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#eris fic
mcuamerica · 29 days
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Loving Flames | Part One
Pairing: Eris x Reader
Summary: Amarantha decided to 'gift' you to Eris Vanserra to get back at Rhys. Requested by anon here.
Warnings: 18+ only, canon level violence, alludes to SA, the word whore shows up a few times, (again not proofread), let me know if anything was forgotten...
Word Count: 4.6k
Disclaimer: I do not own SJM’s characters, only the ones I create for the purpose of this story. This is a work of fiction. I do not give permission to repost my work on any other platform or medium. Please be respectful.
Dividers from @saradika
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Eris met you when you were 35, years after the war. It was at a High Lords meeting, with your father bringing you along to introduce you to the court. It snapped for Eris in that moment.
You were wearing a spectacular navy blue and silver gown, fabric attached to your shoulders to make it look like a cape. Your wings were tucked in tight behind you to keep from bumping into anyone.
He tried to speak to you that night, tell you about the bond, but his father pulled him away quickly and he didn’t see you again.
The next time he saw you, however, you were by Rhysand’s side in all black, mourning the loss of your father and your mother. And your wings. While Tamlin’s brothers didn’t kill you, they almost did. Taking time with you is what allowed you to live, unfortunately for you.
Eris tried approaching you again, needing to say at least something to you. This time, Azriel, the ever obedient guard dog, growled and told him to leave. These ceremonies were for friends only. Which the Autumn Court was not. That night, Eris gave up on the idea that you and him could be together. He decided to leave you be, and avoid you at all cost.
But then Amarantha came sweeping in. Rhysand brought you to the ball with all of the High Lords when she took their powers. As since Rhysand’s father killed Tamlin’s, she wanted to punish him more than just taking him to bed.
“Beron, which one of these is your heir?” She asked, perched atop the throne. You were standing close to Rhys, his arm around your back. Eris, even though the bond was buried deep down, could feel the nerves radiating down that bridge. You were terrified. That she was going to hurt you. Or Rhys. And what better way than letting your enemy do it or you.
“I am,” Eris spoke before his father could utter a word. His father shot him a deadly look, but Amarantha’s smile widened.
“Good. I’m gifting her to you.” She said and smirked, nodding towards you.
Your eyes widened. Rhys looked to Eris with an even deadlier look than his father, almost saying ‘if you hurt her, you will be killed slowly and I’ll enjoy it.’ Eris stepped forward, soliciting a growl to come from deep within Rhys’s throat.
“Easy, bat, I will be gentle.” He said, unable to drop the mask. He forced his hand to remain steady as he reached it out to you.
You shrunk closer to Rhysand, listening as he leaned down and whispered something not even fae eyes could detect. You looked up to Rhys with pleading eyes.
“Hurry, now, I do not have all day.” Amarantha said, staring at her nails as if she were bored.
With a final nod from Rhysand, you shakily took Eris’s hand.
He did not pull you, instead allowing you to walk with him back to where his father and brothers stood. After that that, he let go of your hand. He promised himself he would protect you, even if you all thought he was a monster. He would never harm you, and never make you do anything you didn’t want to. Not as long as he could help it. His mate. You were under his protection now, and he would be damned if he let anyone harm you ever again.
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Deciding to make you suffer even more, since you were the reason Rhysand knew about Tamlin’s brothers hurting you, Amarantha assigned you to a tiny room connected to Eris’s. It didn’t have a fireplace, and it barely fit the small bed that was in it. There was a small room filled with revealing clothing. Specially placed there so you could please Eris, according to her.
But months went by and he did not touch you. He would escort you to court dinners, offering you more food than the small portion you were allowed. You never accepted, eyes always darting for your brother to bring you some sort of comfort. But, Rhys was barely there. If he was, his eyes were cast downwards as Amarantha stroked his arm or his leg, making it clear that Rhys was her obedient dog, her whore. It made you sick to your stomach, but you knew he did it to keep your family safe. So maybe one day you could return to the sanctuary of Velaris.
You flinched slightly as Eris rested a hand on top of yours. “You need to eat, my lady,” he whispered. What seemed to be concern filled his eyes.
“So you can treat me like a pet?” You asked, swallowing your fear.
“So you can survive this.” He said. “I-“ he glanced up as Amarantha stood up to make an announcement. “I will come to your room tonight and I want you to have strength.” He said before she began to speak.
A chill ran down your spine at the thought of what you imagined on your head. You looked down to your plate, taking a small bite of the food. You were no good if you starved yourself. And if you didn’t please Eris like he wanted to, either he or Amarantha would punish you. Probably in front of your brother. Or make him do it.
Eris hummed in agreement to your action, before his attention looked towards Amarantha.
That night, you were shivering in your bedroom. The light set of pajamas doing nothing to keep you warm in the cool room, surrounded by nothing but stone. You perked your head up when the door connecting to Eris’s room opened. He normally used the main one connected to the hall, but tonight he must have wanted to be discrete. Bile rose on your throat in anticipation of what was about to happen, tears welling in your eyes as you body shook from the cold.
“I’m taking you to see your brother.” Eris said quietly. You looked at him, sitting up even more as you curled into yourself more.
“Why?” You asked
Eris’s heart broke at the sight of you, shivering from the cold and near tears from what you imagined he would do. He could be the villain in your story as long as he could keep you safe. But he needed you sane, as well. He would not let you deteriorate under this gods-forsaken mountain.
“Did you not hear Amarantha? She is sending Rhys to do scouting for the next few months. And I’d like for you to get a proper goodbye.” Eris said. “Here,” he said, pulling out the long, wool lined robe for you. “You’ll be warmer in this.” He even warmed it up with his internal heat before he came in here.
You slowly reached out, grabbing it before wrapping it around your body. He saw as you sunk into its warmth, wish that it was him you could find such comfort in.
He held out a hand and you slowly took it. “I’ll need to act like I’m taking you somewhere else, so just stay close and don’t talk.” He whispered before wrapping an arm around your waist. While you would have normally recoiled, you could only lean further into his body heat, much warmer than any you’ve know before. You assumed it was his internal flames burning under his skin, maybe causing his temperature to be much warmer than others. It must have been a nice luxury to have. Though, you were certain he had a fireplace in his room. Not that it would be hard for him to conjure flame anyway.
Eris stole glances at you, hoping that this would make you happier. You hadn’t seen Rhys, at least not at a distance where you could embrace or talk, for at least a year. But Eris knew Rhys would take your unwillingness to eat as Eris forbidding it, or some other malicious thing. Your eyes were sunken, each piece of clothing hung from your body looser as the days passed. You looked tired, exhausted, as if someone was draining the life force from you. No matter how many times Eris had asked, you were never allowed outside with him. Not even on one of the upper balconies. Your punishment for being alive while her friend was dead. It seemed Amarantha wanted to punish you more than Rhys. And Eris was just glad he could be there to protect you from most of her wrath, claiming that his gift shouldn’t be harmed. The things she threatened to do… Eris hoped she wouldn’t figure out you were his mate. Because if she did… even if her and Beron were allies, Eris didn’t think she would spare you much longer.
Eris knocked on a door, one of the shadow wraiths opening it. Your lips turned into a gentle smile as you greeted Nuala, happy to see a familiar face.
At the site of you, Nuala stepped aside. Rhys had bruises all around his neck, where he was staring at them in the mirror. You swallowed and looked up at Eris.
“Five minutes.” He said and stepped back, nodding at you to go in. You tentatively took a step inside, and once you were over the threshold, Nuala shut the door. Rhys turned, his eyes widening as he finally took account of who was in the room.
“(Y/N),” he breathed out rushing over to you. He looked you over, frowning at how poorly you looked. He cupped your cheeks and searched your eyes. Searching for the carefree little sister he knew. “Are you okay? How did you get here?” He asked.
Rhys must have put a shield around the room before Nuala opened the door, if he did not know Eris brought you here.
“I’m fine… I wanted to say goodbye. You are leaving for the outside soon.” You said, your voice quiet and weak. If Amarantha was trying to torture Rhys, she was doing a good job at it.
“Has he hurt you?” He asked.
You shook your head, wanting to say how well Eris was treating you. But the look on Rhys’s eyes told you he wouldn’t believe you. Maybe you needed to make more of an effort to be involved in this ridiculous, cruel court. But would that make you any better than Beron? Would it help you? Would it help your brother?
Rhys pulled you in for a hug and you wrapped your arms around his chest, burying your head in it. “Please come back.” You whispered, holding him tighter.
“I will never leave you here.” He whispered, rubbing your back. “And I will do everything I can to get you away from him.” He said as he pulled away.
“Did Amarantha do this?” You asked as you traced the small circular bruises on his neck.
“She likes to mark her whores.”
You frowned, looking up at the cold look in his eyes. “I’m proud of you.” You whispered. “I want you to know that… you are doing what is right for our family. And I’m so proud that I can call you my brother.”
You could see the words didn’t hit like you wanted them to… and your heart sank at the thought of Rhys not thinking he was doing enough. Or that he wasn’t good enough. “I will see you soon, (Y/N).” He said, pressing a loving kiss to your forehead.
You glanced at the time on the clock, then noticed Rhys had a balcony to go outside. “Fly for me, brother.” You whispered before stepping back. “I will see you soon.” You said before turning around and walking out of the room. You gave Nuala another smile before finding Eris with his back against the opposite hallway wall.
You walked up to him and took a quiet, internal breath. “I’d like new clothes.” You said to him.
His rose his eyebrows, shocked at your sudden urge to talk to him. “Excuse me?” It came out more rude than he meant it, but didn’t let that show.
“I-“ you started and then took a visible deep breath. “If I am to be your gift, I want to be presentable. I would like new clothes.” You said. You had no intention of doing anything for Eris, and the more you could avoid him, the better. But if Amarantha thought Eris favored you, maybe she would let you out. Maybe you could fool her into thinking you were enjoying it. And maybe that would be enough for her to let you leave your room by yourself.
“Okay.” Eris said.
It was your turn to be shocked. You thought you would need to convince him a lot more than that.
“Give me a list of clothes you’d like, and I’ll see what I can do.” He answered, then held out his arm. “Now come, you must be tired.” He said.
You tentatively took his arm, still slightly shocked that he didn’t dismiss you. This male that you knew to be cruel and abusive was nothing but kind, gentle, and patient with you. You started to piece together the times you interacted with him, and couldn’t think of a single time were he was mean. Maybe distant, cold, but plenty of faeries were like that. Your brother was like that a lot of the times. It was a mask to keep him safe. Maybe Eris was the same. Maybe you could trust him.
You faltered as he did not stop at your door, but kept walking a few more steps to his. You looked up at him and watched as he opened the door and lead you inside. Maybe you didn’t escape what you dreaded earlier today.
“It’s warmer in here. If you’d like, you can sleep in here. I can take your room.” He said.
You frowned. “What?”
“Every time I see you, you are freezing. And it’s because Amarantha put you in a room that is meant to be a cooler. Why it’s attached to a bedroom, I don’t know. But I don’t think it’s the proper place for the Princess of the Night Court to sleep.”
“But… won’t you get cold?” You asked, glancing to the door that connected the rooms.
“I run hot.” He said, a slight smirk coming to his lips.
“Why are you being nice to me?” You asked.
“Maybe it will be beneficial to me later on.” He said and shrugged. “But I cannot bring myself to harm you.” He said. “In anyway.”
And he showed it. From then on, you stayed in his room. Soon enough, you offered him to come to your room too. Even with the fire, you were still cold. You supposed it was the lack of food, of sunlight, of fresh air. It was not good for your body. So, you asked him to join you in the bed. Just to sleep. And he obliged, staying on his side of the bed. Until one night, where you were particularly cold after a ‘winter’ ball was thrown.
You turned over to Eris, who seemed to be asleep. You were in an oversized sweater and some loose pants. Courtesy of your wardrobe he provided for you. “Eris?” You whispered.
His head turned towards you as he opened one eye, a small smile coming to his lips.
He would act like this whenever you were alone. When no one could see you, he would show you a soft side. A side that had you wondering where all the cruel things said about him came from. This couldn’t be the same male that left your cousin for dead in the Autumn forest. He was so different than how Mor described him. If he was helping you, why wouldn’t he help her?
“Yes, princess?” He asked.
You weren’t even technically a princess, but he insisted on using the nickname. You were surprised it didn’t bother you.
“Can you… make the fire warmer? I’m cold.” You said quietly.
His eyes flickered to the burning hearth before looking back at you. “Can I try something before?” He asked.
You searched his eyes and, as usual, found no malice. Maybe a hint of mischief, if you detected it correctly. You gave him a nod, narrowing his eyes as he asked for you to turn on your side. Your back facing him.
“Do you trust me?” He asked when he noticed your hesitance. You paused at the question. You’ve been asking yourself the same thing for months. Almost a year now. Could you trust Eris? “Remember what I said? I won’t hurt you.” He said.
You slowly took a deep breath, turning your body so your back was facing him. You tensed up when you felt him shift on the bed, wrapping an arm around your waist and pulling her closer to his warm body. “What- what are you doing?” You asked.
“I’m going to make you warm.” He whispered in l your ear, the breath sending a shiver down your spine. In the best way.
Suddenly, you felt his hand settling on your bicep, and your arm instantly warmed up. You relaxed into the warm, smiling to yourself.
“Is this better?” He asked, rubbing your arm up and done as he held you close.
“Much.” You answered, even leaning into his chest more.
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Eris became your anchor Under the Mountain after that. You often found yourself clutching his bicep, not wanting to be far from him. He stayed true to his word. He would not hurt you. And, apparently, he wouldn’t let anyone else hurt you either. One day, you were in the throne room as the court reveled, sitting on a loveseat while you waited for Eris to bring you something to drink. One particularly drunk made stumbled his way to sit next to you and got too close for your liking. Right as he was about to wrap an arm around you, Eris hauled him out of the seat. He pushed him back and said something with a growl you couldn’t hear, and then the male was running out of the room. Not many males approached you after that.
Maybe it was because your brother was gone for so long, or maybe it was because Eris was genuine to you. Even when you were out of the room, when he wore that cool uninterested mask, he was gentle with you. His touch was never too tight or too harsh. Was never too high or too low. He made you comfortable. You were starting to like him. As a friend, at least.
For the next 40 years, you were always around him. Even when Amarantha gave you more freedom, you wanted to be near Eris. Rhys started to notice, but didn't say anything as it was only apparent for your affection to his enemy before Summer, Winter, and Day rebelled. And then Amarantha's reign became increasingly strict. With only High Lord dead, and a new one taking his place, there was more tension than ever. Especially because anyone who was caught doing anything suspicious was whipped or tortured in front of the court. Sometimes, your brother would be the one to hold their minds and do it.
However, after finding out that Autumn and Night had nothing to do with the rebellion, she decided to be nice one day and allow you to the upper levels. She gave you in particular one rule, do not go outside. You couldn't help but watch as your brother went out on one balcony. And on the other, Beron and his sons were laughing. Actually laughing. It was only one month when the High Lord of Summer was killed and a bunch of Winter children were closed. Children. And Amarantha was celebrating you all.
Eris, however, was sat across from you on the couch. He noticed the way you longed to go outside, realizing while he was allowed out to visit his court with his father, you were stuck Under the Mountain. You hadn't been outside in more than 40 years.
"You should go, celebrate." You muttered, motioning to his family. "You may not be able to leave for along time." You said, frowning as you looked to your hands.
"I'm just fine in here." Eris said, resisting the urge to lean over and grab your hand. While you never crossed a line of being intimate, or anywhere near it, you had become friendly with Eris. You were more than glad to curl into his side at night, hold his hand at the dining table, or grab his arm while you walked around the passageways.
Before you could suggest it again, one of Eris's brothers peeked his head into the room. "Eris, bring your whore in here." He said.
You internally winced at the term, and Eris glared at his brother. While many people had called you the same, Eris normally corrected them. Especially his brothers.
"She isn't my whore." He growled out. "And if you call her that one more time, Sol, and I will rip your throat out." He said. "Besides, you know she can't go outside."
"Ah, Amarantha will never know." Sol said and smirked. "We'll distract the bat, you take her out there for some alone time." He said, making his way over to the balcony where Rhys was standing. As Sol pulled him inside, you could visibly see and hear Rhys's growl. He didn't want to be here, but if he could watch you amongst the Vanserras, he would.
"Sol-" Eris called out but groaned when him and one of the other brothers pushed Rhys out to talk to Beron and the Lady of Autumn. About what, you didn't really care. You stayed in your seat, taking a deep breath.
"I could at least open the door." He said and stood up, going over to the free balcony and opening the door to let in the breeze. You stood up, standing in front of the threshold. You closed your eyes as you felt the wind on your face, even if it was light.
The smile that came to your lips took Eris's breath away. Even in this terrible place, you could still find small bits of joy.
You looked down at the gap between you and the rest of the world, Eris standing on the other side. "Thank you." You said quietly to him, holding out your hand for him to take. He squeezed your hand, fighting the urge to pull you over the threshold and into his chest. He could image your giggle and scolding before you stepped back into the room. But before he could answer you, Amarantha burst through the doors with two of her sentries.
"Seems like the little princess can't follow the rules... Ah, Eris, are you trying to disobey my command?" She asked.
Your eyes widened and you immediately dropped Eris's hand. "I didn't go outside." You said quickly.
"No, but you were about to. And Eris was going to help you." She said. Rhys and the others came in.
"Now that I ponder it, I do remember hearing about the two of you sneaking around the passage ways months ago. That wasn't to spy, was it?" She asked. "Acting as lust-crazed fools?"
You never once showed any interest in Eris like that, and yet everyone just assumed the two of you were sleeping together. Or more like Eris was fucking you as he pleased.
"Nothing to say? Too bad." She said and nodded towards the sentries, one of them grabbing you and the other grabbing Eris. Rhys lunged forward to try and protect you, but Eris's brother's grabbed him.
"Relax, bastard, no one's going to hurt the princess." Sol teased.
"What is the meaning of this, my queen?" Beron asked, the ever-loving servant. His wife next to him looked completely uninterested other than a hint of worry for her son.
"We will make sure Eris and the princess never sneak around again." She said, giving a small wave before walking out of the room.
Before you knew it, you were standing in the throne room with Eris on his knees. One of Amarantha's sentries had a whip in his hands. "This is what you get for disobeying my command. And you get to watch princess, for luring him like you did the former High Lord of Spring." She said.
You looked at Eris, then at Rhys, pleading him with your eyes to do something, anything to stop this from happening. Rhys just tilted his head and stood beside Amarantha. Of course he thought Eris tried to pull you out and he would gladly see Eris punished over you.
The sound of the whip rang out, skin ripping underneath it. Beron and his other sons stood, stoically watching the punishment.
"How many month ago was it? 5? You've been sneaking around 5 months?" She asked. You weren't even sneaking around, you were simply walking. "5 more." She said and you struggled against the sentries holding you back. "Oh and another 5 for all those months lying to me." She said.
More sounds of the whip. More skin ripping. You watched as Eris clenched his teeth, never yielding a yell or scream. Like he had endured this before. You, on the other hand, were silently crying. You desperately tried to hold back your tears, but you couldn't.
After the final sound of the whip crack rang out, Eris sagged to the floor. "And 10 more, because I don't like hurting my friends." She said.
"Stop!" You screamed, an instinctual tug at your gut telling you he would bleed out if he received any more. "I'll do anything, stop this. Eris didn't do anything wrong." You begged, the sentries yanking you back as your legs almost gave out from under you.
Rhys shot you a look that essentially told you to shut your mouth, but you didn't see it. You were staring into Amarantha's cold eyes.
"Anything?" She asked. When you let out a whimper and nodded, a side smirk came to her red lips. "What about agreeing to be locked in sweet Eris's room under I die?" She asked. "Seems like a fair trade, since you disobeyed my command of not going outside. And you can't roam the halls with him either."
You let out a gulp, hearing a small whisper from Eris telling you not to do it. "So long as you, or anyone of your behalf, hurts him again. I will stay in his room." You said.
"Unless I command you out to court, you will stay in his room. And I, nor anyone on my behalf, will not hurt him. Until I die." She said.
You stood up straighter, feeling Rhys's eyes on you. "We have a bargain." You said.
"That we do." She said as you used your magic to imprint a tattoo on your back, right where Eris's scars would be. In doing so, you did the same for Amarantha, who only smirked more. "Take him to a healer. And take her to the room." She said. You stumbled as they pushed you towards the giant doors. You watched as Eris's sagging body was hauled up by his brothers, nearly sobbing at the sight of him.
As the sentries pushed you through Eris's room's door and shut it behind you, you suddenly realized what you agreed to. You were going to be trapped in this room forever. Unless she wanted to torment you more. Or she died.
What did you just do?
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Part Two
A/N: This was so much longer than I expected and it's not even finished yet.. There will be at least another part! Hope you all enjoyed!
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historiaxvanserra · 8 months
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These Violent Delights | An Eris Vanserra story
Summary: At a ball in Hewn City, you meet your match in Eris Vanserra
Pairing: Eris Vanserra x Archeron!Reader (brief mentions of Azriel x reader)
Word Count: 7.6k
Previously called If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. I changed the name to adapt if from a one shot into a series.
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You had been born on a night like this, you think. The storm-streaked clouds line the heavens like flowering hydrangeas as they dissolve into a black abyss and the moonlight shines like pearls on the water where the horizon meets the Sidra. 
Storm-streaked they had called you. 
When you were a little girl, your father had told you that you had come into this world in the same way as the old Gods had. Born from the merciless depths of some unknowable blue-darkness; cruel and beautiful, and fearless. 
Now fear is all you know. 
The crack of forked white lightening against the darkening horizon pushes you further into introspective thought. The visions come with the quiet; flashes of silver and gold and the icy embrace of the water. That infernal cauldron and what it had taken from. It haunts you, even in dreaming.  
Of late, the days seem to pass in a state of perpetual purgatory, marred by memories and the water– an unforgiving tempest that tears through you. 
The water cleanses but it also devastates. 
Your father had once called you water; the salt and the sea. 
You had always wondered what that meant. 
But here you stand-- a storm incarnate; volatile, half-wild and isolating. And who can become the water without inheriting its violence, or its loneliness?
The feeling of harsh violet eyes on you is enough to drag you gaze from your spot near the balcony and the storm as it rages outside. 
“Are you ready, Nesta?” Rhysand’s voice is velvet night as it reverberates around the small waiting room. 
A chill runs down your spine when you catch his eyes, glinting and violet in the dim light. You regard Nesta cooly as she tilts her chin upwards. 
“Let’s get this over with, shall we?” Nesta’s eyes are lined with kohl and looking at her is like looking into the eye of a storm.
She always had an austere kind of beauty that left you speechless. 
Rhysand only nods simply before taking Feyre’s arm and approaching the large doorway. Nesta and Elain fall into rank behind them with practiced ease. It is you who hovers awkwardly in the background for a moment before taking your place in the middle of the formation. A solitary figure amongst them. 
You swallow thickly and you catch the lingering scent of a night chilled mist as you bristle. A whisper of night wraps itself around you like a cold comfort. These days his scent seems to follow you like a shadow; though, you suppose when you’ve spent every night this week wrapped around him, trying to drown out your own thoughts, there is bound to be a trace of him that lingers there.
At last, the towering doors to the throne room yawned open. 
The throne room is lined with black candles and evergreen wreaths frame the doorway, and moonflowers climb up the high, onyx pillars like ivy. And on each side of the aisles there were two magnificent banquet tables, piled high with food enough to feed a city. Though it was not to be touched without express permission from the High Lord.
A ripple of dark power reverberates through the mountain as The High Lord and Lady enter the throne room. You swear you feel the mountain wail in their presence. It is a powerful thing and you feel something within yourself begin to stir with it. 
A cold rage as it makes a home in your chest. 
The courtiers pale as they approach, parting like the tide as their High Lord and High Lady brush through them, crowned in silver crystals and garbed in midnight black robes. 
Rhysand looks beautiful you think as your eyes find him in the procession-- he stands tall against you all, his hair perfectly quaffed and the rich scent of mandarin and night-blooming jasmine seems to follow him.
All that pales in comparison to Feyre; the dress she wears is like tangible shadow. Gossamer thin silk and tulle that glitters with flecks of silver starlight, all gathered about her waist with a thin belt that accentuates the swell of her stomach. 
The room beholds her with baited breath; a sense of awe and ire. 
She looks like the visage of some ancient Goddess of the moon; pale and beautiful in the silvery light. 
You sense a shift in the air as they approach the dias and Rhysand’s shoulders tense; he is a picture of male pride. There is a dangerous quality to it that chills you to the bone. A cold violence that feels almost kindred to you. Feyre’s full red lips part and she smiles until it seems to dampen Rhys’s anger as he reaches for her as they climb the steps of the onyx dias. 
Keir’s face is twisted in a half-grimace, somewhere between astonishment and anguish. Behind him the Eris Vanserra remains fixed in place, his face set in a painfully neutral expression as he regards the High Lord and Lady. 
Motion from behind you beckons you to move as Nesta and Elain fall into step with you and begin to pace the length of the aisle and approach the dias. 
All three of you are dressed in Night Court black. A symbol of your place amongst the royal family. A warning of the dark power which you all possessed. Stolen and gifted from that cauldron. A reminder of your value. It is a carefully rehearsed routine as Nesta takes her place between you both, the flare of her skirts bushing against the marble floor with each long stride. You and Elain flank her sides like two wraiths. 
Elain looks sallow in black, you think as you catch her eyes. A poor initiation of the coldness you wear so well etched onto her beautiful face and steely determination in her dark, rich eyes. 
Nesta outshines you all tonight-- her golden hair braided into a crown atop her head and a delicate crown glints in the lantern light, slender spikes jutting forward in a dark corona. Her wicked eyes glinted like cobalt in the light. She’s dressed all in black. The gown itself is skin tight and embroidered with intricate silver brocade, twisting vines and moonflowers adorn the velvet bodice, tracing the curve of her breasts and sinking low, to her navel where the silver thread gathers about a sapphire that matches the crystals on her crown. 
Nesta is a cruel beauty; enough to bring a God to his knees. 
And Cassian looks about ready to sink to his knees before her as you regard him on the dias. 
Nestas moves with a feline grace, expressive and smirking as she takes her place between Cassian and Elain on the platform. 
Feyre and Rhysand sink into their thrones with a measured grace and from your stop between Elain and Azriel you can see all the eyes in the room as they flit from one member of the Inner Circle to the next. 
But it is the strange amber gaze of Eris Vanserra that you meet in the gathering crowd. He offers you a courteous nod and the ghost of a smirk graces his full lips and you send a scathing look in his direction in return.
You hope he feels the bitter sting of your coldness as your eyes try to find anything else in the throne room to focus on. 
Azriel rolls on the balls of his feet as the silence settles in the room and he inches so close to you that you feel the scarred pads of his fingers brush the exposed skin of your back. 
“You look good in black,” his voice is impossibly quiet, almost inaudible as he dips low enough that he is speaking into the shell of your ear. 
A cold chill runs up the length of your spine.
“Thank you, Shadowsinger,” You say simply, a feral smile on your lips as you bare your teeth to him. 
A laugh sharp and cruel rings through you and Azriel’s hand tangles in the lengths of your hair tugging sharply. 
“You are most welcome,” Azriel agrees, his voice is like shadow and wind as it graces your ears “most welcome indeed.”
Azriel steps back into line as Rhysand stands to address the crowd. 
Your own spine straightens as though it is muscle memory by now. Obedience. To bend and break as the High Lord and Lady saw fit. 
Rhysand looks like Night Triumphant as he regards his uncle with a strange union of cruelty and cordiality. Recently Rhys and Feyre had softened slightly with the people of Hewn City. Keir in particular. They can’t afford to isolate him from court politics-- in case the need arises for his Darkbringers to fight again. Hence the fact Rhysand even abides his presence at all. Rhysand’s cruel gaze lingers just a touch too long though. A careful reminder of the fate he’ll earn if he ever decided to go against Rhys. 
It’s been months since you’ve been to Hewn City, longer since you involved yourself in court politics. Longer still, since any whispers of the Trove or Briallyn reached you. Though you aren’t naive enough to believe it is over. 
None of the Inner Circle are. 
That is why you find yourself in Hewn City tonight. Swathed in the sallow light, and painted like a pretty whore; all red lips and dark eyes, with trembling hands, wanting nothing more than to be back in that little cabin with your sisters by your side-- as you were when you were girls. 
Feyre rises to her feet to join Rhys and she addresses the crowd, “May the blessings of the Winter Solstice be upon you.” 
The crowd seems to hum in acknowledgement and then they bow in a show of deference. 
Or blind obedience. 
Your eyes meet the strange amber gaze of Eris Vanserra once more, and it is you he looks at when he kneels. 
Keir slinks forward, offering your sister a low bow, “Allow me to extend my congratulations, High Lady.” His voice drips with false flattery as he dips his chin in a show of esteem. 
Eris Vanserra moves like a predator as he stalks forward, offering your sister a devastating, cultivated smile that feels almost authentic. “And allow me to extend my sincerest wishes, on behalf of my father and the entire Autumn Court.”
Rhysand’s mouth curls into a wicked half smile, his eyes darken to an amethyst color as she speaks “I’m sure your father will be most pleased for us.”
The implication that hands in the air is a dangerous one and you can feel the color drain from you at the terse exchange. A few more beast of silence and--
“Music,” The High Lord calls out and the orchestra from behind the mezzanine begins to play lightly, the sounds of lyres and harps ring through the air. 
Feyre once again addresses the crown, every inch the High Lady, “Go--eat--enjoy.” The crowd of silent courtiers disperse throughout the room as they aim to take their places at the tables. 
Each banquet table is piled high with an obscene amount of food and you find yourself feeling ashamed of the blatant opulence before you. When once you had nothing. Now you live without wanting. It makes you feel ashamed. How your old self would resent this wasteful indulgence. 
Turning away from the feasting courtiers you turn inwards towards the thrones on the dias. 
Now only Eris and Keir remain standing before the High Lord and Lady. You notice how neither of the men has deigned to acknowledge Morrigan’s presence behind the thrones. She looks ethereal and savage as she smirks down at them, her lips look as though they are stained wine red. 
Blood red, you think. 
The Illyrain’s at either side of you and your sisters look more like beasts carved into the dark stone of the mountain than anything else. Azriel and Cassian are clad in black armor, each adorned in ruby and sapphire to match their siphons that glow faintly in the low light. The brothers look as though they are the visage of some Gods of old; statuesque and hard-faced as they regard the Autumn Prince.
Cassian in particular looks like he might invoke some of that ancient power to stop Eris from dancing with Nesta tonight. He had not objected but, how could he? Rhys was his brother and his High Lord. Obedience is easier than the alternative. 
And the fate of The Night Court-- his home-- could rest on Eris’ alliance. So he will bite his tongue in the knowledge that what Eris offers is a chance at defeating Briallyn and Koschei. 
From your spot you watch the Autumn Prince with piqued curiosity. He will not stop looking at you and it is infuriating. 
It brings a cold anger bubbling to the skin's surface; all biting fury and icy violence. 
The conversation between Keir and Rhys seems to come to a natural end and the lull in the conversation has the whole room falling into silence, waiting for their next order. Like puppets.
And your sister the puppet master, pulling the strings as she commands, her voice like thunder at midnight, “Dance--”.
The courtiers like a midnight sea part and pair off in swathes of dark silk and velvet. Even Keir retreats into the crowd and pairs off with a dark haired female. 
Eris turns on his heels, the wrap of his riding boots against the floor echo through your head. 
“Before you join in the merriment, Eris,” Rhy’s voice is a velvet drawl as he presents a long black box, “I’d like to present you with your Solstice gift.”
You swallow hard and step forward. Procuring the box from Rhysand you press forward, one long stride that brings you face to face with the Autumn Prince and for the first time you truly look at him. 
A night-kissed wind envelops the pair of you, enough to wrap behind Eris blocking the dias from view of the dancing courtiers. 
Eris Vanserra is devastating; he has a cruel sort of beauty, with a strong jaw and high cheekbones that look sharp enough to cut into you, but his eyes are soft and unwavering. He is a strange juxtaposition.
Eris arches a brow at Rhysand and you flip open the carved lid of the box. Eris stiffens, his voice low and dangerous. 
“What is this?” he asks, somewhere between disbelief and wariness. 
“A present,” Rhysand clarifies and you catch a glimpse of ruby and gold on the hilt of the dagger. 
You refrain from grimacing at the truth you are confronted with. Rhysand and your sister want to sell off Nesta like a broodmare and her Made weapons with her. 
A truly beautiful piece. And dangerous too. 
Like Eris, something in you calls.
Eris’ hand hovers over the open box and he sucks in a sharp breath.
“You sense its power, then?” Feyre asks voice dripping with a sense of smugness that does not suit her in the slightest. 
Eris nods carefully, his eyes flicking to the High Lord and Lady before finding yours again. 
“There’s flame in it,” he says, hand still hovering over the weapon. As if something in him senses its true power. He closes the lid abruptly. “Why give it to me?”
Feyre smiles lightly and shrugs, “You’re our ally.”
Feyre rests a protective hand over the swell of her stomach, “You face enemies that exist outside of the usual rules of magic. It’s only fair to grant you a weapon that operates outside of those rules too.”
You stand transfixed by the twitch of his jaw and the bob of his throat as he considers her words. 
“It is truly made then?” He asks, carefully. His eyes never leave yours and it is your voice that answers his question. 
“It is, My Lord.” your voice comes out all cold and gravelly, unlike yourself. 
Rhysand speaks again though the beating of your heart renders him almost mute, “From my personal collection. An heirloom of sorts.” 
“All this time,” Eris’ voice is dark and thoughtful, “ all these years you possessed a Made weapon and you kept it hidden.”
