Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 19

Instead of replying to Jared’s question Mor handed him the wand. He felt a slight pulsing as if there was power in it waiting to be released---but nothing more. When he gave it to Daniel, telling him what he had felt, Daniel nodded. “It’s the same for me. I guess this answers your question.”

“One question at least. The more important one is, if the nahual were to get his hands on it would it transform him the way it did you, Mor?”

“Let’s hope we never find that out,” Mor replied as she wrapped the wand again and placed it back into the box.”

Jared nodded. “Will you be able to use it for its intended purpose Mor?”

She chuckled. “I could test it on Daniel and see.”

“I think I’ll pass,” Daniel replied. “I’m quite happy being a jaguar, I don’t really want to be anything else, thanks.”

Mor patted his arm. “You’re safe, I wouldn’t really do that even if it worked on Supes. But Jared, to answer your question, I believe that I can. It certainly felt as if it would do that for me. Can you imagine having an army of beasts at your beck and call?”

“I can, but in truth I’m not so certain I like the idea of turning humans into animals for any reason.”

“At least,” Daniel smiled a bit wryly, “if it’s not what they’re supposed to be. I for one wouldn’t change what I am, but I suspect in the grand scheme of things most humans would rather not become their bestial halves just because someone wanted them as a pet or a fighter.”

“And that is why we have to find a safe place to put the wand. Mor has scruples but I would be willing to bet that that is not a word the nahual even has a concept of.” Jared looked at Mor. “Do you have some plan in mind to keep it hidden from him and anyone else who may know about it?”

She tapped her lips pensively. “Perhaps. For now it will remain here as I’m the only one who can find this room.”

“If that’s the case, why not just leave it here?” Daniel asked.

“For the same reason that Jared didn’t want to learn the trick for finding the room. No creature human or Supe is totally impervious to torture in all its many dimensions. However I think there’s a way to safeguard it so that even I cannot obtain it if I am being forced to try. I shall have to think more on that and hope your nahual doesn’t put in an appearance before then. I’m really not big on pain, physical or mental.”

Monday, May 29, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 18

The room Mor took them to was medium sized, lined on all seven walls with shelves and chests of drawers. In the center stood a round table about five feet in diameter made of deep purple amethyst. It was there that Mor indicated Daniel should deposit the box.

Once he had, Mor told the men to move away. Then she began to run her fingertips lightly along the seam between the base and the lid of the box, all the while murmuring incantations. Once she paused, her fingers tracing something neither Jared nor Daniel could see. They heard her heave a small sigh of relief before moving on. When she was finished she studied the latch. Crossing to one of the shelves she took down a small vial, returning to pour the contents, thick green oil, over the latch, and then lifted it. Finally, very carefully, she opened the lid.

As she did a light flared brightly for a moment before dimming to a golden glow. Reverently she lifted a tapestry-covered item from the box. Jared moved to her side to take the box, setting it on one of the cabinets. Then he and Daniel watched as she undid the gold wires that held the fabric, and the tapestry parted to reveal the wand.

At first glance it seemed to be just a rough-hewn stick about four feet in length topped by a carved butterfly. But as Mor reached out to take it in her hand, it became incandescent as if the very heat of her touch made it burn with a cold fire. The butterfly’s wings turned iridescent, colors swirling through them so that they appeared to flutter.

Even as the wand changed so did Mor. An aura of light seemed to spring from her and in it were the shifting shapes of many animals, those known to man and others, things of myth and magic. Almost as soon as it appeared the aura vanished again and the wand returned to its base form.

“Damn,” Daniel whispered, his words breaking the silence that filled the room.

Mor turned to look at the men. “This is…so much more than I could ever have imagined it would be.”

“What we saw, its transformation and yours, would that happen to anyone who held it?” Jared asked.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Guardian Angels – Protection (15)

Dave spent the day trailing behind Kip, questioning if he'd really be of any use if the man who had killed Kip's parents actually showed his face.

How would I know it was him until it was too late? According to what Hal taught me, it's instinctual. I'll sense the danger and act accordingly. But what if he's wrong?

