War: Chapter 2

“So how was the luncheon?”  Michaels smirked at his partner.  Gabriel just narrowed his eyes.  The mayor’s wife patted his ass.  “I told you to spill coffee on the chief’s desk, but you didn’t listen.”

“I do not miss political functions.”  Stephan shook his head and looked up at Gabriel.

“You had to go to a lot of them?”  Michaels glanced at him.

“Only black guy on the force.”  Stephan shrugged.  “I got dragged along to all of them.”  He looked over his shoulder.  “Magda had to go to, until they hired…”  He frowned.  “What was her name?  Pretty blond girl with the…”  He gestured in front of his chest.

“Violet.”  Ash supplied the name.  Stephan smirked at him, and Ash rolled eyes.  “They were very noticeable.”

“Yeah she was…”  Stephan chuckled.  “Almost out of uniform a few times.  Good cop.  She’d bat her eyes, bend a little forward, and next thing anyone knew the suspect had babbled every bit of information they had.”

“I seem to recall a certain someone walking into a pole the time she wore a mini-dress for a sting.”  Magda grinned.  She caught Gabriel’s arm as he tried to go past into the house.  “Where are you going?”

“To change.”  Gabriel glanced down at her.

“Sorry partner.”  Michaels patted his arm.  “They took a vote when they learned you were in dress uniform.  You’re not allowed to do that.”  He looked over at where Matthias and Ted were coming up the stairs.  “Erilon voted on your behalves.”

“So, it was one to…”  Gabriel turned to count heads.

“Nah, it was unanimous.”  Michaels grinned.  “I like picking on you.”  He put his hand on Gabriel’s shoulder.  “Remember, our job is to serve and protect for the forces of justice and democracy.”  He turned back to the grill and started putting burgers onto plates for Matthias and Ted.

Gabriel started toward the door again, and Magda stepped into his path to block him.  Daniel and Laura came up the stairs, and Daniel started snickering.  Gabriel exhaled and looked up at the sky.  “She showed him the photo?”

“She showed him the photo,” Michaels confirmed.

“What photo?”  Matthias raised an eyebrow.

“Oh for…”  Gabriel took a deep breath, then he shrugged.

Michaels nearly dropped the plate he was holding when Gabriel simply started unbuttoning the jacket of the uniform.  “Uh, partner?”  He blinked.  “What are you doing?”

“Stripping.”  Gabriel continued unbuttoning the jacket.

“You’re…”

“Is anyone…”  Gabriel looked around.  “Going to stop me?”

“Hell no.”  Matthias grinned, then put an elbow on Ted’s shoulder.  Ted was running a hand down the front of his face.

Continue reading War: Chapter 2

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Archeology: Chapter 11

He stared at the man wearing the ring, then turned toward Bridget.  “Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine.”  Her eyes were tight enough that he knew she wasn’t completely honest, and when his eyes went toward her hand he noticed bruises and cuts.  Bridget shook her head.  “I’m sorry, Khait.  I tried to —”

Lothar started laughing.  “Wow.”  He smirked at Khait.  “She actually thinks you care.”  He rolled his eyes.  “Guess burying you in the desert didn’t rob you of your charm.”

“I told you, Lothar…”  Khait smiled.  “It’s just not going to work out.”  He narrowed his eyes.  “You’re not my type.”  He glanced at Abigail and gave her what he hoped was a comforting smile.  “This is why you shouldn’t date werewolves.”  She returned the smile, but it didn’t reach her eyes.  “They get clingy, start humping your leg, and —”

“You weren’t kidding.”  The man wearing the ring rubbed his face.  “He really doesn’t know how to shut up.”  He shook his head.  “You’ll not speak again without permission.”

Khait glared at him, but the ring’s power forced him to silence.  “Leave him alone.”  Abigail turned to glare at the man.  Dammit.  He needed some way to get her and Bridget out of here.

Continue reading Archeology: Chapter 11

Archeology 101: Chapter 8

“How is Rome?”  Abigail grinned at the phone.

“A lot rainier than I wanted it to be.”  Bridget’s voice came back over.  “I won’t be able to go sight-seeing until it clears up.  I wish —”  She cut herself off.  “No, Khait.”

“He’s not even in here, he’s on the computer.”  Abigail leaned over to look.  “Binge-watching Netflix.”

