Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Soothsayer Ch. 5, Pt. 2

Notes: We're almost there! We've got breaking and entering, people, so get ready for the next post, because things are going to start to happen fast. In the meantime, enjoy Cillian in another suit.

**Bonus points if you recognize who Cillian is referring to down below :)


Title: Soothsayer, Chapter 5, Part 2.


***



“Since knowledge is but sorrow’s spy, It is not safe to know.” – William Davenant




Far be it from me to confess to a fault, but if I had to name one off the top of my head, it would be vanity. Used to be pride, or maybe arrogance, but you get kidnapped and tied up and threatened with death enough times and the arrogance bleeds out of your system. Literally, in some cases. So, while I might be confident in my abilities, I wasn’t arrogant.

Vanity, though…well, fuck it, I looked good. I had my mother’s eyes and nose, and her rail-thin build, but my naturally dark hair, the shape of my jaw and my decent height all came from my unnamed sperm donor. I might look like a tattooed punk, but I had put a lot of thought into my tattoos. Every one had a meaning, every one was a little slice of purpose inked into my skin.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Brief Writer Rant!

Okay, so. Not to get up on a soapbox or anything, but really. When I send a manuscript into a publisher, a professional publisher, I expect a few things. I expect an appropriate cover, I expect timeliness with regard to edits and proofreading and galleys, and I expect for said editor to do more than change my punctuation so that it aligns with the house style. Exchanging curly quotation marks for straight and handing the manuscript back to me? That's doing both of us a disservice. Especially since I went through the story again--my own story--and found numerous word repetitions, incorrect and misspelled words, inaccurate and lazy phrasing, and minor plot holes. On my own. After checking it twice before I sent it in in the first place.

I'm not a perfect writer! Everybody who reads my blog serials understands that intimately (hi guys, sorry I'm so lame sometimes!). I want to put out a good product, I want to make something I can be proud of, and above all I want the chance to improve. When my editor just pats me on the back and says, "Nice, oh and maybe do this one thing," I'm left feeling like they didn't bother to read the damn thing. A coauthor and I just killed a 90k word novel because we didn't feel like we could make it good enough to be publishable. I would rather slash and burn my own work than slap a smile on it and call it good enough. Good enough is poison. There is no good enough, it's either good or something needs to be done to make it that way.

In that same vein, I'm getting to the point where I'm very picky about where I publish. The place I used to pin all my hopes and dreams on has essentially sunk, and now I'm figuring out what to do with myself. I'm working my ass off to write things that will take me to the next level, while learning to self-publish, keeping busy on the blog and wooing bigger presses. It's a two-way street between writers and publishers, especially in this age of digital wonders. You might be reading my stuff to evaluate whether or not you want to publish it, but I'm also evaluating you. I'm evaluating your responsiveness, your dedication to your product and how you market my work.

I like all of my current publishers, and these latest issues have all been addressed, but I was pretty disappointed to see that they needed to be addressed in the first place. If I could self-edit everything perfectly, then I'd either be a goddamn genius or have delusions of grandeur. I need my editors. Don't cut and run on me, guys.

Well. This wasn't brief at all. Sorry! Rant over.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Soothsayer Ch. 5, Pt. 1

Notes: So, here's the next part, plus...yes, it's Anthony Mackie but I couldn't resist! How can anyone resist him, look at him. He's so lovely. Anyway, we haven't quite met Cillian's nightmare yet, but it's coming soon! Possibly with the next post, because it's time I pick the pace up.

Title: Soothsayer, Chapter 5, Part 1.


***
Andre Jones, only of course the photo isn't mine, and it's really Anthony Mackie, but whatever.




“Work hard for what you want, because it won’t come to you without a fight.” – Leah LaBelle


The fastest flight I could manage included a layover in Michigan, of all places, before doubling back to land at Chicago O’Hare. Michigan, right, because that made so much sense. The worst thing about flying was being part of a group of people with nothing in common other than their desire to get from point A to point B, all forced into close contact for hours on end. The next worst thing about flying was the way the whole process seemed completely, utterly arbitrary when determining who, what, when and where. I didn’t believe in arbitrary, I knew everything happened for a reason, but goddamn, airlines could test even my patience.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Snippet from my Villains story

I'm writing a short story for an upcoming LT3 anthology that's all about villains, and I'm going to share the beginning with you guys today because I need a kick in the pants when it comes to finishing this thing, and if I put it out there, well...then I have some positive pressure. So! Random story snippet for the blog today, enjoy. Yeah, I know you'd rather have an Academy post. Patience, darlins!

