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Purchase Negotiation 49: Woof

First: Purchased: Negotiation

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“I know you wear this.”  Sylviane ran her finger around the outside of Leander’s collar.  He stayed frozen. He couldn’t come up with another option.  He wasn’t sure if he had thought of something else, he’d have been able to do it. “I know why.  I know you’ve been wearing someone’s collar for a long time.”  Her hand settled on his shoulder.  Leander thought about breathing again. “But – but that’s not you, and you are not a dog.” Continue reading

The Bellamy, Chapter 24

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It seemed as if everyone in the room was holding their breath – Veronika, who would have to breathe eventually, Lady Knight-West, whose need to breathe had left her some time ago, and Amanana, whose breathing requirements Veronika was not all that certain about. Continue reading

The Bellamy, Chapter 23

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“Oh, Yvette!”  Amanana’s laugh was musical, sweet, and seemed somehow almost fragrant.  It lit up the hallway.    The spectre dropped her arm, confusion evident on her face. “Oh, Yvette, did you think I’d forgotten you?  Honestly, to think either of us had forgotten you is just rude, when you’d not given us a chance to show you what we’d brought.  And for that little show you gave poor Veronika – Yvette, we’re trying to get her to stay, you know, not to run off in disgust. ”

“We’re trying to get them to stay now, on their first day?” The ghost of Lady Yvette Alina Knight-West raised her eyebrows at Amanana. “I was under the impression that the first day was their gauntlet, their proving ground. They can prove nothing if we soft-pedal everything.”

“You know,” Veronika interrupted, “I’ve had jobs that give you hard first days. I’ve never had one before that tried to kill you multiple times on the first day. If this is meant to be a proving ground, one would think it was intended to give an exaggerated impression of a normal day here at the Bellamy, yes?” A little too late, she realized she was speaking to someone who had been killed by the job.

Lady Knight-West didn’t seem to mind, though. She nodded as if Veronika was making perfect sense, which was not all that reassuring.

“Yes, it’s meant to see if you can handle a tough day here. Because we’d much rather know that sooner rather than when we’ve gotten attached to you, you see, and you to us.”

“So a tough day here can involve multiple murder attempts.”

“That would be a very tough day, I’ll admit.” Lady Knight-West peered at her. “Are you saying you don’t wish to work somewhere that has a risk to it?”

“I’m saying-” She caught her voice rising and lowered it mindfully. “I’m saying that I want to know if there’s a chance that the job might try to kill me more than once on any given day. Archiving is a difficult science, I understand, and if I were on acquisitions…”

She thought about Field Team A and shook her head.

the very well-preserved bodies of the original Field Team A!

“If I were on acquisitions, on a field team, I would be anticipating constant danger. But here, in the building – inasmuch as I can comprehend here in the building for this place – well, I must say that it is beginning to grow vexing. Perhaps even upsetting.”

Amanana’s melodic giggle should have irritated her. Instead, it relaxed her, bleeding off some of the head of steam she’d been building off.

“Oh, you are such a good fit here, Veronika! I am so pleased by you. Yes, indeed. It should be upsetting! Nobody is saying it should not – are we, Yvette?”

Lady Knight-West opened her mouth and then, perhaps wisely, closed it again.

Amanana continued blithely. “There are things that should be changed. Some of us have gotten too used to them, I’ll admit, and thus we are somewhat blind to them. Some of us simply have tried too many times. But part of the reason we – well, I – want you to stay so badly – I can’t speak for the others, you see, at least not without at least trying to talk to them – is because if you are good and you are angry, or at least, mmm, vexed, then perhaps you will have the fire to change things.”

Veronika swallowed another surge of irritation. She looked at Amanana and considered her words carefully. “You want me to change things. Because you…?”

“Because we all have reasons that we do not try anymore, I’m afraid.” Amanana’s smile was sad and a little strange.  “And that is all I can tell you on that.”

“I can tell you something else.”  Lady Knight-West cut in abruptly, moving closer to Veronika in a way that reminded her that the lady was not human anymore.  “Not much, either, but watch what you sign.  Read it twice, preferably thrice, and preferably widdershins.”

