Zane’s Log 9/17/2038
I mentioned telepathy the other day and spoke about the down sides. To be fair, I shouldn’t leave out the fact that if not for telepathy, I would never have met Katarina. I hear there’s a book telling out story, mostly from Kat’s POV. If you want all the gory details, I suppose you’ll have to go read it.
Anyway, Katarina and I are bonded telepathically. It isn’t a conscious conversation like we might have with a random person, but a link that intimately unites us. It’s hard to explain to non-telepaths. When I mention it, most people think it’s weird and we’re always talking to each other. Okay, maybe we do talk a lot, but no more than an any other couple. People also seem to think it means we never fight.
We just don’t throw chairs and scream. There’s a difference.
Let me share an example…
“Are you kraghakti serious?” Zane asked.
Katarina winced, which sent a tiny sliver of guilt through Zane, but it was his home too.
“You said he was visiting, that this whole staying-out-of-Fairy thing was just temporary.”
She pulled a kitchen chair out and sat down. “I thought it was.”
The scrape metal on tile reminded Zane he meant to stop at the store for casters so the chairs wouldn’t scratch the tile. The new house still had a million little things to be done to make it feel like home, which brought his mind back to the subject at hand–Kieran. “Why can’t he get his own damn place?”
She rubbed at her right temple and a shadow of an ache tightened his own muscles. He stepped behind her, and rubbed at her temples even as he fumed at the idea of Kieran living with them indefinitely.
“He doesn’t get the human world, Zane.”
“You mean he doesn’t want to understand.”
“No–” he cut her off, “You can’t keep making excuses for him. I know he’s your brother, but it’s time you admit that he is an asshole.” She tensed beneath his hands and he circled around, pulled out a chair and sat down across from her. He reached across the table to take her hand, but she withdrew it.
“What do you expect? He’s surrounded by people like Grian. He needs time for that example to be minimized and for him to find his humanity.”
Zane leaned back in the chair, sighing. “What he is or isn’t is not your fault.” He spotted the glisten of unshed tears. He wanted to hold her as much as he wanted to beat her over the head for being so blind to her brother’s anti-human bigotry.
“No, but I have the chance to fix it. Da wouldn’t have asked me to let him stay here if he believed I couldn’t get through to Kieran.”
He clenched his hand into a fist, imagining punching the faerie in his goddamn face. Zane knew Finn worshiped the ground Katarina walked on, but he put responsibilities in her lap without truly comprehending what he asked. It wasn’t her job to fix any of their shit. If she’d let him, he’d fly their family to a border world where none of their stupid Fae-Human politics could touch them. “Kieran is your brother, not your son, and he’s a grown man.”
“I know that!” she snapped, and then sighed. “I don’t trust him by himself and I have too much to worry about without having to worry about him too.”
Her honesty cut his anger like nothing else could. It melted away, leaving nothing but the desire to hold her and make everything that bothered her go away. He held out his arm, “Come here, rahmali o mi.”
She hesitated, but not for long. She, too, was more angry at the situation than at him. She sat in his lap, leaning her head against his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Zane. I wish I didn’t have to ask you to deal with any of this. I know you have a valid point. Hell, you’re probably right, but I just can’t give up on him. He’s my brother.”
He kissed the top of her head and held her close. “I know, rahmali o mi.” He sighed. “He can sleep in the smallest room and gets a job. Enough freeloading.”
Katarina laughed against his chest. “We don’t need the money.”
“Maybe not, but I’ll be damned if I contribute to his laziness.”
She buried her face against his chest. “I’m having visions of him turning his boss into a toad.”
Zane laughed and shook his head, knowing he was going to regret this. “Not if I turn him into one first. Of course, I’ll have to have Finn give me more lessons in that kind of thing, but I can always punch Kieran first so he doesn’t see it coming.”
Instead of laughed, Katarina looked up at him, incredulous. “You’d work with him? Why?”
He kissed her nose. “Because I love you and I’m not mean enough to sic him on an unsuspecting human.”
“I owe you,” she said with a huge grin.
He returned her grin. “I take payment in sex.”
She laughed, snuggled close and whispered in his ear. “I think that can be arranged.”