Journal 4/25/2011 (originally posted on that date to txmoonbaby.tumblr.com)

20th floor of a hotel is not the place you want to be in the middle of severe weather with 50mph winds. I could feel the building sway and even as high as we were it still seemed that things were hitting the window, probably picked up off nearby rooftops.

Roman had the night off from Fangtasia but had siezed the opportunity to take care of some other business. I don’t know, I didn’t ask, who says women are too nosy.

So I was alone in the hotel room, I could have shut the curtains and ignored what was going on outside but, as much as storms terrify me, their beauty is unquestionable. I went to the couch to turn on the TV and watched some network crap while hoping for break ins from Channel 3’s hottie Joe Haynes. (Now there’s a running partner Roman would need to worry about. Rawr!)

I don’t know when storms began to bother me. I can remember laying in bed and counting to see how far away they were by the time between lightening and the thunder. Mom had told me that trick. She also told me that there was no reason to stay awake during a storm, she’d watch them for me and if I needed to be up, she’d wake me.

Then Mom died, I don’t know that I have slept through a storm since then, at least not many. Doesn’t matter if the storm is minor or like this one, having multiple tornadoes in it, I stay awake for them all. It’s like if I can just be awake I can somehow change things and strangely enough sometime I feel like I do.

Ok, yeah that is the sleeplessness talking. There is no way that a plain Jane…er Jo like me could ever do that right?

I look back at the tv and I see they have let the tornado watches expire. It is after 1am and I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep yet. I have to take a shower and wash the fear off of me. It is like I can smell it. I’m glad that Roman didn’t feel it through the bond and come rushing back to me in this mess.

Would he laugh to think of me worrying about him driving in a storm? That I stay awake with the radar on the computer sometimes while he rests?

I don’t need to look at a calendar to know that Mother’s day is coming. My emotions do it for me. Sadness, anger, worry, regret, they all tend to flare up as the day gets closer. Roman seemed so annoyed when he told me he didn’t have feelings, how can I explain to him that is what I’m most envious of, the thing I crave most.

I finally finish up and with one last glance at the tv I turn it off and crawl in to bed. I still may not sleep but at least I can rest. I’ll feel better when Roman is beside me. The monkey doesn’t work anymore and I wasn’t desperate enough to call Kiki or Warren, God only knows how Ro would have reacted to that.

And that was my last thought before drifting off to sleep. Dreams of myself, fire and ice were the theme for the night.
I’m really hoping that didn’t have anything to do with Roman and Warren. That is a complication I just don’t need right now….err make that ever.

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Little Red Running from Hollowood (Originally Posted on txmoonbaby.tumblr.com on 4/19/201)1

I spent the whole drive out of Shreveport thinking about what I had finally said to Roman. I love you. I said it first, it wasn’t some mocking bird or parroted response, it was true, and truly how I felt. Always before when I’d said it there had been conditions on it. I loved someone like a friend, puppy love or some other drivel but not with Roman. The worst thing is the asshole knew it the whole time, especially when he mocked me back with the Lo…ok thing. I guess that’s what I was doing instead of noticing the lights of the truck that was following me. I know I had to be followed, we had started out in the same lobby.

I had parked where I had the first moon I was in Shreveport instead of starting out at the plantation. I needed to do this on my own and needed to think, making this a family outing just wasn’t going to help that.

I shifted and found that my good mood continued once I got to four feet.  I circled around the witches house and noticed that there were more wards than normal. Maybe mine and Mena’s visits hadn’t gone unnoticed, then again maybe they had decided to protect the house while they played in the moonlight.

Discouraged by not being able to more I began making my way back to Clover on four feet when I heard something crash through the underbrush. I lifted my nose trying to scent what it was. Deer popped into view shortly after I took note of them, wondering if I could give in to mine and Roman’s desire to kill something but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was a doe and her twin fawns so I let them alone and I kept going.

Soon I passed by an old sheep farmers pasture. I am usually careful to avoid this area because really, the dumb things are just standing there like cotton waiting to be plucked but it was the quickest way to my car and knowing Roman was waiting for me made me want to hurry.

My hastened pace almost was my downfall, I narrowly missed the trap the hunter had set. I had made it only a few yards when the wind shifted and I scented him. Wolf, another like me. Before I could search out a good defensive position the deer came running into view and heading straight for the trap the damn farmer had laid. Not thinking twice I cut out at a run for the deer trying to head them off. It only seemed to make them run harder. The little fawns heartbeats seemed almost like a drum roll, finally they turned just feet from the damn trap, the same as me.