PS, this is quite cracky. I know. It's a story about superheroes and supervillains, emphasis on the Super, cracky is happening. Also, this is a very rough first draft. There will be mistakes. Plz to ignore them!


***






I’m no Hero.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Villain either. I’m not even one of those generalized Villainy sympathizers, the ones who go clubbing at places called Absinthe or Misanthropy while wearing glow-in-the-dark anarchy badges and discussing contemporary examples of Randian Objectivism in the local super community.

It’s not the sort of thing a person has to explain, normally, but then most people don’t live in Panopolis, the City of Heroes. My folks thought I was crazy to move here, away from safe and boring suburban Kansas, where the only thing people get excited about on a regular basis are college sports and the fall harvest. Panopolis was going to be different, a new beginning for me. I would shine, I would feel alive, I would do something with myself. After all, it has the highest concentration of super heroes in the western hemisphere. Action-packed doesn’t begin to cover it.

It’s been two years since my arrival. While I haven’t accomplished anything to make me stand out, I do definitely get my mortality shoved in my face on about a monthly basis. It stands to reason: where there are Heroes, there are always going to be Villains. It’s the cosmic yin-yang coming back to bite city planners in the ass. There’s always another epic battle coming down the pipe, and usually constructions crews have their hands full trying to clean up the last one as the next arrives. After city parks and the football stadium (because everybody loves an audience), the next most common place for a Super showdown is in a bank. A bank like the one where I happen to work.

It’s like would-be Villains consider robbing a bank a rite of passage or something. Everybody, from Helios to Jackrabbit to Mount Doom, has robbed our bank. We have being robbed down to an art now, and I haven’t been shaken up about it since the very first time. Of course, it was the first time that changed my life completely, so no robbery afterward could really compare to that first rush, the strange recognition that hit me like a bullet between the eyes when I saw him.

The Mad Bombardier.


That’s the press’ stupid name for him. Most Villains, and all Heroes, give themselves their own names, larger-than-life monikers meant so inspire awe, fear or both. Sometimes those names don’t stick, especially if the bearer gets on the bad side of Panopolis’ reporters. I know they changed Mr. Fabulous’ name to Mr. Flatulent after he flipped a bunch of them off going into a restaurant, and Doctor Pain was redubbed Doctor Pain-In-The-Ass once he sent one of their vans rolling into a building during a particularly intense dogfight with Bone Breaker.

The Bombardier is different. He’s…well, subtle isn’t exactly the right word, not for a Super Villain, because none of them do subtle very well. More like, he’s out for himself, not for anyone else. Certainly not for any of them, and that makes him interesting enough to not dismiss out of hand. Plus, he is a bomber, and he’s definitely more than a little crazy. You’d have to be to play around with the stuff he handles.

The Mad Bombardier and I met when he came to rob the bank a year ago. I remember the sudden fizzing spray of sparks at each of the doors, fusing them cherry red down the midline. I remember the way the overhead lights flickered, and how I could hear the teller next to me frantically pushing his panic button. I should have been doing the same, and ducking down behind the counter with the rest of my coworkers like I’d been taught, but I was too stiff with fear to move. Customers cowered, our security guards reached for their guns only to find them stuck in their holsters.

The lights went out completely for a moment, throwing everything into shadow, and when they came back on he was there, standing in the middle of the lobby. He wore all black, from the buckles on his boots to the trench coat that hung heavy around him. The only spot of color on him was in a red digital readout on his forehead, a long string of numbers I couldn’t make out from where I was behind the booth.

He saw me first. “You.” His voice sounded like an echo of itself somehow, hollow and deep. “Fill this.” He threw a small canvas bag at me. “You have two minutes.”

He turned to the manager’s desk, where our boss, who knew the routine way better than I did, calmly stood up and said, “The vault is this way.”

So far, so good. No shots fired, no one had been hurt. Just a few flashy pyrotechnics and a demand for cash, all good. My hands trembled as I opened my drawer and reached for the cash. There wasn’t all that much in there, no more than a thousand dollars, but I placed it all into the bag.

“Psst!” one of my coworkers hissed at me from his place on the floor. “The dye packs!”

I stared at him blankly. “What?”

“Add the dye packs! Look under your drawer!”

