All posts by suzannemsabol

Suzanne M. Sabol began writing at a young age, completing her first full-length novel at the age of 17. Her love of everything paranormal and romance began shortly thereafter. She is an avid reader and writer, focusing mostly in the urban fantasy genre. She loves reading anything from contemporary single title romance to detective noir and the classics. Suzanne published her first novel Cursed in 2009. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with majors in Criminology, International Studies, Russian, and Political Science. She is currently working full time as a Human Resources Professional and Fiscal Officer. Suzanne was born and raised in Ohio. She currently resides in Columbus Ohio with her husband, Ross. When she’s not working, writing, or reading, she’s spending time traveling. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Central Ohio Fiction Writers.

March Madness!

Well, I was going to write today about how much I love March Madness and anyone who knows me, knows how CRAZY I get during this time of year. But today I am sad. I filled out my bracket with all the hopes in the world that OSU could put up a fight against Syracuse. It doesn’t really matter now does it? This is the most depressing sight in the world today!!!!!

Ohio State falls to the No. 11 Dayton Flyers, 60-59.

For what it’s worth, Dayton played a good game and the fact that the NCAA site kept crashing was driving me nuts, distracting me a bit from the actual game. Really NCAA???? At this juncture, you haven’t figured out that there’s going to be heavy traffic to your site in March? Anyway, for those interested…here’s my bracket. As you can see, I’m already in the hole.

ESPN - Tournament Challenge - mikos_Page_1

I’ve Gone Down a Rabbit Hole!

BUZZFEED! ARGH! What have you done to me? Everyday, there is a new quiz to take provided by buzzfeed and I can’t help myself! This morning it was “Which Jane Austen Hero is your Soul Mate?” I got the following answer:

You got: Mr. Edmund Bertram

BBC

Your soulmate is also your best friend. Edmund will always listen to you and be a shoulder to cry on – and he’ll know just how to cheer you up, too. Sure, he can be a bit serious, but he has strong values, which you can’t help but admire. We’ll just ignore the whole cousins thing, shall we?

The worst part is their right! and they’re right every time. I can’t help myself. It’s like a sickness. Yesterday it was “Which Real Housewife are you?” I got:

You got: NeNe Leakes

You are the real deal. You are not here for bullshit, you are not here for haters, and you most definitely do not have time for clownery. So while people are running their mouths, you are running to the bank, depositing a TRUMP CHECK, hunny. Girl, bye.

And that’s just this week! There are some that I take and don’t post, mostly due to shame but everytime I see a buzzfeed quiz…I have to take it.

HELP!

Trapped

I finally have a new scene for you! Try to contain your excitement, i know it will be difficult.

This scene takes place in Midnight Ash, during Dahlia and Dean’s trip to Pittsburgh. This is told from Dean’s point of view and has not MidnightAsh2_850been professionally edited. It has been edited by Ross so that should count for something. Maybe next week, I’ll share his comments. Those are funny too. This scene contains violence and graphic sexual language…big surprise. Read at your own risk.

Trapped

When I’d agreed that Dahlia Sabin should go with me to Pittsburgh, I hadn’t thought it through. I hadn’t thought about hours upon hours in a cramped car with her scent constantly in my nose or the raging hard on I’d have the entire way.  At some point, we’d both reached for the radio and my brain almost short circuited when my fingers brushed against her cool skin.  It took everything I had to not pull over and take her like the beast I was.

This was a mistake. 

When I’d said, If it’s information you want?  Kurt and I can go to Pittsburgh; I’d fully intended to go with Kurt. But that saucy little minx in the seat next to me had chimed in and then snapped at Danny.

I didn’t ask your permission, she’d said with a force in her voice that had made my whole body react and my wolf stand up and take notice.

She would be safer out of town, I’d offered like an idiot before I could understand the ramifications of that statement.  I don’t even know why I’d said it.

Pat had walked up to her, touched her in a way that made my hand ball into a fist and my jaw tightened in aggression.

I know you don’t need me to save you.  That’s very refreshing and one of the things about you that appeals to me most; the slick Ass had praised her.  I’d watched her melt into Pat like a love sick school girl.  It tore at my insides and I hadn’t been able to keep the harshness from my voice when I spoke.

We leave in an hour, I’d grumbled.  There hadn’t been a rush but I’d wanted to get the hell out of Pat’s office.  My beast wanted her away from Pat and away from Danny.  The wolf had wanted her all to himself.  If I was honest with myself, I’d admit to wanting her to myself too.

Now, I was stuck in this damned car and my entire body was rigid with want.  I’d never wanted anyone like I wanted her, not even Janey.  I should feel bad about that but all I could feel was the throb of my dick against my thigh. I needed some space; to run, to breathe. Hell, to remember I wasn’t this beast pacing inside of me.  I was moments away from parking the car and bolting to put some distance between us.  The fresh air would clear my nose and allow me to think again.  At least I could think about something other than the long line of her thigh in those tight jeans, the jasmine scent of her skin from the soap she’d used, and the long line of her neck as she turned away from me to watch the river pass under us.

“Never been to Pittsburgh before, huh?” I asked, glancing over at the soft glow of orange light glimmering off her blonde hair.  I forced the growl of please back and my question sounded harsh as it rumbled through the silence.

“We used to come here all the time when I was little. My parents live about 45 minutes away on the Ohio side,” she almost whispered, not turning her head away from the window.

I gripped the steering wheel and gritted back the urge to pry. Why did her voice sound so lost when she spoke of her parents? Why did I care that wherever her mind had wandered had stiffened her shoulders into a rigid line?

I parked the car far enough from the club that we wouldn’t be conspicuous and we both got out.  I popped the trunk for her and she loaded up, slipping two extra magazines for her gun into her jacket pocket. She moved her gun to the cross draw holster at the small of her back, raising her jacket and sweater just enough that I could see the curve of her waist and hips as she exposed her flesh to me.  Without a second glance my way, she strode down the sidewalk, swinging her hips with a confidence that made his mouth water.  She was so damned sexy and she didn’t even know it.

I strode by her to the bouncer at the front of the line and handed him two fifties.  I wanted in that door.  The sooner I got this accomplished, the sooner I could get her home and get back to my life.