“Even during the war,” Eris says more to himself than anyone else. 
There is a dangerous sense of anger and skepticism in the air as Eris examines the weapon again, his hand once more runs over the length of the dagger, his fingers barely ghosting the cool metal. 
“Don’t take our generosity for granted,” Feyre offers in warning, her voice quiet and threatening. 
Eris stills and nods in acknowledgement. He extends a smile that looks courteous enough to be genuine and once more allows his finger to run over the smooth length of the blade. “Thank you,” 
“Might I leave it in your safekeeping while I dance, My Lady?” Eris’s voice seems distant and far away and it takes a moment for you to realize that he is speaking directly to you. 
You look at him coldly, unable to muster the warmth of genuine affection when he is looking at you like that. It is infuriating. That someone so cruel might also be so insufferably handsome. 
“Yes, My Lord.”
Feyre nods to Rhys and Eris in acknowledgement and against your better judgment you let your eyes linger over the graceful curve of his calves and up over the contours of his muscled thighs, all the way up over the broad expanse of his chest and finally becoming entangled in the unbound curls of copper hair as he sweeps it over his shoulder. 
Devilishly and devastatingly handsome. Sun-blood handsome. 
Feyre’s soft lilt brings you back to reality as she says “Use it well, Lord.” 
Your sister's smile curves into a soft smile at Eris and extends a hand to him, “Ordinarily I would ask you to dance, but my condition has left me quite unwell.” Feyre makes a show of looking between the two sisters who stand in line with Cassian and Azriel. 
Elain, at least, has the good grace to give the impression of seeming interested. Nesta though looks bored. As though she is only half listening. As though they hadn’t just given away the dagger she’d Made. 
Perhaps it was the way that Nesta’s grey eyes had drifted away from the dancing sea of courtiers, or the forlorn look on Cassian’s face as he stood on the dias, but either way it made you realize something. That maybe the Illyrian General meant more to Nesta than she would ever let on. More than that dagger-- more than magic or power or court politics.  
Feyre notes the direction of Nesta’s stare and then looks between you and Eris. The corners of her lips twitch in nervous anticipation as her eyes settle on you. 
“My lovely sister shall take my place.” Feyre nods to you and for a moment you let the icy wrath in your stare settle over her before dipping your head to her. 
Eris’ throat bobs as you assess him with that same cold gaze. A slender hand takes the Made dagger from you and you hold out a hand to him. 
He extends a sculpted arm out to you, his large hand wrapping around you as you yield to him. His long, deft fingers brush against yours; his skin is warm to the touch and even in the pallid light it is clear and pale, with golden hues that compliment the warm depths of his eyes. Your chest grows taut and you feel emotion course through you with the force of a raging tempest. 
You loose a breathy gasp and for a moment you exist somewhere outside of yourself. You hear Eris’ voice, a warm, low timbre as he utters your name. He offers you his arm as you descend from your spot on the onyx dias. The sound of your slippers echo in the silent chamber. Eris’s face is set in a painfully neutral expression and you try your hardest to mirror it. Hoping he will not see the storm raging inside of you. You think of Nesta and the way she moves with such thoughtful grace and so you copy it; your chin tilted high and each step becomes a glide as you reach the edge of the marble dance floor. 
The eyes of the courtiers fall onto you. 
You feel the heat of Eris stare as it burns into the side of your face-- you feel a pair of violet eyes on you too. A cold chill spreads through you when his talons scrape dangerously and then you see him in your mind's eye. What a dangerous turn of events. 
Dangerous? You had never considered yourself as something dangerous. 
Nesta might have seduced Eris, but you will bring him to his knees. Rhysand’s cold tenor rattles around your mind and for a moment you see him standing at the precipice of a cliff as the storm rolls in, and the jagged rocks below look like the opening of a Helmouth. 
There is no doubt that Nesta is more beautiful. With a feline sort of beauty; long legs and a graceful neck, all angular and steely eyed. Nesta had inherited the aristocratic sort of beauty that your mother possessed. You had always been half-wild, unapproachable and--
Well, it is your mother’s voice that resounds in your head, of two sisters one is always the dancer and one the watcher. 
Tonight the roles reverse as you take your place in the middle of the dance floor. You will bring him to his knees. 
You catch Azriel’s eye as the instrumental music fades into momentary silence. From his spot on the dias he looks like a dark God; and he looks like he might just tear Eris to blood ribbons when his hand wraps around your waist. 
Eris brings you so close to him that you're pressed against him and as the harp begins to play, high and sweet, he smiles softly at you. As if the notes of music wrap around you, you raise your palm to his flat and open, an invitation if he has even seen one. 
The low stringed instruments usher in the music like a coming storm, a summons to the dance in a rushing of music, like water. You remind yourself to smile wickedly at Eris as he slides a broad hand over the curves and divots of your waist and hips. You lift your head high and, looking up into his perfect face you bare your teeth to him. All ruby red lips and pearls and he smiles so wickedly that you’re not sure who is supposed to be seducing who. 
Those strange amber eyes-- so haunting in the faelight. 
The harps and lyres sing so beautifully in the air and when the violins begin to play, it feels like a siren song in the air. A beckoning. As your body moves with the ebb and flow of the dancing tide. 
Eris leads you into the waltz, he moves with practiced ease. He knows every note, every trough and swell of the music, each nuance and note. 
Nesta would outdance you everytime. This you know. She moves like the music becomes her. And in so many ways it does. Her body bends to the will of the orchestral sound, and it bends to her too. 
So you will have to play it differently. 
The music sweeps you up in it’s tide, and as the music swells you decide to surrender yourself to the water. Let it wash all over you. Your body, once rigid and taut, goes pliant in Eris’ arms. You let the orchestral sound drown out your doubts and give yourself over to it. To him. His fingers ghost the line of your spine and he pushes you further still, against him. So close that you feel your heartbeat in tandem and your body bends to his will. 
It is easier to bend than to break. 
Better to relinquish control than have it taken from you. 
Eris’ eyes widen and soften then-- as if he feels it too-- you feel his hands loosen before tightening again around you. Somehow different now. Somehow, strangely, comforting. 
He moves with such grace and skill, his body reacts to every fluttering note and pause in the music. And the whole time his eyes are on you. And you can’t look away. The dark, warm depths of his eyes like a slow-burning fire that consumes all in its wake. 
You find the faces of your family in the crowd and you see that their normally composed demeanor seems to have shifted, their eyes wide and jaws slack as you move with the tide. 
Tonight you are the storm and the fire will bend to you. 
You will bring him to his knees, you think. As the music washes over you. 
Has there ever been such a haunting and mournful sound in all the world? Your name falling from Eris’mouth perhaps.
The snippets of the music Nesta had described to you, from her memory of the Veritas, paled in comparison. It flows and swims around you, filling you like water, and if you let it, it could be enough to drown you. To sink into the depths of the high-arching song. 
Eris smiles again when you fall into step with him so effortlessly, like you are an extension of him. 
One soul in two bodies.
His broad hand tightens over the flare of your hip, his fingers flexing before digging into the malleable flesh. The smile you give him feels much too vulnerable and genuine to bring you any sort of comfort. 
Eris' amber eyes shine with feral delight and you see yourself reflected in his eyes; you look like sin personified. The dark material of your dress gathers about your waist, held in place only by velvet ribbon and a few embroidered onyx crystals. The deep cut of the dress is so low that it bares the ample curve of your breasts and your strain to catch your breath because of how tight the dress has been laced. 
The person you see in Eris’eyes looks like the incarnation of some ancient deity; dark and cold, and cruel. And beautiful. 
Eris’ broad hand spreads across the middle of your back, pressed firm between your shoulder blades and you burn beneath him. As the music lulls and flutters his gaze locks onto yours and flame simmers in those dark topaz eyes and a smirk pulls at the corner of his mouth. Cat-like and feral as he dips you low, supporting your weight in his arms. His face comes to hover over yours and you’re transfixed by his unyielding stare. 
Beautiful and haunting eyes.
One hand is wrapped around his neck and the other you bring to touch his cheek with the tenderness of someone who has never truly been touched. His face falters and something akin to raw vulnerability flashes in his eyes. 
Bring him to his knees.
In one swift movement Eris sweeps you so that you are standing upright, pressed so close to his chest that you feel each groove and divot of his sculpted chest. You place that same hand over his blazing heart and as the music filters into stunned silence, Eris eyes you with feral delight. 
For a moment, as the heaving in your chest subsides you allow yourself to remain in his tender grasp. His fingers ghosting the curve of you hip and the small of your back, rubbing slow, deliberate circles into the skin there. 
The faces of the courtiers turn upon you. 
You, this once-human female, barely out of girlhood, who had been thrust into this world of dark power and politics. 
Who stood before them now, coloured in the murky green hues of Hewn City. 
Storm-streaked girl. 
It is like being born again and the mountain trembles in your wake. 
The eyes of your High Lord and Lady land on you and Eris at the foot of the dias. Rhysand rises in his seat and his violet eyes meet yours and something wicked and enchanting flashes in them. Feyre regards you with a wild smile and she laughs before tipping her head to you in acknowledgement. 
And in a show of secret defiance you plunge into the deepest curtsey you can manage; your chest still rising and falling with a dramatic flare, and your skirts pool around you like inky shadows as you sink low onto the marble. You dip your chin ever so slightly, never quite breaking eye contact with the cruel violet gaze that assesses you with a dangerous glint. 
A laugh of dark joy bursts from Eris beside you who in turn, offers his own small bow before capturing you again in his firm hold as the orchestra begins to play again. 
Your mother had always wanted a Prince for Nesta, and yet, here you were-- beautiful, cruel and merciless, with the Autumn Prince sinking into the cold depths of your eyes. 
Everyone who has ever loved you has underestimated you. But looking into Eris’ eyes you see something kindred to you. 
You will bring them all to their knees. 
Eris' amber eyes gleam with want as he takes you in again and you loose a shaky breath as he leads you into the next dance. 
The music is soft and light, the strings sing a song so aching and mournful that you feel once again overcome with it. All of your violent coldness, all that biting fury, rendered a useless ruse as the music becomes you. 
Eris might be the monster they all say he is, but looking at him now, in the soft light, you see something else. 
“Trust Rhysand to keep such a beautiful creature to himself.” Eris’ amber eyes study you carefully. 
You school your face to remain neutral, with just a touch of scorn as you bite back. 
“If beauty is all you can see, My Lord” You say, your voice dark and taunting, “I fear you have missed the point entirely.” 
“Intelligent too,” Eris chuckles darkly and wraps a wisp of your unbound hair around his forefinger, “and dangerous.”
You don’t deign to reply though Eris continues his assessment of you, his eyes trailing over you, afire with dark promise. 
“I’ve seen you before though,” Eris asks as he steps into the next part of the song, “haven’t I?”
His eyes narrow on you and you think back to the last time you saw Eris Vanserra. 
“At the High Lords meeting,” You say quietly, your voice thick with shame as you recall the meeting some months back. 
You had been little more than a wraith then, when the dreams of drowning in that cauldron plagued you nightly, a girl gulping on a woman’s grief. Now those dreams only come with the coming of a storm. A warning or some ill-fated omen.
“The time since the way has changed you.” It is not a question but a statement. 
You don’t smile at him like you should. Instead you meet Eris’ burning stare with a measured look of your own, “For the better, I hope?”
Eris thinks for a moment, as if looking for the right words to express his meaning. 
“You are a Goddess.” he says slyly gesturing to the dress as the skirts brush against him, baring the slit in the thigh to him. 
“Then kneel to me.” You say, not missing a beat as Eris laughs wickedly and brings his mouth to hover over the shell of your ear. 
“It seems you came to play the game tonight, afterall.” Eris says, his voice a low murmur in your ear. 
He spins you again, quick and violent before you crash back into him again, “don’t believe the lies they tell you about me.” 
“But I should believe you?” You ask, arching a brow to the cruel prince. 
“You shouldn’t believe anyone here, Little fox.” Eris tips his head towards the dias where Mor watches the pair of you from her spot besides the High Lord and Lady. 
“The Morrigan knows the truth,” Eris insists, “though she has never revealed it.” 
“Why?” You ask curiously. 
“Because she is afraid of it.” Eris’ voice is tempered and quiet and he casts the Inner Circle a look of his own, “they all are.” 
Your mouth twitches with the ghost of a smirk as you press yourself further into him, “You don’t do yourself any favors with this mask you wear.”
“Don’t I? I’ve managed to ally myself to this court, under constant threat of being discovered by my father-- do you have any idea what he’d do to me if he found out, Little fox?” Eris asks, the fire within him lighting and flickering in his amber eyes. “I ally myself with this court, I offer aid when I can, I placate Rhysand with ceremonies and shows of deference. Why do you think that is?”
Eris dips you again and the fan on his unbound hair brushes against your bare shoulders. 
“Because there’s something in it for you.” It isn’t a matter of question. You know it to be true and you see it in the way that Eris regards you with a mixture of fondness and caution. 
“Because there is something in it for me,” Eris confirms, “and tell me, what is in it for me?”
“What is it that you want, My Lord?” You ask, fluttering dark lashes at him and the music swells. 
“What is Rhysand offering?” Eris counters and leads you further into the center of the floor. 
“Nothing that I have the power to grant you.”
Eris laughs, the sound like silk on your skin and you shiver as he brings his lips to graze your ear, “I very much doubt that, Little fox?”
You swallow thickly and a surge of dark power pricks at your skin. You let him see it; all that cold rage, and the violence of the sea. 
Eris' face twists but not from fear and a strange look of reverence shines in his eyes. 
The waltz comes to a close and as the music fades into the chatter of the courtiers he whispers into your ear once more. 
“They say your sister Elain is the beauty, but you are something else entirely.” His breath is hot and sacred on your neck, and a broad hand strokes the bare skin of your back and you find yourself arching into him. 
Eris takes a step back from you, holding your hand above your head and turning you slowly as his eyes roam the curves and contours of your body, “You are wasted in the Night Court,” 
“Truly wasted.” His voice is a low whistle as you stop in front of him now. 
“And where might I be used more effectively, My Lord?” 
Eris chuckles again but before he can answer--
“Get your hands off her, Eris.” Azriel’s voice is like cold death that cuts through the spell that Eris has you under. His wrath comes off him in waves that crash against you, halting your movements. 
The dancing sea around you seems to cease to move as Eris and Azriel lock eyes. 
Eris straightens his back and he closes his hand over yours-- gently, almost protectively-- and he locks his eyes onto Azriel. 
Hazel and amber meet and shadow and light seem to dance in the air. The courtiers wait with baited breath. 
“I don’t take orders from the likes of you, Shadowsinger.” 
You stifle a snarl as you look at Azriel. Who does he think he is? He has no claim over you. He had made that much clear when you started this thing. A means to an end. A placeholder for another sister. 
“Am I to understand that you’d like to dance, Azriel?” You ask cooly, trying not to let your violet rage show in the darkness of your eyes. 
“Yes.” His voice is insistent and thick with jealousy and the promise of violence. 
Before you can pull yourself from Eris’ protective grip, Azriel is tugging on your wrist and bringing you into his side. 
Eris bares his teeth to Azriel and fire dances in those strange amber eyes. “Go sit at your master’s feet, dog.” 
Azriel laughs darkly and his shadows become a violent wisp of dark that wraps itself around you in a possessive manner. 
You swallow down the shame that you feel when Eris looks at you -- like all the power you had just moments ago has been ripped away from you, and now you are just another piece on the board to be bought and sold as your High Lord saw fit. 
A pretty whore, painted like some dark Goddess.
You band an arm across Azriel’s chest as he lunges forward in a flurry of movement. 
“It’s alright,” you offer Eris an apologetic smile, “I’ve taken too much of your time already.” You say diplomatically, taking Azriel’s hand in your own and pulling away from Eris.
Feyre and Rhysand had given up one of Nesta’s Made daggers in the name of Eris’ continued alliance, surely, one interrupted dance will not jeopardize it. 
Eris offers you a taut smile and he bows his head to you, “Very well then, we’ll play later, Little Fox.” 
Eris doesn’t so much as acknowledge Azriel as he ventures towards the dias again. 
Azriel holds you in place, one hand wrapped around your shoulders and he searches you as if looking for signs of injury. His touch is cold and biting. 
“Happy now?” you roll your eyes at him. 
Azriel stares coldly at you, his face set like stone, as if carved into the dark stone of the mountain, “not in the slightest.” 
You glance hesitantly over his shoulder and see Rhysand and Feyre each sharing a look of subtle fury. Azriel will no doubt be on the receiving end of a mental lashing. If Azriel has cost them this alliance it comes down on you too-
“He touched you and I-,” Azriel’s voice is weighted and serious at the same time you speak out. 
“Whatever has passed between us,” you say gesturing between you and him, “it has to end, Azriel.”
If Azriel felt anything at all but cold indifference his face does not show it. 
“Because of Eris?” Azriel asks incredulously, his tone full of venom.
“No, of course not,” You say truthfully, “because we are fools to think this will ever be enough.” 
A beat of silence lingers in the air between you.
“For either of us.” 
Azriel takes a moment to think about it and you see the recognition flash in his darkening hazel eyes, he looks over his shoulder in Elain’s direction. Carefully, measured, he looks at you again. 
“You want Elain.” You say matter of factly, even with a hint of sadness, “don’t deny it-- and I…” your voice trails into nothing. An errant whisper of power. 
“And what do you want?” Azriel asks, his voice once dark and cruel is something akin to familial. 
“I’m not sure yet.” you say thoughtfully, looking back to the dias where everyone regards you and Azriel warily. 
Azriel softens and he lets go of your arms and hides his scarred fingertips in the pockets of his dark colored tunic. He runs a hand over his face in regret and looses a shaky breath before laughing again. 
“Rhys is going to fucking slaughter me.” Azriel says and you laugh quietly, muttering in agreement as you link arms with his and lead him through the dancing sea of courtiers to the wine table. 
Azriel takes a goblet in each hand and offers one to you. The wine is dark and red and stains your lips like blood. The taste is woody and spiced, it tastes a little like Autumn. Azriel leans into the onyx pillar and angles himself away from the prying eyes of the courtiers as they dance. 
You’re at his side and move so that his body obstructs the view of Rhysand and Feyre, shunning their ire. 
“How pissed do you think they’ll be?” You ask grimly. 
“With you?” Azriel asks, cocking a brow in confusion. You only nod and wait for him to continue. Azriel swallows a large mouthful of wine, wiping his mouth with the back of a scarred hand “not at all, you did them a favor-- practically had Eris on his knees.” 
“Good.” You meet his eyes and for the first time tonight you feel as though you might just have something to offer. 
“Be careful with Eris,” Azriel says gently, his hand on your arm, “not everything he says is to be trusted.” 
“But I can trust you?” You ask, thinking back to what Eris had said earlier in the evening.
“Always.” Azriel says.
The orchestral music comes to a dramatic close and you see Nesta and Cassian dancing happily in the crowds. Elain remains on the dias and you catch her eyes as she watches you and Azriel with careful, wide eyes. 
“Come on, Shadowsinger,” You say defiantly, pushing yourself from the onyx pillar, “time to face the High Lord.” 
Azreil huffs indignantly and pushes away from the pillar, abandoning his goblet and stalking his way to Elain’s side on the dias. She smiles softly at him and you see some of the tension in Azriel’s shoulders dissolve into nothing but a contented ease. 
You approach the dias with a quiet reproach and as you meet Feyre’s eyes she croons at you, her smile is once of a brilliant radiant light that spills from her. A stark contrast to the cold darkness that you carry so well. 
Eris' voice is dark and serious as you approach The High Lord, his jaw tightens when Rhysand regards him with a cool violet gaze. 
“I have my reasons.” 
You’re not entirely sure what they’re talking about and when you take your place next to Feyre she places a hand on your arm in comfort. Though it does nothing to settle the acid churning in your stomach nor the storm that is raging inside of you. 
“Care to share those reasons with us?” Rhysand asks, picking at an errant thread on his beautiful dark tunic. 
For a moment his eyes glaze over, muted violet as he speaks mind to mind with the Autumn Prince.
Rhysand’s lips twitch lightly and you can see that whatever words passed between him and Eris has pleased him greatly-- at least given him the upper hand so that he doesn’t feel threatened but Eris’ commanding presence. 
Eris steps forwards again and adds, “Bestides, it is a bonus of course, that in doing so, I would be getting what has been owed to me even since my betrothal to Morrigan.” 
Rhysand studies Eris and then casts a fleeting glance along the line to you, standing dutifully at Feyre’s side. 
Like the docile, and obedient sister he wants you to be. 
A conduit of his dark power. A piece to be played in this game of power and politics. 
“Anything I want-- anything at all, whether it be armies from the Autumn Court or your firstborn, you would grant me it all in exchange for the Archeron girl as your wife?”
Azriel, still somewhat territorial, lets loose a low growl that rumbles like thunder through the air. 
Eris doesn’t deign to even look in his direction-- instead those haunting amber eyes linger on you. His eyes are soft and dark, burning into yours, and you find yourself caught in the unyielding, all consuming fire that is Eris Vanserra. 
Eris turns back to Rhysand. “Not as far as my heir, but yes, Rhysand. You want armies against the human queen? You’ll have them, and anything else you might ask of me.” 
“Just for her?” Azriel’s voice is cutting and suspicious as he hones in on Eris Vanserra. 
“The girl, and, when the time comes, you’ll aid me in seizing the Autumn Throne from my father.” Eris adds, his eyes shine with that slow-burning fire, “and then you’ll have all the armies you desire.”
Rhysand and Feyre share a look of pure delight, irreverent to anyone else but you see it for what it is. Feral delight at their victory. 
“I couldn’t very well let my wife’s sister go into battle unaided, could I?” 
I said bring him to his knees, darling. What dark magic is this? What have you done to him? Rhysand’s voice is like night-kissed air in your mind. 
Feyre’s laugh rings through you like birdsong and you can’t help the satisfied smirk that curls onto your lips.
You’re about to speak when you catch Eris’ eyes; those strange amber eyes. And then you feel it. 
A bond that grows taut and reverberates through the hall, like a ripple of power and a golden thread bridges the distance between your body and his. 
“Mate?” Eris’ voice strains with the weight of it, and you feel like light goes all through you, as though you are little more than a shadow or a memory as you allow yourself to sink into the dark waters that live within your mind's eye. “My mate.”
Your name breaks apart in his mouth and in a flash of violet and murky blue you’re greeted by the storm as it breaks over Velaris. On the horizon, dark and ominous as it approaches. You reach the balcony and wade out into the violent night, waiting for the storm to stake its claim to you. 
You were born on a night like this, you tell yourself. Like the Gods of old; born from the storms and the seas, to withstand the hardships of this world. To be cruel and merciless and beautiful. 
You whisper it, until you feel that bond in your chest grow taut, strained with the distance between you. And as Eris’ emotions run like water into you, for the first time in a long time you allow yourself to feel. 
To yield to the storm as it breaks against you with all the force of a great tempest.
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honeybeefae · 3 months
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You're Mine (Eris Vanserra x Reader)
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Summary// After leaving Eris behind to fulfill your parents' desire for marriage, knowing the two of you could never be, you did your best to move on. It had been five years, and you were finally starting to settle into your life with your husband when a late-night visitor brought back feelings you thought you had long since buried. 
(This idea has burrowed its way into my head and won’t leave anytime soon, so I’m dragging you all into this with me. I hope you like it <3 It's been awhile since I've wrote anything so if you have any critiques or opinions, please let me know!)
WARNINGS: Smut, Fertility Issues, Verbal Abuse (Spouse), Physical Abuse (Spouse) (A slap but nothing more), Possessive!Eris, Jealous!Eris, Cheating, Breeding Kink, Spanking
Five Years Ago
“Mother, please!” You beg, tears streaking down your hot cheeks as she gives you a look full of pity. It was a useless cause to try to convince your father against this arrangement, but your mother… she used to be a dreamer like you. She once thought of running away with a prince, of living happily ever after, so why wouldn’t she give you the same chance?
“Darling, please, collect yourself.” She urges, grabbing your hands and pulling you towards her. “Pierre will be here any moment with his family. They cannot see you like this.”
“They don’t have to! You could sneak me out the back, let me run away with-” You begin only to flinch when she grabs your face roughly, her eyes shining with a strange mixture of anger and agony. 
“With you, Y/N? With Eris?” She hisses, eyebrows furrowing together. “He is the heir to the Court. He will never choose you. He cannot. He will go with whichever maiden secures more political power, and that is not you.”
Your lower lip trembles as her words cut through you like hot steel. They settle in your soul, trying to burn out any hope you might have, and yet you persist. 
“No, Mother, you don’t understand. I love him. He loves me. We’ve been courting for months, dancing together and strolling through the gardens. Hells, he gave me this!” You gesture to the ruby necklace resting above your collarbone, wrapped in a gold band that resembles a fox’s tail. “Everyone has seen us together. His family, my family, does that mean nothing?”
She stares at you for a moment, her mouth turning downwards as her fury fades into sorrow. You swallow, trying to get the lump in your throat to disappear as the silence stretches on, but it refuses. 
“My darling girl,” She coos, her hands now cupping your cheeks. “One’s first love is something special, an experience worth remembering, but it is one that is never meant to last. He has his duties, as do you. It was never meant to be.”
The realization of the situation hits you in waves of denial, anger, and agony. It makes your head swim, and your stomach lurch as you try desperately to find anything to keep you afloat. 
“What if he does choose me, though? What if his parents see me as he does? Someone who makes him smile and laugh, who treats him well. If you could just let me speak with him one more time, keep Pierre and his father busy, I only need an hour.” You try to bargain with her, placing your hands over her own. She goes to respond, your hope hanging by a thread, only for your father’s voice to rise above the two of you.
“He has moved on, Y/N.” He sighs, clearly exasperated by your antics. “Beron has told us about Eris’s betrothed. It’s been arranged since birth. It is time for you to do the same.”
“But if he knew, why would he fall in love with me? I know what I saw, I know what I felt.” You press, wrapping your arms around yourself as your father’s jaw clenches. “He wouldn’t do that to me.”
“You don’t think he would?” His scowl deepens as he glances at your mother over your shoulder before fishing for something in his coat pocket, ignoring his wife as she begins to protest. “Read this.”
“What is it?” You ask.
“Just read it.” He pushes the parchment into your hand, rolling his eyes.
Your fingers tremble as you glance at the letter, noticing Eris’s penmanship immediately. The words seem to blur together towards the end, but you realize it isn’t due to his writing but your tears. One of them splashes on the paper, staining it immediately as his voice echoes in your mind.
I regret to inform you of the ending of our courtship, effective immediately. Please know this is through not fault of your own. You were a wonderful experience. I should not have led you on, but I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. Even though I am the least deserving of it. 
Yours,
Eris Vanserra
A loud sound echoed off the walls, and it wasn’t until your knees hit the floor that you realized it had come from you. You felt the world collapsing in, your dreams fading with each heartbeat as your worst fear came true. Your parents watched, one with sympathy and one with indifference, as you came to grips with reality. 
The silence after was choking you as the paper lay taunting you, his signature ingrained in your brain as a loud knock was heard from the front. Soft hands gingerly picked you up as your father’s footsteps led to the door, his voice booming as he greeted Pierre.
“Come now, Y/N,” She shushes you, brushing your tears away with a mother’s softness. “I know it hurts, but in time, it will fade, and you will find happiness with Pierre and your future family.”
“I cannot imagine feeling anything other than this, Mama.” You murmur, numbness starting to spread throughout your body as she smiles sadly and kisses your forehead.
“You will, sweet girl.” She assures you, pinching your cheeks to bring some color back as Pierre draws closer. 
“How do you know?” Your gaze raises to meet hers, searching.
She chuckles, though you know it is without humor, watching as she seems to drift far away for a moment before the sounds of your father's throat clearing behind you brings her back. 
Her arms pull you into a tight hug as she whispers into your ear, “Because I did.”
Present Day
From your wedding day to now, you have been desperately searching for the happiness your mom said would come. You threw everything into your relationship, forcing Eris into the darkest crevices of your heart so that you could move on. Pierre wasn’t an awful man. He was kind and generous, always concerned about your feelings and ensuring you were cared for. 
He knew about your past with Eris and never pushed you but soothed you like a balm to your soul. Your love for Pierre was different, but it was there; you just needed something more. However, you knew better than to dream of it. You could be happy with him, will be happy with him. 
Eris had made it very clear that he did not intend to return for you. He hadn’t even had the courage to come to your wedding nor send you any well wishes. You had seen him since, of course, but he always did his best to avoid you. If you did happen to catch his gaze during a dinner or ball, his eyes were always full of anger. 
It was in your best interest to forget all about him. 
You were torn from your thoughts as the front door opened, your husband poking his head around to look for you. A soft smile pulls at your lips effortlessly, rising up to greet him, only to stall when you see how angry he is. 
“Pierre, what is it?” You ask, forehead creasing as he all but slams a letter he had been holding onto the dining table.
“The new high lord,” He scowls, jaw clenching. “He is asking myself and the other merchants to travel across Prythian to secure new deals or else forfeit our titles.”
New high lord?
“Beron is dead?” You whisper, grasping the edge of the table. “How did he…who did…was it…?”
“Eris, yes, the treasonous snake,” Pierre grunts, raising his eyes to you. “It apparently happened overnight, and he is already throwing everything out. I knew he was a bastard, but to-”
“He is not a bastard,” You say before you can catch yourself, your mind screaming at you for rushing to his defense. You owe him nothing—no loyalty, no love, nothing. So why did you speak?
The air in the room seemed to change as he cocks his head, his eyes darkening dangerously. You feel the hairs on your neck raise as you step back, trying to put distance between you. However, Pierre doesn’t hesitate to follow you as the letter is now crumpled in his fist.
“I knew it.” He snaps, nostrils flaring as he grabs your arm and yanks you to him. You let out a small yelp, trying to push against him, but he doesn’t yield. “I’ve given you everything you could ever want. I’ve built you this home, this life when I could’ve treated you like filth.”
“Pierre, please, let go,” Your voice is a whimper as his grasp tightens. “You’re hurting me.”
“Me? Hurting you?” His laugh echoes off the walls, one of his hands running hastily through his hair. “Don’t act like you don’t deserve it. I’ve put up with this teenage moping for five fucking years. I’ve played the part of the gentleman, the family man, and you still can’t get over him. Pathetic doesn’t even begin to cover what you are.”
Tears fall down your face as you sob, finally gaining the strength to rip your arm away as he turns and punches a hole into the wall beside him. You cannot stop yourself from trembling as his shoulders shake with fury, his breath coming in short pants.
“Do you know what they all tell me? Our friends and family?” Pierre asks, closing his eyes. “They tell me how sorry they are for me. How much they pity me. They’ve even suggested taking a whore on the side, so at least that way I could secure an heir.”
The last sentence strikes deep, one of your hands resting on your lower stomach as he gives you a mocking laugh. You had been trying to have a child for a while now. Under the care of a midwife, you had been drinking the teas, reducing your stress, and month after month, you failed. Pierre had been there for you throughout it, promising you that it was not your fault, and for him now to throw it back in your face…it made you sick. 
“Y-you told me that it was okay, that these things take time. Going into this marriage, you knew what I had been through and who my former lover was, and you said it was fine.” You hate how your voice trembles as you keep your eyes on the floor. “I thought you understood me, that you could see I was finally starting to heal, but was it all a lie? Have I been sleeping next to someone who I do not know?”
He watches you momentarily, taking in how meek you look and the tears that now stain your face. Footsteps fill the silence and stop once you see his feet, a soft hand coming to cup your chin and force you to look up.
Pierre was there in body but not in mind. The eyes that once held so much comfort were now empty, the smile now a scowl, and his touch burning rather than soothing. He turned your face from side to side, mesmerizing your beauty before smirking.
“I guess that’s two men who’ve used you now, huh?”
You don’t register the slap you gave him until you see his pupils dilate, your eyes widening in fear as your palm begins to burn from the contact. He snarls at you, and before you can apologize or scream, you aren’t sure which one, he backhands you and sends you spiraling to the floor. 
“I’ll be back in the morning, don’t wait up.” He calls over his shoulder, straightening his jacket before he walks out the door without even a glance at your crumpled body.
It takes longer than you’d like to admit to collect yourself off the floor, your face red-hot even though you know you have already healed. He hit you. He yelled at you, belittled you, and then slapped you as if it were nothing. A wolf in sheep's clothing. 
Your hands dig into the wood of the table as you pull yourself up, hating how weak you feel as you cry. This wouldn't have happened if you had kept your mouth shut. Why did you even say anything? After all this time, why did you feel you still needed to speak up for the man who deserted you?
“Fuck!” You scream as your sadness turns to rage, grabbing a nearby vase and hurling it at the wall. It instantly shatters and clatters to the floor, flower petals scattering everywhere with the glass shards. 
It doesn’t make you feel better. So you throw another vase and another, and then a portrait until the room looks like a tornado ripped through it. But nothing is working to fill the hole in your chest that was just violently ripped open once again. 
A clock nearby chimes out twelve times, and you blink as you realize how much time has passed. Your adrenaline leaves your body quickly as exhaustion takes place, and your eyes glare at the front door one last time before you start heading up the stairs.
However, as your foot hits the first step, a loud knocking startles you. At first, you think it’s Pierre, drunk and probably without a key, but then you hear a voice. A voice that has haunted your dreams for five years.
“Y/N? Y/N, open the door. I know you are in there.” 
It can’t be…
You tiptoe to the door, your heart racing as you stare down at the knob. What should you do? Why was he here? What did he want? Should you even let him in? The consequences could be deadly, especially after what he had done just last night to his own father, but your heart was winning over your head right now.
“Please, my love, let me in.”
Your hand grasps the knob and turns it before you can stop yourself, the door opening to reveal Eris.
