Three of a Kind: Patreon Sneak Peek

We’re moving!

Working on a short piece exploring the relationship that is the heart of Foxes and Fate: Lia, Gil, and Tybee. Patrons get every post 3 days early (no charge. I only plan to charge when I release the podcast), and everyone else who follows my Patreon (no pledge needed, just follow) gets to see all this wonderful bonus content I plan to keep Patreon exclusive. I’ll still seed all my other blogs with teasers, but I want to centralize all my actual work to one place, and Patreon is it (until they somehow manage to alienate their user base AGAIN. We’ll see). So come follow my Patreon, pledge if you want to (again, I am only charging for the critique work/podcast, not the wip stuff–I want you all to read my stuff :P) and come pester me in its Discord channel! Can’t wait to see you there!

Gil stood in the doorway, one sock foot rubbing awkwardly at his other ankle. Tybee gave him a flat look. It wasn’t a considering look, one of those long, slow, head-to-toe looks that leaves the subject bare before him. No. It was utterly flat, utterly bored, and more than a little annoyed.

“You came to woo our mortal in that?”

Gil looked down at himself, knowing his plain white t-shirt and softly patterned cottony boxers wouldn’t have changed into something wonderful just because Tybee willed it. Maybe in the old days, but not now. Now, Gil plucked at the hem of his shorts, knowing the little blue flowers were ridiculous, but he’d hoped…

He didn’t know what he’d hoped. Here, in Tybee’s bedroom, surrounded by rich tones of blues and greens, silks and satins shining in the low light of a dozen candles– yeah, he looked out of place. Because he was.

Tybee sighed expansively, tossing his head to carelessly send a cascade of inky black hair spilling over his shoulder. Gil’s heart leapt to his throat. Gods, did he have any idea how gorgeous he looked? Of course he did, it was Tybee. But did he have any idea how good he looked to Gil?


Bo’s Return

Bo brushed their hair back from their eyes, knowing it was a nervous habit but unable to stop themself. It was weird being back in Riverside, after spending so many years abroad finishing their doctorate. Bo had begun to feel like there was literally no place like home.

And make no mistake, this wasn’t it. Not exactly. But this was first place where Bo had been themself, out and open, without anyone to remember them any differently. Now, standing in the receiving line in a light cotton sundress with hair that brushed their shoulders, Bo had the strange feeling of coming home and having overshot it by a few years too many. Bo was dressed for another uncomfortable family dinner, not a reunion with their first y’den.

No one made you do this, they reminded themselves, stepping forward as the line moved. You liked the little yellow flowers on the print. And your hair looks good this way. You can always cut it again if it really makes that much of a difference.

Bo had been cultivating a very deliberate sense of androgyny when they’d moved to Riverside to start their master’s degree. Out from their mother’s thumb for the first time, Bo had taken the freedom and ran with it, exploring sides of themself they’d never been allowed to before. Honestly, they were still exploring now, reaching the edges of “everything else” and approaching feminine with new and eager eyes. Now that it was on their terms. Now that it wasn’t a costume.

The bride and groom looked relaxed and happy as their received their guests, loose with perhaps a few too many toasts, but aglow with genuine love and not just champagne. Bo was happy for them. Deidra had been the hardest nut of all to crack during Bo’s first year of mentoring. Their first assignment as an ei’den had been more than a little sink or swim. They were happy to see that all their first y’den were doing well.

Bo spotted James and Trish lingering near the chocolate fountain, James looking incredible in his deep purple suit. Bo smiled, pleased that he’d retained his daring sense of fashion. And his girlfriend. Trish had been just what James had needed. And apparently still was.

The line moved, Bo along with it, and again their hands ran through their hair. Ugh, they were going to have to cut it, if they couldn’t stop touching it. Messing with it this much was only going to bring back the grease and acne of their years on T.

Step, step, shuffle, fidget. They should have brought a date. But so freshly returned to town, Bo hadn’t had time to look anyone up. Honestly, it had been a miracle that they’d made it back in time for the wedding. They sagged under the weight of jet lag, smile only buoyed by pure determination. It really was good to be back.