We walked into the club, side by side.  As we stepped inside, she winched beside me and stumbled.  I reached out and caught her in my arms.  She molded to my body, pressing her warm flesh against me. Her hair tickled my nose and like a leaf in the breeze, caressed my face as I clutched her to me.  She had a soft floral sent that clicked something in my brain and sent my heart into overdrive. I involuntarily clutched her too me. Gazing down at her, I tried to focus on her and the pain that had turned her body into a solid rock of tension. Her stormy gray eyes stared up at me and I felt every beat of my heart thumped in my hard cock at the rightness of her in my arms.  Images of her gray eyes flashing with need as she rode me hard, those breasts bouncing up and down as she slid up and down my shaft blared across my brain as her fingers dug into my shirt.. In the back of my mind, I knew those images would never come to be and each breathe I drew in with her scent, each touch of her cool skin, and each moment she was in my arms was a reminder of what I would never have. I tried to touch her only where necessary to cleanse myself of her.  Even grasping her elbow had me panting like a pup chasing a bitch in heat. She scrunched her eyes up at me like someone had punched her in the gut.

“This place is crawling with vamps,” she said against my ear. The warmth of her breath sent spirals of sensation through me until I thought I’d howl with the sheer pleasure of it.

Pull it together.

“You okay?” I asked, managing to sound like her nearness didn’t matter.  She nodded and I couldn’t help but smile, expecting no less from her.  I imagined that if she was bleeding on the ground with a leg broken and her guts falling out, she’d try to get up and prove that she was okay.  My gaze drifted down to her pursed lips. What would she taste like?  Would she push me away if I held her to me and took her like I wanted?  I turned from her, moving into the crowd on my left to put some distance between us.  But no matter how far away I moved, I kept her in sight. Watching her out of the corner of my eye, she moved through the crowd like a predator chasing her prey.  She had a target already in mind and only because I knew her could I see it in her movements.  So sure, focused, and deadly.  She was a hunter. . .like me.

Hands reached out from the crowd, wrapping around her biceps.  Filthy hands groped at her and I fought not to barrel across the dance floor and tear them to shreds.  The bastard slammed her against the wall but her expression remained blank.  Her chest heaved and I knew that the dead man had forced the air from her lungs and she fought for breath. Dahlia struggled against his vice like hold and I could swear that I saw her lip curl up in a snarl.  My heart thundered in my chest and the wolf inside me charged to the surface wanting to protect her and kill him.  My skin itched as I fought the fur from exploding to the surface. If I turned, the entire city would know we were here and the peace Pat and I were attempting to keep would be gone.  I knew my eyes had shifted to blue and the claws of my beast tingled in my fingers, begging to come out but I fought the urge to kill. Shoving through the crowd, I hurtled people out of my way to get to her. Enough was enough.

She smiled. Above the odors of sex, sweat, blood, and booze, I could pick out the scent of jasmine mixed with the sting of an emotion I couldn’t quite identify. She held no fear, the sweet smell of panic was nowhere to be found on her. This was a more heady, sharp scent that was almost static with. . .anger. I slowed, shifting my gaze to her face instead of the leach’s hands on her body.  Her eyes were wide but not in fear, the innocent play of invitation sparkled in her gaze. She’d set a trap for more dangerous prey and I’d almost fell for it.

That stopped me in my tracks, let me think as the haze of jealousy cleared.  I took a few quick, deep breaths and regained control of my primal instincts, ignoring the recurring thought to bash the asshole’s head in.  She slid her arm around his waist, taking control of the situation as she walked with him through the crowd.  She was rigid in his arms and my beast quieted inside, knowing that Dahlia didn’t enjoy it, knowing that she didn’t want that dead prick touching her.  I followed, letting her lead the vampire away. I knew that I would lead wherever she followed.

The vampire led Dahlia through a door at the far end of the club and I joined a crowd headed in the same direction.  I lost her for a moment as the door opened and closed behind them and my heart thundered in my ears, drowning out the bass vibrating the club walls.  Following the crowd through the door, I stepped into an all-white hallway from ceiling to floor.  It had an antiseptic feel that made the beast bristle underneath my skin to get out and a growl rumble from the back of my throat.  Every instinct in me screamed to run as the feeling of being trapped settled over me.  As the crowd around him grouped off in threes and fours, disappearing into rooms along the long corridor, I was left alone watching Dahlia at the end of the hall with the dead man. She entered a room with the vampire at the end of the hall and as her form disappeared from view, I sprinted to catch her. Seconds ticked by as I ran, tightening my stomach with dread with each one. My feet felt heavy, sounding as if a herd of elephants was running down the hall instead of me. Just as the door was closing behind her, I caught it in my grasp and slid inside behind her.

Dahlia struggled. With her arms under the vampire’s arms and his body dragging between her legs, she drug the vampire’s dead weight across the room.  A dart stuck out of the vampire’s neck as she struggled to get him to the couch. She turned but wasn’t surprised to see me. Her storm gray eyes flashed with anger and she furrowed her pretty little brow at me.  Dropping the vampire to the floor in a heap of dead, she glared at me with her hand cocked on her hip.

“What’d you do?” I asked, fighting not to laugh. I didn’t usually laugh and I didn’t think she wouldn’t appreciate that.  I strode by her and picked up the vampire, tossing him on the couch like he weighed nothing.  I glanced around the room to get my bearings. It wasn’t just a room, it was a torture chamber.  I could still smell the blood soaked into the walls from the last visitor.

“I tranq’ed him.  Now, get him sitting up with his hands on his chest.  I’ve got a bigger fish on the line,” she ordered.

I didn’t hesitate and in the back of my head I knew I shouldn’t let her order me around. I was Alpha, not some little lap dog for her to manipulate as she wanted. But my chest tightened at the harsh sound of the demand in her voice and I realized that I liked her ordering me around.  Neither I, nor my beast, bristled one bit at her commands and it was almost as if someone had reached in and squeezed my heart with a giant fist.  Unable hide the small smile tugging at my mouth at her domineering tone, I turned kept my head down so she wouldn’t see the heat of arousal turning my eyes blue.

She hurried by me, filling my nose with her floral scent.  Pressing her ear against the door, I watched as she listened for her prey and then did as she ordered.  “He’s coming,” she whispered in a deep, soft tone that bordered on sultry.  The woman turned on her heels and glared at me, evaluating and not liking what she saw. I balled my hands into fists at the ire that played across her face, turning her full kissable lips into a thin line of annoyance. The grimace scrunching up her lovely face irked me more than I wanted to admit. “He’s probably going to smell you first so try to look, I don’t know  . . . non-threatening,” she said, exasperated.

