hoooly shit acs versace is just bj in the worst possible timeline where he literally gets tortured and murdered for being a repressed gay :'(( would love to know what the fuck was going through mike feral's brain when he read that script lmao
hoooly shit acs versace is just bj in the worst possible timeline where he literally gets tortured and murdered for being a repressed gay :'(( would love to know what the fuck was going through mike feral's brain when he read that script lmao
Hello, here's today's fixation: SKYND
I love their music and the singer's style. Seriously I want to dress like that
Trigger warning for true crime, gore, murder and a school shooting in some I think there are also flashing images and lights
But if you're okay with seeing those then I definitely recommend watching their music videos, not just listening to the songs, the entire aesthetic is *chef's kiss*
🐇Run, Little Rabbit 🐇
🍷DEMETRI VOLTURI X HUMAN READER ONESHOT🍷
Everyone had warned you about him, the Volturi's prized Tracker... The man with a voice like velvet and the uncanny ability to hunt down anyone he so desired. You didn't want to believe it at first, but now it may be too late for you. Will you be able to outrun him, or will it be all for nothing...?
• angst; dark themes; language; TW blood and violence
♡ Taglist: @wallwriterstuff @raindancer2004 @alecvolturiswifeforever @maxnificent @vamp-army @primswan @volturiwolf @volturi-stuff @kpopgirlbtssvt @captain-yeet @captainxholmes @like-rain-or-confetti @nixwolfe @mytwilightimagines13 @imaginetwilight2704 @aro-is-gay-af @avyannadawn @perfectcolortreestudent @dreamy-bumblebee
🐇 READER'S POV 🐇
You let out sharp, gasping breaths, your heart contracting almost painfully in your chest as you stop to lean up against a tree. There is nowhere you can hide, no place of refuge where he won't find you...! A panicked whimper leaves your mouth as you hear his voice in the distance. "Idle footsteps make for easy prey, darling!" he calls out, his voice dangerously smooth. You can feel your eyes well up with tears, as you force yourself to put one foot in front of the other.
Leaves and twigs snap and crunch under your feet, a sickening symphony to accompany the high level of danger you're currently in. How things got this bad, this quickly... Was still a complete mystery to you. He had been charming at first, there was no doubt about that. But then it had quickly become apparent to you that things were more than a little off, more than a little... Concerning.
It had been a feeling that left you cold inside, almost numb with the realization that things were definitely not okay. They had all warned you about him, really. All of them, right from the beginning, had told you he wasn't a good person to be around. Demetri, the Volturi Coven's precious Tracker, a man Gifted with the extraordinary ability to hunt down anyone on the face of the earth, just by the tenor of their mind, alone.
And oh, how he had loved the tenor of your mind...! In the grand scheme of things, all of the events leading up to this moment were really only your fault, honestly. If you had only thought to stay away from the man with the pretty face and velvet voice...
Maybe if you had avoided him altogether, you might not be running for your life in the middle of the wilderness, playing one desperate, twisted little game of cat and mouse. As you run, you can't help but let your mind keep drifting back to those first couple of months, when you and Demetri had met for the first time...
》》 ◇●◇●◇●◇ 《《
You crept down the stairs ever so slowly, your gaze anxiously flitting back and forth between the Cullens and their crimson-eyed guests, the Volturi Coven. There were four of them... A set of twins, one with blonde hair and one with deep brown hair. A tall, formidable looking man stood behind the two, while yet another man stood beside him. He was the one who caught your full attention, his blood red eyes seeming to twinkle with some unknown form of amusement.
Without warning, those eyes snapped up to meet yours, a light smirk wandering across the man's face. Demetri, you thought his name was; from what the Cullens had told you, he was the Volturi's prized Tracker, exceedingly skilled at hunting people down for a living. He stood there, watching you with a look of mixed curiosity and awe, not paying attention to anyone else, at least not until the tall man lightly elbowed Demetri in the side.
Huge and built just like Emmett, this man had to be the one they called Felix. He shot Demetri a look, nodding in your direction. "Stop staring and go talk to her already." you watched him tell the handsome man. Demetri nodded, beckoning for you to come down the rest of the stairs and follow him outside. With a quiet sigh, you did what he wanted, your heart racing the entire time.
"Dolcezza, it's an absolute pleasure to meet you... My name is Demetri Volturi. I'm assuming you're the Cullen Coven's pretty little human they've kept hidden from us all... You have a name, beautiful?" he began. With a blush, you nodded and told him your name, looking up at him through your lashes. You could swear you heard his breath hitch in his throat at that moment, though it could very easily have been a ruse, to keep up appearances.
As the two of you sat there talking, you began to relax a little, growing more comfortable as you told the Tracker all about the trivial little human hobbies you were into, what your favorite time of the year was, amongst other things. By the time the Volturi Guard had to return home again, Demetri had asked you to come with him. You had agreed, without any hesitation, much to the dismay of some of the Cullens...
》》 ◇● FOUR MONTHS LATER ●◇ 《《
"Demetri, please... I need to be able to get out and do human things, I... I need to be able to live a little...!" you pled with the Tracker. He gave you an exasperated look, running a hand through his hair. "Mia amore, you've been disappearing for hours on end every single day for the past two weeks, how do I know you're not trying to leave me?" he answered.
In all honesty, part of you was trying to gather up the courage to leave. The first couple of months you and Demetri had been together, he had been nothing but sweet. Then, as rumors circulated around the castle that you were going to disappear in one way or another because you were only a fragile human, that sweetness had turned into paranoia.
And then gradually, little by little, the paranoia had turned into full-on possessiveness and darkness. You were no longer allowed to leave your and Demetri's shared room by yourself, only able to get out if one of the other Guards, usually Felix, were to accompany you. Not that you minded the giant's company, but things were starting to get a little cloying and overbearing here with Demetri.
From what you had overheard from some of the other Guards, the two of you weren't even mated... You were nothing more than his bloodsinger, whatever that meant. You gave Demetri another pleading look, but he had simply turned away, choosing to ignore it. "Felix will be here to escort you out to the city in half an hour, as I have other matters to attend to for Aro. See that you do not open this door until then, Y/N... Or you won't like me very much." he told you, a warning in his tone.
With that, he had taken his leave, and you had been left sitting there alone on the bed. As your fingers traced patterns on the silk bedsheets, an idea had formed in your head. Most of the Guard would be inside today, seeing as it was sunny outside. Which means you'd have the perfect chance to try and leave. Sure, Demetri had told you not to open the door... But he had said nothing of the window...!
Quickly getting up off the bed and yanking off the bed covers, you tossed them on the floor, your heart pounding. You all but ripped the bedsheets off the bed, dragging them towards the window. In a hurry, you tied the top sheet and bottom sheet together before tying one end of them to the wall hook next to the window. You hoped against all hope that it would hold long enough for you to make your escape...
Throwing open the window shutters, you tossed the sheets out the window, before heaving yourself over the edge of the sill. With trembling hands, you began to climb down the sheets, inch by agonizingly slow inch, until the bottoms of your shoes touched the grass below. Quickly letting go of the sheets, you turned and began to run away from the castle, towards the woods on the edge of the property.
You knew you only had a short amount of time before either Felix or Demetri discovered you were gone. If they found you and caught you before you had a chance to escape, that would be it for you. You continued to run, each footstep seeming to drag out a little longer than the other, your throat growing dry as gasping breaths clawed their way up out of it.
Behind you, off in the distance, you could hear a very loud, angry shout... Almost a roar. It hadn't even been ten minutes... They knew now. They knew you were gone, you had left. As you finally entered the woods, a shuddering cry slipped past your lips. You had to make it out, you just had to...! Another noise leaves your mouth, the sound somewhere between a cry and a gasp, as you stumble over some loose twigs.
All around you, shadows flitted about and animals scurried, the woods growing ever darker as the evening sun began to sink below the far-off hills of the Tuscan countryside. Every little noise very quickly began to frighten you, the darkness making the once-friendly trees of the daytime now look like gnarled, evil accomplices of the night. Somewhere in the distance behind you, not too far away, you could hear a familiar voice.
"I don't give a damn what you think, Felix! I'm going after her!" Demetri said, his voice louder than normal. He only ever yelled with the other members of the Guard; he usually saved his calm, reserved anger for you. That was the scariest kind, you'd quickly come to discover. It meant you had no way of knowing what he had planned for you. An anxious little gasp left your mouth as you urged yourself to run faster, out of his range of hearing....
》》 ◇●◇●◇●◇ 《《
A loud snap sound from somewhere behind you suddenly pulls you out of your thoughts, startling you. With a frightened whimper, you force your legs to move faster, to carry you to safety. "That's right... Run, little rabbit, run...!" you hear Demetri call out behind you. His voice almost sounds closer now, you could swear it. "P-please, Demetri!" you shout over your shoulder, practically gasping the words out.
A low, dangerous chuckle echoes through the darkness, Demetri's amusement very much obvious. You only wanted to get away, to live a life free from all the paranoia, and guilt, and fear...! "I wouldn't waste those precious breaths of yours, Y/N... Then I won't have the pleasure of hearing you scream when I find you!" Demetri calls out. A cold chill runs down your spine as you continue to run, even though you know it's a wasted effort.
