The English Teacher

So about a month ago I won eleven novels from a giveaway that was featuring Penguin/Random House Thrillers and Mysteries. I haven’t had time to read most of them yet. In fact, I just finished the first one. September was a busy month for me, between preparing for school and working, things kinda got out of hand. I’ll make another post about it later. For now, I’m doing all right.

The English Teacher

The English Teacher

So for the first book I read; I plucked one at random from the box they came in, and ended up with Yiftach Reicher Atir’s The English Teacher. He’s from Israel, so the original version of this book was published in Hebrew. The author is also a retired Brigadier General for the Israel Defense Forces and it shows in the way he writes his characters. What I mean by that is they are military in their phrasing and the way Ehud handles Rachel’s training and deployment. It’s like you really are in a spy movie, but instead of a man, it’s Rachel’s motives we’re going through to find out just what happened and why she disappeared after the death of her real father.

We see Ehud go on a memory trip, through his past, Rachel’s past and their missions together. He was her handler, she was his Operative. Every decision that was made when it came to their work together was gone over to find out where she is, what she’s going to do and why. Mossad think’s she’s going to defect, but Ehud thinks differently and by the end of the story, there’s a dead body in the street. Very much an old trope Spy Noir type of ending.

While at first this book was a struggle for me to get through because of my commitments to other things, by the end I was pulling out every spare moment that I could, racing for the end to find out just what was going on. Throughout the book, I kept wondering if Ehud really knew the Rachel he was telling us about in his briefings with Joe. I’m sure it isn’t, though. I’m sure he left out enough of her story to make it questionable, for the reader, he went over enough detail so that I could make most of my intuitive leaps before he got to certain parts of the story. This left me somewhat disappointed when I guessed correctly.

I’d give this one a 3 out of 5 – good enough to pass the time with while finding it enjoyable, but get it from the library.


New Years Resolutions

Here we are, the end of the year. I have to say, 2014 did not turn out the way I had planned it back in December of 2013. I imagined I’d be writing like the wind by now, instead, I spent my year on personal reflection and in therapy.

I don’t regret a thing.

Spending this year in therapy has taught me a lot about who I am as a person and who I was. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to being that person who existed a year ago. That person was very bitter, rude, self-agonizing and self-destructive.

The person I am now is better, more whole, but still healing from the wounds that were inflicted – both self and done to me. The new me is looking forward to next year, and as a result, is making different resolutions than the year before. So I’m going to list the resolutions below that I’ve decided on for the year of 2015.



1. Spend more time on me –  I’m including journaling, art, walking and weight loss, actually getting my hair cut when I need to, not when I can’t stand my hair anymore. These things I neglect when I get in to a self-destructive spiral, so I’m planning on having less of them next year.

2. Write more – Even if it’s journaling, I’m going to write more in this coming year. So look out, there might be more stories from me in the future!

3. Reading! – I have this great list I stole from Tumblr. I fully plan on reading most of the list. If you all want to follow along with me, I’ll type up the list below.



Ellie’s Stolen Reading List for 2015

  • A book with more than 500 pages
  • A classic romance
  • A book that became a movie
  • A book published in 2015
  • A book with a number in the title
  • A book written by someone under 30
  • A book with non-human characters
  • A funny book
  • A book by a female author
  • A mystery or thriller
  • A book with a one-word title
  • A book of short stories
  • A book set in a different country
  • A non-fiction book
  • A popular author’s first book
  • A book from an author you love, that you haven’t read yet
  • A book a friend recommended
  • A Pulitzer prize-winning book
  • A book based on a true story
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read pile
  • A book your mom (or dad) loves
  • A book that scares you
  • A book that is more than 100 years old
  • A book based entirely on its cover
  • A book that you were supposed to read in school, but didn’t
  • A memoir


  • A book you can finish in a day
  • A book with antonyms in the title
  • A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
  • A book that came out the year you were born
  • A book with bad reviews
  • A trilogy
  • A book from your childhood
  • A book with a love triangle
  • A book set in the future
  • A book set in high school
  • A book with a color in the title
  • A book that made you cry
  • A book with magic
  • A graphic novel
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before
  • A book you own, but have never read
  • A book that takes place in your hometown
  • A book that was originally written in another language
  • A book set during Christmas
  • A book written by an author with your same initials
  • A play
  • A banned book
  • A book based on, or turned in to a TV show
  • A book you started, but never finished

So there it is, my reading list for this year. Rather ambitious, but I like it.

… even if I did steal it from someone else.

I can’t think of anything else at the moment for resolutions. I’ll probably add a couple more later, but for now I think this works.

I’m incredibly uncomfortable with the world today.

Posting this again here from my tumblr page.
Why? Because of the incident with Anita Sarkeesian that drove her out of her home. For those who don’t know what happened, I’ll go into detail.

The latest episode of Tropes vs Women was posted earlier this week and it was widely received positively with women (and some men) who have been talking about this subject. However, there were some people who were incredibly upset. The people I’m talking about are the gate-keeping male dominated trolls who believe that the video game industry is “just fine” and doesn’t need the feminists ruining their fun.

They sent so much hatred to Ms. Skeesian that she had to report it to the police and leave her home in order to feel safe.

It makes me angry and I’ll tell you why.

I am a gamer.

I grew up on video games. My very first memory is my Uncles Matt and Andrew getting extremely upset that I was teething on their Atari joysticks. The year was 1985. I was a year old, ignorant in the ways of Pong, but that joystick controller was perfect to teeth on.

That was just the beginning. It only escalated from there with the first Nintendo system, purchased by my parents for Christmas one year. My mother says that’s what started it all, when she gave in and allowed us Mario, That damn dog from the duck hunt game, and Lolo in to our lives.

What she fails to mention, is that when the Super Nintendo was purchased, even she fell with us; sharing our love of Mario Kart (we wore out two cartridges), B.O.B, Super Ghouls and Ghosts, Earthbound, The Secret of Evermore and my brother’s personal favorite: Chrono Trigger.

Mom wasn’t the only one to fall into the spell of the Super Nintendo. Dad was right there with us, his favorite game being Earthworm Jim. If you knew my father at all, you’d know that the game fits right in with his personality.

Why am I telling you all this? My family is made up of gamers. My mother is a casual now, My father sticks to MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, my brothers are RPGs and First person shooters. I fit in with the whole family. I don’t discriminate one form of game from another: I play them all.

Except for horror. I draw the line at Slenderman. I kind of want to sleep sometime in the future.

I game. I’ve been gaming since the majority of the current generation of bottom feeders were in diapers. While I was playing Earthbound and breaking a fourth copy, they were learning to say the Pledge of Allegiance in first grade.

I am apart of the 48% of women who game and closer to the average age of 31 than I’d like to admit.

I’d love to see a world where female gamers are not attacked on a daily basis with threats of rape and other forms of brutality, just because they kicked ass at Call of Duty and someone resented it so much, that creating an online anonymous twitter handle to spew their hatred seemed reasonable.