Oh, right, the dye packs. Little containers of indelible dye that you could set to go off and drop into a bag, perfect for a situation like this. Our bank really did have getting robbed down to an art. I pulled the drawer and fumbled for some of the dye, the small sachets slipping through my clumsy, clutching fingers. I finally grabbed one and set it in the bag, way down at the bottom where he’d be less likely to see it, and punched the button that would set it off in about five minutes. Doing so made me feel strange, almost guilty, but the feelings were quickly buried under the resurgence of fear as he appeared again, alone this time.

“The bag,” he demanded, thrusting his hand forward. His other hand held a small circular device, his thumb poised above it, just waiting to jab down and…and what? I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the sight of it, precarious, an unknown fate hovering in this man’s hand. I didn’t even hear him speak, I was so lost in my own terror. Blood rushed so hard through my veins that my hearing turned fuzzy, and my lungs fluttered in my chest like a landed fish, flapping and striving and useless. My vision blurred around the edges of my eyes, slowly closing in on my like a collapsing tunnel.

The firm but not cruel grip that suddenly tightened around my upper arm pulled me out of my panic, and as my sight cleared I saw him, closer now, his black goggles reflecting my own startled gaze back at me. “It’s fine,” he said, still deep and resonant but not as loud as before. “I won’t hurt you. Just give me the bag.”

Slowly, so slowly, I handed the bag over to him. He let go of me to take it, equally slow and controlled. I thought that was it before the front doors suddenly broke off their hinges, carried straight through the gaping entrance and into the lobby by huge, hulking man. He stopped but the doors kept going, crashing onto their side and sliding right into the teller’s booths and knocking the robber off his feet. He lost his grip on the device, which flew across the counter at me. I caught it reflexively, then almost forgot I was holding it as the newcomer straightened up.

It was Freight Train. I could hear a few exclamations, a sob of relief here and there. Freight Train was one of Panopolis’ greatest Heroes, an institution in the city for the past five years. He was a former cop, which maybe explained why he tended to respond whenever the city police got involved. He’d been accidentally exposed to an experimental chemical meant to create temporary force fields around living organisms, as an emergency quarantine measure. On him, it had turned into a permanent force field, and they’d barely been able to figure out a way to penetrate it before he died of dehydration. Nothing outside that wasn’t a gas could get in without some very proprietary technology to help. That meant he was immune to bullets, knives, acid…just about everything that could kill him. With enough momentum he could power his way through walls, so the doors…definitely not a problem for him.

“I hear there’s a new bad boy in town.” Freight Train’s voice rang loud and clear through the ruin of our foyer. “Step on out, scum! Let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to go up against a real Hero!”

I couldn’t see the robber any more, but I heard a pained moan from somewhere in front of me, faint and echoing. The edges of the device I held in my hand bit into my palm, my grip on it was so tight. What happened next happened without thinking too much about it, an impulse I couldn’t quite control.

My booth was the last one on the row, and I slid down out of my chair onto the ground and crawled over to the door that led to the main lobby. I opened it, then peeked around the corner at the wreckage, the people and the Hero himself. Freight Train was still glaring this way and that, his hands on his hips. He hadn’t seen me yet, and it seemed like he hadn’t seen the robber either, who was trying to press up onto one elbow, his black coated here and there in gray plaster dust. His head lifted, and even though I couldn’t see his eyes, I could still tell when he focused on me.

My hand was trembling so badly I thought I was going to just drop the device, but instead I managed to slide it across the floor in his general direction, praying my poor treatment of it didn’t set anything off. The robber grabbed it, but the noise attracted Freight Train’s attention.

“All black,” he sneered, coming forward. His feet made no noise as he stepped; the force field muffled the sounds. “Not very creative.” The robber sat up and leaned away from Freight Train as he got closer, twisting the device in his hands. “And what’s that on your head?” He leaned in with a grin. “A countdown to your capture? Because if that’s the case it should already read zer—”

That was when the secondary explosives set on the undersides of the doors were set off. I hadn’t even seen them, no one had, but it catapulted the sides of the fused piece of metal up at the edges, squeezing Freight Train like the filling in a taco. He toppled to the ground, wrapped up tight in a metallic embrace. The robber got to his feet, brushed his coat off, then grabbed the bag of money I’d frozen at giving him. He glanced my way once before sauntering out the gaping entrance, leaving a lot of astonished civilians and an utterly irate Freight Train behind.

