Fiction Friday Week 8

Good Friday, folks!

It’s Fiction Friday time again.  

This week I am pulling out of HW2 again because, sadly, I’m still editing it.  I’m almost done; I have 50 pages left.   It’s just taking me a long time because there are plenty of days when I can’t focus on it enough to do a good job.  I think this is a second run through and so there will be one more before I can publish.  

It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that first draft is not the best draft and my work can be improved upon. This second time has definitely improved several parts of the story.  It’ll take me a couple of weeks before I’m ready to face it again.  

Meanwhile, I have a long to-do list this Friday so I am going to get to it.

The following is intended for adult audiences ONLY!  Under the age of majority?  Bugger off.  Thank you.

This chapter I’m leaving you with comes after Liam, Anna and Chelle have returned from Hell.  They popped back onto the lawn at the pack compound with Anna in her new form – the Demon.  After everyone stared at her in shock, horror and, in a few cases, fear, (with Marcus cocking a shotgun), Anna disappeared.  She reappeared at home and disconnected herself from the world.  Then she showered and crawled into her bed to cry herself to sleep.  She awoke, 36 hours later, to the sounds of Liam’s voice.  After an argument about whether or not she’d return to the arms of the pack, Anna gave in and admitted that she can’t live without Liam or their Wolves.  The following is what happens when Liam decides to remind her just how much she is loved and who, exactly, is in charge of their relationship and their lives. 

Have a wonderful day, everyone.

Muah!

 

Chapter Thirty-Three

 As Anna melted into the kiss she became aware of a bodily function and started shifting from foot to foot.  Her return kissing became less intense as she started to focus on her bladder and Liam noticed.  He lifted his head.  “Is something wrong, pet?”

“I need to pee.  I feel like I haven’t gone in days.”  She blushed faintly.

Liam chuckled softly.  “Come.”  He took her hand and led her to the bathroom.  Then he leaned against the door frame and watched her as she sat on the toilet.  “You were asleep for a full day and a half.  Thirty-six hours.  You didn’t stir when we changed your sheets and tucked you in all snug as a bug.  You didn’t notice when I slept beside you.  Do you have to pee or not?”

Anna’s blush deepened to scarlet.  “I’m having trouble letting go.”

“Well here then.”  Liam moved to the sink and flicked the faucet handle up, turning the water on full.  A short moment later, he laughed as she sagged in relief.  He sought a wash cloth and got it wet and warm as she cleaned herself up.  As she started to rise he handed it to her.  “Clean yourself properly, my pet.”

“Yes Lee.”  It was on the tip of Anna’s tongue to call him Master but she stopped it.  She carefully washed herself in and around all the folds.  She washed her inner thighs and everything she could reach.  When she stopped Liam held his hand out for the cloth.  She gave it over then rose to her feet.

Liam took her by the hand and led her back into the bedroom.  He stopped at the side of the high, wrought iron, four-poster bed and pressed her gently against it, though not to sit on it just yet.  He stroked her cheek with his fingertips as he looked her over.  He stroked her throat with the backs of his fingers then slid both hands down her arms and over her upper body.  Liam used the moment to reassure himself that he was there with her.  Then he sighed as he slipped both hands around her throat to lace his fingers together at the back of her neck and tip her chin up with his thumbs.

“Anna, my beloved Anna.  You should have known that running from me wouldn’t work.”  His voice was dangerously soft.  “You should have known I’d hunt you down and bring you back.  You are mine.  My Mate.  My pet.  My slut.  Mine.”  Liam’s eyes swirled with Wolf yellow as he restated his claim on her.

Anna swallowed.  She opened her mouth to reply and he frowned.  She closed it again.

“You can’t run from me Anna.  Your heart knows it.  Your soul knows it.  Your Wolf knows it.  We are one.”  He kissed her forehead then her nose and finally her mouth.  Then he wound her hair around his hand and yanked her head back.  “It is a punishable offence, my love.” 

Tears welled up in Anna’s eyes even as he spun her by her hair and shoved her face down on the bed.  He kicked her feet apart as he let go of her hair.  “Stay.”  As Anna moved her arms down her sides and closed her eyes in fearful anticipation, Liam moved to the chest at the end of her bed.  He opened it and pulled out a wooden paddle.  It was cherry, the face was ten inches long, four inches across and the whole thing was close to an inch thick.  He whacked his palm with it and smiled as she jumped.

Liam stood on her left side and stroked her ass with the paddle.  “Ten for running.  Anything after that will be purely for my enjoyment.”  With the last word he started, hard.  The crack of wood on flesh echoed in the room. 

Anna flinched and gave a pained cry.  Her pale flesh immediately showed the mark.  The next one came a few seconds later on the other side, just as the burn was starting to fade.  Then the third.  Anna began to cry.  Not because they hurt but because she had hurt him, disappointed him and angered him.

Liam paused, unsatisfied with the way things were going.  He leaned down and put his mouth to her ear.  “You will count them from now on. ‘One Master, two Master’ and so on.  Do you understand?”

Anna struggled to speak.  “Y-yes Master.” 

“Good, then let’s start again.”  There was the soft whoosh of the paddle through the air and then the crack of the paddle meeting her ass.

“One Master!”  Anna’s voice was tight, like she was forcing the words out.  The paddle crashed into her ass again, this time on the other cheek. “Two Master.”  The words were followed by a sob.  The next five smacks rained down on her and made her squirm so much that Liam felt obliged to place his hand in her lower back.

“You’ll never leave again, will you, my pet?”  Crack!

“Eight Master!  No Master!”

Crack!  “Why is that?”

“Nine Master!”  Anna sobbed as her ass burned.  “Because I love you, Master.”  It almost sounded like a question.

Liam paused.  “While that’s most certainly true, it is the wrong answer.  Give me the right one.”  CRACK!  Liam made the last one especially hard and Anna jumped, screaming with the white hot pain.

“Ten Master!”  Anna cried, curling into herself as best she could. 

Liam sat down beside her and stroked her back, waiting.  His large, cool hand ran over the very hot skin on her ass and she shifted as the callous-rough flesh met hot and sensitive flesh.  “Why won’t you run again, Anna Marie?”

Anna moved so she could press her face to the denim clad thigh.  “Because I’m yours and you’re mine.  We belong together.” 

“That’s right, my pet.  I’m yours and you are mine.”  He gripped her arm and manoeuvred her to her knees on the floor beside the bed.  Then he rose and unbuttoned his jeans.  He reached inside and pulled out his semi-hard cock.  Anna immediately positioned herself so her open mouth was level with the head.  “You are mine.  I know it.  Your parents know it.  The pack knows it.  But I think you need a symbol to remind you.”

Liam took his cock in hand and pressed the tip to her lower lip.  Anna dipped her head a little and wrapped her lips around the head, eliciting a groan.  He hadn’t bound her hands so she brought them up and curled one around his fingers and slid the other up his thigh and around to his ass.  She curved her tongue to cradle the head and sucked gently on it.  Then she pulled her mouth off him and bent his cock up so she could stroke the underside with her tongue.  He got his hand out of her way.

Anna traced all the veins on his cock then slipped the head back into her mouth.  She scraped it along soft ridges of the roof of her mouth.  She drew him in as far as she could without gagging then pulled back, sucking hard.  Over and over again she stroked him that way, encouraged by his groan of pleasure.  Anna began to salivate and the excess slipped from her mouth so she wiped her chin and used the spit to lube her stroking of his shaft with her hand. 

Another groan and his hands slid into her hair.  Liam’s hips rolled as he took control of the blow job from her.  He started fucking her face, slow and easy at first.  She found the rhythm and stroked the shaft in time to his hip motions and varied the strength of her suction as much as she was able.  Her tongue roved over him as he moved. 

Then Liam picked up the pace and fucked her harder, faster.  Deeper.  Anna drooled and gagged, she soon stopped being able to participate.  The drool dripped from his cock, her chin, slid down her arms and pooled on her thighs.  Her body heaved with one round of gagging and he paused for a second or two before he pulled out long enough for her to cough and suck in a ragged breath.  He stared down at her for a moment then grabbed her upper arm and hauled her to her feet.

 

 

Peace in the Snow

Oh hey, before I get started this morning, I have an ongoing favour to ask of you. If you get these blogs delivered to your email, even if you habitually read them there, could you click on them? I’d like to keep track of the stats and I can’t do that unless you open the blog in your browser.   Pretty please?  Actually, no matter where you see the blog, please, click on it.  I’m curious about locations and referring sites.

