Darkling: Ophiuchus (Ch 4)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 30 Oct 2018.]

Ch 4: Nyd [ao3]

Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Narcissa Black Malfoy

Add: [3] Hermione Granger, [4] Original Non-Human Character(s)

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy & Harry Potter, Hermione Granger & Harry Potter & Ron Weasley

Tags: Dark Magic, Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe – Dark, Dark Harry Potter, Accidental Marriage, Accidental Bonding, Blood Magic, Parseltongue Magic, Dark Culture & Customs

Add: [3] Runes, Study of Ancient Runes (HP), Runic Magic; [4] Knights of Walpurgis, Mythical Beings & Creatures

Ch Summary: Added to Characters: Original Non-Human Character(s). Added to Tags: Knights of Walpurgis, Mythical Beings & Creatures.

A/N: I hope readers have a Happy Hallowe’en, Samhain, Nos Galan Gaeaf, etc.

Excerpt featuring the original non-human character, Ouroboros:

A small white platter appeared, and it curled around the edge looking like a hyper realistic decoration. Its small body shook as it twisted and heaved, objects falling from its mouth – a small shower of wheat with their bristly heads and soft protected kernels. The snake spoke quietly, “I am Ouroboros. I saw the first harvest, and I shall hold witness to the last. The Tawch and the Helion were once one magical group, caring for the shrines of the Ancients and helping those without magic. Push the seasons forward, pull the harvest from the ground, give your blood, take the blood of the animals. Until Nyd – a famine.

Harry watched silently as the snake swished its tail to hide the wheat from view, “The Ancients wanted willing blood, and the Helion refused to listen. They started turning their backs on the ponds, wells, sacred groves, and left the forests. The Tawch were not happy, but they listened and gave First Sacrifice to the earth. She was the willing blood that stopped the famine, but the Helion never forgave”, the snake paused to let deep red drops of blood fall from its mouth onto the porcelain and stirred a few heads of wheat into the bright mess with its tail, “Helion forgot the Ancients, forgot the magic in blood. They separate themselves from Darkness and call the shadows betrayal. The Tawch listen to blood, and try to remember in their own way.

The small snake turned its gaze to Harry, and he couldn’t help but nod at the story. While it was sparse in details, there was an intensity and importance to what had been revealed. He swallowed nervously as the snake slid off the platter and meandered closer. Its body twisted ever so slightly and a few blossoms fell from its mouth, small white whirls, before it tasted the air above his left arm, “Remember basil’s lesson, Seeker. She will help you find dignity and courage when facing death.

End Notes: Nyd quote comes from Naudiz wiki page. Source for basil associations.

Kintsugi (Ch 4)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 26 Oct 2018.]

Ch 4: The Dragon’s Tail (Aug 4) [ao3]

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

Added: [3] Kink Negotiation, [4] Impact Play, Spanking

A / N: Being upfront, I have no irl experience with impact play, so there may be some fudging with the spanking scene (my childhood experiences of being spanked doesn’t translate to a scene of this nature). While I am aware of what Caregiver/little is not, I wanted to try writing a pov where the incestuous Pureblood associations have made this unpalatable for Draco. I must admit that some of the caretaking elements (and referring to a stuffed animal as a ‘stuffie’) will seem familiar for those who’ve peeked into Cg/l, at least in some tumblr spaces.

I almost put the Astronomy stuff as this chapter’s excerpt, but between this story and another one being shared simultaneously, I didn’t want to overwhelm with Astronomy fan theory. Excerpt inspired by something I know I’ve seen elsewhere from fans that Draco had a stuffed dragon as a child:

Harry bit the inside of his cheek to keep an inappropriate laugh from bursting out, and he hoped most of the smile was hidden. A blue-gray dragon with a silver underbelly was being set on his knees. The main body was about the size he thought the typical teddy bear might be, but the tail did add a little extra length and the wings a little more width. Of course he would have a dragon, Harry carefully picked it up to get a closer look. It had a slightly faded look around the seams, and he was fairly certain the disjointed dark blue and silver stitching reinforcing the seams wasn’t intentional. Somehow it had two different blue buttons as eyes, different shades no less, and the hint of green under the chin might have been a permanent grass stain. There were no lethal blue spikes along the tail, and the snout was a bit shorter than Harry thought it should be, so this Swedish Short-Snout really was a him, as far as a children’s toy went.

