she's a work in process


LEMONTEAFLOWER (known for the Miss Officer and Mr. Truffles Kickstarter scandal and drawing a lot of porn of underage characters) DID NOT CREATE VILLAINOUS NOR SHE THE ONLY PERSON WORKING ON THE SHOW

Animation is a massively collaborative process and there are probably literally HUNDREDS of other animators and artists involved with the production of Villainous, none of which stand for/support LemonTeaFlower or what they did

By saying “DON’T SUPPORT THE SHOW BECAUSE LEMONTEAFLOWER WORKED ON IT!!” YOU ARE DAMNING EVERY SINGLE OTHER INNOCENT MEMBER OF THE CREW, INCLUDING THE REAL CREATOR ALAN ITURIEL (who might I add seems like an extremely freaking awesome dude who’s been retweeting tons of fan art for his show over on Twitter)

Don’t let one person with a bad reputation ruin the efforts of so many others. Support Villainous.

UPDATE: Ami (LemonTeaFlower) also made a statement about their past actions here that I very much encourage everybody to read.

Penny is pretty scary to kids normally but in the Theater of Flesh she’s a way better alternative than the average resident. 


Floom Helps Independent Florists’ Businesses Bloom

This feature is part of #MadeToCreate, a series highlighting our community of entrepreneurs, makers and artisans on Instagram.

A flamingo-pink parrot tulip. A fistful of sun-yellow ranunculus and magenta anemone. (And not a single bouquet of two dozen long-stemmed red roses in sight.) This is Floom (@floomofficial), an online delivery service that supports locally sourced bouquets. “Everything you’re buying is from an independent florist,” says Lana Elie, the 30-year-old founder of the UK-based business. While working as a personal assistant, she grew frustrated with the process of sending flowers. “Using those companies, it’s the same flowers all year round, but flowers are seasonal. Why do I have to buy roses?” she says. “Flowers are an emotional product — someone’s died, it’s a birthday, a baby is born — and you’re buying from a company that you don’t know and what shows up looks nothing like what you ordered. There’s a real lack of personality.” Luckily, there’s no such problem at Floom. 💐

Can't We Start Over?

||| @mhe28andal Can i request a scenario where Y/N and Jungkook broke up in bad terms a year ago and got into an accident where Y/N only remembers that you were still together? |||

Jeon Jungkook x Reader

Genre: Angst

Word count: 1,009

Originally posted by orchid-bud

Your eyes were heavy and slowly, bit by bit you tried to open them up. The room was white and from all the equipment around you, you realised that you’re in the hospital.

“Y/N! Dear, you’re awake!” someone said.

“Jungkook?” you asked.

“No, Y/N, it’s your mom.”

“Mom, where’s Jungkook?”

“What do you mean where is he?”

“I have to call him, make sure he’s okay,” you said in a shaky voice. You quickly sat up and started searching for your phone when your mother noticed what you’re looking for and gave it to you before laying you back down. You frantically searched for his number in your address book, you checked a few times, scrolling through it from the start to the end just to make sure but it wasn’t there. You looked at your mother who stared at you with a sorrowful expression.

“Mom, why don’t I have his number?” you asked. It seems like she wanted to say something.

“Tell me!” you begged her. “Is he okay?”

“Y/N do you remember what happened?”

“Oh my God, is he? Is he okay?” you couldn’t hold it in anymore and started crying.

“He’s fine or I think he is, I don’t know but the doctor did say the hit to your head was pretty hard, what else do you-”

“Mom! I don’t care about that. I have to call him,” you said and snatched your mother’s phone from her hand, she used to have his number as well and you sighed in relief when you found it. You quickly called him before your mother could stop you.

“Y/N, let me just say one thing, you might end up pretty disappointed,” but you didn’t listen to her anymore as he already picked up.

“Jungkook?! Where are you?”

“What? Who is this?”

“It’s me Y/N, don’t you recognise my voice?”

“Y/N? What do you want?” your heart sank at his question, a nervous laughter escaped your throat as you had no idea how to react.

“I thought you said yourself that we’re done. Don’t call me anymore,” he said and hung up.

You sat there not knowing what happened and only now did you felt the pain in your whole body, your legs were stiff and you lifted the covers off to look what it was. One of them was broken. Your mother put her hand on your thigh, reassuring you that your leg will be okay before speaking.

“Y/N, dear, he wasn’t with you when the accident happened. You were driving from work alone,” you had trouble processing what she was saying, you remember him being there. There was a pause before she spoke again. “It might be a bit of a shock but… but you two broke up before all of this happened.”

You couldn’t believe it, why would you even do that? Is your mind playing tricks on you? You needed to think.

“Mom, could you leave? I want to be alone for a while.”

“Of course, I understand. The doctor said that you might experience a minor memory loss but it might come back if you’re willing to work for it,” she smiled. “I will be back in the evening.”


You lay in your bed for hours and watched how the city was engulfed in darkness and wanted nothing more but to remember. You heard your room door open and turned your head, thinking that it’s your mother. The light coming out of the hall was restricting your view as it was completely dark inside. After looking at the person for a while you then recognised who it was and closed your eyes. What do you say? The person came in and closed the door. Without turning the light switch on he picked up a chair from the corner and sat besides your bed. He was silent for a few minutes.

“Y/N, I know you’re not actually asleep, so stop pretending,” Jungkook sighed. “I met your mother or rather she called me and told me what happened.”

You wondered what he was thinking and as if he could read your mind he answered.

“She also told me that you lost part of your memory,” you two didn’t say anything again for a while after that. You were the first to break the silence.

“Is it true?” you asked and he took a deep breath before speaking.

“It will be easier if I say all of it in one go. We broke up. That’s true. It’s as simple as that. I’m sorry that you don’t remember and I may seem harsh now but you yourself told me that you would rather die than stay with me, so I…” he stopped, wondering how to finish his statement and you used this chance to slip your hand from under your covers. Hearing this from him broke your heart and you wanted to hold him but he didn’t do anything and fell silent again.

“Just take it, you idiot,” you thought and you could feel tears starting to stream down your face. As if knowing, he finally took your hand and you squeezed it tightly.

“Don’t cry,” he said turning his head away. “It was always one of my weaknesses,” he whispered so quietly, you weren’t sure you even heard it.

You stayed like this and it seemed that time stopped. You couldn’t see his features clearly in this darkness but from his breathing you knew he was in deep thought. He squeezed back your hand and let go of it before standing up.

“I… I need to go. Please don’t contact me again,” he said and went to the door.

“Jungkook, wait!” you wanted to chase after him but your broken leg was holding you back and you almost fell out of the bed.

“Can’t we start over?” you begged, sitting up. He stopped in the doorway.

“It wouldn’t be fair if I’m the only one who remembers what happened,” he told you and without sparing you another glance left the room and you alone in the darkness.

I honestly feel like majority of the fandom skipped over or conveniently forgets this conversation. This just emphasizes the reality of the Titan realm. There is no such thing as making a choice with no regrets - just the choice of least regret.

I remember people were all over Levi’s back for being so brutal against Eremika. I’ve already explained it was self-defense in another post (pretty sure it’s under the snk 83 or snk 84 tag). But no where did I see anyone criticizing Hange’s total disregard for anyone’s feelings lol I’m not mad because, at this point, I would’ve been just as done as Hange.

All this to say that she spares no one from the harsh realities of the battlefield and forces them to open their eyes to the truth. In the situation they’re in, they can’t afford emotional outbursts. Mikasa understsnds this, for she stated as much to Armin when they believed Eren was swallowed by a titan. It’s just easier said than done, and she’s realized this is something she needs to work on after getting Levi injured by Annie. It’s a long process of selective desensitization. Eren has yet to even comprehend this concept, so hearing this from Hange is probably harder for him to swallow.

Her admission probably added more salt to the wound in Levi’s heart to hear that Hange expected him to make the better decision and he let her down by allowing his own emotions for Erwin - and although he wouldn’t admit it - for the 104th “cadets” to guide his decision.

I love this scene because Isayama acknowledges what the fandom doesn’t and sets the record straight so that they can move forward and learn from their mistakes.

anonymous asked:

What's the best way to date Prof Reyes, Morrison, Reinhardt and McCree? Bonus points for including other profs of choice

Reyes: Prof. Reyes usually doesn’t acknowledge if he’s crushing on someone unless someone points it out to him. So confessing to him won’t really get you anywhere, he has to ask you.

Once you two are dating I’m sure it’s not hard to see that he is a man that exudes confidence, style, and sophistication. He doesn’t take bullshit and he’s definitely not shy about letting you or anyone else know if you’ve fucked up or did something wrong. Be prepared to have thick skin or quickly develop it. You will also need to adapt or come to terms with his lifestyle (Workout sessions, Volunteering schedules, intense workout sessions, etc. etc.) For you, you gotta have tons of confidence, your style better be top notch, have lots of energy (for various reasons), be quick on your feet. Don’t be discouraged from his stoic/hardened look, he’s a softy that has a weakness for homemade things, and small gifts.

Reinhardt: He may be the associate dean but he can be rather dense on advances. And because of his old school nature, he likes to keep things tamed and resolute for the beginning stages of a relationship–though this should go without saying, he’s always open to well-tempered change.

Lmao, I can tell you for sure that sneaking beneath his desk or suggest some secret meetings after getting milk spilled on you by him will not get you where you want to be. Gotta keep your eye on the prize and look at that long term goal. He’s the knight in shining armor from a fairy tale long since told and although he may be dense, once the romantic sensations become mutual, he will bend even mountains before your feet if you ever so wish. And to get there… Well, just be yourself. Hold his attention, relate to what he’s talking about, give him a reason to look at you and make sure that reason is enough for him to come back. Genuinity is a lot to him. Keep that in mind, dear student.

