Mr. Grey, forgive me for interrupting, but your next meeting is in two minutes.”

“We’re not finished here, Andrea. Please tell them to start without me.”

Andrea gapes at me, looking confused. I nod at her, sure of myself. I trust things won’t crumble if I’m absent for one status update. I hire good people

“Very well, Mr. Grey,” she says, turning and leaving.

The room is still heavy as the glass door shuts. While it was open the distant sounds of the building, the clatter of people, expanded through the room. As it closes we are plunged into a silence that we were both tensely aware of. The faux pas has changed the air of the room. It’s tense, ashamed, yet… honest? Intimate?

I’m the first to break that silence, “Where were we, Miss Steele?”

“Please, don’t let me keep you from anything.”

“I want to know about you. I think that’s only fair.” As I lean back and press my fingers to my lips, her eyes flick to my mouth and she swallows.

“There’s not much to know,” she says, her blush returning. I’m intimidating her. I exhale, leaning into the chair, hoping to set her at ease.

“What are your plans after you graduate?”

“I haven’t made any plans, Mr. Grey. I just need to get through my final exams.”

“We run an excellent internship program here.”

She looks surprised, and her teeth sink into her lip again with an endearing predictability.

“Oh. I’ll bear that in mind,” she replies. “Though I’m not sure I’d fit in here.”

“Why do you say that?” I ask.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?”

“Not to me.” I’m confounded by her response. She’s flustered again as she reaches for the recorder.

Shit, she’s going. Mentally I run through my schedule for that afternoon—there is nothing that won’t keep.

“Would you like me to show you around?” I ask, eager to keep her here, eager to smooth things over. I don’t want her to go, not with this tension hanging over us.

“I’m sure you’re far too busy, Mr. Grey, and I do have a long drive.”

“You’re driving back to Vancouver?” I glance out the window. It’s one hell of a drive, and it’s raining. “Well, you’d better drive carefully.” My voice is sterner than I intend. She fumbles with the recorder. She wants out of my office, but I don’t want her to go.

“Did you get everything you need?”

I ask in a transparent effort to prolong her stay.

“Yes, sir,” the words are quiet, her eyes cast down. “Thank you for the interview, Mr. Grey.” She says, peeking up again through her bangs, looking me in the eye. There’s a tension in the moment, sudden warmth rushing through my chest.

I realize I’m not breathing.

With a clumsy inhale I respond “The pleasure’s been all mine.” It’s the truth. Awkwardness, and boredom included, I haven’t been this engaged by anyone for a while. She stands and I extend my hand, eager to touch her.

“Until we meet again, Miss Steele.”

My voice is low as she places her hand in mine. I barely know her, but I don’t want to let go. I swallow.

“Mr. Grey.” She nods and withdraws her hand.

I can’t let her go like this. It’s obvious she’s desperate to leave. Inspiration hits me as I open my office door.

“Just ensuring you make it through the door,” I quip.

“That’s very considerate, Mr. Grey,” she says, the tension relaxing at last.

I smile behind her as she exits, and follow her out. Both Andrea and Olivia look up as we walk into the foyer.

“Did you have a coat?” I ask.

“A jacket.”

I motion to Olivia and she immediately leaps up to retrieve a navy jacket, passing it to me with her usual precision.

Hmm. The jacket is worn and inexpensive. Ms. Anastasia Steele should be better dressed. I hold it up for her, and as I pull it over her slim shoulders, I touch the skin at the base of her neck. She stills at the contact.

Strolling over to the elevator, I press the call button while she stands fidgeting beside me.

The doors open and she scurries in, then turns to face me. She’s more than attractive. I would go as far as to say she’s beautiful.

“Anastasia,” I say, in good-bye.

“Christian,” she answers, her voice soft. And the elevator doors close, leaving my name hanging in the air between us, sounding odd and unfamiliar, but sexy as hell.

I need to know more about this girl.

“Andrea,” I call as I return to my office. “Get me Welch on the line, please.”

As I sit at my desk and wait for the call, I look at the paintings on the wall of my office, and Ms. Steele’s words drift back to me. “Raising the ordinary to extraordinary.”

My phone buzzes. “I have Mr. Welch on the line for you.”

“Put him through.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Welch, I need you to find me a phone number.”

I’ve been painting my nails with this color a lot lately, and I just realized it’s tumblr blue. So the poison has finally reached my brain.

He Doesn't Get the Girl

He doesn’t get the girl, because she isn’t something you can get.

One “gets” possessions, and she isn’t that.  

She isn’t a prize.

She isn’t something you can win.

She isn’t a trophy you can put on a shelf and polish.

She isn’t a reward for doing something right.  

She isn’t an object you can own.

She isn’t yours.

She’s her own.

She’s a person. Flesh and blood. Teeth and bone. Fear and love and happiness and hate. She’s fire and hail. She’s a blizzard, a hurricane. Something you can’t catch, something you can’t tame.  

He doesn’t get the girl.

She gets herself.

She’s her own.

And nothing – not a ring on her finger or a chain around her neck – makes her yours.

But what if, in the beginning, it was Abel that was made for Lucifer? Abel that was built to be courted by the most terrifying and the brightest of the archangels, and it was Cain’s terrible protectiveness that caused him to beg for anything, anything to give Abel just a little longer free of Lucifer.

And Lucifer accepted, because how could he know that making his deal with Cain would end up with him in the Cage? What’s a lifetime to an archangel but a blink of an eye? And he thought he would return for Abel until Abel was taken forever out of his grasp when Lucifer was cast down into the Pit.

And sweet, gentle, trusting Abel lived for thousands of years in Heaven until the cycle began anew, until his soul was taken off the shelf and polished and placed within the heart of Sam Winchester, but Cain’s deal and curse tainted his body and blood with the stain of Hell.

Because no one ever told Cain that Abel was always meant to belong to Lucifer, just as Cain was always meant to be the vessel for Michael, and that Cain’s bloodline was the one that eventually mellowed into Campbell, a family of hunters since the dawn of time, just as Cain hunted those who had wronged him, and that eventually gave life anew to his brother and his successor.

Sam and Dean Winchester.

Footsie

Hope this is alright for your prompt, anon!!

———-

Emma was happy to have a break.

She did enjoy spending time with Killian, that was true. But it seemed that most of their time together was spent running from (or towards) danger, saving Storybrooke, or was interrupted in some form or another. What time they did spend together was nice, but she was constantly wondering what they were, and how to sort out the feelings between them. She knew Killian wanted to know as well, but he respected her enough to let her sort it out at her own pace.

The savior had convinced herself they weren’t an item.

(Yet.)

Nevertheless, she was thankful he understood when she had declined his offer of going to the docks that afternoon. Ruby had invited Emma to get her nails done at Fairy Godmothers’ Nails and Spa, and they had decided to drag Marion along to further accustom her to the new realm.

Imagine her surprise when she saw a leather clad pirate soaking his feet in a bubbling cauldron of bath salts and flower petals.

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