Friendship Matters (Journal Entry #94)

NO. It is best if I just handle my problems myself. I am not even sharing what it is I hope to find with Kellis. She would only worry, and as the war with the rogue Lupoiux who refuse to follow their god’s edicts continues to pick up outside the city, Kellis is being worked harder than ever.

They are using her for a guard for some of the more timid Tanisses and Boltiers. I am worried; they took Blaire to the demon world weeks ago. No one has heard much from her since. Coty has been practically beside herself with fear.

More than any of the others, it is Coty that I fear for the most. I…can feel…that she knows something that she probably shouldn’t. It scares me. That I will not lie about. So many young females are coming to our world through pain and terror. How is that right? How can the goddess allow this?

Coty just wishes that her sisters remain safe. I wish the same for mine. That is all.

I want to go home. I want to go…normal again. Instead of this.

It is hard to fight the anger sometimes. Kellis suggested yesterday when she visited that I have every right to feel that anger. And that maybe it wasn’t the goddess who had done this to me, but the Fates?

I know nothing about the Fates. And I do not believe in such things. I believe in honor, and kindness, and working hard, and love. That is what I believe in.

And friendship.

It is friendship that had me leaving my little suite for the one down the hall that Coty shared with the eldest of her sisters. Their suite was barely bigger than mine but had two smaller double beds and a second dresser instead. You would think that as family with the new Dahn they would warrant better accommodations.

But no. Coty swears they have all been just forgotten about. Nothing much has changed in that regard, other than her second sister being taken back and forth to the demon world on a regular basis. 

I see Blaire sometimes. She’s usually trailing around after the new demon queen, an overwhelmed, intense expression on her face. I don’t mean to pry, but her fear is hard for me not to feel. And her determination. She wants to complete the task the queen has given her; I think she has somehow tied her entire sense of being up in that purpose.

It can’t be that healthy. I just know it isn’t.

Coty is worried, too. She has said as much.

Drew is in and out, with Mickey, Theo’s female. They are studying the laws of our people. Laws that the goddess said need to be updated, according to what Coty’s sister has told her.

I can agree there.

There is no reason for some of the ridiculously sexist rules that are still enforced in some of our tribes. I don’t need a male relative to speak for me in the courts. I did just fine on my own. 

I will continue to do just fine, as I am.

The Goddess (Journal Entry #93)

MY resolve lasted all of one day–that’s when the doubts set in. I am a champion at doubting myself, after all. Then I pulled my courage around me and sat down at my small desk that was wedged at the foot of my bed, and came up with a plan. I want out of this hotel. 

It has become my prison. 

No one looking at my situation can deny that. How could anyone? I am trapped here.

I have my notes. It is time I took the knowledge on demons I have collected and go the next step. Why is this such a difficult thing for me? I am so used to being invisible. Maybe it is me that wants it that way. Little Jume, no one. 

That is me. 

But…everyone says war is coming.

It has been only a scant handful of months since the Taniss Four were found. And the Lycurgus mate. Oh, she is so young. She is a beautiful mother, though. I have seen her. But she is just a few years younger than my Julea. Just a babe herself. It is unheard of to be mated so young. 

Why would the goddess be doing this?

If I had the courage…I would ask her.

She has been found. Just this week. The wolf Taniss, Jeirra’s male, found her in the woods near here.

Lupoiux had been attacking her. She had been rescued–by that evil creature, the wolf god. 

I wasn’t so certain that I believed the legends of them. But it is rather hard to deny that they are in the hotel.

I can feel her. She has been ill. Now…she is mated to that monster. Carries his babes. There is joy in her now. 

Yet because of her actions so long ago, so many of our people have been cursed. So many of our females lost and their babes…their poor, poor babes.

Yet she has found joy with the enemy of our people. While so many of our people suffered. 

It is hard for me to reconcile the female that has such hurt and pain for our people–I feel that too–with one who is happy to be in her male’s arms.

Her male. The very wolf god who leads those against who which we have fought for so long.

But that is just between us.

The goddess’s presence has not yet been announced. I just…felt her though the walls. That is all. 

It made me feel…restless. 

A part of me–the part that isn’t afraid of my own shadow–wants to march up to her suite and demand to know why she has done this to me. What I have done to deserve this.

But…she is the goddess. I am but one Dardaptoan female. I seriously doubt she has time for the likes of someone like me.

Besides. I have a different purpose now. 

Demons aren’t exactly of the Levian world like the goddess. No. They are from a different place.

Those who are after me aren’t from the goddess’s world. So how would she know what is going on?

The Resolution (Journal Entry #92).

Jierra has delivered. And thank the Goddess—if you believe!—she has come through the delivery safely. They still must watch for infection, but the demon healers were able to help her in ways that are miraculous.

They have banned her male from the hotel.

Rand Taniss.

He is not happy with that, of course. And I do not know the entire story.

But there is one.

I am sure of it.

But I have worries of my own.

My Julea.

She…someone is harassing her. I do not know why, but she was followed home from the grocery store where she works two nights ago. She was terrified.

Barely made it home, to Kellis.

And Navix, who waited on the porch, trying to convince my sister to kiss him.

Julea practically collapsed in Kellis’s arms, shaking in terror.

Navix took off after the stalker, but he was unable to catch him.

Why would someone target little Julea? All she does is work at the store as a clerk, and help Ambrea with mending when it is available.

I can’t help but fear that it is someone mistaking her for me. Except for these ridiculous curls on my head, we do resemble each other so greatly.

I will never sit back while my sisters are threatened because of me.


I have not given up my quest.

I will find out why the demons have targeted me. Even if I have to go over Theo’s head and find little Pin myself.