Morrison He’s a real simple dude. Wants to settle down someday, looking for a nice girl. But I mean, not just a nice girl, he wants someone he can share good conversations with, cause he loves to listen to his significant other talk. Especially when they get excited about something. He wants someone who can eat though. None of that in I’m a diet shit. But seriously he likes listening to his s/o talk, there are so many people that are intimidated by him, it makes him a little lonely.

McCree: Be able to go with the flow, and not get hung up on little things. He may seem like a spontaneous kinda guy, but all your dates and outing are well thought out. Even when he pulls up to your house at 2 am and insists that you’re going out. Also, hope you like beard burn.

Bonus~! Vaswani: Professor Vaswani is probably one of the most beautiful and intelligent women you’ll ever meet in your life. In fact, she’s one of the most beautiful and intelligent women most people will ever meet in their life. And at first that might seem a bit intimidating, her effortless poise, elegance that seems to come like second nature to her, the way she speaks every word with intent, perfectly measured cadence. Might make you feel like in the presence of royalty. But there’s really no reason to be frightened around her. She is much softer than she leads on. Much warmer and just as passionate for those she holds dear as she is about her work. You are just as much of a piece of art to her, after all.
There are a few things she would expect from you, however. 

Punctuality is number one. 

You need to understand how important a schedule is for her. Patience is second. Do not get fussy when she is working, and just like she would never disturb your process you need to do the same. PDA is not something she is entirely on board with and you need to learn when and where she would be comfortable with it. 

Learning about her hobbies and interests would be a plus as well. Dancing and fashion are the most major ones. If your style is not that great, expect her to make some subtle improvements, personalized to you. After all, since she expects you to learn about her interests, she is going to make sure she does the same. A good way to surprise her is always a museum date, or a stop at the fancy tea shop, or just a nice stroll down a previously unexplored part of the city full of interesting new buildings. 

All in all, Professor Vaswani is one very elegant and smart lady and honestly, even after the initial excitement of a new relationship fades, you would still be in at least a little bit of awe of her.

A Wild Night in Vegas -- Part 14.3

Happy Tuesday everyone! And happy Wednesday @widchadidcha. This is the final part of the massive 14th chapter of Vegas! @outlandishchridhe and I are proud of it, as usual. We’re hard at work on the next chapter, which, if you’ve been keeping track, takes us into the 9th month of the Fraser Bairn Watch. ;) I hope you enjoy this final part of the chapter!

Catch up on the previous part of chapter 14 HERE

Fraser Bairn Watch: Month 8

For once, they actually woke at nearly the same time. Jamie caught her in the middle of a yawn and large stretch, grinning at her straining belly.

“Good morning,” he said, kissing her lips softly.

“Good morning to you too.”

“How’s the bairn?”

She shrugged and began the irritating process of getting out of bed. Finally on her feet, she lurched up and staggered for the bathroom. Jamie was still lounging when she emerged after her shower.

“Are you going to just lie there all day?”

He shrugged and folded his arms behind his head. She didn’t miss the way the morning sun caught on his down hairs, bathing him in gold.

“I might. Dinna have to work today.”

Pulling a dresser drawer open, she started the next process of getting dressed.

“But you can’t stay there all day. I have to get started on dinner preparations for Henry tonight and you need to call him. And, didn’t you promise me the crib would be built before you went back to work?”

His blue eyes narrowed.

“I swear, wi’ this pregnancy, half the time you’d forget yer bloody head if it wasna attached, but ye remember perfectly words I said near three weeks ago.”

“Just don’t say something you don’t want me to remember and we’ll be fine. I can make a quick breakfast before I take over the kitchen.”

With a grunt of mild frustration, he got out of bed and came around to stand near her. Stark naked, he was a mighty sight to behold and she felt a chill run down her back. He must have watched the thought move across her face, because he smiled and leaned in for a long, slow kiss.

“I was given to believe pregnancy made a woman less needy. But wi’ you, it’s like ye canna get enough.”

“That’s probably because I can’t. And we’re getting close to the end of this thing. Our lives are changing.”

“Aye,” he said, kissing her neck. “They are. And I’m verra glad they’re changing wi’ you.”

She giggled and gave a playful smack to his arse as he headed for the shower.

“I’ll have breakfast ready when you’re done.”

Claire set the eggs, bacon, and toast down on the table as Jamie came out, running a towel over his head.

“The crib is still where you left it,” she said, nodding to the wall the box leaned against.

“Aye, I ken. I nearly stub my toe on it every night. Can I no’ have my breakfast first?”

A rather loud gurgle filled the apartment and they both laughed. Jamie’s iron stomach could handle just about anything, but it refused to be taken from its routine of being regularly filled.

“Of course you can. And call Henry. Oh! Ask him if he’s any food allergies.”

Jamie pulled out his cell phone as he sat at the small table.

“Henry? It’s Jamie. Aye, I ken it’s early, but you’ve never been one to sleep in late. No, no we’re both good. All three of us, aye… Actually, Claire, the bairn, and I wanted to invite ye over for dinner tonight. Excellent! Claire will be pleased to hear. Have ye developed any food allergies lately?” Jamie nodded and smiled. “Aye, see you tonight. Claire thinks around six thirty?” Jamie raised his brows at her and she nodded. “Good.”

Putting his phone down on the table, Jamie set about eating his breakfast. Claire nibbled on her own while she began running through her mental inventory of their kitchen. With only the three adults, they wouldn’t need a massive amount of food. But Henry was clearly important to Jamie, so she wanted it to be nice.

Reaching around her, Jamie put his dishes in the sink and kissed her cheek, one hand on her waist. She turned to him, not satisfied with the small peck, and accepted his real kiss.

“Do you need help moving the crib?”

He shook his head and patted her bottom.

“Nah. I’m gonna push the couch back a bit and set it up all in the living room here. Gi’ myself some space to get it all together. Is our wee tool bag still in the closet?”

“It is. I haven’t had a need to touch it.”

In short order, he’d demolished the box (“Why the hell did they child-proof a bloody cardboard box? I dinna think God himself could get into this thing!”), set all the pieces and hardware out in neat piles, and gathered the tools he’d need. Claire smiled to herself as she began the dinner. She began mixing together cake batter while the oven warmed.

“Why does it need to be so big? The bairn’s going to be the size of a watermelon, aye?”

“Did you really just ask if your daughter was going to be the size of a watermelon?!”

“No, I asked if my son would be that size. But why does a crib really need to have so many wee parts?”

As she poured the batter into the cake pan, she snorted.

“Because it needs to hold together. Son or daughter, your child is going to be sleeping in that. You want it to be secure, don’t you?”

A few moments of silence passed.

“Aye,” Jamie said grudgingly. “I do.”

“Have you lost the instructions?”

“No, they’re right here.”

Claire eyed the cake pan and the oven, trying to strategize how she’d lean over to open the oven and insert the cake. It took some creative maneuvering, but she got it in without losing anything.

“Alright. That’s going to bake for a few minutes. Then I can let it cool while I get-” she turned to check on Jamie’s progress and stopped.

He sat cross legged on the floor, leaning over and poking through a pile of screws. His red curls, still a little damp, fell in front of his face and he pushed them back habitually. For the first time since she’d known him, Claire saw Jamie in his reading glasses. She’d had no idea he even had glasses. The black, square frames continuously slid down his nose, which he hardly seemed to notice.

Finding what he needed, he sat up and began to assemble something. At one point, he bent his head forward to peer over the top of his glasses and Claire just lost it. Maybe subsequent pregnancies wouldn’t make her quite this needy, but this one certainly did.

She dropped the hand towel on the counter and made straight for him like a heat-seeking missile. Hearing her coming, Jamie turned his head and looked up at her.

“Do ye need me to open something again, a nighean?”

Gracelessly, she plopped herself on the ground and pulled him to her. Her kiss caught him off guard, surprise jolting through him as he leaned awkwardly to reach her.

“I take that as a no, then?”

“You never said you wore glasses,” she said, tugging and pulling at her shirt.

“Ah…” he said, puzzled. “I dinna wear them verra often. Dinna need them unless I’m verra tired or the print is too small. Sassenach, what’s-”

“Shut up,” she said, silencing him with another kiss.

With much more dexterity than Jamie had had with the box, Claire had him on his back and his trousers around his ankles in less than a minute.

“Christ, woman!”

Looking down, over her belly, at him, she winked.

“Claire will do just fine.”

His hands came up to spread over her belly, the baby inside announcing her irritation with being jostled.

“He doesna seem too happy.”

“For this moment in time, I don’t care.”

Struggling with her own trousers, she finally got them off and sat up, preparing to swing a leg over.

“I canna say I mind this neediness of yours, mo chridhe.”

“I’ve never wanted anyone so much,” she said, watching his lips part as she stroked him. “Even when I’ve just had you, I want you so much my chest feels tight and my fingers ache with wanting to touch you again - to have you again.”

Slowly, his body began churning, trying to create friction with her hand.

“Aye,” he breathed. “I feel it too.”

“So I’ll have you again,” she settled her knees down on the floor. “To feel that tightness release. To feed this addiction I have.” She held them both right on the edge, so near to that soul-deep connection. “And when the need strikes me again, I’ll have you again. And you’ll have me.”

His eyes peeled open just enough to meet hers and he nodded.

“Please, Claire.”

Her head fell back as she took him home once more. Despite her increased size, she had full control of most of her body and used it to torture him sweetly. Grinning down at him, she began rolling her hips in a slow, exaggerated circle. Jamie groaned beneath her. He reached up to remove his glasses, but she caught his wrist.

“I don’t think I said you could take those off.”

“It’s just a pair of glasses, Sassenach.”

“Yes. And they’re rather… different. Don’t take them off yet.”

Giving her a curious glance, he settled his hands on her thighs.

“Different? Like bedding wi’ someone else, then?”

She shrugged and twisted her hips from one side to the other.

“Maybe a little.”

