June 9, 2007

Dublin, Ireland

7:00 a.m. IST

Looking impatiently at the ever growing pile of luggage haloed around our feet, I asked my traveling companion in a less than pleased tone, "Did you really need to bring nine bags for a two week long trip?"

Lisa looked at me with mild surprise, "Um yeah…"

Snorting at my best friend in jet-lagged bemusement, I hauled the last of our baggage onto the cart and started heading toward the Arrivals gate at Dublin Airport. Lisa and I were meeting up my Irish friend, Ian, whom I had met years ago during a semester study abroad. Ian was kind enough to put us up for a few days while we toiled in Trinity College's Special Collections Room looking up six hundred year old pixy legends.

"Hey Theryn, I think I see him. You said he's wearing a New York Jets jersey right?"

Craning my neck above the crowd I spotted my friend Ian wearing the tell tale emerald green of the only New York Jets jersey in all of Ireland. I had given it to him for his birthday a couple of years ago when he got into football after a visit to the States. The Jets were not only my favorite team, but also provided the perfect shade of Irish green.

Ramming the cart in his direction, Ian met me half way and gave me a great big bear hug.

"My God Theryn, look at you! It's been forever, I'm so glad you could make it."

I smiled at Ian's exuberance, "Me too! Thanks so much for having us. Ian, this is my best friend Lisa, she's going to be helping me with my research project."

Lisa lifted her brows in a knowing gesture and shook Ian's hand affably. Ian didn't know anything about how my life had taken a strange turn for the supernatural, so he was still under the impression that I was a) single, b) childless, and c) still an English graduate student.

Ian's warm brown eyes smiled in Lisa's direction, "That's awfully nice of you to spend your whole two weeks in Ireland holed up in a dusty library just to help your friend on her creative writing dissertation."

Lisa cut her eyes at me knowingly and laughingly proclaimed, "Oh, I'm not sure we'll be spending our entire time in Ireland in the library."

That statement was definitely true. I was using the research thing as an excuse, but really we'd be investigating some Snib activity that might lead us to the pixy assassin connection or more importantly, Darastus.

"All right then, I bet you guys want to sleep. We'll uh, try to fit this lot into a taxi first."

I rolled my eyes at Lisa again and she managed to look mildly apologetic for her over packing affliction. Throwing myself into the van, I stared out at the once familiar blue-gray sky, seemingly always on the cusp of brimming over…and as the first droplets of rain pelted the car window in a belated greeting, I prayed for answers.


8:30 a.m. IST

Ian's House

Briiiinnnng.

Briinnnnng.

"Hello?"

"Hi Rowan, we made it to Ireland--"

"I know."

Not prepared for his curt response, I said that only thing that makes sense, "Uh, does this have something to do with that permanent scent imprint thing?"

"Yes, there is that but ah…Theryn, I did something that I know you're not going to be happy about but it was the only way I'd allow you to leave on your own--"

Sighing, I asked, "Who did you send?"

When I didn't receive a reply in thirty seconds I decided that I wasn't going to like the answer.

"WHO did you send, Rowan?"

In a perfect parody of an innocent child, my husband gave me my answer, "Dom."

I nearly dropped the phone I was so surprised. I had to admit I expected Rowan to send somebody. I was hardly stupid enough to believe Rowan would allow me to travel so far alone with only another human…I just hadn't expected it to be Dom…considering the circumstances.

"Um, babe, you did know that LISA was coming along right?"

"Of course I knew, and I had planned on sending Frederick. I'm not completely dense Theryn, I know Dom and Lisa have some sort of…history; so I deliberately didn't ask Dom to do it."

"Okay, so you're not completely unaware of your pack members' love life. That doesn't explain why my best friend's ex-boyfriend is here and not Fred."

"Dom insisted on going."

I started fidgeting with the phone cord, worrying my lip at what this meant for Lisa and our plans on this trip.

"Did he tell you why?"

Rowan paused, and then quickly answered, "He mentioned something about wanting to get back out in the field…wanting to get out of the office for bit. It sounded reasonable and he was volunteering and I really had no grounds to deny his request."

Slapping my forhead in frustration, I cursed my mate's decision.

"Okay fine, so Dom is here lurking in the background, shadowing our every move, making sure we don't get kidnapped or killed, correct?"

"Considering I had to stay here with Angus, yes that duty has been transferred to him."

"He won't try to talk to us right, like he'll stay behind and not show himself at all?"

"Yes, that's the plan."

"Okay, okay, all is not lost. If Dom stays out of sight, then Lisa won't know he's around and therefore can actually enjoy this trip without worrying about Mr. Slick inconveniently popping up to ruin her day."

Rowan grumbled in the phone, "Assuming everything is fine, yes, he'll stay out of sight."

Pleased that I had managed to save my friend some anxiety, despite having to lie by omission about Dom's presence, I was feeling better about the arrangement.

"All right babe, fine by me. I'll give you a call tomorrow and let you know what I've found in the library."

"Be careful. Ireland is full of fey and not all of them are friendly. If you run into trouble, show them your Daoine Minth charm, it will prove your fey heritage."

"You really think the fey are out to get us too?"

Rowan sighed and I could tell he was tired, "You can never be sure."

On that note I decided I better let Rowan get back to sleep, "Will do sweetheart, get some rest and give me a call when Ang wakes up."

"He's already asking where you are, and I've had to pry him off Seth more than once tonight because he's the closest thing to your scent around."

"Does he have my sweatshirt with him in his bed?"

"Yep, he's been carrying it around with him like Linus and his blanket."

Feeling guilty for leaving my son, yet knowing this was necessary to protect him, I said my goodbyes to Rowan and turned the lights out in the bedroom. I took a quick scan out my window to see if I could spot where Dom might be hiding… the roof, the next door neighbor's spare bedroom, the gutters…so far, not a peep.

I went to bed and closed my eyes, hoping this feeling of betrayal would go away. I felt terrible not telling Lisa about Dom, but why have her paranoid the whole trip over something we couldn't change? Rowan wasn't going to call him back and the Uig's had to have somebody over here to play "watcher."

I knew that despite what Lisa told me, things were still left unsettled between her and Dom. If that mangy wolf did anything to upset her I swear I'd do everything in power to abuse my alpha's mate status and banish him to Siberia.

What worried me most was that after living with werewolves for the past eight months I had gotten to know the signs of closure. The werewolf equivalent of a tub of ice cream, a new haircut and finally, going back out on the dating scene. It involved a lot of sniffing and posturing but it came down to losing the possessive marks that wolves place on another.

Dom had never lost that possessive stance over Lisa.

Even after Lisa told me they had supposedly "broken up," Dom still sniffed after when she had come by to visit me. I could tell because he would spend a lot of time in the areas where we had been in the house, sucking up Lisa's scent like a Hoover on steroids. I tried to tell her this, but Lisa wouldn't hear of it…she always told me I was exaggerating or making too much out of Dom's actions.

My instinct told me that while Lisa may have come to terms with whatever bond had developed between her and Dom, I had a bad feeling that Dom has not, and is seriously regretting his decision to end their relationship. If Lisa so much as flirts with another man in Dom's presence, he could get dangerous…and God help the poor chap who reciprocates Lisa's overtures.

Guess this gives a whole new meaning to the term femme fatale.


Reviews are much appreciated! The sequel to Monkey Wrench will focus on the fey, the details of Darastus' plot, Theryn and Ang's latent powers, and Lisa's potential love interests, (old and new).