“Well, at least he’s doing something normal.”  Bridget continued chatting about the new job.  Since she was mostly talking about the filing system, Abigail tuned it out and just said ‘uh-uh’ whenever Bridget paused.  “And there is this stunning blond at the cafe I’ve been going to.”

Now that was interesting.  Abigail sat up.  “Getting back in the saddle now, are we?”

“Don’t be silly.”  She could almost hear Bridget blushing.

“Ooh, tell me all about her.”  Abigail grinned before leaning back again and putting her feet up on the arm of the couch.

“I uh…”  Bridget let out an honest to god giggle.  “I have a date tonight.”

Continue reading Archeology 101: Chapter 8

Archeology 101: Chapter 7

Khait carried the pile of books toward the library and dumped them into the return box.  Bridget had said unless she summoned him, he wasn’t to teleport anywhere.  And he couldn’t have one of the two wheeled horseless transport things or a car until he had a classy diverse license.  He gave another long-suffering sigh.  And she’d banned him from just getting one.  He had to seek out instruction and pass a test of some kind.

He cut through an alley on his way to where they’d told him to meet him, and stopped short.  Professor Kravitz was backing away from a big man and an angry looking woman.  “Professor.”  Khait grinned as he walked over.  “How are you?”

“Who…”  Professor Kravitz gave him a strange look.

“Get lost.”  The man narrowed his eyes at Khait.

“Unlikely.  I have an excellent sense of direction.”  Khait smiled.  Bridget had been very clear.  He wasn’t allowed to instigate any conflict.  But self-defense was still allowed him.  Perhaps the day would be fun after all.

“I said scram.”  The man sneered.

“Professor…”  Khait turned toward him.  “Would you like to scram?”

“Very —”  The professor’s eyes widened.  “Look —”

The big man’s fist hit Khait in the side of the face, smashing into him with the force of a mule’s kick.  Slowly, Khait turned back toward him.  The big man blinked.  “The fuck —”

“Come now…”  Khait sent out a tendril of power.  These two had attacked him, and he was defending the professor.  He saw a slight flush rise in the cheeks of the big man.  “Surely you could think of more entertaining things to do to me?”

“I…”  The big man started to smile as he took a step toward Khait, and then he caught hold of Khait’s arm.  “I can think of a few things.”  He yanked Khait toward him and planted a hard kiss on his mouth.

“The fuck are you doing?”  The big man’s companion stared.

His hand went around the back of the big man’s head and held tight as he brought his power to bear.  Energy flooded into him, and he heard the big man groan in ecstasy as Khait’s nature manifested.  The man gave one last thrash, then went limp.  Khait released him, and he dropped lifelessly to the ground.  Khait licked his lips.  “Delicious…”  He gave the woman a sultry smile, and saw her flush.  He held out a hand to her.  “Next?”

Continue reading Archeology 101: Chapter 7

Archeology 101: Chapter 6

Abigail gestured at the screen.  “This is the Internet.”

“It looks very much like your television.”  Khait glanced up at her.

“No, not the monitor.  The stuff on the monitor.”  Abigail tapped the screen.  “This, specifically, is Wikipedia.  It’s like a massive collection of human knowledge.  Or a summary of it, anyway.”  She typed in a few letters, then clicked the mouse.  “See, this is San Francisco, which we are very near.  We’d live there, but neither of us can afford it.”

“I can —”

“Khait.”  She exhaled.  It was so, so tempting.  But Bridget would throw a fit.  “Maybe we can find some way to…”

“She is very…”  Khait made a noise that sounded like a low growl.

“What are you banned from now?”  She raised an eyebrow.

“Donuts.”  He let out a long-suffering sigh.

“Why are you…”  She caught herself.  “Never mind, I don’t want to know.”  She pointed at the keyboard.  “Okay, you can type things into this.”  She grabbed his hand and put it on the mouse.  “This moves that little arrow thing, see it?  You click on the blue underlined bits and they’ll take you to other pages.”  She heard the door open.  “Okay, that’s Bridget back with the pizza.”

“I could have —”

“Without stealing someone else’s order?”  She sighed.

“Well…”  He stuck out his lower lip.  “No.”

“Learn about San Francisco.”  She headed out of the room.