And now, back to your (semi!) regularly scheduled program.

Good morning, my lovely people.

I had thought to give you Scotland photographs today – and perhaps still may, today is a catch up of many things – but I found something else to share instead.  Yesterday I was feeling restless and anxious and  I needed to connect with the outside so I put my Wellies on and slipped out the door into the cold and snow.

I thought, at first, to merely photograph the icicles on the porch because they are impressive.  

It turned out to be a lousy picture of it, but it's shaped like a wave.

It turned out to be a lousy picture of it, but it’s shaped like a wave.

And it's four feet long if it's an inch.

And it’s four feet long if it’s an inch.

Okay… That’s a slight exaggeration.  My opinion of it bothered me so I had to go measure it.  It’s two feet, 3 inches long (27″). 😀

But while I was out there I was struck by the utter silence.  No wave noises, no people noises, no animals or birds.  It was totally, completely, silent.  And that silence was completely peaceful.  

I have had silences that are heavy, oppressive and depressing.  I’m not a big fan of silence; I often find it frightening.  I’m not sure why that is but it is how it is.

Yesterday, though, I found it to be perfect.  I stood out there for several minutes trying to be mindful of it.  My brain kept sidelining me into thinking about how to share it with you, how to describe it, how best to photograph it.  (Perhaps I should have video taped it.)  I kept dragging it back into the moment.  

It was a wonderful feeling.

I tried to photograph it for you.  I am not sure that the pictures convey the total serenity of those moments.  It is now a happy place for me.  

The neighbour's side yard. The iced over lake is the biggest reason for the pure silence.

The neighbour’s side yard. The iced over lake is the biggest reason for the pure silence.

This is the closest view to the lake I could get.

This is the closest view to the lake I could get.  (I used a little more contrast on the picture and turned the colours down to try and eliminate distractions and increase the *feel* of the photo, rather than the look.  Did it work?)

Pure.  An excellent word.  That’s what it was, pure.  I enjoyed it immensely.  I wasn’t dressed properly (Wellies, a sweater and threadbare pants I’ve had forever) so I couldn’t stay long.  Pity.

That’s it for my photos this week.  I think I will browse the Scotland folder, because I like the memories.  If I’m inspired to share, I shall. 

Have a wonderful day.

Muah!

Fiction Friday Week 7

Good (Saturday, I know) morning, folks.

I have to admit, with the thrush screwing up my head and body, this has been a zero production week.  I haven’t been able to work on anything for more than five minutes.  Because of that, I am looking through my work folder for something to share with you.  

*tick tock….shuffle…browse… tick tock*  

I just finished reading a very dark, erotic horror story.  I think that I will not share that with you, here.  I may put it up on literotica.com though.  Might do well there.  

*tick tock….shuffle…browse…read… tick tock*   Here, watch this while I browse…

I have been reading bits and pieces of this and that trying to find the right thing for you.  What I have settled on is a story called From Hell that I started writing for CampNaNo 2011.  It’s about a young man named Henry who, along with his mother and father, are blown up on the day of his sister’s thirteenth birthday.   Henry is, as he finds out after his death, half demon.  His sister, Patience, is kidnapped during the explosion by a witch with a healthy hate on.  

I am giving you the first two chapters.  I have just over 27,000 words written but that’s much too much to post here.  I think I may have to finish the story, maybe at the next Camp.  It promises to be a bloody swath of retribution before Henry is forced back to Hell.  Lots of violence.  I like.   I’d have to make sure I have notes taken to make sure I can get the continuity right and keep the flow of the story – energy, plot line, etc – going.  

It sounds like an interesting challenge, actually.  *makes a note somewhere*

Here is the story.  I am going to pick a portion of my trip to Scotland to share for this week’s photos, I think.  The nystatin is making me feel miserable, even as it makes my mouth feel better and I’m not up to hunting photo ops.  Gotta love it when the side effects of the medicine are as bad, or worse, than the problem it’s resolving.  Bleh.  

Have a great day, folks.

Muah!

 

From Hell

Chapter One

 

“Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday dear Patience! Happy birthday to you.”  Henry let his parents finish warbling their last notes as he added his own lyrics in a deep voiced layer under their higher pitched notes.  “You look like a monkey and you smell like one too!”

His baby sister Patience, whose birthday it was, giggled and whacked him.  Henry laughed.  “Hey, whaddaya know, you hit like a monkey too!”

“Shut up Henry!”   Patience’s pretence at ire was spoiled by more giggling. 

Henry turned to watch as his parents hugged the girl.  The dining room was decorated in purple and white streamers and balloons.  The deep red walls showcased the decorations rather than clashing with them.  The pale pine dining table was set for a formal dinner that turned out to be lasagne, garlic bread and salad.  The matching side board was laden with gifts sent from long distance relatives to this favourite girl.  Henry and Patience were the only grandchildren, truth be told. 

There were even a couple of presents from the siblings of Henry’s mother’s ex-best friend.  Their daughter had been lost when Patience was five years old.  Pacifica had been the same age and her aunts and uncles had doted on both girls.  While they refused to see Patience, they still sent small gifts every year.

In the center of the sideboard was Patience’s birthday cake.  The outside was decorated in white icing (he was willing to bet it was French vanilla) with purple rosettes and purple fondant shaped like curtain swag.  He knew the cake itself was also French vanilla with a raspberry filling.  Their mum had made it for Patience when she was two and it’d been the favourite ever since.

Henry turned his attention to their parents and smiled as he sipped the lovely white wine Henry had bought for this most auspicious occasion – Patience becoming, gasp, a teenager.  His mother, Mary, was a graceful, beautiful, slightly curvy, woman.  She and Henry’s father, Steven, had been married fourteen years and she still looked upon him with the same love in her blue eyes Henry saw on their wedding day.  Her long, graying, honey-blonde hair was swept back into a French braid tucked under at the nape of her neck.  Henry smiled at her when she turned to see him watching her. 

His gaze moved from her to his adopted father.  Steven Havard was a self-made man.  He’d brought himself up from the streets of Edinburgh, a lost, abandoned boy, to become one of the most well-to-do business men in Glasgow.  Henry had been nine when Steven had come into their lives, along with his best friend Alex, who’d taken an immediate liking to Mary’s best friend Anna.  Steven had taken one look at the laughing boy, tall enough to reach his mother’s shoulders even at that age, and fallen just as deeply in love with him as his mother.  He had made Henry just as much a part of their relationship as any good birth father right from the beginning.  And Henry loved him wholeheartedly for it.  When Steven had asked him permission to adopt him, Henry said, “Yes, Dad.” 

“Henry, please get the gifts.”  Mary smiled at her son.

“Of course Mum.”  He crossed to the sideboard and eyed the selection, then his little sister.  “Hmmm I wonder which one I should give her first.”

“The really really big one!”  Patience grinned at him.

“Nope, I think not.”  He reached for the little, flat one and made to hand it to her.

“Wait!”  Steven flung a hand up in a stopping motion.

All three people froze and looked at him.  Mary laid a hand on his arm.  “What is it?”

“Patience, do you mind?”  He gave her a meaningful look.

She jumped up and ran from the room, calling out behind her.  “Oh yeah!  No of course I don’t mind, it’s Henry!”

“What’s Henry?”  Henry looked confused.

“You are, Beast.”  Patience had nicknamed him that, much to his annoyance, after seeing the X-men movies and figuring out that Beast’s actual name was Henry.  She spoke as she returned to the room, apparently labouring under a heavy box, complete with white knuckled grip and panting.  “Take this would you?  It’s heavy and it’s yours.”

Henry rushed forward and put some muscle into lifting the box from his little (little! Ha, he thought, at thirteen she was already a willowy 5’6”) sister.  He nearly threw the box at the ceiling.  He shifted his grip and reached to cuff the girl as she started giggling.   She dashed off and he smiled at her indulgently before looking to his parents.  “What’s this?”

“Son, the three of us are so proud of you and all you have accomplished.  You have black belts in both karate and jujutsu.  You’ve achieved the black obi in Kenjutsu AND moved into the second level in Iaido as well.  And you came here from finishing your BA in media arts.”  Steven nodded at the box.  “That is a token of our love for you, as well as our pride.  Please accept it.”

