She asked you what may have been 20 times if you were sure you were fine going on the hiking trip alone. You two had planned it a while ago, since you knew you were going to be in town for a while. It really wasn’t even much of a hike, more of a forest adventure bordering on some mountains. If you were honest, you were glad about that and you knew the forest well enough from spending your summers in the bordering cottage you were housesitting. Cottagesitting? Was that a word?
Regardless, you assured your friend you were going to be just fine. That you knew the forest, you had a satellite phone with you and enough experience staying in a forest for a day or two. But you knew her, you two having been roommates, and you knew Leah was prone to overworrying. She was especially good at guilt-tripping herself, and you knew she didn’t want to send you on a hike alone just to look for plants and other bits she needed for whatever witches needed all of them for. Even made you a list covered in descriptions and small drawings of the plants, as well as any that looked similar, but weren’t the same.
You’d been walking deeper into the forest for two hours at most and already had most of what was on the list with a few exceptions you were confident you could find. It was kind of peaceful, almost relaxing to just walk. The air was crisp and clean, nothing like the air that flooded into the open windows of the city apartment you were used to. The soft crunching of leaves under your boots made for nice background noise as well. You swore you could hear more crunching than you were causing a couple times, but you knew it may as well just be birds. The sound of quiet bells, however, caught you completely off guard and you stopped dead in your track. Straining your ears, you tried to go off what could have made that sound in your mind. There weren’t many things that sounded as distinctive as high pitched, soft bells and that unsettled you slightly. A few minutes passed, then more. The sound wasn’t there anymore, neither were crunching or extra steps. There actually wasn’t any noise at all. All you could hear was your breathing and you knew enough about nature to know that that was unusual. You felt uncomfortable just standing there, almost as if you shouldn’t be there. and you decided to just keep walking at first. Then you remember the stories Leah told you about fairies, the books she always had laying around when you two lived together. You remembered them describing odd sounds when entering fairy territory. Bells. Soft music.
As soon as the thought popped into your head, you heard the sound of distant laughter. You whip around into the direction of it and catch a large figure moving between the trees and out of your sight. There was no malice in the laughter, none whatsoever, but it was distinctly male. A hearty but gentle laugh, evoking the feeling of soft sunshine on your skin. Continueing on felt like the best idea to you, especially now knowing you were being watched by someone. Or something.
You kept going into the opposite direction of the figure as that seemed sensible, not wanting to disturb whoevers territory you had walked in to, and soon the sounds of the forests returned. The soft crunching of sticks and leaves and trickling of a distant river were very welcome after the minutes you spent in silence, that surely were much less than they felt. You remembered all the summers you spent with Leah and your other roommate whos holiday home you were housesitting, all the time you three spent in the forest exploring and camping. Digging up bugs, examining mushrooms or waiting quietly for deer and foxes to observe and you felt yourself almost zoning out a little.
Maybe a little too much, because next thing you knew, you were face-down on the wet ground and covered in mud.
You choke out a quiet “Oh, Fuck” and let out a long goan. Rolling over on to your back and assessing your surroundings, you find the cause of your fall rather quickly- in the form of a small tree stump covered in moss. You make a mental note to focus on the ground you’re walking on a bit more, especially after recent rainfall. But for now you have a slightly different problem- Your face, clothes and hair covered in mud and leaves. There’s a river through the forest and you vaguely remember it coming to a drop at some point, creating a small waterfall with many flat stones to step on through it. And as slippery as a shower under a waterfall was, anything would be better than running through the forest caked in mud and having to sleep in that same mud later, so you made your way to the small clearing the waterfall was located behind. You hum a small tune while you find a place for your things to rest while you clean up.
Throwing the pack off your back and freeing your hair from a ponytail, you start to strip down. You figure leaving your boots on wouldn’t be a bad idea, but the sound of wet shoes on a hike doesn’t appeal to you much, so you take them off with the rest of your clothes. The benefits of the forest was that almost nobody lived near or in it, as there were practically no neighbors and only one cabin as far as you knew. At least you hoped the neighborhood hadn’t acquired any new inhabitants in the past years, otherwise this shower was about to get a lot more awkward. The mist above the water felt freezing even from a few feet away and you were having second thoughts. You took off the last pieces of clothing on you, plucked a hoodie from your pack and make your way into the small stream. The rocks look slippery but they’re fairly flat, so getting on to them doesn’t pose much of a problem. The temperature of the water however does- As you suspected, its freezing cold so you decide to just wash out your hair as quickly as possible. You take one deep breath and position yourself under the waterfall, and let out a cross of a gasp and a scream as the icey water spills over your naked body. You feel your muscles tense, your nipples harden from both the sudden impact and temperature of the water and decide to close your eyes and get it over with.
And then you hear it again. The gentle ringing of bells. The soft laughter, now more of a chuckle. All of the sudden the feeling of the icey water is replaced with the same warm feeling as before, like golden rays of sunshine and the welcoming warmth of a mild spring day. A soft sigh escapes your lips as you tilt your head back and savor the pleasant feeling- Almost like tingles or vibrations running up and down your entire body and seeping into your bones. You run your hands down your thighs and your sides in almost a state of dream when your original task re-enters your mind. All at once, you snap out of the feeling of tepid water and sunrays and back to the biting cold of the water and shriek out a series of curses loud enough for the next County over to hear. With no concern for your safety, you jump across the sleek rocks and look around for the source of the laugh. A massive blur of orange and the glinting of metal is all you see before it disappears yet again.
“Hey!” you scream, aimed towards the odd character following you. “I would really appreciate it if-” you cut yourself off, remembering Leahs warning words about talking to things in the forest. A sense of dread fills the pit of your stomach and you pause. Ending your sentence couldn’t do much worse than acknowledging its presence already has, you thought. You continue your sentence in a much meeker tone, the quivering in your voice indicative of your fear. “If you could stop following me, please. Its freaking me out.”
You pull on the socks you laid on the edge of the river and find your boots moved just enough you unsettle you. The rest of your clean outfit finds its way on to your body fast and you throw your hoodie and pack over your shoulders. Whatever was watching you didn’t seem malicious, but that sure as hell didn’t mean you wanted to stick around. In your racing mind, you kept thinking about your friends parting gift.
Leah had given you bread and cream when you left, which you found quite odd, but you didn’t think to ask about it- She had her quirks and would often give you little dodads when you were travelling or stressed out. But this time, she specifically stressed that it wasn’t for you. To leave it out on a mossy stone or trunk if you got lost or felt something following you.
A pressed out a loud sigh and set your pack down again. Finding the trunk you stumbled over shouldn’t be too hard, it did seem like the place she described to put the cream and bread on. An offering of sorts. You didn’t really know why or who or what for but if it meant you could take the rest of your journey in peace, you didn’t really care. The sun had begin to set and was draping the forest in a eerie pink mist which meant you had to set up a tent for the night soon. Staying outdoors overnight didn’t bother you, it never really had- But with the fact someone was watching you, even when you thought you were alone scared you. Fear wasn’t an emotion you usually associated with hikes or being in the woodlands, it was entirely alien to you, and part of you felt like Leah just gave you the items to calm you down in case you got scared. Something to distract you from the fear rather than an actual gift for someone.
After rummaging around in your backpack for what you felt was already too long, knowing the items of your search were contained within, you realized two things. The first one was that the package of cream wasn’t in your backpack. And the second was that someone had gone through your backpack. The loaf of bread she had given you was still there, but you could for the life of you not find the cream. You wished it would be enough, suddenly having faith in the offerings. While you had no idea what was following you, you prayed it wouldn’t mind the kind of gift it recieved. All you wanted was to get home and not be surrounded by looming trees that felt as if watching you all at once. The tree stump hadn’t been too far from the river and flipped your pack back on to your shoulders. At the least the noises of the forest hadn’t gone again, you thought. The pack felt unusually heavy on your back as you made your way to where you came from, a strange sense of unease in the air. Even quickening your pace, you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere at all. The forest seems so much larger and foreign and you find yourself wishing you’d waited to take the hike until you could bring a friend. None of the trees or even the path before you seemed familiar anymore, as though you’d been dropped into a completely different land. Dread sat heavy on your shoulders as you turned to look around you in every direction, attempting to find a familiar tree or plant, anything to help you find your way. But no such luck was had. In all directions there were trees and thick shrubbery, occasional clearings between them. If you could find a bigger clearing, so you thought, you may be able to make out where you are. The woods here had many clearings but the larger ones all looked fairly distinct- Different tones and shades of green, a different selection of flora or differing amounts of mushrooms, all features you were confident you could recall if you were to happen upon them.
Not entirely sure how late it was or how long you had to find a campsite for the night, you picked the direction looking like it was the most well lit. A flashlight would only help you so much in finding your way after dark, while also drawing attention to your location. It wasn’t that you felt hostility from your pursuant, if anything it felt more like curiosity. It seemed that it, or he, had stopped following you. Or at least you hadn’t noticed if he was, the woods were alive with sound of birds and flowing water, the soft popping of the ground under your feet a pleasant accompaniment. Crickets and other insects had begun to chirp and the pink of the sky was turning purple.
The surrounding plants were getting less and less dense, what looked to be a somewhat empty area forming before them. No matter how small, you thought, you were content with not having to sleep directly on top of sticks and on a flattened ground. Setting up your tent for the night now seemed like the most sensible thing to do, as you had a feeling if you tried to get home right now this evening would only get worse. The trees parted to let the last rays of sun shine down into what looked almost like a small meadow. It looked so unreal in the violet-tinted light it was basked in. Dusk painted the grass in rosy pinks and warm purples and you carefully brush the higher stalks aside as to not destroy them. A small path emerged behind the thick of what looked to be a massive hawthorn.
It seemed like an unlikely spot for it but nevertheless you were thankful to see it, as you recognized it to have been near before you reached the river. You brushed the blooming branches of it aside to ease your way around it and found that there was an even, flat space before it. However tight it would be to cram your tent on to it, it seemed more than comfortable enough for a night, while also providing a bit of shelter from the wind. Reaching around your back, you take hold of your rolled up tent on the side of your backpack. It wasn’t anything fancy, it being a one person tent you got on sale years ago, but it had survived worse nights and days than this one. You laid it down, released it from its rolled up state and begun to shove in various sticks meant to keep it perky and upright. It was a fairly quick job though you struggled to secure it on the ground, the dirt around the shrub seeming to be weirdly loose. Eventually you managed to secure it and decided to find a place with less leaves and shrubbery on the ground to heat up some water for soup. There was a patch of empty space surrounded by watchful trees you decide to make your way to.