That kind of behavior is dangerous. It poisons the community that they claim should be taken seriously. Once a community is poisoned, it’s hard to get anyone to take it seriously ever again. It would be laughable, if I wasn’t so scared.

I’m terrified of speaking when playing Call of Duty. I play under a gender neutral name. Why? Because the second I speak to tell a team member anything, I’m flooded with messages and IMs asking me for nude photos, to sit down and “STFU”, telling me to go back into the kitchen, or that if I headshot them, I’m going to be raped.

That last one is used as a way to control the fear nearly all women have being that venerable and what’s worse? It’s tossed off as a “God don’t get your panties in a twist, I was just kidding” way.

There’s nothing that says joke when it comes to the abuse these sociopath assholes toss off those words. With the screen between them and their intended target, the woman they are spewing their venom-filled “Just kidding bro” mantra at, leaves them with a sense that they’re not hurting anyone because they can’t see that person’s reaction.

Or even worse, they like the reaction they get and relish in the fact that they have heaped an enormous amount of abuse on a woman that reminds them of all the girls they’ve mooned at from afar, or have turned them down.

This is usually when they fall back on their mantras that are so well-worn, it almost seems like a vaudeville act from the 1920s.

“Women don’t play video games!”

Well, you’re wrong. I do.

“Women are only playing them to get guys!”

Hah! No. Sorry. I’m there to blow off steam from my seriously shitty day and becoming a target in your need to prove that your penis size is much lager than a cocktail frank.

“You’re not a real gamer! You just pretend to be one for the attention!”

Pardon me while I laugh in your face. I’m not there for you. I’m there for me and my stress relief. Being a badass bitch takes effort and even I get tired at the end of the day.

While the average male gamer is being exploited for their money, I’m off to the side, pushing through stacks of games using my carefully honed taste, to find that one game that doesn’t make me feel like I’m being exploited for my tits.

I want to see an Assassin’s Creed character that’s fully clothed in that badass armor. Why? Because women are not that hard to animate. If the average male artist can spend hundreds of hours on a single character where the most important feature is that her boobs jiggle just right, they can make me a character with armor that makes sense.

Women like Anita Skeesian give me hope. They’re strong. They won’t let the mass of 4chan devotees defeat her. After all, she wouldn’t be getting this much hate if she was not making her point real and very valid.

There’s another side to the hate that’s being spewed at women (and some men) who share the view-point of Ms. Sarkeesian: The comments section where one can find people placing the blame directly on Ms. Sarkeesian, and not on the people who are issuing the death threats against her.

She has a right to speak out about the type of abuse that her point of view is attracting. She has the right to reasonably claim that she is a victim. Why does she have that right? Because she is a victim.

When commentators on those sections come right out and say that she’s “playing the victim to get more attention” they’re part of the problem.

She’s not playing the victim. She is the victim. There’s a huge difference and because Ms. Sarkeesian is choosing to use what’s happening to her to speak out about the type of abuse that most -if not all- women have experienced just because they dare to play video games.

To accuse her of that, is to accuse us all. To say that we’re responsible for the abuse that’s heaped upon us just because we picked up a controller, is cowardly.

So when I hear about the kind of abuse that she’s getting, the fact that she had to leave her home in order to feel safe – it makes me sad, angry and fearful for the state of the video game community where this kind of abuse is just accepted if you voice your opinion.

It dosen’t mean that I’m going to stop playing video games. It just means that I’m going to get even more selective about what games and systems I support. I’m going to get even more selective about the types of people I let in to my gaming world.

You’re afraid of me? Good. I’m not going anywhere. I have been here since the 80s, I have walked with my siblings through the history of gaming and found that I’m not alone. I have never been alone.

Women are everywhere and we are coming for what’s ours. You can either walk with us, or get out of our way.

Seize the Day

“So he’s dead then?”

“Yeah,” I said as I looked out the windows of my office.

“Pity, we could have gotten another full-page spread if he’d just snapped and went on a binge instead.”


“Yes, Lou?”

I turned as I pulled the pins out of my bun.

“I quit.”

“Oh, now don’t be like that. You can’t possibly feel any sort or remorse for his death. It’s not like you engineered his reaction to those photos,” Jake said as he looked at the tweets coming in from people all over, reacting to the man’s death.

I was incredulous as I packed my briefcase and looked around at my office.

“I’ll be back in the morning for the things in my office.”

“No, you’ll be back to work.”

“I’m not coming back to work, Jake,” I said as I closed the top of the bag and picked up it and my purse.

“Your contract-” he started to say before I cut him off.

“Has been in negotiations for months. I haven’t signed the new one yet. I’m free to go as I wish. I’m done with this quasi-journalism you call ‘reporting the news.’ This isn’t news. This is sadness. This is making a dollar off someone else’s demise,” I stopped and took a breath. “I’m sick of it.”

“You’re female, I expected this to happen eventually. Thank god you showed your true colors before I put you in charge,” he said, getting up from where he had been sitting on the corner of my desk.

I laughed. I couldn’t help the noise coming out of my mouth. I was so angry that it was the only reaction I could come up with.

“You’re an asshole, Jake. A true, blue, asshole.”

“So? At least I’m not pretending to have a conscience now that someone’s dead. You didn’t have any feelings when we posted those photos of the princess and her nipple slip,”

“Yes, I did. As a matter of fact, I can show you the tweet that I posted after the photos went live. That’s what kicked off my contact negotiations. I knew you’d been trying to get rid of me for months,”

Jake smiled, but it was cold.

“Finally happened, too.”

I smiled back at him, pulled my phone out and opened up the word file I’d been keeping for months. Jake waited while I selected my photos, then uploaded them one at a time, with the headline “Executive for Daily Celeb caught with pants down” to the main site.

“Check today’s post. I hope you have fun in divorce court,” I said as I walked out the door. He was bending over my computer, when the post loaded. I heard the cursing down the hallway. The reporters in the cubicle farm looked on as I passed by, I waved at the desk clerk as I stepped into the elevator. She smiled and waved back, giving me a thumbs up as I took the lift to the roof. I stepped out just as a helicopter landed on the pad.

“Busy day, Lou,” the pilot shouted as he stepped out to open the back door for me.

“Very busy,” I shouted back as I climbed in.

He nodded and as soon as I settled in and put the headset on, he climbed back into the front and did his pre-check before taking off. As we flew over Chicago, I smiled. Tomorrow was going to be much better.

“So, what happened?” the pilot asked.

“Well Roger, I took down an asshole, lost a hero and quit my job,” I said back with a smile.

“Very busy day,” he said.

“Yes, I would say so.”

“Tomorrow going to be just as busy?” he asked.

“I don’t know, but I’ll take whatever it brings with a smile,” I said.

“Carpe Diem.”

“Yes. Seize the day.”

Blaze Tuesday and the Case of the Night Surgeon Release Party!



