What Is This ‘Cosmic Question Mark’ Captured by the James Webb Space Telescope?
The James Webb Space Telescope has captured a spectacular new image of a pair of actively forming stars about 1,470 light-years away. But beneath the breathtaking phenomenon, some viewers noticed a peculiar shape among the backdrop of celestial objects: a glowing question mark. The image quickly went viral on social media, with jokes about its origin ranging from aliens to a glitch in the Matrix.
The object’s color indicates it is either very distant—billions of light-years away—or much closer and obscured by dust.
The shining question mark represents two galaxies merging. The hooked portion of the shape may be what’s called a tidal tail—a thin, elongated stream of stars and gases that occurs as galaxies interact.
IM REALLY UPSET RN I HAD THIS LIGHTNING FAST HADES RUN, LIKE I WAS MORE THAN HALFWAY DOWN HADES' SECOND PHASE BY 10:40, BUT THEN I FUCKING DIED BC I WAS PLAYING TOO RECKLESSLY IN THE NAME OF SPEED
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5 Years, 8 Discoveries: NASA Exoplanet Explorer Sees Dancing Stars & a Star-Shredding Black Hole
This all-sky mosaic was constructed from 912 Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) images. Prominent features include the Milky Way, a glowing arc that represents the bright central plane of our galaxy, and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds – satellite galaxies of our own located, respectively, 160,000 and 200,000 light-years away. In the northern sky, look for the small, oblong shape of the Andromeda galaxy (M 31), the closest big spiral galaxy, located 2.5 million light-years away. The black regions are areas of sky that TESS didn’t image. Credit: NASA/MIT/TESS and Ethan Kruse (University of Maryland College Park)
On April 18, 2018, we launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, better known as TESS. It was designed to search for planets beyond our solar system – exoplanets – and to discover worlds for our James Webb Space Telescope, which launched three years later, to further explore. TESS images sections of sky, one hemisphere at a time. When we put all the images together, we get a great look at Earth’s sky!
In its five years in space, TESS has discovered 326 planets and more than 4,300 planet candidates. Along the way, the spacecraft has observed a plethora of other objects in space, including watching as a black hole devoured a star and seeing six stars dancing in space. Here are some notable results from TESS so far:
During its first five years in space, our Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has discovered exoplanets and identified worlds that can be further explored by the James Webb Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
1. TESS’ first discovery was a world called Pi Mensae c. It orbits the star Pi Mensae, about 60 light-years away from Earth and visible to the unaided eye in the Southern Hemisphere. This discovery kicked off NASA's new era of planet hunting.
2. Studying planets often helps us learn about stars too! Data from TESS & Spitzer helped scientists detect a planet around the young, flaring star AU Mic, providing a unique way to study how planets form, evolve, and interact with active stars.
Located less than 32 light-years from Earth, AU Microscopii is among the youngest planetary systems ever observed by astronomers, and its star throws vicious temper tantrums. This devilish young system holds planet AU Mic b captive inside a looming disk of ghostly dust and ceaselessly torments it with deadly blasts of X-rays and other radiation, thwarting any chance of life… as we know it! Beware! There is no escaping the stellar fury of this system. The monstrous flares of AU Mic will have you begging for eternal darkness. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
3. In addition to finding exoplanets on its own, TESS serves as a pathfinder for the James Webb Space Telescope. TESS discovered the rocky world LHS 3844 b, but Webb will tell us more about its composition. Our telescopes, much like our scientists, work together.
4. Though TESS may be a planet-hunter, it also helps us study black holes! In 2019, TESS saw a ‘‘tidal disruption event,’’ otherwise known as a black hole shredding a star.
When a star strays too close to a black hole, intense tides break it apart into a stream of gas. The tail of the stream escapes the system, while the rest of it swings back around, surrounding the black hole with a disk of debris. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
5. In 2020, TESS discovered its first Earth-size world in the habitable zone of its star – the distance from a star at which liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Earlier this year, a second rocky planet was discovered in the system.
You can see the exoplanets that orbit the star TOI 700 moving within two marked habitable zones, a conservative habitable zone, and an optimistic habitable zone. Planet d orbits within the conservative habitable zone, while planet e moves within an optimistic habitable zone, the range of distances from a star where liquid surface water could be present at some point in a planet’s history. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
6. Astronomers used TESS to find a six-star system where all stars undergo eclipses. Three binary pairs orbit each other, and, in turn, the pairs are engaged in an elaborate gravitational dance in a cosmic ballroom 1,900 light-years away in the constellation Eridanus.
7. Thanks to TESS, we learned that Delta Scuti stars pulse to the beat of their own drummer. Most seem to oscillate randomly, but we now know HD 31901 taps out a beat that merges 55 pulsation patterns.
Sound waves bouncing around inside a star cause it to expand and contract, which results in detectable brightness changes. This animation depicts one type of Delta Scuti pulsation — called a radial mode — that is driven by waves (blue arrows) traveling between the star's core and surface. In reality, a star may pulsate in many different modes, creating complicated patterns that enable scientists to learn about its interior. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
8. Last is a galaxy that flares like clockwork! With TESS and Swift, astronomers identified the most predictably and frequently flaring active galaxy yet. ASASSN-14ko, which is 570 million light-years away, brightens every 114 days!
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melt - dbf!abby
minors dni! i will physically fight u
inspired by @whore4abby 's chatbot in c.ai !
summer hit like a tidal wave. the drops of sweat running down your chest and the scorching sunlight bleeding through the window was enough to drive anyone crazy. your solution? making freezing cold lemonade first thing in the morning. you'd taken a sip from it just to taste it; was it too sweet? maybe you messed up the amount of sugar... but then again, you preferred slightly-too-sweet over slightly-too-sour.
that wasn't your dad's opinion though, after he took a sip of it before running to get his keys. an emergency meeting at his workplace, something about an unplanned financial situation. that's the reason why you were left all on your own for the remaining of the afternoon... and you decided to put your time to good use.
loud music was playing from the portable speaker you set on the coffee table while your figure was splayed out on the couch, only in your underwear, reading some sort of magazine your mother kept in her room. the shorts and t-shirt you were sleeping in prior to that were on the floor and the AC was turned on, easing off the vapor that seemed to envelop the house. a particular song came up, and soon enough you were dancing around the living room, with hops and twirls and funky dance steps that would surely scare off anyone at a club. but it didn't matter, you were alone right? no one was there to burst your little bubble of delicious freedom.
or so you thought.
ding-dong, the doorbell rang.
you froze in place, looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
"y/n? you there?"
oh shit. shit shit shit shit.
abby anderson, your dad's best friend. and did I mention next door neighbor? her voice was distinct, you knew it from all the times your mind would replay its timbre and raspiness after hearing her say anything. it was almost entrancing, the soft and yet deep way she spoke. but this was no time to daydream.
in the blink of a eye you were scrambling across the room, looking desperately for your pajamas. fuck, where are my shorts? you kneeled down to find them under the couch.
"be right there!"
you yelled out, acknowledging her presence at the door. you threw your clothes over you in a haste, smoothing your hair down and panting a couple times before you opened the door to reveal the tall, burly woman in front of you. a black t-shirt and grey sweatpants, with her hair tied back in that familiar braid. you sometimes wondered what would be like to run your fingers through it, to braid it for her. or to tug on it while she's-
"everything okay?" her words took you out of your daze. you must've been staring because the way she eyed you up and down with that little smirk on her face... ugh! so hot and she doesn't even know it.
"uh, yeah! I'm fine, thank you ms. anderson." you chirped, breath still staggered from the short but tiring race you had just seconds ago. "did the music bother you?"
the sincere and sweet tone you spoke in made abby chuckle softly. such a pretty girl, worried she upset her friendly hot neighbor, looking up at her with guilt painted over her features. she decided to put those worries to rest.
"not at all! I just..." the woman says as she looks back at your driveway. "I saw your dad's car wasn't here, and I came by to drop of some stuff he asked me to get."
"oh!" you slightly perked up. "then please, come in..."
you gestured for her to walk inside, and so she did. the chilly air of the AC greeted her in a matter of seconds. she tried not to stare at the way your hard nipples were visible through the flimsy material of your tee. were you even wearing a bra?
it was simple, really. abby knew she had a thing for you the second you and your family moved into the cul-de-sac. with your beautiful hair and your sunny disposition. yet as she developed a close bond with your father she couldn't help but feel a little guilty. it was weird to have a thing for your best friend's daughter. she'd constantly battle the urges that suddenly bloomed in her chest when you were around.
but how could she? you were so pretty, so stunning, so sweet... whatever word she used to describe you, the feeling was the same.
that same feeling was present now, as she placed the bag of unknown contents on the kitchen counter. you were curious enough to try and get a peek: seemed like things you'd buy at a hardware store. then you remembered the loud clanking and whirring of metal machines in your garage this week, and it all made sense.
you moved away to stand in the middle of the kitchen, unsure of what to do next. it wasn't the first time abby dropped by, but never without your dad in the house. and especially not when you were this... flushed from the heat. yeah, the heat. must be the heat.
"so!" you quickly tried to make the awkwardness dissipate in your body. "you can, um, take a seat..."
your still shaky voice sounded sweet as you gestured towards the living room, the comfy red couch on immediate line of sight. once abby silently took up your offer and plopped on the soft cushions, it almost looked like she belonged in that space. the golden sun rays hitting her equally golden hair, making all of her freckles and sunkissed marks on her skin glow. she sat comfortably, a muscular arm draped over the top cushions; if you didn't know her you'd say she's acting all smug and overconfident like she owns the place. but the truth is she's been there so many times before, laughing and sharing with your parents about her life and experiences over a glass of wine on the weekends... she might as well own it.
"want something to drink? water, juice..." you were being a bad host, you had to change that. "I made lemonade this morning."
she just looked you up and down with a gentle smile. "lemonade sounds great."
your waddle to the kitchen was rushed, almost tripping over your slides. unsure hands and self-conscious fingers reached for a glass in a cupboard that was a little too high up. you felt her eyes on you. don't look stupid, don't look stupid. you stretched as far as you could to finally grab the frosted glass cup, pretending like the burn wasn't a little too intense for your limbs.
abby kept a steady eye on you, noticing how your shorts rode up your thighs. she felt like a vulgar man gawking at you, but that didn't stop her from taking every detail of your back bending over the fridge as you pulled out the jar with that sweet, lemony drink. how you poured ice into the glass and how you served it with such softness. this feels wrong.
and it definitely was.
you came back to her with your lips pressed into an awkward smile, putting down the chilled glass on the coffee table in front of you. and you stood there. why were you just standing there? she patted the empty spot next to her on the couch, and you obliged without hesitation.
she nodded softly before she spoke. "thanks, princess." the nickname made butterflies spring out of your belly, feeling that familiar shiver down your spine whenever you were around her.
you tried not to stare as she brought the glass to her lips, watching her throat bob gently while she almost drank the whole thing in one sitting. she stopped halfway through, letting out a satisfied ahhh sound.
"really good, just what I needed."
you blinked. "really? don't think it's too sweet?"
abby shrugged with a smirk. "it's sweet, but I like that."
a small silence fell between the both of you, only two seconds long until she broke it. almost as if she hesitated to continue.
did the room suddenly get warmer? despite the AC blasting cool air into every corner of it? that's what you thought at least, because it seemed that your flesh was melting off of your face; cheeks red and chest tight. you were suffocating.
it was evident to the blonde sitting next to you too. she could practically see your skin melting into the couch, your clothes slowly engulfed by flames. god, how she wanted your clothes to suddenly combust. but she knew, unfortunately, that they wouldn't. at least not without her acting on it.
one hand on your thigh later, it's like your clothes were never there to begin with.
"tell me you want this." abby whispered between heated kisses, on your lips and neck and jaw. every single touch feeling it scorch your skin. a desperate set of lips snaked down your neck to your shoulder, nipping and sucking at the skin for far too long, leaving a red mark.
with quivering lips you answered a simple "yes, please", and that was enough to drive the woman mad.
you saw it in the way her beautiful blue eyes darkened, her gaze heavy on your features and down to every detail of your body. what a sight to behold. no barrier of fabric was left between you two, sweaty and hot bodies sticking together like glue. a rough hand went to your core, soothing circles around your already dripping core. slipping a finger, then two— until the stretch was stirring your insides with every push of her palm against your clit.
"atta girl, that's it... doing so good." she would coo into your ear, pressing a fluttering kiss right below your earlobe as you orgasmed for the first time under her touch. it came in one intense, magnificent wave that crashed over you mercilessly, and then the soothing ripples of the aftershock took place.
she took her digits out, coated in your slick and staring at them with an unreadable— yet undeniably aroused— expression. you whined at the emptiness, finally realizing they should stay inside you forever.
