The Buffalo Files

The Life and Times of a Girl Next Door Wizard (C) [Part 12]

Loving you is easy cause you're super cool

Desmond Waters was having a rough time coming back to what passed as normal life in our home sweet home. A year and a half living with fallen angels, and being forced to commit atrocities, isn’t the best rehab plan after waking up from near death. Though, everyone on the home front was doing everything they could to sooth his wounded heart.

Jason was around much more these days, now that Nick and his crew had finally been put to rest, and it seemed that when he wasn’t with Sarah, he was with Desmond. Talking together in the living room as I worked in my sanctum with the twins, or going out on long peaceful fishing trips, or just being there for one another. After me, Jason had taken Desmond’s death and rebirth the hardest, and he was doing everything he could to make up for lost time with his best friend. Desmond warmed up to Jason the fastest out of all of us and it did my heart well to see him smiling again.

Kevin spent a lot of time with Desmond after he came back as well. I could tell Desmond felt a lot of awkwardness around Kevin at first, but it didn’t last very long. The two were brothers in arms, and if anyone knew what Desmond was going through it was Kevin. They talked sports, and family, and old times. Them hanging out gave me an excuse to go over and see Sheron from time to time, and finally let Kevin and I spend some of our own time together that didn’t involve monster hunting.

Rafe happened by the house more often than he used to, usually to take Des and go out for days at a time into the wilderness on ‘spirit journeys’ of a sort similar to those where Desmond had first learned to take his grim form. Rafe was helping Desmond with the beast inside, and perhaps with him finding peace somewhere among the grief and pain he still held within himself. Even Chip went with them a time or two, likely nuzzling with Desmond and begging for Doritos like he always used to. Chip’s unchanged affection for Desmond was proof enough to let me know Des was still himself, no matter how hurt he was inside.

As November rolled around John lost his election for city mayor to Jeffrey Burnside (God help us all), but he was taking it all in stride. Sure, he’d lost because most of the city felt he’d blown all their money on a bloated police force and wasted it away instead of making good on his promises, but John knew he’d been one of the leading forces that had kept Buffalo afloat after Desmond’s ‘death’. Without him Buffalo probably would have turned into the country’s next Detroit. So, even with an arch rival running the city John had nothing to be ashamed about. Poor Kevin ended up with a demotion back to lieutenant as S.I.‘s budget got cut in the first month of Burnside’s reign, but with Trina, the Pole, and I actually doing our respective jobs he just looked at it as a chance to spend more time with the family and friends. Heck, John too for that matter. His cute nurse wife he’d met after getting shot by the vampires a long time ago had been missing him, so I guess he had no reason to complain over the sudden joblessness. John and Kevin even celebrated their ‘well deserved demotions’ by loading Desmond into John’s camero for a road trip, and carting him off to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. They were originally going to go to Atlantic City, but I suggested that maybe Jersey wasn’t the best of ideas. Regardless, I think it did all three of them some good.

The Twins took up a lot of my own time, so it was good that Desmond had so many of our friends around to spend his time with. It also gave him the chance to re-start the Thursday night poker game with Lopez, Caesar, and Raul. When I did have free time away from warden business and wizard training, Desmond and I did all we could to spend our time together. Honestly, it felt a lot like when he’d first moved in with me. Going out to eat, watching movies at the drive in, staying up late talking about whatever we felt like. It was like starting to date him all over again, and it felt really good. I think Des needed that to get back into the swing of being normal around me again. It wasn’t long before it was Connie and Desmond once more, and I was frequently reminded why I’d fallen in love with him in the first place.

There was a down side however. It had been a long while since he’d come back, and I hadn’t gotten laid once. I know I sound like a guy, but ladies need love too, and I really missed my Desmond. No matter what I did though nothing seemed to get him in the mood (the polite term). And that made me feel like shit, let me tell you. Nothing to make you feel fat, old, and ugly like your man not rising to attention when you beckon. Rationally I knew that somewhere in Desmond’s mind was a giant psychosomatic block stopping him from leaping on me like a wild animal, and I knew that Coviello and the other choices he’d made as a Denarian were just the tip of that iceberg. Even so, it started to get me down really bad. So I did what any loving woman would do when she had troubles in her love life. I consulted a succubus.

To say I consulted Trina is stretching it a bit. I told her my problem and she came to the sluttiest, dirtiest, college girl wet t-shirt style conclusion she could. And it was gay as all get out, but I can’t argue with results.