As you near it, you spot a small white blur inbetween the darkening mossy greens and warm shades of the forest at dusk and as you near it, you begin to make out what it is. The package of cream was sitting on the stump you tripped over only hours prior. It had been opened at the side and clearly drank from as drips of the white liquid ran down the opening and on to the old wood. The confusion was visible on your face and you found yourself wishing to be angry. It felt like you’d been toyed with, pranked almost, but you soon realized that whoever this was, they may as well have lead you back here. That didn’t help the feeling of having been played with much, but it made you feel more at ease. At this point, a small bit of comfort was enough for you. You weren’t sure if you still wanted to eat though, the worry sitting heavy in your stomach. Surely by this point only tepid water from your flask would do, lukewarm soup wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
Dropping your pack down next to the stump, you got on your knees and brought out the dark loaf Leah had baked for you. She had made it specially to take with you on your journey and you set it down on what remained of the tree. With it, you pulled out a small bowl and settled it down next to the loaf, grabbing the carton of dairy intended to fill it. From the feel of it, it was more than half empty but it would do. At least you presumed it would. You take a deep breath and recall all the stories of people leaving out gifts of milk and bread, ale and gold for the Fair Folk. You did have a small bit of gold on you, in the shape of a ring. Did they need a coin or would any gold do? Exhaling and inhaling deeply, you poured the cream into its vessel and took off your ring. “I’m sorry if-” you spoke gently, stuttering enough to make you start over again. A hushed tone on your lips, you ended you sentence. “I’m sorry if I was rude earlier, I didn’t mean to be.” The ring had left an empty space on your finger, visibly lighter than the rest and you placed it between the bread and cream. “I just got scared by you, but I know you mean no harm. I only want to return home in the morning.” Talking to yourself in the woods felt about idiotic as you expected at first. Then the tingling returned, and along with it the mental images of warm daylight illuminating your skin like a shroud of gilded lace. “I didn’t want to trespass.” you breathed, your voice reduced to a shivering exhale. A glint of gold shimmered in your peripheal and you inhaled sharply as the heat you felt pooled in your stomach and the back of your neck, knowing it to mean he was watching you. Maybe even standing behind you, but you didn’t dare to turn around and face him. Your hand stroked over the empty space the ring had just covered and wondered if you would ever see it again, should it be gone by morning. The dusk begun to turn to twilight and encased your skin in a tint of bruised blue and violet and the aurous sheen faded from your vision.
A soft gust of wind behind you took the heat with it as it brushed your shoulders.
A sob much lounder than you anticipated escaped your lips, pining after the warm feeling that had been taken from you. With shaky knees you propped yourself up against the stump and decided to walk back to your campsite as quickly as the unstable joints attached to you would allow. Dragging one foot after the other seemed so much harder to you now than before, unsure if it was the exhaustion rising in you or something else. You knew now that he had heard your apology as well as your request, somehow that comforted you. Kneeling before your tent, you crawled into it to make yourself at home in your plush sleeping bag. The ground was neither comfortable nor particularly hard, so you felt your muscles relax as you begun listening. The sounds of the woods at night, chirping from birds and insects alike, still brought as much enjoyment to you as it had when you were a child. Small scurries of mammals at home in the woods let you know you weren’t alone with the creature overlooking your steps. Sleep fell in you tenderly and the scurries noises faded to soft, slow crunches. Then flat footsteps. You jolted back into consciousness recognizing the heavy steps as the ones who had followed you when you begun your walk. Was he coming back?
Straining your ears to listen to the pattern of steps emerging from the forest, you tried to make out where they were headed. It sounded as if they had begun almost right behind the tree you had positioned your tent under, emerging out of thin air. The warmth you felt now wasn’t nearly as intense as earlier although still making you shiver. The footsteps were getting lighter and more distant ever so slowly, as if he was trying not to disturb you, knowing you lay there drifting off to sleep. The pacing paused for a moment somewhere not far from you.
The sound of a sip followed a quiet dragging sound, letting you know he must have found the cream. You heard a low, satisfied hum and licking of lips before a chorus of bird sounds erupted. “Fuckin’ hell!” the male voice shouted. More aggressive squawking from what sounded like a singular bird followed. You weren’t sure what it was but its caws resembled a ravens, although much louder and more demanding. Unsure what to do, you decided to just listen and first and could hear wings flapping and angry groaning. “Not now.” His voice sounded a mix of annoyed and angry, much softer this time and clearly trying to keep quiet. Something about hearing his voice made your insides swelter and your head spin, clouding your vision in the same glinting mist as before. The cawing went quiet before you heard the male whisper angrily. “Don’t ye even think about it, thats my bread.”
A small, disappointed bird sound was heard before you heard the flapping of wings again and you struggled to stifle a laugh. You heard more soft rustling of leaves, followed by a long exhale. Sensing him near you didn’t bother you as much now, having heard his voice. He seemed to have sat down or so you assumed, as the footsteps were replaced by the soft sound of tearing you imagined was him eating the bread. You hadn’t tried it before you left, obviously, but your friend had always been incredible at baking so you hoped he would enjoy it. Wishing for him to enjoy his meal seemed a little strange to you- You didn’t know what he looked like and he had scared you pretty badly earlier, but his tone even when angry had little malice in it. And how he quietened his shouting immediately made you think his intention really wasn’t to startle you, much less terrify. You shifted under the blanket to turn towards the stream, focusing your hearing more on that than him.
It felt safe now to sleep, even more now than before. The heat his voice had struck ablaze inside you made it all the easier to doze off and you found yourself drifting into a deep slumber. Vivid pictures of green landscapes and crisp, salty air filled soon filled your dreams. Visions of glittering gold and vast valleys accompanied them.
“Thank you, mo mhuirnín.”
Chapter 2: Mozzarella Sticks & Southern Comfort
A normal workday turns into an interesting one when a regular unfamiliar to you, but very well known to your boss pops up at your workplace. The feelings he causes you, however, are familiar. You get closer than you think you should have.
And as it turns out, Leprechauns like mozzarella sticks.
Woo, finally done with this! Its a little shorter, but I wanted to break up the storyline I meant to put into this one chapter into two instead. This is the first *official* time Reader meets Sweeney, at least knowingly. The playlist (here http://hypster.com/playlists/userid/5445923?7257811 ) is best played over bar sounds- There's a couple recordings of bar noise/atmosphere on YouTube, which I had on while writing this. They dance to Nina Simone's I put a spell on you at the end- Seemed like a fitting song to me.
He followed you. You didn’t notice it at first, he was only ever there just before it got dark or light. Right on the edge to the forest where the property stops, nothing more than a large shadowy figure. Sometimes you saw bits of burnt orange where his head looked to be. You imagine him to have ginger hair.
It wasn’t the milk and bread you continued to leave out- You’d stopped leaving them out for a couple days but he was still there. He never got closer than where the trees began to thin out, yet the bowl was always empty in the morning. It seemed like he was waiting for you to go to bed or to work to eat the food. At this point you weren’t sure if you’d rather he did or didn’t, the curiosity in you was steadily growing but you weren’t sure what it would mean if you saw his face- You hadn’t told your friend about it at all and you didn’t know who else to ask. There wasn’t really anything to be found online about the Fair Folk following humans, let alone if you were supposed to look at them. You'd been letting this get to you more than you should, but you couldn't help thinking about it- Even dreaming about it. The same things you saw in the forest. Green meadows and crisp cliffs, crashing waves and endless mist.
Lost in your thoughts about your visitor, you entirely negleted to look at the time. When you do, you jump up and throw on the first clothes you can locate on the floor, as you may have just enough time to make it to your workplace in time for your shift. You mutter curses under your breath, slipping on a skirt and your work shirt. A good sense of time had never been one of your strengths, and it didn’t seem like it was going to be any time in the future. Out of the door and a short drive later you’re welcomed by the dimly lit surroundings of the bar. Jack greeted you with her familiar smile and bright red lipstick as you clocked in and pin up your hair into some semblance of a hairstyle.
When you feel confident you’ve fixed your appearance, you take a moment to stand in front of the Employees Only area and take in the patrons of the bar for the evening. A man in his mid 40s put some money into the jukebox and you let yourself sway a little to the song he picks. Jack smiles at you from behind the counter and waves you over, your clue to start your shift. You spend the first hour of your shift pouring drinks and bringing bowls of chilli and mozarella sticks to your tables. It slows down after a while and you’re stood behind the counter, cleaning glasses. Your collegues seem to be able to wait all of the tables themselves tonight and you find yourself just observing the bar.
You figure you might as well use the time you have and whip out a tube of lip gloss from your pocket, God bless skirts with pockets, and apply it to your very much in need of moisture lips. Other people might find them boring, but you liked the shifts where you just got to peoplewatch for a couple hours, clean tables and glasses and serve the occasional patron.
The doors swing open and a tall, broad-shouldered man catches your attention. His copper hair stands up from his head and he looks to be nearly 7 feet tall, crouching his head down to fit through the doorframe. You feel your eyes following him to the other end of the counter, the milky, yellowed light illuminating his face. His high cheekbones, crooked nose that looked to have been broken countless times and the gentle smile on his lips. For a moment it feels like time moves slower than its supposed to while you take him in. His wide frame almost intimidates you, and he seems to notice your stare, as he leans down on his elbow to make himself slightly smaller and smiling wider.
Your training kicks back in and you take slow steps over to him, your mouth more agape than you realize. You manage to squeeze out a “What can I get you?” almost without stammering, which really does surprise you. A soft, familiar warmth begins to spread throughout your stomach and chest as you meet his eyes. They’re green and flecked with bits of hazel and gold that seems to flicker in the dimmed light as he cocks his head to the side. The collar of his denim jacket slips to the side just enough to reveal his muscular neck and your eyes trail down over his jaw to his prominent collarbones. “Southern Comfort and Coke, please.” the man grins at you, obviously noticing your wandering eyes and your shiver at the sound of his accented voice. Your head was spinning and it felt like it was luring you in, thick and soft, and you nod at him. You tell him you’ll bring it to his table, and he goes off to find a free one, never taking his eyes off you. Tearing your eyes from him seems like an impossible task, the lights in the establishment seem to glitter and flicker with every breath you take looking at him. But your sense of duty takes over, and you shakily grab a glass and pour likely more than a shot of liquor into it, topping it with coke.
The tray you grab slips out of your weak hands and your boss grabs it before it falls. “He’s trouble, kid.” she remarks, having watched him come in. She holds out the tray for you and you glance up at her, her dark eyes dead serious. “Who?” you ask, a thinly veiled pretending not to know. She raises her brows and stares at you, continuing in an annoyed tone. “The ginger. He’s a regular.” Jack paused. “Gets too drunk for his own good and rowdy too.” You swallow thickly and return her gaze. “How rowdy exactly?”
Jack sighs and hands you the tray before walking off to her section. “You’ll see.”
Your eyes dart around the room before they return to the redheaded giant still observing you. Flashing him an awkward smile, you grab his drink, setting it down on the tray and make your way over to him. The closer you get to him, the more you feel the golden mist clouding your vision and you wonder if you’re starting to lose it- There was no way he was the being from the forest, was there? You didn’t really know how he was supposed to look but, the man sitting across you looked so human. Beautiful, incredibly so, and oddly graceful for someone his build and height but he didn’t look like a fairy. Not that you knew what they looked like anyways.
“You wanna see a coin trick, little bird?” his voice breaks through your thoughts. Blinking in confusion, you reply. “Huh?”