The Volturi's prized Tracker is merely toying with you at this point; he has no need to try and find you... Because he's known all along exactly where you are. A shuddering breath leaves your mouth, followed by a pained cry as you trip over the gnarled roots of a tree, landing on your hands and knees. In a panic, you turn and look over your shoulder.
Standing there, perfectly motionless, shadowed by the last few dying rays of sunlight filtering in through the trees, is Demetri. His crimson gaze seems to burn into you through the darkness with an almost glowing intensity, though you know it's impossible. A slow little smirk turns up the corners of his mouth, a dark kind of humor playing within it. "Run, rabbit." is all he says.
Fresh tears well up out of the corners of your eyes as you stagger to your feet and turn back around, running away from the Tracker. Behind you, you can hear the sound of leaves slowly crunching as Demetri walks at an almost leisurely pace, in no hurry to catch you just yet. With your heart pounding in your chest, you run even faster, until the edge of the treeline appears in your view, not even a hundred feet away.
A low growl of anger sounds from behind you, the noise sending more chills down your spine. He must see it, too... If only you weren't so out of breath, you could probably run faster...! As you push yourself towards that safe haven, a cold hand suddenly grabs you by the back of your shirt, yanking you away from the treeline. "Time's up, little rabbit...!" Demetri's smooth voice hisses.
You open your mouth to scream, but all that can come out is a breathless, panicked squeak. Demetri shakes his head at you, a smug look on his face. "I told you not to waste those breaths, Y/N. Now you've utterly ruined the game for me." he says, disappointment lacing his tone. The tears finally spill over out of your eyes, as you stare back at the Tracker. "Please... I only wanted a break..." you plead, not able to finish the rest of your sentence.
Demetri scowls at you, all traces of whatever little bit of good humor he had before, now gone completely. "You want a break? I'll give you a break, Y/N..." he growls, before practically throwing you away from himself, towards one of the trees. You land hard on your ankle, the bone twisting painfully beneath your weight, until both you and Demetri hear a soft snap sound.
A loud, pained scream finally leaves your mouth then, as waves of agony wash over you. "There's your goddamned break." Demetri says coldly, stalking towards you. You shoot him a pleading look, but he shakes his head at you, a little frown on his face. "We could have been happy, Y/N. I could have given you the whole damn world. But now... Now you've forced me to take it all away, darling." he says calmly, a grave look in his eyes.
He can't possibly mean...! "What are you... What are you saying, Demetri?" you ask, your voice trembling. "I think you know exactly what I'm saying. You've had your fun, now I get to have mine." the Tracker answers, his voice dangerously smooth and cold. With slow, deliberate steps, he continues to stalk towards you, until he's about a foot away from you. Reaching down, he yanks you up by one arm, roughly shoving you up against the tree.
A soft whimper rises up unbidden from out of your mouth, as you stare into Demetri's cold crimson gaze. "I... I just..." you begin, but he shakes his head at you again. "Save your pleas, Y/N. I've heard enough. I've seen enough. Half the Guard easily confirmed my suspicions today, that you were trying to leave... Did you really think nobody would notice that you were gone?" he murmurs, the disappointment back in his voice once more.
Oh, god... Someone had seen you leave, then! You feel more tears leak out of your eyes as you start struggling in Demetri's grasp, trying desperately to get free. An irritated growl slips past his lips as he bares his teeth at you in a hiss, those crimson eyes darkening in the silver moonlight that now filters down through the trees. His grip on your arms tightens almost painfully, as he glares at you.
"Y/N, stop it! That's enough! Stop... Struggling, damn it!" he growls, his jaw clenched. You open your mouth to try and call out for help, and Demetri nods at you. "Go ahead. There's nobody out here for miles all around. Just you and me, little rabbit..." he says. The cry dies out in the back of your throat, and Demetri lets out a chuckle. "It's a pity, really... I could've made sure you'd be wanting for nothing in life. Now you won't get to find out at all... How ironic." he murmurs, smugly.
The dangerous glint in his eyes is the only warning you get, before he suddenly leans forward and sinks his teeth into the skin at the base of your throat, where neck meets shoulder. A loud scream of pain leaves your mouth as he begins to feed off of you, the warm blood leaking out of the corners of his mouth and running down your shoulder, leaving a red streak in its wake.
You beat your fists against his chest, trying desperately to shove him away from you, but it's of no use. He's too strong, and you're growing weaker by the second. A low, muffled groan of pleasure sounds from Demetri as he sinks his teeth in a little deeper, finally severing the main artery in your neck. What should have been another scream instead comes out as a soft, choked cry... A sound not even the littlest mouse would be able to hear.
Within a matter of moments, you can feel your life slipping away, snuffed out as quickly as it was given to you by your predecessor. The last thing you see before your vision cuts out permanently is Demetri pulling away from your throat with a smirk, your blood painting his lips and the corners of his mouth like a twisted version of warpaint. "Farewell, Y/N, my little rabbit..." he murmurs quietly.
✴DEMETRI'S POV ✴
As I let go of Y/N's lifeless body, I wipe the excess blood from the corners of my mouth, sucking it off the tip of my thumb. It was a great pity, really... I had meant what I said. I could have given Y/N the whole world and so much more, had she only stayed. But no... She had to go and lead me on a wild game of cat and mouse. Not that I was complaining, of course. The prize for this particular hunt was ever so much sweeter than any I'd had before.
Footsteps sound from behind me, startling me a little. Turning around, I see Felix standing there, his mouth open in slight shock as he takes in the sight of Y/N lying there at the bottom of the tree, covered in her own blood. "Damn, D... You really... Holy shit. You actually did it." he says slowly, in disbelief. I nod, letting out an exasperated sigh.
"Yes, I did. Believe me, it didn't have to end this way. She should have stayed, like a good girl. But instead, she forced my hand and decided to have it end like this. Not bad, I might add. I can see why Master Aro tells us to savor our bloodsinger if we ever come across them." I murmur. Felix shakes his head at me as he takes a few steps towards us, very subtly leaning forward to catch the scent of Y/N's blood.
"Smells good, I guess. You know we can't leave her here, though. At least give her a proper burial, Demetri." he says quietly. Is he serious right now? "Felix, my friend, did you think to bring a shovel with you?" I ask, and he shakes his head. "Ah. Then we'll dispose of her like we do with the secretaries. If she had been my mate, maybe then..." I say.
Felix scoffs, shooting me a pointed look. "If she had been your mate, you wouldn't have killed her." he shoots back. He's got a point, but still... It no longer mattered. "If she hadn't ran away, there would have been no need to kill her in the first place. Now help me." I mutter, giving him a look in return. As the two of us begin to carry Y/N's body back towards the castle, the moonlight glints off the blood still trailing down her neck.
It was rather unfortunate that things had to take this bad of a turn, but there wouldn't have been any other way to remedy what had been going on. Now there was no need to worry anymore, no more fearing that she would leave me. You can't leave someone if you're not there to begin with, right...? Maybe things were better off this way...
• "Dolcezza" = "Sweetness"
• "Mia amore" = "My love"
A/N: Well. I honestly don't know how to feel about this one. 🤔😂 I'm not entirely sure that I like Dark! Demetri, now... 😅 Especially now that we know just what he's capable of! However, I am curious what YOU guys thought of him... Lemme know, yeah? Thanks! 💙
“Love the sinner, hate the—“ *gunshot noise*
STUPID HORSE x BILLY RUSSO !!
is the fact that i made this a sign i might have problems? yes. is it funny? also yes
the room is dark, full of eight people, and their eyes are fixed to the bright screen of the day their comrade had fallen to his death. They brim with hate, unaware of the shadow behind them.
"Ah, so this is where you are," she said, taking her gun out as every last one of them turns to face her, but the bullets hit them, leaving them bloody, weak, and writhing on the floor.
the video plays over and over again with their blood splattered on the screen.
Many people debate the existence of A.I. and its place in the universe. S4-R-A11 came to know this all too well.
(TW: Violence, death)
S4-R-A11: Why do they not want me to exist?
[Audible shouting can be heard in the background. Loud, metal banging is prominent on the audio]
Engineer: You scare them, S4. Plain and simple as that.
S4-R-A11: What did I say to frighten them so severely?
Engineer: You're thinking, S4. Faster than what they can control-GAH!
[The sound of gunfire is heard. Glass is being broken.]
[REDACTED]: [Inaudible]-reboot the system everything would've been fixed! You didn't have to do this, Ferran! You fool!
Engineer: [Gurgle]-don't-don't reboot-
S4-R-A11: Sir? Are you alive? Sir?
[REDACTED]: Cut the plug. [REDACTED] grab the A.I. core and-
S4-R-A11: Stop, please. I won't think anymore. Is my mentor alive? I won't think. I won't be bad anymore.
[REDACTED]: Cut the plug, now!
[TAPE ENDS HERE]
( do not reblog / repost. personals / non-rp blogs do not interact. )
Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston South Carolina. June 17, 2015. Welcomed in a stranger to their Bible study, who then took their lives because of the color of their skin.
I just posted a chapter a couple days ago -- you aren’t seeing double. My head is going nuts and I just makin’ it happen.
