I know you don’t know all of these characters – but that’s okay! The hope is that someday you WILL know all of these characters and will enjoy each of their journeys. Until then, just enjoy the underlying love story happening like we did as we wrote this piece – just for fun. I’m breaking from the norm here and adding in a fun little bunch of posts that revolve around characters we’ve written during the Solstice Season leading into Christmas. Rose Matthews is Gabriel Kennedy’s aunt. She is having a huge celebration and has invited not only her family, but the extended family of supernatural characters Dawn and I have been writing for years. I understand that you don’t know them as well as we do, but I’m hoping you can at least enjoy them for this little series within a series. Let us know if you take a liking to any certain one or set of them. We love them all, and they each have their own stories within the Walking the Blade series.
It was early and he was hung over. Clint sipped coffee and winced as it burned his tongue. It seemed he was the first up and going this morning. Not even Mrs. Rose or Nathan were out of their rooms yet. It had been a long evening of talking and fun with his siblings and Lical once the pups were put to bed. But then he’d seen Lical to her room before returning to the one he shared with his pup. Bryce had been out and Clint’s mind was still running overtime so he’d polished off a good chunk of whiskey in the library downstairs before finally being able to sleep. Now Bryce was licking jam off a piece of toast in his lap while he nursed the cup of coffee. He looked up at the sounds of others coming down the stairs. Hopefully it was anyone other than his mama or Lical as either of them would probably rip him a new one for drinking too much.
Lical walked in and the tilt of her head and her eyes told him that she didn’t like what she saw. Bryce was too busy with his food to look up for now. That was fine. She walked into the kitchen and began putting together a special dough with extra herbs in it. She also grabbed the aspirin she saw in the windowsill and placed it in her pocket. Putting the biscuits in the oven, she then slipped out of the kitchen with water and the aspirin and placed both before Clint. She lifted three fingers.
She knew better than to argue right now. Besides, when she argued, her hands and fingers moved too fast for him to keep up with on her sign language. It just became frustrating. It was just obvious to her that he hadn’t stopped drinking. And that worried her. The mute woman sat across from the man she had come to care for and just contemplated what she should do.
Popping three aspirin Clint drank down the entire glass of water.
“I know.. I’m sorry.. I just got too deep in my head last night after ya went to bed. I didn’t want to disturb anybody so I came down to the library and got to writin’ down plans. I just got caught up in it is all Lical, I promise this ain’t no common thing for me.” He took her hand in his free one and started to say something else when Bryce caught sight of her.
She started to argue. But then Bryce interrupted.
“Lical! Lical!” His sing song voice called out as messy hands worked in the air toward her.
“Yer a mess buddy.” Clint chuckled as he buried his nose in his pups hair, breathed in and rumbled low to settle him down.
Bryce shoved his knuckles into his mouth and sucked jam off of them. “Sorry, he’s teethin’ and so he’s extra messy right now.” Clint kissed the curly mop of hair that matched his own and rumbled again which in turn had Bryce rumbling in response. “Gotta save room for waffles.”
Lical swallowed and made the hand gesture for “waffles” for Bryce. She was teaching him both languages.
She didn’t remain, because she knew she’d get sucked in by the both of them. So she went back to the kitchen and took deep breaths. What did she do here? All of her instincts told her to run and leave Clint to his own life. But her heart was so caught by both him and Bryce.
Eva looked at the expression and the emotional aura on the girl as she walked into the kitchen still wearing Devon’s pajama shirt and her robe over it, but only she knew that. She felt wicked and well sated. But Lical, looked depressed. That wasn’t good! Looking into the dining room, the matriarch of the Pack understood why. Well, at least she cared.
“Did you put the proper herbs in the biscuits? There’ll probably be a lot of sore tummies and hangover headaches this morning. That Christmas punch is a killer.” Eva watched as Lical nodded before bringing out the first batch of biscuits.
“Good,” Eva walked out the door and to Bryce. “Come here to Gramma big boy!” Eva took the baby, mess and all.
