Capturing the Wind and the Moon

Don't look on the verge of 41, do I?

Don’t look on like I’m on the verge of 41, do I? 

 So, hi!  

I swear my face changes every time I take a picture of it.  I’ve had people I went to high school with tell me I don’t look a day older than when we graduated.  My sister says I look thirty.

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me.  I like being pretty but I think every pretty person does.  I don’t want to be liked for my face, although if that’s the reason you stopped to talk to me, that’s fine.   Just don’t make it the reason you like (or don’t) like me.  I am far, far more than a pretty face.  

Being a sex symbol has to do with an attitude, not looks. Most men think it’s looks, most women know otherwise.
Kathleen Turner

 

Anyway! I have no idea where that rant came from. O.o   I do have a photoblog for you today.  It is elemental but limited to two – wind and water.  I have a fascination for both.  And fire.  And, well, earth too.  

Apparently, I just like the elements.  If you believe that there are five elements (Spirit being the fifth) then you have the solid core of the source of my energy.   Today we are talking about just two of them, although I do believe that spirit winds through each and every element as well as each and every thing.  I believe I have managed to capture the raw passion of Wind and Water.

Speaking of raw passion... The Boyfriend also says hi.

Speaking of raw passion… The Boyfriend also says hi.

He was laying on the sand with me standing over him.  He (whimsically) says now that this was his way of “capturing the raw passion of the wind and water.”  *grins*

It was a really windy day and we were dressed like it was late September, not mid-August.  It was fantastic watching the water on the waves and the pier is the first place we went when we arrived.  I did my best to capture the twisted way the waves came together.

I like the long line of the pier and the way the waves crash against it and into each other before washing up to shore.

I like the long line of the pier and the way the waves crash against it and into each other before washing up to shore.

Peter describes the next picture as “powerful.”   He says the lake has a lot of power in it. I love the sunlight on it and the curl of the wave as it begins to become whitewater (can you tell I don’t surf?).  The whitewater itself, in all the coming pictures, is fierce and deadly looking.

It's beautiful, raw and yet somehow serene.

It’s beautiful, raw and yet somehow serene.

This next picture was much taller but Peter felt this was a better representation of the look I was going for.    Actually, I’ll post them both, so you can see what I saw vs what he sees.  I do agree that his version of it is wonderful.  I took it from the boardwalk because the family made me smile.

Cropped shot.

Cropped shot.

The tall, original shot. Peter finds the sun too bright, too distracting. It is bright but my vision was of the family playing in the lake as the day waned, despite the chilled wind.  The sun was dropping, the clouds were coming in, it was getting chillier and yet, this family persevered in their fun.

Which is better?

Which is better?

With this next picture I wanted the rush of the water from beach level.  What I got was a pale sky, pale(ish) water and pale beige sand.  I got the power I was looking for but the impact of the colours was gone.  I wasn’t achieving the look I was going for with Curves, contrast/brightness or hue & saturation.  I was looking at the menu and saw something I’ve never noticed before – Selective Colours. 

Imagine my excitement when I realized I could adjust each colour individually on half a dozen levels!  So I played with it.  Of course.  This is what I came up with:

Isn't it pretty?

It’s still pale but…isn’t it pretty?

I had a friend while I was sitting on the beach.  He hopped along with me as I slowly meandered.  When I was still, so was he.

Say hello to my little feathered friend.

Say hello to my little feathered friend.  

The gritty contrastiness (it’s a word) plagued a lot of the pictures I took and I’m  not quite sure why.  I did take these pictures with my phone.  Largely because I *gasp* forgot I had my other camera with me.

Now, I told you I captured the wind and so I did:

Wild and free.  Fierce and powerful.

Wild and free. Fierce and powerful.

I also said I captured the moon.

It was a rock the size of my palm.  I couldn't resist the picture.

It was a rock the size of my palm. I couldn’t resist the picture.  It does look like a crescent moon.

I did resist picking it up though.  It wasn’t meant for me.

I’m out, folks.  Time to make supper and relax until bedtime.  Tomorrow we start school hours.

Have a good evening!

Muah

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Some of you may remember Haley’s Magic, a NaNo I wrote for a special little boy and his sister.  It ended up being YA (12+) but that’s okay, there’s nothing in it they shouldn’t hear.  

Cover

Cover

I am trying to edit it in time to be able to print and bind a copy to give to the real life Liam and Haley.  In order to do the best possible job I gave the book to my daughter to read.  She’s fourteen, loves to read and has fairly discerning taste for her age.  

She read it in less than a day.  I wasn’t home when she finished.

hehehe

hehehe

Apparently, I did a good job.  I told her to pass it on to a couple friends.  She’s still demanding an epilogue.  However, if I let her push me into that then the story will never end.  She will demand more and more and I am just not sure how to make it into a series.  

