It’s been a busy week here, which is good. No time for thinking, and then exhausted by the end of the day. But I did get a lovely present from my brother yesterday–a flash drive full of old pictures. Some of them I remembered, some I didn’t, but most of them made me smile, at least a little, including this one.
The house where I grew up was one we rented. It had an enormous yard, front and back, with more acreage that was wooded. There was also a giant barn, and the landlord’s horse. I used to ride that horse with my dad quite a lot, sometimes just in the yard, but often up onto the wooded ridge beyond our yard and the horse’s fenced-in field. Seeing this picture definitely made me smile.
I’ve also been writing. I was actually a little surprised by that this week, but a few paragraphs in the morning before starting my workday, and then again on my lunch breaks. Another way to keep my brain busy, I suppose, but I’ll take it. I’m only about a quarter of the way into this fifth tiger shifter story, and I’d hoped to be working on revisions/rewrites on something else at this stage of the month. Then again, that’s why I try to leave myself some wiggle room when I’m planning my writing goals every year–for the things that come up that you just can’t plan for.
So I think once I get through this crazy week and next week at the day-job, I need to revisit my writing goals for this year so I can make some tweaks. I also need to start scanning old pictures that I have–from my own albums, and from both my grandparents and my aunt, so can share those with my family, because I’m sure I have some that they don’t yet. That will be a long-term project, though, because I have a lot of photos. I hope my scanner holds up for all of them.
For now, I am going back to my writing, but have a little snippet of Medusa #3 to share with you for the week.
Finally, Hunter sat back in his chair when he’d polished off his own lunch. “Okay. Hit me.”
She blinked at him. “What?”
“Give me your best argument.”
That wasn’t what she’d expected. She frowned again, pushing her empty plate aside and resting her forearms on the edge of the table. “I shouldn’t need to convince you,” she said after a moment. “You saw him. You heard how determined he is. And there are more just like him. Lots more.” She brushed her fingers absently over the smooth surface of the table. “My best bet right now is to hook up with one of my cousins or their husbands who’ve dealt with the Harvesters before. Then you’ll be safe.”
“That’s the best you can muster?”
Katharine glared at him, more annoyed when he just continued to smile at her. Only half a day ago, that look would have killed him. Now, it didn’t even make her feel better to know that. “I shouldn’t have to convince you that you’re unsafe as long as you’re with me.”
He shrugged. “I’m not the Medusa. They’re not interested in me.”
That was true.
She shook her head. “That doesn’t matter. My cousin Philomena, who was the Medusa before me, had Harvesters target her family to try to reach her.”
He shrugged again. “I’m not family. They have no way to connect me to you.”
“Except for the one who saw you Monday.”
“But he doesn’t know who I am. I didn’t introduce myself while I was holding him at gunpoint.”
Her pulse quickened. “That doesn’t mean he didn’t wait around to see you leave so he could follow you or try to track you down.”
Hunter shook his head. “Didn’t follow. And he definitely didn’t stick around after I made him ditch his knife.”
Her frustration level jumped up. He wasn’t understanding. Why wasn’t he understanding?
Why did it matter? She was an adult and could do what she wanted.
“Don’t even think it.” His tone was mild, but there was something in his eyes that made her hesitate.
“I am not going to stay here and put you in danger,” she said finally, working to keep the edge out of her voice. “I’m going to call my cousin and get a little advice from her husband, and then get out of your hair.”
Hunter’s smile disappeared. “No.”
She covered her face with her hands.
“I’ll talk to your cousin’s husband and see what he thinks, but you’re not going off on your own.”
She dropped her hands. “I can defend myself just fine, at least for the next four weeks,” she pointed out.
“I’m sure you can. But I’d rather keep you where I can see you.”
His expression softened a little. “I already know how to deal with this guy. And I’ve already gotten you to safety. Oh, and I have the new code to your alarm system for you, not that you can go back there.” He dug a piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it across the table.
Katharine sighed. “You’re going to be difficult about this, aren’t you?” She took the paper and unfolded it, staring blankly for a few seconds at the numbers. She swallowed, wishing her brain was functioning a little more quickly. Evidently, the residual effects of three days of painkillers hadn’t yet gone away.
“You’d better believe it.” He set one hand over hers on the table, his fingers warm. “I’m in this thing now, Kat, and you’re going to find it hard to shake me.”
That’s what she was afraid of. She looked away, her gaze catching on the fruit plate. The green of the grapes contrasted sharply with the whitish flesh of the apple slices.
“So,” he said at last, giving her fingers a squeeze, “which cousin are you calling? Didn’t you say there are two now who used to be the Medusa?”
Katharine rested her face on her other hand, shutting her eyes, then sighed. “Yes. Andi’s husband is the one who was a Harvester, and Phila’s husband owns a security firm.”
She opened her eyes to find his gaze had sharpened.
“Then I’m going to want to talk to him. I’m sure between the two of us, we can come up with something nearly foolproof to keep you safe.”
She shook her head slowly, noting the stubborn set of his jaw. “You’re serious.”
“As a heart attack.”
Before I go, I wanted to say thank you to the very kind notes after last week’s blog post. I appreciate them all, and all of you for thinking of me and my family.
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