Archive | January 2018

Chapter 69: Leofric

Sunday, May 20, 2001

Everyone had noticed what Sheba’s crew was up to. Everyone, even the other cy’Luca – who he’d made some pointed comments at about being showed up by a bunch of girls, gotten into another fight, and been yelled at by Luke over, but it was worth it – had noticed them going around bullying all the shittiest Keepers into letting their Kept go.

Leofric would’ve thought better late than never, except the timing was less important than the one, significant, glaring gap in their rescue train.

No one had come for Cya. All these other rescues and they didn’t even so much as look at Cya.

He knocked – banged, really – on the door to Sheba’s suite, the suite where half his crew was being Kept.
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Chapter 68: Cynara

Monday, May 14, 2001

The air seemed lighter in the suite.

Cya had felt the ghost leave – they all had, she thought.  The thing had sighed out of their lives with a remember and a sort of smug, self-satisfied feeling that it didn’t really seem like she’d earned.

Zita was safe with Sheba and seemed happy.  Howard might not like the collar (what collar? All he had was a flower in his hat) but he and Magnolia were happy together. Leo was – well, Leo was almost Leo again, and he was doing pretty well with Aviv.

All the major problems of the year had been solved.  It looked like even Lily had gotten rescued by an irate Arnbjörg and a very amused Jaya. Cya had seen the aftermath – Rand spewing blood from his nose and sputtering as he was escorted to Dr. Caitrin’s.  It was the sort of satisfying finish that a book ought to have.  Continue reading

Chapter 67: Abednego

Saturday, May 12, 2001

Every time Abednego thought things had settled in to something like normalcy, they shifted again.  He thought he’d stopped getting comfortable with things, just to find that he was dumped on his tail all over again.

Rafe couldn’t settle on what he wanted.  He would pet Abednego for a few minutes, then shift away guiltily, give him an order and then tell him it wasn’t an order.   

Saturdays and Sundays were the worst, and this time Rafe had gone through the cycle five times in less than an hour.  When Abednego found himself wishing for his corner and rules that, if horrible, at least made sense, he sat up straight, shaking off another cycle of petting. Continue reading

Chapter 66: Arnbjörg

Saturday, May 12, 2001

Arnbjörg curled up against Jaya on the couch, her girlfriend-and-Keeper’s head on her shoulder.  They were watching a movie – Dangerous Beauty – something about a high-class prostitute in Venice.  The rest of the crew was with them, paying varying degrees of attention to the movie.

“Ever think about that as a living?” Sheba mused quietly.  “I mean, the right Words and the right skills and you wouldn’t really have to work hard.  Some healing Words and it wouldn’t be so dangerous.  What?  Ivette talks about it sometimes.  Lady Mau did it.  We’re fae, different morals apply.” Continue reading

Chapter 65: Leofric

Thursday, May 3, 2001

Leofric watched the pool in the grotto, the water’s surface rippling as Aviv swum around below. It was usually peaceful, spending time there, and this time was fortunately not an exception, which he was very much appreciating. (Even more than the view through the water, which he was also appreciating. It had taken weeks for Aviv to stop making self-deprecating comments about skinny dipping and traumatizing Leo. Weeks. It was like the man never looked in a mirror before!)

Theoretically, he could be swimming too, but swimming was not really his strong point. Electricity and water just don’t mix – you don’t throw a pikachu into a pond, not unless you hate the pikachu and are a jerk. So instead, most of the time he sat on the rocks near the pool in his swim trunks, watched, and did Idu Workings on the plants (which he was not allowed to eat, despite his Keeper clearly having a lot of experience doing exactly that). Continue reading

Interlude: Abaddon 5

Cynara’s finger pointed without hesitation.  “Her.  Channing.”  She looked a little startled at her finger, then back at Abaddon, then back at the girl in question.  “Her,” she repeated.  She was more firm this time.  “I —” She turned away from him, looking at Zita and Howard and Leo.  Her friends.

“Thanks.  I will owe you one, when we are our own people.”  He couldn’t promise, but he imitated the phrasing he’d heard from people who could.

She wasn’t listening anymore, already turned to Howard, but he thought he saw Zita nod in approval at him.

Then he was moving on, hurrying, stepping up until Channing could see him. Continue reading

Interlude: Abaddon 4

Abaddon woke up to find his room ruined.

His room, or at least the room he’d been assigned when he started the year.  Before – before Gennie.

Gennie who would not release him and not speak to him.  Gennie who had spent a week after he told her about the – about the problem – about their father – locked in her room, not coming out for anything, not even Luke.

There was nothing left intact in the room.  This was the third time this week he’d woken up to this, but this had to be the worst.  Abaddon sighed and started the Jasfe Workings.  At this rate, he was going to be a top-notch furniture and clothing repair specialist before his first year ended. Continue reading