If you're under 18, then go on and git.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sun Shift Ch. 39

Copyright 2018
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Thirty-Nine

“He doesn’t look like he’s getting better,” Cali murmured to Jacob.
Jacob agreed, although silently. Morris was sleeping—or comatose, he wasn’t certain Jenks wasn’t lying—and he was sickly gray color. His chest finally heaved with a breath, and tension Jacob hadn’t been aware of unwound in his shoulders. 
“He’s a lot better than he was an hour ago,” Jenks reiterated. “When his heart stopped.” 
Morris’s eyelids fluttered and he groaned. “Not gonna kill me—”gasp“that easy.” 
“Damn right,” Jenks growled. “Take more than a handful of silver pellets to do you in.” 
Morris groaned and opened his eyes halfway. “Hope so.” His nose twitched and his gaze turned to Cali and Jacob. “We’ll still keep you and your people safe.”
“They aren’t my people,” Cali clarified. “I’m not a pack or cult leader. I do have concerns about this new weapon Shiva was telling me about. Not sure if something that can turn shifters to ash is anything I want near us.” 
Morris took a labored breath and struggled to sit up. 
Jenks hissed at him but rather then tell Morris to keep still, he assisted Morris and put two pillows behind his back and head. “We should invest in an adjustable bed.” 
Morris shot him a narrow glance. “Not gonna need it.”
Jenks pressed his lips together in tight line. 
“This weapon-- tell me about it,” Cali said. 
“Mags and Qadhi have been working on it for a while. At first it was just a concept, one they didn’t ever intend to try to replicate outside of basic forms. I agreed with them. Something so powerful, should it fall into the wrong hands, could destroy us all. And by us, I mean humans, too. But the attacks and slaughtering of shifters changed our minds. We can’t catch up with the group Julius works with. They’re always one or three steps ahead of us.” Morris winced. “No doubt in part because Julius knows me so well.”
“Did he start this group he’s a part of?” Jacob asked. He wasn’t an omega who had to be quiet now. The freedom to speak up was exhilarating, even though the price that had been paid for it to happen had been too high. 
Morris closed his eyes for a moment. “I don’t know. We’ve spent the last year and a half digging into the group, but even the money trail just…disappears. Julius was a loving kid, but something changed when he turned twenty. He went away for several months and came back with a full-blown hatred of humans. He said they were beneath us. We argued, he left. I had no clue where he was or what he was doing until three years ago, when I picked up his scent at the scene of a shifter slaughter. And now I know he left that scent for me deliberately.” 
“Because he and his murdering troop know how to cover every scent,” Jacob added. 
“And this device, this weapon that’s being brought here, it can kill your brother?” Cali asked. 
Morris nodded. “Yes, and if you wonder if I’ll hesitate or regret killing him, no, I won’t. He murdered our parents and sisters in cold blood.”
“When he left his scent.” Jacob felt nauseated. 
“Yes.” Morris had, though it should have been impossible, grown even paler. “I will not regret for a single second if he suffers and dies a slow, painful death. The laser weapon Qahid and Mags is bringing will not give him or any of us that. It is, in basic terms, the death ray-like gun that’s been used in sci-fi movies for decades. Jenks.” 
Jenks held up a glass to Morris’s lips and took over the explanation. “The biggest problem with laser technology when it comes to weaponry is creating a viable, portable energy source. Lasers take a huge amount of energy to be deadly. Qahid had the idea of using silver fusion to create energy. I don’t know how he and Mags did it, but they succeeded in making a small, extremely deadly laser that can cut a wide swath of approximately ten feet per burst. Anything it hits is incinerated, top to bottom—as far as I know. Not sure that’d apply to things like skyscrapers and stuff, but…”
“But if they can make one that is as powerful as they claim it is, and someone else learns about it…” Morris trailed off. 
He didn’t have to finish. Jacob was sure everyone got it. In the wrong hands, this new laser technology could be used to destroy everything, possibly even planets, if it was produced on a larger scale.
“So if we use it, we will have to make certain everyone who sees it is trustworthy, or dead.” Morris sighed. “I hope all your—er, all the inhabitants of the refuge are trustworthy.”
Cali glanced at Jacob, then back at Morris. “I don’t know most of them well. They aren’t aware of what tech you just told me about, and honestly, I don’t think I want such a dangerous weapon here. I don’t think it should have ever been created, Morris. What the hell were you thinking, okaying that?”
Morris finally showed some color, his cheeks turning ruddy. “Revenge. I was thinking about revenge.”
“Revenge is a waste of time and energy,” Cali snapped. 
“You haven’t had your whole family murdered,” Morris snarled back. “All of us have.”
Jacob looked at Jenks, who nodded, then at Shiva. 
Jacob knew the pain they had suffered. He’d been through it, too, and would have to live with it every day. Even so, they were wrong. “Revenge won’t bring them back.” 
Morris sneered at him. “So if we kill them to save the lives of the people at the refuge, that’s okay, though? As long as we give it a name other than revenge.”
“Intentions count,” Jacob acknowledged, and if Morris and his crew didn’t believe that, he didn’t care. “What you do and why you do it takes a toll on you and either erodes or builds up your soul.”
“Soul.” Morris’s sneer was back in place. “We live, we die, that’s it. There is no soul or spirit.”
“That’s your opinion,” Cali said, tugging Jacob close to him. “Just because you feel that way doesn’t mean you should mock or look down on people who don’t agree.”
“I’m with Cali and Jacob on that.” Shiva shook her head. “If we have no soul, no sense of right and wrong—”
“I never said that was lacking,” Morris cut in. “Knowing the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, doesn’t require a soul.”
Jenks held up his hands in a stop gesture. “Can we save this argument for another day? We’re here to stop the slaughter of more shifters. Each of us has our own beliefs on spiritual things, or the lack thereof. We need to focus on dealing with the threat to shifters. Does the label matter? Julius and whoever he’s working with or for won’t stop until they’ve all been killed. That’s a fact. Whatever our motivations for putting an end to him and his kind, that’s on each of us as individuals. It isn’t the same for everyone.”
“Semantics,” Morris groused. “But he’s right. Julius and his team are the only ones working to annihilate shifters. They could have other people recruited and in training. We don’t know. But this has to stop.” 
“Mags and Qahid are three minutes away. Do you want me to send them back?” Shiva asked, but not of Morris. Her attention was focused on Cali. “We can try to find another way to dispense of your would-be murderers.”
Cali bit his bottom lip and looked at Jacob. 
Jacob didn’t know what was best. 
“I could have the others staying at the refuge remain inside and out of sight of the weapon,” Cali mused. 
“It wouldn’t hurt to talk to Mags and Qahid. Besides, their laser thing might not be right for using here,” Morris said. “I’m not clear on the range it has other than the width of the path it strikes.”
Jacob didn’t know what he hoped for. If the laser could put an end to the slaughter of shifters, that couldn’t be a bad thing. And if this Mags and Qahid team had made such a weapon, surely other people would be capable of doing the same.
Jacob turned to ask Cali if he wanted to speak in private for a moment, and the earth rocked under his feet at the same moment a horrible sound rent the air. Jacob might have screamed, but he couldn’t hear anything as pain slammed into his head, his ears ringing while the two of the walls began to crumble.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Installment update