I caught Desmond sitting on the couch staring at a Bills game on our fuzzy tube TV (he was lucky to get it running with Hannah, Kyle, and me floating around the house of late, but we try not to overuse the projection TV if we don’t have to). We were very much alone in the house.

“Hey, Desmond,” I said with a huge smile and a little bit of naughtiness.

“Hey, Connie,” he said more than a little depressed.

“I’ve got a video I want to watch with you, but you’ve got to take your pants off to watch it with me,” I said still grinning with a ratty looking VHS tape in my hand.

“Really Connie? Porn?” Desmond snapped at me a little, “All this pushing and prodding isn’t helping anything.”

“Okay slugger, I’m sorry, you can keep the pants on, just watch it okay?” I put my hands, and the tape, up defensively. I got a sigh/grunt from him but not a ‘no’.

I slid the tape into our ancient VCR (which the gods must have blessed since it somehow still clung to life around me for all these years) and the tape I’d spent more than a day working on, messing with constantly burning out ancient video recorders all the while, started to play.

It was a shot of me kneeling on a hotel bed in my skimpiest set of black underwear. The kind that you can see through enough of to make them very inappropriate for anything but bedroom fun. I thought I looked fat, but I guess a more fair minded person would have thought I looked ‘smoking’. I bit on my finger in the video because guys like that I guess (Trina said so) and I started to rub myself on the tape while I talked to the camera.

“Desmond, I miss you so much,” TV me said as she moaned slightly in desire and need I really hadn’t needed to fake, “I don’t know what I’ll do without you to make me feel all good inside.”

“Connie, I really appreciate this,” Desmond started to say, “and you look fucking great babe, but all this is doing is making me. . .me. . .uh. . .”

Desmond had trailed off because someone else had wandered into the video on the TV.

If I was ‘smoking’ then Trina, kneeling on the bed next to me in the video, in her equally dirty, but way hotter on her see through white underwear, was burning down half the state. Her short blonde hair accentuating her blue eyes, her sexy figure with curves in all the perfect places most women dream of having, me included. Trina was a bombshell, a goddess of lust, and one of the sexiest sex vampires I knew. I was hoping that if anyone could break Desmond’s funk, it would be Trina Haight.

“I missed Desmond too, Connie,” TV Trina said as she wrapped her arms around me, “you miss him so much that all those dirty thoughts inside are letting you touch me, and me touch you.” Her voice was sex and silk, and then TV Trina settled her mouth over TV Connie’s and the two began to passionately kiss and rub at one another. I’d like to pretend that the moans I’d made had been for the camera, but Trina is actually really good at her job, even when you don’t swing her way.

The video wasn’t overly long, and we didn’t even get naked on it, hell, Cinemax has raunchier stuff. But we did look good, and we were two women Desmond knew really well. And we were kissing, and moaning, and well, let’s just say that Desmond’s dinner plate sized eyes were the first of many bodily reactions. Around the time TV Trina was rubbing TV Connie’s breasts, real world Connie had found a very old friend who’d been hiding for awhile.

Desmond’s mouth covered mine and I was on my back on the couch before I knew it. Desmond wasn’t letting his inner beast out on me, but he was full of passion and need so fierce you’d really not have known the difference. Our pants ended up mixed together on the floor in seconds and when Desmond entered me after being gone for two years I felt a surge of pleasure so great that my magic literally escaped my control. Every light in the house blew out, the TV sparked and went dead, and I inadvertently erased the tape Trina and I had spent a whole day making. Neither Desmond nor I noticed as we made love passionately and deeply.

And it was good. Super good.

At some point an hour or so later I remember lying on top of him, both of us covered in sweat, being held in his arms. He wore one of those stupid smiles men get after they get lucky, and I may have had a matching smile myself.

“So,” he said, “what should we get Trina as a thank you present?”

I laughed, but in truth Trina and I’s little tape had turned out to be a little more dangerous than I’d been expecting.

- - -

As I said, the video had taken most of a day to make, as I kept burning out the video recorders. As time kept passing it was harder and harder for Trina to turn off her charms on me. One of the later shots in the day started out as the gentle and playful kissing as the others had, but at some point I realized that Trina was making out with me a little too deeply. She was on top of me with her hands all over me, in places I wouldn’t normally want them going, but somehow I was enjoying it.