He looks the same, damn him. His red hair was tied back in a half-up style, the rest falling over his slender shoulders covered in a thick, dark green coat. Eris’s eyes, the color of molten amber, met yours with a ferocity that made your breath catch. Your stomach fills with butterflies as the night air caresses your skin, whispering long-forgotten memories that send your heart fluttering. 
“Eris…” you whisper, your voice tight with emotion. Whatever spell had taken over the two of you broke as you said his name. His hands came up to grasp your face as he pulled you in and kissed you, lips molding to yours as if they had never told you goodbye. 
And, cauldron help you, you kiss him back just as fiercely. You had thought about seeing him again more often than you care to admit, about how you would scream at him for what he did to you or prove to him you were better off without him. But once again, your heart craves what your mind desperately tries to discard.
It’s only when your back hits the wall of the foyer that you pull away, gasping for air as you shove him back. He blinks, dumbfounded, and goes for you again, but you shake your head and slap his hands away, gaze hot as years of resentment flood your veins.
“How dare you come into my home and kiss me like that after all you did.” You seethe, teeth clenching as he regards you like a caged predator. “You can’t just show up and do that! You can’t come in here and ruin my marriage, my life like you have any ownership of me.”
“I don’t think I was the one to ruin your marriage, little fox.” Eris replies smoothly, standing straight and giving a pointed look behind you to the mess of a dining room. 
“Don’t call me that.” You snarl, wrapping your arms around your body for comfort. “You need to leave. Now.”
“I won’t,” He states, looking you over. “I’ve defeated my father. I’m rebuilding the court and our reputation, gutting it from the inside out. I’m here to collect the last thing I need.”
Your brain goes fuzzy as he stretches out his hand, waiting for you to fall into his arms as if the past were not there. As if his letter and necklace weren’t still tucked away in a drawer by your bed. No matter how badly you missed and yearned for him, you couldn’t forgive him that easily.
“You led me on for years,” You say softly, your voice numb as you take another step back. “You courted me as if you cared. You made me believe we were real, that we would be together forever. Do you think I could just forgive and forget that after you left me with only a letter for an explanation?”
“I thought you were smarter than that.” Eris sighs and clenches his jaw, running a hand down his face as he closes the front door. 
“Excuse me? Get the-” 
“I didn’t write that letter, Y/N.” He interrupts you, coming to stand in front of you in just two short steps. “My father forced me. And yours, for that matter. I would never let you go. It was only under threat of your own harm that I chose to obey, but I swore to myself that as soon as I took control, I would come find you.”
The angry retort you had building dies in your throat, your head tilting to the side as if you hadn’t heard him correctly. 
“You…you didn’t mean what you wrote?” Your voice has a hint of hope, like the last spark of a fire, but you can’t help it. If he was telling the truth, and you still weren’t entirely convinced he was, it meant he had been waiting for you all these years. 
He grabs your face again, but it’s soft and caring this time, his thumb brushing across your cheek and collecting a tear you didn’t know had escaped. You look into his eyes, finding nothing but honesty, which only worsens it. 
“It hurt that you think I would treat you that way, that I could just throw everything we had away…” Eris whispers, tilting your chin up so you can’t look away. “I’m not your husband. I take care of what is mine. Forever. ”
The mention of him makes you wince and somewhat come back to your senses, glancing towards the clock and realizing he could be back at any moment. If he caught you with Eris, there would be no telling what he would do. Eris could take care of himself; he was a High Lord now after all, but you were vulnerable.
“Pierre…he could be home any minute. Eris, you can’t be here. You need to leave.” You frown, trying to move past him, only to gasp when his hand moves down to your neck and stills you. The hold isn’t tight, but you freeze, wide eyes looking up at him in worry. “Eris, if he finds you here with me-”
“Did you not hear what I said, little fox?” He asks mockingly, bowing his head so his lips can brush against your ear. “I take care of what is mine. And you are mine.”
Eris accentuates his words with a roll of his hips, his half-hard cock pressing against your lower half teasingly. You don’t stop the whimper that sneaks past your lips or the way your neck turns so he can mouth over your pulse point. 
“I’ve waited years for this moment, to see you again and take you home. I’ve watched as that pathetic excuse for a man dotes on you and brags about how pretty you sound in bed.” He growls, grabbing your hips and lifting you up effortlessly as you instinctively wrap your legs around his waist. “The only thing that kept me sane was knowing you weren’t moaning from him like you did for me, that he can’t fill you up like your needy little pussy begs for.” 
“Please…” You whine, though you aren’t entirely sure what you are asking for. His touch was like fire against your cool skin, setting you aflame in a way you hadn’t felt in years. 
One of his hands snakes between the two of you and quickly finds your panties, his lips curling back as he feels the heat of your cunt. You swear you hear him purr as he begins to furiously bite and suck on your neck and collarbone, marking you. 
“Tell me what you need.” Eris commands, pulling back to look into your eyes.
Words fail you momentarily as you stare at each other, your heart threatening to explode as he refuses to drop his gaze. There were so many consequences to this decision, no matter what you choose, and so many things that need to be said before you can logically proceed.
But when the pad of his thumb presses against your clit and circles it slowly, the corner of his mouth tilting up to smirk, you know logic will not win tonight. 
“You, Eris,” You moan, trying to press further onto his hand for more friction. “You’re all I’ve ever needed.”
You don’t have time to scream as he squeezes you tightly and carries you up the stairs, your body bouncing so that your lower half hits his cock with each step. He groans and looks around momentarily before kicking open your bedroom door. He then throws you onto the bed and starts to undo his belt, all while keeping those burning amber eyes on you.
“Strip. Now.” He orders, voice raspy as you hastily follow his instructions, your fingers fumbling with the laces of your corset. Eris is already naked by the time you have it halfway undone, his pale skin glowing in the moonlight as he stalks over to you and grabs both sides of your top. 
“I hope you weren’t too fond of this.” Eris hums, giving no warning as he rips it in two.  You shiver as the cool air licks at your skin, your nipples pebbling while he licks his lips in anticipation. “I always thought you looked better bare anyways.”
Heat runs down your body at the comment, your thighs clenching, immediately catching his eye. You try to rise up on your knees to kiss him, but he is quick to pin you down, straddling your waist as his cock rests heavily over your cunt. 
“Let me touch you, please,” You don’t even recognize your own voice as you beg for him. It had been so long since you had felt this needy for someone. “I need something, anything, just please!”
Before you can babble anymore, his lips collide with yours, claiming you possessively as two of his fingers prod at your soaking pussy. He bites down on your bottom lip, and at the same time, he shoves his fingers inside, giving you no prep as he swallows your cries. 
“I know, baby, I know,” He coos into your ear, moving to nibble on your earlobe. “We can make love next time, but right now, right now I need to fuck your pretty little brain out to make up for lost time.”
Your back arches as he curls his fingers, finding your spot with ease and teasing you as he kisses down your neck and to your breasts. He sucks your left nipple into his mouth, capturing it between his teeth and tugging until you moan. His cock is leaking against your thigh as he ruts against you. 
Rough sex wasn’t new to you, though it had been a while. Pierre was always gentle, taking his time, and while Eris had his moments, he was quite fond of making you beg. However, when fantasizing about this, you always imagine Eris cherishing the moment. This was raw and feral.
“Eris, I’m c-close…” You groan, rolling your hips so he can get even deeper. Your walls flutter around his thick fingers, squeezing them, but right before you can fall over the edge, he pulls them out roughly. “No!”
“The only way you are cumming tonight is around this cock.” He grunts, flipping you over so that you are lying on your stomach before dragging your hips up. Both of his hands squeeze your ass before he lines himself up to your hole, rubbing his length up and down to coat himself in your slick.
“Ohhh fuck…” You moan as the head catches on your clit, your entire cunt throbbing in anticipation. “Fuck me.”
“Not yet, little fox. I want you to tell me how badly you want it.” Eris says lowly, grasping his cock and barely pressing into you before pulling away. “Tell me how much you missed me, how much you thought about me while your husband fucked you in this bed.”
Your nails dig so hard into the mattress you are sure you’ll rip it as you screw your eyes shut, already so sensitive from his teasing. It felt so wrong to speak the thoughts you have been burying for so long, to admit that you never got over the High Lord behind you. 
All of your inhibitions get thrown out the window, though, as he lands a harsh smack on your ass, his fingers pinching your clit in annoyance. 
“Don’t pretend like you haven’t thought about this, about me, Y/N. That whenever your husband would roll over at night after a mediocre fuck you wouldn’t rub that needy clit while wishing it was me.” He hisses, one of his hands grabbing a fistful of your hair and yanking until your neck is craned up. “Give yourself to me, let it go.”
“Yes, okay, yes, I haven’t stopped thinking about you!” You sob, every nerve in your body on edge as he grins in approval. “Every time I had sex, every night in the bath, I couldn’t stop picturing your hands. Your chest. Your cock.”
Eris rewards your confession with what you had been craving, thrusting his entire length in one fluid movement as your pussy burns from the stretch. 
“More. Give me more.” He demands, pulling almost all the way out before snapping his hips forward.
“I-” You swallow, your mind starting to fuzz with the ecstasy of having him back inside you. “I would close my eyes and pretend it was you. I wanted it to be you. He could never compare to you, could never make me feel this good.”
Your head drops down as he lets go of your hair in favor of grabbing your hips, hypnotized by the way your cunt swallowed him whole. His hair was starting to stick to his forehead as he truly fucked you. There was no gentleness, no tendrils of love, just pure ownership and passion.
And cauldron damn you did you love it.
“Gods damn it,” Eris swears, moving one of his hands underneath you to rest on your abdomen so he could feel just how deep inside you he was. “Touch yourself, Y/N. I want you to cum on my cock as I fill you up.”
There was a distant panic in the back of your head at the thought of him cumming inside you. You weren’t on any special tea to prevent pregnancy. In fact, you were on something to encourage it. 
“Eris, wait-” You try to protest, your words dying in your throat as he starts to rub your clit for you. His hands are calloused from years of use, giving you the friction that you need to cum within minutes. “Eris, I’m not on any birth control. If you-”
“What, you think I don’t want to knock you up?” He chuckles, voice rough as he increases the speed of both his fingers and thrusts. “Oh, Y/N, did you already forget you’re mine? I came here to claim you and breed you, little fox.”
“Oh my gods,” You whimper, the image only making you draw closer to your finish as he bends over to get right next to your ear. 
“You’re going to take all of my cum and thank me for it. I’m going to do what your husband couldn’t, right here in his bed for him to smell when he comes home.” Eris sneers, a tingle going up his spine as he feels his balls tighten with the need to release. “I’ll have you barefoot and pregnant for me before he can even come get you. You’re fucking mine.”
“Yours, Eris!” You repeat, eyes rolling into the back of your head as you clench around him. He gives one more circle on your bud, and you are gone, lost to a mind-numbing orgasm that has him throwing his head back and roaring. 
Every muscle in your body tightens and releases as you greedily milk his own cum into your womb, your screams echoing off the bedroom walls. You don’t even register Eris biting your shoulder, the pain mixing dangerously with the pleasure as small rivulets of blood run down your back. 
You feel your knees give out as you collapse onto the bed, lungs begging for air while Eris slowly pulls out of you. He is silent, and you have just enough strength to look back to see him watching his speed leak out of your gaping hole, his fingers quick to collect it and stuff it back inside you.
“Eris…” You whisper, your eyes are heavy as he gingerly lifts you up and cradles you in his arms. “Is this…did you really come back for me?”
He lets out a small huff of air in humor as he nods, kissing your forehead and smoothing away your hair. Exhausted, you lean into the touch, and he seems to hold you closer. “I’ll always come back for you, little fox.” 
667 notes · View notes
ervotica · 5 months
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Hi! Can you do one with Eris x rhysand daughter reader where they're mates, but in a secret relationship?? Maybe they're getting kinda hot on Eris's throne, but then Rhys & Feyre enter the room and they're discovered?
𝐦𝐲 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐝𝐨𝐦, 𝐦𝐲 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐞𝐧
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pairing; high lord!eris vanserra x fem!reader
summary; being the high lord of the night court's daughter is feat unto itself. when combined with being the mate of the high lord of autumn, it becomes almost impossible to navigate. you've been keeping your mateship with eris under wraps for a year. on a visit to the autumn court, rhysand unwittingly walks in on the two of you, and all hell breaks loose.
warnings; smut themes (18+ only, as always), ANGST, rhys is very mean in this i'm sorry i made him the bad guy, family issues, eris is sexy and also the love of my life
word count; 2.2k
a/n; wow the daddy issues rly popped off w this one ngl. just to clarify, i really do love rhys with my whole entire heart but i had to villianise someone for the sake of the plot. so enjoy this mess.
The intensity with which Eris surveys you is searing.
Not a new development - of course - but no matter how many times those amber eyes rake the length of your body, the molten honey of them burning into a deep russet as his pupils engulf his irises, it sets your insides ablaze with need.
You're perched atop his throne, clad in a gown of deep red with slits that slip down to reveal your bare thighs as you cross one leg atop the other. You certainly look the part of the Autumn Court.
He wants to devour you whole.
Your thighs part just enough for him to catch a glimpse of the scant fabric that barely covers your dripping pussy, and you watch the way that his eyelids drop, gaze darkening to something primal as the scent of your arousal encases his senses.
"Sit back for me, fawn," he murmurs as he stalks up the steps that land at your feet. Your muscles seize in waiting as you suck your bottom lip into your mouth to suppress a coy smile. His palms slip beneath the silk of your dress, hiking the fabric further to reveal miles of bare skin that only he's privy to. You go soft like prey when thick fingers peel themselves from your skin to curl around your throat, a thumb pressing into the dip beneath your chin.
"Eris," you murmur. He coos, nipping at your earlobe.
"I know, my love. Needy little thing, aren't you."
Gods, you love it when he gets like this. The lust drives him mad–it's like he can't stop the dirty things that fall from his lips. Each word makes you wetter, has you squirming in your seat, begging for the sweet release you know he's bound to grant you– after he's had his way with you, of course.
His nose grazes at your cheekbone, breath hot against your prickling skin.
"Please," you whisper.
His grin is positively feline as his pointed canines protrude to scrape at the curve of your jaw. "All you had to do was ask."
And then his lips are slanting hungrily over your own, a palm curving around your waist to anchor your body to his own as he kisses the breath from your lungs. Your thighs part, granting him access to step between them and press himself flush to your chest; his fingers loop loosely around your wrist to guide your hand between his own legs. You gasp into his mouth and his tongue scrapes against the back of your teeth as you squeeze the hot, hard length of him, revelling in the way he ruts into your open palm. Your chest heaves as he growls lowly against your lips.
"This is what you do to me, fawn. I've wanted to rip this dress from your body and devour you since you stepped through the front doors."
You keen, head tipping back to bare your throat for him. Surrendering completely. Pleasure thrums through your veins when his lips trail down to latch against the soft skin you've exposed for him.
This male is your undoing.
His hand resumes creeping its way up your dress, the tip of his thumb pressing to your swollen clit through the damp fabric of your underwear. You moan softly, a sound that he swallows with his open mouth against yours and then chases, rubbing tight circles into the bundle of nerves until you're arching into his touch, lifting off of the throne to crush every inch of your body against his own.
His touch is dizzying, and you're so consumed by the feel of him against you that you almost don't hear the double doors to the throne room creak open. There's a bang as they fall shut behind the visitor, and it's loud enough to have you startling where you sit.
"I'm busy," Eris growls, his forehead still pressed to yours.
"This can't wait, I'm afraid," Rhys drawls. Your blood turns to ice in your veins, any and all arousal effectively dying as soon as your father's voice echoes against the stone walls.
"Oh, shit," you mumble. "We're going to actually die."
Eris pinches your chin between a thumb and forefinger affectionally, flooding the bond with as much warmth and encouragement as he can muster before his head turns, and you bury your face into the juncture of his neck in an effort to hide.
"If you'd be so kind as to escort the lady out, Eris." Rhys picks at the cuffs of his black jacket, brow quirking when neither of you make any effort to move.
"She's fine right here," he replies, clipped.
Your father's nose wrinkles in disdain as he strides for the steps, and your breath catches in your throat when he reaches the edge of the marble floor.
"What is this?" he asks, folding arms over his chest. "You really want your latest escapade present for this meeting?"
Eris' soft eyes harden, ablaze with a fury you've often seen but never been in the direct line of.
"You leave her out of this."
Rhys scoffs. "Don't tell me you've gone soft, High Lord." His tone is scathing, dripping with sarcastic venom.
Eris rises to the insult, shoulders squaring as he straightens to his full height. And it's then, and only then, that your father catches a glimpse of your stricken face, lips parted into a gasp as Eris stares him down.
You go still behind the High Lord of Autumn, pushing your body upright against the throne and willing yourself to simply sink into the chair and cease to exist. Of course, fate has never been in your favour.
"My daughter?" Rhys bellows. "You're fucking my daughter?" His voice bounces off of the stone that encases every inch of the room, and you wince as his violet eyes meet your own.
"It's not like that," you murmur; Eris is torn between focusing his attention on you or Rhys, even as you desperately try to soothe him through the bond as he did for you just minutes ago.
"What is it like then, baby?" Rhys condescends to you. "Don't tell me you love him, now." He spits the words with such hate that you're positive a slap would hurt less. "You are nothing to him, do you not understand that? He will use you and discard you and not think twice about it and I will be left to pick up the pieces because you are too fucking stupid to see that!"
You're sure that your heart ceases to beat when your father finishes speaking, becoming this cold, unmoving thing that weighs down your chest until you struggle for breath. Your father's chest heaves with a simmering rage that has always terrified you, and it makes your body coil tight with a silent sob; you continue to stare him down, eyes narrowed in an attempt to push the tears stinging your waterline back. Eris turns his back on Rhys then, surging forward to kiss the droplets away, smoothing the hair at the crown of your skull down.
"You are so cruel." is all you say.
"I'm telling you the truth," he spits. Your body snaps up at his words and you stand on shaking legs to plant yourself in front of Eris like a shield. The redhead settles his hands on your shoulders, his touch grounding as he directs his next words at Rhys, his voice like death incarnate.
"Apologise to my mate."
Your father blanches at the words, staggering back a step.
"Your what?"
"My mate," he repeats, voice quiet with the anger that coils tightly inside of him. The outrage at the way your own father deigns appropriate to speak to you. "Apologise to her. Now."
Rhys exhales, shuddering when he turns his gaze back to you.
"I expected better from you."
White-hot fire licks at your insides as you survey the disgust that curls your father's lip, the way his eyes flicker down to where Eris holds your emotions steady with his touch alone. You're overcome with the need to protect your mate, even if it means tearing your own flesh and blood apart with claws and teeth and poisoned words.
"You don't know the first fucking thing about him," you spit, willing your voice to stay steady. You won't give him the satisfaction of seeing you cry.
"So tell me, sweetheart." Rhys doubles down.
"Why do you do this?" you sigh, some of the tension in your muscles loosing when Eris steps forward another inch to press his chest to your back, no doubt delivering a deathly stare over your head. "Every time I find something that makes me happy, you ruin it. He makes me happy. Why can't you see that?"
"I never thought you'd be this naive. I'm ashamed to call you my daughter."
You stumble backwards, willing yourself to stay upright even as Eris' hand grasps you by the waist and anchors you to him. You breathe, in and out, forcing the acrid air into your lungs even as you want nothing more than to lay on the floor beneath you and sob. He might as well have hit you.
"You've always been ashamed to call me your daughter," you hiss through gritted teeth. "I've never been enough for you, no matter how hard I trained or how much work I threw myself into, I was always the disappointment. And now I find someone that loves me, that supports me and wants me to be happy, and you want to rip that away, too? It's not fair!"
"That's not true," he says, though his stance falters. The mask slips and it bares the fear that lies underneath the cold exterior.
"That's enough." Eris' voice cuts through the stark silence like a blade. "You will apologise or you will leave, Rhysand."
He murmurs crooning apologies against your ear when you turn to tuck yourself into him, tears hot and fast against your cheeks that flare with heat in the wake of your admission. You feel as though you've been stripped bare before him, every vulnerability dragged to the surface against your best efforts to bury them. Your head tips back, glossy eyes meeting his and finding nothing but unbridled adoration in his gaze. He accepts you, scars and all.
"It's okay, fawn," he whispers. "It's okay. I love you."
You nod fervently, lashes drooping with the weight of your tears when he cradles your cheek and presses a kiss between your brows. His face rises to your father once more.
"If you'd like to keep your alliance with this court, you'd do well to apologise." His voice is rough and rasping with your pain but still leaves no room for argument. "(Y/N) is my mate, and soon she will be my wife and High Lady of Autumn. And I will not tolerate you speaking to her in this manner."
You steel yourself to turn and wobble down the steps to stand face-to-face with your father. You gaze up at him through tear-soaked lashes and the sight pulls at something uncomfortable inside of him. It's how you've looked at him for two hundred years– the longing in your eyes for him to accept you, the unyielding need for him to be proud. He never bothered to decipher what it meant. It's all too clear now.
"I will be leaving Velaris," you tell him, scrunching your nose in the same way your mother does when she's upset. It nearly sends him reeling. "If you never want to see me again, that is your decision to make. But my loyalty lies with my mate."
His lips part and then close as though he wants to say something. You internally plead for it. Say something, you think. Anything.
"I'm sorry that I disappointed you," you continue on despite his silence. "Everything I ever did was to make you proud and it wasn't enough. But I'm done ripping myself apart for your approval."
He watches your lips downturn into a frown, the crease that works its way into your brow the one he's been pressing kisses to and smoothing over for your entire life.
It's as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders as you pass the burden you've been carrying to him before you're striding back up those steps, more confident than he's ever seen you.
You walk into Eris' open arms and smile, your face resting comfortably in the hollow of his neck as you breathe him in.
You don't look back when Rhys walks out of the throne room, the heavy wooden doors thudding closed in his wake.
"I'm sorry, my love," Eris murmurs.
"I'm not." You tilt your head to watch him, bringing up a hand to trace the contours of his features. You drag lazy knuckles over the edge of his cheekbones. "I have you."
A smirk cracks your stoic features and he stifles an amused grin at the question he knows is coming.
"So, High Lady, huh?"
He rocks you in his arms, nuzzling his cheek against yours and marvelling at the way you so naturally fit together. His true mirror, his equal in every way. You preen happily at the contact.
"Anything for you."
"Anything?"
"Within reason, fawn," he chides. You roll your eyes playfully.
"I was merely going to suggest we should pick up where we left off, my dear." Your hand glides the length of his body, circling teasingly around his hardening cock before veering away. He grunts, head tipping forward to rest against your shoulder.
"How could I ever say no to that?"
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Text
Loose Lips — Part Two (Eris Vanserra x Reader)
Finally got round to writing a part two to this after a sudden burst of inspiration. Here is Part One if you missed it.
This isn't proofread, so sorry if it's a pile of dicks. Enjoy!
Warnings: smuttysmutsmut 🌶️
✧: *✧・゚✧・゚: *✧・゚✧・゚: *✧・゚✧・゚: *✧・゚✧・゚: *✧・
The forest was undoubtedly beautiful. A place of sure serenity. Somewhere you’d always found peace.
Right now, you felt like nothing short of a thunderbolt in its flawless midst.
You shifted on your feet for what felt like the millionth time, pressing your back against a tree and crossing your arms over your chest. You wouldn’t be able to relax until this meeting was over with.
Rhysand’s violet eyes flicked over you, and he frowned. “Are you alright? Why are you so restless?”
Because we’re here to meet with Eris and the last time I did that I somehow, kind of, maybe ended up fucking him—
“Fine.” You quickly answered. “Pain. My cycle is coming.”
Rhys’s eyes softened. “We’ll make this as quick as possible. Once the prick actually deigns to show up.”
You didn’t have a shred of doubt that Eris’s tardiness was deliberate — a power play. And he could play all the games he liked, so long as he kept his damn mouth shut.
As if you’d summoned him with a thought, the Autumn male appeared out of a chill-kissed breeze, his crackling-fire-and-cinnamon scent enveloping you. You tried desperately to block it out — and the sinful thoughts that accompanied it. Of bare skin. Panting breaths. Moans—
“Afternoon.” Eris smirked, sliding his hands into his pockets. He offered Rhysand a cursory glance before turning his attention on you. “You’re looking radiant today, Y/N.”
You pursed your lips. Kept your mouth shut. You weren’t getting into it with him — weren’t giving him any ammunition to spill the truth of what had transpired a month earlier.
His lips twitched as he studied you. “What, no smartass response?”
“Cut the shit, Eris.” Rhys rolled his eyes. “Share your information so we can get out of here. We don’t wish to be subjected to your tedious company for any longer than is necessary.”
He cocked his head, and you hated that you noticed he’d cut his hair since you’d last seen him. “Do you not like my company?”
You knew his words were directed at you. He’d come here to play games, and you were having none of it. He allowed his gaze to linger on you for a second longer before turning to your High Lord.
“Well?” Rhys cocked an eyebrow.
Eris folded his arms. “The King of Hybern…”
You didn’t allow yourself to hear the rest of his sentence. For the first time in your career as Rhysand’s courtier, you tuned out, taking in none of the information that was being given. You didn’t hear a word of their discussion as you stared fiercely at a fallen leaf on the ground. You couldn’t.
Because it tortured you on a daily basis that you knew what the redhead’s voice sounded like when he was falling off that precipice into blissful release. The way it had hitched when he’d groaned deeply and spilled into you. It was all you could think about, and you couldn’t bear it.
Guilt had eaten away at you ever since. Guilt and regret. You should never have given yourself to Eris fucking Vanserra.
You only felt safe enough to tune back in when Rhys turned his gaze on you. He gave a subtle dip of his chin, and you returned it — the signal the two of you shared when you’d gleaned useful information to tuck away.
Never mind the fact that you didn’t have a single clue what that information may be.
“Alright, then.” Rhys spoke tersely to the Autumn lord. “Keep me updated. I’ll be in touch when I next need to meet with you.”
“Will it be you, High Lord?” Eris’s lips turned up. He glanced at you. “Or her? I must say, I find her far more appealing to look at.”
“I’ll keep it a surprise. Something to look forward to in your sad little life.” Rhys turned to you, holding out a hand. “Ready?”
You shook your head. “You go. I promised Madja I’d collect some herbs for her while I’m here.”
A small, pathetic part of you wanted to beg Rhys to stay; to keep you company and not leave you alone with Eris. But he was a busy male — far too busy for the drama you’d created for yourself. You plastered a smile on your face.
“I’ll see you at home, then.” He smiled. And without a goodbye to your tentative ally, he disappeared before your eyes.
Eris smirked as he turned to you. “And then there were two.”
“Leave me alone.” You pulled your foraging knife out, turning on your feet. You didn’t look back as you began to kick through leaves and twigs.
But, of course, he was hot on your trail. “That’s not a very nice thing to say to somebody who made you cum not once, not twice, but three times.”
You clenched your jaw, ignoring him as you knelt down in front of a cluster of plants. You would do better this time. You wouldn’t allow your mouth to run you down a path you couldn’t come back from.
He didn’t make it easy, though. Not as you tried to focus yourself solely on gathering the herbs Madja had listed. Despite the lack of conversation — or even acknowledgement of him — Eris pressed himself against a tree and watched you, absentmindedly cleaning his nails with the point of a dagger.
How could you ever have fallen into bed with him? You were such a damn idiot, risking everything for a few fleeting moments of passion. You tucked the herbs neatly away, pushing to your feet and brushing dirt and leaves from your breeches. You turned—
And stopped as Eris appeared in front of you. He smirked. “I’m still waiting, Y/N.”
You cocked an eyebrow. “For what?”
“For you to thank me for not spilling your dirty little secret.”
Prick. You shoved past him, ignoring his warmth, his scent.
He was at your side in seconds. “Aren’t you so relieved that I didn’t slip up and tell Rhysand about your little ride? I still could.”
Every last drop of your sensibility fizzled out. You couldn’t stop yourself from rounding on him. “Are you truly in a position to be threatening me? Both of us fucked up that night. What do you think Beron would have to say if he found out you’d bedded someone from the Night Court, of all places?”
“My father doesn’t care who I bed. I’m free to do whatever I please, so long as it doesn’t distract me from the ultimate goal.”
“Which is what, exactly?”
His amber gaze glittered, catching the sun. “World domination.”
You rolled your eyes. “How very cliche.”
You made to push past him again, to get the fuck out of there, but his hand was suddenly gripping onto yours. In seconds, he had you pressed against the body of a tree.
You clenched your jaw. “Get. The hell. Away from—”
The remainder of the sentence didn’t have a chance to so much as form as Eris’s mouth found yours.
The press of his kiss was hot and needy, and as his lips moulded with yours, he groaned.
It was that action that made you realise just how little space existed between your bodies. His hips were pinned to yours, keeping you in place, and the warmth of him seeped into you as your breasts brushed his chest. Within seconds — mere seconds of him kissing you — you felt him harden in his breeches. His groan seemed to vibrate through every part of him and into you.
And then he was tearing his lips from yours. Staring down at you. “Fuck, you taste amazing. I’ve thought about nothing but this,” he rolled his hips against you, making sure your attention went exactly where he wanted it, “for over a month, now. Tell me you’ve been just as crazed.”
You had been. Perhaps more so. But you swallowed. “I can’t.”
That didn’t deter Eris from slanting his lips over yours again. His tongue swiped out, brushing against the seam of your lips, and you were powerless against your need as you opened your mouth and allowed him to dip in.
You gasped at the first taste of him; something cool and crisp and smoky. And you knew you were done fighting, telling yourself you didn’t want this, as you grabbed him by the lapels of his jacket and hauled him more firmly against you.
He grunted as the hard evidence of his arousal pressed against your stomach. His lips slid from yours, dragging slowly over your cheek, and then the cut of your jaw, down to your neck.
“You’ll be the death of me.” He panted, pressing quick, chaste kisses to the hollow of your throat. “Tell me to stop.”
You swallowed, knowing there was no chance in hell of that. “No.”
And that single word — as much as it pained you to say it — dragged such a delicious, guttural noise from him, that you forgot entirely about who you were and why this was wrong. Nothing else mattered in that moment other than what Eris was doing.
Your mouth went so very, very dry as he pulled away to meet your gaze. And then lowered himself to his knees before you.
He was utterly uncaring of the dirt and leaves that stuck to his breeches as he clasped your legs. And the hard press of his hands felt scorching through your own pants. You wouldn’t be surprised to find that he’d turned the clothing to mere ash he dragged his palms up the backs of your legs and cupped your ass.
“You’re fucking mouthwatering.” He dipped in, pressing a kiss to your stomach through your shirt. “I need to taste you.”
“Holy gods.” You cursed, your head falling back against the tree. “Do it, then.”
Like a male entirely starved and desperate, his nimble fingers moved to the buttons on your breeches, making quick work of getting them undone. The second they were loosened enough, he yanked them down with a feral command that had heat rushing between your legs.
And he could scent that. You knew it. He inhaled deeply, and his responding moan was sinful.
“This is wrong.” Your voice was weak, useless, as your head fell back.
“So wrong.” Eris hooked his fingers into the thin waistband of your undergarments. Tugged them down..
You made no move to stop him. “And stupid. And selfish. And—”
Your words turned into a moan as he dipped in and dragged his tongue up the very centre of you.
A satisfied grunt left him, and he lifted your leg, hoisting it over his shoulder. It had you at a better angle, closer to him, so he could feast on you.
And feast, he did.
His mouth and tongue were renowned for wielding wicked, barbed words, but this was a different language entirely. His fingers dug into your legs as he buried himself between your thighs, licking and lapping and fucking devouring. He made his way up, scraping teeth over your clit, the sensation both pleasant and unpleasant. Before you had a chance to react, he soothed over the area with the pad of his tongue, and a bolt of white-hot pleasure surged through you.
“Oh, gods.” Breathy words escaped your lips. Thank the Mother above for the mammoth tree at your back that gave you the support to move as you wished to move, undulating your hips, grinding against Eris’s face.
And from the way he growled and feasted on you harder, you knew he liked it. He was becoming coated in you, painting himself with your wetness. With the roll of your hips picking up pace, he didn’t falter once.
“Look at you.” He breathed, eyes flicking up to drink you in. “You’re a fucking vision.”
“Stop talking and make me—oh.”
Your hips bucked as he slid a finger into you, the friction of his callused skin like a sinful bite you wanted more of. You didn’t know if you vocalised that, or if Eris simply read you well, but he quickly added a second finger, pumping them in and out.
“Just as you felt around my cock that night.” He panted. “Squeezing me like that.”
You threaded your fingers through his hair, needing to just…to just grab onto something. He seemed to like it as you pulled, and he thrust his fingers faster in return.
“I’m going to make you come on my fingers.” His tongue stroked at you. “And again on my cock.”
Somewhere, some steeled part of you wanted to give a smartass retort. But you were far too gone, splintering into tiny shards of pleasure against that tree. There was nothing, in that moment, besides the sensations Eris Vanserra dragged from between your thighs. No long-lived feuds or tentative alliances or right or wrong.
It was just him. His fingers. His tongue.
And it sent you hurtling right off that blissful cliff edge into release.
As you came, you thought you maybe shouted loud enough to frighten the birds from the trees. Your pleasure was a fearsome force as it stormed your body, your mind, your soul, until you weren’t sure who you’d be without it. How you could survive not experiencing this weightlessness again.
And Eris…he seemed to enjoy your pleasure as much as you did. Even though his cock strained through his breeches, touched by nothing but torturous fabric, his tongue and fingers continued to guide you through your climax, and he peppered in filthy, scandalous words that you were far too fractured to make sense of.
Until he pulled back to look up at you again. “I’ve wanted you since the second I first saw you.” He said.