Non-threatening?  My job was to be threatening and I couldn’t keep the scowl off my face. She gave me a petulant but expectant look as if she expected her orders to be carried out. She was like a general in a war and as that fist tightened around my heart again, I knew I would follow her lead into the very fires of hell if she asked. This was how she commanded such devotion from my people, from Pat’s people. Instead of appearing…non-threatening, I moved out of the way and out of sight, behind the door.  Maybe the vampire would be preoccupied enough with Dahlia that it wouldn’t notice me.  I just prayed I would be able to get to her in time before the vampire had a chance to rip her delicate, slender throat out.

Once I was in place, I took one last look at her, drinking in the curve of her hip and the tight line in her shoulders as she shoved them back. She stood tall and tossed her hair over her shoulder with a slight twitch to her lips.  With a sparkle in her grey eyes that drove my blood to boil and my cock to tighten in my jeans, she was having fun.  Her adrenaline pumped through her system, making her scent richer like walking in a greenhouse at the height of bloom.

“You sure?” I asked, uncomfortable in the position of Beta and not knowing the plan she had twirling around her pretty little head. My wolf wanted to pounce on her, and clutch her to us but I had to let this play out. She had to trust me, somehow, that was important to me. As she jutted her chin up and caught my gaze, I realized I was having fun too.  It had been a long time since I’d done anything but settle squabbles and dish out discipline to the Pack. I liked being active again, liked the adrenaline running through my system. I felt as if we were on a hunt and I liked the idea of being near her.  I was fucked.

“Yep,” she said without a question in her voice.  Her confidence seemed unshakable and I caught the gasp of delight that lodged in my throat as she hopped on the couch, straddling the unconscious vampire.  The image of her straddling me as I slid into her body made my breath heavy in my chest and I almost groaned with the need to feel her beneath me. Before I could make a sound, the door creaked open and I forgot about the idea of her wet heat as the scent of death hit my nostrils. Dahlia threw her head back, moaning in a torrid groan that distracted me, had me panting to hear more, to hear that sound come from her as I suckled her breast and sunk my fingers into her wet sex.  She was a good little actress.  The sound of her submission triggered a switch deep in my brain, making my chest tighten and my blood race through my veins.  I wanted that sound to come from her because I touched her.  The beast roared, wanting her, wanting to tear that damned vampire to pieces out of jealousy and need.

“Why would you waste your time with such an unworthy specimen,” the vampire in the doorway asked.  His deep voice was accented, eastern European and he smelled old.  As the scent of stale blood and death hit my nostrils and mixed with the antiseptic odor from the hallway, my stomach churned. Maybe the cleansers from the hallway had deadened the vampire’s sense because he strode into the room with a confident gate without even a glance in my direction. His easy saunter toward Dahlia forced a rumbled growl to hitch in my throat as I shoved it back down. Dahlia had a plan and I had to trust her to see it to the end. Damn it, it was hard.

“I was waiting for you,” Dahlia said with an inviting smile over her shoulder at the vampire. Her eyes never betrayed my position and my heart slowed as the hunter in me took over.

I moved quick before the vampire had a chance to get his bearings or even reach for her.  Grasping him, I clutched him in a tight bear hug, squeezing him more than was necessary to get my point across. Dahlia stepped off the unconscious vampire and strolled over to the wall of torture objects on easy, light feet as if she was walking across her kitchen. She plucked a length of rope from the wall, evaluating it with a quirk of mischievousness turning the corner of her mouth up.  I could smell the silver content in the rope and cringed. The vampire struggled in my hold but I had him secured against my much broader chest. I wouldn’t let her see me flinch just because of a little silver threads in some rope.

Dahlia drew her gun and aimed it straight between the vampire’s eyes.  The vampire was smarter than I gave him credit for. He stopped struggling.

Dahlia’s storm gray eyes became unreadable, empty of emotion and even humanity. This was the killer everyone feared and now I understood.  Her expression was ambivalent and her body calmed, relaxed.  She was just as much a predator with a beast inside her as I was. My wolf lived on instinct and fury. Hers on control.

“You won’t shoot me,” the vampire said with smug satisfaction dripping from his voice. With the emptiness in Dahlia’s eyes, I wasn’t so sure.

She proved me right, turning and plugging two bullets into the sleeping vampire’s chest on the couch.  She turned and aimed the gun at the middle of the vampire’s forehead, pressing the hot barrel of the gun to his skin. His dead flesh burned from the heat of the barrel and I crinkled my nose at the stench.

Handing the rope to me, I couldn’t help but stare at her in wide eyed fascination. She was magnificent. Lethal. Commanding.  I took the rope from her without question or second thought and my skin burned as it came in contact with the silver threads but I didn’t care.  I’d been burned worse. The rope was a minor irritation which I could live with, was willing to live with to do her biding. I tied the vampire up snuggly, making sure the ropes burned into his skin and shoved him down on the couch beside his decomposing friend.

Silent and patient, I waited as she interrogated him and lost myself in the tone of her voice; the deep resonance of authority that made my bones hum in recognition. My body and beast responded, turning the room into a sweltering sauna as my power flared and beads of sweat trickled down my back. She glanced over at me with a question in her eyes that I couldn’t answer, as if she could feel my power heat the room.  Magic and power swirled like a fog that I couldn’t clear. I wasn’t even entirely sure it was all mine. Nevertheless, I had to get my head in the game and her eyes off of me before she noticed the tent in my jeans.

“Answer,” I ordered with a hard crack on the back of the vampire’s head.  She, thankfully, turned her attention back to the vampire.

Thank you for small favors.

Dahlia continued to interrogate him while I watched her take charge. She was cruel when she had to be and kind when it suited her purpose. What was she really like underneath the swagger and the bravado? Would she be soft and pliant as I cupped her breast or would she shoot me where I stood? I ached to know.

As the bulk in the room, I threatened and growled when necessary but allowed her take the lead. When the vampire, Eyad, had nothing left to give, she drew a silver knife from her boot and grabbed his long dark hair with her left hand. No one ever talked about mercy when they spoke of the Blushing Death but here she was, giving him a quick death instead of letting him face his Liege for torture.

