Tributaries Cover In Sight, In Mind Cover Blackwood Cover

Break Time: Dual Citizenry

In the Author’s mind, a fight broke out.

“It’s on!”

“It’s off!”

“It’s on!”

“It’s off!”

“Look!” Nyx snapped, pointing at the flat screen TV’s power light. “It’s dim!”

Elmiryn squinted at it. “It isn’t dim.”

“It is!”

“It isn’t!”

“Oh my god you idiots it’s ON, okay!?” Quincy shouted from the couch. She held up the remote control and pointed at the power button. A little red light was on next to it. “See!?”

The redhead pumped a fist. “Yesss! I win!”

Nyx tongued her cheek. “Okay. So why aren’t we getting anything on the screen then? The DVD is in!”

Elmiryn kicked the TV stand. “I connected the HDMI cable right!”

Nyx pinched the bridge of her nose. “Did you plug it into the right plug?”

“There’s only one plug for HDMI!”

“No there’s not,” Quincy declared from the couch.

The redhead stared at her, hands high on her hips. “What?”

“There’s a reason there’s HDMI one and two, Cable Guy.”

Elmiryn glared at the TV stand, one eye twitching. “I’m not moving this fucking thing again.”

“You gonna let the furniture beat you?”

“Honestly? I’m not sure why I’m working so hard for a Michael Bay film. I may as well go to YouTube and watch a compilation of things exploding for the next two hours.”

Nyx tried to keep her face neutral as she went to flop onto the sofa chair. “Maybe we should just play Scrabble instead?” When the other women gave her withering stares, the girl shrank in her seat. “It was just a suggestion…” she mumbled.

“Why did we have to get a new TV?” Quincy groaned. She tossed the controller onto the coffee table and put her feet up. “The other one worked just fine!”

Elmiryn sat at the other end of the couch and leaned on the arm rest. “Because we’re Americans, and Americans go big.”

The wizard raised an eyebrow. “Does that go for stupidity, too?”

Nyx frowned. “Wait. We’re Americans?”

Elmiryn glanced at her. “Well, sure. The Author is in America. She started writing our story while living in America. Ergo, we’re Americans!”

“But that isn’t in our story!”

“Think of it as dual citizenry. Or…something,” the redhead shrugged.

“Technically, if the Author’s life affects us, then that would mean that you’re both bisexual!”

“The hell I am,” the warrior and wizard snorted in unison.

Nyx shook her head. “You can’t have one thing without the other. Elle, if you think you’re American, then you’re also bi.”

“No way.”

“I’m serious!”

Elmiryn laughed and leaned over to smack Quincy’s shoulder. “Are you hearing this?” But at the brunette’s look, she faltered. “Hey…Hey come on, don’t tell me you’re buying that!”

Quincy looked at her sidelong, her lips puckered. “Mmm…well. Her logic is sound.”

“No it isn’t!”

“If you’re going to arbitrarily pick details from the Author’s life and declare it applies to you, then what’s stopping a person from attributing all the other details too?”

“Do I look like the sort of fucker who would watch anime?

Nyx curled up in her seat, her lips tilting up. “Actually, you’ve got that one video…”

Elmiryn held up a hand, her cheeks blushing. “That’s just the one! And I only got it as a gag. I mean honestly, how many things can a girl fit into her–”

“This is an example of the kind of things I don’t want to hear,” Quincy said loudly, hands over ears.

Nyx’s face drew long. “Oh… Oh no!

The others looked at her with quizzical expressions. “What?” they asked.

She peered back at them with a wince. “If the Author is expecting a baby…does that mean that we…?” When she trailed off, she gestured at them all weakly.

Elmiryn jumped from her seat, waving her arms in a panic. “No! No, no, no! Can’t be! No way!”

“But why?” Quincy pressed, her eyes fogged in a curious far off look. “Why can’t…why can’t we have that too?”

“Because we’re not real!” A voice called from the kitchen.