Continue reading Archeology 101: Chapter 6

Archeology 101: Chapter 5

“Okay…”  Bridget took several deep breaths.  Then she took several more.  Then she got a drink of water, drank it, and took several more deep breaths.  Only then did she turn to look at Khait.  “Let’s set a few more ground rules.”

“Sharks.”  Abigail was sitting on the couch, staring at the wall as though shell-shocked.

“I am uncertain —”  Khait started shaking his head.

“One…”  Bridget held up a hand to stop him from talking.  “Street lights.  Do not alter them in any way.”

“Yes, mistress.”  He nodded.

“Two…”  She took a deep breath.  “When I say I wish someone would go away, it is a rhetorical statement.  Do…”  She exhaled.  “Not teleport them anywhere.  Especially not anywhere they may be endangered.”

“Even if they attempt to take liberties with your person?”  Khait raised an eyebrow.

“He grabbed my ass.”  She shook her head.  “That’s the kind of thing you punch someone for.  Teleporting them to the arctic circle is not okay.”  She hesitated a moment, then sighed.  “Even if it was a little bit funny.”  She shook her head.  “It’s still not okay.”

“I…”  Khait shrugged.  “Yes, mistress.”

“Three.  Do not change my grades.”

“You wanted an A.”

“Bridget, don’t you think your priorities are a little —”

“I will get to it, Abigail.”  Bridget sighed.  “I wanted an A.  But it’s my responsibility to get one.  I don’t learn anything when you go in and change my grades.  Don’t do it.”  She glanced at Abigail.  “Don’t change Abigail’s either.”

“Bitch.”

“Yes, mistress.”

“Four…”  Bridget stood there a moment, trying to put the words together properly.  Then she just started shaking her head.  “Why the hell did you put sharks in the swimming pool?  It’s a shark.  Swimming pool.  People swim in pools so they don’t have to worry about sharks.  If they wanted to swim with sharks here is an ocean like twenty miles that way —”  She pointed.

“It is that way.”  Khait pointed in a different direction.

“Irrelevant!  You don’t put sharks in pools!”  She stared at him.  “Why did you put the sharks in the pool?”

“The little girl wanted to see them.  She gave me ice cream.”

“You…”  Bridget blinked.  “What?”

“Ice cream.  It is a frozen dairy thing with sugar and —”

“I know what ice cream is!”

“Oh.”  Khait nodded.  “She was too small to go in the cage to see sharks, and it made her very sad.  She likes sharks.”

“So you put sharks in the pool so a little girl could see them.”  Bridget ran a hand down her face.

“She gave me ice cream.”  Khait nodded.

“That is simultaneously one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen…”  Abigail was trying not to laugh.  “And the worse nightmare I’ve ever experienced.”

“No sharks in pools.”  Bridget felt her own lips trying to twitch into a smile.

“Yes, mistress.”

“You know, you could have gone with smaller sharks.”  Abigail leaned back.  “Like nurse sharks or something.  That way she could have touched them.”

“Abigail…”  Bridget all but growled her friend’s name.

“Those wouldn’t have eaten her stepfather.”  Khait shrugged.  “Bull sharks are —”

“Wait.”  Bridget held up a hand.  “What’s this about eating a stepfather?”

“Khait…”  Abigail was staring at him in horror.  “Did the sharks actually eat someone?”

“Well, no.”  Khait frowned.

“Okay, good.”

“He got out of the pool too fast.  I had to get a tiger.”

“What?”

Continue reading Archeology 101: Chapter 5

Archeology 101: Chapter 3

Khait rubbed his head and looked up at his ‘mistress’.  “Please stop hitting me.”

“Don’t whammy my friend.”  Bridget glared at him.

“What is ‘whammy’?”  Khait tilted his head.

“That thing you just did that uh…”  Bridget glanced at where Abigail was adjusting her clothes.  “Abby, are you okay?”

“Oh yeah.”  Abigail smiled.  “I’m great.  Wow.”  She laughed a little.

“That thing that made her like that.”  Bridget pointed.  She narrowed her eyes, then jabbed him with the umbrella.  “What are you?”

“I am not certain how to answer that question in a meaningful way.”  He spread his hands, moving away a little so she’d have a more difficult time hitting him with her chosen weapon.  This was going to require a change of tactics.  “I was cursed.  To escape the curse, I must throw myself upon your mercy.”