I have a friend who’s currently in the middle of releasing her first book. Her name is Kai Kiriyama and the book is Blaze Tuesday and the Case of the Night Surgeon. I’m really excited for my friend and her accomplishments. I’ve personally read the book and I liked it very much. There’s more information on her website, and be sure to pop over tomorrow, August 5th, because she’s hosting a release party with giveaways and an interview on her youtube channel. Details are listed below!

Decorative Frame

If you wish to pick up a copy of her brook, the links are as follows:

Paperback (through Createspace):
I hope you all like it as much as I did!

One, Two, Three.





Here it comes.

Deep breath,


Heat pounding.

Skin crawls,

I want out of my own body.

Mind running,


Deep breath.






Deep breath.




Eyes closed.

Can’t see,

Don’t want to hear.

Block it out.

Deep breath.






Find the place.

Think trees,

Think water,

Can hear it now.

Feel the warmth,

Smell the flowers,

Just breathe.




Open eyes,

Look around,

Hasn’t changed,

Not in danger.







Serenity in a chair that isn’t there.


The Dream

A dream is a single gulp of air before you jump off a cliff.

That last sniff of roses before leaving your grandmother’s house the last time.

A quiet,

All consuming thought,

Of near perfect existence that couldn’t possibly exist.

A dream held high and aloft,

Something to be aspired to,

To grasp at when you’re down at your lowest point.

A panic attack on the floor of your bedroom,

A box full of tissues sitting next to you after a break up,

These things cannot touch the dream.

No one can touch it but yourself.

We abuse the dream,

Twisting it until it’s nothing like what we wanted in the first place,

Crying over what it has become,

Cursing at the world for changing it –

But you changed it.

You allowed experiences to change the dream,

Warping it,

Turning it around,

Shattering it.

But you can change it back.

You can take it back.

You can bring it back.

Because the only thing stronger than the dream –

Is the hope that lives inside the dream.

A Night Flight

The breeze she caught lifted her up and had her soaring above the city, feathers feeling every vibration in the air and letting her know when to shift her wings or tail feathers. She rode the wind, owning it and reveling in being alone on wing. As she flew across the city to her meeting place, the woman inside the feathers knew to be careful. While owls were seen in the city, she knew she was a little large for the species she was pretending to be.

Catching a good breeze, the owl flew to the park on the edge of the city. She took her time checking the area out, making mock runs at small rodents that would run when they saw her. Anyone watching would think she was just any other owl, note her large size and move on. Letting out a loud cry, she mocked catching and eating a small field mouse. Looking the area over, she noted a birder in the bushes and actually had to start eating the mouse she caught. The woman inside the owl mourned the loss and gagged on the thought of eating something that wasn’t cooked.

Finishing her meal, she took wing again and flew to another area of the park, performing the same check she had at the previous spot. When she was satisfied that no one was there, she changed forms under a tree. The woman who emerged from the owl’s shape was taller than normal, at five-foot-eight and had short brown hair. Her eyes were a golden-brown and she gave off the vibe that while she was kind and motherly, she would not be toyed with.

The woman shook out the cloth of the deep purple dress she wore and started walking. Her back was ram-rod straight, she held herself like a queen as she made her way out of the park. The noise of nails clicking behind her made her pause for a second, then smiled when a familiar wolf came around the corner.

“Hello, Brother,” She said softly.

The wolf bowed to her, then changed shape into a man. His wolf’s reddish-brown fur became a head of auburn hair. The muzzle of the wolf changed in to a face that while long, held light-green eyes that laughed at some private joke. He shook out the jacket of his dark green suit and looked her over.

“I’m impressed with you, Sister. Only a month and you look as though you’ve belonged with us for a millennium,” he said.

She smiled at him and held out her arms.

“I missed you too, Loki,” she murmured into his ear as he hugged her.

“Not as much as I have,” he replied.

She laughed. It was an old joke, one that had been going on since she was old enough to understand that her playmates were real.

“I do love you, Brother,” she tossed back with a grin and hooked her arm through his. “Let’s go see what the Old Man has for us tonight.”

“Be careful, if he hears that he’s likely to take offense,” Loki warned as they walked along.

“He can take offense as he likes, I only tell the truth. He knew that when he gifted me,” she relied in a clipped tone that let him know she was not pleased with the man that they spoke of.

Loki laughed. “You are one of us. That attitude of yours is hilarious.”

“As long as you find me funny and not one to toy with, I’ll keep myself.”

“I couldn’t toy with you now. You’re too precious to me. The only one who’s consistently on my side.”

“Logically, letting those photos leak of that movie star was a perfect check for his personality. Himself won’t see that, of course. He only knows that we’re not supposed to meddle,” she stopped and looked up at him. “The woman in the photos, however, did not deserve it. You’ll remember that the next time, I hope?”

Loki laughed again when she referred to his latest prank.

“See? You’re my sister, not my bedroom playmate. To toy with you now would be a disservice to the both of us.”

“You still haven’t responded to my question. I’ll let it go for now, but you have to remember that there are some people who don’t deserve to be outed like that. Do better.”

He hunched his shoulders at the chastising. “You always expect too much of me.”

“I expect more because I know you can do more,” she said as she stopped walking and looked up at him. “You can do more and do better. I’m disappointed you let the innocent get caught in that mess.”

When he went to speak, she held up a hand.

“Collateral damage, I know. You could have blurred her face, but chose not to. You made her an example when she didn’t need to be one for loving the wrong man.”

He closed his mouth and looked her over.

“That’s a better chastising than He ever would have given me,” he said with a bow.

“I love you, Loki. You’re family. Even if you are a knuckle head,” she said with a smile and tugged on his arm. “Come on, we’re going to be late and I wish to see my husband.”

They walked along until a giant bear came ambling toward them. They stopped again and waited, neither one of them raising much alarm at the sight of the huge creature. She smiled up at Loki when the bear changed shape in to a man of powerful height, topping over six-two with a bright head of red hair. A beard was under laughing blue eyes and when he held out his arms to her, she laughed and ran in to them.

“Hermod! I thought you weren’t coming?” She said as he enveloped her in a huge hug.

“Miss the chance to see my new favorite sister? Never,” he said. “How are you, Nor?”

She smiled up at him. “Much better. How are the kids?”

He laughed and regaled her with tales of his children as the finished the walk to the meeting. They stood outside the 1800’s manse, whose red brick was covered in ivy. The marble statuary that covered the building laughed down at her as she studied the shape. She snorted with disgust.

“Not much for subtlety, is he?”

Both men laughed so hard they bent over.

“I’m so glad you said it and not me,” Loki said when he got his breath back.

“Truth, honesty and clear-thinking. That’s our Nor,” Hermod said as he clapped a hand on her shoulder.

She smiled up at both men. It didn’t matter if she wore heels or not, they still towered over her.

“I can’t imagine what you’d do without me to make your lives interesting. I imagine you’d still be lying to each other,” she mused.

Both men shrugged. It was true she forced them to talk things over and clear the air. They were better friends now than they’d ever been.

“So, the All-father sent the two of you to escort me. It makes me think that he doesn’t trust me to be alone,” she said as she made her way across the street and up to the house.

