• Slack: A Day in the Life of Ford Aston Cracked Up To Be

    "Okay, baby girl, we'll stay out of it. We don't really want to be around when you're freshly mated; that would be weird. But if you need us for anything--and I do mean anything--you call, day or night."

    I wish for you to help me by holding these details close at hand, only for a short while.You wish for much. Though Yumi wore a steely expression as she said the words, she began to relax for the first time since she’d set eyes on the girl today.

    Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock #7)

    They’d spent time in each other’s company before. Yumi had cared for Mariko while the girl had healed from her injuries. Though Yumi had kept Mariko hidden and fed, she had not spent much time actually speaking with her.It was quite simple: Yumi had not trusted her. And why should she? Ōkami had been livid when he’d brought the girl to the okiya. Mariko had concealed her identity from him, putting them all at risk.Any esteem Yumi had felt for her had been relegated to the simple fact that Mariko had won over the heart of Ōkami. Another impossible feat. Up until now, Yumi had seen little to recommend a true friendship between them. Yumi held her secrets close to her heart, and Mariko was direct in her pursuits. Far more direct than Yumi thought wise.

    Just One Look

    Though it pained her to admit it, Yumi realized her reticence to befriend Mariko might stem from jealousy. It bothered her immensely to know that. She had far better things to do with her time than be jealous of another girl.The two young women knelt in the center of the small chamber of Yumi’s living quarters, regarding each other in silence. Her trusted maidservant, Kirin, slid open the doors, and an elegant courtyard framing a serpentine stream flashed into view. The calming sounds of the winding water granted Yumi a moment of serenity in a world of madness. Her sense of peace renewed, Yumi smiled as Kirin shuffled back to the sliding doors, leaving a tray of steam cakes and other refreshments behind.

    Yumi and Mariko drank their tea. From beneath her eyelashes, Yumi studied Hattori Kenshin’s sister, trying to glean more of her personality.

    Now that Yumi had spent two nights in Kenshin’s company, she could say without reservation that Mariko did not resemble her brother at all, in manner or in speech. There was a beautiful urgency to everything she did. An earnestness that both warmed Yumi and cautioned her in the same instant. In contrast, Kenshin seemed determined to punish himself for every breath he took. Nothing seemed urgent to the Dragon of Kai, save for escape.Keelan raised his head, and the look on his face was peaceful. "Remember what I told you, don't hesitate. Colton, get Aiden out of here." Behind him, Darian heard Aiden fighting Gavriel and Colton as they practically carried him down the hall.

    Keelan smiled. "Goodbye, my friend. Tell my brother he was right, but this was the only way I saw where you all lived. Tell him I'm sorry for what I've done, but I'd do it again." Behind Keelan, the sphere pulsed. He turned back to Darian, tears in his eyes. "Go!"Darian held tight to Amelia as he turned and left his friend behind him. Outside, Gavriel and Colton had tackled Aiden to the ground to keep him from going back inside. Out of nowhere, Lorcan and the Beta Unit ran up to them from the parking lot.

    Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue (The Bern Saga #1)

    "Where are we at?" Lorcan yelled."Bomb!" Colton shouted.

    Kade, the Beta Unit witch, had just enough time to raise a shield when a pulse wave slammed into it. It threw the men to the ground, shoving them back several yards.It took a couple minutes for the ringing in his ears to stop. He gently laid Amelia on the ground. She wept uncontrollably into her hands. He stood on unsteady legs and blinked, trying to clear the dark shapes from his vision.

    He could just make out the forms of the other men standing and shaking their heads.Lorcan turned to him. "Where's Keelan?"

    "Guard Amelia!" Darian yelled.He didn't answer Lorcan's question, because he didn't want to say it out loud. If he said it out loud, it would become real. He pushed past Lorcan and ran with Aiden back into the building. The turned the corner and skidded to a stop. There, in the middle of the hallway, lay Keelan's crumpled body.

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