All heads turned to see Lethia stepping out, a sandwich in her hand and some peanut butter and jelly on her cheek. She finished chewing with a loud swallow, then said next, “Obviously we are going to be influenced by certain aspects of the Author and not others. But we were created to be imaginary people with our own unique personalities and stories… So there’s no need to worry!” The blonde shrugged and started to walk away.

Nyx and Elmiryn let out a sigh of relief.

“Well that’s good to hear,” the redhead said with a grin.

The Ailuran puckered her lip in thought. “Still…I wonder what it would be like if the Author turned one of us into a mother in our story?”

Quincy stared at the black television screen, still on mute, still not displaying the latest blockbuster.

“Yes. I wonder…” she breathed despondently.


Back to Chapter 40.2 | Forward to Chapter 40.3

Breaktime: Distractions…

NEW! Eikasia e-books now available at Smashwords!


Nyx stomped into the common room, her eyes ablaze. “Where is everybody!? I’m the only one on set!”

 

Her eyes fell onto Elmiryn at the computer. “Elle, what are you doing?”

 

Elmiryn didn’t even turn her head. “Huh? Oh. I’m playing Bioshock Infinite. Nyx you gotta see this. There’s this girl named Elizabeth, and she can—”

 

Nyx grit her teeth and turned her eyes toward the living room. There she saw Lethia, Quincy, and Hakeem all staring up at the widescreen television. “And what are you three doing??”

 

“Watching Legend of Korra,” Lethia said with a glance over her shoulder. “We hadn’t watched it yet. Omigosh, Nyx, it’s sooo—!”

 

Nyx pulled her hair. “You guys! We have an update to make! People are waiting!”

 

The girl nearly fell over at the chorused response she received.

 

“But we’re almost done!”

 


No, really guys! I’ll get back to it. I don’t know what happened this week. I got…well…distracted. 😛

–Illise Montoya


Back to Chapter 37.2 | Forward to Chapter 37.3

Break Time: Pain Chasing Agony…

Life had become quiet in the Author’s mind.

After another sad but expected family death had visited her life, the writer had become content to realign her energies to become more positive and healthy. It sounded like something out of a chick flick, but the Author didn’t care about the appearance of it, even if her Characters did. She watched cat videos, sitcoms, and cartoons. She exercised and cooked her own food. She tried to find things to laugh about.

And in turn, she made Quincy grumpy as hell.

“She’s driving me nuts,” the wizard intoned one day in the break room.

Elmiryn was sitting next to her,  balancing an empty Coke can on her head. “Who is?”

“You know who…”

“Okay. But why? Would you rather be watching the Lars von Trier marathon with Nyx, again?”

Quincy paled. “Gods no! A person can only take so much art house creepiness!”

“Hey, hey! Remember Antichrist? Okay, okay–who am I?” Elmiryn scrunched up her face and said in an eerily accurate voice, “Chaos…reigns…”

The wizard smacked the can off of her head. “Damn it, Elmiryn! Now I’m going to be thinking about the self-disemboweling fox for the rest of the fucking day!”

“You’re going to think of that and not the genital mutilation–?

Quincy stuffed her fingers into her ears. “LA! La, la, la, la, la! I can’t hear you!”

The other woman just laughed and wiggled her fingers at Quincy as though she were trying to bewitch her. “You can’t unsee what has been seen!”

“Idiot!” Quincy smacked Elmiryn’s hands and stood from the table. She pressed her wrists to her eyes. “Ugh. Why are we just sitting here in limbo while the Author sorts out her ‘feelings?'”

Elmiryn shrugged. “The hell should I know? When it really comes down to it, we are the Author’s feelings. She can’t just pick up our story and start writing willy nilly if we’re all out of sorts, now can she?”

“That’s stupid,” Quincy snapped, leaning onto the counter. She glared at the polished silver handles of the cabinets, the garish assortment of refrigerator magnets, the coffee stains along the counter surface. Her ears tweaked to the dull cut of the ceiling fan subtly marking the passing time. “People write to make sense of life. We can help her, if she’d just give us a chance!”