Henry blinked back a rare urge to cry and nodded.  He peeled the blue ribbon off the box, then the tape and opened it, only to be confronted with piles of newsprint.  He pulled it off the top and found a smaller box inside.  Patience giggled as he groaned.  Henry pulled the second box out and… went through all that again four more times before finding a small box. 

He looked at them all suspiciously as he weighed the four by two by three inch box in his hand.  “Is this actually it this time?”

Mary laughed.  “Yes darling, it is.  Go on, open it.”  She could barely contain her excitement at how well the evening was going.  It was perfect.  Patience would share her birthday with her friends tomorrow but tonight was for family and it was going beautifully.

Henry slit the tape on the edges of the box with his thumbnail and tugged the lid off the tall, long box.  When he saw what was inside he looked bemused.  It was a model of his dream car, a 1962 Aston Martin DB Mark III.  The very car Bond drove in Goldfinger.  It was a metallic navy blue finish with silver racing stripes.  It was a perfect miniature car.  “Oh wow.  This is a perfect replica of Bond’s car!  Except the colour of course, those are the ones I’d choose.”

Patience bounced up and down beside him, perfectly willing to wait to open her gifts she was so excited about this one.  “Take it out of the box!”

“Okay okay!”  Laughing, Henry pulled it out of the box and set it on his palm.  Then he noticed that there was something wrong with the bottom.  He turned it over and found a key taped to the undercarriage.  He looked up at his parents and sister.  “You got me a car?”

“Not just any car!”  Patience forgot she was a dignified teenager and grabbed his free hand, tugging him to his feet before racing in the direction of the garage. 

Mary grabbed the hand Patience dropped, giggling like a schoolgirl in her glee at the look on his face.  Normally there was no keeping anything from her son but they’d managed to keep this secret since he started university.  He was well and truly gobsmacked and she was enjoying every second of it.

Patience and Steven swept the tarp from the car and Henry sat down on the floor right where he was standing, staring at the car.  “Is that mine?  Really?”  All three members of his family nodded, each with a big goofy grin on their faces.  “But it should be about Patience tonight.  Surely this could have waited?”

His sister ran over and sat in his lap, hugging him.  “It was my birthday present to me to be able to watch the shock in your face.  So it’s all good.  But you gotta take me for a ride!”  She jumped to her feet and tugged on his arm, trying to get his 6’3” form off the floor.   Patience adored her brother and thought he was absolutely gorgeous.  Her friends swooned whenever they talked about him. 

He had dark brown hair he always kept cut short because of the cowlick in the front.  She thought it made him look like Superman.  She’d told him that once, hoping he’d leave it but he got all huffy and cut it off.  His eyes were two shades of brown, near the iris it was a dark chocolate so deep the iris almost disappeared in it.  Then it sort of melted outwards into something paler, a quality milk chocolate, like that stuff her Papa always brought her from Belgium when he had to go over there. He was really fit and really tall.   She suddenly worried that he wasn’t going to fit in the car.  But then she figured Papa already knew whether he would or not so it was okay.

Suddenly Henry was on his feet.  He tossed his baby sister over his shoulder in a fireman carry and crossed the three car garage before dropping her beside the passenger door, grinning as she giggled the whole way.  “Alright, Storm, let’s go for a spin.”  He swept the passenger door open as he called Patience by her X-Men nickname and bowed at her. After he closed the door, he hugged his parents.  “Thank you so much.  I don’t deserve anything this extravagant but I will, I assure you.” 

 

Chapter Two

Then he was in the car, fitting his brand new key into the ignition.  He turned it over.  The engine purred and the world exploded into fire and noise. The world went black for a split second then Henry was standing beside the car.  The garage was in flames and his car was scattered in pieces and twisted hunks of metal.  He couldn’t find his parents but he saw, with some confusion, pieces of his body smouldering nearby.

Then he noticed his sister lying nearby.  He rushed over to her but was unable to touch her.  She was surrounded by a shield of grey energy that he couldn’t break through. He screamed her name and she opened her eyes.

“Henry?”

He nodded as, just then, someone swept in, also wrapped in a grey energy shield, and picked Patience up by waving her hand. He shouted at the stranger.  “Hey!  What do you think you’re doing?  Bring her back!”  He moved to follow her but he was grabbed by the arms by some dark, wraith-like creatures.  Henry struggled mightily.  “Let me go!  I have to save my sister.”

The creatures dragged him back to a ragged edge portal in the ground.  Henry had the absurd thought, “How cliché” as he was dragged down into a fiery hell. 

A moment later Henry was surprised to see the fire end and something that resembled a pleasant environment opened up.  It was like everyone was living at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, pale sand and terra cotta coloured stone, steep walls with caves cut in here and there.  If it wasn’t for the random pits of fire and the screams of tortured souls, Henry would almost have been fooled.

The wraiths… demons, Henry corrected himself… escorted him to one large cave.  He was again surprised to see that musical instruments of all kinds and time periods graced one wall and weapons covered the opposite wall.  As the two lesser demons left him, he wandered over to look at the weapons, momentarily forgetting his grief and ire as he caressed blades made of stone, bronze, iron, copper and steel. 

“You like those do you?”  A soft lyrical male voice soothed him and made his shoulders relax.  “I quite prefer the instruments myself.”

Henry whirled around in surprise and glared at the man coming into the room.  “Who are you and why am I here?  What happened to my family?”

“All in good time, Son, all in good time.”

Henry’s fingers curled into his palms as grief and fury rose.  “I am not your son!”

Lyr settled himself onto a long red leather couch and propped his feet up on a glass coffee table.  He gestured at the couch across from him.  “Sit.”

Henry’s lip curled then he gave a curt nod and sat on the edge of the couch.  He heard a sigh from the demon then was surprised to feel a gentle shove on his chest that pushed him backwards.  Henry was distantly surprised at how easily the leather cradled his body.  “What do you want?”

“Allow me to introduce myself.”  He spread his hands wide.  “I am Lyr; a musician of some renown, here in Hell, on Earth and even in Heaven.  A Demon and, as it happens, your father.”

Henry nodded, not catching the last as his mind skimmed through his lessons on Demonology.  “You are known as the Lute Player.  It’s said that you drew people in with your music, public crowds but if you play for someone privately they sleep forever.”

Lyr laughed.  “Not true.  I do draw people in, like the Pied Piper but I don’t put them to sleep.  I use my music to convince them to make bargains for their souls.  It makes them very…”  he thought for a moment, “…pliable.”  He waited for Henry’s quick mind to catch up to the rest of his statement.

Sure enough, a moment later, Henry scowled.  “You are not my father! Steven was my father.”

“Oh to be sure, he adopted you and was every inch the father to you that he was to Patience, but I planted you in your mother’s womb.”

Henry leapt to his feet, furious.  “How dare you say such a thing! My mother was-“

Lyr waved a hand, shoving Henry back into the couch.  “Your mother was a good girl but not saintly enough to have a virgin birth.  Did you never wonder who your father was?”

“Of course I did.”  Henry’s admission was grudging.  “Mum always said he was a musician who…”  He trailed off.

“Who seduced her backstage and took advantage of the infatuation of a teenage fan.”  Lyr sighed.  “Truth was that I loved your mother, I still do.  She is beyond me now, more so than she ever was.  I loved her too much to curse her with the life of being a Demon’s mate.  It was bad enough that I accidentally gave her a half-breed child.”

Henry’s eyes widened then closed as he pinched the bridge of his nose.  “I’m a half demon?”

“Yes. There are some who would say that makes you a demon, regardless of your human side.  But there are others who will say that half does not make you a demon at all.  Ignore them all.  You are what you are.”

“That’s why I have such an affinity for violence?”

Lyr nodded.  “I was hoping you’d take up music, like me, but you take after your grandfather.  Weapons are instruments in their own right and you use them well.”

“How the hell would you know?”

Lyr took his feet off the glass table and leaned forward, gesturing to Henry to do the same.  “This is a looking glass.  It allowed me to keep tabs on you, watch over you.”

Henry suddenly remembered the look of terror in Patience’s pale blue eyes and leaned forward, looking at Lyr with urgency.  “Can you see my sister?”

“I can’t see into Heaven, only on Earth.”

“She’s not dead!”  Henry waved his hands around as he talked.  “I saw her.  The world exploded then it was black and then I was standing in the fire, in the wreckage.  I saw her lying on the floor wrapped in a grey shield.  Someone else came in while I was trying to get her then your little demon wraiths came to get me.”