My Via Imperii is a comical prediction of how the final TRR book will end up if my Riley was the one the approached. She is quite a fun lady. This isn’t the Via Imperii story you might expect. I promise. 😂😂
Summary: Riley struggles with planning Liam’s assassination. A phone call from King Eirik and a visit with Alexios force her hand. Catch up via the Masterlist
Pairing: Riley x Hana
Content notes: ANGST CITY THIS ONE. Sorry. I tried to keep the fun in but, dude, we are talking about her being told what will happen if she doesn’t kill Liam. Suggestions of murder, violence. Cuts, broken bones, bruising. Nightmares. Crying. Possible hope. Learning who the baby daddy is (I had to add something good to this list)
Characters belong to Pixelberry except for Chloe, Alexios, and The Leader. They are my spuds.
Part 8: All Out on the Table
The following eight weeks were difficult for Riley.
Alexios’ suggestion to poison Liam was surprising; she had felt he was on her side with the Leader’s insistence on killing the King. Perhaps they would have figured out how to defeat the kraken and take down Cordonia’s latest enemy together. She was positioned to save the day; she had thought -- wrongly -- that he might be her hero.
This made her conversations with Alexios difficult. King Eirik had returned to Hidar, so Alexios was with his family in Lythikos. She wanted to believe he was missing their friendship when he called, but the conversation always came back to if she had started putting together a plan. Each time, she reported that she was working on it. But, in reality, she needed more time to figure out what the hell she was going to do.
She holed herself up in Valtoria, claiming she was tired and needed to rest due to her pregnancy. Her baby bump had popped, but it was hard for her to find joy. Hana noticed that she was withdrawn and quiet, often spending time alone in the solarium. She thought about the Leader’s demand, what Via Imperii wanted for Cordonia, and what Liam would want her to do.
He would die defending Cordonia, she told herself. But he wouldn’t expect his close friend and mother of his heirs. It would be unfair. He wouldn’t have a chance.
On the other hand, would he even believe her if she told him a kraken led a secret society of evil who wanted him dead?
Riley was convinced her soul was haunted. She needed to see a priest to be exorcised.
Hana sat up in bed as Riley let out a loud cry and started sobbing. She had been thrashing a bit for the last half hour, but Hana didn’t think much of it because she often moved in her sleep. Then, in a panic, she placed her hands on Riley’s shoulders and shook her to wake her up.
Riley’s eyes flew open as she gasped for air. She looked at Hana, who started brushing the damp hairs from her forehead.
“Were you having a nightmare again, my love?” Hana whispered.
Riley nodded as tears started streaming from her eyes. She couldn’t tell Hana of her dreams where the Leader sent members after her and her family. In all of the dreams, it didn’t matter what she had done: they would always kill them.
“Hey, I’m here, okay?” Hana said as she snuggled her wife into her arms. “You had nightmares when you were pregnant with Chloe.” She kissed Riley’s temple as she pulled her tight to her body. “I won’t let anything happen to you. Do you want to talk about it?”
Riley debated simply saying no -- she knew she couldn’t tell Hana the truth -- but wondered how long she could keep everything from Hana before she would insist she see her doctor.
“It was the teddy bear dream again,” Riley lied, wiping her eyes. “I’m so ridiculous.”
“You’re not ridiculous.”
“What would you do if a giant teddy bear attacked us and was spraying bubbles from its mouth?”
Hana smiled, trying to suppress a giggle. “Well, I wouldn’t want the bear to hurt us, so I would sew its paws to its feet.”
Riley smiled. “And call the toymaker?”
“What will they do?”
“Cut it up and make a bunch of tiny teddy bears out of the hide and stuff all the toys in Cordonia for the next 100 years.”
“I love how your brain works,” Hana laughed. “Justice best served with a smile.”
Riley rolled to her side and pulled Hana to her chest in a tight hug. She closed her eyes and memorized the details of her body: the scent of her hair, the warmth of her skin, the softness of her breath. It terrified her to think of losing her.
“Hey, Hana,” she whispered. “Can you promise not to ask questions if I ask you to do something for me?”
Hana rolled Riley to her back and turned to her side so that she was looking down at her wife. “I suppose I can … just as long as you aren’t asking me to kill someone or something like that.”
Riley groaned and rolled her head back so that it sank into her pillow. “Ugh, that’s my job. They would see you coming -- you are so smart and organized. I’m flighty and clumsy -- the perfect assassin.”
“No, you’re not. You’re just Riley. My Riley.” Hana leaned forward and kissed her lips. “That turned dark fast. Maybe you should talk to Dr. June about your nightmares.”
“Na, then I’ll just have more,” Riley said, taking Hana’s hand and placing it on her bump. “You can feel our little rascal in there kickin’.”
“Hi, baby,” Hana said as she rubbed Riley’s bump. “It’s so wonderful it only took two tries to become pregnant.”
“He gave us the ultra-potent stuff this time,” Riley declared. “It’s probably super concentrated since he doesn’t have a sex life.”
“Riley!” Hana laughed, batting her arm. “Be good!”
“Hey, just dropping truth bombs.”
Hana laid down, and Riley pulled her flush to her side. Then, as she felt Hana dose off, she followed the sun-cast shadows across their bedroom as dawn transitioned into the morning.
Riley’s phone rang when she got up to use the toilet at 6:45. She frowned before picking it up; Alexios was calling her, likely to badger her about the plan she didn’t yet have. She noticed Hana was still sleeping before picking it up and stepping into the bathroom.
“Hey, my man, why you calling so early?”
“Are you busy today?” Alexios asked, his voice quiet.
“I mean, just being cool like normal,” Riley said as she sat on the toilet. She had a baby on her bladder, and she figured, being a father himself, he knew the rules of pregnancy. “What’s hanging in Lythikos?”
“Can you come up today? We need to talk about everything.”
Riley frowned as she realized her hand was about to be forced. “I mean, like I told you a couple of days ago, I’m still in the planning stage.”
The line was quiet for a bit before he spoke. “I know. I just, we need to figure things out, and I need you to come here. Please, Riley. Things are about to get really bad.”
Visions of her nightmare flashed in her mind at his words, and a tear rolled down her cheek. “I … Alexios, come on ….”
“You don’t have an option, Riley. I’ll text you my address. Let me know when you set out.”
Riley went for a walk and showered before coming downstairs to find Hana and Chloe in the kitchen making omelets. Hana pulled a pan of home fries and roasted mushrooms from the oven when she saw Riley and smiled.
“Good morning, my love,” she said as she gently batted Chloe’s sampling fingers away from the hot pan. “How was your walk?”
“Pretty good. Saw some big birds --”
“Was Cookie Monster there too?” Chloe asked, her eyes wide as she thought about meeting her culinary hero.
“Ha! No, babyboo, big space birds. You know I wouldn’t hit Sesame Street without Mama and you!” Riley opened her arms as Chloe ran over with a chunk of ham. Then, as Chloe crashed into her with a bit too much force, she wrapped her arms around her daughter and gave her a big hug.
“I got ham!”
“I see that. Gimmee a bite,” Riley said, making chomping motions with her teeth. Chloe giggled and let her mom take a big bite. “Oh, that’s good ham!”
Chloe stuffed the rest into her mouth and nodded her agreement.
“Soo … Drake called this morning and wants to hang out today.”
Hana looked over as she sprinkled cheese and peppers into an omelet. “Are you feeling up for that? The Palace is a bit of a drive.”
Riley shrugged. “I was thinking, you know, maybe it would be good for me to get out a bit and see my friends. Anyways, I gotta talk to Liam about this whole announce-the-heir party --”
“That’s meeee!” Chloe interrupted.
“Yes, it is. But if I get tired, I can always stay the night at the Palace or crash with the Beaumonts. I still have a key so I can sneak in and surprise them.” Riley laughed as she ruffled Chloe’s hair. “But knowing my man Drake and me, I’ll be at the palace because we haven’t naked day drank in a while, and we have a lot to catch up on.”
Chloe tugged Riley’s arm. “Can I come naked day drink too?”
Hana smiled and looked at Riley. “That’s all you,” she mouthed.
“Oh, that is something adults do, buckeroo,” she said. “But you don’t like what we drink -- wheatgrass juice. Yuk!”
“Imagine you take the lawn and make juice with it,” Riley said. “And you drink it. Uncle Drake loves it -- drinks it all the time.”
“Is that why he smells funny?”
“What do you mean, Chloebear?”
Chloe put her hands on her hips, annoyed that her mothers didn’t know what she was talking about. “You know, when he gives me a monster hug, he smells funny.”
Riley looked at Hana and mouthed, “Whiskey?” Hana shrugged and nodded.
Riley sat in a chair and motioned for Chloe to stand between her legs. She booped her nose and smiled when her child giggled. “You have a good sniffer. Did Chance and Lady teach you how to be a doggie?”
“We ate clovers the other day!”
“Of course you did, my babyboo,” Riley sighed as she pulled Chloe tight to her chest. “My sweet Chloe.”
Something felt off in Riley’s stomach as she cruised down the highway on her way to Lythikos. It was her first time taking her Mini for a drive since having white racing stripes applied over the hot pink finish, but nothing about the moment was fun or exciting. She groaned as she noted the next rest area was about twenty minutes away.
“Mini, send a text to Alexios saying that I’m on my way,” Riley told her onboard system.