She is cousin to the king, after all. She told me that herself.

I…as soon as I am ready.

I am going to take that next step.

My Sister the Hunted. (Journal Entry #91)

Derrol Jareth has relocated to Texas. He is going to stay down there, apparently. I can’t say I’m too sad about that. It is other Jareths who are causing the most problems.

Navix is proving a relentless suitor.

He showed up at our home while Kellis was working, and just…started repairing our porch. When Riv and Ambrea asked him exactly why he was doing so, he said it was as a gift. So that Kellis didn’t have to worry about her sisters’ safety.

When that didn’t get him what he wanted, he showed up with a hand built doll house just for Alleah.

It is absolutely exquisite. They showed me photos. My youngest sister is completely thrilled.

Kellis has taken to hiding from Navix in the actual hotel. My suite, exactly.

Since Navix and his brothers have been banned from my wing.

He is rather relentless. All because he wants to sleep with my sister.

I suspect she might eventually give in to him.

If just for a few months.

It is causing problems with Kierce, though. Kellis confessed that ten years ago she had her one and only affair with him. Told him her secret about not having a male of her own.

Now, he feels very protective of her. Even though those feelings between them are long gone.

She said it has both made it more difficult for her on the job, and has eased her way in others.

No one truly messes with her; not with Kierce backing her.

Of course, Navix totally ignores Kierce.

I think he is enjoying the hunt, most of all.

Me, I am still trying to figure out what I am supposed to do now.

I am still studying all that I can about demons. I…

Knowledge equals power.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t equal answers.

Brush Off (Journal Entry #90)

They told me to go back to my quarters and stay there. That if I was unsatisfied with the suite I had been given—it was twenty-by-twenty, consisted of a tiny bedroom, a four-by-four sitting area, a small bath, and the minifridge Kellis had brought me from somewhere, that took up half the small dinette. Ambrea had provided a microwave. It sat on top of the minifridge. That was it.

They offered—bribed—me with a three-room suite in the Trianu or Jareth Houses.

Of course, I turned that down. I could not imagine me being there. Leaving the sixth floor and the routine I had built.

Did they think that I could be bought so easily? Just tuck me away in a room filled with pretty baubles, and pat me on the head?

I discussed it with Kellis when she came for dinner. She marched us both right into the cafeteria during that Jareth female’s last hour on shift, and demanded to speak to the manager.

She had a copy of Theo’s edict printed out on official letterhead, stating that I had free access to any meals provided for hotel employees. At all times.

The manager apologized profusely.

I sensed Kellis greatly frightened him.

She had that gift, apparently.

I was ready to say something to my way overprotective older sister, when I looked up. And saw them.

Two Jareth males—looking right at me. And my sister. “Kellis, J-Jareths.”

Kellis looked up, saw Navix and practically yelped. “Hurry, to our table, before they come this way.”

“What is go…go…going on with you?”

“He…Hells, Jume. He offered to have an affair with me!” Kellis whispered fiercely. “Like I would be lucky to be with him.”

I hurried her to the far table, where we could have some privacy. “W-what did you say?”

Kellis got an odd look in her eyes. One I had never seen there before. “I told him that I needed time to think about it. After…what happened to you.”

“Fair enough. Do you like this male enough to…do that with him?”

“I don’t know. He is not my male. Not like I have one of those. But…”

I covered my sister’s hand with my own. “You are lonely, sometimes? For something more than a house full of sisters can provide?”

Kellis’s eyes met mine. I didn’t need to read my sister. I kept my shields up around them at all times, to protect their privacy, but I knew. “Exactly. And I don’t know what to do now.”

I looked toward where the Jareth males were getting their own dinners. They…were watching us.

With odd expressions on their fiercely handsome faces. “I…what could any female do with males like that?”

“Goddess help me, I do not have a clue.”

Why Me? (Journal Entry #89)

I didn’t mean for it to happen. I have actually been doing what I can to avoid all of them. But that didn’t do me much good now. The last male on the planet I have wanted to encounter again was this one.

I…as a Jareth Equan he is the head of their family. He should have done something about the guard who had harmed me weeks ago. But as far as I knew, he hadn’t.

“You have learned some tricks,” Cormac said, smirking at me.

I couldn’t help but wonder how his female tolerated him for even an instant. Me, personally? I abhor arrogant males. They have a tendency to make their females just seem to disappear at times.

“N-n-no thanks to your family.”

I am not going to hide what happened to me. And if he didn’t like it, that was just too bad.

I am tired of being a victim. I will not be a victim again.

I tried to read the males around me, like Jayi had said I would be able to. They were both quite old. Well shielded. All I could read from them was determination.

For what?

“We have gotten intel that there is a price on your head,” Cormac said. “We are still…tracking down its origins.”

“Do I look like I am stupid? I have known that for weeks.”

“That is all we have, Jume. I’m afraid we cannot tell you anything else,” Theo said. He came to me, knelt down. “I wish I could give you answers. But I do not think this is the time you are meant to have them.”

“So basically, just wait here. Never knowing if I am safe? Being cut off from my family. Fearing what various Jareths will do to me next?”

“What do you mean?” Cormac demanded. “What are Jareths doing to you, besides Cahum and his brother?”

“Really? One…one…of your people refused to serve me lunch yesterday. Had I not had coin enough to pay for it at another register, I would have had to leave. And I know…I know they are watching me. I can feel their eyes on me. And what of Derrol? How am I to work and to pay my way at all if I am kept locked away? Tell me, Theo. Is this what I deserve? I have never harmed anyone. So tell me…why me?

Well, the darned male couldn’t answer that question at all.