I couldn’t let her be the only one to kill this night.  My honor wouldn’t allow it. My wolf wouldn’t allow it. He wanted his share of blood to feel as if he’d protected her. I rested my hand over hers to stop her before she could make the lethal strike. Her pulse quickened under my touch, beating against my fingers in a quick frantic rhythm.  She reacted to me as I reacted to her and my stomach fluttered in both panic and delight. She wasn’t mine. Would never be mine.

I plucked the knife delicately from her hand, trying not to touch her any more than I had to. We were already in a bad situation and continued contact wouldn’t do me any good.

“You shouldn’t be the only one with blood on your hands,” I urged, almost pleading with her. I had no doubt that she could do it without a word of complaint but I didn’t want her taking all the responsibility on her shoulders. I’d seen how Pat used her, she already took too much on herself. I wouldn’t do the same.

“You don’t have to do this,” she snapped.  “He’s not my first.  He won’t be my last.” Still defiant, she met my gaze, unafraid and unrelenting.  Somewhere underneath all her posturing, I saw the force of will behind those deadly gray eyes. She would do it, even if she didn’t want to, no matter what it cost her later.

“I won’t let you do all the dirty work for me. I’ll have my part in it,” I said, trying to appeal to her logic and not her pride. She gruffed at me but backed away just the same. My heart swelled as she relinquished her control to me, trusting me with her weapon. Whether she realized it or not, she trusted me and that was a start.

***

We checked into a room at the Renaissance and since it was the middle of the night, there was only one room left. Damned football game and hockey game filling up every room in the city. We didn’t talk as we took the elevator up to the tenth floor. The silence was thick and filled with tension that felt almost solid.

We were both dirty, tired and I couldn’t vouch for her, but I was starving. As we entered the room, Dahlia took her bag into the bathroom and shut the door. I ordered room service, a couple of $15 burgers and some fries. The sound of water echoed from the bathroom as she turned on the shower and I attempted to drown out the sound with the television. I imagined beads of water sluicing her naked flesh, soap bubbles forming on her full breasts and the glimmer of her wet skin in the soft hotel lighting. My cock throbbed as all the blood in my body rushed to my groin. I wouldn’t make it through this night sane.

I shouldn’t be here.  I thought. Then another thought made my fingers itch. Do I have time?  I can’t chance that she’ll discover me with my cock in my hands. No!  I’m screwed. Insanity here I come.

After a few painful minutes more, she came out of the bathroom, sexy as hell, in a loose t-shirt, a pair of skimpy boxer shorts, big fluffy socks, and her wet hair framing her face.  Flipping through the channels, I clutched the remote so tight in my hands that the plastic cracked under my grip.  Every crisp movement of the sheets she made as she settled beneath them made me grip the remote just a little harder. I was staring at the television but not particularly seeing anything. I watched her from the corner of my eye, keeping my breathing even but shallow as her long pale legs climbed up onto the bed. The entire world seemed to slow down to the thumping of my heart and the throb of it in my dick.

Damn it! 

Shaking my head, I forced a deep breath through my nose and thought of anything and everything except sinking deep into the warmth of her body.  Anything but what she would taste like between her thighs. She rolled over, facing me. Her face was calm and smooth but her eyes churned with unease like a storm on a dark sea.  I wondered if she knew how expressive her eyes were and if she knew how much I wished I could just fall into them and disappear.

I had to think of something else or I’d make an ass of myself. But I wanted to talk to her, to hear her voice and to know what she was thinking. For the first time in my life, the silence got to me.

“We killed two of his,” I managed to get out.

“Yeah,” she breathed in a husky tone that made my claws curl beneath my skin.

“If he finds out, there’ll be war,” I said, leveling my voice out, hoping she didn’t hear the roughness of my tone as I tried to get myself under control.

“Yeah,” she breathed again. I finally managed to pull myself together and glanced over at her, meeting her worried gaze. She was snuggled under the blanket with an evaluating glare. Her heart was steady and she smelled clean, fresh, but there was still a hint of the jasmine I was beginning to believe was just part of her.  “So, you’re keeping your appointment tomorrow?” she asked, jolting me from my thoughts.  She seemed more at ease. The more she talked, the more relaxed we both became. I could do this, have a conversation with her. I could ignore how much I wanted her and how good she smelled and just. . .talk to her.

“I need to know where the Pack loyalties are. Patrick would wanna know.” I wondered if she noticed how easily I seemed to talk to her. It was so hard for me with everyone else to not be coarse and short but with her, I couldn’t seem to shut my mouth.

“He would,” she said and then rolled over, turning her back to me.  After a while, her breathing deepened and a soft feminine snore echoed through the room.  The comforter fell away as she moved and the curve of her hip, the dip of her waist, and the long line of her legs were visible. My mouth watered and I closed my eyes, tilting my head back against the headboard. I reached down, sliding my hand beneath the waist of my jeans and took myself in hand. If this was the only way to ebb this need for her, I’d have to live with it. I didn’t have another choice. All I could imagine as I stroked myself off were Dahlia’s tumultuous grey eyes and those pouty lips wrapped around my cock as she sucked me dry.

Golden Anidae

I know I’m a day late and I’m sorry. I’m working on a scene from Dean’s point of view for next week…I promise! To tide you over, here’s a snippet for you from Golden Anidae – out now from Soul Mate Publishing.

From Chapter 1

The bar was stifling, crammed with people as a purple strobe light flickered through the club. My pulse thundered in my ears and a pain burned behind my eyes as the smoke machine’s output stung my retinas. Pressed up against the bar, the railing dug into my ribs, the throng of people a constant pressure at my back. I was trapped and still didn’t have a drink to show for it.

It was almost comforting. No one knew who I was. No one was looking to kill me and no one was evaluating my every move trying to figure out what it meant. I felt almost normal. Almost.

The bass thumped and the guy behind me got a bit too happy about being pushed up against me. I tried to shift but there was nowhere for me to go as he continued to dig his embarrassingly large erection into my ass. The crowd at the bar was five deep and I wasn’t wasting all this effort and discomfort without that drink. Suffering silently, as long as that erection stayed where it was and didn’t start to wander, I would get my drink.

