So this is going to take at least another part depending on how in-depth we go with Gilder and Sacha. Part of the reason this is so long is that I went a little overboard with details. Ah well.
NEXT WEDNESDAY Part 3.
LINNEUS AND ATROS
+ Gilder, Sacha, Lilith, Claret, and Argent
This picks up where Chapter 7 left off.
Living with Yvette is a lot like playing house. She goes to Atros' office and wakes him up in the morning with her belly against his face to show him she's showing and then immediately tells him she wants to turn his office into a nursery even though they already have one. By Yvette's logic, Atros should stop working so much and play with her and the baby more when she's home so she tells him that getting rid of his office will solve that problem and besides, she's going to want another baby right after this one so they might as well start getting ready for it.
Linneus and Gilder wake up snuggling and keep on snuggling. Linneus tells Gilder that he likes the way Gilder smells and Gilder gets a boner. They of course get it on some more.
After sex, Linneus puts the necklace Gilder bought him on and asks Gilder when he'll see him next. Gilder admits it'll be a while because he's got a job that's going to take him out of the country for a bit. Linneus acts like it's nothing but Gilder immediately can tell it's not the answer Linneus wanted to hear. He sits with Linneus and admits to him that he's never felt this way about a courtesan before and promises that he'll miss him and that he'll hurry with the job and come back to Linneus as soon as possible. Touched Linneus kisses Gilder and gives him one of his more simple hoop earrings to wear and remember him by.
Gilder gets another raging boner. You know what happens next.
Atros arrives at the Teahouse and finds Gilder dipping a giggling Linneus and kissing him. He walks past them and tries to avert his eyes from the large, almost blinding gem encrusted necklace that Linneus is wearing an obvious gift from Gilder. Atros heads straight for his office and shuts the door.
But of course that door opens and Lilith steps in. Having seen everything that went down in the lobby, she asks Atros is doing and he tells her it's none of her business. There's a knock at the door and it's Claret. In her hands she's got an official letter from the palace and excitedly she tells Atros that Axis wants to stay there and that the new King is buying his title.
Claret leaves, leaving Atros and Lilith alone. Lilith jokes about how now they can finally burn Axis's disgusting room to the ground and Atros, being the party pooper, says they can't because they'll need the room for a new courtesan.
That's when Lilith brings up "that" room. Suggests to Atros that he finally empty out his father's old office and turn it into a room because it's bigger and
from what Lilith remembers much nicer than that shit hole Axis and Rory had been staying in. Atros considers this.
Gilder goes back to Sacha, who's packing up for the trip, and proudly shows off his earring he got from Linneus. Sacha ain't a fan. It's too frou frou for Gilder and "Gildar is a MAN." Gilder doesn't care though because he's smitten like a kitten and ready to go kill someone so he can come back home to Linneus. Sacha realizes that Gilder's affection for Linneus is different than his interest in other courtesans and while Gilder doesn't pick up on it, Sacha is obviously bothered by it.
Argent, having head from Lilith that Atros was thinking of going into his father's office offers to help him but he turns her down, saying he wants to do it on his own.
Atros in his father's office. It's a grand office that hasn't been touched in YEARS. There's dust and cobwebs everywhere, it's the kind of room that'd trigger the smell of mildew in your mind. He sits down at a dust covered desk and takes it all in for a moment before opening up some of the drawers.
In one, he finds the Amber pendant he gave Linneus when they were younger. The same one Argent still wears. He picks it up and notices a stack of letters under it. They're all the letters he wrote to Linneus, unopened, and all of the letters that Linneus wrote him that he never received, opened.
He pulls out one of the letters and starts to read it. His face and heart drop as he starts to realize what his father did to him and Linneus all those years ago.
Instinctively he hurries to the lobby, looking for Linneus. Atros doesn't find him there so he goes to the kitchen. There he finds Linneus with Claret, showing her the necklace Gilder "bought" for him. Cooing about how sweet he is and how different he is from the rest of Linneus' clients. Silently Atros watches them and by the time they notice him and ask him what's up, it's too late, Atros rethinks showing Linneus the letters and hides them behind his back. Atros returns to his office, a mess. Argent sees this.
