im writing a fanfic and idk what a universal outfit to the beach is. like i want it to be something most girls would wear but not basic bc i dont think my audience is basic girls. is tshirt and shorts simple enough or is there something else? should I be more specific? pls lmk!!
Can someone who knows more than me figure out what’s going on with ao3??? Why won’t it let me filter anything when it was working fine last week? Was it common then and now it’s not common or what’s goin on?? It’s 4am and I don’t know if I just hit a button I wasn’t supposed to or sumthin. Am I just dumb that I can’t figure this out 😭☹️ pls help
hi can somebody point me in the direction of this fic ??
it involved the avengers going to ikea , but the writer painted ikea as an “enemy” of the reader , simply because they couldn’t pronounce the names of the swedish furniture. but thor could and they claimed victory for that.
Hellooooo, I am in dire search of fan fictions on AO3 where the pack fucks up and Stiles completely and utterly ignores them for at least most of the actual fanfic. All the ones I’ve read he forgives them right away and it doesn’t fulfill the part of me that wants revenge.
Reki: Is mildly depressed for a few episodes and has self esteem issues, is happy for most of the series and gets better over time
Fanfic writers: I diagnose you with depression. You will never be happy and will forever go through a cycle of angst. Forget all your positive personality traits cause imma project all my issues onto you, you uwu bean baby boi sunshine child
#Like some of y’all Reki stans and kins need help #To be fair I do too but still #Let Reki be happy for a second omg #Most angst fics are centered around him even though Langa’s dad LITERALLY DIED #He does have those problems but some of y’all make it his whole personality #sk8 #sk8 the infinity #sk8 reki#sk8 fanfic#renga
Hi!! So basically, until they release wise/nerd/creator from their shadowy clutches, I’ll be here! On this account! I have things I want to share with you and I’m not letting Tumblr ruin them for me! So, if you could just reblog this so all my followers on wisenerdcreator can see this! One day they’ll release my old account and I’ll have this one as my backup but until then, I’ll be here! - Neesie
It's not dead or abandoned! Remember how I started this for @cssns 2018???? Just, y'know, life happening, and also several global catastrophes. But it turns out that writer's block is really cured by procrastination, which is why I was able to finally figure out some spots I was stuck on while not packing up my apartment to move.
Please enjoy this overly delayed post-wedding fluff and smut.
Also on AO3 and FF.Net
The holidays weren’t really something she paid attention to, not after her parents died. Her mother had loved any excuse to have a party and Emma had grown up with the nondenominational trappings of Christmas in their house, but the tradition had died with Snow and David when she was sixteen. She normally spent the last week of December pulling extra shifts at work, covering for people who had families and wanted the extra time off, and never had a second thought about it. The Pack had their own holidays, particularly around the solstices, but nothing compared to the warm, colorful parties of her childhood -- and frankly, nothing ever would.
So when their short honeymoon fell over Christmas Eve and Day, Emma didn’t think anything of it. Killian made no indication that he celebrated it, and when they returned home on Boxing Day it was to a chilly apartment without any of the decorations that dotted the windows up and down their street. She turned up the heat a little while Killian took their bags back to the bedroom to be sorted out, and she double-checked the windows were locked tight while turning on a few lights in the living room.
The colorful twinkle outside meshed with the light snowfall in a way that made her heart twist painfully in her chest, a flash of her mother’s laughter ringing in her ears and a brief memory of her father cornering her mother under the mistletoe. Her thumb went to the band on her finger, a lump forming in her throat, and she remembered why she normally worked herself to the bone this time of year.
Work was a distraction from missing them.
She whipped the curtains shut to put an extra layer between the cold glass and the warming room, between herself and her memories, and turned to face her husband as he came into the room. “Love, what’s wrong?” She shook her head, but his large hand engulfed her own as it went to discreetly wipe at her eyes. “Darling, I don’t know if you’ve forgotten this but I can smell when you’re sad,” he said, his voice soft as he pulled her into his embrace. “We’ve been home five minutes, you can talk to me.”
Fuck, she hated talking about her feelings and her parents and particularly her feelings about her parents. But she’d promised -- she’d vowed -- that she’d be more open and honest with him, and she was fairly sure he wouldn’t be able to get lucky and guess what all of this was about. She hadn’t told him enough about her parents to let him put all of the pieces together. “I just… I miss my parents,” she said softly, and let him hold her as he made a sympathetic noise and murmured soothing things in her ear. “Mom really loved this time of year. She threw the best parties, one year she actually got fairies to make it snow inside and me and the other kids had a snowball fight. She loved the colors and the whole family thing and she really loved the smell of pine trees -- it kind of gave my dad a headache. But we made it work because Dad always said how it put an extra sparkle in Mom’s eye and he loved her enough to put up with it. I normally try to work a lot through this time of year, everyone wants extra time off, but I was kind of hoping this year we could have some new memories to make this time of year less sad. And it helped, it really did, but then I just saw the lights outside and the snow and it just… it hit me a little harder because I’ve been trying so hard not to think about them. So I miss my parents and I’m sorry this time of year is going to suck no matter what and--”
Killian shushed her softly and she realized she was crying as he thumbed the tears from her cheeks. “You don’t have to be sorry,” he said. “If I’d known… well, I don’t know what I would have done. I can’t blindfold you everywhere -- well, I could, but not in the fun way --” He grinned as she swatted him on the chest. “So testy, my love. You don’t have to be sorry about missing your parents. You just need to let me know, so I can comfort you or let you sit and mourn them in peace, or drive you to distraction. And if I need to do so more this time of year, well, let it be my burden to bear. You don’t have to bear this alone, Emma, you can always rely on me.”
