the spinster

Fic Updates Week Ending 7/22/17

Hello Everyone!  Hope you are all having a wonderfully peaceful weekend. We’ve had a pretty busy update week and it does my heart good to see our Everlark Authors are still grinding out so much good content.  Without further ado, here’s what I was able to locate this week:

Quicksilver  Chapter 11 by @finnicko-loves-anniec

Elaborate Lives  Chapter 23  by @hpfanonezillion

Forged Love  Chapter 3  by @eala-musings

Out of Bounds  Chapter 20  by lizzyvb

Help Me Sleep at Night  Chapter 28  by EverlarkLover1960

Practice Run  Chapter 8  by @geekymoviemom

It Comes Back to You  Chapter 2  by RedHeadedFlame

Funny How it Goes  Chapter 2  by @thestuckinbed

The Panem Initiative  Chapter 15  by @everlarkrealornot

At the Zoo  Chapter 4  by @thegirlfromoverthepond

Diary of Katniss Everdeen, Lonely Spinster  Chapter 5  by @mega-aulover

Locker Talk  Chapter 4  by @burkygirl


New WIP

Hiding Amongst the Greys  by @themiffywrites

That’s it for me!  As always, let me know if anyone or their WIP has been overlooked because we just can’t have that!!  I’ll make sure to get them added next week!

Happy Peeta Sunday, y’all!  Still the best damn day of the week!

Nothing like some puppy dog eyes to start the week, right?
Love ya!  Mean it!
Dee

Essay-writing PSA

Dear Students: as Spinster Aunt of Tumblr and sometime College Writing Instructor, I have unsolicited advice for you. Do sit down and have a cup of tea.

  1. Writing is a learned skill.
  2. Writing is hard.
  3. Writing gets easier with practice.
  4. The quality of your writing does not automatically reflect the quality of your ideas.
  5. By the same token, a critique of your writing is not the same thing as a critique of your ideas
  6. (I’m putting that in bold because I think it’s very important; I have seen lots of creative, insightful ideas hidden in bland or unclear prose.)
  7. Essay prompts are designed to help you.
  8. Office hours are designed to help you. (If your teachers don’t have office hours, it’s probably because they cannot afford to. It’s a long, sad story.)
  9. Time spent with your own ideas is always worthwhile.
  10. Time spent revising your own writing is always worthwhile.

Go forth and conquer! Send your ideas out into the world! And remember: writing is a learned skill. Writing is hard. Writing gets easier with practice. Oh, and tea helps.

Okay, so I see a lot of posts floating around Tumblr about how awful/exhausting/stressful adulthood is. They make me laugh and they’re relatable and sometimes I reblog them. The thing is, though, for me, adulthood is actually way better than being a teenager was–so I wanted to share some things I love about being an adult, just to even out the balance. I don’t think I have any teenage followers, but maybe some in their early twenties? Anyway, I don’t want people to fear adulthood, because there are amazing things about it:

–Normally, I end my evenings by sitting on my sofa in my flat in pleasant solitude, drinking herbal tea and reading and listening to that morning’s Essential Classics on Radio 3. This should be the dictionary definition of bliss.

–Even though I have experienced bullying as an adult as well as when I was a child/teenager, I feel like my internal resources for dealing with it are better now and growing all the time. I no longer feel like the bad things people say to and about me define me.

–Buying my own laundry detergent means I can finally pick one that I’m not allergic to. I am no longer 110% covered in red itches at all times.

–I have friends who are boys and my dad isn’t in my house to constantly harrass me about them.

–Last year I went to a concert of science fiction scores played by the Royal Philharmonic with someone I know slightly from church. It was the actual coolest.

–My brother and I are friends now that we live in entirely different cities. He texted me the other day for advice on his CV. It was nice.

–My friends either share my interests or love the fact that I’m so interested in those things. It’s been years since I’ve said to anyone “I learnt an interesting thing today!” and they’ve replied, flatly, “define interesting”.