You weren’t sure you could deny, any longer, that this truly had been going on for that long. It didn’t start with that one night of bad decisions driving you into bed with him. It had been years and years of thinly-veiled threats and barbed words and insults and vitriol soaked in lust.
Every bit of hatred you’d ever directed at each other had been to try and avoid this — giving in to a carnal need that had existed between you since the first ever time your eyes had met.
You knew you didn’t have that strength, that resolve, anymore.
“I need you inside me.” Your voice was rough, raw. You reached down, shamelessly yanking Eris to his feet by the fabric of his jacket, not caring that your desperation showed. “Fuck me.”
You wanted it — him — hot and hard and fast and certainly not gentle. You wanted the bark of the tree biting into you as he pounded you from behind. You wanted him roaring as unguarded as you had.
“You’re a little brat.” Was all he responded. And then he was kissing you again.
You allowed him the control of your lips as your fingers tore at the front buttons on his breeches. Nothing was moving fast enough, and you were hot all over, desperate to feel him pulsing deep inside you—
Y/N. I need you back here.
Rhysand’s voice in your head was akin to be plunged in ice-cold water. Damn daemati. You froze in place, your hands falling still.
Eris didn’t seem to notice as he kissed his way along your jaw.
Y/N. Rhys spoke into your mind again. Get back as soon as you can. Need to discuss Azriel’s report.
You sucked in a breath, planting your hands on Eris’s arms. You pushed him off you. “I have to leave.”
He paused, surprise crossing his face. “What?”
“I can’t — I’m needed back home.” Clarity was dawning on you more and more, paired with guilt. You’d fucked up again. You tried to shake the feeling off as you yanked your underwear and breeches up in one go. “I can’t do this.”
“Seriously?” Eris cocked an eyebrow. “You’re leaving now?”
It was an effort not to glance down at the very unsatisfied bulge still pressing through his breeches. “Rhys just spoke into my thoughts. He needs me back.”
“How convenient.”
Of course he didn’t believe you. You had to admit, it didn’t look great — getting an earth-shattering orgasm out of him and then leaving.
But perhaps it was a blessing from the Mother. Perhaps she was stopping you taking it too far a second time.
“Believe what you want.” You pushed past Eris, buttoning your breeches up. “I answer to my High Lord first and foremost.”
“Go running back to him then.” Eris shrugged. And if you weren’t mistaken, you thought that a strange quality lay in his tone. Perhaps hurt, or…or jealousy. “He says jump and you say how high, right?”
“You have your High Lord, Eris,”  you smoothed over the wrinkles in your clothes, “and I have mine.”
He pressed his back against the tree, watching with an unreadable expression as you checked yourself over.
And then the corner of his mouth tipped up. “You’ll be back, sweetheart.”
You shot him a glance over your shoulder. “That is a very, very bad idea.”
You winnowed out of there before he could respond.
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azrielbrainrot · 6 months
Text
Fire on Fire
Pairing: Eris x Reader
Description: Being female in the Autumn Court was hard enough before you got engaged against your will. You try to avoid your fate at any cost.
Warnings: none
Word Count: 3966
Notes: Writing Eris is hard, I hope this isn't too bad. Also meant for this to be so much shorter but oh well. Feedback is always appreciated! (unless you're mean about it)
Fire on Fire Masterlist
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You watch elegant gowns in all shades of green and orange against tasteful brown and scarlet three piece suits flowing to the music. Your own floor length gown is a muted burnt orange that complimented your figure enough not to be considered provocative. The dress is undeniably beautiful but you would have liked it more had you been allowed to choose it for yourself, it was only upon arriving that you realized the color was meant to match your fiancé's. Orange and burgundy, symbolizing the fire in your hearts, burning for each other. Such a shame you didn't choose him either.
Lively music and laughter can be heard all around the extravagantly decorated ballroom. A proper celebration fit for… you can't even remember what the purpose of this ceremony was. Just another in a long list of mindless parties you aren't allowed to fully indulge in, celebrating people you don't like or traditions you'd rather never participate in.
In any other situation you might have loved to take in the beautiful decorations around the room and lose yourself in the music, dancing and laughing to your heart's desire. But, as you stare at the same intricately decorated chandelier, with magical flames swaying to the beat, you can't take your mind off the people around you.
Your engagement ring clinks against your wine glass slightly, both useless props. You were only allowed a couple modest sips of the wine before putting it aside, as no female should indulge in such a thing, let alone an unmarried one. And the ring seemed more like a mockery than anything else. It symbolized your purpose in this life, to be someone's trophy wife just as your parents had raised you. You think a noose around your neck would feel less haunting.
Thankfully, your parents had left you alone shortly after arriving, letting you sit by one of the tables while you watched the celebration from afar. They must have been content with your demure act, the promised beauty standing off by the side while the married and unclaimed fae reveled in the center of the room. You wonder if you approached the table filled with deliciously smelling goods your mother would winnow to you, lest you look fat in your already too tight corset. It's not even worth the effort for a simple bite of food, you'd rather starve until you're alone.
With a soft sigh you let your eyes wander away from the chandeliers, if you stare at them any longer you might blind yourself with the flames. Pretending no one else was here was an impossible feat anyway. As much as your room feels like a prison sometimes, you'd give anything to go back home right now.
Your eyes meet your future husband's and a chill immediately runs through your body. Eris looks as impeccable as ever in his intricately decorated suit, not a line or hair out of place just as it was expected of the Autumn Court Heir. There is no doubt that he is an exceptionally handsome male, you don't even want to imagine how many fae would kill to be in your place. It's just a shame that his personality is less than desirable, and so is his attitude towards you, and his manners when no one is looking, and that he was the final nail on the coffin that is your stupid fate.
You knew an arranged marriage would eventually become your reality ever since you were a child and your father had told you not to bother with romance, he'd pick someone suitable to marry you and all you had to do was be good to him. In his eyes love is not worth it. You wonder if he even believes it exists, he's certainly never felt it, not even for you, his own child. It makes you feel more at ease knowing no one has ever loved him either, as cruel as that might make you.
For a while you didn't pay your future too much mind, you'd have secret crushes, read romance books behind everyone's backs and even had fleeting affairs when you were a teenager, but it came to a point where you couldn't ignore your fate anymore. When you were freshly seventeen, your mother started intensifying her lessons on how to be a good wife and a good mother - this was the biggest irony since she had never been anything but cruel to you - and your time was consumed with preparations for a future you'd rather run from.
Shortly after, your father put you officially on the market for a husband that would compliment the family's powers, and the High Lord himself came forth, interested in having you marry his eldest son. You knew your family's power was coveted in the Autumn court, your fire was only second to the Vanserra line and the current Lady of Autumn, but this still came as a surprise for you and your family as the High Lord never appeared interested in you. There was no point deluding yourself anymore, your fate as a glorified brooding mare was staring you right in the face.
You had briefly thought of escaping, but the chances of succeeding were slim and you had nowhere to go. You knew the other courts didn't operate on such archaic rules, for the most part at least, but you were also aware that none would accept an autumn court noble female. Your High Lord had burned every bridge with the other courts a thousand times over. You didn't blame any of them for being wary of anything that crawled out of this sickening court.
Words cannot describe how much you hate Beron and everything he stands for which is a good thing because you'd be burned alive in public for speaking those words out loud. Still, you know your feelings of hatred could never hold a candle to Eris' distaste for his own father, and this is how your bargain came to be.
Upon hearing that your future husband would be the heir to the Autumn Court, you had only felt fear like never before. Eris had a reputation of cruelty that preceded him, he was a favorite for the throne among the despicable nobles of this court for a reason after all, but following your first meeting, you had seen a side of him that you'd bet not even a handful of people had glimpsed before and had ultimately came to an agreement that benefitted both of you: you'd push back the date for as long possible while playing the role your fathers expected of the both of you and, if you were lucky, you'd be able to avoid the marriage altogether when Beron wasn't High Lord anymore.
Eris wanted to dispose or Beron, burn down the ruins of this old-fashioned, cruel court and have Autumn be reborn from the ashes. You never intend to call him your husband, but you would gladly help him so you could, one day, come to call him your High Lord.
He observes you for a few heartbeats before downing the content of his glass and setting it aside. In the next moment he's walking straight to you, not ever letting his eyes stray or giving you a moment to breathe.
You can't help but think he looks every bit the High Lord in this moment, with his suffocating power untamed and wicked gaze trained on you. Eris walks to you in slow, intentional steps, like a predator would walk to his prey. His three piece suit was clinging to his frame perfectly, showing off his physique with every step. The pushed back hair only made the intensity in his eyes more noticeable and the strands he left out were framing his face perfectly. Eris looked extremely handsome from afar but he's suffocatingly entrancing when he stands in front of you.
You barely exchange pleasantries before he holds a hand out to you. You can feel everyone's eyes on the two of you, observing every interaction in hopes of finding any detail to gossip about. They all know your marriage is arranged but they're under the impression that, as a female, landing the most sought-after bachelor in the court was your endgame. And there are plenty of people who would go to extreme measures to ensure that they or their family member would be the one becoming the next Lady of Autumn. You're not sure if they'd spare you even if you told them you didn't want anything to do with the title.
“Time to put on a show, doll.” Trying not to let your face show the distaste of the petname he chose for you all those years ago, you take his hand and let him lead you to the middle of the dance floor.
The music changes right before you start, the band knows this is one of the highlights of the evening - the heir and his fiancé. People will be talking about this moment for the next weeks, it's not often you and Eris interact in public after all, just enough for him to show his claim on you as your father so eloquently put it.
Eris leads you through the dance effortlessly, your body following instinctively in turn. You've yet to see him be less than amazing at something. You wonder what kind of picture the two of you paint, moving together so gracefully to the music, orange against burgundy, fire on fire.
“How are you enjoying the evening?” You'd rather he was quiet and ignored you in these moments you have to show up together in public like so many husbands and fiancés do. Eris loves to fan the flames and it's just your luck that they're usually yours. He might not have as much as to lose if you snap and let your fire show, but Beron wouldn't let him go unpunished if his fiancé caused a scene.
“Lovely,” you make sure your gaze is both timid and kind, avoiding his gaze as if you were inferior to him. As he spins you around and brings you in closer, you add in a hushed tone, “Haven't been allowed to eat since this morning and my hair is pulled up so tightly I can barely think.”
“You females sure have it rough.” He means it as a sarcastic comment but you've known him long enough to identify the distaste behind his words. Eris doesn't have the liberty to speak his mind so he's learned to do it behind mockery and sarcasm over the centuries. He knows how rough you have it, unfortunately he's seen it first hand.
“Oh I'm sure you have it so much worse,” you say in a tone you hope matches his, “It's not like you don't spend your mornings walking your hounds around the forest and nights only the Mother knows where.”
You see something spark in his eyes, something akin to satisfaction, before he's tightening his grip on your waist and bringing you in closer. He looks around the room first, as if daring anyone to keep staring while he talks to his soon-to-be wife. Of course, no one does.
“Spying on me, little doll?” Your breath hitches and you know he hears it because you can feel his smirk grow. You'll blame the blush spreading through your flesh and chills moving through your body on your performance later, but in this moment you know they're very much real.
Eris has an effect on you. The male is undeniably attractive, you doubt you'd find any fae or human who wouldn't think so, and that wicked tongue of his only makes him more enticing. You like to blame your body's response to him on your lack of experience, but you're not sure it would be possible to not feel at least tempted to indulge in Eris even if you'd already made your way through the entire court.
“I wasn't trying to,” you swallow, fighting to keep your tone steady and not show any more reaction to his proximity. This much was true, you could barely sneak around to find time for yourself, let alone spend it looking for your fiancé. “Maybe you're just easy to find,” you tilt your head slightly, “This doesn't bode well with all your plans.” You swear you can feel a small chuckle coming from him but he's hiding it before you can be sure.
The song rises in tempo and Eris takes this opportunity to spin you around again, effectively putting some space between you. It's hard to keep a pleasant smile on your face while spewing venom filled words at your husband to be, but letting anyone overhear you or find any little crack in your performance would only bring trouble, and this is routine for you after all. You'd never admit it but with his hand in yours the stares are easier to digest, even if your arrangement was involuntary, at least you weren't alone for once in your life.
The song finally comes to an end. You rush to bow to him slightly so you can go back to an emptier corner of the ballroom and escape everyone's prying eyes, but Eris takes your hand before you can. He takes it up to his mouth, kissing it softly before whispering in your ear.
“Meet me at the cabin later.” It must be an important subject for Eris to even bring this up at a place like this. Though you're sure it had simply looked like he left you with some teasing parting words.
The rest of the ceremony is uneventful. You go back to the same place you had spent most of the night in and ignored the whispers around you. Aside from your mother coming by to ask you what Eris told you - to which you promptly lied and feigned bashfulness - you sat in the corner quietly wondering what your fiancé wants to talk to you about.
As soon as you walk into your room you let out a loud sigh. You wish you could just fall into your bed and not emerge until the sun is high in the sky tomorrow. Unfortunately, you still need to let the maids bathe you and get you ready for bed. Your mother insists on having them help you, especially on days like these, as if you could drown in the bath.
It takes what feels like hours to go through the whole routine, getting you out of the too small corseted dress was a feat in itself. If you had been alone you probably would have already burned it off your body in frustration, it's not like you'll be allowed to wear it again either way.
You lie down in bed as soon as the maids leave, keeping an ear out for everyone else in the house. Trying to leave before everyone was asleep was too risky. They had no reason to think you would leave in the middle of the night like this, but you couldn't help being a little paranoid. There's too much to lose.
When you think it's safe, you climb out of bed quietly. You look down at your nightgown and contemplate changing into something warmer. It barely reaches your knees so you'll definitely be cold, but you were already late and it would be easier to just get back into bed like this. You decide to put on some boots and throw a green hood over it.
Taking one more look around, you winnow to your meeting point. No one knows you have this ability, which is how you can sneak out as often as you do. You've kept this secret from everyone but Eris, though you didn't intentionally reveal it to him either.
He'd shown you this place when you first made your bargain years ago. You're not entirely sure what the cabin was used for before but it was probably only meant for storage. Eris must have found it deep into the forest and decided it was a good place to hide, you can only imagine the things he's gotten up to inside these walls.
As soon as you materialize into the cabin you see Eris standing by the fire. He's changed out of his suit but it doesn't look like he was getting ready for bed with the black ensemble he has on. Yours is probably not the only secret meeting he's having tonight.
“You're late.” Incredible how Eris always strives to be the nicest person in the room.
“I had to wait for everyone to think I was asleep so they didn't see me,” you start as you push the hood off your head, “Excuse me if I took a bit longer making sure no one followed me.”
“You're perfectly excused, doll.” The flames in the hearth climb higher, fueled by your anger that only escalates when you see the familiar smirk on his irritatingly beautiful face. “Oh my. How have you managed to hide your powers with such a fiery disposition?”
You ask yourself that same question often. Fortunately, he might be the only person who can make your temper boil so easily. You don't even want to think what would happen if your father found out how powerful you could be.
Not wanting to give him the satisfaction of seeing you lose your composure, you take a deep breath and walk closer to the fire. The cloak is doing little to ward off the cold of the autumn forest, you hope he at least ends this conversation quickly.
“I was hoping you'd keep the dress on,” he takes on a seductive tone and looks down at your bare legs before locking eyes with you once more, “but this might be even better.” You will never understand why he insists on playing this game with you, you're more than aware that he has no such feelings for you. You also know you probably look ridiculous.
“Well I was hoping you'd get eaten by a wolf on the way here,” you give him a sweet smile, “but we don't always get what we want.”
The disinterested hum he sends your way in lieu of a response is somehow more infuriating than anything he might have come up with. The fact that Eris managed to live over 500 years with this personality might as well be one of the biggest mysteries in Prythian.
“What did you want to tell me anyway?” You just wanted to get this over with and go back to your warm bed so you can finally sleep the day off.
“Our marriage will take place within the year.” The world fell silent at his words. You always knew this day could come, that Eris could only delay it for so long, but hearing the words makes your heart sink.
“What?”
“Beron hasn't talked to me about it yet but he told my mother to start preparations for my wedding.” He runs a hand through his hair, you hadn't noticed how messy it already was. He's as worried about this as you are. “She warned me he'll probably announce it soon. I thought it would be tonight.”
You don't know how to process this. It may have been foolish but you had hoped this would never actually happen since Eris was on your side. You sit on the bench and Eris follows suit. Your masks drop in the small comfort of the secluded cabin, there's no use pretending now.
“What about your other plan?” This was your last chance: if Eris was High Lord he could simply call the engagement off and your father wouldn't be able to argue against it.
“I will need more time.” You close your eyes tightly, wishing you could just disappear. “I'm trying to move things along as fast as I can but I won't be able to finish all the preparations before the end of the year. There's too much at risk.”
“We will be married by then.” It's over.
“It can't be helped.” You'd give anything to see Autumn rid of Beron, if the price has to be your freedom so be it. Still, you can't help feeling defeated, it feels like you're mourning a life you never even had the chance of living.
You don't know if Eris had any hope of finding love like you did but, even if he didn't, you know he didn't want to be chained to someone he didn't choose either. He had witnessed how awful his parent's marriage had been just like you did yours so he must have at least hoped for a companion of his choice or to stay alone.
“I've thought of sending you away,” you look up at him, surprised at his words, “but my father would order me to find you, and I'd have to obey him. Failing Beron's orders brings too big of a punishment for me and my family.” His gaze moves from the fire in front of you to meet yours, “I would hate to ever hurt you, doll, so I need to keep you here.”
If there was one thing you could respect about Eris was his commitment to keeping his family safe. You're not actually sure if any of them are aware of the sacrifices he makes for them - from what you've heard the family dynamic is interesting at best - but it tugs at your heart strings. You used to pray for someone to care for you that much, to protect you like this.
You wonder how things ended up like this. Maybe thinking you could have avoided this future when it was written for you when you were born had been simply a foolish delusion. At least Eris was one of the best options, as much as you hate to admit it. You'd at least not have to worry about him being violent with you or treating you like you were less than an animal.
“Well,” you sit up straighter and stare right into the fire, feigning nonchalance even through your shaky voice and teary eyes, “I guess we'll have to get used to each other.” No use crying over spilt milk. It was better to accept this reality sooner than later. “Being Lady of Autumn might still bring me some perks in the end.”
You might have to give up on your chance at love and to build a life for yourself, but you can at least help Eris change this court for the better. When you turn your head and meet his amber eyes you find an intensity you weren't expecting, if you didn't know any better you'd think he was proud of you.
“Already thinking of ways to rule my court?” The smirk on his face wasn't quite as cutting as usual. “How ambitious of you, doll.”
“Our court,” you clarify, “What's yours is mine, husband.”
He studies your face for a few moments with a glint in his eyes, noticeable even through the reflection of the fire. You're not sure what he's searching for. Any signs you'd back down or try to run away despite his warnings? Whatever it was, it seems he reached a conclusion.
“We'll rid this court of Beron,” he extends his hand towards you, holding his palm up, “and give it a new worthy ruler.” Another bargain. He wants to add to your former agreement, that one would disappear the moment you got married anyway.
“We'll make this a better place to live, a court we can be proud of.” You have nothing else to lose. You take his hand and feel the magic instantly. You're now bound to Eris in an oath you intend to fulfill at the cost of your life. You'd make him High Lord or you'd die trying.
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starryevermore · 1 month
Text
head full of petals: meet cute (1) ✧ eris vanserra
head full of petals ✧ an eris vanserra anthology | ao3
pairing: eris vanserra x tamlin’s sister!fem!reader; tamlin’s sister!fem!reader x original male character (brief)
series summary: it is not easy to be a female in prythian. it is even more difficult when you’re the daughter of a high lord. the expectations are great, and the punishments for failure are even greater. all you have known for your entire life is falling in line. yet, when you are expected to marry another, you choose to do something for yourself: run into the arms of your mate. or, a series of interconnected oneshots surrounding the life and times of eris vanserra and his blossom. 
chapter summary: in which you meet your mate, the first son of the high lord of autumn.
word count: 1,821
chapter warnings?: flirting, fluff, pet name (blossom), not proofread.
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 A female’s job, your father, Hamish, always told you, was to be seldom seen and never heard. While your brothers were allowed to learn from him, to attend Court meetings and to learn how to one day take his place as High Lord of Spring, you were expected to remain put. To focus on your embroidery or your tending to your garden. Even when you gardened, you were not allowed to get your hands dirty. You could clip a few dead ends, water a few bushes, but that was the extent of it all. Anything further would be an embarrassment to Hamish, and he hated to be embarrassed. 
You supposed, that was why you and your younger brother Tamlin got along so well. Tamlin was, in not so many words, an embarrassment to the family. Well, perhaps that was too harsh. But it was clear to all that Hamish harbored little love for his youngest son. Tamlin was unlike Finley and Alistair. He was the runt of the little, and the least likely to ever inherit the title of High Lord. Tamlin was not worth Hamish’s breath. Neither you nor him fit into the perfect puzzle Hamish tried to carefully to piece together. And so, you both were cast aside. Left forgotten. 
Though, you supposed you were not all forgotten. As the daughter of a High Lord, you were expected to marry well and to be a dutiful wife. In the last few decades, all attention you received from Hamish was dedicated to the pursuit of finding you a worthy husband. A few months previous, his search finally turned up fruitful. Dashiell Buchanan, the eldest son of Hamish’s favorite courtier. A handsome male, to be sure. You were less sure, however, of his kindness. 
There was no proof, no evidence, that Dashiell was a cruel male. But males like him, males in positions of power, no matter how small, seldom let such cruelty be openly known. You did not wish to find out he was such a male after your wedding night. Your only saving grace, though, would be to find your mate, who had not been made known for last couple hundred years. Hope as you might, you knew he would not come in time. 
So, instead, you busied yourself with the few hobbies appropriate for a woman of your station as you awaited your wedding day. That was how you found yourself curled up on a chair in the drawing room, deep in concentration as you tied French knots. You did not hear anyone slip in until you were being spoken to. 
“Ah, Spring’s daughter. I was beginning to think you a myth,” a slow drawl sounded. 
You lifted your head, breath caught in your throat at the male before you. He was tall, perhaps taller than any of the males in your family. His auburn hair cascaded down his shoulders, a waterfall of fire. Amber eyes looked you up and down. You were suddenly aware that you looked far too comfortable in the presence of a noble son, so you stood, smoothing out your skirts. “I was not aware I was being looked for.”
“Who wouldn’t look for a female they say is so beautiful, she must be blessed by the Mother? I understand why your father has kept you hidden away, now that I have been so fortunate as to see your face.” He offered a wicked smile. “Lesser males have fought wars over lesser beauties. We are too soon out of the last war to ever risk another.”
Your face felt like it was on fire. You fought the urge to pick at the thread of your dress. Instead, you tucked your hands into each other and held them in front of you so as to create a barrier between yourself and the charming male. “Do I get to know the name of the male so desperate to win my favor?”
The male let out a chuckle. “How about we make it a game. Three guesses.”
You smiled. “What do I get if I’m correct?”
“Is the pleasure of my company not enough for you? Greedy girl. I should have expected as such from a High Lord’s daughter.” he said. For a moment, he pretended to think. “Let us see…If you are correct, you can ask me for any favor and I shall do it without complaint.”
“And if I lose?”
“You sit at my side during dinner.”
Your smile seemed to grow. Though you did wish to know his name, a part of you also wanted to lose. Maybe if you got to sit close enough to him, you could learn if he was as warm as he was making you feel. “I accept your terms.”
“Then guess away, beautiful blossom.”
Tapping a finger on your chin, you began to weigh your options. “My father told me he was expecting a visit from the Autumn Court this morning. You are too young to be the High Lord, so I shall not waste a guess on that. Nor can you be Lady Autumn. All seven sons, however, inherited the color of her hair. I think….I shall go with Lucien.”
The male barked out a laugh, head thrown back and shoulders shaking. “Lucien is hardly older than a babe! Try again.”
“Hmm, yes I suppose he is too young. Perhaps I should hedge my bets and aim for the middle. Perhaps Crispin, or maybe Heath?”
“Shall I count those as your remaining too guesses?” he asked with a wicked grin. 
“Hush, I’m thinking out loud!” you giggled. You felt so light with him. You had not thought it possible to feel so at ease with a male, much less you hardly even knew. “I shall go with Heath.”
He grinned, and took a step closer to you. “Not by a long shot.”
“Well, I have aimed for the youngest, and for the middle. Perhaps I should aim for the eldest now. Yes, I suppose I shall.” You stood a little straighter and declared, “You are Eris Vanserra.”
Eris stepped closer to you. A few more steps, and you were sure to be caught in a most scandalous position. You didn’t seem to care, though. “And what favor would you ask of me?”
“It’s no fun if I waste it now. I would prefer to save it for a rainy day.”
“And make me your eternal slave?”
You took a step toward him. Never before had you felt so emboldened. Hamish would have your head if he saw you now. “Something tells me you would quite enjoy that.”
Before Eris could say anymore, before he could step closer and ruin you for anyone else, a series of footsteps sounded down the hall. You took a quick step back. You needed distance between you and Eris. Dashiell entered the room first, freezing as he took in the closeness between yourself and Autumn’s Heir. Even with the space you put between yourself and Eris, it was not enough to stop suspicion from being aroused.
Perhaps you would find out sooner than you hoped if your betrothed was a cruel man. His eyes flashed as he stalked over to Eris, fists clenching into fists. 
“Ah, I see your daughter has already become acquainted with my eldest son.”
No, no, no. This was even worse. Your eyes snapped over to Beron and Hamish as they entered the room, Finley, Alistair, and the other sons of Autumn following after. You prayed that your panic did not show on your face. Something began to tug in your chest, desperate. For what, you weren’t sure. But it was beginning to hurt. How much trouble would you bring, how embarrassed would Hamish be, if you excused yourself to see a healer?
Eris stepped forward, ignoring your betrothed, and said to Beron and Hamish, “I arrived early than anticipated. I came to the drawing room to wait, when I realized the room was not empty. I was introducing myself to—”
Your chest snapped. “Mate.”
Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Hamish’s brows raised. Beron seemed to consider you as if you were a meal. Finley and Alistair looked puzzled. Eris’s brothers sneered at each other, and him, as if disappointed that they weren’t the ones you were mated to. And Dashiell— 
A fist flew toward Eris’s face. Eris dodged it, easily, and caught the next fist that came. He gripped Dashiell’s fist so hard, twisted his arm just so, that the male crumpled to the floor. Eris snarled—the kind male you were just speaking to disappearing. 
“This is not a fight you shall win,” Eris said, baring his teeth. 
Beron turned to Hamish. “It seems we have more to discuss than trade negotiations, old friend.”
“She is betrothed,” Hamish managed. He watched as you stepped toward Eris, a hand resting on his bicep. Slowly, your mate released his grip on your betrothed. He stayed positioned between you and Dashiell, though, as if worried that the male would attack you next. 
“A betrothal is nothing compared to a mating bond,” Beron dismissed with a wave. “As I see it, she is now the property of Autumn.”
Eris tensed, just slightly so. 
“I cannot end her betrothal,” Hamish said. 
Beron raised a brow. “I would hate to invoke a blood duel, but it is within our right. Don’t let us end such a long friendship over something so trivial.”
“In Spring,” Hamish amended, “only the parties to be wed may end the betrothal.”
“I refuse,” Dashiell snarled, still knelt on the ground. 
All eyes turned to you, but you only saw Eris. He watched you carefully, trying to gauge whether you cared for the sorry excuse of a male on the floor. Dashiell, however, ceased to exist in your eyes. “Mate,” you repeated. “I want my mate.”
Beron, from the corner of your eye, seemed smug, but Hamish knew there was more to be done. He urged, voice tight, “You have to say the words.”
“I forsake my betrothal to Lord Dashiell Buchanan,” you said without a moment’s hesitation. 
Dashiell growled, but to everyone else in the room, he seemed to have disappeared. Ceased to matter if he wasn’t to wed the daughter of Spring. 
“Spring’s females don’t all seem to have heads full of petals,” Beron said. “You should be proud your daughter has any sense, Hamish.”
Hamish stared at you. He never looked at you with any ounce of love before, but now it almost felt like there was contempt. Was he truly embarrassed at you finding your mate? The circumstances weren’t the greatest—you could have done without the spectacle. But did you deserve the hateful look in his eyes? “You have until sundown to gather your things,” he said. “From this day forward, you are the burden of Autumn.”
You did not see Spring again until long after Hamish had passed. 
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tadpolesonalgae · 5 months
Text
The High Lord’s Whore
Eris x reader
summary: Coming from a disgraced family, you decided to take matters into your own hands, restoring your family’s name to its former glory the only way you could—by becoming the High Lord’s whore. Despite the demeaning title, you’re looked after, and treated well. Perhaps unusually so by your High Lord’s eldest son, Eris.
a/n: anon <3 request—thank you so much for this! I had a lot of fun writing this!!
word count: 2,481
-Part 2-
——————————————————————————————————————————————
You’re surprised by the amount of respect afforded to you in spite of your demeaning actions. You would have thought his attendants would be expected to keep out of daylight, to be known as little more than whispers behind closed doors or hushed gossip shared by the servants during meal preparations. Yet you’re often at his side, whether at public dinners or meals in private, you’re taken aback at how much time you now spend accompanied by high society.
Another surprise was how off-limits you were to everyone else. Part of you had expected to be uselessly handed around, possibly used by other males in his favour, tossed from room to room, from one set of hands to the next. Yet any attempts at seduction have been shut down faster than you can blink, either by a hand at your waist, or a fire-filled glance that would send any noblemale running.
You can only assume the High Lord of Autumn must have ordered his eldest son to keep you out of harms way. Could see no other reason for the protectiveness that frequently teeters on possessive, bordering on blatant aggression when opposed with any type of competition, weak or mild.
All it takes is a look, and you’re left in peace.
Yet this night, he seems to have his attention elsewhere, as you’re having surprising trouble dissuading the Lord that’s not so subtly trying to get beneath your skirts. It’s been a while since you’ve had to take matters into your own hands, left a little out of practice.
Still, when you get the chance, and once you’ve deemed it late enough, you manage to slip out from the great ballroom, finding a lonely corridor that seems vacant enough. You sigh, leaning against a wall. Thankfully the High Lord has not called for you tonight, hopefully being set free for the evening. One you’ll gladly take to get some extra reading in.
You caught the tale end of one of his conversations, mentioning a favoured noblemale would be returning after a journey elsewhere, and you would like to be fully prepared to defend your position. Everyone knows the pleasure points are dolled out through appeasing the High Lord as well as politely catering to others in his close circles.
Pushing off from the wall, you make to continue down the long, stretching hallways of the palace, aiming for the library when a hand coils tight around your wrist, jerking you to a stop. Forcing you to turn, coming face-to-face with the pushy, evidently drunk, Lord from earlier. Your heart thunders in your chest out of habit, instinctively uneasy at the unwanted advances from a male. You have no doubt your position would be compromised should the High Lord ever learn of you sleeping with anyone other than himself. And so for that reason, you attempt to extract you wrist from his grip.
“Are you lost, my Lord?” You ask, practically ripping away from him, taking a polite step back to even out the distance. He’s breathing heavily, and makes a dumb groaning sound, before stumbling forward on wobbly legs. Evidently drunk out of his mind.
“My Lord, I think you should retire to bed now,” you say politely, but firmly, voice cutting and clean as glass as you again step backward, shifting with him as you would a dance partner. Granted, a fairly inelegant one, but one nonetheless. “Come…come here,” he manages to slur out, hand reaching forward but you again step away, mentally mapping out the hallways that connect to the one you’re in. Dancing back a few steps at a time like you would when teaching a child to walk.
“Damnit…come…come here,” he huffs, lunging with both arms, almost tripping over his own lumbering feet. Really, you could simply vanish elsewhere, but that would make him someone else’s problem, and the idea of what would have happened had he set his sights on any other female who might not know how to evade his advances leaves just enough of a foul after-taste in your mouth to continue goading him slowly down hallways until you can find one with guards at the ready. They’ll be fully within their rights to use force to escort him elsewhere.
You’re poised to turn a corner, when a coil of flame shoots from his hand, snagging your ankle and you have just enough grace to keep from tumbling over. He grunts excitedly, and you grimace at the sound, pausing to consider your options. “Caught you…” he huffs, quickly approaching. “Pesky rabbit.”
You tilt your head as he reaches for you, ankle still caught in the magic snare, hands wrapping tight around his wrists to prevent him from touching you further. “Rabbit?” You inquire with a faint smile, peering down at the panting Lord, keeping your spine set and shoulders tight as you stand your ground. “Would that make you a hunter, or a fox?” You ask, squeezing firmly to keep him in check. Just a little further and you’ll be in sight of the guards. If you could just turn the corner…
“Hunters kill their catch,” he pants, struggling in your hold, fire heating around your ankle. “Foxes eat them.” You quirk a brow, surprised by his strength despite the obvious inebriation. “So a fox, then?”
He bares his teeth in a grin, face flushed from exertion, and you notice the wedding band on his hand, cringing inwardly. “Well, Sir, that is quite a shame,” you muse, though you don’t think he’s listening anymore. “Hunters capture foxes, as well as rabbits.”
Cool relief sweeps down your spine as a fire-hot palm singes the expensive fabric on his shoulder, gripping tight enough that he hisses, releasing you, magic vanishing as he turns, coming face-to-face with the High Lord’s eldest son. Well, maybe not quite face-to-face. There’s more than a foot of height separating them.
Eris’ scowl is enough to break through the Lord’s drunken state, spine straightening, hands dropping to his sides upon marking the distain in the Heir’s sharp eyes, the downward cut of his mouth. “My apologies,” he stammers out gruffly, clearing his throat with a wet cough that has Eris’ brows narrowing, displeasure tucked between them as fire blazes cooly behind his gaze.