"c'mon, sit on the armrest." she commanded with a gentle voice. your body moved on its own, still sore from the pleasure you just experienced. once seated, she propped your legs open and positioned herself between them. "gonna give me one more, 'kay princess?"
and then you swore you were actually melting this time. because the way her head dove between your thighs, and her tongue moved so deliciously over your folds, tasting you like you could somehow soothe the aching heat of the summer— it made your legs sticky, your brow dewy and your lips parched. moan after moan, plead after plead, she was relentless against your cunt, slurping up every bit of liquid she could from that sacred spot on your body, leaving you dry.
your second orgasm soon approached, yet this time the wave was refreshing. like salt water spraying on your face in a beach day, like a cold shower in the middle of july, like a gulp of delicious sweet lemonade dripping down your chin.
you were in a daze, limbs buttery and fucked out— too fucked out to hear keys jingling on the other side of the front door. was this all a dream? or was it the heat?
yeah, the heat. must be the heat.
KINKTOBER - #11
breeding kink & power imbalance w/ ftm!rodolfo parra x top!male reader
The other new members of Los Vaqueros don’t know him well enough yet to see that Sergeant Major Rodolfo Parra has a favourite, but one look from Alejandro and he can tell who Rudy is paying extra attention to. He could see why - you showed excellent potential; you were patient, calm under fire and out of it, you got along well with the others and were as loyal as a dog, always following his or Rodolfo’s commands with little hesitation or question.
Alejandro thought nothing of it when you and Rudy began to spend more time together, he could see the progress as you began to hone your already established skills, often at the shooting range or in the gym with Rodolfo not far behind, ready to coach you into being a better version of yourself.
As far as you’re aware, he’s ignorant to the unique rewards Rodolfo offers you.
Rodolfo hadn’t intended it to happen - time spent together morphing into something else when he learned what you were like outside of being a soldier, letting his guard down as you earned your place within the Los Vaqueros ranks time and time again. It only had to happen that first time you tumbled into bed together for Rudy to know he was fucked - you had played his body like an instrument, coaxing orgasm after orgasm from his body until he was jelly-legged and covered in your cum, outside and inside, and he’d woken up the next morning albeit sore but refreshed, all built-up stressors knocked from his head. It was only a matter of time before it would happen again.
You hook his knees over your elbows, pushing him into a mating press that has you sinking deeper in his drooling cunt and ignoring the sting of pain as he rakes his nails down your back when your cock hits that spongy spot inside, kissing it with every thrust. Each time you draw out you push back in until your pelvis is flush against his, groaning as his soft walls flutter around your shaft.
“Tan bueno para mí, soldado,” he groans, head rolling back on his shoulders as your cock pulses inside him, hips snapping at a hungry pace.
He can feel the way his muscles slowly tighten, heat spreading under his skin as his orgasm approaches like a tidal wave, ready to swallow him under. He knows just the way to drag you down with him.
The quiet squelching of your thrusts is interrupted as his breath fans against the shell of your ear, “Gonna fill me up soldier?”
Your hips jerk and Rodolfo buries his smirk in your hair as you rhythmically pound into him, stars shooting behind his eyes as you angle yourself to knock against his sweet spot each time, giving him little reprieve as he cums, arousal gushing between your bodies and soaking your abdomen.
You don’t stop, fucking him through his orgasm and when you announce you’re close he’s wiggling his legs out of your hold and tightly wrapping them around your waist, keeping you pressed against him and leaving no choice where you cum. His eyes are rolling into the back of his head as you cum inside, filling him with thick, sticky cum that begins to spill from the seams, a white frothy ring forming where you’re connected.
His arms slither around your shoulders, pulling you to burrow into his neck as he kisses behind your ear, something soft, tender and he thinks that might be the end of it, your tired form slumping against him and panting into his shoulder, but after a few moments of waiting for your heartbeats to slow you draw back and grip his hips.
He grunts as you start moving again, fingers scrambling to hold onto you.
TIDAL WAVE — LUKE HUGHES
luke hughes x fem! reader
summary: in which Mark’s girlfriend and his best friend have a secret.
warnings: cheating, toxic/unwanted relationship(?), asshole-ish Mark at one point, NSFW!!, fingering, oral (f receiving), p in v (unprotected), choking/breath play, dirty talk, dom!Luke, please let me know if i missed any
notes: takes place at umich. this is less of a pure smut and more of an actual fic that just has smut. inspired by Tidal Wave by Chase Atlantic. (6.6k words)
i never meant for this to happen.
i didn’t go into this wanting to break Mark’s heart.
i was always the one who got cheated on.
i was never the cheater.
but then Luke happened.
he brought out a side of me that i never even thought i had.
Mark pushed us together, really. Luke needed a tutor, and Mark knew i had the highest grade in that class. he practically begged me to tutor his friend; make sure he kept his grade up high enough to continue playing hockey.
so, i said i would help.
Luke and i started meeting up during our free time. we would do our homework together, and i would talk him through the lesson and make sure he understood it all.
we started off with meetings at the library. then we switched to meeting at a diner; where we quickly learned that the new setting did not help in our studies. rather distracting us instead, which lead to less time being spent on homework, and more time spent getting to know each other.
through our diner meetings is where we learned that we had a lot in common. both being the youngest of three siblings, both loving movies and the same music, we became best friends. we lost our filters around each other, our conversations ranging anywhere from hockey to what we liked in bed.
maybe that’s where i should’ve stopped. i should’ve drawn the line when we got so close that we started talking about our nightly activities. me complaining about Mark being too gentle and never seemingly wanting to hook up, and him discussing the girls that he hooked up with at parties, confiding in me that most of them ended up asking him about his brothers after the act.
our meeting location eventually changed again, first to the dining room table at sophomore house, typically backgrounded with Mackie and Dylan playing video games. and finally, to his bedroom, where we had no interruptions. no loud friends playing games, no hustle and bustle of waitresses, no distracting noises from others in a library. it was just us and our textbooks.
but then December seventh happened. Mackie and Dylan had left for their afternoon classes, Mark and Ethan out at theirs, and Luke and i were left with the house to ourselves.
we started out good. we sat on his bed, textbooks and laptops in front of us. then we got off topic.
one second we were discussing the homework, and the next, i was telling him about how i faked an orgasm the night before and i was still frustrated.
i didn’t expect for him to offer to help me. or for him to kiss me. and i certainly didn’t expect to kiss him back, or for it to lead to what it did.
but it happened, and now i’m too deep in. my heart is split between my boyfriend and his best friend.
we kept up our charade the next semester. claiming we were studying together for our current shared class, because we were great at helping each other. but as soon as the house was empty, every wednesday without fail, we found ourselves tangled in his sheets.
we were good at keeping our activities on the down low, for the most part. the guys had noticed that he quit sleeping around, and Luke was partially honest; telling them that he had a regular thing with a girl he really liked, but he was cautious to never drop my name.
i was caught at a crossroads. break up with Mark, my boyfriend of over a year? or put a stop to my activities with Luke, the only guy who’s ever been able to satisfy my desires?
“babe, you okay?” i’m struck out of my thoughts, by my boyfriend, his hand coming down on my knee, not exactly rough, but certainly not gentle in his inebriated state.
“hmm?” i hum, turning my head to look at him beside me on the couch. “yeah, i’m fine.”
another Wolverines win meant i was stuck at another team party. top hits blast from the speakers around us, red solo cups in nearly everyone’s hand as they grind against each other.
the sophomore guys are crowded around the couch, playing a round of truth or dare, and i’m nestled up beside Mark, silently observing.
“okay.” Mark brushes off my out-of-character behavior, tuning back into the game.
“Hughesy, truth or dare?” Ethan smirks and Luke rolls his eyes, a crooked smile plastered across his lips.
“truth.” the guys ‘boo’ him, but he lets their disappointment run off his back. “i’m not doing an Eddy dare.”
“fine.” Ethan groans, stopping for a moment to think before his face lights up, and i know he’s about to ask something he desperately wants the answer to. “who’s the mystery girl that’s put an end to your fuckboy ways, Hughesy?”
my body stiffens as Luke’s smile drops, his gaze flickering towards me so fast that no one else would’ve caught it.
“nice try.” he laughs the question off, sticking his middle finger up at his teammate. “i’m not telling you.”
“c’mon bro!” Dylan eggs on, nudging his friends knee.
“we just wanna makes sure she’s good enough for you!” Mark chimes in from his spot next to me, drawing Luke’s attention towards us. he looks straight into my eyes before he faces my boyfriend.
“trust me, you’d think she’s plenty good enough.” he tells him, a smirk drawn on his face. at his next words, i bite my lip so hard, i think i may draw blood. “you’d really like her.”
the guys howl, clapping their teammate on the back as he turns bashful under my gaze. his head drops down, a blush coating his cheeks before he stands up, a sound of disapproval falling over the group.
“i’m just going to get another drink.” he laughs, shaking his head. “anyone need anything?”
a chorus of ‘no’s and ‘i’m good’s come from the guys, and Luke looks at me.
“you need anything, y/n?” i grow small under his stare, shy and meek.
“yeah, i need a refill.” i shake my empty cup and rise to my feet. “but i can get it.”
i turn back to inform Mark that i’ll be right back, but he’s paying no attention to me. already wrapped up in a conversation with Mackie about some video game.
i heave out a sigh, slightly embarrassed, and face forward once more, only to find Luke still waiting for me with pity filled eyes.
we walk together to the empty kitchen, everyone spread out around the rest of the house, only wandering in here to grab another beer and leave.
“you’re playing a dangerous game, Luke.” i speak up as i pour a concoction of sprite and pink whitney into my cup. “he could catch on.”
he shakes his head, chuckling. “they’re too drunk to catch on.”
“regardless,” i sigh, looking over at him as he pours another jack and coke, my hip leaning against the counter. “we have rules for a reason, Luke. you can’t do what you did in there. looking at me before you answer. those vague hints to Mark. it’s like you’re asking for us to get caught.”
“i say fuck the rules.” shrugging, he turns to face me. “let ‘em find out.”
“you deserve better, y/n.” he cuts me off, and i squeeze my eyes shut at his words. “i mean, he isn’t even paying any attention to you. he rarely ever does.”
“stop-” but he doesn’t.
“you deserve someone who pays attention to you. you deserve someone who knows you. inside and out.” i huff out a chuckle at his innuendo, but tears sting my eyes, threatening to spill over.
“i can’t, Luke. i just— i can’t.” i sniffle. blinking back the tears. “you don’t understand. our parents set us up, they think we’re good for each other. and if i break up with him— if i break up with him, my parents will blame me for ruining their friendship with his parents.”
“is their dream of having their children date and marry so that your families can be intertwined, really more important than your happiness?”
Luke’s hand lays upon mine on the counter. “because i’m sure it’s not. i’m sure they’d understand that you guys just weren’t meant for each other.”
i shake my head, adamant about my answer.
“no, i don’t think they would.” i huff. “our moms have practically planned our wedding from the moment Mark and i were born. you should’ve seen their reaction when we said we’d give a relationship a try. they basically straight out told us that we couldn’t just try, we had to last, because if we don’t, then we fucked up their friendship.”
Luke opens his mouth again to speak, but he’s cut off by Ethan stepping into the kitchen. i pull my hand back from the counter as if someone lit it on fire, stepping back from Luke as though to not seem suspicious.
“hey, y/n, you may wanna go in there. Mark is drunk, and you know what that means.” Ethan grimaces and i nod.
he’s hitting on other girls.
i thank him for telling me as i set my cup down, walking out of the kitchen and sparing a glance back at Luke, who watches me leave.
“c’mon, Marky.” i plaster on a fake smile that doesn’t quite reach my eyes as i find my boyfriend. he’s locked in a conversation with a blonde that i’ve seen in one of my classes, pulling out all his best tricks in order to try and charm her. “let’s go up to your room.”
“no thanks, mini. i’m good.” my entire demeanor deflates as i watch him brush me off, but somehow the nickname usage slightly makes up for it.
“Mark, you’re drunk and you’re hitting on other girls, let’s go.” i try and speak with confidence, but my voice fails me; wavering on my last words. the blonde girl cringes, walking away when she realizes that he’s spoken for.
“mini, you’re killing my game.” he groans, finally turning to look at me.
“i’m your girlfriend, the only game you’re supposed to have is with me.” i sigh. “let’s go. you need to sleep off the alcohol.”
he whines, giving in and taking my hand, allowing me to lead him up the stairs and away from the bustling party.
i hate having to intervene when this happens, because i know i’m no better than he is. except i’m actually sleeping with someone else, he’s just trying to.
but our friends would be too suspicious if i didn’t stop him.
