Saturday, 2 July 2016

In Which I Place My Bets

Dear Diary,

I decided to head to class instead of dick off and stay in bed with Curtis all day. It was sorely tempting but I need my head on straight and giving into the stupidity of romance and love wasn't going to be the way either of us stayed alive. So I slipped off to the neurology course I'm responsible for and watched the students in the first years range from bored to exhausted to overtly attentive. Only one or two stared at my bruise eyebrow or the cut on my forearm.

No one asked me questions anymore. Stories always traveled around, between me being a gangster to being in an abusive relationship to me self harming. It used to bother me. Now usually I smile when I catch someone staring and say I'm in therapy. They interpret that however they want.

As I sat and listened to the parts of the autonomic nervous system be described and attributed to branches of the spinal cord, I drifted into thoughts about the deaths of the hunters. The heart I held in my hand. I had ripped it out of the demon. No sword needed. Just the bloodlust and rage. It's heat was still fresh in my hand. Merov had ate a heart, exactly like that one, raw.

Was that still Merov?

The question haunted and I decided it needed an answer. Merov and I had never been the best of friends. He had given me weapons when I needed them, and I had given him the lay of the land for the unnatural world. Somewhere in there, I had thought we connected. Probably because I felt myself inextricably pulled towards him, a magnet in my mind I couldn't escape.

When I arrived I was brought to his office. He moved with a newer, easier grace than I remembered upon my first meeting with him. The dragon. It was growing comfortable in his human skin. And I made him uncomfortable, at least, by the way he looked at me for weapons and the way he moved with some unease around me.

I opened conversation with a concern for his humanity and like any true politician, he turned it back on me. It was a game I was used to with demons, fae, and the odd vampire I had met. Politicians at their core. So I answered honestly and waited to see if it made him reconsider. It did something. We openly admitted our fear of each other, of the inevitable fight that was always circling our minds. Neither of us were confident in who would win. It was as enticing as it was terrifying. To show I wasn't here to murder him, I tossed my knife on the desk. Peace. I was here, I supposed, in some sort of peace.

Then he asked why I didn't trust him. I told him why. Being played and used as a political pawn was something that always pissed me off. He laid it out as he saw it. That it wasn't what I thought. That we had just come together by fate and we had both done what we naturally do. I hunted and killed. He conquered.

The thought made my insides hurt after the hunt the night before. It was true. There was a base nature to my existence that he saw. It complimented in his own in a way that had so far resulted with him with more power and demons in the city. I wanted to feel assured that it was a good thing, that the dragon was doing as I had asked, reforming the city to be peaceful.

But he conquered. I killed.

The very real possibility that we were the villains, not just he, began to form in my mind. Together, we could make the city new. Even without me, he probably could do it. I would just make the way easier, destroy and cause chaos in just the right amounts to give him a chance to seize power. Like with the lions.

There are only a very few people to put faith in. The city was struggling to find leadership and harmony, as all unnatural communities did. My choices were Merov or Maeve. Curtis had chosen Maeve. Why? I will never know.

Merov had shown vulnerability in an attempt to offer trust. He had talked of destiny, of his dragon, of Curtis' dragon... and that there was one resting inside of me as well. There was a ritual. He could awaken it, solve the mystery of why I found myself constantly drawn towards him. I didn't want the answer. I had to focus on trying to figure out the dance between Curtis and myself.

So instead I agreed to help with his mission. On the condition he tried to stop too many casualties from happening, and that Curtis was left out of it as much as possible. He agreed to try to prevent casualties. And he said that it was always Curtis who killed him.

That tug towards him pulled at me again. I felt the need to touch him, to reach for him. Instead of fighting it, I did. He had turned to see me out and I reached for his arm to thank him, I guess, for his time. The touch tried to encourage the tug. Instead, I let him go and grabbed my knife from his desk. I had placed my bets on Merov. He was the horse that would win the race to power. And I had said I would be his weapon to forge.


In Which Demons Own the Night

Dear Diary,

There's an artistry to killing that I never confess to. Everything can die, and the way you kill them, the way you leave them, is the message you send to others that would cross you. When I was so lost in the world of hunting that I barely remembered my name, this message became the key focus of my killing. I hunted without mercy then. I destroyed anything that came across my path.