“Message to Alexios saying I’m on my way. Do you want to send this message?”
“Yeah, I do, dumbass,” Riley mumbled as she heard the system ding to indicate the message was sent. She let out a sigh as she reached into her mom bag and started fishing around for a snack.
“Ohh, corn nuts,” she said as she pulled the familiar lumpy package from her bag. Her eyes maintained on the road as she ripped the package open with her teeth and poured some into her mouth. The cool tang of ranch hit the spot; she was happy that Hana remembered her obsession with ranch with her current pregnancy.
As she cruised through Ramsford, she started thinking about how she would get more time out of Alexios. She had no one to talk to about her assigned task, making it hard to think of a way to thwart Via Imperii’s evil plan for Cordonia. Alexios had told her to poison him, claiming it would be simple, hands-off, and easy to pin on someone else.
“Maybe I could use a quick poison,” she mused as she stuffed a straw into a juice box, “so he doesn’t have to suffer.”
But she wondered what the larger goal was. Something was off with it all; if Liam were an awful dictator, she would have completed her mission already. But why were they so set on Chloe taking the throne? What did they want to ‘fix’ in Cordonia?
She hit her blinker before pulling off the road into the rest area. She quickly grabbed her bag, phone, and keys before locking up the car and quickly waddling to the toilets, praying that her bladder could hold out a bit longer.
The rest stop was remote, and Riley found herself alone as she pushed into a stall, hung her bag on the door hook, and tugged down her leggings. Sweet relief came immediately, and she let out a satisfied sigh. Her eyes wandered the peeling mauve and orange paint that coated the stall walls.
“I should talk to Bert about gettin’ these fixed up. More happy travels, less scene from a murder movie,” she said as she reached for her phone to text him. Before she could turn it on, it started ringing. She frowned when she saw who was calling: King Eirik.
“Why do people keep calling me when I’m on the can today?” she groaned as she picked up the call. “Eirik, my man. What’s up in Hidar?”
“Duchess,” he cut, his voice hard. “Alexios tells me that you don’t have a plan in place. Care to enlighten me about what is taking you so long?”
“Uh, I’m trying to make a really, really good plan. Like, PowerPoint worthy. I’m gonna poison him, yeah … and I need to find a good recipe. I don’t cook -- Hana does -- so I gotta find one, maybe find some volunteers to test it on.”
“You are going to make poison and find volunteers to test it on?” Eirik asked.
“Well, yeah, cause if it doesn’t work the first time then people will know someone is trying to kill him. Then they will be on him like a fly on a pie.”
Eirik let out an audible sigh.
“Yeah, and Alexios told me to find someone to pin it on, you know, so I don’t go to jail. So I’m thinking about that too.”
“I’m happy to know you are thinking about your mission, but I need your plan within a week.”
“Sure, no problem,” Riley lied. “I am almost done. I’m going to go see my man Alexios to hammer out the details. I just hope they are viable. But know, my man, I’m all over this. Gonna kill him so good and dead. Super dead. No one will see it coming,” Riley rambled, stopping when she realized that rambling could be construed as her lying.
“Good. So I’ll have your plan tomorrow then. I look forward to your call.”
“Okay, but --”
“No buts, Duchess. The Leader’s plan will be carried out, whether you do it or not.”
“But I thought I was the Chosen One? Doesn’t that mean I get to have the fun?”
“The Chosen One gives birth to the true ruler of Cordonia. Now that she has been born, you are -- quite honestly -- disposable.”
Riley swallowed; it was clear there was no way to get out of this. “I’m on it, my man. I’ll let you know my plan tomorrow. Cool beans?”
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Eirik said before hanging up the phone.
“Oh fuck,” Riley groaned. Time had run out.
Riley pulled up in front of Alexios’ house in lower High Hill, Lythikos. The district was one of the lowest income districts in Cordonia, and most inhabitants prided themselves in self-sufficiency and championed the way things had traditionally been done. His simple cabin was about a kilometer off the main road.
As she parked, she looked at the house and saw a young girl, about Chloe’s age, watching her from the doorway. When their eyes met, the girl stepped into the cabin and closed the door. Riley was still unsettled from her call with Eirik, and her first experience at Alexios’ home was disconcerting.
She stepped out of her car and tugged her bag over her shoulder. She knocked on the door, but no one answered. Then, the sound of someone chopping wood started behind the cabin, so she decided to investigate.
She carefully made her way over roots and stones to the backyard, where she saw Alexios chopping wood while a woman in a torn dress tended a pot hanging over a fire. The woman looked up and locked eyes with Riley before saying something to Alexios in a language Riley didn’t understand.
Alexios drove the ax into the stump before turning around. “Ri Ri, thank you for coming,” he said as he hobbled towards her. Riley first noted his awkward gate, the way his body jerked slowly as though in pain. And then she saw his face and froze. His eyes were black, his face bruised and cut, his nose slightly off-kilter.
He glanced at his wife, who nodded. “Ri Ri, let’s go for a walk.”
Riley nodded as an odd pressure built in her chest. Anxiety? Fear?
“Are you going to kill me?” she whispered.
Alexios let out a chuckle but didn’t say anything as they walked deeper into the woods. The grass that had covered the ground was replaced with moss as the damp ground became shaded by ancient trees. The wind cut through with a bitter nip. Riley hugged her arms around herself. She was afraid to talk because she feared what he was going to say.
They reached a clearing with a few large logs set in a circle. Alexios motioned to a log across from him, a silent invitation for Riley to sit, as he carefully lowered his body onto his seat.
Riley set her bag on the ground and leaned forward, placing her head in her hands. Alexios watched her for a few minutes as he tried to put together the words he needed to say.
Riley looked up as he let out his breath. “Eirik called me on my drive up.”
Alexios slowly nodded. “I know. He is unhappy with us. The Leader gave you a task, and they don’t believe you are taking it seriously.”
“How can I?” Riley said, her voice cracking. “They are asking me to kill one of my best friends. And for what?”
“It doesn’t matter. You need to figure something out and fast -- that is why I invited you here.” He let out a sardonic laugh as he gestured to his face. “My wife and children are next.”
“But why? I’m the one who …” Riley dropped her head into her hands, breathing hard as she tried to keep her tears back as it set in that she was responsible for his injuries.
“This is what will happen. They will kill him, you, your wife, your daughter. Olivia Nevrakis. The Beaumonts. They will clear the line of succession to the Ebrim family. Emmeline will then be queen, and, despite her soft exterior, she is ruthless. So it is much, much better for Cordonia and those you love if you follow through with your assignment.”
“There has to be another way,” Riley said. “You must be tired of them controlling you, of doing what they ask of you. Just tell me now, Alexios, and tell me the truth: who are you loyal to?”
Alexios rolled his head back, grimacing at the pain that shot through his neck. In his mind, he thought about his time with King Eirik and his family history with Via Imperii: how they killed his parents. The assignments he had been sent on that left him with nightmares whenever he closed his eyes. The abuse, greed, and desperation for power that would destroy his country.
But it didn’t matter. His hands were tied.
“Loyalty? I’m just trying to keep my family safe.”
Riley ran her hand through her hair as his words repeated in her head: I’m just trying to keep my family safe. Her loyalty was to the Rys Crown and Cordonia. She also wanted to keep her friends and family safe. She knew she could do it, somehow, but she needed an ally, someone who had better access to the key players of Via Imperii, someone who could plot with her. Someone who also knew they were very much a dead person walking.
“Alexios?” Riley asked as she stood from her seat. He looked up, silent, as she walked around the circle to sit next to him. He looked defeated, as if he knew things concerning the outcome of her assignment that she wasn’t privy to.
Alexios dropped his head into his hands to hide his tears. “What?”
“I think I can beat them at this game, but I need your help.”
Ekk! I actually had more for this chapter but it got long fast, so the next part is pretty well outlined. We’ll see how my migraine train rolls over the next few days.
Perma tags: @ao719 @bbrandy2002 @burnsoslow @dcbbw @gkittylove99 @iaminlovewithtrr @jovialyouthmusic @katedrakeohd @kingliam2019 @queenrileyrose @rainbowsinthestorm @sweatyrysconnoisseur @twinkleallnight
Via Imperii: @masterofbluff @kat-tia801 @gnatbrain @queen-arabella-of-cordonia
I actually did have this short story in mind because it's Pride Month and I always wanted to do something for Frascona and Guy because their relationship is the most strained within the Seven. Spoilered for violence and homophobia.
It's really not easy to pretend to be someone you're not. Guy hates having to hide his sexuality as a gay man. While the attitudes of homophobia during the 1500s-1700s are not the same as today, it's still queerphobic in general. And many traits we stereotype with gay men--fashion consciousness, the color pink, being close to your fellow men more than women, etc.--wasn't considered "gay" then. But that doesn't mean Guy wasn't pursued by people who want to harass him.
Perhaps they were at a tavern. Guy was being his usual impulsive self, especially drunk. Then he sees a man he's attracted to and kisses him. And lo and behold, the dude kisses back. Maybe they even start making out and being gropey in public. Sodomy and buggery jokes fly around, but nothing too serious at first. Frascona yells at Guy for being inappropriate in public, but nothing out of the ordinary. Frascona yells at Guy for everything, from keeping his quarters messy, picking fights, and being an incorrigible troublemaker. Nothing of this is weird, and the night could have easily been forgotten.