–I just feel so much more like myself than I did when I was a teenager. I’m okay with hating make-up/loving Disney films/being super career-driven/being great with kids, and the fact that those things would seem to make me a contradiction, and that I’m actually just me.

–My mum keeps defending my right to be single to anyone who tries to commiserate with her about the fact that she doesn’t have grandbabies. Adulthood, for me, has meant becoming friends with my mum.

–I know enough about myself and the world now to realise that understanding social/relational stuff is a real weak point of mine. When I don’t understand those things now, I say “I don’t understand this” to my friends, and they help me without laughing at me. (Then I help them with their CVs and knowing where their apostrophes belong. Turn and turn about is fair play).

–Enough bad things have come and gone in my life that I know dark seasons will pass, and even the things that aren’t temporary (my dad will probably never not be a borderline-homeless misogynistic conspiracy theorist again) are just part of my life, not the whole of it. They don’t consume me. When awful things happen, I am sad for a few weeks or months, but I know that one day I will be not sad for a while, and that is worth hanging on for. This is something I never could have known when I was a teenager, because not enough bad things had come and gone from my life.

–I would not trade the worst day of my last six months (which was awful and heartbreaking and I think I literally cried for 24 hours straight) for any day from my life aged 11-16. I have been sad, this year, but I also knew it would pass. It gets better. It gets so much better.

Me, an INFP: I’m such a hopeless romantic. I dream of falling in love at first sight, marrying on a cliff overlooking a beautiful view of the ocean, and living happily ever after.

Me, also an INFP: Meh. I have strong fears of rejection, betrayal, and loss of passion. I don’t currently feel that I could actually handle the emotional struggles of being in a relationship. I’d be better off single, with a dog or two (or cat).

I AM A FEMINIST

“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of all genders, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, religion, ability and sexual orientation.”

I am a feminist because I am too scared to walk alone at night.

I am a feminist because I got lined up in a classroom in order of who had the nicest arse, aged thirteen, by all the boys in the class.

I am a feminist because everyone asks me if I’m feeling OK on the days I don’t wear makeup.  

I am a feminist because a man I was managing was paid the same as me.

I am a feminist because every girl I know was sexually harassed before the age of sixteen.  

I am a feminist because women write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and they’re labelled chick lit. I am a feminist because men write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and get longlisted for the Booker prize.  

I am a feminist because 50% of the films nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards did not pass the simple Bechdel test.

I am a feminist because whenever I watch a movie, music video, or open a magazine, I feel instantly insecure about my body.

I am a feminist because my two-year-old niece pointed to a picture of a blue hat in a book and said, “Boy’s hat”.

I am a feminist because I am regularly interrupted by men whenever I dare to open my mouth.  

I am a feminist because when I do mixed-sex school visits, the girls never, ever put their hand up to ask a question. But, when it’s just girls, we usually have to leave extra time for questions.

I am a feminist because I feel I need to hide my tampon up my sleeve on the way to the toilet.

I am a feminist because teenage boys come up to me at events and ask if they’re “allowed” to read my books.

I am a feminist for all the boys I supported, working at a charity, who would rather harm themselves than cry.

I am a feminist because my wonderful, caring, brilliant feminist father has still never cleaned a toilet in his life.  

I am a feminist because this is only the tip of it. The tip of it in my privileged, first-world, pale-skinned, straight, fully-abled life.  

I am feminist for all the women for whom it is unimaginably harder than it is for me.

I am a feminist because I am angry and exhausted and terrified and frustrated and confused. And even though it’s so much harder to fight, so much easier to roll over, I am a feminist because… how can you not be a feminist?  

I am a feminist for all the things I’m damaged by that I don’t want to share here today.  

I am a feminist. And I’m not saying that to make you feel guilty and defensive. I’m not saying that because I think you’re a bad person. I’m not saying that because I hate half of the human population and want them all punished.  

I am saying that because I believe every human being should have an equal shot at a healthy and happy life, no matter what body they are born into. And that’s not going to happen unless we fight, unless we speak up, unless we occasionally make people feel uncomfortable, unless we – at the very freaking least – TRY.