The men followed behind her silently.

“He has his reasons,” Hermod said.

“Most of which are bullshit,” she replied over her shoulder as she opened the door and walked in.

A servant met them and took them to the living room, which was already crowded with family of every shape and size. There was only one that mattered though, and he was standing off to the side, brooding in to his glass.

“Ah, young love,” Loki said as he caught on to who she was staring at.

Elbowing Loki in the stomach and leaving him there, Hermod laughing at him, and she headed for the dark-haired man in the corner with the deep blue eyes. She loved those eyes. She could get lost in them for hours as they lay in their rooms at home. When he looked up, she smiled brightly. He lost his brooding air and set his glass down before coming to her.

He cupped her face and looked down in to her eyes as she looked up at him. When he bent to kiss her, she smiled and closed her eyes, leaning in to him as they came together.

“You go away all together too often for me,” he said softly.

“I was only gone two days to visit my mother,” she replied as she kissed him again.

“Too long and too often.”

“Five minutes is too long for you,” she replied.

He laughed. “I’m not that bad,”

She raised an eye brown and opened an eye to look at him. He had the sense to look embarrassed.

“Okay, I am that bad.”

She laughed softly and tugged him down. “If I didn’t know you better, I’d be worried you’d be one of those men I hear on the news while I’m in Midguard.”

“Never, you’re too precious to me,” He said as he scooped her up. She laughed as he dumped them both in to a recliner.

There were smiles from the family scattered around the room who saw them together in the chair. Nods of approval when she caught their eye. It felt good to be wanted by not only family, but a man who loved her unconditionally. When he ran his hand through her short brown hair, she smiled up at him. Leaning in, she nuzzled his ear.

“I have something I need to tell you.”

“Can it wait?”


“Do we need to go into another room?”

“If we do, we’ll be lynched,” she replied. “but you have to promise not to say anything just yet. If he drops bad news on us tonight, we’ll need the pick me up after.”

He tucked her in closer and kissed her temple.

“You’re pregnant,” he murmured.

“Yes. Twins.”

He laughed and kissed her hard. Heads turned to them, gave a puzzled look and then turned away. Before questions could be asked, two people walked in and the room fell silent. Nor looked over and nodded to the woman when she caught her eye. The woman with the golden hair smiled at her and winked.

“Frigga and I want you all to know how happy we are to have you here to celebrate the wedding of Tyr and Nor several months ago, as well as her ascension,” the Old Man said to the crowd.

There was a round of applause and congratulations.

“We also would like to announce their impending pregnancy,” he said.

Nor jerked in Tyr’s arms and he laughed. A louder round of applause and whooping followed. As they filed over to give their congratulations, there were several crude jokes from the men and soft praises from the women. Nor looked up at Tyr and smiled down at her. They eventually dispersed as Odin and Frigga came over. Frigga held out her hands and Nor gripped them tight.

“I’m so happy for you, darling. Do you know what it is?”

“Twins,” she replied.

Frigga smiled back at her. “Even better.”

“Good job, young lady,” Odin said.

Nor stiffened at the tone of voice he used and her smile was tense.

“Thank you, All-Father.”

His attention went back to Tyr and she relaxed a little against him. Tyr looked down at her and smiled, running his hand over her back.

“My friend, good job as well. I’m sure they’ll be sons,” Odin said.

“I’ll be happy with whatever they are, Odin. You know that,” he said, standing up for her and the babies she carried.

“I’m just glad she kept her vows and they’re not His,” Odin replied.

Nor’s eyes narrowed at the man in front of her and she opened her mouth to speak, but Tyr’s hand on her back went to her shoulder and gripped it tight. Before Tyr could speak, Loki stepped up and stood next to her.

“Be very careful with what you say about my Sister. I’m very protective of her,” Loki said softly. There was enough edge in his voice to have Odin’s eyebrows raising in surprise.

“I meant no offense,”

“I’m taking it,” she said.

Odin looked down at her, even more surprised that she spoke.

“I’m tired of constantly being suspected of infidelity because I claim Loki as my brother. I’m taking the offense, on his and my behalf. I’ve kept my vows. On the day I took them, he vowed to me that he would be a brother to me,” the edge in her voice had Odin stepping back and Frigga smiling brightly at her.

She felt Loki put his arm around her and Volstagg dropped a hand on to her other shoulder.

“I built a family here, All-Father. I’m not likely to let go of that so easily by breaking a vow I took and still take very seriously,” she said. She stepped out of the embrace of her family. “If you’ll excuse me, I wish to lay down. The air in here has become very foul and I’m likely to swoon.”

She stepped away from the group and made her way out of the room in silence. A servant appeared as she made her way down the hall to the front door and redirected her to a bedroom where she could lay down. As she stepped in to the room, Loki was already there.

“Of all the people, I think you would know better than to claim offense.”

“He deserved it. I’m tired of the suspicion. I expect you are too,” she said as she made her way over to him and turned. “Zipper, please.”

Loki unzipped the back of her dress and she stepped in to the closet. Five minutes of cursing and fumbling later, she stepped out again, dressed in pajamas. Loki raised an eyebrow at her.

“I wasn’t lying when I said I wasn’t feeling well, I just used it as an excuse to slap at him,” she said as she sank down on to the sofa that was pushed against one wall.

A knock on the door stopped Loki from saying anything else.

“Come in,” Nor said.

Frigga stepped into the room. She looked it and them over and looked surprised.

“Well, certainly not the scene I wanted to walk in on. The two of you look as though you’re going to bed together,” she stopped them before they could retort. “I said looked. I know the nature of your relationship.”

Nor settled in to the sofa and Loki scooped up a blanket, dropping it on to her lap.

“Before you catch a chill and Tyr yells at me for it,” he said when she raised an eye brow.

Laughing, Nor spread the blanket over her legs. Frigga watched them both.

“I’m glad to see you’re both acting like this. I would actually think you meant what you said about taking offense.”

“Oh, I meant it. I’ll place formal charges in the morning. Tonight, I’m just too tired. Carrying twins will do that to a person.”

Frigga shook her head and sighed. “Reconsider in the morning, Nor. Enough people saw what happened tonight for you to be satisfied. I’m sure they’ll congratulate you for standing up to him.”

“I meant what I said, Frigga. I’m tired of the suspicion. The babies I carry are Tyr’s. He’s the only man I’ve been with since taking my vows.”

“I know that, Nor. The slap he gave you tonight was not entirely yours. It was to Tyr as well, who’s currently torn between fuming at Odin for being an ass and proud of you for not taking it.”

Nor laughed. “He was pretty angry, wasn’t he? I’m sure he’ll do something about it in the morning.”

Frigga’s smile was thin. “You’re young yet. You don’t realize how precarious your position is,”

Nor went silent and looked at her. “I’m acutely aware of just how thin the spot I’m in is. If I take formal charges, there’s a chance that I could lose everything. If I let it go, he’s likely to do it again. Next time, it might even be worse. Loki can’t level the charges because it was the truth, even though it was a slap to the face.”