“What’ll ya have?” the thin brunette behind the bar asked with a smile that was a definite tip earner. She was short with too much breast for her petite frame. Her eyes were deep russet in the purple light and she had a smile that lit up her face as she gave me a once-over.

“Vodka, straight up,” I said with an answering grin. That was all she was getting as the asshole behind me shoved his hard-on into the flesh of my ass, my skirt the only barrier.

Would anyone notice if I elbowed him in the face? He’d probably scream like a little girl, I thought to myself, smiling and transforming my face from forced pleasantry into a smirk of delight. The bartender appreciated that grin more than I’d meant her to.

“It’s on the house,” she said with a coy smile, sliding the drink across the bar to me. Her fingers grazed mine and hesitated a moment longer than was appropriate for a casual touch.

“Thank you,” I said, turning to get out of the crowd surrounding the bar. As I passed the dickweed with the erection, I jammed my finger in-between his third and fourth rib. He jerked and grabbed his side with a pained expression in his eyes that pleased me more than it should have. “So sorry,” I mocked my apology with eyes that were too large to be sincere.

“Bitch,” he grumbled low enough that someone with normal hearing wouldn’t have heard. I, however, could hear a heartbeat at 100 yards due to my involvement with the preternatural community back home in Columbus. I heard him just fine.

As the all-too-familiar euphemism graced my ears, it brought a smile to my face, a real malicious smile that warmed me to my toes. Yep, I was a bitch all right. Couldn’t men think of anything else besides Bitch? I strutted back to where I’d left Enza in the corner, surrounded by local guys she knew. She was like a dude magnet and since she was a few years under thirty, she was still in that flirty I’m-not-looking-for-anything-serious kind of mindset. I was in the stay-the-fuck-away-from-me mode which most of the guys she introduced me to picked up on right away. She waved at me over the crowd of heads surrounding her with a smile that could light up the night.

“What took you so long?” she asked, hopping from the stool she’d been perched on. She sashayed toward me to the dismay of the five fairly attractive guys she left behind.

“Long line,” I answered.

We bumped and ground our way to a more secluded corner, away from the huddle of men. They seemed to follow her around like an entourage. It was annoying as hell.

We found some seats beneath one of the bird’s nests where scantily clad girls danced in knee-high go-go boots and low-rise hip-hugger boy shorts. Silver and gold satin left nothing to the imagination.

Soraida, Cadenza’s best friend, sauntered over to us with a sultry sway of her hips that drew the attention of every man she passed. Her soft Hispanic features, bright green eyes under café au lait skin and dark ebony hair that trailed down her back, lightly swinging several inches above her tight round ass, made me envious. She was art in motion.

“Hey, Chicas,” Soraida said with a warm smile directed to both of us.

I liked her. She was a good friend to Cadenza and they were more like sisters than any two people I’d seen since Am and I. A small tug at my gut at the thought of Am made the hole in me ache. I thought about Am often. I thought about her afraid and in pain, about how she’d still be alive if not for me.

Was she angry with me? Was she happy where she was? Did she forgive me for all the lies? Would she ever forgive me for letting her down?

Shaking off the questions I couldn’t answer, I glanced at Enza and Soraida. This wasn’t the place, and I didn’t want to have to explain tears to either of them. I sipped my drink and focused on their conversation.

“No, girl, he was just an ass. Not to mention the tiny asset,” Soraida said with a flare of her hand and a mocking smile.

Cadenza erupted in laughter.

Even I smiled as the rest of the world and all my emotional bullshit was stripped away by two women and their conversation about men and sex.

“Shut up,” Enza laughed, trying to catch her breath. “He walks around like God’s gift.”

“Well, if that was God’s gift, it was definitely a re-gift and cheap, too,” Soraida said with a knowing grin.

We all laughed at that.

After an hour and a drink or two, or three, I was laughing and talking like the world outside wasn’t full of things that could kill me. I was laughing like before I knew there were monsters and that I was one of them. It was wonderful to forget. I felt lighter in my own skin, easy in a way that I’d never been.

“I swear on everything I hold dear, she walked out of that restroom with the entire back of her skirt tucked into her panties. It was like a thong parade through the restaurant,” Soraida said, giggling and spilling her drink down the front of her jeans, more than a little drunk.

I leaned forward to catch her before she fell off her chair. Steadying herself on her own, she set her glass down on the table in front of her. I sat back and relaxed against the hard cushioned surface, easing off.

Sweating in the body heat filled air, I wiped the moisture from my neck and underneath my hair every five or six minutes. My hair had grown down to my shoulders since I’d been away, longer than I’d had it in years. I lifted the heavy weight of it off my skin, exposing the back of my neck to fresh air.

A frost crept up my spine like a lick of winter in the middle of the humid club. The crisp edge of power rippled against me like stale ice on a cold winter’s day in January. Patrick’s was frigid water from the summit of a fresh mountain river, constant and overwhelming. This was sharp like an icicle into my neck, and frightening.

I shivered as the power scraped along my spine.

Sitting up straight in the chair, I tried to force the slight alcohol-induced haze from my awareness. My metabolism ran faster after consuming a bit of Danny’s heart by accident and I just had to wait for my body to take the edge off the alcohol. Three or four minutes tops. Fear, causing my heart to race would surely help, cutting the time to two minutes but no more . . . I hoped.

I had been comfortable.

Stupid. STUPID!!!

An ice-cold finger grazed across the back of my neck and I jumped up off the stool, knocking it to the ground in a quiet thud. The crash was drowned out by the thumping bass of the club and only a few people immediately surrounding us noticed.

I turned. No one was behind me. I had to get my back against a wall, any wall, and defend myself. As I glanced around, hordes of bodies thrashed about on the dance floor but they were all human. I couldn’t find the twinge of frostbitten power in the crowd that’d swept over me only a moment ago. The power seemed to reach out and touch me in places that power shouldn’t touch, hadn’t touched in months.

I took one deep breath and then another, focusing on the human auras surrounding me and the power signatures beyond. Sweat beaded on my upper lip and embedded in my eyebrows as I concentrated, forcing the power from me. I’d taken that ability for granted and now when I needed it, I was screwed.

“Hey, you okay?” Enza asked, taking the drink from my hand and setting it on the table next to her.

