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Mother Nature can’t make up her mind here.  I know it’s Pennsylvania, but this is ridiculous by most standards.  Yesterday was almost 80 degrees, and I had the windows open while I was working, until a cold front blew in at about 50 miles an hour, and I had to close everything up. Today it’s in the 50s outside, and I had to put on socks. I did discover the other day that my little forsythia is blooming. Dad sent it home with me two falls ago, and I haven’t managed to get it planted before now, so I have to do that next week.

I haven’t gotten everything done that I intended today, but I did get some necessary things checked off my list, which makes me happy. Yesterday, too–that was all about chores, and today was supposed to be more writing. I still have time for that, but if an unplanned errand is cemented, that will kill the rest of my day.  I’ll know shortly, and I’m torn between hoping to get it over with and hoping to put it off a couple more days so I can write.

I did want to do some garden clean-up this weekend, too, but the early arrival of the wet weather yesterday made me delay that. Right now, it feels and looks more like March outside my window than late April.  Good for the story I’m working on, I guess, since it’s more winter-early spring than late spring, so I should try to keep that in mind for mood.

Before I get back to either my chores or my writing, how about a little story snippet? Maybe some Medusa today?

________________

“You tried to send him to Ohio?” She still stared at him, confusion in her blue eyes. “Don’t you think reinforcements would be a good thing for you?”

He shrugged. “Stavros has never been one to wait until he has all the information he needs for a job, and I’d prefer he went somewhere else right now. Unfortunately, he’s heading this way.”

Her cheeks paled, and she dropped her gaze to the frying pan before she stirred the food there.

“He’ll be here just in time for you to turn him to stone, if he’s being honest about his timing.”

“If?” She looked up, fear shadowing her bright eyes.

He rubbed at the back of his neck, hoping to dissipate some of the tension gathering there. “He isn’t always.” And that was far from the worst thing about his character.

“So now I have two killers after me.” She swallowed. “Fantastic.”

Kallan glared at her, even though he knew she had a point—he had come here to kill her. “Thanks.”

“I’m being honest, even if your cousin isn’t.” She lifted one shoulder in a shrug and set down the spatula.

The scent of their meal filled the space between them, but he ignored it for now. “How about some honesty from me? I’m known for not lying, which is why he’ll believe I’m in Ohio. I am not going to let him kill you.”

She snorted. “Until you get the amulet.”

He clenched his jaw harder and wondered how much more it would take to crack a tooth. He couldn’t even protest, as that was his ultimate goal—to collect the amulet that protected the Medusa’s offspring so the world could know them for the monsters they were. To make it easier for his cousins to find and eliminate them all.

Except Andrea wasn’t a monster.

And he wasn’t at all sure now that he could kill her. He never should have given in to the attraction between them.

He watched her pace the small area between the island and the sink. “I had an idea earlier,” he said after a few minutes.

She didn’t stop walking, only paused to stir their supper. “About what?”

“About you not turning me to stone.” He was fairly certain she wasn’t going to like it, but he had to bring it up.

She arched one eyebrow at him, silent for a moment. “Let’s hear it.”

“You have that sleep mask upstairs,” he started.

She shook her head before he’d even finished speaking. “No.”

“It would involve a little trust on your part,” he continued a little louder. “That I wouldn’t do anything to you while you were defenseless.”

Andrea kept shaking her head. “No.”

“What can I do to persuade you?”

She stopped walking and faced the sink, her head hanging as she braced herself on the edge of the counter.

He waited.

“There’s nothing.”

His heart sank a little. To protect her from his vicious cousin, he would agree to nearly anything. He tried not to think beyond that though, to the reason—whether it was because he still thought he should fulfill his destiny, or because he’d had sex with her. He just didn’t want Stavros to get his hands on her. That was enough for now. “There has to be something.”

 

She sighed, still staring into the sink. She unclenched her fingers from the edge of the counter, then traced a pattern on the surface.

“Andrea.” His tone was almost a singsong, with that faintest of accents. And it was nearer this time than the last time he’d spoken.

Andi ground her teeth together, counting to ten. It was stupid. She knew it was the start of PMS. She knew she was overreacting. Knowing didn’t make it better. She glared at the counter instead of Kallan. And counted ten more.

A small ding appeared in the granite. She shut her eyes. “I think you should go.”

He snorted, and it took every ounce of her willpower not to look up at him.

“Andrea.” His tone was low now, patient.

“Harvester.” Her own was not. Patient, that is. She almost felt like she could spit nails she was so angry. He was asking her to trust him when his sole intention in tracking her here was to kill her. And now he wanted her trust. She stared at the new divot in the granite.

His finger touched the ding. “Stress speeds up the process, I see,” he said mildly.

She nodded.

“What can I do to earn just that little bit of trust?” He slid his fingertip closer to her hand on the counter.

“I need a pair of scissors.” She didn’t know what had made her say it, but she did need them. Very badly. She knew she couldn’t trust him, and nothing he could do would change that. But she could pretend for the sake of getting the scissors.

He considered for a moment, his fingertip grazing the side of her hand. “Do you mind if I ask why?”

“I need a haircut.” Also true.

He bent nearer, his expression disbelieving. “A haircut?”

She nodded, trying to avoid his eyes.

His gaze slid to her hair, and she knew when he realized her reasoning. Awareness deepened the green of his eyes. “All right.”

________________

Now it’s off to a hot tiger shifter for a while.  Are you having spring or winter at your house today?

 

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