I thought that was the end of it, nothing more than my first interaction with the darker, more exciting and certainly more explosive side of Panopolis. Imagine my surprise when a week later, once the bank was open for business again, I was sent a bouquet of flowers at work. It was a simple bouquet, one long spray of pink delphiniums surrounded by a few attendant anemone blossoms. Attached was a little envelope. The card inside was matte black, and the writing on it was red.

You’re either extraordinarily kind or inordinately brave. I’d like to meet with you and discover which one for myself. If you’re interested, come to the coffee shop on Pinnacle and 24th at six tonight.

If you’re not interested and I never see you again, let me say very sincerely, Thank You.
 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Soothsayer Ch. 4, Pt. 2

Notes: So, this is the last moment of development before we jump ahead to the Windy City. It's going to get interesting, folks:) Also, today is Lisa T's birthday--happy birthday, darlin'! Lisa is prompter, cheerleader, commenter and queen extraordinaire, and I'm so glad that this post falls on her day. I hope you, and everyone else, is enjoying the journey.


Title: Soothsayer, Chapter 4, Part 2

***

 Not my picture, of course, but I couldn't resist another CIllian shot before we head out. If only his hair was blonde...

“All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber


I really only had one call to make, and that was to the author of the article on Egilsson. Andre Jones was a multi-tasker, I had to give him that. He’d written about half the articles in this month’s Modern Parapsychia, in addition to posting articles on completely different subjects on two different news blogs. He was a freelancer, willing to go almost anywhere to get a story, including a three-month stint in Turkey last year that led to a piece that was picked up by Rolling Stone. We’d chatted a little bit before he’d interviewed me, and he was a surprisingly relaxed guy, not dogmatic or demanding about how he expected things to go. He didn’t ask me to do any parlor tricks to prove I was psychic, but he didn’t go out of his way to debunk the idea either. It had been pretty balanced, all things considered, which was why I didn’t think he’d reject me out of hand for asking about his sources for the other article.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Vignette: The Academy: Family Time

Notes: Okay, this wasn't the vignette I was planning on writing. I was planning on giving you smut and then plot happened. Introspective, character-building plot with someone who isn't one of the biggest characters, but I was thinking about his situation and decided it needed some exploration. You can see where Garrett gets a lot of his predilections, honestly. So I give you Miles, and the promise of another vignette soon. With smut! 99% sure!


Title: Vignette: The Academy: Family Time


***
 

It was the sort of evening that Miles had given up on lately, the kind where he had almost his entire family with him. The Federation senate was on a surprise recess, ostensibly to give senators a chance to go home and speak with their constituents about the massing independence legislation, but Miles knew that was just a front. The truth was that the latest political spin was going against President Alexander, and he needed the time to regroup and figure out what the hell he was going to do about his little brother.

“Driven crazy by his desire for approval,” pundits said on their holo-shows, hosting psychiatrists and nodding their heads sympathetically.

“A sign of the president’s failure to lead within his own household, never mind the entirety of Federation space,” Alexander’s opponents said, although that was a tactic that Miles himself had avoided. He knew better than anyone that sometimes family was more complicated than you might want, and he wasn’t going to cast any stones that might lead people to scrutinizing his own son in even more miniscule detail.

“All a ploy to distract us from the fact that the person Kyle Alexander was supposed to have murdered was actually an interstellar psychic assassin under the president’s thumb!” the conspiracy theorists shrieked, and it was amusing and more than a little troubling that they were the ones who were closest to right this time around. Regardless, despite how President Alexander and his powerful political allies had tried to keep the situation quiet, Kyle Alexander was still news. Big news.

If one of the side-effects of that was that Miles got a much-needed reprieve from wrangling in the senate and the courts so he could come, quietly and secretly, to see his family, well. He wasn’t going to say no. It had been months since he’d seen his girls, and Claudia had looked tired and stressed when he first saw her. Miles shut his eyes for a moment, trying to purge the image from his mind.

“Daddy?”

“Yes, baby?” he said, turning and looking at his youngest daughter, tucked in close to his side. Yvaine was still small enough that she fit perfectly under his arm—Renee was starting to get tall, her head nearly reaching his shoulder now. His girls were growing up, and he was missing it. Again. Just like he had with Garrett.

It’s different this time, Miles told himself. The girls still had their mother, and Claudia understood the demands on Miles’ life. He called every day, he made sure they were someplace safe and beautiful, made sure they had access to other families with kids their own age, and he made their security staff as unobtrusive as possible. Basically everything he hadn’t remembered to do for Garrett as a child until his son was in a hospital. It’s different.