Frigga nodded and Nor continued.

“Tyr could level the charges, but since he was the wronged party the last time; He’d look petty. Odin knew exactly what he was going when he insulted me tonight. He didn’t expect me to slap back. That was his mistake. I am no one’s play toy.”

Frigga looked her over, Loki standing at her side.

“I think you’re exactly what was needed within this family. Someone who knows her position, uses it and always tells the truth. They don’t know what to do with you,” she said.

Loki snorted and Frigga looked at him.

“They expect lies. When they get someone who tells only the truth, they don’t know what to do with her. It’s why I hang around.”

“and here I thought it was my charming personality,” Nor said wryly.

Loki laughed. “That too,”

Frigga smiled at them both.

“Loki’s charmed because you don’t hold back. He’s protective because you call him brother and mean it. You treat him like you would your own blood kin.”

“He is my brother. He’s accepted for who he is, even if I do think he’s a bonehead sometimes.”

Loki laughed and kissed her hair. “I’m going to get your husband. I’ll be back.”

Nor watched him leave with a smile on her face. When the door closed behind him, she looked at Frigga.

“He’s embarrassed and near tears that he doesn’t want anyone to see,” she murmured.

“Accepted. He’s so full of love for you. Almost as much as his own wife.”

“He’s family, Frigga. Just as you and the rest are. I claimed you all the minute Tyr brought me inside your circle. I love you all. Even Himself, though he can’t see it.”

Frigga came over and kissed her forehead. “I love you too, little one. I’ll leave before Tyr gets here. I know the two of you will want to celebrate.”

Nor smiled up at her. “Thank you.”

Frigga smiled and left, just as Tyr went to open the door. He was a little surprised at finding her there.

“I’m just leaving, I needed a word with my new sister about tonight’s events.”

Tyr shook his head. “I’ve already taken care of it. Go back to the party little sister, I’m for my wife.”

Frigga patted his arm and left. Tyr came in and closed the door behind himself. He walked over to Nor and sank down beside her.

“Just where Loki said he left you,” Tyr said as Nor moved over so she was curled into his arms. “I would ask though, that you not ask him to do your zippers.”

Nor smiled and nuzzled his neck. “You should have seen the look of horror on his face when I asked. It was priceless.”

Tyr laughed. “No wonder the two of you get along so well. You’re constantly pulling crap on each other.”

“Well, he is fun to do that with. You’re more fun though.”

“How am I more fun?”

“Come to bed with me and I’ll show you.”

“Now that’s an invitation that I’ll never refuse,” he said as he stood up with her in his arms and strode over to the bed.

Nor waved a hand and turned out the lights as Tyr undressed. He climbed in to bed and pulled her close, neither one getting much sleep at all.

Blog Hop: The Writing Process

I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into writing this and I’m not entirely sure I’m even qualified to talk about writing much less give writing advice, but here I am.

I got tagged by MixedUpPainter and Murphy. They’re the ones that keep pestering me to do this. Apparently I write good things.


Blog Hop Rules:  
Answer the four questions below, link back to the person who invited you, and link to the people who will be posting the following Monday.


1. What am I working on?


This is a tough question for me because I’ve got so many rods in the fire that I’m struggling with the balance. Here’s what I’m currently working on:

Marlowe in Blue:

I’m really working hard to start writing more posts for this one, not only because I love the world I created with Marlowe and Blueville, but because I left all my characters in some very interesting situations. Writing for Marlowe is especially a challenge because its first person as it’s happening to Marlowe.

Hunting with Grace:

Grace is currently in progress. I’m working on a time line for her. I have so many characters that I’m bringing in to her world and I’ve yet to figure out who’s really pulling all the shenanigans. This one started out as a “What song can I use in a short” kind of dare that just exploded from there.

Unnamed Novel:

Yeah, I’m keeping this one to myself. It is however, another “let’s see what this will do if I do this and this” to a character.


2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?


I don’t think I have a genre. If I were, I’d have to say Urban Paranormal. In which case I differ because all of my characters have real lives while they’re trying to deal with whatever crap I throw at them. In some cases it means going to work while someone is trying to kill you, because hey, you’ve got to eat if you’re going to live.

I also try to follow the Joss Wheadon school of writing: Go dark, go sad but for fuck’s sake, tell a joke.

I’m really good at it, according to Murphy.


3. Why do I write what I write?


I’m really sick of heroines that don’t have lives of their own. The problem comes up and all of a sudden, it’s all they can think about. Really? Who does that in real life? Sure, people think about it, but they still have to go to work anyway.

I’m also pissed that heroines give up everything for a man. Any man. My heroines? Well they’ve got the man, but now they’re focused on the kind of grown up problems that come with having the man and a sorceress that just loves fucking with their lifestyle. Children? Yep, I have them too because guess what? Real life doesn’t mean ignoring the kids either. I’ve found that including them means I have a much more expansive and real world that gives a lot of danger to it when someone’s life is threatened.


4. How does your writing process work?


I have this bag. I love the bag. Into the bag I’ve tossed every single idea I’ve ever had. It all gets written down on a card and folded over, then tossed in to the bag. Whenever I’m short for an idea, I reach in to the bag, grab a couple, and try to figure out how to put them into a story.

There are photos, one line sentences, entire paragraphs, and even just lists of crap that can be found in an adventurer’s bag.

Where do I find these ideas? I keep a stack of note cards with me where ever I go. When I see something or hear something that’s funny, I write it down, stuff it in to my pocket or purse, then into the bag it goes when I get home.

I’m part pantser, part planner.

Once I get an idea from my pants, I start writing. Then I plan. Especially if I have a good enough idea that’s kept me interested and made me want to see it through to the end.

Then there’s the music. I’ll grab anything. Hard rock, classical, movie sound tracks, string metal – As long as it fits what I’m writing, I’ll listen to it. Marlowe’s soundtrack is a little all over the place, considering where her life is right now, I’m not really surprised. Grace has been all classic rock from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

All of that goes in to the writing process which also includes walking around my bedroom and muttering lines until I get the right ones worked out. If a scene is giving me trouble, you can bet I’m walking and saying lines. I probably should have been an actor, but I’m shy and suffer from stage fright badly.


I guess that’s it. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but if you have any questions you can drop me a line at


Thanks to Jess and Murphy for tagging me.


I’m now tagging Raggedy Author, who can be found here and here.

I’m also tagging Sushimustwrite. She can be found here and here.

Bad Day

Grace struggled to wake up hours later. She realized that it was raised voices outside of her door that woke her. With a groan she reached over and pulled a knife out of her nightstand. With a flick of her wrist, she flung it at the door and it hit the door with a solid thunk.

The people outside her door suddenly went silent. Grace smiled to herself as she listened to the knife vibrate in the door. Rolling back over, she tucked the covered around her shoulders and snuggled down in to the bed. Grace wasn’t aware that someone had entered the room until the bed dipped behind her. She was up and had a knife in her hand before the person knew what to do.