She laughed, she got mad at me, she sighed happily and, at one point said, “I worry for your sanity.”  When I asked her why she said it was because of this:

The adults left the room and all three kids, who had been meaning to stay up and talk, fell asleep.  Not long after that, Haley began to dream.  She was a little boy living in a big house, somewhere in Ireland, three hundred years ago…

“Thomas Whitney!” the large, slightly harried woman hissed the boy’s name.  “Come back here. That drunkard father of your’s is on a rampage again.  We must hide you.”  She shook her head in exasperation as she hunted him down.  The boy was seven years old, dark haired and dark eyed just like his mother had been before she died at his birth.  Keera had been his wet nurse and she and her husband stayed on to look after him.

Thomas burst into the main hall, Keera hot on his heels, just as his father stumbled through the door, a prostitute on his arm; the same one who had been hanging around for the last several weeks.  Thomas hated her.  She always had this calculating gleam in her eye and she touched everything.

The woman spied Thomas and detached herself from his father.  “Tommy!  Come here baby boy.”  She cooed the words.  Thomas scrambled backwards until he could hide behind Keera’s skirts.  His father’s companion sneered at the nurse as Keera’s husband came into the room.  “You can hide behind your fake mommy all you want.  It won’t help when the time comes.”

Keera scooped the boy up.  He was light for his age, too skinny.  He had gangly limbs, like if he was fed properly he’d have a major growth spurt.  She hugged him tightly to her, eyes seeking out her husband.  He nodded and she waited a moment, avoiding the prostitute’s eyes.

Stephen, Keera’s husband, spoke up loudly.  “Master Conor!  You are home for supper.  Is there anything in particular you would like?”

Conor and the woman turned towards Stephen and Keera took the opportunity to slip back into the shadows with Thomas.  “Come, Thomas,” she whispered.  “We need to stay away from that woman.  You’ll sleep with us tonight.”   She took him to the kitchen to prepare supper.

Thomas didn’t like either his father or that woman who always seemed to be more naked than dressed.  It made him think about his clothes all the time.  He wore the same clothes his father threw at him last year.  They were still too big but they were starting to get raggedy around the cuffs and hems, despite Keera’s best efforts.

Hours later, after Thomas had been fed and put to bed, after the house was dark and the fires banked, a great darkness rose.  Conor looked at the woman.  “Are you sure this will work, Tara?”

She cackled as she painted the last of the upside down pentacle.  “Greater desires require greater rituals.”  She stood and looked around.  The twin points of the pentagram pointed north, rather than south; there were candelabras at each point filled with black beeswax candles.  A short distance away rested a table much higher at one end than the other.  There were straps attached at four points.  A large bucket rested at the lowest end of the table with a long, sharp looking knife.

The blade was unusual.  They had stumbled upon the thing the old smithy on the ranch.  The blade was bent in the middle, a wide angle up, with one serrated edge.  They didn’t know where it came from but it seemed right.  Perfect for their purpose.

“We’re ready?”

“Aye.  Let’s go get ‘im.”

They headed to the servants quarters.  It was a messy job dispatching with Stephen and Keera but they finally got it done and had Thomas strapped to the table, head down.

“Da!  What are you doing? Da!”  Thomas was struggling and crying.  “Da!  DA!  Let me go! Da, please.  I’ll be a good boy.  Please.  I’ll get a job. I’ll work.  I’ll look after the sheep. Da!”  Thomas was crying in earnest now.  “Please please let me go Da.  What did I do wrong?”

The drunken pair ignored him.  They stood on either side of him and ignored his near hysterical babbling for freedom and forgiveness.  They clasped hands over his head and lowered their own heads.  “Lucifer come to us.  Lucifer we beg of thee.  Accept this sacrifice we give to thee.  Give us what we ask. Lucifer come to us.” 

Tara grabbed Thomas’s chin and cranked his head back as Conor grabbed the knife.  With a swift move he sliced Thomas’s throat.  Blood sprayed up and out, soaking them both in blood and scaring Tara.  She shrieked a little in surprise then laughed as the spray died to a trickle.  The blood began to pour into the bucket. 

Tara took the knife from Conor who had had the opposite reaction to the blood.  He stood stock still in shock and began to feel some regret.  “Oh God, what have we done.”

“Freed ourselves!”  Tara sawed at Thomas’s neck.  The blade kept getting stuck in the vertebrae.  She tugged and fought until the head came free.  She picked it up by the hair and danced over to the inverted pentagram.  “Is the blood all drained yet?”

“Ah…” Conor shook himself, reminding himself about the money they were going to get by doing this ritual.  He looked at his son’s headless corpse and nodded.  “Yes, it’s done.  Done enough.”

“Great!  Bring the bucket over here and put it in the middle.”