Lyr looked startled.  He’d been sure the entire family had blown up.  It was odd that the sister had not.  He didn’t know who had killed his son but he intended to find out.  “Let’s look, maybe we can find out who blew up that pretty new car of yours.”  As Henry leaned forward to see better, Lyr waved a hand over the glass, chanting softly. 

***

 

Patience watched the car fly apart, saw the fire bloom around her.  She witnessed her brother blow up then she saw him kneeling beside her before the strange lady came to get her.  It looked like he had said her name but she couldn’t be sure.  She tried to reach him but there was a bubble around her.  She didn’t know how he could be there when she saw him in a zillion pieces but she was sure he was alive somewhere, somehow. 

That conviction made hope bloom in her heart; that hope was a tiny white carnation nestled deep in her mind.

The lady who had grabbed her shield like it had a handle on it and dragged her off looked kind of familiar but Patience couldn’t figure out who it was.  The woman’s hair was long and black with a white streak that reminded Patience of Rogue, the ex-X-Men who took the cure.  She decided to nickname this bad woman Rogue.  She had very angry dark green eyes. 

Rogue dragged Patience away from the home and life she loved and stuffed her in a van.  Then she drove off in a hurry. It seemed like forever before the bumping and lurching of the old van stopped and the back doors opened again.  Patience was dragged out, still cocooned in the shield and into a house.  Rogue pulled her up the stairs like a heavy duffle bag and deposited her in a bedroom.

Patience stared up at the woman and tried to talk, pleased when she found she could.  “What do you want?  Why did you blow up my family?”  The girl got really angry when tears started sliding from her eyes.

Rogue smiled.  It didn’t reach her eyes and it gave Patience the chills.  “My name,” she said, “is Isobe Shyrie.  But you and your family knew me as Anna Reid.  Your brother killed my daughter.”

Patience gasped in shock as the memories of the smiling, laughing green-eyed lady she called Auntie flooded into her mind.  “Auntie Anna?”

The woman snarled at her and shook the cocoon.  “I am not your aunt!  Ever since your brother killed my daughter I have been waiting to get my revenge.”

“That’s a lie!”  Patience was outraged.  She shoved against the shield, pushing power into it instinctively.  She used her anger to fuel her power and shoved hard.  The cocoon shattered and she fell to her back on the floor.  Patience quickly scrambled to her feet, hands curled into fists at her side, very much like her brother.  “Henry didn’t kill Pacifica!  It was just bad luck!”

“Oh yes he did!  He was supposed to be looking after you two and he sent her to her death.”  The woman suddenly smiled though, again, it didn’t reach her eyes.  “You’ll make a lovely replacement for my Pacifica.”

Patience whispered, “I am not your daughter.” Then she was lost in the memory of that day.

A Surprising Thing

So here’s something I didn’t know about myself:

I’m a fangirl.

I mean, I know that I’m a bit of a geek and I’m pretty passionate about some things – certain comic franchises and TV shows – but I would never have described myself as a fangirl.

Then something happened this morning that made my daughter say, “…   My mom’s a fangirl.”

That same thing prompted us to have me write out three little notes saying, “I’m so sorry” to the three girls she hangs out with all the time at school.

That thing?

Why, this:

That's right.  Comic Con

That’s right. Comic Con.  In London.

The notes are because GK will be finishing every sentence with “…because I’m going to Comic Con.”  And, the thing that made me scream?  Finding out the headliner.

Ron Fricking Perlman!

This is a man I have regular fantasies about.  I could climb him like a tree and slowly work my way back down.  I totally lust this guy.  I love his voice.  I love his characters, his acting, his look.  

I am not, I will admit, fangirl enough to have seen every single thing he’s done (yet. For example, Sons of Anarchy is on the list.  Just got bumped to number one too).  

However, when I found out that he was going to be at Comic Con, I literally screamed.  I have thrush most of the way down my throat and I am now in pain.  

Totally worth it.  

I gotta meet him.  I need my radio station and Comic Con people to tell me how it can happen!  

I’m a fangirl.  Nice to meet you.  Gotta find out where to get tickets.  And how.  Website goes live tomorrow.

Muah!

So Much Love

Good morning!

I just wanted to share with you a little example of why The Boyfriend is awesome.

I am sick for the first time in two years.  It sucks.  I know that I have chronic issues so there are those, like my friend marc, who think that I’m sick all the time.  I’m not.  I don’t even consider my food reactions as sick.  This is how Google defines sick:

sick1
sik/
adjective
 
  1. 1.
    affected by physical or mental illness.
    “nursing very sick children”
    synonyms: ill, unwell, poorly, ailing, indisposed, not oneself; More

     
       
     
  2. 2.
    feeling nauseous and wanting to vomit.
    “he was starting to feel sick”
    synonyms: nauseous, nauseated, queasy, bilious, green around/at the gills; More

     
    •  
noun

BRITISHinformal
 
  1. 1.
    vomit.
verb

BRITISHinformal
 
  1. 1.
    bring something up by vomiting.

 

 To me ‘sick’ is as follows (besides the vomit portion. I agree, that’s sick):

Sick:  A foreign bacteria or virus that makes your life hell for a finite amount of time.

I have oral thrush.  It’s nasty and I have a relatively mild case, if you don’t count the fact that it appears to go all the way down my throat.   It’s making me miserable.  Totally altered my sense of taste.  My mouth is on FIRE.  Hurts to eat, hurts to talk, hurts to swallow.  It hurts to breathe.  Needless to say, I’m a bit cranky most of the time.  And… ah… *coughs*   a bit whiny. 

Totally not like me. 

We went to the walk in clinic yesterday to get some help and then over to the pharmacy.  We were headed to the druggist counter when we saw this rack of Ty Babies Boos.  I normally stop to pet these things because, no matter how creepy you may think they are, they are super soft.  Peter stopped to pet them too.  He picked up three or four and then I found The One.  I just had to have him.  I turned pleading eyes on The Boyfriend, clutching and petting the small bit of adorableness.

I was kidding, really, I’d have put him back without a word.  We don’t have the money for ridiculous bits of fluff.  So imagine my surprise when Peter plucked him out of my grip and wandered off with him, resuming our journey to the druggist.

Five minutes later…

Isn't he just the cutest?

He sauntered out of the store with me!

Isn’t he just the cutest?   I named him after my favourite Scotsman.  I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to hear it too.  hehehe

Time to get GirlKid fed and ready for school.  Have a great day folks!

Muah.

PS.  This:

I'm curious!  We never did find any 'feminine paper'.

I’m curious! We never did find any ‘feminine paper’.

Frozen Solid

The view out the living room window this morning.

The view out the living room window this morning.

Good very white, very cold Sunday morning to ya!

Much of the eastern part of the continent (North America) was slammed with a hell of a snow storm last night.  Multiple car pile ups littered the highways, cars driven by people too dumb to stay home or stay where they were for a few hours.  *shakes her head*  I’m sure there were those who had to be on the roads but for the rest… I have no sympathy.  For their families, yes.  

Cold?  Well, with the temps at -25*C and wind chills of -36*C (-13*F, -34*F respectively), damn right I’m cold.  *laughs*  I was thinking of going out to take pictures this morning but changed my mind.  I did take a few, like this one, but I took them by opening the living room window and leaning out (the screens are gone for the winter). And by opening the kitchen door and taking pictures from a couple feet in.  The cat, who loves going outside, decided it was too cold to do more than hunker down, squishing his body together as much as possible, and sniff the outdoors from just inside the door.  

The storms started Thursday night and came in off and on, bringing high winds with them and making

Nightcicles

Nightcicles

travel difficult.  On the other hand, it did offer some spectacular photo ops.  Like this one ->

Again, from inside the window.  Peter had turned the porch light on so we could watch the snow and I noticed that the icicles looked amazing.  So I had to take pictures, of course.  This is the best of the lot.  

I have been wondering, lately, why my pictures have been coming out so grainy.  I realized (remembered) this morning that I had set the ISO on my camera to 400 because I have shaky hands lately.  I think I’d rather take multiples of the same shot to get a focused one than have grainy.  I can delete blurry pictures.  I can only do so much to fix grainy.  

Sneaking out involved dressing super warmly.

Sneaking out involved dressing super warmly.

I wanted to share yesterday morning’s walk with you.  I had to sneak out of the house to get where I wanted to do.  I knew that if Peter saw me he’d forbid my desired meandering down the stairs.  

So I very quietly got ready and very quietly left, praying that the noise I couldn’t help but make while walking along the catwalk down the side of the house didn’t wake him.  