He watched Cass, who appeared to be relaxed while they were in one of Kip's classes, and on high alert when they were moving between them. When they got back to Kip's car after his last class, she made him wait while she checked it out.

She needs a FIDO. He remembered the time his boss, Billy, who owned the bar he'd worked at, had lent him one so he could search his car for explosives. Now, he moved quickly to the car, wondering if he'd somehow sense it if someone had wired it to blow up.

Obviously no one had, since Kip and Cass drove away without incident.

So far, so good. Dave studied the couple from his seat in the back of the car. He smiled when he caught Kip glancing at Cass when he thought she wouldn't notice. I think he's a bit infatuated with her. Of course, under the circumstances, it's probably not too surprising. Transference, I think the shrinks call it. When this is over, they'll go back to their separate lives without another thought to what might have been. Hmm. I wonder if guardian angels are allowed to meddle in affairs of the heart, because they'd make a cute couple. It wouldn't hurt for Jamie to have a mother either. No, keep my nose out of it. It's none of my affair. I'm here to protect him if necessary, not play matchmaker. I'm not sure how I would, even if I wanted to.

He chuckled softly. Leave roses in her car, so she'll think they're from him? If anything, she'd probably think someone was stalking her. Naw, I'll leave well enough alone. But he couldn't get it out of his mind that they looked good together and seemed to enjoy each other's company, as forced at that was at the moment.
* * * *
Kip had just set dinner—hamburgers and coleslaw—on the table, all while listening to Jamie tell him and Mack about his day, when Mack's phone rang. Kip was amused when he realized Mack's ringtone was the first few notes from "Dragnet".

Mack walked into the living room, frowning as he listened to whoever was calling. A few moments later, he came back into the kitchen.

"We know who the man was who kidnapped the boy and probably killed your folks," he said to Kip.

Kip's first feeling was one of relief, followed quickly by worry, because the look on Jamie's face was a mix of interest and fear. The fear deepened when Kip asked Mack, "Have they caught him?"

"Not so far. It seems the boy's father finally decided to do the right thing and talk to the police."

"So he hired the man. Does he have a name?"

"Ben Stewart. The boy's father, Mr Wyden, didn't hire him. But he admitted he knew Mr Stewart and had—only once, according to him—joked with him about how he was considering taking his son out of state if his wife didn't stop fighting him about shared custody."

"Why the hell didn't he say something the minute the boy went missing?"

"His excuse is, he was afraid the police would blame him for the abduction, which would screw up his custody fight, even though he was innocent."

"Right," Kip said angrily. "So he tried to save his hide, and my parents died as a result."

"Dad," Jamie whispered, "is Mr Stewart going to be arrested?"

Kip sat down in the chair beside his son, lifting him into his lap. "You bet. They just have to find him but since they know who he is now, that should be easy." Kip looked up at Mack, seeking confirmation.

"Very easy," Mack agreed, but Kip could tell from the tone of his voice and the expression of concern on his face that the man didn't believe what he'd said. He knew Mack's reply had more to do with easing Jamie's fears than anything else.

"But what if they don't find him before…?"

Mack took Jamie's just vacated chair. "We know who he is and what he looks like now, so Cass, Officer Smith, and I will be watching for him, just in case. But I'd bet he's long gone. He doesn't know that, until just a couple of hours ago, we didn't know who he was."

Jamie took a deep breath then relaxed against Kip's chest. "And my angel is watching too," he barely whispered.

"Yes, he is," Kip replied, holding him tight. "I think you could call all the police your guardian angels."

The expression on Jamie's face when he looked at Mack said he knew that, but he also knew a real angel was protecting him as well.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 17

The dwarves didn’t stay to see what they’d dug up. Being more than happy to have been of assistance to Mor, especially after she gave them a few precious gems, they returned to their caverns far beneath the earth.

Jared and Daniel however had no intention of leaving Mor’s home anytime soon. Not only did they want to see the wand, they also had to help her decide exactly what to do to hide it again. Although she assured them that the nahual could not follow their signatures back to her home, they none the less wanted to be certain that was, in point of fact, true.