It's part of the compulsion, the hunger of the hunter. We exist between human and monster, needing the compulsion to push us beyond our physiological capabilities. This mostly manifests in how people perceive us, stronger, faster, a little bit more adaptable and a little bit tougher than the average human. But the blood we spilt to get there is the part people don't see. The cost is high. The continued cost is higher still.

The hunter is just as it sounds. We hunt. We yearn for blood to be spilled and for the kill. The more we do it, the more we want to do it. The more we avoid it, the crazier we get, the more disastrous the fallout when we finally do succumb to the base instinct of blood letting. I try to only kill once or twice a week. It's enough to keep the urges at bay with the liberal application of alcohol and fucking. Fucking is close. It's probably why I leave my lovers with bruises at times.

But emotional stress, or even physiological stress, can trigger the instinct. Sometimes it's a choice we make, like when I killed Florence. Sometimes it's just the thing inside takes over. No one looks at hunters like we're lunatics though because it's monsters we kill. No one sees the casualties that we leave behind. We're too solitary, too lost in our own world of kill or be killed.

When I walked away from Merov to hunt the demons, I thought it would take a couple hours, at most. I'd be there to have last call with Curtis, fuck him, and probably have a decent sleep before class tomorrow. I didn't realize I was entering a brutal fight to the death that would end in more blood that I had anticipated.

Boston's been on the radar for most of the supernatural community. Between the Amber Vampires and the ley lines that Cesar is trying to fuck with, hunters have felt the trembles of the on coming war for awhile. It meant there were more of us. A city alive with hunters is rare. A crowded city of hunters means there's maybe ten of us. Ten people who are lost in the hunt and the kill. The sanity of the hunters ranges from people in control and stable, to those who are feral hunters just living for the kill.

We were lucky that of the eight of us, only one was mostly gone to the urge. Every inch of the fucking city was crawling with the demons. People were screaming. Most were just dying. None of us knew each other. None of us were friends. But the blood speaks to us and we hunted as a pack, solitary and yet unified. If one of us fell, we didn't flinch or try to save them. We moved on. It's the way of the hunt.

It was three in the morning when the pounding of the wound on my neck and shoulder had begun to make me pull away from the joy of the hunt. I don't remember a lot of what happened between the fifth kill and the last one. Some people would call it frenzy, but it doesn't look like it. From the outside it looks controlled and deliberate, even when we leave our enemies in pieces. Salza and I were the last standing.

My phone buzzed. It was enough to break the spell. The vampires were dead. Demons. Whatever. Salza was struggling with the last one. I dropped the heart that was bloody in my hand and walked over to end the last one. It sank its fangs into my arm and I sank my dagger into its skull. It was a fair trade. The other hunter was horribly wounded, his leg mangled.

Curtis left a message. Something about Derek. And that I needed to come home. My muscles hummed with the urge to keep going. I had to grit my teeth and turn away from the world to be able to even fully remember Curtis. Then it came back, crashing into my reality like a wave of cold water. The torture. Florence's death. Solomon's hands on me. The drugs. Carla's eyes. I had abandoned Curtis because I didn't want to feel any of it. I didn't want to tell him I had fucked Solomon because things between us were complicated and I didn't want complicated.

The hospital didn't question me when I dropped off Salza. They're used to me just appearing with half dead people. It used to make a difference. Now they knew they couldn't stop me. One of them offered to look at the wounds on my shoulder and my arm, but I shook my head and walked out. From my pocket I slipped my driver's license and as I climbed into the truck, shoved it back into my wallet. Beside my wallet, a bag of driver's licenses sat, blood smeared across it.

We always keep our licenses on ourselves when hunt. It's a way of leaving a message to our families. We died. You don't have to wonder. We died.

The pile of them made my jaw tense. There was just Salza and I and he was out of commission for awhile. It would be up to me to protect the whole fucking city. When I reached home, Curtis was still mostly drunk, but at least showered. Carla was no where to be found and he called me home... because he was worried.

I tried to ignore the immediate anger that flooded my body. Curtis knew better. I was a hunter. I hunted. If I disappeared it was usually for good reason and not arbitrary. He's afraid of abandonment. But this is who I am. It's what I am. I hunt. I kill.

The shower revealed just how many scrapes, scratches, and bruises I had managed to get. The cut over my eyebrow wasn't bad, and the bite had closed over, but the deep gouge in my shoulder was still seeping blood. I covered it and grabbed a towel before I walked out to talk to Curtis. He offered coffee and booze. Smart man.