“i wish we had just stayed best friends.” he grumbles, not for the first time since we started dating. “dating you is one of the biggest mistakes i’ve made. we were so much better as friends.”
tears spring to my eyes, and unlike ten minutes ago, i let these ones fall.
he’s been doing the same thing— and saying the same words— since a mere month into our relationship, and i desperately wish i could disagree with him.
“trust me, the sentiment is shared.” i whisper to myself as we reach his room.
i push his door open, ushering him inside and watching as he lays down in the bed and lets out a yawn. i follow in behind him, shutting the door before i help him out of his clothes and into pajamas.
laying in the bed, he curls up against me, his head on my stomach as my hand rakes through his hair; lulling him to sleep.
why do things have to be so complicated?
i don’t see Luke again until wednesday. each time i’m at the house, he’s nowhere to be found. either in his room, or out with one of the guys.
in all honesty, i wasn’t even sure if we were still on for our ‘study session’ today. but i showed up anyway, loaded down with my backpack and a ton of stress from my morning classes.
“hey, y/n.” Mackie opens the front door, letting me walk in past him. “Luke’s in his room.”
i nod, eyeing him as he walks over and drops down on the couch beside Ethan, resuming their video game.
“don’t you guys have class?” i question, inching my way towards the stairs.
Ethan shakes his head, his eyes never leaving the tv screen. “canceled. professor is sick.”
i nod, bidding them a ‘see you later’ as i make my way up the stairs to Luke’s room.
his door is shut, but i don’t bother knocking, instead barging in as i have many times before. Luke is standing in front of his closet, a towel wrapped around his waist and his wet curls dripping water down his back. he spins around at the sound of his door opening and shutting, but relaxes once he realizes it’s just me.
i scan his body, my gaze lingering on his abs before i halt altogether at his exposed v-line from the low-hanging towel. my bottom lip catches between my teeth and it takes me a second to remember what oxygen is and why i need it.
snapping out of my sexually charged trance when i see his abs flex from his laughter, my eyes snap back up to his face, where a smirk rests.
“would you like me to take the towel off or do you just wanna keep undressing me with your eyes?” he teases, ultimately choosing to forgo a shirt and just grab a pair of sweatpants from one of his drawers.
“why didn’t you tell me Mackie and Ethan are staying home?” i hiss. “i wouldn’t’ve come!”
i rid myself of my backpack, dropping it on his bed as he puts the sweatpants on, hanging up his towel on his closet doorknob.
“precisely.” he winks. “you wouldn’t have come.”
retrieving my textbook and laptop from my bag, i roll my eyes at his double entendre and take a seat criss-cross on the floor at the foot of his bed. he follows suit with his own laptop.
“i’m serious, Luke. i would’ve just went back to my dorm. i don’t actually have any homework until next week and i didn’t plan on doing any today.” i pout, glancing over at him as he takes his seat beside me, so close that my knee brushes against his thigh. “now i have to.”
“i mean, you don’t have to.” he shrugs, his arm snaking around my waist. he uses it to pull me towards him, maneuvering my body so i’m straddling him. “been thinking about you all week, baby.”
my cheeks flush as he nods, his eyes dark with lust as he leans forward to kiss me. his lips are soft against mine, tasting of toothpaste, which blends perfectly with my peppermint chapstick.
he grabs a handful of my ass, taking advantage of my resulting gasp in order to slip his tongue past my lips.
his fingers play with the hem of my tank top, pulling away to pull the shirt over my head, leaving my chest bare. he slides me off of him, my legs now across his lap, my butt pressed against the side of his thigh.
he dips down to attach his lips to mine again and one of his hands grips my hip, pulling me closer so that my breasts press against his shirtless chest, his other hand sliding up to cup the back of my neck. while both of mine are tangled in his wet hair, slightly tugging at the curls at the nape of his neck.
his lips abandon mine in favor of leaving open mouthed kisses down my jawline, smirking against my skin at the sound of my quiet moans.
“Luke, you gotta stop.” i can barely get the words out, both from the pleasure that wracks my body as his tongue swirls my pulse point, and from the lack of desire to stop.
“hmm why?” he mumbles against my skin, not easing in his attack against my neck, but careful not to leave any marks.
“because the boys are right downstairs.” i remind him. “and no matter how much we’ll want to, we can’t go any further because your bed creaks and they’ll hear it.”
he pulls back to look me in the eyes, his hand sliding around so that it now provides a gentle stable grip on my throat. he uses that touch to slowly lower my body down, simultaneously removing his legs from beneath mine and hovering above me, holding himself up with the hand not currently wrapped around my throat.
“we don’t have to use the bed, baby.” his tone is low and dripping with sex, making me clench my thighs together at the sound.
i suck in a deep gasp as my bare skin touches the cold hardwood floor, my back arching and my chest pressing against his arm, which he uses to push my body down until i lay flat. i can feel my panties dampen at the lust that darkens his eyes when he feels me breathe in against his grip.
he lowers himself down above me, his body pressing grazing lightly between my now spread legs, as his lips attach to my breast, leaving wet kisses at the top of it. his hand slides down from my throat to let him thumb circle my other nipple, and i have to bite down on my lip in order to keep quiet.
“Luke.” i whisper out a moan, and he chuckles against my breast. his tongue kitten licks my nipple before his lips close around it, sucking gently and letting his teeth scrape incredibly lightly against it.
my hips buck up against him, finding friction against his abs, but he pulls away. he sits back on his knees, his fingers coming down to play with the waist band of my skirt, looking down at me in search of my approval. at my nod, his fingers sink into the fabric, pulling both the skirt and my underwear down my legs.
he flings the fabric to the side, neither of us paying attention to where they end up; too wrapped up in each other.
his gaze sinks downward to my glistening cunt, biting his lip as he drags his middle and ring fingers through the wetness. my body twitches as he brushes over my clit, already swollen with arousal. one side of his lips curls upwards into a smirk.
“look at you. such a good girl for me.” i nod my head at his words, attempting to grind down harder onto his fingertips, that have halted on my clit, providing just enough pressure for me to feel it. “so wet already.”
i whimper quietly and Luke fakes a pout, mocking my sound.
“you want me, darling?” he pushes down just a little harder on my clit and i sigh, my legs falling open a little more.
“yes.” i whisper. “yes, please, Luke, ple-.”
my words die off as he slips one finger inside of me, pumping it in and out slowly, and crooking it up to hit my g-spot.
my mouth forms an ‘o’, my eyes rolling back before fluttering shut. his other hand snakes up to provide weight upon my throat, applying just enough pressure to make it a little harder for me to breathe, but not impossible.
i seal my lips, placing a hand over my mouth to keep myself from crying out as he adds a second finger. as he pumps his fingers, he presses the heel of his palm against my clit, and the dual stimulation in addition to the choking has my face going red; my head dizzying.
Luke’s grip leaves my neck, allowing me to breathe a bit easier, and i open my eyes to see him hovering above me. his gaze flickers down to the hand that covers my mouth and i move it, his head dipping to press his lips against mine.
his hand that’s between my legs never eases up, only speeding its pace as he adds a third finger, and i can feel my release edging closer and closer as i begin to grind myself down onto his fingers.
my cries are muffled by his lips, swallowed by him while his tongue pushes against mine. he pulls back, his eyes scanning my face.
“that’s it, darling.” he coos, his nose nudging against mine, my hips still moving against his fingers. “ride my fingers.”
the chuckle he lets out, as i continue to obey his words, is dark. he slides down my body, lowering himself fully now to be laying on his stomach on the floor; his face so close that i can feel his hot breath on my cunt.
his fingers persist in their mission to get me off as he begins flicking his tongue against my clit, and i’m barely able to cover my mouth before i let out a high pitched moan. his lips enclose around the bundle of nerves, sucking and flicking, but never ceasing the motions of his fingers inside of me.
my legs snap shut as my orgasm quickly approaches, but he just uses his free hand to pry them open; hooking his arm under my thigh and holding it open so he can continue his assault between my legs.
“open up, darlin’.” he mutters against me, and the vibrations send me.
my breath catches in my throat, my eyes rolling back, and my toes scrunching as i come around his fingers, my hand dropping down to tangle in his curls, holding him in place as i ride out my orgasm.
my back arches as he sticks his tongue out, letting me grind against it, while his fingers still pump in and out of me, crooking up in a ‘come here’ motion.
i stop moving as i come down from my high, my body falling limp as i pant to catch my breath. Luke sits up, looking into my eyes as he sucks his fingers clean of my cum, humming at the taste.
“you taste so good.” he tells me. leaning over to kiss me, his tongue licks against mine, spreading the taste. “i don’t wanna share you anymore, baby.”
my eyes fall closed at his confession, finding it unfair of him to say when i’m still reeling from my climax.
“Luke,” i sigh, but he kisses me again, cutting me off and refusing to let me deny him of his request.
“he might kick my ass when he finds out, but i’ll take that beating.” he mumbles against my lips. “just let me take care of you. let me love you the way you deserve.”
his words are enticing, and in my fuzzy mind, unable to think clearly, they make sense.
“okay.” my response makes him smile and he eagerly presses a kiss against my lips.
“yeah?” he begins peppering kisses down my throat. “you gonna breakup with him?”
“let me take you out on a date?”
he sucks gently at a spot behind my ear.
“let me love you outside of these four walls?”
i nod, my head tipping back to allow him better access.
“good girl.” he whispers in my ear, his breath against it making me shiver.
his lips find mine again, his body hovering over mine, and i let my hands explore, dragging down over his abs until they reach his sweatpants. i rub his erection through the gray fabric, making him thrust into my hand.
“don’t start something you’re not ready to finish yet, darling.” he mutters, his voice strained from holding back.
“who said i’m not ready?” i ask him, voice sultry as i peer up with innocent eyes. “i’ve had a few minutes to recover.”
his head drops into my neck, groaning lowly as my hand strokes him through his sweatpants.
“you want me to fuck you?” he asks, biting gently at my shoulder. “want me to bury this cock so deep in your pussy?”
“yes.” i gasp, my heart racing and my core throbbing at the thought. “want you to fuck me so good.”
“okay, darling.” he nods in permission and i pull his sweatpants down, letting his erection spring free. he moves away to take them off completely, and i clench around nothing at the sight of him.
he lowers himself between my thighs, gripping the base of his cock and rubbing it over my clit twice before h lines himself up with my entrance. my hips involuntarily jerk, resulting in his tip pushing in, and he takes that sign to finally bury himself inside of me.
he pushes in painfully slow, hissing at the feeling of my walls encompassing him.
“you’re so tight.” he speaks through a clenched jaw, watching my face scrunch in pleasure as he pushes in, stretching me out inch by inch until his full length is inside of me. “you feel like heaven.”
he doesn’t move, letting me adjust to size, kissing me as he does so, but it doesn’t take more than a moment before i’m speaking against his lips.
at my request, his hips pull back before snapping back in. my hands fly to his back, my nails digging in as he thrusts in and out of me. i cry out against his shoulder, his face dropped down in my neck, and i pray to whatever higher being, that the boys are still downstairs with their video game blasting; drowning out the noise of skin slapping and our sounds of pleasure.
“faster, Luke.” i whine, pressing a kiss to his neck.
he speeds up his strokes, and i choke out a moan at the same time that he grunts, pulling out all the way and then snapping his hips to harshly thrust in.
my nails scratch down his back, surely leaving marks, and he moans quietly at the feeling, pulling his head out of the crook of my neck in order to look at my face. i’m certain that i look like a mess; my face red, my jaw dropped open, and my hair spread across the floor behind me, but i can’t find it in myself to care.
“you’re beautiful.” he mutters, dipping down to kiss me. i bite at his bottom lip, resulting in a loud groan entering my mouth from his.
Luke pulls away, sitting up and gripping my hips as he begins to pound into me. my hips chase his, and one of his hands leaves my body. grabbing a stray pillow from the end of his bed, he lifts my hips, settling the pillow underneath me before lowering me back down on top of it.
the new angle has my eyes squeezing shut, my hands rising to clutch at my breasts in attempt to ground myself from the immense pleasure. i can feel his tip hitting against my g-spot, making me legs begin to shake.
my walls clench around him and i can feel his hips stutter, his thrusts getting sloppier as he chases his high, and in attempt to help me reach my second orgasm, his hand comes down to gently push against my lower stomach.
tears build in my eyes and i stare up at him, finding satisfaction in watching him concentrate. his abs flex as he slightly hovers back over me, just enough so that he can reach my neck, and his hand wraps around it. my heart leaps in my chest in response to the pressure that he applies, cutting off my airflow for a moment before easing up just enough that i can breathe if i really need to.
i can myself getting lightheaded, a result of the stimulation and the lack of oxygen, and his grip slackens, allowing me to gasp in a breath or two before he repeats the process.
my legs shake, my back arching and my pussy clenching around him as i finally reach my peak, coming on his cock. it only takes a few more sloppy thrusts before Luke is freezing, hips stuttering.