“Oh, so I suppose Quincy the Orphan can help understand what it’s like to lose a grandparent? To have that pain chase the agony of having a family member ripped out of your life without any warning?”

“Her aunt died last year! That was months ago!”

It still hurts,” Elmiryn bit out, her face going red and her eyes flashing like blades.

Quincy turned to stare at her, taken aback. The redhead quietly met her gaze.

“It still hurts,” she said again, quieter. “I know. I’ve lost people that way too, and it never stops hurting. You just make room for it, because you can’t rationalize it. Not through science, and not through art. It just is. Let the Author deal with it, Quincy. She’ll get back to us eventually.”

The wizard broke eye contact. The ceiling fan once again took the doleful role of filling in the void of sound.

Thwip, thwip, thwip…

“I know what it’s like.”

“Huh?”

Elmiryn blinked at Quincy. The woman in question glanced at her, her thumb idly picking at a coffee stain.

“I know what it’s like to lose someone suddenly, too. My mother…” the wizard’s voice trailed for a moment. “The Morettis, I meant to say. When Paulo’s parents died…I didn’t know how to deal with it. So I didn’t try. I just kept doing what I knew how to do. That’s why I became rivals with his brothers. I let my greed take over.”

“Not your greed. Your fear. You didn’t want to feel what they felt. In the end, you just grieved differently…” Elmiryn murmured.

Quincy nodded. “You’re right. I’m not suited to help the Author with what she’s going through right now. That’s not in my Character. But I know pain too, Elmiryn.”

The woman nodded. After a moment, her lips puckered in thought. “Soooo…are you going to tell me you’re human, too?”

The wizard rolled her eyes and smirked. “Bite me.”

A pause. “Hey…You mentioned your mother.”

The smirk faded. “Can’t. Status quo.”

The warrior snapped her fingers. “Damn. Guess I’ll just have to wait till our story continues.”

“Yep. I will say this, though.” Quincy turned so that she was leaning back against the counter. She crossed her arms over her chest, her eyes drifting to the ceiling fan. “The dead do not suffer tragedy. The living do.”

“Amen,” Elmiryn muttered, reaching for her soda can under the table. The chair creaked as she she went for it. She straightened, turning the aluminum can in her hands and observing how the cheap light caught the contours.

Another stretch of silence.

Then…

“Hey.”

Quincy turned her head. Elmiryn was balancing the soda can on her head again.

“Do you think the Author will watch more videos of that Japanese cat?” she asked.

“Maru? You mean that fat cat that dove head first into a diet box?”

“He’s not fat, he’s a Scottish Fold!”

“What the hell is a Scottish Fold?”

“It’s a cat pure breed!”

“Ooh-ho! Nyx has turned you into a cat person!”

Elmiryn grinned. “What can I say. I like my pussy.”

Quincy smacked the can off of the other woman’s head again.

She nearly missed, she was laughing so hard.


Back to Chapter 34.2 | Forward to Chapter 34.3

Break Time: Consumption of Beauty

This isn’t what you all were expecting, but I came up with this short story quite suddenly and thought it’d be fun to post in the mean time.  It isn’t a bonus update, nor is it even canon, but hopefully you guys will enjoy it!

–Illise M.

ELMIRYN________________________

Elmiryn had her arm around the girl’s shoulders as Nyx settled between her legs, and the woman rested her head back on the arm rest with a satisfied sigh. The microfiber couch was a shitty dark navy one that sank in toward the back, but the warrior decided that if she were to be sucked into a furniture’s vortex, it was pleasurable to do so whilst so entangled in one so soft and warm. She closed her eyes to the fluorescent lighting, the attenuated office ceiling, and the fan blades that blurred in and out of view at the edge of her vision.

She heard the fridge shut with a loud bang.