That’s why #IAmAFeminist. Now, how about you?

  • nina: oh inej, you beautiful, naive, sophisticated newborn baby
  • nina: oh inej, you beautiful, rule-breaking moth
  • nina: inej, you tricky minx!
  • nina: oh inej, you beautiful spinster, i will find you love
  • nina: inej, you beautiful, tropical fish
  • nina: you are a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox
  • nina: inej, you poetic and noble land mermaid
  • nina: oh inej ghafa, you perfect sunflower
My Puppy

Originally posted by rapnamu

Pairing: Taehyung X Reader-First Person View

Genre & Warnings: SMUT, fluff, pet play. 

Word Count: 4,406

NOTE: Pure Filth. Turn back now if you don’t want to see. Turning Tae Tae into my Fuck Puppy (Thanks Anon). Soft femdom. Let me tell you, it was an EXPERIENCE writing this, and I am still not perfectly pleased with it. Mostly because I’m never happy with my own smut writing. I had to do so much research, so google probably thinks I’m freaky naughty af. Which I suppose I am considering I wrote this lol. So, for those that are hardcore into this and think I didn’t portray it well enough, I’m sorry, I tried. And I learned quite a bit about myself, like the fact that if I ever get my hands on someone like Tae, I am so going to try this. Now enjoy, and excuse me as I go drench myself in holy water to cleanse myself of sin. 


“You know, I hate the winter. It reminds me of your cold heart.”

My now ex-boyfriend mutters this line, looking into the snowy sky. He sighs loudly and saunters off, without looking back. What a fucking drama queen. I can’t help but snort as I watch him disappear into the light snowfall, and wonder what movie he got that line from.

Cold heart.

I don’t have a cold heart. He was just a damn bore. He never wanted to do anything but watch movies, and freaked out if I suggested anything besides missionary. I’ve been thinking about breaking up with him for weeks now, but was putting it off because I knew he’d cry. This saved me all the hassle.

Note to self: Don’t date actors.

Keep reading

so, my buddy littledivinity and i have been talking beauty & the beast a lot, because ‘tis the season, and we somehow stumbled upon the idea of the story being told about a middle aged belle and the beast instead of youngins, and how that would make the story even more resonant.

and then just now i randomly thought, “what if nicole kidman and ewan mcgregor starred in such a film?”, because my soul needs nicole kidman and ewan mcgregor to fall in love again on a movie screen like it needs few other things in this life. plus, you know, musical, bright colors, awesomeness, hurrah!

and then i thought, ‘but wait, actually, what i really want in this life, even more than brightly colored musicals, is more lowkey and lovely fairytale movies like exquisite and incomparable 1998 masterpiece ever after

and just picture it!

nicole kidman is the longtime spinster school teacher who lives in a quaint vaguely magical 19th century-esque country village, but she’s a badass teacher who exposes her students to different philosophies of thought and probably takes them outside for nature studies and calisthenics. (so, basically, miss stacy from anne of green gables.) the school board hates her, probably, and is very suspicious of what kind of IDEAS she’s filling the local kids’ heads with (why does she keep saying it’s okay for girls not to want to be wives and mothers, or that it’s all right for boys to cry???? is it possible that she is A WITCH???), but her parents were very well regarded in the town when they were still alive and so that bought her some respect for awhile. but there’s a new fancy schmancy family with school aged kids in town, and they’re extremely disapproving of miss nicole, and trying to find a way to oust her as schoolteacher and replace her with a man who is probably very similar in temperament to mr. collins from pride & prejudice. a man who will put patriarchal gender roles back into childhood education!