“A coin trick. You like ’em?” he smirks. You set down his drink on the table and look at him, unsure what to make of the question. “Sure?” you puff, keeping in mind your boss’ warning. A large hand shoots up next to your cheek, just barely stroking it. You were about to smack his hand away when you see a glint of gold in it and turn your head. Between his fingers he’s holding a shiny gold coin. “Very impressive.” you snort, no expert on coin tricks, but hiding a coin in a hand that large you couldn’t even see ten seconds ago didn’t really impress you. His lips part as he whispers a quiet command to watch to you. Moving his freckled hand in front of your face in plain sight for you, he starts adding more and more coins between the knuckles of his fingers, each with a satisfying ring as it pops up. Your brow furrows and you try to figure out how he could hold that many coins in his hands- They weren’t in his jacket either, his sleeves being rolled up to his elbow ruled that out. A satisfied hum passes his lips as he downs the entire drink you only just brought him, unblinking. “Did I charm you a little too much there?” he exhales, slamming down his glass on the tray. Amusement and arrogance thick in his tone, you attempt to retort something snarky, but all that you can think of is a question. “How?”
He throws his head back and laughs heartily, clearly delighted at your lack of wit in the moment. The laugh is familiar. “Plucked ’em outta thin air.” he says to you, tongue pressed against the inside of his cheek. You attempt to quip back at him, but before you can get even a word in, he cuts you off. “Get me another drink, will ya?”
The sudden movement of his large build makes you take a step back at first, his muscular arms bared and pressing his chest up from the booth he was sat in. His fiery eyes dart to the jukebox before returning to you, half closed and lips parted. You freeze in place as he looms over you and the sound of ringing in your ears overwhelms even the sounds of the evening. The warmth turns to red hot heat inside you as you feel your heavy head fall to the side and your eyes locking with the large redheads. Breathing heavily, his face closes in on yours and you feel his hand grazing your side.
Your body jerks at the touch, you want to lean in to it but your knees go weak. You fall forward all at once and into the mans chest, grasping at his arms to steady yourself. He stifles a chuckle and holds you upright. “You alright there, mo mhuirnín?” The name he calls you doesn’t register at first, but when it does you lift your flushed cheeks from his chest and find his eyes. “What?” you choke out, but before you can continue your question, you hear your boss’ sharp voice cut through the noise, cursing the lords name.
“Hands off her, Sweeney” she threatens, slipping her arm around you and pulling you from him. Sweeney? Was that his name? It didn’t occur to you that you had neglected to ask his name entirely until then. He lifts his arms up defensively and takes a step back. “Ain’t my doin’, ma’am” he says, the amusement gone from his face. “Yeah, my ass it isn’t.” she spits at him. “I’ll be taking over this table for tonight, Y/n.”
It also didn’t occur to you that in your rush, you had forgotten to eat dinner. You smile a guilty smile at Jack and she returns it. “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.” Finding your footing again, you turn to face her. “It really wasn’t him- I didn’t eat dinner, Jack” you half laugh half whisper, just loud enough for them both to hear. An audible sigh is heard and she clears her throat, gesturing at the kitchen. She always offered her employees dinner, it just was one of her ways to be kind- But it didn’t make you feel any less bad about it. “Go and get some food, sweetheart.” she smiles at you and you remember all the times she’s had to say this to you.
Knowing better than to decline her offer, you stumble to the door of the kitchen. Before you enter, you turn to look at Sweeney, who has just made his way to the jukebox and take a second to gawk at him. You hadn’t really gotten a good look at him before, but now you did. The guess of his height seemed off by only inches and his hair looked unnaturally vivid even in the dim lighting of the corner he was stood in. Pushing open the door with your back, you smile at him before continueing on into the kitchen. You catch his head turning towards you and your eyes nearly meet for a second before the door swings closed.
A healthy lecture from Jack and a plate of mozarella sticks later, you feel good enough to stand at the bar again. You’re given an extra plate of mozzarella sticks to put on the counter, just in case.
You try not to gawk at the tall man again for the remainder of your shift, not only due to the volume of drinks he seems to be ordering. The remainder of your shift is less eventful and you soon find yourself at the bar staring off and daydreaming again. Being here wasn’t bad, not at all- but you still couldn’t help the yearning for your bed and a hot beverage. The bar was emptying steadily, and you lay your head on your arms, slumped on to the counter when you think no one is watching. Closing your eyes, you try to remember the voice you heard in the forest. Cursing at birds, the gentle laugh-
And the name he called you.
Just when you think you can remember it, a dragging sounds sends you jumping up. The first thing you see is a orange mohawk laying on the counter, and a mozzarella stick finding its way into the owners mouth. It takes you a couple seconds to realize what you’re witnessing exactly and when you do, you yell out. “Hey!” No reaction from him. “Those are mine, you know?” you snark. His head turns to you slightly and he grins at you, not even bothering to swallow before he does. The heavy-liddedness of his eyes helped you guess just how drunk he was. “’nother drink, love.” he slurs out, a barely audible request. You shake your head at him, half in disbelief and half in rejection. “We’re closing soon.” you tell him as sternly as you can manage to tell a man grinning at you ear to ear. He props himself up on the counter and leans towards you. “A dance, then?” he asks in the sweetest voice he’s able to do given the amount of alcohol in him. Scoffing, you look around the now almost empty bar. Only a handful of patrons left at this point, you figure it couldn’t hurt to humor his request.
“One song. Then you’re out, okay?” you tell him. He jumps up and walks to the jukebox immediately in response, surprising you with the steadiness of his legs. You shake your head the entire short way over to the jukebox and cross your arms in front of you. “Pick a song, love” the giant slurs out at you. Scoffing again, you pick one you surprisingly hadn’t heard yet tonight. Releasing your hair from its updo, you slip off the hair tie and on to your wrist.
He holds out his hand in response. You shake out your hair and you uncross your arms to lay yours in his. A long arm wraps around your waist and pulls you closer. You’re surprised at the respectful amount of room he leaves between your bodies and his unwandering hands. Perhaps you took him for less of a gentleman than he is, you think. Your bodies sway to the tune, the height difference making it a little harder to dance than you’re used to, but you don’t mind. You wish you did. His arm lifts above your head and he twirls you around. Dancing wasn’t one of the things you expected him to be this good at, his footwork was fascinating, even in his drunken state. “Dancing a hobby of yours?” you ask, grinning at him. You twirl him this time which, admittedly, wasn’t easy- But it was fun and he seemed to enjoy it as much as you did. “Ah, ye could say that.” he smirked. “Used to be.”
“Why’d you stop?” you ask, slowing down. He looks off to the side and up, shrugging and pulling down the corners of his mouth into a grimace. “No reason.” The slower pace brings your bodies closer in, and his cheek leans against your head. You feel him laying his head on yours as the song fades out. He inhales deeply, taking in the scent of your hair and you smile. It should probably bother you that a stranger was sniffing your hair, but you just felt calm. He seemed so gentle for someone so large and intimidating at first.
“You should probably go home now.” you whispered, enjoying the closer embrace you two were in. He hums in response and lets his arms slide down the sides of you body. Turning your back to him, you begin scanning the empty tables for stray kitchenware in need of collection and walk a couple steps before you feel the heat of his body behind you. Looking at him puzzled, you ask if he heard you. “That I did, love.” he breathes. It takes all of your self control not to get lost in the softness of his voice. A sharp inhale fills your lungs. “Then why are you following me?”
“Aren’t ye takin’ me home, lass?” he whispers, leaning towards you with that look on his face- The half closed eyes and mouth agape, as if he was about to kiss you.
Freezing and in shock, you let the question sink in. “Wha- no!” you yell out in disbelief. A mixture of a cough and a scoffing noise escapes your throat and you rub your forehead. “You stole my mozzarella stick!” It isn’t the entire reason you aren’t taking him home, but definitely part of it. Cheese thieves were not to be trusted. He belted out a deep laugh, throwing his head back to expose his thick neck. “That the reason why, eh?” he cackles at you. Taken aback by his response you take a couple seconds to respond “Yeah? Yeah.” you retort, mostly to yourself. You push open the door to the kitchen with your elbow and stand there for a minute, waiting for a response. The silence was worse than his snarky, arrogant responses and you felt obligated to fill it. “Cheese thief.” All you heard was a low chuckle and heavy footsteps growing in distance.
A small “Hey” escapes you before you realize it. The footsteps stop and you turn your head towards the exit. “Good night, Sweeney.” Your eyes lock with his and you swear you see hurt clouding them.
“Good night, Y/n.”
Chapter 3: Rain / A drunken Leprechaun
You harbor some guilt about throwing Sweeney out after your last shift. Its a while until you see him again, and when you do, an exhausted, drunk Sweeney gets even more wasted at the bar. Rather not having him sleep in the bar and get kicked out by your boss, you take him home to sober up for the night.
Who knew that counted as capturing a Leprechaun?
Sorry this took me a bit longer to proofread than expected but I hope y'all enjoy- Here's the playlist for this chapter: ( http://hypster.com/playlists/userid/5445923?7258699 )
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The drive home felt much longer than usual. Unsure if it was the sudden downpour or the guilt nagging at you, you tried to focus on the cozy bed you were going to lay down in. Not even that thought could help though, you wished so dearly that you didn’t have to lay in it alone. The twinge of hurt you saw in Sweeney’s eyes wasn’t helping either- You knew it was your job to get all of the patrons out before closing time, regardless of how attractive they may be, but this had felt terrible. Much worse than any other person you’d thrown out after too many drinks or the ones that got too rowdy.
Not bothering to quicken your pace when you get out of the car, you stand in the downpour for a moment. You hope he has a place to stay, a shelter from the rain and wind. Feeling bad after throwing out stragglers in the bar wasn’t a new feeling to you. Some of them seemed to have made the establishment their second home for reasons you thought best not asked. But he seemed lost when you told him to go home. You wondered if it was because he had no “home”, or if he just didn’t like being there. Or maybe he didn’t want to be alone. Either option didn't make you feel any better.
The porch welcomed you with gentle creaks from the wooden floors as you take shelter from the rain and unlock the front door. You look at the table on the porch and get an idea. If he really was what followed you in the forest, he’d come if you set out food, right? As tired as you were, you felt the only thing that would make you feel better was to do just that. Pushing the door closed with your elbow and taking in the cottage that was your home now, you searched your mind for things you could make him without tiring yourself so much you’d fall asleep doing so. Did fairies like hashbrows? You took off your shoes and turned on the kitchen lights, scouring the fridge for ingredients. Getting out a bowl and plate for meal you were preparing, you remember your original desire. A hot beverage.
A cup of tea or two later, you had readied a plate of hashbrowns and a bowl of cream. Feeding someone or something without even seeing it felt less silly now that you had a face to imagine it having. You picked up a blanket off your sofa on your way out. The trickle of water greeted you as you step back on to your porch. It was still raining, but much less than earlier now. If he had gotten wet, he could use the blanket, you thought. But first, you placed the plate of food and the filled bowl on the table. With them you laid down a handwritten note. Stroking the grain of the wood on the table for a brief moment. Hashbrowns alone really weren’t a meal, but you figured it was better than just bread and cream.
Waiting for him on the porch was something that while on your mind, you thought not a good idea. It felt like you would intrude on something you shouldn’t be. Not unlike him having watched you shower in the forest, but that wasn’t a reason to do the same. Your heavy lids fluttered over your eyes and reminded you that you needed sleep, as did the dawn fading into the edge of the horizon. The golden vein it drew through the sky reminded you of the glitter in Sweeney’s eyes. And of the polished sheen of the coins he held between his digits right in front of your face. You laid the blanket over the chair, folding it neatly.
