I am owned by dogs. I admit this. Corgi boys. They pretty much make me do whatever they want. Lately, they hear sirens and they want to howl. But it isn’t enough that they howl by themselves. Oh, no. They come running to me and no matter what I’m doing, I have to stop and howl with them. If I don’t, they bark at me until I do. So then I howl (I don’t even want to know what kind of crazy this makes me look like), and then when they decide they are done, they stop and I must pet them to soothe . . . I don’t even know what I’m soothing, but it’s needed.
And a snippet from the WIP, because it seems like a good time for it, from the current Diamond City Magic book:
I held out my hand. “Just give me my fucking phone.”
We played who-would-blink first game and he went down. I’m nothing if not stubborn. I was the champion in the family. Tiny dug in his back pocket and produced my burner phone.
I punched in Taylor’s number. She answered on the first ring.
“I need to talk to Touray.”
Silence met my announcement. But where Jamie and Leo would have badgered me for information, Taylor stuck to business. “He’s gone. I’ll text his number. Give me a second.”
The phone went dead. A few seconds later, the blue message light began blinking. I dialed the number. My mouth was oddly dry. For some reason, I was nervous.
He picked up just as fast as Taylor had. “Touray,” he growled.
“Riley,” I said.
His shock lasted about a split second. “Where the hell are you? Is Clay all right? What’s going on?”
“We’re with a potential . . . partner,” I said.
I could feel his attention sharpening, drilling through the phone. I resisted the urge to take a step back. Like that would help. “Partner?”
“He wants to take control of Calavera,” I said. “Clean it up, get rid of the bad eggs and restore the community.”
“What the fuck is going on, Riley? Because I don’t have time for this shit. The city is wrecked and your father–”
A chill ran up my spine and my stomach knotted. “Vernon? What’s he done?”
‘That is what I’m trying to figure out, which is why I don’t have time for this.”
“Would you have more time if I told you we’re sort of captives and Price has a broken leg? We’re negotiating help.”
Touray’s voice went molten and quiet. I’ll admit I cringed a little and was very glad he was not in the same room. I glanced around the dingy walls that had been white and now were gray with age and dirt. I half expected to see him appear out of nowhere. He was a traveler.
“You know about the trace job?”
“I am aware that you took one. I do not know the details beyond the fact that you’re looking for a teenage girl.” His words were carefully clipped and formal, and I could hear the taut wire of his patience stretching thinner with every second.”
“Story short: missing girl lured by a known rapist and and killer holed up in Calavera. We got jumped, captured, and Price’s leg broke. We need a tinker and some manpower, and Tiny here is willing if the trade is worth it. Maybe you should hear his terms,” I added and passed the phone over to Tiny before Touray could ask anything else.
“Hello?” Tiny said warily into the phone.
The room pulsed and crackled with sudden magic. Neither Price nor Tiny would be able feel it. “Shit,” I said and then a furious Gregg stepped out of nowhere and trained his gun on Tiny.