“What the FUCK!” Quincy shouted. Elmiryn couldn’t help it. The corners of her mouth went up. “Who ate my sandwich!?” the wizard snarled next.

“I didn’t!” Nyx was quick to say. Quincy must’ve set her sights on her to become so defensive. Elmiryn could feel the girl’s back stiffen before she even sat up.

The wizard’s voice was snide. “Oh, you didn’t? You eat like a horse! Who eats five triple-patty burgers in a row?”

“Apparently I do. But I didn’t eat your sandwich.” There was a growl in Nyx’s voice now, but the warrior could feel her trembling.

She scratched the girl’s back, still content with keeping her eyes shut. “Just ignore her, kitten. Riding on a dragon’s back makes her cranky.”

“Cranky? I’m pissed! Why am I the one stuck on Praxidice’s back?” the wizard complained.

The redhead shrugged. She started to focus on the hypnotic shup-shup-shup of the ceiling fan. “Because you’re oh-so-lovable?” she said sleepily.

Quincy seemed to ignore her. “And on TOP of things, there’s a cliffhanger. A missed update, and a FUCKING cliffhanger.”

“Isn’t there always a cliffhanger?” Nyx said with a shrug.

“…Or MAYbe the author is just waiting to kill you off with a herd of disgruntled midgets?” Elmiryn muttered. Nyx snickered as she settled back against the woman.

The redhead imagined Quincy giving her the finger. “Very funny.”

Finally, Elmiryn opened her eyes. They were in a gray break room. There was a sofa chair adjacent to the couch, and a table in the center of the room. The room was equipped with a microwave, a sink, a water cooler, a vending machine filled with junk food, and a low-end refrigerator with magnets on it. The room held little color and personality save for the magnets, and the others took advantage of this liberty with:

Make-your-own-poetry magnets (“How Now Brown Cow”), Farside magnets, intellectually subversive magnets (“Prose before hos.”), singing Coke Cola magnets, feminist magnets (“I can’t believe I forgot to have children!”), fantasy magnets with half-naked fairies, and finally, a single gay porn magnet featuring a well-hung body builder. The last one was Elmiryn’s contribution.  She loved the irony. The first time Paulo saw it, he’d been so distracted, he’d turned and bumped into Quincy, sending his open sandwich slavered in mayo all over the brunette’s chest. Elmiryn couldn’t stop laughing. The others tried to throw the magnet away, but she fished it out of the trash every time, and now it sat on the side of the fridge under the cabinet, where it would be least seen.

The redhead started to comb her fingers through Nyx’s hair and was met with a pleased sigh in response. “Will you relax for a second?” she said to Quincy. “We’re being given a break here.”

Quincy unbuckled her sword belt and slammed it onto the table. In the break room, they were freed from their in-story injuries, and the wizard seemed to want to take advantage of her healed shoulder by gesticulating as much as possible. “This isn’t a gods damned break for me.  I’m hungry, and my sandwich is gone.  That was my one comfort in this god forsaken limbo!  All I can think about is what happens next in the story–!”

“If you don’t like it so much, then take it up with the author!” Nyx snapped.  “For heavens sake, the way you’re acting it’s as if you got torn apart by monsters…oh wait.  You didn’t.

“Oooh,” Elmiryn giggled.

Quincy kicked a chair.  “Illise couldn’t write her way out of a paper bag.  Why couldn’t I come out of Robert Frost’s head!?”

“Maybe because he was a poet?” Nyx muttered.

“That’s beside the point.”

“Why don’t you go find Hakeem or something?” Elmiryn offered impatiently.

“He’s prepping for his return.” Quincy sat heavily in the sofa chair and groaned at the ceiling. “I want my reuben…”

“Well get over here, and I’ll give you a ‘reuben’ you won’t forget!” Elmiryn sent the wizard a leer over her shoulder, but this look quickly was swallowed up with a look of surprise as the redhead felt a sharp nip on her thigh. She gave Nyx a small shove and a glare. “Nyx, for gods sakes, why do you have to bite me!?” The girl glowered over her shoulder before she struggled up from the couch. The cold feeling between Elmiryn’s legs felt unpleasant, and she tried to pull the girl back. “Halward, you’ve got to be kidding me… Hey, come on. I was joking!”