We talked. It was a conversation I didn't want to have. Not really. It was admitting that we had changed, that something had changed enough we needed to take it out and talk about it. I hate talking about how I feel, more than I hate most things. But the words were said and they can't be unsaid. We love each other. In ways that we shouldn't and that aren't going to make life any easier. We talked about what that meant, and ran in circles with it. I was too tired. My body hurt.

Finally I told him the truth about my research, that I was finding a way to remove the hunter genes in me. He asked if it would work for him, and I honestly didn't know. In theory it should. It worked on a vampire, once. One of Alistair's friends. It was petty of me but I wanted to know. He was only one of other humans I had killed.

Curtis reluctantly let me take his blood. Morning began to arrive and we crawled into bed. I needed a few hours of sleep. At  least two. Just enough that my hunter genes that I so wanted to get rid of would start to heal me. It was the first time I had slept beside someone who knew I loved them since I was a teenager. It was terrifying and comforting and I was afraid for the future, more than I had been in a decade.


Sunday, 19 June 2016

In Which the Water Gets Muddier

Dear Diary,

What do you do when love shows up and you don't have a shelf to put it on or a grave to dig it in? You do the thing that the person you love would disapprove of. Or what would hurt them. In my case, I left. Curtis was sleeping, hell, he even looked happy in his dreams, which never happens, and I took off. I went to exactly the place I knew he'd hate. I went to see Solomon.

Solomon was home and he was... well, smooth. He said I could stay and started playing the boyfriend I didn't want. He and Phoenix had been hanging out, maybe the demon gave him some of his own moves. The dirtbag brought some whiskey out and asked me what was going on. I didn't talk much. I had a few drinks and then climbed into his bed. He followed. 

Maybe I was just tired or something, but I didn't say no. I should've known that it wasn't him. With him, and well, pretty much everyone, I'm always in charge. Letting someone else have that power over me just isn't in my wheelhouse. I can't trust anyone that much. But he wouldn't play my game, not this time. It was so different. It was nice, even, to be able to just not give a fuck and let go. I needed to be numb. 

The fucking wizard almost made it worth it. Towards the end I began to feel exhausted, and a little nauseated. We barely finished before I felt my body get that heavy, bad feeling of being drugged. I'm sure I must've mumbled something or cursed his fucking name. I know I smashed the bottle trying to grab it to throw at his face. But all I managed to do was drop it on the floor and fall down beside it. I heard him talk then, different but the same. Carla. That fucking body snatching bitch.

Beneath the Paulson building is a bunch of old labs. They've been updated in the last five years, but they're still not as well ventilated as they should be, and they're colder than a witch's tit. Florence was standing by one of the computers looking at the screen and then going to her laptop and making notes.

I'm sure I yelled or something. I definitely wanted to puke. But at this point, my adrenaline was kicking it up a few notches and I tried to break out of the things that were holding me down. I'm sure I swore a tonne. Florence just looked at me, that same calm look in her eyes she always had. She muttered something about being sorry and stuck a needle just above my hip. Pain ripped into me. It wasn't... unlike... what Curtis had done to me when I got ghoulplague.

From what I could see, my skin and the organs around it began to rot. Everything discoloured and it felt like burning and ripping and shredding from inside of me. She's lucky the room's fucking soundproof. Then it stopped, just for a lingering moment before it began to change and reverse, as though time was being rewound around the injection site. It hurt. It hurt more than a lot of things I've felt.

Hours passed. She's stick me with a new needle, probably a stronger dose, then take a sample. She'd take a sample of the same tissue and blood once the area had regenerated. Repeat. Not a question was answered, not a single glance to my eyes as she tried to kill me over and over again. After a couple hours, she dosed me with something to make me sleep.

I woke up to the lab ceiling still looking back at me. My bonds were tighter. I started to pull at them when Flo looked up towards the door. When I glanced over, I saw Curtis rushing in with Maeve. Panic washed through me. I didn't want anything to happen to him. I was happy as hell to see him, to even get to see him before whatever ghoul disease she injected me with killed me, but I didn't want him here. Not with Carla. And not with Florence.

Maeve convinced Florence to let me go as Curtis was ready to tear into her. A bottle was slung into the room from the door. Then time... just... stopped. A molotov cocktail headed directly towards Flo and myself was just hanging in the air. Flo didn't move. But Curtis, Maeve, and I did. I stared at him in slight terror. Whatever he was becoming, whatever his power was changing to, I was afraid for him. I knew what happened when power overwhelmed. It was never good. Or human.

