Foxeye: A Lucien ACOWAR Fic, Part 7

Setting: The Spring Court

Summary: An unexpected attack on the manor leaves Lucien questioning matters of honor.

Ship: N/A

Rating: T

Word Count: 2,333

A/N: This fic is relevant parts of ACOWAR from Lucien’s perspective. I may not do every single scene, but beware of spoilers if you haven’t finished ACOWAR! The following is Chapter 8 of ACOWAR. Trigger warning for violence and trauma.


“Sound the alarm!” The voices shouted down the corridor and
roused me from a shallow sleep. I was dressed and snatching daggers before the
call could be heard a second time. I raced down the stairs and encountered
Tamlin in the foyer.

“Naga,” he said through gritted teeth. I cursed in response.
Tamlin shifted into his beast form and bounded out the doors. I followed right
behind him, falling in with a group of sentries who were on duty. The nasty
creatures were loping through the gardens, destroying property and getting ever
nearer to the manor.

I almost halted in my tracks. “Feyre!” I exclaimed, looking
back over my shoulder.

“We already have guards stationed there,” another sentry,
Rohan, assured me. I nodded tersely and drew my sword, throwing myself into the
nearest cluster of naga that were assaulting the guards. They cackled and
squealed in delight as they spilled blood, and the sounds clanged through my
body as I remembered hearing them Under the Mountain. My muscles stretched in
tension and it took all my training to keep the panic from drawing away my
martial skill.

We were a well-trained unit, and it was easy to route the
naga with Tamlin leading the charge. But by the time we had stopped the threat
and found the biggest of the group clinging to the keys that had disappeared
from the barracks, we were all stressed and exhausted.

Tamlin raged about the lost keys—the ones he’d been informed
about but hadn’t taken the time to have found again. He swore to us all that
someone would pay dearly for it, and I saw the terror lighting the eyes of the
remaining sentries. Despite the fact that Tamlin knew I wasn’t responsible, I
couldn’t help but feel myself aligned with the sentries. I served with them, I
loved them like found family … and I hated to see what dawn would bring.
Instead of going back to my room, I returned to the barracks with the sentries,
listening to their fears, watching them try and sort through what had happened.
And I had been there when one of the younger sentries, Gareth, realized that
the set of keys that had gone missing had been his. He slumped down in his
chair, staring wide-eyed at nothing, and did not respond when the others tried
to snap him out of it.

“What have I done?” he murmured. “What have I done?”

Over and over again.

I didn’t leave his side all night.

I returned to the manor early enough that Tamlin didn’t
realize I’d spent the night in the barracks. He didn’t remark on the bags under
my eyes, but I didn’t expect him to. They were more common than not these days.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d gotten a full night’s sleep.

When ordered, I followed him and Feyre, along with Ianthe
and the delegation from Hybern, out to the barracks, where the other sentries
had already bound Gareth to the whipping post. He had accepted his fate—I knew
he hadn’t struggled against them. But now, as he saw Tamlin prowling toward
him, I saw fear light his face again.

There was little preamble as Tamlin began the proceedings.
“You were entrusted with guarding this estate and its people,” Tamlin said.
“You were found not only asleep at the gate last night, but it was your set of keys that originally went
missing. Do you deny this?”

“I—I never fall
asleep. It’s never happened until now. I must have just nodded off for a minute
or two,” Gareth said. He had said as much last night, and I had asked the
others if he spoke the truth. They all told me that they’d never seen him shirk
his duty.

“You jeopardized the
lives of everyone in this manor.” Tamlin’s voice was cold and imperious. Bron
placed the whip into his waiting hand, stonefaced.

Beside me, Feyre
gripped my hand. I couldn’t look at her—my eyes had fixed on the whip in
Tamlin’s hand, and I was suddenly in another place and time. Under my shirt,
the lines across my back, bestowed by Tamlin himself, back to ache as though
they remembered. My throat was dried and my sleepless eyes burned.

I was drawn out of it
somewhat by Ianthe’s insipid voice. “Twenty lashes. And one more, for the
Cauldron’s forgiveness.” My stomach clenched—that could very well be enough to
kill him, with Tamlin’s strength. The other sentries shifted; they knew it,

“It was her,” Gareth suddenly said, his maple-brown eyes
turning to the priestess. “She took the keys.”