Unseen and unheard, Thomas was still begging his father for forgiveness. He didn’t realize he was stuck with them.  Bound to them by the dagger they used to kill him.  “Da!  Please listen to me! Please!  What did I do?  Please forgive me. Please, Da!”

Conor put the bucket of Thomas’s blood in the center of the pentacle. Then the two stepped outside the Circle and chanted again.  “Lucifer come to us.  Lucifer we beg of thee.  Accept this sacrifice we give to thee.  Give us what we ask. Lucifer come to us. Come to us!  Grant us our boon.  Lucifer.  Luc-i-fer. Luc-i-fer.”

Suddenly the blood began to boil. Tara gasped and danced around the Circle.  “He’s coming!  Conor, he heard us.  Lucifer is coming.”

Lucifer did indeed arrive.  He burst from the bucket of blood with a roar of pleasure.  He could feel the terror in the blood.  He rose in all his glory, coated in Thomas’s blood. “Ahh… a worthy sacrifice indeed.  Frightened and,” he paused to lick his finger then he stilled, “innocent.  Too innocent.”  He looked around until he spotted Thomas’s head.  Then he howled in fury.

“You dared to kill a child and expected me to be happy?”  He looked around some more and spotted Thomas himself.  He tilted his head as if he was listening and then he nodded.  “Darling child, please remove yourself until I call you.”  He waited a long moment then turned on Conor and Tara with a snarl.  “You fools!  You bound him to you by using that dagger.”  A moment later he was in action, tearing them limb from limb. 

By the time he stopped, blood, entrails and body parts littered the great hall.  He cleaned himself with a thought then called for Thomas.  He saw the boy’s spirit hiding in a corner.  “Oh you poor boy.  Come to me, I will do my best to keep you safe.  Unfortunately, you will be forced to spend time in Purgatory because of those two, but only until I can undo the spell that binds you.”

Haley woke screaming, followed shortly by Liam and Kessie.  In her thrashing she had grabbed both her bedmates and shared the dream with them. 

She’s never read any of my work before, although she has helped develop some of the violence, so it’s not a surprise she was shocked.  

I am pleased that she loves it.  *grins*

Have a good Friday evening everyone!  Tomorrow we are going to a vintage motorcycle show but I will try to get your photoblog up.  The theme is elemental. 

Muah!

 

Continuity…

...Is a bitch.

…Is a bitch.

 Continuity is something I realized I have to work on.  I am constantly going through previous Highland Wolves books to see how I described that room, this place or that person or what name I gave to So-and-so who made a brief appearance at some point.  

I have recurring minor characters.  Recurring places.  Weapons and abilities that need to be the same from book to book.  Allies.  Enemies. Where was that battle?  Who exactly was it against again?  Who were the key players in that scene?

It drives me mad!  Mad, I tell ya!  

So here I am with some time between NaNos, with only HW3 to write (and several books to edit, including HW2, but I’m not starting them yet).   I have decided that I can’t edit anything related to Highland Wolves until this is complete.  

I wish Val were here to work at it with me.  And that I had space to spread out each section so I can write it down.  

I could use Excel, I suppose.  It would save me paper, save me flipping pages and going back and forth in this huge notebook I have for this very project.  However, I like the feel of pen and ink and I dislike having to flip back and forth between programs.  And I most definitely don’t want to be formatting the pages in Excel.  Besides, I like having something tangible to look at.  I’m old I guess. 😉

What do I need to know?   Lemme break it down for you.

Personnel

  • Name
  • Pack status
  • Book appearances (number of, book name, chapter)
  • Abilities/talents
  • Strengths/weaknesses
  • And background for secondary and minor level characters that are repeating, like Brock and Jules

Settings

  • Acreage
  • Land layout (trees vs open space)
  • Out buildings
  • House layout
  • Liam and Anna’s Master suite
  • Kitchen
  • Liam’s study
  • pretty sure there’s something I’m forgetting
  • Places all the characters have been (like the botanical gardens, Astrid’s sex club, Dunvegan)

Battles

  • Cause/motivation
  • Enemies
  • Allies
  • Where

Weapons

  • Descriptions
  • Uses
  • Origins
  • Powers/specialties

Allies

  • Who
  • What (breed of Supe)
  • Appearance in books
  • Battles
  • Abilities
  • Location

Enemies

  • See above Allies list

And that’s all I can think of at the moment.  

I would love to assign my daughter one of these lists but she’s fourteen and my books are meant for the 18+ crowd – I’d have to give her versions without the sex.  If I had the money, I’d hire help.  I’d pay my son’s girlfriend to do it (although… she’s 16, so again the sexless versions.  She does have a collection of BDSM books but I’m not contributing to the delinquency of a minor).  So I am tackling this alone, for now.  I’m just not sure how to go about it.

Should I: 

  • Comb through the books for characters then go back for setting then again for weapons, etc etc, or
  • Write each detail down as I come across it?