And didn’t that just make her get teary all over again? “How the hell do you always know the right thing to say?” she asked, burying her face in his chest.
“Because I’m magic,” he rumbled under her and she pinched his side. “And we’re too alike, you know. Now, what do you need?”
She sniffled and took a breath, taking mental stock. They really needed to unpack and get everything sorted out for laundry, but while that would keep her hands busy her mind would wander and she really didn’t want to keep thinking about the past. But she knew that leaving everything until tomorrow or the next day would bother Killian; she didn’t want to be alone right now, either. “Can we bring the bags back out here and watch TV while we unpack? I know you just put them away but--”
He was already nodding, though, and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Whatever you need, love.”
Since he’d been the one to put them away and she was being the emotional asshole, she figured it was only fair that she bring the bags back out. She had no idea how he’d done it all in one trip, not with how narrow the hall was and how much she disliked scuffing her baseboards with the wheels, and surreptitiously eyed them as she made multiple trips back and forth.
No scuffs. “I’m magic,” she mumbled in a sarcastic imitation of her husband’s accent, shaking her head.
Killian had the TV on to the classic movie channel and the unmistakable scent of chocolate lingered in the air. “Dash of cream liqueur, whipped cream, and cinnamon,” he said, handing her a mug as she sat down.
Emma smiled into it, letting the warmth of the drink and the liqueur slide into her belly. “Did I ever tell you Mom’s the reason I like this?”
She watched as he deftly unzipped the largest bag and started sorting through it; she’d done little more than toss everything in without caring about wrinkles, and the whole thing reeked of sex and wine -- they’d had not nearly enough of both over the last few days, but apparently enough to let the scent sink in to all the fabric. A different kind of warmth settled under her skin, but she wasn’t in the mood to act on it just yet. “According to my dad, Mom drank this all the time when she was pregnant with me. Her biggest craving; not that she didn’t like it before, but it was like another level. So then it became our thing, once I was old enough to have some, just sitting together on the couch or in the kitchen or wherever, with our matching cocoa with cinnamon.”
Killian glanced over at her, a glint of mischief in his eyes, and her heart swelled suddenly with reaffirmation of how much she loved him. His bangs fell over his forehead in a way some might call rakish, but when he looked at her like that -- lips quirked up in amusement at his own joke he was about to tell, unable to hide his glee at his own cleverness -- she could only call it boyish. “Sweet tooth before you were even born, eh Swan?”
Maybe not a joke then, but teasing, like they were twelve and he was pulling her tail. “I’m a wolf of taste,” she said loftily, setting her mug aside and pulling up another suitcase to go through. “Unlike some mangy curs around here.”
“Mangy cur?” Emma squeaked as she found herself pinned under him on the floor, his nose brushing against hers and heat flooding her body. His grin promised absolute filth, the hard length of his body pressed against hers deliciously, and the scent of his arousal was enough to make her dizzy. “Didn’t realize we were comparing pedigrees here, princess. Too bad you’re stuck with the mangy cur and not some stuffy purebred.”
“I happen to like the mangy cur,” she whispered, their lips close enough to tease.
“Good,” he growled. “Because he likes you too.”
She moaned into his kiss, which was far gentler than she was expecting, and he let up on her arms enough to allow her the space to embrace him. Her fingers threaded through his hair, then down his back, where she teased the patch of skin revealed by his sweater riding up. “Emma.”
He pulled back and she smiled at how he already looked wrecked. She glanced over his face, refamiliarizing herself with the little details she already had memorized but still loved looking at: the old scar on his cheek, the ginger hairs in his beard, the little freckles and the way his eyebrow seemed to jump up on its own when he got curious about something. He caught her eye with his again and one corner of his mouth ticked up, a sudden shyness in the way his eyes darted around, like he wasn’t sure she was staring at him . “What?”
She shook her head, reaching down and slipping her hands into the back pockets of his jeans, earning a surprised -- and pleased -- noise from him as she pulled him in for a quick kiss. “I just… really love you,” she said when they parted.
His cheeks reddened, but just around his cheekbones, and she loved that she knew that detail about him. If she was further back, she’d be able to see his ears turning the same color, and if she really got to him she’d be able to get his nose to match. She liked the way he could get around her, quiet and unabashedly himself, someone who couldn’t take a compliment seriously and waved off words of praise. It drove her a little crazy, but she’d made her vows to voice her feelings to him and she was going to make good on those vows.
“I love you too,” he said, his nose brushing against hers, and he leaned in to kiss her again.
“ There she is!” Ruby hollered, ignoring the glares from the other bar patrons.