When his hands moved from her thighs around to her backside, she stopped.

“Why’d ye stop?” he asked, voice a little pleading.

“Did I say you could grab my arse?”

His brows shot up.

“I need permission to fondle my own wife’s arse, then?”

“Don’t you remember last night? Struggling will only make it worse for ye,” she said in a sorry attempt at a Scottish accent.

His chuckle quickly faded into a groan as she moved again, slowly. No matter how much he tried to make her go faster, do something else, she refused. After a few minutes, she took his hands and moved them up to her breasts.

“Have I permission then, madam?”

“What do you think?”

“I think I’d much rather ye no’ torture me into an early grave.”

She couldn’t help but giggle a little.

“Oh we can’t have that. I’m nowhere near done with you yet.”

Picking her pace up slightly, she enjoyed him for a moment. Until his hands moved. Coming to a full stop, she glared down at him.

“What did I tell you?” she said sharply.

“Christ, Sassenach!”

“That’s not at all what I said.”

Squirming beneath her, he tried to lift his hips and recreate the friction. Her substantial weight, however, kept him pinned. For once, she had all the leverage.

“Damn you, woman!”

“No…” she said slowly. “I definitely didn’t say that either.”

“First ye couldna keep yer hands from me because of my glasses! And now ye wilna move. MAKE UP YER DAMN MIND SASSENACH!”

Reaching down, she grabbed his face in one hand and glared into his eyes.

“The more wrong answers you give me, the longer this is going to take. And not in the fun way.”

He fixed her with a stern look of his own before finally answering her.

“Ye said,” he responded through clenched teeth, “no’ to move my hands.”

“And?” she asked, quirking an eyebrow.

“And I moved my damned hands. For the love of God, Sassenach, do something!”

His hips moved involuntarily again, pushing just slightly against her, making her shiver.

“Good boy,” she purred. “Though if you’d followed the directions like you should have, we’d be nearly done by now.” She wiggled her hips a touch to illustrate her point.

“I swear to God ALMIGHTY Claire if ye dinna do something soon, you’ll be a widow.”

Turning his head, he looked up at her and glared darkly. His blue eyes were magnified through his glasses and she remembered the feelings and naughty thoughts when she’d first seen him. Assembling the crib for their child, glasses on the bridge of his nose as he read the instructions.

“Damn,” she muttered.

“What now!?”

“Something about you in glasses… I just…it makes me want to ravish you. Don’t you move a bloody muscle.”

He muttered something in Gaelic that she didn’t care to ask him to translate. The combination of his glasses and his rough Scottish burr lit something in her on fire and she rolled her hips hard against him, riding him as hard as she dared. Somehow, he still didn’t move his hands from where she’d put them.

With all her teasing and waiting, neither of them lasted very long. Claire leaned forward, breathing heavily but never ceasing in her movements, pulling Jamie with her over the edge. Her whole body shuddered against his as she went limp, planting her face into the crook of his neck.


Claire groaned, not wanting to move ever again from the position she was in.

“I think yer cake’s done, mo chridhe,” Jamie breathed softly, running his hands down her back along the bones of her spine and up, enjoying the gooseflesh that rose up under his fingers.

“Damn the cake,” she mumbled against his skin, tasting the salt of his sweat from their exertions.

“I ken ye dinna really mean that. Besides, we dinna want to burn the building down. Henry would be verra cross with us if we did.”

She laughed softly and groaned as she tried to push herself off of his chest.


“Yes, damn you, I hear you. I’m coming.”

After a moment of maneuvering, Jamie helped her off the floor, bending to get her clothes for her.

“I don’t have time for those right now. You’re right, I don’t want the cake to burn.”


Claire moved, naked as the day she was born, towards the kitchen and the oven, but he stopped her before she could open it.

“Yer going to fall in there, Sassenach, and then ye’ll be burned and it’ll ruin yer day. I’ll get it out for ye. Dinna fash.”

She eyed him, but took her clothes and started to dress herself again. Why had she not just worn a dress? Easier to get into and out of…and easier for other things as well…

“Sassenach? Where are ye right now? Ye’ve the look of a cat that’s had cream for it’s supper on yer face and it’s makin’ me a wee bit nervous.”

He made a silly face at her and she stuck out her tongue back, earning a swat to her still nude bottom.

“Go and put together our baby’s crib so I can finish making this food. Oh, and…can you keep your glasses in our room? Just, um, in case we need them?”

He gave her a sly smile, watching the rosy blush cover her cheeks.

“Aye. If that’s what ye like, mo chridhe, who am I to say I won’t wear them for ye on occasion?”


Claire fidgeted with her hair, which she’d fought down and pinned back. Jamie had said he enjoyed her wild hair, but she didn’t need tendrils taking on a mind of their own.

“Relax, mo chridhe. Ye’ve met Henry before.”

“Well, yes. But I thought he was just a landlord before. This is like… Well it’s like I’m meeting your family for the first time.”

A flash of hurt and regret moved over his face, but was gone when a knock came at their door.

“Come on, a nighean,” he said smiling, hand on the small of her back leading her forward.

Henry smiled on the other side of the door and Claire saw he had his arms full. In one hand was a nice bottle of whiskey and the other was a bouquet of flowers.

“I know you can’t have any of this yet, Claire, but I thought it would be a good thing to celebrate with later, when you can.”

“Oh Henry, that’s so sweet of you. Thank you!”

Claire took the flowers and put them in the vase that usually held her monthly roses. Jamie put the bottle up in one of the cupboards and came back out to the table to help Claire into her seat.

“This looks wonderful, Claire. Thank you for inviting me over.”

“You’re welcome, Henry. Jamie’s told me how much you’ve done for him since he came out here. You’re like family to him - to us.”

Henry blinked quickly and smiled fondly at Jamie.

“Oh! I almost forgot! Claire and I made ye something. I’ll be right back.”

Jamie hopped to his feet and dashed off to the bedroom for a moment.

“You are far too good for him, my dear. He can be a thick headed idiot sometimes. And you are sweet as an angel.” Claire flushed red at his praise.

“I know very well just how stubborn he can be. Unfortunately love doesn’t often follow logic. I couldn’t leave him any easier than I could take out my own heart.”

“I have to say I’ve never see him so happy. I’ve known him a number of years now, but there’s a life to him that… Well, I’m sure you see it as much as I do.”

Claire looked up to see Jamie returning with the card they’d made earlier.

“Yes,” she said, watching him smile back at her. “I do see it.”

Taking his seat again, Jamie handed over the card.

“I ken Christmas was yesterday, but we didn’t get this done until this morning.”

Late morning, Claire thought with a smirk.

Henry opened the card to see one of the ‘family’ photos she and Jamie had taken.

“Happy late Christmas, Henry. Thank ye for all ye’ve done for us. For both of us.”

“It’s been my pleasure. You’re both good kids.”

Jamie took Claire’s hand and squeezed it, grinning between both her and Henry. After that, they served themselves and had a delightful meal. Much to Jamie’s distress, Henry told a few stories about his first few weeks in Las Vegas.

“It wasna that bad!” Jamie protested.

Claire was giggling so hard tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Jamie, my boy… Yes, it was. You always got in the wrong side of the car. Every time.”

“Well it’s all backwards here!”

“For some reason, I can see that happening. I’m a little disappointed I never got to see it.”

Henry chuckled, a deep, soothing sound.

“I only wish I’d taken pictures. Just hearing him curse, early in the morning, in that odd language of his. God I hadn’t laughed that hard in ages.”

Jamie helped clear the table of dishes while Claire sliced the cake. The three of them settled in once more and Claire rubbed at her belly.

“You two…” Henry said quietly, looking between the two of them. “You remind me of me and my late wife.”

Jamie’s hand tightened on hers.

“Ye dinna talk much about her.”

“We married young. She was the prettiest girl on the block and I was in love with her the moment we met. Lucky for me, she had low standards and settled for me. My Julia was…” Henry paused to clear his throat. “Julia was my best friend. I loved her more than anything in the whole world. When I see the way you look at each other, it’s like watching me and Julia over again. It’s a rare and beautiful thing, what you both have. Cherish it.”

“I intend to, Henry. Claire’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I won’t ever forget that.”

“Same here,” Claire said softly.

Henry yawned and Jamie smiled at him.

“It’s getting late,” Henry said. “I should head home. Let the mother-to-be get some rest.”

They all stood and shuffled to the door. Henry paused and turned to hug Claire tight.

“He can be hard headed, like I said,” he whispered in her ear. “But he’s as loyal as they come. You hold onto him.”

“I will, Henry. I promise.” She hugged him back as strongly as she could.

Henry shook Jamie’s hand and headed out of the apartment building. As soon as the door was closed and locked, Jamie pulled her into a fierce hug.

“Thank ye for having him over, Sassenach.”

“Well you said he’s family. I wanted him to feel welcome here. And, well…” she wiped at the tears streaming down her cheeks. “I wanted him to like me. He’s basically your father here and I wanted to make a good impression as your wife and…”

Claire leaned heavily on Jamie, crying quietly.

“Hey,” Jamie said gently. “Hey, mo nighean donn, what’s the matter? What’s happened?”

“I don’t know why I’m such a mess! I just… He thinks I’m good for you.”

“Oh, my love,” Jamie chuckled. “You are the very best thing for me.”

Jamie rubbed her back softly, murmuring to her soothingly in Gaelic. She really ought to have him teach her enough to understand what he was saying all the time.

“Jamie, I had an idea while we had dinner.”

“Did ye? Come and tell me about it. Your feet must ache.”

Her feet were beginning to hurt, so she settled herself on the couch, stretching so her feet rested in Jamie’s lap. Pulling her shoes off, he began pressing his thumb into the arch of her foot, where it ached the most.

“So what was your idea, mo chridhe?”