Creaking floorboards announced your steps back into the house. The open door filled it with crisp air and the scent of wet earth. You shook out the blankets on your bed and nestled in. Rain was a very relaxing sound to you that helped you sleep, not that you needed the help now. The fluffed up blankets welcomed you into them. Soon you found yourself drifting off. A soft harp and bells sounded. Freckled, warm arms wrapping around you and warming up your cool skin was the first thing you saw when dreams approached you. How you really wanted the dance to end. No space now between your eager bodies, the heat spread throughout your entire body. His broad frame looming over you even with him folded over you.
One arm at the side of your shoulder, steadying you as much as it held you as he cupped your cheek with the other. He backed you up against a wall and leaned one arm above your head, mustering your face the entire time. Pressing his lips on to yours once satisfied you wanted it every last bit as much as he did. A lazy arm grazing down your side finds its place at your hips, gripping them softly. You return the kiss not before looking up through your lashes. Wild green and gold eyes met yours, lustre swirling in them. Losing yourself in them seemed so easy now. Like if you stared just a bit longer, you’d find yourself dipped into the vat of gold hidden behind their lively green.With the taste of his lips on your mouth, his greedy hand grips you tightly now, closing the room between his crotch and you. You feel your legs part and grind against his tense body. Through parted lips you both moan into eachother, his a low growl and yours a loud sigh. The golden mist enveloped your vision yet again, even with closed eyes you see its glimmer. His hungry mouth finds your cheek, then your neck. Teeth softly drag across your skin and his rough lips nip at your neck. Your run your hands up the small of his back and dig your nails into him.
Heat pooling in your loins, you wrap a leg around him. Baring his teeth, his brow furrows. The growl he made was almost feral. Heavy breaths heat your skin. Every muscle under his exposed skin is tensed. You feel how hard he tries to hold back, and something in him is so wild. It feels dangerous. Rolling your hips against his hardening crotch feels like a bad decision. The friction between you and his groin felt like it was lighting up your core. A primal, loud moan escapes him in response. He slams you into the wall and grabs both of your legs, lifting them up fully. Your lips find eachother again and you hear him utter praise in a foreign language. Insatiable desire thick in his voice, he calls out your name.
Wet, heavy footsteps are audible through the thickness of your dream. You turn towards your window. You feel him there, even in your state of sleep. Your body senses him. Straining your ears and breathing heavy, waiting for the next movement. Lumbering steps come on to the porch. Hearing a wet slap as someone drenched from the downpour sits in one of the chairs, you hope the hashbrowns were still warm. Wishing to look outside, a clouded thought dissolving the scenes in your head. The guest bedroom now in your dream, you wanted to invite him in so badly. There would be plenty room for even someone his size on the guest bed. But you don’t know if you should or if you even could. You roll on to your back and press your pillow against your ears. The rain is a welcomed noise to focus on. It distracts you from his presence and blocks out the occasional creaks and other noises from the porch. A peaceful slumber takes you back to dancing with the ginger male. More noises from the porch. Creaks and clattering, the sound of a fork on porcelain.
Your hand darts against the window bordering your bed. Even asleep, or especially so, you can’t fight that you want him with you. Just there. “Don’t leave.” you cry out, voice cracking and tired.
A large hand opens the lock on your window from the outside. Magic he is glad you aren’t awake to witness. He knows how it can unsettle humans, and he seeks to do nothing of the sort to you. His presence in the forest had been more than enough to do that, although not his intention. Long, freckled fingers slip between yours and hold your hand. A sensation you will blame on a vivid dream come morning. On a yearning for touch.
“Never will, love.”
Your next two shifts you don’t see Sweeney. It isn’t until a week later that you do. The closing shift is yours again and this time you make sure to eat something beforehand. Hoping but not expecting to see him again this night, you make your way to work.
Jack informs you that she’s taking over part of your section tonight. It wasn’t like her to suddenly change it up like that, and you’re confused at the statement. Seeing another part of the bar doesn’t bother you though. And getting to watch different people than usual is an added bonus to you. You first had assumed it had something to do with Sweeney. But you couldn’t spot him anywhere so you figured that she had some other reason to switch your sections. Your boss’ section was near the jukebox too, which meant you got to change the song when you felt like it. As much you liked him, there really was only so many times you could listen to Ritchie Valens. The clacking of the castanets really got on your nerves after the third or fourth time of hearing that one song.
On your way to grab an order of chilli from the kitchen, you notice a curled up ball in one of the booths. You shout for one of your free collegues to take the order for you. It looked almost like the person was sleeping against the wall. As you close in on the booth and go to check on them, you see
a flash of copper.
“Oh Jesus, Sweeney?” you gasp, laying your hand on his shoulder. His eyes are open but so far away. The fluttering of his lashes indicates that he heard you, although there was little physical reaction from him besides that. He looks like he hasn’t slept in weeks, his skin a pale, sallowed color and eyes rimmed in purple. You run your fingers up to his exposed neck, the denim jacket only covering one shoulder. The other was lazily stuck out from his jacket. The muscles in his neck tense briefly and he swallows. “Are you okay?” you ask carefully. His head turns to you and you’re greeted with eyes of flat green. Your face drops and you don’t know how to even pretend anymore. They look dead, distant almost- and you find yourself covering your mouth in shock. “I’m…gonna be right back, yeah?”
You quickly walk towards the kitchen and find Jack standing next to the door. “He’s been like this all night.” A pitying look on her face makes you not even want to ask how long he’d been here before you started your shift. Swallowing thickly, you press open the door to the kitchen to find a plate of mozzarella sticks. He liked those the other night, so he should now as well. You thought about asking how many drinks he’d had, but the answer wouldn’t change the fact that something was wrong. Very wrong.
A plate of food wouldn’t fix it, but it was a start. You ask for some that have already cooled down and the cooks don’t think to question it.
Sweeney hadn’t moved from his booth, which you were both glad for and unsettled by. Sitting down next to him on the vinyl seats, you set down the plate. Neither his eyes nor body move and you watch his face for any movement. Stroking his shoulder and neck again, you scoot closer. “They’re for you.” A brief jerk in his arm. “On the house.” Well, on you technically, but he didn’t need to know that. His arm liftsup before dropping again, causing him to wobble to the side. “Aw, come on.” you sigh. He must have half of the bar in him by the looks of it. Your eyes dart around the bar, thinking for a moment. Then you pick up one of the fried sticks and lift them to his mouth. “C’mere. Eat.” His eyes move to yours, then to the food in front of him. Eyes fluttering closed, he leans forward to take a bite. Feeding a drunk giant wasn’t really in your job description, but you were more than happy to do it regardless. God knows he seems to need it, because the bite you expected him to take ended up only barely grazing your fingers. You spend some time giving him mozzarella stick after stick. On the second plate, he finally seems to have regained some motor control and is shoving them into his mouth by himself. Although slumped on to the table. You run your hand up his back and position his jacket back over both shoulders again. He may be a mess, but he didn’t need to look the part. The only protest he still has in him is an uncoordinated jerk and shrug of his shoulders.
“Jack, do you mind if I leave early?” you ask sweetly, knowing she wouldn’t mind if it weren’t for the large redhead slumping over your shoulders. “I’m taking him home.” Jack sighs and you see her want to tell you off. Then her eyes move to Sweeney’s shaky frame. All she does is nod. Even she hasn’t seen him this bad before. You slip an arm under his chest and thank her. “I’ll work double shifts next week, promise!” you shout, dragging the large man behind and on top of you. Without a free arm, your only option to open the door is to kick it. Asking him to hold it open was something you considered doing for about five seconds before realizing that if he was to fall over, he’d fall on top of you. You continue out of the door muttering curses under your breath. He slurs out a loud “Fuck.” A loud thunk and a groan from companion accompanies you exit. “Shit, sorry!” An arm finds your shoulder to lean on to avoid toppling over.
His height caused him to smack right into the doorframe, even with his head tucked in. You weren’t sure how to even get him through the door in the cabin.
Or your car for that matter. You could barely get in there without hitting your head yourself. When you reach it, you lean him against the passenger side door gently. “Watch your head, okay?” His eyes crack open a little more and he looks at you. He hums in agreement. What looks to have been an attempt to smile floods across his face before quickly dropping again. Returning the smile, you open the door and cover his head with your hand. This time he actually tucks his head in all the way. You’re glad about that. A concussed, giant drunk man wasn’t really in your plans for the evening.
By the time you get into the car yourself, he’s fumbling with the seatbelt and mumbling. You smile at him. Then you put it on for him. His head turns to look at you. This is probably where he would usually make a snarky remark. But all he does is look directly into your eyes. You aren’t sure if he’s passing out or about to throw up on you. Lips curving slightly upwards, his eyes fall closed. Passing out it is. A soft rain is the background noise for your shared ride home. His chest falls and rises steadily. Originally, you’d planned to ask him where he lives so you drive him there. Didn’t seem to be an option now though, so you figure he can spend the night with you.
The crunching of the driveway doesn’t seem to wake him. If there was more room in the car, you might even leave him to sleep here. He seemed pretty content. But the fact that his knees were already up against the dashboard and his head against the top of the car made you not. Getting out of the car, you sigh. This really hadn’t been how you imagined your evening. Or the first time Sweeney got to see where you lived.
You undo his seatbelt and wrap your arms around him. “Hey.” you whisper softly. “We’re there.” Cross-eyed green greets you and you stifle a giggle. His eyes look around before he wriggles against you, presumably in an attempt to get up. “Watch the head, yeah?” you smile at him and pull him up and out of the car. Shaky legs on both of you make you stumble on the rocky ground. Your companion groans and folds over on to your shoulder. It was more like you two were hugging now. How come every time the both of you were touching, one of you was falling over or into the other?
Not that it bothered you this time. It was kind of nice. The rain on your heads less so, though. You let yourself bury your face in the crook of his neck. The effect he has on you was something you still struggle to grasp. A golden shift laid over your vision is something you generally associated with glitter in your eye. Not a ridiculously attractive redhead of alpine heights in your general vicinity.
You breathe in his scent and he doesn’t seem to mind. Its intoxicating. Warm and comforting. Like sunshine breaking through thick clouds on an overcast day. A deep purr leaves his mouth and you feel him shifting his head on top of yours. He presses his lips against your forehead and lays an arm around you. “You like gettin’ wet, darlin’?” he drawls, alcohol thick on his voice. “Oh, my god” you exclaim, laughing and pulling away from him. A wide, hazy grin is plastered on his face. “I’m getting you inside.”
You slip his arm over your shoulder and lock the car. Another gentle kiss is pressed against your forehead. If he didn’t smell like he’d bathed in liquor, it would almost be cute. Mastering the steps to the porch seems to be easier than you expected, and Sweeney doesn’t even stumble more than once. Fishing out the keys from your bag, you lean his body against the wall. It looks like he’s trying to look some sort of pretty, staring down at you through his thick, bronze lashes. Pressing your lips together and raising your brows at him, you shake your head. There was no need for him to pose to look nice, but you wouldn’t tell him that. The lock clicks open. His heavy build is quickly back to leaning on you as you gently push his head down under the doorframe. You flick on the lights and kick off your shoes.