He yelled at me for not saying thanks as I got out of the bonds and went to the computer to snag the data that Flo had been working on. If I had to bleed, at least it would be for a good reason. Curtis grabbed the cocktail and put it into fire containment before just... releasing time. Maeve had run after whoever had thrown the bottle. 

Curtis interviewed Florence while I got the data. I threatened her. She didn't seem to care. She seemed to want to protect humanity by figuring out how I was immune to ghoul plague (thank fucking god Curtis made me immune). When I got the info I told Curtis he should leave. He reluctantly did and I grabbed one of the bottles from the contained substances cabinent using Florence's key.

Quietly I drew up a syringe. It was enough to kill a cow. Not that she was a cow. But I didn't want to fuck it up again. The last time I had killed someone this way was the day I had become a hunter. My mother was on IV fluids after my boyfriend had stabbed her while possessed by a demon. I still remember him smiling at me. "Hello Lover."

There was no other way. She would've continued experimenting on people, next time not me, and I couldn't let her do that. I couldn't let her go to the police either, not with the research she had done. It had to be destroyed, removed from the lap and deleted. I bit my bottom lip and prepared to inject her.

Then my phone fucking rang. Merov was on the other end. He wanted to talk. I told him I was busy and I'd see him after I killed Carla/Solomon. He agreed, and while I was talking to him, I slid the needle inside of Florence's arm. She screamed and cried for help. Some part of me I had thought was dead died all over again but I just talked to Merov. Like it was normal. Because what else do you do when you're murdering someone?

The rest of the lab was wiped and I put the samples into the incinerator. Curtis was talking to Maeve about how she let the old soul wizard get away. She had this... soul gel... that was Carla's and it let her see Carla wherever she... they... were. At the moment they were in the fae world causing panic and disorder. Maeve seemed almost pleased. Curtis seemed panicked.

I dropped him at Yellow 10 and told him I'd meet him for some drinks after I spoke to Merov. Worst decision. I showed up at the park after Gaspard told me where he was just to see him rip out the heart of a demon amber thing and, well, fucking devour it. In front of Derek.

It took a lot of will power to get out of the car and not just shoot an arrow at Merov's ass. Or head. I'm sure I must've stared at him because he seemed to know I wasn't comfortable. There was blood on his hands and his face, his mouth... I tried to talk a few times and came up a little empty handed. Merov said something to Derek, who seemed to think he had been possessed by a demon.

The mortal scampered off and Merov and I walked through the park. The sound of his werelions ripping the demon apart could be heard no matter where we walked. The sickening crunch of bone and the shearing of connective tissue followed in my wake. The acrid smell of blood was on the air, combined with viscera and offal. Or whatever demons ate. 

He informed me the amber chrysalis' were hatching, and amber vampire demons were crawling out. It wasn't really my problem, but there wasn't a reason to tell me this if he didn't want me to go solve the problem. It wasn't a bad time to ask. The news of Boston's suddenly supernatural revival had found a few more hunters in the city than normal. Not that we have conventions. We just like to be around when shit hits the fan.

I, in turn, let Merov know about Maeve's plan, and my role in it. That I was to cause trouble and I was going to interpret that to kill the fae queen. Maeve would naturally try to take that power, and I was hoping Merov would. It was a test. He said he wanted to see the city brought to order and justice. Using fae power for good was one hell of a way to do that.

But he didn't want to. He wanted to wait and called me a storm or wanting to go in guns blazing. My phone kept buzzing while he was talking to me, and it was Curtis. I silenced it and finally gave in to what he was saying. He wanted me to wait. Fine. I'll wait. Until Maeve comes knocking for all the favours I owe her fae ass. Maybe I'll be dead by then.

Despite my best efforts to stay calm, the sound of dying and munched demon and the fact that Merov still... had just eaten a fresh heart... made me want to leave. More than anything. I wanted to get the thought of fucking Carla out of my head, or being drugged and tortured, or how I had killed Florence... or whatever the fuck I was feeling for Curtis... entirely out of my body.

Normally I would've done this with fucking by my booty calls were getting low and my usual safe bet was someone I was having fuzzy feelings towards who was turning into some sort of ... I don't even know what controls time. But it's not good. That's real power. The kind of power that gets you killed. Or turns you into the villain.