At least they were at the front of the receiving line, offering the groom a too-masculine handshake for the outfit their were wearing. Oops. Deidre though, Dei would get a full hug.

“Hey! So glad you could make it!”

Dei’s tone didn’t match her body language, as the pair embraced in that awkward half-hug half-pat that came from misreading signals. Bo smiled, trying to hide their hurt. The look had been a mistake.

“You don’t recognize me, do you?”

Dei frowned, and Bo felt it move through them with the habit of memory, a thousand frowns chased away under their time as her ei’den. They felt James and Decklan both look up, each from different corners of the room. Con hadn’t made it, then. Bo hoped she hadn’t fallen back on old habits.


James was right behind them, looking past Bo to try to find them. They smiled and shook their head, turning to greet James with their famously bad Korean.

James and Dei both stared, knowing what their auras were telling them but brains not catching up. Stomach dropping, Bo pulled their hair back with one hand and threw a peace sign with the other. Eyes widened as both of their former y’den recognized them at last.

Dei threw her arms around them, bashing James across the face with her flowers. James just laughed and clapped Bo on the back in an easy “bro hug”. Bo couldn’t help but laugh as well, delighted that the dress and hair hadn’t done anything to change James’s mind.

“Thude! You look good!”

James gave Bo a quick up and down, appraising but not consuming. Just approving. Bo warmed, and relaxed. Especially at the ridiculous “gender neutral” greeting.

“I didn’t recognize you with the hair,” Dei said, running her fingers through the soft strands of it. “I got so used to the blue.”

Oh. Right. It had been six inches shorter and sporting blue streaks. And they’d been gone for the better part of two years, without much contact.

“I guess I should have RSVP’d, huh?”

Dei snorted and hip checked Bo as she stepped back onto the small dais with her new groom.

“You still got no manners, ei’den,” she said fondly, linking her arm through her husbands. James draped his over Bo’s shoulders.

“C’mon, lets go dip things in fancy chocolate while Dei stands there and smiles.”

“Save some for the rest of us! Bo, make him save some!”

“I can’t tell him what to do anymore,” they said, still smiling.

“Once our ei’den, always our ei’den,” James said beside them, turning them towards the table. “C’mon, come catch us up on all your wild adventures. Trish will be so happy to see you.”

Mikey Comes Out

Working on a series of short scenes about Mikey’s coming out. I don’t know how long it will run, but here’s the first scene:

Mikey lay on his stomach, still feeling sick. He didn’t want to say anything, but he knew Cam would want him to. And Donnie. They both wanted what was best for him.

Hot bitter tears stung at his eyes. No, damn it. He didn’t want to cry about this anymore. This was a good thing. He finally knew what was wrong with him.

No. Not wrong. Just different.

Clutching his pillow to his chest, he blew out a long, tired breath into it. This was a good thing. It was. He could finally stop trying so hard. He could just… be.


He sank into the feathery pillow, feeling the world go soft and warm and distant. If he could just figure out how to put this muffled feeling into his aura….

Ugh. He had to stop this. He wasn’t broken. He was just different. He’d already known that, now he just knew how. That it had a name.

That he wasn’t alone.

Buoyed by that thought, he rolled over and fished for his phone on the nightstand.

Hey guys. I need a pizza date.

Exploring Otherside

In re-working Asylum, we’ve discovered some new mechanics about how the world is put together. There is a second skin to this world we’d never known before, the mysterious and ethereal Otherside. To further explore this place, we’re playing with a daring pair of Othersider fox boys, and their gambit to change the fate of mortals who cross the path of their touring caravan. Here we first encounter the fortune teller Gilead, and his would be mark, Lia:

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Snow in the garden

Nica looked up at the dark wash of sky and sighed. She’d known she was feeling moody when she’d gone to bed, but she’d hoped it wouldn’t follow her into her dreams. She should have known better.