“His name is Elty”, Malfoy mumbled, cleared his throat, and tried to speak a little louder, “Short for Eltanin, also known as Gamma Draconis, the brightest star in Draco. I know it seems a bit childish, but the herbal blend isn’t addictive and really does help with the nightmares”, he cut himself off at the admission. Harry gave an experimental squeeze and sniff. He didn’t really know his herbs unless they were used in cooking, but he did recognize the lavender Malfoy had mentioned and that vague tea smell might have been the chamomile. Elty smelled nice, and the calming was more of a gentle suggestion than the juggernaut of forced sedation from a Calming Draught. He reckoned it wouldn’t be strong or fast acting enough for the worst intensity of a panic attack, but there was something about the subtlety of the magic that did feel safe for long-term use. Harry couldn’t remember having a stuffed animal when he was little – just a blanket he was fond of until Dudley had tore it up to make a kite one summer – so hugging Elty didn’t seem quite as embarrassing for him. It was certainly better than feeling a bit pathetic at wanting to hug a spare pillow at least.

Darkling: Ophiuchus (Ch 3)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 23 Oct 2018.]

Ch 3: Tawch [ao3]

Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Narcissa Black Malfoy

Add: [3] Hermione Granger

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy & Harry Potter, Hermione Granger & Harry Potter & Ron Weasley

Tags: Dark Magic, Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe – Dark, Dark Harry Potter, Accidental Marriage, Accidental Bonding, Blood Magic, Parseltongue Magic, Dark Culture & Customs

Add: [3] Runes, Study of Ancient Runes (HP), Runic Magic

Ch Summary: Added to Characters: Hermione Granger | Added to Tags: Runes, Study of Ancient Runes (Harry Potter), Runic Magic

A/N: Large rolling list for Brythonic and created spells added to series notes.

Excerpt:

“We’re the boogeymen in the shadows, if you will. Helion are raised with stories about us kidnapping children, eating babies, hellbent on killing all the Light in the world, or something. We were the ones stoned, hanged, and drowned in the witch hunts in greater numbers than them. We all carry memories of ancestors being mobbed by Muggles and killed, not dissimilar to Hels mobbing us and wanting to wipe us out. They don’t mind that we were driven underground and have to remain silent”, Malfoy took a deep breath, “The most Weasel could do is turn against you, Potter, and condemn you with the Dark community. One stray hex and he’ll call for your head with all the others. The least he could do is give you the silent treatment and a cold shoulder until the Dark Lord is defeated.”

“Thanks for the warning”, Harry’s voice was low and steady, “But I think I’ll let Ron make his own decisions about this.”

“Don’t worry, Potter”, Malfoy returned to a light tease and one hand swept his hair back, “The Tawch will probably accept you.”

“The what?”

Malfoy’s left hand drew the closest paper torn from Harry’s notebook closer, and the quill slid easily into his right hand this time, the neat cursive slightly larger than when written with his left hand, “Tawch. The Dark community has its own name for itself, you know. A Dark wix is a Llywdnos, and Dark wixen are Gwyllon.”

End NotesSource for Old Norse and Icelandic rune poems given. Most of the source for the Anglo-Saxon rune poem (‘fair to look upon’ taken from first source).

Some of these unfamiliar words are not Brythonic, and if you haven’t wandered in the Ogham category of Wiki, may not be recognizable. Bríatharogaim are kennings that explain the meanings of the names of the letters of the Ogham alphabet [for Archaic + Old Irish], and the Bríatharogam Morainn mac Moín is one of these kenning lists, which can be found in the Auraicept na n-Éces.

Kintsugi (Ch 3)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 19 Oct 2018.]

Ch 3: Acquiescence (Aug 3) [ao3]

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

Added: [3] Kink Negotiation

A / N: Preliminary safeword system uses a slightly modified “traffic light” system (green / yellow / red). Another case of pulling out terms for easier reference: As hetaerae shifted to time constrained contracts, the terms despoina (“mistress or lady of the house”) and despotes (“master of the house”) were applied retroactively to lifelong hetaerae (derived from Despoina, either a younger sister or Underworld epithet of Persephone).

The inclusion of an opera and subsequent theatrical talk (like props potionology) is a smidge self indulgent, but this excerpt works on establishing Ethelry in Wizarding history and gets into a fan theory about why Nicolas Flamel created the Philosopher’s Stone when he did.