For a split second Merov was a temptation. Curtis had said he was a mistake but Merov's got one thing in spades: sex appeal. Maybe if hadn't just crunched a fresh heart down. 

I went back to the truck and grabbed the holy bow, pulled on my leather jacket, and headed towards the downtown. My phone buzzed again. I tucked it in my pocket so I couldn't hear the vibrating anymore. I needed to concentrate. Mostly so I could kill efficiently. The monster in me was stirring and with my usual coping mechanism on the shelf, it was time to dance with the devil, forget who I was, and roll the dice.

Maybe I'd survive the night. Maybe the amber demons would be the end of me. But they were demons. If there's one thing I'm good at hunting, it's hell beasts. I can’t hold back what I am anymore. I can’t pretend I’m not another monster like they are. Even if I want Curtis to see me as more, as a person, tonight I can’t. Tonight I have to let that control slip and let the beast inside of me have a battle.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

In Which Shit Gets Complicated

Dear Diary,

It seems, lately, like every concrete decision I’ve made is beginning to come undone. I know they say everything does that. Everything falls apart. And really, most things have. Everything’s fallen apart at some point. Sometimes it comes back, or gets better. Mostly I just try to adapt to the new definition of who I am after the storm and keep going.

I don’t fall in love. Not anymore. It’s a pipe dream I gave up on after I got to see Jack get with Shanice and have a good, healthy relationship. I mean, they’re not without their problems, but they don’t really worry about werewolves or dragons. Fuck. Dragons.

Merov won the fight. He’s consolidating power. I want to believe that he’s doing it for the good of the city, but it makes my skin crawl. There’s a burning intensity to him that’s impossible to look away from. Maybe it’s because I’m inherently drawn to burning disasters and things that’ll tear me apart from the inside, but I can’t help but want to see more. Not of him, necessarily. But of what he’s going to do. It’s a volcano I want to feel the heat of.

Curtis and I left the werelion party after Merov was named king. The dragon gave me a look, almost of curiosity, and we shared a glance before Curtis and I bailed. The plan was to go home and have a whiskey or ten and try to sleep knowing the city would be on fire tomorrow. But Curtis wanted to go somewhere else.

He asked about my family. I guess because I mentioned killing my mom that he wanted to know the real question: Did she deserve it? She didn’t I killed her because I wanted the power to stop things from getting worse. I have that power. It’s not worth getting into the cost of that power, but it’s mine.

I needed to get home and sleep because I needed to go after Carla (Turns out she jumps bodies ,the nasty bitch) and go figure out why Florence was getting her thin fingers into my research. But Curtis had been shot at and was brooding over Merov, so I said sure. We went out to this island he was super into and hung out watching the water.

It was fuck, I hate saying this, but it was almost tender? I know he’s scared and I’m scared of losing him, but we’re not usually sweet with each other. Curtis is, besides being probably the closest friend I have, a good lay. We get the shortness of life, or at least, that it could fall apart. There isn’t time for attachment and holding on to someone and asking for love when all you can give is an uncertain future and a tumble in bed. We get that about each other. More than almost anyone else.

But for once, we talked about the past. We have an unspoken rule of not asking and not telling. We asked. We told. It felt good to talk about parts of myself I never even look at anymore let alone acknowledge. It also meant that he could find out what a monster I was. The horrible things I’ve done. That I’m not really the good person most people think I am.

We talked about his past and what made him, to some extent, him. I didn’t realize the depth that Curtis has had his life fucked with. It sounded like people like hurting him. Or forcing him into corners until there aren’t any options left. It’s even how Merov treats him.

It was nice. It was a moment. A moment that wasn’t in time and didn’t belong in our lives but it was a moment. It reminded me of when I used to date people at the thought of being more than just fuck buddies. The sweet little moments that you go home with after and think about with a stupid grin on your face. I know what that meant.

When we got home, we ended up doing what we usually did when the world was out of control: we had sex. Maybe it was the island or the fact that he had been shot just a few days ago or that the world was changing around us, but it was different. I tried not to let it be but I could feel that it was.

After, I asked him what Merov meant to him. I can feel that whatever the future holds will involve Merov, and usually when that happens, I end up killing someone. I didn’t want to see Curtis get involved in that. He told me that Merov was a big mistake to him. I’m not sure what that means or what it’s supposed to mean.