The normally lively wash of color was gone from her aunt’s garden, replaced by the tired greys and browns of plants hunkered down for the winter. Nica moved through them in a sluggish echo of her usual lyrical steps, just trying to push through. If she could reach their tree, maybe Seth would be there.

But the tree stood solitary and naked, empty branches raking across the cloud covered sky. Another heavy sigh, and Nica plopped herself down to wait.

Everything stood still. No bird song filled the air, no whisper of rustling leaves. No echo of laughter from family long, long gone. Nica’s throat tightened, and she took several long, deep breaths to chase the threatening tears away. What good was lucid dreaming when it only meant another chance to grieve?

A single drop of wet appeared on the back of her hand. Another. Another. They were cold, empty things, just like the garden around them. Cold enough, Nica suddenly realized, to be snow.


Delicate, lacy flakes fluttered down from the goose down sky. Big, fluffy flakes, as full and as puffy as the clouds that birthed them. Fine lines of white began to appear all around the garden, filigree trimmings along the decorative stonework and skeleton plants. The world turned ice, and in its own quiet way, it was lovely.

Nica stood up, unwilling to become another snow covered statue. There was still life in this garden, and she was it. With her breath coming out in cold, icy puffs, she began to hum to herself, and slowly, as her pacing picked up speed and life, she began to sing.

Snow always did strange things to the acoustics of the garden. Muffled echoes bounced back at her from every direction. The garden was filled with song and ice, crystalline structures and delicate harmonies, all elegant phenomena of nature.

Except, that last echo was too deep.

Nica didn’t pause, in motion or song, reluctant to break whatever spell had turned this gloomy dream into a tolerable one. She did quiet, though, trying to listen for the uncanny echo under the melody of her own breath.

It sounded again, this time to her right.

She paced a small circle around the central courtyard of the garden. Each time, the other voice seemed to come from a different direction. Her notes became sharper and clipped, taking on the heated edge of frustration, her motions growing harsher and swift. Soon, she was leaping around the garden, darting and running, rushing to catch that hidden voice, to glimpse that secret face–

A snowball hit her, square between the shoulder blades.

She whirled, spinning to see a completely unrepentant Seth leaning against their tree. He whistled a little chirp of hello, fresh snowball bouncing carelessly from hand to hand. She was surprised he could manage a whistle around that canary-eating grin spread across his face.

He whistled again, a hint of query in his note. Do we still play the game, my love? In answer, she darted forward, rushing into a diving tackle, carrying them both down into the now mounded snow. Laughing madly, they tussled and tumbled among the drifts, snow filling their noses and ears and eyes, and their laughing, open mouths. Finally she pinned him, legs twining about his and hands pinning his at the wrists. He hissed in pleasure, as she’d known he would. It wasn’t cheating if both parties enjoyed it, right?

He crunched up his stomach up as much as he could to raise himself up to kiss her. As cold as the snow on her cheeks was the heat of his lips on her mouth. She returned that fire many fold, hungry for warmth and for love and for life, all the things a wild heart held dear. As they kissed in the snow, the sleeping garden suddenly didn’t seem so empty. It was simply waiting.

Dancing with Fate

Seth cursed the red that marked his scales, so much more deeply than the simple eij of the king cobras. No, his scales were the scarlet color of Fate, a more demanding goddess than Li’Daea would ever be.
He walked the world for centuries, knowing, just knowing, that Fate was still marking him, dogging his every footstep, weighing his every friend or lover as ally or distraction.
Far too often, they were deemed the latter.
How many people had he lost, in the service of Fate? How many threads cut short by Ksm’s looming shadow? In the end, none remained, save he and Naj.
You will do great things, Kismeron, my darling son. You will be set above kings, set above angels, set above gods.
As he looked down over a kingdom ruin, the smoldering remains that stood ever present in his dreams, he could hear the goddess laughing.
To be smiled upon by Destiny was a terrible fate indeed.