“He’s an unknown factor,” Jared pointed out to her, “with unknown powers that could prove to be stronger than yours.”

“I have my knights to defend me then,” she replied, patting his cheek.

He sighed deeply but took his argument no further for the time being. “Shall we open the box?” he asked instead.

She nodded and started out of the room, stopping just long enough to tell the men to follow her, indicating that Daniel should bring the box with him.

“There she goes again. When’s she going to realize I am not here to be her servant?”

“When hell freezes over,” Jared replied with a laughing whisper.

They followed Mor down a long tunnel that lead deeper into the mountain. At one point it split into three parts. She paused as if trying to decide which one she needed, explaining when asked that the room they were going to moved whenever the whim overtook it. “A safeguard of sorts against those who might be looking for me or for what it contains. Today we’re in luck, there are only three tunnels to contend with. There have been times when there are as many a six or seven and you do not want to make the mistake of following the wrong one.”

“You’re the only one who can sense which the right one is?” Daniel asked.

 “Yes,” she replied shortly as if that was a stupid question.

“Hey, was just asking,” he told her. “Hell, you could have set this up so Jared would be able to as well, all things considered.”

“She did offer to, back when we were married,” Jared said. “I declined. There’s a reason the room is so well concealed, and even I could be forced to reveal the secret under the right set of dire circumstances.”

Daniel shivered at the thought and nodded that he understood.

Friday, May 26, 2017

It's release day for 'Once Bitten, Twice Shy: A Romance'

Once Bitten, Twice Shy: A Romance
Troy Bishop, the owner of a local costume shop, has been single and alone since breaking up with his ex five years before. Other than his employees, his only friends are his dog, Aurel, and his cat, Duchess.

Mike Parish is terrified of dogs, having been bitten by one as a child. So when Troy introduces himself while walking Aurel past Mike's house one evening, Mike's response is less than enthusiastic. The next time that happens, Troy manages to convince Mike that Aurel is not the beast he thinks he is.

That's all it takes for the two men to become friends. As they do, they discover that each of them have been in, and ended, a disastrous relationship. Can they learn to trust their growing feelings for each other, or will the phrase "Once bitten, twice shy" prove to be true and keep them apart?


"Not happening. No way, no how."


"No! The last time you tried to set me up... Let's just say your taste in men sucks, Bel. I'm not looking for some muscle-bound, wannabe movie star with the brains of a gnat. Hell, I'm not looking period. Okay?"

Belinda sighed dramatically. "Okay, Troy. I think you're crazy, but it's your life."

"Exactly. Now what were we doing before you decided to play matchmaker...again?"

"Inventory," she grumbled, putting down her coffee cup and picking up the tablet she'd set on the counter. "You're not getting any younger, you know. You're going to be thirty-nine in two weeks."

Troy smiled ruefully. "That's right. Rub it in."

"Bel," Jake said, coming over to join them, "give him a break. Just because you've dedicated your life to making the perfect man"--he tapped his chest--"happy, doesn't mean he wants you to find one for him as well."

She rolled her eyes. "I may love you, but you're not perfect."

"You wound me to the core," Jake replied in mock dismay. "I'm practically perfect in..."

Belinda smacked his arm. "Do not even go there. Ms Poppins you aren't."

Jake smirked. "I was last year for Halloween. And you made the cutest chimney sweep."

Troy watched in amusement while the pair continued bantering as they walked back to where they'd been inventorying the men's period costumes.

He'd been telling Bel the truth when he'd said he wasn't looking for anyone. He'd been through one disastrous relationship that had ended five years ago. He had no intention of ever trying that again.
Not the disaster part, for sure. And not anything close to getting involved again. I'm doing just fine as I am. The shop takes up all my time and energy, and I like it that way.

With that thought in mind, he went back to what he'd been doing before a phone call, and Belinda, had interrupted him--doing his share of the stocktaking. He used to hate the boring but necessary chore when it had been done with a pad and pen. Now, since he'd taken the plunge and purchased three tablets, it was, if not fun, at least easier and faster.