“Maybe someone slipped something into her drink. She looks pale,” Soraida shouted over the bass, placing her hand on my sweat-drenched forehead. She gave Enza a concerned sideways glance and dropped her hand.

“Do you feel all right?” Enza asked, sitting on the edge of her chair.

I couldn’t answer her. All I could hear was the blood pounding in my ears in a steady bumbum . . . bumbum . . . bumbum. My own voice was loud in my mind, screaming at me.

I can’t get away. They know who I am. I’ve been so careful. I’m all alone, no weapon and they’ve found me.   

Turning my attention back to the crowd, I searched for the vampire I knew was there. A male. I’d felt him. I felt his testosterone surge through his power as it touched me. He was old. I’d felt that too. He either wasn’t there anymore or he was too powerful and I couldn’t find him. Or, and this was my fear, I wasn’t powerful enough. That scared the shit out of me. I suddenly felt weak, like someone had cut off my arm and now wanted me to swim the English Channel. I’d cut myself off from my power, leaving the connections back in Columbus.

“We’re gonna leave,” Enza said from what seemed like miles away. “You want to come over, Sori?”

Nada, Chica. I’m meeting Everett here after his shift at the Bellagio. Thanks, though,” she said before a brief kiss on the cheek for Enza and a wave of her hand for me. She sauntered away, disappearing into the crowd.

“Later,” Enza called after her, grabbing my arm and guiding me through the crowd. “We’ll go and get some water into you,” she shouted into my ear.

She wrapped her arm around my waist. Supporting me as I stumbled through the crowd, she held on and I searched for that lick of winter.

I was more terrified than sick and as much as I didn’t want to admit it, I needed her help. I couldn’t focus on getting through the crowd and trying to find that whisper of ice in the room. My hands trembled at the thought of being discovered and having nothing to protect myself. I’d left everything behind in the rubble of my burned down house and the remnants of my shattered life.

Enza shoved through the thick crowd in the club and the casino until I felt the open, cool air of the desert night on my face. The scent was crisp and clean like fresh linen. I breathed deep and felt the chilled night air fill my lungs. Enza waved at the valet and handed him our ticket.

“Hey, are you okay?” she asked, examining me, feeling my forehead for what, I didn’t know.

“Yeah, it just got too close in there,” I answered.

She rubbed my back absently as the valet brought the car around.

“Getting too old to party like that, huh?” she said with a devilish grin, trying to goad me.

I perked up at that. I couldn’t help it.

“Excuse me?” I said with attitude. “I’m only five years older than you. Wait until you hit 30 and then we’ll talk about too old,” I said, a snarky bite to my tone.

She laughed at my response. Her levity made my insides cringe. I wanted to join in and forget how terrified I’d been only moments before but that lick of winter up my spine was still too fresh in my mind.

It was out there somewhere, and it knew I was here.

RatemyProfessor.com

A few choice reviews for some faculty members I know from all over campus. Try not to snort water out of your nose! It will be hard…

These have been taken directly from ratemyprofessor.com and even if these students didn’t get great grades in their  classes (as can be seen in some of the spelling errors), they definitely get an “A” from creativity. Names have been eliminated to protect the … innocent!

XXX is a hate-filled, homework monger. If you are in this class with him, quit your job, divorce your spouse, and sell everything you own. You are now XXX’s. He has no mercy, he knows no mercy. He has no problem stacking impossible task on top of impossible task. Drop the class now!!!

I wanted to kill myself EVERY second of this class. It was the hardest class I’ve ever taken and he truly has NO MERCY. Do not take this class and save yourself from the stress!!!!!!!

I don’t think it is his accent that makes him hard to understand, rather the way he rattles on and on about something unimportant, that never relates to anything in the course. Nice guy, but babbles. A lot! Terrible teaching. He is very smart, and I believe he knows his material, I just think he hit his prime about 28 years ago…Throw in the towel

One of the worst teachers I’ve had since…dunno when.He’s like your granpa, if he was Yoda and liked to drone on and on about how it was in the old country. I couldn’t learn anything from him so I stopped going to class and still passed it. He really needs to retire.

The worst teacher ever in the history of mankind. Ironic that he thinks he is the greatest. A bitter, old man that should retire, or be forced to leave by the department.”

This guy would let you drown in your own spit. worst class expoerence ever.”

One should rename this class “XXX’s Tirade on Capitalism”. She would give you two opposing articles than absolutely trash the one that believed in Western Economics. There was no scientific data to back her ranting. I learned NOTHING except for her opinion. At one point she blamed those who looked like me (blonde) for terrorism.

And you wonder why your courses don’t enroll…hmmmm.

2014 Winter Olympics

I was going to post a snippet today since it’s been a while and I know you are all hungry for a teaser. Too bad. So sad. I didn’t get it done. Don’t lose hope though! Maybe I’ll get it done next week. YIKES! No pressure or anything. Ha Ha

Instead, let’s talk about the Olympics which is starting tonight. This is an important topic, not for the figure skating or the two man luge (which…who thought of that sport and was like, “You know what would be a good idea Bill? Let’s lay on top of each other on a sled and sail down a hill covered in ice and see who fast we can go! That sounds awesome!”).

107I hope that conversation never really happened. If it did, then I have too much confidence in human intelligence. This sounds like a drunken idea that some how took hold and now is normal. Much like calling a drink a duck fart and yes, before you ask, that is a real drink. It sounds like a bunch of frat guys sitting around and throwing some shit in a glass, then laughing as they thought of the most ridiculous name possible. But…I digress.

No, the winter Olympics are great because of curling. Don’t ask me why but curling is like the cold weather bowling and I love it. I can’t get enough. Every four years I get the idea that I want to be a curler and revisit the Columbus Curling Club website trying to figure out how I can work this in to my life. I sit in front of the television screaming at a stone sliding across the ice as if from thousands of miles away, I can sway the direction or that the sweepers will hear me and brush the ice harder. This doesn’t occur of course but I’m heartbroken nonetheless when that rock slides too far and misses the house.

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The best part about curling is that I feel like even at 35, if I started now,  I could totally make the Olympic Team. In the back of my mind, I realize  this is not the case. These people have practiced, swept, and perfected their curling release of the rock over years. But I know that I’ll never be a hurdler, a figure skater, or a gymnast. This just seems a little more attainable so I dream of one day being an Olympic Curler.

