St. Paul Grimoire is a weekly urban fantasy serial.
“Wake up, D!”
Dakotah’s eyes snapped open. “Shit,” he moaned. Hadn’t he just gotten into bed minutes ago?
His mom opened his door. “Come eat something. You have to get to the shop.”
The shop. Ever since he’d taken it on his mom, November, had been using it against him like it was something she could take away: ‘Well, if you can’t show me you’re responsible…’ Even thought today was Saturday, he still had to wake up early and go. Even thought only yesterday he had fought a vampire, he still had to wake up early and go.
He did, but not for the reason she thought. He had to go because there was someone there waiting for him, a former Guardian he’d thought was dead.
“–Should come home early tonight and get your homework–”
November paused. Dakotah looked . Ah, she’d spotted his coat.
“It got ripped up when I was running through the woods.”
Dakotah rolled out of bed. At seventeen, he loomed over his mother. He used his body to shuffle her out of his room. “I’ll buy a new one with my profits, it’s fine. See you in a minute.”
Half an hour later, a short trip to the Abe’s was all it took to determine Pete and Phin weren’t going anywhere that weekend. They were in big trouble after taking Leal out without permission.
Vampire kidnapping probably wasn’t an explanation that was going to fly with their parents.
“My mom actually loves the old baby clothes, though,” Pete said in the doorway. Phin wasn’t even allowed to talk. “But I’d just avoid her–she’s pissed. You alright?”
Dakotah nodded. “Just tired from everything.” A few years ago he’d been picking fights all the time and he remembered the comedown. It was similar to what he was feeling now, just that now was more intense. Of course, that was only part of it. He desperately wanted to tell her about Inkar, but with her dad lingering around the corner, he could tell it would have to wait.
“I’ll try to come by later,” she said. “I’m not in as big of trouble as Phin.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “I’ll text you if anything happens.”
On the way to the shop Val texted.
“I’m busy w fam today. I’ll chill tomorrow. Inkar show?”
He replied, “No prob.” And, after a minute of thinking, “Didn’t see him.”
She Snapped him a funny face in reply and he laughed. Val wasn’t so bad.
Despite everything, the sight of his shop never failed to calm him. He propped the gate and opened the blinds and made a few notations (mostly about the baby clothes he’d given away and the money he’d have to spend on a new coat).
“Gettin’ an early start, I see.”
His houseguest was a woman in her early twenties. She looked different in the daytime, less ominous.
He wasn’t fooled by her friendly face. Caitlin killed Inkar without hesitation just a few hours ago.
“Got work,” he said with a general wave at the shop.
She smiled a little wolfishly. “Well, you don’t really.”
“It’s complicated,” he muttered. “You eat?”
“I explored your neighborhood a little. Fuckin’ cold.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, wondering when she was going to get to the point and explain how the hell she was alive and where she’d been the past few months. Last night he’d been to tired to do anything than trudge back to the shop and show her a room.
“Sunil tried to kill me,” she said as if reading his mind.
The name cause adrenaline to shoot through Dakotah’s body. He hadn’t seen or heard from the fallen Guardian since banishing him to the far reaches of the fey world many months ago.
“I went into hiding and only just heard you’d taken care of him for the time being.”
“How did Sunil get into your Sanctuary?”
Caitlin shrugged. “Hell if I know. But he got to the Heart before I could. He broke down the defenses and it was all I could do to take the Lake to Everywhere somewhere safe.”
“Where’s safe? Where have you been?”
“In the fey world. Though take it from an expert, if you want to hide from someone half-fey himself, you should probably lie low in the human world.” She pulled her brown hair behind her shoulder and grinned. “I just didn’t want to get a job.”
They were interrupted by a customer shopping for unique Valentine’s Day gifts, and Dakotah went to help him out. When he had rung the customer up, he asked Caitlin, “So now what? Are you going back to Ireland?”
“I don’t know if I want to just yet…or if I even can. Actually, I thought I’d hang out here for a bit. If I remember it right, Ike passed away and then you were made Heir. I bet he didn’t show you much about being a Guardian?”
Dakotah nodded to show that was right.
“Well, maybe I can help teach you some stuff.”
Dakotah’s eyes lit up. “Oh, hell yeah.”
My YA fantasy novel TURQUOISEBLOOD is out now! Get your copy here!
When the dangerous rogue dragon Anya crash lands in an isolated mountain village during a snowstorm, Kiri saves her life. Anya awakens seemingly cured of her madness and in thanks offers to show Kiri the country outside her village.
What starts as a simple pact quickly becomes something more as Kiri becomes embroiled in the intrigue of the royal court and the hunt for a murderer.
Meanwhile, 200 years in the past, Pristina fights to stop a rising civil war.