“No mama wait, he’s a mess and I’ll clean him up.. ya don’t have to.” Clint fussed as Bryce was plucked from his lap by his very determined mother.
“I’ve raised all you boys, believe me, I’m used to messes.” she scolded Clint for daring to scold her. And then she added, “You need to go get a herb biscuit and you need to figure things out.”
“Figure what out? I’m too hung over for riddles, mama.” He sighed and finished the coffee in his cup with a cringe. Damn he didn’t know how they drank it straight without sugar.
“Clinton,” Eva took a deep breath and looked into her son’s eyes. She spoke softly. “You’ve been blessed not once, not twice, but three times so far as I can tell. Two of those blessings, your mind and your son, you’ve got pretty much for life. But that third blessing? You have no guarantee on her. And if you keep this up, she may become someone else’s blessing. Is that what you want?”
“I don’t want to rush her. She’s been through a lot and the last thing she needs is a man pawin’ at her and trying to push her into things.” Clint stood up and dusted crumbs from his lap, “Is it such a bad thing to be a gentleman? Ya did raise all of us to respect females and to take our time cause no lady should be rushed, right?”
“I don’t mean assault her. I mean make sure you get your shit straight and listen to her and really listen and you tell her what she means to you. And I can tell ya right now… the alcohol has to go. Or she will. Her daddy was an alcoholic. I had to save Gabe from him. She was given away because of his mess. The last thing she wants is to deal with that.”
“I’m not like that…” He rumbled soft and low, “Look mama, I’m tryin’ to do this the right way.” Clint walked from the table towards the kitchen, but he glanced back at his mother. He was thinking over her advice.
“Smells good may I?” Clint rumbled softly as he stood beside Lical.
She handed him one of the cooler biscuits from the basket. She noticed something and it made her shiver. Their hips were touching as he looked at her.
“Wanna take a walk with me? Mama’s got Bryce so it’s just us.. if ya want to that is?”
She motioned to the biscuits and nodded. She began taking them off the cookie sheet and then restocked it and slid the thing into the oven again. She walked to the doorway and knocked on it to get Eva’s attention. She pointed into the kitchen.
“Oh, yeah, hun, I’ve got it. Go walk!” she smiled for the girl and Lical smiled back. She made her way back into the kitchen and took Clint’s hand in hers to walk with him out to the mudroom and then out the back door. Her dark eyes looked at his light ones and she couldn’t help but enjoy the moment and press it into her memory – just in case.
She hopped down from the steps and turned to look at him, all smiles. She held her hands up as if she could catch him. Then she stuck her tongue out for him when he landed as if he was jumping to her.
“Awe come on now, I thought ya were gonna catch me like in that music movie dancin’ dirty… no wait dirt in yer dancin’ maybe?” He chuckled and gave Lical a wolfish grin.
She looked at him and cocked her head to the side. A movie. She hadn’t seen many.
“No? Okay then you jump and I’ll make ya fly.” He teased her as they walked along the snow-covered path that led to the garden maze out back of the house.
She shook her head – no – and easily told him with her hands, “Afraid of heights. No.” But she smiled for him.
“Want to play the question game?” she asked, again using sign language. Clint had gotten to where he knew it in and out.
“I guess. What did you want to ask?” Clint then asked her.
“What happened to Bryce’s mama?” she decided to ask.
“Bryce’s mother had him and just dropped him at my doorstep.. he was still pretty much a newborn when she handed him over to me.” Clint’s voice became serious as she went on. He didn’t mind telling her, it wasn’t a secret.
“But didn’t you know she was pregnant? How did that happen? I…I thought there were rules?” she looked at him, genuinely curious.
“There are rules and when I found out she was pregnant I went to talk to her but she’d taken off and didn’t leave any address. Nine months later she shows up to give me Bryce. She hadn’t even named him and already had legal papers signing him over to me. So I took my pup and didn’t give her a second thought. She didn’t want us. That’s okay. I figured we’d find someone someday who would.”
“That’s not an easy task to take by yourself.” she pointed out.
