Archive | August 11, 2016

the Wrong Kidnapping, a story of Tír na Cali for Patreon

The collar clicking around Trey’s neck was supposed to be the culmination of months – years – of planning, the final realization of all his hopes and dreams.

It made the feeling all that much more sour. This collar wasn’t pretty, like the ones in the contraband romance novels. It wasn’t light and airy, it wasn’t comfortable, like the ones Trey had played with, in underground clubs and quiet swing parties. It didn’t come with nice words and a quiet understanding of his place in the world, a sense of comfortable inevitability, a sense of honored submission.

read on…

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Meta-Conversation Part One: Jaco answers some questions

You, the readers, asked Jaco of Lady Taisiya’s Fourth Husband some questions, and he’s ready to answer.

Jaco wanders into the room, chains jangling loudly, and perches on a stool, looking around at the audience. His eyebrows raise: so many women. He turns to me with a little headtilt.

“You said they had questions. You said you picked me?” If he is a little defensive, well, he is no longer used to crowds.

“Onter’s bought into the system too much, and Callum is a bit shy around women, you have to admit.” I shrug, perhaps a bit apologetic myself, and reach over. Protocol dictates I not touch you, but I hand him the cards, and he flips through them.

“Divorce?” He settles on that one first. “What’s that?”

“Well, I suppose that means it doesn’t exist in your world, then.”

“Probably not, but what is it? I mean, maybe we call it something else?” He’s leaning forward now, trying not to look eager.

What can I do but answer? “It’s when a marriage is dissolved legally. Usually there’s some law about how the belongings are split up and who gets custody of the children.”

He leans back a bit and he frowns. “No. Nothing like that. Husbands who survive their wives, well, it can go several ways. If they’re young enough, sometimes they go back home.” He jangles his chains. “Or re-marry. Won’t happen to me.”

He pointedly goes through the cards, considering and discarding several more. “Men don’t marry men. Marriage is all about the Treaties. Sometimes… men-who-don’t-marry, or men whose wives died, they set up house together. Widowers, I think your term is?” He glances at me, and I nod. Close enough. “And no, I mean, women mary for responsibility. Marrying just one man — I mean, sure, some women have a first match that’s for love, and they try to make like he should be their only. But it’s never going to last.”

He puts the cards down on the table and rubs his wrists. “Marriage is a community thing. It’s for the community. That’s what they tell us.”

He glances back at the cards, and then at the audience. “Well? Anything else?”

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Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part X

Part I:
Part II:
Part III:
Part IV:
Part V:
Part VI:
Part VII:
Part VIII:
Part IX:

Help! I’d like clever individual titles for these chapters as well – now taking suggestions for 8, 9, and this one!

“So the whole school is underground?” Xander was the last down the narrow staircase, and he was taking his time, looking around as if the old barn would suddenly reveal something more exciting than a concrete stairway hidden under a trap door. “Doesn’t that get a little, oh, I don’t know, crypt-like? Grave-y? Dank and claustrophobic?”

“Spend a lot of time in crypts?” Luke shot a look over his shoulder at the three of them.

“Of course not,” Willow offered brightly. “It’s just that the whole underground thing is a bit — well, it’s a bit creepy, you have to admit. No offense, I mean, some people like creepy; it’s a valid decorating style, I’m sure, but…”

“But it’s still a bit strange.”

“Being underground lets us spread out more,” Luke offered. “And gives us privacy.”

“Oh, good. Privacy.” Xander swallowed. “Not selling me on the crypt-school here, man.”

“It grows on you.” The lights came on as Luke led them down into a broad room, warehouse shelves flanking a wide receiving area and a big Jeep on some sort of lift. “Through this way is the school. There’s some students here over the summer. Magnolia’ll show you around. You want to talk to Regine, right?” He nodded at Giles.

“I need to impress on her the oddities of our situation — ah, yes.” Giles coughed. “Yes, I need to explain to her, that is —”

“You said ‘yes’, Giles, it’s fine.” Buffy patted him on the shoulder. “I think he got that part without all the extra yesses.”

“Thank you very much for that, Buffy.” Giles frowned at her. “And this tour, I assume it will be of the grounds and accommodations and…”

“All down here.” The warehouse opened out into a wood-panelled hallway, the carpet lush and soft underfoot and the light hidden somewhere in the ceiling. “Greenhouse and dorm rooms, Store and Arcade and the pool and the weight room—”

“You have a greenhouse? Underground? The ‘green’ part isn’t supposed to be mold, is it?”

“Store? Are there shoes? What?” Buffy looked around, although only Giles was really sighing. “I was promised shoes for this trip, and then I broke a nice one when we were in — wherever we were. Also, what about the nightlife? Clubs? That sort of thing?”

“Students with suites throw a lot of parties, and there are dances every other Friday.” Luke didn’t sound all that thrilled about it. “It’s a small school. There’s plenty of chance to get to know everyone.”

“And what about computer classes? Don’t huff, Giles,” Willow scolded. “It’s just that I have a need to keep learning, and if this place is going to challenge me even less than Sunnydale High…” she shrugged. A gesture around the place suggested she didn’t think much of the decor. “Old-fashioned law firm look doesn’t mean challenging teachers.”

Luke cleared his throat. “You could come up with an independent study program with your Mentor. I’m sure there are a couple teachers here who could help you with that, although we’re kind of… old-fashioned here.”

“I can’t imagine why,” Giles muttered.

“Mmph.” Luke shot Giles a look.
Buffy sighed. “More tweed? More old men hiding in rooms and reading books?”

“Nothing lik — more?”

“I have a very interesting life, but it involves way too much tweed,” Buffy explained. “Right, Giles?”

“Ahem. Well, there is quite a bit of tweed, that is, as Buffy says. There are a number of scholars who are less than useful in a difficult situation and who have, ah, insinuated themselves into Buffy’s life. This is all going to come out in the meeting I should have with the Administration, of course, and that would include you, wouldn’t it, Mr. Hunting-Hawk?”

“What… yeah. Yeah, it would.” He rolled his shoulders. “I guess I oughta… Magnolia!” He waved down the hall. “These are the visitors.”

“Oh, I was wonderin’ when they’d show up.” The voice came first, a warm southern drawl. A moment later, they could see the girl around Luke’s shoulder — tall, taller than Xander, with dark tan skin and black curly hair twisted up into a sloppy chignon. She was wearing a halter top and shorts with heeled sandals that made her even taller. “Oh, aren’t y’all cute!

“Tell me she’s not a demon,” Xander whispered. “Tell me she’s not a demon… ow!” He rubbed his arm where Buffy had punched him.

That left Willow to step forward and offer a cautious hand. “I, um, hi. Willow, that is, I’m Willow, this is Buffy, Xander, and Giles, our, um, our Librarian.”

The tall girl shook Willow’s hand. “Ah’m Magnolia. And the only people that call me a demon are the ones ah’m sleepin’ with, so take that as you may.”

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