I stared at Ianthe, wanting to rage—but there was not enough
evidence. I could believe Gareth all I wanted to, and I knew the other sentries
were likely to believe him. But Tamlin? Unlikely, especially given that she
hardly batted an eye at the claim. “Why should I take the keys? I warned you of
the attack.”

“You were at the barracks—I saw you that night,” Gareth
said. His voice was thin and pleading, and my heart ached for him. It would be
all too easy for me to believe that Ianthe had orchestrated this. I wanted to
tell Gareth that he was doing well, that this would pass, but … I couldn’t
promise that. My scars still lingered, after all.

“I would have thought one of your sentries, Tamlin, would
have more dignity than to spread lies to spare himself from some fleeting

I wanted to bare my teeth at her. Fleeting pain? Had she ever laid beneath the sting of a whip
wielded by a High Lord? Twenty-one lashes were not fleeting. It would be enough to rip open his back raw and bloody.
It might even bare his spine if the whip cut deep enough—and judging from
Gareth’s thin frame, it was a very real possibility. I opened my mouth to
demand if Ianthe knew what in the Cauldron’s name she was talking about, when
Feyre said, “I will hear his story.”

I closed my eyes in silent relief, but I forced them open
again before I would be unable to. Feyre released my hand and stepped forward.
Some of the sentries regarded her with gratefulness. None of them wanted to see
their brother-at-arms dishonored.

“With all due respect, milady, it is not your judgment to
make,” Ianthe said, and Rohan cast her a glare. She was Feyre Cursebreaker,
Cauldron-Blessed. She was not merely some pretty thing on Tamlin’s arm. The sentries,
who had been trapped Under the Mountain with us, had not forgotten.

Feyre simply repeated, “I will hear your story.”

“You’ll take the word of a sentry over that of a High
Priestess?” Ianthe blurted, showing a slight break in her composure. Looking at
Rohan, Bron, and Hart, I knew it was enough for them. Enough to prove that she
had framed their brother.

I reluctantly looked at Tamlin, and I saw the realization in
his face, too. Would it be enough?

Feyre approached him with upturned palms. “Perhaps it was a
mistake. Don’t take it from his hide—or his honor. Let’s hear him out.”

Then another voice joined the tense air of the barracks.
“Pathetic,” Princess Brannagh scoffed. I could hazard a guess that in Hybern,
Gareth would be dead already.

I cursed silently as I saw the resolution settle onto Tamlin’s
face. He would not be proved weak in front of the royals, in front of Jurian.

“There are laws to be obeyed,” Ianthe told Feyre in a tone
that could be called soothing. “Traditions. He has broken our trust, has let
our blood be spilled for his carelessness. Now he seeks to accuse a High
Priestess of his failings. It cannot go unpunished.” As she spoke, the decision
set more firmly on Tamlin’s features. “Twenty-one lashes, High Lord.”

My heart stopped for a moment. How dare she? How dare she gives orders to a High Lord of Prythian? I
wanted to throw her out of this coat on her pert ass, and I could tell the
other sentries felt the same.

Feyre, also, seemed appalled. “Please. Just listen to him.”

There was an awful moment of silence as her request hung in
the air. But then Tamlin turned once more to Bron. “Put the bit in.”

I stiffened as I watched Bron shove the strip of leather
between Gareth’s teeth. My body remembered it so keenly it was as though he was
shoving it between my teeth again, like I was the one strung up between those
poles. From the look in Bron’s eyes, I knew he’d be begging Gareth’s
forgiveness for years to come.

I was startled when I suddenly felt Feyre back into my
chest. I didn’t look at her. My eyes were fixed solely on Tamlin, lost in the
horror of the past and the present. My hands rested on her arms to steady her,
but it was to steady myself just as much.

Gareth’s choked cry as the first lash struck him was like a
fish hook in my gut. With every lash that followed, my back burned in memory.

These were not scars that would easily fade.