He [Harry] figured the instinct to sit up straighter before answering such a question must be subconscious among the bookish, but he did appreciate that Malfoy didn’t sound like he was gearing up for a lecture as Hermione would, “Nicolas Flamel was a French alchemist, who is the only known creator of a successful Philosopher’s Stone. He bought relatively inexpensive hetaerae as human experiments for the Elixir of Life after his first successful gold transmutation with the Stone in 1340, and Tydrik Ruotsalainen was bought in 1344. It was still the acceptable practice to attach the Owner’s surname to a slave, hence Ruotsalainen De Flamel. Other hetaerae either died from the poisonous failed Elixir attempts or illnesses they were exposed to in trying to prove the Elixir worked, but Tydrik was successfully exposed to the Black Death for several years until Nicolas declared the Elixir of Life a success and drank it with his wife Perenelle in 1348.”

. . .

The math for Nicolas Flamel and his wife Perenelle’s lifespans are a smidge flexible, considering how they’re not talked about after book one. I know Harry had other things to focus on, but I would think the Wizarding world (or at least someone in the press) should’ve mentioned their passing later. I’m still absurdly attached to a connection between the Black Death and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Darkling: Ophiuchus (Ch 2)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 16 Oct 2018.]

Ch 2: Celtic Knot [ao3]

Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Narcissa Black Malfoy

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy & Harry Potter, Hermione Granger & Harry Potter & Ron Weasley

Tags: Dark Magic, Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe – Dark, Dark Harry Potter, Accidental Marriage, Accidental Bonding, Blood Magic, Parseltongue Magic, Dark Culture & Customs

No updates to characters, ships, or tags.

A/N:  Later chapters mention the altered timeline, but the Sectumsempra fight has been adjusted from sometime in the spring (canon) to Halloween, and the poisoned mead and bezoar incident with Ron was moved up to being tied to a Halloween party held by Slughorn.

Formatting note: Dialogue that is italicized and bolded is Parseltongue.

Excerpt:

Snape took another drink from his headache relieving potion, “It has to do with Muggles becoming legal adults at eighteen and the Broomstick Marriage Act, which smoothed out wedding legalities between the Wizarding community and Muggles.”

Harry ran his hand through his hair, “Muggles don’t have anything to do with this, though. I mean, we couldn’t even get married according to them.”

“I’m afraid I don’t follow?”, Narcissa had a slight frown. Harry looked from her to Snape and back again, squinting slightly and trying to feel out if it was a trap. He ran his hand through his hair again nervously, “Muggles here don’t legally recognize two guys together, anyways. We’d have to go to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, or –”

“While social attitudes may be more similar than not on the appropriateness of same sex relationships”, Snape was pinching the bridge of his nose and paused briefly to take a large mouthful of his headache relieving potion, “Handfasting’s roots in pre-Christian, gender irrelevant trysts meant that the Wizarding community had unintentionally already made same sex marriage legal. It was an archaic little footnote that very few paid attention to until the past century or so, but then it was too late to renege and follow the Muggles in legal terms. Did you even attempt to do research, Potter?”

Kintsugi (Ch 2)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 12 Oct 2018.]

Ch 2: Acceptance (Aug 2) [ao3]

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

No added tags for this chapter. Chapter 2 mostly introduces Ethelry specific terms, so there’s not really a good section to share as an excerpt.

A / N: While these terms are explained in the fic, I wanted to make it easier to reference these words that have mostly been borrowed.

Ethelry: Derived from the Anglo-Saxon futhorc for inheritance or inherited estate, eðel (ethel), which may be more recognizable as the Elder Futhark Odal / Othala. It’s the term applied to this system of slavery.

Taeog: A house slave, may be assigned to any task that is traditionally done inside the home (laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc.). Borrowed from the term used in south Wales for a native serf that literally denoted someone “belonging to the house” of the lord’s manor (pl. taeogion); see Taeog.

Theow: A land slave, may be assigned to tasks that were traditionally outside of the main home, even though modern houses may have floors, wings, or small buildings attached to their homes for these purposes (farming, gardening, tending to animals, etc.). Borrowed from the Old English term for a slave equivalent to the thrall in Scandinavian serfdom (pl. theows); see Thrall.

Hetaera: A pleasure slave, is kept most often for sexual activities. It depends on the contracts and the families as to whether taeogion and theows also engage in sexual activity and what hetaerae may do in addition to sex. This can include service chores for their particular Owner (such as cooking their meals), providing entertainment (a non-sexual example would be playing an instrument), and assisting taeogion and theows in other chores. Borrowed from the Ancient Greek term for a “companion” prostitute (pl. hetaerae); see Hetaira.