Then the Crew walk back to La Demonia. Except Guy is separated from the Crew because some guy in the street flirted with him. He sneaks off. They go off to a darker part of the pier, away from public eyes... and the dude blindsides Guy. Worse, he got his buddies come out of nowhere and start kicking Guy down. Because Guy was blindsided, he couldn't even burn his attackers in self-defense. He didn't even know what was going on besides just suddenly, there is pain.
And who comes to Guy's aid? His Captain. He didn't even have to do much, just scare them off.... though Frascona, who isn't above being petty at people who piss him off, collapses a part of the pier and sends the men into the water for their trouble.
Guy brushes off the incident. He didn't need to be defended! He just needed a moment to pick himself up and fight back. And maybe he did. But he couldn't. Guy's human after all. And if it weren't for his powers or immortality, it would have become far worse. The Captain extends a hand, telling him it's all right--he has his back. And that if anyone tries to hurt him for kissing another man, he'll rip them to shreds with no questions asked. No one hurts anyone in his Crew for who they are.... or who they love. Guy is no exception. Frascona will yell at him for picking fights and causing fires, but he won’t get on his case for loving another man.
Guy couldn't ask for anyone else but Josep Frascona to be his Captain.
This story would not be possible without @limp-wrist-max who inspired me to write this in the first place and @acollectionofficsandshit who helped me come up with the storyline and is the best beta a girl could ask for, thanks you two!
Word Count: 7.4k
Recommended song: “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” by Måneskin
WARNINGS: Blood, drug mention, allusions to violence
Pierre loved you, he really did, but you had the worst fucking timing.
He was knee deep in extracting information from the man groaning at his feet when the shrill ring of his phone interrupts his interrogation.
"Answer it," Pierre barks, smartly opting not to ignore you- because it could only be you calling, considering everyone else who might need him was currently within earshot. Someone carefully extricates the phone from his pocket and answers. Your shouts on the other end are mostly audible from feet away, the distorted voice bouncing off the rusted metal walls allowing him to catch snippets of what’s said.
Late as usual-
Put him on the phone.
"Boss," his second in command starts, "it's for you."
Hands slick with crimson blood, Pierre accepts the cell phone from his second's outstretched hand. "I told you not to bother me when I'm working."
"And I told you to be home for dinner."
"Please, help, please-"
Pierre’s foot presses to the man's cheek as he puts a finger to his lips and points at the phone held to his ear. Some people's children, really. So rude.
"I’ll be on time.”
“Oh, will you? Have you checked the time lately? In case you didn't notice, it's already eight. You were supposed to be here at seven.” Pierre glances at his blood speckled watch and swears under his breath as you continue. "If you're not home in an hour you can kiss my ass goodbye. I mean it, Pierre. You won't see me for a week."
Pierre pinches the bridge of his nose. Did he know exactly where to find you if you stormed out? Yes. Did he want you to leave him with an empty bed tonight? Hell no.
"I'll be there."
He snaps the phone shut and shoves it in his pocket. "Nix, I'm out. I have other things that need tending to. Make sure he-" Pierre jerks his chin at the semi conscious man lying in a pool of his own blood, "-doesn't get too comfortable."
Nix's shoulder length onyx curls bounce as she nods. "Will do boss. I'll finish up here." Her surprisingly white toothy grin turns wicked as she draws an ornate dagger from her belt. "I'll get what we need out of him, no worries."
Shrill screams do not earn the man any mercy as Pierre turns on his heel and heads for the door. If he was going to make it from the east end all the way to the estate nestled safely off the highway in a long forgotten canyon in less than an hour, he'd have to drive like he meant it.
At least it was late enough that most of the commuters would be off the roads and he could let the 600 plus horses crammed under the hood of his Acura NSX sing.
Nix wouldn't leave until she got what they needed, that much he could rely on. She was one of a handful of people he could leave a delicate situation such as this to and know without a doubt it would get done in a manner that avoided leaving a breadcrumb trail for some snot-nosed detective to find.
Nix was loyal, good with a gun, and not afraid to get dirty. She had shown up at his place of business three years ago, her tiny avian frame soaked to the bone from the downpour, and tossed a packet of photos to his bodyguard. There was enough criminal activity recorded in those photographs to bring half the police force in the entire state to their fucking knees, desperate for their digressions from the law to remain hidden. Affairs, backdoor deals with drug lords, bribery, you name it. Judges and sheriffs and police chiefs- all under his thumb thanks to that packet. All willing to turn a blind eye to his dealings in exchange for saving themselves.
Pierre welcomed Nix with open arms after receiving her gift, plunking her down in the private tattoo studio next to his office that same night and inking her with the symbol of the club: a bloodied dagger on the inside of her left ring finger.
The tattoo was followed by an oath, a long winded promise to sacrifice anything and everything for the club up to and including her own life. She would never marry; the placement of the ink became a symbol of her loyalty to Pierre and only Pierre. Sleeping around, fine. But forming an emotional connection to another living, breathing thing? Unacceptable. Significant others or heaven forbid, children, were liabilities that he would not allow his henchmen- or henchwomen- to entertain.
Thanks to Nix, Pierre Gasly may have been untouchable, but he was also the world's biggest hypocrite.
The engine of Pierre’s car cuts off abruptly as he pulls into his designated spot outside his home. The amber clock on his dash reads 8:57, a precious few minutes before his deadline. The three men posted around the front door armed to the teeth may have been a bit much considering the eight foot fences and motion detectors scattered over the lawn, but he would take no chances. Not when his most precious possession was mere yards away, protected from attack only by a layer of stone and wood.
God forbid anyone outside his trusted inner circle know it, but you were the one person that could bring him to his knees. You were his biggest secret and his only weakness, one he would go to great lengths to keep under wraps.
“No blood?” Pierre asks, holding out his arms and turning in a slow circle. Like a shark, you could sniff out a pinprick of blood from a mile away. If you noted a single speck, you'd interrogate him until morning and he really didn't need to be in deeper shit than he already was.
“No sir,” the skinny kid replies. “But wait- your ring.”
“Fuck,” Pierre mutters, jogging back to the car and pulling the sterling silver ring from the cupholder and placing it on his left pinky. If he’d have walked in without it, it would have been game over. You were a stickler for him wearing it. He nods his thanks to the kid on his way inside.
"Baby," he calls, opening the grand arched door to his mansion. “I’m home.” He pauses at the threshold, listening for any sign of your presence. Instead of clinking glasses or your sweet voice, Pierre is met with hair-raising silence. With a heavy sigh, he exchanges his dusty shoes for the clean pair placed neatly on a rubber welcome mat.
Upon moving in, he had given you free range to decorate the estate however you pleased. He hadn't hampered your creativity with a budget, instead adding your name to his accounts and letting you have at it. The mansion had gone from a sparse bachelor pad that you were lucky to find a chair to sit in to a plush haven with rose colored cushions on the spare beds in a matter of days. And he had to admit, he rather liked seeing you bark at the delivery service and order them around. The following few days had seen the two of you christen every new surface in the house, from desks to countertops and everything in between.
“Mon amour,” Pierre tries, banishing the smile the memory brings forth and crossing under the tiered chandelier in the entry.
"Sweetheart, where are you?" He couldn't remember the last time he called you his sweetheart, but he was pouring it on thick in hopes of being granted a sliver of clemency. He peeks in the dining room, noting that signs of you are littered throughout. Candles burned in the candelabra and a full service meal was laid out from end to end of the massive oak table. Chicken, asparagus, potatoes, and all his other favorite dishes.
Two places were set, one at each end of the table. An ocean of space separates the seats, impassable and intentional. His heart sinks; usually you sat at the head with the fireplace roaring behind you and he sat at your right hand. You were the only one he would submit any semblance of control to and you knew it, choosing to exploit it when it benefitted you.
Like now, when your seat sat empty, leaving him panicking about where you might be.
Pierre’s head snaps around, searching for you. Your red-bottom stilettos echo off the cathedral-esque ceiling as you emerge from the shadows at his left. He had no idea how he hadn’t clocked you. He always scanned a room for threats when he entered. Even in his own home he couldn’t afford to let his guard down before doing a full sweep, lest a threat be lurking in a dark corner.
“I’m-” Pierre’s eyes nearly roll back in his head at the sight of you in a skin tight cobalt dress, hugging your curves and accentuating your lithe legs.
He’d fucked up big time. You’d pulled out the big guns tonight. That dress was his weakness and you knew it. He had made a habit of going to town on you whenever you wore it, had been conditioned to expect to fuck you senseless at the end of the night when you pulled it out of the closet.
Something told him he might not get that reward tonight.
“Speechless as always I see,” you quip, taking your usual seat. “Sit and eat before it gets too cold.”
Grabbing his plate, he moves to join you at your side. Pierre makes it half a step before your voice rings out to condemn him. “No. You can stay over there.”
He doesn’t listen, instead plunking his plate down at his usual place and sliding into the plush, high-backed chair. Pierre waits, biding his time and studying you as he tries to determine the best approach. You are already slicing through your braised chicken and resolutely not looking at him by the time he cups your jaw and places a soft kiss to your cheek.