Nyx pointed at Elmiryn. “Quincy, maybe you should be asking THIS woman what happened to your reuben sandwich?”

Elmiryn could practically feel the brunette’s eyes rest on her. She looked back at the wizard and said with a wagging finger that punctuated every word, “I did not have gustational relations with that reuben!”

Quincy squinted her eyes at her, her head shaking back and forth like she were trying to shake the woman’s sense of humor off. “Okay. Elmiryn? Your puns? They’re horrible. Stop. Now did you eat my sandwich?”

“You’re a real fucking detective, did you know that? Why would I have been the one to have eaten your sandwich? Because Nyx pointed a finger at me?”

“She’s pretty convincing.”

“I’m pretty convincing,” Nyx asserted with a smirk.

Elmiryn wagged a finger at the Ailuran. “Watch. You just watch. Next scene? No kiss.”

The girl’s broad face tinged pink. She ‘hmphed’ and looked away. “That’s not much of a punishment. Seems more harmful to YOU if anyone.”

“Won’t you be dying for my touch soon? I can live without your affection kitten, just as I lived without ever touching Quincy’s stupid sandwich.”

Quincy snorted and scooted to the edge of her seat. She was rubbing her chin and had a predatory look in her eye. “IS that the truth? You eat as much as Nyx does. My sandwich was the very image of beauty. How could you–an aesthetically driven creature–possibly deny something so sumptuous?”

“The same way someone ELSE has been denying me every single night,” Elmiryn grumbled. Nyx started moving toward the door, but the warrior leapt up and blocked her way. “Joking! That was a joke!”

The girl’s mouth was pinched white and her eyes were a little misty. “No, it wasn’t. Your thinly veiled metaphors are ribald, and I do not have to suffer them during my break. Move.”

“That sandwich was nothing to me!” Elmiryn said.  She pressed her wrists together and fixed her expression to resemble that of a kicked puppy’s. She prayed it worked. “C’mon, really, don’t leave me in here with this harridan witch. She wouldn’t know beauty if it bit her on the nose–!”

“My sandwich was beautiful!” Quincy snapped. “It was a perfect blend of sauerkraut and gooey Swiss, with Russian dressing and corned beef grilled on homemade rye bread–”

“I wouldn’t give two shits if your sandwich could do backflips and play the ukele without hands. I didn’t want your food, Quincy. Not the corned beef or the gooey Swiss or the fucking homemade rye bread. Okay? I pack a box lunch! A BOX LUNCH.” Elmiryn looked back at the girl with a wince. “Really. Nothing. It meant nothing to me.”

“Then why do you keep dancing around about it with her?” Nyx jerked her head, her tawny eyes like a turned knife.

“Because she’s guilty! She’s been stealing glances at my food all week,” Quincy cried.

Elmiryn rolled her eyes. “In your dreams. Nyx, don’t listen to her. She’s paranoid and has deep seated emotional problems.”

The wizard snorted. “You’re one to talk.”

“I am one to talk. At least I don’t stuff my face when I’m troubled.”

“No. You just stuff your face every other day.”

“And hey, who has the ass to show for it?”

An ominous pause. “…You’re trying to say something aren’t you?”

“Just that beauty eludes you like the enormity of your own ass.”

“Ex-CUSE me!?”

Nyx stared back and forth between them. “The wizard’s right. This isn’t a break. This is a circus! What’s the matter with you two? Why can’t you just stop talking in circles?”

Elmiryn scrunched her face up like that answer was obvious. “Quincy’s questioning my integrity and is diminishing my excellent tastes with her CRUDE wantings!”