Emma also ignored the knowing looks on both Ruby and Dorothy’s faces as she shrugged out of her coat. She knew her hair was mussed and she had beard burn on the side of her neck -- Killian had a particular fondness for this dress and the lack of coverage it provided -- and she was definitely late for their night out, but she only felt the slightest hint of guilt over that. Besides, both Ruby and Dorothy knew what it was like to be newly mated, so they could cut her a break. “Hey, thanks for saving me a seat.”
She flagged down a waitress to take her drink order and then grabbed a handful of peanuts. “So… how’s it going?” Ruby asked in a sing-song.
“Babe.” Dorothy elbowed her.
“What? She’s got sex hair and she reeks of it. If that’s her excuse, she’d better dish.”
Emma rolled her eyes, cracking open a shell. “We didn’t have sex, thank you, he just… made it hard to leave.”
“Oh I’ll bet something was hard.”
The waitress arrived with Emma’s drink and they ordered one of those mixed appetizers platters to share, as well as another round of drinks. Emma gulped half of her drink after the waitress left again before saying, “I won’t kiss and tell.”
As Ruby made a face, Dorothy reached for her own peanuts. “Some of us appreciate that.”
Emma downed the rest of her gin and tonic; she hadn’t really taken the time to appreciate it, and seeing as how this was a wolf bar the drinks were made to match their metabolisms, but this was the first time she was getting to hang out with her friends since her wedding and she wanted to have fun. Tipsy, ridiculous fun, with no husbands and no responsibilities. Girl time. Catch-up time.
Only, she realized as the conversation started to actually move towards catching up on each other’s lives, she just had stories about Killian.
“Okay, I forbid you to talk about your husband for thirty seconds,” Ruby said, pointing a french fry at her for emphasis. The appetizers had been replaced by entrees, and Emma rolled her eyes as she took an enormous bite of her burger. Fine, she’d just chew instead. “You have to have been doing something other than banging each other silly or going to work.”
Emma took her time with her food, drawing out Ruby’s challenge and taking some small joy in the agitated tick in her friend’s eyebrow. “Well it’s not like you don’t know what I do for work,” she said finally, reaching for the ketchup. “And we’re in a post-holiday lull, so it’s gonna be a bit before things get interesting.”
“One of us has got to get a different job,” Ruby declared, while her mate rolled her eyes indulgently.
Emma didn’t bother to respond, instead flagging down the waitress for another G & T. There was definitely a happy buzz going on under her skin and she wanted it to continue; the burger would only dull the effects before too long.
“Bitch on the prowl, ten o’clock,” Dorothy said suddenly, looking towards the door.
Emma and Ruby turned to look, with what felt like most of the bar’s patrons and staff following their lead. A woman she didn’t recognize was taking off her coat, revealing a dress that would send normal humans rushing to her side in an instant; here, it only added to the allure of her scent. She was obviously in heat, unattached, and looking to rectify the situation.
Already two men were walking towards her, jostling one another to make her acquaintance first; Emma just looked back to her tablemates with a look of resignation. “They’re not wasting any time,” she said.
“Neither is she; she must be the first one of the season,” Dorothy said, watching the situation near the door with mild interest.
“Just glad it isn’t me this time.”
“If there wasn’t any concern about like, us not being turned into a science freak show, I would absolutely watch our version of a trash dating show.”
“Babe, we have too many seasons of Love Island on the to-watch list as it is,” Ruby said.
“Correction, we don’t have enough seasons of Love Island on the to-watch list.”
Emma glanced back at the display happening on the other side of the bar, letting the sound of her friends teasing each other blend into the rest of the noise. This woman was definitely taking no prisoners, making eye contact with one of the men while her hand rested almost possessively on the arm of the other, her lips spread into a wide smile. Hell, she was charmed by this kind of display, especially when the woman demurely glanced at the second man under her lashes for a moment. Maybe Dorothy was right about a dating show… She watched as the woman laughed at something one of the men said, throwing her head back to give everyone a good look -- and smell -- at her neck, and Emma found herself dazedly wondering when she might be able to slip away back home and ravish her husband.
“Oh no, we’ve lost her.”
“Pheromones side effect, tragic really.”
She blinked back to attention. “What?”
Ruby looked annoyed, but Dorothy at least seemed sympathetic. “She’s still in the honeymoon phase, babe, it’s gonna be a while before everything settles down. The coming season doesn’t help.”
“Okay, you can stop talking about me like I’m not here,” Emma snapped. Her drink had been refreshed without her notice and she downed it. “I get it, I’m sorry, I’ll shut up about Killian and whatever.”
Ruby started to respond, but Dorothy silenced her with a look. Whatever silent argument they had, Ruby lost and she huffed as she went back to her meal. The reaction stung -- it’s not like Emma hadn’t sat through hours of Ruby pining and then gushing over her own mate, she could stand being the recipient for a while -- but Emma felt it wasn’t worth it to argue and ruin the evening by just turning it into a fight.
Eventually, they started talking again, Ruby breaking first with some pack gossip. The night never got to the raucous levels any of them might have hoped it could get to, but was overall a nice time and Emma even forgot about getting her feelings hurt. It felt good to get out of the house for a while with friends -- but when someone wolf-whistled as the woman in heat from earlier waltzed out with an entirely different man clutched possessively at her side, Emma thought it might be even better to get back home to her mate.