Then Curtis looked at me and asked what he was to me.

It was a moment I wasn’t expecting. We have a solid understanding of what we are. We’re friends. Friends who get that the world is ending and our time is limited and match well sexually. But friends. The words didn’t want to leave my lips though. I didn’t want to say friends because after today and maybe after seeing Curtis shot by that bitch I knew something wasn’t as it had been.

I can’t fall in love. It’s not in the cards and it’s out of the playbook and it’ll just open me up (and Curtis) to new attacks. Maybe if things were different. Maybe if I can make a cure. Maybe if a lot of things

I said “We’re friends.”

He was glad we’re on the same page.

I wanted to stay and sleep but my skin felt like it was crawling and all I wanted to do was go beat something up until my brain had gotten rid of the fog. When Curtis was asleep I got up and let him in the only way I knew how. I found my old journals and left them out for him. And left my key. It’s a thing we do, to make sure that nothing can get in while I’m gone.

I have to find Carla. I have to stop Florence. And I need to remind myself that life can’t be this. So I’m going to Solomon’s. To remember. To stay grounded. And to get him to bring me to Carla.

In Which The Lions Lay Down and Take It

Dear Diary,

Living with Curtis is sometimes like living in a dorm. Every time it feels like there could be a moment of peace either someone's shooting at us or someone's at the door wanting his advice. I try not to ask him much. I don't want to know the future, especially mine, and that means not asking certain questions. We have a mutual respect for silence, or at least, for not asking questions.

This morning as I was trying to find the courage to get Curtis to tell me about Merov, Maeve knocked. I wouldn't let her in the house because fuck that irritating fae, but then there was this weirdo in the bushes taking pictures, and Curtis freaked out because Carla, and dragged Maeve inside. Fae. My second least favourite things.

We sat in the living room and Maeve consulted Curtis like you would any neon light street psychic about her future. Why he puts up with her shit I'll never know, but for whatever reason, the pixie listens to him. To the point of it being both frustrating and amusing. If he says "Save x" she will, but she'll also leave any other victim to die.

Today's mystery was: "How do I get back into the courts?" Curtis' response, and I could have smacked him, was that she was supposed to lead all the fae, not just her court, into a new age. She could do this in one of two ways, either live long and prosper, or cause a big threat that would unite the fae beneath her.

Now Maeve is a little intense and very, very fae. I didn't go to a party once, because there was a corruption demon invading family homes, and hey, suddenly I'm the bad guy and I owe her. Also, I hate fae. Or maybe I don't, I'm not sure. Ever since I let Robin Redcap out and he started ripping people apart, which was, well, my fault, I've never felt at peace with them. I'm sure some of them were nice. Maybe.

To clear my name off of Maeve's hit list, I agreed to help stir shit in the fae world. It's a bad idea, but at this point I just want to be done with her, and the sooner I'm out of the fae's debt the sooner I can stick a cold iron knife in her and move on.

While Curtis had taken my mom's ring off (it helped keep the visions away), I asked him about Merov. I shouldn't have. And I instantly regretted it, but it was already past my lips by that time. I hate pulling favours on Curtis. It feels like I'm bullying him and it makes me feel gross inside. He seems used to people doing it, but we're friends. I shouldn't be the one asking.

However, Curtis told me that Merov was a dragon. A mother fucking dragon. Landing on the shores of our time or something poetic. But a dragon. I still haven't quite figured out how to digest that information or what the fuck it means. Merov is as human looking as I am, and while I admit there's something about him I don't understand, dragon seems... I don't know, far fetched? I must've stared at Curtis for several minutes before I decided I had to go ask him.

Dragon. It made sense, in a way. He acted as eager to collect power, even subtly so, as any other clever monster I had ever met. I felt like an idiot to have been so easily caught in his plans. With Maeve there, I didn't feel safe leaving Curtis by himself so I tried to convince her to go. That's when we noticed a hand taking photos with a camera on the balcony.

It was Deslee, the little gossip girl of the supernatural world. I grabbed onto her and lifted her up so that she wasn't hanging on anymore and told her to quit it. She proceeded to take a picture of me, so I dropped her. Curtis gave me a look and I decided not to talk about it. We walked outside to make sure she wasn't seriously hurt and Carla was there.