He musters your quarters with half-closed eyes. A big couch stands in the middle of the room near the fireplace. “Theres a guest bed” you inform him. A hum comes from his throat and he takes a step forward. His knees give way and you just about catch him. You sigh and lodge yourself under his chest, his head on your shoulder. Mumbling under your breath, you drag him across the living room. “If we make it there..”
The sight of the dimly lit room is more than relieving. The lights in there didn’t really work, save for the one on the night stand, but you doubted he’d mind that. Wiggling out slightly from under him, you prop his frame up. “Can you stand for a second?” you ask. An exaggerated nod is all the response you need. He leans against the doorframe and shrugs off his jacket. Buttons on his shirt pop open. Meanwhile, you turn on the small light on the stand. The man behind you makes an attempt to take off his boots. A scuffling noise and the sound of boots flying on to the floor behind you makes you turn.
Weight leans on top of you and drops to the side as you lean upwards. Sweeney’s arms grasp you in an attempt to stabilize himself. However, he only manages to pull you down into the bed with him. A mixture of groans from both of you erupts. “Sorry ’bout that” he slurs out, shifting his weight on the mattress. “Like that wasn’t on purpose” you snark at him. It probably wasn’t, but you have a hard time believing that. An arm on top of you lifts slightly to the side. An attempt was made. That wasn’t really helping though, with the weight of his arm, you were still not getting out under it. The familiar heat started to pool in your stomach as your skin touched his. This was the most you’d seen of him- Arms bare and undershirt tugged up. His skin looks warm and freckled, covered with scars of more lifetimes than you could imagine. It almost has a glow to it in the dim, yellow light of the lamp. Like a sun was hiding under it, waiting to break through. Your eyes wander his toned stomach. If you could move enough to, you’d want to kiss it. Instead you trace a finger on his abs. His muscles briefly harden under your touch and relax again. It seems like he isn’t used to touch, or at least didn’t expect yours. Then your eyes graze the bit of chest you can see. Eyes closed, his chest starts to rise and fall peacefully. You aren’t sure if you’d rather sleep in your own bed or here. He looks like he could use a good nights sleep and you don’t want to wake him again. Besides, you have to admit how beautiful he looks. So calm. Watching him like this was nice. No snarky remarks. Not even a puffed up chest and shoulders to make himself look even taller. More intimidating.
You noticed that especially in the bar earlier. It wasn’t just that he naturally inspired terror in others. He was pretty athletic, yes, tall too. But that only made people respect him. Not fear him. The entire squared up shoulders and dominating body language thing seemed more like something he acquired to you. When you danced, his eyes were gentle. A soft, gold-flecked green. Tenderly laid on you, no aggression behind them. Even his touch wasn’t rough, more so the opposite. Like he took great care to be as gentle as could be with yeeing him so polite and docile made you wonder why he wasn’t always like that. Why he felt he had to be so threatening and cocky all the time.ou. The respectful space he kept between both of you, careful not to overstep boundaries that weren’t even there if you were being honest.
Or maybe other people didn’t see what you did. The elegance in his walk when he wasn’t trying to make anyone feel under him. You wondered if he realized how powerful his presence was even without it. It had left you in awe the first time you saw him, and you were sure he had that effect on others. He emitted a low groan and shifted. His heavy arm had moved to your side, freeing you from it. But you didn’t feel like getting up anymore.
Instead, you carefully wiggle out of your work clothes, trying not to wake him. You throw your pants across the room and decide to keep the shirt on. Not that you need it, Sweeney is practically a heater. Pushing yourself up to reach his face, you plant a small kiss on his cheek. Copper lashes flutter slightly and you smile. Pulling up the blankets as best you can with his legs on them, you gently tuck both of you in. You lay your head on his chest and lay one arm atop. Dreams of green valleys and a vast meadow accompany you tonight. The body under you shifts slightly. Sweeney opens one eye, hoping you’re asleep. Your head lays listening to his heartbeat in a peaceful slumber. A deep sigh erupts from him. He brushes a wisp of hair from your forehead and looks at you fondly. A drunken smile even flashes across his lips as he presses them against your forehead. Something he’s really not supposed to be doing, in his opinion. And shouldn't feel so good. But it does. He doesn’t want to fight it. Not in his state anyways. A lazy arm wraps around you, holding you close to him. Freckled eyelids close and soon his chest rises and falls softly. He’s there with you now. In the meadow. Between the daisies. An amber fleck between whites, pinks and greens of the grass.
The golden crack of dawn seeping through the shutters falls on the gingers face, awakening him rudely. Knit brows and frowning eyes open to sunrays falling into them. “Ugh” he groans. Moving his body off the bed slowly, he feels a weight on his chest. Then his legs. His eyes dart to you immediately, still peacefully sleeping and his eyes widen. He didn’t remember coming into your house. Especially not getting into bed with you. Had he broken in? Did you let him in? As best as he tried, he couldn’t remember anything. A sharp pain in his skull however tells him just how drunk he'd gotten. Trying to get up, a jolt of pain runs through his entire body and he falls back down on to the bed. He reaches out to grab his shirt and throws it on. Getting up quietly with a body this sore was going to be hard, but he didn’t want to wake you. In one quick motion he stands up, knees buckling under the sudden weight and stumbles.
His feet hit a solid object, him almost tripping over it, but managing to hold his balance. Quiet swears are pressed out between his lips as he turns around to check on you. Sprawled out on the bed now, leg sticking out under the blanket, you’re still fast asleep. The object that had almost caused his demise turns out to be one of his boots, scuffed and old, laying on the wooden floor. Scoffing, he picks it up and walks around attempting to find the second one. The doorway is just big enough for him to lean on comfortably, and that he did. Watching you sleep is beautiful in its own right, though he feels it may be slightly creepy. Afterall, he didn’t even know how he got in. A drunken stupor had led him to do many stupid things, and breaking into your house to sleep in it seemed a likely choice. Disturbing you more than he already had in the woods wasn’t on his plan today, so he decided to leave. Turning around, the hallway mirror in front of him greeted him with a wild jumble of red curls and an ashen face. There was absolutely no hope of him fixing the mess on his head, he knew that all too well.
Looking around the hall for the kitchen, he finds the living room attached to it. Boots still in hand, his eyes lock on to the fridge and his stomach grumbles. He sets the boots down adjacent to the kitchen table. The fridge door opens and he pulls out milk and what looks like leftover hashbrows. Sweeney smiles before collapsing on a chair. Practically inhaling the food, he forgets for a moment that he needs to get out before you awake. He bends down to his shoes and slips them on. The corner of the table manages to find his head right as he comes up from putting on his shoes. A string of ancient curses leave his lips before he pulls a hand over his mouth to muffle them. The pressure in his head rises to an almost skull-crushing level and he groans. You shouldn’t see him like this. Wiping his mouth with his hand, he puts the plate in the sink. He’d wash it, but makes a mental note to make up for it some other time. The front door still has your key in it. Carefully maneuvering his exhausted limbs towards it, he examines your key. A colorful keychain hangs from it. His almost comically oversized hand finds it and plays with it for a moment, smiling, then turns the key in its lock. A metallic sound commences. But it isn’t from a lock opening. The gingers brows furrow as he tries to turn the key again. And again. Each time, the lock seems to jam. He was used to breaking open locks and not opening them, but he thought himself more than capable to open a simple door. An old-style window in the kitchen catches his panicking eyes. Shaking his head, he tries to move the key again, more forcefully this time. “Fuck.” he exhales. Sighing, he walks back over to the open kitchen. Windows weren’t his favorite escape route, being even smaller than doors. But at least those were unlikely to jam, he thought. And he had many hundered years of practice in opening them, from the inside and outside. His skilled fingers find the lock and turn it to release. This window too, like the door, jams. He looks for a lock on the window but there is none. A different direction is tried once, then twice.
And then it dawns on him. He can’t leave. He may have entered the house himself, but you had brought him here. You had trapped him. Unintentionally most likely, but he had been captured. Biting his lips and looking around, he gave himself a moment to process the situation. It wasn’t the first time he’d been captured, of course- Leprechauns tended to know being taken hostage very well. But it damn sure hadn’t happened in the last hundered years or so. “Cén fáth?” he exclaimed, voice cracking. It wasn’t as bad as it could be, he told himself- Someone much worse than you could’ve brought him somewhere. Someone that knew he had wishes to offer them. Leaving wasn’t an option now, however. Not without you. He turns on his heel and shuffles back to the guest room, not bothering to pick up his feet. His jacket he leaves on the kitchen chair. Eyes on you as he comes through the door, absent and drifting, his hands find the buttons of his shirt. One by one, he pops them open. Staying didn’t seem so bad anymore. Not next to you, eventhough he hated being trapped. But having to be somewhere like this, with you, seemed almost like a privilege. Being allowed to watch you slumber, the sleepy noises you made and hold you close. Something he felt he hadn't earned- He didn't deserve. The clothing slides off his shoulders and on to the ground. He sits down on the side of the bed, taking his scuffed up boots off. The boots that had carried him around this world for so long. A new world still not entirely home to him. He'd made them himself then. When his simple profession was only to make shoes for humans and fae alike- Other misplaced members of the Fair Folk were rare nowadays, but they were here. Hidden away from the piercing gaze of humanity. They had all seen what humans did to them when discovered, only a few kind ones among them. Ones only curious, wanting to learn and talk. Those were the ones that still set out fine bread and fresh cream for them, the occasional fruits from their gardens among it. You had only recently become one of them, although your belief had always existed, your devotion had not. He wonders what changed that. Maybe a book, he thinks. A deep exhale comes from him before he lays down next to you, lifting the blanket as little as possible. A leg of yours still sticking out under it, he gently laid the covers over it. It had gotten cold, being away from the warmth of both him and the cloth covering it. Burying his face in your hair, he wraps himself around you.
"Good night, love." he coos.
The beginning of this chapter is basically the end to the previous one, I wanted to have a bit more interaction (although small) between them in that "scene" if you will. It took me a little longer than expected to write this one because I ended up breaking up the smut that was going to be in here into the next chapter because it fit better. If anyone is wondering about the three wishes thing- Leprechauns can be captured and they'll, in folklore, give you three wishes in exchange for release!
Chapter 4: Shrine / Desire
A hazy dream filled with many memories shed some light on your and the cabin's connection with Sweeney.
Insatiable desire on either side can no longer be ignored, no matter how hard the both of you try.
I'm so sorry this has taken forever y'all- I was merging two chapters because I felt the "Shrine" part that has now become the beginning of this chapter wouldn't have been a good standalone chapter, nor did I know when to put it in. Ended up having to rework most of it to make it work. I really hope I captured the nonsensical "dreamy" element of the dream well where it just kind of trails off into memories and fantasy and the lines become really blurred between the two. I may come back later and tweak this chapter a little as well as I'm not super happy with it yet, but I know if I just work on it another month with it open in a document it won't do me any good.