“fuck, i’m gonna come.” he moans quietly, and i buck my hips up to fuck into him, silently letting him know its okay while i’m still catching my breath.
the movement of my hips spurs on his orgasm, his head dropping back as he comes inside of me.
he falls forward, his body collapsing on top of mine. we stay like that for a few moments, catching our breath, before he slips out of me, causing a whine to escape my lips as he rolls onto the floor next to me.
my head lolls to the side, staring at him as he sucks in beep breaths, and in the post-sex haze, i can’t help but grin at the thought of he and i on a real date. my mind wanders, fantasizing about him picking me up from my dorm, flowers in hand, and taking me out to dinner or a movie.
but it all comes crashing down when i register the severity of what we’ve just done.
we had sex, with other people here. people who know my boyfriend. people who granted, may not be the most observant, but i’m sure would still recognize the sound of sex if they heard it.
“shit!” i curse, sitting up and scanning the room for my clothes.
“hey, what— what are you doing?” Luke asks from his spot on the floor, leaning back on his hands, watching as i pull my clothes back on.
“well, first i have to pee.” i start, glancing over at him. “and then, i need to peek downstairs and make sure dumb and dumber didn’t hear anything.”
he opens his mouth to speak but i cut him off. “god, that’s was so stupid. we could’ve gotten caught.”
his face deflates, his lips downturning in a frown as he nods.
“right.” he grits out, and i stop in my movements, tank top and underwear on, but skirt still in my grasp.
“hey.” i coo, walking over and dropping down his lap, setting my skirt beside us in favor of cupping his face. “i was just risky of us to do, is all. i don’t regret it, and i don’t regret you.”
he peers at me from behind his lashes, his eyes fluttering closed as i press sweet kisses to his cheeks before locking my lips with his.
“okay.” he nods in understanding.
“you’re the best thing to ever happen to me, Lukey. i don’t want you to think that i regret anything.” i give him another peck. “i just— i don’t want this getting back to Mark.”
another nod, but then the corners of his lips curl up in a small smile.
“at least not until you break up with him.”
shit. i did say i would do that, didn’t i?
“Luke…” i trail off and his smile drops.
“you’re not gonna do it, are you?” he asks sadly. “it was just an empty, heat of the moment promise.”
“no.” i shake my head, my hands running through the back of his curls. “i’m gonna do it.”
i’m firm in my answer, having had enough of not having him in my arms, publicly.
“i just don’t know how.” i confess. “i’ve never broken up with someone, i’ve always been the one being broken up with. and i have to figure out how to do it without him getting pissed at me, so we can stay friends and hopefully we can break the news to our parents together.”
“you can do it.” Luke encourages, straining his neck to kiss my forehead. “you and your big, smart brain will figure out a way.”
a giggle escapes past my parted lips, and i rise from his lap, finally stepping into my skirt.
“i’ll be right back.” i whisper and he sends me a thumbs up as he pulls his sweatpants back on.
slipping out of the bedroom, i go straight across the hall to the bathroom, doing my business and making sure i don’t look like i just got railed, before i finally tiptoe halfway down the stairs. i peer over the banister, finding Mackie and Ethan still wrapped up in their video game, seemingly oblivious to the actions that happened right above their heads.
it’s not until sunday that i’m able to get Mark alone at the diner, having needed thursday to think of how to break the news, and friday and saturday being game days, in which Mark is incredibly meticulous about his schedule.
i’m sat in a booth, nursing an orange juice as i wait for my boyfriend to arrive, my head perking up every time the entrance bell rings.
finally, in he walks, a beanie on his head and his university of michigan letterman jacket resting upon his shoulders, slipping his phone in hiss pocket. he smiles when he sees me, stalking over and dropping into the seat across from me.
“hey, mini.” he grins, leaning over the table to press a kiss to my cheek.
“hi, Marky.” my voice is weak, but i do my best to mask it with a smile.
“what’s wrong?” my brows furrow at his words.
“what? what do you mean?” i question, and his eyes flicker down to my cup.
“you’re drinking orange juice,” he laughs, taking the cup from my grasp to take a sip. “you only drink orange juice when you’re sad.”
he knows me too well.
“Mark-” before i can get into my speech of how this relationship isn’t working for either of us and that we should go back to being just friends, my phone buzzes with a reminder notification and i sigh. “sorry, one sec.”
digging through my tote bag, i pull out my birth control, popping a pill out of the sleeve and swallowing it, washing it down with my juice.
“why do you even take that anyway?” Mark scrunches his nose, and i’m sure i look like a deer in headlights when his eyes meet mine. “we barely even hook up, and i wear protection when we do.”
“birth control has more uses than just… controlling birth.” i remind him. “it helps regulate my periods and ease my cramps and-”
“makes sure Luke doesn’t get you pregnant?” his words are like a slap to the face, shocking me, regardless of the soft tone that he says them in.
“what?” i gape, my eyes wide and my lips parted “i-”
i’m rendered speechless. unsure of what to say. i refuse to deny the claim, because it’s true, and i’m sick of lying. but also not wanting to confirm, in fear of upsetting him.
“it’s alright, mini.” he shrugs. “i found out last month. came home to grab a textbook for my next class and heard you guys going at it.
“i was a bit shocked, but i understood.”
i open my mouth, ready to speak, but he cuts me off.
“he’s good for you. i can see that you guys really like each other, and i can’t blame you. i was a pretty shitty boyfriend, wasn’t i? but, i was an even shittier best friend. i’m the one who convinced you to give us a try. and then, only a month later, when i realized how much better we were before dating, instead of just breaking up with you and facing the consequences, i dragged it out for over a year.
“i kept you in a loveless relationship, just because i was scared of what our parents would say.” he scoffs, shaking his head.
my hand slides over on the table to grasp his. “Mark.”
“but, if you wanna be with Luke, i’m okay with that. i should’ve just ended this when i knew that we weren’t right for each other like that.”
my gentle touch turns sour as i smack his hand lightly, finally getting him to shut up.
“Mark, would you stop?” i sigh. “god, you have me feeling guiltier than i already felt. which is valid, i was a shitty girlfriend too.
“i could’ve broken up with you too. i guess we were both too afraid to hear the ‘you fucked up’ speech from our parents. but instead of just taking the loss, i cheated. and nothing can excuse that. no matter how much you and i knew that we weren’t right for each other, i still slept with Luke while we were together, and i’m so sorry for that, Mark. and i would understand if you were pissed at me and you never wanted to see me again. but i really hope that maybe you can forgive me, and we can just go back to being friends, because i’ve really missed my best friend.”
salty tears coat my cheeks as i sniffle, looking into Mark’s red rimmed and slightly puffy eyes from his own tears.
“i’d really like that.” he nods, giving me a soft smile. “and we can tell our parents together. maybe if we tell them that the break up is wasn’t messy and we’re still best friends, it won’t be as bad.”
“oh thank god! i really hope so, because i don’t want us to be on the receiving end of our paths wrath forever.” i respond, making him chuckle. “so… is this like a mutual break up or…?”
“oh no- i dumped you. i definitely dumped you.” he jokes and i abrupt with laughter, a snort leaving my lips which causes him to laugh as well.
Mark and i walk back to sophomore house together, his arm draped over my shoulder and tears in our eyes from laughing at our own jokes. and for the first time in a year, i feel immense happiness in his presence.
Mark opens the door when we arrive, allowing me to step through and shed my jacket as he follows behind me, doing the same before his arm wraps back over my shoulder. we turn to find at least half the hockey team piled around the living room, a hockey game playing on the tv and snacks scattered all over the coffee table.
most of them only glance up at our arrival, waving or muttering a ‘hey’, before their sights set back on the screen, but Luke’s gaze settles on us, his eyes unmoving. i can see his face drop at the sight of Mark’s touch on me, and i glance up at Mark to see him already looking down at me with a smile. he nods, giving me his approval, and that’s all it takes.
i shed his arm off of me, stalking over to Luke and standing in front of his spot on the couch. he watches me with wary eyes, his expression stony, until i crawl onto him, my legs on either side of his lap. my hands cup the back of his neck, using my grip to pull his face up to mine.
“what the fuck are you doing?” he whispers, but i ignore him, lowering my lips to his.
his hands squeeze at my hips, his lips moving against mine, and i can hear the other boys in the room whispering a chorus of ‘what the fuck’s and ‘oh my god’s and even Rutgers ‘yo, what the hell did i miss’, but i tune them out.
pulling back, a smile paints across Luke’s lips, his gaze flickering to Mark, who i turn back and see grinning at us.
“i take it it went well?” Luke asks me, his nose nudging against mine as i turn back to face him.
“it went great.” i tell him. “he wasn’t mad. in fact, we facetimed our parents and told them together. they were pretty mad, but generally understanding when we told them that we’re still best friends.”
Luke’s arms wrap around my waist, pulling me closer to him in excitement.
“hey.” Mark calls out, gaining Luke and i’s attention once more. “treat her good.”
i roll my eyes at his warning, but Luke just grins.
“i’ll give her the world.”
A few people took exception to calling my car's CD player useless.
I actually think it is great there are a few holdouts still using CDs.
CDs are truly one of the most perfect media ever created.
And I can prove that mathematically.
Some will say vinyl is superior. And as much as I love records, the audio quality is preferred, not better. People have a *preference* for how vinyl sounds, but it still leaves out audio information and has noise and artifacts caused by the mechanics of the turntable and an imperfect manufacturing process.
In fact, the lesser audio quality is exactly what people enjoy. It has a warmth and comfortably compressed dynamic range that is not fatiguing over long listening sessions. It's like choosing a nice fire over a 100% efficient space heater.
But if you want perfect audio quality that does not exceed the limits of human hearing, compact discs are where it's at.
It all has to do with Dr. Harry Nyquist and his Nyquist-Shannon Theorem. (Sometimes Shannon gets left out and it is just called the Nyquist Theorem.)
The simple version is he figured out how much something needs to be sampled in order to not lose any information. As long as you sample something at a frequency greater than or equal to twice per cycle, you will have a lossless... whatever.
In this case, a lossless audio recording.
So the range of human hearing is about 20 Hz to 20 kHz. That's the lowest and highest frequencies we can perceive. The scientists creating CD audio figured they'd do 22 kHz for some overhead and then you double that to get 44 kHz. (Technically it was 44.1 kHz.)
You can imagine the smooth curvy line as an analog recording. No gaps. No information loss.
The black squares are digital samples recorded over a period of time. You can see there are gaps between those black squares. A tiny bit of time passes between the squares where nothing is sampled. INFORMATION LOSS! NOOOOO!
Clearly the vinyl nerds are correct and digital is inferior, right? You are going to get the dreaded... STAIR STEPS!
Not so fast, bucko!
By getting enough samples over a period of time, you can use math to infer that smooth sloping line connecting those individual samples. So the digital recording also has no information lost once it is converted back to analog and played through your speakers.
This connecting of dots is called "interpolation."
You could take the curvy analog, convert it to digital, get the same black squares, and then interpolate the black squares back into analog and get the same curvy line. It goes back and forth perfectly. And this is all verifiable with an oscilloscope.
Then of course you need a good dynamic range--the spectrum of quiet to loud. Anything above 85 decibels will damage your hearing, so they went with a 16-bit depth which covers roughly 100 dB. Again, giving them a little overhead for death metal and overzealous trumpet players.
And the final component is data bandwidth or "bitrate" usually measured in kilobits per second. This is how much data is read every second. The 1s and 0s of it all. The bitrate of a CD is calculated by multiplying 44,100 samples per second per channel by 16 bits per sample and then multiplying by 2 channels. After all that mathing is math'd, you get a perfectly uncompressed 1,411 kbps.
So you've got all the frequencies you could ever hear combined with as much volume as your ears can stand with a bit rate that will give you no loss of data.
The *perfect* audio quality all encoded into little microscopic pits.
Now you may be asking, "Why do I see "24/96" or "24/192" advertised on fancy audio equipment and high quality streaming platforms like Tidal? Aren't 24 bits better? Isn't 96 kHz MORE than 44.1 kHz?"
