A few thoughts about the queer YA fantasy novel Of Fire & Stars.
July Fourth Weekend – Queen Anne Hill – Lachlan
“Don’t panic,” Vector whispered under his breath, which did more to put Lachlan on edge than it reassured him.
“Why?” he asked, turning to the werewolf. He jumped a little when the other man grabbed his hand and squeezed his fingers. It sent a flutter of anxious tingles through Lachlan’s arm and made his stomach jump. He would have blushed if he hadn’t already been sweating under the outrageous summer sun. Wasn’t it supposed to rain on the Fourth of July? It always had before.
Instead of answering, Vector straightened his shoulders and greeted the woman approaching them across the field—he was exaggerating when he called it a field, but this deep in the city, it felt like a field to have such an extravagantly large backyard. Lachlan had sort of gotten the impression that Vector came from a comfortably well-off family, but he was starting to reassess just how comfortable from the looks of this house, as well as the townhouse in Upper Queen Anne Hill.
The woman—she was half a head shorter than Vector, but not too much shorter than Lachlan himself—had dark hair and pale blue eyes that shone almost grey from her pale skin. An air of authority weighed down the lines of her shoulders, and Lachlan couldn’t miss the way the other members of the pack unconsciously shifted around her, moving out of the way without the woman having to make a sound. She stopped in front of them, eyes flicking down to their linked hands, brushed across Lachlan’s face, and settled on Vector.
“Auntie,” the wolf said, temporarily letting go to lean down and wrap her up in a brief hug.
Lachlan twitched—this much be the pack matriarch, the alpha: Teagan Clanahan.
Come chat w/ me about Jane Austen!
The McClanahan pack had settled in Seattle over one hundred years ago. Before the Great Fire, even. They’d originally built this house for the entire pack: three flours plus a finished attic; sixteen bedrooms, including the master; four full bathrooms; two living rooms; dining room, with a long handcrafted dining table; and a huge rustic kitchen. A detached garage had been added to the property in the fifties. Now, only the main family lived there regularly, but there were always a couple of spare bedrooms open for anyone who needed a place to stay.
Vector had lived in the house briefly in his youth, right after his mother had died, while his father was struggling to find his footing. It had been comforting to be surrounded by family. His Aunt Teagan was his alpha first and foremost, but she had also been a little bit like a mother to him growing up, especially once his own father had passed away when he was in his early twenties.
Vector was equal parts nervous and excited to introduce Lachlan to everyone. It had been his dream to do so all those years ago when they’d been in the SPD together. Now, he was less certain what it meant for them, less certain that they were headed towards a future together. But still, he yearned for Lachlan to be accepted by his pack.
July Fourth Weekend – Queen Anne Hill – Vector
Vector caught himself checking his phone more often than might have been considered polite, but luckily the other members of his pack were too busy with grill prep to call him out on it.
He’d asked Lachlan if he wanted to come to lunch, but he’s been afraid of sounding too insensitive about the invite when the man had just lost his best friend. He wasn’t sure Lachlan was going to show up today, and he couldn’t blame him if he didn’t. It was a lot to ask of anyone, to meet someone’s extensive extended family, on a holiday weekend, and following a traumatizing event. Too much maybe.
some stuff I’m planning (or have already read…whAT?) in January! what are you reading?
How was it that the second things started to go okay, reality inevitably intervened in the worst way?
Lachlan struggled to put the words he was hearing into a context that would compute inside his brain. His hand, gripping the cellphone, froze around the little plastic chassis. If the device had been any less well made, it would have cracked.
“I’m sorry, can you say that again?”
The woman—the police officer or the EMT, or whoever it was that the police station had gotten to call him—said the words again and this time they broke through the fog in his head. Lachlan politely thanked her for her time and hung up. He looked at Vector, but he didn’t need to say anything, the werewolf had heard it all with his wolf ears.
“Lachlan,” Vector breathed out in a soft voice.
He shook his head and dropped the phone. It thumped quietly against the thin rug under his feet. He should check it for other calls—texts—something. Surely the moment hadn’t passed without—while he was—
A man had died in Seattle, which was not a unique occurrence. Men killed each other day. People died from natural and unnatural causes. Took their own lives in some cases. This was a big city, filled with hundreds of thousands of people, all of them wading through existence, waiting for that moment for it be snuffed out.
Quick thoughts on books I read in December!