There are three sporting events that I love more than a lot of things that are probably more important, Olympic Curling, March Madness, and the World Cup. So…this is a pretty good year for me.

If anyone is interested, Curling starts on Monday in the wee hours of the AM. The schedule is below.

Curling
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
 <Mon

  1. Feb 10
12:00 AM
12:00 AM
12:00 AM
12:00 AM
5:00 AM
5:00 AM
5:00 AM
5:00 AM
10:00 AM
10:00 AM
10:00 AM
10:00 AM

Meeting Agenda

Here was the agenda for my meeting today…NO JOKE!

I)       OSU Email is the preferred service.
A)     Checking you email
1)      If you have your OSU email forwarded to another account always check your SPAM/Junk folder.  There are no excuses for missing an email because it was in your SPAM/Junk Folder.
2)      Employees of the University (GRA, GTA, GAA, or fellows) need to check your email at least once a day, Monday through Friday.

In addition to checking your email please read the email thoroughly.  If there is an attachment you might want to consider opening it and reading it.
B)      Responding to an email is just as important as reading it.
1)When there is a question posed to you in the course of an email please respond
2) If something is asked of you, please make sure that you reply to this email.
3) In certain circumstances an email will be sent to you directly from the Graduate School asking for your response. Under that scenario please respond immediately and copy Darla and me.
II)     Deadlines
A)     Graduate School and Registrar-Their deadlines are beyond our control.  If you miss their deadlines we will do anything for you
B)      Internal Deadlines- These are written in places like the Graduate Handbook.  We also send reminders concerning due dates.  When you fail to meet these deadlines you may think that you are in the clear, but in reality they will be taken into consideration for things like funding.
III)   Registration
A)     The windows to register open months prior to the start of the next term.
B)      Please register when your window opens.  If you are waiting for your TA assignment then please register immediately after you receive the assignment.
C)      When registering for Independent Study, remember to register for the correct course (5193=MA/MS, 7193=pre-candidacy PhD, and 8999=post-candidacy PhD).  A failure to register for the correct class post-AU13 leads to your Independent Study Proposal and Update being marked as incomplete.  This harkens back to reading your email.
IV)   Degree Requirements
A)     Know them, they are located in the handbook
V)     Excuses
A) Do not make them. They are usually ridiculous, without merit, and no one wants to hear them.

Conversational Void

This conversation actually happened today!

I’m sitting in my office working on something and trying to finish it up before my 11am meeting in five minutes. In walks a person, for their own protection and my sanity, will be called grad student A.

Grad Student A: “Um, Suzanne. Can I talk to you?”

Me: “Sure Graduate Student A but I have a meeting in a few minutes so it will have to be quick.”

Grad Student A: “May I sit?” he points to the chair in front of my desk.

Me: “I guess.” I already know this is going to be a longer conversation than I want to have.

Grad Student A: “Oh, this is a long story and I don’t know where to start…”

He subsequently goes into a long description about how when he came into the country and filled out his GLACIER tax status form, he didn’t put in a SSN because he didn’t have one. Then the university issued him a TEMPORARY SSN and he got confused (big surprise!)

I know what you’re thinking…he’s an international student Suzanne. He doesn’t know. You should be more sympathetic. Here’s the thing. If it was the first time, I would’ve been more sympathetic. Hell, I was sympathetic the first three times this kid was in my office for this exact same reason. He’s in my office – on average – once a week about something.

Anyway, he then continues about how he got confused and without anyone telling him to, he puts in the TEMPORARY SSN from the University into a federal tax system and Low and Behold…it fucked some shit up. He manages call some people…not me – thank God…and get it all straightened out. Here’s where it gets interesting.

So he has the updated report in his hands and is sitting across from me with this expectant expression on his face.

Me: “So, Grad Student A, if you have all of this done, I don’t understand why you’re here?”

Grad Student A: “Well, the last time I printed one of these out, you sent it for me.”

Me: “Right, I sent it for you because you’d only been in this country for two days. You’ve been here for six months now.”

Grad Student A: “So, I can send it?”

Me: “Yes.” Turning to the last page of the report, I point to the very explicit and detailed directions on what to do with it and where to send it. “Send it here.” I said.

Grad Student A: “Do I need  a stamp?”

Me: “No. It’s a campus address. Send it through campus mail.”

Grad Student A: “So I don’t need a stamp?”

Me: “No.”

Grad Student A: “How do I send it through campus mail?”

Me: “Seriously?”

At this point, I can tell by the expression on his face that he is clueless. Evidently, more clueless than I thought. Campus mail is what everything goes through if you are moving from one office/department to another. It shouldn’t be a new concept for him. Anyway, I pull down a campus envelop and hand it to him. 20140123_140136

He looks perplexed.  He turns big confused eyes up to me. Are you kidding me? I hand him a pen and point to an empty space on the envelop.

Grad Student A: “Who is it from?”

Me: “You. It’s coming from you.”

Grad Student A: “Do I just write my name?”

Me: “Yes.”

20140123_140238

He fills out his name and then manages to fill out the To: line all by himself. Then he looks up at me again.

Grad Student A: “Do I put our department address here?”

Me: “No, the report provides the address you need to send it to. If you put our department address, it will just come back to you.”

Grad Student A: “Oh, so where do I send it.”

It’s taking everything I have not to scream at the kid. Let’s be honest here, he’s not a kid anymore. He’s at least 23 years old…and yet.  In the back of my mind, I’m astonished that this conversation is actually happening and that I’m a part of it. I merely point the the address listed directly under the name, he’s already addressed the envelop to. He then dutifully fills out the address.

Me: “Don’t forget to make a copy for yourself and sign in the appropriate places before you send it out.”

Grad Student A: “Oh, yes. I have to sign it. Where do I take it?”

Me: “Slip it in the campus mail slot in the mail room.”

Grad Student A: “Can you show me?”

At this point, I’ve lost my patience. His fucking mailbox is in there. The copier’s in there. He’s in there all the damned time. I stand up and walk around my desk.

Me: “Come with me!”

I lead him across the hall to the department mail room and point to the gigantic drawer with an envelop slot that says CAMPUS MAIL in big, black, bold letters.

Me: “Put it in there.”

Grad Student A: “Then what?”

Me: “Then what? Nothing. It’s like the regular mail only on campus.”

Grad Student A: “So the mailman comes and picks it up?”