You mange the last steps back to the corner, instantly gaining the guard’s attention—it’s hard to miss your vibrant shade of orange, or the gleaming twinkles stitched into the bodice of your dress, flame incarnate. You know how the Heir’s temper can boil over despite his calm exterior, like the cool and jagged stone that contains the volatile heat of magma. Right now you’re worried he might release that scalding lava atop the trembling Lord, and that would cause quite the mess for the poor servants to handle. So with a polite smile that almost boarders on a friendly wince, you beckon one over to help prevent a potential crises.
“I swear— I, gosh, I had, I swear I had no idea,” the Lord is fumbling beneath the burning glare of your patron’s son, and you’re practically able to smell the sweat and fear dripping from the male’s brow, as if already being slowly boiled alive. “You understand don’t you, Eris? If I may humbly address you as such—”
The blazing heat in his gaze dims, walled off as he finds the guard you’d summoned. “Get him out of my sight,” he orders sharply, and you’re rather impressed that the guard doesn’t balk at the stern tone. It’s not one you’d like to be on the wrong end off. But the guard follow through dutifully, firmly escorting the male away, who still seems to be rambling apologies.
You reset your spine, keeping your shoulders level and posture controlled as you turn to meet the High Lord’s eldest’s gaze, keeping your chin slightly dipped. “I apologise for the trouble, my Lord,” you say, head bowing as you sketch a light curtsey. The fire seems to have banked from his eyes, now just as cold and calculating as usual, not even an ember left. “You should take more care while walking on nights like these,” he states shortly, brows narrowed as he looks you over, stepping closer.
His nostrils flare delicately, whiskey and caramel sparking briefly with distain. “I suggest you bathe before applying your affections elsewhere,” he remarks in that clipped way of his—a suggestion that really isn’t a suggestion. “My affections are not required tonight, so I suppose I will take my time,” you reply, pulling a polite smile to your lips, searching for any clue to the thoughts that are doubtlessly passing through his mind. Will he mention the advances to his father, or keep them to himself until the time’s right. He should have seen you were not encouraging them, and he hasn’t paid you much attention until now, so that shouldn’t be a problem for you to concern yourself with.
Eris’ focus flickers over you again, noting your positioning—having found you in the corridors rather than the great hall. “You’re retiring for the night,” he asks, again in that tone that shows it isn’t quite a question. “I thought I might get an early evening as my presence is not required, and I have nothing else to put my attention toward,” you reply, sprinkling in some truth with the lie. While having access to the libraries technically—you haven’t been forbidden from them—it would be better as few people as possible know where you spend your free time.
His exterior remains indecipherable, but he steps forward, offering his arm in one smooth motion, and you settle your hand atop his out of habit, the etiquette trained into you despite having grown up without need for it. “I’m sure I could manage the walk back to my chambers unbothered,” you try, keeping your tone inoffensive and unassuming, “I would’t want to pull you away from the ball. Your presence will be missed.”
“I can spare a few minutes,” he answers shortly, keeping his attention ahead as he guides you through the halls. “Perhaps allow the conversation to replenish itself.”
“Have many people asked about the return of Lord Blandar?” You inquire with a hint of sympathy, glancing at him. “One step ahead, as usual,” he mutters under his breath, your mouth cutting into a faint smile, his eyes lingering a little longer than usual. “Are you going to ask, as well?”
“Would you like me to?”
“I’m sure you have no need to ask.”
You raise a brow, watching him in your peripherals. “What makes you think that, my Lord?”
Again he briefly glances at you, before returning his attention to the corridor. “It’s quite remarkable you happened to share an interest in Hermet Glaust with Lord Shamsted,” he says, and a stitch of tension is sewn through your shoulders. “Also your fascination with agriculture that seemed to spring up discussion with Lord Crowsley. Not to mention your abrupt adoration for violin concertos that you mentioned while conversing with Lady Sorrerly.”
Sharp amber and whiskey eyes pierce into you, far too observing for your liking, but you suppose it’s how he’s held his position for so long—what’s enabled him to keep his brothers in check. “I like knowing who I’m talking to, and what interests them,” you answer honestly, giving a faint smile that doesn’t reach your eyes.
“All while keeping yourself to a minimum,” he remarks.
“I hadn’t realised I was such a person of interest to you, my Lord,” you reply.
“You aren’t,” he states bluntly, “I keep an eye on everyone within palace walls.”
“Even the servants?” You ask idly, turning to glance up at him.
“Everyone,” he repeats.
You hum in response, peering ahead to where your door is set in the wall. “Then, if it isn’t too much of a presumption, may I ask what it is you think I am interested in, my Lord?” You inquire, keeping your spine straight, nodding briefly to the guard situated at the corner of the hallway. “Apparently pottery, farming, and music, at the least,” he replies blandly, coming to a stop at your chambers while you turn the handle to one of the two doors.
“And the Lord from earlier?” You ask, stepping into your large room, leaning slightly on the frame of the door, partially concealing your body from view. It might be your imagination—a trick of the light—but his mouth tightens. “Putting his hands where they don’t belong,” he answers sternly, not even the slightest hint of amusement on his face.
“And yourself?” You ask with an arched brow, slight mirth upon your lips.
His eyes gleam, but he inclines his head in departure, your attention subtly marking the skilled embroidery of his attire. “Goodnight, my Lady.”
Your mouth twitches, but you keep the smile to yourself. “Goodnight, my Lord.”
————
Hours later, and his skin is still scalding from the fiery rage that had bled through his body, threatening to wipe the male who laid hands on her clean from existence. No drawn out screams, no shackles to keep writhing limbs in place, just swift and brutal execution.
His fingers itch with flame, incandescent light licking against his palms as he plays with the candle on his desk, flickering. How nice it would have been to have the fire lick up the male’s clothing, leaving burn marks in the pattern of a snake-trail, slowly wrapping its way around the body…squeezing…squeezing… The flame turns white, air whooshing as it burns through the oxygen, and he imagines it snatching the breath from his lungs.
Eris leans back in his chair, legs parting, head tipping back as he releases a low groan. He knows his clothing will still hold the remnants of her fragrance, and the crackle of fire in his veins turns to burning arousal, urging him to release his tension somehow. A muscle feathers in his jaw, gritting his teeth against the relentless thoughts, the sensations his body is tempting him with, cock stiffening between his legs.
This part, he hates. Hates with as much of his free-will is left, that hasn’t been consumed by the desire to find her, and bed her. The control that is stripped from him, this one task prioritised over the mountain of work he must complete. It keeps the fury burning in his veins a little longer, long enough he forces himself to sit up straight and grip his quill, aiming to finish the work he sat down to do.
He will not be reduced to such a pathetic mess over her faintest scent; if his body wants release, it’ll have to wait until he agrees to it.
He’ll be damned if his discipline falters over one female.
Even if she is his mate.
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mika-no-sekai-blog · 29 days
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Part I
Word count: 3600+
Warnings: mentions of blood, body remains; reader is from Hewn city (I believe that says enough about what to expect here)
Note: I'm posting this just because I'm curious if there would be anyone interested in this story. There won't be next chapter any time soon, not until the rest of Heal me is up. Hopefully I won't need to pretend it's oneshot😮‍💨
Declaration: I hate dancing and have zero knowledge about it, so excuse the lack of description or any vagueness in that part. I tried to look things up, I swear, but the unstoppable rolling of my eyes made it hard to focus🤷
Dividers by amazing @tsunami-of-tears
Part II
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A male slowly stepped out of the darkness, the pale face lifted up. His amber eyes found yours, gazing straight into them with hate, all-consuming fire blazing in his irises. His unbounded long red hair flew around him, dancing in the air as flames. He was scary but handsome. Then his mouth twisted into a sadistic grin came in focus and you cried out in fear. His white teeth were covered in blood, streams of it running down his chin, dripping on the front of his shirt.
Blood was dripping even from his long fingers with sharp nails of predator. Down at his feet lay remains of a body, pile of flesh and broken bones, burned so badly that nobody could recognize the person whom it belonged to.
His grin widened and he suddenly dashed forward towards you, his hand reaching for your throat.
You jolted up in dimly lit carriage, cold sweat covering your body. Thankfully, you were all alone and nobody saw you or heard you. This nightmare haunted you almost every time you closed your eyes ever since you were told that you would marry a new High Lord of Autumn Court.
You were born and raised in Hewn city, the cruellest place known to fae world where it was lucky to be born as a male. Unfortunately, you were a female which meant that you were a toy in hands of your father who was just as brutal as that whole place.
You'd spent most of your life in your room without windows, allowed to come out only when you were called or needed. You'd never seen a daylight until this day. Growing up you were often punished whether you did something wrong or not, because you were just a weak female, a possession that could be sold if the offer was high enough. That's how you ended up betrothed to the Heir of Autumn Court on the first place.
You didn't know why you were chosen. You had never spoken with him nor met him in person. You saw him only from afar when he came to Hewn city to negotiate with Keir and later at a ball organized by your High Lord where he danced with one of the High Lady's sisters. It was quite an interesting show and he seemed to be smitten by her.
You watched that all from your dark alcove where you were exposed for the chosen ones but otherwise hidden from prying eyes of others. You weren't allowed to participate directly. You weren't even allowed to talk with other guests. The ball was a market and you were the goods.
However, the horrific rumours about the Heir got to your ears nevertheless. You heard all stories about his cruelty and punishments that he loved to deliver, and later even the stories about how he killed his father and became a High Lord. None of them was a good one, but he wasn't judged here. In Hewn city, he was admired for his rigour. Every male wanted to be like him, every female either feared she would catch his eye or longed for that.
You, for sure, didn't belong to the second group. You didn't want to get married at all. All you dreamt about, was freedom, the possibility to go and do whatever you wanted, but that was out of question for you. You were just a puppet that danced only when a male pulled the strings. Now you were a property of your father who had planned to sell you for the highest offer from the day you were born, and soon enough you would became a property of your husband. You were nothing, you didn't count.
You were aware of the offers that piled on your father's desk. They started coming when you turned 15, but your father had waited. You didn't know what he did or who he spoke to, when suddenly a marriage proposal came from Autumn Court soon after your 18th birthdays. He didn't hesitate this time and immediately accepted. He couldn't get any higher offer than from the future High Lord himself, could he.
If you thought your life was a torture before, after that it became a hell. Whole year you spent learning all kinds of manners that wife of male with such high position had to know. They taught you what your place in the court and in the private would be, what you had to do to keep it, they beat it into you, breaking you again and again until there were no errors and you were perfectly submissive.
You also had to become an outstanding dancer because your future husband seemed to have a special interest in dance. Even now your toes were still bleeding into your shoes as your last lesson ended right before the departure.
In every aspect you had to be perfect and worthy of High Lord of Autumn. Lady of Autumn Court, your future husband's mother, was given to you as a model of such a perfect wife. Quiet, obedient, representative, beautiful.
Perfect doll to be ruined by her husband when no one was looking.
You feared the future but you had no choice.
You slightly moved the curtain to look out and see the bits of the country behind the window. Because of the nap you lost track of time. Your heart squeezed in dread when you found out you were already in a forest full of red and yellow and golden brown leaves. You had never seen an autumn foliage with your own eyes, but even you with your limited knowledge knew that these were colours of Autumn. You were getting closer to your final ordeal.
It took another hour or two and carriage stopped. Before you could reach for the doorknob, the door flew open and your father's always angry face came to view.
"Get out now," he ordered. He seemed to be in quite a good mood today.
You immediately moved closer to the door and get off. Your heels clicked on the sandstone in the courtyard of a beautiful castle, but you had no time to look around as father shoved you to the entrance. Bowing your head, you submitted.
At the gate you were welcomed by High Lord's advisor, a male with rather a cool demeanour, and some maids who took you to the chamber where you were supposed to get ready and wait until the ceremony began. You didn't bother to even try to lift your gaze, you were too scared to look at people directly. Whenever you dared to look at someone, most of them had no face in your eyes, only an empty mask. You distinguished people mainly by their voices.
You felt your father staring after you coldly as you silently followed the maids, his gaze felt like a sharp knife poking into your back. You were scared he would follow you because you were his priced ticket to wealth now, but soon he turned around and walked away with the advisor in the opposite direction.
Maids were quiet and quick as they helped you to bath and dress. They skilfully braided your long hair into a complicated hairstyle, attached the veil to it, letting it fall down and cover your face. When they were done, with a slight bow they left.
You let out a breath that you didn't even know you'd been holding the entire time they were hopping around you. Nobody bothered to inform you how much time you had left, but it didn't matter anyway. You couldn't run away from your fate.
You were sitting at the vanity table where they left you, looking at the ground as you were taught, your mind empty. You couldn't even mourn the life that you never had and never would have. They successfully turned you into a puppet, a blank canvas ready for your husband to paint on.
Soft knock sounded on the doors and a female's voice called that it's time. You slowly stood up with bowed head and stepped out from the chamber. Small maid led you through corridors and halls to a chapel.
You'd like to look around, wanting to see at least something of your wedding day worth of memorising it, but your father was already waiting for you, angrily tapping his foot.
"Good for nothing as usual," he grunted. "How long do you think we have to wait for you?"
"I'm sorry, father," you said in a small voice.
"Speak properly! You are like your mother, useless. Thankfully from now on, you will be your husband's burden."
He offered you an arm and you immediately took it not wanting to make him any more angry. Together you got ready at the threshold and as music started to play you stepped inside.
The chapel seemed to be quite spacious, full of warm light and crowded with guests. As you walked to the altar you caught glimpses of gold, yellow and white decorations. Your father halted, a pair of shiny black boots stepped closer. Out of the corner of your eye you saw that your father was smiling kindly. You were shocked. It was the first time you saw such expression on his cruel face.
Your father said something to that male and he answered. Your heart was beating so fast and loudly that you hardly heard the music. Father took your hand and offered it to the male who surprisingly gently accepted it. Fingers that wrapped around yours were pale and long just as in that nightmare, but instead of icy cold you felt warmth seeping into your skin. Your father stepped away, leaving you with this male. The transaction was apparently successful.
"Can we?"
A deep voice spoke lowly, snapping you out of the new kind of darkness that began to pull you into its void. You inhaled sharply. It wasn't that deadly voice that haunted you in sleep but a quite pleasant, rich one that felt like a warm blanket, a liquid honey flowing into your ears that were used to only harsh words. Rich aroma of spicy cinnamon and apples roasted on fire filled your nose.
You nodded, still not daring to look up. He led you to the altar where a priestess was waiting for you. As you stood before her, he turned to you one more time. His fingers touched the edge of the veil, lifting it up. You kept your eyes down as you were taught.
"Look at me," he commanded softly.
Carefully, inch by inch you raised your eyes, taking in first his trousers in cream colour, then his elegant tailored moss jacket with gold details that hugged his chest perfectly. He didn't look like a mass of muscles as the general of Night Court did even though before he had the same rank. Your soon-to-be husband seemed to be rather lean, but definitely a warrior with muscles on right places. And so tall, impossibly tall, that you hardly reached up to his shoulders.
It felt like forever until your gaze finally reached his face. Like in the nightmares it was pale with bright amber eyes and high cheekbones, his nose was straight and lips full. He wasn't smiling, yet corners of his mouth seemed to be twisted in a permanent smirk. In golden rays of sun penetrating through a round window behind the altar, his red hair had a warm shade, and looked so silky that you had to wonder how it would feel to touch them. Now cut much shorter than the last time you saw him, he just casually combed them back, a few unruly strands falling on his forehead.
His eyes roamed over your face, brows lightly furrowed, then one corner of his lips lifted in a half smile. He was handsome, attractive, there was no doubt about it. You expected him to have the cool, cruel aura you noticed before and he didn't disappoint, but as you were watching him for a while, in his eyes there was something you'd never seen before. Perhaps it was kindness, but what did you know. It was just a foreign word to you, something you never experienced.
It was confusing.
He didn't say if he liked what he saw, his expression gave nothing away. He just turned to priestess, signalling her with a nod of the head to begin the ceremony. You allowed your eyes to linger and watch his profile a little longer before your gaze again slid down to the floor. Hardly perceiving priestess's words, you returned to that quiet place in your mind where you felt safe from the world.
When the ceremony was over, Eris leaned down, gazing at you. This was the part when the groom should kiss the bride. You stayed still, expecting him to move, but he was just waiting. You looked up with silent question in eyes. As soon as your full attention was on him, he moved forward and his lips sealed over yours in a tender kiss. Your eyes widened in surprise, breath caught in your throat. You expected anything from him except of this. He didn't close his eyes either, closely watching your reaction.
Eris tasted like honey and some alcohol. It was a strange combination, but not unpleasant. His lips slightly moved against yours, testing the waters and then it was over.
As if nothing had happened he straightened up and turned to the crowd, offering you an arm. You exhaled shakily, internally shouting at your body to move. You couldn't keep him waiting. Your fingers gripped on his sleeve. Still weak in your knees you could only wish that you wouldn't fall down.
His other hand went up to yours on his arm, adjusting it. Holding it firmly he tugged you closer and led you to the ballroom where the party would take a place.
Why did he behave like this? Did he genuinely care? Or did he notice your state and wanted to just prevent an embarrassing incident? He was supposed to be cruel. Everyone said that about him. Was it just some kind of masquerade and later he would make you pay for your mistakes? You were so confused and nervous.
The celebration program was simple. The ceremony was to be followed by a banquet and finally a party. When you came into the impressive ballroom decorated in the same colours as the chapel, the tables were already bending under the amount of deliciously looking food.
Eris led you to the table in the centre, a bit higher than the rest. He held a chair for you and then took a seat on your right. The other chairs were gradually filled as the guests were coming. Your father was seated at the table on your left, giving you a cold stare. Shiver ran down your spine and your heart started to beat faster. You knew that face. Whatever you had done he was very displeased right now.
Your husband inconspicuously leaned closer.
"Is everything alright?" he asked lowly, eyeing still coming guests. Did he hear your heartbeat even over this noise?
"Of course, my lord," you blushed, focusing on your hands folded on your skirt under the table.
Eris' eyes narrowed on you and then his gaze moved behind you to your father. He immediately stopped frowning at you and instead he conjured a pleasant smile at his new son-in-law. Eris made a small displeased noise and looked away.
When everyone took their seats Eris stood up to give a short speech and a toast. You took a goblet with wine but didn't drink. Could not. You weren't allowed to drink alcohol.
After your husband a dark haired male stood up to toast to newly wed couple. As he spoke you recognized the voice of your High Lord.
Nervously you swallowed.
It was unexpected, but not incomprehensible. Of course he was here. A member of his Court married his ally. This wedding was an important political event. There were certainly also other allied High Lords between the guests. The most powerful beings of this country had eyes on you. And your husband? He was one of them. Not an ordinary High Fae or some aristocrat. A High Lord.
Sudden realisation hit you hard and you felt a growing nausea, heart throbbing in your throat.
When everyone was done toasting, silent servants appeared seemingly from nowhere and started to serve the food to the plates. Not remembering when you had eaten for the last time was your last concern. You were too nervous and frightened to even think about the food right now.
Eris seemed to notice that you were just poking the vegetables with a fork around the plate, pretending you were eating as everyone around.
"Isn't the meal to your taste?" he asked with raised brows quietly.
Under the table you clenched fingers into the skirt of your dress. This male could turn you into a pile of ash if he wanted.
"Everything is delicious, my lord," swallowing hard you answered in a small shaky voice.
He just huffed and after a while returned to his plate and the conversation he had before. You bit on your lower lip. Did you offend him? Would he punish you later? You were on the verge of crying. From the other side of the table you could feel your father's angry gaze. Breathing raggedly you willed the tears back and put down the fork. Your trembling hand reached for a glass of water. Focussing on not spilling it's content, you brought it to your red painted lips and took a sip. You needed to pull yourself together, to overcome it. The show wasn't over yet.
By the time the clattering of cutlery has died down, you managed to calm down a bit. Music that played whole the time, got louder and some of the guests moved to the parquet.
Eris turned to you once again, his eyes lingering on your face. He seemed to think about something. For a brief moment his lips pursed into a thin line.
"We have to dance the first dance. It's a tradition," he spoke coldly.
"Yes, my lord."
You already knew that and you were more than ready even though your healing toes still hurt. This wouldn't be the first time you had to suppress the pain and pretend everything was okay. You could do this.
Despite the too high expectations of your teachers and father, you loved dance. It was the only quite funny activity you were ever allowed to do.
High Lord helped you to stand up and led you to the centre of the parquet. The guests created a circle around you.
Eris' warm hand heavily landed on your waist, holding you firmly, his fingers leaving marks on your skin through the corset. The sudden roughness surprised you and you slightly winced. Thankfully nobody seemed to notice it, not even your husband. Taking your other hand into his, you two took a position and started to move at the exactly same time to the rhythm of the song in a small circles. Eyes pinned to his strong chest right in front of you, you performed your best.
You moved gracefully as you were taught, small sparks in your veins slowly becoming a fire, consuming you. After the first rather stiff steps, your body relaxed and you blended in with the melody, becoming the music. The long skirt of your dress was sweeping the floor with every your step, looking like a flowing mountain stream. You loved that feeling. Eris spun you and you made a perfect pirouette so fast that you whirled two times. Someone in the watching crowd gasped in amazement, several others applauded.
If you dared to look up, you would see the fire in your husband's eyes and a wide smile. He was enjoying this, too, more than he was willing to admit.
The two of you started dancing in bigger and bigger circles, your every move faster than the last one. The crowd around had turned into a blurry smudge, but none of you minded. Eris decided to test you by changing the steps and adding figures, and you responded to every change with ease, without a mistake.
As the song was coming to its end, your husband decided to end the dance with a pretty deep dip. Your back arched under his fingers and suddenly you came face to face with him, your noses almost touching. Your eyes widened in surprise.
Two blazing amber eyes were piercing you with genuine interest, wolfish grin on his lips. His usual merciless expression was replaced by something wild, beautiful and kind of dangerous. He was mesmerising. You were definitely playing with a fire when you reached up, tips of your fingers lightly touching his jaw. Eris blinked and it was gone.
He straightened up and you followed, once again scared that you possibly made a fatal error when you touched his face.
Now all the guests were applauding. Looking around his cold gaze jumped from face to face. He didn't say anything as he bowed to you, kissing the back of your hand and then escorted you back to the table. Both of you were still heaving as you took your seats. He grabbed your glass of water and handed it to you. You thanked him to which he just responded with a nod. Then he took his empty goblet and held it out for the servant to fill it with wine. He drummed with fingers as he waited. As soon as the servant stepped back, he emptied the goblet again.
The musicians started to play another song and parquet filled with dancing pairs. When it seemed that nobody paid you attention any longer, without even looking in your direction Eris reached out under tha table, his fingers lightly brushing your arm from elbow down to your wrist. Finding your hand rested on your lap, he clasped it in his much bigger one and held it for the rest of the evening.
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mcuamerica · 27 days
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Loving Flames | Part Two
Pairing: Eris x Reader
Summary: You leave Under the Mountain, going back to the Night Court... but there's a certain red head that still plagues your mind Requested by anon here.
Warnings: 18+ only, canon level violence, alludes to SA, Rhys is an asshole in this, a bit of angsty fluff and a lot of angst, slight claustrophobia, PTSD, (not proofread), let me know if anything was forgotten...
Word Count: 4k
Disclaimer: I do not own SJM’s characters, only the ones I create for the purpose of this story. This is a work of fiction. I do not give permission to repost my work on any other platform or medium. Please be respectful.
Dividers from @saradika
Part One
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You were in that room for the next 8 years, only going out when Amarantha commanded you to watch the tortures she knew you’d be tormented by the most. The faeries that had wings. Children. Families. You stood by Eris’s side, forced to watch as you clung to his arm. Your nails dug into his biceps so often when she was the most brutal that he had small scars there.
And his back, now. When he came back to the room from the healer that night, his entire back and chest was bandaged.
“You shouldn’t have done that.” He said to you when he found you with tears in your eyes, sitting on the bed.
“I couldn’t let her hurt you anymore. Not when it wasn’t your fault.” You said.
“She could still hurt you. She could command you out and force you to be whipped.” He said.
“I’d rather me than you.” You whispered, your knees tight to your chest.
“I wouldn’t.” He whispered. “I won’t be able to stand back and watch if she hurts you.” He said.
“Then kill her.” You simply stated, your eyes unfocused on the rug beneath the bed. “She can’t hurt you. Can’t have anyone else hurt you. Kill her and the threat ends.” You said.
Eris swore, ensuring the door was shut. He walked over to you, kneeling at your side. You felt him take your cheeks in his hands, forcing you to look at him. “You can’t say things like that out loud… you have to be careful.” He said. “I won’t let her hurt you… and I promise to get you out of this room one day.”
Eris wasn’t able to keep that promise. Not until Feyre came along. But, with the tensions between the Autumn and the Spring Court, he didn’t help her at all. And you were confined to your room for all of it other than Feyre’s trials.
When Amarantha finally died, thanks to Tamlin, you felt your tattoo dissolve against your skin. You nearly collapsed on the ground at the thought of leaving this gods-forsaken mountain. Of never seeing it again. Of never being trapped in a bedroom again, or any room. Of feeling the wind against your skin.
But that meant leaving Eris. Once Rhys told you when you would leave, you went to the room. Your prison and sanctuary for so long. “Eris.” You whispered.
He turned around from where he stood before the dresser, contemplating if he wanted to burn the clothing. “I thought you’d be gone by now.” He said.
“I can’t leave without saying goodbye.” You said, nervously playing with your fingers. “I’m going to miss you…” you whispered, silver lining your eyes.
Eris looked at you again, immediately before you. He took your cheeks in his hands. “Don’t do that.” He whispered. “Don’t lie.”
“I’m not lying. I don’t want to go to the Night Court if it means I can’t be with you.” You whispered. “You were the best thing about this Mountain. The only thing that kept me sane.” You said, tears falling from your eyes.
Eris, tears welled in his own eyes, shook his head. “You will go to the Night Court. And if the Autumn Court ever needs an emissary, you will always be welcome.” He whispered. “You will live a good, happy life. One you don’t want me in.” He said.
“But I do.” You whispered. “I need you in my life, Er.” You said louder.
“Then come find me once you’re settled. You’ll be welcomed. But if for one moment you resent what you went through down here, if you resent me for what I did, please… spend your time with your family. In your home.” Away from his family. Away from the cruelty you would endure under his father. Especially if he knew you were mates.
You sniffed, wrapping your arms around his neck as you buried your face in the crook of his neck. "Thank you. For everything." You whispered, holding onto him tight. He held onto you like his life depended on it. This may very be the last time Rhys lets him see you. And he would remember the moment for the rest of his life.
You finally pulled away, wiping at the tears in your eyes. "I'll come back for you, Eris Vanserra." You said to him, cupping his cheek.
"And I'll never forget you, Princess." He said.
You let out a watery laugh before letting go over him, taking a few steps back before you turned around and left to the upper levels of the mountain. Where you would go home with Rhys. You knew in your heart, in your soul, that you would see Eris again. And not just for courtly activities, but as friends. And maybe... if you found the strength.. more.
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You stayed in the Night Court, in Velaris, for four years. Meeting with Eris only for court purposes. And even then, Azriel, Cassian, or Rhys would be by your side, leading you away from them. No matter how much you tried to convince Rhys, and the others, that Eris never harmed you Under the Mountain, no one believed you. Expect for Mor, surprisingly. She was pretty easy to convince he did nothing to you, never laid a hand on you to harm you.
You were serving as the ever dotting Princess of the Night Court when the events with Feyre and her sisters happened. While each one of them tackled a challenge of her own, and ended up with their mates. Everyone was happy... You had a nephew and a family that adored you. And yet something was still missing.
You secretly wrote to Eris every week, it becoming your favorite time when one of his letter's would appear next on your nightstand. They became increasingly intimate, but never crossed the line of love.
One day, just a few months after Elain and Lucien's wedding/mating ceremony, Rhys said the Court would be meeting with Eris at the House of Wind. And while you were to stay in your old bedroom up there, you were not allowed to see him.
"Rhys, I'm not a child." You said, crossing your arms. "I'm the Princess of the Night Court. I should be there when you plot with our allies."
"Eris is not our ally... we have a tentative agreement with him." Rhys countered.
"That's the definition of an ally." You retorted. "And besides, I know him better than you all."
"You know him from the time he held you captive-"
"The time Amarantha held me captive," You corrected.
Rhys ignored you, continuing on, "You are biased."
You took a deep breath. "I will not be kept from this courts happenings because you believe me to be fragile. And I am certain Feyre will not agree with you locking me up in my room while you talk with the Heir to the Autumn Court." You said.
Rhys narrowed his eyes, but caved and said he would allow you to be present. Only if Azriel stayed by your side the entire night. You agreed, as Azriel was one of your closest friends and hadn't been as protective as the rest of them when it came to Eris. Maybe it's because his shadows detected you were telling the truth. Maybe they were keeping an eye on you all Under the Mountain for all those years. But either way, you didn't argue with having Azriel by your side.
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Taking a deep breath, you smoothed down the loose pants and tight fitting shirt you had on. Your flats matched the attire perfectly, incorporating Night Court black with Autumn Court red. You even did your makeup and hair a little bit more like the Autumn Court style. You hadn't seen Eris since the war with Hybern two years ago. While you kept contact with him, you were excited to see him.
You walked out to the main sitting area where the meeting would be held. Eris was standing there, in an Autumn green tunic and tight fitting pants. His red hair was tousled slightly, and shorter than the last time you saw it. Lucien was next to him, and the rest of your family was scattered around the room.
As Eris turned to you and gave you that smile you missed so much, a string snapped on your gut. Your eyes widened slightly as you felt the bond become even stronger than before. He must have noticed, because you saw his breath hitch.
“Eris,” you whispered, tears brimming your eyes. “It’s good to see you.” You blinked a few times, taking a deep breath to keep your composure. If you and Eris showed any affection here, Rhys would probably throw Eris off the balcony.
“You too, princess.” He said it just above a whisper.
The rest of the room looked between the two of you, all of the tension in the room because of you.
“Come on,” Azriel said, causing you to flinch at his un expected touch. “Let’s sit down.” He whispered and then walked you over to the couch. You kept your eyes on Eris, heart beating out of your chest. To the rest of them, they probably thought you were terrified to see him. Even if you had been completely fine with seeing him in the past.
Rhys walked in with Feyre, narrowing his eyes as he saw Eris staring at you. And you staring back. But you were sat next to Azriel, Eris on the other side of the room, so he let it go. “Okay, let’s talk about how you’re planning to kill your father.” He said.
“Thank you for your warm welcome into your home.” Eris said, voice dripping with sarcasm as he finally tore his eyes from you and looked to your brother.
“My home.” Nesta corrected. The House of Wind was her and Cassian’s now. Azriel was in the Town Home with Gywn and you stayed with Feyre and Rhys in the River House.
“You truly have a plan to kill your father?” Lucien said. Your father. As he recently learned Helion was his dad and not Beron.
“Yes, it’s been in the works for sometime. And Autumn is in a good position right now for a take over.” He said, leaning back in the single chair he was in.
Cauldron, he looked magnificent. He had bulked up more, his biceps threatening to tear the undershirt he wore. You wouldn’t put it past him to wear a tighter shirt to show off. Or was it to impress you? Either way, you couldn’t help but admire him. The way his hair fell onto his forehead, even though it should’ve been slicked back. How the pants fit his thighs just right. And gods, the way that smirk played on his tips as he talked about his plans. He was happy to kill his father. He was doing it for you, though you didn’t know it.
You barely heard a word of what they said as you watched Eris. Your eyes never left him. To the others, again, it looked as if you were scared. But as Azriel glanced between the two of you, and caught some stolen looks from Eris to you, he knew it wasn’t fear that was keeping you quiet. It was affection. You couldn’t think of what to say, so you sat quietly and listened. Or, Azriel thought you were listening. You were just admiring your mate.
Eris was your mate. And you couldn’t wrap your head around it. He must have known… and not told you because of the tensions between Autumn and a Night. But still, how long had he known? Did he know when you were Under the Mountain? Before? Is that the only reason he was kind to you?
Thoughts raked your brain as you spiraled down into your mind, and Azriel was the first to notice your short breathing. “(Y/N)?” Azriel whispered.
You looked up to him, finally breaking your stare from your mate. “Do you want to leave?” He asked.
You shook your head, leaning back in the love seat as you finally started to listen to what they had to say.
Eris would kill his father within the week. And he was requesting help from the Night Court to help him do it. It would be by poison, at an Autumn ball in three days. That each Night Court member would be at. And everyone would play their part.
So, as you listened to the plan, you couldn’t help but wonder what this would mean for you. Would Eris want you to be his mate if he was High Lord? He certainly didn’t say anything to you… maybe he was just being nice because mates shouldn’t hurt each other. Maybe he doesn’t want anything to do with you.
You blinked as everyone stood up, and Rhys shook Eris’s hand tentatively. He whispered a ‘if you betray us, you die’ that wasn’t even a whisper, everyone heard it. And then Rhys walked out. You glanced to Azriel as everyone else walked out besides Eris.
“Az… can you give us a moment?” You asked quietly. Azriel looked between you and Eris skeptically. You noticed as his ears perked and his eyes widened slightly as his shadows told him something.
He gave a slight nod. “I’ll be right outside.” He said before turning around to leave. Once he was out of the room, you ran over to Eris. You slung your arms around his neck as he pulled you close to his chest, his arms around your waist in an instant.
“I’ve missed you.” You whispered against his neck.
You felt him smile against the top of your head, pressing a soft kiss there. “Me too, princess.” He whispered.
“How long have you known?” You asked as you pulled away. “About the bond?” Your voice was shaking, your eyes hoping for a good explanation.