I’m not sure I have the patience to go through over and over again but I’m pretty sure I’d get overwhelmed trying to do everything at once.   Hmmm…. 

Well, I have some writing in HW3 to do.  Liam just found out that Anna is pregnant.  

Oh hell, here:

“Anna!”  Liam barked her name.  “You need…”  he ground his teeth together, seeking control when she twitched at the sound of his voice “…to shield the bedroom.  Now!”

“Yes Master.”  Anna whimpered at the loss of some of the pleasure as she took her focus from what he was doing to her and, instead, took her power and formed it into something else.  She blanketed the bed and called it good enough.  Then she remembered what had happened in Dunvegan and she threw protection around the room. She made the shield self-sustaining, so that it would remain even when she stopped thinking about it. 

Liam saw the pale blue film settle over everything and shifted so he could move her breast to meet his mouth.  He sucked her nipple between his teeth hard and bit down, rewarding her for obeying him.  Anna arched into his mouth and flung her legs around him to pull him tight to her body.  One of her hands went to her free nipple and she speared the fingers of her other hand into his hair.  Liam groaned as he bumped her womb.

Her womb.  Something nagged at the back of his mind and he found himself stilling.  He released her nipple and ran his nose over her from her nipple to behind her ear, ignoring her groan of disappointment and her urgent attempts to get him moving again.  He inhaled her scent and his mind, his instincts, began cataloguing the combinations of pheromones and manmade scents.

A long lost memory surfaced.  He was ten years old and one of the Kappas had been pregnant.  She was his father’s secretary and around all the time.  He remembered thinking that the scent of her pregnancy was intoxicating.  It had pulled at a deep primal part of him he hadn’t been aware he had.  It was something he wanted, even at such a young age – a woman heavy with child, smelling the way she did, like home, love and family.

Liam jerked his head back in shock, eyes dark green, pupils wide.  He had withdrawn from Anna and was on his feet before she realized he’d moved.  Anna frowned and sat up, trying to ignore the feeling of loss and the sudden chill she felt as the fire within died.  “Master, what’s wrong?”

“Your scent has changed.”  Liam gave her an almost accusatory look.

Anna paled.  “I…It’s probably because I now have unlimited access to the caldera.”  Her voice faltered on the last couple of words.

“Aye, maybe,” he sneered.  “There’s something you’re not telling me.”

She said nothing.  There was nothing she could say to that without lying.

He stepped forward, came against the bed, every muscle rigid, his hands fisted beside his thigh.  “Are you pregnant?”

Anna opened her mouth and closed it again, eyes everywhere but on his.

“Are.  You.  Pregnant.”  He enunciated each word carefully.  “And remember, girl, that if one word of a lie slips from your lips I will beat you.”  He looked furious.  His lips thinned, his entire face tightening, as he waited.

“Yes,” she whispered.  “Elsie told me while we were in Ballachulish.  I am a little less than a month along.”  She lowered her gaze to her fingers and her voice grew quieter still.  “There are three babies.”  She tensed as she waited for his reaction.

Liam’s ears were sensitive but still he missed the last sentence.  “Say that last bit again.  Louder.”

Anna cleared her throat and spoke again, this time only slightly louder than barely audible.  “There are three babies.”  There was a long moment of silence.  Anna was nearly sick with the anticipation of his response.

The moment stretched out as Liam processed.  “Three, ye say?” his voice was strained.

“Aye,” Anna nodded as she spoke softly.

Liam was silent another moment and then his eyes rolled back into his head.  He hit the floor with a loud thump.

 

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Anna shrieked his name and leapt from the bed.  Running footsteps sounded in the hallway and the door crashed open just as Anna pulled Liam’s head into her lap.  Marcus appeared in the bedroom.  He took one look at Anna, nude but for her collar, cradling an equally nude Liam out cold out on the floor and bellowed “Out!” to everyone that had followed him in.

Marcus came over and crouched by Anna as the door closed behind everyone else. “What happened?”

“Um…”  Anna hesitated.  Then she stared him in the eye and spoke with all the authority she possessed.  “What I am about to tell you goes no further.”

Marcus blinked rapidly then nodded.  “As you wish, my Alpha.  You have my silence.”

“I just told Lee he’s to be a father.”  Anna stroked Liam’s hair.

There was a long silence then Marcus gave her an accusatory glare.  “You lied to me!”

“Ya think?” she shot back.  “I don’t want anyone to know about this yet.  I wasn’t even going to tell him until after the wedding.”  She looked down at Liam as she spoke again.  “Go get something to wake him out of this faint.”

Marcus was furious that she had lied to him.  He understood why but it didn’t piss him off any less.  He stood without a word and went into their bathroom, looking for the smelly unguent he knew Liam kept for sore muscles.  Once back beside Liam, Marcus opened the small jar and waved it under his Alpha’s nose.