~

To make up for not having a Ch 2 excerpt, I’ve got a bit from Ch 3 that is my “fix it” for what JKR came up with as the US’ preferred sport over Quidditch:

Harry hummed and turned to the holo-pitch, a little curious to see how the teams were doing since being reinstated after the war ended. He squinted at the game as players in mostly off-white robes tossed a white quaffle back and forth. He had almost talked himself into the colors being off because of something to do with the holo-pitch transmission until the strange Chaser with the ball flew around the back of the goalposts to attempt a score and a Keeper in the same off-white robes blocked the throw, “The fuck are they doing?”

“The hotel has a large American clientele base, so they carry Kwiddle matches”, Malfoy sounded a bit bored as he carried on with an explanation, “The Quidditch derived Kwiddle adds several players and another ball to each team, in addition to the usual Chasers, Beaters, Keeper, and Seeker. The white quaffle is a Skipsi, which subtracts ten points when thrown through the back of the goalpost, the three Chasers in white are Skippers, and the Keeper in the back is the Backer.”

Like, don’t get me wrong, I can understand wanting a difference like with football / American football, but Quodpot, really? Honestly, the whole reason for sharing sfw excerpts is to share headcanons that are sprinkled throughout the story like this. Also of note: I’ve been incorporating holo-pitches into a lot of my fics recently; I just didn’t share the describing paragraph here. Think holographic pitch and it’s sorta like a tv? Basically, like a tv.

Darkling: Ophiuchus (Ch 1)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 9 Oct 2018.]

Series: Darkling || Part One Title: Ophiuchus || Ch 1: Mingling Blood [ao3]

Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Narcissa Black Malfoy

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy & Harry Potter, Hermione Granger & Harry Potter & Ron Weasley

Tags: Dark Magic, Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe – Dark, Dark Harry Potter, Accidental Marriage, Accidental Bonding, Blood Magic, Parseltongue Magic, Dark Culture & Customs

Notes:  My apologies to Professor Flitwick, who is the Head of Ravenclaw in canon, but I went with Professor Sinistra in this story. I mean no offense to those who study the Brythonic or Brittonic languages, but the ‘old’ language used within the Dark community called Brythonic in the story actually makes use of Modern Welsh. This is a Pro-Dark story inspired by the Oath Breaker series, but reading those fics is not necessary to understanding this one. Beta’d by my friend @nocturnal-milk-dud but not Brit picked.

Summary: Harry’s meeting with Snape after the Sectumsempra fight with Malfoy in sixth year takes a different turn, revealing a Dark core that Harry has been failing to repress. His fight with Malfoy mingled their blood, bonding the two together and Harry to the Malfoy’s lineage of Darkness. Involves helpful talking snakes, an accidental marriage, serpent and wyvern crossbreeds, demisexuality, and the intersection of the Light and Dark communities.

Link to Spotify playlist for this fic ~

TW: Cancer (II)

My grandfather made it through approximately five rounds of chemo and one round of radiation through this past summer and early autumn.

He had lung cancer and lymphoma, and it was so strange to watch him drop weight (he’s always been rather “fluffy”, and he was down to a bit below what he weighed in high school, which was a good 50 years ago), grow physically weak, and look so physically sick. One part of your brain understands that cancer can do all of this because it’s a fucking disease, but another part of your brain is stuck buffering and trying to process the sudden changes. He’d been balding for as long as I’ve been alive, so he wasn’t emotionally distraught when he lost all of his hair, but he was suddenly almost skinny in some places.

He was on oxygen until he’d finished the first round of chemo, and did chemo do a number on him. He’d lose his appetite, in part because most things had an off ‘metallic’ taste, he was tired, he struggled to stand up and walk at times, and it would take until the time for the next appointment (about a week) before he’d want to eat again. My mother, sister, and I would take my grandparents’ dogs in because receiving chemo meant going up to Columbus to stay in the hospital for the week. Radiation didn’t kick his ass like that, so even with the tattoos (for equipment alignment) and technically having several rounds throughout the week, it didn’t seem quite as harsh. It seemed like he’d gained some strength and a lot of his appetite back by then (I think he even gained some weight back, too).