“Crude. That’s rich, Elmiryn.” Quincy stood to her feet. She jabbed a finger at the refrigerator. “During my last scene, you vanished off-story, and the only one that wasn’t accounted for was you and–”

“Tristi and Farrel,” Elmiryn and Nyx said in unison.

The wizard faltered. “Oh.”

“So it could’ve been one of them,” Nyx said, rubbing her temples as if to stave off a headache.

“Told you it wasn’t me,” Elmiryn sneered.

Quincy shook a finger. “No. You’re not off the hook. What did you bring for lunch?”

Elmiryn grinned. “A rubyfruit.”

“…You are unbelievable.”

Nyx frowned. “A rubyfruit?”

“NO!” Quincy blanched and made a negative motion with her arms. “Don’t ask for clarification–!”

“A rubyfruit, my dear Nyx,” Elmiryn started as she threw an arm over the girl’s shoulders and guided her back to the couch. “Is the most BEAUTIFUL thing in the world.”

“It is not,” The wizard snapped. She pinched her brow and closed her eyes. “Elmiryn–”

“It comes in the most DELECTABLE shades of pinks and reds you could ever imagine–”

“Gods why don’t I just leave–?”

“It smells like beauty–”

“I could just walk out the door and buy a ham sandwich–”

“It tastes like beauty–”

“Why do I insist on suffering such company–?”

“And the juices are the richest thing that will ever grace your tongue.”

Nyx’s pretty face scrunched up, and she looked between the two women again. “There’s just no end to it with you two, is there?” she despaired.

Elmiryn chuckled and patted her knee. “Don’t worry. I’ll let you try mine one day.”  The Ailuran turned bright red.

Quincy placed her hands on her hips and said seriously. “Nyx, I know you don’t like me–”

The girl winced. “That’s just what I need to top this moment.  Advice from you.

“–But listen to me when I say that you should not take a thing this woman offers you. She knows nothing of beauty because she has no love. None. I think she’s incapable of it.”

Elmiryn tongued her cheek and stood. “That’s a quite a thing to say, given the source.”

Quincy glared. “It’s the damn truth!”

The warrior clenched her fists. “What the fuck do you know about me?”

“I know your idea of beauty is skewed by your perversity. Its all sensory and no emotion, just detachment and little else.”

“Speaking of detachment–when was the last time you FUCKED your husband?”

The wizard closed her eyes and smiled, but it was tight and her face was turning pink at the cheeks and nose. “I think I might’ve heard you wrong, because no one would dare say something like that to my face.”

Elmiryn nodded as she crossed her arms. “Just as I thought. Why don’t you go make a new SANDWICH Quincy?”

The wizard made a menacing move and the warrior held up her fist in preparation for a block, but a loud cough interrupted them. Both women turned and saw Nyx on her feet with a couch pillow nearly three times the size of her torso. She held it before her like a shield.  Her tawny eyes peeked timidly over the fabric as she spoke. “You both keep going back and forth about what constitutes beauty, and yet neither of you really seem to want to define what your personal requirements are.  You just keep hiding behind these metaphors for preferences.  Why is that?”

Elmiryn glanced at Quincy and found the brunette glancing back. The warrior shrugged. “You want me to start?  Fine.  I’ll start.  I think beauty is color–”

“Gods you really ARE a racist,” the wizard interjected.

Nyx pointed a finger at her around the couch pillow. “Let her finish!”

Elmiryn glared at Quincy before resuming. “Yeah. Beauty. Um…I think it’s color and shape. Especially different from my own.” She nodded as if to affirm her own thoughts. She went on slowly, carefully, feeling the words in her mouth before letting them loose. “I like variety, not mirror images. I don’t really care for symmetry either. I’d prefer things a bit chaotic to something neat and orderly.” She rubbed the back of her neck and looked up at the ceiling fan. “I also think it has to do with sound. Certain things can bring a lot of comfort, and a voice can encompass many things.” She took a breath and sighed. “That’s it. I think.  Happy?”