Anna turned green as Liam snorted and jerked awake.  He looked surprised to find himself on the floor with his head in Anna’s lap and Marcus kneeling beside them.  “What happened?”

“What’s the last thing you remember, Lee?”  Marcus asked.

“Well…”  Liam thought for a moment.  “I was deep in my girl when I noticed her scent changed and–” he cut himself off abruptly and shot to his feet.  He stared down at her.  “You’re pregnant?”

Marcus stood and helped Anna to her feet.  He stood ready to protect her.  He was pretty sure Liam was going to be happy about it but he didn’t look like it quite yet.

“Yes, Lee.  We’re going to have a baby.  Babies.”  Anna gave him an uncertain smile. 

“Three of them.”  Liam sat down abruptly on the edge of the bed.

Anna nodded again, fighting the urge to back away from the look of horror and stark terror on his face.  Her eyes shone with tears of hurt and worry.

“Three babies.  At once.”  He looked at her.  “I’m going to be a father?” 

She nodded one more time then shrieked in surprise as he whooped loudly with joy and grabbed her into a tight embrace.  He spun her around and squeezed her mercilessly as he grinned at Marcus.  “I’m going to be a father!”

Marcus laughed as he relaxed.  “Congrats, man!”  He slapped Liam on the back.  “Better marry her quick.”  He snickered as Liam whooped again.

“Master!  Lee!  Liam!”  Anna was turning a pale shade of green at the squeezing.  She thumped him on the shoulder.

Immediately his hold loosened and he set her on the bed, panic in his face.  “Oh Gods.  Did I hurt you?  Did I hurt the babies?  Lie down.”  He fussed over her, shoving pillows behind her and covering her with the blanket resting at the foot of the bed.  “Don’t do anything.  You need to rest.”

Marcus facepalmed and pulled his phone out of his pocket.  “Jan?  Do you think you could manage to pop over here for a minute?”  He listened then snapped his phone shut. 

Anna gaped at him.  “What did you just… did you just call my mother?”  A ghostly figure appeared by the bed then firmed up into the shape of Janelle.  “Hi Momma,” Anna said with resignation.  She shot a dark look at Marcus.  “I said I didn’t want anyone else to know,” she hissed.  She glowered a moment longer when he shrugged.

Janelle listened to the brief exchange then looked at Marcus, one brow arched.  “She doesn’t want me to know what?”

Marcus smiled winningly at Anna then bowed at Janelle.  “Thank you for coming.  Your daughter is pregnant and Liam is freaking out.”

There, see?  The big, strong Wolf fainted.  Fainted! *hoots with amusement*  I’m glad he’s happy about it though.  

And I have to tell you that Liam has been clamouring loudly for me to put it into the book that he knows about it.  I’ve been arguing with him for a week.

Wait.  That makes me sound insane.  *laughs*

Think I’ll go while I’m ahead…

Muah

Showers

I’ve been writing in Highland Wolves again.  Have I mentioned that?  

I am really pleased to be doing so too.  I’ve missed my wolves.  I have Liam and Anna’s wedding to write and then HW3 is complete.  And I can begin the arduous task of editing;  HW4 will have to wait until HW2 is ready for publication, I think.  

Today (in HW3) Anna and the gang have returned to the Pack home and Liam is ecstatic to have his bride-to-be back in his arms.  He will ask what happened after he has re-established his claim.   Liam, like most wolves, is driven by his instinces and nose.  He knows Anna’s scent like he knows the back of his hand.  So when he notices there’s a change, he’s going to want to know what’s up.  

Anna, like most women, isn’t ready for everyone to know she’s pregnant.  There’s not going to be any way for her to hide the fact for long – her scent will change and so will her body (she’s having triplets!) – but she wants to keep the knowledge to herself for as long as possible; partly because it’s her joy and partly because she’s afraid she’ll lose them.  And she won’t be able to shift after a certain period of time.   The trouble with that, the shifting, is that no one knows if she’ll have to stop shifting into all her forms or if she can still shift into the demon form well into late pregnancy.  There’s only one way to find out but are they willing to risk the babies?

But first…

I threw Anna and Liam in a shower to wash the stink of the hotel, battle and the others off her so he can enjoy her more fully (and, in turn, she can enjoy him more fully).  There are lots of shower scenes in lots of books in this world and mine isn’t the hottest or most graphic, but it is hot.  I think.  What say you?

Chapter Thirty-Seven

 Liam pushed her shirt up her body, fingers sliding over her ribs and over her bra strap.  He traced it around the front and stroked the edge of the cups, half on the fabric and half on her skin.  Anna shuddered and he buried his face in the crook of her neck and shoulder to inhale her scent.

What he got was a nose full of hotel, car, travel and the other Wolves.  He stood up abruptly, spilling her to the floor.  He caught her arm before she landed on her ass and hauled her to her feet.  “Let’s go.”