Howl at the Wind, a Rain scene

I was sent a lovely writing prompt on tumblr, to write a short scene involving the sea, a crow, and a torn umbrella. While I technically cheated a little bit, I think this fits the bill, and I’m pretty happy with it. (Also, Rain everyone! Remember her?)

Rain stared out over the lake, knowing it was just a lake, but feeling like it may as well be the edge of the world. They were called The Great Lakes for a reason. The water just seemed to stretch on and on, and out here, standing straight against the wind, she felt like she was staring down eternity.

A single crow hopped from branch to branch in the windbreak behind her. She ignored it, not caring if it was Rook or just a solitary wanderer. The former could go fuck himself, and she didn’t have anything to offer if it was the latter.

“Learn to take care of yourself,” she muttered, swinging her umbrella halfheartedly towards the trees. There wasn’t enough energy left for much more than that.

She felt so stupid carrying this thing. She’d spent the summer calling elemental forces, commanding winds, conjuring storms, but back home, she still had to carry an umbrella in case of showers. It was all just so stupid! What was the point of cosmic powers on a world altering scales if she was never meant to use them? Why shove these powers into a teenage girl, telling her “the time will come” and “you have to learn” and “you must be ready”–ready for what? To watch her step-father die? To watch countless of people die, one after the other, in a long endless line she was never meant to stop?

“What’s the fucking point!?”

She screamed up at the sky, fury building within her to match the whipping winds from without. The lake frothed and seethed, chopping waves building from so far out she could never hope to see them, breaking small and useless against the man made docks. She shrieked into the wind, sound gobbled up instantly by the growing storm. The storm was hungrier than she was, but she was angrier.

She hurled her umbrella into the wind, a useless makeshift javelin. It spiraled wildly off course in an instant, not that she’d been aiming for anything in particular. It snapped open, spines bending instantly out of place, canvas snagged and snarled against its own spines turned against it. Rain watched the thing tear itself apart in some small amount of satisfaction, though it was a cold and empty kind. She watched it skitter and dance down the beach, tumbling heedless in a wind that did not know or care that it was there.

She heard the staccato croak of the crow calling from the woods, and another answered it from far off. Rain turned and marched back inland, full of nothing and learning nothing from screaming into the wind, her burdens only lightened by the weight of a single umbrella.

Yvie’s Visions

I wasn’t getting anywhere in my collection call piece (which totally still needs a name), so I figured I’d backtrack a little and try to fill in some missing pieces. What fell out was a narration by Drake, which may or may not make its way into the story. I like Drake, I like him a lot, but I don’t know how many POVs I’m going to include, and which ones will actually be useful. But for now, here’s Drake, assisting with Yvehna’s reading of Micah’s threads.

“I see…”

Yvie wavered, Drake scooping her up immediately, just in case. Honestly, she should have sat down for this. They were all off their best if no one had thought of it before hand. Then again, it had been a very, very long time since Yvehna had done any reading.

“I see a woman, in a bridal gown… No, that’s not quite right. That’s an imagined outcome, not a real one. It’s colored with Micah’s thoughts, too rosy. An idea.”

“Follow it, [cute primn name], if you think it’ll tell us anything.” Shadriel’s voice was a soft murmur, laced heavy with magic and suggestion. He used such tones when shaping scaped for Drake before. Drake added a hum of power, a thread for his boss to resonate from, if he so chose. All of it was attuned for Yvie, to deepen her dive. Micah’s webs were thick, and labyrinthine.

“I don’t think it’s important, Father.” Yvie’s voice was far away, a hollow echo of her usual sharp and cutting tongue. Distracted didn’t begin to cover it. “But if you put a placeholder on it, I’ll circle back around when I’m done, if you think I need to.”