The damage to Gareth’s back was nearly as bad as I expected.
Despite the determination to endure that had lit his eyes early one, he had
passed out little more than halfway through. I didn’t blame him. None of us

Bron’s eyes were glassy with tears of rage as he helped Hart
carry Gareth back inside. Now that the grip of panic had faded, I could
remember—Gareth had been Bron’s protegee when he’d first come to the estate
thirty years ago. He was perhaps the youngest sentry, and he had come despite
knowing that Amarantha was breathing down the court’s neck, despite knowing
that he might be called to give his life across the wall. Bron had trained him
personally, and now …

The older sentry sat in the corner, unable to be near the
young male he cared for so deeply. Feyre had stayed—of course she had. She now
aided the healer, who was slowly mending Gareth’s back. The healer, Asa, was
good, but she wouldn’t be able to restore Gareth completely. There would still
be scars, like mine.

“He’ll never be the same,” Bron said to me hoarsely. I’d
brought him a quart of ale, knowing it was the least I could do. “He has worked
so hard to pass through training, to make a name for himself.”

“Not one of you thinks less of him for this, do you?” I
said, fixing my gaze on Bron.

“Of course not,” Bron rasped. “But he’ll think we do. Won’t
matter what we say.”

I went quiet and watched Feyre and Asa work. Eventually, Asa
told Feyre there was nothing more she could do. Bron stood and walked toward
her before I could say anything. “Allow me, milday,” he said, offering her his
arm. She nodded solemnly and accepted it. Hart joined him in escorting her back
to the manor. My eyes fell on Gareth, laid out on his stomach while his cleaned
back slowly healed. The fears Bron had shared with me resonated in my mind, and
I stood from my stool in the corner. I wavered on my legs a little, but the
wave of exhausted passed and I stalked across the room toward him.

Gareth looked up at me with bleary eyes. “Please, Lucien,”
he said in a hoarse voice, “Don’t disgrace yourself with me. It was bad enough
that Lady Feyre did.”

“It is no disgrace,” I said sharply. “Not a single one of
your brother-at-arms blames you for what happened. They see the truth.”

“I’m not even sure I know the truth anymore,” Gareth
murmured. “The only thing I know is that I am dishonored—I’ll be leaving for my
father’s house as soon as I can move.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it,” I said. He blinked
at me. “You forget that you’re not the only one Lord Tamlin has whipped.” My
face was grave as I pulled off my shirt and turned around in front of Gareth,
baring my ugly red scars before him. The young sentry blanched.

“That—that wasn’t the same. That was Amarantha—”

“I was not to blame for that, just as you are not to blame
for this,” I insisted, turning around again. “Your honor is not determined by
those in whose name your serve, but by those among whom your serve. Your
brothers-at-arms, your fellow citizens—those who know you best.” I grimaced as
I pulled my shirt back on. “If my honor was determined by the former, I would
have never found a place in this court. I’ve been a dishonor to my family my
whole life. That is not what matters. I was given a place here, a chance to
prove myself and earn the trust of those around me. You have earned the trust
of these sentries, Gareth. A conniving bitch of a priestess will not be able to
take that away from you.”

Tears slipped from Gareth’s eyes. I wished I could comfort
him, but he was still in far too much pain. “Thank you, Lucien,” he rasped.

“Bron is proud of you,” I said. “Andras would have been,
too. Don’t leave—you’re sorely needed here.”

Gareth’s throat bobbed and he nodded as much as he could
without jarring his back.

“Get some rest and heal as much as you can,” I instructed. “We’ll
get you back on duty as soon as you’re fit.”

Gareth let out a shuddering sigh, but he was too tired to
form words. I carded my fingers through his hair once, and then I left him
alone to rest. Though he feared his honor lost, I knew he had earned my
respect. And I wouldn’t let him forget it.


(1/3) I don’t want to start a fight or to hurt you in any way, like I said I was using the Chaol post as an example of something I’ve seen a lot that I used to make a more general point and I wasn’t accusing you of anything in particular, it was more directed at the fandom as a whole, and your reasons for blocking them are valid and for the most part make sense and I respect that. This was not meant to be a personal attack on you.