Argent and Claret in bed together. SURPRISE (although most of you already know this) THEY'RE A COUPLE. Claret sits in bed, knitting. Argent, tries to read a book but she can't. She turns to Claret and asks Claret if she's noticed that Atros seems moodier recently and Claret points out that Atros always seems moody. Argent can't quite shake her concern until Claret shuts her up with her mouth and they start making out.
A few days later, Atros calls Argent into his office. There he hands her Claret's title. Surprised, Argent points out that she still has another year of work before she's completely paid of Claret's title and Atros tells her it's ok. That she can keep working but that Claret doesn't have to. That he doesn't think it's fair that he waste any more of their time together and then he dismisses Argent.
Argent tells Claret about the title and NOW Claret believes Argent, shocked that Atros let sentimentality trump his love of money. Lilith walks in on their conversation and Claret tells her everything so of course Lilith goes up to see Atros.
Lilith confronts Atros but he tells her he wants to be left alone. Lilith then sees the amber necklace on Atros' desk and asks him why he's got Argent's necklace. He admits it's not.
Lilith, being one of the three people in the world that knows Atros better than he knows himself, immediately picks up on the fact that if the necklace isn't Argent's, but looks just like Argent's, it must be Linneus'. Lilith sits with Atros and asks him what's going on.
Desperately alone, Atros cracks. He doesn't tell Lilith much, but what he does say is enough for her to get the gist of what's happening. She asks him why he hasn't gone to Linneus and Atros' response is simply, "he's moved on. It's better this way." But Lilith, being Lilith, rolls her eyes HARD at this. She points out to him that one, it's their jobs as courtesans to give their clients the impression that they're the only people in the entire world that matter and two, Linneus is an adult who can make his own decisions, and that it's not Atros' job to make them for him.
In her own way, she coaxes (challenges) Atros to talk to Linneus, telling him he's probably right for keeping everything to himself because as she's recently
discovered, Atros is an idiot but then asks him "what if Linneus is just waiting to hear you still care about him? What if he's always been waiting?" If Atros can give Claret's contract to Argent because he didn't want them to waste anymore of their time together, why can't he apply that same logic to himself?
And so Atros does it. He goes to Linneus and then gives Linneus the letters Linneus wrote, the letters Atros wrote, and the necklace Atros senior took away from him. But in true Atros form (scared) he then screws it up by angrily asks Linneus why Linneus didn't trust Atros enough to think that if Atros senior had sold his title, that Atros would spend the rest of his life looking for Linneus until he found him.
Caught off guard, it takes Linneus a minute to catch up to wtf is going on and wth these letters he's holding are. Once it all clicks, Linneus hits Atros back with his own question and asks Atros why his face was so full of disgust when he saw Linneus as a courtesan for the first time.
Surprised to hear that's what Linneus felt, Atros explains that it wasn't disgust on his face, it was shock and hurt. Atros was never disgusted with Linneus, how could he be? Linneus was his best friend more than that.
Finally, they fucking start communicating. Atros goes from hard to gentle, eventually taking Linneus' hand as they talk. Atros admits to Linneus that his feelings for him never changed, only grew. He reveals that after the death of his father, he knew he had to stay and take care of everyone there, especially Linneus.
After hearing everything he's ever wanted to hear before (other than the actual words "I love you.") Linneus apologizes to Atros, tells him that he doesn't want to be with anyone but him and Atros tells Linneus that's fine. That if Linneus wants to stop seeing clients and just let Atros take care of him, then that's fine.
They spend the night together and it's like they're kids again. There's fumbling, it's impatient and passionate, new but familiar, and most of all loving.
So now the Teahouse is down to Rory, Lilith, and Mercutio. Close to having the money he needs to buy the house and every one of the servants in it, Atros goes on a hunt for new courtesans/veteran courtesans.
Which is how Remy comes into play.
- TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 3
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