Shadriel nodded, and Drake dropped the line, nestling into Micah’s thoughts. They were indeed rosy, tinged warm with the masculine possessiveness that only comes from the backwards thinking of women as a weaker sex, as something to be protected. Drake could feel in contrast the echoes of other women, ones Micah admired more, thought them to be fierce and tough and nothing to be trifled with, and with no small affection. It was impossible to read without diving in fully, but if he did, there’d be no room left for Yvie. And besides, Drake was quite certain that if Micah did feel any of that particular kind of affect for any of these other women, he didn’t want to know. Better to pretend and find out in the natural way.


Drake started when Yvie spoke, quite lost in his contemplations of Micah. Damn, he needed to focus better. “Maria” was obviously one of these other women, and just hearing her name in his unconscious state made Micah’s mindspace shift. Maria was undeniably important to him. Drake lifted his thoughts to his physical surroundings to avoid learning any more. He needed to avoid making too much “noise” in Micah’s thoughts. He’d distracted Yvie enough as it was.

“There are red threads of Fate around them both,” Yvie said matter-of-factly, and honestly, no one was surprised. Almost everyone who interacted with the monastery was led here by scarlet strings. There were too many planars and chimera here not to attract that fickle spinner’s attention. The only real question was: Where would those strings lead?

“There’s a thread of power here, something I don’t understand. A mirror? No, that’s not quite right…”

Drake felt Shad draw a breath and hold it, a reminder of his own physical form. He took a few steadying breaths of his own, to remind his body to hold its shape, to keep him from slipping completely into the ether.

“Maria,” Yvie said again, but this time with more confidence. “She’s in the woods, bringing Micah his missing pieces. Maria is at the center of the threads. Fate has her in tight bindings, and they’re shining…Ahh!”

Yvie cut off with a small scream, crumpling in Drake’s arms. Shadriel’s power was immediately over her, shielding and disconnecting her from whatever had disrupted her search. They would untangle it later, once she’d had a chance to rest. For now, though, they had what they needed.

There was someone in the woods.

Maria to the rescue

Making slow and painful progress on Micah’s story. Work threw me for a loop (like it usually does this time of year), but I’m really happy with Maria’s entrance, so have a little teaser while I go beat my head against this plot.

It didn’t take Maria long to find the source of the smoke—a barn fire—or the griffics. A pair of them were circling the skies, directing a group of men on foot, rounding up horses that presumably had been in the barn pre-fire. A dragon—a dragon, of all things!—was extinguishing the last of the flames, and Maria sensed one other presence, heavily masked, further off to the south.
Must be the demon.
She waited until one of the griffics landed, knowing full well the puffed up feather fluff wouldn’t be expecting an attack. Not from something without an aura. And thanks to her shielding, that was exactly what she felt like.
Maria cocked her head to one side, sizing up the distance between them with her good eye, and—
Snap! His knee went sideways, knocked out from under him as she exploded up from the underbrush. A hundred pounds of black fur and sinewy muscle rode him to the ground, shifting back into her human form as they fell. They landed with her on top, dagger in hand, sliver tracery of spells glinting in the electricity that crackled in his palm. Not quite a stalemate, but she wasn’t ready to let him know his little light show didn’t scare her. Not just yet.
“I just have a few questions for you,” she said lightly, belying the tense balance of the situation. “If you’d be so good as to answer them, we can both be on our merry little ways.”
The arrogance in his eyes almost made her want to stab him, just a little. Just to remind the prick that even the mighty chimera still bled. But it was always in her best interest to be underestimated. And to be patient.
“And what makes you think I won’t just fry you and be on my own merry little way?”
“Because if you were going to, you would have.” She pressed the dagger further into his aura, feeling the imbued spells hum and sing against the pressure of it. He had to feel it too. Didn’t react though. No surprise there. A griffic was untouchable until he suddenly learned he wasn’t. Painfully, if she was lucky.

Enter the Dragon

I love writing dragons. Micah’s new friend is no exception. So far the edits are going well. I’m working on some side stuff to help me flesh out my sense of the world and characters, and it’s helping to build a steady writing habit when I’m not sure which scene should come next in the main body. This one should make the cuts, but even if it doesn’t, it’s always great fun to write dragons. 🙂

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