Anna blinked, shaken out of her arousal and her subspace.  She scowled and opened her mouth to grump at him.  Then she remembered her place and settled for growling softly, briefly, and followed him easily.

He dragged her into the bathroom and turned the shower on.  “Tha gaol agam ort, my little she-Wolf, but you reek.”

Anna lifted her shirt to her nose and sniffed.  She wrinkled her nose.  “Aye, Master, you’re right.”  She stripped her shirt over her head and dropped it on the floor. 

Liam watched with a smile on his face, enjoying the show.  It wasn’t meant to be seductive and that was one of the things he liked about it.  She was being natural, being herself, and there was nothing he loved more.  As she began on her pants, Liam began to take his clothes off too.  He dropped them in the same pile with Anna’s.

Her fingers stilled on the catch of her bra as she watched his flesh come into view.  She grinned.  “Will you be joining me, Master?”

“You bet.  Have to make sure my girl is thoroughly clean.”  He gave her a wolfish leer as he kicked his jeans into the pile.  

As Anna removed her undergarments in a hurry, Liam checked the water.  It was hot and steamy and he pulled her into it, sticking her head under the water, before shutting the shower door.  She took the hint and he picked up the shampoo. He poured a generous amount into his hand, rubbed them together and then stroked his fingers over her scalp.  He worked the shampoo into a frothy lather, massaging her scalp as he did.

Anna was suddenly really glad for the big walk-in shower.  It was tucked into the corner of bathroom; two walls were tile, two were glass.  One shower head, a large circular, fixed feature from the middle of the ceiling, was joined by another, a removable handheld one attached to the wall, to rain water on them.  Liam had placed her just enough out of the water to keep her hair out.  Anna groaned as he worked over her hair.

When he was satisfied that her hair was clean, Liam moved Anna back into the spray and rinsed the suds out.  He was pleased that she used a two-in-one, a combination of shampoo and conditioner, because it meant he could now move on to other things.  He pointed at the tile wall without the shower head.  “Face the wall, put your hands on it at shoulder height and keep them there.”

Anna silently did as he asked.  He hadn’t given her permission to speak so she didn’t.  She almost quivered with anticipation as she stared at the tile, waiting.

Liam lathered a washcloth and began to wash her.  He lifted her hair off the back of her neck and washed behind her ears and her neck before he moved to sweep the cloth firmly across her shoulders.  He scrubbed her back from ears to ankles, taking care to avoid any really sensitive areas.  Then he picked up her feet one at a time to wash them, rinsing them well before he allowed her to put them down again.  He began to work his way back up.  He scrubbed her shins, her knees and her thighs.  He moved to her pelvis and washed up her front.  He skipped all of her most obvious erogenous zones, ignored the way light began to play under her skin as she heated up, ignored his own arousal and simply scrubbed until he reached her face.  “Turn your head and look at me.”

Anna turned her head and Liam almost grinned at the look in her eyes.  They were dark green, almost black, and there were promises of retribution in their depths.  She was panting and almost snarling at him.  “Close your eyes,” he said.  Her eyes flashed briefly but she closed them.  He scrubbed her face, making her sputter and spit soap when she opened her mouth in shock.  Liam chuckled.  “Rinse.”

Anna’s skin tingled.  Every nerve was on fire and she was aroused.  She was also getting angry that he wasn’t touching her.  She stepped back into the spray and rinsed her face.  Then she used her hands to slough the soap from her body, running her palms down her throat over her chest to her breasts.  She drew her hands over her them, cupping and stroking, head back with her eyes closed in pleasure.  There was no way she could forget Liam was watching but she got lost in the moment and set her forefingers and thumbs over her nipples, intending to pinch them.

“No.”  Liam’s voice was hard even though arousal made it husky.  He watched as Anna whimpered and her eyes flew open as her hands fell to her sides.  “Put your hands on the back of your neck and leave them there.” 

Anna obeyed, still standing in the spray of water, as Liam pulled the removable showerhead down.  The light under her skin had started to dim with his command to stop touching herself but it flared to life again as he ran his hand and the water over her.  She spread her legs when he told her to and bit her lip when her body reacted to the thumping spray brushing over her labia and clit.  She swayed as he spread her open to make sure he removed all the soap and she couldn’t be sure that the brush of his fingers over that sensitive nub of flesh wasn’t on purpose. 

Liam straightened and hung the showerhead back up.  He stared at his girl for a moment, watching as the water ran in rivulets over her silky flesh.  He watched one bead of water in particular travel from her collar bone to her cross her areola and tremble on her nipple before falling towards the tile beneath her feet. 

A growl filled the shower stall and Anna jumped.  She raised her eyes to Liam’s and was shocked to see that they were Wolf yellow.  He was snarling at her and she only had a moment to panic before he was on her. 

