Summary: The one where Rowan is not amused at Aelin's overuse of cosmetics, and where he finds his...present.

Notes directly from the author: This is my first time writing smut without the aid of alcohol (last chapter was my first time writing it, period...with lots of wine), so do bear with me. I hope to get better over time.

Thanks, as always, to my best friend and betareader for the encouragement. Skyeryder01 is the best.

Once again, these characters belong to SJM, I just wanted them to have some silliness. No infringement intended.

Paint Me Gold

"Aelin. What the hell?" Rowan held his hands up in front of his queen's face. They were covered in a layer of the shimmering gold powder she'd dusted over herself to go with the gold gown she'd worn. For him.

Aelin looked up at him and blinked, and then her lips clamped together, trying to stave off laughter. She raised her own hand and brushed it over his cheek and lips, and her fingertips came away covered in gold.

Rowan extricated himself from the bed before she could laugh and went into the bathing room, steeling himself before peering at himself in the mirror. Gold streaked across his face and torso, and he grimaced at the reflection. He saw Aelin sidle up behind him, and met her eyes in the mirror, willing her to laugh.

"It's very artistic," Aelin said before she lost it. Great belly laughs had her doubling over and wheezing.

Glaring at his mate the whole time, Rowan crossed to the enormous tub, turned on the tap, and plunged his face beneath the jet of water. Even with the water coursing over his ears, he could still hear her loud laughter and fully expected her to be in tears soon. When he felt that his face was clean, Rowan blindly reached until he found a washcloth near the tub and scrubbed until the thing had turned gold.

His queen was not one to do things by halves, he knew, but gods above, how much gold powder had she used?

Grumbling about overdramatic fire breathing queens, Rowan searched for a towel, and when he found one, rubbed his body dry without looking to see if the gold powder was gone. When he emerged from beneath the towel, he found Aelin prowling back into the bathing room with one hand behind her back and a smirk on her lips. She still wore the golden gown and gods above it did things to him.

The gold streaks around her eyes did the exact opposite.

Rowan wrapped the towel around his waist and was rather pleased to see the hint of a pout cross Aelin's lips. She leaned lazily against the door frame with her hands behind her back, watching him.

"I didn't show you your present," she purred.

Rowan quirked an eyebrow.

"Isn't that my present?" He gestured toward the gown she still wore and felt his heart stop. Then start. Then stop again. Just as it had when she'd first walked out of the closet in it. The predatory part of his brain took over, and Rowan stalked over to where she still leaned against the door frame. He towered over her as he wrapped his hands around her waist and guided her backward into their bedchamber. A slight gasp left her as he pushed her against the wall and braced his hands on either side of her.

"What," he said, nipping at her ear, "is my present?"

Her scent and sharp intake of breath were enough encouragement that he slowly trailed his mouth down her neck and to her collarbone where -

The remnants of the gold powder still dusted her delicate collarbones. And as much as he wanted to take her there, against the wall, he resisted. Sliding his fingers beneath the straps of the gold dress, he pushed it off her shoulders, following its path with his mouth, still avoiding the damned gold powder. When his mouth met her belly button, he flicked his tongue out and heard her groan in response. The gown caught in a pool of gold around her hips, and Rowan braced one hand against her belly, holding her in place against the wall, as he knelt before his queen and yanked the gown to the floor.

Pressing small, biting kisses to her inner thighs, Rowan used his free hand to trace over her core and grunted in satisfaction at the heat and wetness he encountered there.

He heard her breathe his name and growled against her as he traced a finger over her again. Aelin said his name again, this time louder. She was starting to push against him, so to stop her, he barely licked into her, using a phantom icy wind to keep her in place. Rowan felt her skin pebble as the chill hit her, and he rubbed the warmth of his face over her thigh.

Her angry fieriness muttered something decidedly unqueenly about how he should return to what he was doing, so Rowan did no such thing. He returned to teasing her with biting kisses and strokes of his tongue, everywhere but there, where she wanted him to go. Rowan wanted to draw out her pleasure and show him just how much he had loved the golden gown she'd gotten just for him. He'd been so overtaken by the sight of her that their previous coupling had progressed faster than he'd wanted, but gods just seeing her had broken and remade him in the same breath.

Aelin's faint whimper of his name brought his mind back to the task at hand, or tongue, as it were, and he finally, very slowly, pressed his tongue between her folds and licked up. His mouth found her clit, and he pulled it into his mouth, relishing her hiss of pleasure and the feel of her knees going slack against the restraint of his wind.

No longer in the mood for teasing her, Rowan drew his tongue in circles over her clit as he traced two fingers over her entrance, feeling the slick heat of her. Then he plunged those fingers into her, filling her, and crooked his fingers, rubbing that sensitive spot inside her.

Aelin was growling at him now, her teeth bared as she writhed against him. Rowan felt the heat building inside her as me moved his mouth faster over her, in rhythm with his flexing fingers inside her. She came hard and fast on his mouth and would have collapsed into a quivering heap had he not stood with the lightning speed of the Fae, and caught her beneath the arms before she fell.

His queen pulled his face to hers as he carried her to their bed, still in shambles from their last round of love-making. He deposited her right in the center, and used small shields of hardened air over her wrists and ankles to keep her in place. He grinned at her as he stepped away from her, out her line of sight, and went to retrieve what she'd tossed away earlier.

When he found it, Rowan blinked a few times in surprise at the golden scrap of fabric that matched her gown. He blinked again.

Was he supposed to wear this? Listening to Aelin shift against his restraints, he turned the bit of fabric over in his hands. A pocket of fabric vaguely reminded him of the shape of his undershorts, but there was so much less of this. It was just…strings and… a triangle.

But what his queen wanted, she got, so Rowan wrangled himself into the scrap. A burst of male pride rippled through him when he saw the fabric straining, and failing, to cover his erection.

Then he stalked back into Aelin's view. He watched as her face lit up and her eyes darkened.

And then she burst into laughter.