Quinn was a safe distance from the party. The rambling estate had a patio currently being misted with a chill rain. He sniffed his mug of cider, again reassuring himself that it wasn’t spiked, and returned to his vigil. If his lord needed him, he would be there.

“Quinn?” He turned his head and there she was. “Only a couple more hours.”

“Understood, my lord.”

“I’m sorry. It’s the holidays, I can’t get out of all of these.” Ruth Niral smiled at him, a little ruefully. “I told the guests that I insisted you patrol out here. The Kaas ladies’ auxiliary was crushed.”

He had seen them when he had trailed her into the Life Day gathering: an array of elaborately coiffed, provocatively dressed women with eyes like talons. “Thank you.”

“And some more cider,” she said, firmly exchanging his cooling mug for a hot one. “Anything else I can do?”

“Impress them. Outmaneuver them. Carry the day.” He smiled. “The usual things.”


Bright’s Winter Wonderland 2016 (Tumblr) (AO3)
Bright’s Winter Wonderland 2014/2015 (forum)

Monday 8:27am
I woke up with you on my mind.
You called me babe last night —
my heart is still pounding.

Tuesday 10:53pm
Today I realized we won’t work.
What we are is hurting her.
And I think she matters more to me than you do.

Wednesday 11:52pm
I broke things off with you today.
She barely said a word.
I’ve never regretted anything more than this.

Thursday 4:03pm
I shouldn’t have sent that message.
You shouldn’t have been so okay with receiving it.

Friday 9:57pm
I almost messaged you today.
I didn’t.

Saturday 8:49pm
I’m walking around town in search of alcohol.
They say that liquor numbs the pain of having a broken heart.
I want to put that to the test.

Sunday 2:32am
I heard you texted a girl you’ve never spoken to before.
I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to replace me.
I can’t help but wish you weren’t.
I thought I was irreplaceable.

—  a week with you on my mind, c.j.n.