I was touching and caressing her right back and only a very distant voice in the back of my head told me something was wrong. I wanted more than anything to give in to Trina, to kiss her, and love her. She was my friend, and I loved her almost as much as I loved Des, if in a different way. Why shouldn’t I share my body with her? She was giving her sweet wonderful body to me after all. Her supple breasts, her smooth curves, her sweet mouth. That voice kept nagging me that it was all wrong. To get it to shut up so I could fuck Trina in peace I decided to prove to it how silly it was being by throwing up my full mental defenses to show it nothing bad was going on.

Of course, something VERY bad was going on, and that voice in the back of my head had been the voice that screams at you when you’re being stalked by something large and dangerous, and it was informing me that I was currently being eaten as Trina slowly drank away my inner reserves of energy into herself. If I’d been a normal person, or even someone with intense willpower like Jason or Desmond, I probably would have given in to Trina, but I was a wizard, and wizards develop much stronger mental fortitude than nearly any other mortal out there. Has to do with the mental effort it takes to create magical constructs in your head and throw them around. With my mental defenses up Trina’s mojo wasn’t clouding my mind nearly as much, and I realized she was feeding on my very energy in the form of lust. Maybe she wouldn’t kill me with one feeding, but one can turn into two, then three, then you are a shell of your former self. Someone with Rafe’s energy could spend a lifetime before that happened, but how long would I last?

I had a lot of energy, even while having it sucked from my body, and I used a small amount of it to send out a blast of force right into Trina’s face, and slam her hard into the hotel wall. Panting and sweating all over I sat up ready to defend myself some more if need be, but I quickly realized Trina had been as lost in the moment as I had. She’d lost control.

“Trina, what the fuck!” I yelled at my friend. I loved Trina, sure, but getting eaten can damper anyone’s disposition.

“Connie, oh my god, I’m so sorry,” she started rambling in a heap on the floor as she tried to find the underwear she’d shed during her feed attempt, “Oh god, Connie.”

Tears were welling in her silver eyes and they were quickly putting out the fire of my anger. As Trina decided to grab a robe to cover her currently much paler body, I put my t-shirt on and pulled on my sweat pants to cover my naked form. Trina and I had been in the middle of something alright.

“Hey, take a deep breath, it’s gonna be okay,” I told her as I sat in a big chair on the opposite side of the room from her, “What’s going on? I’ve never seen you lose control like that. Hasn’t Rafe been keeping you fed? Or are you going through the same trouble I am?”

I’d said it half jokingly, but Trina cast her eyes to the floor as she rose to sit on the bed. Her eyes returned to her normal blue, and her normal skin color was returning too.

“Not the same problem as you and Des, but it has been harder for us of late,” she said taking a deep breath, “harder for us to get close, like, literally hard for us to make physical contact.”

That’s when I realized what she was telling me. The touch of someone truly in love was like acid to a white court vampire. Normally this reaction only happened when they were in ‘feeding mode’, so if well fed they didn’t react as harshly to the touch of true love, but it always hurt them to one degree or another. I’d thought I’d been able to touch Trina to make the video because she was full, but if she was as hungry as she’d clearly been then I guess the truth was that my lust was outweighing my love for a short time. It had been a few years since my sexual desires had been truly sated. But if Trina was hungry that meant she hadn’t been able to feed off Rafe like usual, and if he couldn’t touch her anymore, that meant:

“Rafe loves you!” I said dragging the ‘o’ sound out.

Trina just blushed and turned away.

“And you love Rafe!” I said dragging out the ‘o’ once more.

“You aren’t helping!” Trina snapped at me, with her arms crossed. She looked cute. Oh man, I needed to get laid fast.

“Oh, Trina,” I said sobering my tone, “you guys can’t make love at all?”

“It’s not that bad,” she said looking at me, “if he shifts his form enough to tap in to his more animal side it is usually enough to protect me, but then we have a more primal ‘session’ together, and that isn’t always what either of us really wants.”

She let out a heavy sigh.

“To actually ‘make love’, instead of fucking, Rafe and I have to do this big Native American, spirit, meditation, thingy he knows how to do. It essentially quiets my demon enough for him to touch me, even though we care for each other so deeply. Those nights are great, but it takes a long time to prepare, and the mansion isn’t exactly the most private of places for it.”