About that time the wolf came into the clearing. I couldn’t tell what color he was and the deer’s panic and terror was too strong in the air to tell much from scent. All I knew was he was male, were and not pack. I lowered my ears, raised my hackles and snarled a growl at him. Even though he was larger and outweighed me I was determined to go down fighting instead of taking chances that this wolf was tied to the witches.

The wolf kept approaching, he seemed almost curious to look at me and maybe surprised by my actions. He started to make his way around me and I turned with him, careful to never give him my back. He snorted at me and tilted his head. I could almost hear him think that I was being silly because I couldn’t stand a chance against him. Just then he saw the trap and he lunged for me, knocking me away from it. I was too shocked to do anything but growl and even that ended when his weight landed on top of me knocking the air from my lungs. I had just managed to clear my head with a deep breath when I saw him approach the trap with a large stick. I continued to make my way backwards from him, increasing the distance when the snapping of a trap was heard, then another. One the wolf had tripped with the stick, the second I had with my front left paw. I yelped and managed to jerk my paw out getting only wicked scratches instead of broken bones. The wolf approached me, anger rolling off him. His eyes took in my injury and then met my gaze. I let out another growl and the massive wolf nipped at my muzzle like I was a pup in need of correction.  He then loped off into the thicket and I could feel the magic of his transformation in the air. Soon he stepped back into the clearing on two feet. Warren, was he the wolf Roman had sensed in the hotel? Could he be working with the witches? He was walking toward me and I began to growl again until I heard his words. Apparently I frustrated him, they weren’t at all flattering but it was enough to end my growling fit, if I could annoy him that much and he not lash out at me, I felt fairly safe.

Warren then leaned down to inspect my injured paw. I tried to fight back the whine, but the pain was intense. He said something about wondering how much damage will heal after I shifted back and that we should go. I had just taken an awkward step when I was suddenly in Warren’s arms. I fought the urge to struggle and rested my head against his shoulder staring at him, searching for answers and finding none.

The next thing I knew I could hear my phone ringing in the distance as Warren carried me back to my car. He sat me down next to my discarded clothes and walked to the other side of the car giving me privacy for my shift back. I dressed as best as I could, my shorts providing me with the most difficulty and walked back to the front of the car, seeing that Warren had produced shorts from somewhere.

I had just told him we needed to talk when my cell phone started ringing again. Roman, he must have felt it through the bond, so I dumped the contents of my bag in the passenger seat and took out my phone. While I was reassuring Roman, Warren took the first aid kit and wrapped the still bleeding wound on my now arm. After reassuring Roman I was fine and on my way back to the hotel I ended the call.

I looked up at Warren and found myself torn between grateful and outraged. He obviously had followed me but why? I had no answers and he had them all. I took a card out of my purse and handed it to him.

“I’ve got to go, my boyfriend is already worried sick but this isn’t over. We’ve got to talk.”

Warren just nodded and said he’d call me later and headed off to what I assumed was his waiting vehicle. I sped back to the hotel, a Ford truck there at my rear as I pulled into the lot of the hotel. I could see Roman pacing in the lobby and quickly got out, grabbing my stuff and holding it against me as I walked in the door. In the confusion I thought I saw Warren slip up the stairs but I couldn’t be sure. I managed to convince Roman it wasn’t anything a good steak wouldn’t fix and we returned to the room, room service not far behind. I showered, ate and curled up in bed next to Roman too exhausted to think or explain. It wasn’t long before sleep found me, still I knew questions would have to be answered, and soon. I just wasn’t looking forward to some of those answers.

Yellow Roses (Originally Posted on txmoonbaby.tumblr.com on 3/28/2011)

He bought me flowers, and not just any flowers, yellow roses.  I don’t care what other people say about them.  Folks can think the roses stand for friendship or jealousy; they don’t to me.  I’m a Texas girl and they have a special place in my heart just like Roman does, because he remembers that night.