Liam threw her over his shoulder and bolted from the bathroom.  He ran with her into their bedroom and threw her on the bed, hard enough that she bounced but he was on top of her, his lips locked on hers before her back touched the mattress a second time.

Here, shortly, is where he’s going to sniff her again and, again, her scent isn’t going to be hers.  Debate here is this:

1.  He smells the pregnancy pheromones (she’s about three weeks along) and it rings a distant bell of recognition in him.  He becomes suspicious and demands to know what caused the change.   She tries to evade but he pushes and finally she tells him she’s pregnant.

2.  He smells the pregnancy pheromones but doesn’t recognize it because the last time he smelled a pregnant Wolf he was a child.  There haven’t been baby Wolves around in a long time.  He demands to know what the change is about – he’s territorial, he thinks someone laid their hands on her while she was away – and she evades, telling him that it’s probably because she now has access to the unbridled level of power contained in the Glen Coe caldera.  While that is true, it’s not the whole truth.  He will be grudgingly satisfied with it.  

I’m not quite sure which way to go and I don’t think I’ll know until I write it out, I guess.  

I leave you with howling Canadian wolves.  A friend of mine recorded it when she visited Algonquin Park.  The wolves start at around 13 seconds.  Have a wonderful Sunday!

Muah

Beginnings and Endings

Earlier this week I talked about my Gramma and I mentioned that I had a photo blog for you that was about beginnings and endings.  Today I have the time to write the blog out (if I can quell the Oh-look!-A-squirrel! moments) before we go to something called Pawlooza. It’s touted as “the ultimate dog party” and is a fundraiser/awareness raiser for various rescue shelters.  Lots of events.  We’re going because, for some bizarre reason, I have this intense feeling of NEED-TO-BE-THERE.  

But first, the blog.

If you’re a long time follower, or even if you have just skimmed through my photos, you may have noticed that I have a love of the details, the minutiae of nature.  I love the structures, the way things are formed, the processes and progression in the way Mother Nature does things.   Whether it’s flora, fauna or the way the waves break on the beach, I love it all.  

Today I have nine photos for you that are the beginnings and endings of several flowers.  I don’t have the beginning and ending of each flower – for instance, I have three pictures of a Japanese Anemone for you: the buds, one in colour and one in black & white, and the bloom, but not the end of that life cycle –  but I do have some fascinating pictures. 

Nature amazes me, all the time.  If I could make a living photographing it, I would.  I’d still write as I traveled the country taking pictures, of course.  I can never stop writing but to be able to do both would be astounding.  I’d have to take my daughter.   She’d slaughter me in my sleep if I left her behind.

On to the pictures!   

You know, I really am surprised that I don’t have a picture of a peony in full bloom.   I have one in the process of blooming that I’ve shown you before and now, I have this for you:

The peony at the end of its life cycle.  The structure is fascinating!  I wonder what makes it do that.

The peony at the end of its life cycle. The structure is fascinating! I wonder what makes it do that.

The next one I have for you is the Oriental Poppy.   Given how many of them grow at goldi’s, I’m really surprised I have never photographed one in full bloom.  I love poppies.  They’re so pretty, bright and tall.   What I have here for you is what happens when the bloom is done.  This one makes more sense than the peony does. 😉

 

You can see how the structure of the bloom would lead to this.  I snapped this picture because it's... well, creepy.  And alien.  It looks like it's waiting to open a yawning mouth of teeth and eat you.  Like the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi

You can see how the structure of the bloom would lead to this. I snapped this picture because it’s… well, creepy. And alien. It looks like it’s waiting to open a yawning mouth of teeth and eat you. Like the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi

If it makes you feel better, I had to look up the name of the monster, even though I knew exactly what I was talking about.  Does that make me seem less nerdy?

No?

hmm… okay.  I love Star Wars, won’t deny it. 😀

Next up we have the Rudebeckia, aka black-eyed susan.  I have actually shown you this one in full bloom before. This is the beginning of the bloom’s life cycle.  (See?  I’m not all about death here *laughs*)

I was surprised to learn that this blooms into the black and yellow, fifteen petal (I counted) flower.  Fascinating, eh?

I was surprised to learn that this blooms into the black and yellow, fifteen petal (I counted) flower. Fascinating, eh?  I love the rows and rows and tiny pointed green leaflets.  

Anyone remember Little Shop of Horrors?  No?  I do.  We did a production of it in high school.  This hibiscus bud I’m about to show you reminds me of Audrey II, in a really loose way.  It turns into the large, very pretty dinner plate hibiscus.

Can you see the resemblance?

Can you see the resemblance?

Next up is the Gaillardia, aka the Blanket Flower.  I chose this particular picture because it shows the bloom and the end of the cycle.  It’s a beautiful flower and goldi has an abundance of them in her garden.