(2/3) But I sent this here because you are a popular blog so I know people will see it, and the Chaol post thing was just brought to my attention. And I agree, discussing the problems doesn’t make the fandom toxic. it’s the black and white way the discussion is conducted that allows no room for any other opinions or view points and tears people down and hates on them when we could just explain politely the problem and educate people,

rather than screaming about how wrong they are when a lot of the time they made an innocent mistake and would probably react better to being called out on it if they weren’t subjected to so much hostility, in exactly the way those involved in the Chaol post were.

I mean, I do think you have a point that polarized discourse is unproductive. I don’t disagree. But I think there’s kind of a couple of different tiers when we consider things like this. Fandom opinions about plot, character, etc. can sometimes be controversial without having anything to do with marginalization and oppression. In those circumstances, everyone can take a chill pill. YKINMKATO, that sort of thing. Also, when the bloggers involved are young (13-17), it’s better to take a softer approach, because there is room for them to grow and learn. 

But if you’re a grown adult spreading ableism, racism, etc., there’s really not much of an excuse. A person should know better, and even if they don’t, they should be able to accept the consequences of their words and actions, which should include pushing themselves to learn and do better in the future. No marginalized person should be forced to explain or educate someone else on why what was said was hurtful. In the case of the Chaol post, a person with a disability did go into great detail, which was above and beyond what she had to do. Also, no marginalized person should feel obligated to share their online space with someone who hurts them, even if that hurt is caused unintentionally. In that case, blocking or blacklisting users is absolutely acceptable. 

This kind of situation has nuance, which I’m glad you’ve brought up. It’s true that we can’t go on witch-hunts all the time, but it’s also not a marginalized person’s job to be nice to someone who is mocking them. Every person needs to be aware of their own kind of privilege (whether that’s able-bodiedness, cis-genderedness, race, education, orientation, what-have-you) and be mature enough to accept the consequences when they make a mistake and use that privilege irresponsibly. That’s part of what it means to be an ally–accept that sometimes you blow it, and that sometimes you can’t fix it. But if you grow and move on from there, you’re the one who benefits, and you’ll also hurt fewer people in the future. 

(1/2) Why did you block the people involved in the Chaol ableist post? What they did was wrong but at the same time and they all apologised for it. It seems kind of harsh and unforgiving and idk, I’m not here to tell you what to do but I think maybe they deserve a second chance? I just don’t think we should be so harsh on people in general because it will make them feel really shit about themselves​, and now they’ve learned their lesson wheres the need for guilt tripping them.

(2/2) Making a mistake doesnt mean they are all monsters. This is why our fandom is so toxic, one tumblr post or one point of view doesn’t make someone a bad person and it’s just unfair? People need to be accepting that we are all human and make mistakes and say things we’re not proud of. Tearing someone down completely for one thing doesn’t give you the moral high ground. Nothing is that black and white. it’s not personal against you, this is a general thing I wanted to address somewhere.

*sigh* this happened like, a month ago? And I really thought we’d moved on from it. I’m allowed to customize my tumblr experience in any way I choose, and it was a personal decision I made based on what I saw and my efforts to be a good ally (and no, not everyone apologized). Idk if it helps or hurts, but honestly I wasn’t a fan of those blogs for other reasons. I’m asexual, and while I’m pretty sex-positive for the most part, the hyper-sexualized threads that often showed up on those blogs, and thus on my dash, were starting to wear me out and make me uncomfortable. I’ve had to unfollow (not block) other blogs I otherwise liked, too, because they were reblogging these threads and it was just too much to handle. 

I never called anyone a monster. Holding people accountable for their actions and following through on consequences for those actions is not what makes the fandom toxic. This post here explains it perfectly, but I’ll copy/paste here for your convenience:

discussing fandom homophobia isn’t fandom “turning toxic” the toxic thing is having homophobia in the fandom

discussing fandom racism isn’t fandom “turning toxic” the toxic thing is having racism in the fandom

discussing fandom transphobia isn’t fandom “turning toxic” the toxic thing is having transphobia in the fandom

discussing fandom pedofilia isn’t fandom “turning toxic” the toxic thing is having pedofilia in the fandom

discussing fandom abuse apologism isn’t fandom “turning toxic” the toxic thing is having abuse apologism in the fandom

something to remember for those Critically Thinking Adults™

Ableism isn’t mentioned but you get the point. 