“When can I go to Perelan?”

Ah, right. His girls were Perel-mad right now thanks to a recent documentary done on their planet, and the fact that their cousin—the best analogue for Cody that any of them had found was cousin, since the girls didn’t think of themselves as his aunts—was going there right now had lifted their admiration to obsessive heights. Garrett was just finishing a call with Cody, actually, and each of the girls had had their chance to speak and ask questions. Talking to Grennson was a special treat for them, and the giggles had echoed through the house as they tried to learn how to say “hello” in Perel. Their voices weren’t anywhere near deep enough, and they ended up sounding more like purring catterpets than Perel, but they’d had fun.

He brushed her dark hair out of her face, eyes like his own staring sleepily up at him. Both his girls looked far more like their mother, but there were touches of his face here and there. “When you’re a little older, baby.”

“Like Cody’s age?”

“Maybe then.”

Yvaine thought about that. “But he’s already old! It’ll be forever before I’m that old.”

Oh lord, if Cody was old now then that officially made Miles ancient. “Well, baby—”

“Renee! Wash that out of your hair right now and get to bed!”

“Mom!” Renee protested, walking backward into Miles’ study even as she kept arguing. “I’m just figuring out how to make it look like quills, it’s not like it’s dangerous!”

Miles hoped not. His daughter’s long hair was separated into thousands of waving strands, held aloft with what looked like a mild electric charge coming from her jury-rigged headband. She hadn’t stopped there, though. The strands looked…oh, what was the old Earth word…shellacked.

“You’re supposed to be sleeping, not experimenting with new hairstyles,” Claudia said as she followed her daughter into the room. Yvaine was already on her feet, poking curiously at her sister’s low-hanging locks. Renee batted her hand away, which naturally made Yvaine even more determined to bury her fingers in the slender spikes. “Both of you,” Claudia added as she caught sight of their youngest.

“Mom, quills are an important part of Perel physiology and interpersonal communication, this is for science,” Renee insisted, still swatting at Yvaine.

Claudia crossed her arms. “You’ve been listening entirely too much to Tiennan. Miles,” she turned to him expectantly and he knew he had to step in. Renee also stared at him, looking prepared to argue.

“Quills are an important means of expressing emotion to Perels,” Miles said, standing up and looking Renee’s efforts over. “But they have to be mobile in order to be effective. Right now a Perel would probably think you were offended or shocked, and you wouldn’t want to leave them with that impression.” He squeezed Renee’s shoulder. “You can experiment more with it after classes tomorrow, honey. Right now you need to get clean and get to bed.”

“And you can do it to me tomorrow!” Yvaine cried. “I want quills too! Mommy, make Renee do it for me too!” Her sister didn’t look too enthusiastic at the thought.

“Additional test subject,” Miles whispered to her, and then Renee smiled.

“Good point. Okay,” she said. “I’ll cleanse and go to bed. Dad, you have to come say goodnight, okay?”

“I will, honey.”

Claudia sighed but accepted her daughter’s partial acquiescence. “Go on, then.” The girls ran down the hallway toward their rooms and Miles reached for his wife’s hand, stepped close and kissed her gently. “Quills are pretty mild in the grand scheme of things,” he offered.

“I suppose,” she replied, winding her arms around his waist. “As long as she doesn’t use toxic chemicals on her little sister, I’m happy. I’m just…I don’t know, a bit tired.”

He hugged her tight. “I know.”

“And I feel terrible complaining to you about anything when you’ve got so many more things to worry about than I do, Miles, and I’m so happy that you’re back with us. I just wish you could stay a little longer.”

“I feel the same way.” A week here and there, a standard month this time around—it still wasn’t enough, but Miles couldn’t relinquish his responsibilities. He had millions of people to think about, to fight for, and he couldn’t give that fight up. Not yet. “I’d be with you if I could. I’d bring you back with me if it was safe.”

Claudia smiled and kissed him again. “I know.” She sighed and stepped back. “I’m going to go check on the girls, they’ve already said goodnight to Garrett. Meet you in bed?”

“I’ll be there soon.” Miles watched her go and flexed his hands, feeling the extra warmth from her body dissipate into nothingness. He ached to go after her, but he did have a few things to talk to Garrett about first. Miles sat back down and began parsing through the news feeds flashing across his tab, sending his personal assistant notes about the ones that could be relevant to their cause.

A few minutes later Garrett came into the study and flopped down onto the couch next to Miles. “I take every bad thing I ever said about myself back. I was a saint as a child. An absolute saint.”