“Whoa! Grace Ann! It’s me,” Gabriel said.

Grace shook her head and pulled the knife back from Gabriel’s throat. With a sigh, she collapsed back in to bed, arm over her eyes.

“What are you doing here, Gabe?”

“I missed you?”

Grace lifted her arm and looked at him. He had a sheepish smile on his face.

“Michael sent you.”

Gabriel snorted. “You were always able to suss out what happened without my telling you. Why do you bother asking anymore?”

“It gives people a chance to lie to me. That way, I know who I can trust.”

Gabriel laughed and laid down next to Grace after taking the knife out of her hand and putting it on the nightstand. Grace pulled the covers over the both of them and sighed.

“I assume he told you what happened?”

“I can’t believe you shot him.”

“He had me by the throat. I had to shoot him.”

Gabe went still. Grace heard him snap his fingers and the lights came on. She sighed as he pulled the covers down and took a look at her neck. Grace knew the bruises were still there.

“I’d have killed him,” Gabriel said softly.

“I can’t kill him yet. I still need him. As do you.”

Gabriel growled softly and Grace opened her eyes.

“It’s done. It’s over with. You can help me kill him after we’re done using him.”

Gabriel was nowhere near mollified with that, but he ducked his head down and kissed her. Grace sighed and pulled him closer, hooking a leg around his.

“I missed you,” Gabriel murmured in to her ear when they broke apart. “I wasn’t lying about that part.”

“I know,” Grace said as she hooked another leg around him and rolled them both over so she was on top. “Did Sloane let you in?”

Yes,” Gabriel rolled them back over and kissed her, then whispered in to her ear; “Wanna pretend we’re in Reno?”

Grace laughed. “We killed the bed, destroyed a nightstand and pissed off our entire floor, almost getting us kicked out.”

“I know what happened, I was there. That’s not an answer, through.”

Grace nuzzled his neck. “I’ve got things to do today. I can’t spend it in bed with you, as much as I want to.”

Gabriel slid his hand up her thigh and gripped her hip. “Who said anything about the whole day?”

Grace rolled her hips up and snickered when Gabriel groaned. “I know you.”

“You’re wicked,” he said and slid her shirt up while kissing her shoulder.

“Demon,” She said while sitting up far enough so Gabriel could get her shirt off. There was a crash after he tossed it to the side and it took out a lamp.

Grace laughed and Gabriel looked up, giving her a smile before claiming her nipple and sucking on it, rolling it between his lips.

Grace gasped and it ended with a laugh. “Ooh, you wicked Angel.”

Gabriel laughed and looked up at her. “Says the not-quite-a-demon,”

“I would know, wouldn’t I?” Grace said with a grin as she yanked off his shirt and tossed it to the other side. There was another crash and Gabriel laughed. “What?”

“I wonder what’s going to break when I lose my pants.”

“Lets find out.” Grace said and she slid her hand down, tugging on the button of his jeans.

Gabriel grinned and tugged her hands away from his jeans. “No yet.”

Grace whined a little in her throat and it ended with a moan as Gabriel claimed her other nipple.

“Gabe,” she sighed and threaded her hands through his hair.

Gabriel slid his hands over Grace, touching and testing her response. He followed his hands down her body, tugging off her panties and tossing them aside as soon as he got them down her legs. Her body was tingling everywhere he touched. Grace bit back another whine and wrapped a leg around Gabriel, pulling him close.

“Gabe,” Grace said.

Gabriel chuckled. “Grace, patience.”

Grace sighed as he ran his hands over her legs. She shivered.

“Never had any.”

“I know, but you’re going to need to find some.”

Before Grace could make a comment, Gabriel moved forward and dipped his head between her legs and she could feel his breath on her sex. As he licked and nibbled, Grace arched up and moaned, wrapping a leg around his shoulders. Gabriel winces when she dug her fingers into his hair, but kept going. When he slid a finger in to her, then two, she moaned louder and shivered again as she climaxed with a gasp.

Gabriel laughed as she moved up her body.

“Don’t say it, just lose your pants.”

“That was fast,” Gabriel said as he kissed her.

“I missed you too,” she said as she kissed him back and slid her hand down his chest.

Gabriel moaned against her lips when Grace pushed her hand in to his pants and under his boxers before gripping him tight.

“You win.”

“I always do. Lost the pants.”

Gabriel pushed his pants over his hips with Grace’s help and when he tossed them over his shoulder, they hit the dresser and scattered everything on top. Grace laughed and rolled over, opening the nightstand drawer and pulling out a condom before tossing it to him. Gabriel looked at her.

“I’m not having what I’m trying to be. Dress that solider and let’s go to war.”

Gabriel laughed and with a wink, opened the package and took the condom out. As he rolled it on, Grace got up and crawled over to him. She pulled up to meet his lips while kneeling. Gabriel pulled her close by her hips and nudged her legs apart as they fell backwards.

They landed with a laugh. Grace nudged Gabriel closer, wrapping her legs around his hips and kissing him. He kissed her back, adjusting himself so he could slide in to her. They both moaned, but Grace was the first to move. She lifted her hips up and rocked them against Gabriel, who gripped her hips. He took the hint and started moving against her.

Grace arched back, digging her nails in to his shoulders. Her body was still tingling from her earlier orgasm and building for a new one. Gabriel gritted his teeth as his as built inside of him. His own legs quivered against hers as they rocked with each other, rolling across the bed till Grace was on top. As she moved on top of him, Gabriel groaned.

“You’ll kill me yet,” he panted.

“Mm.. not trying.”

Grace sped up and he surprised her by rubbing her clit in time with the way she was moving. When her eyes flew opened and looked down at him, he grinned up at her and rolled them over. His hand was still on her button as he sped up, his orgasm building. Grace groaned and wrapped her legs around him, letting her head press back in to the pillow as each thrust brought her closer to falling over the cliff with him.

As they raced together, Gabriel started murmuring her name over and over again. Grace gasped out his and stiffened, going over the peak. Gabriel tumbled after her a minute later and dropped his head to her shoulder. He was panting as hard as she was. After a minute, Gabriel rolled off her and got rid of the condom.

When he came back to bed after cleaning up, Grace opened up her arms and cuddled him close. They lay like that, catching their breath together. Eventually Grace yawned and looked down at Gabriel.

“A hundred years. Do you think we’ll ever get tired of this?”

“Never,” he whispered in to her ear as they fell asleep together.


Gabriel was the first one to wake later that afternoon. He looked down at Grace who was in his arms and smiled. He eased out of bed after his bladder demanded relief and was on his way back to bed when Grace woke. She sat up and smiled at him.


“Hey back,” he said from the end of the bed.

Grace pushed her hair back away from her face and looked at the time. Yawning, she pushed out of bed. Gabriel frowned at her. She caught the frown out of the corner of her eye and laughed.

“I’m not getting back in to bed. I have things to do today, remember?” she said as she walked in to the bathroom, stopping to wiggle her butt at Gabriel. “if you’re coming, you might as well shower with me.”