Even short periods of absence seemed to make the heart grow fonder.
As the new year rolled through to its second month, Emma and Killian quietly celebrated the one-year anniversary of their meeting, marveling at how much had changed in just a year. Killian noticed that Emma seemed to greet each day with increasing wariness, and his own awareness of the mating season coming into bloom turned into some kind of insatiable itch under his skin.
He’d never participated in mating season before meeting Emma. He’d been soured from pursuing any sort of relationship after the disastrous affair with Milah, and even when he’d been half underwater with alcohol he’d decided he’d never again get snared by any she-wolf’s trap. And to his embittered mind, mating season was just another trap, luring men into siring pups or trying to turn a one-night tryst into a long-term commitment. Even after he’d sobered up and straightened himself out, he’d still felt the sting of rejection in his phantom limb and did his best to stay occupied and aloof in spring.
He’d known from the start that she was different, that chance encounter with her packmates. She had fire, and the way she’d immediately come at him on the offense had piqued his interest immediately. Then the wind had shifted and he’d immediately known what the source of the problem with her packmates had been, the full-blown scent of a bitch in heat burrowing down to awaken his most basic instincts. He’d done his best to remain a gentleman and let her walk away, as she’d clearly had no interest in acting on her own hormones, and once her scent faded on the wind he’d walked away as fast as he could without rousing anyone’s suspicion. He’d thought that was the end of it, until a chance meeting at a bar led to a delightful night of conversation and drinks…
And the most wonderful, passionate woman he’d ever had the pleasure to offer himself up to the next day.
Poor love had been so miserable when he’d come to see if his magical hangover remedy worked for her that he’d hardly reacted to the overwhelming bouquet of Emma in heat. He’d acted immediately to try and rectify the errors in her spice cabinet, mixing his potion and letting her recover. And as he tidied up the mess he’d made, it became increasingly hard (in many senses of the phrase) to ignore the fact that he was absolutely surrounded by pheromones and the obvious lingering scent of everything she’d done to relieve herself of the ache over the last several days. And when she’d emerged from her blanket nest again and stood there with only a shirt and her knickers and legs that went on for miles and giving him every last chance to run before they’d do something they’d regret?
He’d never wanted someone more in his entire life, mating season or not.
It wasn’t long after he returned home, he realized that long weekend in her bed (and her shower and her kitchen… and one particularly enjoyable occasion with her back pressed to the window and the lights in the living room turned off to keep the outside world in the dark to their activities) would never be enough for him. Liam accused him of moping, his friends thought he needed to get out and meet someone new to get Emma out of his system.
Looking up now, watching her enter the room shyly and holding out a simple padded envelope, he knew just as well now as he’d known then: he could never get her out of his system, even if he tried.
“What’s this, love?” he asked, accepting the envelope from her as she settled in the crook of his arm.
“Early valentine’s present,” she said simply.
They had a reservation at a restaurant that day, so he was a little confused as to why she didn’t want to simply wait until then. “Any particular reason why this is an early gift?”
Her scent changed, a little surge of arousal, and amusement laced her voice, “I kind of figured it was safer to give these to you in private.”
Well now he was intrigued. “Very well then, thank you and I accept.”
Reaching into the envelope, he felt photos -- a stack of actual printed, glossy photographs. He glanced down at his wife -- fuck, he’d never be over that, his wife -- and watched her chew her bottom lip nervously as he pulled the photos out.
Each photo featured Emma in some way, posed and primping and perfect in all her glory. These weren’t amateur photos by any means, and even her hair and make-up looked like someone else had done the job -- not that Emma did poorly at her own appearance, but she wasn’t one to add such accentuation to her eyes to give them that smoky effect. Killian swallowed hard as he went through each photo, his heart thumping especially loud in his ears: Emma looking directly at the camera in some sort of modernized glamour shot; Emma from behind, shot from the waist up, looking coyly over her shoulder as she slipped a shirt -- was that one of his? -- down her arms to expose her back beneath a wave of blond curls; Emma laid out on dark satin, her hair spilled around her like a halo, wearing what was definitely one of his button-downs and nothing else from the way she gripped it closed. “Emma, how did you--” his throat felt nearly as tight as his pants as he paused at the next photo, her eyes downcast as she lay on her stomach, the curve of her breast visible in the opening of his shirt.
“I am people who know people,” she said simply.
On and on it went, all of them sensual or titillating without pushing the envelope enough to qualify as lewd, until the last one: she reclined on her side, propped up on her elbow, on a pelt that matched her own. Completely bare, her back faced the camera, her hair spilling down her shoulders as she looked to the side, not quite looking over her shoulder but enough to give the viewer a look at her demure profile in an otherwise completely shameless photograph.
“Jesus Christ, Emma…”
She rested her head against his shoulder, by all appearances merely a content wife who was pleased her husband liked her gift, rather than the mischievous seductress she truly was. Minx. “You like them?” she asked.
“Very much. And may I add, excellent call on a private viewing,” he murmured, nosing her hair. “Had anyone else even glimpsed these, I would have had to rip their throats out with my teeth.”