I can think back to a talk we had one night in a 24-hour truck stop one of the times we crossed paths.  There was a simple bucket full of water set up and a marker on cardboard sign that said Tyler Roses $5 a dozen.  Nothing fancy, just beautiful smelling flowers in a simple plastic wrap yet trucker after trucker picked bunch after bunch up with their pork rinds and sodas.  Then this one guy came in, a bear of a man, who looked to be the type of guy who would go out of his way to stomp on a flower growing in the cracks on the sidewalk, instead he surprised me.  He asked the cashier if he had any yellow roses in the back because those were his wife’s favorite.

That got Roman and I to talking, because really, what else are we going to do in a truck stop hours before dawn when we weren’t lovers at the time.  My speculation was that the man had done something wrong and was bringing the flowers home to soothe his pissed off wife, still Roman, ever the romantic said that even if that was the case, he cared deeply for her or he wouldn’t have asked for the yellow ones, he would have settled for one of the other colors.

God, he’s so perceptive.  Then he grinned that crooked grin that makes my heart stutter beat and asked me what my favorite color rose was.  Being a Texan, there was only one answer.  Still I told him about the old heirloom varieties of roses that my grandmother had planted in her garden.  The antique climbing roses that smelled like Vaseline hair tonic and the newer of the varieties that smelled slightly of baby powder to me.  That I thought that spending time in that rose garden did more to earn me my nickname Rosie than my tendency to blush at any given moment.

Roman listened and then he told me something I didn’t know.  The first yellow roses were discovered in the Middle East and they didn’t smell pleasing at all, in fact many people felt that they stank back in the 18th century especially compared to other varieties.  *Chuckles* Leave it up to a 700 year old vampire to put perspective on my view of antique and heirloom.

Still, when I opened the hotel door and saw him standing there, and when I looked down at the flowers, I caught a glimpse of something else.  The ring, my family heirloom, he is still wearing on his right pinky, turned in facing him.  It means he considers himself taken and I have tried to ask, but I keep chickening out.  I want to replace that ring with another one, one I buy for him that he can wear on his ring finger.  I hope he wears it the same way.  Despite my best intentions I’m finding that I am growing more and more attached to him every day.

I love him as a friend, as a person and with the kind of love that I want what’s best for him, even if that isn’t me.  It took so much for me to NOT say fuck it and bond with him a second time.  I know in my gut that what we have would be the same with or without the first bond, but I don’t want to be something that Roman ends up regretting.  I don’t think my heart could take it so I hold back.  It is probably a good thing Roman let me distract him with sex, because if he had paid attention he would have known what I was feeling and I might have had some questions asked that I’m not sure I’m ready to give the answers to anyone, especially myself.

Do I love him in the romantic sense?  Yes, and I’m scared that it will destroy us both.

Comfortably Numb (Originally Posted to txmoonbaby.tumblr.com on 2/15/2011)

Roman and I sat there and let the music be the only communication. When Comfortably Numb came on I managed a sigh. That’s what I longed for, numbness and to once again be comfortable in my skin, in my life, without the what-might-have-been’s haunting my thoughts.

Roman, always too perceptive, turned slightly and asked if I was going to spill it or just drown in it. He’s always managed to cut through the bullshit but in true stubborn style I answered a question with a question.

“Roman, why bring Baby Abel into your life then keep him at arms length?”

I don’t guess I really expected an answer, mainly because I didn’t know if he would have one. He was a vampire after all.

The answer he gave surprised me and brought tears to my eyes. Crying for the man he had once been, and the man he had become. For all of his devious qualities and simple vampness, he also had the heart of a noble champion, a modern day knight, in an eternal state of his prime. What some vampires see as weakness in Roman, may very well be his greatest forte and the things that make him stand out among the masses.

So when his story was told, and he turned to me to see my tears he seemed shocked then angry till he saw my eyes.  They held no pity or scorn, but rather understanding and acceptance.

It was if I could feel his eyes on me, so I turned to him, met his gaze and tried to let it convey to him everything I was feeling.  Then I rested my head on his chest and answered his question.

I told him that I felt torn. My inner wolf seemed to be pushing me towards fulfilling my duties as a female, but my mind and heart were in other places. I loved my life as it was. I was good at my job and I knew I couldn’t balance my work for Queen Blackwood with motherhood and do either well.  I told him about the broken engagement to a shiny unwrinkled wolf that sought to put me on display and turn me into the perfect mate…then I admitted the worst of it.

My true fear was that I was so dark and twisty that no one would ever understand me. I told him I feared I would never find anyone who I could be myself with…and then I stopped, because I had.