I'll have an installment up tomorrow. I had to do edits on Mr. September today and drive ST/Naomi and her two friends around to places.

 They've got a sweet story, too. These girls have known each other online for over 5 years. They've grown up together online for the most part, although one of them, ST/Naomi has gotten to meet in person twice before.

But now? Now they're all together, in person. One of them lives in another country, and she got to come out here. The in-person meet at the airport made my eyes sting.

Anyway, tomorrow evening I'll write an installment. I think there will probably only be 4-5 more max, and not everything is going to be resolved because this will be a series, whether it continues here or is self-pubbed.

I hope y'all have a fabulous evening ***huggz***

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sun Shift Ch. 38

*Sorry it's later than expected; I had an impromptu date and was out past my bedtime :D

Copyright 2018
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Shiva joined them as the sun was setting. Cali noticed the tension between her and Anya. Something about the way they held themselves set off an alarm in his head as they entered the den. 
Cali nudged Jacob and gave the barest nod toward Anya and Shiva. 
Jacob frowned, then a smile curved his lips. He tugged, and Cali tipped his head down so Jacob could whisper in his ear. “Sexual tension.” 
Cali almost choked on his spit. 
Jacob snickered and patted him on the back. “You okay, Cali?”
“Dandy.” Cali winked then addressed Anya. “How’s Morris?”
“Resting.” Anya hesitated, then walked over to him. “Jenks is staying with him. He’s concerned because of how low Morris’s blood pressure is.”
“He should be healing, at least somewhat,” Shiva added, joining them. “Morris is a powerful shifter. I believe that’s one reason his brother wants him dead, although I could certainly be wrong. He doesn’t talk about Julius on a personal level, but one would assume that Julius and he have had some sort of negative interaction before this murder squad started.”
“You’d think,” Cali murmured, wondering why Morris wouldn’t have shared more details with his team. Shiva seemed to be his stalwart second in command. Then again, it was possible he was wrong. Jenks was the one who was staying with Morris. 
Finn held up a hand. “I’d just like to say, I think we should see if Ashton wants to run free again.” 
Cali had that one covered. “We talked to him before we came in here. His door is open. He seemed uncertain of what he would do, and there is only so much I can understand when he is in his feline form and yowling. Or purring. Regardless.” He shrugged. Ashton was capable of closing the door again even if he didn’t shift. It opened inward, and he only had to smack it with one of his paws and do the same to the lock on it. 
Anya looked worried, fine lines fanning out from the edges of her eyes as she glanced past Cali. “He might prefer to stay isolated.”
“Whatever he decides to do is fine with me. I didn’t set this place up so I could have shifters to command.” Cali suppressed a shudder at the idea. “I want everyone to make up their own mind.” 
Anya nodded. “Of course. Ashton will do what he chooses. I don’t know anything more about him than you do, but I could guess that humans have hurt him in some way.” 
“It could be that his own kind hurt him,” Shiva added. “Of course, I haven’t met this Ashton, but if he hasn’t told anyone his story, who’s to say where the blame lies, if there is any? Perhaps he is happy the way he is.”
“He never shifts,” Anya informed her. “At least that I know of. He stays in his cat.”
Shiva appeared unphased. “If he’s hurting no one, does that matter?”
“No, it doesn’t,” Cali answered. “He can be what he wants. Why is Morris so ill? Did Jenks not get all the silver out?”
“He did, but as I said, Morris is more sensitive to it than Jacob is.” Shiva shrugged. “There is no way of knowing silver tolerance levels for a shifter until they’ve been exposed to it internally. We knew Morris’s tolerance for it because he told us, although he didn’t explain how he knew. Regardless, he will recover. It’ll just take time.”
“How long?” Cali held up a hand. “Wait. I want to see him.”
Shiva arched one dark eyebrow at him. “Why? Do you think I’m lying?”
