One of Those Days


That is not my current view, but the grey sky is pretty much what we’ve had here all day. There was a little rain overnight, and into the early morning, and then the clouds just stuck around. To be fair, I wouldn’t mind it so much if the view included the beach above where we do our writing retreats, but alas, not this year.

Those kind of days aren’t really motivating, are they? They invite more lounging and doing nothing than getting things accomplished, I think. But in spite of having the urge to sit around with a shiny new book, I have actually been in the kitchen for half the day. Right now, there is a yummy black bean and mango salad in the fridge, a cheesy tomato tart cooling on the stove and some baked chicken for hubs also now cooling. That will take care of dinner for most of the week, which is good, since the first two days of the week will be crazy busy at the day-job, I think. I did a little OT yesterday, and one of my teammates did some last night and another today, but I think we’re still going to get slammed the next two days. The good news is that my vacation week starts Wednesday, which makes me happy. I am hoping to knock a few things off my rotating to-do list, plus get in a bunch of writing time.

I do have one errand to run after we eat, but before I do that, I have a little story snippet for you from Protecting Medusa, the second book in my Medusa’s Daughters trilogy.

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Heat scorched her face, and Philomena growled, curling her fingers into fists on the table. “I am not looking for a relationship, and even if I were, you wouldn’t be at the top of my wish list.” Good Gods, no.

Ryder took a drink, though she couldn’t understand how, with that miserable grin still spread over his face. “You, Mena, are afraid to be in a relationship with a man who’s stronger than you are.”

She blinked at him, her heart pounding faster. “What?” How could a man she’d managed to avoid for so long know so much about the way her brain worked?

“I’ve seen your ‘dates’, Mena. Bunch of pansies, without a spine in the whole lot. You pick men who won’t argue when you decide you’re done with them.” He lifted his fork. “It’s a tactic I’m immune to.” He scooped up more eggs.

Her mouth was dry, but she refused to lift her glass and let him know he’d hit the mark with his assessment of her. “How long have you been spying on me?” she asked instead.

He shook his head, swallowing his eggs. “Just trying to make sure you were safe, Mena. Can’t have you bringing danger home to Jason.”

That was low, and she shot him a fierce glare. “I have never dated anyone who was a danger to Jason,” she ground out.

“I know.” His grin remained smug, and she wanted to smack it off his face.  “You’ve never dated anyone who was a threat to your remaining single either.”

She shoved away from the table, her chair screeching with the sudden movement. “My dating is none of your business.” She jolted to her feet and spun away.

“You haven’t dated anyone who would present any sort of challenge to you,” he continued from behind her when she walked the few steps to the sink. “Is it because you’re really that afraid, or because you were just waiting for the right man to come along?”

She shook her head, anger and fear clogging her throat, and gripped the edge of the sink so hard her knuckles turned white. There was no ‘right man’ for her. Not for the Medusa.

Behind her, his chair scraped over the floor. “I’m not a spineless wonder like any of those guys,” he said, his booted footsteps drawing nearer. “And I’ve been waiting a very long time, so I’m not going to go away quietly.”

Philomena shut her eyes.

His big hands settled on her shoulders. “But I promise I’ll never hurt you, Mena,” he whispered, too close to her ear.

She jabbed her elbow into his ribs, hard, surprising him into releasing her. She slid away along the counter. “But I might hurt you.” She patted the hilt of her dagger through her skirt as she faced him. “You know I’m armed, right?”

He rubbed his side where she’d elbowed him, still grinning. “Bring it, baby.”

Her jaw dropped, and he laughed. Suddenly, his smile vanished.

“Get down.”

“What?” She frowned.

He pushed her to a crouch, then moved through the doorway of the guest room, grabbing his gun from the open bag on the bed.

Her heart jumped into her throat at the sight of it.

“We have company,” he breathed, peering through the narrow space she’d made when she parted the living room curtains earlier to let some of the morning light in.

She fumbled her skirt out of her way and unsheathed her dagger, wrapping her fingers tightly around the hilt. It felt good against her palm, but her hand shook. Two days in a row was a little much.

“Hang onto that.” He stepped to the alarm panel and shut the system off, then eased out the back door, his posture cautious.

Philomena shut her eyes. Oh Gods, don’t let the Harvester hurt him. She’d never forgive herself if something happened to him because of her. Jason would be heartbroken. She opened her eyes and took a quick breath. She couldn’t be sitting here in the middle of the floor if Ryder didn’t walk back in. She crawled to a spot behind the door, where she could see through the crack between door and frame.

And waited.

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What would you be doing this week if you had some time off from your regular gig? Chores? A day trip? Reading? (If it’s the latter and you haven’t picked it up yet, maybe you’d like to check out Light the Way Home for a quick, light read.)

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