“And what is it that makes you saintly now?” Miles asked. “Because I seem to recall some distinctly wicked moments.”

“Maybe, but I’ve never hijacked an ambassador’s ship controls for the sake of performing dangerous experiments in my bedroom. Acid, Dad. Ten was experimenting with acid. Ze also completely rewrote the power supply conduits in order to facilitate localized zero-gravity conditions. No, you’re right, I’m not a saint, my kid is. And so is Jason for not throwing Ten in the brig when he found out.”

“Diplomatic vessels don’t have brigs.”

“I’d jury-rig one just for hir.”

“Ten adores you.”

Garrett exhaled loudly. “Ten adores my husband, ze only respects me.”

“I think in the long run, respect is going to get you further.”

“I think in the long run, the only person capable of exerting any influence on Ten is Cody. Thank fuck for that, too, because otherwise ze’d probably invent something that would blow up the universe just to see if ze could.”

“Don’t underestimate your own influence,” Miles advised him. “Being there for hir as a family is important, especially since ze’s never really had that before. You matter, kiddo.” Before Garrett could prevaricate, Miles changed the subject. “When’s Jonah getting in?”

“Sometime tonight, late.”

“It’ll be good to see him.”

Garrett scoffed. “You’re telling me. I’m glad he feels useful now but I really hate that it took sending him out across the universe to manage that.”

“He’s a Drifter in his bones, Gare. He’s got a wanderlust that has nothing to do with not being happy with you,” Miles assured his son. “I didn’t get a chance to bring this up earlier, but any word from Tamara?”

“She’s been in touch with Admiral Liang, but nothing new. Kyle’s still destined for prison, it’s just a question of which one. Either way, though, I’ve got someone on the inside.”

“Good,” Miles said. “Because as much as I like fighting the good fight, I’d like to retire again one of these days. We’re going to need Kyle Alexander if there’s ever going to be anything approximating peace again.”

“I know. I’m on it.”

“You put me to shame, kiddo.”

“Well, I am brilliant,” Garrett said with a mocking grin.

“I know you are.” Miles leaned in and kissed his son’s forehead, politely ignoring the surprise on Garrett’s face, then stood up. “See you tomorrow.”

“Right…”

The girls were already in bed when Miles got to their rooms, Renee’s hair freshly cleaned and Yvaine barely able to keep her eyes open. He kissed each of them on the cheek, turned the lights down and watched a dim hologram of the forests of Perelan spring into existence around them. Fluorescent beetles crawled along the floor, and a bright blue one slowly made its way up a tree that sprouted from the middle of Yvaine’s bed. She hummed happily as she watched it.

“Was this your idea?” Miles whispered to his older daughter.

“Yeah. Do you like it?”

“It’s beautiful, honey.”

“I want to go there someday,” she said. “Cody gets to do everything cool.”

Oh baby… If only she knew. “Someday,” he promised. “You’ll see it for yourself.”

“Thanks, Dad.” He left them to be lulled to sleep by the gentle movements of beetles and headed for his own bedroom, where Claudia was waiting for him in bed, reading an antique paperback. She was just as beautiful as when he first met her, almost twenty years ago now. Regen kept her youthful, but Claudia still had the same spirit, the gentleness and the strength that had attracted him then, the first time he fell for a woman since his first wife.

Claudia looked up at him and smiled. “Come to bed.”

“I still have to clean up.”

“Clean up after,” she suggested, setting her book aside and stretched suggestively.

After…oh.

He could do that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Soothsayer Ch. 4, Pt. 1

Notes: So, some revelations here! Some frustrations, especially for Cillian, but I never claimed he was super mature :) Also a new piece of artwork courtesy of Caitlin Ricci, because she's wonderful. One more post with set-up, and then we're off and running at the speed of...well, my plots, so take the word "speed" with a grain of salt.

Title: Soothsayer, Chapter Four, Part One

***


Neither of my companions were the sort of people to look dumbfounded after hearing something that should be impossible, they’d each seen too much. If I’d been hoping for a moment of shocked awe, maybe a frisson of fear or two, I’d have been sorely disappointed. As it was I got ruthless practicality, which was exactly what I needed in the moment. I was already freaking myself out. I didn’t need to deal with their panic too.

“What are you talking about?” Marisol snatched the phone from me and looked at the picture. “What do you mean? Who’s ├ôlafur Egilsson, and why would he be dead?”