Sometimes, I’d rather deal with the consequences than ask permission and be denied.  I know he knows that too.  There was a kind of indulgent amusement when I told him what I’d done.  

Sneaking out of the house like an errant teenager.  

My daughter would be proud. 😀

I was hoping to get on the beach to find something cool and different to take pictures of.  

I found cool alright.

A towering tree of snow!

A towering tree of snow!

The perspective didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped but you get the point.  One stray breeze and I’d have had quite a load dumped on me!

I went down the stairs – stairs covered in feet of snow, not inches – and looked back up.  I’d had to use the walking stick I brought with me to push through the snow to make sure that when I put my foot down it was on stair, not air.  It was kind of scary, totally exhilarating.  

I moved a lot of snow out of my way!

I moved a lot of snow out of my way!

 Then… I got to the bottom.  And realized there was no way I was getting to the beach.  I kind of suspected that when I was at the top but getting to this…

...really confirmed it.

…really confirmed it.

Those railings are about three feet high.  I am in no shape to fight with that and then fight with everything after that.  Skis would have been nice.  Or snow shoes. 😀  Either would have been great fun.  

The snow shot to hell all hopes of finding some interesting things to photograph for you.  

But wait!

I turned to go back and spotted a few sturdy flower stems, all dead and dried.  I’m not sure what they are, though they remind me of thistles.  It took some balancing (sometimes precarious!) and some back-and-forthing with the camera to get a couple shots I liked.  

This one is The Boyfriend's favourite.

This one is The Boyfriend’s favourite.

I turned to look out at the lake and the beach before I began the trek up those stairs and stood for a moment watching the snow squalls coming in.   The picture quality is…weird.  The ISO was 400, as I’ve said, but exposure value was at -0.3 and the white balance was on auto.   It made the contrast and lighting really strange.  This is the best I could do with it.  

It's odd to look at, almost difficult to, but you can see the storms coming in.

It’s odd to look at, almost difficult to, but you can see the storms coming in.

So I hustled back up the stairs so I could take a leisurely stroll back.  

I came out of the wind tunnel that is the pathway to the stairs and hit the corner.  I had to decide whether I was going to go south, straight back down the street to the cottage or go east a block and then south and come to the cottage through the backyard.

I opted for the longer walk.

 

It looked lovely, so why not?

It looked lovely, so why not?

I did a walking meditation, chanting Om Shanti Shanti Shanti the whole way back.  It opened me up to the energy floating around.  Energy from the storm and from all the people showing their love from one another.  The latter is tainted with the darkness of those who felt lonely and depressed but that’s okay (erm, well, not for them, obviously); with all light there must be darkness.  

I will leave you with the chant.  This particular version is my favourite.

Muah!

Fiction Friday Week 6

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

Good Friday morning folks!

It is Friday the 13th!  That means that in Port Dover hundreds of bikers are getting ready to ride, despite the snow and wind.

It means that people everywhere are crossing themselves, their fingers and their toes, and carrying good luck symbols in an effort to stave off bad luck.  In my opinion, the only time a Friday the 13th is bad luck is when you make it bad.  The day has power only because people have given it power. 🙂

It’s also Friday the 13th of February, which means tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  I am happy that it falls on the weekend, that means I get to enjoy the loving energy of the world with my honey,  (almost added ‘bunny’ but, while he is a Silly Rabbit, he’s no bunny).  While roses and stuff are nice, I’d rather have a potted plant. And beyond that I’d rather have time together than worry about whether we are doing anything special.

In light of the date, I have chosen a portion of HW2 that reflects romance and love.  It is Liam’s proposal to Anna.  It comes after the Chimaera battle, after she’s woken, killed two people and burned the room down around her and Liam with passionate intercourse.  All of those events leads to Anna’s walls being broken down and allowing her to be wholly present in her relationship with Liam.

It was the one thing that he’d been waiting for in order to propose.

And so he does.

Have a great day, people.

Muah!

 

Chapter Eleven

“Alphas!  Do you live?  Are you alright?”

The flames died abruptly, leaving the intruders staring around them in confusion.  Liam rolled off Anna and turned to face Marcus and Caspian, blocking their view of Anna.  “What?  What is it?”  The smell of char reached his nose and he looked around in shock.

A second later, a small gasp and a pained moan came from behind him as Anna slid around him to look at the damage.  “Oh Caspian, I’m so sorry!”  She slid from the bed, oblivious to her nudity in her dismay, to touch the remains of the tapestries and drapes as she moaned again in despair.  “Oh all those beautiful, historic things.”  Anna hugged Caspian who, despite his horror at the damage, felt a spark of pleasure when she touched him.

Caspian swallowed hard.  “It is alright, Anna.  We will… redecorate.  At least the room is cleaned of earlier events.”

“No no, I insist on repairing the damage.  It will take me some time.”  She looked around, calculating.  “A week, maybe ten days.  Ship it all to-“

“Our home in Glasgow.”  Liam came up behind her and wrapped the remains of the top sheet around her, wrapping it under her arms and over one shoulder like a toga.  The blackened, tattered edges brushed her mid-thigh.  Liam was nude and he didn’t care.  He didn’t, however, wanting all and sundry looking at his Anna.

Anna blinked up at him then down at him as he sank to one knee.  “Liam, I…Oh my.”  Her left hand pressed against her lips.

Liam glanced at Marcus as he pulled something out of his pocket and handed it to him.  Liam took Anna’s right hand and smiled up at her.  More Wolves crowded in to watch as the word spread.  He cleared his throat and smiled at her.  “In all my life, I have never loved another as I love you.  Never has any other woman touched my heart, my mind and my soul as you have.  You are my Mate; your soul fits together with mine and completes me like it was the last piece of the puzzle.  I wanted all of you but I would not rush you.”

He took a breath and met her eyes.  “Tonight, the last of your walls fell away and the chains that bound your heart were broken.  Tonight you became completely mine.  I love you, Anna Marie Connor, and I want you as my wife and Mate to rule the pack at my side.  I want you by my side, at my feet and in our bed.  I want all of you, every breath and every beat of your heart.”  He held the ring poised to slide up her ring finger.

Anna’s heart stopped for a moment then a slow smile curved her lips.  “No one has ever made me feel the way you do.  No one has ever loved me as you do.  I love you, Liam, with all that I am.  I love this pack as much.  It would be the greatest achievement in my life to become one with you.  Oh yes, Liam, yes, yes, yes!”

Liam slid the ring up her finger and nestled it in place.  He turned her hand over and kissed her palm.  “I put the ring on your right hand in the ancient way in respect for your Da.  I put it on your right hand because you are unique and since no one remembers the old ways anymore the placement of our commitment to one another will be unique.”

Once he freed her hand, Anna turned her new ring into view and gasped at the opal as the light turned to fire across the stone. She guessed that the stone itself, a small round dome, was 6 millimeters across, polished to display a rainbow of colours.  The opal setting was a series of rose petals made from gold, the band was carved into the rose’s stem all the way around.  The whole thing looked to be a hundred years old.

“It’s beautiful, Liam.”  The words were soft with awe as the multi-hued stone flashed again when she moved her hand slightly.  She tugged Liam to his feet and kissed him as Wolves crowded around them.  Love and happiness flowed over the carnage and pain of the night and eased away some of the tragedy.

An hour later, the Four Claw Wolves were ready to go with a bottle of champagne in hand and monies for shipping given.  Anna apologized again to Caspian and he waved her off.  “No worries, Ms. Connor.  We have faith that you’ll restore what was lost.  And we’ll be sure to find a home in the colonies for your Astrid.”

Anna kissed his cheek before Liam took her hand to settle her in the car.  “Thank you, Caspian.  I will do my best to return to you that which can be returned.”  With that, doors closed and the Four Claw Pack headed south towards Glasgow.  Not one of them thought to pick up their phones and call to let the others know they were on their way.

Amazeballs!

Good Sunday afternoon, everyone!  

“Amazeballs” is the word of a friend of mine.  Krissy uses it to describe things that make her totally happy or surprise her in a good way and that is how I’d describe today’s  pictures.  I have a small collection of things that have made me smile over the last couple of weeks.  

I think I’ve said this before but: In therapy, we are encouraged to find things that we prefer.  It’s not things that make us happy, things that are good, things that are positive, or things we like, it’s things we prefer.  To me, prefer encapsulates all those things.  A good tea makes me happy, it makes me calmer (which is a positive), and therefore, it is something I prefer.  Laughing with my children, all those things too.  A walk on the beach with The Boyfriend, same thing.  

