Hey everyone, it’s Brandi.
I wanted to respond to a recent question from a fan, one that I’m sure many have been wondering.
Are you guys alright? Fairly quiet around here.
But fear not, Ilona and Gordon are actually still alive and breathing. Just extremely preoccupied with house hunting. Let me give you FEW examples of just how preoccupied with house hunting they are.
Me: Where are you guys???
Ilona: House. House. House, house house.
Me: So you aren’t home…
Ilona: *sends 40 pictures of houses*
Me: What’s for dinner?
Gordon: Hey, come look! House. House!
Me: Cool. What are we eating?
Gordon: You know where we could be eating? This house. In this kitchen.
*S, my boyfriend who loves sports walks in.*
Gordon: S! Look! House. House has basketball court.
Good news is, their offer was accepted on the house. So they will be way more active hopefully.
To keep you entertained, here is a snippet I stole while they were trying to close on the house.
A thud jerked me awake. I was up and moving, my sword in my hand, before my brain processed that I was now standing.
I paused, Sarrat raised.
A thin sliver of watery, predawn light broke through the gap between the curtains. The magic was up. On my left, in the little nursery Curran sectioned off from our bedroom, Conlan stood in his crib, wide-awake.
The room was empty except for me and my son.
Someone pounded on my front door. The clock on the wall told me it was ten till seven. We kept shapeshifters hours, late to bed, late to rise. Everyone I knew was aware of that.
“Uh-oh!” Conlan said.
Uh-oh is right. “Wait for me,” I whispered. “Mommy has to take care of something.”
I ran out of the bedroom, moving fast and quiet, and shut the door behind me.
Hold your horses, I’m coming. And then you’ll have some explaining to do.
It took me two seconds to clear the long staircase leading from the third floor to the reinforced front door. I grabbed the lever, slid it sideways, and lowered the metal flap covering the small window. Teddy Jo’s brown eyes stared back at me.
“What the hell are you doing here? Do you know what time it is?”
“Open the door,” Teddy Jo breathed. “It’s an emergency.”
It was always an emergency. My whole life was one long chain of emergencies. I unbarred the door and pulled it open. He charged in past me. His hair stuck out from his head, windblown. His face was bloodless, and his eyes wild.
A sinking feeling tugged at my stomach. Teddy Jo was Thanatos, the Greek angel of death. Freaking him out took a lot of doing. I thought it had been too quiet lately.
I shut the door and locked it.
“I need help,” he said.
“Is anybody in danger right now?”
“They’re dead. They’re all dead.”
Whatever happened has already happened.
“I need you to come and see this.”
“Can you explain what it is?”
“No.” He grabbed my hand. “I need you to come right now.”
I looked at his hand on mine. He let go.
I walked into the kitchen, took a pitcher of iced tea out of the fridge, and poured him a tall glass. “Drink this and try to calm down. I’m going to get dressed and find a baby sitter for Conlan and then we’ll go.”
He took the glass. The tea trembled.
I ran upstairs, opened the door, and nearly collided with my son. Conlan grinned at me. He had my dark hair and Curran’s grey eyes. He also had Curran’s sense of humor, which was driving me crazy. Conlan started walking early, at ten months, which was typical of shapeshifter children, and now he was running at full speed. His favorite games included running away from me, hiding under various pieces of furniture, and knocking stuff off horizontal surfaces. Bonus points if the object broke.
“Mommy has to go work.” I pulled off the long T-shirt I used as a night gown and grabbed a sports bra.
“Mhm. I’d sure like to know where your Dada is. Off on one of his expeditions.”
“Dada?” Conlan perked up.
“Not yet,” I told him, reaching for my jeans. “He should be coming back tomorrow or the day after.”
Conlan stomped around. Besides early walking and some seriously disturbing climbing ability, he showed no signs of being a shapeshifter. He didn’t change shape at birth, and he hadn’t shifted yet. By thirteen months, he should’ve been turning into a little baby lion on regular basis. Doolittle found Lyc-V in Conlan’s blood, present in large numbers, but the virus lay dormant. We always knew it was a possibility, because my blood ate vampirism and Lyc-V for breakfast and asked for seconds. But I knew Curran hoped our son would be a shapeshifter. So did Doolittle. The Pack’s medmage kept trying different strategies to bring the beast out. Except I’d pulled the plug on that.
About six months ago, Curran and I visited the Keep and left Conlan with Doolittle for about twenty minutes. When we came back, I found Conlan crying on the floor with three shapeshifters in half form growling at him, while Doolittle looked on. I kicked one out of the window and broke the other’s arm before Curran restrained me. Doolittle assured me that our baby wasn’t in any danger, and I informed him that he was done torturing our baby for his amusement. I might have underscored my point by holding Conlan in one hand and Sarrat sheathed in my blood in the other. Apparently, my eyes had glowed and the Pack’s Keep trembled. It was collectively decided that further tests were not necessary.
I still took Conlan to Doolittle for his scheduled appointments and when he fell or sneezed or did any of the other baby things that made me fear for his life. But I watched them like a hawk the whole time.
I buckled my belt on, slid Sarrat into the sheath on my back, and pulled my hair back into a pony tail. “Let’s go see if your aunt will watch you for a few hours.”
I scooped him up and went downstairs.
Teddy Jo was pacing in our lobby like a caged tiger. I grabbed the keys to our Jeep and went out the door.
“I’ll fly you,” he said.
“No.” I marched across the street to George and Eduardo’s house. I would have to buy George a cake for all the baby sitting she’s been doing lately.
“You said nobody is in immediate danger. If you fly me, I will dangle thousands of feet above the ground in a playground swing and I’m not doing that. You can fly overhead and lead the way.”
“It will be faster.”
I knocked on George’s door. “Do you want my help or not?”
He made a frustrated noise and stalked off.
The door swung open and George appeared, her tight black curls floating around her head like a halo.
“I am so sorry,” I started.
She opened her arms and took Conlan for me. “Who is my favorite nephew?”
“He is your only nephew.”
“Details.” George smooched Conlan on his forehead. He wrinkled his nose and sneezed.
“Again, so sorry. It’s an emergency.”
“She waved. “Go, go…”
I turned right and headed toward Derek’s house.
“Now what?” Teddy Jo growled.
“I’m getting back up.” I had a feeling I would need it.