It looks like a chrysanthemum firework!      It, too, mostly makes sense.

It looks like a chrysanthemum firework! It, too, mostly makes sense.

Last up, I have the pictures of the Japanese Anemone (I keep wanting to say ‘anenome’.  Guess it’s my word, like people with cinnamon or aluminum).  I took several pictures because I love the way this flower looks as a bud, almost more so than the bloom.  I have my favourite here for you, plus the black and white treatment and a photo of it in bloom.  I decided to subject you to only those three photos.;)

Weird, eh?

Weird, eh?

I like the shadows and contrasts here.

I like the shadows and contrasts here.

Such a pretty flower to come from the zebra striped bud.

Such a pretty flower to come from the zebra striped bud.

*looks longingly at the garden across the road*  It would be nice if I could get the man across the road to let me wander around and take pictures.  He has such beautiful flowers, including my favourite – the rose.  

These are my offerings for you this week.  The next photoblog will be at Lake Huron again. There are almost endless ways to photograph the lake and beach.

Well… maybe not… but it does certainly continually offer different opportunities.  

Off to get The Boyfriend up and get moving and shaking our tails at Pawlooza.  Have a great day, folks!

Muah.

A Tale of Success and One of Pain

Good morning, my lovelies.  

I know, it’s been quite some time, too long really; haven’t spoken a word since I finished Laurie & Mikhail’s story.  It’s been a busy month already and it’s only the 11th. 

I was lucky to get CampNaNo completed.  I was in a lot of pain from my back as it got worse and worse.  I saw three doctors before anyone managed to help at all.  It was the emergency room doc that finally turned the tide.  She shoved her fist into my lower back until she brought me to my knees and I wanted to punch her.  (note: It’s quite illegal to hit EMS or medical professionals.  It’s jail time and somewhere around $25,000 CAD fine.  I don’t look good in prison orange [to paraphrase a friend] so I kept my hands to myself.)  She informed me I have a muscle spasm.  I said that doesn’t explain everything that’s going on.  She did x-rays and told me there was nothing wrong that she could see (not a radiologist) and told me that the meds I know work were the same as ones I already take (they’re not, if they were, I wouldn’t have been there).  

That was this past Saturday.  

Things very quickly got worse.  Since she wouldn’t give me the muscle relaxer I know works we had to buy an over-the-counter one.  Turns out it had corn starch in it.  (for any newcomers: I am gluten, corn & soy intolerant. I have very, very violent reactions.)  So around 2:30 am I started getting sick.   And stayed in that horrible, violent state for hours until we found the magic combination of pills and deep breathing (yeah…uh…I panic when I barf) that managed to settle everything down enough for me to sleep.

Sunday night I got sick again.  Same thing, fewer hours.  This time, as it turns out, it’s because I forgot to take my night pills.  That’s a big what-the-fuck right there but a story for another day.

Then on Monday, my beloved grandmother died. 

My grandmother, Gladys Jean Mimms.  Born January 30, 1924, died  August 4th, 2014

My grandmother, Gladys Jean Mimms. Born January 30, 1924, lost her battle with Alzheimer’s August 4th, 2014

Forget-me-nots.  Her favourite flower in her favourite colour.

Forget-me-nots. Her favourite flower in her favourite colour.

 

She was the strongest, most positive woman I have ever known or will have the privilege of knowing.  Gramma was astoundingly gorgeous inside and out.  (The Boyfriend called her a hottie when we stumbled on a picture of her from the 40s.  *grins*)  Saturday was her memorial and the reception.  My Mimms family is an eclectic bunch.  We are not ones for family gatherings  – for instance, I didn’t know my cousin’s 7 y/o daughter Mary Ann existed – so when we are together it’s… strange.  Nonetheless, it was a good tribute to the woman who kept this family together.

On a positive note, I sent all the Shades of Pink stuff off yesterday. 😀 The Marcus and Michelle story is done, finished and, despite everything that’s happened in the last month, actually arrived at Kallysten’s inbox before the end of the deadline.

 

I realized yesterday, as we were recovering from Saturday’s seven hours of driving and a variety of chemical soup atmospheres (truck stops, funeral home, the Mimms family home) that with Shades of Pink stuff sent off and now that CampNaNo is done I can go back to Highland Wolves 3.   I am looking forward to it!  Some things have happened in the deepest parts of my personal life that have allowed me to reconnect with that series and I am eager to dive back in.  

Also, I have a photoblog for you.  I’ve had it sitting, waiting, until I could pin goldi down long enough to identify the flora in the pictures.  She’s gone off to camp but will be home tomorrow.  I will have the blog for you as soon as possible.  Appropriately, the theme is the beginning and the end of life.  

I believe I have rambled on long enough.  Have a wonderful day!

Muah.

As an ode to my life the past few weeks, I leave you with this: