Camp NaNo, April: Day 9

Got A LOT done today, and feeling really good about where all this is going. I have this one scene I need to build up to, and then from there its building to the end- the very end end, like the real, this book is over now then end. I’m SUPER excited about it. 🙂

I seem to be doing really well with this “Write one day, don’t write the next, make up for it the next day by double writing” kind of thing. It’s just working for me, so I’m not gonna question it. And I’m not behind, so I’m not gonna feel bad either.

 

Rain had no idea how long she’d stood there, clinging to Frost’s side and listening to his heartbeat. She had no words for what passed between them, but touching him, there was just a sense of rightness, and safety, and Rain wrapped it around herself like blankets in the dark. No boogie men could touch, with her living blanket at her side.

Rook scowled when he peeked in at her thoughts – didn’t she know that no Kalean could care about single little girl, no matter how powerful? But Meliki tossed a stray weed at him, and he humphed and returned to his work. He wouldn’t stop the wolf from his work – anyone who’d seen a Destroyer at work knew better than that – but he wouldn’t leave either, just in case…

In case what, you moron? You don’t even actually remember what a Kalean can do!

And that was exactly what he was afraid of. He had no way of knowing what their agenda was, or what lengths they would take to meet their goals. But he remembered in his heart of heart that the Shining Ones were to be feared. And obeyed.

Rook straightened with a sigh, giving a nod to Meliki before turning to walk out of the garden. He paused for the slightest second at the barrier between the twilight and mid-afternoon, then stepped over it, and willed himself back home to his bar.

Rain looked up as Rook vanished, and realized she should also probably head home. She let herself through the big garden gate, knowing Frost would follow. She could feel the pressure of him behind her, like a storm front rolling in, but also like a hand on the back of her neck, keeping her steady. If it had been anyone else, she’d have been pissed and felt crowded, but from Frost, the weight was comforting, like he wouldn’t steer her wrong. She started the walk home, too lost in exploring her new connection with Frost to realized she lived more than an hour’s walk away. Luckily, Zig had been keeping a wary eye on the garden and saw her leave. He ran out the door after her, calling out to her.

Hey kiddo, wait up!”

He jogged up to her, carefully dodging her new over-sized watch dog. She jumped when he grabbed her arm, like snapping back from a day dream.

That’s a helluva walk you were gonna make there – you want a ride?”

Rain looked back to Frost, who softly faded from sight. She knew he was still with her, and didn’t need to travel with her physically to remain present. She smiled to herself, feeling peaceful for the first time in weeks. Maybe months. Then she turned to Zig and gave him a smile all his own.

Sure, and thanks.”

JJ watched as the girl disappeared again behind the big wooden gate. He watched as she sped away with that boy on the motorbike. He knew better than to act without Alonso, knew to just sit and watch, exactly as he’d been told.

He also knew the girl was getting careless. He didn’t need Al to confirm that. Like a woman not paying enough attention to her purse, this girl was beginning to forget her closer encounter from the other day. Kids were all the same. Soon, Al would confirm that it was time to strike. Then he’d have his moment in the sun, and get to come up with a new name too. “JJ” was too undignified for a vampire.

Frost remained a quiet constant in the back of her head all evening. It was surreal to eat dinner with her mom, do her homework and mess around online, knowing all the while a wolf from out of this world was watching her every move. It was funny- the idea of Myles watching her 24/7 pissed her off, made her feel spied on, but with Frost, she felt she could finally let her guard down. Maybe now, it wouldn’t matter so much if she didn’t know how to shield. With a great big guard dog shadowing her, who would dare mess with her?

Only, her mom hadn’t even noticed. Of course, her mom didn’t know anything about the magical world. Zig had stepped around him, and Rook had certainly seen him. Would Myles? How would she know? And where was he tonight, anyways? Not that she’d missed him or anything, but it was weird for him to gone without her mother. And he’d barely been home all week.

Rain shook the thought off and shut down her computer and went to bed. Thoughts for another day.

Frost followed the child into her dreams, knowing that the battle scene was familiar to her. It was remarkably easy for him to share her headspace with her – not that such a thing would have been difficult for him, but it was almost effortless with her. One more think he tucked away to ponder at another time. For now, he paid careful attention to the scene unfolding before him.

He ignored the field of bodies, and the women eating them. Death was nothing new to either of his natures, and he’d been expecting as much from the fey’s call. Beyond that, he’d known exactly what he was dealing with the moment he laid eyes on the crow in the garden. A former general of the Black Legion was not a face easily forgotten, even if the man didn’t remember his.