On September 21st (Fri), he was released from his last round of chemo. The tumors were quite adequately shrinking, and he just needed to make it through follow-up labs and aftercare. There was going to be a follow-up scan in November, and things seemed to be optimistic. We had lunch with him that Sunday, as we’ve done for years, and he seemed fine (actually eating his fish and whatnot). Then he developed a fever and some of those ‘just starting to come down with something’ physical symptoms on Monday, got admitted to the ER sometime after midnight for a high fever (technically, Tuesday morning), and he was deemed too unstable to LifeFlight him up to Columbus at that time (fever and too low blood pressure).

{Narrative note: My grandparents decided when I was young that they did not want “to be kept alive by machines”, so we weren’t terribly surprised by my grandfather filing DNR and life support related paperwork with the James. Because certain labs, cleaning his port, and follow-up shots were done at a relatively more local hospital who were handling some of his file, my grandparents assumed that the DNR stuff was on file and would be honored at this hospital. Our actual local hospital is more well known for doing the minimum to LifeFlight you up to Columbus for practically everything, so my grandparents went to this other hospital when it came time to go to the ER.}

My grandfather’s kidneys started to fail, and even some emergency form of dialysis wasn’t helping on Tuesday. Writing this a week out after hearing my mother tell everyone who called the story over and over, some of the details are a little blurry. I’m not sure why my grandmother left the room to do something related to the car (maybe she was getting the car she wanted to follow them up to Columbus in?), but while she was gone, my grandfather was sedated (because he did not want to be ventilated) and then ventilated. From what my grandmother described, he died sometime Tuesday evening and was only being kept alive by the ventilator come Wednesday. Doctors had to confirm stuff, and my grandmother had to track down DNR shit, and I don’t know what all had to happen, but my grandfather was taken off the ventilator on Wednesday morning, September 26th, 2018.

{Supposedly, the DNR paperwork had to be filed at the hospital they actually went to in order for the staff to abide by it. My grandmother has already been told by multiple relatives to consult with legal counsel, especially since she was outright asked afterwards while signing discharge paperwork if she was planning on suing. I, personally, can’t say anything about the life support component, it’s too soon to comment on any legal shit, and it will likely be some time before that’s a done deal.}

My grandfather died rather suddenly, and even in the context of the cancer diagnosis, rather unexpectedly. He was supposedly in the aftercare stage and just needed to keep up the follow-up shit. My grandparents are both of the mind that “if you don’t have time for me while I’m alive, you ain’t crying over me once I’m dead”, so they both have arrangements for immediate cremation and no funeral or official memorial service. We haven’t gotten his ashes yet, but unofficially, there will be something in order to release his ashes (because they don’t want to “be kept on the mantle and talked to”).

Quite frankly, I haven’t really thought about how this might affect my ancestor veneration because I’m not used to an immediate family member that I knew well joining my bio dead. It still feels surreal, and I suspect I haven’t cried yet because it hasn’t fully sunken in. He was whisked away and didn’t come back, or something. It feels like it’s too soon to do an elevation (I can’t imagine he’s thrilled at the ventilation), and a part of me might be annoyed at my family’s approach to not wanting a funeral. Yes, they often seem to be more about the living, but stay with me here, they just might be a component of grieving and mourning for the living.

Kintsugi (Ch 1)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 6 Oct 2018.]

Chapter 1: Auction (Aug 1) [ao3]

While I am very aware that there is content that some people may not be comfortable with in their fics, I wrote here about why I started this fic and why I’m starting to post it now. For those who didn’t read that post, the important tags to pay attention to in terms of trigger or content warnings are Past Rape/Non-con and Rape Recovery.

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

A / N: Inspired by a Master/slave fic that features Harry spending the summer at the dragon reserve with Charlie in Romania, an emotion based headhunting experience, and a training school for slaves among other elements. Reading “Playing with Fire” is not necessary to understand this story.

Summary: The darkness of the black blindfold was disconcerting, but Harry tried his best not to tap his fingers or move his arms, knowing the deep blue scarf wound around his wrists was more for show than actual restraint and could come undone under too much fidgeting. Prospective buyers had to be able to test their range of motion or something along those lines. Harry had heard different footsteps and hushed whispering for the most part in Romanian, but no one had stopped to inspect him closer, to touch, or to speak to him. Someone in line had shifted and their leather shorts squeaked, but there hadn’t seemed to be very many sounds of anyone being inspected. A fluttering nervousness had crept into the young man’s gut. The private viewing before the auction officially started was rather like an auction for the particularly wealthy clients, and Matei hadn’t prepared him for this anticipation. Would Matei’s starting offer hold up against one of their offers?

. . .

Link to Spotify playlist for this fic ~