“Since before your mother died… your first introduction to the Courts with your father. It snapped for me the moment I saw you.” He said and cupped your cheek when you pulled away. “I didn’t want to tell you because I knew we couldn’t be together. Your father would never allow it. Your brother certainly wouldn’t.” He said.
“You didn’t think to tell me Under the Mountain?” You asked. You weren’t hurt about his secrecy, surprisingly. He had been protecting you for years. How could you be mad at him?
“I did… I wanted to so many times. But I didn’t want to force it on you down there. Or make it seem like I was trying to win you over. I just wanted you safe. And if Amarantha knew you were my mate, she might have done something to hurt you…” He said.
“I’m sorry I didn’t see it until now.” You said, leaning your forehead against his.
“I don’t want anyone to know. Not until my father is dead and he has no chance of using you against me.” Eris whispered.
“I want to accept it.” You whispered. “As soon as we’re both safe.” You told him, searching his eyes.
Neither of you had been remotely intimate. Hugging and sharing a bed was the extent to how you interacted Under the Mountain and after too. But now, you wanted to do everything with him. Wanted to kiss him, feel his warm lips on yours. You wanted him inside you, his flaming body against yours as you connected in a way no one else could. You wanted him to be your mate, officially. You wanted everything with him. Including children. A kingdom to rule, if he’d have you as his Lady.
Eris’s face at your words softened even more, tears lining his eyes. “Soon, I promise. But we will wait until after my father dies.” He said. “And when I am High Lord, we will accept it in whatever way you want. A large ceremony. A small one. You could give me a tree nut and I would be happy.” He said. “As long as I can be with you.”
“I don’t care. I just want to be your mate.” You told him.
“I’m glad we agree.”
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After that week, and after the ball where Eris's father "unexpectedly" died from a heart problem, Beron's powers were passed to Eris. And now, the heir of the Autumn Court was no more, instead, he was the High Lord of Autumn. Your mate.
While you wanted to immediately mate him, Eris wanted to establish his court before announcing his Lady of Autumn. So, you needed to distract yourself. And it happened that Tarquin invited you to the Summer Court to help strategize their rebuilding of the city. In reality, you were going for a vacation to relax. And distract yourself.
So, as you were packing your bag, Rhys knocked on the door.
You turned, giving your brother a small smile.
"You sure you want to leave?" He asked you.
"Yes, I can't wait to lay on the beach and relax for two weeks." You said happily.
"I'm sure it's been hard for you this past week," he said.
“Why?” You asked, zipping up your bag before turning towards him.
“Because… of having to be around Eris.” Rhys said, as if it were obvious. Though, while it was hard being around Eris, he thought it was because of how Eris hurt you. For you, it was hard because you wanted to tell the world about your mate. And you couldn’t.
“It wasn’t, not for the reason you’re implying.” You said. “I like spending time with Eris. And I’ve told you countless times before, he never hurt me.” You said.
“He locked you away in a room.” He said.
“Amarantha locked me away in a room.” You said.
“Because of Eris. Because he was trying to get you outside.”
“Because of her. Not Eris. He was being whipped and I made a decision to not let him suffer.”
“Why?” Rhys demanded. “Why make yourself a prisoner for him? Why not let him bleed? He’s not a good male.”
“He is!” You said. “You see what you want to, Rhys. You can assume all you want to but I spent 50 years with him. He never once touched me without asking. Never once crossed a line. And he didn’t even do it because he was scared of you. He did it because he respects me. And he cares for me.” You said.
“Why would he? When you’re the sister of his enemy? He wouldn’t do anything if it wasn’t for his benefit?” He asked.
You took a deep breath. “He’s not as selfish as he seems, Rhys.” You said, crossing your arms. “Why did you help Feyre when she was the betrothed to your enemy?” You asked.
“That’s different. Feyre is my mate.”
You paused for a moment, trying to choose your words carefully. “But no matter how cruel of a male you seemed to the outside, you were always kind to her… other than making her drink on faerie wine and parading her around at night.” You said. “Eris never did that to me…”
“He still kept you with him all those years. He could’ve given you away, let you stay with me. He could’ve-“
“He was protecting me.” You simply stated.
“Why?”
“Because I’m his mate!” You yelled. You knew you were screwed the moment the words left your mouth. Why did you just say that?
Rhys blinked. The only way he showed his shocked. “No, he isn’t.” He said.
“Yes he is. The bond snapped for me last week.” You said. “Before he was High Lord.”
“He’s tricked you. You can’t be his mate.” He said.
“My walls are stronger than yours, Rhysand. He couldn’t trick me if he wanted to. I am his mate. And he is mine. And he took care of me when no one else did.” You said, holding your head high. “As soon as I get back from Summer, I am going to Autumn and offering him food.” You said.
“And what? Leave your home? For that family? For him?” Rhys growled.
“For my mate. For the male that protected me and helped me and kept me sane for 50 years. For him, the male I love.” You said.
“No,” Rhys said, shaking his head. “He isn’t your mate. He must have tricked you… you won’t be going to Autumn.” He said.
You rose your eyebrows. “And how are you going to stop me?” You asked.
“I won’t let you leave.” He said.
“What are you going to do? Restrict me to the Night Court?” You asked. “You wouldn’t.”
“I would.”
“Why?”
“To protect you.”
“That’s not protection, Rhys. That’s imprisonment.” You said, searching his eyes. It occurred to you then that he might not be kidding. Rhys was notoriously protective of you. And he would go to far lengths to keep you from harm in his mind.
“You won’t leave this room, (Y/N), unless you promise you won’t go to Autumn.” He said.
“I won’t promise that. I’m not going to stay away from my mate.” You said. “And you can’t keep me here.”
“I will.” He said, taking a step out of your room.
“And what are you going to do? Block my path all night?” You asked, seething.
“No. There are wards around your room now. If you try to leave, you’ll see what happens.” He said.
Your eyes widened at the thought of being trapped in a room. “What?” You asked, your voice cracking.
“Unless you agree to never accept the bond with Eris, you’ll be in this room. And the wards won’t let anyone else but me in and out.” He said.
Your breathing started to quicken, walking towards the door but stopping right in front of it. “Rhys, do not lock me in this room.” You said, tears brimming your version.
“Do you promise to not go to Autumn? To not mate with Eris?” He asked.
“No.” You said quietly.
“You’re meant to be gone for two weeks. I’ll come back then to see if you’ve changed your mind.” He said.
“Rhys, please.” You begged, stepping forward again. You watched as he walked away, your breath catching in your throat.
“Rhys!” You yelled, taking a step to leave the room but coming in contact with a clear hard wall. “Rhys!” You sobbed, backing on the invisible door. You took a step back, trying to find your breath. “Rhysand!” You yelled again, only for your door to slam shut in front of you.
You fell to the floor, banging on the door. “Rhys!” You begged again, leaning your forehead against the. Your vision blurred, the walls closing in on you. Suddenly, you were back Under the Mountain. Trapped in that room with no wind or no windows. Eris healing from his wounds.
Your sobbed shook your body as you tried to breath. You closed your eyes as you sunk to the floor, pulling your knees to your chest.
"Rhysand!" You let out a scream, so primal and raw that your throat strained.
You continued shaking, sobbing, hyperventilating as you rock yourself back and forth. You tried to convince yourself you were safe. You weren't hurt. But you couldn't leave. Couldn't get out of this room if you tried. You couldn't see your mate.
Your sobs overtook your breaths as you lost focus, shaking at the feeling of desperation. You were trapped in this room. You couldn't get out. Wouldn't get out unless you promised something terrible to your brother. Your brother who you thought loved you. But someone who loved you wouldn't do this. They wouldn't trap you in a room after what happened Under the Mountain. What would Feyre do when she found out about this? Would Rhys keep you here longer than 2 weeks? Would you be trapped here forever.
The walls continued closing in on you as your mind spiraled deeper and deeper. When you had the strength to open your eyes, the room was dark. Your powers couldn't get you out, but they consumed you. The darkness wasn't welcomed though. It only made your breath quicken more. No light. No windows. No Eris.
How would you live like this?
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Part Three
A/N: GODS this was a good one to write... can you imagine what Eris is going to do when he finds out what Rhys did????
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historiaxvanserra · 5 months
Text
These Violent Delights | Chapter Two
Summary: A High Lords meeting goes awry and you find yourself thrust into the foxes den.
Pairing: Eris Vanserra x Archeron!Reader (brief mentions of Azriel x reader)
Word Count: 6.4k
Chapter 1 of These Violent Delights on my Masterlist
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The Hewn City’s state rooms are ugly, you think as you stalk the emissary of the Night Court through the winding, narrow corridors of Hewn City. The palatial chambers had been carved into the dark stone of the mountain by the Gods of old; and the high, domed ceilings are held in place by onyx pillars decorated with twisted carvings of beasts and fornicating demi-gods that line the Gothic archways.
Lurid, ill-fated omens, you think. 
Harbingers of your undoing. 
The emissary appointed with escorting you is adorned in ceremonial robes; a fine damask tunic in a deep indigo silk that is almost iridescent in the artificial light. You fall into step with him as he approaches a set of gilded iron gates. Two armored sentries fall into rank as you cross the threshold of the council chambers and you offer a courteous nod to the sentry as he meets your eye.
The antechamber of The Moonstone Palace is plunged in a suffocating blue-darkness with only the silvers of silver faelight, like artificial stars, to light the faces of the High Lords. The atmosphere is oppressive and the smell of hemlock and moonflowers stain the stagnant air. For a few moments, while you’re lost in thought, the world is silent and still. Feigning peace. But there is no peace. Not here, where the eyes of every High Lord in Prythian are upon you. 
Hewn City is a dark mirage. A metropolis of hedonistic desire and vulgar frivolity
It is here in the dark that you find yourself adrift; lost somewhere to the sea of time. You abandon yourself to the tide of memory. The happy recollections of your childhood; to the thought of home. Someplace far from here, where the sunlight touches your skin and the smell of salt from the coast becomes tangled in your unbound hair. Somewhere, in the recesses of your mind, where you know your mothers love and your fathers face is something more than a mere memory. 
It occurs to you that this is a home that never existed.
Home had always been burning; the acrid smell of woodsmoke beckons you like a funeral pyre and your salt-cracked lips chafe and bleed in the wake of blistering winds from the violent sea. And that’s the thing about mothers, you and she exist as some wretched mirror or one another; as hatred and guilt. 
You’ve been thinking of your mother a lot as of late; something in your dreams, the echoing of a coming storm. A fine line between love and hate. It is something strange and prophetic that makes your skin crawl uncomfortably from your body.
In a flurry of movement against the black you are brought back to the present as you take your place amongst the ranks of the Inner Circle. 
The silhouettes of the other High Lords, that had been flickering wildly against the dark stone of the mountain, cease to move. Cease to be, as shadows envelop the room, melting into the darkness as Rhysand glides into the room his violet eyes glinting in the dark. His eyes shine with a cold violence that draws you from thought and the visions of a home long forgotten turn to ashes in your trembling hands. He’s dressed all in black and violet, his tan skin looks pallid in the low light. By his side Feyre’s skin looks as though it is wreathed in starlight against the backdrop of the twilight-- you catch the scent of chamomile and moondust in the air. 
It smells like Nyx you think, smiling lightly to yourself at the thought of your nephew.
A tremor of dark power ripples through the air and you feel the shift in the atmosphere when shield after shield locks into place around each High Lord and his retinue of courtiers. The shield that Rhysand had already placed around the Inner Circle; made stronger in response. Night magic glitters in the air like stardust and you swear you can taste it on your tongue. That same cold rage and an essence of icy violence fortifies you against the hostility in the room and you school your expression to remain neutral when you seek out a pair of strange amber eyes in the crowd. 
A gentle warmth burns though your chest and your eyes scan the crowd. 
Eris Vanserra moves like a predator; resolute and obstinate. Amber eyes burn like fire glow in the dim light and each of his long strides are punctuated by the echo of boot clad feet on the marble. In this light, his face is almost ethereal. Unearthly even. Set in a painfully neutral expression as he slinks through the halls of the city below the mountains of Velaris. Eris Vanserra burns bright against the other Lords of Pryhtian; his copper hair, like burnished gold in the dim lights, and his eyes. Those fucking eyes. Haunting and evocative as he meets your gaze with a feline smirk. 
It is a wicked, false thing, that glitters with malice.
  He watches you with a wrathful sort of reverence. He is so very lovely, even in the pallid light. Even as his father and brothers flank his sides like a pack of hungry foxes; hungry and baying for blood.  
You watch him carefully as Eris takes his seat at the foot of the large black table, he’s careful to make a show of the way he languidly reclines in his chair, rolling his shoulders back and angling his hips in such a way that the whole room is displayed to him at once.
It’s almost voyeuristic in nature.
That summons a storm within you; a violent, lonely, sort of thing, that washes over him with the force of a raging tempest down the scarcely accepted bond and his eyes, glittering and amber in the dying light, finding yours again. For a moment, Eris Vanserra sees himself through your eyes; for the first time in centuries he doesn’t hate the man staring back at him. 
By his side Eris’ mother’s skin looks as though it is wreathed in fireglow against the backdrop of the twilight-- you catch her dark glassy eyes and she smiles softly at you. There is a deep sorrow there, in the depths of The Lady of Autumn's eyes, that feel kindred to you. 
A  shared pain, perhaps.
Turning as Rhysand and Feyre push further into the darkness of the antechamber, you are drawn from thought once more.
The rest of The Night Court look like some savage celestial army as they enter on a night-kissed breeze. Cassian and Nesta look like warriors hardened by war and ruin, all dressed in black and faces coloured with cold caution. They’re followed by the Shadowsinger, who is shrouded in dark wisps of shadow and his skin glows golden against the dark. His face is set in an unreadable expression, though, when your eyes meet a flash of recognition flashes in those hazel eyes.
Rhysand stops dead in his tracks when he regards the High Lord of Autumn.
Beron Vanserra; cruel and tyrannical, keens when he notes the flash of surprise in Rhysand’s violet gaze. His eyes simmer with a dim fire as his eyes land on you. Beron’s teeth are like crow-picked bones as he offers you a feral smile. 
“We weren’t expecting you, Beron.” Feyre’s voice is distant and cold as she speaks to the High Lord and his sons. 
Rhysand rises to his feet from his throne, waving his hand to the attendants, “Fetch the High Lord and his Lady a seat.”
The attendant presents Beron with a chair and he settles between Helion and the Lady of Autumn, neither Helion nor the lady seem to acknowledge each other but you can feel the shift in their demeanors as Beron’s ire sparks in his eyes. He doesn’t even spare The Lady of Autumn a glance before he moves on to inspecting his fellow High Lords. 
You pay Beron no heed and instead your eyes find the Lady of Autumn as she settles into her seat beside her husband and eldest son. The Lady of Autumn is like one of Feyre’s paintings; arresting and darkly beautiful. Her romantic eyes are shaded in the colors of sunset; a warm amber that looks almost golden in the low light and her dark auburn hair glitters in the dying fireglow and her eyes-- so rich that you get lost in their glassy depths. Those haunting eyes. They’re Eris’ eyes you realize as they meet yours. Though she doesn’t linger long she gives you a soft smile before returning her gaze to her long slender fingers that twitch in her lap. They’re adorned with many gold rings and crystals that she wears like armor to fortify her against the hostile atmosphere. 
You see something of yourself in her you think, looking down to your own attire. An opulent and finely boned corset, cinched so tight, that even breathing feels like a luxury and the heavy black damask that covers you in swathes of pleated fabric acts as barrier between yourself and the many eyes in the room that trail over you without care or warning. 
“Nor was I expecting to be here,” Beron drawls, “But alas, it seems we have business to discuss.” Beron’s fire rages dangerously against the black. Torrid and angry, his face unflinching and cruel as he turns his gaze upon Rhysand. Something treacherous passes between the two High Lords at that moment and something in your chest begins to stir like a storm inside of you.
A warning of a coming storm.
“Rumor claims that your allegiances are elsewhere, these days.” It is your voice that counters and Beron croons. The High Lord of Autumn assesses you keenly, his gaze shifting-- from the darkness of your eyes-- down. To the sulk of your lips. Further still to the exposed slope of your shoulders and coming to rest on your chest, where the swell of your breasts spills over the corseted bodice of your gown. His eyes darken luridly as his eyes meet yours again. Beron Vanserra scrutinizes every minute detail of your dark armor; every errant hair, every nervous twitch of your jaw, every flutter of your dark lashes.
It’s disarming the smile that spreads across his handsome face and his eyes shine with a maniacal sort of joy that sparks a wave of fury that runs through you like water-- and you swear you can feel Eris’ own fiery rage in answer. 
“And what would you know of my allegiances, girl?” The false smile he offered is soon replaced with a deep loathing in Beron’s eyes that practically burns through you. 
In a way, it feels strangely comforting to feel his ire. 
To feel anything at all that isn’t paralyzing dread or hirearth for a home to which you will never return. 
Helion waves a scar-flecked hand in front of him, “Let’s just get on with it, shall we?” 
The High Lord of Day glows with the radiance of the golden sun and he looks at you with such a strange mixture of boredom and curiosity that almost seems like reverence. He doesn’t dare look at The Autumn Lady in her seat though you notice the careful glances she makes towards him in those spaces between the seconds when no one is paying much heed.
“I know you met with rhe Prince of Rask.” you say and all the idle chatter in the room dies at once. “And he’s working with the Koschei, isn’t he?” 
Beron opens his mouth and you brace yourself for the torrid flames of his wrath. You see the violent delight dance across Beron’s eyes and Rhysand just holds his stare. Hold it with a face like icy death. And beneath the surface you see untempered wrath as it ripples beneath his carefully curated mask. A sharp pain in your chest has you seeking out Eris at his father’s side. His face is the picture of cataclysmic rage; writhing and burning in those eyes. 
To anyone else Eris Vanserra is the image of infernal rage. A righteous son to a wronged father. But to you-- all his fear comes home to you. 
A warning fire. 
“Never mind, we can discuss the happy news of your heir’s birth another time,” Beron smiles again at Rhysand and Feyre. It is Feyre who regards him with a snarling fury at the mention of the son she had almost died to bring into the world. 
She would give her life again if only to protect him from the clutches of a tyrant like Beron. Of that you were certain. 
“I believe we have business to discuss?” Beron questions again when no one responds to his taunt. 
All the eyes in the room turn to you when you loose a laugh, “I didn’t realize we were in the business of discussing plans with our enemies.” 
Eris Vanserra looks as though he might just vault over the table and silence you himself. His eyes smoulder in the dark and the scathing look he sends your way is enough to make you weak in the knees. 
“Make no mistake girl,” Beron muses, his eyes sparking with feral delight, “I am not your enemy,” 
“You are advised to keep it that way.”
In that moment you are bereft of every thought and sound in your mind as the room stills. 
Rhysand and Feyre falter and look between you and The High Lord of Autumn-- and his heir.
Your mate. 
Eris himself remains poised, his fingers wrapped around the arm of the chair, the wood straining under his cruel grip until his knuckles turn as pale as the sea foam that swirls atop the Sidra. 
It is the Shadowsinger who rises from his seat in response, “Threaten her again, old man-- I dare you.” Azriel’s voice wraps round you like cold death and you can’t help but stare impassively as he places his body between yours and Beron. The flicker of flame is smothered by Azriel’s darkness. 
Beron sits in his chair without so much as a word. Though you see the taunt in his eyes as he looks at you again. Azriel’s imposing figure still stands over you, a scarred hand that strokes languid circles into the skin of your shoulder. The bond in your chest hums violently. 
“Call off your dog, Rhysand.” Eris’ voice is dangerously low as he eyes Azriel. 
Rhys shrugs, smiling faintly “Very well,” he muses. 
Azriel takes his seat beside you, though his scarred fingers remain fixed on the arm of your chair. 
“Tell me, Azriel?” Eris laughs coldly, his voice devoid of any humor and he opens his mouth to speak, “Does it pain you knowing that both of your brothers have been given a sister as a mate?”
“And yet the Mother still deems you unworthy of a Mate -- desitined to pity fuck the spare sister.” Eris muses with a lilt of his voice when he realizes he has the upperhand. 
A twinge of heat in your chest from the bond makes your scowl deepen. 
Azriel blinks at first, his face twisting in rage before rising to his feet once more, barrelling over the table with an inhuman growl. Azriel grips Eris by the lapels of his emerald tunic. Coming together in flashes of flame and smoke as they struggle against one another. Eris swings a leg over Azriel’s thigh bringing them both tumbling to the floor, while the other High Lords watch on with varying degrees of amusement and frustration on their faces. 
Your face heats under the scrutiny. Unable to move or speak-- your stormy facade rendered useless as the tears begin to well in your eyes. 
You are a storm-- but in the face of their wrath there is naught you can do but watch and abide.
Rhysands commanding voice cuts through Azriel’s cursing and Eris’ insults. The room falls silent as the males pull away from one another. Azriel’s nose is bloodied and his hair falls around his face in messy strands. Eris’ lip is split, spilling crimson along the column of his throat. You trace the line of scarlet as the droplets stain the neckline of his white shirt. You can hear his heartbeat as it flutters wildly. His eyes meet yours and a look of resignation and shame crosses them for a moment; obscuring the perfect amber of his gaze. 
Azriel wipes his blood on his leathers; wears it like armor as he turns to Eris “Something to remember me by.” 
Azriel spits the words like venom at Eris whose face radiates with a dark and fiery wrath.
Feyre looks between the two males and then to you; her face softens then as she regards you. Your hands shaking wildly, and a heartbeat like an echoing war drum, the bond in your chest singing a mournful song as it rages inside you. 
You look utterly devastated. 
She’s not used to seeing that kind of defeat on the face of her elder sister; the sister who had weathered so much, always headstrong and ardent, who had suffered every injustice with a straight face-- she hadn’t quite prepared herself for the type of sorrow that realization would bring with it. 
Taking in the scene unfolding before you-- the descent into violence and the blood that pools like rubies at Eris Vanserra’s feet you loose a shaky breath. “Enough--enough” You wave your hands between Azriel and Eris. 
The males both take a tentative step away from one another and further from you. 
“Who shares my bed is of little concern, I assure you, My Lord,” You insist firstly, setting your shoulders straight and facing them now with all the stormy determination you can feign in that moment, “from what I’ve heard you yourself have quite curious bedfellows.” 
Beron sneers and scoffs from his seat at the foot of the table at the insult. A lie, at that. If anyone does share Eris Vanserra’s bed they are a mystery to you. 
“Preferring the company of hounds  - or so I am told.” Azriel adds.
And in truth you and Azriel haven’t so much as locked eyes since that night in Hewn City. After the mating bond between you and Eris had made its home in your chest you hadn’t been able to think about anyone or anything else. 
Just him. And those amber eyes.
“We are here because once more someone is threatening the tenuous peace we have established here,” Helion nods his head thoughtfully and Thesan, who had remained silent throughout the whole ordeal looks at you with genuine encouragement and utters his agreement. Kallias and Vivianne remain silent and imposing on the other side of the table.
“It is our duty-- our privilege-- to ensure Prythian and its people are not ravaged by war again.” You look to Kallias then, unimpressed by the needless violence that had passed but somehow enamored by your words.
“Hyburn took so much from us-- from all of us.” You say, gesturing around the table and the High Lord’s faces are all shaded in sympathy and regret for all they had lost, “and Amarantha made slaves of you all.”
You cast a glance to your sister; who had fought and died for these great men and their courts. And to Rhysand who had subjected himself to being her plaything. Something like grief flashes in those violet eyes that sparks a storm in you. 
“I will not be a slave again,” You vow and you notice then how all the High Lords seem rapt withal as you speak to them, and the storm inside you rages on, “to anyone.”
The tensions around the table seem to dissipate when Helion raises a chalice and smirks fondly at you and it seems that they see you as more than a bed warmer to a dark God or the mate of some High Lord’s heir. Talons scrape menacingly along your mental shields and Rhysand’s dark presence makes itself known to you. Bed warmer? Darling you are a storm-- everyone here knows it. 
A force to be reckoned with.
The rest of the meeting seems to come to pass as intended, laborious hours of negotiating and political games as you come to terms with each High Lord in turn. By the time the moon hangs in the sky like cut quartz, almost all of the High Lords have already departed, leaving only The High Lord of Spring and The Autumn Court’s entourage. 
“Where did you find this one, Rhysand?” Tamlin asks, his tone measured and light. 
Rhysand looks between Feyre and you smiling lightly, the corners of his mouth twitching as he opens his mouth to speak.
“I heard they found her in a Hyburn cell, after the war was over.” It is Beron Vanserra’s voice that cuts in, “what was left of her anyway.”
“Perhaps we should be asking where your loyalties lie?” It’s the middle Vanserra brother that speaks. His russet curls glow warm in the dim lights and his stare is cruel and malignant as he hones in on you. 
“Hyburn whore” It’s whispered, accusatory, on an inhale of breath. 
They way it is uttered with an air of repulsion and venom reminds you of those stories told in human villages; of woods women named ‘witch’ by those who do not understand. 
People fear what they do not understand. 
It seems that Fae are no different than mere mortals in that respect. 
“You’d be wise to bite your tongue, brother.” Eris’s voice is a cold echo as all thought and sound eddies out of your mind. Flashes of black and gold as the visions come back to you; those days spent cowering in the darkness of your cell, your feral anger directed at any man who came too close-- all biting fury, canines and claws, and the screams they tore from your like the howling wind over a violent sea.
A fury spreads through you, taking root in the dark caverns of your chest, slowing your heartbeat to a dull aching thud as you lose yourself to it; give yourself over to the tempest of emotion that courses through you. You try to fight it as the first ebbs of that dangerous storm embrace you. Lest you surrender yourself to the tempest; let it open you up and pour out into the world in floods of ravaging power. 
It brings forth a storm the likes of which the world has never seen; a thing of ugly rage.
You were born angry, your mother had told you once.
But rage is a learned thing. Your rage. It had been your mother’s first, before that it had her mothers, and her mother before her. 
It is an inherited curse; a wicked and wretched thing.
It is a storm enough to drown in. 
A howling wind whips around you and for a moment you are standing at a great precipice. From the cliff’s edge, peering down at a violent sea as it coils and breaks against the jagged cliff face of some distant shore, where the world looks as though it is dappled in fireglow, the smell of woodsmoke and bonfires wafts from inland. The sea-soaked wind is so palpable that you taste its salt-kiss on your lips with the ardent fervor of the most savage lover. 
There is something sacred in salt, you think.
For a moment you consider what it would feel like; to plummet into the watery abyss. How the sunlight would look as it fractures and splinters on the water's violent surface. 
How it might cascade into the murky green depths. A secret held between you and the sea.
“My Lady,” It is Eris’ voice, practically feral and dripping with an aching desperation as he all but vaults around the corner of the dark wood table, parting his brothers with a rehearsed type of brutality as he claws his way to you. His commanding aura draws you closer to him and his pale hand offers a strong and comforting weight on your arm as he takes your trembling palm in his rough hold.
“You’re bleeding,” Eris says, cupping your palm into a fist with his own, applying light pressure to the wound while he assesses it. Turning it over in his tentative grasp. Through your lashes you take a moment to assess him as he towers over you. He’s tall and much broader than you remember but he moves with an inhuman grace. His nose is long and straight and his jaw strong and regal. His amber eyes linger dangerously over the hand cupped in his own. You hadn’t even realized you had stood up. Nor had you registered the blood you had drawn from your own palms until you see the crescent moons, indented in the tender flesh, like a taunt as they stain Eris’ fingertips scarlet as he presses the fabric of his handkerchief to your grazed hand. 
“It’s nothing, My Lord,” You say softly, your voice low and you feel his eyes burning into yours; it is a slow, searing ache that almost feels like a kiss. A fragile thing, full of reverence and a strange tenderness. A vein of hurt throbs through you, quickly soothed by the press of his palm to yours. 
Eris Vanserra holds a power over you; commands you in a way that should feel unpleasant. The knowledge that you would give yourself over to him if only he asked. 
“It is only a little blood.” The words live and die on tongue, they fizzle out just as soon as they are uttered before he is calling for Rhysand -- his voice is swallowed by the din and your heartbeat echoes like a wardrum in your ears and the sound of the violet sea breaks against you and you feel your body go lax. 
You wait for the dull ache as your body meets the cool marble of the floor only it never comes; instead your weight is suspended in the embrace of Eris Vanserra’s arms, you vaguely hear your name from his lips before the world turns to darkness. 
You feel like lull of his heartbeat as he brings you closer against his chest. 
The smell of cedar and smoked bergamot follows you into the abyss. 
The room seems to come back to you like the tide; swiftly and cruelly as it materializes before you. It comes back in flashes of the dark; the oppressive pillars of dark marble that hold the domed, onyx ceiling in place, the silver fae lights like pallid stars and the visage of contorting demons and chimera’s like half formed ghosts. 
“What happened?” You ask looking around the darkened council chambers; once filled with the idle chatter of courtiers and High Lord’s and their entourage now only the Inner Circle is gathered in the darkness contained between these walls. 
And Eris. 
He burns golden against the black. 
“Well one thing is for certain,” It is Morrigan who stands over you, her shoes shine like rubies in the low light, “You know how to make a scene.” Her voice is light and jovial, laced with concern. 
“You fainted,” Feyre says plainly as she sinks to her knees before you. It is then you feel Eris’ solid frame as he radiates warmth behind you, where you are propped against his chest. Your body feels foreign and unlike your own as you move, transferring your weight from his arms and into the arms of Feyre who helps you stand on uncertain feet. 
“I’m sorry,” You say earnestly to both Rhysand and Feyre and turning to Eris again to mutter your thanks. He looks displeased at that. The distance between your body in his, the unfamiliarity you regard him with as if you hadn’t just allowed yourself to revel in the feel of his arms wrapped securely around you. “I’m sorry.”
“You should return to your father, My Lord.” You laugh humorlessly, using the hand that isn’t wrapped tightly around the lip of the chair to smooth a hand down the pleats of your gown reflexively.
A knock, resounding and resolute echoes through the chamber and the Inner Circle seem to bristle at the intrusion. Through the blanket of the dark a figure emerges; Keir stands tall with an air of arrogance about him as he steps into the antechamber. His hair is dark and graying and his face, though handsome, has begun to show signs of age. His eyes glitter menacingly as he finds you amongst the inner circle. 
“My apologies for the intrusion, High Lord.” Keir says, his voice full of dark promise as a second figure steps from the shadow, “but it appears there is a rather urgent matter that has come to our attention.”
The rooms seems steeped in solemn silence as Beron Vanserra reveals himself through the din; dressed in fine merlot robes and embroidered with gold threads and leaves. He looks like Autumn personified. All fire and wrath as he stalks into the room. 
“It appears you have been keeping secrets from me, Rhysand.” Rhys takes a step forward approaching Beron with little regard for the fury that burns behind his hazel eyes. The High Lord of Night laughs cruelly as Beron advances further into the room, seeking out his son, who reaches for you almost without thinking. His fingers flex around your forearm and push you further into Feyre as he steps in front of you both subtly. 
Beron looks suspiciously between the three of you. 
Beron smiles.
It is not a thing of fondness or affection-- It is dark and laden with malevolence. A whisper of amusement lights in his golden irises and Eris feels like a boy again; alone and afraid as the shadows of his fathers wrath descend upon him.
“You knew,” The High Lord of Autumn charges forward, tearing through Azriel and Cassian, as he raves. His voice is dangerously low and full of malice as he advances towards Eris. His eyes blaze against the dark as he casts his wicked gaze upon his eldest son.
“You knew,” He repeats frantically, “That whore is your mate, and you lied to me.”
Accusatory.
Without thought or care, Eris lunges forward and takes one long stride so that his body shields yours from Beron’s grasp as his fire burns vengeful and angry as it bands around Eris’s arms. The putrid smell of burned flesh brings bile rising in your throat and you feel Rhysand’s shields fortify around you and the rest of the Inner Circle in response. 
You wait for someone to do something, but as is the nature of these things Rhysand is not permitted to interfere in the affairs of other courts. And whether he likes it or not, Eris is subject to his High Lord and father. 
And as it stands he is a traitor to both. 
Eris falls to his knees before you and you feel the bond die in your chest; his scream is something akin to dying. It sears through you, burning like fire until you feel like a phoenix rising from its own ashes as your body moves of its own volition. 
“Stop, stop!” You plead with Beron advancing a pace towards him as you pull away from Feyre’s secure hold. Not even Cassian dares hold you back when you claw your way from the safety of his arms, “Please, he didn’t know.” 
Beron pays you no heed as his wrath brings Eris to his knees. 
“Please.” you beg, your voice aching and angry as you address the High Lord, ignoring the warnings of Azriel and Cassian, “He didn’t know.” 
“W-we hid it from him.” Your lie desperately, your voice though strained comes out in violent waves of anger as Beron continues to inflict his fire upon Eris.
Your mate.
In a desperate bid to spare him you beg once more. 
“Please, whatever you want, you can have it, I swear it.” And all the fire ceases.
Eris heaves a heavy breath and he collapses in a swath of burnished gold and emerald, strewn lazily against the marble. You sink to your knees beside him, his hands, though shaking, are firm against you as they grasp at the many layers of your skirts as he hoists himself up. Even on his knees he towers over you. His hair drapes like spidersilk over one side of his sculpted face as he peers down at you with dark amber eyes. Despite all the eyes in the room Eris brings a tentative hand to cup your cheek and all his remorse and grief flood down the bond that runs golden and brilliant from your body to his; as if to say no use hiding now, little fox. 
Eris rises to his feet before his father who looks on with a mixture of feral delight and complete apathy as Eris’ pain subsides. 
Keir retreats into the shadows and with him the air shifts; the room, once shaded in the smell of hemlock and moonflowers, is tainted with something more. Something darker. Earthy. 
The smell of wildflowers; smoke-kissed juniper and foxglove, all undercut with the smell of salt and iron. 