These pictures are things I prefer and I’d like to share them with you.  I think we’ll start with the goofiness that is my daughter sometimes.  

Last week, she and I were watching TV and she was eating strawberries.  She was removing the tops and varying imperfections from them when she discovered a face trying to escape from one of them.  

That’s how sculptors work, right?  They see something in their medium and work to free it? 😉

Slightly demented, more than slightly creepy.  I had to take a picture of course.

Slightly demented, more than slightly creepy. I had to take a picture of course.

The next one is kind of an accident too.  I was eating these candies, pleased as punch too because they’re a lifelong favourite and it’s hard to find ones that aren’t drowned in made with corn syrup.  I was also talking with my friend kitty on FB chat so I took a picture to show her. 

The picture, taken in the car on the spur of the moment with no planning, is perfect. 

Accidental perfection, it's a preference.

Accidental perfection, it’s a preference.

The next two are from our walk on New Year’s day. I know, I know, it’s not exactly ‘from the last couple of weeks’ but as I was looking for pictures, they jumped out at me.  We went for a walk on the south side of the river, around the marina and docks.  I discovered, with Peter’s help, that there are all kinds of settings on my phone’s camera that I didn’t know about.  

After two years.  -.-

I decided to play with them some.  And by “some” I mean I took the same photo over and over again, each one with a different setting.  Twice, once in each of two different locations.  These two are cropped slightly differently (the foreground was unnecessary) but they are the same shot.  

This setting is the "washed out" setting on my camera.  It's weird but I like it.

This setting is the “washed out” setting on my camera. It’s weird but I like it.

This is "Cold Vintage."   Quite the difference, eh?  The colours are slightly distorted but really pop here.

This is “Cold Vintage.” Quite the difference, eh? The colours are slightly distorted but really pop here.

The next subject is my favourite, after my children (who almost NEVER let me photograph them!):  The Boyfriend. 

The first picture is one I snapped when he was walking along the docks, unaware that I was watching him.  I like watching him.  I loved the way his coat popped and tweaked the adjustments just enough to make it truly stand out.  

I did that in the second picture too, come to think of it.  

Isn't it a great splash of colour?

Isn’t it a great splash of colour?  And it really must be winter; look at the ice! 

I love his face.  I wanted to give him a new profile picture for Facebook (which he's not using! *laughs*) and the light was great. A small adjustment of colour and contrast and the picture is stunning.

I love his face. I wanted to give him a new profile picture for Facebook (which he’s not using! *laughs*) and the light was great. A small adjustment of colour and contrast and the picture is stunning.

These last three pictures are from Friday.  It was nice out and Peter wanted to show me something he’d noticed…

Bunny trails!

Bunny trails!

Bunny poop on beaten down bunny trails!   There were many trails and a few obvious meeting places.  I took a few pictures but these next two are my favourites.   

The first one is ground level facing the setting sun.  It’s of several bunny hops in the snow.  I like the perspective and the varying levels.  I love the textures and the way the light and shadows play with each other.  

Perspective, lighting, sparkly bits!

Oh, and the sparkly bits!

This last one is crooked because it was over my head and took me several tries to get right.  I was pressed against the side of the house with my phone (yeah… my phone…not my camera) held just under the eaves trough trying to catch the dying sun through the ice  – without really being able to see the screen.  It took several attempts before I finally gave up.  It wasn’t until we’d come inside and I was scrolling through the pictures that I found this one.  It’s about perfect, really.  I did a small adjustment with the saturation and hue but otherwise left it alone.  

Because, you know, it's pretty perfect.

Because, you know, it’s pretty perfect.

Amazeballs.  Really. 😉

I am preparing for my son’s birthday dinner this afternoon.  He turned 19 on the second and I haven’t yet had a chance to spend much time with him.  We went to a hockey game yesterday that he was playing in (with his father) as part of a men’s rec league tournament.  Wiped us both out.  The arena and the people, in combination, just slayed us.  But I had fun watching him, haven’t been able to yet this year.  Or last year.  I do go to my daughter’s dance competitions, which just about kill me, for days, but I haven’t been able to put myself through the hockey games simply because it’s not just me, it’s The Boyfriend too.  MCS is the devil’s work, I tell you.

Anyway, I have ribs in the oven slow cooking for the next four hours, potatoes waiting to be peeled then boiled with garlic and smashed and veggies waiting to be marinated and tossed on the grill.  Oh, and an ice cream cake in the freezer.  

Should be a good evening.   Boykid will be bringing his sister and his best girl friend (not not girlfriend) along.  

Have a good afternoon!

Muah

Fiction Friday Week 5

I am doing a happy dance today for a number of reasons.  The two biggest of which are: I feel great!  The spasms that have plagued me since October are gone.  That’s not to say all the pain is gone but the crippling spasms – the ones that have knocked me down, robbed me of my ability to walk with any assurance I’d make it to my goal, pinched nerves and impeded my sleep – are GONE!  They’re just …gone.  I started noticing it cautiously on Wednesday when my daughter and I walked uptown to the grocery store.  I made it there and back without incident  and the after effects were arthritis related, not spasm!  Yesterday, I did all our errands with my cane and not my walker, except when we went into the mall and I worried that I had over done it already.  And this morning… nada.  House is clean and I’m tired and sore but still no spasms.

The house cleaning was done over the space of a few hours, with many breaks, but it’s still done.  

The other reason is twofold:  I get to watch Boykid play hockey this weekend AND he’s coming for dinner to celebrate is (19th!) birthday.

Happy me.

That means lots of loud music, which means annoying the neighbours lots of work getting done.  

In my last blog, I talked about the battle Anna has with the Chimaera and how irritating it was.  I decided it is essential to the story so I did a heavy edit.  A lot got taken out, a lot got rewritten and some things were added in.  I hope it is much improved.  It is this week’s contribution to Fiction Friday (yes, even though it was posted earlier this week). 

Do let me know what you think.  If you are having trouble commenting, you can reach me on my Facebook page.  The Boyfriend says he has issues and neither of us can figure out why.

Off to roll cookie dough into what I hope will be deliciously cinnamony cookies.

Muah

Chapter Eight

 Rafe’s exclamation was a soft whoosh of breath but it galvanized Anna.  She took a step towards it and found one arm clenched in Liam’s large hand and her other in Caspian’s smaller but no less powerful one.  “Let me go,” she said.  “This is something only I can do.”

The thing laughed, showing large sharp teeth.  The shaggy, slick black fur quivered as it shook with its own amusement.  “Yes, let the Seed of Cain go.”  It moved before her, several yards away, on four large paws, pacing back and forth, long slim tail flicking at the ends.  It looked like an ungroomed jaguar.  Its eyes were drawn to Rafe as he gasped at the mention of Cain.  “What is it, Vampire?  Did you not know?”

“No, I did not.”  Rafe turned to Anna.  “You are the Princess Sadira?”

 Anna ignored the question and stared at the black cat.  “What is a Balam doing here in Scotland?”

“Why I’m here to eat you, of course.”  It growled the words out just before it launched itself at her.

Anna threw up a shield and automatically began pulling from those around her and the water as she wracked her brain for the one who could help.  She used another large push of energy to push the others back, away from the battle that was heading towards her.  The jaguar bounced off the shield and as it tried to shake off the impact, she threw a large fire ball at it.  She darted to one side, racing down the beach to the water’s edge.

It laughed as it gave chase.  “Fire?  This is the stuff I am made of!”

“Well then, try this!”  With a wave of her hand she swept her palm over the water then up towards the cat.  A hundred gallons lifted from its resting place and drowned the cat.  Anna looked relieved when it lay dead on the rock beside the nearby pier.  The relief lasted only a minute before she frowned.  “That was too easy,” she muttered to herself as the others came running towards her.

The beast stirred and Anna pulled a sword from the other Realms, shocking Rafe with her show of power as she reached into nothing and came back out with an obviously Elven silver blade.  She ran forward, feet barely touching the slick rocks and drove the blade into its heart while she screamed, “Itzamna!  Creator of all, I call you!  God of fire, I call you!  Take your beast back to whence it came!  Return this creature to its proper time and seal it there!  Itzamna!  Take this cat, this demon, and send him back to his time in hell!”

