MM19: Jillian

I…don’t know what to say today. I know it’s been a while since I’ve been able to blog much. Houghton has been dragging me to various conferences and workshops and summits around the region, for one thing.

For another, Gretchen Reynolds has been keeping me busy hunting for lost loved ones.

We’re focusing on Luc, Paige, Ari & Simon’s siblings now. I didn’t realize we’d find one as close as we did, but…

Well, he doesn’t want the connection. I’m still looking for others. Part of the problem is that we don’t know exactly how many children Denise Daviess birthed, or even under what name she did it.

She was extremely clever and horribly mercenary. If she was still alive, she’d be facing human trafficking charges for selling her own children.

She still disgusts me whenever I think about it.

Between the search and my husband, I’m exhausted.

And then there is Jillian.

Lacy is doing well, healing after her ordeal at FCGH. Jillian was there that night, along with Travis’ brother Rafe.

I don’t think Jillian is sleeping well now. She’s jittery again, like she was after what had happened with the lt. governor. I hate that she’s suffering this setback.

And everything else that has happened to her since Lacy was hurt? I just don’t understand it.

Hasn’t my sister suffered enough?

The Desolate Ch. 7

Marous heard the fear and he leaned over his mate. She looked up at him with wide green eyes. The fear was so clear to him, did she realize that? M.J. What did it stand for? “You are very much alive. You are just Dardaptoan now. You lost too much blood, and the healers had to give you mine.” He had held her in his arms while Iahanna and the healer Barlaam had pumped his blood through a tube into her body. It had been more terrifying than any battle he had ever faced in his five hundred plus years as a Dardaptoan warrior. Seeing her lying so still and pale and…lifeless…had shaken him to his core.

He could not lose this small female. He could not.

“Tell us, little M.J., how did you get here?”

“I don’t know. I was walking home from classes on the IUPUI campus. It was late. Then I opened my eyes and I was here. Not exactly sure of the logistics. Couldn’t ask the nearest vampire without becoming food. By the time I figured things out a bit, I was already here. Tell me, big guy, you know where to find a taxi back to Indiana?”

“You’ll never be able to go back to that world.” Harsh, but he would never lie to her. And it was time she was prepared for the world they now faced. “Tell me, your true name?”

“Tell me, your true name.” She mocked. “Why should I? Thanks for exterminating the big green bat back there, but…I didn’t ask you to. And I prefer to be on my way now.”

“M.J., you can’t move around too much. You were just changed into Dardaptoan, but you are still weak. It’s going to take you a while to heal.” Iahanna straightened the blankets. “Marous only wants to protect you. I can promise you this. You can trust him.”

“Easy for you to say.”

“No. Not so easy. I found my own mate recently. It is very hard when you are not used to trusting. Especially when you are not used to trusting any longer.”

There was a world of hurt in his little sister-in-law’s tone. He knew his brother Havrich and Iahanna were still learning of each other. Yet the pain in the female’s words was deep. Spoke of the hurt she had experienced since her own brother had betrayed the Dardaptoan people, and the elder brother then abandoned the family of Woald. Leaving nearly three hundred Dardaptoans, many young unmated females, dependent on Iahanna. And leaving the entire house of Woald as potential targets for those Dardaptoans who had little honor.

He had heard the tales that Iahanna and her cousin Cayri and his sister-in-law Miranda had experienced.

The anger continued to fill him when he thought of how his own father and grandfather had perpetuated most of the trouble against Iahanna and her House.

But that anger paled when he thought of how his own mate had been left so vulnerable for the last six months. What had the Wolf god been thinking? Did he have so little care for the beings he had yanked into this demon world?

 

MM1: Houghton, Chance…and the drone.

IT WAS the drones that did it. I hadn’t even known what the man was up to. I guess I should have. I just didn’t know that he was going to involve Chance in it. You would think my sister’s husband would have at least had more sense than mine, right?

Thankfully the complaint had gone into the Finley Creek TSP post. After a strict warning to keep their toys in their own backyard, Chance and Houghton were fined. With a ticket signed by none other than the Chief of the Finley Creek TSP himself.

Elliot, Chance’s brother, had probably enjoyed that moment, hadn’t he?

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“I didn’t mean to get Chance in trouble,” my husband said as he wrapped his arms around my waist. “Do you forgive me?”

I wasn’t angry with him, to begin with. But I wasn’t about to tell him that. I’d been gone for three days—Brynna and I had flown to St. Louis to stay with Carrie while Sebastian did a conference at Quantico—and I had missed the feel of the man’s arms around me.

“You’re corrupting my brother-in-law.” Not that it would have taken much. Since he and Brynna had married and Chance had taken the job as Houghton’s—and the entire family’s—Chief of Security, Houghton and Chance had gotten into tons of trouble.

Supposedly all in the name of developing safety measures for one of Houghton’s businesses.

I knew the truth—they were two little boys enjoying coming up with new toys. Add in their friend Luc, who flew down regularly from St. Louis, and they were almost incorrigible. Almost. Elliot rode heard on them pretty well, at least.

I didn’t care. It made them happy.

Just like it made  Elliot happy to bust them.

They had all been unhappy long enough.

“I’m sorry. But in my defense, it was Chance’s idea to fly the drones over the hospital. I didn’t know one would land in their heat vent.”

“Uh-huh.” Thankfully the hospital in question was the one where Houghton had already made many generous donations. The hospital admin had seemed amused by it. “Got to be more careful with your playthings.”

“I know what I want to play with now.” His hands snaked around my waist, and he grinned. Houghton had the best smile of any man I had ever seen. But I might be a little bit partial. “You were gone for an eternity.”

“So was that what it was? You and Chance missed us so you thought you’d do something to get in trouble?” Gabby, Elliot’s wife, had called me to tell me exactly what the men had been up to.

“Hardly. Come here.” He scooped me up. Carrying me around was a thing of his. One I indulged.

He carried me through the monstrosity of our house and toward our suite on the fourth floor. I clutched his shoulders tightly when he bypassed the elevator and headed for the stairs.

“Houghton, if you drop me, I’ll make you pay for it.” The stairs were marble, for heaven’s sake.

“I’ll never drop you.”

And he didn’t.

Next Post: MM2: My Family