The warrior looked at Quincy and Nyx both. The wizard had taken to sitting in one of the plastic chairs at the table, and the Ailuran had lowered her pillow shield and held a smile on her face.

Nyx looked at Quincy next. “What about you?”

Quincy pointed at herself. “Me?” She gave a snort of a laugh. “Oh come off it, after Elmiryn you’ll just call me shallow.”

“Eye of the beholder and all of that. Go on, wizard. Speak.” Elmiryn threw herself onto the couch and giggled.

Quincy rolled her eyes at her. “Alright. Here. My idea of beauty? Is capability and all the things that would show it.” She ticked off her fingers. “Intelligence, wisdom, strength, tenacity–They’re ideal to me.”

“And Hakeem is all of those things?” Nyx asked. The girl took a seat next to Elmiryn, and the woman was quick to pull her close.

The wizard smiled proudly. “Yes.”

“Awww…he’s your utilitarian DREAM,” Elmiryn drawled.

Nyx pinched her ear, and the warrior let out a hiss of a cry. “She let you speak, now you let her!” the girl scolded.

“Nyx what happened to you!? You’ve gotten so mean!” Elmiryn whined as she rubbed her ear.

The girl ignored her. “Quincy?”

The wizard was snapped out of a reverie and started up like a machine unpaused. “I’m just trying to say that for me, beauty isn’t a physical thing, but a virtue.  A personal sense of fulfillment.  Hakeem is attractive, and yes, in a symmetric way if you must draw lines, but there’s a great many things about his personality that draw me to him. He is caring, honest, brave, stalwart, and passionate. He’s also stubborn, overly serious, fusses over money, and snores. But all of these things makes him the person I love.” She shrugged.

Now both women turned to Nyx. The girl quailed. “What?”

“You started this, kitten. You finish.” Elmiryn gave her a small nudge. “What do you think beauty is?”

The girl bit her lip and fidgeted next to Elmiryn. The warrior stifled a smirk. Quincy raised an eyebrow as she fisted her cheek.

Finally Nyx gave a nod. “Well, you two know we aren’t allowed to resolve anything outside of the story, and I know what I’d say would break status quo…soooo…” she grinned. “I say my idea of beauty is five triple-patty burgers lined up in a row!”

Elmiryn palmed her face and Quincy quickly set into objections:

“Wow, kitten…”

“Nyx, that isn’t FAIR!”

The door opened, and all three looked up.

Tristi was wiping at his mouth with what looked like a giant red and white checkered tablecloth. “Hello ladies. Just got the word from high up. We’re due back to our illustrious roles in very short time.” He burped. “Ooh! Pardon me!” He wadded the cloth and tossed it onto the table before closing the door with a smart snap.

Quincy squinted at the fabric, then snatched at it with her hands. She jumped to her feet and shoved it into Nyx and Elmiryn’s faces. “What does that look like to you!?”

There was a ruddy orange stain on it from when Tristi had wiped his mouth. The couple exchanged looks.

Elmiryn smiled broadly. “THAT, dear Quincy, looks like Russian salad dressing.”

The wizard’s face looked fit to burst with blood. She threw the cloth to the floor and grabbed her sword belt. “Damn him, DAMN HIM. I’m going to kill that bastard!” She ran out the door, slamming it behind her.

The room was quiet, and all that could be heard was the low hum of the refrigerator, and the shup-shup-shup of the ceiling fan. Elmiryn nestled her face into Nyx’s neck and smiled. “So, beautiful…has the status quo been maintained?”

“Depends.  Are you really going to keep from kissing me once we go back?”

“I couldn’t if I tried…and I don’t want to try.”

Nyx kissed the warrior’s temple and wedged her leg between Elmiryn’s.  A coy smile was on her lips. “Then maybe it has, Elle…” she whispered.


Back to Chapter 24.3 | Forward to Chapter 24.4