“What if we asked Henry to be the baby’s godfather? Not that I expect anything to happen to either of us, but he’s our only family here. And, well… He’d be a great person to have around, to ask advice and all that. Do you think… Is that a stupid idea?”

It wasn’t until she looked up that she realized Jamie had stopped rubbing her feet. Tears were welling in his eyes and he nodded slowly.

“Claire… I think that’s the best idea. Henry will be so touched. And that ye’d ask it… Just when I think I canna fall more in love wi’ you, I get surprised. Aye. I’d love to ask Henry to be our baby’s godfather.”

“I think he will too. After all, he did a good job getting you acclimated to Vegas life. And he’s a good man,” she said, giggling softly.

“Aye, that he is. Come on, Sassenach. Let’s go to bed.”

“To bed…or to sleep?” she asked, wiggling her eyebrows at him.

“I guess ye’ll have to come and see, won’t ye, my wee vixen.”

She watched him with hungry eyes as she followed him down the hall to their bedroom… definitely not to sleep.

Anything for the Bakkoush siblings

Biology, and science in general, is very interesting to Sana. She likes learning how organisms work, she likes learning about the reasons why processes, things and begins are the way they are. She likes learning all that because it helps her make sense of the bigger picture. Sana loves that but what she doesn’t love is the pile of homework her Biology teacher always gives the class. Essays to write, experiments to do and pages over pages to read. Sana wonders if her biology teacher doesn’t know that she, and every other student, has other subjects to do work for.

Staring at her laptop she sighs and closes it. Sana thought having the house completely to herself, silent, would help her concentrate. Actually, it did. But she has been sitting at the kitchen table, completing task after task, for about three hours now. It’s about time to take a break. Her brain needs a rest. She gets up, stretches and walks over to the window to open it. Her mother had closed it before she left three and a half hours ago because she didn’t want Sana to get cold. The problem: the lack of fresh air gives Sana a headache and she was so invested in her work that she didn’t even realize it at first. Her eyes wander down the street, as far as she can look from her spot at the window. Now that she doesn’t drown in school work, her thoughts promptly go back to that one thing she can’t stop thinking about. Or better said, that one person. Especially the absence of noise, usually produced by Elias’ friends, reminds her of him. Pretty much every Saturday, for too long to remember when it started, her older brother and his friends spend their day here. Even before they started that whole YouTube thing.

The absence of noise helped her study better but when she’s not doing that, there is nothing to distract her from her thoughts about Yousef. Spending an entire evening with him, just talking and with that getting to know him more… The way they teased each other first, but then could talk about such an important topic to her and obviously to him too and how effortless the transition was. Yousef listened to her and she listened to him. None of them was judging the other even when they were of so opposing opinions. Sana doesn’t have conversations like that with many people; she barely ever has conversations like that with anyone. So her inability to stop thinking about him is partly due to yesterday evening.

While Sana is still deep in thoughts, contemplating how to deal with her situation and weighing the options in her head, the doorbell rings. Elias has probably forgotten his keys. He left in a bad mood after arguing with their mother and his keys probably weren’t the most important thing on his mind. Sana still wants and needs to talk to him but she also knows it’s better to give him space first.

Lazily she walks to the door and rubs her eye. One of the ups of not wearing make-up. All that studying has exhausted her.

Opening the door, Sana is greeted with a familiar face but not that of her brother.

“Hey.”, he says at the same time she does. Sana didn’t expect Yousef. He’s only here when her brother is.

“From the surprised look I assume that Elias didn’t tell you I’d be coming over?”, Yousef asks, a small smile on his lips, his eyes trained on Sana.

To recollect her thoughts she shakes her head and stands up a little straighter. Yousef is still standing outside, just standing there with his hands in the pockets of his black jacket. The one he wore yesterday too. “No,..”, Sana begins and is very aware of Yousef’s eyes on her. “He doesn’t need to tell me that.” Sana notices Yousef smile getting a little bit bigger and tries not to smile too much herself. “But Elias is not home.”, she concludes.

Apparently Yousef didn’t know. He wouldn’t be here if he did but his eyebrows shoot up in confusion.

“Oh, he texted me this morning to come over around 5 so I thought he’d be here.”, Yousef explains. Well, it was not up to Elias if he could spend the day at home.

Sana thinks about it for a second, in which Yousef presses his lips together and waits. When they talk, he never pushes her. He doesn’t make her feel like she has to be a certain way or act a certain way. Sana tells him:“Eh.. Mom was kind of mad at him for spending the night out and not telling her where he was.. so she made him go run every possible errand.”

Sana thinks that Yousef should know this because he was the one to save Elias from a bigger catastrophe and called Sana to find a solution. Sana still doesn’t know why Elias got drunk that bad and that so early but they haven’t had a chance to properly talk. Yousef looks worried for a second. Eyebrows furrowed, he bites his lip in concentration. Sana cannot help but to notice it and get distracted for a millisecond.

Yousef starts talking and Sana quickly averts her eyes. She hopes that he didn’t notice. Usually Sana is able to focus, not let herself get distracted but when it comes to Yousef, it’s a little different.

“O god, how did it go this morning? I only talked shortly to Elias. He only told me that he’s going home and to meet him here later.”, Yousef rambles. He has his right hand at his neck and his gaze is fixated on Sana. Never looking away.

Sana doesn’t know how much Yousef tries to look at her without her or anyone catching it. Yousef isn’t sure how successful his attempts were because he assumes Elias kind of suspects something but he can’t help it. As soon as Sana walks into the same room as him, his eyes find her immediately. She is beautiful, everybody knows that. With her make-up and without it, like right now. As Sana opened the door, Yousef directly noticed the difference. Usually, Sana wears dark make up, it’s part of the tough-girl facade she has built up for herself. Sure, she is tough. But at the same time, she can be so innocent and cute. And Yousef likes her either way. More than he should, she is his best friend’s little sister. But at this point, it’s too late. He knows that he won’t ever be able to see Sana as just his best friend’s sister.

Even when he’s always reminded of it. The topic of their conversation is Elias after all. Yousef realizes that he was so deep in thoughts, that he probably looked her in the eyes a little too long. No, Sana is looking at him like she was yesterday. Smiling but trying to contain it. Always trying to be in control of everything. But once in a while she forgets that, like right now. The longer they stand there, the bigger her smile gets. Her dimples show and Yousef feels the need to cup her cheek but refrains. He knows his limits, her boundaries.

Someone, one of the neighbors, slams their door which makes both Sana and Yousef jump. This bursts the small bubble they were in. They always seemed to be in, when they look at each other like this, expressing more with their eyes than with their words.

Again, Sana lightly shakes her head. That is something Yousef has seen more than once and she clears her throat.

“Mom..”, Sana starts talking and Yousef blinks a few times to concentrate on her words, “.. interrogated him and asked where he was and such. You can imagine.” Yousef nods, which Sana shortly mimics. It makes Yousef smile but Sana looks worried and the small smile on his lips vanishes.

Sana looks up at him again and hesitates a little, before finally saying:“He said he was at your house.” Yousef nods again. He assumed that that would be the excuse and is fine with it. “But mom said she saw you outside… with me.”

Unsure what he is supposed to say to that, Yousef waits. Yesterday, he couldn’t care less that Sana’s mother interrupted them. He would’ve loved talking to her longer but the day they spend together was more than he had imagined for him and Sana. Especially, after his confession and her reaction being not talking to him for a week. Yousef understood, didn’t like it, but understood. That she felt so comfortable around him yesterday made him happier than he wanted to admit to himself.

Sana smiles. It’s barely there. But it’s enough for Yousef to notice. “I just wanted to tell you. I don’t want you to get in trouble because of Elias and I.”, she thinks for a second, “In more trouble than you already got because of us.” The faintest smile on her lips is gone now, Sana frowns and Yousef’s hand itches to reach out and straighten that worry line in between her eyebrows.

“Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”, Yousef says and smiles at Sana. She is back to avoiding his eyes and instinctively he tries to make their eyes meet. “Hey.”, he says smiling and hoping that she’d do the same. She looks at him again and irks an eyebrow at him. She presses her lips together and Yousef knows it’s because she tries not to give away too much of what she feels. Yousef waits a few seconds, in which Sana and he look at each other. It’s innocent and playful at the same time.

Finally, when she looks him in the eyes, Yousef says:“Anything for the Bakkoush siblings.”

Sana laughs a little at that. Yousef can’t help but grin at that. Making Sana smile is one of his favorite things. She’s always so tough, breaking that facade for even a second is pretty satisfying to Yousef.

“Hmm.”, is all Sana says at first, smiling and with her eyebrows raised.

“Hmm.”, Yousef mimics her and also raises his eyebrows.

“Anything, hm?”, Sana asks smiling widely. Her dimples make an appearance and Yousef looks at them and back into Sana’s eyes.

Yousef nods, his smile almost too wide to fit on his face:“Anything.”

If somebody didn’t close another door loudly, Sana and Yousef would have been standing there, smiling at each other for who knows how long. Again, they both jump at the loud sound and turn around at the same time, when Elias says:“Hey.”

He was the one that closed the main door and walks up the stairs. He stops next to Yousef who is still standing in the hallway outside of the apartment. Yousef didn’t even notice nor care about that.

“Why are you standing at the door?”, Elias asks and looks from his little sister to his best friend. Elias has too many bags in his hands to carry and Yousef and Sana go to take some from him at the same time. Elias smiles tiredly at both.

Sana answers:“Yousef came by like you two talked about.” Elias nods, Yousef observes the looks between the siblings and smiles to himself. Even if everything goes wrong, Sana has Elias and Elias has Sana.

Now, Sana opens the door more and lets the two boys in. Yousef smiles at her while passing her and then going straight to the kitchen to put down the bags.

Yes, he’ll do anything for the Bakkoush siblings. For Sana, he’ll stand at the door as long as necessary if it means that she is comfortable and he can talk to her.