That realization meant the world to me, made the night less dark and lightened my soul. I went still for a moment and slowly pulled away from him wondering if he felt it too.

It wasn’t love, nor was it romance, but in it’s own way it was more.  It was a knowledge that no matter what, there would be a person I could call who would get it, because chances were he had felt it too.

Roman was the one to break the silence when the distant church bells chimed and the riverboats changed their lights to pink, red and white. I slid off the car and stood to get a better look and felt him move behind me before he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close.

Roman mumbled, “Happy Valentine’s Day babe.”

And it was…

Turn The Page (originally posted 2/1/2011 on txmoonbaby.tumblr.com)

Once upon a time there was a tiger, wolf and a vampire.

Sounds like a twisted child’s fairy tale or the opening line to some dirty joke, but it’s not. It’s my life.

The vampire is @QueenBlackwood and the person whom although I don’t owe fealty to, I respect greatly as a just and fair ruler. The fact that she is more open minded than most vampires probably helps that a bit. The person she is inside, the things she has seen and yet managed to overcome is responsible for a bit more. I find myself studying her ways. It is too often a rare thing in a leader with as much power as she wields to know her liabilities and assets so well and she seems to have an uncanny ability to not only know them but use them. One asset is the weres she does not shy away from, instead she encourages relationships with them, even the rarest.

Her tiger is among these and @TigerLevy shares the distinction to be hers alone to call.  He is…perplexing. He serves as bodyguard and is helping me with my job. He is also driving me nuts, braking my chastity streak by giving me some of the best sex of my recent life and serving as a cuddle buddy when we are only sleeping in the bed.  He tends to be overprotective. His overprotective streak, of course, drives me insane.  In a way, I guess it is kind of nice but it also freaks me out.  No, really freaks me out to the point that I became scared and ran away.   That first time didn’t last long but I’ve been more successful on my second attempt, even if I do miss him.  Please God don’t repeat that to anyone, let alone him.

And of course I am the wolf. Trouble Magnet extraordinaire, Daddy’s little girl who according to him traveled to the dark side the first time I failed to keep Fangers, his word not mine,  from feeding from me. My official title is Two Natured Liaison to Queen Blackwood  for Louisiana, at least for now. If I don’t start making more progress it may be “wolfskin rug formerly known as TammyJo”.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve not been late with a single report, I keep finding information and I’m trying to piece it all together but there seems to be this big piece missing. Maybe Queen Blackwood hasn’t felt that I need to know everything but my fear is that perhaps she doesn’t know herself. Not many people could hope to keep information from @QueenBlackwood and survive, yet I’m sure her former lover Eric Northman MIGHT be among them.

@SheriffNorthman seems to be her trusted friend. Granted she has known him multiple mortal lifetimes, but something in my gut tells me that he’s holding something back. Maybe that is unfair of me. I don’t mean to imply he would do anything to harm Queen Blackwood, at least not at this point, but something is just…off. It could be lingering distrust of him for his offer to turn my friend long ago. Then again it could be my reaction to his almost palatable dislike for me. I swear, I let one vamp bite me in his club and suddenly I’m Typhoid TJ.

Eh, it’s ok. It doesn’t really effect me, unless it causes me to be even more determined to prove him wrong about me. Surely he should realize that Queen Blackwood wouldn’t have me around just because I provide comic relief. I MIGHT be looking forward to proving him wrong about me in some aspects.

Unfortunately I can’t prove him wrong about them all. That vampire I let bite me? Yeah, that’d be @RomanLucious. He and I have an unusual relationship, if you can call it that. I guess part of it could be because of where we met. Who would expect to see a girl like me in a bar like that. I was still at least attempting to please my dad. He would have freaked to know the big blond biker vamp I met that night has finally become my lover.  Lover sounds so serious,  LUSTer might be more accurate but sounds more like a way to describe his eyes than a term to describe what we do to destroy a hotel room full of furniture. ;0)

I can’t let myself think about Roman too much. I enjoy spending time with him way more than I should.  Between him and Levy I have to work to keep my thoughts on my task, not to the naughty memories of…well that’s another story.

Sometimes I think the vampires are lucky, they have all the time in the world baring second death. Me, I’m not so lucky. I know my time is limited, both here in Shreveport and on this earth…I guess that’s why I’m determined to make the most of it, before it’s time to go on to the next chapter.