By five o'clock they had finished inventorying the ground floor and were ready to call it quits for the day.

Belinda collapsed in one of the chairs behind the front counter. "Balcony tomorrow then back to what makes working here fun," she said, heaving a sigh of relief.

"Choosing my costume for Halloween?" Jake asked her.

She grinned wickedly. "Yeah. I was thinking maybe all leather and very little of that."

Jake shook his head adamantly. "Get that thought out of your head right now."

"But you'd look so sexy."

"Try for a sexy Gothic vampire with all the trimmings and you in a sheer nightgown as my willing victim."

"That would be a big 'no'. Sexy lady vampire and you as my willing victim."

Troy laughed. "You have two months to make up your minds and change them at least five times in the process. For now, let's get out of here."

Belinda eyed him thoughtfully. "I can see you in--"

"Nothing," Troy told her. "Or rather, not in costume. You know how I feel about that."

"Yeah and it's weird. Why own a costume shop if you don't want to dress in them?"

"Because, Bel, I'm a watcher, not a wearer."

"Does that make you a voyeur?" Jake asked with a grin.

"I guess you could say that, when it comes to costumes," Troy agreed.

"And life," Belinda muttered as she got up. "Someday..."

"Persistent little devil, aren't you?"

"Devils! That's it. We'll be sexy devils," Belinda said, linking her arm with Jake's as they headed toward the door.

Jake looked back over his shoulder at Troy, winking. "It didn't even take her five minutes to change her mind."

"Oh, shush. They could be sweet costumes."

Troy could still hear the pair debating costume choices as he followed them out of the shop after setting the alarm. When Belinda suggested Samson and Delilah, Troy chuckled. At five-ten and maybe one-fifty soaking wet, Jake was far from Samson material. Of course, she probably sees him as exactly that. Love can be very blind. "Very," he muttered, locking the door before heading to where he'd parked his car.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 16

Daniel put one foot against the warehouse wall and leaned back as he watched the two dwarves set to work. It had taken Mor only a few hours to find them and convince them to help. A father and son, the elder one was all growls and muttered expletives while the younger one was full of piss and vinegar—exactly what Daniel had expected. They also knew precisely what they were doing and were through the concrete floor to the earth beneath it quickly and relatively quietly.

“How much further down would ye have us go?” The elder one asked as he looked up at Mor, stroking his beard, which was so long that it was tied around his waist to keep it from dragging on the ground.

Holding up a hand for silence she concentrated. “If I am correct I would say another five feet. And please be careful, I don’t know what type of box or container is holding it.”

“Lass, we are always careful, especially when it comes to unearthing magic items.”

Jared refrained from laughing when the dwarf called Mor a lass. He knew for a fact that she had been alive even longer than Daniel and that was saying something. On the other hand from a dwarf’s perspective, he supposed, she would still be considered young.

“Yes,” Mor whispered reverently some twenty minutes later when the younger dwarf clambered out of the hole and handed her a plain wooden box about as long as he was tall. She stared at it pensively before turning to Jared and Daniel. “I think it would be wise to take this back to my home before opening it. Despite the fact that whoever put it to rest here may have thought that the spells that kept it concealed were enough, and while I don’t sense any traps on it, one can never be too careful.”

Jared was about to reply when he felt an approaching presence. Grabbing Daniel’s hand he pulled him across the room to where Mor and the dwarves were standing. “We should leave immediately.”

Everyone else felt what he had seconds later. With a whispered word from Mor they vanished even as the door to the warehouse opened.

A tall, willowy male stood outlined by the blazing sun. He uttered a vivid curse when he realized he’d arrived seconds too late. With mind and magic he tried to follow their signatures to their destination and failed. Another curse left his lips, followed by a tightly spoken whisper. “I may not know who you are yet, or where you have gone, but I do know what you look like sorceress, you and your companions. Best you hide well, wherever you have gone, for if you reappear I will find you.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Two great reviews for 'You Can Never Walk Away'!

Needless to say, I'm stoked. *G*


Smoke and Mirrors - 15

“How long will it take to contact your dwarf friends, Mor,” Jared asked.