Your Highness (Thor X reader)

Sooooo this is the Thor smut requested by @acregreen and I’m really sorry it’s late, anyway its where the reader is an asgardian traitor and she gets punished by the prince ;)
PS I put a Mortal Instruments reference in there somewhere…
((warning: smut, orgasm denial, sex toy mjolnir))

Nobody ever truly understood (Y/n).
Her mother knew she was a load of trouble since she was born. Growing up, she roamed the Asgardian palace with Thor and Loki and Sif and Fandral and everybody else, she had a fairly good life.
One thing she never did: follow orders.
As she got older, her offense became worse.
And she just committed her worst crime. Betraying Asgard.
She stood before Odin, guilty of her crime. She had disabled Asgard’s shields permanently, making it vulnerable to random power surge attack that has been happening. Worse, they had not been able to get it back on.
“Why did you disable the force field ?” Odin demanded, but she had kept her mouth shut, standing with a proud grin on her face. “By the name of Asgard! Why won’t you speak?” Odin exclaimed, frustrated with her behavior. “You were raised within my halls, (Y/n). Do you think I am going to stop questioning you once I get tired?”
“I was hoping so,” said (Y/n), speaking for the first time.
“Why did you disable the force field?” repeated Odin, who couldn’t hide the fact that he was pleased that (Y/n) had given up her no-talking game. “I will not answer to you,” she said sternly. Odin sighed. “Very well. Who will you answer to?” (Y/n) stayed silent, a wide grin formed on her face. There was something about this silence that made her seem dangerous.
Suddenly, the great doors to the king’s throne room swinged open, Thor walking in with his hammer strap hanging lightly off his wrist. What he could do, (Y/n) always thought, was amazing. He was strong, even for an Asgardian, and she couldn’t help but respect him. She always had a weakness for power. And with Thor basically radiating power wherever he went, he was her ultimate weakness.
“She will answer to me, father,” said Thor, sounding confident. “Thor… ” the king trailed off. (Y/n) could see he didn’t like it, and she didn’t like it either. How was she supposed to keep her mouth shut, when the reminder of her biggest flaw was standing right in front of her?
“Get her to my chambers,” commanded Thor, and the guards complied, bringing her and her shackles to his room. (Y/n)’s head raced, thinking of a plan. She always had a plan. When the guards and their prisoner got out of their throne room and out of earshot, Odin sighed stressfully. “Thor, what are you doing?”
“Questioning the prisoner, father. As I will when I’m king,” he declared proudly.
“Do you know what she can do?” Odin sneered, banging his fist on the throne. “She is an Asgardian. I am very well aware of her powers,” Thor reassured.
“That wasn’t what I meant,” snapped Odin, “I meant what she can do to you. You think I haven’t noticed you? Watching her, studying her? I may be old but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten what it was like to be in love, Thor. I know how you feel.”
Thor’s eyes widened. He had been careful not to show his emotions, but his father read him like an open book. “If that is indeed what you feel, then I cannot stop you,” Odin continued. He relaxed back in his throne, releasing some tension, “But I will not let Asgard fall because of one emotion.” Thor nodded obediently, turning his head to walk out the door, “yes, father.”


Thor entered his chambers. She was seated and chained to a solid oak chair, one guard on either side. Thor ordered them to leave. He went behind (Y/n) and unlocked the chains bounding her hands.

“Those chains were killing me,” she said without gratifying him. Expected to be set loose, she was dissapointed when he only moved her to the bed, chaining her again. At least it was more comfortable.

“Really, Thor?” she raised her eyebrows. Thor took his place in the oak chair, facing her with those electric blue eyes. “Why did you disable the force field, (Y/n)?” asked Thor.

(Y/n) stayed silent once again, looking down at the prince with no fear. “This is your last chance at redemption, (Y/n). If you tell me why, then my father will might as well spare you,” explained Thor, the patience seeping out of his voice.

(Y/n)’s mouth turned into a curved smile. “since you offered…” she trailed.

Thor looked confused, “offered what?”

“Redemption,” said (Y/n) triumphantly, “you see, I know if I cooperate, the best you can do is to let me live. I want immunity, Thor. I want my freedom back.”

“I can’t,” said Thor, leaning back in his seat, his hammer on the table beside him. “you know I can’t. What you did was punishable by death.” (Y/n) sneered, like she was disgusted at him. “Fine,” she said. “Stake me. Kill me. And then you’ll never know who I’m working for.” she declared.

He raised his eyebrows. “You’re working for someone,” repeated Thor, trying to process the words. “Who?”

“Immunity, Thor,” she taunted.

“It can be arranged,” he said, “But you have to pledge loyalty to Asgard-”

“I accept,” she said, interrupting Thor.

“Foolish girl,” he scowled, “I wasn’t done. I said you have to pledge loyalty to Asgard and me.”

“W-what?” she stuttered, trying to process his words.

Thor climbed in bed, attaching his lips with hers. (Y/n) struggled, trying to clear her mind. She wanted to push him away, but she remembered that she was in cuffs. “What is this?” she demanded, flushing red.

Thor grinned against her skin, “redemption.”

She gasped as he bit her skin, tugging on it playfully. She struggled under the restraints, but eventually she melted into the kiss, humming in satisfaction. Piece by piece, Thor stripped her off her robes. He might be strong, but with her he was gentle, treating her like fragile glass. Soon she was naked, and Thor was still awfully dressed. His hands moved down, trailing the outline of her breast, pressing his covered body against hers, the metal disk of his armor cold against her bare skin.

She wanted to snap out of this. He was supposed to be an enemy, not an ally, and definitely not a lover. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t bring herself to it.

She wanted to glide her hands through his soft hair, but as she went to do that, the cuffs held her back. “Thor,” she whined, rattling her shackles.

“No,” he said sternly, “You need to be taught a lesson,” he said, turning her body sideways, hitting his palm to her ass. She winced in pain, but this was pleasurable, wanting to be hit over and over again. This was a reminder to (Y/n) that power held both pain and pleasure. He spanked her again, a little harder this time, leaving her and red with his palm print.

“You’re going to be good, do you understand?” said Thor, his voice tightening as he smacked her again.

“Y-yes, your highness,” she said, shuddering. “Say that again,” commanded Thor. “Your higness- ahh,” she whimpered as Thor’s hand suddenly flew to her clit, massaging it slowly, rubbing circles around it.

“Thor,” she shivered. He let his free hand hover in the air, mjolnir flying to his hand. He teased the handle of his hammer with her entrance, making her moan slowly. Finally, after a decent amount of teasing, Thor pushed the handle in, earning an eager gasp, earning a satisfying grimace from Thor. He started moving the hammer, slowly, but then faster and faster. When she came painfully close, Thor withdrew his hammer, licking her juices before, inserting it again. He repeated the cycle multiple times, placing her on the brink of release everytime.

“You’ve been a good girl,” praised Thor, “You’ve had your redemption.”

He pulled his cloak off, and then stripping off, releasing his hard cock. (Y/n) threw her had back in anticipation. Thor slammed into her, her walls contracting around him. Thor groaned and moved faster.

It didn’t take long for her to climax, after being pushed to the edge countless times.

Thor came, her stomach filled with him. She laid besides her, releasing her off her chains. Her finger trailed his built chest.

“You know, I’m yours for the rest of the night, your highness…”

anonymous asked:

Who is your fave fic author?! I need a good one to follow!

One?? I can’t pick one!! Here’s a very small list though…

Literally KILLS ME with everything she posts!! I’ll read and re read and come back because that’s how amazing her stuff is! I reckon the first thing I read from her was ‘Overhearing a Confession’ and I’ve been in love with everything she posts ever since!

If I recall correctly, this blog used to be called something else, so she was in the process of transferring her work. And I’ve told her this, but I was a bit hesitant on beginning to read 'Temptation’ because it’s lengthy, but WOW, totally worth it!!

Oh wow everything on her masterlist is Ace!(is that even a thing?) 'The One With Miss America’ is cute cute and gave me a laugh!

Endless list of ah-mazing work!! Oh wow, a must for Harry fic readers.

There’s loads and loadsss to choose from!!

Smut heaven!! Wow, will have you feeling that tingle at the pit of your tummy!!

Currently obsessed with 'Something About A Feeling’ series!!

There’s a few of my favourites! All lovely, too!!

Autumn leaves

The unsaid words weigh heavy on Myka’s tongue, thick and so full of emotions it makes her heart ache, in the relative quietness of the car as they drive away.

Pete doesn’t try to talk, for once, and she feels a surge of fondness for this man who is still standing by her side after everything they’ve been through and all the many dangers and adventures that are, without a doubt, awaiting them. He’s looking ahead and she knows he wants to ask if she is alright, but she can’t bring herself to talk, not when she is fighting the tears gathered at the very edge of her eyes and already threatening to fall. She gives him an imperceptible but grateful nod when he settles on turning the music on, keeping the volume low, but letting the old jazz accents fill the vehicle enough to prevent any attempt at a conversation.

She fights against the urge to look back, with her hand still burning after the desperate wave she had offered as a last goodbye to the woman she still thinks of as her soulmate.

She wishes, not for the first time since she had laid her eyes on H.G.’s silhouette in what had seemed like years to her, that she could feel the soft oblivion of a numbed shock, but of course, no such luck. Her mind, rational and practical, logical in spite of everything she’s seen since she’d started working for the Warehouse, has already processed every single one of Helena’s words and she knows, she just knows that it was a bittersweet farewell, one that tastes like forever in her mouth.

No matter what H.G. had said, Myka doesn’t need Steve to know the words, those god forbidden words, were nothing but lies because she can feel it slipping through her fingers, flowing in the air and vanishing like a split-second thought. She can practically see their unusual relationship dissolve between her bare hands and she instinctively balls up her fists, as if she could catch the remaining strands of that friendship, or whatever it is, or rather was, in her palms, but it is vain and useless.
She can’t hold on to what has already started to become smoke, she can only look at the ashes as they become cold and black, lifeless.