 

What really captured Frost’s attention was the figure on the hill, and he followed at the dream dove down to land by her side. Frost listened attentively as they spoke, always having wondered what had turned the tide on this war so many years ago.

 

“How long?” Rook asked, voice hollow with a tired edge. The lady in the dark cloak ignored him, eyes distant. “How long will you keep fighting, Moira? When will it finally be enough?”

 

She looked at him then, eyes full of surprise. “Enough, Rook? When will the Morrigan ever have enough of battle? Of bloodshed?”

 

She turned away from, back to the fallen soldiers, and it was just as well. Had she seen the grim look in his eyes, she’d have never let him live to leave that hill. To betray her.

 

Rain jerked awake, panting, sweat plastering her hair to her face. She sat up, shaking, and leaned against the headboard, drawing in deep gasps of air. She felt sick, and had no idea why, but made her way to the bathroom, just in case. The cool tile helped chase back the nausea, and she sat with back to the wall for a long time, just staring.

 

Frost remained silent, just on the edge of her thoughts. She had no idea what she was, but there were those who did.

 

And soon, they would be coming.

By morning, all was forgotten. Rain was slightly surprised to see Frost curled up beside her bed, but she smiled when she remembered the afternoon before. It felt right having him here. She felt safe. That thought buoyed her up as she went downstairs and even sat through breakfast with her mother and Myles.

She linger long enough that she missed yoga, but had time still to ride her bike to school. The late August sky was clear and bright, and in her high spirits, Rain wanted to get out and enjoy the day. It would be hot when she left in the afternoon, but she would worry about that then. She was in too good a mood to let little details get her down.

She waved to Rabe and Rinna as she passed them on her way in, missing the worried looks they gave each other. Frost elected to stay outside the building, but she knew he was just a thought away, and honestly, she agreed with him. Passing the girls had reminded her that she had no idea who could and couldn’t see Frost, and while she doubted there’d be that many magic users at her school, she’d never really entertained the possibility before. She didn’t feel like “coming out” by having a giant white wolf following her. Still, it would be neat to see who did and didn’t know about this hidden world living side-by-side with the one she’d grown up in. She wondered if any of the Spiders could tell her how to get in touch with other magical folk. Now that she had a guardian, she didn’t worry so much about keeping secret and playing it safe.

When she’d asked them about it at lunch, Rabe and Rinna were both reluctant.

I mean, we know of a few places,” Rinna had said when Rain wouldn’t let it go, “but they’re not really the sort of places you take a…” She’d trailed off, and Rain got the feeling the other girl was trying not to insult her.

Hey, no worries,” she answered glibly. “I get that I’m still “in training” or whatever. I’d just never thought about it before, ya know?”

Rinna gave Rabe a questioning look, and Rabe just shrugged. Rinna shook her head and turned back to Rain. “Stick with the Early Bird for now. We’ll show ya around some other places later.”

That was good enough for her, so when Rabe suddenly started complaining about a “seriously way PDA” couple in the corner, Rain let her change the subject without complaint.

She walked her bike over to 8-Leggs with Rabe and Rinna in tow. Rain wondered if their nervous glances around were about Frost. She couldn’t “see” him right now, but she knew he was there, and wondered if the other girls could sense him too. But they seemed inclined to keep talking about nothing, so Rain decided not to bring it up. Maybe the big guy would choose to reappear once they got to the shop, or maybe he was only visible to some people? She didn’t know, and the sense that let her know so much about things yesterday was quiet now.

Rinna held the side door open, telling Rain to just pull her bike inside into the hallway. Rabe had already disappeared downstairs, and Rinna went to the counter to leaf through the appointment book. She swore when she saw her name in for a 5 o’clock, and apologized as she too headed for the door downstairs.

Sorry. I gotta get all showered up and stuff – I hate inking when I can feel the day’s grime all over me. I’m sure most people don’t think about it, but it grosses me out to wound people while wondering what germs I’m smearing all over them.”

Rain nodded and headed over for the couches. Someone would let Zig know she was here, surely. Belatedly, she thought that maybe she should have texted him earlier about coming over, but it was honestly sort of a spur of the moment decision. She wanted company right now, wanted to be with people like her. Also, she kinda wanted to test the limits of Frost’s visibility, and Zig was the only one she was certain could see him. She looked out the big window, laughing and Frost curled up by the door. She wondered for a moment why he didn’t come inside, or if he would chase away any customers. All the more reason to sort this visibility thing out quickly then.

 

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