“Hopefully not more than a day.”

“Meanwhile our not so friendly nahual could also find this building, since you were able to.”

Mor paced as she considered that. “Somehow I don’t think so. All of this was too fortuitous, the thunder, the rain at exactly the right time and place. We have a friend in high places I’d be willing to bet.”

“Or low places, depending,” Daniel muttered under his breath.

“Whichever, Daniel, but she’s correct in that it seems someone wants us to get the wand, perhaps before the nahual does. And if that’s the case, it means he must be close. Mor, we need your dwarf friends here as fast as possible.”

She nodded. “I’ll need to go back home, but first I’m going to put up a warning spell to let me know if anyone enters the building, and I’ll leave a couple of distractions to keep them busy until we can get back here.”

“What sort of distractions?” Daniel asked; interested in what she had in mind.

“Oh I was thinking a couple of Krallinar and perhaps a Misty Horror as long as it behaves and doesn’t try to feed on the Krallinars’ life energy. That would sort of defeat their purpose as protectors.”

Jared lifted an eyebrow. “You have some interesting, umm, friends?”
“Let’s just say I have the powers to call up some creatures that are willing to do my bidding, as long as I repay them. And before you ask, the payment is their freedom for a year and a day in places where they’ll be able to do as they wish without harming others needlessly.”

“I can think of a couple of war zones you can send them to,” Jared growled.

Mor smiled. “Me too, but I’m talking about on the planes they come from. I wouldn’t let any of them loose here. The human race wouldn’t survive.”

“I wouldn’t bet on that, Mor, but yeah, on another plane works because I for one do not want to have to go hunting them here if they got totally out of control.” Daniel said fervently. “I hate to admit it but there are some Supes I’m not big on facing down if I can help it.”

She nodded before suggesting that they leave the building so that she could set things up. A few minutes later she joined them on the sidewalk, which was now as dry as if there had never been a rainstorm. Looking up at the sky she gave a brief, heartfelt thanks to whatever power had guided them, and then told Jared and Daniel it was time to get her home.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 14

Mor and the two men spent the better part of three hours cruising the ten blocks that she had indicated were the very general area where Circe’s wand was hidden. She was tense from the strain of trying to pin-point its location and frustrated by the fact that she was no closer to finding it than she had been a week earlier when she’d begun her quest.

“It’s here, I can feel it,” she hissed, “So close and yet so vague if that makes sense.”

“Very much so,” Jared assured her. “Like an itch you can’t reach to scratch.”

“Exactly.” She sighed, bending and stretching to release her tension. “Have you sensed this nahual at all?”

“Not so far,” Daniel told her. “There are plenty of Supes in the area but if he’s here he’s blocking very well, which is no surprise.”

A clap of thunder broke into their conversation and suddenly the skies opened up. Within seconds the trio was drenched as rain poured down.

“Okay, which damned god doesn’t want us out here,” Daniel growled as they huddled in the doorway of one of the warehouses.

Mor shushed him by dint of putting her hand over his mouth, her eyes wide with shock. “Whichever one it was they just put us where we need to be.”

“Here?” Jared’s look said she had to be kidding.

“Here.” Turning, she tested the door handle and then muttered a small spell. The door swung open on creaking hinges.

The room they entered was cavernous and to a human it would have seemed pitch black. The three Supes however had no problem seeing it in its entirety.

“It’s here, somewhere,” Mor said with conviction, closing her eyes to concentrate.

“Strange place to hide it,” Daniel muttered.

Jared disagreed. “This wasn’t always a warehouse. I’d suspect that the remnants of the original building, or buildings given how large this is, may be somewhere below us. We just have to find out what they were.”

As the two men talked Mor was pacing blindly, her hands outstretched in front of her. Suddenly, like a dowsing stick, they dropped down. “Here,” she said softly. “The wand is below us here.”

Daniel stomped his foot on the floor. “Through who knows how many feet of concrete and dirt. Somehow I doubt that the building owners will let us bring in jackhammers to dig for it.”