She glances in the rear view and bites back a sob, watching as Helena’s slender silhouette is slowly but surely being swallowed by the darkness of the night. It seems to be a theme for the British woman, to be engulfed by some mysterious obscurity every time they meet, from the very beginning, to this day she couldn’t bring herself to call an end. Since day one, Helena had been walking out on her more times than she cares to count, it should have been a sign.

She tries to imagine a smile on those lips she had dreamed of kissing more than once, but her mind relents and rebels against the very thought of it and so the graceful features of the time lady remain frozen in something that bears the faintest resemblance to melancholia.

A line comes back to her mind as the whole road with the house, the man, the child and the lady came from another time, faded away in the distance. She doesn’t remember where it comes from, if it’s a book, a movie, a poem or something else entirely and the very fact she can’t find the source whispers into her ears that she isn’t, in fact, fine. Not at all.
She wonders if she ever will be fine again, as the words endlessly echo into her broken mind, as if directly murmured from her equally shattered heart.

Some people are meant to fall in love with each other, but not meant to be together.

Life goes on and the next days happen in a blur of new adventures, but somehow, she doesn’t feel like herself when she snags, bags, and tags all the new artifacts that had pinged on the Warehouse radar. Pete can sense it, but he doesn’t push, and he always averts everyone else’s attention whenever Claudia, Artie or Steve are staring at her for a moment too long, as if they could see through her dulled soul right into her unhealed heart.

Eventually, a month is gone and then another, spring goes away for better days and lets summer take over, but even the sunny days don’t last and it seems to Myka that autumn is here in the span of a couple of slow blinks.
The leaves are falling down from the trees in a rain of colors and she used to love fall, but now, all she can think about is how sad it looks under the deluge, with the water soaking in the bruised and beaten leaves scattered on the ground, manhandled by the gushes of wind that announce winter.

They don’t push and she doesn’t talk about it, she tries to mend her broken hopes and lick her open wounds and slowly, ever so slowly, she feels like she can finally start to heal. At first, she is aware that she is making some very tiny baby steps, but Pete, Claudia, Steve, Artie, and even the new woman, Abygail, are there to smile at her and to prove to her that she matters, that she is loved and that there are people who genuinely care about her, still.

Christmas finds her crying in Pete’s shoulder because healing is a work in progress and she remembers the previous winter holidays, when a dedicated by Oscar Wilde himself had been waiting for her under the tree, with a handwritten note carefully composed on a luxurious paper that had smelled like apple and rain.

New Year’s Eve is somehow happier and she actually laughs and smiles that night, surrounded by her Warehouse family and as she goes to bed around 4am, she realizes she didn’t think the picture was incomplete, for once.

It is during a random spring evening that a soft knock on the French door of the dining room makes her look up from her laptop screen where she had been writing for the last three hours, non-stop.

Her heart squeezes painfully in her chest at the sight of the woman standing behind the glass, because even though the transparent material is neither smooth nor sleek, she instantly recognizes the glossy dark hair and the shiny leather boots. For a second, she thinks she might be dreaming and she is tempted to go back to the novel she had been putting together since last summer, but another knock, stronger this time, informs her that she isn’t, in fact, hallucinating.

She slowly puts the laptop on the cushion next to her and stands up, walking away from the couch and towards the dining room. She stops next to the door and takes in a sharp intake of breath before reaching for the handle, forcing herself to weigh on it to open the glass panel.

She doesn’t say a word as she stares into a pair of all too familiar brown eyes, soulful and deep and now she remembers why she doesn’t like fall.
Helena’s eyes are of the color of the autumn leaves when they fall and fade, going from the brighter shades to a dead, bland brown and it is deceptively accurate. She looks well, her usually pale skin sporting a soft but healthy tan while her lips are still as pink as a baby’s cheeks and her hair, Myka notices, is sparkling underneath the last rays of a golden sun that would fall behind the horizon in a matter of minutes now.
It smells like apple blossoms.

“Hello Myka,” Helena greets and the K is rolling from her lips as if she had been saying the name forever, it awakes undesired butterflies in the pit of Myka’s stomach. She stands still, letting the British vowels flow in the air around them and trying to ignore the urge in her head that screams for her to reach the inventor and grab her forever.

Helena looks slightly uncertain now and Myka realizes she is not the person Helena came here to see.
She looks at the woman and she feels all the wounds she had tried to stitch back together rip open under the heavy gaze of the doe-eyes of H.G. Wells, and the worst part is, she knows a few new scars are being carved in the weakest parts of her soul. Myka wonders why it is that this woman, who was old enough to have been partying with the actual authors of the books she grew up with, has the power to render her so weak with her sole presence.

She thinks she will need to work a little harder on her healing process now that Helena showed up again and broke her wildest hopes with a single look.

She steps aside and turns around, letting the British woman in, while she goes in search of Artie, Pete or even Claudia, anyone available to break her tête-à-tête with the visitor.

She climbs the stairs two by two and barges into Claudia’s bedroom to let her know H.G. Wells is downstairs, waiting for someone to talk to. The IT prodigy looks at Myka as if she has suddenly grown three heads, but when she hears the unmistakable voice full of the familiar fancy accent, she swears and stumbles across the room to go greet Helena.

Myka doesn’t go back downstairs, choosing to take refuge in her bedroom instead.

There is a knock on her door and her first instinct is to invite whoever it is to come in, but then she catches herself at the last second. She’s afraid of who it can be and when she stays silent for too long, the door opens and Pete pokes his head in.
She doesn’t know if she feels relieved or disappointed.

“You alright Mykes?” He asks and she nods and tries to force a smile, but she gives up as the corners of her lips are halfway up. No, she is not alright, and she is far from fine and she can’t lie to him after all the progress she has made to open herself up to him, to Claudia, to Abygail.
Not Artie, because Artie never really liked Helena in the first place and she is fairly certain he wouldn’t understand any of what she could tell him about that strange relationship that used to be theirs.

“Not really,” She finally whispers and he offers her a sweet but serious smile. She takes comfort in the fact he knows her and she is grateful when he comes in, closing the door before sitting next to her on the bed.

“Did she say something?”

She shakes her head, trying to chase away the haunting notes of the suave ‘hello’ and the rolling K that had split her name in two.

“She just said hello and when she stayed silent, I figured it wasn’t me she was here to see,” Myka murmurs and Pete’s fingers are curling around her shoulders, steady and warm, but respectful.
She knows he would rather engulf her in a tight hug or say stupid things to try to make her laugh and so she smiles, softly, at him. He never left and he is still here, adapting to her mood and trying to keep her grounded, like a true friend would.
There are no expectation between them, they are friends and they have each other’s back, in the field and everywhere else and she trusts him with her life.

“Do you mind if I stay with you for a while?” He sounds a little hesitant, and for a second she is tempted to accept his offer, but then she realizes she would rather be alone for now.

“Thank you Pete, but I think I need to be alone for a while. Will you come back and let me know when she is gone?” Myka asks, holding back the word ‘again’ at the very last moment, but by the look on Pete’s face, he heard it as clear as if she had indeed said it.

“Will do,” He waves at her and then exits the room, leaving her alone with her thoughts and memories.

She lets out a long and shuddering sigh, wraps her arms around her chest and then suddenly, she can’t stand still anymore.

The room is too small and she can feel the walls close in on herself, threatening to choke her. She gasps for oxygen but her mind is racing and her heart is beating hard against her ribcage and she needs space, she needs air and in a series of blurred movements that send a lamp on the floor, knock out a chair and push a dresser a few inches to the side, she’s out through the windows.

The rational part of her mind is scowling at her for behaving like a moody teenager, but the thousand broken pieces of her heart are grateful for the respite provided by the strange exit.

She walks away from the B&B and the night is not far away, the shadows growing around her with every step she takes. The air is crisp and already humid, like an evening spring tainted with dew and mists that will last until morning.

Her head is full of images of glossy dark hair and sparkling brown eyes, of apple slices and leather boots, echoing with a voice that sounds too rich and too deep to be true and she aches. She aches because it’s been almost a year, but she is still hurting, the damage being more profound and grave than she thought it was.

She ventures deeper into the forest surrounding the cozy little building she had grown to call home and her feet stumble across half-buried roots, broken branches, fallen trunks and thick bushes, but she doesn’t stop.

She doesn’t stop until she finds herself on the other side of the forest facing a clearing that looks like a dangerous and dark area, bathing in the obscurity of the settled dusk.
She knows there is a small brook coursing through the grass, not very wide, but enough to force someone to jump to cross it. Pete fell into it once, breaking his ankle and the whole Warehouse crew had heard about it for months afterward. It almost makes her smile, to remember something other than Helena, but it doesn’t last.

It doesn’t last because suddenly, there is the very voice she had been trying to avoid, speaking from somewhere behind her.

“I knew you would come here, you always do when something upsets you.”

How did Helena get here almost at the same time she did, Myka doesn’t know and she doesn’t ask. She mourns her now lost solitude, not paying attention to the branches cracking under the heels of Helena’s boots and the next thing she knows, there is this body standing next to hers in the darkness of the night.

The night, it seems, loves Helena enough to always wrap her in a blanket of shadows the glowing moonlight can never fully reach. Her pale skin stands out in the absence of any light but her hair, her silken, glossy hair sparkles from within and for a few seconds, Myka wonders if H.G. Wells is even real.

It is, she thinks, a reasonable question to ask oneself when it comes to the woman that had crossed centuries to be standing here, under the stars, at the very edge of a clearing in the middle of South Dakota.

The words Helena said suddenly come back to her mind and she lets out a dry chuckle, one that makes the inventor arch a perfectly sculpted brow.