The fire burned like a bitch, but I got a shot off before it hit me. It'd been awhile since someone had used magic on me. Her body got tossed down to the eyeball, who also, well, made the fire jump to other buildings. Curtis called 9-1-1-. Maeve touched me and healed me a little, which I'm sure comes with a debt. She wanted me to promise to be loyal to her. I told her to fuck off. I refuse to be a knight to some wanna be queen.

Curtis, and our new sidekick Maeve, came with us as we went to talk to Merov. He wasn't home, so we sat, and drank. Maeve drank more than, well, anyone. You'd think the fae could hold their liquor, but not that woman. Curtis and I, well, we got in a bit of an argument via text because I didn't want to talk about it with Maeve there. I hate her seeing me weak. 

We talked about how I was angry Curtis hadn't told me about ghoul plague, but instead, went to Merov, who's been proving to be more and more dangerous. Merov finally arrived, stinking of... sewage and death, and started stripping while I tried to talk to him. Between mostly naked Merov and Maeve's snide comments, all I could really manage was accusing him of some sort of... I don't even know, really. Conquering? Taking over the city? 

He assured me that I wasn't wrong, but that my thoughts on his intention were wrong. He wants to do good and make the city a safer place. I couldn't argue with him, and I hope he's telling the truth. My entire instinct is telling me to shove a sword in him as deep as I can and then cut off his pretty head, but I can't. He's been a friend to me, as much as I have friends, in the last few months. 

Merov said something to Curtis about him seeing visions, mostly about his own death, and then Curtis lost his shit and bolted. Rightfully so. Merov doesn't get it. How much it hurts Curtis, how much pain he endures just seeing glimpses of the future. He sees a lot of death. He's afraid of his power, it seems, as much as he uses it regularly. Or, well, it uses him. 

I followed him out and left Maeve behind. We talked in the elevator about Merov's douche baggery and then drove to find Derek. Merov had said something about Derek finding his girlfriend. I know how it feels to pull someone out of another realm. As we got in the truck Curtis asked me: "yes or no?" I asked if it was sexy or not, he said maybe, so I said yes. He texted something and then laughed. Kid's a weirdo sometimes.

Derek was frantic as we arrived and tried to brush off the importance of his girlfriend being back. He wanted to go to some werelion fight over who'll be the next king of lions instead of staying with his partner. I kept asking what the hell would actually be more important than her being back and he was being evasive. When I tried to tell him he had to be careful or he'd end up like me, I ended up letting it out that I had killed my mom to become a hunter.

He feels powerless. He feels like people don't take him seriously. And that's a good thing. I wish he could see how bad it is to want to make a difference in an unnatural world. All that's going to happen is him ending up like me, or ending up in a coffin. I can't be constantly there to pull him out of fires he's not even telling me he's walking into. I wish I could save him. But I know he needs to make his own choices when it comes to how much he wants to be in this world and I need to... respect that.

Curtis called Maeve and the drunk fae came over to watch over Derek's partner, then the tree of us went to the epic lion-fight. As we walked in, the tone changed. Mostly because they hate me and while I don't take it personally, they do. Merov was there, with his fucking sword, and this look on his face I'd seen once before. It was the same look he had with the amber vampires.

A chill swept through me as I leaned against the wall and just watched. Watching another person fight is like getting a glimpse into your future and getting a chance to change the outcome. Fighting reveals so much about people. It tells you their weaknesses,  their strengths, and their speed. Merov is fast enough. But the lions fight MMA style. Hard and solid hits, not fast. Still, the dragon... (fuck that's weird)... held his own against the woman.

It was brutal and fast. Merov has fire, like a mother-fucking dragon. But fighting takes power out of him. He's built... differently, than I am. I am power. It's just part of me. I don't need to use it to kill the assholes I hunt. But it doesn't extend beyond being a little faster, a little stronger, a little tougher than you're average bear. This was entirely different. Except it left him vulnerable. It would've been the ideal moment to kill him.

The werelion was defeated. He was weak. He was open. Two seconds and I could have slid the knife from my sleeve and stuck it in his heart. He looked at me and I looked at him and I didn't move. If anything, his eyes stopped me. This was Merov. This was the guy I had sat drinking with retelling hunting stories to and who had always wanted to help me. If was a dragon, we'd fight. But not today. We'd fight when he wasn't weak. When he had everything at his disposal. It's a fight I don't know if I'll walk away from.

The werelions accepted their new king. The city is changing. And it's Merov who's gonna be holding the reigns.