She lifted the sword and severed the head as a male, dressed as a Mayan king, appeared.  He nodded to Anna and she bowed back as he lifted the cat into his arms.  Anna watched, puzzled, as only the spirit was taken, but not the body.  “Itzamna?”

“I take only that which is mine.”  His words rumbled across her skin and he vanished.

Stunned, Anna stared at the headless beast as it began to change colour.  The front legs thickened and the black fur bled away as tawny fur rolled in from the top down.  Three heads sprang from its neck as Anna watched.  The shock of seeing lion, goat and dragon heads appear sent her stumbling backwards; she slipped from the rock and disappeared into the ocean.

“Anna!”  Liam’s panicked shout was echoed seconds later by Marcus and Chelle.  They all ran forward and Caspian yelled a warning about the undertow.

The beast finished its transformation in a moment later; large leathery wings sprouted from its sides, the tail grew, thickened and became a snake that hissed at Liam as he tried to slip past it to get Anna out of the water.  It swept its wings down and lifted into the air.  The dragon spit fire at the small, now terrified group and the lion’s roar almost drowned out Rafe’s exclamation of awe.  “A Chimaera,” he breathed softly. 

Marcus looked at the American sharply as Liam and Caspian tried again to get past it.  They were thwarted at every attempt and Liam was getting frantic.  “A what?”

“A Chimaera.  It’s a mythological beast; I don’t believe anyone has ever seen one.”  Rafe was still staring at it in awe.  “It’s magnificent.”

“I don’t give a rat’s ass how pretty it is!  How do we kill it?” 

Rafe shrugged and moved Astrid behind him.  “I don’t know.  There was something about a lead tipped lance and suffocation in the mythos but I have no idea if that would actually work.”

Liam growled as his hands changed, the fingers thickening as fur sprouted.  His nails lengthened until they were claws.  The rest of Liam wasn’t far behind in the shift to half-Wolf.  “Let’s try some claws, then.”  He leapt at the beast with no regard for his own safety.  He thought Anna dead and wanted to join her.  He ignored Marcus and Chelle’s shouts.

The snake smacked Liam out of the air and Liam caught himself by snagging the beast by sinking the claws of one his hands into one of the Chimaera’s front paws, a large lion foot.  The goat hind legs kicked at Liam’s body as the other front paw swiped for his face.  Liam swung his body out of the way and sank the claws of his other hand into the Chimaera’s ribs.  The Chimaera howled in pain.

Just then the water exploded upwards and Anna reappeared.  She hovered there as the water crashed back into the ocean beneath her.  Her hair floated around her head like living flames and she was dressed from head to toe in a worn, well used set of leather armour.  She had gauntlets on her arms; the sword in one hand and a shield strapped to her other arm.  Both gleamed in the faint light.  Her eyes were black and glittering with fire.  She roared, “Come to me, beast!”

The Chimaera abandoned toying with Liam, shook the Wolf-beast off and dashed for Anna even as the dragon head spit fire at Marcus and Chelle as they raced to get a dazed, shocked Liam away from the battle.  Anna spared them no more than a glance as she screamed heavenward.  “Zeus, Ares!  Lend me your strength!  Artemis lend me your aim!  Hades, prepare to receive your creature!”  She threw her sword at the heart of the Chimaera like it was a javelin.  It had no sooner left her hand then she was moving to the left and pulling a bow off her back.  The shield clattered to the rocks below as she reached for an arrow.

The Chimaera caught the sword and flung it at Chelle, laughing.  “You cannot kill me with so puny a weapon!”

“No,” Anna spoke calmly as she pulled on the bow string and shot the arrow at the goat’s head.  The beast roared as the arrow sunk deep into the skull.  “But these arrows were created in the forge of Hephaestus himself.”  She had a second arrow launched and in the snake’s head before her sentence was over.  “They have iron heads and have been designed especially for you.” 

The lion’s head roared again as the snake died.  The dragon opened its mouth and bellowed fire at Anna.  She dodged again as she knocked another arrow; the flight was draining a lot of power from her and she was in a hurry to finish the Chimaera.  Anna loosed the bow again. The arrow flew true, hitting the lion in the throat.  It gurgled and fought to get the arrow out.  The dragon opened his mouth to spit fire at her again and Anna funneled the water beneath her to hit the dragon’s fire dead on.

Fire versus water.  The two pushed and shoved in a chilling kind of tug-of-war.  Anna braced against the wind and slowly pushed the fire back.  Soon the dragon was drowning, its fire put out.  Anna swooped down to land as the Chimaera sank to the rocks, trailing three dead heads and bleeding profusely from the neck of the fourth.  Liam raced for it and grabbed it by the mane, twisting the head until it tore off, his fury and fear lending him the strength.

Five harpies, blacker than a moonless night sky, appeared and picked the corpse up.  They spoke as one, though it was the voice of Hades that boomed out.  “Thank you for returning my beast to me, little one.  Rest well this night and the next for the Fates tell me another trial is coming your way on the third night.”

The pack gathered around her as Anna nodded.  “I thank you for your aid.”  She stood strong and tall until the harpies vanished with their burden then she passed out, crumpling on the rocks.  The Wolves who had gathered along the cliff wall and on the stairs gasped in fear.

Marcus scooped her up as Liam shifted back to human form.  Liam went to take his Mate but Marcus shook his head, knowing Liam would be feeling the strain of his last actions as soon as the adrenaline wore off.  “She is no burden to me, Alpha, I assure you.  Please allow me to carry the one who fought so hard to save us.”

Liam nodded, and merely walked by her head, stroking her hair and staring at the colour change.  “Her hair is black.”

 

 

Gratuitous? Maybe…

Good Tuesday morning!  Just so’s ya know, this is a long post!

And it is good.  The storm has passed  – after dumping a few feet of snow on us and shutting half the province down – and the sun is shining.  GK is at school, which means I have the day to myself to work or mastur… erm… whatever comes to mind.  I have shows to catch up on.  CS6 to begin to learn.  I am part of a creative challenge group (for MCSers) on FB and I have finally decided what my craft this week will be (the challenge this week is to pick a pinterest DIY thing and do it) so I will be working more on that.  I may watch one of the classical mythology lectures I have.

But first!  I am working in HW2.   The book is called Demon Plague for a reason.  In it, one of Anna’s oldest enemies resurfaces and sends demon after demon to try and kill our beloved Hybrid.  The demons are from all beliefs (that I could fit in anyway *laughs*).  For instance,  I have a Christian demon, an ancient Sumerian one and one battle where the creature ends up being two demons.  

This last one is the one that I am concerned may be gratuitous.  It’s the second demon attack.  Several members of the pack have gone to the Isle of Skye and Dunvegan Castle to find Astrid, the Wolf who went missing at the end of Witch Hitlist, the first book.  Liam, Anna, Marcus and Chelle are among them, leading the charge.  

After dealing with Astrid and the consequences of her betrayal and disappearance, those four have dinner with the Laird of the castle.  They go for a walk afterwards and, of course, while out, they are attacked by a Balam.  A Bahlam is known in Christian mythology as a King of demons, leader of forty legions.  However, in Yucatec Mayan mythology, a Balam is a jaguar god who protected communities and people.  He has been sent to kill Anna.  

She dispatches him, of course, but is confused when the God she calls upon only takes the spirit but not the body.  He tells her he can only take that which is his.  (You’ll read all this, I’m pasting the battle in here)  The body left behind changes into a Chimaera – a Greek monster.  Not a demon per se but it suited the moment.  

Now, I’m concerned this may be a superfluous battle but it leads to some spectacular, fiery sex between Liam and Anna, the death of a character I didn’t like and who was trying to make himself important, and a major turning point in Anna and Liam’s relationship.  

I’m sure Liam’s marriage proposal would have come eventually, I know it would have, but would the event he was waiting for have happened without these events and the life affirming coming together?   I’m not sure.  All of Anna’s walls were broken down, all of the chains that prevented her from loving him as completely as she should were stripped away.  I don’t know if that would have happened if the battle here hadn’t put her in a coma and the destruction that comes at her hands (after she wakes) hadn’t broken her a little.

Perhaps that’s the answer right there, eh?   All of these things were required to put Anna and Liam where they need to be. 

There’s still something wrong with this battle though…

Let me know what you think.  I love feedback.  I kind of, sort of crave it, greedy, greedy author that I am.

Have a great day, everyone.

Muah.  

