All the older students were in graduation right at that moment, so even if any of his crew still Belonged to any of them, it wouldn’t have been for much longer. The back of Leofric’s neck itched, his hair falling back against it where he hadn’t been able to feel it for… since the school year started. His eyes itched, too, in a weird feeling like he wanted to cry, or had been crying, but he couldn’t imagine why. They were free! They could leave.
Somehow he didn’t feel like packing up to leave yet, though, and besides, all his stuff was already packed up from– Continue reading →
“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 →
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’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 →
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 →
He’d come up with it the past weekend, keeping it to himself – even if his Keeper seemed lax and helpful now, Leofric knew that the only way to be sure your Keeper wouldn’t tell you not to do something is if she– he didn’t know it was a thing in the first place.
Of course, Aviv hadn’t told him not to try to escape. He’d just said there wasn’t a way, while Leo felt along the boundary at the edge of “outside”.
Outside. Leofric had almost forgotten what it felt like, being outside. He hadn’t realized there was an outside they could get to, but then there it was, through a hidden invisible door, his Keeper leading him out and into the sun and sky and fresh air and letting him run. Even if there wasn’t a place he could run to, or a direction he could take to run away, he could still run. Continue reading →
Cya felt like, if she held herself perfectly straight and perfectly still, nothing would fall off. Otherwise, she was afraid, she was going to shatter into a thousand pieces.
She kissed Dysmas and made the appropriate wiggle as he grabbed her butt with both hands and pulled her in towards him, then headed off to class, not straightening her skirt until she was out of sight. Nobody tried to hit on her; Alexander looked over at her with sad eyes and she pretended she couldn’t see. Save your sadness for someone who needs it.Continue reading →
Thinking about anything besides his orders, his classes, and homework was….
Professor Vanderlinden was dramatizing Brave New World at the head of the class and Leofric was attempting to keep up and take notes (don’t get me in trouble again, and if you start slacking off in classes the teachers will blame me) while Zita and Howard whispered to each other (don’t interfere with other people’s Kept, don’t draw attention to yourself, don’t speak unless spoken to, don’t cause trouble in class). The orders tugged at his mind, his actions, pushing him through the motions of being a Good and Normal Kept. That was, after all, the only way he’d ever be one (too stupid to breathe, at least you’re pretty, don’t you want to be a good Kept).
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.