Title: She doesn’t belong here.
Summary: An AU look at ACOTAR from Lucien’s perspective in which he may be Feyre’s unlikely suitor. This section is based off of their first ride together and their encounter with the Bogge.
Some..thing is beyond the bushes.
I stop talking. She turns to look at me, expecting me to insult her again.
I listen, and wish beyond all measure that I could see what has caused everything to stop. The birds. The wind. The thing practically stops time itself as an invisible, morbid fog fills the air, choking out everything else.
My heart stops but hers quickens pace, I can hear it. She’s drawing her bow.
“Put your bow down.” I whisper, gruffer than I mean.
She doesn’t react fast enough.
She doesn’t belong here.
“Put your damned bow down, human, and look straight ahead.” I turn to her, and I see the fear creep across her face, like the Bogge is breathing down her neck.
“Don’t react.” I tell her, forcing my gaze straight ahead, praying she does the same.
Every bone in my body vibrates as I try my best to explain the unexplainable. She’s a human after all. And while there is no time, and no possible way she will understand, I try anyway. “No matter what you feel or see, don’t react. Don’t look. Just stare ahead.” Please.
She either thinks better of asking any questions because of her own self-preservation, or because she somehow hears me begging her internally.
Please, Feyre. Don’t argue. Just listen to me.
I can see out of the corner of my metal eye that she listens. She straightens and looks forward with her mouth pressed in a hard line. She appears almost fae. Strong. Determined. Beautiful...
Those in their right mind, fae and human alike, can’t help the primal fear that the Bogge preys on. She has every right to be shaking like a leaf in the wind. And it takes everything in me to keep course, stare straight ahead, and not grab her and haul her over to me.
My grip tightens on my reins as a bitter cold breezes between us. I don’t dare turn to look–no matter how hard every bone in my body wills it.
I can hear the slightest sniffle escape her. She must be crying… Gods this–this is unbearable.
Suddenly the cold air eases, and though everything looks the same, it’s as if a heavy shadow is lifted. It’s gone.
I exhale, shaking ever so slightly. Our horses do the same.
I turn to Feyre and she sags in her sattle, overcome with relief.
“What was that?” She asks, brushing tears from her cheeks.
I clear my throat but still sound more on edge than I would like. “You don’t want to know.”
But she does. She’s looking at me now and I can tell that she wants to hear it. Wants a name for whatever just made her feel so small and alone. What made her, a wolf-killer, feel deathly afraid.
“Please. Was it that… Suriel you mentioned?”
I turn to look her in the eye. She deserves to know, if she wants to. So I must tell her–warn her. “No. It was a creature that should not be in these lands. We call it the Bogge. You cannot hunt it, and you cannot kill it.” I swallow. “Even with your beloved ash arrows.” I hope that she understands. She must never tempt it, never try to kill it. No matter how much she believes in herself or her ‘anti-fae’ weaponry.
“Why can’t I look at it?”
“Because when you look at it–when you acknowledge it–that’s when it becomes real. That’s when it can kill you.”
She shivers, again, and something inside of me cracks. I can barely hear her past the blood rushing through my ears. She’s telling me that it spoke to her. “It told me to look,” she says. And I have no words.
She doesn’t belong here.
I roll my shoulders, trying to fall back in sync with her horse and play my part. “Well,” I start, “Thank the cauldron that you didn’t.” More. “Cleaning up that mess would have ruined the rest of my day.” Truth wrapped in sarcasm.
After an awkward beat I throw her a half-attempt at a smile. But she doesn’t smile back. Partially for my last remark, I’m sure, and partially because she can’t shake the sound of the Bogge. I can see it on her face, in her eyes.
I find myself staring, my eye seeing everything she is, everything she isn’t. I can practically see her soul laid bare and I swallow, hard enough that I’m glad she’s human and can’t hear.
* * *
After another hour of riding, Feyre, still shaking, finally speaks. “So you’re old,” she says. And I laugh, I can’t help it.
“And you carry around a sword, and go on border patrol. Did you fight in the war?” She asks. And I laugh again, playfully wincing. “I’m not that old,” I tell her, stifling my smile.
“Are you a warrior, though?”
And it takes me a moment to figure out what she’s really trying to ask me. Is she afraid? Does she seek my protection or–she’s challenging me?
My jaw ticks and I let out a less-that-amused laugh to buy me time to formulate my response. “Not as good as Tam, but I know how to handle my weapons.” I soften. I can’t blame her for her fear of this place, or her fear of me.
She doesn’t belong here.
“Would you like me to teach you how to wield a blade,” I blurt out, “or do you already know how, oh mighty mortal huntress? If you took down Andras, you probably don’t need to learn anything. Only where to aim, right?” I recover from the outburst, or so I hope. But just in case, I double-down.
“I suppose you humans are such hateful cowards that you would have wet yourself, curled up, and waited to die if you’d known beyond a doubt what Andras truly was.”
The look on her face tells me that this is exactly who she believes I am. And it hurts.
“Do you ever stop being so serious and dull?” I hope she receives my words as the olive-branch that I mean them to be. This is difficult. I’m struggling to see where I fit in to all of this, but I can’t let it show.
“Do you ever stop being such a prick?” She fires back and again I have to try to stifle the smile that she brings to my face. “Much better,” I mumble. And I swear she–she’s smiling, too.
* * *
Our ride carried on as a quiet but some-what pleasant one. No more visits from the Bogge or any similarly horrific creatures.
When we return to the grounds, I slide off my horse and walk over to take the reins from Feyre as well. She looks as if she’s going to say something, but she never opens her mouth. She just looks me over for a moment, landing on my metal eye.
Normally, I find it so easy to read the thoughts of others, but I can’t make out exactly what she’s thinking. She shifts in the saddle, and bites her lip, trying to hold whatever it is she wants to say inside of her. I almost ask her to spit out whatever it is that’s on her mind, but the words get lost in my throat and I just stare back, my eye whirring and clicking as I take in every inch of her face.
Once off her horse she quickly begins to walk back to the manor house, leaving me to the horses. I run my hand down my face, exhausted from the whole ordeal.
It was supposed to be an easy ride. It was supposed to give time to feel her out, for Tam’s sake. But between the Bogge and the steely walls she’s built around herself, the whole afternoon had turned into somewhat of a bust.
Once the horses are placed inside their stables, I begin to return to the manor house myself, but stop for just a moment to watch Feyre walk up the steps up ahead. I begin to question my own reasoning when a breeze wafts past and on it the smell of roses, warm grass and–She doesn’t belong here–the sweetest scent I’ve ever–my heart stops. No…