“Probably not, but what they don’t know about won’t hurt them,” Mor said slyly. “And I happen to be friends with a pair of dwarves who owe me a favor. I just have to find them.”

Guardian Angels – Protection (14)

"Ready to go?" Cass asked, when Kip let her into the apartment the next morning.

"We are, or more, we will be once someone"—Kip looked at Jamie who was not quite dressed—"decides which shirt to wear."

"It's Mack's fault," Jamie protested. "He said the blue one went better with my eyes but I want to wear the red one."

Cass chuckled. "Now you're a fashion consultant, Mack?"

"Sue me. I make one off-hand suggestion and now he's on the horns of a dilemma."

"Jamie," Kip said firmly, "put on the red one and let's get moving."

Jamie grinned at Mack. "See," he said before dashing into his bedroom. He came out a minute later, in the blue shirt. When Kip cocked an eyebrow, Jamie told him, "I'll wear the red one tomorrow."

"You're an evil influence," Kip muttered to Mack, getting a laugh in return.

Mack went around the apartment to make certain all the windows were closed and locked then waited once everyone was in the hallway while Kip pulled the door closed and engaged the deadbolt. When they were outside, he headed to his car, promising he'd be back again that evening.

"We'll take your car today," Cass said to Kip.

"You're just trying to save on gas money," Kip teased, as they walked around to corner to the lot.

"That too," she agreed with a laugh, "but it's also easier."

"To keep him safe?" Jamie asked seriously, while he waited for Kip to unlock the car.


"Like my…" Jamie quickly closed his mouth, climbing into the back seat and buckling up.

Cass got into the passenger seat then turned to look at him. "Like your what?"

"I'm not supposed to talk about him," Jamie murmured.

Cass frowned, glancing at Kip as he started the car and pulled out of the lot. "Who's he talking about? Was there some stranger around?"

Kip shook his head. "Only the pizza delivery guy and trust me, Mack made certain it was him before I could let him into the building, to say the least of the apartment. Jamie thinks he saw an angel in his room last night."

"Mack searched the place, I hope," Cass said tightly.

"Of course. I'll… tell you about it later."

Cass nodded, turning back to Jamie. "So what are your plans for the day?"


"Oh, that must be nice." She grinned at him. "Wish I could do that all day."

"Do you know how to?" he asked seriously. "I thought grownups just worked all day."

"We do, or go to school, like your dad."

"You go to school too?"

"Nope. I'm done with that, so now I just work."

Jamie frowned. "I don't think I want to be a grownup then."

She chuckled. "I don't blame you. There are times when I'd love to be a kid again."

"Me too," Kip agreed, turning the corner onto Emily's street.

A few minutes later, he and Cass were back in the car after saying goodbye to Jamie, who was at that point more interested in what his cousins were doing than in the adults.

"So, what happened last night?" Cass asked.

"Jamie said he saw an angel, his guardian angel. Mack thinks, and I agree, that its just Jamie's way of making himself feel safe. I'm going to talk to him tonight about that."

"You know," Cass replied, "there are stories about how some kids really can see their guardian angel."

"Don't tell me you believe in those fairytales."

"No," she replied, laughing. "Still… a lot of people do."

"The same ones who think aliens have invaded or vampires are their next door neighbors," Kip said scathingly.

"You mean vampires don't walk among us?" Cass looked at him in mock dismay.

Kip laughed. "If they do, I've never met one and I think I'd rather not."

"I vant to suck your blood."

"That was awful."

"I beg your pardon. I thought it was a good Bela Lugosi imitation."

Kip glanced over at her. "Bad imitation, and you look nothing like Lugosi. You're too…" He quickly returned his concentration to his driving.

"I'm too what?"

"Cute," Kip muttered.

"Oh. Well." Cass seemed flustered and quickly changed the subject, asking what she'd be learning today about fire investigation.

Kip told her, and then she found out firsthand while she accompanied him to his classes. Afterwards, she sat at the back of a high school classroom while Kip tutored two students in science.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 13

“I guess you haven’t seen much of Mor,” Daniel said softly while he and Jared changed clothes to something that would work if they decided to check out the club.