“Why were you cursed?”  Before he could answer, Bridget held up a hand.  “And I’m ordering you to or wishing that you would or however it works.  Tell me the truth.”

Oh.  That was going to be a problem.  Okay, so, no lying, but maybe he could leave a few parts out.  Like as close to everything as possible.  “I seduced a queen and caused a…”  He shrugged.  “Political difficulty that annoyed a dragon.”

“There is no such thing as dragons.”  Bridget rolled her eyes.

“Yesterday you would have said the same about genies.”  Abigail gestured at him.

“He’s not a genie.”  Bridget glared at her friend, then looked back at him.  “Tell the truth.  What are you?”

“I…”  He felt the magic of the talisman take hold and gave a frustrated sigh.  Isis had really gone all in on the retribution thing.  He was going to have to be careful.  “I’m an incubus.”

“Whoa.  Seriously?”  Abigail laughed a little.  “Wow, now that explains the whammy.”

“Stop talking about the whammy.”  Bridget glared at her again.

“What is a whammy?”  Khait exhaled.

“Like, who all does the whammy work on?  I mean, clearly it doesn’t work on Bridget, but is that because she’s your boss or because she doesn’t like cock?”  Abigail leaned forward.

“I…”  Khait considered the question a moment, then shrugged.  “Could be both.”

“Would it work on guys who like cock?”  Abigail chewed her bottom lip.  “Cause I’ve got some theories about Professor Montague and really could use an A in math.”

“Abigail Cross!”  Bridget gave her a scandalized look.

“What?”  Abigail responded with an innocent smile.  “Come on, getting that man laid would do the whole student body a favor.”

“Stop whoring out my genie.”

Continue reading Archeology 101: Chapter 3

Archaeology 101: Chapter 2

This was…  Where in the…  Khait started looking around.  Aside from the two women staring at him, he saw no one else around.  He also saw a hole in the ceiling, a lot of sand, and best of all, no angry dragon-goddesses.  Things were looking up, mostly.  “Didst thou sayeth…?”  He glanced down at himself, then shrugged.  Naturally.  Stark naked.  Well, that should make things easy, though neither of the women before him had averted their eyes.  The dark-skinned one was staring with a clearly appreciative expression, and the brown haired one looked at him as though he had tracked dog feces through her parlor.  And they were both dressed… in trousers that cut off at the knees.  Well, if you could call it dressed.

“Who the hell are you, and where did you come from?”  The brunette’s words were strange.  It took him a few moments to puzzle out what she had said.

“Khait, my lady.”  He bowed.  “I cometh…”  He paused, and looked around.  “Whither art we?”  He took a step toward them, then caught a glimpse of himself in a metallic decoration set into the wall.  Sure enough, he was indeed nude, but that wasn’t the part that concerned him.  He glanced at himself, then looked back at the women.  One of them had to have summoned him, but why…  “Wherefore hath mine appearance not changeth?”  If she was one of Isis’s adherents, he might be in a little trouble.

“Why the hell are you talking like that?”

Twice now she’d invoked hell.  He couldn’t decide if that were good or bad.  “Thy tongue is an oddity.”

“Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?”  The dark-skinned woman started snickering.  “Or weareth nothing at all?”  Her accent was different than the other one’s.  Slightly more familiar, though there was a mocking tone to her words.  “Seriously, how drunk are you?”

“Methinks I be sober…”  He shrugged.  “Could beest mine mistake.”  He had been drunk, before Isis had…  No, she’d drugged him.  Somehow.  Hadn’t she?

“Yeah, I’ll bet your mistaken.  Right…”  The dark-skinned woman whistled.  “Not that I don’t appreciate the show, but we might want to get you some clothes.”

“Doth thee plan to acquire proper attire?”  He raised an eyebrow.

“I’m getting the professor.”  The brunette ran a hand down her face.

Continue reading Archaeology 101: Chapter 2

Archaeology 101 – Chapter 1

Khait yanked at the ropes binding him to the stone table.  To his surprise, they failed to give even the slightest amount.  He frowned, then began struggling in earnest.  The last thing he remembered was a woman pouring him wine.  There were a half-dozen black-robed figures moving around the room.  One of them came toward him with a knife.  Khait blinked as the figure began cutting off his clothing.  Then he smirked.  “Ah, it’s going to be like that, is it?”  He licked his lips.  “You know, if you wanted to pl…”  He cut off as a woman came through the door.  “Oh.”