meanwhile, ewan mcgregor is a grumpy old hermit duke or something who once had great wealth and privilege but has fallen into disrepair. maybe someone cursed (magically? complicated vengeance-ly, a la the count of monte cristo? who knows) his family long ago due to their shady rich people business dealings, and his father killed himself to escape the scandal and his mother died of heartbreak and his fiancee who he thought loved him steadfastly dumped him to marry another, and now ewan’s the last surviving member of his once-great family and he just lives alone this grand old manor house that has gone totally to seed. he isn’t an actual beast, because it seems like in this day and age that’s going to require levels of CGI that my quaint b&tb retelling movie just don’t need, but let’s say that he’s quite unshaven and dirty and generally off-putting and he sometimes ventures out into the forest that separates his estate from the village, but is never seen actually frequenting the village. there are abundant rumors that the forest and manor house are haunted by a beast/ghost/warlock/vampire (how does he SURVIVE if he doesn’t come to the weekly market for food???), and everyone knows you don’t go there. also, people like to gossip a ton about his family and the scandal even though it was decades ago and they all dead. because people suck.

so one night, some of nicole’s rowdy teen pupils maybe steal some wine from one of their parents’ liquor cabinets and venture into the woods and dare each other to go past the gate of his manor house, and he catches them at it and gets HELLA PISSED @ THESE UPPITY HOOLIGANS INVADING HIS PROPERTY. kids today!!!!!!!!! he probably locks them in the stables so he can deliver them a 5 hour lecture on why they suck, and also why all of humanity sucks. which isn’t the worst fate ever, but, like, he kind of looks like a straight up crazy ax murderer (crazy hair! crazy beard! tattered clothes! definitely hasn’t bathed this month!!!), so there’s some serious panic in the hearts of these kids.

Keep reading

5

The Legend of Korra Rewatch: The Battle of Zaofu—► {Kuvira}

I want you all to know that I would never ask any of you to do something that I’m not willing to do myself. So, rather than risk your lives, I will fight the Avatar one-on-one. Korra, if you win, then you can do whatever you want with Zaofu. But after I beat you, I want you out of my business for good. I’m the one who brought peace to the Earth Empire, not you. You’re not relevant here anymore.

anonymous asked:

so here's the deal: i'm gay and sure i'll die alone. is this a bad thing and if so what do i do

i’ve been sitting on this message for a long time, and it admittedly often runs through my mind. it’s an idea i’m still answering or analysing for myself, and i wanted to give the best possible answer. short and snappy, direct guidance.

something i think many gay people have had to reconcile: the idea that you are alone. without a community, that you are an unwanted abnormality. with a community, that you are alone in your specific brand of loneliness—so, again. an unwanted abnormality.

i can see my way through these things rationally. as a woman, i in part feel this because it has been pounded into my head that my sexuality is only acceptable as a symptom of male desire. as a child in a small town, i internalise that i might be the only one. stories of crones and spinsters, women who are only free from their eccentricities once they completely reject the notion of trying. once they physically become their isolations.

we live in a society where, for a variety of reasons good-natured and terrible, there’s a pressure to settle down (however that is defined for you). you are running out of time to not only fall in love, but to experience it. an extension that i don’t know how to relate to straight people is that my scope feels limited. i have spent life as an outlier, and i can come to think it’s because i am inherently unlovable.

divine punishment, or something. cosmic comedy.

i’m ranting to say you’re not alone in that, and i hope you know you can trace that anxiety back to somewhere. even if you can’t deconstruct it entirely. it’s hard. a loneliness which encompasses friendship, family, romance. but there are people who share your experiences, who in some sense already know you intimately.

gay relationships of any kind massively miss the opportunity of being portrayed the way straight relationships are. whether it is not discussing the intensity or honesty. you can have any sort of relationship you would like, or could have. they all exist. these connections and people all exist.

mostly, that’s what i would like you to know. as someone still struggling with this anxiety, that’s what is easiest for me to accept. what is being experienced has recognisable roots, and the world is all but infinite. it’s possible, these people exist, this connection exists.

2

(So I just realized I spelled ‘taught’ wrong, sorry for the misunderstanding~)

“So, Captain Levi…  Some citizens in the city informed me that here I would have found ‘humanity’s strongest’, but all that I see is just the same little, annoying brat I had to bear a long time ago” you stated, sarcasm dripping from your voice.