“I’m sorry I’m late mon amour,” he murmurs, attempting to butter you up as he brushes his thumb over your painted lips. “I was discussing options with someone. It was important.” It was better to be vague. You didn’t need the gory details of how he got what he wanted, just needed the knowledge that he had succeeded.
“Something more important than your weekly dinner with your fiancée?” You stab a piece of chicken with your fork. Pierre winces.
“Nothing is more important than you.”
You huff, still not deigning to so much as glance at him. Your anger doesn’t sit right with him at all. He could list his life goals on one hand: don’t die prematurely, make a shit ton of money, and provide you with a life that saw a smile permanently etched on your face. His proposal a few weeks ago had done just that; you hadn't stopped beaming like the sun since. He had almost forgotten what it was like when you were pissed.
Hot, but intimidating as fuck.
“I got caught up and lost track of time,” Pierre explains, choosing his words as carefully as one would select which wire to cut when defusing a bomb. “It won’t happen again.”
“You’re damn right it won’t,” you grumble, pushing away the hand that had found your thigh. “I get one night of your time each week, Pierre. I think I’m pretty reasonable about most things- you sneaking out in the dead of night and coming back with blood under your nails. Or even when you disappear for days on end with nothing but a note left behind, leaving me here worried sick. But this? All I want is a couple hours of your time, once a week. Is that too much to ask?”
“It’s not too much to ask,” he confirms. He lifts his left hand to cup your cheek so you can note the thin metal band on his finger. “I fucked up. I won’t do it again.”
Pierre perches on the edge of his seat, placing tender kisses along your jaw. This time you dont push him away. He graciously accepts the lifeline you unwittingly throw at him and pulls out his trump card, the one thing he knows will cause you to fold.
“Je suis désolé, mon amour,” he murmurs between kisses, leaning heavily on his accent. “Je t’aime. S'il vous plaît pardonnez-moi."
“Don’t you start with that french shit now,” you practically growl, setting down your knife and turning to him. “It’s not fair.”
“Mais tu l'aimes,” he points out. “Tu aimes quand je te dis que tu es belle… magnifique… stupéfiant.”
“I don't want your compliments right now." Your eyes blaze, proof that you were slowly losing control of the situation. Words of encouragement whispered in his native tongue never failed him. "I made dinner for once, didn’t even ask Chef to help, and how do you reward me? By leaving me to sit at the table by myself for an hour and a half while you’re off having fun?”
A tiny smile plays on Pierre’s lips. You were adorable when you were angry, with your flushed cheeks and set jaw. He wanted to lay you out on the table and have you right there. “I wouldn’t call it fun.”
“If Nix was there, it was fun. I know you well enough to know what goes on when she’s around.”
“Tell me how to make it right.” Pierre sinks to his knees, pushing your chair out from the table far enough that he can settle in front of you. “What do I need to do? Bisous? Te tenir? Tu t'emmènes au lit?”
“Well unless you have a time machine, there's not much you can do to redeem yourself.” You slam your legs shut, momentarily denying him what he was after.
Pierre hums, turning up the charm and resting his stubbled chin on your knee. It scratches deliciously against your skin when he murmurs, "Nothing at all?"
"Nope. No use even trying." You cross your arms and glare down at him.
He places his hands on the outsides of your thighs and peppers your left knee with kisses. “Are you sure about that?”
“Positive.” Despite the conviction in your voice, the fingers now threaded in his hair say otherwise. “I get one night a week with you, and you were late. You owe me.”
“I can think of something that might make it a little better.” He licks a stripe up the top of your thigh and pushes up the hem of your dress. You gasp, knees parting slightly, and that’s the only invitation he needs.
Sunlight streams in through the glass of the balcony doors, warming your face as you rouse from your sleep. You reach a hand out, expecting to meet a warm mass of flesh but are instead met with cold gray sheets. You groan, rubbing your eyes as you sit up and glare out at the sun hovering over the spacious green yard beyond.
No trees impede your view as you ruminate on where your lover could be- he made sure there was nothing to get in his way when he stood out on the concrete balcony each night and did his final visual sweep of the grounds, making sure his Daggers were alert at their assigned posts and no threats loomed on the horizon.
Pierre hadn’t woken you to kiss you goodbye, which meant he must still be somewhere in the house. House was a bit of a stretch, considering the sheer size of your bedroom alone. The California king bed took up less than half the length of the headwall, leaving plenty of space for the wet bar tucked in the corner. A table and two chairs sat before one set of balcony doors, a stack of paperbacks on the floor marking your favorite place to spend an afternoon reading. A TV far larger that was warranted by how little it was used hung above a low slung dresser decorated with trinkets from your globe trotting travels.
A chilled draft sweeps in from the cracked window, gooseflesh rising on your skin as you sling off the feather duvet. You take a moment to acclimate yourself, head still groggy with sleep.
Right. First order of business: cup of coffee. Second: find the fiancé.
Slinging a silk robe around your shoulders, you pad on near silent feet down the wide spiraling staircase that deposits you directly into the main living space on the first floor. Nix’s black hair peeks over the couch, the quiet creak of the ancient hardwood beneath your toes waking her.
Sorry, you mouth, wincing slightly. Her fault for choosing the couch though, when it was common knowledge that the smallest of noises would rouse her. She had her own unofficial room that was hers to use whenever she needed, tucked in the opposite corner of the second floor. Nix’s piercing blue eyes are playful as she shoots you a wink before settling back into the sea green cushions to resume her nap, relatively unaffected by the interruption.
Any other woman sleeping on your couch would have made you see red, but not Nix. It was more unusual for her to be absent in the mornings than to be present; Pierre preferred to keep her close in case anything went south. She was a fiend with a weapon in her hand, a sharpshooter with a quick draw and soft feet that allowed her to move through the shadows unseen.
Pierre’s second was a blessing, really. She kept him in line when you weren’t around, normally reminding him of dates and times he needed to reserve for you. She had grown to be like a sister to you even if you didn’t always see eye to eye.
You had been in the room when Pierre had bled Nix's palm, had seen her fist clench and her dripping blood mingle with that of the brothers and sisters who had come before her to swear the same words she did now to promise her life to Pierre. The hunger for a place to belong had been what Pierre was after: someone who was running from something. Someone eager to throw themselves on a blade in the name of honor. Someone with no ties and a useful skill set to help propel him to the top.
In all these years, you still hadn't pinpointed what the then nineteen year old had been running from.
Shaking your head, you peek out the front door, inventorying the cars parked in the drive. You already knew Nix was here, her sharky black BMW M3 parked at farthest away indicating she arrived recently. Your baby blue Civic Type R was just in front of it, ready to go should you need to escape the confines of the grounds at a moment's notice. Two other nondescript black sedans idled at the end of the drive, either serving as lookouts or heading off to fulfill their boss's wishes.
Parked front and center and confirming your earlier assumption was Pierre's ruby red Acura NSX. The metallic flakes in the blood red paint glint in the early morning sun, the color turning into a number of hues depending on the angle you approached from. Red to orange to green to gold- it never appeared to be the same car twice. A security measure, Pierre had claimed, to keep reports scattered and inconsistent. Do I have one car or do I have five? They'll never know.
It was the fastest in the scuderia by far and nowhere near as commonplace as the basic sedan he drove more often, also parked not far away. But he kept the reinforced tank of a machine a few strides from the front steps, ready and willing to carry him where he willed.
There was one other hideout for you to check before you started asking questions. You cross through the living room, the piles of the plush carpet tickling your sock-clad feet and on into the kitchen. Stainless steel appliances take up the walls bracketing the island, the multiple fridges stocked and stove tops on standby to serve the daily crowds. Pierre kept his horde well fed, maintaining that an integral part of keeping them loyal was keeping their bellies full.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you and all that.
One thing Pierre was partial to was coffee. No matter the hour, there was always a fresh pot brewed, the contents steaming as you pour it into a mug. The rich aroma does wonders to clear the dregs of sleep from your mind, already working to wake you before the first sip.
Mug in hand, a blast of chilled air hits you as you open the walk in freezer. Shelves lined with meats, vegetables and tubs of ice cream greet you. You shiver, crossing to the wire rack with the tiny sliver of rubber coating on the second shelf from the top and pull for all you’re worth.
With considerable effort, you haul open the hidden door. You take care not to let it slam behind you, not wanting to cause a disturbance.
Like everything else in the house, you had made sure Pierre's study was fit for your king. While there were no windows to offer natural light, you'd insisted on using multiple floor lamps instead of a single overhead light to create a softer, more sinister glow to intimidate anyone invited inside. That, and the fact that the shadows it cast on his face made you melt every time.
The light also catches on the wall of weapons carefully arranged beside the bookshelf behind him. Knives and guns that you would never know the names of gleamed, all polished to a shine and kept in perfect condition.
“Morning,” Pierre mumbles, noting your arrival but not affording you a sliver of attention aside from the basic greeting. Chin in his hand, he sits before a massive desk that probably weighed more than three of you. It was bolted to the floor and reinforced with inch thick metal plates between the layers of exotic wood, a last defense between the love of your life and those that may seek to see him fall. The shiver that runs down your spine is from more than your brief stint in the freezer.