If me calling out and blocking these people is the worst thing to happen to them, then they’re super fortunate, because I really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Also, it doesn’t seem my decision has had a major effect on any of them, so it shouldn’t be that big a deal. I blocked them because to me it was the right thing to do. I want to take action in my allyship, no matter how small, instead of just talking about it. You can judge me for that if you want, but I’m comfortable with my decision.

Sarah Reads: Written in the Stars


Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?

Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif … if he can find her before it’s too late.


Date Started: July 14th, 2017

Acquired: Public Library

Why I Picked It Up: I heard this one was a quick read, and I wanted something nice and simple to read this weekend. It was one of the few books on my TBR that was already at the library when I went browsing yesterday, but since it’s been recommended to me by @eliniei and others, I was happy to find it. It’s also part of my effort this year to read more books by authors of color, especially #ownvoices authors. Aisha Saeed is a founding member of @weneeddiversebooks and even though I didn’t know that when I started reading, it makes me even happier that I chose to pick it up! Also, my friend @mahnoorjahan is Pakistani so I love that this reps her birthplace. ^_^

Why I Kept Reading: The prose is simple and easy, which is exactly what I was looking for. I like Naila’s narration and I want to see what happens with this book. I’m curious to see how the plot is going to turn out, because I don’t necessarily want to read a story that’s like ~~~ooooh arranged marriage is so strange and foreign and backwards~~~~ or anything. But since this is written by someone who knows the culture, maybe it won’t be that. I’m not sure, but I’d like to find out. 

See My Review Here!

Cool to see your book release progressing! But the blurb gives away a lot, with the villain advisor (okay, seems like that happens early on) and the dwarfs being against your Snow White character. Thus I wonder if there’ll be even more twists? However, if the “evil” dwarfs aren’t the only ones in the story, I’m excited to see the “good” ones, mostly because of the crafting, smithing and inventive characteristics. (The German wiki on dwarfs myths is much more extensive than the English one o.Ö)



It … really doesn’t give away a lot (I wrote the book, I should know, lol). The villain (or one of them) is pretty obvious from Chapter 1. And I promise, there are a number of twists, both big and small. It’s also only the first installment of what’s going to be (probably) a six-book series. I can’t give everything away at once! 

I’m very excited to be able to share the world of Iridia with everyone, the Nova included. And thanks for the tip about the German wiki! I’ll use to it brush up on my German reading. 😉

Good to know, thanks for the answer^^ The 7 dwarfs in Snow White aren’t seen as villains ever (?), so I thought putting this twist in the blurb instead of surprising readers is odd. On the other hand, that might be the inviting thing 😉

It’s akin to Cinder revealing that Cinderella is a cyborg in the blurb. It’s not the big reveal, it’s the hook. 😉 

And true, the dwarves aren’t generally wicked in most versions of Snow White, but they’re also not always dwarves! Depending on where the story is told, it can be thieves or dragons or another kind of creature! And in some stories, dwarves are not benevolent (Caroline Stahl’s The Ungrateful Dwarf, which became Grimms’ Snow White and Rose Red, is an example). It’s been a lot of fun to do the research over the past seven years. 🙂

Cool to see your book release progressing! But the blurb gives away a lot, with the villain advisor (okay, seems like that happens early on) and the dwarfs being against your Snow White character. Thus I wonder if there’ll be even more twists? However, if the “evil” dwarfs aren’t the only ones in the story, I’m excited to see the “good” ones, mostly because of the crafting, smithing and inventive characteristics. (The German wiki on dwarfs myths is much more extensive than the English one o.Ö)

It … really doesn’t give away a lot (I wrote the book, I should know, lol). The villain (or one of them) is pretty obvious from Chapter 1. And I promise, there are a number of twists, both big and small. It’s also only the first installment of what’s going to be (probably) a six-book series. I can’t give everything away at once! 

I’m very excited to be able to share the world of Iridia with everyone, the Nova included. And thanks for the tip about the German wiki! I’ll use to it brush up on my German reading. 😉