You had barged into Levi’s study without even knocking, causing the Corporal to glare hardly at you. The (H\C) woman had been rather sassy and rude, but in his eyes you had never been more beautiful and charming; your (E\C) eyes glittered with excitement and mocking spirit, while you put your foot on the Captain’s desk.

“And I see the same, old, sour spinster I had to listen to a long time ago; is that a wrinkle I see on your face?” he smirked, satisfied with his remark. He would never admit it out loud, but he had missed you, very much so.

“Well it might be. Or it’s just your sight getting worse and worse because of old age” you smiled with mirth and smugness. Back to the old days, the two of you had shared the same kind of arguments everyday, never getting bored of bickering like an old married couple. He had missed that part of you too.

You sat in the chair in front of the man, crossing your legs and planning on testing your long lost student just a little more.

“So shorty, I assume that you’re still the same cleaning obsessed moron you have always been, aren’t you?”

“Yes, just like you’re still the same pathetic old hag you’ve always been” 

“Well I’m happy to hear you say that because starting today I’ll be residing here and now I know for sure that this pathetic old hag won’t be sharing a room with you”

“Tsk like if I would let that happen”

“Oh and who exactly are you to tell me what I have to do, brat?”

“I’m the reason you’re here, aren’t I?” he smirked again thinking about the good old memories he had shared with you.

After all that was just their way of flirting

Another Look Around (Gaston x Reader)

Originally posted by reyskyvalker

Word Count: 2,097

Warnings: None

    Early mornings in your small village of Villeneuve were something of a dream. The soft lavender skies were yawning off the dawn and blossoming into day, a thin, swirling mist drifted above the rooftops and over the distant hills, setting the entire scenery in a hazy, enchanted state. The smell of fresh bread being baked and the aroma of the floral shops wound through the cool air like an intoxicating perfume.

    The premature breeze on your face and the fresh, dewy air was enough to make you beam despite the morning hours. You closed the front door carefully behind you, not wanting to wake your sleeping family and slipped down the steps and through the small gardens that flourished in front of the house.

    The clicking of your boots on the cobblestone was a solitary noise. One of the few other sounds present were the quiet songs of the rising birds, and the creaking of the wooden blacksmith’s sign that hung suspended over his door. It was so simple and quiet and serene that it was easy to imagine that the town was merely frozen in time rather than emerging from the night hours.

    Any time now, you thought to yourself as you took up your usual vantage near the square. Sure enough, it wasn’t more than a minute before the first cheery “bonjour!” rang through the air.

    You squealed a bit as a pair of arms were thrown around your shoulders from behind, and a familiar voice near your ear said, “Guess who?” You laughed and responded jokingly, “Hmm. Prince Charming.” The person gave a light, musical giggle and untangled herself from you to say, “Sorry, no such luck. Guess you’ll have to make due with me for now.” You rolled your eyes and turned to face her. “Oh, how dreadful.”

    Belle smiled widely and embraced you properly. When she pulled back you glimpsed an unfamiliar binding peaking out of the folds of her dress. “New book?” You asked eagerly, linking your arm through hers. Belle’s eyes lit up and she nodded, pulling the novel out of her pocket and holding it out to you as you began to wade through the steadily filling streets. “I found it in the cellar last night,” she explained as you gazed at the worn brown cover lovingly. “The Count of Monte Cristo,” you read.

    The pair of you paused to purchase a few items from Monsieur Jean, then resumed your walk. “I haven’t read it yet,” Belle said, dodging a group of laughing children as they danced past. “But from what I saw when I glanced through it, it seems exciting. Adventure and revenge and romance…”

    “Sounds like the perfect package.”

    “That’s what I thought. But I’m not finished with Romeo and Juliet yet, so you can read it first.”

    You squeezed her arm and grinned broadly. “Thanks.”

