Hello, May

New month again, which means new goals. Or carry-over goals in some instances. I have a couple of those this month. This month is also more garden work, because I can plant my tomatoes and the annual herbs pretty soon, another week or so for those, actually. And mulching. We didn’t mulch last year, so we definitely need to do it this year in my gardens. Not at the boys’, though, because we did theirs last year. And I do have a little more I want to do in their gardens–get a trellis up for my grandma’s climbing rose so it doesn’t try to use the shutters or chimney again–whack back the pussy willow bush that is as tall as the house, and transfer some of my tiger lilies into one of the beds there. The tiger lilies in my garden started out there, and my aunt shared some of them with me when we still lived in our old house twenty-some years ago, and I moved them here when we bought this house. It feels like some of them should go back to where they started now that we have a place for them. Plus I love tiger lilies, so seeing them bloom both here and there will make me happy every spring.

So many pretty flowers will bloom this month. My lilac has buds on it, and my peonies, despite the three frosty nights we had this past week. I think they might actually bloom this year. Then I can get them into the ground afterward, and I won’t expect to see them bloom again for two more years since they’re so finicky. But that’s okay.

Today, though, is indoor chores. I need to clear out the hutch in my living room so hubs can finish painting that last wall, which means the hutch has to move, and all of the vases I’ve collected in it need to come out so we can do that. Before I get to that, I have a quick snippet for you from the fourth shifter story (which is on this month’s goal list. Again.).

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The sudden, sharp prickle of awareness at the back of her neck made Laney hyper-alert, but she pretended not to have noticed.

Too many people.

She just kept smiling at Mrs. Wells, who could and would talk all day about her grandchildren.

Laney’s awareness of being watched grew stronger. Damn. She wanted to look around to see who it was, but she resisted the urge. No need to alert whoever it was that she knew they were there.

“Oh, dear, you’ve let me ramble on too long,” Mrs. Well said a few minutes later, reaching out to pat her arm. “You finish your shopping. I’m sure I’ll see you soon.”

Laney murmured the right things, while her instincts screamed at her to flee. Far and fast.

She tamped that down and tightened her grip on her shopping bag. She certainly couldn’t leave while she was being watched. Instead she walked down the mall as if she was in no hurry.

Edwin Shepley and his thugs could go straight to hell.

She meandered through the next department store for fifteen minutes, but so many people milled around, she couldn’t tell which one was following her. She just knew they were still there.

She headed into a lingerie store next, and the awareness dampened just a little. So he was afraid of standing out in the lingerie store. Good. Laney stopped at a display of pajamas that gave her a sidelong view into the mall.

There you are, you bastard.

A barrel-chested man with straggly, reddish-blond hair paced in the center of the mall, right beside a skin care stand. He kept sneaking glances into the lingerie store, but avoided looking directly at her.

She rifled through the pajamas in front of her. He might be big, but that didn’t mean he was dumb, and he definitely wasn’t another of Edwin’s pack-mates. No, she didn’t recognize him. She’d have to figure something out.

In the meantime, she moseyed through the store for a little while. She even tried on a few things.

But he was still waiting when she finished at the checkout.

Dammit.

She thanked the cashier with an automatic smile and took her bag, then reached into her pocket for her phone.

Who could she even call?

A few years ago, it would have been her family. Not anymore.

She thumbed the phone on, then stifled a sigh as she stuffed it back into her pocket.

She eased into the foot traffic just as a big noisy group was passing the store. It probably wasn’t enough, but it wouldn’t hurt.

She didn’t look back, but she didn’t have to–she could still feel his eyes on her.

She didn’t pause to look in store windows, simply let the flow of shoppers carry her into the next department store. Just inside the entrance, a demonstration of some kitchen appliance had drawn a sizeable crowd of interested shoppers. Or maybe just bored shoppers who needed a break from the rush for a few minutes.

Laney took advantage of the throng and slipped among the other people, excusing herself as she went. And as soon as she finally cleared the back edge, she walked faster.

Breaking into a run would draw too much attention, especially of the wrong kind.

She rushed through the women’s department and into the children’s, then realized he was still coming. “Son of a bitch,” she muttered under her breath.

She took a sharp left turn and collided with someone–someone big and male.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered, trying to pull away. Closer, he was getting closer. “I need to go.” She shot a glare up and found her gaze caught by narrowed green eyes. She froze, mind and heart both racing. Tiger shifter. Oh, hell.

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While I’m working on chores today (and hopefully a bit more writing in this story), I’ve got music by one of my favorite soundtrack composers on in the background. Hans Zimmer has written the scores to so many movies, I couldn’t even try to list a number at this point. I just love his work. Have you heard him? Do you have a favorite soundtrack?

Now I’m going to see if I can knock a couple more chores off the weekend list before I get back to Laney’s story. What are you up to this week?

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