Gabriel grinned and followed her in to the bathroom. “I like where your mind goes.”

When they emerged later, laughing and wet, they found Henry entering the room. He turned bright red and slammed the door shut. Gabriel burst in to laughter.

“Oh dear. Poor Henry.”

“Poor Henry? He just got a show from the both of us without paying for it!”

Grace snickered as she made her way to her closet, picking up discarded clothing along the way before dumping it in to the basket just outside of her closet. Gabriel followed her in to the closet and goosed her as she hunted for clothes. Slapping his chest and thrusting clothes at him, Grace kicked him out of the closet while she dressed. He whined and pouted the whole way, but Gabriel went out and got dressed.

Grace emerged from the closet clad in jeans and a t-shirt. She carried her shoes to the chaise and sat down, pulling on the sock that she had tucked in to the shoes before leaving the closet. The chucks weren’t the most practical of training shoes, but with Gabriel here, she might not need to train with Henry today.

Gabriel whistled when Grace bent to strap a knife to her leg and smoothed her jeans over the blade. Grace wiggled her butt at him and stood up straight.

“Come on. I’m hungry and I need to check on Henry.”

“Can’t we just go back to bed?” Gabriel asked.

“No, you letch. I have to take inventory of the weapons room and call Father O’Brian,” Grace said over her shoulder as she walked out of the room.

Gabriel followed. “Oh yeah? He’s still alive?”

“Yeah and as feisty as ever. His congregation took out a were pack a couple of months ago. He’s been recovering ever since,” Grace caught Gabriel’s look of concern. “Shoulder slash. No bad damage. I sent Sloane to take care of it.”

“How’s my favorite doing?” he asked as they made their way downstairs.

“She’s restless. I have a feeling that she’s going to start demanding to go on more hunts after she finishes school.”

“That’s going to be trouble.”

“I know. I’ve planned for it, or at least, I hope I have.”

“Wanna let me in?” Gabriel asked as they walked in to the kitchen.

There was no one there, so Grace pulled out all the makings for a couple of omelets.

“Ham and green pepper still?” Grace asked as she turned on the skillet.

“Hard to change a habit. Hand over the peppers. I’ll clean and wash.”

Grace handed them over and the two worked in near silence as they made breakfast together. Just as they were sitting down to eat, Henry walked in. When he saw them his cheeks turned bright red.

“Sorry about this morning. Sloane told me to check on you. Said that Gabriel had arrived,” Henry said as he sat down. “she also wanted me to tell you that he passed the password check.”

“I knew that, he wouldn’t be in the house if he hadn’t. The wards in the foundation won’t allow anyone to enter the house if they don’t know the password or intend to harm anyone inside.”

Gabriel grunted in assent around a mouthful of omelette. Henry nodded.

“So what’s the plan for today?”

“First? Food. Have you eaten?” Grace asked.

“Yeah. Earlier. Sloan made french toast.”

“Good. Then you’re going to train with Gabriel today. Hand to hand and sword if there’s time,” Grace said as she shoveled more omelette in to her mouth and chewed. She swallowed before speaking again. “I have to take inventory of the weapons room and call Father O’Brian for more blessed silver. Sloan says we’re nearly out.”

“Okay.” Henry said.

Grace pushed away her empty plate and looked at Henry. “I know I haven’t given you much of a chance to take all of this in, but you’re doing pretty well. Are you sure you’re not freaking out and just too scared to say anything?”

“It’s okay if you are, Henry. We won’t judge you,” Gabriel added.

“It’s a lot to take in, that’s for sure. But,” he paused. “Everything you’ve said would happen has happened. You haven’t lied to me about anything so far. I’ve seen things down in the Arena too that make all this, more preferable to being there.”

Grace nodded. “Any time you have trouble with anything, you need to speak up. I will not have you going through a mental break down in the middle of a job. Understand?”

Henry nodded. “Understood.”

“Good. Now that Gabriel has finished eating, he’ll take you to the training room. It was the old ballroom.”

Gabriel nodded and rose from his chair at the table. He clapped a hand on Henry’s shoulder.

“Come with me if you want to live.”

Henry gave Gabriel a wan smile and followed him out. Grace chuckled as she placed all the dishes in the sink for her housekeeper and made he way to the weapons room. Stepping in to the room, Grace smiled at what she saw. Sloane was at a table in the center of the room, polishing a broadsword that Grace had used to decapitate a vampire nearly ninety years ago.

“Ah, Edgar the truly disappointing. He wasn’t that much of a vampire without his head.”

Sloan gasped and spun around to glare at Grace.

“Not funny. I’m on edge. I can feel something building.”

Grace frowned. “Your mother had that power. She said she always knew when trouble was brewing. Said she could see if in her dreams.”

“Well I think I’m coming in to more of my gifts, because the dreams are getting stronger. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about last night,” Sloane said as she pushed out the chair opposite her.

Sloane studied Grace’s ease and smile, then shook her head.

“You’re going to get in to trouble for banging that Angel.”

“That Angel has been my friend and constant companion for nearly a hundred years. Watch your words carefully,” Grace warned.

“You’re in love with Michael, who doesn’t want you. Gabriel loves you, but you don’t love him. Not that way, not yet at least. Himself’s Son professes his love, but you used it to break the binding.”

Grace sighed. “You’ve been reading the chronicles again, haven’t you?”

“You don’t tell me nearly enough to satisfy my curiosity.”

Grace made her decision then. “You start training with Gabriel today go to the ballroom.”

Sloane’s head snapped up. “You mean it?”

Grace nodded. “I can’t keep you here forever. You will finish school first though.”

Sloane nodded, but Grace could tell she was going to practically bounce out of her chair.

“Go, Gabriel is training with Henry too.”

“Not yet. I still need to go over inventory with you.”

Grace sighed. “When was it last taken?”

“Right after the boys left. I was pissed and needed something to do,” Sloane said as she put down the sword and pulled out a notebook

“Okay. Hit me.”

“The boys took a box of flares, two flare guns, two bang rods, four 9mm pistols,” Sloane said as she flipped the papers “One Glock, two Sigs and a Smith and Wesson.”

“What? No Remington?”

“They took one of the rifles, but it was a Winchester.”

Grace sighed. “Well at least they were well prepared.”

“They also took four boxes of ammo for each gun.”

Grace rubbed a hand over her neck. “Okay. Anything else?”

“Yeah, besides the blessed silver? We’re low on yew stakes, rosaries, and gunpowder.”

“Have Alan cut another Yew tree for the stakes. He and his brother can do the initial carving for us. I’ll place the orders for the rest today after I speak with Father O’Brian.”

“Alan’s on vacation this week. We’re not likely to need the stakes any time soon. I’ll have him cut it when he gets back. We will need lamb’s blood though. There’s a nasty Djinni in Vegas attracting a lot of attention,” Sloane said as she got up from the table and handed over the lists.

“Fucking wonderful. That’ll make Cooper happy.”