It occurs to you then that it is the smell of your mating bond. 
Beron loses a dark laugh and approaches you slowly, like a predator circles its prey. Deliberate and calculating as he takes your chin in his bony fingers and commands you to look at him. His eyes are much darker than Eris’, so dark that they almost look black in this light and even in his age you admire their depths, haunting and arresting. Beron cuts an intimidating figure, you think as he flashes you a smile that is all Eris. 
You sometimes forget how alike father and son are; though Eris is undoubtedly more striking; with his strange amber eyes and baring a broader physique than his father, with strong arms and shoulders and that beautiful copper hair which he had inherited from his mother. 
“Anything I want?” Beron muses deathly quiet as he brings you closer to him, so close that the heat of his breath against your face causes chills to rise along the skin of your arms and neck.
“Anything, that is within my power to give.” You clarify, unwilling to be tricked into a more heinous bargain than you had prepared yourself for. Feyre protests loudly, calling your name, begging you to see reason though her pleas are useless against the thunder of your heart in your chest; like the sound of a storm rolling in from the sea. 
Rhysand holds his wife by her forearms as she attempts to fight her way to your side. 
A bargain offered of your own volition cannot be undone or unmade. 
All that’s left to do is come to terms. 
Beron smiles again, a saccharine smile that turns your stomach as his free hand cups your hip harshly, his brows rise in question and you realize how he’s looking right through you to his son who stands defeated behind you.
“And if I want you?” You swallow hard as his hand on your hip tightens to a bruising grip.
The High Lord of Night protests and a dark ripple of power separates you and Beron, you stumble backwards until you’re pressed up against the dark wood table as it cuts into the backs of your thighs. Beron laughs playfully and raises his hands in mock surrender to Rhysand. Keir smiles with a sense of sick satisfaction as Beron nods for Eris to join him. 
Eris joins his father on the side of the room and Beron inspects him in carefully; scrutinizes every furrow of his brow or the tick of his jaw as charred flesh gives way to pale unblemished skin. 
Beron claps a hand over his son's shoulder and offers his half-hearted explanation. 
Filling his ear with poison. 
“Your mate has deceived you, my son; she is yours by right,” Beron preens like an over-satisfied cat, offering a wave of his hand as he gestures to you, “Is she not?” 
Eris swallows thickly and through the bond you can feel his wrath as it burns silent and deadly through you. His fire burns ferocious and wild. Dark and untamed. It ignites a similar storm in the pit of your stomach as Eris regards you with feigned malice much to the appeasement of his father.
His gaze, once soft and vulnerable, is cold and predatory as he takes his time to trail over the swell of your chest and the curve of your hips like a hungry animal. 
“She is,” His voice is sharp-edged as he nods impassively to his father, the glimpses of his true self now little more than a trick in the light as he adorns his facade like a suit or armor to spare him his father’s fire. 
“You mean to claim her?” Eris questions pointedly. Eris’ eyes move around the room with a careful, almost pensive, precision.
He can’t pretend that he doesn’t want it. Some primal, territorial part of him wants it more than anything. It’s animalistic and carnal. 
Wholly perverse. 
He wants you, terribly; he aches for you in a way that he has never ached for anything.
And you want him.
But not like this. 
Not as a pretty pawn to bring him to heel. 
“She will do well in Autumn,” Beron says in lieu of an answer. 
Rhysand and Feyre stand firm against the hostility in the room even as Beron approaches them once more. “An alliance between our two most ancient and noble courts,” Beron says in a celebratory manner, his arms outstretched in a show of arrogance, “made strong by the oaths that you will swear to my son and my court.”
“Very well, High Lord.” You acquiesce and Beron smiles as his words hit their mark
You swear that Eris could burn the city to ash then and something in him cools then under your watchful gaze; it burns blue under the surface and you can see it tempering to a cold unmoving stare cast in his father’s direction.
It’s grotesque, the anger that runs hot in his veins that sears its kiss into the place where your body and his are joined. 
You seethe. A raging tempest that comes off of you in violent waves of temper that threaten to swallow the room whole. And Beron Vanserra with it. It is almost enough to bring you to your knees before him as your skin burns under his rising fury.
Your eyes meet the strange amber eyes of Eris Vanserra at his father’s side and you think then, that you will happily suffer his fire if burning always feels so profound.
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honeybeefae · 1 year
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Making An Heir (Eris Vanserra x Reader)
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KINKTOBER DAY THIRTEEN: BREEDING
Summary// The pressure from the advisors and members of the court for the two of you to produce an heir is high. It is all anyone can talk about and while you certainly enjoy the idea of having children, you don’t expect Eris to feel the same given his parental history. He has stayed mostly quiet on the subject until he catches you in the mirror with a pillow under your blouse, imagining what it would be like. 
(I know this is out of order for the Kinktober fic but so many of you guys requested it so enjoy it, you dirty little readers. Also thanks so much for the anon who suggested subspace bc that was so much fun to write! ;))
WARNINGS: 18+, smut, breeding kink, rough sex, dirty talk, subspace, dom!Eris, sub!Reader, cumming inside (pls wear protection), talk of pregnancy
You had been mated with Eris for five years now and it was like you were truly living for the first time. He was the center of your life, the ship in the middle of the ocean, the warm blanket you cuddled with at night. Life began and ended with him and you knew he felt the same way.
He spoiled you with anything you could ever want. Jewels, dresses, books, pets, anything your heart desired he would go find because he loved making you happy. You knew not every mated couple had such a good life, that sometimes fate was more than met the eye, but yours was truly meant to be.
Everything had been perfect in your lives…except for the last few months. The Autumn Court advisors had been prying into your private lives, pestering Eris on when he would produce an heir. It angered you every time it was brought up as they acted like it was your fault. As if you were the one who was refusing a child.
It couldn’t have been farther from the truth. You had wanted children with Eris since you first started courting, dreaming about the little red-headed babes running around your feet. Fae pregnancies were incredibly difficult on the body and were also rare, however, you had no fear. 
But you could not say the same for your mate. Eris avoided the subject like the plague. He would shut down his advisors with a simple wave of his hand and a frown while also doing the same with you.
You knew some of it was his own fears of fatherhood given how he was raised with Beron but you had assured him many times that he was not his father. Eris is ten times the man Beron was but he couldn’t seem to understand that. It was one of his worst fears to turn out like him.
Eris was also terrified of something happening to you. He had heard of what almost happened to Feyre, albeit her situation was a little different. What if he lost you? He didn’t have some magical gift from the Cauldron to bring you back. You would be gone forever and he would either be left alone or with a child who killed his mate, their mother. How could he love someone that did that?
The last two weeks had been full of tension as one of Eris’s brother’s wives had fallen pregnant, announcing it in court with an evil smirk on his lips. He knew exactly what he was doing by making such a public spectacle and you had had to force a smile the rest of the evening as everyone stared at you in judgment.
In their heads, you had only one job to do that you were currently failing at. This entire situation was weighing heavily on your shoulders but you did not want to force Eris into something he did not want. 
However, that didn’t mean you couldn’t wish for it still, did it? That you couldn’t desire it secretly in the quiet of your bedroom?  Eris was supposed to be gone for the day on a hunting trip, the first he’s taken in a month, so no one should be seeking you out until nightfall.
Your eyes landed on a soft pillow atop your shared bed, biting down on the inside of your cheek as you walked quietly over and grabbed it. There was no real need for you to be quiet but you still felt as if you were doing something wrong. You went back to the mirror in the corner of your room and stood in front of it, positing yourself to the side.
With one hand you lifted up your skirts and used the other to stuff the pillow inside it until it was settled against your belly, making it pop and give a lumpy shape of roundness. It didn’t look like a typical pregnant belly but the feelings that ran through you were all the same.
Sadness, pining, joy, pain, it was a cocktail of emotions that made your head spin. 
You began to imagine it as your real belly, of all the dresses you could have tailored and how Eris would kiss your stomach every morning and night. Would Eris like you like this? Would he be constantly wanting to touch you, rub you, or would he want nothing to do with you?
Minutes passed as you watched yourself in the mirror, rubbing the pillow as if it were real. You were so lost in your fantasy that you didn’t hear the heavy footsteps of your mate or the door opening.
“What are you doing?” His voice pierced through your imagination, making you jump and turn towards him.
“Eris, I-” You flounder over your words, cheeks heating up as he stares at you with furrowed brows. “I was just, I mean, Eris I’m sorry…”
“Is that a pillow?” You couldn’t tell if he was teasing you playfully or if he was genuinely upset. Either way, the embarrassment made you want to be swallowed by the floor. Quickly you yanked the pillow out from underneath your dress and held it behind your back, looking down at the floor.
“I know you don’t want kids. I know you don’t want to talk about it. I promise this isn’t a trick or anything I just wanted-” You explained, tears wetting your eyelashes as he came over to you and lifted your head up. 
“What did you want, my lady?” Eris murmured, amber eyes softening at how upset you were. “You can tell me.”
“It’s nothing. I don’t want to pressure you into anything.”
“Y/N.” His voice was stern, knowing that wasn’t the truth. 
“I just wanted to see what I would look like pregnant.” You whispered. “It was silly.”
“Do you want to be pregnant?” He asked you lowly, catching your eyes once more. “Is that what you want?”
You felt the words stuck in your throat as he stepped closer to you, caging you in his arms. When he found you thought that he was going to be angry or disappointed but this reaction was completely unexpected.
“My advisors have been hounding my back nonstop over this… predicament of  ours.” Eris continued on, the corner of his lip turning upwards. “Day after day, night after night. I had been worried you weren’t ready, that you would be terrified, and yet here I catch you doing this.”
“I-” You tried to interrupt but quickly shut your mouth when he grabbed your hips roughly, turning you around so that your back was to his chest and you were staring at yourself in the mirror.
“You what? Hm?” He taunted, intertwining your hand with his and slowly dragging it down your body. Goosebumps rose on your skin as his smoldering eyes never left yours, his pupils blown wide with desire. “You want me to fill you up with my cum, little fox? To pound into you like a beast takes his bitch? To breed you?”
Eris loved to talk like this in the bedroom and you weren’t ashamed to admit that you also loved it. The control, the domination, of his words made you melt and want to please him. And with the words he was saying about breeding you…it was no surprise that your pussy was clenching in anticipation.
“I asked you a question, Y/N. I expect you to answer.” Eris reprimanded, his lips ghosting the shell of your ear as his other hand came to circle around your throat. “Is that what my lady commands of her lord? To fuck an heir into her?”
Whiplash was the only thing that you could describe as feeling with how things were turning out. It was like a flip had been switched in him but you were already too drunk on lust to question it, nodding your head and whimpering.
“Yes, yes, sir.” You answered, groaning when he untangled his hand from yours and squeezed your breasts through your dress. “I…I want you to fill me up.”
“Breed you. You want me to breed you.” He corrected, pinching your pebbled nipple which had you squirming. “Say it.”
You swallowed thickly and looked at him through the mirror. 
“I want you to breed me, my lord.”
Eris grinned wickedly and turned you back towards him, wrapping your hair around his hand and pulling your neck back until it was almost at a ninety-degree angle.
“Well then, I suppose we better get started. Now.”
He was anything but gentle as he took the collar of your dress and ripped it with his bare hands, biceps flexing underneath the thin material of his shirt. You shivered as your body was exposed to the cool air. 
“On your hands and knees.” He orders, smiling when you immediately followed his command. Normally you would mouth off and be a little brat, asking for punishment, but tonight it seemed you were ready to be his good little girl. 
You turn to look behind you, feeling your wetness grow from the way he was devouring you with his eyes. Eris began to rid himself of his clothes, his cock standing at attention and ready to pump you full of his hot seed. He climbed behind you, his large hands running over the curve of your ass.
The bed dipped as he knelt on his knees, pushing the material of your panties to the side to unveil your dripping cunt. “I love how wet you get for me, Y/N,” Eris growled, licking his lips. “I’ve barely even touched you and you are already making a mess on these sheets.”
“I’m sorry, sir.” You whisper, not sure if he wanted you to apologize or not. He chuckled and ran a single finger down your pussy, collecting the juices and bringing them to his mouth.
“Look at my little fox using her manners.” He praised, moaning at the taste of you. “You want this badly don’t you?”
“Mhm.” You nod, taking in shaky breaths as you felt hot air on your lips. It was a wonder that your entire body wasn’t shaking with need at this point.
“Well what my lady wants, she gets.” Eris said before burying himself in your sex, his tongue flicking over your clit in quick swipes while his nose teased your hole. “Fuck you taste like heaven on my tongue.”
You could only whine in response, legs squeezing either side of his head as he feasted on you. He knew all the right speeds and ways to eat you out, how to make you sing in pleasure. Your arms were wobbling from the waves of pleasure he was giving you.
The room was filled with the filthy sounds of him slurping you up, one of his hands kneading your ass while the other stroked his cock. You could hear the wet sounds of him touching himself, making you even more delirious. 
“I want you to cum on my tongue, little fox.” Eris said firmly, taking your entire clit into his mouth and sucking. The action had you crying out in ecstasy, feeling like you were floating above your body as your entire body shook. 
He was always able to make you cum quickly because he took the time to know everything that made you tick, good and bad. Eris used it to his advantage many times and tonight was no different. You didn’t want this to be over so early but you also knew that tonight was special. This was going to be the first of many.
“Eris, ah!” You cried out, feeling that coil in you snap. He grunted in satisfaction when you started to mindlessly grind backward onto his face, your hands fisting the sheets. “It feels so good, sir.”
Every last drop of your cum went down his throat and his chin, his eyes closed in bliss. When you started to squirm from sensitivity he pulled back, holding the base of his cock and lining it up with your entrance.
“I’m going to breed you now,” Eris growled, not giving you a chance to recover as he thrust in until his balls slapped against your already tender clit. “And you are going to take it all, aren’t you?”
You didn’t answer fast enough, couldn’t answer, as you were still reeling from what he had just done. However, your mate had little patience and was quick to grab your hair once more, pulling it until you whined. 
“Yes, Eris, yes,” You stuttered, enjoying the slight burn coming from your cunt as he stretched you out. “I’ll take it all, I’ll be good.”
His eyes were almost completely black as he gave you a feral grin, pulling almost all the way out before stuffing you full. Your tits were bouncing with each thrust, your hair still wrapped around his hand as he threw his head back in rapture.
“I know you will. I know you will.” He cooed, pulling his head back to watch his cock go in and out. The sheets were indeed a mess underneath you, a giant wet stain that was only going to grow as the night went on. 
One of your hands went down and began to fiddle with your swollen clit, moaning loudly as he fucked you hard. Eris noticed and clicked his tongue, using the hand that had your hair and pushing your face into the mattress. 
“Look at you, already trying to cum again.” Eris jeered, his grip bruising on your hips. “My lady is just a desperate little whore, isn’t she? A little whore who wants to be bred, to carry my children and do it over and over and over again.”
Your cries were muffled as he laughed darkly, feeling the familiar tingle of his own orgasm creeping up his spine. “But she’s such a pretty whore…” He purred, letting go of your head to brush the hair out of your face. Your entire body was being jolted by the force of his body, and your mascara was smudged, but you were too high on your own lust to care. 
“Please, please, please, sir.” You babbled, bottom lip quivering. “I wanna cum, I want you to fill me up, please.”
He grunted and furrowed his brows, his long red hair sticking to his forehead from the sweat as he put all his concentration on your pussy. “You don’t get to cum right now, Y/N. I want you to hold it in for me.”
Eris’s thrusts grew sloppily as his balls tightened, picturing you with a swollen belly and heavy tits. It made his mouth water and he barely heard your pleas of mercy. You felt the first spurts shoot into you, his cum almost burning, and it made your entire cunt clench around his cock.
“Don’t you fucking cum.” He swore, groaning in pleasure as he emptied himself into your womb. You felt tears fall down your cheek, desperately craving that release. It was taking all the will of your body to not give in to what you wanted.
The sheer amount of cum was too much for you to contain and it leaked through the seal of your lips, dripping onto your legs and the bed. He gave two more thrusts before pulling out completely, admiring the way he left you gaping and gushing. 
“You did so well, little fox.” Eris commended, pushing two thick fingers inside you and scooping out the mixture of his seed and your juices. He flipped you onto your back with one hand, your hair sprawling around you as he held those fingers over your mouth. “Suck.”
With tears staining your cheeks you followed his orders, chest rising and falling quickly as you swallowed it like you knew he wanted. Eris’s eyes turned tender upon seeing you, breaking the facade briefly to capture your lips in a gentle kiss. You were grateful for it even though you were still aching for him to let you cum.
After a minute he pulled away, noticing you fidgeting. “Does my little whore want something? Was that not enough for her?”
You nodded shyly, eyes widening when he laid down beside you and then patted his lap. His cock was already hard once more, glistening in the firelight. You climbed onto his lap, looking down at him. 
“Well? What do you want?” He pressed, one of his hands resting on your hip while the other went to your cunt. Eris smirked as he pressed the pad of his thumb against your clit, enjoying the way you jumped. “You want to cum again? Greedy little girl.”
“I-” You tried to interject but shut your mouth when he suddenly lifted you up as if you weighed nothing, your hole hovering above the tip of his dick. 
“It is greedy, Y/N.” He cut you off. “If you want to cum again you need to say it.”
The words were on the tip of your tongue. Eris loved to make you say these things, to make you degrade yourself. It made you feel embarrassed but you also knew you weren’t going to get what you wanted if you didn’t.
“I”m a greedy little girl.” You murmured, sucking in a sharp breath as he thrust up slowly. Inch by inch he filled you again, both of your cum making it easy for him to slide in. “I want to cum again, to be filled up by you, sir.”
“Ride me then, Y/N,” Eris ordered, letting you bottom out and giving you a hardy smack on your ass. “Take what you want. Be a good girl and fuck yourself on my cock. Make yourself cum.”
Some people would think that this was a blessing, that he was giving you what you wanted, but it was far from the truth. You did love riding him, loved watching him watch you, but he knew as well as you did that you needed him to make you cum. You couldn’t do it yourself.
You began to bounce on him, hoping this time you might be able to do it without him, and moaned as he hit that spot deep inside you. Your hips rolled and breasts swayed with each rise and fall of your body, his amber eyes never leaving your face.
“That’s it, my little whore, ride your lord’s cock.” He snickered, noticing the frustration building within you. “Show me how badly you want it.”
The need in your stomach was growing like an inferno. You were fucking yourself with all your strength, both of your hands resting on either side of his body as you whimpered through your teeth and closed your eyes in concentration. 
“I want it, I want it, please sir.” You whined, your mind slowly slipping away from you as you seemed to stay on the edge of orgasm for hours. It was driving you insane. “Eris, Eris, I can’t. I need, I need-”
“What do you need, Y/N?” He cooed, smiling as your eyelashes fluttered and your hips finally slowed. His cock fell out of you and he knew you were getting into your subspace, something that made him feel tender and hungry at the same time. “Do you need my help?”
You barely had the coherency to nod, looking up at him with complete trust and want. “Please…”
He kissed your forehead and rolled you onto your back, lining up his cock and inching himself inside you once more. Both of his hands interlocked with yours and brought them above your head, keeping you still as he started a slow, hard rhythm.
You called out his name in ecstasy, enjoying the way his lips trailed over your neck and collarbone. “My sweet lady, so ready to take my cum and let me knock her up.” He breathed into your ear, pressing his forehead against yours.
“This is all you want, all you need, is my cock inside you.” Eris’s breaths were coming faster now, loving the way your walls fluttered around him. “You wanted to be bred and now you are. Your cunt is so full of me that you’ll be leaking for days, feeling it drip down your leg but it doesn’t matter because I’ll keep stuffing your pussy every night until this belly is round and tight.”
Your eyes rolled into the back of your head as you felt the crest of your orgasm coming up, your back arching off the bed as your throat burned from all the screaming you had been doing. All you could do now was whimper, your hands coming to circle around your neck as you babbled incoherently.
“Eris, please, I wanna, please,” You turned your head from side to side, eyebrows scrunching together. “Cum, let me, Gods, please!”
“Do it, Y/N.” Eris encouraged, moving his hips until he felt that squishy spot inside you that made you see double. “Cum for me, my little whore. Cum all over my cock, let that pretty pussy clench around me. Be a good girl.”
Everything around you went white and your ears began to ring as you came, your toes curling and back arching even further until you were sure you were going to snap in half. Your mouth was opened in a silent scream, letting your body succumb to everything your mate was giving to you.
The sight of you coming undone was enough for Eris to follow behind you, his mouth covering yours as he held himself still. It made his balls ache from how hard he was cumming, cursing loudly as he pulled away to bury himself into the crook of your neck.
“Take it, Y/N, fucking take it.” He growled into your neck. “Gods, you are so fucking tight on my cock.”
It took the both of you several minutes to catch your breath, Eris’s dick softening inside you as you struggled to come back to reality. He knew that this was rougher than normal, without any breaks, and he had probably pushed you to your limit. 
But he had no regrets. And neither did you.
You barely registered when he scooped you up and nuzzled you close to his chest, whispering sweet nothings as he carried you over to the bathroom. Eris knew he needed to clean you before you went to bed and while he was waiting for the bath to fill, he couldn’t stop himself from staring at your stomach and wondering if it stuck.
Either way, you two would definitely be doing this again. 
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theostrophywife · 1 year
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here in your arms.
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author's note: couldn't resist writing for my little foxy boy. this is the twin to this request.
eris preferred to sleep alone.
at least, he used to. when it came to his bedchambers, the autumn court heir abided by one simple rule: he could invite whomever he pleased to bed, but they were not to overstay their welcome by any means. it was a good rule and one that he had upheld for centuries. until you came along.
eris wasn’t even sure how it happened. the most likely scenario was that the two of you had stumbled into his bed after a night of drinking and debauchery, taunting and teasing one another as you were wont to do. you were the one person at court whose sarcasm rivaled his own. ever since you where children, you had kept eris on his toes with your sharp wit and fiery personality. you challenged him and though he'd never admit it, the future high lord was absolutely soft for you.
perhaps that was why he hadn’t objected when you had fallen asleep on his bed, blankets greedily wrapped around you while you cuddled with his favorite pillow. you looked so serene laying there, still dressed in your ridiculous ball gown with your hair loose and unbound, fanning around you like a waterfall and framing that beautiful face eris had come to memorize.
he had simply crawled in beside you, his eyes heavy from the alcohol and his thoughts flowing like honey. the last thing he remembered was your hand reaching for his, weaving your fingers together.
the autumn court heir convinced himself that it would only be that one exception, but then he laid in bed the next night, tossing and turning. unable to sleep without the warmth of your body next to his or the soft breaths that lulled him into sweet dreams or the way that you reached for him even when you were unconscious.
he thought he could will it away. eris had survived centuries sleeping alone, so there was no reason for him to suddenly crave a bedside companion. he didn't need anyone to cuddle with. night after night, that's what he told himself. until two days passed, then three. finally after an entire week of fitful sleep, eris admitted the plain, ugly truth to himself.
you had utterly and completely ruined the male.
so he pushed aside all of his pride and walked to the other end of the forest house where your bedchambers were located. you had opened the door to find the rumpled, weary redhead glaring at you with accusation.
"what have you done to me, woman?"
you yawned, pulling your robe on tightly. "i have various schemes and plots against you at the moment, so you'll have to be more specific than that, pumpkin."
eris sighed exasperatedly and marched right into your suite. you shut the door behind him, watching with an amused smile as your friend paced in front of the hearth. "yes, eris why don't you come on in. it's not like you were interrupting my sleep or anything. of course, midnight is a perfectly reasonable time to drop in unannounced."
the eldest vanserra rolled his eyes. "i can't sleep!" he whirled around, folding his arms in a regal, yet disdainful way. "and it's your fault. it's been an entire week and i cannot take it any longer."
"and how, pray tell, is your sudden bout of insomnia my doing?"
"because," eris stated matter-of-factly, "ever since that night that you fell asleep in my bed, i haven't been able to get your damned lily soap scent out of my sheets. my room is too quiet without your obnoxious little snores and my legs are perpetually warm without you pressing those frozen icicles you call feet against them."
"let me get this straight," you said with a snort. "you marched all the way across the forest house, just to insult my soap, my snoring, and my cold feet."
"as future high lord, i am allowed to voice my displeasure with court subjects."
"as your loyal subject, i am also allowed to tell you to kindly fuck off."
eris bit back a smile. "i'm being serious, y/n. i cannot lose any more of my beauty sleep. it is absolutely maddening."
you rolled your eyes. "then stop being an insufferable twat and sleep with me."
the redhaired male opened his mouth for another snarky retort, but you merely tugged him towards the bed. you peeled back the covers and gestured for eris to make himself comfortable. he did so, albeit looking a bit peaked as you slipped in beside him.
“oh, you look positively virginal eris.” you said with a chuckle. “fret not pumpkin, i have no plans on ravishing you. now come cuddle before i come to my senses and send your sorry arse back.”
eris scrunched his nose in feigned annoyance. “you’re such a bossy little fox. you are aware that you’re speaking to the heir of the autumn court with such insolence, aren’t you?”
you tugged him to you, pinching his cheek as he laid against your chest. “i wouldn’t have to resort to insults if the big, bad future high lord had the balls to simply ask for what he wanted.”
“and what do i want?” eris asked, shifting to face you as you ran your fingers through his luscious hair.
“to be babied,” you declared. “admit it, pumpkin. you just want someone to play with your hair and cuddle you at night and give you all the kisses.”
“you’re wrong,” eris declared, his lids fluttering shut as you snuggled against him. “i don’t want just someone. i want you, little fox.”
you smiled. “well, i’m already playing with your hair and cuddling you so all that’s left is —“
eris took your face in his hands and pulled you down to him. his lips were velvet against yours, playful and teasing just like the male you were kissing. butterflies erupted in your stomach as eris clutched you closer, his breath warm against your cheek as he deepened the kiss, filling you with the taste of freshly picked apples and rich cinnamon with a hint of mint toothpaste. eris pulled away reluctantly, pressing his forehead against yours.
amber eyes full of heat pierced through you as you smirked. “it took you damn well long enough.”
eris rolled his eyes fondly before pulling you against his chest. “you absolute menace,” he said, kissing the top of your head. “you’ve finally pierced my wretched heart. it feels as horrifying as i imagined.”
you buried your face against his neck, smiling against his skin. “good night, you insufferable drama queen.”
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chapter xxv – gust & flame
Eris Vanserra x Reader
Eris Vanserra has been a prisoner in his own home since the day he was born. He has done what he had to in order to survive and protect the few he loves. And he is playing the long game. Waiting, waiting, and waiting for the right time to make his move, to usurp his wicked father and become High Lord of Autumn Court. But things become even more complicated when a human girl drops into his life. Perhaps Eris can wait no longer to take his throne.
Word Count:  4,100+
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Y/N wanted to wake up to Eris’ warmth wrapped around her, to have his autumn scent taking over her senses once again, and his strong arms reminding her that she was protected, safe. 
But Eris had left hours ago – and so stealthily that Y/N had no idea when. 
Instead, Y/N had shot up in bed breathing heavily. 
There had been a surge of power. So strong that it jolted the witch from her deep sleep. 
Both her movements and the surge woke Ronan up, growling as if there was danger in the bedroom. 
“Eris,” Y/N breathed. 
Somehow she knew the power had erupted from him. 
Something was wrong – very wrong. Even the night Eris had defeated Beron, even the night Y/N followed him deep into the forest to test his new strength…she had never felt such power come from Eris. 
If he were using it now, then he was under some sort of attack. 
Y/N jumped out of bed, flinging off her nightgown and threw on trousers and a tunic – quicker than worrying herself with a dress or a damn corset. 
If she was off to battle, she would order a sentry to fetch her the same armor Eris had forced upon her before. 
But Y/N needn’t look far, for as soon as she flung the door open, she was met with a handful of sentries standing guard outside her chambers.
Amongst them were all of Eris’ smoke hounds. And as soon as they heard their master’s mate open the door, they had shot to their feet and whined with anticipation. 
Y/N’s eyes raced amongst the sentries, half expecting Lucien to be with them.
But Eris’ brother was nowhere to be found, which meant he was surely with him. 
“Where is the High Lord?” She asked curtly. 
“There was rebellion in Drumenthoul,” the highest ranking responded quickly. She recognized him well enough to know his name: Captain Respen. 
Her brow furrowed. “Lord Muiris’ demesne?” 
“Yes, my lady. It is one of Autumn Court’s largest cities. Its subjects attacked the manor of the late lord, after they heard of the attack on you. His son retaliated, using what was left of his father’s army to wreak havoc on his own people. But it appeared to be an attempt at a trap.” 
Y/N’s stomach dropped. “Walk with me,” she ordered all of them. 
Instantly, they fell into step with her. 
“Ready my horse with my weapons,” she continued. One of the sentry rushed ahead to do as she asked, making his way to the stables. “I must go to him.” Then she looked at Captain Respen and silently told him to continue.  
“Before the attacks started, Lord Muiris’ son had called for reinforcements...from any Lord who did not agree with the High Lord’s usurping.” 
“They knew Eris would aid his people and they used that to lure him intro a trap with a bigger enemy than he could have anticipated,” Y/ noted aloud. 
“Precisely, my lady.” He didn’t hide how impressed he was with her intelligence. She had the makings of a High Lord's wife, despite her mortal and witchling upbringing.
“Do not fear though, Lady Y/N. Eris anticipated such an attack. He brought his best infantry.” Respen hesitated before he added, “And he has gained much power since becoming High Lord.” 
Y/N knew Respen was trying to calm her, to assure her Eris couldn’t be in danger. But no words would calm her.
“And you were left behind to guard me?” Annoyance was clear in her voice. 
“Protecting the High Lord’s mate is no lowly task, Lady Y/N. It is a great honor. The High Lord will take no chances at you being attacked while he is preoccupied with civil war. It would be the exact time for an assassination attempt.” 
When they reached the courtyard, Aengus was indeed ready, with her sword, bow, and satchel of arrows attached to the saddle.
But Y/N suddenly remembered that Drumenthoul was on the north coast of the court.
She had included cardiography in her Autumn Court studies. And it would take days to reach. 
Why had no one said anything?
“Can someone winnow me?” She asked. 
All the soldiers shifted uncomfortably, not meeting her gaze. 
Captain Respen was the one who broke the silence. “We are under strict orders to do no such thing.”
He at least had the decency to look guilty about it. 
That was why no one had questioned her orders to grab her mount: she would never get close to the danger in time.  
“Lucien is with them?” She asked quietly. 
He nodded. 
“So I am to just wait here?” 
Before anyone could answer her, there was another surge of power. 
Between the courtyard of the Forest House and the outer gates, there was a half mile. 
But despite the distance, Y/N could see him – no – she could feel Eris. And she sensed that something was not right. 
The next second, she was jumping onto Aengus, and digging her heels into gelding. The horse needed no other signals to throw him into a run. 
“Accompany Lady Y/N,” was the last thing Y/N heard before she was in the forests and meadows between the courtyard and outer wall. 
When she was close enough to take in her mate, she noted that while Eris was walking on his own, his entire body was tense. 
A gust of wind hit her. “He is injured…faebane…faebane…faebane.”
Another gust of wind. “He took…his beastly form.”
Y/N had heard of the High Lord’s beast form from a night of drinking with Cassian. He tried to scare her by sharing the murderous creatures she could stumble upon in the Prythian wilderness. 
“But none are more terrifying than the beasts of High Lords," he had whispered to her for dramatic effect. Then went into great detail of the few times in his centuries when he witnessed Rhysand’s own beastly form. 
Y/N still didn’t know much about them, but she did know it drained one's power. It was no parlor trick, but a skill that only a powerful High Lord could wield – and use sparingly. 
That must have been the blast of power that had woken her up. 
When she was just a few yards away, Y/N swung her leg over the side of the saddle and jumped while Aengus still cantered and had yet to come to a stop. 
“Eris!” Y/N gasped at the sight of him. 
Though he walked on his own, Lucien watched his eldest brother with caution a few steps behind him.
And now Y/N could see that Eris had at least twenty arrows sticking out of his back. 
Then she heard the galloping of her guard catching up to them. 
As soon as Eris’ spotted them, his posture straightened even more. 
He does not want to appear weak in front of his men, Y/N realized. 
“The infantry?” Y/N asked the two of them. 
“Only a handful lost,” Lucien told her. “But many injured. They are being winnowed. The rest will return on horseback.”
Y/N turned to her guard. “Ready the infirmary tents! The injured will be returning any moment. Have a female alert the human women that I will need their help. They will know what to prepare.” 
Captain Respen barked orders at the others, but he and another lingered. 
“Leave us,” she ordered them, more harshly than she ever would if the situation did not call for it. 
Respen eyed Eris. 
“Do as my mate demands, Captain.” The High Lord finally spoke.
Y/N was surprised by how strong his voice sounded, when it was becoming more and more clear to her how much pain he was in. 
Respen and his lieutenant nodded before galloping back to the Forest House. 
Once they were out of eyesight, Eris fell to his hands and knees. 
“Eris!” Y/N whispered, not wanting any fae senses picking up their panic. 
“For Cauldron’s sake!” Lucien growled as he helped his brother off the ground with Y/N. 
Y/N carefully put one of his arms over his shoulder, while Lucien did the same with his other arm.
“How bad?” She hissed.
“I shall live,” Eris muttered. 
His pale skin was not its usual glow, but sickly looking. His hair was covered in mud and blood – and she could only hope most of it was not his. 
“It’s the faebane,” she acknowledged. 
Eris and Lucien looked at her with surprise. But she ignored them. 
“Can you ride?” She whispered to Eris. 
He gave her a shaky nod. “Behind you,” he clarified. 
She nodded and whistled for Aengus. “Lucien, help me get him in the saddle.”