She hummed and he grinned as her scent flared. “The whole murderous, possessive alpha male thing shouldn’t be such a turn on,” she commented, and squeaked as he hauled her up in his lap.
Placing the photos on her lap, he tapped the last one with one finger. “This one should be blown up and professionally framed, I might hang it up in my office. Your arse is a work of art, love.”
“It is,” Emma agreed, “but wouldn’t that go against the whole ‘if anyone else saw these I’d kill them in cold blood’ thing?”
He tweaked her nose; she really was a terrible mimic of his accent. She always made him sound like a Mancunian somehow. “I didn’t say it had to be the main office, and while I admit that intimidating any potential contractors to a better profit turnover would be better, I can’t say I’d be able to get much work done with such a distraction.”
“And it being in your home office would do any better?”
“Well,” Killian said, drawling on the l’s, “for one thing, I wouldn’t have to travel far to take care of any, ah, problems that might arise from a viewing.” Emma snorted, no doubt feeling exactly the sort of problem he spoke of pressed against her bottom. “Though why would I need to look at this if I have the real thing waiting for me?”
“Who says I’ll be laying in wait for you?” she asked, poking his chest. “If our history says anything, I’m the one who pounces on you the moment you walk through the door.”
“Or sooner,” she said. Looping her arms around his neck, she tilted her head. “You really like them?”
He opened his mouth, prepared to remind her that he’d already answered that, but then he noticed the slight furrow of her brow, the nearly invisible downturn of her lips, her wide eyes flicking between his as she tried to read his expression. Killian softened, in several ways, remembering how difficult she found it to be vulnerable; he suspected the act of posing and taking the photographs had been easy -- Emma was a beautiful, confident woman and she knew it -- but now came the hard part: seeking approval. “I love them,” he told her seriously, tightening his hold around her. “A pale substitute for the real thing, but this on my desk,” he flitted through the photos to the glamor shot, “will remind me of the gorgeous woman I have waiting for me at home. And get me through the long , hard days when we don’t see one another.”
She gave him an overly patient look at where he’d emphasized his speech. He leaned down and kissed away the wrinkle between her brows, breathing her in. “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve someone such as you, my darling, but I’m grateful every day to whatever thread of fate drew us together.”
Her breath hitched and her arms tightened around him. She shifted, tilting her head up to kiss him; the intensity of it nearly overwhelmed him, telling him without words how much she loved him and appreciated what he’d said. He felt her fingers in his hair, grazing the sides of his face and neck, her lips moving against his with a hunger he recognized well. “Let’s move these,” he rasped, doing his best not to just throw the pictures all over the floor, “before we make a mess of them.”
Killian gladly let Emma take control then, pushing him flat on his back on the couch and straddling him. “Show me what you really think,” she said, and whipped her sweater over her head, the offending garment falling almost protectively over the stack of photographs on the floor.
The dream started the way it always did: she was sixteen again and her body wasn’t cooperating as she tried to climb the height to the challenge grounds. Most of this was pulled from memory, the sounds of her mother and Regina fighting, the bitter cold, the tang of blood on the wind, but while the stones under her were covered in ice and snow, she’d been able to climb with only a little trouble. She’d been more worried about what she’d find than making sure her feet were going in the right place.
In the dream, though, it was like moving through molasses. Images came in flashes -- her mother lunging and scoring a blow on Regina’s side, Regina’s snarl and the moonlight glinting off the ceremonial silver knives, her father bleeding to death on the ground. Her voice stuck in her throat as she tried to scream for help, like her mouth was sewn shut.
She was helpless to stop what was happening; she always had been, and even in a dream she couldn’t change the reality that her parents had been murdered in front of her.
But for the first time she was able to get to the top, only to find Regina fighting Killian instead of Snow. He had no knife, no weapon at all, swinging wildly with his fist and kicking where he could, but Regina seemed to have the upper hand as she dodged his every move. It looked like she was completely fine with letting him tire himself out first before she had to do anything; Emma tried to scream, tried to get them to stop -- why would Killian be fighting Regina? -- but her mouth wouldn’t work.
Killian lunged and Regina dodged with ease, moving on the offense for the first time as she slammed her elbow into his back. He fell with a cry and suddenly a rifle was in her hands. A crack sounded in the frozen night and then Killian lay still on the ground.
Her body moved, freed from whatever had trapped her in place. Regina was gone, and Emma flung herself at her mate’s form. He lay sprawled on his stomach, a dark, wet patch spreading across his back in the same place where he’d been shot last fall. She packed snow against the wound, an animal cry ripping from her throat in a desperate plea for help. She turned him over, trying to see if he was conscious, but he was white as death and as cold as if he’d lain there for hours instead of moments --
Emma woke, a scream stuck in her mouth as she fought to get the blankets that were tangled around her and constricting her movements off. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she tumbled to the floor; the solid impact shook off the confusion between dreams and reality, but it couldn’t get the image of Killian bleeding out in the snow out of her mind. She curled in on herself as her mind blended it with the same sight of her parents that she’d relived over and over again for more than a decade, her chest aching as she tried to stifle her sobs.