PS.  That’s right!  I got the CS6 Master Collection yesterday.  So much to learn!  *grins*  I am terrified and excited at the same time.  I feel like I need to know enough, be able to do enough, to be worthy of the program.  Silly, right?  Still.  I will learn it!  Layering, here I come! 😉

 

Suddenly, the Wolves all stiffened.  A scant moment later, Rafe did too.  They instinctively turned so their backs faced each other and each pair of sharp eyes sought the night for the source of the disturbance.  They all became aware of a heavy breathing that sounded more like a soft mocking laugh.  Glowing yellow eyes came out of the darkness, locked on Anna.

“I see it,” she whispered.

They all turned in her direction.  The yellow eyes grew larger as it moved closer.  The eyes were close to five feet up.  The sound of claws scraping on rock grated on their nerves.  A cloud shifted away from the half full moon and bathed the creature in light.

“What the fuck is that?”

 

Chapter Eight

 

Rafe’s exclamation was a soft whoosh of breath but it galvanized Anna.  She took a step towards it and found one arm clenched in Liam’s large hand and her other in Caspian’s smaller but no less powerful one.  “Let me go,” she said.  “This is something I have to do.”

The thing laughed, showing large sharp teeth.  The shaggy, slick black fur quivered as it shook with its own amusement.  “Yes, let the Seed of Cain go.”  It moved before her on four large paws, pacing back and forth, long slim tail flicking at the ends.  It looked like an ungroomed jaguar.  Its eyes were drawn to Rafe as he jerked at the mention of Cain.  “What is it, Vampire?  Did you not know?”

“No, I did not.”  Rafe turned to Anna.  “You are the Princess Sadira?”

“Aye, but this is not the place to discuss it.  Be quiet while I tend to this creature.”  Anna turned back to the black cat.  “What is a Bahlam doing here in Scotland?”

“Why I’m here to eat you, of course.”  It growled the words out just before it launched itself at her.

Anna threw up a shield and automatically began pulling from those around her and from the water as she wracked her brain for the one who could help.  The jaguar bounced off the shield and as it tried to shake off the impact, she threw a large fire ball at it. 

It laughed.  “Fire?  This is the stuff I am made of!”

“Well then, try this!”  With a wave of her hand, a sweeping of her palm over the small puddle near her then, with a turning lift until her palm was skyward, she swept water in from the ocean.  A hundred gallons lifted from its resting place and drowned the cat.  Anna looked relieved when it lay dead on the rock.  The relief lasted only a minute before she frowned.  “That was too easy.”

“Yes it was,” Liam murmured beside her. 

The beast stirred and Anna pulled a sword from the other Realms, shocking Rafe as she reached into nothing and came back out with an obviously Elven silver blade.  She ran forward, feet barely touching the slick rocks and drove the blade into its heart while she screamed, “Itzamna!  Creator of all, I call you!  God of fire, I call you!  Take your beast back to whence it came!  Return this creature to its proper time and seal it there!  Itzamna!  Take this cat, this demon and send him back to his time in hell!”

She lifted the sword and severed the head as a male creature, dressed as a Mayan king appeared.  He nodded to Anna and she bowed back as he lifted the cat into his arms.  Anna watched, puzzled, as only the spirit was taken, but not the body.  “Itzamna?”

“I take only that which is mine.”  His words rumbled across her skin and he vanished.

Stunned, Anna stared at the headless beast as it began to change colour.  The front legs thickened and the black fur bled away as tawny fur rolled in from the top down.  Three heads sprang from its neck as Anna watched.  The shock of seeing lion, goat and dragon heads appear sent her stumbling backwards; she slipped from the rock and disappeared into the ocean.

“Anna!”  Liam’s panicked shout was echoed seconds later by Marcus, Chelle and Caspian.  They all ran forward, Caspian warning Liam of the undertow.

The beast finished its transformation in a blink; large leathery wings sprouted from its sides, the tail grew, thickened and became a snake that hissed at Liam as he tried to slip past to get Anna out of the water.  It swept its wings down and lifted into the air.  The dragon spit fire at the small, now terrified group and the lion’s roar drowned out Rafe’s exclamation of awe.  “A Chimaera,” he breathed softly. 

Marcus looked at the American sharply as Liam and Caspian tried to get past it.  They were thwarted at every attempt and Liam was getting frantic.  “A what?”

“A Chimaera.  It’s a mythological beast; I don’t believe anyone has ever seen one.”  Rafe was still staring at it in awe.  “It’s magnificent.”

“I don’t give a rat’s ass how pretty it is!  How do we kill it?”

Rafe shrugged and moved Astrid behind him.  “I don’t know.  There was something about a lead tipped lance and suffocation in the mythos but I have no idea if that would actually work.”

Liam growled as his hands changed, the fingers thickening as fur sprouted.  His nails lengthened until they were claws.  The rest of Liam wasn’t far behind in the shift to half-Wolf.  “Let’s try some claws, then.”  He leapt at the beast, uncaring if he survived or not, his Anna was dead.  The snake smacked Liam out of the air and Liam caught himself by snagging the beast by sinking the claws of one hand into a front paw.  The goat hind legs kicked at his body as the other front paw, a large lion foot, swiped for his face.

Just then the water exploded upwards and Anna reappeared.  She hovered there as the water crashed back into the ocean beneath her.  Her hair floated around her head like living flames and she was dressed from head to toe in a worn, well used set of leather armour.  She had gauntlets on her arms; the sword in one hand and a shield strapped to her other arm.  Both gleamed in the faint light.  Her eyes were black and glittering with fire.  She roared, “Come to me beast!”

The Chimaera abandoned toying with Liam, shook the Wolf-beast off and dashed for Anna even as the dragon head spit fire at the small group watching anxiously.  They scattered but Anna spared them no more than a glance as she screamed heavenward.  “Zeus, Ares!  Lend me your strength!  Artemis lend me your aim!  Hades, prepare to receive your creature!”  She threw her sword at the heart of the Chimaera like it was a throwing knife.  It had no sooner left her hand then she was dodging to the left and pulling a bow off her back.  The shield clattered to the rocks below as she reached for an arrow.

The Chimaera caught the sword and flung it at Chelle, laughing.  “You cannot kill me with so puny a weapon!”

“No,” Anna spoke calmly as she pulled on the bow string and shot the arrow at the goat’s head.  The beast roared as the arrow sunk deep into the skull.  “But these arrows were created in the forge of Hephaestus himself.”  She had a second arrow launched and in the snake’s head before her sentence was over.

The lion’s head roared again as the snake died.  The dragon opened its mouth and bellowed fire at Anna.  She dodged again, leaving those watching to wonder how the hell she was flying.  The flight was draining a lot of power from her and she was in a hurry to finish the Chimaera off.  Anna fired another arrow, hitting the lion in the throat.  It gurgled and fought to get the arrow out.  She used that moment to do her trick with the water again, waiting until the dragon was spitting fire at her. 

Fire versus water.  The two pushed and shoved in a macabre kind of tug-of-war.  Anna braced against the wind and slowly pushed the fire back.  Soon the dragon was drowning, its fire put out.  Anna swooped down to land as the Chimaera sank to the rocks, trailing three dead heads and bleeding profusely from the neck of the fourth.  Liam raced for it and grabbed it by the mane, twisting the head until it tore off, his fury and fear lending him the strength.

Five harpies, blacker than a moonless night sky, appeared and picked the corpse up, as one, they opened their mouths and the voice of Hades boomed out.  “Thank you for returning my beast to me, little one.  Rest well this night and the next for the Fates tell me another trial is coming your way on the third night.”

Anna nodded as a strange light surrounded her then she staggered and passed out, crumpling on the rocks.  The Wolves who had gathered along the cliff wall and on the stairs gasped in fear.

Marcus scooped her up as Liam shifted back to human form.  Liam went to take his Mate but Marcus shook his head, knowing Liam would be feeling the strain of his last actions as soon as the adrenaline wore off.  “She is no burden to me, Alpha, I assure you.  Please allow me to carry the one who fought so hard to save us.”

Liam nodded, and merely walked by her head, stroking her hair and staring at the colour change.  “Her hair is black.”

Startled, they all turned to look at her and one by one, the Wolves came to touch her.  They stroked her arms and legs and her face, willing her to wake up.  She was barely breathing, about two breaths a minute.  Caspian’s pack and Liam’s came forward to lend their touch, moving with Liam, Marcus and Chelle as Caspian led them to a well-appointed guest suite.  Marcus laid her in the middle of the bed then he and Liam lay down on either side of her.