“Tighten the restraints.  He needs to be still.”  She waved a hand at one of the robed figures.

He grunted as the figure obeyed.  “Isis, look, I’m certain this is…”  His eyes widened as she drew a knife of her own, and cut open his arm.  “Isis, you and I go back a long way, and…”  She touched her finger to the blood, then began using it to draw a glyph on his chest.  “Isis.  Isis.”  He started shaking his head.  “This isn’t…”

“You…”  Her eyes gleamed with an unnatural light.  “Were warned.”

What he hoped was a charming smile came to his face.  “Look, I get that you are angry, but why don’t we just —”

“Your antics have jeopardized us all.”  She shook her head.

“I…”  He winced as she worked the blade again to draw more blood.  Though he knew it would do him little good, he tried to summon up his magic anyway.  He felt as though he were trying to get purchase on ice.  “Isis, you don’t want to do this.  You want to just eat me and go one with —”

“Eating you…”  Isis rolled her eyes.  “Would do me little good.”

“Little good?  You’d get a good meal, I’d be out of your hair, you win.”  He tried struggling again, but the restraints prevented him from moving.  They pulled at his joints, straining them until just breathing was painful.  “Isis —”

“I’m well aware killing you is not an option.”  She leaned down until her lips were near his ear.  “Usariel.”

Not good.  Painful or not, he started thrashing.  He even managed to nearly pull his arm free before it was yanked down and secured again.  He opened his mouth.  “Isi—”  Metal was forced between his teeth, both gagging him and holding his head in place.

Isis stood.  Her eyes had left the masquerade of humanity behind, and glowed with green fire.  She set a gemstone on his forehead.  Power seemed to wrap around him, and then it started to tear.

Behind the gag, he screamed.

Continue reading Archaeology 101 – Chapter 1

Storm’s Mercy: Chapter 14

She saw Greg fall, red blossoming around his stomach.  Adele started forward, and Phil grabbed her arm, yanking her back.  More gunmen were closing in around Jim and Greg, and she saw Jim put his hands up.  Yala looked up from where he was crouched in the boat just as Natalya pulled onto the road.  He blinked, then looked around before his eyes went to her face.  “Greg…”  No sooner did she nod then Yala was moving toward the edge of the boat.

Phil let her go to grab Yala, and Yala whirled, grabbed Phil by the throat, and lifted him up with one hand.  “Yala, stop.”  Adele grabbed his arm, pulling it down before he could do any damage to Phil.  “Yala, Yala, he’s hurt but he’s alive.  We’ll get him back.  Running in now is just going to get us all killed.”

It took almost a full minute for Yala to nod, but his face was still etched with fury.  “We will call Xue.  I will heal him, fully, if he returns Greg to us.”  Yala’s eyes flickered briefly between his human guise and the sharklike black.  “Alive.”

Continue reading Storm’s Mercy: Chapter 14

Storm’s Mercy: Chapter 5

He watched as they took blood from the creature.  It never cooperated for this.  At least four handlers were required to strap it down to the operating table for the procedure.  Xue wasn’t sure why it fought this harder than it did the handlers taking turns with it.  “Punish it after this.”  He looked over at Edward.  “Make it clear to the creature that any and all refusals to cooperate will result in reprisal.”

“Understood, boss.”  Edward grinned.

Continue reading Storm’s Mercy: Chapter 5

Storm’s Mercy: Chapter 4

The creature watched the room warily.  Natalya and Adele had both wanted to get a closer look, but given Xue’s warning, it had quickly been decided Greg would handle the first couple interactions.  For all Natalya was the biology major, he did have the most hands on experience with wildlife, and unlike both girls, he actually had combat training.  Still, he felt just a little apprehensive.  The creature’s eyes reminded him of a shark.  Just solid black.

“Hello.”  He felt a little awkward speaking, but it seemed polite to offer a greeting.  The creature didn’t react.  Greg took a closer look.  The creature’s skin looked to have the same texture as that of a dolphin, but with greener tones.  There was clearly webbing between the fingers, and the fingers ended in claws.  While he might be able to pass for human in dimmer light or…  Greg frowned as he looked up.  The lights were a bright florescent.  “Can you dim those?”