“I’m sorry,” I said with empathy in my voice.

“It’s okay,” she smiled, “there are worse fates than knowing your man really loves you. It’s just left me a lot hungrier than usual, and I’ve felt weird about banging other men with Rafe right in the house.”

I could only conclude that Trina thought banging other men while Rafe wasn’t around would have been perfectly acceptable, which was really slutty to my more modest sensibilities of monogamy, but then again, I wasn’t a literal succubus, so maybe she got a free pass.

“All day I’ve been fighting my demon,” Trina said, making me feel a little guilty for putting her through what I’d had to make my video for Desmond, “and it finally beat me out. I’m sorry, you just have so much energy, Connie.”

“Wizard,” I stated matter of factly while holding my hands out at my sides, palms up.

“Even for a wizard,” she said, which made me wonder how many wizards she’d banged, “and you are a particularly sweet bit of energy for my taste buds.”

“Thanks, glad I’m so tasty to eat,” I dripped sarcasm.

“Sorry,” she said looking sheepish.

“It’s okay, Trin, just try not to suck down any more Connie-shakes, okay?”

“Cross my heart,” she said with a smile, dragging her finger across her heart.

- - -

As time passed and Desmond started to act more and more like himself I started to drop hints about how I was madly in love with him, and that he had kind of proposed to me right before all kinds of bad things went down. I was expecting to start the talk of when the wedding would be. What I wasn’t expecting was him to tell me was that he wasn’t ready for that yet, and didn’t know when he would be. That had the side effect of sliding me into a pretty blue funk. In hindsight, maybe it was foolish of me to try and heap a lot more change on top of him so soon after the Denarian trouble, but I’m in love with him, and god damn it I wanted to be Connie Waters!

He made up for it though. Lots of presents, and time with me, and as much loving as I could handle. In the end I wasn’t sure if Desmond and I would ever be married at this point, but it just didn’t matter. We’d gone through hell and beyond in our two years apart, and both of us had remained loyal to one another, even when I’d thought he was dead. The words and name change would have meant a lot to me, but all that was nothing compared to the unspoken vows we’d made in our hearts. I figured I’d leave well enough alone and trust that Desmond would tell me when he was ready, if he ever was.

We did have some great news to perk both of us up over the year though. Sarah was pregnant, and since Jason was around a lot more I didn’t even have to go to Lemaze Birthing Classes with her. It was a fun time watching Sarah’s belly slowly get bigger and bigger as the months passed by. It also made me more than a little sad. For all my power and knowledge as a Wizard I didn’t have the ability to have my own children like other women. I’d had more than one miscarriage in my life, and all of them had happened no more than a few weeks after first becoming pregnant, if you could even call them real pregnancies. I had a half dozen with Daniel easily. I’d even had a few with Desmond, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him that. I used to cry a lot over it all, but I eventually just saw it as a burden I had to bear. Hell, I hadn’t had my period for nearly a year, and being too young for menopause I only had to assume the old uterus had finally given up the ghost on me. So I got to feel a little blue as Sarah got happier and happier, but I vowed I’d be the best Aunt Connie I could be. Besides, Aunts are much cooler and hotter than Moms anyway.

A very quick nine months left Desmond and I in a small hospital room with the few day old parents, Dad Jason looking as proud as I’d ever seen him, Mom Sarah looking tired but happy, and little Desmond Ivory getting hugged very tightly by his Aunt Connie. He was just too adorable and I fell in love with him immediately. What is it with me and guys named Desmond? Desie warmed up to his uncle Desmond pretty quickly too, and watching my big strong Des holding such a tiny thing so delicately warmed my heart. When Jason and Sarah had first told Desmond they were going to name their son after him he actually shed a tear or two, God love him.

Things were perfect. Until Martha Richardson, Sarah and Daniel’s mother, entered the room.

“Oh, I didn’t realize you two had company,” she said passing a quick glance at Desmond and I and then purposefully looking away from us, “Sarah, I think you should tell your friends that we need a little family time.”

I didn’t miss the implication. I wasn’t family to the Richardsons as far as Martha was concerned, no matter what it said on my license. Jason was the first to say something.

“Martha, I think-”

“What do you think, Jason?” Martha cut him off.