If you have any questions about it at all, feel free to send me an ask on my tumblr coinsandblood!
Through the strong grasp of sleep you feel weight drop down on the mattress next to you, a warmth is brought along with it. Your body strains in response, stretching out towards the warm mass.
“Don’t wake up yet, love.” a fond voice mutters into your neck, its owner resting his chin just there. He wraps his arms around you tightly, holding you against him.
Sleepy noises leave your mouth on the brink of waking. “Sleep a bit more.” he speaks again, a voice enveloping your mind in a deep haze. Fingers stroke over your arms, your neck, and finally finding their place on your cheek. They trace your jaw and cheekbones with adoration.
“Mmkay” you mumble as you turn towards him with unsteady movements. You wrap your arms around his core as his hand slides into your hair, holding you firmly against his chest. Not resisting to the newfound pillow to lay against, you ease your head on to his front. The serene heartbeat from down below under his ribs only adds to the haze you succumb to. The barely conscious part of your mind wonders if this is what a charm is. A compelling murk of feelings both suggested and already present, mixing together, blending the line between you and him. You’d felt this before, for a brief moment, when he asked you to take him home. This was stronger though, a dimness you’re unable to look through.
Your ears ring with the empty echo of a gentle voice as you close the screen door. Even through the braided straw of your hat, gleaming sun finds its way into your eyes. Birds basking in the sun sing happily.
A soft gust of wind blows through your hair as you step out on to the porch. The bright whites and pinks of the flowers blend into the vivid greens of weeds and untrimmed grass alike. When your friend had asked you to take care of the cabin, as she had little interest in it anymore, you’d expected it to look worse than this. The yard hadn’t been taken care of properly in at least 10 years, yet it flourished in a managable capacity. When you had arrived, the porch steps were partially consumed by roses among others, strapped into thorny lengths though wood still intact. Garden clothes were not among the things you had brought with you, but a denim shortall would have to make do for now.
Gentle rays of sun caress your cheeks, and you step into the knee-high flora. You make a mental note to mow the grass at some later point if you could find a lawnmower. It isn’t even just grass growing everywhere- The area surrounding the house looks more like a meadow than a yard, mixed in with the grass effortlessy are wildflowers high and short alike. Stalks of long grass brush against the skin of your legs. Wine-colored, clefted blossoms form a thick mat around the porch, spreading up to the brittle wooden railing. You couldn’t bring yourself to cut them. They cover the entire lattice of the railing, which looks gorgeous, although definitely contributing to its instability. Tiny bees whizz by your face but not before inspecting your hat for a brief moment first. Reaching over the flowers, you lift up the small palette of seedlings you had bought from a local plant nursery, wanting to make sure all flowers you plant were native to the area. You don’t remember every single one they’d sold you, but they had put each needing a different amount of light in a different palette.
The one you hold in your arms now is the one meant for full, bright sun. Equipped with some shears, you had cut down the stalks in a couple areas already, as well as loosened the soil. Daydreaming of a colorful garden with bees and butterflies buzzing about, you press play on your music device and walk towards the trimmed patches. Palette placed down on the ground carefully, you pick up the old metal watering can you’d found next to the porch. It has no rust on it, but is clearly weathered. You brush aside the grass with your feet trying to find the hose you’d put somewhere near the can the day before. Spring weather this warm you figure meant leaving the hose out for a night wouldn’t do much harm- You hadn’t used it and it was definitely not freezing anymore at night. Then turning your head around towards the spout, you see the hose perfectly rolled up and hung upon it. A sound of confusion arises from you as you squint at it, already stepping towards it.
It unmistakably is the green hose you had laid out before. The cabin has so few neighbors, even those few being far away, that you can’t think of who would have even seen you leave it out over night. It has even been detached from the spout, just limply hanging on it. You decide to ignore it, turning on the water and filling up your can. The metal can pops quietly as it fills up. Humming along to the music in your ears, you don’t notice the glinting in the treeline at first. Only when you wiggle your head to the tune does it catch your eye. A bright white reflection of sunlight caught between the thick of the treeline encircling the property. As soon as you spot it, it dissipates. “Hello?” you shout towards where the light just was. No answer. You look around you in confusion. Setting down the full watering can, you pull out one of your earbuds to listen. Birds cheep erratically and you hear quiet scuffling noises. As you squint at the treeline, you can make out some grey shapes in the shade. Not solid, but more of flickering smog dissipating into the background as it moves.
The sight of them makes your skin prickle. An almost hypnotic pull entices you to come closer, into the forest, to investigate. Eventhough the wind is still blowing, you feel like everything is standing still.
You step carefully between the mass of wild greenery, making sure not to get caught on any thorns. The bushes entangling the trees in an almost circular fashion are the same that had been covering the porch when you first arrived. It is unfamiliar to you, thickly pronged and resilient. It had taken you half an hour to get through the limbs of it covering the steps up to the porch, even with garden shears. Devoid of any visible bulbs, you wonder if it blooms at all. In thought, you don’t notice how silent it is around you at first. The birds had stopped singing a while ago, but you put that down to someone being around and having scared them off. As you notice now, however- The sound of the wind in the grass, swaying gently, has faded along with it. All that remains is a light rustling and the crunch of branch under your feet. Shudders creep over your shoulders as the hair on your arms stands up. Silence in a forest is never good, you know this, and yet find yourself drawn deeper into it.
Studying the area around you, off into the distance you make out red and yellow splotches on the ground under a mass of trees lower than the rest. Then squinting at it, the flashes of light appear again. You rub your eyes and continue on towards it, making out a distinctly human shape among them. Instead of skin however it appears to be made of light, bits of sun shining through the trees bouncing off it like a mirror. “Hello?” you call out, voice shaking and knees quivering. Even calling out to it feels against your instinct but you can’t help but announce yourself to it. The light flickers for a brief moment and then appears to go deeper into the forest. Feet moving without thought, you follow it. The ground beneath you feels unstable and soft.
The further you continue on, the more the air begins to grow thick. It carries a stale smell with it. You halt for a moment, leaning against a tree and rubbing your eyes. A bout of dizziness has overcome you and you let your head hang. Out of the corner of your eye you spot something red. Red and round, covered in black and brown spots and laying on the ground.
Apples. But not just one, many of them!
You look up and realize that you’re leaning against an apple tree of massive proportions. The forest floor is absolutely covered with blushing apples, rotting away as no one had come to harvest them. A strange sight, especially because you don’t remember ever seeing fruit trees near the cabin. But the trees were clearly old, older than you by many years. Some had flowers climbing up them, wrapping around like vines. Dust floats like glitter through the air, catching the sun in its way. Your head snaps up at once, looking all around you.
The light is gone. Nowhere to be seen, not even a glint of it. Undecided if you feel relieved or confused, you let out a sigh. A soft gust of wind blows through the treetops, engaging the sun to dance between the leaves with it. Rogue strands of hair fall on to your face. While taking in your surroundings, breathing in the crisp air deeply, a soft whisper sounds. From deeper within the woods it comes, carrying obscure words with it. The scent of warm florals fills your nose. You try to focus your ears on the origin of the sound to no avail. Beams of light move around the greenery and illuminates it in bright shades of yellows, greens and white in its way. Prickly heat spreads across your skin. Different, you think. Not like with him. Bright copper hair rips through your vision of green, swirling green eyes on yours. The feeling of your hot lips meeting. A hand holding on to your wrist and pressing it into a hard surface behind it. “Love,” a caramel-colored voice coos into your ear, breathing hard. You feel your heart begin to race in unison, just as your sight returns to the vibrant emerald of before.
Coughing breathlessly and looking around, the trees around you appear to have grown fewer as you find yourself standing on a clearing. “How curious!” a light voice chats at you. Before you stands an ethereal mass of light, seemingly vibrating in its stance. Humanoid in shape and with limbs clearly visible. You squint at it, panicked and blinded by the brightness. Attempting to speak, a squeaking sounds from you. The shape cackles a high-pitched laugh in response. A shiny limb reaches out towards you to grab your hand. Frozen in place, you’re unable to object to the sudden touch sending a resonating sensation across your arm. “Don’t be so afraid.” she says gently, closer now sounding more girlish than before.
With a sudden tug and flashing of colors, you’re standing in the light. Grass up to your ankles tickles its way under your overall.
Sitting in the meadow is a slab of mossy stone stands on two old treestumps. Wilted flowers of colors many lay upon it, next to old bowls both wooden and metal. Dried whitish-beige substance clings to the inside of the bowls. Woven baskets of now leathery and old fruit stand next to the stumps. “I don’t-” you begin, but a finger lays on your lips. “You want to remember.” the glinting being speaks. Her form is now only minorly different from yours. Long-limbed and with sharp eyes of gold she looks at you, smiling. Your eyes graze the assortment of trinkets on the stone again. Painted pictures weathered but still crisply colored stand on it, some in wooden and some in gilded frames. Jewelry with precious stones of many types, even a few coins lay there. You grab a necklace gently, lifting it into the air and watching it sparkle. A bronzed metal circle encasing a beautiful stone somewhere between blue, grey and green. It takes your breath away to even lay your eyes on it. Like seafoam trapped in resin. A chiffon-like trail you barely notice follows the spirit as she walks towards the trees. Sounds of clinking glass follow her, but you’re too absorbed in the pictures to notice. Going down on your knees to more closely look at them and squinting, your eyes move to one of the gilded frames. Intricately designed and oval in shape. Everything you see seems both familiar and so far away. As if it had been erased sloppily, a filter laid over it.
“Don’t.” a familiar voice in a booming tone announces itself. You look around, behind you and into the woods- But see nothing. The air becomes thick and heavy again, suffocating almost. With it, a blanket of heat pulsating rapidly lays over you.
The shrine had pictures of many beings on it, many trinkets and baubles. Even a small harp was leaning against a stump. A few crystal glasses still sticky with what once was contained in them stand next to the antique oblong frame. You take the frame into your hands and inspect it more closely. The colors of the paint are bleached out from decades of sunlight and rain. Wiping off the pollen from it with your thumb gently, you reveal a copper shade on it. Bronzed gold and eyes glinting in earth tones unnaturally even on paper.
Even with how little color it retained you could make out features. Human features. On a tall, broad-shouldered man crowned with ginger hair. The air in your throat turns solid, seeming to stick to your lungs. You choke out a breath as your hands begin to tremble. Everything felt surreal, more so than it had already. The nature around you feels like its about to collapse on top of you, stumps bending down to encase you and vines twisting around your ankles. A picture tears through your vision violently.
You see your younger self, one of the last times you had come to the cabin with your friends family for a summer. In the same meadow you kneel now, curiously picking up the dishes and trinkets on it. A couple of necklaces had taken your fancy. A ring, too, finds its way on to your body as you prance around the altar of sorts. Glistening in the summer sun, scent of flowers filling the air, you dance alone to a distant song of harps and bells. Your loud giggling comes to an abrupt stop when you see a large shadow standing beyond the trees. Observing you, unmoving in his stance. “I- I’m sorry!” you apologize profusely, scared, while you throw the jewelry back on to the table. All but a ring you forgot you were even wearing. The man steps forward slowly and avoiding the light in his way. Most of it. One singular beam filtered through the leaves hits his eyes, illuminating a vivid chartreuse speckled with gold. You had never seen eyes that color in your life until then and caught yourself staring. A huskily growled “Leave.” awoke your senses then, though.