“They aren’t on a dimmer.”  One of the handlers shook his head.

“Well, turn off the ones on this side of the room then.”  Greg stared at the handler until the man rolled his eyes and obeyed.  When he turned back to look at the creature, he was surprised to realize the creature was now staring at him, his head tilted quizzically.  Greg hesitated a moment, then indicated himself.  “I’m Greg.”

“It doesn’t talk.”  The handler smirked.

“Possible his vocal cords don’t align with anything that can make vocalizations for human language.”  Greg drew a little closer.  The creature’s ears were clearly inhuman, and he could see gill slits behind them that went down to his neck.  “Especially since he doesn’t breathe the same way we do.”  He looked up at the creature, and smiled, careful not to show his teeth.  “Sorry, don’t mean to talk about you like you aren’t here.”  He held out his hand a little.  “Is it alright if I touch you?”

At first he got no response, then the creature moved.  Immediately, the handlers went on alert, their hands reaching for weapons.  Greg quickly gestured for them to get back.  All the creature had done was lift up a hand, mirroring Greg’s own movement.  The lead handler glared at him.  “Kid, you haven’t seen that thing’s teeth yet.”

Greg put his palm up, then extended his hand, moving slowly.  The creature did the same, then allowed their palms to touch.  His skin was cold to the touch, and did indeed feel like the skin of a dolphin, only…  “Dry.  You’re…”  A dolphin shouldn’t be allowed to dry.  It resulted in painful lesions.  “Don’t you have misters?”

“What?”  The handler blinked.

“Misters.  Or a fogger or something to keep moisture in the air.  His skin…”  Greg looked back over his shoulder.  “He’s amphibious, like a frog or dolphin.  Dry skin has got to be uncomfortable.  It could even get infected or blister if allowed to be dry for too long.”  He saw the handler’s eyes widen.  “Get a humidifier in here at least.”

Then he turned back toward the creature and his own eyes went wide.  The creature’s lips had drawn back somewhat, revealing a row of razor-sharp looking shark-like teeth.  He swallowed, and glanced at where his palm was still pressed against that of the creatures.  Then he met the creature’s eyes again.  “Hang on a minute, and we’ll get you more comfortable, alright?”

At first, he thought there was no possible way the creature could understand him.  Maybe it couldn’t even actually hear utterances outside the water or…  Then, so slight he almost missed it, the creature nodded.

Continue reading Storm’s Mercy: Chapter 4

Escapade: Chapter 3

“Professor Kravitz?”  Laura raised an eyebrow.  The man behind the desk looked to be in his forties, with hair just starting to go gray.  His glasses were fashionable rather than spectacles, and he wore a simple t-shirt and jeans rather than what she expected from a history professor.

“Can I help you?”  He smiled, then looked from Adam to her.  “I’m fairly sure I would recall you if you were one of my students.”

“I’m here touring to decide if Berkeley is the school for me.”

“And you’ve an interest in archeology and history, then?”  His smile warmed. “How delightful, though I’ll warn you it’s not quite like Indiana Jones makes it out to be.”

“Oh god, I hope not.  Running from giant boulders 101 sounds like a really tough class.”  Laura grinned.  “But since my name actually is Lara Croft…”  Or so it said on her IDs.

Professor Kravitz laughed.  “Well then.  As I just had a meeting cancel, I’ve a few free minutes.”  He glanced at Adam.  “I didn’t catch your name.”

“I’m Adam Wu.”  Adam glanced at her, then looked back at Professor Kravitz.

“And you’re also interested in history?”

“She’s the prospective student.”  He jerked his head at her.  “I’m just…”

“He’s a hit man.”  Laura shrugged.  “Professional assassin.  It’s pretty boring, so he’s killing time hanging out with me.  So, your focus is European history?  Excalibur and shit?”  She waved at the artwork hanging on his office wall.  Help me out here?  Right.  Try this.  “I read your screed on all the things wrong with that King Arthur movie with Clive Owen that suggested he was a Roman officer.  I didn’t catch that the swords were held together by screws until I read that, and then it was like all I could see every time the camera focused on a weapon.”