Both women – horned and ghostly – stared intently at Veronika.  Slowly, she nodded.  How did one read something widdershins?

She supposed she was going to have to find out, and preferably sooner rather than later.

“Thank you both.”

“And as for my token-” Amanana spoke as if they’d been having a much lighter conversation.  “Yvette, I wanted to tell you of a death.  A sad one, yes, but one to be recorded.”  She looked intently at Veronika, meaningfully.

For a heartbeat, Veronika held her breath, somehow convinced that the death to be recorded was her own.

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Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Three

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

“Splash? A splash effect?”  Lina blinked. “I – oh, like ripples?”

“Something like that,” Jackson agreed.  “I don’t know enough magical physics-”

“I didn’t even know magical physics was a thing,” she cut in.

“Well, to be fair,” Ethan put in, “did you know magic was a thing, like, a week ago?” Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Two

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

You’d think they’d practiced it, the way they moved to the bus.  Lina’s dad smiled at them and hugged her one-armed.  “You made it.  Some people here said there was some inter-Organization difficulty-?”

“My aunts.”  Ethan made a face.  “They were, ah, pushing people to do something else, or to, at least, push us to do something else.  They’re, I don’t know.  Maybe they’re still waiting for the Old Wise Sage who’s going to save us.” Continue reading

Beekeeper: In Which Mieve Faces Old Memories

First: A beginning of a story which obnoxiously cuts off just before the description,
Previous: In Which Amrit Takes a Run.

Please note: there are two chapters after “in which they stop kissing…” which have been deprecated.  This re-write begins from Amrit and Mieve ending up in bed.

This is another commission from @Momerath@wandering.shop for another chapter of Beekeeper, (there’s one more of about the same length coming, too).  Thank you so much to Momerath for your patience!

🐝 Continue reading

Warning

Warning (over a pile of squash)

This story is a follow-up to the sixth one to my Squish-Squash, Pumpkins and Gourds Prompt Call

This story is Fae Apoc, BeeKeeper – it is set before the Beekeeper series. The unnamed guy in this story is Amrit, and Roger is the sausage vendor.

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There were often strangers at their market. 

That was why they’d set it up where they had – the highway  might not be quite the hub of traffic it once had, but it was still a broad, easy way for people to move, and they still used it (once Roger and the others had cleared out enough cars to make 2 lanes passible again).  Continue reading

In Tree Years

Curry is a character in Addergoole: Year 9.  This is set – well, it’s got to be an AU which I didn’t think about until I’d finished writing it, or rather, until I started posting it. 

This is set in 2021 or thereabouts, which means it can’t happen the way I wrote it, because it is set 10 years after the apocalypse.  No Victoria’s Secret Angels in 2021 in Fae Apoc. 

But enjoy it anyway as a look into Curry.

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“You’re.. thirty.”

“Thirty-four.”  Curry shifted.  He had kids that were older than he’d been when he’d – when – when he’d seeded

Which was enough time to figure out a few things, he supposed. 

He cleared his throat.  He’d thought this would be the right sort of person to talk to.  He’d called back to Addergoole and they’d suggested this woman as someone he could talk to about everything Continue reading

Heirloom Smiles

Heirloom Smiles

This story comes from my Squish-Squash, Pumpkins and Gourds Prompt Call and is a follow-up to Heirloom Gourds. Brett and Enid were mentioned and present in Exhaustion

Aunt Family. 

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As with most good things, Cordelia found she couldn’t leave well enough alone when it came to her neighbor with the amazing squash.

More so when, over the short, decorative fence, she could see that her new neighbor Millie was having victors. Continue reading

Purchase Negotiation 48: Dressed

First: Purchased: Negotiation

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“This is what you have in mind? You picked this out all by yourself?”

Leander tensed, because Melody’s tone was the sort of thing she could get away with taking with him, but she wasn’t talking to him, she was talking to Sylviane, and whether or not Leander liked the tone — he didn’t, people shouldn’t talk to her like that — Sylviane wasn’t likely to put up with it.

Was she?

“I’m not twelve.” Sylviane huffed quietly. “Yes.  I picked out these options all by myself, Melody.  The tux for Leander —”

“Rather plain, isn’t it?” Continue reading