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Elemental: Making of a Man by deslea Elemental: Making of a Man by deslea
Another illustration from the fic Elemental. Tom, determined to win Bella (at this point merely a coveted trophy), asks for her hand. Cygnus refuses, but offers war funding as a consolation prize. It wasn't what he'd had in mind, but Tom isn't about to say no.

Specs and credits: Hexagon 2.5, Daz Studio 4.6 Pro, 3Delight.

Link: My Credit & Re-Use Policy

Extract:

"I'm sorry, Tom," Cygnus said with genuine regret. "I cannot give you Bella's hand."

"I love your daughter, Cygnus," he'd said in a low voice, and that was a baldfaced lie. What he was, that feverish summer, was desperately, achingly in lust with her.

He'd already found in her mind her decision, and could have guessed it before that: As much as she wanted him too, she would not jeopardise her future. It was marriage, or nothing. Their smouldering gazes lit up the room, and she had carefully compensated by being chaperoned at all times. Her reputation was her greatest asset, and it must not be put at risk.

Smart girl, that one. He thought that was at least half the appeal.

"I know that, Tom. But she's eighteen. You're forty." Forty-three, actually, but Cygnus was seemingly not splitting hairs. "I do realise that an older man can be a stabilising presence for a young woman, but the age gap is simply too great. I'm really thinking of you as much as her."

It was a lie, of course. The truth was in Cygnus' thoughts.
The children will be one-quarter Muggle. And they say the Gaunts were mad...the man's as sane as I am, but it can skip a generation...

Tom thought at lightning speed. Did he want to press? He decided he did not. If he pressed Cygnus into an admission of his reasons, that would open doors about his past that were best left closed.

"Well," he said quietly. "I'm sorry to have taken up your time."

"Tom," Cygnus said kindly. "Work is a wonderful distraction at times like these. And Merlin knows, our world needs the things you promise."

"Thank you," he said, with a passable imitation of socially-expected sadness. It wasn't even all that difficult. All he really needed to do was think of her
skin and her mouth that he wanted to devour until they both were raw, and know that she was forever out of his reach. Sadness, no, but the weariness of interminable thwarted need, fuck yes. He'd wanted her for six long aching months and it felt like a decade.

"I know you've been looking for donors. War is an expensive business," Cygnus said, drawing his chequebook across his desk. "Let me help you kick off the bankroll."

He'd have settled for being able to shag Bella senseless before she was married off like a brood mare, but he wasn't about to turn down cold, hard cash, either. "That's very kind, Cygnus. Thank you." Delicately, he put one finger on the cheque Cygnus had written, face down on the desk, and drew it towards him. Managed to catch a glimpse of the number as he discreetly folded it without appearing to look at it. The first year of the war was assured. He worked to keep his face neutral.

"Sometimes disappointment is the making of a man, Tom. Make the best of it."

He smoothed the crease on the folded cheque again. He said with some warmth:

"I always do."
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:icontatgoat:
Tatgoat Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014
Still it was kind of humiliating even for a trophy...
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:icondeslea:
deslea Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ugh, sorry, that other comment was supposed to be to the next one down on my message page.

And yes, poor Tom. But I think he viewed the overall meeting as a win anyway. He's a practical sort :)
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:icontatgoat:
Tatgoat Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014
:)

Probably but he's is also the boy that risen from the slums to lead those rich purebloods and to face so undeniably that they still saw him as someone beneath them must grated a great deal.
Yes he would use it without a thought but if he also didn't burn on the inside to crucio Cygnus then he wouldn't be Tom:):):) 
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:icondeslea:
deslea Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
True enough. I think - I'm in an executive job, so I have to do this - I think all his energy was more on calculating and being sure to play the encounter right as it unfolded. I think the anger would have come later. I think at this stage in his career, where he's powerful but not all-powerful, he probably had to keep that anger of his in check a lot more - a skill he would have lost as he won more and more power and had less and less need to restrain himself. I think if he'd been the All Ragey Guy we saw in the movies in the late 1960s, he would never have gotten to the position he did.
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:icontatgoat:
Tatgoat Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014
No disagreement there he had no way to express said rage:DDD

Poor bastards later on:P They probably paid the insults and sins of their forefathers:DDD
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