“When something upsets me, you said. I find your words funny,” Myka whispered, not wanting to break the relative peace of the place despite the turmoil of her emotions making her head abuzz with thoughts and words she didn’t want to say out loud.

“What are you doing here, Helena?” She asks without waiting for the woman to think of something smart to answer. She is too exhausted to deal with their usual verbal jousts tonight.

“I came to inform Claudia that a potential artifact has reappeared in Paris, one that has the power to grant incredible artistic gifts to anyone …” Helena starts and for a few seconds, Myka is charmed by the old accent and the raspy voice, but then she interjects.

“I don’t mean here in South Dakota, I mean here in the clearing, next to me,” She clarifies and she doesn’t need to look to know her question took Helena by surprise.
It’s odd, Myka thinks. Helena is always so sure of herself, quick to answer, she never misses a beat and her wits are strangely cutting for someone who has lived in a time when women were barely allowed to open their mouth at all.

“I came to see if you are alright, Myka, I thought it was obvious,” Helena finally answers and Myka arches a brow that almost gets lost in the line of her hair.

“You are here to check up on me? What a strange thing to do,” She wonders out loud and Helena turns her head to look right into her eyes. Gosh, Myka thinks, she really hates fall.

“Why is that?” The words are tinted with what sounds like genuine surprise and a hint of hurt, but Myka doesn’t care.

“What happened to you wanting a new life, as far away as possible from the Warehouse and its artifacts?” She eludes, thinking back on this day where Helena had carved a brand new scar in her heart with those very words.

“I … “ Helena trails off and Myka nods, almost to herself. She knows for a fact it is not that easy to walk away from this life of endless wonder that had become, without her even noticing, a huge part of her identity.
She figures that Helena, who has been doing this for far longer than she has, didn’t manage to free herself from the complex and unbreakable bundle of link that connected every single one of the agents to the current Warehouse.

“Well, at least you tried,” Myka offers and she doesn’t understand why she tries to be nice. She curses her fundamentally good disposition for that because she wants nothing more than to be angry, to let out all the venomous words that are struck in her throat, and to turn her back on this woman who has done the same thing to her way too many times already.

“Not really, no,” Helena counters and her tone is soft, carried away by the stillness of the air between them. The words flow and swirl in the night, leaving a sweet echo in Myka’s ears.

“Figures,” Myka mutters and then she sighs. “Are you here to ask Artie to reinstate you as an agent or something?”

Helena takes her time to answer and when she does, her voice is quiet, she sounds small. “Would you like that?”

Myka hates when someone answers her question with another question, she really hates it. She thinks it’s the sort of trick one would use with a child and that is exactly why she is still unnerved sometimes around Abygail, the psychotherapist who uses the same rhetoric to make people talk about their feelings.

God knows she doesn’t want to talk about feelings, she doesn’t even want to have feelings in the first place.

“Why do you suddenly care what I think? Why don’t you go ask Nate and Adelaide if they are okay with you chasing artifacts around the globe again? I don’t have a say in this, but they do,” The bitter sweetness dripping from her words is deafening, even to her own ears.

Helena doesn’t answer and the silence that settles is only troubled by the occasional ruffles of the wind atop the trees or some birds chirping and flying nearby. Stars are beginning to sparkle in the clear, bright sky, forming a glittering ocean above their heads and Myka finds it comforting, to have something to look at that isn’t entirely black.

“I broke up with Nate a long time ago,” Helena finally breaks the silence, the words escaping her lips and a heavy note of regret is underlining her peculiar diction. “He had no idea who I really was, and with time, it dug a canyon in our relationship, one neither of us could cross. I’ve been traveling alone for quite some time now, wandering across countries that didn’t even exist when I grew up, learning the new maps of the world with my feet and my wits.”

Myka nods, internally fighting again the blossoming feeling of hope that begins to spread around her heart. She doesn’t want to hope, it’s painful and pointless and she can’t afford it, not again.

“I thought about coming back to the Warehouse, as I came across a few artifacts during my travels, but I assumed … I assumed it wasn’t right. Perhaps it was too soon or perhaps it was something else entirely, maybe I was just scared,” Helena’s voice is grave and serious and Myka doesn’t even realize she is leaning towards the woman who smells like apple and morning dew. “I told you, that day, that you would never lose this friendship, but I admit I might have been lying at the time, for it was never a friendship to begin with.”

Myka narrows her eyes at that, confusion twisting her features as she moved her head to look at the woman next to her. The stars, not quite as bright as they could be during summer, are reflecting in the brown shades of Helena’s eyes and the galaxy they form is deeply fascinating, almost enough to distract her from the words that are being spoken.

“I met you at gunpoint, a few years ago and while you were angry with me for all the reasons you and I know, I think back then, I was already starting to fall,” Helena says and the corners of her lips are twitching, as if a smile was menacing to break through. “You were different. You actively seeked my advice and my expertise and for reasons that I still don’t know as of today, you chose to believe in me. No one, not even my closest family ever did that, and yet there you were, a perfect stranger, putting your faith in me, defending me even when I didn’t deserve it, talking me into the right decisions and still standing by me after everything I had done.”

A thought blinks in Myka’s mind, one that informs her those words sound like a declaration, but the logical side of her brain rejects it entirely and then, the flickering notion is gone.

“I’ve done terrible things in my life, Myka. Grief, anger, relentless suffering and a burning desire for vengeance can destroy a person to the point where they are stripped from all their remaining shreds of humanity and for a long while, I walked down that path. It took you, to bring me back from the edge of eternal perdition. In Yellowstone that day, you placed the gun I was holding onto your forehead and the first thing I thought was “no”. No, I couldn’t kill you, I never wanted to and then I realized that if it was the price to pay to try to make the world a better place, I didn’t want to pay it.”

Myka sees tears full of stars in Helena’s brown and soulful eyes and she thinks it’s the most honest and open the British woman has ever been around her. She doesn’t move, but she slowly tilts her head to the side, implicitly inviting Helena to keep talking. A lump goes up and then down in Helena’s throat, but she takes a deep breath and steels herself to continue.

“I had all the time in the world to think back on my actions, once I was trapped in an holographic state while my physical body was living the life of a teacher in Wyoming, with a distastefully named cat,” She says and the faintest hint of annoyance can be heard in the way she pronounces the name of the state as well as the few last words. “You were still defending me though and I can not possibly try to describe how warm and good it felt, to see you fight for me, for my long lost reputation and when the time came to destroy the coin that would have reunited my mind and my body, it broke my heart. You were so adamant it wasn’t the right thing to do, even though you knew, deep down, that there was no other solution. I often think back on that day, the look on your face as you refused to cry and the heavy tone when you answered my question about saying goodbye to the people who know you better than anyone else …”

Myka remembers that day, too vividly to her liking. She still has nightmares about that scene in the woods, where the look in Helena’s eyes had been burning holes in her very soul because of how filled they were with sadness and regret.

“It was you, Myka. It is you, that person. I realize it might seem strange, we don’t know each other that much, we haven’t been in each other’s presence for that long and there are, quite literally, centuries in between us, but you understand me, you anticipate me even and more importantly, you believe in me. You chose to and I certainly hope, that you still do.” Helena’s voice is now strangled with emotion and the tears are no longer contained in her sparkling eyes, but rolling down her face, digging stains across her pale cheeks.

Myka stares into those brown eyes that evoke to her the passage of the seasons, the cold winter nights and the sunny summer days, spring’s crisp mornings and autumn’s warm evenings, the smell of apple and scones, the taste of tea and rain and the feeling of a life full of wonders of another kind, one she has been craving for too long.

She doesn’t think, because she’s done thinking and listening to reason when all she wants is to surrender to the desires of her heart. She reaches both hands up to cup Helena’s face and she brings her close, so impossibly close that there is no air left between them.

Helena only blinks, but then she closes her eyes and leans forward, and Myka, Myka finally throws her reason away for good to meet Helena halfway.

The kiss is everything but soft, and there is anger and regret swirling around their intertwined tongues, remorse and unsaid scowls thundering as Myka closes her teeth around Helena’s supple bottom lip, desire and promise exploding when their mouths meet again after a split-second break that barely allows them to catch their breath.

Myka is the one to pull away, breathless and panting, but she can feel the worries come back running in the back of her mind because her logic could only be quieted for so long.

“What is it?” Helena asks, wrapping her arms around Myka’s middle and looking up to meet her eyes.

“Are you going to walk out on me again?” Myka blurts out, because she’s terrified of having made a huge mistake now that she realizes her heart won’t take it if Helena disappears again after this.

“No. I’ve been running away for far too long and there is no place I would rather be than here, right this moment. Pardon me for the cheesy line, but I’ve come to realize that between your arms is where I belong and if it is alright with you, I would like to stay, for as long as you will have me,” Helena states and Myka’s heart explodes in her chest at how sure and certain the English accent makes the words sound.

“Hm, I think I can indeed forgive you for the sappy line, in that case,” Myka whispers and Helena arches an unimpressed brow. It gives her face a sarcastic look that makes Myka chuckle, and this time, the sound is genuine and pure, coming from the bottom of her heart.

She sounds happy, she thinks as she leans forward to kiss Helena again.

Cover Reveal: The Cruel Prince

Prepare to meet the Folk of the Air…

Entertainment Weekly exclusively reveals the cover of Holly Black’s new faerie novel, The Cruel Prince, and shares an excerpt from the stunning and twisty story. Let’s just say it’s full of royal faerie intrigue. Start reading HERE

Also, let’s just take a moment to appreciate how awesome the talented Lara Wirth is. The 17-year old artist recreated The Cruel Prince cover as BODY ART and we are just stunned by the amazing work that she did: 

Watch the time-lapse process video of how she turned the cover into body art on, and check out Lara’s Instagram (@armageddonpainted) to see more of her stunning masterpieces.