It was late, but she hadn’t gone to bed as Killian had still been at work. She’d dozed off on the couch, something she hadn’t done in a long time—in the last few months, the combination of Alice’s crystal magic and the ever-present scent and feel of their mating bond in the bedroom had helped ease both of their night terrors. Their den represented safety and security, giving them peace of mind to rest easily.
She hadn’t meant to fall asleep.
Emma took deep breaths, trying to calm down. She reached for where she’d left her phone, using the hem of her shirt to scrub her face dry with her other hand, and checked to see if there were any messages. A few warm tears leaked out still, even as she checked the time and noted that Killian had texted not long ago to let her know he was on his way home.
As if on cue, the sound of keys in the hall reached her ears, and a moment later they scratched at the lock and then the door opened. “Sorry I’m so late, darling, I—what happened?”
He was at her side in an instant, gathering her into his arms. She lay her head against his shoulder gratefully. “Bad dreams, it’s nothing.”
“Sweetling, the fear-scent hit me full in the face when I came in, it’s not nothing.”
His heartbeat under her ear soothed her, some of the lingering tension in her shoulders easing with the steady thrumming. Her arms went around him and his hold tightened, just a little, as if he could protect her from her own demons just by holding on tight.
She wished he could.
“Bad dreams,” she said again, clearing her throat after her voice came out thick. “A lot of the same, mixed up together in a shitty new brain cocktail I didn’t order.”
He knew about the recurring dream with her parents, and the newer ones from the incident in the fall, so it wouldn’t be hard for him to put together what she meant. He kissed the side of her head. “I’m sorry, darling. Why didn’t you just go to bed?”
“I didn’t mean to fall asleep out here. I was waiting for you to get home and just nodded off.” Her book, forgotten until now, lay face-down on the floor, pages bunched up and wrinkled now from when it had fallen from her lap in sleep. “If I’d known you were staying that late I would have just gone to bed.”
Killian sighed. “I’m sorry. I was working on a contract and needed feedback from the overseas partner; it’s morning in Singapore so I knew I could get prompt replies. I should have said something earlier.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“No, but I still feel terrible.” He kissed her again and stood, bringing her up with him. “Come on, let’s have a nightcap and you can tell me how to make it better.”
She smiled wanly. “I just need you. That’s all I need to make it better.”
Emma allowed him to lead her to the kitchen. “You have me, Swan, you know that. You’ll always have me.”
She woke slowly to the gentle, teasing press of lips against her own. There was a murmur in the back of her mind that sounded like ‘ wake up, darling ’ and she had the bewildering sensation of being in two places at once before a finger brushed against her neck and arousal surged through her body. Instantly she felt more alert, kissing Killian back with newly awakened vigor, and he groaned as she pushed him back, reversing their positions so she lay atop him. “Cheater,” she accused, only allowing them a moment to breathe before coming together again.
He stroked her mate-mark once more and the swell of arousal almost hurt; she clenched her thighs together, trying to ease the ache that lay between them, but Killian’s hand moved down, coaxing them apart to tease his fingers between her folds. “So wet for me,” he murmured.
“Yeah, I wonder why,” she said, biting her lip at the feel of his fingers on her flesh, the warmth pulsing through her body, the sparks of pleasure with every stroke. He ducked down, pressing his lips against her neck and she whimpered at the touch, feeling like she was melting into putty in his arms. “ Tease .”
“I’m a cheater, a tease,” he murmured against her skin, punctuating each word with another kiss. “What’s next? Scoundrel ?”
She cried out as his fingers thrust home, filling her with that delicious stretch she craved. She could feel him moving his fingers inside, teasing her further, and she didn’t know how she wasn’t just soaking his hand with how turned on she was right then. With each thrust of his fingers, he seemed to lift her up and it took her far too long to realize it was a combination of his own urging and her unconscious compliance as she rose up above him. She threw one leg over his waist and felt the head of his cock bump against her thigh; Killian withdrew his fingers and she looked down to watch him rub her juices off his fingers onto his cock as he took it in hand, quickly positioning himself in place for her to sink down on top of him. "Oh fuck me," he moaned as she began to move, her lips finding his mate-mark.
His fingers dug into her hip as she rode him, skin slapping as she chased her pleasure. The combination of their teasing each other’s mate-marks was driving her nearly insane with lust -- she barely noticed when she peaked, the need for more clawing its way through her veins. Killian protested when she lifted herself off him, but he seemed to pick up on the general plan when she turned and got on her hands and knees.
She gasped, sharp and shallow as he pushed in again, her hand grabbing a fistful of blanket for purchase. He felt so much bigger this way— always had since the way he’d taken her that first time. "If we're going to do this like animals, might as well look the part,” he’d said then, and she certainly felt like an animal now as she pushed back onto him in earnest, back arching and throat rough as she keened, pleading for more.
“Greedy girl,” Killian panted through grit teeth, his hips slamming against hers as she cried out. “Drenching my cock, begging for it.”
“ You woke me up,” she retorted, gasping again as he hit a good spot. “There--do that again, fuck .” His hand found her hip again, nails stinging into her skin just enough to pull a groan out of her. Again, he snapped his hips forward, but it’s less frenzied than before, sharper, calculated, and the breath that punched out of her lungs at the next thrust felt laced with fire. She turned to look at him over her shoulder, felt her heart stutter at the way his mark stood out dark against the morning light.