Clint shrugged, “It ain’t easy at all being a single dad, but I’m thankful I’ve had a good mama and a sister to help out when I need it. I’m at a total loss sometimes.” There was a low chuckle, “…but I wouldn’t trade him or any of those times for nothin’.”
“I’ve been helping, I hope. I love Bryce.” She stopped as they rounded a corner and smiled for him.
“You do help, A LOT.” Clint gave her a half smile as one side of his mouth lifted up. “I’ve kinda of gotten used to you being around us. I like when you’re around.” Was that what he was supposed to say? He’d ruined it, hadn’t he? Goddess, but he didn’t know how to act. He’d been so forward with Bryce’s mama and look at what it got him.
“Oh, your turn for a question. I didn’t mean to hog it all,” Local signed as she turned a bit to face him.
“What happened to yer voice? It’s not that bothers me, cause I like ya no matter what.. But I’m just curious so only tell me what ya want to.”
“My mother got upset with me when I was just little because I was making my daddy upset. He didn’t like interruptions or…anything when he was drinking. So, she cut my vocal cords.”
Clint went pale and taking her hand he lifted it to his lips, “Goddess, I’m so sorry Lical.. I didn’t know, I swear I won’t ever drink again. I’d never hurt ya like that though.. ever. Ya believe me right?”
“Not like that,” she took her hand away from him to explain. She put her hand on his cheek and the gaze she had for him was warm. She moved her fingers up to his temple and tapped it.
~ Not …. Like…that… ~ she tried the mind speak as her brother and his fiance called it. But it was kind of difficult. So she defaulted back to her hand signs. “I know you wouldn’t intentionally hurt me like that. But drinking until you’re sick, it isn’t good for you or Bryce or us…if… there would be an us. And it…it scares me for you.”
“I want an us.. Bryce adores ya and so do I. I really hadn’t meant to drink that much. I’m usually an every now and again beer guy, but with the celebratin’ and then the issues with Gabe and Uncle Sen.. then I’ve got some big decisions with the Pack comin’ up and makin’ sure I am givin’ enough time to you and Bryce after work each day at the club. Then you looked so danged gorgeous last night that I kept thinkin’ what an idiot I’ve been not to even have asked ya out on a proper date yet.”
~ I wish I could talk. This takes concentration. But I can practice. If you don’t mind. ~
Lical held his hands tight.
“I don’t mind you in my head at all. I just can’t do that back,” he replied aloud.
She finally let go of his hands and signed, “You have spent almost every day with me and Bryce. And when you’re not at the club and I find you, I spend time with you. That’s not an accident. That’s because I already care about you. So if you are trying to court me, as the others speak of? You don’t have to. I think I am beyond that.”
~ I love you, ~ she didn’t even realize she was saying it to his mind.
Clint pulled her into his arms and held her close as he looked into her lovely eyes, “I love you too. Think I have since the first time ya told me off and we started talkin’. I was wantin’ to do things right for ya – as much for you as for yer brother and his dragon. They’d skin me alive if I step outta line with ya. Ya know that right?” Clint bent to nuzzle her right beneath her ear and then kissed her.
Lical growl-purred when she felt his nuzzle and she turned her head to him to kiss him with her lips. Her hands moved from his face to his chest and then around his waist. He could feel her claws tug him toward her. She had spent many a night after leaving him finding pleasure her own way. If he was willing to calm down on the drinking and he wanted her as much as she wanted him, she was not going to hold back anymore.
~ I am an adult. I make my decisions. ~ She told him.
There was a deep groan from Clint as he felt her nails dig in to pull him closer. “Damn woman… Whatever ya say.” His broad chest expanded as he took her scent into memory. His own scent filled the air letting her know she definitely had his full attention in every way.
His scent had her body needing all the more. She bit his chin and his neck before her arms were around his neck and she was hopping up onto him, legs around his waist. She didn’t want him to stop. All she could think about was feeling him. Lical felt like she had been torturing herself for a while, now. And from what Clint was saying, he had been doing the same. All for other people? No. Not anymore.