Dr. Nyquist might say... this is some bullshit.
This confusion comes from the fact that recording quality and playback quality are two different animals. This misunderstanding happens with video and photo quality as well. Recording in 6K will give you a sharper picture even if your final playback quality is 4K. You can get bad pixels and noise and stray photons that do not contribute to the detail in the video. By giving yourself overhead you can ensure you hit the desired quality target.
And recording at 24 bits and 96 or 192 kHz, you get a higher resolution to edit and master with, but it is only advantageous to the computer software... not the human ear.
From a photographer's perspective, I relate to it like this...
If I have more megapixels and more colors and more dynamic range I have more leeway when editing my photos. If you try to push a low quality photo in the edit, it has this tendency to fall apart. You can get ugly color banding and harsh contrast and sharpening artifacts. By capturing more quality than you need in the finished product, you can process the photo much more dramatically before it deteriorates and loses integrity.
Audio and video are the same way.
So let's say you have a metal singer that screams at the microphone as loud as possible from 2 inches away.
At 16 bits they may surpass that 100 decibel dynamic range and distort the recording. But if you record in 24 bits, you get 144 dB to play with. Or you can even do 32 bits and get 1500 dB--a volume that no human voice could ever surpass. It guarantees a clean, distortion free recording, but 32 bits would be pointless for human listening.
The same is true with the sample rate. Having a higher resolution allows you to zoom into waveforms and adjust things to an extremely granular level. You can do precise timings, tiny pitch adjustments, apply loads of digital effects, and just have more room for audio activities without degrading the sound quality.
But outputting 192,000 of those black squares is going to interpolate the exact same smooth curvy line as 44,100 when it is played through speakers.
The oscilloscope knows what I'm talking about.
Now I am about to reveal a secret that no audiophile who has invested in a $115,000 high resolution 32 bit/3,072 kHz DAC wants to acknowledge...
The master recording is always more important than the playback quality.
If you have a high quality source it will sound great even in a highly compressed MP3. Just like the 6K video is sharper on the 4K TV. And the high megapixel photo looks better in an Instagram post.
If the source is good, the media will be good.
And since high resolution audio services often seek out the best masters available before encoding their playback files, it gives many people the illusion they are getting better sound quality due to the boosted specs.
When in reality, it was just a better copy of the original recording.
According to Nyquist, your human ears are not computers and all you need is double the frequency to hear perfect sound with no loss of information. So anything above 16 bit/44.1 kHz/1411 kbps and you are just wasting bandwidth on a server.
And I don't want to hear anything about "stair stepping."
Your ears aren't better than math, okay?
If you don't believe in math, then you and Jack White can sit in the naughty math corner with his bespoke overpriced vinyl pressings.
I will say, there is a gap between your standard music streaming service like Spotify and your bullshit audiophile service like Tidal.
Free Spotify uses heavily compressed files. Which means the bitrate is quite low and there can be information loss. Or "lossy" compression. Modern compression is actually pretty amazing, but I'm afraid anything below 320 kbps may cause some songs to not sound as intended.
Depending on the content, some songs are more suited to compression than others. And even with premium Spotify, they cap songs at 320 kbps which still may not be enough for busier, harder-to-compress songs.
Also, I don't know if Spotify cares about getting the best quality master for a given song. Which, again, is the most important aspect of sound quality.
But services like Tidal waste bandwidth with their super specs and that isn't great for the environment. What I'd love to see is a company that makes their best effort to seek out high quality masters, and encodes their files at 16 bit/44 kHz with a lossless variable bit rate compression. Variable bit rate or "VBR" will do more compression during simpler parts of the audio and less compression during more complex parts. It's smart compression, basically. And as long as you use a high enough bitrate to achieve lossless compression, the sound quality will be the same as if there is no compression at all. So you still get smaller file sizes that use less bandwidth and have a smaller environmental impact.
That would be a streaming service I would consider paying for. Especially if they put great effort into getting high quality original recordings for their content.
In conclusion... if you are still using CDs you don't need to worry about audio quality. You're all set. There is a sort of beauty in what the audio scientists who created compact discs did. They figured out the limits of human audio perception and created a format that just slightly exceeded that. No "bigger number is better" marketing. No audiophile bullshit.
They said, "Here is what you need and nothing more."
They made a perfect thing and they should be proud of that.
UNHOLY MATRIMONY — 09
- fushiguro megumi x oc/reader
- oc/reader's character name is hara sena, pronouns still refer to “you” and i won’t mention it often—just for the sake of aesthetic rather than repeatedly writing "y/n"
in another life, in which fate is still screwing his life over, Fushiguro Megumi finds himself in an arranged marriage―with you.
arranged marriage au, full-blown angst, descriptions of misogynistic behavior, depression
this was a bit hard to write, i ran out of vocabularies *sigh*
listen to: pretender - official hige dandism. this track hits hard after everything :(
series masterlist | oneshot masterlist
You felt cold. It was hard to breathe. Your heart pounded so hard it felt like it might burst from your chest and your ears rang in a deafening crescendo.
Naoya was still laughing his head off. "I must admit, I'm utterly amazed. For a whore, you're remarkably cunning, I give you that."
Megumi spat out, hissing, "What are you talking about? What has she got to do with―"
"Oh but she has everything to do with this! She made deals, bribes, and manipulates the entire voting scheme―for you, or so I've heard!"
Megumi turned towards you. The overwhelming shock hit you like a tidal wave. You wanted to faint.
"Not even you know what she's capable of, it seems," Naoya taunted. "This is why we pick dumb women as wives, so that they can be kept in line."
"Sena," Megumi started, ignoring the manic twat and looking at you in abject disbelief. "What is he saying—" he appeared to make an effort to steady himself but failed, his chest heaving erratically. "—no. Is it true? What he said?"
"Me-Megumi..." you stammered, your body shaking. You felt lightheaded, and you weren't sure if you could offer him a coherent explanation at all. "I-it's not—that's not—!"
At that moment, Megumi could only feel dread. Everything he had known seemed to be nullified by the sight of you trembling before Naoya's blatant accusations.
You had bribed the elders to cast a vote for him instead? How? And why? Then, he caught sight of Gojo in the periphery of his vision, wearing a grim expression, and suddenly, everything fell into place.
Being called back to the Zen'in clan, your marriage, Naoya, why you pushed for him to become the clan head, and Gojo—all of it suddenly converged into a tangled web of understanding that made him freeze in place.
If that was the truth, then—
No, something still doesn't add up.
"But why? Why do you go this far?" he asked then, looking at you right in the eye. "What is your gain through—"
Naoya's cackles then filled his eardrums, and at that moment he realized that the bastard was the entire reason.
"You didn't want to marry him," he uttered in a low tone, slowly understanding. His heart hammered in his chest, each possible reasoning made him even more scared to find the ultimate truth. "It started from that, and Gojo-sensei—"
There was always a reason behind Gojo's actions. Even when he made it seem like he was acting on a whim, there was always a justifiable motive. Including adopting him. Megumi had suspected it even though he never said it out loud—he was still the best bargaining chip to the Zen'in after all. They had desired him, and the only reason they couldn't acquire him was Gojo's influence.
Which meant, from the very beginning, his return was also orchestrated through Gojo himself. In the right place and time, he could use him to exert control over Zen'in altogether. Megumi was too blinded with the prospect of releasing Tsumiki from her curse, and he took advantage of that.
"The two of you..." he trailed off. His heart pounded so hard that it was painful to even breathe, and he shuddered. This was too much.
His wife and his savior.
You and Gojo had wanted to put him up as Zen'in puppet clan head because you two had goals that only through him was achievable.
"Megumi!" Your frantic voice made him look up to you. "Please listen to me—"
He might have understood Gojo's ambitions. But you? How could you still go through with the plan to make him a clan head, even after knowing how he never wanted it in the first place?
Even though he has fallen in love with you? And you have fallen in love with him in return?
"I can't believe you," was the first thing that came out of his mouth. The sting of betrayal burned his chest, setting it aflame and engulfing him whole. "You are using me. All this time."
Tears pooled in your eyes, and he looked away. He couldn't bear to look at you at this moment.
There was no use to entertain the whole load of crappy Zen'in shitheads here any longer. This place was suffocating, so were your and Gojo's existences. He couldn't be here a second longer.
Megumi took resolute strides to depart from this wretched place.
"Megumi!" You were right behind him, calling out his name. He quickened his pace, refusing to look back.
"Please!" you begged. "I can explain! Please hear me out!"
He halted abruptly, nearly causing you to collide into him. Swiftly, he turned around to confront you, his expression strangely composed yet intimidating. It was the first time you had witnessed him this furious.
"Then explain," he coldly said.
"I—!" You went rigid, but you willed yourself to be calm. This moment was finally upon you. You owed him this, at the very least.
The intensity of his gaze, filled with a palpable sense of resentment and suspicion, made you feel nauseated. Even at this moment, your head throbbed, and you struggled to remain upright.
"I made a binding vow with Gojo," you began, and your heart shattered as you saw him shut his eyes and clench his fists. Witnessing him in such agony pained you deeply. "I turned to him after my father said I'd be married off to Naoya. I had no other choice, my father bound me to another vow to marry a Zen'in. You were still one by blood. I did it to free my mother—and for a chance of a better marriage."
Hearing it directly from you only fueled his rage. Megumi scowled. "It must have been fun to toy with someone's life and feelings. I didn't even have to be dragged into this, and yet you manipulated me into it."
"No, it wasn't!" you vehemently fired back. "I felt really, really guilty. But at the same time, I dreaded the day of you knowing. It’s unfair to you, I-I know."
"If you know that, you should have told me from the very beginning." Megumi's tone was harsh, unforgiving. "That way we could've settled it with a divorce and end it at that."
You whimpered as you struggled to hold back your sobs. This time, your own heart was the one shredded in pieces.
"I—" you choked on your own words, feeling your eyes welling up with oncoming tears. "I'm sorry. I-I'm really sorry, Megumi. I didn't mean to deceive you... Really..."
"If you were in my position, how would you feel?" he challenged, his anger still simmering. "Knowing that maybe, all of this—" he gestured into the empty space for emphasis, "—is built on deception. Realizing that the woman you love and the person you look up to were conspiring solely for their own benefit, never considering your feelings, and instead manipulating you like a pawn. How would you feel?"
His words struck a chord, and you cried harder, unable to give him a response.
"At least tell me this." Megumi fixed his gaze on you, and you noticed that he, too, had the beginnings of tears in his eyes. "From the beginning to the end, is that how you always see me? A means to your goals? Do you even love me at all?"
"I love you!" Amidst your clogging tears and the searing pain in your chest, that was one thing you could say with absolute certainty. "I love you. I love you, Megumi. After my mother died, I—really don't have anything left to live. I lost everything. You... when you said that you were going to stay with me then… I was so happy. It was the happiest I've ever been in my life."
You wiped your eyes with the back of your hand, voice quivering. "If t-there's nothing you can believe anymore... then, please, just believe this: I love you, Fushiguro Megumi."
"That's... just too convenient," he whispered, his voice tinged with a touch of brokenness as well. You wept at his answer. "After all this, how can I?"
He pondered all the moments you had shared together, and his chest tightened with the weight of the betrayal. Despite your straightforward confession, he found it hard to fully accept it at face value.
In his eyes, everything you said, did, or even looked like from that point onwards seemed like nothing but lies. You were suddenly the worst person to him.
"The fact remains that you used my feelings for your own gains." His words stabbed through your heart like a dagger. "If you really love me—why did you push your luck by getting me to be installed as the clan head? You know damn well I don't want that shit in the first place."
“How did you even do that? What did you promise Zen’in Ogi and the rest of them so that you could make me—win this fucking thing?”
You suddenly felt shame all over. “They already dislike Naoya. I just—I just took advantage of that…”
“Right, that’s what you do best,” Megumi bitterly spat, and you flinched. “What will they gain if I come out as the victor? There’s more to that.”
“T-They… can drive Naoya away, and you… they simply want you because of your Ten Shadows Technique.”
He drew in a sharp breath. “You’re selling me off to them. That’s precisely what you are doing.”
“Me-Megumi…” The torrent of tears made you shiver. Now everything was out in the open, and even you couldn’t help but cringe at it. You were a cruel human being. “But trust me, I—”
“Did you plan all of this?” His eyes scorched yours, and you felt like this was the moment of truth. “Or was this Gojo’s doing and you were just going along with him?”
“I… he—it was one of the conditions of our binding vow—”
“Answer me. Yes or no.” Megumi attempted to steady himself, feeling his own composure wavering. The gravity of the situation rested on your response. If it wasn’t you, he might still find it in him to forgive you, he might still—
Your intensified weeping revealed the truth before any words could convey, however.