She slipped against the sheet, nearly buckling, but his hand was there before she could, sliding up the length of her torso to curl his fingers around her shoulder. Too-fast, she found herself surrounded by him, his weight half-draped on top of her as he pulled her flush against him and oh, oh . Fuck tumbled out of her again as she twisted to claim a rough kiss. Distracted, his hips slowed at the contact, but she pushed back again with a roll of her hips.
The hand on her shoulder urged her down, his weight shifting off her back as he reared back and her head pressed against the mattress. The angle was just right, a keen tearing from her throat as he resumed speed, driving into her hard and fast and -- “ Fuck, Killian! ”
His hand slipped under her, between her legs, found their way to her overstimulated clit and teased, drawing circles around it and pressing--
Killian’s phone started to vibrate on the nightstand. Emma felt her orgasm slip beyond reach for the moment, her concentration broken, and she groaned in frustration. She didn’t even know what time it was, but it had to be too early for anything but an emergency. “Killian, you should see who that was,” she mumbled, her head shifting against the mattress as he pounded into her.
Her husband snarled and that sent a little thrill down her spine, reigniting what had been lost. “Whoever it is should fucking know better than to call when I’m balls deep in my wife.”
She had no idea how to articulate how absurd that was, but he moved his hand again and squeezed her breast, leaving wet streaks of her own arousal along her skin and her core clenched around him in anticipation. He exhaled sharply, another little growl escaping him, and she pushed back against him, meeting him thrust for thrust. She felt his fingers move along her skin, dancing up her back and nails scratching just enough to leave a trail of goosebumps in their wake, until they found her mate-mark once more and started tracing around it, lightly circling, pressing just enough--
She saw stars. Burst of color behind squeezed eyelids and an impossible wave of pleasure crashing through her, her legs feeling numb and buckling under her as he rode her through her orgasm until she heard a grunt signaling his own. She slid weakly down onto her stomach, her skin still tingling and her core still shuddering, dragging air into her lungs as fast as she could to try and calm her racing heart. She felt the bed shift behind her, heard Killian’s heavy breathing, then felt him settle between her legs. Before she could fully understand what was happening, she felt his nose brush the sensitive seam of her ass, and then dip lower as his tongue found her dripping, abused, and still fucking aroused cunt. “ Jesus --”
Emma tried to push herself up on her elbows, tried to army-crawl up the bed and away from her insatiable husband’s questing tongue, but he satisfied himself with only a few laps before pulling away. She twisted, flushed and glaring at the smug grin on his face. “Who’s greedy now?” she asked.
“I do love the taste of us together,” he admitted, righting himself and settling back on the pillows.
She fought the urge to roll her eyes and summoned all of her strength to get up and go clean herself. Wobbly as it was, she managed the trip to the bathroom and even brought him a washcloth to clean himself up before giving her weary legs a rest and laying next to him. The heady feeling of arousal still burned inside, though more like a smoldering ember pile than the full-on inferno he’d worked her into before, but she pushed it away; she wasn’t in heat yet and her body had limits.
“So what was that for?” Emma asked.
“Do I need a reason to wake my wife and lavish her with my attentions?” She poked him in the ribs, a particularly ticklish spot, and he squirmed. “Cut it out,” Killian said, giggling. “Your smell woke me.”
She raised an eyebrow. “My smell?” she asked, her voice flat. “You know, from anyone else those might be fighting words.”
He took her hand in his, bringing it to his lips. “And far be it from me to challenge you, darling. No, I believe it may be close to time, your scent has… shifted somewhat.”
Emma let her head fall back with a groan. Motherfucker. Well, it was to be expected; it’s the normal time for her to go into heat, it was just… the worst. Though, having a mate would make it exponentially easier than previous years; she had that to look forward to, at least. She just hated being completely ruled by her hormones, hated having so little control over her own body. And of course Killian would be the first to pick up on it, of course he’d know her so well that he’d pick up on even the slightest change in her scent. Idly, she wondered if he could tell because he’d smelled her in full-blown heat before, but in truth she believed he’d know any changes in her body and her scent almost before she did.
Puts the kibosh on any cutesy surprise things whenever we get around to having pups , she thought wryly.
“Judging by your enthusiastic response, you’re still unhappy about the prospect,” Killian remarked.
She sighed. “It’s not that. I love nothing more than using you as my personal sex toy, I just… hate everything else about it.”
“We could try a last-minute honeymoon,” he suggested. “We did talk about going somewhere this spring.”
“It’ll be wicked expensive, not to mention both of our bosses would kill us for leaving so last minute. And don’t even try to tell me Liam would be understanding, he’d find something to harp at you about.”
“Technically I’m my own boss.”
“Yes, but what captain leaves the helm to go fuck his wife silly for a week?”
His teeth flash in a grin that sends a shiver down her spine. “I’m sure plenty do, particularly when the captain’s wife is as beautiful and alluring as you. And I do have minions to keep things running, you know I don’t do everything right?”
“You have to stop calling your officers ‘minions’.”