Y/N climbed on first, and pulled him up as Lucien lifted from the ground. 
Eris growled at the pain, making her heart race with panic. 
As soon as he was sitting, Y/N gave orders. “Lucien, get a cot brought to my witchery.  Do it yourself and tell no one. Discretion is key.”
Lucien nodded and winnowed to the Forest House. 
“You want to show them how strong you are, then show them,” Y/N muttered before she urged Aengus into a gallop. 
When they got closer, she softly urged him. “Take the reigns.”
Eris did as she said. 
Y/N knew why Eris did not winnow back into the Forest House on his own. She knew why he would not show pain, despite his back being littered with faebane-poisoned arrows. There were those who still questioned his power. Therefore, he would not show weakness. 
Instead, it looked like two lovers returning after sharing a relieved embrace. 
Y/N jumped down from Aengus and handed the horses to a stableboy, making sure not to watch Eris with worry as he dismounted on his own. 
“Make sure all the healers have been alerted,” Eris told his sentries. Then he looked over his shoulder of the forest and meadow they had just come from. 
With the wave of his hand, a hundred tents appeared out of nowhere. Healer tents for the injured that would soon be brought back. 
“Come,” Y/N offered her hand to her mate. 
Eris didn’t hesitate, taking it and letting her lead him into the Forest House. 
——
Y/N had offered Eris a pain relieving tonic, but he refused it. 
Not having time to argue with him, she fluttered about her witchery, brewing a potion and cutting herbs. 
All while Eris sat patiently on the cot Lucien had snuck in.
Within minutes, Y/N had a healing paste ready. 
“The arrows,” she gulped. “Shall I remove them one by one or all at once?”
Eris met her gaze over her shoulder, “All at once.”
“I will help,” Lucien offered. 
“Touch me with your grimy hands and I will set you alight,” Eris growled in warning. 
Y/N ignored the outburst. “Ready?” She whispered. 
He nodded. 
But Y/N moved in front of him and crouched before him. She took both of his hands in her own, squeezing them lovingly.
She closed her eyes and started chanting a spell.
And Eris immediately felt his back start to heat. 
Even as a bystander, Lucien felt the witch’s power fill the room. 
Eris almost forgot he was about to suffer, too enamored with watching his mate take over with her magic. 
Y/N’s eyes snapped open, but they looked at no one and nothing. 
Lucien watched as they glazed over in white, which they had all put together was only when she was stretching her magic to new and powerful heights. 
And then, as if there was an invisible lasso around all of the two dozen arrows in his back, Y/N’s spell got louder and then abruptly stopped. Along with her spell ending, the arrows were all ripped from Eris’ back in one pull. 
But the only noise that came from the High Lord was a low growl. 
Y/N gasped at the exertion of power, and was quickly trying to catch her breath. 
But her eyes had returned to normal. 
Lucien leaned over to look at Eris’ back. “Well, you sure got all of them.” Then he bent down to pick up the fallen arrows from the ground, burning them in his palm until they were ash. 
“You better clean that up,” Y/N warned as she saw it flutter to the floor. 
She turned her attention back to Eris. “Alright?”
He just nodded. 
“I must clean the wounds individually now,” she told him gently. “Some will need stitching, but not many.”
Silence filled the room as the real work began. Y/N treated Eris’ wounds as if he were made of glass. She was gentle and kind, always giving him a moment when his body tensed with pain. But he never complained and barely made a sound. 
“It was not…it was not how it should be,” Lucien finally spoke after some time. He was sitting on the ground now, knees propped up as he watched from the corner.
“What do you mean?” Y/N asked with confusion. 
Lucien watched Eris, who would not meet his gaze. “Beron’s beast form was that of a multi-tailed fox – still a tremendous size – and with the wings of an owl. Smaller than the beasts of the other High Lords, but still ever so deadly.” 
Y/N’s eyes narrowed. “And…?”
But Lucien didn’t speak. 
“I was something else,” Eris finally answered, trying to pass through the subject. 
“Something more,” Lucien corrected darkly. 
“I don’t understand,” she admitted quietly. 
But Eris just stared at the ground, his face emotionless. 
Lucien cleared his throat awkwardly, but continued. “He too turned into a fox, but that of a bear – something to rival even Tamlin. He had the antlers of our court’s stag. And the flames…he was engulfed in flames.”
Was it fear in Lucien’s tone... or awe? Y/N couldn’t figure it out. 
Lucien finally finished with, "The arrows you pulled from his back are just those of hundreds that failed to take him down.” 
“Then I shall thank this beast when I see him,” Y/N snapped. “For he seems to be the reason that Eris returned alive.” 
That was her only warning to Lucien to stop his antics. 
“Leave us,” Eris ordered his youngest brother. 
He didn’t need to be told again. 
“I will check on the injured,” Lucien announced to no one in particular. 
He closed the door louder than necessary, making both of them roll their eyes. 
The only sound to be heard was the crackling of the fire in the witchery. 
“How do you know how to treat faebane?” Eris’ tone instantly switched to the softness that was only reserved for his mate. 
“I shall tell you when you tell me why you ran into battle without waking me," she countered grimly. 
Eris was smart enough to look guilty, even though she couldn’t see his face as she worked on his back. “I did not wish to worry you.” 
“And being woken up by your surge of power was not more worrisome?” 
“I did not realize you would sense my magic in such a way,” he admitted. 
Y/N paused her healing and walked around to look down at him. “You could have been killed, Eris. And I never would have even said goodbye.” 
Without hesitating, Eris reached up and gently grasped the back of her neck, pulling her down until her lips crashed to his. 
She was sure the movement did not feel good for his back. But one would never know from the way his body only tried to pull her in further.
The subject was lost for a few moments, while their lips moved together.
Eventually, they pulled apart. 
“You are right,” Eris told her, voice raspy. 
“I am right?” She questioned, suddenly forgetting what they had even been talking about before he kissed her. 
“I should have woken you before I left,” he clarified. 
Then he smirked. “But I knew you would have tried to come.” 
“Of course I would have!” She admitted with a playful glare. 
His eyes darkened in warning. “You cannot rush into battle alongside me every time there is danger I must face, Y/N.”
“And why not?”
“Because I need you safe. Do you forget why you are here? And because these are not your battles to fight."
Y/N looked into his eyes before she answered, “They would be if I accepted the bond.”
She yelped when she was suddenly sitting across Eris' lap. He had pulled her so swiftly that there was no stopping it. 
“Do not tease me with such things, witch.” 
His body felt so hot, it was as if there was fire itself beneath his skin.  
Y/N swallowed. “I need to finish healing your back, High Lord.” 
Eris watched her before allowing her to get up. 
A tension filled silence settled in the room. 
“Will you let me see your beast form?” She finally asked him, her tone innocent. 
Eris smirked, only because he knew she couldn’t see it. “Why, so you can make me your pet, like Ronan?”
“I think it would be rather hard to cuddle a grizzly fox that was immersed in flames…” She thought aloud. “Cuddles would be much easier when you are in this form.”
Y/N had finished with her spells and healing salve, and was now wrapping Eris in gauze to keep it in place and protect the mending. 
“Where is this torment coming from?” Eris asked as he slowly stood. 
Y/N stepped to him, her eyes seemingly innocent. 
Then she suddenly kissed him again, but pulled away only after she bit the corner of his lip, making him hiss – not from the pain, though it did sting – from arousal. 
“For not waking me,” she answered, as if it were obvious. 
She stormed out of the witchery and threw open the door to his bedchambers that were next down the hall. 
“Also, I put a sleep tonic on my lips. So you will want to get in bed in the next few minutes, or you will be passing out on the cold, hard floor. And if you ruin my hard work from that, I shall punish you even worse.” 
Eris looked at her, utterly stunned. 
“You poison your High Lord?" His eyes narrowed playfully. “Finally, your true self is revealed: you are an evil, little witch after all.” 
She ignored his teasing. “To bed, now.” 
Eris sauntered past her into his personal bedchambers. 
She waited until he sat on the bed, then she slammed the door behind her. 
Instantly, she started chanting a protection spell. 
Yes, she had just knocked Eris out, which left him even more vulnerable than he already was with his injuries and exertion of power from using his beast form. 
Therefore, she would not leave him unprotected. 
She knew his guards would be lingering further down the hall. Lucien would have ordered to give the two of them space until further orders. 
All of them straightened to attention when they saw her round the corner.
“The High Lord is to stay in his rooms and rest,” she explained firmly. “If he comes out, do not engage. One of you is to inform me immediately. Is that understood?”
“Yes, Lady Y/N.” They all said in unison. There was no mockery or questioning; their tones held only respect and understanding. 
—🍁—🍁—🍁—
Eris awoke feeling much better than he probably should – and he knew he had Y/N to thank for that. 
It was dusk now. And he’d left for battle before the sun had risen that morning. So he must’ve been asleep for quite some time. 
Y/N’s poison had knocked him out so quickly that he hadn’t even bathed since battle. Though she had cleaned his wounds, he probably smelled of sweat and blood. 
Eris quickly went to his bathroom and bathed, finally ridding himself of the battle filth. 
Then he threw on a simple tunic and trousers, and rushed out of his chambers. 
His sentries were waiting for him and bowed immediately. 
“The injured?” He asked, getting straight to the point. 
Captain Respen stepped forward. “Tended to, High Lord.” Then paused before he added, “More were lost, their injuries to dire. The healers did all they could.” 
Eris frowned, but gave a slow nod. 
“Where is my mate?” 
All the sentries behind their captain shared a look, silently communicating. 
“She insisted that you are to stay in your bedchambers and rest,” Respen explained.
Eris ignored that. “Where is she?” 
——
Eris entered the grounds where all the healer tents had appeared. He expected to hear moans of pain or tears of grief. But there was a subtle peace amongst the camp. 
The sun had just passed the horizon, leaving the forest and sky with a unique mixture of faded blues and oranges. 
“This way, High Lord,” Captain Respen nodded in a direction past the tents. 
Servants had erupted countless fire pits to both warm the camp and make visibility easier for everyone, despite faelights glowing inside each healer tent. 
Eris’ walk slowed when he heard the giggling and laughter. 
It was not a common sound in Autumn Court.
Once they walked past the last of the tents, Eris halted. 
Y/N, ran around with the mortal children they had been sheltering. It appeared they were playing a game of tag. But every time one of them got away from her grasp, a gust of wind would tickle them, causing a fit of giggles. 
“She has been running around all day, aiding the healers in any way she can. She has saved many lives today.” Captain Respen told him quietly. “When someone finally managed to get her to take a break, she came to entertain the children whose mothers were still helping the wounded.” 
Eris didn’t respond, just watched his mate, who looked utterly exhausted, yet smile and played with the children despite it. 
“Will she stay?” Respen dared to ask his High Lord the question that all of Autumn Court had come to wonder. 
Eris ignored him, but the clenching of his jaw was visible. 
He stepped towards his mate, purposely making noise to bring attention to his arrival. 
The children’s laughter stopped immediately at the sight of the High Lord. Some of them even eyed him with fear. 
“It is alright,” Y/N assured them.
Then she beckoned Eris closer, to her. 
He did as requested, following that invisible string attached to his heart.
“Is it true you turned into a beast?” One of the brave children asked hurriedly. 
Y/N bit back her smile. 
“Can you show us?” Another cried out before Eris could even answer. 
“I do not think your mothers would appreciate that,” Eris told them. 
“I don’t have one. So can you at least show me?” Another begged. 
“Now, now,” Y/N playfully scolded them. "The High Lord is far too powerful to show off his gifts like some court jester.” 
“Awww!!!” They all whined in unison. 
But Eris kneeled before them, pausing dramatically to get their attention back. 
The children leaned in, believing they changed his mind. 
With a subtle and small flick of Eris’ wrist, his palm twisted to the sky, and fireworks erupted above them. 
The children cheered and jumped underneath the fireworks as they continued to erupt in every color they could ever want, some even turning into little animals before exploding. 
They tried to catch the falling light in their hands. But it would always disappear before they could, creating a new game for the children. 
Y/N moved to her mate’s side to join him in watching the new joy.
“Neat trick," she told him.  
Eris gave her a shy smile. “I used to do the same for Lucien when he was a child. Sometimes it was the only thing that could stop his crying fits after father… reprimanded him.” 
But they both knew it was more than reprimanding.
Eris sighed. “It has been so many centuries, I almost forgot about it entirely...until now. 
“How are you feeling?” Y/N asked him. 
“I am fine,” he answered too quickly. 
She sighed, but didn’t push. 
“My guards say you have not rested since tending to me,” he pointed out. 
She shrugged dismissively. “There were many injured. And the healers were overwhelmed. I helped as much as I possibly could.”
“And I am grateful for it.” He countered. “But for someone who does not wish to join this Court, you certainly care about its inhabitants.” 
“Shhh,” she warned. “None of that. I am quite tired.” 
The next second, Eris had scooped Y/N up in his arms. 
“Eris!” She admonished. “Your injuries!”
“My injuries are healing – thanks to you.”
Eris passed his guards, who had been watching over them from a distance. “Once the fireworks finish, make sure the children return to their mothers and caretakers.”
“Of course, High Lord. The children will be looked after.” Captain Respen bowed. 
When they were at the doors of the Forest House, Eris locked eyes with one of the footman who stood at the ready. 
“Bring dinner to her bedchambers,” he ordered. 
The footman nodded and rushed off. 
Eris looked down to see that Y/N had closed her eyes and rested her head in the crook of his neck. 
“Are we too tired for a bath?” He asked quietly. 
Without opening her eyes, Y/N mumbled. “Never too tired for a bath.”
Eris huffed a laugh. “Good. It is my turn to take care of you.” 
“Will you promise that I will wake up next to you tomorrow morning?” 
“I promise, Y/N.” 
-----------
Thank you thank you thank you for your patience. I'm sure no one will read this...but work was really terrible around the holidays. I was trying to find a new job, but the job market is so terrible. So my mental health just took a real hit. I've also really gotten back into reading, so that because my thing unwind after work, instead of writing. I had also been doing a lot of different personal art projects – painting, editing, and photographing. And those started feeling better than writing for me.
Anyways...thank you for those who stuck with me and were patient and supportive.
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Note
#4 on your enemies to lovers prompts is giving Eris vibes
Loose Lips — Eris Vanserra x Reader
Enjoy! 💕
✧: *✧・゚✧・゚: *✧・゚✧・゚: *✧・゚✧・゚: *✧・゚✧・゚: *✧・
Rhysand was going to kill you. 
And so was Cassian.
Probably Azriel, too.
Maybe even Amren.
And Mor — sweet, lovely Mor — would be disappointed. Hurt.
You’d fucked up.
The realisation dawned on you upon waking. The rain that drizzled outside felt painfully fitting. 
You sat up in bed, clutching the sheet to your naked body. Your eyes crept over to the sleeping figure at your side.
Eris Vanserra’s hair was tousled on the pillow, mussed from sleep. His bare, chiselled chest rose and fell evenly in his slumber. His milky skin looked soft as cotton.
In a state of sleep, with no snarl or grimace or glare twisting his face, he was actually quite…beautiful.
And vulnerable. There was nothing stopping you from reaching for your dagger and plunging it into his heart right now. Something you’d fantasised about doing countless times. Something you’d promised him you would one day do. 
The male infuriated you something chronic. His history with your friends made your loathing of him a living, tangible thing.
And yet here you were in bed with him. Naked. You peeked beneath the sheet just to be sure — but the memory of the previous night was clear in your brain.
You were only supposed to deliver a message on Rhysand’s behalf. That was one of many tasks as his courtier. You were good with wielding words, with gleaning information. So rarely did you represent him without returning with something for him to turn over in his mind. 
The problem was that you hated Eris Vanserra so ferociously, your tongue always seemed to run away with you. 
Somehow…somehow, last night, your vicious, barbed words had turned into hungry kisses. To stumbling up the stairs of the concealed house you always met in to exchange information. To ripping each other’s clothes off and moaning until your voices were hoarse.
You’d crossed a damn line. And you didn’t know how.
You weren’t going to stick around to find out. 
With Eris still sleeping, you rose from the bed, keeping your movements quick and silent. You shucked your creased shirt on, making fast work of the buttons. Tugged your breeches on and shoved your feet into your shoes. 
You didn’t know how you were going to explain to Rhys where you’d been all night. How a simple message had kept you away for so long.
You’d have to find a stream to bathe in. To wash away the smell of sex. And the Autumn lordling.
Your legs feeling like jelly, you crossed the room in quick strides, not caring to lace your boots up.
“Going somewhere?”
Eris’s voice was decorated with a morning rasp. The sound took you right back to the breathy moans he’d whispered into your ear. You shook off the shiver that danced over your skin, clenching your jaw.
“I’m leaving.” Was all you offered.
“Shame.” Eris sat up in bed, stretching his arms above his head. “And you were such tantalising company, too.”
“Last night was a mistake.”
There was something positively lupine in the way he appraised your unkempt appearance and cocked an eyebrow. Amusement danced on his lips.
“That’s funny. I don’t recall you saying no.” His amber eyes raked over you. “You said yes a lot. And gods, yes. Oh fuck, yes—”
“So you’re a great lay.” You gritted your teeth. “It was still a mistake. And it’s never happening again.”
He said nothing. Merely stared at you with that hint of a smile on his lips. It incensed you so much that you wanted to launch something at him. Before you could make any more rash decisions, you turned—
“You know,” Eris lay back, resting his arms behind his head. “You may just have the prettiest orgasm face I’ve ever seen.” 
“You’re despicable.” 
He chuckled. “Perhaps. But I’m also very clever. You see, while you view last night as a mistake, I view it as an advantage.”
Walk away, your mind screamed at you. Don’t even entertain him. Last night wouldn’t have happened if you’d just walked away.
You couldn’t stop yourself grounding out, “How.”
“Because, darling, I now have leverage against you, don’t I?” Those amber eyes glittered. “Your friends would positively lose their shit if they knew you’d bedded me. Rhysand would probably toss you out on your ass, and where would you go?”
Prick. Gods, the delight you’d take in throttling him—
“What do you want, Eris? For me to get on my knees and beg you not to tell them?”
He smirked. “Pretty as you are on your knees — no, that’s not what I want.” He was enjoying every second of this. “You’re just going to have to start being a bit nicer to me, is all. You know — so I don’t slip up and accidentally blurt something.”
You snorted. “That’s what you want? For me to be nice to you? Does my hatred for you cut deep?”
“Hatred.” He chuckled. 
You stared at him, a muscle in your jaw ticking. Your mind still pleaded with you to just leave.
But there was something dangerously challenging in Eris’s eyes. Something you couldn’t yet walk away from.
He gazed back at you, cocking his head. “Do you want to know what I think?”
“Not particularly.”
“I think,” he ignored your retort, “that being nice to me won’t be as hard a feat as you like to pretend.”
“You—”
“I think that somewhere, deep down, in that cold, emotionally-constipated heart, that you quite like me.” He grinned, flashing teeth. “And I think it fucking tortures you.”
Your body was taut.
You didn’t care that he’d won this round of verbal sparring. That he’d had the last word.
You only cared about getting out of there. Far, far away from him.
Without uttering another syllable, you turned on your feet and stalked out of the room. Before the truth could show on your face.
“Until next time, then, love!” Eris yelled after you.
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azrielbrainrot · 5 months
Text
Mind Over Matter
Pairing: Eris x Reader
Description: Eris sees you at your lowest and you get a glimpse behind the mask.
Warnings: Angst, Domestic Violence, Injury
Word Count: 3550
Notes: In case it's confusing this is set before Fire on Fire. Hope you enjoy!
Fire on Fire Masterlist
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The forest looked beautiful today. The red and orange leaves cast shadows over the whole clearing, and from the tree branch you were sitting at, you could see the birds flying and even some bunnies hopping around the bushes. It had been raining all week but it finally let up this morning, the sun was now shining high in the sky making it a perfect day to sit and read outside.
Even if the season never changes, you can tell apart the “beginning” and “end” of autumn. The leaves are just starting to fall, meaning this would be the beginning of the season. In a few months when the leaves are mostly on the ground, it will be the “end” and then the cycle will repeat itself. You always preferred this time when the sun is still shining and the forest is alive.
It might be summertime in the solar courts from your calculations, not that you've ever stepped foot out of this one, or even out of the city. As much as you love the forests tinged in orange, you can't help but wonder what it would be like if they gave way to different sights every few months.
Perhaps it would make autumn more enjoyable if it wasn't constantly upon you. You think you wouldn't hate the spring or summer, when the sun is warmer and there isn't as much rain, when different flowers bloom making the forests turn into different shades of green and brown and so many other colors.
You haven't been this deep into the woods in a long time, your mother and father had both finally left the house for long enough at the same time after what felt like forever. With the rain, your mother hadn't been invited to any tea parties and your father always seemed to be working in his office nowadays, never even leaving to attend any meetings. Seems the High Lord had given him some important job.
You'd feel bad for whoever had the misfortune of their company today but these are the few moments of peace you can steal for yourself, and you've been praying to The Mother that something came up so your father was called to the Forest House or even further. If it was something scandalous enough it would take your mother to her friend's houses to discuss it among themselves too.
You get so lost in your thoughts and the book you're reading, in the calmness and silence the forest brings you that it's only when you look up at the sky and see it starting to turn the same orange tone as the trees that you realize the sun is almost setting, you were late. You weren't sure how long your parents would be gone for, hopefully they weren't coming before dinner or they would already be looking for you.
Gathering your skirt, you hop down from the thick branch you've been sitting on, shoving your book into the old bag you once stole from one of the many closets in your house. It took you a few tries, and reading a couple of books, but you had managed to charm it to hold a lot more than its size would lead you to believe. You've been using it to keep books, dried flowers you've turned into bookmarks, random trinkets you've found over the years and even a couple of pants. Anything your parents wouldn't approve of you having really, things you actually called your own. Picking it up, you winnow to its hiding place - an old hollowed tree close to the edge of the woods behind your house - and quickly cover it so no one comes across it.
The maids knew you weren't inside, thinking you were in the gazebo watching the flowers, or feeling sorry for yourself, whatever they told themselves you did all day, so winnowing straight to your room wasn't an option. There was also the risk of any of them lingering around and seeing you. The garden had to do then, the servants had probably all left the grounds by then, retiring to their own homes.
You winnow deep into the garden so you're surrounded by bushes, close to the crimson roses that overlooked the side entrance to the estate. You weren't usually allowed on this side of the garden, it was too close to the servants' gate, meaning any of the “lowly” males could see you and you wouldn't know how to defend yourself from their advances. Sometimes you think your father is convinced you need instructions for breathing too.
Waving a hand over yourself to clean off any obvious dirt for the moment, you almost sprint closer to the gazebo, the place the maids would come looking for you when it was time to get ready for dinner.
Your heart stalls in your chest when you turn the corner to find your father walking the grounds. His face turns into stone as soon as he lays eyes on you, making you drop your skirt immediately, smoothing it with your hands out of habit, always trying to appear as polished as you can in front of him.
By his side stood your fiancé, looking as elegant as ever in a black three piece suit, topped off with a muted red tie to match the soles of his shoes. You've never seen his hair this long, it was combed back and tied in a small knot. Your gaze moves back to your father's disappointed face when his eyes meet yours, always so intense and calculating, suffocating even.
It had been years since you'd last been caught outside by your father and, to make matters worse, Eris was here too. At least he only saw you in the garden, even if further in than you're normally allowed. You don't even want to think what would happen if he'd seen you winnow from the woods.
“What are you doing outside at nightfall?” Your father was clearly displeased with you, not only for going against his wishes but also for doing it in front of such an important person.
“I simply got distracted looking at the flowers,” you try to sound as demure as possible, thinking maybe you could fix this by playing dumb since your father probably didn't want to make a scene in front of Eris, “They're blooming so beautifully.”
“You must have been really distracted,” he says as he turns his head menacingly, “since you know you're not allowed to wander around unattended.”
His tone almost makes you flinch, your face dropping. It had been foolish of you to think you could talk yourself out of the situation. Eris' presence wouldn't make your father less volatile, it only made things worse. He wanted to show the other male he was capable of handling his family, not wanting to appear weak in front of the heir.
You hadn't stopped to think that this could also make you less viable for marriage. His daughter being personally chosen by the High Lord as his eldest son's fiancé was your father's greatest accomplishment, and he knew better than you that Beron's mind was easily changed, he wouldn't want Eris to think you might not be the best option after all.
In this moment you ponder tarnishing your reputation as much as you could to get out of this marriage. If only it wouldn't cost you your life with it. Your father always hated the fact that you were born female. A male would bring the family name glory but a female could only hope to wed into a noble family. If you were to lose the High Lord's favor your father would likely lock you away from the world or even dispose of you altogether.
Your father lets out what you think he means as a disapproving sigh, but you can hear the excitement behind it, can see it on his face. He's grown to enjoy the moments when he can put you or your mother in your place, it makes him feel important. He approaches you, moving away from a slightly confused looking Eris.
You knew what was coming as soon as you saw your father pull his hand back, you've been here before many times after all. You close your eyes, feeling the heat approach your face, trying not to let your instincts take over and try to avoid it, that only makes it worse. The force of the slap makes your head turn to the side, your body almost following, but the worst part is the flames, you have to bite your lip not to let out any sound as you feel the burn eating at your skin. You faintly smell burning and try not to think about it, knowing it's the smell of your own flesh.
He holds your chin with a still too warm hand, even if already rid of the flames, and looks into your eyes closely, wanting to revel in your pain. “I've taught you better than this.” He adds another light slap to your face for good measure before letting you go completely. It almost hurts more than the first one, the skin was so tender even just moving your face hurt.
Taking a weak breath in, you try to calm your mind, ignore the pain and rage warring inside you. Clutching tightly onto your dress to keep your hands occupied, in case your mind slips and you burn his face in rage the same way he keeps doing to yours. You feel the flames wanting to rise up to your skin but firmly snuff them out, making sure they stay safely hidden deep inside you until it's the right time.
The pain has gotten easier to bear over the years, now you close your eyes not from fear but to calm yourself. You don't have the strength to go against him yet or a plan for a safe escape, you refuse to lose your life so easily after enduring this for so long. One day you will make him pay for everything he has put you through but first you need a plan and you need to be stronger.
This time it was different though, Eris was watching, you could feel his gaze burning into your skin deeper than your father's fiery palm ever could. There had been witnesses to his cruelty before, even outside your family and servants, you had seen pity, satisfaction and even trained blankness in their faces, had learned to ignore them and not ask for help under any circumstance - it took you too long to realize that the ones showing pity know your pain or are as powerless as you.
But, for some reason, knowing Eris, your future husband, the heir to the throne, is watching makes you want to cry for the first time since you were a child. You bite your lip and clench your fists as hard as you can, opening your eyes only enough to look to the ground, hoping your face isn't giving away too much or the burn was at least enough to hide it.
Suddenly interested in studying the cobbled stones you've walked on for decades, you notice your earring fell off, the ruby glinting in one of the little nooks in between stones, suffocated with no place to escape to just like you felt. You briefly wondered if it had simply gotten loose with the force or if it was ripped off your earlobe, but the pain on the side of your face was too intense to be able to pinpoint a specific area. A ripped earlobe was the least of your concerns anyway.
“What do you think you're doing?” All your thoughts evaporate when you hear his voice. He sounds uncharacteristically angry, you've never seen him lose the teasing lilt to his words or crafted nonchalant tone. You can't help but look up at him with wide eyes, not even remembering the shame you had felt before.
“Not to worry. Her face will be healed by tomorrow morning,” your father barely hesitates, assuming the anger wasn't directed at him hitting you, “I wouldn't give you damaged goods, my lord.”
Sometimes you wonder how your father had lived for so long, how he managed to become important enough that he not only worked for Beron but the High Lord would also want his heir to marry you, when he could be this dense. It was clear Eris wasn't worried about your face, his anger was almost palpable.
You know he wears a mask like no one else, you've seen it in action, but, if your father hadn't been so self-absorbed, if it was Beron standing in front of him, this would end very differently. Because the mask had fallen at the same time your stupid earring did. What was staring at you was Eris' true face. Your father was too thick to notice but you could gamble your life on it.
It showed his unrestrained fury and power rumbling just beneath his skin, you're not sure how your father didn't notice the way the temperature rose around them, the air suddenly resembling the summer you had just been longing for. His gaze burned hotter than lava and the planes of his face carved out the perfect personification of fury. His face was the perfect picture of the new High Lord of the Autumn Court. It was all fire, beautifully and all consuming.
He was making a bigger effort of not hurting your father than you were. When your eyes met you could almost see him forcefully pushing his feelings away, stuffing himself down with them, burying them deep inside him to keep the plot he's been writing for centuries intact. Still, his gaze lingered on your marred cheek too long, you think you even see his fingers spasm, as if wanting to reach out, if it was to console you or to snap your father's neck you couldn't be sure but the sentiment behind it was the same.
You almost gasp as the realization comes to you. The look on his face isn't all anger but what's underlining it isn't pity, it's the face of someone who understands. He's been in your same place. It shouldn't be a surprise to you, Beron's cruelty will far outlive his name, but it's hard to imagine Eris, inarguably the second most powerful fae in this court, in your place.
Your stomach twists at the implications. If even he can't fight Beron, what hope do you have of escaping your father? Especially now that he's aligned himself with the High Lord? It's in this moment that you know Eris' warnings were correct, there's no use running, you wouldn't make it but a couple steps.
“She needs a healer to fix her face,” you can almost see him choosing his words, playing into your father's narrative enough while trying to help you as much as he can. You're starting to think you have Eris figured out. Is this how he has survived this long? “See that it gets done quickly.”
He leaves without another word, turning away from you father and letting his eyes linger on your burnt flesh one more time before winnowing out of your estate. You don't look away from where he'd just been even when your father grabs your arm and pulls you along on his way inside the house, cursing you with every step. You wouldn't be able to leave your room and escape into the forest for a while.
Later that night, when you're returning to your room, after a healer treated your wounds as usual, and made sure Eris' goods wouldn't be permanently damaged as your father had so lovingly put it, you find a vaguely familiar, faint scent lingering in the air, it makes your heart stop.
Thankfully, the maids didn't accompany you to your room, they didn't like treating you cruelly but helping you could get them in trouble with your father so they'd rather just watch in silence, or, even better, turn their face whenever it was possible.
If they had followed you, they would have noticed the scent, would run and tell your father. You're not sure if they'd recognize it as his, he doesn't visit your house often after all, but the spicy scent was unmistakably male. It's better not to think of the amount of trouble you would be in if they smelled it.
You walk to the window first, opening it as wide as you can so the chilly night air fills the room instead, making sure there would be no residuals in the morning when they came to wake you. Looking up at the full moon in the cloudy sky, feeling the wind turn to ice against the side of your face still covered in a thick cooling salve and wrapped in bandages, you hesitate one more time before moving to the foreign items sitting at your vanity table, undoubtedly left behind by your dear fiancé.
Eris left you a tiny bottle with some strange bluish liquid inside accompanied by a small red velvet box tied off with a golden ribbon. You know he won't poison you, the bargain won't allow it, but you weren't sure what else he could do if he let his imagination run wild. You decide reading the note set on top of the box might give you an idea.
He has no right to treat you like this. I'm sorry I can't do more to help you for now but I promise there will come a day when he won't be able to hurt you anymore.
The note wasn't signed but you knew it was his. Even after your agreement, you didn't think he would try to make you feel better, even going as far as risking getting caught while dropping this off, since this fragile alliance of yours had been neither of your first choices.
You pick up the bottle and uncork it, immediately recognizing the calming scent of a sleeping draught. It would help with your nightmares. This is a generous amount too, it can last you a while. You set it back down and untie the ribbon, opening the box to find some chocolate and sugar cookies.
A sleeping draught and cookies. Never in your life had you received anything like this. You can't even admit it to yourself but this is by far the most thoughtful gift you've ever gotten from anyone.
He had to have an idea of how awful your father was to you, you told him as much when you made the bargain, but he might not have realized he went as far as physically hurting you. Eris knows the pain of an abusive father, of being haunted by their cruelty even in your dreams. So, he gave you the draught to help you even a little and the cookies to console you, something sweet to fend off the pain.
Just when you were starting to feel thankful for Eris, thinking you might have been too harsh on him before, you notice something else written on the other side of the note. Turning it around and reading it as well.
I wasn't aware you could winnow so well. Just how much are you hiding from your family, doll?
Your entire body tenses at the words, turning the paper into flames lest anyone reads it. He knows. You've managed to hide this ability from everyone for decades, but now Eris, of all people, knows. You're not sure how he noticed when your father didn't. He could have arrived before him, could have wandered around the grounds without anyone knowing. Is it possible that he knew where you went? No, he couldn't have come from the forest in time to talk to your father and see you.
You hold your hand up to rub over your chest, simultaneously trying to calm your racing heart and feeling the mark of the bargain woven into your soul, trying to reassure yourself. He's your ally. He won't tell anyone, the bargain won't allow it. But what could he do with this information? You had the upper hand when you made the bargain but it feels like he just stepped ahead.
After a few moments of breathing in the cold air still seeping into the room and settling your mind, you sit down on the chair by the vanity unceremoniously, letting your head drop into your hands for a moment. A heavy sigh escapes you as you open the cookie box again. What kind of person sends you gifts and includes a mildly threatening message with them. Must he always push your buttons like this?
You take a bite out of a chocolate cookie and let the delicious taste melt in your mouth, eyeing the small bottle. It seems you'll need to use it tonight, you definitely need a good dreamless sleep after the rollercoaster of emotions you've been through the whole day.
What you fail to notice is that, between the chocolate and sugar cookies you keep munching on and the annoyance now targeted towards Eris, your face barely even hurts anymore and you weren't left thinking of the deep rooted ache in your soul after your father hurt you yet another time.
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