Good morning, everyone. Good Friday morning! It is time for Fiction Friday!
This week has been busy. It was Spring Break here, I took Monday as a long weekend at the cottage with The Boyfriend. Tuesday, thankfully, I had to myself. It was a day of doing nothing, aka a “donada” day. So, of course, I spent the day trying to figure out a gluten free pie crust. Took me three hours to make that pie. Thankfully, it was worth it.
On Wednesday, we took GirlKid to Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo. It was a lot of fun and had some really cool animals there. I think our favourites were Kaiko the Cougar, (of whom I didn’t get very good pictures, sadly), Kara the Reticulated Python:
Isn’t he gorgeous? And huge! Holy smokes. Gorgeous colours, more of him tomorrow.
And the nameless, sticky-footed Crested Gecko.
I’m not sure he had a name but isn’t he adorable?
It was a good time but toxic as fuck. Not as bad as I expected, honestly, but still pretty bad. The Boyfriend picked us up when we were done and he said we stank. *laughs* It’s always nice to hear “You two are pretty smelly.”
Yesterday I had my shots. They’re not making improvements anymore, they’re maintenance but very helpful. He admonished me for not doing the UCS exercises like I should be. He wants to stretch the time between shots to more than two weeks.
Me, I’m just happy that I’m up to two weeks.
Now, I feel sludgy and achy – the chem exposures exacerbate the pain conditions – and tired. My brain power kind of comes and goes like waves. Which is why it has taken me three hours to write this blog.
Needless to say, I haven’t gotten a lot of work done. So, I’m going to share with you the HW3 chapter I wrote last week.
I realized, while reading it through, that I hadn’t had them discover the current author of those smelly journals Marcus found. I figured that definitely needed wrapped up. As far as I’m concerned, if I, the author, have questions about a book I’ve written then my readers will too.
I like the way I tied up that loose end. I hope you will too.
And now, it’s time for me to go scoop the litter. *le sigh*
Have a great day, folks!
A few days later, Anna was being fitted for her wedding gown. She fretted as she turned and twisted in the mirror. “Are you sure it will still fit for the wedding?” She asked the question of all three women with her.
Annalise, the same Tiger who had been there for the shopping of dresses, smiled. “Unless you’re carrying a litter, Miss Anna, it will.”
Anna blushed as Chelle and Jules burst into peals of laughter. Annalise looked from one to the other, confused. Then her face brightened and her mouth dropped open in shock. “Oh my God! It’s true? You are having more than one? There are rumours that you’re having anywhere from two to six!”
“Three! Holy hell. It’s just three.” Anna shuddered at the thought of sextuplets.
“Oh my word!” Annalise was shocked. There were other rumours though and she burned to ask the questions brimming in her mind. Her store had a strict policy of respecting their customers’ privacy and it wouldn’t do for her to ask anything. Her store, her policy. Then she shrugged mentally. It was her store and her policy, she could break it if she wanted. She met Anna’s eyes and opened her mouth.
Anna held up a hand. When Annalise’s mouth closed Anna smiled. “I know there are a ton of rumours and I cannot, will not, answer to all of them. You may ask and I will give what answers I may.”
Annalise nodded. She crouched down to pin the hem and thought. “Is it true that you carry Demon now?”
“Will the children also be part Demon?”
“I don’t know.”
“Will they be both Vampire and Wolf?”
“I don’t know.”
“Will they be as magic as you are?”
“I’m not sure but if they are they will torment the entire pack from the moment they open their eyes.” Anna grinned.
All three women laughed and the bell over the door tinkled. They looked over as a woman came in. Her physique and posture suggested great strength and confidence but her expression was uncertain, hesitant, and maybe even a little fearful. She looked over the women then her eyes rested on Anna. “Are you Miss Anna Connor?”
Anna cocked her head, curious. “I am.”
“The same one who was just in Ballachulish?”
At the question, Chelle and Jules both rose, coming to stand in front of Anna like a wall.
“I am.” Anna’s curiousity was up so she gathered her long skirts and stepped off the dais.
The newcomer through herself at Anna as her expression changed to one of relief and joy. Chelle and Jules caught her, held her firmly between them.
“No one touches the Alpha,” Chelle growled.
“Let her go, it’s fine.” Anna waved them away and ignored Chelle’s glower. “Who are you?” she asked the woman. Chelle and Jules had released her but still stood beside her, shoulder to shoulder, crowding her, making it clear they still considered her a threat.
“My name is Julia Gilchrist. My many-times-great-grandfather was Father Andrew.” She paused, letting that sink in.