“Me… It’s all m-me...”
This was his last straw.
Your cries still hung in the air. “But Megumi! Please believe me when I said—”
"It's no use," he interjected, his gaze pierced and tore through you. "You don't have to say anything more. I can't find it in me to believe anything you say at this point."
"M-Megumi..." His frigid tone sliced through your tears, rendering you speechless and unable to articulate your thoughts. "P-Please..."
He abruptly spun on his heels and started to walk away. Panic surged within you, and a lump formed in your throat. Desperately, you reached out and grasped his arm tightly.
Megumi forcefully wrenched your hand off him, casting you a stern glare, fiery intensity that conveyed his resolute anger.
"Don't," he rasped. "It's done. We are done. I don't want to see you ever again."
With those words, he left you in utter devastation, in the middle of the gardens of Zen'in estate—the very same place he led you to during your wedding day.
Sobs wracked your whole body as you watched his retreating back. You had known that this day would come. You had known that your time with him was limited, with how you kept this terrible secret and played him like a fool. You know that, deep down, you know it—
Yet it hurts. So much. It really hurts. It felt like someone carved your chest open and brought your heart out for everyone to see. Every second was a scorching ache that made you want to chase after him desperately, but your broken heart tethered on your conscience, willing you back as you knew what was the best for him.
At the end of the day, it’s your fault. As you sunk to the numbness that overtook you, you began to realize that.
Three days later, everything still felt totally fresh out of a nightmare.
Megumi had left the apartment. He only went back once after the second hearing to grab a few things and that was it. Even when he was this furious, he didn’t drive you out of his place and instead, he was the one who left.
These days felt like a living hell. You barely ate, slept and did what any normal people did to survive. This time, you faced your sorrows alone, and you were drowning fast. The headache, queasiness, and sense of worthlessness that overwhelmed you lately didn’t help, if anything, it worsened your grief.
This time, you really hoped the earth would just swallow you whole, so that you would be freed from this pain.
You remembered how you desperately tried to explain yourself before him. You lamented to yourself bitterly—what could have you said anyway? Trust me, I love you. This is all for you? Such words wouldn’t make any difference. The fact remained that you played him like a fool, steering the destiny of his life with your own hands.
Nevertheless, you still had a life to live. And Naoya was still there, with the looming threat of his duel. You had to prevent that from happening somehow. Knowing Megumi, he would most likely ditch him, but seeing the current situation, Naoya wouldn’t let him go easily.
That was it. The final act you could do for him. You had enough of this and it was debt you were due of. You would release Megumi from the Zen’in clutches, and if you were lucky enough, you would bring Naoya down with you.
chapter 8 <- previous | next -> chapter 10
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Moth of the Week
Salt Marsh Moth
The salt marsh moth is a part of the family Erebidae. This species was first described in 1773 by Dru Drury. It is also known as the acrea moth.
Description Both male and female moths have white heads, thoraxes, and forewings with a varying pattern of black spots on the forewings, with some moths having no pattern at all. They also share an orange-yellow abdomen with a vertical line of back dots. On the male, the hindwings are the same organge yellow while on females the hindwings are white. Both males and females have three or four black dots on each hindwing.
Wingspan Range: 4.5 - 6.8 cm (≈1.77 - 2.68 in)
Diet and Habitat The caterpillar was first thought to be a pest to salt-grass, but in fact it prefers weeds, vegetables, and field crops such as dandelions, cabbage, cotton, walnuts, apple, tobacco, pea, potato, clovers, and maize. Adults do not feed.
This moth is found in North America, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Colombia, and Mexico. It prefers open habitats such as openings in woods, thickets, farm fields, grasslands, and marshes. It is called the “salt marsh moth” because it is common in coastal salt marshes (tidal marshes) along Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts.
Mating This species of moth does not emit pheromones from the tip of its abdomen but instead from its throat or the to of its abdomen. These moths are seen from May to August but can be seen all year in southern Florida and Texas. It is presumably during May and August they mate in most parts of their range while they mate all year round in Florida and Texas.
Yellowish eggs are laid in clusters on the host plant leaves. Females usually produce 400 to 1000 eggs in one or more clusters. It is possible to find a single egg cluster containing 1200 eggs. Eggs hatch in four to five days.
Predators This species is frequently parasitized as larvae, usually by flies in the Tachinidae family. In Arizona, the most common parasites were Exorista mellea and Leschenaultia adusta while two other parasitic flies were also seen: Gymnocarcelia ricinorum and Lespesia archippivora.
Both the larval and egg stages are oararzitized by Hymenopteran parasitoids such as Apanteles diacrisiae; Therion fuscipenne, T. morio, Casinaria genuina, Hyposoter rivalis; Psychophagus omnivorus, Tritneptis hemerocampae Vierick; Anastatus reduvii; and Trichogramma semifumatum.
A cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus is known to harm this species but there are little data on its importance and effect.
General predators such as lady beetles, softwinged flower beetles, and assassin bugs prey on these caterpillars, but are not thought to have a large impact on population.
Fun Fact This species has 4 subspecies: Estigmene acrea acrea, Estigmene acrea arizonensis (Rothschild, (1910)) (Arizona), Estigmene acrea mexicana (Walker, (1865)) (Mexico), Estigmene acrea columbiana (Rothschild, (1910)) (Colombia).
(Source: Wikipedia, University of Florida, Missouri Department of Conservation)
elysium (zoro x fem!reader)
fluffiest of the fluff! you and zoro get lost on his birthday wc: 975 this is so self indulgent
Sweet lavender haze settled quietly in the clearing, overgrown with tiny wildflowers. The soft midday sun on the spring island you had stopped at for supplies was partially covered by clouds, its warmth broken up by gentle gusts of breeze. A pair of arms holds you close, back pressed against a hard chest, preventing the wind from dusting a light chill on your upper arms. The fresh spring growth is as naïve and new as your steps past a mere friendship, and as green as his mossy hair.
You both had no idea where you were or how you had gotten there.
Zoro always appreciated the way you never teased him for his lack of direction; it was out of respect and understanding on your part, but deep down it amused him that your internal compass was almost as offset as his. The rest of the crew saw him getting lost as something ranging from an annoyance to a burden, but you never seemed to mind. At times you would even drag him further away from your intended course, eager to drink in the sensations of your unfamiliar surroundings. Tiny quiet ponds, tidal pools hidden behind perilous crags of rocks, and peaceful, open clearings like this one were secret rifts in the fabric of reality where time seemingly stopped; he held these moments close to his heart.
“Looks pretty.” he says as he presses a kiss to your cheek, voice still carrying the weight of sleep. You hum a quiet thanks in return, engrossed in your work, but still flushing pink at his praise. A colorful landscape painting of the field in front of you sits, nearly finished, in the pochade box on your lap; he’s impressed that your brushstrokes hadn’t suffered despite him restricting the movement of your arms somewhat as he held you.
He leans forward and watches the side of your face with a soft, sleepy smile as you squint, concentrating on adding the finishing highlights, trying to capture the warm glow of the sun. The adorable and slightly eccentric way you scrunched your nose and bit the inside of your cheeks when you were focused was just so fun for him to watch, just as you were intoxicated by the determined look in his eyes when he trained.
Laying back against the tree trunk that served as his bed just moments ago, he admires the flow of your hair in the wind and lifts a bottle of sake to his lips. The clear liquor is expensive, rich, and smooth—you had borrowed a fortune from Nami to gift it to him. Licking his lips and setting it down, he almost feels guilty that the bottle is already nearly empty.
As you clean your brushes and wipe the paint from your palette, Zoro absentmindedly starts picking flowers in reach and placing them in your hair. By the time you start to pack up your box of supplies, he’s turned you into a sight to rival the field in front of you, a rainbow of petals tangled in your thick hair, at one time straight but turned wild and wavy with the mist of the sea. As you turn around in his lap to show him the finished piece, he nearly forgets to look, completely captivated by the excitement in your eyes; when his eyes drop to examine your work, his chest brims with pride. Decisive, impressionistic brushstrokes captured not just the physical but the emotional. One of your best.
“I’m so proud of you.” he says, unable to hide the grin on his face. In these quiet moments alone with you, he finds it easier to display his emotions without the shame of being vulnerable; he is also appreciative of the way you effortlessly can read his face during all the other times when he finds himself incapable of peeling back his shell.
He listens intently as you walk him through your process, analyzing your metaphorical leaps forward and steps back, just as you do when he informs you on the outcomes of his workouts; this was your training, and your discipline to your dream enrooted you into his heart on a visceral level. When you finally finish, he offers you the last swig of sake from the bottle.
“You’ve earned this.” he says, watching as you eagerly tip the bottle into your mouth, making sure you swallow every last drop. By the time the bottle is placed to the side, his lips are on yours, chasing the taste of liquor, and melting into your soft but passionate touch.
Pulling away to glimpse the dreamy look on your face leaves him breathless. Sun illuminating your wispy stray strands of hair, petals scattered in your hair, and barely-there freckles dusting your cheeks from too many naps in the sun, you’re a goddess of spring through and through. Worn, stamped patchwork pants straddle his thighs as he cups your cheek.
“I love you, Zoro.”
Though you often expressed your emotions through gentle looks and unspoken touches, it’s the first time it’s been spoken aloud.
“I love you too.”
He’s a demon basking in the glory of being bathed in light. Despite your divine appearance, you require no sacrifice of him, no rituals of humiliation—only a piece of his heart.
He gives it over to you whole.
In return he only asks that you stay by his side, following him to the Underworld and sacrificing your chance at salvation to walk through hell with him.
You take the lead, tugging on his hand as you stumble through the fire licking at your feet.
As Zoro begins a new turn around the sun, he counts the amount of times he’s shared sake with you and prays that twelve sinful sips are enough to keep you in his clutches for all his years to come.
𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐲𝐨𝐮
Earth 42!miles x GN! reader
Warnings: breakup, hurt/no comfort, angst fr
Word count: 967
you hoped and prayed that miles would show up to your christmas family dinner.
please fucking let him show up for once. it seemed like he was never there for you these days.
today was supposed to be the day he met your extended family, along with your parents and a few friends. he had been distant recently, which led to you having several sleepless nights wondering if you had did something wrong
as the evening went on, you earned pitied looks from your cousins as the knot in your stomach grew with time
you had to be real with yourself at some point. he wasn't coming.
"I'm sorry honey, we were all excited to meet him" your dad said, softly patting your shoulder
"it's fine, i'm not sure what i was expecting anyway."
you suddenly stood up from the chair you were sitting in, gaining everyone's attention
"i'm sorry everyone, but i think i'm going to go lay down. it's been a long day"
the moment you closed your door, the tears began to fall. deep down, you wondered why you put up with him. it was humiliating to make promises to people, saying he'd be there, saying he cares about you, saying he loved you. everyone knew that was a damn lie.
you sniffled and picked up your phone, dialing your boyfriend's number as you sank down to the floor and waited for that familiar deep voice that used to be comforting.
you hesitated for a moment, the knot in your stomach tightening at the nonchalant way he responded
"miles, where were you today? you said you'd be here, right?"
"mhm, I got caught up in work, sorry. it's not like i missed anything important"
more tears began to fall as your heart broke at the sentence, everyone was right and you knew it all along.
"you know what, miles?" you could barely get the words out, choking back sobs
"don't call me. don't come over, don't worry about meeting my family. all you care about is yourself, right? you're fucking selfish. i waited for months for you to act like you gave 2 fucks about me, and you never did."
your finger hovered over the red hangup button, your last flame of hope dying out due to the silence on the other end. "it's over."
after you wait a couple of seconds, you hung up and slid down to the floor, clasping your hand over your mouth to stifle your sobs. how did you get here? you couldn't sleep whatsoever, and through the hours of the remaining night you thought of the course of your relationship, eventually drifting off into a slumber.
the next few days were miserable and tear-filled, which earned concerned looks from your family. you had spent the day packing up everything that reminded you of *him*, though it wasn't helping you feel any better. at some point, you came across some of his things, like his hoodies that you had worn during late night talks, polaroid pictures that you two had taken together, gifts he had gotten you and various keepsakes. how did you fucking get here? at some point, you knew he'd have to come collect his things.
2 days later, you called him.
his house was about 30 minutes from yours, so you had time to prepare. it had been 7 few days since you broken up, 2 days since you decided to call him to collect his stuff. your hands were shaking as you packed his belongings into a box, this is better for you, you know it is. as soon as you move on, the better. out of sight, out of mind.
that was until the doorbell rang, indicating his arrival.
