“So are we gonna do it?” Arnbjörg was shifting her weight from the balls of her feet to her heels and back again. “I mean. I know Leo went a little…” She considered the room and forced a little bit of tact to come out of her mouth. “Well, he was having some trouble with blackouts when he was here?”
Zita looked at her pointedly. “I don’t know. Are you going to do it?” Her tone was too pleasant to be real.
Arnbjörg looked straight back at Zita. “Should we?”
“Eight months ago, sure. Now?” Zita shrugged.
Arnbjörg considered that answer, looked at Zita again, and decided it was a yes. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
Cynara sat in the living room of Dysmas’ crew’s suite. It was Valentine’s day; Dysmas had given her two wrist cuffs that matched the collar around her neck, delicate and silver. She’d smiled and thanked him sweetly and considered exactly how useful they would be if transmuted into a knife.
At least they hadn’t been hawthorn. She was pretty sure he couldn’t buy those in the store, and so far, all of her attempts to work with the wood in question had been lop-sided and awful. Rowan and hawthorn took time and more energy to Work, Professor Valerian had told her, and then, with arched eyebrows, asked why she needed them. Continue reading →
Sheba went to visit her kids at night, walking through walls as if they weren’t there. It gave Zita time to think, applying the ruthless cold logic she’d learned sharing a suite with Joff, an empath she was not supposed to upset. It wasn’t emotions if it was logic.
The wall shimmered as Sheba appeared (by magic, that was still cool), and Zita let her breath out and met her new Keeper’s eyes directly.
“Good,” Doug grunted, as Arnbjörg pushed back against his strike with a block and a shouted No. “Fun power.” He took a step backwards, nodded. “Again.” Again, and again, and again, blocking and pushing with her power and striking back, until sweat drenched her hair and she felt like her arms and legs were made of rubber. “Good. Enough.” Doug leaned against the wall and gestured at her. “Walk.” She paced the small training room, once, twice, until he gestured to her, enough, and leaned against the wall with him. “Fun power,” he repeated, and then, “Aelfgar kids. Always have fun powers.” Doug didn’t say anything without purpose. Doug barely spoke. Arnbjörg glanced at him, waiting to see what else he’d say. Continue reading →
Arnbjörg stumbled out of Jaya’s room sleepily Saturday morning to find the whole crew-plus sitting around the TV. She checked herself compulsively: yes, she was wearing pajamas, yes, they covered everything, yes her hair was tolerable.
“Late night?” Sheba asked. “Jaya said you were out at the dance forever.”
Arnbjörg looked away. “Jaya wasn’t having fun.” She noticed Jaya wasn’t saying anything. “But I was having a good time with the cy’Luca boys.” Continue reading →
At first, Arnbjörg had been happy to see him. Melchior being around made Jaya happy, and it made severyone else relax. He’d even dropped his Mask for her once, which made her understand both why he Masked all the time and why everyone treated him like a mascot.
But Magnolia had broken out something she called “prime hootch” that smelled like a perfume factory truck had run into a vodka truck, and everyone had started drinking. And the more Melchior had started drinking, the more he draped himself on Jaya, who just petted him like it was cute. Continue reading →