Now, not only am I almost 15 minutes late for my meeting but I’m pissed off as well. Not a good combo. I don’t have the time or the inclination to explain how campus mail works and he doesn’t particularly need to know the behind the scenes anyway. More importantly, I don’t think he would understand.

He follows me back to my office and waits inside my door as I gather up my stuff for my meeting.

Me: “Grad Student A, was there something else?”

Grad Student A: “No, am I done?”

Me: “Well, I don’t really know since you came to see me.”

Grad Student A: “Oh, well, that was all I needed.”

Me: “Then we’re done.”

Grad Student A: “Great! Thanks Suzanne.”

Really? That’s almost 20 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

Who Remodels a Laundry Room? I do! That’s Who!

So let the tears, swear words, and gushing blood commence! That’s right folks, we’re remodeling again.

For several reasons, we’ve decided that it’s time to tackle the laundry room/closet. Mainly because our clothes are now in three different rooms, the washer and dryer really need to be replaced (especially the dryer which started making weird noises a few months ago. – The damned thing sounds like i’m drying a brick as it tumbles around and around the cylinder. I’m not of course, but the racket is ridiculous.) I would also like to be able to see when I get dressed in the morning. Right now, I can’t see shit since most of the time since Ross is still sleeping. To prove my point, the other day during a break in class I discovered that I did – in fact – have my underwear on backwards. I couldn’t see the tag and definitely didn’t feel a difference with the lace cheeky panties. But there you have it. I need to be able to see in the morning and if my clothes are in the laundry room, GASP, I would be able to see and put them on correctly.

Our first decision was…”We need a new wardrobe.” That quickly morphed into:

“Do we need to paint?” 20843744

“What if we replaced the utility sink with a real sink”20843444

“We’re going to need a new washer and dryer soon. You know, before we get blown the fuck up.”20843444

“Maybe we should replace the door too. Have you been on the fire escape lately? Anyone could kick that thing in.”20843744

“Well, damn. Now, where are we going to store shit?”20843444

And yes, i’m very aware that I’m the only one swearing in this conversation.

This is going to be a longer process than I would like. Mostly due to the fact that we are poor and can’t afford a new wardrobe unit, plus the washer/dryer, and sink replacements all at once. What this means is that one half of my laundry room is going to be AWESOME, while the other looks like shit for a little while longer. Maybe I can convince the ‘rents to help out with the W/D purchase as part of my graduation/birthday present…here’s hoping! And yes, I do expect presents for all major life events. I don’t care how old I am.

Then there’s the door.   20140116_192541  He’s right though. That thing doesn’t look very safe.

And the sink. 20140116_192536 Classy…I know. Don’t judge! The last owner was an artist there are a lot of things in this house covered in paint splotches.

Here’s my conundrum.  The previous owners painted the register! A vintage brass register and they painted it…LIME GREEN! 20140116_192552 I don’t think there’s anyway of salvaging it or even restoring it. *sigh*

So, let’s end this on a positive note with some positive affirmations. I am not going to fuck anything up this weekend! We can do this on our own! This will not cost us a small fortune…

Yeah right! How many trips to the hardware store will we make? 6? 10? My bet’s on at least 8. We’ll see.

Countdown to Disney!

I understand that I’m a 35 year old grown woman. But here’s the thing, I DON’T CARE! I love Disney and I’m not ashamed to say it. My husband, Ross, and I are planning a weekend trip to Disney World and I can’t wait. I’m buying a pair of ears for every damn park we go in and (Ross doesn’t know this yet but) I’m buying at least two Vinylmation figurines. That’s right, Disney’s got me, hook, line, and sinker.

Let’s start with the park. We’ve been to Disneyland, and I was at DisneyWorld when I was little (I don’t really remember it and that might be a sin – I haven’t found it in any scripture anywhere but I’m sure it must be there…right?). In 2010 and 2011, I went to Disneyland twice in a 12 month period and that’s saying something for a girl from Ohio. The time my husband and I went (yeah, that’s right! I went once without him), we spent the day at the magic kingdom and I ran around like a cracked-out six year old. See for yourself!

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Ross, on the other hand, was like a 90 year old poop who didn’t know what fun was even when he was a kid. Exhibit A

2011-10-06_12-27-10_317

In fairness to my husband, that was a $10 hamburger. Doesn’t matter though, he still tried like hell not to smile on the tea cups. Who does that? You have to smile on the tea cups! I think its a law.

He can’t fool me though, he’s excited. He bought me this as a Christmas present (both for me and so he can go into sucking-the-fun-out-of-everything poop):

9781628090000_p0_v4_s260x420

He has our itinerary for each day planned out and this trip is four months away. He’s already dictated the paths through each section of each park and where we need to get fast-passes. This damned thing is 864 pages of craziness that my husband has taken on like it was gospel. Little does he know that his entire plan is going to be blown the hell up as I spend the first two hours of each day going from gift shop to gift shop. Ahahahahaahaha!

Next, I’m obsessed with Disney’s ridiculously ingenious idea, Vinylmation. I LOVE these things. I don’t think Disney needs anymore cult followers but I’ll do my bit by giving you the link. LOL!

I bought one, hoping it was Lucifer from Cinderella because here’s the thing, you don’t know which one you’re getting. So if you don’t get the one you want, you just keep buying them! Well, I got Lucifer and one of the cards from Alice in Wonderland. I had to buy two, it evened up my chances. You would’ve done the same! Don’t judge.

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Anyway, I was too excited and Ross poo poo’d my purchase saying that it was a waste of money. I agreed and that was the end of it. A few months after that, I was headed to Polaris Shopping Center and there’s a disney store in the mall. I thought I could sneak in there, see what they had and get one…or two.

Turns out…No.

I parked and then decided I couldn’t deal with the mall. When I got home, I told Ross about how the idea of the mall and how the thought of going in made me a little anxious and how weird that was. So, a few weeks later, he went and bought me three. THREE!

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He came home and in his very stern voice said, “This can’t become a thing!”

I said, “you’re right, honey” and didn’t argue.

Then, for my birthday, he bought me another one. Isn’t he cute?

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Then for Christmas, he bought me another two.

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So, for not becoming a “thing”, he’s kinda making it a “thing”. That’s why I love my husband! He knows the way to a girls heart.