Anya snorted, surprising Cali. He hadn’t heard her make such a noise before. “Shiva, he knows I was with you and saw Morris. That’s got nothing to do with his request.”
“Right. I’d like to speak with Jenks and see if Morris is able to talk.” 
“May I check with Jenks first?” Shiva asked. 
Cali nodded. “Of course.” He looked at the rest of the people in the room. “Anyone have questions? Suggestions?”
Dion bit his bottom lip. 
“Dion?” Cali prodded. 
He shook his head. “No, I’m…I’m just scared. I’m going to go check on Ashton.” Dion ducked out of the room, almost running to make his escape. 
“He’s right to be scared,” Jacob said. “I’ve seen what these bastards do. If they hadn’t wanted to use me, I’d have been slaughtered without a moment’s hesitation. These are the people—shifters and humans combined—that murdered innocents, adults, teens, children, babies, pregnant shifters, and didn’t bat an eye over it. Didn’t matter what for my pack members were in. What kind of person can look at a baby and murder it?”
“One that needs to fucking die,” Finn snarled. “We need weapons. Do we have weapons?”
Shiva held up one finger. “Morris had plans to work with you all on weapons training this afternoon, originally. I checked his notes. Then things went askew.” 
Cali’s brain snagged on weird things sometimes, like now, it wanted to point out that Shiva had used ‘askew’ in all seriousness. He ignored that impulse. “Morris had told me as much when I signed the contract with him. He said he would outline a plan and revise it as needed. Weapons…what kind are we talking about?”
Shiva’s grin sent a chill down his spine. “Ones that will leave nothing but a little dust behind if we hit our targets. You haven’t met Maggie, our weapons expert. She and Qadhi have been working on something new, and Mags emailed me earlier to let me know they’d succeeded.”
“What…” Cali was almost afraid to ask. “What did they create?”
Shiva shook her head. “I don’t know the specifics. Mags and Qadhi are very tight about sharing things until they’re perfected. All I know is, some sort of laser is involved. That kind of thing is not my forte. I couldn’t tell you if it’s a laser like one would play with a cat with, or the kind that cuts through things. Neither would surprise me. With your permission, I can have them brought in by helo.” 
“I’d like to speak to Jenks and, if possible, Morris, before I give the okay. This…weapon, sounds extremely dangerous. I’m not sure it’s something I want around here if there’s any risk to the people living at the refuge.” 
“Mags and Qadhi would never endanger us, but I understand your concern and you don’t know either of them. Let me check in with Jenks.” Shiva took her phone off the clip at her waist and tapped the screen. “Jenks, Cali and Jacob need a word with you and Morris. Any chance he’ll be alert and capable of a conversation?”
She listened for a moment and her entire expression lightened. “That’s great. I knew you’d pull him out of it, Jenks. You’ve got the skills of a true healer.” After another few seconds, she tucked her phone away. Her smile softened the sharp angles of her face, and Cali noticed Anya staring at her with undisguised want. 
“Morris is already doing much better. Jenks did some of his medic mojo—I never ask what. He said Morris’s BP is stable and his healing ability has finally kicked into high gear.” Shiva turned then and caught sight of Anya. A blush stained Shiva’s cheeks. “Um, if you’ll follow me?” 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Strep Throat

Y'all, I am so sorry, but I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever, chills, and sore throat. I'm sick as $*%& and need to sleep and get better. I'll be back next week with winners, installments, all that fun stuff. ***huggz***

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Installment coming Friday

I'm sorry I've been off the blog this week, there've been some things that have happened that are making life difficult, and when I get stressed so much and anxiety ratchets higher, I can't write and do well just to function. I'm working on snapping out of it, and will do my best to have an installment up tonight.

The blog winners, I'm still waiting for the PayPal issue to be straightened out so I can get my royalties and announce winners for that to happen.

Wishing y'all a fantastic Thursday.