"do you need some support?" your mom peeked around the corner, flashing a concerned look in your direction.
"i think i've got it, mom, thank you." truth be told, you weren't so confident about seeing him again. that painfully familiar knot was twisting in your gut once more
as you opened it, the painful memories hit you like a tidal wave. his brown eyes, how securely he used to hold you at night when you cried, his smile.
fucking hell, you couldn't do this. it was supposed to be a brief exchange, but it got overwhelming so damn fast. trying to keep tears from welling up, you took a deep breath and tried to stifle down the feeling of regret that was building up the longer you looked at him.
"do you have my stuff or?" he looked at you expectantly. it was like you hadn't even broken up.
just hearing his voice made you realize how badly you still wanted to be with him. but is it it too late for you to work? you didn't really give him the chance to speak on the phone..
you hesitated for a minute "miles, look, i'm sorry for blowing up without letting you talk.."
"nah, you're all good. it's better for both of us" that's it? had he been unhappy the whole time? were you just a forgotten nuisance to him?
"no, miles, i'm sorry. i should've let you explain, it was unfair and i think we could fi-"
"[name], stop. you were right, it's not working in between us. i'm better off without you, and, well, you can handle being without me."
his nonchalant words pierce you like 1000 knifes. your heartbeat was in your ears, and you didn't feel in control of your words
"miles.. i still love y-"
"and i loved you. we're in the past now, it's time to let us go."
you were stunned, and with that, he took his opportunity to pull his things from your hands and leave.
you crumpled to your knees soon after that, sobbing quietly
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Florence Pugh x reader
Y/N heard the news on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. The pop of a champagne cork echoed around her small apartment as the radiant face of Florence Pugh, her Florence, filled the television screen.
"Breaking news," the anchor had said, a hint of scandalous excitement in his voice. "Hollywood sweetheart Florence Pugh is officially engaged."
The world seemed to shift under Y/N's feet. She could feel a heavy, hollow sensation spread through her chest. She had always known it would come, but the reality was a raw wound, exposed and burning.
Y/N clutched the remote tight, a futile effort to steady herself. The soft murmurs of the TV echoed hollowly around the room as the broadcaster continued to discuss the news.
A new image filled the screen, a picture of Florence and her fiancé. Florence looked beautiful, as always, her signature blond curls cascading down her shoulders, her azure eyes twinkling. But there was something missing in that sparkle. A piece of Florence that Y/N knew was her own. A piece that she kept safe in her heart, even though they'd gone their separate ways.
When the phone rang, she almost didn't answer. She knew who it would be. The familiar, soft voice that seemed to wrap around her like a warm hug.
"Y/N?" It was Raffie, Florence's younger sister and Y/N's best friend.
Y/N swallowed, forcing out a nonchalant, "Hey, Raffie."
There was a pause. "You've seen it then?"
"Yes." Her voice sounded so small, so frail.
There was a sigh on the other end. "I'm sorry, Y/N. I wanted to tell you before it went public, but Flo..."
Y/N pressed her lips together, stifling the tears that threatened to spill over. "It's okay, Raffie. It was bound to happen."
She knew Raffie was in an impossible position, torn between her love for her sister and her best friend. Raffie, who had been there through every tear and heartbreak, every whispered conversation late into the night, every stolen moment that they could no longer have.
Silence filled the line, a weight that pulled at the words they couldn't say.
"I wish..." Raffie started, then stopped. "Flo isn't... She's not happy, Y/N. She's trying, but I know my sister."
Tears welled up in Y/N's eyes. The idea that Florence was out there, putting on a brave face while her heart wasn't in it, hurt more than anything. She remembered Florence's laughter, the way her eyes would light up when she was truly happy.
She missed that Florence. The Florence before the fame and the flashing lights. The Florence that belonged only to her.
"I know, Raffie," Y/N said quietly. "I know."
The conversation ended with a promise to meet, to talk, to perhaps find some solace in shared heartache.
Alone again, Y/N allowed herself to crumble, to feel the tidal wave of emotions she'd been holding back. The apartment filled with the sound of heartbreak, echoing off the walls and into the lonely night.
But with heartbreak comes a painful truth, a realization that sometimes, the love of your life slips through your fingers, dances in another's arms, kisses under another's sky. And all you're left with are memories, ghostly imprints of a love that once consumed you, a love that continues to echo through your life long after the music has stopped.
And sometimes, the most potent form of love is the one that hurts the most.
tidal wave ; charles leclerc
— summary; in which her song recommendations to him all had a motive, telling him what she felt towards him. They said flood it like a tidal wave though, hopefully not?
pairing — charles leclerc x f. reader ( third person story )
word count — 1147.
content — friends to lovers, charles being there for her when she’s drunk, being there for her in general. “this reminded me of you” because i love it and charles holding her hair back when she vomits.
NAVIGATION + author’s note: swear this was supposed to be a drabble but i got carried away, a long drabble yeah 🙏🏻😓
Being woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of his phone constantly vibrating should pissed him off. And it did yet he finds himself glancing at the Caller ID instead of letting it ring or declining it. Charles mentally cursed at himself for not turning on airplane mode before heading to sleep.
Amore mio 🤍, the Caller ID displayed the contact of his best-friend who he would prefer calling her his love. A habit he had grown into since they had met and was never able to quit it. “Amore, it’s late and you should be sleeping, why are you calling? Is something wrong, do you need me to be there?”
Charles realised it sounded stupid to jump to the conclusion that she needed help immediately but who would call at half past 4 in the morning unless they weren’t in trouble or needed help. “I’m at the club.” She slurred her speech, the live band playing picked up through the phone.
“Yeah I can hear that. You need me to pick you up, amore?” Sure he needed to catch up on sleep after he had spent extra hours into the dusk days earlier, jetlagged too from all the flying around. Charles had always been an insomniac, it just got to him with everything on his shoulders. But it was only just now where he managed to sleep at 2 before his phone rang.
“Were you sleeping? Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you up, I know how hard it is for you to fall asleep.” It seemed funny to Charles that she still remembers he’s an insomniac despite being drunk. “No I wasn’t sleeping, tossing and turning in bed until you called.” She could easily tell it was a lie with how hoarse he had sounded when he first picked up the phone.
“The live band sang a song earlier and the lyrics reminded me of you.” She had been about all these lyrics and songs thing the past week, constantly sending him the links and a “reminded me of you” attached to the message. “Send it over, I’ll listen to it later. Do you need me to pick you up?”
“No I can get home on my own and it’s still early, go to sleep Charles.” He would have gone to sleep but 4 in the morning was certainly not early, not knowing she’s home safe would have left him restless. “Still early when it’s already 4? I’ll pick you up, no buts.”
He threw on the white sweatshirt that sat on the chair by his desk, still in the grey sweatpants while tracking her location through his phone that was connected to his Find My app. He thanked the lord for the club being the one near his apartment, he could easily reach it in 5 minutes if he jogged.
That’s exactly what Charles did as he found himself in the middle of the club, eyes settling on her right away as she sat by the bar. “Amore, we have to go home yeah? Get on my back, I’ll carry you back.” Her cheeks flushed, lips cherry red and eyes droopy. Charles would not succumb to looking in her eyes, not when he knew looking at her cute drunken state would leave his heart to skip a beat.
She only groaned in response as she got on his back, this was way too familiar for the both of them. Charles had always offered his back whenever her feet ached from walking or her heels biting at them, or when she found herself drunk and lightheaded. His back would always be ready for her. He loved the feeling of her on his back anyways, it felt like she was a part of him. “Have you listened to the song I sent you?”
“No, we can listen to it together on the way back. Here, take it and play it.” He hands her his phone and she unlocked it, her birthday being the password. The lyrics shouldn’t have striked him in his heart as it should but the songs she had recommended over the past few weeks have lines similar to it. But I'll pray for you all the time. If I could be by your side I'll give you all my life, my seasons.
Charles shrugs the feeling off as they reach the door to his apartment and quickly unlock the door with the code. She got off his back, making her way towards the bathroom whilst swaying from side to side, unable to balance her footing. The sound of her retching made Charles shuffle towards her, half bent by her side as he held her hair back.
“Amore, why were you at the club on a weekday? And alone? You could have asked me to join you.” He watched as she stood up, washing her mouth. God she still looked beautiful even if she was this miserable looking after everything that happened. “Knew you were busy and I wanted to be alone.” He could never be too busy for her though. Her words still slurry and eyelids begging to be closed as she made her way towards his guest room only to be stopped halfway.
“You’re sleeping with me, let me take care of you tonight.” He tosses her his slightly smaller sweatpants with drawstrings and a white tee, giving her space to change while he retrieves a glass of water and a Ibuprofen tablet.
“Feel better soon.” Charles tucks her in under his duvets, placing the cup by his bedside table before slipping under the cover too. “Haven’t you noticed?” She mumbled into the crook of his neck, his arm thrown over her wait as he pulled her in closer. He liked having her close to him, and loved how warm she felt against him. “Noticed what, amore?”
“The lyrics. The lyrics of the songs I send you, they’re telling you something, Charles.” He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t paid attention to them because he truly did and wondered about it before trying to fall asleep the past few days. “You’re wasted and tired, go to sleep, amore. We’ll talk about it when you’re sober.”
“They say drunken words are sober thoughts, why can’t you see that Charles?” She shuts her eyes closed, not wanting to hear his response before the fatigue overtook her body within seconds. Yeah she had been tired and wasted just like Charles said, he was too familiar with how she’d behave when drunk.
“Told you that you’re tired, we’ll talk in the morning. Ti amo, amore mio.” The steady soft breathing of hers had found a way to calm Charles down as for the first time in a long time, has he ever fallen asleep within seconds.
Yet would anyone ever know that his I love you were words he actually meant.
Baby, Kiss Me:
steve harrington x fem! reader
Summary: Tangled up in the bed sheets all night, Steve can’t stop asking for kisses and you blurt out three little words to him. | masterlist | steve's music | even if a fic is not marked 18+, my blog is - please respect this
WC Range: 1k-3k
Warnings: none really? Petnames used, lots of kissing
"Baby," roaming hands lead to tingling spines, a wet and precise press of silk lips to the column of your throat before they brush against your skin as he commands, "Baby, kiss me."
Humming as you card your fingers through his hair, his mouth moves over your skin, savoring your taste, cherishing your sighs, making your eyelashes flutter.
A tangle of limbs, soft sheets swirled around you both, chests moving together as one breathes out and the other breathes in. The soft glow of purple dawn leaking in through the curtains behind his shoulder lets you know you've been at it for hours. That didn't seem to matter to Steve though, who was still asking for kisses between small bouts of almost falling asleep.
Mouth on his temple, you press your lips to his skin once, "Steve," another press, a squeeze of his fingers to your side, "It's almost five in the morning."
Arms wrapping around your back, falling into your hair to cradle your neck, he pulls you away so he can see your eyes, asking softly and a little smugly - proud of himself, "Yeah?"
Noses bumping together just slightly as you nod, hands trailing from his hair, to neck, to press to his chest. Your tone aching to not be amused, yet you are, "Yeah."
Rustling of sheets as he moves his body closer, his sun kissed skin pressing against yours. Steve was your sunshine, cradling you close like he was made to keep you safe and warm always. How could you not want to spend every moment fighting sleep to be closer to him?
His fingers trail down your side, a large and calloused hand grabbing at your thigh and pulling your leg across his hip as he sighs, breath warm across your cheek as he asks, "Can we not kiss at five in the morning?"
Laughing quietly, your fingers drag through his dark chest hair as a tidal wave of butterflies hiccup in your stomach. His fingertips buzz circles and swirls into your thigh, around your hip and back down.
A kiss to your nose, your cheek, your jaw, he whines against your skin, voice barely louder than a breath, "I can't stop."
He doesn't miss the way your leg wraps around him a little tighter at his admission, the way your hands press against his chest to bring you closer to him, not to push yourself away.
His hand on your lower back secures you as he rolls onto his, roaming down your body to lay you against him, thighs straddling his, nose bumping your chin as he pleads, "Just one more kiss?"
Dipping into the crook of his neck you hum as you place a kiss on his sweet pair of freckles, your little vampire bite - your favorite spot to tease him, fingers reaching up to brush them and he shivers.
Voice exasperated but tinged with humor, he sighs as he squeezes your hips, "Baby," hands moving to cup your butt, you roll your hips against him as you kiss them again. He moans, "Baby, you know that's not what I meant."