“Just what makes you draw that conclusion?” Jared kept his voice low too, as Mor was still in the apartment.

“She didn’t know we can link for one thing, and she still harbors hopes of getting you back again for another.”

“Vain hopes,” Jared replied as he watched Daniel standing at the closet trying to decide which shirt to wear. He never tired of feasting his eyes on his partner’s lean, muscular body that was so at odds with his boyish features. Anyone who didn’t know Daniel would probably think he was a young, probably spoiled, soft, dilettante and a fan of the retro look from the style of his hair. In fact he was just the opposite in all ways except for the last.

Daniel turned to smile at Jared. “Damned straight, because you’re mine now Bat Man and I’m not about to share you with anyone.”

Jared’s eyebrows rose in amusement. “Now when did I ask you to?”

“I know you,” Daniel said softly as he paced across to stand in front of his partner. “I know I’m the only man in your life and that I have been since we met.
But I also know you still harbor some small feelings for Mor, and,” he wrapped his arms around Jared’s waist, pulling him close, “I have a very strong sense that you’ve entertained thoughts about what it would be like to take her to our bed, with me there, too.”

Jared chewed his lip before nodding slowly. “Just…imaginings, nothing more.”

“Well un-imagine them because it is so not happening. I won’t share you with anyone, especially not her.”

“You’re possessive streak is showing again.”

“Which should be no surprise to you whatsoever,” Daniel growled while cupping the back of Jared’s head with one hand. “I maybe young, relatively speaking, but I know what I want, what I wanted from the moment I saw you, and that was you.”

Jared stared into Daniel’s eyes, seeing the truth in his words as he had so many times before. “Just as I wanted you on first sight, my wonderful jaguar.”

The kiss they shared then could have turned searing, which would have had them stripping and ending up on the bed, embroiled in a wild sexual coupling. But they were both well aware that Mor was waiting for them just down the hall.

They pulled apart slowly. Jared took one more quick taste of Daniel’s mouth and then swatted his ass. “Choose a damned shirt would you please.”

With a laugh Daniel returned to the closet and took out the first one his hand fell on, donning it quickly. “Let’s go face her majesty and get this show on the road.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 12

Jared and the others were bent over a map spread out on the dining room table at the apartment. “This is as close as you can pinpoint it?” he asked.

“I’m afraid so.” Mor’s long fingernail traced a circle that encompassed ten city blocks.

Daniel crossed to the computer as he said, “Well it’s better than we had before, Jared. Let me bring up the satellite maps so we have a better idea of what buildings are there.”

“Looks like it’s mostly warehouses from the size and shapes of them,” Jared muttered as he went to stand behind Daniel.

“Nope, not all of them.” Mor pointed to one that encompassed most of a block. “I visited this place during my initial search of the area. It’s a new club, mainly for Supes, though they let humans in too sometimes, if they’re with a Supe or aware of them.”

“You’ve been there? You go girl,” Daniel chuckled. “I’ve heard of it, of course, but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.”

“It’s…interesting,” Mor told them. “They’ve broken the building up into a great many different spaces to accommodate everyone’s proclivities; for those who like the loud vibrant club scene atmosphere, to those who have more, shall we say, specialized tastes.”

“Meaning sexual or otherwise?” Jared frowned as he thought about that.

“Both. If you were hungry you could get fed by willing minions. If Daniel was into rough sex his needs would be met. There’s a room for the wee folk so they don’t get trampled if they want to be in their own form, heavily guarded to stop any troubles that might ensue.”

“And the large folk?”

“Have part of the basement area. Those trolls and gargoyles can really rock when they put their minds to it. Pardon the pun.”

Daniel rolled his eyes as he printed out the maps they’d need.

“You do realize that this club probably isn’t where the wand is. Too many Supes might feel it’s presence if they’re sensitive enough,” Jared commented.

Mor shook her head. “I can barely feel it and I’m attuned to such things. It’s well concealed, and warded I think. That’s not to say you aren’t correct in your assumption, but we shouldn’t bypass the club just because of it.”