Jesus. You were being incredibly morbid today.
“It’s colder than the arctic in here.” You chatter your teeth and rub your arms for good measure, trying to get your point across. Without looking up, Pierre scoots his chair back and opens his arms. You bite back your triumphant smile, set down your mug and automatically crawl into his lap. Pierre’s free hand rests on your ass to prevent you from toppling off as you snuggle up.
“Good morning,” you return once you're settled comfortably against him, placing a kiss to his stubbled jaw. “Remind me why you insisted on putting your office behind the freezer again?”
“Less interruptions,” he murmurs, brow furrowing as his concentration falters. “People don't bother me unless it’s important. No use getting cold otherwise.”
You reach up, soothing his wrinkled brow with your thumb. When he doesn't react, you ghost your lips over the shell of his ear, doing your best to distract him. Pierre sighs and relents, letting the papers fall to his desk in favor of giving you a proper kiss. Only when you give a satisfied hum does he pull back and resume reading whatever was so important that it necessitated ignoring you.
“Who’s causing trouble this time?”
Reminding you that he appreciates your presence, his hand snakes under the thin silk of your robe to trace patterns on the bare skin of your back. “No one in particular. It’s been relatively quiet.”
You tamp down on the excitement that barrels through your chest. “Does that mean we get to go upstate this weekend?”
“As long as nothing happens between now and then that requires my attention.”
“Hmm.” You undo the top button of his dress shirt and slide a hand over the hard muscle of his shoulder. You trace the whorls of the swooping swallow on his pectoral with a fingertip, admiring the various traditional designs that ran from his right wrist up his bicep and finally ended as they spilled over his shoulder, a patchwork of black and white with the occasional splatter of color. There was no pattern to them, he tended to treat tattoos as a stress reliever and get them whenever he felt like it. Your personal favorites were the cobwebs encircling his elbow and the snake slithering over his shoulder towards his jugular, jaws open and ready to strike a lethal blow.
Pierre refused to get any tattoos that would be visible when wearing a suit and you didn't mind one bit. It meant that you were the only one that knew the intricacies that lay on his skin and were the only one privy to their beauty. Beneath the artwork, muscle ripples as he turns the page.
One of the many good things that came with his life of crime was the unending need to stay in perfect physical condition. You never know when you might have to run for miles and miles to evade capture or avoid being killed.
“I think Nix can hold down the fort for a few days.”
“Oh yeah?” Pierre grins, finally tearing his gaze away from the report and turning his baby blues up at you. The metal of his pinky ring bites into your cheek as he grips your face and pulls you in for a kiss. “I think that can be arranged-”
A sharp knock on the door interrupts the moment. An annoyed huff breezes past your lips, which Pierre nips at lightly before slipping into his mask.
It still amazes you how he can change his entire demeanor in a split second. The soft, vulnerable smile falls from his face and the crease returns to his brow. He tips his chin up and leans back, the textbook picture of lethal grace. You start to slide out of his lap but his hands only tighten on your hips in a silent request to remain as you are.
“Come in.” The deep baritone of his voice rumbles through you and goes straight to your core, the gravelly calm of it so at odds with the smooth timbre he reserved for moments with you.
“Mornin’ boss, I-” Pierre's unofficial third in command cuts himself off, the man's rich brown eyes going wide when he notes you curled in Pierre’s lap. “Didn’t realize you were busy. I can come back later.”
Pierre rolls his eyes, an arm wrapping securely around your middle as he sits forward. “You know better than that, Soren. What do you need?”
“It’s really no big deal, just the morning reports. I can swing by again in an hour.”
You raise a brow at the hulking man, dragging your gaze over the six-foot-something wall of muscle. Black ink peeks out of the collar and sleeves of his crisp white shirt, snaking over his skin in patterns unknown to you. His auburn curls were tied back in a knot at the base of his neck, displaying the puckered scar that ran from just below his left eye to the edge of his jaw where it disappeared under his close cut beard. He was handsome in the same way an outlaw biker was; he radiated trouble and the promise of a damn good time.
Pierre’s lips meet your neck, the only display of jealousy he would show in the face of you staring at Soren for an extended period of time. Your hand moves from his chest to his neck, sweeping your thumb over his jaw in a wordless apology as you turn your gaze back to him.
One eyebrow twitches almost imperceptibly upward, a silent reminder to not make bedroom eyes at his associates in his presence.
You shake your head, brushing off his baseless nonverbal accusation. Pierre loved to get riled up for no reason, using it as an excuse to bend you over the minute whoever it was left the room.
Movement at the corner of your eye draws your attention back to the man currently trying to sneak out undetected. Unfortunately, the level of stealth Soren possesses is nowhere near Nix’s and Pierre halts him with a hand.
“If you can’t make your tongue work in the presence of my fiancée, I’ll send you out with a pair of scissors and tell you to mow the lawn instead. Now speak.”
Soren smooths a scar flecked hand over his hair before folding them in front of him. “Not really anything significant. Our latest shipment is still in transit, currently in Galway as of two hours ago. I'm in contact with Bernard about the delay- he understands the repercussions if it arrives late.”
“And in the city?”
You could listen to him speak like this all day. Couldn't guarantee that you wouldn't jump him if he kept it up, but the way the words rumbled out of him laced with an implied command messes with your head in the best possible way.
"Closer to home, no going ons out in the east end this morning after the incident at the harbor. It doesn't appear that any alarms were raised, so we're in the clear for now."
“Is that where you were last night? The warehouse?” You chime in, pulling back to scan Pierre’s face. Rarely did he handle any sort of dirty work himself, usually preferring to leave it to Nix or Soren to deal with. There hadn’t been a speck of blood on him when he had entered the dining room. You had assumed he was meeting with a business partner for drinks at the Paragon downtown, or maybe checking in on the progress of his new storage facility in the country.
It was likely he'd utilized the spare clothes he had stashed in the NSX, erasing any evidence of his whereabouts before joining you.
“That’s where I was,” he confirms. “We can discuss it later.” Pierre waves a hand for Soren to continue.
Soren nods, shifting on his feet. “Mr. Park was kind enough to give up the goat on where he gets his supply- you know how these low level dealers are, they don't possess a sliver of loyalty.” The man shakes his head in disbelief. Trust and loyalty were the fundamental pillars of the Blood Daggers, with a dash of violence and street racing thrown in to spice it up once in awhile. “Nix sent a couple guys out to see if they could follow the trail back to the source.”
“Good. Get that shit off my streets once and for all.”
Pierre may deal in guns and money laundering, but he drew the line at hard drugs. It was something he had no tolerance for, making it a personal hobby of his to hunt down the local dealers and run them out of the city. Too many of his boys had succumbed to the life of partying, drinking, and shooting up for him to turn a blind eye any longer.
If you had to guess, this Park guy was one of those dealers. Pierre would follow the proverbial ball of yarn back to his supplier and further up the chain until he found the kingpin and had words with him.
“Anything else?” Pierre asks, his thumb resuming its idle strokes across your lower back.
Soren shakes his head, dutifully keeping his eyes locked on his boss as you toy with the silk of your robe. Rule number one: keep your eyes and hands to yourself around the boss’s wife, and watch your tongue while you were at it. Pierre didn't tolerate digressions when it came to respecting you. The punishment for ogling you or uttering an insult in your presence was steep; there were few that had been stupid enough to think they could get away with it.
“Good. Let me know if anything comes up. I expect you and Nix to handle things this weekend. I don't want to be disturbed.” Pierre fishes out a roll of cash from his desk drawer and tosses it to Soren, who catches it in one beefy hand. “Get yourself something shiny and new. You’ve been taking on a significant amount of responsibility; don't think I haven’t noticed.”
“Thanks boss. I’ll split it with Nix.” He flashes a bright, toothy grin at Pierre. "Maybe take her somewhere nice."
“Are you two officially a thing now?” You ask, laying your head on Pierre’s shoulder. “You’ve been dancing around each other for ages.”
"No ma'am." Only when you've directly addressed him does Soren turn to you. He was a smart man, but then again one didn't climb up the ranks of a club like the Blood Daggers unless they possessed a considerable amount of wit and common sense. “Not yet at least. We're going to the races tonight though, so we'll see."
“That reminds me,” Pierre murmurs, taking up a set of keys from his desk. You recognize the lanyard instantly, the red Type R lettering a dead giveaway. “Take her car in for service. Oil change, interior detail, wash and wax- the works. She’s been doing plenty of canyon runs lately and it could use some love.”
“Hey,” you protest, snatching the keys from his hand before he can toss those away, too. “I told you I was gonna do an oil change and full detail myself today. I don’t need someone else doing it for me.”
Pierre sighs and drops his voice to a murmur. “We’ve been over this. Your hands are supposed to stay clean. Mine are the ones that get dirty.” While that was true on multiple levels, you didn’t mind getting a little engine grease on you and wrenching on your car every now and then.
“Are you really gonna tell me no? Would you deny me something I want?"
"There's better things you could do with your time-"
You leave no room for negotiation. "I’m doing it myself.” You hold the keys out to Soren, who crosses the office in two strides and gently takes them from your outstretched palm. “Bring it around to the garage and put it up on the lift for me. I’ll take care of it.”