Sloane grinned. “I’ve already alerted him and the Council wants to talk to you about making Eden in to a Haven.”

“It already is, just not for what they want it to be. I’ll take care of it,” Grace said as she flipped through the pages. “Thank you, by the way.”

“You’re welcome,” Sloane said as she slipped out of the room.

Grace was left alone to make her calls. The first one was not to Father O’Brian. It was too late to call him. She’d have to wait until three am to make that call. Grace walked to her office at the back of the weapons room and entered with her list. Bookshelves that were packed lined every wall of the room and a huge oak desk dominated the center with a matching chair. Grace turned on the lights and pulled the chair out. She sat down, list in hand and sighed.

“You’re going to end up in an early grave if you keep it bottled up inside.”

Grace yelped and threw the letter opener at Michael who appeared in one of the two chairs that were on the opposite side of her desk. He caught it easily and look at her.

“Damn it, Michael! I knew putting your name on the foundation was going to be trouble.”

“Yet you still haven’t changed it.”

“It’s a pain in the ass to chisel something out of the foundation in the basement.”

“No it isn’t. You’re still hoping I’ll come visit.”

“What are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here.”

“I missed you.”

Grace studied him. “You’re a terrible liar. Which is surprising.”

Michael sighed. “You believed Gabriel when he told you.”

“Gabriel tells me all the time. You don’t. I hear the words from him that I want to hear from you.”

Michael looked at her reproachfully. “I told you I can’t explain why I can’t be what he is to you.”

“Then this has to stop. I can’t keep loving you and getting rejected. My heart isn’t strong enough anymore,” Grace said as she sat back in her chair, eyes downcast and wet.

“Do not cry. I couldn’t handle it if you cried.”

“Then you shouldn’t make me cry.”

Michael rubbed a hand over his face. “I’ll be right back.”

He left in his usual fashion, there one second, gone the next. Grace sighed and picked up the phone. She called The Hunter’s cell phone first, left a message when no one answered. The Wanderer was the same thing. Grace was about to call The Librarian when Michael reappeared.

“I can’t love you because I’ve been bound.”

Grace dropped the phone, in shock. “Bound? Bound to who?”

Michael sighed. “Your daughter.”

Grace sat back and stared at Michael. “You mean to tell me that all this time you’ve known what’s going to happen between us and couldn’t say anything until I pushed you to go away?”

Michael nodded.

“You prick.”

His head snapped up and fire lit in his eyes. “I’m bound. I can’t do anything about it. I didn’t want to be bound, but He did it anyway. I cannot refuse His order.”

“Then why not say anything until now? You could have said you were bound to someone else instead of giving me hope!”

“I tried, but you’re so stubborn and you know I can’t lie.”

“Won’t. You won’t lie. There’s a difference!” Grace said as she surged forward and pounded a fist on her desk.

“Won’t, then. I won’t lie to save your heart, which I know is breaking. I am not for you, I never was.”

“You had a hundred and fifty-seven years to tell me,” Grace said softly as she sat in her chair again.

“I didn’t know until twenty years after I gave you the order.”

Grace looked up at him. “Is Gabriel bound to me?”


Grace laughed. “Figures.”

Michael sat back down in the chair across from Grace. “I’m sorry. I’ve always been sorry about all of this.”

“Well, at least it solves one of my problems today.”

“So does that mean-?”

“No. You are not forgiven yet. I need time to think about it and work out my anger,” Grace said, looking at him. “I need to talk to Gabriel as well.”

“He has his own orders.”

“Which became void the second I found out he’s bound to me. I know His Law just as well as you do. You’re the one who taught me.”

Michael groaned. “You’re going to get us in so much trouble.”

“You deserve it.”

Michael eyed her, but Grace was not giving an inch on her position.

“Speaking of bonds: my daughter? A little creepy,” Grace said.

“His orders,” Michael said with a shrug.

“You’re not talking about Sloane, are you?”

Michael shook his head. “No. Not Sloane. Yours and Gabriel’s child.”

“He’s an Angel, I’m a Demon. You know what that would bring.”

“You are not quite a demon.”

“You should be wanting me dead then. Not living.”

Michael sighed. “Despite what you may have heard, I do not hate you for who you are. I hate myself for wanting you when I have no right to hope for what Gabriel has.”

Grace rubbed her temples. “I hate this. I hate how He plays shove a penny with us all like we were toys.”

“I would say it’s more like chess.”

Grace eyed Michael. “Did you just make a joke? Stiff-necked, stick-up-his-arse Michael made a joke?”

Michael sighed and Grace snickered. He studied her.

“You’re not funny.”

“I’m hilarious, you just never appreciated it.”

Michael snorted and Grace decided that she’d had enough of interrogating him, so she dropped a bomb on his brain. She picked up a pen and sketched the symbol that she saw in the church. When she was done, Grace pushed the sketch across the desk.

Michael took it, looking down at it. His eyes widened.

“This is Nathanael’s symbol.”

Grace nodded.

“Oh shit.”


“Bring them in.”

“I was just about to put in a call to The Librarian. I called The Hunter and The Wanderer already.”

“No Grace,” Michael said as he stood up, sketch in hand. “Bring them all in. Every single hunter you’ve trained on my orders. Bring them in.”

“You want me to bring twenty hunters in? They’re all out on jobs!”

“Bring them in,” he said, punctuating every word.

“Protect the innocent. That’s our motto. I can’t knowingly bring in every single hunter I’ve trained in the last thirty years! I’d be leaving the whole of the US without any kind of protection!”

“You’ll bring them in or this is going to dissolve in to World War three.”

Gabriel opened the door to the study and walked in with Henry and Sloane in tow.

“I can feel his agitation from across the house,” Gabriel said.

Michael showed him the sketch.

“Hey that’s the symbol that we saw in the church,” Henry said.

Gabriel swore. Grace had never heard that particular phrase in Arabic uttered quite so eloquently.

“Whatever he says to do,” Gabriel said. “You do it. I’ll gather the brothers.”

Michael nodded to Gabriel and he kissed Grace before leaving.

“I’ll be back with them,” Gabriel said and then he was gone.

“Bring them all in, Grace. Every single hunter. We’re going to need them.”

“Okay. I’ll bring them all in.”

“All your spies too,” Michael said. “in both courts.”

Grace winced. “You knew?”

“I’ve always known and admired your tact. Now’s the time to start calling in favors.”

Grace nodded and Michael turned to the two new hunters.

“You’ll train with me while Gabriel’s gone. We’ll need you up to speed faster than usual. Follow me.”

Grace watched Michael leave and then nodded to the two who were staring at her.

“Go. Train. He’s right. We’re going to need you.”

They nodded and left, already looking like a team. Grace smiled. They’d be good together. Grace opened up her drawer and picked up her black book that kept every number for her hunters. It was going to be a long day. Grace turned on her radio and kept it low while she made her calls. While waiting for a hunter to get back to her, she noticed the song on the radio long enough to smile.

“You had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day”