“First things first. We’ll walk the area in question while you probe for the wand and Daniel and I link to see if we feel the nahual anywhere close.”

“You can do that?” Mor looked at him in surprise.

“Yes. That’s what makes us such a good team of enforcers, very little gets past us when we put our minds to it.”

“Literally and figuratively,” Daniel added, chuckling. “We might even be able to feed you some energy if you find yourself starting to fade from the pressure of an intense search.”

“Thank you,” Mor replied sincerely although the smile she gave them was centered much more on Jared than Daniel. “That might help.”

Monday, May 15, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 11

“Enough!” Jared glared at the pair. “Mor, I cared for you once but now I consider you a dear friend and nothing more.  After a hundred years you should realize that.”

“A mere few months in the grand scheme of our lives,” she retorted.

“Perhaps, but it is what it is. Daniel and I are together and I plan on that remaining so.” Jared squeezed her hand but his eyes were on his partner.

“I do as well,” Daniel replied softly.

“Now that that’s settled,” Jared said with smile for Daniel, “let’s get back to the business at hand. Mor can you narrow down the area where the wand is hidden, at least to within a few city blocks?”

“I can and I have.”

“Now if we could only do that for the nahual,” Daniel said.

Mor nodded. “If he is within close proximity I will know, but that is the best I can do for you.”

“It stands to reason that, if he’s indeed looking for the wand, he has probably zoned in on the same general area as you have, Mor. So that may be our best bet for finding him.” Jared stood with a glance at the others. “So I suggest that we go there now. That is, of course, if you’re willing to join with us in the hunt, Mor.”

“Now how could I pass up an offer to spend time with you, Jared?”

Daniel bit back his immediate reaction to her words and smiled instead. “I’m sure both of us will enjoy the company of a wise and beautiful woman.”

Mor laughed. “How hard did you have to bite your tongue to keep from saying what you really felt my cute jaguar?”

“Fairly hard, but I managed it,” Daniel replied with a grin. He held out his hand. “Friends for now?”

After a moment’s hesitation she took it. “Friends…for now.”

“Now that that’s settled,” Jared said, “do you need anything from here before we leave, Mor?”

She touched the chain around her neck as if to make certain it was still there and then shook her head.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Guardian Angels – Protection (13)

Not too much later, Kip tucked Jamie in after they made it through two chapters in the book. "Love you," he said, "and sleep well."

"Love you too," Jamie said drowsily, closing his eyes.

However, as soon as Kip left, Jamie sat up. The only light came through the window but it was enough for him to make out the furniture. He stared hard at where he'd seen the angel, barely whispering, "Are you still here?"

He sighed when there was no reply. "I guess you left. I wanted… If you can hear me, please watch over my dad. Don't let the bad guy hurt him."

Lying back down again, he curled up under the covers.

There was a tiny sound, no louder than a mouse. Opening his eyes, he peered around. "You came back."

"I did," Hal said softly. "Only for a minute, so I could tell you we're watching over you and your dad. But you mustn't tell him I said so or tell him you saw me again." He smiled. "It's our secret. Okay?"

"Okay," Jamie whispered.

"But you can talk to your dad about how you feel about what's happening. He'll understand, and he'll do his best to make you feel better."

"I… guess. I… okay."

"Good boy. Now go to sleep."

"Night, Angel. Thank you."

"Good night, Jamie. Sweet dreams."

"Why did you do that?" Dave asked.

"So he'll stop worrying. He was, you know, even though he hasn't told his father."

"You read his mind?"

Hal nodded. "I don't think a kid that age can be as—I'm not sure blasé is the right word, but you know what I mean—about what's happening as he was acting. So I checked. He's scared, which isn't surprising. I figured if I told him we were here, it might help."

"Too bad we can't do that with everyone."

"Do you think Kip would believe you if you suddenly appeared to him?"

Dave chuckled softly. "Probably no more than I did, the first time I really saw you."

"Exactly. So we'll both do our best to keep our charges safe and pray we're more successful than I was with you."

Dave looked as if he was going to say something in reply. Then, shaking his head, he hugged Hal tightly instead, murmuring, "That we will."