“I pay their salaries, I can call them what I like. Besides, which is less of a mouthful, Chief Operating Officer or minion?”
“Coming from the man who takes an hour to tell a five minute story.”
His grin widened. “One of the many charms you love about me.” She rolled her eyes and the bed shifted as Killian reached for his phone, which pinged a reminder that he had a missed call and a voicemail. “Though I could have reason for it, seeing as how one of them called at a most inopportune time.”
Emma worried her lip between her teeth as he listened to the message, the tinny voice reaching her ears perfectly as questions even she knew could have waited a few hours were relayed. If he was right, and it was reasonable to assume he was, then it would be easier to just combine the honeymoon and her week in heat. It was extremely annoying that there wasn’t any way to really tell when her body would go into heat, outside of paying attention to signs like any subtle changes in scent, and they couldn’t have planned this ages in advance. The thought of paying all the last minute booking fees made her skin crawl, but she also knew he wouldn’t suggest such a thing if it wasn’t feasible.
Marrying up a couple of tax brackets was going to take a lot of getting used to.
Killian tossed his phone back on the bedside table, muttering darkly to himself, and she settled against him again. “How about this,” she started, “we take today to make sure a quick getaway isn’t going to be a problem, and then go in a couple of weeks? I don’t think it’s going to happen in the next few days and we need some time to get our shit together.”
“Eloquent as always, Swan,” he said. “And the full moon is next week, so we should schedule around that as well.”
Remembering that gave her another sense of relief: for some reason, it wasn’t common for their kind to go into heat the week of the full moon. Some did, but it was extremely rare, and always led to complications with the litter. She thought it might have something to do with how her monthly shifting stopped when she’d been pregnant before, nature realizing that changing forms while pregnant wasn’t good for the mother or the fetus, but it wasn’t like there was anyone she could ask about that. Again, something else that the more scientific-minded of their community were studying, but it was difficult.
And it wasn’t like there was The Scientific Werewolf Monthly to publish any of that research.
Maybe there should be.
“Well, that settles that,” she said, her mood buoyed by the lunar calendar. “We’ll go in a couple of weeks. Plunk me on a beach somewhere that’s not Boston in winter and I’ll be set.”
Killian’s expression was a thrilling mix of joy and sin. “Then I’d better make sure it’s a private beach, because I have no plans of letting you wear anything more than a bikini the whole time we’re gone,” he said, shifting to loom over her as he spoke, the last words breathed against her lips before he caught hers up in another kiss.
The wave of pleasure that had been building inside finally crashed over her, sending ripples up to the top of her head and down to the tips of her toes. She sighed, sated for the time being and pushed away the latest of her spent toys, reclining back on the silk maroon sheets to watch as he took his leave from her bed. They all knew the drill, the men lurking in wait for her summons; she hated for them to linger, but she did indulge in the view as they stumbled away from her room.
For now, though, Regina was tired. That was the third one today, and it was barely noon on the first morning of her heat. She rolled her head on her neck, as much as she was able, joints cracking and muscles stretching. She wasn’t a young pup anymore, as difficult as it was to admit some days, so while being ravished three times by three different, handsome young things in one morning certainly sounded like an ideal way to spend one’s time, it was proving to take a toll on her.
She didn’t like to think too much about what that would mean.
She didn’t care for the reminders, the lines at the corners of her eyes getting a little deeper if she looked too long, the silver strands she kept carefully colored, and now her body tiring a little sooner than it had the year before.
Any slip might give rise to rumors, and rumors often lead to those same men lurking downstairs foolish ideas about power.
No, for now she would rest a bit, take lunch, and assess what else she could do to keep her hand on their leashes until just the right moment.
Her phone rang midway through lunch. Annoyed, Regina answered in her usual, clipped way. “This had better be important.”
- She’s leaving town for a week, her and that British wolf of hers. My sources say it’s probably their honeymoon, but we have to remember the season. If she comes back pupped-- -
“I can make my own conclusions, thank you Sidney,” she snapped, her mood darkening. “Keep tabs on them if you can, and the Nolans. We may have to move faster than anticipated.”
She hung up before he could agree to anything -- it didn’t matter, he didn’t have to agree. He just had to follow orders.
She sat still for a moment, staring at her plate, then moved suddenly, throwing her tablet against the wall. The news that Emma Swan, previous heir apparent to the pack she now ruled, had taken another mate after all the work she’d done to destroy that last relationship had sent her into a rage that kept her people on their toes for weeks. She didn’t need any reason to allow support of any kind for that little bitch to rise, and a newly mated pair with a fresh litter on the way would definitely give reason for people to remember and feel sympathy for the girl. To start rumors or petitions to restore her place.
She’d put in too much work expanding, improving, and keeping her pack in line to let the memory of the old alphas resurface.
Snarling, Regina got to her feet. Rage mixed with arousal, the need to take control of something overpowering anything else, and she pressed the intercom that would summon another one of her playthings to the bedroom.
She hoped he had stamina, though she didn’t quite care if she ended up breaking him in the end. He was easily replaced, just as all the others were.
She was in control here. Not them. Not any of the hotheads she dealt with on a regular basis.