“That might have been a forgivable error if they hadn’t also had trebuchets and stirrups.”  The professor nodded.

“Oh, and the whole landing north of the wall instead of, you know, sailing around it?  Though that’s just bad writing rather than an anachronism.”  Laura nodded.  She caught the rather bemused look Adam was giving her.  “But what I’d really like to ask you about is Merlin and Nimue.”

“I fear there is little historical basis for any of the Merlin myths, though I admit the folklore regarding the character is incredible.  Some of the earliest —”

“Specifically, the Landau expedition.”  Adam’s voice was quiet.  The professor’s head immediately came up, and he stared at Adam.  Adam shifted his position just slightly.  “You worked for Professor Landau’s son, didn’t you, Mr. Adler?”

“I was trying to be subtle.”  Laura glared at him.

“You told him I was a professional assassin.”  Adam glared back.

“I think you are mistaken.”  Professor Kravitz started shaking his head.

“No, he really is a hit man.”  Laura shrugged before turning her full gaze back to the professor.  “The Cabal knows where you are, Professor.  I’m not part of them.  I can help you.”

“I don’t have what you are after.”  His smile had vanished, replaced by no small amount of fear.  “The artifacts were destroyed.”

“We know.”  Laura nodded.  “But they want the files.”

“They burned —”

“You scanned them all.”  Adam clasped his hands behind his back.  “You’re an archaeologist and historian.  You wouldn’t have disposed of that data.”

“This is insanity.”  The professor swallowed.  “People were murdered because some cult believed…”  He shook his head again.  “It’s insanity.  You realize they actually think werewolves and vampires are real?”

“They are real.”  Laura shrugged.  “I got captured by vampires once and a couple good friends are werewolves.”  Maybe she’d leave out that she was regularly possessed by a succubus.  That sort of thing does seem ripe for misunderstanding.  She glanced at Adam.  “Hey, come to think of it, what even are you?”

“Can we…”  Adam sighed.

“That’s it.”  The professor glared.  “I’m calling —”

“Oh, don’t do that.  It would get awkward.”  Erilon’s form rose in the mirror on the back of his office door.  “And I think you’ll find things are both more and less insane than you previously believed.  Also, they weren’t joking about Adam being a hit man.  Please don’t give him a reason to hurt you or anyone else.”

Continue reading Escapade: Chapter 3

Gabriel: Chapter 5

Michaels watched the man limp out of the bullpen.  Rather than draw attention to himself by talking to himself, he picked up his cell phone.  “Alright, explain?”

To his surprise, her voice actually came over the phone rather than simply getting into his head.  “That guy was a witch.

“Like the one the other day?”  Not really a comforting thought.

No.  Alright, simple explanation.  There are two kinds of witches.  The full kind, which are what most think of.  Cast spells, brew potions, ride broomsticks.  Then there are those that are just gifted, like Laura is now or will be as soon as we can figure out her gift.

“And that guy?”

Just gifted, but surprisingly strong.  Some serious mojo there.

“You think that guy might be on Gabe’s level?”  Also not a comforting thought, though the fact that the guy needed a cane to walk raised a few more questions.

No, but tough enough that…”  She made a sighing sound.  “Alright, no good way to put this.  I’m going to need you to go out and get laid.”

“Seriously?”

You want me to keep witches out of your head, you’re going to need to get it on.  I kind of gave Gabriel a migraine this morning and considering there is a werewolf in town we  —

“We need him at 100%.”  He rubbed his forehead.  “Fine.”

And it’s you or Laura and —

“I said fine.”  He managed to keep his voice low.  “How the hell does Gabe manage to talk to you without letting people on?”  It would have been nice to be able to ask her questions with the guy still here.  Letting him walk out might have been a mistake.

He has an internal monologue, you tend to think out loud.  It’s kind of like an introvert extrovert thing.

“Can you follow that guy?”

Uh…”  She was quiet for a moment.  “Well, actually, no.”

“You follow people all the time.  You even follow multiple people at a —”

I told you, the guy has some mojo.  And whatever it is, he’s a blank slate to me.  Only reason I could detect anything about him was I was already in your head when he showed and you were looking right at him.”

“If I’d known that, I’d have followed him out of here.”  Michaels exhaled.  “Fill Gabe in.”

Already done.”

Continue reading Gabriel: Chapter 5