As your vision is filling with static, you feel the shuddering warmth turn to cold. “I don’t understand” you mutter, then letting the frame fall on to the ground. Out of nothing Sweeney appears in front of the shrine, looking down at you on your knees. A warm hand reaches out to lay on your head. It beds into your hair, attempting to comfort- To warm the sudden iciness inside you. His form phases in and out, settling finally on a semi-translucency.
The bright dawn seeps through the slits between your shutters. You yawn and stretch, but as you stretch, they bump into a warm mass wrapped tightly around you. A sleepy little noise hushes over your lips as you try to turn. Opening your eyes, you see a wisp of ginger chest hair covering a sea of freckles. Stained white fabric covers his pecs and you squint. Long limbs tangled into yours hold you in place. Rubbing your eyes to look around, you manage to release one of your legs. Sweeney has somehow managed to wrap his entire body around you, entangling your legs in the process. His bearded chin rests in the crook of your neck, periodically breathing warmly into it. You sigh as you try to wiggle your way out of his vice grip- He was really holding on to you in his sleep. Craning back your neck, you look at the freckled cheek resting against yours. Planting a soft kiss on it, you feel his grip around your waist soften. You lift your head up to look at him and bring a hand up to his face. The violet rings under his eyes have lightened a bit, although still dark. Tracing the lines under his eyes with your fingertips, you kiss them gently. The flaming lashes above them contrast them perfectly. It makes it look almost like the sky at sunrise on his cheekbones, a crack of oranges and golds between the pinky violet of the fading night. Maybe the bits of gold flickering in your vision add to that too. You caress his cheek gently, stroking his chest with your other hand. His sanguine lips part and he breathes in deeply. Even fast asleep, the air around him seems thick with a tingling sensation laying thickly on your skin. Like thousands of bits of popping candy on moisture. The hairs on your body stand up. You watch his chest rise, watch him waking up. Waiting for his body to move. Breakfast pops into your mind, a good idea given the hangover you expect Sweeney to have and your lack of dinner last night. You’ll have to climb over Sweeney, who has now unfurled and stretched across the entire width of the bed. One of his legs has even ended up sticking out from the bed somehow. Gently gripping his arm, you lift it up and slip out under it, placing it on the heated spot of the mattress you just lay on. Quiet crackling resounds from your joints being rudely moved out of their stiff, stationary positions.
Lifting one leg up over him in an attempt to get out of bed, a hand lifts to lay on your thigh in response.
You freeze in place on his side, straddling him. The hand squeezes your thigh as you rest a hand on his shoulder. One lid twitches before opening slightly. The sun gleams in his half-open eye. A smile creeps across your mouth as calloused fingers stroke up and down your leg. He groans sleepily before smiling back. “Hi.” Fuzzy heat builds in your chest, then your cheeks as you blush. No person had the right to tug at your heart strings with a simple greeting. Turning on his back, still holding you in place, he opens both eyes. A large hand is laid on your cheek and pulls you into a hug. A hazy, cozy embrace. Thick, ginger bristles brush up against your face. He smells like liquor and honey. Faintly like a sweet flower. Even now, hungover after a night of binge drinking, still something is so magical about him. More so when you’re this close to him. The hand laying on your thigh slides up to find your hip, holding it in place firmly. Where his fingers had just touched your leg, you feel a trace of him. Anywhere he touches you, it feels like a film of warmth lays on your skin. A sheet of satin. You lay your head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat. His warm lips move to your neck slowly while his hand strokes your head, burying his fingers deep into your hair. You slip a hand under his undershirt and smooth over his warm abs. A low moan sounds from him as his muscles tense. Hips grind up into yours and you feel a hardness press against you. Jolts of red hot shoot up your back from between your legs.“Sweeney-” you breathe shakily, his hot tongue lapping at your skin. The hand on your hip now digging into it with a rough grip, you shift around on his lap. “Mh-hm?” he hums up at you, still planting kisses along your neck and collarbones, beard hairs tickling your skin. A quiver runs down your spine and you lean towards his mouth nibbling at your collarbone, sighing into his kiss. Bright sunlight falls into the gingers eyes and he groans loudly, covering his eyes. You laugh and move off of his lap as he rolls over, shielding himself from the light and releasing his grip on you. “Breakfast first, yeah?” you ask, though you’ll be eating regardless of his answer. Blankets pull over his face and you hear a muffled hum in what you assume is agreement. “Sleep a bit more if you need to.”
Pancakes sizzle in the hot pan and the entire cabin is filled with the scent of them. Creaking emits from the guest bedroom. Slow steps drag towards you with weighted soles. The tall ginger comes to a halt a few steps away from you and you feel his eyes on you. Grazing your curves under the loose shirt you’d changed into, wandering down your legs. Ignoring the bits of gilded flitter in your vision and the blood heating up under your skin, you turn your head towards him. Surprised by his barely buttoned pants and torso clad still only in a undershirt, your brows rise and eyes widen. Mouth agape, you catch yourself staring at his muscular arms. You had tried not to earlier, but now you had little choice but to acknowlege how fit he was. Lanky but so well built. Involuntary thoughts of his hands all over your body pop into your mind. Inhaling sharply, you turn back to the stove swiftly. A shiver runs down your spine when his dazed, gleaming eyes catch yours mid-turn. You clear your throat and carefully flip the now much darker than intended pancake. “Do you want some bath salts?” you ask, smiling through the lump in your throat. “I have a ton of them, feel free to use ’em.” His face remains unchanged, eyeing you carefully. You’re sure a bath isn’t what he wants, but the longer he stands near you, the more feverish you feel.
His hardened hands around your waist is all you can think about. Avoiding him had been one of the reasons you’d left him in the guest bedroom in the first place- you felt that if you stayed, both of you would lose the bits of self control you had. Him more so than you. But once he does, so would you. Resisting to touch his florid complexion, to smooth over the flush on his neck is much harder than you’d want to admit. Out of the corner of your eye you see him cock his head to the side, licking his lips. Unsure if his lack of response is due to his apparent hangover or something else, you shoot him a quick glance again. Or at least thats what you tell yourself is the reason you want to look at him. Wild, hungry eyes are locked on you. His brow is furrowed and his tongue wedged between his teeth, pressing against them. You wonder if he feels offended by you implying he’d like fancy bath products. He wasn’t one of /those/ guys, was he? “Bathroom’s just straight down the hall.” He nods, mumblinga quiet thank you. “Foods done in 10, don’t let the pancakes get cold!” He drags his heavy feet all the way down and you return to the pancakes.
Wet slaps echo on the floor behind you. “Wasn’t sure what you’d like so I-” you turn around mid-sentence and are greeted with a glistening, shirtless man before you. A showered Sweeney stands there, with only a towel around his lower half. “…set out maple and blueberry..syrup” your eyes meet his, locked firmly on you as he moves towards you. Chest puffed out and shoulders straight, his large frame looms down over you. You know that his sudden change in body language is all but on purpose. He reads you better than you’d ever want to admit. The height of his frame doesn’t intimidate you, if anything it draws you towards him and he knows that. “What would /you/ like, mo mhuirnín?” he drawls at you, voice raspy and assertive. The air heats up all around when bits of coppered gold flash through it. Your palms begin to sweat and your fingertips twitch.
Swallowing thickly and shakily attempting to hold eye contact, thinking, you look at his lips. “I…” you whisper. Heat spreading through your veins, under your skin, breathing suddenly seems so hard again. “Yes?” he keens in a menacing tone, Irish accent lilting.
Inching closer to you, not once breaking eye contact. Hot fingers graze up your arm slowly. “I want a kiss.” A husky laugh emits from him as you get on your tip toes and, holding on to his broad shoulders, look at him at eye level. Your lips meet his softly as you bring up your hands to cup his face. A pleased hum mixes from both your mouths as you tremble, clawing into him for support. Before falling back down on your soles, you stroke his cheek with your thumbs. A smirk wide on his lips, he observes you carefully. “That ain’t the kiss my lass brought me here for, is it now?” You shake your head vigorously as if to shake the glitter out of your eyes. They resemble fireflies in a way, bright and glinting. Through heavy lashes, you look up at him. Filling the forced pause, he strokes curled fingers up against your throat and to your chin. Forcing your chin up, holding eye contact all the while, he draws out a quiet questioning sound. “No, no it isn’t.” you mumble while leaning into his warm chest.
Sweeney grabs you by the waist and presses you against the counter. Hungrily he embraces you, his mouth on yours. You cup his face only to move it off yours. Eyes widening, he stares down at you. “But I didn’t bring you home for this” you pant, catching your breath. “I took you here because you were wasted and-” the breath gets stuck in your throat for a brief moment, avoiding with difficulty to tear up. You don’t even know what had happened to him, yet just seeing what it did to him hurt you. The way the ever-present glow in his eyes had died out to a snuffed semblance of the life in him had pulled your throat tightly shut. “I was worried about you.” His brow scowls and relaxes, eyes twitch and his lips curl up and down all in a few seconds. “Worried?” he repeats back at you. Confusion is so blatant on his face and you wonder if anyone had ever told him that they’d worried about him before. He sure didn’t seem like he’d heard that one before. You nod in response and run your hands up his chest. “You looked so weary.” His fierce eyes turn docile between a crinkled frown of his brow. Lush green turns to a pool of liquid golds and bronze.
A hand holds on to yours on his chest. Your mouth opens to speak, but he quickly covers it with his. Starved hands run up your legs, pushing up your shirt and backing you further into the countertop. Fingers dig harshly into your waist. Your arms clasp around his neck, laid hastily on his shoulders as you pull him closer. He tastes so sweet. Intoxicating dizziness falls over you as the tips of your tongues touch. Lips pull apart and your eyes are glued shut with heavy lust. Eyelids weighted, you look at him from under your lashes. Broad chest rising quickly and cheeks flushed. The blush on his cheeks surprised you as much as it charmed you. His hands wrap around your legs and lift you on the counter before returning to your waist. Running one up your chest and neck, he holds on to the counter with the other now as you grind your hips into his. Burying his nose in your hair, lips graze your forehead. “Don’t ever worry about me, y/n.” he breathes.
Wrapping your legs around him, you pull yourself into his embrace. You let the heat flow over you freely now, the warmth his presence near you lights in you. Sexual attraction isn’t new to you, but the sheer intensity of what he made you feel was different. The way he radiated that glow down to the blurry dots of fire, no part of this is normal. Hand bedded into the muscles of his shoulder blade, you dig your nails into him. He groans and you feel his hard cock against your sex only clothed by a thin piece of fabric. Even through the towel around his waist you feel him pulsate and throb. Skin still wet from the shower, hands bed into the softness of your thighs. Warm breath travels down your neck, teeth gently nipping at it. A loud moan passes your lips as he bites into the soft flesh. Your hands shoot up to bed into his hair as you pull on it. “Sweeney-” you exclaim, tearing his lips away. Lifting his head level with yours, you stare into his eyes, panting.