    Passing through the crowded rows of vendors every morning was uncomfortable when your family had first moved to Villeneuve. You and Belle had taken instantly to one another, despite the fact that she was considered by the townspeople to be a “funny girl”. It wasn’t long before you became guilty by association and earned yourself the same title. You were the only bookworms in town, the only people who ever thought of leaving for a different life, the only people who were able to disappear into their imaginations to escape the mundane. However at this point, you were both used to it. You learned to ignore the staring eyes and disapproving glances.

    After making a few more stops and greeting several of the shopkeepers good morning, you and Belle had managed to make a full circle around the square. You were just about to join Belle for a late breakfast when you were stopped by a loud, deep voice calling your name from across the street.

    You flinched, closing your eyes and groaning, “Oh no.” Belle snickered, her eyes fixed on the man who’d called to you. “Well,” she said hastily. “I’ll be at the house. Good luck, (Y/N)!”

    Belle gave you a smart smile, then dashed from your side and made her way quickly down the street towards her home.

    “Thanks a lot,” you muttered, shaking your head at your best friend as she disappeared from view. Steeling yourself, you slowly turned to face the man swaggering towards you, his red coat nearly blinding you in the bright sunlight.

    “Bonjour, Gaston,” you greeted politely.

    Gaston flashed a dashing white smile, the edges of his eyes crinkling slightly as he took your hand and placed a kiss to the skin. “Good morning, Mademoiselle,” he returned, his voice simultaneously rough and silky.

    “Mademoiselle? Really, Gaston, have we not know each other long enough for you to remember my name?” You teased lightly, beginning to walk slowly towards Belle’s. “On the contrary, (Y/N), yours is a name I could never forget,” Gaston assured you, following instantly. You resisted the temptation to roll your eyes.

    Gaston was easily the most popular figure in the village, as well as the handsomest. The only problem was that he knew it, and rarely did he try to conceal that fact. When he walked by, women would melt like snow on a summer day, and men would stare after him in envy. A former war captain, Gaston was most certainly an impressive sight. His chest was broad and strong, his skin tanned, his arms and legs thick with lean muscle, and his hair was dark and shiny. His face could’ve been carved from enchanted stone, his jaw and cheekbones sharp enough to cut, dusted with dark stubble. His lips were nearly always smirking, and his eyes were a smoldering brown. Ever the romantic, the man could make a horse swoon without lifting a finger. There was no denying that he was truly something.

    “You’re flattering me, Gaston,” you replied, brushing your fingers along the iron fence that ran the length of the street. “It’s too early for that.”

    “Well, in that case perhaps I should drop by later this evening.”

    You winced inwardly, realizing that you’d practically walked right into that one. You halted abruptly, causing Gaston - who had been trailing particularly close - to bump into you. You turned to him with a slightly annoyed expression, to which he merely smiled apologetically. You pursed your lips, trying to find a kind way to refuse his offer. In the end all that came out was “Um…not this evening.”

    The shaky and terribly unconvincing way in which you’d spoken made even you cringe. Unlike Belle, you didn’t despise Gaston, and sometimes even enjoyed his company. However his constant attempts at wooing were a bit off-putting at times, and soon they began to blend together into one big blur of flowers and romantic gestures. It was because of this that you declined his invitation, yet the last thing that you wished to be was rude or insensitive…or in this case, awkward.

     There was a falter in Gaston’s smile as he asked, “You have other engagements?” You bit your lip debating whether lie and tell him that you had plans, or to tell the truth and admit that you simply weren’t in the mood for company. You wound up hesitating too long, causing an ungraceful “Yes” to tumble through your lips.

    You wheeled around quickly so that Gaston couldn’t see you scrunch your face in frustration. You were usually able to handle these situations with relative ease, but for some reason, today was different.

  Gaston continued to follow you as you set off once again towards Belle’s, clearly seeing straight through your terrible lies. This time when he spoke, his voice was suave, but earnest.

  “Oh, (Y/N), how long must you keep this up?” he said, practically walking on top of you, his chest to your shoulder, somehow managing not to trip either of you. “It’s been three months and talking to you is practically like trying to hold a conversation with a brick wall.”