Add The Cruel Prince to your to-read shelf on Goodreads >>  


Six things on a Saturday:

After the cut, because they got too long…

  1. I have a friend who is here on her husband’s work visa but although she is going through the process of trying to get permission to work here, it’s been over a year and she still doesn’t have it. :( One day, the husband and I were trying to think of things that she could legally do for work and WOW…really nothing, like not even an etsy shop in her own name.  It would all have to go through someone else.  Or, she’d have to do something that is completely paid under the table.  She’d been a teacher for 11 years in South Africa, so it’s really hard for her not to work.  The husband decided her best financial option is to be a drug dealer. *eye roll* Of course she’s not going to do that, so right now she’s just making me ALL the things!  I hired her to recover all my pillows at home, make several sets of curtains, and now this top (and some others)!  I love it!  I’ve always wanted to have DIY talent, but I have NONE.  I am terrible.  Now, all the things I wish I could make, I just have her make and pay her and it’s so much better!  Still…it’s kind of insane the hoops she’s having to jump through to try and get clearance to work in a field where she could make such a positive difference.
  2. I spent Friday at one of my favorite sites for work.  That little guy (have full permission for the photo) is seriously the coolest guy I’ve ever met and he’s only two!  And, although I KNOW I shouldn’t have favorites, those three sisters are my favorite kids I’ve worked with in a long time.  Don’t tell my boss, but just the hugs from those three at the end of my day yesterday was payment enough for this whole week’s work and more!
  3. After work, I met coworker (and running buddy) Wayne and another friend for happy hour and book shopping because Half Price Books sent out 40% off coupons!  I am absolutely devastated that Wayne is leaving work in two weeks to go to grad school and work part-time at UT.  It’s not tooooo terrible because he’s in my gym book club and I’ve hired him as our family tennis instructor, but still…I LOVE working with Wayne.  I’ve worked with him my whole five years at my job. :(
  4. We’re going to see the new Planet of the Apes movie this afternoon, and I’m so excited!  Plus, I’m picking Conner up after breakfast, so that’s even better!  We’ve seen all the other ones together as a family. :D
  5. Tomorrow, my gym book club members (plus families) are all supposed to go paddle boarding and then out for dinner…and of course, for the first time in weeks, there’s a chance of rain.  We’ve had this planned for over a month to work with everyone’s schedules, and although we need the rain, I’ll be sad if we can’t go!
  6. I’m super excited about all my new-to-me books!  I just have to get through Commonwealth (this months’ regular book club book), so I can get to them!  I know lots of people are big Ann Patchett fans, but she’s not my favorite.  I liked Bel Canto…until the epilogue which I thought didn’t fit well AT ALL (to the point it actually made me mad), and I couldn’t even finish The Magician’s AssistantCommonwealth is fine, but it jumps around strangely (and unnecessarily) and I’m glad I’m almost done with it so I can read something better!  Next will be Piecing Me Together. :)  Goodreads tells me I’m 20 books ahead in my goal of reading 100 for the year! 
Zelda's Log#4: Getting Reacquainted

A/N: I am back to life!!! Good news: I recovered nicely. Bad news: my PC is dead.
Updates will be slower until I got a new one, since I’ll be working mostly from mobile.

Enjoy this chapter, the Master chef moment is courtesy of @starstruckfemme

‘Goddesses Impa! What did Purah did to you? Did she experiment her weird​ rejuvenating rune on you?! Link, why didn’t you tell me before?!’

The young Sheikah woman was in complete shock to see who was talking to her, more than being confused for her grandmother. Link contained a laugh at Zelda’s remarks.

‘G- grand-m-mother?’, Paya’s voice trembled, as if she was seeing a ghost. 'you have visitors’.

Impa rushed to the door, recognizing already the voice.

'Princess!’, she gasped, eyes full of emotion.

‘It is I indeed, Impa’, her voice cracking, hardly containing​ her tears. 'it’s been so long’.

Both women greeted with a tight, long hug.

'Come inside’, she requested, 'We have so much to talk about. And this is Paya, my granddaughter, Princess’.

'Nice to make your acquaintance, Lady Paya’, she offered her hand, 'You are the spitting image of your grandmother one hundred years ago!’

‘Nice to meet you, Princess’, she shook Zelda’s hand, less nervous than before, after the compliment.

The guests made themselves comfortable, as Paya served food and drinks for all.

‘Several events have occurred since we defeated the Calamity’, Zelda informed her friend, 'Link and I went to Zora’s Domain, and Vah Ruta has a new master, Prince Sidon’.

'Well that’s quite the surprise!’, Impa’s eyes widened, 'I have a guess someone we know would be quite shocked’.

'She was indeed’, Zelda showed the picture she had taken with her Sheikah slate. 'Purah was raving with my findings’.

Impa’s surprise to see her elder sister’s appearance was quite evident.

'Goddesses, she looks like a kid!’, the old woman gasped, 'Paya, look at your aunt!’

'Oh my!’, the young woman shared her grandmother’s surprise. 'What happened to her?!’

'Occupational hazards, I suppose. Apparently, her rejuvenation process stopped’, Zelda explained. 'She is working on a rune to revert the process, even if it’s a little’.

'Considering her prior result, she might end as wrinkled as me!’, Impa laughed heartily, her voice echoing in the room.

'At least she would go out and see us at our house’, Link joined the chat after wiping out his food, 'She is always locked up’.

Our house?’, Impa’s eyebrow raised.

'We’re living in Hateno Village’, Zelda clarified, 'Link bought a house there. It’s nice’.

'That means we will be able to see each other often’, Impa noted. 'Just like old times’.

3.15 p.m. I am so delighted to see Impa again! Despite her age, she is still active, leading the Sheikah and Kakariko Village. Her granddaughter Paya is her spitting image, although quite the opposite in personality (she is really sweet, but shy).

Kakariko hasn’t changed too much in all this time, but its population has dwindled progressively. Paya seems to be the only teenager - the only Sheikah around her age might be Granté, Robbie’s son, who lives in Tarrey Town… which gives me an idea, but I think it would be prudent to save it for later. I will tell Link about this, once he wakes up from his nap.

Zelda’s musings were interrupted by two little girls.

'I have never seen you before’, the older girl observed, 'My name is Koko, this is my sister Cottla. What’s your name, miss?’

'I’m Zelda’, she introduced herself. 'Nice to meet you girls. I came to visit Impa’.

‘I saw you arrive in a pretty horsie!’, the little one asked, 'Can Cottla braid its hair?’

‘Sure, little one!’, Zelda agreed with a smile.

In the end, Zelda gave the girls a little stroll on Storm - sporting a new style with braids and cherry blossoms mixed in its mane- and the sisters later braided her hair as thanks, her long strands turned into a thick fishtail braid with flowers.

‘Hello girls!’, Link approached them, stretching his laziness away. 'Having fun with Zelda?’

Koko and Cottla nodded.

‘Is she your girlfriend?’, Koko asked. 'She is cooler than you’.

‘Yes, she is’, he answered, trying to contain a laugh. 'I know. She is awesome -he lowered his voice- but don’t tell her’.

'Do you like sweets?’, Koko enquired​, 'I’m trying to learn how to make cakes’.

'I would love to try your cooking, dear’, Zelda answered with a smile.

'I can teach you how to make cakes!’, Link offered, 'I know a super secret recipe’.

Koko’s eyes lit up at the proposal, and with her sister, joined Link and Zelda to gather the ingredients.

Soon the cooks were practically competing on which one would make the best fruitcake on Kakariko Village.

'Link, dearest’, Zelda approached him while he made a mixture with cane sugar and butter, 'care to remind me how old are you to be competing with an actual child?’

'She started!’

Zelda decided not to push further, and joined Cottla on the benches.

'Koko is a really good sister’, the youngest girl told the Princess, 'she cares a lot for Cottla and Daddy since Mama went away!’

They are orphans, Zelda guessed. Poor sweethearts.

'They are the daughters of one of the guards, Dorian’, Impa and Paya joined them out of the blue. 'Lovely girls, aren’t they?’

'Indeed, Impa’. She patted the head of the young girl, who held to her like a vine to a rock.

'Is Master Link…?’, Paya’s eyes squinted at the young man, furiously cooking.

'Yes, Paya dear’, Impa and Zelda answered simultaneously. 'It’s just what you think’.

'He is so different from what I was used to see, you know?’, the young Sheikah commented.

‘How so?’, Zelda asked.

'He was all determination, always on the run, never resting’, she explained, 'Now he is free from his burdens, it’s as if he was reborn into the most authentic version of himself’.

Paya’s observation elicited a sincere smile from Zelda. 'It’s just like you said’, she reaffirmed.

Few minutes later, both cakes were on the table, the women testing the cooks’ skills.

'Koko wins by a landslide’, Zelda emitted her verdict. 'Sorry, darling’.

Zelda was surprised at the childish pout he sported the rest of the evening. Never before she would have seen such… expressiveness. She had to make a conscious effort to not laugh whenever she made eye contact with him, he eluded her gaze, with his lips pursed in a pout.

8.39 p.m. Link has surprised me again. He is the most crusty, salty, sore loser I have ever seen. He lost a cooking contest to an eight-year-old girl, and he is holding the most petty grudge against me for choosing little Koko over him.

Anyway, I should be looking for him. We depart tomorrow morning to Gerudo Desert.

10.05 p.m. I finally found Link near the Great Fairy Fountain. He was less pouty, almost back to his usual self. He commented next time we visit, he is going to have payback.

Oh, Goddesses. What have I done to deal with this.

On an unrelated note, Impa and Paya will visit us once we get home. Impa wants to see her little big sister with her own eyes (and probably wants to see I’m not living in a grotto or a cave, considering she’s always been on the more proper, protective side), and I think Paya will be thrilled to see the world outside the Village; maybe she will find a boyfriend there, who knows?