He smiles at you with eyes half closed and all you can hear is static. The heat now in every part of your body from your soles to your cheeks. A fuzzy glow radiating off him, you struggle to keep your eyes open when they fall to his mouth. Breath chokes up in your throat. “Yes?” he asks. His head leans to the side and his grin widens. Harshly pressing your lips on his, your teeth clash, nearly consuming eachother. His arms hold on to your legs and he lifts you into his arms and off the counter. A series of mumbled moans are exchanged between both of your joined mouths as he carries you towards your room. Your toes curl every time he bounces you up in his arms, not to lose your grip on you but also pressing harder into you. Bending down to size, he fits himself and you through the doorframe as your lips part, stopping to breathe.
Hot fingers rub circles into your back and you arch into him. Throwing you carefully on the bed, he pushes up your shirt to plant kisses along your stomach. Surprised, you gasp. He snickers in reply. A hand cups your breast as another parts your thighs, then resting on your hip. Soft lashes brush up against your skin as his lips make their way up between your breasts. Lifting your elbows above your head and arching your back into his touch, your shirt is slid over your head and thrown hastily to the floor. Leaning his weight on to you now, his cock presses against your throbbing clit through the fabric. Through thick lashes he looks down at you. Lust laying heavy on his lids, you watch the colors of his eyes swirl, as does the golden cloud enveloping both of you. The scent of his warm skin intoxicated you. Sweet and honey-like, a constant reminder of how magical he really is. You observe the mist dance and float in your vision, painting Sweeneys and your skin with radiance. You graze his chest with your hands as you bite down on your lip. The peachy shades of dawn let him appear almost glowing. Afraid isn’t what you are- But in awe. “Do you see it too?” you whisper quietly. His head cocks sideways, lips curling. “What, lass?” he asks, sliding a thumb under your underwear and the dip of your hip, rubbing circles into it. Sighing into his touch, you raise your lower half towards him. “The gold stuff,” you whine as he takes the cue to remove your panties at an excrutiatingly slow pace. You lift a leg towards him when your underwear reaches your ankles and he leaves them to hang lazily around your other foot. A hand wraps around your calf, holding it up, and he trails kisses from your foot up your leg. A rather affectionate gesture you weren’t expecting, not from him. He is raw and rugged, not malicious by intent, but mean at times. The way he caresses your long limb didn’t let that on a single bit. His hands touch your skin so carefully, like he’s scared to tighten his grip on it. Moments before he had been slamming you into the counter with little care, digging into your waist before covering your mouths. Beard hair tickles the tender skin of your inner thigh and you flinch, moaning. Fierce eyes dart up, locking on you to watch and observe, his heart beating so hard you feel his pulse against your skin. “I see it in your eyes” he breathes into your skin in the dulcet tones heating every kiss he places there.
“Is this what you want, lass?” he asks, kissing closer and closer to the pool of heat between your legs. You can feel your heart racing in your ears as you tried to nod, mewling out a soft murmur. Lips pulling away from the thin skin of your thigh with an audible smack, he leans up. “That a yes?” Replying with more nodding and a louder mumble now, you curl yourself upwards to strain against him. “Gonna have to say it for me, love.” he states in a cruel tone. As his fingers stroke up the sides of your hip to your waist you feel the last bit of reservedness in you fall. The touch of his calloused fingertips on your silken skin has a magic to it none could deny. “Yes, yes, I do!” you exclaim, thighs colvulsing and skin boiling.
Completely at his mercy, panting and heart racing, you beg. You beg again and again, quieter and more desperate each time. “Good girl.” A voice sounds, soft like bells jingling and just as wicked, beguiling in its tone. It disappears between your legs uttering old words of passion, embedding themselves under your skin with every hitched breath. His mouth slides up and down your lips, grazing the skin ever so slightly. The flesh of his hot tongue finds your entrance with carnal pleasure as he kisses it. Biting down on your lip, you grab him by the hair and choke out a groan. Giving you no time to breathe, he soothes over your aching spot gently and slow at first. Wet flicks of his skilled tongue let you writhe and sob under it, his grip on your breast sliding up to your throat once in a while. When it does, his large hand wraps around it, effortlessly strangling your all but immodest noises.
Every buck and curve of your hips is followed closely by his mouth. The fizzing heat begins to tug at your insides, hard. At this point, all you can do is cry out for him. Over and over. He is relentless in his lapping and flicking. You didn't want to cum, not yet, you wanted to savor the sting of his mouth against your opening. But you're powerless to fight against it. Sweeney has centuries of skill under his belt and he wasn't about to let you off lightly today.
Trembling, your thighs encase his face, holding it in place as the pent up scream in your lungs finds its way out. An almost painful heat boils over inside you, one traced to the very tip of the gingers tongue.
Resting his head against your soft thigh for a moment, brushing his cheek up against it, he slides an arm over your leg to lift himself up. “I like you like this,” he begins. You lock eyes with him through a thick film of a climax passed and you both smile. Fingertips trace up your thigh before continuing on to the loosening towel around his midriff. “All sprawled out, waitin’ for me.”
A tug is all it needs to release and under it he reveals a girthy shaft, bedded in to a carnelian bush. He wraps a hand around his throbbing erection, holding it up against you, rubbing. Twitching and arching into him you try in vain to persuade him inside you. A self-satisfied grin widens across his mouth as you brace your hips against him, rolling them ever to slightly.
Carefully coaxing the tip of his cock into you, grinding his teeth, you both tense. Your hands find his hips to hold on to and tug at. His desperate tries to swallow his own sounds of pleasure fail, filling the room with a loud groan. You’re pressed down into the mattress by his weight, bedding into the softness. His hips coil against yours as his length fully enters you. Pacing himself with restrain, he starts a slow swing against your hips. Sweet pleas of a language old are muttered under his breath, louder with every wet slap of skin on skin. Taking your wrists, he raises them above your head only to keep them shackled with his hand. “Don’t stop,” you beg. “Please.” Heated breaths mix as his face hovers over yours. Wild chartreuse eyes gaze into yours with an almost hypnotic quality. Your mind previously racing turns to static.
“That your second wish then, lass?” He thrusts into you harder. Nodding frantically, an affirmative closer to a whine comes out of your mouth. “Sweeney, please!” you cry out, curving yourself into him, even with elbows pinned over your head. Wet skin slick with your arousal sticks to eachother. It only further entwines the both of you. Hoarse whispers fill the room before a command. “Louder.”
He bends down and whispers into your ear. “Suibhne. Moan it for me, mo mhuirnín.” One of his hands punches into the headboard above you with a resounding crack before finding one of the poles attached. Nobody had uttered his name in such adoration, such worship in ages. The power it awakens under his humanoid flesh reminds him of what he used to be, struggling to keep it restrained. You chant his name softly in a trance-like state, praying almost. He holds on to the pole, pounding deeper into you as he pulls himself up with each thrust. Loud cries are let out from both of you as Sweeney drives himself into you again. Girth fills you up, so much so you feel as if about to bursting with every thrust. A loud, wooden snap echoes through the room. A shuddering gasp carrying your name escapes his lips as his hips slam into you violently, twitching hard. Gasping, your eyes dart up to his arm. The man has broken off one of the poles and let it fall on to the ground. Veins popping, his other arm is laid around your head, holding on to it with barely contained fervor. Something so primal in him reacts to that name.
Sharpened teeth find the satin skin of your neck, hissing curses. Your nails dig into his shoulderblades in response. The sweet pain in your lap snaps and tugs at you as it builds, waiting for release. Muscles contract visibly undernearth both of your skins. You feel his cock pumping hot liquid inside you as his brows furrow, moaning loudly.
He collapses on to your chest and kisses it gently. Hands running up over your waist to find a breast, cupping it. Being all lovey-dovey isn’t really Sweeneys strong point, but he wishes it was. The warmth of your soft chest under his hand makes him smile as he caresses your nipple with his thumb. A warm forehead presses against yours. “Sorry ’bout the bed.” he grins. You jolt forward to quickly peck him on the lips, catching him off guard. Both of you giggle as he reaches down to hand you the towel on the floor.
“Sweeney?” you inquire. “Mh-hmm?” he humms in reply, pulling on his shirt. “You don’t need to leave..” He flashes you a smile, licking his teeth before biting down on his tongue and pausing. Shaking his head, he closes each metal button carefully with a muffled snap. You inch closer to the edge of the bed, briefly holding on to his thigh and shoving his shirt up just enough to kiss his side.
“What happened last night?”
He freezes. Tires screech, glass breaks and a raven caws. All at once, she lays there again, at his feet. The unrelenting, icy air cuts his pale cheeks. Gasping out her last breaths, choked on blood, in shock. Sweeneys eyes widen as her face turns to him. So familiar, yet not. A sharp pain sears through his chest when her eyes meet his just as the life escapes her. He had done worse, he tells himself. Swallowing thickly, he grips into his thighs, burying his nails in them.
“Nothin’, lass. Don’t you worry ’bout that.” he says meekly, turning around to kiss you on the forehead. You look at him with concern in your eyes. He looks anywhere but into your eyes. Swallowing so thickly even you could see it. He finishes getting dressed, striding out of the room slowly. Jumping up and out of the bed, you throw on the closest shirt. “Hey!” you shout, trying to fling your legs back into your underwear but failing to find the right side. You hold on to him, wrapping your arms around his waist, stopping him for a brief moment.
He sighs deeply, a wish to stay almost written on his breath. You don’t think to ask him why he doesn’t, he has his reasons. Though you don’t know them and may not understand them, you respect it. Forcing him to stay would only make him run further, you feel that inside you. Wild things don’t like being cornered, and as human as he looked, you know deep inside that he isn’t. Stroking his body and leaning into his back, you breathe him in. The biting crispness of seawater as strong as the sweetness of flowers. He almost smells a bit like moss, you think to yourself. Like his bed was made of thick lichen and a mattress of moss. A bit of peat. You’d noticed it before, thinking he smelled vaguely of whisky even when he hadn’t drunk. Arms sliding down him, you release your grip and pull yourself away. Bringing him to the door, you grab his hand. “How many wishes do I have left?” you smile at him. “One. Ya already used two.” he replies. A voice soft, nearly cracking. “Then my third wish is..” you say, puffing up your chest. “For you to come over for dinner tomorrow night.” He laughs loudly and licks his lips. You see him biting his tongue, likely holding back another snarky remark. “Can do.” Sweeney fights with himself to stay. He does, so much. He knows he shouldn’t, that he has a job to do. The way these things end is never different. Death isn't in his power to shield you from. But being around you reminded him of simpler times filled with worship. With people knowing who he was. Where he was just a king. A king with a wife, with children. Land to rule and people to keep safe. Charm has always been one of his good qualities though it had been a long, long time since he made use of it.
He sees the worry behind your eyes. A painful reminder of the state of his so-called life. A reminder that he is bound to outlive every love he’s ever had and will have. The snark is something both aquired over the ages and a convenient cover-up. Eons of seeing loved ones found and lost hasn't been good to him, it hasn't been to anyone. Wit can quickly make someone forget. Maybe more himself than others sometimes.
Or so he hopes.
It doesn’t really work well on you.