He took a quick look at me, and then Sarah, and both of us shook our heads ever so slightly at him. Then Desmond started to move forward to say something. When a demon from beyond our reality tried to kill me Desmond literally threw his body between me and it. I didn’t know what he’d do or say to Martha Richardson as she essentially spit all over my honor, but I could only imagine it involved lots of inventive uses of the words ‘fuck’ and ‘you’, but that’s not what I wanted. I put my hand over Desmond’s, calmed him, and started to walk him to the room’s door.

“I’ll talk to you later, Sarah,” I said trying to sound like I wasn’t as hurt as I was. Maybe I had every right to be there, but Martha Richardson had every right to hate me for getting her son killed. I loved Daniel too, so I knew how much she must of hated me. I’d hated me for a long time after too.

“Connie, wait right there,” Sarah said, handing Desie off to Jason, “I’ve got something I need to say to my mother.”

“Sarah, I don’t think that Miss Carver needs to worry herself over our family matters,” Martha said, still not looking at me.

“No, Mom. I think Mrs. Richardson has every right to hear our family business, because she is a part of it,” Sarah said, her voice iron. Little Sarah Richardson would have never spoken to her mother like that, but Little Sarah Richardson hadn’t been around for a long time. This was the brilliant Dr. Richardson. This was Mrs. Ivory, wife to a Knight of the Cross. This was a woman who lived in a world of magic, monsters, and more. And she was not afraid of her mother any more.

“Mom, when are you going to forgive Connie for saving Daniel?”

“I think you mean for killing him,” Martha spat.

“No, Mom. For saving him,” Sarah’s voice cooled, “You and I both know you have always hated Connie. Well before Daniel died you would brood whenever you had to be around her. You just used Danny’s accident as your excuse to show her how you really felt about her. You are jealous of her Mom, because when Danny was hurting from the war neither you nor I could do a thing to help him, but when Connie showed up our Danny finally came back to us. And sure, you were happy to have him back and happy again, but you resented Connie, because she helped your son when you couldn’t. Because Danny moved on from you Mom, and you couldn’t handle it.”

“That’s ridiculous, I hate her because she got your brother killed!” Martha was weeping in anger at her daughter’s words, and Sarah had some tears of her own.

“No, Mom. Danny died protecting Connie’s life. He gave his own for hers, and I am sick and tired of you lessening his sacrifice, stealing his bravery and courage, by laying all the blame on Connie. By treating her like garbage. By saying the things you do about her around me. I just wish you could let go of your hate and realize that you don’t have the monopoly on his death, and that the last thing he ever would have wanted was for his mother to treat his wife so cruelly. I love you Mom, but it is time to let go of the past, and live for the future.”

“He was my Son, Sarah! My only son, and he died for her!”

Martha finally looked at me, face twisted in anger and regret. She looked me right in the eyes, maybe because she wanted to prove she wasn’t afraid of me, maybe just to try and be the bigger woman. I’m not sure why I didn’t look away, but I kept my eyes locked on Martha Richardson’s, and the Soul Gaze began.

I saw Daniel, bright in her mind. I saw Martha raising him, her first born. I saw how much Daniel looked like his father, and how after Peter had died Martha had used her son as an emotional crutch more and more. How they had been close, in the way only a Mother and her Son can be close. I saw Daniel leave for the war, and come back a shadow of himself. I saw Martha turn herself into a shadow too, trying to return her son to the light. And then there I was, a blazing sun that pulled Daniel back to himself, but also away from Martha. Her son that so reminded her of all she’d lost in her husband, suddenly taken away by this new woman with no history, no job, and nothing to offer her son but a pretty face.

I looked like a Con Artist at best, a Black Widow at worst, and Martha could never put those thoughts about me from her mind. She could never forgive me for taking her son from her, and assumed the worst. When Daniel died under strange circumstances, and I inherited a half million dollars from an equally strange life insurance policy Daniel had made only a few months before his death, she’d finally gotten the proof she needed that I was a monster that had used up her son, and then cast him aside. Maybe she couldn’t prove it in any court, but in her mind I’d tricked her son, and killed him.

From her perspective, I finally understood Martha Richardson. I can’t say I would have felt any less if someone had taken Daniel from me.

I don’t know what she saw inside me, but I like to think she saw just how much I’d loved her son. How hurt I’d been back then too, and that I hadn’t pulled Daniel out of the mud, we’d both climbed out of it together. How I’d broken laws I held sacred for him, and how it had cost him his life. How I’d hated myself far more than Martha Richardson ever could have for a long time. How Daniel had eventually forgiven me, and I had forgiven myself.