  You gave a short, breathy laugh and countered, “It’s been four years, Gaston. Ever since we met I couldn’t go five steps without either you or LeFou hanging over my shoulder. Surely even you can see how that might get a bit old after a while?”

  Gaston didn’t reply immediately. In fact, he stopped where he was, and you had made it to the gate of Belle’s house by the time he pursued you again. You slipped through the iron fence and closed it just as Gaston arrived, planting his hands on either side of where yours rested on the gate. “Very well then, perhaps my attempts have been a bit excessive over the years –”

  “A bit.”

  “- but answer me one thing, (Y/N) …if not me then who?”

  You opened your mouth to reply, but nothing came out. Gaston’s expression was imploring and sympathetic. Whether or not it was sincere, you couldn’t tell. You swallowed, unable to respond.  

  “What about after your father and mother die?” Gaston went on, slowly sliding his hands to cover yours. “And it’s just you and the responsibilities that you won’t be able to fulfill without a husband at your side. You know what happens to spinsters in this town once they’re left on their own…” He leaned forward over the fence. “…they wind up on the streets, begging for food and spare coins from complete strangers until the day that they die sad, lonely deaths…”

  Your heartbeat was accelerating. If you had the will, you would’ve informed Gaston that coming upon a single stranger in Villeneuve was immensely rare, and that you obviously wouldn’t be alone, thanks to your friendship with Belle. But the words simply wouldn’t leave your throat.

  By this point, you and Gaston were practically touching noses. Your cheeks were now the color of his crimson coat, and your gaze was trapped in his intense brown eyes like flies trapped in honey.

  “I wouldn’t be able to live knowing such a fate had befallen you,” he whispered.

  You swallowed thickly. “Are you implying that I’ll never find another man besides you?” you practically squeaked. Gaston smiled sympathetically. “Of course not. Only that time won’t wait for you.”

  “So you think I simply haven’t met the right man?”

  “Well -”

  “Because it’s a small village, Gaston. I’ve met them all. So, I suppose that means that my future husband won’t be a resident of these parts.”

  With that, you gathered enough willpower to pull your wrists from his grasp and back away towards the front door. Gaston gave what sounded like an indignant sigh. “Well, maybe you just need to take another look around!” he said, easily swinging himself over the fence and following you to the steps.

    You turned back around once you reached the top, seeing Gaston perched beneath you, one leg mounted on the second step, staring up at you. You raised your eyebrows.

  “Another look around?”

  “Exactly!”

  “Preferably in your general direction, I suppose.”

  A dazzling smirk slid across his lips.

  You laughed out loud, turning your back and grasping the knob of the door. Before you could open it however, Gaston tread up the steps two at a time, throwing one hand against the door to prevent you from escaping him, leaving you trapped between the pane and his body.

  “Gaston!” you practically whined. He looked pleased with himself, but stealthily masked it. “Please, (Y/N),” he said quickly, giving you a desperate smile. “Just one more chance. That’s all I’m asking of you. And if in the end your feelings are unchanged, then I will relent to your wishes and leave you be.”

  You were surprised to see his eyes suddenly soften, and for the moment, his entire demeanor changed. The cockiness faded to nonexistence, and sincerity bloomed in its place, so raw and real that you felt butterflies going haywire in your stomach. Your chest was brushing his, the difference in your heights was laughable, yet somehow he seemed so, so, close…

  In one swift move, you managed to remove his arm from the door, yank it open, and slide inside. But before closing it, you hastily informed, “It wouldn’t be completely pointless for you to look for me at the tavern tonight.”

  Then before the heat in your face became too evident, you closed the door and practically collapsed against it, your heart pounding and an extremely stupid grin on your lips. It certainly didn’t help when you heard Gaston’s deep, husky laughter ringing just on the other side of the wood.

  Belle peered quizzically at you from the kitchen for a few seconds, then she frowned as she asked, “What on earth happened to you?”