For a moment, Anna didn’t know who Julia was talking about. Then it hit her. “Oh my Gods! You’re the journal writer. You’re this generation’s crusader.” She grabbed the woman’s hand and shook it. “I am very pleased to meet you. Your family’s attention to detail was amazing!”
Julia took the opportunity and hugged Anna. “Thank you for ridding us of those monsters. My family has been trying to find a way to get close to them for years. My aunt was even in that house as a housekeeper but she couldn’t find a way to them in the daylight. We lived in terror that they’d find out she was trying to find a way to kill them. She told me that a few days ago Kristina had sent her away for a week.”
Anna allowed the hug then led Julia to a small sofa and sat them both down. “I thought only one of you was trained as a fighter in each generation.”
Julia nodded. “That’s true but my aunt and I were very close. After Grandda died she tried to help me continue with my training. She insisted on the job.” She sagged a little and rubbed a shaky hand over her face. “Thank you so much! Aunt Alice is all I have left. I am so glad she’s alive.”
Chelle moved around just behind Julia and mouthed something at Anna. Anna gave an almost imperceptible nod. She patted Julia’s other hand. “I am happy to be of service. I was doing a favour for Alasdair and Elsie but I am pleased that your aunt’s survival was part of it.”
Julia paled. “You were doing a favour for… But they’re dead! They’ve been dead all these years.”
Anna nodded. “They came to me and asked for help. No one knew about you. Their spirits and those of almost the entire clan had been trapped here since the massacre.”
Not one to dismiss anything, Julia still struggled to assimilate this information. It finally sunk in and she studied Anna’s face, searching her eyes. What she found there disturbed her. She paled and shrank back. “Wh…what are you? Who are you?”
Chelle moved closer as Anna smiled gently. “I am the Hybrid, my dear.”
“The Hybrid,” Julia whispered. “We thought… oh my God. We thought you were a rumour. It couldn’t be real. A Vampire and a Wolf.” Her fascination with the supernatural, the lifelong drive to study it, came forward and she lifted a hand to touch Anna’s face. Chelle’s low growl stopped her and she looked around at the others. “That makes you Supernaturals too.”
Anna chuckled. “Yes. The growly one is Chelle MacMichael, pack Gamma for the Four Claw Pack of Glasgow, and the other steely eyed one who looks like she wants to cut your hands off is Jules Verne.”
“Like the author?” Julia turned an appraising eye on Jules.
Jules sighed and rolled her eyes. “Yeah, like that. No relation whatsoever.”
Julia grinned at her. “Still an interesting name.”
A reluctant grin broke through Jules’ reserve but she didn’t tell the other that she’d chosen the name as a teenager, when she’d run from home. She had read everything written by Jules Verne that she could get her hands on so when she needed a new name, that was where she went for inspiration.
Anna smiled and smoothed her hands over her skirt. “What do you plan to do now, Julia?” An idea had just occurred to her.
“I…I have no idea. My entire life has been devoted to researching and hunting. I don’t know what to do now.” Julia looked crushed by the realization.
“I may have an idea but I need to run it by my Mate first. Do you have a number you can be reached at?”
“Well, I…” Jules really didn’t know if she wanted to have any association with the Hybrid. She was part Vampire after all and her first instinct was to kill. She supposed that maybe Vampires were like humans – good ones existed alongside the bad ones. With that thought in her head she nodded. “Yes, do you have a piece of paper?”
Annalise went to get one and Julia watched the way she moved. “She a Wolf too?”
“No, she’s a Tiger.” Anna chuckled when Julia’s mouth dropped open and her head twisted to follow Annalise’s progress.
“She definitely moves like a cat. This is amazing! I didn’t know there were so many different Supernaturals!” Julia looked back at Anna, face excited.
“Perhaps you’ll soon be in a position to learn more.” Anna rose. “It’s been a pleasure to meet you, Julia. Your journals were fascinating. Your entire family is, and was, astounding and so brave. I will be in touch.”
“Thank you, Miss Connor. Congratulations on your wedding. You look stunning in that dress.” Julia allowed Chelle to lead her to the door.
Anna grinned broadly, pleased. “Thank you!”
Julia left and Annalise began to carefully help Anna out of the gown. To their surprise, Anna looked about three months pregnant. “Oh no!” Anna nearly whimpered. She rubbed her tummy. “Please, please don’t get any bigger before the wedding!” she implored the babies.
Annalise looked from Anna to the gown and back again. “Don’t worry, Miss Anna, it’ll fit.”
“I hope so.” Anna got dressed again, leaving the top button of her jeans undone. She swore. “Ladies, we’re going shopping.”
Chelle groaned and Jules grinned.
PS. I may or may not share Anna’s idea with you. I may decide you have to read the book to find out. 😉