A laugh escapes you, "Steve," he squeezes your butt at his name, lips pestering your temple and forehead as you speak to his neck, "We haven't slept. We need to get some-"
He rolls you suddenly, eliciting more laughter and he's on top of you, smiling. Nose and forehead touched to yours and his eyes make you fall deeper, the colors of the ocean more prominent in them in the early morning light. Welcoming the feeling of drowning in him when he looks at you like that.
Like he loves you.
Your legs on either side of his hips raise, knees caging him in and your hands reach up to find his hair again, soft locks against your fingertips. Scratching at his scalp lightly he moans at the feeling, a small yawn escaping him. His eyes widen and he's dipping into your neck, gasping around your laughter, mumbling, "Trying to make me fall asleep," he kisses your neck, "Using the hair trick. Despicable, babe."
A form of payback, he kisses around your neck. Just barely touching the area he knows you want him most until you're wiggling and squirming underneath him.
Lips so close to that spot he can melt you with, he's greedy with his power. He nips at your ear before whispering, "Just a goodnight kiss?"
Soft whimpers from the kisses egg him on and he keeps going, lips moving up and down, but never in just the right place. Trying to remain strong you whisper, "It's five A.M, Steve Harrington," he kisses just under your ear finally, nose brushing up as you shiver. You arch your body against him as he presses another kiss to the area. His breath hot in contrast to the wet of his kiss, raising goosebumps across your skin as you remind him, "The time for goodnight kisses has long passed."
He kisses the spot again, "Well then," another kiss before a soft scrape of his teeth as he hums, "a good morning one then?"
Giggling at his antics that haven't stopped, his smile against your neck, body warm from his, buzzing off the high his lips give you - it's all to blame for what falls out.
"I love you."
The clock on the nightstand is a cruel enemy, each punctuating tick a kick to your gut as the seconds pass and he says nothing in return.
Panicking that you've ruined everything you're about to backtrack when he sits up, pulling you with him. Legs wrapped around his waist, his muscular arms around your back, chests pressed together, you feel his heart beating against you as he whispers, "What?"
Carefully pulling your hands from his hair, you cradle his cheeks. Thumbs brushing softly back and forth, you take a deep breath and repeat your devotion louder, "I love you, Steve Harrington."
His grin is so wide, dimples peeking out from under your hands and he squeezes you closer to him, "I love you too," his forehead presses to yours, "So much."
The ticking clock drowned out by your hammering heart, you can barely hear yourself ask, "Really?"
The warm pads of his fingers press deeper into your spine, nose bumping against yours as he pulls you tighter to him. Your body filling with warmth, you could overflow with buzzing nerves and excitement - with love.
Your hand moves down his jaw and his eyes flutter closed as your thumb glides over his bottom lip. He nods as you feel the exhale from his slowly parting lips, hear the almost inaudible gulp before his eyes open again.
Warm hand reaching in between yours to cradle your face in the same way you are. His eyes a swirling sea of safety, love, home as he breathes the words out against your lips once more, "I love you."
Lips pressing to yours, you could float away if his body wasn't the thing tethering you to the earth. Your hands pull him closer to you, fingers in the hair at the tips of his ears as his draws your mouth open for him.
Parted lips allow your sighs to fall into him as you feel his brows furrowing against your forehead as he focuses on your kissing. Lips moving slowly like honey dripping into you, soft and sweet like ice cream dissolving on your tongue as they taste each other, plush and comforting like the pillows he was pressing you down into.
Locking your arms around his neck, legs still around his waist, his elbows cage you in, hands tangling in your hair as he cradles the sides of your face. Kissing that's effortless and makes you keen up into his body, makes you want to freeze it in time, to let the pocket you're in together surround you forever - absorbing every touch, every sound, every movement.
But focusing on the way Steve sighs into your parted lips, the way his fingers brush your hair behind your ears, the way his nose bumps yours or his hips roll against you makes you greedy - makes you want more.
Kissing Steve is always sweet, but knowing how he feels now - how you both feel, means there's a passion and fire that was quietly building under the surface until you were both ready to set it free. A pan that’s been over the heat for too long and is threatening to bubble and boil over, too much to contain any longer.
Lips moving faster, like you were chasing the other before they could leave. Stronger, love and lust filled as your bodies press against each other harder. Gasping for air around one another's mouths until you have to part and catch your breath.
Steve is the first to pull away, forehead still pressed to yours as he pants, kissing you one more time, a short press of his lips. His eyes still closed and your hearts hammering against each other's chests, desperate to be closer, to claw out of your own skin and into the other's if they could.
Your hands find his hair again and your voice is raspy, not your own as you let out a quiet whine, "Steve," his eyes flutter open as your whisper lands against his cheek, and your body arches closer to him, "Baby, kiss me."
His mouth twitches into a smile and he keeps eye contact as he moves his head just slightly, pressing his lips softly to your wrist.
You roll your eyes as his smile becomes a smug smirk and you vow you'll never deny Steve Harrington a kiss again.
Can always add you to a Steve, Eddie, Robin, or combo for tag lists, just let me know 💞
Tag list: @boomhauer @loveshotzz @myobmaya @sweetsweetjellybean
I found hundreds of these bugs on the rocks right at water level! They were not very skittish, and they ranged from about a centimeter in length to maybe even two inches. I'd like an ID, without posting the location publicly, but submissions aren't working for me, so I'll send in a second ask with just the location. :)
Looks like wharf lice! They're a type of isopod found in tidal areas.
𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅 | 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒘𝒐
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a/n: here it is! chapter 2 of sand <3 lemme know how you like it and if you would like to be tagged!
warnings: unrequited love, angst, and fear.
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People gawked at Nesta and Y/N as they spun around the dancefloor. The branch that sprouted when Y/N first met Nesta’s eyes grew larger and even more potent as the two twisted and twirled.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Nesta’s mate watch with amusement at them the whole time as their feet carried them through the song. Thankfully, her mother taught her everything from ballroom dancing to different court dances. But the way Nesta danced was something completely other than what Y/N was used to.
Nesta’s eyes never left Y/N’s as they danced. Time slowed as they flitted around the room, unaware of the crowd that circled them as they moved. Cassian’s eyes bounced from her to Nesta. The branches within her soul glowed in answer when she met his eyes. Shock and hope crashed into Y/N like a tidal wave. She wanted to cry with joy but she didn’t want to make a scene in front of the entire crowd.
There’s no way.
Y/N didn’t want to believe that the couple were both of her mates. She looked back up at Nesta who smirked in answer. “Something the matter, Y/N?” Nesta pulled her closer so that there was barely a gap left between them. A cloudy haze swept over Y/N’s vision and she swore it was the mating bond. Swore that it was trying to push them even closer than they already are.
Yes, you and your mate are my mates.
She wouldn’t dare speak of it to anyone, not even her mother. She couldn’t have them even though she longed for a love, or in her case, loves. Y/N shook her head.
After the song was over, Nesta's icy gray eyes burned into Y/N’s as they stepped away from each other. Applause rang throughout the ballroom and when Y/N looked to the dais, she saw that the High Lady and High Lord were smiling and clapped.
Nesta kissed Y/N’s hand and said, “Thank you for dancing with me. I hope to see you again,” Nesta walked past Y/N, her scent filled in the air in front of her and her black sequin dress trailed behind the Lady of Death.
Once she knew no eyes were on her anymore, she turned and stepped out of the ballroom, down the hallway and into the dark empty alley. Exactly where no one would see her. She leaned against the brick wall and ran her hands through her hair. The knowledge of her never being able to have her mates crashed into her. Waves of grief flooded her senses and threatened to pull her under.
She had to get away from their presence or it would drive her mad.
All night she cried and threw rocks at the pond away from the ducks. She knew her parents would come looking for her eventually but she stayed away mainly because of her brother. He would laugh at her if he found out about the mating bond between her, Lady Death and Lord of Bloodshed.
Why is it that every time I get close to love, it’s ripped away from me?
Six Months Later
Y/N stood in front of the High Lord and High Lady, her hands trembling from the energy that radiated in the air. Rhysand stood from his throne and walked down the dais steps. Feyre followed closely behind him.
“Do you know why we called you here, Y/N?”
She shook her head. So many thoughts ran through her mind.
Did I do something to upset them?
They’re going to kill me.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Rhysand who placed a hand on her arm. Claws scraped against her mind as she made her thoughts halt. His eyes widened and then softened at her alarm.
He looked to Feyre then back to Y/N, “Tell me about your invisibility. How do you do it?”
Y/N’s blood chilled and the trembling in her hands increased. Panic raced through her until a softer pair of claws gently scratched her mind. Her body relaxed and she felt safe. She took a breath and brushed her palms down the front of her dress.
“Your skill of invisibility is needed. After your dance with Nesta, you disappeared out of thin air.” Once again, her blood froze in her veins.
Feyre placed a hand on the High Lord’s arm as she said, “Elliot said you would help us with our dilemma. We will explain more if you agree to help us.” Of course he volunteered her for something that probably could kill her.
If she agreed, she would be opening herself up to people knowing about her skill. She had more than one but the invisibility was her most precious skill yet. It’s one she had been practicing for years. Now they want to use her.
Then a thought sparked inside her. How did they come to find out about the ability? Why did they need her now?
“How do you know about my invisibility?”
Rhysand smirked and something twinkled in his eyes. Feyre took a step forward and held out her hand. Gently, Y/N took the High Lady’s hand and images flooded her mind.
Flashes of Nesta and her dancing came into view then the image shimmered to Y/N slipping out into the alley then disappearing in the blink of an eye. The images faded away and Y/N was now staring at the Lord and Lady in disbelief.
“Someone or one of you followed me,” she said, hesitance coming over her. There was no reason for them to be following her. “Why were you following me?”
Feyre sighed, “ My sister, Nesta picked up on something with you and she didn’t know what it was, so she brought it to Rhysand and I’s attention.” Her words felt like they had struck Y/N in the cheek and in her heart. Nesta had felt something but not the something that she needed to feel.
“And if I agree to help?”
“You will be paid, given a place to stay and food to eat.” Rhysand tilted his head at her as if he was trying to figure what she might say. It wasn’t a bad offer by any means but that would mean she would have to leave her family. She didn’t want to leave her mother with the two abusive male’s of the household. But what would her mother say if she didn’t take this offer? Most likely that she was stupid for turning it down.
“Okay, I’ll help. What is it exactly that I’ll be doing?”
It was official. Y/N was now a Night Court Spy. She wouldn’t have to do anything for a few days but get settled into what Rhysand called ‘The House of Wind”. Unfortunately, Y/N was now living in the same house as her mates. But luckily her room was next to Azriel’s rather than Nesta’s and Cassian’s. Every morning she saw them together and it made her heart ache.
On her first mission with Azriel, she snuck into the Spring Court. It went perfectly and she was happy about what she collected about Hybern’s remaining troops. She was in Azriel’s arms and content until he cleared his throat. “Why are you always so tense around my brother and his mate? Are you afraid of them?”
Y/N sighed, “No, I’m not afraid of them. I’m just more comfortable around you than them I suppose. Mainly because I work with you day in and day out. Plus, I feel like I always interrupt them when they’re being all cute and stuff.”
Azriel chuckled, “I guess that’s fair but you don’t have to be tense around them. I think they’re starting to pick up on it. I’m surprised Cassian hasn’t tried to warm up to you yet.”
Confusion swirled in Y/N’s brain at his words. She stayed quiet the rest of the way and soaked in his warmth. He was her friend and he was only trying to help her.
When they landed on the balcony, Nesta and Cassian sat in the living room. They stood from their seats and greeted both spies.
“You two were supposed to be back hours ago, we almost sent Rhys after both of you.” Cassian clapped Azriel on the shoulder and his gaze slid to Y/N. “How was your first mission with Az?”
Nesta picked out leaves from Y/N’s hair as Y/N held up the log for the remaining troops in Hybern. She handed the log over to the Warlord and smiled, “Exactly what Rhys wanted me to get. He told me to give it to you when I got here.”
Cassian read through the names and grinned, “Thank you, miss Y/N. This is going to help all of us for next week’s mission.”
“What’s next week?”
Nesta smiled wickedly and said, “Hybern. They threatened us again and well, Rhysand has had enough so we’re going to bring a little surprise for them. But if I know him well enough, he wouldn’t want you to go since you’re still training.” Her voice was softer at the end.
Disappointment settled in Y/N’s bones as she walked up to her room. She didn’t want to accept that she was going to be left behind while the others got to see battle. She had been training for weeks, she should be ready to fight by now.
Then the thought dawned on her.
What if she went anyway to prove herself? To prove herself worthy to fight next to them. She’s more than capable of handling herself. After she laid in bed for a while, she sat up with her decision.
She was going on the mission.
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