Tears were streaming down her face when the gaze finally broke, and I looked down at my feet.

“What . ..what was that?” she asked in a state of near confusion.

“A Soul Gaze, “ Desmond said matter of factly.

“A look into the true heart of one another,” Jason said knowingly.

“Something only very special people can do,” Sarah added, “people who help others, like Dad used to.”

There was a long bit of silence and then Martha Richardson walked up to me, took a deep breath, and spoke.

“I am so very sorry, Connie. I believed the very worst of you for so very long. I don’t know that you and I will ever be friends, but I felt your pain over Daniel just now. I felt your love for him too,” she took another deep breath, “I forgive you.”

“I accept. Just promise me you’ll love your grandson just as fiercely as you loved Daniel,” I said.

And then Martha Richardson and I finally found peace.

- - -

The paintball gun let out a loud thump of escaping air as I pegged Kyle right in the chest with a large splatter of orange paint. He let out a cry of pain, rubbed at his chest, and started bitching.

“Connie, this is bullshit! How the hell is this relevant to our magical studies at all?”

“Don’t get mad because you aren’t good at making shields,” Hannah said with her solid shield of pure force held out in front of her.

I started unloading right at Hannah. Splat. Splat. Splat. The first ten or so got stopped on her shield, but then the next couple dozen went right through to start pegging her in the chest and legs. Then it was Hannah’s turn to start yelling.

“Connie, this is bullshit!”

I couldn’t help but chuckle a little inside. Both twins were having trouble putting a good working shield up. Kyle because his powers just didn’t sway that way, and Hannah because as powerful as she was she was having trouble with prolonging the shield spell to make it last. She either got a really strong shield that lasted a few seconds, or a garbage one that lasted a long time.

“Hey, when Adam did this to me he used a pellet gun, and those things get stuck under your skin like nobody’s business,” I yelled out. I still had a pellet or two stuck in my left foot from back then.

“Connie,” Kyle started in again, “why the hell do we need to learn how to do this?”

“So that when some moron pulls a gun it doesn’t leave you quaking in your boots,” I said back, “or when a big scary monster throws itself at you it doesn’t get to tear you to pieces with nothing to stop it.”

“Who says I plan to get in situations with guns and monsters,” Kyle said with an ’I’m smarter than you’ smile on his face.

“Oh yeah, you’re smarter than me Kyle. How’d you handle those gruffs by the way?” I said, and then shot him once more in the chest.


“Not looking for trouble and trouble finding you are two very different things, Kyle Carver,” I continued, “Wizards, even the most careful and reclusive of us, will face the creatures of the dark at some point in their lives. When that day comes do you want the creatures to tear your throat out, or do you want to throw up a suitable shield and then send some pain back their way?”

“We get it,” Hannah said in something bordering on a teenage ‘whatever’ voice.

“Good,” I said as I pelted her again with a paintball.

I was maybe being a little cruel to the twins, but pain can be a good motivator, and I could have been much meaner. I could have had Desmond out here shooting them. Actually, I had asked Desmond to help, but he just looked worried, declined, and decided to stay inside. Desmond hadn’t really had too much to do with guns or the supernatural since he’d returned home. There were plenty of times I tried to talk shop with him, but he just steered the conversations elsewhere. He even remained inside or out of the room when the Twins were over for their training. I quickly learned to stop pushing the matter, but I’d figured he’d at least be up for shooting Hannah’s boobs and pelting Kyle’s back with some paint, but even the paint gun had proved too much of a hurdle for him to leap over, and I didn’t prod any more than that.

Shield issues aside, the Twins were making great progress in their training. Hannah’s power grew every day and Kyle’s knowledge and control of the art followed suit.

I’d overseen Hannah in the making of a new focusing item that she created all by herself, a bracelet that helped her control her earth magic. With her bracelet on we’d gone out into the backyard and I watched as she moved large swaths of earth (being careful to avoid a certain large rock) as easily as most people move around potato chips on their couch. Earth magic is hard. Even I am only truly skilled at the manipulations of the Earth’s fields, like magnetism, gravity, and electricity. I can move large bits of earth and rock at my whim, but it exhausts me, and is barely worth the effort. Hannah, much like Warden Donald Morgan, can fling around the earth and rock and barely break a sweat. It went to show exactly how powerful she truly was.

