So, as of 9:20 pm PST, I have 3k words done. I have a few hours. Thought I’d update the blog, throw up the next very raw chapter of Janus City up and take a small break. I need 333 more words to break even for the day. Yet, I want to try for at least 4k if not 5k. Came up with some interesting changes for the Empress in Wrath and Tears. Hope it stays in and works the way I want it too.
Looking forward to tomorrw, I have an interview with Jay Thorn for a possible retreat thing for writers like he did while writing this book. I will tell you all how it goes afterwards.
Without further ado, I give you the next chapter…
Janus City Chapter Four
Cleaning up the oil was a little harder than I thought. Yet, after an hour of scrubbing and using a little charm to help with the worst of it, I gave Mick a nod and left. I wanted to get to a guy I knew who sold parts of people. It is Janus City, so anything is possible here. The first thing I did was grab a cable car to the West Side, where Moria lived.
As the car slid up along the hill of the Westside, I looked back to see the dark grey area of Eastside. The white stone buildings of Westside were a sharp contrast to the other side. One of the reasons people called this place Janus City. The duality of the place was;t only in the stone of the city. Eastside wasn’t the best place to go. It was where I would have to go to meet with the body parts guy, one reason I wanted to get the last of my stuff from Moira before having to go through the Gate.
Even from where I stood in the trolley, I could see the Central Gate, the chokepoint of the entire city. Other gates and bridges had been built to get from one side of the city tot he other, yet the main area was and always would be the Central Gate. I could even pick out the details of the demonic and angelic faces carved into the Gate. And could see the thin veneer of the portal that shunted people from one side to the other. The Eastside of Janus City was in another plane of existence.
Not one far removed from the one on Westside. But, Westside was still in one dimension and Eastside was in the other. One reason Westside was built so close, from the top of the hill of Westside, Eastside faded into a grey haze that those who could afford the view thought of as the edge of the world. In many was it was.
I stopped at Fifth and Hobart and made my way to the Garren Arms Complex. As I rounded the corner, I felt a flash of anger flare up. There was a smell int he air, one I was familiar with.
There was a fire.
Soon as I turned the corner of the bank across from Moira’s apartment complex, I saw where the fire was. On the front lawn. And Moira was the one laughing and chuckling…and drinking. In front of her were three boxes of cardboard, big black marker used to scrawl my name on the sides. She saw me walking towards her and she was lovely and terrifying.
A shade under five foot seven, long straight red hair that hung to her mid thigh. Her eyes were bright green and they lit up with a joyous anger at seeing me. Her pale, near translucent skin changed subtly as I moved closer. Her sidhe coming out. The hair grew pale as milk and her skin turned even paler, as if it were possible. “Well, look who finally returned,” Moira said, a bright colored drink in hand,t he other on her hip. Both surrounded with bangles of gold and silver. Moira smiled at me and took a long sip of her drink.
“Thanks for the warm welcome,” I said, walking past her. “There is still something in your apartment I need.”
“Everything of yours is there,” she said, pointing towards the small fire.
“Not everything.” I kept going.
I heard her shout my name and felt a small twinge. I might be quasi undead, yet when a baen sidhe says your name, even an undead man can feel something. I turned. “What?”
“I told you I gathered everything,” Moira said, gesturing with her drink. It slopped out and I realised it probably wasn’t her first.
“Even the stuff int he vault?”
An eyebrow arched. “You don’t have the combo to that.”
I turned and moved closer. I whispered it to her. I might be a jerk, but not going to announce her vault combo to the world at large.
She slapped me hard across the face, then let out a hiss of pain. “Fuck you, Johnnie.”
“Not now, I’m on a job,” I said. Seeing the bard hit, I turned and walked towards her door. The doorman looked at me.
“Mr. Gallic, I am sorry but you are not allowed inside.”
“Gate, I have to go in and fetch something from her vault. It is my property.”
“But it is in her vault, isn’t?” Gate asked.
I had to be careful. Gate was Fae and they had weird feelings on possession.
I took a chance and said, “It is soulbound to me.”
He nodded and opened the door. “You are granted a one time admittance.”
“Thanks Gate. Say het to the wife and kids.”
Gate nodded. “Thank you sir.”
Moira was on my heels, trying to scream and swear at me. The more she said my name,t he more I felt the twinge and felt my hands closing and getting ready to do some serious violence. We both lucked out when the elevator opened and were alone on the ride up. I grabbed her by her arms. “I am not going to hit you. But stop saying my name you harpy.”
That blow stopped her dead. “Do I look like a saggy titted hasbeen bird?”
“No. You are just going to kill me by degrees if you keep it up,” I whispered back.
I saw the smile on her face. “Maybe that is what I wanted. Maybe you deserve to die you fucking prick.“
“I missed you too.”
She pulled away from my hands and slapped me hard across the face. “Gods great and small I hate you.”
I pushed her against the door and pressed my face close to hers. “Yeah, tell me something I don’t know.”
She grabbed my head and kissed me hard, biting her lower lip and then pushed me away. “I still love you.”
The door opened and she walked away while I stood there, dumbstruck for a moment.