“What do dancers think of Fred Astaire? It’s no secret. We hate him. He gives us a complex because he’s too perfect. His perfection is an absurdity. It’s too hard to face. No dancer can watch Fred Astaire and not know that we all should have been in another business.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov
This is my first time writing Elucien and I have discovered that I love them. I was inspired by the scene in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice where Mr Bingley is following Jane around the ball (see gif) and I’m pretty sure Elain and Lucien are now solidified as Jane and Bingley in my head. Forever.
Elucien: Sorry! I didn’t mean to touch your butt.
The party was bright and vibrant. The windows were open to allow temperate weather outside to sweep away the stuffiness that threatened to swarm the room. Lucien was proud of what he had put together with the help of his mother, and Elain as well. His mother and Elain got along like dry sticks and a flame, which he was not at all surprised about it. They both had a gentleness and kindness that seeped deep into their bones, into their very being, but they still were strong and wilful.
He and Elain, they were taking it slow. Through the war and the recovery after Lucien hadn’t uttered a word to Elain about the mating bond. He had kept quiet for her. Lucien wanted Elain to adjust, to be and find out what she wanted before he approached her to accept it. He wanted her to want him and love him, without her feeling like she had to. Even though at times in drove Lucien mad not to be with her, not to claim his mate and love her as she deserved. But, slow. They were taking it slow.
In the meantime they had become friends, as they were undeniably drawn to each other. And lately, lately Lucien thought he had felt something more. Both from him and from her. Sometimes feelings thrummed down the bond and they had suggested… well something more. Lucien knew he was in love. Everyday he spent with her he was determined to make her laugh just so he could smile at the way Elain’s nose scrunched up when she did, or he would show her something that would make her eyes to open wide in wonder. He was unwaveringly dedicated to making her happy.
Lucien watched as his guests danced and mingled. The Night Court’s Inner Circle was here but they mainly kept to themselves. All except Morrigan who danced and flittered about the room seeing whoever she pleased, the shadowsinger never far behind. Lucien looked to the Inner Circle now to see if he could spot Elain. He only saw two golden brown haired heads and neither belonged to his mate and sending a sweeping glance around the room Lucien still couldn’t spot her.
“Looking for someone?”
The soft voice that sounded behind Lucien made him turn and he found Elain standing behind him. The sight of her knocked the breath out of him for moment. She looked radiant. Dressed in a gown of the palest lavender that it was almost white and with the tiny white flowers woven through her braided hair like a halo, Lucien thought she looked like and angel.
Elain smiled at him. “You’re staring.”
Lucien felt a flush rise to his cheeks and he swallowed before he quickly said, “You look beautiful.”
It was Elain’s turn to blush and she glanced away, “Thank you.”
Lucien was not this away around anyone else. When Elain stood in front of him his sarcasm and bravado fell away and he was left blushing and almost painfully awkward. His mother said he was simply a fool in love.
Clearing his throat he said to Elain, “Do you want to take a walk?”
Elain nodded, then Lucien extended his arm indicating that Elain should lead the way.
Lucien remained half a step behind Elain as they started to walk, it made weaving through the crowd easier. At times they were paused as people caught their attention, greeting the High Lord of Autumn and complementing him on his party. Whenever the guests commented on the party Lucien was sure to give Elain the praise she deserved, which she waved away with laugh and a blush. When they were left to themselves Elain asked Lucien about his horses, knowing he had been anxious about them recently as this years foals were starting to be born. Lucien could talk endlessly about his horses, being his passion and escape from his High Lord duties. And Elain, she listened and took interest. She knew which were his favourites and she asked after them by name and shared any concern and joy Lucien had in them.
They had now almost reached the edge of the crowd. Lucien noted that Elain had led them towards the gardens that just lay outside the party room, one of her favourite places in the whole Court. As she walked ahead of him Lucien watched as her skirts swished about her and how the ends of the lilac ribbon that was tied around her waist got lost in them. Without really thinking about what he was doing Lucien reached out to grab it, to run its softness through his fingers.
Elain turned to him, surprise written all over her face as well as a question. Missing the ribbon Lucien had touched Elain’s backside, practically pinched it. Lucien was sure his face matched the bright red shade of his hair and he was eternally grateful that they were now in the quiet corridor near the doors of the garden where no one could see his shame.
He swallowed once. Then twice. “I umm…” he stuttered out his face going impossibly redder, “Sorry! I didn’t mean to touch… your… ummm…”
Lucien was mortified. The offending hand rubbed at his face and neck while he looked anywhere except Elain’s face. Where Lucien was to go from here, he didn’t know. He sent a silent, gratitude filled prayer to the Mother thanking her that Nesta hadn’t see, otherwise he may have been dead this very moment. . Lucien felt reassurance and forgiveness and endless amusement pulse down the bond and he met Elain’s eyes.
Elain had a slight flush on her cheeks but beyond that she didn’t seem perturbed. She smiled at him then she leaned forward and kissed his cheek before taking Lucien’s hand in her own and began to lead them into the garden.
Lucien’s cheek burned where Elain had kissed it and he thought to himself that he might embarrass himself more often if this was his reward.