Kyle, always the opposite of his sister, had literally taken over my arcane sanctum and was brewing potions like they were going out of style. Even as a relatively novice wizard Kyle was churning out potions near my level of skill and power. He had a flair for picking out good ingredients to match the five senses, the mind, and the spirit. Plus, his affinity for water conjuration made his potions that much stronger and potent. Let’s not mention the supernatural knowledge he was absorbing at a rate so fast I had to order some of my books to remain closed to him. He was going to be a lot more knowledgeable than me about magic as a whole some day, and that day wasn’t that far in the future.

I knew the twins were quickly moving on toward full wizard status because of several reasons. One was that the two of them were both fully capable at true evocation and thaumaturgy. While not masters of either for sure, the twins were competent enough in their abilities to count as wizards in that sense. Another was that they were able to soul gaze people. Hannah accidentally soul gazed with some young gentleman on campus at UB, and needless to say it scared her and the young gentleman quite a bit. When she came to me I gave her the skinny on Soul Gazes, and let her try it again, in a controlled environment, with Kyle. I don’t know for sure what the twins saw in each other’s souls, but it likely wasn’t anything they didn’t already know of one another. There after Kyle and Hannah entered the world of shifting their eyes away from others and everyone thinking they were shady for doing so. (Wizard perks, woo!)

Both of them had also finally developed the use of their Sight. Once I felt it starting to come in I took control and began teaching them everything I could about the powerful, but dangerous, ability. I also took the liberty of bringing Jason in on another part of their training, as Jason was one of the most in control men in the world when it came to the Sight. He told the dangers better than I ever could, and helped them learn a level of control with the Sight I could never have taught them. I knew they were in good hands with Jason.

As the Twins finished their junior years of college I knew that only another year or so and they would each be more than ready to take the full title of wizard, maybe even sooner. It made me sad, but in a happy way, like when a mother sees her children grow to become their own people. I did the best I could by Hannah and Kyle, and I’d gained two very powerful peers in the wizarding community, and more importantly formed a relationship with my brother and sister that went deeper than our blood. I loved them both, and I was so proud of the people they were becoming. Though, none of that stopped me from making them run five mile ‘hell jogs’ up and down the road, like Desmond used to do to me, to build their cardio. I tell you folks, cardio, it does a wizard good. I even managed to get Desmond to go running with us a time or two, just like old times.

The twins were well past normal lives now. Both would live another two hundred and fifty years easily. Things would be hard for them, but they would find wonders, and experience such precious moments that can not truly be explained, they can only be felt. For good or ill, they had entered my world, and that world had become their world.

As we rapidly approached high summer, and the anniversary of Desmond’s return home, we’d settled back into our lives. These days I was the big scary Warden that had to go out and hunt the forces of darkness, but I didn’t have Desmond at my side like I used to. He had settled into a sort of house husband routine (he was actually a really good cook and kept the house better cleaned than I ever used to, but I digress) and, as I said before, he wanted nothing to do with the supernatural or violence. And I was fine with that. I should have never gotten him involved with my world in the first place, but I did, and here we were, him at home and me doing the wizard stuff. I missed having him watch my back, sure, but it felt good knowing he was safe, happy, and at peace. So I went out when I had to, and came home to my lover waiting for me. There are worse fates.

I kept trying to get him to think about opening up his own securities firm, like we’d always talked about doing while he was with Paladin. I figured that since Paladin had been bought and closed by Trina’s mother it was the perfect time for Desmond to set up shop himself, but he was less enthused. Some days I’d get him going talking about it, but I think he was getting used to not having to face violence every second of the day. He was liking being normal. So we talked about it, but for now we didn’t have any plans to open up any security companies. We didn’t have any plans for a wedding. We didn’t really have any plans at all, except to keep on living with and loving one another, and that was fine by me.

Someday Desmond would be ready to face those things he’d turned away from, to pick up a gun again and to fight. Or maybe he wouldn’t, and that was okay too. Whatever Desmond decided with his life was fine by me. It had been Connie and Desmond for as long as I could remember, and I hoped it always would be.


So, I read half of it before work.

I got to the Trina-Connie porno and laughed so hard I’m pretty sure I woke the rest of the house up early.


And yeah, I finished the whole thing mister.

Awesome work, as always.


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