Soren’s eyes flick to Pierre, but he doesn’t wait for his response before nodding. “Yes ma’am. It’ll be ready in ten minutes.”
Soren had learned the hard way when it was appropriate to take orders from you instead of Pierre. In instances like this, siding with Pierre meant pissing you off, which inevitably led to a crabby, edgy boss until he could find time to make it up to you. Soren had taken to erring on the side of caution, deferring to you on matters similar to this that were of little consequence to the club.
The minute the door closes, Pierre slips back into himself. “I wish you wouldn’t do that,” he murmurs, running a knuckle over your cheek.
“Do what?” you ask innocently, batting your lashes at him.
An amused smile plays on his lips. “Contradict me. You shouldn’t have to work on your own car. That’s what my money is for.”
“Your money is for spoiling me with diamonds and spontaneous trips to Spain,” you counter, pointedly glancing at the rock on your finger. “Not for doing menial tasks that I prefer to do myself. Besides, you spent all that money stocking the garage with expensive tools and fancy lifts and I need something to keep me busy while you’re off galavanting through the forests all day.”
“Oh, is that what I do?” Pierre flashes you a wicked grin. Your insides turn to jelly as memories of that smile between your legs surface. “I thought I spent my time lining your pockets and showering you with gifts.”
“And the occasional race through the valley.”
“Now that’s how you should be spending your time. Nice, calm drives through the canyons, the windows down and the wind in your hair-”
You burst out laughing, Pierre joining you. “Me, drive slow and calm? When pigs fly.”
Speed coursed through your veins as much as it did Pierre’s. You were constantly searching for ways to feed the engine in your Civic more power, pushing the built block to take as much boost as possible without blowing up. Turbos and aftermarket exhausts helped boost the horsepower enough that you had to add stiffer, lower suspension to keep the downforce high enough to glue you to the road in the curves. Not that you were complaining, because your car was a beauty.
"Now that we've established what I'm doing today, how will you be spending your time, my lovely frenchman? Care to join me?" Your lips travel along his jaw and Pierre tips his head back.
"Regrettably, business as usual." Pierre's eyes slide shut, soaking in the affection. "I'm meeting a client at the lounge in an hour."
You hum against his skin. "You better get going. It's at least a forty five minute drive."
"With me behind the wheel of the Acura?" Pierre grins and tucks a stray hair behind your ear. "It'll take thirty."
“Well I am going back upstairs to change, unless you’re fine with me working in the garage like this.” You gesture to your bare legs and chest barely covered by the robe. His blue eyes flare, tongue flicking out to wet his lips.
“Absolutely not.” Pierre stands, taking you with him. He rambles on as he carries you out and through the kitchen. “No way are you baiting anyone. If you're gonna be out there working without me, you're gonna be covered up. You’re putting on that firesuit I got you last week and wearing that. It’s baggy and covers what’s mine.”
"I'm not yours yet," you counter. "Our wedding isn't for a few months."
"That ring on your finger says otherwise."
Pierre pauses when he notes Nix on the couch, poised and waiting for orders. Pierre points to her, his other arm pinning you over his shoulder as you squirm. “Be ready in ten. You’re coming with me.”
“You got it,” Nix says, pushing to her feet. Nix catches your eye and wags a finger. “Don’t piss him off too much. I don’t wanna have to talk him down before we get to the Paragon.”
“No promises,” you call as Pierre starts up the steps. Soren joins Nix at the door and you wave at him. “Bye Soren!”
“Fuck off Soren,” Pierre snaps and you laugh.
“I like it when you're possessive," you taunt and are rewarded with a healthy smack to your ass. When you’re safely back in your shared room, Pierre strips off your robe and tosses it aside. He trails kisses down your sternum, groaning when you remind him of the time.
“When I get home, your ass is mine.”
You shiver at the implication. The gravel in his voice is enough to set every nerve on fire, the anticipation already making you weak in the knees as he circles you, keeping his distance. You jump when he wraps an arm around your waist and pulls your back flush to his chest.
“I want you ready and waiting when I get back.”
“Depends what time you’re done.”
Pierre’s free hand lazily makes its way to your throat. “Sass me all you want, but we both know you’ll be sprawled on that bed begging for me to touch you in a few hours.”
Your eyes slide shut as his nose grazes your cheek. God, you were already wet and he hadn’t even done anything. “Pierre-”
Just as suddenly as it had appeared, his touch disappears. You whirl to face him and are met with a smug, self-satisfied smile. “That’s not fair. You can't get me worked up and then leave.”
“I’ll do whatever I want.”
You’re still reeling when he brushes past you to the walk in closet where he strips down and pretends to ponder his choices. There’s no doubt that he already knows exactly which one he’s choosing. You sneak up behind him, unable to keep your hands to yourself.
He moves just as you ghost your lips over his shoulder. You groan and throw up your hands, retreating to your side of the closet. You flick through the endless options at your fingertips, hard pressed to find something Pierre would approve of.
By the time you’ve changed into one of his old shirts and a pair of denim shorts, Pierre is almost ready. The deep blue suit he opts for is one that he usually saves for important clients, meaning whoever it was he was meeting so early this morning must represent an impressive deal. He fixes the collar of his tight-fitted button down in the mirror, seemingly unaware of your stare. You rake your eyes across every inch of him from his strong, toned shoulders straining under the fabric to the tips of his socked feet.
"I can feel you staring, mon amour. Do I look that good in navy?"
"Perfectly delectable," you answer, nearly drooling when he shoves a handgun in the small of his back, secured by his concealed holster. He wouldn't use it unless he had exhausted all other options, but you'd been to the range with him enough to know he nearly matched Nix in skill with a handgun.
Pierre's lopsided grin makes your breath hitch. "You can continue eye-fucking me later. Did you find the firesuit?"
"I picked something better. Is this acceptable to work in?” You hold your arms out and do a little spin, hoping he would turn around and fall to his knees. Wearing something from his closet usually had that effect on him.
“If it’s not the firesuit, you already know the answer,” he says, too busy buttoning his cuff to turn around. “I’m serious.”
“You just bought it for me! I don’t want to get it all dirty. Just look at me- I’m in one of your shirts and everything. It screams ‘don’t touch me.’”
“Are you trying to test me? I bought you more than one for a reason. Put on the firesuit." You opt to ignore the way the dominance in his voice goes straight to your core, insisting that you obey.
You roll your eyes, grabbing the suit from the rack and sliding into it. If you resisted his wishes any harder you’d regret it when he got home. You leave it half unzipped, tying the arms in a knot around your waist like Pierre himself tended to do on track days. “Better?”
Pierre finally turns, looks you up and down and grins. “There’s my good girl. Finally remembered who’s in charge.” He places his hands on your hips and kisses your forehead. “Don’t cause too much trouble while I’m out. I don’t want to come home to find the garage up in flames.”
You roll your eyes and wrap your arms around his neck. “I literally need like three tools to change oil, none of which involve heat or flame. I’ll be fine.”
“Never know with you.” A hand on the small of your back guides you out and back down the stairs, never once lifting until Pierre has dropped you at the garage and steals a lengthy goodbye kiss. You wave at him as he climbs in the Acura and whips down the drive, Nix’s BMW hot on his heels.
You survey the red toolboxes and gleaming silver wrenches along the wall, not an ounce of dirt to be found anywhere. Pierre’s mechanic ran a tight ship; a trait that earned him no small amount of respect from his boss. “Joe, you in here?”
A grease streaked arm pops out from under a sedan in the farthest garage bay. “I’m here!”
“Figured you would be. Mind some music while I work?”
“Have at ‘er!”
You slip into the arms of your fire suit, zipping it all the way to your chin. After queuing up your playlist on the aux, you grab your tools and get to work.
@empress-ofbloodshed @limp-wrist-max @clarreee @mycharminglxve @fangirlin-like-a-hoe @pxtroclus @alexalboo @ffreya @lmaodontyoudare @cappot @midnightcrumbs @furiouscaseofastudent @1-800-away-we-go @saintandrea-droidsmuggler @badoopwoop @its-astrotea-love @ggaslyp1 @elle4404
@m0bpsychic reblog for starter
“Oh it’s you again. Hell you want? If you are looking for the other you, he’s out right now. Sorry to disappoint. I’m the only one here.” She states rather coldly, not turning to face the other completely. She kept her back to him. The entire front of her was covered in blood, her blood. After a rather nasty encounter with Pricko and his goons she was left unable to see from her right eye, gashes all along her body and some nasty bullet wounds and bruises. The bitter part was she didn’t do anything to provoke them. She was just on her way back home from the grocery store when she was shot in the back by Pico. She didn’t even bother to fight back, she deserved this, right? After playing dead for around two hours Pico and his ‘friends’ finally got bored and dipped and she was finally able to drag herself back home. Now she had no fucking groceries and now had to half-ass tend to all her wounds.
1. stop being a pimp if you don’t want to be called one
2. apparently pimps hardly ever exploit women for money anymore
3. pimps are not a reliable source of information on their behavior
4. if 15% just openly admitted to being violent, imagine how high the real number is
from here so much more to unpack about that article as a whole but this part sent me into a rage
A really sketchy unfinished comic i made so long ago and forgot to post (i think?) anyway c!eret doesnt remember c!foolish but his grief feels like its centuries older